The Tragedy of Freenode

Posted in Site News at 11:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freenode shrinking
Freenode is still shrinking (soon going below 20,000 online users)

Summary: IRC.com/Freenode said an influx of “millions” of users was impending, but it doesn’t look like it; judging by how poorly the network has been run, it will be hard to undo the damage

EARLIER this year Freenode reached almost 92,000 simultaneous online users (according to this chart; almost 100,000 is the all-time high) but after the tragic catastrophe of mismanagement and mishandling of a crisis Freenode is left with barely 22,000. So in less than 6 months they managed to lose about three quarters of all their users.

We previously mentioned what an enormous amount of our time was lost due to this year’s IRC turbulence (maybe 50+ hours in total) and that turbulence isn’t even over. At the moment I’m unable to access Freenode from any of my machines or IRC clients. It says I’m banned (Z-lined) for too many access attempts; this wouldn’t be the first such bouncer ‘false positive’ as it keeps happening once in several weeks. And to overcome this it can take some effort. It was never happening before — never before the takeover and flippant software change.

“Our self-hosted network isn’t invulnerable to downtime, so we still keep Freenode around.”We have, by now, moved all our operational reliance over to our self-hosted network. That includes bots and logging. We weren’t in a rush to do this until Freenode kept failing again and again. It’s just simply not reliable anymore. Our self-hosted network isn’t invulnerable to downtime, so we still keep Freenode around. The community lives on and is as active as ever; bridges between the networks enable slow transition and duality. Co-existence for the sake of legacy and redundancy. It’s not an endorsement.

We said several times last month that we’d refrain from bringing up the subject again until some time in July. Well, with one single week remaining for this month (and IRC wars mostly a thing of the past by now) it seems safe to post frank thoughts on the matter without inflaming hostilities.

“There was a major breach of trust along the way.”We did our best to defuse tensions, hoping to avoid or prevent major IRC splits. This required better understanding of the situation, mostly by communication. We never received the apology we were expecting (and probably deserved, too). There was a growing progression in a ‘cull’ of online communities which have long relied on and trusted Freenode.

There was a major breach of trust along the way. And it led to regrets about the benefit of the doubt we gave ‘LeeNode’ in the early stages (back in May). The more oppressive they became, the more of a reputational liability they became to us too (for trying to convince people Freenode was still safe).

Today, from a purely technical perspective (no matter one’s views on politics, free speech etc.) Freenode isn’t a good network to be on. I leave below a portion of what I’ve been getting for nearly half an hour on 4 laptops.

z-lines in freenode

Links 23/7/2021: Firewalld 1.0, Librem 5 File Transfer, Stockfish GPL Enforcement

Posted in News Roundup at 8:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Podcast #638 – Steam Deck Announcement – Amazon MMO Bricking GPUs? – Gaming on Linux and MORE!

        An Amazon MMO game might be contributing to high end GPU failures, the Steam Deck is on deck tonight and it looks pretty good all around. Linux and ARM seem like they will get Nvidia RTX and DLSS soon. Will GLOFLO end up with Intel or not? Patch Tuesday for all (well, Windows and Linux anyway). Plus more! Enjoy.

        Thank you to our existing Patreon members!
        This show cannot go on without your continued support, please consider helping our efforts. It most definitely helps keep us all going and the bills paid. Thanks!

      • Steam Deck Proof Of Linux Rise And Windows Decline

        Recently, Valve announced their upcoming handheld gaming device, the Steam Deck, which is really a portable PC that will run Arch Linux. You can even plug in a monitor to the Steam Deck. Many see the Steam Deck as a threat to Nintendo, but I see the Steam Deck as a serious threat to Windows 11 adoption.

      • Timetrace: Track Your Work Day With Ease

        With so many people still working it home it can be important to track your working day so today we’re looking at timetrace which aims to make this incredibly simple.

      • UYPP: Cameron Nagle’s Starting Small Podcast

        The System76 Unleash Your Potential Program selected six winners this year to receive a System76 computer to help them pursue their next project. This week we spoke with UYPP winner Cameron Nagle about the Starting Small Podcast, in which he hosts, records, and edits interviews with CEOs from all walks of life.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Plumbers Conference: Open Printing Microconference Accepted into 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference

        We are pleased to announce that the Open Printing Microconference has been accepted into the 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference. Over the years OpenPrinting has been actively working on improving and modernizing the way we print in Linux. We have been working on multiple areas of printing and scanning. Especially driverless print and scan technologies have helped the world do away with a lot of hassles involved in deciding on the correct driver to use and to install the same. Users can now just plug in their printer and do what they need.

        Based on the discussions that we had last year, we have been able to achieve the following:

        – Significant progress in deciding on the structure of PAPPL – framework/library for developing Printer Applications as a replacement of Printer Drivers.

      • Linux kernel bug ‘Sequoia’ allows attackers to gain root-level privileges

        Red Hat has released a patch for a local privilege escalation (LPE) vulnerability that impacts all Linux kernel versions released since 2014 and could allow unprivileged attackers to gain root-level privileges on vulnerable devices.

      • Patch Roundup: Windows, Linux, Oracle, Juniper

        A patch is forthcoming for a privilege escalation vulnerability in the Windows operating system that can allow hackers to gain a foothold. Meanwhile, Linux OS users also need to adopt system upgrades to fix a flaw, and Oracle and Juniper have announced product patches.

      • 8 must-have tools for developers on Linux

        Many developers use Linux as their platform. This choice is becoming even more widespread as enterprises continue to grow dependent on Linux and open-source software, tools, frameworks, and languages.

        Developers new to the Linux platform may not know what is needed to get started. You may even think that gathering all the necessary tools is an exercise in futility. It’s not. Cobbling together the tools you need is easier than you think.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Adam Jackson: threads and libxcb: problems now we have two

          If you want to write an X application, you need to use some library that speaks the X11 protocol. For a long time this meant libX11, often called xlib, which – like most things about X – is a fantastic bit of engineering that is very much a product of its time with some confusing baroque bits. Overall it does a very nice job of hiding the icky details of the protocol from the application developer.

          One of the details it hides has to do with how resource IDs are allocated in X. A resource ID (an XID, in the jargon) is a 32 29-bit integer that names a resource – window, colormap, what have you. Those 29 bits are split up netmask/hostmask style, where the top 8 or so uniquely identify the client, and the rest identify the resource belonging to that client. When you create a window in X, what you really tell the server is “I want a window that’s initially this size, this background color (etc.) and from now on when I say (my client id + 17) I mean that window.” This is great for performance because it means resource allocation is assumed to succeed and you don’t have to wait for a reply from the server.

          Key to all this is that in xlib the XID is the return value from the call that issues the resource creation request. Internally the request gets queued into the protocol’s write buffer, but the client can march ahead and issue the next few commands as if creation had succeeded – because it probably did, and if it didn’t you’re probably going to crash anyway.

    • Applications

      • Firewalld 1.0 Released With Big Improvements

        Firewalld was started by Red Hat a decade ago for managing Linux firewall functionality with Netfilter. Ten and a half years after the first release, Firewalld 1.0 was released this afternoon.

        Firewalld 1.0 comes with breaking changes including dropping of Python 2 support, other dependency changes, support for intra-zone forwarding by default, NAT rules being moved to iNet family, the default target now being similar to reject, deprecating the older IPTables back-end, and more.

      • MinIO liberates your storage from rebalancing

        MinIO posted a blog entry a few days ago where the bragged about adding capacity without a need to re-balance.

      • What are the Best Linux Built-in Tools for Backup and Recovery? – Online Free Press release news distribution – TopWireNews.com

        Note that all Linux distros are not equivalent. Accordingly, a portion of these tools probably won’t be incorporated with your Linux establishment as a matter of course. A significant number of them are highlighted in the absolute most well-known distros, nonetheless, including ALT Linux, Debian, Fedora, Red Hat, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Ubuntu, and that’s just the beginning. Additionally, the vast majority of these tools can be utilized in conjunction with other outsider software arrangements, including various present-day Linux record recovery and backup tools.

      • parallel @ Savannah: GNU Parallel 20210722 (‘Blue Unity’) released

        GNU Parallel 20210722 (‘Blue Unity’) has been released. It is available for download at: lbry://@GnuParallel:4
        Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons: http://www.elsotanillo.net/wp-content/uploads/GnuParallel_JuanSierraPons.mp4
        It does not have to be as detailed as Juan’s. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

      • Announcing Istio 1.9.7

        This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.9.6 and Istio 1.9.7.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Install the latest version of the Docker engine to avoid vulnerabilities

        Ubuntu is a great Linux for numerous purposes. For the desktop, for servers, for production, for operations, for development and for deploying Docker containers. But there’s one thing you must know about Ubuntu. Although it’s a rock-solid, incredibly user-friendly operating system, the available software isn’t always the latest-greatest. You might even find, in some instances, that software is a few releases behind. Why? Because the developers want to ensure your experience is always the best it can be.

      • Vim setup 2021

        Feeling inspired by watching togglebit’s Rust/Vim setup and having some spare time due to my summer vacation I started re-investigating my Vim setup. For my setup I was looking for the following features/areas to improve:

      • How to View and Analyze Logs on Linux With journalctl

        Log messages are important for auditing and maintaining a healthy Linux system. Every Linux computer stores log messages for different services or jobs. This guide will explore how to read and analyze log messages using journalctl, a command-line tool for reading log messages written by journald.

      • How to install Jetbrains Rider 2021 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Jetbrains Rider 2021 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install Sublime Text on Linux Lite 5.4

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Sublime Text on Linux Lite 5.4.

      • Install FreeRadius & web GUI daloRADIUS on Ubuntu 20.04 server -

        Learn the commands to install and configure daloRADIUS a GUI web interface for FreeRADIUS on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 LTS server.

        FreeRADIUS server is an open-source product and widely used RADIUS server in the world and, in addition to EAP, also supports the RADIUS protocol stands for “Remote Authentication DIAL In User Service”. FreeRADIUS implementation provides users a central authentication system for servers and desktops.

    • Games

      • A chat with Joshua Strobl of the Solus Linux distribution

        With Solus seeming to go from strength to strength along with a recent big release, it was time to sit down and have a chat with one of the team about the Linux distribution.

      • Godot Showcase – The Garden Path developer talks about his experience

        Welcome to another developer interview following the introduction of the Godot Showcase page! This week, we are interviewing Louis Durrant about his game The Garden Path.

      • Steam Audio SDK 4.0 Released With Big Improvements – Phoronix

        Valve has just released Steam Audio SDK 4.0 as a big feature update to this cross-platform audio SDK that can work with Unity, Unreal Engine, and other game engines

        Steam Audio remains focused on providing immersive sound for games with a particular emphasis on VR for this 3D sound API. With Steam Audio SDK 4.0 there is pathing support so Steam Audio can simulate and bake propagation paths from moving sources to moving listeners, such as for modeling how sound travels through corridors and other environments. Steam Audio also adds hybrid reverb support for realistic handling of large reverbant spaces and other environments.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • Arch Family

        • Steam Big Picture will look like Steam Deck…eventually

          Nevertheless, Valve is clearly back on the development train with the Steam Deck coming down the tracks. The last public release of SteamOS was back in 2019 (if you can even believe it was kept alive that long) and SteamOS 3.0 will accompany the Steam Deck with this new UI and a whole new Arch Linux base underneath.

        • What Steam Deck Means for Chromebooks and Borealis

          Today, Valve made a huge announcement. The company announced Steam Deck, a portable game console powered by Linux and a Windows game compatibility program called Proton. Imagine a Nintendo Switch that can play over 50,000 PC games from the popular Steam library. That is the Steam Deck in a nutshell. It features an AMD processor with integrated graphics that have “enough performance to run the latest AAA games”, 16 GB RAM, up to 512 GB NVMe SSD storage, a microSD card slot for storage expansion, and a unique controller layout including two mouse touchpads. There’s a lot in this small little package! Prices start at $US 399.00 and it’ll be shipping this December.

        • Steam Deck Has M.2 Slot, Valve Inviting Partners

          As soon as the Steam Deck was announced last week, we emailed Valve’s press team to try and get additional information on the specifications and internals. That email went unanswered. Of course, the correct way to get information out of Valve, which is an unapproachable behemoth, is to just email CEO Gabe Newell himself.

          A user emailed Gabe Newell to ask whether M.2 slots would be on the Steam Deck. The answer was a simple “yes.” Valve later updated its Steam Deck page to clarify this information:

          “All models use socketed 2230 M.2 modules (not intended for end-user replacement).”

          The “not intended” part is just the usual for product disassembly: You’ll have to take things apart, so the company stops recommending that. It does sound like we’ll be able to drop-in our own 2230 drives, though, so that’ll help buyers of the 64GB eMMC models. We’ll document all of this in our tear-down once we get the device. We’re on the backorder list for January, but if you get yours in December, let us know and we’ll either buy it off of you plus some extra or ask to borrow it.

          Confusingly, this contradicts the email Valve conducted with IGN previously — although it’s not the first error from Valve in that interview. IGN asked if the storage is upgradeable, and Valve said “the internal storage is not,” then plugged the SD card slot. Maybe they meant it is “not*” with an asterisk for “it is, but you shouldn’t do it.”

          Separately, Newell has expressed interest in building-out the handheld Steam Decks as a wider ecosystem with partner involvement, like from Gigabyte, ASUS, or similar. Given that Steam itself isn’t that special — it’s just a retailer, and certainly other large retailers have died overnight with a market shift — and so Valve needs something unique to help cement its position. If only it got into game development, maybe one day it could make games and sell them on its own store. Just an idea.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • How to Upgrade PHP Version to PHP 8.0 on Ubuntu

          Upgrade PHP version to PHP 8.0 on Ubuntu. You can upgrade your current PHP version to the latest release PHP 8.0 on your Ubuntu.

          This upgrade is tested on virtual machine instance running Ubuntu 20.04 OS on Google Cloud Compute Engine. So the steps mentioned in this guide works on any cloud servers like AWS, DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr or any VPS or Dedicated servers running Ubuntu OS.

          Here is a brief guide to show you how to install and upgrade to PHP 8.0 on Ubuntu LTS with Apache and PHP8.0-fpm with Nginx.

        • Design and Web team summary – 16 July 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.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • It’s Linux – But On An ESP32

        GNU/Linux is an open-source marvel that has over the past three decades given us an almost infinitely versatile and powerful UNIX-like operating system. But even it has its limitations, particularly at the lower end of the hardware scale where less fully-featured processors often lack the prerequisites such as a memory management unit. Thus [JuiceRV]’s feat of booting a Linux kernel on an ESP32 microcontroller seems impossible, what’s happening?

        The ESP’s dual 32-bit Xtensa cores are no slouch in the processing power department, but without that MMU it’s not an obvious Linux candidate platform. The solution to this problem comes in the form of an emulated RISC-V virtual machine which provides just enough grunt for a Linux 5.0.0 kernel to boot.

      • Modules and dev kits expand upon Qualcomm QCS8250

        Thundercomm’s “TurboX C865 SOM” and dev kit and eInfochips’ “EIC-QCS8250-210” Mini-ITX run Android 10 on Qualcomm’s QCS8250, an IoT variant of the Snapdragon 865. We also look at the new QCS4290 and Wi-Fi 6E ready QCS6490 SoCs.

        Last week, we reported on Thundercomm’s TurboX CM2290 and C2290 SOMs, which run Android or Linux on Qualcomm’s quad -A53 QCS2290 and 4G-equipped QCM2290 IoT SoCs. Qualcomm announced the QCS2290 and QCM2290 last month along with several other embedded IoT SoCs intended to showcase Qualcomm’s WiFi 6 and/or 5G modems. Here we look at Thundercomm’s TurboX C865 SOM and dev kit and eInfochips’ EIC-QCS8250-210 board, which are built around the octa-core Qualcomm QCS8250, an embedded oriented variant of the Snapdragon 865. First, we will take a quick look at the QCS8250, as well as two other SoCs in Qualcomm’s IoT roll-out: the QCS4290/QCM4290 and QCS6490/QCM6490.


        The Android 10 driven board has a 12V/5A power supply and battery header. Accessories include an HD-ready, DSI-driven touchscreen, a camera sensor card, and daughter cards for separate HDMI input and output.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Librem 5 File Transfer

          Need to access your phone files, use a USB flash drive, USB cable, or transfer over WiFi.

          The post Librem 5 File Transfer appeared first on Purism.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What Is Open Source Software and What Does OSS Mean?

        There were multiple people who are credited with catapulting the concept of open source software to the crowds. Notably, Richard Stallman, an MIT student who strongly advocated for open source development, launched GNU in 1983.

        In a nutshell, GNU is a huge collection of free to use software that can be modified by anyone. Through the use of GNU, one of the most popular operating systems in the world, Linux, was born.

        Stallman was also the founder of the Free Software Movement (FSF). Naturally, the FSF became a social movement that promoted open collaboration among developers and also encouraged them to create free software under the GNU General Public License.

      • Cinema 4D vs Blender: The Differences in 2021
      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • This Week in Glean: Firefox Telemetry is to Glean as C++ is to Rust
          • This Week in Glean: Firefox Telemetry is to Glean as C++ is to Rust

            I had this goofy idea that, like Rust, the Glean SDKs (and Ecosystem) aim to bring safety and higher-level thought to their domain. This is in comparison to how, like C++, Firefox Telemetry is built out of flexible primitives that assume you very much know what you’re doing and cannot (will not?) provide any clues in its design as to how to do things properly.

            I have these goofy thoughts a lot. I’m a goofy guy. But the more I thought about it, the more the comparison seemed apt.

            In Glean wherever we can we intentionally forbid behaviour we cannot guarantee is safe (e.g. we forbid non-commutative operations in FOG IPC, we forbid decrementing counters). And in situations where we need to permit perhaps-unsafe data practices, we do it in tightly-scoped areas that are identified as unsafe (e.g. if a timing_distribution uses accumulate_raw_samples_nanos you know to look at its data with more skepticism).

          • Performance Sheriff Newsletter (June 2021)

            In June there were 119 alerts generated, resulting in 22 regression bugs being filed on average 3.7 days after the regressing change landed.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Stockfish Contributors Sue ChessBase for GPL Violations

            A legal reckoning is brewing in the world of open source chess engines. Stockfish, a GPL-licensed chess engine widely recognized as one of the strongest in the world, has filed a lawsuit against ChessBase. The German-based company makes and sells chess software that relies heavily on the Stockfish engine, maintains a prominent chess news site, and runs a chess server for online games.


            “This chess engine is a Stockfish derivative, with a few lines of code modification (engine name, authors list and a few parameters), and a new set of NNUE net weights considered proprietary,” current Stockfish maintainer Joost VandeVondele said. “ChessBase’s communication on Fat Fritz 2, claiming originality where there is none, has shocked our community. Furthermore, the engine Fat Fritz 2 fails to convince on independent rating lists, casting doubt on the usefulness of those modifications. Indeed, we feel that customers buying Fat Fritz 2 get very little added value for money. Claims to the contrary appear misleading.”

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Thinking About Glue

        In Glue: the Dark Matter of Software, Marcel Weiher asks why there’s so much code. Why is Microsoft Office 400 million lines of code? Why are we always running into the truth of Alan Kay’s statement that “Software seems ‘large’ and ‘complicated’ for what it does”?

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Newspaper headlines: ‘Free cheers’ and the ‘price of freedom’

        “Freedom – but at what price?” is how the Daily Express describes Boris Johnson’s plan to make people prove they have been double vaccinated against coronavirus before they can enter nightclubs in England.
        The Daily Mail calls it the “PM’s panic on the dancefloor” and says the proposal took club bosses completely by surprise, turning so-called “Freedom Day” into an “absolute shambles”.
        The Independent website adds that as recently as last week, the government had asked the hospitality sector to help it develop a voluntary scheme.
        The i says vaccine passports are also likely to be needed for entry into concerts and major sporting events in future.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • CISA warns of disguised malware on hacked Pulse Secure devices

            The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a new alert warning of 13 malware samples related to exploited Pulse Secure devices. The samples flew under the radar of antivirus detection products.

          • CISA warns of stealthy malware found on hacked Pulse Secure devices

            The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert today about more than a dozen malware samples found on exploited Pulse Secure devices that are largely undetected by antivirus products.

          • Encryption as a cybersecurity first principle.

            I’ve been with The Cyberwire now for well over a year. When we started this CSO Perspectives series of essays and podcasts, I wasn’t sure what it was going to be about. But four topics in, I decided that instead of covering random cybersecurity issues that happened to present themselves, I would get back to basics and organize around my favorite pet peeve topic: First Principles. After all, I had been writing and speaking about the idea for several years, but not in any consistent way.

          • China Accuses US Of Cyberattacks; Says It Had No Role In Microsoft Hack [Ed: NPR takes bribes from both Bill Gates and Microsoft (compromised news source that takes bribes from criminals in exchange for bias and reputation laundering) and then becomes racism booster]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ‘Hotel Rwanda’ activist’s daughter targeted by spyware: report

              The daughter of detained “Hotel Rwanda” hero and outspoken government critic Paul Rusesabagina lashed out Tuesday after a media probe found she had been spied on using the Israeli malware Pegasus.

              The NSO Group’s phone spyware was used by governments to monitor journalists, lawyers and politicians in a number of countries, according to an investigation by The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde and other outlets, based on a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers.

            • Checking for Pegasus [Ed: A lot of this can be avoided by no longer carrying around a mobile phone, which is maliciously spying on users irrespective of what runs on it]

              Whilst the possibility of being targeted cannot be disregarded, I had to check my iPhone if it is infected. Luckily, Amnesty International Security Lab, one of the organizations responsible for the expose, published their forensics tool on Github, along with the list of indicators that they have collected. The tool, Mobile Verification Toolkit, and the Pegasus STIX file, are open-source and free.

              Essentially, you need (1) Mobile Verification Toolkit (MVT), which runs best on Linux or MacOS, (2) a copy of your encrypted backup done either by using another tool you install on Linux, libimobiledevice, or from your MacOS, and of course, the (3) STIX file.

              I secured my iPhone backup first. Whilst doing the backup, I started installing the toolkit on a Raspberry Pi and downloading the STIX file. When the backup was done, I realized that all 61GB of it won’t fit the Raspberry Pi storage, so I shifted to the Ubuntu Linux laptop running 20.04 with the latest patches. For some reason, the toolkit’s dependencies (the libraries) were having some issues (which I found a bit weird), so I decided to build all of them directly from source. After doing a couple of “autogen.sh, make and make install”, the mvt was installed and functioning perfectly. Now I’m ready.

            • Macron was spied not with Pegasus but with UAE’s DarkMatter software

              The french president Emmanuel Macron he was not spied on by the software Pegasus nor by the Moroccan intelligence services, as reported this Thursday by several Spanish and international newspapers. To spy on Macron another software called DarkMatter, manufactured by a United Arab Emirates company, Edge Group, and purchased by the French DGSE (Directorate General for External Security), which has DarkMatter but not from Pegasus, owned by the Israeli NSO Group.

              The French DGSE has close ties with companies in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which host a large part of their servers in neighboring Qatar for security reasons and Islamic terrorism. The French opted in their day to buy DarkMatter, instead of his rival Pegasus.

            • Key Modi rival Rahul Gandhi among potential Indian targets of NSO client

              The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s most prominent political rival, the opposition figure Rahul Gandhi, was twice selected as a potential surveillance target in leaked phone number data, making him one of dozens of Indian politicians, journalists, activists and government critics whose numbers were identified as possible targets for the Israeli company’s government clients.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • In the ’80s, satellite comms showed promise – soon it’ll be a viable means to punt internet services at anyone anywhere • The Register

        In 1980, a thing called Usenet was established. It was a bulletin board based on Unix technology, which was becoming more and more popular at the time, and used UUCP – the Unix-to-Unix Copy Program – to transfer articles from system to system. But it was realised that Usenet traffic was highly asymmetric: for every kilobyte you uploaded there were probably several megabytes of inbound data from everyone else. Connectivity was either dial-up (measures in kilobits, not megabits, per second) or contemporary wide-area, fixed-link tech such as X.25 (tens of kbit/s at most). Simple answer: use satellite for the downstream service as the bandwidth was better… but nobody actually wanted it, so it never became a thing.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Mehler Achler and WSL merge to strengthen patent offering [Ed: "WSL" as an attack on society not just in the context of Microsoft]

          A clear focus on patent disputes unites the two patent attorney firms, WSL and Mehler Achler. This includes opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office and nullity actions at the Federal Patent Court. The team also work alongside litigators in infringement cases at civil courts. Now, their similarities have brought them together to create one entity.

          Together with Preu Bohlig, Mehler Achler advised filter manufacturer Brita in its dispute against Aqua Filters. The team also advises its clients, which include regional corporates such as Schott AG andinternational companies such as China National Petroleum, on filing proceedings and prosecution.

        • Top European patent prosecution firms of 2020 [Ed: Litigation firms that make chaos in Europe and support crime/corruption in the EPO (because the in-house Mafia enables them)]

          In 2020 Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Dehns, Marks and Clerk and Vossius and Partner were the numbers 1 to 5 of a list based on the number of issued B1 patents where these firms were listed as the address for service on the EPO register. Company inhouse departments are included in the chart; Siemens has the highest ranking with number 18.

          The list, which was compiled by European patent attorney Richard Gillespie of Inventorship.eu, confirms Munich is still at the centre of patent prosecution activities. Both Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle and Vossius and Partner have their roots and a strong presence in the city. London is runner up with six firms in the top ten: Dehns (3), Marks and Clerk (4), HGF (6), Mewburn Ellis (8), Carpmaels and Ransford (9) and D Young & Co (10) have their origin in the UK capital. Boehmert & Boehmert (7) has its roots in Berlin.

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 for IP Edge subsidiary, Invincible IP, prior art

            On July 21, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 9,635,134. The patent is owned by Invincible IP, LLC, an NPE and subsidiary of IP Edge. The ’134 patent generally relates to a method for managing resources in a cloud computing environment. It has been asserted against NetApp, DigitalOcean, Alibaba, Nutanix, and Citrix Systems.

Links 22/7/2021: Mesa 21.2 RC2 and Audacity Reverses Action

Posted in News Roundup at 1:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • QEMU 6.1 Is On The Way For The Open-Source Linux Virtualization Stack – Phoronix

        Released on Tuesday was QEMU 6.1.0-rc0 as the first test release working towards QEMU 6.1′s stable debut before the end of August.

        QEMU 6.1 is another sizable feature release building off QEMU 6.0 that released at the end of April. QEMU remains an important piece of the Linux open-source virtualization stack and is also used on other platforms.

      • Virtualization Software Comparison: Virtuozzo vs. OpenVZ

        Virtualization is the process of using a hypervisor (virtualization software) to more efficiently use computer hardware resources, by allocating these resources to virtual instances called virtual machines (VMs). A VM is a tightly isolated software container that consists of an independent operating system (OS) and application.

        You can run multiple VMs and (naturally) several OSs and applications on a single server. Hypervisors dynamically allocate resources to VMs as and when needed, thereby ensuring and promoting full utilization of computing resources. By virtue of virtualization, enterprises can better utilize hardware resources and be economical in the long run.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Networking Support For Intel’s Lunar Lake Coming With Linux 5.15

        Back in March I wrote about Intel open-source engineers already beginning Linux bring-up for “Lunar Lake” as a future client platform not due out until 2023 at least. That work began with enabling Lunar Lake within the existing e1000e network driver and that hardware enablment work will finally be mainlined this autumn with Linux 5.15.

        Lunar Lake is the expected successor to Meteor Lake, with Meteor Lake following next-gen Alder Lake. Intel’s Linux engineers have already volleyed most of the Alder Lake enablement code and getting that squared away while we have also seen some Meteor Lake Linux code. Now with their punctuality there is already the first bits for Lunar Lake open-source driver support.

      • Copyleft-next and the kernel

        he Linux kernel is, as a whole, licensed under the GPLv2, but various parts and pieces are licensed under other compatible licenses and/or dual-licensed. That picture was much murkier only a few years back, before the SPDX in the kernel project cleaned up the licensing information in most of the kernel source by specifying the licenses, by name rather than boilerplate text, directly in the files. A recent move to add yet another license into the mix is encountering some headwinds, but the license in question was already being used in a few kernel files, and has been for four years at this point.

        SPDX is more formally known as the Software Package Data Exchange; it is a Linux Foundation project that has created an “open standard for communicating software bill of material information, including provenance, license, security, and other related information”.

      • The conclusion of the 5.14 merge window

        The 5.14 merge window closed with the 5.14-rc1 release on July 11. By that time, some 12,981 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline repository; nearly 8,000 of those arrived after the first LWN 5.14 merge-window summary was written. This merge window has thus seen fewer commits than its predecessor, which saw 14,231 changesets before the 5.13-rc1 release. That said, there is still a lot of interesting work that has found its way into the kernel this time around.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMDVLK 2021.Q3.2 Released With New Extensions, Implicit External Sync For All GPUs

          AMDVLK 2021.Q3.2 is this new release and is headlined by the Vulkan extensions of VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state2 and VK_KHR_copy_commands2 now being supported.

          VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state2 was introduced with Vulkan 1.2.176 earlier this year and is an update to the extension introduced last year around providing additional dynamic state for reducing the amount of pipeline state objects being compiled and binded. The VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state2 has various clarifications and improvements over the original extended dynamic state handling extension. VK_KHR_copy_commands2 meanwhile provides extensible versions of the Vulkan buffer and image copy commands. This extension allows for using extensible structures for extension-specific information not allowed in the original copy commands extension.

        • mesa 21.2.0-rc2
          Hi list,
          Following our regularly weekly schedule, here is Mesa 21.2.0-rc2. This
          was a nice easy one with no real conflicts, and only one patch needed to
          make nominated patches work. We've got fixes going in all over the place
          here, with radv being the single biggest thing. All in all this shaped
          up really nicely.
        • Mesa 21.2-rc2 Released With An Initial Batch Of Fixes – Phoronix

          Mesa 21.2 continues stabilizing for a planned release in August while released overnight was Mesa 21.2-rc2 as the newest weekly release candidate.

          Mesa 21.2 branched last week with the new Intel Crocus Gallium3D driver in tow for Haswell and older, early work on Apple M1 graphics support, more mature Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan support, OpenGL ES 3.1 for Panfrost, NGG culling and other features for RADV, and a wide variety of other improvements especially to the Intel and Radeon open-source Vulkan drivers.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX / ASUS ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage On Linux

        With an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Zen 3 processor and Radeon RX 6800M graphics, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 laptop may be promising for those wanting high performance and graphics backed by AMD’s much enjoyed open-source Linux GPU driver stack. Plus this ASUS ROG Strix G15 (G513QY) is one of the first two “AMD Advantage” laptops. But when it comes to using it on Linux, it’s not without some struggles before being able to enjoy the compelling performance.

        The ASUS ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage laptop I’ve been testing so far the past week features the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, Radeon RX 6800M discrete graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 15.6-inch 1080p 300Hz display. This laptop commands the $1549~1650 USD price point at the moment and has seen broader US retail availability from Internet retailers in recent weeks.

    • Applications

      • Another misstep for Audacity

        While it has often been said that there is no such thing as bad publicity, the new owners of the Audacity audio-editor project may beg to differ. The project has only recently weathered the controversies around its acquisition by the Muse Group, proposed telemetry features, and imposition of a new license agreement on its contributors. Now, the posting of a new privacy policy has set off a new round of criticism, with some accusing the project of planning to ship spyware. The situation with Audacity is not remotely as bad as it has been portrayed, but it is a lesson on what can happen when a project loses the trust of its user community.
        On July 2, the Audacity web site acquired a new “desktop privacy notice” describing the privacy policies for the desktop application. Alert readers immediately noticed some things they didn’t like there; in particular, many eyebrows were raised at the statement that the company would collect “data necessary for law enforcement, litigation and authorities’ requests (if any)” as part of the “legitimate interest of WSM Group to defend its legal rights and interests”. What data might be deemed necessary was not defined. The fact that WSM Group, the listed data controller, is based in Russia did not help the situation. And a statement that anybody under the age of 13 should not use Audacity at all was seen as a violation of the GPL by some.

        A full-scale Internet red alert followed, with headlines that Audacity was becoming spyware and users should uninstall it immediately. A fork of the project was promptly launched, promising: “No telemetry, crash reports and other shenanigans like that!”. Alerts were sounded in various distributions, including Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, and others, suggesting that Audacity should be dropped or at least carefully reviewed. Audacity, it seemed, had gone fully over to the dark side and needed to be excised as soon as possible.

        It only took a few days for the project to issue a “clarification” to the new privacy policy, stating that “concerns are due largely to unclear phrasing” that would soon be updated. The data that is collected was enumerated; it is limited to the user’s IP address, operating-system version, and CPU type. The IP address is only kept for 24 hours. The company’s compliance with law enforcement is limited to what is actually required by law. The update also pointed out that this policy does not even come into effect until the upcoming 3.0.3 release; current releases perform no data collection at all.

      • Audacity Developers Apologize, Revise Controversial Privacy Policy

        20 days ago, FOSS Post was one of the first media outlets to publish about the new privacy policy for Audacity; a popular open source audio editor. In the old privacy policy, broad and unlimited legal contexts were introduced for data-collection, which unleashed a huge backlash from the community.

        Later on, angry users and developers went to create different forks for Audacity. The most famous one right now is Tenacity, which aims to be a privacy-focused alternative to Audacity.

        However, Audacity developers, just today, revised their privacy policy and removed the troublesome parts from it.

        Although a bit late (Like, very late) to the party, the developers say that they are “deeply sorry for the significant lapse in communication caused by the original privacy policy document“.

      • Syncing all the things

        Computing devices are wonderful; they surely must be, since so many of us have so many of them. The proliferation of computers leads directly to a familiar problem, though: the files we want are always on the wrong machine. One solution is synchronization services that keep a set of files up to date across a multitude of machines; a number of companies have created successful commercial offerings based on such services. Some of us, though, are stubbornly resistant to the idea of placing our data in the hands of corporations and their proprietary systems. For those of us who would rather stay in control of our data, systems like Syncthing offer a possible solution.

        The core idea behind synchronization systems is essentially the same for all of them: given a list of directories and a list of systems, ensure that those directories have the same contents on each system. If a file is added on one, it is copied out to the rest; modifications and deletions are (usually) propagated as well. The trouble is always in the details, though; from fiddly setup procedures to data corruption and security problems, there are a lot of ways in which synchronization can go wrong. So users have to put a lot of trust in these systems; open source code is an important step toward that goal, but it is also necessary to believe that the developers involved have thought carefully through the issues.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Change ‘Activities’, App Menu, Data & Time Position in Ubuntu 21.10 via Extension | UbuntuHandbook

        Want to change the position of top-bar items, e.g., Activities button, app menu, date and time, and system tray icons?

        A Top Bar Organizer extension now is available for Ubuntu 21.04 Gnome 40. With it, you can drag and drop to re-order top panel items as you prefer. For example, moving the Activities button or date & time clock menu to right corner.

      • [Solved] Flatpak Install Error: No Remote Ref Found

        So, I just installed Fedora. Installing my favorite applications was among the list of things to do after installing Fedora.

      • How To Install DBeaver on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install DBeaver on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, DBeaver is a client for database managers, which allows managing in a comfortable way the data and options of the database instance. DBeaver supports any database which has JDBC driver – MySQL/MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle, DB2 LUW, Google BigQuery, Exasol, SQL Server, Sybase/SAP ASE, SQLite, Firebird, H2, HSQLDB, Derby, Teradata, Vertica, Netezza, Informix, etc. If you need support for non-JDBC data sources such as WMI, MongoDB, Cassandra, Redis, then consider using DBeaver Enterprise Edition.

        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 DBeaver 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 Setup Firewall With Gufw On Linux Desktop – OSTechNix

        A few days ago, we have shown you how to install, configure and setup firewall with UFW on various Linux distributions. As you already know, UFW is a command line firewall application. Some of you may not be comfortable with command line mode. Fortunately, there is a graphical front-end for UFW available. In this guide, we will see what is Gufw and how to setup firewall with Gufw on Linux desktop operating systems.

      • How to Recursively Change File Permissions in Linux – Make Tech Easier

        Because Linux is a multi-user operating system, it has a mechanism that sets and manages file permissions to ensure that only authorized processes and users can access various directories and files. As you use Linux, you may encounter various instances where you can’t edit files or directories because of the “Permission denied” error, indicating you do not have the required privileges. This tutorial will show you how to recursively change file permissions in Linux to ensure that your permission settings apply to sub-folders and files.

      • How to record your Linux desktop in Wayland

        Wayland is a new desktop protocol for Linux desktops. It has been in development for quite a while, and it is a modern alternative to the most used desktop protocol on Linux: X11 Server.

        Wayland has tons of excellent modern features, however, a lot of apps still rely on the old X11 ways of doing things. As a result, users using Wayland might be frustrated in trying to do things that come easy on X11 desktops.

        One such thing that is easy to do on X11 but tough to accomplish on Wayland is screen recording. Thankfully, Blue Recorder exists and makes recording Wayland desktops a little easier.

      • Install HandBrake 1.4.0 In Ubuntu 20.04 / LinuxMint | Tips On UNIX

        HandBrake is an open-source, multiplatform video transcoder and is available for Linux,macOS X, and windows.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install Handbrake 1.4.0 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 19.10, and Linux Mint

      • Install the latest version of the Docker engine to avoid vulnerabilities – TechRepublic

        Ubuntu is a great Linux for numerous purposes. For the desktop, for servers, for production, for operations, for development and for deploying Docker containers. But there’s one thing you must know about Ubuntu. Although it’s a rock-solid, incredibly user-friendly operating system, the available software isn’t always the latest-greatest. You might even find, in some instances, that software is a few releases behind. Why? Because the developers want to ensure your experience is always the best it can be.

        Take, for instance, my Pop!_OS (based on Ubuntu 21.04) version of Docker is 20.10.2. The most recent Docker release, however, is 20.10.7 (released June 6, 2021). Now that point release may or may not contain bold new features, but it will certainly include bug fixes and various patches. In certain circumstances, it might behoove you to always have the latest version of Docker installed (especially given the mercurial nature of container security.

      • Automate performance metrics collection and visualization with RHEL System Roles

        One of the main challenges that system administrators, developers, and others face when running workloads on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is how to optimize performance by properly sizing systems, understanding utilization, and addressing issues that arise. In order to make data-driven decisions about these topics, performance metrics must be recorded and accessible by the administrator or developer.

        Performance metric tracking with Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) and Grafana can be useful in almost any RHEL environment. However, the process to get it set up across a large number of hosts might seem daunting at first. This is why Red Hat introduced a Metrics System Role, which automates the configuration of performance metrics. I’ll show you how in this post.

      • Wget command in Linux with examples, uninterrupted way for downloading

        Wget command is a Linux utility that used to download the files from the web. Basically, we are using web borwser to download file. I will cover wget command in linux with examples in this article.

        You can use wget command, for now, to download the files from web servers using HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols. Wget command work similarly to curl command in Linux.

        Wget package is a freely available package under GNU GPL License.

        You can install wget utility any Linux/Unix based distribution including windows and MAC OS.

        It is a non-interactive command-line tool. You don’t need to have eyes open and stare at the screen at the time of downloading files.

        If your downloading process stucked due network issue wget command automatically strat download where it was left off.

        You would not trust but you can be mirroring complete website from the webserver on your system, you can enjoy using the website offline.

        Let’s have some interesting discussion with examples of Wget command, Are you ready?? Go ahead…

      • Troubleshooting application performance with Red Hat OpenShift metrics, Part 3: Collecting runtime metrics

        This is the third article in series showing how to use metrics from Red Hat OpenShift to reveal application performance problems. In Part 1, I explained the environment and requirements for our application, the Service Binding Operator. In Part 2, I showed you how to set up a test environment in the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift and introduced the test scenarios. Now, we can start to focus on the metrics themselves.

      • How to use mv command to move a directory in Linux Guide 2021

        v command is very basic command in linux, used to transfer files and move a directory in linux from one location to another location.

        I will explain everything about mv command so you will learn how move folder in linux without any headache.

      • SUSE Manager and Ansible: Making Automation Easier and More Powerful

        Configuration and automation platforms have become increasingly important to control an organization’s ever-growing IT landscape. There are a variety of popular tools in the market and companies may have already made investments in a particular tool, one of them being Ansible.

        Adopting SUSE Manager, or migrating to it, does not mean that you should necessarily renounce your previous configuration management systems investment. SUSE Manager 4.2 provides support for Ansible packages and connects to Ansible Tower to onboard clients and manage them with SUSE Manager. This means you do not have to re-implement your Ansible automation solution. SUSE Manager 4.2 allows you to simply re-use and run your Ansible playbooks. Saving time and resources by consolidating tools while keeping existing automation investments

      • Antoine Beaupré: Hacking my Kobo Clara HD

        This is a neat little device. It’s very similar to the Glo HD, which is a bit disappointing: you’d think they would have improved on the design in the 5+ years since the Glo HD has come out.. It does have an “amber” night light which is nice, but the bezel is still not level with the display, and the device is still kind of on the thick side. A USB-C (instead of micro-USB) port would have been nice too.

        But otherwise, it’s pretty slick, and just works. And because the hardware design didn’t change, I can still hack at it like a madman, which is really why I bought this thing in the first place.

        Hopefully it will last longer than 5 years. Ebook readers should really last for decades, not years, but I guess that’s too much to expect from our consumerist, suicidal, extinctionist society.

      • How to Install Grav CMS with Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04

        Grav is a free, open-source, and flat-file CMS that does not require any database. It is based on PHP and offers several features that may not be available to other CMS like, WordPress, Joomla, etc. It is simple, easy to use, and comes with some of the key technologies including, Twig Templating, Markdown, YAML, Parsedown, Doctrine Cache, Gregwar Image Library, and Symfony Console.

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install Grav CMS with Nginx and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to Install WordPress manually Using cPanel – Unixcop

        WordPress (WP) is a widely used content-management system.Its ease of use, numerous themes, and plugins, as well as strong community support, have made it the number one solution in the world. WordPress is used for everything from simple blogs to complex websites.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install WordPress with cPanel.

      • How to Install eSpeak Text to Speech Software on Ubuntu 20.04

        eSpeak is a software speech synthesizer for English and other languages, eSpeak is a free and open-source software (FOSS) that can be run on most platforms including Linux, Windows and MacOS. eSpeak was developed by Paul “Joe” Hazeldine based on the eCAVE project’s codebase, which was itself derived from X-SPEAK 1.0 by Bill Berry in 1995— making eSpeak over 20 years old!

        eSpeak is a portable software, which means, eSpeak can be moved from one computer to another. eSpeak is a very lightweight program, eSpeak doesn’t need much CPU. It needs only 5Mb of RAM to run smoothly.

        Some Ubuntu-based distributions such as Linux Mint and Elementary use eSpeak by default but some other Ubuntu-based distributions don’t install eSpeak, so you might want to check out this guide if eSpeak didn’t get installed with your system.

      • How to Setup Network Bonding in Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        The practice of merging different network interfaces into one is known as network bonding or pairing. The main goal of network binding is to enhance performance and capacity while also ensuring network redundancy. Furthermore, network bonding is advantageous where fault allowances are a crucial consideration, such as in load balancing connections. Packages for network bonding are available in the Linux system. Let’s have a look at how to set up a network connection in Ubuntu using the console. Before you start, make sure you have the following items…

      • Linux Basics: The gunzip command explained (with examples)

        The gunzip command is a widely used command for uncompressing files which are made using the gzip utility. It decompresses files with the.gz or .tgz file extension. The command removes the compressed file. After decompression, the files retain their original extension.

        Gzip is a popular file compression algorithm that keeps the file’s original mode, ownership, and date while reducing the file size.

        In this tutorial, we look at examples of the Linux gunzip command.

    • Games

      • A new Valve game for the Steam Deck? It’s not out of the realm of possibility | GamingOnLinux

        With the Steam Deck upcoming, what do we think the chances are that Valve will reveal a new game to go along side it?

        One thing that Valve didn’t quite get right for Steam Machines was a new game (and a lack of games overall). It’s not quite the same with the Valve Index, since it was a very different form of gaming and so they did put out Half-Life: Alyx to showcase what a big game would really be like with it (although it came later). So what about the Steam Deck?

        Half-Life: Alyx has reinvigorated Valve with game development, and Valve did confirm previously that they had multiple games in development – the question is will we see an announcement this year? There’s not all that long until the Steam Deck releases at the end of this year but like with the Valve Index it could come some months after. Valve have multiple teams doing different things too, so it’s not like all the work going into the Steam Deck would take away from people involved with game development. The point is, Valve are once again a games company, not just a service company with the Steam store.

      • Alchemic Cutie will have you catch and farm jellies this September | GamingOnLinux

        You’ve played Slime Rancher and loved it we’re sure but what if it was a 2D RPG with pixel art? Alchemic Cutie is looking like it will answer that and then some.

        Another to put in your list of wholesome games, as Alchemic Cutie is shaping up to be another wonderful casual game. Explore the world, find and collect lots of weird jelly creatures, chat with villagers and enter jelly competitions. Coming complete with a season system, the world around you will change allowing you to continue discovering new things about the new, and see new types of jellies and items appear.

      • Free strategy game Vectorio opens up the source code | GamingOnLinux

        With its mixture of base building, tower defense and survival – Vectorio was actually pretty good at the initial release and now the code is open source.

        The idea in Vectorio is to keep building up and spread across the large open map. Claim resources, research new weapons and tech and then eventually defeat six special guardian enemies. There’s a little more to it than that, with it taking the form of a tower defense game with you needing to plan your defences as waves of enemies try to take you down and it needs some power management too. Building placement here is the key as is a good plan.

      • Psychological horror adventure Saint Kotar releases in October

        Following on from the successful Kickstarter campaign in 2020, Red Martyr Entertainment have announced two big things recently for the upcoming Saint Kotar.

        They’ve now teamed up with SOEDESCO for publishing, meaning the marketing and PR has been somewhat taken out of their hands so they’ve had more time free on development. SOEDESCO have published quite a few titles now including Monster Crown which is also approaching release.

      • Buck Up And Drive! is a completely absurd racer that throws realism out | GamingOnLinux

        A racing game inspired by the likes of Outrun that’s so completely bonkers it even has a car vs car fighting mode? Buck Up And Drive! is clearly hilarious. Created by developer Fábio Fontes, they explain that it’s a “playable shitpost, that’s what it is!” and well, that’s not even a bad description.

        We need a little bit more to go on than that though right? It’s an endless runner type of game with vehicles. You’re high-score chasing while doing some ridiculous things like mid-air flips over trucks and it’s wrapped up a wonderful retro inspired style.

      • Netflix and chill? Nah, how about some Linux & Chill | GamingOnLinux

        Up for trying out some new games? How about some postively rated indie puzzle games that are part of a new bundle on Steam? We’re talking about the newly announced Linux & Chill Bundle – yes that’s actually a thing now.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Tim Lauridsen: Pimp your Gtk application with CSS

          GTK is a powerful framework for building GUI application in Linux and other OSes. It is written in C, but there is binding for many programing languages like Python.

          GTK uses a subset of CSS for styling your application. I have made a little Python Demo Application to show how to pimp your application like a pimp.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • My Fanless OpenBSD Desktop

          After the disappointment of my X1 Nano and learning that all future Intel “Evo”-branded laptops would lack S3 suspend, I started thinking about returning to my M1 MacBook full-time or building an OpenBSD desktop. I chose the latter, building my first desktop machine in many years.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What’s the average age of a Linux sysadmin? [Ed: Unbelievably unscientific survey]

          There’s probably no question that causes some people as much anxiety as the “How old are you?” query. Age can be used in many ways—some negative and some positive. Our poll question came from a community member—one of you. It’s a good question. What is the average age of an Enable Sysadmin reader? Do you have any guesses? The poll is open and non-identifying, which means that everyone can see the results but no individual participant can be identified from the poll results.

        • AI/ML workloads in containers: 6 things to know

          Two of today’s big IT trends, AI/ML and containers, have become part of the same conversation at many organizations. They’re increasingly paired together, as teams look for better ways to manage their Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning workloads – enabled by a growing menu of commercial and open source technologies for doing so.

          “Tooling and processes for running machine learning at scale in containers has improved significantly over the past few years.”
          “The best news for IT leaders is that tooling and processes for running machine learning at scale in containers has improved significantly over the past few years,” says Blair Hanley Frank, enterprise technology analyst at ISG. “There is no shortage of available open source tooling, commercial products, and tutorials to help data scientists and IT teams get these systems up and running.”

        • Fedora Community Blog: A revamp of our beloved Fedora characters

          If you’ve been hanging around the Fedora Design team lately—or dropped by one of our recent Fedora Design Team Live Sessions —you may be aware of a very cool artwork project one of our interns has been working on. Lauryn Dake has done a revamp of the character designs for the entire cast of Fedora characters, including the Beefy Miracle, panda, and badges badger!

          The idea here is our current character artwork is a bit dis-jointed. For example, the pandas in our badge system are drawn in a very different style than the badger, and the original Beefy Miracle artwork is in yet another older style. We want to give our characters all a fresher, more expressive look. Also, this allows them to hang together more cohesively under the same style / approach.

        • How Red Hat is evolving to keep the world connected

          The world is changing rapidly – and the critical importance of connection has never been more clear. Last year, many organizations were forced to rethink their day-to-day operations as workforces across the globe went remote. Industry buzzwords like “digital transformation” that may have been five year plans became overnight priorities for organizations across the board. The communications industry was, and continues to be, poised to help industries tackle many of these enormous challenges.

        • IT careers: How to recruit the class of 2021

          Recent college graduates have overcome the most complicated university experience of the last 50 years, as their final two years were marked by uncertainty, distanced or hybrid learning, and minimal access to professors and classmates.

          For incoming IT professionals, close contact with mentors is often an important element of the college experience, as well as the first step in networking to begin a career in the tech industry. The challenges presented by COVID-19 also led to widespread cancellations of internships, often a vital experience for those entering the IT field.

          As the class of 2021 enters the job market, enterprises will be challenged to make the most out of a new normal for IT hiring: Not only will the interview process itself look different, but the resumes of recent graduates and their priorities in seeking an employer will not look the same as pre-COVID. In place of a series of internships, graduates will need to demonstrate how they guided their own learning and developed new skills over the past 18 months. Likewise, employers will need to communicate how the pandemic changed their operations, and what impact that will have on the experience for new hires.

        • Planning the CentOS 8 endgame

          July 14, 2021
          CentOS 8 is reaching its end of life (EOL) at the end of 2021, though it was originally slated to be supported until 2029. That change was announced last December, but it may still come as a surprise to some, perhaps many, of the users of the distribution. While the systems running CentOS 8 will continue to do so, early next year they will stop getting security (and other) updates. The CentOS project sees CentOS Stream as a viable alternative, but users may not agree—should the project simply leave CentOS 8 systems as ticking time bombs in 2022 and beyond?

          A discussion of the CentOS 8 EOL was kicked off by Rich Bowen in a post to the CentOS-devel mailing list. He noted that there will be more questions about the EOL process as that date approaches, so he wants “to make sure we have clear documentation, prominently displayed, that sets expectations”. He outlined the process of archiving CentOS 8 to vault.centos.org and wondered if there were changes that should be made because this particular EOL event is rather different.

      • Debian Family

        • What’s New in Debian 11 “Bullseye”

          Debian, the progenitor of many other Linux distributions, has made release 11 available in the testing stage. Are you weighing the virtues of upgrading, or are you just curious about the changes? Today, we’ll take a look at the highlights.

          Debian is one of the most stable and versatile Linux distributions that you can find, with a storied history dating back to 1993. Its age and stability explain why many other popular distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS, and Raspberry Pi OS (formally called Raspian) can trace their roots to Debian.

          Debian 11 continues its naming tradition with “Bullseye,” named after the horse character in Pixar’s famous Toy Story series. As of this writing in mid-July 2021, we expect Bullseye to replace Debian 10.10 “Buster” in the “stable” stage in late July or early August 2021. Until then, you can access Bullseye at the “testing” stage. Below are the changes and improvements that you can expect to see.

        • Charles Plessy: Search in Debian’s sources

          I wanted to know which packages were using the media type application/x-xcf, which apparently is not correct (#991158). The https://codesearch.debian.net site gives the answer. (Thanks!)

        • Bits from Debian: New Debian Developers and Maintainers (May and June 2021)

          The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

          Timo Röhling (roehling)
          Patrick Franz (deltaone)
          Christian Ehrhardt (paelzer)
          Fabio Augusto De Muzio Tobich (ftobich)
          Taowa (taowa)
          Félix Sipma (felix)
          Étienne Mollier (emollier)
          Daniel Swarbrick (dswarbrick)
          Hanno Wagner (wagner)

          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Evangelos Ribeiro Tzaras
          Hugh McMaster


      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Reached End of Life, Time to Upgrade!

          Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) has reached its end of life today (July 22, 2021). It was a non-LTS release that introduced some exciting features.

          Usually, non-LTS releases are maintained for up to 9 months. So, with 20.10 reaching the end of life means there will be no security and maintenance updates for Ubuntu 20.10 users.

          You will also miss out on updates to installed applications, and face issues installing new applications using the apt command. Using the Software Center is going to be a problem as well, without manually modifying sources.list (which is not recommended).

          The end of life applies to all other Ubuntu flavors like Kubuntu, Lubuntu, MATE, etc.

        • Ubuntu in the wild – 22nd of July

          The Ubuntu in the wild blog post ropes in the latest highlights about Ubuntu and Canonical around the world on a bi-weekly basis. It is a summary of all the things that made us feel proud to be part of this journey. What do you think of it?

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 10 Best Free and Open Source Media Players

        Wondering which media player we recommend? Here’s our verdict on the best free and open source media players. To qualify for inclusion as a media player, the open source software must meet our minimum standards as both a video and audio player. To avoid bamboozling readers, we’ve kept the number of featured media players to a sizeable number.

        We include both console and graphical media players. Here’s our verdict with our legendary rating chart.

      • New pg_validate_extupgrade tool available

        I’m pleased to announce the release of pg_validate_extugprade, version 1.0.0 beta.

      • How to manage feedback on your open project | Opensource.com

        People who let open principles guide their leadership practices in open organizations inevitably find themselves fielding feedback. Lots of feedback.

        That’s by design. Open leaders invite comment and critique on just about anything they can.

        But it also poses a regular challenge: How to sift through, manage, evaluate, and address that feedback in authentic and useful ways?

        Members of the Open Organization project got a taste of this process recently. Working on the Open Leadership Definition—a robust, collaborative description of the specific mindsets and behaviors associated with open styles of leadership—collaborators solicited community-wide feedback on a multi-hundred-word draft document. The results were impressive—even if a bit intimidating.

      • Events

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Do you own a connected device? Here’s why you should be wary of the Peloton lock issue.

            A growing number of us have connected devices in our homes, offices, driveways and even our bodies. The convenience and fun of integrating a device with daily life is real, but there haven’t been nearly enough conversations about who owns that data and how much consumers are letting big companies into their lives in unexpected ways. A current example: Peloton.

            By now, nearly everyone has heard of Peloton exercise bikes, from the viral ad when they first launched to questions about the security on President Biden’s bike. Peloton’s popularity is largely tied to its design as a connected device with an extensive online community. Peloton also makes treadmills. Tragically, a 6-year old was recently killed in an accident on one of these treadmills. Due to safety concerns, Peloton issued a recall and added a feature called Tread Lock that requires a four-digit passcode to keep their treadmills from starting up for anyone without authorized access.

          • In a complete non-surprise, Mozilla hammers final nail in FTP’s coffin by removing it from Firefox

            Mozilla has finally expunged File Transfer Protocol (FTP) from the Firefox browser – an action already taken by other major browsers like Chrome and Edge, making Firefox 89.0 the last bastion of the protocol.

            The company explained yesterday that it will end FTP support in Firefox 90 as part of its drive to a browser that’s all HTTPS, all the time.

            Mozilla announced its FTP-flaying intentions way back in 2015, and said the change was necessary because the protocol lacked proper encryption. The resulting transfer of files in the clear represented an obvious security issue, as it meant miscreants could easily download, steal and even transmit modified data.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1.5 Released with 55 Bug Fixes, Still Focuses on Improving MS Office Compatibility

          Coming about a month and a half after LibreOffice 7.1.4, the LibreOffice 7.1.5 update is here to fix more bugs and issues to provide users of the LibreOffice 7.1 office suite series with a more stable and reliable office suite experience. A total of 55 bugs were addressed, according to the changelogs from here and here.

          Like with previous maintenance updates, the LibreOffice 7.1.5 release also focuses on improving the document interoperability with the MS Office suite. As such, documents in the DOC, DOCX, PPTX, and XLSX formats should now perform better.

        • Announcement of LibreOffice 7.1.5 Community

          LibreOffice 7.1.5 Community, the fifth minor release of the LibreOffice 7.1 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users, is available for download from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice 7.1.5 includes around 55 bug fixes, with 20% focused on Microsoft Office file compatibility (DOCX, XLSX and PPTX, and legacy DOCs).

          For enterprise-class deployments, TDF strongly recommends the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners, with long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and Service Level Agreements: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-in-business/.

          LibreOffice Community and the LibreOffice Enterprise family of products are based on the LibreOffice Technology platform, the result of years of development efforts with the objective of providing a state of the art office suite not only for the desktop but also for mobile and the cloud.

          Products based on LibreOffice Technology are available for major desktop operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS), mobile platforms (Android and iOS) and the cloud. They may have a different name, according to each company brand, but they share the same LibreOffice unique advantages, robustness and flexibility.

        • Calc buttons with macros: better XLSX support

          Embedding macros to Calc documents and invoking them by clicking on buttons is a common use-case. There was also decent support for importing these from XLSX (XLSM to be precise), but the export side was not on par with the binary XLS export.

          Calc now got a series of incremental improvements to map our form controls (buttons in particular) to OOXML’s form controls, especially when macros are assigned to such buttons.

          This work is primarily for Collabora Online, but the feature is fully available in desktop Calc as well.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Is GitHub a derivative work of GPL’d software?

            GitHub recently announced a tool called Copilot, a tool which uses machine learning to provide code suggestions, inciting no small degree of controversy. One particular facet of the ensuing discussion piques my curiosity: what happens if the model was trained using software licensed with the GNU General Public License?

      • Programming/Development

        • Write your first JavaScript code | Opensource.com

          JavaScript is a programming language full of pleasant surprises. Many people first encounter JavaScript as a language for the web. There’s a JavaScript engine in all the major browsers, there are popular frameworks such as JQuery, Cash, and Bootstrap to help make web design easier, and there are even programming environments written in JavaScript. It seems to be everywhere on the internet, but it turns out that it’s also a useful language for projects like Electron, an open source toolkit for building cross-platform desktop apps with JavaScript.

        • RcppSpdlog 0.0.6 on CRAN: New upstream

          A new version 0.0.6 of RcppSpdlog is now on CRAN. It contains releases 1.9.0 of spdlog which in turn contains an updated version of fmt.

          RcppSpdlog bundles spdlog, a wonderful header-only C++ logging library with all the bells and whistles you would want that was written by Gabi Melman, and also includes fmt by Victor Zverovich. No R package-side changes were needed or made.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • The Human Costs of the Pandemic Olympics

      The 2020 Olympics are unfolding like the nightmare scenario so many medical officials predicted. You’d need an Excel spreadsheet to track all the Covid-19 cases that are already plaguing the Games, including inside the Olympic Village. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has at times been painfully blithe about the chance that the virus could disrupt the games or infect the vulnerable population of Tokyo. Dr. Annie Sparrow, echoing the opinion of so many disregarded experts, summed up Back in a tweet: “All talk and no action.” In addition, Sparrow said of the IOC: “All along the way there’s been an ignorance of science.”

    • When the Sh*t Hit the Fan: Recalling the 1970s

      In a 2014 piece in The New Yorker, George Packer made the following observation:

      The 1970s was a social and political reaction to the tumultuous 1960s, a decade that threatened the powers that be.  The threat was expressed in the combined insurgency of the civil-right movement, anti-Vietnam War protests, the counterculture of sex, drugs & rock-&-roll, and the emerging feminist and gay-rights movements.  It was a unique moment in the nation’s history that seems to be finding a fresh voice in today’s “progressive” movement.

    • Science

      • Can consciousness be explained by quantum physics? My research takes us a step closer to finding out

        Instead of entering into this debate, I decided to join forces with colleagues from China, led by Professor Xian-Min Jin at Shanghai Jiaotong University, to test some of the principles underpinning the quantum theory of consciousness.

        In our new paper, we’ve investigated how quantum particles could move in a complex structure like the brain – but in a lab setting. If our findings can one day be compared with activity measured in the brain, we may come one step closer to validating or dismissing Penrose and Hameroff’s controversial theory.

    • Hardware

      • Rethinking employee benefits in a post-pandemic world

        But while vertical farming companies have received a large share of venture capital dollars, there are many other ag-tech startups emerging in the race to automate agriculture. Some of the ag-tech sub-sectors where we see the most potential for growth in the next five years include tiller, weeding, and planting robots; sensor-fitted drones used to assess crops and plan fertilizer schedules; greenhouse and nursery automation technology; computer vision systems to identify crop health, weeds, nitrogen, and water levels in plants and soil; crop transport, sorting, and packing robots; and AI software for predictive yield planning.

      • The Rise of Ryzen

        So anybody who is even remotely paying attention to processors knows that Intel is in some really deep shit. Back in 2014 they were essentially riding high above all of the competition and nobody could even come close to challenging their vice like grip on the market. My my how times have changed.

        Fast forward to the present day, seven years later and you’ll find a situation that is almost unrecognizable. Intel is still pushing processors built on the same tech as they were in 2014. They just have more cores, generate more heat and suck down way more power. To be fair, their integrated GPU (Intel Xe) is actually a bit better nowadays. But only if you ignore the woeful state of the drivers.

      • The Old Computer Challenge: day 7

        Let’s speak about Tech! My computer is 16 years old but I’ve been able to accomplish most of what I enjoy on a computer: IRC, reading my mails, hacking on code and reading some interesting content on the internet. So far, I’ve been quite happy about my computer, it worked without any trouble.

        On the other hand, there were many tasks that didn’t work at all: [...]

    • Health/Nutrition

      • As US ‘Drowning’ in Unused Doses, WHO Chief Laments ‘Horrifying Injustice’ of Covid-19 Vaccine Inequity

        As a new analysis shows a mere 1% of those in low-income countries have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot, a report published at the medical news site STAT Tuesday reveals U.S. states are sitting on millions of unused doses of the life-saving inoculations that will soon expire as domestic demand declines.

        “We’re drowning in this stuff. It’s starting to get a bit silly and we want to make sure we’re being good stewards.”—Robert Ator, Arkansas health official

      • House Passes Bill to Protect Drinking Water, Environment From PFAS Contamination

        The U.S. House on Wednesday passed the PFAS Action Act of 2021, a bill that, if passed by the U.S. Senate, would improve the regulation and facilitate the cleanup of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—long-lasting synthetic chemicals that pose a threat to public and environmental health.

        H.R. 2467, introduced by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) in April, passed by a margin of 241-183. Twenty-three Republicans joined nearly every Democrat in supporting the bill to protect people and ecosystems from harmful PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals” because they persist and bioaccumulate for years on end. Five Republicans and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) abstained.

      • The Pandemic Is Not Over: Science Writer Ed Yong on Delta’s Devastation in Low-Vaccination States

        COVID-19 cases in the United States have tripled over the past month as the highly contagious Delta variant rapidly spreads across the country, particularly in areas with low vaccination rates. Deaths from COVID-19 have increased by nearly 50% over the past week, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the Delta variant is now responsible for 83% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. “Things are much worse than people might realize,” says Ed Yong, science writer at The Atlantic who has been reporting on the Delta variant’s spread in Missouri, one of the hardest-hit areas in the U.S. “The more we let this pandemic linger on, rage on around the world, the less protected any of us will be — including those of us who currently luxuriate under the umbrella of vaccination.” Yong recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for his coverage of the pandemic.

      • Judge Blocks “Categorically Unconstitutional” Anti-Abortion Law in Arkansas
      • US Sees Steepest Single-Year Decline in Life Expectancy Since World War II
      • ‘Just Horrific’: Pandemic Fuels Steepest Decline in US Life Expectancy Since WWII

        New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data out Wednesday shows that life expectancy in the U.S. fell by one and a half years in 2020, a decline fueled in large part by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

        “U.S. life expectancy at birth for 2020, based on nearly final data, was 77.3 years, the lowest it has been since 2003,” reads a new report (pdf) from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. “Mortality due to Covid-19 had, by far, the single greatest effect on the decline in life expectancy at birth between 2019 and 2020, overall.”

      • ‘A Death Sentence for So Many’: Rich Nations Once Again Block Progress on Vaccine Patent Waiver

        An informal World Trade Organization meeting on Tuesday ended without any discernible progress toward a deal on a patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines as rich countries continue to stonewall the proposal, despite the accelerating spread of the ultra-contagious Delta variant and the likely emergence of other dangerous mutations.

        “Countries’ inaction isn’t just frustrating bureaucracy. It’s a death sentence for so many people. Support the TRIPS waiver. End the pandemic.”—The People’s Vaccine Alliance

      • GOP Legislators in Missouri Oppose Vaccine Efforts as State Becomes COVID Hotspot

        Amid the current surge in COVID-19 cases in Missouri, a recent Facebook conversation between two Republican state lawmakers is telling.

        Around Independence Day, State Rep. Bill Kidd, from the Kansas City suburbs, revealed that he has been infected by the coronavirus.

      • House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

        The House on Wednesday approved a bill that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish national drinking water standards for “forever chemicals” — a group of toxic compounds linked to kidney and liver issues, among other health problems.

        The PFAS Action Act of 2021 passed the lower chamber with bipartisan support, 241-183. Twenty-three Republican lawmakers voted with Democrats to pass the measure.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Now Salesforce officially owns Slack

          Cloud computing giant Salesforce has completed its acquisition of Slack, a $27.7 billion dollar deal that adds the messaging app to its suite of enterprise software without immediately changing Slack’s functionality, branding, or leadership.

        • Kaseya ransomware attack highlights cyber vulnerabilities of small businesses [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The recent ransomware attack on software group Kaseya hit small businesses especially hard, targeting companies that often have few resources to defend themselves and highlighting long-standing vulnerabilities.

          The attack has been made worse during the pandemic when cyber threats against small businesses have multiplied, and companies have scrambled to stay afloat.

        • A case against security nihilism

          This week a group of global newspapers is running a series of articles detailing abuses of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. If you haven’t seen any of these articles, they’re worth reading — and likely will continue to be so as more revelations leak out. The impetus for the stories is a leak comprising more than 50,000 phone numbers that are allegedly the targets of NSO’s advanced iPhone/Android malware.

          Notably, these targets include journalists and members of various nations’ political opposition parties — in other words, precisely the people who every thinking person worried would be the target of the mass-exploitation software that NSO sells. And indeed, that should be the biggest lesson of these stories: the bad thing everyone said would happen now has.

          This is a technical blog, so I won’t advocate for, say, sanctioning NSO Group or demanding answers from the luminaries on NSO’s “governance and compliance” committee. Instead I want to talk a bit about some of the technical lessons we’ve learned from these leaks — and even more at a high level, precisely what’s wrong with shrugging these attacks away.

        • Security

          • Root kernel vulnerability threatens many Linux distributions [Ed: There is another one and, AFAIK, systemd is not a kernel (yet)]
          • The Terrible Tuesday For Both Linux And Windows Sysadmins

            There are a pair of newly discovered vulnerabilities to add to the nightmares of sysadmins everywhere, both those running Windows and Linux infrastructures. In one case it is an issue with the security of system passwords while the other is an odd way to gain escalated privileges and sadly both are still currently exploitable.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (pillow and redis), Fedora (kernel-headers, kernel-tools, kernelshark, libbpf, libtraceevent, libtracefs, nextcloud, and trace-cmd), Gentoo (chromium and singularity), Mageia (kernel, kernel-linus, and systemd), openSUSE (caribou, chromium, curl, and qemu), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, and systemd), Slackware (curl), SUSE (curl, kernel, linuxptp, python-pip, and qemu), and Ubuntu (ruby2.3, ruby2.5, ruby2.7).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Seventh Circuit Says (Reluctantly) That 18 Months Of Pole-Mounted Camera Surveillance Isn’t Unconstitutional

              The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a very well-written and thoughtful decision [PDF] on the Constitutionality of long-term surveillance via pole-mounted cameras.

            • Meet Toka, the Most Dangerous Israeli Spyware Firm You’ve Never Heard Of

              This past Sunday, an investigation into the global abuse of spyware developed by veterans of Israeli intelligence Unit 8200 gained widespread attention, as it was revealed that the software – sold to democratic and authoritarian governments alike – had been used to illegally spy on an estimated 50,000 individuals. Among those who had their communications and devices spied on by the software, known as Pegasus, were journalists, human rights activists, business executives, academics and prominent political leaders. Among those targeted political leaders, per reports, were the current leaders of France, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Iraq.

            • Venmo Takes Another Step Toward Privacy

              Currently, all transactions and friends lists on Venmo are public by default, painting a detailed picture of who you live with, where you like to hang out, who you date, and where you do business. It doesn’t take much imagination to come up with all the ways this could cause harm to real users, and the gallery of Venmo privacy horrors is well-documented at this point.

              However, Venmo apparently has no plans to make transactions private by default at this point. That would squander the opportunity it has right now to finally be responsive to the concerns of Venmo users, journalists, and advocates like EFF and Mozilla. We hope Venmo reconsiders.

              There’s nothing “social” about sharing your credit card statement with your friends.

            • Danish Data Protection Agency slams National Police for breaching data protection laws

              The National Police is facing “serious criticism” from the Danish Data Protection Agency for violating the Danish arm of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.

              The regulations fall under the Law Enforcement Act, which apply to “the processing of personal data by the police, the prosecution, including the military prosecution, the penitentiary, the Independent Police Prosecution Service and the courts.”

            • Here’s how to check your phone for Pegasus spyware using Amnesty’s tool

              Amnesty International — part of the group that helped break the news of journalists and heads of state being targeted by NSO’s government-grade spyware, Pegasus — has released a tool to check if your phone has been affected. Alongside the tool is a great set of instructions, which should help you through the somewhat technical checking process. Using the tool involves backing up your phone to a separate computer and running a check on that backup. Read on if you’ve been side-eyeing your phone since the news broke and are looking for guidance on using Amnesty’s tool.

            • What the latest Pegasus spyware leaks tell us

              The leaks indicate the scope of what cybersecurity reporters and experts have said for years: that while NSO Group claims its spyware is designed to target criminals and terrorists, its actual applications are much more broad. (The company released a statement in response to the investigation, denying that its data was leaked, and that any of the resulting reporting was true.)

            • „Pegasus” Spy Software: Pirate MEP Wants To Hold Device Manufacturers Accountable

              In a written question submitted today, Breyer wants to know specifically from the European Commission:

              1. Will the Commission propose legislation obliging commercial IT manufacturers to fix vulnerabilities and provide patches within a reasonable timeframe after their discovery, and provide for manufacturer liability in case of failure to do so?

              2. What else could the legislator do to improve the security posture of mobile devices and mitigate the risks of attacks?

              3. Hungarian authorities are suspected to have monitored the smartphones of journalists and politicians using spyware. How will the Commission address this allegation?“

            • Hoe no! Facebook snafu spells trouble for gardening group

              Normally, Facebook’s automated systems will flag posts with offending material and delete them. But if a group’s members — or worse, administrators — violate the rules too many times, the entire group can get shut down.

            • IKEA is bringing in-store experience to online shopping with AI

              With a similar motive and objective to provide an omnichannel experience to its customers, IKEA took a big leap and invested in the company called Geomagical Labs, a California-based firm.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Defund the Canadian Military

        Wednesday the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute and Canadian Voice of Women for Peace released a public letter opposing Canada’s plan “to spend tens of billions of dollars on unnecessary, dangerous, climate destroying fighter jets.” Signatories include Canadian musicians Neil Young, Teagan and Sarah and Sarah Harmer as well as environmentalists David Suzuki and Naomi Klein. The No new fighter jets for Canada statement is also signed by authors Michael Ondaatje Yann Martel and Gabor Maté as well as sitting MPs, former MPs, city councillors, a Senator, MPP and former UN ambassador. Prominent international figures such as Roger Waters, Daryl Hannah and Noam Chomsky have also backed a call addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

        The jets are expected to cost about $19 billion but the full life cycle cost of the planes will be closer to $77 billion. These resources could fund clean drinking water on reserves, an exhaustive search of all unmarked graves at residential ‘schools’ and plenty of indigenous run cooperative housing. Or “$77 billion could turbocharge a just transition away from fossil fuels”, notes the letter.

      • Biden Promised Diplomacy, But He’s Overseeing Military Buildup Against China
      • Haitian Activist Says It’s Not Up to the US to Determine Haiti’s Prime Minister
      • “It Is Offensive”: Haitian Activist Says It’s Not Up to U.S. to Determine Haiti’s PM or Future

        Two weeks after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, Ariel Henry has been sworn in as Haiti’s new prime minister, after acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph announced he was relinquishing power. Henry is a neurosurgeon who was appointed by President Jovenel Moïse shortly before he was assassinated, but not formally sworn in. Both Joseph and Henry had claimed power following Moïse’s death. Over the weekend, the United States and other members of the so-called Core Group threw their support behind Henry, who will become Haiti’s seventh prime minister in four years. Monique Clesca, a Haitian pro-democracy advocate based in Port-au-Prince, says despite the polarization and turmoil in the country, it is ultimately up to Haitians to find a political solution. ”It is not up to the United States State Department to tell us who should be the prime minister of Haiti,” Clesca says. “It is offensive. It should not be done. It is unacceptable.”

      • Colombia’s Export of Mercenaries Scrutinized After U.S.-Trained Soldiers Kill Haiti’s President

        The role of Colombian mercenaries in the assassination two weeks ago of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has come under scrutiny after The Washington Post reported some of the Colombians received U.S. military training while they were part of the Colombian armed services. One of the mercenaries has been identified as former special commando Grosso Guarín, who was once assigned to a secretive elite military detachment of Colombia’s Urban Anti-Terrorist Special Force group that carried out kidnappings and assassinations. Another Colombian mercenary arrested in Haiti was Francisco Eladio Uribe Ochoa, who was once investigated for his role in executing civilians in Colombia and then disguising them as combatants — a practice known as false positives. The Colombian military has been accused of killing over 6,400 civilians in this way. Joining us from Bogotá, Colombia, reporter Mario Murillo says the involvement of Colombian mercenaries stems from the “hyper-militarization of the country,” rooted in decades-long counterterrorism and counternarcotics operations that have doubled the size of the Colombian military. “We’re talking about thousands of soldiers who have been going around the world,” he says, calling them highly trained “artists of war.”

      • US Government Seeks Harshest Sentence Ever In Leak Case Against Drone Whistleblower

        The following was originally published as part of The Dissenter Newsletter, a project of Shadowproof.

        The United States government urged a federal court to sentence drone whistleblower Daniel Hale to at least nine years in prison for disclosing documents to a reporter.

      • Serial Swatter Who Caused Death Gets Five Years in Prison

        A 18-year-old Tennessee man who helped set in motion a fraudulent distress call to police that led to the death of a 60-year-old grandfather in 2020 was sentenced to 60 months in prison today.

      • New Legislation Could Limit the President’s Control of Foreign Policy

        Yesterday, three senators, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut, and Republican Mike Lee of Utah, introduced the National Security Powers Act, a bill that attempts to reclaim authority over the president’s largely unchallenged power to initiate conflict, declare national emergencies, and enforce US sanctions regimes around the world. It comes as Congress continues an effort to repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs), both of which relate to Iraq.

      • Holding Onto the Cold War

        Recent events in Haiti that culminated in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise is one more reminder of our Cold War policy of supporting authoritarian leaders around the world in order to advance U.S. interests.  Biden supported Moise despite warnings about his increasingly autocratic rule.  U.S. presidents throughout the Cold War emphasized the importance of democratic government and “rules-based internationalism,” but these bromides were typically observed in the breach.

        No American president has been willing to tackle the problem of our national security state, although some presidents have done better than others. Presidents Eisenhower and Carter could claim no significant battlefield casualties on their watch, and Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan opposed the Pentagon in their pursuit of arms control and disarmament.  But no president since Eisenhower has understood the military.  Several were intimidated by the military (Clinton and Obama) and others too willing to yield to the military (the senior Bush and the junior Bush).  Biden has the advantage of a half-century of exposure to our militarization of national security policy.  He even warned Barack Obama not to get “boxed in” by the military, thereby earning the ire of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who—like too many secretaries— was “captured” by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

      • Saab Case Shows Western Media’s Casual Acceptance of US Atrocities

        A Colombian businessperson named Alex Saab was traveling to Iran on behalf of the Venezuelan government in June 2020. His official mission was to negotiate shipments of medicine and other essential products to Venezuela.  He was arrested in Cape Verde at the behest of the US government, where he remains to this day; President Joe Biden has continued Donald Trump’s effort to extradite him to the US.

      • Crisis in Haiti
      • CIA’s Havana Syndrome task force to be led by officer who hunted Bin Laden

        The official familiar with the matter told NBC News that the intelligence veteran heading the task force was “intimately involved in the hunt for Bin Laden and will bring that same intensity and rigor to the hunt for the source of the unexplained health incidents” that have involved diplomats, intelligence officers and other U.S. personnel and their families around the world.

        The task force head, a 10-year counterterrorism veteran, is still undercover.

      • Taliban seem to have ‘strategic momentum’ in Afghanistan: top US general

        With the militants putting pressure on around half of the country’s provincial capitals, Afghan troops are “consolidating their forces” to protect those major urban centers, he added.

        “They’re taking an approach to protect the population, and most of the population lives in the provincial capitals and capital city of Kabul,” Milley said.

        “A Taliban automatic military takeover is not a foregone conclusion.”

      • Pentagon Admits Taliban Control Half of Afghan District Centers

        Estimates showing the Taliban rapidly taking control of territory across Afghanistan are not an illusion, according to the United States’ top-ranking military official, who admits the coming months will be a “test of will and leadership” for the Afghan government.

        General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday about 212 of Afghanistan’s district centers — about half — are currently in Taliban hands, and that Taliban forces are advancing on the outskirts of 17 of the country’s 34 provincial capitals.

      • Al-Shabab Threatens to Disrupt Upcoming Somali Elections

        Somali terrorist group al-Shabab has threatened to attack electoral delegates who will be choosing lawmakers in parliamentary elections beginning next week.

        The Islamist militant group has threatened to disrupt the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in the Horn of Africa country.

        The leader of the group, Ahmed Abu Ubaidah, said Tuesday they are opposed to the poll process and threatened the electoral delegates.

    • Environment

      • Setting the Record Straight at the Met

        Recently the Metropolitan Museum of Art affixed on its august limestone façade a Land Acknowledgment, a permanent plaque outside the main entrance paying homage to Manhattan’s original and abiding Indigenous peoples.

        Part of an extensive effort at the Met and other museums nationwide to publicly declare the colonial basis of their existence—which encompasses not just the ground they stand on but their collecting habits and the discriminatory worldviews they often have espoused—the new signage was preceded by a series of exhibitions, gallery interventions, special commissions, acquisitions, and staff hires, all demonstrating a fundamental shift in the institution’s relationship to America’s original inhabitants. The plaque’s installation provides an opportunity to reflect on the crucial but complicated task of coming to terms with the nation’s shameful—racist, murderous, and exploitive—history with Native Americans, and the attempts of cultural institutions to reconcile a more principled present with our checkered past.

      • Bezos’s Space Stunt Got Almost as Much TV Time as Climate Crisis in All of 2020
      • In China, ‘Heaviest Rain in 1,000 Years’ Triggers Deadly Flooding, Landslides

        Devastating floods and landslides caused by days of heavy rainfall in China’s central province of Henan have killed at least 25 people and displaced roughly 200,000 as of Wednesday—one of the most recent examples of extreme weather disasters linked to the fossil fuel-driven climate crisis wreaking havoc around the globe.

        Less than a week after severe flooding in Germany and Belgium killed nearly 200 people, left hundreds missing, and stunned climate scientists, parts of China have been hit with an even more intense downpour. Described as China’s “heaviest rain in 1,000 years,” the storm began over the weekend and intensified on Tuesday.

      • World on ‘Borrowed Time’ as Celebs Urge MPs to Pass Climate Emergency Bill

        Celebrities have joined scientists and cross-party politicians in calling for the UK government to pass a “crucial” bill to meet international climate targets.

        Former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall are among the thousands to back the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) bill through a “Zero Hour” campaign launched this week.

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Remove Non-Native Fish Without Poisoning Our Streams

          Rotenone not only kills brook trout, but anything with gills, including the aquatic insects and any amphibians unfortunate enough to be present when the stream is poisoned. It could also get into the groundwater that feeds Laurie’s well system and scientists caution that rotenone is harmful to human health.

          Rotenone is increasingly poured into streams by the Forest Service and state agencies in “poison and plant” projects because it is cheaper than removing non-native fish through labor-intensive electroshocking, fishing, and netting.  But poisoning entire water bodies – especially flowing streams — severely alters biodiversity and causes a broad loss of taxa and species from the aquatic ecosystem.

        • A Ruralist’s Lament: Ship to Citadel

          Other European travelers visited this New World bringing Old World diseases (and guns) along, which  decimated the original settlers here, leaving the farm fields to be “discovered” in the course of time by the alien immigrants of the day.

          Further north in Maine there’s recently been a kerfuffle over the Penobscot Maritime Heritage Association’s organizing a “4-Port Loop”  visitation of the Nao Santa Maria; a replica of one of Christopher Columbus’ sailing ships on his 1492 “voyage of discovery.” A remnant Indian tribe here in the Pine Tree State was less than amused at the prospect of such a tone-deaf  triumphal pageant.

        • Why Mother Nature Doesn’t Love You

          On the most fundamental level of science, we cannot predict from the qualities and properties of several individual constituents the qualities and properties that could result from their combination. This phenomenon is the well-known principle called synergy. But Fuller also discussed synergy’s anti-principle: the almost forgotten phenomenon of dysergy, a word so seldom used that it is not in computer spell-check dictionaries. But it may go down as the most important word of our age because it describes the thing man is doing to the environment that may well end up killing off some—but hopefully not all!—of its humans.

          Dysergy is an little understood process which occurs when you simplify a complex system by deleting one of its components and encounter unpredictable consequences. Common sense would tell you that since table salt is harmless and has only two constituents, you might be able to separate them without harm. But in fact, if you remove either one, what is left is a deadly poison. Disturbing large natural systems will tend to create war, famine, flood, and disease because these are the kinds of tools Mother Nature uses to rearrange and rebalance things as needed.

        • Siberia Faces ‘Airpocalypse’ as Unprecedented Wildfires Engulf Region in Toxic Smoke

          A monitoring service warned Wednesday that the Siberian city of Yakutsk is experiencing an “airpocalypse” as devastating wildfires engulf the typically frigid—but, thanks to the climate crisis, increasingly warm—region in toxic smoke.

          Throughout late Wednesday afternoon and early evening local time, according to Plume Labs, air quality in Yakutsk ranged from “dire” to “extreme” to “airpocalypse,” categories that indicate dangerous levels of pollutants in the atmosphere. Earlier this week, Yakutsk was forced to suspend flights at its airport due to poor visibility.

        • Five Shifts to Decolonize Ecological Science — Or Any Field of Knowledge
        • Undercover Investigations Expose Brutal Wildlife Killing Contests

          Contests like these should be relegated to history books; instead, these events still take place in nearly all of the 42 states where wildlife killing contests are legal and result in the killing of thousands of animals every year.

          Participants in these events, billed as family-friendly and often sponsored by bars, churches, firehouses and other local groups, compete with each other for prizes for killing the largest or smallest animal or the highest number of animals. Hundreds of animals may be slaughtered during a single contest. After the bloody piles of animals are weighed, prizes are awarded and the celebration ends, the bodies of the dead animals are often dumped like trash. Contestants frequently use cruel electronic calling devices to lure animals in for an easy kill and then shoot them with high-powered rifles—including AR-15s.

        • Tax-Funded Forest Institute in Oregon Misled Public, May Have Broken State Law, Audit Finds

          Oregon’s tax-funded forest education institute misled the public by presenting a biased view of forestry and might have broken the law by trying to influence policy, a state audit found.

          The Oregon Forest Resources Institute, established by lawmakers in 1991 to provide credible public education based on facts and reliable science, operates with broad authority and almost no oversight, undermining its public benefit and credibility, according to the audit released Wednesday by the secretary of state.

    • Finance

      • Washington DC Council Approves ‘Transformational’ Budget Including Tax Increase on Wealthy

        The D.C. Council voted 8-5 to raise income taxes for people who earn at least $250,000 per year, which proponents say will raise $100 million in revenue in the next fiscal year. 

        “Today’s budget could truly be transformational in total.”—Erik Salmi, communications director for Councilmember Charles Allen

      • Alden Global Capital Is Killing the Newsroom

        If Hollywood wanted to make a gritty movie about the work of dig-it-out newspaper reporters who uncover big local stories of government doings and corporate misdeeds, it couldn’t have chosen a more picture-perfect location than the boisterous newsroom of New York’s Daily News. Once the largest-circulation paper in America, the Daily News embodied the rich history of brawny tabloid journalism, even serving as the model for DC Comics’ Daily Planet, workplace of Clark Kent and Lois Lane in “Superman.”

      • Democrats Urged to Reject Latest GOP Attempt to Hold Social Security ‘Hostage’

        Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday said he would be willing to vote to raise the federal debt ceiling in exchange for a policy that could result in cuts to Social Security and Medicare, a proposed trade-off that progressive advocacy groups implored Democrats to reject.

        “Fortunately, Democrats can protect Social Security and Medicare by raising the debt ceiling in the forthcoming reconciliation package.”—Alex Lawson, Social Security Works

      • After Republicans Block Infrastructure Debate, Dems Urged to ‘Stop Dragging Their Feet’

        While Senate Republicans’ move Wednesday to block debate on unfinished bipartisan infrastructure legislation was widely expected across the political spectrum, some progressive campaigners and lawmakers responded with calls for Democrats to focus on what they can achieve without the GOP.

        “Republicans made it clear from the start that they’re not interested in working with Democrats.”—Lauren Maunus, Sunrise Movement

      • World if workers had power
      • Worker Power

        This world is America in the 1950s.

      • Poverty Wages and Tax Dodging Funded Bezos’s Ridiculous Space Trip
      • Our Billionaires are Blasting Off…Good Riddance!
      • Why Are the Long-term US Treasury Yields Falling?

        Although the realised and expected inflation rates have been going up since April 2021, the long-term US Treasury yields, however, have not been rising. Not only that, but they have started falling. We see this from Figure 1, which is the daily graph of the 10-year US Treasury yield from 2 January 2020 to 9 July 2021.

        The 10-year yield is the most important of the long-term US Treasury yields since it is a vital financial benchmark. It influences the mortgage and corporate borrowing interest rates, as well as the stock market. It is like a barometer that measures the health of the US economy, if not that of the world economy.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Idiocracy of America: Corporate Control Over Public Functions

        The hilarious 2006 film “Idiocracy” offers a vivid depiction of American politics. The movie is classified as a sci-fi comedy, but it is more like a searing documentary. It almost perfectly describes America’s crisis of survival today.

      • Progress or War: On Islamophobia and Europe’s Demographic Shifts

        Europe’s identity crisis is not confined to the ceaseless squabbles by Europeans over the EU, Brexit or football. It goes much deeper, reaching sensitive and dangerous territory, including that of culture and religion. Once more, Muslims stand at the heart of the continent’s identity debate.

      • With ‘Future of Our Planet’ at Stake, Sanders Says Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Package Must Pass

        As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday reiterated his commitment to advancing both major infrastructure packages before the August recess, Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders emphasized the importance of fighting for Democrats’ reconciliation proposal.

        “Tragically, many Republican leaders in Congress and around the country are just too busy continuing to lie about the 2020 presidential election, undermining democracy by suppressing voting rights, denying the reality of climate change, and casting doubts about the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines,” Sanders (I-V.t.) wrote for The Guardian.

      • As White House Says It’s ‘Reviewing 230′, Biden Admits His Comments About Facebook Were Misinformation

        In the never ending stupidity saga, kicked off by the White House picking a fight with Facebook because Facebook hasn’t banned 12 individuals (who were named as disinformation dozen by the Center for Countering Digital Hate), things have kicked up a notch — and nobody involved in the debate seems to know how any of this works. First, the White House has claimed that it is “reviewing Section 230″ whatever that means.

      • Who’s Afraid of Nina Turner?

        Nina Turner is very scary—to power brokers who’ve been spending big money and political capital to keep her out of Congress. With early voting underway, tensions are spiking as the decisive Democratic primary race in northeast Ohio nears its Aug. 3 finish. The winner will be virtually assured of filling the seat in the deep-blue district left vacant by Rep. Marcia Fudge when she became President Biden’s HUD secretary. What’s at stake in the special election is whether progressives will gain a dynamic champion in the House of Representatives.

      • YouTube blocks Team Navalny investigation about Russian tourism agency head

        YouTube has blocked an investigation about the head of Russia’s tourism agency released by Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) earlier this month, MBX Media reported on July 21.

      • Bernie Sanders to Headline Nina Turner Rally in Ohio Days Before Primary

        Sen. Bernie Sanders will travel to Ohio at the end of the month to headline a rally for House candidate Nina Turner just days ahead of the August 3 Democratic primary, her campaign announced Wednesday, two weeks into the early voting period.

        Sanders (I-Vt.) will deliver a keynote speech at a get-out-the-vote rally for Turner on July 31 at Cleveland’s Agora Theatre and Ballroom. After the rally, there will be a march to the polls.

      • Third time’s a charm The authorities in Belarus want to amend the constitution (again)

        In his 27 years as president, Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) has held two referendums on amending Belarus’s Constitution. Now, still in the aftermath of last year’s highly contested election, he’s gearing up for another constitutional ballot in 2022. Since March, a newly created Constitutional Commission has been working on proposed amendments to Belarus’s basic law. According to the commission’s head, Constitutional Court Chairman Pyotr Miklashevich, they’re going to send their list of ideas to Lukashenko on July 22. Meduza summarizes the proposed amendments here.

      • Republicans Believe Lying Will Make It So—And They May Be Right

        I had a friend who was a pathological liar. I do not use that term lightly; he really was. We met in college and then through an odd set of circumstances wound up working for the same television station in New York—in fact, our offices were right next door to each other.

      • Lowkey: Israel’s Entryism and the Campaign to Create a Binational Security State
      • AOC Calls GOP Refusal to Advance Infrastructure Bill Tactics for “Killing Time”
      • Dems Blast McCarthy for Ditching Jan. 6 Probe After Pelosi Rejects ‘Apologists for Insurrectionists’

        Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday reacted with disdain and derision after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he would not participate in the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and would instead lead his own Republican probe of the deadly riot.

        “Does anyone know that the hell Kevin McCarthy is talking about?”—Rep. Jim McGovern

      • McCarthy Pulls Out of Jan. 6 Committee After Pelosi Nixes Trump-Allied Picks
      • GOP Legislators in Missouri Oppose Vaccine as State Becomes COVID Hotspot
      • “We’re Not Allowed to Hang Up”: The Harsh Reality of Working in Customer Service

        Last year ProPublica wrote about the world of work-at-home customer service, spotlighting a largely unseen industry that helps brand-name companies shed labor costs by outsourcing the task of mollifying unhappy customers.

        As we reported on the industry, we invited current and former customer service representatives to contact us. They did. We heard from more than 100 and interviewed dozens. Often, their stories disturbed us. One woman, afraid to take a bathroom break, kept a jar under her desk in case she needed to urinate. Another, afraid to call in sick, paused calls to vomit. A third, afraid to hang up on a customer, didn’t know what to do when she realized a caller was masturbating to the sound of her voice.

      • Progressives Around the Country Are Recalling Sewer Socialism’s Proud History

        In 1910, during the United States’ first Gilded Age, Milwaukee elected Emil Seidel as its first socialist mayor. For much of the next 50 years—even during the Red Scare led by Wisconsin’s notorious Senator Joseph McCarthy—the city elected and reelected socialist mayors. These mayors, author Dan Kaufman wrote in The New York Times, were known for their integrity—uncompromised by the local business community that despised them—and for their frugality, their commitment that public money should be spent carefully and not squandered in smarmy deals with private contractors. They installed hundreds of drinking fountains, prosecuted restaurants serving tainted food, and modernized public services. Seidel appointed a new health commissioner whose department “oversaw a reduction of more than 40 percent of the cases of six leading contagious diseases.”

      • The Democrats Are Bungling Voting Rights—but Not in the Way You Think

        The John Lewis Voting Rights Act—still languishing in Congress a year after its name was changed to reflect the passing of the legendary civil rights activist, Representative John Lewis—is a solution to a problem wholly invented by the Supreme Court. In 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion in a case called Shelby County v. Holder, and in it he stripped away a key protection provided by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Republican-controlled states used the opportunity Roberts gave them to further suppress the Black vote, and his decision is a far bigger reason Donald Trump was able to run an openly white supremacist campaign and win the presidency in 2016 than any tales of economically aggrieved white people in Ohio that you may have heard about.

      • Texan Republican Cancel Culture Targets the Teachings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

        Republicans are using the debate about Critical Race Theory as an excuse to rewrite American history.

      • Demystifying European Digital Sovereignty

        Recently I participated in a very useful panel that aimed to demystify European digital sovereignty. Even though we spoke for more than an hour (video), we obviously were not able to fix all of Europe’s sovereignty problems!

        The event was organized by Scaleway (previously Online SAS or Online.net), a 100% subsidiary of what I think is Europe’s most innovative telecommunications company, Iliad.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Flawed Facial Recognition: ‘I Did Nothing Wrong. I Was Arrested Anyway.’
      • Moscow police arrest another Pussy Riot activist days after her colleagues fled the country citing persecution

        On July 21, Moscow police arrested Pussy Riot member Rita Flores outside her home. According to preliminary reports, she has been taken to a police station. The reason for her detention has yet to be disclosed.

      • ‘Only Russia has this problem’: At least 700 Russian nationals are stuck in New Zealand with expired passports

        For more than a year, Russian nationals residing in New Zealand have been unable to renew their expired passports. The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed to Novaya Gazeta that at least 700 people are currently facing this issue. Without valid passports, Russians living in New Zealand can’t renew their visas, apply for jobs, buy houses, or travel anywhere other than Russia. But amid the coronavirus pandemic, Moscow simply isn’t sending any new travel documents. According to Foreign Ministry protocol, new passports can only be delivered by diplomatic couriers — who have stopped traveling to New Zealand due to its mandatory two-week quarantine policy.

      • Bronka bros How Russia’s justice system ordered the seizure of a major seaport built with stolen public funds — all without criminal charges against the ex-security officials who bought it

        When is corruption enough to warrant felony prosecution? The Russian Attorney General’s Office says a businessman in St. Petersburg overcharged the Federal Protective Service vast sums of money for construction work and used the cash to build a multipurpose sea cargo complex. Last month, in a Civil Code ruling, a Moscow court ordered the state to seize the port as public property from its new owners: the families of two former senior security officials. RBC reporter Margarita Alekhina took a long, hard look at the case materials behind the court order. Meduza summarizes what she found.

      • Court Calls Bullshit On Cop Who Claimed He Could Smell Weed In Sealed Bags In A Moving Car From His Own Moving Cruiser

        It doesn’t happen nearly often enough, but it’s always enjoyab le to watch a court lay the smackdown on a law enforcement officer’s literally unbelievable assertions. And this case [PDF] — via FourthAmendment.com — contains a claim from a supposedly trained and experienced officer that’s so ridiculous, the court has no choice but to discredit his testimony completely.

      • Cheers to the Winners of EFF’s 13th Annual Cyberlaw Trivia Night

        EFF’s staff joined forces to craft the questions, pulling details from the rich canon of privacy, free speech, and intellectual property law to create four rounds of trivia for this year’s seven competing teams.

        As the evening began, contestants explored the virtual space and caught-up with each-other, but the time for trivia would soon be at hand! After welcoming everyone to the event, our intrepid Quiz Master Kurt Opsahl introduced our judges Cindy Cohn, Sophia Cope, and Mukund Rathi. Attendees were then asked to meet at their team’s private table, allowing them to freely discuss answers without other teams being able to overhear, and so the trivia began!

      • Colombia Erupts in Protest Again over Right-Wing Gov’t Tax Plans Even as “Solidarity Is Criminalized”

        We go to Colombia for an update on anti-government protests in several cities on the country’s Independence Day, when right-wing President Iván Duque presented a new tax reform bill to Congress. The last tax proposal failed in April after it prompted a general strike and massive demonstrations that focused on deepening economic inequality and human rights abuses. The latest demonstrations came after some of the organizers were arrested and harassed over the weekend and protesters have faced intense crackdowns and brutality from Colombian police forces in recent months. “It was amazing that it took place, notwithstanding the fear tactics that were being used by the government leading up to the July 20th mobilizations,” says award-winning journalist Mario Murillo, in Bogotá. We also speak with Colombian activist María del Rosario Arango Zambrano in Cali, a city with a long history of activism and resistance. “The repression has been especially brutal here, not only by security forces but also by paramilitary groups,” she says.

      • Virginia Volvo Strikers Narrowly Approve New Contract

        In that earlier rejection, 60% of UAW Local 2069 members taking part voted “no” on the terms of that tentative agreement– this being the 3rd failed deal since negotiations began in April this year.

        So why this seeming about-turn in a relatively short time?

      • Jeff Bezos thanks Amazon workers for Blue Origin launch in revealingly tone-deaf moment

        The weeks leading up to the launch featured renewed criticism of the so-called billionaire space race. At a time of ever-worsening inequality and with the effects of the climate crisis more apparent with every passing day, critics asked whether so much attention and resources should be dedicated to the visions of space privatization and colonization put forward by billionaires.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Axios Parrots A Lot Of Dumb, Debunked Nonsense About Net Neutrality

        I’ve talked a lot about how the Trump net neutrality repeal was a massive con. It effectively gutted the FCC’s consumer protection oversight at telecom monopoly behest, then tried to ban states from being able to protect US consumers as well. Worse, it was based on a bunch of absolute bullshit about how doing this would spur network investment, create jobs, and result in amazing new innovation. All propped up by bad data and fake and dead people hired by the telecom industry. It was a massive ploy to further obliterate meaningful oversight of predatory, widely disliked regional telecom monopolies under the guise of progress.

      • How CDN Providers Break the Internet

        Nick Rockwell, the Senior Vice President of engineering and infrastructure at the company, outlined the incident in a blog post.  “We experienced a global outage due to an undiscovered software bug that surfaced on June 8 when it was triggered by a valid customer configuration change.”  The bug had been introduced in a software deployment on May 12 “that could be triggered by a specific customer configuration under specific circumstances.”

        Fastly’s role is important, since it, along with such entities as Akamai and Cloudflare, constitutes part of the content delivery network (CDN) essential to the internet’s infrastructure and the speed with which information is relayed.  Such CDN entities are physical manifestations in utilising servers to minimise download times.  They supply a service that enables websites, notably those attracting heavy traffic, to retain copies of their pages “closer” to their customers.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix’s Head of Physical Production Ty Warren to Exit in Reorganization (Exclusive)

        Netflix’s head of physical production, Ty Warren, was laid off as part of a restructuring of the physical production department, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

        According to an individual with knowledge of the matter, the restructuring is focused on creating regional physical production teams, rather than having one central worldwide division led by Warren.

    • Monopolies

      • ‘Tremendous News for Workers and Consumers’: Biden Picks Kanter as DOJ Antitrust Chief

        Critics of Big Tech and monopoly power welcomed President Joe Biden’s Tuesday announcement that he plans on nominating lawyer and competition policy proponent Jonathan Kanter to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

        Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) called the development “excellent news for workers, consumers, small businesses, and innovation across America!”

      • Biden stacks his administration with yet another tech foe

        Kanter is an antitrust lawyer who has previously represented Google competitors like Yelp and Microsoft.

        The Senate will need to confirm Kanter to secure his position. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-M), who is sponsoring bills regulating tech, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) immediately released statements in support.

      • Patents

        • Trade union to EPO president Campinos: Quash unlawful strike restrictions

          In an open letter to EPO president António Campinos, trade union SUEPO has called for an execution of the recent judgments of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILOAT) concerning restrictions on the right to strike at the EPO.

          In a series of judgments the ILOAT ruled that the legal framework which was introduced in 2013 by former president Benoit Battistelli and was intended to curb strikes, is unlawful (see this earlier post).

          As the SUEPO writes: “The judges emphasised: It has long been recognised that staff of international organisations have a right to strike and that generally it is lawful to exercise that right.

        • Discover the power of EPO patent data [Ed: The EPO is openwashing monopolies again]

          Today the EPO launches a new free statistics and trends centre to make our annual Patent Index interactive and fully explorable, allowing users to discover trends and connections for themselves with greater flexibility than ever before.

        • New report reveals global patenting trends in space technologies [Ed: Criminals who run the EPO pretend that space travel was made possible due to patents rather than in spite of them]

          A new study published today reveals the global patenting trends in cosmonautics – showing how different actors both public and private are driving forward innovations in areas like propulsion, systems control and onboard power.

        • Counsel: VICO ruling may spur need for EPC re-write [Ed: No, there needs to be a realisation that the boards of appeal are just drones of corrupt management, who violate the EPC for the "Mafia" in charge of the Office. The propaganda mill of the EPO, with infinitive audacity and bribes, wants the EPC to change to suit itself for criminals who run and rob the Office, instead of them obeying the EPC and the law. Enablers of crime, disguised as "journalists".]

          In-house and private practice sources, and a former EPO director, tell Managing IP that clarity is essential after the G1/21 ruling

        • “The UPC has lost its spark. Only real commitment can save it now” [Ed: No, UPC is illegal and unconstitutional; only corruption can 'save' it now.]

          The Unified Patent Court has been postponed so many times. Often the project seemed dead in the water. Many companies, lawyers and judges have lost interest. Now, the German Constitutional Court has ruled on the renewed urgent motions much faster than many expected. Finally, the way is clear for Germany to ratify the UPC Agreement.

          Currently, however, there is no sign of euphoria. Alexander Ramsay, head of the UPC Preparatory Committee, cautiously estimates the court will start in late 2022 – provided things go smoothly from now on. So intertwined is this proviso with the UPC that it could be the court’s slogan.

        • The Key To Lowering Drug Prices Is Improving Patent Quality

          This post is one of a series of posts we’re running this week in support of Patent Quality Week, exploring how better patent quality is key to stopping efforts that hinder innovation.

        • Many Automakers Rely On Patents, But That Doesn’t Mean All Patents Are Good For Automakers

          This post is one of a series of posts we’re running this week in support of Patent Quality Week, exploring how better patent quality is key to stopping efforts that hinder innovation.

        • New Campaign Demands World Leaders ‘Stop Playing Games’ and End Vaccine Apartheid

          As athletes from around the world prepare to compete in the Olympics in Tokyo—without any in-person spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic, more than a year after the crisis began and despite the availability of effective vaccines—advocacy groups on Wednesday called on world leaders to “stop playing games” and end the apartheid that’s keeping the Global South from accessing vaccine doses.

          The People’s Vaccine Alliance and Public Citizen launched their new Stop Playing Games campaign to demand that leaders of wealthy countries, 33 of which have vaccinated at least 50% of their populations, invest in a global vaccine manufacturing plan to produce and distribute doses at a faster rate in regional hubs around the world.

        • Software Patents

          • IP Investments Group entity patent determined to be likely invalid

            On July 20, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 6,560,613, owned by DataCloud Technologies, LLC, an NPE and an IP Investments Group entity. The ‘613 patent relates generally to disambiguating file types on a computer system. The patent has been asserted against Box, Extreme Networks, F5 Networks, 1&1 Ionos, and Wix.com.

          • Arigna Technology Limited patent challenged

            On July 20, 2021, Unified Patents filed an ex parte reexamination against U.S. Patent 7,397,318. Formerly owned by Mitsubishi Electric Corp, the ‘318 patent is currently owned by Arigna Technology Limited, an Atlantic IP Services Limited subsidiary, and has been asserted against several auto makers such as Daimler AG, Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, and others.

      • Copyrights

        • Introducing the CC Global Summit Program Committee

          We are grateful to introduce our Summit Program Committee! This year’s program wouldn’t be possible without this amazing group of volunteers, and we want to thank them for their dedication to creating a groundbreaking program so we can gather again to learn, share and create! Special thanks to our co-chairs Brigitte Vézina and John Okewole.

        • Sex Pistols probably ‘gone for good’, band’s former drummer tells High Court

          Mr Jones and Mr Cook argue that, under the terms of a band agreement made in 1998, decisions regarding licensing requests can be determined on a “majority rules basis”.

          But Mr Lydon, who has previously told the Sunday Times he thinks the series is the “most disrespectful shit I’ve ever had to endure”, argues that licences cannot be granted without his consent.

        • Sex Pistols Spar Over Use of Music in Upcoming Danny Boyle-Directed Series ‘Pistol’

          During a court hearing Thursday, July 15th, Cook and Jones’ lawyer, Edmund Cullen, argued that a 1998 agreement gave band members the power to authorize licensing requests on a “majority rules basis.” To give them that majority, Cullen added that Cook and Jones have the backing of the band’s original bassist, Glen Matlock, as well as the estate of late bassist Sid Vicious.

        • Greece Adds OpenSubtitles to Its Pirate Site Blocklist

          Following a request from a local anti-piracy group, Greek ISPs are required to block access to dozens of new domain names. The targeted domains include Fmovies.to, zooqle.com, and several RARBG proxies. The subtitle-sharing community OpenSubtitles is also on the list.

        • Tokyo Olympics: Sony Obtains High Court Order to Prevent Piracy

          The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is being held mostly without spectators but the reach of global TV will ensure it is seen around the world. With the assistance of a High Court order, Sony Pictures wants to make sure that viewers in India enjoy the games without resorting to illegal streaming platforms.

Novelty for the Sake of Novelty Alone is Typically a Mistake

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7ed7e54f0466c32647944ab8cbe47e68

Summary: Lesson of the week (or the month) is, stop letting corporations break what already works just to introduce something newer (at risk/cost to the clients, not those corporations that use early adopters as unpaid testers)

OVER the years we wrote many articles (e.g. [1, 2, 3]) that explain how simplicity… well, basically keeps things nice and simple, whereas unnecessary complexity or early adoption of “new things” means risk. This is common knowledge that many people, especially mission-critical operations, have come to expect.

More than a fortnight ago BT said it would move me to fibre-optics (no more copper) and it put in a lot of effort to convince me to go along with that plan. I accordingly scheduled downtime on numerous occasions; I foresaw completion more than a week ago. But it all went very wrong (see my series; it has 6 parts: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and Part VI). This morning I got fed up by it (among other issues) and the cancellation was confirmed a couple of hours ago. I wished I had never agreed to that foolish plan, which to BT was about cost savings (to BT, not to me). The lessons learned may actually extend somewhat to debates we nowadays have in the software — not the networking/transit — world/domain/field. They try to make the Web all about bloated frameworks and the same goes for programming and operating systems. Simplicity, or sufficient abstraction to help us know what’s going on under the hood, is being abandoned in the name of “power” or “security” or supposed “ease of use”. But we end up with more problems than before, the entry barrier is raised even further (discouraging so-called ‘inclusion’ and ‘diversity’ because training and experience levels go up a notch) and many practical things get worse, they’re not improved. These days many security issues in systemd are falsely attributed to “Linux” and in the past week even weak passwords were being blamed on “Linux”. It’s astounding, isn’t it?

GNU is still minimalist if not ‘brutalist’. Except GCC, which is absolutely massive (because there’s lots of hardware support, hence the same problem as Linux). This atomic UNIX mentality or modularity helps keep freedom in fact; more people can participate.

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:12 am by Needs Sunlight

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