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Links 27/11/2022: EasyOS 4.5.2 and Pixel Wheels 0.24.0

Posted in News Roundup at 12:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Server

      • EarthlyHelm: The Kubernetes Package Manager – Earthly Blog

        For production and hybrid cloud environments, manual deployments with Kubernetes are time consuming and non reusable. As you deploy different applications with similar configuration settings to Kubernetes, you’ll have a large number of YAML files and substantial duplication; this makes the applications difficult to maintain. This is where Helm can help.

      • EarthlyUsing Canary Deployments in Kubernetes – Earthly Blog

        Has a seemingly harmless update ever caused your application to fail in production? Canary deployments, like the proverbial canary in a coal mine, can help you mitigate the chaotic outcomes of such updates that can potentially cause critical downtime.

        Canary deployments are based on the routing of user traffic such that you can compare, test, and observe the behavior of any update for a small percentage of users. They are an important roll-out strategy in Kubernetes, especially when tweaks, updates, or entirely new deployments need to be tested. A canary deployment is an improved iteration of an existing deployment that includes all the necessary dependencies and application code. It exists alongside the original deployment and allows you to compare the behavior of different versions of your application side by side. It helps you test new features on a small percentage of users with minimal downtime and less impact on user experience.

        In this article, you’ll learn about canary deployments, why they’re important, and how to use them to optimize your deployment process. You’ll also learn how to fit them into an automatic CI/CD framework.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Ubuntu HandbookPanorama photo stitcher – Hugin 2022 in Beta Now [Ubuntu PPA] | UbuntuHandbook

        Hugin, the popular free and open-source panorama photo stitcher application, now is in beta stage for the upcoming 2022 version.

      • DebugPointlnav: Advanced Log File Viewer for Linux Desktops and Servers

        lnav can unzip all the compressed log files on the fly and merge them together for a nice display. The display is parsed and formatted based on the types of errors/warnings – this helps to quickly glance through the thousands of logs, especially in servers.

        While analysing the logs, timestamps are very important. So lnav merges multiple logs based on timestamps, which is very helpful for tracking down system issues.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux CapableHow to Install FirewallD GUI on Fedora 37/36/35

        For users unfamiliar with using the command line interface, FirewallD GUI provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for managing the FirewallD software. The sleek and simple design program is the perfect solution for those who want easy access to what’s going on in their system without having too many bells and whistles to distract them from maintaining security. The FirewallD GUI provides users with a visual representation of the ports, services, and protocols that are currently enabled or disabled, making it easy to make changes as needed. In addition, the program offers a variety of other features that make it a valuable tool for keeping your system secure, including the ability to create custom rules and view detailed log files.

        The following tutorial will teach you how to install FirewallD GUI on Fedora 37/36/35 Linux using the command line terminal with the steps required to achieve this for users that prefer using a graphical method of controlling FirewallD on their system.

      • Linux CapableHow to Enable/Disable Firewall on Ubuntu 22.10/22.04/20.04

        When it comes to firewall protection for your system, the default Ubuntu UFW program is a great option. For newer users of Ubuntu and Linux, UFW is short for “uncomplicated firewall.” UFW allows users with little knowledge of how Linux IPTABLES can secure their home network or server without the need to learn complicated long-tail commands that are more for the sysadmin side of things, where most users want to add and remove rules. The UFW program was designed with the home user in mind but can be used by any user for a home network or server and can be easily extended if more advanced features are needed.

        The following tutorial will teach you how to check, enable and disable the UFW firewall and, for desktop users, install the firewall GUI to better control UFW for users that do not want to use the terminal in the future.

      • LinuxiacRestic Backup and Restore Data on Linux with Examples

        This guide explains what Restic is, how to install it on Linux, and how to use Restic to easily, fast, and reliably back up and restore data.

        When working with computers, data backup is a critical and mandatory component. Losing personal files on your home computer or data stored on company servers can have significant emotional and financial consequences.

        Implementing a reliable backup solution for your data is more than necessary and can prove invaluable to you and your business. What’s better if it is entirely free? Please meet Restic.

      • AddictiveTipsHow to get Lapce working on Linux

        Lapce is a “lightning-fast” and “powerful” code editor. It’s open-source and allows users to do quick operations with every word they type. Here’s how you can get the Lapce code editor working on your Linux system.

      • Make Use Ofbat: A Modern Alternative to the Classic Linux cat Command [Ed: "Modern" as in controlled by Microsoft in Proprietary Prison GitHub?]

        If you don’t like the dull and boring output of the cat command, consider installing bat on your Linux machine.

        The cat utility predates Linux, but you might wonder if there’s something better than this standard utility. If you want to examine files in Linux, there’s a newer utility named bat that you might be interested in.

      • Make Use OfHow to Install Microsoft OneDrive on Ubuntu [Ed: NSA spyware. It does not make sense to install it on anything, let alone GNU/Linux.]
      • ID RootHow To Install Concrete5 CMS on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Concrete5 CMS on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Concrete5 is an open-source content management platform used to publish and manage online content. It is flexible, secure, mobile-ready, and based on Model-View-Controller architecture. It offers a rich set of features including, WYSIWYG content editor, Media Manager, Drag and Drop Content, In-context editing, and many more.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Concrete5 CMS 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.

      • DebugPointHow to Install Latest LibreOffice in Ubuntu and other Linux

        Here’s a quick guide on how to install the latest LibreOffice version in Ubuntu and other Linux.

        The free and open-source office suite LibreOffice comes in two versions. The Community and Enterprise versions. The “community” version is for early adopters who want the latest bleeding-edge software tech. And the “enterprise” version is more stable and may not include all the latest features, but it is ideal for the production environment and professional work.

      • DebugPointUpgrade to Latest LibreOffice in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Windows

        This beginner’s guide explains the steps required to upgrade to the latest LibreOffice in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Windows.

    • Games

      • SC Controller – SparkyLinux

        There is a new application available for Sparkers: SC Controller

      • Aurélien GâteauPixel Wheels 0.24.0

        This time, it’s the “Square Mountains” championship which got a new track: “Up, up, up and down!”. It’s the first track where the trees are not behind barriers, so you can theoretically drive through them, but I am pretty sure it would not be a winning move because the chances of hitting a tree is too high. Having said so, there are two shortcuts to let you cut corners. They are quite tight though, so be careful!

      • GizmodoYou Can Run Mac OS on the Nintendo Wii

        Making the Nincintosh (Mactendo? MacinWii?) relies on a hacked Wii’s ability to run a Linux-based OS through the unofficial Homebrew Channel, which in turn facilitates Mac-on-Linux, which allows Mac OS to run under Linux. A disk image of Mac OS 9.2 on an SD card is inserted into Wii and after booting the console and opening the Homebrew Channel, BootMii is used to start Linux and then Mac OS, minus the iconic startup sound—one of many issues when running the OS on a gaming console.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Crowdfunding Elgato Key Lights – Georges Stavracas

          Since I created Boatswain, earlier this year, a lot has happened. Recently it was accepted as part of the GNOME Circle! As the app gets more popular, people are asking for more useful features that I cannot implement without having access to the actual hardware they depend on.

          Specifically, I’ve received multiple requests to integrate Boatswain with Elgato Key Lights. This makes a lot of sense, and I’m happy to do so, but without hardware for testing the changes it’s not feasible. Of course, this is free software, someone with sufficient programming skills could contribute that feature; but as it turns out, the intersection of people using Linux, GNOME, Boatswain, Elgato Key Lights, and knows how to program in C + GObject is minuscule, so that’s unlikely to happen.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Ubuntu Pit10 Best Windows Alternative OS: Which One is Best for You?

      Before buying a computer, there are many factors to consider, such as its appearance and features. But have you ever thought about the operating system? Some people do, but many don’t. If you’re not sure which OS is right for you, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Thank you for being inquisitive and wanting to learn more. Even though it is the era of modern technology, you’re still using Windows? There are many other operating systems that are faster and more useful than Windows. If you like innovation, then keep reading to learn about some excellent alternatives to Windows.

      Linux distros can be an excellent alternative to Windows OS. Linux distros are open source and free, meaning you don’t need to purchase the operating system or pay hefty fees for updates. Plus, they are highly customizable and provide a secure environment with plenty of customization options.

    • Reviews

      • DebugPointPop OS Review: Reasons why its an all-rounder Linux distro

        Few reasons why System76’s Pop OS is the best all-rounder Ubuntu-based Linux distribution.

        Pop!_OS is a Ubuntu Linux-based derivative developed and created by American computer manufacturer System76 for their lines of hardware devices. System76 sells high-end servers, desktops, laptops and other peripherals. And all of their runs on the Ubuntu variant Pop!_OS.

        Since its inception, the Pop!_OS team has had a different vision of the customized Ubuntu and the default desktop GNOME.

    • New Releases

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Dominique LeuenbergeropenSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2022/47

        Apologies for sending out the review a day late, somehow I was drowning myself in build fixes yesterday, lost track of time, and suddenly it was too late. But of course, you are all curious to hear what happened during this week and, most likely even more interested in what the future holds for us. We again published a full 7 snapshots (1118…1124), of which 1124 did not have a Changes file generated, and thus no announcement mail was sent out (which will need to be investigated).

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Wayland support coming to Blender for Fedora 37

        As mentioned on Phoronix’ article, Blender received Wayland support on Blender 3.3.1 for Fedora 37 as an update in preparation of the incoming version 3.4 next month. The update has a dependency of libdecor, a client-side decoration for Wayland in addition of DBus for the cursor theme. Currently, the window decoration may have yet to use the system theme but remains functional as intended.

      • Fedora ProjectCPE Weekly Update – Week 47 2022 – Fedora Community Blog

        This is a weekly report from the CPE (Community Platform Engineering) Team. If you have any questions or feedback, please respond to this report or contact us on #redhat-cpe channel on libera.chat.

        We provide you with both infographics and text versions of the weekly report. If you just want to quickly look at what we did, just look at the infographic. If you are interested in more in-depth details look at the text version.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Alexandru NedelcuTwitter migration

      Mastodon ain’t Twitter. Its design and available features are slightly different, as a matter of philosophy.

    • Libre Arts – Upscayl vs Upscaler

      There’s a lot of conversation about using AI and neural networks in art lately. One direction this technology is evolving in is producing better looking upscaled images. The software has to pretty much paint in the details that weren’t there originally which requires some training.

      We’ve seen algorithms like waifu2x in the past, then there was ESRGAN, Gigapixel by Topaz and others, and now the latest iteration is Real-ESRGAN which attempts to make the original technology better suited for dealing with real-life use cases.

    • Events

      • PostgreSQLPostgreSQL: Call for Proposals is open for Citus Con: An Event for Postgres 2023!

        The 2nd annual Citus Con: An Event for Postgres will happen Apr 18-19, 2023 and the Call for Speakers is now open, until Feb 5, 2023! We can’t wait to see your talk proposals about what you do with the world’s most advanced open source database.

        Citus Con: An Event for Postgres is a free and virtual developer event organized by the Postgres & Citus database teams at Microsoft and no travel is involved. Of course there’s a code of conduct too. To make things easy for speakers, we’ll take care of the video recording and production, both for the livestream and on-demand talks. Talks are 25 minutes long and must be in English.

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Mozilla

        • WrlachWorking with depression

          Been struggling with depression over the past couple of weeks. Some of this is seasonal (with the shortening of the days), though I wouldn’t say it always happens. Last year at this time I recall feeling the opposite of depressed: that probably had to do with the fact that I knew I was leaving my previous job at Mozilla and wanted to get as much done as possible. Sometimes a highly motivating life situation can keep it in abeyance. Nonetheless, it’s here now, again, and demands to be dealt with.


          And yet despite my best efforts, it’s not always enough. I do all of the things in the second list, and yet still find myself suffering in all the ways described by the first. What do I do then?

          I try to understand that there really isn’t an escape from unpleasant feeling, and that it’s just part of life: glorious and beautiful in its complexity. I try to be curious about what’s going on, even if I think it’s all happened before. If that’s not possible, I at least try to be present with it. That’s all I can do.

    • Programming/Development

      • It’s FOSS5 NeoVim GUI Editors You Could Try If You are Not a Total Terminal Junkie – It’s FOSS

        Vim is awesome. NeoVim is newer and even more awesome. Both Vim and NeoVim are terminal-based text editors with similar features.

      • RObservations #42: Using the jinjar and tidyRSS packages to make a simple newsletter template – bensstats

        Jinja is a powerful templating engine that is useful in a variety of contexts. Recently, I discovered how its possible to use the power of Jinja syntax in R with the jinjar package written by David C Hall. With jinjar and the tidyRSS package by Robert Myles it is possible to make an email template that can provide short and informative updates. In his blog, I’m going to share how the jinjar and tidyRSS packages work and show how to combine them to make a simple daily email newsletter.

      • FinnstatsXGBoost’s assumptions – finnstats

        XGBoost’s assumptions, First will provide an overview of the algorithm before we dive into XGBoost’s assumptions.

        Extreme Gradient Boosting, often known as XGBoost, is a supervised learning technique that belongs to the family of machine learning algorithms known as gradient-boosted decision trees (GBDT).

      • DebugPoint6 Best Python IDE(s) and Code Editor(s) [Ed: This list unfortunately starts with Microsoft's proprietary software that spies on users; this isn't a goof recommendation at all.]

        We list the six best Python code editor(s) for Ubuntu and other Linux distros and Windows in 2022.

        Python is everywhere today, and it is arguably the C programming language of the modern era. You can find Python everywhere, from websites, apps, data science projects, and AI to IoT devices. So being a popular programming language of this decade, it is essential to know the development environment of Python, where developers create applications, especially if you are starting afresh.

      • Tree Based Methods: Exploring the Forest

        I was recently reading my copy of “An Introduction to Statistical Learning” (my Amazon affiliate link) and got the chapter about the different tree based methods. I am pretty familiar with Random Forest, but a few of the other methods are new to me. Let’s explore these different techniques.

        For these examples, I will explore the glass dataset from the openml site. This dataset has 9 different features used to predict the type of glass. The dataset has 214 observations.

        The dataset is downloaded with the following code. This requires the farff package to open the arff files used on the openml site.

      • Saturn Elephant – The lazy numbers in R: correction

        Because of a change I did in the lazyNumbers package, I have to post a correction to my previous post.

        The as.double function, called on a lazy number, was not stable.

      • Data Science TutorialsTop 10 Data Visualisation Tools

        Top 10 Data Visualisation Tools, Data Science, one of the most established areas of study and practice in the IT sector, has been in the spotlight for almost a decade.

        It has proven to be beneficial in numerous industry verticals as well. This technology involves deriving essential insights from data, from top-notch approaches to market analysis.

        Following the data collection, it is processed by data analysts who further examine the data to identify patterns and then forecast user behavior using those patterns.

        Tools for data visualization are used in this stage. The top data visualization tools for data scientists to try, as well as several, will be covered in this post.

      • Layton R blog – Introducing formatdown

        Convert the elements of a numerical vector or data frame column to character strings in which the numbers are formatted using powers-of-ten notation in scientific or engineering form and delimited for rendering as inline equations in an rmarkdown document.

      • Analyzing Projected Calculations Using R – R Views

        Nicolas Nguyen works in the Supply Chain industry, in the area of Demand and Supply Planning, S&OP and Analytics, where he enjoys developing solutions using R and Shiny. Outside his job, he teaches data visualization in R at the Engineering School EIGSI and Business School Excelia in the city of La Rochelle, France.

      • Drew DeVaultCodegen in Hare v2

        I spoke about code generation in Hare back in May when I wrote a tool for generating ioctl numbers. I wrote another code generator over the past few weeks, and it seems like a good time to revisit the topic on my blog to showcase another approach, and the improvements we’ve made for this use-case.

        In this case, I wanted to generate code to implement IPC (inter-process communication) interfaces for my operating system. I have designed a DSL for describing these interfaces — you can read the grammar here. This calls for a parser, which is another interesting topic for Hare, but I’ll set that aside for now and focus on the code gen. Assume that, given a file like the following, we can parse it and produce an AST

      • Generating clustered data with marginal correlations – ouR data generation

        A student is working on a project to derive an analytic solution to the problem of sample size determination in the context of cluster randomized trials and repeated individual-level measurement (something I’ve thought a little bit about before). Though the goal is an analytic solution, we do want confirmation with simulation. So, I was a little disheartened to discover that the routines I’d developed in simstudy for this were not quite up to the task. I’ve had to quickly fix that, and the updates are available in the development version of simstudy, which can be downloaded using devtools::install_github(“kgoldfeld/simstudy”). While some of the changes are under the hood, I have added a new function, genBlockMat, which I’ll describe here.

  • Leftovers

    • Bert HubertThe World of Yesterday: a brief review of a 1942 book – Bert Hubert’s writings

      It is not often that one feels the urge to review an 80 year old work, but it left such a huge impression on me that I simply must tell you about what I’ve just read. Especially since there is a lot of scary resonance with our current times.

      It is a remarkably odd book. The title is already somewhat of a hint – this is not a memoir of Stefan Zweig the person. Although we do learn of his impressive artistic and literary achievements, he barely appears in the book himself. This is a memoir of a lost Europe, and how we lost it, in the First World War, during the run-up to the Second World War and finally during that war itself.

      It has been said that “Reading good books is like engaging in conversation with the most cultivated minds of past centuries” (René Descartes). In a sense, books are like time machines.

    • Terence EdenBook Review: “A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided” by Dr Amanda Foreman

      1861: “On the one hand, slavery is bad. On the other hand, cheap cotton from the South keeps the UK economy working.”

      2022: “On the one hand, invading Ukraine is bad. On the other hand, cheap gas from Russia keeps the UK economy working.”

      Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

      This is an incredible book. I knew very little about the American Civil War – this is a thorough history of that bloody event told from the perspective of the UK.

      The UK was officially neutral. But that didn’t stop hundreds of British subject from joining up to fight on both sides. It also didn’t stop frenzied diplomatic efforts to turn the tide in the UK’s favour. And that led to incessant lobbying, fake-news, and skulduggery within the realm.

      Dr Foreman’s book is long and detailed. Perhaps a little too detailed. There are some excellent discussions of battles which – though important to the war – don’t really entangle with the British side of the story. The book occasionally gets bogged down in what I consider irrelevant details and diversionary footnotes.

    • Björn WärmedalPeople Are Actually Rational – Björn Wärmedal

      We’re all human (not you, search engine bot. Go away!), and humans are rational within their constraints. Initially I was going to title this post “Respect Legacy”, but it occurred to me that it applies equally to the present.

      Let me start with an anecdote. I had a very talented project manager at one point. We worked in a really big project within higher education, and by the time I joined the project was already a bunch of years old even though it wasn’t in production yet. Needless to say there was a lot of legacy code already. Since the project had gone through a few different phases and the technology landscape had changed radically during those years people would often stumbled over old code and ask why it had been written in that way to begin with.

    • Stacey on IoTPTC will acquire ServiceMax for $1.46B

      There are very real reasons that this deal makes sense. PTC, which started out as CAD software for manufacturers, has spent the last decade making acquisitions to transform itself into a source of cloud-based tools for digital transformation. It has purchased ThingWorx, Kepware, and Vuforia as part of a cluster of acquisitions to digitize manufacturing and use augmented reality to share digital factory information with workers.

    • Science

      • Algorithm for Optimal Decision-Making Under Heavy-Tailed Noisy Rewards

        Researchers at South Korea’s Chung-Ang University (CAU) and Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology created an algorithm that supports minimum loss under a maximum-loss scenario (minimax optimality) with minimal prior data. The algorithm addresses sub-optimal performance for heavy-tailed rewards by algorithms designed for stochastic multi-armed bandit (MAB) problems. CAU’s Kyungjae Lee said the researchers proposed minimax optimal robust upper confidence bound (MR-UCB) and adaptively perturbed exploration (MR-APE) methods. The team obtained gap-dependent and independent upper bounds of the cumulative regret, then assessed their methods via simulations conducted under Pareto and Fréchet noises. The researchers found MR-UCB outperformed other exploration techniques with stronger robustness and a greater number of actions under heavy-tailed noise; MR-UCB and MR-APE also could solve heavy-tailed synthetic and real-world stochastic MAB problems.

      • Matt RickardGenerative AI Value Chain

        As large-language models become more widespread, who captures most of the value from these products? A brief look at some possibilities.
        Incumbents that can layer in generative AI as a feature to existing application distribution.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Declassified UKHow Jeremy Hunt’s mental health cuts fuelled terrorism

        Community organisers in Manchester say David Cameron’s aggressive foreign policy exposed a young generation of Libyans in Britain to extreme violence. And his austerity agenda – zealously implemented by Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary – left them without psychological support to treat their trauma.

        The warning comes amid Hunt’s return to frontline politics as Chancellor, with a fresh round of spending cuts announced last week.

        Declassified spoke to Abdul-Basit Haroun, who used to chair a Libyan community group in Manchester. He took part in the uprising against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, which Cameron’s government backed with airstrikes and boots on the ground.

    • Proprietary

      • Silicon AngleGoogle releases patch for zero-day Chrome vulnerability – SiliconANGLE

        Google LLC has begun rolling out a patch for a high-severity security vulnerability that affects the desktop version of its Chrome browser.

        The company disclosed the move in a Thursday blog post. The vulnerability, which is tracked as CVE-2022-4135, affects the Windows, Mac and Linux editions of Chrome. Google stated that the patch will roll out over the coming days and weeks.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • VideoMillions of WhatsApp Contacts Are Being Sold by Hackers – Invidious

          In this video I discuss the recent WhatsApp data leak, and explain why something like this can’t happen on a platform like Signal.

        • Stacey on IoTWhat’s the future of voice in an economic downturn? – Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis [Ed: Surveillance conflated with "voice"]

          Voice has been one of the most successful technologies of the last decade, especially when it comes to the smart home. Thanks to innovations in natural language processing (NLP) during the 2012-2015 time period, voice became ubiquitous on our phones and in our homes. But now, with news that Amazon is downsizing its Alexa business and that Google is questioning what it can eke out of its Google Assistant, it’s time to take a hard look at how to make money in voice and what the news about Amazon and Google’s struggles mean for the smart home.

          First up, voice and the smart home are related but entirely separate. Siri launched in 2011. IBM’s Watson was also playing Jeopardy back then. Thanks to hard work on speech-to-text and NLP software, we could talk to our phones and have them understand us — both to take transcription and complete programmed tasks. But speech wasn’t transformative on the phone, partly because the phone already had a pretty convenient and established user interface in touch and tapping. Many people were impressed, but talking to your phone to set an alarm or a reminder was still clunky and not in widespread use. It was a trick, not a transformational technology for most.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Mark CurtisBritain’s covert war in Yemen – Mark Curtis

        The UK’s current war in Yemen is not the first time Britain has contributed to devastating the country. Sixty years ago, a coup in North Yemen prompted UK officials to begin a secret war that also led to tens of thousands of deaths – and, as now, no British minister was ever held to account.

        The brutal war in Yemen, which has raged since 2015, is the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. A delicate truce since April has reduced some of the horror, but that deal seems to be breaking down.

        It should be time to reflect about who, on all sides of the conflict, including in Britain, might be indicted for war crimes. Nearly 9,000 civilians have been killed in over 25,000 mainly Saudi air strikes which have been facilitated by Britain’s Royal Air Force. Many more tens of thousands have been killed in the conflict.

      • Mark CurtisWhen Britain backed Iran’s dictator – Mark Curtis

        The UK armed the Shah’s “autocracy” and directly aided his brutal security service in the decades leading up to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, declassified files show.

      • Mark CurtisBritain’s forgotten war for rubber – Mark Curtis

        70 years ago the UK stepped up a brutal colonial intervention in Malaya, presenting it as a war against Chinese communism. British forces herded hundreds of thousands of people into fortified camps, heavily bombed rural areas and resorted to extensive propaganda to win the conflict.

        The so-called “emergency” in Malaya – now Malaysia – between 1948 and 1960 was a counter-insurgency campaign waged by Britain against the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA).

        The MNLA sought independence from the British empire and to protect the interests of the Chinese community in the territory. Largely the creation of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), the MNLA’s members were mainly Chinese.

        But although the war in southeast Asia has long been presented in most British analyses as a struggle against communism during the cold war, the MNLA received very little support from Soviet or Chinese communists.

        Rather, the major concern for British governments was protecting their commercial interests in the colony, which were mainly rubber and tin.

      • Mark CurtisBritain’s proxy war on Russia – Mark Curtis

        UK participation in the Ukraine conflict is far-reaching, involving military and intelligence support, arms supplies and information warfare. But as Ukraine makes gains on the battlefield, Whitehall sees the war not only as a way to defend Kyiv but to ensure the strategic defeat of its rival, Russia – a dangerous strategy.

        The Ukraine conflict is also a British one, given the extensive UK role in the war, with Whitehall supporting Kyiv to repel Russia’s brutal invasion in numerous ways outlined in this Explainer.

        However, UK governments do not go to war for moral or humanitarian purposes; only for strategic gain. In Ukraine, Whitehall’s main goal is to counter Russia, a power UK governments have long wanted to put back in its box and end Moscow’s independent foreign policy, which challenges NATO’s supremacy in the whole of Europe and, to an extent, the Middle East.

      • Declassified UKThe secretive US embassy-backed group cultivating the British left

        Three senior Labour politicians have recently joined a secretive lobby group which was set up in coordination with the US embassy in London to cultivate the British left, it can be revealed.

        Four senior members of Boris Johnson’s administration were also made fellows this year while working inside the UK government.

        The British-American Project (BAP) describes itself as “a transatlantic fellowship of over 1,200 leaders, rising stars and opinion formers from a broad spectrum of occupations, backgrounds and political views.” But the group does not formally disclose its funders or members.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • DeadlineTom Brady, Giselle Bündchen, Larry David Sued In FTX Class Action Suit – Deadline

          “I’m never wrong about this stuff, never,” said a dismissive and scoffing Larry David earlier this year in that now infamous Super Bowl ad for investing in cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

          While the Seinfeld co-creator rejected the wheel, coffee, the U.S. Constitution, electricity, putting a man on the moon and more innovations in the much praised commercial, looks like David might have been right about the now collapsed FTX, for all the good it’s going to do him.

          Along with the likes of Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, Shaquille O’Neal, and Naomi Osaka, David is now a defendant in a class action suit against the now hollowed out FTX and its ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

        • CoryDoctorowTracers in the Dark

          In Tracers in the Dark, Andy Greenberg traces the fascinating, horrifying, and complicated story of the battle over Bitcoin secrecy, as law enforcement agencies, tax authorities and private-sector sleuths seek to trace and attribute the cryptocurrency used in a variety of crimes, some relatively benign (selling weed online), some absolutely ghastly (selling videos of child sex abuse).

        • VoxFTX and Sam Bankman-Fried have collapsed. Will all of crypto go, too? – Vox

          Crypto is the cat with nine lives, but some wonder if FTX might be the last one.

          It would be easy to write crypto’s obituary right now. The technological ecosystem has never quite managed to justify the logic of its existence or reach the mass adoption its boosters have promised for years. The latest crypto winter is turning into the crypto ice age, with company after company appearing to be in trouble and, at the very least, facing questions about their stability.

          Months of turmoil in the space have culminated in the spectacular implosion of crypto exchange FTX and the incredible downfall of its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. His business operations have been revealed to be a disaster, and Bankman-Fried as a deeply unserious person and potential fraudster.

    • Finance

      • Benjamin Mako HillThe Financial Times has been printing an obvious error on its ‘Market Data’ page for 18 months and nobody else seems to have noticed – copyrighteous

        If you’ve flipped through printed broadsheet newspapers, you’ve probably seen pages full of tiny text listing prices and other market information for stocks and commodities. And you’ve almost certainly just turned the page. Anybody interested in this market prices today will turn to the internet where these numbers are available in real time and where you don’t need to squint to find what you need. This is presumably why many newspapers have stopped printing these types of pages or dramatically reduced the space devoted to them. Major financial newspapers however—like the Financial Times (FT)—still print multiple pages of market data daily. But does anybody read them?

        The answer appears to be “no.” How do I know? I noticed an error in the FT‘s “Market Data” page that anybody looking in the relevant section of the page would have seen. And I have watched it been reproduced every single day for the last 18 months.


        I respect that some people think that printing paper newspapers at all is wasteful when one can just read the material online. Plenty of people disagree, of course. But who will disagree with a call to stop printing material that evidence suggests is not being seen by anybody? If an error this obvious can exist for so long, it seems clear that nobody—not even anybody at the FT itself—is reading it.

      • David RosenthalDSHR’s Blog: The Stablecoin Saga

        The two US banks are Silvergate and Signature. First, Signature, which in 2019 started to focus on cryptocurrencies. In Q1 2022 their “digital asset” related deposits had more than doubled in a year, to about $64B. Second, Silvergate, which has almost no retail business and only one branch. Their “digital asset” related deposits, essentially their entire business, in Q1 2022 were about $13.5B. Combined, this $77.5B closely matched the issuance of Tether at that point, and these deposits had closely tracked that issuance since at least 2020.


        The problem that these minor stablecoins are solving is how to turn fiat currency into balances in Tether, the most widely accepted stablecoin. The fiat buys one of the minor stablecoins at some loosely regulated exchange, and redeems it for USD at one of the “crypto-banks”. The USD then “buys” USDT, not by transferring USD to Tether but by increasing the value represented by “commercial paper”.

      • The AtlanticThe Housing Crisis Is Breaking People’s Brains – The Atlantic

        Once you accept the existence of a housing shortage, the obvious policy response is to build a bunch of homes. Research looking at San Francisco, New York, Boston, and 52,000 residents across 12 U.S. metropolitan areas have all found that new housing brings down prices. This research makes intuitive sense: If new housing is built, most of the people who move in first vacate other units. Those units then become available to newcomers, and so on. Solving a supply problem is of course harder than making the number of homes equal the number of people—different people want different sorts of homes—but the fundamental point is that we need more homes near good jobs and schools, and that give people access to the communities and amenities that make life more enjoyable.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ScheerpostThe Corporate Media Deference That Endangers Us All

        It is utterly inexcusable for AP to continue to protect the anonymity of a government official who fed them such a profoundly significant falsehood.

        This didn’t just affect AP staff, it affected the whole world; we deserve to know what happened and who was responsible, and AP has no business obstructing that knowledge from us.

        LaPorta’s firing looks like this is yet another instance where the least powerful person involved in a debacle is being made to take the fall for it.

        A powerful intelligence official will suffer no consequences for feeding false information to the press — thereby ensuring that it will happen again — and no disciplinary action will be taken against LaPorta’s superiors, despite the absolute buffoonery that subsequent reporting has revealed on their part.


        These are the people who publish the news reports we read to find out what’s happening in the world. This is the baby-brained level of thinking these people are serving the public interest with.

      • The Politicians Who Destroyed Our Democracy Want Us to Vote for Them to Save It

        We should have walked out on the Democratic Party and mounted a serious opposition movement while we still had a chance.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • The Washington PostHow TikTok Ate the Internet

          In five years, TikTok, once written off as a silly dance-video fad, has become one of the most prominent, discussed, distrusted, technically sophisticated and geopolitically complicated juggernauts on the Internet.

          On the night Shelby Renae first went viral on TikTok, she felt so giddy she could barely sleep. She’d spent the evening painting her nails, refreshing her phone between each finger — 20,000 views; 40,000 — and by the next morning, after her video crossed 3 million views, she decided it had changed her life.

          She didn’t really understand why it had done so well. The 16-second clip of her playing the video game “Fortnite” was funny, she thought — but not, like, millions-of-views funny. She wasn’t a celebrity: She grew up in Idaho; her last job was at a pizza shop. But this was just how the world’s most popular app worked. TikTok’s algorithm had made her a star.

          Now 25, she spends her days making TikTok videos from her apartment in Los Angeles, negotiating advertising deals and always chasing the next big hit. Many days, she feels drained — by the endless scramble for new content; by the weird mysteries of TikTok’s algorithm; by the stalkers, harassers and trolls. Yet still, in her off hours, she does what all her friends do: watches TikTok. “It will suck you in for hours,” she said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The AtlanticEmpires of Soccer – The Atlantic

        The England captain, Harry Kane, had wanted to wear an armband bearing the symbol during the tournament to showcase his opposition to the laws in Qatar that criminalize homosexuality, but was dissuaded from doing so by a threat of sanctions from FIFA.

    • Monopolies

      • Feds likely to challenge Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision takeover – POLITICO

        The Federal Trade Commission is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover of video game giant Activision Blizzard, maker of the hit games Call of Duty and Candy Crush, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

        A lawsuit would be the FTC’s biggest move yet under Chair Lina Khan to rein in the power of the world’s largest technology companies. It would also be a major black mark for Microsoft, which has positioned itself as a white knight of sorts on antitrust issues in the tech sector after going through its own grueling regulatory antitrust battles around the world more than two decades ago.

        Central to the FTC’s concerns is whether acquiring Activision would give Microsoft an unfair boost in the video game market. Microsoft’s Xbox is number three to the industry-leading Sony Interactive Entertainment and its PlayStation console. Sony, however, has emerged as the deal’s primary opponent, telling the FTC and regulators in other countries that if Microsoft made hit games like Call of Duty exclusive to its platforms Sony would be significantly disadvantaged.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • 🔤SpellBinding: EYLOSXG Wordo: SMUTS
      • Buy Nothing Day 2022

        I didn’t buy anything today. I didn’t work today either. I usually
        work on Buy Nothing Day [1] since I do not participate in Black
        Friday. This year, I did not work. What I did was meet with some
        friends, ate leftovers with the family, went on a couple walks in
        the park, hung out here and there on aNONradio, and did some domestic

      • Stop the clock

        I find myself walking down Main Street. There’s a feeling of celerity propelling me towards a matter of trivial importance. I always feel like I’m running late. Like a white rabbit nervously glancing at the time. It’s not the deadlines at work that have me worried. I don’t have any appointments or lunch dates in my calendar. I feel like the metronome that I march to exists only in my mind.

        I am approaching the middle of my life but this is hardly a crisis. It’s more like unfinished business. Like waking up before the dream ends. I have surrounded myself with unfinished projects. Discarded dreams. Futures left unrealised. My home is a multiverse of threads that were never pulled. I notice them as I walk past, regarding them with the same enthusiasm I would afford an old acquaintance. A slight nod, maybe a wave, a brief exchange and I’m on my way to my next date with destiny. No doubt I will stand her up once again

    • Technical

      • vi Exit Strategies

        This is for ex-vi as seen in OpenBSD. Other flavors of vi may have fewer, more, or different options available. Some of these will fail if the buffer has been modified, e.g. :q would need to become :q! or :wq and ZZ might need to be ZZZZ if the vi has the “more files to edit” bug.

      • Re: I Don’t Run Session Zero

        Malin doesn’t run a session zero
        and I couldn’t disagree more.

        Now, I do a session zero maybe… a third of the time? Two-fifths? It’s hard to say because it’s increasingly often. It’s not a hard and fast rule but it’s just often been more helpful than not.

      • bookmarklet collection!

        I’m collecting bookmarklets because it seems a lot of people forget they exist, or what they’re capable of, then end up making add-ons when they don’t need to.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Late-November Capsule Status

          I’ve posted almost no logs in the second half of November, but Rob’s Capsule is certainly not dormant. Most of my capsule updates have come in the form of posting daily results from “Where in the World?” by acidus^, which I’ve greatly enjoyed playing. The rest of my capsule activity has mostly been edits and corrections to existing documents.

          I haven’t had a lot of time or motivation to write recently, largely because of other events happening in my life. There have been a few discussion topics floating around in my head, but if I don’t feel sufficiently moved to write about them, I worry that my logs will sound forced or low-effort.

          That doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on new things for the capsule either. I’ve been working on some CGI content behind the scenes, at least one of which I hope to have live by the end of this weekend.

      • Programming

        • Language levels problems with Rust while learning day 1

          I started learning Rust recently as on of the other maintainers of Drogon tries and likes it. And C++ have it’s own pile of problems. Not saying I don’t like C++ anymore just that I’m trying to learn something new. In the process I found a few places I dislike about Rust. Especially from the point of view of a HPC programmer.

* 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

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  6. The Hey Hype Machine

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  9. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

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  10. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

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  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

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  12. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

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  15. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

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  16. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

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  20. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that

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  22. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

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  23. Links 26/01/2023: GNU poke 3.0 and PipeWire 0.3.65

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  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

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  25. Companies Would Collapse Upon Abandoning Their Original Goals (That Attracted All the Productive Staff)

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  26. [Meme] Listen to Your Workers, Avert Disaster

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  27. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Understand the Company's Value Proposition (Building Systems) and Rejects Security

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  28. Links 25/01/2023: NuTyX 23.01.1 and GNU Guile 3.0.9 Released

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  29. Links 25/01/2023: Stratis 3.5.0 and Many Political Links

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