Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 21/12/2021: elementary OS 6.1 Released and Tor Browser 11.0.3

Posted in News Roundup at 2:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • NGINX vs. Apache: Comparision of web servers to host your website

        If you are visiting a website then most probably one of the two web servers – Apache or Nginx has been serving that for you. To make several different websites available to visitors, the host needs web server software. The key task of a webserver is to take the requests and analyzes them to return the requested documents in the browser. Here we will learn about two popular web servers Apache and Nginx by comparing them; we will learn about their features in detail and which is better suited for which purposes.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • There’s a new Linux kernel, but you probably shouldn’t use it right now | TechRadar [Ed: WHo the heckwrites these misleading headlines?]

        If you’re feeling like having a slow week ahead of Christmas then you’re not alone: Linux creator Linus Torvalds has used his weekly post to assure us that Linux 5.16 is coming, but probably after the festive season.

        “Things are calming down, and rc6 is fairly small. That’s normal for this time in the release schedule, but it’s also normal for this time of year,” Torvalds wrote.

        “And I expect that the next two weeks will be very quiet, and smaller still. But maybe people are bored, maybe people are staying in due to covid picking up again, we’ll just see.”

      • Linux 5.16 is coming after a slight delay, offers improved support for Surface devices

        According to the announcement, we can expect the usual peppering of filesystem updates, general kernel additions, and improvements to networking. However, there are lots of driver updates and two of them target Microsoft’s Surface line of devices. One relates to the button array on the Surface Go 3 but isn’t explained clearly. Apparently, it properly implements the five-button array on the tablet itself. The other solves a multitouch issue with the non-pro Type Cover of the Surface 3. The problem only affected this variant.

        Looking forward at 5.16, Mac users can expect improved support for Apple’s M1 chip, while gamers can expect the already available Nintendo Switch Pro controller driver to be merged into the mainline kernel. This means you’ll finally be able to use the Switch Pro Controller outside of Steam with no extra effort. Stable support for Intel’s Alder Lake graphics is also a notable feature.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Meet wxrd, a standalone Wayland compositor for xrdesktop

          From its inception, an important use case for xrdesktop was that applications that are already running on the 2D desktop should be seamlessly available in VR at the press of a button. Although it is possible to implement something like this in a desktop agnostic fashion with pure xlib/xcb proof of concept: x3d, for performance and robustness reasons we opted for code integration into window managers. Typically, window managers have an internal abstraction of the windows they manage that is much easier to reliably consume than the raw X11 protocol.

          The first two window manager integrations we started out with were a patchset for gnome-shell and a kwin plugin. The window manager integration approach unfortunately suffers several drawbacks.

          Most importantly however, not everyone is running kwin or gnome-shell, and adding integration into more and more window managers would result in an unmaintainable mess.

          Each window manager is shipped in a different version on different distributions too. The gnome-shell patchset needs to be adjusted for every major version change. The kwin plugin needs to be compiled for a specific kwin version, meaning an Ubuntu PPA with an updated KDE version would break a packaged version of the plugin.

          While the ability to mirror already running 2D applications without good performance has been a unique feature of xrdesktop, which is enjoyed by our users and will still be maintained, we have also heard many voices who desire a more native XR solution, especially looking at standalone devices.

        • Collabora announce wxrd, a standalone Wayland compositor for xrdesktopx

          Working with Virtual Reality and Linux just got a lot more interesting, with the clever hackers at Collabora announcing their new standalone Wayland compositor for xrdesktop called wxrd.

          For those that didn’t see our previous coverage on it: xrdesktop is a way to turn your desktop into a VR space, allowing you to interact with windows and do some pretty cool stuff with a VR HMD. It does this with patches and integrations for window managers like the defaults of GNOME and KDE Kwin but “suffers several drawbacks” and isn’t then an option for others. It gets messier with all the different versions across different Linux distributions.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • SSH agent restriction

        OpenSSH 8.9 will include an experimental set of agent restrictions that meet the above requirements, though with some caveats (discussed below). These are built around some two simple agent protocol extensions and a small modification to the public key authentication protocol.

        These extensions allow the user to add destination constraints to keys they add to a ssh-agent and have ssh enforce them. For example, this command: [...]

      • Restrict users to a network interface on Linux

        If for some reasons you want to prevent a system user to use network interfaces except one, it’s doable with a couple of iptables commands.

        The use case would be to force your user to go through a VPN and make sure it can’t reach the Internet if the VPN is not available.

      • How to Install and set up Nginx as a proxy OpenSUSE Leap 15.3

        Nginx is a web server that can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer, mail proxy and HTTP cache. It started out as a web server designed for maximum performance and stability. Nginx has grown in popularity since its release due to its light-weight resource utilization and its ability to scale easily on minimal hardware. Nginx excels at serving static content quickly and is designed to pass dynamic requests off to other software that is better suited for those purposes.

        In this guide we are going to learn how to install Nginx in OpenSUSE Leap 15.3 and set it up as a proxy server. We will set up an Nginx virtual host that proxies a request from a domain to a service listening on a port.

      • How to Install & Enable EPEL / EPEL Next Repository on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        EPEL, which stands for Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux, is an open-source and free repository that provides extra packages for Enterprise Linux. The EPEL repository was created because Fedora contributors wanted to use Fedora packages they maintain on RHEL and other compatible distributions such as Rocky Linux, CentOS, AlmaLinux, to name a few.

        The EPEL repository is also known for bringing additional packages and updated packages that may be behind in the core repository, along with dependencies required by other external repositories, for example, the Remi PHP repository.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the EPEL repository along with the EPEL Next repository, which is the next testing version that can come into use for newer packages when major upgrades occur to the core distribution on Rocky Linux 8.

      • How To Install Wine on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Wine on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Wine (an acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is open-source software. By using a wine you can install/run Windows applications/tools on Linux. As we know that Linux does not support windows executable so WineHQ is a solution to run Windows applications and Linux systems.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the WineHQ on a Fedora 35.

      • How to use the procs command to show the active processes in Linux? – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. Now in this post, I will show you how to install and use the procs command to show processes in Linux from the terminal. So, let’s get to it.

      • How to install Ultimaker Cura slicer on Linux

        Ultimaker Cura is one of the best 3d printer slicer applications out there. It has dozens of excellent features like material estimation, support for a wide variety of printers (even ones not made by Ultimaker,) and much more. This guide will show you how to install Ultimaker Cura on Linux.

      • How to install Pesterchum on a Chromebook

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

      • How to install Open Broadcaster Studio on Linux | FOSS Linux

        The popularity of streaming in today’s world has, in one way or the other, skyrocketed the popularity of this Open Broadcasting Software (OBS). Nowadays, several game broadcasting and streaming software are available in the market. Nonetheless, most of them are either paid for or are not that appealing for use. But, to your rescue, the open-source community has offered you OBS as the most immediate solution.

        OBS is a free-and feature-rich, cross-platform, open-source live streaming software used for recording purposes among the masses. This software started as a small project but gained its fame via its users’ stability and ease of use. By now, it is regarded as a vital component of the computer system for users who like to do stuff like recording and video streaming on their workstations.

      • How to Set Up a Local Kubernetes Instance With MicroK8s on Ubuntu

        DevOps has greatly changed the way software engineers and developers develop and deploy applications. One of the technologies at the heart of this revolution is Kubernetes.

        Let’s explore how you can install a local instance of Kubernetes on Ubuntu using MicroK8s (MicroKates). With this setup in place, you can easily host container applications in a secure, reliable, and highly scalable manner.

      • 6 SSH Authentication Methods and How to Use Them – ByteXD

        As more companies migrate their services to the cloud and more people continue to work remotely, a secure connection is needed to connect to a remote computer over a network.

        One of the most utilized encryption protocols to mitigate cyber threats such as password sniffing is SSH (Secure Shell).

        SSH was designed and developed to replace unsecured protocols such as rlogin, rsh, and telnet to connect two remote hosts.

      • How to Use Double Bracket Conditional Tests in Linux

        Conditional tests branch the flow of execution of Linux Bash scripts according to the result of a logical expression. Double bracket conditional tests simplify the syntax considerably—but still have their own gotchas.

      • How To Stop and Start AWS EC2 Spot Instances – CloudSavvy IT

        Spot instances are AWS’s way to sell off unused server capacity when demand isn’t high. They are much cheaper, but come with a lot of restrictions, such as being interruptable and more complicated to start, stop, and run for longer periods of time.

      • Commands to install Apache Web server on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 LTS

        If you want to learn how to run and access a website from a remote location, we need a Web server and what it be more practical than starting with Apache if you are new to the hosting world. Here in this tutorial, we will learn the command to install and start Apache web server on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy JellyFish or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS focal fossa.

        Apache is the most widely used web server on the Internet. And can be easily configured because of its flexible nature and ability to expand features with the help of a large number of modules. It has been developed and maintained under the Apache foundation.

        Usually, the Apache web server is installed with PHP and MySQL/MariaDB. Although, Apache itself delivers only static HTML pages. However, when combined with PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) like scripting language it can serve the Dynamic HTML pages generated from database contents.

      • How to Install Centreon Monitoring Tool on Rocky Linux 8

        Centreon is an open-source tool that can monitor your entire infrastructure including network, system, and application. Using Centreon you can set notifications depending on thresholds, set email alerts, easily add any system for monitoring.

      • Wi-Fi not working? It’s time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums

        Welcome to another edition of Who, Me? in which a Register reader makes the impossible possible and actually gets Wi-Fi working on Linux.

        To be fair to the Penguinistas choking on their mince pies, our tale is set more than 10 years ago, when making Wi-Fi work under Windows could be challenging, let alone on everyone’s favourite open-source OS.

        Our story comes from a reader we’ll call “Erik” (for that was not his name) who was trying to pop a new version of Linux on his laptop. He was a big SUSE fan but distro-curious, also tinkering with Ubuntu at the time. Alas, exactly which distribution and version is lost to time, so for the purposes of this story we’ll go with “Linux.”

        The install went well, but all the bells and whistles of Erik’s laptop did not seem to be supported. Most importantly, the Wi-Fi. Naturally, he hit the forums in search of help.

      • Fresh liveslak ISO images, setup2hd can now install a basic firewall

        New ISO’s for Slackware Live Edition (based on liveslak-1.5.1) are available for download. You’ll find SLACKWARE (32bit/64bit), XFCE (32bit/64bit), DAW, LEAN, CINNAMON and MATE updated images (see below for download locations). I also refreshed the ‘bonus’ section with nvidia and broadcom-sta drivers matching the installed kernel, and other useful stuff.
        All 32bit ISOs will boot a SMP kernel from now on, since the non-SMP kernels still refuse to execute the init script in the initramfs.

    • Games

      • 80% of Steam’s top 100 games now work on Linux

        Proton has made enormous strides toward game compatibility through advances in related technologies like DXVK, which enable DirectX 9, 10, and 11 games to run through the Vulkan API. In fact, the project is so far along that Amazon has thrown its hat in the ring, working toward streaming Proton enabled games through Luna. The progress of this effort is updated all the time on ProtonDB, and today they crossed a major milestone as user reports on the site reveal that 80% of the top 100 games on Steam now run on Linux, and by extension, Steam Deck.

      • How To Play 0 A.D. (and WIN!) – DT LIVE – Invidious

        0 A.D is a free and open source real-time strategy game, similar in spirit to Age of Empires. I am not much of a gamer, and 0 A.D is not something that I often win at, but I do enjoy playing this game. And I love promoting open source games, especially those that are native to Linux.

      • Fast-paced strategic action in Sky Fleet is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Melding together elements of a fast-paced action game with the tactics of a tower defence game, Sky Fleet is officially out now. Taking place in the clouds, you speed around various floating islands as you battle for supremacy while also grabbing some resources.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Latte Dock | Plasma LookNFeel support

          As the title implies from now on Plasma LookNFeel packages can contain and apply Latte Layouts. What that means is that distros and designers can include their latte layouts inside their own Plasma LookNFeel package and Plasma will auto adjust everything in order to load or unload the latte layout. The relevant approved merged reguest can be found here.

          What will happen is that Latte will automatically switch to the provided layout. In case the looknfeel package does not contain any latte layout then we can guess that Latte is not needed and for that reason is closed. You can of course restart Latte afterwards if you want to.

          The Latte approach is pretty safe concerning your data and your layouts. When you apply a new layout through LookNFeel packages then your current latte layout is not removed or touched at all, it just remains inactive with the same name and you can reenable it whenever you want to from Latte Layouts Editor.

        • Kate is a fantastic text editor!

          Kate is the KDE Advanced Text Editor, and it’s one of the many, many goodies one gets when using the Plasma Desktop. You can install Plasma yourself (like I do on FreeBSD, thanks maintainers!), or there are Linux distributions such as KDE Neon and Kubuntu that ship with it by default for you. Others usually give you the option to replace their default desktop with it too, like Debian. Like other KDE applications, you can also run it on whatever desktop you want.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • elementary OS 6.1 Available Now

          Just over four months ago we announced elementary OS 6 Odin with new ways to be in control and express yourself, a slew of innovative new features, and a focus on gettability and inclusivity. So far, OS 6 has been downloaded from our website over 250,000 times—and as always, that’s not including downloads from third parties or direct downloads via torrent that bypass our download page!

        • elementary OS 6.1 Released, This is What’s New

          Available to download from today is elementary OS 6.1, the first point-release in the 6.x series. This milestone rolls together all of the post-release updates, fixes, and encements dished out to the distro since its debut, resulting in a nice, new, shiny .iso image.

        • Elementary OS 6.1 Has Been Released

          The developers of elementary OS have been hard at work delivering the first point release for Odin (the sixth iteration of the distribution). Normally a point release wouldn’t receive a new name and identity, but the developers felt there was enough polish added to warrant the change.

          With the new release of elementary OS, comes an AppCenter that continues to fill out with applications. Since elementary OS has added Flatpak support, you’ll find over 90 curated apps in the AppCenter. The shift from Debian packages to Flatpak has made it possible for developers to push out rapid and frequent updates. And thanks to the added Flatpak support, along with curated apps you’ll find plenty of non-curated apps to fill in the gaps. The AppCenter itself has received plenty of attention with a reworked home page and banners featuring the most recently released applications.

        • elementary OS 6.1 “Jólnir” Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          Dubbed “Jólnir,” elementary OS 6.1 comes more than four months after elementary OS 6 “Odin” and it’s built on top of the Ubuntu 20.04.3 point release of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) long-term supported operating system series and powered by Linux kernel 5.11.

          Highlights of elementary OS 6.1 include a redesigned quick window switcher (Alt+Tab) that no longer relies on the dock to switch between apps (you can see in action below), animated dialogs, improved File Chooser portal, a new App Chooser, as well as a much-improved dark style.

        • elementary OS 6.1 Release Enhances the Desktop Experience and Brings AppCenter Upgrades – It’s FOSS News

          elementary OS 6.0 was an exciting release. If you haven’t explored that yet, I suggest you go through the features introduced with elementary OS 6.

          After four months of its release, elementary OS 6.1 is here!

          You can get started by downloading it. But, before that, you may want to explore the exciting new changes mentioned here.

        • elementary OS 6.1 Available Now ⋅ elementary Blog

          Just over four months ago we announced elementary OS 6 Odin with new ways to be in control and express yourself, a slew of innovative new features, and a focus on gettability and inclusivity. So far, OS 6 has been downloaded from our website over 250,000 times—and as always, that’s not including downloads from third parties or direct downloads via torrent that bypass our download page!

        • elementary OS 6.1 is Now Available

          Elementary today announced the availability of elementary OS 6.1, the latest update to its Linux-based distribution.

          “Just over four months ago we announced elementary OS 6 Odin with new ways to be in control and express yourself, a slew of innovative new features, and a focus on gettability and inclusivity,” elementary founder and CEO Danielle Foré writes. “So far, OS 6 has been downloaded from our website over 250,000 times, and as always, that’s not including downloads from third parties or direct downloads via torrent that bypass our download page.”

          Elementary OS 6.0 was released back in August, and since then, the firm has supported it with monthly OS updates. But elementary OS 6.1—codenamed Jólnir—is a bigger functional update for existing users that combines the changes in the previous monthly updates and adds new features that focus on addressing feedback, adding office productivity functionality, and expanding hardware compatibility.

      • BSD

        • Clang upgraded to version 13

          After much preparatory work in base and ports, clang(1) has been upgraded to version 13.0.0 (on the relevant platforms).

      • Arch Family

        • Arch No-Systemd … yes but how? Is systemd so different than ALL the other inits?

          So where are we in the struggle against IBM domination? Ground zero, we are just starting to realize the task involved in achieving something of substance.. While we are contemplating how to attack the monster more and more upstream is getting comfortable taking it for granded, that if it is linux as the end user, systemd, libs, logind, udevd, are all there, so don’t bother writing something more generic and unix like in nature. It is in ALL LINUX … now and it will be more and more later.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Prevent auto-reboot during Argo CD sync with machine configs | Red Hat Developer

          Nodes in Red Hat OpenShift can be updated automatically through OpenShift’s Machine Config Operator (MCO). A machine config is a custom resource that helps a cluster manage the complete life cycle of its nodes. When a machine config resource is created or updated in a cluster, the MCO picks up the update, performs the necessary changes to the selected nodes, and restarts the nodes gracefully by cordoning, draining, and rebooting them. The MCO handles everything ranging from the kernel to the kubelet.

          However, interactions between the MCO and the GitOps workflow can introduce major performance issues and other undesired behavior. This article shows how to make the MCO and the Argo CD GitOps orchestration tool work well together.

        • Exploring new opportunities in open source: From RHEL user to quality engineer

          Red Hat’s Products and Technologies organization is doing game-changing work in the IT industry, so we’re taking a closer look at some of the talented Red Hatters from around the world who are enabling our continued evolution. In showcasing their unique stories, it’s clear that there’s no one path to finding success as a Red Hatter. For each of us, it’s about open collaboration and building something together.

          As a principal software quality engineer in Beijing, Red Hatter Shi Wei often sees how his role impacts the company. “Each year at Red Hat Summit, there are usually one or two presentations that are directly related to a project I’m working on, which makes me feel that my daily work is closely related to Red Hat’s success. It’s nice to feel like a part of that.”

          Even before joining the company, Wei was a part of the open source community. “My Linux journey started with Red Hat. I clearly remember using my first Linux distribution—Red Hat Linux 9—for the first time. It really made an impact on my career path. In my previous position, I was an operations and maintenance engineer, working on Unix business support systems for a telecommunications provider. My whole career has been about Unix and Linux. So, when I joined Red Hat, I was excited to be a part of the team behind these products.”

        • 8 ways to enjoy the holidays with your team

          When I first started my company, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I’d never built a startup or run a nonprofit before. But the pandemic had just begun, and I knew I needed to do something to help the 40 percent of Americans who couldn’t afford a $400 emergency long before COVID-19 further destroyed our social safety nets.

          So I reached out to my neighbors, my co-workers, and my friends of friends.

          A few weeks in, we secured a team of more than 30 passionate individuals who worked on nights and weekends building a functioning platform to help the people who needed it most. Everyone was remote, and everyone was a volunteer, so I learned quickly that building a community online was not only harder than doing so in an office, but that it was even more important.

          Community is what makes the late nights easier. It’s what helps us show up for each other on the tough days. And it’s what allows us to celebrate all of our wins, whether it’s a successful campaign or helping a neighbor, even from afar.

        • Digital transformation: 4 tips to speed your progress | The Enterprisers Project

          While digital transformation has been an IT industry priority for years, the pandemic accelerated the transition. Companies looked to run operations from anywhere and anytime, increase nimbleness, and build protection from disruption. Remote work and contactless retail transactions are two prime examples.

          While the operational impact of the pandemic is slowly waning, it’s clear that many attitudes and expectations have permanently shifted for both employees and customers. Shoppers, for example, now expect a seamless experience between online and in-store buying – and many prefer the convenience of curbside pickup. Employees have proven their ability to work and remain productive from anywhere and anytime with connected devices, applications, and connectivity.

          All of this means that the strong demand for digital transformation isn’t lessening. Organizations should be examining all aspects of their operations for opportunities to enact digital change that can unlock benefits for employees and deliver valuable interactions and experiences for their customers.

        • AlmaLinux Announces Codenotary As Its First Platinum Member

          AlmaLinux OS Foundation has announced that Codenotary has joined its governance board as the first Platinum member. As a former CentOS user, Codenotary is investing in AlmaLinux to support its growth.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Edge AI system combines octa-core Arm SoC with Hailo-8 NPU

        Axiomtek’s rugged “RSC100” edge AI system runs Linux on an octa-core Arm processor accompanied by a Hailo-8 NPU. Highlights include 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, 2x GbE, 2x CAN, 2x mini-PCIe, and 2x M.2.

        Axiomtek announced the latest embedded computing vendor to bundle Hailo’s up to 26-TOPS, 3-TOPS per Watt Hailo-8 NPU. The compact, fanless RSC100 (Plato) embedded computer runs Yocto 3.0 on an unnamed, octa-core Arm SoC and is designed for edge AI applications including “smart” city, retail, agriculture, and transportation.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Monitoring the vintage server room (and reverse-engineering USB sensors)

          Part of the task of any home server room, vintage or otherwise, is monitoring. After all, you’re now your own L1, L2 and L3 support. A camera passively observes the room that can be remotely viewed. The main server can generate alerts if it fails over to a UPS (power outage, blown supply, etc.). If the WAN connection goes down, an SMS gateway can communicate with me by text message and I can query it about the state of the internal network. I use an SMSEagle for that, basically a Raspberry Pi in a cool case with an LTE modem running modified Raspbian (which I naturally have modified further). All of the systems can send it alerts for broadcast via its internal APIs.

        • Raspberry Pi Weekly Issue #380 – More Raspberry Pi hardware in space

          Tomorrow, 21 Dec, new Raspberry Pi hardware is due to launch to the International Space Station. It will let young people run a greater range of experiments in space as part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Astro Pi programme. You can watch live.

        • My Fairphone App: Your digital sustainability tool – Fairphone

          I’d like to kick things off with a quote from tech reviewer Marques Brownlee: “We only have one earth. Hot take – we should be taking better care of it!”

          For the better part of a decade, we’ve worked to normalize this idea in the electronics industry. However, when your goal is to set new standards and reshape an entire industry, you’re looking at a long road ahead. There’s never been another traveller on this road, and it’s up to us to count the miles, remember the bumps and know that this is how change happens: a crazy, impossible thing simply gets done. And in doing so, proves that the people who believe in impossible things aren’t crazy at all; they just choose to see a little further down the road.

          So, here’s something new for everyone who’s along for this ride: We’ve completely redesigned the My Fairphone App, from the ground up, to be your individual guide to a more sustainable lifestyle. Track and reduce your CO2 emissions, get to know your Fairphone and everything that happens behind the scenes, connect with like-minded people and sustainable businesses in your area or join our green challenges.

          The app is available for download, so you’ve got two options: Give it a go right now and see for yourself, or stick around for an overview of the updated features.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla and Tor

          • Debian 11.2 ships, but there are still Firefox problems.

            Yesterday, Debian released the 11.2 update.

            Notably missing is Firefox 91.x ESR, which replaced Firefox 78 ESR upstream months ago. It’s available, but masked. I had to use a special command to bring it in.

            sudo apt-get -t=bullseye install firefox-esr
            At this point, the security situation has gone from bad, to seriously bad.

            There are now 17 unpatched CVEs (some of which have multiple actual defects attached to them) which affect Debian 11’s Firefox 78.15 ESR, which has been unmaintained for over 2.5 months.

            If anyone is still using this, they need to move over to a browser which is current with its security patches. Debian has been bumping WebkitGTK, so GNOME Web is safe to use (or you can install it from Flatpak), and Brave bumps their browser to be in line with Chromium’s latest updates.

            The fact is that this is mostly Mozilla’s fault because they chose to depend on an entirely new version of Mesa out of nowhere in the middle of an ESR series. Firefox ESR 91.2 would have built on Debian 11, but Firefox 91.3+ needs new system packages.

            But the fact remains that Debian _chose_ to depend on Firefox, they _chose_ to make it their default browser even though Mozilla has gone insane and nothing they release is stable, so Debian owns this mess.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 11.0.3

            Tor Browser 11.0.3 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory

            This release updates Firefox to 91.4.1esr and picks up a number of bug fixes. In particular, this release should fix various extension related and crash issues Windows users were experiencing. Additionally, Linux users especially on Ubuntu and Fedora systems were reporting fonts not properly rendering, which should be solved by this release.

          • Tor in 2022

            It has become a tradition for me to write a blog post at the end of each year, sharing my vision for the Tor Project for the upcoming year. Before talking about what I see for us in 2022, I want to reflect on 2021 and how this has been a year of resilience for Tor.

            I’m very proud of every single person who contributed to Tor, the Tor Project staff, our core contributors, our community, and our supporters. 2020 was a year of sacrifice, but none of the stones thrown in our way stopped us from looking ahead and dreaming of a greater future. And in 2021, we bounced back to continue to shape this greater future.

          • My Firefox bookmarklet to see links I’ve visited more reliably

            I want to make links that I’ve already visited be clearly visible in Firefox, so that I can avoid re-reading links that I’ve already read. My first solution to this was to use the Firefox Stylus addon to write a brute force rule for frequently visited sites, which forced the a:visited colour to the special ‘VisitedText’ colour that Firefox provides. Later, when I wrote about bookmarklets versus addons, it occurred to me that a bookmarklet was a great use for this in general; I don’t always need it and don’t necessarily want it, but a bookmarklet would let me try to fix sites with a click and then said I didn’t know enough to write it. In a comment on that entry, seth shared a bookmarklet to do a large scale restyling. I took that and turned it into a simpler version that duplicated my Stylus effort.

      • Education

        • Why R? 2021 Conference Summary

          The fifth edition of Why R? Conference (2021.whyr.pl) finished last week. The post presents the highlights of the conference and the overall summary. You can find all videos from the conference on youtube.com/WhyRFoundationVideos channel.




          Discussion Panels

          People behind the scenes

          What’s next? – Webinars!


      • FSFE

        • Fernanda Weiden, Google, FSFE & Wikipedia vanity pages

          Fernanda Weiden (nanda) has a vanity page in Wikipedia. Weiden is a Brazilian/German system administrator. She currently works for Facebook, the page history tells us somebody created the page in 2006 during the time Weiden worked for Google. There is an alert about notability on the Talk page but nobody has acted on it.

          The user who created Weiden’s vanity page is Tobias Conradi, banned indefinitely for having multiple accounts.

          Wikipedia has a policy on notability.

          Women like Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower who testified before the US Congress and Timnit Gebru, the ethics boss sacked by Google are notable.

          The actions of Haugen and Gebru are brave and commendable. In the absence of such actions, people make crude and derogatory speculation about how Weiden attended a number of tech conferences, showed her belly button (photo) and Wikipedia bosses allowed her to break the rules.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • TikTok’s new Live Studio app allegedly violates OBS’ licensing policy

            Ben Torell, the business developer for OBS, later replied to that tweet in agreement, but noted that OBS is open to working with TikTok: “We have a commitment to dealing with GPL violations in good faith, and in the case of TikTok/ByteDance we would be happy to have a friendly working relationship with them as long as they comply with the license.” The Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) got in trouble for a similar reason in October, as it failed to make the source code for Truth, Donald Trump’s upcoming social network, publicly available after using the open-source Mastodon to build the site.

          • Beware The CopyLEFT Trolls [Ed: Corbet adds: “Techdirt looks at the problem of copyleft trolls, and those who target users of Creative Commons materials in particular.”]

            For years we’ve covered the problems of copyright trolls — abusive schemes in which aggressive lawyers and schemers leverage copyright to shake down hundreds or thousands of people over what may be accidental or incidental infringement. In some cases, copyright trolls have gone even further, deliberately seeding their own works in order to find people to demand money from.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • xj — HTML to JSON

            This, xj, is a Unix filter that reads XML (or permissively parses HTML) and outputs JSON. Perfect for piping directly into jq, gron or json2tsv.

      • Programming/Development

        • What Are the Best Programming Languages for Linux Devs?

          If you are on the path to becoming a Linux developer, surely you will understand that computer science and programming are a core part of this journey.

          Even though Linux holds a small market share compared to others, it’s a great operating system with automation capabilities, access to devices and software endpoints via the command line because everything is a file. Also, more than half of OS that run the majority of servers are Linux.

          But if you want to write software for Linux, not just use it, you need to learn a suitable language. So the question is, which language or languages should you learn in order to propel yourself forward in your beginning career and deepen your understanding of the Linux world? Let’s take a closer look!

        • The Essential AI Frameworks You Should Know – Embedded Computing Design

          Open Source frameworks are open source software, that is, the source code that composes it is published openly, under a free use license that allows people who use it to use and modify it without having any type of license for Copyright.

          This means that a developer can use an open source code and use it in the same way, reduce it, modify it, and improve it. They are based on the collaborative methodology.

        • OBS Studio and dependencies compiled

          I installed the last three in a running Easy, but not libglvnd as it has libraries that conflict with the mesa package. I read somewhere that it is a dependency, but I don’t understand what it does. Anyway, left it out.

          OBS Studio version 27.x requires wayland, or at least the wayland libraries even if you are not using wayland. So I chose 26.1.2, and it compiled fine, no issues.

          Runs also. It checks out the host system capabilities at first startup, and the only thing that failed was “Checking if mpv can decode to png: fail”, but success with mpv decoding to jpeg. I don’t know if that will be an issue in practice.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Day 20 – Create beautiful text charts – Raku Advent Calendar

            Every number corresponded to the gifts wrapped by every elf in the department in alphabetical order, starting with Alabaster Snowball, and continuing with Bushy Evergreen. But numbers don’t sing, and that made Santa not sing either. A simple way to check visually what was going on was needed.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Backlog: Language FAQs

            I’d like to answer these questions more authoritatively, but the “narrative style” with links has proven effective. And most topics came from reader questions anyway. Leave a comment if anything is unclear!

        • Java

          • The Real Fix for Log4j Isn’t a Patch.

            The log4j exploit requires unrestricted outbound traffic. Again, we’re not there yet – few organizations have outbound whitelists for every service, and in many cases, we don’t have the right architecture to isolate certain restrict different parts of the same process (e.g. first-party application code should be able to reach out to the [Internet], but third-party libraries like loggers should not).

          • Log4j flaw needs immediate remediation

            After nearly two years of adopting major network and security changes wrought by COVID-19 and hybrid work, weary IT network and security teams didn’t need another big issue to take care of, but they have one: Stemming potential damage from the recently disclosed vulnerability in open source Java-logging Apache Log4j software.

            Log4j or Log4Shell has been around a long time—it was released in January, 2001—and is widely used in all manner of enterprise and consumer services, websites, and applications. Experts describe the system as an easy-to-use common utility to support client/server application development.

          • Guide: How To Detect and Mitigate the Log4Shell Vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228 & CVE-2021-45046)

            A few days ago, a serious new vulnerability was identified in Apache log4j v2 and published as CVE-2021-44228. We were one of the first security companies to write about it, and we named it “Log4Shell”.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • WTF happened to John Ioannidis revisited: The Carl Sagan effect

        Earlier this month, I noted the publication of an article by John Ioannidis, Alangoya Tezel, and Reshma Jagsi that caught my interest in BMJ Open, the BMJ’s open-access journal. Titled, Overall and COVID-19-specific citation impact of highly visible COVID-19 media experts: bibliometric analysis. To boil the paper down to its essence, Ioannidis examined the citation impact in the scientific literature of “highly visible COVID-19 media experts” in the US, Denmark, Greece, and Switzerland and concluded that most were not highly cited overall and few had published much on COVID-19 in particular. It’s a terrible analysis for the simple reason that its premise is flawed to the point where the results are, in essence meaningless, as I will explain. However, I did see this article as a good launching off point, a “teachable moment” if you will, to discuss science communication in the age of the deadliest global pandemic in over a century. Ioannidis was once one of my scientific heroes but since COVID-19 hit has disabused me of any previous hero worship, likely forever, although, truth be told, I had intermittently been unimpressed with his takes dating back years. In any event, this paper, published in late October but only seemingly finding an audience on social media last week (which is how I became aware of it) illustrates a problem that all of us who try to communicate science and medicine to the public face.

    • Education

      • Reflections On An Academic Life

        For this reason I have been paying close attention to what is happening in China in recent years because it is there that some of the most obvious contradictions of sustaining capitalism are playing out before our very eyes. Global capital was saved from a grand depression in 2007–2008 by the huge expansion of urban and infrastructural investment in China. This stimulated a massive demand for raw materials such that producers in Latin America, South Asia, and Australia could exit crisis conditions very quickly. In the same way that Haussmann had helped Louis Bonaparte solve the economic problems of 1848–1850 through the rebuilding of Paris, and Robert Moses had done much the same for the United States after 1945 in creating metropolitan regions around strong processes of suburbanization, so the Chinese did something similar but at an unprecedented scale that had them consuming more cement between 2012 and 2014 than the United States had consumed in the preceding 100 years. Cement production, it also turns out, is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions!

      • Purdue President Condemns Tactics Used to Censor Chinese Students on U.S. Campuses

        The letter from Purdue University President Mitch Daniels last week was unflinching, unapologetic and unusual.

        In a Dec. 15 letter to faculty, staff and students, Daniels described his regret that he’d had to learn from a ProPublica article that a Chinese graduate student had been harassed by other Chinese students and that his parents in China had been visited by the Ministry of State Security — all because the graduate student had spoken out “on behalf of freedom and others martyred for advocating it.”

      • University president warns Chinese students not to harass other Chinese on campus

        A U.S. university president who is a former governor of Indiana has condemned Chinese nationalist students in his state who harassed a Chinese pro-democracy graduate student for openly praising Tiananmen Square protesters.

        Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, a public land-grant research university in West Lafayette, Indiana, sent an email to members of the campus community on Wednesday, saying that the treatment of the student, Kong Zhihao — whom Daniels did not name in the message — was “unacceptable and unwelcome.”

        The incident stems from a November report by the U.S. media organization ProPublica about how the Chinese government is threatening Chinese students at American universities who openly criticize Beijing, and harassing their families back home.

    • Hardware

      • 9 Best Laptops for Car Tuning in 2022

        Just like you know what setting would work best when tuning a car, we know what laptop would work smoothly or efficiently with the software solutions you’ll use. In case you trust us already, then you can jump to the list. If not, read the minimum and recommended specs we followed to find out good-quality laptops that’ll suit your tuning work.

      • Forget RGB, this E-Ink monitor focuses on 16 eye-pleasing shades of gray

        Dasung says that the screen has zero flickering and does not emit blue light, instead using a more old-fashioned front light to illuminate its surface (again, very much like some e-reader designs). While the refresh rate isn’t specified, the display can operate in text, graphic, or video modes, with the company boasting a “turbo” system for high-speed refresh and low latency. Presumably no matter how fast the E-ink panel is going, it’s somewhat less than the standard 60 hertz, but it’ll make reading PCWorld reviews amazingly comfortable.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Emerging Omicron Variant Has Health Officials Urging World Vaccination
      • “Get This Thing Out of My Chest”

        For the roughly 2,000 Americans who rely on it to keep their hearts going, the implanted pump is impossible to ignore.

        They feel it pressing inside their ribs when they lean over. Or they ache from the weight of its controller strapped to their shoulders. Some can even hear the device’s whirring hum deep inside their chests.

      • Trump White House Deliberately Undermined Efforts to Contain COVID, Report Says
      • Covid Testing Rackets and Flying Again

        The passengers on this Melbourne to Brisbane flight were taking a moment to compose themselves.  The customary hard cushion seating, cool, slightly refrigerated, touched the skin, imposing itself upon the visitor.  The cafeteria, plastic tray tables that must be put up prior to lift-off and descent.  The sardine can phenomenon of being kept close and packed.  The mandatory wearing of fitted facemasks, a rule constantly subverted by people nibbling snacks or sneaking a drink or too.  People were flying again.

        The mother and her child were awaiting to travel to the Queensland capital.  She, weary and bleary-eyed, seemed fascinated with another toy her son had also taken on as hand luggage: a classic example of macho moronic strength, an elastic muscle man who could be abused and distorted into any shape of your preference.  “Look,” she squealed, “I can tie his arms up.”  Just what a traveller needs: a bit of cruelty inflicted on a plastic figure by a desperate human.

      • Dr. Carlos del Rio on Omicron Surge, COVID Testing Crisis & the Need to Vaccinate the World

        With the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the United States is now averaging over 130,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, and health officials warn the U.S. could see a million new cases a day by February. We speak with health expert Dr. Carlos del Rio, who says that vaccination complemented by booster shots is the best defense against severe illness. “Everybody’s going to get infected. You’re going to be exposed to this virus because it’s essentially going to be everywhere,” says del Rio.

      • Most of Illinois is vaccinated, daily cases more than double from last month, while state officials celebrate the third year of “15 days to slow the spread”.

        With most of Illinois vaccinated and daily cases more than doubled from a month ago, state officials celebrate the third year of 15 days to slow the spread.


        They’ve managed to figure out that their business model is fucked from a social disease but they offer to segregate the vaxxed from the unvaxxed because you feel safer if you’re in a room exclusively with people who are vaxxed but can spread it anyway and are just as contagious.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The Extortion Economy Podcast: Exploring the Secret World of Ransomware

          Ransomware is proliferating across the country, disabling computer systems and harming critical infrastructure — hospitals, city governments, schools, even an oil pipeline. The technology that enables ransomware may be new, but extortion and ransom are not.

        • Nokia wins 5-year nationwide 5G RAN deployment deal from Elisa Estonia

          Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia Monday said it has been selected by Elisa Estonia, a subsidiary of Elisa Finland, for nationwide 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) deployment.

          Nokia will also replace the existing 4G infrastructure under the five-year deal.

          Under the deal, Nokia will provide equipment from its ReefShark System on Chip (SoC)-powered AirScale equipment portfolio covering Elisa’s nationwide radio network across the country.

          Deployment is expected to roll out next year following the completion of Estonia’s spectrum auction in early 2022.

        • The smart way to switch to a new Android phone

          Here’s how to transfer data, apps, contacts, and more from your old Android phone to a new one, along with tips for a smooth transition.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache-log4j2, firefox-esr, libssh2, modsecurity-apache, and tang), Fedora (lapack, log4j, rust-libsqlite3-sys, rust-rusqlite, xorg-x11-server, and xorg-x11-server-Xwayland), Mageia (bind, botan2, chromium-browser-stable, dovecot, hiredis, keepalived, log4j, matio, mediawiki, olm, openssh, pjproject, privoxy, vim, and watchdog), openSUSE (barrier, nim, and python-pip), Oracle (ipa and samba), Scientific Linux (ipa and samba), SUSE (log4j), and Ubuntu (apache-log4j2, htmldoc, python3.6, python3.7, python3.8, and python3.8, python3.9).

          • Yes, fun browser extensions can have vulnerabilities too!

            What’s the worst possible vulnerability a browser extension could possibly have? If the extension connects to a local application, facilitating Remote Code Execution in that application would be pretty bad. But if it’s only the sandboxed browser extension, then granting attackers access to each and every website is probably as bad as it goes. The only way to top this should be making the access permanent, surviving even a browser restart.

            Somehow the fun browser extension “Meow, The Cat Pet” ended up in that exact spot. Despite having merely 200 thousand users, it is promoted prominently in the “Fun” category of the Chrome Web Store. Yet up until recently it had a Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability. This vulnerability would have allowed any website to inject JavaScript code which would have executed in the context of websites visited by the user. A one-time visit to a malicious website would have been sufficient to compromise the browser integrity permanently.

          • More on NSO Group and Cytrox: Two Cyberweapons Arms Manufacturers

            Citizen Lab published another report on the spyware used against two Egyptian nationals. One was [cracked] by NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The other was [cracked] both by Pegasus and by the spyware from another cyberweapons arms manufacturer: Cytrox.

          • WordPress 5.8.2 Debian packages – Dropbear

            After a bit of a delay, WordPress version 5.8.2 packages should be available now. This is a minor update from 5.8.1 which fixes two bugs but not the security bug.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Boston City Councilors Seek Review of Surveillance Tech Purchase by Police

              Boston city councilors are calling for a review of the city Police Department’s purchase of controversial surveillance technology, after an investigation by WBUR and ProPublica revealed the transaction, which had been hidden from public view.

              Councilor At-Large Julia Mejia said the Boston Police Department should stop using its cell site simulator, or “stingray,” which can track real-time cell phone location, until a public hearing can be held to learn more about the use of the device and how it was purchased. Critics have suggested the technology could threaten constitutional rights, and members of Congress have called for measures to restrain its use.

            • Govt Panel’s Report on Data Protection Bill Recommends Tougher Norms for Social Media Platforms

              The report, however, did not recommend any major dilution of the contentious exemption clause, which gives powers to the government to keep any of its agencies outside the purview of the law.

            • House report on data bill tabled, Opposition flags concern | Latest News India – Hindustan Times

              The report of the joint parliamentary committee studying the proposed data protection law was tabled in both houses of parliament on Thursday, after almost two years of deliberations, but continued to cause concern among civil society members and opposition leaders that the proposals will be inadequate in protecting individual privacy and give the state far-reaching powers.

              The report carries several suggestions that in effect give the government a wider berth on obligations and private companies a stricter guardrail to follow, as reported by HT on November 23, while also suggesting new mechanisms to regulate social media companies.

              Among some of the new proposals is a plan to “age-gate” content and access to digital services for children, requiring companies to appoint guardians of data and needing those that deal primarily with services for children to to register themselves with the government.

            • Confidentiality

              • Open Source Pwned Passwords with FBI Feed and 225M New NCA Passwords is Now Live!

                In the last month, there were 1,260,000,000 occasions where a service somewhere checked a password against Have I Been Pwned’s (HIBP’s) Pwned Password API. 99.7% of the time, that check went no further than one of hundreds of Cloudflare edge nodes spread around the world (95% of the world’s population is within 50ms of one). It looks like this: [...]

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | The Pentagon’s 20-Year Killing Spree Has Always Treated Civilians as Expendable

        Top U.S. officials want us to believe that the Pentagon carefully spares civilian lives while making war overseas. The notion is pleasant. And with high-tech killing far from home, the physical and psychological distances have made it even easier to believe recent claims that American warfare has become “humane.”

      • Pakistan is opening a dangerous Pandora’s box with the Taliban

        Discourteous remarks about Afghanistan made by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the recent Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting were an insult to the Afghan nation reeling from the Taliban takeover. In his remarks, Khan described the non-monolithic Taliban group as a predominately ethnic Pashtun movement, implicitly casting millions of Pashtuns as the Taliban’s adherents. The prime minister, meanwhile, said girls’ education is antithetical to Afghan values and went on to discuss “Islamophobia” in the West — an epiphenomenon supposedly linked to the recent refugee influx, which Khan wants to champion as a savior.

        For Pakistani leaders, such calculated tirades are no accident. These recurring talking points are indicative of Pakistan’s long-running designs to create a new, false narrative about post-American Afghanistan. With the Taliban’s victory, Pakistan no longer makes secret what it wants in Afghanistan, a country which Islamabad now treats as an extension of Pakistan.

      • Hong Kong: Pro-Beijing candidates sweep ‘patriot’-only election amid low turnout

        All candidates were also vetted by a largely pro-Beijing committee before they could be nominated.

      • Uganda buys Chinese arms for war on ADF

        The Independent has established that globally renowned Chinese military contractors are working with Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and could make a difference in taking the battle to the ADF.

        An investigation by The Independent has so far yielded two names of major Chinese contractors that have recently supplied the UPDF; China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) and Poly Technologies Inc.

      • Mosul museum restores artefacts destroyed by Islamic State jihadists in Iraq

        Ancient artefacts in the museum were smashed into little pieces when Islamic State group fighters seized the northern city of Mosul in 2014 and made it their seat of power for three years.

    • Environment

      • 9 Don’t-Miss Environmental Interviews of 2021
      • Energy

        • ‘Speed Bump on the Road to Climate Catastrophe’: Critics Warn Biden Car Emission Rules Not Enough

          Finalized rules targeting emissions from cars and light trucks announced by the Biden administration Monday drew tepid welcome mixed with rebuke from climate groups who said the new standards, while an improvement, fail to meet the urgency of the planetary crisis.

          “Storms, wildfires, and heatwaves have grown far worse over the past decade, so auto pollution rules must be far stronger.”

        • Ground Flare At Mammoth New Exxon SABIC Plastics Plant Likened to A Harmless ‘Barbecue’ In Corporate Video

          This story is part of a collaboration between DeSmog and Public Health Watch.

          “The normal flare plus the BBQ is on,” Elida Castillo, the program director of Chispa Texas, an environmental advocacy group, wrote to me in a text on December 6. It was an update about a new, giant plastics plant built on the line between two small Texas cities just northeast of Corpus Christi: Portland and Gregory.

        • The New Get-Rich-Faster Job in Silicon Valley: [Cryptocurrency] Start-Ups

          Ms. Carter is part of a wave of executives and engineers leaving cushy jobs at Google, Amazon, Apple and other large tech companies — some of which pay millions of dollars in annual compensation — to chase what they see as a once-in-a-generation opportunity. That next big thing is [cryptocurrency], they said, a catchall designation that includes digital currencies like Bitcoin and products like nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which rely on the blockchain.

        • [Old] Bitcoin energy consumption worldwide from February 2017 to October 19, 2021

          Bitcoin’s annualized footprint in electricity consumption reached an all-time high in June 2021, now believed to be higher than the power consumption of Finland. This according to a source that tries to estimate the energy consumption of both Bitcoin (BTC) as well as Bitcoin (BTH). It does by assuming that miner costs and income are the same thing: The higher the miner income, the more powerful machinery it can support. Essentially, the source first calculates how much miners earn, then estimates how much of this income is spent on electricity and how much per kWH, to finally be converted into consumption figures. The main reason this figure is an estimate, is due to the decentralized nature of Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general: There is no central authority that tracks how many computers there are or where miners submit figures.

        • [Old] Bitcoin vs. Ethereum: Which Uses the Most Power?

          The vast amount of energy that cryptocurrencies use has long been a point of contention between enthusiasts and critics. It’s no secret that blockchain activity, from mining coins to conducting transactions, is far from eco-friendly. Some [cryptocurrencies] now use more electricity than entire cities or even countries.

          The two biggest players in the [cryptocurrency] game, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are both guilty of this. But which requires more energy, and is either one doing anything to improve?

        • [Old] Bitcoin used more power in 2021 than all of 2020 as climate debate on [cryptocurrency] mining heats up

          Bitcoin has already used more power so far this year than it did in all of 2020, a new study has suggested, as the debate on the impact of cryptocurrency mining on the environment heats up.

          Bitcoin is set to use 91TWh of energy by the end of this year, according to a Bloomberg report, which noted this is as much energy as Pakistan. Last year, Bitcoin was estimated to have consumed about 67TWh of electricity.

        • [Old] Why You’re Paying Bitcoin’s Energy Bill

          Millions of people who have neither mined nor traded a bitcoin are nevertheless paying for bitcoins to exist. That’s because the vast computing power needed to create new bitcoins consumes enormous amounts of electricity and has driven up energy bills for residents and businesses, according to University of California at Berkeley’s Matteo Benetton and Adair Morse and Chicago Booth’s Giovanni Compiani.

        • Twilight of the coal boom as banks run out of excuses to fund coking coal

          Coking coal is headed the way of thermal coal, despite the present frenzy in exports and coal company profits. Diplomatic tension between China and Australia, pressure to act on climate, and the rise in scrap steel recycling, mean banks are running out of excuses to finance “methane super-emitters”. Energy finance analysts Simon Nicholas and Soroush Basirat on the findings of a special investigation into recycling.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Squirrel privilege is real: Intergenerational wealth drives animal inequality, study says

          “In North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), a mother may store spruce cones on her territory and privilege her daughter by bequeathing a rich territory to her; daughters who receive these resources survive longer and reproduce earlier than those without,” the researchers wrote.

          They note that this squirrel privilege can perpetuate for many generations, and perpetuate what humans might call class divisions among animals.

          “Intergenerational transfer of material wealth can drive inequality within family lineages of animals,” the researchers wrote.

      • Overpopulation

        • More Than 130 Groups Call on CFTC to Shut Down ‘Dystopian’ Water Futures Market

          Warning Wall Street against commodifying what has been treated since ancient history as “a common right for everyone,” more than 130 civil society groups on Monday demanded that federal regulators shut down the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s water futures market.

          Food & Water Watch organized the petition, which was sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a year after the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) opened the world’s first market for water futures contracts, based on water rights in drought-plagued California.

        • Water Scarcity Fuels Violence and Mass Displacement in Cameroon

          “While over 85,000 people have fled to Chad in recent days, at least 15,000 Cameroonians left their homes but remain within their country,” UNCHR Spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh said, adding that the figures could be much higher given that humanitarian organizations cannot easy access to the area. So far, the violent clashes have caused at least 44 deaths and more than 100 injured.

        • [Old] Opinion: Overpopulation, not climate change, caused California’s water crisis

          California has grown from 10 million to at least 40 million since 1950, making it necessary to move water over long distances to where people live and work. Close to two thirds of the state’s population is bunched in a few water-dependent coastal counties.

        • [Old] The Effects of Overpopulation on Water Resources and Water Security

          As the global population is expected to keep growing in the coming decades, the negative impact that humans will have on earths finite resources, especially water, will become increasingly apparent as areas of the world will start to experience drastic shortages of water, leading to instability in food production, industry, social order, and political and military control. In order to limit the amount of chaos and conflict that will ensue over limited water resources, there needs to be compromise and cooperation between all countries, not just the nations that are water stressed, to provide water management techniques, newer and more efficient technology to conserve as much water as possible, and strict security and enforcement of all regulations to prevent groups and individuals using water to gain power.

    • Finance

      • Record-High 81 Jurisdictions Set to Raise Minimum Wages in 2022: Report

        Efforts to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour may have stalled, but a report out Monday shows that a record number of states, cities, and counties are set to boost their minimum wages in 2022—an indication that grassroots organizing for a higher pay floor is continuing to bring results across the United States.

        “Twenty states have refused to raise their wage floors above the federal rate for over a decade.”

      • Inflation Comes From Printing Money For The Rich

        In general people of all political spectrums are far to the left of most politicians in both parties. Alienation from the Democratic Party comes not from supposed neoliberalism or wokeism, the two most common tropes by the reactionary right. Rather the alienation from the Democrats comes from their commitment to the state as a means to consolidate corporate power. Many conflate this with communism, and in the context of communism being understood as state capitalism historically, people aren’t wrong.

        So how does a party like the Republican Party, who is so cruel towards the working class, even stay afloat? How has their extremism not collapsed on itself? If the Republicans governed on their own the country would have no function at all. Both parties know this and both use it to keep power.

      • Opinion | A Consumer-Free Christmas

        Confession time: this year, I don’t want to buy my kids anything for Christmas. Big one, right? Okay, let me soften that just a bit. I have bought a few modest, useful things. But that’s it!  No new games, no new toys, no new clothes (other than socks)… nothing. They already have too much. We have too much. Our nation is drowning in stuff and, in reality, need almost none of it.

      • Warning of ‘Humanitarian Collapse,’ Dozens of House Dems Urge Biden to Unfreeze Afghan Funds

        Warning that the U.S. freeze on Afghanistan’s central bank reserves and sanctions risk deadly “economic pain and humanitarian collapse,” 46 House Democrats on Monday implored President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to “urgently” lift financial restrictions on the Taliban-ruled nation.

        “United Nations officials are warning that millions of Afghans could run out of food before winter, with one million children at risk of starvation.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Lessons from the Presidency in the Philippines

        Most notably, legendary boxer and Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao has recently filed his candidacy to run as the next president. Other candidates include Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (son of the infamous dictator), police chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, and Mayor of Manilla Francisco “Isko” Moreno.

        There is even speculation that Duterte’s daughter Sara will run as president while Rodrigo will run as her vice, despite Duterte declaring he will retire from politics. The race for presidency in the country is already producing high levels of tension and anxiety as the elected candidate could bring the country to new heights or repeat its dark and corrupt history.

      • NY AG Letitia James ‘Undeterred’ in Trump Probe After Former President Sues

        New York Attorney General Letitia James hit back at Donald Trump Monday after he sued her amid a tightening probe of his allegedly fraudulent business practices, with the Empire State’s top prosecutor reminding the twice-impeached ex-president that he is not in charge of the investigation—and that “no one is above the law.”

        “Neither Mr. Trump nor the Trump Organization get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions.”

      • ‘We Will Bury Neoliberalism’: Global Celebration Follows Leftist Victory in Chile

        Socialist Gabriel Boric’s victory in Chile’s high-stakes presidential election Sunday was hailed by progressives worldwide as an inspiring example of how a democratic groundswell can overcome deeply entrenched forces of reaction and chart a path toward a more just, equal, and sustainable future.

        “If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave.”

      • Progressives Demand Floor Vote to Spotlight Manchin’s ‘Contempt’ for His Constituents

        In a letter sent to colleagues Monday morning, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that “the Senate will, in fact, consider the Build Back Better Act, very early in the new year, so that every member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television.”

      • “Unacceptable”: Rep. Jamaal Bowman Slams Manchin After Senator Says No to Build Back Better Plan

        President Biden’s signature $1.75 trillion Build Back Better package appears to be dead after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced on Fox News this Sunday he would not support the plan to expand the social safety net and combat the climate crisis. Without Manchin, Senate Democrats do not have enough votes to pass the landmark legislation, which has already been approved by the House. We speak with Congressmember Jamaal Bowman, who is one of six progressive Democrats in the House who correctly predicted that his party’s decision to vote on the infrastructure bill prior to the Build Back Better package — as opposed to voting on them together — would risk throwing the $1.75 trillion package into jeopardy. “Special interests have been heavily involved in the negotiation process for Build Back Better throughout this entire year,” says Bowman. President Biden “all but promised that he would be able to deliver Manchin,” continues Bowman, “and as we can see, that has not happened.”

      • There Must be a Vote on Build Back Better

        I also find it amusing that Sen. Manchin indicates his worry about the deficit after voting just this week for a military budget of $778 billion, four times greater than Build Back Better over ten years and $25 billion more than the president requested.

      • As World Burns, Climate Campaigners Denounce Manchin as ‘Fossil-Fueled Sociopath’

        In the wake of Sen. Joe Manchin’s repudiation of the Build Back Better climate and social investment bill, campaigners on Monday implored President Joe Biden to take executive action to meaningfully address the planetary emergency.

        “At the end of the day, Manchin cares less about his constituents than he does about the fossil fuel industry.”

      • Sanders and the Squad Knew Manchin Couldn’t Be Trusted

        President Joe Biden and Senate Democratic leaders were shocked when West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin screwed his fellow Democrats over on Sunday, with an announcement that, after months of tortured, behind-closed-doors negotiations, he would vote against Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. White House press secretary Jen Psaki ripped into Manchin, scorching the West Virginian for making a “sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position” and accusing the senator of a “breach of his commitments.”

      • Why Spending $2 Trillion on Child Care, Health Care and Fighting Climate Change Won’t Make Inflation Any Worse Than it Already is

        The Senate is currently considering a roughly US$2 trillion bill passed by the House that would spend money on health care, education, fighting climate change and much else over the next decade. But Republicans and a handful of Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia argue the risk that more spending could push inflation even higher is too great.

        As an economist, I believe these concerns are likely overblown. Here’s why.

      • AOC Warned About Manchin’s Betrayal. Democratic Leaders Chose to Ridicule Her.
      • Manchin Says He Opposes Sick Leave Because People Will Use It for Hunting Trips
      • Displaying ‘Inhuman Disdain’ for Working Families, Manchin Said Child Tax Credit Would Be Used for Drugs

        As 36 million families across the U.S. appeared unlikely to receive any further child tax credit payments after the New Year following Sen. Joe Manchin’s refusal to support the Build Back Better Act, progressives on Monday were outraged over reports that the threat to the payments stems from the right-wing senator’s belief that parents might use the money for drugs or other uses he deems unnecessary.

        According to HuffPost, before Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced Sunday that he “cannot get there” to support the $1.75 trillion investment in social spending and climate policy, the senator privately told colleagues that “he thought parents would waste monthly child tax credit (CTC) payments on drugs instead of providing for their children.”

      • AOC to Democratic Leaders: Time to ‘Take the Kid Gloves Off’ With Manchin

        Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday suggested Sen. Joe Manchin’s explanation for why he’s opposing the Build Back Better Act is baseless as she called for a different “environment of pressure” by Democratic leadership to confront his obstruction.

        “Make him take that vote.”

      • Because Manchin Says He Can’t, Experts Explain How Build Back Better Would Help West Virginians

        Congressional colleagues and outside critics Monday continued to call “bullshit” on Sen. Joe Manchin after the West Virginia Democrat claimed his “no” vote on the Democrats’ signature Build Back Better legislation is because he finds it impossible to explain to the people in his state how it will improve their lives.

        In his statement on Sunday, Manchin said, “I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’ Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation.”

      • Brandon Just Wants to Drive His Racecar

        But the hot slogan of the American right doesn’t turn out to be something you can easily shake off. Now Mr. Brown finds himself facing a threat to his vocation: He’s an athlete on the cusp of breaking out in a sport that relies on corporate sponsors, a group that likes nothing less than the whiff of divisive partisanship.

        “Our whole navigation is, you want to appeal to everybody, because, all in all, everybody is a consumer,” Mr. Brown said after our drive. “I have zero desire to be involved in politics.”

        He had reached out to me, through a spokesman for his team, because he realized that waiting out the storm wasn’t working. But as his name took on a new meaning, his silence on the matter seemed to be a political statement. And for most athletes these days — and many others — politics can be hazardous to your ability to make money.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Buying Influence: How China Manipulates Facebook and Twitter

        Now, a new set of documents reviewed by The New York Times reveals in stark detail how Chinese officials tap private businesses to generate content on demand, draw followers, track critics and provide other services for information campaigns. That operation increasingly plays out on international platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which the Chinese government blocks at home.

        The documents, which were part of a request for bids from contractors, offer a rare glimpse into how China’s vast bureaucracy works to spread propaganda and to sculpt opinion on global social media. They were taken offline after The Times contacted the Chinese government about them.

      • Children barred from Christmas market and Santa arrested? Nope, these viral stories are fake

        Since early December, social media users have been sharing a photo and video that they claim show restrictive Covid safety measures taking the fun out of Christmas celebrations in Europe. But the photo and video were taken out of context to produce fake news.

      • Data: How TikTok Dominated 2021

        In September, TikTok started testing an integration with Square that allows sellers to send users directly from TikTok videos to their Square Online stores. A month prior, TikTok and Shopify announced a partnership that allows users to buy products directly from select profiles for the first time.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Saudi Arabia jails Yemeni man for 15 years for apostasy: Human Rights Watch

        Human Rights Watch said on Monday a Saudi court had sentenced a Yemeni man to 15 years for apostasy, urging the kingdom to prioritise decriminalising blasphemy amid a modernisation drive.

        The rights group said that Ali Abu Luhum, 38, had been accused of making comments “via two anonymous Twitter accounts”, which prosecutors argued were registered with phone numbers linked to him.

      • Egypt sentences activist Alaa Abdel Fatah to 5 years in prison

        The activist, who had been previously imprisoned for five years, was a major figure in the 2011 revolution, which led to the ouster of long-time former President Hosni Mubarak who had held power for three decades.

      • United Arab Emirates Moves Needle Forward Against Film Censorship With New Rating Category

        The United Arab Emirates has announced the addition of a new over-21 age classification to its motion picture rating system that could become a milestone in moving the needle against censorship across West Asia.

        The new rating will allow uncut versions of international movies to be shown in UAE cinemas, though details remain vague.

      • UAE halts censorship of ‘adult content’ in cinemas

        “According to this classification, the movies will be screened in cinemas according to their international version, and the classification is given based on the standards of media content in the country.”

      • Online content moderation: Can AI help clean up social media?

        Two days after it was sued by Rohingya refugees from Myanmar over allegations that it did not take action against hate speech, social media company Meta, formerly known as Facebook, announced a new artificial intelligence system to tackle harmful content.

        Machine learning tools have increasingly become the go-to solution for tech firms to police their platforms, but questions have been raised about their accuracy and their potential threat to freedom of speech.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Using Assange to Send a Three-Part Message

        The first message is to people within the national-security establishment who might be tempted, out of a crisis of conscience, to reveal dark-side activities of the national-security establishment. By doing everything they could to destroy Assange’s life and even maybe bring about his death, the national-security establishment sends a powerful message to would-be leakers: “This is what will happen to you if you disclose our dark-side secrets to the American people. We will hunt you down, we will persecute you, we will prosecute you, we will destroy you, and we might even kill you.”

        How many people within the national-security establishment are willing to undergo that price for revealing dark-side secrets of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA? I’d venture to say not very many at all.

      • The Prosecution of Julian Assange Absolutely Threatens Freedom of the Press

        That understanding is supposed to infuse the public discourse about press freedom in the United States. But it only rarely does. Too frequently, prominent political and media voices go silent—or, at least, soft—when real fights over the First Amendment are being fought. It’s particularly concerning that there isn’t a louder outcry now, from across the political spectrum, regarding the prosecution of Assange. One notable exception is US Representative Ro Khanna, the California Democrat who has worked with US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to address at least some of the abuses associated with the Espionage Act.

      • What the Pandora Papers Mean in Fight Against Corruption

        Reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed how the files exposed the hidden offshore finances of 35 current and former world leaders, including Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. The Azeri leader has denied any wrongdoing, telling the Italian newspaper la Repubblica that only “five percent of (the reporting) could be true, the rest is a lie.”

        Since the release of the Pandora Papers, investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been reporting on findings related to Azerbaijan.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | CBP Does Little to Stop Mistreatment of Pregnant People in Custody
      • Indian Christians fear attacks or jail over conversions

        This isn’t an isolated incident – a report by the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) listed 39 cases of threats or violence against Christians from January to November this year in Karnataka.

        These include alleged attacks on pastors by members of right-wing Hindu groups, and even instances where they reportedly physically prevented them from holding religious services. Christians are a tiny minority in overwhelmingly Hindu India.

      • Addressing loopholes in digital and data rights in Africa: This is what it will take

        This year has seen several African governments clamping down on their citizens’ data and digital rights. Many have used the Covid-19 pandemic and election misinformation as reasons to infringe on these liberties, which global institutions such as the UN define as human rights.

        With the number of Africans connected to digital technologies growing exponentially, and an internet penetration rate of around 43% across Africa, governments, state institutions and private companies are increasingly collecting, processing and sharing data about our online activity.

        And while this practice itself is not nefarious, as it can help improve service delivery, across the continent, online rights are increasingly being curbed.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Open RAN Technology Could Play Key Role in Narrowing Digital Divide

        “We are very much looking at open RAN as another tool in that Swiss army knife of connectivity solutions.”

        The utility of open RAN is significant, McRae said, in both low-density and urban regions alike. “We are looking at things like neutral hubs, where can we build a solution that allows multiple operators to connect in rural locations,” he said.

      • What victories for digital rights happened this year? Test your knowledge with this quiz

        In 2021, activists across the world won major digital rights victories — defending free expression, privacy, and other rights we must protect online. When governments, companies, and others infringe these rights, it affects marginalized communities the most, and inequalities are replicated in digital spaces. So while 2021 was a year of hardship — from the continuation of the pandemic to internet shutdowns that left many in the dark — we can be proud of what we achieved together.

    • Monopolies

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. [Meme] EPO.org as a Portal of Lies (and Lobbyists)

    EPO.org used to be a Web site of Europe's largest patent office, but the site has been hijacked by patent litigation lobbyists -- a disturbing development

  2. Links 04/07/2022: StarFighter With GNU/Linux Preloaded, Ubuntu Touch on JingPad A1

    Links for the day

  3. Gemini is Becoming Increasingly Interconnected and Adopts More Modern Encryption Protocols

    Gemini is no longer a set of isolated "islands"; there is a growing sense of community with interactions across capsules (like in the days of blogs with trackbacks and pingbacks)

  4. [Meme] Windows Spotted in a Classroom in Turkey

    Windows market share in Turkey is down to 9.8% this month; it’ll become a rare sight if these trends carry on

  5. Microsoft Windows is Now Down to Single-Digit 'Market Share' in Turkey Owing to the Nation's Independence/Digital Autonomy Objectives

    Windows is at 9.8% of "the market" this month in Turkey, based on a Web survey (3 million sites); we might be seeing the gradual end of Windows as a financially viable product line

  6. Links 04/07/2022: China's Journey to GNU/Linux Continues, openSUSE.Asia Summit 2022 Planned

    Links for the day

  7. Links 04/07/2022: LibreOffice Impress Improvements and History of Rocky Linux

    Links for the day

  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 03, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 03, 2022

  9. Links 04/07/2022: EasyOS 4.2.3 and Murena One Phone With /e/OS 1.0

    Links for the day

  10. Links 03/07/2022: Porteus 5.0 and elementaryOS Report

    Links for the day

  11. Links 03/07/2022: China 'Rallies Support for Kylin Linux' and SparkyLinux 4 EOL

    Links for the day

  12. Global Dynamics of the Demise of Microsoft Windows (Now Down to 27%)

    The situation of Windows' "share" (however subjective any measure would be) is grim; despite a "new" release of Windows, as recently as several months ago, "market share" decreases fast

  13. Francisca Pacheco López on Richard Stallman

    A letter from Madrid, posted a few days ago

  14. The World Wide Web is Not Growing, Gemini Does

    The Web, which is over 30 years old, peaked quite a few years ago; it's increasingly just a conduit of traffic unrelated to actual pages (articles, blogs) and just a vehicle for "apps", which are in turn centralised or closely guarded by few companies and very few governments (public communication is not their goal, manipulation and social control are the principal objectives)

  15. Links 03/07/2022: GNU/Linux Steam Surge, GitHub Breaks the Law

    Links for the day

  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 02, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 02, 2022

  17. Flooz on a Blockchain

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission

  18. Links 02/07/2022: Debian 9 (Stretch) EOL, FocusWriter 1.8.1, and Darktable 4.0

    Links for the day

  19. After Freenode's Demise It's OFTC That's Gaining in IRC, Not Libera.Chat

    IRC 12 months after the dust 'settled'

  20. Finland Turns 18

    This summer in Finland there seem to be changes

  21. Copyleft is Still Better and More Suitable for Business

    Copyleft does not mean one cannot make money; it just means proprietary software companies such as Microsoft stand to lose their dying empires, only to be replaced by new businesses that market and support GPL-licensed systems

  22. With New Data Just in (a Couple of Hours Ago), It Seems Clear Microsoft Windows Continues to Lose Market Share in July

    As shown above, Windows continues its demise; there’s also rapid erosion of Windows "market share" in Russia this year (“Russians [are] switching to Linux”) and sooner or later Windows will be just a quarter of the market (maybe by year’s end). Windows is at 10% in Turkey (down by a huge amount this year) and in Russia it’s down by about 5% since the war. In India GNU/Linux (“proper”, not ChromeOS) is up to nearly 5% of desktops/laptops.

  23. Links 02/07/2022: PSPP 1.6.2 Released, Linux Mint Rejects Parts of Systemd, Lots of Politics

    Links for the day

  24. Walking Like the Talking, Acting Like One's Preaching

    It has now been about 2 years since lock-downs in the world's Western nations were first loosened or lifted; we've thankfully taken advantage of all that commotion (persistent flux; we've not solved the underlying issues) to expand beyond and Web and become self-hosted wherever possible

  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 01, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, July 01, 2022

  26. EPO Steering Off the Road, Just Like the Drunken Son of António Campinos, Who Crashed the Car and Begged for Impunity

    With the EPO rapidly turning into a corrupt dynasty of rogue politicians, lawyers and bankers (not scientists) we must turn to constitutions and treaties that they knowingly violate with impunity

  27. Koch Operatives Working to Shape Patent Law in Favour of Monopolies and Oligarchs

    Patent systems are being hijacked by monopolists and plutocrats for their financial gain and protectionism; it's a longstanding issue because it begets constitutional violations (glossed over by bought or installed "Justices", which is another creeping threat, especially in light of recent developments in the US Supreme Court and patently, manifestly illegal actions by Team UPC)

  28. At the EPO, “Online” Means Microsoft Windows Only (“Unitary Patent” Also Limited to Microsoft Customers!)

    The EPO's "special" (corrupt) relationship with Microsoft is a major liability for Europe; does one need to adopt back doors and US surveillance to interact with the EPO?

  29. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XXII — 'Mr. GitHub Copilot' Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley Pleads Guilty After Assaulting Women

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley from Microsoft GitHub (the man behind the GPL violation machine called “Copilot”) has “pled guilty to get deferred sentence”

  30. Links 01/07/2022: Russians Switching to GNU/Linux, New WINE Release

    Links for the day

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