09.02.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 02/09/2022: SUSE Turns 30 and Microsoft Burns GNU/Linux With ‘Teams’

Posted in News Roundup at 3:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • CNX SoftwareKubuntu Focus NX is a Linux mini PC with a Tiger Lake processor, two Thunderbolt 3 ports – CNX Software

        Kubuntu Focus NX is a mini PC running Kubuntu Focus Linux operating system on an Intel Core i5-1135G7 or i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake processor, with up to 64GB RAM, support for NVMe and SATA storage, offering four HDMI/DisplayPort video outputs, two Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports, and three extra USB 3.2 Type-A ports.

        The mini PC also comes with decent networking and wireless connectivity thanks to a 2.5GbE port and an Intel AX601 module enabling WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. Mini PCs shipping with Linux by default are quite rare, and most that do are fairly expensive ones, so it’s nice to see a more affordable mid-range mini PC working with Kubuntu Focus out of the box.

      • DignitedBest Linux Distros That You Can Try in 2022

        I have been using Linux for over two years now and truly it has immense benefits compared to other operating systems. Linux was developed to be free, secure, and affordable to everyone. Let’s get to see the top Linux distros that you can try out in this day and age.

        There are quite a number of these distros out there but knowing one that can suit your needs is key. We shall discuss generally the top five distros in this article that have proven to be stable, robust, or most reviewed and used in 2022.

        [...]

        Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution. and let’s see the top five distros to try out now! These are not in any particular order!

    • Server

    • Applications

      • Linux Shell TipsMeowfetch – A Customizable Linux System Information Tool

        A Linux system information tool is an essential hack for Linux administration. Any system administrator or super user will appreciate the essence of having a tool that can easily print out system-related info like the Linux distribution being used, the system architecture, system uptime, and total memory to used memory ratio.

        The printout of such system-critical information should be in an organized and user-friendly manner as it can help a system admin determine the perfect system requirement (hardware and software) for the presented Linux distribution either on a diagnostic or configuration level.

        [...]

        You should be able to see your Linux system information (uptime, memory, and architecture) on the terminal window of the meowfetch tool.

      • Linux LinksStreaming with Linux: Myuzi – LinuxLinks

        This is a new series that surveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective. We are not reviewing any of the streaming services themselves although we may make subjective comments along the way.

        The first article in this series explored Amazon Music Unlimited which is a paid subscription service. While many of the articles in this series will explore other paid subscription services, this article is different.

        We are looking at Myuzi. It bills itself as a Spotify alternative for Linux with no ads, payments, or accounts. The software is published under an open source license.

        [...]

        We installed Myuzi from a package available in Arch User Repository (for Arch and Arch-based distros). The unfettered source code is available if you prefer the manual approach.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • UNIX CopHow to add an user to sudoers and give him root permissions

        A question that many novice users don’t ask is how to add a user to sudoers. This is to give that new user the ability to use sudo and thus execute commands as root user.

      • John GoerzenJohn Goerzen: Dead USB Drives Are Fine: Building a Reliable Sneakernet

        Normally, “sneakernet” is a sort of tongue-in-cheek reference to using disconnected storage to transport data or messages. By “disconnect storage” I mean anything like CD-ROMs, hard drives, SD cards, USB drives, and so forth. There are times when loading up 12TB on a device and driving it across town is just faster and easier than using the Internet for the same. And, sometimes you need to get data to places that have no Internet at all.

        Another reason for sneakernet is security. For instance, if your backup system is online, and your systems being backed up are online, then it could become possible for an attacker to destroy both your primary copy of data and your backups. Or, you might use a dedicated computer with no network connection to do GnuPG (GPG) signing.

      • ID RootHow To Install Sails.js Framework on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Sails.js Framework on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Sails.js is a MVC framework for Node.js similar to Ruby on Rails. It enables developers to rapidly assemble REST APIs, single-page apps, and many more. Sails.js is a flawless JavaScript solution that underpins varied front-end technologies and multiple databases concurrently.

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

      • How to install Webmin 2 control panel on Ubuntu 22.04 – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to install the Webmin control panel on Ubuntu 22.04

        Webmin is a powerful and flexible web-based server management control panel for UNIX-like users. It allows Webmin to configure operating system internals e.g users, configuration files, disk quotas, etc. Webmin removes the need to edit Unix configuration files manually and lets you manage the system remotely or via console.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Tumbleweed Continues Release Streak – openSUSE News

        Tumbleweed’s continuous daily release streak has reached an astounding 26 snapshots.

        The streak of openSUSE’s rolling release continued this week and packages like glibc, ibus, Mozilla Firefox and sudo all received updates.

        Will the streak continue beyond snapshot 20220829? Users should know soon.

        Snapshot 20220829 provided package updates for AppArmor and libapparmor3.0.7. The new versions fixed the setuptools-version detection in buildpath.py. The Man pages for Japanese made some improvements with the man-pages-ja 20220815 update. The tree 2.0.3 update provided multiple fixes for .gitignore functionality and fixed a couple segfaults.

        The 20220828 snapshot had ten packages updated. Among the updated packages were ibus 1.5.27, which enabled an ibus restart in GNOME desktop and disabled XKB engines in Plasma Wayland. The update of webkit2gtk3 2.36.7 fixed several crashes and rendering issues as well as addressed a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure related to Apple’s use of the package. The Python web framework and asynchronous networking library python-tornado6 6.2 enabled SSL certificate verification and hostname checks by default and its Continuous Integration has moved from Travis and Appveyor to Github Actions. Another package to update in the snapshot was font handler libXfont2 2.0.6. The new version fixed some spelling and wording issues. It also fix comments to reflect the removal of legacy Operating System/2 support.

      • SUSE’s Corporate BlogCelebrating 30 Years of Openness [Ed: SUSE is promoting proprietary software, not "Openness"; the CEO Melissa Di Donato, who wrote this post, is a proprietary salesperson from SAP]

        Today is a milestone anniversary for SUSE. We are celebrating 30 years of open source innovation, and the people who made it possible: our employees, community, partners, and shareholders.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Enterprisers ProjectWhy IT leaders should prioritize empathy | The Enterprisers Project [Ed: Red Hat lecturing you on empathy after attacking RMS to distract from Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Gates (MIT scandal)]

        It’s no surprise that organizations that practice empathy can satisfy customers better than organizations that don’t. While most leaders recognize the good business sense of prioritizing empathy, few know how to put that value into practice.

        In fact, Harvard Business Review found that 61 percent of senior business leaders struggle to balance their employees’ need for support with their company’s drive for high performance.

        IT leaders may struggle with this balancing act, often prioritizing constant product updates over the customer experience. But to reap the benefits of an empathetic workplace, organizations should view empathy as a necessary part of their internal and external-facing operations. Ultimately, a company-wide commitment to empathy yields stronger customer relationships and more satisfied employees.

    • Debian Family

      • Kiwix in Debian, 2022 update – The Lego Mirror

        Kiwix is an offline content reader, best known for distributing copies of Wikipedia. I have been maintaining it in Debian since 2017.

        This year most of the work has been keeping all the packages up to date in anticipation of next year’s Debian 12 Bookworm release, including several transitions for new libzim and libkiwix versions.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • 9to5LinuxUbuntu 22.04 LTS and 20.04 LTS Users Get New Kernel Update, 9 Vulnerabilities Patched

        Just a day after the release of Ubuntu 20.04.5 LTS, which ships with Linux kernel 5.15 LTS from Ubuntu 22.04 LTS by default, a new kernel update is now available to address several security issues, including CVE-2022-1729, a race condition discovered by Norbert Slusarek in the perf subsystem that could allow a privileged local attacker to cause a denial of service (system crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Programming/Development

      • QtUnderstand The Requirements For Medical Device Software Testing

        Technology plays a vital role in all forms of modern healthcare, from simple personal monitoring devices like a step tracker to those in medical settings like critical care life support systems. Each requires software to enable it to run and deliver the expected service. Therefore, it is imperative that manufacturers have thorough and reliable medical device software testing in place.

        It is estimated the market for such devices will be worth over US$ 455bn in 2022, and there’s the added fact that they impact the health of individuals who need to be confident they work as expected and won’t inadvertently cause harm. So, it isn’t surprising to see a regulatory regime that sets standards on how to test medical device software.

      • QtThe Future of Headless Embedded Devices

        The trend of hybrid and headless embedded devices disrupts many industries. According to a recent market study commissioned by the Qt Company, the future product design of embedded devices is heavily polarized depending on the industry. In some industries, 85% of respondents imagine that embedded devices will not have in-built screens anymore within five years. In other sectors, only 10% of respondents expect devices with in-built screens to disappear even within ten years. This blog post gives an update on opportunities and threats for a shift towards remote-controlled devices in different industries.

      • Jamie Brandon0027: preimp, framework, dotfiles and backups, links

        I got as far as I could with the clj version.

        The main obstacle is provenance. The main feedback from the essay was that it would feel much more natural with direct manipulation. Why write code to make a toggle button for the status of a todo? Why can’t you just click on the status and change it?

        Doing that requires tracking, for each value, where in the source code it came from so that we can map edits back to that location. Doing this in clojurescript seems very difficult. Clojurescript’s strings and numbers are just javascript strings and numbers. There is no way to attach any additional information to them. I could put wrapper objects around all strings and numbers in the source code, but then existing functions won’t work on them.

        Performance is also an issue. I used preimp to build an accounting tool that we actually use, but we have to use it on my fancy laptop because on a $200 chromebook it takes multiple seconds to render a few months of transaction history.

      • OpenSource.comHow to display the presence and absence of nth-highest group-wise values in SQL | Opensource.com

        While skimming through SQL to prepare for interviews, I often come across this question: Find the employee with the highest or (second-highest) salary by joining a table containing employee information with another that contains department information. This raises a further question: What about finding the employee who earns the nth-highest salary department-wide?

      • SQL joins really explained – Lukáš Zapletal

        I’ve got asked how SQL joins really work. Let me explain real quick, imagine a database of student with a simple (1:N) relationship, a city students are from.

      • Johnnycanencrypt 0.9.0 release

        The first biggest change is related to build system, now we are using setuptools-rust to build. This change happened as dkg is working towards packaging the module for Debian.

      • Python

        • MedevelBuild A SaaS system with This Django SaaS Boilerplate

          The djaodjin-saas project is a Django application that implements the logic to support subscription-based Sofware-as-a-Service businesses.

          The project aids Django developers to start writing their SaaS project directly as it has all structures ready, such as profiles, user, customer management and accounting.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • CNX SoftwareUSB4 Version 2.0 to enable speeds of up to 80 Gbps, introduce “active” USB cables – CNX Software

        The USB Promoter Group has just pushed a press release about the “pending release” of the USB4 Version 2.0 specification that promises up to 80 Gbps of data performance over the USB Type-C cable and connector. The group also explains both the USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specifications will also be updated, and everything will be published right before the USB DevDays developer events planned for November 2022 in the US and South Korea.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Extreme TechElectrical Brain Stimulation Boosts Memory in Seniors, Study Finds

        Memory lapse remains a major concern for those approaching their golden years. As many as 40 percent of US adults over the age of 65 have some type of age-associated memory impairment, with approximately 160,000 of them receiving dementia diagnoses each year. While long-term it would be ideal to find ways to prevent the initial onset of such memory impairments, scientists are working to help seniors mediate their memory obstacles in the meantime. A new study suggests electrical currents to the brain might be a way to do just that.

      • ACMInterpretable Machine Learning: Moving from Mythos to Diagnostics

        The emergence of machine learning as a society-changing technology in the past decade has triggered concerns about people’s inability to understand the reasoning of increasingly complex models. The field of interpretable machine learning (IML) grew out of these concerns, with the goal of empowering various stakeholders to tackle use cases, such as building trust in models, performing model debugging, and generally informing real human decision-making.7,10,17

      • TechXploreCreating a perfect trap for light

        Whether in photosynthesis or in a photovoltaic system: If you want to use light efficiently, you have to absorb it as completely as possible. However, this is difficult if the absorption is to take place in a thin layer of material that normally lets a large part of the light pass through.

        Now, research teams from TU Wien and from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) have found a surprising trick that allows a beam of light to be completely absorbed even in the thinnest of layers: They built a “light trap” around the thin layer using mirrors and lenses, in which the light beam is steered in a circle and then superimposed on itself—exactly in such a way that the beam of light blocks itself and can no longer leave the system. Thus, the light has no choice but to be absorbed by the thin layer—there is no other way out.

      • New ScientistRobot dog learns to walk on tough terrain in just 20 minutes | New Scientist

        Grass lawns and hiking trails are no problem for this robot, which learned to walk on them on the fly thanks to a machine learning algorithm

        A robot dog can learn to walk on unfamiliar and hard-to-master terrain, such as grass, bark and hiking trails, in just 20 minutes, thanks to a machine learning algorithm.

        Most autonomous robots have to be carefully programmed by humans or extensively tested in simulated scenarios before they can perform real-world tasks, such as walking up a rocky hill or a slippery slope – and when they encounter unfamiliar environments, they tend to struggle.

        Now, Sergey Levine at the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues have demonstrated that a robot using a kind of machine learning called deep reinforcement learning can work out how to walk in about 20 minutes in several different environments, such as a grass lawn, a layer of bark, a memory foam mattress and a hiking trail.

      • Researchers design new inks for 3D-printable wearable bioelectronics

        Flexible electronics have enabled the design of sensors, actuators, microfluidics and electronics on flexible, conformal and/or stretchable sublayers for wearable, implantable or ingestible applications. However, these devices have very different mechanical and biological properties when compared to human tissue and thus cannot be integrated with the human body.

        A team of researchers at Texas A&M University has developed a new class of biomaterial inks that mimic native characteristics of highly conductive human tissue, much like skin, which are essential for the ink to be used in 3D printing.

        This biomaterial ink leverages a new class of 2D nanomaterials known as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). The thin-layered structure of MoS2 contains defect centers to make it chemically active and, combined with modified gelatin to obtain a flexible hydrogel, comparable to the structure of Jell-O.

    • Proprietary

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • New ScientistFace recognition struggles to recognise us after five years of ageing [Ed: Not even after ageing. A lot of this "tech" is based on a lie, sold based on exaggerations and fabricated benchmarks]

          We can age as little as five years before face-recognition algorithms begin to struggle to identify us as the same person. This means systems that rely on facial recognition may need to get new images of users periodically or risk being unable to verify who they are.

        • IEEEStreetlight Wi-Fi Hotspots: A Bright Idea [Ed: This would mean more surveillance and more precise (in the locational accuracy sense) spying/tracking]

          Wi-Fi deployed via streetlights—the vision of an international consortium founded by Intel, Facebook, Nokia and others—may one day help augment wireless access throughout cities. However, much remains unknown about the most apt placement for these access points. Now a novel algorithm could help telecommunications companies discover how to best install this infrastructure, a new study finds.

          The international Telecom Infra Project envisions making public Wi-Fi available via the 60-gigahertz frequency band (ranging from 57 to 73 GHz) by installing access points on light poles. This band is unlicensed, and the IEEE 802.11ay standard for 60-GHz Wi-Fi released in 2021 supports up to 8.64 GHz of bandwidth.

          A challenge that comes along with using 60-GHz signals is that oxygen absorption exacerbates attenuation, thus limiting their range. If wireless links using these frequencies are relatively short—less than 100 meters—they may still prove useful in dense urban areas. However, much remains unknown about the best way to use such transmissions in cities, such as the ideal height for access points to avoid obstructions that might scatter these signals.

        • ACMProtecting Children’s Privacy Online

          Digital games and educational apps for children can be a boon. They keep youngsters engaged in interactive play and learning, and can give parents a break.

          Unfortunately, though, a large percentage of those games’ characters and features are designed not to altruistically enlighten children, but to make them spend more time on the platform–and to get their parents to spend more money on extra features.

          “We assume adults are better at recognizing persuasion pressure and are hopefully less magically engaged with their parasocial relationships with characters,” said Jenny Radesky, M.D., principal investigator of the Radesky Lab at the University of Michigan Medical School. “Kids’ relationships with Elmo or Daniel Tiger or Strawberry Shortcake are very important to them, and they are more likely to follow those characters’ instructions.”

        • John GruberDaring Fireball: Facebook’s Problems

          The nuance I’m trying to emphasize here is that I don’t think anyone believes with certainty that VR is going to be huge.

        • TechCrunchFTC sues data broker Kochava for sale of people’s sensitive location data, including visits to reproductive health clinics

          The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday announced it has filed a lawsuit against data broker Kochava Inc. for selling geolocation data from “hundreds of millions of mobile devices,” it says, which could be used to trace the movements of individuals including those to and from sensitive locations. Specifically, the FTC said the data could reveal people’s visits to places like reproductive health clinics, domestic violence or homeless shelters, addiction recovery centers and places of worship.

          This personal and private information could expose people to “threats of stigma, stalking, discrimination, job loss, and even physical violence,” the FTC explained in a press release.

          The suit aims to halt Kochava’s data collection practices involving sensitive geolocation data and will request that the company delete the data it has already collected.

        • John GruberFTC Sues Data Broker Kochava for Sale of People’s Location Data

          Location data has always been sensitive — among the most private of private things that can be tracked through computing devices. With Roe v. Wade overturned and antiabortion Christianist lawmakers now drafting laws to make it illegal to cross state lines to get an abortion, the stakes are well past “hypothetical”.

        • Stacey on IoTPodcast: Is Kickstarter still relevant for smart devices? – Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

          This week we start off talking about the Federal Trade Commission suing a data broker for sharing sensitive location data. It’s a topic we’re following closely, in part because location information can’t be anonymized even when companies promise that it strips identifying information from it.

        • RlangUse of Differential Privacy in the US Census–All for Nothing? | R-bloggers

          The field of data privacy has long been of broad interest. In a medical database, for instance, how can administrators enable statistical analysis by medical researchers, while at the same time protecting the privacy of individual patients? Over the years, many methods have been proposed and used. I’ve done some work in the area myself.

          But in 2006, an approach known as differential privacy (DP) was proposed, by a group of prominent cryptography researchers. With its catchy name and theoretical underpinnings, DP immediately attracted lots of attention. As it is more mathematical than many other statistical disclosure control methods, thus good fodder for theoretical research–it immediately led to a flurry of research papers, showing how to apply DP in various settings.

          DP was also adopted by some firms in industry, notably Apple. But what really gave DP a boost was the decision by the US Census Bureau to use DP for their publicly available data, beginning with the most recent census, 2020. On the other hand, that really intensified the opposition to DP. I have my own concerns about the method.

          The Bureau, though, had what it considered a compelling reason to abandon their existing privacy methods: Their extensive computer simulations showed that current methods were vulnerable to attack, in such a manner as to exactly reconstruct large portions of the “private” version of the census database. This of course must be avoided at all costs, and DP was implemented.

        • ACMDeploying Decentralized, Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing

          Contact tracing is a time-proven technique for breaking infection chains in epidemics. Public health officials interview those who come in contact with an infectious agent, such as a virus, to identify exposed, potentially infected people. These contacts are notified that they are at risk and should take efforts to avoid infecting others—for example, by going into quarantine, taking a test, wearing a mask continuously, or taking other precautionary measures.

    • Finance

      • Niall MurphyWaste versus slack in production engineering

        Economics teaches us that one person’s income is another person’s expenditure. But we don’t think like that when we think of waste. Instead, our usual intuition for waste is it’s something expended that we didn’t have to, or something left behind after we did what we needed to.

        In today’s distributed systems and cloud-first environment, however, that perfectly fine concept is a little trickier. Many apparently obvious examples of it become a bit less obvious when you look at them more closely. It’s also hard to decide what to do about that “waste”, even when you’ve decided what it is.

        [...]

        In some sense, then, the cloud providers capitalise not just on indefinite rent for compute resources continuing into the future, but also a rapidly changing environment which just makes it organisationally easier to keep spending that money to service current needs, rather than try to spend the time to understand what’s going on and maybe reduce that spend.

        Waste then in this context becomes a lot subtler. You, the customer, might not have had the resources for capex expenditure for your production fleet, but you can afford the opex. This is hardly waste – indeed, arguably it’s the opposite, since being able to trade having to have a large amount of money up front for having continual smaller amounts of money arriving on a regular schedule gives you the chance to run a business you previously couldn’t. Exactly like mortgages! But now it’s much harder for you to figure out whether or not a better deal exists elsewhere, precisely because of the complexity of the billing model and how your production now works. Is that waste? Well, it is, if you could pay for the same thing somewhere else for less, but for good reasons and for bad, it’s not trivial to compare those possibilities.

        [...]

        Now we come to the question of slack – un-used capacity in your system, which could be used, but on average isn’t.

        There is a key difference between waste and slack. Both of them represent states of the world in which resources are unused, but we define slack as when the “waste” is there deliberately – to cover a situation where those resources will be used, or have a high probability of such. The difference is in some sense intentional: waste which gets accidentally used to compensate for a situation is still waste, if you didn’t do so deliberately. But when that happens – when you use waste for slack – you’ve discovered something about your system, congratulations! (Though you’d better build capacity into your plans from now on.)

        Ultimately though, slack results from a deliberate act taken to compensate, or partially so, for events that would otherwise overwhelm your system. It is capacity, but to smooth out variations, not for immediately assigned work.

      • New York TimesNew York City Braces for an M.T.A. Budget Disaster, Again – The New York Times

        New Yorkers fear a repeat of past service cuts as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority faces a $2.5 billion budget deficit in 2025.

      • RetailWireShould the cryptocurrency crash scare retailers?

        Nearly 75 percent of retailers plan to accept either cryptocurrency or stablecoin payments within the next two years, according to Deloitte’s “Merchants Getting Ready For Crypto” study.

        The survey of 2,000 U.S. retail executives was taken in the first two weeks of December 2021, just before valuations on digital currencies collapsed.

        According to Barron’s, Bitcoin, the dominant token, continues to trade at around one-third of its November 2021 all-time high, with the market capitalization of the overall crypto space also tumbling.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Michael GeistA Failure of Responsibility: My Reflections on Canadian Heritage Funding an Anti-Semite and Being Wrongly Called Racist by a Sitting MP – Michael Geist

        It is thankfully not everyday that a sitting Member of Parliament uses social media to suggest that you are racist. Yet that is precisely what happened to me last week when Chris Bittle, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, suggested that my public comments on Twitter calling for Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez to say something about his department funding an anti-semite as part of its anti-hate program was grounded in racism.

        [...]

        For those that have missed the controversy over the past few weeks, persistent, important work from Mark Goldberg – amplified by Jonathan Kay – brought to light that Canadian Heritage was supporting a known anti-semite with a long history of anti-semitic comments and posts. These posts were openly available online and should have been part of any routine due diligence. Moreover, Goldberg regularly tweeted at the department and Rodriguez to try to get attention. However, the department ignored or failed to find the evidence, agreeing to pay $133,800 to the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC), led by Laith Marouf, to develop an anti-racism strategy for Canadian broadcasting. The issue attracted international attention, yet many Canadian leaders have been strangely silent about it.

      • Michael GeistSilent No More: Liberal MP Anthony Housefather Calls on All 338 MPs to Speak Out on Anti-Semitism and Ensuring No Government Funding for Anti-Semite

        My post yesterday focused on the government’s multiple failures with regard to providing funding to an anti-semite as part of the Canadian Heritage anti-hate program. It examined the department’s failure to conduct proper due diligence, the failure of most Liberal MPs to speak out, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Chris Bittle’s since deleted tweet that suggested I was racist when I expressed concern about silence from government ministers such as Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez.

        One of the most notable aspects of the post was the emphasis on how it has been left largely to Jewish MPs such as Anthony Housefather and Ya’ara Saks to say something about the issue. While there have been a few other responses to media or constituent questions, pro-active statements have been shockingly missing. That reality may have sparked Housefather to issue a call for all 338 MPs to speak out.

      • Trump’s social media app facing financial fallout | Fox Business

        Former President Donald Trump’s social media outfit, Truth Social, is locked in a bitter battle with one of its vendors claiming that the platform is stiffing the company out of more than $1 million in contractually obligated payments, Fox Business has learned. [...]

        In October, RightForge announced it entered into an agreement to host Truth Social, which Trump helped create after he was banned by Twitter following the Jan. 6 riots. RightForge now contends that Truth Social has reneged on its contractually obligated monthly payments for setting up the platform’s web-servicing infrastructure, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.

        These people say RightForge contends that Truth Social has made just three payments and ceased making any payments since around March. RightForge claims that Truth Social owes it around $1.6 million and is threatening legal action to recoup the money, these people add.

      • AxiosScoop: Truth Social’s Google Play Store holdup

        Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes last week claimed the decision about when the app would be available on Android “is up to Google,” but Google insists that the ball is in Truth Social’s court.

        What Nunes is saying: “I don’t know what’s taking them so long.”

        What Google is saying: “On Aug. 19, we notified Truth Social of several violations of standard policies in their current app submission and reiterated that having effective systems for moderating user-generated content is a condition of our terms of service for any app to go live on Google Play.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • UK challenges $69B Microsoft/Activision deal, citing potential harm to gamers

        The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is challenging Microsoft and Activision Blizzard to justify their planned merger, saying the deal “could substantially lessen competition” in the gaming industry. A CMA announcement today cited concerns about “competition in gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services, and cloud gaming services (game streaming).”

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Halloween and Christmas

        Earlier this evening, I was listening to the Stage 1 music from the NES game “Ghosts ‘n Goblins”. The game is a run-and-gun platformer with a classic horror theme, and music is often used in Halloween-related gaming videos online. While listening to the tune tonight, however, I suddenly had the feeling that it could well have been an 8-bit rendition of classical Christmas music.

        The thought struck me as odd. The music of Ghosts ‘n Goblins is intentionally filled with suspense and foreboding, a far cry from the saccharine jingles we usually associate with Christmas today. However, the music reminded me of a YouTube video from last year^ that discussed the eerie, otherwordly magic of traditional interpretations of Christmas.

    • Technical

      • Internet/Gemini

        • smolZINE – Issue 33

          I’m going to be straight with you. My energy and time levels were well below 50% for this issue so I just winged it and wrote a quick thing straight out of my grey matter because that’s what I was interested in during the 24 hour period leading up to smolZINE release day. If you get tired of hearing about the things that *I* find interesting…I don’t blame you and you’re very welcome to submit something *you* find interesting for a future issue. Solicit someone else to write something you’d find interesting even! Ok, lets get on with it.


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  1. Links 08/02/2023: Transmission 4.0.0 Released and Mass Layoffs at Zoom

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 07, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 07, 2023



  3. When the Pension Vanishes

    Today we commenced a multi-part mini-series about pensions and what happens when they suddenly vanish and nobody is willing to explain where all the money went



  4. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: An Introduction

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series continues in the form of a mini-series about pensions; it’s part of an ongoing investigation of a deep mystery that impacts people who left the company quite a long time ago and some of the lessons herein are applicable to any worker with a pension (at times of financial uncertainties)



  5. Links 07/02/2023: Endless OS 5.0 and Voice.AI GPL Violations

    Links for the day



  6. No Doubt Microsoft Unleashed Another 'Tay', Spreading Bigotry Under the Guise of Hey Hi (AI)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  7. Links 07/02/2023: Fedora 39 Development Plans Outlines

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 06, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, February 06, 2023



  9. Links 06/02/2023: Escuelas Linux 8.0 and Many Political Issues

    Links for the day



  10. Links 06/02/2023: Sparky 6.6 and IPFire 2.27 – Core Update 173

    Links for the day



  11. Taking Back Control or Seizing Autonomy Over the News Cycle (Informing People, Culling the Marketing)





  12. Reality Versus Fiction: EPO Insiders Versus EPO Web Site and UPC 'Churnalists'

    The "official" sources of the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as the sedated "media" that the EPO is bribing for further bias, cannot tell the truth about this very large institution; for proper examination of Europe's largest patent office one must pursue the interpretation by longtime veterans and insiders, who are increasingly upset and abused (they're being pressured to grant patents in violation of the charter of the EPO)



  13. Links 06/02/2023: Linux 6.2 RC7 and Fatal Earthquake

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 05, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 05, 2023



  15. Links 05/02/2023: Wayland in Bookworm and xvidtune 1.0.4

    Links for the day



  16. Links 05/02/2023: Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia, Musharraf Dies

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 04, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 04, 2023



  18. Links 04/02/2023: FOSDEM Happening and Ken Thompson in SoCal Linux Expo

    Links for the day



  19. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  20. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  21. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  22. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  23. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  25. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  26. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  27. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  28. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    Links for the day



  29. 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!!)



  30. 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


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