[Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work… in 2022

Posted in Google at 9:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Terminator 2 phone booth: She says she likes my Austrian accent; I'm not calling for anything, just checking the line 'works'

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)

[Meme] Modern Phones

Posted in Google at 9:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Women Sharing Dirty Secrets: Are you saying your phone ran out of battery? Yes, dear, these days the phones need recharging several times per day

Moved to 'modern' Google; it doesn't ring

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

The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 8:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

2FA with 'mobile phone' is not proper security

Especially not when you send passwords and private keys to dodgy third parties that suffer security breaches and lie about it

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)

A part devoted purely to ISO was last week’s focus/work and this week we show some of the company’s awful practices when it comes to security. This is the most recent example. It’s from this past October and it’s likely what got me “flagged” for bollocking. In short, after the contract-signing scandals of 2019 I was apprehensive about signing another unknown contract and moreover consenting to a company-provided spying device (with camera and microphone) being inside my home. My wife was also hesitant; she expressed very strong opposition to this even before I did. “What next?” she said…

“This “mobile phones” strategy it is not about saving money…”My E-mails about company “mobile phones” were discussed with a friend in IRC (personal channel), albeit only after careful redaction. Polite language was used. Facts were adhered to all along. At the bottom of this post the communications are reproduced in full, with clients’ names and colleagues’ names redacted.

This “mobile phones” strategy it is not about saving money; outsourcing never saves money, it adds a trap for short-term savings. The bills, in turn, gradually increase by a lot and services stop working or get shut down. They cannot even be debugged because they are proprietary (AWS and Google in mind).

“The messages were sent less than 10 minutes apart, obviously coordinated for effect, and there was no room for debate.”As the communication below shows, first they sent some ‘enticing’ message and later they sent an “ASAP” for a contract to sign (for “smart” “phone”). It was likely some sort of waiver. The messages were sent less than 10 minutes apart, obviously coordinated for effect, and there was no room for debate. If the company wants to buy brand new phones while deprecating existing Cisco phones of all staff — and it won’t settle for low-cost phones while at the same time admitting to employees that the company is tight on budget — then what gives?

But there are deeper, more profound issues at stake here. To give some background, consider what the EFF published last month in relation to NLRB (unions):

How does this work? The NLRB protects the right of workers under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to organize and discuss joining unions with their coworkers without retaliation and the board’s General Counsel rightly suggests that surveillance of workers by their bosses can lead to unlawful retaliation, as well as a chilling effect on workplace speech protected by the NLRA.

“It concerns me that employers could use these technologies to interfere with the exercise of Section 7 rights … by significantly impairing or negating employees’ ability to engage in protected activity—and to keep that activity confidential from their employer,” General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo said in her letter. She added she will urge the board to act to “protect employees from intrusive or abusive electronic monitoring and automated management practices” that interfere with organizing rights.  The general counsel’s memo serves as a marker for future cases considered by the NLRB. Traditionally, the opinion of the NLRB’s general counsel has a significant effect on how the board rules on cases it considers. This means that, should workers wish to file a claim with the NLRB along these lines, the board would take this opinion into account.

While worker privacy has been considered within general consumer privacy bills, workplace privacy rights function differently than those in many other contexts. A worker often cannot walk away from a camera pointed at their workstation. And while a consumer may feel they aren’t really “consenting” to data collection when they use a product or service, they generally have the option to go to a competing product. Workers don’t; saying “no” could cost them their livelihood. Therefore workers are set up to potentially lose certain rights during the workday.   

At the end of the month the EFF revisited this issue:

Since then, EFF has joined with those in the labor community to learn more about surveillance in the workplace and on work devices, and the effect it has on employees. Particularly as regulators start to pay more attention, and legislators include workers’ privacy in general consumer privacy bills, it’s important to understand the ways that the workplace presents unique challenges in this arena.

Bossware has Real Effects on Workers

As white collar remote workers felt bossware breathing down their necks, there was more coverage than ever of how employers are monitoring the workforce, and the lasting effects it has on workers’ health, safety, livelihood, and collective bargaining rights. Even for remote staff, these stresses affected their mental health and family responsibilities. But it is workers across all fields that have increasingly felt the heat of surveillance, and some of the coverage was propelled by blue collar workers who fought back, from meatpacking facilities to service workers to delivery drivers who experienced increased surveillance as a form of retaliation for wage demands. Neither the ineffectiveness nor the impact on real people calmed employers’ desires for increasing means to monitor and control worker behavior, with some even floating a database on worker productivity. Courts and agencies in other countries, like the Netherlands, have been quicker to take on U.S. firms who they allege have violated the human rights of foreign remote workers with demands on their acquiescence to invasive monitoring.

One lingering concern was, those “phones” can be used for spying and we already know the company was spying on workers, as we’ve demonstrated for nearly 2 months already.

The manager did not bother explaining the decision or how it had been reached; he went completely silent. He was trying to force us to sign something in a rush. Yet again… like in 2019. He also sent us nothing and instead went on a fishing expedition in IRC logs (it seems like nobody gave him a heads-up, as we showed before), only to find nothing but gossip that mentions no names, not even “Sirius”. Such stalking by a “thug” isn’t acceptable and it’s easy to get the impression that it was an act of retaliation in a company where managers are immune or exempted from enforcement (like EPO management). A “phone” would likely become just a tool to “manage” people and there’s already years-old track record of bullying by management. A “phone” would be a blunt instrument of coercion by intimidation and humiliation. All the stalking further justifies workers being apprehensive about “mobile” phones at home. In retrospect, we made the right decision when we antagonised/rejected the proposal.

Here is the full correspondence:

Introduction of Company Mobile Phones for the Support Team

Dear All,

This is just to update you that as part of our on-going development and improvement, we will imminently be introducing company mobile telephones for Support Team staff.

Whilst we are also constantly seeking cost savings and efficiency improvements and consequently as you know are looking at significant structural changes in the organisation, we also have significant security obligations for our own compliance and business requirement obligations to our clients.

However, as well as helping with our security compliance we believe this will be a very positive improvement in the ease of use for support telephony. xxxxx will distribute full details and instructions shortly.

Thank you in advance for helping with the smooth introduction of these devices!

Kind regards,


9 minutes later another colleague wrote:

Introduction of Company Mobile Phones for Support

Hello Support Team,

With more customers demanding tighter security, the upcoming ISO audit requirements being more strict this coming November, and a general need to ensure you have the right tools for the job, Sirius will now be issuing work mobile phones to Support staff.

This has been under consideration for several years pending the right combination of business, customer, and financial requirements being met for deployment. Whilst the company continues to need to make overall financial savings and to achieve better efficiency, a number of pressing factors have become primary drivers to make this change happen now. (For example, you will be aware of xxxx becoming an increasingly important client of late and the imminent expansion of the support contract with them is key.)

We expect this to be a very positive step for Support Staff and should make a number of key processes more straight forward whilst also enabling key business benefits and security improvements.

Key purposes/benefits of introducing support mobile phones:
1. To enable 2FA and secure authentication for both Sirius and customer environments
2. Separating work and personal devices as a benefit for both work (security) and life-balance (you can turn it off when not on shift)
3. A step towards replacing the legacy Cisco handsets
4. The devices will integrate with the native platform for Google Voice and be a backup/forwarding target for that
5. A backup data connection to work from in case of local internet outage

The company policy on mobile devices and security is currently being updated to reflect this new tool, but please pay particular attention to the following key notes:
* The devices will remain the property of the company
* The devices must be used solely for work purposes and only by yourself
* The devices will be controlled centrally by Sirius, usage will be visible to management
* The devices must not leave the UK without prior specific permission from management

You have already agreed to abide by the Sirius IT policy and all usage of the device should be in accordance with this.

Devices will be distributed shortly and will include a Mobile Device Guide to allow a quick set-up. Please read through the Mobile Device Guide asap once available (which will be assigned to you in xxxx) and then agree to the contents and terms, after which your device will be sent out.

Warm regards,

To the first message I responded: “If this is about facilitating MFA, please provide phones with batteries that can be detached/removed in order to ensure the risk introduced isn’t greater than the risk lowered.”

The response was:

Hi Roy,

What risk are you suggesting we address by opting for mobile phones with a removable battery?

These devices are almost extinct, with only a few options. They also tend to be lower spec’d and poorer performing as you can see here: https://www.androidauthority.com/best-android-phones-removable-battery-697520/

Further to our discussion this morning, I cannot see a reason for us to make this a priority at this point.


I responded to the longer message as follows:

> Hello Support Team,


> With more customers demanding tighter security, the upcoming ISO audit
> requirements being more strict this coming November, and a general need
> to ensure you have the right tools for the job, Sirius will now be
> issuing work mobile phones to Support staff.
> This has been under consideration for several years pending the right
> combination of business, customer, and financial requirements being met
> for deployment. Whilst the company continues to need to make overall
> financial savings and to achieve better efficiency, a number of pressing
> factors have become primary drivers to make this change happen now. (For
> example, you will be aware of xxxx becoming an increasingly
> important client of late and the imminent expansion of the support
> contract with them is key.)

We still need a wiki page for them. ;-)

> We expect this to be a very positive step for Support Staff and should
> make a number of key processes more straight forward whilst also
> enabling key business benefits and security improvements.
> Key purposes/benefits of introducing support mobile phones:
> 1. To enable 2FA and secure authentication for both Sirius and customer
> environments

When I saw the previous message I responded with “If this is about
facilitating MFA, please provide phones with batteries that can be
detached/removed in order to ensure the risk introduced isn’t greater
than the risk lowered.”

It’s understandable that some of these schemes do not support a landline.

> 2. Separating work and personal devices as a benefit for both work
> (security) and life-balance (you can turn it off when not on shift)

Not applicable to me as I don’t use such a device.

> 3. A step towards replacing the legacy Cisco handsets

The Cisco handsets have worked well for almost a decade. They were
always more reliable than Google Voice.

> 4. The devices will integrate with the native platform for Google Voice
> and be a backup/forwarding target for that

We already have a dedicated computer for Google Voice. Plus, it has
several fallbacks in place.

> 5. A backup data connection to work from in case of local internet outage

I think we still have a USB dongle for this somewhere. A SIM card should
be enough to facilitate it. Our connection has generally been reliable
for years.

> The company policy on mobile devices and security is currently being
> updated to reflect this new tool, but please pay particular attention to
> the following key notes:
> * The devices will remain the property of the company
> * The devices must be used solely for work purposes and only by yourself
> * The devices will be controlled centrally by Sirius, usage will be
> visible to management

It seems like sole purpose of it will be 2FA. Any simple phone that can
do SMS can handle robust 2FA. Anything “apps” can introduce more risks.

> * The devices must not leave the UK without prior specific permission
> from management
> You have already agreed to abide by the Sirius IT policy and all usage
> of the device should be in accordance with this.
> Devices will be distributed shortly and will include a Mobile Device
> Guide to allow a quick set-up. Please read through the Mobile Device
> Guide asap once available (which will be assigned to you in xxxx)
> and then agree to the contents and terms, after which your device will
> be sent out.

If, as stated above, I “already agreed to abide by the Sirius IT policy
and all usage of the device should be in accordance with this,” then why
do I need to sign an additional document? Anyway, I think this needs to
be discussed with staff. I wasn’t told anything about this until today
and it seems like a lot of resources are spent on just an MFA appliance.


I tried to speak to them over the telephone, knowing from experience that they would likely not bother replying.

First colleague: Managed to get to him over the phone to discuss the matter.

Second colleague: Tried to avoid talking to me about it over the phone, using obviously fake excuses.

But the point isn’t about a “phone” per se. As we’ll show over the next few days, the company was failing at the very basics and putting not only its own systems at risks but also clients’.

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

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Make Use OfThe 9 Best Career Options After Learning Linux

      There is a reason why many people use Linux but in different capacities. From using Linux distros as individual users to developers writing apps for Linux users, there is a different purpose associated with Linux.

      When working on Linux, you can pursue various career options and avenues. Each stream will open opportunities, allowing you to make the most out of your newly derived skills.

      You can pursue a few options after getting familiar with Linux and its related technologies. Here are a few top professions you can choose after learning Linux.

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Foundation’s Site/BlogLinux Foundation Newsletter: January 2023 [Ed: Notice how “Linux” Foundation says absolutely nothing about Linux itself. It barely funds Linux, either. This newsletter is made with proprietary software, published in proprietary site.]
      • Paul E. McKenneyWhat Does It Mean To Be An RCU Implementation?: paulmck — LiveJournal

        A correspondent closed out 2022 by sending me an off-list email asking whether or not a pair of Rust crates (rcu_clean and left_right) were really implementations of read-copy update (RCU). At first glance, this is a pair of simple yes/no questions that one should be able to answer off the cuff.

      • LWNMcKenney: What Does It Mean To Be An RCU Implementation? [LWN.net]

        Paul McKenney looks at a couple of Rust crates in an attempt to determine whether they actually implement the read-copy-update algorithm; in the process, he gives an overview of the numerous RCU variants in the kernel.

      • LWNSix years with the 4.9 kernel [LWN.net]

        The release of the 4.9.337 stable kernel update on January 7 marked the end of an era: after just over six years of maintenance, the 4.9.x series will receive no more updates. This kernel saw a lot of change after Linus Torvalds made the “final” release and left the building; it’s time for a look at the “stable” portion of this kernel’s life to see what can be learned.

        The development cycle that led up to the 4.9 release saw the addition of 16,214 non-merge changesets contributed by 1,719 developers (a record at the time) working for (at least) 228 companies. In the six years between 4.9 and 4.9.337, instead, it gained 23,391 non-merge changesets from 4,037 developers working for at least 503 companies. The 4.9.337 release contains 114,000 more lines of code than 4.9 did. Rather than being the end of a kernel’s development life, the final release from Torvalds is really just the beginning of a new and longer phase — at least, for long-term-support kernels.

      • LWNSupport for Intel’s LASS

        Speculative-execution vulnerabilities come about when the CPU, while executing speculatively, is able to access memory that would otherwise be denied to it. Most of these vulnerabilities would go away if the CPU were always constrained by the established memory protections. An obvious way to fix these problems would be to make CPUs behave that way, but doing that without destroying performance is not an easy task. So, instead, Intel has developed a feature called “linear address-space separation” (LASS) to paper over parts of the problem; Yian Chen has posted a patch set adding support for this feature.

        Speculative execution happens when the CPU is unable to complete an instruction because it needs data that is not resident in the CPU’s caches. Rather than just wait for that data to be fetched from RAM, the CPU will make a guess as to its value and continue running in the speculative mode. If the guess turns out to be correct — which happens surprisingly often — the CPU will have avoided a stall and will be ahead of the game; otherwise, the work that was done speculatively is thrown out and the computation restarts.

        This technique is crucial for getting reasonable performance out of current CPUs, but it turns out to have a security cost: speculative execution is allowed to access data that would be denied to code running normally. A CPU will be able to speculatively read data, despite permissions denying that access in the page tables, without generating a fault. That data is never made available to the running process, but accessing it can create state changes (such as loading data into the cache) that can be detected by a hostile program and used to exfiltrate data that should not be readable. In response, kernel developers have adopted a number of techniques, including address-space isolation and preemptive cache clearing, to block these attacks, but those mitigations can have a substantial performance cost.

    • Applications

      • LinuxiacOpenVPN 2.6.0 Release Prepared, Brings Remote Entries Support

        OpenVPN is a popular open-source software application that implements virtual private network (VPN) techniques for creating secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections. The software is notable for its flexibility and is considered one of the most secure VPN protocols currently available, widely used by individuals and organizations to protect their online privacy and data.

        The OpenVPN 2.5.x series, with an initial release in October 2020, received an update in November 2022 with the v2.5.8. Today, the first release of the new OpenVPN 2.6 series is available for download, so let’s look at what’s new.

      • Linux Links8 Excellent Console Linux File Managers (Updated 2023)

        Console based applications are light on system resources (very useful on low specified machines), can be faster and more efficient than their graphical counterparts, they do not stop working when X is restarted, and are perfect for scripting purposes. When designed well, console applications offer a surprisingly improvement in productivity. The applications are leaner, faster, easier to maintain, and remove the need to have installed a whole raft of libraries.

        The whole is greater than the sum of its parts is a very famous quote from Aristotle, a Greek philosopher and scientist. This quote is particularly pertinent to Linux. In my view, one of Linux’s biggest strengths is its synergy. The usefulness of Linux doesn’t derive only from the huge raft of open source (command line) utilities. Instead, it’s the synergy generated by using them together, sometimes in conjunction with larger applications.

      • How to speed up your next build with Firebuild? | Obsessed with reality

        Firebuild intercepts all processes started by the command to cache their outputs. Next time when the command or any of its descendant commands is executed with the same parameters, inputs and environment, the outputs are replayed (the command is shortcut) from the cache instead of running the command again.

        This is similar to how ccache and other compiler-specific caches work, but firebuild can shortcut any deterministic command, not only a specific list of compilers. Since the inputs of each command is determined at run time firebuild does not need a maintained complete dependency graph in the source like Bazel. It can work with any build system that does not implement its own caching mechanism.

        Determinism of commands is detected at run-time by preloading libfirebuild.so and interposing standard library calls and syscalls. If the command and all its descendants’ inputs are available when the command starts and all outputs can be calculated from the inputs then the command can be shortcut, otherwise it will be executed again. The interception comes with a 5-10% overhead, but rebuilds can be 5-20 times, or even faster depending on the changes between the builds.

      • Top 8 Free Apps for New Linux Users – CryptoMode

        Linux is a Unix-like kernel that powers one of the most popular operating systems in the world. GNU/Linux distributions are undoubtedly the favorite choice for beginners who want to step into the Linux ecosystem.

        As a result, knowing which applications to use for the best experience is crucial, given the numerous free Linux distributions available. This article lists the 10 most prominent Linux apps beginners can install.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • NextGenTipsThe Top Docker Commands you must know – NextGenTips

        Docker is a set of platform-as-a-service products that uses OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers. Containers are usually isolated from one another and bundled with their own software libraries and configuration files, they can communicate with each other through well-defined channels.

      • HowTo ForgeHow to Install KeeWeb Password Manager on Ubuntu 22.04

        KeeWeb is an open-source and cross-platform password manager compatible with KeePass.

      • HowTo ForgeHow to Install Fathom Privacy-Focused Website Analytics on Debian 11

        Fathom is privacy-focused web analytics that delivers clean and concise data about your websites.

      • HowTo ForgeHow to Install Cerb Collaboration and Email Automation on Ubuntu 22.04

        Cerb is a free, open-source, fast, and flexible platform for business collaboration and automation.

      • H2S MediaEnable PipeWire for Audio and Bluetooth in Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

        We can use the commands given in this tutorial to configure our Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 to use PipeWire as an Audio server instead of the default PulseAudio.

        PipeWire in Linux is a multimedia framework for Linux to handle audio and video streams with the help of API. The framework’s API can be used across various types of devices such as webcams, microphones, and audio/video playback devices. It can also handle low-latency audio and video streams, hence the users can use it for real-time apps. For example while gaming and video conferencing. To enhance security, PipeWire offers fine-grained access controls for devices. It was developed by Wim Taymans at Red Hat.

      • DebugPointHow to Find Python Version [Tutorial]

        It’s essential to know the Python version installed in your system. Because your application or development project deployment, dependencies depends on it. Not to mention, minor Python releases frequently happen with feature updates and security fixes. Hence it’s important for you to know which version is currently installed in your server or local setup.

        There are many ways you can find it. You can either find it via command or run a program to find it out.

    • WINE or Emulation

      • ScummVMScummVM: Let me take you to the time warp!

        ScummVM has made huge strides in Macromedia Director support. Many Director 3 games are now fully completable, and several Director 4 games are also now playable. 18 new games are officially supported, and we could use your help testing them. We also welcome reports of any other Director games which are fully playable or completable. To test these new games, please use the latest daily build of ScummVM.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • UbuntubuzzA Complete Guide to Kubuntu Default Apps and Their Purposes

          This is a full list of all Kubuntu default applications (or list of Kubuntu components) with their explanations for first time users. Kubuntu is the official variant of Ubuntu with KDE as the technology of the desktop environment and default applications. This list is sorted alphabetically with app names taken from menu for example Ark, Dolphin and VLC Media Player. You can learn your Kubuntu computer a lot here as you see every app name, its purpose, short guide to use, and some pictures of them. This guide is based on version 22.04 also known as Jammy Jellyfish which can represents all modern Kubuntu versions. As a note, we compared many of the apps with Microsoft Windows or MacOS default apps to increase clarity. We wish you like it!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • OMG! LinuxNew Website Makes Nix Less Intimidating to Learn – OMG! Linux

      Fancy dipping your toes in the world of Nix, but don’t know where or how to start? Well, you’re gonna dig the Zero to Nix website.

      This new resource sets out to deliver an “unofficial, opinionated, gentle introduction to Nix” than that offered by existing Nix documentation and online guides — which it describes as “difficult for bringers to navigate”.

      Follow the guided steps on the Zero to Nix website to install Nix on your existing Linux distro using the Nix Installer rather than the official Nix installation script more commonly recommended.

      Now, I’ll level with you here: my knowledge of Nix is a little scant.

      I know the basics: Nix is package manager; it can be used alongside apt or dnf, etc (or replace them entirely); it has a TON of packages available through it (more than Arch, in fact); and it boasts a bunch of buzz-wordy features like immutability, app isolation, and roll back.

    • Reviews

      • 9to5LinuxFirst Look at blendOS: A Blend of Arch Linux, Fedora Linux, and Ubuntu

        While still in development, blendOS is here to offer you “a seamless blend of all Linux distributions,” as its creator wants to call it. blendOS is based on Arch Linux and GNOME on Wayland, but it lets you use apps from other popular distributions, such as Fedora Linux or Ubuntu.

        This is possible because you can use the native package managers from Arch Linux (pacman – included by default), Fedora Linux (dnf), and Ubuntu (apt), which are included as containers using Distrobox/Podman. However, the DNF and APT package managers aren’t included in the live ISO image, nor blendOS’s own blend package manager.

    • New Releases

      • 4MLinux Blog4MLinux Releases: TheSSS 41.1 released.

        This is a minor release based on the 4MLinux Server 41.1, meaning that the components of the LAMP server are now: Linux 6.0.18, Apache 2.4.54, MariaDB 10.6.11, and PHP (both 5.6.40 and 7.4.33).

        You can update your TheSSS by executing the “zk update” command (fully automatic process).

      • 23.01 Istredd – January 2023 ISO refresh | MaboxLinux

        2023 01 January ISO refresh is ready for download. Built from Manjaro stable branch as of 26.01.23.

        Available with latest LTS kernel – 5.15 or slightly older one 5.4 LTS.

        The release includes several improvements, notable of which are: a modern config for Picom and a quick menu for configuring Tint2 panels.

      • Released Peropesis 2.0: Make, SQLite, nano, Screen

        A new 2.0 release of Peropesis Linux OS released. In the new edition, part of the old software was updated and several new packages was installed. The tool Make, which controls the automatic installation of software from the source code, was installed. Database management system SQLite, command-line based editor nano and terminal emulator/multiplexer Screen were also installed.

      • OPNsense 23.1 released

        For more than 8 years now, OPNsense is driving innovation through
        modularising and hardening the open source firewall, with simple
        and reliable firmware upgrades, multi-language support, fast adoption
        of upstream software updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD

        23.1, nicknamed “Quintessential Quail”, features Unbound DNS statistics with
        a blocklist rewrite in Python, improved WAN SLAAC operability, firewall
        alias BGP ASN type support, PHP 8.1, assorted FreeBSD networking updates,
        MVC/API pages for packet capture/virtual IPs/IPsec connection management,
        IPsec configuration file migration to swanctl.conf, new sslh plugin, ddclient
        custom backend support (including Azure), WireGuard kernel module plugin
        variant as the new default plus much more.

        Download links, an installation guide[1] and the checksums for the images
        can be found below as well.

    • BSD

      • FreeBSDFreeBSD Status Report Fourth Quarter 2022

        The New Year has started and here is the last status report of 2022, including 34 reports. You will also notice that for the first time a new category has been introduced: the Cloud category. As FreeBSD keeps up to date with the latest technologies in IT, projects dealing with the cloud make steady improvements, and thus it has been judged that they deserve their own category in the status reports.

        The new category is not the only change about status reports. Indeed, the status team is revisiting its own workflow to become more efficient. If you are a report submitter, please ensure to read carefully the report authored by the status team as well as the next Call for Reports emails to keep up with the most recent changes.

        Have a nice read.

      • The BSD Now PodcastBSD Now 491: Catch the Spammers

        Dragonfly BSD 6.4 is out, Running OpenZFS – Choosing Between FreeBSD and Linux, OpenBSD Mastery: Filesystems ebook leaks, catching 71% spam, crazy unix shell prompts, Linux Binary Compatibility: Ubuntu on FreeBSD, Reproducible Builds Summit Venice 2022, and more

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • OpenSUSEFirefox, Apache, LibreOffice update in Tumbleweed

        This week in openSUSE Tumbleweed there was a change from a 2048 bit RSA to a 4096 bit RSA key and four snapshots were released so far.

        The larger bit key was a security recommendation and can be found in /usr/lib/rpm/gnupg/keys. The key can be viewed with rpm -qi and the key name. More info about the topic can be found on the Facotry email thread.

      • Request Page Redesign – Facilitating the Review Process – Open Build Service

        Collaboration is the heart of the OBS project. Therefore, we have been working on the request page redesign for a while, the page where most of the collaboration happens. This time, we have focused on improving the handling of requests with multiple actions, facilitating the review process by enhancing the code changes and helping out with decision-making, among others.

    • Red Hat, Fedora

      • Enterprisers ProjectIT leadership: Seven spectrums of choice for CIOs in 2023 | The Enterprisers Project

        Three years ago, the pandemic disrupted where and how people worked, forever changing the traditional workplace. Today, leaders are grappling with questions about how to move forward – when to return to the office, what work looks like today, and how to prepare for the future.

        These questions and more are addressed in the new book Office Shock. It discusses why it’s necessary to use future-back thinking to anticipate directions of change, identifies spectrums of choices to guide decision making, and explores how to plan for more sustainable ways of working.

      • Enterprisers Project3 tips to land an IT role without a tech background | The Enterprisers Project

        By 2025, nearly 70 percent of employees will be expected to use data at some level in their jobs, compared to 40 percent in 2018. That expectation, combined with the ongoing shortage of skilled tech talent, will force organizations to start considering nontraditional candidates – including those who might lack formal education or a degree but are eager to learn and grow.

        As the Chief Operating Officer of a company with a mission to empower the world through data literacy, I’ve witnessed firsthand the exceptional talent individuals from all backgrounds bring to the workplace. Rather than looking at formal education as an indicator of success, focusing on candidates’ aptitude, willingness to learn, and data literacy skills will help lay a foundation for the future of the IT workforce.

      • Red Hat3 new improvements to the RHEL download experience | Red Hat Developer

        In today’s age of hyperscalers and hybrid cloud environments, developers like you need to obtain the appropriate Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) image based on the desired deployment destination. Developers want choices for their download experience. We are excited to introduce three new options that improve the traditional experience of downloading a RHEL ISO image.

      • LWNFedora’s tempest in a stack frame [LWN.net]

        It is rare to see an extensive and unhappy discussion over the selection of compiler options used to build a distribution, but it does happen. A case in point is the debate over whether Fedora should be built with frame pointers or not. It comes down to a tradeoff between a performance loss on current systems and hopes for gains that exceed that loss in the future — and some disagreements over how these decisions should be made within the Fedora community.

        A stack frame contains information relevant to a function call in a running program; this includes the return address, local variables, and saved registers. A frame pointer is a CPU register pointing to the base of the current stack frame; it can be useful for properly clearing the stack frame when returning from a function. Compilers, though, are well aware of the space they allocate on the stack and do not actually need a frame pointer to manage stack frames properly. It is, thus, common to build programs without the use of frame pointers.

        Other code, though, lacks insights into the compiler’s internal state and may struggle to interpret a stack’s contents properly. As a result, code built without frame pointers can be harder to profile or to obtain useful crash dumps from. Both debugging and performance-optimization work are made much easier if frame pointers are present.

      • LWNChanging Fedora’s shutdown timeouts [LWN.net]

        On today’s Fedora systems, a reboot cycle—for a kernel update, say—is normally a fairly quick affair, but that is not always true. The system will wait for services to shut down cleanly and will wait for up to two minutes before killing a service and moving on. A recent proposal to change the default timeout to 15 seconds, while still allowing some services to require more time, ran into more opposition than was perhaps anticipated. Not everyone was comfortable shortening the timeout period, though the decision has now been made to reduce it, but not as far as was proposed.

    • Debian Family

      • Vision, Mission and Strategy – Matt Brown

        This is part one of a two-part post, covering high-level thoughts around my motivations and vision. Part two (to be published tomorrow) contains my specific goals for 2023.

        A new year is upon us! My plan was to be 6 months into the journey of starting a business by this point.

        I made some very tentative progress towards that goal in 2022, registering a company and starting some consulting work, but on the whole I’ve found it much harder than expected to gather the necessary energy to begin that journey in earnest.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • 9to5LinuxCanonical Announces General Availability of Ubuntu Pro, Free for Up to 5 PCs

        First released in a beta version in October 2022 with free subscriptions for personal and small-scale commercial use on up to 5 machines, Ubuntu Pro is only available for Ubuntu LTS (Long-Term Support) releases, starting with Ubuntu 16.04, and promises up to 10 years of security updates, as well as access to exclusive tools.

        The Ubuntu Pro subscription promises patches for critical CVEs in less than 24 hours and expands the optional technical support to an additional 23,000 open-source packages and toolchains beyond the main operating system, not just for Ubuntu’s main software repository.

      • InfoWorldUbuntu Pro security subscriptions for Linux now available | InfoWorld

        Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro, a Linux security maintenance subscription service covering thousands of applications and toolchains in the open-source ecosystem, is generally available as of January 26.

        Released in beta in October, Ubuntu Pro helps users of Linux desktops and servers get CVE (common vulnerabilities and exposures) patches, harden their systems at scale, and stay compliant with standards such as FedRAMP, HIPPA, PCI-DSS. Ubuntu Pro covers an additional 23,000 packages beyond the main OS, providing protection against critical, high, and selected medium CVEs for applications and toolchains ranging from Ansible and Apache Tomcat to Node.js, Puppet, PowerDNS, Redis, Rust, and WordPress.

      • UbuntuHow Ubuntu Pro delivers enhanced security and manageability for Linux Desktop users | Ubuntu

        At the end of last year Canonical announced that Ubuntu Pro, our expanded security maintenance and compliance subscription, is now available for data centers and desktops as a public beta. This week, Ubuntu Pro entered general availability, giving Ubuntu users access to extra hardening and security patching.

        If you’re a developer using Ansible, Apache Tomcat, Apache Zookeeper, Docker, Nagios, Node.js, phpMyAdmin, Puppet or Python 2, you’ll want to read on. The subscription expands security coverage for critical, high and medium Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) to these and thousands of other applications and toolchains in Ubuntu’s repositories

        Ubuntu Pro Desktop replaces Ubuntu Advantage Desktop to provide a comprehensive single subscription for enterprise users. It is available free for up to five machines, extending to 50 for official Ubuntu community members.

      • UbuntuUbuntu Pro enters general availability | Ubuntu

        Ubuntu Pro, Canonical’s comprehensive subscription for secure open source and compliance, is now generally available. Ubuntu Pro, released in beta in October last year, helps teams get timely CVE patches, harden their systems at scale and remain compliant with regimes such as FedRAMP, HIPAA and PCI-DSS.

        The subscription expands Canonical’s ten-year security coverage and optional technical support to an additional 23,000 packages beyond the main operating system. It is ideal for organisations looking to improve their security posture, not just for the Main repository of Ubuntu, but for thousands of open-source packages and toolchains.

      • Help Net SecurityUbuntu Pro: Comprehensive subscription for open-source software security – Help Net Security

        Ubuntu Pro, Canonical’s comprehensive subscription for secure open source and compliance, is now generally available. Ubuntu Pro helps teams get timely CVE patches, harden their systems at scale and remain compliant with regimes such as FedRAMP, HIPAA and PCI-DSS.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Events

      • Minidebconf Tamilnadu 2023, Tinnitus, Cooking, Books and Series. – Experiences in the community

        First up is Minidebconf Tamilnadu 2023 that would be held on 28-29 January 2023. You can find rest of the details here. I do hope we get to see/hear some good stuff from the Minidebconf. Best of luck to all those who are applying.

      • Visit us in Brno for Linux App Summit 2023! – Felipe Borges

        We are excited to bring Linux App Summit 2023 to Brno, Czech Republic, from April 21st to 23rd!

        This is a conference for the Desktop Linux community, GNOME, and KDE folk to discuss the future of our app ecosystem.

        Brno is where me and a few other GNOMies live, and it is a tech hub in central Europe with lots of tech companies, open source communities, and universities. Brno hosted GUACEC in 2013, Akademy in 2014, and the LibreOffice Conference in 2016

      • FSFEFSFE local groups celebrate ‘I Love Free Software Day’ – FSFE

        On the 14th of February the FSFE community meets up in diverse cities around Europe to celebrate ‘I Love Free Software Day’. Join our events in Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Spain.

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • The Document Foundation releases LibreOffice 7.4.5 Community

        The Document Foundation announces the release of LibreOffice 7.4.5 Community, a maintenance release which solves a crash affecting a large number of users. The new release is immediately available from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/ for Windows (Intel and ARM processors), macOS (Apple and Intel processors), and Linux.

        All LibreOffice users are invited to update their installation to LibreOffice 7.4.5, as the older versions have reached the end of life and are not maintained.

      • 9to5LinuxLibreOffice 7.4.5 Released to Fix Crash Affecting a Large Number of Users

        The Document Foundation released today LibreOffice 7.4.5 as a hotfix update to the latest stable LibreOffice 7.4 open-source office suite series to address a critical issue affecting many users on all supported platforms.

        LibreOffice 7.4.5 is here only two weeks after LibreOffice 7.4.4 to fix a crash that occurred when clicking on the header or footer button after scrolling in the LibreOffice Writer component. The issue was discovered in the LibreOffice 7.4.4 release and affected a very large number of users.

    • Programming/Development

      • Dirk EddelbuettelDirk Eddelbuettel: RcppTOML 0.2.1 on CRAN: Small Build Fix for Some Arches

        TOML is a file format that is most suitable for configurations, as it is meant to be edited by humans but read by computers. It emphasizes strong readability for humans while at the same time supporting strong typing as well as immediate and clear error reports. On small typos you get parse errors, rather than silently corrupted garbage. Much preferable to any and all of XML, JSON or YAML – though sadly these may be too ubiquitous now. TOML is frequently being used with the projects such as the Hugo static blog compiler, or the Cargo system of Crates (aka “packages”) for the Rust language.

      • The Register UKLatest Flutter release improves performance and web builds • The Register

        Flutter developers gathered on Wednesday in Nairobi, Kenya, and at stream-fed screens elsewhere in the world to learn about the alpha release of Dart 3 and Flutter 3.7, the next iteration of Google’s open source Dart-based UI toolkit.

        The occasion is Flutter Forward, a developer event, and Tim Sneath, who heads product management for Dart and Flutter, spoke with The Register earlier this week about the changes coming to the Dart/Flutter ecosystem that bring meaningful performance improvements and expanded capabilities.

      • Python

        • LWNA survey of the Python packaging landscape [LWN.net]

          Over the past several months, there have been wide-ranging discussions in the Python community about difficulties users have with installing packages for the language. There is a bewildering array of options for package-installation tools and Python distributions focused on particular use cases (e.g. scientific computing); many of those options do not interoperate well—or at all—so they step on each others’ toes. The discussions have focused on where solutions might be found to make it easier on users, but lots of history and entrenched use cases need to be overcome in order to get there—or even to make progress in that direction.

          In order to follow along on these lengthy discussions, though, an overview of Python’s packaging situation and the challenges it presents may be helpful. Linux users typically start by installing whichever Python version is supplied by their distribution, then installing various other Python packages and applications that come from their distribution’s repositories. That works fine so long as the versions of all of those pieces are sufficient for the needs of the user. Eventually, though, users may encounter some package they want to use that is not provided by their distribution, so they need to install it from somewhere else.

        • VideoHow to get the last element of a list in Python? #coding #programming #python – Invidious
        • VideoStrip white space in Python like this? #programming #coding #python – Invidious
      • Rust

        • Rust BlogAnnouncing Rust 1.67.0 | Rust Blog

          The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.67.0. Rust is a programming language empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • IBM Old TimerIs AI (Finally) Coming of Age?

        Artificial intelligence first came to light in the mid-1950s as a promising new academic discipline. AI became one of the most exciting areas in computer sciences over the next two decades. But, after years of unfulfilled promises and hype, a couple of so called AI winters of reduced interest and funding set in that nearly killed the field. AI was successfully reborn in the 1990s with a new statistical paradigm based on analyzing large amounts of data with powerful computers and sophisticated algorithms. Now, six decades after the field was founded, AI seems to be finally coming of age.

        “2021 saw the globalization and industrialization of AI intensify, while the ethical and regulatory issues of these technologies multiplied,” said the 2022 AI Index report on the progress of AI, which was released in March of 2022 by Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). “2021 was the year that AI went from an emerging technology to a mature technology – we’re no longer dealing with a speculative part of scientific research, but instead something that has real-world impact, both positive and negative,” wrote Jack Clark, co-chair of the AI Index. Multiple factors led to his conclusion, in particular the advent of foundation models like OpenAI’s GPT-3 and Google’s BERT.

    • Hardware

      • CNX SoftwareIntel Processor N95 Alder Lake-N CPU shows up in entry-level mini PC with 2.5GbE, dual HDMI [Ed: You pay twice as much for Windows version]

        We’ve started to see Intel Alder Lake-N processors in mini PCs such MSI Cubi ADL N and Morefine M9 based on announced SKUs, but the Intel Processor N95 processor, which Intel has yet to unveil, is now found in a mini PC sold for various Aliexpress sellers starting at $187 for a barebone system and going up to $384 for a model with 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD preloaded with an activation version of Windows 10 or Windows 11.

      • CNX SoftwareLILYGO T-QT Pro 0.85-inch WiFi IoT display adds support for battery charging – CNX Software

        LILYGO T-QT Pro is an ESP32-S3 WiFi and BLE IoT board with a 0.85-inch color display, 4MB flash, 2MB PSRAM, a USB-C port, a few GPIOs, and support for LiPo battery with charging.

        It is an upgrade to the ESP32-S3-based LILYGO T-QT V1.1 board that also supports LiPo battery power but lacks a charging circuit, so you had to remove the battery and charge it manually each time. The T-QT Pro adds a charging circuit and switches from an ESP32-S3 with an 8MB flash design to one using ESP32-S3FN4R2 with 4MB flash and 2MB PSRAM.

      • CubicleNateModern SRAM Memory Replacement for the Commodore 64 – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        The first computer “love” is the Commodore 64 and I get real excited about new developments and uses of modern tech to allow the 40 year old computer to persist. it’s really quite amazing what is now an obscure, old, 8-bit machine has what is arguably a more flourishing existence than it ever has.

      • CNX SoftwareESP32 OpenMQTTGateway smart plug acts as an BLE MQTT gateway and a power meter – CNX Software

        The Theengs Plug ESP32 smart plug runs OpenMQTTGateway firmware to serve as a BLE MQTT gateway and power meter compatible with Home Assistant, Homebridge, OpenHAB, DomoticZ, FHEM, Jeedom, NodeRed, AWS, and any MQTT-compatible IoT or Smart Home system.

        While the Matter standard should improve interoperability between Smart Home frameworks over time, there are still millions of devices already produced that are not Matter compatible, and the Theengs Plug aims to at least partially address this issue by helping users reduce the number of hubs required and have only one that supports different ecosystems.

    • Security

      • Help Net SecurityHow businesses can bolster their cybersecurity defenses with open source [Ed: Canonical is relaying Microsoft FUD and FOSS-hostile propaganda]
      • BeyondTrust adds privilege management capabilities to Linux [Ed: BeyondTrust is proprietary and Microsoft booster]
      • LWNSecurity updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (git), Fedora (libXpm and redis), Oracle (bind, firefox, grub2, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, libtasn1, libXpm, and sssd), Red Hat (thunderbird), SUSE (freeradius-server, kernel, libzypp-plugin-appdata, python-certifi, and xen), and Ubuntu (bind9, krb5, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, and privoxy).

      • CISACISA Releases Eight Industrial Control Systems Advisories | CISA

        CISA released eight Industrial Control Systems (ICS) advisories on January 26, 2023.These advisories provide timely information about current security issues, vulnerabilities, and exploits surrounding ICS.

      • USCERTCISA Has Added One Known Exploited Vulnerability to Catalog [Ed: This is 100% about Microsoft .NET]

        CISA has added one new vulnerability to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, based on evidence of active exploitation. This type of vulnerability is a frequent attack vector for malicious cyber actors and pose significant risk to the federal enterprise.

      • WiredThe Unrelenting Menace of the LockBit Ransomware Gang | WIRED UK [Ed: Windows TCO]

        High-profile ransomware attacks have become a fact of life in recent years, and it’s not unusual to hear about major monthly attacks perpetrated by Russia-based gangs and their affiliates. But since late 2019, one group has been steadily making a name for itself on a multi-year rampage that has impacted hundreds of organizations around the world. The LockBit ransomware gang may not be the most wildly unhinged of these criminal groups, but its callous persistence, effectiveness, and professionalism make it sinister in its own way.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • QtEV Charging is Boring … [Ed: Qt markets ad-pushing from within native application; this is a worrying trend]

          The demand for charging options is growing along with the adoption of electric cars (EVs). The market for EV chargers is expanding, and more people are wanting to transition to electric. This presents a big opportunity for EV charger manufacturers. We’ll examine more closely at the impending rise of electric charging in this blog post, as well as what it means for EV charger producers.


          So, you’ve arrived at the charger, plugged it in, it’s charging – now what?

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Bruce SchneierOn Alec Baldwin’s Shooting – Schneier on Security

        Why was an actual gun used on the set? And why were actual bullets used on the set? Why wasn’t it a fake gun: plastic, or metal without a working barrel? Why does it have to fire blanks? Why can’t everyone just pretend, and let someone add the bang and the muzzle flash in post-production?

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Joe BrockmeierHow have your social media habits changed since the Twitter takeover? : Dissociated Press

        It’s been a few months now since the Twitter Takeover, and Musk’s gutting of the Twitter workforce and various antics. I haven’t deleted my account, but I set it to private and set up shop on Mastodon in mid-November. Curious about what others have done and how your habits have changed (if at all). In the before-times, I’d check Twitter frequently and post and reply quite a few times per day. While a lot of folks I know set up Mastodon / ActivityPub identities, there doesn’t seem to be quite so much activity these days.

        Some folks I follow still seem to be active on Twitter, but it seems like a lot of the “microblogging” activity has just stopped altogether. This might just be the circles I travel in, but I’m wondering if the impact will be a lot like Google Reader and RSS.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • NBCMusk’s Twitter faces questions over Modi documentary censorship

        Elon Musk is facing allegations of being complicit with state censorship after Twitter appeared to take sides with India’s government in a turbulent free speech fight over a documentary critical of the country’s prime minister.

        The fight revolves around a new documentary from the BBC that focuses on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, delving into accusations that the politician allowed religious-based violence against Muslims. India is majority Hindu with a Muslim minority.

        Modi’s government said it has ordered social media platforms including Twitter to censor posts about the documentary, which it calls “hostile propaganda and anti-India garbage,” and Twitter appears to have complied by blocking certain tweets from being seen within India, according to screenshots of notices posted this week by Twitter users.

      • The Washington PostIndia’s BJP government tries to suppress BBC documentary on Modi – The Washington Post
      • Media NamaIndia’s new online “fact-checking” policy: Here’s why you should worry

        The latest of India’s platform governance reforms includes a proposal to outlaw hosting information online that’s been ‘fact-checked’ to be ‘fake’ by Indian government agencies. Experts we spoke to raised concerns that this attempt to combat fake information online rides roughshod over free speech rights, and basic principles of transparent and accountable governance.

        “To empower any one authority in a democracy to decide what is ‘fake’ is hugely problematic,” warned Namrata Maheshwari, Asia Pacific Policy Counsel at Access Now speaking to MediaNama.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Internet Freedom FoundationDefending the digital republic: Join IFF’s Board of Trustees at this pivotal moment for digital rights in India

        The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) is an impact-focused Indian digital rights organization. Its mission as a fearless advocate for every Indian has become critical given the vast scope of digitisation that provides opportunities but also concentrates power. IFF occupies a unique position to advance constitutional rights within a shared, collective vision for a free and open internet that is funded by thousands of Indians. We are, for the first time, seeking to expand our board and invite passionate and committed individuals who are excited about the chance this offers to shape the future of the Indian internet in an increasingly digital world.

        In its Resolution dated 10 June 2022, IFF’s Board of Trustees resolved to induct two trustees, having a maximum term limit of six years. These commitments were made in view of IFF’s role as a public-centered organization and a historical underrepresentation of communities and identities. We encourage applications from diverse backgrounds of caste, economic ability, religion, gender and sexual orientation. Trustees enjoy the same rights and responsibilities on voting and determining the organizational path of IFF as Founder Trustees. Trustees are not provided any remuneration for their service in conjunction with tax regulations and IFF’s status as a charitable trust.

        The role of the board is to support IFF’s mission. It oversees the governance of IFF, particularly its financial management. The Board also provides direction on devising strategic plans, determines organizational policies, and participates in resource mobilization. Additionally, the Board advises the Executive Director on goal-setting and reviews progress at regular intervals.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Public KnowledgeNew Public Knowledge Paper Proposes Public Interest Framework To Create a Better Wireless Future – Public Knowledge

        New paper proposes adopting a model rooted in core public interest principles to help guide us toward a wireless future that serves all Americans.

      • Public KnowledgeBack to the Spectrum Future: How a Public Interest Framework Can Create a Wireless Future that Benefits Us All – Public Knowledge

        If you’re at all interested in spectrum policy, “Back to the Spectrum Future: The 20th Anniversary of the Spectrum Policy Task Force” is for you. Twenty years ago, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell created the Spectrum Policy Task Force (SPTF) to develop a spectrum policy playbook to provide consumers and innovators with access to interference-free spectrum when they need it. In this white paper, I reframe the SPTF’s recommendations for the future and identify key issues that hindered the SPFT’s success—all while using the “Back to the Future” films as an allegory for the future of spectrum policy. To paraphrase Doc Brown, the way I see it, if you’re gonna write a white paper on spectrum policy, why not do it with some style?

        Spectrum policy plays a critical role in shaping the future of our society. Just like Doc Brown’s invention of the flux capacitor transformed what was possible in time, wireless innovations today can transform our society and the future ahead. But, the future of the wireless world is not yet written. The spectrum policies we enact today will directly impact what our future looks like. This is both an opportunity and a warning. Do we want to live in a society where everyone has access to reliable and affordable telecommunications services? Or do we want to live in a digitally divided society where only a privileged few benefit from new technologies?

      • Public KnowledgePublic Knowledge Commends FCC Action To Collect Consumer Stories on Digital Discrimination – Public Knowledge

        Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission’s Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination announced that it is now offering consumers the ability to share their stories on acquiring broadband internet access as part of an effort to learn more about how consumers are experiencing digital discrimination first-hand. The announcement follows the agency’s approval of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to promote equal access to broadband in every community.

    • Monopolies

      • PoliticoMicrosoft set to face EU antitrust probe over video calls – POLITICO

        European Union antitrust enforcers are planning to open an antitrust probe into Microsoft over its video and messaging service Teams, four people familiar with the matter told POLITICO.

        An investigation based on a 2020 complaint from Slack would see Microsoft face formal EU scrutiny again, more than a decade after it ended a long-running antitrust dispute over how it misused its position as a powerful software supplier to push new products and services. Officials are focusing on allegations that Microsoft unfairly ties Microsoft Teams and other software with its widely-used Office suite.

        The European Commission plans to escalate the probe quickly and is preparing a statement of objections laying out competition problems with the company’s behavior, two people said. In recent weeks it sent requests to rivals and customers over what evidence it plans to use, they said. Such ‘access to file’ requests are often a prelude to sending objections after a formal investigation has been launched.

      • CCIAProposed Legislation Could Create Higher Barriers to Entry for Startups – Disruptive Competition Project

        It’s no secret that companies of all sizes benefit from free and low-cost digital services like Slack, AWS and GitHub- but what role do affordable communication tools, cloud services and code repositories play in the U.S. startup ecosystem? A new study by the CCIA Research Center and Engine investigates the degree to which startups use free and low-cost digital tools and services and finds that not only do all surveyed and sampled startups use at least three of the tools examined, but most young companies heavily rely on and even attribute their success to the accessibility and affordability of digital tools like Google Suite, Zoom and Azure.

        Widespread reliance on enterprise services to build businesses is nothing new, but its exponential growth and evolution has empowered U.S. startups to bring innovation to industries at an astounding rate. Investments in innovation by leading U.S. digital service providers have produced advancements in the infrastructure to build companies. Those same providers offer free and low-cost infrastructure services to startups, reducing the cost of starting a company to below $5,000, down from $5 million in 2000. Reduced barriers to entry enable countless entrepreneurs across the U.S. from a diverse set of backgrounds to focus their limited resources on bringing innovative ideas to fruition

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • 🔤SpellBinding: UDEHMTB Wordo: MEMES
      • Rewarding Cycle

        Back in 1995, when my parents established a restaurant, we set up a slot machine. It lasted a year or so, and we ended up removing it because even though there was some profit, it was somehow sickening and attracting the kind of patrons we didn’t want for our place. I remember vividly how these machines worked on people to make them addicted. It was all about the fast rewarding cycle that encourages us to keep playing repeatedly.

        The lottery is different because the reward cycle is longer. You buy a ticket and wait from one to just a few days. While you wait, your brain engages with the possible outcome; even if you know the possibility is minimal, there’s some pleasure in the thought until you check the results.

      • The Alcoholic Art of War

        Greenland is an autonomous part of Denmark. Canada is an autonomous part of… Canada, I guess.

        These two countries (Denmark and Canada) have just settled a dispute of the ownership of a piece of land in the strait between Greenland and Canada. This dispute has been ongoing for 49 years, and the island in question has been stuck in a frozen state of war (yes, pun intended). Both countries have made advances and claimed the land, only to lose it to the other country soon after.

        The casualties have been numerous. Observers have described the field of battle as “a sea of slightly tattered flags and notices” as both countries have practised the age old tradition of planting their flag and leaving a taunting note for their enemies every time they’ve claimed the land. Again and again and again.

      • Tale of a divorced swinger

        Once upon a time, there was a divorced woman named Sarah. She had been married for many years, but after her divorce, she found herself feeling lost and alone. One day, a friend suggested she try out a swingers club as a way to meet new people, and possibly find some excitement in her life.

        Sarah was hesitant at first, but she decided to give it a try. She went to the club and was immediately struck by the energy and excitement in the room. She saw couples and singles of all ages, all there for the same reason: to explore their sexuality and have a good time.

      • Family, toki pona, Playdate, Bitsy, and the Clarinet

        This was supposed to be as small “on my mind” bullet list, but it quickly grew to a larger post. Enjoy!

    • Technical

      • Tailscale on the DevTerm R-01

        Recently I assembled a ClockworkPi DevTerm R-01[1], a cyberdeck-like terminal with a RISC-V[2] compute module. While the retro-future design of the DevTerm really appealed to me, and I’ve also been wanting to work with RISC-V for a while to learn a new architecture making the R-01 a perfect esoteric project platform.

      • Team Wiki With Obsidian

        A couple other developers on my team at work and I were talking about potentially overhauling our developer wiki. The current one has gotten pretty out of date over time. It’s also a little cumbersome and nobody really enjoys using it.

      • Science

        • Brief Review Earth Knoll

          “A Brief History of Earth” by Andrew Knoll is a good summary; notable points include that Portuguese Man o’ War are in one sense a colony, that Earth sent a hey! oxygen! signal out to the universe recently, and has a particular reflective signature due to visible radiation getting absorbed by the green stuff. And that land critters are a fairly new thing, 10% of Earth’s history. Also interesting is the repeated emphasis on the interactions between the physical and biological processes.

      • Emacs

        • Getting around in Elpher

          Elpher is one of my favorite Emacs packages, up there with long-time favorites like Org, Magit, and Helm (yes I still use Helm, sorry). It does almost everything I could want in a smolnet client. I want to use this post to dig into the ‘almost’ and how I’ve attempted to reduce workflow friction in my Elpher browsing experience.

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

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

Posted in News Roundup at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux LinksLinux Around The World: Scotland

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

      Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares a border with England to the southeast. It’s surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and east, and the Irish Sea to the south.

      The United Kingdom is located off the north-western coast of mainland Europe. It consists of 4 countries: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Benchmarks

      • Jeff GeerlingUsing PiBenchmarks.com for SBC disk performance testing

        For many years, I’ve maintained some scripts to do basic disk benchmarking for SBCs, to test 1M and 4K sequential and random access speeds, since those are the two most relevant tests for the Linux workloads I run on my Pis.

        I’ve been using this script for years, and it uses fio and iozone to get the metrics I need.

    • Applications

      • FFhistory: conclusion – Kostya’s Boring Codec World

        Now that I’ve finished remembering various developers it’s time to evaluate their impact and how it would be without certain them.

        Nowadays FFmpeg is mostly used for playing back videos from Internet. If you play, say, MP4 via HLS then it’s HLS protocol handler (mostly a work of Martin Storsjö) feeding data to MP4 demuxer (a work of Baptiste Coudurier) which feeds data to H.264 decoder (initial version by Michael Niedermayer, optimisations by many other people, current design with multithreading and hardware acceleration support is from Alexander Strange and Anton Khirnov) and AAC decoder (mostly by Alex Converse with significant optimisations by Måns Rullgård and others). If you prefer WebM then you’ll get data passed via Matroska demuxer (written by Ronald Bultje) to VP8 or VP9 decoder (written by Ronald in cooperation with other people) or even to AV1 decoder (an external library written by many FFmpeg and x264 developers) and Opus decoder (written by Anton Khirnov). As you can see the two most known names barely have a mention—that’s because Fabrice stopped working on it in time with the different set of popular formats. So in order to use his work you need to play DivX 4 rip with MP3 track.

        What would have changed if Fabrice Bellard haven’t started his project? To him—not much, he’s done enough awesome stuff before and after. To the multimedia world—it would be a serious loss but probably not critical. There had been various libraries for supporting separate families of multimedia: libquicktime for MOV and QT-specific codecs, libmpeg2 for MPEG video decoding, MPEG audio decoders are dime a dozen, there was even avifile for loading binary decoders. If Árpi had an idea to use them all in his player to support all possible formats, somebody else could’ve come with an idea of making a universal decoding framework out of existing libraries too. MPEG-4 ASP decoding could be done with OpenDivX or XviD (the latter also offers a better encoder that libavcodec because it does not function like Soviet machinery where you need to be an extremely skilled user to bring its potential to the fullest). AAC could be still supported via FAAC/FAAD2. Maybe somebody would have to rewrite it all to bring it under LGPL to make it more popular but you can’t say that opensource multimedia was a desert before Fabrice came. Still, he created a project that gave a significant impulse for the whole open-source multimedia and you should not underestimate it.

        How would FFmpeg fare without MPlayer developers? I’d say poorly as they created the environment where it could crystallise into something bigger (of course Xine developers played a significant role but since the player was more centred on DVD playback instead of playing everything I expect much smaller outcome).

      • 9to5LinuxPipeWire 0.3.65 Adds Bluetooth MIDI Support, ALSA Plugin Improvements

        PipeWire 0.3.65 adds support for Bluetooth MIDI devices, which also requires a WirePlumber addition, as well as support for compress offload was added using tinycompress, which allows the decoding of compressed formats in hardware using ALSA on certain devices.

        Another exciting feature in the PipeWire 0.3.65 release is a new native module-combine-stream that you can use to create a 5.1 device from a 3-channel stereo soundcard or to simultaneously direct the output to multiple sinks.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux HandbookUnderstanding the ASCII Table

        If you are into computers, you must have come across the ASCII table. It is a crucial part of modern computing even if many people are not aware of it.

      • OpenSource.comHow to add margin notes to a LibreOffice document

        I use LibreOffice Writer on Linux to write my documentation, including client proposals, training materials, and books. Sometimes when I work on a very technical document, I might need to add a margin note to a document, to provide extra context or to make some other note about the text.

        LibreOffice Writer doesn’t have a “margin note” feature but instead implements margin notes as frames. Here is how I add margin notes as frames in a LibreOffice document.

      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install Muse Hub on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Muse Hub on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 88: CSS Motion Path

        CSS Motion path allows you to position any graphical object and animate it along a specified path.

      • MJ FransenReading notes with nov.el-mode and org-noter

        Within Emacs, you can read PDF and EPUB files and keep reading notes in a separate but linked org file. With DocView you can also read odt and docx files, with these also you can keep linked reading notes.

        I have only used org-noter with EPUB files.

        Below, we look at using Emacs to read EPUB files, and create and maintain reading notes.

      • University of TorontoLinux software RAID mirrors, booting, mdadm.conf, and disk counts for non-fun

        Linux software RAID mirrors have a count of the number of active disks that are in the array; this is what is set or changed by mdadm’s –raid-devices argument. Your mdadm.conf may also list how many active disks an array is supposed to have, in the ‘num-devices=’ setting (aka a ‘tag’) for a particular array. The mdadm.conf manual page dryly describes this as “[a]s with level= this is mainly for compatibility with the output of mdadm –examine –scan”, which historically and currently is not quite accurate, at least when booting (perhaps only under systemd).

      • Ciprian Dorin CraciunDebating deterministic passwords

        Please don’t construe my words as either in support or dismissal of either classical password managers or deterministic ones. I haven’t thoroughly looked at the problem from many (let alone all) angles, thus I might be missing a lot (both good or bad). To draw any conclusions, one should employ independent research.

      • TecAdminAn Introduction to the “./configure” Command: Compiling Source Code in Linux – TecAdmin

        The ./configure command is a common way to configure and prepare software source code for compilation on Linux systems. This command is typically run before the make command, which actually compiles the software. Understanding the options available with the ./configure command can give you more control over the compilation process and help you customize the build to your specific needs.

      • Diving into Kubernetes architecture in depth

        Kubernetes is a powerful open-source platform that is widely used for managing containerized applications. It is a highly scalable and flexible platform that allows developers to easily deploy, manage, and scale their applications. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the Kubernetes architecture and explore its various components in depth.

      • Git: Extracting fixed issues

        Git is a powerful tool that is widely used for version control and collaboration in software development. One of the key features of Git is its ability to track changes made to files and directories over time. This makes it easy for developers to work together on a project, and also allows them to easily revert to previous versions of the code if something goes wrong.

      • Git: Finding commits in the history

        Git is a powerful tool that is widely used by developers to keep track of their code changes. One of the main advantages of using Git is its ability to track the history of your code and allow you to easily revert to previous versions if needed. In this article, we will explore some of the ways you can find commits in the history of your Git repository.

      • Git: Getting a list of the changed files

        Git is a powerful tool for managing and tracking changes in your code. One of the most useful features of Git is the ability to see a list of the files that have been changed in a particular commit or between two commits. In this article, we’ll explore how to use Git to get a list of the changed files, including examples and explanations to help you understand the process.

      • Git: Searching through the history code

        If you’re a developer, you’re likely very familiar with Git – a version control system that allows you to keep track of changes made to your code. One of the most powerful features of Git is the ability to search through the history of your code, which can be incredibly useful for a variety of reasons. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to search through the history of your code using Git, and give you some examples of how this feature can be useful.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Brave Browser on Rocky Linux EL9 or EL8 – LinuxCapable

        Brave is a free and open-source web browser based on the Chromium web browser. It was developed by Brendan Eich, the co-founder of Mozilla and the creator of JavaScript. The main goal of Brave is to provide users with a faster, more secure, and privacy-respecting browsing experience. Brave blocks third-party ads and trackers by default, which helps to speed up page load times and reduce the risk of malware and other security threats.

        One reason to use Brave on a rocky Linux system over the default Firefox ESR is that Brave is built on the Chromium engine, which is known for its performance and stability. Brave’s built-in ad and tracker blocking can also help speed up browsing on a Linux system, which may be particularly beneficial on a computer with limited resources.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install CMake on Rocky Linux EL9 or EL8 – LinuxCapable

        CMake is a cross-platform open-source build system that is widely used for software development. It is designed to be used in conjunction with other build systems to generate native build files for a variety of platforms. CMake can be used to build, test, and package software, as well as to generate project files for popular IDEs such as Visual Studio and Xcode. One of the reasons why CMake is so popular is that it is designed to be easy to use, and it is supported by a wide variety of compilers and platforms.

        On a Rocky Linux system, CMake can be used to manage the building, testing, and packaging of software. It is particularly useful when working with large and complex projects that need to be built on multiple platforms.

        In this guide, you will discover how to install CMake on a Rocky Linux 9 or 8 system, either through the command line terminal using the dnf package manager and the native app-stream, or by compiling it from source. Two methods will be presented for your convenience.

      • Kubernetes concepts

        Kubernetes is a powerful container orchestration tool that allows you to manage and scale your containerized applications with ease. It’s a relatively new technology, but it’s quickly becoming a must-have for any organization that wants to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced tech landscape. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the concepts that make Kubernetes so powerful and explain how they work with real-world examples.

      • Kubernetes runtimes

        Kubernetes runtimes are the underlying technology that enables the execution of containerized applications on a Kubernetes cluster. These runtimes provide the necessary infrastructure and resources for containers to run and communicate with each other and with the outside world. In this article, we will explore the different types of Kubernetes runtimes available and provide examples of how they are used in real-world scenarios.

      • Red Hat OfficialHow to install containerized applications on Fedora Silverblue | Enable Sysadmin

        Silverblue is a Fedora Workstation variant that focuses on immutability and containers, so installing software is a little different from the usual Linux process.

      • Continuous integration and deployment with Kubernetes

        Continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) is a critical process for modern software development. It allows teams to quickly and efficiently deliver new features, bug fixes, and updates to their customers. One of the most popular tools for CI/CD is Kubernetes, an open-source container orchestration platform. In this article, we’ll take a look at how Kubernetes can be used for CI/CD, including examples of how it can be implemented.

      • What is Kubernetes?

        Kubernetes, also known as K8s, is an open-source container orchestration system that helps manage and deploy containerized applications. It is designed to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, making it easier for developers to focus on writing code rather than worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

      • Viewing the history with gitk

        Git is a powerful tool for managing code and tracking changes, and one of the best ways to view the history of your code is through the gitk program. Gitk is a graphical tool that allows you to view the entire history of your code, including all of the commits, branches, and merges.

        In this article, we will take a closer look at how to use gitk to view the history of your code and some of the features that make it such a valuable tool.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Linux Kernel 6.1 on Debian 11 or 10

        The Linux Kernel 6.1 version can be utilized on Debian 11 Bullseye and Debian 10 Buster systems, bringing many new features and upgrades. This includes early support for Rust programming language, improved performance of the Btrfs file system, advancements in Intel Arc graphics, further development for AMD RDNA3 graphics processing units, Thunderbolt compatibility for Intel Meteor Lake, broader support for audio systems, support for Xbox One Elite Controller paddles, better support for Nintendo replica controllers, and initial support for DualSense Edge controllers. This release also includes many other updates, making it a significant update for Linux users.

        The tutorial will guide you through adding the sid repository and creating an apt pin using the command line terminal, allowing you to install Linux Kernel 6.1 on Debian 11 or 10 Bullseye with the Debian team’s upstream Kernel release.

      • TecAdminHow to Install Python 3.11 on Amazon Linux 2

        Amazon Linux 2 is an operating system developed by the team of Amazon Web Services (AWS). You can launch an Amazon ec2 instance using this operating system. Also, the disk images are available for major hypervisor platforms.

      • UNIX Cop[Bash] How to solve the “unary operator expected” error?

        It is very common that Linux users try to learn something about Bash. That’s why today we bring you this short post that will help you to fix the “unary operator expected” error on bash.

        When a novice user tries to program in bash, it is possible to encounter all kinds of errors. One of the most common headaches is “Unary Operator Expected”. This error is common and has a very practical solution.

      • Make Use OfHow to Schedule One-Time Jobs on Linux Using at

        Time management is a difficult art to master. Fortunately, with the help of technology, you can automate and delegate mundane tasks to your computer. Unlike humans, PCs are very good at running repetitive tasks at a precise set time.

        On Linux, you can run repetitive tasks using tools such as cron. In addition, you can also schedule and run one-time tasks using the at command.

      • TechRepublicHow to build a Docker image from a Dockerfile

        When developing with Docker, you’ll find numerous pre-made images on Docker Hub, though you might not find the exact image you want. Alternatively, perhaps you want to create custom images for a specific purpose. If you don’t want to hand over the deployment of your containerized apps and services to an image built by a third party, I’ll show you how easy it is to build your own Docker image.

      • Dealing with user input in bash script

        Dealing with user input in bash script can be a tricky task, but with a little bit of knowledge and practice, it becomes a breeze. In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways to handle user input in bash script, including examples to help you understand the concepts better.

      • Bash: Interactive versus non-interactive scripts

        Bash, or the Bourne Again Shell, is a popular command-line interpreter for Unix-based systems. It is often used to write scripts, which are essentially just a series of commands that are executed in order. However, there are two types of scripts in Bash: interactive and non-interactive. In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between the two and provide examples of each.

      • dwaves.deprobably the ultimate web based UML diagram editor/creator app.diagrams.net
      • TechTargetEverything you need to know about Linux man pages | TechTarget

        When Unix was first introduced, there was little documentation on how to use it. Users struggled to figure out how to use the OS, which led to considerable problems.

        That led to the creation of the first-ever Unix document, the “Unix Programmer’s Manual,” initially published on Nov. 3, 1971. Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson wrote the manual at the request of their manager, Douglas Mcllroy. That first manual would become the first of many binders to serve as documentation for the early iterations of Unix. Eventually, those binders migrated to online manuals to become the first computer documentation accessible in a machine-readable form.

        Those manuals inspired what are called man pages, short for manual pages, and are included with every Unix and Linux OS. This system became so crucial to Linux that it gave birth to the man program, which makes it easy to read man pages.

      • VideoHow to install the Vivaldi Browser on KDE Neon – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install the Vivaldi Browser on KDE Neon.

      • Installing MySQL utilities

        Installing MySQL utilities can be a bit tricky, but with the right tools and a little bit of knowledge, it’s a breeze. In this article, we’ll go over the different ways you can install MySQL utilities, including using the command line, using a package manager, and using a graphical installer. We’ll also provide examples of each method, so you can see how it’s done.

        Before we get started, it’s important to note that the exact steps for installing MySQL utilities will vary depending on the operating system you’re using. For example, the steps for installing on Windows will be different from the steps for installing on Linux or Mac. However, the general process is the same, and you should be able to follow along with these examples regardless of which operating system you’re using.

      • What is a variable in bash script?

        When it comes to programming, variables are a fundamental concept that you’ll come across in any language. They’re used to store and manipulate data, and Bash is no exception. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what variables are, how to use them in Bash, and some examples to help you understand how they work.

        So, what is a variable? In simple terms, a variable is a way to store a value. For example, you could have a variable called “name” that holds the value “John Doe”. You could then use that variable in your script to perform different actions based on the value stored in it.

      • Variable naming in bash script

        When it comes to writing a bash script, one of the most important things to keep in mind is how you name your variables. Why is this so important, you might ask? Well, there are a few reasons.

        First and foremost, variable naming in bash scripts can greatly affect the readability and maintainability of your code. If you use clear, descriptive variable names, it will be much easier for others (or even yourself) to understand what your script is doing and how it works. On the other hand, if you use vague or confusing variable names, it can make it much more difficult to understand your script.

        Another important reason to pay attention to variable naming in bash scripts is that it can affect the functionality of your script. If you use variable names that clash with built-in bash commands or other scripts, it can cause unexpected errors or issues with your script.
        So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some best practices for variable naming in bash scripts, as well as some examples to illustrate these concepts.

      • ID RootHow To Install MyPaint on Fedora 37 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MyPaint on Fedora 37. For those of you who didn’t know, MyPaint is a powerful and versatile digital painting software that is well-suited for digital artists and illustrators. Its main features are a highly configurable brush engine, speed, and a fullscreen mode which allows artists to fully immerse themselves in their work. It’s similar to Microsoft Windows Paint. MyPaint is available for various platforms including Linux, Windows, and macOS.

        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 MyPaint open-source digital painting software on a Fedora 37.

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

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CakePHP on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, CakePHP is an open-source web framework written in PHP that follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern and conventions of Ruby on Rails, it uses conventions over configuration approach and provides a set of built-in tools for common web development tasks, it also has a large and active community that contributes to the framework

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

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Glances on Debian 11 or 10

        Glances is an open-source, cross-platform system monitoring tool that can provide detailed information about a system’s resources in real-time. When installed on a Debian Linux system, it can benefit the user by providing a quick overview of the system’s performance and identifying potential issues.

    • WINE or Emulation

      • XDAWine 8.0 released with better controller compatibility, experimental WoW64 support, and more

        If you’re looking to run Windows applications on Linux, then you’ve probably heard of Wine. Wine works as a layer translating Windows API calls to POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface) calls while also recreating a Windows directory structure and providing alternative implementations of system services. It doesn’t use any emulation or virtualization to execute Windows binaries, either. Now, Wine version 8.0 has just been released with a ton of improvements and changes.

        One of the most notable changes is the completion of Portable Executable (PE) conversion, the Windows binary format. This is important, as it means that various copy protection schemes that check that the on-disk and in-memory contents of system modules are identical will now trust the system that they’re running on. Wine developers say that this will allow for “32-bit applications on 64-bit hosts, Windows debuggers, x86 applications on ARM,” and more.

        Furthermore, WoW64 (Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit) support has been implemented for “essentially all” Unix libraries. This allows for 32-bit applications to be executed in a 64-bit environment, without the presence of the appropriate 32-bit libraries. Wind developers don’t recommend it for general use just yet, but it can be enabled by building with the ‘–enable-archs’ option.

      • HowTo GeekWine 8.0 Helps You Run Even More Windows Apps on Linux & Mac

        Wine is your best tool if you have a computer with Linux, macOS, or even Haiku and you want to check out the occasional Windows program. Version 8.0 of the popular tool is now available, and it looks great.

        The most significant change in Wine 8.0 is that all Wine modules can be compiled in portable executable format, or PE for short. It’s a big step towards improving compatibility with Windows software, especially copy protection, Windows debuggers, and other types of apps and games that have frequent issues on Wine. It also opens the door for Wine to run on non-Unix operating systems more reliably, and one day could allow x86 applications to run on ARM devices without extra compatibility layers.

    • Games

      • Aurélien GâteauOpening another Pandora box?

        Pixel Wheels started as a vertically scrolling arcade game: a single car, randomly spawned enemy vehicles arriving from the top, kind of like the old Spy Hunter game. Then I opened my first large Pandora box when I thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool to turn this into a racing game?”

        This took quite a looong time, because a racing games means less dumb enemies, they would have to follow a track, learn to use bonuses. It also meant being able to compute the player rank in the race, which proved to be surprisingly tricky given the way tracks are defined.

      • GamingOnLinuxNVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver 525.47.06 out now

        NVIDIA has released another fresh update to their Vulkan Beta Driver, with version 525.47.06 rolling out now. This is the special driver series that’s aimed at developers, or anyone who needs the newest Vulkan extension work before they eventually roll into their main driver series.

      • GamingOnLinuxAtari announce another 80s classic revival with Caverns of Mars: Recharged

        Another revamp of a classic is on the way with Atari once again teaming up with SneakyBox, as the 1981 title Caverns of Mars is releasing as Caverns of Mars: Recharged.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 9to5LinuxGNOME 44 Alpha Released with New Stream Deck App, File Chooser Grid View

          GNOME 44 promises a GTK4 port of the Epiphany (GNOME Web) web browser, a file chooser grid view and support for 64px icon size in grid view in the Nautilus file manager, a Bluetooth submenu in Quick Settings, the ability to disable Settings search results, as well as a redesigned Accessibility panel with new a navigation pattern in Settings.

          Talking about Settings (a.k.a. GNOME Control Center), it received a lot of changes including support for sharing Wi-Fi passwords through a QR code, a mobile-friendly Date & Time panel, as well as the ability to see kernel and firmware versions in the About panel.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • TorNew Alpha Release: Tor Browser 12.5a2 (Android, Windows, macOS, Linux)

      Tor Browser 12.5a2 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

      This release updates Firefox on Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux to 102.7.0esr. It includes important security updates to Firefox and GeckoView. There were no Android-specific security updates to backport from the Firefox 109 release.

    • Education

      • IdiomdrottningEveryone, learn how to code

        Learning the basics of how code works and how to code simple things is all I’m asking; as you point out, the difference between knowing how it’s constructed vs having the time, resources, skill level to do everything from scratch always.

      • Scoop News GroupInside ShmooCon 2023: The wacky, the weird and, of course, the cybers

        From hallway debates over what’s working in cybersecurity to idiosyncratic displays of oddball humor — such as eating Batman cereal from 1989 — the annual hacker conference ShmooCon has been attracting an eclectic mix of techies, academics, lawyers and policy researchers since 2005. This year was no different. More than 1,600 people gathered at the Washington Hilton in D.C. to see old friends, make new ones, and, of course, talk infosec. “This isn’t just about professional growth, it’s networking, it’s a time to be with friends and fellowship,” said ShmooCon co-founder Bruce Potter. Here are five big takeaways from this year’s conference: [...]

    • FSF

      • FSFThank you and a very warm welcome to our new members

        January 20, 2023 marked the end of our most recent fundraising campaign and associate member drive. We are proud to add 330 new associate members to our organization, and we have immense appreciation for the community that helped us get there. Please help us share our appreciation.

        We may have not reached our ambitious goal of welcoming 455 new associate members to the FSF, but we’d rather fail at meeting high expectations than aim too low from the outset. In the end, hundreds of new members signed up for the first time, and even more renewed. We were humbled throughout this fundraiser to see that, despite not making our goal, support for us this year has been immense. We want to express our appreciation to all of you, the contributors and supporters, who helped us raise more than $400,000 during this year-end fundraiser campaign. Those who donated $500 or more and give their permission can be publicly acknowledged in the monthly newsletter, the Free Software Supporter, as well as on our social media channels. Look for such donors via the hashtag #ThankGNU.

    • GNU Projects

      • GNUpoke – News: GNU poke 3.0 released [Savannah]

        I am happy to announce a new major release of GNU poke, version 3.0.

        This release is the result of a year of development. A lot of things have changed and improved with respect to the 2.x series; we have fixed many bugs and added quite a lot of new exciting and useful features. See below for a description of many of them.

        From now on, we intend to do not one but two major releases of poke every year. What is moving us to change this is the realization that users have to wait for too long to enjoy new features, which are continuously being added in a project this young and active.

    • Licensing / Legal

      • NPRA robot was scheduled to argue in court, then came the jail threats

        “Multiple state bar associations have threatened us,” Browder said. “One even said a referral to the district attorney’s office and prosecution and prison time would be possible.”

        In particular, Browder said one state bar official noted that the unauthorized practice of law is a misdemeanor in some states punishable up to six months in county jail.

        “Even if it wouldn’t happen, the threat of criminal charges was enough to give it up,” he said. “The letters have become so frequent that we thought it was just a distraction and that we should move on.”

    • Programming/Development

      • Programming Language DataBaseA brief interview with Janet contributor Josef Pospíšil

        Josef Pospíšil (Pepe) is a programming enthusiast, first with Basic in 1986, then the first Rubyist in the Czech Republic, and now a contributor to the language Janet.

      • Lawrence Tratttry_repeat released

        Today I’m releasing another little Unix tool try_repeat, which tries to run a command n times, exiting early if the command exits with a non-zero exit code. Think of it a bit like the repeat command built into some shells (e.g. zsh) but which “exits as soon as an execution of the command fails”. This is particularly useful when trying to find intermittent failures in a command: I can set an upper bound (i.e. “if the command runs n times successfully, I’ll assume there are no problems”) but be notified if there are any problems earlier on.

      • Andrew HealeyMaking a Text Editor with a Game Engine

        The command line text editor nano doesn’t quite work how I want it to. So I spent two days hacking together my own text editor, based on nano, so that I can change it over time and it can grow with me.

        I am writing these words in that text editor.

      • Release/16.x has been branched


        I’ve created the release/16.x branch. Trunk is now at 17.0.0. If you would like to have a change backported to release/16.x, please use the instructions here for requesting a backport.


  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchCop City is the Future They Want

      Over this past weekend I went to see the new Avatar movie. I had seen the first one and, although it had flaws, I saw the overall message as compelling. Fair warning, here is a small spoiler: Simply put, the plot is one where humans in the future, with the help of gargantuan and lethal military might, attempt to colonize a planet called Pandora. It is another solar system many light years from earth, and it possesses many extraordinary and rare minerals and resources, as well as incredible biodiversity and Indigenous societies. In the sequel, the humans of earth have returned, and their goal is nothing less than total colonization of the planet for the purpose of resettlement. Earth, as one cold hearted military general says, is dying.

      Hollywood produces a lot of rubbish. I mean, a LOT of it. And we are living in an age where fast paced computer-generated graphics and imagery have taken the place of meaningful dialogue, acting and plot development. Much of this is nothing new, the film industry has long collaborated with the Department of Defense, the Pentagon and the CIA in its productions. How else could a blockbuster movie have access to so much military hardware? Major box office money makers, like the braindead “Top Gun” series, rely enormously on the US military industrial sector.

    • Counter PunchIdealism, Materialism, and The Two Sides of Marxism

      The debate now dividing the left-over Zizek is a much more productive one than the Force The Vote debate taking up space just weeks ago. Unlike Force The Vote where people without healthcare are needlessly accusing each other of secretly being against healthcare we are confronted with a debate over the merits of materialism and idealism.

      The contradiction between idealism and materialism is that no material reality can be changed without an ideal inspiring that change. Likewise no ideal can arise without a change in material reality.

    • ChrisDichotomisation Destroys Data

      Sometimes we categorise continuous data rather sloppily. For example, it’s common to judge the scope of tasks to be “small”, “medium”, or “large” rather than the actual time estimated. Any conclusions we draw from categorised data are greatly affected by this practise, but we rarely look at exactly what the effects are before we choose to categorise. There’s a brief paper that looks into the prevalence of this practise and gives some (common-sense) recommendations around the practise1.

    • Kansas Legal ServicesTips for Older Consumers to Stop Illegal Robocalls

      Robocalls, the persistent automated telephone calls to cell phones and landlines, are a favorite tool of telemarketers, debt collectors, and scammers. Older adults anticipating important calls from medical providers and others may be reluctant to answer the phone due to excessive or unwanted robo telephone calls.

    • US FCCFCC Warns Providers About Robocalls from PhoneBurner and MV Realty

      FCC Enforcement Bureau warns all U.S.-based voice service providers about substantial amounts of apparently unlawful telephone solicitation calls to phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry from PhoneBurner Inc. and MV Realty PBC, LLC

    • TechdirtBiden FCC, Like Trump FCC, Spends A Disproportionate Amount Of Time Hyperventilating About China

      To be clear: the Chinese government is a violent authoritarian mess, and making U.S. networks more resilient to Chinese attacks is an important thing. But U.S. telecom policy is bizarrely obsessed with China to the point where all other policies, especially any policies that might upset the nation’s powerful and entrenched telecom monopolies, are routinely put on the back burner.

    • Common DreamsFood Was Amazing and Staff Was Even Better!

      Graciously offering up some black trauma porn with dinner, a Republican Women’s Club in Kentucky just hosted a book promo at a local restaurant for Jon Mattingly, one of the Louisville police officers who helped murder Breonna Taylor in her bed, to tell “his side” of a story that they claim “has been twisted to fit into a false, woke storyline.” They also broadcast the “snuff by cop” audio and video on public speakers so all the patrons could hear. So thoughtful. Up next: Postcards of the lynching.

    • HackadayPizza-Making CNC Machine Is The Only Tool We’ve Ever Dreamed Of

      Making pizza is fun, but eating pizza is even better. Ideally, you’ll get to spend much more time doing the latter than the former. If you had a pizza-making CNC machine, that would help you achieve this goal, and thankfully, [Twarner] is working on that very technology.

    • HackadayUnlocking Hidden Features Of An Unusual Camera

      Back in 2012, technology websites were abuzz with news of the Lytro: a camera that was going to revolutionize photography thanks to its innovative light field technology. An array of microlenses in front of the sensor let it capture a 3D image of a scene from one point, allowing the user to extract depth information and to change the focus of an image even after capturing it.

    • Counter PunchCreating a Moral Conscience

      A recent talk with a friend gave me valuable insight into an important human phenomenon: how is a moral conscience created? A few years ago, I met Pierre, an abstract painter, and we developed a close friendship. As I learned about his complex upbringing, I wondered how he was able to overcome harrowing events in his life.

      Pierre had been borne in a French containment camp (which in practice functioned as a prison,) where his parents were held after fleeing Spain’s civil war fought between 1936 and 1939 between Republicans and Nationalists. Both of them fought on the Republican side against the regime headed by general Francisco Franco. When the Republicans were defeated, to escape Franco’s reprisals, they crossed on foot the Pyrenees, a mountain range that separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of the continent. A strenuous trip under any circumstance, crossing the tallest mountain range in Europe was excruciating during the bitter winter cold.

    • Education

      • Barry HessHow To Teach Your Customers

        When I went to apply this product, I was a bit nervous. Since it was so expensive, I did not want to mess it up. That’s when I found that the company has a page filled with videos that explain in great detail exactly how to use their finishes. In a world where instructional videos are often on YouTube with ads interrupting the education, I had to write the company:

        THANK YOU for putting HOWTO videos directly on your website commercial-free via Vimeo rather than YouTube. It severely bothers me when a company sends me to YouTube to learn how to use their products only to be interrupted mid project/application with commercials. Thank you!

      • NBCChatGPT Passes MBA Exam Given by a Wharton Professor

        Professor Christian Terwiesch, who authored the research paper “Would Chat GPT3 Get a Wharton MBA? A Prediction Based on Its Performance in the Operations Management Course,” said that the bot scored between a B- and B on the exam.

      • uni PennsylvaniaWould Chat GPT Get a Wharton MBA? New White Paper By Christian Terwiesch

        OpenAI’s Chat GPT has shown a remarkable ability to automate some of the skills of highly compensated knowledge workers in general and specifically the knowledge workers in the jobs held by MBA graduates including analysts, managers, and consultants. Chat GPT has demonstrated the capability of performing professional tasks such as writing software code and preparing legal documents. The purpose of this paper is to document how Chat GPT3 performed on the final exam of a typical MBA core course, Operations Management. Exam questions were uploaded as used in a final exam setting and then graded. The “academic performance” of Chat GPT can be summarized as follows. First, it does an amazing job at basic operations management and process analysis questions including those that are based on case studies. Not only are the answers correct, but the explanations are excellent. Second, Chat GPT at times makes surprising mistakes in relatively simple calculations at the level of 6th grade Math. These mistakes can be massive in magnitude. Third, the present version of Chat GPT is not capable of handling more advanced process analysis questions, even when they are based on fairly standard templates. This includes process flows with multiple products and problems with stochastic effects such as demand variability. Finally, ChatGPT3 is remarkably good at modifying its answers in response to human hints. In other words, in the instances where it initially failed to match the problem with the right solution method, Chat GPT was able to correct itself after receiving an appropriate hint from a human expert. Considering this performance, Chat GPT would have received a B to B- grade on the exam. This has important implications for business school education, including the need for exam policies, curriculum design focusing on collaboration between human and AI, opportunities to simulate real world decision making processes, the need to teach creative problem solving, improved teaching productivity, and more.

      • Neil Selwyn‘Understanding’ EdTech in an era of climate crisis: an ongoing process of reconciliation (notes on Arendt)

        All told, rethinking EdTech in light of the new realities of whatever the next few decades have in store requires us to accept that our previous comfortable understandings of ‘EdTech’ are no longer sufficient. In short, this book raises the uncomfortable (and perhaps unwelcome) challenge that the ‘EdTech’ that we have become accustomed is no longer fit for the world that we are now living in. Developing these new understandings is inevitably a process of ongoing reconciliation that we are all going to have to work on for a few more years to come.

      • TechdirtSeattle School District Files Laughably Stupid Lawsuit Against Basically Every Social Media Company For… ‘Being A Public Nuisance’

        I just wrote about Utah’s ridiculously silly plans to sue every social media company for being dangerous to children, in which I pointed out that the actual research doesn’t support the underlying argument at all. But I forgot that a few weeks ago, Seattle’s public school district actually filed just such a lawsuit, suing basically every large social media company for being a “public nuisance.” The 91-page complaint is bad. Seattle taxpayers should be furious that their taxes, which are supposed to be paying for educating their children, are, instead, going to lawyers to file a lawsuit so ridiculous that it’s entirely possible the lawyers get sanctioned.

    • Hardware

      • Evening Standard UKWearable tech may help fight paralysis

        London researchers develop ‘body sensor suit’ which could predict progress of two incurable degenerative diseases

      • HackadayToxic Telescope Makes You Mad As A Hatter

        [Hank Green] posted an interesting video about the first liquid mirror telescope from back in the 1850s. At the time, scientists were not impressed. But, these days, people are revisiting the idea. The big problem with the early telescope is that it used mercury. Mercury is really bad for people and the environment.

      • HackadaySupercon 2022: Sophy Wong Is Making An Impact With Artistic Wearables

        Prolific designer and maker Sophy Wong is always looking toward the future, and that goes for everything from the costume pieces she makes to the idea of making itself. In her excellent and highly-visual Supercon talk, Sophy explores both, and gives the viewer a window on her evolved-and-evolving design philosophy.

      • HackadayI’ve Been Printing On The Dragon Railroad…

        We know many people who put much effort into building model train setups. But [Rambros] has an entire set 3D printed, and the files are open source, so you can print your own or modify it to suit you. When we first read “complete open source ecosystem,” we thought it might have been a bit of hyperbole, but it isn’t. The S-scale set includes two locomotives, a tanker, a box car, a hopper car, and a gondola car. There are different sections of track, customizable with Fusion 360. The “Dragon Railway” takes a few mechanical parts and electronics, of course. You can see one of several videos about the system below.

      • HackadayAdding Electronic Shifter Functionality To Bicycle Derailleur

        For the overwhelming majority of bicycles out there that feature multiple gears, switching between these is done purely mechanically, with a cable. Generally this uses a derailleur, which forms part of the gear switching and chain tensioning mechanism. As a mechanical system, it’s reliable when well maintained, but tuning it can be a real hassle. This is where an electronic shifter should be able to provide faster, more reliable and quieter shifting, and is also where [Jesse DeWald]’s electronic shifting project begins.

      • HackadayA Simple Air Suspension Demo With Lego Technic

        The most common suspension systems on automobiles rely on simple metal springs. Leaf spring and coil spring designs both have their pros and cons, but fundamentally it’s all about flexing metal doing the work. Air suspension works altogether differently, employing gas as a spring, as demonstrated by this simple Lego build from [JBRIX]. 

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Economist Mark Skidmore publishes antivax propaganda disguised as a survey

        Regular readers might remember how in May tech bro turned “Debate me, bro!” antivaxxer Steve Kirsch estimated that COVID-19 vaccines had killed a half a million people, all based on his survey. The survey itself was one of the most risible surveys that I’ve ever seen—a “simple survey of my readers,” as Kirsch put it—in which he just posted an Internet survey to his Substack that anyone could access and answer and then extrapolated from ~400 respondents to claim that COVID-19 vaccines have killed a half a million people. I kid you not. Yesterday, BMC Infectious Diseases published a paper that gave me very strong Steve Kirsch vibes. It’s by a Michigan State University economist named Mark Skidmore, who is the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics; Professor, Department of Economics. Entitled, The role of social circle COVID-19 illness and vaccination experiences in COVID-19 vaccination decisions: an online survey of the United States population, it reminded me, more than anything else, of a Steve Kirsch “study” in which a fundamentally bad research design is tarted up with (some) seemingly legitimate social science research methodology and then.dishonestly spun to produce a fake estimate of 278,000 fatalities due to COVID-19 vaccines, which is then “validated” by an incompetent dumpster dive into the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database of the sort that I’ve been writing about since 2006.

    • Proprietary

      • [Old] uni CaliforniaThe Spread of the Sapphire/Slammer Worm

        The Sapphire Worm was the fastest computer worm in history. As it began spreading throughout the Internet, it doubled in size every 8.5 seconds. It infected more than 90 percent of vulnerable hosts within 10 minutes.

        The worm (also called Slammer) began to infect hosts slightly before 05:30 UTC on Saturday, January 25. Sapphire exploited a buffer overflow vulnerability in computers on the Internet running Microsoft’s SQL Server or MSDE 2000 (Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine). This weakness in an underlying indexing service was discovered in July 2002; Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability before it was announced[1]. The worm infected at least 75,000 hosts, perhaps considerably more, and caused network outages and such unforeseen consequences as canceled airline flights, interference with elections, and ATM failures. Several disassembled versions of the source code of the worm are available. [2].

      • Errata SecurityI’m still bitter about Slammer [iophk: Windows TCO]

        The point is that I made three radical design choices, unprecedented at the time though more normal now, and they worked. And yet, the industry wasn’t technical enough to recognize that it worked.

        For example, a few months later I had a meeting at the Pentagon where a Gartner analyst gave a presentation claiming that only hardware-based IDS would work, because software-based IDS couldn’t keep up. Well, these were my customer. I didn’t refute Gartner so much as my customer did, with their techies standing up and pointing out that when Slammer hit, my “software” product did keep up. Gartner doesn’t test products themselves. They rightly identified the problem with other software using interrupts, but couldn’t conceive there was a third alternative, “poll mode” drivers.

      • [Repeat] India TimesMicrosoft services down, this is what the company has to say

        Microsoft services are facing an outage. According to Downdetector, the website that tracks outages, reports started coming around 12.19 pm and peaked at 1.04 pm, with 2689 users reporting issues. Microsoft too has confirmed the outage. “We’re investigating issues impacting multiple Microsoft 365 services. More info can be found in the admin center under MO502273,” said the company in the first tweet.

      • NPRMicrosoft applications like Outlook and Teams were down for thousands of users

        The tech giant originally said it had isolated the problem to “networking configuration issues,” later saying that it had “rolled back a network change that we believe is causing impact.” It updated its status report to show the applications were fully accessible again shortly after 7:30 a.m. ET.

      • Krebs On SecurityExperian Glitch Exposing Credit Files Lasted 47 Days

        On Dec. 23, 2022, KrebsOnSecurity alerted big-three consumer credit reporting bureau Experian that identity thieves had worked out how to bypass its security and access any consumer’s full credit report — armed with nothing more than a person’s name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. Experian fixed the glitch, but remained silent about the incident for a month. This week, however, Experian acknowledged that the security failure persisted for nearly seven weeks, between Nov. 9, 2022 and Dec. 26, 2022.

    • Security

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • The ConversationDeepfakes: faces created by AI now look more real than genuine photos

          In our study published in iScience, we showed that a failure to distinguish these artificial faces from the real thing has implications for our online behaviour. Our research suggests the fake images may erode our trust in others and profoundly change the way we communicate online.

          My colleagues and I found that people perceived GAN faces to be even more real-looking than genuine photos of actual people’s faces. While it’s not yet clear why this is, this finding does highlight recent advances in the technology used to generate artificial images.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Common DreamsNY AG Letitia James Applauded for Taking Stand Against Facial Recognition

          The digital rights group Fight for the Future was among those applauding New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday as she demanded answers from MSG Entertainment, the owner of Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, over its use of facial recognition technology to deny entry to lawyers whose firms represent people suing the company.

        • Bryan LundukeDigital Prepping, Part 2 – Preparing your Operating Systems to be Off-Line

          For better or worse, that’s simply how most computer systems are designed nowadays — a tight reliance upon a regular Internet connection.

          What happens when that connection goes away? Or, even if your personal Internet connection is available… what happens when the servers your Operating System expects to exist are no longer there (either because the server lost access… or because the company went out of business entirely)?

        • Site36Pegasus and Predator investigations: Europol is not a European FBI

          The use of Pegasus and Predator could in many cases constitute the offence of cybercrime, which, like corruption and extortion, falls within Europol’s remit, in´t Veld’s interim report says. In it, the rapporteur vehemently emphasises the demand for Europol investigations against the governments mentioned.

          Last year, the EU Parliament approved a new regulation that gives Europol even more powers. Article 6, for example, allows the executive director to „proactively“ propose investigations, even if the crime is committed in only one member state. However, Europol refused to make use of the new powers in the case of „Europe’s Watergate“ and to open an investigation, criticises in´t Veld. On 28 September 2022, the PEGA Committee therefore sent a letter to Europol Director Catherine de Boelle demanding that the agency finally take action.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • JURISTZambia communities’ lead poisoning case against South Africa mining company continues

        The South Gauteng High Court Tuesday in South Africa continued hearing a case against mining company Anglo American South Africa on allegations of lead poisoning. Zambian communities brought the class action lawsuit after it was discovered that the town of Kabwe, Zambia contains the “world’s most toxic lead mine” called the Broken Hill mine.

        The 12-day hearing is now on its fourth day. The court must decide whether to certify the class action and allow it to proceed. Amnesty International, the South African Litigation Centre, and several UN experts have been admitted as joint amici curiae. They informed the court of “international business standards,” and focused on the country’s duty to “regulate the conduct of its companies.”

      • Common Dreams‘Failure of Climate Leadership’: Biden Approving More Drilling on Public Lands Than Trump

        Although President Joe Biden vowed on the campaign trail to phase out federal leasing for fossil fuel extraction, his administration approved more permits for oil and gas drilling on public lands in its first two years than the Trump administration did in 2017 and 2018.

      • Counter PunchIs Mining Money Behind the Arrest of Salvadoran Water Defenders?

        Human rights and environmental activists across the globe are mobilizing in support of five men detained in El Salvador on charges that appear aimed at silencing opposition to mining.

        The arrestees — Miguel Ángel Gámez, Alejandro Laínez García, Pedro Antonio Rivas Laínez, Antonio Pacheco, and Saúl Agustín Rivas Ortega — were among the leaders of a campaign to block mining activities in El Salvador that would’ve enriched a few while endangering the nation’s water supply.

      • Energy/Transportation

        • IT TavernBasics of Power over Ethernet (PoE)

          Power over Ethernet – or short ‘PoE’ – allows you to supply DC power for another device over the ethernet network cable. The most common Power Source Equipment (PSE) types are switches and routers (endspan), but you could just as well put a PoE-injector (midspan) between a standard switch and the Powered Device (PD). Especially in corporate environments, PoE devices are growing in popularity, and just to list some examples of PDs: VoIP hardware, wireless access points, access control terminals, security cameras, and many more.

          The main advantage is that you only need one cable for data and power for each device, don’t need an extra power outlet at the location of the device, and can control the power supply over the PSE interface. For example, this is great for access points mounted under the ceiling where ‘simply unplug it’ is not an option.

        • QuilletteThe [Cryptocurrency] Token Economy Is Second-Order Fraud

          A leaked balance sheet gives some insight into why. FTX was claiming $US9 billion in liabilities but only $US900 million in liquid assets. Most of their assets were marked either “less liquid” or “illiquid.” As with other failed crypto firms, FTX was holding the lion’s share of their assets in obscure cryptocurrencies issued by the firm itself or other companies and projects with close ties to FTX or its disgraced CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

        • Counter PunchThe U.S. Congress Twiddled Its Thumbs on Crypto while 10 Countries Banned It and 42 Others Placed Heavy Restrictions

          On January 31 of last year, Oliver Sullivan reported at Lawyer Monthly that the growing list of countries “that wholly banned cryptocurrencies includes China, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Oman, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Bangladesh and (as of this month) Kosovo. Forty-two others have passed restrictions to this effect, prohibiting crypto exchanges or limiting the ability of banks to engage with crypto.”

          Compare that to the United States, which increasingly looks like a financial backwater, with questionable crypto deposits blowing up federally-insured banks; collapsing publicly-listed crypto mining stocks whose business model is to pump more fossil fuels into the atmosphere in order to solve complex mathematical problems that have no productive purpose; $8 billion in customer funds going missing at the FTX crypto exchange which was promoted by media darlings on television; and, of course, Big Law firms getting fat at the crypto bankruptcy trough after shilling for these same crypto firms for years before federal regulators.

        • Common DreamsBig Oil Asks US Supreme Court to Reinstate Offshore Fracking in California

          The American Petroleum Institute and a pair of oil companies filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday in a bid to overturn a lower federal court ruling that blocked fracking in public waters off California’s coast.

        • Common DreamsBiden Restores Vital Protections for Tongass National Forest Gutted by Trump

          Indigenous and green groups on Wednesday applauded the Biden administration for reinstating protections for millions of acres of wilderness in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest that were lifted during a Trump-era regulatory rollback spree.

        • Common DreamsTransition to EVs Must be Paired With Bold Investments in Mass Transit: Study

          Since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year, the Biden administration has been making a broad push for a future centered around electric vehicles—but a first-of-its-kind study released Tuesday warned that the EV transition —but a first-of-its-kind study released Tuesday warned that the transition must go hand-in-hand with major investments in mass transit and other steps to reduce U.S. dependence on cars altogether.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • International Business TimesMan in China served deadly blue-ringed octopus at restaurant

          Blue-ringed octopuses are some of the most venomous animals on the planet. Its venom contains tetrodotoxin, a potent neurotoxin that is said to be 1,000 times more dangerous than cyanide. It paralyses breathing and breathing-related muscles, and there is no antidote to its venom, according to The Hindu.

      • Overpopulation

        • Frontpage MagazineThe West’s Last Chance?

          According to Blankley, the lack of resistance would have its source in the fact that demographic changes move slowly and are thus less noticeable. One can see that an attacking army ought to be resisted, but the threat of rising birth rates seems a much less urgent matter.

    • Finance

      • FAIRIf You Won’t Sacrifice Workers to Fight Inflation, You’re Off the Op-Ed Page

        Inflation surged in the spring of 2021, hit a 40-year-high rate of 9.1% in June 2022, and was still running at a historically high 6.5% at year’s end. Coverage of inflation has surged along with this rise in prices, with the volume of inflation coverage reaching levels not seen since the 1980s. One analysis (CAP Action, 12/22/21) found that in November 2021, CNN and MSNBC gave inflation roughly double the combined coverage of “jobs, wages and healthcare.”

      • Common DreamsFederal Workers Union Says Biden Right Not to Negotiate With GOP Over Debt Ceiling

        The largest union of federal workers in the U.S. urged Congress this week to raise the debt ceiling without mandating reductions in social spending, arguing that President Joe Biden is right to reject the GOP’s attempt to use the nation’s borrowing limit as leverage to force through devastating cuts.

      • Common DreamsMaybe Those Luddites Had a Point

        Twenty-three minutes. That’s how long it takes for your brain to refocus after shifting from one task to the next. Check your email, glance at a text, and you’ll pay for what’s called a “switch cost effect.”

      • Counter PunchIs the Reason Some Wealthy People Oppose Democracy Deeper Than We Think?

        Why are America’s plutocrats funding efforts to weaken our democracy and replace it with plutocracy and oligarchy? Is it just about money? Or is there something much deeper that most Americans rarely even consider?

        An extraordinary investigative report from documented.net tells how morbidly rich families, their companies, and their personal foundations are funding efforts to limit or restrict democracy across the United States.

      • Counter PunchWhat to Look for in the Fourth Quarter 2022 GDP Report

        After two consecutive quarters of negative growth in the first half of 2022, the economy grew at a strong 3.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter of the year. We should expect to see a comparably strong fourth quarter, with both consumption and non-residential investment showing healthy growth. A smaller trade deficit should also provide a boost to growth. Residential investment is likely to again be a drag on growth, but likely less than in the third quarter.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Silicon AngleTwitter whistleblower tells Congress and FTC that a major security problem hasn’t gone away under Elon Musk

        Twitter Inc. has a new whistleblower who has told Congress and the Federal Trade Commission that engineers at the company still have the use of a controversial tool that gives them godlike powers over content.

        According to The Washington Post, which first reported the story today, the whistleblower is saying that a program called “GodMode” is still available to engineers at Twitter. This mode makes it possible to log into an account and write, restore or delete content – a powerful tool indeed.

      • TruthOutTwitter’s Collapse Is Bad News for Organizers – But Another Commons Is Possible
      • TechdirtUtah Promises That It’s Going To Sue Social Media For Being Bad For Kids

        Utah, as a state, has a pretty long history of having terrible policy proposals regarding laws about the internet. And now it’s getting dumber. On Monday, the state’s Attorney General Sean Reyes and Governor Spencer Cox, hosted a very weird press conference. It was billed by them as an announcement about how Utah is suing all the social media companies for not “protecting kids.” Which is already pretty ridiculous. Even more ridiculous, is that Governor Cox’s audience eagerly announced that people should watch the livestream… on social media.

      • MeduzaImprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny confined to penal cell for eleventh time — Meduza

        Alexey Navalny, the opposition politician serving a prison sentence in the Vladimir region, is once again confined to a penal cell with brutal conditions.

      • Telex (Hungary)Navracsics promises to amend legislation to solve the Erasmus issue as early as March
      • Dev ClassEU’s proposed CE mark for software could have dire impact on open source

        The draft legislation includes an impact assessment that says “for software developers and hardware manufacturers, it will increase the direct compliance costs for new cybersecurity requirements, conformity assessment, documentation and reporting obligations.” This extra cost is part of a total cost of compliance, including the burden on businesses and public authorities, estimated at EUR 29 billion ($31.54 billion), and consequent higher prices for consumers. However, the legislators foresee a cost reduction from security incidents estimated at EUR 180 to 290 billion annually.

        The question is though: how can free software developers afford the cost of compliance, when lack of funding is already a critical issue for many projects? Mike Milinkovich, director of the Eclipse Foundation, said it is “deeply concerned that the CRA could fundamentally alter the social contract which underpins the entire open source ecosystem: open source software provided for free, for any purpose, which can be modified and further distributed for free, but without warranty or liability to the authors, contributors, or open source distributors. Legally altering this arrangement through legislation can reasonably be expected to cause unintended consequences to the innovation economy in Europe.”

      • The Jewish ChronicleAcademic who praised terrorist to sue university for ‘hounding her out’

        She also described a Palestinian jailed for transporting suicide bombers as “legendary”. Dr Abusalama said she left her job at the end of last year despite the university dropping its inquiry and offering her an improved employment contract.

      • Jihad WatchUnited Nations Alliance of Civilizations condemns Qur’an burning in Sweden

        In other words, the High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Angel Moratinos, does not really believe in the freedom of expression as a fundamental human right at all. He believes that when someone threatens to kill you over your expression, you should adopt a respectful silence. In other words, he wants Sweden and the rest of the West to submit to Sharia blasphemy restrictions.

        These condemnations are all raining down because of jihad violence. That’s the only reason. If someone burned a Bible, would the act make any headlines at all? No. Would any ambassadors be summoned? No. Would the High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations start huffing and puffing about how the burning of the Bible was “disrespectful and insulting to the adherents of Christianity”? No. What’s the difference? If you burn a Bible, Christians won’t kill you. If you burn a Qur’an, some Muslims will want very much to kill you. If you give in to them and curtail your activities accordingly, you’ll end up encouraging more such violent intimidation. Once the jihadis see that the West will give them what they want if they threaten violence, they’ll threaten ever more violence. That’s why Miguel Angel Moratinos is a fool who deserves the condemnation of all free people.

      • RAIR FoundationIslamic Scheme: Muslim Leaders Capitalize on Quran Burning in Sweden, Pressures West to Adopt Blasphemy Laws

        After his demonstration, various Islamic governments and thousands of Muslims erupted with diplomatic threats, Allahu Akbar marches, and demands for deadly punishments. Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has even announced it would say no to Sweden’s NATO application. However, Erdoğan and Muslim leaders’ reaction is part of a much larger plan to have the West submit to Islamic laws.

      • RTLMeta says Trump to be allowed back on Facebook, Instagram

        Social networking giant Meta announced Tuesday it would soon reinstate former president Donald Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram with “new guardrails,” two years after he was banned over the 2021 US Capitol insurrection.

      • TruthOutWhite Supremacist Nick Fuentes’s Twitter Was Reinstated — Then Banned Again
      • MeduzaRussia’s campaign for Bakhmut — Meduza
      • TruthOut11 Months Out to the 2024 Primaries, Trump Struggles to Stay Relevant
      • TruthOutMcCarthy Blocks Schiff, Swalwell From Serving on Intelligence Committee
      • The NationRuben Gallego Is More Than Just an Alternative to Kyrsten Sinema

        The casual punditry regarding Representative Ruben Gallego’s decision to enter the 2024 race for Arizona’s US Senate seat suggests that the Democratic congressman would simply be a more reliable vote for President Joe Biden’s agenda than incumbent Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

      • NBCFacebook and Instagram to end Trump’s suspension from platforms

        Clegg contended that Meta has demonstrated a willingness to “draw a very sharp line,” knowing that what is posted on Facebook and Instagram can lead to real-world harm, and that it “will act, and we have acted.”

        Asked whether an effort by Trump to delegitimize an election by lying about it would lead to another suspension, Clegg suggested that it would not, unless it clearly led to “imminent and real-world harm.” Instead, he said, the company would “take action to restrict the circulation of that content.”

      • Robert ReichThe One Thing That Would Make Elections Better For Everyone
      • Common DreamsStudents Vow to Sue DeSantis Over Rejection of AP African-American Studies Course

        Three high school students represented by attorney Benjamin Crump are planning to sue Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for rejecting a new high school Advanced Placement African-American studies course, the prominent civil rights lawyer said Wednesday.

      • Democracy Now“Lacks Educational Value”? Critics Slam Florida’s Rejection of AP African American Studies Course

        Civil right advocates, educators and lawyers, like Ben Crump, are fighting Florida education officials who rejected a new advanced placement course for high school students on African American studies. Officials say the course “lacks educational value,” and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis claims the course violates state law. Opponents object to the course’s inclusion of works by scholar and former Black Panther Angela Davis, and of material on intersectionality, reparations and Black queer history, among other topics. Last year, Florida passed a so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law that prevents Florida teachers from discussing sexuality and gender identity in classrooms. We go to Miami and Tallahassee to speak to Dr. Steve Gallon, a lifelong educator and a former teacher, principal and superintendent, who now serves as an elected school board member for Miami-Dade County Schools, and Democratic state Senator Shevrin Jones, the first openly gay person to serve in the state’s Senate.

      • Counter PunchPeru Sees Possible Transformative Change, and US Intervention

        Critics of U.S. interference in Latin America and the Caribbean may soon realize, is such is not the case now, that Peru has a compelling claim on their attention. The massive popular resistance emerging now amid political crisis looks to be sustainable into the future. Meanwhile, a reactionary political class obstinately defends its privileges, and the U.S. government is aroused.

        This new mobilization of Peru’s long-oppressed majority population manifested initially as the force behind left-leaning presidential candidate Pedro Castillo’s surprise second-round election victory on June 6, 2021. It exploded again following the coup that removed Castillo on December 7, 2022.

      • Common DreamsCritics Rip McCarthy Complacency Amid Santos’ Increasingly Apparent ‘Lies and Misdeeds’

        As the spurious saga of U.S. congressman George Santos twisted anew Tuesday with an apparent admission from the New York Republican regarding the origins of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash, critics took aim at GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for refusing to take any action against the serial liar.

      • TruthOutMcCarthy Says “It’s Not My Role” to Remove George Santos Despite Rampant Lies
      • TruthOutGeorge Santos Changes His Story About How He Got $625,000 in Campaign Funds
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • RAIR FoundationMuslims Erupts After Qur’an Burning: Turkey Rejects Sweden’s NATO Membership Unless It Submits to Islamic Blasphemy Laws

        On Friday evening, the AFP news agency reported that Staffan Herrström, Sweden’s ambassador in Ankara, has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the information. Turkey demanded that Sweden’s government stop the demonstrations, which are constitutionally protected under Swedish law.

      • EFFEFF Tells Supreme Court: User Speech Must Be Protected

        In Gonzalez v. Google, the petitioning plaintiffs make a radical argument about Section 230. They have asked the Supreme Court to rule that Section 230 doesn’t protect recommendations we get online, or how certain content gets arranged and displayed. According to the plaintiffs, U.S. law allows website and app owners to be sued if they make the wrong recommendation. 

        In our brief, EFF explains that online recommendations and editorial arrangements are the digital version of what print newspapers have done for centuries: direct readers’ attention to whatever might be most interesting to them. Newspapers do this with article placement, font size, and use of photographs. Deciding where to direct readers is part of editorial discretion, which has long been protected under the First Amendment. 

        If the plaintiffs’ arguments are accepted, and Section 230 is narrowed, the internet as we know it could change dramatically. 

      • TechdirtTechdirt Podcast Episode 342: Margaret Sullivan On The Future Of Media

        For a brief and interesting time, the New York Times employed a Public Editor to serve as a liaison with its readers. One of the most interesting of these was the fifth, Margaret Sullivan, who would go on to become a media columnist with the Washington Post and then, as of today, a weekly columnist for The Guardian. She also recently published a book, Newsroom Confidential, full of insight drawn from her years of journalism and media experience. This week, Margaret joins us on the podcast to talk about her many valuable ideas and pieces of advice for the future of media.

      • TechdirtGuy Who Boasted Of Hanging Out With The ‘First Guy To Storm The Capital’ Loses Libel Suit Against Person Who Pointed This Out

        The truth remains the best defense against bogus defamation claims. And strong anti-SLAPP laws ensure the person being wrongfully accused of defamation gets to walk away with some of the anti-speech bully’s money.

      • MeduzaAt Prigozhin’s behest, State Duma speaker pushes new repressive law against ‘discrediting’ Russian ‘war heroes’ — Meduza

        State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has called for an “urgent inquiry” into the possibility of criminalizing any criticism of the Russian troops and “participants in combat operations.”

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Daily DotWikiLeaks website is struggling to stay online—as millions of documents disappear

        WikiLeaks technical issues, which have been ongoing for months, have gotten worse in recent weeks as increasingly larger portions of its website no longer function. Even attempting to visit wikileaks.org is a gamble in itself, often producing a 502 message that indicates an error was detected on the website’s server.

      • Democracy for the Arab World NowResponse to Comments by Mike Pompeo Regarding the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi

        “Pompeo’s crass and craven comments appearing to justify Jamal Khashoggi’s murder by disparaging his political views and falsely associating them with terrorism mirror the same justifications Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and other tyrants use to excuse their crimes,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of DAWN. “It is despicable that a senior American official is suggesting that it’s ok to kill a journalist if his political views are ones he doesn’t like.”

        Pompeo’s comments reportedly alleged that Khashoggi supported the Muslim Brotherhood, insinuating without evidence that the group supports terrorism, as well as dismissing Khashoggi’s journalism because he “did other things.” Pompeo described Khashoggi as an “activist,” claiming that he was a journalist only “to the extent that I, and many other public figures are journalists. We sometimes get our writing published, but we also do other things.”

      • Jerusalem PostIran arrests three female journalists, locks them up in Evin prison

        Two more Iranian female journalists were arrested by the Islamic Republic’s law enforcement authorities in Tehran on Sunday, amid a wave of arrests and executions carried out in response to ongoing nationwide protests across Iran.

        The two journalists, identified in independent Iranian media as Saeedeh Shafiei and Mehrnoosh Zarei, were arrested in their respective homes in the Iranian capital, according to various reports.

      • Counter PunchLetter from London: I Got the News Today

        Peter Michalski was a popular editorial director of Springer Foreign News Service. He once told me in what always felt like blast-from-the-past offices on Fleet Street that the future of journalism was local. I had just returned from Frankfurt and the shocking assassination of Deutsche Bank head Alfred Herrhausen. Last week I was remembering Peter’s remark to an unflagging journalist friend who despite a penchant for all things global — he has written a book on an African country — edits a local magazine. We were soon admitting together that whenever we examine our lives locally, there is always a news story in there somewhere.

        Take the walk undertaken just now with the artist (not news). We ventured out during what was a moderate snow or ice warning (news) to bid farewell to friends shutting down their shop (London’s ever-depleting high street) and moving to Suffolk (London-invaded villages). To get there, we walked beneath an underpass (meet the architecture-loving defenders of British brutalism) where a man had been sleeping rough (the irrefutable rise of homelessness in London’s boroughs) and was being helped by someone from a local church (religious bodies filling vacuums created by absence of social care). We had never seen people sleep there before (boss of nearby homeless charity says increase due to shortage in quality supported accommodation) and we were unsettled by his plight.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Gatestone InstituteGenocide in Nigeria, Armenia and Syria: The Persecution of Christians, December 2022

        Turkey: Between November 20-25, 2022, Turkey launched 2,500 attacks—air, mortar, drone, artillery, etc.—several miles deep across Syria’s northern border. Governed by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), this is also where most of Syria’s religious minorities—Christians, Yazidis and Kurds — live, who were earlier persecuted by the Islamic State (“ISIS”). At least 48 people were killed and dozens wounded. The assault also destroyed or damaged 2,300 civilian homes and buildings, including a children’s hospital, a health center, an electrical power station, essential oil and gas processing facilities, critical grain towers, and a major bakery. Lethal Turkish attacks have continued, prompting Genocide Watch to issue a Genocide Emergency Alert on December 7, 2022: [...]

      • RAIR FoundationIslam’s Conquest of America: Muslim U.S. City Will Allow the Torture and Slaughter of Animals in Homes and Yards

        The Muslim-controlled City of Hamtramck, Michigan, approved the slaughter of animals at residents’ homes for “religious reasons.” The City Council, whose members are all sharia-compliant Muslims, approved the torturous, inhumane, unsanitary Sharia practice that among other Islamic causes, helps aid Islamic terrorists, 3-2, last Tuesday.

      • Common DreamsWhile Blocking Paid Sick Leave, Union Pacific Spent More on Stock Buybacks Than Workers

        Union Pacific, one of the largest rail corporations in the United States, said Tuesday that it brought in record revenue and profits last year as it successfully fought off workers’ push for paid sick leave.

      • ShadowproofThe Protest Songs Of David Crosby

        “Part of our job is just to rock you, and part of our job is to be like troubadours, carrying the news from one town to another, like town criers,” singer-songwriter David Crosby declared in an interview in 2006.Crosby took his responsibility as a prominent musician seriously, and when he made this comment, he was on the Freedom of Speech tour with Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young, where they performed songs from Young’s “Living With War” protest album, called for the impeachment of President George W. Bush, and spoke out against the Iraq War.He co-authored a book, Stand and Be Counted: Making Music, Making History, that was released in 2000. It recounted antiwar demonstrations, civil rights marches, and music benefits from the perspective of artists.“Nobody kids themselves into believing that they can solve the world’s problems,” Crosby wrote. “We’re just trying to make a difference, to change things for the better wherever we can. And if it takes a long push, then we’re in it for the long haul.”“A lot of times this isn’t about the genius of the moment. It’s about persistence. It’s about being in there and staying in there.”On January 18, 2023, Crosby died after battling what his family described as a “long illness.” Though he was in poor health, he still was working on another album and thinking about touring again.In 1971, when Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) organized the “Winter Soldier” investigation to call attention to war crimes by the United States military in Vietnam, Crosby (and Nash) performed two concerts to help raise funds in support of the event. The investigation emphasized the role of U.S. generals and commanders, who were responsible for the My Lai Massacre.Up to the final years of his life, Crosby visited the wall at the Vietnam War memorial to remind himself of the “awful price we pay when we let our politicians drag us into wars for profits going to the giant [corporations].”Profiteering in the Iraq War deeply upset Crosby. He cared about young people who joined the US military and risked their lives, and it disgusted him how Halliburton, Bechtel, and ExxonMobil, etc, were benefiting from the carnage.

        He was part of the Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) collective that performed in concerts after the Three Mile Island disaster to demand an end to nuclear energy.Crosby joined Nash in 2011 to support Occupy Wall Street in New York. They visited the site of the encampment and performed several songs for the people of Liberty Plaza that had gathered to stand up for the 99 percent.As Crosby described the influence of money over politics, “A senator has to spend more than half his time whoring himself out to get money. And of course, there are all those guys in the $2,000 suits just standing around dying to stuff it in his pockets, you know, from the corporations, because they want to buy a senator, they want to buy a congressman, they want that contract, and that takes our representative democracy out of your hands and my hand. It means it disenfranchises us, and I don’t feel that that’s the way it’s supposed to work.”Crosby never accepted the official US government narrative around the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He shouted at multiple concerts, “The Warren Report was a lie.”“It was, you know, a hit, and it certainly was no lone gunman. You know, if you watch the Zapruder film, [Kennedy] got hit from two directions. There’s no question about it. Also, I’ve been there and stood in Dealey Plaza behind the fence, and I could’ve hit him with a handgun. It’s not very far,” Crosby contended.Until his death, Crosby maintained that Kennedy had pissed off those in the power structure, and that was why he was assassinated.Now here are six protest songs that David Crosby wrote or co-wrote.

      • TruthOutSouth Dakota Threatens Felony Charges for Pharmacists Prescribing Abortion Pills
      • The Nation“Where life is precious, life is precious.”
      • Telex (Hungary)Hungarian secret service claims to have found 4 billion HUF of foreign funding behind opposition’s campaign
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • APNICIP addressing through 2022

        Back around 1992, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) gazed into their crystal ball and tried to understand how the Internet was going to evolve and what demands that would place on the addressing system as part of the ‘IP Next Generation’ study. The staggeringly large numbers of connected devices that we see today were certainly within the range predicted by that exercise. Doubtless, these device numbers will continue to grow. We continue to increase silicon chip production volumes and, at the same, time continue to refine the production process.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Eaton WorksHow the Xbox 360 knows if your hard-drive is genuine

        Unfortunately, the consequences of clicking OK are devastating. The security sector will be overwritten with Windows partition tables. Unless you made a backup of it, the hard-drive will never work in an unmodded Xbox 360 again. I get emails about this all the time and it pains me to tell people there is no way to save the hard-drive. The problem became so common that I added automatic security sector backups to FATXplorer back in 2015. When it starts, it will immediately back up any valid security sector on all hard-drives it finds. Unfortunately, up to the time this post was published, it has not saved a single hard-drive. Everyone accidentally initializes their disks before opening FATXplorer the first time, rendering the life-saving feature useless. If you still play on your Xbox 360, consider backing up your security sector!

      • India TimesConsumers may turn as hackers, says an auto cybersecurity firm

        With varied degrees of success, automakers, including BMW, Tesla, Volkswagen, Toyota, and General Motors, have provided monthly subscriptions for services like heated seats, global positioning systems, audio streaming, and remote keyless start features.

        The auto industry is increasingly concerned about cybersecurity, and as cars develop into digital platforms, so-called white hat hackers, or researchers who detect weaknesses and alert automakers and suppliers, are finding issues. Sam Curry, a security specialist, broke into Reviver, a business that sells digital license plates to fleets, last year. Curry was given complete “super administrative access” to control every user account and vehicle owned by Reviver. His team managed to access the customer and staff data of BMW, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Ferrari, and Ford.

    • Monopolies

      • Scoop News GroupLive Nation blames bots and an ‘attack’ for Taylor Swift fiasco

        The company’s explanation comes amid bipartisan questioning of the company over its handling of the Taylor Swift ticket sales and also its power and dominance in the live event market. Tuesday’s hearing was largely about whether there is true competition in the space, and whether the federal government needs to take anti-trust action against the company.

      • Silicon AngleTicketmaster claims ‘cyberattack’ was behind Taylor Swift ticket fiasco

        TicketMaster made the claim at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into competition issues in the ticket industry. TicketMaster currently holds over a 70% market share of the ticketing industry and over 80% for live concerts, leading to allegations the company is essentially a monopoly, particularly with big music acts.

      • Patents

        • CoryDoctorowThe public paid for “Moderna’s” vaccine, and now we’re going to pay again (and again and again)

          But the story of the Moderna vaccine isn’t one of a company taking huge gambles with shareholder dollars. It’s the story of the US government giving billions and billions of dollars to a private firm, which will now charge the US government – and the American people – a 4,460% markup on the resulting medicine.

          Writing for The American Prospect, Lily Meyersohn reminds us of the Moderna vaccine’s origin story: the NIH spent $1.4B developing the underlying technology and then the US government bought $8b worth of vaccines at $16/dose, giving Moderna a guaranteed 460% margin on each jab: [...]

      • Copyrights

        • Creative CommonsCC Open Education Platform Lightning Talks: Join us on 2 February 2023

          The Creative Commons Open Education Platform community welcomes you to our Lightning Talks, or seven-minute presentations on specific updates or stories in open education.

        • Torrent FreakCopyright Troll Lawyer Can’t Hire an Undercover to Sue More Pirates from Prison

          Paul Hansmeier, a former copyright troll attorney who’s currently serving a 14-year prison sentence, wants to hire an undercover investigator to go after online pirates while he’s in prison. The convicted lawyer has also requested a sentence reduction, citing a prolonged stay in solitary confinement.

        • TechdirtIf The AI Lawyer You Built Can’t Keep You Out Of Jail, Maybe It’s Time To Hire A Real Lawyer

          So, we’ve written a few times about DoNotPay, the supposedly AI-powered “robot lawyer” that was initially designed to help you contest parking tickets but then expanded to helping (usefully) with a bunch of consumer annoyances, like cancelling accounts, obtaining owed refunds, and the like. But it’s also got some shadiness in its past, like the time it wanted to automate sharing of streaming account credential cookies. And, while there have long been pretty serious questions about what things you should trust it to do, a couple years ago the company raised a round of venture capital from such trustworthy investors as (checks notes) Sam Bankman-Fried, along with a16z, and DST Global, which has a bit of an interesting history.

        • TechdirtSquare Enix Gets Twitch Strike For Streaming ‘Forspoken’ During Embargo, Thanks To Time Zones

          One of the more annoying aspects of how the video game industry conducts its relationships with gaming journalists is the concept of embargos. The idea goes something like this: publishers will furnish journalists and/or game streamers with advanced copies of games, but include an embargo on any reporting, reviews, or streaming those games prior to a certain date. Sometimes that date is the release date of the game, so that there aren’t reports or displays of the game prior to it going up for sale. Sometimes the date is actually pushed out past the release date. Both are pretty naked attempts by publishers to not generate any potentially negative press before the public can spend gobs of money on a game they don’t know might suck out loud. It’s a crappy process and it would be better if everyone simply agreed to not accept advanced copies unless the embargo is lifted, but that has never happened.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • My Astrobotany Plant Memorial Gallery

        Well, to be honest, the cactus you see here isn’t Sarah, my first plant in Astrobotany. At the time I harvested her, I haven’t yet thought about making this gallery. Nevertheless, she was a cactus, and she looked similar to this one, which I copied from another user’s garden. Well, I guess, she looked exaxtly the same, since this is ASCII-art. Maybe it’s a silly idea to make this memorial gallery at all, but hey, it’s just for fun.

      • Burns Night

        It’s Burn’s Night, pub. I’ll stand everyone a dram of Scotch whisky tonight. My health hasn’t allowed it for a while, but I’ll have just a drop of Laphroaig. More a sniff than a taste…

        Saor Alba, and saw off England and sink it in the sea with all the Tories aboard!

      • Amateur Radio Log 2023-01-25 Mid-day (Fairbanks, AK, US)

        Completed another lunch break excursion today up to Firestation 42 on Chena Ridge. Was not able to many any contacts, but picked up several stations, with the help of the band scope tool on the IC-746PRO, which I just learned how to use. There were strong signals from a conversation on 14.306 at around 21:19 UTC, with stations that identified as being in Idaho, Illinois, and Spokane, WA. Later, around 21:54 UTC, I noted station VE7VCK calling out on 14.270, with a clear signal. I believe that is a Canadian callsign. I tried to respond back, but he couldn’t hear me. I’m guessing my 3-foot stick antenna works well for RX, but doesn’t provide a good horizontal gain. I’m wondering, though, how well I would do operating in CW mode.

    • Technical

      • Neural Cloud: I am playing it

        Oof. It’s been a second. I haven’t had a lot of time to write things, but I’ll try to get back into it now that it’s a new year and all that. Also, this is supposed to be an informal space, so here’s a very disjointed game review!

        Neural Cloud is a spinoff of Girl’s Frontline. I played the latter for a little while a few years ago. I’m not really sure why, because the gameplay was kind of boring and I’m not in the target demographic by any means, but I did.

      • Internet/Gemini

      • Programming

        • …small video game…

          Currently working on a random generator through Perchance.org to help me come up with story ideas for a small video game. I wanna make something with GB Studio, but I have no ideas.

          The generator spits out a weird fantasy-ish sentence/scenario. Honestly, knowing me, I’ll never get to making the game, I’ll just keep making the generator forever…

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

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:16 am by Needs Sunlight

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

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD at 12:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 3fa713aa016effddd846715afa98523f
Sirius Abandoned Everything
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Staff with technical skills won’t stick around in companies that reject technical arguments and moreover move to proprietary software in a company that brands itself “Open Source”

DESPITE losing my best friend this week I am trying to keep active and to keep this series going. My friend helped inspire my activism and many other things. The video above explains some of the things that happened at work, based on practical examples (demonstrating that ISO certification changed nothing for the better). More people need to find the courage to confront their bosses and demand justice. Don’t just “play it safe”, try to actually fix things, from within if possible (taking this public is the very last resort).

The video above contains some of the backdrop to the collapse of Sirius ‘Open Source’. It comments on this post. The Gates Foundation was never mentioned in writing at Sirius, only once and strictly verbally in 2019. An NDA signed by Sirius Open Source (yes, that’s an actual sellout considering what the CEO used to believe in*) changed things for the worse and resulted in the CEO being ‘in exile’. We’re talking about a fervent Microsoft critic, who moved the company to Washington for the “first US client” (yes, Gates) and weeks after it all happened not only myself but also my wife got falsely accused. We were acquitted only after months of humiliation. Nobody ever apologised for this.

“More recently after I told a friend that Bill Gates, not Microsoft, was paying Sirius Open Source Inc. (with the actual timing being interesting; coincidence being improbable) a manager intentionally twisted/distorted what I said.”Back then, as well as in 2017, I wanted to publish “Microsofters Contact My Employer to Get Both My Wife and I Sacked” (yes, it happened prior to 2019 as well). It’s truly quite maddening what Microsoft and its goons would do to silence me; they even pick on loved ones. This became a potential future topic way back in 2016.

More recently after I told a friend that Bill Gates, not Microsoft, was paying Sirius Open Source Inc. (with the actual timing being interesting; coincidence being improbable) a manager intentionally twisted/distorted what I said. What I said was factual, what they said I had said was not. Gates never needed British company to handle something thousands or American firms can easily handle (let alone ask this company to establish itself in another country, which is possibly what happened though the NDA hides it).
* Here’s one old talk that covered “FUD (‘Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt’) as the nonsense that it is [...]”

[Meme] Listen to Your Workers, Avert Disaster

Posted in Deception at 12:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sirius Managers; Technical staff

Summary: Companies that refuse to take input from staff are doomed to fail

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