Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 27/1/2022: Mabox Linux 21.11 Herbolth and PipeWire 0.3.44

Posted in News Roundup at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • The sorry, sorry state of Linux packaging | Stop at Zona-M

      On one hand yeah, sure: today there are many more programs “packaged” for Linux than twenty years ago. On the other, I feel myself longing every year more for the good old days when lots of developers limited themselves to, you know, “we don’t release Linux binary packages of our software, because Linux distros are too fragmented and we don’t know for WHICH one we should build packages.”

      Today, if you need ten programs not present in the default repositories of your Linux distribution, you may likely need to run almost as many separate software distribution systems, all deliberately created to simplify your life of course, all blissfully unaware of each other.

      Forget compiling from sources: it would just move the problem to installing the same number of separate, possibly uncompatible toolchains, most of which are much more complex to set up and use that the good old “./configure make && make install” of yore.

      Oh, and of course you should be prepared to re-run all those systems every time you upgrade your Linux distribution. Not manually, of course! Without doubts, the Right Thing To Do ™ would be to handle everything with some custom-made Ansible playbooks, or some other CM system, right? To add, that is, another level of embarrassing complexity to a problem that should not exist in the first place.

    • Kernel Space

      • PipeWire 0.3.44

        This is a bugfix release that is API and ABI compatible with previous 0.3.x releases.

    • Graphics

      • A $1.25 Billion Hit: NVIDIA Is Apparently Throwing in the Towel When It Comes to Its Planned Acquisition of Arm Holdings

        NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) has apparently found it impossible to surmount an ever-increasing pile of obstacles that now litter the path toward its acquisition of Arm Holdings.

      • DirectFB2 project brings back DirectFB graphics library for Linux embedded systems – CNX Software

        DirectFB2 is a new open-source project that brings back DirectFB, a graphics library optimized for Linux-based embedded systems that was popular several years ago for 2D user interfaces but has since mostly faded away. DirectFB2 attempts to preserve the original DirectFB backend while adding new features such as modern 3D APIs like Vulkan and OpenGL ES.

        I personally used it in 2008-2009 while working with Sigma Designs media processors that relied on the DirectFB library to render the user interfaces for IPTV boxes, karaoke machines, and so on. I remember this forced me to switch from a MicroWindows + Framebuffer solution, but the DirectFB API was easy enough to use and allowed us to develop a nicer user interface.

      • Intel’s Vulkan Linux Driver Lands Dynamic Rendering Support – Phoronix

        As part of pushing it across the Vulkan 1.3 milestone, Intel’s open-source graphics driver developers have merged their VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering support to mainline.

        Vulkan dynamic rendering for the Intel “ANV” Vulkan driver was pending on the mailing list for the past month while on Vulkan 1.3 day it was successfully merged, with this extension being part of the core specification now. The Khronos documentation on dynamic rendering explains, “If you’re not using multiple subpasses or input attachments though, go ahead, rip those render pass objects right out! Dynamic rendering offers similar rendering performance to a single pass render pass object but with a much simpler interface on all implementations. Hopefully this extension will make writing future Vulkan renderers just a bit more enjoyable.”

      • Intel’s Linux Graphics Driver Patched For New Security Issue But Can Impact Performance – Phoronix

        Intel’s “i915″ kernel graphics driver has been patched for a software issue that could lead to malicious user-space trigger DMAR read/write faults or worse is the possibility of user-space gaining access to random memory pages. Unfortunately, the security fix comes with performance implications.

        If not running with an IOMMU active, CVE-2022-0330 could lead to user-space gaining access to random memory pages. This could mean either data leaks and/or random memory corruption. The issue with the Intel graphics driver stems from a missing TLB flush when releasing memory that was backing a GPU buffer object to the system memory.

      • AMDVLK 2022.Q1.2 Released With Vulkan 1.3 Support

        AMDVLK as AMD’s official open-source Vulkan Linux driver derived from their Radeon Software driver sources but using the LLVM shader compiler back-end is out with a new release. AMD is ready with day-after support for the newly-launched Vulkan 1.3 specification for AMDVLK.

        The AMDVLK 2022.Q1.2 driver enables Vulkan 1.3 support as well as enabling SPIRV 1.6 support. The VK_EXT_provoking_vertex and VK_EXT_depth_clip_control extensions are enabled too with today’s release.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Gemini Is A Little Gem

        In this brief blog post, I’ll talk about Gemini from a different point of view. Not attacking these arguments individually, but trying to talk a bit about what attracts me to the protocol and how I see it. I hope that by the end of this post, you’ll have a different approach to reasoning about Gemini. And, if you decide to write criticism about it, that you’ll take what is written here into account.

      • Annotating my website page structure

        While I was trying to figure out how to link a manifest.json file to my feed reader, I found myself looking at the source code behind Jeremy Keith’s website home page. The fact that you can see the source code behind how a page loads is an amazing feature behind the web. You can see the code that tells a browser how a web page loads. Sometimes the source code behind a site is almost or completely illegible but there are plenty of sites out there whose code you can peruse.

      • CSS Specificity Demo

        I built an interactive demo to illustrate how specificity in CSS works.

      • Hashing out the hash command on Linux | Network World

        When you type “hash” on a Linux system, you could get one of two very different responses depending on the shell you are using.

        If you are using bash or a related shell such as ksh, you should see a list of the commands that you have used since your terminal session began, sometimes with a count of how many times each command was used. This can be more useful than using the history command if you just want to see your very recent command activity, but the hash command is not a single executable. Instead, it relies on your shell.

      • Learn About Blender and Maybe Get a Free Book – What’s Not to Like?

        The event is Blender 101, an online event from the All Things Open folks, which will feature Jason van Gumster, author of Blender for Dummies, which is popular enough to now be in its fourth edition. Better yet, some copies of the book will be given away “to randomly chosen attendees.”

      • Why must you use ./ to run your Ubuntu scripts? The meaning of Linux’s dot slash explained. – Coffee Talk: Java, News, Stories and Opinions

        When you run your own executable command or shell script on Linux, you must prepend ./ to the Unix command. But why?

        Why must you use a dot slash to run commands in Unix? You don’t have to do that in Windows with a batch file.

      • What Is Doas and How to Install It

        Doas is a privilege escalation program similar to sudo. It is designed to be as lightweight and simple as possible. It is the default privilege escalation program for OpenBSD but also available for other UNIX-like operating systems through the OpenDoas program.

      • Shell Aliases Every Linux User Needs – Invidious

        One of the most common questions I get from new-to-Linux users is, “How can I become a power user?” Well, learning the terminal and the terminal commands is the best thing you can do. And big part of becoming more proficient at the command line is creating your own Bash aliases. So today, I’m taking a fresh install of Ubuntu and adding aliases to it’s bashrc. These are aliases that I think most, if not all, Ubuntu users would find helpful.

    • Games

      • Steam Deck Launching February 25th

        Hello, the day is almost here! On February 25th, we will be sending out the first batch of order emails to reservation holders. Customers will have 3 days (72 hours) from receipt of their order email to make their purchase, before their reservation is released to the next person in the queue. The first units will be on their way to customers starting the 28th, and we plan to release new order email batches on a weekly cadence.

        In addition, we’re sending out press units for full review shortly. Press review embargo on Steam Deck coverage will lift on February 25th, but keep an eye out for some preview coverage and impressions before that. In the meantime we’re working to tie up the last few loose ends and polish some rough edges, and are excited to get these out to you at the end of next month!

      • Steam Deck launches February 25, weekly purchase invites planned | GamingOnLinux

        The date a great many have no doubt be waiting for, Valve has today officially announced their Steam Deck handheld will launch officially on February 25.

        It will go by the date each user put in their reservation of course, starting off with the first lucky few who managed to dodge Valve’s server issues at the time. The first batch of order invitation emails go out on February 25, and each person has just 72 hours to make the actual purchase before it moves onto the next person in the queue.

      • Valve To Formally Launch Steam Deck On 25 February, Shipping Begins 28 February – Phoronix

        After slipping from the original shipping target of Q4 due to component shortages, Valve is making good on their Q1’2022 shipping plans for the Steam Deck.

        Valve just announced the Steam Deck will indeed begin shipping by the end of February. 25 February is when they will ship the first batch of order emails to reservation holders and they will have three days to complete their orders. Steam Deck units are expected to begin shipping to customers on 28 February.

        Valve also confirmed that new order emails will be sent out on a weekly basis to reservation holders. Valve will send out the order emails in the same order as reservations that began last year. Valve has not confirmed the planned weekly batch sizes or how many units will be ready to ship on 28 February.

      • Godot Engine – Godot OpenXR 1.1.1 Plugin Release

        The Godot XR contributors are delighted to release our latest version of the Godot OpenXR plugin!

        This release contains several updates to provide Godot XR developers access to the latest and greatest XR APIs and features.

      • SDL2 On Linux Now Prefers Wayland Over X11 – Phoronix

        With today’s SDL2 Git, Wayland is now preferred over X.Org/X11 by default without having to set the SDL video driver environment variable.

        As of today’s Git development code for the Simple DirectMedia Layer and what will be the behavior in the upcoming SDL 2.0.22, Wayland is now preferred when present. While SDL2 has offered Wayland support for some time now, SDL2 would out-of-the-box prefer X11 (and XWayland in turn) support. The SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland environment variable can be used for forcing the Wayland code path while now it’s the preferred route.

      • Valve Working On Radeon Dynamic VRS For The Steam Deck To Increase Power Savings – Phoronix

        Yet another open-source Radeon Vulkan “RADV” driver improvement being worked on by Valve’s engineers is around better controlling variable rate shading “VRS” behavior with a focus on improving power savings for the Steam Deck.

        Vulkan has the VK_KHR_fragment_shading_rate extension for being able to control the shading rate depending upon the frame region being shaded. The shading at a lower resolution for less important areas of the screen can help with increasing performance as well as power-savings. One of the frequently cited examples around variable rate shading is often for the landscape within racing games.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Sway 1.7 improves screen capture and virtual reality in Wayland – itsfoss.net

        sway 1.7 is available to continue the evolution of this Wayland composer and window manager based on or inspired by the popular i3.

        Despite being “just” a window manager, Sway is one of the most interesting developments when it comes to Wayland composers, and not only that, but is considered by many to be the best implementation of the protocol out there, even by comparison. on top of the GNOME Mutter.

        On the other hand, it has been one of the brave few to openly say “no” to NVIDIA and EGLStreams in order to narrowly defend the standards agreed upon by almost everyone around Wayland and GBM. You know, the word “standard” gives NVIDIA hives, and the exact reasons are known only to the corporation’s executives.

        The first notable new feature of Sway 1.7 is the remove option –my-next-gpu-wont-be-nvidia, so the ones that users will have to use from now on –unsupported-gpu instead. It’s important to note that, at least officially, the official NVIDIA driver is still not supported (Nouveau should be fine), but we assume that this is a first step towards integrating the particular GBM implementation powered by the GPU manufacturer.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Season of KDE Kicks Off
        • Season of KDE 2022

          I am Ayush Singh, a second-year student of the Indian Institute of Technology, Dhanbad, India. My application has been accepted in the Season of KDE 2022. I will be working on writing a Rust wrapper for KConfig KDE Framework. This post describes my journey with KDE and why I submitted this Project for the Season of KDE.

        • Creating Rust/QML Project

          For the last few months, I have been pushing Rust/QT development along. I am the author of ki18n crate and am currently in the middle of creating kconfig crate as a part of Season of KDE 2022.

          In this post, I will walk you through creating a new Rust/QML project using cargo-generate templates. I made these templates to encourage more people to test out Qt development with Rust.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • BSD

        • Playing with CD-RWs on FreeBSD

          It’s worth mentioning as well that CD-RWs do typically take longer to burn that a CD-R, even discounting the time taken to blank them. It’s more than an acceptable compromise for me, but don’t be surprised if the drive reports 4 for the drive speed. I did briefly have a CD burner and CD-RW media as a kid that worked at 8×, but both those are long gone.

          This was a fun experiment! Now I have a reliable way to generate these disc images with a few CD-RWs.

        • A proof of concept: running OpenBSD on the PinePhone

          As mentioned in the piece, this comes with a bit of a warning: [...]

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical releases Charmed Kubeflow 1.4 to simplify enterprise AI projects

          Canonical Ltd. on Tuesday released Charmed Kubeflow 1.4, the newest version of its platform for simplifying enterprise artificial intelligence projects.

          U.K.-based Canonical is the maker of Ubuntu, one of the most widely used versions of the Linux operating system. Ubuntu is especially popular in the enterprise, where it’s commonly used to power public cloud environments. The operating system is frequently deployed together with Kubernetes.

          A growing number of enterprises are running AI models in their Kubernetes environments to support machine learning initiatives. In 2018, Google LLC released an open-source tool called Kubeflow to simplify the task of running AI software on Kubernetes. Canonical’s newly updated AI platform, Charmed Kubeflow, is a customized version of Google’s Kubeflow designed to be easier to use.

          Canonical provides the software under an open-source license. In addition to Kubeflow’s core features, Charmed Kubeflow includes automation code that the company says simplifies a number of day-to-day management tasks. The software can be deployed in the public cloud, as well as on-premises.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Simulating the IBM 360/50 mainframe from its microcode

          The IBM System/360 was a groundbreaking family of mainframe computers announced on April 7, 1964. System/360 was an extremely risky “bet-the-company” project for IBM, costing over $5 billion, but the System/360 ended up as a huge success, setting the direction of the computer industry for decades. The S/360 architecture was so successful that it is still supported by IBM’s latest mainframes, almost 60 years later. I’m developing a microcode-level simulator1 for the IBM System/360 Model 50 (link to the simulator); this blog post provides background to understand the Model 50 and the simulator.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • Part 1: The life of an optimization barrier

          Many engineers choose Rust as their language of choice for implementing cryptographic protocols because of its robust security guarantees. Although Rust makes safe cryptographic engineering easier, there are still some challenges to be aware of. Among them is the need to preserve constant-time properties, which ensure that, regardless of the input, code will always take the same amount of time to run. These properties are important in preventing timing attacks, but they can be compromised by compiler optimizations.

        • The Qt Company launches digital advertising solution

          The Qt Company, the leading global provider of software technology, today announces the launch of Qt Digital Advertising to help Qt users monetize UI/UX screens built with Qt. The new solution, which will significantly streamline and enhance revenue generation opportunities for mobile, desktop and embedded applications and devices, was designed to focus on monetization, productivity and disruption.

          For the first time ever, mobile, desktop and embedded developers can generate revenue by leveraging digital advertising directly within the Qt development framework. Users will no longer be required to implement cumbersome, costly, inefficient monetization platforms, that are not fully integrated, to generate revenue. Instead, and with the help of Qt, organizations can instantly build and monetize the right digital advertising business case for their cross-platform scenarios, from prototype to final product. The solution will also create new business cases for advertisers to run efficient marketing campaigns on embedded device UIs, capitalizing on opportunities presented by the rapidly growing IoT and connected devices industry, in addition to being a new business model for The Qt Company and its customers.

        • NodeKit Update

          Since the initial demo of NodeKit at last week’s Small Is Beautiful, we now actually have a nodekit command, the server now does naïve restarts on route changes, and routes are now lazily loaded the first time they’re hit.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • James Webb Space Telescope: When to expect the first images from the state-of-the-art observatory

        The observatory’s permanent home is a stable point in space known as Lagrange Point 2, also referred to as L2. L2 is also a point in space where gravitational forces of the Earth and Sun are in equilibrium, allowing JWST to stay aligned with Earth. L2 will also allow JWST to have a wide, unobstructed view of the universe at any given moment, unlike telescopes closer to Earth (like Hubble) whose point of view is often obscured by the Earth itself.

        JWST is a once-in-a-generation space observatory poised to usher in a new chapter for astronomy by peering into distant corners of the universe, surveying the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets, and observing more distant stars and galaxies than its predecessors. As the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor, it is also one of the most expensive space missions (roughly $9.7 billion) in history. In other words, a lot is at stake.

    • Education

      • GOP Is Increasingly Bent on Controlling Schools. Glenn Youngkin Is a Case Study.
      • Higher education must stop covering up misconduct

        Some universities even require a pre-emptive NDA to initiate a complaints process, and they commonly negotiate deals directly with perpetrators without involving the victims at all. In many university processes, complainants are not permitted to see the final decision – or they are asked to sign an NDA before they can access it. Where the complainant is a party, they are told that they “must” sign an NDA to “protect themselves”. This is neither true nor accurate – a complainant does need a one-sided confidentiality clause, but it should not come at the price of protecting the person who harmed them.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Only 10 Percent of Africa’s Population Is Fully Vaccinated
      • Sanders Demands End to Medicare Premium Hike From Alzheimer’s Drug

        Building on his recent letter to U.S. President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday wrote to a key government analyst to push for a swiftly ending a Medicare premium hike tied to Biogen’s pricey and potentially ineffective Alzheimer’s drug.

        “Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease and we must do everything possible to find a cure for the millions of seniors who suffer from it, but we cannot allow pharmaceutical companies to rip off seniors.”

      • Anne Frank: RFK Jr. now versus RFK Jr. in 2015

        Since writing my “preview” last Friday of the antivaccine “Defeat the Mandates” rally held on Sunday, I have been debating whether or not to write a followup post. The reason was that I just didn’t know if there was anything much to say, given that the rally went pretty much as I had predicted, with a stacked bill of antivaccine cranks old (e.g., Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Del Bigtree) and new (e.g., Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. Peter McCullough, and Steve Kirsch), antimaskers, and COVID-19 minimizers spewing a litany of common anti-“lockdown,” antimask, and antivaccine propaganda, all couched in rhetoric of “freedom” and “resistance to tyranny,” just as expected and the same as it ever was for antivaxxers. I was originally not going to write further about this, but leave it to RFK Jr. to give me a reason when he sullied the memory of Anne Frank:

      • St. Petersburg announces new restrictions for minors following spike in coronavirus hospitalizations

        After noting a marked increase in the number of local children hospitalized with COVID-19, the St. Petersburg authorities have announced additional public health restrictions for minors. With the Omicron strain running rampant, Russia has recorded record-breaking daily increases in coronavirus cases over the past few days. In St. Petersburg, an increasing number of classes have been forced to switch to distance learning in order to quarantine schoolchildren with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. The additional restrictions for minors will enter force on January 28 and remain in place until February 13.

      • EPA Takes Action to Combat Industrial Air Pollution

        The Environmental Protection Agency launched sweeping changes this week to address long-standing problems brought to light by ProPublica’s reporting on industrial air pollution. Shortly after the November publication of our investigation, administrator Michael S. Regan toured some of the largest toxic hot spots identified by our analysis and said the agency was consulting ProPublica’s work as it considered reforms. On Wednesday, Regan announced the EPA’s next steps, which include a significant expansion of air monitoring in some of the most polluted neighborhoods in the country and a new wave of unannounced inspections of polluters.

        “We are going to keep these facilities on their toes so that they’re doing their due diligence all the time and not just when there’s a planned inspection,” he said. “Being on the ground, seeing the situation for myself, and talking directly with community members, it is startling that we got to this point.”

      • Spotify sides with Joe Rogan after Neil Young ultimatum

        Earlier this month, an open letter signed by 270 health care professionals urged Spotify to take action against COVID-19 vaccine misinformation that it said was spread on Rogan’s show, which boasts a wide reach, with an estimated 11 million listeners per episode.

      • Spotify picks Joe Rogan over Neil Young

        Spotify and Warner Records didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from The Verge. In a post on his website, Young thanked his label for its support and said that Spotify has “become the home of life threatening COVID misinformation.”

      • Neil Young Removes Music From Spotify in Protest of Joe Rogan’s Podcast

        Spotify will remove Neil Young’s music from its platform, per his request, following his objections to Joe Rogan’s statements about the Covid-19 vaccine on his Spotify-hosted show. The music is expected to be removed later Wednesday.

        A rep for Spotify said in a statement to Variety: “We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

      • Neil Young Pulls Music from Spotify, Blasts It as the ‘Home of Life-Threatening’ Covid Lies

        On Monday, Young posted a since-deleted letter on his website addressed to his management and record label demanding his music be removed from Spotify, noting that the company can have “Rogan or Young. Not both.” The Wall Street Journal first reported the news that Spotify will take down Young’s catalog. Spotify begun to remove Neil Young’s catalog Wednesday evening.

        In Young’s new letter, he blasts Spotify as “a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about Covid.” He thanked his label Warner Records for standing by his decision and noted that a majority of his streaming revenue comes from Spotify.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive send out warnings to macOS users

          They warn that some users may have problems when attempting to open files stored in either service using another Mac application. They urge customers to update their apps once macOS 12.3 is installed.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (httpd), Debian (libxfont, lrzsz, nss, openjdk-17, policykit-1, webkit2gtk, and wpewebkit), Mageia (polkit), openSUSE (expat, json-c, kernel, polkit, qemu, rust1.55, rust1.57, thunderbird, unbound, and webkit2gtk3), Oracle (httpd:2.4, java-11-openjdk, and polkit), Red Hat (httpd:2.4, OpenShift Container Platform 3.11.570, polkit, and Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.1 (etcd)), Scientific Linux (polkit), Slackware (polkit), SUSE (aide, expat, firefox, json-c, kernel, polkit, qemu, rust, rust1.55, rust1.57, thunderbird, unbound, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (policykit-1 and xorg-server).

          • Qualys Research Team Warns of Significant polkit Vulnerability Affecting All Linux Users [Ed: This headline is false. It affects systemd users. And systemd isn't Linux, it's IBM vendor lock-in which isn't even compliant with UNIX philosophy.]
          • Jan 26, 2022 Serious Privilege Escalation Flaw in Linux Component Patched By Dennis Fisher

            The bug is the result of Pkexec not validating the number of arguments passed to it. Rob Joyce, director of cybersecurity at the NSA, said on Twitter Wednesday that he’s concerned with the ease of exploitation for this vulnerability.

          • 12-year-old vulnerability in Linux gives attackers root privileges – SiliconANGLE [Ed: Systemd is not Linux]
          • Major Linux PolicyKit Security Vulnerability Uncovered: Pwnkit – SoylentNews
          • New DeadBolt ransomware targets QNAP devices, asks 50 BTC for master key [Ed: Why would anyone even connect a storage device to the open Internet in the fist place? "Smart" hype?]

            A new DeadBolt ransomware group is encrypting QNAP NAS devices worldwide using what they claim is a zero-day vulnerability in the device’s software.

          • New DeadBolt Ransomware Targets NAT Devices
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Data privacy laws will increasingly dominate business worldwide

              Data privacy will continue to become a more significant consideration and it’s going to be exceedingly difficult to do business anywhere in the world without encountering data privacy laws, according to Richard Marr, General Manager, APAC, Auth0, a product unit of Okta.

            • What went down at #PrivacyCamp22?

              In this special anniversary edition of Privacy Camp 2022, we reflected on a decade of digital activism and thought together about the best ways to advance human rights in the digital age. #PrivacyCamp22 brought together close to 300 academics, activists and privacy experts who built on the lessons of the past and collectively articulated strategic ways forward for the promotion of everyone’s digital rights.

            • Paying with cash, old school

              There’s a coffee shop down the street that has a big outdoor seating area, so I feel safe sitting there for a morning brew and to prepare for WFH that day. This morning I overheard the owner shout out “old school”! in response to a customer paying with cash which made me smile.

            • Google kills FLoC, unveils new plan to replace tracking cookies — here’s how it works

              Google has ditched its planned user-profiling system, FLoC, and is instead developing a new system called Topics, the company announced today (January. 25).

              Topics, described by Google Senior Director of Product Ben Galbraith as “one of the most ambitious efforts we’ve ever undertaken” during a conference call with reporters, is meant to replace third-party advertising cookies in Chrome by the end of next year.

              But you won’t be able to use or try Topics just yet. Developer trials begin in a couple of months, and user trials are still a long way off.

            • A guide to getting your data from WhatsApp

              It’s important to understand how much of your data is stored in the cloud. Why? Because our research exposes that law enforcement can use cloud extraction techniques to obtain vast quantities of your data. These techniques means law enforcement can circumvent asking companies like WhatsApp for your data and avoid getting a warrant. So the use of this technology means there is no limit on what they can obtain, no transparency and no clear, accessible or effective legal safeguards to protect your data from risk of abuse and misuse.

            • Proposal for a European Interoperability Framework for Smart Cities and Communities (EIF4SCC)

              The proposed Framework is initiated to support EIF at local and Regional level and was jointly managed by DG DIGIT as part of the ISA² Programme (2016-2020), and by DG CONNECT in the framework of the Living-in.eu movement. A co-creation process with city/community administrators in the European Union was created and together with Deloitte and KU Leuven e a proposal for the European Interoperability Framework for Smart Cities/Communities (EIF4SCC) was developed.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Automotive Lobbying Group Abandons the Term “Self-Driving”

        While the group didn’t directly mention Tesla in its announcement, the move is likely a response to the Elon Musk-led company’s efforts to market its “Full Self-Driving” feature, a highly controversial driver assist feature that has landed the company in hot water with lawmakers on a number of occasions.

    • Environment

      • Nations Join Forces To Fight Illegal Fishing In Gulf Of Guinea

        Besides at-sea patrols, the countries will share information from the Regional Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Centre in Ghana, which was formed by the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) in 2021.

        Other partners include the Regional Maritime Security Centre for West Africa in Côte d’Ivoire; European Fisheries Control Agency; Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre; and Trygg Mat Tracking, a fisheries intelligence analysis company. Additional funding is supplied by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, according to SeafoodSource.

      • The Supreme Court vs. the Earth

        What’s particularly shocking about this case is that the EPA does not currently have any such rules in place. The agency tried to regulate greenhouse emissions under President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, but conservative justices (of course) blocked that plan from taking effect. Then, the Trump administration came in and shoved the CPP off the edge of their flat Earth. Arguably, the D.C. Circuit has since reopened the possibility of a revised CPP, but the Biden administration has said that it will not try to reinstate the plan. Instead, it has instructed the EPA to come up with a completely different rule, a process that is underway at the agency right now.

      • Energy

        • Elon Musk, Threat or Menace Part 2

          Last April I wrote Elon Musk: Threat or Menace? flagging three of his externalities; the carbon footprint of his infatuation with cryptocurrencies, the environmental impact and cost of his infatuation with colonizing Mars, and the threat his infatuation with camera-only autonomy for Teslas posed to innocent bystanders. Last August I followed up with Autonowashing, detailing the incredible “depths of irresponsibility involved in Tesla’s marketing”.

        • How will Europe cope if Russia cuts off its gas?

          But a shutdown is no longer unthinkable. Mr Gustafson now says: “I don’t think it is unlikely at all that Putin would actually reach for the gas tap over Ukraine.” Unlike his Soviet predecessors, the Russian president can afford the cost of a brief energy shock. Jaime Concha of Energy Intelligence, an industry publisher, has crunched the numbers. Not counting any penalties (for breach of contract, say) and assuming the average daily price seen in the fourth quarter of 2021, he reckons a complete cut-off of piped gas to Europe would cost Gazprom between $203m and $228m a day in lost revenues. So if such an embargo lasted three months (Mr Putin’s leverage fades in spring, when gas demand drops to just 60% of that in January), lost sales would add up to about $20bn.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • YouTube permanently bans Dan Bongino

        YouTube on Wednesday permanently banned conservative commentator Dan Bongino from the platform, saying he attempted to evade a previous suspension.

        The Fox host uploaded a video to his main channel while his secondary channel, which primarily hosted short clips from his digital radio show, was actively suspended for violating YouTube’s COVID-19 misinformation policy.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • EU wants to build its own DNS infrastructure with built-in filtering capabilities

        The European Union is interested in building its own recursive DNS service that will be made available to EU institutions and the general public for free.

        The proposed service, named DNS4EU, is currently in a project planning phase, and the EU is looking for partners to help build a sprawling infrastructure to serve all its current 27 member states.

        EU officials said they started looking into an EU-based centrally-managed DNS service after observing consolidation in the DNS market around a small handful of non-EU operators.

        “The deployment of DNS4EU aims to address such consolidation of DNS resolution in the hands of few companies, which renders the resolution process itself vulnerable in case of significant events affecting one major provider,” officials said in the DNS4EU infrastructure project revealed last week.

        But EU officials said that other factors also played a role in their decision to build DNS4EU, including cybersecurity and data privacy.

      • Censoring Joe Rogan Is No Solution to Vaccine Misinformation

        There’s a campaign underway to kick podcast host Joe Rogan off Spotify for spreading COVID misinformation. But Rogan at his worst couldn’t do as much damage to public trust in science as the political and scientific establishment has during the pandemic.

      • China censors re-write ‘Fight Club’ ending, say authorities triumphed

        The renowned classic film “Fight Club” appears to have been censored on popular Chinese entertainment platform Tencent Video – though rather than merely cutting scenes from the film, government censors created a new ending altogether in place of the cult movie’s iconic conclusion.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • El Salvador must investigate use of Pegasus to spy on dozens of journalists

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on El Salvador’s public prosecutor to open an investigation into the use of the Pegasus spyware to hack into the phones of at least 35 Salvadorean journalists. RSF is also providing recommendations to journalists whose phones may have been infected.

      • Three Iranian journalists transferred to prisons notorious for mistreating detainees

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the transfers of three Iranian journalists to prisons notorious for cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, in a practice often used to deliberately break the resistance of prisoners of conscience. These transfers come just days after another journalist, Baktash Abtin, died as a result of not being treated when he caught Covid-19 in Tehran’s Evin prison.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Investigation Shows Faulty Drug Tests Resulted In Hundreds Of New York Prisoners Being Wrongly Punished

        The justice system may say lofty things about debts to society or rehabilitation, but when it all comes down to it, a person in jail is just something to be processed. Whatever happens to them is supposedly well-deserved. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. This catchy phrase also refers to pretrial detainees who haven’t been convicted of any crimes but who simply don’t have the means (or the judicial permission) to spend their pre-trial days out in the open.

      • When Whiteness Starts Seeing Itself

        By 2044, the United States’ white population will dwindle from a majority to a plurality, according to the Census Bureau. White Americans—though they will still outnumber every other racial group in the country—have not taken this news well.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Landlord Of The Gentriflies’ By Calm. (Featuring Lee Reed and Buddha)

        Calm is a hip-hop duo featuring rapper Time and producer Awareness. Time has also done engineering work for Common and is a journalist who has worked with Noam Chomsky.

        They recently released the concept album “Conversations with A Willow Tree.” The album is an ode to a willow tree set in a dystopian world where plants are the heroes that fight colonialism and environmental collapse.“Landlord of the Gentriflies,” which appears on the album, is a scathing critique of gentrification. The opening verse from Time features the hard-hitting rebuke: “Since that eviction letter, this ain’t really been home”.It continues, “Landlord didn’t discover this, that’s Chris Columbus syndrome. We’re just trying to raise the roof, they just wanna raise the rent. I’ve been working 3 jobs, I gave that cracker every cent. Landlord of the flies, dollar signs in his eyes. Let’s stop working for the rich, so we can live our fucking lives.”The second verse is from Canadian rapper Lee Reed, known for his political lyrics and socialactivism. His verse further explores the ill effects of capitalist-fueled gentrification. “Half a million evicted they still insisting the system work. Assisted living let you live in thirst. This government place people second, business first. They gentrified our existence, but we been dispersed,” Reed raps.Renter’s rights is a subject close to Reed’s heart. He recently released “Drop The Charges,” acharitable single whose proceeds support the Hamilton Encampment Support Network (HESN).HESN is an organization that supports homeless residents of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Just like several major cities throughout the world, the housing crisis is forcing more people onto the streets.Listen to “Landlord of the Gentriflies”:

      • CIA Funded Experiments On Danish Orphans For Decades

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter Newsletter. Become a monthly subscriber to help us continue our independent journalism. An extraordinary Danish Radio report exposed how scores of children in Denmark, many of them orphans, were subject to CIA-funded experiments for at least two decades.

        The purpose of these activities remains unknown, as authorities continue to actively suppress the truth of what happened in the 1960s and early 1970s.

      • Navalny’s brother is added to federal wanted list in Russia

        Police in Russia have added Oleg Navalny, the brother of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny, to a federal wanted list, the nation’s Interior Ministry reported on Tuesday. The announcement does not list the charges.

      • Redwood Forest in California Is Returned to Native Tribes

        The group, the Save the Redwoods League, which was able to purchase the forest with corporate donations in 2020, said it was transferring ownership of the 523-acre property to the Intertribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, a group of 10 native tribes whose ancestors were “forcibly removed” from the land by European American settlers, according to a statement from the league.

        The tribes will serve as guardians of the land in partnership with the Save the Redwoods League, which has been protecting and restoring redwood forests since 1918.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Fresh Off Its Merger Failure(s), AT&T Gets Back To Promising Big Fiber Investments That May Or May Not Happen

        We’ve noted for years how AT&T has this pattern in which they’ll promise a massive wave of new fiber investment and jobs if they get “x” (X=merger approvals, deregulation, tax breaks, a bunch of new subsidies, whatever). Then, a few years later, somebody will realize they failed utterly to meet those obligations. This happens over and over and over and over again, and not only does AT&T never see much in the way of accountability, nobody in state or federal leadership seems to learn much of anything from the process (usually because they’re, well, corrupt).

      • From The Revolt Against SOPA To The EU’s Upload Filters
      • Enough Is Enough: The Senate Should Stop Playing Games And Confirm Gigi Sohn

        Joe Biden entered office a year ago with a mandate to end corporate control of our government by establishing programs to benefit working families and by appointing qualified public servants to execute and oversee those programs.

      • GOMIX brings faster, cheaper Internet to millions in eastern DRC

        GOMIX, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s third Internet Exchange Point, launched in Goma, the main capital of the North Kivu province in the east of the DRC, in September 2021.

        Initiated by the Internet Service Provider Association (ISPA-DRC) in partnership with the Internet Society, GOMIX will improve Internet access for nearly 4 million urban residents. It will also facilitate creating local content, hosting services at a local and national level, and promoting interconnection between local Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Spotify Stock (SPOT) Has Lost Nearly 25% of Its Value In 2022 and 45% Over the Past Year — What’s Going On?

        Meanwhile, some are speculating that Spotify could follow Netflix in raising its prices – a significant possibility because music streaming services feature similar song libraries and mainly cost the same in the States. Plus, Spotify’s long-awaited HiFi support doesn’t yet have a release date, company officials announced two weeks ago, despite the fact that Apple Music and Amazon Music unveiled the feature at no added cost last summer.

      • Will Hollywood’s Streaming Ambition Lead to Big Gaming Buys?

        Most Hollywood giants have similarly retreated from video game ambitions. NBCUniversal shut down its game studio in 2019, before its current CEO, Jeff Shell, took over. And Discovery chief David Zaslav hasn’t detailed plans for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment once the company closes its mega-merger with WarnerMedia, currently led by CEO Jason Kilar, beyond saying it won’t require any asset sales to hit its debt-reduction targets. Some say it will take a bigger gaming footprint. Warners’ “Mortal Kombat is great IP, which has good value; the rest of what makes money is licensed product,” MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler says, adding that the gaming unit will be “a sub-scale business as part of Discovery/Warner.”

    • Monopolies

      • EU court sides with Intel in appeal of $1.2B antitrust fine

        A European court announced Wednesday that it overturned a $1.2 billion fine on Intel, which the European Union had imposed on the semiconductor chip manufacturer in 2009 over alleged violations of antitrust laws.

        The European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, accused Intel of abusing its position as a global leader for x86 computer microprocessors and excluding competitors from the market, stretching from October 2002 to December 2007.

        The EU alleged that Intel granted rebates to four equipment manufacturers, including Dell and Lenovo, which were conditional on the companies purchasing microprocessors from Intel.

      • Copyrights

        • YouTube Wants ‘Fraudulent” Copyright Claimant Kept in Class Action Lawsuit

          When musician Maria Schneider launched a class action lawsuit against YouTube demanding access to Content ID, she did so with ‘Pirate Monitor’. Due to this company’s allegedly fraudulent actions, YouTube filed a counterclaim that the plaintiffs now want severed from the case. According to them, YouTube wants a “guilt-by-association weapon” to sully the class.

        • Rojadirecta Operator Faces Multi-Year Prison Sentence in Upcoming Trial

          Popular sports streaming site Rojadirecta finds itself at the center of a criminal lawsuit in Spain. The prosecution seeks a four-year prison sentence for the operator and up to two years for five accomplices. Spanish football league LaLiga and Mediapro demand even higher sentences and also want six million euros in damages.

        • Google Drive’s Autodetector For Copyright Infringement Is Locking Up Nearly Empty Files

          We’ve talked at length about the issues surrounding automated copyright infringement “bots” and how often those bots get the primary question they’re tagged with wrong. Examples of this are legion: Viacom’s bot takes down a Star Trek panel discussion, all kinds of bots disrupted the DNC’s livestream of its convention, and one music distributor’s bot firing off DMCA notices to, well, everyone. Google itself has reported that nearly 100% of the DMCA notices it gets are just bot-generated buckshot.

        • Wherein The Copia Institute Tells The Copyright Office That Link Taxes Are A Good Idea Only If You Want To Kill Off Journalism

          It’s hard to believe that even after the huge disaster “link taxes” have been in Europe and Australia that people would push to have them in the United States, and yet here we are. This brewing bad idea has some foolish friends in Congress, who tasked the Copyright Office with doing a study on the viability of importing this nonsense into American law, and via our already over-encumbered copyright law. The Copia Institute filed a public comment as part of this study and provided testimony at a hearing in December. In both, we pointed out that a site like Techdirt is exactly the sort of small, independent media outlet such a scheme is supposed to help yet is instead exactly the sort of small, independent media outlet such a scheme most definitely would hurt.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 22/05/2022: Rock64 and Peppermint OS Release

    Links for the day

  2. [Meme] UPC is Always Next Year (and Next Year It'll Surely be the Year After That)

    The UPC will come “next year”, just like every year (since almost a decade ago) just because the lunatic promises so and crushes the law, quite frankly as usual, cusioned and protected by the UPC lobby

  3. UPC: Turning Patent Lawyers Into Liars and the Media Into Their Money-Grabbing Megaphone (Platform for Fake News)

    The above 26 screenshots (with necessary annotation added) hopefully illuminate the degree of deceit, manipulation, bribery and distortion of public discourse (fake news and advocacy of patently unlawful activities)

  4. Number of Working/Online Gemini Capsules, Known to Totally Legit Gemini Search (TLGS) and to Lupa, Exceeds 2,500

    Assuming that Lupa reduced its crawling capacity (this graph seems to confirm this), we’ve decided to aggregate data from 3 sources and assess the size of Geminispace; Lupa says it can see 1,947 active capsules, but there are many more it has not kept track of

  5. [Meme] Monopoly Tony

    The gentlest, kindest president the EPO ever had

  6. It Took Campinos Three or More Years to Undo Illegal Battistelli Actions on Boards of Appeal and Strike Regulations (Only After Losing at ILO-AT!), But He Does Not Mention That

    Let’s all remember that as the EPO‘s so-called ‘President’ António Campinos (Monopoly Tony) vigorously defended completely unlawful actions of Benoît Battistelli until courts compelled him to stop doing that (Strike Regulations); notice how, in the video above — a portion of this full clip from several months ago — he did not bother mentioning that for 3.5 years that he had “led” the Office the Boards of Appeal were in exile, in direct violation of the EPC, yet nobody is being held accountable for it

  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 21, 2022

  8. Links 22/05/2022: Free Software Developments in Bratislava

    Links for the day

  9. Gemini is the Direction the Paginated Internet Should Have Taken (Not Bloated Web With JavaScript and DRM)

    An update on Gemini and why you might wish to explore it (if you aren't using it already)

  10. EPO.org Now Openly Brags About Making Illegal Patents a Welcomed Part of the Examination Guidelines

    The EPO persists in illegal, unlawful agenda; it's even finding the audacity to advertise this in the official Web site

  11. Links 21/05/2022: Security Blunders and Microsoft Posturing

    Links for the day

  12. Links 21/05/2022: GitLab at Fedora and Pipewire in Next Ubuntu

    Links for the day

  13. Links 21/05/2022: HP Teams up with System76

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  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, May 20, 2022

  15. Links 20/05/2022: Thunderbird Revenue Rising

    Links for the day

  16. Outsourcing Sites to Social Control Media is an Outdated Mindset in 2022

    Centralised or federated censorship/filtering platforms (also known as "social [control] media" [sic]) aren't the way forward; we're therefore a little surprised that Linux Weekly News (LWN) bothers with that languishing bandwagon all of a sudden

  17. Links 20/05/2022: Plasma's Latest Beta in Kubuntu 22.04, Kapow 1.6.0 Released

    Links for the day

  18. Turkey's Migration to Pardus Linux and LibreOffice Explained 2 Months Ago in LibrePlanet

    This talk by Hüseyin GÜÇ was uploaded under the title “Real world GNU/Linux story from Istanbul”

  19. In Turkey, Windows Market Share is Down to Almost Nothing, 'Linux' is About Two Thirds of the Connected Devices

    Watch this graph of Windows going down from around 99.5% to just 11.55% this month

  20. The Lies and Delusions of António Campinos

    Monopolies and American corporations (and their lawyers) are a priority for today's EPO, Europe's second-largest institution

  21. Links 20/05/2022: Fedora BIOS Boot SIG

    Links for the day

  22. Links 20/05/2022: Oracle Linux 8.6 and VMware Security Crisis

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  23. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 19, 2022

  24. Links 19/05/2022: Rust 1.61.0 and Lots of Security FUD

    Links for the day

  25. EPO Eating Its Own (and Robbing Its Own)

    António Campinos is lying to his staff and losing his temper when challenged about it; Like Benoît Battistelli, who ‘fixed’ this job for his banker buddy (despite a clear lack of qualifications and relevant experience), he’s just robbing the EPO’s staff (even pensioners!) and scrubbing the EPC for ill-gotten money, which is in turn illegally funneled into financialization schemes

  26. [Meme] EPO Budget Tanking?

    While the EPO‘s António Campinos incites people (and politicians) to break the law he’s also attacking, robbing, and lying to his own staff; thankfully, his staff isn’t gullible enough and some MEPs are sympathetic; soon to follow is a video and publication about the EPO’s systematic plunder (ETA midnight GMT)

  27. EPO.org (Official EPO Site) Continues to Promote Illegal Agenda and Exploit Ukraine for PR Stunts That Help Unaccountable Crooks

    epo.org has been turned into a non-stop propaganda machine of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos because the EPO routinely breaks the law; it’s rather tasteless that while Ukrainians are dying the EPO’s mob exploits Ukraine for PR purposes

  28. [Meme] EPO Applicants Unwittingly Fund the War on Ukraine

    As we’ve just shown, António Campinos is desperately trying to hide a massive EPO scandal

  29. EPO Virtue-Signalling on the Ukrainian Front

    António Campinos persists in attention-shifting dross and photo ops; none of that can change the verifiable facts about the EPO’s connections to Lukashenko’s 'science park' in Minsk

  30. Links 19/05/2022: PostgreSQL 15 Beta 1 and Plasma 5.25 Beta

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