06.17.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 18/6/2021: RasPad 3 and Pushing Rust Into the Linux Kernel

Posted in News Roundup at 8:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The RasPad 3 – Unboxing and Assembly (Full review tomorrow!!!)

        The RasPad 3 is a neat project that enables you to turn your Raspberry Pi 4 into a full tablet! In this video, I’ll unbox the RasPad 3 and I’ll also show you the entire assembly process. Be sure to check out my full review as well.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S14E15 – Tanks Crash Clash

        This week we’ve been learning Davinci Resolve and instrumenting our house with DHT11 sensors. We round up the goings on from the Ubuntu community and discuss our favourite picks from the wider tech news.

        It’s Season 14 Episode 15 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • BSDNow 407: The jail Detail

        Confining the omnipotent root, Jails with ZFS and PF on DigitalOcean, NomadBSD 130R is out, KDE Plasma Wayland on FreeBSD, Firefox under FreeBSD with Privacy, Using NetBSD’s pkgsrc everywhere, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Auditing io_uring

        The io_uring subsystem, first introduced in 2019, has quickly become the leading way to perform high-bandwidth, asynchronous I/O. It has drawn the attention of many developers, including, more recently, those who are focused more on security than performance. Now some members of the security community are lamenting a perceived lack of thought about security support in io_uring, and are trying to remedy that shortcoming by adding audit and Linux security module support there. That process is proving difficult, and has raised the prospect of an unpleasant fallback solution.

        The Linux audit mechanism allows the monitoring and logging of all significant activity on the system. If somebody wants to know, for example, who looked at a specific file, an audit-enabled system can provide answers. This capability is required to obtain any of a number of security certifications which, in turn, are crucial if one wants to deploy Linux in certain types of security-conscious settings. It is probably fair to say that a relatively small percentage of Linux systems have auditing turned on, but distributors, almost without exception, enable auditing in their kernels.

        The audit mechanism relies, in turn, on a large array of hooks sprinkled throughout the kernel source. Whenever an event that may be of interest occurs, it is reported via the appropriate hook to the audit code. There, a set of rules loaded from user space controls which events are reported to user space.

        When io_uring was being developed (which is still happening now, of course), the developers involved were deeply concerned about performance and functionality. Supporting security features like auditing was not at the top of their list, so they duly neglected to add the needed hooks — or to think about how auditing could be supported in a way consistent with the performance goals. Now that io_uring is showing up in more distributor kernels (and, in particular, the sorts of kernels where auditing is relatively likely to be enabled), security-oriented developers are starting to worry about it. Having io_uring serve as a way to circumvent the otherwise all-seeing audit eye does not seem like a good way to maintain those security certifications.

      • The runtime verification subsystem

        The realtime project has been the source of many of the innovations that have found their way into the core kernel in the last fifteen years or so. There is more to it than that, though; the wider realtime community is also doing interesting work in a number of areas that go beyond ensuring deterministic response. One example is Daniel Bristot de Oliveira’s runtime verification patch set, which can monitor the kernel to ensure that it is behaving the way one thinks it should.

        Realtime development in the kernel community is a pragmatic effort to add determinism to a production system, but there is also an active academic community focused on realtime work. Academic developers often struggle to collaborate effectively with projects like the kernel, where concerns about performance, regressions, and maintainability have been the downfall of many a bright idea. As a result, there is a lot of good academic work that takes a long time to make it into a production system, if it ever does.

        Imagine, for a moment, a project to create a realtime system that absolutely cannot be allowed to fail; examples might include a controller for a nuclear reactor, a jetliner’s flight-control system, or the image processor in a television set showing that important football game. In such a setting, it is nice to know that the system will always respond to events within the budgeted time. Simply observing that it seems to do so tends to be considered inadequate for these systems.

        One way to get to a higher level of assurance is to create a formal model of the system, prove mathematically that the model produces the desired results, then run that model with every scenario that can be imagined. This approach can work, but it has its difficulties: ensuring that the model properly matches the real system is a challenge in its own right and, even if the model is perfect, it is almost certain to be far too slow for any sort of exhaustive testing. The complexity of real-world systems makes this approach impractical, at best.

      • It’s Good But Maybe Bad: LVFS Skyrockets With More Than 100k Firmware Updates In One Day – Phoronix

        The Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) with Fwupd has been serving on average around 40k~50k firmware updates per daay to Linux users relying on this cross-vendor, open-source firmware distribution service with FWUPD for applying firmware updates under Linux. But yesterday its usage just skyrocketed with more than 100,000 firmware updates in a single day… That’s great for adoption but the motivation for the mass firmware updates may be something rough on the horizon.

      • Intel Speed Select Driver Issue Was Hurting Performance In Some HPC Benchmarks – Phoronix

        Intel’s Speed Select Technology introduced since Cascade Lake for providing more granular power/performance controls was done in the name of performance but it turns out an ISST Linux driver inefficiency could lead to a 10%+ performance hit for some HPC benchmarks.

        Public details are scarce on this latest Intel Speed Select Technology Linux driver change but when making use of this ISST code on select systems and for unspecified HPC workloads it could lead to reported 10%+ performance penalties for some high performance computing benchmarks. The issue stems from the CPU to PCI device mapping carrying out a linear search of PCI devices on systems and in particular for massive servers this could prove to be very expensive.

      • AMDGPU For Linux 5.14 To Report Throttler Status, Many Fixes Sent Out – Phoronix

        Last week marked the end of feature work for the AMDGPU driver (and other DRM drivers) for the upcoming Linux 5.14 cycle. Sent out today though were the first set of AMDGPU fixes targeting Linux 5.14 that does include a recently talked about throttler status feature.

        Prior feature pull requests to DRM-Next for the AMD Radeon kernel graphics driver for Linux 5.14 included the introduction of Beige Goby and Yellow Carp GPU support, HMM SVM, more Aldebaran accelerator work, PCI Express ASPM being enabled by default, GPU hot unplug support, AMD Smart Shift support for laptops, 16 bpc support, and various other changes. Linux 5.14 will be another exciting cycle for AMD Radeon open-source driver users particularly if running newer GPUs.

    • Applications

      • 7 Best Free and Open Source HTML Editors

        An HTML editor is computer software for creating web pages. As this type of editor helps to remove the frustration out of creating web pages, it represents an indispensable tool for graphic and web designers. Specialized HTML editors provide convenience and added functionality.

        There are three main types of HTML editors. The most common type is the WYSIWYG HTML editor. Here the editor provides an editing interface which resembles how the page will be displayed in a web browser. This is achieved by embedding a layout engine. For example, in the case of BlueGriffon, the layout engine that is used is Gecko, which is also used in the Firefox web browser. The other types of editor are text source editors and object editors.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to update the Telegram Linux desktop app

        Are you excited about the latest Telegram Desktop features, but your Linux client is out of date? Do you need to know how to update Telegram to the latest and greatest on your Linux PC but can’t figure it out? We can help! Follow along as we go over how to update Telegram on Linux!

      • How to edit a system file with sudoedit preserving the invoking user environment

        On Linux and other Unix-based operating systems, sudo is used to run a program with the privileges of another user, often root. When we need to modify a file which requires administrative privileges to be edited, if we launch our favorite text editor directly with sudo, it will run without the customization and settings we use when we invoke it normally, since the environment of the invoking user is not preserved. In this tutorial we will see how can we easily solve this problem and how we can modify system files securely by using sudoedit.

      • How to Install Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 20.04

        Plex is a streaming media server that lets you organize your video, music, and photo collections and stream your media to your computer, phone, tablet, or TV at any time and from anywhere. Plex media server can be installed on all major operating systems and devices.

        This article explains how to install Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Make a Bootable USB Drive With Etcher in Linux

        Boot disks (or bootable drives) are a vital tool for troubleshooting system issues on any operating system. They allow you to temporarily access the file system of a broken computer and fix the problem that caused the breakdown.

        Moreover, bootable drives also serve as live USB drives and facilitate access to your system on any device, anywhere. To create a bootable drive, you need to flash an image file onto your removable device using an image flashing utility.

        If you’re on Linux, you can use Etcher to create a bootable drive. Here’s a guide to help you through the process.

      • How to install Sort The Court on a Chromebook

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

      • Using text file manipulation tools in CentOS Linux – Linux Concept

        System administrators, developers, and users need to work with text files, configuration files, and log files when working on Linux. Some of these files are large; some of them are small or medium. The data contained in these files frequently needs to be viewed, updated, or extracted. In this section, we will learn how to manage and manipulate text files on Linux.

      • Redirecting output to files and programs in CentOS Linux – Linux Concept

        When we execute any program, by default, its output or error is displayed on the screen. We can redirect the text output of a program to a file using the input/output redirection operator or to another program using pipes. For this, when any command is executed, there are three standard file streams (file descriptors) created and opened by the operating system. The streams are known as standard input (stdin), standard output (stdout), and standard error (stderr).

        The first stream is associated with stdin (numbered as 0) used to read input from keyboard. The second file stream is associated to stdout (numbered as 1) used by program to print output on screen, and the last file stream is stderr (numbered as 2), used by our program to print errors onscreen.

      • Basic DHCP concepts | Ubuntu

        Let’s step back and take a very basic look at DHCP. In fact, let’s look at the analogy of assigning an address to your house. Usually, this is done by the local 911 dispatch office, or some other central authority. They typically use either a survey map or a latitude, longitude pair to locate you, before they assign your house numbers from a pool of available addresses, compatible with other addresses in the area.

      • Enrico Zini: Reimagining Ansible variables

        This is part of a series of posts on ideas for an ansible-like provisioning system, implemented in Transilience.

        While experimenting with Transilience, I’ve been giving some thought about Ansible variables.

      • How to Upload and Share Files From the Terminal Using Transfer.sh

        Generally, file sharing involves logging into a storage provider, manually locating the file, and uploading it via the graphical user interface of a web browser or application. While the time wasted during these intermediate steps may not seem like much, it keeps on adding up every time you wish to upload or share a file.

        But sharing files doesn’t have to be tedious anymore. With the Linux terminal, you can do this in a jiffy. Thanks to tools like transfer.sh, all it takes is a simple command on your terminal to upload a file.

      • LXD and Docker containers nesting – Tutorial

        Welcome to Arcane Weekly. Today, I want to talk to you about a problem you’re not likely to encounter, but if you do, then you’d want a quick and handy solution. Tools at hand: LXD containers, Docker. Mission at hand: You want to run the two at the same time. More specifically, you want to spawn a LXD container, and then inside it, start a Docker container. Why? Why not.

        Then, the problem you have is as follows. The Docker execution fails with the following error: docker: Error response from daemon: OCI runtime create failed: container_linux.go:367: starting container process caused: process_linux.go:495: container init caused: rootfs_linux.go:60: mounting “proc” to rootfs at “/proc” caused: permission denied: unknown. Lots of text there. Let’s debug this, shall we?

      • How to watch or monitor log files in Debian 10

        Log files are simply plain text files that contain the set of records, events, or messages about the server, applications, and services running on your Linux operating system. They are used by system administrators for troubleshooting purposes whenever an issue arises.

      • How to quickly deploy a static website with Hugo – TechRepublic

        There are several reasons why your business might want to start employing a static website generator. One reason is because you need to be able to quickly roll out websites without having to bother coding them. Or, you might want to eventually get to the point of automating this process for regular static site deployment.

        With tools like Hugo (which has been around for nearly 10 years), you can use pre-defined templates to generate a full static website. The pages are served very fast, so if speed is what you’re looking for, this might be the tool you need. One thing you must know about Hugo-built sites is that there’s no database backend or plugins to expand the feature set. These are static sites at their heart.

        However, with the right developer magic, you can use these types of sites to bolster your companies online presence, using them in kiosks, embedded systems or just about any use-case that could benefit from lightning-fast static sites.

        If this sounds like something you might want to try, you’re in luck, because I’m going to walk you through the steps of deploying your first site with Hugo.

      • Opensearch and syslog-ng

        Opensearch is a fork of the Elastic stack code base, made right before the license change. The first release candidate (RC1) has been released recently. Next to plain text files, Elasticsearch is one of the most popular destinations in syslog-ng, but after the license change people started to look for alternatives. I did some quick tests and using the elasticsearch-http() destination, syslog-ng seems to work fine with Opensearch as well.

        Opensearch is not yet production ready. It is still in testing phase. However, if the licensing changes of Elastic makes you search for alternatives, switching to Opensearch might be the easiest. RC1 is already in a good enough shape to start testing it, so you can switch easier once it is ready for production.

        You can learn from this blog how to get started with Opensearch, dashboards and syslog-ng. Another alternative that syslog-ng users explored is Grafana Loki.

        Disclaimer: covering a given technology or brand on the syslog-ng blog is not an endorsement. The syslog-ng blog covers new syslog-ng features, new trends in log management or questions, problems coming up in the syslog-ng community.

        [...]

        From this blog, you could learn how to quickly set up a set environment for Opensearch and syslog-ng. Now comes the hard part: reading the documentation, learning how to configure individual components, rolling out your own PKI, and more. Those topics are well beyond the scope of a syslog-ng blog.

      • Refactor your applications to Kubernetes | Opensource.com

        Application modernization developers must be able to understand database operations and transaction processes inside applications precisely. Tackle-DiVA (Data-intensive Validity Analyzer) is an open source data-centric Java application analysis tool in the Konveyor Tackle project that aims at refactoring applications to Kubernetes.

        This article gives an overview of Tackle-DiVA and presents example instructions and analysis results.

      • How To Install Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, MS SQL is a relational database system by Microsoft that was open-sourced in 2016. As a database server, it is a software product with the primary function of storing and retrieving data as requested by other software applications which may run either on the same computer or on another computer across a network (including the Internet).

        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 the step-by-step installation of the Microsoft SQL Server 2019 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 Hide All The User Accounts in Ubuntu 20.04, 21.04 Login Screen | UbuntuHandbook

        Ubuntu lists all the available user accounts in the GDM login screen. You can however remove them to protect your privacy.

        Gnome, the default desktop environment, has a hidden option to force users to type the username and then password to login. If you’re working on public places, it will be good to enable this option for privacy concern.

      • croc – another file transfer method | Fitzcarraldo’s Blog

        I have lost count of the number of times I have had to send a large file to someone at work, usually in a hurry. I’ve used Dropbox, ownCloud, Firefox Send (no longer available) etc. Transferring large files became a bit easier when e-mail service providers increased the size limit for attachments, but that is still not a solution for very large files. The xkcd cartoon FILE TRANSFER sums up the situation nicely.

        I recently discovered the command line utility croc, which the author claims is a way to ‘easily and securely transfer stuff from one computer to another.’ I thought I’d give it a try, if only to have another tool to fall back on in an emergency. It does rely on both ends having croc installed, but hopefully that should not be a show-stopper as croc is available for Linux, Windows, macOS and BSD.

      • Checking Linux system performance with sar | Network World

        Sar is a system utility that gives us many ways to examine performance on a Linux system. It provides details on all aspects of system performance including system load, CPU usage, memory use, paging, swapping, disk usage, device load, network activity, etc.

        The name “sar” stands for “system activity report,” and it can display current performance, provide reports that are based on log files stored in your system’s /var/log/sa (or /var/log/sysstat) folder, or be set up to automatically produce daily reports. It’s part of sysstat – a collection of system performance monitoring tools.

      • How to install Fast Disk Usage Analyzer [Gdu] for Linux – Unixcop

        The gdu tool is created for SSD drives where parallel processing can be utilized. This tool can also work with HDD with less performance compared to SSD drives. You can also check benchmark results. There are many other similar tools and you have to play with gdu first to see if satisfy your needs.

      • Distinguishing between SELinux policies – Linux Concept

        The most common SELinux policy store names are strict, targeted, mcs, and mls. None of the names assigned to policy stores are fixed though, so it is a matter of convention. Hence, we recommend consulting the distribution documentation to verify what the proper name of the policy should be. Still, the name often provides some information about the SELinux options enabled through the policy.

      • Jira as Requirements Management Tool (RMT) | SUSE Communities

        Safety-critical industries can be flippantly defined as those where a software failure could kill you. Think automotive, aviation, or medical devices as examples. Safety-critical industries use heavy processes to ensure that (especially but not exclusively) software is developed in a safe manner. Heavy processes often need heavy tools. In terms of requirements management, those heavy requirements management tools (RMT*) include DOORS, DOORS Next Generation, Polarion, Jama, just to name drop a few. These heavy RMTs require a substantial investment of time and money to use properly.

        I’ve been a requirements engineer for many years and I’ve done time at avionics and automotive suppliers who had the resources to deploy those heavy RMTs. I’m used to having their advanced features at my fingertips. Now I’m the requirements engineer for the Automotive Linux Team here at SUSE and it’s my job to use the resources available to me to successfully manage requirements for our automotive projects. We took a long hard look at investing resources into a heavy RMT. But we already had Jira in place, so we took up the challenge to see if it could serve as our RMT.

    • Games

      • God sim sandbox ‘WorldBox’ has a huge release out with lots of fun new toys

        WorldBox gives you a pixel-art god game all about doing whatever they hell you want. It’s actually fantastic and a new release is out now. They only recently started supporting Linux with it (back in April), and now we’re seeing all updates across all platforms at the same time which is great.

        I wasn’t actually aware of just how popular it was until recently. The developer announced even just on their Discord, they’ve hit 200,000 people – so that gives you an idea of just how big it is. It’s available for mobile too like Android, where there it’s seen over 388,000 ratings so it’s fantastic to have it on Linux too now. Not seen it?

      • NVIDIA Resizable BAR Performance – A Big Boost For Some Linux Games – Phoronix

        Back in March NVIDIA announced they would be supporting the GeForce RTX 30 series with Resizable BAR support via a video BIOS update for supported systems. Recently I’ve been looking at the performance of a GeForce RTX 3080 once flashing the graphics card under Linux with Resizable BAR support and the performance is quite compelling for Vulkan-based games where this functionality is working.

        Like with the AMD Smart Access Memory / Resizable BAR support, it requires a compatible CPU and motherboard and having the support enabled within the system BIOS. There is also graphics driver support required for Resizable BAR. NVIDIA hasn’t talked much about the Linux driver for Resizable BAR but in fact the support is there with the latest stable driver series, assuming your video BIOS has the support available. It is important to note though the Resizable BAR support is implemented just for their Vulkan driver and not for OpenGL.

      • Loop Hero adds saving during a run and more speed options in the 1.1 update

        Loop Hero, the big hit from Four Quarters and Devolver Digital that released back in March has a major 1.1 update out now with some really wonderful additions.

        Making an already great game that little bit better, you can now actually save and quit to come back during a run through the expeditions. So you no longer have to run back to camp and lose a bunch of resources just because you have to leave. That alone will make me put a lot more time into it. You can also speed the game up an additional two times, card deck switching is in, new titles and enemies and more.

      • Absolute Drift from the art of rally devs arrives on GOG and free for 48 hours | GamingOnLinux

        Yet another chance to bag yourself a free game. During the GOG Summer Sale, Absolute Drift from the art of rally developer has been released on GOG and free for 48 hours.

        “This is a driving experience like no other. Journey from apprentice to master drifter as you hone your skill in a gorgeous minimalist world. Push yourself to the limit on drifting tracks and wild mountain roads while you work to unlock trophies and elite events. Compete against ghosts of the top players in the world, or refine your skills by out-scoring your own ghost. Chill out to over 3 hours of original electronic music by C41 and NYTE as you challenge your driving skills at every turn until you finally master the art of drifting.”

      • Godot Engine – Tiles editor progress report #4

        This is the part 4 of the progress reports about the TileMap and TileSet editors rework. You can find the previous report here.

        We are close to the end of this huge work. Hopefully in the coming few weeks, the Tiles editors should be ready to be included in the first 4.0 alpha. Some improvements still have to be done, but we are getting close to feature completeness. Until then, here is the summary of the work done during the last two months.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Released with Better Stability and Usability Across the Board

          The KDE Plasma desktop development has kicked into high gear and the latest release reflects newfound popularity and drive behind the open-source environment.

          The KDE Plasma developers have been incredibly busy this cycle, refactoring code, fixing bugs, and adding new features, all of which come together to bring even more performance to the desktop environment. The developers are so proud of this release (and the work they’ve achieved) that they created a showcase site to highlight everything found in KDE Plasma 5.22.

          The latest release is all about general eye candy and usability. And it shows.

          One of the most exciting new features to be found in KDE Plasma is called Adaptive Transparency, which will transition between translucent to opaque, depending on if there are any maximized windows. So when an app window is maximized, the panel will be opaque. If there are no maximized windows, the panel will be translucent. Of course, users can opt-out of this feature and make the panel always translucent or always opaque.

        • GitHub Notification Actions [Ed: KDE projects that outsource to Microsoft proprietary software and help a malicious monopoly]

          Calamares, a Linux system installer used by a few dozen different distro’s, is hosted on GitHub. The source code and issues live there, and the website is run from GitHub pages. This post meanders around GitHub actions – things that happen in response to changes in a project – and how I built a Matrix-notification-thing for Calamares.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 125

          Time flies and another two weeks of YaST development have passed. As in the previous report, we have to mention we invested quite some time learning and experimenting with technologies that will shape the role of YaST in particular and Linux installers in general in the future.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The evolution of Software Defined Networking

          As the world digitizes and software is eating the world, there is a growing expectation to have on-demand and customizable services for both enterprise and end users. As an end user, we expect sub-millisecond latency and jitter when playing online. We want to hear the goal at the same time as our neighbor when watching a game; and above everything, we want the video and audio to be stable when doing a video call.

          All these things, and many more, require a lot of automation and orchestration. Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a piece to the puzzle. In this first post, we’ll provide an overview of the role it plays and how it has transformed the way communication service providers operate their network.

        • IBM Collaborates with 30 Organizations to Re-Skill & Connect the Workforce with Real Career Opportunities [Ed: IBM is laying off tons of people while paying for press releases that somehow portray it as a charity looking to get people employer]

          At VivaTech today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) CEO Arvind Krishna announced a new collaboration with 30 global organizations including governments, community colleges, non-profits, and employment agencies, focused on helping underserved populations improve their skills and employability.

        • A primer on containers

          Remember when people used cloud computing because it was cheaper? It (often) still is—but what began as a way to cut costs has led to a sea change in IT. Similarly, containerization, which started as an incremental shift in how code is packaged and deployed, has fundamentally altered how code is written, as well as the architecture of the services it supports. For example, most large software companies used to release new code once a month at most. Now, the most successful teams release code to production at least once a day, an acceleration made possible by containerization.

          A container, in simple terms, is a bundle of everything an application needs in order to run, including libraries and dependencies. Unlike a virtual machine (VM), a container doesn’t include a full operating system kernel, relying instead on containerization platforms such as Docker, LXC, or rkt to get what it needs from the operating system layer. Containers can offer a range of benefits over VMs. For one, they generally use less memory and storage space when running applications. More broadly, they enable architecture that’s flexible and resilient, in which software runs consistently and scales smoothly.

          As with most tools, however, containers aren’t a universal solution. They work best when used to fulfill specific engineering needs—something to keep in mind as we explore their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dive in, shall we?

        • 3 Reasons to choose RHEL for SAP Solutions on Alibaba Cloud

          Alibaba Cloud is an important partner for Red Hat and the choice of public cloud for many of our customers in the Asia Pacific region. For those customers looking to modernize and migrate SAP workloads to SAP S/4HANA we can offer several reasons to consider RHEL for SAP Solutions in the Alibaba cloud.

          Moving to SAP S/4HANA by 2027

          The year 2027 is an important one – modernizing legacy SAP ERP solutions to S/4HANA means that organizations must standardize their underlying SAP databases to use SAP HANA running on Linux.

          This critical migration event presents an excellent opportunity for organizations to modernize their IT infrastructure, compelling them to not only decide on which operating system to pick, but also whether or not they should move to the cloud to further streamline costs and improve business agility.

          With Alibaba Cloud leading the pack among the cloud service providers in the Asia Pacific region and building on the successful availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 on the Alibaba cloud, Red Hat, SAP, and Alibaba Cloud have been working closely to bring Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for SAP solutions with High Availability and Update Services to the Alibaba Cloud Marketplace with on-demand pricing options for RHEL 7 and RHEL 8.

        • Fedora contemplates the driverless printing future

          Back in a distant time — longer ago than he cares to admit — your editor managed a system-administration group. At that time, most of the day-to-day pain reliably came from two types of devices: modems and printers. Modems are more plentiful than ever now, but they have disappeared into interface controllers and (usually) manage to behave themselves. Printers, instead, are still entirely capable of creating problems and forcing a reconsideration of one’s life choices. Behind the scenes, though, the situation has been getting better but, as a recent conversation within the Fedora project made clear, taking advantage of those improvements will require some changes and a bit of a leap of faith.

          Traditionally, getting a printer working on Linux has involved, among other things, locating and installing the appropriate printer drivers and PostScript printer definition (PPD) files to allow the system to communicate with the printer using whatever special dialect it favors. Often that involves installing a separate package like hplip, often supplied by the printer vendor. Some vendors have traditionally supported Linux better than others, but none of their products seem to work as smoothly as one would like. While printer setup on Linux has definitely improved over the years, it still easy to dread having to make a new printer work.

        • Why FreeDOS has 16 colors | Opensource.com

          To explain why text only comes in sixteen colors, let me tell you a story about the first IBM Personal Computer. Parts of this story may be somewhat apocryphal, but the basics are close enough.
          IBM released the Personal Computer 5150 (the “IBM PC”) in 1981. The PC used a simple monitor screen that displayed text in green. Because this display only worked with one color, it was dubbed monochrome (the “IBM 5151 monochrome display,” with the IBM Monochrome Display Adapter card, or “MDA”).

          That same year, IBM released an updated version of the PC that sported an amazing technical achievement—color! The new IBM 5153 color display relied on a new IBM Color Graphics Adapter, or “CGA.” And it is because of this original CGA that all DOS text inherited their colors.

          But before we go there, we first need to understand something about color. When we talk about colors on a computer screen, we’re talking about mixing different values of the three primary light colors—red, green, and blue. You can mix together different levels (or “brightnesses”) of red, green, and blue light to create almost any color. Mix just red and blue light, and you get magenta. Mix blue and green, and you get cyan or aqua. Mix all colors equally, and you get white. Without any light colors, you see black (an absence of color).

        • A more sustainable future should be a more open future [Ed: "Sustainable" is a pretty meaningless buzzword and no wonder IBM Red Hat embraces that for marketing and openwashing purposes]

          In the first part of this extended review of The Age of Sustainable Development” by Jeffrey Sachs, I outlined the author’s argument about the environmental impacts of economic development. In the second article, I discussed the author’s argument about impacts on humans. In this final piece, I will discuss how to address those impacts. I’ll outline Sachs’ suggestions but will also further explain how taking an open organizational approach to the issues will be critical to addressing them.

      • Debian Family

        • Dependable Debian is like a rock in a swirling gyre of ‘move fast and break things’, and version 11 is no different

          The Debian 11 is the venerable Debian Project’s first new release in more than two years, nicknamed “Bullseye” after the Toy Story character and supplanting Debian 10 “Buster” (all Debian releases bear names from the kids’ film).

          Since Debian is the source from which dozens of other distros draw, notably Ubuntu, its major updates are well worth paying attention to, even if you aren’t a Debian user. If you are a Debian user and you’ve been patiently waiting for an updated kernel to work with all the latest hardware, I have good news, the 5.10 LTS Linux kernel is here. More on that in a minute.

          First, for the Linux newcomers, it might help to understand why Debian only releases new versions every couple of years when most popular distros crank out several new versions each year.

        • Debian 11 Bullseye: Full Freeze and Preliminary Release Dates have been set – Market Research Telecast

          The start date of Debian GNU / Linux 11 in the “Full Freeze” phase has been fixed since last weekend: From July 17, 2021, packages that now want to be included in the upcoming version of the Linux distribution require explicit approval (“manual unblock”) by the Debian release team. The full freeze is followed by the publication – and there is now a date for which the developers are aiming for July 31, 2021 as well.

          The Debian developers have July 17th rolled into one Post on the announcement mailing list debian-devel-announce announced. The appointment was also included in the Bullseye Freeze Timeline and Policy recorded, which depicts the total of four freeze phases. Last week, the team agreed on July 31, the cautiously targeted release date: A Mailing list post by developer Paul Gevers describes the date as a tentative release date, after possible dates in August had also been discussed.

        • Raphaël Hertzog: Submit your ideas for Debian and +1 those that you find important

          A while ago, I got a request from Kentaro Hayashi on the project I use to manage funding requests addressed to Freexian. He was keen to see some improvements on the way reimbursement requests are handled in Debian. In my opinion, the idea is certainly good but he’s not part of the treasurer team and was not willing to implement the project either, so it was not really ready to be submitted to us.

          To be able to fund a useful project, we need either someone that is willing to do the work and try to push it further in Debian, or we need a Debian team interested in the result of the project (and in that case, we can try to find someone willing to implement the project). In this case, it’s a bit sad that the treasurer team didn’t comment at all… but in general, what should we do with those suggestions ?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Two-factor authentication coming to Ubuntu One [Ed: The brand Ubuntu One is back... just to confuse people]

          Two factor authentication (2FA) increases your account security further than just using a username and password. In addition to a password (the first factor), you need another factor to access your account. A great example to demonstrate this is when you withdraw money from an ATM. To access your bank account you need both your physical bank card and to know your PIN number. These are the two factors you need to withdraw money = 2 factor authentication!

          Common ways to provide this extra level of security are a specific application on your phone or computer, a physical security key/USB (Yubikey, for example), or a smart card. By using more than one of these factors, you can greatly increase the security of your account or system.

          [...]

          After many years in beta, we have created a comprehensive code recovery experience. Following this, we are happy to announce that we will be implementing 2FA for all Ubuntu One accounts. This change is coming in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for instructions on how to enable 2FA for your account. With a reliable backup mode of authentication, lockouts should be a thing of the past.

        • 5 awesome backup services that support FTP, Rsync and SCP

          Some weeks ago I wrote about backing up your important files on Ubuntu to Google Drive. It’s a trivial process that will save your hide on the day disaster strikes. You lose your laptop unexpectedly for example or you fall prey to a ransomware gang as has become trendy these days. But what if for some reason you cannot use Google Drive? What should you do?

          I found myself in such a situation recently. While in the process of trying to add a new tool to my webhost, I later discovered the tool was not meant for sites in Zimbabwe and wanted it removed from my hosting platform. I wrote an email to the web hosts support with this request and the person who answered the ticket was a French guy. English is not his first language and he thought I wanted out of their service. He wanted to delete everything. I mean everything including the backups they had of my sites.

        • Design and Web team summary – 4 June 2021

          The web team at Canonical run two-week iterations building and maintaining all of Canonical websites and product web interfaces. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

          Meet the team

          My name is Beth Collins and I’m a Web Engineer in the Web squad. We work on maintaining Canonical’s sites and also some web based projects. I started at Canonical in September 2020, since then it’s been a steep learning curve (in a good way) – with some exciting projects to get my teeth stuck into.

          I actually studied dentistry at university, and worked in the field for a couple of years before I realised it wasn’t for me (not your usual career change – I know). But it’s surprising how many similarities there are, problem solving is problem solving whether it’s teeth or code!

          When I’m not working I love running, dancing to old school disco music, going to festivals, going climbing and the occasional cold water wild swim (dip). In the past 5 years I’ve travelled and lived in many places all over the world, including Melbourne, Hanoi, India, Barcelona, but have settled and now live in a small town on the border of Wales called Oswestry.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • The Mozilla Blog: What is the difference between the internet, browsers, search engines and websites?

            Real talk: this web stuff can get confusing. And it’s really important that we all understand how it works, so we can be as informed and empowered as possible. Let’s start by breaking down the differences between the internet, browsers, search engines and websites. Lots of us get these four things confused with each other and use them interchangeably, though they are different. In this case, the old “information superhighway” analogy comes in handy.

            [...]

            The internet is the superhighway’s system of roads, bridges and tunnels. It is the technical network and infrastructure that connect all the computers and devices that are online together across the world. Being connected to the internet means devices, and whoever is using them, can communicate with each other and share information.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • CMS

        • Blogging with WordPress | WordPress 101

          Welcome back to WordPress 101 series. In this series, we’re learning the basics of WordPress. WordPress is used to create all types of websites such as eCommerce, Forums, Social networking sites, etc.

          But majorly WordPress is known for blogging. The majority of blogs on the Internet are hosted by WordPress.

      • FSF

        • GNU C Library: Change of copyright policy for glibc is under discussion
        • GNU Projects

          • Rewriting the GNU Coreutils in Rust

            As movement toward memory-safe languages, and Rust in particular, continues to grow, it is worth looking at one of the larger scale efforts to port C code that has existed for decades to Rust. The uutils project aims to rewrite all of the individual utilities included in the GNU Coreutils project in Rust. Originally created by Jordi Boggiano in 2013, the project aims to provide drop-in replacements for the Coreutils programs, adding the data-race protection and memory safety that Rust provides.

            Many readers will be familiar with the Coreutils project. It includes the basic file, process, and text manipulation programs that are expected to exist on every GNU-based operating system. The Coreutils project was created to consolidate three sets of tools that were previously offered separately, Fileutils, Textutils, and Shellutils, along with some other miscellaneous utilities. Many of the programs that are included in the project, such as rm, du, ls, and cat, have been around for multiple decades and, though other implementations exist, these utilities are not available for platforms like Windows in their original form.

            Collectively, the Coreutils programs are seen as low-hanging fruit where a working Rust-based version can be produced in a reasonable amount of time. The requirements for each utility are clear and many of the them are conceptually straightforward, although that’s not to suggest that the work is easy. While a lot of progress has been made to get uutils into a usable state, it will take some time for it to reach the stability and maturity of Coreutils.

            The use of Rust for this project will help to speed this process along since a huge swathe of possible memory errors and other undefined behavior is eliminated entirely. It also opens the door to the use of efficient, race-free multithreading which has the potential to speed up some of the programs under certain conditions. The uutils rewrite also provides an opportunity to not just reimplement Coreutils but to also enhance the functionality of some of the utilities to yield a better user experience, while maintaining compatibility with the GNU versions. For example, feature requests that have long been rejected in the Coreutils project, like adding a progress bar option for utilities like mv and cp, are currently being entertained in this Rust rewrite.

          • 2021-6: SUERF Policy Brief “How to issue a privacy-preserving central bank digital currency” published

            We are happy to announce the publication of our policy brief on “How to issue a privacy-preserving central bank digital currency” by The European Money and Finance Forum.

            Many central banks are currently investigating Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and possible designs. A recent survey conducted by the European Central Bank has found that both citizens and professionals consider privacy the most important feature of a CBDC. We show how a central bank could issue a CBDC that would be easily scalable and allow the preservation of a key feature of physical cash: transaction privacy. At the same time the proposed design would meet regulatory requirements and thus offer an appropriate balance between privacy and legal compliance.

          • gdbm @ Savannah: Version 1.20

            Version 1.20 is available for download.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • “Free Software and Open Science” marks the XVI International Congress of Scientific Research

          The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT) held the XVI International Congress of Scientific Research on “Free Software and Open Science”, an annual symposium to which this year national and international experts with vast experience were invited in the publication and dissemination of both topics.

          These are conceptually articulated in the open knowledge (open knowledge).

          The event was held on June 9, 10 and 11 under the direction of Dr. Manuel Madé, researcher professor and coordinator of management and scientific dissemination of the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC).

      • Programming/Development

        • Modelplace.AI is an app store for OpenCV compatible AI models

          OpenCV open-source computer vision library is used in a wide variety of projects and products, and last year, the community also launched the OpenCV AI Kit (OAK) Myriad X-based hardware solution for computer vision.

          However there’s a learning curve to use the library, especially in combination with artificial intelligence models, and it can be challenging and time-consuming to newcomers. So in order to broaden the reach of the solution, OpenCV has now introduced Modelplace.AI, an app store/marketplace for AI models working with the OpenCV library.

        • Perl/Raku

          • vrurg: A Long Promised Article About Roles

            A while ago I promised a couple of people an article about Raku roles. To be frank, it was a long time ago. The plan was to cover a number of other subjects needed to better understand a few concepts behind the role model implementation in Rakudo.

            Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of those perfect examples of the principle: “wanna make the God laugh? tell him your plans!” But promise is promise and a few days ago the WTF mood took me over, all actual tasks were pushed back, and my note-taking app was ready for a new draft.

        • Python

          • When and how to evaluate Python annotations

            Annotations in Python came late to the party; they were introduced in Python 3 as a way to attach information to functions describing their arguments and return values. While that mechanism had obvious applications for adding type information to Python functions, standardized interpretations for the annotations came later with type hints. But evaluating the annotations at function-definition time caused some difficulties, especially with respect to forward references to type names, so a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) was created to postpone their evaluation until they were needed. The PEP-described behavior was set to become the default in the upcoming Python 3.10 release, but that is not to be; the postponement of evaluation by default has itself been postponed in the hopes of unwinding things.

        • Rust

          • Supporting Miguel Ojeda’s Work on Rust in the Linux Kernel [Ed: Pushing more Microsoft-connected frameworks as requirements for compiling Linux]

            ISRG’s Prossimo project for memory safety aims to coordinate efforts to move the Internet’s critical software infrastructure to memory safe code. When we think about what code is most critical for today’s Internet, the Linux kernel is at the top of the list. Bringing memory safety to the Linux kernel is a big job, but the Rust for Linux project is making great progress. We’re pleased to announce that we started formally supporting this work in April 2021 by providing Miguel Ojeda with a contract to work on Rust for Linux and other security efforts full time for one year. This was made possible through financial support from Google. Prior to working with ISRG, Miguel was undertaking this work as a side-project. We are happy to do our part in supporting digital infrastructure by enabling him to work full-time on it.

            We’ve worked closely with Dan Lorenc, Software Engineer at Google to make this collaboration possible. “Google has found time after time that large efforts to eliminate entire classes of security issues are the best investments at scale. We understand work in something as widely used and critical as the Linux kernel takes time, but we’re thrilled to be able to help the ISRG support Miguel Ojeda’s work dedicated to improving the memory safety of the kernel for everyone,” Dan said.

          • Supporting Miguel Ojeda’s Work on Rust in the Linux Kernel (Prossimo blog)

            The Prossimo project has announced that it has contracted with Miguel Ojeda to work on Rust in the Linux kernel for the next year. Prossimo is a new name for the memory-safety projects being run by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), which is the organization behind the Let’s Encrypt certificate authority (CA) project. Google provided the funds to enable Ojeda to work full-time on the project starting back in April.

          • Google-backed Linux project could make Android, Chrome OS harder to hack

            Google said Thursday it’s funding a project to increase Linux security by writing parts of the operating system’s core in the Rust programming language, a modernization effort that could bolster the security of the internet and smartphones.

            If the project succeeds, it’ll be possible to add new elements written in Rust into the heart of Linux, called the kernel. Such a change would mark a major technological and cultural shift for an open-source software project that’s become foundational to Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems as well as vast swaths of the internet.

          • Google Backs Linux Project To Make Android, Chrome OS Harder To Hack
          • Google Wants To See Rust Code In The Linux Kernel, Contracts The Main Developer

            Google wants to see Rust programming language support within the Linux kernel so much so that they have contracted the lead developer working on “Rust for Linux” as the work aims to get mainlined.

            Google is going public today with their formal support for Rust in the Linux kernel to enhance memory safety and that they have contracted developer Miguel Ojeda to further his work on Rust for the Linux kernel and related security efforts. This contract is going through at least the next year.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • ZFS fans, rejoice—RAIDz expansion will be a thing very soon

        OpenZFS founding developer Matthew Ahrens opened a PR for one of the most sought-after features in ZFS history—RAIDz expansion—last week. The new feature allows a ZFS user to expand the size of a single RAIDz vdev. For example, you can use the new feature to turn a three-disk RAIDz1 into a four, five, or six RAIDz1.

        FURTHER READING
        ZFS 101—Understanding ZFS storage and performance
        OpenZFS is a complex filesystem, and things are necessarily going to get a bit chewy explaining how the feature works. So if you’re a ZFS newbie, you may want to refer back to our comprehensive ZFS 101 introduction.

      • Explainer: What is an API? | TechSpot

        Direct3D. OpenAL. Winsock. You’ve probably heard of these, you might have even used them before, but one thing is certain: everyone who’s ever used a computer will have run a piece of software that’s made good use of them.

        We’re talking about APIs — the golden fleece to programmers around the world. Join us as we explain just what an API is, and take a quick look at where and how they get used.

      • W3C Promotes Web Audio API To Official Standard

        The W3C has promoted the Web Audio API to now being an official standard as a JavaScript API for creating and manipulating audio content directly within web browsers.

        The W3C sums up the Web Audio API as “a JavaScript API for creating, shaping, and manipulating sounds directly in a Web browser. It is already widely deployed for the creation of music and sound effects on Web pages, for the creation of online musical instruments, for Web games, and for collaborative artworks such as sound installations.”

        The Web Audio API is focused on creation and manipulation of audio rather than just audio playback. The Web Audio API was also engineered to support collaborative, multi-user environments.

  • Leftovers

    • Episode 35, screenshot before release

      Tomorrow will be the release of Pepper&Carrot episode 35! 🥳 I’m currently working on the final details of this big episode. Here is a sneak peek into page 1.

    • Science

      • Your spacesuit ran into a problem and needs to restart

        There are two things a spacewalker doesn’t want to hear: “Can you turn it off and turn it on again?” and “What’s that hissing sound?”

        The IT solution of the ancients reached orbit yesterday as one of a pair of astronauts tasked with fitting a new solar array to the International Space Station (ISS) had to make his way back to the airlock in order to restart his spacesuit.

        NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough was not in any great danger during what the US space agency delicately called an “issue” with his spacesuit’s display and control module (designed to provide a spacewalker with information on the status of the suit). Controllers also noted a spike in the pressure reading for his sublimator (used to keep things cool) and so sent the astronaut back to the airlock to perform a restart.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • You had one job: Akamai’s Prolexic Denial-of-Service protection system fingered after users in Australia denied, er, services

        A wide range of internet-connected services in Australia, including banking systems, are experiencing an outage – and it looks like a hiccup at Akamai was at the heart of the problem.

        Reports of issues with news sites, gaming services, and – more critically – banking systems began to spread on Australian social media early Thursday afternoon local time. Uptime-tracking service Downdetector concurred, showing a massive spike in issues at Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Bankwest, St.George Bank, Bank Australia, Bank of Melbourne, and others.

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft loves Linux so much that packages.microsoft.com has fallen and can’t get up

          Microsoft demonstrated its deep and meaningful affection for all things penguin overnight by borking packages.microsoft.com and leaving some Linux fans bereft of the company’s wares.

          For some of the hardcore, an absence of Microsoft software on their fiercely open-source setups might not be such a bad thing. For others, however, getting a 404 from an apt-get is a major workflow blocker.

          The issue looks, at first glance, to be related to the Ubuntu paths as users struggled with the likes of Microsoft’s OpenJDK and its flagship .NET platform.

          ODBC packages were also borked, as well as the package link for Visual Studio Code and even poor old Microsoft Edge.

          Microsoft has yet to respond to our request for more information, although a software engineer at the Windows behemoth, Rahul Bhandari, posted on GitHub: “Our infra team is still working to resolve this issue. They ran into some space issues but this issue should be resolved quickly. Unfortunately, I do not have an ETA yet.”

        • Microsoft’s Linux repositories were down for 18+ hours | Ars Technica

          Yesterday, packages.microsoft.com—the repository from which Microsoft serves software installers for Linux distributions including CentOS, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and more—went down hard, and it stayed down for around 18 hours. The outage impacted users trying to install .NET Core, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft SQL Server for Linux (yes, that’s a thing) and more—as well as Azure’s own devops pipelines.

          We first became aware of the problem Wednesday evening when we saw 404 errors in the output of apt update on an Ubuntu workstation with Microsoft Teams installed. The outage is somewhat better-documented at this .NET Core issue report on Github, with many users from all around the world sharing their experiences and theories.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (gnupnp and postgresql), Fedora (dino, microcode_ctl, and xen), Mageia (apache, gsoap, libgd, openssh, perl-Image-ExifTool, python-bleach, and qt4 and qtsvg5), openSUSE (chromium, containerd, docker, runc, djvulibre, htmldoc, kernel, libjpeg-turbo, libopenmpt, libxml2, spice, squid, and ucode-intel), Red Hat (dhcp and glib2), SUSE (apache2, inn, java-1_8_0-openjdk, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (nettle).

          • UChecker Linux Security Tool Released

            UChecker is part of KernelCare, a live patching solution for Linux kernels, which now rolls up under the company’s TuxCare offerings. TuxCare, which is specifically targeted for enterprises, puts the CloudLinux products KernelCare, Extended Lifecycle Support, and Linux Support Services all under one roof.

          • Open source UChecker tool detects vulnerable libraries on Linux servers

            CloudLinux announced UChecker, a free open source tool that scans Linux servers for vulnerable libraries that are outdated and being used by other applications. This provides detailed actionable information regarding which application is using which vulnerable library and needs to be updated, which helps improve the security awareness patching process.

          • How To Protect Your Computer From Viruses, Hackers, And Surveillance

            Is your computer safe? How can you protect your operating system? Should you cover your laptop camera?

            In this article, we teach you how to secure your device, whether you are a Windows user or a Mac user. Or you run GNU/Linux on your system.

            An operating system is an interface between software and hardware. It performs various tasks such as file management, process management and memory management.

          • IoT Supply Chain Bug Hits Millions of Cameras
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Papa don’t breach: UK data watchdog fines that other pizza place £10,000 over unsolicited marketing blitz

              Pizza takeaway and delivery outfit Papa John’s has been fined £10,000 by the UK’s data watchdog for sending marketing fluff to punters without their say-so.

              Following a year-long investigation, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that the company had sent 168,022 “nuisance marketing messages to its customers without the valid consent required by law.”

              One of the unnamed complainants said they had “never [given their] consent for marketing text messages” resulting in “distress.”

              Another said they had received almost 100 messages in what was described as the “textbook definition of harassment.”

            • Amazon Sidewalk: Open Your Wi-Fi To The Public
    • Finance

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Amazon Blames Social Media for Spreading Fake Reviews

        If you’re a regular customer of Amazon, you’re fully aware of the fake reviews. They are sometimes obviously fake. After removing its third recent major company from its online storefront, Amazon is laying the blame for the fake reviews at the feet of social media

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • BT sues supplier for £72m over exchange gear that allegedly caused wave of ADSL outages • The Register

        BT is suing a supplier for £72m after it delivered nearly 100,000 defective landline connection blocks that caused ADSL broadband outages, London’s High Court has heard.

        Legal filings reveal that Tii Technologies is said to have supplied 95,000 faulty jack test (JT) blocks to BT over a period spanning 2006-2016. The one-time state monopoly claims these faulty blocks led to a spate of ADSL outages in the mid-2010s that mainly affected Sky Broadband’s customers – and cost BT more than £40m in engineer callouts to trace the problem’s cause.

      • Complicated Changes Confuse Concerned Citizens

        I tossed that one-liner out there in an interview earlier today. It shows that I’ve been following the news a wee bit. There’s been more going on that directly impacts my situation than I like.

        Previously I have mentioned that I participate in Ashtabula County’s broadband task force. That’s an effort by the county government to try to improve economic development by improving part of our local infrastructure. It has been mentined by local public radio stations looking at how we have problems with broadband in my local area as recently as March of this year.

        That is why a report from Ars Technica by Jon Brodkin might have been confusing to some folks out there that saw it today. If anything I am still baffled by the situation especially when I learned of it on Wednesday from local media sources. Mr. Brodkin reported that the state legislature is proposing to outlaw municipal broadband in Ohio while also prohibiting the continued operation of municipal broadband efforts like FairlawnGig that already exist. Ohio News Connection/Public News Service also talks about the situation a bit.

        Due to the offices of my local state representative and local state senator not being very responsive to any contacts I have not reached out to them. They’re both first-term backbenchers. Nobody in the statehouse press corps has been able to track down who sponsored this particular provision in the omnibus budget bill required to be passed by June 30th to cover the biennium.

      • Xen IRC channels have moved

        Due to circumstances, all Xen subprojects have now moved their IRC channels off of Freenode.

        The following channels have been moved to OFTC: #xendevel, #xen, #xeninfra #xcp-ng, #xcp-ng-dev. #mirage has moved to Libera Chat.

    • Monopolies

      • FTC approves $61.7m settlement with Amazon for pocketing driver tips • The Register

        The US Federal Trade Commission on Friday announced the approval a consent order against Amazon that requires the company to pay $61.7m to resolve charges that for two and a half years it took tips intended for Amazon Flex drivers and concealed the diversion of funds.

        The deal was proposed in February but required sign-off from the US trade watchdog. It arises from FTC charges that Amazon misrepresented both to Amazon Flex drivers and to the public what the company would pay for delivery work.

      • Patents

        • How Patent Extensions Keep Some Drug Costs High

          PRITI KRISHTEL’S first case as a legal aid lawyer in India was as tragic as they come. One day in 2004, she recalls a couple walking into her office in Bengaluru with their three children. Unable to afford life-saving medicine to keep their HIV infections in check, the parents were dying of AIDS. With no other options, they wanted Krishtel to draw up guardianship transfer papers: The rambunctious siblings were to be sent to an orphanage before their parents died.

          Even though drugs that could save the parents’ lives were available, the cost at the time was out of reach for the couple, who were living in poverty. Krishtel and the collective of lawyers she was working with at the time went on to handle many similar cases. By 2007, she came up with a strategy to slash the cost of HIV drugs in India: On behalf of patients’ rights groups, lawyers with the nonprofit Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK) she had cofounded would challenge specific patent applications on brand-name drugs, opening opportunities for generic manufacturers. Through a combination of patent expirations and legal challenges, price competition in India drove down the cost of the most common HIV therapy by more than 80 percent between 2003 and 2008.

        • European Commission cheated Unitary Patent’s Impact Assessment to hide its high costs for SMEs

          FFII has received a testimony that the European Commission has recycled an old Impact Assessment (IA) of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), in order to hide the controversial self-financed aspect of the Court, which is why the Court is too expensive for SMEs. Countries are ratifying this dangerous treaty without any real Impact Assessment of the new Court system which will exclude most SMEs with its super high costs. The Impact Assessment was recycled from old treaty project of 2009, the UPLS, with lots of changes in the meantime, similar to what happened recently with the recycling of the Impact Assessment of the Mercosur treaty.

          [...]

          Around early 2012, after some requests to redo the impact assessment by the Scrutiny committee of the British parliament, the representative of the European Commission Margot Frohlinger apparently refused to procure an updated one, according to a testimony we received she did not want to “redo the impact assessment because it would attract critics”. After taking this decision at the European Commission, she left to continue her career at the European Patent Office (EPO), the other self-financed administration that will grant the Unitary Patent.

          A self-financed patent court is controversial, because the cost is passed on to companies that litigate in front of the court, and no courts in Europe have a self-financed objective (Art36.3 UPCA “the objective of a self-financing Court”), as courts are not companies and should not be driven by financial targets to guarantee the integrity of the justice system. If courts are driven by profit, judges will tend to apply “patent maximalism” just to guarantee their salary.

        • Software Patents

          • EPO approach to examining computer implemented inventions [Ed: Heli Pihlajamaa (known inside EPO as “Ms Pyjamas”) is promoting illegal software patents]

            On Tuesday 25 May 2021, Heli Pihlajamaa, director of patent law at the European Patent Office, gave a presentation to CIPA’s computer technology committee on the Patentability of computer-implemented inventions after the Enlarged Board of Appeal’s decision in G 1/19.

            G 1/19 relates to the assessment of inventive step in relation to computer-implemented simulations and considered whether to have a technical effect, a simulation must have a direct link to physical reality going beyond its implementation on a computer.

            In the presentation, Pihlajamaa discussed how the decision of G 1/19 emphasised that the approach in T 641/00 applies to all computer implemented inventions including simulations. In T 641/00 it was decided that while a claim can have a mix of technical and non-technical features, novelty and inventive step can only be based on the technical features. In T 641/00 it was also stated that when assessing inventive step, the claim should solve a technical problem which the skilled person in the particular technical field might be asked to solve.

      • Trademarks

        • European Intellectual Property Office Announces That Its Official ERegister Is Now Live [Ed: It’s a trademark office, not “Intellectual Property Office”, and it is profoundly corrupt]

          One year after the launch of its beta version, the first official eRegister is now live. eRegister allows access to historical records of EU trade marks and registered Community designs and allows users to see what information has been changed, when it was changed and why it was changed.

          [...]

          In addition, the record of any given IP right, including its history, can be downloaded free of charge as a certified copy. Records downloaded from eRegister are deemed to be authentic extracts from the EUTM and RCD Registers, and can be verified online.

          eRegister can be accessed via the EUIPO’s search tool eSearch plus. Users will first need to search for a particular trade mark or design and then click on the eRegister button located towards the top right-hand corner of their screens.

      • Copyrights

        • Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after ‘huge’ song rights request • The Register

          Grouchy former Pink Floyd bassist/vocalist Roger Waters launched an expletive-laden attack on human-impersonating Facebook CEObot Mark Zuckerberg after receiving a request from Instagram to use one of his songs in a promotional film.

          Speaking at an event in New York to advocate for the release of Julian Assange, Waters held up a printed piece of paper he said he received “on the internet this morning”, which included a request to use the Pink Floyd song ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)’ in exchange for what Waters described as “a huge, huge amount of money.”

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  1. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  3. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  4. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  5. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  6. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  7. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  8. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  9. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  10. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  11. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  12. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  14. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  15. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  16. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  17. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  18. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  19. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  20. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  21. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  22. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  23. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  24. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  25. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  26. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  27. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  28. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  29. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  30. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell


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