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Links 09/10/2022: KDE Frameworks 5.99.0 and PeaZip 8.9.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Made SimpleLinux Weekly Roundup #203

      Welcome to this week’s Linux Weekly roundup. We had a good week in the world of Linux releases with NitruxOS 20221001, SparkyLinux 2022.10, KaOS 2022.10, and Redcore Linux 2201.

    • Linux LinksLinux Around The World: USA – Virginia – LinuxLinks

      We cover events and user groups that are running in the US state of Virginia. This article forms part of our Linux Around The World series.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • NeowinPeaZip 8.9.0

        PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It’s freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available.

      • DebugPoint5 Great Subtitle Editors in Linux Systems

        In this article, I will talk about free and open-source subtitle editors for Linux systems.

        With the advancement of technology, AI and ML, subtitle editors are not that much in demand. Because AI-ML models can generate subtitles on the fly. For example, most popular streaming platforms, such as YouTube, can automatically auto-generated subtitles on LIVE or recorded media.

        There are few subtitle editors in the Linux world; those are available, for some of the development is already stopped (e.g. Aegisub) and become obsolete.

        Here are some of the subtitle editors for Linux systems – that are still in use.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • uni TorontoThe Maildir mail storage format doesn’t seem to work well over NFS

        There’s a relatively widespread view that the Maildir mail storage format is the solution to any issue that one is having with traditional mail message storage. In general I feel that Maildir only solves some problems and makes others worse (although that entry was written in the days of HDDs with very limited IOPS). In our specific environment, we’ve found that Maildir over NFS to our fileservers is actually pretty terrible once you have a large Maildir folder, one with thousands of messages.

        Our IMAP server is Dovecot, which normally automatically supports Maildir format folders if you set one up. Our default folder format is old fashioned mbox format folders (with all messages in one file) and most of our users follow that. However, we have had a very few users who set up Maildir format folders, which are stored in their home directory on one of our NFS fileservers, and then put thousands of messages in those Maildir folders. The observed result on our IMAP server is that them looking at this folder tanked the performance of their mail session and could affect the entire machine’s performance.

        In this problem’s most recent incarnation, this was not because of limited IOPS from HDDs; by that point all of our fileservers were using local SSDs, and mirrored at that. ZFS uses non-linear directories, so directory lookup in large directories shouldn’t be a problem and anyway our fileservers have lots of memory and high cache hit rates (and even 10,000 files in a directory isn’t large by modern standards). We tried a number of things and investigated in a number of areas, but as near as we could guess, the problem may well be the sheer number of NFS operations that are required to scan a directory and look at things in it. Dovecot normally maintains indexes of folders that mean it doesn’t have to touch the folder itself, but maybe it doesn’t index Maildir folders or maybe the index was frequently being invalidated for some reason.

      • Data SwampA NixOS kiosk

        A kiosk, in the sysadmin jargon, is a computer that is restricted to a single program so anyone can use it for the sole provided purpose. You may have seen kiosk computers here and there, often wrapped in some kind of box with just a touch screen available. ATM are kiosks, most screens showing some information are also kiosks.

      • Data SwampSolene’% : Extending fail2ban on NixOS

        Fail2ban is a wonderful piece of software, it can analyze logs from daemons and ban them in the firewall. It’s triggered by certain conditions like a single IP found in too many lines matching a pattern (such as a login failure) under a certain time.

      • Make Use OfHow to Install a New Package Manager in Linux

        A package manager is essential for managing and maintaining software on your Linux system. Each Linux distribution ships with a package manager by default. Ubuntu comes with the APT package manager, Arch-based distros have Pacman, and so on.

        If you wish to explore other package managers, here’s how you can install a different package manager without having to switch to a brand-new distribution.

      • UbuntubuzzHow To Install Eclipse with WindowBuilder on Ubuntu

        This tutorial will help you install Eclipse with its visual development tool Window Builder. With this, you can develop computer applications in Java programming language rapidly by drag and drop aside from writing code and produce high quality Graphical User Interface (GUI) applications. Now let’s install it!

      • ID RootHow To Install GitLab on Rocky Linux 9 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GitLab on Rocky Linux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, GitLab is a free git repository management tool that allows you to create and manage git repositories. With GitLab, you can host your own internal repository for a development team and allow users to host their projects.

        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 GitLab on Rocky Linux. 9.

      • Real Linux UserHow to download Linux Mint 21 – Updated – Real Linux User

        It seems from the beginning of time the Linux internet community is discussing, blogging, and vlogging intensively about Linux Mint, one of the most popular Linux distributions. It is extremely popular among both beginners and advanced users, who just want to get things done with their operating systems. So you want to know how to get your hands on one of the most popular, stable, and user-friendly Linux distributions? In this article, which is the start of a complete refresh of all my previous Linux Mint 18 based articles, you will learn how to download the most recent Linux Mint 21. In this article, you will learn how to download Linux Mint 21, so you can create a Linux Mint 21 Live USB stick to try it out in a live environment, or just install it right away.

      • How to Unzip a .gz File on Linux (Any distro)

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to unzip a .gz file on Linux. These instructions will work on any Linux distro, even on a Mac.

        We previously wrote about how to zip files on Linux, so now we’re going to show you how to unzip a GZ file.

      • CitizixHow to install Java 17 On Rocky/Alma Linux 9

        In this guide we are going to explore how to install Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Developer Kit (JDK) in Rocky Linux 9. This guide also works for any RHEL 9 based systems. Java and the JVM (Java’s virtual machine) are required for many kinds of software, including Tomcat, Jetty, Glassfish, Cassandra and Jenkins.

      • Deploy OpenStack using DevStack on Ubuntu 22.04/Ubuntu 20.04 – kifarunix.com

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to deploy OpenStack using DevStack on Ubuntu 22.04/Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Sergio Talens-Oliag: Shared networking for Virtual Machines and Containers

        This entry explains how I have configured a linux bridge, dnsmasq and iptables to be able to run and communicate different virtualization systems and containers on laptops running Debian GNU/Linux.

      • Make Use OfHow to Use the head and tail Commands for Text Processing on Linux

        There are many Linux commands and tools used to process text files. But there are times when you do not want to read the whole content of a file, but rather a specific part of it. Do you know that you can use the head and tail commands on Linux to output the beginnings and ends of a file respectively?

        Read on to discover how you can use these two commands to effectively process and manipulate text on Linux.

      • Ubuntu HandbookHow to Enable & Configure Hot-Corners in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to enable and customize hot-corner actions in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS with default GNOME desktop.

        Your system can do a custom action, when moving mouse corner to hit one of the 4 (top-left, top-right, bottom-left, and bottom-right) screen edges. That’s hot-corners function.

        By default, the top-left hot-corner is enabled for triggering the overview screen. You can however enable all the 4 corners and specify custom actions via an extension in all GNOME based Linux.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • 9to5LinuxKDE Frameworks 5.99 Brings More Plasma Wayland Improvements, Better Qt 6 Support

          KDE Frameworks 5.99 brings various user interface improvements like the ability to zoom in and out or clear the password field using the Ctrl+Alt+U keyboard shortcut on the lock screen of your mobile device, fade in/out effects for tooltips throughout the KDE Plasma and QtQuick-based apps when they appear and disappear, as well as better looking accent colors when using the “Accent color from wallpaper” feature.

        • KDE Ships Frameworks 5.99.0 – KDE Community

          KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.99.0.

          KDE Frameworks are 83 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks release announcement.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Gentoo Family

      • LinuxiacGentoo-Based Redcore Linux 2201 Released with Plasma 5.25

        Linux kernel 5.15 LTS, KDE Plasma 5.25.5, and an updated package base are some new features in Redcore Linux’s latest release.

        Some Linux distributions, such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Arch, enjoy a massive number of derivatives. Not so with Gentoo, another major Linux distribution. And, given the complexities involved, this is understandable. But, of course, there are exceptions. Redcore Linux is one of them.

        It is a desktop-oriented Gentoo-based distribution that aims to bring the power of Gentoo Linux to the masses through simple installation and system management software.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • OMG UbuntuTool to Integrate AppImages with Ubuntu Desktop

        AppImage is a popular way for software developers to package and distribute their app to Linux users, regardless of their specific distro choices.

        Portability is the real appeal; AppImages contain everything they need to run, in a single executable, they’re a simple, straightforward way to run software. You download an .AppImage file, go to the folder you download it to, give it permission to run, and double-click on it to open.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • VirtualizationIoT/Edge Dev Survey Shows AI, Container and Linux Popularity [Ed: Microsoft site, so a little biased.]

        For the eighth year, the Eclipse Foundation has surveyed Internet of Things (IoT) and edge developers, finding that when it comes to workloads, artifacts and OS choices, artificial intelligence (AI), containers and Linux all rank highly.

        While those findings are similar to the 2021 report, the 2022 report shows the popularity of all those increased year over year when measured by the percentage of respondents who listed them.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • CNX Software$10 HDMI to USB 3.2 video acquisition board is based on MS2130 chip

        We’ve just written about an open-source hardware Allwinner V851S camera board from YuzukiHD, but he/she has made another interesting board with the YuzukiLOHCC PRO HDMI to USB 3.2 video acquisition board based on MacroSilicon MS2130 HDMI to USB chip, as well as MS9332 one-to-two active splitter, and MS8003/MS8005 microcontroller.

        YuzukiLOHCC PRO stands for Yuzuki Loop Out HDMI Capture Card PRO, and there are two HDMI ports, one for input and one for output, as well as a USB Type-C port to connect to the host and capture the video input.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Content Management Systems (CMS)

      • Emmanuel Kasper: Markdown CMS or Wiki for smallish website – formicapunk

        Following my markdown craze, I am slowly starting to move my Dokuwiki based homesite to Grav, a flat file Markdown CMS.

        PHP will be always be PHP, but the documentation and usage seem sound (all config is either via an admin panel or editing YAML files) and it has professional support. I intend to use this Debian based Dockerfile and Podman to deploy Grav.

    • Programming/Development

      • Jim NielsenRemix, React, and State

        Whenever a piece of state changes, React reconciles the old state with the new state and figures out where in the component tree it needs to re-render UI elements.

        What that means — and what might not always be immediately obvious — is that if you don’t store and modify your application’s state in React, then React won’t be of much use to you. React needs state to be useful.

        React state, however, is ephemeral: it lives and dies with the browser tab unless you persist it somewhere. That means it’s up to you to keep React state in sync with your application’s data, i.e. the source of truth.

        To reframe Josh’s statement: React’s main job is to keep its state in sync with your application’s user interface but not your application itself. That’s up to you.

      • Trail Of BitsSecure your machine learning with Semgrep | Trail of Bits Blog

        Picture this: You’ve spent months curating images, trying out different architectures, downloading pretrained models, messing with Kubernetes, and you’re finally ready to ship your sparkling new machine learning (ML) product. And then you get the (hopefully not dreaded) question: What security measures have you put into place?

        Maybe you’ve already applied tools like Counterfit and PrivacyRaven to test your model against model extraction and model inversion, but that shouldn’t be the end. You’re not just building a model; you’re building a pipeline. And the crux of your pipeline is the source code. ML models cannot be treated as standalone objects. Their creators must account for every element of the pipeline, from preprocessing procedures to the underlying hardware.

        Semgrep is a powerful static analysis tool that enables users to search for potentially problematic code patterns at scale. Previously, we released several Semgrep rules to find goroutine leaks that are included in our public set of Semgrep rules. To strengthen the ML ecosystem, we’ve analyzed the source code of many ML libraries and identified some common problematic patterns. Instead of relying on developers to thoroughly examine the source code or documentation of each library they use, we decided to turn these patterns into Semgrep rules to make it easy to find and fix potential vulnerabilities.

      • Understanding leaf node numbers when using rpart and rpart.rules | Statistical Odds – Ends

        I recently ran into an issue with matching rules from a decision tree (output of rpart.plot::rpart.rules()) with leaf node numbers from the tree object itself (output of rpart::rpart()). This post explains the issue and how to solve it.

      • Probabilistic Photograph Manipulation with ggplot2 and imager — Mark H. White II, PhD

        I started taking photos earlier this year. And as someone who loves thinking about probability, statistics, chance, randomness, and R programming, I started thinking about ways to apply probabilistic programming to photography. This is my first attempt.

        I’m going to be using one shot I particularly like. It’s a tower on 47th between Wyandotte and Baltimore in Kansas City, Missouri—as seen from the parking garage roof above The Cheesecake Factory:

      • Matt RickardPerceptual Hashing

        Hashing algorithms map data to an arbitrary fixed-size value. Most hashing algorithms actively try to avoid collisions – e.g., minimizing the probability of two different keys having the same hash. Perceptual hashes do the opposite – they maximize collisions by creating some dimension of data locality – similar keys have similar hashes.

      • Barry Kaulerlibsdl2 version bump in OE

        EasyOS has libsdl2 version 2.0.12, but I was looking at a project that requires 2.0.18 or greater. So, I have compiled 2.0.20 in OpenEmbedded.

      • EarthlyHow to Build A Real-Time Communication Application with Django-Channels and The WebSocket Protocol

        In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to build a real-time communication application with The Django Channels package and The WebSocket Protocol. The application we will create will be a platform where users can join multiple pre-created groups and share ideas with members of the group.

      • Handling Empty Paragraphs from R Markdown

        From time to time I find empty paragraph tags (

        ) inserted into my HTML when knitting an R Markdown document.

        Beyond being an affront to my OCD, these empty tags are mostly just an irritation. But if I’m trying to produce a very specific layout, then the extra space allocated to them can become a real annoyance.

      • HarshvardhanA Gentle Introduction to using Support Vector Machines for Classification | Harshvardhan

        Support vector machines (SVM) are remarkable for the unification of geometric theory, elegant mathematics, theoretical guarantees with strong practical use cases. In this blog post, I demonstrate certain properties of SVM and how to use them with caret package in R.

      • Python

        • Team Collaboration in R and Python Made Easy – RStudio

          Bilingual teams that want to do serious data science require collaboration, transparency, and reproducibility across R and Python workflows while empowering professionals to work in their preferred language(s). Accomplishing this requires tools built for interoperability at scale and a shared standard between data science languages.

        • Didier StevensUpdate: rtfdump.py Version 0.0.11

          This new version of rtfdump, my tool to analyze RTF files, brings json output for options -O and -F.

      • C

        • JCSVideo: C Programming on System 6 – VCF Midwest, Wikipedia Reader, and Subterm

          I attended the Vintage Computer Festival Midwest 17 and wrote two new programs.

        • Linux HintMacros in C

          “As you know that C is quite a diverse general-purpose language and came up with many different structures. The Macros in C language come in handy when swapping your large code with a single piece of line code to avoid complexity and more. The macros can be utilized in the C codes using the “#define” keyword. Although macros have many types, we will demonstrate the use of object-like macros and function-like macros in this article. Let’s have a fresh start on this guide by updating it in the shell by the “update” query shown in the attached image. Provide this query with your Linux password to continue the processing.”

        • Linux HintFork System Call in C

          “The basic purpose of the fork command method is to create one or more child processes; the newly created child processes run concurrently with the parent process that created these child processes using fork statements. The next statement that is followed by the fork command will be executed by both child and parent processes simultaneously. The same CPU registers, the program counter (PC), and open files that the parent process accesses are used by the child process. The fork command doesn’t take any parameter as input, but it returns an integer value by using which we can easily identify whether either fork command created the child process successfully or not.”

        • Linux HintCalloc in C

          “The utilization and assignment of memory or space in a system are said to be the most important thing in any programming script when you have a lot of data in the form of variables and arrays. The C language is very dynamic when it comes to allocating memory as it contains many memory-specific functions in it. One of those functions is calloc(). Contiguous allocation is another name for the “calloc”. This C language method allocates dynamic memory for a certain type. This technique is used to dynamically allocate the desired number of memory blocks of a particular type.”

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Jonathan Dowland: Focus writing with (despite) LaTeX

        LaTeX — the age-old typesetting system — makes me angry. Not because it’s bad. To clarify, not because there’s something better. But because there should be.

        When writing a document using LaTeX, if you are prone to procrastination it can be very difficult to focus on the task at hand, because there are so many yaks to shave. Here’s a few points of advice.


        In a nutshell, I think it’s wise to move much document reviewing work back into the editor rather than the rendered document, at least in the early stages of a section. And to do that, you need the document to be as legible as possible in the editor. The important stuff is the text you write, not the TeX macros you’ve sprinkled around to format it.

      • Manuel Matuzovic100 Days Of More Or Less Modern CSS – Manuel Matuzović

        It’s time to get me up on speed with modern CSS. There’s so much new in CSS that I know too little about. To change that I’ve started #100DaysOfMoreOrLessModernCSS. Why more or less modern CSS? Because some topics will be about cutting-edge features, while other stuff has been around for quite a while already, but I just have little to no experience with it.

  • Leftovers

    • Bryan LundukeHands on with 1998′s Rhapsody DR2 (the precursor to MacOS X)

      Before “MacOS X” became known “MacOS X”… it was known as “Rhapsody: an OpenStep / NeXTStep based operating system which was being released as “Developer Releases” for both PowerPC and x86 (read: Pentium) computers.

      On May 14th, 1998, Apple Computer, inc. released “Rhapsody Developer Release 2”… what would turn out to be the last version of Rhapsody to run on x86 hardware. From this point onward, Rhapsody would become known as “MacOS X” (with the first release known as “MacOS X Server 1.0”) and would become “PowerPC” only for the next several years.

    • Ali Reza HayatiEverybody is a genius

      Everybody is a genius in their own way but it’s the injustices imposed on people that make it look different.

      Let’s create an imaginary jungle. We have a lot of different animals in the jungle. We have monkeys, we have tigers, elephants, lions, fishes, penguins, etc.

      All those animals have unique abilities and all of them are genius in their own way. The problem is that we want to enforce equality in a wrong way. If we measure the genius of animals but asking for one exam, say climbing a tree, then we’re giving advantage to monkeys and imposing injustice on fishes.

      The fish can’t breathe in the air. The tiger may be able to climb a tree but not as good as the monkey. The elephants are dumbest in this measure because they can breathe in the air but can’t even jump.

      This injustice makes them unequal.

      I believe the only way we can have equality is to treat everybody with justice. All animals are equal in the way we treat them and that is with justice. If we measure how genius is a fish by its ability to swim, and measure how genius is a monkey by its ability to climb a tree, and measure tigers by their ability to run, then we can have a jungle of genius animals with everyone in their designated role and responsibility.

    • Mark HansenWhere to sell items in Australia

      What we learned from selling an estate of 400+ books, games, DVDs, and electronics in Australia.


      Her goal wasn’t to make the most money, but get the items into the hands of people who will enjoy it, and out of our garage.

      We’re not big Dungeons & Dragons or retro-gaming enthusiasts, but we know of communities that really enjoy this stuff.

    • Matt RickardScreenshots as the Universal API

      With advancements in machine learning, screenshots are quickly becoming a universal data format. It’s now (relatively) easy to extract meaning (image-to-text), layout information (object recognition), text (optical character recognition, OCR), and other metadata (formatting, fonts, etc.).


      Permissionless. Many applications won’t allow you to export data. Screenshots are always available (similar to the era of web crawling).

    • Daniel AleksandersenA Sony Headphones app feature kills your phone’s battery life

      I recently bought a pair of Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones (ad: available on Amazon). Many of the headphone’s capabilities are unlocked using the Sony Headphones Connect (SHC) companion app. Unfortunately, the SHC app slashes hours off my phone’s battery life. Here’s what the app did wrong and how to rein in its energy consumption.

    • Austin Z HenleyMonthly obsessions

      I have been struggling to make progress on side projects and hobbies.

      I don’t see nearly as much progress as I’d like because I’m always prioritizing an impending deadline. If it isn’t priority zero, it usually won’t get done, which means exploratory projects will never get attention.

      Maybe I’m just bad at context switching when there isn’t a forcing function. Deadlines are great, but what about when there isn’t one?

      I’ve attempted a few strategies to circumvent this issue. I’ve tried giving myself a concrete goal with a self-imposed deadline each week. I’ve tried dedicating Fridays to side projects or learning something new. I’ve tried spending one hour each day before or after work for a hobby.

    • uni CornellFirst-of-its-kind 3D-printed home blends concrete, wood

      Pouring layers of concrete like rows of toothpaste, an industrial-sized 3D printer this week continued adding a second floor to a Houston home that will be the first multistory printed structure in the United States.

      In addition to that achievement, designers Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic, assistant professors of architecture in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) and co-principals of the HANNAH Design Office, say the two-story, single-family home is demonstrating innovative construction processes that can be scaled up to multifamily and mixed-use developments, helping to address housing shortages.

    • WiredBot Hunting Is All About the Vibes | WIRED

      At the heart of every bot-detection tool is a human’s gut feeling—and all the messiness that comes with it.


      CHRISTOPHER BOUZY IS trying to stay ahead of the bots. As the person behind Bot Sentinel, a popular bot-detection system, he and his team continuously update their machine learning models out of fear that they will get “stale.” The task? Sorting 3.2 million tweets from suspended accounts into two folders: “Bot” or “Not.”

      To detect bots, Bot Sentinel’s models must first learn what problematic behavior is through exposure to data. And by providing the model with tweets in two distinct categories—bot or not a bot—Bouzy’s model can calibrate itself and allegedly find the very essence of what, he thinks, makes a tweet problematic.

      Training data is the heart of any machine learning model. In the burgeoning field of bot detection, how bot hunters define and label tweets determines the way their systems interpret and classify bot-like behavior. According to experts, this can be more of an art than a science. “At the end of the day, it is about a vibe when you are doing the labeling,” Bouzy says. “It’s not just about the words in the tweet, context matters.”

    • Adriaan de GrootPerry’s Spel van 16 | [bobulate]

      The museum in Rotterdam was responsive on Twitter, and sent me a pretty-good photograph of the front and back of the rules sheet. I’m transcribing the rules here (in Dutch, in the original spelling) for posterity. I have tried to keep the spelling and typographical oddities.

      There’s an Android game out there called “Perry’s 16” which is vaguely similar, and if I were to describe the original game I would call it “a cross between Bingo and Skip-Bo”, which is possibly not so informative if you don’t know those games.

    • Science

      • Deep Learning Uses Stream Discharge to Estimate Watershed Subsurface Permeability | Department of Energy

        Subsurface permeability is a measure of how well liquids flow through below-ground rocks and soils. It is a key parameter that determines subsurface flow and transport processes in watersheds. However, permeability is difficult and expensive to measure directly at the scale and resolution required by watershed models. In contrast, stream flow monitoring data is widely available. The links between permeability and stream flow provide a new route to estimating subsurface permeability. In this study, scientists turned to deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence. Deep learning estimates the subsurface permeability of a watershed from stream discharge data more accurately than is possible with traditional methods. This improvement will help calibrate watershed models and reduce the uncertainty in stream discharge predictability.

      • ACMThere is Plenty of Room at The Top (of Supercomputing)

        Supercomputers are the Olympic champions of scientific computing. Through numerical simulations, they enrich our understanding of the world, be it stars lightyears away in the universe, the Earth’s weather and climate, or the functioning of the human body.

        For over four decades, Jack Dongarra has been a driving force in the field of high-performance computing. Earlier this year, Dongarra was awarded the 2021 ACM A.M. Turing Award for “his pioneering contributions to numerical algorithms and libraries that enabled high performance computational software to keep pace with exponential hardware improvements for over four decades.”

        Writer Bennie Mols met with Dongarra during the 9th Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany in September to talk about the present and future of high-performance computing. Dongarra, now 72, has been a University Distinguished Professor at the University of Tennessee (U.S.) and a Distinguished Research Staff Member at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 1989.


        High-performance supercomputers are built on commodity parts, let’s say the high-end chips that you and I can also buy, just many more of them. And typically we use some accelerators, in the form of GPUs, on top. We have boards of multiple chips, we put them in a rack, and many of these racks together form a supercomputer. We use commodity parts because it is cheaper, but if you would specially design the chips for doing scientific computations, you would get supercomputers that perform much better, and that is an exciting idea.

        Actually, this is exactly what companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba are doing; they are making their own chips. They can do this because they have enormous funding. Universities are always limited in funding, and therefore they unfortunately have to do with commodity stuff. This is related to one of my other worries: how do we keep talent in the scientific areas, rather than see them go to work for big companies that pay much better?’

      • The Washington PostThis robot catches grandma before she falls

        The mobile robot balance assistant, called “Mr. Bah,” can sense when elderly people lose balance

      • ACM[Computation] Supports Displaced Peoples, Refugees in Ukraine and Beyond

        The United Nations (U.N.) reported in May there were around 7.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine, people who have been forced to leave their homes but who remain in the country. Meanwhile, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency) recorded over 5.9 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled their country to locations across Europe.

        The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is part of a global situation in which over 89 million people worldwide were found to be “forcibly displaced” due to persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations at the end of 2021, according to UNHCR.

        Displaced peoples and refugees face a multitude of difficulties, from poor living conditions and loss of identity documents to longer-term resettlement, discrimination, and employability issues. Researchers and technology companies have been working with relief organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and governments to develop solutions, some of which are based upon artificial intelligence (AI), to support IDPs and refugees worldwide.

      • uni AaltoNew [computation] system predicts how to prevent wildfires

        Wildfires are a growing threat in a world shaped by climate change. Now, researchers at Aalto University have developed a neural network model that can accurately predict the occurrence of fires in peatlands. They used the new model to assess the effect of different strategies for managing fire risk and identified a suite of interventions that would reduce fire incidence by 50-76%.

        The study focused on the Central Kalimantan province of Borneo in Indonesia, which has the highest density of peatland fires in Southeast Asia. Drainage to support agriculture or residential expansion has made peatlands increasingly vulnerable to recurring fires. In addition to threatening lives and livelihoods, peatland fires release significant amounts of carbon dioxide. However, prevention strategies have faced difficulties because of the lack of clear, quantified links between proposed interventions and fire risk.

      • Chronicle Of Higher EducationWill Artificial Intelligence Kill College Writing? [Ed: As if plagiarism is a new issue and no computer program could do this before?]

        When I was a kid, my favorite poem was Shel Silverstein’s “The Homework Machine,” which summed up my childhood fantasy: a machine that could do my homework at the press of a button. Decades later that technology, the innocuously titled GPT-3, has arrived. It threatens many aspects of university education — above all, college writing.

        The web-based GPT-3 software program, which was developed by an Elon Musk-backed nonprofit called OpenAI, is a kind of omniscient Siri or Alexa that can turn any prompt into prose. You type in a query — say, a list of ingredients (what can I make with eggs, garlic, mushrooms, butter, and feta cheese?) or a genre and prompt (write an inspiring TED Talk on the ways in which authentic leaders can change the world) — and GPT-3 spits out a written response. These outputs can be astonishingly specific and tailored.

      • uni MIT[computation] system makes models like DALL-E 2 more creative
      • Machine Learning Model Predicts Health Conditions of People With MS During Stay-at-Home Periods

        Research led by Carnegie Mellon University has developed a model that can accurately predict how stay-at-home orders like those put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic affect the mental health of people with chronic neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

        Researchers from CMU, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Washington gathered data from the smartphones and fitness trackers of people with MS both before and during the early wave of the pandemic. Specifically, they used the passively collected sensor data to build machine learning models to predict depression, fatigue, poor sleep quality and worsening MS symptoms during the unprecedented stay-at-home period.

      • - Digital twins could help society solve key sustainability challenges, research shows

        The transformative power of digital twins could be the answer to adapting to environmental changes, helping to democratise global efforts to reach net zero.

      • CNETNASA’s Webb Space Telescope Is So Good, We Might Need Improved Planetary Models

        This telescope is producing impeccable results, but do our models match its excellence?

      • NPRSome leading robot makers are pledging not to weaponize them [Ed: Do you believe them? Do you trust them? Did you check who funds them, MPR?]

        Boston Dynamics and five other robotics companies have signed an open letter saying what many of us were already nervously hoping for anyway: Let’s not weaponize general-purpose robots.

        The six leading tech firms — including Agility Robotics, ANYbotics, Clearpath Robotics, Open Robotics and Unitree — say advanced robots could result in huge benefits in our work and home lives but that they may also be used for nefarious purposes.

      • ACMStorytelling and Science

        In the spirit of this Viewpoint, we begin with a story. One of the authors—Sumit Gulwani—struggled to teach his preschool-aged son—Sumay—a simple conceptual math theorem: Odd plus odd equals even. When diagrams and toys did not work, Sumit realized he had to meet Sumay where he was and not push to a level he was not ready for.a So, he told a story. An odd number, he began, is like a group of kids who are all paired up, except one. That person is “the lonely kid.” And he is happy when they meet another odd number because he gets a friend: the other lonely kid. Now, there are no lonely kids, and that makes them an even number. The look on Sumay’s face told Sumit that the concept had landed immediately. “What is odd plus even?” Sumit asked. In a sad voice, Sumay answered, “Odd, because there is no one to pair up with the lonely kid.” “What is even plus even?” Sumay asked. “Even, because there is no lonely kid to begin with!” Sumit realized his son would best comprehend the abstract theorem when it was couched in a relatable narrative—in this case, one that resonated with a young child’s preoccupation with socialization, friendship, and inclusion. As well, this experience happily turned out to be the seed for Sumay’s love for mathematics and computing.

      • The Wall Street JournalNew York’s Landmark [computer] Bias Law Prompts Uncertainty

        Businesses and their service providers are grappling with how to comply with New York City’s mandate for audits of [computer] systems used in hiring.

        A New York City law that comes into effect in January will require companies to conduct audits to assess biases, including along race and gender lines, in the AI systems they use in hiring. Under New York’s law, the hiring company is ultimately liable—and can face fines—for violations.

        But the requirement has posed some compliance challenges. Unlike familiar financial audits, refined over decades of accounting experience, the AI audit process is new and without clearly established guidelines.

      • Sabine HossenfelderBook Review “The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion” by Sean Carroll

        The first time I heard Sean Carroll speak was almost 20 years ago in Tucson, Arizona, where he gave a physics colloquium. He had just published his first book, a textbook on General Relativity. His colloquium was basically an introduction to modern cosmology, dark matter, dark energy, and the cosmic microwave background.

        It was a splendidly delivered talk; the students loved it. But later I overheard several faculty members remarking they had found it “too simple” and that Sean didn’t seem to be doing much original work. To them, the only good talk was an incomprehensible one. Those remarks, I would later come to realize, are symptomatic of academia: You impress your colleagues by being incomprehensible.

        Sean had begun blogging the same year I heard him speak in Tucson, 2004. I would begin blogging not much later, though for unrelated reasons (I originally didn’t intend to write about science), and naturally I kept track of what he was up to.

        Since then, it has made me very happy to see Sean making a good career both in research and in science communication, on his own terms. I have met him a few times over the years, read most of his books, and reviewed a few. But I didn’t anticipate he’d pop up on YouTube in 2020, stuck at home during the first COVID lockdowns, like all of us. There he was, green screen as crappy as mine had been a year earlier, promising to cover “The Biggest Ideas in the Universe”, when I had just decided to put more effort into my own YouTube channel.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • [Old] ‘I don’t even remember what I read’: People enter a ‘dissociative state’ when using social media

        Sometimes when we are reading a good book, it’s like we are transported into another world and we stop paying attention to what’s around us.

        Researchers at the University of Washington wondered if people enter a similar state of dissociation when surfing social media, and if that explains why users might feel out of control after spending so much time on their favorite app.

        The team watched how participants interacted with a Twitter-like platform to show that some people are spacing out while they’re scrolling. Researchers also designed intervention strategies that social media platforms could use to help people retain more control over their online experiences.

      • Common Dreams[Old] Pesticide Exposure Killed my Husband—Farm Workers Need Better Protections

        My husband, Alejandro, died from lung cancer in 2010. He was just 50 years old. For years, one of my husband’s jobs was to tend to the lettuce fields where we worked in Greenfield. Right after spraying pesticides and weed killers, he would go into the fields, working up the soil with a short-handled hoe so that the lettuce could grow. He would get really close to the ground, breathing in the dust and also the chemical residue that was there.

      • Lee Yingtong LiBig list of medical abbreviations

        These abbreviations are based on Australian (and specifically Victorian) usage. Some abbreviations have other meanings elsewhere (e.g. BSL for British Sign Language).

      • Michael West MediaA sickening thought: medical fund secrecy is a corruption incubator – Michael West

        A brick wall surrounds the awarding of grants for Covid vaccines. The result is the export of billions of dollars of public money to foreign companies such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna, writes Rex Patrick.

        Even though you pay for it, you probably have never heard of it. And that’s the way they want things to stay.

        It’s a $20 billion grant fund. It takes applications in secret, assesses them in secrecy and hides from the public exactly who makes the recommendations on who will receive public money. The panel participants that recommended the last grant may well be a recipient of the next grant – nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
        About 25% of their grants are awarded without a competition.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Bryan LundukeGNU toolchain hosting moving to… Linux Foundation

        GNU toolchain hosting moving to… Linux Foundation

        It appears that the GNU toolchain projects — which includes GCC, Make and glibc — are preparing to move their hosting entirely to… The Linux Foundation.



        This will definitely not end badly. *cough*

    • Security

      • Ruben SchadeDo you log out of sites?

        Here’s a mental exercise. When was the last time you logged out of a site? Not closed the tab, or put your laptop to sleep, or waited for a timeout; but pressed a log off button to end a website session?

        If your answered recently, do you think any of your colleagues, classmates, friends, or family still do?

        I ask, because I’m starting to think it’s unusual. It used to be accepted security wisdom to log out when you were done with a session, but once again I feel like I’m an outlier doing it.

      • Never-Before-Seen Malware Infected Hundreds Of Linux, Windows Devices [Ed: Reposting FUD from Conde Nast; this might boil down to bad passwords and have nothing to do with "Linux"]
      • IT WireUS updates export rules to block high-end chip exports to China

        The US Department of Commerce has announced updates to export rules governing semiconductors which are squarely aimed at preventing China from obtaining high-end chips used in military applications.

        In a statement issued on Friday US time, the department’s Bureau of Industry and Strategy said the updates were “part of BIS’ ongoing efforts to protect US national security and foreign policy interests”.

        The updates affect two key areas and are claimed to “restrict the PRC’s [People Republic of China's] ability to obtain advanced computing chips, develop and maintain supercomputers, and manufacture advanced semiconductors.

        “These items and capabilities are used by the PRC to produce advanced military systems including weapons of mass destruction; improve the speed and accuracy of its military decision making, planning, and logistics, as well as of its autonomous military systems; and commit human rights abuses.

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • Jeff GeerlingClearing Cloudflare and Nginx caches with Ansible [Ed: Jeff Geerling outsourced his site]

          Clearing Cloudflare and Nginx caches with Ansible

          Since being DDoS continuously earlier this year, I’ve set up extra caching in front of my site. Originally I just had Nginx’s proxy cache, but that topped out around 100 Mbps of continuous bandwidth and maybe 5-10,000 requests per second on my little DigitalOcean VPS.

        • Lawrence Trattpizauth, an OAuth2 token requester daemon, in alpha

          One Monday a few weeks back, I found myself unable to send emails via my work account. I had received no advanced warning and there was no clue in the error message I was seeing as to what the cause might be. I was briefly tempted to view my cut-off from work as a good thing before, irritatingly, the sense of duty my parents instilled in me kicked in. After a while I realised that the problem was that my msmtp setup was using basic authorisation – what the rest of us think of as a traditional username and password – to send emails. Not only does my work’s Microsoft Exchange server no longer accept basic authentication, but Microsoft are killing it off for everyone before the end of the year — more people are thus about to experience the same confusion I experienced.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Bryan LundukeDown the rabbit hole: Making my life private and secure

          Back in 2017, I wrote a series of articles entitled “Down the rabbit hole: Making my life private and secure” — where I chronicled my attempts at securing my personal data.

          Over the course of 7 articles, written for Network World, we touched on everything from email to traffic cameras. The rabbit hole of securing the data of my day-to-day life was deep.

          Below, I have combined all 7 of those articles together into one mega journey into privacy and security, from the point of view of 2017. The majority of what follows still applies today — in fact, some things are far more dire. Likewise, some of my conclusions and recommendations will be slightly different in 2022… but many remain the same.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Michael West MediaWhat do you think the arms trade is, a charity? Actually yes, that’s what it is – Michael West

        All’s not fair at the warfare Expo, where taxpayer-funded arms merchants hobnob with military types by invitation only. “Aggressive” journalists not allowed. Persona non grata Callum Foote reports on Land Forces 2022, Australia’s biggest War Fair.

        Land Forces is the annual exposition for the defence industry, or the most profitable corporate welfare exercise in the country.

        Australia is the fourth largest importer of weapons in the world, behind Saudi Arabia, India and Egypt. It is roughly the 20th largest exporter of weapons. This is a disparity former Defence Minister Christopher Pyne, now a defence industry consultant, set out to rectify in 2018 with the launch of the $3 billion Defence Export Strategy after meeting with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan. Pyne, who was in attendance at Land Forces 2022, stated at the time the goal of making Australia a top-10 exporter.

      • [Older] What Do We Owe Afghanistan?

        The 9/11 attacks could have been dealt with as a crime. This would have been sane and consistent with precedent. When lawbreaking occurs, we seek the perpetrators, rather than starting wars with unrelated parties. When the IRA set off bombs in London, nobody called for air strikes on West Belfast (or on Boston, where a great deal of IRA funding came from). When the Oklahoma City bombing was found to have been perpetrated by a white supremacist associated with ultra-right militias, there was no call to obliterate Idaho or Montana. Instead, the attacker was searched for, found, apprehended, brought to court, found guilty, and sentenced.

        This was not the approach taken by the Bush administration. Rather than seek out and punish the guilty—and only the guilty—it swiftly launched a “global war on terror” that led to the deaths of millions.1

        After the attacks, the Bush administration demanded that the Taliban immediately hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. The Taliban, in response, offered to put bin Laden on trial, if the United States provided evidence of his guilt. Bush refused. Nor did he consider the Taliban’s offer to give up bin Laden to a neutral third country. His demand, he said, was nonnegotiable. He would not provide the requested evidence (in fact, he had none at the time). He would not enter into talks. Historian Carter Malkasian notes that Bush “did not instruct Powell to open a line to the Taliban to work things out, which would have been the normal diplomatic course of action to avoid a war.”

      • MongabayDebunking the colonial myth of the ‘African Eden’: Q-A with author Guillaume Blanc

        In debunking persistent myths like that of an “African Eden,” Guillaume Blanc, author of “The Invention of Green Colonialism,” lays bare contradictions in the European project to secure and simultaneously exploit Africa’s land during direct colonial rule and after.

        “The more the destruction was happening in Northern [Hemisphere] countries, the more we wanted to save it in Africa,” he told Mongabay in an interview, describing how the campaign to preserve pristine wilderness in Africa has led to the casting of its inhabitants as destructive invaders.

        Blanc argues that the organizations that evolved out of colonial arrangements for colonial aims must acknowledge and apologize for the harm inflicted, dig deeper when seeking change, and cast a wider net for more meaningful solutions that treat citizens of African countries as collaborators not encroachers on their own lands.

        Organizations with a global presence must work with residents of places where they operate and focus on localized research and solutions to remain relevant, Blanc said.

      • The Revelations Will Be Televised | Kyle Paoletta

        WHEN REPRESENTATIVE BENNIE THOMPSON gaveled in the public hearings of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol this summer, he pronounced that the nine members of the panel, though hailing from “a diversity of communities from all over the United States, rural areas and cities, East Coast, West Coast, and the heartland,” were bound together in common purpose by their oath of office. That oath, the gray-bearded eminence continued, was “to defend the United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” In the nineteen hours and forty minutes of televisual spectacle that followed, the weight of the oath rarely went unremarked upon for long.

        Vice chair Liz Cheney, whose war criminal father was elected vice president despite losing the national popular vote, and who represents a state with fewer residents than Memphis but the same number of senators as California, averred that “in our country we don’t swear an oath to an individual or a political party, we take our oath to defend the United States Constitution.” When taken by the president, this sacred vow, as Representative Adam Schiff effused, confers transformative, “awesome” power, which is “even more awesome when it is handed on peacefully.” Representative Adam Kinzinger queued a supercut of “what attorneys general, Democrats and Republicans alike, have said about upholding their oath to the Constitution” that featured both Jeff Sessions and Loretta Lynch. But perhaps the most passionate defense of the oath of office came not from a member of the Select Committee but Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of Arizona’s House of Representatives, who captivated viewers during the fourth hearing with his heroic tale of rebuffing Donald Trump’s request that he sign off on a scheme to send fake electors to Washington by saying, “You’re asking me to do something against my oath and I will not break my oath.” His reasons were not so much patriotic as pious. As the former missionary went on to explain, glasses sliding down his aquiline nose, “It is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired.”

      • Excerpt from the new book The Greatest Evil is War by Chris Hedges

        I flew to Kansas City to see Tomas Young. Tomas was paralyzed in Iraq in 2004. He was receiving hospice care at his home. I knew him by reputation and the movie documentary Body of War. He was one of the first veterans to publicly oppose the war in Iraq. He fought as long and as hard as he could against the war that crippled him, until his physical deterioration caught up with him.

        “I had been toying with the idea of suicide for a long time because I had become helpless,” he told me in his small house on the Kansas City outskirts where he intended to die. “I couldn’t dress myself. People have to help me with the most rudimentary of things. I decided I did not want to go through life like that anymore. The pain, the frustration.…”

        He stopped abruptly and called his wife. “Claudia, can I get some water?” She opened a bottle of water, took a swig so it would not spill when he sipped, and handed it to him.

      • Democracy NowGrand Jury Declines to Indict Woman for Role in Lynching of Emmett Till | Democracy Now!

        In news from Mississippi, a grand jury has declined to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham for her role in the lynching of Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago. Till was a 14-year-old Black teenager who was brutally abducted, tortured and killed in Mississippi in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at Donham, a white woman who worked as a store clerk.

      • Michael West MediaWar Powers Reform: those in favour say aye … or maybe “no comment” – Michael West

        True to its word, the Albanese government has announced an inquiry into War Powers. Alison Broinowski looks at the politics and the players, and the chances of reform so the decision to take Australians to war requires a vote of Parliament, rather than a one-man-call.

        After a decade of public efforts to get politicians to concentrate on changing how Australia goes to war, the Albanese government has now responded by taking the first step.

        The announcement on September 30 of a parliamentary inquiry reflects the concerns of groups across Australia that we might slide into another disastrous conflict – this time in our region. Those welcoming it are 83% of Australians who want Parliament to vote before we go to war. Many see this opportunity for reform as potentially putting Australia ahead of similar democracies.

        While many nations have constitutions requiring democratic scrutiny of decisions for war, Australia is not among them. Nor are Canada or New Zealand. The UK has conventions, and British efforts to legislate the war powers have failed. In the US, efforts to reform of the War Powers Act of 1973 have repeatedly been defeated.

        West Australian Labor MP Josh Wilson wants research done by the parliamentary library to update inquiry members on how other democracies respond to governments’ war proposals.

      • Michael West MediaShould one man decide on war? Labor declares inquiry into War Powers reform – Michael West

        One man makes the decision to send Australian troops off to war; no matter how futile, how distant, or how relevant the war. That man is now Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Earlier this year it was Scott Morrison. In the US and the UK, it is Congress and Parliament respectively which make this fateful decision.

        Labor has come good on its commitment to hold a parliamentary inquiry into War Powers reform. It is an issue which Michael West Media has been covering constantly for a year now, calling all the politicians in federal parliament for their views.
        The inquiry was referred by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles MP this week to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT). Here are the Terms of Reference.

      • Michael West MediaMWM too ‘aggressive’ for the merchants of death

        All’s not fair at the warfare Expo, where taxpayer-funded arms merchants hobnob with military types by invitation only. “Aggressive” journalists not allowed.

    • Environment

      • Neil SelwynEdTech and Climate Colonialism

        As the 2020s progress, so does the realisation that the ever-increasing digitisation of our everyday lives and societies comes at an unsustainable cost. One of the many dark-sides of the digital age is the ruinous production, consumption and disposal of digital technologies – not least, the extractive and exploitative logics of resource depletion, high energy demands, ecological destruction, and low-income forced labour.

        As is well-documented, all of these burdens fall disproportionately on the poorest parts of the world. Much of the digital technology supply chain is fuelled by the global South – from Congolese colton mines to electronic waste-sites of Karachi. Similarly, when massive resource-hungry data-centres and silicon-chip factories are located in richer countries, then these tend to be in the most vulnerable and marginalised communities – such as Google’s strategic decision to locate water-greedy data centres in rural Texas.

      • Energy

        • China wants to build the world’s first nuclear reactor with fusion ignition

          Construction of a pulsed hybrid fusion-nuclear power station will begin in 2025. Apparently, China plans to complete all the work in a short time, as the reactor is scheduled to start up in 2028.

          The station is called the Z-FFR. It will be able to create a current of 50 million A, which should be enough for fusion. The released energy will not be withdrawn. Instead, it will be redirected to start the fission reaction in the fuel. After that, the energy will go to the turbines in the form of heat, as it happens in traditional nuclear reactors.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • New study finds global forest area per capita has decreased by over 60% – IOP Publishing

          Over the past 60 years, the global forest area has declined by 81.7 million hectares, a loss that contributed to the more than 60% decline in global forest area per capita. This loss threatens the future of biodiversity and impacts the lives of 1.6 billion people worldwide, according to a new study published today by IOP Publishing in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

          A team of researchers, led by Ronald C. Estoque from the Center for Biodiversity and Climate Change, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) in Japan, have found that the global forest area has declined by 81.7 million hectares from 1960 to 2019, equivalent to an area of more than 10% of the entire Borneo Island, with gross forest loss (437.3 million hectares) outweighing gross forest gain (355.6 million hectares).

          The team used global land use dataset to examine how global forests have changed over space and time. Consequently, the decline in global forests combined with the increase in global population over the 60-year period has resulted in a decrease of the global forest area per capita by over 60%, from 1.4 hectares in 1960 to 0.5 hectares in 2019.

        • Mona Lisa Wallace on the Case Against Smithfield Foods

          It used to be that America’s hogs were produced on small farms – with anywhere from a couple of dozen hogs to a couple of hundred.

          Then hog farms were replaced with hog factories.

          They are now called confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

          The major CAFO player, Smithfield Foods, contracts out with small operators, mostly in eastern North Carolina. Buildings are built to house thousands of hogs.

          Hogs produce anywhere from five to ten times more waste than humans. They relieve themselves on slatted floors. The waste drops down through pipes into unlined lagoons. And the resulting smell and disease is a disaster for those living in the surrounding communities – mostly African American residents whose families have lived there for generations.

          Their complaints landed on deaf ears until about 2013, when they met a lawyer named Mona Lisa Wallace.

    • Finance

      • RetailWireWill Amazon’s $1 billion payroll investment work to keep front lines staffed?

        Amazon.com yesterday said it will invest $1 billion over the next year to raise the pay of frontline workers and that it was introducing a new perk that would give these employees early access to a portion of their paychecks.

        The retail and technology giant said that its frontline workers in customer fulfillment and transportation will now earn between $16 and $26 per hour, depending on their position and where they are working in the U.S.

        “Front-line employees across customer fulfillment and transportation will now earn, on average, more than $19 per hour in the U.S., and they also have access to a growing range of comprehensive benefits to support themselves and their families,” said John Felton, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, in a statement. “Continuing to invest in pay, providing easy access to earned wages at any time during the month, and offering great benefits and career advancement opportunities are all part of our long-term efforts to be the best employer in the world.”

      • New York TimesAmazon Freezes Corporate Hiring in Its Retail Business

        It is the latest tech company to pump the brakes on hiring amid growing economic concerns.

      • The Conversation[Old] How a Soviet miner from the 1930s helped create today’s intense corporate workplace culture

        One summer night in August, 1935, a young Soviet miner named Alexei Stakhanov managed to extract 102 tonnes of coal in a single shift. This was nothing short of extraordinary (according to Soviet planning, the official average for a single shift was seven tonnes).

        Stakhanov shattered this norm by a staggering 1,400%. But the sheer quantity involved was not the whole story. It was Stakhanov’s achievement as an individual that became the most meaningful aspect of this episode. And the work ethic he embodied then – which spread all over the USSR – has been invoked by managers in the west ever since.

      • Michael West MediaThe monster that ate hope: Robodebt was a tragedy 40 years in the making – Michael West

        Even by the miserable standards set during nine years of Coalition government, Robodebt was one of its worst scandals. #Mate examines the scheme’s genesis and its disastrous fallout.

        The royal commission into the illegal Robodebt scheme that ruined the lives of countless Australians opened in Brisbane this week. The commission is chaired by Catherine Holmes, a former Queensland Supreme Court chief justice.

        Inaugurated in 2015, the scheme falsely accused welfare recipients of owing money to the government and issued debt notices to people identified through a process called income averaging, which compared their reported income with Tax Office figures. More than $750 million was wrongfully recovered from 381,000 people.

      • Neil SelwynEdTech downscaling and de-accumulation … where to start? – Critical Studies of EDUCATION – TECHNOLOGY

        So what, then, are the EdTech equivalents of these expendable acts of overconsumption? Where is digital technology being applied to education in excessive, superfluous, useless ways … what David Graeber might have termed ‘bullshit EdTech’?

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Tim Bray2022 Vancouver Election

        In the City of Vancouver’s 2022 election, deciding who to vote for is extraordinarily difficult. Since we don’t have a ward system, we have to vote for one mayor, ten city councillors, seven park-board commissioners, and nine school-board trustees. There are six local political parties running random variations of mayoral candidates (or not) and full or partial slates for the other bodies. I just finished doing sufficient research to make my own choices; maybe my sharing it will be useful to one or two other Vancouverites.


        I got no credentials, folks. Well, pathetically weak ones: I’ve been living here on and off for 39 years. I read fast. I’ve attended the occasional council and school board meeting and even presented issues there.

      • Make Congress Accountable

        Its failings and subservience to corporatism are historic in scope.

        This is the 50th anniversary of our Congress Project that profiled in detail members of Congress. No citizen group has ever done this before or since.

        Our 1972 Congress Project provides a context for measuring the decline of Congress, both in its near abandonment of its constitutional powers vis-à-vis the executive branch and its collective subservience to the many forces of corporatism over the people’s necessities.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Rashida Tlaib’s historic face-off with Israel lobby over ‘apartheid’ – Mondoweiss

        Rashida Tlaib’s comment that “you cannot claim to hold progressive values yet back Israel’s apartheid government” is turning into a defining moment in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

        Leading Jewish groups have attacked Tlaib for supposedly calling for Israel’s destruction. Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL has said that she is an antisemite. And the rightwing lobby group the Democratic Majority for Israel has helped rally a large number of Democratic House members to condemn her comments, with Rep. Ritchie Torres leading the parade, and and Debbie Wasserman Schultz in tow.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Democracy Now50 Palestinians Ordered Off Israeli Bus to Make Room for Three Jewish Riders | Democracy Now!

        An Israeli bus company has apologized after a bus driver ordered 50 Palestinian workers off a bus near Tel Aviv last week. The driver ordered the Palestinians off the bus after three Jewish passengers got on and refused to travel with the Palestinians.

      • Dog Whistle or Just Racist? – Mother Jones

        Republican strategist Lee Atwater is the godfather of the modern political dog whistle. He didn’t go around calling it that—I can’t actually find any evidence that he even used the term—but in a 1981 interview about how the GOP won the South, Atwater offered a concise description.

        “By 1968 you can’t say ‘[n-word]’—that hurts you, [it] backfires, so you say stuff like, uh, ‘forced busing,’ ‘states’ rights,’” Atwater explained. “And you’re getting so abstract. Now you’re talking about ‘cutting taxes.’”

        Atwater was speaking anonymously to a political scientist from his perch as a staffer in Ronald Reagan’s White House. He was also telling on himself. He got his start working for the arch-­segregationist Strom Thurmond. Later, as a campaign manager for George H.W. Bush, he would push the Willie Horton ad, which tied Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis to a Black man who committed multiple violent crimes while out on furlough from prison. On the surface, it was just a factual criticism about a weekend-release program. On a different frequency, it was screaming at white voters about a racist trope. Plausible deniability was crucial. Atwater told reporters that he at first hadn’t known Horton was Black.

    • Monopolies

      • ACMData Platforms and Network Effects

        Industry platforms are foundations that bring people and organizations together for a common purpose, which usually includes making money. They function at the level of a market or ecosystem, rather than only within a specific firm. They often start with products such as operating systems and microprocessors, services such as social media and messaging systems, or marketplaces for e-commerce and financial transactions. They can link thousands, millions, or even billions of users and other market actors. But another type of industry platform has recently received attention from consultants such as The Boston Consulting Group as well as investors, entrepreneurs, and policymakers. These platforms center around data. Some have become extremely valuable. How can data inspire industry platforms and what is their potential as businesses?

        A distinctive feature of industry platforms, and fundamental to their definition, is the ability to generate positive feedback loops with increasing returns for users and other market participants.4 We call these feedback loops “network effects.” They occur on the same-side of the market when a platform connects users directly to other users, such as with the telephone, a social media or messaging app, or any peer-to-peer exchange system. Then cross-side network effects can occur when an industry platform connects demand (for example, buyers) with supply (for example, sellers). Network effects imply the value of the platform increases, at least potentially and sometimes geometrically or exponentially, with each additional user or “complement,” such as apps for a smartphone or drivers for a ride-sharing service. But, when it comes to data, who are the users and what are the demand and supply sides? And where are the network effects, if any?

      • Copyrights/Canada

        • Michael GeistThe House of Commons Committee Process is Broken

          Over the past year, I have watched an unhealthy amount of House of Commons and Senate committee hearings. In fact, in recent months I may have watched more of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage than Netflix, given hearings on Bill C-11, C-18, and the Laith Marouf issue. Having watched many hours – and appeared multiple times before that committee and others – it is time to declare the system broken. I’m not sure I have answers, but the starting point may be recognizing that Canadians are not being well served and there is plenty of blame to go around.

          The impetus for this post is Friday’s hearing on the Laith Marouf incident. The problems started even before the hearing as the committee voted against asking Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez to appear as part of the study, with some MPs saying they would take a wait-and-see approach. But if government is to be accountable for the disastrous failure for using an anti-hate program to fund anti-semite, committee testimony should not be something to avoid.


          Contrast that with the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications that has been conducting hearings into Bill C-11. There are some politics there too – some Senators are pretty clearly supportive of the bill, others opposed, and still others on the fence – but the hearings seemingly always place policy above politics. Senators ask real questions in an effort to learn, rarely ignore witnesses, and don’t try to kill time. I don’t know if we will see a better outcome from those hearings, but it can hardly be worse than the House committee that cut off debate and voted on over hundred amendments without any discussion or public disclosure of the content of the proposed amendments.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • The badger and the fouled river.

        In the summer after the brewery shut down for good, the water from the taps turned sour and yellow. It smelt of illness, and was not fit to consume. The pump-house drew from the river, but there was nothing they could do for it.

        One day, I went to the river’s edge, and smelled the foul water there. A badger came out from between the reeds, and cocked its head in a knowing way. It spoke to me in a soft voice.

        “Up the valley, at the confluence, there is work you must do.”

      • The calming session

        Sometimes a day is too short for every planned activity or we don’t have enough energy to complete them all. I had been abroad for some time, and shortly before that, I couldn’t focus on the small-net routines. The result was less visible writing here. And when you aren’t regularly in, you start to become out. So I start missing more and more entries of Antenna and Bongusta aggregators. And I stop responding to the Cosmos threads. My capsule is moving in space silently and is invisible.

        But it wasn’t that I did nothing. I’ve tuned up my Astrobotany script, which frees me from the obligation to water the plant. I didn’t want to kill my plant like Deerbard, but I was also a little fed up with looking after it. The Tamagotchi of the Geminispace is now operated from crontab, and the script is available on my Git repository.

      • SpellBinding: VORSTUI Wordo: JIFFS
      • SpellBinding: DFGIYTR Wordo: SPOUT
      • Stuff I’ve been cooking

        Welcome to the inaugural episode of WHAT! HAS! KALE! BEEN! EATING!, which is going to be a regular occurrence here because my life is nothing but a series of meals interspersed by other less important obligations. I also get the pleasure of trying to describe my food in words!

        I’m still going through the five stages of grief from the loss of my beautiful, perfect, beloved Palisade peaches. On the other hand, it’s finally starting to cool off, which means that I can run my oven without my apartment also turning into an oven. Joy cannot exist without suffering.

      • Non-sexual kink isn’t somehow ‘superior’ to sexual kink

        Kink doesn’t have to involve sex, but it doesn’t have to _not_ involve sex.

        Non-sexual kink isn’t somehow ‘superior’ to sexual kink. Sexual play isn’t ‘lesser’ than non-sexual play.

        For some of us, kink and sex are interwoven. Some of us have kinks from which the sexual component cannot be removed.

    • Technical

      • the handbook

        it’s certification time! and certification authority demands from the leadership board that the management handbook is available to all employees, even mandates that every employee has to read it. as good citizens go, our ceo created this handbook for us, the employees!

        anyone who doesn’t know what such a handbook is? don’t feel excluded much longer! it contains the core mission of the company, and the key value indicators to measure the success of the mission. plus very long sections on quality and security and stuff.

        as it turns out the mission is customer satisfaction, and customer happiness, flavoured with some integrity and security. not surprising, really. however something that did strike me as odd was that our website and internal communication outline how diverse our company is, how the company involves itself in saving the planet, and other things like wrapping christmas presents and other social activities. none of this can be found in the management handbook.

      • Steam Deck

        I didn’t intend to buy a Steam Deck. I figured my Switch would be enough for personal use, and hey, after the other Steam Machines, maybe it’d be better to sit this one out. But I was wrong.

        A few things tipped me over. First, the initial reviews—especially from people I knew—were positive, and second, it started selling like hotcakes.

        I knew it was worth supporting when people began sending me pictures of my games running on it, so about a month ago, when my pre-order window opened, I dropped the cash, and one week later, I was the proud owner of a Steam Deck.

      • Internet/Gemini

      • Programming

        • Record destructuring with brev

          Since brev’s defines are just me hacking in matchable support in the define headers, and I didn’t know matchable that well at first, I’m always discovering new things that this means for brev’s define.

          For example, it’s a match made in heaven when working with records.

        • Re: What is a unit test

          The answer is actually more sensible in C than it was in Smalltalk: a unit is a compilation unit. In C, it is a file.

          Any changes to source will require changes to a file. Once a source file is altered, it may screw something up in the resultant binary. Therefore, there should be a unit test to check that the altered unit behaves as expected.

          Now, if it’s a header, it may alter the behavior of many source units…

        • Find a URL in a Document While Using Vim

          The forward slashes in a URL affect the search operator in Vim. And you won’t be able to match the entire URL without using escape sequences.

          Below, I discuss different ways to search for a URL in Vim.

        • First Common Lisp work

          The first step was writing some Elisp code. I build some stuff, and used those to do some actual stuff, take those “in production”, so to say.

          Those working things are in all about 1,000 lines of Elisp code.

* 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. All of Microsoft's Strategic Areas Have Layoffs This Year

    Microsoft’s supposedly strategic/future areas — gaming (trying to debt-load or offload debt to other companies), so-called ‘security’, “clown computing” (Azure), and “Hey Hi” (chaffbots etc.) — have all had layoffs this year; it’s clear that the company is having a serious existential crisis in spite of Trump’s and Biden’s bailouts (a wave of layoffs every month this year) and is just bluffing/stuffing the media with chaffbots cruft (puff pieces/misinformation) to keep shareholders distracted, asking them for patience and faking demand for the chaffbots (whilst laying off Bing staff, too)

  2. Links 28/03/2023: Pitivi 2023.03 is Out, Yet More Microsoft Layoffs (Now in Israel)

    Links for the day

  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, March 27, 2023

  4. Links 27/03/2023: GnuCash 5.0 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on Phones

    Links for the day

  5. Links 27/03/2023: Twitter Source Code Published (But Not Intentionally)

    Links for the day

  6. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 26, 2023

  7. Links 26/03/2023: OpenMandriva ROME 23.03, Texinfo 7.0.3, and KBibTeX 0.10.0

    Links for the day

  8. The World Wide Web is a Cesspit of Misinformation. Let's Do Something About It.

    It would be nice to make the Web a safer space for information and accuracy (actual facts) rather than a “Safe Space” for oversensitive companies and powerful people who cannot tolerate criticism; The Web needs to become more like today's Gemini, free of corporate influence and all other forms of covert nuisance

  9. Ryan Farmer: I’m Back After WordPress.com Deleted My Blog Over the Weekend

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

  10. Civil Liberties Threatened Online and Offline

    A “society of sheeple” (a term used by Richard Stallman last week in his speech) is being “herded” online and offline; the video covers examples both online and offline, the latter being absence of ATMs or lack of properly-functioning ATMs (a growing problem lately, at least where I live)

  11. Techrights Develops Free Software to Separate the Wheat From the Chaff

    In order to separate the wheat from the chaff we’ve been working on simple, modular tools that process news and help curate the Web, basically removing the noise to squeeze out the signal

  12. Links 26/03/2023: MidnightBSD 3.0 and FreeBSD 13.2 RC4

    Links for the day

  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 25, 2023

  14. Links 26/03/2023: More TikTok Bans

    Links for the day

  15. Links 25/03/2023: Gordon Moore (of Moore's Law) is Dead

    Links for the day

  16. Links 25/03/2023: Decade of Docker, Azure Broken Again

    Links for the day

  17. [Meme] Money Deducted in Payslips, But Nothing in Pensions

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has stolen money from staff (in secret)

  18. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023

    IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023

  19. The Corporate Media is Not Reporting Large-Scale Microsoft Layoffs (Too Busy With Chaffbot Puff Pieces), Leaks Required to Prove That More Layoffs Are Happening

    Just as we noted days ago, there are yet more Microsoft layoffs, but the mainstream media gets bribed to go “gaga” over vapourware and chaffbots (making chaff like “Bill Gates Says” pieces) instead of reporting actual news about Microsoft

  20. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: Time to Issue a Warrant of Arrest and Extradite the Fake 'Founder' of Sirius

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is collapsing, but that does not mean that it can dodge accountability for crimes (e.g. money that it silently stole from its staff since at least 12 years ago)

  21. Links 24/03/2023: Microsoft's Fall on the Web and Many New Videos

    Links for the day

  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 23, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 23, 2023

  23. Links 24/03/2023: Social Control Media Bans Advancing

    Links for the day

  24. Links 24/03/2023: GNU Grep 3.10 and Microsoft Accenture in a Freefall

    Links for the day

  25. Links 23/03/2023: RSS Guard 4.3.3 and OpenBSD Webzine

    Links for the day

  26. Experiencing 15 Years of LibrePlanet Celebration Firsthand as a Volunteer: 2023 - Charting the Course

    Article by Marcia K Wilbur

  27. [Meme] Grabinski the Opportunity

    Reports of European Patents being invalidated (judges do not tolerate fake patents) have become so common that a kangaroo court becomes a matter of urgency for the EPO‘s Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; will the EU and the EPO’s Administrative Council go along with it, helping to cover up more than a decade of profound corruption?

  28. Union Syndicale Fédérale Cautions the EPO's Administrative Council About Initiating an Illegal Kangaroo Court System for Patents (UPC) While EPO Breaks Laws and Sponsors the Ukraine Invasion

    Union Syndicale Fédérale (USF) is once again speaking out in support of the staff union of Europe's second-largest institution, which lacks oversight and governance because of profound corruption and regulatory capture

  29. Investigation Underway: Sirius 'Open Source' Embezzled/Stole Money, Robbed Its Own Staff

    In light of new developments and some progress in an investigation of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (for fraud!) we take stock of where things stand

  30. [Meme] Sirius 'Open Source' Pensions: Schemes or Scams? Giving a Bad Name to Open Source...

    What Sirius ‘Open Source’ did to its staff is rightly treated as a criminal matter; we know who the perpetrators are

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