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.

Phoronix Needs to Exercise Caution and Stay Vigilant/Careful of Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft at 6:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Taking note or lessons from the blunder of Raspberry Pi (back in February), Phoronix should be careful of Microsoft ‘freebies’ as they’re never free and there are strings attached, destined to alienate longtime supporters

Michael Larabel’s Phoronix is a very important site. It does things no other site does, notably detailed benchmarks and graphics-centric analyses.

“Don’t let it be hijacked by Microsoft with its Free software-hostile agenda.”Yesterday, however, Phoronix did something I wish not to see — a combination of two Azure puff pieces, along with the acknowledgement of a Microsoft role (with gratitude and promotional links thereafter added).

I wasn’t sure how to approach the subject gently enough; after some consideration I decided to just speak frankly and naturally about topics other than the Microsoft aspect.

Phoronix is a very important (some might say cherished) site to the GNU/Linux community. Yes, community. Don’t let it be hijacked by Microsoft with its Free software-hostile agenda.

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 19, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:11 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

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#techrights log as HTML5

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Enter the IRC channels now

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 QmWRxpryfYgi7ek2x2neioJeeikDAHe6KBCuaFpQ4RNcmm IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmSH7A2nJ94dFWCNJQxuRzgzupRApH8T8cUetWbYTA2Cip IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmYmUuWmNkDrCCDd95s1mgukakaptCNxmAXMpykrvMc67Z IRC log for #techbytes
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 Qmbxhq6NPeUXx8a3xh3darddAmUzpwm4Avyto4cJR5EvNG IRC log for #techbytes
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 QmdQhEHSLwY5S8wZZB1B2tm8tsoQmnLiajftNASYs8VMFe IRC log for #techrights
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Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmXNafXd5axgJbMSTJDBhpdahEES6VKHAfwY34G9rygpDN

Links 20/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7.1, Phoronix Takes Microsoft ‘Freebies’, Microsoft Trying to Steal Credit for Linux on Mars

Posted in News Roundup at 12:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Make Linux look like Windows – 2021 edition

        Here we go again. Roughly three years ago, I showed you how to skin your Linux installation to look more like Windows, should your particular taste lean in that direction. It was an interesting little experiment. Also nerdy to the core. But apart from possible nostalgia and tech glamor, there might also be practical reasons for why someone would want to make their distro look more like a Microsoft product. And the answer is: entice non-techie people who expect the familiar.

        Say you install a distro for folks with zero Linux knowledge and some rudimentary Windows familiarity. Normally, this is a recipe for disaster. I call this The Grandma Gentoo Test (TGGT), AKA how likely is the ordinary person to master the subtleties of computer usage without your nerdy help? But this is true for all operating systems, except Windows had been around for a long time, and it’s the primary desktop interface that most people somewhat know how to somewhat use. So then, can you make your chosen distro behave like Windows, and nonce the wiser?

    • Server

      • Annotating Kubernetes Services for Humans | Kubernetes

        Have you ever been asked to troubleshoot a failing Kubernetes service and struggled to find basic information about the service such as the source repository and owner?

        One of the problems as Kubernetes applications grow is the proliferation of services. As the number of services grows, developers start to specialize working with specific services. When it comes to troubleshooting, however, developers need to be able to find the source, understand the service and dependencies, and chat with the owning team for any service.

      • Defining Network Policy Conformance for Container Network Interface (CNI) providers | Kubernetes

        Special thanks to Tim Hockin and Bowie Du (Google), Dan Winship and Antonio Ojea (Red Hat), Casey Davenport and Shaun Crampton (Tigera), and Abhishek Raut and Antonin Bas (VMware) for being supportive of this work, and working with us to resolve issues in different Container Network Interfaces (CNIs) over time.

        A brief conversation around “node local” Network Policies in April of 2020 inspired the creation of a NetworkPolicy subproject from SIG Network. It became clear that as a community, we need a rock-solid story around how to do pod network security on Kubernetes, and this story needed a community around it, so as to grow the cultural adoption of enterprise security patterns in K8s.

      • Certified Kubernetes Administrator

        CKA certification is a problem-solving exam, meaning you don’t have any questions but instead have a number of scenarios to troubleshoot.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #408: Let’s Get Metaphysical

        Hello and welcome to the 408th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts discuss the new, upcoming YOTA contest, Pop! OS, the new amateur radio census, codec2, Linux Mint, the Universal Ham Radio Remote and much more. Thank you for listening and have a great week!

      • Want To Be Like DT? Install Shell-Color-Scripts And Dmscripts!

        In the last couple of weeks, I have spent literally dozens of hours cleaning up various config files and scripts and package builds. It was time to do some major spring cleaning, not just to make sure all of my builds work, but because eventually I want to create a proper deployment script for my XMonad/Emacs desktop.

      • Amarok Linux 3.1

        In this video, we are looking at Amarok Linux 3.1. Enjoy!

      • Vimiv: The Love Child Of Ranger And Sxiv

        Everything needs vim keys even your image viewer so what if we took 2 applications styles those being Ranger and Sxiv, smashed them together, added some extra vim keys for good measure. Then we’d have Vimiv the topic for today.

      • Destination Linux 222: Is Flatpak A Security Nightmare? Plus Interview with ONLYOFFICE

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we are going to discuss Flatpak’s security for whether or not the concerns of a particular website is Fact or FUD. Then we’ll be joined by Michael Korotaev of OnlyOffice for an interview about their open-source office suite. Later in the show, we’ll take a look at the System76 announcement for their new COSMIC Desktop Environment. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

    • Kernel Space

      • KFence Memory Safety Error Checking Is Looking Good For Minimal Overhead On Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

        Of the many new features coming with Linux 5.12 is KFence, short for the Kernel Electric Fence. KFence is a low-overhead memory safety error detector/validator for the kernel with lower expected overhead costs than say the Kernel Address Sanitizer. I just wrapped up some benchmarks looking out for any overhead impact of KFence on Linux 5.12 in its near-final state.

        KFence is a memory safety error detector/validator designed for use within production environments and thus is optimized for low overhead. KFence aims to be more efficient than the robust Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASAN) and that it’s low overhead enough to be used on production systems where KASAN is generally avoided.

      • Microsoft Adding Azure “MANA” Driver To Linux [Ed: Contributing to Linux bloat for things you absolutely do not need]

        Microsoft is preparing the Linux kernel for some yet-to-debut Azure network functionality.

      • AMD EPYC 7003 Series Performance In The Cloud With Microsoft Azure HBv3 HPC VMs [Ed: Is Microsoft paying (or giving 'free' stuff) to Phoronix now?]

        Thanks to Microsoft for allowing us to run these benchmarks as we wish in the Azure cloud.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Samuel Iglesias: Low Resolution Z Buffer support on Turnip

          Last year I worked on implementing in Turnip the support for a HW feature present in Qualcomm Adreno GPUs: the low-resolution Z buffer (aka LRZ). This is a HW feature already supported in Freedreno, which is the open-source OpenGL driver for these GPUs.

          What is low-resolution Z buffer

          Low-resolution Z buffer is very similar to a depth prepass that helps the HW avoid executing the fragment shader on those fragments that will be subsequently discarded by the depth test afterwards (Hidden surface removal). This feature comes with some limitations though, such as the fragment shader not being allowed to have side effects (writing to SSBOs, atomic operations, etc) among others.

          The interesting part of this feature is that it allows the applications to submit the vertices in any order (saving CPU time that was otherwise used on ordering them) and the HW will process them in the binning pass as explained below, detecting which ones are occluded and giving an increase in performance in some specific use cases due to this.

        • Google Deprecating RenderScript In Favor Of Vulkan Compute – Phoronix

          Google announced today that with Android 12.0 they will be deprecating their RenderScript APIs. Moving forward Android developers should primarily target the Vulkan API for high performance compute needs.

          RenderScript has been an API around since Android 3.0 for heterogeneous CPU/GPU programming and for some time even had a 3D rendering API. RenderScript though has been of less relevance with GPU compute being available for some time via Vulkan and even OpenGL. Some current Android devices only support RenderScript for CPU-only execution and with Android 12.0 the APIs will be deprecated.

        • Vulkan 1.2.176 Released With VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state2

          It’s been just one week since the release of Vulkan 1.2.175 that introduced the Vulkan Video extensions while out this morning is now the Vulkan 1.2.176 revision.

    • Applications

      • Best Clipboard Monitoring Apps for Linux

        This article will cover a list of useful “clipboard monitoring” apps for Linux. Some desktop environments have built-in support for clipboard monitoring and they provide clipboard monitoring panel applets by default. The term “clipboard monitoring” refers to the practice of keeping a track / log of content copied on your desktop through keyboard shortcuts and mouse interactions. Since clipboard monitoring tools keep a history of copied content, you can review entries in the clipboard history and re-use / paste content that was copied earlier.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • What I learned of the VOIP hacker scene by setting up a SIP Honeypot

        I got interested in telephones and the Voice Over IP (VOIP) scene soon after reading Phil Lapsley’s Exploding the phone (2013). According to the book, there is a whole underground of VOIP hackers. I had not come across them while lurking in the information security scene. After my interest sparked, I started paying more attention to telephone-related security research.

      • Listing the contents of a remote ZIP archive, without downloading the entire file

        This got me thinking if it might be possible, to construct some minimal set of requests, that only gets the part of the ZIP file containing information about its content.

        I didn’t really know anything about the ZIP file format beforehand, so this might be trivial if you are already familiar, but as it turns out, ZIP files contain information about their contents in a data block at the end of the file called the Central Directory.

        This means that it’s only this part of the archive that’s required in order to list out the content.

      • [Old] Setup Pi-Hole to protect your network and privacy

        To be able to understand what a DNS sinkhole is you have to first understand what DNS is and does. DNS is short for Domain Name System and it basically does the same thing phonebook does. It translates numbers to names because numbers are a lot harder to memorize. When you want to visit www.vikash.nl your computer will put that request out to a DNS server on your network which will translate that name to the IP address where www.vikash.nl is living. This is also called a DNS query. Pi-Hole is a DNS server so if you setup a Pi-Hole on your network it will answer the DNS queries for all the devices in your network and this means that you can redirect DNS lookup to anywhere you like. You now have the power to redirect DNS queries to ad-serving networks to an alternate IP address basically eliminating those from showing on any device connected to your network :). This process is called DNS sinkhole and also how Pi-Hole works. If you want to read more about it check out this Wikipedia article.

      • Bandwidth management in go-IPFS

        In this article I will explain a few important parameters for the reference IPFS node server go-ipfs in order to manage the bandwidth correctly for your usage.

      • Gemini Quickstart!

        More details are in the Official Gemini FAQ. Be aware that it’s targeted at a more technical audience than this quick start page, so you might want to skip it for now and come back later. The main thing to know is that you’re going to get a much more stripped-down experience compared to the modern WWW, but that’s okay! Some of the choices made to keep Gemini simple may seem too extreme, compared to even a bare-bones web site, but there are hidden benefits that won’t be obvious at first.

      • dRAID, Finally! A sneak-peak into the latest, and long-awaited feature of OpenZFS

        Admins will often use wide RAID stripes to maximize usable storage given a number of spindles. RAID-Z deployments with large stripe widths, ten or larger, are subject to poor resilver performance for a number of reasons. Resilvering a full vdev means reading from every healthy disk and continuously writing to the new spare. This will saturate the replacement disk with writes while scattering seeks over the rest of the vdev. For 14 wide RAID-Z2 vdevs using 12TB spindles, rebuilds can take weeks. Resilver I/O activity is deprioritized when the system has not been idle for a minimum period. Full zpools get fragmented and require additional I/O’s to recalculate data during reslivering. A pool can degenerate into a never ending cycle of rebuilds or loss of the pool Aka: the Death Spiral.

      • Linux 101: $HOME is where the heart is – TechRepublic

        In Linux, there’s no place like ~/, or $HOME or just home. That’s right, three ways to say the same thing. For new Linux users, this can get confusing. First off, what is home? Why are there numerous ways to notate home? Let’s see if we can solve this puzzle together.

      • How to check if a port is open on remote Linux system

        When installing or configuring an application in the Linux system, the associated port should also be open which allows the application for external access. If the application port is not open, it will make the program throw errors and hence malfunction.

        For instance, when you configure the Apache Web server on Linux, you must open ports 80 and 443 that listens to incoming connections for Apache on the firewall, and that allows users to access websites hosted on your web server through the browser.

      • Lukas “lzap” Zapletal: Crop and resize video to get rid of borders

        We stream our community demos on youtube via Google Meet and there are borders on each side which makes the content to be smaller and less readable. Luckily, it is in the middle of the screen, so the following command will crop the image to its 1/1.29 of the size, stretch it back to 720p and reencodes it for YouTube copying the audio stream.

      • Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM) tutorial

        Logical Volume Manager (LVM) is used on Linux to manage hard drives and other storage devices. As the name implies, it can sort raw storage into logical volumes, making it easy to configure and use.

        In this guide, you’ll learn how LVM works on Linux systems. There’s no better way to learn about LVM than simply running through an example, which is exactly what we’ll do in the steps below. LVM works the same on any Linux distribution, so you can use any of the commands below on your own system.

        Follow along with us as we use LVM to create partitions, physical volumes, a virtual group, logical volumes, and filesystems on a hard disk. We’ll also show how to mount, extend, and remove our newly created logical volumes. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a full understanding of how to use LVM and apply your own configurations.

      • How to Install LAMP in Ubuntu in 3 steps

        In this article we are going to install the famous Linux Apache PHP and MySQL web services. The article is going to use the tasksel Ubuntu app.

      • How to Access Another Computer on the Same Network with Linux?

        There are many reasons for accessing another computer on the home or office network from your laptop or desktop.

      • How To Install macOS in a Virtual Machine on Ubuntu Linux

        QEMU is a virtual machine emulator and virtualizer which is quite similar to VMware and VirtualBox on Windows. Users often use QEMU alongside KVM as it provides a natively implemented virtual machine on the Linux kernel.

        The major advantage of QEMU is that it is very easy to set up and manage. Also, creating virtual machines from the command line has never been simpler with QEMU. You can also use a GUI interface with QEMU/KVM, and the preferred GUI manager of choice is virt-manager. Running virtual machines will provide you so with many other benefits as well.

        After you have finished testing a QEMU/KVM virtual machine and no longer need it, you can easily delete the virtual disk file associated with the virtual machine.

      • Grep Exclude Term

        Global regular expression print is a versatile terminal-based utility. As the name shows that it helps in searching the text within the file with the help of regular expressions. Grep is firstly originated as a Unix utility to run on that operating platform. After Linux configuration, it can access many applications on this operating system. Most Grep functions are included in the matching of the text of the file present in the command. Exclude function is also as useful as matching any pattern and displaying it because it helps remove the particular match from the file. It helps to exclude the word or words from the lines in a file. We can get help from the man page in the system by applying the below-appended command.

      • How to install Docker containers via Cockpit on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        The Cockpit is an easy solution to manage server resources remotely using the graphical web interface. It is not only light in weight but also present to install in most of the Linux repositories such as in popular Ubuntu, RedHat, Fedora, and CentOS to install with just a single command.

        Well, if we talk about Docker container management in Cockpit, then this really helpful to easily manage virtual machines or containers graphically. Yes, we can install and delete containers using few mouse clicks. No need to go through the command line to manage them. However, in Ubuntu 20.04 the Docker package for Cockpit is not available to install but we can do that manually by directly installing its Deb file. Here, we let you know how to do that in this tutorial.

      • Vim Reload Vimrc Without Closing – Linux Hint

        Vim is a versatile, fully accessible text editor that is also Vi-compatible. It is being used to make changes to any form of document. It comes in handy when modifying C/Perl/Python programs. It can also be used to modify configuration documents in Linux/Unix systems. /.vimrc is a document that you can use to configure and launch Vim. This article will show you how to update and reload the vimrc document in Linux despite rebooting the Vim editor.

      • LFCA: Learn Classes of Network IP Addressing Range – Part 11

        In Part 10 of the LFCA series, we brushed over the classes of IP addresses and gave examples of the commonly used IP classes. However, that was just an overview and in this part, we will dive deeper and gain more understanding about IP addressing range and the number of hosts and networks each class of IP provides.

      • Cpufetch – Check CPU information on linux terminal
      • How to check if a port is open on remote Linux system

        When installing or configuring an application in the Linux system, the associated port should also be open which allows the application for external access. If the application port is not open, it will make the program throw errors and hence malfunction.

        For instance, when you configure the Apache Web server on Linux, you must open ports 80 and 443 that listens to incoming connections for Apache on the firewall, and that allows users to access websites hosted on your web server through the browser.

      • How to install MySQL Workbench on Ubuntu

        MySQL Workbench is a cross-platform visual tool that allows users to manage SQL databases and SQL development. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get the MySQL Workbench tool up and running on Ubuntu Linux.

      • How to change Text Size in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        If you are having difficulty reading the text on the screen when using an Ubuntu system, there are many ways you can fix this according to your visual requirements.

        In this article, we will describe three ways you can change the screen text size in Ubuntu.
        We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on an Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.

      • How to Use and Edit the Hosts File in Linux – Make Tech Easier

        If you’ve ever managed multiple servers from a Linux machine or set up some kind of home lab, then you know how useful the “hosts” file can be in Linux. However, some of you might not even know it exists, much less how to leverage it to make your life easier. That’s why we are guiding you through how to use and edit the hosts file in Linux.

      • How To Install PHP 8 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PHP 8 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, PHP is arguably one of the most widely used server-side programming languages to create dynamic websites such as E-commerce sites, Blogs, WordPress, etc.

        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 PHP 8 on Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver). You can follow the same instructions for any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Season of KDE: Calamares

          I’m not a good mentor-as-a-side-gig. I know that now. I shouldn’t mix mentoring with other activities – like coding full-time and being on the board of KDE e.V. and doing FreeBSD things too – so this is the last one for me until circumstances change.

          But for Anubhav Choudhary I hope this isn’t the last he participates in KDE things, in Open Source things, in C++ and Python and community activities. Mostly I’ll point at getting started and wrapping up. Getting started in college while also participating in a software project in partly-familiar language with people several timezones away over low-bandwidth communications is an achievement in its own right, regardless of what was actually built.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • [Old] Gnome 40 – The anti-desktop desktop

          Gnome 40 is Gnome. Simple. A desktop environment that caters to a weird “minimalistic” model that introduces touch-like inefficiency into the world of classic computing. The naming conventions falsely raises expectations, but it’s a standard release, with a few new options, a few small visual changes, and some tweaks behind the scenes. You can’t really decouple most of the experience from Fedora.

          I wasn’t impressed really. Scaling, fonts, overall ergonomics are all off – and slowly getting worse as time goes by. Just setting up the framework to use extensions – so you can have basic desktop functionality present in 100% of all other desktop setups in the world – is frustrating. A total waste of time. I need a dozen steps just to be able to see my application shortcuts all the time. Why bother? However, there’s one advantage to Gnome – it’s a good indicator of where the future of Linux lies. So a decade from now, the Linux desktop will gently, gracefully make itself completely irrelevant to everyday computing. But hey. I’m on my happy pills. Smiley face, bye bye.

        • Philip Withnall: Simple HTTP profiling of applications using sysprof

          This is a quick write-up of a feature I added last year to libsoup and sysprof which exposes basic information about HTTP/HTTPS requests to sysprof, so they can be visualised in GNOME Builder.


          There’s plenty of scope for building this out into a more fully-featured way of inspecting HTTP requests using sysprof. By doing it from inside the process, using sysprof – rather than from outside, using Wireshark – this allows for visibility into TLS-encrypted conversations.

    • Distributions

      • Why the most beautiful Linux desktop is Garuda Linux KDE version
      • Why MX Linux is the most downloaded Linux desktop distribution
      • BSD

        • Interview with Michael Lucas *BSD, Unix, IT and other books author

          Michael Lucas is a famous IT book author. Perhaps best know for FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Unix book series. He worked as a system administrator for many years and has now become a full-time book writer. Lately, I did a quick Q and A with Michael about his journey as a professional book author and his daily workflow for writing books.


          In 1995, I was responsible for a couple of heavily loaded client-facing nameservers. Most operating systems folded under the load. I worked nights. When a nameserver imploded, I got called and had to fix it. This was before virtualization, before remote consoles, before VPNs. My Internet access at home was a 33.6kB dialup, and I could either be on the phone or connected to the network. I tried Linux, SunOS, UnixWare. I even tried a Windows NT nameserver, out of sheer desperation.

          The day I installed a FreeBSD nameserver, I got a glorious ten hours of uninterrupted sleep.

        • OpenSSH 8.6 released

          OpenSSH 8.6 is now available. The “ssh-rsa” signature scheme, which uses the SHA-1 hash algorithm, will be disabled by default in the near future. “Note that the deactivation of “ssh-rsa” signatures does not necessarily require cessation of use for RSA keys. In the SSH protocol, keys may be capable of signing using multiple algorithms. In particular, “ssh-rsa” keys are capable of signing using “rsa-sha2-256″ (RSA/SHA256), “rsa-sha2-512″ (RSA/SHA512) and “ssh-rsa” (RSA/SHA1). Only the last of these is being turned off by default.”

        • The Call for Talk and presentation proposals for EuroBSDCon 2021 is now open.

          EuroBSDcon is the European technical conference for users and developers of BSD-based systems. The conference is scheduled to take place September 16-19 2021 in Vienna, Austria or as an all-online event if COVID-19 developments dictate. The tutorials will be held on Thursday and Friday to registered participants and the talks are presented to conference attendees on Saturday and Sunday.

          The Call for Talk and Presentation proposals period will close on May 26th, 2021. Prospective speakers will be notified of acceptance or otherwise by June 1st, 2021.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Ubuntu Budgie 21.04 overview | Simplicity and Elegance in one package.

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of Ubuntu Budgie 21.04 and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • openSUSE 15.3 First Impressions & Preview

          openSUSE 15.3 is the next version of Leap, due to be released this year. I decided to take a look at the upcoming distro in its current state, to not only refresh myself on openSUSE itself, but to also see what the developers are up to nowadays.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed: My First Impressions

          Since I checked out openSUSE 15.3 recently, I thought it was only fair that I also check out Tumbleweed as well. Tumbleweed is a rolling distribution that’s always updated, and is a great fit for people that prefer the “install once, update forever” mentality.

      • EasyOS

        • SeaMonkey bumped to

          Just a short post. There has been a bugfix release of SeaMonkey. EasyOS has SM 2.53.7. I have compiled SM and it will be in the next release of Easy, expected to be version 2.7.1.

        • Support for Samsung printers

          OK, I got those two files ‘rastertospl’ and ‘ libscmssc.so’ and created a PET, ‘printer-driver-samsung-1.00.39-amd64.pet’. It is about 1Mb so will increase the size of ‘easy.sfs’ by that amount.
          Have included it in the build, but there has to be a limit to this of course. There are so many other special files for various brands of printer and scanner.

        • Brightness control in the tray

          I have compiled ‘setcolortemperature’ package in OE. This has the ‘sct’ executable.
          Added this to the package-list for Easy, as well as the ‘brightness-control’ PET that provides the tray operation (and uses sct).

        • EasyOS Dunfell 2.7.1 released

          For the non-English builds, at bootup, the initrd is supposed to ask for keyboard layout and password via nice GTK GUI windows. However, that is failing, and there is fallback to text-mode. The English build only uses text-mode, so that is not an issue.
          The downside of that fallback for the non-English builds, is there is a slight delay at bootup, when it tries to run Xorg within the initramfs, and it fails.
          Regarding printing for Samsung printers, I included a file ‘/usr/lib/libscmssc.so’, but think it might not be needed for the foomatic PPDs. Would be good to confirm that, as it is 2MB so would be good to leave out of the build, easy.sfs.

        • EasyOS Dunfell-series 2.7.1

          EasyOS was created in 2017, derived from Quirky Linux, which in turn was derived from Puppy Linux in 2013. Easy is built in woofQ, which takes as input binary packages from any distribution, and uses them on top of the unique EasyOS infrastructure.
          Throughout 2020, the official release for x86_64 PCs was the Buster-series, built with Debian 10.x Buster DEBs.
          EasyOS has also been built with packages compiled from source, using a fork of OpenEmbedded (OE). Currently, the Dunfell release of OE has been used, to compile two sets of binary packages, for x86_64 and aarch64.
          The latter have been used to build EasyOS for the Raspberry Pi4, and first official release, 2.6.1, was in January 2021.
          The page that you are reading now has the release notes for EasyOS Dunfell-series on x86_64 PCs, also debuting in 2021.
          To try and keep things simple, all three, the Dunfell-series on Pi4 and the Dunfell-series and Buster-series on the PC, all are (approximately) sync’ed at the same version number.
          However, there are differences in the maturity of each. In the case of the Pi4, the hardware still has some issues. For Dunfell-series on the PC, as the packages are all compiled from source, they are not as tested as those in the Buster-series.
          The “2.7.1″ is for EasyOS itself, the infrastructure, support-glue, system scripts and system management and configuration applications.
          Version 2.7.1 is becoming mature, though is an experimental distribution and some parts are under development and are still considered as beta-quality. However, you will find this distro to be a very pleasant surprise, or so we hope.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Ben Cotton: Balancing incoming tasks in volunteer projects

          Open source (and other volunteer-driven) communities are often made up of a “team of equals.” Each member of the group is equally empowered to act on incoming tasks. But balancing the load is not easy. One of two things happens: everyone is busy with other work and assumes someone else will handle it, or a small number of people immediately jump on every task that comes in. Both of these present challenges for the long-term health of the team.

          Bystander effect

          The first situation is known as the “bystander effect.” Because every member of the team bears an equal responsibility, each member of the team assumes that someone else will take an incoming task. The sociological research is apparently mixed, but I’ve observed this enough to know that it’s at least possible in some teams. You’ve likely heard the saying “if everyone is responsible then no one is.”

          The Bystander effect has two outcomes. The first is that the team drops the task. No one acts on it. If the task happens to be an introduction from a new member or the submission of content, this demoralizes the newcomer. If the team drops enough tasks, the new tasks stop coming.

          The other possibility is that someone eventually notices that no one else is taking the task, so they take it. In my experience, it’s generally the same person who does this every time. Eventually, they begin to resent the other members of the team. They may burn out and leave.


          After learning my lesson with the Fedora Community Blog, I was hesitant to be too aggressive with taking tasks as an editor of the Fedora Magazine. But the Magazine team was definitely suffering from the bystander effect.

          To fix this, I proposed having an Editor of the Week. Each week, one person volunteers to be responsible for making sure new article pitches got timely responses and the comments were moderated. Any of the editors are free to help with those tasks, but the Editor of the Week is the one accountable for them.

          It’s not a perfect system. The Editor of the Week role is taken on a volunteer basis, so some editors serve more frequently than others. Still, it seems to work well for us overall. Pitches get feedback more quickly than in the past, and we’re not putting all of the work on one person’s plate.

        • Visit Red Hat Summit’s Community Central

          In case you haven’t heard, Red Hat Summit is doing a new format for 2021, with two online events scheduled in April and June, followed by a global tour of small-scale, in-person events, if the global health circumstances allow.

          Having an online event does not mean there won’t be opportunities for attendees to meet with many of our open source communities and teams that make an impact on the open source ecosystem.

        • Announcing the winners of the 15th annual Red Hat Innovation Awards

          Now in its 15th year, the Red Hat Innovation Awards recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world who demonstrate creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology. This year’s winners are Argentine Ministry of Health and Social Development; Education Payroll Limited; Ireland Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Medifé Asociación Civil and Volkswagen AG.

        • Recognizing the 2021 Red Hat Innovation Awards honorable mentions

          Earlier today, we announced the winners of the 2021 Red Hat Innovation Awards, recognizing the technological achievements of our customers around the world. Each year we receive so many strong entries that showcase creative problem-solving, innovative thinking and transformative uses of Red Hat technology that we want to bring more of those stories to you.

          This year’s honorable mentions highlight an additional group of customers using open source technology to make waves in their respective industries – Moody’s Corporation, NTT DATA Corporation, TIAA and Vodafone Idea Limited.

        • How to start your AI/ML journey

          Even though artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) have been around for some time, only recently, when computing power is affordable, have companies started investing in AI/ML. What was once technology only accessible and affordable to enterprises has become more widely available.

          When using AI/ML technology right, organizations can achieve a variety of benefits such as predictive maintenance of hardware on a factory floor, cross-sell products to existing customers, identifying customers’ churn before it happens, and improving customer services—just to name a few.

          Some organizations have implemented machine learning technology but have not seen the expected return on their investment. Several factors may impact the success of machine learning in streamlining operations: data quality and availability, managing model lifecycle, re-training of models, and collaboration between teams and departments. So what are some things you can do to help ensure success with your AI/ML investment?

          This post will provide a roadmap on how to adopt AI/ML into your organization.

        • Capture Oracle database events in Apache Kafka with Debezium – Red Hat Developer

          One of the most requested connector plug-ins is coming to Red Hat Integration. You can now stream your data from Oracle databases with the Debezium connector for Oracle in developer preview.

          With this new connector, developers can leverage the power of the 100% open source Debezium project to stream their Oracle data to Red Hat AMQ Streams Apache Kafka clusters with Red Hat Integration.

          This article gives an overview of the Debezium connector for Oracle. It takes you through the steps to get started streaming your Oracle database, so you can achieve “liberation for your data.”

        • Connect AMQ Streams to your Red Hat OpenShift 4 monitoring stack – Red Hat Developer

          Monitoring systems in use is one of the greatest challenges in cloud environments. Users always want to know how their applications work in production. For example, they want to know how Red Hat OpenShift utilizes its resources; or how to monitor systems in use like Red Hat AMQ Streams.

          AMQ Streams, the enterprise version of Strimzi, exports many useful metrics from Apache Kafka clusters, Apache Zookeeper clusters, and other components. We can use Prometheus to scrape these metrics and display them in Grafana dashboards. Exporting AMQ Streams metrics to Grafana is quite easy, and using the existing monitoring stack on OpenShift 4 is easy, as well.

          This article shows you how to quickly set up a new or pre-existing AMQ Streams deployment with a default OpenShift 4 monitoring stack.

      • Debian Family

        • Jonathan Carter Has Been Re-Elected As Debian Project Leader

          The Debian developer community, who develops the popular Linux-based Debian operating system, has re-elected South African developer Jonathan Carter as their great leader with a 210 votes favoring him over the Indian challenger Sruthi Chandran. The Debian community has also voted against participating in any ongoing online mob bullying targeting elderly individuals.


          Jonathan Carter a number of Debian packages, including many gaming-focused ones like Lutris, MangoHud, vkBasalt and Starfighter.

          Both of this years DPL candidates published platform documents outlining their plans if they were to be re-elected. Sruthi Chandran stated that she would be working towards bringing more diversity and more “non-male” candidates into the Debian community.

        • Ritesh Raj Sarraf: Catching Up Your Sources

          I’ve mostly had the preference of controlling my data rather than depend on someone else. That’s one reason why I still believe email to be my most reliable medium for data storage, one that is not plagued/locked by a single entity. If I had the resources, I’d prefer all digital data to be broken down to its simplest form for storage, like email format, and empower the user with it i.e. their data.

          Yes, there are free services that are indirectly forced upon common users, and many of us get attracted to it. Many of us do not think that the information, which is shared for the free service in return, is of much importance. Which may be fair, depending on the individual, given that they get certain services without paying any direct dime.


          So for my communication, I like to prefer emails over any other means. That doesn’t mean I don’t use the current trends. I do. But this blog is mostly about penning my desires. And desire be to have communication over email format.

          Such is the case that for information useful over the internet, I crave to have it formatted in email for archival.

          RSS feeds is my most common mode of keeping track of information I care about. Not all that I care for is available in RSS feeds but hey such is life. And adaptability is okay.

          But my preference is still RSS.

          So I use RSS feeds through a fine software called feed2imap. A software that fits my bill fairly well.

        • ProtonMail Bridge

          There is a new tool available for Sparkers: ProtonMail Bridge

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • [Older] Jakub Steiner: Ingenuity FPV

        When I previously posted about the Perseverance landing, I didn’t realize NASA has actually published textured models of the lander and it’s cute not-so-little maritan helicopter, Ingenuity.

      • BREAKING NEWS: Linux Flies on Mars

        The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the American space agency responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research.

        A tiny and extremely lightweight helicopter, named Ingenuity, was transported to Mars in NASA’s Perseverance Rover. Ingenuity was deployed on 3 April 2021.

        NASA has successfully flown this helicopter on the red planet today.

        As it’s primarily a technology demonstration, Ingenuity’s first powered flight on the alien planet was brief. The Mars-copter flew to about 3m, hover, swivel and safely land in its momentous 40 second flight. But it’s a huge step forwards, paving the way for longer flights and the prospect of this technology undertaking reconnaissance missions.


        This is a moment in history for us to remember. An open source operating system built by thousands flies a helicopter on another planet.

      • Flying on Mars fueled with open-source software [Ed: Publicity stunt by Microsoft, pretending that it is somehow responsible for everything that has a little code in GitHub]

        A small miracle happened at 3:31am ET on Monday morning. Ingenuity, a tiny NASA helicopter, became the first powered aircraft to fly on another planet, Mars. This engineering feat was done with Linux, open-source software, and a NASA-built program based on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) open-source F´ (pronounced F prime) framework.


        JPL developers have long used and contributed back to open-source projects. But, with F’, for the first time, JPL started its own open-source project. That’s because, according to Jeff Levison, JPL’s supervisor of the small-scale flight software group, there were few applications for JPL’s flight software outside of NASA. “It didn’t make much sense before because our software was so tightly paired with custom hardware,” explains Levison. “There wasn’t really a driving need or benefit in releasing it to the public.”

      • Open source PinePhone modem firmware now supports audio, GPS, and power management

        Most modern smartphones actually run two different operating systems – there’s the one you interact with directly and there’s the firmware running on the modem system-on-a-chip, which is basically like its own little computer.

        So even a phone like the PinePhone that’s designed to run free and open source (usually Linux-based) operating systems might ship with closed-source, proprietary firmware installed on the phone’s Quectel E25-G modem.

        But a few months ago a small team of independent developers released an open source alternative. It was a bit buggy at the time, but it was mostly free of proprietary “blobs.”

        Since then, developers Biktor and Konrad Konrad have continued working on their software, and it’s now pretty close to being a fully functional replacement for the PinePhone’s default modem firmware.

      • Dual Ethernet SigmaStar SSD201/SSD202 SBC supports 4-inch or 7-inch displays

        SigmaStar SSD201/SSD202 are low-cost, highly integrated SoC’s with a dual Cortex-A7 processor, 64MB to 128MB on-chip RAM designed for Full HD smart displays, but we’ve also found SSD201 in a 4G LTE industrial gateway.

        There’s now a different type of board based on the SigmaStar processors with Wireless Tag/Industio IDO-SBC2D06-V1B-12W and IDO-SBC2D06-V1B-22W SBC’s powered respectively by SSD201 and SSD202, and both equipped with dual Ethernet and a connector for a 4-inch or 7-inch display.

      • Tough Tiger Lake system boasts quad displays and quad Ethernet

        MiTac’s fanless, rugged “MP1-11TGS” computer combines an 11th Gen Core CPU with 2.5GbE and up to 3x GbE ports, quadruple displays, 4x USB 3.1 Gen2, hot-swap SATA, and 2x M.2 slots.

        ICP Germany announced an industrial computer from its partner MiTac that features Intel’s 10nm, 11th Gen Tiger Lake-ULP3 platform. Like Avalue’s 240 x 150 x 48mm EMS-TGL and Vecow’s 150.4 x 106.2 x 48.1mm SPC-7000/7100 embedded PCs, MiTac’s 210 x 150 x 63mm MP1-11TGS supports the more embedded “E” Tiger Lake models that were announced after the initial launch. However, it does not provide the functional safety enabled “GRE” options supported by the Avalue system.

      • Pi-sized SBCs run Linux on RK3328 and Allwinner H3

        SmartBoardHome has announced two 85 x 56mm SBCs that run Linux: a “Pi-R2S3328-B” with an RK3328 and dual GbE ports and a “Pi-PC-H3 PK” with an Allwinner H3, HDMI, CSI, LAN, 2x USB, WiFi, and 40-pin GPIO.

        Shenzhen-based embedded computing vendor Shenzhen Pumpb Techical Co., Ltd has made us aware of its SmartBoardHome unit/brand. The 10-year old company, which is associated with “brother company” Xihai Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd, sent us a notice about several new products, two of which run Linux: a “Smart Route Board Dual 1000M Ethernet Port 1GB DDR4 OpenWrt Pi-R2S3328-B” with a quad -A53 Rockchip RK3328 and a “Single Board Computer Mini PC embedded computer H3 Quad-Core micro circuit board Pi-PC-H3 PK Raspberry Pi.”

      • UK to investigate ARM-NVIDIA deal on national security grounds

        The United Kingdom has announced that it is looking afresh at the proposed deal between GPU vendor NVIDIA and CPU specialist ARM, with the former to buy the latter for US$40 billion (A$51.5 billion), on the grounds of national security.

      • ARM in the Datacenter

        All the major server suppliers have either announced, or are already selling, ARM servers. We are also seeing companies that are solely focused on Arm-based servers.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Building a better battery analyzer with Arduino | Arduino Blog

          Your favorite device has just run out of juice, so you quickly take off the cover and reach into that old stash of alkaline batteries you have lying around. After trying countless combinations, you still cannot be sure they’re working properly, as each one has been slightly used. If only there were a way to know.

          In comes a maker named Moragor with his take on a battery analyzer. The one he built doesn’t just measure the voltage for a certain type of battery. Instead, users can select from three different types (alkaline, NiMh, or Li-on), along with the current from a sleek OLED display. Then, values get read, shown, and also logged to an SD card for more advanced analysis. The entire device is based on a custom PCB that acts as a shield for an Arduino Mega.

        • Librem 14 in Pictures

          We are excited that the Librem 14 is shipping, and we are so pleased with the production model that we wanted to share some brand new pictures of it inside and out…

        • Zenreader: A 4.7 inches E-Ink RSS Reader Powered by ESP32

          The ESP32 is a microcontroller that has very little RAM and isn’t quite suited to deal with HTML and such. So I had to use a Raspberry Pi as a rendering proxy and transforms the RSS and the text on the page so that the ESP32 can digest. The idea is to transform XML RSS to JSON and transform any article URL to plaintext by a nodejs script via an HTTP API SaaS or whatever you call it. Even so, I think I’m stretching the ability of the little controller. Anyways, it works most of the time – or at least, I hope, not worse than the Kindle. At least now I can flip one page at a time.

        • It’s easier than ever to add two-way communication to Arduino devices

          There’s a brand new device-to-device communication feature available now in the Arduino IoT Cloud. It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time. So we’re excited to see how it’ll add a whole new connected dimension to your Arduino projects.


          Combined with IoT Cloud’s dashboards this delivers a powerful new way to build incredible automations with minimal (if any) changes. Furthermore, it gives you smartphone control of your connected boards via the existing Arduino IoT Remote iOS and Android apps.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • HarmonyOS 2.0 update tracker: HongMeng OS 2.0 Release date, beta, & other info

        According to data from Statcounter, Huawei has, over the past year, been holding steady at about 10% of the global Mobile Vendor Market Share, trailing behind Korean tech giant Samsung at about 31% and Apple at 25% market share.

        This is rather impressive, especially seeing as Huawei’s sales outside of China have been greatly handicapped owing to the ongoing tension between the Chinese tech giant and the U.S.

      • Web Browsers

        • Daniel Stenberg: Mars 2020 Helicopter Contributor [Ed: Daniel Stenberg helps Microsoft liars steal credit for other people’s work. PR stunt.]

          Friends of mine know that I’ve tried for a long time to get confirmation that curl is used in space. We’ve believed it to be likely but I’ve wanted to get a clear confirmation that this is indeed the fact.

        • curl those funny IPv4 addresses

          All of these versions shown above work with most tools that accept IPv4 addresses and sometimes you can bypass filters and protection systems by switching to another format so that you don’t match the filters. It has previously caused problems in node and perl packages and I’m guessing numerous others. It’s a feature that is often forgotten, ignored or just not known.

          It begs the question why this very liberal support was once added and allowed but I’ve not been able to figure that out – maybe because of how it matches class A/B/C networks. The support for this syntax seems to have been introduced with the inet_aton() function in the 4.2BSD release in 1983.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 88.0 and 78.10 ESR

            Firefox 88 has been released. New features include support for PDF forms with embedded JavaScript and smooth pinch-zooming using a touchpad, and better protection against cross-site privacy leaks. See this article for more information on how Firefox 88 combats window.name privacy abuses.

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Never too late for Firefox 88

            April is upon us, and we have a most timely release for you — Firefox 88. In this release you will find a bunch of nice CSS additions including :user-valid and :user-invalid support and image-set() support, support for regular expression match indices, removal of FTP protocol support for enhanced security, and more!

          • Changes to themeable areas of Firefox in version 89 | Mozilla Add-ons Blog

            Firefox’s visual appearance will be updated in version 89 to provide a cleaner, modernized interface. Since some of the changes will affect themeable areas of the browser, we wanted to give theme artists a preview of what to expect as the appearance of their themes may change when applied to version 89.

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Firefox 88 combats window.name privacy abuses

            We are pleased to announce that Firefox 88 is introducing a new protection against privacy leaks on the web. Under new limitations imposed by Firefox, trackers are no longer able to abuse the window.name property to track users across websites.

            Since the late 1990s, web browsers have made the window.name property available to web pages as a place to store data. Unfortunately, data stored in window.name has been allowed by standard browser rules to leak between websites, enabling trackers to identify users or snoop on their browsing history. To close this leak, Firefox now confines the window.name property to the website that created it.

      • Programming/Development

        • POCL 1.7-RC1 Up For Testing, Now Exposes OpenCL 3.0

          The first release candidate is up for version 1.7 of the Portable Computing Language, the portable OpenCL implementation that can run on CPUs and other accelerators. With POCL 1.7, OpenCL 3.0 is now being exposed and there is also improved support for SPIR-V binaries on CPUs.

        • Technical Evaluations: 6 questions to ask yourself

          Use these six questions to determine whether a solution actually solves the business problem you’re addressing.


          This question comes with the addendum “for the balance of your requirements.” If you only need a tool to get your team over a four to six-month hump until Project X is complete, this question becomes less important. If this is a multi-year commitment and the tool drives a critical business workflow, this is a concern.

          When going through this step, make use of all available resources. If the solution is open source, look through the commit history, mailing lists, and forum discussions about that software. Does the community seem to communicate effectively and work well together, or are there obvious rifts between community members? If part of what you are purchasing is a support contract, use that support during the proof-of-concept phase. Does it live up to your expectations? Is the quality of support worth the cost?

          Make sure you take a step beyond GitHub stars and forks when evaluating open source tools as well. Something might hit the front page of a news aggregator and receive attention for a few days, but a deeper look might reveal that only a couple of core developers are actually working on a project, and they’ve had difficulty finding outside contributions. Maybe a tool is open source, but a corporate-funded team drives core development, and support will likely cease if that organization abandons the project. Perhaps the API has changed every six months, causing a lot of pain for folks who have adopted earlier versions.

        • Google proposes Logica data language for building more manageable SQL code

          Structured Query Language (SQL) at scale can lead to unstructured, unmaintainable database code – at least as far as Google is concerned – so boffins affiliated with the biz have devised an open source logical programming language to make SQL more amenable to maintenance.

          “Good programming is about creating small, understandable, reusable pieces of logic that can be tested, given names, and organized into packages which can later be used to construct more useful pieces of logic,” explain Google software engineers Konstantin Tretyakov and Evgeny Skvortsov in a post to Google’s open source blog. “SQL resists this workflow.”

          Tretyakov and Skvortsov propose using a new open source logic programming language called, aptly enough, Logica, to craft database interactions using the syntax of mathematical propositional logic instead of the chains of English words used in SQL.

        • Benchmarking Ruby 3 in PDF generation

          Ruby 3 JIT was optimized against CPU-intensive demo, which left Rails enthusiasts left out. But what about tasks in the middle of both? Here’s my latest benchmark on Ruby 3 JIT in generating PDF files with Prawn.

          A little over a year ago, I created a PDF generation benchmark to help Takashi optimize the upcoming Ruby 3 JIT. I blogged about how to make such a benchmark, and my results for Ruby 2.5, 2.6, and 2.6 –jit.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl performance on Apple M1

            https://metacpan.org/pod/HTML::FormatTextI recently got an Apple M1 Mac Mini, half out of curiosity, half because it was exactly what I would need: I have a low end Mac just to try out things like new Xcode betas etc, like a “canary” machine. My old 2012 Mac Mini stopped getting official Apple updates, so it could no longer do what I needed and the 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD M1 mini at $699 is easily the cheapest Mac you can buy.
            Overall, unlike the typical Mac Minis of old which seemed to be on the slow side, it did feel quite fast from the start, so I thought I’d run some benchmarks on it for fun to see how Apple’s ARM M1 fares against some x86 competition. And, as in my day job I use mostly Perl, I thought some perl-related benchmarks would be of interest to me.

            For those not aware, the M1 is an ARM-based CPU (well, includes GPU, so SoC really), with 8 cores total (4x performance @ 3.2GHz/12MB L3, 4x efficiency @ 2GHz/4MB L3) built at 5nm and consuming up to 15W. Basically the “laptop” class CPU of what Apple has been building for iPhones/iPads. Apart from native ARM code, it can run x86 code through Rosetta 2, but I still can’t use it for work – our dev environment currently relies on VirtualBox which needs actual x86/VT-x silicon. I ran benchmarks against my work laptop, a Mid 2015 15″ MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz i7 Crystalwell. Even though it was Apple’s top of the line at the time, it’s a bit old now, I keep it for the non-butterfly keyboard and the full complement of ports, and until recently the newer Macs weren’t much faster anyway. Although an older i7 will make it easier for the M1 to compete, I still find the comparison quite interesting, especially since the Mac Mini has always been the “slow/cheap” Mac – and it’s now even cheaper. Plus I’ll throw some tests with different hardware just for comparison.

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.16 Dispatch Anew

            Jonathan Worthington has posted an extensive blog post about the progress on the new dispatch infrastructure in MoarVM: Raku multiple dispatch with the new MoarVM dispatcher, with exciting new capabilities and the promise of much better performance (Lobsters comments). In related news, Jonathan also reported on the RakuAST progress in March.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • 5 Very Useful Linux Command Line Secrets and Tricks You Must Know

            In this article, we are going to see very useful Linux command line secrets and tricks to save time and increase productivity. Most people need some time to figure out how to be productive when they first start using Linux. This operating system is incredibly flexible and essential for developers across the globe. In case Linux is the standard OS at your company, you most likely saw more experienced users interact very efficiently. Although it may look like it would take you years to achieve this level of expertise, the truth is that you can greatly enhance your productivity on Linux with only several useful tricks.

            What’s great about the Linux command line is that you can use it for countless processes. For instance, you can even zip and unzip a file in Linux from the command line. Regardless of whether you just installed Linux on your computer or have been using it for years, you’ll find some useful command line secrets and tricks in this article.

        • Rust

          • Niko Matsakis: Async Vision Doc Writing Sessions VI

            Ryan Levick and I are going to be hosting more Async Vision Doc Writing Sessions this week. We’re not organized enough to have assigned topics yet, so I’m just going to post the dates/times and we’ll be tweeting about the particular topics as we go.

  • Leftovers

    • Charles Geschke, Co-Founder of Adobe and Developer of PDFs, Dies at 81

      After earning a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, Geschke began working at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he met Warnock, the Mercury News reported. The men left the company in 1982 to found Adobe, developing software together.

    • Fatal Tesla Crash Shows Why We Don’t Have Autonomous Cars on the Road

      This should be a warning to everyone considering an autonomous car. There is no such thing approved for consumers to drive on the road yet. Tesla cars are not intended to be fully autonomous – yet, drivers continue to treat them as such. Two men lost their lives in a fatal Tesla crash this past weekend. These cars are not safe enough to be completely driverless yet, and this type of thing just seems to set progress back – it shows that humans are just not ready for such a responsibility yet.

    • Science

      • Replacing statistics with modern predictive models

        Most fields of scientific inquiry rely on classical statistics to make inferences about the world based on experimental data.

        What I mean by “classical statistics” differs from modern machine learning methods (modern predictive models) in the following ways: [...]

    • Education

      • MOE seeks key English schools

        The ministry said that it hopes to have at least half of second-year undergraduates and half of all graduate students at the benchmark schools complete more than half of their 2030 coursework in English.

        By 2030, at least half of the students graduating from benchmark schools would possess bilingual skills and it would be noted on their graduation certificate, the ministry added.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • New ransomware targeting Asian nations using malvertising: Kaspersky

          Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a very sophisticated Exploit Kit that is targeting countries in the Asia-Pacific region to deliver ransomware via malvertising, which is the spread of malware through online advertisements.

          Exploit kits are automated threats that utilise compromised websites to divert web traffic, scan for vulnerable browser-based applications, and run malware.

          Called ‘Magnitude EK’, the constantly evolving Exploit Kit uses its own ransomware as its final payload.

        • Millions of web surfers are being targeted by a single malvertising group

          [Crackers] have compromised more than 120 ad servers over the past year in an ongoing campaign that displays malicious advertisements on tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of devices as they visit sites that, by all outward appearances, are benign.

          Malvertising is the practice of delivering ads to people as they visit trusted websites. The ads embed JavaScript that surreptitiously exploits software flaws or tries to trick visitors into installing an unsafe app, paying fraudulent computer support fees, or taking other harmful actions. Typically, the scammers behind this Internet scourge pose as buyers and pay ad-delivery networks to display the malicious ads on individual sites.

        • 10 Best Rufus Alternatives For Windows, Linux, And MacOS
        • Telegram Launched Telegram WebZ & Telegram WebK

          Telegram is a popular instant messaging app known for protecting users’ privacy while providing the same features as WhatsApp. Telegram apps are available for all major platforms. The company also has a web version of the app that one can open in any web browser.

          The Telegram web version is available on web.telegram.org. But Telegram recently launched two more versions of the web app called Telegram WebZ and Telegram WebK.


          Besides this, you can notice very minor differences in the color palettes of the two apps. The search box’s background in WebZ is grey whereas in WebK it’s white.

          When a user does not set a profile picture, Telegram creates a profile picture out of the user’s full name. It takes the first letter of first name & last name and creates the profile picture by combining the two letters. I noticed the WebZ version creates more accurate profile pictures than WebK. In some cases, WebK just added a random letter instead of the first letter of the last name.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (nettle, squid, and thunderbird), Debian (libebml, python-bleach, and python2.7), Fedora (batik, gnuchess, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, ruby, singularity, and xorg-x11-server), Mageia (clamav, kernel, kernel-linus, and python3), openSUSE (chromium, fluidsynth, opensc, python-bleach, and wpa_supplicant), Oracle (gnutls and nettle), Red Hat (dpdk, gnutls and nettle, mariadb:10.3 and mariadb-devel:10.3, and redhat-ds:11), and SUSE (kernel, qemu, and xen).

          • Openwall Releases LKRG 0.9.0 with a Long List of Major Changes, Improvements & Bug Fixes

            Openwall recently announced the release of LKRG (Linux Kernel Runtime Guard) 0.9.0, featuring a host of major changes and improvements, as well as fixes for multiple security bugs. LKRG is a kernel module that performs runtime integrity checking of the Linux kernel and detection of security vulnerability exploits against the kernel.

          • Can Linux Be Used To Offer More Security In A WFH World (On And Offline)?

            Operational security at least seemed so much easier back when traditional 9-to-5 office life was still dominant. Talk of professionals taking their work home with them was largely metaphorical, with only occasional instances of C-suite types dragging their laptops everywhere they went. Business hardware and systems would be shielded through physical security and isolated networks. One office (or office complex), one place to guard: entirely straightforward.

            Now, after a year that’s seen countless businesses (some eagerly and others reluctantly) adopt the working-from-home model, there are different challenges to overcome. Teams are scattered and must share sensitive data across the internet — data to which other companies and fraudsters would love to gain access. When information gets out, reputations are destroyed and businesses (particularly those working entirely online) struggle to survive.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • How to see what Google knows about you, and delete it

              Once you delete data from your Google Account, the company immediately starts removing it and stops using it for personalization. “We then begin a process designed to safely and completely delete the data from our storage systems,” Google explains. It may be forced to keep some information for legal requirements, which you can read about at the link above.

            • ICT Authority’s proposal to monitor the Internet, in a nutshell

              The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) invites the public to comment on a Consultation Paper on amendments to the ICT Act which the authority proposes in order to regulate Social Media in Mauritius.

              I read the Consultation Paper and in my humble opinion the authors of the paper could not define the problem they want to address.

            • UK government urged to give home workers the ‘right to disconnect’

              A study from October, commissioned by the flexible workplace provider The Office Group, found that more than half (51%) of the 2,000 UK workers surveyed said they had been working outside of their typical hours since lockdown, with the average British worker putting in an extra 59 hours of work at home — the equivalent of seven working days, over the last five months.

              This latest poll, carried out by Opinium for professionals’ union Prospect, found that two-thirds (66%) of employees want a right to disconnect policy included alongside a number of employment reforms influenced by the impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s work economy.

              These include plans to make flexible work a default option for all advertised jobs, giving employees greater freedom around how they split their time between the office and home.

            • Employers know more about our lives than ever – now what?

              Over the last year, many of us have found ourselves wrestling with the unfamiliar need to discuss personal responsibilities while handling professional ones. Before the pandemic, workers had no real obligation to share anything about their lives with their bosses. At larger organisations, HR departments might have known little more than employees’ names, addresses and birthdays. But once Covid-19 abruptly shifted work into our homes, we suddenly had to share more with employers, because our private lives were playing out during working hours.

              Some of this has been positive; there’s a sense that giving employers more insight into our home circumstances, responsibilities and even health could result in greater accommodation. But there are also questions about how much we want to share with our employers, and what feels like a breach of privacy – as well as how companies will use the information they learn.

            • startpage.com waterfox browser and w3m text browsing – gstatic.com [Ed: Waterfox and Startpage are owned by System1 and attack your privacy]

              Brief reporting here of a slogan sold cheap “your privacy is important to us” or “we put your privacy 1st“, used by many commercialized old software and services, that became too popular for “industry” to leave alone. Sometimes marketing hype and sloganism becomes more than actual meaning and content. It is the myth that sells. So how is open/free software and a free search engine, committed to user privacy, used by large marketing businesses, and data miners, is used as a lure to do exactly what Microsoft explorer, msn, google, yahoo, mozilla, do, but with an “activist’s” dress? I am talking about waterfox and startpage, both sold during the past couple of years to a data mining business. And if it wasn’t a data miner it is now.

              If I use waterfox to access startpage.com, no proxy, no tor, no VPN, but with NoScript blocking every type of script, I get access to the search engine. I am not blocked, my options set a while ago are still set, I get my dark theme and 20 hits per page. I am “ensured” that I can use anonymous links if I wish for the results, but accessing startpage is not anonymous, in a sense, and “it” knows who I am.


              Take whose privacy seriously, and what does that even mean? A private detective takes privacy seriously, he gets paid so you can’t have any. That’s pretty damn serious.

            • A cloud without Google and Microsoft for all italian schools

              A bill just presented to the italian Senate proposes the establishment of one “single national interconnection network” called UNIRE (“to join”). The mission of this network would be to connect all italian schools with each other and to the Internet, with a private cloud to offer platforms for digital teaching, alternatives to those of Google and Microsoft, with attention to data protection of underage students and with their own IT security management.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Afghans Haven’t Forgotten Taliban Atrocities

        “Atrocities like Shomali were a regular feature of the war in the 1990s. A vast international presence prevented some but not all such killings in the past 20 years,” said Patricia Gossman, Human Rights Watch’s associate Asia director. “If there is no settlement and the war continues, which unfortunately seems likely, I am afraid civilians will continue to bear the brunt of the war and continue to be the victims of atrocities.”

        One of the senior Taliban field commanders in the Shomali Plain during the 1999 offensive and massacre as well as the Taliban’s deputy to the chief of army are today leading the militant groups’ negotiations in Doha, Qatar, according to the Afghanistan Justice Project. In other words, the men who allowed entire valleys to be razed and torched are today leading the theoretical charge for “peace.”

      • Jewish prisoner in Turkey: “I fear for my life. They want me to convert to Islam”

        According to a report in Israel Hayom, Azoulay was sentenced in 2017 to 16 years and eight months in prison. His case has recently attracted significant attention as his lawyers and family members push to have him extradited to France.

      • France asks citizens to leave Pakistan amid violent protests

        The French embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all of its nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country after anti-France violence erupted in the Islamic nation over the arrest of a radical leader.

        Saad Rizvi was arrested Monday for threatening the government with mass protests if it did not expel French envoy Marc Baréty over the publication depictions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

        French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes Von Der Muhll said about 400 to 500 French nationals live in Pakistan and they will be able to leave via commercial flights.

    • Environment

      • Biden’s Earth Day Summit Aims for Reset on Climate Change

        The White House said it will announce an “ambitious” 2030 target for greenhouse gas emissions before the summit.

        Advocates are calling for a 50% cut from 2005 levels, a “highly ambitious but still achievable” goal, Hultman said.

        And it would show other major polluters that the largest cumulative contributor to global warming is ready to take action.

      • Biden’s Earth Day Summit Is a Crucial Opportunity for Climate Action

        After promising to be guided by climate science and quickly rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden must now lead the United States to go big on climate action. He just announced a major domestic infrastructure plan, which includes significant clean energy and climate resilience investments. He will soon host an Earth Day Summit, where key world leaders will be pressed to make new, enhanced commitments—so-called nationally determined contributions (NDCs)—to reduce their global warming emissions. The U.S. NDC—slated to be announced by the summit—must be ambitious.

        More than 1,500 scientists and experts have sent President Biden a letter, calling on him to commit to cutting U.S. heat-trapping emissions at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, as part of the nation’s contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement goals. It’s a feasible and necessary goal—and only the floor for U.S. ambition. The scientific evidence and global equity arguments for the United States to go further by making deeper, swifter cuts in emissions are clear and compelling. Securing an ambitious NDC this year and then pushing for more prior to 2030 will be important.

      • 7 cool ways to commemorate Earth Day with kids in 2021

        Earth Day has grown into the world’s biggest civic event, celebrated by a billion people in more than 190 countries, according to Earth Day Network. What are some activities for Earth Day? Here are free Earth Day activities you can do with your family or your pod to encourage everyone to protect the Earth.

      • Earth Day 2021: When is it and how are people marking global day of environmental action?

        Amid the pandemic many of this year’s events will take place online following an entirely virtual programme in 2020. Notably, US president Joe Biden has chosen to begin his virtual world leaders summit to address the climate crisis on Earth Day next week.

      • Energy

        • Electricity Companies Urge Biden to Set Standard to Reduce Emissions 80 Percent by 2030

          As President Biden prepares to announce a U.S. emissions pledge, a group of electricity companies sent him a letter urging the president to set clean energy standard (CES) goal of reducing the industry’s carbon emissions by 2030.

          The coalition of thirteen power companies, which includes PSEG, Exelon Corp. and Talen Energy Corp., proposed a goal similar to one set by environmental advocacy group Evergreen Action in February.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Another Danske Bank chief fired over money laundering allegations

        The CEO of Danish bank Danske has been fired over money laundering suspicions, Baltic News Service reports. The bank’s chief, Dutchman Chris Vogelzang, was himself appointed in 2019 following the money laundering allegations which engulfed the bank’s now-defunct Tallinn branch, replacing Thomas Borgen.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Apple will let Parler back on the App Store

        The decision clears the way for Parler, an app popular with conservatives including some members of the far right, to be downloaded once again on Apple devices.

        The letter — addressed to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck and obtained by CNN — explained that since the app was removed from Apple’s platform in January for violations of its policies, Parler “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices.”

      • Facebook ramps up moderation around Derek Chauvin trial, will delete posts mocking George Floyd’s death

        The company will delete “severe” attacks on Chauvin, although Facebook considers the former officer a public figure for “voluntarily placing himself in the public eye” — as opposed to Floyd, who is granted a higher standard of protection.

      • Choosing The Next Dalai Lama And The Fight Involving India, US, China

        From January through March, along its Himalayan border with China, India convened five separate assemblies of senior monks from various sects and schools in the region-the first time such gatherings have taken place in more than 2,000 years.

      • How a Hong Kong protester became one of the territory’s youngest exiles

        As Beijing intensified its crackdown on pro-democracy lawmakers and student activists over the last year, however, participating in the protests became increasingly dangerous. And in December, the 15-year-old known to journalists and fellow protesters simply as “Aurora” boarded a plane to London, the ticket paid for by an anonymous Hong Kong activist.

        The decision to seek political asylum in the United Kingdom has made her one of Hong Kong’s youngest exiles.

      • Pakistan To Ban Radical Group Behind Anti-France Protests: Minister

        The TLP are notorious for holding days-long road protests over blasphemy issues, causing major disruption to the country.

        But successive governments have a long history of avoiding confrontation with hardline Islamist groups, fearing any crackdown on religious parties could spark wider violence in the deeply conservative Islamic republic.

      • Why Political Sectarianism Is a Growing Threat to American Democracy

        But the two parties have not only become more ideologically polarized — they have simultaneously sorted along racial, religious, educational, generational and geographic lines. Partisanship has become a “mega-identity,” in the words of the political scientist Lilliana Mason, representing both a division over policy and a broader clash between white, Christian conservatives and a liberal, multiracial, secular elite.

        And as mass sectarianism has grown in America, some of the loudest partisan voices in Congress or on Fox News, Twitter, MSNBC and other platforms have determined that it’s in their interest to lean into cultural warfare and inflammatory rhetoric to energize their side against the other.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ‘Anti-Riot’ Bills In Florida, Iowa Would Crack Down on Black Lives Matter Protests

        USA Today reports that at least 93 such bills have been proposed in 35 states since the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests for racial and social justice.

        Many of these new bills expand activities that are already considered illegal, including camping on state property or taunting law enforcement.

        “These bills talk about ‘riots,’ but the language that they use is so sweeping that it encompasses way more than what people imagine,” Elly Page, a senior legal adviser with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law told USA Today. She added that the bills criminalize peaceful protests, which are protected by the First Amendment.

      • As protests continue over police killings, lawmakers try to add to the list of crimes protesters could face

        “These bills talk about ‘riots,’ but the language that they use is so sweeping that it encompasses way more than what people imagine,” said Elly Page, a senior legal adviser with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.

        The bills, she said, would criminalize “peaceful, legitimate First Amendment-protected protest.”

      • How to Save a Movie From Clerics Who Didn’t Watch It

        In 2019, more than 80 young Pakistani artists came together to work on a small-budget independent film about a man and his daughter, “Zindagi Tamasha.” Since then, the film has been cleared for release in Pakistan several times, was selected to be the country’s official entry for the 2020 Academy Awards foreign language film category and has won prizes in international festivals. Yet it still can’t be shown in Pakistan — not because of the pandemic, but because it offends some people who haven’t even seen it.

        One evening late last January, the Pakistani filmmaker Sarmad Khoosat, a friend of mine, sat on a stage in the British Council’s library in Karachi to introduce “Zindagi Tamasha.” During the talk, he received a Twitter notification accusing his movie of being disrespectful to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

        Soon, Sarmad’s social-media timelines were filled with death threats. He spent the rest of the year trying to save both his life and the film he had made with love and his own money.

      • Pakistan briefly blocks social media amid anti-France rally

        Pakistan briefly blocked access to all social media on Friday after days of violent anti-French protests across the country by radical Islamists opposed to cartoons they consider blasphemous.

        Sites including Twitter and Facebook were blocked for four hours on orders from the country’s interior ministry, said Khurram Mehran, a spokesman for Pakistan’s media regulatory agency. He gave no further details.

      • Pakistan orders temporary social media shutdown after violent protests

        In a notice to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the Interior Ministry requested a “complete blocking” of Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube and Telegram until 3 pm (1100 GMT).

        It gave no reason for the ban, but it comes a day after French nationals and companies in Pakistan were advised by their embassy to temporarily leave in the wake of the rallies led by an extremist party that paralysed large parts of the country and left two police officers dead.

      • France advises citizens to leave Pakistan after anti-French protests

        The TLP has been demanding that the Pakistani government expel the French ambassador and endorse a boycott of French products due to Charlie Hebdo’s republishing of the Prophet Mohamed cartoons last year.

        Anti-French sentiment has been simmering for months in Pakistan since the government of President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for Charlie Hebdo’s right to republish the cartoons, deemed blasphemous by many Muslims.

      • France urges its nationals in Pakistan to leave country after violent protests by radical religious group

        The trouble began after police arrested the TLP chief Saad Rizvi on Monday ahead of the April 20 deadline by the group to expel the French ambassador.

        The issue of expulsion of the ambassador was linked to an agreement between the TLP and the government when the former in November last year postponed its protest against publication of blasphemous cartoons.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Assange, Nils Melzer says the treatment of Julian leaves him “speechless”

        In an in-depth interview with Il Fatto Quotidiano, Nils Melzer discusses his investigation on the WikiLeaks founder, which has made him speak out as a whistleblower and raise an alarm on this case and its implications: “We have already created a parallel world of secret services that controls everything”.

        He deals with torture victims on a daily basis, so he is not easily shocked by abuses. And yet, he says, he is ‘speechless’ when it comes to the case of Julian Assange. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, has just published a book in German: “Der Fall Julian Assange”, which reconstructs his investigation based on exclusive documents. He tells Il Fatto Quotidiano what he has discovered and what he thinks is likely to happen.

      • Minnesota Governor Calls Alleged Assaults on Journalists ‘Chilling’

        Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, on Sunday responded to reports that the state’s police officers had assaulted journalists covering the unrest in a Minneapolis suburb, saying, “Apologies are not enough; it just cannot happen.”

      • CNN producer alleges police asked ‘do you speak English?’ during her arrest

        A producer for CNN who was covering protests against the police killing of Daunte Wright was arrested and asked by a police officer if she speaks English, according to a letter to the governor of Minnesota.

        Carolyn Sung, the CNN producer, made the allegations in a letter made public by the Ballard Spahr law firm. The letter contained several other allegations of police misconduct toward journalists covering the protests.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • In Pivotal Move, Sen. Manchin Announces Support For Pro-Union Legislation

        The version of the PRO Act that passed in the House would strengthen collective bargaining rights and create penalties for corporations that violate their workers’ rights. It also includes a provision that would let unions override restrictive “right to work” laws that currently exist in more than half of U.S. states, allowing workers to opt out of unions and paying dues. Additionally, the PRO Act would establish protections around union elections, ensuring employees can keep ballots private by submitting them to a ballot box in a neutral location, off company property.

        AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told NPR last month that the House version would be a “game-changer.” But it would need to pass a 60-vote threshold in the Senate to bypass a filibuster.

      • Report From the Chauvin Trial: Blitzkrieg at Brooklyn Center

        In Badges Without Borders, professor Stuart Schrader describes the “upgrading of ‘riot control’” as part of a broader trend of American military tactics being integrated into American policing. “Kill, jail, control: these are the discretionary options policing contains,” he says. The aggressive policing of Black communities and movements in particular is not new. In 1967, Black Panther Bobby Seale wrote, “The racist military police force occupies our community just like the foreign American troops in Vietnam.”

        x Arrests and incarceration have long been used to demobilize Black movements. In “Political Prisoners, Prisons, and Black Liberation,” Angela Y. Davis writes: “It goes without saying that the police would be unable to set into motion their racist machinery were they not sanctioned and supported by the judicial system.” In Imprisoned Intellectuals, Joy James explains: “The United States has a long and terrible history of confinement and disappearance of those it racially and politically targets.” Since Floyd was killed, at least 93 anti-protest bills have been proposed in 35 states, according to USA Today.

        According to The Washington Post, nearly 1,000 people have been killed by police in the past year alone. Most victims have been young and male. And while roughly half of those killed by the police are white, Black Americans are killed by police at double the rate. Last July, in an article called “Black Security and the Conundrum of Policing,” law professor Monica Bell concluded: “Clinging to the dream of a racially equitable system of policing as currently constituted might be more utopian than abolition.”

      • Democrats Should Talk Even More About Defunding the Police

        The strategic significance of this population is not just how progressive but how underutilized they are. Of all age groups, the lowest percentage of eligible voters who actually cast ballots is among 18–29-year-olds. Just 44 percent of all potential young people voted in Georgia last year, as compared to the 80 percent of the eligible voters over 45 who cast ballots.

        Furthermore, the pool of young voters is growing each year as teenagers turn 18. By the time of the 2022 midterm elections, 8 million young people across the country, nearly half of them people of color, will become eligible to vote.

      • Chinese police detain six noted Tibetans in Kardze

        Chinese police in the so called Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Tibet have reportedly arrested noted Tibetans in recent weeks, according to several exile media outlets in India. Writer and environmentalist Sey Nam, former political prisoner Tsering Dolma, writer Gangkye Drubpa Kyab, and activist Gangbu Yudrum are the four identified Tibetans who have been detained by Chinese authorities, according to Golok Jigme, former political prisoner living in Switzerland. The two other detainees have yet not been identified.

        The report of arrests in Kardze, Tibet, has shown that Chinese authorities continue to maintain a tight grip over Tibetans and their political activities including the preservation of their culture and language.

      • “Hatred, Enmity, Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide”: The Persecution of Christians, March 2021

        While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by extremists is growing. The report posits that such persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location. It includes incidents that take place during, or are reported on, any given month.

      • Top French court upholds decision not to try suspect in Jewish woman’s murder

        Halimi, an Orthodox Jewish woman in her sixties, died in 2017 after being pushed out of the window of her Paris flat by neighbour Kobili Traoré, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic).

        The verdict by the Court of Cassation, means Traoré will not face any trial. It confirmed past rulings from lower courts.

      • Beekeeper turned spymaster searches for Iraq’s missing Yazidis

        All in all, Shrem says he helped liberate 399 individuals. And the job’s not over. An estimated 3,000 women and children taken by ISIS remain unaccounted for.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Hollywood Reporter Tapped as Yahoo’s New XR Partner

        The partnership between Verizon Media’s Yahoo and THR will enable hollywoodreporter.com to deploy augmented reality experiences on both desktop and mobile web browsers through Yahoo’s Immersive Platform. The platform, which launched last summer, is described as “a proprietary technology platform powered by a powerful combination of creators, in-house 3D-savvy storytellers of all verticals, feed-the-beast producers and product, engineering and operations teams, which create XR experiences across news, sports, finance, entertainment and wellness content — further immersing audiences into the stories they enjoy consuming across its platforms.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Implementers: FTC v Qualcomm is over, the war has just begun [Ed: The US has removed the word "Regulation" from the dictionary and lexicon]

          Implementer in-house and external counsel say they’re holding out for SEP antitrust victories at the Fifth Circuit and at the Court of Justice of the EU

        • “Investing in lateral hires is necessary, but risky” [Ed: JUVE continues producing marketing spam disguised as ‘articles’ or ‘news’ or ‘reports’]

          In all major European patent markets, Allen & Overy and Simmons & Simmons are competing with renowned teams. Both firms are among the energetic challengers to European market leaders Bird & Bird and Hogan Lovells. Both have also recently welcomed lateral hires to strengthen their market positions.

          Allen & Overy and Simmons & Simmons both have an outstanding foothold with clients in life science litigation in key markets. But in terms of all technical areas, the firms are not among the market leaders in any country.

          However, through investing in experienced lateral lawyers, both firms are taking a necessary step to strengthen their position. Simmons & Simmons is expanding its patent attorney team with the addition of Lawrence King in London and Johan Renes in Amsterdam. Thus, the firm is closing a gap in its technical expertise in biotechnology.

        • Board of Appeal relies on its own CGK to support an inventive step objection without remittal to first instance (T 1370/15)

          In recent years it has become increasingly difficult for parties to introduce new facts and evidence in appeal procedures before the EPO Boards of Appeal. The same stringent procedures do not apply to the Boards of Appeal themselves. In the recently published decision T 1370/15, the Board of Appeal introduced an inventive step objection for the first time in their preliminary opinion. In contrast to the majority of other recent Board of Appeal decisions, the Board of Appeal in T 1370/15 did not consider it necessary to remit the case back to the Opposition Division for consideration of the new inventive step objection. Furthermore, the Board (3.5.04) did not even consider it necessary to provide evidential support for the common general knowledge (CGK) on which the inventive step objection was based. The Board of Appeal’s approach seems to have been influenced both by the EPO’s drive to improve procedural efficiency and the Board’s own feelings of competency in the technical area of the patent.


          The inventive step objection in T 1370/15 was raised for the first time by the Board of Appeal in the preliminary opinion. The Board cited its own CGK in combination with the prior art. The Board did not evidence the CGK but, again, referenced its own technical expertise in the field as justifying the inclusion of the CGK. Litigators and those who do not practice before the EPO may be surprised to hear that Boards of Appeal may introduce their own CGK into the proceedings, without the need to provide evidence. Indeed, the EPO Guidelines for Examination state that assertions of CGK, if challenged, should be supported with evidence (G-VII, 3.1). However, in T 1090/12 the Board of Appeal found that the Boards are not obliged to follow on Guidelines, and may cite their own CGK without evidence if they have experience in the subject matter of the case (Case Law of the Boards of Appeal, I-C-2.8.5).

          In T 1370/15, the patentee argued that the Board was not permitted to introduce the CGK into proceedings at such a late stage in proceedings, especially in the absence of supporting evidence. The patentee submitted that, by introducing CGK based on their own technical expertise, the Board of Appeal was effectively acting as an expert witness for the opponent. Such a situation, the patentee argued, was contrary to the principles of G 10/91, according to which parties at Opposition should be given equally fair treatment. Furthermore, the patentee argued, the case law permitting a Board of Appeal to cite their own CGK without evidence related to Inter partes and not ex partes proceedings (I-C-2.8.5). Inter partes proceedings, the patentee submitted, required the EPO to take a less investigative role than ex partes proceedings, and the Board should thus not introduce its own facts and evidence in an appeal from the Opposition Division.

          The Board disagreed with the patentee, arguing first that there is “no general obligation on a board to provide documentary evidence for the existence of a piece of common general knowledge”. In effect, when a Board cites CGK, the Board found that the burden may be placed on the appellant to “convince the board that its findings are erroneous”. This situation is contrary to the normal state of affairs, according to which each party bears the burden of proof for the facts it alleges (Case Law of the Boards of Appeal, III-G-5.5.1).

          On the fair treatment point, the Board of Appeal argued that, in general, the introduction of new facts and evidence was “investigative” on behalf of the Board, and would thus not normally be appropriate in inter partes proceedings. However, the Board considered the introduction of facts “notoriously well-known or known to the board from its members’ official experience” (i.e. CGK) as a special case, requiring no investigative activity from the Board of Appeal. The Board of Appeal thus considered there to be no legal principle preventing them from introducing their own, unevidenced, CGK even in an ex partes appeal.

          Thus, despite overturning the Opposition Division decision that the patent lacked novelty, the Board of Appeal went on to find the patent invalid for lack of inventive step.

        • Amgen v. Sanofi: Who Decides Full Scope Enablement

          Patent claims typically cover an infinite number of potential infringing embodiments. This seemingly renders true full-scope enablement an impossible task. But the metaphysics are an illusion. If we want valid patents, then there has to be some “good enough” threshold for enablement.

          The focus in Amgen is a particularly tricky type of claim: genus claim with functional limitations. Here, the claim is directed to an isolated monoclonal antibody defined by its ability to bind with the protein PCSK9 and consequently block PCSK9 from binding to LDL-C.


          The brief cites and discusses a really well researched and written article by Professors Karstedt, Lemley, & Seymore titled The Death of the Genus Claim (forthcoming 2021). The article notes that today “it is no longer possible to have a valid genus claim. . . . [This] represents both bad law and bad policy.” Id. In its decision, the majority seemed to largely agree, but declined to expressly foreclose the possibility of genus claims.

          This is a very important case for pharma and biotech patenting, but will also likely have an impact on the doctrine of enablement generally — especially its relationship to functional claim limitations since those are found in most patents. I expect a number of amicus briefs will be filed in the case over the next few weeks.

        • Sua Sponte Claim Construction

          Sööt’s patent covers a winch system used for major theatre productions. A jury found Daktronics Vortek product infringed under the doctrine of equivalents and awarded $1 million in damages.

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed, holding that “Under the proper construction, the Vortek product does not infringe claim 27 either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.”

          The problem with this decision is that neither party appealed claim construction. Rather, the adjudged infringer appealed on infringement. Sööt petitioned for rehearing on the issue of waiver, but that quest has now also been denied.

        • Software Patents

          • IP deal signed for geothermal rights in airborne survey tech [Ed: There is no such thing as "IP" and those are not rights; they mean patent licensing. And it seems like software patents, i.e. pure junk.]

            Canadian NXT Energy Solutions acquires IP rights for geothermal exploration of the proprietary SFD (R) technology to improve exploration and drilling success.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

Richard Stallman on How UPC is a Trojan Horse for Software Patents in Europe

Posted in Europe, Interview, Patents, Videos at 12:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Direct download as Ogg (00:01:11, 3.8 MB)

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, offers his analysis of the Unitary Patent (or UPC) and what it means for software patents in Europe now that the EPO increases its influence over continental law



(intro music)

Roy: Here we’ve got this thing called the Unitary Patent. Do you know about the …

RMS: I know a lot about the Unitary Patent and I known that there’s a danger it would turn out to be a sneaky way to legitimize software patents.

Roy: Yes.

RMS: Because in the fine print of the deal for the Unitary Patent it says that the policy decisions of the European


Patent Office will govern all appeals against the decisions of the European Patent Office, which makes the European Patent Office autonomous, totally out of democratic control, and allowed to wreak havoc on whatever fields it chooses to. We know it wants software patents. It wants to put patents on computing ideas, because it has already issued patents on computing ideas.

Roy: Yeah.

RMS: So he question is can this be



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