Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 24/07/2022: sq 0.27.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux LinksLinux Around The World: USA – Alaska

      Alaska is a state located in the Western United States. Alaska borders the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Yukon territory to the east. It also shares a maritime border with the Russian Federation’s Chukotka Autonomous Okrug to the west.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • LWNLinux 5.18.14
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.18.14 kernel.
        All users of the 5.18 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.18.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.18.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • LWNLinux 5.15.57
      • LWN[PATCH 5.10 000/148] 5.10.133-rc1 review
    • Applications

      • Linux Links5 Best Free and Open Source Console-Based YouTube Tools – LinuxLinks [Ed: For those not wishing to use Invidious or similar]

        YouTube is a video-sharing website, created in February 2005, and purchased by Google in November 2006. The web service lets billions of people find, watch, and share originally-created videos. This service lets you watch a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media video. It also offers a forum for people to communicate with others around the world, and acts as a distribution platform. Mainstream media corporations such as CBS, Vevo, Hulu and the BBC publish some of their catalog via YouTube, as part of the YouTube partnership program.

        Although some parents might disagree, YouTube is one of the shining lights of the internet. According to a survey of 1,500 American teenagers commissioned by Variety, the top five most influential celebrities are YouTube stars, with mainstream celebs eclipsed. Moreover, there are many thousands of “YouTube celebs” who have spun a full-time career of creating videos. This new wave of young ‘YouTubers’ threaten mainstream entertainment with their direct video blogs and interaction with their millions of mostly teenage devotees.

        A common complaint about YouTube is that to watch the material you need to use a web browser. Fortunately, some funky developers have created applications that allow you to bypass the web-only barrier of YouTube.

        Each application featured is released under an open source license, and offers multi-platform support. The software allows users to access YouTube in a different way, creating a TV-like experience.

        Here’s our verdict captured in a ratings chart. YouTube rate-limits You-Get and youtube-dl limiting their download speeds to around 50kb/s. yt-dlp employs workarounds that circumvent the rate limiting.

      • SequoiaPGPBlog – sq 0.27.0 is Released

        We are pleased to announce a new release of sq, our command line tool for OpenPGP operations. This release brings some more functionality, as well as some bug fixes.

      • MedevelInfCloud is an Open-source Self-hosted CardDAV and CardDAV client

        InfCloud is a free open-source web-based CalDAV and CardDAV client that integrates both CardDavMATE and CalDavZAP in one platform.


        GNU Affero General Public License (version 3.0).

      • Medeveldicom: an Open-source DICOM Parser for The Go Language

        The dicom or formerly “go-dicom” is a library and command-line tool to read, write, and generally work with DICOM medical image files in native Go.

      • Medevel3DimViewer is an Open-source Free DICOM Viewer

        3DimViewer is a lightweight 3D viewer of medical DICOM datasets that is distributed as open source software. The viewer is multiplatform software written in C++ that runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems.

      • Bryan LundukeScan QR codes right from your Linux Terminal

        The more things you can do via the terminal, the better, I always say.

        With that in mind, there is now a Linux shell tool that will scan QR codes (using your webcam), display an ASCII art version of the QR code, then spit out details about it (including the data / URL).

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • H2S MediaInstall MongoDB 6.0 Server on Debian 11 Bullseye – Linux Shout

        Here we are using the official repository to install MongoDB 6.0 server and client on Debian 11 to manage local or remote Databases with the help of a command terminal.

        MongoDB is a database based on a non-relational document model. As a so-called NoSQL database (NoSQL = Not-only-SQL) it differs fundamentally from conventional relational databases such as Oracle, MySQL, or the Microsoft SQL Server. The name MongoDB is derived from the English word “humongous”, which roughly means “gigantic”.

      • Make Use OfHow to Set Up a Windows Virtual Machine in Linux

        Need to run Windows software on Linux? One easy method is to install Windows in a virtual machine.

        Preferable to relying on Wine or dual booting, using virtualization gives the Windows virtual PC access to your physical computer’s USB ports and other devices. It also means that you can move the virtual machine to a new PC should your current computer need replacing.

      • Steinar H GundersonAV1 live streaming: Exploring SVT-AV1 rate control

        I’m looking into AV1 live streaming these days; it’s still very early, but it looks like enough of the required parts may finally align, and it seems it’s the way I’ll have to go to get to that next quality level. (Specifically, I’d like to go from 720p60 to 1080p60 for sports, and it seems this is hard to do under H.264 as-is without making pretty big concessions in terms of artifacts/smudges, or else jack up the bitrate so much that clients will start having viewing problems.)

        After some brief testing, it seems SVT-AV1 is the obvious choice; if you’ve got the cores, it produces pretty good-looking 10-bit AV1 using less CPU time than x264 veryfast (!), possibly mostly due to better parallelization. But information about using it for live streaming was hard to find, and asking online turned up zero useful information. So I did some practical tests for live-specific issues, starting with rate control.

      • uni TorontoHow to get (or recognize) a common Unix log timestamp format in things

        One common form for timestamps in Unix log files is timestamps that come out looking like ’2022-07-16 20:50:35′, which is to say the date (in a sensible order) and then the time, with no timezone. Unless the program writing the logs is perverse, the timestamp is in the system’s local time (whatever that is), not something fixed like UTC (of course the system’s local timezone may be UTC). On a casual look around our systems, this is the timestamp format used by Exim and rspamd.

        Go famously has a somewhat obscure approach to formatting and parsing timestamps, which pre-defines a number of common timestamp formats. However, this one is not one of them, and for reasons beyond the scope of this entry I recently wanted to recognize timestamps in this format in Go (more or less).

      • uni TorontoAn assortment of timestamp formats found in our (Unix) logs

        When I wrote yesterday’s entry on producing and parsing a common Unix log timestamp format, I expected to casually find a bunch of examples of programs using that format. What I found instead was a veritable garden of timestamp formats, and today I feel like inventorying them. My examples will use real timestamps plucked from our logs; representing them in Go or C time formatting is up to you.

        (I thought about generating Go formats for all of these then realized I would need to test them all. That’s too much work.)

      • uni TorontoGrafana Loki and what can go wrong with label cardinality

        Grafana Loki (documentation) is described as ‘Prometheus for logs’, or to quote its website, it’s ‘a log aggregation system designed to store and query logs from all your applications and infrastructure’. Similar to Prometheus, it has the idea of data points having both labels and a value (and a timestamp); where in Prometheus the value was always a number, in Loki the ‘value’ is the log message. On a modern Linux system, the obvious easy way to get started with Loki is to use the Promtail agent to ship the systemd journal into your Loki server. How to do this is covered in the “journal” section of the promtail configuration, and there’s a convenient example Journal configuration.

        One of the nice things about the systemd journal is that messages logged in the journal come with a lot of metadata, as covered in systemd.journal-fields. The promtail journal collector allows you to turn some (or all) of these systemd metadata fields into labels. If you aren’t shipping the raw JSON from journald to Loki as the ‘log message’, turning metadata into labels is the only good way to preserve it for later examination and use. Unfortunately there is a problem here, because Loki is more like Prometheus than you’d like.

      • Its FOSSHow to Install Pamac GUI Package Manager in Arch Linux

        Pamac is the package manager of Manjaro based on libalpm which also supports Appstream, AUR, Flatpak and Snaps. Being an alternative to pacman it focuses on providing an easy-to-use interface whether it is GUI or CLI.

        Arch Linux relies on the pacman commands for package management. You may get a GUI-based software center from your desktop environment.

        However, if you want to install the fabulous Pamac package manager in Arch Linux, you could do that.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install/Upgrade Redis on Debian 11 Bullseye

        Redis is an open-source (BSD licensed), in-memory key-value data structure store used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis supports data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyper log logs, geospatial indexes, and streams. Redis also provides high availability with Redis Sentinel software logic, automatically partitioning across commodities by ensuring data is replicated in multiple locations. For example, when adding a new node to the cluster, the system will automatically detect the new node and begin replicating data to it. If a node fails or becomes unresponsive, the system automatically removes it from the cluster and routes traffic to the next available node. This way, you can be sure that your data is always accessible and live updates are always possible. Redis has become one of the most popular database options available today, thanks to features like these.

        The following tutorial will teach you how to install Redis on Debian 11 Bullseye using the terminal command line and the official Redis APT repository for users to install the latest version or for existing users to upgrade their Redis version that Debian, which is often outdated along with some basic setup instructions to get you started.

      • ID RootHow To Install PHP 8 on Rocky Linux 9

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PHP 8 on Rocky Linux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, PHP a.k.a Hypertext Preprocessor is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language especially suited for web development. Many popular CMS such as WordPress, Magento, and Joomla is written in PHP. Frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, and CodeIgniter. PHP 8 is a major update of the PHP language, there are numerous new features in it, such as enums, read-only properties, first-class callable syntax, fibers, intersection types, speed enhancements, and more.

        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 PHP 8 on Rocky Linux. 9.

      • HowTo ForgeHow to upload local files to Amazon EC2 instance using Terraform [Ed: AMS is vendor lock-in and proprietary, but howtos seem appropriate]

        In this tutorial, we will look at how to copy a file from a local machine running Terraform to a newly created Amazon EC2 instance (Ubuntu) on AWS. In this method, we will use the File utility provided by Terraform. We demonstrate its use by simply copying a file to an EC2 instance.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Radio 16 on GNOME 42 Presentation at GUADEC 2022 – Ole Aamot

          GNOME Radio 16 is the Public Network Radio Software for Accessing Free World Broadcasts on Internet running on GNOME 42.

          GNOME Radio 16 is available with Hawaii Public Radio (NPR) and 62 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) live audio broadcasts for GNOME 42.

          The latest GNOME Radio 16 release during GUADEC 2022 (between July 20-25, 2022) features 200 international radio stations and 110 city map markers around the world, including National Public Radio, 62 BBC radio stations broadcasting live from United Kingdom and 4 SomaFM radio stations broadcasting live from San Francisco, California. GNOME Radio 16 for GNOME 42 is developed on the GNOME 42 desktop platform with GNOME Maps, GeoClue, libchamplain and geocode-lib and it requires at least GTK+ 3.0 and GStreamer 1.0 for audio playback.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Barry KaulerTesting Limine Installer on a UEFI computer

      Yesterday I posted testing Limine Installer on a BIOS computer:


      Today I have tested the Installer on my Mele mini-PC, which has UEFI-firmware. I have posted about the Mele many times, such as here:


      The internal eMMC flash memory has Windows 10, and /dev/mmcblk0p1 is the ESP boot partition for Windows.
      I left that drive alone, as-is. Back in 2017, I bought a 240GB Kingston SSD and installed EasyOS to it, simply by using ‘dd’ to write the ‘easy-*.img’ file to the SSD.
      The SSD then had a vfat ESP boot partition, with the rEFInd bootloader, and a second ext4 partition which is the working partition where EasyOS is installed.
      The great advantage of having the rEFInd booloader in its own separate ESP partition, is just need to press the hot-key at power-on to run UEFI-setup and choose to boot from the SSD. The eMMC drive is untouched, pristine. So, at anytime in the future could change the UEFI-Setup back to booting eMMC — in fact that would happen automatically if physically remove the SSD.

    • Barry KaulerLimine bootloader introduction page

      I have created a page about Limine at easyos.org:


      The intention is to add links to it, as there are more case-studies posted to this blog. Or anywhere else, if someone wants to do a case study on their particular hardware and installed-OSs.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Programming/Development

      • Ubuntu PitIntelliJ vs. Eclipse: Which is Better for Beginners?

        IDEs come in every shape and size and may often cater to multiple programming languages. However, some of these environments might have a language for which they are famous. That said, Java programmers often compare IntelliJ vs. Eclipse to find the better choice for beginners.

        Java is a pure object-oriented language, and both IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse fulfill their purpose perfectly. Choosing to work with one over the other might seem like a choice that varies on the user’s comfort. Some may like tools that prove as a challenge but have better functionalities, while others want simple interfaces. So, let’s explore!

      • RlangRStudio 2022.07.0: What’s New

        This post highlights some of the improvements in the latest RStudio IDE release 2022.07.0, code-named “Spotted Wakerobin”.

      • Rlangsimstudy updated to version 0.5.0

        A new version of simstudy is available on CRAN. There are two major enhancements and several new features. In the “major” category, I would include (1) changes to survival data generation that accommodate hazard ratios that can change over time, as well as competing risks, and (2) the addition of functions to allow users to sample from existing data sets with replacement to generate “synthetic” data will real life distribution properties. Other less monumental, but important, changes were made: updates to functions genFormula and genMarkov, and two added utility functions, survGetParams and survParamPlot. (I did describe the survival data generation functions in two recent posts, here and here.)

      • RlangRobin Donatello Talks About Growing an R Community at a State University

        Growing a user base for R at a university can be challenging at the best of times, especially when dealing with the silos that are present in the university system. Robin Donatello with the Chico R Users Group talks about how this issue became both easier and harder to deal with due to the pandemic.

      • Perl / Raku

        • Is raku Dan RubberSonic? – Physics::Journey

          Raku is a great software language that draws on the scripting heritage of perl. The newly minted raku Dan modules provide Data ANalytics (geddit?) capabilities to raku for data science and engineering use cases. (Intro slides & demo video here). This is one in an occasional series of blog posts that seek to explore the whys & wherefores of raku Dan.

          I you want to check out more, warts and all, visit /r/rakulang at Reddit and ask away!

      • Python

  • Leftovers

    • AntipopeCrimes against Transhumanity

      (Disclaimer: I am a transhumanist skeptic these days, not to mention a singularity curmudgeon and a critic of Mars colonization, but I still find these ideas nice to chew on sometimes.)

      Humans are social animals, and it seems reasonable to assume that any transhuman condition we can wrap our minds around will also be a social one for most of its participants.

      Society implies a social contract, that is: we grant one another rights and in return make the concession of respecting each others’ rights, in order that our own rights be observed and respected.

      And violations of rights tend to be at the root of our concept of crime and injustice—at least, any modern concept of crime once we discard religious justifications and start trying to figure things out from first principles.

      Which leads me to ask: in a transhumanist society—go read Accelerando, or Glasshouse, or The Rapture of the Nerds—what currently recognized crimes need to be re-evaluated because their social impact has changed? And what strange new crimes might universally be recognized by a society with, for example, mind uploading, strong AI, or near-immortality?

      SF authors are paid to think our way around the outside of ideas, so it’s always worth raiding the used fiction bin for side-effects and consequences. Here’s qntm’s take on the early years of mind uploading–the process of digitizing the connectome of a human brain in order to treat it as software: I strongly suggest you read Lena (if you haven’t previously done so) before continuing. It’s a short story, structured as a Wikipedia monograph, and absolutely horrifying by implication, for various reasons.

    • Code Breaker: Meet the Man Who Virtually Invented Computer Art – ELEPHANT

      Rejected and scorned in the 1950s, Herbert W Franke’s digital work is finally being recognised as revolutionary. Words by Steve Taylor

    • Grgely NagyThe story of Byr

      I have no idea how much use it had, because apart from showing it during the demo, I never looked at the metrics. I never looked at its database, either. And in 2022, when I discovered this little Dyno is still there, the company that provided the database and the metrics were long out of business. The public URL it was originally demoed at was repurposed somewhere around 2018, too, and then that service was decommissioned – along with the URL – sometime in 2021. But Byr still ran.

      Every time someone tried to connect, it tried to do its job, but because there was nothing to back it, it could not. I felt sorry for the little Dyno. I did not have the heart to simply turn it off.

      I spun up a MongoDB, and a dummy server that mimicked the API of the metrics service Byr was using, and connected both to Byr. With its friends back, I restored the original URL it was using (I still had the domain, by pure chance), and I let it show me the front page, shorten an URL, and serve it back to me. Now I could shut it down without feeling awful, and this exercise inspired the Tragedy of Byr, which in turn, served as a fantastic way to test some ideas I had for a game.

    • Ruben SchadeRubenerd: Autochrome Lumière Mauretania

      I noticed Wikipedia’s article on the original RMS Mauretania had a color photo using the process. Its the only other time I’ve seen a colour image that wasn’t from her last days before scrapping, and the only one while she still had her standard ocean liner colours.

      I wonder how many other colour photos from the turn of the century are out there? I’d love to see them.

    • Jim NielsenFinding Stuff to Write About

      In his book On Writing, Steven King talks about where he gets ideas. It’s a common question, I think, for anyone who writes steadily. I know people have asked me, “How do you find stuff to write about?” What King says resonates with me: I don’t go out seeking ideas, they whiz by me all day; I’ve just gotten better at recognizing them.

    • Science

      • Why Open Access To The ACM Digital Library Matters | Associations Now

        ACM, in the midst of both a landmark celebration and a broader open-access initiative, is putting its history online for anyone to access. The archives give computing enthusiasts something to celebrate—and interested parties a window into ACM’s evolution.

      • IEEED-Wave’s 500-Qubit Machine Hits the Cloud – IEEE Spectrum

        When quantum-computing pioneer D-Wave releases its next-generation Advantage2 system in 2023 or 2024, the company expects its 7,000-qubit machine to be the most powerful quantum computer of its kind in the world. Now D-Wave is making an experimental prototype of Advantage2 immediately available for use over the cloud.

        Classical computers switch transistors either on or off to symbolize data as ones or zeroes. In contrast, quantum computers use quantum bits, or “qubits.” Because of the strange nature of quantum physics, qubits can exist in a state called superposition, in which they are essentially both 1 and 0 at the same time. This phenomenon lets each qubit perform two calculations at once. The more qubits are quantum mechanically linked, or entangled, within a quantum computer, the greater its computational power can grow, in an exponential fashion.

      • GeorgeHow The Fuck Did Feynman Get Here !? – by George

        How The Fuck Did Feynman Get Here !? I’ve been re-rereading stories about Feynman again. People decry that no such geniuses exist today, they oft seem to decry the fact that no physicists since has developed such a thirst for understanding and beautiful ability to abstract for others.

      • DNA Typewriter Taps Out a Record Inside Cells | HHMI

        To test their DNA typewriter, scientists sought to hide well-known phrases inside cells. But this invention’s most powerful application may lie in documenting the biological events that unfold within the boundaries of normal and diseased cells.

      • Automated drones could scare birds off agricultural fields – WSU Insider

        In the future, cameras could spot blackbirds feeding on grapes in a vineyard and launch drones to drive off the avian irritants, then return to watch for the next invading flock. All without a human nearby.

        A Washington State University research team has developed just such a system, which they detail in a study published in the journal Computer and Electronics in Agriculture. The system is designed to have automated drones available to patrol 24 hours a day to deter pest birds, like European starlings or crows, that cost growers millions of dollars a year in stolen or ruined fruit.

        “Growers don’t really have a good tool they can rely on for deterring pest birds at an affordable price,” said Manoj Karkee, associate professor in WSU’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering and the study’s corresponding author. “With further refinement and industry partnerships, this system could work.”

      • Tim BrayDark Matter Fun

        Anyone who’s read one or two of my Long Links curations knows that I’m fascinated by the ongoing conundra in Astrophysics and Cosmology on the subject of Dark Matter. There are a couple of recent developments that are worth noting.

    • Hardware

      • Matt RickardThe Quick Uptake of ARM on Cloud

        ARM chipsets like AWS Gravitron and Google Cloud/Azure Ampere have quickly gained adoption. There are many enterprise tailwinds: supply chain, licensing, performance, cost, etc.

        But I’ve been most surprised with how quickly developers have adopted ARM in production. Even with superior cost and performance, there’s gravity to running a specific architecture. Ten years ago, switching off Intel would have been a long, painful transition.

    • Security

      • Matt RickardSybil Attacks on Airdrops

        Sybil attacks occur when networked systems get gamed by a small number of accounts, creating multiple identities.

        Proof-of-stake and Proof-of-work mechanisms on blockchains provide Sybil resistance against attacks. These mechanisms prevent a single user from spinning up a large number of nodes to influence the network (economic costs).

        There’s a different flavor of Sybil attacks that occur on blockchains now. Many chains or web3 applications have used airdrops as a growth mechanism (whether or not it works, that’s TBD). Airdrops of new tokens or rewards might be allocated to users who used the application during a certain period. Some airdrops were even scaled with activity: i.e., the more you used the service, the higher the reward you were given.

      • Old VCROld Vintage Computing Research: Crypto Ancienne 2.0 now brings TLS 1.3 to the Internet of Old Things (except BeOS)

        Who says you can’t teach an old box new tricks? We did it before and we’re doing it again. Crypto Ancienne (“Cryanc”) is a TLS implementation for pre-C99 beasts and monstrosities featuring carl, a simple curl-like utility that serves as a demonstration command line tool and even as an HTTPS-over-HTTP proxy for suitably configurable browsers. Many operating systems are supported and a number of compilers too (not only gcc going back to version 2.5 and the egcs days, but also clang, MIPSpro, Compaq C and even Metrowerks CodeWarrior). Now, after a lot of late night hacking, screaming and unspeakable acts of programming, tons of bugs are fixed (including a long-standing big-endian issue with ChaCha20Poly1305) and the core has been significantly upgraded such that almost all of the supported platforms now support TLS 1.3.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • The MarkupFacebook Is Receiving Sensitive Medical Information from Hospital Websitesgemini://gemini.bortzmeyer.org/software/lupa/stats.gmi

          A tracking tool installed on many hospitals’ websites has been collecting patients’ sensitive health information—including details about their medical conditions, prescriptions, and doctor’s appointments—and sending it to Facebook.

          The Markup tested the websites of Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals in America. On 33 of them we found the tracker, called the Meta Pixel, sending Facebook a packet of data whenever a person clicked a button to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The data is connected to an IP address—an identifier that’s like a computer’s mailing address and can generally be linked to a specific individual or household—creating an intimate receipt of the appointment request for Facebook.

        • Aadhaar advisory: the continuing saga of UIDAI’s breach of privacy rights – The Leaflet

          The recent advisories by the UIDAI’s regional office and then by its parent body are of concern. UIDAI, which has been functioning without a chairman since 2019, is responsible for managing one of the biggest databases in the world. It has already been revealed by the CAG report that it has failed to maintain the uniqueness of the Aadhaar. The database has unpaired and mismatched biometrics data on its system. It lacks a data archiving policy. The lack of a mechanism to ensure its accountability is another worry.

        • Ruben SchadeA dream without a phone

          I had a dream last night that wasn’t so much scary as it was confusing, though I’m sure it tapped into some anxiety of some sort.

          I’d gone to a new country with my sister, checked into a hotel she’s booked for us, then taken the local metro down to a massive central station building. I turned around, and both my sister and my smartphone were gone.

          There I was, in an unfamiliar place, and no idea how to get back. I couldn’t ask for directions, because I didn’t know the name of the hotel. I couldn’t remember which line we’d taken. I had no money to buy a new phone because I’d used Apple Pay. And even if I did, I wouldn’t know my sister’s new foreign SIM mobile number.

        • New York TimesIn a Post-Roe World, the Future of Digital Privacy Looks Even Grimmer – The New York Times

          Welcome to the post-Roe era of digital privacy, a moment that underscores how the use of technology has made it practically impossible for Americans to evade ubiquitous tracking.

          In states that have banned abortion, some women seeking out-of-state options to terminate pregnancies may end up following a long list of steps to try to shirk surveillance — like connecting to the internet through an encrypted tunnel and using burner email addresses — and reduce the likelihood of prosecution.

          Even so, they could still be tracked. Law enforcement agencies can obtain court orders for access to detailed information, including location data logged by phone networks. And many police departments have their own surveillance technologies, like license plate readers.

          That makes privacy-enhancing tools for consumers seem about as effective as rearranging the furniture in a room with no window drapes.

          “There’s no perfect solution,” said Sinan Eren, an executive at Barracuda, a security firm. “Your telecom network is your weakest link.”

        • Towards Data ScienceModeling Marketing Mix Using Smoothing Splines | by Slava Kisilevich | Jul, 2022 | Towards Data Science [Ed: Marketing predators try to paint their sinister agenda as a science]

          The established approach among marketers for modeling marketing mix is to apply linear regression models which assume the relationship between marketing activities such as advertisement spend and the response variable (sales, revenue) is linear. Prior to modeling, media spend variables should undergo two necessary transformations to properly capture the carryover effect and the saturation effect of the advertisement spend. It is known, that advertisement spend is not linear with respect to the response variable and follows the law of diminishing returns. However, the functional form of the saturation curve is not known in advance. Therefore, the modeler should first hypothesize about the possible transformation functions that should be applied to each media activity channel to match the true spend-to-response relationship. In this article, I show an alternative approach to modeling marketing mix by using Smoothing Splines, which is the way to model the non-linear relationship between dependent and independent variables within the framework of a linear model. By following this approach, the model will establish the non-linear relationship between media activity variables and the response variable without the need to transform those independent variables to account for the non-linear relationships.

    • Environment

      • Michael West MediaCoalition cowardice over environment report – Michael West

        It may not be provable that the Morrison government was the worst in Australian history. But it may have been the most stupid. Its suppression of the fourth State of the Environment report demonstrates this.

        The report, which hit the media on Tuesday, details disasters on animal and plant extinction, marine life, the Great Barrier Reef, bushfires, floods and land clearing.

        The report is, to quote the CSIRO, ”a comprehensive assessment of the state of Australia’s environment produced every five years by the Australian Government. It is an independent and evidence-based review that is mandated by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.”

        In other words, not the sort of thing to bury in the bottom of a minister’s drawer. Yet the Coalition’s environment minister Sussan Ley, who received the report before Christmas, failed to release it. Why she would think this good strategy is the stupidity bit.

      • Energy

        • Michael West MediaRobbing Australia: profits soar for gas giants, royalties and tax languish – Michael West

          Foreign gas giants Shell, Chevron, Exxon are enjoying an explosion in revenue while paying virtually no income tax and forking out just spare change in royalties. What’s the scam?

          The scam is Australia’s insipid governments and regulators are being gamed by the gas lobby, exploited like never before. Thanks to oil and gas industry spin, and thanks to a meek and compromised finance press, foreign multinationals are pillaging our resources like never before. The latest report from energy analysts at IEEFA estimates the gas majors’ revenue has surged 115% but the royalties they pay to Australian governments, which is already very low, are not rising in step with income and profits.

          Royalties are not tax. Royalties are the price which companies pay – or ought to pay – to drill and mine resources which are owned by us. Immense profits are being raked overseas, yet Chevron, Exxon and Shell – as written here many times – are egregious tax avoiders, Exxon booking $70bn in income over 7 years without paying a cent in tax.

    • Finance

      • Matt RickardShannon’s Demon

        Or, how you can create positive returns out of a random walk simply by rebalancing a portfolio.

        Let’s say you have $100 that you want to distribute 50% in stocks and 50% in cash. $200 in stocks, $200 in cash.

        On the first day, the stock halves in price, so you now only have $100 in stock. You rebalance your portfolio by buying another $50 in stock, bringing your assets to $150 in stock, $150 in cash (total $300).

      • Troy HuntIf You’re Not Paying for the Product, You Are… Possibly Just Consuming Goodwill for Free

        Facebook. LinkedIn. TikTok. But this isn’t an internet age thing, the origins go back way further, originally being used to describe TV viewers being served ads. Sure, TV was “free” in that you don’t pay to watch it (screwy UK TV licenses aside), but running a television network ain’t cheap so it was (and still is) supported by advertisers paying to put their message in front of viewers. A portion of those viewers then go out and buy the goods and services they’ve been pitched hence becoming the “product” of TV.

      • The Wall Street JournalTech Workers Long Got What They Wanted. That’s Over.

        Employees who switched jobs during the pandemic received salary bumps and permission to work remotely. Those perks are now under threat.

        Tech workers used to asking for the moon are starting to hear an unfamiliar word as startups and giants such as Google and Microsoft get more cautious: No.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Michael West MediaLies, damned lies and survey results – Michael West

        POLL: MAJORITY OF AUSTRALIANS DEMAND NEW COAL-FIRED POWER STATIONS proclaimed the media release from the Institute of Public Affairs on Thursday. Yes, it was scary enough to rate capital letters.

        “A new poll commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs, reinforces that a majority of Australians want practical and proven solutions to solve the Great Energy Crisis, and this includes building new coal-fired power stations,” the handout harangue continued.

        ”The poll of 1,001 Australians undertaken for the IPA asked respondents whether they agree or disagree with the following statement: “Australia should build new coal-fired power stations to ensure families have reliable and affordable electricity all year round”. The result was 55% agree, 23% disagree, 22% neither agree nor disagree.

      • Michael West MediaAlbanese returns from his honeymoon, bumps into Adam Bandt – Michael West

        Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he is open to “sensible” changes to the government’s climate reform, but will not buckle under pressure from the Greens to increase the 43% emissions reduction target. Michael West on Albo’s first two months in office and the looming climate clash.

        He’s helped Australia’s workers to better pay, he’s repairing Australia’s battered relations with China, France and the Pacific Islands. He’s sorted the preposterous prosecution of whistleblower Bernard Collaery, he’s saved us a couple of billion dollars on the French submarine deal, he’s actually committed to an emissions target and the Biloela kids are going to school after four years in detention.

        We say, Labor is doing a good job so far. Anthony Albanese resembles a latter day Red Adair, running around the world putting out Coalition fires. Even better, the bombastic TV tirades – the lying, the blatant pork barrelling, the mollycoddling of the Murdoch goons and the towering incompetence of the Coalition regime are a thing of the past.

      • Michael West MediaThe Ex-Files: where is the life for discards of the parliamentary bubble?

        Australia is a different place politically, and so is Canberra. Scott Morrison is no longer a one-man employment agency. And many traditionally Coalition-aligned lobby firms have already started picking up Labor staffers, writes Stephanie Tran.

        There’s nothing more ex than an ex, as the old saying goes, but there are ways of landing on your feet after being dumped.

        Sure, Scott Morrison has is already enjoying the perks of life as an ex-prime minister, turning up in Seoul last week to hobnob with other has-beens such as former US vice-president Mike Pence and former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad and has-been / possible future star Michelle Obama. And on the weekend he was warning congregants at Margaret Court’s church in Perth of Satan’s plan.

        There’s never no options for an ex-PM, no matter in what odour they left the top job. Australia now has seven ex-PMs, and they are all doing something useful or making nuisances of themselves or making useful nuisances of themselves. Anyway they are doing OK in their own way.

      • Georgia Poll Workers Falsely Targeted by Trump [Ed: Proprietary voting machines ought not be used in the first place]
      • The Supreme Court’s Crisis of Legitimacy

        The United States of America today is a fundamentally different country than the United States of America three weeks ago.

        In this new U.S., the federal government can’t regulate carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act because the law, which first passed in 1963, doesn’t specifically give the government that power. In addition, local government cannot stop a school official from leading students in prayer. But it can control what happens inside a uterus. But it can’t prevent you from carrying a gun in public. But it can assert legal jurisdiction over Native American reservations.

        The common thread is the Supreme Court is the most radically… I don’t even want to say “Conservative,” because this court has been throwing out precedents the way Donald Trump flung his lunch across the White House dining room. So … interventionist? Revanchist? Insurrectionist?

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • WiredThe Fight Over Which Uses of [computer programs] Europe Should Outlaw

        IN 2019, GUARDS on the borders of Greece, Hungary, and Latvia began testing an artificial-intelligence-powered lie detector. The system, called iBorderCtrl, analyzed facial movements to attempt to spot signs a person was lying to a border agent. The trial was propelled by nearly $5 million in European Union research funding, and almost 20 years of research at Manchester Metropolitan University, in the UK.

      • New York TimesRobots Aren’t Done Reshaping Warehouses [Ed: Robots were in warehouses for many years already]

        When Digit spends an afternoon unloading boxes from a tractor-trailer in 100-plus-degree heat, co-workers never hear a complaint. Digit, a blue-and-white humanoid robot, was designed to handle the tough, menial and dangerous tasks at warehouses.

        The robot’s movements, informed by years of studying how birds walk, include a slight sway in its frame when it is at rest, to dispel the discomforting stillness that bothers humans. It also doesn’t talk, because voice recognition tech is not advanced enough yet.

        “Instead of designing the whole warehouse around the robots, we can now build robots that are able to operate on our terms, in our spaces, in our environments,” said Jonathan Hurst, the chief technology officer and a founder of Agility Robotics, the firm behind Digit.

      • uni MITA helping hand for robotic manipulator design | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

        With modular components and an easy-to-use 3D interface, this interactive design pipeline enables anyone to create their own customized robotic hand.

      • From Juneteenth to Reparations: Reclaiming Our Stolen Stories

        Do you know the story of Juneteenth?

        Can you imagine it?

        June 19, 1865, the day that General Order No. 3 “informed all Texans that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves were free,” is the day that we know as Juneteenth today.

        We can imagine asking:

        What kind of jubilee floated into the air that day?

        Do you think the exaltations shook fear out of the ground?

        What songs gave sound to words with no language?

        Juneteenth (“Emancipation Day” or “Jubilee Day,” as it was called in most early accounts) is a celebration of the news that informed Black people throughout Texas that the institution of slavery had been abolished—despite the Emancipation Proclamation marking the legislative end of slavery nearly two and a half years earlier. The day is celebrated throughout the United States with processions, speeches, art, and dance. It was only last year that it was declared a federal holiday, bringing it into mainstream consciousness.

      • For Indigenous Peoples, Abortion Is a Religious Right – YES! Magazine

        After the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June, Minnesota’s Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, a member of the White Earth Ojibwe Tribe, wrote on social media, “In Minnesota, your reproductive rights will stay protected. …Abortion is health care. Period.” She wasn’t just expressing the health care policy of Minnesota; she was also expressing the long-standing viewpoint of many Indigenous peoples. For thousands of years, reproductive health care has been an important part of Indigenous peoples’ cultural practices, which include religious rituals, sacred rites, and the right to abortion.

        With the recent ruling by the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a question emerges: To what extent will Indigenous religious and cultural practices related to reproductive health, including the right to an abortion, be impacted by this decision?

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Ish SookunWhat is the SAFE submarine cable?

        The South Africa Far East (SAFE) cable is an optical fiber submarine cable that connects South Africa, Mauritius, Réunion, India and Malaysia.

      • Bryan LundukeThere is a project to recreate the Prodigy online service

        Last month we talked about the effort to reverse engineer the AOL servers — named the “Re:AOL” project — and create a standalone AOL-compatible server that let people experience the joys of using America On-Line from “back in the day”.

      • JCSWriting and Running a BBS on a Macintosh Plus – joshua stein | jcs

        In 2015, I wrote a custom BBS server in Ruby and had been using it to run the Kludge BBS on a small OpenBSD server in my home office since then.

        Last year after writing a lot of C on my Macintosh Plus, I had the itch to write a new BBS server so I could move the BBS to run on another Mac Plus. As with all software development projects, it took quite a bit longer than expected, but last month I finally got far enough with the development to deploy the new BBS on a Mac Plus.

      • Ish SookunBaie Jacotet SCLS, a restricted area

        Last Tuesday, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, P. K. Jugnauth, was replying to a question asked by a Member of Parliament, E. Juman, during the first session of the parliamentary debate.

        P. K. Jugnauth confirmed that the Security Division of his office had requested the former CEO of Mauritius Telecom, S. Singh, to extend all necessary assistance to a three-member technical team from India who would field a survey mission at the South Africa Far East (SAFE) Submarine Landing Station at Baie Jacotet, Bel Ombre.

        P. K. Jugnauth stated that in the morning of 15 April 2022, he was informed that Mauritius Telecom had not made the necessary arrangements for the team to have access at the Landing Station. Therefore, he telephoned the former CEO of Mauritius Telecom, S. Singh, and asked him to make arrangements for the survey to be carried out.

        The SAFE Submarine Cable Landing Station at Baie Jacotet was declared a restricted area through Government Notice 183 of 2004. The decision was taken by the cabinet on 8 October 2004 and the SAFE SCLS at Baie Jacotet has been a restricted area since 11 November 2004 in accordance with Section 13B of the Police Act.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • SpellBinding: GHYLMTI Wordo: FLING
      • Good Bye Peugeot — Hello Alfa MiTo and 75

        In September 2016 I bought an old Peugeot 206 triggered by the need to get to my mother’s place more regularly and a lot faster. One way takes 2,5 hours by car, and roughly 6 hours by public transportation. So after roughly 30 years of not having “my own car”, I did it again. We did have a family car for 20 of these 30 years. However, I did not want to crash my wife’s car on possibly snowy roads over the mountains, so that was the day.

        This particular Peugeot 206 was from 2005, with 152000 km on the odometer. It had seen its fair share of roads, hail storms, scratches and what not. It was ready to go to the press. But the operator of the recycling place had mercy and sold it.

    • Technical

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)

  2. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned

  3. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

    Links for the day

  4. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day

  5. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers

  6. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered

  7. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)

  8. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)

  9. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day

  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023

  11. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day

  12. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day

  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023

  14. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day

  15. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day

  16. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers

  17. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day

  18. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’

  19. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active

  20. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”

  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023

  22. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort

  23. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that

  24. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day

  25. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”

  26. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day

  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023

  28. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"

  29. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.

  30. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software

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