Links 22/4/2021: virt-viewer 10.0, PipeWire 0.3.26, LibreELEC (Matrix) 10.0 Beta 2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Looking At Six Flavors Of Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo”

        In this video, I take a quick look at the recently released versions of Ubuntu 21.04 codenamed “Hirute Hippo.” I will briefly look at the flagship Ubuntu Linux distribution as well as: Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie and Ubuntu MATE.

      • The Edge, the cloud and Kubernetes with Brian Gracely

        Is edge part of the cloud, is cloud a part of edge or are they completely separate but slightly related environments?

        What makes something a data center vs what makes something an edge device?

        How enterprises think of edge vs how Telcos think about edge.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S14E07 – Crew Gets Ready

        This week we’ve been playing Subnautica and living off BitCoin. We discuss the re-introduction of the Ubuntu Community team and round up our favourite picks from the tech news.

        It’s Season 14 Episode 07 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • University Responds to Ban On Linux Contributions

        The University of Minnesota Department of Computer Science and Engineering announced that it’s looking into a ban on contributing to the Linux kernel that was issued after its research attracted the ire of the stable release channel’s steward.

        That ban was issued on Wednesday by Greg Kroah-Hartman, a Linux kernel developer responsible for the stable channel’s release due to a project that intentionally added bugs to the Linux kernel in the name of security research.

        “We take this situation extremely seriously,” UMN computer science and engineering head Mats Heimdahl and associate department head Loren Terveen said in a statement, adding that they “immediately suspended this line of research” after the ban was announced.

      • Ill-advised research on Linux kernel lands computer scientists in hot water

        Computer scientists who submitted supposed security patches that actually added security vulnerabilities to the Linux kernel have been placed under investigation by their university.

        Qiushi Wu and Kangjie Lu ran the experiment with so-called ‘hypocrite commits’ to establish that they could act a vector for stealthily introducing vulnerabilities in open source software.

        More specifically, the University of Minnesota duo successfully offered use-after-free vulnerabilities that were accepted as seemingly beneficial commits to the Linux kernel.

        The researchers argued the exercise offered evidence that the Linux patch-review process is flawed.

        Kernel developers ain’t no lab rats

        The research attracted criticism back in December while the work was still ongoing, although the drama only escalated over recent days with the publication of the research (PDF).
        According to the researchers, all of the “bug-introducing patches stayed only in the email exchanges, without being adopted or merged into any Linux branch”, so no harm to users resulted from the exercise.

      • Academics face backlash after trying to sneak dodgy code into Linux

        A couple of computer scientists at the University of Minnesota riled up veteran Linux kernel developers by intentionally submitting questionable code to the mainline kernel.

        The scientists introduced what are known as use-after-free bugs into the kernel for the purposes of their research, aptly titled, “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits.”

        The paper describes how the authors submitted dubious code that would introduce error conditions into the kernel. The researchers claim they subsequently contacted Linux maintainers to prevent any of their code ending up in the official kernel release.

      • University of Minnesota banned from contributing to Linux kernel

        The University of Minnesota has been banned from contributing to the Linux kernel by one of its maintainers after researchers from the school apparently knowingly submitted code with security flaws.

        Earlier this year, two researchers from the university released a paper detailing how they had submitted known security vulnerabilities to the Linux kernel in order to show how potentially malicious code could get through the approval process. Now, after another student from the university submitted code that reportedly does nothing, kernel maintainer and Linux Foundation fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman has released a statement calling for all kernel maintainers to reject any code submissions from anyone using a umn.edu email address.

        In addition to not accepting any new code from the university, all of the code submitted in the past is being removed and re-reviewed. It seems like it will be a massive amount of work, but Kroah-Hartman has made it clear that the developer community doesn’t appreciate “being experimented on” and that all of the code from the university has been called into question due to the research.

      • A statement on the UMN mess

        Speaking for the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board, Kees Cook has posted a brief statement on the controversy over patches submitted from the University of Minnesota.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Profiling virtualized GPU acceleration with Perfetto

          Recently, we have been using Perfetto to successfully profile Apitrace traces in crosvm through VirGL renderer. We have now added perfetto instrumentation to VirGL renderer, Mesa, and Apitrace to see what happens precisely in a frame.

        • Direct3D 12 to Vulkan layer VKD3D-Proton 2.3 is out with early DirectX Raytracing support | GamingOnLinux

          Even more progress towards having a layer that will translate Direct3D 12 nicely over to Vulkan, as the VKD3D-Proton project just had a fresh release out. This is the official project for Valve’s Steam Play compatibility layer Proton, with performance and compatibility with Windows games running on Linux as the main focus.

          The VKD3D-Proton 2.3 release headline feature is early support for DXR (DirectX Raytracing), with it being hooked up to the newer vendor-neutral Vulkan Ray Tracing support. They say the current DXR compatibility is a work in progress “but it is good enough to run some real content”. It’s also NVIDIA only right now, as they’re waiting for AMD drivers to catch up and the recent Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 does not work. Games that work include Control and Ghostrunner.

        • VKD3D-Proton 2.3 Released With Early DXR Support, Performance Improvements – Phoronix

          VKD3D-Proton 2.3 is now available as the latest release of this Steam Play (Proton) component for running Direct3D 12 games over Vulkan.

          Most significant with VKD3D-Proton is early, work-in-progress support for Direct3D 12′s DirectX Ray-Tracing (DXR) implemented atop Vulkan ray-tracing. For those with a GPU/driver supporting Vulkan ray-tracing, VKD3D-Proton is beginning to work with “real content” albeit still work-in-progress and a limited number of games working. The Radeon Software Linux driver released this week with Vulkan ray-tracing also isn’t working so for the moment is just the NVIDIA proprietary driver.

    • Applications

      • Daniel Berrange: ANNOUNCE: virt-viewer release 10.0

        With this release the project replaced the autotools build system with Meson and Ninja and re-designed the user interface to eliminate the menu bar

      • PipeWire 0.3.26 Released With Better Bluetooth Support, Up To 64 Channel Devices

        Just ahead of the Fedora Workstation 34 release where it will be the first major Linux distribution using PipeWire as a modern alternative to PulseAudio and JACK, PipeWire 0.3.26 is now available as the newest big feature release for this audio/video stream server for the modern Linux desktop.

        PipeWire 0.3.26 features many Bluetooth audio support improvements, including support for hardware volumes. PipeWire 0.3.26 also now has support for 64 channel devices. There is also I18n support now for translations with the initial translations being ported over from PulseAudio.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to set up the Tor Browser Bundle on Ubuntu

        Do you use Ubuntu and want to set up the Tor Browser Bundle but are unsure how to go about doing it? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we go over how to download and set up the Tor Browser Bundle on Ubuntu!

      • How to re-install Grub on Arch Linux

        Is your Arch Linux system’s Grub bootloader broken? Need to re-install it to make your Arch system bootable again? As it turns out, with a quick trick in the Arch Linux installer ISO, you can! In this guide, we’ll show you how!

      • What is PPA in Ubuntu Linux and How Do I Use Them

        In Ubuntu, the PPA is defined as Personal Package Archive, which is used to add or remove packages on a Debian-based system. PPA’s are built by individual persons to develop and update packages for Linux. There are several reasons why one might need to use PPA on a Linux system. Sometimes you would not find the official package of an item on the web, but you might find a personal package archive of that package. If you’re a software developer, you can contribute to the open-source community through the PPA. Using PPA’s is not harmful, and you can avoid harmful PPA’s with basic computing knowledge. You can use PPA to add or remove packages on the Ubuntu system.

      • LFCA: Learn Basic Network Troubleshooting Tips – Part 12

        When systems encounter issues, as they sometimes will, you need to know your way around the problem and restore them back to a normal and functioning state. In this section, we focus on fundamental network troubleshooting skills that any Linux systems administrator should have.

      • How to install Google Chrome on Deepin 20.2

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Google Chrome on Deepin 20.2.

      • How to install Jelly Drift by Dani on a Chromebook.

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

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

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MYKI Password Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, MYKI is a free and cross-platform password manager and authenticator that is used to securely store and manage your password locally across multiple devices. Myki is available as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and MS Edge. And also in the standalone desktop app for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

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

      • How to add and remove Cronjobs from Linux EC2 instances on AWS using shell scripts

        Manual operations lead to human errors. Adding and removing Cronjobs frequently can be a very time-consuming task. In this article, we will create Shell scripts that automate the addition and deletion of Cronjobs from Ubuntu EC2 instances on AWS. To perform these operations you will need access to the EC2 instance. The user you will use needs to have sudo access so that the user can switch to root and perform addition and deletion of Cronjobs.

      • How to get real-time network statistics for your Linux servers with Guider – TechRepublic

        When you have numerous Linux servers in your data center, you need to be able to efficiently (and effectively) gather data. Said data will probably require the inclusion of network data. This is especially so when something is going awry on your network.

      • How to install Ubuntu 21.04

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

      • Linux search for string in folders and files with ack

        One of the most important aps I have ever needed in Linux was ack. With it you can search the whole system or a folder for a specific text and it searches it in file and folder names and in them.


        Ack is designed as a replacement for 99% of the uses of grep.

        Ack searches the named input FILEs (or standard input if no files are named, or the file name – is given) for lines containing a match to the given PATTERN . By default, ack prints the matching lines.

        Ack can also list files that would be searched, without actually searching them, to let you take advantage of ack’s file-type filtering capabilities.

      • How to enable auto updates in Ubuntu 20.04

        It is important to keep your Linux server up to date with security updates. Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Debian release updates on a daily basis, so keeping the system up-to-date can become a tedious task. Fortunately, there is an option to install security updates automatically. Here are the steps to enable automatic security updates in Ubuntu 20.04 and later versions.

      • How to remove a GPT partition table from HDD on Linux

        Sometimes you might have to remove an existing GPT partition table from a hard disk. E.g. when you install another OS like Windows which can’t cope with GPT. Or like in my case, when you want to add an HDD into a RAID where the other disks use the traditional MBR partition table.

      • Linux: Add user to Group

        This tutorial shows you step by step how to add a user to a group on Linux with several examples using the Linux command-line. It also explains how to add users and groups on Linux. The commands should work on any Linux Distribution and have been tested on CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu.

      • MySQL: Too many connections error

        This guide shows you how to solve the error message “Connect to MySQL server Too many connections”. The error can appear in any log file of a service that connects to the MySQL server. This may e.g. be the /var/log/mail.log file if your email system uses a MySQL database. The error means that the maximum number of connections limit in MySQL has been reached. The same applies to MariaDB servers as well.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita Arrives in the Epic Store

          Krita is in the Epic Store! Epic already had support Krita with an Epic MegaGrant, so when Epic expanded their store to also offer applications, they approached us, asking whether we wanted to be part of the launch, we said yes!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Dash-to-Plank – Plank Dock Integration in Ubuntu 20.04

          Prefer Plank dock launcher? Dash-to-Plank is the GNOME Shell extension to integrate it in Ubuntu.

          Besides Dash-to-Dock and Dash-to-Panel, this is the third ‘Dash-to’ extension I’ve heard about. It’s Gnome Shell integration for Plank, the simplest dock on the planet.

    • Distributions

      • LibreELEC (Matrix) 10.0 BETA2

        LibreELEC 10.0 BETA 2 is released! bringing Kodi (Matrix) v19.0 (including additional fixes) to LibreELEC users.
        Changes from LibreELEC 10.0 BETA 1 are listed here. As discussed in the recent Upcoming Changes blog post it, the 10.0 release is a disruptive and limited hardware release. If you have not read the blog post – please do – because we are not releasing images for all hardware. In summary: this is a stable release for Generic (x86_64 PCs). Stable-Beta for Allwinner and Rockchip. Stable “Alpha” for Raspberry Pi 4 as the code is still very new. RPi 2/3 are still in development targetting an LE10.2 release. RPi 0/1 are discontinued. All others hardware is still in development and not in a state for formal releases.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GNOME 40 is Now Available on openSUSE

          GNOME 40 is the latest iteration of the vaunted desktop but has yet to reach the majority of Linux distributions. Fortunately, those anxious to give the desktop a try need to look no further than openSUSE Tumbleweed, which is the rolling-release distribution that includes the latest-greatest software updates. And although Fedora 34 will also default to GNOME 40, that release is still in beta.

          What’s the hype about? Although the latest release of GNOME isn’t exactly mind-blowing, it does deliver a much more efficient workflow, thanks to a horizontal flow within the Activities overview. The workspaces are now at the top of the overview, making it much easier for users to drag application windows to a specific space. GNOME 40 also makes it easier for you to open the Applications launcher and then open an app directly to the workspace you want to use. Again, thanks to the horizontal workflow, this is a significant improvement over the previous iterations of the GNOME desktop.

        • Bringing Rancher Value to IBM Z and LinuxONE

          One of the top modernization initiatives for IBM Z across industries (especially in banking and financial services) is making the IBM Z part of a hybrid cloud deployment using open source. Opening up the mainframe allows businesses to leverage and monetize the wealth of data it harbors in unique, new ways with modern, containerized applications. Bringing Rancher and Kubernetes value to IBM Z and LinuxONE is a major leap to a transformative platform.

        • Canary Releases with Rancher Continuous Delivery

          Rancher Continuous Delivery, available since Rancher version 2.5.x, brings the ability to perform GitOps at scale on Rancher-managed clusters. Continuous Delivery, powered by Fleet, allows users to manage the state of their clusters using a GitOps based approach.
          Canary release is a popular technique used by software developers to release a new version of the application to a subset of users, and based on metrics such as availability, latency or custom metrics, can be scaled up to serve more users.
          In this blog, we’ll explore using Continuous Delivery to perform canary releases for your application workloads.

        • 102 Hours of Video on SUSE eLearning
      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Automating ingest data processing with data pipelines

          With the amount of data today growing ever faster—from sources ranging from device edge to offsite facilities and public and private clouds—organizations must somehow keep pace with that growth as they complete their digital-transformation journeys.

          One challenge is having the right quantity and quality of data—and at the right time. With fresh, relevant data, businesses can learn quickly and adapt to changing customer behavior. However, managing vast amounts of data ingest and preparing that data to make it ready as fast as possible—preferably in real time—for analytics and AI/ML, is extremely challenging for today’s data engineers.


          To achieve goals like these, Red Hat uses a combination of automated S3 object bucket notifications, a feature of the Ceph RADOS gateway (RGW) in OpenShift Data Foundation and Red Hat Ceph Storage, data-streaming services available in Red Hat AMQ, and serverless capabilities in Red Hat OpenShift.

          As soon as data is ingested, the RGW sends a bucket notification to Red Hat AMQ, which creates an Apache Kafka topic that in turn delivers the notification to OpenShift Serverless. Next, OpenShift Serverless invokes the assigned function to process and apply any transformation on the incoming data.

          This process can be scaled to operate on multiple incoming data streams, with each stream invoking a different serverless function. Once the data is processed, it’s stored in a data lake where data engineers and data scientists can access it.

        • IBM Clarifies Stance On Developers Working On Open-Source Projects In Off-Hours

          Earlier this week was a surprising Linux kernel networking commit that removed an IBM engineer as one of the driver maintainers for the IBM Power SR-IOV Virtual NIC driver. Seemingly at issue with this VNIC driver work was the developer using his personal email address in working on the driver in his off-hours. IBM has now clarified their stance on such work.

          The VNIC maintainer updating patch yielded much attention for carrying the following quoted message, “As an IBM employee, you are not allowed to use your gmail account to work in any way on VNIC. You are not allowed to use your personal email account as a “hobby”. You are an IBM employee 100% of the time. Please remove yourself completely from the maintainers file. I grant you a 1 time exception on contributions to VNIC to make this change.”

        • AIOps, what and why

          In the past, IT operations (ITOps) teams were run by independent departments. With the advent of DevSecOps (Development, Security, Operations), integration of development and ITOps has made it easier for teams to work across departments. The growing popularity of hybrid cloud environments accelerated the growth of applications and rapid agile deployments. The increase of hybrid cloud environments in an enterprise generates significant sources of diverse data, including version control systems, code commits, CI/CD operations, automatic scans, policies, test automation systems, change requests, infrastructure and inventory, application logs, among others. In complex IT operations settings, failures are guaranteed to occur unexpectedly, making it difficult for teams to identify the root cause.

          One would expect these diverse data sources to provide insight into ITOps from multiple angles. The reality is that the data from varied sources is not necessarily organized, correlated, or centralized, which makes incident resolution challenging. Site reliability engineers (SRE) who are responsible for IT operations deal with analyzing crowded dashboards populated by disparate monitoring tools and diverse data sources without a correlated and centralized source of truth. Despite having a well architected monitoring framework, it can be a herculean task to detect issues that eventually contribute to customer-impacting incidents.

        • Evolving ITOps with AIOps with no-code AI training

          Gartner’s definition of AIOps: AIOps combines big data and machine learning to automate IT operations (ITOps) processes, including event correlation, anomaly detection, and causality determination.

          ITOps teams are beginning to explore how automation can improve business outcomes through scalable artificial intelligence (AI). Gartner found that 10 times more business leaders will rely on AIOps platforms for automated insights in the next three years. Without it, IT organizations can experience a lack of observability, become overwhelmed from manually managing data, and end up focusing on infrastructure rather than an application-centric approach. The ITOps teams of tomorrow will experience full visualization and observability of their IT environments with insights derived from various tools that focus on critical applications to support business performance.

      • Debian Family

        • Parrot OS Security edition is a Linux desktop distribution geared for security admins

          Sometimes, choosing a Linux distribution is a challenge. Given how many options are available, anyone faced with the selection could find their head spinning in a dizzying display of confusion. For certain types of users, the selection gets a bit more focused. A particular type of user is one who either places a higher priority on security and/or those who require a particular security-focused toolkit for their daily job.

          Within the world of Linux, there are a few particular distributions that give security considerably more attention. One such distribution is Parrot OS. Before we get into this, know there are two different flavors of Parrot OS—a general desktop distribution (the Home edition) and one purpose-built for security. It’s the latter I want to examine today.

          Parrot OS Security edition is all about penetration testing and Red Team operations, such as computer forensics, reverse engineering, attack and cloud penetration testing. The security edition of Parrot is geared toward anonymous usage and has a plethora of tools available. All of this is wrapped up in a user-friendly desktop operating system, based on Debian.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu MATE: Ubuntu MATE 21.04 Release Notes

          Ubuntu MATE 21.04 is here and it has a new look thanks to the collaboration with the Yaru team. This release marks the start of a new visual direction for Ubuntu MATE, while retaining the features you’ve come to love Read on to learn what we’ve been working on over the last 6 months and get some insight to what we’ll be working on next.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 due today with native Active Directory integration

          Canonical has announced the availability of Ubuntu 21.04, it includes native Microsoft Active Directory integration, a Flutter application development SDK, and Wayland switched on by default replacing the X Window System which is now 36 years old. Ubuntu 21.04 comes with the Linux 5.11 kernel meaning newer hardware is supported but Canonical decided not to include the latest GNOME 40 just yet.

        • Xubuntu 21.04 released!

          The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 21.04.

          Xubuntu 21.04, codenamed Hirsute Hippo, is a regular release and will be supported for 9 months, until January 2022. If you need a stable environment with longer support time we recommend that you use Xubuntu 20.04 LTS instead.

          The final release images are available as torrents and direct downloads from xubuntu.org/download/.

          As the main server might be busy in the first few days after the release, we recommend using the torrents if possible.

          Xubuntu Core, our minimal ISO edition, is available to download from unit193.net/xubuntu/core/ [torrent, magnet]. Find out more about Xubuntu Core here.

          We’d like to thank everybody who contributed to this release of Xubuntu!

        • Ubuntu goes all-out for Wayland with Ubuntu 21.04

          Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04, featuring Wayland enabled by default plus a Flutter SDK and native Microsoft Active Directory integration. Meanwhile, Linux 5.12 will drop on Sunday.

          Unlike last October’s Ubuntu 20.10 LTS (“Groovy Gorilla”), the newly released Ubuntu 21.04 (“Hirsute Hippo”) is not an LTS release and it lacks major embedded news like 20.10’s full-featured Raspberry Pi 4 support. Yet, Ubuntu and its variants and derivatives continues to be the leading distribution on embedded products by a long shot. (Yocto Project and distros based on it are perhaps equally cited, but Yocto is not a distribution, but rather a collection of consistent layers, libraries, and tools.)

          We also thought it worth noting that Ubuntu’s long road to the Wayland display server is finally complete. The now fully mature Wayland graphics support is available by default.

        • Download Now: Ubuntu 21.04 Released, Available to Download

          Ubuntu 21.04 has been released, and is available to download from the Ubuntu website.

          This version of Ubuntu — the 34th release since 2006, fact fans — is a short-term release that comes with 9 months of security updates, critical fixes, and select software updates.

          Users can download and install Ubuntu 21.04 directly, or upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 from 20.10. Users of this release will be able to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 later this year.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Flavours Released, This is What’s New

          The Ubuntu 21.04 release is out, and so are new versions of Ubuntu’s family of official flavours.

          To bring you (and me) up-to-speed on what’s improved in each flavour with zero waffle I’m going to do it in a mere 2 paragraphs a piece!

          Don’t worry, there are screenshots and the relevant download link you will need should you want to try a particular flavour out first hand, for yourself.

          Like Ubuntu proper all of the flavours in this list get 9 months of core app updates, security fixes, and bug patches. They all feature the same graphics drivers, the same Linux 5.11 kernel, and have access to the same rich set of software.

          But what don’t they have in common? Let’s see…

        • Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” Released, Here Is What’s New

          Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” is officially out now. The latest version has a new default display server, native support for Microsoft Active Directory domains, and updated theme.

          Ubuntu 21.04 is a regular short term release that will be supported for nine months. It will only receive updates until January 2022. Ubuntu usually uses regular releases to introduce new developments that it hopes to stabilize by the time the next long term release (LTS) rolls around.

          Above all, Ubuntu 21.04 biggest change is a change from Xorg display server to Wayland. The developers at Canonical say this will bring smoother graphics, better support for fractional scaling on displays with high pixel density, and improved security. Although Wayland is set to default, be cautious that things might breaks, especially if you have Nvidia hardware. Ubuntu tried using Wayland by default back with Ubuntu 17.10, before reverting to Xorg for subsequent releases.

          By switching to Wayland now, Canonical can work out any issues by the time of the next long-term support Ubuntu release.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) released

          Ubuntu 21.04, codenamed “Hirsute Hippo”, is here. This release continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, partnering with the community and our partners, to introduce new features and fix bugs.

          Ubuntu Desktop 21.04 uses Wayland graphics by default, strengthening security while enhancing performance. 21.04 comes with improved AD (Active Directory) integration where user authentication, with Group Policy enabled, works out of the box to allow administrators to manage Ubuntu workstations and simplify developer compliance with company policies. Ubuntu 21.04 also adds the ability to configure system settings from an Active Directory domain controller. Using a Group Policy Client, system administrators can specify security policies on all connected clients, such as password policies and user access control, and Desktop environment settings, such as login screen, background and favourite apps.

          Ubuntu Server 21.04 integrates recent innovations from key open infrastructure projects like Openstack Wallaby, Rails 6, QEMU 5.2, libvirt 7.0, Kubernetes, and Ceph with advanced life-cycle management tools for multi-cloud and on-prem operations from bare metal, VMWare and Openstack, to every major public cloud.

          The Ubuntu Kernel has been updated to the 5.11 based Linux kernel, our default toolchain has moved to gcc 10.3.0 release with glibc 2.33, and we’ve also updated to openssl 1.1.1.

          The newest Ubuntu Budgie, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu are also being released today.

        • Lubuntu Blog: Lubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) Released!

          Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, Lubuntu 21.04 has been released. With the codename Hirsute Hippo, Lubuntu 21.04 is the 20th release of Lubuntu, the sixth release of Lubuntu with LXQt as the default desktop environment.

        • Onboarding and orchestrating network functions with Open Source MANO (OSM)

          Do I need to orchestrate my network functions? Well, the answer depends on the price-performance assumptions of your infrastructure and workloads.

          It seems like ages that NFV is trying to fulfill the promises of reducing CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) and OPEX (operating expenses) by decoupling Network Functions (NFs) from the hardware and ensuring stability. However, despite the huge traction it has gained, there are still obstacles that must be overcome before NFV can be part of day-to-day operations in industrial deployments. Telcos need to build complex virtualized network functions while maintaining a high quality of service (QoS) so onboarding them cost-effectively and implementing the process for management and orchestration remains one of the biggest challenges. Right now, this process can take up to weeks, and operators and vendors are striving to cut it to a day.

          Network function onboarding is an automated methodology for bringing new network functions into an operational NFV environment so that they can be instantiated, scaled in and out, and fully utilized to deliver features. It includes modeling the network function so that its features and interfaces can be published to any NFV environment, interoperable with the selected MANO, and other adopted deployment and testing mechanisms by multiple VNF vendors. ETSI OSM is an operator-led community that is delivering an open source Management and Orchestration (MANO) stack aligned with ETSI NFV Information Models and that meets the requirements of production NFV networks. It helps accelerate your migration to NFV with network function onboarding and then ensuring the automated orchestration of the network functions.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • InfiniTime 1.0 firmware released for PineTime smartwatch

          The PineTime smartwatch was unveiled and first launched in 2019, as a low-cost, open-source wearables development kit/platform for developers wanting to work on firmware development for the Nordic nRF52 powered device.

          Progress was made on various solutions such as ATCwatch Arduino firmware, and as time passed, the PineTime slowly became more like an “enthusiast-grade” end-user product. This is basically what it has become with the first stable release of InfiniTime firmware, which was selected as the default firmware in September 2020.

        • SiFive Intelligence platform tapped by Tenstorrent and Renesas

          SiFive announced that AI chip startup Tenstorrent will license a new 64-bit SiFive Intelligence X280 CPU for its Tensix cores and that Renesas will adopt SiFive Intelligence for its automotive processors.

          Tomorrow at the Linley Spring Processor Conference, RISC-V IP designer SiFive will unveil the X280, the first of the SiFive Intelligence family of processors announced last September. Meanwhile, SiFive has announced two early adopters of SiFive Intelligence. AI chip and software startup Tenstorrent will license the SiFive Intelligence X280 as a platform for its Tensix NPU. Renesas says it will license SiFive Intelligence for its automotive processors but did not specify the X280. (See farther below for more on the Tenstorrent and Renesas news.)

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Using Open Source, Open Data, and Civic Technology to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic and Infodemic

        Methods: In response to the call for participation in the 2020 International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) Yearbook theme issue on Medical Informatics and the Pandemic, the IMIA Open Source Working Group surveyed recent works related to the use of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) for this pandemic.

        Results: FLOSS health care projects including GNU Health, OpenMRS, DHIS2, and others, have responded from the early phase of this pandemic. Data related to COVID-19 have been published from health organizations all over the world. Civic Technology, and the collaborative work of FLOSS and open data groups were considered to support collective intelligence on approaches to managing the pandemic.

        Conclusion: FLOSS and open data have been effectively used to contribute to managing the COVID-19 pandemic, and open approaches to collaboration can improve trust in data.

      • Voting for LPI Board of Directors Opens Soon

        Linux Professional Institute (LPI) members will elect a new Board of Directors next month. The list of nominees put forth by the nominating committee includes both new candidates and existing board members. It also provides background information for each of the 15 candidates, along with their motivation for running.

      • Events

        • Keynotes Announced for Percona Live ONLINE Conference – Focused on the Business Impact of Open Source Software
        • foss-north 2021 – Speakers and Call for Papers

          Call for Papers closes on Sunday. Join foss-north 2021 and be a part of a great speaker line-up!

          When planning foss-north, we always pre-announce some speakers early on. This helps set the tone of the conference, show sponsors that we have contents, and – interestingly – also increase the number of submissions to our call for papers.

          This year is a bit special due to COVID-19 and the conference will be our third virtual installment, but we are still hoping to bring together great people and contents.

          This year we have four pre-announced speakers who I’m very excited about. We have everything from stories from how the Internet is kept safe, how to use open source methods in your organization, how industry verticals collaborate around open source, all the way to how to write a Linux kernel driver.

      • CMS

        • Measuring web traffic with Matomo

          Matomo is an open source PHP/MySQL based web analytics application to track online visits to websites and displays reports on these visits. It does what Google Analytics does, but it is open source. Matomo has commercial cloud based offering for those who do not want to host their own instance but the code is there on GitHub (https://github.com/matomo-org/matomo) for anyone who is interested.

        • 5 WordPress Trends to Discover in 2021

          WordPress is the world’s most popular website creation platform and has been for a while now. What makes WordPress so wildly popular and successful isn’t the fact that there are no alternatives; it’s the fact that WordPress by itself is by far the simplest to use, one of the most sophisticated, and a top-tier website creation tool.

          There have been many platforms diligently working to dethrone WordPress, but none have even come close. These days, WordPress powers 40% of all websites available, which is a massive number.

          A platform of the size of WordPress is a monolithic one, and it has a whole community centered around it. Just like anything else in the digital sphere, it’s chock-full of trends, and the trends in twenty twenty-one dictate the future of how people will go on using the platform.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Parallel 20210422 (‘Ever Given’) released [stable]

            GNU Parallel 20210322 (‘Ever Given’) [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: lbry://@GnuParallel:4
            No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.
            An easy way to support GNU Parallel is to tip on LBRY.
            Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons: http://www.elsotanillo.net/wp-content/uploads/GnuParallel_JuanSierraPons.mp4
            It does not have to be as detailed as Juan’s. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Grafana Labs [chooses AGPLv3] to stem strip-mining tactics

            Open source software company Grafana Labs has relicensed its core open source projects from the Apache Licence 2.0 to the Affero General Public Licence (AGPL) v3.

            The creator of Grafana Loki and Tempo and contributor to projects such as Graphite, Prometheus and Cortex, described the move as balancing “value creation” and “revenue creation”, while maintaining an open source philosophy.

            In the past, some open source software providers have changed their licensing, such as the server side public licence (SSPL) from MongoDB, which charges cloud providers a fee for providing the software as a service on their platforms. But cloud providers have often found workarounds.

            For instance, soon after MongoDB introduced SSPL, AWS introduced a compatible database, Amazon DocumentDB, which, it said, implemented the Apache 2.0 open source MongoDB 3.6 application programming interface (API) by emulating the responses a MongoDB client expects from a MongoDB server.

      • Public Services/Government

        • MEITY holds discussion on Free and Open Source Software in Government

          India is well-positioned to become a vibrant hub for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) innovations, due to the large number of 4G data subscribers in India, 96% of whom access the digital world via open-source-based mobile operating systems (primarily Android). Some of India’s largest government projects (including Aadhaar) and many technology start-ups have also been built using FOSS. Acknowledging the huge potential of FOSS, the Government of India had issued a Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software in 2015.

          To increase awareness about the usage of FOSS in governance and Government functioning, and adoption of FOSS, a virtual roundtable discussion ‘Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Government’ was organized by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) in collaboration with Omidyar Network India on April 22, 2021.

          Speaking at the occasion, Shri Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, appraised the steps taken by MeitY like Policy for Open Source Software in 2015 to Open Source Collaborative development of Aarogya Setu. “I am delighted to see the interest in further advancing the adoption of FOSS in Government among a wide range of Government leaders, Academia and FOSS innovators. MeitYwill continues to play a key role in this journey. We are also pleased to announce the #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge, which will harness the innovation potential of the FOSS community and start-ups to solve critical issues in GovTech. More such efforts will be forthcoming.”

      • Programming/Development

        • Daniel Stenberg: “So what exactly is curl?”

          In my case I typically start out by saying I’m a software engineer. (And no, I don’t use a title.)

        • Python

          • How to install Python 2.7 & PIP2 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux – Linux Shout

            Although the latest version on Ubuntu 20.04 of Python is 3.x, however, we still can install Python 2.7 from its official repository. Here we will show you that along with steps to update-alternatives for selecting the default Python version on your Linux.

            With the entry-level and user-friendly programming language Python, you can code almost any imaginable application. But it’s just a piece of software like any other – installation and management can sometimes be complex. Well, not for Ubuntu. The syntax of Python is simple and understandable so that beginners and those switching can quickly find their way around. Object orientation is fully supported in Python, but no object-oriented programming is enforced. Python also supports various programming styles, such as imperative, structural, functional, or aspect-oriented programming.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Debate over Body Positivity and the Rise in Obesity – Validated Independent News

        Hosie discusses the topic of obesity in society from the perspective of various health experts, personal trainers, self-love advocates, and medical doctors. While there may be no exact correlation between weight and physical health, obesity leads to additional complications from various illnesses. At the same time, those who at least stay active and practice proper nutritional habits are less likely to experience health problems associated with obesity.

      • 90% of the World Breathes Polluted Air. Symbolic Emission Targets Aren’t Enough.

        In the age of the Anthropocene, the simple act of taking a healthy breath has become a luxury. In spite of ongoing industry efforts to thwart elected officials into allowing for “business as usual” no matter the social and environmental toll, activists are no longer the only ones calling for dramatic drops in emissions: now, even corporate leaders and power companies have called on the Biden administration to commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

      • Corporate Media Sideline Health Experts during Pandemic – Validated Independent News

        FAIR analyzed the Sunday schedule of programs for five major media networks—NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and Fox—during April 2020 to determine just how many health experts and public interest groups each network’s programs featured. Of all 121 featured guests, only 21 percent were health experts and just two percent represented public interest groups. These programs also included only three foreign officials across all five networks.

      • Factory Farming in US Creates Breeding Ground for Next Pandemic – Validated Independent News

        “The threat boils down to American excess,” Jessica Moss wrote. Over the past fifty years, meat production has increased about 260 percent, mostly in the form of so-called factory farms or CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) that fulfill the US and global demand for cheap and plentiful animal protein. As Moss reported, 99 percent of US meat comes from factory farms where “[p]oor conditions and stress on the animals means that disease can emerge on the farms and spread through the herd at lightning speed—like COVID-19 in a nightclub.”

      • Doctors Without Borders Implores US, EU to Stop Blocking Vaccine Patent Waiver

        The international humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders on Wednesday implored the United States, European Union member nations, and other rich countries to immediately end their opposition to South Africa and India’s patent waiver proposal , which would enable the mass production of generic coronavirus vaccines to meet the developing world’s dire needs .

      • Opportunists Game Facebook with COVID-19 Misinformation for Profit – Validated Independent News

        In one posted video, Neptute claimed that a Covid-19 vaccine “does not and will not and cannot stop the infection.” Despite Facebook’s claims that it would take down any misinformation about the coronavirus, it was not until after the Bureau of Investigative Journalism published an article on this matter that Facebook take down Nepute’s content. Facebook’s action appears to have been the result of negative attention brought by the article; they were reactive instead of proactive, as they claimed to be, the Bureau’s Jasper Jackson reported.

      • ACLU Demands Improved COVID-19 Protections for Florida Detainees – Validated Independent News

        Although a settlement agreement was filed in December, it has yet to be finalized. The finalization is contingent on several measures, including an expansion of COVID-19 testing and twice-daily temperature checks for the medically vulnerable. On May 10, 2021, the settlement will be brought to a judge who will decide whether or not to make it a court order. Until then, detainees will have the opportunity to bring their disagreements directly to the judge. If a similar lawsuit against Miami-Dade corrections is anything to go by, the success of this settlement could result in a significant decrease in the prison population, lessening the chance of another outbreak.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Is the private sector gaming social-media policies to silence security researchers, critics?

            On 13 April, the Free Software Movement of India, a coalition of organisations promoting the adoption of free software, was allowed access to its Twitter account, almost 17 days after the social-media platform locked it out. Twitter had locked the account of FSMI on 27 March, for a tweet that referred to a data breach of customers’ details at Big Basket, an online grocery store. On 30 March, Robert Baptiste, a France-based cyber-security expert, who goes by the name Elliot Alderson on Twitter, too, was locked out of his account for a tweet referring to a data breach at Mobikwik, a digital payments platform. The next day, another cyber-security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia faced similar action by Twitter for a tweet regarding the MobiKwik breach, which affected the personal data of almost ten crore users. This was the second time in a month that Rajaharia had been locked out of his account for tweets on MobiKwik. In each instance, Twitter told the accounts that their tweets violated its rules against “posting private information.”

            Baptiste and Rajaharia’s accounts were restored in less than 12 hours—both of them deleted their respective tweets. Rajaharia shared a screenshot which showed that his account was locked for 12 hours for violating Twitter’s private-information policy, but he told me his account was reinstated after about four hours. FSMI, which was locked out of its account for a tweet dated 12 December 2020, chose not to delete the post and Twitter later took down the tweet. Strangely, another tweet by FSMI, from 11 November, which refers to the same content, remained visible on the account.

            In each case, it was unclear how the tweets on data breaches violated the rules against “posting private information,” and if Twitter took action on its own, or whether some other individual or organisation reported these accounts. In an email response to The Caravan on 31 March, Twitter did not answer specific questions on who reported FSMI’s account and only said, “The referenced account was correctly actioned for violating the Private information policy.” However, on 13 April, Twitter sent an email to FSMI, informing them that their account had been restored and admitted that “After reviewing your account, it looks like we made an error.”

          • Cybereason Discovers Global Botnet Campaign Leveraging Microsoft Exchange Vulnerabilities

            Cybereason, the leader in future-ready attack protection, today announced the discovery of a widespread, global campaign seeking to propagate the stealthy Prometei Botnet, by targeting organizations with a multi-stage attack to steal processing power to mine bitcoin. The threat actors, who appear to be Russian speakers, are taking advantage of previously disclosed Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities leveraged in the Hafnium attacks to penetrate networks.

            Prometei has a complex infrastructure designed to ensure persistence on infected machines. While Prometei was first reported on in July 2020, Cybereason assesses that the botnet actually dates back to at least 2016, a year before the now infamous WannaCry and NotPetya malware attacks that affected more than 200 countries and caused billions in damages. Prometei continues to evolve with new features and tools regularly observed.

          • Prometei Botnet Exploiting Microsoft Exchange Vulnerabilities

            Recently, the Cybereason Nocturnus Team responded to several incident response (IR) cases involving infections of the Prometei Botnet against companies in North America, observing that the attackers exploited recently published Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-27065 and CVE-2021-26858) in order to penetrate the network and install malware.
            Prometei is a modular and multi-stage cryptocurrency botnet that was first discovered in July 2020 which has both Windows and Linux versions. To achieve their goal of mining Monero coins, Prometei uses different techniques and tools, ranging from Mimikatz to SMB and RDP exploits and other tools that all work together to propagate across the network.
            Although Prometei was officially discovered in mid-2020, the Cybereason Nocturnus Team found evidence that Prometei might date back as far as 2016 and has been evolving ever since, adding new modules and techniques to its capabilities. The latest versions of Prometei now provide the attackers with a sophisticated and stealthy backdoor that supports a wide range of tasks that make mining Monero coins the least of the victims’ concerns.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Attorney General Merrick Garland Announces DOJ Probe Into Minneapolis PD

        Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Wednesday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will conduct a probe into the practices and culture of the Minneapolis Police Department. Garland’s announcement came the day after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges he faced for the murder of George Floyd.

      • We Need to Abolish the Police and End Militarized Occupations of Our Cities

        The police murder of George Floyd added jet fuel to a nationwide push to defund the police. We go to Minneapolis to speak with Kandace Montgomery, co-executive director of Black Visions Collective, about their response to the guilty verdict for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd and an update on the push to divest from Minneapolis police and invest in communities.

      • Mass Protests Led to Chauvin’s Conviction. Now They’re Being Criminalized.

        On Tuesday, former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted on all charges in the brutal public lynching of George Floyd. For the Floyd family, the conviction offered some solace that the courts did not allow Floyd’s life to be taken with impunity. For many of us, however, it was a hollow “victory,” not only because prisons don’t solve our problems, but because we know police don’t either.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Republicans Have Introduced 81 Anti-Protest Laws in 34 States Just This Year

        As protesters have rallied across the U.S. over the past year against police-perpetrated violence and brutality, Republicans in state legislatures have been busy cooking up anti-protest laws. Reporting has found that, just in the 2021 legislative session, Republicans have introduced 81 bills in 34 states aimed at suppressing protests.

    • Monopolies

      • Incopro launches e-commerce platforms report: ‘Three strikes and out’ [Ed: The "Sponsored by" here shows that this think tank of the litigation industry isn't really a news site; like JUVE, it has devolved into a spam farm or propaganda platform]
      • Patents

        • 5G RAN SEPs Likely to Encourage a Frenzy of Activity

          The rapidly changing 5G RAN and the growth forecasts for the equipment market promises to attract 5G RAN SEP monetization. The large number and diverse ownership of 5G RAN SEPs should encourage a frenzy of monetization activity.

          As of January 2021, nearly 33,000 active patent families have been self-declared to 5G. Of those families, over 63% or 20,750 families have been self-declared specifically to 5G RAN infrastructure. These families comprise nearly 70,000 active patents and applications. The pie chart below developed from Unified Patents’ objective patent landscaping tool (OPAL) shows the top 20 ownership of those families.

        • Discretionary Denials at the PTAB Continue to Rise, Benefit NPEs

          According to new data from Unified Patents, the rise in discretionary denials at the PTAB is showing no signs of slowing down. In 2019, there were 6 denials based on co-pending litigation (so-called § 314(a) or Fintiv denials). In these denials, the PTAB decides not to institute an inter partes review based primarily on related litigation in the district courts or at the ITC, not based on the merits of the challenge to the patent. (In fact, in some cases, they admit that the challenge is “particularly strong”—and then still deny the challenge.)

          In 2020? There were 85. And now, in just the first quarter of 2021, there have already been 43 denials. That represents a doubling of the pace of denials based on co-pending litigation from 2020, assuming the pace doesn’t increase even further during the rest of the year.


          There may be light on the horizon—in a recent discussion, Acting USPTO Director Drew Hirschfeld indicated that the Office is currently reviewing the more than 800 comments they received on discretionary denials and considering what changes might need to be made to restore balance to the PTAB.

        • Investing in MedTech: the true value of platform technologies
          [Ed: This is just a buzzword so often exploited to get illegal patents on algorithms]

          In 2019 alone, almost 14,000 patent applications were filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) in the field of medical technology.

        • Guest Post by Prof. Dmitry Karshtedt: Nonobviousness and Time

          Over the years, courts and commentators have said many thoughtful things about secondary considerations evidence and its role in the law of § 103, and reasonable minds have expressed significant disagreement about the value of this evidence. Consider, for example, the Federal Circuit’s fractured en banc Apple v. Samsung decision in 2016 and the never-ending debate over whether secondary considerations are best treated as rebuttal evidence to a prima facie case of obviousness based on the prior art, or whether all obviousness evidence should be analyzed holistically and at once.

          My take is different: the whole primary/secondary categorization is unhelpful, especially in litigation and during post-issuance PTAB review. Let’s take one illustration. Commercial success and the skepticism of experts are both classified as “secondary considerations,” while teaching away is usually considered to be a part of the primary inquiry. However, skepticism has much more in common with teaching away, which directly tells us that the claimed invention would have been challenging to come up with, than with commercial success, which represents a market response to the invention that may indicate nonobviousness only indirectly. So what is the point of these evidentiary silos?

        • EPO

          • For the third time, the EPO participates in the international Girls’ Day [Ed: Corrupt, misogynistic (have to give sex to someone to get promoted) and generally lawless EPO pretends to care about "Girls"]

            Over the past two weeks, about 140 schoolgirls have met with the EPO as part of Girls’ Day in the Netherlands and Germany.

            At each of its sites in The Hague and Munich, about 70 teenage girls participated in an online event that provided a fun, informative view at careers in science or technology. The girls learned about the patent granting process, watched a presentation on amusing inventions, met some of the Office’s female leaders, and participated in various interactive and entertaining exercises.

            Organised under the lead of VHTO in the Netherlands and of kompetenzz in Germany, the Girl’s Day is an annual international event aimed at reducing the gender imbalance in STEM fields by encouraging young girls to become interested in the science and technology world at an early age. Technical companies, (non-)governmental organisations and research institutes open their doors to teenage schoolgirls to highlight successful women in STEM professions and show that these careers can be exciting and rewarding.

      • Trademarks

Links 22/4/2021: Ubuntu Release, KDE Gear 21.04, GNU/Linux on MacBooks

Posted in News Roundup at 2:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 14 Best Places to Buy Linux Laptops in 2021

        Linux systems have come a long way since. The user interfaces are better polished, the animations and effects which make for a pleasant UX have improved, the default apps are more reliable, the installation process is smoother, documentation is richer, data privacy is more centered, and security measures are better implemented.

        Open-source distros have expanded beyond the domains of servers, system administration, and programming, into that of personal computing. For this reason, dual booting is gradually becoming a thing of the past as computer manufacturers now ship hardware with Linux distros preinstalled. Another factor erasing the need for dual-booting operating systems is virtualization, but that’s a story for a different day.

        What I am saying, in essence, is that gone are the days when you had to purchase a Windows laptop only to take the long route of replacing Windows with Linux or dual-booting the system and then struggling with driver compatibility, among other issues, afterward. You can buy a Linux laptop directly and there are several options available to you.

        In today’s article, we present you with a list of reliable stores from which you can purchase your next Linux computer. These PCs have been tested for driver and network compatibility, and they come with a relatively lighter price tag compared to ones that ship with a Windows license. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are 10 or more places where you can buy Linux computers.

      • Restore an old MacBook with Linux

        Last year, I wrote about how you can give new life to an old MacBook with Linux, specifically Elementary OS in that instance. Recently, I returned to that circa 2015 MacBook Air and discovered I had lost my login password. I downloaded the latest Elementary OS 5.1.7 Hera release and could not get the live boot to recognize my Broadcom 4360 wireless chipset.

        Lately, I have been using Linux Mint to refurbish older laptops, and I thought I would give it a try on this MacBook Air. I downloaded the Linux Mint 20.1 ISO and created a USB boot drive using the Popsicle software on my Linux desktop computer.

      • Thelio Massive at the Lab: An interview with Luca Della Santina

        A few things. We wanted a system that was designed to run Linux from its foundations. There are not a lot of systems like yours, so that was a major factor in our choice. We also wanted a system that we could expand easily in the future, and we found out that the Thelio Massive has has great expandability.

    • Server

      • Edge data centers might have air con engineers – but no Linux, storage or VM specialists [Ed: Job ads disguised as "sponsored" 'articles' now?]

        Edge centers will have to be managed by largely non-specialist staff as micro data centers are rolled out across the world. While air-conditioning engineers and electricians will make it through the door, the economics of running Edge data centers will mean that data center specialists – such as storage experts or qualified Linux engineers – won’t be employed on-site

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Preparing To Deal With SD Card Power/Performance Features – Phoronix

        Since the SD card specification v4.0 there has been the notion of extension registers initially for power management features that in the SD v6.0 specification also is now used for performance features. The Linux kernel is finally beginning to work towards making use of those SD extension registers.

        Ulf Hansson of Linaro sent out patches this week so the Linux kernel begins reading/parsing those SD extension registers. However, at this point the Linux kernel isn’t making use of those power/performance registers… Hopefully those patches will come soon now that this prerequisite work to actually read those registers is in place by these patches.

      • Google Volleys Latest “Restricted DMA” Patches For Protecting IOMMU-Less Hardware – Phoronix

        The past few months there has been work by Google’s Chrome OS engineers on Restricted DMA functionality for the Linux kernel to protect systems lacking an IOMMU.

        For systems lacking an Input-Output Memory Management Unit (IOMMU), Restricted DMA aims to increase system security by ensuring that no unexpected direct memory access occurs that could lead to data leakage or corruption. From Google’s perspective one use-case is PCIe-based WiFi where the PCI Express bus isn’t behind an IOMMU. Restricted DMA would help fend off the possibility that problematic WiFi firmware could escalate into a full system exploit.

      • University of Minnesota Banned from Linux Kernel for Deliberately Submitting Buggy Code

        Greg Kroah-Hartman, lead Linux kernel developer, has banned the University of Minnesota from further contributions after researchers submitted flawed patches as part of an experiment.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Radeon Software For Linux 21.10 Is Released

          The latest AMD GPU driver package for Linux is out and it is a peculiar one. The only highlights mentioned in the release notes are “full support for Ubuntu 20.04.2″ and “preview of the Vulkan Ray Tracing Extensions supported on compatible AMD RDNA 2 based graphics products”. The actual driver package appears to be a mix of Mesa drivers, Radeon Open Compute, a LLVM fork, the free AMDVLK Vulkan driver anda “Pro” Vulkan driver, and some tools.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux’s P-State Performance Governor Shows Unexpectedly Big Boosts For The Intel Core i9-11900K

        The P-State and CPUFreq “performance” governors on Linux with desktop Intel/AMD processors can be of help for gaming and other select workloads by tending to keep the CPU clock frequencies higher than the default ondemand (CPUFreq) or powersave (P-State) governors used by nearly all Linux distributions. But with Intel’s new Core i9 11900K “Rocket Lake” is a dramatic difference in power and performance between the Intel P-State performance and powersave governors than what we have seen over the years with prior generations of Intel Core processors.

    • Applications

      • 6 Best Free and Open Source Console MPD Clients

        MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

        MPD runs in the background playing music from its playlist. Client programs communicate with MPD to manipulate playback, the playlist, and the database.

        The client–server model provides advantages over all-inclusive music players. Clients can communicate with the server remotely over an intranet or over the Internet. The server can be a headless computer located anywhere on a network.

        There’s graphical clients, console clients and web-based clients.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install TeamSpeak on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install the TeamSpeak on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, TeamSpeak is a cross-platform voice server or VOIP application for real-time voice chat over the internet. It is mostly used by gamers to communicate with teammates with crystal clear sound, lag-free performance, military-grade security, unparalleled reliability, and uptime. TeamSpeak is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the TeamSpeak on a CentOS 8.

      • How to Work with Foreground and Background Process in Linux

        An important concept to understand when working with the Linux process is what is the foreground and background process and how to control them. In Linux, if you execute any programs a process will be created with a unique ID (PID) and by default, the process runs in the foreground.

        Let’s take a simple curl command – when you send a request to download a zip file over the internet, curl will run as a foreground process and all the outputs will be displayed in the terminal.

        There are two important keystrokes that you have to understand before working with the background and foreground process.

      • How to build an active-active-active cluster with RHEL 8 and Percona MySQL

        In the past, building a fault-tolerant, secure multi-master MySQL service was cumbersome. It required several steps and dependent packages. Replication configuration, data synchronization, and multiple configuration files added to the complexity. Building a solution on a hardened OS like Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 and using a professionally packaged multi-master MySQL distribution from Percona makes it easy. This guide shows you how.

      • Russell Coker: HP MP350P Gen8

        I’m playing with a HP Proliant ML350P Gen8 server (part num 646676-011). For HP servers “ML” means tower (see the ProLiant Wikipedia page for more details [1]). For HP servers the “generation” indicates how old the server is, Gen8 was announced in 2012 and Gen10 seems to be the current generation.

    • Games

      • Dive into the minds of people in jazz-punk adventure Don’t Forget Me out now

        Jazz-punk? Sounds pretty fancy. Don’t Forget Me is a brand new adventure and puzzle game with a twist, where you dive into peoples minds and use your observational skills to unwrap their minds. The Moon Pirates say it’s a game that was inspired by the likes of Her Story and The Red Strings Club.

        “Where are you? *Who* are you? As amnesiac Fran, you awake from a mind-consuming reverie on the doorstep of one of the world’s foremost experts in memory manipulation. Taken in by the kindly Bernard, you begin your life anew, diving into the minds of patients to uncover and copy their memories.. But it’s not long before the secrets you left behind catch up with you…and the fate of the world comes knocking at your door.”

      • Scoot Hard DX is a new GZDoom powered FPS with vertical combat and MLP characters | GamingOnLinux

        What do you get when you merge the world of MLP (My Little Pony) and the GZDoom game engine? Scoot Hard DX certainly answers that question.

        “From the minds behind Daytime Drama, the high-octane Scoot Hard DX: Daytime Drama Zero is the prequel to the 2018 cult classic. Very loosely based on Rainbow Factory by AuroraDawn, you play as Scootaloo, who must escape the Cloudsdale Weather Corporation and get her friends back – by kicking flank! With tons of humor, an array of equine enemies, huge levels, powerful weapons, a look and feel like something off mid-2000s Newgrounds, and full voice acting, it is a unique take on the retro shooter genre that could only come from Waffle Iron Studios!”

      • FMOD Studio 2.02 is out along with native Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        Enabling even more developers to work directly from Linux, FMOD Studio 2.02 has been released which includes (amongst other things) native support for Linux. This is actually pretty amazing! Since FMOD has quickly become the go-to audio solution for thousands of games and more use it all the time.

        They’re not just supporting Ubuntu either, they say it has support for a “wide range of distributions”. It’s got the major functionality of the Windows and macOS version too with a few caveats including specific formats where Linux has no encoder and no support for “control surfaces”. Apart from that, it’s all-in.

      • Oh My Git! Is An Open Source Game For Learning Git

        Oh My Git! turns the Git version control system into a fun, interactive game for both beginners and advanced users interested in learning more or to teach others. The game is free and open source, it’s built using the Godot game engine, and is available for Linux, macOS and Windows.

      • Crytivo doing a charity livestream to plant trees with a unique The Universim feature | GamingOnLinux

        Crytivo, indie game publisher and developer of the Early Access game The Universim are today doing a big charity funding drive to benefit One Tree Planted.

        Starting at 10 AM PST / 5PM UTC, their team will stream for 32 hours straight on Twitch to raise money for the charity. One dollar donated will be one tree in real life, plus they’ve adjusted The Universim to have a tree appear on the world each time too – which is pretty clever. Not only that, the names of donors will also “be immortalized on the planet during and after the event when we upload an interactable planet to the web, as a sort of monument to their awesomeness”. Oh, they’re also going to be giving away a bunch of games from lots of partners.

      • Valve releases Steam Playtest for all devs and new ways to browse Steam

        Valve has upgraded the Steam store once again in two parts: one focused on helping developers, with the other to help users find what they want to play.

        For developers, Steam Playtest is now available for everyone. This is the feature that lets developers have a completely separate install option on their Steam page, inviting users to apply to help test the game. This way developers don’t mess around with Beta keys, mailing lists or anything else. Just enable it, then let users come and help. Since testing it, Valve has added a feature to limit it to different countries too, which can help developers test online games and regional servers.

      • After a delay, the huge free Family Trials update for Children of Morta is out for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Dead Mage and 11bit studios have now upgraded the Linux version for Children of Morta to give it the huge free Family Trials update. The biggest update yet to the absolutely stunning looking story-driven action RPG, with some of the best pixel-art work I’ve ever seen.

        This new game mode is separate to the main story with new systems, items, character build possibilities, and more – all set in a series of completely randomized dungeons. To unlock the mode, you do need to have at least reached the first boss in the story mode though (although you don’t need to beat it).

      • Godot Engine 3.3 is out with plans for 3.4 while 4.0 with Vulkan is still in progress

        The free and open source game engine Godot Engine has a huge new feature release out, so big they had to change the version number and they have some big plans for long-term support.

        Originally planned to be 3.2.4, it got so big with new features they branched it to a whole new build with Godot 3.3. Since Godot 4.0 is going to be a major change, with advanced rendering features and Vulkan API support, they’re going to keep supporting the 3.x branch with plans in progress for a Godot 3.4 release in Q2/Q3 this year.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.04 Software Suite Officially Released with Many Improved KDE Apps

          I told you a few weeks ago that the KDE Project planned on renaming its KDE Applications software suite to KDE Gear, and that the name change will kick off starting with April 2021’s release, versioned 21.04. But the name change won’t affect anyone, as you’ll still enjoy your favorite KDE Apps under the same offering.

          KDE Gear 21.04 is packed with numerous improvements and new features for your favorite KDE applications. For example, the Dolphin file manager now lets you decompress multiple archives at the same time, lets you modify context menu items, lets you select the text of the filename in the information panel, displays thumbnail previews faster, and smoothly animates how icons are rearranged when you split the viewing area or resize the window.

        • KDE Gear 21.04

          KDE produces literally dozens of apps for work, play, education, and creativity. Kontact, for example, gives you control over all your email, contact, and agenda; Itinerary keeps you up to date with everything you need regarding your trips; the KAlgebra graphing calculator works equally well on your desktop and your phone; Cantor provides you with an intuitive way of analyzing data and graphing the results; and Kdenlive makes cutting and building sophisticated-looking videos not only easy, but fun as well.

          These are but a few of the apps releasing new updates today. When combined with the KDE’s powerful Plasma desktop, they provide you with most, if not all, the tools you need to be productive in a versatile and flexible Linux environment.

          But you don’t even need to run Linux! Many of the apps in this announcement work on Windows, macOS, and Android as well. This is what convergent means for KDE: use your favorite apps anywhere, on any system, on your work computer, mobile or even on your TV!

          And, remember: KDE’s apps, the Plasma desktop, Plasma Mobile, Plasma BigScreen and all the rest of KDE’s software are free and open source. No licensing, no hidden costs, no spying. Share them with your friends, install them at work, or use them in your school lab. It is your software to enjoy where and how you want.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Contribute at the Fedora 34 CoreOS Test Day

          The Fedora CoreOS team released the first Fedora CoreOS next stream release based on Fedora 34. They expect to promote this to the testing stream in two weeks, on the usual schedule. As a result, the Fedora CoreOS and QA teams have organized a test week. It begins Monday, April 26, 2021 and runs through the end of the week. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Is Now Available To Download

          Good news for the Ubuntu lovers as Ubuntu 21.04 is now available to download from the Ubuntu website. You can download it from the link below.

          Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” is a short-term release that comes with Linux 5.11 kernel, the latest GNOME 3.38 point release,and many more other features like upgraded integration with Microsoft’s Active Directory.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Official Flavors Released, Here’s What’s New

          As part of the today’s Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release, all the official Ubuntu flavors have been received new versions as well, and I want you to be the first to read about their new features and improvements.

          The official Ubuntu flavors released as part of Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) include Kubuntu 21.04, Xubuntu 21.04, Lubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu Studio 21.04, Ubuntu MATE 21.04, Ubuntu Budgie 21.04, and Ubuntu Kylin 21.04. As expected, they come with all the core change of Ubuntu 21.04, such as Linux kernel 5.11, as well as…

        • What’s New in Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’

          The Hirsute Hippo hits the streets (or mud holes) on April 22, 2021. Either way, the latest version of the enormously popular Ubuntu Linux distribution from Canonical is available for download. Ubuntu 21.04 is an interim release, which means that it receives support for nine months only.

          Canonical releases a build of Ubuntu every six months, one in April and one in October. Every two years, one of these builds is designated a Long Term Support (LTS) release. LTS releases are supported for five years and are considered enterprise-grade. The other releases—the interim builds—are for those who want to have the latest release of Ubuntu and the newest selection of applications, and for whom stability is of secondary importance.

          To be fair to Canonical, the interim builds are always pretty stable. They sometimes need a little time to settle down as the post-launch patches are rolled out, but they do get onto an even keel very quickly. Because the interim builds are used as proving grounds for the software, features, and innovations that will eventually be included in the next LTS build, there’s a small residual risk in using them.

          Some of the hoped-for features, such as the GNOME 40 desktop environment and the GTK 4 development toolkit, didn’t make it into Hirsute Hippo. GNOME 40 has a lot of changes in it, so there were concerns about upgrading. Rather than risking introducing something that could negatively impact the desktop experience, the GNOME extensions, and the Yaru theme, GNOME 40 was dropped from this release. Ubuntu 21.04 sticks with GTK 3 and GNOME 3.38.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is here

          Today, Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04 with native Microsoft Active Directory integration, Wayland graphics by default, and a Flutter application development SDK. Separately, Canonical and Microsoft announced performance optimization and joint support for Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu.

          “Native Active Directory integration and certified Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu are top priorities for our enterprise customers.” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “For developers and innovators, Ubuntu 21.04 delivers Wayland and Flutter for smoother graphics and clean, beautiful, design-led cross-platform development.”

          Ubuntu has established itself as the enterprise engineering platform of choice, from the desktop to public cloud and microservices, with a wide range of corporate adopters in the finance, automotive, tech and government sectors.

          “Canonical’s desktop solutions are cost-effective, easy to manage at scale, and simple to integrate with enterprise systems. For our 100,000 police officers, Ubuntu is user-friendly, reliable, and delivers the requisite privacy and security without additional third-party solutions. Ubuntu is our operating system of choice” said Lt-Colonel Stéphane Dumond, French Gendarmerie Nationale.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is here, but don’t get too excited

          Right on cue, the latest release of popular Linux distro Ubuntu, dubbed the Hirsute Hippo, has hit the download mirrors.

          Ubuntu 21.04 is a regular short term release that will be supported for nine months. Ubuntu usually uses regular releases to introduce new developments that it hopes to stabilize by the time the next long term release (LTS) rolls around.

          Yet, despite the usual slew of updates, this particular release is rather light on show-stopping features. Desktop users will in fact have to look under the covers to find the only noteworthy feature change in the release; the switch to the Wayland display server.

        • Canonical Launches Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’

          Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04 with native Microsoft Active Directory integration, Wayland graphics by default, and a Flutter application development SDK. Separately, Canonical and Microsoft have announced performance optimization and joint support for Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 released

          The Ubuntu 21.04 distribution release is available. “Today, Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04 with native Microsoft Active Directory integration, Wayland graphics by default, and a Flutter application development SDK. Separately, Canonical and Microsoft announced performance optimization and joint support for Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu.”

        • Canonical debuts new Ubuntu with Active Directory integration, support for SQL Server and Flutter

          Ubuntu developer Canonical Ltd. debuted an important new release of its flagship operating system today, adding key capabilities such as Microsoft Active Directory integration, use of the Wayland display protocol by default and a new software development kit for the Flutter framework.

        • Ubuntu Unity 21.04 Is Here for Unity7 Fans with New Theme, Linux Kernel 5.11

          While still not an official flavor, Ubuntu Unity 21.04 is based on the Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release, which means that it ships with all of its internals, including the Linux 5.11 kernel for better hardware support, as well as the updated toolchain consisting of GNU C Library 2.33, GCC 10.3, GNU Binutils 2.36.1, LLVM 12, and Python 3.9.4.

          But Ubuntu Unity 21.04 is here to give fans of the good old Unity 7 desktop environment a much-improved experience by shipping with a new Yaru-Unity7 theme that features a transparent launcher icon, a new Plymouth boot loader screen theme, as well as new wallpapers based on the Hirsute Hippo mascot.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’ is here to make you hungry hungry for Linux

          Do hippopotamuses really like eating balls? In real life, no. In the classic game Hungry Hungry Hippos, however, the creatures love gobbling them up. And that is why it’s apropos that Ubuntu 21.04 is named “Hirsute Hippo.” Much like the hippos devouring spheres in the aforementioned game, the Ubuntu developers at Canonical are trying to eat up Linux users and gain market share.

          Today, Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” is finally made available. This follows a previous beta testing phase. It is a very significant version of the operating system, as it now uses Wayland by default. Canonical promises that it won’t just be an improvement graphically, but for security purposes too. Sadly, with the good comes the bad. You see, Ubuntu 21.04 does not come with GNOME 40 — the latest and greatest version of that desktop environment. At least we get a refreshed “Yaru” dark theme, though.

        • Hurrah! Ubuntu 21.04 is Now Available to Download

          It is time to make way for Ubuntu’s latest stable release 21.04 Hiruste Hippo.

          While we already know a great deal about the features introduced with Ubuntu 21.04, it has been officially announced.

          Yes, there’s no GNOME 40, which is a bummer. But, here, let me briefly mention the key highlights of the release and how to get the latest ISO.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Released. This is What’s New.

          Ubuntu team announced the release of the first short-term installment – Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo. And it is immediately available for download including its official flavors. Here’s what’s new.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is out now with Wayland by default and a new dark theme

          Continuing the gradual improvements towards the next LTS (Long Term Support) release, Ubuntu 21.04 is officially out now to bring some of the latest enhancements to the popular Linux distribution.

          Between each LTS release, Canonical puts out one of these production-ready interim releases every six months with all the latest work. The current LTS is Ubuntu 20.04 supported until April 2025 with the next being Ubuntu 22.04 due April 2022. With the Ubuntu 21.04 release today it will provide at least 9 months of updates.

        • Ubuntu 21.04: Yes, there ARE new features – Review + variants

          Ubuntu 21.04 is here! It’s definitely not the most feature packed release of the last 2 or 3 years, and there are some disappointing omissions, but there are still a few things to talk about, so let’s get into it.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Released With Wayland By Default, New Dark Theme

          Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” is now available.

          The most notable change with the Ubuntu 21.04 desktop is now defaulting to the GNOME Shell Wayland session for supported GPU/driver configurations rather than the X.Org session. The X.Org session remains available for those that want to switch back to it or for unsupported configurations and other desktops, but finally the time has come where Ubuntu developers are comfortable enough with the support/features/performance/reliability to use it by default.

        • Ubuntu 21.10 Codename is Revealed — And it’s an Intriguing Choice

          Today is release day for Ubuntu 21.04 but y’know what? That’s old news already as the codename for Ubuntu 21.10 has been revealed!

          Ubuntu developers clearly aren’t interested in sitting idle and are prepping the foundations for what will become the next stable release. On Launchpad, home of Ubuntu development, the codename for Ubuntu 21.10 is listed as ‘Impish Idri’.

          But what does this codename tell us?

        • Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) Is Now Available for Download, This Is What’s New

          Powered by the Linux kernel 5.11 series, Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) is here to introduce new GNU/Linux and Open Source technologies to users, such as the use of the next-generation Wayland display server by default, and the integration of a Flutter application development SDK.

          Wayland by default is probably the biggest change in Ubuntu 21.04, providing better security and increased performance. However, Wayland won’t be enabled for all configurations as it doesn’t play well, yet, with NVIDIA graphics cards. As such, Linux gamers will be forced to switch back to the Xorg session.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 11 open source ways to celebrate Mother Earth

        What could Earth Day have to do with open source you say? Well, a lot actually. Over the years, people have shared the many different open source projects out there that help us make a positive direct impact on the Earth, but also things that help us reduce, reuse, and recycle, putting less pressure on our planet’s sensitive and precious balances.

        One way we can pitch in by restoring old hardware instead of buying new. What a great project for a young person learning about computers and getting into the field. Here are our picks…

      • Energy infrastructure platform uses open source to fight climate change

        LF Energy is a Linux Foundation project working to accelerate the energy transition of the world’s grids and transportation systems through open source. In December, our project took a major step toward achieving its mission when we and our member organizations Alliander, RTE, and Savoir-faire Linux launched SEAPATH, which stands for Software Enabled Automation Platform and Artifacts.

        SEAPATH is a reference design and a real-time, open source platform for grid operators to run virtualized automation and protection applications. It is the second project for LF Energy’s Digital Substation Automation Systems initiative and a vital step toward adopting renewable energy on the power grid. It will accelerate the grid’s decarbonization, helping lead the planet to carbon neutrality by 2050. Power system transformation leads all efforts for decarbonization; it’s the key enabler for fighting climate change.

      • 5 top open-source infrastructure projects

        Open source software has been a key underpinning of enterprise IT for years, so it’s no surprise that it’s helping to drive the infrastructure part of the equation forward just as much as application development.

        Some projects are much more influential than others, and here are five that are doing the most to help enterprise infrastructure keep pace with the demands of an ever-more sophisticated operating environment.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 10 (Firefox 88-89)

            SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 88 and 89 Nightly release cycles.

            In this newsletter we bid a fond farewell to module owner emeritus Jason Orendorff, and say hello to Jan de Mooij as the new JavaScript Engine module owner.

          • Pyodide Spin Out and 0.17 Release

            We are happy to announce that Pyodide has become an independent and community-driven project. We are also pleased to announce the 0.17 release for Pyodide with many new features and improvements.

            Pyodide consists of the CPython 3.8 interpreter compiled to WebAssembly which allows Python to run in the browser. Many popular scientific Python packages have also been compiled and made available. In addition, Pyodide can install any Python package with a pure Python wheel from the Python Package Index (PyPi). Pyodide also includes a comprehensive foreign function interface which exposes the ecosystem of Python packages to Javascript and the browser user interface, including the DOM, to Python.

            You can try out the latest version of Pyodide in a REPL directly in your browser.

          • Notes on Implementing Vaccine Passports

            Now that we’re starting to get widespread COVID vaccination “vaccine passports” have started to become more relevant. The idea behind a vaccine passport is that you would have some kind of credential that you could use to prove that you had been vaccinated against COVID; various entities (airlines, clubs, employers, etc.) might require such a passport as proof of vaccination. Right now deployment of this kind of mechanism is fairly limited: Israel has one called the green pass and the State of New York is using something called the Excelsior Pass based on some IBM tech.

            Like just about everything surrounding COVID, there has been a huge amount of controversy around vaccine passports (see, for instance, this EFF post, ACLU post, or this NYT article).


            Something that keeps coming up here is the use of blockchain for vaccine passports. You’ll notice that my description above doesn’t have anything about the blockchain but, for instance, the Excelsior Pass says it is built on IBM’s digital health pass which is apparently “built on IBM blockchain technology” and says “Protects user data so that it remains private when generating credentials. Blockchain and cryptography provide credentials that are tamper-proof and trusted.” As another example, in this webinar on the Linux Foundation’s COVID-19 Credentials Initiative, Kaliya Young answers a question on blockchain by saying that the root keys for the signers would be stored in the blockchain.

            To be honest, I find this all kind of puzzling; as far as I can tell there’s no useful role for the blockchain here. To oversimplify, the major purpose of a blockchain is to arrange for global consensus about some set of facts (for instance, the set of financial transactions that has happened) but that’s not necessary in this case: the structure of a vaccine credential is that some health authority asserts that a given person have been vaccinated. We do need relying parties to know the set of health authorities, but we have existing solutions for that (at a high level, you just build the root keys into the verifying apps).[5] If anyone has more details on why a blockchain for this application I’d be interested in hearing them.

          • Mozilla reacts to publication of EU’s draft regulation on AI

            Today, the European Commission published its draft for a regulatory framework for artificial intelligence (AI). The proposal lays out comprehensive new rules for AI systems deployed in the EU. Mozilla welcomes the initiative to rein in the potential harms caused by AI, but much remains to be clarified.


            Systemic transparency is a critical enabler of accountability, which is crucial to advancing more trustworthy AI. We are therefore encouraged by the introduction of user-facing transparency obligations – for example for chatbots or so-called deepfakes – as well as a public register for high-risk AI systems in the European Commission’s proposal. But as always, details matter, and it will be important what information exactly this database will encompass. We look forward to contributing to this important debate.”

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | She Was A Child
    • Vietnam at the Movies, 2020-21

      The sidebar on my friend’s list had The Boys Who Said No about draft resisters, and a new release of the 2006 Sir! No Sir! that uncovered the hidden history of in-uniform G.I. resistance to the war.

      And so, my friend wanted to know, why this interest now in a war that ended 50 years ago? And why such approbation—seven Oscar nominations for The Trial of the Chicago Seven, including best picture? Not happenstance, I averred. But then I was stuck.

    • Broken News
    • Armand Hammer’s Guide Through History’s Underbelly

      Every Armand Hammer song is a rabbit hole. The New York rap duo likes to take a concept and burrow deep into its implications, turning a simple premise into a labyrinthine cave system. That’s the case with “Chicharrones,” the droll centerpiece to Haram, ELUCID and billy woods’s fifth joint album. The song is nominally about snitches and the police. But that’s just the surtext. As woods and guest Quelle Chris excoriate stool pigeons and cop-lovers, the aperture widens to address power fantasies. “Negroes say they hate the cops / But the minute something’s off, wanna use force / I just work here, I’m not the boss,” woods raps.

      These kinds of artful, provocative pivots are a hallmark of ELUCID and billy woods’s style. For eight years, they’ve guided listeners through the underbelly of the 21st century, cataloging global outrages like the capitalist imperative to work or die and absurdities like Holocaust-denying Black Israelites. They are two of rap’s most poignant and imaginative contemporary storytellers. Instead of heroes and villains, they offer bystanders, cronies, descendants, precursors—oblique perspectives that complicate their globe-trotting narratives rather than resolve them. On Haram, they continue this roving anthropological approach to rap, using the titular Arabic word (meaning “forbidden”) to link tales of grief, joy, and everything in between.

    • Reparations
    • The Tokyo Olympics Are in Trouble

      From the perspective of the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government, the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo are simply too big to fail. Yet failure is still very much on the table. With less than 100 days until the scheduled start, Covid-19 cases are on the rise across Japan. Anger about the Games is also on the rise in Japan, with “Cancelling Olympics” trending on Twitter there last week. One recent poll found that more than seven in 10 people in Japan do not want the Olympics to happen this summer, with 39 percent preferring outright cancellation and another 33 percent favoring further postponement.

      Even some elected officials appear to be waffling. Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, stated on Japanese television, “If it becomes impossible, then it should be called off. What is the point of the Olympics if it’s responsible for spreading infections?” MP Akira Koike of the Japanese Communist Party said staging the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was flat-out “impossible.” Demand for the cancellation of the Olympics is on the rise.

    • Science

      • Opinion | Reversing Scientific Integrity’s Race to the Bottom

        From COVID-19 to climate change, and toxic chemicals to endangered species, the health of this nation and our ecosystem depends on scientists being able to “think, research, and speak freely” in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

        President Biden’s recent order for federal agencies to conduct a sweeping review of the massive sidelining, censoring and ignoring of science by the Trump administration is an important step in reversing the Trump administration’s war on public health and environmental protections. 

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Unexpected Environmental Consequences of COVID-19 – Validated Independent News

        Unfortunately, recycling programs are not the only ecologically-friendly options that have been disrupted by COVID-19, as Bloomberg News reported in March 2020. Companies such as Starbucks have stopped accepting their reusable cups, and many grocery stores have stopped allowing customers to use their own eco-friendly shopping bags. Furthermore, medical waste is also on the increase, including at minimum all of the extra masks and gloves used every day as personal by health care providers as personal protective equipment.

      • Dystopian Vision for Agrifood Must Not Succeed

        The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also involved (documented in the recent report ‘ Gates to a Global Empire‘ by Navdanya International), whether through  buying up huge tracts of farmland, promoting a much-heralded  (but failed) ‘green revolution’ for Africa, pushing  biosynthetic food and  new genetic engineering technologies or more generally  facilitating the aims of the mega agrifood corporations.

        Of course, those involved in this portray what they are doing as some kind of humanitarian endeavour – saving the planet with ‘climate-friendly solutions’, helping farmers or feeding the world. This is how many of them probably do genuinely regard their role inside their corporate echo chamber. But what they are really doing is repackaging the  dispossessive strategies of imperialism as ‘feeding the world’.

      • Medical Hypotheses is back, and it’s pushing antimask disinformation

        There’s a “study” that’s gone viral in the COVID-19-denying/minimizing, antimask, anti-public health interventions, antivaccine crankosphere by someone named Baruch Vainshelboim entitled Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis. For whatever reason, even though it was published in January, only now does it seem to be going viral, leading me to seeing it incessantly popping up on my Twitter timeline, with cranks emailing me a hearty “Ha! I told you so!” while readers send me the link to the article asking me to discuss it. Before I do just that, let me just note that that last word in the title ought to give you a hint that, yes, this not-study was published in Medical Hypotheses. For those of you not familiar with this highly dubious journal, I present a brief trip down memory lane before I delve into Vainshelboim’s article.

      • Report Documents Governments’ Use of COVID-19 to Impose Authoritarian Policies – Validated Independent News

        The AFSC’s “Under the Mask” report analyzes three major categories of restrictions: Infringements on civil liberties relating to free speech, free movement, and state surveillance; aggressive state tactics, including market demolitions, militarized borders, and police brutality; and state tactics for suppressing opposition including smear campaigns and “the Shock Doctrine.”

      • Coronavirus Strikes Papua New Guinea

        Officials acknowledged that a spike in cases could impair the medical system, despite the fact that three-quarters of the population are under the age of 35.  While the elderly population is small, the large number of youthful members poses the problem of asymptomatic transmission.  “We know that about 15% of COVID-19 cases will need some form of hospital care,” stated Dr Gary Nou, an important figure in the COVID-19 response in the National Capital District.  “If 10,000 people get sick – that’s about 1,500 people needing care.  This can easily overwhelm our health system.”

        Last month, Nou found himself working to a state of exhaustion in the Rita Flynn Sporting Complex in Port Moresby.  The complex had become a centre of treatment and testing, taking in moderate and mild coronavirus cases.  He concluded that a nightmare was unfolding.  “The workload is normally a lot, we have one doctor per 14,000 people, that’s our doctor to patient ratio.”  The health system, he gloomily observed, was now in a “perpetual state of disaster”.

      • Math Is Hard—but Vital for Understanding Vaccine Risks

        Readers of CNN’s website ( 4/15/21) saw an alarming headline: “So Far, 5,800 Fully Vaccinated People Have Caught Covid Anyway in US, CDC Says.” Nearly 6,000 so-called “breakthrough” infections—cases of Covid-19 contracted by people after they had been vaccinated against the coronavirus that causes Covid — had been identified in the US by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and “some became seriously ill and 74 people died.”

      • Earth Abuse and the Next Pandemic

        Cultivation, deforestation, mining, livestock raising, and other activities degrade and destroy wildlife habitat, leaving animals no choice but to move closer to humans, potentially bringing pathogens along with them. Suburban sprawl and tourism (especially “eco-tourism”) also bring humans and wildlife closer together. Hunting involves the most intimate contact with wild animals; indeed, the prevailing hypothesis is that the hunting of horseshoe bats probably kicked off the chain of events that led to the current coronavirus pandemic.

        Humans have lived with domestic animals for millennia, and our bodies may have learned how to deal with the pathogens passed back and forth. But when ecosystems are disturbed or encroached upon, novel zoonotic viruses can move from wildlife into domestic animals and from there into humans. There is strong circumstantial evidence that the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, which killed more than 675,000 Americans and as many as 50 million worldwide, began with the flu virus jumping from swine into humans in Haskell County, Kansas, moving on to what is now Fort Riley with new army recruits, and from there reaching the battlefields of World War 1.

      • Letter From Italy

        Florence—It’s been more than a year since Florence locked down for the first time, and the rate of Covid infection has increased by a factor of four. A family friend has been moved from the Santa Maria Nuova hospital to a hotel out of town to continue his recovery. He’s too weak to talk, but his daughter tells me that he wants P.G. Wodehouse novels: anything “non-Jeeves.” (He’s read those.) Or anything funny, for that matter. It proves harder than expected; put on the spot, my books have never seemed less capable of raising a laugh.

        I am an outsider in Florence, here because of my husband’s teaching gig. As a voice actor, I am used to working remotely from a home studio set-up. Silence is good for that, but this is eerie. It’s as quiet in our street as it was a year ago. The university opposite used to mean reliable bouts of victory cries from laurel-crowned students, four times a year no less, which is when they graduate. The café on the corner used to cater to a stream of regulars with its affordable lunch menu of homey pasta dishes. Gone also are the students of love—those painfully breaking up in our dark side street. No more agonized crying, shouting, and huffing off over the cobblestones.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Discord has reportedly rejected Microsoft’s offer, will go for an IPO instead

          Last month it was reported that Discord is in final stages for a potential takeover and Microsoft was one of the companies bidding to acquire the service. According to the reports, Microsoft was willing to offer over $10 billion to acquire the company. However, Microsoft was not the only company trying to acquire the platform. Discord also held discussions with Epic Games and Amazon in the past but they were not fruitful.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (thunderbird and wordpress), Fedora (curl, firefox, mediawiki, mingw-binutils, os-autoinst, and rpm-ostree), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), SUSE (kernel, pcp, and tomcat6), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-gke-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-oem-5.6, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux-snapdragon).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Privacy Champions Urge Passage of ‘Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale’ Act

              “Intelligence and law enforcement agencies must come to understand that the American people are off limits to warrantless mass surveillance, no matter how it is done.”

              Federal agencies have taken advantage of legal loopholes to collect massive amounts of personal information from cell phone and internet users without congressional or judicial authorization for years, but that practice is being challenged by a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers who introduced legislation on Wednesday that would prevent the U.S. government from buying individuals’ information from data brokers without a court order.

            • Law Enforcement Officials Confirm Clearview’s Facial Recognition Tech Is Mostly Useless

              A stash of public records recently obtained by BuzzFeed shows far more law enforcement agencies have experimented with Clearview’s facial recognition software than previously acknowledged. The searchable data shows Clearview is still something law enforcement is interested in experimenting with. And there’s probably more to this story, given that nearly 1,200 agencies refused to respond to BuzzFeed’s requests.

            • China Pushing Explicitly-Biased Facial Recognition Standards And Local Tech Companies Are Pitching In To Help

              Facial recognition tech is plagued by bias, most of it unintentional. That’s why it tends to perform more poorly when attempting to recognize minorities and women. Law enforcement doesn’t tend to view these problems as bugs since it, too, operates with many of the same biases. But these are usually the byproduct of faulty inputs, which can be exacerbated by choices made by end users.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Are Republicans Breaking Up With Big Business? Don’t Hold Your Breath.

        Mitch McConnell doesn’t seem to be adjusting well to the new limits of his power, following his ouster from the majority leader seat last November. A once nigh-omnipotent power broker, McConnell has now found his influence diminished to the point that he’s yelling strange things at stranger targets. He spent a chunk of last week unspooling some doozies directed at corporate America, which has long been a close ally of the Republican Party.

      • Opinion | Here’s What the US Must Do to Help End Humanitarian Emergency in Yemen

        Amanda Catanzano, International Rescue Committee’s Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, testified at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Yemen.

        Note: The following were the remarks, as prepared for delivering, given as testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

      • US Has No Moral Standing to Criticize Russia or China

        That threat may or may not be real, but US objections to Russia’s treatment of a political rival or dissident, like US objections to China’s harsh treatment of democracy advocates and former democratic members of Hong Kong’s now crushed and no longer autonomous  Legislative Assembly  would carry a lot more weight, and be far less laughable around the globe if these two leaders would also be demanding decent treatment and release from prison of political prisoners who have been getting abused, degraded and denied adequate medical treatment at the hand of the US “justice system.”

        While the list is fairly long, I will highlight three cases here.

      • The Saudi Lobby Moves From K Street to Main Street

        To address their concerns, Ambassador Bandar Al-Saud agreed to speak with a group of them in a March 18th conference call — and found herself instantly in the firing line, as senator after senator berated her for the Kingdom’s role in slashing global oil prices. “Texas is mad,” Senator Ted Cruz bluntly stated. As the ambassador tried to respond, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan retorted, “With all due respect, I don’t want to hear any talking points from you until you hear from all [of us], I think there’s 11 or 12 on the call.”

        The Saudi lobby in Washington was similarly flailing in its reaction to the anger on Capitol Hill. Hogan Lovells, one of the Kingdom’s top lobbying firms in the nation’s capital, was spearheading the response, emailing staffers in the offices of more than 30 members of Congress. Its message couldn’t have been clearer: “Saudi Arabia has not, and will not, seek to intentionally damage U.S. shale oil producers.”

      • Amid Nuclear Talks, 40 Groups Urge Biden to Lift Sanctions on Covid-Ravaged Iran

        “By prioritizing humanitarian relief for Iran and other sanctioned states, President Biden can follow through on his campaign commitment and demonstrate that the U.S. can be a force for global good.”

        As diplomats continue negotiations in Vienna aimed at the United States returning to the Iran nuclear deal, over 40 faith-based, human rights, and civil society groups on Wednesday published an open letter urging the Biden administration to lift “unconscionable” sanctions against the Iranian people as they endure the dual crises of the economic embargo and coronavirus pandemic.

      • Media’s Top Meaning for ‘Proxy’ Is ‘Iranian Ally’

        “Proxy,” defined as someone who works on someone else’s behalf, is a term of delegitimation in international politics: It undermines the credibility of both those who are accused of being “proxies” and those accused of having “proxies.” In the former case, the term suggests that the party in question is not representing its peoples’ interests, but rather those of an outside actor. The nation described as having proxies is implicitly accused of meddling in another country’s affairs.

      • Black Visions Collective: We Need to Abolish the Police & End Militarized Occupations of Our Cites
      • Opinion | The Case Against Biden’s Plan to Further Militarize Borders

        The U.S. government’s solution to the migrant crisis is militarization…again.

        In mid-March, Reuters reported that Mexico would “restrict movement on its southern border with Guatemala to help contain the spread of COVID-19.” The same article noted that the Joe Biden administration in the United States would be simultaneously sorting the details of a plan to loan Mexico coronavirus vaccines.

      • Kipling, assassination, and a warning to the West In his latest state-of-the-nation speech, Putin makes new domestic promises and puts Russia’s adversaries on notice

        During Vladimir Putin’s state-of-the-nation speech on Tuesday, the president warned that Moscow will respond to the provocations of Western countries that now “poke” at Russia. Meduza summarizes Putin’s remarks below. 

      • Biden’s Announcement That Trump Got Military Spending Just Right Is Dead Wrong

        The U.S. public, according to  polling, would reduce military spending if it had something resembling a democracy.

        Just five weapons dealers  poured $60 million into U.S. election campaign bribery in 2020. These companies now sell more weapons abroad than to the U.S. government, with the U.S. State Department acting as a marketing firm, and with U.S. weapons and/or U.S. military training and/or U.S. government funding going to the militaries of  96% of the most oppressive governments on earth.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Filming Cops Is The Best Accountability Tool: Officer Derek Chauvin Convicted Of Murder For Killing George Floyd

        This isn’t an endpoint. This is only a beginning. This is one small step forward for accountability. It doesn’t change the police culture that not only allows, but encourages, this sort of force deployment. But it does send the warning that juries may not be as deferential to police officers as they’ve been historically.

      • ‘The Clock Is Ticking’: 300,000+ Tell Biden to Act Boldly Ahead of Climate Summit

        “We can no longer afford any further fossil fuel extraction, infrastructure, or false climate solutions that continue to prioritize profits over people.”

        As the world prepares to observe Earth Day and U.S. President Joe Biden gets set to host heads of state and government at the Leaders Summit on Climate Thursday, campaigners traveled from New York City to Washington, D.C. to demand Biden #BuildBackFossilFree by stopping all future fossil fuel expansion. 

    • Environment

      • Biden’s climate summit faces challenge by Brazil

        President Biden’s climate summit, starting tomorrow, will see him aiming to bring Brazil’s leader Jair Bolsonaro into line.

      • Climate Change Will Force Us to Rethink Migration and Asylum

        This article is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

        More than 170,000 migrants were apprehended at the US-Mexico border in March, the highest number in a decade. Many of those are unaccompanied minors, and the Biden administration has scrambled to find accommodations for them, sending hundreds of kids to temporary shelters in convention centers and other ad hoc facilities. Conservative politicians and pundits have blamed Biden for “luring children to the border” by relaxing Donald Trump’s harsh immigration policies, describing the situation as “Biden’s border crisis.”

      • ‘Not Enough!’ Climate Activists Disappointed With New EU Emissions Deal on Eve of Biden Summit

        “This deal shows that Europe’s climate action is all smoke and mirrors,” said a Greenpeace E.U. campaigner.

        After overnight negotiations to finalize a European Union climate law ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s leaders summit at the end of the week, E.U. leaders reached a tentative deal on an emissions reduction target for 2030 that advocacy groups warn falls far short of what is needed to meet the Paris agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal.

      • Opinion | In a Time of Urgency and Hope, How Do We Move The Planet Forward?

        With momentum finally heading in the right direction, we must seize this last, best opportunity to protect our future.

        This story originally appeared in WNET’s Peril & Promise and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

      • Climate Groups Warn Reported Biden Plan to Cut Emissions in Half by 2030 ‘Not Good Enough’

        “Science and justice demand that we reduce emissions by 70% from 2005 levels by 2030 on the road to zero emissions by mid-century.”

        The Biden administration is reportedly planning to pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% from 2005 levels by the end of this decade, but climate justice advocates say that much more ambitious goals and policies are needed if the U.S. president wants to act in accordance with what the scientific community says is necessary.

      • Energy

        • UK’s New Coal Mine Plans Foreshadow Massive Carbon Emissions – Validated Independent News

          West Cumbria Mining plans to extract around 2.7 million tons of coal each year from the new site. The company has asserted that the coal from the proposed Woodhouse collier will not increase emissions because it will replace imports that have previously been imported from the US.

        • 101 Nobel Laureates Urge World Leaders to ‘Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground’

          “Fossil fuels are the greatest contributor to climate change. Allowing the continued expansion of this industry is unconscionable.”

          On the eve of Earth Day and the start of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate, a group of 101 Nobel laureates published a letter urging world leaders and governments to “keep fossil fuels in the ground” as a critical first step toward addressing the climate emergency. 

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Rising Drug Prices Will Become Leading Cause of Senior Citizen Deaths, Report Finds – Validated Independent News

        According to the same study, if nothing is done about overpriced drugs, Medicare expenses are on track to rise by $177 billion by 2030.

      • Sanders, Jayapal Plan Would Tax Wall Street Speculation to Fund Tuition-Free College

        The Vermont senator’s office described the proposal as “the most substantial federal investment in higher education in the modern history of the United States.”

        Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced legislation Wednesday morning that would make public colleges and universities tuition-free for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year—a proposal President Joe Biden ran on during last year’s general election.

      • ‘It Is About Saving Lives’: Doctors Without Borders Calls on US, EU to Stop Blocking Vaccine Patent Waiver

        “We urge all countries in opposition to this, including the U.S. and the E.U., to stand on the right side of history and join hands with those in support.”

        The international humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders on Wednesday implored the United States, European Union member nations, and other rich countries to immediately end their opposition to South Africa and India’s patent waiver proposal, which would enable the mass production of generic coronavirus vaccines to meet the developing world’s dire needs.

      • Opinion | Responding to Concerns About the Emergency Charity Stimulus Proposal

        Make no mistake: this pandemic is the “rainy day” DAFs and foundations have been saving for.

        Few people welcome change when they benefit from the status quo. So it’s not surprising that players within the philanthropic community would raise concerns about a proposal to change how much they are required to take out of their warehouses and give directly to charities.

      • COVID-19 Exposes Extent of Student Debt Crisis – Validated Independent News

        The pandemic, Quilantan wrote, had led many families to question whether a college education is worth the hefty price tag, and to ask how we it can be that a year of a private college education often costs more than the average annual salary in the US. As Quilantan reported, “Between the 2007-08 and 2017-18 academic years, prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, and room and board at public institutions rose 31 percent after adjustment for inflation. At private colleges, the price tag rose 23 percent.”

      • A Trader’s Federal Lawsuit Against JPMorgan Chase Offers a Window into the Crime Culture at the Five Felony-Count Bank

        JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, has the further unprecedented distinction for a U.S. bank of being charged with five felony counts by the Department of Justice in a six-year span of time, running from 2014 to 2020. The bank admitted to all of the charges while its Board kept Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, at the helm throughout the unprecedented crime wave, giving the impression that crime is an accepted business model at the bank.

        Turnbull’s lawsuit, filed earlier this month in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that the bank trumped up false charges against Turnbull as a pretext to terminate him when it was actually terminating him for cooperating with the Department of Justice’s investigation.

      • Tax Stock Returns: If Biden Really Wants to Close Corporate Income Tax Loopholes

        If we could get the corporate income tax back to 2.0 percent of GDP, it would add over $200 billion a year to government revenue. Over the ten-year budget planning horizon, this would add more than the projected $2.3 trillion projected cost of President Biden’s infrastructure program. This would be real money.

        There are two issues with the corporate income tax, the nominal tax rate and the portion of the targeted tax that is actually collected. Corporations never pay taxes at a rate that is close to the nominal rate. Prior to the Trump tax cut, the nominal tax rate was 35 percent. Actual tax collections were around 21 percent of corporate profits, on average.

      • Borders of Racial Capitalism: Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

        Pardon beginning with jargon. Under racial capitalist social and power relations, stated policy intentions are inverted relative to social outcomes, and pandemic inequality reigns with a deadly life of its own. This is the rotten fruit of a poisoned neoliberal model of the relationship between the state and finance. We should dump it and live differently. Let me try to explain.

        In life, timing and context are usually everything. For us today, the historic social breakdown around the novel coronavirus and its massive economic catastrophe for working People is a unique lesson to that effect. This political, economic, and public health crisis has revealed the basic contradictions in our society’s way of life. It’s up to us to decide what to do about it.

      • In Closed-Door Event With Corporate Lobbyists, Manchin Vows $15 Wage ‘Not Going to Happen’

        A top restaurant industry lobbyist reportedly “couldn’t contain his excitement” at the West Virginia Democrat’s remarks.

        Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Tuesday reportedly mocked the popular push for a $15 federal minimum wage during a private event with restaurant industry lobbyists, telling attendees he prefers an hourly wage floor of $11 and nothing “above half of that” for tipped workers.

      • Analysis Shows Richest 10% Now Own Nearly 70% of All Household Wealth in US

        As 2020 came to a close, the bottom 50% of earners controlled just 2% of U.S. wealth.

        More than a year after the coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis began, a new analysis out Wednesday shows that as 2020 ended, the richest 10% of Americans possessed just under 70% of the nation’s household wealth.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Questionable Government Practice of “Escheatment” – Validated Independent News

        When the state of Delaware closed Schramm’s investment, it was worth $8,000; by 2015 it would have been worth “about 100 grand,” Quinn reported.

      • UK’s Society of the Spectacle: Mourning Prince Philip

        The BBC gave saturation coverage of Philip’s death, as did the main commercial channel ITV.

        Following Philip’s death at Windsor Castle aged 99, the BBC scrapped its schedules across both BBC One and BBC Two to run an endless succession of mirrored programmes about him.

      • An “Accumulation fo Anger” in Putin’s Russia: an Interview With Boris Kagarlitsky

        Radhika Desai: Boris Kagarlitsky is a very well-known leftist writer, historian, sociologist, and also a political activist in Russia. He has been politically active since the time when the Soviet Union still existed and has continued to do so in Russia, offering a distinctive left perspective on Russian politics. Welcome, Boris, it’s really a great privilege to have you. 

        This interview has been occasioned by all the discussion about Russian politics in the Western countries with the return of Alexei Navalny to Russia. So, let me start by asking you: What was the political situation in Russia at the time of Navalny’s return in January, 2021?

      • ‘Exactly the Person We Need’: Senate Confirms Civil Rights Champion Vanita Gupta for Key Spot at DOJ

        Every Republican senator except one voted against the veteran attorney and rights advocate.

        The U.S. Senate on Wednesday narrowly confirmed Vanita Gupta to be associate attorney general, eliciting praise from civil rights defenders.

      • The GOP’s Attack on Constitutional Checks and Balances in Montana

        The initial volley in this highly partisan battle was launched when the legislature passed a bill giving the governor carte blanche authority to appoint judges rather than pick from a list of candidates vetted by the non-partisan Judicial Nominating Committee, which has operated successfully for decades. As one attorney friend quipped: “This means the governor can pick the absolutely worst, most incompetent lawyer, and providing they’re sufficiently conservative and/or made a big campaign contribution, then he can appoint them to sit in judgment over the most serious issues facing Montanans, their lives, businesses, homes and families.”

        Indeed, it’s hard to justify how paranoid Montana’s Republicans have become over the very processes — like voting — that have served the state well throughout its history. But taking a page from the Trump-McConnell playbook, they seem intent on launching a pogrom to eliminate judges they feel are too liberal and pack the courts with conservatives.

      • These Attacks on Maxine Waters Reveal the Grifter Politics of Republican Dog-Whistlers

        House minority leader Kevin McCarthy claims that “the Republican Party is the party of Lincoln…not nativist dog whistles.”


      • Revolving Door Watchdog Gives Biden White House ‘B-’ on Corporate Capture in First 100 Days

        “Allies of Big Tech, Wall Street, Big Pharma, the military-industrial complex, and the fossil fuel industry have secured jobs in various corners of the executive branch.”

        Ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s 100th day in office, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog project issued a report card on Wednesday giving his administration a “B-” grade for its “performance at resisting corporate capture.”

      • Voting Rights Advocates Applaud Passage of NY Bill to Stop Disenfranchisement of Parolees

        “By passing this bill, the state Assembly has sent a clear message: If you live in the community, you should be able to vote.”

        Amid a wave of GOP attacks on voting rights in legislatures across the United States, activists applauded the Democrat-controlled New York State Assembly on Wednesday for passing a bill to end the disenfranchisement of New Yorkers on parole and called on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to swiftly sign the measure into law.

      • The Saudi Lobby Moves From K Street to Main Street

        Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, 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?

        To address their concerns, Ambassador Bandar Al-Saud agreed to speak with a group of them in a March 18 conference call—and found herself instantly in the firing line, as senator after senator berated her for the Kingdom’s role in slashing global oil prices. “Texas is mad,” Senator Ted Cruz bluntly stated. As the ambassador tried to respond, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan retorted, “With all due respect, I don’t want to hear any talking points from you until you hear from all [of us], I think there’s 11 or 12 on the call.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • In ‘Paradigm Shift,’ Manhattan DA Will No Longer Prosecute Prostitution

        The announcement, said one reform advocate, “should not supplant the need to pass legislation that would fully decriminalize sex work.”

        The Manhattan district attorney’s office in New York announced Wednesday what it called a “paradigm shift” by saying it will no longer prosecute prostitution and unlicensed massage.

      • Toondah Harbor Project to De-List Australian Wetlands, Endangering Habitats and Indigenous Sites – Validated Independent News

        The Toondah Harbor project would result in 3,600 apartments, hotels, shopping areas, and a 400-berth marina taking up forty percent of Moreton Bay. The wetlands there are home to a variety of endangered animals, including koalas, and it is an important migratory site for 32 species of sea birds. Furthermore, three Quandmooka Aboriginal groups—the Nuigi, the Nunuckle and Greonpal, and the Minjerribah—have claims to the land. As Norman Enoch, one of the traditional leaders, told the Earth Island Journal, analyses of shell middens indicate Aboriginal presence in the area dating back 26,000 years.

      • Claudio Saunt: The Mass Expulsion of Native American Indians From the Southern US – The Project Censored Show

        Notes: This program was recorded at an online discussion for KPFA-FM on March 31, 2021; the event was hosted by Mickey Huff via Zoom. Claudio Saunt is Richard B. Russell Professor in American History and Co-Director of the Center for Virtual History at the University of Georgia. He is the author of four books, including Unworthy Republic, the subject of today’s show, which was the winner of the 2021 Bancroft Prize.

      • Cities Use Black Cops as Props – Validated Independent News

        “Black police chiefs are paraded to podiums and cameras to serve as the face of the United States’ racist police state,” Bass reports in an article that argues that the integration of police forces cannot alter their “basic function” as “the primary enforcers of structural racism on a daily basis.” In the article, Bass recalls that, in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole at the capitol building in South Carolina to remove the confederate flag that flew there, a Black police officer was “tasked with raising the flag to the top of its pole again.”

      • Ocasio-Cortez: “Verdicts Are Not Substitutes for Policy Change”

        After a jury on Monday afternoon found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd in Minnesota, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) explained on an Instagram livestream that, though the verdict may be able to bring accountability for Chauvin, it can’t bring about true justice.

      • As Chauvin Verdict Was Read, Police Killed Black Ohio Teen Ma’Khia Bryant

        At the same time that verdicts were being read in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin , police in Columbus, Ohio, shot and killed a 16-year-old Black girl named Ma’Khia Bryant.

      • Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad: Policing in U.S. Was Built on Racism & Should Be Put on Trial

        A Minnesota jury’s conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin on three counts for murdering George Floyd does not go far enough in dismantling police brutality and state-sanctioned violence, says historian and author Khalil Gibran Muhammad. “We know that while the prosecution was performing in such a way to make the case that Derek Chauvin was a rogue actor, the truth is that policing should have been on trial in that case,” Muhammad says. “We don’t have a mechanism in our current system of laws in the way that we treat individual offenses to have that accountability and justice delivered.” Muhammad also lays out the racist history of slave patrols that led to U.S. police departments, which he details his book, “The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America.”

      • Black Visions Collective: We Need to Abolish the Police & End Militarized Occupations of Our Cities

        The police murder of George Floyd added jet fuel to a nationwide push to defund the police. We go to Minneapolis to speak with Kandace Montgomery, co-executive director of Black Visions Collective, about their response to the guilty verdict for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd and an update on the push to divest from Minneapolis police and invest in communities.

      • To Confront ‘Systemic Failures,’ DOJ Announces Federal Probe Into Minneapolis Police Department

        “Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis. Public safety requires public trust.”

        Announcing a federal probe into policing in Minneapolis, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday that the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is not the equivalent of addressing systemic racism and violence by officers—echoing the recent calls of racial justice advocates and progressive lawmakers including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

      • Guilty on All Counts: Derek Chauvin Verdict Triggers Relief & Determination to Keep Fighting

        A jury in Minneapolis has convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on three counts for murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds last year. The jury reached its decision after 10 hours of deliberation. Derek Chauvin will be sentenced in two months. He faces up to 40 years in prison for the most serious charge, second-degree murder. He is the first white police officer in Minnesota to ever be convicted of killing a Black man. We feature reactions from people gathered outside the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, comments from George Floyd’s brother and nephew, as well as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

      • Headlines April 21, 2021

        Guilty. Three weeks after the start of a trial that was watched around the world, a jury of 12 Hennepin County residents delivered their verdict on the three counts against former police officer Derek Chauvin, who murdered George Floyd last May by kneeling on his neck for nine-and-a-half minutes. Judge Peter Cahill read the unanimous verdict.

      • Opinion | Guilty Verdict in the Chauvin Trial Is Not Enough for Real Change

        This distrust that stems from generations of mistreatment goes beyond the action of a single officer and indicts the entire policing and criminal justice system.

        Would Derek Chauvin, the former police officer, be on the streets today without the video?

      • What Chauvin’s Conviction Means for Black Communities

        The experience of Black people and Black communities in the United States under anti-Black racism (*) has been servitude, slavery, the sellout of reconstruction and the broken promise of equality, Jim Crow, lynching, and other horrific forms of state-sanctioned violence and brutality. The legacies of segregation, discrimination, and systematic exclusion from the industrial workforce and higher-paying jobs are still present today. The continued denial of programs and benefits afforded to whites is central to the second-class status and treatment experienced by Black people. The cumulative impact of this oppression continues to result in the majority of Black people having to engage in daily struggles for dignity, respect, and basic human rights in all aspects of life — and sometimes even in death.

        This last year, we’ve heard many white people espouse their commitment to do better because they now see how Black bodies and Black communities are terrorized continually. Yet, they still have the important work to do of examining their collaboration and collusion with the very systems and structures that enable, enforce, and inflict that violence. They must examine their conscious and subconscious fear of Black men, women, and children. White people must recognize — and take responsibility for — where the demonization of Black people comes from. It is white people who are demonizing us. It is white people who must take responsibility for creating change. Without this, any change that happens won’t be sustainable and systemic. Rather, it will be isolated moments of white people reflecting on their privilege, accompanied by the strategic identification and removal of the “bad apple(s)” and poster-boy racists. Without this deeper reflection and action by white people, nothing will change.

      • Opinion | Racial Justice Is a Global Issue

        From the pandemic to climate change to police violence, today’s crises require global collaboration on a scale never seen before.

        Last summer, Black Lives Matter protests in the United States after the murder of George Floyd echoed around the world.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘It’s Been Burning For A While’ By Chris Pierce

        When news hit that Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts for the murder of George Floyd, there was a collective sigh of relief. But the fact that the verdict was in doubt is evidence that there is still a long way to go. The reality is that since the trial started on March 29, police have on average killed more than three people a day in the United States, including 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago and 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Minnesota. Singer-songwriter Chris Pierce highlights this long history of violence against black people is highlighted by singer-songwriter tune, “It’s Been Burning for a While.” The song first premiered on the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and it linked the events of the summer of 2020 with the dark past. “This song was written in memory of George Floyd and all those whose lives have been affected by abusive, excessive, and inhumane force,” the songwriter says. “The lyric, wrapped around a thought Malcolm X expressed many years ago, is about the current and historic storm engulfing our nation and world. “The melody and chord structure are in the spirit and structure of African-American work and protest songs. This song is written as a call, in the enduring hope of a response.” It is included on Pierce’s excellent 2021 album “American Silence,” which also explores America’s troubled history with race relations. There may still be a lot of work to do, but hopefully, we are finally getting closer to extinguishing the fire. Listen to Chris Pierce’s “It’s Been Burning for a While” on Bandcamp or watch the video for it here:

    • Monopolies

      • Not All Tech Regulatory Desires Are Equal: And We Should Stop Pretending They Are

        The NY Times has a big (and quite interesting) article this week about how we’ve supposedly “reached a global tipping point” on “tech regulation.” And if you look around, it may feel that way. And, sure, it’s easy to point to lots of examples of tech regulation happening around the globe, as the article does:

      • Fighting FLoC and Fighting Monopoly Are Fully Compatible

        That’s a damned good question that’s been occasioned by Google’s announcement that they’re killing the invasive, tracking third-party cookie (yay!) and replacing it with FLoC , an alternative tracking scheme that will make it harder for everyone except Google to track you (uh, yay ?)  (You can find out if Google is FLoCing with you with our Am I FLoCed tool).

        Google’s move to kill the third-party cookie has been greeted with both cheers and derision. On the one hand, some people are happy to see the death of one of the internet’s most invasive technologies. We’re glad to see it go, too – but we’re pretty upset to see that it’s going to be replaced with a highly invasive alternative tracking technology (bad enough) that can eliminate the majority of Google’s competitors in the data-acquisition and ad-targeting sectors in a single stroke (worse). 

        It’s no wonder that so many people have concluded that privacy and antitrust are on a collision course . Google says nuking the third-party cookie will help our privacy, specifically because it will remove so many of its (often more unethical) ad-tech competitors from the web. 

      • Patent lobbying front group: What to expect from Biden’s IP policy with China

        Sources, including a former trade negotiator, predict Biden will continue Trump’s trade war with China – but with a softer tone and fewer angry tweets

      • Patents

        • Data dive: where European patent litigation is hot – and why [Ed: This is the ridiculous fluff that litigation think tanks publish instead of exposing severe cases of corruption at the EPO]

          In part two of this series, Managing IP analyses five-year patent litigation filings in the UK, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands – and asks what is behind the trends

        • Renewal of Patents and European Patents (UK), Trade Marks and Designs by electronic means
        • Assignor Estoppel at the Supreme Court

          The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on April 21, 2021 in the pending assignor estoppel case of Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic Inc. The basic idea is that an inventor who signs the oath-of-inventorship and assign rights to a third party is estopped from later challenging the patent’s validity in court. The inventor here (Truckai) filed for patent protection and assigned rights in his inventions to the company he started. That company then sold rights to Cytyc Corp who then sold to Hologic. Truckai made bank on the sale, but “could not stop innovating.” He then turned around and started his own new company Minerva operating in a similar space. Some of the claims that eventually issued for Hologic had been substantially amended during prosecution and seemingly broadened to particularly cover Minerva’s new focus. Hologic then sued Minerva for infringement. Minerva attempted to raise a defense of invalidity based upon lack of written description / enablement based upon the expanded claim scope. However, the courts refused to allow the challenge based upon the doctrine of assignor estoppel. Note here that the parties appear to disagree about the scope changes and Truckai’s involvement.


          In the background, we also know that the PTAB has determined that assignor estoppel does not apply to Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings.

        • Software Patents

      • Trademarks

        • Chanel Loses Trademark Dispute With Huawei Over Latter’s Logo

          It’s no secret that Chanel, the famous French luxury brand most notable for concocting things that make us smell better, is also a voracious protector of its trademarks. As evidence for this, one needs only to recall that the company once bullied a 2-person candy purveyor over its use of the number “5″. The point is, when Chanel comes a-calling complaining about trademarks, you really need to view it all with narrow eyes.

        • Exclusive: Rugby league would take ‘appropriate action’ against European Super League TM

          The UK’s senior rugby league competition, Super League, has said it will take whatever action necessary against a trademark application filed by football’s proposed European Super League.

      • Copyrights

        • Russia Wants Instagram to Stop Blocking Its Anthem over Copyright Issues

          Russia’s telecoms watchdog ‘Roskomnadzor’ has sent a letter to Instagram demanding that the company removes its copyright restrictions on posts that feature the national anthem. The Government organization hints at systematic and purposeful blocking by Western social networks, which was widely picked up by local media. Reality appears to be less nefarious, however.

        • Anti-Piracy Groups Pressure EU To Prevent Pirate Sites Operating Anonymously

          Dozens of major anti-piracy groups and other interested parties are pressuring the European Commission to enhance “know your business customer” checks as part of the planned Digital Services Act. The stakeholders want to ensure that pirate sites can’t disappear from one host only to seamlessly reappear at another but believe current plans are too limited.

GNU/Linux Turns 38 This Year, But the (Partly) Microsoft-Led Linux Foundation Wants You to Think It’s Only 30 and a Good Friend of Microsoft

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: What the Linux Foundation calls “Linux” (as its PR staff members refer to it in their new press release) is 38 years old, not 30. “Open Source” as a term did not formally exist yet, so this latest waffle makes no sense at all (the press release keeps mentioning a term that’s designed to attack and replace the original). But it’s part of a broader pattern of deception, attacking software freedom and pretending GNU never existed. Did money corrupt everything and is it too late to salvage truth, let alone freedom?

THE Linux Foundation is planning months in advance its next propaganda campaign (press release published by Perlow across sites). It’s also working closely with Microsoft, as does Canonical (and IBM for that matter).

“We’re under attack the the brand “Linux” (like “Open Source”) blinds us; we seem to be losing sight of who’s really winning the bigger battle.”They tell us stuff like “Linux has won”, but whose “Linux”? What do they even mean by that word? Microsoft SQL Server? The video discusses some of the latest WSL nonsense, the attacks on the FSF and its founder (who also started the GNU/Linux operating system, formerly known as the “GNU Operating System” — a term the people at the FSF still use), and this utter lunacy from Perlow, who is boosting and openwashing Microsoft (he’s a former employee), having also noted that he has long hated Stallman and used ZDNet to defame him (we covered this several times in Techrights over a decade ago and also years ago). He represents the corporate occupation (he also supports an illegal military occupation, but that’s purely political); he promoted Mono and Moonlight, even before Microsoft bought the whole thing and hired him. We’re under attack the the brand “Linux” (like “Open Source”) blinds us; we seem to be losing sight of who’s really winning the bigger battle. Those who control and police the brands also own the players. They’re not our friends but monopolists’ friends (they are also funded by them).

I created Linux, I created Open Source, I created git
The creation myth

Jim Zemlin: “Open Source loves Microsoft” (this video is not fake!)

Richard Stallman on Paid Smear Campaigns

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Interview at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman on people who lie about him online (4 years after the older campaign of hate and distortion and half a decade before the current one, coordinated by groups funded by monopolies that dislike GPL)


(intro music)

Roy: One thing I noticed quite a few years back is when I go online and people were mentioning your name there would always be some kind of troll or person throwing some anonymous insults directed at yourself. I’ve not seen it as much in recent years but it seems to be the case that there is almost a sort of a campaign and attack or smear campaign at the person, it seems to be very


unfriendly towards certain interests in the industry.

RMS: It wouldn’t surprise me if there were a paid campaign to do that because there have been like that aimed against others. Now I don’t usually see any of that and I don’t have any specific knowledge about who those people are, but it’s not an absurd idea that it might have been organized.

Roy: Well, there was some


bit of news not so long ago about the hiring of agents either to promote a product or to demonize people, or even in some cases demonize entire groups. This is done usually with a contract under a contractor or some kind of a proxy chain of people but in recent years it doesn’t seem to be finding the same level of demonization on the web.

RMS: I’m glad. Ok. I’m not going to complain.

Links 22/4/2021: Grafana Goes for AGPLv3, Godot 3.3 Released, Mesa 21.0.3 Available

Posted in News Roundup at 6:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Librem 14 First Boot

        The Librem 14 supports our Pureboot bundle. This includes software based on Heads and Coreboot and a hardware security device called a Librem key. It’s a compelling way to verify your OS has not been tampered with.

        While most GNU/Linux distros can be installed on the Librem 14, the two supported OSs are PureOS 10 and QubesOS. PureOS 10 code name Byzantium is our flagship OS with security and convenience at its core. QubesOS is a bit less convenient but adds extra software security for those that need it.

    • Server

      • Open-Source Bare Metal Provisioning Platform, Tinkerbell, Spreads Its Wings in the CNCF Sandbox

        The open-source bare metal provisioning platform known as Tinkerbell has been growing its feature set since it joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) sandbox program a year ago, belying its diminutive name with sizeable new capabilities. The latest release comes with a new, next-gen, in-memory operating system installation environment; the ability to share common workflow actions using the CNCF Artifact Hub; support for Cluster API; and out-of-the-box support from a long list of operating systems.

        Originally developed by Equinix, the Tinkerbell platform is a collection of microservices designed to help organizations transform static physical hardware into programmable digital infrastructure, regardless of manufacturer, processor architecture, internal components, or networking environment. The platform’s cloud-native and workflow-driven approach has been tested in production with the Equinix Metal automated bare metal service. Equinix open sourced the platform last May, and it was accepted as a CNCF sandbox project in November 2020.

      • Using Podman Compose with Microcks: A cloud-native API mocking and testing tool

        Microcks is a cloud-native API mocking and testing tool. It helps you cover your API’s full lifecycle by taking your OpenAPI specifications and generating live mocks from them. It can also assert that your API implementation conforms to your OpenAPI specifications. You can deploy Microcks in a wide variety of cloud-native platforms, such as Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift. Developers who do not have corporate access to a cloud-native platform have used Docker Compose. Although Docker is still the most popular container option for software packaging and installation, Podman is gaining traction.

        Podman was advertised as a drop-in replacement for Docker. Advocates gave the impression that you could issue alias docker=podman and you would be good to go. The reality is more nuanced, and the community had to work to get proper docker-compose support in Microcks for Podman.

        This article discusses the barriers to getting Microcks to work with Podman and the design decisions we made to get around them. It includes a brief example of using Podman in rootless mode with Microcks.

      • Evolving Kubernetes networking with the Gateway API

        The Ingress resource is one of the many Kubernetes success stories. It created a diverse ecosystem of Ingress controllers which were used across hundreds of thousands of clusters in a standardized and consistent way. This standardization helped users adopt Kubernetes. However, five years after the creation of Ingress, there are signs of fragmentation into different but strikingly similar CRDs and overloaded annotations. The same portability that made Ingress pervasive also limited its future.

        It was at Kubecon 2019 San Diego when a passionate group of contributors gathered to discuss the evolution of Ingress. The discussion overflowed to the hotel lobby across the street and what came out of it would later be known as the Gateway API.


        So we have two HTTPRoutes matching and routing traffic to different Services. You might be wondering, where are these Services accessible? Through which networks or IPs are they exposed?

        How Routes are exposed to clients is governed by Route binding, which describes how Routes and Gateways create a bidirectional relationship between each other. When Routes are bound to a Gateway it means their collective routing rules are configured on the underlying load balancers or proxies and the Routes are accessible through the Gateway. Thus, a Gateway is a logical representation of a networking data plane that can be configured through Routes.


        When you put it all together, you have a single load balancing infrastructure that can be safely shared by multiple teams. The Gateway API not only a more expressive API for advanced routing, but is also a role-oriented API, designed for multi-tenant infrastructure. Its extensibility ensures that it will evolve for future use-cases while preserving portability. Ultimately these characteristics will allow Gateway API to adapt to different organizational models and implementations well into the future.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 626: WireGuard and Open Source VPN – Open Source VPN

        WireGuard, the VPN protocol that Linus Torvalds calls a “work of art,” and is now in or close to the kernels of many operating systems, is the subject of this deep and wide-ranging show, in which WireGuard’s founder and alpha maintainer, Jason Donenfeld, shares his wisdom and experience. Doc Searls and Jonathan Bennet of FLOSS Weekly completes a deep-dive into discussion topics around WireGuard including development methods, surprising uses, security design principles and much more.

      • Argos Translate: Who Needs Google Translate!!

        Automatic text translation is a very difficult process that requires massive data models to be effective so why shouldn’t these data models be open source to help them improve as quickly as possible, well that’s what Argos Translate the topic for today has to offer.

      • XMonad, You’re Simply The Best!

        I’ve made some tweaks to my XMonad config in recent weeks. So this video is just me covering some of what I’ve added or removed from the config. Just a typical DT-tiling-window-manager kind of video. ;)

      • BSDNow 399: Comparing Sandboxes

        Comparing sandboxing techniques, Statement on FreeBSD development processes, customizing FreeBSD ports and packages, the quest for a comfortable NetBSD desktop, Nginx as a TCP/UDP relay, HardenedBSD March 2021 Status Report, Detailed Behaviors of Unix Signal, and more

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 903

        wordpress development, ci woes, 3d printing updates, window managers, down memory lane

      • M1 has a Dirty Little Secret | Coder Radio 410

        Our thoughts on the hardware Apple announced this week, and if any of it is suitable for professional workloads.

        Plus your feedback, a few random stories, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • CPU Cluster Scheduler Continues To Be Worked On For Linux With Promising Results

        HiSilicon engineers continue working on a cluster scheduler that could help the performance of certain x86 and ARM platforms on Linux.

        HiSilicon has been pursuing this “cluster scheduler” for the Linux kernel in order to enhance the performance of the Kunpeng 920 ARM server chip that has six or eight clusters per NUMA node and each cluster being comprised of four CPU cores with shared L3 cache access among the clusters. But there is also the possibility of this scheduler helping some x86 hardware too, like Intel’s Jacobsville is noted for its clusters of Atom cores.

        The HiSilicon Linux kernel work now up to its sixth round of patches is for exposing this topology and having a CPU scheduler to properly/efficiently deal with the layout. The goal with the scheduler is for spreading unrelated tasks among the multiple clusters to reduce contention and then to also gather related tasks within a cluster for improving cache affinity.

      • AMD Energy Monitoring Driver Slated To Be Removed From The Linux Kernel – Phoronix

        As a surprise and big disappointment, the “amd_energy” driver that exposes AMD EPYC server CPU energy monitoring metrics under Linux for being able to calculate the per-core and package power consumption and more is now set to be removed from the mainline Linux kernel.

        The removal of this driver sadly isn’t for a case like it’s being replaced by some superior solution but rather a disagreement in the exposing of the energy data.

        Last year as a result of the PLATYPUS power attack Linux restricted access to such data to root/privileged users.

      • University duo thought it would be cool to sneak bad code into Linux as an experiment. Of course, it absolutely backfired

        Computer scientists at the University of Minnesota theorized they could sneak vulnerabilities into open-source software – but when they tried subverting the Linux kernel, it backfired spectacularly.

        And now their entire school – or at least anyone using a umn.edu email address – has been banned from offering future Linux kernel contributions.

        Qiushi Wu, a doctoral student in computer science and engineering at the American college, and Kangjie Lu, assistant professor at the school, penned a paper titled, “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits” [PDF], which is slated to be presented at the Proceedings of the 42nd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy next month.

        The paper describes how the authors submitted what’s described as subtly subversive code contributions that would introduce error conditions into the operating system software, and it claims the researchers contacted Linux maintainers to prevent any bad code making it into an official release of the kernel.

        It further states that the experiment was vetted by the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which determined that the project did not constitute human research and thus granted an ethical review waiver.


        In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the University of Minnesota Department of Computer Science & Engineering said it has suspended the research project and plans to look into the approval process to determine whether remedial action and future safeguards are needed.

      • Greg Kroah-Hartman bans University of Minnesota from Linux development for deliberately buggy patches

        Thanks to the Solarwinds security breach, software supply chain attacks have become an important issue. Naturally enough, there’s a lot of research being done into these attacks. Two graduate students at the University of Minnesota working on a paper entitled, “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits” tried to put the Use-After-Free (UAF) vulnerability into the Linux kernel. This kind of Red Team security testing is commonplace… when the project includes people who know what’s going on beforehand. That wasn’t the case here. When they tried it again, Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch, had had enough.

      • Uni group slammed over submitting known buggy patches to Linux kernel

        A group from the University of Minnesota have come in for a tongue-lashing from the normally mild-mannered Linux developer Greg Kroah-Hartman, the maintainer of the stable kernel.

        Kroah-Hartman blew up after the group submitted patches to the kernel which were known to be buggy.

        He said in a post addressed to Aditya Pakki at the university that he, and his group, had sent the buggy patches to see how the kernel community would react, and put out a paper based on that.

        The university has now reacted by saying that it has suspended this line of research.

      • PhD students willfully committed known malicious changes to mainline Linux

        We just reported about the Linux 5.12 changelog with a focus on Arm, MIPS and RISC-V targets on Tuesday, and at the time, the expectation was a delay of about one week after Linux 5.12-rc8 was outed on Sunday, April 18.

        But Linux 5.12 could be further delayed due to shenanigans from two Ph.D. students doing a research project on open-source vulnerability at the University of Minnesota. This was announced by Greg Kroah-Hartman on the Linux kernel mailing list.

      • Linux Kernel Developers Were Not Amused By Faulty Patches Sent By University of Minnesota Researchers

        Researches from the American University of Minnesota submitted a series of faulty patches to the Linux kernel last year and published a research paper about their effort. They tried to send more faulty patches to the Linux Kernel Mailing List earlier this month. Greg Kroah-Hartman, Trond Myklebust and other seasoned kernel developers were not amused.


        The Linux kernel is a huge software project with nearly thirty million lines of code and hundreds of patches floating around on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) at any given time. Some patches are included, some are flat out rejected, and some go through eight or more revisions before they are accepted.

        Qiushi Wu and Professor Kangjie Lu at the American University of Minnesota wanted to learn just how easy it is to get intentionally faulty patches past the Linux kernel maintainers and into the mainline Linux kernel. They came up with a “vulnerability-introducing method”, sent patches introducing security holes and published a research paper on it titled “Open Source Insecurity: Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities via Hypocrite Commits” (OpenSourceInsecurity.pdf, 443 KiB), in LaTeX, and published it on February 10th, 2021.

        The researches at the American University of Minnesota were not content with wasting the Linux kernel community’s time by experimenting on them for the purpose of writing just one research paper. They just had to try again with a useless patch titled [PATCH] SUNRPC: Add a check for gss_release_msg on April 6th, 2021.

      • Comparing SystemTap and bpftrace

        There are times when developers and system administrators need to diagnose problems in running code. The program to be examined can be a user-space process, the kernel, or both. Two of the major tools available on Linux to perform this sort of analysis are SystemTap and bpftrace. SystemTap has been available since 2005, while bpftrace is a more recent contender that, to some, may appear to have made SystemTap obsolete. However, SystemTap is still the preferred tool for some real-world use cases.

        Although dynamic instrumentation capabilities, in the form of KProbes, were added to Linux as early as 2004, the functionality was hard to use and not particularly well known. Sun released DTrace one year later, and soon that system became one of the highlights of Solaris. Naturally, Linux users started asking for something similar, and SystemTap quickly emerged as the most promising answer. But SystemTap was criticized as being difficult to get working, while DTrace on Solaris could be expected to simply work out of the box.

        While DTrace came with both kernel and user-space tracing capabilities, it wasn’t until 2012 that Linux gained support for user-space tracing in the form of Uprobes. Around 2019, bpftrace gained significant traction, in part due to the general attention being paid to the various use cases for BPF. More recently, Oracle has been working on a re-implementation of DTrace, for Linux, based on the latest tracing facilities in the kernel, although, at this point, it may be too late for DTrace given the options that are already available in this space.

        The underlying kernel infrastructure used by both SystemTap and bpftrace is largely the same: KProbes, for dynamically tracing kernel functions, tracepoints for static kernel instrumentation, Uprobes for dynamic instrumentation of user-level functions, and user-level statically defined tracing (USDT) for static user-space instrumentation. Both systems allow instrumenting the kernel and user-space programs through a “script” in a high-level language that can be used to specify what needs to be probed and how.

      • NUMA-aware qspinlocks

        While some parts of the core kernel reached a relatively stable “done” state years ago, others never really seem to be finished. One of the latter variety is undoubtedly the kernel’s implementation of spinlocks, which arbitrate access to data at the lowest levels of the kernel. Lock performance can have a significant effect on the performance of the system as a whole, so optimization work can pay back big dividends. Lest one think that this work is finally done, the NUMA-aware qspinlock patch set shows how some more performance can be squeezed out of the kernel’s spinlock implementation.

        In its simplest form, a spinlock is a single word in memory, initially set to one. Any CPU wishing to acquire the lock will perform an atomic decrement-and-test operation; if the result is zero, the lock has been successfully taken. Otherwise the CPU will increment the value, then “spin” in tight loop until the operation succeeds. The kernel has long since left this sort of implementation behind, though, for a number of reasons, including performance. All those atomic operations on the lock word cause its cache line to be bounced around the system, slowing things considerably even if contention for the lock is light.

        The current “qspinlock” implementation is based on MCS locks, which implement a queue of CPUs waiting for the lock as a simple linked list. Normally, linked lists are just the sort of data structure that one wants to avoid when cache efficiency is a concern, but nobody ever has to traverse this list. Instead, each CPU will spin on its own entry in the list, and only reach into the next entry to release the lock. See this article for a more complete description, complete with cheesy diagrams, of how MCS locks work.

      • Seccomp user-space notification and signals

        The seccomp() mechanism allows the imposition of a filter program (expressed in “classic” BPF) that makes policy decisions on whether to allow each system call invoked by the target process. The user-space notification feature further allows those decisions to be deferred to another process. As this recent patch set from Sargun Dhillon shows, though, user-space notification still has some rough edges, especially when it comes to signals. This patch makes a simple change to try to address a rather complex problem brought to the fore by changes in the Go language’s preemption model.
        Normally, seccomp() is used to implement a simple sort of attack-surface reduction, making much of the system-call space off limits for the affected process. User-space notification can be used to that end, but the objective there is often different: it allows a supervisor process to emulate system calls for the target process. An example might be a container manager that wishes to make mount() available inside a container, but with some strict limits on what can actually be mounted. User-space notification allows the (privileged) supervisor to actually perform the mount operations it approves of and return the results to the target process.

        While the supervisor is handling an intercepted system call, the target process will be blocked in the kernel, waiting for a response to come back. Should that process receive a signal, though, it will stop waiting and respond immediately to the signal; if the signal itself is not fatal, the result may well be the system call returning an EINTR error to the target process. The supervisor, instead, will not know about the signal until it tries to give the kernel its answer to the original notification; at that point, it will get an ENOENT error indicating that the notification is no longer alive.

        This sort of interruption can be inconvenient, especially if the supervisor has carried out some sort of long task on the target’s behalf. If the signal does not kill the target process, it is likely that the same operation will be retried shortly, leading to extra work being done. Most of the time, though, non-fatal signals of this type are likely to be rare in programs running under seccomp() monitoring.

      • Updated CIFSD In-Kernel SMB3 File Sharing Server Patches Published

        The Samsung-led CIFSD as an in-kernel SMB3 file-sharing server continues on its trajectory toward the mainline Linux kernel.

        CIFSD is an in-kernel CIFS/SMB3 server designed for running within the kernel to deliver greater I/O performance and make better use of modern technologies around RDMA and encryption. CIFSD made it into Linux-Next last month for testing while being considered experimental and this week Samsung published the latest version of this kernel code.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Review of Igalia Multimedia activities (2020/H2)

          Regarding digital protected media playback, we worked to upstream OpenCDM, support with Widevine, through RDK’s Thunder framework, while continued with the usual maintenance of the others key systems, such as Clear Key, Widevine and PlayReady.

        • Turnips in the wild (Part 1)

          Running games and benchmarks is much more exciting than trying to fix a handful of remaining synthetic tests. Turnip, which is an open-source Vulkan driver for recent Adreno GPUs, should already be capable of running real world applications, and they always have a way to break the driver in a new, unexpected ways.

        • [Older] Freedreno now supports OpenGL 3.3 on A6XX

          I recently joined Igalia and as a way to familiarize myself with Adreno GPUs it was decided to get Freedreno up to OpenGL 3.3.

          Just recently, Freedreno exposed only OpenGL 3.0. The big jump in version required only two small extensions and a few fixes to get rid of most crashes in Piglit since almost all features were already supported.

        • GRVK 0.4 Released For Running AMD’s Mantle API Over Vulkan

          While AMD’s Mantle graphics API development has been suspended for more than a half-decade already with the Vulkan API successfully taking off, the open-source GRVK project continues to let Mantle unofficially live on by re-implementing its interfaces over Vulkan.

          GRVK was started during the pandemic last year and continues maturing in being a more capable Mantle implementation on top of Vulkan. With today’s GRVK 0.4.0 release, this Mantle API re-implementation can now run the Star Swarm demo that was one of the original demos for showcasing this AMD API alternative to Direct3D 11 and OpenGL. While Star Swarm is now running with GRVK, the performance is admittedly very low at this point and there are other known issues.

        • [Mesa-dev] [ANNOUNCE] mesa 21.0.3
          Hi list,
          Mesa 21.0.3 is now available. This features quite a few backports done
          by helpful mesa devlopers, so a big thank you to all of them. We've got
          a bunch of stuff here, from haiku, to core mesa, radeonsi, lavapipe,
          nir, radv, anv, freedreno and turnip, etniviv, iris, egl, lima, core
          gallium stuff, spriv, v3d, lots of microsoft stuff, and even meson
        • Mesa 21.0.3 + Mesa 21.1-rc2 Released – Phoronix

          Whether you are a stable Mesa user or living more on the bleeding-edge with Git or development snapshots, there are new updates out today for this collection of open-source Linux GPU drivers.

          Mesa 21.0.3 is out with the latest batch of back-ports and other fixes. Among the notable fixes for Mesa 21.0.3 is enabling AFBC frame-buffer compression sharing, several Lavapipe driver fixes, RADV now de-duplicating Winsys’es per device, RadeonSI now reporting multi-plane formats as unsupported, several Panfrost fixes for Arm Mali support, a few Intel ANV clean-ups, several Microsoft code fixes, the WSI code on X11 now waiting for fences with the IMMEDIATE mode on XWayland, and an assortment of other fixes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Hunting down the stuck BGP routes

        BGP is the glue between all of the thousands of border routers that make up the internet (you can find this post (battleships) and this post (EvE) as a crash course on how BGP works).

        With the current “default free zone” containing around 1,000,000 routes, the table is full of up to date routing information on how to get to almost everything. However as it came to slowly haunt me while working on a side project ( bgp.tools ) that routers don’t always have up to date information…

      • How To Install LAMP Stack on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install LAMP Stack on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, LAMP is a stack of open-source software to provide a fully functional web server environment for various PHP and other web applications. LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL database (or MariaDB alternatively), and PHP programming language.

        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 LAMP Stack on an AlmaLinux 8.

      • How to Set up PGP Encryption in ProtonMail

        PGP algorithms work by generating an encrypted session key. When you use PGP to send an email, you need the recipient’s public key. The recipient then uses their own private key to unlock the encryption. Likewise, if someone gets a hold of your private key, it would allow them to read the email.

      • Linux Ubuntu/Debian monitoring tools guide for system administrators

        For a system administrator, monitoring the performance of Ubuntu or any other OS, is very important for day to day activities. Since many performance monitoring tools for linux are available , it is difficult to choose a good and reliable one.
        In this article, we will walk you through the most common system monitoring tools for linux, linux network monitoring tools and outline some of the best monitoring tools for linux servers.

        Top and htop are one of the best command-line based performance monitoring tools. If you are looking for a monitoring tool for your Ubuntu machine then you have probably came across “top”. “top” is a simple command-line based monitoring tool. It comes pre-installed in Ubuntu. To run top, open the terminal window and issue the command top.

      • Can’t connect to WiFi in Linux

        So I installed the latest version of Kali Linux from USB into my RAZER Blade 2016 laptop. Took a while as it seems after 5 years on non-stop use and abuse, this laptop is finally slowing down. Oh yes, touchpad was disabled the whole time I was installing but keyboard was just fine. After finishing the install and reboot, touchpad worked fine, so I guess it just some quirky driver that doesn’t get loaded during the minimal USB install process. Anyhow, so installed Kali Linux after a long time and to be honest, it looks and feels amazing. Then I tried to connect to Google Nest WiFi and this spinny thing just kept spinning until eventually it failed. I kept trying but I can’t connect to WiFi!

      • How to Install and setup Selenium with Google Chrome on Ubuntu

        Through this article, we will see how to set up selenium on Chrome Browser using chrome driver in very simple way with an example using python script.

      • How to create Cloudwatch alarms for a Lambda Function on AWS

        There are various invocation metrics, performance metrics, and concurrency metrics available for Lambda functions in Cloudwatch to monitor. Invocation metrics are the outcome of an invocation and binary in nature, performance details about a single invocation are provided by Performance metrics.

      • How to Install SQLite and SQLite Browser on Ubuntu 20.04

        Sqlite is a lightweight but feature-rich database management system that is widely used in embedded systems like mobile devices. It is basically a relative database management system used for storing structured data in large tables. Other Major Database Management Systems in this series include Microsoft’s SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, IBM’s DB2, and Oracle Database. Being open-source, SQLite source code can be modified as per the requirement of developers. It is also available for free use in both commercial and non-commercial projects.

        SQLite runs without the need for a separate server process. Since no server is required for setting up SQLite, an SQLite database instance can be created just like opening a file. It is a C library that has direct access to its stored files. The whole database system is contained in a single library. It is integrated directly into the host program. It is fully compliant with ACID. It uses minimum system resources.

        With the SQLite browser, we can directly manipulate the files in the SQLite database. It is open source. DB Browser is an example of an SQLite browser. It can be used for creating and editing database files. With the visual interface of a DB browser, you do not need to remember SQL commands. This feature makes it more flexible for new users as well as for developers.

      • bullseye: doveadm as unprivileged user with dovecot ssl config
      • How to install JetBrains Rider on Linux

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to download and install JetBrains Rider on Linux. However, before we begin, please note that you will need to create a JetBrains account. To do that, head over to their website.

      • How to use the Nano text editor on Linux

        There are many different text editors on Linux, and the community is quite passionate about this subject. However, one text editor stands out from the rest as the easiest to use, especially for beginners. That text editor is Nano.

      • How to install the Brave Browser on Deepin 20.2

        In this video, we are looking at how to install the Brave Browser on Deepin 20.2.

      • How to install Firefox ESR on a Chromebook in 2021

        Today we are looking at how to install Firefox ESR (Extended Release Cycle) on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

    • Games

      • Godot 3.3 Arrives With Renderer Improvements, WebXR Support For VR Games

        Godot 3.3 is out today as the newest feature release for this increasingly used open-source, cross-platform game engine that is beginning to rival the capabilities of commercial game engines.

        While eagerly looking forward to the Godot 4.0 game engine update, Godot 3.3 does bring some significant improvements as an interim release.

      • Godot 3.3 has arrived, with a focus on optimization and reliability

        All Godot contributors are delighted to release our latest milestone today, Godot 3.3, after more than 7 months of development! This release was initially planned as a 3.2.4 update to the 3.2 branch, but it grew to become a feature-packed update well worth of opening a new stable branch.

        While most development focus is on our upcoming Godot 4.0 release, many contributors and users want a robust and mature 3.x branch to develop and publish their games today, so it’s important for us to keep giving Godot 3 users an improved gamedev experience. As such, most of the focus was on implementing missing features or bugfixes which are critical for publishing 2D and 3D games with Godot 3, and on making the existing featuresmore optimized and reliable.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Peruse 2.0 Beta 1 Is Released: A KDE Comic Book Reader Disaster

          Peruse is, supposedly, a “easy and pleasant” desktop and mobile comic book reader built using the KDE Kirigami interface framework by a Danish developer. Something is rotten in Denmark and everything that could go wrong did go wrong with the first Peruse 2.0 beta release. It is completely bug riddled, it Krashes half the time you click on something and it far from being “easy” or “pleasant” to use.


          The Filter by Folder will, of course, not filter by folder. It shows every folder it has ever scanned followed by a every .pdf file it has decided to index.

          Quitting Peruse by closing it’s window, and is the only way to quit it, does not actually terminate it, Peruse will happily leave behind a peruse process loading one CPU core at 100%. Starting it again while that process is left behind will, of course, not terminate it, so you will get 3 preuse processes running at 100% on one CPU core if you start and quit it 3 times. Those left-behind processes will eventually stop using 100% of one CPU core, but they won’t die.

          The right side of the Peruse window has a familiar scroll-bar. Clicking the slider on it and moving it doesn’t work. Clicking on the arrows in either end of it will, of course, also not do anything.

    • Distributions

      • New Netrunner 21.01 ‘XOXO’ Worthy of Hugs and Kisses

        When I last visited the ever-changing Netrunner distribution, I said that Netrunner Linux still went its own way. That was its twentieth rebirthday upgrade over its then 10-year history in late February 2020.

        The same is true for Netrunner 21.01 XOXO — now with more modern trappings. Today, the two-month-old Netrunner XOXO release is something much more reminiscent of the 1990’s Linux Netrunner’s look and feel.

        That is not necessarily a bad thing. Netrunner XOXO is a good fit for your general computing needs. In its present form, the developers should stop the constant rebuilding and let this well-running operating system find its audience.

        I suspect that Netrunner Linux’s sordid history of changes suggested it was not a reliable choice with its own staying power. It clearly has the right stuff to make it a success as a modern desktop with a tinge of yesteryear to give it more classiness.

        Netrunner — at least until its next unexpected change — is still a Debian-based distribution with a highly refurbished KDE desktop loaded with extra applications, multimedia codecs, Flash, and Java plugins. It has its own look and feel. The result is an enhanced desktop that is very user-friendly on top of a set of controls to make tweaking it fun and efficient.

      • BSD

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprints 119, 120 & 121

          YaST development never stops. But we have to admit we have not kept our readers as informed as usual about the activities of the YaST team, other than our blog post about Hack Week. We had to adapt the length and focus of some sprints before and after Hack Week. That, together with Easter season in Europe and some extra vacations, affected our good publishing habits. On the bright side, we have tons of topics for you, let’s do a quick recap.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Enabling debuginfod for Fedora by default

          In early April, Fedora program manager Ben Cotton posted a proposal to use the distribution’s debuginfod servers by default in Fedora 35. This feature would help developers who are trying to debug or trace their programs using various tools, but who are lacking the source code and debugging symbols needed. The servers can provide that data directly to the tools as needed, but there are some security and privacy concerns to work through before turning the feature on by default.

          The required source code and debugging information is available for Fedora already, of course, but it lives in debuginfo and src RPMs that must be installed to be used by the tools. Those RPM files are quite large and generally cover much more than the symbols and source for a single file that a user might want to look at in a tracing or debugging session. In addition, installing them via DNF requires root privileges, which may not be available to the user. Grabbing just the pieces needed, at the right time and without extra privileges, is a highly useful service that the debuginfod feature can provide.

          An October 2019 Red Hat blog post describes debuginfod and notes that it is a new feature coming in the elfutils tools. The idea is that the Build.ID hash that gets stored in object files by GCC and LLVM can be used to identify which version of the symbols and source code correspond to the object. Build.ID support was added for Fedora 8 in 2007. The Build.ID directly identifies the debugging symbols for the object file; the source code path is also stored in the object file, which can be used to identify (thus serve) the right source file package as well.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Energy infrastructure platform uses open source to fight climate change

        LF Energy is a Linux Foundation project working to accelerate the energy transition of the world’s grids and transportation systems through open source. In December, our project took a major step toward achieving its mission when we and our member organizations Alliander, RTE, and Savoir-faire Linux launched SEAPATH, which stands for Software Enabled Automation Platform and Artifacts.

        SEAPATH is a reference design and a real-time, open source platform for grid operators to run virtualized automation and protection applications. It is the second project for LF Energy’s Digital Substation Automation Systems initiative and a vital step toward adopting renewable energy on the power grid. It will accelerate the grid’s decarbonization, helping lead the planet to carbon neutrality by 2050. Power system transformation leads all efforts for decarbonization; it’s the key enabler for fighting climate change.

      • CMS

        • Become an Early Adopter With the Gutenberg Plugin

          In WordPress circles (whether it’s your local meetup, a trusted publication, or your networking group), you may have heard terms like Core Editor, Gutenberg, and the Block Editor used interchangeably over the last four years. And if you’re following contributor work on the project itself, you may also have heard some additional nuances—Gutenberg plugin, Gutenberg, or Block Editor.

      • FSF

        • What did Ludovic Courtès do on the Guix website, which is part of the GNU Project website?

          Ludovic Courtès (Guix) is accusing Stallman of Thoughtcrime. By using the same platform that was provided to him by chief gnuissance Dr. Richard Stallman, the subdomain guix.gnu.org on gnu.org domain, Ludovic Courtès is defaming and harassing Stallman for reasons of thoughtcrime (see the book 1984).

          By that same act Ludovic Courtès abuses the Guix code of conduct and the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines as set in the community by Richard Stallman himself. They promise in the “Guix Code of Conduct” “Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences”, but for reasons of finding few jokes offensive, they defame and slander Dr. Richard Stallman, the very founder of the GNU project where Guix operating system and the FSF from which Guix got more than US $100,000 donation. Imagine.

        • How I Fought To Graduate Without Using Nonfree Software

          Software freedom is a huge but hidden issue in our time. Digital communications technologies such as videoconferencing have taken center stage in our lives, and for many the use of these has been a saviour. They do not notice the danger concealed in the way it works: whoever controls this technology controls our lives. Recently we have seen the power of Big Tech to subvert democracy, control speech, exclude groups, and invade our privacy.

          Software Freedom is a fight to return control to people. It is a fight against “nonfree” software, also called proprietary software, which imposes unjust and invasive harms on its users. In pursuit of our liberating mission, advocates of software freedom like myself insist on using libre software.

          It is especially important to spread these ideals to new generations. Unfortunately, we often see the opposite trend. The default operating system found in most computer classrooms of my country is proprietary Microsoft Windows, with some universities even providing students licenses for it. At some point I came to realize this practice really only benefits the proprietary operating system vendor. Similarly terrifying is the level of dependence of course organization on nonfree Google Sheets and Google Forms.

          During the pandemic we saw educational facilities hastily embrace proprietary tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Whatsapp, pressured by the network they generate. Schools and universities then tried to impose them on students, who subseqnuently suffered the loss of freedom from using programs that users don’t control, as well as bad security and violations of privacy.

          Because I refuse to use unethical software, the complete reliance on proprietary platforms has created an ethical conflict. My aim has been to complete my university degree without surrendering to the imposed nonfree services, by convincing my professors[2] to allow me to use only free-software replacements to proprietary applications. I didn’t expect to win a fight against such power, but now, through polite but firm action, I think I may have prevailed. Hopefully this story will help you resist too.

        • Debian votes on a statement — and a leader

          Richard Stallman’s return to the Free Software Foundation’s board of directors has provoked a flurry of responses, and many organizations in the free-software community have expressed their unhappiness with that appointment. In almost every case, the process leading up to that expression has been carried out behind closed doors. The Debian project, instead, is deciding what to do in a classic Debian way — holding a public vote on a general resolution with a wide range of possible outcomes.

          The discussion appears to have started on March 23, when Gunnar Wolf floated the possibility of the project taking a position on this issue. One day later, Steve Langasek proposed a general resolution that would make the project a signatory of this open letter opposing Stallman’s return. Several hundred (not always pleasant) emails and many proposed amendments later, the final resolution was put out for a vote. In fitting with Debian’s reputation for packaging everything, this ballot contains eight options for developers to rank, covering a whole spectrum of potential actions.

        • You know what? I support RMS. Hate me if you will

          I believe the main reason why a lot of people are supporting the hate campaign is because of the context that has been presented to them for years, instead of the actual facts. The claims of the hate letter are inaccurate, product of intentional mischaracterizations and quotes taken out of context, by people who want him removed for strategic reasons.

          My intention is not to downplay the impact this whole thing has had on people who constantly suffer abuse and discrimination at first hand. I believe they are the only ones entitled to talk about how certain actions can affect them. That’s why, in the following sections, I will include testimonies from people who belong to the “affected” minorities or groups, and have worked closely with RMS for years or even decades. I will also do especial emphasis on the real intentions behind RMS’ actions, and the real actions as well.

          It is so unfortunate and disappointing how a person can do a lot for the people, but as soon as they says or does something slightly off, a small group (mob) of “important” people take it as an opportunity to spread FUD about that person in order to disparage them; and when everyone believes it, people put the responsibility onto that person and say they has caused them harm. Meanwhile, the person turns into a “criminal” and the mob and all its members turn into “heroes”. The real harm was done by the mob creating the illusion, not by the victim who has been taken out of context by it.

        • Trying to Understand the Lynching of Stallman: for an Uncompromising Defense of Free/Libre Software
        • Licensing/Legal

          • Grafana, Loki, and Tempo will be relicensed to AGPLv3

            Over the last few years, we’ve watched closely as almost every at-scale open source company that we admire (such as Elastic, Redis Labs, MongoDB, Timescale, Cockroach Labs, and many others) has evolved their license regime. In almost all of these cases, the result has been a move to a non-OSI-approved source-available license.

            We have spent the first months of 2021 having sometimes contentious but always healthy internal debates over this topic, and today we are announcing a change of our own.

            Going forward, we will be relicensing our core open source projects (Grafana, Grafana Loki, and Grafana Tempo) from the Apache License 2.0 to the Affero General Public License (AGPL) v3. Plugins, agents, and certain libraries will remain Apache-licensed. You can find information in GitHub about what is being relicensed for Grafana, Loki, and Tempo.

            AGPLv3 is an OSI-approved license that meets all criteria for Free and Open Source Software.

          • All change: Grafana switches core open source projects from Apache to AGPLv3 licensing

            Grafana Labs is changing the licensing for its core open source projects (Grafana, Grafana Loki, and Grafana Tempo) from the Apache License 2.0 to the Affero General Public License (AGPL) v3. The company says the vast majority of users should be unaffected by this decision, which follows similar moves from other open source software companies.

            Grafana made the announcement on its blog, but has also published the results of an internal Q&A with Grafana Labs CEO and co-founder Raj Dutt that outlines some of the reasons.

            Dutt said the decision to revamp licensing from the Apache License 2.0 to AGPLv3 came after “almost every at-scale open source company that we admire (such as Elastic, Redis Labs, MongoDB, Timescale, Cockroach Labs, and many others) has evolved their license regime.”

          • Grafana Loki and Tempo switches to AGPLv3

            Observability platform provider Grafana Labs announced its open-source projects Grafana, Grafana Loki and Grafana Tempo will now be available under the Affero General Public License v3 (AGPLv3). The projects were previously available under the Apache License 2.0.

            Raj Dutt, CEO of Grafana Labs, explained it chose AGPLv3 because it is an Open Source Initiative approved license and meets the criteria of free and open-source software.

            “Ensuring we maintain these freedoms for our community is a big priority for us. While AGPL doesn’t ‘protect’ us to the same degree as other licenses (such as the SSPL), we feel that it strikes the right balance. Being open source will always be at the core of who we are, and we believe that adopting AGPLv3 allows our community and users to by and large have the same freedoms that they have enjoyed since our inception,” he wrote in a post.

          • Grafana Ditches Apache 2.0, Switches to AGPL

            Grafana is switching licensing of its core products from Apache License 2.0 to the more restrictive Affero General Public License (GPL) v3. The company made the change in an attempt to balance the value of open source with Grafana’s monetization strategy, CEO Raj Dutt announced yesterday.

            Grafana has been considering a license change for some time, Dutt wrote in a blog post on April 20. This week, the company finally felt the time was right to move.

            “Our company has always tried to balance the ‘value creation’ of open source and community with the ‘value capture’ of our monetization strategy,” Dutt wrote. “The choice of license is a key pillar of this strategy, and is something that we’ve deliberated on extensively since the company began.”

          • Elastic vs. AWS highlights open source monetization dilemma [Ed: "Open Source" is not Free-as-in-Freedom software and isn't about Freedom but a preoccupation with money, using openwashing for marketing advantage/edge/latch]

            The cloud has upended assumptions in almost every industry and profession, and the commercial open source market is no exception.

            The efficiency, flexibility and usability of cloud services has collided with the established order in the development and commercialization of open source software. The latest example is the long-simmering feud between AWS and Elastic, which came to a head earlier this year.

            Elastic, whose developers founded and then commercialized the Elasticsearch project, changed the licensing terms for the analytics and data visualization software to prevent AWS from packaging it as a service. AWS promptly responded with the open source equivalent of the nuclear option: It forked the project and created a separate version customized for its use.

      • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

      • ISO 8601: Ending The Date Wars And Confusing Everyone Equally | Hackaday

        Where I come from in England, it’s the norm to represent dates in ascending order: day, month, year. Thus the 4th of March 2021 becomes 04/03/2021 when written down on a form. This is entirely logical, and makes complete sense given the way a date is said aloud in English and other languages.

        Meanwhile in America it’s the norm to represent dates in a different manner: month, day, year. Thus March 4th, 2021 becomes 03/04/2021 when written down on a form. This is also entirely logical, and makes complete sense given the way dates are pronounced in American English.

        As someone whose job entails crossing the Atlantic in linguistic terms, I am frequently confused and caught out by this amusing quirk of being divided by a common language. Is 03/04/2021 the 3rd of April or March 4th? “Why can’t Americans use a logical date format!” I cry as in a distant transatlantic echo I hear my friends over there bemoaning our annoying European ways. It’s doubtful that this divergence has caused any satellites to crash, but it sure can be annoying.

  • Leftovers

    • Back the Blue Hashtag Co-opted to Show Support for Postal, Health Workers

      Twitter users jumped into action, co-opting the hashtag to show support for other blue-hued icons, like United States Postal Service workers and blue whales.

    • To see how the European Super League will change football, look to America

      The only alternative to the hyper-commercialisation of football is to put ownership and control in the hands of communities, supporters and players

    • Science

    • Hardware

      • Detroit Jeep Plant Faces Temporary Layoffs on Chip Shortage

        Stellantis will cut two work crews at its Jefferson North plant in Detroit for three weeks starting April 26, then call them back and lay off a third crew from May 17 through the week of May 31, according to a schedule obtained by Bloomberg News. The plant on Detroit’s east side normally operates two shifts with three work crews six days a week to keep it running 20 hours a day.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Justice Department convenes task force to tackle wave of ransomware attacks [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Justice Department this week convened a new task force to address the mounting ransomware cyberattacks on critical U.S. organizations that have spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

          The Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, first reported on Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, will be made of officials from the agency’s National Security Division, Criminal Division, Civil Division, Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys and FBI.

        • Internal Facebook Memo Reveals Company Plan to ‘Normalize’ News of Data Leaks After 500 Million User Breach

          A leaked internal Facebook memo has inadvertently revealed the social media giant’s tactics after its recent data scraping controversy.

        • Internal Facebook Memo Reveals Company Plan To ‘Normalise’ News Of Data Leaks After 500 Million User Breach

          “LONG-TERM STRATEGY: Assuming press volume continues to decline, we’re not planning additional statements on this issue. Longer term, though, we expect more scraping incidents and think it’s important to both frame this as a broad industry issue and normalize the fact that this activity happens regularly.

          “To do this, the team is proposing a follow-up post in the next several weeks that talks more broadly about our anti-scraping work and provides more transparency around the work we’re doing in this area. While this may reflect a significant volume of scraping activity, we hope this will help to normalize the fact that this activity is ongoing and avoid criticism that we aren’t being transparent about particular incidents.”

          The memo was sent to Belgian tech news site Datanews, intended for Facebook’s European, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) PR team.

          Facebook confirmed to The Independent that the memo, which was a coverage summary circulated through the social media site’s PR team, was genuine.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Shirish Agarwal: The Great Train Robbery

              The Above video is by a gentleman called Shaun who basically shared that privatization as far as UK is concerned is nothing but monopolies and while there are complex reasons for the same, the design of the Railways is such that it will always be a monopoly structure. At the most what you can do is have several monopolies but that is all that can happen. The idea of competition just cannot happen. Even the idea that subsidies will be less or/and trains will run on time is far from fact. Both of these facts have been checked and found to be truthful by fullfact.org. It is and argued that UK is small and perhaps it doesn’t have the right conditions. It is probably true but still we do deserve to have a glance at the UK railway map.


              The above map is copyrighted to Map Marketing where you could see it today . As can be seen above most companies had their own specified areas. Now if you had looked at the facts then you would have seen that UK fares have been higher. In fact, an oldish article from Metro (a UK publication) shares the same. In fact, UK nationalized its railways effectively as many large rail operators were running in red. Even Scotland is set to nationalised back in March 2022. Remember this is a country which hasn’t seen inflation go upwards of 5% in nearly a decade. The only outlier was 2011 where they indeed breached the 5% mark. So from this, what we see is ‘Private Gains’ and “Private Gains Public Losses’ perhaps seem fit. But then maybe we didn’t use the right example. Perhaps Japan would be better. They have bullet trains while UK is still thinking about it. (HS2).

        • Security

          • Superfeedr sends logins in plain-text (a HSTS case study)

            I recently signed up for an account with Superfeedr (a WebSub Hub provider.) I noticed a security issue in the sign-up process, and thought it would make an excellent case study for HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). Here’s what Superfeedr did wrong, why they probably didn’t realize it, and how you can avoid making the same mistake in the future.

            The Superfeedr website is served over an unencrypted/unsecured connection, and it asked me to submit my desired username, password, and email address to the server over an unencrypted connection. After submitting the login, the website redirects you from the unencrypted to an encrypted/secure connection. The damage has already happened, though. A person-in-the-middle may have observed the authentication credential data and can use them to log in to your account.

          • Qualys Extends VMDR to Patch Linux Workloads
          • Wireshark 3.4.5

            Wireshark is a network packet analyzer. A network packet analyzer will try to capture network packets and tries to display that packet data as detailed as possible. You could think of a network packet analyzer as a measuring device used to examine what’s going on inside a network cable, just like a voltmeter is used by an electrician to examine what’s going on inside an electric cable (but at a higher level, of course). In the past, such tools were either very expensive, proprietary, or both. However, with the advent of Wireshark, all that has changed. Wireshark is perhaps one of the best open source packet analyzers available today.

          • Exploiting vulnerabilities in Cellebrite UFED and Physical Analyzer from an app’s perspective

            Cellebrite makes software to automate physically extracting and indexing data from mobile devices. They exist within the grey – where enterprise branding joins together with the larcenous to be called “digital intelligence.” Their customer list has included authoritarian regimes in Belarus, Russia, Venezuela, and China; death squads in Bangladesh; military juntas in Myanmar; and those seeking to abuse and oppress in Turkey, UAE, and elsewhere. A few months ago, they announced that they added Signal support to their software.

            Their products have often been linked to the persecution of imprisoned journalists and activists around the world, but less has been written about what their software actually does or how it works. Let’s take a closer look. In particular, their software is often associated with bypassing security, so let’s take some time to examine the security of their own software.

          • Statement on DNS Encryption [PDF]

            The Root Server Operators are well aware of the active work takingplace around DNS Encryption. The IETF’s DPRIVE and DOH working groups have developed proposed standards for encrypted DNS between stub resolver and recursive resolvers. DNS-over-TLS is specified in RFCs 7858 and 8094, and DNS-over-HTTPS in RFC 8484. Also,currently under development is a protocol for DNS-over-QUIC.

            Now that solutions and standards exist for encryption between stub resolvers and recursive resolvers, attention turns toward providing privacy protection for the next step: recursive resolvers to authoritative servers. A significant challenge here is agreement on the best way for authoritative servers to signal their support for and preferences regarding encrypted transports.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • DHS wants to put REAL-ID drivers licenses on smartphones

              The Department of Homeland Security has published a Request For Information (RFI) from vendors and other stakeholders regarding standards for drivers licenses and other IDs stored on smartphones or other mobile devices to be considered compliant with the REAL-ID Act of 2005.

              Responses to the RFI are due by June 18, 2021.

              The amendments to the REAL-ID Act signed into law at the end of 2021 included provisions authorizing the DHS to certify digital ID credentials as “REAL-ID compliant”. That certification can’t happen, though, until the DHS promulgates new regulations.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Ramadan Brings No Relief for Yemen as Saudis Block Chairties and Turks Unleash Foreign Mercanaries

        Adel al-Hajajji is a proud man but, with a pregnant wife and three young mouths to feed, he can’t afford to wait around for a miracle. Instead, he has taken to wandering the streets of Sana’a, gathering discarded plastic water bottles to sell to the recycling center near his home in al-Rawdah. The meager earnings net him just enough to provide his family with a modest iftar, the evening meal that marks the end of the day’s fast during the month of Ramadan. The meal usually consists of bread and water but on occasion neighbors will bring by Saltah, Yemen’s national dish made of rice and potatoes, with meat blended in during more prosperous times.

      • I Met a Taliban Leader and Lost Hope for My Country

        As men continue to bicker over the future and control of Afghanistan, I have already lost my home and my country. I worked in Kabul as a television journalist for 12 years, and finally left in November after threats to my life.

        I know how the Taliban plan to shape the future of my country, and their vision of my country has no space for me.

      • ‘The Taliban Have Tracked Me’

        Her greatest fear right now is violence and a sense it may be impossible for under-equipped local government forces to hold off the Taliban, said Zargar, whose office has worked hard to ensure the rights of Logari women. “We’ve fought back against cultural practices and prejudices, but none of that matters if families are afraid to send their daughters to school due to fear of bombs and mines,” she said.

        That fear is borne out in the numbers. According to the United Nations, the first quarter of 2021 saw a 37 percent increase in civilian casualties among women.

    • Environment

      • A sweeping study shows how humans changed the environment over 12,000 years

        The main difference in that span is not in how much land has been inhabited by people, but how those inhabitants cared for the land. The authors found that many ancient cultures were careful to preserve biodiversity hot spots, such as those found in the Amazon and the Congo, and as a result minimized or prevented ecological problems. The tipping point wasn’t the massive growth in the human population but rather how we shifted our land use. Since the industrial revolution in the 19th century, urbanization, deforestation, factory farming, mining and other irresponsible land uses have put our planet in danger.

      • People have shaped most of terrestrial nature for at least 12,000 years

        The current biodiversity crisis is often depicted as a struggle to preserve untouched habitats. Here, we combine global maps of human populations and land use over the past 12,000 y with current biodiversity data to show that nearly three quarters of terrestrial nature has long been shaped by diverse histories of human habitation and use by Indigenous and traditional peoples. With rare exceptions, current biodiversity losses are caused not by human conversion or degradation of untouched ecosystems, but rather by the appropriation, colonization, and intensification of use in lands inhabited and used by prior societies. Global land use history confirms that empowering the environmental stewardship of Indigenous peoples and local communities will be critical to conserving biodiversity across the planet.

      • How to save coffee from global warming

        Lots of other coffee species are known (122 at the last count). And many do, indeed, grow in places warmer than those preferred by canephora and arabica. But all were thought to have poorer flavours, smaller beans and lower yields. Dr Davis, however, came across a paper written in 1834 by George Don, a Scottish botanist, which described a species from the lowland hills of Sierra Leone. Don dubbed it Coffea stenophylla, and wrote that it had a flavour superior to arabica’s.

        This piqued Dr Davis’s interest, for stenophylla still grows, he discovered, in parts of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast that have temperature ranges between 24 and 26°C. He and his colleagues also learned that stenophylla was farmed up until the 1920s, after which canephora, which had higher yields, took over. Stenophylla was then gradually forgotten.

      • The US has a long way to go to make up for its part in the climate crisis

        The US plans to officially ratchet up its climate commitments going into Earth Day tomorrow, but many advocates are skeptical that it will be ambitious enough to balance out the nation’s inordinate role in creating the climate crisis.

        Biden is expected to commit the US to slashing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least half compared to what they were in 2005. That’s already a significant ramp-up compared to the trajectory the US was on before. (Barack Obama committed the US to a roughly 27 percent cut by 2025.) But there’s still somewhat of a mismatch between what the US is willing to commit to and what some say it owes to the rest of the world.

      • Energy

        • New investments to boost Finland’s battery cluster

          Johnson Matthey, a UK-listed chemicals company, together with the Finnish Minerals Group have announced investment in a cathode materials plant planned for Vaasa.

          The plant will produce cathode materials used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, which are increasingly in high demand as car manufacturers shift to electric vehicles. The plant with a nameplate capacity of 30,000 tonnes of ultra-high energy density cathode materials required by EV producers is Johnson Matthey’s second investment in Finland.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • New amphibious centipede species discovered in Okinawa and Taiwan

          Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University and Hosei University have discovered a new species of large, tropical centipede of genus Scolopendra in Okinawa and Taiwan. It is only the third amphibious centipede identified in the world, and is the largest in the region, 20 cm long and nearly 2 cm thick. It is also the first new centipede to be identified in Japan in 143 years, testament to the incredible biodiversity of the Ryukyu Archipelago.

          Scolopendra is a genus of large, tropical centipede, one of the original genera named by the father of modern taxonomy himself, Carl Linnaeus. They are strong predators in any soil ecosystems they inhabit, with around 100 different species found in tropical regions around the world. Of these, only five have been identified in Japan and Taiwan.

          Scientists were excited when news came in of an unknown centipede species sighted around the Ryukyu Archipelago, reportedly attacking giant freshwater prawns. A team led by Sho Tsukamoto, his supervisor Associate Professor Katsuyuki Eguchi of Tokyo Metropolitan University, and Professor Satoshi Shimano of Hosei University set out to look for and identify this mystery creature.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • How Josh Hawley and Marjorie Taylor Greene Juiced Their Fundraising Numbers

        Two of the leading Republican firebrands in Congress touted big fundraising hauls as a show of grassroots support for their high-profile stands against accepting the 2020 election results.

        But new financial disclosures show that Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., relied on an email marketing vendor that takes as much as 80 cents on the dollar. That means their headline-grabbing numbers were more the product of expensively soliciting hardcore Republicans than an organic groundswell of far-reaching support.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Confusion Erupts Around Misleading News Surrounding Youtube-dl Takedown [Ed: This downplays the fact that other than Youtube-dl, Microsoft continues to kill many Free software projects, based on DMCA abuse, without the media taking notice. There have been many examples of it lately. Stop defending a proprietary software monopoly (GitHub).]

        Among the confusion caused by this takedown, some recent reports have surfaced claiming that forks of the Youtube-dl repository are still disabled. This is not true. If we look at the list of forks, we can see a huge list of repositories, with each one working as normal.

        Multiple sources reference this repository, which has been taken down and has still not been reinstated by GitHub. However, it is not actually forked from the official Youtube-dl repository. Instead, this repository is based on an unofficial version of Youtube-dl and is not actually a Youtube-dl fork.

        This isn’t to say that GitHub is without blame, as they have still ignored this developer’s counternotice. However, this warrants nowhere near the amount of criticism GitHub has received because of this.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Conversation with Nils Melzer: The Case of Julian Assange – How could this happen in European Democracies?

        Invited by Julian Assange’s lawyer, Melzer decided to investigate the legal background of Julien Assange’s persecution and incarceration. He revealed a series of serious irregularities unexpected to occur in European democracies: fabricated evidence, conflict of interests, political pressure, biased courts. Melzer’s explosive findings were compiled in his upcoming book: Der Fall Julian Assange (Piper, April 2021). The case Assange is one of many torture cases on Melzer’s agenda. The conversation will focus on several cases and why nobody seems to care.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Climate Change and Capitalism Are Forcing Chilean Farmers to Abandon Their Land

        One factor making things more difficult for many small farmers is that Chile is the only country in the world with a fully privatized water system.

        The Chilean Constitution ensures access to water, but in practice, Roco said, market forces decide who gets water rights. In this tug of war, industrial farmers growing export crops, like avocados, are able to pay more for water, boxing out small farmers.

        “The domestic market is mainly supplied by small-scale farmers,” Roco said. “But it’s more difficult for these small, family farmers to adapt to climate change.”

        The Codigo de Aguas, the water code, came into being during General Pinochet’s dictatorship. Under the code, water rights go to the highest bidder. Over the years, rivers, glaciers, and underground water rights have been sold to international firms, mainly in mining and large-scale agriculture. Many small farmers struggle to navigate the complex registration system that was created to keep track of water rights, Roco said.


      • EU engagement gives Turkey a free pass on human rights violations

        There was an outpouring of indignation at von der Leyen’s relegation—accusations flew about who was responsible for the faux pas that led to ‘sofagate’. But this distracts from another controversy: the EU’s decision to engage with Erdogan at a time when Turkey’s authoritarian drift is accelerating. A US State Department report from 2020 outlines a litany of human rights transgressions and restrictions on political freedoms in Turkey. In deciding to visit Ankara, the EU turned a blind eye to democratic backsliding and human rights violations, effectively letting Erdogan get away with it.

      • Three years after Dubai princess’ failed escape attempt, Frenchman who helped her recounts ordeal

        Three years after Christian Elombo took part in a doomed bid to help the daughter of Dubai’s ruler flee the UAE, the Frenchman still thinks he did the right thing despite spending months in jail in the Gulf and Europe as a consequence.

        In March 2018, Princess Latifa, the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, attempted to flee the UAE on a boat that was intercepted by commandos off the coast of India.

        Her fate remains a mystery and a cause of international concern, with the UN urging the United Arab Emirates to provide proof she is alive, after the BBC broadcast a video where Latifa said she was being held captive.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix’s Dominance Starts to Slow as Rivals Gain

        In its latest rankings, Parrot reported that Netflix’s share of total demand — a measure of the popularity of its shows — was slightly above 50 percent for the first three months of the year, compared with 54 percent a year ago and 65 percent in the first quarter of 2019.

        In other words, competitors have started eating into Netflix’s dominance.

    • Monopolies

      • Lawmakers And Newsmakers Tackle Google and Facebook Market Power

        Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, who chairs the Senate judiciary’s subcommittee on antitrust, spoke on the recent tussle between Facebook and Australia over news feeds on the social media platform. “That is the very definition of a monopoly — when you can hold a country hostage simply because they want to make sure the content is paid for from the news,” she said.

        Both Google and Facebook face several anti-competitive lawsuits from the Department of Justice, states attorneys general, federal agencies and several news publications that claim the big tech’s behavior has led to a monopoly in the digital space.

      • Eurasian industrial design: an overview of a new regional system [Ed: Dennemeyer mentions the Eurasian Patent Convention (EPC), which is not the same as the other EPC, which the corrupt EPO routinely violates, turning the European patent system into a self-harming farce that does nothing but collect money for invalid patents (IPs)]

        The Eurasian regional system of industrial design legal protection is a flexible and convenient instrument for applicants and patent owners acting in the region. It also represents the fruit of several years of preliminary work by the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) and a new chapter in IP regulations in the nations of the former Soviet Union.

        The EPC currently comprises eight member states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The Protocol on the Protection of Industrial Designs to the EPC was adopted on September 9, 2019, and, according to it, the EAPO grants unified Eurasian patents for industrial designs valid within the territory of the EPC member states covered by the Protocol. Currently, those are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Belarus, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have not yet finalized their ratification / accession procedures.

      • Patents

        • Intel beats VLSI in $3.1bn Texas suit [Ed: Patrick Wingrove, the patent trolls' mouthpiece, responds to Texas coming to grips with the damage it does to the public perception of the patent system (and Texas)]

          In a surprise turn of events at the District Court for the Western District of Texas yesterday, April 21, a jury ruled in favour of Intel in the tech company’s second patent trial against VLSI Technology, in which the latter was seeking $3.1 billion in damages.

        • FOSS Patents: Intel doesn’t infringe VLSI patents-in-suit: jury verdict in second VLSI v. Intel case (Western District of Texas)

          Reuters reports–as do other media–that a jury in Waco (Western District of Texas) has found for Intel. According to the verdict, which I haven’t found on the electronic docket yet, the semiconductor company infringes neither of the two patents asserted by VLSI Technology, a non-practicing entity funded by Fortress Investment.

          In early March, Intel had lost a trial over two other VLSI patents, and the damages award amounted to $2.175 billion.

          There’ll be a third VLSI v. Intel trial in June, and should jurors or their friends or relatives inform themselves on the Internet of the wider dispute, the picture will be more favorable to Intel than last time.

          This outcome is in line with my observations. I noted the burden of proof on infringement and that there were reasons that might very lead a jury to doubt the infringement allegations. I wrote: “I think Intel may avoid an infringement finding, but even if it happened, I can’t imagine it would be another billion-dollar amount.”

        • Intel, Albright Make a Potentially Big Change in Second Patent Trial

          The judge refused to let VLSI Technology admit evidence of big payouts Intel has made to settle other litigation. The decision came after Intel said it had been careful not to open the door to such evidence this time around.

        • Sen. Tillis Asks Biden Administration to Oppose WTO Waiver Proposal [Ed: Tillis is a front for the patent cartel and litigation 'industry', so of course he's willing to cause the deaths of millions of people just for the sake of patent profiteering]

          Last month, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) sent separate letters urging the Biden Administration to join the European Union, United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Brazil, and Norway in opposing a proposal made by India and South Africa to have the World Trade Organization (WTO) waive the implementation, application and enforcement of certain provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement with respect to the prevention, containment, or treatment of COVID-19. A group of fifteen industry and trade organizations (including BIO and PhRMA) followed with their own letter to several members of the Biden Administration, opposing what the coalition called “a problematic proposal” to waive global IP protections. And then, a group of intellectual property organizations sent a letter to several members of Congress and officials at the Patent and Copyright Offices to express their support for the United States’ continued opposition to the TRIPS waiver proposal. One of the recipients of that last letter was Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property.

          Last week, Sen, Tillis (at right) sent his own letter to members of the Biden Administration, asking that the Administration “oppose any and all efforts aimed at waiving intellectual property rights.” Calling the waiver a “disastrous” proposal (not once, but three times), Sen. Tillis expressed his concern that “the Biden Administration is being urged to support this broad and open-ended waiver in the mistaken belief that it will promote broader access to vaccines needed to halt the spread of this terrible pandemic,” while arguing that the proposed waiver “would do nothing of the sort.” Instead, Sen. Tillis contends that the waiver “would undermine the extraordinary global response that has achieved historically remarkable results in record time and undermine our nation’s global leadership in the technologies, medicines, and treatments of the future.”

        • FOSS Patents: Retired UK judge: ETSI FRAND pledge requires component-level licensing of cellular standard-essential patents

          Today’s IPKat/LSE Joint Event was entitled “The CJEU’s billion-dollar questions — who gets a SEP license and when should an injunction be granted?” One of Europe’s most famous patent judges, recently-retired Lord Justice Sir Christopher Floyd, gave a clear answer to the first question: in his interpretation, ETSI’s standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing pledge entitles every maker of equipment, including suppliers of components, to a license on FRAND terms.

          That conclusion didn’t surprise me. The ETSI agreement must be interpreted under French law, and at my Brussels conference on component-level SEP licensing in November 2019, French law professor Philippe Stoffel-Munck took the same position. What made the judge’s position today particularly noteworthy is that he previously criticized the ETSI FRAND pledge for containing only about half the clarity that he’d like to see in it. He provide one example of such a shortcoming: the pledge doesn’t specify in what forum any disputes over licensing terms should be resolved.

          While some major cellular SEP holders–such as InterDigital, whose licensing chief Eeva Hakoranta also spoke today–argue that licensing at the end-product level is the standard in their industry, two industry representatives at today’s webinar–though it’s important to note they all expressed only their personal opinions–explained why component-level licensing is key to the ability of standardization to serve its purpose. Intel’s IP policy chief Dr. Rebekka Porath mentioned that Intel, a member of approximately 300 standard-setting organizations, does grant SEP licenses at the component level. Last summer, a component-level SEP license deal between Huawei and Sharp became known (neither Huawei nor Sharp spoke today). Automotive supplier Continental’s IP chief Dr. Roman Bonn explained the supply chain for connected cars, where cellular standards are implemented in the baseband chipset. What corroborates this view is what WilmerHale’s patent and antitrust attorney Tim Syrett explained: he’s litigated various SEP cases in the U.S. involving SEPs, and the infringement analysis always focused on the source code of the baseband chip. (This is a structural difference between SEP litigation in the U.S. and Germany; in the latter country, infringement allegations are typically based on the specification of a standard, not on what the accused products actually do.)

        • Software Patents

          • Flexiworld Technologies patent challenged

            On April 13, 2021, Unified Patents filed an ex parte reexamination against U.S. Patent 10,346,114, owned by Flexiworld Technologies, Inc. The ‘114 patent relates to transmitting or streaming protected digital content to client devices over the internet. It has been asserted against Roku.

          • Caselas, a Raymond Anthony Joao entity, patent challenged

            On April 15, 2021, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,715,691, which is being asserted by Caselas, LLC, a Raymond Anthony Joao entity. The ’691 patent is generally directed to providing transaction history information including charge-back information.

            Caselas is asserting the ’691 patent against 25 banks and merchant services companies, including First Citizens Bank, UBS Bank, First National Bank of Omaha, TruWest Credit Union, and Electronic Merchant Systems.

          • [Older] Enlarged Board of Appeal of European Patent Office clarifies examination of patentability of computer-implemented simulations [Ed: Litigation firms happy about besieged panels that lack independence (in violation of the underlying laws or the EPC) saying "OK" to illegal patents after being threatened by what EPO workers call "Mafia"]

            The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) has concluded that the long-established “COMVIK” approach for computer-implemented inventions applies also to computer-implemented simulations. Accordingly, inventions directed to computer-implemented simulations are expected to be examined by the EPO as any computer-implemented invention and to be subject to the same two hurdles set by the COMVIK approach for assessing compliance of such an invention with the eligibility requirement (first hurdle) and the inventive step requirement (second hurdle).

            The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) of the European Patent Office (EPO) issued decision G 1/19 concluding that the long-established “COMVIK” approach for computer-implemented (CI) inventions (T 641/00) applies also to computer-implemented simulations. Accordingly, computer-implemented simulations are expected to be treated by the European Patent Office (EPO) as any computer-implemented invention and to be subject to the same two hurdles set by the COMVIK approach to assess compliance of such an invention with the eligibility requirement (first hurdle) and the inventive step requirement (second hurdle).

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:57 am by Needs Sunlight

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