05.27.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 27/05/2022: Fwupd 1.8.1 and GCC 9.5

Posted in News Roundup at 11:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Stupid RCU Tricks: Is RCU Watching? – Paul E. McKenney’s Journal — LiveJournal

        It is just as easy to ask why RCU wouldn’t be watching all the time. After all, you never know when you might need to synchronize!

        Unfortunately, an eternally watchful RCU is impractical in the Linux kernel due to energy-efficiency considerations. The problem is that if RCU watches an idle CPU, RCU needs that CPU to execute instructions. And making an idle CPU unnecessarily execute instructions (for a rather broad definition of the word “unnecessary”) will terminally annoy a great many people in the battery-powered embedded world. And for good reason: Making RCU avoid watching idle CPUs can provide 30-40% increases in battery lifetime.

        In this, CPUs are not all that different from people. Interrupting someone who is deep in thought can cause them to lose 20 minutes of work. Similarly, when a CPU is deeply idle, asking it to execute instructions will consume not only the energy required for those instructions, but also much more energy to work its way out of that deep idle state, and then to return back to that deep idle state.

        And this is why CPUs must tell RCU to stop watching them when they go idle. This allows RCU to ignore them completely, in particular, to refrain from asking them to execute instructions.

      • AmigaOne X1000/X5000 Remains Well Supported With PowerPC Linux

        Despite being expensive and having been sold out for quite some time at the main Amiga Dealers, two days after Linus Torvalds’ release of Linux 5.18, Christian “xeno74″ Zigotzky made the latest PPC kernel available for the AmigaOne X1000/X5000. Here and here are some screenshots. Linux PPC performs well on AmigaOne computers. For example, here is a 5-year-old YouTube AmigaOne X5000 demonstration video.

    • Applications

      • Session Messenger

        Session is an end to end encrypted messenger that focuses on anonymity and the prevention of metadata collection. I’ve been trying it out over the past week in my quest to eventually collect every private messenger out there and I have some thoughts on it.

        [...]

        Sending and receiving messages has been reliable, at least for me. But there’s other rough edges. One person in one of my groups is completely unable to send or receive media on their phone, but can on their desktop client. Speaking of the desktop client, it just recently got an update that makes it impossible to launch both for me and one of my contacts. All the security and privacy in the world doesn’t mean much if your messenger fails you when you need it.

      • Couldn’t get the CLI client working

        I’m editing this file using sloum’s chalk editor, which is kinda like a more friendly ed. I could see myself writing other things with this editor too, but for right now I’m using it to test posting to smol.pub using nothing but the command line. That’s why I manually wrapped this text (later I unwrapped it) — there’s a handy ruler that shows me when I’ve hit 80 characters.

      • Google Summer of Code 2022 – Integrating Faust into Bespoke

        I have been experimenting with Bespoke as a utility for cross-platform live coding and audio composition for a few months now, working more with DSLs including Faust. I want to give back because I am passionate, highly motivated, and more proficient in C/C++. This is the perfect opportunity to combine my interests and contribute to a project that I am very passionate about.

      • Linux LinksLinux Candy: projectM – music visualizer originally based on Milkdrop


        Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands! Both feet too if you’re sufficiently pliant.

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

        projectM is an advanced music visualizer which uses 3D accelerated iterative image based rendering. Experience psychedelic and mesmerizing visuals by transforming music into equations that render into a limitless array of user-contributed visualizations.

        projectM can detect audio input from any application or you can use input from a microphone.

      • 9to5LinuxFwupd 1.8.1 Linux Firmware Updater Brings More Hardware Support and New Features


        Fwupd 1.8.1 comes a month after the release of the fwupd 1.8 series and introduces even more hardware support. More specifically, fwupd now supports firmware updating on Corsair KATAR PRO XT, Corsair SABRE PRO, and Corsair KATAR PRO wireless mice, HP Thunderbolt Dock G4, Lenovo ThinkPad Universal USB-C dock, as well as the Steelseries Aerox 3 and Steelseries Rival 3 wireless mice.

        On top of that, fwupd 1.8.1 adds support for more PixArt wireless devices, more SunplusIT USB cameras, and some UFS devices.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Install FreeBSD 13.1 – OSTechNix

        FreeBSD 13.1 has been released a week ago. FreeBSD 13.1 edition is shipped with so many updates and features. This step by step guide explains how to download the latest FreeBSD version, how to create a FreeBSD Bootable USB and how to install latest FreeBSD 13.1 with screenshots.

      • CitizixHow to install and configure Redis 6 on Ubuntu 22.04

        Redis is an in-memory data structure store, used as a distributed, in-memory key–value database, cache and message broker, with optional durability. Redis supports different kinds of abstract data structures, such as strings, lists, maps, sets, sorted sets, HyperLogLogs, bitmaps, streams, and spatial indices.

      • CitizixHow to Install and Configure Postgres 14 Ubuntu 22.04

        Postgresql is an open source object-relational database system with over 30 years of active development that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, feature robustness, and performance. It is a free and open-source relational database management system emphasizing extensibility and SQL compliance.

        It was originally named POSTGRES, referring to its origins as a successor to the Ingres database developed at the University of California, Berkeley. PostgreSQL is used as the primary data store or data warehouse for many web, mobile, geospatial, and analytics applications. PostgreSQL can store structured and unstructured data in a single product.

      • Ubuntu HandbookDeb-get Make Easy to Install Many App .DEB Packages Not in Ubuntu Repository

        Want to install an app via classic DEB package, but it’s not available in Ubuntu’s own repository? There’s a new command line tool “deb-get“, makes installing apps from 3rd party repositories as easy as single command.

        Many applications (e.g., Google Chrome, 1Password, Teamviewer and more) provide DEB packages for Debian/Ubuntu either in their own apt repositories / PPAs or for downloading directly in website.

        Besides setup the repositories or find and download .deb packages manually, then install apps via apt (or apt-get), “deb-get” do all the things via a short single command.

      • ID RootHow To Install Brackets Code Editor on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – idroot
      • ID RootHow To Install Sails.js Framework on AlmaLinux 9 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Sails.js Framework on AlmaLinux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, Sails.js is a Javascript framework that you can use to easily and quickly build customized enterprise-grade for Node.js.Sails.js offers a number of features built on Express.js and Node.js enabling the applications to be fully based on javascript.

        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 Sails.js Framework on AlmaLinux 9. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How to connect to Wi-Fi on Linux Mint | FOSS Linux

        Dealing with network and connection difficulties is understandably a time-consuming task. However, this article guide will highlight several straightforward solutions to the difficulty. Stay put into learning more about Wi-Fi connectivity on Linux Mint.

        Before venturing into this topic, you should first check your router to ensure it works flawlessly. Below are some essential tips to kickstart your diagnosis journey:

      • How to install and use GNOME Disks utility on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        GNOME Disk utility is the default graphical partitioning tool on all the GNOME-based desktop environments like Ubuntu, Budgie, Cinnamon, MATE, and others. GNOME Disks is an exceptional, easy-to-use tool Linux OSes use to create hard drive partitions. It is pretty straightforward to understand GNOME disks compared to complex utility tools like GParted. However, you should remember that you will only be able to create new partitions on non-system disks using this disk utility tool.

        What does this mean? It means that you will not be able to create new partitions on a hard disk drive that Linux is using for your root folder, home folders, etc. Nonetheless, you can modify non-system partitions with Gnome Disks. This guide will demonstrate how to install and utilize the Gnome Disk Utility to partition storage devices on Ubuntu Linux. So, let us get this underway.

      • How to install GNOME on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        GNOME is a popular desktop environment that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu with the latest release in every version. It was first released in 1999 and came up with a new release every six months. The current stable release, GNOME 42.0, was released on 23 March 2022.

        GNOME is a highly customizable, user-friendly, compatible desktop environment with an attractive user interface. Other than GNOME, other desktop environments like Cinnamon, Mate, KDE, Budgie, Xfce, etc., serve the purpose well.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Run Python Script at Startup in Ubuntu

        The reputation of Python as a programming language speaks for itself. This programming language is attributed as general-purpose, high level, and interpreted.

        Most Linux users are in love with the Python programming language due to its code readability which makes it easy to follow and master even for a beginner in the programming world.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Set Connection Timeout in Curl Command

        One main activity in the Linux command-line environment is data transfer. To comfortably and flexibly move data to/from different servers, we need the help of a reputable data transfer terminal-based tool.

        Curl command makes it easy to transfer data between servers through the aid of supported protocols like HTTPS, HTTP, IMAPS, IMAP, LDAPS, LDAP, POP3S, POP3, SFTP, SCP, SMTPS, SMTP, TFTP, and TELNET.

        Curl command’s functional design does not accommodate user interaction but offers more than enough reputable features like Metalink, cookies, HTTP post, user authentication, file transfer resume, SSL connections, FTP upload, and proxy support.

        This article will address using the Curl command with a set timeout.

      • ssh_exchange_identification read connection reset by peer

        The ssh_exchange_identification read connection reset by peer SSH error is something you may see in your terminal when trying to log in to a remote host or when your session expires on a Linux system. In this tutorial, we will go over a few different causes for this error and show you how to troubleshoot the connection on your system. Using one of our methods below will hopefully remedy the error and allow you to log in via SSH or maintain your current session.

      • 3 Methods to install PyCharm Community Edition on Linux

        PyCharm is a professional Python IDE (Integrated Development Environment) developed by JetBrains, which supports a lot of features like code completion, refactoring, debugging, etc. Two versions of the IDE exist: the “Professional” version, which must be purchased, and the free, “Community” version, which is based on open source software, and can be downloaded and installed free of charge. Various methods can be used to install the IDE on Linux.

      • How to manage git repositories with Python

        Neither Python nor Git need presentations: the former is one of the most used general-purpose programming language; the latter is probably the most used version control system in the world, created by Linus Torvalds himself. Normally, we interact with git repositories using the git binary; when we need to work with them using Python, instead, we can use the GitPython library.

      • Introduction to terminal multiplexer Tmux

        Tmux is a terminal multiplexer: it let us run and manage multiple terminal sessions from a single screen. This is specially useful when connecting to remote machines using ssh, since, among the other things, it allows us to keep processes started from those terminals running in the background when we disconnect from the session (or logout and close the remote secure shell altogether), letting us re-attach to it at a later time.

        In this tutorial we see how to install Tmux in some of the most used Linux distributions and learn the basic concepts behind its usage.

      • Red Hat OfficialRun Podman on Windows: How-to instructions [Ed: Windows on Red Hat's site today]

        Learn how to set up Podman’s new Windows client, which makes it easier than ever to run the container tool on Microsoft’s OS.

      • TecMintHow To Enable 64-bit Version Option in VirtualBox

        Are you trying to install a 64-bit operating system in VirtualBox and you can’t seem to see the 64-bit version option in the drop-down list as shown in the following screenshot? The solution to this problem is enabling hardware virtualization.

        This guide will show you how to enable hardware virtualization in your computer to enable 64-bit version support in VirtualBox.

    • Games

      • Boiling SteamNew Steam Games with Native Linux Clients – 2022-05-24 Edition – Boiling Steam

        We are publishing this update a little late this time, but there’s quite a lot of new titles! Between 2022-05-17 and 2022-05-24 there were 44 New Steam games released with Native Linux clients. For reference, during the same time, there were 448 games released for Windows on Steam, so the Linux versions represent about 9.8 % of total released titles.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Barry KaulerVanilla Dpup and Upup progress

      They have also been developing a more traditional next-generation Puppy, pre-fixed “Vanilla-”; currently there is Vanilla-Upup and Vanilla-Dpup, based on Ubuntu and Debian packages respectively. These have an initrd.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Medevel17 open-source, free Habit tracker apps for Windows, Android, Linux, macOS and the web

      The habit is something you usually do on a regular basis. It can be a part of a regular routine for work, lifestyle or both.

      Let us say, like morning work, exercise, reading newspaper, and brushing your teeth.

      There are good habits and bad habits, and as an example: smocking is a bad habit, drug addiction starts as a bad habit.

    • Web Browsers

    • Content Management Systems (CMS)

      • Its FOSSTypeScript Based Headless CMS ‘Payload’ Becomes Open Source


        Since its first beta release a little over a year ago, Payload has slowly built a name for itself within the web development community as a headless Content Management System (CMS). For a bit of background information, Payload is a CMS tailored specifically toward being simpler to develop websites, web apps, or native applications.

        Recently, they decided to go completely open-source, putting it among the likes of some of the best open-source CMS available.

        However, that raises some questions, like what will their business model look like? And what are the plans for Payload CMS? Let’s take a brief look.

    • GNU Projects

      • GCCGCC 9.5 Released
        The GNU Compiler Collection version 9.5 has been released.
        
        GCC 9.5 is a bug-fix release from the GCC 9 branch
        containing important fixes for regressions and serious bugs in
        GCC 9.4 with more than 171 bugs fixed since the previous release.
        
        This is also the last release from the GCC 9 branch, GCC continues
        to be maintained on the GCC 10, GCC 11 and GCC 12 branches and the
        development trunk.
        
        This release is available from the FTP servers listed here:
        
        https://sourceware.org/pub/gcc/releases/gcc-9.5.0/
        
        
        https://gcc.gnu.org/mirrors.html
        
        Please do not contact me directly regarding questions or comments
        about this release.  Instead, use the resources available from
        
        http://gcc.gnu.org.
        
        As always, a vast number of people contributed to this GCC release
        -- far too many to thank them individually!
        
    • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Open Access/Content

        • OpenSource.comLooking into the future of collaborative commons | Opensource.com

          I read Jeremy Rifkin’s book The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism, which has a strong connection to open organization principles, particularly community building. Rifkin also writes about the future of green energy generation and energy use in logistics. In the previous articles in this series, I wrote about the communication internet being joined by the advancement of the energy (producing, sharing, consuming) internet. In this final part of the series, I look at Rifkin’s thoughts regarding logistics (moving, storing, sharing) internet, and other economic sectors.

          There are public transportation systems like roads, commuter trains, light rail, and buses that are supported by taxes. There are also private transportation options such as private ocean shipping companies, private cars, bicycles, and walking. All these modes of transportation will go through changes with an IoT standardized system that communicates with many moving vehicles. This will make movement of both people and goods more efficient (less waste and more full utilization of capacity). Established protocols will allow firms to collaborate with each other to a more detailed degree. Furthermore, inventory storage will become more efficient. Redundancies and inefficiencies will be identified and reduced.

          This can be achieved by a distributed, collaborative, laterally scaled internet communication system, with its open system configuration and commons-style management, as a model for radically transforming global logistics.

    • Programming/Development

      • Venture Beat[Older] Report: Software engineers have only 10 hours per week for ‘deep work’

        What are software engineers spending their time on? With talent shortages at an all-time high, and epic shifts in where and how we work, everybody wants to know how happy engineers are with their jobs. A new report conducted by Retool and Wakefield uncovered insights into how engineers save time, increase productivity, where they lose time and their preferences around how that time is spent.

        Engineers are splitting time between core coding responsibilities, communication processes, complex testing, and even assisting with hiring, leaving them with only around 10 hours of “deep work” time per week. To save time, engineers are turning to open source code more than ever. Almost 90% of the engineers surveyed view open source code as at least somewhat essential to their day to day. More than 80% of developers are actively pulling open source code into their work (via StackOverflow or otherwise) at least once per month, and almost 50% are doing it at least once per week.

      • FOSSLifeHow Software Engineers Spend Their Time

        Almost 90% of the engineers surveyed view open source code as at least somewhat essential to their day to day.

      • CNX Softwarehm-panelizer – A KiCad companion GUI tool for panelizing PCBs – CNX Software

        Gerard (aka halfmarble) has released hm-panelizer open-source software allowing for a panelization of PCBs via a simple GUI interface and doubling as a Gerber file viewer. He’s mostly tested it with PCBs designed in KiCad 6.x, but it should also work with design files from other tools.

      • OpenSource.com3 practical tips for agile transformation

        Agile transformation happens at three levels: team agile, product agile, and organization agile. Helping your team convert to agile is the first and fundamental step in agile transformation, and with good reason. Until you get your people on board with agile, the product of all their hard work can’t be agile.

      • QtCalculating the ROI of Commercial Qt Subscriptions

        Calculating the financial value of software is not trivial, but it’s not rocket science. Have you ever been in the position to justify your software purchase to your CFO or the procurement team? I’ve been doing this many times throughout my career in different product management and R&D leadership roles. The MAKE or BUY decision is often on the table. We at the Qt Company want to help current and future customers turn the benefits of using Qt’s commercial software into financial outcomes. Therefore, we developed a tool that calculates the ROI of using the different parts of our portfolio and helps to surface current challenges and their business impact. In the past, I’ve been using Microsoft Excel to do the math of how much money we can save and how much additional money we can make by using a particular software. Using Excel in a world of cloud-based solutions felt a bit outdated, and we decided to build the new Qt Value Assessment Tool on an interactive web-based platform.

      • UbuntuEmbedded Linux development on Ubuntu – Part II | Ubuntu

        Welcome to Part II of this three-part mini-series on embedded Linux development on Ubuntu. In Part I, we set the stage for the remainder of the series and gave an overview of snaps, the packaging format at the heart of embedded devices running Ubuntu.

        Snaps are a secure, confined, dependency-free, cross-platform Linux packaging format. Software publishers often want to manage their application components using containers. Whereas one can achieve this with various runtimes, the Snap ecosystem provides a security-focused approach to containerisation with strict privilege and capability separation between containers. If you missed it, head over to Part I to review the role of snaps in embedded Linux development.

        If you are already familiar with snaps and do not wish to refresh your memory, keep reading.

      • Perl / Raku

        • Perl is still a great choice

          Perl (the Practical Extraction and Report Language) is a battle-tested, mature, multi-paradigm dynamic programming language. Note that it’s not called PERL, neither P.E.R.L. nor Pearl. “Perl” is the name of the language and “perl” the name of the interpreter or the interpreter command.

          [...]

          Is Perl really a write-only language? You have to understand that Perl 5 was released in 1994 (28 years ago as of this writing) and when we refer to Perl we usually mean Perl 5. That’s many years, and there are many old scripts not following the modern Perl best practices (as they didn’t exist yet). So yes, legacy scripts may be difficult to read. Japanese may be difficult to read too if you don’t know Japanese, though.

          To come back to the question: Is Perl a write-only language? I don’t think so. Like in any other language, you have to apply best practices in order to keep your code maintainable. Some other programming languages enforce best practices, but that makes these languages less expressive. Perl follows the principles “there is more than one way to do it” (aka TIMTOWDI) and “making easy things easy and hard things possible”.

          Perl gives the programmer more flexibility in how to do things, and this results in a stronger learning curve than for lesser expressive languages like for example Go or Python. But, like in everything in life, common sense has to be applied. You should not take TIMTOWDI to the extreme in a production piece of code. In my personal opinion, it is also more satisfying to program in an expressive language.

        • PerlTranslating Jenkins with Perl | Alceu Rodrigues de Freitas Junior [blogs.perl.org]

          This is my first post here and I hope it is more positive than a rant to the readers eyes…

          It was 2017 when I had installed Jenkins locally in my notebook for a series of experiments. The notebook was running Ubuntu configured in Brazilian Portuguese and Jenkins automatically presented me with a translation to my native language. After 15 minutes trying, I changed Ubuntu settings to English and never went back.

          It took me a while to jump into the project repository and start translating the missing parts, about four years… and the translation hasn’t improved since.

          You might be asking yourself what this has to do with Perl and why I’m blogging about it here… well, Jenkins project uses (at least) since 2010 a Perl script to help with the translation work.

  • Leftovers

    • Chess

      Chess is fun but these chess websites are full of idiots.

    • Toxic

      Toxic is derived from medieval Latin “toxicus”, meaning poisoned, which itself is derived from Latin “toxicum”, meaning poison. This is where things get interesting since “toxicum” is derived from ancient Greek “τοξικόν φάρμακον”/“toxikon pharmakon” meaning bow poison. In Greek “τοξικόν”/“toxikon”, the origin of “toxicum”, is actually the adjective used for something pertaining to a bow with the word for poison being “φάρμακον”/“pharmakon”. This is a case of an adjective being used as a substitute for a noun, similarly to how “mobile phone” was shortened to just “mobile” in modern English.

    • more Samsung S21 Ultra – nature photography + RawTherapie post processing – test sample example pictures fotos
    • Science

      • IBM Old TimerIrving Wladawsky-Berger: (I Can’t Keep No) Satisfaction

        (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, the Rolling Stones’ 1965 megahit, should have more appropriately been titled (I Can’t Keep No) Satisfaction, wrote social scientist and author Arthur C. Brooks in How to Want Less: The secret to satisfaction has nothing to do with achievement, money, or stuff, – a recent essay in The Atlantic. Brooks has been in the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School for the past two years, after being president of the American Enterprise Institute from 2009 to 2019.

        Satisfaction, he explained, “is the greatest paradox of human life. We crave it, we believe we can get it, we glimpse it and maybe even experience it for a brief moment, and then it vanishes. … In fact, our natural state is dissatisfaction, punctuated by brief moments of satisfaction.”

        Our human tendency to pursue satisfaction despite its fleeing nature condemns us to continuously live in a so-called hedonic treadmill. We might not like it, “but Mother Nature thinks it’s pretty great. She likes watching you strive to achieve an elusive goal, because strivers get the goods – even if they don’t enjoy them for long. More mates, better mates, better chances of survival for our children – these ancient mandates are responsible for much of the code that runs incessantly in the deep recesses of our brains.”

        In December of 2008, The Economist published a very interesting article, Why we are, as we are, to commemorate the approaching 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species. “For a Darwinian, life is about two things: survival and reproduction,” said the article. “Of the two, the second is the more significant. To put it crudely, the only Darwinian point of survival is reproduction. As a consequence, much of daily existence is about showing off, subtly or starkly, in ways that attract members of the opposite sex and intimidate those of the same sex. … Status and hierarchy matter. And in modern society, status is mediated by money.”

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Side Effects

        I’ve been diagnosed with psoriasis about two years ago. Around the age of 25, I noticed an uncontrollable itch in the lower back, the buttocks and the gluteal fold, especially after exercise or prolonged periods of sitting. It went away after some time, and I assumed it’s just some random skin irritation. Around my 26th birthday, I noticed I have some bald spots in my beard, around the chin. My wife’s aunt, a well-regarded naturopathy practitioner with clients all over the country, said it looks like alopecia areata and must be related to stress. She gave me some custom-made homeopathic potion, which didn’t work, and I decided to finally go to a skin doctor, to solve both problems.

    • Security

      • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 214 released

        The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 214. This version includes the following changes:

        [ Chris Lamb ]

        * Support both python-argcomplete 1.x and 2.x.

        [ Vagrant Cascadian ]

        * Add external tool on GNU Guix for xb-tool.

      • LWNSecurity updates for Friday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (atftp, cups, neutron, and zipios++), Fedora (clash, moodle, python-jwt, and thunderbird), Red Hat (thunderbird), Slackware (cups), SUSE (go1.17, libredwg, opera, seamonkey, and varnish), and Ubuntu (libxv, ncurses, openssl, and subversion).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • AccessNowUK Foreign Office must protect its citizens — intervene and #FreeAlaa today – Access Now

        The United Kingdom Foreign Office must immediately intervene in the unlawful, and life-threatening imprisonment of British-Egyptian activist, blogger, and software developer Alaa Abd El-Fattah in Egypt.

        “Enough is absolutely enough,” said Kassem Mnejja, MENA Campaigner at Access Now. “The world has let activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah languish in prison for sharing a social media post about human rights abuses in Egyptian prisons. Today, the UK Foreign Office has both the power and the responsibility to intervene, and extract Alaa — a changemaker, a pioneer, and a UK citizen — from the four walls of his cell.”

        Imprisoned on and off for a decade, and currently locked up since 2019, Alaa is today on an ongoing hunger strike in Wadi el-Natrun prison complex, after being transferred from Tora Maximum Security prison. Alaa’s family confirmed on 19 May, 2022, that Alaa “slept on a mattress for the first time in years.” Alaa’s health is rapidly and significantly deteriorating.

      • AccessNowCivil society to the UK Foreign Office: Free human rights defender Alaa Abd El-Fattah – Access Now

        British-Egyptian activist, blogger, and software developer Alaa Abd El-Fattah — locked up in Egypt to silence his activism — faces the risk of death unless the United Kingdom Foreign Office immediately intervenes for his protection. At the time of writing, 27 May 2022, Alaa has entered day 56 of his hunger strike in protest of the horrific conditions of his imprisonment. His health is rapidly and significantly deteriorating.

        On 12 May, 2022, Alaa’s family reported that he was physically assaulted in prison. On 18 May, 2022, 10 Members of Parliament and 17 Members of the House of Lords urged Secretary of State Elizabeth Truss and the UK government to act immediately to secure the activist’s release. On the same day, without informing his family, Alaa was transferred to the new Wadi el-Natrun prison complex. On 19 May, 2022, Alaa’s sister, Mona Seif, confirmed that after the move, her brother “slept on a mattress for the first time in years”. On 26 May, 2022, Alaa’s family confirmed that he received his first books and writing materials in years.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • AccessNowSyria’s new “cybercrime” law adds salt to injury

        Syria’s dictator, Bashar Al-Assad, ratified a new draconian cybercrime law (Law 20/2022) on April 18, replacing an older one from 2012 (Law 17/2012). In a country dubbed “one of the most dangerous places to use the internet in the world,” Syria’s cybercrime law law will clamp down further on digital spaces and add a legal cover to the regime’s mounting human rights violations, online and offline.

        As described in its preamble, the new law aims to curb the “misuse of technology,” and combat “cybercrime” as use of new technologies advances. As such, the law redefines “cybercrime” to include acts of slander, defamation, and online harassment as well as “crimes against decency or modesty, and crimes against the Constitution and undermining prestige” — in other words, the Syrian regime will weaponize these elastic and vague definitions to prosecute any expression it frowns upon.

        Furthermore, the law introduces harsher penalties for “cybercrimes” that target public officials or employees, entrenching impunity for corrupt and abusive officials and public employees.

      • AxiosDavos crowd sees power and perils of data

        There was a growing sense at the annual conclave that the creators of data-producing tools need to take responsibility.

      • Cape TalkWhat is spyware and should the industry be shut down?

        In the digital age our entire lives essentially exist and can be accessed on our many devices. Personal contacts, banking details, medical information and more are at the tip of our fingers. So, what happens if someone else is able to get remote access to all of that using spyware?

        John Maytham spoke to general counsel at Access Now, a global digital rights organisation, Peter Micek, about the spyware industry and the move to shut it down or, at least, reform it.

        Spyware refers to tools that can allow remote access to anything on someone’s device, from photographs to app information, and it has largely been used by and sold to governments.

        When spyware is being used, someone can listen in to what is happening on someone’s phone without them being aware at all.

        Attention is beginning to be given to spyware after a Washington Post journalist, who was being surveilled using spyware, was murdered.

      • The HillActivists, workers press Google founders to support racial equity audit

        A collection of civil society groups and employees at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, sent letters to Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and former CEO Eric Schmidt Friday urging them to support a racial equity audit at Alphabet.
        The letters are pressing the three men to either support or abstain from voting on an investor proposal calling for an independent audit that will be evaluated at Alphabet’s annual stockholder meeting next Wednesday.

        Brin, Page and Schmidt collectively control over half of all shareholder votes despite no longer being involved in the day-to-day operations of Google or its parent company because their shares have inflated voting power.

        “[Y]our support or abstention has the power to make or break this popular and necessary investor-led advocacy,” read the letters, signed by the digital rights nonprofits Access Now, the industry watchdog Accountable Tech and the civil rights organization Color of Change.

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  1. Links 25/06/2022: Games and Security by Diversity

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, June 24, 2022



  3. Links 25/06/2022: EndeavourOS Artemis and Foundries.io IPO Ambitions

    Links for the day



  4. Links 24/06/2022: GNU PSPP 1.6.1

    Links for the day



  5. [Meme] EPO All Backwards: Are National Delegates and the Administrative Council Just Puppets of the Office They're Meant to Govern?

    Next week the overseeing body of the EPO has a chance to prove it’s no longer subservient to the people it was supposed to regulate and control; it’s all backwards at the EPO, so crime is encouraged (for profit) and never punished for



  6. 2,120 EPO Workers Sign Petition to the National Delegates, Who Can Put an End to EPO Abuses (But Repeatedly Fail to Do So)

    There’s a considerable amount of pushback against António Campinos with his ludicrous policies; staff does not want him or his policies



  7. [Meme] You Cannot Protest Because...

    Mr. ‘social dialogue’ ‘very nice guy’ António Campinos failed to fulfill the peace mission or attain the calm he was assigned to deliver 4 years ago; the EPO is still in a state of crisis, but will national representatives care? Will they bag more bribes for not caring?



  8. EPO Staff at The Hague Complains of New Pressure Tactics and Survey Shows Less than 10% Think Office Policies Serve the EPO's Interests

    With only a few days left before national representatives meet in Munich to discuss the future of the Office it's important to understand that they totally ignore the interests of Europe, the EPO's staff, and science/technology; today we examine the sentiments of people based in The Netherlands, who are exceedingly unhappy about the direction their employer (EPO) has taken



  9. Links 24/06/2022: SLE 15 SP4 and Darkbar 1.0.1

    Links for the day



  10. Links 24/06/2022: Mostly Political Catchup

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 23, 2022



  12. Links 24/06/2022: FidelityFX Free Software and a Look at PetaPi

    Links for the day



  13. [Meme] Council Says...

    The Administrative Council of the EPO must be kidding itself if it thought replacing Benoît Battistelli with his friend António Campinos (and his unqualified or unsuitably unqualified friends from Alicante) would set the EPO on a route to improvement



  14. Selected Slides From Technologia's EPO Staff Survey (2022 Compared to Prior Years)

    In spite of the lack of media coverage, EPO insiders (mostly people who have worked at the EPO for quite a while) see the downward spiral in patent quality and they do not trust the management



  15. EPO Staff Survey's Preliminary Results Published (Almost 2,000 Staff Surveyed), António Campinos Less Trustworthy Than Benoît Battistelli at Similar Points in Their Terms

    At long last, after a couple of months in the making, the staff survey of the EPO is out (not the one controlled by EPO management with push-polling and 'trick questions')



  16. Links 23/06/2022: EasyOS Improves Update Process

    Links for the day



  17. Links 23/06/2022: digiKam 7.7 and Tails 5.1.1

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] Granting Patents Like Mad is Not Productivity (It's Also Illegal)

    Patent granting is down by a quarter at the EPO, so António Campinos — like Benoît Battistelli before him — resorts to terrorising staff



  19. EPO Management Behaves As If the Goal is to Shut Down and Outsource the Patent Office, Making a 'Monopolies Bank' Instead... or Having Rubber-Stamping With Kangaroo Courts Override the European Patent Convention (EPC)

    Flabbergasting strategy in Europe's second-largest institution makes one wonder if the goal is to drive out the workers or simply shut down the workplace



  20. Links 23/06/2022: Pango 1.90, First Beta for Krita 5.1 and Microsoft Bricks/Breaks Windows Server Again

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 22, 2022



  22. Links 23/06/2022: Open Hardware and More LF 'Fluff'

    Links for the day



  23. Links 23/06/2022: 3,500 Games on Steam Deck Verified or Playable, Gemini on ESP32

    Links for the day



  24. The EPO is Ceasing to Be a Patent Office

    Patent offices are meant to carry out patent examination, but today's EPO is so focused on money (by granting a ton of legally-invalid monopolies) that it is willing to enlist incapable and inexperienced workers as 'machine operators'; this is done in violation of many EPC provisionsPatent offices are meant to carry out patent examination, but today's EPO is so focused on money (by granting a ton of legally-invalid monopolies) that it is willing to enlist incapable and inexperienced workers as 'machine operators'; this is done in violation of many EPC provisions



  25. EPO Abolishing Workers' Rights and Creating Second-Class Workers in Direct Violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC)

    The EPO‘s presidents Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have demolished any remnant of EPC compliance; this institution must be reobooted immediately and all the managers sacked if not prosecuted



  26. [Meme] Trying to Circumvent the European Patent Convention is Like Playing With Fire

    The EPO‘s repeated violations of the European Patent Convention (EPC) will make António Campinos an asylum seeker like his father, seeking political shelter like Benoît Battistelli, who virtually went into hiding in 2018 (when his diplomatic immunity ended and his EPO crimes, like the Benalla affair, came to light)



  27. EPO Management Severely Harms the Health of Staff by Bullying Them

    EPO management that breaks the law wants the staff to blindly cooperate; failing to achieve full cooperation (in crimes), the managers are increasingly bullying the workers, causing some of them to get ill (in the past this led to a lot of suicides)



  28. [Meme] Executing the EPC (as in Killing It, Not Following It)

    Vichy Battistelli and his French friend have basically killed the EPC, i.e. they committed crimes to turn the EPO into a private bank instead of a patent office; who will hold them accountable and when?



  29. At the EPO, “Bringing Teams Together” or “New Management of Office Space” is Another Step Towards EPO Outsourcing

    The Local Staff Committee Munich (LSC Munich/LSCMN) and Central Staff Committee (CSC) raise awareness of a scheme that may result in only “33% of staff (at best) [having] a permanently allocated desk.” Shades of what the Office dictator Benoît Battistelli did to Judge Corcoran after he repeatedly won in court and his reinstatement was forced, whereupon he found himself back but without a desk



  30. [Meme] Battistelli the Second (Battistelli II)

    Benoît Battistelli‘s French buddy António Campinos is destroying what’s left of the EPO; as the 50th anniversary approaches it’s not clear if the EPO has any future at all (laws aren’t obeyed and new hires aren’t examiners but a disposable workforce, akin to scabs, that doesn’t meet the requirements explicitly specified in the EPC)


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