Links 2/9/2021: Genode 21.08 and FSF Hiring

Posted in News Roundup at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Hostirian Announces Strategic Sponsorship of Navy Linux

      Hostirian today announced its sponsorship of Navy Linux. Effectively, Hostirian will provide important infrastructure to support Navy Linux programmers, as both entities are dedicated to ongoing improvements for the programming community. As part of the sponsorship, Hostirian President Ken Cox has joined the Navy Linux Board of Directors.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Best Linux Laptop (2020): A Buyer’s Guide with Picks from an RHCE

        If you don’t posses the right knowledge & the experience, then finding the best Linux laptop can be a daunting task. And thus you can easily end-up with something that looks great, features great performance, but struggles to cope with ‘Linux’, shame! So, as a RedHat Certified Engineer, the author & the webmaster of this blog, and as a ‘Linux’ user with 14+ years of experience, I used all my knowledge to recommend to you a couple of laptops that I personally guarantee will let you run ‘Linux’ with ease. After 20+ hours of research (carefully looking through the hardware details & reading user feedback) I chose Dell XP S9360-3591-SLV, at the top of the line. If you want a laptop that’s equipped with modern features & excellent performance that ‘just works’ with Linux, then this is your best pick.

        It’s well built (aluminium chassis), lightweight (2.7 lb), features powerful hardware, 6 hours+ battery life, includes an excellent 13.3 inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen with 3200×1800 QHD resolution which should give you excellently sharp images without making anything too small & difficult to read, a good & roomy track-pad (earlier versions had a few issues with it, but now they seem to be gone) with rubber-like palm rest area and a good keyboard (the key travel is not deep, but it’s a very think laptop so…) with Backlit, two USB 3.0 ports. Most importantly, two of the most common elements of a laptop that can give ‘Linux’ user a headache, the wireless adapter & the GPU (yes the Intel HD Graphics 620 can play 4K videos at 60fps), they are both super compatible with ‘Linux’ on this Dell.

      • Linux on The Framework Laptop

        In the meantime, an active Linux forum has been established that provides instructions for various distributions. Ubuntu recommends version 21.04 because the current LTS version 20.04 is not up to date. Fedora 34 must first be brought up to date or a current respin must be used. With Arch Linux everything seems to work from kernel 5.13.7 onwards, while with elementary OS due to the Ubuntu LTS basis there is still a lot of manual work to be done. Even the Qubes OS , which is very critical in terms of hardware, runs on the framework laptop.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Manjaro 21.1.0 Xfce Edition Quick overview #Shorts – Invidious

        A Quick overview of Manjaro 21.1.0 Xfce Edition. #linux #Manjaro #Shorts #opensource https://youtu.be/SqAISUFTYLg Manjaro Linux is a fast, user-friendly, desktop-oriented operating system based on Arch Linux. Key features include intuitive installation process, automatic hardware detection, stable rolling-release model, ability to install multiple kernels, special Bash scripts for managing graphics drivers and extensive desktop configurability. Manjaro Linux offers Xfce as the core desktop options, as well as KDE, GNOME and a minimalist Net edition for more advanced users. Community-supported desktop flavours are also available.

      • Intel wants a piece of the GPU market, and Github Copilot’s code is unsafe – Linux News August 2021 – Invidious

        Wanna get your own Linux server? Visit https://www.linode.com/linuxexperiment for a 100$ credit ! Get your Linux desktop or laptop here: https://slimbook.es/en/ This time, we have Intel announcing gaming-grade GPUs, multiple new distro releases, and Github Copilot producing unsafe code.

      • WILL IT LINUX? | Death’s Door – Invidious

        Today’s community-powered installment of “Will It Linux” examines a fun, gorgeous, and humorous indie game called Death’s Door.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S14E26 – Amid Navigable Impulses

        This week we’ve been building a new Ubuntu workstation. We interview Andreas Kling about SerenityOS, bring you some command line love and go over all your wonderful (and not so wonderful) feedback.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.14 supports Raspberry Pi 400

        As expected, Linus Torvalds Linux Kernel 5.14 yesterday, Sunday released . As always, the new kernel brings better hardware support. At 5.14, this includes full support for the Raspberry Pi 400 and support for the Rockchip RK3568 , a SoC with a 4-core ARM A55 CPU and Mali G52 2EE GPU. The two smartphones Sony Xperia 1, 1II and 5 as well as 5II receive initial support. Microsoft’s Android Phone Surface Duo with Qualcomm’s SM8150 (Snapdragon 855) SoC also receives better support.

      • DVB, header files, and user-space regressions

        A regression that was recently reported for 5.14 in the media subsystem is a bit of a strange beast. The kernel’s user-space binary interface (ABI) was not changed, which is the usual test for a patch to get reverted, but the report still led to a reversion. The change did lead to problems building a user-space application because it moved some header files to staging/ as part of a cleanup for a deprecated—though apparently still functioning—driver for a Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) device. There are a few different issues tangled together here, but the reversion of a regression in the user-space API (and not ABI) is a new wrinkle.

        Soeren Moch reported the regression in a lengthy message on August 11. Parts of the message were aimed at Linus Torvalds and requested the reversion of three patches committed by media subsystem maintainer Mauro Carvalho Chehab. Those patches moved the av7110 driver to staging and followed up by moving some documentation and header files there as well. But that broke the ability to build parts of the Video Disk Recorder (VDR) application, which is shipped with multiple Linux distributions, Moch said.

        He pointed to a Red Hat bug that had been filed by another member of the VDR community as evidence of the problem. VDR uses header files from the uapi/linux/dvb directory; when those got moved, VDR would no longer build on the kernel used for the upcoming Fedora 35. Beyond that, Moch disagreed with moving “the long existing and working av7110 driver” to staging/.

      • The Btrfs inode-number epic (part 1: the problem)

        Unix-like systems — and their users — tend to expect all filesystems to behave in the same way. But those users are also often interested in fancy new filesystems offering features that were never envisioned by the developers of the Unix filesystem model; that has led to a number of interesting incompatibilities over time. Btrfs is certainly one of those filesystems; it provides a long list of features that are found in few other systems, and some of those features interact poorly with the traditional view of how filesystems work. Recently, Neil Brown has been trying to resolve a specific source of confusion relating to how Btrfs handles inode numbers.

        One of the key Btrfs features is subvolumes, which are essentially independent filesystems maintained within a single storage volume. Snapshots are one commonly used form of subvolume; they allow the storage of copies of the state of another subvolume at a given point in time, with the underlying data shared to the extent that it has not been changed since each snapshot was taken. There are other applications for subvolumes as well, and they tend to be heavily used; Btrfs filesystems can contain thousands of subvolumes.

        Btrfs subvolumes bring some interesting quirks with them. They can be mounted independently, as if they were separate filesystems, but they also appear as a part of the filesystem hierarchy as seen from the root. So one can mount subvolumes, but a subvolume can be accessed without being mounted if a higher-level directory is mounted. Imagine, for example, that /dev/sda1 contains a Btrfs filesystem that has been mounted on /butter. One could create a pair of subvolumes with commands like:

      • The Btrfs inode-number epic (part 2: solutions)

        The first installment in this two-part series looked at the difficulties that arise when Btrfs filesystems containing subvolumes are exported via NFS. Btrfs has a couple of quirks that complicate life in this situation: the use of separate device numbers for subvolumes and the lack of unique inode numbers across the filesystem as a whole. Recently, Neil Brown set off on an effort to try to solve these problems, only to discover that the situation was even more difficult than expected and that many attempts would be required.

      • NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX + Other ARM Platforms Now Supported By Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

        The Arm SoC and platform updates have been merged for the in-development Linux 5.15 kernel.

        Highlights of the ARM hardware support changes this time around include:

        - Support for the Microchip SAMA7 family of SoCs using the aging Cortex-A7.

        - The Qualcomm Snapdragon SDM636 and SDM8150 are both supported now by the Linux 5.15 upstream kernel.

      • EXT4 Ready With Some New Optimizations – Orphan_File, Moving Discard’s Work – Phoronix

        It’s busy on the Linux file-system front for the 5.15 cycle woth Btrfs adding a degenerate RAID option along with performance improvements to big improvements for XFS and now comes the EXT4 updates.

        With EXT4 there are various fixes and improvements as usual but this cycle does bring some new performance work too.

        First up, EXT4 adds a new “orphan_file” mount option to speed-up its handling of orphan file handling. As summed up by Jan Kara with the orphan file improvement patch series, “Orphan inode handling in ext4 is a bottleneck for workloads which heavily excercise truncate / unlink of small files as they contend on global s_orphan_mutex (when you have fast enough storage). This patch set implements new way of handling orphan inodes – instead of using a linked list, we store inode numbers of orphaned inodes in a file which is possible to implement in a more scalable manner than linked list manipulations.”

      • The shrinking role of ETXTBSY

        Unix-like systems abound with ways to confuse new users, many of which have been present since long before Linux entered the scene. One consistent source of befuddlement is the “text file is busy” (ETXTBSY) error message that is delivered in response to an attempt to overwrite an executable image file. Linux is far less likely to deliver ETXTBSY results than it once was, but they do still happen on occasion. Recent work to simplify the mechanism behind ETXTBSY has raised a more fundamental question: does this error check have any value at all?

        The “text” that is busy in this case refers to a program’s executable code — it’s text that is read by the CPU rather than by humans. When a program is run, its executable text is mapped into the running process’s address space. When this happens, Unix systems have traditionally prevented the file containing that text from being modified; the alternative is to allow the code being run to be changed arbitrarily, which rarely leads to happy outcomes. For extra fun, the changed code will only be read if it is faulted into RAM, meaning that said unhappy outcomes might not happen until hours (or days) after the file has been overwritten. Rather than repeatedly explain to users why their programs have crashed in mysterious ways, Unix kernel developers chose many years ago to freeze the underlying file while those programs run — leading to the need to explain ETXTBSY errors instead.

        Perhaps the easiest way to generate such an error is to try to rebuild a program while some process is still running it. Developers (those working in compiled languages, anyway) tend to learn early on to respond to “text file busy” errors by killing off the program they are debugging and rerunning make.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Linux Performance

        Last month were our benchmarks of the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G on Linux for that new desktop APU with Zen 3 cores and Vega graphics available through retail channels. Due to reader interest and with the Ryzen 5 5600G still readily available via Internet retailers, here is a look at the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Linux performance in a variety of benchmarks.


        On the graphics side with the Ryzen 5 5600G are Radeon Vega graphics with seven cores and a 1.9GHz clock frequency, down from eight graphics cores with the 5700G. The Ryzen 5 5600G is currently available from Internet retailers for ~$259 USD and indeed last week I had no issues purchasing one and as of writing still is enjoying broad availability.

    • Applications

      • Apostrophe – An Elegant Markdown Editor You Should Try in Ubuntu Linux

        For Gnome fans, Apostrophe is a clean and intuitive Markdown editor you should try!

        Apostrophe is one of the Gnome Circle Apps that provides a modern and distraction-free writing environment for Linux.

        The editor supports for inputting via Pandoc’s Markdown, CommonMark, GitHub Flavored Markdown, MultiMarkdown and Plan Markdown formats.

        The app has Light, Dark, and Gray (maybe) UI appearance. The ‘Hemingway Mode’ is available which will disable the backspace key. And ‘Focus Mode’ will highlight the current line, remove header and bottom bar to provide a zen-like environment when writing.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install and upgrade Mate 1.26 on Ubuntu 20.04 – itsfoss.net

        Today we are going to learn how to install and upgrade Mate 1.26 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS & Ubuntu 21.04 latest update, as we know recently Mate 1.26 released with tons of new features with polished design

        The new version of Mate 1.26 PPA maintained by Ubuntu Mate Developers, and pushed to exiting Ubuntu 20.04 LTS users as well as Ubuntu 21.04 Latest version while you can also able to install Mate 1.26 in Ubuntu 21.10 beta version and other all Ubuntu community Driven flavors like Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu

        Mate 1.26 version ppa provide Desktop environment with new version core apps like pulma and caja for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS & Ubuntu 21.04

      • Using the Linux set command

        The Linux set command allows you to change the value of shell options or to display the names and values of shell variables. Rarely used, it is a bash builtin, but is quite a bit more complicated than most builtins.

        If you use the command without any arguments, you will get a list of all the settings—the names and values of all shell variables and functions. Watch out though! You’ll end up with a torrent of output flowing down your screen.

      • Rambling around foo: Stretch to Buster upgrade issues: “Grub error: symbol ‘grub_is_lockdown’ not found”, missing RTL8111/8168/8411 Ethernet driver and RTL8821CE Wireless adapter on Linux Kernel 5.10 (and 4.19)

        I have been Debian Stretch running on my HP Pavilion 14-ce0000nq laptop since buying it back in April 2019, just before my presence at Oxidizeconf where I presented “How to Rust When Standards Are Defined in C”.

        Debian Buster (aka Debian 10) was released about 4 months later and I’ve been postponing the upgrade as my free time isn’t what it used to be. I also tend to wait for the first or even second update of the release to avoid any sharp edges.

        As this laptop has a Realtek 8821CE wireless card that wasn’t officially supported in the Linux kernel, I had to use an out-of-tree hacked driver to have the wireless work on Stretch kernels such as 4.19, it didn’t even got along with DKMS, so all compilations and installations of it, I did them manually. More reason to wait for a newer release that would contain a driver inside the official kernel.

        I was waiting for the inevitable and dreading the wireless issues, but since mid-august Bullseye became stable, turning Stretch into oldoldstable, I decided that I had to do the upgrade, at least to buster.

      • How To Install Bagisto on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Bagisto on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Bagisto is a free, eCommerce platform built Laravel eCommerce framework for anyone who wants to run an online store. Bagisto has a built-in easy navigable admin panel and is bundled with functionalities like Multi-Currency, Multi-Localization, Access Control Level, Multi-Channel, Payment integration, and much more.

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

        If you’re wondering where your disk space went, the likely culprit is Arch’s package cache. Arch Linux stores a copy of each package you download in the /var/cache/pacman/pkg/ directory. This includes every package you download, even upgrades. You can roll back to previous versions in case an update breaks a package, which comes in handy on a rolling-release distro like Arch.

        While having multiple copies of a package is useful for recovery, it does take up space. You might forget to remove older versions of packages. The developers of Arch Linux decided it would be better for the user to manage this cache rather than building some automatic utility to get rid of outdated versions. So how do you get your space back?

      • How to monitor your Linux servers with Checkmk – TechRepublic

        As a systems/network administrator, it’s on you to keep tabs on the Linux servers in your data center (be it on-premise or in the cloud). Given the Linux platform has a significant number of tools to help you monitor those servers, you might not know where to start. Among those many titles, there is one particular software package that you should definitely try out. Said monitor is Checkmk.

    • Games

      • Historical adventure Svoboda 1945: Liberation has been released for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Charles Games have released their second native Linux game today with Svoboda 1945: Liberation a historical adventure that offers a unique blend of adventure gameplay, full-motion video interviews with real actors, and historically accurate interactive memories and more. The follow-up to the award-winning Attentat 1942 (IGF finalist, A MAZE winner, Apple Design finalist).

        “Attentat 1942 was so warmly received by the Linux community, so porting Svoboda 1945: Liberation was a no-brainer. Linux players are among the most encouraging and passionate,” says Lukas Kolek, director of Charles Games. “We believe that games are a great medium for telling stories and have the power to tackle serious issues such as the rise of dictatorship, or historical reconciliation,” adds lead designer Vit Sisler

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Circle – Top Useful Apps for GNOME Users

          With the GNOME Circle , the GNOME Foundation promotes the development of useful applications and tools for the everyday life of a GNOME user.

          In a series of articles we now present various useful applications from the GNOME Circle project.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.6.0 Released with NX Desktop

          The release of the distribution Nitrux 1.6.0 , built on the Debian package base, KDE technologies and the init system has been OpenRC published . The distribution develops its own NX Desktop , which is an add-on over the user’s KDE Plasma environment. The AppImages self-contained package system is being promoted to install additional applications. The boot images are 3.1 GB and 1.5 GB in size. The developments of the project are distributed under free licenses.

          NX Desktop offers a different style, its own implementation of the system tray, notification center and various plasmoids, such as a network configurator and a media applet for volume control and playback control of multimedia content. The package also includes applications from the MauiKit suite , including the Index file manager (Dolphin can also be used), Note text editor, Station emulator, Clip music player, VVave video player, and Pix image viewer.

          In the new release:

          Desktop components have been updated to KDE Plasma 5.22.4, KDE Frameworksn 5.85.0 and KDE Gear (KDE Applications) 21.08.

        • Linux Lite Moves to Pay What You Want Model With Version 5.6 Release

          Linux Lite has just announced Linux lite 5.6, the fourth installment in their 5.x series of releases. This release brings some major changes, especially in the download process. Other, more subtle tweaks are also shown throughout the OS.

          Here, we will be looking at what is new, what has changed, and how these changes may affect the future of Linux Lite.

        • Linux Lite 5.6 Available to Download

          Linux Lite 5.6 Available to Download, Linux Lite is a beginner-friendly Linux distribution based on Ubuntu’s long-term support (LTS) release and featuring the Xfce desktop. The project’s latest release, Linux Lite 5.6, is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and offers a number of conveniences and upgrades. Python 3 is now used by default, it is possible to install the distribution via the welcome screen on the live media, and the Lite Tweaks tool will offer to clean up temporary files used by the Brave browser.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Nutanix CEO Taking On VMware With Red Hat Linux, OpenShift

          Nutanix CEO Rajiv Ramaswami talks competition with VMware via its new Nutanix Red Hat partnership around OpenShift, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Kubernetes, HCI and Nutanix AHV.

        • Remi Collet: PHP on the road to the 8.1.0 release

          Version 8.1.0 Release Candidate 1 is released. It’s now enter the stabilisation phase for the developers, and the test phase for the users.

          RPM are available in the remi-php81 repository for Fedora ≥ 33 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS), or in the php:remi-8.1 stream, and as Software Collection in the remi-safe repository (or remi for Fedora)

        • Fedora Community Blog: CPE to staff EPEL work

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat is establishing a small team directly responsible for participating in EPEL activities. Their job isn’t to displace the EPEL community, but rather to support it full-time. We expect many beneficial effects, among those better EPEL readiness for a RHEL major release. The EPEL team will be part of the wider Community Platform Engineering group, or CPE for short.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Community Blog monthly summary: August 2021

          In August, we published 12 posts. The site had 4,906 visits from 3,407 unique viewers. 1,685 visits came from search engines, while 661 came from the WordPress Android app, 177 came from Twitter, and 176 came from LinkedIn.

        • Linux block devices: hints for debugging and new developments

          Like CPUs and memory, block devices have been with us in the Linux and UNIX world for a long time, and are

          going to stay. In this article, I try to point at some recent developments and give ideas for debugging and available tools.

          Ever wondered how to do checksumming on a block device? How to have a device appear bigger than the underlying disk? How to compress your disk? This article has something new for everybody.

          For character devices, the driver sends/receives single bytes. For block devices, communication is in entire blocks. For example, hard disk or NVMe drivers can present the disk contents for read/write access via device node /dev/sda, and we can imagine the block device as representing the disk as a long lineup of bytes. A user on the Linux system can then open the device, seek to the place which should be accessed, and read or write data.

        • Faster web deployment with Python serverless functions

          Functions as a Service (FaaS) and serverless architecture promise quick, lightweight deployments for web applications and other standalone functions. But until recently, creating FaaS in Red Hat OpenShift has been a “sort of” process consisting of multiple steps. You weren’t really creating a function so much as an application that could scale back to zero pods after a few minutes, then scale up again when called.

          Red Hat OpenShift Serverless Functions is a newer feature that changes all of that. As a developer, you can use it to deploy functions in a snap. You can scaffold functions that handle HTTP requests or CloudEvents with one command.

          This article gets you started with creating and deploying serverless functions with OpenShift Serverless Functions. We’ll use Python to develop our serverless function, but it’s just one of many languages you could choose from.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Launching Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) | Ubuntu

          At the end of April 2021, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS ‘Xenial Xerus’ transitioned into the extended security maintenance (ESM) phase, effectively ending free updates for it, though paid security patching is still available via Ubuntu Advantage. To ensure users don’t build on Ubuntu images that may be insecure, Ubuntu 16.04 is no longer available to be selected for deployment through the Web UI, CLI and API. When selecting ‘Canonical Ubuntu’ in the Platform Images, you now only have 18.04 and 20.04 (and its Minimal images) options:

        • Ubuntu Blog: Commissioning deployed machines: Request granted

          We want to make it possible to deploy MAAS in an existing datacenter, and have it keep track of machines that already have a deployed workload — without disturbing machine or workload. Currently, in order to get a machine into MAAS, with correct hardware information, you have to network boot the machine and let MAAS inspect the machine in an ephemeral environment.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi style SBC serves up i.MX8M Mini for $90

        Geniatech has launched a $90 “XPI-iMX8MM” SBC that runs Linux on an i.MX8M Mini with up 1GB to 4GB RAM, 8GB to 128GB eMMC, and 40-pin GPIO.

        Geniatech has begun selling a Raspberry Pi sized SBC with NXP’s 1.8GHz, quad -A53 i.MX8M Mini. The XPI-iMX8MM follows Geniatech’s larger APC810 SBC, which is equipped with the i.MX8M. The SBC has the same Raspberry Pi size and layout as its Amlogic S905X powered XPI-S905X.

      • Tiger Lake-H module features PCIe Gen4 x16 and USB4

        Advantech’s Linux-ready “SOM-5883” Basic Type 6 module builds on an up to octa-core, 11th Gen H-series CPU with up to 128GB DDR4, optional NVMe, PCIe Gen4 x16, quad 4K displays, 2.5GbE with TSN, 4x USB 3.2, and USB4.

        Advantech has announced a COM Express Basic Type 6 module with Intel’s desktop-class, 11th Gen Tiger Lake-H processors. The SOM-5883 runs Advantech’s AIM Linux or Win 10 on the 10nm fabricated, up to octa-core Tiger Lake-H Core CPUs (see farther below).

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • The smartChair is a Nano 33 IoT-based stand-up and walking aid | Arduino Blog

          Over time, people age and naturally tend to lose some or most of their mobility, leading to a need for a wheelchair, walker, or other assistive device. This led hitesh.boghani to submit his project, which he calls the smartChair, to element14’s Design for a Cause 2021 contest. This build features a sort of pseudo-walker that enables a user to transition from a sitting to a standing position with some motorized assistance. Apart from that primary use, Hitesh also wanted to create a “summon” mode that would allow the walker to move on its own to where it’s needed.

        • The new Arduino CLI 0.19.0 is out and better than ever! | Arduino Blog

          There’s a truckload of news from the Arduino Tooling Team today: Arduino CLI 0.19.0 is now available! This release has tons of great enhancements, exciting new features and heaps of bug fixes. Some things required quite a bit of breaking changes but they’re worth the hassle.

          The highlights of this release are certainly the addition of pluggable discovery and the internal restructuring of the startup steps of the Arduino CLI. These affected the JSON output of some commands and the gRPC interface functions, which is documented in the upgrading guide.

          We’re really excited about the release of the pluggable discovery. This new feature will give platform developers the possibility to support more and more boards (such as the Teensy), and also new ways of uploading to boards, like via WiFi, Bluetooth, SSH, CAN bus and anything that comes to mind! If you’re a platform developer and want to know how to start supporting pluggable discovery take a look at the updated platform specification documentation.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • NitroPhone – Google Pixel 4a meets GrapheneOS – itsfoss.net

          The Nitrokey company from near Berlin has greatly expanded its field of activity in recent years. The eponymous Nitrokeys were followed by NitroPad X230 and NitroPad T430 , NitroPC , the NetBox and the NitroShred service. As of today, the company is expanding its portfolio to include the NitroPhone .

          According to the product description, the NitroPhone combines security, privacy and ease of use with modern hardware. The components for this are Google’s Pixel 4a smartphone and the hardened mobile operating system GrapheneOS , which is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Genode OS Framework release 21.08

        The highlights of Genode 21.08 are revamped GPU support as well as new drivers for the Pinephone and MNT-Reform laptop based on a new streamlined approach for porting Linux kernel code. Further topics range from VirtualBox improvements, over media playback in the native web browser, to LTE connectivity in Sculpt OS.

      • Genode OS Framework 21.08 Streamlining Its Porting Of Linux Driver Code – Phoronix

        We’ve been covering Genode OS for more than a decade now as this original open-source operating system “framework” and through this time they have managed to keep up with their routine feature releases. Out this week is Genode OS Framework 21.08 as they seek to make it easier porting device driver code to their platform.

        As is the usual battle with new operating systems, good device driver coverage is key for end-user adoption. Genode OS has already ported Linux driver code in the past but relies on a lot of manual handling, to which they’ve now been working to streamline the process.

      • Helpdeskz Open-source Ticketing system for enterprise

        Helpdeskz is a free help desk software which allows you to manage your sites. It supports web-based ticketing system.

        The solution can update their business in hours. It is a features-rich and comes with a repository for translations.

        It made for your business a LoginShare modules that let you integrate HelpDeskZ with your Drupal, Magento or WordPress site,

        HelpDeskZ Offer a quality support, increase your productivity, it’s a quality product with no price, it makes support management easier than never.

        HelpDeskZ is suitable for customer support needs to manage customer problem.

      • Postal free Open-source Mail Server for Enterprise

        Postal is free Libre mail server for enterprise. It is the open-source equivalent and competitor for Mailgun, SendGrid, and Postmark.

        Postal mail server is an ideal solution for enterprise, companies which require to have their mail server for privacy, security or cost reasons.

        It comes with a fancy productive enterprise-looking dashboard, with real-time graphs and charts as well as quick access to all the mail server functionalities and options. The dashboard summarize all current and important past events and information which include: server usage, queued messages, bounce rate, outgoing messages count, incoming messages stats, message rate, recently processed email and more.

        Postal is a developer-friendly solution as it comes with a built-in webhook support, REST-API and multiple domain and credential management options.

      • FSF

        • A wake-up call for iPhone users — it’s time to go — Free Software Foundation — Working together for free software

          In the last few weeks, Apple announced that it will begin actively monitoring the photos and videos stored on the iPhones of its users in the United States. Apple is describing its surveillance system as a way to monitor for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), but whatever it claims it is searching for, what it really is is a way to use proprietary software to constantly search and spy on its users’ devices. Technological ethics groups around the world have highlighted the grave implications and dangerous precedent these practices set for a user’s privacy and right to control their own device. In short, Apple has stated it will roll out two types of surveillance to all iPhone models receiving a forthcoming update: one which compares photos stored on the device to hashes of a database of known CSAM hashes, and one which (optionally) alerts parents of sexual materials sent from their child’s iPhone.

          Appealing to such an emotionally intense and important issue is a dangerous and shrewd way for Apple to seize more control over iPhone users. Despite the claims in its TV commercials, Apple is an enemy of user freedom and meaningful privacy. We wouldn’t agree to having someone come and scour through our house on a whim. We especially wouldn’t agree to it if it was a person with a track record of working against our best interests, and exploiting us for their own profit. This is precisely the situation in which millions of Apple users in the US find themselves. In the coming weeks, users will be allowing Apple to comb through a portable computer containing private messages, photos, videos, banking information, and business records; all without anyone being able to verify what it is looking for, or with whom it is sharing that information.

        • FSF job opportunity: Outreach and communications coordinator

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect computer user freedom, seeks a motivated and organized Boston-based individual to be our full-time outreach and communications coordinator.

          Reporting to the executive director, the outreach and communications coordinator works closely with our campaigns, licensing, technical, and operations teams to plan, write, edit, publish, and promote high-quality, effective materials, both digital and printed. These materials are a critical part of advancing the FSF’s work in support of the GNU Project, free software adoption, copyleft licensing, and freedom on the Internet; and against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), software patents, and proprietary software. Nearly every publication from the FSF goes through this public-facing position, tying together our work across various constituencies.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU dbm – News: Version 1.21

            Version 1.21 is available for download. This version introduces an important new feature: Crash tolerance, brought to gdbm by Terence Kelly.

      • Programming/Development

        • Get started programming with DOS conio

          One of the reasons so many DOS applications sported a text user interface (or TUI) is because it was so easy to do. The standard way to control console input and output (conio) was with the conio library for many C programmers. This is a de-facto standard library on DOS, which gained popularity as implemented by Borland’s proprietary C compiler as conio.h. You can also find a similar conio implementation in TK Chia’s IA-16 DOS port of the GNU C Compiler in the libi86 library of non-standard routines. The library includes implementations of conio.h functions that mimic Borland Turbo C++ to set video modes, display colored text, move the cursor, and so on.

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Apple has fallen to #4 in smartphone sales. Blames COVID and raises prices. Bonus: iClown Mail collapses. 2FA code proliferation. More fake privacy. – BaronHK’s Rants

        Apple has fallen to #4 in smartphone sales according to AppleInsider, citing a study by Trendforce, which now has Samsung, Oppo, and Xiami ahead of the iPhone-maker.

        Apple blames COVID and the upcoming iPhone 13 launch, which they admit will be a “continuation of the 12 series”. Of course, anyone who knows Apple knows that they’ve barely improved their phones at all in the past several years, and aside from messages popping up saying your apps will no longer work because reasons and raising the price of the phone another $100 every time you go to replace it, Apple’s revenues would be in the toilet.

        As it stands, they have Consumertards buying a $1,749 iPhone that can’t do much more than the $400 model.


        No on to 2FA codes. AppleInsider posted an article on how to port over your codes from Google Authenticator to an iPhone. Google really doesn’t want you doing this. There are some open source authenticator apps that save the token you used to seed the generator, but mostly, if you use secure passwords that Firefox can generate on the fly, 2FA is rubbish in order to sell more phones and make it hard (if you use SMS) to change your phone number or carrier, or give up on using smartphones.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (ffmpeg and gstreamer-plugins-good), SUSE (apache2, apache2-mod_auth_mellon, ffmpeg, gstreamer-plugins-good, libesmtp, openexr, rubygem-puma, xen, and xerces-c), and Ubuntu (openssl).

          • Fuzzing 100+ open source projects with OSS-Fuzz – lessons learned (ADA Logics blog)

            On the ADA Logics blog, David Korczynski and Adam Korczynski write about their work integrating 115 open-source projects with Google’s OSS-Fuzz project for doing continuous fuzz testing. They describe the process of integrating a project into OSS-Fuzz, and discuss their findings, which include more than 2000 bugs (500+ security relevant), of which 1300+ have been fixed at this point..

          • Fuzzing 100+ open source projects with OSS-Fuzz – lessons learned.

            In this blog post we will describe our efforts of integrating continuous fuzzing into more than 100 open source projects by way of OSS-Fuzz that has resulted in more than 2000 issues being reported, 1300 of which are verified and fixed. This is an effort of work that was split out over the duration of a year and the goal of the blog post is to give insights into the end-to-end process of integrating projects into OSS-Fuzz as well as highlight some of the interesting results that we encountered.

            The work described in this post was carried out by David Korczynski and Adam Korczynski from Ada Logics with a lot of support from maintainers of each open source project discussed in this post and from the entire OSS-Fuzz team.

          • Vendors Issue Security Advisories for OpenSSL Flaws

            Several companies that use the OpenSSL cryptography library toolkit are reportedly scrambling and releasing security advisories to their users following patching of

          • Adding a “duress” password with PAM Duress

            Users often store a lot of sensitive information on their computers—from credentials to banned texts to family photos—that they might normally expect to be protected by the login password of their account. Under some circumstances, though, users can be required to log into their system so that some third party (e.g. government agent) can examine and potentially copy said data. A new project, PAM Duress, provides a way to add other passwords to an account, each with its own behavior, which might be a way to avoid granting full access to the system, though the legality is in question.

            As its name would imply, PAM Duress is a pluggable authentication module (PAM), which is the mechanism used on Linux and other Unix operating systems to easily allow adding different kinds of authentication methods. PAM is not exactly standardized, however, so there are multiple implementations of it, including Linux PAM that is used by Linux distributions. The Duress module allows administrators to configure the system to check for one or more extra passwords if the normal password associated with the user account does not match what is provided.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

    • Defence/Aggression

      • South Africans reject US blockade to Cuba

        Representatives of South African parties and local Cuba solidarity associations demonstrated today in front of the US consulates in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg against the US blockade of Cuba.

        As a fundamental part of these activities, the participants sent by e-mail a memorandum to the US authorities (who refused to receive it in person) demanding the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba for 55 years.

        In the text, the South African Communist Party (SACP), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the African National Congress (ANC), and the Society of Friends of Cuba in South Africa (Focus) stress that this demand is made in compliance with international law and UN resolutions, for the good of humanity (Ubuntu), in the era of the Covid-19 global crisis.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

Links 2/9/2021: KDE Gear 21.08.1 and Docker Upselling

Posted in News Roundup at 1:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 4 Linux technologies fundamental to containers

      In previous articles, I have written about container images and runtimes. In this article, I look at how containers are made possible by a foundation of some special Linux technologies, including namespaces and control groups.

      Linux technologies make up the foundations of building and running a container process on your system. Technologies include…

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Brings AMD Ryzen 5000 APUs to Linux-Focused ‘Pangolin’ Laptops

        System76, a manufacturer that specializes in Linux-focused hardware and also develops the Pop!_OS distribution, has added new AMD Ryzen 5000 application processing unit (APU) configuration options for its newly restocked Pangolin laptop.

        AMD introduced the Ryzen 5000 series of processors in January with two distinct product lines: the performance focused H-series and the mobility focused U-series. The processors started to appear in laptops and desktops alike several months later.

      • System76 Pangolin Linux laptop now available with Ryzen 5000U

        The Pangolin laptop is a thin and light notebook from Linux PC maker System76. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Pop!_OS software, the notebook has a 15.6 inch full HD display, support for up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. And the Pangolin only weighs about 3.6 pounds and measures less than 0.8 inches thick.

        When the notebook first launched earlier this year, customers had a choice of AMD Ryzen 5 4500U or Ryzen 7 4700U processors. Now System76 has given the Pangolin a spec bump – it’s now available with Ryzen 5 5500U or Ryzen 7 5700U processor options.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • The Big Batch Of New AMD RDNA2 PCI IDs Is Heading To Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

        Last week I wrote about AMD adding 17 more RDNA2 PCI IDs to their Linux driver which is rather unusual given the amount and the number of PCI IDs already found in the AMDGPU kernel driver for these latest-generation GPUs and the Radeon RX 6000 series already being mid-life. As noted in that article and seemingly in agreement with the various other industry articles following that Phoronix news, it seems to be for some sort of RDNA2 refresh likely. Now those new PCI IDs are being queued up for introduction in the current Linux 5.15 cycle.

        Rather than waiting until Linux 5.16 to add those 17 new PCI IDs, they were submitted yesterday as part of an initial batch of AMDGPU “fixes” for Linux 5.15. Those PCI IDs had missed the main DRM pull request for Linux 5.15 but should be able to safely land as a “fix” since it doesn’t risk regressing any existing new hardware support since it’s just adding new PCI IDs for hardware support.

      • AMD Van Gogh Audio Driver Lands For Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

        The sound/audio drivers have landed for the ongoing Linux 5.15 kernel driver.

        There are some “intensive” sound changes this time around with some low-level ALSA core audio work to help reduce code among the sound drivers. These new helpers are at play now among the sound drivers, memory allocations were refactored, and other improvements.

      • Linus Torvalds: Intel pushed “shit” to consumers and stopped them from using ECC RAM.

        Linux Torvalds, the founder of the Linux operating system kernel, used by many GNU/Linux distributions and Android, criticized Intel some more, saying that they pushed “shit” products which kept ECC (error resilient) computer memory out of the consumer market.

        Apple did one better. Their Mac Pro comes with an Intel Xeon that actually does support ECC RAM, and then they ship them with non-ECC RAM.

      • GNU/Linux Is 38 Years Old This Month (Or Is It 28 Years Old?) – Invidious
    • Applications

      • Draw Using Your Laptop Touchpad To Sign PDFs And More With FingerPaint

        FingerPaint is a simple tool for Linux that allows drawing using the laptop’s touchpad. It supports all X11 desktop environments and GNOME with Wayland.

        The most obvious use for this tool is to digitize your signature to sign PDF documents, but you can also use it to enter complex characters or to… doodle.

        The application needs to run from the command line, in order to specify various parameters, but once you run it, a GUI is displayed which shows what you’re drawing on the laptop touchpad in real time.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install AlmaLinux 8.4 – OSTechNix

        This step by step guide explains how to download latest AlmaLinux 8.4 version, and then how to install AlmaLinux 8 with screenshots.

      • How To Install Zoom Client on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Zoom Client on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Zoom is an easy-to-use video conference app and is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, and all other common platforms interesting as a Skype alternative in the home office or distributed teams. Zoom service provides a free basic plan that offers 40-minute video calls with up to 100 participants. Beyond 100 participants, you will have to settle for the pricing model that suits your needs. There are three main pricing models namely: Pro, Business, and Education.

        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 Zoom Client on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Rocky Linux.

      • How to Backup WordPress Database via MySQL

        As a Linux system administrator, various operating system responsibilities demand that you should always be a few steps ahead in terms of your administrative prowess.

        One of them is ensuring your WordPress site’s user-related and system-related database backups are scheduled and made on time. There are several reasons why you need to schedule and make several database backup copies. One of them is data security and the other one is data integrity.

      • How to Block Access to wp-admin and wp-login in Nginx/Apache

        Despite the reputation of the WordPress Content Management System exceeding all expectations in terms of flawless content publishing and seamless user-access control, there are still some worrying security breaches that need prioritized handling.

        Two important access points on a WordPress website should be protected at all costs. The first one is the wp-login.php page responsible for accommodating both normal and privileged users.

      • How to Boot a System into Rescue Mode from Installation DVD/ISO on CentOS 7

        When things go wrong on the Linux system, it allows the user to repair the system by booting into a different troubleshooting mode, such as recovery mode, single user mode, and emergency mode.

        The rescue mode of the installation DVD or ISO image differs from the rescue mode (equivalent to single-user mode) and the emergency mode, which are provided as part of the systemd system and service manager.

        This guide describes how to boot into rescue mode from installation DVD or ISO image to troubleshoot the system issue.

      • How to Completely Uninstall Google Chrome From Ubuntu

        So, you managed to install Google Chrome on Ubuntu. It is the most popular web browser in the world, after all.

        But perhaps you dislike Google products for the heavy tracking and data mining they employ on its users. You decided to opt for other web browsers on Ubuntu, perhaps a non-Chromium browser.

        Now that you are no longer using it, it would be wise to remove Google Chrome from Ubuntu.

        How to do that? Let me show you the steps.

      • How to Install Swift Programming Language on Debian 11

        Swift, often referred to as “Objective-C, without the C,” is an open-source programming language developed and maintained by Apple. Swift is a general-purpose programming language built using modern safety, performance, and software design patterns. The Swift project aims to create the best available language for systems programming to mobile and desktop apps, scaling up to cloud services.

      • How to Fix – Host does not support any virtualization options on Virtual Machine Manager

        If you are getting the error “Host does not support any virtualization options” when trying to create a virtual machine on Virtual Machine Manager(Virt-Manager) this means your cpu doesn’t support any virtualization, but what about when your cpu supports virtualization and virtualbox works but virt-manager doesn’t. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot this error

      • How to Open Terminal in Ubuntu Linux – It’s FOSS

        When you are absolutely new to Ubuntu, things could be overwhelming at the beginning. Even the simplest of the tasks like opening a terminal window in Ubuntu could seem complicated.

        That’s okay. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. You are in a completely new environment and it could take some time to getting used to it.

      • How to Reset WordPress Admin Password via MySQL

        Unlike changing a WordPress admin user password where the needed steps are superuser-oriented, the steps needed here are system-oriented. In such circumstances, a WordPress user is usually completely unaware of their Admin user password. Also, going for the “Lost Password” option might be out of the question as to the associated WordPress Admin user email address may also be inaccessible.

        In such circumstances, only a system administrator that has full control of the MySQL database daemon is in a better position to reset all the Admin passwords for all the privileged WordPress users.

      • How to Set Up a Mail Server with PostfixAdmin on Debian 11

        PostfixAdmin is a free, open-source, and web-based interface used for managing Postfix mail server from the web browser. It allows you to add users, aliases, set a disk quota, add and remove domains from the web-based interface. It supports several database backends including PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, and SQLite. It can be integrated with Squirrelmail and Roundcube via plugins.

        In this article, I will explain how to install PostfixAdmin on Debian 11.

      • How to back up your Linux desktop without rsync | Enable Sysadmin

        I’ll admit that I’ve always been terrible about backing up my personal computers. I used to be a frequent user of different file sync and sharing platforms before I became a full-time Linux user. While some of these services work with desktop Linux, I always found them clunky to use, and their necessity disappeared once I started using only one computer daily. Moving away from these platforms left many of my files unprotected, and I recently decided to fix that.

        I always enjoy hearing about other people’s desktop Linux strategies, so I decided to share my backup strategy in this article. I think many readers are in the same spot as I was: They want an easy-to-use, turnkey backup solution that requires very little maintenance beyond some initial setup. In this article, I’ll walk you through the “set it and forget it” backup strategy that works for me.

      • How to install Node js & NPM on Debian 11 Bullseye – Linux Shout

        Node.js is a platform that allows developers to developed tools using Javascript and also prepares scripts to run on the server-side. The best thing. it is an open-source Javascript framework that can be used on all popular operating systems. Nodejs uses the Google V8 engine and executes Javascript code outside a web browser.

        Here, we will know the steps to install Node.Js latest and current version on Debian 11 Linux using a command terminal that also works for Ubuntu 20.04/18.04, Linux Mint, and other similar Linux distros.

      • 12 Tcpdump Commands – A Network Sniffer Tool [Ed: Just updated]

        In our previous article, we have seen 20 Netstat Commands (netstat now replaced by ss command) to monitor or manage a Linux network. This is our another ongoing series of packet sniffer tool called tcpdump. Here, we are going to show you how to install tcpdump and then we discuss and cover some useful commands with their practical examples.

      • Jelle van der Waa: Xandikos CardDAV/CalDAV server

        In looking to moving my phone to LineageOS, I’ve started thinking about moving my mail, contacts and calendar data to my own server. After researching solutions for a while, I decided to try out xandikos. A simple Python carddav/caldav server intended for a single user with a basic feature sit and Git backend.

      • How to install Git on AWS EC2 Amazon Linux 2

        We can easily download Git from almost all Linux distributions using the integrated package manager. Here we will see how to install GIT on Amazon Linux running on AWS Ec2 Instance.

        Git is a freely available open-source system for distributed versioning. It is fast, scalable, and system version control (logging of adjustments) of files. As we know in the programming world while writing hundreds of codes there are always frequent changes happened. And these changes can be monitored and reversed with the help of GIT; further files can be made available to others via “repositories” or changes can be obtained from others.

        If required, adjustments from publicly accessible repositories (repos) can be imported into a “working copy” or you can make your own adjustments available to others. This gives a programmer better control over each version of the file’s, complete history and track of changes done. This is all without any central server. It is an open-source, hence Git is also often used as a development platform, including for the Linux kernel.

      • How to Install ImageMagick on Debian 11

        ImageMagick is a free, open-source application installed as a binary distribution or as a source code. ImageMagick can convert, read, write and process raster images. ImageMagick is also available across all major platforms, including Android, BSD, Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, and many others.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install ImageMagick on Debian 11 Bullseye using the APT or Source installation method.

      • How to Install Jellyfin Media Server on Ubuntu 20.04

        Jellyfin is a free, open-source multimedia application designed to organize, manage, and share digital media files to networked devices on an internal network and can be accessed remotely desired. It is a cross-platform and alternative to such other major players, Plex and Emby. You can access it from a range of devices such as Mobile, Tablets, TV, and PCs or popular media devices like Roku or Nvidia shield. Jellyfin also serves media to DLNA and Chromecast-enabled devices and can fetch metadata just like Plex and Emby do so that you can organize your media into categories in a rich multimedia experience.

    • Games

      • Steam On Linux Continues Hovering Around The 1% Mark

        In July — the same month as Valve announcing the Steam Deck — the Steam on Linux marketshare hit 1.0%. That 1.0% marketshare was a +0.14% bump and the highest seen in years since Steam on Linux’s debut nearly a decade ago back when it commanded around a 2% marketshare.

        The Steam on Linux marketshare has been slowly but surely climbing since Valve introduced Steam Play as their Proton (Wine) based solution for running Windows games on Linux. Steam Play opened up many more games to running on Linux at a time that many Linux game ports had become stagnate and many game studios not investing into native Linux game support. Now with Steam Deck shipping later this year, more gamers have become intrigued by Linux gaming.

      • Linux continues to remain above 1% on the Steam Hardware Survey | GamingOnLinux

        We don’t usually comment directly on the Steam Hardware Survey every month, not unless it’s something real interesting and this is the second month where it is because we’re still officially above 1%! It was actually quite big news last month because it’s the highest we’ve seen in many years.

        The trend appears to be continuing, with the August numbers up from Valve which show Linux now at 1.02%. You can see a bit of history over on our dedicated Steam Tracker.

      • Developer of the cosmic-horror RPG ‘Death Trash’ shows off some sales per-platform | GamingOnLinux

        After being in Early Access for close to a month now, Stephan Hövelbrinks has posted a brief summary of sales for Death Trash on Steam across the different platforms.

        It’s worth reminding that so far the game has been pretty successful, with Hövelbrinks noting previously that the game has sold well enough to cover development and that they can finish it on their own. They’ve also released a roadmap which goes over their plans.

      • The classic PowerSlave can now be picked up from GOG and Steam | GamingOnLinux

        Another classic shooter is getting a Nightdive revival with Powerslave Exhumed and to celebrate the original classic PowerSlave is available on GOG and Steam.

        Okay, so admittedly we’re really late on this one and we only noticed the classic being re-released due to the remaster announcement at the recent Realms Deep Event. It’s amusing though because I personally griped about it not being available to buy when writing about PCExhumed early in 2020. The GOG release actually appeared late last year, with a Steam release only seeing the light back in July this year.

      • Arcadian Atlas is an upcoming tactical-RPG and it looks freaking sweet | GamingOnLinux

        Arcadian Atlas from Twin Otter Studios and Serenity Forge is a crowdfunded upcoming 2D isometric tactical RPG. It looks awesome and it’s got a new trailer. It’s a game we showed in our 2021 list, although since then it has been delayed into 2022 for various reasons. Development on it is going well, with Serenity Forge now publishing it they have the resources to get it done.

      • City Block Builder will allow you to become a 1950s business tycoon later this year | GamingOnLinux

        Allowing you to customize “everything”, the tycoon management and building game City Block Builder plans to enter Early Access shortly with a Linux version to come too.

        “The 1950s. The start of the quintessential American Dream is here. Los Angeles is in the midst of a cultural revolution and is bustling with immense amounts of growth throughout the city. Skyscrapers are being built. Tentwood is taking the city by storm and a utopia is on the rise with beaches, warm weather and palm trees. Los Angeles has become a real estate paradise with millions migrating from all over the world.”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Today is the day! — Nitrux 1.6.0 is available to download

          Below is a list of known issues in this release and the place to add a report if you find problems not listed here.

          In Calamares, on the Partitions module, the top panel will cover the dropdown menu to select the installation target; this occurs because the Partitions module is not QML; it’s QWidgets-based. As a workaround, bring up the Latte Dock by holding the Super key, right-clicking the Calamares icon, and selecting More actions > Keep above others.

        • KaOS | Review From an openSUSE User

          KaOS is as distribution that has, for whatever reason, not been top of mind at all during my time with Linux. I think it is unfortunate that this has been the case because I really like what is going on here with this project. The developers and maintainers have done a lot to ensue that you have the latest and greatest Plasma and KDE Gear packages to use and enjoy. The theme applied to KaOS is their own and not just another near-vanilla experience.

          Bottom Line Up Front: KaOS is a highly focused distribution that keeps a well curated set of applications that do indeed work and work well. This is a tightly focused distribution with vision that aims to bring its users the best Plasma experience possible. After a little reflection, I am not focused enough to use this constrained set of packages. As much as I like the idea of being incredibly focused, it doesn’t personally suit me. As much as I like this distribution, it doesn’t hit enough of the marks necessary to really pull me from the warm comforts of openSUSE. It also doesn’t help that I have an almost unhealthy obsession with the openSUSE project and rather biased as such. I also think this is a distribution worth visiting. The installation is easy, the applications hit all the basics.

        • KDE Gear 21.08 Gets First Point Release with Bug Fixes for Dolphin, Elisa, and Spectacle

          KDE Gear 21.08.1 is here only three weeks after the release of the KDE Gear 21.08 software suite to fix various bugs and annoyances in the Dolphin, Elisa, Spectacle, Konsole, Skanlite, KAlarm, Kate, Kdenlive, KMail, KolourPaint, KOrganizer, and Okular apps, as well as several core components.

          For the Dolphin file manager, the KDE Gear 21.08.1 update fixes a bug that occurred when quitting the app and the embedded terminal panel was open, improves the “Reset Zoom Level” action to work when file previews are disabled, adds the ability to rename items from the Folders panel context menu, and fixes an issue that made Dolphin to open a new window after compressing or extracting files in Ark via the context menu action.

        • KDE Gear 21.08.1

          Over 120 individual programs plus dozens of programmer libraries and feature plugins are released simultaneously as part of KDE Gear.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME themes, an incomplete status report, and how you can help

          “Themes in GNOME” is a complicated topic in technical and social terms. Technically there are a lot of incomplete moving parts; socially there is a lot of missing documentation to be written, a lot of miscommunication and mismatched expectations.

          The following is a brief and incomplete, but hopefully encouraging, summary of the status of themes in GNOME. I want to give you an overall picture of the status of things, and more importantly, an idea of how you can help. This is not a problem that can be solved by a small team of platform developers.

          I wish to thank Alexander Mikhaylenko for providing most of the knowledge in this pos

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 3 storytelling lessons learned: CIOs share | The Enterprisers Project

          Effective storytelling in IT can help leaders win buy-in for an idea, rally their teams to take on a tough project, and make work meaningful for people on the front lines. But getting everyone on board with your vision is rarely as simple as telling a single story. It takes patience, repetition, reflection, and practice to hone this valuable core skill.

          We asked CIOs who recently won the 2021 Seattle CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards what storytelling victories from their career they are proud of. The awards were presented by the Seattle CIO Leadership Association, a professional community that annually recognizes CIOs for their excellence in technology leadership.

        • 9 ways leaders can improve one-on-one meetings | The Enterprisers Project

          One-on-one meetings between managers and direct reports have always been important to beneficial employee-employer communications. But they are even more important in the current hybrid work environment.

          “Particularly in the hybrid world, it’s important to stay visible and connected to your direct reports,” explains Suzanne Bates, founder of Bates Communications and managing director at global consultancy BTS. “One on one check-ins are important to find out how things are going beyond what you see in meetings – what your team is learning and what they think could be coming up and needs to be addressed.”

          Our work lives have changed, uncertainty persists, and talent turnover is a constant threat. “One-on-ones are a key tool for leadership to connect with employees on a personal level in this period, demonstrate core organizational values, and establish open lines of communication,” says Phillip Hattingh, head of strategic advisory at Capgemini Canada. “These meetings play a critical role in aligning (or re-aligning) their personal career and organizational goals and serves as a platform for mentoring them through difficult decisions. In return, it helps create a sense of belonging by helping them navigate key decisions and challenges – and address any uncertainty so employees feel valued and heard.”

        • Monthly recap: Best of August 2021 | Red Hat Developer

          Welcome to the new monthly roundup from Red Hat Developer. Each month, we’ll offer a dealer’s choice of new articles that we think you won’t want to miss, along with recently published cheat sheets, quick starts, and activities in the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift.

        • The outbox pattern with Apache Kafka and Debezium | Red Hat Developer

          Microservices need access to shared data. Microservices also need to be loosely coupled. Just how are developers supposed to reconcile these diametrically opposed ideas?

          Enter Apache Kafka, Debezium, and the outbox pattern. By combining messaging and change data capture technologies with good programming practices, you can meet both microservices demands with ease.

      • Debian Family

        • Ian Jackson: partial-borrow: references to restricted views of a Rust struct

          In Otter I have adopted a style where I try to avoid giving code mutable access that doesn’t need it, and try to make mutable access come with some code structures to prevent “oh I forgot a thing” type mistakes. For example, mutable access to a game state is only available in contexts that have to return a value for the updates to send to the players. This makes it harder to forget to send the update.

          But there is a downside. The game state is inside another struct, an Instance, and much code needs (immutable) access to it. I can’t pass both &Instance and &mut GameState because one is inside the other.

          My workaround involves passing separate references to the other fields of Instance, leading to some functions taking far too many arguments. 14 in one case. (They’re all different types so argument ordering mistakes just result in compiler errors talking about arguments 9 and 11 having wrong types, rather than actual bugs.)

          I felt this problem was purely a restriction arising from limitations of the borrow checker. I thought it might be possible to improve on it. Weeks passed and the question gradually wormed its way into my consciousness. Eventually, I tried some experiments. Encouraged, I persisted.

        • Debian Reunion Hamburg 2021

          I’m glad to finally be able to send out this invitation for the “Debian Reunion Hamburg 2021″ taking place at the venue of the 2018 & 2019 MiniDebConfs!

          The event will run from Monday, Sep 27 2021 until Friday Oct 1 2021, with Sunday, Sep 26 2021 as arrival day. IOW, Debian people meet again in Hamburg. The exact format is less defined and structured than previous years, probably we will just be hacking from Monday to Wednesday, have talks on Thursday and a nice day trip on Friday.

        • Norbert Preining: Reducing (sparsifying) qcow2 image of Windows10

          Since joining Fujitsu I am permanently running a VM (kvm/qemu) with Windows 10 (unfortunately necessary). While the usaged disk space is about 50G, the actual qcow2 file had grown to over 180G, not good.

          Searching the web the very promising virt-sparsify is mentioned again and again, and the man page gives hope, but as it turns out it is broken and calls qemu-img with incorrect/not-working arguments (see this bug).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • [Older] Utkarsh Gupta’s FOSS Activites in July 2021 · utkarsh2102

          This was my 6th month of actively contributing to Ubuntu. Now that I’ve joined Canonical to work on Ubuntu full-time, there’s a bunch of things I do! \o/

          I mostly worked on different things, I guess. But mostly on packaging keylime and some Google Agents upload(s) and SRU(s). Also did a lot of reviewing, et al.

          I was too lazy to maintain a list of things I worked on so there’s no concrete list atm. Maybe I’ll get back to this section later or will start to list stuff from next month onward, as I’ve been doing before. :D

        • Where configuration management falls short: model-driven OpenStack | Ubuntu

          Have you ever installed OpenStack from scratch? I know, it sounds geeky, unnecessary and maybe even overcomplicated … It is after all 2021, OpenStack is mature, there are hundreds of OpenStack distributions available out there, configuration management tools are all the way around and installing OpenStack from scratch almost sounds like compiling the Linux kernel or using make scripts to install software on Ubuntu. I went through this process, however, back in 2014 when I was first learning OpenStack. That was long before I got to know model-driven OpenStack.

          I set up physical nodes in my lab environment. I put Ubuntu on them. Then I installed all supporting services, including the SQL database and the message broker. And then, basically, for each OpenStack service, I was creating databases, creating identities in Keystone, installing packages and adjusting configuration files. When I finally finished this exercise two months later I had my first instance running on OpenStack, a few grey hairs and a well-formed opinion about OpenStack: it is super complex!

        • Ubuntu Blog: What is OpenRAN

          In order to clarify what OpenRAN is let’s start from RAN. A radio access network is a technology that connects individual devices to other parts of a network through radio connections. It is a major part of modern telecommunications, with LTE and 5G network connections for mobile phones being examples of radio access networks.


          While vRAN is a closed network, as RU, DU and CU, which are all part of the RAN, are provided by a single vendor and use internal means of communication instead of open interfaces.

          In OpenRAN, the O-RAN alliance made a great job creating a specification for open fronthaul, mid haul and backhaul interfaces.

          This means that finally you can mix and match different vendors, and use different approaches depending on what is the

        • Ubuntu Blog: The new Ubuntu membership process

          Applying for Ubuntu membership just became a lot easier. After a long discussion on Discourse, we’ve made the necessary changes to lower the technical barrier of entry to apply for Ubuntu membership. It’s now a simpler process with a focus on contribution, not on technical ability. In this post, I walk through the new process itself and talk about what it means to be an Ubuntu member.


          First things first: you have to agree to abide by the Ubuntu code of conduct. If you don’t agree with it, then unfortunately you cannot become an Ubuntu member. Please make sure you read it, it’s not the normal T&Cs that everyone ignores. It is a commitment that you will be considerate, respectful, collaborative, and abide by the set structures and guides within the Ubuntu community to make it a safe, open, and ultimately enjoyable place to be.

        • How Kubernetes 1.22 addresses industry needs

          On August 4th 2021, Kubernetes (K8s) upstream announced the general availability of Kubernetes 1.22, the latest version of the most popular container orchestration platform. At Canonical, we actively track upstream releases to ensure our Kubernetes distributions align with the latest innovations that developers and businesses need for their cloud native use cases. Usually, we would announce the availability and support for the latest Kubernetes, and also highlight any exciting new features in Charmed Kubernetes and MicroK8s.

          So why does this blog not read like a release announcement? This time, we wanted to try something different. How about having a look at the most exciting features from Kubernetes 1.22 and assessing how they address industry challenges? A few months ago, we published the Kubernetes and cloud native operations report 2021 (hereafter “the report”). A sample of 1200 respondents and 7 industry thought leaders helped us gather and analyse data on the usage, challenges, goals and aspirations that users and enterprises have for the new way of building and delivering software – the cloud native way. Let’s see how Kubernetes is addressing the needs of the general public.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SOGo: A Free open-source enterprise-grade Webmail and Groupware Server for teams

        SOGo is an open-source groupware and IMAP/ SMTP webmail client for teams and enterprise.

        The interface design follows Material design system which gives it a pro look and makes it more comfortable and productive for every-day use. It is responsive, reactive and real-time interface with full drag-and-drop, full-screen view, no-distraction mode with touch-screen support.

      • UVdesk: Open-source Ticketing system for enterprise [Ed: "The community edition is released under MIT license." So it's proprietary mostly]

        UVdesk is an enterprise-grade ticketing support system. It comes in two editions an enterprise edition and a community-skeleton open-source edition.

        The solution is a features-rich and comes with a large set of apps and integration options, makes it ideal for enterprise use.

        Unlike its other competitors, UVdesk focuses on workflow by providing two workflow options: a condition-based workflow and an event-based workflow. These workflows support different types of customer services which increase the productivity, and improve customer satisfaction.

      • CMS

        • 3 Best Free and Open Source Rust Static Site Generators

          LinuxLinks, like most modern websites, is dynamic in that content is stored in a database and converted into presentation-ready HTML when readers access the site.

          While we employ built-in server caching which creates static versions of the site, we don’t generate a full, static HTML website based on raw data and a set of templates. However, sometimes a full, static HTML website is desirable. Because HTML pages are all prebuilt, they load extremely quickly in web browsers.

          There are lots of other advantages of running a full, static HTML website.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 6.2 vs. Qt 5.15 – The Feature Parity Comparison

          The Qt Company recently compared the latest Long Term Releases Qt 5.15 and Qt 6.2 of its software development platform consisting of design, development, and quality assurance applications plus various software libraries, referred to in this post as modules. This blog post, intended particularly for product and R&D leaders, summarizes the main findings of the comparison.

          Comparing two major releases is never trivial, especially when there are eight years between their initial releases, the comparison highlights that there is enough feature parity for most customers to move to the Qt 6.2 LTS release., It’s important to stress that we at Qt have been laser-focused on providing Qt 6 with as much source compatibility as feasible. In addition, Qt projects can find plenty of resources in the Qt online documentation helping with the source code migration. We also offer professional services helping with the transition to Qt 6.

        • Qt 6.2 LTS Will Nearly Be At Feature Parity To Qt 5.15 – Phoronix

          When the Qt 6.0 tool-kit debuted last year much of the early criticism stemmed around it not having all the modules/functionality ported over from Qt5 meanwhile The Qt Company was restricting newer Qt 5.15 LTS point releases to paying customers only. Since then the developers have been working to address the voids in Qt6 and with the upcoming Qt 6.2 as their next long-term support release, all of the important functionality should be in place.

          The Qt Company is sharing that for Qt 6.2 LTS, it should effectively be at feature parity to Qt 5.15 LTS. There still is some missing modules and other functionality not directly ported over from Qt 5.15, but those missing elements appear to be for unpopular items that might not have any users or at least ones visible to The Qt Company.

        • Josef Strzibny: Deployment from Scratch, 1st edition is released!

          Today, I am releasing Deployment from Scratch, 1st edition. It was a long journey of more than three years, and it’s time to make it a reality. Of course, I could always do a one more read and rewrite a paragraph or two, but it’s just as important to stop at some point and let the world benefit from all that work.

        • Fortran newsletter: September 2021

          Welcome to the September 2021 edition of the monthly Fortran newsletter. The newsletter comes out at the beginning of every month and details Fortran news from the previous month.

  • Leftovers

    • The Nation That Cried Wolf

      The great classics aren’t always taught at home or in schools these days and Bullwinkle’s very educational show was cancelled long ago, which is unfortunate being that these stories contain some of the cornerstones of what was once called wisdom. Now there’s a word that has gone out of style, wisdom, not through any fault of its own, it just isn’t used very often these days in the main stream. It’s a shame to lose it too, such a pretty word. It flows through the mouth like water from a spring and out into the air like a big, fluffy cloud, wisdom.

      Anyway the story is from the Aesop collection of stories that were read to children a lot back….back then, back in “the old days” which are still considered the old days even when they happen right now! More strangeness I suppose. So the boy is watching sheep, which is another old timey thing to do, at least that’s what he’s supposed to be doing, and not having a cell phone (no cell phones in those days), he starts to get bored, mighty bored, which children are not allowed to do now days.

    • How Do You Tell the Story of a Fire?

      When I spoke with journalist Lizzie Johnson back in spring, catastrophic blazes hadn’t yet struck much of the West Coast. We were wary, though, with the image of last fall’s sickly orange sun burned into memory, and the promise of new and devastating fire seasons exacerbating a tedious waiting game. This summer, for example, the impacts of Western wildfires weren’t limited by region: Smoke that traveled from fires in Oregon and eastern California induced the very same orange-tinged skies in Brooklyn, and even as far as coastal Maine.1

    • Montana Still Hasn’t Learned Anything From Its History

      In fulfillment of that solemn commitment, the framers proposed, and “We the People” adopted in Article II, Section 3, our inalienable right to a clean and healthful environment – not as an aspiration, or a gauzy goal – but as one of the Article II fundamental constitutional rights guaranteed to every Montanan.

      This right has been honored only in the breach by many.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | It’s Time to Build American Health Care Back Better

        I am writing this from a bus somewhere in West Virginia. It’s lightly raining, and the air is chill to the touch. We are headed to an unknown location, or at least it’s unknown to me.

      • ‘Catastrophic Injustice’: Judge OKs Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Plan Shielding Sacklers

        In a bench ruling delivered over several hours on Wednesday, a U.S. judge approved a Purdue Pharma bankruptcy plan widely criticized for giving the Sackler family immunity from civil lawsuits related to the company’s drug OxyContin and and profiteering that critics say escalated the nation’s opioid epidemic.

        “The deal grants ‘releases’ from liability for harm caused by OxyContin and other opioids to the Sacklers, hundreds of their associates, as well as their remaining empire of companies and trusts,” NPR explained.

      • Billions of People Could Live Years Longer If Policymakers Reduce Air Pollution: Study

        A new study released Wednesday by researchers at the University of Chicago showed that air pollution is cutting short the average global citizen’s life by more than two years, with people in parts of the world dying as many as eight years earlier than they would without exposure to pollution.

      • We’re Covering and Marketing Covid Vaccinations All Wrong

        Lately it has been with growing dismay at the new nationwide surge, thanks to the Delta variant, that threatens to undo all the progress we’ve made. On a national scale, this is a self-inflicted setback inasmuch as the great preponderance of serious infections and fatalities is among those who remain unvaccinated.

        Although the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine on Aug. 23, providing cover for government agencies and private employers to require inoculation and/or frequent testing, and those who had demurred because the Pfizer vaccine was experimental had one less excuse, the road to anything approaching herd immunity through inoculation remains a long and winding one.

      • On “reasonable” apologists for the antivaccine movement

        I realize that I sound like the proverbial broken record (and that many of the younger people reading this might not even know what that reference means), but I’ve been at this a long time. I was countering quackery and antivaccine pseudoscience on Usenet back in the 1990s into the early 2000s and then have been blogging about it since 2004. I like to think that two decades of combatting antivaccine misinformation have given me some perspective, which is why I sometimes get so frustrated with so many “reasonable” doctors, scientists, and pundits who, before the pandemic, had paid scant, if any attention to the antivaccine movement, and are shocked—shocked, I say!—to discover the conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric that I’ve been documenting for nearly two decades. Some of them who had paid a little attention would sometimes even periodically castigate me for being a “frenzied, self-righteous zealot” who supposedly couldn’t tell the difference between vaccine-hesitant parents and antivaxxers, never mind the number of times I’ve discussed exactly that difference.

      • Georgia Vaccination Drive Shuts Down After Anti-Vaxxers Threaten & Harass Staff
      • CDC Says Unvaccinated Americans Should Not Travel This Labor Day Weekend
      • The Supreme Court allows an alarming anti-abortion law to take effect

        But SB 8 is unlike most other laws in that it was written to prevent courts from blocking it before it takes effect.

        The anti-abortion law, which is before the Supreme Court in a case called Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, presents a maze of procedural complexities that are rarely seen in even the most complicated litigation. The law appears to have been drafted to intentionally frustrate lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. And Texas, with an assist from a right-wing appellate court, has thus far manipulated the litigation process to prevent any judge from considering whether SB 8 is lawful.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Upselling)

            • Docker changes its subscription plans, usage rules, and product line

              For all Docker’s container technology popularity, Docker, the company, has its problems. First, Docker had trouble finding a working business plan. Then, Docker ran short of funds. In late 2019, it seems to have solved both problems by selling its Docker Enterprise product line and business to Mirantis. But, unable to catch a break, Docker was dropped from Kubernetes. That wasn’t as much of a problem as it sounds, but it still left users concerned about Docker. Now, in another attempt to revitalize its business, Docker is restricting the use of the free version of its Docker Desktop to individuals, small businesses, and non-commercial open-source projects. All others must pay for a subscription.

        • Security

          • Hacker Taunts T-Mobile, Calls Its Security ‘Awful’

            It’s historically always been true that however bad a hack scandal is when initially announced, you can be pretty well assured that it’s significantly worse than was actually reported. That’s certainly been true of the recent T-Mobile hack, which exposed the personal details (including social security numbers) of more than 53 million T-Mobile customers (and counting). It’s the fifth time the company has been involved in a hack or leak in just the last few years, forcing the company’s new(ish) CEO Mike Sievert to issue yet another apology for the company’s failures last Friday:

          • 15-Year-Old Malware Proxy Network VIP72 Goes Dark

            Over the past 15 years, a cybercrime anonymity service known as VIP72 has enabled countless fraudsters to mask their true location online by routing their traffic through millions of malware-infected systems. But roughly two weeks ago, VIP72’s online storefront — which ironically enough has remained at the same U.S.-based Internet address for more than a decade — simply vanished.

          • Mark Mayo: Celebrating 10k KryptoSign users with an on-chain lottery feature! [Ed: Crafting fake economies with fake lottery]

            Why? Well, you folks keep abusing this simple Ethereum-native document signing tool to run contests for airdrops and pre-sales, so we thought we’d make your lives a bit easier! :)

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • 25,000 EFF Supporters Have Told Apple Not To Scan Their Phones

              Apple has been caught off guard by the overwhelming resistance to its August 5th announcement that it will begin. In addition to numerous petitions like ours, over 90 organizations across the globe have urged the company to abandon its plans. But the backlash should be no surprise: what Apple intends to do will create an enormous danger to our privacy and security. It will give ammunition to authoritarian governments wishing to expand the surveillance, and because the company has compromised security and privacy at the behest of governments in the past, it’s not a stretch to think they may do so again. Democratic countries that strive to uphold the rule of law have also pressured companies like Apple to gain access to encrypted data, and are very likely already considering how this system will allow them to do so more easily in the future.

            • Victory! Federal Trade Commission Bans Stalkerware Company from Conducting Business

              EFF applauds this decision by the FTC and the message it sends to those who facilitate by technical means the behavior of stalkers and domestic abusers. For too long, this nascent industry has been allowed to thrive as an underbelly to the much larger and diverse app ecosystem. With the FTC now turning its focus to this industry, victims of stalkerware can begin to find solace in the fact that regulators are beginning to take their concerns seriously.

              The FTC case against Support King is the first to outright ban a stalkerware company and comes two years after EFF and its Director of Cybersecurity Eva Galperin launched the Coalition Against Stalkerware to unite and mobilize security software companies and advocates for domestic abuse victims in actions to combat and shut down malicious stalkerware apps. 

              Stalkerware, a type of commercially-available surveillance software, is installed on phones without device users’ knowledge or consent to secretly spy on them. The apps track victims’ locations and allow abusers to read their text messages, monitor phone calls, see photos, videos, and web browsing, and much more. It’s being used all over the world to intimidate, harass, and harm victims, and is a favorite tool for stalkers and abusive spouses or ex-partners.

            • The new digital driver’s licenses from Apple sound slightly creepy

              Apple is not not the only one rolling out digital driver’s licenses in the United States. New York State is working with IBM on the possibility of expanding its Excelsior Pass vaccine passport system to include driver’s licenses, according to a New York Times report. The federal government is also on board with the concept. In April, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it was looking for input on upcoming rules for mobile digital driver’s licenses.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Latin America: In Search of Lost Sovereignty

        Both speeches coincided in the rejection of blockades and embargoes imposed on some countries in the region, in the respect for the principles of non-intervention and self-determination of peoples and in the need to use integration platforms as political coordination bodies in various fields. Specifically, they pointed out that the Latin American region, unlike others, did not even outline common public policy guidelines or coordinate joint purchases of vaccines to combat the pandemic through existing regional cooperation mechanisms.

        Unlike Latin America and the Caribbean, several Southeast Asian countries, the African Union (AU) – composed of 56 nations of different ideological creeds – and the European Union, jointly procured part of the vaccines and established some common public health criteria. The AU went further and took a unanimous position in support of the proposal by India and South Africa to temporarily suspend patents on vaccines against COVID-19 until an offer was made to provide the vaccines to the entire population within the framework of the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) forum.

      • Can “Lottocracy” Save Democracy From Itself?

        For well over a decade, scholars and pundits have proclaimed that democracy is in a state of crisis. Some argued that the epic failure to bring democracy to Iraq and Libya, and events in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, indicated a global “democratic recession.” Meanwhile, China’s political rise and economic advance, have indicated a viable political alternative to the “Western model of democracy.” Indeed, the Western model of democracy has not only become the embattled cause of right-wing nationalists, but the pandemic has shown that these states are ill equipped to deal with national emergencies requiring high levels of coordinated international solutions. On all sides, the critics argue, democracy appears endangered.

      • Since 9/11, US Has Spent $21 Trillion on Militarism at Home and Abroad

        In the 20 years since the September 11 attacks, the United States government has spent more than $21 trillion at home and overseas on militaristic policies that led to the creation of a vast surveillance apparatus, worsened mass incarceration, intensified the war on immigrant communities, and caused incalculable human suffering in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and elsewhere.

        “The end of the war in Afghanistan represents a chance to reinvest in our real needs.”—Lindsay Koshgarian, National Priorities Project

      • Opinion | Biden’s Revenge: Fueling ‘Madness of Militarism’ in Afghanistan

        Joe Biden provided a stirring soundbite days ago when he spoke from the White House just after suicide bombers killed 13 U.S. troops and 170 Afghans at a Kabul airport: “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.” But the president’s pledge was a prelude to yet another episode of what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.”

      • Estimated Cost of Post-9/11 US Wars Hits $8 Trillion With Nearly a Million People Dead

        With the final U.S. soldiers leaving Afghanistan earlier this week after nearly 20 years of occupation and war, a new analysis released Wednesday shows the United States will ultimately spend upwards of $8 trillion and that nearly one million people have lost their lives so far in the so-called “global war on terror” that was launched after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

        “What about the people left behind in Afghanistan, in Iraq—after a drone strike in Somalia—what about them? Do they get any care? Do they get any compensation? Absolutely not. So what would be the cost of war if that was actually the priority for the United States?” —Dr. Maha Hilal, Justice for Muslims Collective

      • Opinion | Now That Afghan War Is Over, Close Gitmo—Now

        I was a college student on 9/11. The ensuing “War on Terror,” anchored by the bombing and U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, has been with us ever since—virtually my entire adult life.

      • An Old Soldier’s Denial on Afghanistan

        Addressing Marines who served in Afghanistan who are now frustrated and angry over the result in Afghanistan, Sloane tells them that there is no disgrace in defeat because U.S. soldiers “took an oath to the Constitution.”  He says, “Loyalty to that oath has helped preserve the right of Americans and others to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for more than 200 years.”  He points not only to “the failed effort to keep Afghanistan out of the hands of the Taliban” but also to “the failed effort to keep Vietnam free from communism.”

        That’s just sheer nonsense. 

      • Biden Defends Ending “Forever War” in Afghanistan & Criticizes Using War as Tool for Nation-Building

        President Joe Biden has forcefully defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, describing the removal of U.S. forces as an “extraordinary success.” He noted in a speech Tuesday that the U.S. helped more than 120,000 people flee Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power, and called for a new era in foreign policy. Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, says Biden’s speech was honest about the costs of war and the need to get out, but she says it’s “clearly not true” that the U.S. is winding down the war on terror. “The U.S. is still waging war in a host of other countries.”

      • Biden’s Defense of Afghanistan Withdrawal Had a Side-Serving of Pro-War Rhetoric
      • “Disaster for Me and My Children”: Afghan Doctor Describes Escape from Kabul After Taliban Takeover

        Afghan doctor Wais Aria describes how he fled Afghanistan with his family after the Taliban takeover, packing up his wife and four children and trying for days to leave from the Kabul airport, where he was beaten by the Taliban. They managed to catch a flight out of the country Thursday and arrived in the U.S. on Saturday. “It was a disaster for me and my children,” says Aria, now in Alexandria, Virginia.

      • U.S. Wars, Endless Wars: Will They Ever End?

        Pres. Dwight Eisenhower’s great warning made in his farewell address of January 17, 1961, has never sounded so prescient:

        To repeat: “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

      • McCarthy Threatens Retaliation Against Telecoms That Comply With Jan 6 Committee
      • Congress is a Deadly Extremist Organization

        Though the word “moderate” appears 14 times in the story’s body (and three times in a graphic outlining “ideological measures and electoral statistics” for the nine Democrats in question), Rakich never explicitly defines the term other than implicitly as describing “centrist” politicians who sometimes cross party lines on contentious issues.

        Webster’s offers a clue as to what might constitute a real moderate: “[O]bserving reasonable limits; not excessive, extreme, violent, or rigorous; limited; restrained.”

      • ‘Outrageous’ and ‘Shameful’: House Panel Approves $37.5B Boost to Pentagon Budget

        With public awareness of U.S. war spending elevated in the wake of American troops exiting Afghanistan, a House of Representatives panel on Wednesday approved a $37.5 billion increase to the Pentagon budget from last year, angering progressive lawmakers and anti-war activists.

        The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) voted 42-17 to approve Ranking Member Mike Rogers’ (R-Ala.) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 (H.R. 4350). Fourteen Democrats joined with the panel’s Republicans to support it.

    • Environment

      • Crew of Noble Globetrotter II Drill Ship, Left to Ride Out Ida, Reportedly Still Stranded at Sea

        Over 100 crew members aboard an ultra-deepwater drill ship were left to ride out Hurricane Ida in the Gulf of Mexico — and local news reports indicate that the crew remains aboard the damaged ship. The Coast Guard has dispatched a cutter to determine the extent of any damage to the drillship and to assess the crew’s safety. Four injured crew members have reportedly been evacuated.

        On Wednesday, the Coast Guard (USCG) issued a statement on the drill ship’s current status. “The master of the vessel has told the Coast Guard that the vessel is not in distress but information released reportedly from the crew of the Globetrotter II indicates potential issues with safety,” Petty Officer Third Class Gabriel Wisdom said in a statement read to DeSmog, adding that a Coast Guard cutter, the Venturous, was en route to the drill ship “to better determine whether the crew is in any immediate danger and whether the crew should be removed from the vessel.”

      • After Ida, Toxic Smoke From Shell’s Norco Plant in Louisiana Creates Apocalyptic Landscape

        NORCO, LOUISIANA — For over a century, the Shell Norco Manufacturing Complex has dominated Norco, Louisiana’s skyline as it refines up to 10.1 million gallons of oil a day and produces up to 3.33 billion pounds of ethylene a year.

        Shell’s Norco refinery was one of multiple Louisiana oil refineries that shut down on Friday, August 27 as Hurricane Ida gained strength crossing the Gulf of Mexico’s unusually warm waters. Ida made landfall on Sunday, August 29 as a Category 4 hurricane — and remained a hurricane for 16 hours after its official landfall, maintaining strength as it passed over the swampy southern Louisiana coastline.

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Climate-Driven Weather Disasters Increased Fivefold Over Past 50 Years: UN Agency

        The number of extreme weather disasters driven by the climate crisis has increased fivefold over the past 50 years, killing more than two million people and costing $3.64 trillion in total losses, a United Nations agency said on Wednesday.

        The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says its “Atlas” report is the most comprehensive review of mortality and economic losses from extreme climate and weather incidents ever produced. It surveyed some 11,000 events between 1970 and 2019.

      • Climate Groups Launch Campaign to Exclude Natural Gas From Key Federal Energy Policy

        Stressing that every stage of natural gas production pollutes the Earth’s air and water, a coalition of climate and social justice groups on Wednesday launched an initiative aimed at strengthening a proposed federal energy policy by ensuring that it excludes gas.

        “The science is clear: There is nothing clean about gas.”—Lauren Maunus, Sunrise Movement

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Why are Mexican Wolves Being Removed From Northern Arizona? Agency Excuses Don’t Fly

          Mr. deVos used the fact that four wolves in 20 years have been roadkill in and around the Flagstaff area as one of the reasons for removing Anubis. It’s true that Mexican gray wolves can be hit by cars; twelve percent of lobo mortalities between 1998 and 2018 were caused by vehicle strikes, mostly within the designated recovery area. Removing Anubis doesn’t protect him from cars, but the agency’s justification reveals something else: wolves are regularly moving north of Interstate 40, the politically established boundary line intended to prevent wolves from re-establishing populations in certain parts of their original range. Rather than translocating the wildlife, the agency could be looking at creating safe wildlife passages for all of Arizona’s animals across highways like I-40. Deal with the problem – roads – rather than trying to block the natural processes of wildlife dispersal and migration.

          The Department also used the presence of other wolves in the existing recovery area as a good reason for moving Anubis: “Now he’ll be back in an area with females, finding a female partner, forming a pack and contributing to wolf recovery.” There could be females up around Flagstaff if the Department wasn’t opposing management rule changes that could expand the recovery area to include areas north of I-40. Anubis was contributing to wolf recovery by demonstrating that there is suitable and abundant habitat, and the agency could have instead allowed females to join him. It may take some time for it to manifest on the landscape, but we know that wild wolves are capable of taking care of themselves and finding mates in new territories.

        • ‘A Wake-Up Call’: Study Finds Extinction Risk for 30% of Tree Species

          Nearly a third of the world’s tree species are at risk of extinction largely due to agriculture, logging, and, increasingly, the global climate emergency, according to a report published Wednesday by a U.K.-based conservation group.

          “Every tree species matters—to the millions of other species that depend on trees, and to people all over the world.”—Paul Smith, BGCI

        • Why Dams are Ineffective for Cold-Water Conservation for Salmon and Trout

          Yet a just published study by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, Dams Ineffective for Cold-Water Conservation – 8/25/21, has found that dams are ineffective for the cold water conservation that is needed to preserve imperiled salmon, steelhead and trout.

          ”Dams poorly mimic the temperature patterns California streams require to support the state’s native salmon and trout — more than three-quarters of which risk extinction,” according to the study published in the journal PLOS ONE by the University of California, Davis. “Bold actions are needed to reverse extinction trends and protect cold-water streams that are resilient to climate warming.”

        • Mice, Hedgehogs and Voles Need Conservation Champions
    • Finance

      • Jerome Powell, the Fed and Regulation

        This is hugely important, not only because it can mean that millions of additional workers get jobs, but also because high unemployment has been a major factor contributing to inequality over the last four decades. When the unemployment rate rises, it is disproportionately the most disadvantaged workers who lose their jobs. This means Blacks and Hispanics, workers without a high school degree, disabled workers, and workers with a criminal record.

        Not only does a rise in the unemployment rate prevent these workers from getting jobs, but it also puts downward pressure on the pay of workers at the bottom of the wage ladder. When we have sustained periods of low unemployment, such as the late 1990s and the four years before the pandemic, workers in the bottom half of the wage distribution were able to secure pay increases that outpaced inflation, and those at the tenth percentile saw the largest gains.

      • The Education Department Will Forgive $5.8 Billion in Student Loans for Disabled Borrowers

        The Education Department will forgive $5.8 billion in student loans taken out by borrowers who became seriously disabled, the latest in a series of reforms to a troubled program that left many vulnerable borrowers mired in debt they couldn’t repay.

        A 2011 investigation by ProPublica, published in partnership with Columbia University’s Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, revealed that a flawed Education Department program for assessing disability was leaving many borrowers facing financial hardship from federal student loans they were legally entitled to have dismissed.

      • Opinion | Taxing Just 7 Billionaires Could Pay for Third of $3.5 Trillion Spending Package

        The collective wealth of the seven wealthiest Americans has now reached nearly $1 trillion. And these seven pay virtually nothing in income tax.

      • Majority of US Voters Favor $3.5 Trillion Build Back Better Bill: Poll

        Underscoring what critics call the out-of-touch nature of Republican and right-wing Democrats’ opposition to the Build Back Better bill supported by the Biden administration and progressive U.S. lawmakers, new polling published Wednesday confirmed that a majority of likely American voters favor the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.

        The Invest in America and Data for Progress survey (pdf) of 1,201 likely U.S. voters, conducted from August 27 to August 30, found that 61% of all respondents supported the $3.5 trillion spending proposal. Among Democratic voters, support for the measure soared to 83%, while 58% of Indpendent and third-party voters, and 40% of Republicans, backed the bill.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Go Ahead, Worry! A Worst-Case Scenario for American Democracy

        With Trump no longer president and the January 6 insurrection thwarted, the danger may appear to be behind us. “Democracy survived.”

      • Mike Lindell Sold a MyPillow Plane to Fund His Defense in Dominion Lawsuit
      • Dave Lindorff and Dan O’Connell – The Project Censored Show
      • AOC Condemns Biden for Nominating Rahm Emanuel as Ambassador to Japan
      • UK’s Jolly Show, Featuring Its Newest Trade Ambassador

        Rampant corruption, cronyism, and grifting; a bungled response to the pandemic (apart from the vaccine rollout, this thanks to the NHS); the mishandled aftermath of Brexit; growing inequality; a housing and hunger crisis; a fund-starved healthcare system; window-dressing measures with regard to global heating; a hopelessly inadequate response to the debacle in Afghanistan: an untrustworthy media, extending from the Murdoch press to the BBC, committed overwhelmingly to securing the interests of the Ukanian plutocracy; all this presided-over by a government of third-rate power-grubbers and charlatans.

        Add to this a feeble Labour opposition headed by the Blairite “soft Tory” Keir Starmer.

      • Ocasio-Cortez: Nominaton of Rahm Emanuel for Ambassador to Japan ‘Deeply Shameful’

        Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez early Wednesday publicly condemned President Joe Biden for his nomination of Rahm Emanuel to be the next U.S. ambassador to Japan, calling the selection “deeply shameful” given the former Chicago mayor’s record.

        “I urge the Senate to vote NO on his confirmation.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

      • Texas GOP Passes Sweeping Voter Suppression Law: “This Is How Democracy Dies”
      • As Texas Guts Voting Rights, Progressives Ask: Will Biden Fight to Save US Democracy?

        Final passage of a sweeping voter suppression measure in Texas on Tuesday led civil rights advocates and other progressives to redouble their calls for congressional Democrats—and President Joe Biden—to urgently approve legislation that would preserve and strengthen ballot access at the federal level.

        “Right now, we have an ally on voting rights in the White House. What we need is a leader.”—Sean Eldridge, Stand Up America

      • Opinion | Venezuela Dialogue Offers Way Out of Crisis

        There are high hopes surrounding the upcoming round of negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the extreme right-wing of the opposition. The sides are set to meet on September 3 in Mexico after having signed a memorandum of understanding in August.

      • Popular Resistance in the Age of Neoliberal War: The Case of Colombia

        Shortly after the nonviolent protests began, the government tabled the reforms, but both the Finance Minister and Foreign Minister were forced to resign in response to the people’s pressure. The demonstrations rejected them for proposing austerity measures that burden the poor in the midst of a pandemic. This victory was followed by the decades-old government response to resistance: repression, outrageous lies, racist and misogynist violence, and sheer terror. At the marches most carry only instruments and placards, and are met with murderous state forces shooting indiscriminately or targeting community leaders who defend human rights and collective decision-making. In the face of this, the protests have grown stronger in number and location. They are now across the country, proving that the demands are shared by many more than those who can brave the streets.

        The right to protest is denied daily by the militarised forces that are well-equipped with U.S. funding. They shoot from helicopters, motorcycles, and from the massacres, forced disappearances, sexual violence, and real and constant fear. While the state and paramilitary focus their brutality with unprecedented intensity against the people, the protesters focus their demands on an alternative agenda that builds popular power. This agenda emerges out of the most poor sectors, and out of Indigenous and Afro-Colombia whose resistance is over 500 years old.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • eBay’s FOSTA-Inspired Ban On ‘Adult Content’ Is Erasing LGBTQ History

        There was plenty of attention paid OnlyFans decision recently to ban “sexually explicit” content — a policy the company suspended following an outcry. However, more and more people are noticing that the same kind of thing is happening across the internet due to FOSTA.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Spam “Hacks” in Among Us (2020)

        Summary: From August to October of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic had no end in sight and plenty of people were still stuck at home, on lockdown, unable to gather with others, the video game Among Us became incredibly popular as a kind of party game when there were no parties. The game had already been out for a while, but for unclear reasons it became the go-to game during the pandemic. It was so popular that the company behind it, InnerSloth, cancelled its plans for a sequel, promising instead to focus on fixing up the existing game and dealing with some of the bugs that were popping up from such widespread usage.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Ninth Circuit: Sorry, But We Have No Way To Hold Border Patrol Agents Accountable For Killing People In Mexico

        Thanks to the Supreme Court, it’s pretty much legal for US law enforcement officers to kill people in Mexico. I know, that doesn’t seem right but that’s the way it plays out. So long as only bullets cross the border, the extraterritorial, extrajudicial killings are incapable of being remedied by a civil rights lawsuit.

      • Fall of Oppression
      • Groups Demand Biden Halt Deportations as Haiti Reels From Multiple Crises
      • Groups Demand Biden Halt Deportations as Haiti Reels from Earthquake, Storm & Moïse Assassination

        As Haitians cope with the devastating aftermath of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Tropical Storm Grace and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July, a coalition of over 300 rights groups is denouncing the Biden administration’s ongoing deportations to Haiti and urging it to expand temporary protected status. “How do you tell somebody not to come when they are dealing not only with man-made crisis, political crisis and violence, and on top of it dealing with natural disasters?” asks Guerline Jozef, co-founder and executive director of Haitian Bridge Alliance.

      • Reverse Warrants Show Feds Sought Data On Thousands Of Police Brutality Protesters In Kenosha, Wisconsin

        Is there anything law enforcement won’t use geofence warrants for? The answer appears to be “no.”

      • New Jersey Hasn’t Defeated ICE Yet

        When New Jersey passed a bill banning new, renewed, or extended contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in August 2021, it came as a shock. Just two years earlier, The Nation reported on the cynical profiteering of deep-blue counties where Democratic officials denounced the Trump administration while generating immense revenue by holding ICE detainees in county jails. While the passage of S3361/A5207 is a movement victory—bringing New Jersey to the national forefront of immigrant justice—it raises the question of what abolishing ICE at the state level entails in the Biden era.

      • Fighting Jim Crow in the 21st Century: an Interview With Dolores Huerta

        Indeed, Huerta continues to be a powerful voice in her quest to help develop leaders and advocate for the working poor, women, and children. According to the Dolores Huerta Foundation website, “she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. She often speaks to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy.”

        When She was 58, Huerta suffered a brutal police beating while protesting against the policies of then presidential candidate George Bush in San Francisco. A baton-swinging cop broke four of her ribs and shattered her spleen. she fought her way back to the frontlines of social change

      • National Laws Needed, Say Defenders of Women, After SCOTUS Attack on Roe

        Amid the fear and outrage caused by the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to block Texas’ extreme anti-choice law Tuesday night, legal experts and rights advocates urged lawmakers to focus on what can be done to protect reproductive rights across the country, particularly the passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act. 

        “It is up to Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to end this assault on reproductive freedom once and for all.”—Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

      • “Blanket Unconstitutional” Texas Abortion Ban Takes Effect in Major Setback for Reproductive Rights

        In a major setback for reproductive rights, the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed a Texas law to go into effect that bans abortions after six weeks — before most people even know they are pregnant. Until now, no other six-week ban has ever gone into effect in the United States. The law is seen as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and allows private citizens to file civil suits against abortion providers or anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion after six weeks. “What Texas has done is blanket unconstitutional,” says Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

      • The New Republican Supreme Court

        It’s the most restrictive abortion law in the country, imposing a huge burden on women without the means or money to travel to another state where later abortions are legal.

      • Calls for Expanding Supreme Court Take on New Urgency After Texas Abortion Ban
      • Roe v. Wade in Grave Danger as Supreme Court Lets Texas Abortion Ban Take Effect

        A draconian Texas law banning abortions beyond around six weeks of pregnancy took effect at midnight after the conservative U.S. Supreme Court did not act to block it on Tuesday, a decision that could have major implications for reproductive rights across the country.

        While the Supreme Court could still grant an emergency request to suspend the law in the coming hours, the justices’ decision to remain silent Tuesday allows Texas to begin implementing what rights groups have characterized as the most restrictive state-level abortion ban since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Abortion providers estimate that the measure could bar care for “at least 85% of Texas abortion patients.”

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Messenger’ By David Strickland (Featuring Erick Sermon, Outlaw By Nature, and Saukrates)

        The following was originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Music. David Strickland is a successful Grammy-winning producer and engineer, who over a two-decade career worked with several hip-hop luminaries including Redman, EPMD, Drake, and a wide range of notable Canadian rappers.In 2020 Strickland stepped out of the background and released the excellent album, “Spirit of Hip-Hop.” On the album, he tapped into his Mi’kmaq heritage, a lineage that can be traced back five generations. He explored indigenous themes while also addressing universal concerns, such as police brutality. Strickland followed up that album with a companion piece, Spirit of Hip Hop (Remixes). He recently released his latest single “Messenger,” a collaboration with Erick Sermon, Outlaw By Nature (featuring Treach from Naughty By Nature and the late Hussein Fatal of The Outlawz), and veteran Canadian rapper Saukrates. The tune is about Strickland’s dedication to delivering messages through his art while also celebrating indigenous heritage.“Messenger is a deep song on many levels. It’s about me using music as a way of sending messages throughout my career without speaking but speaking through the music. It’s also a message to all those negative ones against me, you, something everyone can relate to,” Strickland stated. “Mostly it’s a homage to Hussein Fatal, who passed too soon in a car accident and gives his message to live on through positivity because life is too short and the world’s a beautiful place and it’s all how you look at it and your perspective.”“Ultimately you control your outlook. We are all messengers.” Strickland concluded.In these difficult times, music can play an integral role in delivering a message of positivity and healing. Strickland knows as well as any artist how to speak through the craft of hip-hop.

      • I am planning to move to Europe

        My confidence in the continued viability for my safety in the US began earlier this summer, when a transphobic activist invented false allegations that a transgender woman flashed her genitalia at other women at Wi Spa in Los Angeles. These allegations resulted in violent demonstrations by white supremacists. Don’t worry, the message was received.

        This isn’t strictly about safety, however. I also recognize that leaving the US is a selfish choice, and that I have a lot of privilege that others may not have. But the thing is, I’ve worked my tail off to get where I am, on my own.

        As a skilled tax-paying worker, I believe the US has an obligation to respect me as a person, if they wish for me to retain my patronage. In other words, they should be competing for myself and other skilled labor to remain. Instead, the lack of any tangible action to bring an end to Trumpism and lack of any legislative resistance to trans people being the next stop in the culture war, shows that I am not wanted here, and so I will move somewhere else, where I will be safe and respected as a person.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T’s 911, Cellular Networks Face Plant In Wake Of Hurricane Ida

        After Hurricane Katrina, in 2008 the FCC passed rules mandating that cellular towers be upgraded to include battery backups or generators capable of delivering at least 8 hours of backup power, basically the bare minimum for usefulness. But the US cellular industry, you know, the one whose rates are some of the highest in the developed world, cried like a petulant child about the requirement and sued to successfully scuttle the rules.

      • Court Ruling Against Locast Gets the Law Wrong; Lets Giant Broadcast Networks Control Where and How People Watch Free TV

        The ruling, by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, does the opposite of what Congress intended: it threatens people’s access to local news and vital information during a global pandemic and a season of unprecedented natural disasters. What’s more, it treats copyright law not as an engine of innovation benefiting the public but a moat protecting the privileged position of the four giant broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox.

        Locast, operated by Sports Fans Coalition NY, Inc. (SFCNY), enables TV viewers to receive local over-the-air programming—which broadcasters must by law make available for free—using set-top boxes, smartphones, or other devices of their choice. Over three million people use Locast to access local TV, including many who can’t afford cable and can’t pick up their local stations with an antenna. The broadcast networks sued SFCNY, and its founder and chairman David Goodfriend, arguing for the right to control where and how people can watch their free broadcasts.

        EFF joined with attorneys at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to defend SFCNY. We told the court that Locast is protected by an exception to copyright law, put in place by Congress, that enables nonprofits to retransmit broadcast TV, so communities can access local stations that offer news, foreign-language programming, and local sports. Under that exception, there’s no infringement if nonprofits retransmit TV broadcasts without any commercial purpose, and without charge except to cover their costs. Locast viewers can voluntarily donate to SFCNY for this purpose.

      • Switching from Private Internet Access to NordVPN.

        Private Internet Access has become extremely unreliable and slow lately.

        Many of their servers are now showing ping times of 500 ms to 2,000 ms on their own client software. This should be an embarrassment, except that things have been moving in this direction for a while.

        Kape, the new owner, immediately started degrading the service, and now users are probably fleeing and it creates a need to cut corners. Well, I think I’ve seen the bulk of it play out a month or two back when many of their “US” servers started getting redirected to foreign countries, such as Seychelles and South Africa (I noticed because Walmart made me solve CAPTCHAs, and my banks started just blocking me or challenging me with 2FA every time I went there.), and then came back here, at least that’s how it appears, under some company called “FreedomTech Solutions”, which has a site full of buzzwords. I’m not sure where these servers really are or who is managing them, but things have gotten so bad that I decided to uninstall PIA from my computers and remove my auto-renew and move to another VPN provider.


        PIA wasn’t so bad when “Dan” and “Max-P” were around to maintain it and engage with their customers, but Kape ruined that too. Now you get some nameless “support” person in one of those “chat boxes” that pops up on their site, instead of just going on IRC and asking questions directly.

        What’s more, instead of funding their actual network, PIA has funded a program for referrals and “influencers”. Well, they influenced me, to write this. Hopefully, I’ve influenced you as well. It’s a sure sign that a company is in decay when they place a larger emphasis on graft and getting people to corruptly influence others to buy a product that they know full well doesn’t work properly.

        Microsoft has operated like this for some time with their MVPs program and “partners” like Best Buy, who renamed the computer sections “Windows” and “Mac”, like there aren’t even other choices.

        Then there’s the separate situation where Kape and Andrew Lee are inextricably linked to the disaster that happened to the Freenode IRC network, which has lost over 85% of its users since the power grab.

        So goodbye to this Free Dumb Tech mess. It looks like NordVPN for me from now on. At least as long as nobody screws it up.

    • Monopolies

      • Fakefluencers: how IP counsel have duped consumers online [Ed: Social control media as propaganda opportunity for conglomerates]

        In-house sources say creating fake profiles on social media has helped them lure unsuspecting consumers into hearing the anti-counterfeiting message

      • India opens antitrust investigation into Apple.

        Apple’s latest malicious misconduct was to purchase an app that streamed a huge collection of classical music, in lossless format. They shut down the service entirely and sent the users a spam email with a coupon code for 6 months of Apple Music, which has less than a quarter of the type of music as the service they shut down did.

        You relied on streaming music disservices. Sentence: SIX MONTHS APPLE MUSIC. To be carried out immediately!

        I wonder if it comes with a complimentary blindfold and cigarette at the Genius Bar.

      • India set to investigate Apple over antitrust accusation

        A non-profit organization in India’s Rajasthan region has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple and the App Store, which is expected to lead to a full investigation.

        Apple has been accused in India of abusing its market position to force developers to use its in-app payment system. It’s a similar accusation to the current investigation by the European Union. It also follows South Korea voting to force Apple and Google to allow alternatives, if they want to continue operating in that country.

      • Patents

        • FOSS Patents: TCL takes MPEG LA’s AVC/H.264 license just before Dusseldorf trials in patent infringement litigation brought by NEC, Panasonic, IP Bridge

          Yesterday Ericsson won a key appellate decision against HTC, and today there is good news for some other standard-essential patent (SEP) holders. Today, patent pool firm MPEG LA announced that “TCL Electronics Holdings Limited (‘TCL’) has become a Licensee to MPEG LA’s AVC Patent Portfolio License” and that “all legal disputes related to patent enforcement actions brought by patent holders in MPEG LA’s AVC License against TCL have been resolved.” In complaints filed with the Dusseldorf Regional Court and announced by MPEG LA on July 27, 2020, TCL was accused of infringing patents declared essential to the AVC/H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) digital video coding standard used in mobile devices, TVs, and other products.

          I’ve been able to find out that the plaintiffs in those German patent infringement cases were NEC, Panasonic, and IP Bridge. The Dusseldorf court would have held trials pretty soon, but TCL folded.

        • Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court update [Ed: This is a big bundle of lies because due to Brexit UPC can never happen]

          After many twists and turns over more than four decades, the implementation of a so-called “Unitary Patent Package”, i.e. the establishment of a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court (UPC), now seems close to coming to fruition.

        • Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court: FAQs [Ed: Patent extremists, profiteers and litigation zealots are still trying to sell us a unicorn. UPC is dead, but they still publish things like this...]

          A Unitary Patent is a single patent right that is expected to cover 24 Member States of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden). Spain has chosen not to take part, and the United Kingdom withdrew on 21 July 2020, following its departure from the European Union. Poland and Croatia are not currently parties to the scheme but may join later.

        • Software Patents

          • Federal Circuit Affirms Unified Patents’ Successful IPR Against Ortiz & Associates Consulting

            On August 31, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit summarily affirmed the PTAB’s ruling that all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 8,971,914, are unpatentable in a summary affirmance under Rule 36, effectively ending the longstanding assertion of those claims. The ‘914 patent, directed to controlling a multimedia video device to play video data through the operation of a wireless device, has been asserted against Google and Roku. See Ortiz & Associates Consulting, LLC. v. Unified Patents, LLC, No. 2021-1085 (Fed. Cir. August 31, 2021) (Rule 36 Affirmance). The case was argued by in-house counsel, Alyssa Holtslander, Roshan Mansinghani, and Jonathan Stroud. Unified was also represented by Angela Oliver, Raghav Bajaj, Debbie McComas, David O’Dell, and David McCombs at Haynes and Boone.

          • $2,000 for D3D Technologies prior art

            On August 30, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 10,795,457. The patent is owned by D3D Technologies, an NPE. The ’457 patent generally relates to an interactive 3D cursor facilitates selection and manipulation of a three-dimensional volume from any three-dimensional image. The ‘457 patent has been asserted against Microsoft.

      • Copyrights

        • SPARKS Piracy Bust: British Man Extradited to US to Face Criminal Conspiracy Charges

          British man George Bridi, an alleged member of the infamous SPARKS release group, has been extradited to the United States from Cyprus. He faces several charges including conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, wire fraud conspiracy, and other offenses, which carry sentences of up to 20 years. Bridi will be arraigned today before a US judge.

        • Pirate IPTV: Omi in a Hellcat Rejects Feds’ Suggestion of 210 Months in Prison

          Bill Omar Carrasquillo, aka Omi in a Hellcat, has revealed that the US Government wants to put him behind bars for alleged crimes related to his Gears IPTV service. According to Carrasquillo, pre-indictment discussions indicate that the feds could seek 210 months in prison for criminal copyright infringement, money laundering and tax evasion.

        • Meet the CC Summit Presenter: Gorana Gomirac

          During her session, she will present the ways in which Wikipedia Serbia cooperates with cultural institutions, how they have established good relations, how they have educated them about the importance of CC licenses, but also their perspective before and after using CC licenses on the Internet. She hopes to see you in as many numbers as possible at her session!

        • Nintendo Shuts Down Another ‘Smash’ Tournament Due To Mod Use, With No Piracy As A Concern

          Late last year, we discussed a predictably odd move by Nintendo to shut down a Smash Bros. tournament called The Big House over its use of a mod called “slippi.” Slippi essentially unbreaks the 20 year old game when it comes to competitive online play. Otherwise, the whole thing basically doesn’t work from a online play perspective. And, with all kinds of events going virtual, The Big House attempted to run its tournament virtually, meaning that participants would have to use a digitized version of the game they owned, along with the mod, in order to participate. After it nixed the tourney, Nintendo put out the following statement:

OHIM/EUIPO Giving Top Roles to Repeatedly-Convicted Fraudsters is Bad for the Reputation of the European Union

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e2528358b724e6f625d14290e0cdfeed

Casino trips: Nobody will ever find out about Enäjärvi! People can read Finnish translationsSummary: Video about part 11 and the current status quo, where EPO officials enjoy an “above the law” status in exchange for protecting powerful corporations and rich people

AS EPO President, António Campinos enjoys diplomatic immunity and since EPO legal cases cannot be appealed upwards/outwards (or barely, e.g. ILO and Dutch Supreme Court, whose outcome/decision the EPO said it would ignore/disregard) he must be feeling like a deity right now. He’s still not complying with the latest high-profile decisions of ILO-AT as far as we know (he has not spoken about it in 8 weeks! It’ll soon be 2 monnths!) and at EUIPO he already had some immunity scandals, so one starts to wonder if Tony is a more suitable short-name for him, seeing that he’s above the law like in a Mafia.

Videos that we publish aren’t typically just a reading of articles; instead, in this case, we focus on how this whole diplomatic immunity mess became possible in the first place. People like Campinos serve the ‘untouchables’, who protect their civil servants (more like moles in civil society) in exchange for the protectionism (denying access by competition). This isn’t a tenable situation. It’s made even worse when those so-called ‘civil’ servants are in fact convicted criminals, who have no capacity to lecture us on obeying laws.

[Meme] António Campinos Poured Bleach on a Convicted Criminal

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reputation laundering and whitening from Tony, son of the “Carnation Revolution”

EU, Martti Enäjärvi: It's OK. Carry on...
Mr. Casino Martti Enäjärvi enabled the corruption of Benoît Battistelli around the same time he himself became a convicted fraudster; the EUIPO of António Campinos helped whiten Enäjärvi’s reputation

Summary: Enäjärvi is a major liability to the EU, not just the EPO, where he basically enabled dictatorship for personal gain

EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XI – With a Little Help From My Friends…

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part I – More Captured Delegates?
  2. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part II – Old Wine in New Bottles…
  3. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part III – Introducing the Finnish “Facilitator”
  4. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IV – Martti Enäjärvi and His “Good Brother” Networks
  5. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part V – A Man With a Conviction…
  6. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VI – “A Good Friend of Estonia and a Steady Cooperation Partner”
  7. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VII – A Self-Appointed “Select Committee”
  8. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VIII – Pulling for the Portuguese Pretender?
  9. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IX – António’s Faithful Acolyte in Alicante
  10. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part X – A Pan-European “Good Brother” Network Celebration?
  11. You are here ☞ With a Little Help From My Friends…

Martti Enäjärvi in Latvia
EUIPO “Special Advisor” Martti Enäjärvi giving “a comprehensive insight into the effective protection of intellectual property rights in Europe” at the Latvian Patent Office in February 2018.

Summary: Having a convicted fraudster as a guest of honour at events and “Special Advisor to the Executive Director” is seen as a good idea by EUIPO; this shows that in this "Big Club" one can commit fraud and still be involved in public duties, so it harms the image of the European Union

In the last part we covered the ceremony held in Tallinn in March 2012 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Estonian Patent Office.

One of the most noteworthy side-shows at this ceremony was the appearance of Martti Enäjärvi as a guest speaker.

“But apparently nobody was concerned about the potential reputational damage that might result from publicly associating with a convicted credit card fraudster.”Only a couple of months previously in December 2011, Enäjärvi had been found guilty of fraudulent credit card use by the District Court of Helsinki.

Under the given circumstances, you would think that he might have preferred to lie low rather than to parade himself in public or that other members of his peer group might have been inclined to keep their distance from him.

But apparently nobody was concerned about the potential reputational damage that might result from publicly associating with a convicted credit card fraudster.

“At first glance, Enäjärvi’s advanced age – he was 70 in 2012 – and his criminal record would seem to be insurmountable obstacles to further employment following his forced “retirement” from the Finnish PRH in August 2010.”Indeed, even after Enäjärvi’s conviction had been confirmed by the appeal court in December 2012 his former buddies remained loyal and didn’t treat him as a pariah or an outcast.

At first glance, Enäjärvi’s advanced age – he was 70 in 2012 – and his criminal record would seem to be insurmountable obstacles to further employment following his forced “retirement” from the Finnish PRH in August 2010.

But if that’s what you thought, then you would have been seriously mistaken.

On the contrary, far from being abandoned and dumped on the scrapheap, Enäjärvi ended up with a cushy little sinecure at the OHIM/EUIPO where he was awarded a position alternatively billed as “Special Advisor to the President” or “Special Advisor to the Executive Director” (of EUIPO).

His first public appearance in this new role seems to have been in September 2012 at the VIII International Symposium on Intellectual Property in Innovative Economy.

Martti Enäjärvi in Poland
Following “retirement” from the Finnish PRH, Enäjärvi was a guest speaker at a number of International Symposia organised by the Polish Patent Office in collaboration with WIPO.

“Margot Fröhlinger was also present which suggests that the 2011 event was intended to promote the UPC.”The International Symposium on Intellectual Property in Innovative Economy is or was an event organised by the Polish Patent Office in collaboration with WIPO. The first Symposium was held in September 2004 and after that it became an annual event. The venue was the Collegium Novum, the neo-gothic main building of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

In 2011, the VII International Symposium held on 7 to 9 September was a major affair attended by “global IP” heavyweights, including WIPO’s Francis Gurry, the EPO‘s Benoît Battistelli and OHIM’s António Campinos. Margot Fröhlinger was also present which suggests that the 2011 event was intended to promote the UPC.

Krakow UPC lobbying
The 2011 International Symposium hosted by the Polish Patent Office in Krakow in collaboration with WIPO was attended by Francis Gurry (WIPO), Benoit Battistelli (EPO), and António Campinos (OHIM/EUIPO).

Enäjärvi was in the audience at the 2011 Symposium as a guest in his capacity as “former Director-General of the Finnish PRH”.

Krakow: Fabrice Claireau
Enäjärvi speaking to Fabrice Claireau (French INPI) at the 2011 International Symposium hosted by the Polish Patent Office in Krakow.

The following year, Enäjärvi appeared at the VIII International Symposium held on 6-7 September 2012 [PDF].

“…he was a speaker rather than just an attendee.”But this time he was in a new role – namely, “Special Advisor to the Executive Director of OHIM” – and he was a speaker rather than just an attendee.

Enäjärvi’s contribution to the 2012 Symposium was recorded in the official gazette of the Polish Patent Office as follows (emphasis added):

Two day sessions were summarized by the former president of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office and now adviser to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) Martti Enäjärvi. He highlighted that education should lie at the basis of all initiatives and efforts connected with financing of innovation and commercialization of exclusive rights. Only with suitable knowledge one can effectively use the IP protection system. “If you think that education is expensive you should first check how much ignorance costs” – he concluded.

Two years later, Enäjärvi was back in Krakow at the X International Symposium which took place on 4-5 September 2014 [PDF]. On this occasion his contribution was to deliver a talk entitled “Does Poland Need IP Strategy?”

“More recently, Enäjärvi has participated as a guest speaker at various roadshows devoted to the case law of EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal, which deals with disputes concerning trade marks and designs.”In his capacity as “Special Advisor”, Enäjärvi was also involved in the activities of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.

The Observatory – which is managed by the EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO – is “a network of experts and specialist stakeholders that brings together representatives from EU bodies, authorities in EU countries, businesses, and civil society … to improve the fight against counterfeiting and piracy”. [sic]

Enäjärvi’s name appears on the list of participants for the plenary meetings of the Observatory held at the EUIPO in Alicante on 21-22 October 2015 [PDF] and 28-29 September 2016. [PDF]

“In May 2018 Enäjärvi was listed as a dinner speaker at an official dinner hosted by EUIPO on the margins of its annual IP Case Law Conference held in Alicante.”More recently, Enäjärvi has participated as a guest speaker at various roadshows devoted to the case law of EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal, which deals with disputes concerning trade marks and designs.

For example, in May 2017 he appeared in his old stomping ground in Estonia at a seminar held in the Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn. [PDF]

“It’s not clear whether Enäjärvi is still active as a “Special Advisor” to the new EUIPO Executive Director, Christian Archambeau.”This seminar was organised by the Estonian Patent Office and the Ministry of Justice, in co-operation with EUIPO and Enäjärvi gave a talk entitled “EUIPO and the Protection of IPR in Europe”.

He seems to have recycled the same talk at a similar event hosted by the Latvian Patent Office in February 2018 [PDF] where he was reported to have given “a comprehensive insight into the effective protection of intellectual property rights in Europe”.

In May 2018 Enäjärvi was listed [PDF] as a dinner speaker at an official dinner hosted by EUIPO on the margins of its annual IP Case Law Conference held in Alicante.

It’s not clear whether Enäjärvi is still active as a “Special Advisor” to the new EUIPO Executive Director, Christian Archambeau. Given that he will turn 80 next year, it’s quite likely that he has decided to hang up his EUIPO hat in the meantime.

Meanwhile, back home in Finland, Enäjärvi continues to pursue his domestic “good brother” networking activities, such as those connected with the Paasikivi Society and the Helsinki Finns Club, where he was appointed honorary Chairman in November 2020.

Paaskivi Society event
Left: Enäjärvi at a Paaskivi Society event in 2018 with former Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.
Right: Enäjärvi was appointed honorary Chairman of the Helsinki Finns Club in November 2020.

Even if he is now retired from his professional activities at the EUIPO, Enäjärvi certainly had a good innings between 2012 and 2018 as a “Special Advisor” to the former Executive Director, António Campinos.

“Isn’t it reassuring to see how the Finnish “good brother” model of cronyism has managed to establish itself as the accepted standard in the upper echelons of the “European IP network”?”There can be no doubt that António did his best to look after an old friend who had fallen on hard times.

Isn’t it reassuring to see how the Finnish “good brother” model of cronyism has managed to establish itself as the accepted standard in the upper echelons of the “European IP network”?

There is only one small problem here: The EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO isn’t a private company. It’s a public intergovernmental authority which falls within the remit of the EU.

So you would be entitled to expect that the appointment of a “Special Advisor” to the Executive Director of such an agency would be made in a transparent and accountable manner.

Unfortunately, it seems impossible to find any official record or public announcement of Enäjärvi’s EUIPO appointment and the associated terms and conditions.

In particular it’s not clear whether the appointment came about as a result of a competitive selection procedure or whether it was some kind of ad personam appointment at the sole discretion of the Executive Director.

In addition to that, it isn’t clear how EU citizens might feel about having a convicted credit card fraudster employed as a “Special Advisor” to the Executive Director of the EU’s trademark agency.

“There is only one small problem here: The EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO isn’t a private company. It’s a public intergovernmental authority which falls within the remit of the EU.”But then again, they don’t appear to have been consulted about it.

All things considered, the post-retirement career of Martti Enäjärvi at EUIPO raises a lot of unanswered questions and it would certainly be interesting to have some clarification about the role of António Campinos in this affair.

In the next part we will shift our focus back to the EPO and look at how Benoît Battistelli ensured the continuing loyalty of his Baltic fiefdoms after he had successfully completed his power grab in Munich in 2010.

Just Like in China, Even an EPO ‘Emeritus’ Cannot Criticise the Regime of EPOnia…

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 638f738a177df0ea681dd3bffd7e51b4

Summary: The EPO has created a toxic culture wherein even former staff is afraid of criticising the institution and ends up self-censoring (the “chilling effect”) whilst attacking those still willing to expose the facts

THE EPO is so terrified of criticism that someone who has worked under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos (at CEIPI and maybe EPO as well) apparently worries about his criticisms only when Techrights merely mentions these. He’s stubbornly defending software patents although they're outside his scope of expertise and he’s lecturing on litigation, which can’t be a good sign (the EPO itself has become highly litigious — as far as threatening to sue bloggers and coughing up millions to squabble with its staff).

“He’s stubbornly defending software patents although they’re outside his scope of expertise…”Although we caught up with his post nearly 3 months late it’s worth responding to it in video, not just in text, especially after discovering just how close the person is to Team Battistelli.

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:34 am by Needs Sunlight

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