Geminispace: Still Growing, Still Community-Controlled

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Protocol at 8:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Almost 2.4k live (online) capsules are observed by Lupa right now (there are more, but Lupa cannot see them all), with just 31 more to go before this 2,400 milestone

THE growth of Gemini did not stop. 2021 and 2022 were exciting years of growth for Gemini; we made many videos and published many articles about that. Just because we barely do that anymore doesn’t mean we mothballed the thing and it doesn’t mean that users abandoned it. In terms of the number of Gemini servers, it continues to grow. In terms of actual users who surf Geminispace, that too is growing. Here are the stats for the last two weeks of March, from Techrights alone:

 24644 page requests on 2023/03/17
 34315 page requests on 2023/03/18
 33622 page requests on 2023/03/19
 37344 page requests on 2023/03/20
 18577 page requests on 2023/03/21
 12592 page requests on 2023/03/22
 23301 page requests on 2023/03/23
 15574 page requests on 2023/03/24
 38011 page requests on 2023/03/25
 18483 page requests on 2023/03/26
 35098 page requests on 2023/03/27
 17227 page requests on 2023/03/28
 8096 page requests on 2023/03/29
 7546 page requests on 2023/03/30
 33676 page requests on 2023/03/31

Almost 50,000 of the above were transported through a Web proxy.

“Many people use “apps”, but that’s a different problem…”The Tux Machines Gemini capsule, which is relatively new (only months old), there have been 14.5k requests since the start of the month (April). So there too there has been a lot of activity.

The World Wide Web is shrinking (more sites shut down than new ones created; Google continues to dominate), but people flock elsewhere. They’re still online, but they may be using other protocols. Many people use “apps”, but that’s a different problem…

Here is the growth of Gemini visualised (graph plotted just 2 hours old). Gemini, unlike W3C-led bloat, is community-controlled.

Gemini capsules April 2023

Microsoft Layoffs in the Buzzwords Department

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 7:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Far too many divisions at Microsoft operate at a loss and it is unsustainable, even with bailouts from taxpayers, facilitated by Trump and Biden in more recent years under the guise of coronavirus “stimulus” and “defence” contracts

Debt Loading

Summary: Microsoft hired or acquired (acquisition-based hiring, which enables faking growth, faking wealth when no actual money changes hands, and sometimes debt-loading) a lot of “trash” and “hype”; now it pays the price

IT is far too easy to get cynical these days, seeing how technology gets described in the media. We wrote many articles in the past, condemning or just playfully mocking all sorts of marketing buzzwords.

Here’s the latest at Microsoft: (hard to keep track already of all those waves of layoffs; it’s not just 10,000 staff but a lot more)

Microsoft is shutting down its metaverse unit comprising 100 employees amidst broader layoffs. Microsoft has internally announced disbanding its Industrial Metaverse Core group, a division comprising around 100 employees focused on bringing the metaverse to industrial environments through software.

Just a fortnight or so after Microsoft fired “AI” staff it is firing the “Metaverse” staff. What next? Will Microsoft also fire all the “Smart” staff and be left with a bunch of Cantrells?

Links 01/04/2023: Bloomberg Places Stake in Free Software, Microsoft Banned and Slammed for Antitrust Abuses

Posted in News Roundup at 7:21 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.

Links 01/04/2023: Red Hat Turning 30

Posted in News Roundup at 7:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Podman Desktop – Containers & Kubernetes (Podcast #15 w/ Markus Eisele)

        In the fourth episode of the Red Had Podcast Series, we talk about Podman Desktop with our guest, Markus Eisele, Global Marketing Tools marketing lead at Red Hat. Join us for an insightful and extensive conversation on Podman Desktop, containers, and Kubernetes.

      • Red Hat OfficialWebAssembly Breaks Away from the Browser

        What makes WebAssembly a game-changer for runtime environments? Red Hat CTO Chris Wright chats with Principal Software Engineer Ivan Font about the exciting potential of WASM for edge computing and beyond. From its humble beginnings as a tool to execute code portably in a browser, WASM has gained a lot of recent buzz for its potential as a lightweight, secure, and architecture-neutral runtime environment. But what role does WASI play in extending WebAssembly’s capabilities beyond the browser?

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • OMG! LinuxHow to Check Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength from the Command Line

        This free, open source tool has a neat ncurses-based UI that shows a real-time graph of signal strength for the wireless network you’re currently connected to.

      • Julia EvansBuilding a custom site for zine feedback

        The basic strategy for getting feedback there was to email people a PDF and ask for feedback. This was kind of inefficient, and so over the past couple of years, I’ve worked a lot with Marie Flanagan to improve the process. In this post we’ll talk about: [...]

      • RachelAdministrivia: HTML generation and my general clowniness

        I’ve been kind of quiet these past few weeks. Part of that has been from plowing a bunch of work into getting serious about how all of the /w/ posts get generated. I figure if I’m going to start leaning on people to not do goofy things with their feed readers, the least I can do is make sure I’m not sending them broken garbage.

      • The Inside Playbook

        New reference architecture: Deploying Ansible Automation Platform 2 on Red Hat OpenShift

    • Games

      • Identical GamesFight or Perish

        Fight or Perish was a Gauntlet clone I found on osgameclones.com. I downloaded it almost two years ago but never got around to checking it out. It was created by Bill Kendrick at New Breed Software. He had a bunch of game project that I’d love to play with. His game Bobobot was the subject of the first Open Game Source article. Fight or Perish was more of a prototype than a finished game.

        Fight or Perish was listed twice on osgameclones.com. In addition to Gauntlet, it was listed as a Dandy clone. Dandy was an game for Atari 8-bit computers published by Atari. Ed Long acknowledged Dandy as inspiration for Gauntlet which led to a lawsuit that was settled out of court.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Unicorn MediaEuroLinux Desktop 9.1 Released As Easy Windows Workstation Replacement

        EuroLinux, the Poland-based ten-year-old startup that for many years has been offering a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, today announced the release of EuroLinux Desktop 9.1. Unlike the company’s eponymous flagship distribution for servers that has been available for years, EuroLinux Desktop was introduced in September for companies wanting to move their employees from Windows or Mac Workstations to Linux.

        In order to make it easy for employees to make the transition, the distro uses a modified GNOME desktop environment that presents a UI that will be familiar to users who have never worked in a Linux environment. EuroLinux is hoping that with a reduced learning curve for users, the distro will be an attractive alternative to Windows and Macs, and help the company gain traction in the EU where there has been pushback by government regulators against proprietary offerings from the U.S., mainly for privacy and security reasons.

      • Red Hat OfficialRed Hatters on 30 years of innovation, collaboration and community

        It goes without saying that Red Hat has experienced a lot of change over the years. What was once a small company founded by entrepreneurs and techies Bob Young and Marc Ewing is now a global leader in open source technology and innovation. As we reflected upon the last three decades and took a look back at all we’ve learned and accomplished, a familiar story came to mind–how Red Hat got its name.

        Our company moniker comes directly from Ewing. As a student in this college computer lab, people would say, “If you need help, look for the guy in the red hat,” in reference to his beloved red Cornell lacrosse cap. The sentiment of our name’s origin rings true today, but with a slight adjustment–if you need help, look for a Red Hatter.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Linux LinksBest Free and Open Source Software – March 2023

      Here are the latest updates to our compilation of recommended software. Open source software at its finest.

      We’ve been focusing on our Machine Learning in Linux series this month, so updates to our open source compilation have been lighter than usual.

      As always, we love receiving your suggestions for new articles or additional open source software to feature. Let us know in the Comments box below or drop us an email.

      The table above shows our articles published in March 2023.

    • OMG! LinuxBlender 3.5 Released with Hair-Raising Improvements

      Blender 3.5 features the usual crop of bug fixes, performance patches, and stability tune ups. But it’s notable for introducing big improvements to the way it handles hair.

      Yes, hair.

    • Frederic CambusToolchains adventures – Q1 2023

      This is the seventh post in my toolchains adventures series. Please check the previous posts in the toolchains category for more context about this journey. There was no Q4 2022 report as there wasn’t really anything worthwhile to write about, only some usual Pkgsrc and OpenBSD toolchains related ports updates.

    • Mark HansenMastodon Account Verification with Ghost Blog

      I would like my profile to be clear that it’s the real me, not some spammer pretending to be me. You achieve this with Mastodon verification: [...]

    • Programming/Development

      • Rlang6 new books added to Big Book of R

        Many thanks to Sergey Bolshakov and Mokandil for some of this update’s submissions!

        I want to again give a special thanks to Niels Ohlsen for helping me vet books and adding them to the collection. Niels is the co-organiser of the Dataviz meetup in Bremen, Germany. If you’re in the area, why not look them up on LinkedIn and Meetup?

        I’m applying for a grant to upgrade the Big Book of R. Have a look at the details and if you like, take two minutes to submit your statement of support!

      • Rust

        • Wesley MooreBuilding a Classic Mac OS App in Rust

          Instead of using my funemployment to build useful things I have continued to build things for old versions of Mac OS. Through some luck and a little persistence I have actually managed to get Rust code running on classic Mac OS (I’ve tried Mac OS 7.5 and 8.1). In this post I’ll cover how I got here and show a little network connected demo application I built—just in time for the end of #MARCHintosh.

  • Leftovers

    • El País‘It used to be dumb, but now it’s everywhere’: welcome to the era of vertical video

      In a few short years, what once was one of the most disdained formats has become established as the favored choice for all the main platforms

    • The NationCity on Fire
    • HackadayMove Aside Yoda, It’s Furby’s Turn On Luke’s Back

      When you want a backpack that turns heads and gets people talking, you can get ahead of the conversation with a talking backpack. [Nina] created a rucksack with the legendary babbler itself, the infamous Furby.

    • HackadaySee Satellites In Broad Daylight With This Sky-Mapping Dish Antenna

      If you look up at the night sky in a dark enough place, with enough patience you’re almost sure to see a satellite cross the sky. It’s pretty cool to think you’re watching light reflect off a hunk of metal zipping around the Earth fast enough to never hit it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work during the daylight hours, and you really only get to see satellites in low orbits.

    • The NationSingle-Stair Layouts Are Not Going to Fix the Housing Crisis

      If you’ve been around architecture and urbanism circles for the last few years, you might have heard about something called “single-stair” layouts. While not a new concept (it’s been present in European multifamily buildings for a very long time), single-stair apartment buildings have, like upzoning before it, become the latest concept to gain “it will fix our cities” panacea status among a certain type of pragmatic liberal urban pundit. If we build using single-stair, it could lower rents! It could make better streetscapes! It could make America more like Blessed Mother Europe! Wow, the housing crisis is suddenly solved, thanks to this one weird trick!

    • The NationWhat We’ll Be Celebrating When Harriet Tubman Appears on the 20-Dollar Bill

      Every single image staring back at us from US paper currency tells a story. Taken together, these images form a narrative about the nation, its values, and its people. Until recently, the story of symbolism on US money has been one of how white America has racialized the mythology of the nation in its own image and interests. Currently, the images on US permanent paper money portray no women, no people of color, no Native Americans, and no working-class people. The images on the money, like our monuments, statues, street names, and geographical place names should be seen as contested territory. This is article is excerpted and adapted from Clarence Lusane’s book Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice and Democracy (2022), published by City Lights Books.

    • The NationObjectivity for What?

      In her poignant column in response to the Texas Democracy Foundation’s since-rescinded vote to shutter the Texas Observer, Andrea Grimes fondly recalls the monthly parties where staff and supporters of the Observer shared food, drink, the occasional risk of a natural gas explosion, and an appreciation o the publication’s history of producing accountability journalism in pursuit of a more equitable Texas.

    • Education

      • 37signals LLCHow to have buckets of time

        Rejecting this way of working is why I usually feel very content about the progress I’m able to make on the things that matter, without feeling overwhelmed or busy all the time. Because it really just isn’t that busy most of the time! It’s focused, sure. But not busy.

        Again, let’s look at email. I use HEY’s Focus & Reply feature to get back to people who don’t need an urgent reply (which is almost everyone). I let the bucket fill up with 30-40-50 emails over a week or two, then I knock out replies to all of them in less than an hour. Just make that contrast. Letting your attention being disturbed 30-40-50 times over a week or two vs accepting a single interruption in the form of a focused hour. It’s a monumental difference.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayWorking With Old High-Voltage EPROMs Is Fussy

        EPROMs, those UV-erasable memory chips of the 80s and 90s, once played a crucial role in countless electronic devices. They’ve become relics of a bygone era, but for enthusiasts of vintage electronics, the allure of these light-sensitive devices remains strong. Today, we’re diving into [Kevin Osborn]’s nostalgic journey as he uncovers the secrets of old EPROMs loaded with Atari 7800 code.

      • HackadayCreating A 3D Visualization Of Freely Moving Organisms Using Camera Array And Software Algorithm

        Observing a colony, swarm or similar grouping of creatures like ants or zebrafish over longer periods of time can be tricky. Simply recording their behavior with a camera misses a lot of information about the position of their body parts, while taking precise measurements using a laser-based system or LiDAR suffers from a reduction in parameters such as the resolution or the update speed. The ideal monitoring system would be able to record at high data rates and resolutions, while presenting the recorded data all three dimensions. This is where the work by Kevin C. Zhou and colleagues seeks to tick all the boxes, with a recent paper (preprint, open access) in Nature Photonics describing their 3D-RAPID system.

      • HackadayTiny Yet Functional Bike Built From Scratch

        Sometimes, you just want to go ride your bike in the great outdoors, but you can’t be bothered throwing it in the back of the car. That wouldn’t be a problem if you rode this latest build from [The Q]: a bike small enough to fit in a handbag.

      • HackadayHackaday Podcast 212: Staring Through ICs, Reading Bloom Filters, And Repairing, Reworking, And Reballing

        It was quite the cornucopia of goodness this week as Elliot and Dan sat down to hash over the week in hardware hacking. We started with the exciting news that the Hackaday Prize is back — already? — for the tenth year running! The first round, Re-Engineering Education, is underway now, and we’re already seeing some cool entries come in. The Prize was announced at Hackday Berlin, about which Elliot waxed a bit too. Speaking of wax, if you’re looking to waterproof your circuits, that’s just one of many coatings you might try. If you’re diagnosing a problem with a chip, a cheap camera can give your microscope IR vision. Then again, you might just use your Mark I peepers to decode a ROM. Is your FDM filament on the wrong spool? We’ve got an all-mechanical solution for that. We’ll talk about tools of the camera operator’s trade, the right to repair in Europe, Korean-style toasty toes, BGA basics, and learn just what the heck a bloom filter is — or is it a Bloom filter?

      • HackadayWhy A Community Hackerspace Should Be A Vital Part Of Being An Engineering Student

        Travelling the continent’s hackerspaces over the years, I have visited quite a few spaces located in university towns. They share a depressingly common theme, of a community hackerspace full of former students who are now technology professionals, sharing a city with a university anxious to own all the things in the technology space and actively sabotaging the things they don’t own. I’ve seen spaces made homeless by university expansion, I’ve seen universities purposefully align their own events to clash with a hackerspace open night and discourage students from joining, and in one particularly egregious instance, I’ve even seen a university take legal action against a space because they used the name of the city, also that of the university, in the name of their hackerspace. I will not mince my words here; while the former are sharp practices, the latter is truly disgusting behaviour.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Scoop News GroupHow a computer scientist talks to her daughter about TikTok

        Nadya Bliss and her 12-year-old daughter Coco have been talking about technology for as long as the two can remember. Nadya is a computer scientist who is also the executive director of the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University. Technology and national security issues take up much of her time. While she loves tech and embraces many of its benefits, she is acutely aware of its darker sides, too. As a parent of a tween, the topic of social media — and especially TikTok — is commonplace in their household and among their friends. While many lawmakers and national security experts in Washington and elsewhere around the country are calling for an outright TikTok ban, those concerns are lost on the many millions of tweens and teens who spend hours on the app every day. Nadya and Coco, who is a sixth grader and among the minority of her peers without TikTok, recently talked about how the app — and the omnipresence of technology in just about every kid’s life today — is changing parenting and childhood. The following conversation between Nadya and Coco has been edited for clarity and length.


        Nadya: Like what? Like how it affects people?

        Coco: It affects the people who are on it. They start to change the way they talk. The slang they use. The way they move in general. If you’re on TikTok, you do TikTok dances. It’s just what you do.

      • Common DreamsBiden DOJ Sues Norfolk Southern for ‘Unlawfully Polluting the Nation’s Waterways’

        The Biden administration on Friday took its latest step to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for the disaster continuing to unfold in East Palestine, Ohio and the surrounding area, filing a lawsuit against the rail company for sending toxic chemicals into the environment.

      • DeSmogNew Bigger Risks Await Poorly Regulated Rail Industry

        In July of 2013, a train carrying Bakken oil from North Dakota derailed and exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 people and destroying the downtown. I spent the five years after that accident researching what happened, following the railroad regulatory process that spans the U.S.-Canada border, and publishing a book about that experience. The main lesson of that book was that the regulatory process in America is deeply flawed and controlled by industry — both rail and oil interests. 

        As we approach the 10-year anniversary of Lac-Mégantic, the disaster in East Palestine shows just how little was done to protect the public from these dangerous trains. Meanwhile, the public is facing new rail risks that are receiving scant attention — and once again federal regulators are allowing industry to move forward without proper consideration of the health and safety risks. I live three blocks from a busy rail line and what worries me the most when I hear the trains rumble past is not that they’re carrying vinyl chloride or even Bakken oil, but the looming risk of mile-long trains of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen. 

      • Common DreamsCDC Investigators Fell Ill While Assessing Contamination in East Palestine

        Reports that several investigators with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention became ill earlier this month when they visited East Palestine, Ohio offered the latest evidence on Friday that the air and water in the town is less safe than state officials and rail company Norfolk Southern have claimed, following the company’s train derailment in February.

      • The NationOne of America’s Worst Judges Just Gutted a Key Part of Obamacare

        One of the most important parts of the Affordable Care Act is its requirement that insurance companies cover preventive care. As we approach a full generation of people who have come of age under the protections provided by the ACA, it’s easy to forget that in the before times, it was incredibly difficult for poor people to get preventive care, and prohibitively expensive for middle-class people to do the same. That meant that a lot of times, people just had to wait to get sick before their insurance plans even kicked in. It meant that a lot of people wouldn’t get mammograms or colonoscopies. It meant a lot more “negative health care outcomes” and human suffering.

      • The Brownstone Institute fear mongers about mRNA vaccines

        Earlier this month, I discovered a new antivaccine flack named Alan Lash, who writes for the “spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD),” the Brownstone Institute and caught my attention by regurgitating an old common antivax trope about distrusting physicians. The GBD, as you might recall, was a declaration created at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), a right-wing “free market” think tank, by three libertarian-leaning scientists who served as useful idiots for AIER to drape its pro-business, anti-government leanings into a scientific-seeming “declaration” advocating a eugenicist “let ‘er rip” approach to the COVID-19 pandemic in early October 2020. Whenever I discuss the GBD, I like to note two things. First, there was no vaccine yet. Second, the entire idea of the GBD was to let SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, rip through the “young and healthy” population to build up “natural herd immunity” by letting them go about their business with no pandemic restrictions while using a vaguely defined—nearly completely undefined, actually—strategy of “focused protection” to keep the vulnerable (e.g., the elderly and those with chronic health conditions that put them at high risk of dying of COVID-19) supposedly safe. It was a strategy that obviously never could have worked, and epidemiologists pointed out that it would never work at the time. This time around, Mr. Lash is regurgitating antivax disinformation about mRNA vaccines in general in an article entitled The mRNA Platform: What It Is, What It Means.

      • Pro PublicaLawmakers Have Renewed the Effort to Ban Asbestos

        Citing ProPublica’s reporting, lawmakers on Thursday reintroduced a bill that would ban the use of asbestos in the United States, bringing it in line with dozens of countries that have outlawed the carcinogenic substance.

        Even though asbestos is known to cause deadly diseases, the U.S. still allows companies to import hundreds of tons of the raw mineral. It is primarily used by two chemical manufacturers, OxyChem and Olin Corp., in the production of chlorine. The legislation, called the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2023, would ban the import and use of all six types of asbestos fibers. It would give OxyChem and Olin two years to transition its asbestos-dependent chlorine plants to newer, asbestos-free technology.

    • Proprietary

      • Ruben SchadeApple’s integrity-free APFS turns six

        APFS is copy-on-write, so that’s a start. But it’s boggles the mind that a company could seriously launch a file system in 2017 without integrity checks… or at least the ability to enable it. But then, Apple have lost the plot with their desktop OSs for a number of years now.

      • Data BreachesGuam Memorial Hospital under review for potential HIPAA breach

        How many times have we heard entities claim that they got lucky and no patient, student, or employee data was accessed or acquired, only to discover later — as Los Angeles Unified School District and Wilkes-Barre Technical Center recently learned — that yes, personal and sensitive information had been compromised?

      • MozillaLetting users block injected third-party DLLs in Firefox

        On Windows, third-party products have a variety of ways to inject their code into other running processes. This is done for a number of reasons; the most common is for antivirus software, but other uses include hardware drivers, screen readers, banking (in some countries) and, unfortunately, malware.

        Having a DLL from a third-party product injected into a Firefox process is surprisingly common – according to our telemetry, over 70% of users on Windows have at least one such DLL! (to be clear, this means any DLL not digitally signed by Mozilla or part of the OS).

        Most users are unaware when DLLs are injected into Firefox, as most of the time there’s no obvious indication this is happening, other than checking the about:third-party page.

      • The Register UKBritish govt tech supplier Capita crippled by ‘IT issue’ [iophk: Windows TCO]

        “The reality is that we’ve had no access to anything related to Capita’s Azure Directory (AD) or Azure Active Directory, which includes VPN and all Microsoft 365 and Azure services,” a Register-reading Capita insider told us.

    • Security

      • Techdirt3CX Knew Its App Was Being Flagged By AV Platforms, Did Very Little During Supply Chain Attack

        If you don’t use the 3CX VoIP platform, or work in the MSP space with companies that do, you may have missed the news that the company suffered a massive supply chain attack over the past few days. With comparisons being made to the SolarWinds fiasco, this was really, really bad. Unsuspecting clients of 3CX had Windows and Mac versions of the app to hundreds of thousands of customers deployed on their computers with malware snuck inside. That malware called out to actor-controlled servers, which then deployed more malware designed to allow for everything from browser hijacking to remote-takeover of the computer entirely. A hacking group associated with the North Korean government is suspected to be behind all of this.

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • University of TorontoExploiting (or abusing) password fields for Multi-Factor Authentication

          I’ve recently been looking into how people add Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to their OpenVPN systems, both using commercial solutions and home grown ones. One of the things that makes this difficult is that I believe the OpenVPN authentication protocol is old fashioned enough that it doesn’t provide for multi-step interaction. Instead, clients can send either or both of a TLS client certificate and a username plus password pair to the server, and the server gets to decide. However, common OpenVPN server software allows you to plug in your own code to do the user and password authentication, and so it turns out that people have used this to add MFA.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • NYOBMeta (Facebook, Instagram) switching to “Legitimate Interest” for Ads

          As the Wall Street Journal reports, Meta (Facebook and Instagram) is switching from an illegal contract to equally illegal basis “legitimate interests” for advertisement, after noyb won a series of complaints against them. noyb will take imminent action, as the clear case law and guidance does not allow a company to argue that its interests in profits overrides the users’ right to privacy.

        • Remy Van ElstCookie / Privacy Policy

          This Cookie Policy was last updated on March 31, 2023 and applies to citizens and legal permanent residents of the European Economic Area and Switzerland

        • The Register UKNYPD blues: Cops ignored 93 percent of surveillance law rules

          The NYPD, however, has rejected 93 percent of the advice from an independent oversight body, the Department of Investigations’ (DOI) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the force about how to comply with the law. According to OIG’s Ninth Annual Report [PDF], the cop watchdog made 15 recommendations and the NYPD refused to implement 14 of them.

          These include recommendations like identifying the organizations with which NYPD shares surveillance data: “NYPD should identify in each IUP [Impact and Use Policy] each external agency, by name, with which the Department can share surveillance data.”

        • Privacy InternationalJoint submission to European Commission on cross-border sharing of data for mixed criminal law and immigration control purposes

          The European Commission’s initiative for a ‘Security-related information sharing system between frontline officers in the EU and key partner countries’ is a further development along the path of problematic border externalisation, and a trend of increasing use of large-scale processing of the personal data of non-EU citizens for combined criminal law and immigration control purposes, that civil society has been speaking out against for years. PI and others filed a joint submission to the consultation.

        • EFFAfter Students Challenged Proctoring Software, French Court Slaps TestWe App With a Suspension
        • EFFWithout Verification, What Is the Point of Elon Musk’s Twitter?

          Twitter used to do a better job of content moderation than many of its social media competitors. The company tended to err on the side of labeling objectionable content rather than removing it. Twitter had an admirable commitment to transparency and standing up for its users (that isn’t to say it was good: content moderation at scale almost never turns out well. It simply had smarter failures than the rest). 

          Twitter’s good qualities—features and practices that many users all over the world came to rely on—are all but gone now. 

          Twitter first introduced blue checkmarks in 2009, after celebrities complained of being impersonated on the platform. While verification was only available to well-known public figures (e.g. actors, athletes, politicians) at first, checkmarks were later rolled out to companies, journalists, activists, and even social media influencers. In 2016, the company briefly rolled out a verification application process, so individuals who could prove their notability could get verified. That process was shut down after a white supremacist was verified through it, and wasn’t reopened until late 2020, with tighter qualifications.

        • EFFBad Content Moderation Is Bad, And Government Interference Can Make It Even Worse

          However, buried in these misunderstandings from Congress, and most of the witnesses called to testify, was a genuinely serious problem: Government officials keep asking online services to remove or edit users’ speech, raising the specter of unconstitutional interference with private platforms’ moderation decisions. And worse, the public lacks any transparency into how often this occurs.

          Regardless of your ideological preference, we should always worry about government coercion that results in censoring users’ speech online, which violates the First Amendment and threatens human rights globally. The government is free to try to persuade online services to remove speech it believes is harmful, but the choice to remove users’ speech should always remain with the platform.

          So Congress is right to investigate the relationship between platforms and the government, and both should be more transparent about official requests to remove users’ content.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Energy/Transportation

        • WiredThese Angry Dutch Farmers Really Hate Microsoft

          The heated exchange between Ruiter and Microsoft’s security guard shows how contentious Big Tech’s data centers have become in rural parts of the Netherlands. As the Dutch government sets strict environmental targets to cut emissions, industries are being forced to compete for space on Dutch farmland—pitting big tech against the increasingly political population of Dutch farmers.

          There are around 200 data centers in the Netherlands, most of them renting out server space to several different companies. But since 2015, the country has also witnessed the arrival of enormous “hyperscalers,” buildings that generally span at least 10,000 square feet and are set up to service a single (usually American) tech giant. Lured here by the convergence of European internet cables, temperate climates, and an abundance of green energy, Microsoft and Google have built hyperscalers; Meta has tried and failed.

        • Positech GamesEconomics of solar batteries (big and small)

          There are many reasons to get a home battery. Its a cool gadget, its also an incredibly strong way to reduce your energy bills (we basically run our whole house 24/7 on off-peak electricity at 75% off), and its also a great thing to partner-up with solar panels to ensure you use all that free power and don’t go exporting it to the evil energy company for a pitiful rate. I have to admit, although I was fully aware that we exported a lot of power on those days we were out, or we were not running much stuff, I had totally underestimated the impact. I’m currently running a big desktop PC/Monitor, router, wifi boosters and a bunch of other stuff, all from solar, on a cloudy day in march in the UK, AND filling the battery slightly…

        • India TimesElon Musk seeks to end $258 billion Dogecoin lawsuit

          Investors accused Musk, the world’s second-richest person according to Forbes, of deliberately driving up Dogecoin’s price more than 36,000% over two years and then letting it crash.

          They said this generated billions of dollars of profit at other Dogecoin investors’ expense, even as Musk knew the currency lacked intrinsic value.

      • Overpopulation

        • YLEWWF: Finland uses annual share of natural resources in 3 months

          People in Finland had consumed their share of the Earth’s natural resources just three months into the year by Friday, 31 March.

          “According to the latest calculations, Finns are the 16th-fastest consumers of their share of earth’s natural resources in the world,” WWF Finland’s conservation advisor Jussi Nikula said in a press release.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • TechdirtMedia Has No Interest In Paying For Twitter Blue

        It’s been so weird the way Elon Musk and his friends have been jealous of underpaid, overworked journalists who happened to have blue check marks next to their name. There’s some sort of deep-seated insecurity to think that just because Twitter decided some people should be verified to avoid problems with impersonation that it was some sort of status symbol (again, as full disclosure, at some point in 2020 or 2021, my account got verified, though this was through no request on my own: until then I had been happily unverified, and one day I showed up and there was a mark next to my name with me not having asked for it and without any interest in getting it).

      • Pro PublicaTwo GOP Officials Kicked Off Surry County Election Board

        The courtroom was packed when the North Carolina State Board of Elections convened on Tuesday to consider removing two members of the Surry County Board of Elections from their posts. At the Surry County GOP convention not long before, one board member, Tim DeHaan, had appealed for people to attend the meeting at the county courthouse. And now, dozens of supporters, one with “We the People” tattooed on his forearm and another with cowboy boots stamped with American flags, whispered tensely among themselves.

        DeHaan and Jerry Forestieri were facing the state elections board because, at a November meeting to certify the county’s 2022 general election results, they had presented a co-signed letter declaring “I don’t view election law per NCSBE as legitimate or Constitutional.” Then Forestieri refused to certify the election, while DeHaan only agreed to certify it on a technicality.

      • MeduzaMinistry of Justice designates musician Maksim Pokrovsky a “foreign agent” — Meduza

        Russia’s Justice Ministry has included Maksim Pokrovsky, the leader of the rock group Nogu Svelo!, on its list of “foreign agents,” according to the ministry’s website.

      • MeduzaNavalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation blacklists Alfa Group partners it previously sought to extricate from sanctions — Meduza

        Alexey Navalny’s associates at the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF) have updated their list of “bribe-takers and warmongers,” adding the names of Alfa Group Consortium’s shareholders Mikhail Fridman, Alexey Kuzmichev, and German Khan to the list.

      • TechdirtNew York The Latest State To Ponder A Netflix Tax

        Hungry to boost municipal budgets, a growing roster of states and cities have spent the last five years or so trying to implement a tax on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services.

      • Common DreamsVatican Rejects ‘Doctrine of Discovery’, Used to Justify Colonial Conquest and Land Theft

        In a historic shift long sought by Indigenous-led activists, the Holy See on Thursday formally repudiated the doctrine of discovery, a dubious legal theory born from a series of 15th-century papal decrees used by colonizers including the United States to legally justify the genocidal conquest of non-Christian peoples and their land.

      • The NationWisconsin’s Supreme Court Race Could Restore Democracy in America’s Most Gerrymandered State

        Gerrymandering, the process by which elected officials draw legislative and congressional district maps that benefit themselves and their parties, is widely understood as antithetical to democracy. Decrying the maneuvers by which partisan politicians use the redistricting process to gain “control of state legislatures and congressional delegations before a single vote is cast,” former President Barack Obama explains, “That is not how democracy is supposed to work.”

      • Common Dreams‘They Have a Lot of Money… We Have the People’: Sanders Rallies for Brandon Johnson in Chicago

        U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders stumped for progressive Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson late Thursday, imploring the city’s voters to turn out in record numbers to overcome what he described as the powerful establishment forces backing conservative Democrat Paul Vallas.

      • TruthOutTrump Indicted on Criminal Charges in NY as 3 Other Investigations Continue
      • Democracy NowIndicted: Trump Faces Criminal Charges in NY; Three Other Investigations into Ex-President Continue

        In an unprecedented move, a Manhattan grand jury voted Thursday to indict former President Donald Trump for hush-money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign to hide an alleged affair, making Trump the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges. While the precise details of the charges are not yet known, the development culminates years of political, business and personal legal troubles for Trump, who still faces three other major investigations. We look at the charges in this case and others that Trump faces, with Ellen Yaroshefsky, who teaches legal ethics as a professor at Hofstra University Law School.

      • Common DreamsDA’s Office Tells GOP Republicans to Cease ‘Inflammatory Accusations’ About Trump Case

        On the heels of former President Donald Trump’s historic indictment, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office on Friday told three top Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House that their “attempted interference with an ongoing state criminal investigation—and now prosecution—is an unprecedented and illegitimate incursion on New York’s sovereign interests.”

      • Common Dreams‘This P*ssy Grabbed Back’: Stormy Daniels Speaks Out After Trump Indictment

        Stormy Daniels reacted Friday to the criminal indictment of former U.S. President Donald Trump with a play on his infamous taped remarks seemingly confessing to sexually assaulting women.

      • The NationManhattan Court Pursues Florida Man for White-Collar Crime

        With Donald Trump’s indictment on apparent charges of concealing improper campaign finances in Manhattan, all the classic elements of Trump-centric scandal-mongering are in place. There are the salacious details surrounding the transaction at the heart of the alleged offense—a hush-money payoff engineered by Trump’s since-convicted legal fixer Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels, whom Trump allegedly bedded in 2006 (which he has since denied). There’s the self-interested partisan dissection of the charges, with Democrats eagerly anticipating Trump’s long-deferred appointment with legal accountability, and Republicans righteously launching congressional investigations of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg—when they’re not also threatening more mob-led mayhem to split the country in two. The political press, meanwhile, will lurch into overdrive, with breathless speculation upon speculation on what a Trump indictment might mean for the GOP primaries, the other legal investigations of the former president’s misconduct, and the parlous state of the American republic.

      • The NationTrump’s Indictment Will Dominate the 2024 Election

        With the decision of New York’s grand jury to indict Donald Trump on more than 30 counts of falsifying business records, the United States enters uncharted waters. It would be historic even if all that happened is that a former president, for the first time, faced criminal charges. But Trump is not just any former president. He’s currently running for the GOP nomination. That fact, combined with his long-standing penchant for trying to delegitimize legal investigation into his actions and his use of the presidential pardon power for political advantage, means that Trump’s indictment is going to be a major issue in the next presidential election.1

      • The NationChicago’s Election Will Shape the Future of Public Safety in America

        Chicago’s per capita police spending has, officially, more than tripled since 1964. The city now employs about twice as many police officers per capita as the national average—markedly more than any other large city except Washington, D.C. The Chicago Police Department has attempted nearly every possible police intervention and reform. Meanwhile, many of Chicago’s segregated Black and brown neighborhoods continue to suffer from high rates of poverty and violence. In recent years, this violence has begun to spill over into the downtown business core and, as a result, to increasingly concern the city’s wealthy donor class. This article is published in partnership with The TRiiBE.

      • ScheerpostReagan’s Treason, Two Bushes and the $23 Million Payoff

        Last week, a Texas pol, Ben Barnes, confessed that he was personally involved—and therefore an eyewitness to–high treason: The Ronald Reagan campaign’s successful secret deal with the Iranian government to hold 52 Americans hostages so that Reagan could defeat Jimmy Carter. ]

      • Common DreamsRebutting 3 GOP Talking Points on Trump Indictment

        Donald Trump has been indicted.

      • Common DreamsDonald John Trump’s Indictment and the Triviality of Evil

        A New York Grand Jury empaneled by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has indicted the former president, Donald John Trump. I give all three of Trump’s names because that is usually how the felons are referred to in the press.

      • Common DreamsThe GOP Is the Party of Grift

        Nobody ever accused Republicans of not knowing how to make a buck or BS-ing somebody into voting for them. Lying to people for economic or political gain is the very definition of a grift.

      • Common Dreams‘The Grift Continues’: Trump Campaign, GOP Allies Beg for Money After Indictment

        The Trump campaign and the former president’s Republican allies wasted no time attempting to turn Thursday’s indictment news into a lucrative fundraising opportunity, appealing to their right-wing supporters for cash on live television and in a flurry of late-night emails.

      • [Repeat] Common DreamsKarma: Happy Trump’s First Indictment Day

        Wowza. It seems the Manhattan grand jury’s indictment of lifelong grifter and twice-impeached, way-past-time-for-him-to-be-gone former pretend president Trump charges him with 34 counts related to business fraud, which must cover more than just hush money to Stormy, the porn star who may have saved America. Trump is expected to appear in court Tuesday. Until then, patriots are berserk with glee at the prospect justice may finally be done. Gwyneth freed, Trump indicted. What a country.

      • [Repeat] ScheerpostAmerica’s Slavery-Ridden Origin Story: Facing the Uncomfortable Reality

        Writer Dionne Ford dives deep into her ancestry and confronts the complexities of being a Black woman in America with the blood of both the enslaved and the enslaver.

      • Common DreamsFetterman ‘So Happy to Be Home,’ Set to Return to Senate After Hospitalization for Depression

        Democratic U.S. Senator John Fetterman is back in his hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania and looking forward to returning to work soon after being released Friday from Walter Reed military hospital in Maryland, where he was treated for depression.

      • The NationTsunami Arrives
      • El PaísHow a little-known U.S. agency holds power over TikTok’s future

        At the heart of this social media business and national security drama is the increasingly tense relations between the U.S. and China. The video-sharing platform with 150 million U.S. users is best known for quick snippets of viral dance routines and has been under scrutiny for years by federal authorities who say that its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, could share sensitive user data with the Chinese government, or push propaganda and misinformation on its behalf.

      • Digital Music NewsSenate Vote On TikTok Ban Bill Blocked Over Free Speech Concerns Amid Continued Bipartisan Scrutiny

        As mentioned at the outset, the senator – whose “No TikTok On Government Devices” bill became law near 2022’s conclusion and went into effect in March – just recently called for a vote on the legislation concerning the countrywide ban. (Senator Hawley also voiced his opposition to the comparatively far-reaching RESTRICT Act, which he says would “give new open-ended authority to federal bureaucrats.”)

      • Digital Music NewsOnly 22% of American Adults Oppose Banning TikTok, Survey Finds — Including 56% of Active Users

        Expanding upon the point, 88% of Americans are “not at all” (59%) or “not too” (29%) confident that Chinese social media companies follow “what their privacy policies say they will do with their personal information,” according to the survey results. A nearly identical portion of U.S. adults aren’t at all or too confident that Chinese social media companies use “their personal information in ways that they are comfortable with.”

      • Interesting EngineeringVirgin Orbit suspends operations, lays off 90% of employees

        Hart stated that the corporation would cut all but 100 roles, accounting for around 90 percent of the staff and that the layoffs would affect every team and department. According to an SEC filing, Virgin Orbit decided “to cut expenses in light of the company’s inability to secure sufficient funding.” The layoffs accounted for 675 positions or nearly 85 percent of the total.

      • CNBCVirgin Orbit fails to secure funding, will cease operations and lay off nearly entire workforce

        Virgin Orbit is ceasing operations “for the foreseeable future” after failing to secure a funding lifeline, CEO Dan Hart told employees during an all-hands meeting Thursday afternoon. The company will lay off nearly all of its workforce.

      • Atlantic CouncilBanning TikTok alone will not solve the problem of US data security

        But TikTok users’ usage of the social media app, even if only to generate business, does not mitigate the potential threats to US national security associated with it. In December, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines warned about the potential uses of TikTok by Beijing stemming from the data the app collects and the possibility of using it to influence public opinion. TikTok’s algorithm, for example—which experts view as more advanced than that of Facebook parent company Meta—could be used by China to create propaganda that seeks to influence or manipulate elections and the broader information environment.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • Vice Media GroupEvery Day is April Fool’s Day Now

          It takes only seconds of critical thinking to see that each of these are fake, but as AI-generated shitposting becomes easier, it’s inevitable that one of these will catch you with your guard down, or appeal to some basic emotion you are too eager to believe. Tucker Carlson, for example, read that fake call to behead Christians on his show as if it were real.

          Even if you’re trained in recognizing fake imagery and can immediately spot the difference between copy written by a language model and a human (content that’s increasingly sneaking into online articles), doing endless fact-checking and performing countless micro-decisions about reality and fraud is mentally draining. Every year, our brains are tasked with processing five percent more information per day than the last. Add to this cognitive load a constant, background-level effort to decide whether that data is a lie.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ScheerpostThe European Union’s Digital Trade Rules: Undermining European Policy to Rein in Big Tech

        This report shows how Big Tech companies are working to constrain the ability of EU democratic bodies to regulate their activities in the public interest through “trade” agreements, which are binding and permanent.

      • [Repeat] Telex (Hungary)Hungary condemned by Strasbourg court for educational segregation of Roma student
      • The NationLamar Jackson’s Sin: Not Playing Their Game

        Lamar Jackson, the quicksilver quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, is in collusion limbo. He is 26 years old. He is a former NFL Most Valuable Player. He is beloved by teammates and fans. And he is in a purgatory from which there is no easy way out. For a casual fan, this story can seem to require a degree in contract law. But here are the broad sketches: Jackson has what’s called a “non-exclusive franchise tag,” which means he is due to make $32.5 million playing for the Ravens in 2023—far below the market value for his skills. But as a free agent he is also able to court a contract from other teams. The Ravens would then have the option to match the offer. Jackson revealed earlier this week on Twitter that he requested a trade on March 2 and hoped the Ravens would accommodate him. There is one problem: Jackson has received no free-agent offers, and trade partners cannot be found.

      • [Repeat] Telex (Hungary)Orbán: The EU has abandoned the two goals it was created for: peace and prosperity
      • Common DreamsStarbucks Workers Forced to Laugh as Schultz Testifies He’s No Union-Buster

        Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, under threat of subpoena, has finally appeared before the United States Senate to answer for the company’s union-busting practices.

      • Common Dreams‘Truly Troubling’: Claiming Western Invasion Imminent, Lukashenko Says Belarus Seeks Nuclear Weapons

        Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday claimed without evidence that his government needs to “safeguard” the Eastern European country from a looming Western invasion, saying he is seeking to station intercontinental nuclear missiles there to defend Belarus against the United States and other countries in the West.

      • Meduza‘We won’t stop at anything’: Lukashenko promises to deploy strategic nuclear weapons ‘if need be’ — Meduza

        Alexander Lukashenko is prepared to deploy not just tactical, but also strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus. The president of Belarus made this clear when addressing the National Assembly on Friday.

      • India TimesUK Amazon workers to strike for six days in April

        GMB said more than 560 workers at the warehouse in Coventry would walk out on April 16-18 and April 21-23. Workers at the site staged the first strike at the U.S. tech company’s operations in Britain in January, followed by a further seven days in February and March.

      • NPRThe Vatican repudiates ‘Doctrine of Discovery,’ which was used to justify colonialism

        The doctrine was invoked as a legal and religious standing by Europeans who “discovered” new lands and violently seized it from people who had been living there for generations. It has been cited in different arenas for centuries, including by the U.S. Supreme Court — as early as 1823 and as recently as 2005.

        “The statement repudiates the very mindsets and worldview that gave rise to the original papal bulls,” the Rev. David McCallum, executive director of the Program for Discerning Leadership based in Rome, told NPR.

      • New York TimesThe People Executed or Sentenced to Death in Iran’s Protest Crackdown

        Their trials were fast-tracked behind closed doors by Iran’s Revolutionary Court system, with government-assigned lawyers representing the defendants. The evidence presented has often been opaque, sometimes relying on coerced confessions or grainy video footage. Rights groups say that in some cases, there are accounts and evidence of torture.

        Not every detail of the judicial proceedings or the purported crimes could be confirmed, but The Times interviewed friends and relatives of some defendants and corroborated information with activists and reports by Amnesty International and other major human rights groups.

      • RFATibetan street vendors in Lhasa targeted amid ‘clean up’ the streets campaign

        Local authorities began implementing the “Clean Up Lhasa” campaign on March 20 in the city of about 560,000 people in which they are inspecting all street vendors in and around the Jokhang Temple, or Tsuglagkhang, said the sources who declined to be identified for safety reasons.

    • Monopolies

      • India TimesApple wins appeal against UK’s decision to investigate its mobile browser

        Technology giant Apple won its appeal against the decision by Britain’s anti-trust regulator to launch an investigation into its mobile browser and cloud gaming services, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled on Friday.

      • India TimesMeta defeats photo app’s antitrust case in US court

        US District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in Brooklyn, New York, federal court said in her 67-page order that Phhhoto Inc had failed to timely bring its claims under relevant US antitrust law that sets a four-year window and under New York state competition provisions that have a three-year statute of limitation.

      • Software Patents

        • EFFStupid Patent of the Month: Traxcell Tech Gets Ordered To Pay Attorneys’ Fees

          U.S. Patent No. 10,820,147 is owned by Traxcell Technologies. It’s not clear what, if anything, Traxcell ever made. The company applied for patents back in 2002. By 2004, it had a bare-bones website stating that its mission “is to provide leading edge technology and innovation to in [sic] the field of telecommunications.” Today, its business is pretty clear—Traxcell is a patent troll. The company’s website has little information beyond its patents, which have been used in dozens of lawsuits since 2017.

          The key claim of the ‘147 patent is long, but it essentially describes a wireless device that collects and shows location information, and also includes traffic congestion information. There’s also the “feature” that the device can allow, or disallow, tracking (a standard feature on modern smartphones). 

          This patent has come up in more than 20 of Traxcell’s lawsuits in the last two years, with its litigation picking up steam as the patent’s expiration date of September 2022 drew near. It’s been used to sue major cell phone companies like T-Mobile and Verizon, the makers of online maps like Google and Apple, and delivery and gig companies. It’s sued FlightAware for using publicly available flight-tracking information, and the Curb app for tracking taxis, and Instacart for tracking its own shoppers. 

        • India TimesApple wins US appeal over patents in $502 million VirnetX verdict

          Apple Inc persuaded a U.S. appeals court on Thursday to uphold a patent tribunal’s ruling that could imperil a $502 million verdict for patent licensing company VirnetX Inc in the companies’ long-running fight over privacy-software technology.

          The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that invalidated the two patents VirnetX had accused Apple of infringing.

        • TechdirtStupid Patent Of The Month: Traxcell Tech Gets Ordered To Pay Attorneys’ Fees

          If someone loses a patent lawsuit very badly—to the point where they face orders to pay attorneys’ fees—you wouldn’t think they would be eager to come back to court with a nearly identical lawsuit. But that’s what has happened with this month’s patent. What’s more, the lawyer representing the patent owner, William Ramey, has been ordered to pay attorneys’ fees no fewer than five times in recent years. 

      • Copyrights

        • TechdirtNews Publishers Admit They Get Value From Search Traffic, Even As They Demand Extra Compensation For It

          In recent years, major media organizations have been lobbying Congress to enact legislation, the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act,” requiring search engine providers to engage in a form of collective bargaining about the tax they would pay to media publishers for the privilege of providing links to their news articles, backed up by mandatory interest arbitration in which the thumb would be placed on the scales by simply assuming that the search engine companies could not refuse to provide links and would be required to pay something. The contention of the “News Media Alliance”  has been that the search engines take value (access to news reporting that is expensive to produce) and provide nothing in return.

        • TechdirtDeSantis May Be Learning What The Copyright World Has Always Known: Disney’s Lawyers Don’t Fuck Around

          We’ve already covered how Florida man Governor Ron DeSantis flipped out that Disney, the largest employer in his state, offered some mild criticism over one of his unconstitutional censorship bills, and decided to retaliate by (1) removing the stupid questionable “theme park exemption” his office had directly worked with Disney to insert into his unconstitutional social media bill and (2) move to take control over the special board that that had been set up decades ago, giving Disney effective control over everything around Disney World.

        • Torrent FreakPirate Site Blocking Decreases Internet Traffic, Research Finds

          New academic research shows that blocking pirate site domain names effectively decreases internet traffic and, presumably, piracy. However, widespread blocking by ISPs doesn’t necessarily boost the use of paid VoD or TV services. When it comes to legal alternatives, the researchers only find a marginal boost in TV viewership.

        • Torrent FreakCanadian ISPs Blocked Pirate IPTV & Logged Customer IP Addresses

          When Canada’s Federal Court issued an injunction compelling ISPs to block pirate IPTV services on behalf of NHL broadcasters, the judge ordered a report to ensure compliance with the order. This report offers considerable insight into the blocking process but also reveals how some of Canada’s ISPs logged customers’ connections and shared data on their attempts to access pirate IPTV services.

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

Links 31/03/2023: Mozilla Turns 25 and OpenMandriva 23.03

Posted in News Roundup at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Graphics Stack

    • Applications

      • Linux LinksMachine Learning in Linux: Dalai – LLaMA and Alpaca

        Dalai bills itself as “the simplest way to run LLaMA on your local machine”.

        Given that our Machine Learning in Linux series focuses on apps that make it easy to experiment with machine learning, Dalai looks an interesting project to spotlight.

        What’s LLaMA? It’s an acronym for Large Language Model Meta AI, a collection of open and efficient foundation language models designed to help researchers advance their work in this subfield of AI.

        Large Languages Models trained on massive amount of text can perform new tasks from textual instructions. They can generate creative text, solve maths problems, answer reading comprehension questions, and much more. Like other large language models, LLaMA works by taking a sequence of words as an input and predicts a next word to recursively generate text.

    • Instructionals/Technical

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

        Pidgin is a popular open-source instant messaging application that allows users to communicate with friends and family on multiple chat networks simultaneously.

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

        Hi, in this post, you will learn how to install BlueMail on Ubuntu

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

        SpiderFoot is an open-source reconnaissance tool that automates the process of collecting and analyzing data from various sources, such as search engines, social media, and DNS records. It is a powerful tool for penetration testers, researchers, and security professionals.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install 1Password on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        In this guide, we will show you how to install 1Password on Ubuntu systems. 1Password is a popular password manager that helps users generate strong and unique passwords, store them securely, and autofill them on websites and apps.

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

        Tig is a text-mode interface for Git, a popular version control system used by developers to manage source code. It provides a simple and intuitive interface for viewing and browsing Git repositories, making it an essential tool for developers.

      • VituxHow to Install Cockpit Administration Tool on Debian Linux

        Cockpit is a server administration tool. Its main purpose is to replace the standard administration GUI of a web hosting company and enable remote administration.

        It offers methods not normally available in the Control Panel software, such as access to HTTP requests. With these advanced methods, it is ideal for server-side tasks such as setting up cron jobs or other tasks you need to do via shell script on Unix/Linux servers. In addition, other people (or even your own staff) can easily create their own scripts using one of the supported scripting languages.

      • VituxHow to Install Dotclear CMS on Ubuntu

        Dotclear CMS is open-source software that allows you to create a simple, powerful, and easy-to-maintain blog. It offers an intuitive interface for managing content from multiple categories in your blog.

        It was initially designed for running blogs but now includes support for photo galleries, polls, calendars and other features as well as extensive plugin architecture – there are more than thousands of plugins and themes available for Dotclear.

      • TecMint3 Command Line Tools to Install Deb Packages in Ubuntu

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install local software packages (.DEB) in Debian and its derivatives such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint using three different command line tools and they are dpkg, apt, and gdebi.

        This is useful to those new users who have migrated from Windows to Ubuntu or Linux Mint. The very basic problem they face is installing local software on the system.

      • VituxHow to Install and Use FFmpeg on Ubuntu

        FFmpeg is open-source and cross-platform that handles a variety of multimedia files. It holds several audio and video libraries such as libavdevice, libavformat, libswscale, and many more. It is an easy stream analyzer for multimedia. Besides being a popular developer tool, it offers a powerful command-line interface for multimedia tasks. This free computer software was developed in 2000. Youtube, Trell, Mux, VLC Media Player, and many popular websites and multimedia platforms use FFmpeg.

        This guide will help you to install FFmpeg on Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 and shows you how to perform video and audio file conversion using FFmpeg.

      • VituxHow to Install OpenEMR on CentOS and Rocky Linux

        OpenEMR is the world’s leading open-source electronic medical record (EMR) and medical documentation system. OpenEMR aims to provide a better alternative to its proprietary competitors. It is secure, customizable, scalable, feature-rich, and designed to meet the needs of small to large healthcare organizations.

        It has been used in over 200 countries/territories worldwide since 2002. The information below will help you better understand OpenEMR.

      • VituxHow to Install PgAdmin 4 on Debian

        PgAdmin is an open-source administration tool for Postgres databases. It has a graphical user interface written with the Qt application framework and uses libpq as its backend driver to communicate with the database server.

        It can be used to manage local or remote PostgreSQL servers, create new databases, execute SQL queries and scripts against those databases using an interactive query editor that provides syntax highlighting and intelligent autocomplete, among other things, import data from various sources into the database or generate reports from within the program about available space in tablespaces or indexes as well as many other things.

      • Make Use OfHow to Create Colorful ASCII Arts in Your Linux Terminal With draw

        Paint programs have been an essential part of the computer experience for decades—giving you a creative outlet for doodles, as well as a way of sketching ideas, drawing portraits, and expressing your artistic appreciation for the world outside your window.

        Typically, you’ll need a machine with an X server to express your digital soul on a virtual canvas, but with draw, you can sketch colorful drawings without leaving your terminal.

      • AddictiveTipsHow to install GitFiend on Linux

        GitFiend is an easy-to-use, simple Git client for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. It is designed for “Humans,” and has tons of useful features. Here’s how you can install GitFiend on Linux.


        If you use Ubuntu, you must install the GitFiend application on your system via their downloadable DEB package. To get your hands on this DEB package, start by launching a terminal window.

        You can launch a terminal window on Ubuntu by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Or, by searching for “Terminal” in the app menu and launching it that way. Once the terminal app is open, use the wget command to download the DEB package.

      • Enrico Zini: Things I learnt in March 2023
        • str.endswith()
          can take a tuple of possible endings instead of a single string
        • About JACK and Debian
        • There are 3 JACK implementations: jackd1,
          jackd2, pipewire-jack.
        • jackd1 is mostly superseded in favour of jackd2, and as far as I understand,
          can be ignored
        • pipewire-jack integrates well with pipewire and the rest of the Linux audio
        • jackd2 is the native JACK server. When started it handles the sound card
          directly, and will steal it from pipewire. Non-JACK audio applications will
          likely cease to see the sound card until JACK is stopped and wireplumber is
          restarted. Pipewire should be able to keep [working as a JACK
          but I haven’t gone down that route yet [...]
      • OSTechNixHow To Install Xen Orchestra Appliance (XOA) In XCP-ng Server

        In this guide, we will discuss what is Xen Orchestra (XO), how to install Xen Orchestra Appliance (XOA), how to access Xen Orchestra Web UI, and finally how to connect to XOA via SSH.

      • CitizixHow To Setup Kube State Metrics on Kubernetes

        In this article, we will learn what kube-state-metricsis, the importance of enabling kube-state-metrics in your cluster, some of its use cases, and how to implement it in your cluster.

      • ID RootHow To Install Suricata on Rocky Linux 9

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Suricata on Rocky Linux 9. Are you looking for a network intrusion detection and prevention system that is both powerful and easy to use? Look no further than Suricata!

      • ID RootHow To Remove Users on Linux: A Step-by-Step Guide

        Linux is known for its security and flexibility, but it also requires some basic knowledge to manage users and groups on the system.

      • ID RootHow To Install FreeIPA on Rocky Linux 9

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install FreeIPA on Rocky Linux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, FreeIPA is the ultimate open-source solution for identity, policy, and audit management.

      • Linux HandbookFixing Mount Point Does Not Exist Error in Linux

        Learn how to troubleshoot and fix the ‘mount point does not exist’ error in Linux with our step-by-step guide.

    • Games

      • GamingOnLinuxHumble has a bundle of Survivors-Like games, including Boneraiser Minions (a favourite)

        Here’s your chance to jump into the Survivors-Like games phenomenon, so I guess that’s what we’re calling games like Vampire Survivors now? Survivors-Like? Humble Bundle has some good picks here but I do find it mildly amusing they didn’t manage to pull in the game that started the recent trend for a “best of” bundle.

      • Godot EngineRelease candidate: Godot 4.0.2 RC 1

        With the GDC 2023 past us, we are getting ready for the 4.1 dev cycle. But that doesn’t mean current Godot 4.0 users have to wait, because here’s a release candidate for 4.0.2, with a handful of fixes and extra enhancements!

      • GamingOnLinuxVulkan gets a new extension to improve shaders with help from Nintendo

        Well this is a fair bit unexpected. As happens quite often there was a specification update to the Vulkan API, and with it came a brand new extension to help with shaders — which Nintendo contributed towards.

      • GamingOnLinuxVampire Survivors: Tides of the Foscari DLC releases April 13th

        As if it hasn’t sucked away enough of our free time already right? Vampire Survivors: Tides of the Foscari is arriving on April 13th. Giving you a bunch more content at a small price of $1.99 / €1.99 / £1.59.

      • GamingOnLinuxGOG giving away Deep Sky Derelicts during the finale of their Spring Sale

        The fourth and final giveaway on GOG during their Spring Sale is for Deep Sky Derelicts, a tactical roguelike RPG set in a grim dystopian future, where mankind has scattered across the galaxy.

      • GamingOnLinuxStop an organism spreading and protect humanity in Xenospore, now with a big upgrade

        The free game Xenospore sees you try to stop the spread of a strange and deadly organism and there’s a big upgrade out now. At a very basic level it sort of reminds me of Into the Breach because of the small tile-based world, and the alien stuff. It’s very different though. Mentioned here on GamingOnLinux back in September last year, it’s come a long way.

      • GamingOnLinuxDark sci-fi roguelike Deadnaut: Signal Lost looks great and it’s out now

        Deadnaut: Signal Lost from the developer of Deadnaut, Zafehouse Diaries and Fear Equation is officially out now with Native Linux support. A game that was mentioned here on GamingOnLinux just recently, as the developer was looking for Linux testers. As they promised, a proper demo is also now available along with the full release.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Barry KaulerAppImage Installer now using xdotool

      Also, there was a bug. ROX-Filer is supposed to have appropriate
      mime-handling for each AppImage. Fixed, now correctly extracts MimeType
      field from the .desktop file inside the .AppImage file.

      Added a new game, CroMagRally, and a paint program that is very good with graphics tablets, MyPaint.

      Thinking about what to do next with the Installer, I am concerned
      that it downloads and installs the latest AppImage from github. From my
      limited experience with AppImages, it would seem that a release may work
      now, but a later release may not.

      This potential problem is due, I think, to a lack in strictness of
      the rules required for constructing AppImages. A developer may release
      one, then later on update or change his host system, then when build the
      next release, it will be broken on EasyOS. This can very easily happen,
      and is a reason why I am not entirely happy with using AppImages.

      So, I am thinking of changing the Installer so that it downloads an
      AppImage release known to work, not necessarily the latest. Later on,
      the user can update to the latest, and if it doesn’t work, can roll

      Note, as a precaution, I have been archiving them, so if one disappears, we still have it:


    • Barry KaulerAppImage Installer now parsing json file

      This morning I posted about using xdotool, to obtain the AppImage to download:


      Before that, I had fiddled around with downloading a json file, but
      wasn’t doing it right. Have now read up a bit more on the topic. For
      example, these sites: [...]

    • New Releases

      • Linuxiac Linux Lite 6.4: The Improved and Enhanced Version

        Still based on Xfce 4.16, Linux Lite 6.4 has a refreshed look, updated package base, and Linux Kernel 5.15.

        As the name implies, a Ubuntu-based Linux Lite is designed to be a lightweight, fast, and easy-to-use Linux distro. It is popular for users with older hardware or those who want a simple and user-friendly operating system.

        Linux Lite comes preinstalled with various software, including the LibreOffice suite, the Firefox web browser, and the VLC media player. It also includes multiple customization options and features, such as a system backup tool and a simple, intuitive interface.

      • Beta NewsKick Microsoft Windows 11 out of your life and switch to Linux Lite 6.4 today

        Linux Lite is a popular Linux distribution that is designed to be easy to use for people switching from Windows. The latest version, Linux Lite 6.4, includes a number of new features and improvements, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and user-friendly Linux distribution.

        Linux Lite 6.4 is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS. The distro includes a number of bug fixes and security updates. The operating system is a smart choice for users who are new to Linux or who are looking for a more lightweight alternative to Windows or macOS.

        Linux Lite 6.4 uses kernel 5.15.0-69 and comes with some excellent software pre-installed. For instance, you get Google Chrome 111, GIMP 2.10.30, Thunderbird 102.9, VLC 3.0.16, and LibreOffice 7.4.6. This version of the operating system also offers an an updated Papirus icon theme, new wallpapers, and a larger hardware database.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • The Register UK OpenMandriva Rome version 23.03 is out now

        The project known as OpenMandriva has released new installation images for its rolling-release edition, with the latest kernel and the latest KDE Plasma – among many other choices.

        OpenMandriva was the last to fork and continue the Mandriva distro when its eponymous parent company went under, meaning that it’s one branch of a closely-related family of distros we looked at about a year ago.

        It maintains two branches of its distro today: OpenMandriva Rome is a rolling-release distro, continually receiving updates. Its slower-moving stable-release sibling is OpenMandriva Lx, which is currently on version 4.3, with KDE Plasma 5.23 and kernel 5.16.

      • Ubuntubuzz OpenMandriva 23.03 ROME is Released with Download Links, Mirrors and Torrents

        OpenMandriva, the French-origin general purpose operating system successor to Mandriva, has released the latest of its rolling release edition “ROME” version 23.03 to download. It improves the previously released ROME by adding more choices for the users including GNOME and Server. We listed things about the release in brief and we hope you will enjoy it. Happy downloading!

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Dominique LeuenbergeropenSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2023/13

        Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

        This week we are fully back on track with 7 published snapshots. One significant change to mention again is:

        RPMs for i586 (intel 32bit systems) are no longer part of the regular Tumbleweed snapshots. This has been moved into a legacyx86 port in OBS and is published separately on download.opensuse.org. See also this announcement on the factory mailing list.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Ubuntu StudioUbuntu Studio: Ubuntu Studio 23.04 Beta Released

        The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the beta release of Ubuntu Studio 23.10, codenamed “Lunar Lobster”.

        While this beta is reasonably free of any showstopper installer bugs, you may find some bugs within. This image is, however, mostly representative of what you will find when Ubuntu Studio 23.04 is released on April 20, 2023.

        Special notes:

        The Ubuntu Studio 22.10 disk image (ISO) exceeds 4 GB and cannot be downloaded to some file systems such as FAT32, and may not be readable when burned to a DVD. For this reason, we recommend downloading to a compatible file system. When creating a boot medium, we recommend creating a bootable USB stick with the ISO image, or burning to a Dual-Layer DVD.

      • Ubuntu Fridge Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster) Beta Released

        The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the Beta release of the Ubuntu 23.04 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products.

        Ubuntu 23.04, codenamed “Lunar Lobster”, continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

        This Beta release includes images from not only the Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, but also the Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Cinnamon, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, Ubuntu Unity, and Xubuntu flavours.

      • It’s FOSSEnough of it! Ubuntu to Ditch Snap Completely With 24.04 LTS Naughty Nightingale

        Despite putting so much weight behind Snap, Ubuntu continues to lose in the race of ‘universal Linux packaging’.

        While all kinds of distros are adopting Fedora’s Flatpak, Ubuntu’s Snap is being rejected even by Ubuntu-based distros like Linux Mint and elementary OS.

        Nitrux, Vanilla, gLinux, and many more distros have ditched Ubuntu for Debian, and Snap probably played a role in the decision-making.

      • UbuntuUbuntu Blog: Automotive industry trends for 2023 and beyond
        2023, the year of transformations

        After the rough COVID-19 years, 2022 has seen the start of economic improvements. Although the automotive industry is experiencing its worst sales numbers in over a decade, it saw increased profits thanks to strong demand, allowing for higher prices. Geopolitical issues such as the war in Ukraine and microchip shortages are forcing analysts and OEMs to remain careful regarding their forecasted results. Indeed, as we are all beginning to feel the effect of inflation and uncertain energy supplies, production volumes may be lower than expected. Nevertheless, we are seeing a lot of innovations in the automotive space. Let’s dive a little deeper into the latest automotive industry trends and see how they match with the switch towards software-defined vehicles.

        Electric vehicles everywhere?

        With the willingness to reduce carbon emissions and the implementation of stricter emissions regulations, OEMs are investing more and more in the development of electric vehicles. In parallel, customers are turning to EVs in order to have cleaner alternatives but also cheaper costs compared to petrol and diesel. Whether this holds true in the future, is still to be determined as electricity costs are rising too. 

        What is certain is that EVs are giving rise to a lot of related technologies geared to help companies deliver on the promise of usability, sustainability and costs. Many of these technologies are undergoing research and ripe for investment. For example, battery technologies need improvements. There’s also the charging infrastructure, which is still one of the pain points preventing customers from switching from ICE vehicles to EVs.

        Software also plays a significant role in EVs compared to ICE vehicles. Indeed, the charging management, the engine performance, and the range optimisation of EVs relies heavily on software. Another type of vehicle that relies heavily on software is, of course, the elusive self-driving car. 

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Bring home Infinix Y1 43 inch Full HD Smart Linux TV available on Flipkart at massive discount of 38%

        If it’s about a smart LED TV that is available at an affordable price Infinix Y1 43-inch Full HD Smart Linux TV can be the best for you. The Infinix Y1 43-inch Full HD Smart Linux TV is available on Flipkart at a 38% of massive discount which lets users buy it for just Rs 15,499 in place of Rs 24,999. If you are looking for an EMI option that is also available that lets you grab it for just Rs 759 a month. An exchange offer of up to Rs 7,000 can also be availed on this LED.

      • ARCWago Implements Bosch Rexroth’s Linux-Based OS

        The German manufacturer, Wago, will use Bosch Rexroth’s ctrlX OS in their controllers in the medium and high performance classes. They will be the first system and technology partner for this real-time capable, Linux-based operating system.

        In an unprecedented move, Bosch Rexroth has uncoupled its ctrlX OS operating system from their own control hardware and made it available for industrial use. This means that other companies and even competitors can use the operating system in their own applications and act as system and technology partners. According to Bosch, ctrlX OS is designed for real-time use and applicable at all layers – from the field level to edge devices to the cloud. By installing ctrlX OS, customers gain access to the entire ecosystem, including a wide range of apps available for download from the ctrlX Store.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Raspberry Pi NTP Server

        Setting up an NTP server on a Raspberry Pi to serve the LAN clients without them having to contact the Internet.

      • ArduinoOld RC transmitter becomes new MIDI controller

        If you’re going to produce electronic music on a PC, you need some sort of input tool. That can be your keyboard and mouse, but most producers prefer to use a dedicated MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controller.

      • peppe8oInterfacing a Tilt Sensor with Arduino Uno

        In this tutorial, we will use a tilt sensor with the Arduino Uno to measure an object’s orientation or tilt. This sensor has wide applications

      • CNX SoftwareMetal enclosures for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 IO board

        Nevertheless, it turns out there are at least two of this type of metal enclosures for the CM4 IO board, and when buying full systems, they may provide a way to source Raspberry Pi CM4 system-on-modules since individual modules are so hard to purchase if you are not a company with some minimum monthly production volume.

      • OpenSource.comMeasure pi with a Raspberry Pi

        March 14th is celebrated around the world as Pi Day. Many people celebrate Pi Day by measuring pi with objects found around the house. I wanted to do something similar for this year’s Pi Day using my Raspberry Pi 3B. Read on to learn how I measured pi using my Raspberry Pi.

        What you’ll need:

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Bruce PerensSite Under Construction

      30-March-2023: Bruce is re-installing WordPress and will port sites to the new install, just to have a clean install

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Mozilla

        • MozillaA quarter century of Mozilla

          March 31, or “three thirty-one,” is something of a talisman in the Mozilla community. It’s the date that, back in 1998, Mozilla first came into being — the date that we open-sourced the Netscape code for the world to use.

          This year, “three thirty-one” is especially meaningful: It’s Mozilla’s 25 year anniversary.

          A lot has changed since 1998. Mozilla is no longer just a bold idea. We’re a family of organizations — a nonprofit, a public benefit-corporation, and others — that builds products, fuels movements, and invests in responsible tech.

          And we’re no longer a small group of engineers in Netscape’s Mountain View office. We’re technologists, researchers, and activists located around the globe — not to mention tens of thousands of volunteers.

          But if a Mozillian from 1998 stepped into a Mozilla office (or joined a Mozilla video call) in 2023, I think they’d quickly feel something recognizable. A familiar spirit, and a familiar set of values.

          When Mozilla open-sourced our browser code 25 years ago, the reason was the public interest: We wanted to spark more innovation, more competition, and more choice online. Technology in the public interest has been our manifesto ever since — whether releasing Firefox 1.0 in 2004, or launching Mozilla.ai earlier this year.

        • LWNA quarter century of Mozilla [LWN.net]

          The Mozilla project celebrates 25 years of existence.

        • MozillaMaking the impossible possible — again

          Looking ahead at Mozilla’s next quarter century In the world of tech, some challenges can feel impossible to solve. That was the feeling many of us had 25 years ago — before we’d heard of Mozilla.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • German LibreOffice community meeting, March 2023 in Essen

        LibreOffice is developed by a worldwide community, and many members of this community live in German-speaking countries. From 24 to 26 March, some of them met at the Linuxhotel in Essen. There was an informal meeting on Friday evening, while the main discussions started on Saturday.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Unix MenWebP: What is it? How do I work with it on Linux

        WebP image format has been promoted by Google since 2010, in particular through the Chromium project. Initially, WebP was promoted as an alternative to JPEG because the quality is the same, but the images weigh less. Gradually, the format developed and acquired features such as support for transparency, animation, and the ability to compress images without losing the quality.

        On average, the weight of images is reduced by around 30%, which allows webmasters to place more images on their platforms. Thus, there are a plethora of websites today, including YouTube, the Google Play Store, and the Facebook Android add-on, that use this image format.

        Since 2013, WebP was used in the Play Store for app screenshots, previews, and app logos, reducing the size of images by 35% without compromising quality. WebP is supported by most well-known browsers, making it a one-stop solution for working with images on the web.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Security

      • Hacker NewsNew Wi-Fi Protocol Security Flaw Affecting Linux, Android and iOS Devices

        A group of academics from Northeastern University and KU Leuven has disclosed a fundamental design flaw in the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi protocol standard, impacting a wide range of devices running Linux, FreeBSD, Android, and iOS.

      • Hacker NewsChinese RedGolf Group Targeting Windows and Linux Systems with KEYPLUG Backdoor [Ed: Windows has bug doors for the NSA; in this case, the problem isn't Linux but very long-unpatched systems (2021)]
      • LWNSecurity updates for Friday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (joblib, json-smart, libmicrohttpd, and xrdp), Fedora (thunderbird and xorg-x11-server-Xwayland), Mageia (dino, perl-Cpanel-JSON-XS, perl-Net-Server, snort, tigervnc/x11-server, and xapian), SUSE (curl, kernel, openssl-1_0_0, and shim), and Ubuntu (glusterfs, linux-gcp-4.15, musl, and xcftools).

      • Data BreachesTracking the Adelanto Healthcare Ventures breach on DataBreaches.net

        At the present time, we do not know numbers affected for each hospital or in total, but that data will also be added to the post as that information becomes available.

      • Ars Technica3CX knew its app was flagged as malicious but took no action for 7 days | Ars Technica

        The support team for 3CX, the VoIP/PBX software provider with more than 600,000 customers and 12 million daily users, was aware its desktop app was being flagged as malware but decided to take no action for a week when it learned it was on the receiving end of a massive supply chain attack, a thread on the company’s community forum shows.

      • The RecordUS commits $25 million to Costa Rica for Conti ransomware recovery [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO]

        The U.S. government is sending $25 million to the government of Costa Rica to help the country recover from a devastating ransomware attack last year that crippled several key agencies.

        In May 2022, Costa Rica’s newly elected president Rodrigo Chaves declared a state of emergency after the now-defunct Conti ransomware group severely damaged the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Costa Rican Social Security Fund. The gang posted messages openly calling for the overthrow of the government before demanding a $20 million ransom.

      • GMH under review for potential HIPAA breach

        The unauthorized access into Guam Memorial Hospital’s network is undergoing a detailed review for a possible Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA breach.

        The information came to light during the public hospital’s monthly board meeting Wednesday.

        GMH legal counsel Jeremiah Luther maintains that no patient or employee records were compromised, saying they got lucky.

      • Data BreachesES: Secondary education center hit by Stormous

        After several months out of the public eye, the pro-Russian Stormous Ransomware group reappeared in February. Now they have claimed an attack on a secondary education center, the Instituto De Educación Secundaria Ies Emilio Canalejo Olmeda (IESCO) in Cordoba, Spain.

      • Data BreachesAttacked by Vice Society earlier this month, Lewis & Clark finds files with personal information have now been leaked

        It appears that Lewis & Clark in Oregon has been the victim of a ransomware attack by Vice Society.

      • Florida city water cyber incident allegedly caused by employee error

        In 2021, news broke of a cyberattack at the Oldsmar, Florida, water treatment plant, an event that sparked fears about the cyber vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure.

        At the time, reports suggested that a worker at the plant saw his computer being remotely accessed and controlled. His mouse moved to open functions to control water treatment protocols, and then the amount of sodium hydroxide, or lye, in the water was changed from about 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million. The operator immediately reduced the chemical to the proper level and alerted a supervisor.

        The alleged hack, which gained worldwide publicity from subsequent press conferences given by Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and other leading officials, prompted an investigation led by the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, as well as a joint federal advisory warning water treatment facility operators of the dangers they faced from hackers and urging them to upgrade their security systems.


        Braithwaite said that the various investigations spawned by the incident, including one by the Florida Office of Information Technology, were particularly critical of the staff in Oldsmar, which he said runs its water treatment facility on a network made up of five computers and a couple of iPads.

      • Bleeping ComputerConsumer lender TMX discloses data breach impacting 4.8 million people

        TMX Finance and its subsidiaries TitleMax, TitleBucks, and InstaLoan have collectively disclosed a data breach that exposed the personal data of 4,822,580 customers.

        TMX is a public financial service that operates equities, fixed income, derivatives, and energy markets exchanges, with a business presence in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, and China.

      • Data Breaches“A crucial learning experience.” – ICO calls for highest standards in HIV services after NHS Highland reprimand

        The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a reprimand to NHS Highland for a “serious breach of trust” after a data breach involving those likely to be accessing HIV services.

        The ICO has called for serious improvements to data protection safeguards amongst HIV service providers, stating that there is “simply no excuse”, and that “the stakes are just too high” given the impact on people’s lives.

        A formal reprimand has been issued to NHS Highland, which emailed 37 people likely to be accessing HIV services, inadvertently using CC (carbon copy) instead of BCC (blind carbon copy). The error meant recipients of the email could see the personal email addresses of other people receiving the email, with one person confirming they recognised four other individuals, one of whom was a previous sexual partner.

      • LinuxStansSetting up a VPN on Linux without a Native App

        In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to set up a VPN on Linux if your VPN provider doesn’t have a native app built for Linux.

        Sadly, support and availability for apps on Linux are scarce. Most of the time, if you’re using some service or app, chances are it’s available for Windows and Mac, not for Linux. This is a frequent case with VPN providers. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to set up a VPN on Linux on any distro from any VPN provider.

        Some VPN providers (for example, Mullvad and ProtonVPN) do have native apps for Linux. But even when they do, people still prefer setting up the VPN on their own directly from the distro.

        Another case (that I’m using) is VeePN. They do have support for various devices, but not for Linux. So when I’m using their VPNs, I just use a browser add-on or on rarer occasions network-manager. I’ll focus on Ubuntu in this tutorial, but the instructions are very similar for other distros.

      • Scoop News GroupCan a White House initiative compel tech companies to write safer code?

        Software liability reform is a centerpiece of the Biden’s recent national cybersecurity strategy. Implementing it will be a challenge.

      • DiffoscopeReproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 240 released

        The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope
        version 240.

      • Krebs On SecurityGerman Police Raid DDoS-Friendly Host ‘FlyHosting’

        Authorities in Germany this week seized Internet servers that powered FlyHosting, a dark web service that catered to cybercriminals operating DDoS-for-hire services. Fly Hosting first advertised on cybercrime forums in November 2022, saying it was a Germany-based hosting firm that was open for business to anyone looking for a reliable place to host malware, botnet controllers, or DDoS-for-hire infrastructure.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Energy/Transportation

        • QuartzThe US is reducing tax credits for foreign-made EV models

          The US Treasury Department announced new electric vehicle (EV) tax rules that will reduce or cut tax credits on EVs primarily made in foreign markets in an attempt to combat China’s growing market share in emission-free automobile production.

        • AxiosBattery-related fires spark push for regulation

          Local, state and federal lawmakers have introduced a flurry of attempts to regulate lithium-ion batteries, following a spate of fires.

          Why it matters: Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are the workhorse power source today for digital devices, and they’re increasingly providing a backbone for the climate-inspired electrification of everything.

          The big picture: In the past, batteries used in laptops or smartphones raised the most concern for fire risk. As their reliability has increased, fires started by the larger batteries used in vehicles and mobility devices such as scooters and e-bikes have captured public attention.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • QuartzExactly who is the investor behind Virgin Orbit’s failed $200 million rescue?

        I definitely believe that a large part of it [is] as a space enthusiast.” That’s what Matthew Brown told CNBC on March 23, when asked why he was considering a $200 million investment into Virgin Orbit, a nearly bankrupt rocket company.

      • AxiosWall Street’s bonus slump
        Data: Office of the New York State Comptroller; Chart: Axios Visuals

        Average bonuses on Wall Street last year suffered their steepest fall since 2008′s market bloodbath — dropping 26% from the year before to an average of $176,700, according to the Office of the New York State Comptroller.

        Why it matters: It’s another headwind for New York City and New York State, where revenues are heavily reliant on personal income taxes, which in turn are driven by Wall Street pay packages.

        • The drop in Wall Street bonuses will translate into estimated declines of $457 million in state income tax revenue and $208 million in city revenues compared with 2021.
        • That slowdown will add to other budgetary pressures expected this year, like declining values for commercial office buildings, which are expected to cut NYC tax revenues by 1.3%, according to the city’s Independent Budget Office.
        • Traditionally, Wall Street bonuses have also been important for the Manhattan-centric markets for high-end real estate and fine art.
      • AxiosWhy banks hate the Fed’s repo facility
        Data: Federal Reserve; Chart: Axios Visuals

        The year was 2013. The great concern among the Federal Reserve’s leaders was that, with the world awash in dollars they had created, they wouldn’t be able to raise rates even when they felt they needed to.

        Zoom out: Their solution was a tool that has now swelled to massive size — $2.3 trillion as of Wednesday — and is making banks angry, as they see it as a major factor in their loss of deposits.

        Why it matters: The “overnight reverse repurchase agreement facility” (ON RRP) enables money market mutual funds to accept vast sums of investors’ money and pay their customers higher interest rates than banks typically do.

      • New York TimesHow a Trump-Era Rollback Mattered for Silicon Valley Bank’s Demise

        An under-the-radar change to the way regional banks are supervised may have helped the bank’s rapidly growing risks to go unresolved.

      • New York TimesWhy Schwab Got Hit in the Panic Over Regional Banks

        Like Silicon Valley Bank, the company holds billions in bonds that have declined in value. But it has access to billions in cash, if needed, analysts say, and is much more diversified.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ACLUHow the ACLU is Showing Up For Abortion Access Nationwide

        Across the country, the ACLU, allied organizations, volunteers, and organizers are mobilizing together in the ongoing battle for our reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy — regardless of which state we call home. When anti-abortion extremists attempt to enforce bans on abortion, we show up. When they prioritize abortion bans over legislation that would actually improve their constituents’ lives, we show up. When overzealous prosecutors go after health care providers and patients seeking abortion care, we show up. When it’s time to make our voices heard in the ballot box and the streets, we show up.

        Here are some of the ways we’ve shown up to protect abortion access in states across the country.

      • ReasonDouglass Mackey Convicted for Vote-by-Tweet Meme

        Here’s the E.D.N.Y. U.S. Attorney’s Office press release: Douglass Mackey, also known as “Ricky Vaughn,” was convicted today by a federal jury in Brooklyn of the charge of Conspiracy Against Rights stemming from his scheme to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.

      • ReasonMay Universities Revoke Degrees Based on Findings of Ex-Student’s “Academic Misconduct in Pursuit of That Degree”?

        Yes, says the Texas Supreme Court, applying Texas law.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Lockpicking house rules for D&D

        On the DM side, all you’ve got to do is add 8 to the DC listed in the module (use 23 (a.k.a. 15+8) if there’s no DC listed).

        The rogue’s goal is to put tension on the lock’s cylinder, and then bind the six pins.

        Five of the pins, you bind with d6‘s. Roll them carefully, one at a time, to find out which pins you bind. Keep track of the rolled numbers. The number you roll is the pin you bind. So if you roll a four, that means the fourth pin is binding. If you roll a three, that means the third pin is binding. If you have five dice, you can leave the rolled dice on the table to represent the bound pin.

      • The storm continues

        Hard to believe it’s been over a year since I last posted here

        Not much has changed. We’re approaching the year anniversary of a family death, and I’ll be out of town taking care of my father when the actual anniversary occurs.

        It’s hard to know how to feel about anything. The only thing I feel is tired.

        I’ve been practicing banjo more lately. I’m decent. Fingerpicks came in but they’re difficult to use and I don’t actually know how to play finger style.

      • Just Deserts
      • It’s Friday again

        Starting tomorrow we’ll be in April already. 2023 it starting to pick up speed,
        at least for me.

        I have become fond of reading a physical newspaper now, and I’m trying to
        decide which paper to subscribe to. It has become a daily ritual for me to sit
        in my quiet study and read. I’ve found that with a physical paper I don’t have
        any distractions, I’m not staring at a white screen, and I spend more time
        reading in silence.

      • “vampire boys” (2011)

        plot summary: caleb (looks like the platonic ideal of early 2010s fictional twink) moves to california for uni. jasin is a vampire nearing his 100th year, and he and his coven will die if he doesn’t find “the one” and transform them into a vampire soon. well luckily it all works out for everyone. that’s it that’s the movie.

      • you folks would probably like this

        watched Life After BOB a few days ago. and then again, and again, and I think a couple more times I had watched it over the course of the last couple of days, because I think it is *so* fascinating. 50-minute anime short film live-rendered in Unity, part of an upcoming series, based on the premise on if an AI could live your life better than you can… I encourage you to dive deeper into its surrounding ouevre; Ian Cheng’s work is freakishly inspiring, despite the dubiousness of his Twitter Blue subscription. either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the movie!

      • Sixty

        Ah, so bitter sweet. Reminds me of my travels in Latin America in 1985..1990. Wonder what Constanza Sofia is up to these days. Dreaming about time gone by. Do I regret? No. It took a while to realize that I made good decisions. But as I get old and fogey and my health is not what it should be, I can’t image traveling down South at this moment. Looked at the map today. Anyone been to Puerto Misahuallí these days? Or to San Pedro de Atacama? Fond memories, I have to say.

      • I found out what that one flower was called

        So, two years ago I made a post about flowers blooming in the park next to my house, and there was one I hadn’t identified yet. I now know: its name is Scilla mischtschenkoana. It is apparently native to the Caucasus, so someone (probably the municipality) must have planted them here.

      • no more routine for me

        Skincare routines do not make sense for me anymore. I think I got caught up in it the past few years because it was so ubiquitous online and it was presented as this prerequisite to having a good productive day and not looking like 90 when you’re 23 (rolls eyes).

        When you slather 5-12 products on your face twice a day, that uses them up so fast, and you’re constantly replenishing and buying, and all these companies and influencers are so grateful for that. But do all of us really need that? I think if there isn’t anything medical going on with your skin, you most likely don’t and it’s worth trying out to instead fit the care to your needs that day. It saves a lot of product, time, packaging waste and money. Maybe your natural skin barrier is better off being a little less treated and removed constantly. I really don’t like all this .. preventative care anymore? Obviously don’t let things get bad, but now that I am “out of it” I really don’t understand why we are treating skin with products it doesn’t seem to be needing at that time, just to avoid that it ever could? Like why apply moisturizer if the skin looks well moisturized in the mirror because I already did it that day? Just because it’s evening now?

    • Technical

      • Amateur Radio Update 2023-03-31

        I’m making good progress on journey into CW using the IC_746 PRO and a straight key. Using some koch trainer free software, I got up to a reliable effective 5WPM for all letters and numbers, and three punctuation marks. I’m using Farnsworth timing, where you tap out the characters quickly, but you add extra spacing in-between the characters to slow down the overall rate (Effective WPM). This gives you more time to mentally process the characters and write them out, until you get better at it. So right now I practice copy with 12 WPM tapping speed but effective 7 WPM. My idea was to keep bumping up the WPM until EWPM equals WPM.

      • about my notes

        Last night I did have time to look at how subscriptions work on Gemini. It’s just Atom feeds, an XML document with a list of links/dates/descriptions. That makes it pretty easy to add support. I just have to decide if I want my regular note additions to pop up in the atom feed, or just these main page posts.

        I also considered putting in a giant page of links to all content, since that would give me a starting point for reviewing my notes. But I could also create a CGI for returning random links… Now is a good time to explain how I planned on using the notes section of the capsule.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Trying out 7off

          I’ve replaced my use of md2gemini with 7off. The main motivation being that I’m not happy with link rendering.

        • RE: On Mastodon DDoS’ing Sites

          Not sure how to announce a substantial update to an already published post, if I want to have it all in one place. I guess I just link to the post, create a thread on Cosmos, subsequently delete this post in a couple of days (gasp!), and redirect the URL to the older post.

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

IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 31, 2023

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:33 am by Needs Sunlight

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