Links 21/4/2021: VirtualBox 6.1.20, GCC 11.1 Release Candidate, Nginx 1.20.0

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Benchmarks

      • Initial Radeon vs. GeForce Vulkan Ray-Tracing Performance On Linux – Phoronix

        As outlined in the earlier article, Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 delivers initial Vulkan ray-tracing support via this packaged driver on enterprise Linux distributions. This initial Vulkan ray-tracing support is just in their binary driver stack and hasn’t yet appeared in AMDVLK as their open-source AMD Radeon Vulkan driver build. Hopefully that AMDVLK code drop will come soon for those not wanting to use the packaged driver or running on an unsupported distribution, etc. Meanwhile as mentioned the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver is also working towards Vulkan ray-tracing but will likely be still some more time before that is ready to go and merged into Mesa.


        If you install the new Radeon Software Linux driver you should find VK_KHR_ray_query and the other Vulkan ray-tracing extensions now exposed on Linux. In my tests using the Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 driver it worked out fine across the RX 6700, RX 6800, and RX 6800 XT graphics cards (I still have no RX 6900 series hardware for testing, thus just the RX 6700/6800 series being tested today).

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1.20 Released with Linux Kernel 5.11 Support, CentOS Stream Improvements

        Three months in the works, VirtualBox 6.1.20 is here to introduce support for the latest and greatest Linux 5.11 kernel series for both hosts and guests. This means that you’ll now be able to install VirtualBox on GNU/Linux distributions powered by Linux kernel 5.11, as well as to run Linux 5.11-based distros in virtual machines.

        On top of that, this release improves support for the CentOS Stream operating system, as well as for the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 operating system release by making sure the kernel module is correctly built, and fixes the compilation of the vboxvideo module for the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series.

      • The 5 Best Linux PDF Editors You Should Try

        Finding a good and reliable PDF editor is a nerve-racking job with all these unwanted opinions flying around on the internet. Everyone has different preferences and use cases for their PDF editor, and choosing the one that suits you the best is important.

        The number of applications available for Linux-based operating systems is immeasurable. But when it comes to PDF editors, only a handful of the apps top the chart. In this guide we have curated a list of the best Linux PDF editors that you can download for free on your computer.

      • Nginx 1.20.0 Is Released

        Nginx developer Maxim Dounin has announced a new stable release of the by-far most popular web server on the Internet with a brief change-log listing “1.20.x stable branch” as the only changes. There is a bit more to the latest Nginx 1.20.0 release than that.


        Every website you visit is served by some kind of web server software. The Apache web server is still the kind of the kill and the go-to solution, it has dominated the web server market since 1995. Russian software engineer Igor Vladimirovich Sysoev released the first version of the BSD-licensed Nginx web server on October 4th, 2004. It gained a small user-base and went doggedly on in the Apache’s shadow until it eventually overtook Apache in terms of total websites available on the Internet in April 2019.

        Nginx served 415 million websites or 35.34% of all websites on the Internet in March 2021 according to Netcraft, beating Apache’s share of 317 million websites by a fair margin.

      • Natron is Alive and Releases v2.4

        Natron, the video compositing FX program, just releases version 2.4 today. We can celebrate as by this we know for sure Natron development is active and running. It can be installed on GNU/Linux, as well as Windows and MacOS. For Ubuntu users, included here’s Natron with screenshots running at 20.04 LTS. By this article we at Ubuntu Buzz also want to tell you that Natron is looking for developers and maintainers so everybody can look at their website for more information. Enjoy Natron!

      • The 10 Best Linux Terminal Emulators

        A terminal emulator client is a graphical application that allows you shell access to the host machine using commands. Terminal Emulator is a lifeline for every Linux distro as it enables you to unleash the true power of Linux.

        A terminal emulator of your choice will say something about you. Are you a system administrator who prefers something lightweight or a developer who requires a terminal emulator full of features and customizable options? Are you comfortable with the default terminal emulator that ships with your Linux distro?

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install NTP Server on CentOS 8

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install NTP Server on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Chrony is an implementation of the Network Time Protocol (NTP). Chrony commonly synchronizes a computer to Internet time servers or other sources, such as a radio or satellite receiver or telephone modem service. It can also be used as a time source/server for client systems.

        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 NTP Server on a CentOS 8.

      • Linux commands for testing connectivity and transfer rates

        There are quite a few tools that can help test your connectivity on the Linux command line. In this post, we’ll look at a series of commands that can help estimate your connection speed, test whether you can reach other systems, analyze connection delays, and determine whether particular services are available.

      • How to Install VSFTP on Ubuntu 20.04 – Cloudbooklet

        Install VSFTP on Ubuntu 20.04. In this guide you are going to learn how to setup a FTP server and provide access to particular directory as chroot for a user.

        This setup is tested on Google Compute Engine VM Instance running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        So this setup works fine for any virtual machine on AWS EC2 Instance or DigitalOcean or any other cloud hosting servers or VPS or Dedicated.

      • How to Install Jupyter Notebook on Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04

        How to install Jupyter Notebook on Ubuntu 20.04 to share live code with others. In this guide, we’ll show you how to Install Jupyter Notebook on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Here we show you simple ways to install Jupyter on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04 and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint and Elementary OS.
        Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows you to create and share live code documents with others. Jupyter is a next-generation notebook interface. Jupyter supports more than 40 programming languages including Python, R, Julia, and Scala.

      • How to Create Manjaro Bootable USB – Linux Hint

        Manjaro is a leading open-source Arch-based Linux distribution. It’s a cutting-edge distribution with automated tools that require little to no manual interruption. Manjaro provides a middle ground for users who desire control, performance, and some software stability. Hence, these features make it an ideal distribution for Linux beginners.
        As a Manjaro aspirant, it is ideal to have a live bootable USB. A live USB provides a convenient way for any beginner user to experiment with the distribution without installing it on the system.

        In this article, we cover various ways to create a bootable Manjaro USB in Windows and Linux.

      • How to Dual Boot Manjaro Linux with Windows 10 – Linux Hint

        Among many other features, user accessibility, cutting-edge software, and automated tools make Manjaro the next best Linux distribution. As an Arch Linux derivative, Manjaro provides new users with an Arch experience via an intuitive interface, unique hardware management software, and stable performance.

        This article demonstrates the Manjaro Linux dual boot process with the Windows 10 operating system for Linux beginners. The guide provides details on required BIOS settings, Windows disk partition process and walks you through the step-by-step procedure to install Manjaro 20.2.1 Nibia release with a KDE-plasma desktop environment.

      • Use of “lsof” Command to Find Open Files – Linux Hint

        “lsof” stands for List Open Files. It is a Linux utility for listing down all the open files of a system. This command can be combined with different parameters to modify its output as desired. You can see the details of all of its parameters and flags by seeing the help manual of the “lsof” command.

        In today’s article, you will be able to learn the correct usage of the “lsof” command for finding all the open files in Linux Mint 20.

      • How Do I Do a Reverse DNS Lookup in Linux? – Linux Hint

        DNS process is known as forwarding DNS resolution in which it resolves the domain name with an IP address. Whereas, Reverse DNS Resolution or Reverse DNS lookup, also known as rDNS, is used to determine or resolve the IP address associated with the domain name. As the name implies, it is a reverse DNS lookup process that resolves an IP address back to the domain name.

        Reverse DNS lookup is used by email servers to validate and block spam email messages. If the rDNS check fails, then Email servers by default mark the incoming messages as SPAM. Most of the time, email servers automatically reject the messages from an IP address that does not contain rDNS in place. Therefore, if you need to add an rDNS, you can contact your hosting or IP provider to do it.

        In this article, we will explain how you can perform the reverse DNS lookup process in Linux through the command line environment.

      • How Do I Convert a CER File to PEM? – Linux Hint

        There can be different reasons that you want to convert your security certificates to other formats. One of the reasons is when your system is not accepting the existing format or if your security certificate file is not compatible with the application. Whatever your reason for converting formats for the security certificates files is, you can easily do so using the most convenient and reliable OpenSSL utility.
        OpenSSL is an open-source full-featured command-line utility that is usually used for generating CSR and private keys, installing SSL/TLS certificates, converting security certificate formats, etc.

        In today’s post, we will describe how to convert a CER file to PEM.

      • How to set DNS name servers on Ubuntu Linux? – Linux Hint

        DNS nameservers (resolvers) provide a method to translate the domain name into the IP addresses. It is provided by the ISP (internet service providers) and is used by various other devices to do the DNS lookup for a requested domain.

        We will show you in this tutorial how to set or configure the DNS nameserver using different methods on the Ubuntu system. All configurations have been performed on Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How can I exclude directories from grep -R? – Linux Hint

        Grep is indeed a Linux / Unix terminal shell utility that searches a document for a sequence of characters. A regular expression seems to be the term for the textual pattern to be searched. It outputs the row with the outcome when it detects the same match. While browsing across huge log files, the grep query comes in hand. So, grep –R has been used to exclude directories while using some keywords. Let’s discuss grep –R in this tutorial step by step.

      • Getting started with Manjaro Part II – Linux Hint

        Manjaro offers a unique Command-line tool that sets it apart from other Arch-based distributions. The unique Manjaro Hardware detection command-line tool allows control over system hardware configurations and multiple kernels management.

        There are currently two types of Manjaro Hardware detection commands, mhwd, mhwd-kernel. This article introduces the mhwd command, which automates the identification and installation of system hardware. As well as the mhwd-kernel command to enable easy installation and management of multiple kernels in Manjaro Linux.

      • How do I check my NIC card speed Linux? – Linux Hint

        NIC or network interface card provides an interface between your system and a network apart from one wired network or wireless. Every NIC comes with a speed rating like 100 Mbps or 1Gbps. Knowing the NIC card speed can be helpful in different situations. It can help you diagnose performance issues. Knowing the speed limit of the NIC is also helpful if you are upgrading your internet services to higher bandwidth, as it will help you to verify if you can take full advantage of the available bandwidth.

        In this post, we will describe how to check NIC card speed in Linux OS.

      • How to unban an IP in fail2ban – Linux Hint

        Many of the security tools do not protect your system from compromise. Even setting the strongest password does not solve the problem as it can also be broken with several techniques. Fail2ban is a great tool that allows you to ban the IP address that is making incorrect authentication attempts. Rather than allowing a user to make tries and succeeds, it blocks them in the first place. Hence, it prevents intrusion before they comprise your system.

        While making incorrect authentication attempts, sometimes fail2ban can block legitimate connections too. By default, the ban time is 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, a banned IP address is unbanned automatically. However, if a legitimate system is banned and you can’t wait for the ban time to expire, you can manually unban it. In this post, we will describe how to unban an IP address in fail2ban.

      • How to Install Mosh Shell as SSH Alternative on Linux Desktop

        Using an SSH client tool is always helpful and handy for the system administrator and the remote users. In the conventional SSH clients, you may find some network and auto session logout issues. As a system admin, you already realize the importance of the CLI-based remote SSH client. To solve frequent logout, lagging, and packet loss issues, you can install the Mosh SSH as an SSH alternative on Linux. The Mosh stands for the Mobile shell, which is a command-line-based secure shell client for Linux. It doesn’t require a stale and static IP address to establish the connection; moreover, the Mosh SSH shell client is also compatible with mobile devices.

      • New Linux Publication Released: How Linux Works, 3rd Edition: What Every Superuser Should Know by Brian Ward

        I am very excited about this publication not only because it is a great book covering such a large set of Linux-related topics but also because I helped with the technical review.

      • How to install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 21.04

        The objective is to install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Linux and switch from a opensource Nouveau driver to the proprietary Nvidia driver.

        To install Nvidia driver on other Linux distributions, follow our Nvidia Linux Driver guide.

      • How to install Blender 2.92 on Deepin 20.2

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Blender 2.92 on Deepin 20.2.

      • How to install Funkin’ High Effort Ugh mod on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Funkin’ High Effort Ugh mod 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!

      • HOWTO Make Mozilla Firefox Blazing Fast On Linux

        The Firefox web browser is, by default, much, much slower than it can be on Linux. There is, luckily, several ways to make it a whole lot faster by changing one or more configuration options that are not so easy to find or understand. Newly released Firefox 88 made it easier, though you can make older Firefox versions and Firefox LTS versions faster with some trickery. Here’s the options you have and the performance they provide.

      • How to Install Guider Linux Performance Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04

        Monitoring the real-time state and behavior of the system and each of its components is crucial for any system administrator. Guider is an open-source performance analyzing tool for Linux operating systems. It is designed to measure the use of system resources, analyze it and improve the performance of the operating system.

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install and use Guider on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Uninstall Chromium and Get Rid of It From Your Computer

        Chromium is the open-source web browser project used by Google to create Google Chrome. It has an interface and functionality similar to Chrome, allowing you to navigate the Internet and take advantage of privacy features. You can set it up on any operating system, including Windows and Mac. It’s also possible to install Chromium on Linux.

      • How to Write a Shell Script in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        A shell script is a Linux-based script in which commands are written, and when a user executes the script, all those commands that are in the script are executed one after another. Think of it this way: You have a task you need to do that requires a certain number of commands to be written by the user, so it’s difficult to write and then execute those commands one at a time, that’s where the shell script comes in.

        To accomplish this task, simply write all of these commands into a single script and save that script file somewhere. Then, when the user needs to do a particular task, all they have to do is run the saved script and the task is done without having to write all the commands again one by one. The shell is an interpreter of the commands that the user writes.

      • How to display GUI dialogs in bash script using Zenity

        We all know that Linux bash scripts are a real strength of Linux. Often we want to display a graphical user interface (GUI) in our scripts to make interaction with users easier. GUI makes any script more user-friendly and beautiful.
        For GTK in shell scripts, there are many options and tools available in Linux.

        In this article, we will show you how to use Zenity to display GUI dialogs in Bash scripts.

        Zenity is an open-source application for displaying simple GUI in shell scripts. It makes scripts more user-friendly by displaying GTK+ dialogs. Zenity is a handy command-line tool for modern shell scripting. Zenity is easy to use and a cross-platform application.

      • Steven Pritchard: Dealing with old ssh implementations

        Over the last several releases, Fedora has removed support for old, broken crypto algorithms. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to deal with old devices or servers that can’t easily be upgraded. For example, I have a switch that I can’t connect to with the ssh on Fedora.

      • How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 from Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy to Hirsute)

        Here are the steps on how to upgrade your Ubuntu 21.04 from Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla to Hirsute Hippo).

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD meetings on the Desktop

          FreeBSD on the desktop is a whole stack – X11, Qt, KDE Frameworks, KDE Plasma and KDE Gear, and Wayland, and Poppler and GTK – o my!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Hybrid and edge strategies in an open-source world will be key focus during Red Hat Summit on Apr. 27, 28

          When IBM announced its intention to acquire Red Hat Inc. for $34 billion in 2018, it was widely viewed as a sign that the open-source train had finally arrived in the station. Less than three years later, open source has grown to encompass not only the station, but the train tracks and surrounding enterprise territory as far as the eye can see.

          In March, Red Hat released its “State of Enterprise Open Source” report, which, not surprisingly, validated the technology’s widespread enterprise influence. The report found that 90% of IT leaders were using open-source products, primarily in infrastructure modernization, networking and application development.

        • It’s no NBA Top Shot or Beeple, but IBM is making patent NFTs
        • IBM (and Red Hat) employees not allowed to use email for personal hobbies?
        • Ex-IBM Manager Tells Jury Racism Complaint Drew Firing – Law360

          A former IBM sales manager told a jury Monday he was fired for calling out racial disparities in his subordinates’ commissions, kicking off a Zoom trial in Washington federal court.

        • IBM, Red Hat Sued by Xinuos for Allegedly Stealing Code, Using it to “Crush Competition”

          On Wednesday, computer software company Xinuos Inc. filed a complaint in the District of the Virgin Islands against International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Red Hat Inc. for purportedly stealing its copyrighted code and using it for anticompetitive conduct in the Unix/Linux paid server operating system market.

          According to the complaint, “IBM and Red Hat conspired to illegally corner a market and crush competition.” Specifically, Xinuos claimed that “IBM stole Xinuos’ intellectual property and used that stolen property to build and sell a product to compete with Xinuous itself” by incorporating core elements of the stolen code into its own code. The plaintiff averred that “ IBM and Red Hat illegally agreed to divide the relevant market and use their growing market powers to victimize consumers, innovative competitors, and innovation itself.” Xinuos proffered that “after IBM and Red Hat launched their conspiracy, IBM then acquired Red Hat to solidify and make their scheme.” Lastly, the plaintiff argued that “IBM has been misleading its investors by falsely claiming all infringement claims against IBM regarding the copied code have been waived.”

      • Debian Family

        • Let’s Try Debian Unstable

          You may have been familiar with the name Debian Unstable also known as Sid and may want to try it. As an Ubuntu user, this curiosity is nothing weird, as every release of Ubuntu itself is created from it, and many persons around you may talk about it pretty often. The secret is, there is no image file to download for it, so you cannot install it as an operating system. This is why I make this simple guide to invite you to try Debian Unstable on your computer. Let’s go!


          You must have a computer with Debian Stable installed. For example, you may install Debian in a virtual machine as it counts as one computer. At the time I write this, Stable is Debian 10. Next time, Stable will be Debian 11. If you do not have one yet, download Debian 10, and install it to your computer. Please be aware that doing this will require you large data transfer and also time. As an example,in an expe riment it requires ~2GB download, ~4GB storage, and no less than 4 hours to finish.


          Finally, post-upgrade may introduce you to multiple packages need to be removed. This can be known by running simply $ sudo apt-get install without argument. It may say “some packages need to be removed by command line apt-get autoremove.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Don’t Miss: Ubuntu 21.04: What’s New? [Video]

          Six months of development have gone into curating Ubuntu 21.04 and the release is backed by 9 months of security and core app updates.

          Ubuntu 21.04 isn’t a game-changing release. Despite the hirsute moniker there’s little nothing hair-raising included, perhaps save for the switch to Wayland — but even that isn’t as prickly as it used to be!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How to take your open source project to the next level

        Open sourcing the code to your software as a service (SaaS) is not sufficient to make it actually be open source. Does that sound contradictory to you? Let me explain.

        Most services that espouse “open source” do so by simply throwing the code over the wall. It’s better than nothing but really misses the point that powers open source: enabling users to make a change to the software they’re using.

        Some other popular services powered by Open Source software, do include the tools used to operate/deploy their service. Pause for applause.

        But that’s also insufficient to actually enable users to become contributors effectively.

      • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.16

        Tor Browser 10.0.16 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

        This version updates Firefox to 78.10esr. In addition, Tor Browser 10.0.16 updates NoScript to 11.2.4, and adds localization in Burmese.

      • Open-source software: freedom from ethics? [Ed: Media giving space for professional provocateurs who attack the freedom of software in the name of pseudo “ethics”. In his latest speech (LibrePlanet) Richard Stallman explained why all this “ethical source” nonsense is an attack on software freedom and would lead to chaos. The whole “ethical source” can of worms leads to farcical situations like, some people denying you the use of some piece of software unless you can produce proof you received some vaccination.]
      • Nextcloud Now Compatible With WWW-Inventors’ Privacy Initiative

        At Solid World April, the results of a project funded by the European Commission through NLnet and Next Generation Internet were presented. The project developed Solid compatibility for Nextcloud allowing it to act as a Solid server. The integration work allows users of the popular open source on-premises enterprise content collaboration platform to choose a safe place for their private data rather than public cloud services.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 89 Beta Released With UI Changes

            With Firefox 88 released yesterday, the Firefox 89 beta is now available for testing. Notable this time around is refining of the web browser’s user interface.


            Aside from the UI/UIX improvements with Firefox 89, the beta release also continues with privacy/security improvements, support for the Event Timing API, and other enhancements.

          • Firefox 89 Enters Beta Testing with Stunning New Look, Improved Privacy

            You might have heard of Firefox’s forthcoming new design, and it’s finally happening with the Firefox 89 release, due out early this summer. Mozilla was working hard during the past few months on a fresh new look for its open source and free web browser, and let me tell you that it looks stunning.

            The biggest change in this release being a fresh new designed to make your browsing experience more enjoyable, faster, cleaner, and easier to use. Firefox 89’s stunning new look consists of a modern and great looking toolbar with floating tabs, a simplified and cleaner new tab design that easy to customize, streamlined menus, updated infobars and modals, more consistent styling, as well as a brand-new first-run welcome page.

          • Firefox 88 Released, This is What’s New

            The latest version of the famed FOSS app enabled ‘smooth pinch-zooming using a touchpad’ on Linux systems. Additionally, the browser’s built-in PDF form filler now supports JavaScript embeds within PDF files (often used for verification).

            Mozilla says it’s bolstered the browser’s privacy credentials even further in this release by enforcing additional rules to prevent cross-site privacy leaks.

            It’s not all feature additions, however.

            Firefox 88 disables FTP support within the browser. Mozilla say the feature is not widely used and, as is, presents a ‘security risk’ as FTP is a non-encrypted protocol. The feature will be stripped out entirely in a future release.

            Talking of unused features, this update removes the “Take a Screenshot” feature from the Page Actions menu in the url bar (what sits behind the … icon).

          • Mozilla Firefox 88 Is Released

            Mozilla begun developing a brand new web browser engine called Webrender as part of a independent web browser project called Servo ages ago. They begun porting it to Firefox as part of a “project Quantum” in 2016. Mozilla has made it the default compositor on Linux in Firefox 88. It is, as of Firefox 88, enabled even if gfx.webrender.enabled is set to false in the special configuration interface you can get by typing about:config into the Firefox address bar. It is possible to disable it by setting the special gfx.webrender.force-disabled key to false.

            Webrender provides dismal performance out-of-the-box on GNU/Linux. It’s just slow. Mozilla has, luckily, introduced a brand new configuration key for GNU+Linux users using the X display server in about:config called gfx.x11-egl.force-enabled. Flipping that switch makes Firefox render the output form the Webrender compositor using EGL. It is much, much faster. Earlier versions required setting a environmental variable called MOZ_X11_EGL=1 to enable it. That route is still the only options if you are using a Firefox ESR release. See HOWTO Make Mozilla Firefox Blazing Fast On Linux for benchmarks for some detailed benchmarks of Firefox with Webrender and the old Gecko compositor with and without EGL.

          • Riccardo Mottola: ArcticFox to browse on an iBook

            I did quite some work to have “–enable-altivec” work in ArcticFox. The FireFox AltiVec test did not work because it relies on GCC rejecting it if not supported by the CPU.

            Most of the work was getting the 32bit AltiVec code actually work during a 64bit compile on a PPC970. But what about a non-AltiVec build? WIth some #ifdef’s imported from TenFourFox… I was able to get it and produce, while compiling on a G4, a usable G3 optimized binary for Linux.

          • Mozilla Firefox drops FTP. Focuses on DRM, Censorship
          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 88 on POWER

            Firefox 88 is out. In addition to a bunch of new CSS properties, JavaScript is now supported in PDF files even within Firefox’s own viewer, meaning there is no escape, and FTP is disabled, meaning you will need to use 78ESR (though you get two more weeks of ESR as a reprieve, since Firefox 89 has been delayed to allow UI code to further settle). I’ve long pondered doing a generic “cURL extension” that would reenable all sorts of protocols through a shim to either curl or libcurl; maybe it’s time for it.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • 7 Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Excel – H2S Media

          LibreOffice is a well-known free and open-source office suite. If you are a Linux user such as Ubuntu then this Spreadsheet alternative to Excel would already be on your system. It is a fork OpenOffice project, thus we are not going to mentioned Apache OpenOffice in our list. LibreOffice Office offers a complete set of tools to perform daily document, presentation, Database, and Calculations related tasks. Its spreadsheet application called Calc is a decent Excel alternative.

          Although it uses Open Document Format (.ods) as a native one but can also open and save files in Microsoft Excel- .xls & .xlsx. Further, LibreOffice Calc offers all the basic functions of Excel, e.g. B. pivot tables, charts, text in columns, and much more. Unique features include macros in multiple languages, cross-platform support, and a large collection of third-party extensions.


          Calligra Sheets is a free and open-source spreadsheet application to replace Excel to some extent. It is a part of the Calligra Office suite developed and maintained by KDE. It is a feature-rich calculation tool for creating and editing various business-related spreadsheets. Earlier it was known as KSpread and Calligra Tables.

      • CMS

        • Translating Hugo based websites with Gettext

          In the Linux world, gettext is the gold standard for translating content. It’s powerful; there is a significant amount of tooling around it: there are editors like Lokalize, poedit, weblate and many others, and also libraries and bindings for many languages. But in the web development world, a unified internalization solution isn’t a solved problem yet. Django uses gettext; many js frameworks are using JSON as a key-value store of strings, but other formats exist and sometimes some frameworks provide nothing and everything needs to be done from scratch.

          Unlike Jekyll, Hugo provides some built-in internalization support. This includes the i18n function for translating templates, translatable menus and a way to translate markdown files by adding a translated copies next to the original English file. Unfortunately, this is not enough. There is no way to automatically notify the translators when and how a markdown file changed since a page sent to the translators is the raw markdown file. The second problem is that the translations need to be extracted and injected in three different places and various formats. Hugo uses markdown files for the content, a YAML file for the strings in the HTML templates and a YAML config file for the menu and site metadata translations (e.g. site title). A third problem is that none of these formats are directly usable for the KDE translation system and KDE translators that expect po files to work with their usual tools and workflow.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GCC 11.1 Release Candidate available from gcc.gnu.org
            The first release candidate for GCC 11.1 is available from
            and shortly its mirrors.  It has been generated from git revision
            I have so far bootstrapped and tested the release candidate on
            x86_64-linux and i686-linux.  Please test it and report any issues to
            If all goes well, I'd like to release 11.1 on Tuesday, April 27th.
          • GCC 11.1 RC Released, GCC 12 In Development On Trunk

            The release candidate to GCC 11.1 as the first stable release of GCC 11 is now available for testing. If all goes well GCC 11.1.0 will officially debut next week while GCC 12 is now in development with their latest Git code.

            Red Hat’s Jakub Jelinek announced the GCC 11.1 release candidate today, which has been bootstrapped and tested so far for i686 and x86_64 Linux. He is hoping to release GCC 11.1 officially next week if all goes well.

          • Daiki Ueno: AF_ALG support in GnuTLS

            The Linux kernel implements a set of cryptographic algorithms to be used by other parts of the kernel. These algorithms can be accessed through the internal API; notable consumers of this API are encrypted network protocols such as IPSec and WireGuard, as well as data encryption as in fscrypt. The kernel also provides an interface for user-space programs to access the kernel crypto API.

            GnuTLS has recently gained a new crypto backend that uses the kernel interface in addition to the user-space implementation. There are a few benefits of having it. The most obvious one is performance improvement: while the existing user-space assembly implementation has comparable performance to the in-kernel software emulation, the kernel crypto implementation also enables workload offloading to hardware accelerators, such as Intel QAT cards. Secondly, it brings support for a wider variety of CPU architectures: not only IA32 and AArch64, but also PowerPC and s390. The last but not least is that it could be used as a potential safety net for the crypto algorithms implementation: deferring the crypto operations to the kernel means that we could have an option to workaround any bugs or compliance (such as FIPS140) issues in the library.

      • Programming/Development

        • Rblpapi 0.3.11: Several Updates

          A new version 0.3.11 of Rblpapi is now arriving at CRAN. It comes two years after the release of version Rblpapit 0.3.10 and brings a few updates and extensions.

          Rblpapi provides a direct interface between R and the Bloomberg Terminal via the C++ API provided by Bloomberg (but note that a valid Bloomberg license and installation is required).

          This is the eleventh release since the package first appeared on CRAN in 2016. Changes are detailed below. Special thanks to James, Maxime and Michael for sending us pull requests.

        • Node.js 16 introduces Apple Silicon support

          Node.js 16 was released on April 20, adding Apple Silicon binaries and additional stable APIs to the popular JavaScript runtime.

          The release is the first to ship with prebuilt binaries for Apple Silicon. While Node.js will provide separate tarballs for the Intel and Arm architectures, the MacOS installer will be shipped as a “fat” (multi-architecture) binary. Node.js 16 follows the October 2020 release of Node.js 15.

        • Node.js 16 released with Apple Silicon binaries, JavaScript V8 engine turned up to nine

          Node.js 16 has been released with prebuilt Apple Silicon binaries and version 9.0 of the V8 JavaScript engine.

          Node.js releases appear every six months or so. A new version becomes the current release, and odd numbered releases are supported for only six months, but even numbered releases become long-term support (LTS) releases. The last three LTS releases were therefore 10, 12 and 14 (or Dubnium, Erbium and Fermium), while version 16, once it has had six months to mature, will be known as Gallium.

        • How to install JetBrains RubyMine on Linux

          JetBrains RubyMine is an IDE Integrated development environment) for the Ruby programming language. It is a cross-platform application that works on Mac OS, Windows as well as Linux. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install RubyMine on Linux.

        • First year of the Fortran website

          In April 2020 we created a website for the Fortran language at fortran-lang.org. In exactly one year, it grew to be the first result when you search “Fortran” in Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Qwant, SearchEncrypt and the second result in Google (after the Wikipedia page for Fortran).

        • Rust

          • Rust Coming Soon To A Linux Kernel Near You [Ed: This title is false as it's all speculative at this point and just because the sponsor of Rust (Google funds Mozilla) wants that to happen doesn't mean it will. Google also pushed NSA back doors into Linux and it was later removed.]

            I’ve been saying that Rust will one day come to the Linux kernel for a while and finally some real work is being done to make this happen, when and if the project will go forward is still up for discussion but we may very well see rust as a 2nd linux kernel language one day.

          • Jacob Hoffman-Andrews joins the Rustdoc team

            Hello everyone, please welcome Jacob Hoffman-Andrews to the rustdoc team!

            Jacob Hoffman-Andrews (@jsha) has been contributing a lot on rustdoc front-end. Thanks to him, the pageload of the rustdoc pages is much faster. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the stuff he’s done recently:

        • Java

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • New Study Finds Satellites Contribute Significant Light Pollution To Night Skies

        The research, accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, finds that objects orbiting Earth elevate the brightness of the night sky by at least 10 percent over natural light levels, exceeding a threshold that astronomers set over 40 years ago for considering a location “light polluted”.

    • Education

      • Plan S will be a catastrophe for learned societies

        In principle, I have no problem with fully funded open access. But the current debate consistently elides the fact that research published in easily accessible journals, books or websites must be paid for. The big question remains at what point in the production process should the financial transaction happen? For journals, the most common model is that academic institutions pay the publisher a subscription fee to receive online and sometimes hard copy issues for use by students and staff. But those supporting Plan S wish to move to a situation where journal publishers are paid out of the author’s research funding for publishing a paper that is then freely accessible to anyone online.

        This model may work for science and medicine, where published papers have a relatively short citation half-life and the vast majority of researchers are funded by grants that make provision to pay for publication. But there is no rationale as to why the publication model for neuroscience must be the same as the one for ancient Greek. In the arts and humanities, the citation half-life of papers is much longer – years and sometimes decades, not months – and many scholars do not have access to such funding. The mindless managerial mantra that one size should fit all is hopeless.

    • Hardware

      • Power consumption of Game Boy flash cartridges

        Flash cartridges (= “carts”) are commonly used to run Game Boy ROMs, such as homebrew games or dumped officially released games, on real hardware. Different kinds of flash carts with various features and performance characteristics have been available for a long time, but flash carts have in general the reputation of consuming a lot of power, greatly reducing the battery life of a Game Boy system, and possibly causing other additional problems. System stability might suffer, especially on Game Boy Pocket, and flash carts can also increase audible noise. Many of these problems have become more obvious in the recent years, since Game Boy modding is nowadays very popular and many modern mods, such as IPS screens, consume a lot of extra power. Some people claim that certain mods are simply incompatible with flash carts, and sometimes people say an extra regluator mod is needed in order to safely use flash carts. There is some truth to these claims, but unfortunately the fine details tend to matter and these kind of blanket statements can be misleading!

        In order to research the topic, I tested the power consumption of several commonly available flash carts and some of my own designs. In this blog post I intend to show that there is more variation in flash cart power consumption than people might think, and a flash cart can even be more power efficient than a genuine cart!

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Is herd immunity to COVID-19 possible? Experts increasingly say no.

        What Fauci doesn’t explicitly state, but others do, is that with about a quarter of Americans saying they might not want to be immunized, herd immunity is simply not an attainable goal.

        “It’s theoretically possible but we as a society have rejected that,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group. “There is no eradication at this point, it’s off the table. The only thing we can talk about is control.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Discord halts Microsoft talks: report

          Sources close to the matter told The Wall Street Journal that talks with tech giant Microsoft had ended without a deal being reached, though the possibility of rekindling them was left open.

        • Multiple agencies breached by hackers using Pulse Secure vulnerabilities

          Federal authorities announced Tuesday that hackers breached multiple government agencies and other critical organizations by exploiting vulnerabilities in products from a Utah-based software company.

          “CISA is aware of compromises affecting U.S. government agencies, critical infrastructure entities, and other private sector organizations by a cyber threat actor—or actors—beginning in June 2020 or earlier related vulnerabilities in certain Ivanti Pulse Connect Secure products,” the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said in an alert.

        • SolarWinds [Cracking] Campaign Puts Microsoft in the Hot Seat

          Yet it was Microsoft whose code the cyber spies persistently abused in the campaign’s second stage, rifling through emails and other files of such high-value targets as then-acting Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf — and hopping undetected among victim networks.

          This has put the world’s third-most valuable company in the hot seat. Because its products are a de facto monoculture in government and industry — with more than 85% market share — federal lawmakers are insisting that Microsoft swiftly upgrade security to what they say it should have provided in the first place, and without fleecing taxpayers.

        • The Incredible Rise of North Korea’s [Cracking] Army [iophk: Windows TCO]

          North Korea’s cybercrime program is hydra-headed, with tactics ranging from bank heists to the deployment of ransomware and the theft of cryptocurrency from online exchanges. It is difficult to quantify how successful Pyongyang’s [crackers] have been. Unlike terrorist groups, North Korea’s cybercriminals do not claim responsibility when they strike, and the government issues reflexive denials. As a result, even seasoned observers sometimes disagree when attributing individual attacks to North Korea. Nevertheless, in 2019, a United Nations panel of experts on sanctions against North Korea issued a report estimating that the country had raised two billion dollars through cybercrime. Since the report was written, there has been bountiful evidence to indicate that the pace and the ingenuity of North Korea’s online threat have accelerated.

          According to the U.N., many of the funds stolen by North Korean [crackers] are spent on the Korean People’s Army’s weapons program, including its development of nuclear missiles. The cybercrime spree has also been a cheap and effective way of circumventing the harsh sanctions that have long been imposed on the country. In February, John C. Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division of the Justice Department, declared that North Korea, “using keyboards rather than guns,” had become a “criminal syndicate with a flag.”

        • [Old] The Confessions of Marcus Hutchins, the Hacker Who Saved the Internet [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Hutchins was coming off of an epic, exhausting week at Defcon, one of the world’s largest hacker conferences, where he had been celebrated as a hero. Less than three months earlier, Hutchins had saved the internet from what was, at the time, the worst cyberattack in history: a piece of malware called WannaCry. Just as that self-propagating software had begun exploding across the planet, destroying data on hundreds of thousands of computers, it was Hutchins who had found and triggered the secret kill switch contained in its code, neutering WannaCry’s global threat immediately.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Ubuntu Blog: Canonical & Ubuntu at KubeCon Europe 2021

                It’s that time of the year again! KubeCon and CloudNativeCon Europe 2021 are just around the corner and, as always, Canonical and Ubuntu have a lot cooking in the Kubernetes oven especially for the event. This year, we’ll be showcasing solutions and best practices around Charmed Operators, as well as streamlined Kubernetes at the edge with micro clouds.

                We’ll be at KubeCon on May 4-7th, as well as hosting a co-located event of our own on May 3 so make sure to book a meeting and come by to chat about your K8s use case anytime during the week.

              • SD Times news digest: Android GPU Compute changes, Xilinx’s Kria Portfolio, and ELISA Project expands its global ecosystem

                The ELISA (Enabling Linux in Safety Applications) Project announced that Codethink, Horizon Robotics, Huawei Technologies, NVIDIA and Red Hat joined its ecosystem.

                The project aims to create a shared set of tools and processes to help companies build and certify Linux-based safety-critical applications and systems

                “The primary challenge is selecting Linux components and features that can be evaluated for safety and identifying gaps where more work is needed to evaluate safety sufficiently,” said Shuah Khan, Chair of the ELISA Project Technical Steering Committee and Linux Fellow at the Linux Foundation. “We’ve taken on this challenge to make it easier for companies to build and certify Linux-based safety-critical applications by exploring potential methods to enable engineers to answer that question for their specific system.”

              • Linux, Lyft establish mobile developers collective to build enterprise-grade apps

                To stimulate better collaboration amongst mobile developers, the Linux Foundation has founded one of its first open-source platforms centered around mobile app development. The new group is known as the Mobile Native Foundation, and it will be a collaborative IT infrastructure intended at enhancing the building of Android and iOS smartphone applications.

        • Security

          • Make sure your NVIDIA drivers are up to date, new security issues detailed

            NVIDIA has today revealed a bunch of new vulnerabilities in the GPU drivers that affect both Linux and Windows.

          • CERT-In issues advisory over Facebook leak concerning 6.1 million Indians

            The Computer Emergency Response Team put out an alert on Monday saying that it has been reported that globally there has been a large scale leakage of Facebook profile information. The exposed information includes email addresses, profile ID, full name, job occupation, phone numbers and birth date. According to Facebook, the scraped information does not include financial information, health information or passwords. The company has also claimed that based on its investigation, threat actors scraped this data prior to September 2019, by using Facebook’s “contact Importer” feature, which allows users to find other users by using their phone numbers, said the public advisory.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • TikTok Faces Privacy Lawsuit on Behalf of Millions of Children

              Every child that has used the app since May 2018, regardless of their account status or privacy settings, may have had their private personal information collected for the benefit of unknown third parties, according to the suit filed by Anne Longfield, England’s former Children’s Commissioner.

            • A Global Tipping Point for Reining In Tech Has Arrived

              Around the world, governments are moving simultaneously to limit the power of tech companies with an urgency and breadth that no single industry had experienced before. Their motivation varies. In the United States and Europe, it is concern that tech companies are stifling competition, spreading misinformation and eroding privacy; in Russia and elsewhere, it is to silence protest movements and tighten political control; in China, it is some of both. While nations and tech firms have jockeyed for primacy for years, the latest actions have pushed the industry to a tipping point that could reshape how the global [Internet] works and change the flows of digital data.

            • Law enforcement facial recognition examined as DHS called on to halt Clearview AI use

              The groups, including Mijente, The Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, the ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) review Clearview’s censure by New Jersey’s Attorney General, Canadian Privacy Commissioners and other tech companies, and the frequent use of free trials of Clearview’s facial recognition software by law enforcement officers. DHS agencies have also not been forthcoming about their use of the technology, they say, necessitating further action while they wait for their lawsuit to access their records to play out in court.

              San Mateo Country Sheriff’s Office has tested Clearview’s biometrics around 2,000 times, and is now considering purchasing a license for it, according to the Half Moon Bay Review.

            • Feds Track Down Capitol Rioter With Facial Recognition Hit On His Girlfriend’s Instagram
    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Family of FedEx Mass Shooter Warned Police About Him. How Did He Still Manage to Buy His Guns?

        Authorities in Indianapolis say the mother of Brandon Hole, the former FedEx employee who shot and killed eight people at a company facility last Thursday, called police in 2020 to say her son might commit “suicide by cop,” prompting them to seize his pump-action shotgun. But officials say they did not push for Hole to have a hearing under Indiana’s “red flag” law, which allows police or courts to seize guns from people who show warning signs of violence. “The very thing that the law is designed to prevent — going and buying a new gun — was not even ever sought,” says Nick Suplina, managing director for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety.

      • Mass Shooting at Indianapolis FedEx Warehouse “Follows Pattern of Violence Against Sikhs” Nationwide

        As the Sikh community in Indianapolis and across the United States is in mourning after a gunman killed eight people at a FedEx facility last week, where four of the victims are Sikh, we speak with Simran Jeet Singh, scholar, activist and senior fellow for the Sikh Coalition, which is calling for a full investigation into the possibility of racial or ethnic hatred as a factor in the killings in Indianapolis. A majority of the workers at the warehouse are Sikh, and while authorities have not shared evidence Brandon Hole was targeting Sikh workers when he attacked the FedEx facility, police revealed Monday they previously found evidence that Hole had browsed white supremacist websites. The mass shooting took place as more than 15 states across the U.S., including Indiana, mark April as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. “This community, in Indianapolis, all around the world, is really devastated,” says Singh. “Given the pattern of violence against Sikhs, we are demanding a full investigation into the possibility of bias and racism in this attack.”

      • There are hundreds of posts about plans to attack the Capitol. Why hasn’t this evidence been used in court?

        But a new report by a private research group, and a separate review by NBC News, uncovered hundreds of social media posts discussing plans to move on the Capitol, including a map of the facility and talk of how to create a stampede that would overwhelm Capitol Police.

      • German Navy buys unmanned helicopters

        The Defence Ministry is equipping five corvettes with helicopter drones. This could bring a procurement process that has been going on for 13 years to an end.

      • Jewish women spied, smuggled, and sabotaged under the Nazis’ noses

        Batalion embarked on the project after coming across a neglected Yiddish volume in the British Library called “Women in the Ghettos,” published in 1946. The stories of young women “smuggling, gathering intelligence, committing sabotage, and engaging in combat” astounded her, not least because the author, whose grandparents were Polish Jews who fled the Nazis, had grown up thinking of escape as the only means of resistance available to Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust.

        The successes of the Jewish resistance were minor relative to the scale of the Nazi genocide. (More than 90% of Poland’s Jewish population perished in the Holocaust.) Even so, reading about the intricate underground web of fighters and spies is revelatory. “The Light of Days” traces the experiences of roughly 20 Polish women, based on their own memoirs and testimony, archival material and other historical sources, and interviews with the family members of those who survived the war. In Batalion’s hands, their stories are taut and suspenseful, but the author also weaves in important context about prewar Poland, life in the ghettos, and the progression of the war.

      • PBS documentary, CBS “60 Minutes” segment add to evidence of far-reaching state complicity in January 6 coup attempt

        In an interview clip that has been viewed over 1.4 million times on social media as of this writing, the vice president of the Arizona chapter of the Oath Keepers, Jim Arroyo, said, “Our guys are very experienced. We have active-duty law enforcement in our organization that are helping to train us. We can blend in with our law enforcement and, in fact, in a lot of cases our training is much more advanced because of our military backgrounds.”

        The CBS segment also shows Arroyo discussing civil war during an Oath Keepers meeting. “It’s not a joke,” he says. “This can happen and we need to be ready for it.”

        The production also spotlights the role of the group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, a Yale-educated lawyer and former Army paratrooper. It features open-channel radio communications previously reported in court documents and on the World Socialist Web Site but until Sunday never heard by the public.

      • Will events in Chad force a reset of Sahel strategy?

        Chad sits strategically astride the Sahel and the Horn of Africa and has largely been viewed by Western powers as a critical state in staunching the spread of radical Islam and terrorism from the western Sahel region and as a buffer to the long-term instability coming from Sudan’s Darfur region on Chad’s eastern border. Chad shares its northern border with Libya and has been seen as an important part of regional strategies to stem the tide of instability emanating from its collapse since the overthrow of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

      • US embassy to withdraw staff as Chad rebels advance

        The United States has ordered its non-essential staff in Chad to leave the African country as rebel fighters approached the capital on Sunday after early election results showed President Idriss Deby on course to extend his three-decade rule.

        Deby, who seized power in 1990 at the head of an armed rebellion, is a staunch ally of France and the United States in the fight against Islamist militants in the arid Sahel region.

      • 40,000 displaced in north Mozambique after assault on Palma

        Some 40,000 displaced and urgently needing food, work suspended on a multi-billion-dollar gas investment, and scores of dead still being counted.

        The damage caused by Mozambique’s extremist rebels in their deadly assault on the northeastern town of Palma continues to be assessed. Four weeks after the rebels launched a three-pronged attack, which lasted at least five days, Mozambican police and relief agencies are working to help the thousands uprooted by the violence and restore the town to daily life.

      • Nearly a million going hungry in conflict-hit Mozambique, UN says

        Almost one million people face severe hunger in northern Mozambique, where hundreds of thousands have fled Islamist militant attacks, the United Nations food agency said on Tuesday.

        Islamic State-linked insurgents last month attacked Palma, a town in Cabo Delgado province next to gas projects under development by companies including Total and Exxon.

        The World Food Programme (WFP) said in a briefing in Geneva that 950,000 people are now hungry in Mozambique. It appealed to donors for $82 million to confront the crisis.

      • There is No Moderate Islam, Islam is Islam and that’s it!

        What tends to be more ominous is the crusade on part of Vatican personnel to present Islam as a religion of peace. This was obvious, as in what has now become a yearly custom, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, on behalf of Pope Francis, released last week a message addressed to “all Muslim brothers and sisters” to show solidarity and friendship as they start their month of Ramadan — the same can be said of U.S. President Joe Biden who also extended his “warmest greetings and best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world.”

        Notwithstanding peaceful and law abiding Muslims, there are two evident factors that would challenge the drive to present Islam in itself as a moderate religion, : the Quran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad himself as written in the hadiths.

      • Fargo activist’s reaction to Derek Chauvin verdict

        Joseph Lewis has been a familiar face across the Fargo metro for the past year in a push for change. He says that change is important to him as a Black man because he wakes up every morning wondering if he’ll be the next George Floyd.

        Lewis gathered with friends to watch history unfold Tuesday, April 20, with the verdicts announced in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis Police officer charged in his killing.

        “This is just a very little step in the right direction and the work that is left to be done involves everyone,” Lewis said.

    • Environment

      • Six reasons why a healthy environment should be a human right

        At least 155 states recognize their citizens have the right to live in a healthy environment, either through national legislation or international accords, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

        Despite those protections, the World Health Organization estimates that 23 per cent of all deaths are linked to “environmental risks” like air pollution, water contamination and chemical exposure.

        Statistics like that are why the United Nations Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution reaffirming states’ obligations to protect human rights, including by taking stronger actions on environmental challenges.

        Here are some of the ways that a compromised planet is now compromising the human right to health.

      • Building back better needs radical change − by us

        We’ve got the money, we’ve got the knowhow, but averting the worst of the climate crisis needs radical change − by us.

      • Energy

        • Solar panels are reaching their limit. These crystals could change that.

          “The efficiency with which solar cells that have these perovskite materials convert sunlight to electrons has increased at a really incredible rate, to the extent that now the efficiencies are close to those of silicon solar cells in the lab,” said Lynn Loo, a professor of chemical engineering at Princeton University and the director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. “That’s why we are so excited about this class of materials.”

          Perovskite solar cells can also be made relatively easily – unlike silicon cells, which need to be refined at very high temperatures and so need a lot of energy to make. Perovskites can be made as thin sheets at low temperatures, or as inks that can effectively be “printed” onto substrates of other materials, such as flexible rolls of plastic.

    • Finance

      • Turkey Bans Cryptocurrency Payments, Says Risks Are Too Big

        The Turkish central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment from April 30, saying the level of anonymity behind the digital tokens brings the risk of “non-recoverable” losses.

        The curbs also prohibit companies that handle payments and electronic fund transfers from processing transactions involving cryptocurrency platforms, according to a decree published in the official government gazette on Friday.

      • Indian Government’s Plans to Ban Cryptocurrency Outright Are A Bad Idea

        If the Indian government plans to effectively police its own draconian rules, it would need to seek to block, disrupt, and spy on Internet traffic

        If rumors of a complete ban accurately describe the bill, it would be a drastic and over-reaching prohibition that would require draconian oversight and control to enforce. But it would also be in keeping with previous overreactions to cryptocurrency by regulators and politicians in India.

        India regulators’ involvement with cryptocurrency began four years ago with concerns about consumer safety in the face of scams, Ponzi schemes, and the unclear future of many blockchain projects. The central bank issued a circular prohibiting all regulated entities, including banks, from servicing businesses dealing in virtual currencies. Nearly two years later, the ban was  overturned by the Indian Supreme Court on the ground that it amounted to disproportionate regulatory action in the absence of evidence of harm caused to the regulated entities. A  subsequent report in 2019 by the Finance Ministry proposed a draft bill that would have  led to a broad ban on the use of cryptocurrency. It’s this bill that commentators suspect will form the core of the new legislation.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Britain on the Road to Kleptocracy
      • Biden Quotes ‘Holy Qur’an’ in Ramadan Greeting, says ‘Muslim Americans Have Enriched Our Country Since Our Founding’

        Repetition won’t make this claim true. The claim that the slaves were Muslims, or a significant percentage of them were Muslims, is increasingly common. In fact, however, this is unlikely, as the African slavers were Muslims, and a Muslim generally does not enslave a fellow Muslim, just the Qur’an’s prohibits a Muslim from killing another Muslim (4:92). (There are Muslims who are born into slavery in countries such as Mauritania, but that is a different phenomenon from capturing and enslaving someone.)

      • Election ex machina

        The government has recently accelerated its drive to introduce electronic voting into our electoral infrastructure. Arguments for using electronic voting machines (EVMs) and [Internet] voting (i-voting) suggest that these technologies will ensure fairness and transparency, and improve access to voting (namely, to overseas Pakistanis). The rationale — that computers can record, count and relay votes with far greater accuracy, speed and impartiality than a system overseen by fallible and potentially compromised human actors — appears straightforward enough. To use the prime minister’s parlance, they are ‘neutral umpires’.

        But are they? Neither EVMs nor i-voting are new innovations, yet their use remains deeply controversial. Many developed democracies have either rejected them or reverted back to paper balloting. To know why, it is important to first understand what factors are involved in a free and fair election during the voting process.

      • Technology: Electronic Voting Is No Silver Bullet

        Electoral reforms are back in vogue, with a particular emphasis on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and [Internet] voting for overseas citizens. Both technologies have been around for some decades now, but have been dogged by a troubled history of security flaws and vulnerabilities, some of an extremely serious nature.

        As a result, an interesting paradox has emerged: even as developing countries — such as Namibia, Nigeria, Kenya, and Bangladesh in recent years — are eagerly hopping on to the EVM bandwagon, technologically advanced nations — including the Netherlands, US, Canada, Norway, Germany and Ireland — are rejecting machines en masse and reverting to paper elections.

        The nub of the matter is that EVMs were originally designed to automate elections, not secure them.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • ISIS propaganda in the pandemic era

        ISIS exploits opportunities offered by the information age more extensively than any other terror group in the world and uses new technological tools to its benefit. As far back as March 2018, one of its posters called on supporters to wage jihad against infidels and idol worshippers “by using your money, your hands and your tongues”—that is, through the spoken and written word. Alongside gold coins and an armed fighter, the poster displayed icons of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a computer to underline the importance of online advocacy.

      • NATO tests its hand defending against blended cyber-disinformation attacks

        Member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have banded together in recent days to confront an apparent cyberattack carried out against a NATO member’s critical infrastructure, according to the alliance.

        NATO is also working to battle a stream of disinformation about the attack against island state Berylia that has flooded social media, the alliance said.

        While many world leaders have faced off with blended cyber and disinformation operations in recent years, the NATO members in this case are not in fact facing a real threat. NATO crafted the scenario, which was carried out by a fabricated non-NATO nation-state “Crimsonia,” as part of an annual simulation exercise. Known as Locked Shields, it’s designed to test leaders’ readiness to deal with live cyberthreats. Berylia, the target of the fake attack and disinformation, is also an imagined state.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Florida Criminalizes Mass Protests Ahead of Chauvin Verdict

        As the nation braces for the verdict in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd last May, the state of Florida has enacted sweeping and draconian restrictions on protest, and even given the state the power to veto local funding funding cuts to police budgets.

        Signing the “Combating Public Disorder Act” into law on Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis declared, “We are taking an unapologetic stand for the rule of law and public safety.” But the Republican, and close Trump ally, also made it plain that the true legislative intent was to criminalizing the protest tactics of those he denounced as “the radical left.”

        The signing brought immediate condemnation from defenders of civil liberties. “Let’s be clear: this is not an anti-riot bill,” said Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida. “It is a bill that criminalizes peaceful protest,” he said, adding that the law is a blast from the state’s segregationist past: “Each and every provision harkens back to Jim Crow.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Senior journalist Absar Alam shot in Islamabad

        Senior journalist and former chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (Pemra), Absar Alam, was shot in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said in a video message uploaded on Twitter.

      • Two Sports Journalists, Woman Handball Player Killed In Afghanistan

        Afghanistan continues to see the killing of innocent people despite consistent efforts of brokering peace between the Taliban and the present government. Sports journalists and athletes, especially women, are being targeted by terrorists.

        According to the International Sports Press Association website, two Afghan sports journalist – Aliyas Dayee and Malala Maiwand- were killed while handball player Nooria Tabesh was gunned down.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Messages reveal far-right cops discussed killing, spying

        Documents obtained by Yle have revealed messages exchanged by two Helsinki police officers previously suspected of involvement in a far-right plot to commit acts of violence.

        The messages show that the police officers involved in the far-right group used information received in the course of their professional duties for their own purposes.

      • A Distinctly American Problem Needs Systematic Investigation

        The most constructive way that the federal government responds to avoidable loss of life is arguably in its treatment of aviation. Whenever a plane crash occurs, big or small, headline-grabbing or obscure, a team of experts is dispatched to reconstruct exactly what happened. The aim isn’t to advance a legal process or punish wrongdoers, but to figure out which changes, if any, could prevent it from happening again.

        “Aviation is safe in large part because it learns from its disasters,” my colleague James Fallows, himself a recreational pilot, has argued. The NTSB’s painstaking collection and evaluation of evidence after each accident can take months or even years, but the investigations yield insights that save lives. “From the dawn of commercial aviation through the 1990s,” Fallows writes, “1,000 to 2,000 people would typically die each year in airline crashes. Today, the worldwide total is usually about one-tenth that level.”

        What if every police killing triggered that sort of response?

      • The Chauvin Verdict Represents an Absolute Minimum of Justice

        It’s incredibly important that the jury found Chauvin guilty, but reining in the cops cannot happen through individual prosecutions.

      • Jurors Deliberate in Derek Chauvin Trial as Prosecution Urges Them to “Believe What They Had Seen”

        As jury deliberations are underway in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter for killing George Floyd last May, we go to Minneapolis to discuss final arguments and what is next in the case. We speak with civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong, who says the prosecution “started strong and ended strong” by reminding “the jury that they could believe what they had seen with their own eyes.”

      • Headlines April 20, 2021

        Jury deliberations have begun in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter for killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes last May. On Monday, jurors heard closing arguments in one of the most closely watched criminal trials in years. This is prosecutor Steve Schleicher.

      • What Police Impunity Looks Like: “There Was No Discipline as No Wrongdoing Was Found”

        A jury’s conviction of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is a historic moment, in large part because it’s an anomaly. Officers who kill civilians are rarely prosecuted, let alone convicted — many aren’t even disciplined by their departments.

        To understand how police impunity works, it’s worth looking at another case, that of Kawaski Trawick.

      • ‘Let This Be a Turning Point’: Chauvin Conviction Sparks Calls for ‘True Justice’

        “This verdict is not a substitute for policy change.”

        This is accountability, but not justice—that was a widely shared sentiment after a jury in Minnesota on Tuesday found Derek Chauvin, a white former police officer, guilty of murdering George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis last year.

      • Chauvin Guilty on All Counts, Including Murder of George Floyd

        One racial justice advocate said that there are “no victories today,” for “justice would mean George Floyd is still with us.”

        After deliberating for just over 10 hours, the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty for the murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd last May. 

      • The Chauvin Trial is Dangerously Deceptive

        The election and presidency of Barack Obama fed the dangerous illusion that racism no longer posed barriers to Black advancement and equality in the United States and that the only such barriers left were internal to Black people themselves.

        The constantly repeated lies claiming that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and was linked to al Qaeda and the 9/11 jetliner attackers permitted the messianic dry-drunk militarist George W. Bush to undertake the monumentally criminal and mass-murderous, petro-imperialist invasion of Iraq without being forced from office in a giant popular uprising – and to get absurdly re-elected.

      • Chauvinist Cops and the “Just Is” System That Enables Them

        Cops like Chauvin are vigilantes with badges, but without the white sheets. (Recall, if you will, that many of the folks under those KKK cloaks were ‘respectable’ members of the community — cops, judges, smiths, bartends, etc.) They’ve been guaranteed that, if they snuff the life of a fellow citizen, they will get their day in court. With a virtual guarantee of getting off the charge if they can successfully invoke Qualified Immunity.

        It’s this stark contrast of legal entitlements, this notion that you’re nothing at the hands of these flag-waving monsters, while they enjoy the privilege of protection, involving their Constitutional rights, that flat out rattles and enrages. And when you discover that there’s no remedy — that they can kill, steal your property, and piss on your cat — and you can’t pursue them criminally or civilly, and that little to no internal review of their actions will occur, then you have a right to wonder if America operates as a democracy under the rule of law anymore, and if it hasn’t reached, after “ a long train of abuses and usurpations,” that place in the Preamble to the Declaration where it is our “right” and “duty” to “throw off such government.”

      • Chauvin Trial Verdict: All Roads Lead to 38th & Chicago

        Minneapolis, Minn.—When the verdict is announced in the Derek Chauvin trial, George Floyd Square is full. The air has a slight nip to it, a stark contrast to the weekend’s warmth, and the official workday is not yet over. Still, on Tuesday afternoon, people continue to trickle in. Some shout. Some cry. Some hug.

        Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, had his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes. To decide if it was murder, the jury deliberated for nearly 10 hours. After the verdict is announced, the crowd begins to chant Floyd’s name.

      • The Chauvin Verdict Has to Be Just the Beginning

        Derek Chauvin did not just murder George Perry Floyd Jr. He tortured him to death.

        Maybe that’s what got the jury to find Chauvin guilty on all three counts.

      • Federal Court Tells Minnesota State Police To Stop Attacking, Harassing, And Arresting Journalists Covering Protests

        Minneapolis, Minnesota was still on edge when a cop shot another unarmed black man. The trial of former officer Derek Chauvin is still underway. Last May, Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd for over nine minutes — including two minutes after another officer was unable to detect a pulse.

      • Jury Finds Derek Chauvin Guilty on All 3 Counts for Murder of George Floyd

        The jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of killing George Floyd, a Black man, after kneeling on his neck for several minutes.

      • Ilhan Omar Blasts Democrats Over Hypocrisy in Funding Police vs Social Programs

        Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) sharply criticized the disparity between the seemingly endless amounts of money that government officials are willing to spend on the police while essential social programs go begging, at a press conference at the site of Daunte Wright’s murder in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, on Tuesday.

      • Why A Guilty Verdict For Derek Chauvin Doesn’t Change The Reality Of Police Violence

        The murder trial for Derek Chauvin was notable in many ways. Not only was it significant to George Floyd’s family, who was able to receive some semblance of the justice they’ve pushed for since Floyd’s death, but it’s also notable simply because of how rare it is for police officers to be charged for using excessive or fatal force — let alone convicted.

      • Police violence is directed against working people and youth of all racial and ethnic backgrounds

        In each of these killings, the victim was white. Each of these tragic deaths has gone unreported in the national media, which has not challenged the police account of events. There has been no questioning of the claims by police that they feared for their lives and that it was necessary to kill in self-defense. No attention has been given to why such killings happen with regularity and how the events could have been handled differently.

        As of April 14, there have been at least 265 police killings in 2021 across the United States. The police continue to kill at an unrelenting rate of three people per day, a bloody number that has held steady for years, despite popular protests and outrage over one killing after another.

      • Wisconsin community, political leaders react to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case
    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • The Do’s and Don’ts of Videoconference Oral Proceedings [Ed: Videoconference oral proceedings are themselves a big 'Don't' because they are not legal, but EPO management just breaks the law as usual and then stacks the courts or bullies judges to get its way]

          As many will be aware, there is a challenge to the legality of videoconference Oral Proceedings pending at the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (G 1/21).[1] In particular, the Enlarged Board has been asked to consider whether such proceedings can go ahead if the parties do not consent to use of the videoconference format. Although the question referred to the Board encompassed Examination, Opposition and Appeal proceedings, the EPO has decided to continue with videoconference Oral Proceedings for both Examination and Opposition matters irrespective of whether or not the parties involved consent to do so.[2]

          A Decision from the Enlarged Board is expected to issue relatively quickly, but unlike most referrals to be Enlarged Board, there does not appear to be much confusion about the direction the EPO will take. The EPO is generally keen to embrace the digital format and recent case law from the Boards of Appeal seems to suggest that the EPO will continue with videoconference Oral Proceedings as the “new normal”.[3] In anticipation that the Enlarged Board agrees, we have compiled our top tips for videoconference Oral Proceedings.

          DO ask for a test call. Even though we are all now familiar with the format, a test call is a good opportunity to confirm that the audio is clear, and the video is working correctly. The test call will also allow you to practice screen sharing and joining/leaving breakout rooms. Test calls need to be requested at least six weeks in advance of the hearing, as only limited time slots are available.

        • World IP Leader Touts Rise In International Patent Filings [Ed: WIPO is a corrupt institution, not “World IP Leader”. Law 360 proving to be a farce. Celebrating patent extremism is a bad thing; if you seriously think more patents make us better off, why not grant a trillion of them a year? It’s doable.]

          The director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization kicked off the virtual spring summit of the Intellectual Property Owners Association on Tuesday with a keynote speech that stressed the growing importance of innovation beyond the U.S. and Europe.

          Singaporean Daren Tang, who took the helm at WIPO, a U.N. agency, in October, opened his remarks by highlighting a 4% growth in international patent filings through WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty in 2020 despite fears that the COVID-19 pandemic would tank new filings.

          While China, the U.S., Japan, Korea and Germany led the charge with the most applications, Tang noted that innovation…

        • NuCana (NCNA) Shares Fall After Suing Gilead Sciences (GILD) in Germany Over Patent Infringement

          NuCana plc (NCNA) stock was slightly down after the British company sued Gilead Sciences (GILD) in Germany, alleging patent infringement for the sale of Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi and relation combination drugs. NCNA shares were down 2.64% to $4.06 per share while GILD was up 0.76% to $66.45 on Tuesday afternoon.

        • Waco jury in VLSI v. Intel starts deliberation: Intel vehemently denies infringement and attacks $3 billion damages claim [Ed: No place in the world disgraces patent law better than Texas; makes one wonder what such laws exist for in the first place...]

          In my previous post on the VLSI v. Intel patent trial in the Western District of Texas, I asked the question of whether the jury will be persuaded that, should it find an infringement, Intel would have paid a $3 billion royalty on two patents that are part of a portfolio that was at some point valued at $7 million. The answer is just a question of days, if not hours: counsel for both parties–Irell & Manella’s Morgan Chu and WilmerHale’s Bill Lee–just delivered closing argument.

          A week ago, Intel’s opening argument emphasized the semiconductor company’s independent research and development. VLSI’s lawyer told the jury that this is irrelevant under patent law: you can infringe whether or not you know the patent. Mr. Chu called this argument “a red herring” and “a signpost in the desert”–but the strict-liability nature of patent law is separate from whether jurors will feel that Intel has committed a wrongdoing it needs to be penalized for, or whether there is, at best, an accidential infringement at issue.

          The “signpost in the desert” was not only the “post” metaphor: Mr. Lee compared VLSI’s efforts to allege an infringement despite a patent having been narrowed on reexamination as “moving the fencepost” in order to develop an infringement theory regardless.

          Most of the argument was very technical, and counsel for both parties tried to put testimony, particularly expert testimony, into a particular context. For example, a point that Mr. Lee made and which might resonate with the jury was that VLSI got an Intel witness to confirm that a page from a document was consistent with one of VSLI’s arguments, but the headline of the document showed that it was just some general technical description and not specific to the accused products. What I consider even more likely to bear weight with jurors is an Intel position on claim construction: Mr. Lee said that this morning he “walked from [his] hotel to the court”: “‘from’ means ‘from’, ‘to’ means ‘to’.” Those kinds of non-infringement arguments appeal to common sense. By comparison, VLSI’s lawyer’s explanations of the meaning of “when” were much more technical–that was necessary in the context, but it just wasn’t as easy to understand as Intel’s interpretation of “from” and “to.” VLSI’s explanation of “determinism” was funny: if you boil an egg for 10 minutes, then you always know what the result is going to be like.

        • Software Patents

          • Could Alice Be Used to Invalidate Diehr? Of Course It Could [Ed: Software patents profiteer (litigation, not invention) Michael Borella is worried that software patents have become pretty worthless in courts; now the USPTO should stop granting these.]

            The Supreme Court’s Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l case has been criticized for setting forth a patent eligibility analysis that is unworkably subjective. As a consequence, the validity of particular types of inventions, especially those in the software and business method space, can be uncertain until undergoing judicial review.

            In a nutshell, Alice sets forth a two-part test to determine whether claims are directed to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. One must first decide whether the claim at hand is directed to a judicially-excluded law of nature, a natural phenomenon, or an abstract idea. If so, then one must further decide whether any element or combination of elements in the claim is sufficient to ensure that the claim amounts to significantly more than the judicial exclusion. But elements or combinations of elements that are well-understood, routine, and conventional will not lift the claim over the § 101 hurdle. While this inquiry is generally carried out as a matter of law, factual issues can come into play when determining whether something is well-understood, routine, and conventional.

            Having said that, the test in practice usually amounts to eyeballing the claim and determining whether some of its elements recite or involve a judicial exclusion. If so, the remaining elements are considered to determine whether they, individually or in combination, amount to significantly more. In other words, § 101 includes a poor-man’s form of prior art analysis. Also, vague, non-specific or result-oriented elements have little or no weight in the “significantly more” inquiry. So, § 101 also incorporates a form of enablement.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:45 am by Needs Sunlight

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Some People Who Asked to Be Removed From the Slanderous Hate Letter Against the FSF Are Still Being Denied Removal (But Not All)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 2:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: I am aware of some people (evidence is in the public domain for all to see) who asked to be removed from the hate list; their requests have not yet been processed, or simply denied. Maybe they should ask again. There are silent and selective changes.

OSI hate current

OSI hate archive

diff new-hate.txt old-hate.txt
> Amir Yalon
> Christian Paul (jaller94)
> rany

Snapshot as of minutes ago:

RMS petition 21-04-2021

Let’s see if more names will be removed over time, contradicting what they said about freezing this petition (to deny removal requests).

More below.

$ git log --oneline | nl -v0 | sed 's/^ \+/&HEAD~/' | grep -i Remo
    HEAD~17     1d46fde Remove how-to-sign from translations.
    HEAD~42     9753268 Removed excess dot
    HEAD~43     063eaad Removed excess dot
    HEAD~57     3decc71 Trolling removal (#2544)
    HEAD~77     5f78c04 According to @combacsa's advice, remove a statement asking for signature via PR.
    HEAD~78     534901a Merge pull request #2538 from fortysixandtwo/remove_my_name
    HEAD~82     525ecdd Remove name
    HEAD~94     01e2d0e removed Peter Ludikovsky
    HEAD~99     0e20d5e Remove Rojen Zaman's name and signature. (#2532)
   HEAD~102     0b3bef8 Clarify translation instructions, remove Contributing
   HEAD~103     0276faf Removing GitHub instructions from README
   HEAD~161     10da854 Remove @owl4ce signature
   HEAD~163     6e88803 Remove TomoeMami
   HEAD~393     3e50267 Removed my Signature
   HEAD~502     ddd3378 removes my signature
   HEAD~521     31d2b92 Temporary remove my signature
   HEAD~550     36f447e remove signature
   HEAD~592     934055d remove mail from sig
   HEAD~620     c5d82a4 Remove accidental duplicate names
   HEAD~706     922ce4e Remove OP
   HEAD~854     16d959a Remove my name.
   HEAD~889     ce6dbeb Merge pull request #2058 from amiremohamadi/main
   HEAD~904     06eef0c amiremohamadi signed
   HEAD~936     035a90d Remove me
  HEAD~1279     c057e9d Remove me
  HEAD~1282     e417900 remove me
  HEAD~1341     08205a9 Add signature in support for RMS' removal
  HEAD~1433     dfa9897 Remove signatures from Turkish version
  HEAD~1435     0fa0642 Remove signatures from Turkish version
  HEAD~1453     ca33ac3 Remove My Name From the List
  HEAD~1587     38f1326 Remove possible spam signature
  HEAD~1668     c0d970c Merge remote-tracking branch 'upstream/main'
  HEAD~1972     b262416 Merge remote-tracking branch 'upstream/main'
  HEAD~2073     c5e28e2 Remove Andrei Kvapil (@kvaps)
  HEAD~2830     887ef60 Merge remote-tracking branch 'upstream/main' into main
  HEAD~3109     3c67c8e remove links from signatures list, for uniformity
  HEAD~3145     bbc3d03 remove duplicate signature
  HEAD~3216     267ac44 Remove duplicates
  HEAD~3222     339384c Remove signature with wrongspelled surname (#422)
  HEAD~3235     680049b Added some names, removed one. (#174)

The person who got the ball rolling (just over a day after RMS had made his announcement):

 git log -p | tail -n100
-[Link](url) and ![Image](src)
-For more details see [GitHub Flavored Markdown](https://guides.github.com/features/mastering-markdown/).
-### Jekyll Themes
-Your Pages site will use the layout and styles from the Jekyll theme you have selected in your [repository settings](https://github.com/rms-open-letter/rms-open-letter.github.io/settings). The name of this theme is saved in the Jekyll `_config.yml` configuration file.
-### Support or Contact
-Having trouble with Pages? Check out our [documentation](https://docs.github.com/categories/github-pages-basics/) or [contact support](https://support.github.com/contact) and we’ll help you sort it out.
+- Molly de Blanc (Debian Project, GNOME Foundation)
+- Nathan Freitas
+- Matthew Garrett (Former member of the FSF board of directors)
+- Shauna Gordon-McKeon
+- Elana Hashman (Debian Technical Committee Member, Open Source Initiative Director, Kubernetes SIG Instrumentation Chair)
+- Tom Marble (Software Freedom Conservancy, Evaluation Committee Chair)
+- Neil McGovern (GNOME Foundation Executive Director, Former Debian Project Leader)
+- Deb Nicholson (OSI General Manager, SeaGL Co-Founder)
+- Nadya Peek
+- Julia Reda
+- Eric Schultz
+- Joan Touzet (Apache CouchDB PMC, Former Apache Software Foundation Director)
+- Luis Villa (Former director of the Open Source Initiative and the GNOME Foundation; contributor to the GPL v3 drafting process)
+- Stefano Zacchiroli (Former Debian Project Leader and Former director of the Open Source Initiative)

commit 8b507ebf29306bcf3bf26bc433ca2238186c092d
Author: Molly de Blanc <mdeblanc@edx.org>
Date:   Tue Mar 23 13:43:00 2021 -0400

    Set theme jekyll-theme-tactile

diff --git a/README.md b/README.md
index 1cf37bd..8301545 100644
--- a/README.md
+++ b/README.md
@@ -1 +1,37 @@
-# rms-open-letter.github.io
\ No newline at end of file
+## Welcome to GitHub Pages
+You can use the [editor on GitHub](https://github.com/rms-open-letter/rms-open-letter.github.io/edit/main/README.md) to maintain and preview the content for your website in Markdown files.
+Whenever you commit to this repository, GitHub Pages will run [Jekyll](https://jekyllrb.com/) to rebuild the pages in your site, from the content in your Markdown files.
+### Markdown
+Markdown is a lightweight and easy-to-use syntax for styling your writing. It includes conventions for
+Syntax highlighted code block
+# Header 1
+## Header 2
+### Header 3
+- Bulleted
+- List
+1. Numbered
+2. List
+**Bold** and _Italic_ and `Code` text
+[Link](url) and ![Image](src)
+For more details see [GitHub Flavored Markdown](https://guides.github.com/features/mastering-markdown/).
+### Jekyll Themes
+Your Pages site will use the layout and styles from the Jekyll theme you have selected in your [repository settings](https://github.com/rms-open-letter/rms-open-letter.github.io/settings). The name of this theme is saved in the Jekyll `_config.yml` configuration file.
+### Support or Contact
+Having trouble with Pages? Check out our [documentation](https://docs.github.com/categories/github-pages-basics/) or [contact support](https://support.github.com/contact) and we’ll help you sort it out.
diff --git a/_config.yml b/_config.yml
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..259a24e
--- /dev/null
+++ b/_config.yml
@@ -0,0 +1 @@
+theme: jekyll-theme-tactile
\ No newline at end of file

commit 535a9d11f1e09addf1a15fc318326105e2bc640f
Author: Molly de Blanc <mdeblanc@edx.org>
Date:   Tue Mar 23 13:42:36 2021 -0400

    Initial commit

diff --git a/README.md b/README.md
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..1cf37bd
--- /dev/null
+++ b/README.md
@@ -0,0 +1 @@
+# rms-open-letter.github.io
\ No newline at end of file

They’re still working on it today (someone who works on/for Microsoft Azure (not kidding!)):

$ git log -p | head -n10
commit 67e935e630c29f7b2c16a99cb9f0ef87740e4de7
Merge: 61e2eb1 b7053ad
Author: Elana Hashman <ehashman@users.noreply.github.com>
Date:   Wed Apr 21 08:27:31 2021 +0100

    Merge pull request #2562 from rms-open-letter/mollydb-patch-2

It’s worth noting that most of the software (almost 60%) was coded using a Microsoft language (TypeScript), which is an attack on the original language:

TypeScript in hate letter

People keep asking for removals (this was 11 hours ago):

Removing names

Overt Abuse and Mischaracterisations by Bully de Blanc

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, OSI at 1:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blue hair is not a substitute for skills and experience

Blue hair, Bully de Blanc
This screenshot is real and it is a real account, not a prank

Summary: The campaign to ruin the FSF and silence its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), goes months prior to the hate letter set up by Bully de Blanc, her boss, and the Microsoft-sponsored OSI; they just attack the licence (GPL/copyleft) and they try to redefine things for the corporations which fund them

A reader of ours recently wanted to add some more information on Molly de Blanc, whom we dubbed “Bully de Blanc” last month because of the bullying (some people have since then copied the name; MinceR says “Bully the blanc” or “the blank”).

“Earlier this year (in February) Bully de Blanc attacked the very definition of Free software (in apparent collaboration between the GNOME Foundation and OSI) and the desire to attack RMS was already expressed out in the open (in Bully de Blanc’s blog) months before he even came back to the FSF’s Board.”When someone engages in character assassination (based on deliberate distortion, libel, and a gish gallop of falsehoods), he or she should not be shocked to find online criticism of him or her. This is why when it comes to Bully de Blanc we’ve shown no particular remorse; we objectively explained what we had observed. Earlier this year (in February) Bully de Blanc attacked the very definition of Free software (in apparent collaboration between the GNOME Foundation and OSI) and the desire to attack RMS was already expressed out in the open (in Bully de Blanc’s blog) months before he even came back to the FSF's Board. So they must have waited for an excuse or a “trigger” event.

This post contains a polite, calm, and fact-checked interpretation. It will also quote, anonymously, some people who read this site and have researched the matter themselves.

“I have noticed your video here,” one reader noted. “Please put attention here on [the] official Molly de Blanc profile” (in Debian.org).

“As where she tries to be “Debian developer” but it most probably is over,” the reader said, “as status is “Closed”. That is contradictory information and false representation which in the end is also illegal act. She is stating there to be “I also work at the FSF, and serve on the Open Source Initiative board of directions.” — whereby I do not think she is now at FSF — please verify and use your connections to remove that profile, or archive it. This page says she is not on the board. Maybe she was on both boards, but it is very obvious that she has no clear policy neither on “Open Source” [nor] on FSF, she is image maker. As a conclusion, I wish to point out to a pattern of false representations by Molly de Blanc. I think that it would be worth putting it into the timeline, as I have seen pattern of false representations.”

DreyfusWe too have noticed some of that. “All the roles are past roles,” a reader noted. “She doesn’t remove the roles from web sites, she keeps using all these titles as a substitute for skills.”

To us, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether the credentials are false, outdated, or acquired by means like a romantic relationship. What matters to us is the persistent and ongoing agenda, which was outlined even months before the hate letter was put online, backed by corporate media sponsored by the same corporations that control the OSI and GNOME Foundation. Don’t think those people are just going away and won’t be coming back. They try to induce fear and self-shame to keep RMS silent. He’s still reluctant to do new interviews with us (or with anyone else for that matter). The hate letter was updated just over a week ago, just to say that aren’t accepting a public apology from RMS. Nothing he does will ever make them happy. They’re still concern-trolling the FSF, trying to shun it while taking money from Microsoft (which bribes officials, not just the OSI and Linux Foundation).

To better understand what we’re up against, we must understand the agenda and also understand whose agenda that is. IBM, which is now under fire for abuses against workers, has many reasons to dislike what RMS says.

“If thought can corrupt language, then language can also corrupt thought.”

George Orwell


According to StatCounter, This Month GNU/Linux Market Share on Desktops/Laptops Exceeded 2% (Based on Sites They Monitor)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Keep pushing. GNU is growing!


Summary: StatCounter does not monitor everything and not every machine connects to the Web, but in relative terms, based on the chart above, no doubt GNU/Linux continues growing relative to other operating systems (chart plotted based on the latest raw data, rendered in LibreOffice Calc)

At the EPO, Lawlessness Has Become “a New Normal”

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I'll let you off this time... and this time...

Summary: Without as much as a real consultation with those who are impacted (by the EPO’s gross infringements) the management of the EPO rushes ahead again, enjoying zero oversight, no legal review, and no accountability or scrutiny of any kind

Days ago SUEPO linked to this article about the ‘New Normal’ at the EPO (it now contains 12 comments and no further comments can be accepted). As we noted months ago, “[u]sing the typical euphemisms, which have become all but familiar, the crooked management of the EPO is looking to retroactively justify its violations of the law” and days ago we added (on the same subject) that “[u]nder the cover of ‘new normal’, Europe’s second-largest institution crushes the law and crushes its own staff…”

Metronome: We obey the law; We're above the lawNow according to the staff representatives (already partly besieged by António Campinos; both Benoît Battistelli and Campinos blacklisted SUEPO), they aren’t allowed to play a role at all. It’s just a ‘box-ticking’ exercise, as EPO staff representatives habitually call it. It’s supposed to give the false impression that the staff played a role in shaping those policies and yesterday the ‘news’ section of the EPO’s Web site gave the false impression that stakeholders play a role. (warning: epo.org link)

“…the autocrats who run the Office don’t give a damn about staff’s input; their agenda is guided by mega-corporations and plutocrats, not ‘mere’ examiners.”Someone has kindly passed to us the latest letter, dated 4 days ago, in which the Central Staff Committee of the EPO said: “In his intranet announcement of 18 March 2021, the President informed you (and us) that he would include the Staff Representation in the consultation process before the draft on “New Normal” is finalised (only). This is unsettling. In this open letter, the Central Staff Committee (CSC) recalls that the Staff Representation remains his main social partner (and his only statutory partner). We will do our utmost to contribute to the shaping of “New Normal” in the interest of staff and for a sustainable Organisation. We are waiting for him and his Administration to be up to “one of the greatest challenges [our Office] has probably ever encountered in its history” and finally start the dialogue on the changes that will most impact the working conditions of staff in the years to come.”

If one looks at the actual letter, it’s phrased more diplomatically than that and it’s probably asking for the impossible; the autocrats who run the Office don’t give a damn about staff’s input; their agenda is guided by mega-corporations and plutocrats, not ‘mere’ examiners.

Here’s the content of the letter:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081


Reference: sc21048cl-0.3.1/1.3.1
Date: 16.04.2021

“Towards a New Normal” orientation document

The Staff Representation is ready for dialogue

Dear Mr President

Thank you for your reply of 31 March 2021 to our letter of 15 February. You refer to the New Normal orientation document, which was published on 18 March on the EPO intranet and made available to the Staff Representation on the same day. Despite the fact that it omits details, the New Normal orientation document clearly hints towards a massive change and restructuring of our entire Organisation. The working conditions of all staff are at stake and the entire workforce at the EPO is affected.

Consequently, we perceive your statement to include the Staff Representation in the consultation process, before [the draft] is finalised as unsettling. We request that the social dialogue be immediately started in order to discuss all relevant topics. A fruitful dialogue is essential in order to reach a common understanding on the “New Normal”, which is a prerequisite before addressing the detailed elements, as you put it in your letter. A postponement of the discussion with the Staff Representation until near completion of the document would be counterproductive for the

In the interest of the EPO staff, for the good-functioning of the Office and for the benefit of the Organisation, we consider that the following non-exhaustive list of topics needs to be discussed with us as a matter of urgency, and in the appropriate level of detail:

- Digitisation of the work processes (e.g. Minimum viable product (MVP) approach)
- Building policy (e.g. definition of workspaces, health-related spaces and installations, etc.)
- Teleworking
- Working conditions (all topics linked to the Service Regulations affected by the New Normal)
- One EPO community in the context of physical distances and remote working

We, the Staff Representation, remain your main social partner (and your only statutory partner). We will do our utmost to contribute to the shaping of “New Normal” in the interest of staff and for a sustainable Organisation. We are waiting for you and your Administration to be up to “one of the greatest challenges [our Office] has probably ever encountered in its history” and finally start the dialogue on the changes that will most impact the working conditions of staff in the years to come. We are ready.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

There’s probably lots more to come on this topic in days/weeks to come. The EPO is doing illegal things and the media brushes many scandals aside, in effect acting in collaboration (or complicity) with the Office. All those human rights and labour rights abuses wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the corruption of Europe's press (some of which used to cover those sorts of things, but not anymore).

Links 20/4/2021: Tails 4.18 and Mark Surman in Mozilla’s Board of Directors

Posted in News Roundup at 1:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 10 Best Linux Distributions for Beginners in 2021

        2020 is over and it’s finally time for you to check out this so-called “Open-source Linux operating systems” for yourself to see what the hype is all about. Or maybe you’re not all that new to Linux but you would like to reset your journey with a distro that is designed with ease of use in mind. Either way, you’re in luck.

        Different from my article on the Best Linux distros for developers, my focus today is on a list of the best Linux distros that any beginner – new to computing or the Linux world – can get up and running with.

      • Best Linux Distribution for Windows Users in 2021

        It wasn’t too long ago that we published an article on the best Linux distros that looks like MacOS. Today, our focus is not necessarily on distributions that have a similar UI to that of Windows, but ones that are, firstly, convenient for Windows users to use due to familiarity, and secondly, without technical hurdles during installation or application set up.

        Certain features common to the above-listed recommendations include customization options, a familiar User Interface, window animations, and a welcoming community, among others, so feel free to test them all out for yourself first.

        Are there any recommendations you would like us to add to the list? Feel free to pen your thoughts in the comments section below.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.12 – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V Architectures

        Linux 5.12 release was expected last Sunday, but Linus Torvalds decided to release one more release candidate, namely Linux 5.12-RC8, to “make sure things are all settled down“, so the latest Linux kernel is now expected this weekend. Tihs should not yield any significant changes, so we can check what’s new in Linux 5.12, notably with regards to Arm, MIPS, and RISC-V architectures often used in SoC’s found in embedded systems.

        Around two months ago, the release of Linux 5.11 added support for Intel’s software guard extensions (SGX) and Platform Monitoring Technology (PMT), AMD “Van Gogh” and “Dimgrey cavefish” graphics processors, MIPI I3C host controller interfaces, and much more.

      • OOMKiller and httpd

        How to set up httpd to survive when OOMKiller kills one of its children.

        In Copr, we have had a leaking process in our frontend. It is one route, which was leaking few megabytes. The route has a separate child process in httpd, so only one process has been leaking. We still did not identify the culprit, and in the meantime we had to fight with OOMKiller.

        Few megabytes here and there and the process was too big. And we run out of memory. OOMKiller came and killed the process (as it was the biggest one). Usually, you will not care. Httpd is killing its children periodically, and when one is killed, the master process starts new child immediately. But…

      • In the trenches with Thomas Gleixner, real-time Linux kernel patch set
      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan 1.2.176 spec update with VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state2, new NVIDIA Vulkan Beta

          The Khronos Group continues tweaking and expanding Vulkan with the 1.2.176 specification update out, which includes a new extension and NVIDIA have already hooked up support.

          VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state2 is the new extension which “adds some more dynamic state to support applications that need to reduce the number of pipeline state objects they compile and bind.”. The original version was released back in 2019 and included contributors from Valve like the creator of DXVK. This new and improved version was tweaked by a few NVIDIA engineers.

        • Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 brings Vulkan Ray Tracing in preview

          While work is ongoing in Mesa to get AMD GPUs to support Ray Tracing, AMD directly have released Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 that brings along support to Linux.

          Before getting too excited, keep in mind this release states that Ray Tracing for AMD RDNA 2 based chips is a “developer preview” aimed to help developing and testing with the newer vendor neutral Vulkan Ray Tracing Extensions – so if you’re going to try playing some games with it, keep in mind it’s not yet finished.

        • AMD Releases Radeon Software Linux Driver With Vulkan Ray-Tracing Support

          AMD Radeon graphics cards on Linux can finally enjoy Vulkan ray-tracing! AMD has published a new Radeon Software for Linux driver release that enables the Vulkan ray-tracing extensions for use with RDNA2 / Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards.

          Since last November the Vulkan ray-tracing extensions were firmed up but due to the timing not jiving with the prior Radeon Software for Linux driver releases and then some last minute issues ended up holding up the Linux driver support. The AMD Radeon Software for Linux driver has been supporting Vulkan ray-tracing while now with today’s Linux driver update these extensions are enabled.

        • AMD Proposing Redesign For How Linux GPU Drivers Work – Explicit Fences Everywhere

          Well known open-source AMD Linux graphics driver developer Marek Olšák published an initial proposal this week as “a redesign of how Linux graphics drivers work.”

          This redesign, which can safely co-exist with the current driver behavior, is about using explicit fences everywhere and a new memory management approach that doesn’t make use of buffer object (BO) fences.

        • Mesa RADV Driver Fixes Memory Leak Affecting Metro Exodus On Linux

          Last week 4A Games released Metro Exodus for Linux and while there were a few issues at launch, at least one of them is now resolved.

          Those managing to get Metro Exodus running on Linux with Radeon graphics via the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver were finding the game crashing ten to sixty minutes into play. This stems from a memory leak and ultimately encountering out-of-memory issues.

        • Blender Planning Vulkan Support This Year, Other Exciting Improvements

          Blender has an exciting year still ahead with a road-map they just published that does include Vulkan API support.

          Among the ongoing and planned improvements for this open-source 3D modeling software for this calendar year includes work on their asset browser, continuing to replace their old animation proxy system, continuing to expand upon Blender’s geometry nodes, Vulkan support, improving the grease pencil, continuing to enhance the Cycles engine, a USD importer thanks to NVIDIA, and working on the Blender 3.0 user-interface.

        • Blender 2021 Roadmap

          2021 promises to be a busy and exciting year. We will be working on the second LTS release and on Blender 3.0, which includes a lot of new development. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Cycles.

          There will be more emphasis on the modules as a way for everyone in the development community to get involved. Combined with the Blender HQ project teams, this should help bootstrap new and existing initiatives while making sure they are maintained in the long run.

        • Khronos Ratifies KTX 2.0

          Just one week after having published the provisional Vulkan Video extensions, The Khronos Group has another exciting announcement today in the form of ratifying KTX 2.0.

          KTX is the industry group’s container file format for storing GPU-ready texture data. KTX 2.0 adds support for Basis Universal compression to the specification. These KTX 2.0 compressed textures can then be used by OpenGL, Vulkan, and other APIs. With KTX 2.0, Khronos is also introducing the KHR_texture_basisu extension for glTF for allowing glTF to contain KTX 2.0 textures.

    • Applications

      • AI Makes Linux Do What You Mean, Not What You Say | Hackaday

        We are always envious of the Star Trek Enterprise computers. You can just sort of ask them a hazy question and they will — usually — figure out what you want. Even the automatic doors seemed to know the difference between someone walking into a turbolift versus someone being thrown into the door during a fight. [River] decided to try his new API keys for the private beta of an AI service to generate Linux commands based on a description. How does it work? Watch the video below and find out.

        Some examples work fairly well. In response to “email the Rickroll video to Jeff Bezos,” the system produced a curl command and an e-mail to what we assume is the right place. “Find all files in the current directory bigger than 1 GB” works, too.

      • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: Focusrite is hostile to Linux, avoid if possible

        Last year, I acquired a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4. The main purpose was to improve the quality of my live coding sessions, and also to allow me experiment with recording my own songs.

        It was a pain from the moment I plugged this card into my laptop, until now.

        As of today, I’m happy that I’m finally getting rid of it.

        Allow me to explain how much of a disaster their approach is. Most USB digital audio interfaces are compatible with industry standards – they’re class compliant. That means they advertise features, inputs, outputs, etc, using a standard USB protocol.

        Not Focusrite.

        Focusrite decided they didn’t like hardware buttons. So they removed them, and switched to software-controlled features.

        For some reason that I’m yet to understand, Focusrite decided they wouldn’t use any standard protocol to advertise these features. So they invented a proprietary protocol only to control these features. This protocol is only usable through their Focusrite Control software – which, as you might have guessed, is proprietary, and only runs on Windows and Mac.

        Focusrite decided they didn’t want their hardware to work on Linux, so not even a minimal documentation about routing was published. That makes it even harder for the heroes trying to reverse-engineer their cards.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Ubuntu Budgie 21.04

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Ubuntu Budgie 21.04.

      • Using the /proc Filesystem to Examine Your Linux Inner Workings

        One of the greatest things about Linux is how much control you have over your system. You can edit whatever you want, and there’s so much that’s flexible and available to you. Additionally, Linux is very transparent – error messages are very clear, and it’s not hard to see the inner workings of your system. One of the best ways to see those inner workings is the “/proc” directory. Here we show you how to use the “/proc” directory to examine the inner workings of your Linux system.

      • Using systemd timers instead of /etc/cron entries

        Cron does the job it was written for. But this was years ago, and these days Kernels offer neat things like CPU quotas and memory limits. Cron has no means to use those – but other tools have.

        Additionally, newer tools provide dependencies, a proper configuration language (instead of hard-to-maintain bash lines), multiple triggers, randomized delays and real logging.

        Especially the last bit, real logging, is essential: Cron can forward log messages it thinks needs to be forwarded. But without real kernel backed process management (cgroups) there is no real way for Cron to see if a job is running or has finished, and what log lines belong to it.

        Systemd has all this – and thus it makes sense to create new recurrent jobs in Systemd and even migrate old ones sometimes.

      • How to deploy an NFS server in your data center for easy file sync – TechRepublic

        Data must be shared. This is especially so in a busy company, where employees are constantly working with data and files. When this is the case, you have to make sure the data and files are available to anyone who needs them. For that, you might don several hats to try and get everything to everyone.

        Or you could turn to those Linux servers in your data center. With the help of NFS, you could sync those directories from server to server or server to desktop, with ease. In just a few quick minutes you can get this done.

      • Install Firefox Browser 88 In Ubuntu / LinuxMint / CentOS | Tips On UNIX

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to download and install Mozilla Firefox 88 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Linux Mint 20.1, and CentOS 8.1 / 7.x.

        Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla foundation and generally utilized by thousands and thousands of individuals in their daily actions.

      • How To Install Samba on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Samba on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Samba allows you to share files and printers with other computers remotely, regardless of their operating system. It lets you access your desktop files from a laptop and share files with Windows and macOS users.

        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 Samba on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • 5 Tips To Use The Linux SS Command Like A Pro

        The ss command is a tool that is used for displaying network socket related information on a Linux system. The tool displays more detailed information that the netstat command which is used for displaying active socket connections.

        In this article we are going to explore some of the best ways to use the command for best results.

      • 3 Ways to Check Your Wi-Fi Password in Ubuntu

        Forgot your wireless access point password? Well, there are a few ways to find it out in Ubuntu.

      • How to install Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS in VirtualBox – PragmaticLinux

        Interested in giving Linux a try? Then you came to the right place. In this article, you’ll learn step-by-step how to install Ubuntu as a VirtualBox virtual machine. I picked the Ubuntu distribution, because it is a popular and beginner-friendly Linux based operating system. We’ll use VirtualBox to install Ubuntu as a virtual machine. That way there is zero risk of messing up your current operating system.

      • How I constructed an interactive OpenShift lecture for Red Hat Academy | Enable Sysadmin

        Learning something new can require a lot of effort and Red Hat OpenShift is no exception. The platform has a significant learning curve. However, that’s not meant to say it’s hard to get started if you know how.

        Red Hat Academy is an initiative within Red Hat that turns academic institutions into centers for enterprise-ready talent by outfitting them with Red Hat training and certification. If you get to know me well, you’ll discover that I have a natural tendency to learn and contribute to the community.

      • How to Install FileZilla Client on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install FileZilla Client on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, FileZilla is a widely used FTP client that allows users to connect to FTP servers and upload or download files. It’s a cross-platform FTP client that is open source and free to download and use under the GPL license. It supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). FileZilla using its graphical interface one can easily transfer files from local system to remote and vice-versa.

        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 FileZilla Client on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to Delete Partitions in Linux [Using fdisk and GParted]

        Managing partitions is serious business, especially when you have to remove them. I find myself doing this frequently, especially after using thumb drives as live disks and Linux installers because they create several partitions that I won’t need afterwards.

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to remove partitions in Linux using both command line and GUI tools.

      • FreeAptitude – Add a network printer through Yast under openSUSE

        Some day ago I got a brand new Xerox multifunction Wi-fi printer (B215 model for the record), so what’s the best chance to test the power and the ease of use of Yast to install it? This is also my first Wi-fi printer and I was very curious to see how user-friendly was the procedure, without knowing anything about the supported protocols.

      • How to Install OpenMAINT on Ubuntu 20.04

        OpenMAINT is open-source software for property and facility management. The application is suited for the management of real estate assets, industrial facilities, infrastructures, and related maintenance activities. It can be used to manage mobile assets, technical devices, furniture, etc., and the related logistical, economical, and maintenance activities, scheduled or unplanned ones.

        OpenMAINT can be extremely helpful to various types of organizations, like banks, public departments, construction, and manufacturing companies, etc. in organizing, maintaining, and distributing their inventory and supplies, scheduling repairs, and reporting problems. It can be customized according to the needs of the organizations.

      • The Guided Installer in Arch is a Step in the Right Direction

        For 20 years, Arch Linux has provided users access to a completely custom and unique system. Over those years, it has built a reputation for customization, at the expense of user-friendliness.

        As a rolling release distro, Arch doesn’t provide any set releases, instead they just update the image each month. However, if you have downloaded Arch in the last few weeks, you may have noticed a new addition: archinstall. It makes installing Arch Linux way easier.

      • 3 steps to identifying Linux system automation candidates

        Automating the tasks we perform is one of the most important parts of our jobs as sysadmins. It’s not just about performing those many tasks required to keep the systems we support up and running. It’s about making it easy on ourselves and other sysadmins who might stand in for us while we are on vacation or out sick; it’s about ensuring that we can perform our jobs quickly and easily with a minimum of work and intervention on our part; it’s about—hmmm, should I really say this—about being the lazy sysadmin.

        I’ve written extensively about automation in my books and articles, and my mantra is always, “automate everything.” But how do you know where to start?


        We have all had Pointy-Haired-Bosses (PHBs), and sometimes they are the pain point. Suppose some PHB asks for a list of all RPMs on a particular Linux computer and a short description of each. This happened to me while I worked at the State of North Carolina.

      • A beginner’s guide to network management | Opensource.com

        Most people connect to at least two networks every day. After you turn on a computer or mobile device, it connects to a local WiFi network, which in turn provides access to the interconnected network of networks that is “the internet” (a combination of the words interconnected networks).

        But how do networks actually work? How does your device know how to find the internet, a shared printer, or a file share? How do these things know how to respond to your device? What tricks do system administrators use to optimize the performance of a network?

        Open source is firmly embedded into networking technology, so resources on networking are freely available to anyone who wants to learn more. This article covers the basics of network management using open source.

      • How to manage AWS EC2 instances using aws-cli

        We can manage EC2 instances from the command-line using aws-cli. We can create, start, stop, reboot, terminate, modify and do a lot with EC2 instances using aws-cli. Click here to learn more about managing EC2 instances from using the aws-cli.

        In this article, I will show you several commands to operate EC2 instances and this can be a guide to get started with aws-cli to manage EC2 instances from the terminal. It is assumed that you are already aware of EC2 service on AWS. Click here if you want to learn to create an EC2 instance from the AWS console. We will not go into detail about EC2 instances.

      • Application observability with Apache Kafka and SigNoz

        SigNoz is an open source application observability platform. Built in React and Go, SigNoz is written from the ground up to allow developers to get started with their observability goals as soon as possible and with minimum effort.

        This article looks at the software in detail, including the architecture, Kubernetes-based deployment, and some common SigNoz uses.


        SigNoz’s components include Apache Kafka and Druid. These components are loosely coupled and work in tandem to ensure a seamless experience for the end user. Given all the components, it is best to run SigNoz as a combination of microservices on Kubernetes or Docker Compose (for local testing).

        This example uses a Kubernetes Helm chart-based deployment to install SigNoz on Kubernetes. As a prerequisite, you’ll need a Kubernetes cluster. If you don’t have a Kubernetes cluster available, you can use tools like MiniKube or Kind to create a test cluster on your local machine. Note that the machine should have at least 4GB available for this to work.

      • How to chmod files only on Linux

        Sometimes, you might want to apply a chmod to files only and not directories. This guide shows you three different ways to achieve that goal on the Linux command line.

      • How to Install Puppet Agent on Ubuntu 20.04

        Puppet is an popular infrastructure management tool. With the help of Puppet server, you can easily manage a large number of servers from a master server. Puppet server node is responsible for managing multiple client node. Its necessary that all the client nodes must of Puppet Agent server installed and running.

        Our previous tutorial describes you to configure Puppet master node on a Ubuntu 20.04 system along with client node. If you need to add more client server to existing Puppet network, just install the Agent server on the server.

        This tutorial describes you step-by-step setup to install Puppet Agent on Ubuntu 20.04 system. Also helps you to connect a client node with master node.

      • How to Install Guest Additions in Virtualbox VM

        In the previous article, we have seen how to install Centos 7 Minimal on VirtualBox. In this article, you will learn how to install guest additions in VirtualBox.

        Guest additions are drivers and software applications that enable some of the features in VirtualBox which is not enabled by default.

      • Docker ADD vs COPY: What’s the Difference?

        You are new to Docker and you are learning to create custom Docker images using Dockerfile.

        You come across a variety of Dockerfile instructions like FROM, RUN etc.

        Then you come across COPY and ADD and realize that both instructions do the same job; copy the files and directories to your modified Docker image from the host.

    • Games

      • How you’ll lose your ENTIRE PS4 library (and much of your PS3 library, too)

        Once the PlayStation network is retired for the PS3 and PS4, there will be no network time server available for your old consoles. And when the clock battery dies in your PS3 or PS4, much of–if not your entire–PlayStation library will become entirely unplayable.

      • Metro Exodus for Linux to run better on AMD GPUs soon with a Mesa fix now merged | GamingOnLinux

        The new Linux port of Metro Exodus sadly came with a rough launch but for AMD GPU owners it’s set to get more playable, with a fix in the Mesa RADV driver now merged. I’ve been following this quite closely, first posting about it on Twitter yesterday after being told about it.

        What’s the issue then? Well, this Vulkan port caused a lot of RAM to be eaten from a leak, it got real hungry really fast. A bug report was made with Mesa on April 16, and as of April 19 the fix was merged in – a pretty amazing turn around and shows again the power of open source drivers for solving issues.

        Since it’s merged it will for sure be in the Mesa 20.2 release, and should also be backported to the next stable update to the current Mesa drivers.

      • Death Carnival to have full cross-platform online play, developer very positive on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Death Carnival, originally called BulletRage, is an upcoming fast-paced top-down shooter with extreme weapons & online multiplayer mayhem.

        While we’ve known for some time that it would come to Linux back when it was called BulletRage, and even then the builds ran quite well, it’s been a while since hearing much on it. The name was changed, they had a failed Kickstarter campaign too but they’ve continued building up the game into something big.

      • Spaceship building 2D strategy Istrolid reaches the big 1.0

        It’s Free Game Tuesday! Today we have Istrolid, a free fleet-design strategy game from developer treeform that recently hit the big 1.0 release.

        The idea is that you design your own spaceships from various parts, fitting whatever strategy you plan to go for. There’s no set units, no factions and so you can create pretty much whatever you want from basic fighters and bombers to hulking battleships and speedy destroyers.

      • Snowtopia: Ski Resort Tycoon lands on Linux in the latest update | GamingOnLinux

        Goblinz Publishing and developer TeaForTwo have put their Snowtopia: Ski Resort Tycoon onto Linux with the latest Early Access update available now. It actually was available for Linux previously, during the Alpha builds they have on itch.io but now that it’s on Steam it took a bit more time to get it right with all the new features.

      • DOTA: Dragon’s Blood was so popular a second season is confirmed | GamingOnLinux

        As a quick update for fans of Valve’s MOBA, Dota 2, it has been confirmed that the Anime series they teamed up with Netflix for DOTA: Dragon’s Blood is getting a second season. Looks like for a video game adaption, it might be one of the better ones. Sitting with a high 8.2 / 10 rating from users on IMDB it definitely must have hit the mark for a lot of fans and newcomers alike.

        They also showed off a teaser with a caption of “i know what you’re thinking, and it’s not who you think it is…”

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • DragonFlyBSD 6.0 To Be Released Soon

          It’s been over one year already since the debut of DragonFlyBSD 5.8 while fortunately DragonFlyBSD 6.0 will be here soon for this popular BSD operating system.

          DragonFlyBSD 6.0 is overdue for release compared to their usual bi-annual release rhythm. One of the hold ups towards the end of last year was a DRI bug that was delaying things. DragonFlyBSD 6.0 is the version number rather than 5.10 since that is an “annoying version number”.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM To Kernel Maintainer: “You Are An IBM Employee 100% Of The Time”

          It’s fairly common that many longtime Linux kernel developers use their personal email addresses for signing off on kernel patches or dealing with other patch work, especially when they are engaging with kernel development in their personal time too and occasionally jumping between employers over time while still sticking to interacting with the upstream kernel community, etc. There are also understandably some companies that mandate the use of their corporate email addresses for their official work/patches while now IBM seems to be taking things one step to the extreme.

          An IBM employee was listed as one of the maintainers to the IBM Power SR-IOV Virtual NIC driver for the upstream Linux kernel alongside several other IBM engineers. Except in this case the employee was listed as a maintainer with his Gmail address.


          The “you are an IBM employee 100% of the time” is surely a bit awkward and seemingly denying what a developer can work on in his off-hours, especially when it comes to just improving the company’s own open-source driver… It seems in this case it may be a manager over reacting or so. It will be interesting to see how this plays out… Pretty strange considering IBM now owns Red Hat and how IBM has with time spent billions of dollars on Linux.

        • IBM Appears To Believe They Own Their Employees “100% of the time”

          The claim that Lijun Pan belongs to IBM “100% of the time” and that he is not allowed to use his personal email account as a “hobby” appears to be in violation of labor laws in most countries. We do not know what country Lijun Pan is working from. The name does sound like it may be a country where there aren’t any laws against IBM’s otherwise grossly criminal behavior.

          It is somewhat concerning that IBM, who owns and controls Red Hat and the Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora operating systems, is telling their employees that they are not allowed to work on free software projects in their spare time. It is equally concerning that IBM appears they have some kind of right to dictate what their employees do or don’t do with their personal e-mail accounts.

          We can only speculate as to how many other IBM employees there are in a similar situation. What we can say for sure is that there is at least one who would like to contribute to free software in his spare time who can’t unless he finds another job and/or moves to a country with stronger and stricter labor protection laws.

        • Linux: IBM Kills CentOS

          At the end of 2020, Red Hat announced that they would no longer ship CentOS (Community Enterprise Linux Operating System), the free distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Instead of CentOS Linux, Red Hat will now ship CentOS Stream. [Note that IBM purchased Red Hat in July 2019.]

          CentOS Stream is described as “a rolling preview of what’s next in RHEL”. CentOS Linux has tracked releases of the RHEL product, built from the same source code but without the Red Hat commercial support. CentOS was particularly useful to developers building software that targeted compatibility with the commercial RHEL.

        • 7 ideas to make Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience feel more like being there in person

          You’re excited about hearing Red Hat’s plans for the next year, product announcements and learning from other Red Hat customers, but feeling a little virtual fatigue? We get that, and we’re adding some features and have a few tips to help make Summit much more fun.

          The Red Hat Summit is also the annual highlight for many Red Hatters, so we have a little idea of what Summit-goers might be missing about our in-person setup. We’ve incorporated some concepts into the virtual environment that might help.

        • Accelerated Database Performance on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 with Intel Ice Lake

          This post compares the performance of some of the most popular database workloads on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 powered by Intel’s Cascade Lake and the recently available Intel’s Ice Lake CPU. In our performance runs, the two CPU designs are compared on the performance lab’s “white-box” hardware servers with similar performance optimized memory configurations using the same NvME IO controllers and the HammerDB workload driver.

          When it comes to running a database for your mission-critical application, performance is a crucial decision factor. In fact, delivering low latency, and high-throughput application responses comes down to tuning your database to run in a consistent and reliable operating system environment—one that can provide a solid foundation for performance, and run on bare metal, virtual, private and public cloud environments.

        • Red Hat honors North American partners for open hybrid cloud innovation

          Red Hat partners continue to be a driving force behind open source innovation and customer success. The circumstances of 2020 brought many changes to the industry landscape and IT market, but Red Hat partners remained resilient and customer-centric to build new solutions and support scalable, flexible hybrid cloud environments for sustainable growth. The annual Red Hat North America Partner Awards recognize partners for their commitment to open innovation and collaboration with Red Hat.

          The awards honor commercial and public sector partners for developing solutions using Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio to meet unique customer needs. From cloud-native applications to managed services to automation solutions, the award winners demonstrated skill and expertise to guide customers through digital transformation and IT modernization to achieve business outcomes. This recognition is based upon Red Hat partner efforts during 2020.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.8.6 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.8.6 is generally available as of April 19, 2021.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

        • Why Red Hat’s Universal Base Image is crucial for a Standard Operating Environment

          Traditional IT organizations have long understood the value of a Standard Operating Environment (SOE). Historically, administrators implemented an SOE as a disk image, kickstart, or virtual machine image for mass deployment within an organization. This reduced operational overhead, fostered automation, increased reliability by reducing variance, and set security controls that increased the overall security posture of an environment.

          SOEs often include the base operating system (kernel and user space programs), custom configuration files, standard applications used within an organization, software updates, and service packs. It is far easier to troubleshoot a failed service at 2 a.m. if every server is running the same configuration. Some major advantages of an SOE are reduced cost as well as an increase in agility. The effort to deploy, configure, maintain, support, and manage systems and applications can all be reduced.

          Understanding the value of an SOE, a mature IT organization tightly controls the number of different operating systems and OS versions. The ideal number is one, but that isn’t usually feasible, so there are efforts to keep the number as small as possible. IT organizations expend considerable effort to make sure that boxes aren’t added to the network with ad-hoc OS versions and configurations.

        • Our earth is our responsibility [Ed: Shameless IBM greenwashing under the "Call for Code" banner]

          Rashik started working for IBM ‘some 38 years ago’. He worked mainly in client facing technical roles with a focus on how to apply technology to business problems – or as Rashik summarizes: ‘complex and large and challenging technical projects, that’s where my real focus is’. The IBM Developer Staff caught up with Rashik to learn more about his perspective on technology.

        • Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment: Managing cloud-native applications made easy with short training videos

          In this week’s Training Tuesday blog, we present a set of free, short videos and tutorials on Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment. This training helps facilitate your usage of the technologies, software and tools used by Oracle to develop and manage cloud-native applications.

        • Use Skupper to connect multiple Kubernetes clusters

          In this example, I am using Red Hat CodeReady Containers (CRC) for my local cluster. CodeReady Containers is a developer tool that lets you create local Kubernetes clusters on Red Hat OpenShift 4. I have another cluster from the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift that I can access from anywhere.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Community Outreach Revamp Update [Ed: After destroying what was left of the Fedora “community” IBM is trying or finding the audacity to figure out new ways of getting new/additional volunteers (unpaid workforce) for oppressive IBM; that won’t work.]

          In the winter months, the Community Outreach Revamp team conducted a survey. We set ourselves to host, curate and report back our results, with some interesting conclusions. Furthering on the same train of thought, we are working with the Fedora Council and Mindshare Committee on community-oriented questions for an annual contributor survey. We hope to receive a greater and more diverse set of responses as the annual contributor survey will be targeted toward Fedora’s entire contributor community, not just Mindshare and Outreach teams.


          In the last few months, we have seen the benefit of keeping one source of truth. In the past, we kept our on-going tasks documented at multiple places. This led to the challenge of keeping everything updated and was not a good use of time for the team. With this in mind, we retired the Trello board and we are using a HackMD document to track our progress.

          A few words of gratitude to Fedora Council and the whole community for supporting the Revamp as a Fedora Objective. We are also thrilled to be incorporated into an updated Fedora Organizational Chart.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.18 Anonymous OS Released with Tor Browser 10.0.16, Updated Intel Firmware

          Based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series, Tails 4.18 contains updated Intel (intel-microcode 3.20210216.1~deb10u1) and Linux firmware (firmware-linux-nonfree 20210315-2) packages to ensure support for the newest hardware (e.g. Wi-Fi, graphics, networking, etc.).

          It also ships with the latest Tor Browser 10.0.16 web browser to facilitate anonymous surfing of the World Wide Web, as well as the Mozilla Thunderbird 78.9.0 open-source email client, which is a bugfix release that introduces various improvements around the Address Book, Calendar, Add-ons Manager, and email notifications.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Top 10 Features of Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo

          Here in this quick post, we give you a quick update on the top 10 features of Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo. Take a look.

        • 10 Reasons Why Linux Mint Is More Popular Than Ubuntu

          In the past, we have published articles listing the reasons to use a handful of Linux distros such as 10 Reasons to Use Arch Linux, 10 Reasons to Use Manjaro Linux, The 10 Best Reasons to Use Fedora Linux, and today, we have a shift in our focus as this time around, our subject matter is Linux Mint.

          Linux Mint is a community-driven Linux distribution with a major focus on making open-source goodies freely available and easily accessible in a modern, elegant, powerful, and convenient operating system. It is developed based on Ubuntu, uses dpkg package manager, and is available for x86-64 and arm64 architectures.

          Linux Mint has been hailed by many as the better operating system to use when compared to its parent distro and has also managed to maintain its position on distrowatch as the OS with the 3rd most popular hits in the past 1 year.

        • 9 New Features in Ubuntu 21.04 [Releasing This Week]

          Don’t expect radical new changes like GNOME 40. Experience subtle changes here and there.

        • Canonical on Security vs. UX: Consumers caught in the middle of a never ending battle

          The beauty of open source in this context is that it is based on having many minds working at the same time. Developers can cherry pick which components of the operating system they wish to utilise at any given time and so, by running the likes of Ubuntu or Ubuntu Core on a particular device, they are using a system that has been worked on by many experienced developers in its conception.

          The dispersion of components and complexity of infrastructure thus makes it harder for hackers to breach security networks on open source systems, because they are not centralised in the way other providers own their systems, for example. This increases the challenge for hackers and malicious attackers, and enables security to be a fundamental aspect of the UX. It works best when insights are informed by the crowd sourcing of multiple projects and perspectives into one platform.

          Rather than dictating everything, open source is a community-based project and Canonical helps as the guardian of that. While it is vital to have the right technology, including rollback functionality and containerised software, it is also vital to foster and support the community around this. The community does not need to view user experience and security as separate binaries, but rather it plays into both.

        • Google plans to tidy up search on Chromebooks

          While the exact categories are still up in the air, we could see the company going for something similar to the Linux distro Ubuntu, which organizes system search results into different categories for applications, files, folders, websites, and more.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 ways to protect your documents with open source software

        Users have every right to be concerned about the safety and security of their data. When you create data on a computer, it’s reasonable to want exclusive control over it.

        There are many ways to protect your documents. At the filesystem level, you can encrypt your hard drive or just a file. A good office suite affords you many more options, though, and I’ve gathered five of the methods I use to secure my documents with open source software.

      • Peruse 2.0 Beta 1 “The Long Awaited Beta”

        A fair while ago, in the before times of late 2016, a release was made of a piece of software known as Peruse. Since then, it spent some time getting work done on it on and off, until sometime last year when we decided that it really was time to stop the thing just floundering in some free software equivalence of development hell, and actually get it ready for its next release.

        First things first. For those of you who are new, Peruse is KDE’s comic book reader project, which consists of the reader application, Peruse Reader, and the comic book creation tool called Peruse Creator.


        The original release of Peruse was built on top of Kirigami 1, during the early days of the development towards what would eventually become Plasma Mobile. One of the first things to happen after the release of version 1.2 was to port Peruse to Kirigami 2, and the result for the user is partly just more modern and stable code, but also much more easily navigable using a keyboard. Since then, the Peruse team has been working to bring more of the features of Kirigami’ which didn’t exist in the first version into Peruse, such as the way the search field works, the way scrolling pages are handled, page row layers, action handling, and a whole bunch more.


        Before we get to the downloads: This is a beta version, and you should expect it to behave like one of those: Things may well be a bit broken or unpolished, and we will be very happy to see reports any bugs you run into over on the Peruse product category on bugs.kde.org. With that out of the way, head over to peruse.kde.org to grab yourself a shiny new copy of Peruse :)

      • Introducing OpenSearch
      • AWS Introduces OpenSearch [Ed: Isn't it hilarious that Amazon is outsourcing code to proprietary software trap and monopoly of Microsoft? As if Amazon doesn't know how to set up its own Git server...]

        Earlier this year, when Elastic changed the licensing model of Elasticsearch and Kibana from open source Apache v2 license to the Server Side Public License (SSPL), AWS stepped up to ensure the packages remained available and well supported.

      • Continuous 3D Hand Pose Tracking using Machine Learning & Monado OpenXR

        Our hands are our primary operating tools, so their location, orientation, and articulation in space is vital for many human-computer interfaces. Automated hand post estimation can be very useful for diverse applications such as virtual/augmented reality (XR), sign language recognition, gesture recognition and robotics. Collabora is particularly interested in using hand pose estimation in XR as this application meshes nicely with our work on Monado, the world’s first open-source OpenXR runtime.

        Recent interest in hand pose estimation is driven by the marked advantage it can give to many fields, such as virtual sports coaching and factory worker safety. Pose estimation has the potential to create a new generation of automated tools designed to precisely measure human movement. In addition, pose estimation enhances existing applications in a broad range of areas, including: Augmented Reality, Animation, Gaming and Robotics. This is not by any means an exhaustive list, but it includes some of the primary ways in which pose estimation is shaping our future.

        Although the two fields of hand post and body pose estimation have significant overlap regarding their objectives and difficulties, hand pose estimation has a unique set of problems such as lack of characteristic local features, pose ambiguity, and substantial self-occlusion, making it a challenging problem to solve.

      • AI at the Edge with K3s and NVIDIA Jetson Nano: Object Detection and Real-Time Video Analytics

        With the advent of new and powerful GPU-capable devices, the possible use cases that we can execute at the edge are expanding. The edge is growing in size and getting more efficient as technology advances. NVIDIA, with its industry-leading GPUs, and Arm, the leading technology provider of processor IP, are making significant innovations and investments in the edge ecosystem landscape. For instance, the NVIDIA Jetson Nano is the most cost-effective device that can run GPU-enabled workloads and can handle AI/ML data processing jobs. Additionally, cloud native technologies like Kubernetes have enabled developers to build lightweight applications using containers for the edge. To enable a seamless cloud native software experience across a compute-diverse edge ecosystem, Arm has launched Project Cassini – an open, collaborative standards-based initiative. It leverages the power of these heterogenous Arm-based platforms to create a secure foundation for edge applications.

        K3s, developed by Rancher Labs and now a CNCF Sandbox project, has been a key orchestration platform for these compact footprint edge devices. As a Kubernetes distro built for the edge, it is lightweight enough to not put a strain on device RAM and CPU. Taking advantage of the Kubernetes device plugin framework, the workloads running on top of these devices can access the GPU capabilities with efficiency.

      • Events

        • Penguicon 2021

          I’ll participate to talks and give a Krita workshop about character design (a penguin wizard; a small creature possible to start on a 1h session). If you don’t know what is Penguicon and are curious to attend their virtual event this week-end, you can find all information here…

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mark Surman joins the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors

            In early 2020, I outlined our efforts to expand Mozilla’s boards. Over the past year, we’ve added three new external Mozilla board members: Navrina Singh and Wambui Kinya to the Mozilla Foundation board and Laura Chambers to the Mozilla Corporation board.

            Today, I’m excited to welcome Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, to the Foundation board.

          • Wearing more (Mozilla) hats

            For many years now — and well before I sought out the job I have today — I thought: the world needs more organizations like Mozilla. Given the state of the internet, it needs them now. And, it will likely need them for a very long time to come.

            Why? In part because the internet was founded with public benefit in mind. And, as the Mozilla Manifesto declared back in 2007, “… (m)agnifying the public benefit aspects of the internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment.”

            Today, this sort of ‘time and attention’ is more important — and urgent — than ever. We live in an era where the biggest companies in the world are internet companies. Much of what they have created is good, even delightful. Yet, as the last few years have shown, leaving things to commercial actors alone can leave the internet — and society — in a bit of a mess. We need organizations like Mozilla — and many more like it — if we are to find our way out of this mess. And we need these organizations to think big!

            It’s for this reason that I’m excited to add another ‘hat’ to my work: I am joining the Mozilla Foundation board today. This is something I will take on in addition to my role as executive director.

          • Mozilla Mornings on the DSA: Setting the standard for third-party platform auditing

            On 11 May, Mozilla will host the next instalment of Mozilla Mornings – our regular event series that brings together policy experts, policymakers and practitioners for insight and discussion on the latest EU digital policy developments.

            This instalment will focus on the DSA’s provisions on third-party platform auditing, one of the stand-out features of its next-generation regulatory approach. We’re bringing together a panel of experts to unpack the provisions’ strengths and shortcomings; and to provide recommendations for how the DSA can build a standard-setting auditing regime for Very Large Online Platforms.

          • Karl Dubost: Get Ready For Three Digits User Agent Strings

            According to the Firefox release calendar, during the first quarter of 2022 (probably February), Firefox will reach version 100.

            And Chrome release calendar sets a current date of March 29, 2022.

          • Firefox 90 won’t handle FTP sites anymore

            Mozilla announced today that Mozilla’s Firefox web browser won’t support the FTP protocol from Firefox 90 onward. It was clear that FTP support would be removed from the browser, but it was not clear until today when that would happen.

            Rumors about the removal of FTP support in Firefox and Chrome emerged back in 2015, but it took Mozilla until 2018 to introduce a preference in the browser that would disable FTP support.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Annual Report: The Document Foundation in 2020

          Members – more formally known as the “Board of Trustees” – are a crucial part of The Document Foundation. They are people from across the globe who contribute time, effort and skills, whether on a voluntary or paid basis. Members can vote for the Board of Directors (aka BoD) and the Membership Committee (MC), and also nominate themselves for a position in the BoD and the MC. The mission of the MC is to administer membership applications and renewals following the criteria defined in the Foundation’s Statutes.

          In July, we announced the process of elections for the next MC, which is in place from 19 September 2020 until 18 September 2022. Initially, we started by opening up nominations; TDF members could nominate themselves for a position in the MC, or nominate others.

          On 1 September, Franklin Weng announced the final list of 13 candidates, along with the voting phase, which ran from 4 – 10 September. All members were sent tokens so that they could vote anonymously during this time. On 16 September, Franklin announced the final results, where voting preferences were considered according to the Meek STV method with Droop-Dynamic-Fractional setting, default threshold.

      • FSFE

        • 20 Years FSFE: Interview with Fernanda Weiden

          In our third birthday publication we interview Fernanda Weiden – co-founder of the FSF Latin America and former Vice President of the FSFE – about the early starts of Free Software in Latin America, nowadays use of Free Software in Big Tech and about support of diversity in different communities.

          Fernanda “nanda” Weiden has a long history of personal engagement for Free Software and the FSFE. Actually a way too long to fit into this introduction but we try at least to shed light on some of her contributions: Raised in Porto Alegre, Brasil, Fernanda organised FISL, the largest Free Software conference in Latin America. Later she became founding and council member of the Free Software Foundation Latin America, before moving to Europe, where she joined the FSFE as a volunteer. Just a little bit later she was elected Vice President of the Free Software Foundation Europe from 2009-2011.


          When I became a Free Software activist, one had to argue about the platform to be used to build software. Today, Free Software isn’t a question anymore. It is the norm in many places. Big companies play an important role because they hire and pay engineers to continue to produce state of art software that is then available through Free Software licenses. Of course not all engineer hours go into that, but it is definitely something that both big tech companies I worked for appreciated and contributed to in different ways.

          The most important thing, in my view, is to make it a priority to build an inclusive environment. [...] It is a virtuous cycle: once you start making positive moves, more diverse talent will keep coming because they will feel safe.

      • FSF

        • Effectiveness of the Free Software Foundation

          The FSF have also used their clout to affect software outside their remit. The BSD and Python licences have had clauses updated or removed to accommodate GPL restrictions, at the behest of the FSF. I happen to think these clarifications were useful, but I’m wary of one organisation dictating how everyone else does software. This is why I find the Open Source Definition more useful.

          But has it at least been worth it? I’m not sure. The Linux kernel, once the poster child of GPL code protection and collaboration, won’t budge from the GPLv2. I haven’t seen much evidence that the GPL shepherds code more effectively than permissive licences, given the latter’s success without the GPL’s redistribution requirements. It’s also complicated integrations, for no good technical reason. Like dedicated licencing servers for certain proprietary software, I bristle at the idea of code and infrastructure being built to service arbitrary human constructs instead of improving functionality.

          GPL violations are also among the worst-kept secrets in infocomm circles. This isn’t the fault of the FSF or GPL, but political movements are judged on their effectiveness. High-profile legal cases have forced dodgy companies to comply with their licence obligations. But we all know there are plenty of others, and there aren’t enough lawyers or money in the world to go after them. We can keep chasing people down this rabbit hole, or acknowledge this reality and figure out alternative ways to foster collaboration that aren’t as punitive.

        • GNU Projects

          • GStreamer WebKit debugging tricks using GDB (2/2)

            This post is a continuation of a series of blog posts about the most interesting debugging tricks I’ve found while working on GStreamer WebKit on embedded devices.

          • 13 Reasonable Alternatives to Adobe’s Expensive Apps [Ed: Glimpse is to GIMP what IceWeasel was to Firefox except there are No trademark issues at all! It's claiming to solve an issue which simply does not exist!]

            I’m not a fan of the GIMP name, but I the GNU Image Manipulation Program has been an open-source alternative to Photoshop for as long as I can remember—decades, really. While I never found it to be as feature-filled as PhotoShop, but before Photopea, it was the software I’d turn to whenever I needed to make some edits on a system that didn’t have a graphic-editing app installed. GIMP is fairly easy to use, but even if you have to spend a little time getting a feel for the app, relish in the fact that you’re paying absolutely nothing to use it.

            Then there’s Glimpse, a fork of GIMP that’s reasonably up-to-date (though it isn’t based off of the latest version of the GIMP app as of this writing). However, if you really detest that name, it’s a perfectly fine alternative.

      • Programming/Development

        • 4 Excellent Free Books to Learn J

          The J programming language, developed in the early 1990s by Kenneth E. Iverson and Roger Hui, is an array programming language based primarily on APL (also by Iverson). It’s available on a wide variety of computers and operating systems. J is distinguished by its simple and consistent rules, a large set of built-in capabilities, powerful facilities for defining new operations, and a general and systematic treatment of arrays.

          The J system provides: an engine for executing J; various front ends that provide user interfaces to the J engine; a library, written in J, that provides an IDE (interactive development environment), numerous tools, utilities, demos, tutorials; and online documentation.

          J is a very terse array programming language, and is most suited to mathematical and statistical programming, especially when performing operations on matrices. It has also been used in extreme programming and network performance analysis.

        • First steps of sending alerts to Discord and others from syslog-ng: http() and Apprise

          A returning question I get is: “I see, that you can send alerts from syslog-ng to Slack and Telegram, but do you happen to support XYZ?” Replace XYZ with Discord and countless others. Up until recently, my regular answer has been: “Take a look at the Slack destination of syslog-ng, and based on that, you can add support for your favorite service”. Then I learned about Apprise, a notification library for Python, supporting dozens of different services.

          This blog is the first part of a series. It covers how to send log messages to Discord using the http() destination of syslog-ng and an initial try at using Apprise for alerting.

          The next part will show you a lot more flexible version of the Apprise integration: making fields configurable using templates and using a block to hide implementation details from the user.

          The Python code in these two blogs is sample code, provided to you for inspiration. They are not for production use, as among others, they lack error handling and reporting. If time and my Python knowledge permits, I might have a more production-ready code later on, that I plan to cover in a third blog.

        • The First-Person Sequel and Roda Insights from the Lead Dev: an Exclusive Interview with Jeremy Evan

          Jeremy Evans is the lead developer of the Sequel database library, the Roda web toolkit, the Rodauth authentication framework, and many other Ruby libraries. He is the maintainer of Ruby ports for the OpenBSD operating system, and has contributed to CRuby and JRuby, as well as many popular Ruby libraries. We are happy to present a brand-new interview with Jeremy to our readers. Hope you enjoy it!


          I have been contributing patches and bug reports occasionally to Ruby since 2009. However, I started to get more involved with Ruby in early 2019 when hearing about the direction for keyword arguments in Ruby 3. The original proposal for keyword arguments in Ruby 3 was for full separation, so that passing a hash to a method that accepts keywords would raise an error, but also that passing keywords (a hash without braces) to a method that accept an optional hash argument would also raise an error. I thought this proposal went too far, by breaking compatibility with Ruby code that did not use keyword arguments at all. I built a patch on top of the original proposal that was more backwards compatible. I ended up presenting this proposal with Yusuke Endoh at the developer meeting at RubyKaigi 2019. While waiting on a decision from Matz about keyword arguments, I started sending in patches to fix other Ruby bugs, and after quite a few patches, Endoh-san recommended I become a committer, and Matz approved.

        • Using Subresource Integrity (SRI) in Vite with @small-tech/vite-plugin-sri
  • Leftovers

    • Degrees of Emancipation

      Karl Marx never publicly referred to his Jewish background. That background was known to all his friends, and Marx gave no sign of wishing to deny it. But even his daughter Eleanor, who studied Yiddish after becoming politically involved with the working-class Jews of London’s East End, refrained from mentioning her father’s conversion to Christianity.

      As its title suggests, Karl Marx: Philosophy and Revolution, by the distinguished Israeli political scientist Shlomo Avineri, is not, in spite of the “Jewish Lives” series for which it was written, primarily about Marx’s Jewishness, such as it was. The book gives us, along with a quick and readable account of the life and works, a Marx whom Avineri takes as more useful for what he sees as our nonrevolutionary times. In his view, Marx was less inspired by the desperation of the 19th century working class, which cried out for immediate revolutionary change, than by the Enlightenment ideals of liberty and justice, whose realization might be seen as following a less pressured timetable. This fidelity to liberty and justice, Avineri goes on to argue, came in part from his family’s mixed experience of those ideals, dangled in front of them as members of the Rhineland Jewish community during the French Revolution and then jerked away in its aftermath. For Avineri, that jarring experience inspired both Marx’s commitment to an egalitarian universalism and his skepticism as to whether liberalism could deliver on that commitment.

    • Back to Normal
    • Opinion | Do Your Best, Darwin
    • Education

    • Hardware

      • ARM in the Datacenter

        ARM processors have seen unprecedented growth in the last three years and are now being used in everything from smart watches to Apple’s new M1 desktop and laptop systems, but there is one sector where they have yet to take hold: the enterprise market. For years, many of the largest cloud providers have designed computers around ARM chips, and in December 2020, Microsoft said it was joining the fray by designing its own ARM-based chips for Azure and Surface PCs. Now we are seeing technology based on ARM chips float down from the cloud providers and rise up from the consumer market and start to take hold in the datacenter. In this article, I will highlight some different ARM devices and discuss ways that they have made their way into the datacenter.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Earth Abuse and the Next Pandemic

        Escaping ecological catastrophe and reducing the frequency of pandemics that might be lurking in the decades ahead is well within our capability, but it will require assiduous respect for ecological limits and great restraint in our interactions with nature.

        Humanity’s transgression of ecological limits has caused widespread damage, including a climate emergency, catastrophic loss of biodiversity, and extensive degradation of soils around the world. Earth abuse is also at the root of the Covid-19 pandemic and the grim likelihood that new pathogens will continue to emerge from other animal species to infect humans.

      • Opinion | Structural Racism Continues to Beset Pandemic Response

        All across the nation, online signups for shots have been far easier for white-collar families with fast computers and high-speed Internet.

        On March 29, Eric, the most prominent lay leader at my church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, perished from COVID-19. He was one of 685 people across the United States and one of 15 in Massachusetts to die from the disease that day. On April 6, Eric’s mother Elmo also died from the coronavirus, one of 907 in the US and one of 12 in Massachusetts.

      • Global Covid Cases Soar to ‘Absolutely Staggering’ Weekly Record Amid Vaccine Apartheid

        “Unless we vaccinate all nations, there is a huge risk that the protection offered by vaccines will be shattered by fresh mutations.”

        Fueled by surging cases in India, Brazil, and other developing nations, new global coronavirus infections hit a seven-day high of 5.2 million last week as world leaders face growing pressure to take bold action against vaccine inequities that have left much of the world unprotected from the deadly pathogen.

      • The WTO Stopped Millions of People From Receiving a COVID-19 Vaccine

        The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) have effectively blocked poor countries from accessing affordable COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The proposal on the table from India and South Africa — to waive the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) — would have forgone patents to significantly expand global vaccine production. Over 100 countries supported the proposal before it was blocked in March, and on April 14, more than 170 Nobel laureates and former heads of state and government sent an open letter urging President Joe Biden to back the waiver. Despite growing pressure, the U.S. has made no promises ahead of the next WTO meeting on April 22.

      • Amid COVID Surge, NH Governor Lifts Mask Mandate and Orders Kids Back to School

        This past Friday saw 78,932 official diagnoses of new COVID-19 cases nationally. On the same day, New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu officially lifted the state’s mask mandate, while making it clear that he still thinks wearing masks is really important, you guys. This move came only days after Sununu ordered all children back into full-time on-site schooling, beginning today.

      • Our Immune Systems Can Cope with COVID-19—With Nutritional and Lifestyle Support – Validated Independent News

        Several studies suggest that natural immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection is far more widespread than anyone imagined. Most of the evidence in both Covid-19 patients and animal models shows that the immune response to COVID is quite typical for an acute viral infection. “Most people who recover from Covid-19 have detectable neutralizing antibodies months after infection,” Rasmussen observed. “This suggests that Sars-Cov-2 infection does produce an immune response that is protective, at least for several months,” she wrote. Rasmussen also noted that some people who have never tested positive for Covid-19 have “memory T-cells from prior common-cold coronavirus infections that cross-react with Sars-Cov-2, suggesting that there may be some existing protection in the population.”

      • Seed Monopolies are Controlling the World’s Food Supply and Future Food Security – Validated Independent News

        The seed varieties that ordinary farmers develop and those handed down through generations are genetically diverse and continually evolving. In addition to GM seeds, these diverse varieties are being strictly controlled by another type of intellectual property legislation called Plant Variety Protection.

      • The Pentagon Is Not Taking Covid Seriously Enough

        Herd immunity? Don’t count on it. Not if that “herd” is the US military.

        According to news reports, at least a third of active-duty military personnel or those in the National Guard have opted out of getting the coronavirus vaccine. That figure, by the way, doesn’t even include American troops stationed around the world, many of whom have yet to be offered the chance to be vaccinated. As a Navy spouse whose husband has moved to five separate US duty stations in the decade we’ve been together, one thing is hard for me to imagine: An administration pledging to do everything it can to beat this pandemic has stopped short of using its executive powers to ensure that our 2.3 million armed forces members are all vaccinated.

      • Antivaxxers don’t want COVID-19 vaccines to “impurify” their “purity of essence”

        One of my favorite movies of all time is the Stanley Kubrick film  Dr. Stangelove or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb. It is one of the greatest comedies of all time and arguably the greatest black comedy of all time. In brief, its plot concerns an unhinged purity-obsessed Air Force general named Gen. Jack D. Ripper (Kubrick obviously wasn’t aiming for subtlety), who manages to subvert chain of command and protocol and order the B-52 bomber wing under his command to launch a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union. The film then follows the increasingly desperate (and darkly comical) efforts of the President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and an RAF exchange officer under Gen. Ripper’s command to stop nuclear Armageddon, while showing the parallel efforts of the crew of one B-52 bomber to get through to its target, with Peter Sellers playing three roles (the President, the RAF officer, and Dr. Strangelove, the mysterious ex-Nazi scientist/advisor who personified the dark id behind the Cold War). I realize that it might be difficult for those too young to remember the Cold War, nuclear fallout shelters, and air raid drills to fully comprehend the terror that Kubrick was playing with in this film, but the film nonetheless holds up as an artifact of a period from decades during which mutually assured destruction was a fact of life and that destruction could have come about due to accident or something like what was portrayed in this film.

      • Documents Reveal Government Knew Decades Ago about Health Impact of Wireless Tech – Validated Independent News

        Glaser’s extensive archive of nearly 4,000 documents, now available to the public, provides clear evidence that the US government, and in particular the military, has known for decades of the harm wireless technology can cause to human health—long before cell phones and other wifi technology were commercialized in the early 1980s.

      • Opinion: Biden should ignore senator demands for COVID waiver [Ed: Patent trolls' propagandist and generally part of a front group for litigation zealots is calling for the death sentence of poor people, in the name of vaccination profiteers.]

        Two weeks ago, I went to the Bronx High School of Science to get my first COVID vaccine – Moderna’s.

        It was an exciting day, and not just because I was getting the vaccine. I felt like I was part of history. After all, getting this shot just over a year after the start of the pandemic, as have 40% of the US population (131 million people) as of publication, was nothing short of a miracle.

        According to the Wellcome Trust, a charitable foundation focused on health research based in London, it usually takes around 10 years to develop a vaccine.

      • CureVac’s road to the coronavirus vaccine [Ed: JUVE is still in full propaganda mode, doing puff pieces for vaccine profiteers while it’s made to look like journalism]

        CureVac is currently developing a vaccine against the coronavirus, CV-nCoV. The biopharmaceutical company is expanding a broad integrated European production network, with experienced contract development and manufacturing organisation, in order to produce the vaccine. Marco Rau, general counsel at CureVac, says, “It gives us continued control over the process and closer involvement in production.”


        The company frequently works with Graf von Stosch and Maiwald to file its patents.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • FBI Flexes Rule 41 Powers, Uses Remote Access Technique To Neutralize Compromised Software All Over The US

          Great news, everyone! The FBI has been fighting a cyberwar on your behalf… perhaps utilizing your own computer. Here’s Zack Whittaker with some details:

        • Sanctioned Russian IT firm was partner with Microsoft, IBM

          The Treasury Department on Thursday slapped six Russian technology companies with sanctions for supporting Kremlin intelligence agencies…

        • Security

          • Hacked Codecov uploading script leaked creds for two months

            Scores of projects potentially affected by supply chain attack.
            A malicious alteration to a shell script lay undetected since January this year at software testing coverage report provider Codecov, sparking fears of another significant supply chain attack.

            Forensic analysis shows that an unknown threat actor exploited an error in Codecov’s Docker container image creation process, and gained access to the credential that allowed the modification to the company’s Bash Uploader script.

            Codecov said a Google Cloud Storage key was accessed starting January 31 this year, and not secured until April 1 US time.

            The script is normally used to upload coverage reports to Codecov, but it was altered to transmit the UNIX shell environment, which can be used to store variables.


            The company said it has rotated all credentials, including the key that was captured by the attackers, and set up monitoring and auditing to ensure that the Bash Uploader cannot be compromised like this again.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (xorg-server), Fedora (CImg, gmic, leptonica, mingw-binutils, mingw-glib2, mingw-leptonica, mingw-python3, nodejs, and seamonkey), openSUSE (irssi, kernel, nextcloud-desktop, python-django-registration, and thunderbird), Red Hat (389-ds:1.4, kernel, kernel-rt, perl, and pki-core:10.6), SUSE (kernel, sudo, and xen), and Ubuntu (clamav and openslp-dfsg).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Privacy Paradox: When Big Tech Is Good On Privacy, They’re Attacked As Being Bad For Competition

              For many years I’ve tried to point out that no one seems to have a very good conceptual framework for “privacy.” Many people act as if privacy is a concrete thing — and that we want our information kept private. But as I’ve pointed out for years, that doesn’t make much sense. Privacy is a set of tradeoffs. It’s information about ourselves, that we often offer up freely, if we feel that the tradeoff is worth it. And, related to that, there’s a big question about who is controlling the data in question. On top of that, things get confusing when we consider just who is controlling what data. If we’re controlling our own data, then we have some degree of autonomy over our privacy trade-offs. But when we hand that data off to a third party, then they have much more say over our privacy — and even if they agree to “lock down and protect” that data, the end result might not be what we want. For one, we’re giving those companies more power of our data than we, ourselves have. And that can be a problem!

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Biden’s Drone Wars

        Talk of peace in Afghanistan, Yemen, the streets of the U.S., is not coherent while waging wars with drones.

        On Thursday, April 15, the New York Times posted an article headed, “How the U.S. Plans to Fight From Afar After Troops Exit Afghanistan,” just in case anyone misunderstood the previous day’s headline, “Biden, Setting Afghanistan Withdrawal, Says ‘It Is Time to End the Forever War’” as indicating the U.S. war in Afghanistan might actually come to an end on September 11, 2021, almost 20 years after it started.

      • Murder of Adam Toledo Is Latest in Long History of Anti-Latinx Police Killings

        As protests continue in Chicago and nationwide over the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, we get an update from community activist and independent journalist Mateo Zapata, who says, “People in Chicago are just tired of seeing Black and Brown youth murdered by police.” Released bodycam video showed Adam had his hands up in the air when he was shot by an officer. We also speak with Rutgers professor Lilia Fernández, who studies Latino Chicago history and says police brutality toward this community is “not a new phenomenon” and goes back many decades. “Adam Toledo would not be dead today if he were white, if he were from an affluent family or if he lived in a predominantly white neighborhood,” Fernández says.

      • Cities Drop Most Charges Against BLM Protesters as Cops Fail to Provide Evidence

        At least 90 percent of charges against Black Lives Matter protesters in a dozen jurisdictions have been dropped, dismissed or not filed, according to an analysis by The Guardian . Such a high percentage suggests that the police may have been arresting people simply to suppress dissent.

      • Opinion | We Could Have Greened Half the US Electrical Grid With $2.26 Wasted on Afghan War

        Much of the money spent in Afghanistan was wasted and disappeared into a fog of corruption.

        The Costs of War Project at Brown University has just brought out a new report on Afghanistan.

      • Ruralist Lament: Afghanistan, 20 Years On

        Though most of the men on suicide missions that day were Saudi Arabian, the Bush II administration quickly made the decision to send an expeditionary force against the devastated nation of Afghanistan in revenge. Maybe some readers remember that time and the blood lust whipped-up by the chattering classes. Radio shock-jocks replaced pop music programming on all the local radio stations with endless rumor-peddling and exhortations for the domestic population to embrace a remorseless slaughter of peasants half a world away. “Americans have to get the stomach to kill women and children,” they said: Literally. Maybe you heard the cry as I did.

        The guy down the street was working on his roof that week with his radio blaring the relentless, bloody sanctimony. One day the cable guy up on the pole across the street  also had his RevengeRadio thumping out the same species of propaganda in a dueling cacophony echoing in and around our roadside vegetable stand.

      • Exiting Afghanistan: Biden Sets the Date

        In his April 14 speech, President Joe Biden made the point that should have long been evident: that Washington could not “continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result.”  As if to concede to the broader failure of the exercise, “the terror threat” had flourished, being now present “in many places”.  To keep “thousands of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country at a cost of billions each year makes little sense to me and to our leaders.”

        For such a long stay, the objectives have been far from convincing.  The US presence in Afghanistan should focus “on the reason we went there in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again.  We did that.  We accomplished that objective.” A debacle is dressed up in the robes of necessity, the original purpose being to “root out al Qaeda” in 2001 and “to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States planned from Afghanistan.”

      • Daunte Wright’s Killing Makes the Case for Shrinking Police Budgets

        Like so many Black Americans, Wright justifiably feared police interactions. His mentor Jonathan Mason said, “He was afraid police would do something like this to him.” Attorney Benjamin Crump, who has represented the families of countless police victims in civil lawsuits, said, “We don’t see these sort of things happening to white young people that we see happen over and over and over again to young marginalized minorities.”

        The Black fear of police is grounded in provable police bias. The Stanford Open Policing Project studied nearly 100 million police stops and found that “officers generally stop black drivers at higher rates than white drivers,” and that “black and Hispanic drivers are searched more often than white drivers.” Moreover, “police require less suspicion to search black and Hispanic drivers than white drivers,” which the researchers concluded “is evidence of discrimination.”

      • Why Xinjiang is Emerging as the Epicenter of the U.S. Cold War on China

        Both Wang Junzheng and Chen Mingguo responded by condemning these sanctions that were not only imposed by the U.S. but also by Canada, the UK and the EU. Wang Junzheng said that the sanctions “are a gross slander,” while Chen Mingguo said that he was “very proud of being sanctioned by these countries.”

        The United States Pivots to Asia

      • Renegotiating JCPOA: Biden, Europe and Iran

        But, in true Orwellian form, black is white and white is black under this new administration. And nowhere is this bizarre view more pronounced than in the context of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).

        Let us set a baseline of understanding.

      • Advanced Nuclear Dreaming in Washington State

        But faith in the nuclear future lives on at “Whoops!,” today rebranded as Energy Northwest. On April 1, the day perhaps also inadvertently fitting, the consortium of Washington state public utilities  announced a move aimed at the first advanced nuclear reactor deployment in the U.S. Energy Northwest will partner with Grant County Public Utility District, a member utility serving a desert county in the center of the state, and X-energy, a leading developer of the nuclear industry’s bright shining hope, the small modular reactor (SMR).

        “The partners will collaborate and share resources to evaluate their mutual goal of siting, building, and operating a Xe-100 advanced nuclear power plant at an existing Energy Northwest site north of Richland, with the potential to generate up to 320 megawatts of reliable, carbon-free energy,” they announced. “Through the TRi Energy Partnership, the parties will evaluate each step of the project and identify the best approach to licensing, permitting, construction, operation, and ownership.”

      • Meet Cariol Horne, Black Police Officer Fired After Stopping Fellow Cop’s Assault on Handcuffed Man

        Amid nationwide protests over police abuse, we speak with Cariol Horne, the Buffalo police officer whom a New York court has just vindicated for stopping a fellow cop from choking a handcuffed Black man during an arrest. In 2006, Horne, who is Black, saw a white officer repeatedly punching the man in the face before putting him in a chokehold. After Horne heard the man say “I can’t breathe,” she intervened by grabbing the officer’s arm. Horne was sanctioned by the Buffalo Police Department, reassigned, then fired in 2008, just months before she was eligible to receive her full pension. A new ruling makes her eligible for back pay and pension benefits. Horne says she is now calling on state governments and Congress to follow the lead of Buffalo, which passed Cariol’s Law, legislation that makes it the duty of officers to intervene in cases of brutality. “I knew that I did the right thing,” Horne says. We also speak with Intisar Rabb, a Harvard Law professor who is one of three attorneys representing Horne. Cariol’s Law “should spread far and wide” to other cities and states, Rabb says.

      • Black & Latinx Lieutenant Sues Virginia Cops Who Threatened to Kill Him During Traffic Stop

        We speak with the lawyer for a lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps who is suing two Virginia police officers who pepper-sprayed him, pushed him to the ground and pointed their guns at him during a traffic stop at a gas station last December. Video of the encounter has gone viral and shows Caron Nazario, who is a Black and Latino man, was wearing his Army uniform during the stop. When Nazario says he’s afraid to get out of his car, one officer responds, “You should be.” Nazario says he drove about a mile to the gas station after he noticed a police car flashing its lights at him — a common practice to avoid pulling over on a dark road. It is shocking that a police officer “felt it appropriate to threaten a man with state-sanctioned murder” for simply asking why he was pulled over, says Jonathan Arthur, Nazario’s attorney. “My client’s looking just to hold these officers accountable under law.”

      • Cops Have Brutalized Chicago’s Latinx Community for Decades; Adam Toledo, 13, Is the Latest Victim

        As protests continue in Chicago and nationwide over the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, we get an update from community activist and independent journalist Mateo Zapata, who says, “People in Chicago are just tired of seeing Black and Brown youth murdered by police.” Released bodycam video showed Adam had his hands up in the air when he was shot by an officer. We also speak with Rutgers professor Lilia Fernández, who studies Latino Chicago history and says police brutality toward this community is “not a new phenomenon” and goes back many decades. “Adam Toledo would not be dead today if he were white, if he were from an affluent family or if he lived in a predominantly white neighborhood,” Fernández says.

      • Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Bill Granting Immunity to Motorists Who Kill Protesters

        Amid the Republican-led push to crackdown on protestors in the wake of the Georgia Floyd protests, state lawmakers throughout the country are now attempting to lessen penalties for drivers who unintentionally kill protestors blocking roadways.

      • 100 Days After Capitol Attack, Pelosi Renews Call for “9/11-Style” Commission

        One-hundred days after the breach of the United States Capitol building by a mob of Donald Trump loyalists, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) renewed her push to establish a “9/11-style” commission to examine what exactly happened that day and how to address potential acts of violence like it in the future.

      • Xinjiang Native Speaks Out: “Western Media Jeopardizing Uyghurs Interests”
      • American Journalism’s Role in Promoting Racist Terror

        I found my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather on my mother’s side listed for sale in an old newspaper advertisement: “Stephen, 50, sawyer and sailor.” The announcement, headlined with the word “SLAVES” in bold capital letters, stated that he was to be auctioned off at Maspero’s Coffee-house in New Orleans on February 3, 1820, along with the other property that had belonged to Francis Cousin, a wealthy white plantation owner in St. Tammany Parish. 1

        Cousin died the previous year, and the executor of his large estate placed a paid announcement in the January 4, 1820, edition of the Orleans Gazette and Commercial Advertiser that all of the planter’s earthly possessions would be sold to the highest bidder: the 4,000-acre farm, the furniture, the two sailing ships, and the 760 heads of horned cattle. Among the “moveables and immoveables” in the estate’s inventory were more than three dozen Black human beings—children, women, and men—including my ancestor, Stephen (or Etienne, as he was most often called in French-speaking Louisiana). 2

      • ‘This Wasn’t Policing, This Was Murder,’ Prosecutors Tell Jury in Closing Statement of Chauvin Trial

        “Facing George Floyd that day that did not require one ounce of courage, and none was shown on that day. All that was required was a little compassion and none was shown on that day.”

        The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin—who is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of unarmed Black man George Floyd last year—wrapped up on Monday as attorneys for both sides delivered lengthy closing statements as the city and nation began bracing for the jury’s verdict. 

      • U.S. Joins Past Empires In Afghan Graveyard

        Now, after nearly twenty years of a war that has been as bloody and futile as all those previous invasions and occupations, the last 3,500 U.S. troops and their NATO brothers-in-arms will be coming home from Afghanistan.

        President Joe Biden tried to spin this as the United States leaving because it has achieved its objectives, bringing the terrorists responsible for 9/11 to justice and ensuring that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for a future attack on the United States. “We achieved those objectives,”  Biden said. “Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is degraded. It’s time to end the forever war.”

      • Opinion | The Collapse of the American Empire

        U.S. leadership has stumbled from one military debacle to another, a trajectory mirroring the sad finales of other historical imperial powers.

        America’s defeat in Afghanistan is one in a string of catastrophic military blunders that herald the death of the American empire. With the exception of the first Gulf War, fought largely by mechanized units in the open desert that did not—wisely—attempt to occupy Iraq, the United States political and military leadership has stumbled from one military debacle to another. Korea. Vietnam. Lebanon. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Libya. The trajectory of military fiascos mirrors the sad finales of the Chinese, Ottoman, Hapsburg, Russian, French, British, Dutch, Portuguese and Soviet empires. While each of these empires decayed with their own peculiarities, they all exhibited patterns of dissolution that characterize the American experiment.

      • Chris Hedges: The Unraveling of the American Empire

        America’s defeat in Afghanistan is one in a string of catastrophic military blunders that herald the death of the American empire. With the exception of the first Gulf War, fought largely by mechanized units in the open desert that did not – wisely – attempt to occupy Iraq, the United States political and military leadership has stumbled from one military debacle to another. Korea. Vietnam. Lebanon. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Libya. The trajectory of military fiascos mirrors the sad finales of the Chinese, Ottoman, Hapsburg, Russian, French, British, Dutch, Portuguese and Soviet empires. While each of these empires decayed with their own peculiarities, they all exhibited patterns of dissolution that characterize the American experiment.

        Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show On Contact.

      • Reconnaissance and attack: German Bundeswehr is working on drone swarms

        In various projects, the military and the defence industry are investigating the networking of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. For the Air Force, they could in small numbers support air combat; for the Army, they can detect and destroy nearby targets in large swarms.

      • In moving UN speech, veteran diplomat confronts OPCW ‘stonewalling and smear tactics’ on Syria
    • Environment

      • EU energy policy: world-leading, insufficient, or both?

        On the other hand, Gillett says that the EU ‘certainly’ deserves praise in some areas. He emphasised the importance of emissions from renewable energy systems manufacturing, supply, and infrastructure, known as ‘embodied carbon’.

        He says: “Embodied carbon is a very important topic, which is currently subject to international debate. The EU Emission Trading System is one of the tools used by the EU to drive its decarbonisation agenda, but it risks pushing some carbon intensive industries out of Europe, where they can produce their products more competitively by avoiding carbon pricing.

        “A new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to tackle this problem is currently under discussion and he EU is widely recognised as a world leader in this area.

        “The EU Green Deal and its legislative initiatives are pioneering the way that other countries across the world will surely follow. Without the EU, there would be no Paris Agreement and, although it will not be easy, the goal of delivering carbon neutrality by 2050 is inspiring massive changes in thinking across the world.

        “The EU is doing more than almost anyone else at this very challenging time, as we work our way out of the Covid-19 pandemic. No, it is not yet enough to be sure of avoiding overshooting the 1.5°C limit for global warming that was agreed in Paris. However, this will require a global effort at all levels and in all countries, so it is great that the EU is pushing ahead and learning by doing.”

      • Poll Finds Majority of US Voters Back Green New Deal and Want Lawmakers to Co-Sponsor Resolution

        The Data for Progress survey also found that an overwhelming majority of all likely voters favor the GND’s individual components. 

        As Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders reintroduced their “Green New Deal for Public Housing,” a survey published Monday affirmed that most U.S. voters support the Green New Deal and want their members of Congress to co-sponsor legislation to make the ambitious climate emergency plan a reality.

      • To Expand Democrats’ Infrastructure Vision, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez Push Green New Deal for Public Housing

        Such a plan, said Rep. Jamaal Bowman, “would allow people to live with dignity and respect, to know that our federal government cares about their well-being and their health.”

        Expressing hope that the Democratic Party would expand its “scope and ambition” regarding an infrastructure plan, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders reintroduced the Green New Deal for Public Housing on Monday, calling on Congress to pass the far-reaching legislation to address the interlocking housing, economic, environmental injustice, and climate crises.

      • ‘This Whole Thing Is About Saving Lives’: Bush, Ocasio-Cortez Introduce Green New Deal for Cities

        “The urgency of this climate crisis and environmental racism demands that we equip our cities and our local governments with this funding.”

        In the latest of a flurry of proposed Green New Deal legislation, Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday introduced the Green New Deal for Cities Act of 2021, a $1 trillion plan to “tackle the environmental injustices that are making us and our children sick, costing us our homes, and destroying our planet.”

      • Loss of Arctic sea ice can spoil French wine harvest

        What happens in the Arctic may not stay there. Loss of Arctic sea ice can dump the polar blizzards elsewhere.

      • UN Chief Warns World on ‘Verge of the Abyss’ as WMO Releases Climate Report

        The warning came alongside the release of the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Global Climate in 2020, which said it was one of the three warmest years on record.

        United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned Monday that humanity stands “on the verge of the abyss” as the climate crisis pushes the world “dangerously close” to hitting the 1.5 degree Celsius target limit of warming.

      • ‘Do What the Science Demands’: Biden White House to Be Given ‘Climate Clock’ Ahead of Global Summit

        “We’re not only sending a message that we’re running out of time, but that there is still time to act and save our planet!” said climate leader Alexandria Villeseñor.

        Climate justice advocates with 350.org and the Build Back Fossil Free coalition on Monday announced their intention to deliver a replica of New York City’s famous Climate Clock to top White House officials this week, calling for an ambitious carbon emissions target from the Biden administration. 

      • AOC, Sanders Are Reintroducing Their Green New Deal for Public Housing Bill

        Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) are set to unveil new legislation on Monday focusing on improving public housing and making it more climate friendly.

      • Energy

        • Critics Warn Lawsuits by EU Fossil Fuel Giants Steal Billions From Public, Undermine Green Transition

          “We don’t only need to phase out coal and fossil fuels,” said Sandra Beckerman, member of the Dutch Parliament. “We need to phase out the power that these companies… have over our governments.”

          By weaponizing an arcane energy treaty to sue European Union governments that are phasing out fossil fuels, dirty energy corporations are siphoning off billions of taxpayer dollars that could otherwise be used to fund renewable energy development and climate action.

        • Climate Movement Applauds Coal Miners’ Demand for Just Transition, Green Jobs

          The largest union of coal miners in the U.S. announced Monday that it would accept a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as long as the federal government takes care of coal workers through the provision of green jobs and income support for those who become unemployed.

    • Finance

      • Progressives Fume as Democrats Eye Smaller Corporate Tax Hike to Appease Centrists

        “Saying ‘corporations must pay their fair share’ should mean that pre-Trump rates are the starting point.”

        Senate Democrats are reportedly considering lowering the corporate tax rate proposed in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan from 28% to 25% to mollify centrists in the caucus, a backtrack that would leave hundreds of billions of dollars in potential revenue on the table.

      • Putting the Debt in Context

        The issue of whether a deficit is too large depends entirely on whether it causes us to push the economy too far, leading to inflation. The deficit for last year was $3.1 trillion, which was equal to 15.2% of GDP. This was by far the largest deficit, relative to the size of the economy, since World War II.

        Yet, the inflation rate actually slowed in 2020, as the pandemic related shutdowns created an enormous gap in demand in the economy. It would be difficult to find any major sector of the economy that was operating near its capacity last year, and therefore raising prices.

      • Progressives Fume as Democrats Eye Smaller Corporate Tax Hike

        Senate Democrats are reportedly considering lowering the corporate tax rate proposed in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan from 28% to 25% to mollify centrists in the caucus, a backtrack that would leave hundreds of billions of dollars in potential revenue on the table.

      • The Federal Government Will Now Give PPP Loans to Borrowers in Bankruptcy

        The federal government has quietly reversed course on a policy that had kept thousands of businesses from applying for pandemic economic aid, with only weeks to go before funds are expected to run out.

        In late March, ProPublica reported on a Small Business Administration rule that disqualified individuals or businesses currently in bankruptcy from getting relief through the Paycheck Protection Program, an $813 billion pot of funds distributed to small businesses in the form of loans that are forgiven if the money is mostly spent on payroll. The agency had battled in court against several bankrupt companies attempting to apply for PPP loans, and did not change course even after Congress explicitly passed legislation in December allowing it to do so.

      • IBM workers across Europe denounce management’s unjustified recourse to mass layoffs

        IBM workers and their unions from across Europe are taking part in a joint day of action to protest management’s move to cut 10,000 jobs. While workers brought in over €60 billion in revenue last year and increased profit margins during the pandemic, the corporation’s management have announced mass layoffs across Europe.

        As part of the day of action, 26 unions from 16 countries have jointly written to IBM’s European management. In the letter, unions are highlight the bewildering lack of transparency that has shrouded the move, which management have officially dubbed “operation sunrise”. Neither has the need for such drastic measures been evidenced to workers’ representatives, nor have objective criteria for determining which workers will be fired been clarified.

        Negotiations between management and workers’ representatives are ongoing but tensions are mounting. In response to the lack of clarity, unions have called coordinated workplace actions under the banner #NoSunsetForIBMers. The corporation employs roughly 90,000 workers, and the unprecedented scale of the layoffs would result in 1 in 9 workers losing their job.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Josh Hawley: We Must Break Up Companies Whose Politics I Disagree With For Discriminating Against People Whose Politics I Agree With

        Josh Hawley is gonna Josh Hawley. The Senator from Missouri, who still has not apologized or admitted to supporting the invasion of the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election, has a long history of nonsense bills that are performative for his riled up base. His latest is more of the same. On Monday he introduced the “Bust Up Big Tech Act” and even if you’re a supporter of antitrust and think that big tech should be “busted up,” it should give you pause before supporting Hawley’s nonsense. The bill itself is… weird. It seems to pick seemingly random activities and insist that no company can do two of them. Basically, he looked at different businesses that Amazon and Google are in, and the bill says “you’re no longer allowed to do those different things.” As some have pointed out, under this bill it appears that Walmart can no longer sell under a house brand, because the bill bars any company that qualifies from selling, advertising or otherwise promoting your own products.

      • From Jurassic Park To Telepathic Monkeys, Elon Musk Press Hype Is Getting A Bit Thick

        Last week the press was jam packed with headlines discussing how Elon Musk and his Neuralink co-founder Max Hodak would soon “have the technology to build a real life Jurassic Park.” From the New York Post to The Hill, outlets quickly parroted the claim that Neuralink might soon get into the reanimated dinosaur business, triggering not only waves of Jeff-Goldblum-themed ridicule on social media, but a lot of free advertising for Elon Musk and Neuralink.

      • Opinion | Biden’s New Industrial Policy Must Not Repeat the Mistakes of the Past

        America’s old industrial policy was stifling innovation and gauging taxpayers and consumers. The challenges ahead demand a very different economy.

        America is about to revive an idea that was left for dead decades ago. It’s called industrial policy, and it’s at the heart of Joe Biden’s plans to restructure the U.S. economy.

      • Opinion | The Saudi Lobby Moves from K Street to Main Street

        How to make a gulf monarchy all-American.

        Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., was on the hot seat. In early March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, oil prices collapsed and a price war broke out between Saudi Arabia and Russia, leaving American oil and gas companies feeling the pain. As oil prices plummeted, Republican senators from oil-producing states turned their ire directly on Saudi Arabia. Forget that civil war in Yemen—what about fossil-fuel profits here at home?

      • Poll Shows Support for Supreme Court Tenure Limits, Split Over Adding Justices

        A majority of Americans want to do away with lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices, according to new polling data. The poll results are an indication that the public is open to reforming the highest court in the U.S.

      • Mayor Lori Lightfoot Has Failed Chicago

        It happened again. Police killed another person. This time it was a child, 13-year-old Adam Toledo. Video shows Toledo turning around and raising his empty hands before Eric Stillman, a six-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, shoots him in the chest. And since his death, police have shot dead at least 43 other people, according to a count by The Washington Post.

        On March 29, a ShotSpotter notification brought the police to South Sawyer Avenue in Toledo’s Little Village neighborhood. The company claims the gunfire location technology helps make communities safer. The officer had a police camera manufactured by Avon, which says its body cams increase police safety and enable accountability by having officers be videotaped. Of course, the ShotSpotter didn’t prevent a lethal gun shooting, and the officer didn’t show restraint. New, expensive policing technology is not the answer to the problem of cops shooting people.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘We are Doxa, too’ Students and alumni pen open letter to top Russian universities in support of student journal

        On the morning of April 14, police officers searched the newsroom of the student journal “Doxa,” as well as the homes of its editors Armen Aramyan, Alla Gutnikova, Vladimir Metelkin, and Natalya Tyshkevich. After the raids, the journalists were interrogated by state investigators and a court banned them from using the Internet and leaving their homes. More than 250 academics from around the world have signed a solidarity statement in support of Doxa. In addition, Russian university students, postgraduates, and alumni are urging the leadership of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) — where students and alumni founded Doxa in 2017 — and other Russian universities to show support for the editors, who are now facing criminal charges. Meduza is sharing a full translation of their open letter, which has 400 signatures at the time of this writing. The signature drive is set to continue until May 1. 

      • Don’t be killers: Meduza demands adequate medical care for Alexey Navalny (before it’s too late)

        Alexey Navalny is dying in prison. After he miraculously survived being poisoned with the chemical weapon Novichok last year, his condition is deteriorating again. In an effort to get access to his own doctors, Navalny launched a hunger strike. Almost three weeks later, the hunger strike continues. This is an act of desperation. Navalny’s team of doctors believes that his life is now at risk.

      • Provocative calls from abroad The Kremlin’s spokesman comments on Navalny’s hunger strike and the planned opposition protests

        During his daily press briefing on Monday, April 19, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was bombarded with questions about opposition politician Alexey Navalny. With Navalny’s health worsening amid his ongoing hunger strike, his associates have announced plans to hold countrywide protests in the days to come. What’s more, international governments and cultural figures are calling on the Russian authorities to provide the Kremlin critic with better medical care, and the U.S. even warned of “consequences” if Navalny dies in prison. Nevertheless, Peskov insisted that the Kremlin doesn’t “monitor the health of Russian prisoners” and that isn’t taking the international outcry into account. 

      • Done apologizing for Putin Nobel laureate Andre Geim describes his lost of faith in the Kremlin and hopes for Alexey Navalny

        Alexey Navalny has been on a hunger strike since March 31 to protest his medical treatment in prison. The incarcerated opposition politician demands access to his own team of doctors, and his spokespeople now warn that his health is deteriorating so rapidly that he could die “in a matter of days.” In the West, open letters in Navalny’s defense have attracted the support of cultural celebrities and scholars, including Nobel laureates. One of these people is Andre Geim, the Russian-born Dutch-British physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. Geim first spoke publicly in support of Navalny in early February. In an interview with Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova, he explained why he’s no longer “a Putin apologist” and why he’s decided now to criticize the Russian authorities’ treatment of Navalny.

      • Team Navalny blames email database leak on employee recruited by Russia’s FSB

        In the aftermath of a database of email addresses registered for the upcoming “Freedom for Navalny!” protest leaking online, Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov claims that the information was stolen by an Anti-Corruption Foundation ( FBK) employee who was recruited by the Russian FSB.

      • Alexey Navalny is being transferred to a prisoners’ hospital notorious for abusing inmates

        Following reports of Alexey Navalny’s health deteriorating critically amid his prison hunger strike, Russian prison officials announced on Monday that the opposition politician is being transferred to a prisoners’ hospital in the Vladimir region. The hospital is located on the grounds of Correctional Facility No. 3 — a notorious prison where inmates have reported experiencing torture and abuse inside the medical ward. One former inmate said that patients who protest the prison hospital’s conditions are beaten up and tied to their beds for days on end.

      • Moscow City Court registers prosecutors’ lawsuit that could outlaw Alexey Navalny’s political movement

        The Moscow City Court has formally registered a lawsuit by the prosecutor’s office to ban Alexey Navalny’s political and anti-corruption network as “extremist.” Officials want the court to designate three organizations — the Anti-Corruption Foundation and the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation (both of which Russia’s Justice Ministry has already designated as “foreign agents”) and Navalny’s nationwide network of campaign offices — as illegal “extremist” groups. 

      • Russian officials describe Navalny’s health as ‘satisfactory,’ but plan to transfer him to a prisoners’ hospital notorious for abusing inmates

        Officials in Russia’s Vladimir Region announced on Monday that they are transferring Alexey Navalny to a nearby hospital for prisoners, though they describe his condition as “satisfactory.” Navalny is now receiving “vitamin therapy” apparently with his consent, though he has been on a hunger strike since March 31. In recent days, the opposition politician’s spokespeople have warned that he could die within a week due to untreated illnesses.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Manchin Signs On as Co-Sponsor for Union-Strengthening PRO Act

        West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announced on Monday he would support pro-union legislation that passed the House of Representatives last month, clearing the first of many obstacles that still remain toward its eventual passage in the Senate.

      • Representative Mark Pocan on Amazon and ‘the Arrogance of Corporations That Get Too Big’

        At the end of March, US Representative Mark Pocan got into a pissing match with Amazon about restroom breaks and availability for workers—a contentious issue in the Alabama union-organizing drive the corporation eventually thwarted. After Pocan criticized Amazon, the company attacked the former Congressional Progressive Caucus cochair, claiming his facts were wrong. Actually, it was Amazon that was wrong, and it had to apologize. Pocan immediately refocused attention on working conditions in Amazon’s warehouses. That’s typical of how the Wisconsin Democrat—a dues-paying member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades who recently spearheaded an effort to form a House labor caucus—fights for worker rights. I interviewed Pocan about battling Amazon and working to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021.

        —John Nichols

      • Union Files 23 Objections Against Amazon for Illegal and ‘Despicable’ Conduct in Bessemer Election

        “Amazon has left no stone unturned in its efforts to gaslight its own employees. We won’t let Amazon’s lies, deception, and illegal activities go unchallenged.”

        The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union on Monday formally filed nearly two dozen objections to Amazon’s conduct during the closely watched Bessemer, Alabama organizing drive, which the company defeated with an aggressive counter-campaign that observers say was replete with abusive and legally dubious activity.

      • Internal Affairs Used Clearview To Identify Two NYPD Officers Caught Drinking On The Job

        The NYPD has an uneasy relationship with Clearview. The facial recognition startup — one that has compiled a database of millions of images by scraping info from social media platforms and other websites — claimed in an emailed pitch that the nation’s largest police force used its software to identify a suspected terrorist.

      • DeSantis Signs ‘Outrageous and Blatantly Unconstitutional’ Anti-Protest Bill Into Law

        “Every single Floridian should be outraged by this blatant attempt to erode our First Amendment right to peacefully assemble.”

        Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed into law a bill that civil rights groups warn is designed to crack down on peaceful demonstrations and criminalize dissent by redefining “rioting” in an overbroad way and creating draconian new felonies for protest-related offenses.

      • The Spread of Global Hate

        For four years, Americans had to deal with a similar sonic blast, namely the “music” of Donald Trump. His voice was everywhere: on TV and radio, screaming from the headlines of newspapers, pumped out nonstop on social media. MAGAmen and women danced to the repetitive beat of his lies and distortions. Everyone else experienced the nonstop assault of Trump’s instantly recognizable accent and intonations as nails on a blackboard. After the 2016 election, psychologists observed a significant uptickin the fears Americans had about the future. One clinician even dubbed the phenomenon “Trump anxiety disorder.”

        The volume of Trump’s assault on the senses has decreased considerably since January. Obviously, he no longer has the bully pulpit of the Oval Office to broadcast his views. The mainstream media no longer covers his every utterance.

      • Russian Attorney General’s Office issues official warning about participation in unauthorized protests

        The Russian Attorney General’s Office has issued an official warning ahead of this week’s planned protest action in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny.

      • Libya: What a Khazi

        The lawless Libyan mess has turned into a highly efficient migrant funnel which has facilitated right-wing rhetoric in a Europe that appears to have forgotten why the UN refugee conventions were instituted. No doubt Europol focus groups are telling representatives that ethics don’t sell. Libya is a textbook example of Western hubris, where ‘decisive’/’surgical’ violence is labelled ‘humanitarian’, though followed by Stone-Age living conditions and warlordism. It’s taken ten years to finally fix an agreed a date for new elections, due in December, but the social legacy of the Western intervention will take much longer to heal.

        In the decade that Libya has been a deadly place to live, migration from Africa to Europe has risen sharply. Sub-Saharan applications for asylum in Europe were barely 50,000 in 2010, but close to 170,000 in 2017. Most transited via Libya. Libya’s hundreds of miles of coastline, effectively unpoliced, was an own goal in the classic Western mold: (‘We had to destroy the town to save it.’).

      • Have Republicans Finally Gone Too Far, Even for Corporate America?

        Donald Trump, who led the way championing physical limits on voting with his repeated lies about a “rigged” and fraudulent presidential election, called for a boycott of companies that are against curtailing the ability to vote. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned them to stay out of politics but, uhm, to keep donating.

        Corporate America, which long has sided with Republicans who have given it tax breaks and deregulation in return for their donations, may be turning away from the GOP and the extremism that flared under Trump. It’s become a party of an alternative reality that just doesn’t carry water in the corporate world.

      • Senators Demand Answers on the Dangers of Predictive Policing

        Technology can never predict crime. Rather, it can invite police to regard with suspicion those people who were victims of crime, or live and work in places where crime has been committed in the past. 

        For all these reasons and more, EFF has argued that the technology should be banned from being used by law enforcement agencies, and some cities across the United States have already begun to do so. 

        Now, a group of our federal elected officials is raising concerns on the dangers of predictive policing. Sen. Ron Wyden penned a probing letter to Attorney General Garland asking about how the technology is used. He is joined by Rep. Yvette Clarke, Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Jeffery Merkley, Sen. Alex Padilla, Sen. Raphael Warnock, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.. 

      • After Hours: The Age Discrimination Case against IBM

        IBM faces a massive group of age discrimination claims. The company says it never made hiring or firing decisions based on age. We take a deep dive look at both sides, and how hard it is to prove age discrimination when it does occur.

        Subscribe to my two podcasts: “The Sharyl Attkisson Podcast” and “Full Measure After Hours.” Leave a review, subscribe and share with your friends!

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Book Review: The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Under International Investment Law [Ed: This book title is basically a lie and propaganda; there's no such thing as "Intellectual Property" (it's not property) and whatever they allude to is not "Rights" either. It has become normal to put lies right there in the titles of books.]

        This Kat has had the pleasure to review “The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Under International Investment Law”, co-authored by Simon Klopschinski, Christopher Gibson and Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan (Oxford University Press, 2021, 592 p.).

        The book discusses the treatment of intellectual property rights in the context of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), an area that is drawing the increasing attention of governments, lawyers and academics alike. By investor-state dispute settlement, we mean a mechanism through which an investor from one state can bring arbitral proceedings against a different state, in which it has invested.

        Back in 2011, Simon Klopschinski, one of the book’s co-authors, published a German-language PhD thesis on this issue, which quickly became a seminal work in the field. The 2021 publication is an English edition based on that research (much to the joy of non-German-speaking readers!). It is enhanced with contributions from Christopher Gibson and Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan, and thoroughly updated with discussions of the legal developments that have taken took place in the last 10 years.

      • FOSS Patents: Similarities and differences between #AppRising and #ClubRising (Super League)–the two hottest antitrust topics at the moment

        In direct response to–and partly even as a pre-emptive strike before–the announcement that 12 of the most popular and successful soccer clubs are going to set up their own international break-away league, The Super League, European soccer body UEFA and various national associations and league bodies threatened with retaliation, including but not limited to banning those clubs from domestic tournaments and their players from representing their nations. The founders of the Super League had obviously prepared for that scenario, and they are going to file antitrust lawsuits against those sports bodies. At the same time, some observers predict that the associations will allege that the Super League constitutes an anticompetitive cartel.

        The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) is not at all inclined to act. Instead, the Commission points to other forms of dispute resolution, such as arbitration (though the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport farcically ignores even the most basic principles of competition law as its “judges” are handpicked by association officials).

        In an unmistakable sign that existing competition laws in the EU, its Member States, and the UK (from which 6 of the 12 Super League founding members hail) actually favor the clubs, not the associations, politicians especially in France (Le Parisien: “la France prête à se pencher sur le droit européen pour aider l’UEFA à sanctionner les dissidents”) and the UK are already talking publicly about modifying competition law to legalize the assocations’ envisioned sanctions.

        This means the Super League founders have to win a game not only against their opponents and public sentiment, but also play their most important match on a field with moving goal posts…

      • Patents

        • Alessandro Volta should champion Italian innovation[Ed: Fraunhofer is a de facto patent troll disguised as something else, so we do not need an “Italian Fraunhofer.”]

          The Italian Institute of Technology is a driver of technological innovation. Director Metta says in an interview with IO that he aims to create an Italian Fraunhofer.

        • ABA Ethics Opinion on Virtual Law Practice: [Ed: As if the litigation companies have any sense of ethics; they lie, they extort, and they even misinform their own clients, then get away with it]

          The American Bar Association committee on professional ethics issues opinions on issues which, while not binding on any jurisdiction, often have sway over courts and bar associations in malpractice or disciplinary matters. If you follow their guidance, you, in a sense, start off in safe harbor. Most state rules are similar to the Model Rules, and the USPTO’s disciplinary rules are similar, but not identical, and the USPTO did not adopt the comments to the model rules. Thus, the OED is not bound by ABA ethics opinions but they hold sway.

          In ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 498 (March 10, 2021) (here), the ABA provided guidance on the ethical issues that we all have done a lot of the last year, and which I am guessing we will continue to do for a while: practice law outside the confines of a typical brick-and-mortar, or steel-and-glass, law office. The abstract of the opinion states…

        • Federal Circuit Moves Another Case Out of W.D.Tex. [Ed: Texas is a disgrace to US patent law because it puts litigation money ahead of actual justice, so it's good to see CAFC doing something on the matter]

          In its second go-round in the case, the Federal Circuit has ordered District Court Judge Albright to grant TracFone’s motion to transfer its case to the S.D.Fla. on convenience grounds under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). “We conclude that the district court clearly abused its discretion in denying transfer under § 1404(a).” Generally, Section 1404(a) provides substantial discretion to the district court to determine whether or not to transfer a case to a different venue. The statutory guidelines focus on “the convenience of parties and witnesses [and] the interest of justice”

        • ‘A strong patent portfolio is a valuable asset’: Patent filings shine light on microbial innovation trends [Ed: Marketing spam disguised as 'journalism', in this case for EIP and its patent litigation agenda]

          George James and Monika Rai, who work at intellectual property law firm EIP, recently conducted a study looking at microbial trends in the food and drink landscape. Using EIP’s search and analytics tool, Patently, they examined patent filings placed between 2009 and 2019.

        • Austrian AM market has highest density of 3D printer manufacturers [Ed: Citing EPO patent propaganda, conflating patents with something they're not]

          A recently published study by the European Patent Office (EPO) showed that the Austrian AM market had the largest AM patent applications increase between 2014 and 2017 globally. While the AM patent applications increased by an average of 270% in this period, Austria secured the top international position with a tremendous increase of 1300%.

        • Software Patents

          • Fat Statz patent determined to be likely invalid

            On April 16, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all grounds challenging certain claims of U.S. Patent 9,757,066, owned by Fat Statz, LLC, an NPE. The ’066 patent is generally directed to a behavior management system that allows users to track and compare fitness and health-related data. The ‘066 patent was asserted against Samsung in early 2020.

            While the patent owner attempted to thwart institution by raising an RPI issue at the preliminary stage, the Board noted that the patent owner does not allege that any time bar or estoppel applies in this case and declined to reach the issue, relying on the precedential decision in SharkNinja Operating LLC v. iRobot Corp., IPR2020-00734, Paper 11 (Oct. 6, 2020).

          • $3,000 Awarded for Cedar Lane prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Vibhor Dimri, who received a cash prize of $3,000 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent 8,165,867. This patent is owed by Cedar Lane Technologies, Inc., an NPE. The ’867 patent relates to wirelessly controlling an electronic device with another electronic device in real time. The ’867 patent has been asserted against D-Link, Disney, Dish Network, Comcast, LG, iHeart Media, ViacomCBS, TCL Communication, and SiriusXM.

      • Trademarks

        • Judge Has Some Fun Denying Injunction Requested By One Brewery For Another Over Trademark Suit

          While I write about a great many trademark disputes in these pages, there are certain stories that pique my interest above others, or otherwise become more fun. Writing about trademark issues in the alcohol industries has been something of a passion of mine, for instance. It’s also fun to highlight when the courts get trademark questions right, since far too often the opposite occurs. And, when you have a judge who chooses to embed some humor in their rulings, that gets pretty fun as well.

      • Copyrights

        • Microsoft’s Bing Removed 125 Million ‘Pirate’ URLs Last Year

          Bing has a relatively small market share but that doesn’t mean that copyright holders ignore it. In response to DMCA takedown requests, more than 125 million links were removed from the search engine last year. While this is a significant number, the removal requests were actually slashed in half over the past two years.

        • Nintendo Sues Team-Xecuter’s Gary Bowser For Switch Piracy Offenses

          Last year the U.S. Government indicted three members of the infamous Team-Xecuter group, the alleged masterminds behind various Nintendo hacks. One of those men, Canada resident Gary Bowser, is now being sued by Nintendo in a civil lawsuit demanding damages for numerous and sustained breaches of the DMCA.

Microsoft as a Censorship Machine Working to Undermine Free Software and Code Sharing (Also Sharing in General)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Microsoft is, as usual, a tool of destruction rather than creation; it seems to be better at ruining things and censoring things, notably things that compete against Microsoft or pose a threat to Microsoft’s business model (and close partners, such as RIAA)

THE EFF is working for Microsoft proxies that “filter” (censor) search results based on vague criteria or blind acceptance of DMCA takedown requests (even automated complaints, which are themselves blindly generated). At the same time Microsoft is doing it to code, notably Free software, and the media isn’t talking about it anymore. It seems to have become the ‘norm’ and Microsoft moles run the show. Only because of media coverage about YouTube-DL (growing concern about mass boycotts and exodus) did Microsoft reverse its decision, albeit it didn’t extend to any forks/derivatives. What a lousy publicity stunt.

“It’s truly a shame that only TorrentFreak, which specialises in issues like the DMCA, has been covering this.”Microsoft is leveraging GitHub as a tool of attack against Free software, just as it planned all along (since 2014). It’s truly a shame that only TorrentFreak, which specialises in issues like the DMCA, has been covering this.

The quick (short) video at the top explains the significance of this.

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