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

Posted in News Roundup at 1:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 23, 2023

Posted in IRC Logs at 9:57 am by Needs Sunlight

Also available via the Gemini protocol at:

Over HTTP:

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Enter the IRC channels now

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

Posted in News Roundup at 9:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Unix MenSwitching To Linux Mint: The Benefits and Drawbacks

        Deciding to spend hundreds of dollars on new hardware – be it a laptop or a desktop component – is always a tough call. You might spend hours considering your options and working out the budget.

        But it’s also natural to think about all the money you spent buying, upgrading, and maintaining your current setup. Your desktop or laptop might not be broken. Rather, it might not be performing as well as you think it should.

        Installing a Linux distro like Mint is an excellent way to give older hardware new life. It’s common for Windows and macOS power users to switch to Linux to get a few more years of reliable use out of their machine.

      • GamingOnLinuxXE Gen 2 Linux Laptop announced by Kubuntu Focus

        Kubuntu Focus have announced their next laptop with the XE Gen 2, here’s the details on what’s new and improved. The 14 inch laptop sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

      • GamingOnLinuxFramework reveal new laptop with modular graphics, plus an AMD Ryzen model

        Framework Computer Inc have done it again! They’ve announced multiple big exciting things for their modular laptops today. Here’s what’s coming.

    • Server

      • UbuntuThe Indico software operator is now available to optimise event management

        Communities naturally need to meet, come together, have conversations, or exchange news. Communities like to see the people behind the work, hear about experiences first hand and meet new contacts. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic,  we are seeing a rising number of in-person events coming back.

        However, those who have organised events know it is a lot of work. And if the number of attendees grows beyond a dozen, it is challenging to manage registrations, speakers, the agenda, and web site content just with spreadsheets. Luckily, there are tools that make this easier. 

    • Graphics Stack

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux HandbookFixing ‘Umount Target is Busy’ Error in Linux

        Unmounting disks in the Linux command line is not complicated. All you have to do is to use the umount command…

      • University of TorontoSSD block discard in practice on Linux systems

        I’ll put the summary up front. If you have SSD based systems installed with a reasonably modern Linux, it’s pretty likely that they are quietly automatically discarding blocks from your SSDs on a regular basis. This is probably true even if you use software RAID mirrors (despite the potential problem RAID has with discarding blocks).

      • Trend OceansHow to Install the Latest VirtualBox 7.0 on Ubuntu 22.04

        It is very simple to install the latest release of Oracle VirtualBox on your Ubuntu Jammy Jellyfish (22.04) by following the instructions below..

    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • OpenSource.comOpen source tools for mind mapping

      In today’s world and social media, many people don’t have the patience to read lengthy textual content. Visuals are a great way to capture your audience’s attention span.

      Did you know that research at 3M Corporation concluded that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text? Visuals are more impactful than words and enhance creative thinking and memory.

    • OpenSource.comOpen source maps and open data help humanitarian response

      Every day people use “open” to have an impact in their world. The Türkiye and Syria Earthquake Response includes over 9,000 people editing OpenStreetMap (OSM), partners providing open licensed satellite imagery, people generating and using open data, all collaborating across open source tools, like the Tasking Manager. Having the most up-to-date and accurate map data helps humanitarian organizations and civil societies navigate the disaster areas, coordinate response, and conduct damage assessments. The OSM data is shared on the Humanitarian Data Exchange and is used to develop information management (IM) products for decision-makers. Some of the examples of information products are shared on these two open source built platforms: The Deep and the IFRC GO platform. Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and the global OSM community are integral by connecting local communities and humanitarian organizations to urgent information.

      A message sent by Dr Çevik, a Turkish surgeon treating people injured by the earthquake in Turkey, said (translated):

      OpenStreetMap and Organic Maps, a free privacy-focused fork of Maps.Me, were used in conjunction for localized response.

      Dr. Uçum from Kahramanmaraş talking about how maps from OSM data have helped logistics and operations in the camps. The maps were subsequently used by local authorities to support planning and infrastructure in the camp site. 

    • Torrent FreakCloudstream Takes Site and Code Offline in Response to Hollywood Complaint [Ed: Microsoft censoring and deplatforming Free software]

      The operator of popular pirate streaming app Cloudstream has voluntarily taken down its code and disabled its website. The developer took action after the Motion Picture Association targeted the open-source Android app in a complaint filed at GitHub. The MPA hasn’t contacted the developer directly but the Hollywood group considers Cloudstream a prime enforcement target.

    • The Register UKChatGPT, how did you get here? It was a long journey through open source AI [Ed: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is openwashing Microsoft again, plus he gives publicity to a proprietary, overhyped, spying chaffbot that distracts from mass layoffs at Microsoft]
    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Tim KadlecHealth Benefits of Browser Diversity

        There are increasingly loud rumblings that Apple will be allowing other browser engines to be used on iOS, and all I can say is it’s about time.

    • Programming/Development

      • Yoshua WuytsLinearity and Control

        A week ago Niko published a post on linear types, introducing the idea of “must move” types, which he suggested could be implemented through some form of ?Drop bound. It’s far from the first time linear types have come up. Five years ago Gankra also published a post on linear types, explaining what they are and why they’re hard to get right.

        In this post I want to build on these two posts; expanding on what linear types are, why they’re useful, how they would interact with Rust, and share a novel effect-based design — which unlike many previous attempts would preserve our ability to implement and use destructors.

      • Filippo ValsordaPlanning Go 1.21 Cryptography Work

        This is the planning overview for the Go 1.21 release. There is some exciting API work going on, as well as some satisfying follow-ups on stuff that landed in Go 1.20.

        Now is a very good time to provide feedback (and you can do that by just replying to this if you’re reading it in your inbox)! You can also take a look at my public GitHub Projects planning board.

      • Volodymyr GubarkovFascination of AWK

        AWK is a delightful mini-language almost unchanged for decades.

        A bare minimum of features includes strings, numbers, functions, associative arrays, line-by-line I/O and shell invocation. Perhaps, if it had fewer features, it would be impossible to program in it at all.

        There is an opinion that AWK is not suitable for writing serious programs. Even Brian Kernighan (the K in AWK) is convinced that his language is only good for small one-liners. However, this does not prevent enthusiasts from creating rather voluminous programs in AWK: [...]

      • Python

        • Python SpeedSpeeding up text processing in Python (is hard)

          If you’re doing text or string manipulation in Python, what do you do if your code is too slow? Assuming your algorithm is reasonably efficient, the next step is to try faster alternatives to Python: a compiled extension.

          Unfortunately, this is harder than it seems. Some options don’t offer an easy path to optimizations, others are actually slower. To see this limitation in action, we’ll consider some alternatives: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • The NationWillis Reed Was the Best of New York City

      Hall of Fame New York Knicks center Willis Reed died earlier this week at the age of 80. With him, we lost a piece of the city where he became a legend.

    • HackadayOndol: Korean Underfloor Heating

      One of the many aspects of the modern world we often take for granted is the very technology that keeps our accommodation at a habitable temperature. Examples of this include centralized heating systems using hot-water circulation, or blown air ducted to multiple rooms from a central furnace. Certainly in Europe, once the Romans shipped out, and before the industrial revolution, we were pretty cold unless someone lit a fire in the room. Every room. But not in Korea. The Ondol heating principles have been used constantly from about 5000 BC to only a few decades ago, keeping your average Korean countryman nice and toasty.

    • Science

      • SparkFun ElectronicsGladys West and the Global Positioning System

        This is where Gladys West came into the picture. From the mid-1970s through the 1980s, West programmed an IBM 7030 Stretch computer to deliver increasingly precise calculations to model the shape of the Earth; “an ellipsoid with additional undulations, known as the geoid.” These models accounted for the Earth’s shape being distorted by gravitational, tidal, and other forces. Without these calculations, GPS technology would not be able to provide accurate location information, making it much less useful for navigation and other applications.

        Throughout her career, West was incredibly dedicated to her work. She was tasked with incredibly important and challenging projects, and she is said to have worked long hours optimizing processing algorithms, and cut her team’s processing time down by half. She quite literally wrote the guide for the future of radar altimeter satellites by stressing the importance of increasing satellite geodesy’s precision with improved technology (check it out to learn more about GEOSAT).

      • HackadayGrow Your Own Brain Electrodes

        Bioelectronics has been making great strides in recent years, but interfacing rigid electrical components with biological systems that are anything but can prove tricky. Researchers at the Laboratory for Organic Electronics (LOE) have found a way to bridge the gap with conductive gels. (via Linköping University)

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • HackadayCNC Intaglio-Esque Engraving

        Intaglio is an ancient carving technique for adding details to a workpiece, by manually removing material from a surface with only basic hand tools. If enough material depth is removed, the resulting piece can be used as a stamp, as was the case with rings, used to stamp the wax seals of verified letters. [Nicolas Tranchant] works in the jewelry industry, and wondered if they could press a CNC engraving machine into service to engrave gemstones in a more time-efficient manner than the manual carving methods of old.

      • HackadayEnormous Metal Sculpture Becomes An Antenna

        Those who have worked with high voltage know well enough that anything can be a conductor at high enough voltages. Similarly, amateur radio operators will jump at any chance to turn a random object into an antenna. Flag poles, gutters, and even streams of water can be turned into radiating elements for a transmitter, but the members of this amateur radio club were thinking a little bit bigger when they hooked up their transmitter to this giant sculpture.

      • HackadayPCIe For Hackers: Link Anatomy

        Last time, we looked over diffpairs, their basics, routing rules and the notorious tolerances of PCIe when it comes to diffpairs. Now, let’s take a look at the exact signals that make PCIe tick, as well as give you an overview of which sockets you can get PCIe on.

      • HackadayA Little Chess With Your Timepiece

        Some things remain classics, even after centuries, and chess and watches have certainly stood the test of time. [W&M Levsha] decided to combine them both in this “Chess Club” watch containing a miniature chess game frozen in time.

      • TalospaceNow your LLaMa is playing with POWER

        Now that the invasion of the large language models has occurred and we will all bow to our GPT overlords, I just generated a pull request to add additional POWER9-specific optimizations to llama.cpp, what all the cool kids are using for LLMs who aren’t down with OpenAI. This repo moves quick but it’s where the magic is happening if this is what you’re into. It will work with both Alpaca and LLaMa models.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Vice Media GroupThe Radioactive Legacy of Depleted Uranium Ammunition Comes to Ukraine

        Battlefields all over the world are rife with toxins, even near civilian locations. In Iraq, birth defects spike near U.S. military bases. There’s a lot of lead on the ground and the U.S. burned all its garbage in open air pits. People, both civilian and military personnel, who have lived and worked in these areas often have health problems.

        According to Weir, DU gets a lot of attention because people have a strong negative reaction to the idea of firing radioactive munitions. “Historically it has received more attention than other toxics because most people’s reaction to the idea that we fire uranium darts around—without any obligations to clear them up—is WTF? And because of that intrinsic and common sense WTF, militaries who use it have to work hard on the PR—‘DU is weakly radioactive,’ ‘there’s no evidence of civilian harm,’ etc.”

      • Silicon AngleUtah governor signs bill to make it difficult for teenagers to get on social media

        The regulations will mean that if minors do get consent, social media companies will be banned from running ads on their accounts. These services will also be off-limits to youngsters between 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. It will also mean that parents will have access to their children’s accounts – everything they post and message and respond to.

        Utah is the first state to take such action, although other U.S. states have mulled similar laws that will make social media less accessible for minors. Michael K. McKell, a Republican senator in Utah, in a press release said the state is worried about teens’ mental health. He cited statistics on depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation among the young, saying these things have “drastically increased.”

      • Common DreamsCancer Patients Challenge Biden Admin’s Refusal to Lower Price of Lifesaving Drug

        Two days after President Joe Biden’s administration rejected a petition asking federal regulators to use their authority to lower the astronomical price of a lifesaving prostate cancer drug developed entirely with public funds, petitioners on Thursday filed an administrative appeal.

      • Common DreamsCalls to ‘Fight Back’ Grow as Medicaid Cliff and GOP Attacks Threaten Coverage for Millions

        The rapidly approaching end of pandemic-related Medicaid coverage protections and growing GOP attacks on the program at the state and federal levels have left millions of vulnerable people worried about being thrown off their insurance—and potentially losing access to lifesaving care.

      • Common DreamsMedicare Advantage Industry ‘Scare Tactics’ and Lobbying Intensify Over Efforts to Curb Fraud

        In the wake of numerous studies and investigations detailing the staggering level of fraud in the privately run Medicare Advantage program, the Biden administration proposed a new rule aimed at cracking down on upcoding—a common industry practice whereby plans describe patients as sicker than they actually are to reap larger payments from the federal government.

      • Michael West MediaPromises, promises: how Labor and the Coalition stack up on election health pledges

        Stretched to breaking point by Covid, NSW’s public healthcare system is struggling to return to acceptable levels of staffing and efficiency. Labor is promising to remove the Coalition’s public services wages cap, while the Coalition promises to pour billions into attracting new healthcare workers. In the latest in his series on NSW election platforms. Callum Foote reports on health as voters go to the polls.

        NSW’s public health system is experiencing a healthcare worker exodus, with 12.6% of public nursing staff leaving in 2021-22 compared to 7% annually over the previous three years.

      • Common DreamsTlaib Revives Bill to Remove Medically Necessary Debt From Credit Reports

        Asserting that “undergoing a medically necessary procedure should never haunt someone financially,” Democratic Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib on Wednesday reintroduced legislation to ban the collection of medical debt for two years and prohibit such indebtedness from appearing on patients’ credit reports.

      • Deutsche WelleNigerian politician found guilty in organ harvesting plot

        A jury in London on Thursday delivered guilty verdicts against Nigerian senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, and a doctor for conspiring to exploit a young man from Lagos for his kidney.

        The verdict is the first under the UK’s modern slavery laws to convict suspects of an organ-harvesting plot.

    • Proprietary

      • India TimesAccenture to lay off 19,000 people, 40% of its 7.38 lakh employees are in India

        Close to 40% of the company’s 7.38 lakh employees are in India. It is not clear yet how the current round of lay-offs will impact jobs in India.

      • Raspberry PiClippy gets smarter with Raspberry Pi and ChatGPT [Ed: On Pi Day, Raspberry Pi is promoting Microsoft spyware and proprietary garbage]

        Maker and companion robot enthusiast David Packman was the special guest star this past Pi Day on the Let’s Get Personal: Computing show, hosted by our friend Jim Bennett. David introduced the world to a ChatGPT-powered Clippy he has made with Raspberry Pi. We’re delighted to meet it.

      • Scoop News GroupDependence on Chinese-made tech threatens grid, experts warn

        The largely unknown amount of Chinese-made equipment within the North American grid is a threat to national security, experts warned during a Thursday congressional hearing that explored cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the electric sector.

        Witnesses from the Department of Energy and private sector testifying during the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee echoed a sentiment increasingly heard in Washington that a longstanding dependence on Chinese technologies and cheap components is now an alarming national security issues for U.S. critical infrastructure.

      • The Register UKMicrosoft admits Azure Resource Manager failed after code change

        “Between 02.41 UTC and 07.10 UTC on 23 Mar (sic) 2023 you may have experienced issues using Azure Resource Manager in West Europe when performing resource management operations. This would have impacted users of Azure Portal, Azure CLI, Azure PowerShell, as well as Azure services which depend upon ARM for their internal resource management operations.”

      • Tom’s HardwareBug Makes Windows 11 Snipping Tool Images Recoverable After Editing

        However, because the vulnerability existed for five years before it was discovered, cropped/edited images shared within the last five years are potentially at risk, depending on the platform they were shared to.

    • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Democracy for the Arab World Now‘It’s Not Something We Can Leave in the Past.’ George Packer on the Iraq War’s Long Legacy

        Packer is the author of nine other books, including The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, which won the 2013 National Book Award for nonfiction; Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, which won the 2019 Hitchens Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and, most recently, Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal. He writes regularly about U.S. foreign policy for The Atlantic, including a devastating, impeccably reported account last year of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Biden administration’s failure to plan for the evacuation of thousands of Afghan allies, titled “The Betrayal.”

        He spoke to Democracy in Exile days after the 20th annivesary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. As he says, “the Iraq War continues to haunt us and to offer lessons for the future.”

        The following transcript has been edited lightly for clarity and length.

      • FAIRThe New York Times Still Can’t Face Its Iraq War Shame

        Rubin offered only glimpses of responsibility. Of the George W. Bush administration’s claims of weapons of mass destruction, she simply wrote, “no evidence to back up those accusations was ever found.” Of the power vacuum that Iran stepped into, Rubin wrote, “Abetting and expanding Iran’s influence in Iraq was hardly the intention of American policymakers in 2003.” The power-sharing government system the US installed “is regarded by many as having undermined from the start any hope of good governance,” she explained. “But Mr. Crocker and others said that at the time it seemed the only way to ensure that all sects and ethnicities would have a role in governing.”

    • Environment

      • Energy/Transportation

        • DeSmogBig Oil Firms Touted Algae as Climate Solution. Now All Have Pulled Funding

          By Amy Westervelt, The Guardian. This story originally appeared in The Guardian and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

          One by one, big oil firms have touted their investments in algae biofuels as the future of low-carbon transportation – and one by one, they have all dropped out. Now in the wake of the last remaining algae proponent, ExxonMobil, announcing its withdrawal, insiders say they are disappointed but not surprised.

        • Tom’s HardwareLinus Tech Tips YouTube Channel Hacked to Promote [Cryptocurrency] Scams

          Major PC tech YouTube channel Linus Tech Tips has been hacked and is unavailable at the time of publishing. From the events that have unfolded, it looks like [crackers] gained access to the YouTube creator dashboard for various LTT channels. After publishing some scam videos and streams, control of the account was regained by the rightful owners, only to fall again to the hackers. Now the channels are all throwing up 404 pages.

        • India TimesUS SEC threatens to sue Coinbase over some [cryptocurrency] products

          The SEC has been ratcheting up efforts to crack down on the [cryptocurrency] industry since the implosion of FTX last year, and staking services such as Coinbase’s Earn are under increased scrutiny for not being registered.

          Staking is a process in which cryptocurrency holders volunteer to take part in validating transactions on the blockchain. These products often offer customers eye-popping yields.

        • Common DreamsClimate Advocates Call Out House GOP Push to Fast-Track Mountain Valley Pipeline

          As congressional Democrats launch new clean energy and environmental justice efforts, House Republicans outraged climate campaigners and frontline communities on Thursday with a move to fast-track a long-delayed fracked gas pipeline.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Common DreamsActivists, Progressive US Lawmakers Oppose ‘Xenophobic’ TikTok Ban [Ed: TikTok is harmful, no matter which nation controls it]

        Civil and digital rights groups this week joined a trio of progressive U.S. lawmakers in opposing bipartisan proposals to ban the social media platform TikTok, arguing that such efforts are rooted in “anti-China” motives and do not adequately address the privacy concerns purportedly behind the legislation.

      • Vice Media GroupBanning TikTok Is Unconstitutional, Ludicrous, and a National Embarrassment [Ed: But China bans American social control media. Arguably for very good reasons.]

        It would also be an act of charity for Facebook, which the government has utterly failed to meaningfully regulate.

      • TruthOutGOP Is Seeking Rich, Self-Funding Candidates as Party Is Outraised by Democrats
      • New York TimesTikTok Stars Go On a D.C. Field Trip

        Ms. Ok, 26, was one of more than 30 TikTok stars who took part in an all-expenses paid trip to speak on behalf of the platform amid rising TikTok tensions as the Biden administration has pushed TikTok’s Chinese ownership to sell the video app or face a possible ban in the United States. TikTok’s Singapore-based chief executive, Shou Chew, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday.

        ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, flew the creators (and their plus-ones) first class to Washington and put them up in a high-end hotel for the week. On Tuesday, the group had dinner with Mr. Chew, who appeared in a number of videos posted that night.

      • Digital Music NewsTikTok CEO Tells US Congress — “ByteDance Is Not An Agent of China”

        TikTok says it limits the amount of information it collects when setting up an account, but Chew fails to mention how his company was caught accessing users’ clipboards to view pasted information. He also fails to mention how ByteDance employees were caught accessing U.S. user data through backdoors written into the app as reported by both Forbes and BuzzFeedNews.

      • Cryptography EngineeringRemarks on “Chat Control”

        On March 23 I was invited to participate in a panel discussion at the European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA). The focus of this discussion was on recent legislative proposals, especially the EU Commission’s new “chat control” content scanning proposal, as well as the future of encryption and fundamental rights. These are the introductory remarks I prepared.

      • Scoop News GroupFive brutal hours for TikTok: CEO raked over coals amid privacy, security concerns

        Thursday’s hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee represented a landmark moment in TikTok’s attempt to build support for a $1.5 billion plan — known as Project Texas — that relies on tech giant Oracle to operate the app’s American technical infrastructure and build a firewall between U.S. TikTok users and Beijing.

        But in a highly anticipated appearance, Chew won few, if any, allies, and the hearing instead offered a clear view of the bipartisan consensus in Washington that TikTok poses a security and privacy threat.

      • New StatesmanIs the clock ticking for TikTok?

        As the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon floated across the United States last week, it provided a vivid, 200ft-tall illustration of what many Washington policymakers view as the growing national security threat from China. Rolling news coverage across the major television networks mapped the balloon’s position against the location of strategic sites such as the silos of nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in Montana. Even before it was shot down by a heat-seeking missile on 4 February, prominent Republicans had linked the balloon to other perceived vulnerabilities to Chinese surveillance, such as the TikTok social media platform.

      • Common DreamsManhattan DA Accuses House GOP of ‘Unlawful Incursion’ Into Trump Probe

        The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Thursday accused House Republicans of an “unlawful incursion” into New York authorities’ investigation of former President Donald Trump, who is expected to face criminal charges over a 2016 pre-election hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

      • NDTVTikTok CEO Testifies Before US Congress, Calls India’s Ban “Hypothetical”

        India imposed a nationwide ban on TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps, including the messaging app WeChat, in 2020 over privacy and security concerns. The ban came shortly after a clash between Indian and Chinese troops at LAC that killed 20 Indian soldiers and injured dozens. The companies were given a chance to respond to questions on privacy and security requirements but the ban was made permanent in January 2021.

        “You damn well know that you cannot protect the data and security of this committee or the 150 million users of your app because it is an extension of the CCP,” Lawmaker Kat Cammack of Florida told Chew after playing a threatening video that was still on the platform more than a month after it had been posted, despite community guidelines barring violence or threats.

      • India TimesWhy TikTok’s security risks keep raising fears

        Both the FBI and officials at the Federal Communications Commission have warned that ByteDance could share TikTok user data – such as browsing history, location and biometric identifiers – with China’s authoritarian government.

      • India TimesBritish parliament blocks TikTok over security concerns

        The United States, Canada, Belgium and the European Commission have already banned the app from official devices.

        TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny due to fears that user data from the app owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, undermining Western security interests.

      • India TimesTikTok CEO commitments not enough for the parents of America: US lawmaker

        TikTok has said it has spent more than $1.5 billion on what it calls rigorous data security efforts under the name “Project Texas” that currently has nearly 1,500 full-time employees and is contracted with Oracle to store TikTok’s U.S. user data. It also says it rigorously screens content that could harm children.

        Congresswoman Diana DeGette at the hearing before the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee asked Chew what TikTok was doing to prevent the spread of misinformation on the platform.

      • India TimesTikTok creators, some US Democratic lawmakers oppose ban on app

        Representatives Jamaal Bowman, Mark Pocan and Robert Garcia and TikTok creators called a press conference in Washington for broad-based privacy legislation that would address all large social media companies.

      • NDTVJack Dorsey Loses $526 Million Net Worth Hours After Hindenburg Report

        Hindenburg released a report Thursday claiming Block had inflated user metrics, and that the stock has downside of 65% to 75% “on a purely fundamental basis.” The company denied the allegations and said it plans to explore legal action against the short-seller.

        Block fell as much as 22% on Thursday, before closing down 15%.

      • Hindustan TimesBye-bye blue tick for ‘legacy’ Twitter verified users in April: What it means

        Twitter’s blue check-mark verification regime will soon be a history. The social media giant on Friday announced that from April 1, it will begin removing legacy verified program and legacy verified checkmarks from user accounts. It will allow only paid subscribers and members of approved organisations to have the respective status.

      • India TimesTwitter to remove legacy verified badges from April 1

        Elon Musk on Friday said that Twitter will remove all legacy Blue verified checkmarks for both individual users and organisations from April 1. Twitter Blue in India will cost Rs 9,400 a year for individual users.

        Twitter Blue is now available globally and the users can get Blue Verified for $7 a month if they sign up via web browser, Musk announced.

      • The NationWomen Are Waiting to Cheer the Misogynist’s Indictment

        On Monday night, supposedly “Arrestmas” Eve (Donald Trump claimed, falsely as usual, that he’d be “arrested” Tuesday), I dreamed about him. I was being held captive by Trump at Mar-a-Lago with a lot of other women. He was more deranged than usual, as he apparently is right now as he awaits arrest. It was terrifying. But somehow I escaped. I didn’t know what would happen next.

      • Insight HungaryOrban’s chief of staff: Putin would not be arrested in Hungary

        On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Hungary blocked European Union member states from issuing a joint statement about an ICC (International Criminal Court) arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin. EU diplomat Josep Borrell released a statement saying.” “The EU sees the decision by the ICC as a beginning of the process of accountability and holding Russian leaders to account for the crimes and atrocities they are ordering, enabling or committing in Ukraine”.  

        Mate Paczolay, a spokesman for the Hungarian Foreign ministry later called the report a “lie”.  “Hungary has taken note of the ICC decision and does not wish to comment on it in any way. However, if the High Representative or any member state wishes to issue a statement, Hungary will not object to it,” Paczolay said. 

      • Telex (Hungary)Hungary not invited to Biden’s Democracy Summit this year either
      • Telex (Hungary)Amnesty International Hungary not allowed to attend conference on judicial independence, citing lack of space
      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • Jacobin MagazineQAnon Will Not Be Leaving Us Anytime Soon

          QAnon is one of the strangest developments in the Trump era: a pastiche conspiracy theory involving Satanic rituals, child abuse, the US military, Hollywood, the Democratic Party, and the former host of The Apprentice. In many ways, QAnon should have died in 2021 when, contrary to the eponymous “Q”’s various prophecies, Donald Trump departed the White House and Joe Biden was sworn in as president. Instead, it was supercharged by the global pandemic and exported to countries as far afield as Germany, France, and Japan.

          Investigative journalist Will Sommer has been following QAnon since it first emerged in 2017. His new book Trust the Plan: The Rise of QAnon and the Conspiracy That Unhinged America is an extended interrogation of the theory’s genesis and roots. Sommer joined Jacobin’s Luke Savage to discuss the book, the state of QAnon, and what has enabled the movement to endure and grow despite its many failed prophecies.

        • NPRIt takes a few dollars and 8 minutes to create a deepfake. And that’s only the start

          Concerns about deepfakes have been around for years. What’s different now is technology has advanced and become accessible to anybody with a smartphone or computer.

          People are having fun using them for jokes and memes, like a viral TikTok trend of videos using synthetic audio to spoof Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Joe Biden playing video games.

          But deepfakes are already being used for political ends.

        • Deutsche WelleFact check: No, Putin did not kneel before Xi Jinping

          A strange image has gone viral. Did Vladimir Putin really get down on one knee and kiss the hand of Xi Jinping? No. The picture, which was allegedly taken during the Chinese leader’s recent trip to Russia, is fake.

        • YLEFriday’s papers: Hungary’s Nato promise, train traffic resumes and TikTok’s election influence

          Among the survey’s findings was that young people’s votes are more influenced by how party candidates discuss their policies rather than what those policies are. The survey also found that the left-right divide no longer felt relevant to 15-29-year-olds.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Vice Media GroupCYBER: Scalpers Are Selling Whole Ticketmaster Accounts Now

        This week on Cyber, Joseph Cox and Motherboard Motherboard editor-in-chief Jason Koebler take us into the world of the ticket scalper, where whole Ticketmaster accounts are being sold in bulk and a “verified fan” is just someone the algorithm approves of.

      • Common DreamsNLRB Says Amazon Illegally Union-Busted by Limiting Worker Access to Warehouses

        The Amazon Labor Union celebrated Wednesday as a lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board in Brooklyn determined that Amazon acted illegally when it adopted a rule barring warehouse workers from being present at their workplace when they were not scheduled to work—a transparent effort, the board said, to limit union activity.

      • India TimesMicrosoft must do more to resolve antitrust issues, say European rivals

        Resolving the complaints with the companies could help Microsoft stave off a possible EU antitrust investigation that could lead to a fine as much as 10% of its global turnover.

        Nextcloud took its grievance to the European Commission in 2021, alleging that Microsoft abuses its dominance by bundling its OneDrive cloud storage service with its Windows 10 and 11 operating system.

      • TechdirtLeaked Doc From Microsoft To UK’s CMA Says ’10 Years Enough For Sony To Make Its Own CoD’

        Well, well. The fight between Sony and Microsoft over the latter’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues to get more and more interesting. As three regulatory bodies have been poking at the deal — the European Commission for the EU, the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) in the UK, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the States — Microsoft’s featured attempt to appease the concerns over Call of Duty suddenly going exclusive has been its inking of 10 year deals to keep the series multi-platform. This seems to have placated the EU thus far, though its impact on the CMA and FTC remains to be seen. The idea, though, is that it is a demonstration of Microsoft’s commitment to keep CoD multiplatform generally. As I have pointed out in repeated posts, that doesn’t necessarily make sense. After all, Microsoft could be playing the long game, inking these deals to get the purchase done with plans to yank the series back to an exclusive after the ten year deals expire.

      • TechdirtBig Four Networks Push FCC To Further Erode Media Consolidation Limits

        If you recall, the Trump FCC under Ajit Pai spent several years stripping away popular media consolidation limits established over decades with bipartisan approval. The push was ironically to directly help aid Sinclair broadcasting’s steady consolidation of local broadcast news, which resulted in a homogenized soup of well-funded propaganda and the erosion of real, local reporting.

      • Copyrights

        • Creative CommonsThe Complex World of Style, Copyright, and Generative AI

          The issue in a nutshell: Artists have raised legal claims against particular users who prompt a GAI and generate an output that copies from their original expressions. However, style is not generally protected by copyright, and that’s a good thing; if one artist were given a monopoly over anime, grunge music, or other styles, that would frustrate copyright’s core purpose of supporting creativity. What’s more, GAI tools provide myriad legitimate uses, and creators of those tools generally don’t directly control the actions of their users or financially benefit from uses that may infringe on pre-existing works. As such, they generally should not be held liable when actions of their user cross over the line into infringement.

        • Walled CultureThe EU has brought back opt-in copyright for text and data mining: let’s build on that foundation – Walled Culture

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

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

Posted in News Roundup at 4:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux GizmosFramework presents new DIY upgradeable laptops

        Framework introduced today their Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition compatible with the AMD Ryzen 7040 Series processors and 13th Gen Intel processors. These highly customizable laptops are available to pre-order starting at $849.00.

      • Systemd 76The Quality Assurance Process with Levi

        Curious about our quality assurance process? Levi, our QA Lead, takes you through a general overview of how QA approaches a new product, from testing firmware to acoustics and everything in between.

    • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Free Desktop2023 X.Org Board of Directors Elections timeline extended, request for nominations
        We are seeking nominations for candidates for election to the X.org
        Foundation Board of Directors. However, as we presently do not have
        enough nominations to start the election - the decision has been made to
        extend the timeline by 2 weeks. Note this is a fairly regular part of
        the elections process.
        The new deadline for nominations to the X.org Board of Directors is
        23:59 UTC on April 2nd, 2023.
        The new deadline for membership application or renewals is April 9th,
        2023. Membership is required to vote on the elections.
        The Board consists of directors elected from the membership. Each year,
        an election is held to bring the total number of directors to eight. The
        four members receiving the highest vote totals will serve as directors
        for two year terms.
        The directors who received two year terms starting in 2022 were Emma
        Anholt, Mark Filion, Alyssa Rosenzweig and Ricardo Garcia. They will
        continue to serve until their term ends in 2024. Current directors whose
        term expires in 2023 are Samuel Iglesias Gonsálvez, Manasi D Navare,
        Lyude Paul and Daniel Vetter.
        A director is expected to participate in the fortnightly IRC meeting to
        discuss current business and to attend the annual meeting of the X.Org
        Foundation, which will be held at a location determined in advance by
        the Board of Directors.
        A member may nominate themselves or any other member they feel is
        qualified. Nominations should be sent to the Election Committee at
        elections at x.org.
        Nominees shall be required to be current members of the X.Org
        Foundation, and submit a personal statement of up to 200 words that will
        be provided to prospective voters. The collected statements, along with
        the statement of contribution to the X.Org Foundation in the member's
        account page on http://members.x.org, will be made available to all
        voters to help them make their voting decisions.
        Nominations, membership applications or renewals and completed personal
        statements must be received no later than 23:59 UTC on April 2nd, 2023.
        The slate of candidates will be published April 10th 2023 and candidate
        Q&A will begin then. The deadline for Xorg membership applications and
        renewals is April 9th, 2023.
        Ricardo Garcia, on behalf of the X.Org BoD
    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Easily Run a Vulnerability Scan Using Nmap

        Nmap (network mapper) can be used for vulnerability scanning to identify known vulnerabilities. While Nmap is not primarily a vulnerability scanner,

      • APNICRPKI ROA for IP resources in the IX segment

        Guest Post: The status of ROA registration in the IX segment, and the way forward.

      • TecAdminUnderstanding 2>&1 in Bash: A Beginner’s Guide

        Bash is a popular shell used in most Linux distributions. It provides various I/O redirection techniques that allow users to control how input and output are processed in their commands and scripts. One of the most commonly used I/O redirection techniques is 2>&1, which redirects standard error (stderr) to standard output (stdout).

      • TecAdminUnderstanding the difference between ‘git pull’ and ‘git fetch’

        Git is a powerful version control system that helps developers manage code efficiently and collaborate with their teams. Two essential Git commands for working with remote repositories are “git pull” and “git fetch”. Although they seem similar, understanding their differences is crucial for streamlining your Git workflow and maintaining a clean project history.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install OpenCart on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        In this article, we will guide you on how to install OpenCart on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. OpenCart is a popular open-source e-commerce platform that allows users to create online stores and sell products.

      • TecAdminHow to Check if a Program Exists in Linux

        A shell script is a powerful tool for automating tasks on Unix-based systems. One common requirement when writing shell scripts is checking if a particular program or command exists on the system. This article will guide you through different methods to perform this check, allowing you to make your script more robust and reliable.

      • TecAdminHow to Choose the Best Shebang (#!) for Your Shell Scripts

        The shebang, also known as a “hashbang” or “sharpbang”, is an essential part of Bash scripts and other executable scripts in Unix-based systems.

      • TecAdminUser-Friendly SSH Clients for Windows with Advanced Functionality

        Remote access to servers and other devices is a critical task for many professionals, including system administrators, developers, and IT technicians. SSH (Secure Shell) is a popular protocol used to connect to remote devices securely, and SSH clients are used to establish these connections.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install Printrun on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        In this guide, we will show you how to install Printrun on Ubuntu systems Printrun is a comprehensive and versatile 3D printing software that is highly recommended for managing and monitoring 3D printing tasks.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install HardInfo on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        HardInfo is a system profiler and benchmark tool for Linux systems that provides detailed information about hardware and software components installed on a computer.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install Concrete5 CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        In this guide, we will show you how to install Concrete5 CMS on Ubuntu systems Concrete5 is a free, open-source Content Management System (CMS) used for building and managing websites. It is written in PHP and uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern.

      • UNIX CopHow to install ProcessWire CMS on Ubuntu 22.04

        ProcessWire is a free open-source content management system which is developed in PHP language. It is a powerful CMS that allows you to upload content easily over the internet.

      • It’s FOSSTerminal Basics #6: Delete Files and Folders in Linux

        You have learned to create files and directories. Now it is time to learn about deleting files and folders in the command line.

    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Enterprisers Project8 tips to upskill your IT team with data literacy

        The past decade has been driven by rapid technology innovation and immense business pressure to increase revenue and improve customer and employee experiences. Yet McKinsey research shows 70 percent of digital transformation efforts during that era failed to meet their goals.

        Why did so many of these initiatives fail? Did leaders set the wrong goals?

      • Enterprisers Project3 must-have skills for software developers

        Leaders must start reassessing the desired skills they seek in developers. Amid an already tight talent market, 51 percent of developers are considering quitting their jobs or finding a new one in the next 12 months, opening the door to a new way of thinking about the talent landscape.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Ubuntu NewsUbuntu 20.04.6 LTS Released

        The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 20.04.6 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop and Server products. Unlike previous point releases, 20.04.6 is a refresh of the amd64 installer media after recent key revocations, re-enabling their usage on Secure Boot enabled systems.

      • Ubuntu FridgeThe Fridge: Ubuntu 20.04.6 LTS Released

        The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 20.04.6 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop and Server products.

        Unlike previous point releases, 20.04.6 is a refresh of the amd64 installer media after recent key revocations, re-enabling their usage on Secure Boot enabled systems.

        Many other security updates for additional high-impact bug fixes are also included, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        Maintenance updates will be provided for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Cloud, and Ubuntu Base.

        To get Ubuntu 20.04.6

        In order to download Ubuntu 20.04.6, visit:


        Users of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will be offered an automatic upgrade to 20.04.6 via Update Manager. For further information about upgrading, see:


        As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

        We recommend that all users read the 20.04.6 release notes, which document caveats and workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself. They are available at:


        If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren’t sure, you can try asking in any of the following places:

        #ubuntu on irc.libera.chat

        Help Shape Ubuntu

        If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:


        About Ubuntu

        Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, clouds and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases. A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

        Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world. For more information about support, visit:


        More Information

        You can learn more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website listed below:


        To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu’s very low volume announcement list at:


        Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Thu Mar 23 14:21:41 UTC 2023 by Graham Inggs, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

      • UbuntuSnapping out of Docker: a robotics guide for migrating Docker to Snap

        In this blog post, we are going to see when and how to migrate a ROS application currently deployed with Docker to Snap.


        • During the development and testing stage, the use of Docker containers is a good way to reproduce the application environment consistently, reducing the risk of unexpected behaviour. Just like Docker, you could do the same with other container technologies like LXD, reducing issues with missing dependencies or differences in system configurations.
        • When transitioning from development to deployment and maintenance, Docker’s limitations in the robotics field become apparent. Docker lacks dedicated high-level interfaces for accessing low-level hardware. It also lacks a robust update system and state transactionality. Docker containers are also not integrated in terms of network. All of these limitations require the user to implement workarounds that can be challenging, and expose our application to security issues.
    • Open Hardware/Modding

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Events

      • Fedora ProjectFedora Community Blog: Fedora at SoCal Linux Expo 20x

        The Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE) returned to Pasadena, CA and Fedora came back as an exhibitor. It was a very successful year for Fedora: attendees voted us “Most Memorable Booth”!

      • foss-north – Just one month left

        As I blogged about earlier, life has been challenging the past months, but now things are getting back to normal. This means that some things are late, but also that I really want to do some things. foss-north is among these things.


        In one month, April 23-25, foss-north 2023 will take place at Chalmers Conference Centre, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • Silicon AngleOracle’s MySQL HeatWave gets embedded machine learning capabilities
        Building on its growing momentum in the market for hybrid transactional/analytical database management systems, Oracle Corp. today added machine learning capabilities, new automation features and improved performance on the Amazon Web Services Inc. cloud to its MySQL HeatWave product.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • How your donations helped LibreOffice and TDF in 2022

        Donations to The Document Foundation help us to grow our community, run our infrastructure, organise events and share knowledge. And as a result, LibreOffice keeps on improving for all users! Many thanks to all of our supporters. Here’s a quick infographic showing how we used your donations in 2022: [...]

    • GNU Projects

      • GNUgrep @ Savannah: grep-3.10 released [stable]
         This is to announce grep-3.10, a stable release,
        fixing a bug with -P and \d. TL;DR, grep-3.9 would do this:
        $ LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8 grep -P '\d' <<< ٠١٢٣٤٥٦٧٨٩
        It should print nothing, like it has always done.
        For more detail, see https://lists.gnu.org/r/bug-grep/2023-03/msg00005.html
        Thanks to Paul Eggert for catching the \D variant and to Bruno Haible
        for assiduously tending gnulib and for testing grep on so many
        different systems.
        There have been 12 commits by 2 people in the 17 days since 3.9.
        Jim Meyering (8)
        Paul Eggert (4)
        [on behalf of the grep maintainers]
        Here is the GNU grep home page:
        or run this command from a git-cloned grep directory:
        git shortlog v3.9..v3.10
        https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.10.tar.gz (2.7MB)
        https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.10.tar.xz (1.7MB)
        7d3d830703183532f0b66619f0b148827e86eda7 grep-3.10.tar.gz
        3nsh2OM0jqZWnG/Vc06QoxFp72JCnqPc5Ipvwd2F0mA= grep-3.10.tar.gz
        b8413017681fcd6249e0d0fb9c78225944074f23 grep-3.10.tar.xz
        JO+ltZX7WnEAh5tRuIaKC7h6ccGD0CxMYCYzuIr2hVs= grep-3.10.tar.xz
        gpg --verify grep-3.10.tar.gz.sig
        pub rsa4096/0x7FD9FCCB000BEEEE 2010-06-14 [SCEA]
        Key fingerprint = 155D 3FC5 00C8 3448 6D1E EA67 7FD9 FCCB 000B EEEE
        uid [ unknown] Jim Meyering <jim@meyering.net>
        uid [ unknown] Jim Meyering <meyering@fb.com>
        uid [ unknown] Jim Meyering <meyering@gnu.org>
        gpg --locate-external-key jim@meyering.net
        gpg --recv-keys 7FD9FCCB000BEEEE
        wget -q -O- 'https://savannah.gnu.org/project/release-gpgkeys.php?group=grep&download=1' | gpg --import -
        gpg --keyring gnu-keyring.gpg --verify grep-3.10.tar.gz.sig
        Autoconf 2.72a.92-8db0
        Automake 1.16i
        Gnulib v0.1-5916-gf61570c0ef
        * Noteworthy changes in release 3.10 (2023-03-22) [stable]
        With -P, \d now matches only ASCII digits, regardless of PCRE
        options/modes. The changes in grep-3.9 to make \b and \w work
        properly had the undesirable side effect of making \d also match
        e.g., the Arabic digits: ٠١٢٣٤٥٦٧٨٩. With grep-3.9, -P '\d+'
        would match that ten-digit (20-byte) string. Now, to match such
        a digit, you would use \p{Nd}. Similarly, \D is now mapped to [^0-9].
        [bug introduced in grep 3.9]
    • Programming/Development

      • Didier StevensUpdate: oledump.py Version 0.0.73

        A small update to plugin_msi_info to provide extra info on streams. Indicator ! marks PE and CAB files. Indicator ? marks files that are not images (and are not marked with !). The idea is to first inspect streams marked with ! and ?.

      • KDABPimpl for Small Classes

        The familiar solution for thick value classes that want to preserve binary compatibility is to use the pimpl pattern (private implementation), also known as d-pointer (pointer to data). In future versions of our class, we can freely change the contents of the pimpl (i.e. adding, removing, and/or modifying data members) but the binary compatibility of the public class gets preserved.

        There’s a minor variation of the pimpl pattern that can enable some performance improvements by not allocating the private data in all cases. The idea is pretty simple: move (some of) the data members in the public class, while still keeping a d-pointer data member.

        This optimization makes a lot of sense, if the class that we’re pimpling does not hold a lot of state. In general, there are multiple reasons why one may want to conditionally allocate the private data: [...]

      • GNOMEChristian Hergert: libpeas-2

        Now that GNOME 44 is out the door, I took some time to do a bunch of the refactoring I’ve wanted in libpeas for quite some time. For those not in the know, libpeas is the plugin engine behind applications like Gedit and Builder.

        This does include an ABI break but libpeas-1.0 and libpeas-2 can be installed side-by-side.

        In particular, I wanted to remove a bunch of deprecated API that is well over a decade old. It wasn’t used for very long and causes libpeas to unnecessarily link against gobject-introspection-1.0.

        Additionally, there is no need for the libpeas-gtk library anymore. With GTK 4 came much more powerful list widgets. Combine that with radically different plugin UI designs, the “one stop plugin configuration widget” in libpeas-gtk just isn’t cutting it.

        Now that there is just the single library, using subdirectories in includes does not make sense. Just #include <libpeas.h> now.

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