Links 15/9/2021: Java 17 / JDK 17 Released and ExpressVPN Sold

Posted in News Roundup at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #147

      We had a peaceful week in the world of Linux Releases with the releases of antiX 21 Beta 2 and ArcoLinux 21.09.11.

      I hope that you will have a wonderful week and a great Autumn.

      Also, as we are reaching the 150th newsletter soon, do you have a special request to celebrate it?

    • Server

      • Pete Zaitcev: Scalability of a varying degree

        Thousands of users…? Isn’t it a little too low? Typical Swift clusters in Telcos have tens of millions of users, of which tens or hundreds of thousands are active simultaneously.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Unlocking the bootloader and disabling dm-verity on Android-X86 devices

        For the hw-enablement for Bay- and Cherry-Trail devices which I do as a side project, sometimes it is useful to play with the Android which comes pre-installed on some of these devices.

        Sometimes the Android-X86 boot-loader (kerneflinger) is locked and the standard “Developer-Options” -> “Enable OEM Unlock” -> “Run ‘fastboot oem unlock’” sequence does not work (e.g. I got the unlock yes/no dialog, and could move between yes and no, but I could not actually confirm the choice).

      • Graphics Stack

        • RadeonSI Lands Big Batch Of Improvements To Lower CPU Overhead – Phoronix

          Following portions of the merge request landing, the rest of the RadeonSI CPU-overhead-lowering work was just merged to Mesa 21.3.

          Marek Olšák and the open-source AMD Radeon OpenGL driver developers have been working on this big set of 42 patches over the past number of weeks. The focus is ultimately on lowering the CPU overhead of the driver.

    • Applications

      • The 5 Best Tools to Find and Remove Duplicate Files in Linux

        File management is a complicated task in and of itself. Add to that large volume of duplicate files that typically hog up the storage space, and the process becomes increasingly difficult.

        While the standard way to deal with duplicate files is to locate and delete them manually. However, using a dedicated duplicate file finder program instead can significantly accelerate the process.

        So if you’re planning to get rid of duplicate files and clean up your computer, here’s a list of some of the best tools for finding and removing duplicate files in Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Google Chrome on Linux Lite 5.4 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Google Chrome on Linux Lite 5.4. Enjoy!

      • How to install the Y8 Browser on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install the Y8 Browser on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Using Oracle Cloud, Part 1: The ‘Always Free’ Offering
      • Megatools Linux install and Basic Introduction

        This tutorial will deal with Megatools Linux install and Basic Introduction. MEGA is one of the most famous cloud storage and file hosting services available. The service offered by the company are normally accessible via web interface or dedicated applications also on smartphone operating systems such as Android or iOS. In this article we see how to access the service from the command line via a free and open source set of tools written in Python: Megatools.

      • wipefs Linux command tutorial with examples

        The wipefs Linux command utility can be used to erase various types of signatures from a device (partition tables, filesystem signatures, etc…). It is available in the repository of all the most used Linux distributions, and it is usually installed by default as part of of the util-linux package, which contains also other essentials utilities aimed at system maintenance, so we should never have to install it explicitly. In this tutorial we will see how to use wipefs to gather information about the existing signatures and how to erase them.

      • VirtualBox increase disk size on Linux

        In this tutorial you will learn how to increase disk size on VirtualBox. One of the great things about installing an operating system into a virtual machine is that we can easily change the machine’s CPU utilization limit, its memory usage, and the amount of hard drive space it has. With VirtualBox, all of these hardware specifications can even be changed long after the virtual machine is created.

        If you have already installed Linux or some other operating system like Windows or BSD into a VirtualBox virtual machine, and then realized that you are running out of hard drive space, don’t despair. VirtualBox gives us a simple way to increase the amount of hard drive space available to a virtual machine.

      • [Older] How to configure shared VirtualBox folder on Linux

      • Screen Recording in Linux With OBS and Wayland

        There are tons of screen recorders available for Linux. But when it comes to supporting Wayland, almost all of them do not work.

        This is problematic because many new distribution releases are switching to Wayland display manager by default once again. And if something as basic as a screen recorder does not work, it leaves a bad experience.

        GNOME’s built-in screen recorder works but it is hidden, has no GUI and no way to configure and control the recordings. There is another tool called Kooha but it keeps on displaying a timer on the screen.

        Switching between Xorg and Wayland just for screen recording is not very convenient.

        Amidst all this, I was happy to learn that Wayland support landed in OBS Studio with version 27 release thanks to Pipewire. But even there, it’s not straightforward and hence I am going to show you the steps for screen recording on Wayland using OBS Studio.

      • Parallel Clustering

        Parallel Clustering allows for multiple systems to run programs together as if they were one system. A Parallel Cluster is also called a Beowulf Cluster.

      • Getting Started With Fedora Silverblue: A Flatpak-Only Version of Fedora Linux

        Fedora Linux is one of the most well-known versions of the Linux operating system. This community-run Linux distribution, sponsored by Red Hat, prides itself on developing and introducing the software that eventually makes its way to other Linux distros.

        Fedora Silverblue packages and uses that software in a way different from the traditional Linux desktop model, one that may become the way forward for Fedora and, possibly, other Linux distros. You can already use it today, and here’s why you might want to.

      • Using du to Free Up Disk Space in Linux – Make Tech Easier

        If you’re new to the world of Linux, you may find yourself wondering how to free up disk space. It’s not always as simple as just uninstalling some programs. This is particularly true if you have many files taking up space scattered across your whole filesystem. While there are many different ways to free up disk space in Linux, read on to learn about one of the quickest: using du and some basic terminal commands.

      • Jonathan Dowland: GHC rewrite rules
      • Use Manuskript to organize your writing projects on Linux

        Need a good writing tool for your Linux PC? Check out Manuskript. It has some seriously awesome features that any writer will love, such as an outlining tool, distraction-free mode, a built-in assistant tool, and many others.

        In this guide, we’ll go over how to install Manuskript on Linux. We’ll also go over how to use it to organize your writing projects. Ensure you are using Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux, or OpenSUSE to get started.

      • Superfast portscanner
    • Distributions

      • Manjaro Linux 21.1 with fresh desktop environments [Ed: Automated translation]

        The Gnome edition of Manjaro Linux delivers Gnome 40 without major changes – the Manjaro team wants to stay as close as possible to the upstream versions. However, the Gnome developers have revised the user interface of the Gnome Shell in version 40, which some users do not like. Manjaro Linux 21.1 offers its own legacy layout for them, which simulates the operating concept of Gnome 3.38. In addition, the Manjaro team has ensured that all layouts contained in their own layout switcher also work under Gnome 40. There you can change the arrangement of the control elements such as the main menu and taskbar, for example in the classic way as in Windows or based on Ubuntu Unity.

      • Debian Family

        • Sven Hoexter: PV – Monitoring Envertech Microinverter via envertecportal.com

          Some time ago I looked briefly at an Envertech data logger for small scale photovoltaic setups. Turned out that PV inverter are kinda unreliable, and you really have to monitor them to notice downtimes and defects. Since my pal shot for a quick win I’ve cobbled together another Python script to query the portal at www.envertecportal.com, and report back if the generated power is down to 0. The script is currently run on a vserver via cron and reports back via the system MTA. So yeah, you need to have something like that already at hand.

        • Some site updates

          We’re in the process of upgrading to Debian 11 (bullseye). If you come across any issues, feel free to raise them on the #debian-social IRC channel on oftc (also accessible via Matrix) and we’ll look into it as soon as we have a chance.

        • Matrix Synapse updated and new plumbed IRC rooms

          Matrix synapse was updated to 1.40.0, during the upgrade the server was upgraded to Bullseye.

        • Infrastructure in place to run each app as a separate user

          Running an app as a non-root user also means that it can’t write just anywhere in the filesystem, can be constrained to only write in its own home folder. And if required, can be prevented from reading critical files.

          Of course Easy already has “crippled root” in containers, so running, say, SeaMonkey, on the main desktop as a non-root user would have to be seen as an alternative security strategy. SeaMonkey will run a little bit faster, and won’t have the issues that some people have reported with running SM in a container, such as problem with network connectivity.

          If each app is run as its own user, this means that EasyOS can implement a permissions management GUI like in Android. Like, do you want this app to be able to access the camera, network, audio, folders outside the “home” folder? …etc.

          So, have started to setup the infrastructure to support this. The idea is that top-level /clients folder will have these non-root users, though I would like to refer to them as “clients”.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Whiskey Lake embedded PC features four PoE ports

        Aaeon’s rugged, $851 “VPC-5620S” system offers an 8th Gen Core CPU plus up to 64GB DDR4, 5x Gbe (4x with PoE), 4x USB, HDMI and DP, SATA, M.2 with NVMe, multiple mini-PCIe, and an optional in-vehicle configuration.

      • Compact Elkhart Lake system offers triple GbE

        Ibase’s rugged “AGS103T” embedded system runs on Intel’s Elkhart Lake and offers up to 16GB DDR4, 3x GbE, 4x USB, 4x COM, 3x mini-PCIe, and M.2 B-key plus an optional 2.5-inch SATA bay.

        The fanless, compact AGS103T is built around Intel’s 10nm-fabricated, MCU-equipped Elkhart Lake platform. The rugged, 218 x 110 x 57mm system is designed for embedded applications in factory automation, IoT gateway, edge computing, and automatic control systems.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Raspberry Pi Zero vs Zero W: What’s the Difference?

          Raspberry Pi created a revolution when it launched the $25 mini computer ten years ago. Over the time, several variants of Raspberry Pi have been launched. Some upgrade a previous model and some are crafted for specific purposes.

          Of all the Raspberry models, Pi Zero and Pi Zero W are the cheapest ones aimed for small scale and IoT projects. Both devices are almost similar to each other but with a subtle and important difference.

          So, what is the difference between Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W? The W in Zero W stands for Wireless and it depicts its wireless capability over the Pi Zero model. That’s the single biggest difference between the two similar models.

        • $10 LILYGO T-Display RP2040 board integrates a 1.14-inch color display – CNX Software

          As its name implies, LILYGO T-Display RP2040 is a Raspberry Pi RP2040 based development board that comes with a display, and more exactly a 1.14-inch color display with 240×135 resolution and based on ST7789V SPI display driver.

          The T-Display RP2040 board joins other Rasberry Pi RP2040 boards with integrated displays like Arducam Pico4ML, but does so at a much lower price with LILYGO selling the board for just $9.98 on Aliexpress.

        • Portenta H7 Lite cost-optimized Arduino Pro board drops WiFi, USB-C video output, NXP secure element – CNX Software

          Arduino Portenta H7 Lite is a cost-down version of Portenta H7 STM32H7 that shaves off a little over $30 of the Arduino Pro board by doing without a wireless module nor USB-C video output and opting for a lower cost Microchip ATECC608 secure element.

          Arduino says the new board provides a cost-optimized solution for companies developing high-end industrial machinery, laboratory equipment, computer vision, PLCs, robotics controllers, and mission-critical devices.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • CMS

        • ERP5 : Open-Source ERP Platform for enterprise

          ERP5 is one of the most and complete web-based ERP platform for small modern companies, designed to be flexible to fit different business areas and to be used through the web. It aims to match the requirement of globalization and increase distributed nature.

      • Programming/Development

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – August 2021 – IBM Developer

          This is the 43rd edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest. In this edition, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in August 2021.

        • A Candid explainer: Quirks

          If you made it this far, you now have a good understanding of what Candid is, what it is for and how it is used. For this final post, I’ll put the spotlight on specific aspects of Candid that are maybe surprising, or odd, or quirky. This section will be quite opinionated, and could maybe be called “what I’d do differently if I’d re-do the whole thing”.

          Note that these quirks are not serious problems, and they don’t invalidate the overall design. I am writing this up not to discourage the use of Candid, but merely help interested parties to understand it better.

        • oneAPI Level Zero Loader v1.5 Released With VPU Driver Recognition, Multi-Driver Support

          Intel has released a new version of their loader for oneAPI Level Zero for loading the Level Zero software driver components.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Show Unicode code points for UTF-8 characters

            Like the title says, I wanted to show the Unicode code points (formatted \uxxxx) for a set of UTF-8 characters. There are programs that do just that in a number of programming languages, but I wanted to do the job with garden-variety shell tools.

            The solution I’ve chosen is based on a 2019 SuperUser suggestion from Brazilian developer Danilo G. Veraszto. The trick is to first convert the character to “UNICODEBIG” (big-endian Unicode) encoding with iconv. I pass the output to xxd, set to put a space between every two bytes (-g 2)…

        • Java

          • Java 17 / JDK 17: General Availability
            JDK 17, the reference implementation of Java 17, is now Generally
            Available.  We shipped build 35 as the first Release Candidate of
            JDK 17 on 6 August, and no P1 bugs have been reported since then.
            Build 35 is therefore now the GA build, ready for production use.
          • Java 17 / OpenJDK 17 Hits GA With Maturing Vector API, Removal Planned For Applet API

            Java’s Vector API is quite exciting and building off the initial code in Java 16. The Java Vector API aims to make it easy to allow run-time handling and optimal vector instruction generation across CPU architectures for SSE, AVX, Arm NEON, and other instruction set extensions.

            Java 17 is quite notable in that it will be a Long-Term Support (LTS) release, including from Oracle.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • What Are Superfoods, and Is It Ethical to Eat Them? [Ed: Multinationals patenting nature and then monopolising all foods, claiming to "own" every plant born]

        Many of our foods have adapted the label of “superfoods,” but why settle for super when you can try foods that are heaven-sent? Theobroma cacao, the scientific name for the cocoa plant, literally translates to “food of the gods.” Both delicious and divine, cacao is not the only fruit with a fascinating indigenous history.

        From breadfruit to ‘booch, 2021 has delivered a dazzling array of international superfoods to your grocery store aisles. But with dozens of choices, it can be hard to sort through the purpose and potential applications of each superfood—and to know which truly boosts your health to the max.

        Superfoods also come with deep histories, which are often appropriated by mainstream food marketing. Rather than simplifying or misrepresenting the cultures these incredible foods spring from, talking to people at the source can help you foster a deeper understanding of a food’s culture.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Lenovo ships scareware to “correct” Windows problems for $30 a year and sells expensive antivirus. Many issues could be solved by running cleanmgr and a free antivirus. – BaronHK’s Rants

          Lenovo has been caught doing some shady things before, from installing the Superfish malware, to the infamous BIOS that took a Windows “security feature” and used it to keep reinstalling crapware no matter how many times the user deleted it, to blocking the installation of GNU/Linux operating systems in 2016, forcing me to take my case to the Attorney General of Illinois. Lisa Madigan, at the time.

          To my surprise, her office opened an antitrust investigation and as soon as Lenovo and Microsoft heard the gears turning, they threw the transmission into full reverse and backtracked with a BIOS repair. But Microsoft and Lenovo are like the Shadows and their Dark Servants in Babylon 5. Every time they were defeated, they’d scatter their remaining forces, sleep for a while, and come up with a new strategy to slowly lick their wounds and then try to start problems all over again.

          For Lenovo’s part, even though they’ve been smacked down by court proceedings and bad publicity, they have no idea when to stop trying to chase down a user for a quick buck after they’ve already bought an expensive computer. And Microsoft is obviously happy with what any decent company would consider slander, because Lenovo is selling “snake oil” subscriptions that essentially cost $30 a year to empty your recycle bin.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • SSID Stripping flaw lets hackers mimic real wireless access points

            Simply put: Unsuspecting users can be tricked users into connecting to WiFi spots setup by hackers. This would not only exposed users to data theft but access their personal information on their device – That’s why the vulnerability has been dubbed SSID stripping.

          • Adobe Releases Security Updates for Multiple Products | CISA

            Adobe has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in multiple Adobe products. An attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

          • Secure JSONification?

            There was an interesting discussion on IRC today. In brief, it was about exposing one’s database structures over API and security implications of this approach. I’d recommend reading the whole thing because Altreus delivers a good (and somewhat emotional) point on why such practice is most definitely bad design decision. Despite having minor objections, I generally agree to him.

            But I’m not wearing out my keyboard on this post just to share that discussion. There was something in it what made me feel as if I miss something. And it came to me a bit later, when I was done with my payjob and got a bit more spare resources for the brain to utilize.

            First of all, a bell rang when a hash was mentioned as the mediator between a database and API return value. I’m somewhat wary about using hashes as return values primarily for a reason of performance price and concurrency unsafety.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Kape buys ExpressVPN. Very likely to ruin it like they did Private Internet Access.

              Kape buys ExpressVPN. Very likely to ruin it like they did Private Internet Access.

              This won’t be a long post except to warn people not to buy any new subscriptions to ExpressVPN, and with what’s coming, if you have one, you’ll likely just want to let it expire and take it off of auto-renew.

              In fact, they may just get so bad, so fast, that you’ll abandon time you paid them for and give up trying to use it, like what happened with me and PIA about 9 months after Kape took them over, shut down most of the servers, and signed cheaper deals with less bandwidth and lower priority with their hosting providers.

            • Kape Technologies buys ExpressVPN as part of a $936 million deal!

              ExpressVPN, one of the industry’s leading Virtual Private Networks, has been sold to Kape Technologies for a whopping $936 million deal announced on Tuesday.

              We are delighted to share we will be joining Kape, a London Stock Exchange-listed company, to form the global leader in digital privacy.

            • Kape Technologies Agrees to Buy ExpressVPN for $936 Million

              Kape Technologies Plc agreed to buy ExpressVPN in a $936 million deal that will more than double the cybersecurity company’s customer base and expand its tools for private web surfing.

              Kape will pay $354 million in cash when the deal closes and the equivalent of $237 million in shares, which can be sold after a 24-month lockup, the company said in a statement on Monday. Another $345 million in cash will be paid in two installments, 12 months and 24 months after the close. The deal still needs approval from regulators.

              The British Virgin Islands-based virtual-private-network operator will more than double Kape’s customer base to over 6 million users. ExpressVPN lets users pay to access the internet via servers that hide their computers’ location and activity and offer more privacy.

    • Monopolies

      • Google’s anti-competitive behavior costs it another $177 million

        Only a couple of weeks after the South Korean government passed a bill that will force Google (and Apple) to allow app developers to receive payments via third-party systems, the country’s regulator has dealt another huge blow to the Mountain View company. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has announced that it’s fining Google’s parent company Alphabet the modest sum of $177 million for abusing its dominance in the smartphone OS market.

      • Patents

        • Inventorship And Artificial Intelligence [Ed: Deeply corrupt firm, Marks & Clerk, on the efforts to troll patent officer and courts into allowing monopolies for mere bots]

          Artificial intelligence (AI) never ceases to challenge our certainties in the field of patent law, even if it means taking us out of the summer torpor. The latest feat in this field comes from Dr. Stephen Thaler1, who has been trying to have AI recognised as an inventor for several years.

          Dr. Thaler is the proud applicant of a PCT application2 for both a food container and a device to attract attention, inventions that he claims were made by the AI DABUS (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience). DABUS would thus be able to appreciate its creations through its own learning rules, allowing it to make affective responses close to those of a human being.

        • Allergan wins with Hoffmann Eitle in battle over Botox patents [Ed: EPO had granted fake patents. And it took a lot of effort to undo this mistake. So which judges reversed this?]

          Although Botox has been on the market since 1993, work continues to improve its composition. Currently, pharma innovators Allergan and Ipsen are locked in a battle over new Botox patents at the European Patent Office.

          On 2 September 2021, the Technical Boards of Appeal ruled on their first Botox case (case ID: T 2797/18 – 3.3.07). The judges reversed the Opposition Division’s decision to quash Allergan’s EP 2 33 294. As a result, the Opposition Division must now retry the case and resolve further issues.

          Allergan’s EP 294 protects a pharmaceutical composition of clostridial toxins. Clostridia are a type of bacteria, which includes clostridium botulinum. Its neurotoxin forms the basis of Allergan’s successful product Botox and Ipsen’s competing product Dysport. The best-known use of the neurotoxin is to smooth out wrinkles, but the substance is also used in medicine, for example to treat specific movement disorders and spasms.

          Analysts estimate that Allergan alone will generate about $4.7 billion in global sales from Botox in three years.

        • Brazilian President’s Assent to the Bill on the Compulsory Licensing of COVID-19 Vaccines’ Patents

          The Brazilian President gave his assent to the bill introducing new rules on the compulsory licensing of patents, which facilitates the compulsory licensing of COVID-19 vaccines’ patents. The Brazilian President vetoed, however, certain key provisions of the bill, including paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 of the amended Article 71 of the Brazilian Industrial Property Act 1996.

          Paragraph 8 places on patent proprietors and patent applicants the obligation to disclose to licensees the information and data necessary and sufficient for the use of subject-matter of the patent or patent application, including the test results and data required to obtain the approval for use by the competent authority. Paragraph 9 also creates the obligation of the patent proprietor or patent applicant to supply to the licensees the biological material necessary for the use of the subject-matter. And pursuant to paragraph 10, if the patent proprietor or patent applicant does not comply with these obligations, the patent is subject to revocation and the patent application may be denied.

        • Fixing The ITC: Bipartisan Advancing America’s Interests Act Reintroduced

          At its core, the International Trade Commission (ITC) was created to be a trade court protecting American companies from unfair foreign competition. There are two constraints on the ITC that are intended to make sure that’s the role it takes—the domestic industry requirement, where the ITC can’t hear a patent case if there isn’t a domestic industry using the patent, and the public interest requirement, where the ITC can’t exclude a product if it determines the public interest would be disserved by doing so.

          But since its creation, the ITC has shifted significantly from that role, taking on a role that protects patent owners, regardless of their origin. The prototypical ITC case, with American complainants targeting foreign respondents, made up less than 5% of ITC cases in 2020. Part of that shift is the availability of domestic industry via licensing to unwilling licensees who created a product before they took a license. And the public interest provision has been so heavily cabined that it is effectively never applied to deny an exclusion order.


          Just as importantly, the AAIA would return the public interest inquiry to the forefront of the ITC’s responsibilities. While the ITC currently is obligated to consider the public interest before issuing an exclusion order, that process is more or less pro forma—it almost never results in a denial of exclusion, with the ITC allowing a patent owner’s rights in its patents to outweigh interests in competition, health and welfare, and other such factors. Instead of requiring the ITC to find that the public interest justifies not excluding the product in order to not issue an exclusion order, the AAIA would require that the ITC affirmatively determine that the public interest justifies exclusion in order to issue an exclusion order. This change of default would revitalize a public interest process that just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.As Rep. DelBene stated when reintroducing the bill, “[b]y modernizing the ITC with this bill, we can help ensure the public interest is always put first as the commission adjudicates.” For an agency intended to protect American companies and American consumers, that public interest ought to be a high priority—and these changes will help ensure that it is.

      • Trademarks

        • Martha B. Allard Appointed To Trademark Trial And Appeal Board

          Chief Judge Gerard F. Rogers has announced the appointment of Marth B. Allard as an Administrative Trademark Judge at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Judge Allard’s duties commenced on August 1, 2021. This appointment brings the total number of TTAB judges to 27, including Chief Judge Rogers and Deputy Chief Judge Mark Thurmon. The current roster of TTAB judges may be found here.

      • Copyrights

        • Long-awaited changes for Australian designs receive Royal Assent

          Australia’s Parliament has recently passed the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill 2020 to allow designers more flexibility and simplify the designs system. Royal Assent was granted on 10 September 2021. Key changes to the Designs Act 2003 (Cth) include a 12-month grace period to apply for a design, a prior user exemption, providing exclusive licensees with legal standing, and clarification of the ‘informed user’ standard. In addition, Australia differs from EU law in that it requires identifying a person familiar with the product, as opposed to potential users, concerning registration and infringement matters.

          These reforms come after a lengthy consultation period by IP Australia before announcing in 2020 plans to implement the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommendations from its 2015 review of the Australian designs system. Despite this, IP Australia does not consider protection is warranted for virtual or non-physical designs (eg GUIs) and protecting parts of products (partial designs) at this time.

Latest Public Talk (Over BigBlueButton) by Richard Stallman is Now Online

Posted in Site News at 5:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In a matter of days there's another talk, but meanwhile the GNU Project released this video from the University of Genova (Italy)

Video download link

Summary: This video has been released; it starts with an old talk and then proceeds to a new discussion (14 minutes from the start)

Date: July 17, 2021
Language: English
Duration: 57 minutes
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0)

Richard Stallman Is Not Surrendering His Free Speech

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Today we commemorate the September 11 attacks, which killed President Allende of Chile and installed Pinochet's murderous military dictatorship. More than 3,000 dissidents were killed or 'disappeared' by the Pinochet regime. The USA operated a destabilization campaign in Chile, and the September 11, 1973, attacks were part of that campaign.

Summary: The homepage of Dr. Stallman looked like this on Saturday, 20 years since the September 11 attacks in the US, noting that “[t]oday we commemorate the September 11 attacks, which killed President Allende of Chile and installed Pinochet’s murderous military dictatorship. More than 3,000 dissidents were killed or “disappeared” by the Pinochet regime. The USA operated a destabilization campaign in Chile, and the September 11, 1973, attacks were part of that campaign.”

Twitter — Like Google’s YouTube — is ‘Hiding’ Tweets From People Who Follow You

Posted in Deception at 4:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Primed for manipulation at the expense of information and friendships (social control media mostly divides society)

Twitter throttling
It’s not just me…

Summary: So-called ‘entertainment’ platforms disguised as ‘social’ aren’t the future of media; they need to be rejected

I quit Twitter more than a year ago (it merely reposts what I publish in Diaspora). With about 900,000 ‘tweets’ since 2009 I’ve decided it would be better to sort of ‘shelve’ the account, not delete it. It still gets quite a bit of traffic (old ‘tweets’ in particular). A couple of weeks ago I noticed something awkward, which reminded me of things I had heard about YouTube; it began not alerting users about channels that they followed. Instead, YouTube would promote to people all sorts of seemingly random crap for the purpose of “engagement” or for YouTube’s business model. So-called ‘creators’ don’t matter to them; advertisers do. That was after all the ‘infinite scroll’ nonsense (Ryan reminds me that ‘infinite scroll’ causes “serious resource drain on the computer,” which is bad for the planet); they try to turn YouTube into a ‘Facebook’, as does Twitter. As it turns out, in my case as an example, with over 7,000 followers (not bought, not bots) how is it possible that less than 100 see a ‘tweet’? I’ve asked around and I’m not alone. It wasn’t always like this. Twitter is changing, and not for the better. It’s bad enough that it blocks Web browsers without JavaScript, as if to read a single paragraph of text one needs a whole lot of bloat and proprietary software at the client side.

The graph above shows what happened a couple of weeks ago (the bar at the bottom shows number of ‘tweets’ for the day). It was bad enough that they banned me for 3 months over Bill Gates tweets when he was paying them. Little by little, once in a few months, Twitter gives yet another reason to quit altogether. I’ve lost count of the many issues (thankfully we wrote many articles documenting those issues), which started around 3 years ago when they cut off ‘third-party’ applications and started pushing loads of ads everywhere. It has only gone downhill since.

Twitter has not been profitable for almost its entire existence, but it serves some people’s agenda in ways that are not directly measurable in terms of money. It’s a filter for social control (hence we call it social control media; censorship and throttling, shadowbans and mutes), it’s not social at all. If it was social, it would show your friends what you post, not some ‘curated’-for-’engagement’ partisan stuff and sponsored ‘tweets’ (basically ads that don’t look like ads). Almost all the worst aspects of Facebook are nowadays imitated by YouTube and aped in Twitter. It’s about profit over communication (they do not care about the latter). Thankfully, Techrights is not in social control media sites, so it does not rely on them for audience. Moreover, we’ve cut off entirely our dependence on Freenode (the IRC bridge was decommissioned a few days ago).

Twitter will likely slip, slowly but surely, into irrelevance. It wrongly assumed that readers and posters would stick around regardless of all those unwanted changes.

How to Track the Development or Construction of the Techrights Web Site and Gemini Capsule

Posted in Site News at 3:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Seaside construction
Our ongoing work will yield results

Summary: Following some busy publication schedule (heavy lifting for weeks) we’re stopping a bit or slowing down for the purpose of site (or capsule) ‘construction’; here’s a status update

AS we noted earlier today, there’s lots of ‘construction’ going on at the back end, hence not many new articles over the past 3-4 days.

Such ‘construction’ work will be easier to track from now on, using the Git front end that limits some things for privacy purposes and security purposes. The front end is in gemini://, but it can be accessed with an embedded web proxy, as below (or directly with a Gemini client).

Today we made it possible to see recent changes or a concise summary of all changes. The stats page now shows popular Gemini pages (for the previous day alone). As per the latest numbers from Lupa, there are now over 1,600 known and publicly-accessible Gemini capsules (the complete number is higher; those are just the ones known to Lupa) and Techrights is, at least at this moment, listed on top:

The gemini:// stats
That’s us at the first slot (the real number of pages in our capsule is over 37,000, but Lupa stops at 10,000 in this current configuration)

“As we explained before, it’s a form of SLAPP protection or censorship circumvention because of all the proxies.”There are many upsides to Gemini, which is still quite young. As we explained before, it’s a form of SLAPP protection or censorship circumvention because of all the proxies. It’s not the principal purpose but a side perk. EPO dictators [1, 2] have long attempted to prevent access to information. We move the goalposts a bit by changing protocols (IPFS is also used).

Links 14/9/2021: Libinput 1.19, Kali Linux 2021.3, and ExTiX Deepin 21.9

Posted in News Roundup at 2:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Why Linux Is More Accessible Than Windows and macOS

        Artificial intelligence and IoT implementations in various gadgets are paving the way towards an easier tomorrow, especially for differently-abled people. Voice recognition technology has grown leaps and bounds, while facial recognition continues to make device access easier for differently-abled people.

        Linux is usually considered to be a complicated OS. On the contrary, it does not fail to cater to people’s needs with its list of technical features. Apart from special features, the advancements in the kernel and various customizations are making it a hit with the masses.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Seamless Update: Intel Preparing For System Firmware Updates Without The Reboot – Phoronix

        “Intel Seamless Update” is a forthcoming feature for Intel platforms seemingly first being exposed by their new Linux kernel patches working on the functionality… Intel is working on being able to carry out system firmware upates such as UEFI updates but doing so at run-time and being able to avoid the reboot in the process.

      • Linux 5.15 update brings plenty of improvements for AMD hardware and the Steam Deck

        Linux 5.15 is out, and the new kernel is bringing a host of brand new updates for existing AMD CPUs and GPUs, even some that aren’t out yet. While not the largest update, Ryzen and Radeon users will appreciate what it has to offer, and it could be especially interesting for AMD Van Gogh-powered devices like the future Valve Steam Deck.

      • Linux 5.15 Raises Its GCC Compiler Version Requirement – Phoronix

        While Linux 5.15-rc1 was released on Sunday with its many changes, landing on Monday was a late change to raise the baseline GCC version requirement for building the Linux kernel.

        The Linux kernel to now supported building on kernels as far back as GCC 4.9 while now it has been bumped to GCC 5.1. AArch64 already required at least GCC 5.1 while this bump affects all other architectures.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Zink driver for OpenGL over Vulkan adds more game support like Metro: Last Light

          Developer Mike Blumenkrantz has continued hacking away on the Zink driver, that provides OpenGL over Vulkan to ensure it works with even more games. This work is despite Blumenkrantz’s previous blog post mentioning “Zink is done”, clearly not quite.


          Another one is Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, the Linux port from Feral Interactive relied on ARB_bindless_texture for the OpenGL version (it also has a Vulkan port). Something not supported by many drivers and not many games end up ever using it to which Blumenkrantz mentioned “This game requires ARB_bindless_texture just to run? Is this a joke? Even fucking DOOM 2016, the final boss of OpenGL, doesn’t require bindless textures.”. Thankfully, it’s now also hooked up for Zink and the results speak clearly:

        • libinput 1.19.0
          libinput 1.19.0 is now available. Only three device-specific quirks since the
          RC so let's call this release done, push it out and the world becomes a
          slightly better, or at least different, place.
          Since there's nothing too noteworthy, here's the text from the RC explaining
          the new features.
          This release brings two new features and the corresponding API additions: hold
          gestures and high-resolution wheel scrolling (which changes the scroll APIs).
          Hold gestures are a new type of gestures that are triggered by holding one or
          more fingers on a touchpad without significant movement. They add to the
          existing pinch and swipe gestures and allow for the implementation of
          hold-to-click. Where callers implement kinetic scrolling, hold gestures can be
          used to stop scrolling - since the gesture is triggered on a finger(s) down
          after a scroll motion, that event can be used to stop scrolling.
          Many thanks to José Expósito for the new gestures.
          High-resolution wheel scrolling has been long in the making and the solution
          ends up replacing the existing pointer axis API. Three new events are
          LIBINPUT_EVENT_POINTER_SCROLL_CONTINUOUS. These events **replace** the
          existing LIBINPUT_EVENT_POINTER_AXIS events, i.e. if you are processing the
          new events simply discard the old events.
          The FINGER and CONTINUOUS events are very similar to the previous event, the
          WHEEL event supporst a new API: libinput_event_pointer_get_scroll_value_v120().
          That function returns the value of a scroll movement in multiples or fractions
          of 120. For example, a high-resolution scroll event that triggers 4 events
          instead of just 1 per 15 degree rotation will generate 4 events with a value
          of 30 each.
          Many thanks to José Expósito for taking those patches and pushing them over
          the line so they could be merged.
          The documentation has been updated for the new APIs,
          please see https://wayland.freedesktop.org/libinput/doc/latest/.
          The rest of the changes is the usual mix of janitorial patches and
          device-specific quirks.
          As usual, the git shortlog is below.
          Clayton Craft (1):
                quirks: Pine64 PineBook Pro keyboard
          José Expósito (4):
                doc: add missing literal blocks in contributing
                quirks: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Cover
                util: add a function to parse bool properties
                quirks: no button debouncing on generic emulated mouse
          Peter Hutterer (1):
                libinput 1.19.0
          weizhixiang (1):
                use ARRAY_FOR_EACH when traverse array
          git tag: 1.19.0
        • Libinput 1.19 Released With Hold Gestures & High Resolution Wheel Scrolling

          Libinput 1.19 is now available as the newest version of this Linux input handling library commonly used these days by both X.Org and Wayland desktops.

          With libinput 1.19 there are various device quirks and fixes while the headline features are hold gestures and high resolution wheel scrolling.

    • Benchmarks

      • NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Resizable BAR Support Continues Helping Performance On Linux

        While NVIDIA has been supporting Resizable BAR for a while now with their GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, for those exclusively using Linux it remains more of a challenge due to AIB partners generally not releasing any vBIOS updates for ReBAR support that can be easily applied under Linux. But if you do carry out an update — such as under Windows — the performance uplift can be worthwhile if using a game that can benefit from the support.

        A few months back we looked at the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Resizable BAR support on Linux. In this article is a current look at the Resizable BAR impact with several more RTX 30 series cards having an updated vBIOS and tested under Linux when enabling the Resizable BAR support for the system.

    • Applications

      • Bootable USB Creator Ventoy Gets A Native GUI For Linux

        Ventoy, a tool for easy bootable USB drive creation (simply copy the ISO to the USB), has been updated recently with a native GUI for Linux.

        Ventoy is available for Microsoft Windows and Linux, and it can create bootable USB drives containing Linux and Windows ISO files.

        You need to install Ventoy to a USB drive, then every time you want to create a bootable USB drive, all you have to do is copy the ISO to the USB. There’s no need to format the USB drive. You can copy as many ISO files as you wish (even combined Windows and Linux ISOs), and when booting from the USB, Ventoy shows a list of available ISO files, allowing you to boot from the one you select. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I’m saying that Ventoy is probably the best bootable USB creator for both Linux and Windows.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install OpenCV on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install OpenCV on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision Library) is open-source software with bindings for C++, Python, and Java. OpenCV provides a real-time optimized Computer Vision library, tools, and hardware. It also supports model execution for Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

        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 OpenCV on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How do I list lxc snapshots for LXD on Linux? – nixCraft

        I explained a long time ago how to take LXD instance snapshots using the lxc command. Today I will talk about how to list lxc snapshots and automatically purge those snapshots from LXD to free up disk space on Linux operating systems.

        We can create instance snapshots using the lxc snapshot command. It is also possible to make stateful snapshots where LXD attempts to checkpoint the instance’s running state, including process memory state, TCP connections, process, and more. Let us see how to list lxc snapshots for LXD and automatically expires them too.

      • Lsblk Command in Linux (List Block Devices)

        A Block device is a file referring to a device. The devices can be HDDs, SDD’s, RAM Disks, etc. The block device files can be found under the directory /dev.

        In this tutorial, we learn about lsblk command in Linux to list block devices.

      • Read your comics with OpenComic on Ubuntu 20.04

        Many people like to read Japanese comics and manga and in Linux, we have an application for them. This increases, even more, the potential of our operating system. So, today in this post you will learn how to install OpenComic on Ubuntu 20.04.


        OpenComic is an application intended for a part of the public that likes comics and manga. These applications add a lot of possibilities to our system and bring more people closer to this world of Linux. So, now that you know how to install it, it’s time to try it out.

      • How to Install and Use FFmpeg on Debian 11 – LinuxCapable

        FFmpeg is the leading free, open-source multimedia framework, able to decode, encode, transcode, mux, demux, stream, filter, and play nearly all multimedia files that have been created on any platform. FFmpeg compiles and runs on Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, BSD systems, and Solaris.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install FFmpeg on your Debian 11 Bullseye operating system.

      • How to install DEB on RedHat/Centos & RPM on Debian/Ubuntu with Alien – Unixcop

        There are packages in repositories and GitHub that are ready to use most of the time. But sometimes packages are not available in binaries (ready to install on the go). So we have to download the source code and build it from scratch. It is not an issue if you have time but for increasing Productivity. Here is where Alien comes into place.

        Alien is really designed to convert from alien file formats to the packaging format. Of course, it can also convert from your distribution’s native format to alien formats or from one alien format to another. Be warned, that if these latter types of conversions are done. The generated packages may have incorrect dependency information. For example, this is true if you convert an rpm into a deb on a Red Hat system. Even with alien-extra installed. Dpkg will be unable to calculate library dependencies for the deb correctly. Instead, it creates, and you will get a package without any library dependencies.

        To use alien, you will need several other programs. Alien is a Perl program and requires Perl version 5.004 or more significant. If you use Slackware, make sure you get Perl 5.004, the Perl 5.003 in Slackware does not work with Alien!

        To convert packages to or from RPMs, you need the Red Hat Package Manager;
        get it from Red Hat’s FTP site. If your distribution (e.g., Red Hat)
        provides an rpm-build package. You will need it as well to generate RPMs.

      • How To Install GoAccess On Linux – Unixcop

        GoAccess is an open source real-time web log analyzer and interactive viewer that runs in a terminal in *nix systems or through your browser.

        It provides fast and valuable HTTP statistics for system administrators that require a visual server report on the fly.

        GoAccess was designed to be a fast, terminal-based log analyzer. Its core idea is to quickly analyze and view web server statistics in real time without needing to use your browser (great if you want to do a quick analysis of your access log via SSH, or if you simply love working in the terminal).

        While the terminal output is the default output, it has the capability to generate a complete, self-contained real-time HTML report (great for analytics, monitoring and data visualization), as well as a JSON, and CSV report.

      • How to Setup Nginx as a Reverse Proxy for Apache on Debian 11

        Nginx and Apache both are free, open-source, and most popular web servers around the world. Apache is known for its power while Nginx is known for its speed. Both have some pros and cons. Nginx is useful for static content while Apache is for dynamic content. If we combine both servers then we will get a better result of each other.

        In this tutorial, I will configure Apache as a backend server and use Nginx as a reverse proxy for Apache on Debian 11.

      • How to compress a folder in Linux from the command line with tar – TechRepublic

        Jack Wallen shows you how to compress and decompress a folder from the command line.

      • Managing and monitoring swap space on Linux | Network World

        Most of us don’t often think about swap space unless we run into a problem on our systems that suggests we don’t have enough. Even so, viewing and gauging the adequacy of swap space on a system is not overly complicated, and knowing what’s normal for your system can help you spot when something is wrong. So let’s check out some commands that can help you look into your swap space. But first, let’s review some fundamentals.

      • How to boot RHEL 8/7 into Emergency Mode

        This article explains how to bootup RHEL/CentOS 7 and 8 system into emergency mode through systemd emergency target unit.

        There are situations where you need to boot Red Hat 8/7 or CentOS 8/7 Linux system into emergency mode, if you are unable to complete the normal boot sequence.

      • Remove Packages Installed On Certain Date/Time In Linux – OSTechNix

        I install and test a lot of applications in my Linux VMs. Once done with the testing, I will remove the installed packages that are no longer used. Since I install many applications often, I find it bit time consuming task to manually remove packages one by one. Also I sometimes forget to uninstall the unnecessary packages. If you’re anything like me, here is a simple workaround to find and remove all packages installed on a certain date and time in Linux.

      • How To Install Python 3.9 on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Python 3.9 on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Python is a free, open-source programming language for a wide range of software projects. This programming language comes with clear syntax and good readability. Debian provides the latest stable Python 3 release. it also provides the latest stable Python 2 release, but Python 2 is unsupported by the Python Foundation since 2020-01-01 and is being removed as of Debian 11 (Bullseye).

        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 Python Programming Language on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

    • Games

      • Following the footsteps on Fallout and Wasteland, ATOM RPG Trudograd is out now | GamingOnLinux

        ATOM RPG Trudograd is the standalone expansion / sequel to the original hit ATOM RPG, inspired by the likes of Fallout and Wasteland it’s a top-down turn-based post-apocalyptic roleplaying game. While it is a standalone and so you don’t need the first game, the developer does recommend you play it first since it is a continuation.

      • Steam Deck dev-kits are on the move Valve say, as some already have it | GamingOnLinux

        Valve has given a short update on the dev-kits for the upcoming Linux powered handheld Steam Deck, with more developers being able to get their hands on it soon.

        Writing on Steam the team said “All packaged up and ready for devs! This is one of the limited batches of Steam Deck dev-kits heading out today for partners to test their games. These engineering verification test builds allow us to connect developers with units that are functionally identical to what will ship to you.

        Since we are still in the final stages of development, the dev-kit program gives us the chance to guide game developers through the process of getting their games on Steam Deck while also continuing to gather their feedback as we prepare for the official launch at the end of the year.

      • The new work on futex2 from Collabora to improve Linux gaming and Proton has third attempt | GamingOnLinux

        It seems the ongoing saga of getting the futex2 work into the Linux Kernel, which is supposed to help Linux gaming and Steam Play Proton, has another attempt up. This is a continuation of the cut-down and more focused code that was submitted back in early August, as Collabora hope to finally get it accepted into the Kernel.

      • Single-player arena-styled FPS Cathedral 3-D arrives on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        With the latest update to the single-player arena-styled first-person shooter Cathedral 3-D has now been released officially for Linux.

        “Cathedral 3-D is a fast-paced, arcade, single-player, endless arena inspired by the early 3-D shooters of the 90s. You are the Monster, a powerful and incredibly agile beast armed with fiery breath. Your lair – a cathedral floating in the sky – hides a chest containing your heart. The humans want you dead, and they are coming in endless hordes to destroy you and your chest.”

      • GameMaker Studio 2 update released to bring forth the Ubuntu Linux editor Beta | GamingOnLinux

        Back in early August we wrote about how YoYo Games were introducing the GameMaker Studio 2 editor for Linux, well as of the latest official update the Beta is actually out.

        Okay, so it was “out” before but tucked away in a forum post. As of version, it’s officially noted in the changelog. Interestingly though, YoYo Games have always gone pretty hard on the “we only support Ubuntu” for their exported games and it seemed that would stick for the editor. In the release notes though, it states “that this is the only Linux distro we offer official support for in this Beta” which alludes to it possibly opening up to more. Either way, it’s a big step for game development on Linux to see it more official now.

      • 1047 Games raise $100 million to continue Splitgate development | GamingOnLinux

        For the second time 1047 Games have announced a big load of cash coming their way for Splitgate, the very popular free to play first-person shooter with portals.

        Back in July they announced they had raised $10 million and now they’ve announced today that $100 million has now been raised.

      • The Labor of Love That Is Recovering Lost Software

        At the beginning of the home computer revolution, the humble compact cassette was far and away the most popular choice for microcomputer data storage, especially on the European continent. As a volunteer at the Museum of Computing, [Keith] was instrumental in recovering and archiving the early works of Roger Dymond, a pioneering developer of early computer software in the United Kingdom.

        In his video, [Keith] goes to great lengths detailing the impact that Roger Dymond had on the early home computing scene. After being let go from his council apprenticeship, Roger turned his attention to developing games for the ZX81, and later the ZX Spectrum. With the help of his family, he went on to run a moderately successful mail-order games publishing venture for several years. Increasing advertising costs and a crowded development scene saw Roger’s business become nonviable by 1983, but not before developing several gambling-style games and a standout Space Invaders clone.


        ‘Games Compendium’ for the ZX81 had been completely lost to time, with the only evidence that it had ever existed coming from a 1983 advert in ‘Sinclair User’ magazine. Being written for the earlier model ZX81, the compendium would undoubtedly be of interest to software archivists and game historians.

      • RetroArch gets a Steam release bringing emulation to even more gamers | GamingOnLinux

        While it might not be the first emulator on Steam it’s probably one of the biggest projects as RetroArch is not a single emulator. Instead, it provides a tidy user interface to get lots of different emulators.

        After being available in a Steam Playtest for some time, today marks the official Steam release. Right now the amount of cores (what RetroArch refers to as emulators, done via their plugin system) available are limited but it’s going to expand over time with each available as a Steam DLC.

      • The universe expands with Stellaris 3.1 ‘Lem’ out now, Stellaris free to try until Sept 20 | GamingOnLinux

        Now is the absolute best time to love space and strategy games! Paradox Interactive has today released the 3.1 Lem update for Stellaris and you can play free until September 20.

        The update is named after famous sci-fi writer Stanisław Lem, with this update being the first from the new Custodians Team within Paradox Development Studio, who have a singular focus on the free updates. For the Lem update Paradox said in an email they partnered up with the “Polish Science Fiction Foundation to celebrate the 100th birthday of Stanisław Lem, including in-game content directly inspired by the author’s catalog”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • TUXEDO Computers Becomes the Newest KDE Patron

          TUXEDO Computers, a company known for selling Linux-powered computers and notebooks, now joins us as a KDE Patron!

          “Our customized Linux notebooks (for work or play) are equipped with KDE Plasma, which leads to a positive response from our customers”, said Herbert Feiler, CEO TUXEDO Computers. “Furthermore, we additionally do our own development work, which could benefit KDE as upstream as well. We are happy to share our knowledge and would like to secure as well as expand KDE’s development work in the long run. Feedback that we receive from customers can also flow directly into KDE’s development work.”

          “For KDE, reaching and serving end-users is part of our reason to exist and TUXEDO can be a great ally in this endeavour.” said Aleix Pol, President of KDE e.V. “Together, we will get to expand our frontiers and create systems and tools to further serve our users. It’s especially encouraging to see TUXEDO’s commitment to join our development communities and collaborate towards making KDE products better for everyone.”

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Improve cross-team collaboration with Camel K

          No matter how much you know about Apache Camel, Camel K is designed to help and simplify how you connect systems in Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift, and it comes with cloud-native Kafka integration. This article helps you discover the power and simplicity of Camel K and opportunities for using it in ways you might not have previously considered.

        • The Open RAN ecosystem: How Red Hat and partners support NTT DOCOMO to deliver the Open RAN vision

          NTT DOCOMO has published a comprehensive, “5G Open RAN Ecosystem Whitepaper” describing the Open Radio Access Network (RAN) Ecosystem – OREC project in detail. Honore LaBourdette, Vice President, Telecom Media & Entertainment Industry at Red Hat and Sadayuki Abeta, Vice President & General Manager of the Radio Access Network Development Department at NTT DOCOMO, had a joint interview with Telecom TV that explains how the OREC project can accelerate Open RAN and can help 5G intelligent RAN deployment.

          NTT DOCOMO, with the help of other ecosystem members including Red Hat, helps package the best-of-breed 5G RAN system for deploying, operating, and managing OREC environment based on requests from operators considering 5G RAN to serve diverse companies and other operators needed.

        • Advanced automation and management of Network Bound Disk Encryption with RHEL System Roles

          In the previous post, Using RHEL System Roles to automate and manage Network Bound Disk Encryption, I covered utilizing the NBDE System Roles with a simple scenario where a single Tang server was used. In this post, we’ll look at a more complex scenario where we use the NBDE System Roles to implement multiple Tang servers to provide high availability and increased security, and we’ll also cover how to utilize the System Roles to both rotate Tang keys, and back up Tang keys.

        • Introducing Red Hat Weekly News

          We also do our best to communicate what we’re doing and what’s important. That includes showing you how to use our products and services, informing you about important updates and sharing industry analyses to help you understand the technologies that can solve business problems today.

          To that end, we’ve been working on Red Hat Weekly News. We’ll highlight announcements, howtos, videos, resources, podcasts and other information that can help you stay current on all things Red Hat.

        • [Older] Everybody Struggles

          Everybody struggles in life every now and then. Struggling is a part of life. It doesn’t matter what other people think or say, it all depends on people’s perspectives. That determines your personal struggle. We’re all pretty lazy when it comes down to it. If you’re struggling, it’s because you need to do more than you’re doing currently. But doing more of the wrong type of activity will only suffer you more.

          This is the third week of my Outreachy internship, when I first contributed to my project I was very nervous and didn’t even have the confidence to make it and that fact of being a beginner was making me more nervous, and after making 5-6 contributions to Improve fedora QA dashboard, I tested then covid positive, I completely shattered and lost any hope of clearing Outreachy, but fortunately, those 5-6 contributions of mine made a significant difference and gave a good impression of my development skills set and finally my struggled paid off. The contribution round proved to be fruitful for me. I gained lots of confidence and learned how to google a bit

          Then during the internship, I had my first video call meeting with my mentors. It was a pleasurable experience to meet them, other than by email or chat. I completed my task successfully with proper guidance from my mentors, but it was quite excruciating when I moved to my second task. I had to make the whole page from scratch, initially, literally, I was afraid if I could do this or not, many doubts were roaming around my head.

        • Change management: 3 outdated ideas that could hold you back

          The pandemic taught us (and the organizations we lead) that we are agile – adaptable to change, innovative, and able to make things happen quickly. The demand for legacy systems to be replaced by digital ones reached the enterprise at a breakneck pace as COVID-19 uprooted the way we live and work.

          Beyond digital transformation, the last 18 months have likely uncovered other vulnerabilities in your business model. Perhaps you need to change the way you hire to keep up in the race for qualified talent. Or maybe your company needs a culture overhaul as you transition to a hybrid work model.

          Whatever your situation, the pace of change is not slowing, so it’s important to consider how you will lead your organization through it. Here are three outdated misconceptions about change management and how to address them:

        • Hybrid work: 8 challenges and benefits leaders will face | The Enterprisers Project

          For many organizations, hybrid work is the new reality. During the pandemic, many IT leaders learned under fire how to manage their teams remotely. Yet wrangling a workforce that’s now operating in two different environments – remote and office – comes with its own nuances.

          There are clear benefits of the hybrid solution, such as extending (perhaps, for good) the reach of an organization’s potential talent pool. But there are also quickly emerging challenges, particularly since this is new territory for many IT managers and employees. Now is a good time to consider the pros and cons as technology leaders determine the best long term direction and strategies for their IT teams.

        • Can I automate myself out of a job? | Enable Sysadmin

          Engineers, sysadmins, and DevOps roles’ job responsibilities include answering dozens of emails, upgrading hundreds of servers, and patching all the systems in your data center or favorite cloud.

          All of these tasks take a considerable amount of time to complete—and they are sometimes boring but always important. A slight mistake can open up a potential threat to the security of the entire system. For example, failing to apply a security patch can make a system vulnerable. And let’s be honest, people make mistakes. But what if you could automate these mundane tasks, save some time, and simplify your team’s tasks?

        • IBM paid Pa. $33M to settle lawsuit over jobless benefits computer project – pennlive.com
        • Red Hat to back Linux Foundation-supported open source project tackling climate change | WRAL TechWire [Ed: Linux Foundation is fronting for some of the most polluting companies on the entire planet, but it has the audacity do greenwashing for them (associating “Linux” with lies)]

          Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, has joined OS-Climate (OS-C), a Linux Foundation-backed open source project that intends to build the breakthrough technology and data platforms needed to more fully integrate the impacts of climate change in global financial decision-making and risk management.
          As part of its membership, Red Hat will provide technical acumen and resources to help OS-C build a “Data Commons” that serves as an open data ingestion, processing and management platform for members to collaborate on standardizing and improving the accuracy of corporate climate and environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. The resulting curated library of public and private sources can then be used to help bankers, asset owners, asset managers and regulators assess climate risk and opportunity as elements of financial decision-making.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 Best Free and Open Source Tox Clients

        Tox is a peer-to-peer instant-messaging and video-calling protocol that offers end-to-end encryption. The stated goal of the project is to provide secure yet easily accessible communication.

        The Tox core is a library establishing the protocol and API. User front-ends, or clients, are built on the top of the core. Anyone can create a client utilizing the core. Tox uses the cryptographic primitives present in the NaCl crypto library, via libsodium. Specifically, Tox employs Curve25519 for its key exchanges, xsalsa20 for symmetric encryption, and Poly1305 for MACs.

        Tox is licensed under the GNU General Public Licence 3.0.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome update 93.0.4577.82 fixing 0-day vulnerabilities

            Google has formed a Chrome 93.0.4577.82 update, which fixes 11 vulnerabilities, including two issues already used by hackers exploits (0-day). The details have not yet been disclosed, it is only known that the first vulnerability (CVE-2021-30632) is caused by an error leading to an out-of-buffer write in the V8 JavaScript engine, and the second problem (CVE-2021-30633) is present in the Indexed DB API implementation and is connected with access to the memory area after its release (use-after-free).

          • Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome

            Google has released Chrome version 93.0.4577.82 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This version addresses vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit to take control of an affected system.

        • Mozilla

          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 92 on POWER

            Firefox 92 is out. Alongside some solid DOM and CSS improvements, the most interesting bug fix I noticed was a patch for open alerts slowing down other tabs in the same process. In the absence of a JIT we rely heavily on Firefox’s multiprocessor capabilities to make the most of our multicore beasts, and this apparently benefits (among others, but in particular) the Google sites we unfortunately have to use in these less-free times. I should note for the record that on this dual-8 Talos II (64 hardware threads) I have dom.ipc.processCount modestly increased to 12 from the default of 8 to take a little more advantage of the system when idle, which also takes down fewer tabs in the rare cases when a content process bombs out. The delay in posting this was waiting for the firefox-appmenu patches, but I decided to just build it now and add those in later. The .mozconfigs and LTO-PGO patches are unchanged from Firefox 90/91.

          • Mozilla bypasses Microsoft, makes it easier to set Firefox as default browser in Windows

            Changing the default apps such as browsers in Microsoft Windows 10 is not a straightforward process. While this means that users have to jump through extra hoops to set up, let’s say, Mozilla Firefox as their default browser, it also means that vendors such as Mozilla face more competition from Microsoft’s own offering, which is Edge. The bad news is that in Windows 11, this is becoming even more cumbersome for end-users and vendors as the OS requires users to change the default browser for each type of extension individually.

          • Firefox 94 will change the output for X11 to use EGL by default

            A nightly builds build that will on the Firefox 94 release to added to the change has been include a new rendering backend by default for graphical environments that use the X11 protocol. The new backend is notable for the use of the interface for displaying graphics EGL instead of GLX. The backend supports the open source Mesa 21.x OpenGL drivers and the proprietary NVIDIA 470.x drivers. AMD proprietary OpenGL drivers are not yet supported.

            “A nightly builds build that will on the #Firefox 94 release to added to the change has been include a new rendering backend by default for graphical environments that use the X11 protocol.” https://www.itsfoss.net/firefox-94-will-change-the-output-for-x11-to-use-egl-by-default/

      • Programming/Development

        • A Rant on Personal Software Projects

          In contrast, a product personal project focuses on what it does and the experience as an end-user interacts with it. Maybe it has a great README, a slick user experience, or does something better than anything else out there. The point is that it is focused on the end-user that uses it rather than the person who makes it. It doesn’t particularly matter what it looks like on the inside. It could be based on COBOL and be a tangle of spaghetti internally. Clean code helps with maintenance and project longevity, but it does absolutely nothing for the product experience.

        • Paul E. Mc Kenney: Stupid RCU Tricks: Making Race Conditions More Probable

          Given that it is much more comfortable chasing down race conditions reported by rcutorture than those reported from the field, it would be good to make race conditions more probable during rcutorture runs than in production. A number of tricks are used to make this happen, including making rare events (such as CPU-hotplug operations) happen more frequently, testing the in-kernel RCU API directly from within the kernel, and so on.

          Another approach is to change timing. Back at Sequent in the 1990s, one way that this was accomplished was by plugging different-speed CPUs into the same system and then testing on that system. It was observed that for certain types of race conditions, the probability of the race occurring increased by the ratio of the CPU speeds. One such race condition is when a timed event on the slow CPU races with a workload-driven event on the fast CPU. If the fast CPU is (say) two times faster than the slow CPU, then the timed event will provide two times greater “collision cross section” than if the same workload was running on CPUs running at the same speed.

          Given that modern CPUs can easily adjust their core clock rates at runtime, it is tempting to try this same trick on present-day systems. Unfortunately, everything and its dog is adjusting CPU clock rates for various purposes, plus a number of modern CPUs are quite happy to let you set their core clock rates to a value sufficient to result in physical damage. Throwing rcutorture into this fray might be entertaining, but it is unlikely to be all that productive.

          Another approach is available on multi-socket systems, namely, making use of memory latency. The idea is for the rcutorture scripting to place one pair of a given scenario’s vCPUs in the hyperthreads of a single core within one socket and to place another pair of that same scenario’s vCPUs in the hyperthreads of a single core of the other socket. The theory is that the different communications latencies and bandwidths within a core on the one hand and between sockets on the other should have roughly the same effect as does varying CPU core clock rates.

        • Java

          • Oracle Java 17 delivers thousands of performance and security updates

            Oracle released Java 17, the latest version of the world’s number one programming language and development platform. Java 17 delivers thousands of performance, stability, and security updates, as well as 14 JEPs (JDK Enhancement Proposals) that further improve the Java language and platform to help developers be more productive.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • CERT NZ Releases Ransomware Protection Guide for Businesses [Ed: Deleting Microsoft Windows (click or open to execute) would be a good start]

            The New Zealand Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT NZ) has released a guide on ransomware protection for businesses. The guide includes a pair of helpful diagrams that outline different ransomware attack pathways and illustrate where relevant security controls can work to protect or stop an attack.

          • What I learned from Russian students: logging is important | Random thoughts of Peter ‘CzP’ Czanik

            I checked the logfiles of the servers I managed occasionally, but mostly only to check if the hard drives were showing any signs of failure. While browsing the logs for hard drive errors, I came across some suspicious login messages. Logins from previously not seen unknown IP addresses. I knew that the addresses were from campus, so I asked around. It turned out, that they belonged to the Russian students laboratory. And talking to the user it turned out, that he was unaware that his account was used also by someone else.

            The exact order of events is a kind of blurry, it was a quarter of a century ago. I started to check log messages not just for hard drive problems but also for security related events. I could see more and more logins from the Russian students laboratory. It was a kind of cat and mouse game, I was trying to keep unauthorized users out of the system.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (libaom and nextcloud), Oracle (cyrus-imapd, firefox, and thunderbird), Red Hat (kernel and kpatch-patch), Scientific Linux (firefox and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (apport).

          • Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem reduces downtime and unplanned work on enterprise environments!

            Canonical announces Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem, an enhancement to its Ubuntu Livepatch service enabling organisations to take control of their kernel livepatching policy. Designed for complex enterprise environments that follow their own patch rollout policy, Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem provides the basis for an efficient but fine-tuned continuous vulnerability management on private, hybrid, or public clouds. It provides a functional and productive experience to system administrators, or IT operations teams. The announcement represents the next phase in the Ubuntu Livepatch service targeting enterprise environments as organisations around the world adopt cybersecurity frameworks and requirements to tackle a constantly changing threat landscape.

          • Hackers develop Linux port of Cobalt Strike for new attacks | IT PRO

            The tool has been developed from scratch to avoid detection from malware scanners.

            According to a report published by cloud security firm Intezer Labs, researchers last month discovered a fully undetected ELF implementation of Cobalt Strike’s beacon. The malware used Cobalt Strike’s Command and Control (C2) protocol when communicating to its C2 server and has remote access capabilities such as uploading files, running shell commands, and writing to files.

            Cobalt Strike is a legitimate penetration testing tool used by security teams to discover vulnerabilities within their organization.

            Researchers warned that the malware is completely undetected in VirusTotal and was uploaded from Malaysia. Intezer researchers Avigayil Mechtinger, Ryan Robinson and Joakim Kennedy said that this Linux threat has been active in the wild since August, predominantly targeting telecom companies, government agencies, IT companies, financial institutions, and advisory companies around the world.

    • Finance

      • Popeyes Chicken decides to bill cram for dipping sauces. Doordash issues.

        Because I spent all day waiting on my case to be called in traffic court, I had no time to make dinner, and decided to “outsource” to Popeyes Chicken on Lewis Ave, in Waukegan, Illinois, through Doordash.

        This is the second time I’ve given Doordash a go and I was kind of disappointed with it, again. They make an estimate that your food can be to your door in 30 or 40 minutes and what usually happens is it takes more than an hour and it’s starting to get cold.

        On top of that, Popeyes claims there’s no delivery fee until later this month, as part of a promo, but then adds 10% onto the price of the food if you choose Doordash. (Wendy’s was doing this too a couple of weeks ago.)

        When I looked at my bill, I also noticed that the four dipping sauces that came with the meal, according to Popeyes, were billed at 58 cents per dipping sauce, adding $2.32 plus tax (8%) to my total.

        A minor complaint, maybe, but I was still pretty upset since most restaurants that have chicken tenders/nuggets don’t bill you separately per-sauce, especially after claiming that it was part of the meal.

        For the final total of $40, I don’t think I’ll be going to Popeyes again anytime soon.

        Before the pandemic, the chicken was at least piping hot. It was juicy. It was plump. It might just be my imagination that fast food is going downhill, but I can’t imagine that it’s hit everything except McDonalds and that this is my imagination.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russia votes: Big Tech must keep the internet open and secure during elections

        As Russia prepares for the September 17 — 19 legislative elections, and authorities tighten their grip on freedom of expression online, Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition are demanding social media giants stand up for human rights, and resist government orders to shutdown and censor internet platforms, applications, and services.

        “We are calling on private companies to do what government officials in Russia will not — take a stand for human rights,” said Peter Micek, General Counsel at Access Now. “Facebook, Twitter, this is a message for you: put your human rights policies into action, and say no to an authoritarian regime’s attempts to silence millions of people this election. People in Russia are depending on you.”

      • Shutdown in Zambia on election day: How it affected people’s lives and wellbeing – Access Now

        Just like many governments in Africa, authorities in Zambia intentionally blocked access to social media platforms — including WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook — during the country’s presidential election on August 12. The shutdown severely undermined people’s ability to communicate and receive information through the course of the election, while also impacting their lives, work, education, and relationships.

        Zambia’s election had already been tainted by political violence, with the government deploying the military to control the population and an onslaught of assassinations and arrests in the weeks leading up to the elections.

        According to data from the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), the blocking of WhatsApp was confirmed through technical measurements on August 12. A Facebook spokesperson also reported that the shutdown had affected not only Facebook’s apps, but also others like Twitter. Zambians reported that they were using VPNs to gain access to the social media apps that were inaccessible. OONI’s data suggests that there was coordination among different ISPs in the implementation of social media blocks, and that they used the same censorship techniques.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Square joins the Open Invention Network | ZDNet

            The OIN, the world’s largest patent non-aggression consortium, protects Linux and related open-source software and the companies behind them from patent attacks and patent trolls. The OIN recently broadened its scope from core Linux programs and adjacent open-source code by expanding its Linux System Definition to other patents such as the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and the Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) file system.

            That may not sound to you like a natural fit for a retail financial services and digital payments company which is best known for its ubiquitous Square Reader for smartcards, but actually, it is. Behind it is a foundation of open-source software.

            As Bob Lee, Square’s former CTO, once said, “Open source is part of our DNA. As a member of the open-source community — and a company that’s benefited from many open source libraries — we have a responsibility to pay it forward. We always have the mindset to open-source our code when we build.”

[Meme] [Teaser] EPO Management, Always Right

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Swedish prime minister walking by climate protesters: Get up, peasant; What right to strike?

Summary: The only permissible and allowable/exercise-able “Right” at the EPO is Shut up and work”; if you strike, the dictator du jour [1, 2] will authorise a drone strike

Recent Focus on Git, Gemini, and Upcoming Series About EPO Abuses

Posted in Europe, Patents, Site News at 6:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum d1f73f3954d55b025c98f5b7807b6195

Summary: Some updates about this past weekend’s (and Monday’s) work, which improves transparency and resilience ahead of the next ‘blockbusters’

THESE past few days we’ve not been publishing much. But lately we’ve been doing a great deal at the back end and this video explains the details, showing some of the code and ways to access that code (AGPLv3).

“Bear with us as we finalise some further changes and progressively enhance safeguards against censorship.”Some time later this month (or next month at the latest) there will be another hard-hitting series about the EPO. We’re regrouping and improving our infrastructure in the mean time. gemini:// is of growing importance to us; in the first 13 days of this month we’ve served over 200,000 pages over gemini:// and we have a total of ~37,500 pages in our Gemini capsule, which is one of the largest in the world.

Bear with us as we finalise some further changes and progressively enhance safeguards against censorship. It’s a long-term investment.

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