01.23.21

IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 22, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:59 am by Needs Sunlight

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#techbytes log as HTML5

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#techrights log as text

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Enter the IRC channels now


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 QmYt56dhAGFNGgWSxCmd6dcwD9YsoQbNRPoeD1irH4Qdtz IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmdvuEcrGX3rYzHkBgdbpHZqSJmqGSgJqiqCMddWnAUARS IRC log for #boycottnovell
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Bulletin for Yesterday

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InteLeaks – Part XXVIII: Intel Served Report From Microsoft Boosters, Who Provide No Actual Evidence and No Science to Back Their Supposed ‘Findings’

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 12:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Findings and recommendations from Harbor ‘Research’ aren’t based on any scientific methods, just perceived loyalty, branding, and a bunch of unsourced quotes (from unnamed people with ridiculous job titles like a soup of buzzwords)

IT IS worrying that a mighty big company like Intel outsourced important decision-making processes to a ‘ski resort’ company (revenue about 5,000 times smaller than Intel’s) whose employees lack the experience that Intel’s very own staff possesses. The level of ‘research’ that comes from Harbor ‘Research’ is something like I’ve never come across before; it’s more like marketing and advocacy (of Microsoft) rather than something which resembles real research. Is Intel trying to vandalise itself? Are some people in positions of power as loyal to Intel as Mr. Elop was to Nokia?

“That should lead to further questioning of the real motivations of some managers at Intel.”To quote Microsoft itself [PDF]: ““Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

We discussed in previous parts (see index in the relevant wiki page), especially the past pair, the publicly-visible connections between Microsoft and Harbor ‘Research’, including a firm that Harbor ‘Research’ cites in this report. A top Microsoft partner. Why would Intel wish to leave its destiny and future direction in the hands of such people? That should lead to further questioning of the real motivations of some managers at Intel. Are there kickbacks? Like bonuses from Microsoft (in case of selloff)? That’s akin to bribery, loosely attached to notorious cult tactics…

The video above, which is longer than usual (not scripted, one take), goes through the appendix of the report. It’s a final report, it was suppressed (limited distribution to avoid criticism/scrutiny), and judging by how crude/shallow it is no wonder they don’t want this thing ‘out there’…

In the next part we’ll continue our journey through this farcical report.

Erosion of Communities, Ascent of Corporate-Industrial Fake Communities

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 12:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Money controls agenda

The corporation, the 'community'

Summary: Despite the attempts to manipulate/trick developers (and sometimes users) into becoming unpaid workforce of for-profit companies, there’s an exodus back to real communities, which aren’t subjected to the fury of wealthy shareholders who utterly dislike or simply don’t care for software freedom

THE Debian project seems to have no new developers (DDs) in 2 months and Canonical is coming to grips with demise of its community (whereas Gentoo, a real community, reports big growth). The former and last “community manager” of Canonical/Ubuntu is nowadays a Microsoft shill. Seems like a pattern, no? Follow the money at the Linux Foundation and OSI… surveillance is the new 'open'!

“We’ve noticed that more and more developers nowadays speak of “Free software” instead of “Open Source” and that’s a very encouraging sign as it means people go back to the roots and the principles, which are connected to altruism rather than profit motive.”The GNU Project is still doing well. We recently wrote a series about the FSF, which nearly reached its goal (number of new members) after a deadline extension. GNU is a real community; it has been so since 1983.

We’re also seeing a growing realisation that companies like IBM mean no good for Fedora and other parts of Red Hat. We see some developers walking away to real and genuine communities. We’ve noticed that more and more developers nowadays speak of “Free software” instead of “Open Source” and that’s a very encouraging sign as it means people go back to the roots and the principles, which are connected to altruism rather than profit motive.

FSF joiningAssuming we go down the trajectory of software freedom, the (wo)manpower will still be there, albeit redirected or funnelled into projects and initiatives that don’t merely ‘farm’ volunteers for free labour.

“We’ve had enough of those corporate coups and hopefully lessons are still being learned.”To those who joined the FSF as members, thank you! Based on what we’ve been hearing, there are signs that the anti-RMS coup is mostly over (and it failed). Those who pushed for the removal of RMS are still out there, but not in positions where they can do further harm.

Long live real, authentic community. We’ve had enough of those corporate coups and hopefully lessons are still being learned. More coups will come and go.

After the hostile takeover of GitHub Microsoft has yet another YouTube-DL-like scandal on its lap; and seeing that projects and users flee GitHub, Microsoft makes panicky and much-belated reversals.

01.22.21

The Corporate ‘Left’ and the Open Source Pseudo ‘Movement’

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 9:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Biden scolding Trump: Four years of far right, I will be to the left of that

Summary: President Biden may not be as bad as his predecessor, but that hardly means very much; software freedom is still threatened, along with many other things

IT should be possible to use political analogies or parables without getting too political. In the United States, for instance, the administration is moving back to the left (but it can hardly be called “leftist”).

“…we must always push towards actual software freedom, seeing that Microsoft is increasingly hijacking the “Open Source” brand while persisting with proprietary software pushes across every sector, including the voting machines.”In the case of software, we’re certainly moving away from the age of shrink-wrapped proprietary software, but with Clown Computing and openwashing of non-free software we can hardly claim that society now champions software freedom. There’s more surveillance than ever before and down to the level of immutable hardware we have a growing number of user-hostile restrictions.

Is this really a “win”?

Hope, ChangeWell, relatively speaking we might have accomplished something and that something is avoidance of the “greater evil”.

But we must always push towards actual software freedom, seeing that Microsoft is increasingly hijacking the “Open Source” brand while persisting with proprietary software pushes across every sector, including the voting machines.

Software freedom cannot be accomplished by an election where both (permissible) sides are pre-selected by robber barons who bankroll both.

We wish President Biden well in undoing some of the truly awful policies of Donald Trump. Wait a month or two (maybe mere weeks) before the mask falls off — metaphorically speaking — and Biden serves the very same masters Trump was serving (as Obama too had done when Biden was VP for 8 years). At the end it is them, the (true) “owners of the country”, who call the shots on all important issues.

Links 22/1/2021: pfSense Plus, Endless OS Foundation, and Many Laptops With GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 5:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux in Healthcare – Cutting Costs & Adding Safety

      Healthcare domain directly deals with our health and lives. Healthcare is prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of any disease, injury, illness, or any other physical and mental impairments in humans. Emergency situations are often dealt with by the healthcare sector very frequently. With immense scope for improvisations, a thriving healthcare domain deals from telemedicine to insurance, and inpatient hospitals to outpatient clinics. With practitioners practicing in multiple areas like medicine, chiropractic, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health, and others, it’s an industry with complex processes and data-oriented maintenance systems often difficult to manage manually with paperwork.

      Need is the mother of innovation and hence people across the world have invented software and systems to manage…

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 reveal the brand new Darter Pro with Intel Xe graphics and Open Firmware

        Looking to power up your Linux computing on the go or for around the hose? System76 have refreshed the Darter Pro with a brand new build powered by the latest tech.

        Just like a lot of their recent hardware, it’s coming filled with some great open source software too. System76 hooked up their new Darter Pro with their Open Firmware. This gives you coreboot and the EDK bootloader with System76 Firmware Apps. So say hello to fast boot times, better security and easy firmware updates from within the operating system.

      • These Linux laptops have Intel Tiger Lake chips, 15.6 inch screens, and weigh less than 4 pounds

        System76 and Tuxedo Computers are both taking orders for new thin and light laptops with 15.6 inch displays and support for up to a 28 watt Intel Core i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake processor.

        As far as I can tell, the new System76 Darter Pro and Tuxedo InfinityBook S 15 are based on the same OEM design, since the laptops are the same size, shape, and weight. They’re also priced similarly: the former sells for $1099 and up while the latter is available for 937 Euros (about $1140) and up.

        [...]

        One of the biggest difference is that System76 offers to install Ubuntu or the company’s own Pop!_OS operating system, while Tuxedo sells its laptops with a choice of Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, or Tuxedo OS.

      • The 6 best developer laptops for 2021

        The laptop officially doesn’t support Linux, and even if you’d ask Dell operators, they will tell you there’s no support for Linux. However, most Linux distributions would run without any issues on these devices. I run anything on my laptop; from Arch to Manjaro, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu.

        [...]

        The Dell Inspiron is a budget laptop that suits many developers’ needs. Because it has multiple configurations allowing it to expand its available memory, it’s a strong candidate for web developers.

        This laptop earned many developers’ hearts by being an affordable solution that can run Linux and Windows with good performance.

      • TUXEDO announce the InfinityBook S 15 with Intel Xe

        If System76 aren’t your preferred Linux hardware vendor we also have TUXEDO who just recently announced the TUXEDO InfinityBook S 15 powered by the latest Intel hardware.

        This new system actually sounds very familiar, and if you’re feeling a bit of déjà vu you would be absolutely right – you’ve pretty much seen this before with the System76 Darter Pro. In fact, they’re mostly the same. The main advantage is probably shipping, since System76 are based in the USA with TUXEDO in Germany and also support times / returns depending on where you are.

        With a base configuration of the TUXEDO InfinityBook S 15 coming with a Full HD IPS display, Intel Core i5-1135G7 with Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 8 GB 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM, and a 250 GB Samsung 860 EVO. Their starting price is €937 EUR, compared with the $1,099 USD from System76.

      • TUXEDO InfinityBook S 15 is a Big, Beefy, and Beautiful Linux Laptop

        This is a 15.6-inch laptop somehow squeezed (possibly through magic) into a 14-inch laptop chassis. The device comes pre-loaded with a choice of Linux distros (including encrypted Ubuntu), and packs in some pretty powerful internals.

        With a 92 percent screen-to-body-ratio, the InfinityBook boasts sip thin bezels and a full HD display (part of me would like to see QHD, aka 2K, screens become the norm, but I digress).

        The TUXEDO InfinityBook S 15 base configuration starts at €937. This gets you an Intel Core i5-1135G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 8 GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM, and a 250 GB Samsung 860 EVO M.2 SSD.

    • Audiocasts/Shows/Videos

      • Configuring The Xmobar Panel In Xmonad – YouTube

        One of the trickiest things about setting up the Xmonad tiling window manager is configuring the panel, which for most Xmonad users is Xmobar. When new users look at the example configs and the documentation for Xmobar, they can be overwhelmed by the lengthy manual and the multitude of options available. But it’s not as complicated as it seems.

      • Flowblade: Was It Worth Leaving Kdenlive – YouTube

        Kdenlive is the bane of my existence, so I’m looking for something better and Flowblade is the first on the chopping block and you know what, it’s a video editor, that’s about as positive as I’m going to get in this video.

      • Bad Voltage Poetry in Notion

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which Bad Voltage is on Spotify!

      • Linux Mint 20.1 “MATE” overview | Stable, robust, traditional. – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Linux Mint 20.1 “MATE” and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • The HEROIC quest to bring EPIC Game Store to Linux!

        Epic Game Store has been a thorn in the side of many Linux gamers due to Epic refusing to port their software and securing many exclusives. But the community is fighting back!

      • #WomenInLinux Podcast: Darlene Gillard Jones – digitalundivided – Women in Linux

        Darlene Gillard Jones is the Chief Community Officer, a Partner and founding team member of digitalundivided (DID), a social enterprise that fosters economic growth through the empowerment of Black and Latina women entrepreneurs using innovation as a tool. In addition to providing leadership to DID’s staff and key stakeholders, Darlene oversees all community partnerships and events for the organization. She is part of the leadership team behind some of DID’s signature programs and events including the recently launched BIG Innovation Center and BIG Incubator program – the first and only space and tech accelerator program dedicated to the training and support of Black and Latina women founders of high-growth tech companies.

    • Kernel Space

      • You can run Linux on an M1 Mac if you have the patience
      • Run Linux on Apples M1 processor using new Corellium port

        Since the availability and launch of Apples new M one silicon chip, calipers have been working hard to run different operating systems on the platform with the most obvious being Windows and Linux. Today thanks to Corellium, owners of new MacBooks by the latest silicon M1 chips can now run the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Corellium’s CTO Chris Wade made the announcement via Twitter explaining that the Corellium development team has been able to bring Linux to the Apple M1 Macs using a modified version of Ubuntu that supports the full user interface, in addition to USB, I2C, and DART. Although don’t expect everything to be supported as the project is still in its beta release at the moment. The 9to5Mac website explains more.

        “For instance, you’ll probably need a USB-C dongle to use the network when booted into Linux, not to mention that there’s no hardware acceleration for now. Even so, it’s very interesting to see that they managed to run a full version of Linux on the new Macs with ARM-based chips — and the project is still in beta.”

      • Corellium has ported Linux to Apple’s M1-based Macs

        When Apple first announced the M1 chip, many people were interested in seeing macOS running on ARM instead of Intel-based hardware. Due to the change, Macs were seemingly bound to macOS and Apple’s walled garden rules, but one Linux development group has found a way around this, enabling Ubuntu OS to run on M1 powered Macs.

        Corellium is a start-up company specialising in virtualisation and emulation of ARM-based platforms. Using its expertise in these areas, the company has created a “completely usable” version of Linux for Apple’s M1-powered devices. In the tweet posted by Chris Wade, the CTO of Corellium showed photos of a Mac Mini M1 running a version of Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu Linux Now Runs On Apple M1 Silicon Macs, What To Expect And How To Prepare

        One of the more pragmatic aspects of Intel-powered Macs was their ability to run alternative operating systems, including Windows and Linux, without much effort at all. Apple even included a Windows preparation tool, Boot Camp, on all of its systems with Intel Core processors. With the advent of Apple Silicon Macs (such as the recent Mac mini) that have the company’s M1 SoC under the hood, Apple discontinued Boot Camp. Those systems had been locked into macOS 11 Big Sur, but thanks to Arm-based virtual cloud device maker Corellium, Ubuntu Linux is now “completely usable.”

        Arm offers an array of licenses to its architecture that range from processor licenses, in which a chip vendor can whole hog plug modules of Arm CPU cores into a chip, to the more abstracted architecture license, which is what Apple uses to develop custom Arm64 CPUs for its own devices. Being an architecture licensee, Apple is beholden to nobody in the way that its chips implement the ISA and boot an operating system. According to Corellium, those implementation differences are what made it a bit more difficult to get running Ubuntu. In a series of tweets, Corellium’s Chief Technical Officer Chris Wade recently showed off Ubuntu running on an Apple M1-powered Mac mini, so we felt compelled to explore it a little ourselves as well.

      • Linux can now be run on the Mac Mini with Apple Silicon

        Ever since Apple launched its new Macs with the company’s new high-performance ARM chips, third-party software developers have been hard at work getting alternative operating systems up and running on the new hardware. Early last month, a few developers booted Windows 10 and Fedora Linux on an M1 Mac via virtualization, but the biggest breakthrough in alternative OS development for M1 Macs has come from the team at Corellium, a firm that specializes in ARM device virtualization. The team has managed to port Linux and make it “completely usable” on the M1 Mac Mini.

      • Corellium Details How to Install Linux on Your M1 Mac
      • Corellium releases “fully usable” Linux build for Apple Silicon-based Macs – O’Grady’s PowerPage

        This portends some good things to come for operating systems that can run on new Apple Silicon hardware.

        A group of security researchers at Corellium have ported a version of Linux to the Apple Silicon M1 chip that will ultimately be released under an open-source license.

        The Linux version is a full Ubuntu desktop operating system that can be booted from a USB device, per Corellium’s Chief Technology Officer Chris Wade. While details as presently scarce, Wade has stated that Linux is now “completely usable” on Apple Silicon hardware.

      • You can now run Linux on your M1-equipped Mac, kind of

        Apple’s new M1 powered Macs have blisteringly fast speed, but only if you want to use macOS. Windows support might be a ways off, but if you want to tinker with Linux there’s now a port for Ubuntu to run on the new ARM-powered Macs.

        Security firm Corellium knows a thing or two about virtualization on Apple devices, as they offer a virtualized version of iOS for security testing purposes. Now they’ve managed to port Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions, to run on the new M1 Macs. Even better, they’ve laid out exactly what you need to do if you want to have a go yourself.

      • How Linux was ported to the Apple Silicon M1 Mac mini

        Linux now works on the Mac mini with M1 processor — but Apple did not make it easy for the team to port the OS with its custom firmware and unique data paths. Here’s how Corellium got it done.

        Now that Linux is fully usable on Macs with M1 processors the team at Corellium has detailed their process for porting the OS.

        In Thursday’s post, Corellium says that they have been studying Apple’s custom processors since the iPhone 6 released in 2014. The company used some exploits and the previous study to build a kernel port to the A10 processor in early 2020.

        Apple released the Macs with M1 processor in November 2020. A follow-on OS update enabled users to install custom kernels. Following the addition of that ability, the Corellium team began working on a Linux port.

      • Ubuntu Linux finally bootable on Apple M1 Mac

        It has been a while since Apple’s new M1 Mac PC was launched. But now reports have surfaced that everyone’s favourite Ubuntu Linux is completely installable and usable on the new M1 Macs. According to sources, various developers working on the project have released a port through which you can install Linux for M1 Macs.

        Corellium’s Chris Wade announced the Linux port for M1 Macs on Twitter earlier today. But since it’s just an initial port there are indeed a lot of limitations. Let not forget that the M1 Mac comes with apples new silicon and is generally new in the market.

      • Someone Got Linux Up And Running On An M1 Mac Mini

        Not a fan of Apple’s macOS operating system but like the new M1 hardware that accompanies it? Then maybe installing a different operating system could be the answer, and no, we’re not talking about Windows. Thanks to the team at Corellium, it appears that they have managed to get Linux up and running on the M1 powered Mac mini.

        According to Corellium’s Chief Technology Office Chris Wade, this is a full version of the Ubuntu desktop operating system that has been booted from a USB drive. While Wade does not dive into the details, he does claim that the version of Linux they installed is “completely usable” on Apple Silicon computers.

      • You can run Linux on an M1 Mac if you have the patience | Engadget

        Corellium has successfully run Ubuntu Linux on Apple’s M1 Macs, although you’ll need a USB drive and some know-how to make it work.

      • Someone ported Linux to the new Arm-based Mac Mini

        Running Linux on Intel-based Macs is relatively easy. Now that Apple is transitioning to its own silicon, it is no longer so straightforward. Although the M1 SoCs are Arm-based processors, and there are Arm versions of Linux available, components on the new Apple chips don’t play well with current Linux distos.

        Apple has not made dual-booting easy on its newest Arm-based computers. While there are Linux distros designed to run on Arm hardware, Apple silicon is a different breed. However, Security researchers at Corellium have a working Linux port for Apple’s M1 Macs.

        The operating system Corellium developed is an Arm-based Ubuntu distro that boots from a USB drive, but it is not as simple as plug-and-play. The main hurdle to getting Linux running on the M1 is hardware drivers.

      • M1 Mac now supports an Ubuntu port

        The chips are based on ARM architecture, same as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV processors. The change means that the new M1 Macs will not support the use of Bootcamp which is used to install Windows alongside macOS or even flavours of Linux. However, to rescue, a security firm named Corellium has successfully ported Ubuntu to M1 Macs.

      • M1 Mac gets Ubuntu Linux port release

        Chris Wade, CTO of Corellium has announced via tweet that M1 Macs will be getting a functional Ubuntu Linux port. The software will be released on GitHub and will include a tutorial for those who are interested.

      • Corellium Successfully Runs Ubuntu Linux on M1 Mac

        Corellium has announced it has Ubuntu Linux running on an M1 Mac, in what is described as a “completely usable” experience.

        Mac computers are popular options for Linux users and developers. Many want to combine their operating system (OS) of choice with machines that are widely considered to be among the best industrial designs in the business.

        With Apple moving to its own custom silicon, however, there was doubt about the future of Linux on Macs. Apple’s new M1 chip is an ARM-based designed, similar to what the company has been running in iPhones and iPads for years.

        Even Linus Torvalds has said he would love to run one of the new M1 Macs, but wasn’t optimistic it could run Linux.

      • Corellium Releases ‘Completely Usable’ Version of Linux for M1 Macs

        Ubuntu Linux is installable and functional on M1 Macs thanks to work done by Corellium, Corellium CTO Chris Wade announced early this morning. Security researchers at the company have developed a port that has been released on GitHub with an installation tutorial coming later today.

      • ‘Completely Usable’ Version of Linux for M1 Macs Released

        Corellium CTO Chris Wade has announced today that Ubuntu Linux is now completely installable and usable on the new M1 Macs. Researchers at the company have developed and released a port through which you can install Linux for M1 Macs. Apple announced the first batch of its custom silicon Macs last year which includes the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. If you’re a die-hard Linux user, you can now give it a swing on your new M1 Mac.

      • We turn away for a second and Corellium is already showing off Ubuntu on Apple Silicon

        Those with pockets deep enough to spring for Apple’s latest and greatest and a desire to avoid macOS can follow a relatively straightforward guide from Corellium on getting the Raspberry Pi image of Ubuntu 20.10 up and running. “We used a Raspberry Pi image because it was a live USB boot image, so we only had to make minor modifications to boot it,” the team explained.

        Corellium also paid tribute to the team behind PongoOS – a pre-boot execution environment for Apple boards – “for contributing their expertise and collaboration”.

        An RFC has been submitted to upstream with a view to review and potentially include the changes for a minimal Linux on Apple Silicon boot. The latest patches were pushed to the GitHub repo late yesterday.

        There are alternatives in the works too. The Asahi Linux project notwithstanding, virtualization is also an option.

      • Alyssa Rosenzweig: Dissecting the Apple M1 GPU, part II

        The bulk of the new code is responsible for constructing the various command buffers and descriptors resident in shared memory, used to control the GPU’s behaviour. Any state accessible from Metal corresponds to bits in these buffers, so understanding them will be the next major task. So far, I have focused less on the content and more on the connections between them. In particular, the structures contain pointers to one another, sometimes nested multiple layers deep. The bring-up process for the project’s triangle provides a bird’s eye view of how all these disparate pieces in memory fit together.

        As an example, the application-provided vertex data are in their own buffers. An internal table in yet another buffer points each of these vertex buffers. That internal table is passed directly as input to the vertex shader, specified in another buffer. That description of the vertex shader, including the address of the code in executable memory, is pointed to by another buffer, itself referenced from the main command buffer, which is referenced by a handle in the IOKit call to submit a command buffer. Whew!

        In other words, the demo code is not yet intended to demonstrate an understanding of the fine-grained details of the command buffers, but rather to demonstrate there is “nothing missing”. Since GPU virtual addresses change from run to run, the demo validates that all of the pointers required are identified and can be relocated freely in memory using our own (trivial) allocator. As there is a bit of “magic” around memory and command buffer allocation on macOS, having this code working at an early stage gives peace of mind going forward.

      • Apple M1 Open-Source GPU Bring-Up Sees An Early Triangle

        The open-source/Linux Apple M1 work continues to be quite busy this week… The latest is Alyssa Rosenzweig who has been working on reverse-engineering the M1 graphics processor has been able to write some early and primitive code for rendering a triangle.

        Alyssa Rosenzweig of Panfrost fame has been working to reverse engineer the Apple M1 graphics as part of the Asahi Linux effort with developer Marcan.

      • Linux 5.12 Set To See Support For The Nintendo 64 – Phoronix

        It’s taken nearly twenty five years but the mainline Linux kernel this year will be able to boot on the Nintendo 64 game console… It’s looking like the Nintendo 64 support will be merged with the upcoming Linux 5.12 kernel.

        Back on Christmas we wrote about a new Linux kernel port to the Nintendo 64. The port was done by longtime open-source developer Lauri Kasanen and done for his own personal satisfaction with being unsure if there would be any interest in having the code upstreamed into the Linux kernel.

      • Implementing a performance boosting algorithm in Coccinelle

        Last year, from June to September, I worked on the kernel development tool Coccinelle under Collabora. I implemented a performance boosting algorithm for one of Coccinelle’s use cases. Here’s a look at this work.

        What is Coccinelle?

        Coccinelle is a tool used to refactor C source code. It’s used for development in the Linux Kernel. You write an abstract patch (called a Semantic patch in Coccinelle terms), basically to remove a few lines of code and add some, to make a tree-wide change.

      • Graphics Stack

        • More OpenGL Threading Improvements Land For Mesa 21.1 – Phoronix

          Even in 2021 longtime open-source AMD Mesa driver developer Marek Olšák isn’t done optimizing OpenGL for delivering the best possible performance with the Radeon graphics driver. Marek’s latest work includes more OpenGL threading enhancements and other work seemingly targeted at SPECViewPerf workloads.

          Marek has spent the past several weeks working to remove the last OpenGL threading synchronization stalls that happen with SPECViewPerf 13. As part of this latest pull request he added support to glthread for executing display lists asynchronously. Plus there are some other OpenGL code improvements too.

        • More Intel Graphics Work In Linux 5.12: Gen7 Improvements, Faster Suspend/Resume

          New feature material for Linux 5.12 continues getting ready ahead of the merge window opening in February to formally kick off the cycle.

          On top of the prior Intel graphics driver improvements queued up in recent weeks to DRM-Next, another batch of Intel updates were sent out this week.

        • Zink OpenGL On Vulkan Now Supports OpenGL 4.2 With Mesa 21.1

          Going back to last summer there have been patches experimentally taking Zink as far as OpenGL 4.6 albeit it’s been a lengthy process getting all of the relevant patches upstreamed. Additionally, some patches have required reworking or proper adjustments after going through the conformance test suite to ensure they are up to scratch for merging. Thanks to that ongoing effort by Mike Blumenkrantz working under contract for Valve and the work by Collabora developers, it was a quick jump this month from seeing OpenGL 4.1 to OpenGL 4.2 in mainline.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Itshappening.gif

          I meant to blog a couple times this week, but I kept getting sidetracked by various matters. Here’s a very brief recap on what’s happened in zinkland over the past week.

        • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan vs. RadeonSI OpenGL Performance As Of January 2021 – Phoronix

          With the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation within Mesa on a nice upward trajectory with most recently now having the backing of a Valve contract developer and a focus on getting the backlog of patches to this Gallium3D code upstreamed, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at where the performance currently stands when using Zink atop the RADV Vulkan driver compared to using the native RadeonSI driver with this round of testing from a Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card.

    • Applications

      • Signal – Beautiful Secure Multi-Platform Instant Messaging App

        Signal is a free beautiful, open-source, and secure multi-platform instant messaging application. It features a modern design with controls that are easy to use thanks to its familiar user interface that is consistent across the different platforms.

        It employs state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption powered by its open-source ‘Signal Protocol‘ which keeps user communication secure. While there are other instant messaging apps that employ end-to-end encryption, Signal is the only app that doesn’t collect any form of user data thanks to its philosophy against ads, affiliate marketers, and trackers.

      • Cockpit 236

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly.

        Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 236.

      • New Pipe: An Open Source Take on Android YouTube App

        You can install NewPipe in one of two ways. The first (recommended) way is to install the F-Droid app store, then search for New Pipe in the store to install it. F-Droid is a third-party app store and one of several great alternatives to the Google Play Store.

        Alternatively, you can just grab the app’s APK file directly from the F-Droid website.

      • Here’s why the Termux app is no longer getting updates on Google Play

        As many of you may well be aware, the Android operating system is powered by the Linux kernel underneath. Despite this, Android and Linux apps are not readily exchangeable because of different runtime systems and libraries. You can, however, get a terminal emulator app like Termux up and running on any Android device. For years, crafty Android users have been using Termux as a handy terminal emulation software as well as a powerful GNU/Linux environment, thanks to its substantially large Linux Package Collection. Unfortunately, the app is now at a pivotal junction of its life, as its developers have decided to stop updating the Play Store version altogether and migrate to F-Droid due to recently introduced Google Play policy and Android SDK behavior changes.

      • Linux Candy: cornyjokes – corny jokes for the terminal – LinuxLinks

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open source software in this series.

        Some of the programs in this series are purely cosmetic, frivolous pieces of fun. Candy at their finest. But we also include some programs that aren’t purely decorative.

        There’s a diverse range of programs included in this series. Programs such as eDEX-UI and Variety are actually highly practical programs. ASCIIQuarium has soothing and relaxing qualities for your desktop. Other programs included in this series (such as lolcat, cacafire) are included purely for their decorative qualities. And then there’s some really fun software that just raises a smile or two.

        cornyjokes is a terminal based program that tells you corny jokes. On each evocation of the program, you receive a corny joke and an ASCII graphic. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • RapidDisk 7.1.0 now available – Random [Tech] Stuff

        RapidDisk is an advanced Linux RAM Disk which consists of a collection of modules and an administration tool. Features include: Dynamically allocate RAM as block device. Use them as stand alone disk drives or even map them as caching nodes to slower local disk drives.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Learn IP Command to Manage Networking on Linux

        IP (Internet Protocol) command is used to manage, view network configuration on a Linux system. The command ‘IP’ and its uses are same in all the Linux family – Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu,Red Hat, CentOS and Arch Linux etc. It is the command-line utility that is part of iproute2 package installed in kernel.

      • How to Install Kubernetes with Minikube on Ubuntu 20.04

        Minikube is an open-source tool that helps you to set up a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your local machine. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Minikube on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to Remove Files with Specific Extension in Linux

        To remove files with a specific extension, we use the ‘rm‘ (Remove) command, which is a basic command-line utility for removing system files, directories, symbolic links, device nodes, pipes, and sockets in Linux.

      • How to install Flatpak applications from Flathub – PragmaticLinux

        Ever wanted to install a desktop application on your Linux PC, but your distribution’s package manager didn’t offer it? With a bit of luck you can find the desktop application on Flathub. Flathub offers an ever growing catalog of Linux desktop applications in the Flatpak format. This article teaches you all the ins-and-outs you need to know, to install desktop applications as a Flatpak from the Flathub online repository.

        [...]

        You can think of a Flatpak as a modern packaging and deployment method for Linux desktop applications. An application installed as a Flatpak runs in a sandbox environment, isolated from the rest of the Linux system. Flathub is an online repository that hosts Flatpak applications.

      • How to browse Google search on Linux command terminal – Linux Shout

        Although it is very uncommon that nowadays when people have smartphones in their hands, they would like to surf the internet using the text-based browser on a Linux terminal. However, in case you are on a CLI server or SSH and don’t have mobile access, then using the Command terminal to browser the internet or Google search engine will be a good idea. Well, Text attributes, images, and animations are simply not displayed in text browsers.

      • Configure a Linux workspace remotely from the command line | Opensource.com

        One of the things I appreciate about Linux versus proprietary operating systems is that almost everything can be managed and configured from the command line. That means that nearly everything can be configured locally or even remotely via an SSH login connection. Sometimes it takes a bit of time spent on Internet searches, but if you can think of a task, it can probably be done from the command line.

      • Five ways to use redirect operators in bash | Enable Sysadmin

        Redirect operators are a basic but essential part of working at the bash command line. See how to safely redirect input and output to make your Linux sysadmin life easier.

      • Convert your filesystem to Btrfs – Fedora Magazine

        The purpose of this article is to give you an overview about why, and how to migrate your current partitions to a Btrfs filesystem. To read a step-by-step walk through of how this is accomplished – follow along, if you’re curious about doing this yourself.

        Starting with Fedora 33, the default filesystem is now Btrfs for new installations. I’m pretty sure that most users have heard about its advantages by now: copy-on-write, built-in checksums, flexible compression options, easy snapshotting and rollback methods. It’s really a modern filesystem that brings new features to desktop storage.

        Updating to Fedora 33, I wanted to take advantage of Btrfs, but personally didn’t want to reinstall the whole system for ‘just a filesystem change’. I found [there was] little guidance on how exactly to do it, so decided to share my detailed experience here.

        [...]

        I really hope that you have found this guide to be useful, and was able to make a careful and educated decision about whether or not to convert to Btrfs on your system. I wish you a successful conversion process!

      • Gitlab runners with nspawn

        This is a first post in a series about trying to setup a gitlab runner based on systemd-nspawn.

      • Polishing nspawn-runner

        gitlab-runner supports adding extra arguments to the custom scripts, and I can take advantage of that to pack all the various scripts that I prototyped so far into an all-in-one nspawn-runner command…

      • Assembling the custom runner
      • Exploring nspawn for CIs

        Here I try to figure out possible ways of invoking nspawn for the prepare, run, and cleanup steps of gitlab custom runners. The results might be useful invocations beyond Gitlab’s scope of application.

      • How to Install Signal Desktop on Linux

        Signal is published by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC. These two not-for-profit organizations—based in Mountain View, California—were founded by Matthew Rosenfeld (aka ‘Moxie Marlinspike’) and Brian Acton. Together they continue the work started at Open Whisper Systems, one of Rosenfeld’s earlier start-ups.

        The Signal application is free and open source. Anyone can review the source code. The source code for the Signal Messenging Protocol (SMP) was reviewed by a joint team from the German CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, the Swiss ETH Zurich University, Cisco, and the Canadian University of Waterloo. They declared the code clean, the motives pure, and the encryption rock-solid. Signal is definitely secure.

      • How To Find Hostname In Linux – OSTechNix

        A Hostname is an unique alphanumeric label assigned to a Linux system in order to identify it on the network. It can also contain a few special characters such as hyphen (-), period (.), and underscore (_). A typical hostname consists of up to 253 characters. Generally, the hostname is stored in /etc/hostname file in most Linux distributions. In this brief guide, we will learn about various commands to find hostname in Linux operating systems.

      • How to Setup Nginx with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 20.04

        To enable secure communication (i.e. HTTPS) on your NGINX web server, you need to obtain an SSL/TLS certificate from a trusted certificate authority. Let’s Encrypt is a not-for-profit certificate authority that offers free SSL/TLS certificates.

        This tutorial describes how to setup a free SSL/TLS certificate issued by Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Server running Nginx.

      • How to merge snapshots in VirtualBox & save disk space

        One of the cool things about VirtualBox is that it lets you create snapshots of your virtual machines. You work, you save a state, you make changes, and then you conveniently revert back to the saved state. You can branch any way you like, create snapshots with the virtual machines running or stopped, and the functionality provides you with a lot of flexibility – and determinism – as you can consistently re-test known system states over and over.

        The uncool thing about snapshots is that they take quite a bit of space. I noticed that one of my virtual machines, with an expected footprint of only about 11 GB was actually taking 46 GB of disk space. And as you can imagine, there were snapshots – a total of seven different saved machine states. This ain’t bad, but what if you no longer need the snapshots and want to compact them, i.e. flatten them, i.e. merge everything down and trim down on disk usage? Let’s explore this further.

      • How To Install qBittorrent on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install qBittorrent on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, qBittorrent is an open-source BitTorrent client that aims to be able to provide a free application alternative to μTorrent, designed for Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and FreeBSD.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of qBittorrent open-source BitTorrent client on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How to Install Kubernetes with Minikube on Ubuntu 20.04

        Minikube is an open-source tool that helps you to set up a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your local machine. It makes it easy to run a single node Kubernetes cluster on your personal computer for daily development work. It is cross-platform and can be installed on macOS, Linux, and Windows.

      • How to make a star with LibreOffice – LibreOffice Design Team

        Some time ago we asked the people how they use LibreOffice Draw. And while the expectation was that this module receives only low appreciation the opposite is true. LibreOffice Draw is used to create block diagrams for BPMN processes, mindmaps or technical drawings, to build complex vector drawing for network topology, electrical circuits, floor plans or UI mockups, as a desktop publishing tool to design posters, flyers, business cards, and as a tools to load PDFs for editing. Learn more in part 1 and part 2 of the results.

      • Install KeePassXC 2.6.3 In Ubuntu / Linux Mint | Tips On UNIX

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install KeePassXC 2.6.3 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 18.04, and Linux Mint 20.1.

        KeePassXC is an application with extremely high demands on secure personal data management. It is a lightweight application and cross-platform also.

      • How to force awk not to print a newline

        I have two columns (fields) in my text file. I am trying to insert ‘|’ between two and create an HTML table based upon the updated file.

      • 7 fun Linux containers/image transports features | Enable Sysadmin

        If you work with Linux containers, here are seven fun transports features that you need to know.

      • How to install Kdenlive 20.12 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Kdenlive 20.12 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install Podman on Ubuntu – TechRepublic

        For those who don’t know, Podman is the drop-in replacement for Docker on the Red Hat/CentOS/Fedora environments. This new container technology improves on Docker by decentralizing the components necessary for container management. Instead of having a single daemon for everything, Podman uses individualized components that are only used when necessary.

      • How to use the new DEB822 apt format on Ubuntu – TechRepublic

        If you’re a long-time Ubuntu user, there’s something new that’s arrived with the latest iteration of the platform that will trip you up for a while. Said something new is the 822 apt source format. You’re probably used to apt source files that contain a single line like deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free.

      • How to Store a Linux Command as a Variable in Shell Script

        Shell scripting is quite popularly used to automate stuff in Linux. It is used not only for system and server administration purposes but also by regular Linux users for automating day to day stuff on their systems.

        A shell script is nothing but a sequence of commands; which a command-line interpreter (Eg. Bash, Zsh) will run. Along with the sequence of commands, there are features like loops, conditional statements, variables that can be used in a shell script.

      • How to configure WireGuard VPN client with NetworkManager GUI

        WireGuard is an open-source VPN protocol implementation which is quickly gaining its popularity among VPN users due to its speed, ease-of-use and well-designed codebase. WireGuard kernel module is shipped with the mainline Linux kernel 5.6 or later, and its userland tools are already incorporated into the base repositories of all modern Linux distributions. If you are looking to set up a DIY VPN router on a public VPS under your control, there is really no reason not to try WireGuard.

        Setting up a WireGuard VPN router does not require any expert knowledge on the underlying VPN protocol, nor involve learning cryptic configuration language or huge configuration space. There are also various user-friendly frontends in the works that make client-side VPN configuration straightforward.

      • How to Install Scribus (Desktop Publishing Tool) on Linux

        Scribus is a free and open source desktop publishing (DTP) tool available for Linux, UNIX and Windows platform. Scribus is used to create PDF files, e-books, newsletter, magazines and posters etc. It can also be used to edit the existing PDF file.

        In this article, we will learn how to install and use scribus on different Linux distributions to create publication. To Install scribus, sudo rights or privilege access is needed

      • How to Fix “No Command” Error on Android

        It is common in Android that when trying to access the recovery mode or install a new software update, the phone is waiting for a command to access the recoveryoptions. However, in some cases, the phone may be stuck on the “No Command” screen.

        In this article we will provide some solutions to help you fix this issue so that you can start your Android phone normally.

      • How to Edit PDF Files in Linux Desktop

        PDF (Portable Document Format) is popular file system used specially for documentation. In all the Linux distribution you can find PDF viewer but not PDF editor. PDF editor allow you to edit, annotate, highlight and remove the content in PDF file. Not only editing it also allows you to merge, split the PDF files.

        In this article, I’m going to show how to install and use some popular PDF editor in Linux desktop environment. In this article, I have used Ubuntu 20.0 LTS desktop environment for the demonstration of these PDF editors.

      • How To Install Invoice Ninja on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Invoice Ninja on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Invoice Ninja is a free and open-source web-based application software that can end up being used for invoicing, payments, time traffic monitoring, and many more. It is the particular best solution for invoicing and invoicing customers. You can easily create in addition to send invoices online in seconds. Account Ninja allows you to create your current own custom invoice and show a new live invoice as a PDF record.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Invoice Ninja on CentOS 8.

      • How To – Linux List Disk Partitions Command
    • Games

      • Return to Castle Monkey Ball might be the weirdest mashup ever | GamingOnLinux

        Combining elements of the Wolfenstein 3D classic first-person shooter with the rolling gameplay of Super Monkey Ball, what could go wrong? Return to Castle Monkey Ball is quite hilarious. Pointed out by a reader earlier this week, it’s a web game you can play on itch.io right in your browser so there’s no downloading and the idea actually works quite well. Amusingly so and it’s pretty challenging too.

        The idea here is that you’re rolling your way through some cramped hallways, while soldiers are trying their best to shoot you. Smash into them to hurt them, keep rolling and collect bananas to boost your score and hopefully make it out alive. Probably one of the most unique mashups I’ve seen lately.

      • Sci-fi adventure taking place on an abandoned Earth, Mutropolis launching Feb 18 | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for a new adventure? Set in the far future on an abandoned planet Earth, Mutropolis is now confirmed to be launching on February 18.

        “It is the year 5000, and the greatest achievements in human history are forgotten. The pyramids, the Mona Lisa, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – forgotten.
        Forgotten by everyone except Henry Dijon and his ragtag team of archaeologists. They left Mars to dig up lost treasures on the wild and inhospitable Planet Earth. Life is sweet, until Henry’s professor is kidnapped, and thing start to get… weird.”

      • Ballsy! World Cup 2020 is a wonderful throwback to Sensible Soccer | GamingOnLinux

        Remember the classic Sensible World of Soccer or the original Sensible Soccer? Classics from the 90s and Ballsy! World Cup 2020 is a wonderful take on it. Note: key provided by the developer.

        I have seriously fond memories of SWOS, playing endless hours on the Amiga a long time ago. Ballsy really does feel like it both mechanically and visually although naturally it’s more modern and looks a lot cleaner. After originally releasing in October 2020, the developer decided to port it in December 2020 to Linux.

        “Tired of these sluggish, scripted modern football games? Still like some physics momentum in your retro footy game? Search no longer! Ballsy! offers that fluent feel for flowing football fans. The European football, that is, so, not handegg. Though truth be told, the term ‘soccer’ was actually invented by the English, so it doesn’t deserve all the hate it gets.”

      • VR: The Fun Way to Exercise – Boiling Steam

        So using an Ubuntu 20.10 image, I installed said distro on a spare SSD that I have. Patola was right: there are actually a few more games that I could play on the RX 570 that I couldn’t with my GTX 1660.

      • The Big Adventure Event is live on Steam with plenty of demos to try until Jan 25 | GamingOnLinux

        Got a slow weekend ahead? Well now it might be a little busier as there’s a good few developers participating in The Big Adventure Event which is now live on Steam.

        What’s this all about then? Organised with help from indie developer and publisher Hitcents, it’s a celebration of the classic adventure game genre. They’ve packed the event with demos, new games, livestreams and more. The event takes place from now January 21 until January 25.

        It’s a genuinely good event too, looking over there’s a fair few titles I had totally forgotten about or had just never seen before. Plenty have a Linux demo too, which is wonderful to see.

      • Godot Engine – Online GodotCon 2021: Schedule

        Our online GodotCon meetup for contributors, users and game developers, will happen online this Saturday, January 23rd, from 8:45 UTC to 16:00 UTC. We hope to have you join us for this long-awaited moment of knowledge sharing!

        We have received many talk submissions from people from all over the world and while it was a heartbreaker, we had to make some selections to fit in the schedule. We want to thank warmly all the people who proposed a talk.

        Because of the incredible quantity of interesting proposals, we will try to host another conference soon, so if your talk didn’t make it this time, please consider submitting it for the next event! Thank you all for your patience with us, we already learned a lot from this experience and we can’t wait to work with you again!

        [...]

        Watching the conferences is great, but many of you may also want to discuss the contents together and perhaps ask questions to the speakers. As the talks are pre-recorded, you will not be able to ask your questions live after the talks, especially since some speakers may be out of the timezone at the time of their talk.

        This is why, in addition to the live streaming we have set up a Rocket.chat platform that you can join freely. There, you’ll find one room for each talk. You can join each room to discuss and eventually ask your questions. In some cases, the speaker can be online too and will answer your questions directly!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.21 Beta is out and it’s a thing of beauty, towards first-class Wayland support

          Plasma, the desktop environment from the KDE team has a big new upgrade coming with the release of Plasma 5.21 Beta and it’s looking to be a thing of beauty.

          Their current aim with Plasma 5.21 is to finely polish the experience overall, with the KDE team saying it pulls in “many improvements into Plasma’s design, utilities and themes, with the aim of providing end users with a more pleasant and accessible environment”.

          Plasma 5.21 will bring with it a redesigned application launcher, theme improvements, a brand new UI for the Plasma System Monitor, Plasma Firewall settings added to the overall system settings to let you configure both UFW and firewalld, plenty of UI cleaning done on system settings and much more.

          It’s big in many areas, not just design tweaks, with a big plan in progress to have KDE push for first-class Wayland support with KWin. They say that Plasma 5.21 “makes great headway to reach that goal”. KWin, the compositor, has been “extensively refactored” and so you should see reduced latency throughout the entire stack.

        • KDE Plasma 5.21 Now In Beta With Much Improved Wayland Support

          KDE Plasma 5.21 is now in beta as what will be the first major KDE desktop update of the new year.

          There is a lot to find with KDE Plasma 5.21 while the good Wayland support is certainly exciting and a lot of polishing throughout the KDE Plasma desktop. Some of the Plasma 5.21 highlights include:

          - Extensive improvements to KWin’s Wayland compositing code as well as support for mixed-refresh-rate display configurations, among other Wayland improvements.

        • First Look: KDE Plasma 5.21 is Packed Full of New Features

          ntended as the next latest stable uplift to the (incredibly performant) KDE Plasma desktop, Plasma 5.21 offers users everything, from a bold new look to a brill new app launcher. Four merit-filled months of development have gone into shaping this release, and the fruits are almost ripe for the picking.

          For a closer look — or should that be a kloser look? — scroll on!

    • Distributions

      • MX Linux Now Has a Raspberry Pi Edition You Can Try Right Now

        Meet the MX-Fluxbox Raspberry Pi respin, a special edition of this lightweight and very popular Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution that aims to combine the goodness of MX Linux and the lightweight of the Fluxbox window manager with the educational flexibility of the official Raspberry Pi OS.

        The Fluxbox environment is accompanied by elements from the renowned GNOME, Xfce and LXDE desktop environment to make things even more fun. On top of that, you’ll find all your favorite apps, such as the Mozilla Firefox ESR web browser, Claws Mail email client, VLC media player, Thunar file manager, FeatherPad text editor, as well as Geany and Thonny IDEs.

      • Launching Endless OS Foundation

        On the 1st of April 2020, our for-profit Endless Mobile officially became a nonprofit as the Endless OS Foundation. Our launch as a nonprofit just as the global pandemic took hold was, predictably, hardly noticed, but for us the timing was incredible: as the world collectively asked “What can we do to help others in need?”, we framed our mission statement and launched our .org with the same very important question in mind. Endless always had a social impact mission at its heart, and the challenges related to students, families, and communities falling further into the digital divide during COVID-19 brought new urgency and purpose to our team’s decision to officially step in the social welfare space.

      • New Releases

        • Solus OS 4.1 Released with Brand New Desktop and Other Improvements [Ed: Well, this is an outdated report. A year late.]

          Free and Open-source Solus OS recently released its most significant upgrade to version 4.1 (Fortitude) and now features a brand new desktop experience, updates to its software stacks, and hardware enablement.

          Solus ships with the latest version, Budgie 10.5.1. It was released in October with improvements to the Budgie Menu, IconTracklist, Budgie Desktop Settings, Workspaces, Window Manager, and Raven.

      • BSD

        • Netgate Announces pfSense Plus With Greater Divergence From pfSense

          Netgate has announced pfSense as a rebranded and improved edition of this popular BSD-based firewall/network OS platform.

          The pfSense Plus offering is based on the existing pfSense Factory Edition and with that a greater divergence is forming between pfSense Community Edition and this commercial offering,

          Moving ahead, pfSense Community Edition and pfSense Plus will diverge but with Netgate continuing to “donate features” to the community project. pfSense Plus will be made available to Netgate customers and will be installed on all Netgate appliances.

        • Announcing pfSense® Plus

          pfSense® software is the world’s most trusted firewall. Now on its 46th release, the software has garnered the respect and adoration of users worldwide – installed over two million times, with at least half that many in active use today. A remarkably powerful, robust, and easy to use solution, pfSense software has delivered edge firewall, router, and VPN functionality to homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies – literally across every continent.

        • Linux vs. BSD: Everything You Need to Know

          BSDs are free and open-source systems that are very popular among old-school admins. They are direct descendants of the traditional Unix system and offer many rock-solid features. However, despite their robust performance, BSD systems do not enjoy the widespread popularity of Linux. So many users wonder if switching from Linux to BSD is a good idea. This guide aims to shed some light on this.

          BSDs are a group of POSIX-compliant operating systems derived from the original Unix. They follow proven development strategies and focus on stability and performance. When talking about BSDs, we generally refer to one of the three main BSD distributions: FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Seamonkey updated to 2.53.6

          SeaMonkey is an all-in-one Internet application suite. It includes a browser, mail/news client, IRC client, JavaScript debugger, and a tool to inspect the DOM for web pages. It is derived from the application formerly known as Mozilla Application Suite.

        • Google Chrome updated to 88.0.4324.96

          Google Chrome Browser is a cross-platform web browser developed by Google. It was first released in 2008 for Microsoft Windows, and was later ported to Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android where it is the default browser built into the OS.

        • Calibre updated to 5.10.0

          Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution. It includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features.

      • Gentoo Family

        • exGENT Live Distro Makes Gentoo Linux Fun to Use in 2021 with the LXQt Desktop

          About eight months since the last update to the exGENT distribution, which aims to offer the Linux community a live and installable operating system based on Gentoo. I’ve highlighted live and installable because Gentoo no longer generates regular live ISO images you can try without installing the system.

          The exGENT 2021 release makes things even more interesting since it uses the latest Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, which automatically translates to better hardware support and support for newer hardware. However, the kernel included in the live system is Linux 5.6.7 and Linux kernel 5.10 LTS will be used in the installed system.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GNOME, VLC, Zypper update in Tumbleweed

          Five openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released this week.

          The snapshots updated the GNOME desktop, GStreamer, VLC and a couple text editors.

          An update of bash 5.1.4 arrived in the latest snapshot 20210120. A few patches were added to the bash version, which is the latest release candidate. The 2.83 version of dnsmasq took care of five Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures; one of the fixes handles multiple identical near simultaneous DNS queries better and another CVE replaced the slightly lesser SHA-1 hash with the SHA-256 hash function, which verifies the DNS answers received are for the questions originally asked. GStreamer 1.18.3 fixed a memory leak and added support for the Apple M1, which made news yesterday as being able to run Linux. Several other GStreamer plugins were updated. Video player VLC updated for version 3.0.12 and added new Reliable Internet Stream Transport access output module compliant with a simple profile. About a dozen more packages were updated in the snapshot including ncurses , openldap2 2.4.57, and perl-Mojolicious 8.71.

        • CUPS-PDF | Print to PDF from any Application

          I’m sure this isn’t new to anyone, certainly not to me but after using another operating system for a bit I was really annoyed and wanted to just highlight what a wonderful thing this “printer” is for openSUSE and any other Linux distribution, for that matter. Sometimes, I think it is good to reflect on the the great things we take for granted here in Linux land.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Dev Interview: Launching a career as an enterprise developer in Austin, Chapter 4

          In our last Dev Interview chapter, our trio of young developers discussed what it was like joining the corporate world along with their first impressions. As a developer, you’ll often be part of a smaller squad or you may form your own squad around more personal reasons. Given Luc, Da-In and Diana all have recently moved to Austin and started working at IBM in the summer of 2019, it’s pretty natural for the three to bond together over shared experiences. And provide support to each other during such interesting times. Let’s see what Da-In, Diana, and Luc have been up to as they discuss some of the more personal aspects of life and office friendships in corporate America.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Scraps GNOME 40 and GTK4

          Announced in the recent discussion, the team decided to stick to GNOME 3.38 and GTK3 for many critical reasons. Traditionally, the April release of Ubuntu features the latest GNOME desktop that releases just before the final version is out as per the release cadence.

          But, the recent changes that are introduced in GNOME 40 is too much with many moving parts. For example, GNOME 40 brings the following critical desktop design and behavioral changes, among others.

        • No GNOME 40 for Ubuntu 21.04 [And That’s a Good Thing]

          The upcoming GNOME 40 desktop is bringing plenty of UX changes thanks to the new shell design and GTK 4.

          GNOME 40 will be releasing in March and Ubuntu 21.04 arrives in April. The tradition so far is that the new Ubuntu release consists of the new GNOME release as they both release a new version every six months.

          Keeping that trend, you would expect Ubuntu 21.04 to feature GNOME 40 but that’s not happening. Not this time.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Compact and Bijou

          Snaps are designed to be self-contained packages of binaries, libraries and other assets. A snap might end up being quite bulky if the primary application it contains has many additional dependencies. This is a by-product of the snap needing to run on any Linux distribution where dependencies cannot always be expected to be installed.

          This is offset by the snap being compressed on disk, and the Snap Store delivering delta updates rather than force a full download on each update. Furthermore the concept of “shared content” or “platform” snaps allows for common bundles of libraries to be installed only once and then reused across multiple snaps.

          Typically in documentation we detail building snaps with the command line tool snapcraft. Snapcraft has logic to pull in and stage any required dependencies. We generally recommend using snapcraft because it helps automate things, and make the snapping process more reliable.

          But what if your application has minimal, or no dependencies?. Your program might be a single binary written in a modern language like go or rust. Maybe it’s a simple shell or python script, which requires no additional dependencies. Well, there’s a couple of other interesting ways to build a snap we should look at.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why KubeEdge is my favorite open source project of 2020

        I believe edge computing, which “brings computation and data storage closer to the location where it is needed to improve response times and save bandwidth,” is the next major phase of technology adoption. The widespread use of mobile devices and wearable gadgets and the availability of free city-wide WiFi in some areas create a lot of data that can provide many advantages if used properly. For example, this data can help people fight crime, learn about nearby activities and events, find the best sale price, avoid traffic, and so on.

        Gartner says the rapid growth in mobile application adoption requires an edge infrastructure to use the data from these devices to further progress and improve quality of life. Some of the brightest minds are looking for ways to use the rich data generated from our mobile devices. Take the COVID-19 pandemic, for example. Edge computing can gather data that can help fight the spread of the virus. In the future, mobile devices might warn people about the potential for community infection by providing live updates to their devices based on processing and serving data collected from other devices (using artificial intelligence and machine learning).

      • Open source is still not a business model

        If you thought 2021 was going to be the year without big drama in the world of open source licensing, you didn’t have to wait long to be disappointed. Two stories have already sprung up in the first few weeks of the year. They’re independent, but related. Both of them remind us that open source is a development model, not a business model.

        A few years ago, it seemed like I couldn’t go to any sysadmin/DevOps conference or meetup without hearing about the “ELK stack“. ELK stands for the three pieces of software involved: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Because it provided powerful aggregation, search, and visualization of arbitrary log files, it became very popular. This also meant that Amazon Web Services (AWS) saw value in providing an Elasticsearch service.

      • Daniel Stenberg: More on less curl memory

        Back in September 2020 I wrote about my work to trim curl allocations done for FTP transfers. Now I’m back again on the memory use in curl topic, from a different angle.

        This time, I learned about the awesome tool pahole, which can (among other things) show structs and their sizes from a built library – and when embracing this fun toy, I ran some scripts on a range of historic curl releases to get a sense of how we’re doing over time – memory size and memory allocations wise.

        The task I set out to myself was: figure out how the sizes of key structs in curl have changed over time, and correlate that with the number and size of allocations done at run-time. To make sure that trimming down the size of a specific struct doesn’t just get allocated by another one instead, thus nullifying the gain. I want to make sure we’re not slowly degrading – and if we do, we should at least know about it!

        Also: we keep developing curl at a fairly good pace and we’re adding features in almost every release. Some growth is to expected and should be tolerated I think. We also keep the build process very configurable so users with particular needs and requirements can switch off features and thus also gain memory.

        [...]

        The gain in 7.62.0 was mostly the removal of the default allocation of the upload buffer, which isn’t used in this test…

        The current size tells me several things. We’re at a memory consumption level that is probably at its lowest point in the last decade – while at the same time having more features and being better than ever before. If we deduct the download buffer we have 30427 additional bytes allocated. Compare this to 7.50.0 which allocated 68089 bytes on top of the download buffer!

        If I change my curl to use the smallest download buffer size allowed by libcurl (1KB) instead of the default 100KB, it ends up peaking at: 31451 bytes. That’s 37% of the memory needed by 7.50.0.

        In my opinion, this is very good.

        It might also be worth to reiterate that this is with a full featured libcurl build. We can shrink even further if we switch off undesired features or just go tiny-curl.

        I hope this goes without saying, but of course all of this work has been done with the API and ABI still intact.

      • Events

        • Libre Arts – This is 2021: what’s coming in free/libre software

          The fork is just rebranding and no new features or UX fixes (unless removing the bell pepper brush is your idea of finally making it right for everyone), and then Glimpse-NX — at least for the public eye — exists only as UI mockups. They did get Bilal Elmoussaoui (GNOME team) to create Rust bindings to GEGL for them last autumn, but that’s all as far as I can tell.

          So the current pace of the project is not very impressive (again, as a GIMP contributor, I’m biased) and I’m not sure how much we are going to see in 2021.

          That said, I think having a whole new image editor based on GEGL would be lovely. I don’t see why Glimpse-NX couldn’t be that project. A proof-of-concept application that would load an image, apply a filter, and export it back sounds feasible. It’s something one could iterate upon. So maybe that’s how they are going to play it.

          The fine folks over at Krita posted a 2020 report where they listed major challenges they will be facing this year: the completion of resources management rewrite that currently blocks v5.0 release, the port to Apple M1, the launching of a new development fund (akin to that of Blender), and more.

        • This is 2021: what’s coming in free/libre software (Libre Arts)

          Libre Arts (formerly Libre Graphics World) has posted a comprehensive survey of what 2021 might hold for a wide range of free content-creation software.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Karl Dubost: Site interventions and automated testing

            We follow a strict release process tied to the release cycle of Firefox. You can discover our CSS interventions and JavaScript Interventions. The calendar for the upcoming releases is defined in advance.

            Before each release cycle for site interventions, the Softvision Webcompat team (Oana and Cipri) makes sure to test the site without the patch to discover if the site intervention is still necessary. This takes time and requires a lot of manual work. Time that could be used for more introspective work.

            To activate deactivate site interventions, you can play with extensions.webcompat.perform_injections in about:config.

          • Firefox UX: Who Gets to Define Success? Listening to Stories of How People Value Firefox to Redefine Metrics

            Firefox Monthly Active Users (MAU): Measures the number of Firefox Desktop clients active in the past 28 days. (Source: Firefox Public Data Report)

            With over 200 million people using our web browser every month, Firefox has arguably achieved classic definitions of scale. However, as researchers, we also know that the reasons behind product choice and usage are often more complex than numbers alone can illustrate.

            In early 2019, our Data Science team began to review our current in-product metrics in an effort to better understand how to interpret our usage numbers and expose any gaps. Firefox User Researcher Jennifer Davidson (and co-author) consulted on that project, which ultimately found that we had very limited qualitative understanding of Firefox usage numbers. Around the same time, a cross-functional team, including Firefox User Researcher Gemma Petrie (and co-author), began an internal research project to gain a top-down view of value by asking our senior leaders how they would define the value of our products. Perhaps unsurprisingly in such a large organization, there were a wide variety of responses.

            In late 2019, Gemma and Jennifer proposed a study to align these efforts and explore the gaps we were observing. We knew it was time to get an “outside in” perspective to inform our internal narrative, and ultimately help our organization make better product decisions. At the heart of this research was a fundamental question: How do people describe the value they get out of Firefox? We hypothesized that by better understanding how people describe the value they get out of Firefox, we would be able to better inform how to measure our success as a company and encourage our leaders to complement traditional measures of scale with more human-centered metrics.

            Some of you may be thinking, “That is a very fundamental question for such an established product! Why don’t you already know the answer to it?” There are two primary reasons why this is a difficult question for our Firefox researchers to study. First, commonplace products like a web browser present unique challenges. The role of a web browser is almost akin to a utility–it is so deeply domesticated into people’s lives, that they may use Firefox every day without thinking much about it (Haddon 2006). A second unique challenge for Mozilla is that the usage data to understand how people use Firefox is often nonexistent. Mozilla practices very limited data collection. Our data practices are aligned with our mission and we do not collect information about the content people visit on the web (Mozilla 2020b, Mozilla 2020c, Mozilla 2020d). Often, user research is the only opportunity our organization has to understand the content people seek out and their workflows within the browser.

          • Mike Taylor: The Mike Taylor method™ of naming git branches

            I started doing this about 10 years ago when I worked at Opera. I don’t know if it was a widely used convention, or I just copied it off someone, but it’s pretty good, IMHO.

          • Tor Browser: Anonymity and Beyond

            There are three types of web: the surface web, the deep web, and the dark web. All that you can access using your Google browser is known as the surface web – it is visible to one and all. The deep web is all information that is under lock and key. In other words, we don’t have access to it. The dark web, on the other hand, is a creepy and secret underworld where access is denied using normal browsers. But with special tools handy and ready, users can buy almost anything – from guns to atom bombs – with total anonymity. In order to access the dark web, we need a special browser capable of opening and displaying dot onion links. This is where the Tor browser comes in.

            Typically, when we surf the web, we leave digital footprints everywhere in the form of our IP address. We allow ourselves to be tracked and monitored by everyone out there. This is because our typical browsers allow it. Tor, on the other hand, does not allow tracking. It is a specialized browser whose first priority is anonymity.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Parallel 20210122 (‘Capitol Riots’) released

            GNU Parallel 20210122 (‘Capitol Riots’) has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/
            Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons: http://www.elsotanillo.net/wp-content/uploads/GnuParallel_JuanSierraPons.mp4
            It does not have to be as detailed as Juan’s. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

      • Programming/Development

        • Maximizing Developer Effectiveness

          Technology is constantly becoming smarter and more powerful. I often observe that as these technologies are introduced an organization’s productivity instead of improving has reduced. This is because the technology has increased complexities and cognitive overhead to the developer, reducing their effectiveness. In this article, the first of a series, I introduce a framework for maximizing developer effectiveness. Through research I have identified key developer feedback loops, including micro-feedback loops that developers do 200 times a day. These should be optimized so they are quick, simple and impactful for developers. I will examine how some organizations have used these feedback loops to improve overall effectiveness and productivity.

        • Open-source Downloads Working Again

          Open-source downloads are working again. Users can install open-source versions of Qt framework and tools via the online installer or download the offline packages.

          Earlier this week our service provider for two important servers related to the open-source downloads had a severe hardware failure in their disk system causing a problem with open-source downloads of Qt. The problem has now been resolved and download systems are working again. Note that there are more than usual delays in using the system due to the load caused by ongoing restoring of other affected systems of the same service provider as well as the load caused by Qt users.

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.4.15RC2 and 8.0.2RC1 [Ed: Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS)]

          RPM of PHP version 8.0.2RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-php80-test repository for Fedora 31-33 and Enterprise Linux.

          RPM of PHP version 7.4.15RC2 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 32-33 or remi-php74-test repository for Fedora 31 and Enterprise Linux.

        • OASIS Open Establishes European Foundation to Advance Open Collaboration Opportunities

          OASIS Open, the international open source and open standards consortium, is pleased to announce the launch of the OASIS Open Europe Foundation (https://www.oasis-open.eu). The foundation provides a strong and dedicated European focus in setting standards for open collaboration, and allows OASIS to provide long-term sustainability for European Union research projects.

        • International Consortium Bolsters European Focus on Open Source and Open Standards Development

          OASIS Open, the international open source and open standards consortium, is pleased to announce the launch of the OASIS Open Europe Foundation (https://www.oasis-open.eu). The foundation provides a strong and dedicated European focus in setting standards for open collaboration, and allows OASIS to provide long-term sustainability for European Union research projects.

          [...]

          The OASIS Open Europe Foundation’s Board of Directors will include:

        • Laetitia Cailleteau of Accenture (France)
        • Martin Chapman of Oracle (Ireland)
        • Eva Coscia of R2M Solution (Italy)
        • Gershon Janssen, Independent Consultant (Netherlands)
        • Janna Lingenfelder of IBM (Germany)
        • Guy Martin of OASIS Open (United States)
        • Andriana Prentza of the University of Piraeus (Greece)
      • Get Started with MicroPython on Raspberry Pi Pico

        In Get Started with MicroPython on Raspberry Pi Pico, you will learn how to use the beginner-friendly language MicroPython to write programs and connect hardware to make your Raspberry Pi Pico interact with the world around it. Using these skills, you can create your own electro‑mechanical projects, whether for fun or to make your life easier.

      • Perl/Raku

        • Perl Weekly Challenge 96: Reverse Words and Edit Distance (and Decorators in Perl)
        • Perl weekly challenge 96
        • Mood Lighting

          The lighting in my bedroom uses Philips Hue bulbs — specifically, the coloured ones. Last night, I decided it would be nice to set the three lights in my bedroom to cycle slowly through a set of warm colours using a script.

          I didn’t want harsh transitions from one colour to the next, but for the lighting to fade from one colour to the next in a smooth gradient. Also, I didn’t want the three bulbs to all be the exact same colour, but wanted each bulb to be at different stage in the cycle, like they’re “chasing” each other through the colours.

          So I whipped up a quick script. It requires the command-line tool hueadm to be installed and set up before we start. You can run hueadm lights to get a list of available lights, and in particular, their ID numbers.

      • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • New York Times Decides Kids Are Playing Too Many Video Games During The Pandemic

      One of the most predictable things in the world is that if anything is going on in the universe, people will try to find some way to make video games into a villain over it. This is doubly true if there are children within a thousand miles of whatever is going on. Notable when these claims arise is the velocity with which any nuance or consideration of a counter-vailing opinion is chucked out the window.

    • ‘The Basic Problem Is a Lack of Central Strategy’
    • Mother of Exiles
    • Remembering the work of David M. Tilbrook and the QED editor

      David’s opus magnum was a suite of tools called QEF, quod erat faciendum. Euclid wrote this at the end of geometric constructions, and in a software sense, we want a build system to produce what was to be made. At its time of creation, David was responsible for maintaining a (for the time) large system, essentially a Unix distribution. Tooling was stuck in the era of 1977’s make(1). For the details and basic ideas, see Tilbrook and Place (1986), “Tools for the Maintenance and Installation of a Large Software Distribution” (Huge thanks to Alan Grosskurth for making a copy available.) My favorite footnote is the one about their Prolog prototype of a build system: “Is the cray free? I need to reinstall /bin/true!”

    • Alphabet is shutting down Loon, its [Internet] balloon company

      Alphabet, the parent company of Google, launched Loon in June 2013, and Loon “graduated” from a moonshot to an independent company within Alphabet in 2018. Loon launched its first commercial internet service in Kenya in July, comprised of a fleet of about 35 balloons that covered an area of around 50,000 square kilometers. Loon has also provided internet services to areas affected by natural disasters, deploying balloons to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017 and to Peru following an earthquake in 2019.

    • 3 tips for automating your email filters

      In prior years, this annual series covered individual apps. This year, we are looking at all-in-one solutions in addition to strategies to help in 2021. Welcome to day 12 of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.

      If there is one thing I love, it is automation. I will automate away small tasks whenever I can. Get up early to open the doors to our chicken coops? I bought a door that opens and closes at sunrise and sunset. Stream the chickens live every day from dawn to dusk? A little time with Node-RED and OBS-Websockets, and it takes care of itself.

    • Hardware

      • Why Backdoor the Golden Goose?

        Why I don’t think Huawei will install back doors in 5G telco equipment — it would be a forced error when they are poised to achieve a win that will give them a strategic advantage for years and maybe decades to come.

        I don’t think they want to backdoor everything. That’s a sort of crude short term move. I think they want to own the network infrastructure long term, at which point they will can do a lot more than just backdoor, and do it far easier. Huawei is being positioned for future benefit i.e. this is the Infiltration phase, not exploitation phase.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Hungary becomes first EU country to register Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ coronavirus vaccine

        Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition has registered Russia’s “Sputnik V” coronavirus vaccine for use, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced on Thursday, January 21.

      • As Romney Says Covid Relief Bill ‘Not Well-Timed,’ Progressives Urge Biden to Abandon GOP Outreach, Move Swiftly on Bold Package

        “A Republican minority shouldn’t be allowed to hold the nation’s economic recovery and public health hostage.”

      • ‘Affirmation of Complete Incompetence’: Biden Team Says Trump Vaccine Distribution Plan Nonexistent

        “There is nothing for us to rework,” said one of President Biden’s Covid advisers. “We are going to have to build everything from scratch.”

      • How Many Vaccine Shots Go to Waste? Several States Aren’t Counting.

        As reports emerge across the country of health facilities throwing out unused and spoiled COVID-19 vaccines, some state governments are failing to track the wastage as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leaving officials coordinating immunization efforts blind to exactly how many of the precious, limited doses are going into the trash and why.

        In Washington, a health facility allegedly threw out some COVID-19 vaccine doses at the end of workers’ shifts because staff believed state guidelines blocked them from giving unused shots to people below the top priority tier. In Maryland, workers appear to have tossed thawed doses when they ran out of time to administer them safely. How many doses, exactly, have been wasted in those states is unknown because neither state is tracking unused or wasted vaccines.

      • Experts Warn Civil Rights Fallout from COVID Could be Far Worse Than the Pandemic Itself

        The very first executive order Joe Biden signed upon becoming the forty-sixth President of the United States was the national mask mandate he promised at the Democratic National Convention back in August. The order makes face coverings and social distancing mandatory on all federal property and a legal requisite for interstate commerce. The move signals a clear intent on the part of his administration to double down on the “authoritarian” emergency measures – as described in a recent paper from Oxford University – implemented in the wake of the pandemic crisis and sets the stage for what may be the greatest threat to human rights and civil liberties the world has ever known.

      • Biden Team Blasts Trump’s COVID Response: “Worse Than We Could Have Imagined”
      • Alameda County Jail to Start Coronavirus Testing for Staff

        Santa Rita jail in Alameda County plans to implement COVID-19 testing for staff this week in response to the region’s recent surge in cases. On-site testing was previously not available to staff.

        The implementation of regular, weekly testing for staff follows a large coronavirus surge in the jail at the end of last year, where cases jumped from five to more than 100 in one week.

        The jail currently reports seven cases among inmates and two among staff, but advocates for incarcerated people say low testing rates may be masking more cases.

        “We feel that soon the sheriff is going to claim, as they have before, that they’ve controlled this outbreak when all they’ve really done is just stop seeing it,” said Lina Garcia Schmidt, a member of the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Go read this report about the US military endangering passenger jets by blocking GPS

            The military is carrying out the testing, ironically, to help develop technology to counteract GPS jamming. To be fair, it’s an understandable goal, as the article details the troubles that pilots face when a technology they heavily rely on goes away. But when that happens, the pilot at least has visual cues and other instruments. The article also goes into how, instead of completely cutting out the pilot’s GPS signal, the testing can end up feeding the pilot incorrect information, leading to thinking they’re somewhere they’re not.

            Each tangent the article goes on reveals worrying new details, like how pilots are warned that testing may be happening, often leading to smooth flights and a “Chicken Little” situation where pilots have heard false warnings so many times that they’re not prepared for when it actually happens. There are also hints that the problem may be happening more often than even the Federal Aviation Administration realized.

          • Powershell Dropping a REvil Ransomware

            This is a classic bypass for logging and AV detection[3]. Then, a second RunSpace is started: [...]

          • World Economic Forum pegs cybersecurity failure as a major global risk [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Against such sophisticated threats, the vast majority of defenders don’t stand a chance, Clements added. “It’s often shocking to the security professionals tasked with protecting an organization and its data just how easy it is to bypass or defeat security controls like antivirus or how fast attackers can crack passwords,” he said.

          • Department of Defense appoints John Sherman as acting CIO

            The Department of Defense (DoD) has replaced outgoing CIO Dana Deasy with deputy CIO John Sherman, who will head up the DoD’s cloud strategy until a long-term replacement is in place.

            Sherman, who’s served as the deputy CIO at the DoD since June 2020, steps into the role Deasy left as America welcomed the Biden administration. Before that, Sherman was the intelligence community CIO, where he began in 2017 coordinating IT modernization across 17 agencies. From 2014 to 2017, he was the Deputy Director of the CIA’s Open Source Enterprise (OSE). In his role, Sherman enhanced the CIA’s open-source intelligence (OSINT) initiative.

            He’s also served at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) and was the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Military Issues on the National Intelligence Council.

          • Thanks for the data, suckers: How information insecurity endangers Russian Railways passengers and risks prison for the company’s I.T. workers

            On January 13, a hacker dubbed “LMonoceros” posted proof that he broke into the private network of Russian Railways (RZD) and accessed surveillance from cameras at train stations, on railway platforms, along rail tracks, and inside company offices. RZD employees contacted the hacker and together they patched the weakness in the network. This isn’t the first time Russian Railways has had problems with information security: In the past year and a half, the personal information of 700,000 employees and 1.3 million passengers has leaked, and the Wi-Fi aboard highspeed Sapsan trains was hacked in just 20 minutes. Meduza explains how RZD security problems threaten company employees.

          • What is a Distributed Denial of Service Attack? | TheITstuff

            What is a Distributed Denial of Service Attack? also termed DDos Attack. The question is very common among computer or programming students who are learning about hacking techniques. This question is also asked by willing to be a white hat hacker one day. If you have the same question as well, let’s understand what this is.

            Disclaimer – I will be simplifying the DDoS process massively in this article just to give you an outline of the DDoS attacks. In reality, the DDoS attacks can be extremely complicated. After every DDoS attack, a team of engineers sit together and check logs of all network devices to figure out how the attack happened.

          • IPFire is Open Source software, and it going to be Open Source for forever

            I feel that this is a pledge that needs repeating since many projects have recently turned their backs at Open Source software. Here is a quick ready why this is very dangerous to the future of the internet.

            I am seriously concerned about the future of the Open Source eco system. Times are tough. The world is battling a pandemic and many companies are in trouble. Some have already shut down, others are close to that and that is a very bad thing in its own right.

            Low confidence in business causes that people might be more likely to be made redundant and obviously having a little bit of money on the side would help you sleeping better in the night. But if that money would come from software that you have been developing as a hobby or slightly more than that, I can only tell you: Do not be greedy.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7), Fedora (dotnet3.1), Gentoo (zabbix), openSUSE (ImageMagick and python-autobahn), and SUSE (hawk2 and wavpack).

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • DreamBus, FreakOut Botnets Pose New Threat to Linux… [Ed: How to blame on "Linux" things that have nothing to do with Linux and boil down to negligent or incompetent sysadmins mismanaging things that aren't even Linux]
            • DreamBus Botnet Targets Linux Systems

              Zscaler’s ThreatLabz research team is tracking a new botnet dubbed DreamBus that’s installing the XMRig cryptominer on powerful enterprise-class Linux and Unix systems with the goal of using their computing power to mine monero.

            • Hazardous fresh malware marks unpatched Linux machines [Ed: Linux may be patched; the problem is not Linux at all and it is dishonest to blame this on Linux]

              Security investigators files report on a fresh malware that marks inadequately configured computer desktops to wrap them into a botnet, that can subsequently be utilized for scandalous objectives or any violations.

              As per the reports of the Check Point Research (a.k.a CPR), the malware type, called FreakOut, precisely preys Linux embedded machines that operate unpatched editions of specific application on desktop.

            • DreamBus Botnet Targets Linux Systems [Ed: No, it targets unpatched software that is not Linux]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Flo Period App Gets A Wrist Slap For Sharing Private Health Data

              Another day, another privacy scandal where the penalties do virtually nothing to prevent history from repeating itself. This time the focus is on the Flo Period period and fertility tracking app, which has struck an arguably pathetic deal with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it lied to app users about sharing private health information with third-party firms, including Facebook and Google. According to the complaint and settlement, Flo informed the app’s users that customer data would be “kept private.” Instead, Flo sold consumer data, including the dates of user periods and their pregnancy plans with third parties:

            • Democrats urge tech giants to change algorithms that facilitate spread of extremist content

              “Online disinformation is not just about removing bad content. I see it as largely a product design issue. The algorithmic amplification and recommendation systems that platforms employ spread content that’s evocative over what’s true,” Eshoo said in a statement.

            • 14 items of office equipment replaced by iPhone

              All these tools and functions are now wrapped up inside a device even Steve Jobs thought did just three things.

            • Oversight Board Agrees To Review Facebook’s Trump Suspension

              On Thursday morning, the Oversight Board (you’re apparently not supposed to call it the “Facebook Oversight Board” since it’s — theoretically — independent) announced that it had agreed to review Facebook’s decision to indefinitely suspend former President Donald Trump.

            • Facebook’s Oversight Board to rule on Trump ban

              The company set up the board, which it says is independent, last year, to rule on controversial moderation decisions.

              Mr Trump, whose account was frozen “indefinitely” on 7 January, will be able to submit a user statement to a five-member case-review panel.

              Its ruling will be binding and apply to Instagram also. Twitter has already given Mr Trump an outright ban.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘A Hugely Consequential First Move’: Biden Offers to Extend Nuclear START Treaty With Russia

        “After four years of efforts to kill arms control and chase the false security of nuclear dominance, the U.S. is coming back to its senses,” said one peace activist. “Unless you’re a defense contractor, this is good news for everyone.”

      • Knock Yourself Out

        Strap on your Advanced Combat Helmet constructed of a thermoset resin shell bonded to Kevlar as you take a ride in a Humvee along some benighted highway in some godforsaken place on the other side of the world…

        Suddenly, there is a low “pow,” and a dull thump in the center of your chest. Your vehicle has just rolled over an IED (Improvised Explosive Device), triggering a “primary blast effect” or shock wave, a balloon of rapidly expanding gases that compresses the surrounding air and moves outward from the detonation faster than the speed of sound. This shock wave enters your brain, passing so rapidly that it has come and gone before you have even had time to move your head. But in this blink of time it has forever disrupted the connections between your brain cells.

      • Opinion | A New Day for Human Survival: On the Promise of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

        “Human beings and nuclear weapons cannot coexist.”

      • The Rubble of Empire

        Directly across the street, I can see a collection of tarps and poles (along with one of my own garbage cans) that were used to construct a makeshift home on the sidewalk. Beside that edifice stands a wooden cross decorated with a string of white Christmas lights and a red ribbon — a memorial to the woman who built that structure and died inside it earlier this week. We don’t know — and probably never will — what killed her: the pandemic raging across California? A heart attack? An overdose of heroin or fentanyl?

        Behind her home and similar ones is a chain-link fence surrounding the empty playground of the Horace Mann/Buena Vista elementary and middle school. Like that home, the school, too, is now empty, closed because of the pandemic. I don’t know where the families of the 20 children who attended that school and lived in one of its gyms as an alternative to the streets have gone. They used to eat breakfast and dinner there every day, served on the same sidewalk by a pair of older Latina women who apparently had a contract from the school district to cook for the families using that school-cum-shelter. I don’t know, either, what any of them are now doing for money or food.

      • About Suffering: A Massacre of the Innocents in Yemen

        Were Bruegel’s anti-war theme updated to convey images of child slaughter today, a remote Yemeni village could be the focus. Soldiers performing the slaughter wouldn’t arrive on horseback. Today, they often are Saudi pilots trained to fly U.S.-made warplanes over civilian locales and then launch laser-guided missiles (sold by Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed Martin), to disembowel, decapitate, maim, or kill anyone in the path of the blast and exploding shards.

        For more than five years, Yemenis have faced near-famine conditions while enduring a naval blockade and routine aerial bombardment. The United Nations estimates the war has already caused 233,000 deaths, including 131,000 deaths from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services and infrastructure.

      • Cuba, Hip Hop and American Imperialism

        On November 9, 2020, Cuban rapper Denis Solis was arrested for “contempt” in the San Isidro neighborhood where artists and musicians had begun using social media to protest attacks on their right to free expression. The New York Times article on the arrest links to a Facebook video made by Solis while a cop was in his apartment. Lacking subtitles, it is not easy to make sense of the confrontation. I can assure you that Solis calls the cop a maricon, the Spanish equivalent of “faggot”. I also invite you to pay special attention to what Solis says at 3:10 into the video, namely his support for Donald Trump. Even the Times found this impossible to ignore:

        Each time Cuba is denounced as an enemy of human rights, Farber joins Human Rights Watch, the liberal media, and the Cuban counter-revolutionary movement in Miami in singling out Cuba as the most undemocratic country in the Western Hemisphere. In the Spectre article titled “The Criminalization of Opposition Politics in Cuba: AGAINST THE SOVIET MODEL” (hysterical upper case in the original), Farber argues that even Fulgencio Batista was more democratic than the current government. He made sure that political prisoners had an autonomy that common criminals did not. So did the Czar.

      • Trump’s Parting Gift to the NRA

        It is fitting to ask, why would an agency whose mission is to “preserve and protect” our nation’s wildlife assist the NRA in recruiting more hunters?  The answer is simple. The number of hunters in all states have steadily declined since 1982 when they peaked at 17 million. Today only 4% of the population hunts. In contrast, some 86 million people participated in wildlife watching, an estimated 20 percent increase just from 2011 to 2016.

        Which means those remaining hunters—most of which are white men, including Trump’s own trophy-hunting children—find their political influence declining as well.  Growing the number of hunters is a shameless attempt to protect what remains of their influence at the cost of protecting wildlife.

      • Opinion | Peering Into a Forever-War Crystal Ball

        A Bidenesque tour of America’s regional and global military adventures.

      • Mob v. Crowd: the Mass Psychology of Madness

        The January 6 demonstrators had and still have a leader—Donald Trump. They had a directive from him that didn’t spell out everything in detail, but that provided a framework for protesters to use their imaginations and to get creative. “Be there, will be wild!” Mr. Trump wrote. He seems to have wanted to have a riot and eat it, too: incite and cover his own ass.  After all, he retreated to the White House after he made his inflammatory remarks.

        Mobs have often been described as “wild.” They are linked in popular culture to “the wild Irish” and to “wild Indians,” two phrases used by British colonizers who invaded and occupied other lands and sought to “civilize” the inhabitants, and exterminate them, too.

      • Mob mentality: Capitol riot exploited to expand the national security state that failed to stop it
      • Arizona Prosecutors Pretend ‘ACAB’ Is Gang Lingo To Hit Protesters With Felony Gang Charges

        This is how the law enforcement community has responded to nationwide complaints that they do their jobs poorly, violently, and abusively: by doing their jobs poorly, violently, and abusively.

      • 135 Civil Rights Groups Oppose New Domestic Terrorism Statutes, Say Tackle Far-Right Violence With Existing Laws

        “Members of Congress should not reinforce counterterrorism policies, programs, and frameworks that are rooted in bias, discrimination, and denial or diminution of fundamental rights like due process.”

      • Newly-elected GOP members deny giving “reconnaissance” tours before Capitol attack. So who did?

        Speculation about the newly-elected far-right Republican members escalated after Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., made the explosive claim that she had seen a fellow member giving what she described as a “reconnaissance” tour the day before the deadly attack. Thirty of her Democratic colleagues later signed on to a letter notifying the acting House sergeant at arms that some of them had noticed “unusually large groups of people throughout the Capitol” on Jan. 5, which they say could only happen with the help of a member of Congress or staff. Some of the people in those groups, the letter says, appeared to be connected to the following day’s Stop the Steal rally, and the writers add that attackers seemed to have “an unusually detailed knowledge” of the building’s complicated layout. The group has requested visitor logs and security camera footage from Jan. 5, and, pointedly, want to know whether law enforcement has also tried to access visitor information.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Enough with the Damn Secrets! Open Up the Government Joe!

        That is not the question Biden should be considering. Rather, he should be opening up about government secrets with the American public, who for far too long have been kept increasingly in the dark.

        The truth is that over the years, especially since the end of World War II, with President Harry Truman’s establishment of a “national security state” and the launching of the Cold War, the United states, though commonly referred to in our national mythology, in speeches by politicians and in the media as “the world’s greatest democracy” is actually a bureaucratic state with secrets so deep, dark and wide-spread  that, as Daniel Ellsberg reveals in his latest book The Doomsday Machine, even the president and the secretary of defense for generations haven’t been told the  incomprehensibly fratro-genocidal details of the war plans that the nation would follow in the event of a nuclear conflict with China or Russia.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • EFF’s Top Recommendations for the Biden Administration

        The tradition of a peaceful transfer of power is as old as the United States itself. But by the time most of us see this transition on January 20th, it is mostly ceremonial. The real work of a transition begins months before, usually even before Election Day, when presidential candidates start thinking about key hires, policy goals, and legislative challenges. After the election, the Presidential Transition Act provides the president-elect’s team with government resources to lay the foundation for the new Administration’s early days in office. Long before the inauguration ceremony, the president-elect’s team also organizes meetings with community leaders, activists, and non-profits like EFF during this time, to hear about our priorities for the incoming Administration.

        In anticipation of these meetings, EFF prepared a transition memo for the incoming Biden administration, outlining our recommendations for how it should act to protect everyone’s civil liberties in a digital world. While we hope to work with the new Administration on a wide range of policies that affect digital rights in the coming years, this memo focuses on the areas that need the Administration’s immediate attention. In many cases, we ask that the Biden Administration change course from the previous policies and practices.

        We look forward to working with the new Biden Administration and the new Congress to implement these important ideas and safeguards.

      • “The Work Continues”: Cornel West & Maria Hinojosa on the Promise & Dangers of the Biden Admin

        We host a wide-ranging discussion of the historic inauguration of President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris — the first-ever woman, South Asian and Black vice president — how we got here, and what comes next, with award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa and author and Harvard professor Cornel West. Hinojosa says she had “mixed emotions” watching the inauguration, her sense of hope tempered by memories of the Obama administration. “We all had these extraordinary expectations, and then things didn’t turn out that way,” she says. “The work continues.” West says that while getting Trump out of office was vital, he is still suspicious “of the capitulation to the neoliberal greed and lies and hatred, now that we’ve pushed back the neofascist forms of greed and lies and hatred.” On his first day in office, President Biden ended many of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies. Hinojosa says parts of this agenda are promising, but lack urgency. “In eight years, there could be a new administration. Everybody knows that,” she says. “Do you understand that if you were to do massive immigration reform right now … what that would do to boost the American economy across the board?”

      • “Democracy Has Prevailed”: Joe Biden Sworn In as President; Kamala Harris Becomes First Female VP

        Joe Biden was sworn in as 46th president of the United States Wednesday, ending the Trump era with a call for national unity and urging Americans to come together during a period of turbulence. President Biden signed 17 executive orders in his first official act from the Oval Office, including on immigration, the pandemic and the climate crisis. Biden has promised more executive actions in the coming days. Vice President Kamala Harris swore in three new Democratic senators Wednesday afternoon, giving Democrats narrow control of the Senate and laying the groundwork for the administration’s ambitious agenda. We play highlights from the day.

      • In Must-See Clip, Democrats Told to End Era in Which ‘Only the Bad Guys Understand They’re in a Fight’

        “Democrats are in a fight; they just often don’t act like they know it,” says analyst Anand Giridharadas. “That has to change if this country is to be saved and Biden is to have a shot.”

      • The Trump/Biden Handoff: Business as Usual, as Usual

        Some might, however,  be surprised to at how closely Biden’s administration will likely resemble outgoing President Donald Trump’s, both personnel- and policy-wise. The new boss looks a lot like the old boss, minus a flair for the melodramatic. And the old boss looked a lot like the older boss, too.

        Trump’s 2016 campaign, and his actions in office, were a classic case of multiple personality disorder.

      • Imprisoned for his eyebrows Based on anonymous testimony, a Moscow court sentenced an anarchist mathematician to six years behind bars over a broken window

        Moscow’s Golovinsky District Court recently sentenced mathematician and anarchist Azat Miftakhov to six years in prison for his alleged role in an attack against a campaign office that belongs to United Russia, the country’s ruling political party. Two other suspects, Elena Gorban and Andrey Yeikin, pleaded guilty and received probation, but Miftakhov maintains his innocence. Prosecutors based their case largely on the testimony of a secret witness who allegedly recognized the mathematician “by his eyebrows.” Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova recounts the trial’s final proceedings.

      • Opinion | Democracy as Dignity

        Dispersions of power, transparency, and mutual accountability.

      • ‘A Good First Step’: Senators File Ethics Complaint Over Cruz and Hawley’s Role in Capitol Insurrection

        The move by a group of Democrats comes as demands are building for the two Republicans to be ousted from the Senate over the deadly attack.

      • ‘A Good Way to Unite the Country,’ Says Watchdog, ‘Would Be to Convict and Prosecute Donald Trump’

        “He’s no longer president,” said another group, “but accountability isn’t over.”

      • Police arrest Navalny’s associates in Moscow ahead of planned opposition rallies

        Following widespread reports of police officers issuing warnings to opposition figures and activists across Russia, law enforcement officials in Moscow have arrested several of Alexey Navalny’s closest associates. This comes ahead of countrywide protests opposing his detention planned for Saturday, January 23. On the evening of January 21, police detained the opposition figure’s press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, as well as Anti-Corruption Foundation employees Lyubov Sobol, Georgy Alburov, and Vladlen Los. Similar arrests have also been reported in three other cities so far.

      • European Parliament demands sanctions against Putin’s inner circle and Russian oligarchs over Navalny’s detention

        The European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on EU member states to “significantly strengthen” sanctions against Russia and stop work on completing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in response to the arrest of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. 

      • Preventative measures Russian opposition activists face official crackdown ahead of planned protests in support of Navalny

        Immediately after opposition figure Alexey Navalny was remanded in custody on January 18, his team called for countrywide rallies the following Saturday to protest his detention. Since then, the Russian authorities have been taking preventative measures to stop the demonstrations. On January 20 and 21, law enforcement officers began showing up at the homes of opposition figures, activists, and journalists across Russia to issue warnings from state prosecutors against participating in the rallies. Meanwhile, Russia’s censorship agency has orders to block online content containing calls for demonstrations. And in some parts of the country, the local authorities are already handing out fines and launching criminal investigations over protests that have yet to take place. 

      • Opposition figure Lyubov Sobol arrested in Moscow for inciting protests

        Police officers in Moscow have arrested opposition figure Lyubov Sobol, who works for Alexey Navalny’s Anti–Corruption Foundation. This was confirmed by the independent television network Dozhd. Sobol’s arrest was first reported by her lawyer, Vladimir Voronin.

      • Russian state censor ordered to block websites containing calls to join protests in support of Navalny

        The Russian Attorney General’s Office has ordered Roskomnadzor (the state censorship agency) to restrict access to websites containing calls for participation “in illegal rallies on January 23,” reports RIA Novosti, citing the department’s press service.

      • Biden’s First Day Was a Good Sign — Let’s Keep Up the Pressure
      • Biden Bans White House Staff From Becoming Lobbyists for 2 Years After Leaving
      • Forget About ‘100 Days.’ These Are the 10 Days That Will Define Biden’s Presidency.

        Joe Biden knows he must work harder and faster than any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to restore the confidence of the American people in a government that his predecessor rendered dysfunctional in the face of a pandemic, turned against Americans who cried out for racial justice, and, finally, attacked by inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol on January 6. Biden recognized his responsibility with an inaugural address that announced, “We’ll press forward with speed and urgency for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain.”

      • Trump Has Left the Building, but the Foundations Are Still in Place

        After a series of far-fetched legal attempts to overturn the election, capped by a shocking assault on the Capitol, it appears the Trump period has ended. On the day of the Capitol attack, Trump addressed his supporters, claiming, “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.… If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Two days later, in the midst of a furious and widespread backlash, Trump was forced to walk back his belligerent attitude, giving an anodyne speech where he called for peace, asserting that “those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction…do not represent our country,” and all but conceding that a transition of power would take place. It now has.

      • Trump’s European Orphans

        After just over a decade of the presidency of Václav Havel, who saw love and truth as the cures for the mentality just described, and who exercised a great deal of influence over other post-communist countries, there has been a return to politicians who base their policies on lies and hatred. When I visit my native city or any of the four countries that make up the Visegrád Group, I get a feeling of déjà vu.

        Over the last four years, the political leaders of this foursome, also known as V4, enjoyed the support of Donald Trump. Under his influence, their slanderous, hate-filled campaigns have become more toxic than ever.

      • McConnell Is Holding Up the Senate to Protect the Filibuster
      • Kevin McCarthy Wrongly Claims He Never Voted Against Overturning Biden’s Win
      • Biden Must Face the Facts: Israel Is an Apartheid Regime

        In a position paper released January 12, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem broke with its own tradition and stated unambiguously that the area comprising Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip is an apartheid regime of Jewish supremacy.

      • Will Kamala Do the Right Thing?

        What is particularly poignant for young mothers of biracial kids like hers, is the hope that Kamala’s ascension to the second most powerful position in the country’s leadership, will simultaneously mitigate the anti-Black racism within the South Asian community. Thus, when Sharda Sekaran, a “Blindian” (Black and Indian) young woman interviewed for a recent essay in The Lily that my daughter sent me this morning, interprets Kamala Harris’ election as “a validation of the identity I’ve had to fight for”— how can one not feel elated at the prospect of people like my own darling granddaughter growing up feeling similarly empowered in their identities as Black South Asians for the first time in US history? How can I deny that as a Pakistani immigrant myself, I’ve not seen the anti-black prejudice that one associates largely, if not exclusively with white supremacy, also prevalent in my own “desi”- American community?But the question that doesn’t get raised in these expressions of delight at having one’s “identity” now represented at the highest levels of officialdom, is whether having a “Blindian” woman as Vice President is enough of a victory against the forces of regression. The title of the recent article in The Lily, “Kamala Harris has elevated the Blindian community: ‘It’s a validation of the identity I’ve had to fight for’” —begs the question, is the “validation” that may come from seeing a Black and Desi woman “elevated” to high office really worth all the excitement and anticipation? In other words, is identity politics at the level of representation enough, by itself?

        I’m old enough to remember first hand a similar excitement many of us who were new immigrants from countries of the global South like Pakistan, felt when the Reverend Jesse Jackson created his National Rainbow Coalition as a platform for his 1984 presidential run. Just having an African American running for the Presidency generated such a sense of pride and excitement in communities of color, with which I felt a sense of affinity. But this affinity went far beyond race and ethnic identity, and therefore represented something different from that which Kamala Harris evokes. After all, I was neither Black nor male. Having grown up as a child of the Bandung era, motivated by ideologies of transnational solidarity that socialist or left-leaning progressive leaders such as Sukarno, Nehru, Nasser stood for in the so-called Third World, Jackson to me, and to others of my ilk, represented a bridge to those international forebears, including to the two African Americans who attended the Bandung Conference of 1955 as observers, Richard Wright and Adam Clayton Powell.  Jackson’s appointment in 1966 by the Rev Martin Luther King Jr, to serve as the first director of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago, itself an offshoot of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition which was the product of a social justice movement that grew out of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, linked Jackson to King’s own radical agenda and internationalist understanding of the intersectional roots of racial, economic and social injustice. This oppression that his movement sought to dismantle at home, in the USA, was an oppression that King, as well as other civil rights leaders, came to understand as linked to similar injustices faced by brown and black peoples everywhere. Building allyship and solidarity, people like King and later Jackson,  drew inspiration from those fighting similar injustices against the scourge of racialized colonialism in their own countries, and it was this transnational solidarity of purpose that drew youngsters like me to their brand of struggle. To progressive minded folks of my generation, that idea of a political coalition, which invited people of all identities, races, genders, classes and religions to band together to push for a justice-oriented social and economic agenda, one that could counter the racist effects of the conservative era of Reaganomics, was the need of the moment. The concept that appealed to us was “affiliative politics” rather than simply “identity politics.” It was clear to us that just because someone was Black or Brown, didn’t mean s/he subscribed to the Bandung era vision of a world united around progressive values.

      • An Exceptional History of an Unexceptional United States

        How to understand the United States in today’s globalized world? Is it possible to interpret United States’ history from a global perspective?

        “The United States is not a hegemon,” former Secretary of State John Kerry testily responded to a question about its declining world status in Geneva in 2017. Not a hegemon? Not an empire? While it is easy to understand the Kerry’s reluctance to use terms like hegemon or empire to describe the U.S., one can argue that there have been moments in history – 1898, 1918, post 1945, post 1989 – when the United States certainly resembled an empire.

      • Opinion | Countering the Fascism To Come

        Perhaps the racism and craziness are stunning enough for Biden to realize that centrist cliches and corporate obeisance are no longer adequate counters. They no longer hold their own against the possibility of fascism to come.

      • Cornel West and Maria Hinojosa Discuss Promise and Dangers of the Biden Admin
      • Pelosi Responds to Claims that Trump Impeachment Goes Against Calls for “Unity”
      • Kyrie Irving Does Not Have to Be Who You Want Him to Be

        There is an old expression from revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg: “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” This quote rattles in the back of my mind as NBA commentators and fans rage against Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. He is choosing to move, and by doing so, revealing the realities of restraints.

      • Judge refuses to reinstate Parler’s Amazon account
      • Judge Easily Rejects Parler’s Demands To Have Amazon Reinstate Parler

        As was totally expected, US district court judge, Barbara Jacobs Rothstein, has handily rejected Parler’s motion to force Amazon to turn Parler’s digital lights back on. The order is pretty short and sweet, basically saying that Parler hasn’t even remotely shown a likelihood of success in the case that would lead to having the court order Amazon to take the social media site back.

      • Let Nobody Ever State Again There Is No Evidence of the Conspiracy Against Alex Salmond
      • Parler Faces ‘Difficulties’ as Amazon Wins Early Court Fight

        Parler LLC failed to convince a judge to order Amazon.com Inc. to immediately resume hosting the social media platform popular with conservatives, leaving it hobbled while it relies on a Russian-owned service for a bare-bones web presence.

        Thursday’s ruling is a significant blow for the site that found its niche as a voice for aggrieved Donald Trump supporters and right-wing dialog. It’s a victory for critics including Amazon who say Parler has proved incapable of policing violent content, particularly in the period leading up to and following the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol.

      • DDoS-Guard To Forfeit Internet Space Occupied by Parler

        Suspecting that DDoS-Guard incorporated in Belize on paper just to get huge swaths of IP addresses that are supposed to be given only to entities with a physical presence in the region, Guilmette filed a complaint with the Internet registry about his suspicions back in November.

        Guilmette said LACNIC told him it would investigate, and that any adjudication on the matter could take up to three months. But earlier this week, LACNIC published a notice on its website that it intends to revoke 8,192 IPv4 addresses from DDoS-Guard — including the Internet address currently assigned to Parler[.]com.

      • The anticipated violence at Biden’s inauguration never happened — thank Trump’s Twitter ban

        There’s a number of reasons that Inauguration Day ended up being relatively peaceful.

        For one thing, legal authorities took the threat seriously and took significant preventive action. For another, the mass arrests of the insurrections by federal law enforcement sent a signal that the impunity that Trump supporters were feeling was misplaced. But most importantly, the main driver of insurrectionist sentiment and the man who instigated the Capitol riot — Donald Trump — wasn’t on hand to incite more violence.

      • Facebook’s Oversight Board to Decide Whether Trump Keeps Account

        The Oversight Board, made up of high-profile academics, lawyers and others from around the world, was established by Facebook last year to provide a check on the tech giant’s power, reviewing cases that could change the company’s broader approach to policy. The panel has also been asked to make recommendations on Facebook’s policies with regards to world leaders, who have been given more room to break rules on the platform because of public interest in what they say. Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram were suspended on Jan. 6 following the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol. Trump has since been permanently banned from Twitter Inc.’s social media service.

        Trump will have an opportunity to write a letter contesting his indefinite ban. The board will convene a panel of five of its members, who won’t be identified, to review the decision and see if it aligns with Facebook’s community standards and overall principles of human rights and free expression, according to the statement. The decision, which needs to be approved by the entire board, will take as long as 90 days, and will be made public.

      • Judge Rejects Parler’s Bid to Force Amazon to Host Pro-Trump App

        “The court rejects any suggestion that the public interest favors requiring AWS to host the incendiary speech that the record shows some of Parler’s users have engaged in,” the judge wrote in the ruling. “At this stage, on the showing made thus far, neither the public interest nor the balance of equities favors granting an injunction in this case.”

        In addition, Rothstein rejected Parler’s allegation that Amazon colluded with Twitter to force the app offline. “Parler has submitted no evidence that AWS and Twitter acted together intentionally — or even at all — in restraint of trade,” she wrote.

      • The US Empire Is Crumbling Before Our Eyes

        What do any of these very local sights have to do with a crumbling empire? They’re signs that some of the same factors that fractured the Roman empire back in 476 CE (and others since) are distinctly present in this country today—even in California, one of its richest states. I’m talking about phenomena like gross economic inequality; over-spending on military expansion; political corruption; deep cultural and political fissures; and, oh yes, the barbarians at the gates. I’ll turn to those factors in a moment, but first let me offer a brief defense of the very suggestion that US imperialism and an American empire actually exist.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • FOSS Patents: Subjectiveness of app reviews: Viral Leaders Trump & Johnson (satirical fun game) approved by Google, inexplicably found objectionable by Apple

        One of the issues raised in the Coronavirus Reporter v. Apple antitrust complaint in the District of New Hampshire is the allegation that Apple’s app reviews are “arbitrary and capricious” to the extent that one app might be rejected though a similar or more problematic app is approved. I’ve also heard people say this about Google, and I can prove at least an inconsistency with respect to the application of its rule on COVID-related metadata, where a game is allowed to use the term “pandemic” in its Google Play Store description though this is expressly prohibited by Google unless an app is (co-)published by a governmental or recognized healthcare entity, which isn’t the case.

        Some criticize Apple and Google for collecting 30% of some companies’ in-app revenues while others get a free ride even though, as those critics argue, they should be subjected to that “app store tax” as well. I haven’t formed an opinion on that assertion yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was true.

      • Google signs French deal to pay newspapers for snippets

        French authorities have signed an agreement with Google for the search company to pay publishers for the use of news snippets in search results.

      • Google threatens to remove its search engine from Australia if new law goes into effect

        The company, which has been lobbying against Australia’s plan for months, claims the country is trying to make it pay to show links and snippets to news stories in Google Search, not just for news articles features in places like Google News, saying it “would set an untenable precedent for our business, and the digital economy” and that it’s “not compatible with how search engines work.”

      • Google threatens to disable search in Australia if media code becomes law

        Google says it will stop making its search function available in Australia if Parliament passes the Morrison government’s proposed laws to force it and Facebook to pay news businesses for their journalism.

        Google Australia managing director Mel Silva told a Senate hearing on Friday the proposed news media bargaining code remained “unworkable”, and the company was prepared to exit the Australian market.

      • Google Threatens to Remove Search in Australia as Spat Escalates

        Google threatened to disable its search engine in Australia if it’s forced to pay local publishers for news, a dramatic escalation of a months-long standoff with the government.

        The proposed law, intended to compensate publishers for the value their stories generate for the company, is “unworkable,” Mel Silva, managing director for Australia and New Zealand, told a parliamentary hearing Friday. She specifically opposed the requirement that Google pay media companies for displaying snippets of articles in search results.

      • The First Amendment Is Interpreted by the Courts, not Tech Companies

        Notably missing from these arguments, however, is citation to authority approving the use of Facebook or Twitter’s community standards in analyzing whether the First Amendment is infringed. The Court declines the invitation to do so here. The First Amendment is interpreted by the courts, not tech companies.

      • Academic calls for press boycott over cancellation of Thai book

        It had been due to be published by NUS Press, but the publisher reversed course in March 2020. Criticism of the monarchy is illegal in Thailand because of lèse-majesté laws.

        The title was subsequently picked up by Yale University’s Council on Southeast Asia Studies and released in December 2020.

        Now that the book is out, Dr Pavin has appealed to NUS to investigate the decision-making behind his case. He also called for other academics to refrain from submitting to or conducting peer review for NUS Press, but stressed that he was not asking for a boycott of the publisher’s titles, because he did not wish to “harm other scholars”.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Adding To Its Long List Of Arrested Deputies, Polk County Sheriff Arrests Deputy For Capitol-Related Threats

        Another law enforcement officer has lost his job after being unable to accept the outcome of a national election. Lots of officers around the nation are under investigation for their participation in the Capitol Hill raid earlier this month. There’s another name to add to that long list — one who used to work for one of the worst law enforcement officials in the county, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. (h/t WarOnPrivacy)

      • “The Hill We Climb”: Watch Breathtaking Poem by Amanda Gorman, Youngest Inaugural Poet in U.S. History

        One of the most remarkable moments from Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony came from poet Amanda Gorman, the youngest poet in U.S. history to speak at a presidential inauguration. The 22 year-old read “The Hill We Climb,” a poem she finished right after the riot at the Capitol earlier this month. We feature her full recitation and get reaction from scholar Cornel West and award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa.

      • Two Principles of Racial Equity that Outrage Liberals

        In University City, one of the oldest and more progressive suburbs of St. Louis, much happened during the upsurges of 2020. During the spring and summer, multiple Black Lives Matter protests made their way though U City. In July, the Green Party of St. Louis (GPSL) teamed up with the Universal African Peoples Organization (UAPO), Tauheed Youth Organization and Beloved Streets of America to hold a press conference at the steps of City Hall which demanded that Delmar Blvd be renamed “George Floyd Divide.” In August, Teens Taking Action St. Louis (TTAStL) from U City High School organized their own demonstration. In December GPSL, UAPO and TTAStL co-sponsored a Zoom webinar to address the symbols of domination which are embodied in statues and the names of streets, parks and schools.

        A major theme in that webinar was how symbolic changes interact with material changes in income distribution, medical care, housing, education and policing. Material changes affect and are affected by conscious awareness. When people see street signs and statues named after racists, it contributes to the belief that racism remains as it has been. But changes in the symbols of oppression both encourage challenges to material reality and are empowered by struggles for improvement in the quality of life.

      • FirstLadyology: The Role Has Long Been a Lose-Lose Proposition

        When Ruth Bader Ginsberg was appointed to the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, she and her husband, Marty, moved to Washington, D.C., where Marty was often asked at cocktail parties about his commute. People assumed that he still worked in New York, because who had ever heard of a man giving up a job in service to his wife’s career? In fact, Marty—a successful tax attorney in his own right—not only got a new job but actively lobbied for his wife’s promotion to the Supreme Court. He also took care of the home front, not because Ruth was negligent, but because no one liked her cooking. Her talents lay elsewhere, and Marty was disinclined to eat bad food. Far from feeling diminished, he radiated pride in their partnership, writing to her on his death bed, “I have admired and loved you almost since the day we first met at Cornell some 56 years ago. What a treat it has been to watch you progress to the very top of the legal world.”

      • Still Can’t Breathe

        The New York Police Department patrol guide is clear about chokeholds: They are prohibited and have been since 1993 because they can kill, as the 2014 death of Eric Garner iconically illustrated. Yet six years after a now-infamous video captured him pleading, “I can’t breathe,” NYPD cops are still being caught on camera performing the dangerous move with the tacit acceptance — and sometimes, explicit approval — of department leaders.

        In July 2018, Detective Fabio Nunez approached 33-year-old Tomas Medina after hearing loud music on the streets of Inwood in upper Manhattan and demanded to see his identification to write him a summons for the noise. Medina said he had none, then kept arguing with the officer about whether the summons was necessary. When Medina tried to walk away, Nunez put him in a chokehold that lasted more than 20 seconds and tased him multiple times.

      • Advocates Hail Biden Executive Order on LGBTQ Rights as the Most Far-Reaching in US History

        Human Rights Campaign applauded the directive as “a turning point in our fight for equality under the law.”

      • Police Obedience and Racialization

        In the previous article about “Police Use of Force,” the following was established:

        §  When the public calls for minimum use of force by the police, the police not only resist, but increase their violence against the people.

      • Off-duty police were part of Capitol mob. Some police unions feel they can’t back them.

        Anyone who breached the Capitol “should be charged and receive whatever punishment is assigned to that,” said Douglas Griffith, who is now the union president. “No matter if they’re a police officer or not.”

      • Can police databases kill?

        It is hardly possible for asylum seekers to correct wrong entries in German information systems. In North Rhine-Westphalia, these false entries led to the death of Amad Ahmad. In Hesse, too, this digital police arbitrariness is now becoming evident.

      • Victory in Detroit Black Lives Matter protester cases!!

        Today, Detroit’s 36th District Court Judge Larry Williams, Jr., dismissed without prejudice all criminal cases on his docket against all Black Lives Matter protesters arrested during this past summer: a total of over 40 cases involving 30 protester defendants. Most of these cases involved protesters arrested during the initial weekend of protests following the police murder of George Floyd (May 29, 30 and 31; June 1 and 2), but also included are protesters arrested on other dates during the summer; and also some protesters arrested for blocking Detroit school buses, to prevent them from picking up school children for dangerous in-person school sessions during the pandemic. Most of these cases involved misdemeanor charges of Disorderly Conduct or Loitering.

      • Class Action Civil Rights Suit Filed over Brutal NYPD Policing of BLM Protests

        Beldock Levine & Hoffman, Gideon O. Oliver, Cohen & Green, and Wylie M. Stecklow announce the filing of a major class action lawsuit against the City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, and other City officials, over the NYPD’s violent policing of the George Floyd protests this summer. The lawsuit seeks to put an end to ongoing, violent protest policing tactics deployed by the NYPD against Black Lives Matter activists in New York City.

        Sow, et al. v. City of New York, et al., filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks damages as well as declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of putative classes that would include all people arrested between May 28th and June 6th, as well as all people who have been or will be subjected to the NYPD’s practices of violently disrupting protests.

        “It is well past time the courts step in and stop the NYPD for their decades-long assault on New Yorkers’ right to protest,” said Jonathan C. Moore, partner at Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, the firm who represented Eric Garner, members of the Central Park 5, and co-counseled Floyd, the stop-and-frisk litigation. Mr. Moore was lead counsel on the 2004 Republican National Convention class action, MacNamara, et al., v. City of New York, et al.

      • NLG Demands Immediate Structural Change in Wake of Impeachment and Attempted Coup

        Last week’s white supremacist coup attempt facilitated by law enforcement makes clear that the path forward requires a serious reckoning with the conditions that caused this moment. White supremacy, though mentioned in mainstream news media more frequently in the last year, is not remotely a new phenomenon—it was the ideology the United States was founded on and remains this government’s primary political underpinning, regardless of the political party in power. For this reason, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) demands that the political response to last week’s fascist mob looks beyond the Trump administration and enacts structural change, including an overhaul of the prison and policing systems, a firm condemnation and rejection of white supremacist ideologies, and the implementation of more progressive policies across the board.

        The NLG remains firm in our abolitionist principles, and last week further demonstrated that law enforcement not only stood down in the face of white, fascist insurrectionists, but actively aided their attempts to enter the Capitol to overturn the election. Law enforcement is, and always has been, the body that carries out the brute force of the state’s white supremacist violence. We have already seen lenient sentencing for the insurrectionists and an arrest count less than ⅓ that of arrests made this summer in D.C. during BLM protests. Yet, “anti-terrorist” legislation will only harm communities of color through the expansion of the police and surveillance state. But this moment does bring about a critical question for abolitionists: how do we effectively address systemic violence without calling for a mass prosecution? The NLG is calling for consequences to white supremacist ideology as a whole, beginning with the political expulsion of all local, state, and federal officials who pushed the narrative of a stolen election, encouraging a pro-Trump attempt to seize power. This begins with, as Missouri Representative Cori Bush put it, the expulsion of “the white supremacist-in-chief,” Donald Trump. At the same time, the NLG understands that impeachment is not enough, and neither is a return to the status quo.

      • Eric Garner’s Mother Says We Must Push for Justice That Her Son Didn’t Receive

        The mother of Eric Garner, who was brutally murdered by New York City police officers applying a chokehold as he pleaded “I can’t breathe,” testified this week before the International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States.

        “They killed him. It is no justice for him. But we must still stand for justice,” Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said during the commission’s opening hearing on January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “We must get justice for those who come behind him.”

        Another mother to testify before the commission was Dominic Archibald, the mother of Nathaniel Pickett II, who was murdered by a San Bernardino County, California, deputy sheriff who saw him lawfully walking in a crosswalk. “In the final moments of the only life he had, my only child was stopped, beaten, and terrorized like a dog,” she testified. “My son had a civil right to social freedom and a human right to life.”

      • How Canada is targeting Indigenous resistance to TMX

        The handful of supporters in the sparsely-populated courtroom came there to bear witness and stand in solidarity with an Indigenous Elder who had just been tried for a second time and was now awaiting the verdict.

        In December, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick found Jim Leyden guilty of criminal contempt of court for breaching an injunction originally brought by Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (TMX) in March 2018. The injunction is the line that TMX has drawn in the sand, so as to stifle any meaningful resistance at the company’s worksites throughout the province – including TMX contractors and subcontractors – and all along the pipeline’s path.

      • Seeking to End “Juan Crow” Laws in the Next Congress

        Born a mile south of the U.S.-Mexico border in a nunnery in Nogales, Sonora, deported U.S. Navy veteran Alex Murillo came to Phoenix in 1978 as a baby in his mother’s arms. But just after Christmas 2011, he was returned to Tijuana shackled at the wrists and ankles after serving 37 months for a cannabis bust. He thought that after he had done his time at California’s Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution, he would go home to his two sons and two daughters, ages 5 to 14. Instead, he was processed for deportation directly from the prison, where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has an on-site office.

        “On the whole ride from the prison to the border, I still had hope,” Murillo says. “Every time the van stopped to pick up another deportee, I was sure someone would come on board, point at me and say, ‘Not that guy—he’s a veteran.’” It was around midnight when they pulled up to the border fence. As Murillo stepped out of the van, still wearing prison garb with the $120 cash refund from his prison commissary account sewed into a seam, reality dawned: With his next step he’d be in exile from the country he’d been willing to die for.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Outgoing FCC’s Last Act Is A Delusional Report That Pretends US Broadband Is Wonderful

        By law, the FCC is required once a year to issue a report indicating whether quality broadband is being deployed on a “reasonable and timely basis.” If not, the agency is supposed to, you know, actually do something about it. Unsurprisingly, the Pai FCC last year issued a glowing report declaring that everything was going swimmingly, despite some glaring evidence to the contrary. After all, the nation’s phone companies have effectively stopped upgrading their DSL lines, leaving cable giants like Comcast with a growing monopoly over faster broadband speeds (no, neither Elon Musk nor 5G will magically fix this problem).

      • Progressives Applaud Biden Pick of Rosenworcel to Lead FCC Out of Carnage Left by Ajit Pai

        “She knows the FCC from the bottom up and she understands how to make good things happen there,” said one former Commissioner.

      • Biden appoints Jessica Rosenworcel as acting FCC chair

        President Joe Biden has appointed Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to lead the Federal Communications Commission until an official chair is confirmed. Rosenworcel is the second woman to lead the agency as acting chair.

        Rosenworcel was first nominated to the FCC by President Barack Obama and served from May 2012 to January 2017. She was later confirmed for an additional term in August 2017 where she currently serves as the most senior Democratic commissioner at the FCC. Over the course of her tenure at the FCC, Rosenworcel voted to impose and maintain net neutrality and pushed to close what she’s called the “homework gap,” an effort to extend broadband to every child in the country.

    • Monopolies

      • Coronavirus Reporter complaint against Apple raises serious antitrust issues: Apple’s COVID app rule should be declared illegal (Google’s isn’t better)

        After almost six months of commenting on App Store antitrust cases, above all Epic Games v. Apple, the time has come for me to state clearly that, just like Epic, I am convinced that Apple and Google have monopoly power in their respective app distribution markets. And while the focus varies from app maker to app maker, I, too, have experienced and continue to experience abusive conduct by both.

        So far, I had expressed firm opinions solely on aspects of Epic’s case against Apple that related to access to emergency relief (temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction). Especially after I heard Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (Northern District of California) tell counsel for Epic and Apple that the key issues in the case wouldn’t be decided at that early stage, I wanted to take my time to understand. Now, I’m not saying I necessarily agree with Epic on each and every aspect of its cases (though I may when the cases go to trial), and I’m particularly not taking a position on the 30% cut yet. But there’s one thing I can say at this stage: I definitely concur with Epic’s definition of app distribution markets and its assertion that Apple and Google possess monopoly power in those markets.

      • FOSS Patents: Filed complaints with competition authorities about Apple’s and Google’s COVID app rules

        What these jurisdictions have in common is that they’ve all been particularly affected by COVID-19, and these competition authorities either have ongoing investigations or pending complaints or (in the case of the Federal Cartel Office of Germany) have expressed an interest in app platform antitrust issues.

        For me it was quite a difficult decision to do this. I’d rather just have continued to watch cases like Epic Games v. Apple, but after much thought I concluded that the issue I have with Apple and Google in this context is part of a broader problem. When I made this decision, I had no idea that a U.S. antitrust lawsuit over Apple’s COVID app rules–Coronavirus Reporter v. Apple–was being prepared. I learned about it only a couple of days ago, and commented on it today. But I figured that there’d be other legitimate COVID-related apps that must have been rejected only because they were not submitted by governmental entities or healthcare providers.

        What my company had to do to our Corona Control Game in order to comply with Apple’s and Google’s rules is best explained with an analogy:

        Imagine what it would have meant if the makers of the Titanic film had had to deal with only two movie theater operators, each of which controlled a distinct part of the world. Each of these cinema operators would have stated its rules slightly differently, but the net effect would have been the same: do the Titanic film without the Titanic ship, or else.

        The distribution channel would have given no reason for that, or maybe it would have told the movie company that the Titanic was such a tragedy that it’s offensive to create an entertainment product involving it.

      • Patents

        • Plaintiffs consider bench trials to combat litigation backlog [Ed: Litigation profiteers and blackmail zealots see their 'pipeline' of suffering as a "backlog"]

          Four in-house counsel, two private practice lawyers and one judge, Alan Albright, reveal how courts and lawyers are managing the COVID-induced trial holdup

        • USPTO Responds to Congressional Request for Information Regarding Criteria for Registration Examination for Admission to Patent Bar [Ed: The patent maximalists, bribed by law firms, already pestering the Biden administration]

          On Tuesday, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu, in one of his last acts before stepping down from the post, sent a letter to Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Christopher Coons (D-DE), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property for the Senate Judiciary Committee, responding to the Senators’ letter of December 11, 2020 seeking information regarding the criteria for the registration examination for admission to the patent bar.

        • The Unified Patent Court – a brief update [Ed: UPC boosters say “Recent constitutional challenges raised in Germany have cast doubt once again on the anticipated time-frame for the implementation of the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) in Europe.” But no, it’s about the overall viability, not merely timeframe. This is common spin from Team UPC.]

          The UPC is a new patent enforcement forum, which is intended to create a streamlined procedure for the litigation of patents granted by the European Patent Office through a single court system. The UPC will have jurisdiction over all European patents and new unitary patents (UPs) designated to those participating EU Member States that have ratified the UPC Agreement.

          For the UPC system to take effect, at least 13 EU countries must pass national legislation to ratify the UPC Agreement. Of these 13 countries, it was initially required that France, Germany and the UK in particular ratified the UPC Agreement in order to give effect to the new system, which was initially achieved.

        • This week in IP: WSOU most litigious NPE, UK appoints new IP judge, Trump appointees resign

          Donald Trump’s last days as US president ushered in a few predictable resignations within IP-focused federal departments, and one surprising pardon of a man famously convicted of trade secret theft.

          Makan Delrahim, the head of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, handed in his resignation letter on January 13, and officially resigned on Tuesday, January 19.

          The now former assistant attorney general, who was both admired and loathed by standard essential patent stakeholders for his antitrust policies, told Managing IP before the presidential election that he intended to resign in early 2021, whether Trump won or lost.

          USPTO director Andrei Iancu also tendered his resignation on January 19. In a letter to office staff, Iancu bid his colleagues farewell, noting that it was a privilege to serve with them for the past three years. Patents commissioner Drew Hirshfeld stepped in as acting director.

          It was expected that the now former USPTO head would resign after Joe Biden won the presidency. In-house counsel told Managing IP as much back in December, and opined on what they wanted to see from a new director.

          USPTO deputy director Laura Peter also resigned, noting that it was customary to leave office after a change of administration. In a LinkedIn post, she said she was proud of the USPTO’s achievements and to work alongside Iancu and her other colleagues.

        • Of novelty, inventiveness and sufficiency: how to write a good paper or thesis

          Spring semester is here and that means students at universities all over the world are getting ready to write final assignments or even their theses. This Kat is proud to announce that, starting this semester, he will be teaching in the IP courses of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, together with professor Tobias Cohen Jehoram. It’s a great honour to teach alongside such a renowned IP scholar and litigator in the city that “makes it happen” and is known for its slogan “Niet lullen maar poetsen”—which translates roughly to “Don’t sit around talking but get off your butt and get to it”.

          As it turns out, that is not the worst advice one can give a student faced with a paper or thesis assignment. For all those kittens out there about to face this ordeal, this Kat composed a checklist to help their writing. Having written it down, it bore uncanny resemblance to the requirements for patentability under the European Patent Convention (EPC). Call it an extreme case of nerdview, but if it helps you write your paper, that’s at least one good deed for humanity on the part of patent law.

          [...]

          Unity of invention [art. 82 EPC]: or, the requirement that your paper is sufficiently delineated. Art. 82 EPC states that “the European patent application shall relate to one invention only”. Likewise, your paper should be limited to your core argument only: one paper, one argument.

          This is easier said than done. When researching and writing, we often come across interesting sideroads or overlapping arguments. A difficult aspect of academic writing – one that takes years to master – is to know which of these to include in your narrative, and which ones to leave aside for future study. The oft-used phrase “less is more” applies with particular force to academic writing (although you may be fooled to think otherwise reading some law review articles…).

          Your research question is the best tool to achieve this. Ask yourself, for each paragraph in your thesis, how does this help me answer my research question. Formulating one or more sub-questions to cover different chapters can help with this.

        • Software Patents

          • $750 Awarded for Contemporary Display ’202 Prior Art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Vaibhav Srivastava, who received a cash prize of $750 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent 7,500,202. The ‘202 patent is owned by Contemporary Display LLC, a subsidiary of IPValuation Partners, LLC. The ’202 patent generally relates to a method and system for delivering categorized television programming and for delivering navigational tools providing information about and access to multiple programs.

          • $2,500 Awarded for CDN Innovations Prior Art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Sukhdeep Singh, who received a cash prize of $2,500 for his prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 6,311,180. The ‘180 patent is owned by CDN Innovations, LLC, an NPE and entity of IPinvestments Group, and generally relates to a method that allows documents to be viewed on a plurality of devices according to the preferences of the user. The ‘180 patent is currently being asserted against Grande Communications Networks, Cable One, and TDS Broadband Service.

          • Engle Grange patent determined to be likely invalid

            On January 21, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 8,548,645, owned by Engle Grange, LLC, an NPE. The ‘645 patent is generally directed towards a two-step key fob authentication system for an automobile. The patent was asserted against Ford in early 2020.

          • $1,500 Awarded for Intellectual Ventures prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Vibhor Dimri, who received a cash prize of $1,500 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent 6,618,736, owned by Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, an NPE. The ’736 patent relates to file systems that are created and archived by providing a set of shared storage units and one or more templates. Each template includes a set of private storage units and a corresponding usage map. The patent is currently being asserted against Arista Networks in district court.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • GitHub Restores NYAA Repository As It Isn’t Clearly ‘Preconfigured to Infringe’

          A few days after Github removed the repository of the popular torrent site NYAA following an MPA takedown notice, the company has reversed its decision. While the developers didn’t respond in any way, GitHub decided to carry out another review which concluded that there isn’t sufficient evidence to conclude that the code is ‘preconfigured to infringe.’

        • UFC to Pirates: Watch McGregor on Saturday and “See What Happens”

          During today’s pre-fight press conference for UFC 257 Poirier v McGregor, UFC President Dana White had an interesting prediction on piracy. Informing journalists and the thousands tuning in online that “we got one”, he invited illegal streamers to tune in on Saturday night and “see what happens.” More bluster from the UFC or is it time for a proper beatdown?

The Linux Foundation is Trying to Obscure Racism Using Microsoft-Inspired Tactics (Vouchers Disguised as Actual Money)

Posted in Deception, Finance at 1:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The Linux Foundation and its PR stunts don’t help combat racism; one might argue that the Foundation is leveraging racism, which prevails in the US, to paint itself as benevolent and caring (offering immaterial things and self-serving press releases)

TWO years ago an anonymous contributor of ours (not white, not male) investigated race and gender issues at the Linux Foundation, which hires nobody black but is perfectly happy to leverage racial grievances at critical times (where there are opportunities to score PR points on the cheap). The matter is scarcely and rarely explored in the media. For instance, on MLK Day (days ago) the Foundation issued this press release, soon to be echoed by a bunch of puff pieces from Foundation affiliates and media partners (such as this one or this one).

“It’s not grassroots, but it is looking to exploit high-profile activists and activism, quite frankly in the same way/fashion top sponsors of the Foundation do.”Corporate activism or pseudo-activism isn’t a new issue and it’s not unique to the Foundation; it’s not unique to technology either as it’s highly pervasive in politics. This video, which was difficult to do (especially without any preparation), brings up more difficult issues that nobody wants to speak about (out of fear of offending people or talking down legitimate gestures). The Foundation extends an olive branch to billionaires, not to communities. It’s not grassroots, but it is looking to exploit high-profile activists and activism, quite frankly in the same way/fashion top sponsors of the Foundation do.

InteLeaks – Part XXVII: ‘Pulling a Nokia’ on Intel (Outsourcing to Microsoft)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Harbor Research and MicrosoftSummary: The recommendation of an Intel marriage with Microsoft (even in units that deal mostly with Linux) is an insulting slap across the face of developers employed there; we take a look at recommendations made to IoTG (Intel) by a firm with Microsoft orientation (screenshot to the right)

LAST night we looked at the firm Intel had hired to recommend Microsoft (push polling seems likely), allegedly after Intel’s decision. Some tell us that a year earlier the nontechnical ‘suits’ at Intel finalised that strategy regardless (see this series’ index in the relevant wiki page for additional information and context). Why seek consultation other than ‘arse-covering’ (seeking to reaffirm a bad strategy, albeit with the veneer or guise of ‘professional’ ‘research’)? A few dozens, 50 or so men from Denver, Colorado (without much industry experience) would not know any more/better than Intel’s own in-house engineers.

Here is an image, extracted from the above report, which shows the summary of recommendations to IOTG/IoTG (the IoT Group at Intel).

“Disappointing,” told us a source, “but not surprised.”

This angered quite a few Intel insiders. The last thing they want is Microsoft at the job… especially those who work on “IoT” ‘things’, i.e. mostly Linux.

rec

“Is there a way to find a public source,” asked us one person, about “the graphic which was attached? [It had been circulated internally for a while] It shows a bad Microsoft infection via partnership obligations.”

Nadella awardWe’ve gotten the full report, which we plan to release at a later stage. It’s not a “public source”; as we explained before, Intel worked hard to keep this sort of stuff concealed. These sorts of reports, we’ve been told, are largely responsible for the horrible direction and the demise of Intel. Shades of Nokia

The video mentions Microsoft AstroTurfing. We have documented and assembled many examples of Microsoft AstroTurfing. In the past few days in our main IRC channels we’ve had to cope with trolls based in Washington, promoting GitHub using anonymous accounts and looking to discredit us using a bunch of Microsoft lies. Are these Microsoft employees? AstroTurfing? Hard to tell…

“One last thought is the Microsoft move to design chips,” told us an informed source about all this, “maybe this will turn around the adoption of proprietary tools and partnership with Microsoft. I guess we’ll see.”

The way we see it, Microsoft is all vapourware and PR stunts. There’s already intense competition in this space and Windows is a misfit.

Glen Allmendinger and Microsoft“Wintel is an acknowledged problem,” told us one person earlier this month (having seen portions of these leaks), “but it is probably forgotten by the old crowd and unknown to the younger generations. Thus it would be very important to review and add weight to the review by including new material. The material described is very interesting.

“So many in US business are loser zero-sum-gamers and don’t get the nature of collaborative development. However, look at this oldish link to see what’s happening at OpenStreetMap regarding open data collaboration.”

Intel does not seem to understand community. It doesn’t understand developers. It does not ‘get’ software freedom. Does it insist so strongly on dying with Microsoft? And if so, whose idea is it? An Intel loyalist or Microsoft moles? Stay tuned…

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 21, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:13 am by Needs Sunlight

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Enter the IRC channels now


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