In Favour of Splitting Up Companies Like IBM and Microsoft

Posted in Finance, IBM, Microsoft at 4:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Direct link

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, outlines his hypothetical plan for making corporations split into smaller units in order to reduce tax payments

“Dia da Liberdade” 2021: Some Thoughts For the Day

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Child of the Carnation Revolution
António Campinos, self-styled “Child of the Carnation Revolution”. But does anybody really fall for the cheesy PR?

Summary: Report on the failing presidency of the Franco-Portuguese tyrant, who is reportedly not interested in staying at the EPO when his term end

It is abundantly clear by now that the appointment of Campinos as Battistelli‘s successor didn’t usher in any “Carnation Revolution” at the EPO.

Back in April 2019, on the Portuguese “Day of Liberty”, Techrights reported on "Wilted Carnations in EPOnia".

Not a lot has changed since then.

“After an initial honeymoon period when he was given the benefit of doubt, Campinos is now clearly perceived by the majority of EPO staff as perpetuating substantially the same management approach pioneered by Battistelli.”In fact, two years down the road in 2021, those EPOnian carnations are looking even more wilted.

After an initial honeymoon period when he was given the benefit of doubt, Campinos is now clearly perceived by the majority of EPO staff as perpetuating substantially the same management approach pioneered by Battistelli.

Of course business is now conducted with a slightly more civilised and refined veneer – apart from occasional episodes of "drunk and disorderly" behaviour and temper tantrums.

But although the form is somewhat different, very little has changed in substance.

Reports over on the Kluwer Patent Blog confirm that the EPO’s unabated transition “from Patentamt to Oktroybureau” and that the ongoing erosion of working conditions commenced under Battistelli continues apace, showing no sign of reversal or even slow-down under Campinos.

Quite the contrary. Campinos appears intent on exploiting the opportunities provided by the Covid-19 pandemic in order to impose the dystopian “New Normal” future dreamed up by his management team, in which the notorious Elodie Bergot still plays a prominent role.
t this stage Campinos is well past the halfway mark of his five-year term (warning: epo.org link) of office which – unless he seeks and obtains an extension – will expire in June 2023.

EPO insiders previously reported that Campinos was not interested in seeking an extension to his term of office at the EPO. It was understood that his game plan was to return to a position somewhere in the EU administrative apparatus, perhaps resuming control over the EUIPO if he could manage to persuade the current incumbent Christian Archambeau to move aside. But his longer term ambitions in this regard were never entirely clear.

However – thanks to Covid-19 – Campinos can now manage his EPOnian fiefdom remotely from Alicante or Lisbon. So he may be reconsidering his options on that front.

The dictator Campinos
EPO staff continues to oppose the phony austerity politics of Campinos

In the meantime, EPO staff continues to oppose the phony austerity politics of Campinos and his minions, despite the unfavourable environment in which staff representatives and staff union official are currently obliged to operate.

The open question right now is whether or not Campinos might be facing into what the Portuguese call a “Verão Quente” or “hot summer” if the simmering discontent about the low levels of institutional justice and integrity at EPOnia starts to boil over.

A one-day strike back in December of last year could well be a warning sign of the shape of things to come.

As they say in Portugal, sometimes the only solution is disobedience.

On disobedience
Sometimes the only solution is disobedience

Links 23/4/2021: Debian Installer Bullseye RC 1, T2 21.4 “Fully Automated”

Posted in News Roundup at 3:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • University Of Minnesota Investigates Ethically Questionable Linux Kernel Research

        Yesterday we reported on a Linux kernel developer “banning” the University of Minnesota from providing patches to the kernel. However, this did not come out of the blue as some faculty and students had performed questionable research that wasted Linux kernel maintainers’ time and effort. It appears staff at UMN are now looking into the issue and have taken it quite seriously.

        In the last few months, researchers out of the University of Minnesota have been conducting computer science research, leading to multiple papers being published. One of these papers was about the feasibility of introducing vulnerabilities into open-source software, such as the Linux kernel, by sneaking them by reviewers. Effectively, this is human research in a way and likely should not have been carried out in that manner.

      • OpenZFS 2.1-rc4 Delivers Another Round Of Fixes – Phoronix

        It’s looking like the OpenZFS 2.1 open-source ZFS file-system implementation for Linux and FreeBSD systems will soon be ready for release.

        OpenZFS 2.1-rc4 is out today as the latest weekly release candidate. OpenZFS 2.1′s shiny new feature is dRAID / Distributed Spare RAID plus there are some other additions like the “compatibility” property for Zpool feature-sets.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa Git Now Allows Building The Open-Source AMD RADV Vulkan Driver On Windows

          You may recall last year was work that got started on being able to compile the open-source Radeon “RADV” Vulkan driver on Windows. Well, this Friday the merge request finally was honored for Mesa 21.2.

          That eight month old merge request is to allow compiling the RADV Vulkan driver with ACO compiler back-end on Microsoft Windows. It doesn’t yet though make RADV on Windows usable as an alternative to AMD’s Radeon Software Vulkan driver for Windows.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 21.04 Enjoys Better Performance But Still No Match To Intel’s Clear Linux

        As we have been showing in a few articles already, Ubuntu 21.04 is in good shape performance-wise and generally coming ahead of Ubuntu 20.10 and 20.04 LTS. We’ve seen that on a number of systems in the lab, but how does this better performance out of Ubuntu 21.04 compare to say Intel’s Clear Linux? Here are some benchmarks.

        Ubuntu 21.04 is in good shape performance speaking with its Linux 5.11 kernel, now using the Schedutil governor by default on supported configurations rather than ondemand/powersave, Ubuntu 21.04 has begun making use of link-time optimizations (LTO) for its package builds, and various other improvements and package upgrades that help with performance. We’ve been seeing this on both Intel and AMD systems so far.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 from Ubuntu 20.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo was officially released! For Ubuntu 20.10 users, here’s how to upgrade your system to the new edition.

        Same to the previous version, Ubuntu 21.04 is a short term release with 9 month support.

      • How To Install Putty on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Putty on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Putty is the most widely used SSH and telnet client for Microsoft Windows operating systems. The Putty Linux version is a graphical terminal program that supports various network protocols including SSH, telnet, SCP, rlogin, etc.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Putty SSH Client on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install Ampache Music Streaming Server on Fedora 33

        Ampache is an open-source web-based personal audio streaming application written in PHP. It allows you to host and manage your digital music collection on your server and to stream it to your computer, smartphone, tablet, or smart TV. You can use various Android and iOS applications to stream your music from your Ampache music server to your personal devices.

        This tutorial will cover how to install the Ampache application on a Fedora 33 based server and how to upload music to it for streaming.

      • How to install Postman on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or Debian Linux without snap

        Postman is one of the most popular collaboration platform tools for testing APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) available to install on Linux, Windows, and macOS. Well, APIs are interfaces between programs that the applications use to communicate with one another.

        The main area of ​​the application is testing REST APIs based on HTTP requests that can be specified and sent in Postman with associated parameters using the visual request builder.

        The basic structure focuses on the processing and validation of requests and their responses. The responses can be viewed and evaluated directly, be it graphically or via Postman’s internal programming interface using JavaScript.

      • How to limit the Download Rate for the wget Command

        Sometimes it is necessary to limit the download rate of the wget command, e.g. when you are downloading a large file over a slow internet connection.

      • Auto Disable Touchpad When Mouse Is Connected In GNOME

        In this guide, I will show you how to auto disable touchpad when mouse is connected in GNOME Linux Laptops.

        All Laptops have Touchpad, but not everyone is using it as their primary pointing device. Some users prefers Mouse over Touchpad. Because using a mouse is very convenient and much simpler than touchpad.

        Also the location of touchpad makes it prone to accidental touching while you’re typing. Sometimes, my palm or wrist accidentally touches the touchpad and moves the mouse cursor while typing. I often face this nuisance and it is quite annoying when I type something important and the cursor jumps all over the screen and messes with the writing.

      • Geary Email Client 40.0 Released With A Visual Refresh, Adaptive User Interface

        Geary, a GNOME 3 email client, has been updated to version 40.0. The new release includes a visual refresh, an adaptive user interface, and more.

        Geary is an email client for the GNOME 3 desktop, written in Vala and based on WebKitGTK. The application is built around conversations, making it easy to find and follow your discussions.

      • How to check Linux OS version – 4 simple ways – LinuxTechLab

        At one point or another, we might have faced a situation where are required to check the Linux version that is installed on a Linux server. So is there a way to check what Linux version are we using? If yes then how to check the Linux OS version?

        In this tutorial, we are going to discuss just that. And we will discuss not one but 4 ways to check the Linux version that is installed on your systems.

      • Hide IDE folders in git using a global gitignore

        My solution is now to use a custom global .gitignore in my home folder, which hides those directories for me without interfering with the actual repos.

      • Portable Raspberry Pi 400

        The Raspberry Pi Foundation (raspberrypi.org) has released a new Pi, the Raspberry Pi 400. The 400 is encased inside a keyboard.

        The Raspberry Pi 400 reminds me of my first computer, a Texas Instruments 99/4a. It was a keyboard you hooked up to your television. The 400 is similar but much more powerful and better in many ways. The 400 is an upgrade from the Raspberry Pi 4 as well. Let’s look at the specifications.

      • Using open-plc-utils in Linux with Powerline (HomePlug) adapters | Fitzcarraldo’s Blog

        According to the open-plc-utils documentation, open-plc-utils supports INT6000, INT6300, INT6400, AR6410, QCA7000, AR7400 and AR7420 and later Powerline products from Qualcomm Atheros. ‘INT’ stands for ‘Intellon’, which was acquired by Atheros in 2009. ‘AR’ stands for ‘Atheros’, which was acquired by Qualcomm in 2011. ‘QCA’ stands for ‘Qualcomm Atheros’.

        The open-plc-utils command int6k supports legacy chipsets INT6000, INT6300 and INT6400.

        The open-plc-utils command plctool supports QCA6410, QCA7000 and QCA7420 chipsets.

      • How to add PHP support for jailed SSH users in ISPConfig 3

        Jailkit is an easy-to-use tool to create and maintain jail environments for shell users on Linux. In this guide, I will show you how to move PHP and its dependencies into the jail so that the jailed user can execute PHP scripts inside the jail on an ISPConfig server.

      • Installing other DEs in Nitrux

        During last month’s release of Nitrux, we made available a minimal ISO to let users install Nitrux and also install a different desktop environment and a selection of applications than the ones we include by default. We figured it’d be simpler to do this since we don’t have any plans to release different ISO images with different desktop environments.

      • How to Change Cursor Size on Ubuntu Desktop

        #Nitrux is not just #KDE anymore https://nxos.org/tutorial/installing-other-des-in-nitrux/

      • How to clear Bash history on Linux

        The bash history is a log file that contains all commands that the user executed on the Linux shell. When you use the “arrow up” key on our keyboard, then Bash will look up the previous command from that file and display it on the screen, ready to be executed again.

      • How to set a VNC password

        The Linux TigerVNC Server provides a command to set a new password.

      • How to kill an OpenVZ Container

        This guide shows you how to kill an unresponsive OpenVZ container in case the normal stop procedure fails. Killing the container will not delete any files or remove the container, it just kills all processes so that you can start or restart the container again when it gets stuck.

        I will use container ID 101 in all commands, please replace that ID with the ID of the container that you like to kill.

      • How to install TagScanner on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux – Linux Shout

        TagScanner, a freeware program, is only available for Windows 10/8/7/ to easily edit metadata information of audio or music files. However, that doesn’t mean we cannot install and use Tagscanner on Linux systems such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and others, yes we can using Wine.

        You can get TagScanner for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. It is one of the popular tools to edit audio file metadata and available to download free of cost from official or third-party websites.

        Let’s see the steps involve to run Tagscanner on Linux systems.

    • Games

      • Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is delightfully silly short adventure and a must play | GamingOnLinux

        Love your short action-adventure games that have the feel of classic Zelda? Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion hits the spot and as a bonus it’s completely hilarious.

      • Jetboard Joust looks frantic and hilarious plus it’s coming to Linux

        Jetboard Joust, an arcade-style shoot ‘em up blended with the hardcore tactical elements found in a lot of modern roguelikes and it’s coming along to Linux in May.


        “An intense, arcade-style, ‘bullet hell’ SHMUP/STG in which you must master a vast array of ridiculous weaponry in order to defeat a race of evil aliens who are intent on abducting innocent civilians and turning them into mutants. Jetboard Joust blends the spirit and intensity of 1980s arcade coin-op SMHUPs with the replayability and tactical elements of hardcore modern roguelikes. Don’t expect a story. Do expect frantic, fluid, fast-paced 60fps action, big guns, and explosions!” — BitBull Ltd

      • Proton Experimental gets upgraded, Forza Horizon 4 playable and Origin Overlay works

        Valve and their partners CodeWeavers have upgraded Proton Experimental, the special testing version of Proton where the latest special updates come in with some big stuff.

        This is a totally separate version to the normal Proton releases, which you can select for specific games just like you would normally. Right click -> Properties -> Compatibility and select Proton Experimental from the drop-down box.

      • Barotrauma gets a colossal update to improve almost every part of the game | GamingOnLinux

        Barotrauma, the sci-fi submarine sim I lovingly call a suffering simulator has just had massive Embrace the Abyss upgrade while in Early Access making it better than ever.

        One of the problems has been how tough it is to get into, so they’ve introduced a new player experience focused on easing people into it a bit more. There’s now a hint system, text highlighting for mission descriptions, player-controlled characters get automatically assigned an appropriate order when the game starts to guide the player on what they should do and more tweaks.

      • Piepacker is a new online multiplayer platform for retro gaming

        Another attempt to bring back the glory days of retro games and local multiplayer is here with Piepacker, a browser-based platform for playing the classics with your friends.

        Browsers nowadays are ridiculously powerful and feature-filled, so much so that now various streaming services let you play entire AAA games in a browser tab. More and more of this will come, and in some ways it’s probably the eventual future (like it or not).


        They claim that will also work fine on Linux.

      • Civilization VI has a final free update ‘of the season’ hinting at more | GamingOnLinux

        The final free update to Civilization VI is now live although the team appears to be hinting that more may be on the way now the New Frontier Pass is finished.

        With the New Frontier Pass the team at Firaxis released a bunch of DLC, with free updates in between. They initially said this update was the last but now their wording is clearly different. They’ve mentioned it’s the “final free update of the season”, with season being an interesting word to stick in there hinting that a second pass may come.

      • Jackbox Games have a huge sale, pick up Quiplash FREE and Drawful 2 going international

        In the mood to party? Jackbox Games have what you need with a big Weekend Party Sale going on Steam and you can get a free game for a few days too.

        First up it’s Free Game Friday! Head over to the Steam page for Quiplash and grab yourself a free game as it’s 100% off. What is it? A quick-fire game about answering questions with ridiculous answers for 3-8 players.

        Another bit of good news, and something many gamers have been asking for, is that more of their games are going international! Drawful 2 will be getting a free upgrade on May 6 which will include localizations for French, Italian, German and Castilian Spanish.


        Save big on their individual games and their party packs, all of which have full Linux support so they’re worth taking a look at!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.04 Software Suite Released

          KDE Gear 21.04 provides many improvements and new features for your favorite KDE applications, including updates to the Dolphin file manager, Kate advanced text editor, and Kontact personal information manager.

        • Maui Weekly Report 10

          Today, we bring you a new report on the Maui Project’s progress.

          A few weeks away from the next stable release of MauiKit and the Maui apps, we want to share some of the new features, bug fixes, and changes coming to the next stable release.

          To follow the Maui Project’s development or to say hi, you can join us on Telegram: https://t.me/mauiproject.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Getting Fractal up to speed

          Fractal is a popular Matrix chat client for the GNOME desktop which has been in development since 2017. Fractal was designed to work well for collaboration in large groups, such as free software projects. However, there are still two main areas where it would benefit from improvements: its performance and maintainability are limited, and it lacks some important features such as end-to-end encryption (E2EE).

          Adding E2EE will increase the confidence that users have in the privacy of their conversations, making it nearly impossible for their conversations to be accessed by others. Because E2EE aims to prevent the service provider from being able to decrypt the messages, because the encryption keys are stored only on the end-user’s device. The direct consequence of this is that some work is delegated to the client. Some of this functionality is the same for each and every Matrix client, and includes technical components that could easily be implemented in the wrong way (especially the various encryption and security features). Most security researchers agree that redoing this work is a bad idea as it can lead to vulnerabilities. More generally, reimplementing the same functionality for each client doesn’t make much sense. On the other hand, sharing it with others allows projects that use it to contribute their expertise and polish it together instead of competing on a multitude of implementations. That shared work is called an SDK and could be considered the future “engine” of Fractal.

          When Fractal was created, there was no existing code that we could rely on. We had to implement ourselves bits of the Matrix protocol in Fractal, at a low level. In the meantime, the Matrix Foundation has kickstarted matrix-rust-sdk, a library to channel the Matrix community efforts into a common, efficient library. This library, still in development for now, will allow us to drop a lot of our own code.

    • Distributions

      • T2 SDE 21.4 Released With This Linux Distribution Supporting 15 CPU Architectures

        The T2 Linux distribution, or “System Development Environment” (SDE) as it refers to itself, is up to version 21.4 and with it is now supporting fifteen different CPU architectures for this barebones Linux-based operating system.

        T2 SDE 21.4 supports building for the architectures of x86-64, x86, arm64, arm, riscv64, riscv, ppc64le, ppc64-32, ppc sparc64, mips64, mipsel, hppa, m68k, alpha, and ia64… Granted, your mileage may vary and some of the architectures may have little to no active users.

      • T2 21.4 “Fully Automated”

        Today the T2 Project released version 21.4, with the largest amount of pre- and cross-compiled set of architectures so far! A total of 15 architectures: x86-64, x86, arm64, arm, riscv64, riscv, ppc64le, ppc64-32, ppc sparc64, mips64, mipsel, hppa, m68k, alpha and ia64!
        As usually most packages are up-to-date, with 1294 change-sets, 1179 updates, and 120 fixes, including Linux 5.11.16, GCC 10.3, LLVM/Clang 12, as well as the latest version of Rust, X.org, Mesa, KDE and GNOME 40!

      • Reviews

        • Manjaro 21.0 Ornara Review: Arch Linux for the Masses

          Manjaro just dropped the latest version of its beginner-friendly Arch-based distro – Manjaro 21.0 Ornara, and we are hyped. Over the years, the distro has attracted many users by delivering an easy-to-use, intuitive user experience that’s backed by the power of Arch Linux. And now, with their latest Ornara update, the distro just got even more user-friendly and perfect for everyday use.

          The last time we covered a Manjaro release was when Manjaro 19.0 Kyria came out but didn’t cover a proper in-depth review. We did, however, cover a thorough review of Manjaro Architect, but it’s a CLI net-installer and not ideal for beginners and regular users who need a GUI for their workflow.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • ARM, APM, AIOps: Deciphering the IT operations management alphabet soup

          This week at the AIOps & Integration Digital Developer Conference, Turbonomic’s technology evangelist, Eric Wright, spoke about strengthening your ARM (Application Resource Management) with AIOps.

          To learn more about the value AIOps brings to organizations and how ITOps engineers and developers can take advantage of the technology, John Meegan, product manager at IBM Automation Ecosystem, sat down with Eric to learn more.

        • Adam Young: Unifying Audio with Pipewire

          My musical interactions with Linux are not the most complex in the world, but they ain’t trivial. The complexity of the Linux audio landscape has been a stumbling block so far. Pipewire has just gotten me past that.

          The title of this article implies that you need to do something other than install Pipewire. So far, this is not true. On my system, at least, it Just works.

        • Fedora 35 Proposal Would Allow More Packages To Be Built Using LLVM Clang

          Right now Fedora Linux predominantly uses GCC as the default system compiler except for cases where the upstream project only supports LLVM/Clang. But moving forward packagers working on Fedora could decide to switch to using LLVM Clang for building a given package where it is worthwhile.

          Jeff Law as well as Tom Stellard, who is the current LLVM release manager and employed by Red Hat, have laid out a compiler policy change for Fedora 35. The proposal is to allow packagers to choose to build their package(s) with Clang even where the upstream project supports GCC. At the same time, the proposal would allow for packages to be built with GCC even if the upstream project does not support the GNU Compiler Collection. The decision over the compiler to use for a given package would basically be left up to the packager to use their technical judgment.

        • How government might benefit from edge computing

          Edge computing has the potential to enable more efficient, more insightful, and more cost-effective management of a range of public services. But adoption of edge computing technologies by government organizations has been a long time coming. Now, having seen the value it delivers in other sectors, is a good time for government departments to consider the advantages of edge computing for themselves. In this post, we’ll share a few ways edge computing has impacted industries like manufacturing and possible use cases in the public sector.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Installer Bullseye RC 1 release
          The Debian Installer team[1] is pleased to announce the first
          release candidate of the installer for Debian 11 "Bullseye".
          Improvements in this release
           * base-installer:
              - Re-add the removed is_ports_architecture() function - it's used by
                other packages and library.sh looks like a fair central place for it
                to be (#979193).
           * brltty:
              - Update udev rules.
              - Make sure the hardening flags are used in the udeb build.
           * choose-mirror:
              - Update Mirrors.masterlist.
           * debian-archive-keyring:
              - Add bullseye keys, remove jessie keys.
           * debian-cd:
              - Shorten "ppc64el" to "p64el" in the volume ID.
              - Include eatmydata deb for the installer to use offline (#986772).
           * debian-installer:
              - Build in libinput instead of evdev driver for the graphical
                installer. This should improve support for touchpads in particular.
              - Bump Linux kernel ABI to 5.10.0-6.
              - Add wireless-regdb-udeb to all Linux arch images (#979104).
              - Correct keyword for bootloader arguments in netboot/xen/debian.cfg
                example file (#904131).
              - Update debian-internals manual to current development state.
              - Update minimum disk and memory sizes.
           * debian-installer-utils:
              - list-devices-linux: Support partitions on USB UAS devices.
           * espeakup:
              - Carry over the alsa mixer levels into the installed system.
           * grub-installer:
              - Make sure that efivarfs is loaded and the efivars pseudofs is
                mounted when needed.
           * grub2:
              - Add support for SBAT.
              - grub-install: Fix inverted test for NLS enabled when copying locales
           * installation-report:
              - bugscript: do not include template in script output (#980929).
           * libdebian-installer:
              - Remove the arbitrary limitation on maximum line length in Packages
                and Sources files (#971946).
           * libinih:
              - Add libinih1-udeb for Debian Installer (#981864).
           * libinput:
              - Drop libwacom support from the udeb.
           * libmd:
              - Add a udeb package needed by libbsd.
           * libwacom:
              - Drop the udeb, libinput no longer needs it.
           * linux:
              - Add bonding driver to the nic-modules udeb.
              - Remove efivars from the efi-modules udeb.
              - arm64: Fix i2c-mv64xxx module name.
           * localechooser:
              - Disable Kabyle for the text-based installer, as switching keyboard
                fails there (#973455).
              - Correct Kabyle locale definition in languagelist to its real naming.
           * lowmem:
              - Delete graphical terminal related files when memory is low
              - 5lowmem: Rename to 05lowmem so that rescue actually overrides it
              - S15lowmem: Update minimum memory sizes.
           * nano:
              - Compile the udeb with --without-included-regex to make binaries
                substantially smaller.
           * netcfg:
              - Update testcases to work with current Check API (#980607).
              - Satisfy GCC pedantry for strncpy() calls.
           * os-prober:
              - Probe Microsoft OS on arm64.
           * partman-btrfs:
              - Add minimal subvolume support for / (#964818).
           * partman-efi:
              - Make sure that efivarfs is loaded and the efivars pseudofs is
                mounted when needed.
           * rootskel:
              - Use /dev/tty0 as a console even if it's not in /proc/consoles.
              - Do not remove the font when bterm is not started (#977466).
           * rootskel-gtk:
              - Switch to Homeworld theme for Debian 11 by Juliette Taka.
           * user-setup:
              - Allow underscore in username of first account (#977214).
          Hardware support changes
           * debian-installer:
              - arm64: Add support for puma-rk3399.
              - arm64: Update to use u-boot-install-sunxi.
              - armhf: Make hd-media and netboot sdcard images start at offset
                32768, for compatibility with rockchip platforms.
              - arm64, armhf: Update SD-card-images sizes for netboot, netboot-gtk
                and hd-media.
           * flash-kernel:
              - Add support for Orange Pi One Plus (#981328).
              - Add support for ROCK Pi 4 (A,B,C).
              - Add support for Banana Pi BPI-M2-Ultra (#982089).
              - Add support for Banana Pi BPI-M3 (#981561).
              - Fix missing ESPRESSObin variants (#969518).
              - Fix several DTB-Id entries that incorrectly referenced the
                .dts instead of .dtb file.
          Localization status
           * 78 languages are supported in this release.
          Known bugs in this release
           * Broken rescue mode with the graphical installer (#987377).
           * amdgpu firmware required for many AMD graphic cards.
          See the errata[2] for details and a full list of known issues.
          Feedback for this release
          We need your help to find bugs and further improve the installer, so
          please try it. Installation images, and everything else you will need
          are available at our web site[3].
          The Debian Installer team thanks everybody who has contributed to this
           1. https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/Team
           2. https://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/errata
           3. https://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer
        • Debian Installer 11 “Bullseye” RC1 Released

          The installer for the forthcoming Debian 11.0 “Bullseye release is now up to its release candidate phase for testing.

          The Debian Installer team on Friday released their first release candidate of the Debian 11 “Bullseye” installer. With this users can help in testing the installer and the Debian 11 state itself.

        • [EasyOS] Fix for Easy .img file mimetype

          Documentation for EasyOS states that you can left-click on an EasyOS .img file, for example ‘easy-2.7.1-amd64.img’, and it will then open up, and you can then copy out the files ‘vmlinuz’, ‘initrd’ and ‘easy.sfs’.

        • An accidental bootsplash

          The Helsinki Debconf ended up behitting it was unlikely to break any other hardware that the firmware had ing an extremely strange event, involving me having to explain to Mark Shuttleworth what the physics of a bomb exploding on a bus were, many people being traumatised by the whole sauna situation, and the whole unfortunate water balloon incident, but it also involved Sladen spending a bunch of time trying to produce an SVG of a London bus as a D-Bus logo and not really writing our hypothetical userland bootsplash program, so on the last night, fueled by Koff that we’d bought by just collecting all the discarded empty bottles and returning them for the deposits, I started writing one.


          But by now it was obvious that the future was having the kernel manage graphics support, both in terms of native programming and in supporting suspend/resume. Plymouth is much more fully featured than Usplash ever was, but relies on functionality that simply didn’t exist when we started this adventure. There’s certainly an argument that we’d have been better off making reasonable kernel modesetting support happen faster, but at this point I had literally no idea how to write decent kernel code and everyone should be happy I kept this to userland.

          Anyway. The moral of all of this is that sometimes history works out such that you write some software that a huge number of people run without any idea of who you are, and also that this can happen without you having any fucking idea what you’re doing.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Things to do after installing Ubuntu Desktop

          After installing the current Ubuntu desktop version, there are several things that you need to do. There are a variety of updated packages that the user needs to install. This will aid in smooth operation and improved security. This article will focus on the main things you have to do after installing the current Ubuntu desktop version.

          Ubuntu is an easy-to-use operating system, and thus is its customization. If you are new to Ubuntu, follow the steps above after a successful installation. This will help you get the best out of your Ubuntu Operating system.

        • Ubuntu Kylin 21.04 overview | know what you want, offer what you need.

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

        • Download Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo All Flavors With Torrents, Mirrors, And Checksums

          Ubuntu 21.04 finally released at 22 April 2021. Codenamed Hirsute Hippo, as usual it releases as Desktop, Server, and IoT editions alongside its seven Official Flavors from Kubuntu to Ubuntu Budgie. It will be supported in nine month until Januari 2022 so you can get software & security updates to that date. You can download them all by clicks below including the torrents, mirrors, and checksums as well so you can verify before using it. Happy downloading!

        • Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” Released

          Today Canonical has released its latest version of the operating system, Ubuntu 21.04. Ubuntu 21.04 codenamed “Hirsute Hippo” packs with some cool new features and a lot of improvements over its predecessor Ubuntu 20.10.

          Before users upgrade the current Ubuntu installation to Hirsute Hippo, it is important to note that Ubuntu 21.04 is a short-term support release. It’ll receive updates for 9 months, i.e. until January 2022.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is here [Ed: Seems like a mere copy of the original]

          Canonical has 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 optimisation 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.”

          “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.

        • What’s New in Ubuntu MATE 21.04

          It is a system that controls the action, layout, behaviour of the panel indicator area that is also known as your system tray. You can now change settings of Ayatana Indicators from Control Center.

          A new printer indication has been added and RedShift has been removed to maintain stability.


          Users will now have access to GTK 2.x, 3.x, 4.x light and dark themes collectively. You can also use Suru icons along with some new icons.

          LibreOffice will have a new Yaru MATE icon theming applied by default. Font contrast has been improved as well. As a result of this, you will find it easier to read tiny texts and/or reading from a distance.

          Websites will now maintain the Dark Mode, if selected, at an Operating System level. To get dark theme in websites along with the rest of your system, just enable the Yaru MATE Dark theme.

          Windows manager themes for Macro, Metacity, Compiz now have SVG icons. What this means is that if you have a large screen, the icons won’t look pixelated, that’s a subtle but useful addition!

        • Linux Release Roundup #21.17: Ubuntu 21.04, VirtualBox 6.1.20, Firefox 88, and More New Releases – It’s FOSS News

          Ubuntu 21.04 Released

          Ubuntu’s latest stable release 21.04 Hiruste Hippo has finally arrived. It may not be a huge release but is exciting in terms of various new feature additions.

          You can refer our release coverage to know more about it.

          Ubuntu 21.04 Flavours Released

          Along with the GNOME edition, official flavours like Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and others have also released their 21.04 upgrade available.

          You can check out their official website to learn more about it.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsuite Hippo release now available to download

          Canonical has today released their new Ubuntu 21.04 Linux operating system which comes equipped with native Microsoft Active Directory integration, Wayland graphics by default, and a Flutter application development SDK. Ubuntu 21.04 uses Wayland by default, a significant leap forward in security. Firefox, OBS Studio and many applications built with Electron and Flutter take advantage of Wayland automatically, for smoother graphics and better fractional scaling. “Flutter SDK snap build integration makes it easy to publish your multi-platform Flutter app for one-click install by millions of Linux desktop users.”

          Ubuntu 21.04 also adds the ability to configure system settings from an AD 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.

        • 10 Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo

          Ubuntu 21.04 is released a while back, and I am sure you are enjoying your time with Hippo! So, here’s a list of 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 21.04.

        • Ubuntu Desktop Team is Live Streaming on YouTube at 3PM UTC

          At 3 PM (UTC) on Friday the 23rd of April the Ubuntu desktop team is going live on YouTube to host an online and interactive “Indaba” — that’s a South African word for “a conference or consultation between people”.

          The live stream will feature members of the Ubuntu Desktop Team who work at Canonical, as well as faces from the wider Ubuntu community. A member of the Yaru theme team will be special guest for the first of these (hopefully regular) streams.

          You can watch the event live on YouTube via the Ubuntu on Air YouTube channel, and ask the team questions via Ubuntu Discourse (ahead or time) or during the stream (by typing in the live chat box that will be on the YouTube video page).

          This event is part of a wider initiative by Canonical to reengage and reenergise the community around the

        • Ubuntu 21.04 makes a play for the enterprise desktop

          I love Ubuntu Linux. If you’re reading this chances are you’re fond of Ubuntu too. Besides hardcore Linux desktop fans, Ubuntu’s also a hit with serious artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) developers. But you know where Ubuntu hasn’t had much luck in finding users? In the corporate world where Windows still rules supreme. One reason for that is most enterprises rely on Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to manage users and connect them with network resources. With the just-released Ubuntu 21.04, aka Hirsute Hippo, that could change.

        • Fintech AI/ML on Ubuntu

          The financial services (FS) industry is going through a period of change and disruption. Technology innovation has provided the means for financial institutions to reimagine the way in which they operate and interact with their customers, employees and the wider ecosystem. One significant area of development is the utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) which has the potential to positively transform the FS sector.


          Ubuntu is the data professionals and software developers’ choice of Linux distro and is also the most popular operating system on public clouds. Ubuntu provides the platform to power fintech AI/ML – from developing AI/ML models on high-end Ubuntu workstations, to training those models on public clouds with hardware acceleration to deploying them to cloud, edge and IoT.

        • Better snap metadata handling coming your way soon

          Open the Snap Store, click on any application you like – you will now see a page full of useful tidbits – screenshots and videos, application description, last update, license, contact data, and other information. The data shown here is often the first impression the user gets about the software, and can be a deciding factor in whether they want to install and use the application.

          Keeping application metadata accurate and up to date is no small task, and requires attention from the publishers. Today, some parts of the metadata update process are less than ideal, and can introduce management overhead. In today’s article, we’d like to talk about an important feature change, which will streamline metadata handling, and make the snap publication process more robust.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 23 April 2021
      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • What Is an Open Source Community Manager?

          Building and sustaining the many elements of a successful open source community strategy involves various attributes and abilities, says Florian Effenberger. He notes that the role of community manager may also include board or committee membership, which requires additional leadership skills and effective communication to ensure success.

        • LibreOffice flyers for schools and universities – Help us to hand them out!

          Our New Generation project is encouraging new – and especially younger – people to join the LibreOffice community, improve the software, and gain valuable skills.

      • FSF

        • Comment on the open letter to “remove RMS”, based on the GNU Kind Communications Guidelines
          Hello everyone,
          I wrote this, just put it up on my personal website:
          "Comment on the open letter to "remove RMS", based on the GNU Kind
          Communications Guidelines"
          If you think it's useful, please help spread the link around to
          hopefully reach some of the people who signed the open letter.
          Best regards,
        • Comment on the open letter to “remove RMS”, based on the GNU Kind Communications Guidelines

          I think under normal circumstances we all see the wisdom in the above, in general. However, there are parts of the open letter that could be interpreted as personal attacks, depending on the mindset of the reader. One such part of the letter is the following sentence: “He has shown himself to be misogynist, ableist, and transphobic, among other serious accusations of impropriety.”

          There is a risk that the phrasing in that part of the open letter can be interpreted as assigning those labels (misogynist, ableist, transphobic) to the person, as part of his identity, rather than criticizing specific statements or actions.

          The advice in the communications guidelines to “go out of your way to show that you are criticizing a statement, not a person”, does not seem to have been followed here. Assuming that the statements in the open letter are based on statements and actions, it should be possible to reformulate that part of the letter to make it more clear that the letter is criticizing certain things RMS has said and done, and reduce the personal focus.

        • GNU Projects

          • Let’s Try Guix

            This is my note as a beginner on using Guix in my computing. Because this is a beginner article, it’ll be fun, as we’ll also find something similar to checkpoints as we find at video games here. Now let’s go!

            That’s how I try GNU Guix! There are of course many things uncovered in this simple article such as how to repackage installed software and advanced things like containerization. However, I wish Let’s Try Guix can give other people a picture in how a normal Ubuntu Desktop user take benefits from it. See you next time!

      • Programming/Development

        • Thomas Goirand: Puppet and OS detection

          As you may know, Puppet uses “facter” to get facts about the machine it is about to configure. That’s fine, and a nice concept. One can later use variables in a puppet manifest to do different things depending on what facter tells. For example, the operating system name … oh no! This thing is really stupid … Here’s the code one has to do to be compatible with puppet from version 3 up to 5…

        • Colin King: C Ternary operator gotcha (type conversions)

          The C ternary operator expr1 ? expr2 : expr3 has a subtle side note described in K&R 2nd edition, page 52, section 2.11:

          “If expr2 and expr3 are of different types, the type of the result is determined by the conversion rules discussed earlier in the chapter”.

          This refers to page 44, section 2.7 “Type Conversions”. It’s worth reading a few times along with section A6.5 “Arithmetic Conversions”.

  • Leftovers

    • A Robeson-Influenced Prayer and Birthday Greeting from England

      The venue was the Oakland City Hall, and the occasion the grand opening, on what would have been Paul Robeson’s 110 th birthday – April 9, 2008 – of an exhibit by the Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee, on Robeson. I had just arrived from Irvine, CA, where I had given my first-ever US performance of my one-man play, Call Mr. Robeson, and was due to reprise it the following day. I was staying with people I had never met, but who nonetheless willingly welcomed my pianist and me into their home, because a mutual friend in Liverpool had told them I was coming over to tell Robeson’s story. A choir sang South African freedom songs. I performed an extract from the play. I shook the hand of Ron Dellums, then Mayor of Oakland, heard him speak, and would learn only later that he was a very distinguished politician – a former congressman who, among other things, had been instrumental in getting the US government to reluctantly issue sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, hastening that regime’s demise.

      I was introduced to active members of the ILWU longshoremen’s union, which had proudly made Robeson an honorary member. These men told me they had not only organised boycotts of South African ships, refusing to load and unload them, but also supported the dockers’ struggle in Liverpool.

    • Science

      • In Our Hurry to Conquer Nature and Death, We Have Made a New Religion of Science

        Imagine a world that is not a sphere moving through space like our own planet, but more like a vast sheet of paper inhabited by conscious, flat geometric shapes. These shape-people can move forwards and backwards, and they can turn left and right. But they have no sense of up or down. The very idea of a tree, or a well, or a mountain makes no sense to them because they lack the concepts and experiences of height and depth. They cannot imagine, let alone describe, objects familiar to us.

        In this two-dimensional world, the closest scientists can come to comprehending a third dimension are the baffling gaps in measurements that register on their most sophisticated equipment. They sense the shadows cast by a larger universe outside Flatland. The best brains infer that there must be more to the universe than can be observed but they have no way of knowing what it is they don’t know.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • COVID-19 Outbreaks Continue to Spread in California Workplaces

        Outbreaks are defined as three or more cases of COVID-19 at a worksite within a 14-day period. This new data was documented by CDPH between March 1 and April 5, and posted online on April 14.

        This is an average of over 35 new workplace outbreaks and almost 490 new workplace infections per day.

      • ‘Blood of Innocents on Its Hands’: Modi Government Blamed as India Faces Horrific Covid Surge

        “Once the first wave subsided, the government almost declared victory over Covid-19. The country’s been caught unprepared.”

        India’s health ministry on Thursday reported a global pandemic record of 314,835 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours as the South Asian country is ravaged by a catastrophic wave of infections that is overwhelming already-strained medical facilities, leading to severe shortages of oxygen, hospital beds, and other critical supplies.

      • In Maldah: “Nobody Leaves Out of Choice”
      • The Ecological Toll of Disposable COVID Masks and Gloves

        The demand for PPE has put some countries on a war footing, to give governments sweeping wartime authorities to control the economy and compel private businesses to join national fights against the pandemic. “Our national plan launches a full-scale war-time effort to address the supply shortages by ramping up production and protective equipment, syringes, needles, you name it,” said President Joe Biden in January. Even the inventor of the lifesaving N95 mask favored by front-line medical workers, Dr. Peter Tsai, said that countries should stockpile PPE as if they were on a war footing. “Weapons are not profitable,” he said in August. “But they need to have the weapons and then they don’t use them for 10 or 20 years. You need to see this kind of PPE as military weapons.” A majority of U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have instituted “mask mandates” requiring people to wear face coverings in public to limit the spread of COVID-19.

        But while these “weapons” that fight coronavirus have proved to be lifesaving for humans, an increasing number of non-human animals are finding them to be a brand-new, and often deadly, threat that has suddenly littered their natural habitat. One main problem is that face masks and latex gloves are disposable, and people often do not dispose of them properly. How many times have you seen a used mask or glove lying on the street or stuck in a bush or floating in a waterway? Welcome to the world’s new pollution problem. (As if the scourge of plastic waste weren’t enough of an issue for the global ecosystem.)

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Biden’s Drone Wars

        We saw this bait and switch tactic before in President Biden’s earlier announcement about ending U.S support for the long, miserable war in Yemen. In his first major foreign policy address, on February 4, President Biden announced “we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen,” the war waged by Saudi Arabia and its allies since 2015, the war he called “a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.” Biden declared “This war has to end.”

        As with last week’s announcement that the U.S. war in Afghanistan would end, “clarification” came the following day. On February 5 th, the Biden administration dispelled the impression that the U.S. was getting out of the business of killing Yemenis completely and the State Department issued a statement, saying “Importantly, this does not apply to offensive operations against either ISIS or AQAP.” In other words, whatever happens in regard to the war waged by the Saudis, the war that the U.S. has been waging in Yemen since 2002, under the guise of the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by congress authorizing the use of the U.S. Armed Forces against those responsible for the September 11 attacks, will continue indefinitely, despite the fact that neither ISIS nor Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula existed in 2001. These other “offensive operations” by the U.S. that will continue unabated in Yemen include drone strikes, cruise missile attacks and special forces raids.

      • Québec City: 20 Years Since The Storming of the Wall

        A phrase I would learn, or perhaps steal, from an internet-based friend (in meta irony) shortly after I returned to BC summed up the totality of my lessons from Québec City:

        “The revolution lives and breathes, it does not come out of books.” Heading into the convergence, I had read and devoured every book I could on the subjects of the day, mainly corporate globalization and debates around pacifism vs militant tactics. When I gathered myself up and got on the bus in Calgary, my youthful confidence in our historic mission had me announce myself to the entire bus, along with where I was heading, expecting to find other travelers to talk, chat, perhaps gossip but definitely debate strategy with for the next 2 + days.

      • Biden’s Anti-China Ambitions

        While predicting an immediate boom in the U.S. economy “that could easily run into 2023,” Dimon had grimmer news on the future as well. “China’s leaders believe that America is in decline,” he wrote in his annual letter to the company’s shareholders. While the U.S. had faced tough times in the past, he added, today “the Chinese see an America that is losing ground in technology, infrastructure, and education — a nation torn and crippled by politics, as well as racial and income inequality — and a country unable to coordinate government policies (fiscal, monetary, industrial, regulatory) in any coherent way to accomplish national goals.” He was forthright enough to say, “Unfortunately, recently, there is a lot of truth to this.”

        As for China, Dimon could also have added, its government possesses at least two powerful levers in areas where the United States is likely to prove vulnerable: dominant control of container ports worldwide and the supplies of rare earth metals critical not just to the information-technology sector but also to the production of electric and hybrid cars, jet fighters, and missile guidance systems. And that’s only a partial list of the areas where China is poised to become dominant in the foreseeable future. Here’s a likely scenario.

      • ‘A path towards destroying relations’: Czech Republic to limit Russian Embassy staff in Prague amid escalating diplomatic tensions

        On Thursday, April 22, the Czech Republic announced plans to limit the number of Russian Embassy staff in Prague to match the size of the Czech Embassy in Moscow. This comes amid escalating diplomatic tensions between the two countries, over Russia’s alleged involvement in a deadly explosion at a Czech arms depot in 2014. The diplomatic spat has resulted in tit-for-tat expulsions impacting dozens of embassy employees. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman has warned that Prague’s actions are threatening to “destroy relations” and that a response from the Kremlin “won’t be long to come.”

      • Russian defense minister announces withdrawal of troops from Ukrainian border

        Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu has ordered troops involved in military exercises near the border with Ukraine to return to their places of permanent deployment by May 1, reports the Russian state news agency TASS. 

      • American ambassador leaves Moscow for consultations in Washington

        The U.S. Ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, left Moscow on the morning of Thursday, April 22. He’s returning to Washington for consultations with the new White House administration, a week after the Russian government recommended he leave the country.

      • A Biden-Putin Summit: Jaw-Jaw is Better than War-War

        Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Russian chess legend and political exile Garry Kasparov denounces the idea: “A summit? With a killer? In one stroke, Mr. Biden gave Mr. Putin exactly what he craves, equal status with the president of the United States.”

        Kasparov is mistaken. Putin already enjoys that equal status. He  rules a country spanning two continents, with a population of 150 million. He commands a nuclear arsenal rivaling that of the US, and armed forces of similar size but with a seemingly much better 21st century record of accomplishing their objectives instead of getting bogged down in decades-long “counter-insurgency” and “nation-building” quagmires ending in embarrassing defeats.

    • Environment

      • Many creatures of the deep face a stifling future

        The oceans will go on warming and rising for five centuries. Some creatures of the deep will have less room to breathe.

      • Critics Call Biden Financing Plan a ‘Missed Opportunity to End a Harmful US Climate Legacy Abroad’

        Campaigners urged the administration to clearly and swiftly commit to ending all public finance for fossil fuels.

        While marking Earth Day with his long-awaited Leaders Summit on Climate to discuss how countries plan to meet the goals of the Paris agreement, U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday released an International Climate Finance Plan that disappointed some progressive campaigners.

      • Opinion | Big Banks Are Fueling the Climate Emergency

        The only “green” the big banks are interested in is your hard earned money.

        Every Earth Day, your inbox becomes inundated with corporate messaging about sustainability and vague pledges from brands to protect our planet. Usually, the emails are instructional: “Cut your carbon footprint with our new product!” What we don’t hear so much about is how financial institutions are poisoning the planet.

      • On Earth Day, Climate Justice Alliance Calls on US to Embrace ‘Real Solutions’ to Planetary Emergency

        The environmental justice collective says the focus on “promoting market-based approaches and unproven techno-fixes” will only cause more harm.

        As the world marks Earth Day and U.S. President Joe Biden hosts global leaders at his virtual climate summit, a leading advocacy group on Thursday urged his administration to eschew “market-based approaches and techno-fixes” and instead pursue “real solutions” to the planetary emergency. 

      • Biden Opens Climate Summit With Pledge to Cut US Emissions in Half by 2030

        President Joe Biden on Thursday has pledged to cut carbon emissions from the U.S. to half of what they were in 2005 by the end of this decade. His announcement came on the first day of a virtual climate summit hosted by Biden.

    • Finance

      • Will a Recovery Really End Structural Inequality?

        The Times piece notes that “job gains” as well as retail sales are up while jobless claims are down. It singles out the upswing in sales of “big-ticket items” like cars and “discretionary sales” like clothing and accessories as well as increases in restaurant and bar sales and airline reservations.  It reports that the Conference Board found “consumer confidence in March recorded its biggest one-month gain in nearly a decade …”  Yet, in a cautionary aside buried in the piece, it warns, “but if the economy appears to be on the upswing, the recovery is still fragile.”

        The unasked or even implied question in the Times article is whether a possible “boom on the horizon” will address the deepening economic and social inequality – structural inequality — that the coronavirus pandemic has only make both more visible and worse?

      • Greed and the European Super League

        The apotheosis of this has arrived in the form of a proposed breakaway European Super League.  Like a mafia-styled cartel, twelve of Europe’s elite football clubs have banded together to create their own, sealed competition.  The English contribution will be Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal.  Juventus, AC Milan and Inter provide the Italian contingent; Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletico Bilbao supply the Spanish element.  To these will be added three as yet unconfirmed founding members and five annual qualification spots. The competition itself will feature two small leagues of ten clubs each, with the highest finishers facing each other in an elimination phase to eventually reach a deciding final in May.

        The decision reeks of smoky, backroom secrecy, and promises to supplant the UEFA Champions League.  Initial infrastructure payments between the clubs will be 3.5 billion euros, followed by 10 billion euros for an initial period of commitment.  As with any such decisions made in the stratosphere of corrupt, gold crazed management, the foot soldiers, front line workers and fans are merely incidental.  In some cases, not even coaches were consulted. Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp was left dumbfounded. “I heard for the first time about it yesterday,” he told Sky Sports.  “We are not involved in any process, not me or the players.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | John Boehner: The Man of the House Never Did Man Up

        Beneath his blustering pretense of candor, the former Republican House Speaker is as craven and self-serving as ever.

        Since we’re talking about the Republican Party and its descent into an authoritarian leader cult, we might as well invoke Godwin’s Law straightaway. Suppose you were conversing with a German in the early postwar years, and the man said that he supported Hitler’s policies, in fact he voted for him in 1933? And suppose he said the only thing that tore it for him was Hitler’s personal conduct, and how the Führer “abused the loyalty and trust” of supporters like himself?

      • ‘If You Want to Save the USPS,’ Says Watchdog, ‘Fire Louis DeJoy’

        “The entire board and then Mr. DeJoy should be handed their walking papers,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.). “Their unquestioning support for this postmaster general is unacceptable.”

        Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on Thursday reiterated its call for the ouster of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the Republican megadonor accused of attempting to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service last year as millions of Americans relied on the agency to participate in the presidential election. 

      • Opinion | Can Formula 1 Star Lewis Hamilton Send a Message to the Saudi Government?

        His willingness to speak out comes at an opportune time, as 2021 is the first year that Formula 1 will go to Saudi Arabia.

        For human rights advocates who also enjoy the sport of car racing, a great opportunity awaits us. Lewis Hamilton, the only Black driver in the history of Formula 1 racing, has been bravely and consistently supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. In the wake of the protests against the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Hamilton started to call Formula 1 out for its lack of diversity, even saying he would trade his 7th world championship for more diversity in the sport. Accused of bringing politics into the sporting world, he refused to back down, saying that his support for Black Lives Matter was a matter of supporting basic human rights.

      • Voting Rights Advocates Demand Senate Pass DC Statehood Bill After Historic House Vote

        When the House voted on the issue in 1993, a majority of Democrats joined the Republicans in rejecting the bill. 

        Voting rights advocates urged the U.S. Senate on Thursday to pass legislation establishing statehood for Washington, D.C., after the House’s historic vote in favor of the move. 

      • Opinion | Biden’s Appeasement of Hawks and Neocons Is Crippling His Diplomacy

        For a president who promised a new era of American diplomacy, this has been a dreadful start.

        President Biden took office promising a new era of American international leadership and diplomacy. But with a few exceptions, he has so far allowed self-serving foreign allies, hawkish U.S. interest groups and his own imperial delusions to undermine diplomacy and stoke the fires of war.

      • To Push for ‘Big and Bold’ Agenda, Bowman to Deliver Progressive Response to Biden’s Congressional Address

        “It’s important for us as progressives to continue to push and continue to organize,” said the New York congressman. 

        The Working Families Party announced Thursday that Rep. Jamaal Bowman will deliver a progressive response to President Joe Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress next week—a departure from tradition aimed at giving voice to the millions of Americans who want to push the president to fight harder for working people and the common good.

      • WATCH LIVE: Biden White House Hosts Earth Day Summit on Climate Emergency

        “Our clean energy plan will create millions of good-paying union jobs, ensure our economic competitiveness, and improve the health and security of communities across America,” Biden said in a declaration ahead of the 40-nation online gathering.

        Forty leaders from the world’s top greenhouse gas-polluting nations where hosted by the Biden administration on Thursday for an all-virtual summit to discuss the global climate emergency and the pathways—including individual emission reduction goals—that governments must take to stave off the worst impacts of global warming and runaway destruction of the planet’s natural systems.

      • Opinion | We Must Call Out Our Naked Emperors on the Climate Emergency

        Why nobody should be fooled by the gaps between pledges and real action.

        Greta Thunberg was just 15 when she began her weekly protests outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm in August 2018, unable to fathom why no one was talking about the gravity of the climate crisis we’re facing. Since then, the 18-year-old activist has sparked a global movement that has seen millions of people take to the streets, making her one of the most recognizable faces of the environmental cause worldwide. 

      • Opinion | It’s Not Too Late to Reverse Course on the Climate Crisis

        We can act now with proven tools to cut greenhouse gas emissions and store vastly more carbon in plants and the earth.

        Life on our fast-heating planet faces an existential threat. This we know. We’re now on track for the worst-case melting of polar glaciers and the resulting sea rise. During the last 15 years, temperatures in the Arctic have reached levels not predicted for another 70 years.

      • Greta Thunberg Says Humanity Must Not Be Fooled by ‘Bullsh*t’ Climate Targets of World Leaders

        The Swedish campaigner says insufficient goals and empty rhetoric represent the “biggest elephant there’s even been in any room.”

        Just before U.S. President Joe Biden’s two-day virtual summit on the climate crisis got underway, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg on Thursday shared a video message calling out the “bullshit” of world leaders who she says are failing to take the steps necessary to confront the planetary emergency.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Detroit PD Detective Sued For His (Second) Bogus Arrest Predicated On Questionable Facial Recognition Searches

        On January 9, 2020, facial recognition tech finally got around to doing exactly the thing critics had been warning was inevitable: it got the wrong person arrested.

      • Pulling Down the World’s Walls: A Conversation With Harsha Walia

        The border is not a place. Whether we are talking about the US-Mexico border, the Dominican Republic–Haitian border, the Line of Control dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, or the scores of other militarized, fortified, patrolled, or even electrified borders throughout the world, these demarcations function neither as simple geographic markers nor as geopolitical organizing tools. They don’t even really function as barriers, as walls are easily breached, climbed over, dug under, or—through visa overstays or by levying an asylum claim—avoided altogether. “The border,” as author Harsha Walia puts it in her new book, Border and Rule, “is less about a politics of movement per se and is better understood as a key method of imperial state formation, hierarchical social ordering, labor control, and xenophobic nationalism.”

        Sites of so much violence, contention, media frenzy, and fanaticism, the walls and all the dog-whistling rhetoric do not, in the end, protect or preserve. What borders do, Walia suggests, is theatrically deflect attention from whatever rot, hatred, or suffering is happening between the walls themselves, obscuring the source of a political shake-up. Walls, and immigration enforcement more generally, also make it easier for politicians to scapegoat migrants for all of the wants and woes of the native populace. And as barriers—whether physical or legal—they serve to mark limits to both empathy and solidarity.

      • Why is AFL-CIO So Worried About Its Vermont Affiliate?

        Now nearing retirement as AFL-CIO president, Trumka was part of a “New Voice” slate that challenged old guard officials for control of the organization in 1995, via its first contested election in a century. New Voice candidates promised to work with state and local AFL-CIO councils to make labor’s political action and workplace solidarity more effective. Among the reforms they implemented was hiring more staff to promote picketing and protests by union members under attack by hostile employers. At the national level, New Voice also pledged to get tough on Democrats who received labor backing but then failed to support worker’s struggles.

        Two years ago, a group of local union activists launched a similar reform campaign, called “Vermont AFL-CIO United!.” They were frustrated with their own labor council’s lack of militancy and creativity, plus its inability to aid new organizing, contract campaigns, or strikes. In a rare contested election, the Vermont reformers called for greater rank-and-file activism, within AFL-CIO affiliated unions and other Vermont labor organizations which represent state employees and teachers. In the fall of 2019, fourteen United slate candidates were elected to the Vermont AFL-CIO executive board, including all the top officer jobs (which are volunteer positions). Since then, the labor council has pursued a  new agenda, which stresses internal democracy and transparency, social and environmental justice, and ending rubber-stamp endorsements of unreliable Democrats.

      • Fritz Mondale and Decency

        Back in 1976, Jimmy Carter’s consigliere, Charlie Kirbo, was delegated to vet the president-elect’s choices for the vice presidency. The short list included Senators John Glenn, Walter Mondale, and Joe Biden. But after interviewing Mondale, Kirbo told Carter, “Governor, I thought I could get rid of that fellah, but I didn’t, and I don’t think I will.” Kirbo’s South Georgia political instincts made him a little leery of the Minnesotan’s stark liberal credentials. But he couldn’t resist Mondale’s plain, transparent decency. Neither could Carter.

        Carter’s partnership with Mondale became a perfect match of Northern and Southern populism. Both politicians were intelligent, affable, and unpretentious. They liked each other. One November day soon after the 1976 election, Carter and Mondale were about to walk over to the White House to pay a courtesy call on President Gerald Ford when Carter quietly asked Fritz, “What’s it like?”

    • Monopolies

      • Big Pharma’s ‘Appalling’ $26 Billion in Shareholder Payouts Could Fund Vaccines for All of Africa: Report

        “Instead of creating new vaccine billionaires, we need to be vaccinating billions in developing countries.”

        Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca—three of the world’s top coronavirus vaccine manufacturers—have paid out a combined $26 billion in dividends and stock buybacks to their shareholders over the past year, a sum that could fully fund the cost of inoculating Africa’s entire 1.3 billion-person population.

      • Patents

        • Conversant and Daimler end connected cars dispute

          The settlement between NPE Conversant and Daimler apparently came into effect last week. Several sources close to the disputing parties confirmed the latest development. At the end of last week, Conversant and Daimler withdrew most of the suits before the German patent courts and the European Patent Office. Further details of the agreement are so far unknown.

          JUVE Patent is also unaware whether the settlement includes all of Daimler’s suppliers. Numerous suppliers supported Daimler in the dispute with NPE Conversant, such as Continental, Bosch, Burry and TomTom. However, it is already known that Huawei, and Samsung-owned Harman Becker, has already reached a separate settlement with Conversant. Both are tier 2 suppliers of Daimler. These settlements ended a large part of Conversant’s claims.

          Meanwhile, Continental also confirmed a licence to the Conversant SEPs. Continental has ended its legal proceedings with Conversant.

          In 2019, Conversant sued Daimler at the Regional Court Munich for infringement of four standard essentials patents (SEPs), all of which protect mobile communications standards such as LTE (case IDs: 21 O 11384/19, 21 O 17752/19, 21 O 17753/19, 7 O 17751/19).

        • Inventors Will No Longer Be Notified By The EPO About Their Designation [Ed: This gives the false impression that the European Patent Convention (EPC) is obeyed rather than routinely broken by the corrupt the European Patent Office (EPO)]

          Since the first European Patent Convention (EPC) came into force in the seventies, the European Patent Office (EPO) has been informing any designated inventor of a European patent application of the data about his or her designation and the bibliographic data of the patent application. The bibliographic data are the patent application number and date of filing, the date, State and file number of any priority application, the name of the applicant, the title of the invention, and the Contracting States designated.


          Interestingly, the amendment to the EPC law has been introduced within the context of a joint initiative among EPO member states aimed at defining common practices. The designation of the inventor is one of the first two common practices which have been adopted so far by EPO member states in the Administrative Council. The other common practice adopted so far relates to the examination of the unity of invention. Although these common practices are intended to be implemented on a voluntary basis, they can contribute to aligning administrative practices between the EPO and the IP national offices of the EPC member states more closely and may therefore be generally welcomed by users.

        • Germany cleans up in European patent litigation

          According to statistics on European litigation exclusively revealed by Managing IP this week, German courts have been wiping up European patent litigation since 2015.

          The data, provided by Darts-IP, shows that Germany took in 3,692 cases between 2015 and 2019, compared to 673 in Italy, 503 in France, 492 in the Netherlands and 430 in the UK, the next four most popular countries for European patent litigation.

          German courts also featured the most frequently in the list of the top 10 most popular European courts for patent cases, with the Düsseldorf Regional Court coming in first place, the Munich Regional Court third, the Mannheim Regional Court fourth and the Hamburg Regional Court ninth.

          Sources speculated that German courts might be particularly popular because of the bifurcated system, which allows patent owners to secure injunctions before courts have an opportunity to examine patent validity.

          Click here to read the full analysis – including patent case statistics for the UK, Italy, France and the Netherlands.

        • ‘No Hiding Behind COVAX Anymore’: Critics Say Delivery Shortfall Shows Dire Need for Vaccine Patent Waiver

          “Rich countries need to support an intellectual property waiver for Covid-19 vaccines and force Big Pharma to share their vaccine blueprints with the world.”

          A new analysis released Thursday shows that the global vaccine initiative COVAX has delivered just one in five of the Oxford/AstraZeneca doses it said would arrive in struggling countries by next month, a shortfall that progressive campaigners cited as further evidence of the need to more aggressively combat vaccine inequities by suspending patent protections.

      • Trademarks

        • ‘Peppa Pig’ has for the first time been recognised as a well-known trade mark in China

          ‘Peppa Pig’ is a British preschool animated television series whose charm has extended well beyond the UK and gained millions of fans. China is no exception. There, Peppa Pig is known as 小猪佩奇.

          In April 2019, Entertainment One UK Limited (‘E-One UK’, owner of Peppa Pig) spotted a product, the so-called ‘Creative Cartoon Peppa Pig LED Table Lamp’, on the Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo (see an IPKat post on Pinduoduo here). The seller was an individual, Chen Jianguang (Chen).

      • Copyrights

        • Thanks Copyright Culture: Web Comic ’8-Bit Theater’ Releases Book With No Pictures Out Of Fear

          We tend to talk about many of the nuanced and intricate problems with our current copyright culture, but the 10,000 foot view of the problem is essentially that copyright tends to make culture disappear. It can do this in lots of ways, but one of the least recognized of them is simply that with a culture of copyright maximilism, many content producers simply don’t release the content they want to release it out of fear of the reprisal that has been seen in other cases.

Margarita Lacabe: My Relationship with Richard (Stallman)

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 3:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Published on April 18, 2021. Reprinted with permission (original); By Margarita Lacabe.

Summary: Margarita Lacabe is a Doctor of Law graduated at the University of Berkeley. She met Richard Stallman at Berkeley when she was 18. She was shocked when she learned about the attacks to Stallman in 2019. At that time, she expressed her perplexity in an article she published in Facebook. In the light of the new attacks started in March 2021, she updated that article to be published here.

I met Richard when he was around 33 and I had just turned 18, the summer after my freshman year in college. We were introduced by a neighbor who studied computer science. Richard was doing some stint at Berkeley that summer, and we hang out some. He had me over to his place to listen to Indonesian music (or something of the sort), while he danced, and he came to my place or we went out for meals with our mutual friend for long conversations. While I don’t specifically recall them, I’m sure there were hugs as well—I hugged a lot of people back then.

“Earlier on, Richard let me know he was sexually interested in me—something that was true of most of the computer scientists I met that summer—but he didn’t press it, and our relationship was fully platonic. So I would not immediately assume that the so-called “pleasure cards” that he handed out at conferences were meant to be sexual come ons.”Knowing Richard, I get his point that it makes little sense that while it’d have been perfectly legal for any of those men to sleep with me that summer, it would have been statutory rape if it’d happen a few weeks earlier. I can almost understand why he made the arguments on pedophilia that he made as well. Richard likes (or liked back then) to play devil’s advocate, and to examine issues from different perspectives. At 18, I enjoyed matching intellects with him.

A lot of women seem to see Richard as a creep, but I don’t think he means to be a creep. He is someone who just has practically no social awareness. A lot of computer scientists are in the spectrum and share these traits, but in Richard they go many steps beyond. As described, he has phobias (his one, when I met him, was of having his head under water, which meant he seldom washed his hair.)[*]

Richard marches to his own tune, but in my experience, he respected boundaries when they were made VERY clear to him, and he is a good man with a good heart.

Richard literally won a MacArthur genius fellowship a few years after I first met him. This brings up the question of how to deal with non-neurotypical people in our society who break social mores and act creepy without realizing the consequences of what they are doing. Do we need to put them in the corner, even though it was that very “disability” that enabled them to make profound positive changes in society?

I don’t have an answer, but I care about Richard in the way one can’t help but caring about old friends and I guess I want to say there is some nuance here.
[*] We are told that in the 1990s Stallman developed a technique for washing his hair which felt safe, and since then he has washed his hair regularly.↑

Let’s Bring Back RSS (RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication)

Posted in Site News at 2:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Sometimes all you really need is text, with the possibility of extension to photographs and more, but keeping things simple means the mind is more focused and RSS is suitable for this task

THE war on RSS isn’t a new problem. We wrote about it before and we recommended an RSS reader/client called QuiteRSS. RSS is still the best way to follow us except maybe Gemini, where we have feeds and IPFS indices as well.

“To understand why RSS is so good one might want to consider who dislikes RSS (and why).”The video above is the start of a series of clips where I’ll share tips and tricks. It’s possible to get almost everything to one’s RSS reader, even the weather.

To understand why RSS is so good one might want to consider who dislikes RSS (and why).

ReaderWeeks ago Google News broke its own RSS feeds and didn’t bother fixing that. How baffling, harming oneself. Well, actually it’s not good for selling ads and manipulating people, so they try to herd people into their “web apps”. RSS may be good for you, but not for Google.

Sadly, a lot of people have outsourced their communications to other sites (Richard Stallman maintains his own notes in his own site with an RSS feed, not social control media) and as we’ve recently discussed, with details in IRC logs (internal conversations), it seems like some sites handcraft RSS feeds because many frameworks nowadays omit or neglect RSS support. As if it’s a thing of the past… don’t let them make this self-fulfilling prophecy a reality.

Richard Stallman on Diaspora: I Wish That Their Developers Talked About Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Interview at 1:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Direct link

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman explains why he’s not on Diaspora


(intro music)

RMS: Well, Diaspora is bascially a good thing, a distributed social networking system. I wish that they talked about Freedom, that the developers of Diaspora talked about Freedom when they talk about it. But that’s a different question.

Roy: Would you consider joining Diaspora?

RMS: No. Any kind of


communication system that requires being connected to the net when you do things is inconvenient for me for practical reasons. If it were not for that, I would consider using it. But there are other Free Software distributed social network systems. Also there’s a project called GNU Consensus which is trying to make them all work together.

Links 23/4/2021: Flatseal 1.7.0, DragonFly BSD 6.0.0 RC, Chrome 91 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Have you ever racked a server?

        I am by no means an IT ‘graybeard’. I have been doing this kind of work for about nine years now and have been with a few different companies/environments in that time. One thing that hit me the other day is that I haven’t put my hands on hardware in any real capacity since transitioning into the civilian workforce. When I was at EMC, we had a few stacks that we used for training, but my job was 95% software-focused, so it was more about knowing where certain parts were located on the server.

      • Kubernetes 1.21: Metrics Stability hits GA

        Kubernetes 1.21 marks the graduation of the metrics stability framework and along with it, the first officially supported stable metrics. Not only do stable metrics come with supportability guarantees, the metrics stability framework brings escape hatches that you can use if you encounter problematic metrics.

    • Kernel Space

      • [Old] Kernel Devs: Closed Source Modules ‘Harmful and Undesirable’

        We, the undersigned Linux kernel developers, consider any closed-source Linux kernel module or driver to be harmful and undesirable. We have repeatedly found them to be detrimental to Linux users, businesses, and the greater Linux ecosystem. Such modules negate the openness, stability, flexibility, and maintainability of the Linux development model and shut their users off from the expertise of the Linux community. Vendors that provide closed-source kernel modules force their customers to give up key Linux advantages or choose new vendors. Therefore, in order to take full advantage of the cost savings and shared support benefits open source has to offer, we urge vendors to adopt a policy of supporting their customers on Linux with open-source kernel code.

      • [Old] Stop the Blob?

        So, as far as I think it’s good that the attention of general open source public has been, hopefully, turned to the the problem named blob (and I think it’s better late than never), stating more or less officially that the problem exists and is “harmful and undesirable” will not make it disappear. So, what are you — the community — going to do about it?

      • The University of Minnesota has been banned from Linux development for deliberately introducing vulnerabilities

        Curious what has happened this week in the world of Linux development. The University of Minnesota has been banned from Linux development by introduce vulnerabilities on purpose. The reason is a research work being carried out by Qiushi Wu (PhD student) and Kangjie Lu (Assistant Professor) on the feasibility of sneaking vulnerabilities into open source software.

      • Linux bans University of Minnesota for committing malicious code

        In a rare, groundbreaking decision, Linux kernel project maintainers have imposed a ban on the University of Minnesota (UMN) from contributing to the open-source Linux project.

        The move comes after a group of UMN researchers were caught submitting a series of malicious code commits, or patches that deliberately introduced security vulnerabilities in the official Linux codebase, as a part of their research activities.

        Additionally, the Linux kernel project maintainers have decided to revert any and all code commits that were ever submitted from an @umn.edu email addresses.

    • Applications

      • Tuner – radio station player

        Internet radio (also known as web radio, net radio, streaming radio, and online radio) is a digital audio service transmitted via the Internet.

        Why do we like internet radio? There’s no sign-up or subscription charges. There’s a huge range of stations available from around the world. If you like classical music, pop music, folk music, news, talk radio, and much more, internet radio has something for everyone wherever you live (providing you have a net connection). Internet radio offers every format that is available on traditional broadcast radio stations.

        Tuner is billed as a minimalist radio station player. This program saw its first release in June 2020. The open source program is written in Vala. It offers access to a huge range of stations as it taps into the radio-browser.info catalog, a community driven project with an open API which collates internet radio and TV stations.

        We’ve previously covered a fair number of dedicated internet radio streamers for Linux. To date, our favorite open source app is Shortwave, a Rust based tool that also uses the radio-browser.info community database.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How I use OBS Studio to record videos for my YouTube channel | Opensource.com

        I manage a YouTube channel for the FreeDOS Project, where I record “how-to” videos with FreeDOS running inside the QEMU PC emulator software. When I started the channel in August 2019, I didn’t know anything about recording videos. But with Open Broadcaster Software, also called OBS Studio, I’ve found recording these videos to be pretty straightforward. Here’s how you can do it, too.

      • How to Set or Change Hostname in Debian Linux

        Setting up hostname is an important task for any system administrator or anyone who uses Linux. It is tedious to remember a machine by IP address. Hostname helps humans to remember the machine name easily.

        In this article, you will learn how to set or change the system hostname in the Debian machine. This procedure is well situated for any Debian flavors of Linux machine you run with.

      • How to Install Joomla on Ubuntu 20.04/18.04

        When it comes to creating websites, one of the easiest ways to have your site up and running is using a CMS (content management system) that usually comes with bundled PHP code and all themes and plugins you need.

        Apart from WordPress, the other popular CMS is Joomla. Joomla is a free and open-source CMS that is built on PHP and stores its data on an SQL-based database engine on the backend.

        In this article, you will learn how to install Joomla on Ubuntu 20.04/18.04 and newer Ubuntu releases.

      • How To Install NTP Server on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

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

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

      • Getting Started With Markdown [Beginner’s Guide]

        In my work, I often have to write code, write the documentation that goes with that code, create Web pages, and work on text restoration projects, and have written several formal papers while I was in school. I can include class notes here, too; I needed to write them for nearly every class.

        I use Markdown for nearly all of my writing and it is a major time-saver for me.

        In this article, I am going to share my experience with Markdown.

      • Df Command in Linux

        The df command is used to display disk space usage of Linux filesystems as a whole. It displays the amount of disk space used and available on the mounted filesystems.

        Whereas, du command is used display disk space used files and directories on the filesystem.

        This tutorial shows how to use df command to check disk space usage in Linux.

      • Show Lines Before and After Match via Grep – Linux Hint

        Grep has been used widely in Linux systems when working on some files, searching for some specific pattern, and many more. This time, we are using the grep command to display the lines before and after the matched keyword used in some specific file. For this purpose, we will be using the “-A”, “-B” and, “-C” flag throughout our tutorial guide. So, you have to perform each step for better understanding. Make sure you have Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system installed.

        Firstly, you have to open your Linux command-line terminal to start working on grep. You are currently at the Home directory of your Ubuntu system right after the command-line terminal has been opened. So, try to list all the files and folders in the home directory of your Linux system using the below ls command, and you will get all. You can see, we have some text files and some folders listed in it.

      • How Do You Grep Case Sensitive? – Linux Hint

        Global regular expression print is a versatile and powerful feature of Linux. It helps in finding words and phrases in the file such that the grep keyword is used to obtain the desired functionality. Grep is used to obtain data not only from direct searching in the text but also from directories as well, by applying the commands on it. It searches the respective data and modifies them by removing the extra space between the text, obtaining line numbers, and excluding terms from the data. The simplest feature of grep is to handle case sensitivity. Grep is case-sensitive by default hence it shows the perceptibility of both upper and lower cases in the file. This feature helps in getting the required output by removing the discrimination of the case which can all be done on the main page of grep.

      • How Do I Ignore Blank Lines in Grep? – Linux Hint

        Grep stands for Global Regular Expression Print. It has many functionalities, i.e., searching in a file, searching only names of a file, grep recursively, etc. Grep is considered a powerful command in the searching sector. In many cases, we face situations where we don’t need spaces, or there is a need to remove unwanted gaps in our data. One of the most interesting ways of using grep is to ignore or remove blank lines from the text file. This procedure is accomplished through different examples. It is an operation of file editing. To undergo this purpose, we need to have existing files in our system. Through the grep command, we allow it to print data without blank lines.

      • How Do I Use Grep to Search a File on Linux? – Linux Hint

        Grep is a versatile command that allows sorting input by following complex rules and regulations. It is a powerful command in a Linux environment. It is not for searching files directly on your system. It shows the file names that indicate the particular part of the string that matches your part present in the search query. In the proceeding article, we will explain some examples to let you understand searching with the help of Grep.

      • How Do I Change My Username in Linux? – Linux Hint

        Linux operating system is capable of handling more than one user at a time. So, we must apply check and balance on all users of the system and their relevant details so that integrity is maintained. All information is saved in a way to reduce redundancy in data. Whenever we add a user, all information is saved in “/etc/passwd”. To change the username in Linux, you must have a user in the system. We will see in this article how the username is changed. If already user is not present, we will create a user and then modify it. Our article will cover three main aspects related to username modification and identity.

      • How to Use OneDrive on Linux [Ed: Sending one's files to Microsoft seems unnecessary if not foolish]

        Cloud storage is a very secure and efficient way to store data. Cost-effectiveness and scalability make it quite useful. Cloud storage is so advantageous that every tech company offers it, such as Apple, Google, and Amazon. Similarly, Microsoft offers OneDrive, a cloud storage service to store any type of data online, that can be accessed and shared anytime from anywhere.

      • How to Install Microsoft Teams on Debian 10 [Ed: Again, not a good idea at all]
      • Getting Started with Manjaro Linux Part-I – Linux Hint

        As a rolling release distribution, Manjaor Linux continuously rolls out updated software versions. Even though it’s an Arch Linux derivative, they differ in the context of targeted audience and goals. Arch Linux is a bleeding-edge software operating system aimed at technically sound users. Manjaro updates go through layers of testing to provide a comparatively stable, fast, and lightweight system for users. That is, the packages don’t come out as fast as in Arch Linux.

        Hence, Manjaro uses its official repository to get the latest updates. Another main reason for a separate repository is that Manjaro maintains its own system packages like hardware detection memory, among many others.

        However, users can access new software packages via an unofficial repository. To get started, we will learn about Manjaro’s official and unofficial repositories, how they are maintained, and how to install, update, and remove required packages via these repositories.

      • How to Make Disk Images in Linux with DD Command – Linux Hint

        Whenever it comes to wiping, backing up, or restoring Linux files, you have few tools. Although there is one alternative that still works, regardless of the Linux distribution you’re using, and that is the DD command. Creating an image of a partition or cloning a complete hard disk drive are simply the acts of making a copy of the whole disk or partition, and it is very simple with the dd command. The DD command is good for cloning disks, backups, and restoration, among other things. In this guide, we will see how to make a disk image using the DD command. Make sure you have the Ubuntu Linux system installed.

        DD circumvents this by making an identical replica of the whole hard drive or partitions. So if you recover this backup, your machine will be restored to its original state. You’ll regain access to your folders, games, browser history, and sometimes even device settings. We’ll want another drive with more capacity than the one we’re cloning to replicate your drive. There would most probably be a big hard drive for this purpose.

      • Network Configuration in Manjaro – Linux Hint

        As the Manjaro kernel boots up the machine, its Network Manager automatically connects to the DHCP server via the enabled network interface. It then provides the client with the IP address, subnet mask, lease time, DNS server, gateway, and other details.

        If the machine works as an Apache server, it must be easily accessible to the clients via a static IP address. Besides, as a precaution, users also have to protect the machine from unnecessary access from outside the network. This demands the need to set the network interfaces manually via Manjaro Network Manager or through commands and configuration files.

        In this article, we learn to configure the network interface via GUI and CLI manually. We also simplify the Unrestricted Firewall (ufw) configuration process for new users as a precautionary step after Manjaro installation.

      • Troubleshooting Error: Usermod: A Process Currently Uses User – Linux Hint

        Sometimes, while using any Linux distribution, most of the users got the Error: “user is currently used by process”. This error could have occurred while changing the username or deleting a user. One of the reasons behind this error is that the user has been deleting or changing a user’s name while logging in. If you are looking for solutions for this particular error, this tutorial is for you. Make sure you have any of the Linux distribution installed on your system. In our case, it’s Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system.

      • Optimize and Monitor Your Linux System’s Performance With Stacer

        As time passes by, operating systems tend to become sluggish if not updated and maintained properly. Although Linux devices perform slightly better when compared to Windows in the long run, minor degradation in performance of both the operating systems is inevitable.

        This is generally due to the accumulation of unwanted cache, startup programs, an excessive number of running processes, and junk files that you no longer need.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Flatseal 1.7.0

          A big new release of Flatseal is out! It took a bit longer, due to that little Portfolio detour, but it finally happened. This release introduces some subtle improvements to the UI, along with one major new feature; initial support for Portals.

        • Geary Email Client Is Now Ready for GNOME 40 with Fresh New Look, Improved Performance

          Geary 40 is here for fans of the lightweight and modern email client, not only adding support for the GNOME 40 desktop environment, but also bringing a visual refresh that consist of an updated user interface and app icon to make you emailing experience more enjoyable.

          This release also adds support for half-screen, portrait and small displays, making it the ideal email client for various Linux-powered phones and tablets, an updated full-text search engine, improved server compatibility, improved performance when displaying large conversations, and improved keyboard shortcuts.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Tumbleweed Gamers Get Updates of Mesa, Pentobi

          Gamers using openSUSE Tumbleweed have at least two package updates in the rolling release that enhanced performance on their system and offer new features.

          Both the 3D Graphics Library Mesa and computer opponent package Pentobi each landed in a separate snapshot. There have been four Tumbleweed snapshots released so far this week.

          Snapshot 20210420 brought in nearly a dozen package updates, which included an update of GNU Compiler Collection 10.3.0. The updated GCC disabled the Parallel Thread Execution, nvptx, offloading for AArch64 and ffmpeg-4 4.4 improved AV1 support and it monochrome encoding. A couple YaST packages were updated. More specifically, the update of yast2-installation to 4.4.4 removed some system directory conflicts and made some changes to the spec-cleaner. Other packages to update in the snapshot were CPU balancer irqbalance 1.8.0, kdenetwork-filesharing 20.12.3 and rpm

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Sustainable economic development begins with open thinking

          To be successful, open organizations must have specific purposes, address achievable goals, perform clear tasks, effectively evaluate the results of their work, and introduce countermeasures or revisions to their operations. Open organization principles serve vital functions throughout this process.

        • Solving the mystery of hanging character set conversions in glibc’s iconv utility

          Website visitors don’t typically consider character encoding and conversion when accessing digital content. However, engineers have been dealing with conversion issues since users started transferring strings from one computer to another. Today, when more than 95 percent of all web pages use UTF-8, converting data between character sets might seem less relevant. However, it continues to be useful when dealing with legacy data and systems, or with languages where multiple character sets are comparably popular.

          For example, using EUC-KR is not unusual on Korean websites because it is more efficient for Korean text. A search engine that indexes Korean sites needs to be able to convert between EUC-KR and UTF-8 to perform the relevant string comparisons.

          The iconv programming interface provided by POSIX, implemented by its namesake utility program, converts textual data from one character encoding to another. As an engineer on the Red Hat Platform Tools team, I was tasked with finding and fixing bugs reported in the GNU C Library (glibc) iconv utility. In this article, I discuss my experiences with fuzzing iconv and fixing bugs in the iconv front end.

        • Integrate Red Hat Data Grid and Red Hat’s single sign-on technology on Red Hat OpenShift

          Using Red Hat Data Grid as an external cache for Red Hat’s single sign-on technology makes it possible for Data Grid to store data independent of the application layer. This way, Data Grid provides application elasticity, failover across data centers, and a reduced memory footprint.

          The most common use case for this combination is cross-datacenter replication mode, where Red Hat’s single sign-on (SSO) technology uses Data Grid to replicate data between data centers.

          To back up data across sites in an xPaaS environment such as Red Hat OpenShift, the recommended approach is to deploy Data Grid using the Data Grid Operator.

          This article offers quick instructions for getting Red Hat Data Grid 8.1.1 working with Red Hat’s single sign-on technology version 7.4.5. The article does not use a full cross-datacenter setup; just a Data Grid server and an SSO client running on OpenShift. We will use the Hot Rod protocol for communication, with both authentication and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) enabled.

        • Valgrind Memcheck: Different ways to lose your memory

          Memcheck tracks all memory reads, writes, allocations, and deallocations in a C or C++ program. The tool can detect many different memory errors. For instance, it detects reads or writes before or after allocated memory blocks. It warns about the use of (partially) undefined values in conditional code or passing such values to system calls. It will also notify you about bad or double deallocation of memory blocks. But for now, we will discuss memory leak detection with Memcheck.

        • Home automation: Running Home Assistant with Podman

          Smart devices surround us and the long list of devices that come ready to connect to the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing longer every day. For example, the popularity of smart light bulbs has risen rapidly over the past few years, and the market is continuing to grow, so much so that it is predicted to be “the fastest-growing smart home device over the next five years.” While a few big names in the field dominate the market, there are many smaller competitors joining the fray and offering up cheaper alternatives with even more features. This is great for competition, but it raises one serious concern and a situation that many sysadmins are all too familiar with—an integration nightmare.

          The problem is that each manufacturer tends to provide its own in-built and closed source solution to controlling their devices—usually in the form of a mobile app. But what happens when you decide to buy a new device from a different manufacturer than the one you have already integrated into your home automation? Chances are you’ll end up having to use multiple apps to control the devices, and let’s not begin talking about how to get them working together in some kind of automated fashion. There are cloud services available to help work around this issue, providing a means for creating applications and automation for controlling devices from various manufacturers. Such services offer a great platform for kickstarting your journey into smart device automation, but these services tend to operate with a paid subscription or on very limited “freemium” models, and you’ll find yourself becoming ever more reliant on this cloud-based service.

        • Fedora Magazine: Contribute at the Fedora 34 CoreOS Test Day

          The Fedora CoreOS team released the first Fedora CoreOS next stream 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

        • Debian 11 Bullseye Installer Release Candidate Switches to Linux 5.10 LTS, Adds Many Improvements

          Coming four months after the last Alpha milestone, the Release Candidate (RC) of the Debian Bullseye Installer is here to bump kernel support from Linux 5.9 to the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, which I think it will be the final kernel that Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” will ship with.

          Of course, this change alone brings better hardware support, but the Debian Installer Bullseye Release Candidate also adds support for several single-board computers, such as the Banana Pi BPI-M2-Ultra, Banana Pi BPI-M3, Orange Pi One Plus, ROCK Pi 4a, ROCK Pi 4b, and ROCK Pi 4c, as well as support for the Rockchip RK3399 processor found in numerous devices.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical and Microsoft get cosier with Active Directory integration in Ubuntu 21.04

          Canonical’s love-in with Microsoft has continued apace with the arrival of Ubuntu 21.04, replete with Active Directory integration. Optimisations for Microsoft’s SQL Server are also inbound.

          As if to ram the point home, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth said: “Native Active Directory integration and certified Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu are top priorities for our enterprise customers.”

          What those beloved enterprises will make of something called “Hirsute Hippo” is anyone’s guess and, since 21.04 is not a Long Term Support (LTS) emission, we’re not sure how many corporates will be lining up. Last year’s 20.04 LTS will likely reign supreme until next year’s 22.04 emerges.

        • NextCloud is Currently Broken in Ubuntu 21.04, But a Fix is Coming

          NextCloud users mulling an upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 might want to hold off for a few days, as the NextCloud available in the Ubuntu archives is currently broken.

          And we’re talking “totally fails to start at all” broken here, which, for a “personal cloud” service isn’t exactly ideal!

          The good news is that a fix is on the way.

          An updated NextCloud package that works as intended on Ubuntu 21.04 landed in the hirsute-proposed repository roughly three minutes after I hit the ‘new post’ button. Now that’s what I call efficient!

          If you already made the leap to Hirsute you have a few choices. You can wait for the bug-fix to filter down through the regular update channel (not firm ETA for that as things need to be tested).

        • Kubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Released

          The Kubuntu Team is happy to announce that Kubuntu 21.04 LTS has been released, featuring the ‘beautiful’ KDE Plasma 5.21: simple by default, powerful when needed.

          Codenamed “Hirsute Hippo”, Kubuntu 21.04 continues our tradition of giving you Friendly Computing by 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, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

          Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 5.11-based kernel, KDE Frameworks 5.80, KDE Plasma 5.21 and KDE Release Service Applications 20.12.3

        • Ubuntu Studio 21.04 Released

          The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu Studio 21.04, code-named “Hirsute Hippo”. This marks Ubuntu Studio’s 29th release. This release is a regular release, and as such it is supported for nine months until January 2022.

          Since it’s just out, you may experience some issues, so you might want to wait a bit before upgrading. Please see the release notes for a complete list of changes and known issues.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Official Flavors Bring Latest Desktop Tech. Download Now

          All the official Ubuntu flavors bring their own version based on the Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo release. We give you a quick glance at the new updates for all the flavors.

        • Ubuntu Linux 21.04 arrives with Wayland graphics, updated system theme, and more

          Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions, and it serves as the base for countless other desktop operating systems, like Linux Mint and Elementary OS. There are two major releases of Ubuntu each year, and right on schedule, Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’ has just been released.

          Ubuntu 21.04 is not a Long-Term Support (LTS) release, so it will only be updated for the next nine months. If you don’t want to upgrade regularly or prefer stability over new features, Ubuntu 20.04 is the current LTS release and will receive updates until April 2025. Some changes in this new update, like improved enterprise performance, have been backported to 20.04.

        • Canonical have announced the release of Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo)

          Canonical have announced the latest release of Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo).

          I’ve respun the desktop ISO using my ‘isorespin.sh‘ script and created ISOs suitable for Intel Atom and Intel Apollo Lake devices…

        • Ubuntu Server 21.04: What’s new?

          Ubuntu Server 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) brings significant improvements to automation and stability fronts with new extensions to the Ubuntu Server Live Installer and phased updates in the Advanced Package Tool (APT). In addition, the latest development cycle includes improved enterprise applications availability with native support for Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL) Server on Ubuntu 20.04 long-term support (LTS) and new Hardware Enablement (HWE) advanced networking stack for all LTS Ubuntu versions. Canonical will provide support for Ubuntu Server 21.04 until January 2022. All new features will be available in the upcoming Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS release.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome 91: Handwriting Recognition, WebXR Plane Detection and More

            Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 91 is beta as of April 22, 2021.

          • Chrome 91 Beta Brings Experimental WebTransport, WebAssembly SIMD By Default

            Following last week’s release of Chrome 90, Google on Thursday debuted their beta of next month’s Chrome 91 web browser.

            Exciting with Chrome 91 is WebTransport being added as an experimental origin trial. WebTransport is a new protocol framework / standard for communicating with a remote server using a secure multiplexed transport method. WebTransport is an alternative to WebSockets and provides an API for bi-directional traffic using UDP-like datagrams.

      • CMS

        • Top Content Management System (CMS) Based on Python

          Content management systems (CMS) provide desktop or web-based software to manage your digital content. The term “digital content” here typically refers to public or private websites, web-applications or other digital / media content served over remote or local servers. Without having a proper CMS, it may become difficult to create, manage, and organize content for your web-based projects, especially if your project is very large, you publish a lot of content, and regularly collaborate with others.

          In its most common form, a CMS provides graphical utilities that run in web browsers, though some command line and desktop applications exist as well. These graphical utilities may include an admin panel, page / post editors, gallery editors, tools for uploading and downloading media, tools for managing user accounts, comments, payments, forms, SEO tools, URL management tools, database management tools and interface for modifying almost every aspect of your website / web application. Many pre-made but highly extensible CMS exist that provide numerous tools to manage your digital content, e.g. WordPress (PHP based). Some enterprises develop their own private CMS from scratch meant to be used within organization only and these CMS are never made public. This article lists popular free and open source CMS software based on the Python programming language.

      • FSF

        • [Older] Justice for Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman

          Stallman employed his great skills to campaign for software freedom and digital rights (especially privacy) and developed free/libre software while living a modest life, when his computer-science peers accumulated enormous wealth. He has been preaching software freedom and digital rights since the early 1970s and strictly adheres to this moral code2.

          Since at least September 2019, Richard Stallman has been the object of an Internet defamatory campaign that forced him to resign from his position at MIT and even from the FSF that he founded and led—he resigned as President and as member of the board of directors3. On the second day (March 21) of LibrePlanet 2021, 18 months after his resignation, Stallman announced he was back on the FSF board of directors (not as President). This has reignited the controversy.

          The campaign is motivated by mischaracterizations, disproportionality and intolerance.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • trapped in the technologist factory

            By introducing abstraction into every problem we solve, we distance ourselves from how our work is ultimately used. We tell ourselves we’re in the business of building sharp knives; if we made them safer, they’d be useless for everything except spreading butter. We float above the the effects of what we’ve created, treating them as inexorable consequences of progress.

            It’s true we can’t encode our values into general-purpose software,10 but we’re not simply atomized technologists, and our worlds are not bounded by the interfaces we expose. We share a collective responsibility for what we create, and are capable of collectively acting on that responsibility.

            But what does a belief in collective responsibility mean, in practical terms? What actions does it entail? Honestly, I don’t know. All I know is that we can’t stay under the streetlamp forever. At some point, we’ll have to see what’s out there in the dark.

      • Programming/Development

        • drat 0.2.0: Now with ‘docs/’

          A new release of drat arrived on CRAN today. This is the first release in a few months (with the last release in July of last year) and it (finally) makes the leap to supporting docs/ in the main branch as we are all so tired of the gh-pages branch. We also have new vignettes, new (and very shiny) documentation and refreshed vignettes!

          drat stands for drat R Archive Template, and helps with easy-to-create and easy-to-use repositories for R packages. Since its inception in early 2015 it has found reasonably widespread adoption among R users because repositories with marked releases is the better way to distribute code. See below for a few custom reference examples.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • [Old] An Economic Basis for Open Standards

        Rishab Ghosh created the term FLOSS in 2000 as the acronym for an EU-funded project at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands. He leads FLOSSPOLS, a follow-on project at the University’s MERIT institute, which has included the world’s largest survey of government use of free software and a paper on the economics of technology, arguing for a definition of open standards based on their economic effect, “Free/Libre and Open Source Software: Policy Support – FLOSSPOLS, Open Standards and Interoperability Report.”

        The paper explains why open standards matter to competition, why standards must allow all possible competitors to operate on a basis of equal access to the ability to implement the standard and states that in most software markets, where FLOSS provides significant competition, open standards are only open if they allow equal access to FLOSS products. The study looked at the economic effects of procurement policies and how they can get in the way of competition, and the paper provides some guidelines for effective policy.

        When Rishab told me about the paper, I asked if he’d be willing to collect some highlights from it for Groklaw. What follows is the executive summary of this paper, and the excerpts he prepared for Groklaw. The full report is available on the FLOSSPOLS website at http://flosspols.org/deliverables.php

  • Leftovers

    • Captive Markets Are Just Hostages; Or Why Your McDonalds Never Seems To Have A Functioning Shake Machine

      McDonald’s shake/ice cream machines are notoriously flaky. The most common response to requests for ice cream are sullen statements that the machine is down. It’s so much a part of popular culture, an enterprising individual crafted a bot that lets people know which machines are up and which machines are going to be a waste of their time.

    • Platforms Like Canvas Play Fast and Loose With Students’ Data

      In 2018, Rutgers University made a move that hundreds of other universities before it had made: It switched its online learning platform from Sakai—a free, community-sourced system—to Canvas, which is owned by a company called Instructure.

      The switch was significant: Now the university was paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for a product that didn’t have to be transparent about what it did with the information and data it was mining from its users. Such systems are constantly recording users’ interactions with it—how long it takes a student to complete an assignment, for example, or her deleted words and keystrokes, and users’ IP addresses.

    • Education

      • Universities can’t rely on early adopters to drive transformation

        Instead of relying on individual innovators and early adopters to bring people along, we need a whole-institution approach that supports people to try technologies in ways that will not have a detrimental effect on students or cause humiliation if they go wrong. Within this, we need to allow space for department-level experimentation, growth and communities of practice. We need to build relationships that do more than follow up on experimental moments but also harness mentoring and collaborative working to explore what might work better next time – pedagogically as well as technologically (even if the answer is to go back to an analogue approach).

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | The Great Forgetting: Why We Forget Epidemics and Why This One Must Be Remembered

        This is the first pandemic in which the Internet enabled us to bear witness not only to the panic, illness, and deaths around us, but to the suffering of our entire species in every part of the globe in real time.

        The second Moderna shot made me sick—as predicted. A 24-hour touch of what an alarmed immune system feels like left me all the more grateful for my good fortune in avoiding the real thing and for being alive at a time when science had devised a 95% effective vaccine in record time.

      • Pressure Campaign Kicks Off in US to Force Big Pharma and Biden to End Vaccine Apartheid

        The absence of a WTO patent waiver, say public health advocates, “means we won’t end the pandemic, millions of people will die, and the global economy will suffer.”

        As vast global inequalities in access to Covid-19 vaccines exacerbate the ongoing pandemic, a coalition of progressive groups in the U.S. kicked off a week of action Thursday to urge President Joe Biden to support a temporary suspension of patent protections and to pressure pharmaceutical corporations to share technology in order to maximize the worldwide production of life-saving doses.

      • Stricter Air Pollution Laws Needed, Says Coroner in Ella Kissi-Debrah Inquest

        A coroner is calling for national limits on air pollution to be reduced to match World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and made enforceable by law.

        Inner South London Assistant Coroner Philip Barlow ruled in December last year that air pollution exposure contributed to nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah’s death in February 2013. Air pollution had never been identified as a cause of death in the UK until this point.

      • Indian Hospitals Overwhelmed as COVID Cases Soar in “Modi-Made Disaster”
      • “An Apocalyptic Situation”: Indian Hospitals Overwhelmed as COVID Cases Soar in “Modi-Made Disaster”

        We go to Mumbai, India, for an update on the state of crisis in the country as COVID-19 cases surge and hospitals run out of oxygen. India recently recorded 315,000 new cases in a single day, the highest daily toll in any country since the start of the pandemic, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has continued to hold large campaign rallies. Public health experts have blamed the surge on a number of factors, including the government’s reluctance to impose another round of lockdowns, the spread of a double mutant variant of the virus, a recent Hindu festival attended by millions, and a slow vaccination drive. India has led efforts to force Big Pharma to waive patent rights on COVID-19 vaccines, but the United States and other wealthy nations have blocked such a move at the World Trade Organization. “It is an apocalyptic situation in India right now,” says journalist Rana Ayyub. “Clearly, we have not learned our lessons from the pandemic last year.”

      • Meet the Texas Doctor Developing a “People’s Vaccine” to Help Inoculate Billions Around the World

        We look at the state of the pandemic and vaccine rollout in the United States and around the world with Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Hotez is part of a team at Baylor University that is working with a private Indian company to develop a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine. The task of developing a simple vaccine is “daunting,” Dr. Hotez says. “We’re talking about 5 billion doses of vaccine. And the question is: Where do you get 5 billion doses of vaccine?” he says. “We’re trying to come through with something that uses the same old-school technology as the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine that’s been around for four decades.”

      • To Survive Next Pandemic, We Must Not Forget COVID Like We Forgot the 1918 Flu

        The second Moderna shot made me sick — as predicted. A 24-hour touch of what an alarmed immune system feels like left me all the more grateful for my good fortune in avoiding the real thing and for being alive at a time when science had devised a 95% effective vaccine in record time.

      • Big Pharma’s Shareholder Payouts Are Enough to Fund Vaccines for All of Africa

        Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca — three of the world’s top coronavirus vaccine manufacturers — have paid out a combined $26 billion in dividends and stock buybacks to their shareholders over the past year, a sum that could fully fund the cost of inoculating Africa’s entire 1.3 billion-person population.

      • What is the new ‘triple mutant variant’ of Covid-19 virus found in Bengal? How bad is it?

        The ‘triple mutant variant’ (also being referred to as the ‘Bengal strain’ of Covid-19) is reportedly more infectious than other strains.

        Reports suggest that while this variant is predominantly circulating in West Bengal, it has also been detected in samples from Delhi and Maharashtra.

      • India’s giant second wave is a disaster for it and the world

        This horrifying second wave is a catastrophe not only for India but for the world. Allowing the virus to circulate unchecked increases the risk that dangerous new strains will emerge. One worrying variant first detected in India, called the “double mutant”, has already been found in several other countries, including America and Britain. Even as scientists labour to understand how big a threat it poses, more variants are appearing.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Hackers hit Apple in $50M ransomware attack via MacBook supplier

          Files leaked today show schematics for Macbook laptops, none of which are particularly sensitive nor appear to include anything beyond assembly information and technical details. One of the file was dated March 9, 2021, but is unclear if the depicted product was new or just updated technical specs.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Redis Labs previews future database and caching features

              Redis Labs is continuing to move beyond its caching roots as it builds out a broader set of data features.

              The open source database vendor previewed the new technology at the vendor’s RedisConf virtual conference on April 20-21.

              The foundation of Redis is an open source caching server that has expanded in recent years to become a full database layer, which can enable advanced real-time data services, as well as provide artificial intelligence with RedisAI.

              At RedisConf 2021, Redis Labs introduced a series of upcoming capabilities that it said will improve data consistency, search and availability. Redis has found customer traction in recent years, which has led to the vendor, based in Mountain View, Calif., raising new capital in a pair of funding events, including a $100 million round in August 2020 and another $110 million on April 7.

        • Security

          • House passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department

            The Cyber Diplomacy Act would require the State Department to open a Bureau of International Cyberspace Policy, and the head of the bureau would be appointed by the president and given the rank of ambassador, reporting directly to either the secretary of State or a deputy.

            The new bureau would lead the State Department’s cybersecurity efforts, including through creating an international strategy to guide efforts by the United States to engage with other nations on cybersecurity issues and to set norms on responsible behavior in cyberspace.

          • Daniel Stenberg: Please select your TLS

            In June 1998, three months after the first release of curl, we added support for HTTPS. We decided that we would use an external library for this purpose – for providing SSL support – and therefore the first dependency was added. The build would optionally use SSLeay. If you wanted HTTPS support enabled, we would use that external library.

            SSLeay ended development at the end of that same year, and OpenSSL rose as a new project and library from its ashes. Of course, even later the term “SSL” would also be replaced by “TLS” but the entire world has kept using them interchangeably.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Wyden-Backed Bill Would Make It Illegal For Government To Obtain Location Data Without A Warrant

              We’ve covered for a while how consumer location data is consistently abused by telecom providers, app makers, stalkers, debt collectors, people pretending to be law enforcement, and pretty much any idiot with a nickel and a dream.

            • Data Driven 2: California Dragnet—New Data Set Shows Scale of Vehicle Surveillance in the Golden State

              Tiburon, California: a 13-square-mile peninsula town in Marin County, known for its glorious views of the San Francisco Bay and its eclectic retail district. 

              What the town’s tourism bureau may not want you to know: from the moment you drive into the city limits, your vehicle will be under extreme surveillance. The Tiburon Police Department has the dubious distinction of collecting, mile-for-mile, more data on drivers than any other agency surveyed for a new EFF data set. 

              Today, EFF is releasing Data Driven 2: California Dragnet , a new public records collection and data set that shines light on the massive amount of vehicle surveillance conducted by police in California using automated license plate readers (ALPRs) —and how very little of this surveillance is actually relevant to an active public safety interest. 

            • Tell Congress: Federal Money Shouldn’t Be Spent On Breaking Encryption

              Unfortunately, federal law enforcement officials have not stopped asking for backdoor access to Americans’ encrypted messages. FBI Director Christopher Wray did it again just last month, falsely claiming that end-to-end encryption and “user-only access” have “negligible security advantages” but have a “negative effect on law enforcement’s ability to protect the public.”

            • No Digital Vaccine Bouncers

              An increasingly common proposal to get there is digital proof-of-vaccination, sometimes called “Vaccine Passports.” On the surface, this may seem like a reasonable solution. But to “return to normal”, we also have to consider that inequity and problems with access are a part of that normal. Also, these proposals require a new infrastructure and culture of doorkeepers to public places regularly requiring visitors to display a token as a condition of entry. This would be a giant step towards pervasive tracking of our day-to-day movements. And these systems would create new ways for corporations to monetize our data and for thieves to steal our data.

              That’s why EFF opposes new systems of digital proof-of-vaccination as a condition of going about our day-to-day lives. They’re not “vaccine passports” that will speed our way back to normal. They’re “vaccine bouncers” that will unnecessarily scrutinize us at doorways and unfairly turn many of us away.

              So-called “vaccine passports” are digital credentials proposed to be convenient, digital, and accessible ways to store and present your medical data. In this case, it shows you have been vaccinated. These are not actual passports for international travel, nor are they directly related to systems we have in place to prove you have been vaccinated. Though different proposals vary, these are all new ways of displaying medical data in a way that is not typical for our society as a whole.

            • Zoom Classrooms Raise Concerns about Law Enforcement Surveillance and 4th Amendment Rights – Validated Independent News

              The free version of Zoom does not grant end-to-end encryption or guarantee secure private connections without possible surveillance by law enforcement, and third-party affiliates. Those who opt for the free version of Zoom are often low income, struggling students, the elderly, and the disabled. Zoom has offered to provide end-to-end encryption for all users, as long as they verified their phone number first. Yet, many users do not do this or know that such an option exists.

            • Twitter appoints new JAPAC region VP, Hari moved to global role

              Prior to joining Twitter in 2014, Maya spent over 15 years in the digital media, mobile and eCommerce industries across the US and in Asia Pacific for brands such as Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Cisco.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Tanks and Think Tanks: How Taiwanese Cash is Funding the Push to War with China

        TAIPEI — At MintPress, we have been at the forefront of exposing how Middle Eastern dictatorships and weapons contractors have been funneling money into think tanks and political action committees, keeping up a steady drumbeat for more war and conflict around the world. Yet one little-discussed nation that punches well above its weight in spending cash in Washington is Taiwan.

    • Environment

      • Mexico’s Drought Reaches Critical Levels as Lakes Dry Up

        Drought conditions now cover 85% of Mexico, and residents of the nation’s central region said Thursday that lakes and reservoirs are simply drying up, including the country’s second-largest body of fresh water.

        The mayor of Mexico City said the drought was the worst in 30 years, and the problem can be seen at the reservoirs that store water from other states to supply the capital.

      • Hawaii Island Declares Itself Entirely Free of Rats—That Were Eating Its Birds

        “The operation went really well, and almost immediately we saw signs of recovery across the island. But in the months that followed, cameras captured an unexpected outcome, a small number of rats were still present on the island.”

        Officials then launched a “mop-up effort” to remove the last few individuals, including using motion-sensor cameras to detect where rats were present.

        Khalsa added: “Lehua is a story of what we can achieve through dedicated and focused conservation efforts, and securing the island has been a critical stepping stone for the protection of Hawaii’s native birds and plants.”

      • Africa: This Earth Day, a People’s Perspective Is What Is Most Needed

        The climate crisis disproportionately impacts marginalized populations, many of whom may be displaced or forced to migrate because of years of unequal access to opportunities and gaps in human rights, a topic my organization delved into with human rights and environmental justice experts in this event.

        Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights’ report on Climate Change and Poverty, revealed developing countries will bear 75 to 80 percent of the financial costs and losses associated with the climate crisis, despite contributing only 10 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, creating a situation in which those in extreme poverty now also live in extreme weather.

        He warned of increasing divisions as well, the risk of a ‘climate apartheid’, where the wealthy escape the negative impacts of climate change, leaving impacts to be borne by disproportionate groups ostracized by divisions, including race.

      • Biden’s climate plan knocked as “bullsh*t” by activists who dumped cow manure near White House

        Climate change is one of the great existential threats facing human beings in modern times. When gases like carbon dioxide and methane are dumped into the atmosphere due to human activity, they trap heat and gradually but radically change the planet. If the problem continues unabated for the next few decades, experts predict apocalyptic conditions. Large sections of Earth will be uninhabitable because they are too hot and/or dry. Extreme weather events will occur regularly. Sea levels will rise, forcing millions who live near costs to have to abandon their homes. Even as the world deals with millions of climate refugees, disruptions in food production and supply chains will cause major resources scarcity issues.

      • Earth Day 2021
      • Reject Greenwashing. At This Point, Only an Ecological Revolution Will Do.

        It’s a bleak sort of Earth Day today. All the major newspapers are carrying headlines about President Biden’s global eco-summit, about his pledge to cut greenhouse emissions in half by 2030, but so far as I have seen, none use the words “Earth Day” to mark the moment. This environmental holiday was created in 1970. I was created in 1971. We’re both 50-ish now, and feeling the mileage.

      • Greenwashing Fashion

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

        Around 15 million garments per week flow through Kantamanto, one of the largest secondhand clothing markets in the world. The shopping center is located in Accra, the capital of Ghana, and is stocked with once-donated clothing that arrives in hundred-pound bundles, mostly from the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. Retailers take out substantial loans to purchase the bundles, hoping to find worthwhile garments in sellable condition. Yet almost half of what is bought is thrown away.

      • The GOP Climate Push That Mostly Leaves Out Climate

        On April 19, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced the beginning of a week-long campaign to promote the Republican “alternative” climate agenda. “Democrats often dismiss Republicans as being disinterested in addressing global climate change. This is just false,” he said in a video posted to Twitter.

        In the video, he announced the roll-out of roughly three dozen bills that “focus on solutions that make American energy cleaner, more affordable, and also reduce emissions around the world.”

      • Sunday Shows Hit Snooze on Climate Alarm

        In a year dominated by coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, one might expect other topics to fall lower on the media’s priority list. But the climate crisis has not lessened in intensity; on the contrary, the urgency of addressing it increases each year. (Not to mention that climate change is an important driver of increased disease outbreaks like the current pandemic.) News media must be capable of covering two emergencies at the same time.

      • California’s Wildfire Season Looms. Regenerative Agriculture Could Offer Hope.

        When Alexis Koefoed’s farm burned for the first time in 2008, she and her husband, who made a living raising pasture-grazing chickens at the time, lost 1,000 baby chicks and a brand-new barn. “I thought there could never be anything worse than this experience, until it happened three more times,” she said.

      • Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin: Green New Deal Is Essential for Human Survival

        Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970, an era which marks the beginning of the modern environmental movement, with concerns built primarily around air and water pollution. Of course, the state of the environment has shifted dramatically since then, and while environmental policy has changed a lot in the United States over the past 50 years, biodiversity is in great danger and the climate crisis threatens to make the planet uninhabitable.

      • Energy

        • NYC Sues Big Oil for ‘Systematically and Intentionally Deceiving New Yorkers’

          “Fossil fuel companies are continuing to spin a tangled web of lies about the deadly products they produce and sell after decades of misleading consumers.”

          As the world celebrated Earth Day, Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corporation Counsel James E. Johnson on Thursday announced that New York City filed suit over Big Oil’s decades of lies about fossil fuels and the climate emergency—just the latest addition to over two dozen similar cases launched by U.S. communities.

        • Dissenter Weekly: Attack Against British Oil Industry Whistleblower Escalates

          In this edition of “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola covers a British oil industry whistleblower in Croatia who was taken by police to a psychiatric hospital against his will. He highlights an exceptional report from Julia Carrie Wong at the Guardian that profiled Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang and amplified her revelations related to Facebook’s inaction when suspicious accounts in Honduras, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, etc, were brought to the attention of executives. Later in the show, Kevin talks about two stories involving police in Washington, D.C., and Honolulu. He concludes with an update on a U.S. Geological Survey whistleblower who was restored to their position at the Seattle-based Western Fisheries Research Center.

          Police Take British Oil Industry Whistleblower To Psychiatric Hospital Against His Will Facebook Whistleblower Exposes Inconsistent Handling Of Suspicious Accounts In Various Countries Whistleblower Accuses Ant-Gun Police Unit In D.C. Of Fabricating Charges

        • Where Does All The Radioactive Fracking Waste Go?

          On May 8, 2017, a drum of radioactive oilfield waste from Australia arrived at a remote West Texas disposal site operated by local oil and gas environmental services company, Lotus LLC. This drum of waste entered the United States aboard a Singapore Airlines cargo jet, appropriately packaged in a steel drum. According to files from the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s main oil and gas regulator, it contained the radioactive element radium at concentrations of 2,095 picocuries per gram. Those levels are more than 400 times the protective health limits designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for toxic Superfund sites and uranium mills, where fuel for nuclear bombs was once assembled.

          The oil and gas industry produces an extraordinary amount of waste. Much of it is toxic, and it can be highly radioactive too. And since 1997 about one million barrels worth of oilfield waste has been brought to Lotus’s disposal site, situated off a dusty desert road located 19 miles west of Andrews, Texas (and just several miles from a massive solar array financed by Facebook and which provides energy to Shell’s fracking operations).  

        • Struggling to Make a Profit, Fracking Investors are Searching for the Exit

          The outlook is increasingly bleak for oil and gas companies. The beginning of this year has seen the highest number of companies announce bankruptcy during the first quarter in five years. Eight oil and gas companies announced they were filing for bankruptcy during the first quarter of 2021. 

          Meanwhile, earlier this month The Financial Times noted that of 500 privately owned oil and gas companies in the U.S., 400 are losing money and unlikely to ever pay back their large debts. According to the Financial Times, the remaining companies are focused on a “last gasp” effort to look profitable to potential buyers in order to “secure a profitable exit.” 

        • How to Kill the Oil Hydra—and Other Lessons From the Fight Against Keystone XL

          Such are the challenges—and terrors—of oil pipelines. Like the Hydra, they regenerate and multiply, and the only way to kill them is to cut off line after line, then bury the need for them. And as with the Hydra, defeating pipelines is a group effort: Heracles couldn’t have defeated the snake without Iolaus (Athena’s support didn’t hurt either), and the activists who battled both Keystone XL and DAPL—Indigenous water protectors, environmentalists, sundry allies—couldn’t have sparked a mass mobilization without one another.

    • Finance

      • Are Unemployment Benefits Taxed?

        The pandemic-induced collapse of the economy in March 2020 meant that many Americans will be filing their 2020 taxes after having received substantial income from unemployment benefits.

        Yes. Unemployment insurance benefits are subject to both federal and state taxes. Before 2021, unemployment benefits counted toward your income and were taxed at rates according to the IRS’s tax brackets. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (which most people call the stimulus bill) exempted some of that money from federal income taxes for tax year 2020.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Existential Moment for Our Country’: Cori Bush Leads 90+ Dems in Calling for Abolition of Senate Filibuster

        “We cannot let a procedural tool that can be abolished stand in the way of justice, prosperity, and equity. We simply cannot afford such a catastrophic compromise.”

        Congresswoman Cori Bush and nearly 100 other House Democrats on Thursday urged their Senate counterparts to immediately eliminate the legislative filibuster, an archaic rule standing in the way of D.C. statehood, a major expansion of voting rights, labor law reforms, and other key priorities.

      • Justice Advocates Blast ‘Dishonest and Barbaric’ Majority Opinion by Kavanaugh in Juvenile Life Sentence Case

        Sotomayor said the troubling majority opinion was “fooling no one” in a dissent characterized as “extremely powerful.”

        The impact of former President Donald Trump’s three appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court was illuminated on Thursday with a six-three ruling in which the right-wing justices rejected a challenge to life sentences issued to minors—a move that critics described as “vile,” “inhumane,” and “really awful news.”

      • Nearly 100 House Democrats Send Letter to Schumer Demanding End to Filibuster

        Representatives Cori Bush (D-Missouri) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) are leading an effort with nearly 100 of their fellow House members to end the Senate filibuster. The lawmakers join many progressive and Democratic advocates in saying that the filibuster is a roadblock to progress.

      • House Passes Bill to Grant DC Statehood With Zero Republican Votes

        On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C., the 51st state. This is the second time in history that the House has passed D.C. statehood, and the passage grants momentum to Democrats who hope for representation and justice for the area with a large proportion of Black residents.

      • The EU wants to become the world’s super-regulator in AI

        With little existing legislation on AI to draw on, the commission opted for a bottom-up approach. It created a 52-member “high-level expert group” to develop its proposals, collected further input via an “AI alliance” of interested parties and published a white paper on which everybody could comment online (1,250 groups and individuals did so). The result is a document of more than 100 pages with 85 articles and no fewer than nine annexes that tries both to mitigate the potential harm of AI and to maximise its opportunities—almost to a fault, as the many exceptions and exceptions to exceptions show.

        Rather than regulating all applications of AI, the EU’s rules are meant to focus on the riskiest ones. Some will be banned outright, including services that use “subliminal techniques” to manipulate people. Others, such as facial recognition and credit scoring, are considered “high-risk” and so subject to strict rules on transparency and data quality. As with GDPR, penalties for violations are stiff: up to €30m ($36m) or 6% of global revenues, whichever is higher (in the case of a firm as big as Facebook, for example, that would come to more than $5bn).

      • Green Party Statement on D.C. Statehood

        While residents of Washington, D.C. pay federal taxes, serve in the military and on juries, and contribute to the national economy, this city in which Black Americans make up the largest racial group (41% White, 11% LatinX, 4% Asian) has zero representation or voting power.

        This lack of representation creates a wider disenfranchisement of Black Americans. If D.C. were made into the 51st state, it would be the only plurality-Black state in the country.

        Given the racist repression of Black voters happening across the country, the resistance to allowing the District of Columbia into the Union has always been one borne out of racism.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Josh Hawley Casts Lone ‘No’ Vote on Senate Bill Targeting Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

        The Missouri Republican—who helped incite the deadly January 6 Capitol attack—previously called the measure “hugely overbroad.” 

        Responding to a surge in racist attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders fueled by racist rhetoric from former President Donald Trump and the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Senate on Thursday nearly unanimously approved a bill aimed at fighting anti-AAPI hate—with Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri casting the sole dissenting vote. 

      • We Are Fighting for a World Where Ma’Khia Bryant Would Have Lived

        Sixteen-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant’s TikTok is going viral. In one particular video, her eyes sparkle. For a cheeky moment, her smile is wide. As she listens to Bryson Tiller, she is styling her hair and reveling in her Black girl adolescence. Devastatingly, now, millions of people are mourning the loss and remembering the life of this Black teenage girl killed in Columbus, Ohio.

      • Decolonization or Extinction: Indigenous Red Deal Lays Out Plan to Save the Earth

        On Earth Day, we speak with two of the more than two dozen Indigenous authors of a new book that looks at the history of resistance against colonialism and capitalism and lays out a vision for the future to address the climate crisis. “The Red Deal: Indigenous Action to Save Our Earth” details the centuries of Indigenous resistance that created the movement at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline and what movements centering justice for Indigenous people must look like. The book offers a “people’s program to prevent extinction,” says Melanie Yazzie, assistant professor of Native American studies and American studies at the University of New Mexico and co-author of “The Red Deal.” “The plan is really clear. The stakes are really clear,” Yazzie says. “We draw centrally from Indigenous movements over the last couple of decades for decolonization.” We also speak with Uahikea Maile, an assistant professor of Indigenous politics at the University of Toronto–St. George and one of the book’s co-authors.

      • ‘We are the power here’ Photographer Evgeny Feldman’s snapshots from Moscow’s Navalny solidarity protests

        Moscow’s protest in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny was supposed to take place near the Kremlin, on Manezhnaya Square. But on the morning of April 21, the security forces cut off access to the area. Shortly before the start of the rally, the organizers suggested that the protesters move in two columns coming from Pushkin Square and the Arbat. The two groups met at the top of Tverskaya Street; they were never allowed onto Manezhnaya Square. The Moscow rally was unusually peaceful; at the time of this writing the arrest count was only around 30 people (for comparison, St. Petersburg saw more than 800 detentions). According to police officials, 4,500 protesters took to the streets in the Russian capital (though the protest organizers have suggested multiplying this figure “by ten”). Photographer Evgeny Feldman was on the ground in downtown Moscow capturing the day’s events — here’s what he saw.

      • From Vladivostok to Kaliningrad Photos from across Russia during the rallies in support of Alexey Navalny on April 21

        On April 21, thousands of people in cities across Russia took to the streets in a show of solidarity with opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who has been on a prison hunger strike since March 31. Compared to the police response at the pro-Navalny protests earlier this year, the April 21st demonstrations saw relatively fewer arrests. That said, more than 1,900 people still ended up in police custody, and most of these detentions took place in St. Petersburg. Here’s what the protests looked like outside of Moscow.

      • Navalny’s private doctors urge him to end hunger strike after examination at civilian hospital

        Alexey Navalny’s private doctors are urging him to end his prison hunger strike following confirmation that he was taken to a “civilian hospital in Vladimir” for an examination on Tuesday, April 20.

      • Hello, this is Leonid Volkov* Using deepfake video and posing as Navalny’s right-hand man, Russian pranksters fool Latvian politicians and journalists into invitation and TV interview

        As the coronavirus pandemic has forced more and more interactions into virtual space, the opportunities for deception in private meetings have become greater than ever. Technological advances have made remote work possible for millions of people, but machine learning and artificial intelligence mean it’s also far easier to manipulate the visual and audio content that allows us to remain connected without coming face to face. A pair of Russian pranksters notorious for ridiculing the Kremlin’s enemies is exploiting these two trends, and journalists and politicians in the Baltic states got a crash course in the last month.

      • Russia’s human rights commissioner claims Navalny’s medical treatment meets international standards

        According to Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, Alexey Navalny’s conditions of detention, and the medical treatment he’s receiving in prison, are in line with international standards. This was stated in a letter to the Council of Europe’s Secretary General, Interfax reports. 

      • Biden uses “systemic racism” narrative to obscure class character of police violence

        Relative to the entire population, there is a disproportionality in the number of African Americans and Native Americans killed by police, while whites, Hispanics and Asians are killed at a rate lower than their share of the population. Native Americans are killed at a rate that is seven times higher than their share of the population, while for blacks it is roughly two times higher.

        There is no doubt that racism is a factor in many police killings, but it is not the racism of the entire society. It is racism in a particular segment of society, the police and military forces. The ruling class cultivates within its apparatus of repression all manner of fascistic and reactionary conceptions.

        However, once the socioeconomic background of where the victims were killed—typically areas with low median household income and high rates of poverty—is factored in, most of the disparity is accounted for by economic factors.

      • Half the world’s population lives in persecution hotspots – report

        Close to four billion people are living in countries where the most intense violations of religious freedom are occurring, a new report warns.

        The Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021, compiled by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), lists 26 countries in the most severe category, comprising just over half (51%) of the world’s population.

      • Most officers never fire their guns. But some kill multiple people — and are still on the job.

        Most officers never fire their weapons. In 2019, the research-focused nonprofit National Police Foundation released a study of 1,006 police shootings at 47 departments over two years that found that 4 out of 5 officers who fired in those shootings had never discharged their guns before. But experts know little about the ones who fire more than once.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Accurate Maps Required To Estimate Cost Of Connecting Rural America, Experts Say

        Chairman David Scott, D-Georgia, wanted concrete numbers during the hearing held Tuesday. He pressed witnesses for what they believed it would cost to cover the estimated 24 million rural Americans who are currently living in underserved areas of the country.

        Vickie Robinson, general manager of the Microsoft Global Airband Initiative, was hesitant to throw out a hard number. “There are estimates that suggest that the cost to reach those that are unserved is anywhere from 60 to 80 billion dollars,” Robinson said. But those estimates should not necessarily be relied upon, she said, adding, “We haven’t first done the hard but necessary work to accurately map where those gaps exist.”

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Do We Need To Lose The Open Podcast Ecosystem To Make Podcasting Better?

        Podcasting has been a rare recent example of a new offering built on open protocols and standards (mainly RSS and MP3), that wasn’t entirely co-opted by one giant corporate entity (even if some have tried). However, there have been some worrying signs of where the podcasting market is moving. For a few years now, we’ve been warning that the world would lose a lot if podcasts move from open standards and protocols to more proprietary solutions — and yet Spotify, for one, has been moving heavily in that direction over the past few years.

      • Can Apple get you to pay for podcasts?

        But the service does come with trade-offs. Most crucially, podcasters have to pay a flat fee of $19.99 per year to even offer subscriptions, and they then give Apple a 30 percent cut of revenue for each subscriber’s first year and 15 percent for the years following. Patreon, in contrast, takes up to 12 percent of creators’ revenue. Apple Podcasts is also only available on iOS devices, which most of the world doesn’t use.

    • Monopolies

      • Tech Elite Threatened by Progressive San Francisco DA, Push for His Recall – Validated Independent News

        In contrast, since taking office in January 2020, Boudin has built a reputation as one of the most progressive DAs in the country. He understands the horrors and lasting effects of mass incarceration; both of his parents, were members of the radical Weather Underground Movement and imprisoned during his childhood. He won his election with support from communities of color who wanted to make the criminal justice system less racist and improve public safety without imprisoning more people. In his first year as San Francisco’s DA, Boudin did this by ordering his office to stop asking for cash bail, reducing the jail population, and prosecuting police officers who beat or killed suspects, all of which earned him praise from supporters.

      • Copyrights

        • European Commission’s Attempt To Backtrack On Its Promise To Defend Fundamental Rights In Upload Filter Implementations May Backfire Badly

          One of the most disgraceful aspects of the EU Copyright Directive saga was the shameless way its supporters swore that upload filters would not be required — despite the evident fact that there was no other way to implement the new law’s requirements. And indeed, once the legislation was passed, France lost no time in pushing for upload filters. Worse, its own implementation ignored what few protections there were for users’ fundamental rights. Fortunately, back in 2019, the Polish government made a formal request for the EU’s top court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), to throw out upload filters. That is still grinding its way through the EU’s legal system, but its mere existence could play an important role as EU member states grapple with the impossible task of passing national laws to implement the EU Copyright Directive.

        • Popcorn Time Asset Freeze Expanded in Piracy Suit

          PayPal-based assets owned by the companies behind Popcorn Time will be frozen until further notice now that a Virginia federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction in a suit from several Hollywood companies who say their films are being pirated on the site.

          In March, Millennium Funding, Voltage Holdings and other rights holders sued Wicked Technology and VPN.HT for copyright infringement, trademark counterfeiting and unfair competition. They allege a site called Popcorn Time (which has been dubbed “Netflix for pirates”) gives users unlawful access to copyrighted works including Angel Has Fallen, Automata, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Hellboy, Hunter Killer and I Feel Pretty. They’re suing in Virginia, where a company called Voxility has data centers that host Wicked’s sites.

        • Student Sues Proctorio for Using DMCA Takedowns to Remove Critical Tweets

          Miami University student and security researcher Erik Johnson has filed a lawsuit against software company Proctorio, which used DMCA notices to remove several critical tweets. Johnson asked the court to declare that publishing code excerpts to document critique is fair use. Meanwhile, Proctario should pay damages for misusing the DMCA process.

        • Mangadex Works With ‘Have I Been Pwned?’ to Warn Users About Hacked Database

          Huge scanlation platform MangaDex says that following a hack in March, its database is now confirmed as being “in the wild”. With usernames, email addresses and IP address data now potentially public knowledge, users are being assured that the site is doing all it can to mitigate the breach, including by working with prominent data breach platform Have I Been Pwned.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 22, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:49 am by Needs Sunlight

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