01.12.22

Links 12/1/2022: IPython 8.0, Iranian Attacks on Microsoft Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 6:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 6 Key Differences Between macOS and Linux – LinuxBuz

        The most popular operating system for computers is Windows. According to StatCounter, Windows has more than 30 percent of the global market share. macOS and Linux are behind, but it does not mean that the two are inferior to MS Windows.

        If anything, these two operating systems offer a plethora of neat features and fit profiles of certain individuals and businesses. Ultimately, a lot comes down to one’s needs.

        At the same time, someone might be looking to try a different OS, and switching from Windows to Linux or macOS could be just the thing.

        Knowing the key differences between the two will make you decide easier, and you can find these differences below.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Fast Kernel Headers Improves Compile Times By 50% – Invidious

        There are some absolutely crazy people working on the Linux kernel and Ingo Molnar is one of them and he is working on a project that he dubs fast kernel headers which improves kernel build times by over 50%

      • Useless Use Of Cat Isn’t Useless – Invidious

        Every time I make a video where I’m doing stuff at the command line, inevitably I get the troll comment about the “useless use of cat” (UUOC). What’s weird (and mildy annoying) about the folks crying “UUOC” is that my useless use of cat is not useless. I have my reasons!

      • FLOSS Weekly 663: UNIX as a Second Language – Sandra Henry-Stocker

        Sandra Henry-Stocker, @bugfarm on Twitter, whose column for Network World is Unix as a Second Language, joins Doc Searls and Dan Lynch from her home in the mountains of Western Virginia to share wisdom gathered from more than 30 years administering and writing about Unix and Linux systems. The topics range widely to adjacent subjects, including astronomy, containers and lesser operating systems.

      • Fakers and Takers | Coder Radio 448

        Was he justified? Our thoughts on the dev who corrupted libraries in NPM for millions of users with his political statement about free software.

        Plus how Google blew a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to control mobile messaging.

      • Cutefish Desktop Environment | A Brand New Linux Desktop With Stunning Looks & Modern Design! (2022) – Invidious

        Cutefish is an upcoming desktop environment that’s going to be radically different from anything you’ve experienced till now. Stunning looks, modern design, and intuitiveness that’s basically instinct, drive the development of this new and premium interface. I’ve installed the beta version of Cutefish and the way it feels to use this interface has left me very impressed. The idea behind this project is to provide a high-quality interface for Linux newcomers, that is easy to navigate, equipped with all the tools needed for everyday usage but leaves out the complex things which might overwhelm the users.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17 Adds Support For “The First Usable, Low-Cost RISC-V Platform”

        In addition to the prompt support for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, another exciting milestone for the in-development Linux 5.17 kernel is introducing mainline support for the StarFive JH7100, which has been trying to make its debut as the first usable and low-cost RISC-V platform.

        The StarFive JH7100 SoC is powered by SiFive’s U74 dual-core 64-bit RISC-V processor running at 1.5GHz while having 4K display support but no integrated 3D GPU at this point. The StarFive JH7100 was announced last year as a low-cost RISC-V SoC. The performance out of the SiFive U74 cores is reported to be in similar ball park to Arm Cortex-A55 cores.

    • Applications

      • Watch Command in Linux [with Examples]

        The watch command in Linux is used to run other commands on a regular interval, and then it displays the output in the terminal. Here’s how to use it!

        Sometimes, while working on the Linux command line, you might want to execute a command repeatedly so as to track any change in output. Luckily, there is a command-line utility that lets you do this.

        With the Linux watch command, you can track the changes in the output from time to time. It is beneficial for reflecting the real-time view of events that are happening on an operating system.

        The watch command comes installed, by default, on nearly all Linux distributions. It is useful when you need to monitor changes in a command output over time. So instead of reading the whole output, you can keep an eye on the changes.

      • Say Hello to Warble, a ‘Wordle’ Clone for elementary OS – OMG! Ubuntu!

        It was inevitable that the popularity of viral word guessing game Wordle would inspire clones, and thus only a matter of time before one of them popped up on Linux.

        And lo, it has.

        elementary OS gets to call first-dibs with Warble. Built by Andrew Vojak, Warble is described as a “native Linux word-guessing game built in Vala and Gtk for elementary OS.”

        The aim? Just like Wordle (and the 80s gameshow Lingo) you need to figure out what a mystery five letter word is in as few guesses as possible. You smush in a (valid) word and see if it matches. Letters you get in the correct place are green (so you know they go there again), while letters that are the word but not in the right location are yellow.

      • 5 Best Open-Source Writing Software for Linux – Linux notes from DarkDuck

        Linux is fundamentally an open-source Operating System. Using open-source software on Linux is as peaceful as the Himalayas. Here we’ve discussed 5 such software that could be the best friend of a writer if done right.

      • Tellico: Free Open-source Collection Manager

        If you collect anything, then you need to keep records to organize and track your collections.

        Let’s say you collect books, movies, stamps, or even coins, as your collection keeps growing, it will become difficult to organize.

        Here comes Tellico, an outstanding collection manager app that helps you catalog everything and update all records when required.

      • Projectpad: The tool that every developer should have

        Projectpad is constructed with Rust programming language for Linux and Unix systems, which can be installed either by building from source or using the Flatpak package from Flathub.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Top 10 Ansible tutorials of 2021 | Enable Sysadmin

        When I started my career in IT over 25 years ago, automation wasn’t a popular concept. However, sysadmins would still automate parts of their jobs to increase their efficiency and effectiveness in managing their IT environments. At the time, writing scripts was the common way to address repetitive tasks, allowing admins to focus on other issues.

        While scripts can get you a long way, Ansible is a versatile solution that makes automation even easier and more robust. Ansible abstracts the boring part of writing scripts away so that you can focus on your business needs instead of writing code to handle exceptions and special cases.

        Looking at the top 10 Ansible articles from 2021, I see a common theme. Most of these articles are introductory, which means that IT professionals in general, and sysadmins in particular, are looking to learn Ansible and start automating their environment.

        If this describes you, or if you’ve already started automating and are looking to improve your skills, this list contains some valuable information. Make sure to take a look at it.

      • Installing the latest syslog-ng on Ubuntu and other DEB distributions – Blog – syslog-ng Community – syslog-ng Community

        As a follow-up to my RPM blog, here are instructions installing syslog-ng Open Source Edition (syslog-ng OSE) on the Debian / Ubuntu version. If you read my previous blog, skip to the installation part at the end, otherwise: read on.

        The syslog-ng application is part of all major Linux distributions, and you can usually install syslog-ng from the official repositories. If you use just the core functionality of syslog-ng, use the package in your distribution repository (apt-get install syslog-ng), and you can stop reading here. However, if you want to use the features of newer syslog-ng versions (for example, send log messages to Elasticsearch or Apache Kafka), you have to either compile the syslog-ng from source, or install it from unofficial repositories. This post explains you how to do that.

      • Adjusting NordVPN Settings on Linux

        NordVPN is one of the most common VPN providers in the world. They have a Linux version which works on both RPM-based and Debian-based distributions.

        Sadly, they do not provide a GUI client for Linux, only a command line interface. That’s why it could be tricky to adjust NordVPN settings on Linux.

      • Remove metadata from pdf file (e.g. creation date)
      • Change dates/timestamps of all files in the current folder
      • Looking for Something? How to grep Multiple Strings in Linux

        The Linux terminal is full of useful commands, but few are as powerful as the seemingly simple grep. It stands for Global Regular Expression Print, printing the results of user-defined system searches for collections of characters.

        grep is extremely powerful but can be quite intimidating to use, so today, you’ll learn some basics. If you are looking for some information within the documents on your machine, usually, you’ll be looking for several words at once.

        This article focuses on how to search multiple strings using grep and will show you a few similar tips and tricks for using grep in general.

      • How to install Vivaldi Browser on AlmaLinux | Rocky Linux 8 – Linux Shout

        Learn the commands to install the Vivaldi browser on RHEL based AlmaLinux 8 or Rocky Linux 8 using the command terminal.

        Vivaldi is an interesting alternative to Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and other popular browsers. And like most of the other web browsers, this one is also available for Linux. The USP of Vivaldi is it offers a refreshing experience instead of the same monotonous approach. Instead of trying to please all users, the Norwegian company Vivaldi Technologies focuses on users for whom there are never enough functions. The idea for such a browser alternative came from Opera users who were dissatisfied with the radical slimming of “their” browser. The browser is now available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android app. Vivaldi’s in-built Mail client, a calendar, nice tab management, and a feed reader are some interesting features.

      • How to install Second Life on a Chromebook in 2022

        Today we are looking at how to install Firestorm Second Life 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.

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • How to Connect to a Debian 10/11 Server via Remote Desktop Connection using xRDP – ByteXD

        xRDP is a free and open-source implementation of Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), that started in 2004.

        With RDP you can connect to a another computer over a network and control it through its graphical user interface, and use it almost as if you were sitting right in front of it. You also control the remote machine from operating systems that support RDP, which includes Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.

        xRDP allows non-Microsoft operating systems such as Linux and BSD to provide a fully-functional RDP-compliant remote desktop environment.

        The xRDP server is full-screen and doesn’t require any special client-side software to be installed. xRDP allows RDP clients to present an X Windows desktop to the user. It works by bridging graphics from an X Windows system (Unix-like OS) to the client (the one receiving commands) and relaying controls back from the client to X.

      • How to install Google Chrome on Elementary OS 6.0 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Google Chrome on Elementary OS 6.0.

      • How to Install and Configure Memcached on OpenSUSE Leap 15.3

        In this guide we will learn how to install and configure Memcached in ROpenSUSE Leap 15.3.

        Memcached is an open source, distributed memory object caching system. The system caches data and objects in memory to minimize the frequency with which an external database or API must be accessed. This alleviates database load and speeds up dynamic Web applications. It offers a mature, scalable, open-source solution for delivering sub-millisecond response times making it useful as a cache or session store. Memcached is a popular choice for powering real-time applications in Web, Mobile Apps, Gaming, Ad-Tech, and E-Commerce.

        Unlike databases that store data on disk or SSDs, Memcached keeps its data in memory. By eliminating the need to access disks, in-memory key-value stores such as Memcached avoid seek time delays and can access data in microseconds. Memcached is also distributed, meaning that it is easy to scale out by adding new nodes. And since Memcached is multithreaded, you can easily scale up compute capacity. As a result of its speed and scalability as well as its simple design, efficient memory management, and API support for most popular languages Memcached is a popular choice for high-performance, large-scale caching use cases.

      • How to install and configure Squid Proxy on OpenSUSE Leap 11 – Citizix

        In this guide we will learn how to install and configure Squid Proxy server on a OpenSUSE Leap server.

        Squid is a caching proxy for the Web supporting HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and more. It reduces bandwidth and improves response times by caching and reusing frequently-requested web pages. Squid has extensive access controls and makes a great server accelerator. It runs on most available operating systems.

        Squids reverse proxy is a service that sits between the Internet and the webserver (usually within a private network) that redirects inbound client requests to a server where data is stored for easier retrieval. If the caching server (proxy) does not have the cached data, it then forwards the request on to the web server where the data is actually stored. This type of caching allows for the collection of data and reproducing the original data values stored in a different location to provide for easier access.

      • How to install and Configure Mariadb 10 in FreeBSD 13

        In this guide we will learn how to install and configure MariaDB 10 in FreeBSD 13.

        MariaDB is an open-source one of the most popular relational database management system (RDBMS) that is a highly compatible drop-in replacement of MySQL. It is built upon the values of performance, stability, and openness, and MariaDB Foundation ensures contributions will be accepted on technical merit.

        MariaDB was developed as a software fork of MySQL in 2009 in response to Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL. MariaDB intends to remain free and open-source software under the GNU General Public License. It is part of most cloud offerings and the default in most Linux distributions.

      • How To Install Linux Kernel 5.16 In Rocky Linux 8 / Fedora 35 | Tips On UNIX

        Linus Torvalds announced the Linux Kernel 5.16 after a few weeks of development and it is available for general usage. Linux Kernel 5.16 released with new features, security and support.

        It contains the new system feaures are futex_waitv() which improves the Gaming performance in Native Linux , for the compete changelog refer the link

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install Linux kernel 5.16 in Rocky Linux 8 , AlmaLinux 8 and Fedora 35

        This tutorial is for educational purpose, please do not install the kernel in PRODUCTION Server.

      • How to use Wireshark for capturing and analyzing network packets

        Wireshark (formerly Ethereal) is a FOSS (free and open-source software) for network protocol analyzer. One can use it to troubleshoot network issues, analyze communication protocols like TCP, DNS, HTTP etc.

      • How to install UbuntuDDE Remix 21.10
      • How to Use the find Command in Linux

        The Linux find command is great at searching for files and directories. But you can also pass the results of the search to other programs for further processing. We show you how.

      • How to Install Vim in a Docker Container

        You are likely to not find Vim editor installed in your Docker container. Here’s how to get it.

        It’s almost certain that the Linux distribution you are running in a Docker container doesn’t have Vim or any other text editor installed by default.

      • How to Install Drupal on Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        Drupal is an open-source and popular content management tool that is the foundation of many websites across the internet. It comes with a lot of modules that allow the creation of any and every type of website.

        In this post, we are going to explain how to install the Drupal content management tool on Ubuntu OS.
        Note: The steps mentioned here have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

      • How To Install Nload on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nload on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Nload is a command-line-based real-time network traffic and bandwidth usage monitor. It visualizes the in and outgoing traffic using two graphs and provides additional info like the total amount of transferred data and min/max network usage.

        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 Nload monitors network traffic and bandwidth usage on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

    • Games

      • Red Alert Remastered – There goes my free time

        The 1990s saw the emergence of the quintessential Real Time Strategy (RTS) game. Starting with Dune II, and finishing with Age of Empires II, the genre was born, defined, sculpted. Indeed, the RTS titles of the era, Warcraft, Command & Conquer and a few others became the gold standard of the build-research-destroy computerized fun, never eclipsed despite advancement in software, graphics and availability. Needless to say, I’ve played them all.

        The aforementioned gold standard is so high that it seems impossible to beat. In fact, many a game company has simply stopped trying, and instead decided to play the game of nostalgia instead. Release these supreme classics as modern titles, complete with all the tech bits that have changed in the past 20 years. Mostly extra power and high-def graphics. Age of Empires II and its Definitive Edition are a great example of a timeless success. Now, we also have Red Alert Remastered, the oldie goldie in 4K.

      • Godot Engine – Godot Showcase – RPG in a Box developer talks about his experience

        Welcome to a new Godot showcase developer interview to start off the new year! This time, we asked Justin Arnold about his experience developing and releasing his project RPG in a Box. This “engine within an engine” demonstrates that Godot is not only capable for game development, but also for creating applications with complex user interfaces.

        [...]

        Hello! My name is Justin Arnold and I’m a solo developer working on RPG in a Box. I’ve always loved programming since my dad got me interested in learning BASIC on our C64 as a child. As I got older I developed a strong desire to build an RPG-focused tool that would allow others to easily create their own worlds and adventures. This idea has gone through several iterations over the past two decades and I’m excited to finally be bringing it to fruition through RPG in a Box!

      • Linux-based Standalone VR Headset Boasts PC Specs with a Price to Match, Kickstarter Coming Soon – Road to VR

        SimulaVR, the startup behind its own open-source VR Linux distro, is creating a VR headset that aims to bring the full power of a PC to the standalone format. The powerful little standalone is definitely going to cost a pretty penny though, as it’s set to include a detachable compute unit featuring the guts of an Intel 11th gen NUC, which sports a Core i7 mobile processor.

        It’s been about a month since we first learned about Simula One, a headset that’s squarely targeted at developers and people who want to use Linux natively on a virtual screen for work (re: not gamers or consumers). Now the company has released price and specs ahead of its Kickstarter campaign, which is slated to launch at some point this month.

      • Looks like Monster Hunter Rise runs well on Linux with Proton | GamingOnLinux

        Monster Hunter Rise has just released on Steam today from Capcom and the good news is – it appears to run very nicely out of the box with Steam Play Proton on Linux. That’s another tick in the box for a big AAA title.

        Tested with Proton Experimental, the only issue currently encountered is a small intro video not playing. This is a reoccurring issue and will be for the Steam Deck, for titles that use things like Media Foundation. If such things bother you, it worked just fine with Proton GE which you can easily download with ProtonUp-Qt.

      • Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu gets big graphical improvements, Flatpak fixes | GamingOnLinux

        Yuzu is another incredibly promising open source project, emulating the Nintendo Switch which is not exactly a small job (not that emulation ever is) and it’s improving at a rapid pace.

        Some good news for NVIDIA users came, with some major problems now being solved. Recently NVIDIA dropped support for some older cards, and the driver changes towards it introduced issues for Yuzu. The devs explain “The root of the problem in NVIDIA’s drivers seems to be in negation of integer and floating point values, and bitwise conversions of input values.” – but thankfully all known issues have been worked around. As it turns out, what they ended up doing fixes it for Intel too and was also an optimization so they’re now doing it for all APIs.

      • Blending 2D and 3D together, puzzle-platformer Neko Ghost, Jump! is out | GamingOnLinux

        Neko Ghost, Jump! shows you what you can get when you blend together new and old, with this platformer having both a 2D and 3D mixture of gameplay in each level.

        This is no gimmick either. Levels are designed around needing both 2D and 3D viewpoints, with some areas only being accessible with one viewpoint. Not only that, you also have physical and ghost forms to switch between to solve puzzles and combat enemies too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.24’s Default Wallpaper is Unveiled

          If you’ve been reading this site for a while you may have noticed that I’m rather fond of desktop wallpapers, particularly the ‘default’ ones used by Ubuntu and related distros, and those shipped by desktop environments like GNOME and KDE Plasma.

          I don’t profess that wallpapers are interesting or worthy of as much attention as I give them, but hey: we all have our little quirks.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Additional benefits for PCLinuxOS users.

          It should be noted that users of PCLinuxOS have the following services available:
          – 25GB Cloud storage
          – Email
          – Graphic Image Hosting
          – Chat messenger

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Flatpak 1.12.3 Released with Important Security Fixes, Support for More PulseAudio Configs

          Flatpak 1.12.3 is an important update as it fixes two critical security issues found in Flatpak, such as CVE-2021-4386, a vulnerability that could allow a malicious repository to send invalid application metadata in a way that the app’s permissions are hidden during the installation.

          Also fixed is an issue affecting the flatpak-builder component of Flatpak, which can cause the flatpak-builder –mirror-screenshots-url commands to access files outside the build directory.

        • How Red Hat helps organizations build DevOps capabilities

          The beginning of any new year brings a wealth of new opportunities for growth and change, which is equally valid for organizations across all industries. So, rather than falling into the same old routines, now is the time to focus on integrating and practicing more robust DevOps approaches and updating archaic practices.

          Throughout 2021, Red Hat Services worked closely with customers and partners across many industries and engagements, both in-person and online, to provide consulting and technology solutions. These interactions have helped refine our observations, advancements, and key takeaways for future engagements, technology utilization, and implementation practices. Out of all of these, four stand out as the most significant focus areas that can bring the biggest impact to your organization’s DevOps plan in 2022.

        • Automating Postfix installation and configuration with RHEL System Roles

          Many organizations have a requirement to configure a mail transfer agent (MTA) on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) servers. This is frequently done to enable servers to send out notifications or reports over email. For example, you might configure a script to email out a notification after an event occurs, or you might have a script to email out a monthly report after it is generated.

          RHEL 7, 8 and 9 provide two options for MTAs: Postfix and Sendmail. Sendmail has been deprecated, and this post will be focusing on Postfix.

          It is possible to install and configure Postfix on RHEL systems manually, following the documentation, however this can be time-consuming and prone to error. Red Hat introduced the postfix RHEL System Role to provide an automated solution to install and configure Postfix. The postfix RHEL System Role was introduced in RHEL 7.6 as a technology preview feature. With the release of RHEL 8.5, the postfix RHEL System Role is now fully supported.

      • Debian Family

        • Revisiting 2021

          2021 was quite challenging overall. It started with four weeks of distance learning at school. Luckily at least at school things got back to “some kind of normal” afterwards.

          [...]

          For obvious reasons plenty of concerts I was looking forward didn’t take place. With my parents we at least managed to attend a concert performance of Puccinis Tosca with Jonas Kaufmann at Schloßbergbühne Kasematten/Graz, and with the kids we saw “Robin Hood” in Oper Graz and “Pippi Langstrumpf” at Studiobühne of Oper Graz. The lack of concerts and rehearsals once again and still severely impacts my playing the drums, including at HTU BigBand Graz. :-/

          Grml-wise we managed to publish release 2021.07, codename JauKerl. Debian-wise we got version 11 AKA bullseye released as new stable release in August.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Linux 22.04 will be faster than ever on Raspberry Pi computers

          The Raspberry Pi series of single-board computers might be the most popular Linux-based PCs of all time, thanks to their super-low prices, educational resources, and versatility. The first few models weren’t that great at functioning like desktop computers, due to the low-power processors and limited RAM, but newer iterations (like the Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM) are perfectly capable budget PCs. Ubuntu, one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions, is now preparing some Pi-specific performance tweaks for the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 release.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 Desktop Will be Able to Run on 2GB Raspberry Pi 4

          Ubuntu Desktop is available for Raspberry Pi 4 boards since Ubuntu 20.10 release. However, to get a comfortable experience and use it as a desktop/server, Canonical officially recommends 4/8 GB RAM variants of the board.

          After all, memory requirements by modern distributions are gradually increasing. So, it only makes sense not to expect a desktop setup with a 2 GB RAM Raspberry Pi board.

          But, it looks like Canonical has plans to make that happen with a feature enabled in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, scheduled for release in April 2022.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • LibreOffice Calc Basics I: SUM, COUNT, AVERAGE

        This tutorial explains how you can work with Calc, the spreadsheet program of LibreOffice, by learning its basic formula examples. In this first part, we will learn the most basic ones namely SUM, COUNT and AVERAGE. Let’s start!

      • Open@RIT: Helping Students Embrace the Power of Open Source

        Creative, exciting applications of open source software can be found worldwide, and who better to share the details of new use cases than the practitioners themselves. In this blog series we’ll feature guests who told their open source stories during Practical Open Source Information (POSI) 2021, an online conference hosted by OSI.

        The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) not only offers a minor in free and open source software and free culture, but it also recently created an official Center of Excellence called Open@RIT. It’s dedicated to fostering the collaborative engine for faculty, staff, and students working on open source projects. The goal is to discover and grow the footprint of RIT’s impact on all things open across many disciplines, both within the university and beyond. This includes open source software, open data, open science, open hardware, and open educational resources and creative commons licensed efforts, which collectively they refer to as Open Work.

      • Results from the first new members campaign

        We did it! We’re welcoming 1,354 new members to the Open Source Initiative. The membership drive we launched at the end of 2021 surpassed our expectations. These new members are mostly “free” members and don’t have voting rights to elect the next board members; however, there is time to become a full member by the next election cycle in March.

        [...]

        The majority of traffic to the campaign was through the website, with social media traffic being quite small by comparison. The impact of social media on promotions like this is often overestimated. Social channels are great for engaging with the community, “reinforcing the brand”, and connecting with “influencers”: basically, social media helps make people aware that we exist, but isn’t a particularly effective tool to convince them to take an action. Therefore, we’ll emphasize our website for future promotions, and social media channels will continue to be a part of the promotional mix, but not the primary focus.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 96.0 Released! Significantly Reduced Main-thread Load

            Mozilla Firefox 96.0 was released today. The new release focuses on performance and security improvements.

            Firefox 96.0 significantly reduced the main-thread load, improved noise suppression and automatic gain control for better overall experience.

            It now enforces the Cookie Policy: Same-Site=lax by default which helps defend against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks.

            The release also fixed some issues, including video quality degradation issues on certain sites, issue where WebRTC downgrades screen sharing resolution, and video intermittently drops SSRC. As well, there are various security fixes.

          • Linux Mint Announces Mozilla Partnership

            Linux Mint announced that it will keep Mozilla Firefox as its distribution’s default web browser, but with some major changes. It describes the deal as a “commercial and technical partnership.”

            “Linux Mint signed a new partnership with Mozilla,” the announcement post explains. “It’s a real pleasure for us to join forces with Mozilla and to start this partnership.”

            I’m not fully versed in the politics behind this new partnership, but it goes something like this: Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and is one of the more popular Linux distributions. It has offered Firefox as the default browser for years, but with Ubuntu switching to a new container-based Snap app packaging format that Mint is not a fan of, it needed to find a different distribution method. And it had been packaging Firefox itself using the .deb packaging technology.

            Going forward, Firefox will continue to be distributed through the official Linux Mint repositories, using .deb, but this work will be done by Mozilla. And that means there will be some changes to how the browser is configured. Instead of Mint’s highly customized install, Mint users will now get the Mozilla defaults.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL experiment targets zero-downtime schema migration • The Register

          A Swedish developer has published code that promises to avoid application downtime during PostgreSQL schema migrations.

          Using “views” in the popular open-source database to encapsulate tables and create a versioned interface, Fabian Lindfors, a final year MSc student in computer science at Lund University, has produced a tool that he hopes can automate zero-downtime migrations.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSFE

        • Public Money? Public Code! brochure is now available in Spanish – FSFE

          A large part of our work is possible thanks to the contribution of our volunteers. This was not the exception. Our Public Money? Public Code! brochure is now translated into Spanish, and we hosted an event to share this great news with our community. GNUHealth, Pica Pica HackLab, Lliurex, Linkat, and KDE took part in our event.

          In the framework of our Public Money? Public Code! initiative, we have an exhaustive brochure dedicated to public administrations. It summarises the FSFE’s long-term expertise with additional knowledge from leading experts in various ICT areas. It helps readers understand Free Software and its benefits for a modern digital public infrastructure. Hot topics covered include the avoidance of vendor lock-in, improvement of IT security through openness, exploring different business models, handling of procurement issues, and learning from innovative approaches to smart cities.

          Now, thanks to the work of our volunteers, this brochure is also available in Spanish, which means a broader audience that can read about the benefits of modernising public infrastructure with public code in their own language, and that is a highlight to us.

          To share this good news, we organised an event dedicated to our Spanish speaking community. We had the participation of experts such as Luis Falcón, founder of GNUHealth, Ricardo Muñoz from Lliurex, Alexis Puente Montiel from Pica Pica HackLab, Francesc Busquets in representation of Linkat, and Aleix Pol Gonzalez, president of KDE. Our speakers and panelist also had the chance to discuss the challenges that still lie ahead for Free Software in the public sector with a special focus on Spain.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top Contributors to Qt Project in 2021

          2021 was a successful year for the Qt – we managed to do important releases like Qt 6.2 and Qt Creator 6 on time and with the planned content. That is however not only because of my colleagues at The Qt Company. A lot of community members are also contributing, be it by writing diligent bug reports, contributing patches, giving technical advise, or helping out other users in forums and mailing lists. Thanks to all of you – you are an important part of what makes Qt so great!

        • GCC 12 Shifting To Stage 4 Development – No Sign Of AMD Zen 4 Support – Phoronix

          The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) that serves as the default system compiler on most Linux distributions is nearing its annual update with GCC 12. GCC 12 has been in a general bug fixing period since November while beginning next week will be onto its final phase of focusing just on regression and documentation fixes to the compiler.

          GCC 12 release manager Richard Biener announced that the general bug fixing “stage 3″ period will end on 16 January followed by the stage 4 period of just regression/documentation fixing. At the moment there are about 30 P1 regressions of the highest priority, 307 P2 regressions, and 279 P3 regressions.

        • 9 JavaScript/Node.js One-Liners You Should Know

          As the web and applications become more complex, JavaScript and Node.js are increasingly becoming commonplace requirements in a developer’s repertoire. To improve your code-foo and minimize the headaches you encounter, you can define some functions early in your code that quickly accomplish simple tasks.

        • 10 Best Web Development Frameworks to Use in 2022 [Updated]

          Frameworks have become an essential part of web development, as the standards of web applications are always rising, so does the complexity of the technology needed. It’s completely unreasonable to reinvent the wheel for such sophisticated techniques -assuming that you can reinvent all that. That’s why using frameworks endorsed by thousands of developers around the world is a very sensible approach for building rich and interactive web applications. A web app has a backend (server-side) and a frontend (client-side), so we discuss both best Backend frameworks as well as frontend frameworks.

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • One Day University: How a Learning Company Adapted With the Pandemic

      Say what you will about the last two years, but it’s fascinating how quickly the future caught up with our immediate needs. We had to rebuild entire infrastructures, entire businesses, in the blink of an eye, and some were more successful at riding this unusual economic wave than others. (I repeatedly think how this never would have been possible even 10, 15 years earlier.) We haven’t really stepped back, as a society, and given these success stories their due. So, let’s do that. During the holiday break, I found myself chatting over Zoom with a founder of a company that three years ago was barely even digital in the sense that you might think of it—its approach was structured almost entirely around groups of people being in the same room. And in a matter of literal weeks, his company had to move the whole show onto webcams and chat rooms, and figure out a way to make it work. Somehow, they did—so well, in fact, that the business was acquired last year by a company that has always been digital. And I think the reason they pulled it off says a lot about the way we learn online. Today’s Tedium talks about One Day University, innovating on the fly, and the state of consumer-focused digital education.

    • An Oil Diffusion Vacuum Pump From Thrift Store Junk | Hackaday

      It seems like creating a vacuum should be a pretty easy job, but it turns out that sucking all the air out of something is harder than it seems. A cheap vacuum pump will get you part of the way there, but to really pull a hard vacuum, you need an oil diffusion pump that costs multiple tens of thousands of dollars.

      Or, you need a bunch of thrift store junk, a TIG welder, and a can of WD-40. At least that’s what [Lucas] put into his homebrew oil diffusion pump. The idea of such a contraption is to vaporize oil in a chamber such that the oil droplets entrain any remaining gas molecules toward an exhaust port. His low-budget realization of this principle involved a lot of thrift store stainless steel cookware, welded together with varying degrees of success, with liberal applications of epoxy to seal up any leaks. And an electric smores cooker for the heating element, which was a nice touch. The low-budget approach extended even to the oil for the pump; rather than shelling out for expensive specialty oil, [Lucas] distilled some from a WD-40 silicone spray lubricant.

    • Science

      • Regenerative Medicine: The Promise Of Undoing The Ravages Of Time | Hackaday

        In many ways, the human body is like any other machine in that it requires constant refueling and maintenance to keep functioning. Much of this happens without our intervention beyond us selecting what to eat that day. There are however times when due to an accident, physical illness or aging the automatic repair mechanisms of our body become overwhelmed, fail to do their task correctly, or outright fall short in repairing damage.

        Most of us know that lizards can regrow tails, some starfish regenerate into as many new starfish as the pieces which they were chopped into, and axolotl can regenerate limbs and even parts of their brain. Yet humans too have an amazing regenerating ability, although for us it is mostly contained within the liver, which can regenerate even when three-quarters are removed.

        In the field of regenerative medicine, the goal is to either induce regeneration in damaged tissues, or to replace damaged organs and tissues with externally grown ones, using the patient’s own genetic material. This could offer us a future in which replacement organs are always available at demand, and many types of injuries are no longer permanent, including paralysis.

      • Falling Down The Carbon Rabbit Hole | Hackaday

        Research projects have a funny way of getting blown out of proportion by the non-experts, over-promising the often relatively small success that the dedicated folks doing the science have managed to eke out. Scaling-up cost-effectively is one of the biggest killers for commercializing research, which is why recent developments in creating carbon nanotube transistors have us hopeful.

        Currently, most cutting-edge processes use FETs (Field Effect Transistors). As they’ve gotten smaller, we’ve added fins and other tricks to get around the fact that things get weird when they’re small. The industry is looking to move to GAAFETs (Gate All Around FET) as Intel and Samsung have declared their 3 nm processes (or equivalent) will use the new type of gate. As transistors have shrunk, the “off-state” leakage current has grown. GAAFETs are multi-gate devices, allowing better control of that leakage, among other things.

    • Hardware

      • Even desktops showed up on growth radar in global PC shipment stakes for 2021 [Ed: Faking 'growth' by comparing it to the worst (first) pandemic year]

        “2021 was a watershed year in the history of the PC market, with the PCs place at the center of work, learning and leisure truly cemented,” said Ishan Dutt, senior analyst at Canalys, in a statement.

        According to the figures, Lenovo declined 6.5 per cent in Q4 to 21.7 million units and HP was down 3 per cent to 18.64 million. Canalys didn’t indicate why either shrank but presumably it is related to the scarce supply of parts including integrated circuits and panels. We asked both vendors.

      • Rohde & Schwarz FSIQ Signal Analyzer IF-Filter Module Repair | Hackaday

        Who can’t resist snapping up a piece of really expensive laboratory testing gear for next to nothing when browsing eBay or similar? Maybe it’s giving you mournful eyes when browsing through a yard sale. Often such gear is sold for cheap because it’s defective, but with a bit of attention, can be brought back to life. This is how [Roberto Barrios] ended up with a Rohde & Schwarz FSIQ 7 signal analyzer lounging around his place for a few months until he got it fixed.

      • My Keyboard – January 2022 | Hund

        It’s been exactly four years since I built my last keyboard. It has been a good keyboard that has served me well over the years, but it was time for a long awaited upgrade.

        I have actually been waiting for a long time for some new switches that would be both buttery smooth and affordable. Too much excitement, that day is finally here!

      • The Charachorder Keyboard Is Too Fast For Competition | Hackaday

        We interrupt the flow of Keebin’ with Kristina to bring you this special bulletin. When three different people alert you to a keyboard within 48 hours or so, it calls for more than just a paragraph in the roundup column. So here are several paragraphs, an animated GIF, and some extended commentary about the Charachorder, a new kind of input that came up through Kickstarter in 2021.

        Driving this hype train are some short viral videos that show the founder hitting 500+ WPM on this crazy thing. FYI, that is fast enough to get you banned from typing competitions, including the monkeytype leaderboard. Those apes forbid chorded input altogether, and automatically throw out entries above 300 WPM. It acheives these insane speeds through clever mechanical design and, of course, firmware.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • CNMF Identifies and Discloses Malware used by Iranian APT MuddyWater | CISA

          U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) has identified multiple open-source tools used by an Iranian advanced persistent threat (APT) group known as MuddyWater. According to CNMF, “MuddyWater has been seen using a variety of techniques to maintain access to victim networks. These include side-loading DLLs in order to trick legitimate programs into running malware and obfuscating PowerShell scripts to hide command and control functions.” U.S. Cyber Command has released malware samples attributed to MuddyWater to the malware aggregation tool and repository, VirusTotal.

        • Norfolk County Council suffers delay to Oracle ERP project • The Register

          Norfolk County Council will have to wait a bit longer for that a-ha moment when it finally turns on its new £18m cloud-based Oracle ERP system as the go-live date is delayed until April.

          Expected to accrue between £20m and £31m in savings over 10 years, the project joins a list of local authorities with late-running enterprise application projects including Surrey County Council and West Sussex.

          In May 2020, Norfolk council published deals including £13.5m for Big Red’s software and £4.4m for the “service partner” Insight Direct.

          It promised a fully integrated ERP SaaS system including UK local government HR, finance, procurement, payroll and analytics services.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (cfrpki, gdal, and lighttpd), Fedora (perl-CPAN and roundcubemail), Mageia (firefox), openSUSE (jawn, kernel, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel, openssl, and webkitgtk4), Red Hat (cpio, idm:DL1, kernel, kernel-rt, openssl, virt:av and virt-devel:av, webkit2gtk3, and webkitgtk4), Scientific Linux (openssl and webkitgtk4), SUSE (kernel and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (apache-log4j2, ghostscript, and lxml).

          • New SysJoker Espionage Malware Targeting Windows, macOS, and Linux Users [Ed: One needs to actually install this malware, so it's not the real issue here]

            A C++-based malware, SysJoker is delivered via a dropper file from a remote server that, upon execution, is engineered to gather information about the compromised host, such as MAC address, user name, physical media serial number, and IP address, all of which are encoded and transmitted back to the server.

          • Increasing Number of Bank-Themed Survey Scams | Netcraft News

            Netcraft has seen a large increase in survey scams impersonating well-known banks as a lure. These are often run under the guise of a prize in celebration of the bank’s anniversary, though in some cases a reward is promised just for participating.

            These scams first came to Netcraft’s attention around 16 months ago, when businesses that were particularly useful during lockdown such as supermarkets, mobile phone networks, and delivery companies were targeted. The expansion of these attacks to use banks as a lure started in October 2021. To date we have seen over 75 distinct banks used as lures for these survey scams, with a global spread including banks from US, UK, Asia, and the Middle East.

            Survey scams mislead victims into thinking they are being marketed to by a well-known company or brand and will receive a high-value reward or prize by answering a few simple questions. These sites usually pose as either market research for the company or as a quiz contest e.g. “To win all you need to do is answer these questions”.

            After answering these questions, the victim is told they have won, and then redirected to another scam or a third-party affiliate link under the guise of redeeming their prize. For example, they may be asked to pay a small shipping and handling fee in order to claim their prize but are instead unknowingly signed up for an unwanted subscription service with recurring payments. Alternatively, the user may be tricked into giving away personal information or installing malicious software.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Finance

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ANALYSIS-Kazakhstan’s internet shutdown leaves millions in …

        A state-imposed internet shutdown in Kazakhstan entered a sixth day on Monday, leaving millions of people struggling to access basic services and information about anti-government protests that have rocked the country, digital rights groups said.

        Connectivity was restored nationwide for a few hours on Monday, according to Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks, before being cut off soon after in the Central Asian nation following last week’s wave of unrest.

        “Earlier today, some users briefly came online for the first time in five days,” the group said on Twitter.

        The streets of Kazakhstan’s biggest city Almaty returned to near-normal on Monday after the worst violence in three decades of post-Soviet independence, with thousands of people detained and some public buildings torched.

      • Tech newsletter: Broadband ‘nutrition labels’

        Recently, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency would consider moving ahead with a proposal to establish “broadband labels” that would help customers easily see information about internet-service provider’s (ISPs) prices, data allowances, and internet speeds.

        While this is clearly a great way to help everyday consumers sift through the muck of internet plans, it only address part of a larger problem.

        In a recent letter, Rosenworcel said the FCC would discuss the labels at its open meeting on Jan. 27. The idea of creating labels for broadband plans isn’t new.

        President Joe Biden urged the FCC to move forward with the labels in his July executive order regarding competition, and in 2016 the FCC introduced voluntary broadband labels that were modeled after the nutrition labels you see on various food products.

        But when the FCC repealed net neutrality rules, it also nixed transparency requirements that were part of the 2015 Open Internet order.

    • Monopolies

Non-Fungible Membership in OSI

Posted in Deception, OSI at 6:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 9430dd2d8ff58307ec5ccf0684ee15f8
Non-fungible OSI
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The OSI tells us that it got over a thousand members, but that boils down to just people clicking a URL or a button

THIS evening (European time) the OSI published this self-congratulatory post, which is a bit misleading. I’ve reached out to the OSI’s chief since then (a couple of hours ago), but it looks very unlikely to tackle the main issue, which is corporations contributing roughly about or well over 96% of the OSI's budget and half of the money going to Microsoft or a shell of Microsoft, promoting proprietary GitHub. The video above contains some first impressions, but I shall wait for a proper response from the OSI before a more detailed analysis.

Computing Security is Being Redefined as ‘Controlled by NSA’ (and Microsoft)

Posted in Deception, FUD, Microsoft, Security at 5:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum cc6696c7257be46a08bd20b1ef1e58c4
Faking Security Again, Promoting Remote Control
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The ascent of fake security or the concept that outsourcing trust to Pentagon-connected monopolies is the same as “security” [1, 2, 3] is a real problem because the mindset creeps into new legislation, in effect cementing monopolies and centralisation

THE Microsoft-connected shills, partly funded by Bill Gates himself, are having a go at Free software again, slandering or spreading FUD, as noted here. The talking points are based on old myths and stereotypes, so people from Red Hat (IBM) along with SJVN are rushing to respond.

“They’re planning to mandate “secure” boot like browsers do with centralised/monopolised CAs.”But to make matters much worse, it’s part of a broader trend; they refer to Free software as “supply chain” and demonise it even when it’s controlled by Microsoft and the NSA (shipping actual malware to GNU/Linux machines) and seems like fake security is being “mainstreamed” or “normalised”. They want us to think that “self-signed” is inherently bad or dodgy, whereas Microsoft-controlled means safe. As Psydroid put it, in reference to this new article about “secure” boot in electric car chargers, “Microsoft controlling your car’s security looks like a suicide mission to me. I don’t mind them pushing this agenda; what is worse is that the alternatives are getting shoved aside; I mean, you can do whatever you want in your sandbox, but don’t force it on everyone…”

They’re planning to mandate “secure” boot like browsers do with centralised/monopolised CAs. While the article speaks specifically about the UK, “if these policies are broadly imposed even internationally,” Psydroid notes, “we are in for some big problems.”

It’s part of an ongoing trend and it’s also connected to the "smart" car series we recently did.

Here’s what The Register says:

Electric car chargers will have to include secure boot and automatic network disconnection if unsigned software runs on the smart devices – but only from 2023, the British government has said.

New security requirements for smart chargers won’t be enforced until the last day of this year, according to government papers reviewed by The Register.

While those changes are positive, and help protect against a deliberate cyber attack or a drive-by malware infection, the Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021, passed in December, gives industry a whole year before it has to meet the standards.

Schedule 1 of the regulations sets out the cybersecurity requirements new car chargers will have to meet and there’s little to complain about there: secure boot; only running signed firmware; automatic checks for software updates; and a ban on “hard-coded security credentials.”

Notice terms like “Smart Charge Points”; What’s so smart about them? Who does this serve anyway? As noted in the video above, CIA tampering inside vehicles is a real thing, not just hearsay, based on leaks [1, 2] which motivated/urged the CIA to torture and then assassinate Julian Assange. These people don’t care about security; it’s all about domination over people.

Links 12/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha Near, Linux App Summit 2022 Set for Italy

Posted in News Roundup at 1:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Major hotel chain ditches Windows for Chrome OS after ransomware attack | Windows Central

        It’s no secret Windows is a ransomware magnet. According to VirusTotal, 95% of all ransomware attacks go after Microsoft’s operating system. And anyone who follows Windows news has likely seen the numerous reports of ransomware raining on the operating system’s parade wherever it can, including with regards to pedestrian functions such as Windows-based printing.

        As such, it’s little surprise that a business unwilling to tolerate ransomware headaches would make the move to abandon the OS altogether and go with a safer alternative, assuming they don’t have a need for the specific functionalities Windows affords.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17: Quicker Mount Times For XFS, Few New Features For EXT4 – Phoronix

        In addition to the Btrfs updates, the EXT4 and XFS file-system maintainers submitted their feature changes already for the in-development Linux 5.17 kernel.

        The main feature change for XFS with Linux 5.17 is the mount code only trying to free stale CoW staging extents if the file-system unmounted cleanly. In turn this means XFS mount times should be lower, especially for file-systems supporting reflinks and having a large number of allocation groups.

      • CXL Memory Hotplug Support Ready To Plug Into Linux 5.17 – Phoronix

        Over the past two years work has been ramping up a lot on Compute Express Link (CXL) enablement for the Linux kernel and with the in-development Linux 5.17 there is more feature code landing.

        The newest CXL subsystem support in place is CXL 2.0 memory hotplug handling, which is handled somewhat similarly to PCI. The ACPI SRAT Physical Address to Proximity Domain information is also extended for handling possible performance-class and memory-target nodes dynamically created from CXL memory.

      • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Sees Timely Support With The Mainline Linux 5.17 Kernel – Phoronix

        Qualcomm only announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and X65 platforms at the end of November but already they have managed to provide timely mainline support for these latest high-end SoCs. This is great to see compared to the days of slow to materialize mainline support for new Arm SoCs, which still persists among some vendors with either belated mainline support or only focusing on vendor downstream kernels. The big batch of Arm SoC/platform changes have landed for Linux 5.17.

        The big set of Arm platform/SoC changes is all ready for mainline Linux 5.17. New SoCs now supported by the mainline Linux 5.17 kernel include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Snapdragon SDX65, NXP i.MX8ULP, Texas Instruments J721S2, and Renesas R-Car S4-8. Seeing prompt support for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is exciting for that recently-announced SoC manufactured on a 4nm process and over the Snapdragon 888 advertises 20% better CPU performance and 30% more power efficient. Besides the SoCs itself, the reference boards for the new Qualcomm SoCs are also supported with Linux 5.17.

      • Graphics Stack

        • One-Line Patch To Intel’s Vulkan Linux Driver Can Help Modern Games By A Few Percent – Phoronix

          A patch merged into Mesa 22.0 on Tuesday for Intel’s “ANV” open-source Vulkan Linux driver is helping bump up the perforrmance in modern games.

          The one-line patch can help modern games both native and via Steam Play (Proton + DXVK) by a few percent. The change is simply increasing the binding table pool size from 4KB to 64KB.

        • Intel Arc Alchemist GPU gets 20-40% perf boost with Mesa 22.0 Linux OS | TweakTown

          Intel’s new Arc Alchemist DG2 GPUs were meant to launch in Q1 2022 but now that’s a mess and it’s sometime in 2022, but Intel has been helping the Linux community by kick-starting their Xe HP pipeline optimization from the get-go so that Linux users wouldn’t have to wait for compatibility.

          But then rolls in Mesa 22.0 which will have pixel pipeline optimizations, boosts to OpenGL and Vulkan performance in Intel discrete GPUs — offering up to 40% more performance. In something like Unigine Valley, there was a huge 40% performance gain in Mesa 22.0 with Intel DG2-448 hardware. DOTA2 for example, had up to 30% more performance while Xonotic had up to 14% more performance… impressive numbers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Download Linux distributions from a terminal using the OSGET utility

        The conventional method to download ISO is best when you have access to Graphical User Interface (GUI), but what to do when you just have a command-line interface? In this situation, you seek another system and get back with an ISO image, quite awful aha!

      • How to Install Apache Maven on Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8

        Maven is a popular open source build tool for used primarily for Java projects, designed to take much of the hard work out of the build process. Maven can also be used to build and manage projects written in C#, Ruby, Scala, and other languages. Maven uses a declarative approach, where the project structure and contents are described, rather then the task-based approach used in Ant or in traditional make files, for example. The Maven project is hosted by the Apache Software Foundation, where it was formerly part of the Jakarta Project.

        In this guide, we will learn how to install Apache Maven on a Rocky Linux 8 server. This guide will also work for other RHEL 8 based systems like Alma Linux and Oracle Linux 8.

      • How to Install NodeJS and NPM on Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8

        Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, back-end JavaScript runtime environment that runs on the V8 engine and executes JavaScript code outside a web browser. Node. js is primarily used for non-blocking, event-driven servers, due to its single-threaded nature. It’s used for traditional web sites and back-end API services, but was designed with real-time, push-based architectures in mind. Node.js can be used both on the frontend and the backend.

        NPM(Node Package Manager) is the default package manager for Node.js and also the largest repository for open-source Node.js packages.

        In this tutorial we will learn how to install Node.js and npm on Rocky Linux 8 but it also works on other RHEL 8 based distributions.

      • How To Update and Maintain Separate Git Branches – CloudSavvy IT

        One of Git’s core features is the ability to make multiple versions of your project. Often, these are used for short-term forks called “feature branches,” which get merged into master. However, sometimes it is necessary to have truly separate branches, which makes it harder to keep them in sync.

      • How to Install Apache (HTTPD) on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        Apache, also known as Apache HTTP server, has been one of the most widely used web server applications globally for the past few decades. It is a free and open-source web application software maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache provides some powerful features with dynamically loadable modules, easy integration with other software, and handling of static files, among other popular features.

        In the tutorial, you will learn how to install and configure Apache (HTTPD) on Fedora 35 Workstation or Server with a free TLS/SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

      • How to Install Oracle JDK 17 (Java 17 LTS) on Linux Mint 20 – LinuxCapable

        Java is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented multipurpose programming language that is popular due to the design of having lesser implementation dependencies, meaning that the compiled Java code can be run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. Java is also fast, secure, and reliable, therefore. It is widely used for developing Java applications in laptops, data centers, game consoles, scientific supercomputers, cell phones, etc.

        JDK 17 (JDK 17) has brought forward new language enhancements, updates to the libraries, support for new Apple computers, removals and deprecations of legacy features, and work to ensure Java code written today will continue working without change in future JDK versions.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest Oracle Java 17 (JDK 17) on Linux Mint 20.

        For users wishing to install the OpenJDK 17 version, please see the tutorial How to Install OpenJDK 17 on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to use Thunderbolt 3 and 4 on CentOS – ByteXD

        The Thunderbolt hardware interface is a relatively new technology launched in 2011 by Apple and Intel. It’s an external hardware interface to connect your external peripheral devices to your laptop/ Desktop. Thunderbolt 1 and 2 used a Mini DisplayPort (MDP) connector illustrated in the image below. However, only a few laptop models and Macbooks shipped their products with the Thunderbolt 1/ 2 interface by this time. The main reason was that for laptop brands to use the interface on their products, they had to pay high copyright fees to Intel.

      • Set up a build system with CMake and VSCodium | Opensource.com

        This article is part of a series about open source DevOps tools for C/C++ development. If you build up your project from the beginning on a powerful toolchain, you will benefit from a faster and safer development. Aside from that, it will be easier for you to get others involved in your project. In this article, I will prepare a C/C++ build system based on CMake and VSCodium. As usual, the related example code is available on GitHub.

      • How to Change Your User Password In Linux – buildVirtual

        It’s a quick and easy process to change a user password on a system using the Linux Operating System. That is, it’s straight forward if you know the commands, which might not be obvious if your background is with other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows. This article shows how to change your user password on a Linux system.

        As there are many Linux distributions, with different desktop environments with can look and feel differently, this guide focuses on how to change your password from a shell prompt. The steps below will work from a shell session within a desktop session, or when connecting remotely using SSH, and will cover how to change your Linux password or reset your or another user password.

      • How to migrate your Java applications to Red Hat OpenShift | Red Hat Developer

        The article Why you should migrate your Java workloads to OpenShift described the benefits of moving a Java application to Red Hat OpenShift, and the tools that help in this effort. Now we’ll walk through how to actually do the migration.

        For this exercise, we’re going to use the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) getting-started kitchen-sink application, but with some modifications to use MySQL as the database. You can find the source code in the eap-quickstarts GitHub repository.

    • Games

      • ProtonUp-Qt adds support for Lutris Flatpak, new batch update feature | GamingOnLinux

        ProtonUp-Qt is the fantastic and simple way to download and upgrade the Linux compatibility tools Proton-GE, Luxtorpeda, Boxtron or Roberta for Steam and works with both Lutris and Heroic Games Launcher too.

        This allows you to easy get these external tools, and have them added to Steam directly so you can pick them as you preferred compatibility option for running games. Proton-GE can sometimes run games that the official Proton can not, Luxtorpeda gives you access to lots of native Linux game engines (like OpenMW for Morrowind), Boxtron for native DOSBox and Roberta for ScummVM. Add to that the ability to easily add newer Wine to Lutris and Heroic and Linux gaming looks easier than ever.

      • PS2 emulator PCSX2 adds in Vulkan API support | GamingOnLinux

        How about some better performance for emulating the PlayStation 2? That’s what you’re going to get with Vulkan support now hooked up nicely in PCSX2.

        Writing on Twitter the official account said: “A lot of people were asking for a Vulkan renderer and courtesy of Stenzek (Duckstation) it is finally here! It performs better than OpenGL in a lot of cases on similar blending levels so it should make a couple of harder to run games much easier to play! Thanks Sten!”.

      • Spring RTS v106.0 released with OpenGL 4 support | GamingOnLinux

        The first major upgrade to Spring RTS in years is here with version 106.0, which has some major architectural changes to the popular game engine. For those who need something of a refresher: Spring RTS starting off life as TASpring to bring the classic Total Annihilation into 3D. It later expanded into a more generic RTS game engine, that has spawned a big community and multiple different games.

        Seems this release took a while, as there were differing opinions on where to take Spring RTS next. They needed to do something though, as Spring was just falling behind on everything so thankfully one developer decided to tag a new release with all the previous development changes.

      • Slay the Spire testing Steam Input ready for the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        Slay the Spire, one of the games that helped to really push the popularity of deck-builders is back with a fresh Beta build, this time getting ready for the Steam Deck.

        Bringing support for Steam Input, this should hopefully give Slay the Spire better gamepad support overall, not just for the Steam Deck but that’s of course the biggest reason to do it right now. The update also additionally adds Finnish language support, and updates for other localizations. There’s also a removal of “excessive” display config loading and an update for log4j to prevent any future security problems.

      • Looks like Portal 2 is the first Steam Deck Verified title | GamingOnLinux

        As we come closer to the February launch date of the Steam Deck, it appears Valve are now starting to actually go through and tick titles for their Deck Verified program.

        Reports coming in that were noticed thanks to updates on SteamDB, showing that Portal 2 has been through verification. It’s not exactly surprising, since it’s Valve’s own title and Portal 2 has long worked nicely on Linux with their native port. That, and it was recently upgraded to use DXVK-Native, to give it Vulkan support too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • This App Makes Installing GNOME Extensions MUCH Easier

          It’s called ‘Extension Manager‘ and it lets you search for and install GNOME extensions without needing to use a web browser.

          Yeah: no web browser — which is handy on Ubuntu 21.10 (and above) since you can’t install GNOME extensions using the bundled version Firefox as it’s a Snap and thus can’t (currently) talk to the chrome-gnome-shell connector integral to the whole process.

        • GNOME Shell & Mutter Prepare For GNOME 42 Alpha With Exciting Improvements

          The GNOME Shell and Mutter have checked in their new development releases for the imminent GNOME 42 Alpha milestone.

          There is a lot of work as usual with these new alpha releases, especially on the Mutter side a number of notable updates for when acting as a Wayland compositor. Below is a look at some of the changes that caught my attention.

        • GNOME Boxes 42 is Shaping Up as an Exciting Alternative to VirtualBox – It’s FOSS News

          GNOME Boxes is an easy-to-use virtualization software that lets you download operating systems from within the program or use ISO files to create new virtual machines.

          It is also the only program that lets you test upcoming GNOME versions, just like we tried GNOME OS.

          While it remains a simplified experience now, the upcoming version brings several UI updates to give you more control and customizations.

          In a tweet, Felipe Borges (maintainer) shared some early development progress with Boxes 42 alpha build.

          I tried it out to give you some key highlights here.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • On January 11th 2022, EmmaDE4 1.01 focused on reuse for all with Ventoy !

          On January 11th 2022, the Emmabuntüs Collective is happy to announce the release of the Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 4 1.01 update (32 and 64 bits), based on the Debian 11.2 Bullseye distribution and supporting both Xfce and LXQt desktop environments.

          This distribution was originally designed to facilitate the reconditioning of computers donated to humanitarian organizations, starting with the Emmaüs communities (which is where the distribution’s name obviously comes from), to promote the discovery of GNU/Linux by beginners, as well as to extend the lifespan of computer hardware, in order to reduce the waste induced by the over-consumption of raw materials.

          This new update of our distribution brings the addition of the Ventoy utility as part of our reuse campaign launched in early September 2020 in collaboration with our friends from Debian-Facile and Tugaleres.com in France, as well as Blabla Linux in Belgium, as we have just put online a second version of our refurbishing USB flash drive now based on Ventoy.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 10 must-read technology books for 2022

          How do you keep up with technology change, given the rapid pace of tech advances? For CIOs and IT leaders who are looking to improve their tech skills or want to learn about the latest developments, we’ve pulled together a reading list for 2022.

          Peruse these titles for a thorough dive into key technologies and the related business and leadership challenges that your organizations may encounter.

        • Change management: 4 tips for leaders on embracing human nature | The Enterprisers Project

          Organizational change continues to speed up and deepen, accelerated by the uncertainty and new demands brought on by the pandemic. Technology executives and their teams are almost always key to these changes because these days, most major organizational changes have a large technological component.

          The simple truth is that this puts you, as a tech leader, in a difficult position because for most people, most of the time, change is hard.

        • Prevent Trojan Source attacks with GCC 12 | Red Hat Developer

          At the start of November of 2021, a new kind of software vulnerability was made public: “Trojan Source,” in which certain Unicode bidirectional control characters are used to write obfuscated code. These control characters can be used to create text in which the logical order seen by a programming language implementation (such as a compiler or interpreter) differs from the visual order seen by a human reading the code.

        • Integrate Apache ActiveMQ brokers using Camel K | Red Hat Developer

          Apache ActiveMQ is a highly popular message broker that features persistence, guaranteed message delivery, and high throughput. Apache ActiveMQ Artemis streamlines the classic message broker implementation for microservices architectures. This article is for developers transitioning from ActiveMQ Classic to ActiveMQ Artemis. We will show you how to get the two versions working together using Apache Camel K. Our example is based on Red Hat AMQ versions 6 and 7, and we will perform the steps on Red Hat OpenShift 4. Our code is written in Java. The integration process and techniques should be applicable to many other scenarios.

        • IBM AIX optimized system boot and dynamic reconfiguration – IBM Developer

          Some of the key factors that are important for system administrators during system maintenance are how long it takes to apply system patches or updates that require a reboot and how fast the system resources can be reconfigured without disrupting the existing workloads.

          Boot time is an important component of system performance as users must wait for the boot operation to complete before they can use the device. It is the time taken for a device to be ready to operate after the power has been turned on. Slow boot times would make the system owners to refuse to apply any patches or updates that require a reboot.

          Dynamic logical partitioning (DLPAR) is the capability of a logical partition (LPAR) to be reconfigured dynamically, without having to shut down the operating system that runs in the LPAR. DLPAR enables memory, CPU capacity, and I/O interfaces to be moved non-disruptively between LPARs within the same server. This support exists on IBM AIX since AIX 5L. System owners expect DLPAR operations to have minimal impact on the currently running workloads.

          This blog talks about the AIX 7.3 system boot and DLPAR optimizations.

          AIX 7.3 comes with an optimized boot phase which will have much shorter boot time when compared to a similar configuration with earlier AIX releases. AIX 7.3 has also significantly optimized the CPU and memory dynamic LPAR operations. Both were achieved by the redesign of the Lightweight Memory Trace (LMT) infrastructure.

          LMT is a critical reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) function on AIX, which is ON by default. To enhance the boot phase, the LMT buffer allocation which occurs early in the boot phase was redesigned and optimized. In AIX 7.3, during boot, LMT will allocate only sufficient buffer size that is sufficient to capture traces during the boot. After the boot, the LMT buffers are resized in the background without holding the boot process, there by resulting in significant improvements in boot times.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20.3 appears – now with more Mozilla flavor: Why this distro switched Firefox defaults back to Google

          The Linux Mint distro has been busy. Not only has it pushed out release 20.3, it’s also announced a deal with Mozilla, meaning vanilla Mozilla versions of Firefox and Thunderbird.

          It’s very hard to estimate the relative popularity of Linux distributions. Aside from a couple of paid enterprise distros, they’re all free downloads without serial numbers, activation nor any other tracking mechanisms. One of the only mechanisms is the Distrowatch popularity page, although vendors dispute its accuracy.

          Saying that, Mint is in third or fourth place, outranking its own upstream distro, Ubuntu, which comes sixth. Each major version of Mint is based upon the long-term support version of Ubuntu: Mint 20 is based on Ubuntu 20.04.

          Like most Linux distros, Mint offers Firefox as its default browser – and Mozilla’s email client, Thunderbird. The Mint team had built these apps itself, based on changes it inherited from its parent distro, Ubuntu. Now, Mint is switching away from Ubuntu’s versions of Firefox and Thunderbird to Mozilla’s versions – skipping an intermediary.

        • Linux Mint 20.3 appears – now with more Mozilla flavor: Why this distro switched Firefox defaults back to Google

          The Linux Mint distro has been busy. Not only has it pushed out release 20.3, it’s also announced a deal with Mozilla, meaning vanilla Mozilla versions of Firefox and Thunderbird.

          It’s very hard to estimate the relative popularity of Linux distributions. Aside from a couple of paid enterprise distros, they’re all free downloads without serial numbers, activation nor any other tracking mechanisms. One of the only mechanisms is the Distrowatch popularity page, although vendors dispute its accuracy.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 Release Date, New Features and More


          Ubuntu fans! It’s time to get excited about the next big release which is Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. Yes. It is a long term support release and it will be supported for five years till April 2027.

          The upcoming LTS release brings several new features. If you are using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, you will notice numerous visual changes. If you are using Ubuntu 21.10, you already have seen plenty of changes but there will still be a few new ones in the upcoming release.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Promises Performance Boost for All Raspberry Pi 4 Devices

          Ubuntu Desktop on Raspberry Pi arrived officially with the Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) release, but it was only recommended for the Raspberry Pi 4 models with 4GB or 8GB RAM, Raspberry Pi 400, as well as Raspberry Pi CM4 (Compute Module 4).

          Well, that’s about to change as Canonical wants to make Ubuntu Desktop work smoothly on the Raspberry Pi 4 model with 2GB of RAM, and the secret to this performance boost is to enable the zswap feature in the Linux kernel.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Cisco Webex

        Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology corporation that focuses on networking hardware and software. It has over 75,000 employees with its headquarters in San Jose, California.

        Cisco has been participating in open source development for almost 30 years including founding projects like OpenDaylight, FD.io, VPP, PNDA, SNAS, and OpenH264, and contributing to projects like OPNFV, Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Maven, and many others.

      • How to build an open source metaverse

        Like web servers on the internet, you need VR servers. But worry not, I wrote one, and an article about it was published right here about a year ago. Then, of course, you need VR-enabled web browsers, but web browsers already do support video/audio streaming (WebRTC) and VR and AR both (WebXR). Furthermore, you need a bunch of 3D content, preferably in open source standard glTF format. And luckily, Sketchfab hosts 500,000+ free 3D models, published under Creative Commons licenses by a huge number of authors. Sketchfab isn’t the only company doing that, but they provide REST API to search and download any of these models.

        Being in VR for quite a while now, I can tell you first hand what I miss the most: The keyboard! I write code on the keyboard, but it disappears when I put on my VR goggles. You can imagine how disruptive taking VR gear off and on is. And not just that, I need to see my code in VR. And then why stop there? Why wouldn’t I see every application in VR? Many people are using two or more displays. In VR, arrange windows wherever you look. That’s better than any number of screens. And once that happens, you’ll be able to talk metaverse for real.

      • Events

        • Italy welcomes Linux App Summit 2022 – Getting to know GNOME

          We’re happy to announce that Linux App Summit will take place in Rovereto, Italy between the 29th and 30th of April.

          Linux App Summit (LAS) is a conference focused on building a Linux application ecosystem. LAS aims to encourage the creation of quality applications, seek opportunities for compensation for FOSS developers, and foster a thriving market for the Linux operating system.

          This year LAS will be held as a hybrid event and attendees will be able to join virtually or in person at our venue in Rovereto.

          Everyone is invited to attend! Companies, journalists, and individuals who are interested in learning more about the Linux desktop application space and growing their user base are especially welcome.

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • It Can Happen Here

      These published opinions, some about the possibility of civil war carried out over years of terrorism, bombings and political assassinations, surfaced against the backdrop of the one-year anniversary Thursday of the deadly storming of the Capitol. A white mob egged on by Donald Trump tried to halt the time-honored electoral process of transferring power peacefully to a new president. It was anything but peaceful.

      Unlike the turmoil of the 1960s antiwar and civil rights movements, 9/11, the Civil War and British Redcoats during the war of 1812, it marked the first time Americans invaded the citadel of American democracy, the guiding light of their own country. They nearly succeeded in overthrowing the government. All because of that pretend Boston Tea Party patriotism riot based on Trump pursuing his Holy Grail – the presidency – by repeatedly lying that he won reelection.

    • “You Come Out With Nothing”: What It Means to Bring Back the Box at Rikers

      On January 5, four new members of the New York City Council arrived at Rikers for an unannounced tour. Council members Alexa Avilés, Sandy Nurse, Tiffany Cabán, and Shahana Hanif visited five of the island’s eight jails, including the isolation units that should already have been shuttered.1

    • Letter to June Jordan in September

      I cannot pass the anniversary of that first news event of childhood without returning to your poem. How from my house I watched. And watching, watched my grief-stricken parents unable to speak. How I leaned into the screen, the chords of the cries, searching for what was recognizable of fingers and thighs, of bracelets and moustaches. Macabre arrangement of bodies with names like our own. I cannot pass without your words. Something about witnessing twice removed. About distances magnified by the shift into language. Of dailyness and my own children’s vernacular and the machine. Grinding us all in its jaws. I met a girl from the camp at a reading in Beirut. She asked if we could talk about the life of poetry. Our families are hauled off to the world of the dead and every day it is on screen. In Gaza we’re watching Ferguson and in Atlanta we’re watching Jerusalem watching Minneapolis watching. Their weapons and their training programs indistinguishable. The word almost flickers for a nanosecond. Here I note the shelf-life of self-censorship, legacy of our era. Some days poems are scrawled on pieces of cardboard and carried on our shoulders at the protest like martyrs. Here I should say something about hope. Here I should say something about living.

    • India’s Patriotic Paradox: Desi vs. Foreign Liquor
    • Oceans Hotter in 2021 Than Any Time in Recorded History

      New research out Tuesday shows that the world’s oceans last year were hotter than they’ve ever been in recorded history—part of a long-term warming trend driven primarily by planet-wrecking fossil fuel emissions.

      “This finding really underscores the urgency of acting on climate now.”

    • A Better World

      Before I go through my favorite unriggings, let me start by making a general point, which some people may miss. I focus much of my writing on ways that we rig the market to give money to the Bill Gates and Moderna billionaires of the world.

      The idea of restructuring the market, so that these people do not get so rich, is not just a question of punishing the wealthy. When we give these people more money, in excess of what they contribute to the economy (we have to pay people something to develop mRNA vaccines, just not as much as we did), then we are generating more demand in the economy. This has the same effect on the economy as an increase in government spending.

    • This Is the Unbuilding of America

      Let me start 2022 by heading back—way, way back—for a moment.

    • Top 10 Things People Pretend They Don’t Know

      There are plenty of good excuses to actually not know something: it would take decades of study, it’s of no interest or value, it would cost so much money to research it that you could have saved millions of lives instead.

      There are, I think, fewer good justifications for pretending to yourself (not just to others) not to know something that you actually already know or would know with a moment’s consideration, something overwhelmingly established by widely acknowledged and clear evidence, regardless of what your television might tell you.

    • About 2021

      Disasters happened all year long. Whatever could go wrong went wrong. So, ’21, it’s simply true: We’re glad to see the back of you.

    • Opinion | The White Christian Nationalism Tearing America Apart at the Seams

      “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    • Obits for a South Korean Dictator Gloss Over US’s Anti-Democratic Role

      When former South Korean dictator Chun Doo-hwan passed away on November 23, Western media were forthcoming about his brutality, including his direction of the 1980 Gwangju Massacre, in which at least several hundred opponents of his regime were slaughtered. But the US role in supporting successive dictatorships in South Korea and its involvement in the 1980 massacre to preserve South Korea’s status as an American vassal state were either erased entirely, or whitewashed to distance Washington’s efforts to suppress democratic uprisings in Korea.

    • Education

    • Health/Agriculture

      • Opinion | Argentina’s Economic Success in the Face of Covid-19

        Although COVID-19 has been hard on everyone, it has not been an “equal opportunity” disease. The virus poses a greater threat to those who are already in poor health, many of whom are concentrated in poor countries with weak public-health systems. Moreover, not every country can spend one-quarter of its GDP to protect its economy, as the United States did. Developing and emerging economies have faced hard financial and fiscal constraints. And because of vaccine nationalism (hoarding by rich countries), they have had to scrounge for whatever doses they can get.

      • Lurking Behind Lackluster Jobs Gain are a Stagnating Labor Market and the Threat of Omicron

        First, the good news. The economy did add jobs in December, 199,000 of them, with gains in most sectors. This was less than the 440,000-job increase that some economists expected. Still, the gains are an indication of a reasonably healthy economy.

        And October and November jobs numbers were revised upward by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, gains were seen across a number of key sectors. The leisure and hospitality sector was up, as expected given recent trends, as were business services and manufacturing.

      • What’s Driving the UK’s Shortage of Medical Doctors?

        His response to bad news was to hide it, which is in keeping with secretive traditions of the NHS, as it is with all large institutions protecting their own interests. In the case of the NHS, the secrecy may be less obvious because a sympathetic media has been giving wall-to-wall coverage to its heroic efforts to treat victims of the pandemic.

        Reporting today focuses largely on the shortage of doctors and nurses, their numbers depleted by Covid-19. Much publicity is given to short-term fixes such as sending in the army and re-employing retired medical staff.

      • Sanders, Khanna Demand Free Covid Tests for All Americans

        As the Omicron variant overwhelms healthcare systems across the country, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna are leading a call for the Biden administration to drastically expand its plans to distribute “one of the most effective tools the federal government has at its disposal”—rapid Covid-19 tests.

        Sanders (I-Vt.), Khanna (D-Calif.), and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) led more than 40 Democrats in the House and Senate in writing to the White House Sunday, urging officials “to take additional, immediate steps to eliminate existing barriers to Covid-19 rapid tests and ensure robust access to free over-the-counter rapid tests throughout the country for the duration of the pandemic.”

      • Fauci Accuses Rand Paul of Kindling ‘The Crazies’ During Heated Exchange

        As U.S. Covid-19 cases surge amid an unprecedented wave of Omicron variant infections, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday parried a salvo of attacks by Republican senators, led by Rand Paul, who object to his expert-endorsed countermeasures against the unrelenting pandemic.

        “I have… threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.”

      • Nurses Plan Nationwide Rally to Demand Better Covid Safety Rules

        Members of the National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union of RNs, will hold demonstrations across the country on Thursday, January 13 to advocate for safer working conditions in hospitals and demand President Joe Biden fufill his campaign promises of protecting nurses and public health.

        “As we enter year three of the deadliest pandemic in our lifetimes, nurses are enraged to see that, for our government and our employers, it’s all about what’s good for business, not what’s good for public health,” said NNU president Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN.

      • Holding $9 Billion Hostage, US Offers $300 Million as Afghan Starve

        The Biden administration said Tuesday that it will contribute roughly $308 million to humanitarian assistance efforts in Afghanistan, where millions are on the brink of starvation and at risk of freezing to death in the aftermath of the U.S.-led war.

        But the newly announced aid falls far short of estimates of the war-torn country’s immediate needs and pales in comparison to the $9.4 billion in Afghan government assets that the Biden administration is refusing to unfreeze, despite growing pressure from progressive members of Congress and human rights advocates.

      • Red Cross Declares First-Ever Blood Shortage Crisis in US

        Due to problems tied to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the American Red Cross on Tuesday declared its first-ever national blood shortage crisis, warning that already, “doctors have been forced to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait.”

        “We’re doing everything we can to increase blood donations to ensure every patient can receive medical treatments without delay, but we cannot do it without more donors.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • ESA

        • European Space Agency: Come on, hack our satellite if you think you’re hard enough

          The European Space Agency (ESA) is inviting applications from attackers who fancy having a crack at its OPS-SAT spacecraft.

          It’s all in the name of ethical hacking, of course. The plan is to improve the resilience and security of space assets by understanding the threats dreamed up by security professionals and members of the public alike.

          OPS-SAT has, according to ESA, “a flight computer 10 times more powerful than any current ESA spacecraft” and the CubeSat has been in orbit since 2019, providing a test bed for software experiments.

          It is therefore the ideal candidate for l33t h4x0rs to turn their attention to, while ESA engineers ensure the environment is kept under control.

        • Security

          • Who is the Network Access Broker ‘Wazawaka?’

            In a great many ransomware attacks, the criminals who pillage the victim’s network are not the same crooks who gained the initial access to the victim organization. More commonly, the infected PC or stolen VPN credentials the gang used to break in were purchased from a cybercriminal middleman known as an initial access broker. This post examines some of the clues left behind by “Wazawaka,” the hacker handle chosen by a major access broker in the Russian-speaking cybercrime scene.

          • Sonicwall SMA 100 VPN box security hole exploit info shared • The Register

            Technical details and exploitation notes have been published for a remote-code-execution vulnerability in Sonicwall SMA 100 series VPN appliances.

            The information was released today by infosec outfit Rapid7. This comes about a month after Sonicwall issued a patch for the security hole, which was discovered and privately disclosed by Rapid7′s Jake Baines to Sonicwall in October.

            If you haven’t yet applied the update, now would be a good time before it’s widely exploited. So far there is no evidence the programming flaw, which is present in SMA 200, 210, 400, 410 and 500v products as well as the 100, has been abused in the wild, Sonicwall said.

          • Faking an iPhone Reboot – Schneier on Security

            I see this as another manifestation of the security problems that stem from all controls becoming software controls. Back when the physical buttons actually did things — like turn the power, the Wi-Fi, or the camera on and off — you could actually know that something was on or off. Now that software controls those functions, you can never be sure.

          • [Older] LastPass users are skeptical after company insists it wasn’t hacked

            Online forums are abuzz with reports that LastPass sent emails to users describing unauthorized login attempts with their master passwords, after one user posted about the issue on Hacker News. LastPass has since said it hasn’t leaked user information, leaving people with a lot of questions.

            Greg Sadetsky, the Montreal-based technologist who wrote the post on Hacker News, calls himself a part-time involuntary “security mensch.” “I think I’m pretty paranoid,” he told Input, before adding that he has a habit of ending conversations with a reminder not to use the same password twice (“not all conversations, though,” he assured me). In the past month alone, he tells me he’s uncovered security vulnerabilities in both a COVID test company lab and the app that controls the lights above the World Trade Center. “I just want these things fixed,” he said. So on December 27, when Sadetsky got a concerning email from his password manager, he spoke up.

            Sadetsky wrote that LastPass had alerted him of a login attempt using his account’s master password with this message: “Someone just used your master password to try to log in to your account from a device or location we didn’t recognize.”

            He considers the incident particularly concerning because the password was used only on LastPass and stored only in an encrypted password manager called KeePassX. Sadetsky says he had gone through a scrupulous extra step to use a second password manager to generate and encrypt the key to his LastPass password manager.

            COULD IT BE A KEYBOARD SNIFFER? — The last time he’d accessed the master password, he says, was in 2017. He copied it from KeePassX and pasted it into LastPass. He initially reasoned that malware, like a clipboard sniffer, could have gotten his password when he copied and pasted it over four years ago. But when his post developed traction and more people reported the same issue, he says he considered that explanation less likely.

            It’s unlikely to be an issue with KeePassX, either. KeePassX encrypts passwords, scrambling them in a way that is unreadable and unusable by hackers.

            HACKED FROM THE SAME PLACE — Another notable detail is the similarity in IP addresses that attempted the logins. In the email alert, LastPass included the IP address from which the login attempt took place, and Sadetsky found four other users who had received alerts involving startlingly similar IP addresses. At least five users’ accounts had experienced log-in attempts from foreign IP addresses in the 160.116 range. But at least five other Hacker News users reported similar LastPass alerts involving IP addresses that did not fit with the rest.

          • Open source isn’t the security problem – misusing it is [Ed: Richard Waters has a long history attacking Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]; his employer receives money from Bill Gates]

            We’re going to be cleaning up Apache Log4j security problems for months to come, but the real problem isn’t that it was open-source software. It’s how we track and use open-source code.

            When security vulnerabilities were found in the extremely popular open-source Apache Log4j logging library, we knew we were in trouble. What we didn’t know was just how much trouble we were in. We know now. Just ask the Belgian defence ministry. In this ongoing security disaster, many people blame open source for all our troubles.

            In the Financial Times (FT), Richard Waters, the newspaper’s west coast editor, wrung his hands, saying it’s a “little alarming to discover that, more than two decades into the open-source era, glaring security holes sometimes surprise even the experts.”

            Surprising? I think not. It’s software. It always has bugs. Sometimes they’re really bad bugs. As security maven Bruce Schneier said over 20 years ago: “Security is a process, not a product.” There’s no surprise here.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Access Now joins Global Encryption Coalition and continues to fight the good fight – Access Now

              As governments around the world unite in efforts to undermine encryption, Access Now is joining the Global Encryption Coalition (GEC) in the fight to prevent this critical technology from being weakened.

              Encryption helps people across the globe communicate freely and securely, and is a necessary tool to protect human rights in the digital age.

              “2020 and 2021 — years that saw an unprecedented rise in online activity owing to the pandemic, also witnessed an increase in proposals threatening encryption and jeopardising our online safety,” said Namrata Maheshwari, Asia Pacific Policy Counsel at Access Now. “We are committed to changing this narrative in partnership with the Global Encryption Coalition.”

              In joining the GEC, Access Now joins over 250 civil society organizations, technologists, industry associations, and companies to defend encryption.

            • Meta Platforms demands staffers provide proof of COVID-19 booster vaccine before returning to office
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the World’s Future

        Late January of this year will mark the first anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  This momentous international agreement, the result of a lengthy struggle by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and by many non-nuclear nations, bans developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, and threatening to use nuclear weapons.  Adopted by an overwhelming vote of the official representatives of the world’s nations at a UN conference in July 2017, the treaty was subsequently signed by 86 nations.  It received the required 50 national ratifications by late October 2020, and, on January 22, 2021, became international law.

      • The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the World’s Future

        Right from the start, the world’s nine nuclear powers—the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea—expressed their opposition to such a treaty. They pressed other nations to boycott the crucial 2017 UN conference and refused to attend it when it occurred. Indeed, three of them (the United States, Britain, and France) issued a statement declaring that they would never ratify the treaty. Not surprisingly, then, none of the nuclear powers has signed the agreement or indicated any sympathy for it.

        Even so, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has acquired considerable momentum over the past year. During that time, an additional nine nations ratified it, thus becoming parties to the treaty. And dozens more, having signed it, are expected to ratify it in the near future. Furthermore, the governments of two NATO nations, Norway and Germany, have broken free from the U.S. government’s oppositional stance to the treaty and agreed to attend the first meeting of the countries that are parties to it.

      • The US Drops an Average of 46 Bombs a Day While Grandstanding for Peace
      • The post-January 6 Future is Ours to Decide

        Yet, despite the pundits, the polls, the stringent warnings, threats, and denunciations, the simple truth remains that the future is ours to decide and will not be decided by a single politician, political party, or cluster of alternative reality organizations.

        There is nothing to cavalierly dismiss about the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump’s disgruntled and facetiously-informed supporters. It was, after all, the first time the Capitol had been invaded since the British did so in 1814. And yes, “invaded” is an accurate description for smashing your way into a building by breaking down the doors and kicking out the windows. It was, and remains, a horrific act of violence that resulted in death and injury to many, particularly those tasked with ensuring the security of the building and the continuance of democracy’s activities within.

      • Guantánamo Is Still “a Black Hole of Secrecy”

        John Ryan, a legal affairs journalist, often sits alone in the front row of the court gallery during pretrial hearings at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. Three panes of glass separate him from the five men accused of orchestrating the attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as the defense and prosecution lawyers, judge, guards, court staff, and witnesses. Television monitors relay the scene and audio with a 40-second delay, should any classified information be uttered, which is flagged by a flashing red light behind the judge’s bench. “It’s a little bit disjointed,” Ryan said. “I think it is important just to be there. It’s hard to articulate. It just feels weird to me that the front row would be empty.” Reporting for this story was supported by a fellowship from the Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

      • Meet the Muslim Army Chaplain Who Condemned Torture of Guantánamo Prisoners & Then Was Jailed Himself

        Twenty years ago today, the U.S. military began imprisoning Muslim men at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. We speak with the prison’s former Muslim chaplain, James Yee, who was jailed and held in solitary confinement for 76 days after being falsely accused of espionage. All charges were eventually dropped, and he received an honorable discharge. Yee describes how boys as young as 12 to 15 years old were treated as enemy combatants on the prison complex and the widespread Islamophobia that put even Muslim Americans under heavy surveillance. “During my time I was there, it was clear that these individuals were not in any way associated with terrorism whatsoever,” says Yee.

      • 20 Years and 4 Presidents Later and Gitmo Still Not Closed

        Human rights defenders marked the 20th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba under the administration of former President George W. Bush by noting that three American presidents have come and gone without anyone being held accountable for the horrific crimes that have occurred there, while calling on the fourth—Joe Biden—to finally close what one advocate called an “indelible stain” on the nation.

        “President Biden needs to fulfill his pledge to finally end this shameful chapter of American history.” 

      • Opinion | Guantanamo Is an Indelible Stain on America. Biden Must Close It Once and for All

        At a recent demonstration outside the White House calling for the closure of the US military prison at the Guantánamo Bay naval base, a teenager approached a colleague to ask what the protest was all about. He told her he had never heard of the detention facility.

      • Ilhan Omar: Close the Prison at Guantánamo Now

        Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wrote in a new op-ed that Tuesday—the 20th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. offshore prison at the Guantánamo Bay naval base—should be “a day to reflect, and to act” and urged younger Americans to heap pressure on President Joe Biden to finally close the facility

        While “Congress has acted to frustrate rather than facilitate closing Guantánamo,” at least most of the work to shutter the prison can be done by Biden, Omar (D-Minn.) argued in her op-ed at Teen Vogue.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Green Groups Urge Biden to ‘Do Much More’ to Stop Arctic Drilling

          While praising President Joe Biden for taking steps Monday to reverse a Trump administration policy that opened up millions of acres in the Western Arctic for oil drilling, environmental justice advocates argued that only a comprehensive federal ban on new fossil fuel leasing can adequately protect public lands and waters and stave off the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

          “We urge the Biden administration… to phase out all new leasing for fossil fuels on our public lands.”

    • Finance

      • Dems Urged to Act First as GOP Mulls Ban on Lawmaker Stock Trades

        Congressional Democrats on Tuesday faced new pressure to bar sitting lawmakers from trading stocks amid reports that Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is considering enacting such a ban if the GOP wins control of the House in the upcoming midterms.

        Seen by progressives as an obvious political ploy rather than a genuine reform effort, news of McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) potential endorsement of a stock trading ban comes just weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended current rules that allow members of Congress to hold and trade individual stocks while in office—a status quo that has helped turn Capitol Hill into a veritable hotbed of insider trading.

      • 150+ NY Groups Back Public Banking Bill to Declare ‘Independence From Wall Street’

        Over 150 advocacy groups from across the Empire State Tuesday sent a letter to New York legislative leaders urging them to follow in the footsteps of places like North Dakota, Germany, and Costa Rica and pass legislation allowing the creation of public banks that would help “advance racial equity and ensure a just recovery for all New Yorkers.”

        “We need to divest from destructive Wall Street banks and invest in our communities!”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • What a Progressive Champion From Rural Maine Can Teach Democrats About Winning

        The 2022 midterms are still 10 months away—but if much of the media is to be believed, the fight is already over before it’s even begun.

      • Whose Body Is It?
      • What Should the Left Do About China?

        Since March 2019, Hong Kong has confronted the greatest challenge to its relatively free and open civil society since it was transferred from British to Chinese rule in 1997. In incidents spanning more than a year, local police faced off against enormous crowds of young demonstrators fighting a losing battle to maintain the city’s autonomy within the People’s Republic of China. Using batons and more than 10,000 canisters of tear gas, officers crushed the protest movement in 2020, but the repression has continued: By February 2021, more than 10,000 Hong Kongers had been arrested in connection with these demonstrations, and over a quarter of those had been prosecuted, while tens of thousands more had sought asylum in Britain, Canada, or Australia.

      • Opinion | January 6th Is Just the Beginning of the Assault on American Democracy

        One year ago, millions of Americans watched as white supremacists and domestic terrorists, emboldened, funded and organized by then-president Donald Trump, his staff and elected officials at every level of our government, attacked the heart of American democracy. 

      • How Democracy Gets Eroded: Lessons From the Nixon Era

        Donald Trump had hoped to reverse his election loss in a single, decisive, dramatic confrontation between his supporters and the republic’s, broadcast live around the world. His plan backfired, filling our screens with vivid illustrations of authoritarianism’s most repugnant ills: chaos, lawlessness, violence, racism, fascismand all manner of hatred run amok. The blatancy of the subversion provoked an immediate backlash, even among some Republicans.

        Had he studied democratic erosion before becoming a practitioner, Trump would know that effective authoritarians tighten their grips on government gradually, stealthilyundermining courts, legislatures, election officials, news organizations, political opposition and other institutions strong enough to check them.

      • Coming This 2022: Refugees, Democracy and Human Rights

        Exasperated with NATO expansion and growing ambitions in the Black Sea region, Moscow has decided to challenge the US-led Western alliance in an area of crucial geopolitical importance to Russia.

      • Why Georgia Voting Rights Groups Are Skipping Biden’s Atlanta Visit

        What might have been a rousing national kickoff not only of a 2022 federal voting rights push but also the campaigns to elect Stacey Abrams Georgia governor and reelect Senator Raphael Warnock has turned out to be anything but that. Days after blasting President Joe Biden for insufficient urgency on passing some kind of voting rights bill, a coalition of crucial Georgia voting groups—the Black Voters Matter Fund, the Asian American Advocacy Fund, the New Georgia Project Action Fund, and the GALEO Impact Action Fund, which organizes Latinos—announced that its leaders would not attend his Atlanta events with Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday. Abrams herself endorsed the visit, but said she would miss it because of a “scheduling conflict.”

      • Opinion | Yes, Donald Trump Is the Antichrist

        A listener called into my program yesterday and asked, “Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?”

      • Ultras

        In 1956, the former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service made a surprising political turn: He announced in an essay in The Washington Post that he saw taxation as a Marxist scheme to “bring capitalism to its knees.” Even though T. Coleman Andrews had served in government only a year before, under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, once out of Washington he turned against the entire enterprise of the modern state. Any progressive or liberal, he insisted, was “either a dupe or, at heart, a dictator.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Indomitable Rev. Addie L. Wyatt

        When she reported to work for her first day at Armour and Company’s meatpacking plant in 1941, Addie L. Wyatt was not planning on becoming a labor activist. She didn’t even really want to be a butcher, but after spending weeks applying for work as a typist and being rejected each time, the young Southern transplant was growing desperate. The meatpacking workers at Armour’s sprawling Chicago facility had a union, the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA), and drew a good wage; Wyatt had a family to support, so despite her lack of butchering experience, the five-foot tall, 100-pound 17-year-old decided to give it a shot. An exasperated foreman tossed her off the line, but as she was leaving, Wyatt noticed a group of white women waiting to apply for clerical positions. She slipped in and took the typing test with them, passing easily thanks to skills she’d acquired in a high school typing course. Those who had passed were told to report to work on Monday, but when Wyatt showed up, she was instead directed to the factory floor, and told to join the other Black women canning stew. At Armour—and in so many other places then—Black women were not welcome in the front office.

      • “Race-Neutral” Traffic Cameras Disproportionately Ticket People of Color
      • Police-Led Youth Programs Don’t Actually Combat the School-to-Prison Pipeline
      • Activists Renew Push for Moratorium in Jackson State Forest; Six Arrested

        Six forest activists were arrested early Monday morning in the course of a nonviolent direct action that shut down logging for the day in Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF). Activists blocked all entrances to timber harvest plan (THP) 1-19-00224-MEN, known as Red Tail, keeping out logging crews from several private companies working under contract with Calfire, the agency in charge of JDSF.  The three men and three women were cited for “trespass” and “false imprisonment”, given a court date, and released on site.

        These were the first arrests since the nonstop protests erupted in JDSF in April 2021, including tree-sits, frequent gate blockades, and work stoppages on active logging sites. However, until now Calfire has declined to arrest forest defenders. Monday, however, the loggers initiated four ‘citizens’ arrests’ at the gate. Two more arrests were made by Calfire on a road inside the THP. The activists had refused orders to move away from the gate because the loggers had refused to identify themselves. When Calfire officers Comer and Dudley arrived, they took over and performed the actual arrests requested by the loggers and security personnel.

      • Georgia Voting Rights Groups to Boycott Biden Speech

        Several prominent Georgia-based advocacy groups are planning to boycott President Joe Biden’s voting rights speech in Atlanta on Tuesday, criticizing the event as yet another symbolic gesture in the face of concrete threats to the franchise nationwide.

        “We don’t need even more photo ops,” Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, told reporters during a press conference on Monday. “We need action, and that action is in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights [Advancement] Act as well as the Freedom to Vote Act, and we need that immediately.”

      • Alabama Amazon Workers Win New Vote to Unionize

        Workers’ rights advocates on Tuesday applauded a decision by the National Labor Relations Board to hold a new union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama nearly a year after employees accused the multinational company of union-busting conduct that unfairly influenced the result of the previous election.

        “A reminder of the shameful anti-union behavior of Bezos and Amazon management and the need to pass the Pro Act bill to protect workers’ rights to form a union.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Kazakhstan internet shutdowns and protests: Timeline

        Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition condemn the use of internet shutdowns in Kazakhstan to crush protests and provide cover for state violence, and are calling on authorities and telecommunication providers to immediately restore full and permanent access to the internet.

        For more than a week, authorities in Kazakhstan have been arbitrarily manipulating and disrupting internet access across the country, leaving much of the population disconnected and uncertain about whether or when the internet will be fully accessible in the future. While the international community’s ability to connect with people on the ground has been fractured, a timeline of escalating events can be identified.

        Here’s what’s happened so far, plus tools and resources to help those impacted by the shutdowns and violence.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • From lab to market – two more case studies highlighting routes to success [Ed: Corrupt EPO still bribing scholars for self-serving patent propaganda, which corrupts academia]

          Today the EPO publishes two more case studies and a podcast in its series on how technology transfer from university research teams can create new companies, new jobs and new markets. The series includes examples from Austria, Italy, Ireland, Sweden and Turkey. Each case study provides advice for researchers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them make better use of the patent system. They show how companies can adapt their patent strategy as it grows, in response to threats and opportunities, whilst balancing cashflow issues in the fragile early years.

          The first case study is about Blubrake, a spin-off from the Politecnico di Milano which developed an award-winning anti-lock braking system for e-bikes and e-cargos. Incubator e-Novia provided industrial expertise combined with a smart patenting strategy, helping to turn university researchers into entrepreneurs and their technology into a market success. Despite the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has been growing fast by providing safety to green mobility. The accompanying podcast features Blubrake’s co-founder and general manager Fabio Todeschini along with technology transfer expert Massimiliano Granieri, who also wrote the case study, and examines Blubrake’s journey from research lab to market from their perspective.

Outsourcing Is Not Smart

Posted in Deception at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 0e8f2baf629860112ab80b9d08d72bfc
Why is Outsourcing Trendy Now?
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The idea that “Clown Computing” is somehow better than the status quo (of autonomy, control, sometimes self-hosting) is nothing less than pro-surveillance propaganda, which strives to declare stupidity and recklessness the new “smarts”

THE “Clown Computing” hype, which basically concerns the outsourcing of operations/infrastructure (typically to proprietary software), puts one at risk of getting kicked out, or the service ceasing to exist for legal or financial reasons outside one’s own control. This means that it’s an enormous risk (putting aside liability not being passed, only money); a company cannot operate properly unless all those which it relies upon outlive itself, whereas a company managing its own systems can keep them running as long as necessary (while keeping costs under control, too).

I decided to do a quick video focusing on things like AWS, GitHub, LastPass, Slack, especially with their poor track record when it comes to security. One of the often-touted benefits of “Clown Computing” is improved security, but the exact opposite holds.

GitHub is Unsafe: Microsoft GitHub Participation is Still a Massive Liability and a Risk

Posted in Deception, Law, Microsoft at 8:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 607036fab2782c54263615456878d696
GitHub is a Trap
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Being a user/developer in GitHub means becoming a slave of Microsoft (herded, data-mined, and exploited for free labour); in spite of all the warnings, many people still rely on that site/centralised hub, but the tide seems to be turning

THE past few years were spent here giving many reasons to move away from the monopoly; not only for technical reasons but also — as we last noted yesterday — for legal and ethical reasons. We gave many more examples in the past.

“…at GitHub, Microsoft is the master.”Microsoft not only works for the DRM cartel, as we saw again this week; in Microsoft’s GitHub, a “TOS” violation (like “CoC” violation, typically protecting the powerful — at least in practice — instead of the vulnerable) covers criticism of Microsoft and it gets abused to remind developers that they’re just slaves to Microsoft. As one reader told us this morning: “In the recent story of a nodejs dev who changed his code to complain about Fortune500 companies using his stuff and not getting a dime, Github used a TOS violation to remove his changes.”

Because at GitHub, Microsoft is the master. Everybody else is a guest, a tenant, a serf. And until or unless people leave in droves the Free software world will be aggressively governed (oppressed) by Microsoft. This is exactly what Microsoft bought an operating-at-losses GitHub for. It's about exercising control/power over developers, no matter the cost. Microsoft already uses GitHub (a proprietary server side) to peddle proprietary software at the client side too. Reminder below.

Interesting, so Microsoft is integrating VSCode into GitHub. Press dot (.) on any GitHub repo while signed in to see. PS. Seems to have issues with service workers on Firefox

Links 12/1/2022: WordPress 5.9 RC2, Tails 4.26, and Tor Browser 11.0.4

Posted in News Roundup at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Review: Black Box Emerald SE Over-IP System Provides Seamless Desktop Experience | HealthTech Magazine

        Healthcare organizations aim to operate with flexibility, scalability, affordability and security. Linux operating systems offer an affordable option for running back-end systems in a secure manner that only open-source architecture provides.

        At the center of the value Linux provides healthcare systems are Kernel-based Virtual Machines, which are based on open-source virtualization technology that is built directly into Linux. KVMs can turn the Linux OS into a hypervisor that supports multiple, isolated virtual environments called guests or virtual machines, according to Red Hat. This is especially useful for deploying mobile solutions.

      • Why You Should Buy a Computer With Linux Preinstalled

        If you’re a Linux user considering a new machine, you might be tempted to just buy a standard computer and install Linux on it, irrespective of the operating system it came with.

        There are several reasons you might want to seek out a computer with Linux preinstalled. Let’s take a look at some of them.

      • Dell Laptop Intel core i3 11th Gen-1115G4/8GB/256GB SSD/Ubuntu – Latitude 3520

        This laptop is compact and lightweight hence you can easily carry it in your backpack. The dimensions of the Dell Laptop Intel core i3 11th Gen-1115G4/8GB/256GB SSD/Ubuntu – Latitude 3520 are 24.08 x 36.09 x 1.8 cm and it weighs around 1.79 Kg.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Backup your databases with mysqldump – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. In this post, we will show you how to use the mysqldump command. This command allows you to back up your MySQL / MariaDB databases rapidly.

      • How to download tux paint – TechStory

        Tux Paint is a free, grant-winning drawing program made for youngsters ages 3 to 12, yet delighted in by all! It joins a simple to-utilize interface, fun audio effects, and an uplifting animation mascot who guides youngsters as they utilize the program.

      • How to Install Vivaldi Browser on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Vivaldi is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Vivaldi Technologies. It had grown from the downfall of Opera with many disgruntled when it changed from the Presto layout engine to a Chromium-based browser. This platform angered traditional Opera users. Since then, Vivaldi has become one of the most popular alternative Internet Browsers amongst the big three Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

        Vivaldi promotes itself as a leading browser with faster navigation, clever bookmarking, more intelligent browsing, extensive tab management, and a more visual approach.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Vivaldi Browser on Rocky Linux 8 Workstation.

      • How to Install Opera Browser on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Opera is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Opera Software and operates as a Chromium-based browser. Opera offers a clean, modern web browser that is an alternative to the other major players in the Browser race. Its famous Opera Turbo mode and its renowned battery saving mode are the best amongst all known web browsers by quite a margin, along with a built-in VPN and much more.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Opera Browser on Rocky Linux 8 Workstation.

      • How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Linux kernel 5.16 has many new features, support, and security. The Linux 5.16 kernel release has a great new feature, FUTEX2, or futex_watv(), which aims to improve the Linux gaming experience, growing considerably with better native Linux porting for Windows games utilizing Wine.

        Other improvements have seen write include improved write congestion management, task scheduler for CPU clusters sharing L2/L3 cache, amongst many other additions. More information can be found on the Linux 5.16 Kernel release changelog.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest 5.16 Linux Kernel on Rocky Linux 8 Workstation or Server.

      • How to Add a Printer to a Chromebook

        A Chromebook is unlike most traditional laptops you’ll encounter. It runs a web-based operating system known as Chrome OS, which makes it a modern and versatile device to own.

        But sometimes, even performing rudimentary tasks like setting up printers can be daunting to new users considering the unique interface Chromebooks offer. Let’s take a look at how you can add a printer to your Chromebook in a few simple steps.

      • Virtual machine for my courses | Vojtěch Zeisek

        For my courses ofwork in Linux command line not only for MetaCentrum and with molecular data in R I provide VirtualBox image, which allows to run complete desktop Linux (in this case openSUSE Leap) with all preinstalled applications needed for both courses. It’s easy way how to get fully working Linux to play with. It requires at least bit powerful notebook, e.g. at least quad-core with at least 8 GB RAM, but more is better.

      • The Complete Guide to User Management in Linux

        User account management is one of the many challenges of Linux system administrators. Some of the responsibilities of a system administrator are enabling/disabling user accounts, preserving the home directory, setting user permissions, assigning groups/shells to users, and managing passwords.

        Effective control of user accounts is only possible after familiarity with the basics of Linux account management. Hence, this article is a stepping stone towards securing user accounts. It demonstrates how to create, delete and modify user accounts and manage predefined settings or files to build the most suitable and secure environment for Linux users.

      • How to install and Configure HAProxy load balancer on Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8

        HAProxy is a free and open source software that provides a high availability load balancer and proxy server for TCP and HTTP-based applications that spreads requests across multiple servers. It distributes the load among the web and application servers.

        Haproxy is popular for load balancing because of its efficiency, reliability, and low memory and CPU footprint. Load balancing is a common solution for distributing web applications horizontally across multiple hosts while providing the users with a single point of access to the service.

        It is available for install on major Linux distributions. In this guide we will learn how to install and configure HAProxy load balancer on Rocky Linux 8. This guide also works on other RHEL 8 based distributions like Alma Linux and Oracle Linux.

      • How to install and use Nmap on Ubuntu 20.04 – NextGenTips

        Welcome to today’s topic where we will be talking about how to install Nmap on Fedora 35.

        Nmap (Network mapper) is a free and open-source software for network discovery and security auditing. It is also used for network inventory services, managing service upgrades, and monitoring hosts’ downtime.

        Nmap is designed for bigger networks but it can also work fine with standalone hosts. Nmap suite includes an advanced GUI and results viewer called Zenmap, a flexible data transfer, redirection and a debugging tool called Ncat, a utility for comparing scan results called Ndiff, and a packet generation and response analysis tool called Nping.

      • How to Modify the Configuration of Running Docker Containers – CloudSavvy IT

        Docker containers are usually treated as immutable once they’ve started running. You can update some configuration parameters dynamically though, such as the container’s name and its hardware resource limits.

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to use built-in Docker commands to modify selected parameters of running containers. We’ll also look at what you shouldn’t change and a workaround you can use if you believe you must.

      • How to Secure Docker’s TCP Socket With TLS – CloudSavvy IT

        Docker’s API is completely unprotected by default except for filesystem permissions on its Unix socket. You should set up TLS when exposing the Docker API over TCP so Docker Engine and your clients can verify each others’ identity. Otherwise anyone with access to the TCP port could browse your Docker containers, start new ones, and run actions as root on your system.

        Configured TLS will require clients to present a valid certificate that’s signed by the server’s certificate authority. To get it working, you need to create SSL certificates, then set up Docker Engine to require TLS connections. Docker CLI clients must also be adjusted to expect a TLS server.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • BeOS rebuild Haiku has a new feature that runs Windows apps • The Register

        The Haiku operating system has an experimental new feature, WINE. Originally a Linux subsystem, WINE can run unmodified Windows programs on other operating systems.

        Edward FitzGerald translated only 158 of the more than 1,200 quatrains attributed to the Persian Astronomer-Poet Omar Khayyám so there are probably more experimental operating systems out there than there are of Omar’s rubāʿiyāt in English. Very, very few such OSes ever amount to much – a few demos, some sketchy code on GitHub, and that’s the end.

        Haiku is different. An open-source reimplementation of former Apple exec Jean-Louis Gassée’s BeOS, the project started in 2001 and took until 2018 to make it to its first beta version. But since then, the pace has picked up a little, with Beta 2 in 2020 and Beta 3 in 2021.

        Partly this is because Haiku didn’t start completely from scratch. The project began right after Palm bought Be and cancelled BeOS.

        Haiku uses some of the original code and its GUI is notably based on BeOS’s Tracker and Deskbar, which Be released as open source in 2000 – when BeOS was already at version 5 and a decade old. In fact, that year your correspondent reviewed it. I was impressed:

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.24 Wallpaper: “Wavy McWallpaperface” › Ken Vermette

          After two tremendously fun livestreams the Plasma 5.24 wallpaper is all wrapped up. With this particular image we had a lot of fun using new techniques to create this wallpaper, and the entire process was a fun adventure. To download the wallpaper it’s available on OpenDesktop and GetHowNewStuff if you’re a Plasma user.

          The wallpaper was first sketched in the Krita painting application. Up until this point wallpapers I authored used a fairly inflexible technique of creating a polygon grid and manipulating it, but this new shape would require new techniques.

    • Distributions

      • MakuluLinux Shift – Good News !

        We have a new Video for showing what’s new and upcoming up with Shift, Some really good news !

      • Haiku Contract Report: December 2021

        For the first time, most of the work I did as part of this contract was not in the month’s activity report aside from a passing reference, as nearly all of it took place outside the main Haiku source tree. So, here I detail it; and thanks once again to the generous donations of readers like you (thank you!).

        Nearly all of my work last month was spent on one thing, which was alluded to in the activity report:

        “Xlibe”: an Xlib/X11 compatibility layer for Haiku

      • BSD

        • Using KeePassXC with SSH-Agent on OpenBSD

          I’m using KeePassXC to manage my secrets. But when I log into my OpenBSD laptop, I’m still asked to enter my SSH passphrase to fill-in ssh-agent(1). Somehow, it’s great ; maybe other system don’t even propose that feature out of the box. But what if KeePassXC could know about my passphrase(s) and interact with ssh-agent(1). Well, it can.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How To Install Lynis on Fedora 35 – idroot

          In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Lynis on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Lynis is the popular security auditing tool for Linux, Unix, and macOS systems. Lynis performs an extensive health scan of your systems to support system hardening and compliance testing. Lynis also gives complete information about the current operating system, current operating system version, hardware running on the Linux machine, firmware information, etc.

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

        • How to Tell If You Are a Successful Program Manager [Ed: As a community, Fedora failed, largely due to actions from a community-hostile IBM]

          When I was hired as the Fedora Program Manager, my manager told me that he wouldn’t hold me responsible for Fedora Linux shipping on time. If an on-time release isn’t part of my success, then what could possibly be?! Keeping in mind that a program manager’s primary responsibilities are to coordinate and communicate across functions, I’ve settled on a few ways that I judge how successful I am.

        • Measuring Your Success as an Open Source Program Manager

          Fedora Program Manager Ben Cotton explains how to know when you’re doing a good job as a program manager.

          Cotton says, “as an active and visible member of the team, you have significant influence on the culture. Besides, culture isn’t evenly distributed. So let’s focus primarily on what’s going on near you. Do people trust you? Do they feel safe giving you bad news?”

        • [CentOS] December 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

          Note: Posting late, as we appear to have overlooked posting these after the December meeting.

          Note: The November board meeting didn’t happen due to scheduling conflicts, so there are no minutes for that month.

        • Red Hat / Fedora Anaconda Installer Shifting To A Web Based UI

          The Red Hat / Fedora Anaconda installer for carrying out new operating system installs is in the early stages of a major rewrite to its user-interface and moving forward will be web-based.

          Anaconda has long been GTK-based but as part of modernizing it they are now looking at rewriting the UI to be a web browser-based UI that makes use of Red Hat’s Cockpit project. The new UI will run locally or also remotely for those wanting to carry out headless server installs and the likes more easily than through VNC, etc.

          Red Hat’s Cockpit web-based management system already has Anaconda DBus while they are working on this new installer UI that will allow it to be more consistent with the rest of the system.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.26 is out

          Add a shortcut to open the Tor Connection assistant when starting Tor Browser if Tails is not connected to the Tor network yet.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • How low can you go? Running Ubuntu Desktop on a 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 | Ubuntu

          At Canonical we’re proud to be able to offer a full Ubuntu Desktop experience on the Raspberry 4. Ubuntu Desktop provides everything you need to develop software and even deploy it to Ubuntu Server on devices like the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.

          However the full desktop environment is quite a lot for the Pi to handle. Up until now, we’ve recommended users stick to models with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM to be confident that it will perform well. One of our goals for the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release is to lower that barrier to entry. This means targeting a viable Desktop experience on Raspberry Pi 4 2GB models.

          The secret to this optimisation is a Linux kernel feature called zswap. In this blog, we’ll show you how to enable this functionality today and benefit from the upcoming performance boost that will come as standard in 22.04.

        • Ubuntu Brings Full Desktop to Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB RAM

          Want to run the full Ubuntu desktop on a Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB of RAM? Well, now you can.

          Ubuntu already supports the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 4GB and 8GB versions (and has done since the Ubuntu 20.10 release). Now the team building the distro plan to go further by supporting the Raspberry Pi 4 2GB model too (which costs around £40, if you’re considering one).

          However, making Ubuntu run decently on devices with modest amounts of memory is difficult.

          Enter zswap, Ubuntu’s ‘secret weapon’ in targeting low-memory Pis with the full-blown Ubuntu experience.

          Most Ubuntu systems come with a swap file. This acts as an ‘overflow’ for RAM, caching processes and tasks that aren’t immediately needed to free up RAM for ones that are. The existing Ubuntu Raspberry Pi builds are no exception to this.

          But all that reading to and from an SD card isn’t the fastest fallback. So Ubuntu is swapping — yes, pun intended— to a compression tool like Zswap.

          “When a process is about to be moved to the swap file, zswap compresses it and checks whether the new, smaller size still needs to be moved or if it can stay in your RAM. It is much quicker to decompress a ‘zswapped’ page than it is to access the swap file so this is a great way of getting more bang for your buck from systems with smaller amounts of RAM,” Canonical’s Oliver Smith explains.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition Linux smartphone is up for pre-order for $399

        Pine64’s PinePhone Pro “Explorer Edition”, the successor of the PinePhone Linux smartphone with a much more powerful Rockchip RK3399S processor, is now available for pre-order for $399 on Pine64 store, but mostly for Linux developers since there’s still a lot of work to do before the phone becomes usable.

        Based on Allwinner A64 processor, the original PinePhone was the cheapest Linux smartphone you could get, but as a user, I can also say it’s sluggish and suspect only a few people have made it their main mobile device. The story should be a different story with PinePhone Pro with much better specs include on hexa-core Cortex-A72/A55 processor tweaked to consume less power than RK3399, 4GB RAM, 128 GB eMMC flash, and a 6-inch display that makes it more like a typical entry-level/mid-range smartphone.

      • PinePhone Pro ‘Explorer Edition’ Pre-Orders Go Live

        You’ll need to move moderately quickly if you want the phone in your hands ASAP, as the upcoming Chinese New Year is expected to temporarily interrupt fulfilment.

        Pine64 say all orders placed between January 11th and 17th will ship by the end of the month. After that? Well you might be waiting until the end of February at the earliest.

        Now that this is the first time people have been able to buy the PinePhone Pro. A ‘developer edition’ went on sale late last year targeted at software enthusiasts wishing to work on bringing up OS support for the device.

        The PinePhone Pro ‘Explorer Edition’ is a little further along the refinement process. It ships with a Manjaro-based OS running the Plasma Mobile UI.

        That said, this phone is still targeted at FOSS enthusiasts willing to workaround flaws and wait for missing features to be added.

        There’s plenty of stock to go around as this is a “large production run” that’s not excepted to sell out in minutes. It is, however, limited to one PinePhone Pro per customer.

      • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition is now available for $399 (Linux Smartphones) – Liliputing

        The PinePhone Pro is a Linux-friendly smartphone with a 6 inch FHD+ display, a Rockchip RK3399S processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Priced at $399, it costs about twice as much as the original PinePhone, but it has better specs and should offer significantly better performance.

        Pine64 unveiled the PinePhone Pro last fall and began shipping developer units in December. Today a PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition is available for anyone to purchase – just keep in mind that this is a unit aimed at early adopters and enthusiasts and may not yet be able to do everything you’d expect from a smartphone, especially since software for the PinePhone Pro is still pretty early in the development process.

      • You can pre-order the Linux-powered PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition starting today

        Pine64, the team behind all sorts of Linux-powered hardware like single-board computers, notebooks, and smartphones, announced the PinePhone Pro last October as the successor to its OG PinePhone from 2019. While early units of the Pro model shipped to developers last month, broader availability is only just now getting underway following initial production delays, with the Pro Explorer Edition going up for public pre-order.

        The company posted on its website that it had intended to start pre-orders earlier this month but couldn’t due to some minor problems at the factory, and wanted to be sure everything was running smoothly before opening the floodgates. As a result of that hiccup, only people who place their orders between now and January 17th will have their devices shipped this month, and purchases from the 18th onward will be dispatched after Chinese New Year in February. Regardless of when you choose to place your order, you’re only allowed one unit per person.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • How can AI-based analysis help educators support students?
        • 3D Printed Sensor For Finding Wind Direction And Likely Much More | Hackaday

          Have you ever wondered how an electronic wind vane translates a direction into a unique signal? It seems as though it might be very complicated, and indeed some of them are. [martinm] over at yoctopuce.com has an excellent writeup about measuring wind direction using just a single, easily printed disk and some phototransistors.

        • Geniatech spins two SBC options with RK3568

          Geniatech’s “RK3568 Developer Board (K3-3568)” SBC builds on the quad -A55 SoC with up to 8GB DDR4, 2x GbE, HDMI in and out, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, a mic array, M.2, mini-PCIe, and a DVB-T2 tuner. A recent DB3568 version offers even more features.

          Last February, Geniatech announced a RK3568 Development Board and RK3566 Development Board, which is identical except for using a slightly less I/O capable RK3566 instead of the RK3568. We were confused when Geniatech sent us a link to a new RK3568 Developer Board, until we realized it was a different model called the K3-3568. We then saw that our old RK3568 Developer Board product page link had changed to yet another design called the DB3568, which differed from the larger board we covered in that report, which is now used only for the RK3566 Developer Board. Here we look at the two RK3568-based models.

          [...]

          Both boards support Linux and Android.

        • i.MX 8M Plus solderable LGA module follows OSM Size-L standard – CNX Software

          SGET Open Standard Module (OSM) specification was ratified in November 2020. It defined specifications for solderable LGA system-on-modules, and we first noticed it though through the launch of F&S Elektronik “FS 8MM OSM-SF” module powered by an NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor, and following OSM Size-S standard (30x30mm).

          As we noted in our introduction about the Open Standard Module, SGET defined four sizes from Size-0 (30x15mm) to Size-L (45x45mm), and there’s now at least one “Large” OSM module courtesy of iWave Systems, and their iW-RainboW-G40M module equipped with an NXP i.MX 8M Plus processor for AI applications.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • Some Cool and Free Android Launcher Apps Without Ads!

          Android smartphones on the market usually have their own default launcher. So, the appearance of a certain brand of smartphone will also be different, unless the smartphone uses the default stock android which looks still standard.

          I have several Chinese production smartphones, and most of them embed ads in their UI. Sometimes these ads are embedded in some of the default apps from smartphones. You can delete some default apps without root using adb.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Registration Now Open for CodeNewbie Challenge 2022

          The CodeNewbie Challenge for 2022 (CNC2022) is now open for registration, with a new track and improved resources to help you connect with other participants. This challenge is a free email-based series designed to help you develop your coding skills.

        • First up in 2022: linux.conf.au!

          First up in 2022: linux.conf.au!
          Mark Filion avatar Mark Filion
          January 11, 2022
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          The new year has only just begun, and already our first conference of 2022 is on the horizon. Join us down under this week for the virtual edition of linux.conf.au, as we discuss bringing WebM Alpha support to GStreamer, and provide a status update on the futex2 syscall!

          Proudly sponsored by Collabora, linux.conf.au 2022 is “the largest linux and open source conference in the Asia-Pacific region. The conference provides deeply technical presentations from industry leaders and experts on a wide array of subjects relating to open source projects, data and open government and community engagement”.

          Just like last year’s edition, LCA2022 will be once again be held entirely online, with four Miniconfs kicking things off this Friday, January 14, followed by a busy two day main conference on January 15 & 16. Among the 80+ sessions spread out over three days will be two from Collabora’s André Almeida and Nicolas Dufresne, as well as a talk on KernelCI by Gentoo’s Alice Ferrazzi. Here’s a look at what each will be discussing.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Can You Use Other Browsers on a Chromebook?

            Chromebooks run Chrome OS, an operating system built around Google Chrome. But what if you want to use another browser like Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge? The answer to that question is not as simple as you might think.

            Naturally, you’d assume a Chromebook—which runs Chrome OS—can only use the Chrome browser. After all, many people consider Chrome OS to be just a glorified browser anyway.

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 11.0.4

            Tor Browser 11.0.4 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory

            This version includes important security updates to Firefox.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • MySQL vs. MongoDB | FOSS Linux

          MongoDB is a NoSQL document-oriented database primarily used to store high-volume data. MongoDB came into existence around the mid-2000s. It is categorized under the NoSQL databases. MongoDB is maintained and owned by MongoDB Inc.

          NoSQL databases are known for using dynamic schemas. This means that users can create records without defining the structure in the first instance with these databases. Besides, MongoDB is widely known for allowing users to change the record structures, thus adding new fields and deleting existing ones.

          MySQL is one of the extensively used and popular RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). The name MySQL was derived from the co-founder’s daughter’s name “My” and “SQL .”MySQL is maintained and owned by Oracle Corporation.

          MySQL is primarily based on a relational database model since it is a Relational Database Management System). This database model makes DB administration straightforward and flexible.

          Unlike MongoDB, in MySQL, you have to pre-define the database schema based on your preferences and set rules to oversee the relationships between fields in the tables.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Content Management Systems (CMS)

        • WordPress 5.9 RC 2

          The second Release Candidate (RC2) for WordPress 5.9 is now available!

          “Release Candidate” means the new version of the software is ready for release. It helps the community check that nothing is missed, given the thousands of plugins and themes and differences in how millions of people use the software.

          Thank you to everyone who has contributed thus far towards testing and filing bugs to help make WordPress 5.9 a great release. WordPress 5.9 is slated for release in just two weeks on January 25, 2022. There’s still time to help! Since RC1 was released, six bugs have been found and fixed. There were 13 bug fixes backported from Gutenberg.

      • FSFE

        • Device Neutrality becomes a reality +++ Stockholm +++ FSFE infrastructure +++ AI

          In our January Newsletter, we recognise the importance of the Digital Markets Act as a mostly positive development for software freedom. Read how the lack of public code cost Stockholm €100 million. Our System Hackers team unravel what lies behind the FSFE infrastructure. Vincent Lequertier stresses that AI needs transparency. FOSDEM is coming up.

          [...]

          Parents in Stockholm receive information about their children’s schools or kindergartens directly to their devices with the help of Skolplattformen (‘School platform’), a digital platform offered by the city of Stockholm. It cost an estimated €100 million and although it was publicly funded, Skolplattformen’s code was private. Parents spotted irregularities and security issues in the platform and proceeded to fix the flaws themselves. They created a functional and secure Free Software alternative, Öppna skolplattformen (‘Open school platform’). The city of Stockholm took legal measures against the developers who wanted to help.

      • FSF

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Space-Eye: Satellite surveillance from underneath

            High-resolution images from earth observation could help with non-governmental sea rescues in the Mediterranean. However, these have to be purchased from commercial providers, because openly accessible images from EU satellites are of low quality. An initiative now wants to enrich this data with other sources and evaluate it with algorithms.

      • Programming/Development

        • Command Line JSON Client In Golang

          I’m an experienced software developer learning Golang by building an activity tracker1. I want a low-effort way to track my physical activity, and building it seems like a fun learning project. Last time I built a REST service for storing my workout activities, and now I’m going to make a command-line client for it.

        • The burden of an Open Source maintainer

          I look at it this way: if I didn’t use my strategies to stave off burnout, I wouldn’t maintain my projects at all. And having a project that works well and is maintained for 80% of the people who find it is better—in my mind—than adding on extra support and maintenance burden by dealing with every issue and PR that comes my way. And in the end, I maintain the projects for my own needs first.

          Maybe that sounds callous, but it’s the reality of the open source contract, whether the project in question is backed by a multi-billion-dollar corporation or a random guy in St. Louis.

        • Good web scraping is not just about avoiding load

          One of my opinions here is that good web scraping is not just about avoiding load on the target. Ultimately, good web scraping is about being polite. One of the things that’s definitely impolite is overloading the target; harming a scraping target is not a good thing. But another thing that’s impolite, at least in my view (and my view is what matters for Wandering Thoughts), is simple being too large a source of requests and traffic. And 27,000 requests from a single source is at least one order of magnitude larger than I normally see, and the single largest regular source is itself an unreasonable one.

        • AdamW’s Debugging Adventures: Bootloaders and machine IDs | AdamW on Linux and more

          Hi folks! Well, it looks like I forgot to blog for…checks watch….checks calendar…a year. Wow. Whoops. Sorry about that. I’m still here, though! We released, uh, lots of Fedoras since the last time I wrote about that. Fedora 35 is the current one. It’s, uh, mostly great! Go get a copy, why don’t you?

          And while that’s downloading, you can get comfy and listen to another of Crazy Uncle Adam’s Debugging Adventures. In this episode, we’ll be uncomfortably reminded just how much of the code that causes your system to actually boot at all consists of fragile shell script with no tests, so this’ll be fun!

          Last month, booting a system installed from Rawhide live images stopped working properly. You could boot the live image fine, run the installation fine, but on rebooting, the system would fail to boot with an error: dracut: FATAL: Don’t know how to handle ‘root=live:CDLABEL=Fedora-WS-Live-rawh-20211229-n-1′. openQA caught this, and so did one of our QA community members – Ahed Almeleh – who filed a bug. After the end-of-year holidays, I got to figuring out what was going wrong.

          [...]

          When I checked those files, it turned out that on the live image, the ID in both /etc/machine-id and /etc/machine-info was a69bd9379d6445668e7df3ddbda62f86 – the problematic ID on the installed system. When we generate the live image itself, kernel-install uses the value from /etc/machine-id and writes it to /etc/machine-info, and both files wind up in the live filesystem. But on the installed system, the ID in /etc/machine-info was that same value, but the ID in /etc/machine-id was different (as we saw above).

          Remember how I mentioned above that when doing a live install, we essentially dump the live filesystem itself onto the installed system? Well, one of the ‘tweaks’ we make when doing this is to re-generate /etc/machine-id, because that ID is meant to be unique to each installed system – we don’t want every system installed from a Fedora live image to have the same machine ID as the live image itself. However, as this /etc/machine-info file is new, we don’t strip it from or re-generate it in the installed system, we just install it. The installed system has a /etc/machine-info with the same ID as the live image’s machine ID, but a new, different ID in /etc/machine-id. And this (finally) was the ultimate source of the problem! When we run them on the installed system, the new version of kernel-install writes config snippet files using the ID from /etc/machine-info. But Fedora’s patched grub2-mkconfig scriptlet doesn’t know about that mechanism at all (since it’s brand new), and expects the snippet files to contain the ID from /etc/machine-id.

        • BOLT Merged Into LLVM To Optimize Binaries For Faster Performance – Phoronix

          Merged into LLVM’s mono repository minutes ago was BOLT! This is the Facebook-developed tool for optimizing the layout of binaries in the name of delivering greater performance. Facebook (now Meta) already has been using BOLT internally to great success with production workloads, it’s continued advancing in the public as open-source for a while, and is now upstream in LLVM for fostering its future development.

        • New blog!

          At the time, I used Blogger because I didn’t want to mess implementing a blog on my own website infrastructure. Why? The honest answer is an object lesson in software engineering. The last time I re-built my website I thought that building a website generator sounded like a fantastic excuse to learn some Ruby.

        • Single attribute in-place editing with Rails and Turbo

          Turbo can largely simplify our front-end needs to achieve a single-page application feel. If you have ever wondered how to do a single attribute in-place update with Turbo, this post is for you.

          I’ll assume you have Turbo (with turbo-rails gem) installed, and you already have a classic model CRUD done. If you don’t, just generate a standard scaffold. I’ll use the User model and the name attribute, but it can be anything.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • PyCook

            A few months ago, I went on a quest to better digitize and collect a bunch of the recipes I use on a regular basis. Like most people, I’ve got a 3-ring binder of stuff I’ve printed from the internet, a box with the usual 4×6 cards, most of which are hand-written, and a stack of cookbooks. I wanted something that could be both digital and physical and which would make recipes easier to share. I also wanted whatever storage system I developed to be something stupid simple. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the years it’s that if I make something too hard, I’ll never get around to it.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Tidy tables for data processing

            I’ve seen some very pretty data tables in spreadsheets, on webpages and in word-processed documents.

            There were lots of colours. Careful attention had been paid to font, font size and font emphasis. Column widths, row heights and border thickness had been skillfully adjusted. In spreadsheets there were comments and metadata notes. In word-processed documents there were numbered footnotes, with superscript numbers attached to data items.

            Of course, all that colour and data decoration is for human eyes. If the same tables were to be processed digitally, the processing program wouldn’t care what the table looks like. It just wants the data to be tidy and workable.

            In this post I explain what “tidy and workable” means for data processing.

        • Java

          • The 10 Best IDEs for Java | FOSS Linux

            Java is a leading programming language and a computing platform in the development world. Its first inception was in 1995 by Sun Microsystem and later acquired by Oracle Corporation. So as you know, Java is one of the first programming languages that many learned because of its popularity levels. It is a high-level, object-oriented, and class-based language designed to be an all-around general-purpose language.

            This language permits developers to “write once, run anywhere,” which means that after compiling a code in Java, it can run anywhere- Hence, Java is supported without needing to recompile. It is nothing different from the C and C++ programming language syntax if you don’t comprehend its syntax.

            To implement Java programming language, you need particular environments to develop codes and apps. So here comes the starring role of Java Integrated Development Environment (Java IDE). This (IDE) was felt as developers encountered issues day in day out while coding huge apps and resolved out to find a solution.

            Typically, huge apps have lots of classes and files, and as such, it gets challenging to debug them. But with the help of an IDE, proper project management can be maintained as it offers hints on code completion and syntax errors.

            The integrated Development Environment (IDE) is typically a software app that gives developers a platform with numerous features to formulate computer-based apps, tools, web pages, services, etc.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • PCIe 6.0 Specification Released With 64 GT/s Transfer Speeds – Phoronix

        While PCIe 5.0 adoption is only in its infancy, the PCI-SIG today announced the PCIe 6.0 specification.

        The PCI Express standard speeds are again being doubled with PCIe 6.0 now being designed to deliver 64 GT/s transfer speeds, double that of PCIe 5.0. PCIe 6.0 will be able to deliver up to 256 GB/s of bandwidth in a PCIe x16 configuration. The specs shouldn’t be all that surprising as back in 2019 it was announced PCIe 6.0 would deliver 64 GT/s transfer rates though at that time the spec was expected to be out in 2021.

      • Why Are Hyperlinks Blue

        While musing over my recently published article, Why are hyperlinks blue, I was left feeling a bit blue myself. Yes, it could have been the fact that I was evacuated and Hurricane Ida was destroying my home, I’ll admit. Besides that, I was also bothered by the fact that even though I was able to determine that Mosaic was indeed the first browser to use blue hyperlinks, I was not much closer to determining why the hyperlinks themselves were blue.

        Black hyperlinks had been the standard for many years, but why the sudden shift to blue? One can assume that it is because RGB phosphorescent monitors were becoming more readily available in comparison to monotone phosphorescent monitors that could only produce one color. Okay then, with a palette of colors to choose from, why blue? Why not green? Microsoft 3.1 had used green for hyperlinks. Surely there must have been something to support or inspire Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina on April 12, 1993 to make the hyperlinks blue, but what was it?

        I simply didn’t know, so I published the article anyway and hoped the internet would do as it always does: thrill in pointing out when someone is wrong, in the hope that someone would know the true answer.

        I published the first article, a hurricane destroyed my home, and now two months later I’m once again sitting in my now gutted home with the miracle of the internet once again restored, and I’m back on the case.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Veto Power and Decision Making Process

        Imagine you’re a venture capital partnership that has make decisions on whether to invest in a startup or not. A partner comes to the Monday meeting after having met a promising new startup, but not everyone agrees that it’s a worthwhile investment. What is the optimal decision making process for the group to maximize their return?

        Majority vote? Supermajority? Unanimous? Does anyone have veto power? Can a single individual with high conviction make a unilateral decision?

        Turns out the answer in practice depends in part on the riskiness of the decision being made. Think about it in terms of the probability of a “yes” decision. All other things equal, the more votes needed to pass the proposal lowers the probability of success. Veto power lowers it even more.

      • Many presentations of axiomatic set theory contain an error

        The axiom of union is a typical example. It states that if !!\mathcal A!! is some family of sets, then there is also a set !!\bigcup \mathcal A!!, which is the union of the members of !!\mathcal A!!. The other axioms of this type are the axioms of pairing, specification, power set, replacement, and choice.

        There is a minor technical problem with this approach: where do you get the elements of !!\mathcal A!! to begin with? If the axioms only tell you how to make new sets out of old ones, how do you get started? The theory is a potentially vacuous one in which there aren’t any sets! You can prove that if there were any sets they would have certain properties, but not that there actually are any such things.

        This isn’t an entirely silly quibble. Prior to the development of axiomatic set theory, mathematicians had been using a model called naïve set theory, and after about thirty years it transpired that the theory was inconsistent. Thirty years of work about a theory of sets, and then it turned out that there was no possible universe of sets that satisfied the requirements of the theory! This precipitated an upheaval in mathematics a bit similar to the quantum revolution in physics: the top-down view is okay, but the most basic underlying theory is just wrong.

      • Reusable Booster Rockets, Asian Roundup | Hackaday

        The Space Shuttle’s solid rocket boosters were reusable, although ultimately the overall system didn’t prove cheaper than expendable launches. But given the successes of the Falcon 9 program — booster B1051 completed its 11th mission last month — the idea of a rocket stage returning to the launch site and being reused isn’t such a crazy proposition anymore. It’s not surprising that other space agencies around the world are pursuing this technology.

        Last year the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced plans for a reusable launcher program based on their GSLV Mark III rocket. The Japan Aerospace Exploratory Agency (JAXA) announced last Fall that it is beginning a reusable rocket project, in cooperation with various industries and universities in Japan. The South Korean space agency, Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), was surprised in November when lawmakers announced a reusable rocket program that wasn’t requested in their 2022 budget. Not in Asia, but in December France’s ArianeGroup announced a reusable rocket program called Maïa.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Electronic Drum Toy Built From Scratch | Hackaday

        Drum kits used to be key to any serious band, however, these days, much of our music is created on computer or using a drum machine instead. [spanceac] has built a simple example of the latter, using a microcontroller to build a basic sample-based drum toy.

        The brains of the operation is the STM32F100VET6B, which comes complete with a 12-bit DAC for outputting sound. It’s also got a healthy 512 KB of flash, enabling it to store the drum samples onboard without the need for extra parts. Samples are stored at a sample rate of 22,050 Hz in 16-bit resolution – decent quality for a tiny little build, even if the DAC chops that back down to 12-bits later.

      • Honda Ignition Coils Sing The Song Of Their People | Hackaday

        High-voltage experimenters have been using automotive ignition coils to generate impressive sparks in the home lab for decades, and why not? They’re cheap, easily obtainable, and at the end of the day, producing sparks is literally what they’re designed to do. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

        In his latest Plasma Channel video [Jay Bowles] revisits this classic experiment, bringing to bear the considerable high-voltage experience he’s gained over the last several years. Building on an earlier setup that used a single Honda ignition coil, this new dual-coil version can produce up to 60,000 volts and is driven by a cleaner and more reliable circuit based on the iconic 555 timer. A pair of potentiometers on the front of the driver can adjust its square wave output from 1 to 10 kilohertz manually, while a commercial Bluetooth audio receiver tied into the 555 circuit allows the output to be modulated by simply playing audio from a paired device.

      • HitClips Custom Cartridge Hack Will Never Give Up, Let Down, Or Turn Around

        In August 2000, Tiger Electronics released HitClips: Music cartridges and players designed to easily share 60 second low quality Clips of a youngster’s favorite Hits. Various players were available, and individual cartridges were inexpensive enough to collect. And it’s these toy music players that [Guy Dupont] has been hacking quite successfully on as you can see in the video after the break and on [Guy]’s Hackaday.io page.

      • The Atari Punk Console, Now With More Vacuum Tubes | Hackaday

        Most of us have beheld the sonic glory of an Atari Punk Console, that lo-fi synth whose classic incarnation is a pair of 555 timers set up to warble and bleep in interesting ways. Very few of us, however, have likely seen an APC built from 555s that are made from vacuum tubes.

        It’s little surprise to regular readers that this one comes to us by way of [David] at Usagi Electric, who hasn’t met a circuit that couldn’t be improved by realizing it in vacuum tubes. His “hollow-state” Atari Punk Console began with the 18-tube version of the 555 that he built just for fun a while back, which proved popular enough that he’s working on a kit version, the prototype of which served as the second timer for the synth. With 32 tubes aglow amid a rats-nest of jumpers, the console managed to make the requisites sounds, but lacked a certain elegance. [David] then vastly simplified the design, reducing the BOM to just four dual-triode tubes. Housed on a CNC milled PCB in a custom wood box, the synth does a respectable job and looks good doing it. The video below shows both versions in action, as well as detailing their construction.

      • LED Bubbles From The 1970s Tell The Time | Hackaday

        [CuriousMarc] is nothing if not curious. Finding some old TI timekeeping chips to reverse engineer, he set out to make a clock using old-fashioned “bubble LEDs.” You can see the result of his tinkering in the video below. For the uninitiated, bubble LEDs are 7-segment LEDs with magnifying bubbles over each digit. These were popular in calculators, watches, and other places that used LEDs before LCDs largely displaced them.

        The history of these has to do with the power required to light an LED. You don’t technically need a magnifying lens, but larger LEDs take more power. These displays were relatively low power and used tiny LEDs with light pipes to make each dot a full segment. The lens made the segments larger and easier to see.

        Beyond the TI chip and HP displays, there isn’t too much else needed. [Marc] just wired the whole thing using the IC as a substrate. Sort of dead bug construction using enameled wire. At first, it didn’t work but it turned out to be a battery issue. The device really wanted 2.5 V and not the 3 V provided by the battery. The solution required a little detective work.

      • 3D Printering: Soldering A Heated Bed | Hackaday

        There’s an old saying about something being a “drop in the ocean.” That’s how I felt faced with the prospect of replacing a 12 V heated bed on my printer with a new 24 V one. The old bed had a nice connector assembled from the factory, although I had replaced the cable long ago due to heating issues with that particular printer. The new bed, however, just had bare copper pads.

        I’m no soldering novice: I made my first solder joint sometime in the early 1970s. So I felt up to the challenge, but I also knew I wouldn’t be able to use my usual Edsyn iron for a job like this. Since the heated bed is essentially a giant heatsink for these pads, I knew it would require the big guns. I dug out my old — and I mean super old — Weller 140 W soldering gun. Surely, that would do the trick, right?

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Headed for six figures The Omicron variant is bringing Russia’s coronavirus epidemic to a tipping point, officials warn

        According to government officials, Russia’s coronavirus epidemic has reached a tipping point. On Tuesday, January 11, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova, and Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko all raised concerns about the rapid spread of the Omicron strain during a meeting of the Presidium of the Government Coordination Council on countering COVID-19. Among other things, they warned that the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Russia could soon hit six figures. Meduza summarizes their remarks here.

      • Republicans Only Extend Unemployment When It Protects Anti-Vaxxers
      • EU Says ‘Premature’ to Have Urgent WTO Meeting on Covid-19

        After over a year of the European Union blocking a proposed waiver of intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines—and as case numbers surge thanks to the Omicron variant—an E.U. representative on Monday called India’s proposal for a World Trade Organization conference on pandemic response “premature.”

        “The pandemic hasn’t lasted long enough for the E.U.?” asked Dimitri Eynikel, who represents Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, on the issue of access to medicines at the European Union.

      • There Are No Heroes in Djokovic vs. Australia

        If someone is going to compare you to Spartacus, you had better damn well earn it through your words and deeds. Novak Djokovic, the sour, selfish tennis demigod, isn’t even in the conversation. That didn’t stop the father of the tennis great from saying that his son was “the world’s new Spartacus” and “the symbol and the leader of the free world.” Why? Because he was standing up to “corona fascism” by refusing to be vaccinated or tamed by any mandates or restrictions. Yet Djokovic’s desire to remain a vaccine denier collided with Australia’s own policy of denying entry to anyone who has not gotten the vaccine.

      • Omicron has higher asymptomatic carriage: studies

        The results suggest a high carriage rate even in those vaccinated, the South African Medical Research Council said in a release.

      • How triclosan, found in many consumer products, is triggered to harm the gut

        Increasingly, research links triclosan, an antimicrobial found in thousands of consumer products, with the gut microbiome and gut inflammation. A new study looks at the potential for combating damage to the intestine. The findings suggest new approaches for improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

      • IDPH ‘Unable’ To Say How Many Children Are Hospitalized For COVID
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Instaclustr focuses on pure open source to offer open-core alternative – SiliconANGLE

              The promise of open source is to make software tools free and open, yet some versions contain proprietary add-ons, licensing terms, or risks that must be vetted first.

              This situation is commonly referred to as “open core,” and to address this issue, Instaclustr Pty. Ltd. has built its business around providing managed support to configure open-source technologies such as Apache Cassandra or PostgreSQL while avoiding the encumbrance of open core. Instaclustr has become a player in the estimated $21 billion open-source services market.

        • Security

          • SOK: On the Analysis of Web Browser Security

            Web browsers are integral parts of everyone’s daily life. They are commonly used for security-critical and privacy sensitive tasks, like banking transactions and checking medical records. Unfortunately, modern web browsers are too complex to be bug free (e.g., 25 million lines of code in Chrome), and their role as an interface to the cyberspace makes them an attractive target for attacks. Accordingly, web browsers naturally become an arena for demonstrating advanced exploitation techniques by attackers and state-of-the-art defenses by browser vendors. Web browsers, arguably, are the most exciting place to learn the latest security issues and techniques, but remain as a black art to most security researchers because of their fast-changing characteristics and complex code bases.

            To bridge this gap, this paper attempts to systematize the security landscape of modern web browsers by studying the popular classes of security bugs, their exploitation techniques, and deployed defenses. More specifically, we first introduce a unified architecture that faithfully represents the security design of four major web browsers. Second, we share insights from a 10-year longitudinal study on browser bugs. Third, we present a timeline and context of mitigation schemes and their effectiveness. Fourth, we share our lessons from a full-chain exploit used in 2020 Pwn2Own competition. and the implication of bug bounty programs to web browser security. We believe that the key takeaways from this systematization can shed light on how to advance the status quo of modern web browsers, and, importantly, how to create secure yet complex software in the future.

          • Cloud Apps Replace Web as Source for Most Malware Downloads

            New research shows that enterprise organizations these days are far more likely to experience malware downloads from cloud applications than any other source.

            Researchers at Netskope recently analyzed data gathered from customer networks and discovered that more than two-thirds of malware downloaded to enterprise networks between Jan. 1, 2020, and Nov. 30, 2021, originated from cloud applications. The security vendor found that cloud-delivered malware has become more prevalent than malware delivered via the Web and via malware-laced websites.

          • Mozilla Releases Security Updates for Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird | CISA

            Mozilla has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird. An attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system. 

            CISA encourages users and administrators to review the Mozilla security advisories for [Firefox 96], [Firefox ESR 91.5], and [Thunderbird 91.5] and apply the necessary updates.

          • ‘Wormable’ Flaw Leads January 2022 Patch Tuesday

            Microsoft today released updates to plug nearly 120 security holes in Windows and supported software. Six of the vulnerabilities were publicly detailed already, potentially giving attackers a head start in figuring out how to exploit them in unpatched systems. More concerning, Microsoft warns that one of the flaws fixed this month is “wormable,” meaning no human interaction would be required for an attack to spread from one vulnerable Windows box to another.

          • Microsoft Releases January 2022 Security Updates [Ed: If CISA and NSA were serious about security, they would advise people to abandon Microsoft for the back doors]

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

          • Citrix Releases Security Update for Workspace App for Linux | CISA

            Citrix has released a security update to address a vulnerability in Workspace App for Linux. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.

          • Adobe Releases Security Updates for Multiple Products | CISA

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Meta Sues Firm For Data Scraping; Claims That Signing Up For New Accounts After Being Banned Is Equivalent Of Hacking

              For years we’ve talked about the infamous Facebook lawsuit against Power.com. As you may recall, this was a key CFAA case against a site, Power.com, that was trying to create a social media aggregator dashboard — in which you could login through a single interface, and access content from and post to a variety of different social media platforms. Facebook alleged that this was a form of hacking — claiming it was “unauthorized access” to Facebook. This was even though there was no actual unauthorized access. Individual users gave Power their login credentials, so everything was completely authorized. After years of winding through the courts, unfortunately, it was decided that this was a violation of the CFAA, mainly because Facebook sent a cease & desist letter, and somehow going against that now made it “unauthorized.” In my mind, this is one of the biggest reasons why Facebook has much less competition today than it otherwise might — because it used the CFAA and cases against Power.com to create a “you can check in, but you can’t check out” kind of data arrangement. Things like Power.com were an empowering system that might have made people much less reliant on Facebook — but it was killed.

            • Standing Up For Privacy In New York State

              The first piece of legislation is A. 7326/S. 6541—New York bills must have identical versions in each house to pass—which protects the confidentiality of medical immunity information. It does this in several key ways, including: limiting the collection, use and sharing of immunity information; expressly prohibiting such information from being shared with immigration or child services agencies; and requiring that those asking for immunity information also accept an analog credential—such as a paper record.

              As New Yorkers present information about their immunity—vaccination records, for example, or test results— to get in the door at restaurants or gyms, they shouldn’t have to worry that that information will end up in places they never expected. They shouldn’t have to worry that a company working with the government on an app to present these records will keep them to track their movements. And they should not have to worry that this information will be collected for other purposes by companies or government agencies. Assuring people that their information will not be used in unauthorized ways increases much-needed trust in public health efforts. 

              The second piece of legislation, A. 84/ S. 296, also aims to stop unnecessary intrusion on people’s everyday lives. This legislation would stop law enforcement from conducting a particularly troubling type of dragnet surveillance on New Yorkers, by stopping “reverse location” warrants. Such warrants—sometimes also called “geofence” warrants—allow law enforcement agencies to conduct fishing expeditions and access data about dozens, or even hundreds, of devices at once. Government use of this surveillance tactic is incredibly dangerous to our freedoms, and has been used to disproportionately target marginalized communities. Unfortunately courts have rubber-stamped these warrant requests without questioning their broad scope. This has shown that requiring warrants alone is not enough to protect our privacy; legislatures must act to stop these practices.

            • UK Government Apparently Hoping It Can Regulate End-To-End Encryption Out Of Existence

              Politicians — those motivated by the notion of “doing something” — want to end encryption. They don’t want this to affect their communications and data security. But they don’t see the harm in stripping these protections from the general public. Often, the argument is nothing better than “only criminals want end-to-end encryption,” something they trot out as a truism despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

            • Danish spy chief detained over ‘highly sensitive’ leak

              The chief of Denmark’s Defense Intelligence Service (FE), Lars Findsen, has been held in custody for more than a month over an apparent leak, it was revealed on Monday.

              Local media said the leak involved “highly sensitive” information. It follows allegations last year that Danish intelligence colluded with the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European leaders and private Danish citizens.

            • EDPS sanctions Parliament over EU-US Data Transfers to Google and Stripe

              The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued a decision after a complaint filed by noyb confirming that the European Parliament violated data protection law on its COVID testing website. The EDPS highlights that the use of Google Analytics and the payment provider Stripe (both US companies) violated the Court of Justice’s (CJEU) “Schrems II” ruling on EU-US data transfers. The ruling is one of the first decisions implementing “Schrems II” on the ground and may show the way for hundreds of other cases pending before regulators.

            • Stop Europol’s illegal bulk data collection!

              For years, the EU police authority Europol has been collecting massive amounts of data without any legal basis. Now Europe’s top data protection official Wojciech Wiewiórowski is taking action against the police agency, according to an order published today.

            • EDPS sanctions European Parliament for illegal data transfer to the US

              Following a complaint by six MEPs, including Patrick Breyer of the Pirate Party, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has confirmed that the European Parliament‘s COVID test website violated data protection rules. The EDPS highlights that the use of Google Analytics and the payment provider Stripe (both US companies) violated the European Court of Justice’s (CJEU) “Schrems II” ruling on data transfers between the EU and the US. The ruling is one of the first decisions to implement “Schrems II” in practice and could be groundbreaking for many other cases currently being considered by regulators.

              On behalf of six MEPs, the data protection organisation noyb filed a data protection complaint against the European Parliament in January 2021. The main issues raised are the deceptive cookies banners of an internal corona testing website, the vague and unclear data protection notice, and the illegal transfer of data to the US. The EDPS investigated the matter and issued a reprimand on the Parliament for violation of the “GDPR for EU institutions” (Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 applicable only to EU institutions).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Kazakhstan: Militarist’s Newest Case For Confronting Putin’s Russia

        The fact that the Russian force includes members of the 45th Brigade, an elite special forces unit, is indeed worrisome.  This unit fought in both Chechen wars in 1996 and 1999; in South Ossetia in 2008 in the five-day war with Georgia; in the abrupt annexation of Crimea in 2014; and in Syria in 2015.  Nevertheless, Russia’s overall view of war, as expressed by its own writers, is one of defeat and even humiliation.  Moscow lost the Crimean War in the 1850; the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-1905; WWI, which opened the door to the Bolshevik Revolution; the Cold War with the United States; and finally the humiliation of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  The Soviet demise meant the loss of two million square miles, which exceeds the size of the European Union or India.  Even the so-called victory in WWII meant the loss of more than 27 million Soviets, and an economic and social recovery that took decades.

        Russians know the cost of war, and Putin, who lost a brother in WWII, presumably shares that concern.  His so-called adventurism has involved very short campaigns with limited risk.  The short war with Georgia was typical, and in fact was brought on by the Bush administration’s encouragement of Georgian irredentism in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  The seizure of Crimea was quick and tidy, and returned to Moscow a territory that had been in Russian hands for hundreds of years.  As in Georgia, U.S. manipulation of Ukraine’s political firmament had much to do with Putin’s decision to retake Crimea.  (Politically, Ukraine is more united and stable without Crimea because of the heavy concentration of Russian ethnics in the region.)

      • Tech giants banned Trump. But did they censor him?

        But there’s another, more conceptual debate that transcends partisan politics and carries implications beyond Trump’s freedom to tweet. It’s the question of whether the largest social media companies have become so critical to public debate that being banned or blacklisted — whether you’re an elected official, a dissident or even just a private citizen who runs afoul of their content policies — amounts to a form of modern-day censorship. And, if so, are there circumstances under which such censorship is justified?

      • Former Army Chaplain at Guantánamo Was Jailed There Himself
      • Twenty Years Of Barbarism At Guantánamo: Biden Could End It But Lacks The Political Will

        The first “high-value detainee” at Guantánamo military prison was approved for transfer a day before the detention camp marked the 20th anniversary of confining prisoners in the “war on terrorism.”

        According to lawyers from Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) who represented him, Guled Hassan Duran was captured in Djibouti in March 2004. The CIA renditioned him to a secret prison site, where he was tortured and abused prior to his transfer to Guantánamo in 2006. He was designated by President Barack Obama’s review task force for indefinite detention, even though he was not charged with a crime. Duran is a citizen of Somalia with “prior residence in Germany and Sweden.” Congress prohibited the United States government from transferring any Guantánamo prisoners to Libya, Somalia, Syria, or Yemen in 2015. Because he cannot return to Somalia, it could be several years before he is released to a country willing to accept him.  Thirty-nine prisoners remain indefinitely detained at Guantánamo. They have been in confinement for the past 15-to-20 years without charge or trial.

      • Guantánamo Turns 20: Ex-Prisoner Moazzam Begg Calls on Biden to Close Site & End Legacy of Torture

        On the 20th anniversary of the first prisoner’s arrival at Guantánamo Bay, we spend the hour with former detainees, starting with Moazzam Begg, who was imprisoned for three years at the military prison and eventually released without ever being charged with a crime. He now advocates on behalf of victims of the so-called war on terror, calling on the Biden administration to follow through on promises to shut down the military prison and release the remaining 39 prisoners. Twenty years after the detention center opened, Begg reflects on the absurdity and lawlessness of Guantánamo, describing how its torture methods were not only unethical but ultimately extracted very little credible intelligence. “The legacy of this place is imprisonment without trial, torture, the absence of the rule of law, the removal of the presumption of innocence,” says Begg.

      • Twenty Years Of Barbarism At Guantánamo: Biden Could End It But Lacks The Political Will

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter, a project of Shadowproof. Become a paid subscriber and help us expand our work.

        The first “high-value detainee” at Guantánamo military prison was approved for transfer a day before the detention camp marked the 20th anniversary of confining prisoners in the “war on terrorism.”

      • Guantánamo 2.0: Former Prisoner Mansoor Adayfi Says Injustice Continues Even After Release

        Former Guantánamo Bay detainee Mansoor Adayfi was imprisoned for 14 years without charge before being released in 2016 to Serbia. Adayfi says those released from Guantánamo become “stateless men” who experience a brutal legal limbo even after being cleared of all charges, often released to countries where they have no history or connection with their families. Even exonerated former detainees of Guantánamo “live in the stigma of Guantánamo, viewed by the hosting countries as terrorists, as killers,” says Adayfi. He joins advocates everywhere in calling for President Biden to shut the prison down.

    • Environment

      • REPORT Lufthansa group confirmed that 18,000 flights had been flown empty to keep airport slots

        The airline’s parent company, Lufthansa Group, confirmed that 18,000 flights had been flown empty, including 3,000 Brussels Airlines services, according to a report in The Bulletin.

        EU rules require that airlines operate a certain percentage of scheduled flights to keep their slots at major airports.

        Under these “use it or lose it” regulations, prior to the pandemic carriers had to utilise at least 80pc of their scheduled take-off and landing slots.

      • Energy

        • Living Closer to Oil and Gas Drilling Linked to Higher Risk of Pregnancy Complications, New Study Finds

          Living near oil and gas drilling may increase pregnant women’s risk of developing gestational hypertension and eclampsia, according to a new study.

          “We observed for those pregnant women within one kilometer of drilling that there’s about a 5 percent increase in odds of gestational hypertension, and 26 percent increase odds of eclampsia,” Mary Willis, a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University and one of the authors of the study, told DeSmog. “So, it’s this really close range where we are seeing a potential impact right on women’s health.”

        • [Cryptocurrency] Startup Lets You Fund Other People’s Lawsuits Against Each Other

          First, some background on litigation funding. Half-gambling and half-fundraising, the process of litigation funding is a way for people with money to help those without fund their lawsuits — and in return, they get a share of whatever potential settlements the claimants receive.

        • Another Entire Country Just Banned [Cryptocurrency] Mining

          This week Kosovo, located in southeastern Europe, announced that it’s banning mining as well, after spending the last 60 days in a government state of emergency over an ongoing energy crisis.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Environmentalists Sue to Stop Livestock Grazing Plan for Point Reyes National Seashore

          Point Reyes is a spectacular landscape of open prairies and patches of woodlands home to 460 species, 876 plants, and many different marine and terrestrial mammals. In addition, the seashore harbors a hundred listed rare, threatened, and endangered species, an incredible diversity given the seashore’s relatively small size.

          While the peninsula possesses unquestioned scenic value, Point Reyes National Seashore’s ecological significance is recognized by its designation as an international biosphere reserve, part of the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program.

        • What to expect from the world’s sixth mass extinction

          Over the next few decades alone, at least 1 million species are at risk of being wiped out. That’s according to an estimate in a landmark report published in 2019 — but many scientists say it could well be an undercount.

          Trying to predict the results of a complete collapse in biodiversity is almost a black art — ecosystems are incredibly complex.

          Scientists agree, however, that there are several clear predictions should extinctions continue at this rate. And all the effects are inextricably linked, like a game of Jenga.

    • Finance

      • I won’t let you pay me for my open source

        What I do think is interesting is how both Gates and Stallman anchored their worldview in a scarcity paradigm that embraced a similar fear of the freeloader problem, and relied on software licenses, that is contracts, to counter it.

        Gates was afraid that users would take his software and not pay him for it. Stallman was afraid that users would extend his software and not hand over their contributions.

        Both men believed that the distribution of software was a trade exchange. One that had to be bound by certain explicit debt obligations, which had to be settled or else!

        Neither Gates nor Stallman were unique in their zeal to control the terms under which their software was used and distributed. Most of the software world fall in the same category. Share the same mistrust of users, and consider some level of debt obligations for using software completely natural.

      • Too Cheap to Meter

        Like the distances in the race between Achilles and the Tortoise, halving makes things get small quick. At some point, we stopped thinking about how much internet bandwidth we were using and we got free services like YouTube. Storage became so cheap that many companies gave it away for free, and we got practically unlimited storage in our Gmail inboxes. Now, computing power is becoming cheap enough for businesses like Replit or GitHub Codespaces to give it away for free.

        There’s something special about when things are so cheap that they’re free. As I wrote in Jevons Paradox and Software Efficiency, when the efficiency of something increases, sometimes we end up using more of it. There’s few distribution strategies that work better than giving a paid service away for free.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Companies propose scanning content pre-encryption to fight CSAM

        According to a government press release, the three companies will work “to develop software focusing on user privacy, detection and prevention of CSAM and predatory behaviour, and age verification to detect child sexual abuse before it reaches an E2EE environment, preventing it from being uploaded and shared”.

        The firms have said any CSAM detected by the system will be reported to moderators for further action to be taken. When CSAM is discovered by the AI algorithm, the information given to moderators will be tracked and audited to prevent any misuse.

        The developers claim there are currently no products in the market that provide this kind of pre-content filtering with end-to-end encryption.

      • Manufacturing Modi’s popularity

        The Wire news portal last week reported that a little-known app called Tek Fog was used to inflate the BJP’s clout. It can unleash a barrage of orchestrated trolls also against critics through a secret set-up.

        The Wire is among a clutch of courageous media outfits that have refused to be cowed by the state’s daily intrusions and intimidations. The portal observed for two years the existence of the app when a former insider turned whistleblower revealed its use “by political operatives affiliated with the BJP to artificially inflate the popularity of the party, harass its critics and manipulate public perceptions at scale across major social media platforms”. The orchestration was visible quite pronouncedly in the phrases used and references made, for example, to Mr Modi’s convoy, which last week got stranded in Punjab for all of 15 minutes. “Menacingly close to the Pakistan border” was repeated ad nauseum by the chorus of TV anchors to enlarge the threat Mr Modi faced after a change in his travel plan hit a roadblock of protesting farmers who had no clue he was travelling by.

      • Tek Fog: An App With BJP Footprints for Cyber Troops to Automate Hate, Manipulate Trends

        Over subsequent conversations, the source claimed their daily job involved hijacking Twitter’s ‘trending’ section with targeted hashtags, creating and managing multiple WhatsApp groups affiliated to the BJP and directing the online harassment of journalists critical of the BJP, all via the Tek Fog app.

        The source went on to allege that they had decided to come forward after their supposed handler – Devang Dave, ex national social media and IT head, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (the youth-wing of the BJP) and current election manager for the party in Maharashtra – failed to deliver on a lucrative job offer promised in 2018 if the BJP was able to retain power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • The Shocking Things the GOP and Trumpians Believe

        “What you see is what you get” is an old cliche, but it’s endured all these centuries because there’s so much truth in it. “Don’t listen to what people say, instead look at what they do” is another truism we can apply to inform us about today’s politics.

        The past forty years have seen three Republican and three Democratic presidencies, and the modern priorities and values of each Party are now quite clear.

      • Covid Test Misinformation Spikes Along With Spread of Omicron

        Misinformation about Covid-19 tests has spiked across social media in recent weeks, researchers say, as coronavirus cases have surged again worldwide because of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

        The burst of misinformation threatens to further stymie public efforts to keep the health crisis under control. Previous spikes in pandemic-related falsehoods focused on the vaccines, masks and the severity of the virus. The falsehoods help undermine best practices for controlling the spread of the coronavirus, health experts say, noting that misinformation remains a key factor in vaccine hesitancy.

      • AI’s 6 Worst-Case Scenarios: Who needs Terminators when you have precision clickbait and ultra-deepfakes?

        Hollywood’s worst-case scenario involving artificial intelligence (AI) is familiar as a blockbuster sci-fi film: Machines acquire humanlike intelligence, achieving sentience, and inevitably turn into evil overlords that attempt to destroy the human race. This narrative capitalizes on our innate fear of technology, a reflection of the profound change that often accompanies new technological developments.

        However, as Malcolm Murdock, machine-learning engineer and author of the 2019 novel The Quantum Price, puts it, “AI doesn’t have to be sentient to kill us all. There are plenty of other scenarios that will wipe us out before sentient AI becomes a problem.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Niger: Suspended Jail Terms for Journalists Who Published Report On Corruption

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the suspended prison sentences passed yesterday on two Nigerien journalists who published an international report about drug trafficking and corruption in Niger. These totally unjustified sentences send a shocking signal about the state of justice and the fight against corruption in this country, RSF says.

        In a terrible start to the year for journalists in Niger, L’Événement news website editor Moussa Aksar was given a two-month suspended jail sentence and freelance reporter Samira Sabou got a one-month suspended jail sentence for publishing a report by the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) in May.

      • Suspended jail terms for journalists in Niger who published report on corruption

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the suspended prison sentences passed yesterday on two Nigerien journalists who published an international report about drug trafficking and corruption in Niger. These totally unjustified sentences send a shocking signal about the state of justice and the fight against corruption in this country, RSF says.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Chip Shortage Forces Canon To Issue Workarounds For Its Own Obnoxious DRM

        For decades now, consumers have been lured into a sour deal: pay for a relatively inexpensive printer, then spend a lifetime paying an arm and a leg for viciously overpriced printer cartridges. As most have learned first-hand, any attempt to disrupt this obnoxious paradigm via third-party printer cartridges has been met with a swift DRM roundhouse kick to the solar plexus. In fact if there’s an area where the printer industry actually innovates, it’s most frequently in finding new, creative and obnoxious methods of preventing cartridge competition.

      • Indie Label Ilian Tape Removes Entire Catalog From Spotify — “It Just Felt Like the Right Thing to Do” [Ed: DRM]

        The Munich-based label was founded in 2007 by the Zenker Brothers. They announced the shift away from Spotify for 2022 on December 30, celebrating the new year. “This year has been one of the busiest for the label. We want to deeply thank all the artists and all our supporters! Ilian Tape turns 15 next year, lots of fresh stuff coming up,” the tweet reads. “It’s also time for a change; none of the music will be available on Spotify anymore. Happy new year!”

    • Monopolies

      • Big Tech ‘Antitrust Reform’ Agenda Sags, Revealing Mostly Empty Rhetoric

        Much of last year was dominated by talk about how there was a “new, bipartisan coalition” of folks interested in “reining in big tech” via “antitrust reform.” The GOP in particular, which has, for forty years, largely embraced and encouraged monopolization and consolidation at every turn (see telecom as a shining example) was repeatedly portrayed as “very serious about antitrust reform this time.” At least as it applied to “big tech.” There are countless U.S. business sectors where monopolies and anticompetitive behaviors are rampant that Congress simply couldn’t give any less of a shit about, whether it’s banking, health care, telecom, airline travel, or energy.

      • Small Changes, Big Effects

        EU regulators long-since recognize in principle that academic publishers are monopolies, i.e., they are not substitutable, justifying the single-source exception granted to academic institutions for their negotiations with academic publishers (another such negotiation round just recently concluded in the UK). Openly contradicting this justification for the single source exemption, the EU Commission nevertheless classifies academic publishing as a market and, moreover, demonstrates with Open Research Europe, that public, competitive tenders for publishing services are possible. This now offers the opportunity for the first decision: we propose that now is the time for regulators to no longer allow academic institutions to buy their publishing services from academic publishers that do not compete with one another in such tenders. The consequences would be far-reaching, but the most immediate ones would be that the (mostly secret and NDA-protected) negotiations between institutions and publishers, which allowed prices and profits to skyrocket in the last decades, would now be a thing of the past. Another consequence is that the obvious contradiction between academic publishing as a set of recognized monopolies in procurement regulation, but as a regular market in anti-trust regulation would be resolved. After this decision, academic publishing would be an actual market that could be regulated by authorities in pretty much the same way as any other market, preventing future lock-ins and monopolies. Yet another consequence would be that competitive pricing would reduce the costs for these institutions dramatically, by nearly 90% in the long term, amounting to about US$10 billion annually world-wide.

      • Copyrights

        • How The Financialization Of Music Could Lead To Demands For Perpetual Copyright

          Back in October, I noted the huge amounts of money pouring into music copyrights, largely driven by the global rise of online streaming. Since then, that trend has continued, most notably with Bruce Springsteen’s sale of his recordings and songwriting catalogue to Sony, for a rumored $550 million. As I pointed out in the post, one of the problems with this “financialization” of the sector is that music copyrights become completely divorced from the original creativity that lies behind them. They become just another asset, like gold, petroleum or property. On the Open Future blog, Paul Keller has pointed out a plausible – and terrifying – consequence of this shift.

        • Twitch Streamers Deliberately Get Themselves Banned For Copyright Infringement

          One of the more controversial trends to gain traction on Twitch lately is the wholesale streaming of copyrighted TV shows by some of the site’s top streamers. Bizarrely they appear to have understood the consequences in advance and some are currently sitting out suspensions. So why bite the hand that feeds?

        • AimJunkies Returns Fire in Destiny 2 Copyright Lawsuit: ‘Cheating Isn’t Against the Law’

          AimJunkies.com has asked a federal court in Washington to dismiss the lawsuit filed a few months ago by “Destiny 2″ creator Bungie. The defense argues that cheating isn’t against the law and notes that Bungie’s copyright infringement claims fall flat. As it turns out, two Destiny copyrights were registered after the cheats were sold in public, which may cause problems.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:27 am by Needs Sunlight

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