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Links 13/08/2022: Steam Deck as KDE-Based PC, Arduino Projects

Posted in News Roundup at 3:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • uni TorontoHow old our servers are (as of 2022)

      Back in 2016, I wrote about how old our servers were at the time. They were rather older than people might have expected, because universities are generally cheap and so usually run servers much longer than many people do. My group no longer quite runs servers into the ground, but we still can come close. Today, for reasons beyond the scope of this entry, I’m going to do a 2022 version of my old entry.

      My group only handles general departmental infrastructure on the non-undergraduate side of things, although these days we have some big servers that are mostly in our compute cluster. However, most of the most modern and powerful servers are in research groups, and get turned over much faster than we do (in fact we just recently got rid of some vintage 2011 ‘compute’ servers we inherited that way).

      Our normal servers remain almost entirely 1U Dell servers, although we’ve wound up with some ultra-short Supermicro servers as well that we use for firewalls. What we consider our current generation of Dell 1U servers are R340s and R240s; these are what we use for new installs of machines that we particularly care about. Since we’re in the process of upgrading a bunch of machines from Ubuntu 18.04 to 22.04, the number of these servers in production use is likely to go up. Somewhat older than that are Dell R230s, which it looks like we started using in 2017 or maybe 2018, and then we have quite a number of R210 IIs and R310s still in service, although we’re rotating those out of service as we upgrade machines to Ubuntu 22.04. We’re still reusing some of these old Dells for test servers or unimportant things, although we’ve decided that a number of them have CPUs that are now just too slow for modern Linux.

    • Ruben SchadeThinking aloud about web engagement

      Last Wednesday I talked about the growing trend of superficial Linux distro reviews, both on YouTube and in thousands of cookie-cutter websites. Michael Dexter has lamented the fact that site wrapping software announcement with ads places higher in search results than the announcements themselves.

      I have intimate experience with this. Software and writing I once published under my (now retired) alias would routinely get picked up and disseminated, usually without attribution. My primary blog here is now big and old enough that its harder to get away with this, but I still find people wrapping my words wholesale so they can get cents of ad revenue. I still continue to publish full articles in my RSS feeds, but I’m starting to understand why others only want to include summaries.


      As I said in that Linux desktop review post, I don’t think everyone is guilty of this. But it does go part of the way to explain why we’re seeing so many more of these mass-farmed videos and blogs, all saying broadly the same thing. Substance has been replaced with SEO (an abbreviation I’ve long thought a red herring), quality with quantity, and search engines like Google are, at best, enablers. There’s a reason everyone thinks search results aren’t as good now as they used to be.


      The web seems to be cleaving in two directions: rubbish, and paywalls. I’d guess there are just as many people sharing knowledge, experience, and ideas as ever before, but they’re being drowned out by an increasing tide of churnalism, theft, and low-effort spam. Sandy demonstrates as much when doing some basic geographic and health searches in the first linked post, some of which has already cost lives.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Ingo JürgensmannXMPP and the effect of providers.xmpp.net

        Some of you may already know that I’m operating an XMPP server. So far there are several domains running on that XMPP server and two domains are open for public registration. Namely these domains are hookipa.net and xmpp.social. You can find the service under the main domain on https://hookipa.net.

        Interesting in this is, that for some time xmpp.social seemed to be the domain of choice for many users, maybe because of “xmpp” and “social” in the domain name – or because it is easier to name it than “hookipa” with “double-oh” and “kay”… who knows…

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • HowTo ForgeHow to Install and Use MariaDB on Ubuntu 22.04

        MariaDB is a free, open-source, and powerful database management system used to store application data. It is a stable and relational database management system, and fork of the popular MySQL database system. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MariaDB 10.6 on Ubuntu 22.04 server.

      • Unix MenHow to Install Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (For Beginners)

        The “Jammy Jellyfish” version of Ubuntu, version 22.04, was made available on April 21, 2022. The previous release that had Long Term Support was Ubuntu 20.04, which was released in 2020. Ubuntu 22.04 LTS will receive support for five years, like earlier LTS releases, till April 2027.

        In this brief guide, we walk you through how to install Ubuntu 22.04 and also discuss its features.

      • Make Use OfHost Your Own Raspberry Pi Audiobook Library With Audiobookshelf

        Reading expands the mind, but sometimes, pulling a 600-page tome from your pocket just isn’t practical. You can’t indulge in classic prose when driving a car, for example. This is where audiobooks come in, giving you the benefit of a narrated literary experience without requiring that you take your eyes off the road. With audiobooks, you can consume fantastic literature while driving, doing the dishes or even while you’re working.

        While there are numerous audiobook subscription services available, it’s far more satisfying to create and host your own library on a Raspberry Pi.

      • ELinuxHow to install and configure Flask on a Linux shared hosting account | Linux Webhosting blog

        Flask is a Python-based framework that enables you to quickly and easily create web applications. This article demonstrates how to install Flask and configure it on a Linux shared hosting account that uses cPanel.

        After completing the following procedures, you will have a functioning Flask application on your account that displays a simple web page.

      • DebugPointHow to Apply Accent Colour in Ubuntu Desktop

        It’s easy to apply accent colour on Ubuntu desktop, thanks to recent developments. Here’s how.

        Every Linux distribution has its default theme, bringing a dominant colour. The Accent colours are used to highlight the dominant colour in any setup. Generally, the primary and Accent colours should contrast or complement each other.

        With the recent revamp of the GNOME desktop, the Ubuntu desktop introduced Accent colour in the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release.

        Since it’s pretty obvious how to apply it, but for the sake of new buds in Linux, I will explain how to use Accent colour on an Ubuntu desktop.

      • ByteXDHow to Install Nvidia Drivers on Fedora Linux 34/35 – ByteXD

        Fedora comes with an open-source NVIDIA driver. The driver installed is Nouveau, an open-source graphics driver for NVIDIA video cards.

        However, Nouveau drivers are considered slower than Nvidia’s proprietary drivers. This won’t matter much if you only use your device for light use, but if you are into design or gaming, you’ll surely start to feel it – in this case it would be a good choice to install the latest NVIDIA drivers.

        In this tutorial we’ll be installing the latest NVIDIA drivers on Fedora 34/35 using the RPM Fusion repositories and also through the manual method of downloading the driver from the Nvidia website.

      • ID RootHow To Install Timeshift on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Timeshift on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Timeshift is software that provides a function similar to System Restore on Windows or Time machine on macOS. Timeshift protects your system by taking incremental snapshots of the file system at regular intervals. These snapshots can be restored at a later date to undo all changes to the system.

        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 Timeshift restore or backup tool on Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 22.04 and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop!_OS, and more as well.

      • Linux HintHow to Remote Connect to a Windows PC From Raspberry Pi
      • OSTechNixCreate Btrfs Snapshots With Snapper In openSUSE – OSTechNix

        Btrfs is a Linux filesystem that has been adopted as the default filesystem in popular Linux distributions such as openSUSE and Fedora. It has many unique features that are not available in other filesystems. It is based on copy-on-write, allowing for efficient filesystem snapshots and clones. In this guide we will see whats is Snapper, and how to create Btrfs filesystem snapshots with Snapper on openSUSE Linux.

      • Ingo JürgensmannsetupSSO.sh : SAML SSO in Univention UCS Server

        The official HowTo on setting up SAML SSO basically covers the process of setting it up, but my impression was, that this process can be made better, less error-prone and more reproducible by automatting the setup.

        So I wrote in my spare time a small shell script to follow the instructions from the official HowTo and after many tests and enhancements, I released the script on Codeberg: setupSSO.sh.

      • NeowinScreencasts not recording in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS? Here’s how to fix that – Neowin

        Last week, Canonical released Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS, which finally opened the upgrade path to users on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. One of the big changes between the two versions is the screenshot tool, which also has a built-in screen recorder called screencast. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of an issue with it that can be fixed with a simple command.

      • H2S Media3 Ways to install Steam on Linux Mint or LMDE – Linux Shout

        Here we learn the commands to install and use Steam client’s latest version on Linux Mint based on Ubuntu or LDME Debian based to play games.

        Steam software is the largest online distribution platform for computer games and is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Steam comes from developer Valve and has more than 100 million active users.

        The online platform Steam is ostensibly a distribution platform for software, PC games, and series or movies. The platform is developed by the company Valve and has several million active accounts, according to its information

        Even though it is available for Linux, that doesn’t mean all the games available on it can be played on Linux Distros. Only games that are originally published by the developers with Linux support can be. Yes, indeed as compared to Windows the numbers of the games are not much for Ubuntu or other Linux distributions but whatever is there yet a good source to satisfy the binge of gaming on open source platforms. The games are protected with DRM.

      • AddictiveTipsHow to play Call to Arms on Linux

        Call to Arms is a hybrid 3rd person/1st person strategy game for PC. It was developed and published by Digitalmindsoft for Windows. However, with some tweaks, you can play it on Linux. Here’s how to get it working on your system.

    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • ArduinoReading analog gauges with the Nicla Vision | Arduino Blog

        Analog instruments are everywhere and used to measure pressure, temperature, power levels, and much more. Due to the advent of digital sensors, many of these became quickly obsolete, leaving the remaining ones to require either conversions to a digital format or frequent human monitoring. However, the Zalmotek team has come up with a solution that incorporates embedded machine learning and computer vision in order to autonomously read these values.

        Mounted inside of a custom enclosure, their project relies on an Arduino Pro Nicla Vision board, which takes periodic images for further processing and inference. They began by generating a series of synthetic gauge pictures that have the dial at various positions, and labeled them either low, normal, or high. This collection was then imported into the Edge Impulse Studio and used to train a machine learning model on the 96x96px samples due to the limited memory. Once created, the neural network could successfully determine the gauge’s state about 92% of the time.

      • ArduinoThis snake robot is large enough to ride upon | Arduino Blog

        If a robot is rideable, is it still a robot or is it a vehicle? We would argue that if it rolls on standard automobile-style wheels or even tank tracks, it is a vehicle. But James Bruton’s eight-wheeled robot snake bike is quite clearly something else. This “vehicle” started as a small functional model that everyone would call a robot. Now Bruton has finished the full-size rideable snake robot and it is something to behold.

        The robot consists of four caterpillar-like segments, each with a pair of wheels. Two of the segments have driven wheels, while the other two segments have free wheels. Each segment is able to pivot relative to its neighbor and can also tilt up/down. There are two reasons for the tilt actuation. The first is to compensate for the rider’s weight in order to keep all of the wheels on the ground. The second reason is to handle bumps and uneven terrain, similar to a car’s suspension. The rider sits on a motorcycle seat mounted to the third segment (which is driven), so their weight is roughly centered.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Content Management Systems (CMS)

      • LinuxTechLabMigrating from WooCommerce to Shopify? – LinuxTechLab

        WooCommerce is a free and open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress with over 38 million downloads. Built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress, WooCommerce is the world’s most popular e-commerce solution that gives both store owners and developers complete control. Whether you’re selling your own products, or those of others, WooCommerce is the perfect platform.

        WooCommerce was created in 2010 by three people: Jigar Shah (CEO), Mike Little (CTO) and Margot Schmorak (Lead Designer). It was originally designed as an add-on to Jigar Shah’s online store called “WooThemes”.

    • Programming/Development

      • Linux Links6 Top Free and Open Source Groovy Web Frameworks – LinuxLinks

        One of the types of software that’s important for a web developer is the web framework. A framework “is a code library that makes a developer’s life easier when building reliable, scalable, and maintainable web applications” by providing reusable code or extensions for common operations. By saving development time, developers can concentrate on application logic rather than mundane elements.

        A web framework offers the developer a choice about how to solve a specific problem. By using a framework, a developer lets the framework control portions of their application. While it’s perfectly possible to code a web application without using a framework, it’s more practical to use one.

        Groovy is a powerful, optionally typed and dynamic language, with static-typing and static compilation capabilities, for the Java platform aimed at improving developer productivity thanks to a concise, familiar and easy to learn syntax.

      • uni TorontoThe pervasive effects of C’s malloc() and free() on C APIs

        If this structure is dynamically allocated by gethostbyname() and returned to the caller, either you need an additional API function to free it or you have to commit to what fields in the structure have to be freed separately, and how (ie, this is part of the API). Having the caller free things is also not all that simple. Since this structure contains embedded pointers (including two that point to arrays of pointers), there could be quite a lot of things for the caller to call free() on (and in the right order).

        This issue isn’t unique to gethostbyname(); it affects any C API that wants to return (in a conceptual sense) anything more complicated than a basic type or a simple structure (even in old C, simple structures can be ‘returned’ by passing a pointer to the structure to the function, as is done in stat()). C offers no good solution to the problem; either you add one or more ‘free’ functions to your API (one per dynamically allocated structure you’re returning), or you document and thus freeze the process for freeing what you return, or you do what BSD opted to in gethostbyname() and return a pointer to something static.

        (Documenting what callers have to free implies that you can’t later add extra fields to what you return unless they don’t have to be freed separately.)

      • Matt RickardComponent-driven Markup

        React, and other component-based JavaScript libraries have historically been used for web development – building a frontend site, whether it be statically generated or server-side rendering. But there’s an interesting trend to reuse UI components in environments that have been generated by templates or by hand before.

      • Jussi PakkanenJussi Pakkanen: Making decision without all the information is tricky, a case study

        In a recent blog post, Michal Catanzaro wrote about choosing proper configurations for your build, especially the buildtype attribute. As noted in the text, Meson’s build type setup is not the greatest in the world., so I figured I’d write why that is, what would a better design look like and why we don’t use that (and probably won’t for the foreseeable future).

        The concept of build types was copied almost directly from CMake. The main thing that they do is to set compiler flags like -g and -O2. Quite early in the development process of Meson I planned on adding top level options for debug info and optimization but the actual implementation for those was done much later. I copied the build types and flags almost directly except for build types RelWithDebInfo and Release. Having these two as separate build types did not make sense to me, because you always need debug info for releases. If you don’t have it, you can’t debug crash dumps coming from users. Thus I renamed them to debugoptimized and release.

        So far so good, except there was one major piece of information I was missing. The word “debug” has two different meaning. On most platforms it means “debug info” but on Windows (or, specifically, with the MSVC toolchain) “debug” means a special build type that uses the “debug runtime” that has additional runtime checks that are useful during development. More info can be found e.g. here. This made the word “debug” doubly problematic. Not only do people on Windows want it to refer to the debug runtime but then some (but not all) people on Linux think that “debugoptimized” means that it should only be used during development. Originally that was not the case, it was supposed to mean “build a binary with the default optimizations and debug info”. What I originally wanted was that distros would build packages with buildtype set to debugoptimized as opposed to living in the roaring 90s, passing a random collection of flags via CFLAGS and hoping for the best.

      • Ruben SchadeFeedback from @Tubsta, @Crosse3, Paul Traylor

        I try hard to generate clean pages, feeds, and headers, even though I know almost nobody notices or cares. Messy source code has always existed, but I do miss the day when people took as much pride in how their stuff was presented under the covers as above.

      • ChrisQueueing Systems 2: Percentiles and Simulation

        In response to the previous article on Markov chains to model queueing systems I received a lot of requests on how to compute percentiles.

        I’m happy about that! More people need to realise that the upper percentiles is where it’s at. That’s what you need to know to evaluate most systems. The average is useful for things like capacity planning and resource allocation, but not to determine user experience.

        As some of you guessed already, analytically figuring out percentiles for anything but a trivial queueing system is difficult.

      • Tencent Rhino-bird Open-source Training Program 2022 – SunEC sm2p256v1 Key Pairs Generation
      • My Summer of Bitcoin 2022 Project – CI for CADR [Ed: Microsoft GitHub? Seriously? You’d get banned very fast. As it turns out, this person is connected to Microsoft and other such stuff]

        Before the Summer of Bitcoin project, Cryptoanarchy Debian Repo (CADR) lacked Continuous Integration (CI), which troubles the new coming contributors because setting up the developing environment can be complex. I finally successfully implemented the CI using GitHub Actions default runners. The CI can be triggered manually, or by sending PRs as well as pushing directly to the master branch.

      • EarthlyTerraform Route53 And DNS Fun

        In my previous article about terraform I moved my lambda and all related infrastructure to Terraform. I even tested things by destroying everything and then recreating it.

  • Leftovers

    • Matt RickardOn Unoptimizing

      One of the most influential computer scientists stopped using email in 1990. He accepts letters, prints them out, and replies with written comments.

      Dijsktra, another famous computer scientist, only used email for a few years. It’s not just computer scientists without an email but even prolific writers like Umberto Eco.

    • Science

      • The Surprising Way Crowd Size Affects Our Tendency to Cheat

        That’s the lesson from new research by Maryam Kouchaki, a professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School. Across several experiments, Kouchaki and her coauthors—Celia Chui of HEC Montreal and Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School—found that people cheat at higher rates in larger groups.

        Why? The researchers found an intriguing self-fulfilling prophecy at work: people expect there to be higher numbers of cheaters within larger groups. This perception, in turn, increases the sense that cheating is common and therefore acceptable.
        The study illustrates the importance of context and social norms in determining whether or not we behave ethically. After all, we don’t magically transform from saints in groups of five to sinners in groups of 100. Rather, we unconsciously cue off other people and what we expect their behavior to be.

        “When you think your behavior is normative,” Kouchaki explains, “then it seems more defensible. Questionable behavior seems more justifiable when you think more people are doing it.”

    • Hardware

      • Ruben SchadeRubenerd: An obstinate port-forwarding router

        I had reason to port forward through my home router’s NAT to our bhyve box this weekend. There are some updates to Minecraft and Plex, and I wanted to do my Sunday maintenance from a coffee shop over SSH, like a gentleman.

        Before I left, I opened the requisite port and enabled the port forward on the router. I tested it from an external IP and… nothing. I rebooted it to confirm the setting was correct and had been committed… still nothing. OpenSSH dutifully timed out each time.

        I was in a hurry and couldn’t be bothered doing a port scan or any further troubleshooting, so I opened a remote SSH tunnel to my external jump box and left.

        You know the saying that the cobbler’s son walks barefoot? Well we use the crappy home router our ISP gave us when we moved; albeit one I keep regularly patched. Its Wi-Fi range is more than sufficient for our tiny apartment, and I haven’t ever been bothered to replace it because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But the fact I couldn’t get a console up or even do basic troubleshooting in a pinch may be enough to convince me otherwise.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Scientific AmericanHow Humans’ Ability to Digest Milk Evolved from Famine and Disease

        The dawn of dairy farming in Europe occurred thousands of years before most people evolved the ability to drink milk as adults without becoming ill. Now researchers think they know why: lactose tolerance was beneficial enough to influence evolution only during occasional episodes of famine and disease, explaining why it took thousands of years for the trait to become widespread.

        The theory — backed up by an analysis of thousands of pottery shards and hundreds of ancient human genomes as well as sophisticated modelling — explains how the ability to digest milk became so common in modern Europeans, despite being almost non-existent in early dairy farmers. This ability, known as lactase persistence, comes from an enzyme that breaks down milk sugar and usually shuts down after young children are weaned.

    • Pseudo-Open Source

      • Openwashing

        • E45: Creating Resilient Applications with Temporal (pt 2) by Open Source Startup Podcast

          Maxim Fateev is Co-Founder & CEO and Dominik Tornow is Principal Engineer at Temporal, the workflow platform for building resilient applications.

          Temporal is the company centered on the open source orchestration engine Temporal which is a fork of the project Cadence first created at Uber. The Temporal project and company have seen tremendous interest and the cloud service for Temporal will be GA later this year.

          The company is valued at $1.5B and raised from investors including Sequoia, Index, and Amplify.

          In this episode, we discuss the origins of Temporal at Uber, use cases for their resilient workflow engine, how the company’s messaging and positioning have evolved over the past year, and the company’s upcoming developer experience conference Replay which will be in-person in Seattle from August 25 – 26.

    • Security

      • GoogleGoogle Online Security Blog: Making Linux Kernel Exploit Cooking Harder

        The Linux kernel is a key component for the security of the Internet. Google uses Linux in almost everything, from the computers our employees use, to the products people around the world use daily like Chromebooks, Android on phones, cars, and TVs, and workloads on Google Cloud. Because of this, we have heavily invested in Linux’s security – and today, we’re announcing how we’re building on those investments and increasing our rewards.

        In 2020, we launched an open-source Kubernetes-based Capture-the-Flag (CTF) project called, kCTF. The kCTF Vulnerability Rewards Program (VRP) lets researchers connect to our Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) instances, and if they can hack it, they get a flag, and are potentially rewarded. All of GKE and its dependencies are in scope, but every flag caught so far has been a container breakout through a Linux kernel vulnerability. We’ve learned that finding and exploiting heap memory corruption vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel could be made a lot harder. Unfortunately, security mitigations are often hard to quantify, however, we think we’ve found a way to do so concretely going forward.

      • The Register UKGoogle’s bug bounty boss: Finding and patching vulns? ‘Totally useless’

        Simply finding vulnerabilities and patching them “is totally useless,” according to Google’s Eduardo Vela, who heads the cloud giant’s product security response team.

        “We don’t care about vulnerabilities; we care about exploits,” he told The Register in an exclusive interview. “We expect the vulnerabilities are there, they will get patched, and that’s nice and all. But the whole idea is what do to beyond just patching a couple of vulnerabilities.”

        To this end, Google’s open-source, Kubernetes-based Capture-the-Flag (kCTF) project doesn’t pay researchers a bounty to just find a Linux Kernel vulnerability. Instead, they’ve got to exploit the bug: connect to Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) instances, hack it, and use the bug to steal the hidden flags.

      • SlashdotGoogle’s New Bug Bounties Include Their Custom Linux Kernel’s Experimental Security Mitigations – Slashdot

        Google uses Linux “in almost everything,” according to the leader of Google’s “product security response” team — including Chromebooks, Android smartphones, and even Google Cloud.

      • Troy HuntSending Spammers to Password Purgatory with Microsoft Power Automate and Cloudflare Workers KV

        How best to punish spammers? I give this topic a lot of thought because I spend a lot of time sifting through the endless rubbish they send me. And that’s when it dawned on me: the punishment should fit the crime – robbing me of my time – which means that I, in turn, need to rob them of their time. With the smallest possible overhead on my time, of course. So, earlier this year I created Password Purgatory with the singular goal of putting spammers through the hellscape that is attempting to satisfy really nasty password complexity criteria. And I mean really nasty criteria, like much worse than you’ve ever seen before. I opened-sourced it, took a bunch of PRs, built out the API to present increasingly inane password complexity criteria then left it at that. Until now because finally, it’s live, working and devilishly beautiful

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • New ScientistFibre-optic cables could be used to spy on people a kilometre away

          Fibre-optic cables, such as those used in internet infrastructure, could be used for eavesdropping. A device that can pick up tiny changes in signals sent through the cables can detect words spoken from over a kilometre away.

          Optical fibres use beams of light to transport data across the world, underground and in the oceans. Researchers have previously found that these cables can also be used as sensors – for example, to detect earthquakes and track whales.

        • IEEEWho Actually Owns Tesla’s Data? – IEEE Spectrum

          On 29 September 2020, a masked man entered a branch of the Wells Fargo bank in Washington, D.C., and handed the teller a note: “This is a robbery. Act calm give me all hundreds.” The teller complied. The man then fled the bank and jumped into a gray Tesla Model S. This was one of three bank robberies the man attempted the same day.

          When FBI agents began investigating, they reviewed Washington, D.C.’s District Department of Transportation camera footage, and spotted a Tesla matching the getaway vehicle’s description. The license plate on that car showed that it was registered to Exelorate Enterprises LLC, the parent company of Steer EV—a D.C.-based monthly vehicle-subscription service.

          Agents served a subpoena on Steer EV for the renter’s billing and contact details. Steer EV provided those—and also voluntarily supplied historical GPS data for the vehicle. The data showed the car driving between, and parking at, each bank at the time of the heists. The renter was arrested and, in September, sentenced to four years in prison.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The ConversationHow Patrice Lumumba’s assassination drove student activism, shaping the Congo’s future

        During a recent visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), King Philippe of Belgium made a speech to the national parliament in Kinshasa expressing his “deepest regrets” for the exploitation and oppression of Belgian colonialism.

        The European nation ruled the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1908 until 1960. Before that it had been a personal colony of Leopold II, Philippe’s great great grand uncle, for more than 25 years.


        While Belgium has partly acknowledged its responsibility for the murder, no protagonists have been brought to justice. A parliamentary commission found that King Baudouin, the monarch at Congo’s decolonisation, was aware of plans to assassinate Lumumba. However, Baudouin’s complicity remains to be officially recognised.

        The commission “tried in a way to limit the damages with its conclusions” and shied away from linking Belgium directly to the assassination. That was because “the diplomatic, ideological and financial consequences would be extremely great.”

        This might be why King Philippe is focusing on moving forward. His speech in Lubumbashi positioned Congolese students as a future-oriented group with whom Belgium could forge a new partnership.

        But there’s a crucial element missing from this logic: the specific role historically played by university students in further entrenching decolonisation in the Congo. This appeared most strongly during the 1960s.

    • Environment

      • Unchecked emissions could double heat-related child mortality

        If carbon emissions are limited to slow temperature rise, as many as 6,000 child deaths could be prevented in Africa each year, according to new estimates.

        A team of international scientists, led by the University of Leeds in collaboration with researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), have shown that thousands of heat-related child deaths could be prevented if temperature increases are limited to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5ºC target through to 2050.

        However, heat-related child deaths could double in sub-Saharan Africa by mid-century if high emissions continue.

        Their work, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, estimated the impact of climate change on annual heat-related deaths of children under five in sub-Saharan Africa, from 1995 to 2050.

      • Energy

        • Michael West MediaAdam Bandt hung out to dry, in a solar-friendly way – Michael West

          It was a big day for the Albanese government on Wednesday when its 43% emissions reduction targets were guaranteed passage in the Senate. Announcing the news, Albanese and Energy Minister Chris Bowen were grinning from ear to ear.

          The uncertainty had come with the stance of the Greens. But their leader, Adam Bandt, confirmed the deal while giving his first address to the National Press Club since storming parliament with 16 members on May 21. Looking not exactly chuffed to be outlining a rare compromise, Bandt labelled Greens the only party of the centre-left. He rebranded Labor the party of the centre right, with the Coalition naturally corralled to the far right.

          Bandt’s threat to hold up Labor’s Budget bills raised the spectre of 1975 so he walked that back too. In summary, it was a performance brimming with fire and brimstone, tempered with pragmatism and memories of the Greens’ disastrous vote against Labor’s climate bill in 2009.
          The Q&A segment of Bandt’s address was still in progress when ABC News broke away to cover the announcement by Albanese and Bowen (Albowenese?) of the climate deal. ”It’s now very clear that our legislation will pass the parliament,” Bowen said, trying not to gloat.

    • Finance

      • Michael West MediaKidnapped: billionaires’ loophole swiftly abolished by Greens and Labor, finally – Michael West

        Under cover of climate debate, the Greens and Labor swiftly and smartly killed off a longstanding loophole which let Australian billionaires hide their financial affairs. Michael West reports on politicians beating the lobbyists.

        It was swift in the end, and silent. The “Billionaires’ Loophole” was abolished in a rapid act of Parliament yesterday amid the dramatic passage of Anthony Albanese’s climate bill, relegating 25 years of regulatory apartheid to Australian history, a period of one rule for the rich and powerful and another rule for the rest.

        We are talking about the “grandfathering” exemption, a loophole standing since 1995 which allowed Australia’s richest families of the time to hide their financial affairs.

        The Stokes, Pratts, Rineharts, Triguboffs and Lowys, Solomon Lew, Bob Ell, Marc Besen, and reclusive dynasties you’ve never heard of; all will now be subject to the same laws as everybody else. Even billionaire parvenus such as Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes, and multinational corporations too, are required to disclose their financial statements with the regulators. Not so, those on the “Secret Rich List”.

      • Michael West MediaOur inflation sensation!

        The workers have done their bit for productivity. Yet they have not been rewarded, proportionately, for their work. Meanwhile the ‘Gas Cartel’ has been shown to be one of the bigger drivers behind your power bill increases.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • American Diplomacy as a Tragic Drama

        As in a Greek tragedy whose protagonist brings about precisely the fate that he has sought to avoid, the US/NATO confrontation with Russia in Ukraine is achieving just the opposite of America’s aim of preventing China, Russia and their allies from acting independently of U.S. control over their trade and investment policy. Naming China as America’s main long-term adversary, the Biden Administration’s plan was to split Russia away from China and then cripple China’s own military and economic viability. But the effect of American diplomacy has been to drive Russia and China together, joining with Iran, India and other allies. For the first time since the Bandung Conference of Non-Aligned Nations in 1955, a critical mass is able to be mutually self-sufficient to start the process of achieving independence from Dollar Diplomacy.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Stacy on IoTInsteon’s new boss is ready for business

        For Ken Fairbanks, CEO of Insteon Technologies Inc., the last 60 days have been a rush to find office equipment, reestablish supplier relationships and figure out who his customers are. The former Insteon employee turned business consultant purchased the assets of SmartLab Inc. through a unique process that has left him and his investors scrambling to rebuild a company as quickly as possible. Along the way, he’s learning how hard it can be to restart a smart home company after it has essentially shut down.

        On April 15, Insteon users noticed that their hubs weren’t working. Their connections to services such as Alexa and Google were broken and their mobile apps could no longer connect to their hubs. A few days later all was explained via a note on the Insteon web site saying that the company has failed to make it as a business. Customers also received an email from a company representing Insteon creditors noting that they would be paid after the sale of the assets by a trustee.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • exercise is key

        the results from my yearly health exam are in. turns out I needed to exercise more. three months ago I started doing light exercise in the morning and it has paid off. my grades are up where they’re supposed to go up and headed down wherever they’re meant to be low. nice, nice.

      • SpellBinding: CDESKOI Wordo: BLATS
    • Technical

      • Science

        • Ken ShirriffReverse-engineering a 1960s cordwood flip flop module with X-ray CT scans

          How can you find out what’s inside a sealed electronics module from the 1960s? In this blog post, I reverse-engineer an encapsulated flip flop module that was used for ground-testing of equipment from the Apollo space program. These modules are undocumented1, so their internal circuitry is a mystery. Thanks to Lumafield, I obtained a three-dimensional CT scan of the module that clearly shows the wiring and components: transistors, diodes, resistors, and capacitors. From these images, I could determine the circuitry of this flip flop module.

          The photo below shows the module, a block of plastic 1.5 inches long with 13 pins. I could determine most of its functionality by probing it on a breadboard—conveniently, the pin spacing is compatible with standard solderless breadboards. The module is a flip flop (as the FF label suggests) but some questions remained. Last month, I reverse-engineered a simpler Motorola module (post) using 2-D X-rays. However, this flip flop module was much more complex and I couldn’t reverse-engineer it from standard X-rays.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 04, 2022

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  2. Links 05/10/2022: PL/Haskell 1.0 and RapidRows 1.0 Released

    Links for the day

  3. Links 04/10/2022: Introducing NVK, Kueue, Stellarium 1.0, WordPress 6.1 Beta 3, and OpenSSH 9.1

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  4. Linux Foundation Events Now 'Run' by Linux's Biggest Foe

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  5. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 03, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, October 03, 2022

  6. Links 04/10/2022: Tor Project Board and Conflicts of Interest, More Politics

    Links for the day

  7. Microsoft Windows Sinks to Just 16% of the African Market

    As we noted yesterday, Windows is down sharply this month (27.1% market share worldwide) and the decreases are very significant in Africa, where Android (Linux-based) is spreading fast. Here’s a chart for Africa, showing Microsoft’s decrease to about 16%.

  8. IRC Widgets Working Again

    After turbulence and technical issues at KiwiIRC we've managed to get a semi-working solution or some workaround

  9. Trolled by Microsoft's Lennart Poettering and Bought by Wintel

    Last week’s public appearance by Torvalds seemed reluctant and a tad embarrassing (the media pointed out the awkwardness, too); whose idea was that, the Linux Foundation‘s?

  10. Links 03/10/2022: Git 2.38.0 and cinnabar 0.6.0rc1

    Links for the day

  11. Links 03/10/2022: OpenMandriva ROME Gold Candidate and IceWM 3.0.0

    Links for the day

  12. Members of the Administrative Council of the EPO Are Asked to Summon a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States Due to Violations of the Law

    The EPO has turned into a farcical operation that laughs at the law, abuses its own staff, and lies to both staff and "customers" in the official Web site

  13. European School The Hague (ESH) Faces a Crisis and Families of EPO Workers Are Harmed Profoundly

    The European School The Hague (ESH) is not functioning like it’s supposed to; people who migrated (seeking a job) along with family members for an EPO position aren’t pleased (to say the least) and they request if not demand to speak with EPO management

  14. [Meme] Lowering the Bar With Nations That Barely Have Any European Patents (Close to Zero)

    The EPO has totally lost the plot; it completely neglected its mission in pursuit of money and optics

  15. Links 03/10/2022: GNU Linux-Libre 6.0

    Links for the day

  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 02, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 02, 2022

  17. Update on SeaMonkey 2.53.14 and NoScript Crashes/Palefills Not Working

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

  18. Links 03/10/2022: Linux 6.0 is Out

    Links for the day

  19. GNU/Linux and the GPL in Particular Are Under Attack Because They Spread Fast (Like a 'Cancer')

    The good news is that GNU/Linux continues to expand (widespread usage); the bad news is, it has come under a sheer magnitude of attacks and the media barely bothers to mention the obvious

  20. Windows Majority in Asia Down to Just Three Countries, All-time Low for Windows Worldwide This Month

    The decline of Microsoft Windows continues; sooner or later Android (Linux inside) will be dominant in almost every country in terms of its market share or number of users

  21. Links 02/10/2022: Debian on Firmware Policy and PostgreSQL 15 RC 1

    Links for the day

  22. Links 02/10/2022: KStars 3.6.1 and DjangoCon Europe 2022

    Links for the day

  23. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 01, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 01, 2022

  24. Fedora 37 and SeaMonkey 2.53.14

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

  25. 'Linux' Foundation, While Hoarding Over $200,000,000 Per Year, Calls Itself 'Non-Profit'

    This video (10:55-11:28 above), which was published a few weeks ago, gives insight into how much money the Linux Foundation and its proxies raise per year while paying Jim Zemlin [cref =164412 probably about $1.4 million per year already] (because it’s all so charitable)

  26. GNU/Linux Rises to Record Highs in Africa This Past September

    According to this map and these latest plots (based on data from about 3,000,000 Web sites), Windows majority is long lost in Africa and (‘proper’) GNU/Linux usage keeps rising (not just Android, which uses Linux)

  27. Ongoing Efforts to Convince OSI to Drop the Microsoft Funding (Which Comes With Strings, Such as the OSI Attacking the GPL)

    It's becoming increasingly clear that buzzwords and hype get misused to misframe and distract from abuses; we're meanwhile trying to convince the Open Source Initiative (OSI) to drop Microsoft because it pays the OSI for a disinformation campaign (portraying large-scale GPL violations as "AI")

  28. Richard Stallman on Libre Software

    Richard Stallman on Libre Software from LispNYC on Vimeo.

  29. IBM's Lobbying for (and Stockpiling of) Software Patents is Ruining Fedora and GNU/Linux in General

    Fedora suffers from software patents, hence it removes features while IBM lobbies for such patents and gives software patents to patent trolls (in patent sales)

  30. Microsoft Doesn't Like Open Source; It's Badmouthing, Stereotyping, Attacking It (to Shift Blame)

    This week I found out that a dear old friend lost all his money (about 150,000 pounds) due to a Microsoft LinkedIn scam; watch how Microsoft blames unpopular nation states, “open source”, the victims, and attackers (basically anyone but Microsoft), just as it does when defects in its software go unfixed for months

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