EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Links 19/11/2019: Zswap’s B-Tree Search Implementation, WordPress 5.2.4

Posted in News Roundup at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • We know where Rick (from Rick and Morty) stands on Intel vs AMD debate

      For one, it appears Rick is running a version of Debian with a very old Linux kernel (3.2.0) — one dating back to 2012. He badly needs to install some frickin’ updates. “Also his partitions are real weird. It’s all Microsoft based partitions,” a Redditor says. “A Linux user would never do [this] unless they were insane since NTFS/Exfat drivers on Linux are not great.”

    • Desktop

      • Slimbook Tease New Linux Laptop in Apple-Bashing Video

        The video, which should be embedded above, is relatively short and relatively bizarre. It follows a Slimbook engineer in a penguin mask carefully measuring an apple before getting up and smashing it with a baseball bat bearing the Slimbook brand name.

        Accompanying the clip are the hashtags #NoMoreFruit and #ForgetTheFruit — a playful dig at a certain fruit-branded company whose laptops are fairly popular? I think so.

        The video also reveals that Slimbook will announce its new device on November 21, 2019 via the Slimbook website.

      • Growing the fwupd ecosystem

        Yesterday I wrote a blog about what hardware vendors need to provide so I can write them a fwupd plugin. A few people contacted me telling me that I should make it more generic, as I shouldn’t be the central point of failure in this whole ecosystem. The sensible thing, of course, is growing the “community” instead, and building up a set of (paid) consultants that can help the OEMs and ODMs, only getting me involved to review pull requests or for general advice. This would certainly reduce my current feeling of working at 100% and trying to avoid burnout.

        As a first step, I’ve created an official page that will list any consulting companies that I feel are suitable to recommend for help with fwupd and the LVFS. The hardware vendors would love to throw money at this stuff, so they don’t have to care about upstream project release schedules and dealing with a gumpy maintainer like me. I’ve pinged the usual awesome people like Igalia, and hopefully more companies will be added to this list during the next few days.

    • Server

      • World’s Top 500 Supercomputers Run On Linux

        Top500 has released its 54th edition of the list comprising of the top 500 supercomputers in the world, and all the supercomputers in the list have one thing in common – Linux.

        The average speed of the supercomputers featured in the list is now 1.65 exaflops, and the entry-level supercomputer now performs at 1.14 petaflops as compared to 1.02 petaflops when the list was released back in June 2019.

      • HPE Launches Kubernetes-Based Container Platform

        Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has launched an enterprise-grade Kubernetes-based container platform. Called HPE Container Platform, it is designed for both cloud-native applications and monolithic applications with persistent storage.

        According to the company, HPE Container Platform is built on innovations from HPE’s acquisitions of BlueData and MapR, together with 100 percent open source Kubernetes. The new platform addresses the requirements for large-scale enterprise Kubernetes deployments across a range of use cases, from machine learning and edge analytics to CI/CD pipelines and application modernization, the company said.

      • IBM

        • Command Line Heroes takes Bash from script to screen

          Creating visuals for stories about programming language isn’t always straightforward. The artwork for the first few episodes of this season was inspired by origins and functions. But for Episode 6, Heroes in a Bash Shell, we decided to take a more abstract approach.

          Shells, particularly the Bash shell, are widely used large-scale IT environments. Shell scripting allows us to automate repetitive tasks and do much more with standalone utilities. Our graphic designer, Karen Crowson, and animator, Drew Carrow, share how that reality, mixed in with some pun-related imagery, provided the frame for the Heroes in a Bash Shell artwork.

        • OpenShift Hive: Cluster-as-a-Service

          Red Hat OpenShift has enabled enterprise developers to utilize a fast feedback loop during the development phase of platforms and applications. The idea of ‘as-a-service’ has arisen from the ability of cloud providers to offer an on demand capability to consume services and products. This increased flexibility for organisations can further ease the development path to production.

          Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift unlocks organisations to achieve freedom with platforms of choice on a number of cloud providers without lock-in as workloads are abstracted from vendor specific constructs. Kubernetes, and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, provide the ability to run operators, where operators can act as an organisation’s very own consumable on demand service whilst providing a unique user experience to its intended audience.

          As a developer having a personal on demand environment was once one of the reasons for the rise of “shadow IT”. Organisations have since moved from the days of having to build servers for additional workloads through the use of new models of IT services thanks to virtualisation, PaaS and public/private cloud in an effort to adopt the on-demand/as-a-service utopia and enable their consumers to have the freedom to develop and produce strong value proposition products in today’s competitive market.

          OpenShift has become the platform of choice for many organisations. However, this can mean developers are somewhat restricted in consuming PaaS environment, due to greater process and management surrounding the environment, in accordance with internal IT regulations. OpenShift Hive is an operator which enables operations teams to easily provision new PaaS environments for developers improving productivity and reducing process burden due to internal IT regulations. Hive can do this in a true DevOps fashion while still adhering to an organization’s regulations and security standards.

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.4 and Red Hat Developer Toolset 9 Beta now available

          The latest versions of Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Developer Toolset are available now in beta. Red Hat Software Collections 3.4 delivers the latest stable versions of many popular open source runtime languages and databases natively to the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. These components are supported for up to five years, helping to enable a more consistent, efficient, and reliable developer experience.

        • What is a community of practice in an open organization?

          In other words, people in open organizations often define their roles, responsibilities, and affiliations through shared interests and passions—not title, role, or position on an organizational chart.

          That means organizational leaders will find themselves invested in building communities inside their organizations, connecting like-minded people with one another to accelerate business objectives.

          For this reason, communities of practice can be a useful component of open organizations. In this three-part series, I’ll explain what communities of practice are, why they are beneficial to an organization, and how you can start a community of practice.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Brunch with Brent: Emma Marshall | Jupiter Extras 33

        Brent sits down with Emma Marshall, Customer Happiness Manager at System76 for a fun chat touching on her love of pinball and puppies, spreading happiness, women in tech, and more.

        Note: This episode was recorded before the Superfans 3 event, which occurred between Novermber 15-17, 2019.

      • Podcast.__init__: From Simple Script To Beautiful Web Application With Streamlit

        Building well designed and easy to use web applications requires a significant amount of knowledge and experience across a range of domains. This can act as an impediment to engineers who primarily work in so-called back-end technologies such as machine learning and systems administration. In this episode Adrien Treuille describes how the Streamlit framework empowers anyone who is comfortable writing Python scripts to create beautiful applications to share their work and make it accessible to their colleagues and customers. If you have ever struggled with hacking together a simple web application to make a useful script self-service then give this episode a listen and then go experiment with how Streamlit can level up your work.

    • Kernel Space

      • Schedutil Frequency Invariance Revised For Better Intel Performance + Power Efficiency

        SUSE developer Giovanni Gherdovich has sent out the latest patches on supporting frequency invariance within the kernel’s scheduler code and ultimately making use of it for select Intel CPUs to yield not only better raw performance but also power efficiency.

      • Linux’s Crypto API Is Adopting Some Aspects Of Zinc, Opening Door To Mainline WireGuard

        Mainlining of the WireGuard secure VPN tunnel was being held up by its use of the new “Zinc” crypto API developed in conjunction with this network tech. But with obstacles in getting Zinc merged, WireGuard was going to be resorting to targeting the existing kernel crypto interfaces. Instead, however, it turns out the upstream Linux crypto developers were interested and willing to incorporate some elements of Zinc into the existing kernel crypto implementation.

        Back in September is when Jason Donenfeld decided porting WireGuard to the existing Linux crypto API was the best path forward for getting this secure networking functionality into the mainline kernel in a timely manner. But since then other upstream kernel developers working on the crypto subsystem ended up with patches incorporating some elements of Zinc’s design.

      • zswap: use B-tree for search
        The current zswap implementation uses red-black trees to store
        entries and to perform lookups. Although this algorithm obviously
        has complexity of O(log N) it still takes a while to complete
        lookup (or, even more for replacement) of an entry, when the amount
        of entries is huge (100K+).
        B-trees are known to handle such cases more efficiently (i. e. also
        with O(log N) complexity but with way lower coefficient) so trying
        zswap with B-trees was worth a shot.
        The implementation of B-trees that is currently present in Linux
        kernel isn't really doing things in the best possible way (i. e. it
        has recursion) but the testing I've run still shows a very
        significant performance increase.
        The usage pattern of B-tree here is not exactly following the
        guidelines but it is due to the fact that pgoff_t may be both 32
        and 64 bits long.
      • Zswap Could See Better Performance Thanks To A B-Tree Search Implementation

        For those using Zswap as a compressed RAM cache for swapping on Linux systems, the performance could soon see a measurable improvement.

        Developer Vitaly Wool has posted a patch that switches the Zswap code from using red-black trees to a B-tree for searching. Particularly for when having to search a large number of entries, the B-trees implementation should do so much more efficiently.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Announces Radeon Pro W5700 RDNA Workstation Graphics Card

          In addition to AMD’s SC19 announcements yesterday, their embargo just lifted on the Radeon Pro W5700 as their first 7nm workstation graphics card build on their new RDNA architecture.

          The Radeon Pro W5700 is built on their RDNA architecture, supports GDDR6 video memory, and is said to deliver up to 18% better efficiency than NVIDIA’s competition. The Radeon Pro W5700 is also AMD’s first graphics card featuring a USB-C connector for monitors and VR HMDs.

        • AMD Lands EXT_direct_state_access For OpenGL Compatibility Contexts In Mesa

          In recent weeks AMD driver developers have been working on EXT_direct_state_access improvements within Mesa and following their latest code push today now support the D.S.A. extension for OpenGL compatibility profile contexts.

          OpenGL Direct State Access allows for various efficiency improvements in allowing the modification of objects without needing to bind them to the context. More background information on the direct state access semantics can be found via the OpenGL Wiki.

        • Intel Linux Graphics Driver Patches For Fast Soft-RC6 Yield Big Energy Use Improvement

          Longtime open-source Intel Linux graphics driver developer Chris Wilson has sent out a set of 19 patches for what he calls fast soft-RC6 support and is a “substantial” improvement over the current driver code for Intel graphics power-savings.

          Chris simply wrote at the start of the patch series, “In my very simple testing of scrolling through firefox, this brings up back into line with HW rc6 energy usage, a substantial improvement over current -tip.”

        • NEMO-UX Vanishes As What Was A Wayland Shell Designed For Large, Multi-User Surfaces

          Over the years there have been many interesting Wayland projects to take flight focused on new and interesting use-cases. One of these interesting (and experimental) Wayland compositors was NEMO-UX focused on providing a shell for computing environments that span large surfaces like virtual chalkboards or tabletops.

          Five years ago this week we covered this futuristic, multi-user Wayland experience. While the concept is still interesting and large format, multi-user computing remains a niche area, NEMO-UX appears to sadly no longer exist.

    • Applications

      • Proprietary

        • Louisiana Target of Attempted Ransomware Hack, Governor Says [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The state was attacked as election officials canvass the results of a tightly contested Nov. 16 gubernatorial election won by Edwards by about 40,000 votes. The tally is unlikely to be affected as the state did not suffer any data loss, nor has it paid a ransom, Edwards said. A spokesman for the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office couldn’t be reached for comment.

        • Nokia WiFi Beacon 3 review: high-speed mesh networking

          The Beacon 3 units are considerably larger than either Eero or Nest Wifi routers; they are roughly the size of an Amazon Echo speaker. That makes them a bit less discreet than other routers, but the advantage is that each node includes four gigabit Ethernet ports, which is two more than either Google or Eero gives you. More Ethernet ports on the nodes give you more flexibility with what you can do with them, whether that’s running a wired backhaul between them with Ethernet that’s built into your home or plugging devices like a desktop computer, smart home hub, or gaming system directly into the Wi-Fi node to minimize wireless traffic.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Path of Exile continues down the Vulkan path, with a possible port to Linux mentioned

        We’ve known for a while that the massive and popular RPG Path of Exile was going to get a Vulkan API implementation and they would have liked to do Linux support, seems like they’re continuing that line of thinking.

        In a new interview done by YouTuber Zizaran, they were testing out some upcoming content and changes coming with the recently announced Path of Exile 2. While doing this they were joined by Chris Wilson from Path of Exile developer Grinding Gear Games to answer some questions.

      • Time to play some classic Command & Conquer as OpenRA has a huge fresh stable release out

        OpenRA, the free and open source game engine to bring classic Command & Conquer titles like Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert, Dune 2000 and eventually Tiberian Sun to modern systems has a big new release up.

        This is a massive update overall. Lots of big and small changes all over, for all three currently supported games. If you follow GamingOnLinux regularly, we’ve posted about this update a few times while it’s been in development. One of the biggest improvements is the ability to save your game during missions and skirmishes against the AI, you no longer have to blast through an entire game which is excellent and needed.

      • Open-ended village life sim Village Monsters set in a forgotten game world enters Early Access

        Village Monsters, the open-ended village life game set in a forgotten video game world has entered Early Access with Linux support.

        Funded on Kickstarter in October last year, it’s a little bit like Stardew Valley with a weirder and slightly more comical setting. Very much a relaxing casual experience, with you running around befriending various NPCs, doing little task and exploring.

      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s mission system in Operation Shattered Web is pretty good

        I will admit, after dropping an update last night with a big new Operation for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive I was a little sceptical with the Battle Pass system. However, it’s surprisingly good. This update shows what Valve can do when they experiment a little further.

        There’s not many of these missions in yet, but Operation Shattered Web goes on for at least 16 weeks so there will no doubt be more coming. Let’s talk about the new co-op Virus Outbreak mission for example, which uses the Danger Zone map Sirocco. Valve has actually expanded the map, with a big underground complex and some new voice-over from your leader and the enemy leader.

        They’ve taken all the additions to CS:GO over the last year or so and done something quite fun with it. Since this new mission requires co-op, this is also the first time I’ve made use of the Looking to Play system added in May this year and it works well. Within a few seconds of turning it on, I had invites ready to begin.

      • The fantastic co-op space sandbox Avorion should now be easier to get going

        Avorion already had a lot of things truly nailed down, from the freedom to build and explore to the excellent presentation but one thing it lacked was a good experience for newer users. Now it should be much improved.

        It starts off as your typical space adventure, with you beginning with nothing but the most basic possible ship. Taking elements from games like the X series, Freelancer, Eve Online and others it blends things together giving you the chance to explore space and do whatever you want. The most interesting part of it though, is that you build you ships block by block and you can make some fun designs.

        Currently in Early Access, elements of it were a little rough for newcomers. However, they’ve been gradually improving that a lot recently. Last month they introduced several new tutorial missions, helping you get to grips with the basics and some long-terms quests to guide you through the galaxy a bit more.

      • SamRewritten is an open source Steam Achievements Manager for Linux

        Want an easy way to view, lock and unlock Steam Achievements on Linux? SamRewritten seems like a very handy application to do all of that and more.

        The developer just announced a brand new release with a bunch of new features. Messing with achievements by manually unlocking them or locking them should be reliable, all your games should show up, it dynamically finds your Steam folders, a bunch of UI improvements and more.

      • 7 Days To Die Is Another Game Seeing A Big Bump From Mesa OpenGL Threading

        For those that are fans of the 7 Days to Die open-world shooter / horror game, the performance on Linux is now as much as 30% higher as a result of Mesa GL threading.

        With Mesa 20.0-devel (and presumably for back-porting too) is whitelisting mesa_glthread for the 7 Days to Die game on Linux.

        This is the few years old functionality around better CPU multi-threading within Mesa where some games are as much as 60~76% faster thanks to punting some of the OpenGL driver work off to a separate CPU thread.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Open Invention Network teams up with IBM, Linux Foundation, and Microsoft to protect open-source software from patent trolls

          Open-source software — heck, all software — has been plagued by patent trolls for decades. The Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, is now expanding protection of open-source and Linux by partnering with IBM, the Linux Foundation, and Microsoft to further protect it from Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), aka patent trolls. This new consortium is doing this by supporting Unified Patents’ Open Source Zone with a substantial annual subscription.

          Unified Patents is an international organization of over 200 businesses. Unified Patents takes an aggressive stance against trolls. The name of its game is deterring trolls from attacking its members by making it too expensive for the troll to win. The group does this by examining troll patents and their activities in various technology sectors (Zones). The Open Source Zone is the newest of these Zones.

          United Patents does this in a variety of ways. For example, it runs a public bounty program, where it seeks prior art for troll patents. According to Kevin Jakel, Unified Patents CEO, in a recent interview, “The prize money offered can be as much as $10,000 for anyone that is able to find prior patents on the one being questioned. For example, we recently announced a $10,000 bounty for any prior art relating to network monitoring and sequence integrity.”

          In practice, their method works. For instance, with Unified Patent’s aid, the ride-sharing company Lyft recently beat a patent troll. In the case, a troll claimed essentially he has created all ride-sharing software. US District Judge Jon S Tigar ruled against the troll, saying, “Given the lack of an algorithm for allocation, RideApp ‘has in effect claimed everything that [performs the task] under the sun.”

        • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: Every shell has a story

          … a wise someone once muttered while walking on a beach, as they picked up a shell lying on the sand. Indeed, every shell began somewhere, crossed a unique path with different goals and driven by different motivations. Some shells were created to optimize for mobility; some, for lightness; some, for speed; some were created to just fit whoever is using it and do their jobs efficiently. It’s statistically close to impossible to not find a suitable shell, one could argue.

          So, is this a blog about muttered shell wisdom?

          In some way, it actually is. It is, indeed, about Shell, and about Mutter. And even though “wisdom” is perhaps a bit of an overstatement, it is expected that whoever reads this blog doesn’t leave it less wise, so the word applies to a certain degree. Evidently, the Shell in question is composed of bits and bytes; its protection is more about the complexities of a kernel and command lines than sea predators, and the Mutter is actually more about compositing the desktop than barely audible uttering.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE welcomes cooperation of Open Invention Network, Linux Foundation, IBM and Microsoft in co-funding Unified Patent’s new Open Source Zone

          An eternal truth is that everything has its opposite for good and evil. Patents are no exception. In fact, even the simple word ‘Patent’ evokes much positive and negative emotion in today’s software world – particularly as news continues to circulate around baseless patent lawsuits by non-practicing entities (NPEs).
          But in news this week there is a bit of positive for a change. The positive news is the announcement of the efforts by Unified Patents to reduce NPE assertion of invalid patents in the open source software zone.

        • SC19: Empowering SUSE HPC customers with expanded options

          SC19, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis is just around the corner. For SUSE, it’s a great opportunity to reconnect with customers and partners working in one of the sectors of our industry driving significant innovation in all aspects of computing.

          If I tried to succinctly define SUSE’s message at SC19, it would be: “As with any journey, who you travel with is more important than the destination”. In SUSE’s instance, customers and partners make up our travel companions. In this journey, the customer is in the driver’s seat and elects the destination. Our role at SUSE is to empower HPC customers with choice across processor and GPU platforms as well as delivery options (on-premise, cloud, or hybrid).

        • SUSE and Iguazio Break the Mold by Providing an Open Source Solution for Enterprise Data Science Teams

          The notions of collaborative innovation, openness and portability are driving enterprises to embrace open source technologies. Anyone can download and install Kubernetes, Jupyter, Spark, TensorFlow and Pytorch to run machine learning applications, but making these applications enterprise grade is a whole different story. Delivering enterprise grade applications involves scalability, high-performance, tuning, monitoring, security and automation of infrastructure tasks. It can take months and typically requires a large team of developers, data scientists and data engineers.

      • Fedora Family

        • Stories from the amazing world of release-monitoring.org #8

          The evening wind was cold, but I protected myself by the fire spell. It was nice to sit outside and look at the whole release-monitoring.org realm in the sunset. One could see the beauty behind all this hard work and it’s ignites a nice feeling inside one’s heart. Lately I didn’t have much time to appreciate this beauty. To be honest I didn’t have much time to work on this realm in the last few months. But still some work was done even here.

          I heard the footsteps behind me. “Traveler, it’s nice to see you again. Do you want to join me?” Footsteps stopped beside me and my companion was looking at the sunset with me. “I suppose you are here to hear about the news from this world. I assure you there are many things I want to share with you. Just listen…”

      • Debian Family

        • extrepo followup

          My announcement the other day has resulted in a small amount of feedback already (through various channels), and a few extra repositories to be added. There was, however, enough feedback (and the manner of it unstructured enough) that I think it’s time for a bit of a follow-up…

        • Debian 10 gets second point release with important security fixes

          Debian just got a lot more secure, all thanks to the latest second point update to buster. No matter how much you’re into the Linux or open-source world, maybe you never got a chance to try out Debian, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about that. Let FOSSLinux give you a brief intro to this operating system.

          Although Debian is a Linux-based, open-source operating system, much like its other contemporaries, what makes it unique is the fact that it comes with a wide array of pre-installed software aimed at people belonging to different walks of life. It’s the mother of popular distros like Ubuntu, Kali Linux, Tails, Purism, and more.

          Apart from that, you will also find other popular operating systems like Ubuntu and Kali Linux to be based on Debian. For those who weren’t keeping up with the recent developments in the Debian project, you can read more about its latest major release, Debian 10, by clicking here.

        • Debian 10.1 Buster review

          Debian has a reputation, somewhat deserved but no longer so accurate, of being way out of date in terms of software versions. A few years ago it had a huge gap in its release cycle, but things are much better these days.

          No, you won’t get the latest versions in the stable version, but that’s not what it is about. The main Debian tree is called stable for a reason: it remains relatively static rather than always chasing the latest versions. That makes administering a Debian system so much easier as you don’t have a continual stream of changes to deal with – to the point of being the difference between manageable and unmanageable with a large number of computers. So what is the latest release like?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.04 Daily Builds Are Now Available to Download

          Freshly spun ISOs of what will go on to become Ubuntu’s next long-term support release (aka 20.04 LTS) will be produced every day from now until shortly before the final, stable release makes an appearance in April 2020.

          Prior to today (November 19, 2019) only “pending” live images had been available on the Ubuntu CD image server. Now ‘Current’ images — these are images that have passed a series of automated tests — are available.

          This is an important milestone in the development cycle.

          Many testers — do pop up in the comments if this includes you! — will install a ‘current’ daily build and ride it like a rolling release distro, installing any and all updates released to the Focal Fossa development as and when they arrive.

        • Adieu, 32

          The tenth month of the year arrives and so does a new Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) update. Is it a portent that this is the 31st release of Ubuntu and with the 32nd release next year, 32-bit x86 Ubuntu builds will end?

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Linux Plumbers Conference: Linux Plumbers Conference 2019 videos are now available

          Following up on our previous post, and as many of you have already noticed, the LPC 2019 videos have now been uploaded to our YouTube channel.

          Over the coming days the LPC committee will be updating the 2019 site to incorporate links to the videos. At the same time, we will be getting ready to launch the 2020 site as well.

        • Audio Miniconf 2019 Report

          Daniel Baluta then started some discussion of topics related to Sound Open Firmware (slides). The first was issues with loading firmware before the filesystems are ready, we agreed that this can be resolved through the use of the _nowait() APIs. More difficult was resolving how to deal with card initialization. Currently the only complete in-tree users are x86 based so have to deal with the problems with the incomplete firmware descriptions provided by ACPI, there’s nothing standards based like we have for device tree systems, and assumptions about that have crept into how the code works. It’s going to take a bunch of work to implement but we came to a reasonable understanding of how this should work, with the DSP represented as a device in the device tree and bound to the card like any other component.

          Continuing on the DSP theme Patrick Lai then lead a discussion of gapless playback with format switches, we agreed that allowing set_params() to be called multiple times on a single stream when the driver could support it was the most sensible approach. The topic of associating controls with PCM streams was also discussed, there are some old APIs for this but so little hardware has implemented them that we agreed that a convention for control names based on the stream names was probably easier to support with current userspace software.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Updates to the Mozilla Web Security Bounty Program

            Mozilla was one of the first companies to establish a bug bounty program and we continually adjust it so that it stays as relevant now as it always has been. To celebrate the 15 years of the 1.0 release of Firefox, we are making significant enhancements to the web bug bounty program.

          • Creating UI Extensions for WebThings Gateway

            Version 0.10 of Mozilla’s WebThings Gateway brings support for extension-type add-ons. Released last week, this powerful new capability lets developers modify the user interface (UI) to their liking with JavaScript and CSS.

            Although the initial set of extension APIs is fairly minimal, we believe that they will already enable a large amount of functionality. To go along with the UI extensions, developers can also extend the gateway’s REST API with their own handlers, allowing for back-end analytics, for example.

            In this post, we’ll walk through a simple example to get you started with building your own extension.

          • GeckoView + Glean = Fenix performance metrics

            This week in Glean we tell a tale of components, design, performance and ponies (I promise!): how to bridge different telemetry worlds, with different semantics and principles? How can we get the data to answer the question “is Fenix loading pages faster or slower compared to Fennec”?


            In Fennec a legacy telemetry system was in place: Telemetry was tightly coupled with both Gecko and the product. In Fenix, we had the opportunity to introduce Glean, a modern telemetry framework by Mozilla that encourages lean data practices. Glean comes with an SDK that provides a variety of tools for engineers to measure timespans, timing distributions, counts and so on in contrast with Telemetry which offered lower level facilities such as histograms and scalars. Moreover, the Glean SDK defines a few pings out of the box, with the ‘metrics’ ping containing the bulk of metrics being sent only once per day.

      • Linux Foundation

        • AT&T Finally Opens Up dNOS “DANOS” Network Operating System Code

          One and a half years late, the “DANOS” (known formerly as “dNOS”) network operating system is now open-source under the Linux Foundation.

          AT&T and the Linux Foundation originally announced their plan in early 2018 wish pushing for this network operating system to be used on more mobile infrastructure. At the time they expected it to happen in H2’2018, but finally on 15 November 2019 the goal came to fruition.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Redis Labs eases database management with RedisInsight

          The robust market of tools to help users of the Redis database manage their systems just got a new entrant.

          Redis Labs disclosed the availability of its RedisInsight tool, a graphical user interface (GUI) for database management and operations.

          Redis is a popular open source NoSQL database that is also increasingly being used in cloud-native Kubernetes deployments as users move workloads to the cloud. Open source database use is growing quickly according to recent reports as the need for flexible, open systems to meet different needs has become a common requirement.

          Among the challenges often associated with databases of any type is ease of management, which Redis is trying to address with RedisInsight.

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.2.4 Update

          Late-breaking news on the 5.2.4 short-cycle security release that landed October 14. When we released the news post, I inadvertently missed giving props to Simon Scannell of RIPS Technologies for finding and disclosing an issue where path traversal can lead to remote code execution.

          Simon has done a great deal of work on the WordPress project, and failing to mention his contributions is a huge oversight on our end.

          Thank you to all of the reporters for privately disclosing vulnerabilities, which gave us time to fix them before WordPress sites could be attacked.

      • Programming/Development

        • Lesson 101: Everything You Need To Learn About Programming Guidance

          This era has witnessed how far technology can go, and at present, it seems to be ruling all. Technology plays a significant role when it comes to innovations and a remarkable portion of such creations deal with software.
          Software development is mainly based on programming, and thus, it has become an exciting topic. Since a significant portion of technology revolves around programming, every student should at least have a basic concept regarding the same. However, many are willing to gain in-depth knowledge. Either way, there are some essential aspects everyone should be aware of before proceeding with the subject.

        • Generate random passwords with this Bash script
        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Java
        • Mike Hommey: Five years of git-cinnabar

          On this very day five years ago, I committed the initial code of what later became git-cinnabar. It is kind of an artificial anniversary, because I didn’t actually publish anything until 3 weeks later, and I also had some prototypes months earlier.

          The earlier prototypes of what I’ll call “pre-git-cinnabar” could handle doing git clone hg::https://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central (that is, creating a git clone of a Mercurial repository), but they couldn’t git pull later. That pre-git-cinnabar initial commit, however, was the first version that did.

          The state of the art back then was similar git helpers, the most popular choice being Felipec’s git-remote-hg, or the opposite tool: hg-git, a mercurial plugin that allows to push to a git repository.

          They both had the same caveats: they were slow to handle a repository the size of mozilla-central back then, and both required a local mercurial repository (hidden in the .git directory in the case of Felipec’s git-remote-hg).

        • Top 10 Vim plugins for programming in multiple languages

          Recently, when I was redoing my setup (as I do every so often), I decided it was a good opportunity to identify the best Vim plugins for programming in multiple languages and a way to combine those plugins for each language I program in.

          I do use certain plugins for specific languages and profiles (e.g., I only install Rocannon in my Ansible profile), and I won’t go into those here—that would be a long list. But the 10 Vim plugins described below are my favorites, the ones I use in virtually every profile I have, no matter what programming language I’m using.

        • teach your kids to build their own game with Python – 1

          I used to be a coding trainer few months ago. Our students were former street kids coming from under-privileged societies. You can imagine the lack of education they had. As a teacher there, I had to make my lessons fun and easy for them to grasp, so I would often use games to do so. I was going through my old files and I found this lesson plan I wrote to teach the kids how to build the famous game Space Invaders. At the beginning it seemed an impossible mission, but they actually loved it and got to love coding because of it!

          Anywho, with no further details, I am going to share this lesson in three posts here. today is the first, hoping that any beginner or parent would find it helpful.

        • p2k19 Hackathon Report: Jeremy Evans on PostgreSQL and Ruby

          I started off by preparing an update to PostgreSQL 12. This involved updating a bunch of ports that depend on PostgreSQL. Thankfully, the PostgreSQL 12 update was a little easier than the PostgreSQL 11 update, and didn’t take as much time. Now that PostgreSQL 12.1 has been released, this update should hopefully be committed to the ports tree soon.

        • Book review – Supercharged Python, by Brian Overland and John Bennet

          If you have been following beginner or even intermediate guides on Python and are starting to feel the need for more advanced learning, this book may be the one you have been looking for.

          According to the authors, this book was written for those who already know the basics of Python, but want to deepen their knowledge and skills. While being targeted to people who already know the fundamentals of Python, it still includes a quick review in the first chapter. It goes briefly through the usual stuff, like variables, operators, data types, basic I/O, if/else, while, for, function definitions and arguments, lists, tuples, dictionaries, sets, and the distinction between global and local variables. This initial chapter is presented as being an optional reading, as its contents are pretty basic, but the authors recommend that the reader takes a minute or so on the last to pages, which cover the global statement.

        • New book: Retro Gaming with Raspberry Pi

          Raspberry Pi Press is delighted to announce the release of the latest addition to your bookshelf: Retro Gaming with Raspberry Pi!

        • 2019.46 Guidance

          Naoum Hankache has taken the famous perl6intro.com website, which currently provides the same introduction in 13 different languages, to the Raku era at https://raku.guide (/r/rakulang comments). So if your native language is Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian or Turkish, you can learn the basics about the Raku Programming Language in your native language!

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Russian programmer claims he hacked Wi-Fi on popular high-speed train in 20 minutes, gaining access to passenger data

        On the technology-oriented social site Habr, an individual writing under the username keklick1337 has claimed that he was able to hack into the public Wi-Fi network provided on a popular high-speed Russian rail route, gaining access to a database of passenger data. The user boarded a Sapsan train from St. Petersburg to Moscow and subsequently decided to try hacking its wireless network out of boredom, he wrote.

      • White hat hackers in China hack Chrome, Edge and Safari for Tianfu Cup

        Over the weekend, a number of participating teams hacked into some of the world’s most popular web browsers, Wi-Fi routers and other software. The hackers tested vulnerabilities hidden in several popular apps, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Apple’s Safari. Participants also found vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe PDF Reader.

        The event concluded with the team 360Vulcan emerging as the leader. The team won a total bounty of $382,500 (Approx. Rs. 2,74,80,000) by exploiting vulnerabilities in Microsoft Edge, Adobe PDF Reader, MS Office 365, qemu+Ubuntu, and VMWare Workstation.

      • Major browsers Chrome, Safari, and Edge are easily hacked on day 1 of hacking contest

        Some of the world’s leading browsers made by some of the world’s biggest tech companies have been hacked in record time by computer security experts competing China’s Tianfu Cup.

        The hackfest, established as an alternative to its Western counterpart, Pwn2Own, puts software and devices to the test as researchers look for Zero-day bugs – unfixed vulnerabilities that can be exploited by bad actors.

      • Security updates for Tuesday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (python-psutil, slurm-llnl, symfony, and thunderbird), Fedora (gd and ghostscript), and SUSE (ceph, haproxy, java-11-openjdk, and ncurses).

      • NextCry Ransomware Goes After Linux Servers [Ed: This exploits already-compromised (unpatched) servers]
      • NextCry Ransomware Encrypts Files On NextCloud Linux Servers

        The ransomware gets its name from the extension it uses to append the file names of encrypted files. There is no free decryption tool available for NextCry victims at the moment and it remains undetected by the majority of antivirus engines on public scanning platforms.

      • Coin Stealer Found in Monero Linux Binaries From Official Site [Ed: The news isn't about Linux but about a compromised site]
    • Defence/Aggression

      • America’s Arms Sales Addiction

        It’s no secret that Donald Trump is one of the most aggressive arms salesmen in history. How do we know? Because he tells us so at every conceivable opportunity. It started with his much exaggerated “$110 billion arms deal” with Saudi Arabia, announced on his first foreign trip as president.

      • Campus Under Siege as Hong Kong Police Battle Protesters

        As night fell on Hong Kong, police tightened their siege of a university campus where hundreds of protesters were trapped in the latest dramatic episode in months of protests against growing Chinese control over the semi-autonomous city.

      • Iran: Economic Blockade and Crowd Protests Were Also How the US Made the 1953 Coup

        The crowd protests that grew to affect 100 cities over the weekend in Iran were sparked by the government increasing the price of gasoline by as much as 3 times overnight.But the underlying discontents with the government have been caused by a sinking economy, expected to shrink by 9% this year.

      • North Korea Says It Won’t Give Trump a Summit for Free

        North Korea on Monday responded to a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump that hinted at another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying it has no interest in giving Trump further meetings to brag about unless it gets something substantial in return.

      • New Effort to Curb Explosive Weapons

        Governments should make a commitment to protect civilians from the harmful impacts of explosive weapons used in towns and cities during conflicts, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today at a diplomatic conference in Geneva.

      • Incendiary Weapons Draw Widespread Condemnation

        Incendiary weapons drew widespread condemnation at last week’s annual meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but interventions by Russia and the United States will keep the issue off the agenda next year.

      • Ending Endless War From the Right

        They sure didn’t look the part. These weren’t a bunch of stereotypical hippie peaceniks. As I surveyed the room in the beautiful DC brownstone which hosted the BringOurTroopsHome.us opening night reception, I saw well-built, well-dressed men and women, many still sporting military-style haircuts (though often with a well-groomed beard). Instead of tie-dye shirts, I spied some flag-lapel pins, a few Trump 2020 ball caps, and even a big old cowboy hat. Yet all these relatively young combat veterans were gathered in the nation’s capital last week with a common cause: ending America’s endless wars! The very wars, of course, that they had fought, the wars they could still smell, the wars that killed their friends.

      • UN watchdog report says Iran exceeds heavy-water limit under nuclear pact

        Iran has breached another limit in its nuclear deal with major powers by accumulating slightly more than 130 tonnes of heavy water, a substance used in a type of reactor it is developing, a UN nuclear watchdog report showed on Monday.

      • Secret US Intelligence Files Provide History’s Verdict on Argentina’s Dirty War

        This past spring, nearly 42 years after Hidalgo Solá’s disappearance, the Trump administration declassified some 47,000 pages of secret US intelligence files on the “Dirty War” that Argentina’s military government waged against its own people. More than 7,000 CIA, FBI, Pentagon, and National Security Council (NSC) records—now posted on a specially created US government website at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence—shed considerable light on the state of terror that existed in Argentina from 1976 to 1983, when the military held power. The detailed documents provide extensive new evidence on the infrastructure of repression, Argentina’s role in the international terrorism campaign known as Operation Condor, and most important, the fate of hundreds of desaparecidos who were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered—among them Hidalgo Solá.

      • Saudi-led coalition says Yemen’s Houthis seize ship in Red Sea

        South Korea said two of its vessels were captured, a tug boat and a sand dredger, each of which had one South Korean national was on board.

        Four other crew members of unknown nationalities were also on board, the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement.

        Both vessels were owned by South Korean builder Woongjin Development, a company official told Reuters.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Sweden Pushes On With Assange ‘Investigation,’ Won’t Address UN Torture Rapporteur’s Concerns

        United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, who raised specific concerns related to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s case, has grown increasingly frustrated as the government of Sweden refuses to answer his questions.

        Melzer wrote letters in May and in September. In response to his most recent letter, which alleged violations of due process and human rights, Swedish officials wrote, “The government has no further observations to make.”

      • The Roger Stone – Wikileaks – Russia Hoax

        As ever, the Guardian wins the prize for the most tendentious reporting of Roger Stone’s conviction. This is not quite on the scale of its massive front page lie that Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy. But it is a lie with precisely the same intent, to deceive the public into believing there were links between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign. There were no such links.

      • Sweden Drops Investigation of Julian Assange

        From the outset of this preliminary investigation, Julian Assange’s expressed concern has been that waiting in the wings was a United States request that would be unstoppable from Sweden and result in his spending the rest of his life in a US prison.

        Now that the US does seek Mr Assange’s extradition to stand trial on unprecedented charges for journalistic work, it continues to be a matter of extreme regret that this reality was never acknowledged and that in turn a process in Sweden, with which Mr Assange has always expressed his willingness to engage and indeed did so, became so exceptionally politicised itself.

        The US is seeking a 175-year prison sentence. Sweden has to date failed to give assurances it will block Mr Assange’s US extradition.

        The UN has investigated the procedural history of the Swedish “preliminary investigation” against Assange. The conclusions are clear. The matter became rapidly politicised and there has been no prospect for a fair hearing for many years. An investigation into how the justice system failed to withstand the political and media pressure and lessons learned should be pursued.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Chief Justice Orders Delay in House Fight for Trump Financial Records

        Chief Justice John Roberts is ordering an indefinite delay in the House of Representatives’ demand for President Donald Trump’s financial records to give the Supreme Court time to figure out how to handle the high-stakes dispute.

      • Yes, Something Stinks about the State Takeover of the Houston Independent School District

        A trio of activists on behalf of public schools wrote a blistering critique of the pending state takeover of the Houston Independent School District, based on the failure of ONE high school that has an unusually high proportion of students who are poor and have disabilities.

      • New Jersey Political Boss Defends Tax Breaks, Denounces “King George” Critics

        The influential New Jersey businessman at the center of an investigation into the state’s troubled tax-incentive program appeared on Monday before state legislators, rebuffing allegations of corruption and defending the hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives to him and his business partners.

        Facing a panel of friendly lawmakers and a room of boisterous demonstrators, George E. Norcross III said the tax breaks had laid the groundwork for a “rapid and stunning renaissance” in Camden, the South Jersey city where he was born and where he built himself into the most powerful unelected figure in state politics.

      • US: Approve Bill to Curb Money Laundering

        The United States Senate should pass a proposed law that would provide law enforcement a crucial tool for stemming corruption and advancing human rights, 10 human rights organizations said in a letter to senators today. 

      • Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018

        While some people have received some surprise tax bills when filing their returns, corporations continue to avoid paying tax — thanks to a cocktail of tax credits, loopholes, and exemptions.

        According to a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), Amazon (AMZN) will pay nothing in federal income taxes for the second year in a row.

        Thanks to the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), Amazon’s federal tax responsibility is 21% (down from 35% in previous years). But with the help of tax breaks, according to corporate filings, Amazon won’t be paying a dime to Uncle Sam despite posting more than $11.2 billion in profits in 2018.

        How is that possible?


        “This is another situation where the rhetoric from President Trump is completely divorced from what he does and what his policies do,” explained Wamhoff. “The part about cutting corporate tax rate was true. And they eliminated some corporate tax rates but not all.”

        He added: “The corporate tax revenue was a big loser. We aren’t going to see corporations suddenly paying more. We see that in the case of Amazon.”

        Declining tax revenue has only widened deficits, as national debt has ballooned up and over $22 trillion.

      • Massive Hack Strikes Offshore Cayman National Bank and Trust

        A blast of sunshine has hit a secretive banking network used by global ultra-wealthy figures following a massive hack by “Phineas Fisher“, a notorious self-described “hacktivist”, of Cayman National Bank and Trust, which serves nearly 1,500 accounts in Isle of Man. Transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets has began publishing copies of the bank’s servers, a cache of documents as well as communications among bankers and others. Journalists around the world are investigating and have begun releasing stories.

        Following the hack, a manifesto was uploaded to the Internet addressing the motivation for hacking financial services companies. Unicorn Riot has embedded the manifesto below which includes previously unpublished code which the author claims was used to break into “Hacking Team” an Italian surveillance company. Hacking Team was an elite corporation that specialized in developing malware until Phineas Fisher hacked them and published their code online. The malware developed by Hacking Team was often used to attack journalists and activists on behalf of repressive governments .

        Unicorn Riot has obtained the small HackBack announcement text released exclusively in Spanish, described as “Desde las montañas del Sureste Cibernético” (‘From the mountains of the Cyber Southeast’). It bills itself as a “HackBack” DIY guide for “Una guía DIY para robar bancos” (‘A DIY guide for robbing banks.’) The announcement begins with a tongue-in-cheek dedication to “Subcowmandante Marcos” with an ASCII text-styled pipe-smoking cow referring to former Zapatista spokesperson Subcomandante Marcos.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Sycophant Jon Voight to Receive National Medal of Arts

        Jon Voight thinks Donald Trump is “the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln,” which is probably reason enough for the praise-hungry president to give the star of movies like “Midnight Cowboy,” “Coming Home” and “Deliverance” the National Medal of Arts. Once an annual tradition, Trump hasn’t found anyone he deems sufficiently worthy (or sufficiently worshipful), since his 2017 inauguration, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

      • Trump’s Child Separation Policy “Absolutely” Violated International Law Says UN Expert

        The way the Trump administration was “separating infants from their families only in order to deter irregular migration from Central America to the United States of America, for me, constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment.”

      • House Impeachment Investigators Probing Whether Trump Lied to Mueller

        “The House is trying to determine whether the current president should remain in office. This is unbelievably serious and it’s happening right now, very fast.”

      • Deputy head of Russia’s penitentiary system reportedly resigns after criticizing press policy changes

        Valery Maximenko, the deputy head of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), has reportedly submitted a resignation letter. The outlets Daily Storm and RBC both learned of the resignation from anonymous sources and said it was related to the arrival of a new director, Alexander Kalashnikov, at FSIN.

      • ‘Fear of Victory’ for Sanders or Warren in 2020 Driving Bloomberg and Patrick Bids, Say Progressive Critics

        “There’s clearly anxiety from parts of the Democratic Party establishment and donor class about becoming a party that is unapologetic about taking on oligarchs, whether they’re Donald Trump or Jeff Bezos.”

      • Fighting Corruption Worldwide
      • The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Shock Therapy and the Rise of Trump

        The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago. It was one of the few unambiguously joyous moments in modern history. This popular, nonviolent explosion of dissent effectively toppled East Germany’s despotic regime. And it signaled, if only symbolically, the end of the Cold War that had divided Europe for nearly half a century.

      • Another Death Penalty Horror: Stark Disparities in Media and Activist Attention

        On November 12, intrepid abolitionist Sister Helen Prejean tweeted to her legions of followers: “What do Sen. Ted Cruz, Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and me all have in common? We’re among a growing local and national movement asking Texas @GovAbbott to stop the scheduled Nov. 20 execution of #RodneyReed[.]”

      • Stefanik Stands By Her Man and Roger Stone Gets Convicted on All Counts: Impeachment Day Two

        The myth that the United States is a nation of laws provides the context for Friday’s hearings, if not for the entire process. The most obvious irony is that this occurs while lawless acts by the president of this nation of laws are being discussed. It is the trumpist belief that Trump either did nothing illegal or that even if he did, it doesn’t matter because he is president, As this process moves forward, it becomes clearer that many trumpists have little understanding of what is illegal. This is more than apparent just in their demands to name the whistleblower, which would be a blatant violation of the law should someone do so. Never mind their obfuscation of the particulars in Trump and Giuliani’s actions. Or, as far as the US government goes, the criminality of its foreign policy. The question in the Capitol is not, nor will it likely ever be, a question of who the nation’s laws serve. However, how those laws are enforced will become clearer as the process continues. If Trump and his co-conspirators get away with this, then it will certainly be clear who the nation’s laws do not apply to.

      • #SayHerName, Impeachment, and a Hawk

        I was thinking about impeachment when a bird fell out of the sky.

      • Andrew Yang’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Tech Policy

        Andrew Yang has been a bit of a surprise Presidential candidate this year, and is often described as a former “tech exec” or “Silicon Valley’s presidential candidate”. The “tech exec” claim seems a bit exaggerated, as he was a lawyer, and then ran a test prep company before a non-profit. Still, he got lots of attention for being a bit wonky and at least speaking the language of tech. His main claim to fame has been to support Universal Basic Income of $1,000/month which is a popular idea here in Silicon Valley.

      • American Oblivion

        Nearly two hundred years ago the Russian diplomat and poet Fyodor Tyuchev wrote a poem that helps describe how Donald Trump and his associates impact all of life. The poem “The Vision (Videnie)” (1828) begins with four lines about a starry night when “the living chariot of the universe rolls openly into the sanctuary of the heavens.” But then the “night thickens, like chaos on the waters, and oblivion, like Atlas, crushes the earth [Bespamiatstvo, kak Atlas, davit sushu].” President Trump and many of his associates display ingrained habits of deception as well as bespamiatstvo—literally “without memory” or oblivion, the “state of being forgotten.” Tyutchev offers an apt description for the effect upon us of the flagrant deceptions of Trump and his team. A blizzard of lies, falling incessantly upon the public discourse and infecting our imaginations, makes truth itself a suspect. Bespamiatstvo threatens to crush and obliterate all that is sharp and clear in our minds.

      • U.S. Angers Palestinians With Reversal on Israeli Settlements

        The Trump administration on Monday softened the U.S. position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, reversing four decades of American policy and further undermining the effort to gain Palestinian statehood.

      • Trump ‘Pandering to His Extremist Base’ on Israeli Settlements, Says Bernie Sanders

        Sanders was one of a number of critics who saw the Monday announcement that the White House won’t treat the settlements as illegal as another attack on the Palestinian people. 

      • ‘There Is No More Two-State Solution’: Trump Administration to Further Soften Opposition to West Bank Settlements

        “How the hell is it possible for the U.S. policy to be any softer?”

      • Michael Lynk’s UN Report on Israeli Settlements Speaks the Truth, But the World Refuses to Listen

        He’s a very tall man with bright eyes and a broad smile, and he holds out a great paw when he greets you. But Michael Lynk is no gentle giant.

      • Unpacking Media Propaganda About Bolivia’s Election

        To endorse the coup in Bolivia, numerous editorials in major US media outlets paint President Evo Morales as undemocratic. Exhibit A in their case is the Organization of American States’ (OAS) claims that there was fraud in the October 20 Bolivian election in which Morales was elected for a fourth term. They also argue that he should not have been allowed to run again in the first place.

      • Whose News Literacy?

        In schools and campuses across the country, tens of thousands of students are in the midst of media and news literacy courses.

      • Klobuchar unveils plan to secure elections as president

        In her plan, Klobuchar, who is a longtime advocate in the Senate for election security efforts, zeroed in on improving the transparency of political ads on social media, combating disinformation, and promoting cybersecurity.

        Key parts of the strategy include Klobuchar’s intention to issue an executive order that would bolster government-wide cybersecurity efforts, and launch a “cabinet-level taskforce” that would coordinate across federal agencies and with state and local governments to better address cyber threats to elections.

        Klobuchar would also require states to use paper ballots as a way to prevent cyber tampering with the vote, and set “strong cybersecurity standards” for voting infrastructure.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Ramzan Kadyrov says he was merely articulating Chechen ethics when he advocated the murder of ‘Internet gossips’ earlier this month

        Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, has offered a public explanation of a speech he made earlier this month, where he advocated the murder, imprisonment, and harassment of people who “spread rumors” online. While visiting a construction site in Grozny, Kadyrov spoke in Chechen in an interview aired on local state television. The website Caucasian Knot later published a translation into Russian.

      • Why Iran shut down the [Internet] this weekend

        The government shut down [Internet] access across the nation of 80 million people to staunch demonstrations that took place in a reported 100 cities and towns. That made it increasingly difficult to gauge whether unrest continued. Images published by state and semiofficial media showed the scale of the damage in images of burned gas stations and banks, torched vehicles and roadways littered with debris.

      • Iran Blocks Internet for 3rd Day as Death Toll From Protests Rises to Eight

        “This is essentially a near-total blackout,” Alp Toker said. “There are a few ([Internet]) routes out (of the country), but these are very technical right now, so it’s not practical to circumvent these measures for most people.” Toker said some technically savvy Iranians might be able to get web access using a fixed line or broadband connection rather than a mobile device.

        The [Internet] outage has made it difficult for Iranians to share protest images and information with each other and the outside world. The demonstrations erupted in response to the government abruptly raising the subsidized price of gas by 50% early Friday.

      • Democrats are not “censoring” Donald Trump — his increasingly desperate staff is doing that

        Except for maybe one person’s attention. The obvious purpose is to keep Trump busy so he doesn’t get into trouble, a management style familiar to any parent of toddlers. Frankly, it’s a smart move, as Trump’s behavior last Friday showed. Even on Fox Business, which has been fiercely pro-Trump, a host cracked and said that his Twitter behavior “makes him look like a big dumb baby” and draws more attention to the hearings than if he could just sit still with his coloring book like a big boy.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Supreme Court’s Warrant Requirement For Cell Site Location Info Apparently Killed Another Domestic Surveillance Program

        Oh, guess what? The NSA has ended another third party data collection — one it hopefully ended right after the Supreme Court’s Carpenter decision was released. Spencer Ackerman fills in the details at the Daily Beast.

      • France embraces facial recognition tech

        Civil rights groups worry France is taking a step toward a surveillance state. It is about to become the first European Union country to introduce facial recognition software for government services.

      • Inside Facebook’s efforts to stop revenge porn before it spreads

        In November 2017, Facebook launched a pilot in Australia inviting users to pre-emptively send the company their nude or intimate images. The idea was that Facebook could then block any attempts to distribute those images on the platform without the subject’s consent.

      • Facebook’s Anti-Revenge Porn Tools Failed to Protect Katie Hill

        Later that year, Facebook piloted a program in which anyone could securely share their nude photos with Facebook to preemptively hash and automatically block. At the time, the proposal was met with some incredulity, but the company says it received positive feedback from victims and announced the program’s expansion in March. The same day, Facebook also said that it would deploy machine learning and artificial intelligence to proactively detect near-nude images being shared without permission, which could help protect people who aren’t aware their photos leaked or aren’t able to report it. (Facebook’s policy against nonconsensual porn extends to outside links where photos are published, but a spokesperson says that those instances usually have to be reported and reviewed first.) The company now has a team of about 25 dedicated to the problem, according to a report by NBC News published Monday.

      • Senate Democrats unveil priorities for federal privacy bill

        Legislation built on the Democrats’ stated priorities would limit how much sensitive information tech companies are allowed to collect on their millions of U.S. users, require companies to audit whether their algorithms result in unintended discrimination against minorities and vulnerable populations, and allow users to sue companies that do not protect their privacy rights.

      • Democrats request info on Google-Ascension partnership

        Four Democratic leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday sent letters to Google and Ascension requesting briefings and information related to the search giant’s partnership with the health system.

        The committee chair and heads of three relevant subcommittees requested briefings on the data partnership, codenamed project Nightingale, by Dec. 6.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The FCC Is About to Raise Billions. Congress Should Invest it in Fiber Infrastructure

        FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has announced his plans to begin freeing up valuable airwaves within the C-Band, a part of the spectrum—the radio frequencies that our cell carriers, television stations, and others use to transmit services—historically used for satellite television. Once freed, the spectrum would be auctioned and used for 5G and other advanced wireless services. The FCC is making the right call here. This announcement puts the public interest ahead of the desires of the few private actors currently occupying the spectrum, who sought to leverage the hype around 5G to enrich themselves at the public’s expense.

        Their proposal, known as the C-Band Alliance proposal, attempted to argue that the nation’s 5G coverage would benefit if they engaged in a private sale of public property, because it would be faster than the FCC conducting a public auction. But limited spectrum is not the main bottleneck to 5G deployment right now. What national 5G coverage lacks right now is dense fiber networks across the country to support high-speed wireless.

      • Apathy Isn’t A Business Model: Major US Telcos Teeter Toward Bankruptcy

        For more than a decade we’ve noted how the US broadband industry’s biggest problem is a lack of healthy competition. In countless markets consumers either have the choice of a terrible phone company or a cable giant. The nation’s phone companies have spent the last decade refusing to upgrade (or in some cases even repair) their aging DSL lines, because they don’t see residential broadband as worth their while. That in turn is giving giants like Comcast and Spectrum an ever greater monopoly in many markets, reducing the already muted incentive to compete on price or shore up comically terrible customer service.

      • ICA asks ICANN to block .Org private equity deal in damning letter

        Internet Commerce Association is asking domain overseer ICANN to block the sale of the .Org registry to Ethos Capital.

        It sent a damning letter (pdf) to ICANN today that states what many observers are thinking. In part: [...]

      • Courts Shoot Down Another Barrier to Community Broadband

        Connecticut this week was the latest state to shoot down industry-backed barriers preventing your town or city from building its own broadband networks, even if nobody else will.

        Across the U.S., countless towns and cities either have no broadband at all, or are stuck with just one over-priced [Internet] service provider (ISP). A lack of serious competition means ISPs often have no incentive to expand or improve their networks, and revolving door regulators ensure government usually won’t pressure them to try harder.

        In response, more than 750 U.S. communities have started building their own locally-owned broadband networks, despite the industry’s near-constant effort to undermine them.

    • Monopolies

      • Economics and IP: the good, the bad and the ugly (and a request for reader feedback)?

        IP rights have expanded, despite the findings of economic analysis. Trade agreements have slowly but surely extended the footprint of IP rights. Countries that primarily import, rather than export, IP may not benefit from IP regimes, which strengthen rights and increase enforcement domestically.

        Dubious but successful copyright claims increase the cost of creating new content. Rightholders’ questionable efforts to protect their interests in the wonderful new cyberworld have had a chilling effect on research communities (e.g. Volkswagen versus Garcia.) Expanding IP tends to benefit the fortunate few, whereas economics – in theory – supports changes that benefit the many.

        Similarly, some copyright policy recommendations have not come to fruition, despite the economic arguments. Unable to empirically prove a lack of harm – something that is nigh impossible to do – the UK government was forced to quash a Hargreaves-recommended policy that permitted private copying. Thankfully, though, my hope was not completely misplaced, as economically justifiable policy changes have been implemented, including the UK orphan works and parody, character and pastiche copyright exceptions. The sky has not since fallen, as the economic evidence predicted.

        The last decade has seen continued hostility from parts of the IP community towards economics, with various criticisms that economics is anti-IP, or cannot and should not attempt, to analyse the legal complexities of IP. A keynote speaker at a legal seminar proposed economics should be relegated to Room 101 (the Ministry of Love’s torture chamber in Goerge Orwell’s novel “1984″.) Salacious suggestions aside, a general theme has been incredulity and scepticism of economic findings.

        The IP rightsholder community is, unsurprisingly, not a fan of economics as most of the economics research argues that IP rights are too strong. One of my personal claims to fame is that a prominent copyright stakeholder said, “what the f@@k was that?”, following my presentation on business models.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • En Banc at the Federal Circuit

          In American Axle, the patent is at issue, U.S. Patent 7,774,911, relates to “automotive driveshafts used in pickup trucks — claiming “novel and unconventional methods of manufacturing improved driveshafts that include ‘liners’—low cost, hollow tubes made of a fibrous material (such as cardboard).” Petition. The courts found the claims ineligible as directed to “Hooke’s law, and possibly other natural laws.”

        • CRISPR Motions Day at the PTAB: Broad Files Its Substantive Motion No. 2

          October 14th was a busy day at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) for the current interference over CRISPR technology (No. 106,115). The Junior Party (the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Vienna; and Emmanuelle Charpentier; collectively, “CVC”) filed its Substantive Motion No. 1 for priority benefit to its application No. 61/652,086, and its Opposition to the Senior Party’s (the Broad Institute, Harvard University and MIT) Substantive Motion No. 1. The Broad for its part filed three additional substantive motions (Contingent Motion No. 2 to substitute the count; No. 3 to designate claims as not corresponding to the count; and No. 4, for priority benefit to the Broad’s application No. 61/736,528). This post will discuss The Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 2; future posts will review the remaining Broad motions and CVC’s Substantive Motion No. 1.

      • Copyrights

        • ‘Royalty-Free’ Music Supplied By YouTube Results in Mass Video Demonetization

          A YouTuber who used a royalty-free track supplied by YouTube itself has had all of his videos copyright claimed by companies including SonyATV and Warner Chappell. According to the music outfits, Matt Lownes’ use the use of the track ‘Dreams’ by Joakim Karud means that they are now entitled to all of his revenue.

        • Federal Court Approves First ‘Pirate’ Site Blockade in Canada

          A group of major broadcasters and telco giants, including Rogers and Bell, have obtained the first Canadian pirate site blocking order. The Federal Court approved a request that requires several major ISPs to block access to domains and IP-addresses of the pirate IPTV service GoldTV. The order paves the way for a broader site blocking push, that may target traditional pirate sites as well.

        • Music Collection Org: Revenues Are Booming… And That’s Proof Why We Need Even More Draconian Copyright Laws

          As we showed earlier this year in our latest Sky Is Rising report, revenue in the entertainment industry continues to shoot upwards — and not because of draconian new anti-piracy laws, but almost entirely because of successful innovations from internet companies that have opened up massive new markets for content creators. You’d think that maybe this would make some copyright system supporters think twice about continuing to push for expansionary copyright policies that are likely to hamstring the very internet services that have provided them this windfall, but that would be expecting self-reflection from an industry famous for blaming everyone else for everything that has ever gone wrong.

Links 19/11/2019: HPC Focus and LibreOffice 6.4 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 1:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Firmware

      • Google To Require “Designed For Chromebook” Devices Support Fwupd Firmware Updates

        Hughes shared the anecdote about the Fwupd requirement in this blog post while out of frustration also outlining how device manufacturers should work with him in Fwupd support for their products. That includes either specification or code access under a compatible license and without NDAs, the need for hardware access, understanding of device versioning, and other requirements.

      • Google and fwupd sitting in a tree

        I’ve been told by several sources (but not by Google directly, heh) that from Christmas onwards the “Designed for ChromeBook” sticker requires hardware vendors to use fwupd rather than random non-free binaries. This does make a lot of sense for Google, as all the firmware flash tools I’ve seen the source for are often decades old, contain layer-on-layers of abstractions, have dubious input sanitisation and are quite horrible to use. Many are setuid, which doesn’t make me sleep well at night, and I suspect the security team at Google also. Most vendor binaries are built for the specific ODM hardware device, and all of them but one doesn’t use any kind of source control or formal review process.

        The requirement from Google has caused mild panic among silicon suppliers and ODMs, as they’re having to actually interact with an open source upstream project and a slightly grumpy maintainer that wants to know lots of details about hardware that doesn’t implement one of the dozens of existing protocols that fwupd supports. These are companies that have never had to deal with working with “outside” people to develop software, and it probably comes as quite a shock to the system. To avoid repeating myself these are my basic rules when adding support for a device with a custom protocol in fwupd:

        I can give you advice on how to write the plugin if you give me the specifications without signing an NDA, and/or the existing code under a LGPLv2+ license. From experience, we’ll probably not end up using any of your old code in fwupd but the error defines and function names might be similar, and I don’t anyone to get “tainted” from looking at non-free code, so it’s safest all round if we have some reference code marked with the right license that actually compiles on Fedora 31. Yes, I know asking the legal team about releasing previously-nonfree code with a GPLish licence is difficult.

      • Matthew Garrett: Extending proprietary PC embedded controller firmware

        I’m still playing with my X210, a device that just keeps coming up with new ways to teach me things. I’m now running Coreboot full time, so the majority of the runtime platform firmware is free software. Unfortunately, the firmware that’s running on the embedded controller (a separate chip that’s awake even when the rest of the system is asleep and which handles stuff like fan control, battery charging, transitioning into different power states and so on) is proprietary and the manufacturer of the chip won’t release data sheets for it. This was disappointing, because the stock EC firmware is kind of annoying (there’s no hysteresis on the fan control, so it hits a threshold, speeds up, drops below the threshold, turns off, and repeats every few seconds – also, a bunch of the Thinkpad hotkeys don’t do anything) and it would be nice to be able to improve it.

        A few months ago someone posted a bunch of fixes, a Ghidra project and a kernel patch that lets you overwrite the EC’s code at runtime for purposes of experimentation. This seemed promising. Some amount of playing later and I’d produced a patch that generated keyboard scancodes for all the missing hotkeys, and I could then use udev to map those scancodes to the keycodes that the thinkpad_acpi driver would generate. I finally had a hotkey to tell me how much battery I had left.

        But something else included in that post was a list of the GPIO mappings on the EC. A whole bunch of hardware on the board is connected to the EC in ways that allow it to control them, including things like disabling the backlight or switching the wifi card to airplane mode. Unfortunately the ACPI spec doesn’t cover how to control GPIO lines attached to the embedded controller – the only real way we have to communicate is via a set of registers that the EC firmware interprets and does stuff with.

    • Server

      • Cumulus Networks unveils updates to its Linux OS and NetQ

        Cumulus Networks announced on Monday that it has released Cumulus Linux 4.0, which is its network operating system (OS), and version 2.4 of its NetQ network operations toolset.

        Cumulus Networks’ Partho Mishra, president and chief product officer, said Cumulus Linux 4.0 and NetQ 2.4 are key elements in the company’s ongoing efforts to enable its customers’ automation efforts across data centers and campus networks.

        “From a solutions standpoint, our focus has been on developing automation and the capabilities that our customers are going after to make their data centers run like an AWS or Google,” Mishra said. “The biggest thing they focus on is automation and they’ve made big strides working with us and using their own resources.”

      • Cumulus Linux 4.0 and NetQ 2.4 Announced

        Cumulus Networks has announced the most recent version of Cumulus Linux 4.0 and NetQ 2.4, promising its most feature-rich release to date. Last month, the company extended this software stack to campus networks. The latest version includes new support for the switch silicon, EVPN implementation for L2/L3 connectivity, increased visibility and troubleshooting with a NetQ cloud-based deployment model, comprehensive end-to-end network automation, and a single fabric across data center and campus networking environments. Last month, Cumulus Linux and NetQ for enterprises were extended to Campus Networks.

      • The world’s fastest supercomputers hit higher speeds than ever with Linux

        Yes, there’s a lot of talk now about how quantum computers can do jobs in 200 seconds that would take the world’s fastest supercomputers 10,000 years. That’s nice. But the simple truth is, for almost all jobs, supercomputers are faster than anything else on the planet. And, in the latest Top 500 supercomputer ratings, the average speed of these Linux-powered racers is now an astonishing 1.14 petaflops.

        The fastest of the fast machines haven’t changed since the June 2019 Top 500 supercomputer list. Leading the way is Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Summit system, which holds top honors with an HPL result of 148.6 petaflops. This is an IBM-built supercomputer using Power9 CPUs and NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs.

      • Exploring AMD’s Ambitious ROCm Initiative

        Three years ago, AMD released the innovative ROCm hardware-accelerated, parallel-computing environment [1] [2]. Since then, the company has continued to refine its bold vision for an open source, multiplatform, high-performance computing (HPC) environment. Over the past three years, ROCm developers have contributed many new features and components to the ROCm open software platform.

        ROCm is a universal platform for GPU-accelerated computing. A modular design lets any hardware vendor build drivers that support the ROCm stack [3]. ROCm also integrates multiple programming languages and makes it easy to add support for other languages. ROCm even provides tools for porting vendor-specific CUDA code into a vendor-neutral ROCm format, which makes the massive body of source code written for CUDA available to AMD hardware and other hardware environments.

      • High-Performance Python – GPUs

        When GPUs became available, C code via CUDA, a parallel computing platform and programming model developed by Nvidia for GPUs, was the logical language of choice. Since then, Python has become the tool of choice for machine learning, deep learning, and, to some degree, scientific code in general.

        Not long after the release of CUDA, the Python world quickly created tools for use with GPUs. As with new technologies, a plethora of tools emerged to integrate Python with GPUs. For some time, the tools and libraries were adequate, but soon they started to show their age. The biggest problem was incompatibility.

        If you used a tool to write code for the GPU, no other tools could read or use the data on the GPU. After making computations on the GPU with one tool, the data had to be copied back to the CPU. Then a second tool had to copy the data from the CPU to the GPU before commencing its computations. The data movement between the CPU and the GPU really affected overall performance. However, these tools and libraries allowed people to write functions that worked with Python.

        In this article, I discuss the Python GPU tools that are being actively developed and, more importantly, likely to interoperate. Some tools don’t need to know CUDA for GPU code, and other tools do need to know CUDA for custom Python kernels.

      • Porting CUDA to HIP

        You’ve invested money and time in writing GPU-optimized software with CUDA, and you’re wondering if your efforts will have a life beyond the narrow, proprietary hardware environment supported by the CUDA language.

        Welcome to the world of HIP, the HPC-ready universal language at the core of AMD’s all-open ROCm platform [1]. You can use HIP to write code once and compile it for either the Nvidia or AMD hardware environment. HIP is the native format for AMD’s ROCm platform, and you can compile it seamlessly using the open source HIP/​Clang compiler. Just add CUDA header files, and you can also build the program with CUDA and the NVCC compiler stack (Figure 1).

      • OpenMP – Coding Habits and GPUs

        When first using a new programming tool or programming language, it’s always good to develop some good general habits. Everyone who codes with OpenMP directives develops their own habits – some good and some perhaps not so good. As this three-part OpenMP series finishes, I highlight best practices from the previous articles that can lead to good habits.

        Enamored with new things, especially those that drive performance and scalability, I can’t resist throwing a couple more new directives and clauses into the mix. After covering these new directives and clauses, I will briefly discuss OpenMP and GPUs. This pairing is fairly recent, and compilers are still catching up to the newer OpenMP standards, but it is important for you to understand that you can run OpenMP code on targeted offload devices (e.g., GPUs).

      • News and views on the GPU revolution in HPC and Big Data:

        Exploring AMD’s Ambitious ROCm Initiative
        Porting CUDA to HIP
        Python with GPUs
        OpenMP – Coding Habits and GPUs

      • Exascale meets hyperscale: How high-performance computing is transitioning to cloud-like environments

        Twice a year the high-performance computing (HPC) community anxiously awaits the announcement of the latest edition of the Top500 list, cataloging the most powerful computers on the planet. The excitement of a supercomputer breaking the coveted exascale barrier and moving into the top position typically overshadows the question of which country will hold the record. As it turned out, the top 10 systems on the November 2019 Top500 list are unchanged from the previous revision with Summit and Sierra still holding #1 and #2 positions, respectively. Despite the natural uncertainty around the composition of the Top500 list, there is little doubt about software technologies that are helping to reshape the HPC landscape. Starting at the International Supercomputing conference earlier this year, one of the technologies leading this charge is containerization, lending further credence to how traditional enterprise technologies are influencing the next generation of supercomputing applications.

        Containers are borne out of Linux, the operating system underpinning Top500 systems. Because of that, the adoption of container technologies has gained momentum and many supercomputing sites already have some portion of their workflows containerized. As more supercomputers are being used to run artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications to solve complex problems in science– including disciplines like astrophysics, materials science, systems biology, weather modeling and cancer research, the focus of the research is transitioning from using purely computational methods to AI-accelerated approaches. This often requires the repackaging of applications and restaging the data for easier consumption, where containerized deployments are becoming more and more important.

      • AMD Announces Radeon Open Compute ROCm 3.0

        AMD just sent out their press release for SuperComputing 19 week in Denver. It turns out being released for SC19 is the latest major iteration of Radeon Open Compute, ROCm 3.0.

        AMD’s press release mentions ROCm 3.0 being released though as of writing it has yet to appear via the ROCm repositories on GitHub. Once the actual drop happens, I’ll certainly be writing about it and digging deeper into the other changes in full.

      • NVIDIA Releasing Reference Design For Stuffing Their GPUs Into Arm Servers

        NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announced from SC19 today in Denver that they are releasing a “reference design” of hardware and software to help in deployments of their graphics processors within Arm-based servers focused on HPC and AI.

        This isn’t too surprising considering NVIDIA’s past forays into ARM-based servers for HPC/AI and it was just a few months ago NVIDIA said they would be supporting CUDA on ARM Linux for HPC servers. NVIDIA has already been supporting their software for ARM-based SoCs for years as well considering their Tegra platform and Linux 4 Tegra (L4T).

      • HPE launches container platform, aims to be 100% open source Kubernetes

        Hewlett Packard Enterprise launched its HPE Container Platform, a Kubernetes container system designed to run both cloud and on-premises applications.

        On the surface, HPE Container Platform will face an uphill climb as all the top cloud providers have Kubernetes management tools and instances and IBM with Red Hat has a big foothold for hybrid cloud deployments and the container management that goes with it.

        HPE, which recently outlined a plan to make everything a service, is betting that the HPE Container Platform can differentiate itself based on two themes. First, HPE is pledging that its container platform will be 100% open source Kubernetes compared to other systems that have altered Kubernetes. In addition, HPE Container Platform will be able to run across multiple environments and provide one management layer.

      • IBM

        • Virtio-networking: first series finale and plans for 2020

          Let’s take a short recap of the Virtio-networking series that we’ve been running the past few months. We’ve covered a lot of ground! Looking at this series from a high level, let’s revisit some of the topics we covered:


          For those who didn’t crack and made it all the way here, we hope this series helped you clarify the dark magic of virtio and low-level networking both in the Linux kernel and in DPDK.

        • Inside the Book of Red Hat

          Shared stories are the cornerstone of community. And in open organizations like Red Hat—where community is paramount—shared stories are especially important to the collective identity that binds participants together.

          At Red Hat, we’re quite fond of the stories that inform our shared history, purpose, and culture. We’ve just collected some of them in a new version of the Book of Red Hat, which is available now.

          Here are just three of the community-defining moments the book recounts.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The System76 Superfan III Event: Gardiner and Jay Chat About Their AWESOME Experience There

        The System76 Superfan III event occurred on November 16th, 2019 and it was a ton of fun! Gardiner Bryant and I talk about our experience there, some of the things they revealed, and other geeky topics around System76 and their computers

      • 2019-11-18 | Linux Headlines

        The Oracle vs. Google copyright case goes to the Supreme Court, NextCry attacks Nextcloud servers, Chromebooks prepare to use LVFS, and Debian takes the systemd debate to the next level.

      • Things are Looking Pod-tastic | Fall Time Blathering

        I started to produce some video content on YouTube and this site to enhance some of my content and later, I thought I would cut my teeth on a podcast of my own to talk about the nerdy things I enjoy. My reoccurring topics consist of my additional thoughts about a subject or two of the last BDLL show and an openSUSE corner but truth be told, openSUSE weaves itself throughout my “noodlings”.

        In September of 2019, the formation of Destination Linux Network was announced where these well established content creators have pooled their resources to draw together their somewhat discrete communities and provide a forum for interaction in greater depth than what Telegram, Discord or YouTube can provide on their own.

      • Test and Code: 94: The real 11 reasons I don’t hire you – Charity Majors

        If you get the job, and you enjoy the work, awesome, congratulations.

        If you don’t get the job, it’d be really great to know why.

        Sometimes it isn’t because you aren’t a skilled engineer.

        What other reasons are there?

        Well, that’s what we’re talking about today.

        Charity Majors is the cofounder and CTO of Honeycomb.io, and we’re going to talk about reasons for not hiring someone.

        This is a very informative episode both for people who job hunt in the future and for hiring managers and people on the interview team.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 4.9.202

        I’m announcing the release of the 4.9.202 kernel.

        All users of the 4.9 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 4.9.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.9.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:


      • Linux 4.4.202
      • Linux Kernel 5.4 to Arrive on November 24th as Linus Torvalds Releases Last RC

        Last week, Linus Torvalds was considering if there’s need for an eighth Release Candidate (RC) for the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel series, which is only needed on very busy development cycles, but while things were quite calm he still released the RC8 milestone just to make sure everything is in place and working out-of-the-box because more testing never hurts.

        “I’m not entirely sure we need an rc8, because last week was pretty calm despite the Intel hw workarounds landing. So I considered just making a final 5.4 and be done with it, but decided that there’s no real downside to just doing the rc8 after having a release cycle that took a while to calm down,” said Linus Torvalds in a mailing list announcement.

      • HP Linux Imaging & Printing Drivers Now Supported on Ubuntu 19.10 and Fedora 31

        The HP Linux Imaging and Printing 3.19.11 software stack is now available to download and it brings support for several new HP printers and scanners, including HP Color LaserJet MFP M776dn, HP Color LaserJet Flow MFP M776z, HP Color LaserJet Flow MFP M776zs, HP Color LaserJet M856dn, HP Color LaserJet M856x, and HP Color LaserJet E85055dn.

        But what’s more important in this new HPLIP release is the fact that users can now install the drivers for their HP printers and scanners on several new GNU/Linux distributions, such as Canonical’s Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine), Fedora Project’s Fedora 31, and Manjaro Linux 18.1.0. Of course, the drivers are only supported on 64-bit versions of these operating systems.

      • Summaries of Some Microconferences Released

        We know everyone is still waiting for the videos. Unfortunately, we?re
        having a small production glitch, so until we can release them, several
        MC leads have now sent us written summaries of their MCs which you can
        see here:

        Tracing microconference
        You, Me and IoT microconference
        Live Patching microconference
        Open Printing microconference
        Databases microconference
        Scheduler microconference
        VFIO/IOMMU/PCI microconference
        Power Management and Thermal Control microconference

      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan 1.1.128 Released With Performance Query Extension

          Vulkan 1.1.128 is out with various corrections and clarifications to this graphics/compute API specification but it also comes with one exciting new extension.

          The new extension that is quite notable for Vulkan 1.1.128 is VK_KHR_performance_query. This KHR-ratified extension is the first cross-vendor extension in Vulkan for the querying of any performance counters on the hardware. We are used to seeing various performance counter extensions within Vulkan (and other APIs like OpenGL) but they tend to be vendor-specific extensions tailored towards their own individual needs.

    • Benchmarks

      • A Linux Performance Look At AMD’s 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X

        We’ve expanded our Linux test suite since the last CPU performance review. Every scenario, from compiling to rendering, has been expanded to help us get a fuller look at performance overall. Not all workloads are built alike, and the same can be said about the CPUs themselves. It’s never safe to take the opinion of a single test and expect everything to scale the same way.

        AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X is the first mid-range desktop processor to offer sixteen cores, something that comes at a price-point that definitely doesn’t feel mid-range: $749. With the last generation, both AMD and Intel offered no larger than an eight-core chip in their respective mid-range lineups. AMD shook things up this generation with the release of the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X in the summer. We’ve known about the 3950X since then, so to say that it’s been a long time coming would be an understatement.

        When the first Zen 2 chips released, their Linux experience left a lot to be desired. The popular systemd service manager failed to boot until a workaround patch was released. On Windows, Destiny 2 fans on Zen 2 fell victim to the same bug. Fortunately, that was many months ago, and with the most up-to-date AGESA firmware, issues like those are hopefully a thing of the past.

    • Applications

      • nuclear – desktop music player focused on free streaming

        Linux has an abundance of mouthwatering array of excellent open source music players. But I’m always on the look out for fresh and newfangled music players.

        nuclear lets you stream music over the internet. It offers easy access to YouTube, SoundCloud, and Jamendo (the latter with partial support), and there’s a plugin system to add additional services. It therefore seeks to offer a unified music environment for managing music content.

        nuclear is an Electron based application written in the JavaScript programming language. It features hardware acceleration (using your GPU).

      • Kodi 18.5 ‘Leia’ available to download now!

        It’s been a couple of months since the Kodi Foundation released a new version of its hugely popular home theater software.

        After spending some time in the pre-release section, Kodi 18.5 is now finally deemed ready for all.

        As you might expect from a point release, there are no new features here, but rather the focus is on squashing bugs and improving stability and performance.

        The team hasn’t published a list of the main changes yet, but multiple issues have been addressed in this new build, with fixes for interface problems, tweaks to the PVR component, and more.

      • Kodi 19 ‘Matrix’ with Python 3 now available to download, but be warned
      • forgit: Interactive Git Commands With Previews Powered By fzf Fuzzy Finder

        forgit is a command line utility that takes advantage of the popular fzf fuzzy finder to provide interactive git commands, with previews.

        New to fzf? This is a command line fuzzy finder that can be used for a wide range of purposes. This interactive command line filter can be used with various lists, like files, command history, processes, hostnames, git commits, and more.

        fzf is very fast, it’s portable with no dependencies (it’s written in Go), it has a flexible layout, and includes various extra features like the ability to preview highlighted files in a split window inside fzf (which is what forgit uses for its previewing files), a Vim/Neovim plugin, a script for launching fzf in a tmux pane, key bindings and fuzzy auto-completion.

      • QuiteRSS: 15.11.2019 – 8 years. Happy Birthday!

        Congratulations to those who spent days and nights to help us making application better. Congratulations to those who use it!

      • App Highlight: Flameshot for Taking and Editing Screenshots

        A lot of users want to simply upload their screenshots directly to the cloud in order to easily share it with others.

        You can do that by syncing your saved files to a cloud storage solution and share them later. But, that’s quite a few steps to follow in order to share your screenshot, right?

        So, here, Flameshot lets you upload your image directly to Imgur with a single click. All you have to do is share the URL.

        Do note that these uploads will not be associated with your Imgur account (if you have one) and will be only accessible to the ones with the link.

      • Proprietary

        • Overview of ycrash – finding the source of your problem

          Take a tour of ycrash in this article by Ram Lakshmanan. ycrash helps capture critical artifacts, including garbage collection logs, thread dumps, core dumps, heap dumps, disk usage, and more when the problem happens. It applies machine learning algorithms and generates a report which gives you a complete view of the problem, down to the lines of code that caused it.
          The industry has seen cutting edge application performance monitoring tools (AppDynamics, NewRelic, Dynatrace…), log analysis tools (DataDog, Splunk,…). These are great tools for detecting problems. i.e. they can detect CPU spiked by x%, memory degraded by y%, response time shot up by z seconds. But they don’t answer the question: Why has the CPU spiked up? Why has memory degraded? Why has the response time increased? You still need to engage developers/architects/vendors to troubleshoot the problem and identify the root cause of the problem.

          ycrash captures critical artifacts (GC logs, thread dumps, core dumps, heap dumps, netstat, vmstat, lsof, iostat, top, disk usage….) when the problem happens, applies machine learning algorithms, and generates one unified root cause analysis report. This report gives you a 360-degree view of the problem. The report points out the exact class, method, and line of code that caused the problem.

        • SAP HANA is now supported on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 15 SP1
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • CrossOver 19 Enters Beta With Better Microsoft Office Support On Linux

        CodeWeavers’ Jeremy White has announced that CrossOver 19 is now in beta for existing customers of this Wine-based software for running Windows programs on Linux and macOS.

        The biggest benefactor of CrossOver 19 is Apple macOS users with there being initial support for macOS Catalina. CrossOver/Wine needed a lot of changes to enable support for this newest version of macOS particularly for 32-bit Windows programs with Apple aiming to end 32-bit application support on their operating system.


        It’s been two weeks; we feel we owe everyone an update on our efforts to support 32 bit Windows applications on macOS Catalina, despite Apple’s decision to terminate support for 32 bit applications.

        I’m happy to announce that we have released the first beta version of CrossOver 19 on Friday, November 15, 2019 to our community of advocates and beta testers. Further, our alpha testing and other internal testing has gone well, so I am confident that we will have a final product ready before the end of the year.

    • Games

      • Valve Announcing Half-Life: Alyx VR Game On Thursday

        Valve has confirmed recent rumors around one of their new virtual reality games in development being Half-Life: Alyx.

        Valve tweeted out a short time ago that Half-Life: Alyx will be announced on Thursday. However, the VR game isn’t expected to ship until sometime in 2020.

      • Valve has now confirmed Half-Life: Alyx, their new VR flagship title

        Well, that was a little sooner than expected. Valve have now officially confirmed Half-Life is back with their VR title Half-Life: Alyx.

      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive releases the huge Operation Shattered Web update

        Not content with just announcing Half-Life: Alyx, their new VR flagship title, Valve also updated Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with a big new operation called Shattered Web.

        I have to admit, I’m really loving the humour from whoever has been running the CS:GO Twitter account lately. Earlier today they put up a poll on Twitter, asking what people preferred between a new Operation and a weapon nerf. They then quickly replied with “Loud and clear, Twitter. We’ll get started.” and then minutes later “OK, we’re done”—brilliant. Not great for me mind you, being in the UK the timings are never great with it now gone midnight but here I am…

      • Free indie RTS game The Fertile Crescent adds team game support for online play

        While you’ve been able to play 1 on 1 in single-player against the AI and online multi-player for a while with The Fertile Crescent, it was missing team games which have now been added.

        This currently free indie retro Age of Empires-like game is an absolute gem, already quite polished too. The addition of team games is awesome, although only currently available for online play. You can pick all sorts of combinations too like a free for all, 2on2 and 3v1 across a new larger map. Online play is easy though, as they already have a nice working lobby system.

      • Half-Life: Alyx is rumoured to be the name of Valve’s new VR game, apparently being unveiled soon

        Valve did say they were working on three VR titles some time ago and it looks like one is almost ready to be shown off, with Half-Life: Alyx.

        The information is all speculation and rumours right now though, so take it all with a heavy truckload of salt. We know a Half-Life VR game is pretty much a thing though, ValveNewsNetwork even had a video going over various details on it back in October so it’s not like this is suddenly coming out of nowhere.

        Now though, we have more apparent leaks. Spotted by PC Gamer, they linked to a pastebin and in a later update a Google Document (update: contents now removed, so link removed) apparently showing snippets from an interview between Geoff Keighley of The Game Awards, Robin Walker and someone else they presume to be Gabe Newell.

      • The surprisingly good deck-builder Fate Hunters has arrived on GOG

        Releasing originally back in July, Fate Hunters is another deck-building roguelike filled with random encounters and just recently it was released DRM-free on GOG.

        As a massive fan of Slay the Spire, I’m always in the mood for more deck-builders like this. While it is another game where you build a deck and battle through random locations, the actual gameplay feels nothing really like Slay the Spire.

      • Start your week off with a new game, here’s a few for Linux going cheap

        Another week, another sale of course. Let’s have a little look over what’s going cheap for Linux gamers across this week.

        First up on Steam we have Company of Heroes 2. Although the time to grab it free has ended, they’ve decided to now give it a big discount for anyone who missed it. You can get it on Steam with 75% off until November 24, plus a bunch of the DLC is also on sale.

      • Confessing my continued love for Jupiter Hell, the super slick roguelike

        Regular readers won’t be surprised by my love for Jupiter Hell, I’ve written about it a few times now and the latest update just continues to allow me to gush about it. Note: I personally supported it during the Kickstarter.

        It’s a roguelike, it’s turn-based like the classics and depends upon tiles yet it feels so vastly different to anything else it’s crazy. It feels like a proper action game, complete with a thick atmosphere and all. Absolutely gorgeous too, the lighting is absolutely fantastic and the barrel explosions sending everything flying looks excellent as well.

      • Stellaris is getting some big changes to empire customization and creation with Origins

        Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio are mixing things up in Stellaris again with the upcoming update and the Federations expansion.

        As usual for Paradox games, when a big DLC is released it will come with a massive feature patch for everyone to access. With Federations, which still has no release date, Paradox will be changing a big part of how you pick your empire with an Origins system.

      • Relaxing flying sim with a morphing bird ‘Fugl’ has a nice big update

        Moving you away from the blood, the bullets and whatever else all these actions games have with Fugl, a relaxing sim about flying around and appreciating life.

        No set goals, no timers, none of that. Just you and your choice of bird, flying around different biomes to find other creatures to interact with them. Once you do manage to find others, you can then unlock their special form for you to fly around with. It’s strange but very calming.

      • Google have now expanded the launch titles for Stadia up to 22

        Launching tomorrow for people who picked up the Founder and Premier editions, Stadia was originally only going to launch with 12 titles. Now this has expanded to 22!

        Announced by Google Vice President and GM, Phil Harrison, on Twitter with him then retweeting a list from Geoff Keighley to show the new titles. Now, it’s actually quite a bit more impressive and it seems Stadia Pro gains an extra game too with both Destiny 2 and Samurai Shodown.

      • 23-Way Graphics Card Comparison With Shadow of the Tomb Raider On Linux

        The Linux port of Shadow of the Tomb Raider basically recommends at least an AMD GCN 1.2 or newer graphics card or GeForce GTX 680 or newer, basically the bare requirements on Linux for having a Vulkan driver out-of-the-box. It should also be possible getting a GCN 1.0/1.1 graphics card working if opting to use the AMDGPU DRM driver rather than Radeon DRM as needed for Vulkan driver support. But Feral recommends at least a Radeon RX 480 Polaris graphics card for decent performance. Current Intel graphics are not fast enough to run this game on Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • IPFire Open-Source Linux Firewall Gets Improved and Faster QoS, Latest Updates

        IPFire 2.23 Core Update 137 is now available for download with improved Quality of Service (QoS), which allows the firewall to pass even more traffic on smaller systems, as well as reduce packet latency on faster machines, thus creating a faster and more responsive network. To take full advantage of the improved and faster QoS, the IPFire project recommends you reboot your systems after installing the new update.

        “Development around the Quality of Service and tackling some of the bugs required an exceptional amount of team effort in very short time and I am very happy that we are now able to deliver the result to you to improve your networks,” said Michael Tremer in the announcement. “It allows to pass a lot more traffic on smaller systems as well as reduces packet latency on faster ones to create a more responsive and faster network.”

      • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 138 released

        Just days after the last one, we are releasing IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 138. It addresses and mitigates recently announced vulnerabilities in Intel processors.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora Toolbox. Unprivileged development environment at maximum

          Fedora Toolbox is a tool for developing and debugging software that basically is a frontend to the Podman container system. A simple way to test applications without getting billions of dependencies and cluttering up your operating system.

          First, Podman (Pod Manager tool) is a daemon less container engine for developing, managing, and running OCI Containers on your Linux System. With Podman, you can manage pods, containers, and container images. You can consult (Podman.io) the official website to learn more about Podman and container tooling.

          Fedora Toolbox gives you a quick frontend to Podman and it also creates an interactive container based on your current system. Toolbox (actually, Fedora Toolbox is now just Toolbox) use is particularly useful for the development and testing environment.

        • Building Successful Products

          Building a new product is hard. Building a successful new product is even harder. And building a profitable new product is the greatest challenge! To make things even more interesting, the fundamental customer requirements for a product change as the product and market mature. The very things that are required for success in an early stage product will hinder or even prevent success later on.

          Markets, technologies and products go through a series of predictable stages. Understanding this evolution – and understanding what to do at each stage! – is vital for navigating the shoals of building a successful and profitable product.

        • Fedora Developers Looking To Change The Default Text Editor From Vi To Nano

          Fedora will be adding the Nano text editor to their default Fedora Workstation installs as complementary to Vi but their stakeholders intend to submit a system-wide proposal that would change the default installed editor from Vi to Nano.

          The Fedora Workstation flavor can add the Nano text editor by default to their spins without replacing it as the default terminal-based text editor, which is currently held by Vi. At today’s Fedora Workstation meeting they refrained from trying to change the default text editor just for Fedora Workstation and instead will issue a system-wide proposal to change it to Nano for all of Fedora’s spins.

        • Fedora shirts and sweatshirts from HELLOTUX

          Linux clothes specialist HELLOTUX from Europe recently signed an agreement with Red Hat to make embroidered Fedora t-shirts, polo shirts and sweatshirts. They have been making Debian, Ubuntu, openSUSE, and other Linux shirts for more than a decade and now the collection is extended to Fedora.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 10.2 Buster Linux distribution releases with the latest security and bug fixes

          Last week, the Debian team released Debian 10.2 as the latest point release to the “Buster” series. This release includes a number of bug fixes and security updates. In addition, starting this release Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) is no longer supported on the ARMEL variant of Debian.

        • Russell Coker: 4K Monitors

          I like having lots of terminal windows on my desktop. For common tasks I might need a few terminals open at a time and if I get interrupted in a task I like to leave the terminal windows for it open so I can easily go back to it. Having more 80*25 terminal windows on screen increases my productivity. My previous monitor was 2560*1440 which for years had allowed me to have a 4*4 array of non-overlapping terminal windows as well as another 8 or 9 overlapping ones if I needed more. 16 terminals allows me to ssh to lots of systems and edit lots of files in vi. Earlier this year I had found it difficult to read the font size that previously worked well for me so I had to use a larger font that meant that only 3*3 terminals would fit on my screen. Going from 16 non-overlapping windows and an optional 8 overlapping to 9 non-overlapping and an optional 6 overlapping is a significant difference. I could get a second monitor, and I won’t rule out doing so at some future time. But it’s not ideal.

        • SCP Foundation needs you!

          SCP is a mind-blowing, diverse, high-quality collection of writings and illustrations, all released under the CC-BY-SA free license.
          If you never read horror stories written with scientific style — have a try :)

          [obviously this has nothing to do with OpenSSH Secure CoPy ;)]

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter 605

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 605 for the week of November 10 – 16, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Putting to Rest the Free Software/FOSS Divide

        After Richard Stallman’s resignation from key positions in free software, many are suggesting that we have entered the post-Stallman age. It is still too early to understand what that might mean, if anything. Still, one question keeps reoccurring to me: without Stallman to constantly reinforce the habit, will the preference for the terms “GNU/Linux” and “free software” survive? And, either way, does the answer matter any more? Or will trends that have existed for over a decade simply continue, or maybe accelerate?

        Before you start lecturing me on points I’ve known for twenty years, I know all the arguments in favor of GNU/Linux and free software. I even agree with most of them. Yes, how a subject is framed matters. Yes, without contributions from the GNU Project the free operating system known as Linux would not have happened, or at least would have been seriously delayed. You’re right, too, that Stallman’s preferred terms highlighted politics and philosophy. But all this is old history. I am not writing about the past, nor even what should be. I am wondering what might happen in the next few years.

      • Events

        • Linux Applications Summit

          had the pleasure of going to the Linux Applications Summit last week in Barcelona. A week of talks and discussion about getting Linux apps onto people’s computers. It’s the third one of these summits but the first ones started out with a smaller scope (and located in the US) being more focused on Gnome tech, while this renamed summit was true cross-project collaboration.

          Oor Aleix here opening the conference (Gnome had a rep there too of course).

          It was great to meet with Heather here from Canonical’s desktop team who does Gnome Snaps, catching up with Alan and Igor from Canonical too was good to do.

        • [Adriaan de Groot] Linux Applications Summit

          The change-over from 17 degrees in Barcelona to 6 and gloomy in Amsterdam is considerable. This past week I was in Catalunya to participate in the Linux App Summit, a new gathering of applications developers looking to deliver applications on Linux to end-users.

          Of course I handed out Run BSD stickers.

          To a large extent the conference was filled with people from the KDE community and GNOME – but people don’t have to be put in one single category, so we had FreeBSD people, Linux people, Elementary people, openSUSE people, coders, translators, designers and communicators.

          I’d like to give a special shout-out to Nuritzi and Kristi for organizational things and Regina and Shola for communications and Katarina and Emel Elvin for coding. To Heather for schooling me, Muriel for hearing me out and Yuliya for making me eat flan. To Hannah and Hannah for reminding me to update some packaging stuff.

        • LibreOffice localisation sprint (and other events) in Albania

          The Albanian LibreOffice community has been super active in recent years, organising the LibreOffice Conference 2018 in Tirana, and regularly contributing with translation and marketing efforts.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 71 Beta 12 Testday – November 22nd

            We are happy to let you know that Friday, November 22nd, we are organizing Firefox 71 Beta 12 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: Inactive CSS.

            Check out the detailed instructions via this gdoc.

            *Note that this events are no longer held on etherpad docs since public.etherpad-mozilla.org was disabled.

          • Mozilla Privacy Blog: Mozilla Mornings on the future of openness and data access in the EU

            On 10 December, Mozilla will host the next installment of our Mozilla Mornings series – regular breakfast meetings where we bring together policy experts, policymakers and practitioners for insight and discussion on the latest EU digital policy developments.

            The next installment will focus on openness and data access in the European Union. We’re bringing together an expert panel to discuss how the European Commission should approach a potential framework on data access, sharing and re-use.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.4 Enters Beta with Native GTK Dialogs, QR Code Generator, and More

          The upcoming LibreOffice 6.4 office suite has been in development for a few months now, but it’s currently entered public beta testing, which means that more reliable builds are available for early adopters to try on the new features and improvements, among which we can mention native GTK dialogs on GNU/Linux systems, a QR code generator, and improved Microsoft Office interoperability.

          Among other noteworthy enhancements, LibreOffice 6.4 will also add a new option in Writer to mark comments as resolved, along with faster table and table row/column moving and deletion, better selection of cells that contain hyperlinks in Calc, the ability to export Calc sheets to PDF with all pages in one PDF, as well as improved scalability of formula-groups computation on multi-core CPUs.

        • LibreOffice 6.4 Beta1 is ready for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 6.4 Beta1 is ready for testing!

          LibreOffice 6.4 will be released as final at the beginning of February, 2020 ( Check the Release Plan ) being LibreOffice 6.4 Beta1 the second pre-release since the development of version 6.4 started in the beginning of June, 2019. Since then, 5677 commits have been submitted to the code repository and more than 850 bugs have been set to FIXED in Bugzilla. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

          LibreOffice 6.4 Beta1 can be downloaded from here for Linux, MacOS and Windows, and it can be installed alongside the standard version.

      • BSD


        • Prague launches mobile app to make its budget more transparent

          CityVizor was developed by the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic and published as an open-source under the GNU GPL license – free to use. The operation for non-Prague town halls is provided by the Open Cities Association and the Czech.digital community.

        • Photoshop for free? The best free alternatives

          We’re starting off with a big dog here. GIMP, which stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program is the most fully formed and arguably most well-known Photoshop alternative there is. GIMP is like an open source Photoshop developed by a global team of volunteer developers to work on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Apple Mac. It has an extensive set of features to rival what even Photoshop has to offer and can edit a wide range of file formats including RAW files. This means GIMP is a pro-friendly alternative to Photoshop with features like layer masks and filters enabling photographers and graphic designers to get their work done. GIMP is also a customizable photo editing software as users can download add-on packs to add the extra features they need.

      • Programming/Development

        • Introducing DjangoCon Africa

          Following the huge success of PyCon Africa, the Django community in Africa is ready to bring a new major software event to the continent – the very first DjangoCon Africa! The Django Software Foundation is excited to endorse and support this initiative.

          Plans are already in motion for a DjangoCon Africa to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2020. Actual dates to be announced as soon as key details are in place.

          DjangoCon Africa will include 3 days of single-track talks, 1 day of workshops and sprints, and another day for touring for international visitors.

          The event will also include a Django Girls workshop to be held the weekend before DjangoCon Africa. To make the conference as inclusive as possible, the event will offer financial aid to members of under-represented communities in software to ensure they can also attend.

        • Django 3.0 release candidate 1 released

          Django 3.0 release candidate 1 is the final opportunity for you to try out the raft of new features before Django 3.0 is released.

          The release candidate stage marks the string freeze and the call for translators to submit translations. Provided no major bugs are discovered that can’t be solved in the next two weeks, Django 3.0 will be released on or around December 2. Any delays will be communicated on the django-developers mailing list thread.

        • Cyber Discovery – What it is all about

          Cyber Discovery is made of 4 rounds. The first one being CyberStart Assess. It ran from the 3rd September to the 25th October 2019. There are 10 challenges starting easy, getting much harder. The aim for most of the challenges are to use ‘Inspect Element’ to get into the website and find the flag. I completed all of these challenges and was invited onto the next round: CyberStart Game. CyberStart Game is much more about finding things out yourself. A useful tip if you are stuck is to search for help on Google. CyberStart Game has 3 ‘Bases’: Headquarters where you get to take part in lots of varied challenges, Moon Base where you learn the basics of Python and Internet Tools that can be run in python e.g. FTP… You also learn how to use python to Brute Force password protected ZIP files and other securities. The Forensics Base is, well you can guess: Forensics. It teaches you about Cryptography and other hiding methods.

        • PyDev of the Week: Martin Uribe

          While taking some college courses I learned Java, but I didn’t like it much. I know enough of the following to get things done: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Perl, SQL, and BASH. Python is my favorite; I use it pretty much every day even though my job doesn’t require me to code.

        • You can now hone your testing / pytest skills on our platform

          Writing test code is an essential skill. As PyBites we believe writing code is the only solution to becoming a master (Ninja) at programming. The same applies to test code. For that reason we extended our regular exercises with Test Bites.

          In this article you will read about the feature showcasing it on our first ever Test Bite. We also share some details around implementation and a challenge we hit getting it to work. Enjoy and start honing your testing skills today!

        • unu – Using Qt on embedded Linux

          Right from the start, unu wanted to add a stylish, first-class embedded high-res display to their second generation electric scooter. Like many top-class engineering companies, unu didn’t have in-house expertise for building a modern UI, so they decided to partner with KDAB to build a modern UI based on Qt. In this video you learn more about the development process in this project and why unu chose KDAB as a partner.

        • Quicksort in Python

          Quicksort is a popular sorting algorithm and is often used, right alongside Merge Sort. It’s a good example of an efficient sorting algorithm, with an average complexity of O(n logn). Part of its popularity also derives from the ease of implementation.

          We will use simple integers in the first part of this article, but we’ll give an example of how to change this algorithm to sort objects of a custom class.

          Quicksort is a representative of three types of sorting algorithms: divide and conquer, in-place, and unstable.

        • GCC 10.0 Status Report (2019-11-18), Stage 3 in effect now
        • GCC 10 Feature Development Is Over – Now The Focus Turns To Bug Fixing

          GCC 10 has moved to its next stage of development that shifts away from feature work to instead general bug fixing with hopes of shipping the GNU Compiler Collection 10 release in the months ahead.

          GCC 10 release manager Richard Biener of SUSE announced this Monday morning that “stage three” development phase.

        • ttdo 0.0.4: Extension

          A first update release to the still very new (and still very small) ttdo package arrived on CRAN today. Introduced about two months ago in September, the ttdo package extends the most excellent (and very minimal / zero depends) unit testing package tinytest by Mark van der Loo with the very clever and well-done diffobj package by Brodie Gaslam.

        • Adventures optimizing a bytecode based scripting language
        • Keeping a simple markdown work-log, via emacs

          For the past few years I’ve been keeping a work-log of everything I do. I don’t often share these, though it is sometimes interesting to be able to paste into a chat-channel “Oh on the 17th March I changed that ..”

        • Implement C++ coroutines.
          This patch series is an initial implementation of a coroutine feature,
          expected to be standardised in C++20.
          Standardisation status (and potential impact on this implementation):
          The facility was accepted into the working draft for C++20 by WG21 in
          February 2019.  During two following WG21 meetings, design and national
          body comments have been reviewed, with no significant change resulting.
          Mature implementations (several years) of this exist in MSVC, clang and
          EDG with some experience using the clang one in production - so that the
          underlying principles are thought to be sound.
          At this stage, the remaining potential for change comes from two areas of
          national body comments that were not resolved during the last WG21 meeting:
          (a) handling of the situation where aligned allocation is available.
          (b) handling of the situation where a user wants coroutines, but does not
              want exceptions (e.g. a GPU).
          It is not expected that the resolution to either of these will produce any
          major change.
          The current GCC implementation is against n4835 [1].
          The various compiler developers have discussed a minimal ABI to allow one
          implementation to call coroutines compiled by another; this amounts to:
          1. The layout of a public portion of the coroutine frame.
          2. A number of compiler builtins that the standard library might use.
          The eventual home for the ABI is not decided yet, I will put a draft onto
          the wiki this week.
          The ABI has currently no target-specific content (a given psABI might elect
          to mandate alignment, but the common ABI does not do this).
          There is not need to add any new mangling, since the components of this are
          regular functions with manipulation of the coroutine via a type-erased handle.
          Standard Library impact
          The current implementations require addition of only a single header to
          the standard library (no change to the runtime).  This header is part of
          the patch series.
          GCC Implementation outline
          The standard's design for coroutines does not decorate the definition of
          a coroutine in any way, so that a function is only known to be a coroutine
          when one of the keywords (co_await, co_yield, co_return) is encountered.
          This means that we cannot special-case such functions from the outset, but
          must process them differently when they are finalised - which we do from
          "finish_function ()".
          At a high level, this design of coroutine produces four pieces from the
          original user's function:
            1. A coroutine state frame (taking the logical place of the activation
               record for a regular function).  One item stored in that state is the
               index of the current suspend point.
            2. A "ramp" function
               This is what the user calls to construct the coroutine frame and start
               the coroutine execution.  This will return some object representing the
               coroutine's eventual return value (or means to continue it when it it
            3. A "resume" function.
               This is what gets called when a the coroutine is resumed when suspended.
            4. A "destroy" function.
               This is what gets called when the coroutine state should be destroyed
               and its memory returned.
          The standard's coroutines involve cooperation of the user's authored function
          with a provided "promise" class, which includes mandatory methods for
          handling the state transitions and providing output values.  Most realistic
          coroutines will also have one or more 'awaiter' classes that implement the
          user's actions for each suspend point.  As we parse (or during template
          expansion) the types of the promise and awaiter classes become known, and can
          then be verified against the signatures expected by the standard.
          Once the function is parsed (and templates expanded) we are able to make the
          transformation into the four pieces noted above.
          The implementation here takes the approach of a series of AST transforms.
          The state machine suspend points are encoded in three internal functions
          (one of which represents an exit from scope without cleanups).  These three 
          IFNs are lowered early in the middle end, such that the majority of GCC's
          optimisers can be run on the resulting output.
          As a design choice, we have carried out the outlining of the user's function
          in the front end, and taken advantage of the existing middle end's abilities
          to inline and DCE where that is profitable.
          Since the state machine is actually common to both resumer and destroyer
          functions, we make only a single function "actor" that contains both the
          resume and destroy paths.  The destroy function is represented by a small
          stub that sets a value to signal the use of the destroy path and calls the
          actor.  The idea is that optimisation of the state machine need only be done
          once - and then the resume and destroy paths can be identified allowing the
          middle end's inline and DCE machinery to optimise as profitable as noted above.
          The middle end components for this implementation are:
           1. Lower the coroutine builtins that allow the standard library header to
              interact with the coroutine frame (these fairly simple logical or
              numerical substitution of values given a coroutine frame pointer).
           2. Lower the IFN that represents the exit from state without cleanup.
              Essentially, this becomes a gimple goto.
           3. Lower the IFNs that represent the state machine paths for the resume and
              destroy cases.
           4. A very late pass that is able to re-size the coroutine frame when there
              are unused entries and therefore choose the minimum allocation for it.
          There are no back-end implications to this current design.
          GCC Implementation Status
          The current implementation should be considered somewhat experimental and is
          guarded by a "-fcoroutines" flag.  I have set out to minimise impact on the
          compiler (such that with the switch off, coroutines should be a NOP).
          The branch has been feature-complete for a few weeks and published on Compiler
          Explorer since late September.  I have been keeping a copy of the branch on
          my github page, and some bug reports have been filed there (and dealt with).
          The only common resource taken is a single bit in the function decl to flag
          that this function is determined to be a coroutine.
          Patch Series
          The patch series is against r278049 (Mon 11th Nov).
          There are 6 pieces to try an localise the reviewer interest areas.  However
          it would not make sense to commit except as possibly two (main and testsuite).
          I have not tested that the compiler would even build part-way through this
          1) Common code and base definitions.
          This is the background content, defining the gating flag, keywords etc.
          2) Builtins and internal functions.
          Definitions of the builtins used by the standard library header and the
          internal functions used to implement the state machine.
          3)  Front end parsing and AST transforms.
          This is the largest part of the code, and has essentially two phases
           1. parse (and template expansion)
           2. analysis and transformation, which does the code generation for the
              state machine.
          4) Middle end expanders and transforms
           As per the description above.
          5) Standard library header.
          This is mostly mandated by the standard, although (of course) the decision
          to implement the interaction with the coroutine frame by inline builtin
          calls is pertinent.
          There is no runtime addition for this (the builtins are expanded directly).
          6) Testsuite.
          There are two chunks of tests.
           1. those that check for correct error handling
           2. those that check for the correct lowering of the state machine
          Since the second set are checking code-gen, they are run as 'torture' tests
          with the default options list.
          I will put this patch series onto a git branch for those that would prefer
          to view it in that form.
        • Initial Patches Wire In C++20 Coroutines For The GCC Compiler

          The GNU Compiler Collection continues picking up new features aligned for the upcoming C++20 standard. The latest are patches pending on the mailing list for implementing coroutines in C++.

          C++20 is expected to have coroutines per the pending technical specification. Coroutines allow a function to have its execution stopped/suspended and then to be resumed later.

        • Faster Winter 1: Vectors
        • Faster Winter 2: SPECIALIZE
        • Attention! Attention! Tutorial Proposal Deadline Approaching
        • Python Software Foundation Fellow Members for Q3 2019

          Congratulations! Thank you for your continued contributions. We have added you to our Fellow roster online.

          The above members have contributed to the Python ecosystem by teaching Python, maintaining popular libraries/tools such as cryptography and pytest, helping document on packaging.python.org, organizing Python events, starting Python communities in their home countries, and overall being great mentors in our community. Each of them continues to help make Python more accessible around the world. To learn more about the new Fellow members, check out their links above.

        • Why Sponsor PyCon 2020?

          Sponsors help keep PyCon affordable and accessible to the widest possible audience. Sponsors are what make this conference possible. From low ticket prices to financial aid, to video recording, the organizations who step forward to support PyCon, in turn, support the entire Python community. They make it possible for so many to attend, for so many to be presenters, and for the people at home to watch along.

        • Pandas GroupBy: Your Guide to Grouping Data in Python

          Whether you’ve just started working with Pandas and want to master one of its core facilities, or you’re looking to fill in some gaps in your understanding about .groupby(), this tutorial will help you to break down and visualize a Pandas GroupBy operation from start to finish.

          This tutorial is meant to complement the official documentation, where you’ll see self-contained, bite-sized examples. Here, however, you’ll focus on three more involved walk-throughs that use real-world datasets.

        • Solving CAPTCHA with Web automation

          CAPTCHA is no longer an alien term to the users. An acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. CAPTCHA is basically a computer program built to distinguish between the human and machine to prevent any type of spam or data extraction from websites. The entire concept of CAPTCHA is based on the assumption that only a human would pass this test and bot or automated scripts would fail.

  • Leftovers

    • Distributed Teams: Why I Don’t Go to the Office More Often

      Total time to get home: 3h30min. Total distance traveled: 103km. Total cost: $3.10 for the subway token, $46 PRESTO ($6 for the card, $20 for the fare, $20 for the surprise fare), $2.86 for the LRT.

      At this point I’ve been awake for over 20 hours.

      Is it worth it? Hard to say. Every time I plan one of these trips I look forward to it. Conversations with office folks, eating office lunch, absconding with office snacks… and this time I even got to go out to dinner with a bunch of data people I work with all the time!

      But every time I do this, as I’m doing it, or as I’m recently back from doing it… I don’t feel great about it. It’s essentially a full work day (nearly eight full hours!) just in travel to spend 5 hours in the office, and (this time) a couple hours afterwards in a restaurant.

      Ultimately this — the share of my brain I need to devote purely to logistics, the manifold ways things can go wrong, the sheer _time_ it all takes — is why I don’t go into the office more often.

    • Science

      • The Early History of Usenet, Part III: File Format

        When we set out to design the over-the-wire file format, we were certain of one thing: we wouldn’t get it perfectly right. That led to our first decision: the very first character of the transmitted file would be the letter “A” for the version. Why not a number on the first line, including perhaps a decimal point? If we ever considered that, I have no recollection of it.
        A more interesting question is why we didn’t use email-style headers, a style later adopted for HTTP. The answer, I think, is that few, if any, of us had any experience with those protocols at that time. My own personal awareness of them started when I requested and received a copy of the Internet Protocol Transition Workbook a couple of years later — but I was only aware of it because of Usenet. (A few years earlier, I gained a fair amount of knowledge of the ARPANET from the user level, but I concentrated more on learning Multics.)

        Instead, we opted for the minimalist style epitomized by 7th Edition Unix. In fact, even if we had known of the Internet (in those days, ARPANET) style, we may have eschewed it anyway. Per a later discussion of implementation, the very first version of our code was a shell script. Dealing with entire lines as single units, and not trying to parse headers that allowed arbitrary case, optional white space, and continuation lines was certainly simpler!


        Sending a date and an article title were obvious enough that these didn’t even merit much discussion. The date and time line used the format generated by the ctime() or asctime() library routines. I do not recall if we normalized the date and time to UTC or just ignored the question; clearly, the former would have been the proper choice. (There is an interesting discrepancy here. A reproduction of the original announcement clearly shows a time zone. Neither the RFC nor the ctime() routine had one. I suspect that announcement was correct.) The most interesting question, though, was about what came to be called newsgroups.

        We decided, from the beginning, that we needed multiple categories of articles — newsgroups. For local use, there might be one for academic matters (“Doctoral orals start two weeks from tomorrow”), social activities (“Reminder: the spring picnic is Sunday!”), and more. But what about remote sites? The original design had one relayed newsgroup: NET. That is, there would be no distinction between different categories of non-local articles.

      • From humble Unix sysadmin to brutal separatist suppressor to president of Sri Lanka

        A former Unix sysadmin has been elected the new president of Sri Lanka, giving hope to all those IT workers who fear they are trapped in a role where the smallest of decisions can have catastrophic consequences if it goes wrong.

        Gotabaya Rajapaksa, younger brother of former president Mahindra, won the popular vote in an election held on Saturday (16 November). He is notable to The Register’s readership for his stint working in America as a Solaris system integrator and later as a Unix sysadmin for a Los Angeles university.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The son of Julian Assange’s judge is linked to an anti-data leak company created by the UK intelligence establishment

        The son of Julian Assange’s senior judge is linked to an anti-data leak company created by the UK intelligence establishment and staffed by officials recruited from US intelligence agencies behind that country’s prosecution of the WikiLeaks founder.

        The son of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate overseeing the extradition proceedings of Julian Assange, is the vice-president and cyber-security adviser of a firm heavily invested in a company founded by GCHQ and MI5 which seeks to stop data leaks, it can be revealed.

    • Environment

      • [Older] Soil in the Arctic Is Now Releasing More Carbon Dioxide Than 189 Countries

        The Arctic is now releasing more carbon dioxide in the winter than it can absorb in the summer, according to a new report.
        Now that heat waves are occurring in the winter, and the Arctic is warming three times faster than the global average because of human activity, greenhouse gases that would have normally remained frozen in the ground are being released into the atmosphere, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
        The study indicates that more than 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide are being released from Arctic soil annually because of warming temperatures — but plant growth in the region can only draw around 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the soil during warmer months.


        For years, scientists had suspected that an important shift was underway in the Arctic as global temperatures increased, but no data had been collected on emissions in the region.
        A team of scientists from 12 countries set out to change this by placing monitoring devices in more than 100 sites in the Arctic and gathered more than 1,000 readings, according to CBC.
        After extrapolating the data, they calculated annual emissions and compared them with the annual absorption level, and found a significant gap.
        The scientists estimate that emissions from the region will increase by 40% by the end of the century if countries continue on a “business-as-usual” trajectory and make no major efforts to halt the use of fossil fuels. Even if meaningful climate action occurs, emissions from the Arctic will rise by an estimated 17% by the end of the century.

    • Finance

      • ECB hawk Lautenschlaeger resigns amid policy backlash

        Germany’s appointee to the board of the European Central Bank, outspoken policy hawk Sabine Lautenschlaeger, has decided to step down, the ECB said on Wednesday, in what was likely to be seen as a further backlash against the latest stimulus measures.

        The ECB did not give a reason for Lautenschlaeger’s resignation, which will take effect at the end of next month -more than two years before the end of her term as one of the six members of the Executive Board that runs the central bank.

        “Sabine Lautenschlaeger, Member of the Executive Board and Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), informed President Mario Draghi that she will resign from her position on 31 October 2019,” the ECB said.

      • The End of Neoliberalism and the Rebirth of History

        For 40 years, elites in rich and poor countries alike promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. Now that the evidence is in, is it any wonder that trust in elites and confidence in democracy have plummeted?


        The form of globalization prescribed by neoliberalism left individuals and entire societies unable to control an important part of their own destiny, as Dani Rodrik of Harvard University has explained so clearly, and as I argue in my recent books Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited and People, Power, and Profits. The effects of capital-market liberalization were particularly odious: If a leading presidential candidate in an emerging market lost favor with Wall Street, the banks would pull their money out of the country. Voters then faced a stark choice: Give in to Wall Street or face a severe financial crisis. It was as if Wall Street had more political power than the country’s citizens.
        Even in rich countries, ordinary citizens were told, “You can’t pursue the policies you want” – whether adequate social protection, decent wages, progressive taxation, or a well-regulated financial system – “because the country will lose competitiveness, jobs will disappear, and you will suffer.”
        In rich and poor countries alike, elites promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. To get there, though, workers would have to accept lower wages, and all citizens would have to accept cutbacks in important government programs.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • A massive scandal: how Assange, his doctors, lawyers and visitors were all spied on for the U.S.

        It sounds like a James Bond movie, but it really happened. Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks journalists and every single lawyer, reporter, politician, artist and physician who visited the founder of WikiLeaks at the Ecuadorian embassy over the last seven years was subjected to systematic espionage. Meetings and conversations were recorded and filmed, and all the information was sent to US intelligence. Sometimes the espionage operations were truly off the wall: at one point spies even planned to steal the diaper of a baby brought to visit Assange inside the embassy. The purpose? To gather the baby’s feces and perform a DNA test to establish whether the newborn was a secret son of Julian Assange.

        Repubblica has had access to some of the videos, audios and photos. Meetings between the founder of WikiLeaks and his lawyers, medical examinations of Julian Assange, diplomatic encounters of the Ecuadorian ambassador Carlos Abad Ortiz, meetings between Assange and journalists. Everything was spied on.

        The author of this article found that she was not just filmed, but her phones were screwed open, presumably to obtain the IMEI code that allows uniquely identifying the phone in order to intercept it. Spies also had access to our USB sticks, though at this stage it is not clear if they managed to break the encryption protecting the information stored in the USB flash drives inside our backpacks. These are very serious violations of the confidentiality of journalistic sources, given that our meetings inside the embassy were entirely professional and, as frequent visitors, we were repeatedly registered as “journalists”.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • German patent reform discussed at Brussels conference: automatic injunctions contravene EU law

          Apologies for being a bit slow to report on my own conference (held last week). On Friday I published all seven slide decks and an abstract. But there’s so much going on that I have quite a backlog, which besides the component-level licensing parts of last week’s conference also includes a DOJ amicus brief and a couple of SEP-related position papers as well as the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in Oracle v. Google.

          Not only have I received plenty of positive feedback to last Tuesday’s conference from attendees but there was also an unmistakable sign: even though we were running one hour behind schedule, the room was still almost full at the end of the day. That speaks to the way the conference as a whole was received, and also to the popularity of the “bonus session” (as I called it because it wasn’t exactly about component-level licensing, and not even SEP-specific, apart from Bram Nijhof’s highly informative overview of the evolution of case law since Huawei v. ZTE) at the end of a long day.

          Edmund Mangold, patent counsel at BMW and personally very much involved with the German patent reform debate at the level of industry bodies, provided an introduction. After Taylor Wessing’s Bram Nijhof’s case law overview, Cleary Gottlieb’s Maurits Dolmans made an unequivocal statement in the title of his presentation: “We Need Proportionality Review for Patent Injunctions under German Law”

          It’s no secret that I couldn’t agree more. Having observed well over 100 German patent trials this decade (SEP and non-SEPs alike), I’ve seen too many situations in which injunctions came down that probably–and sometimes most probably–wouldn’t have been granted in other jurisdictions. All too often it’s easy for an experienced litigation watcher to figure that some plaintiffs are playing the lottery by asserting a bunch of mostly dubious patents in Germany (typically, the most questionable ones are selected for complaints brought in Munich) in hopes of a lucky punch that allows the winner to take it all: a favorable settlement.

        • PAIR UPDATES

          Tough 1-2 punch from the PTO: Private PAIR can no longer be used to access file histories not associated with your customer number; Public PAIR doesn’t work. On Friday, USPTO Chief Information Officer Jamie Holcombe provided a report to the PPAC but did not include this important practice change.

          Note: Public file histories are also available via the USPTO’s Global Dossier: https://globaldossier.uspto.gov/#/

        • Officers of the United States Shall be Appointed by the President

          The basic framework is that the Constitution requires all “Officers of the United States” to be nominated by the President with “Consent of the Senate.” U.S. Const. Article II, Section 2. The so-called appointments clause has a caveat that “inferior Officers” may be appointed by Courts or Heads of Departments if Congress so allows. Currently PTAB Judges (Administrative Patent Judges) are treated as inferior officers by statute — appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. However, the increased responsibility of AIA Trials has pushed their role into the territory of Principal Officers that must be appointed by the President.

        • National Patent Application Drafting Competition

          The program is an expansion of the International Patent Drafting Competition and is the brain child of Damian Porcari – Director of the Midwest Regional Patent Office in Detroit and longtime in-house IP counsel at Ford.

      • Copyrights

        • US court to hear long-running Google vs. Oracle case

          The complex case pitting two Silicon Valley giants against each other has raged on since 2010, and already saw many twists and turns before a jury found in favor of Google only to have that decision reversed by a circuit court. That prompted Google’s appeal to the nation’s highest court this past March.

          Oracle at the time asked the US Supreme Court to not review an appellate court’s decision finding Google violated Oracle’s copyright of the Java platform when building the Android mobile operating system.

          In that opposition brief, Oracle’s attorneys said Google’s copyright violation shut Oracle, the Java platform owner, out of the emerging smartphone market, causing incalculable harm to its business.

          Oracle noted Google had previously asked for a writ of certiorari—the legal term for review by the high court—in 2015 without success in an earlier phase of the case, and the company argues nothing has changed in the time since.


Links 18/11/2019: Last Linux RC, OSMC Updated

Posted in News Roundup at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Queensland government looks to open source for single sign-on project

          Red Hat Single Sign-On, which is based on the open source Keycloak project, and the Apollo GraphQL API Gateway platform will be the two key software components underpinning a Queensland effort to deliver a single login for access to online government services.

          Queensland is implementing single sign-on capabilities for state government services, including ‘tell us once’ capabilities that will allow basic personal details of individuals to be, where consent is given by an individual, shared between departments and agencies.

        • Red Hat Releases Open Source Project Quay Container Registry
        • Red Hat open sources Project Quay container registry

          Yesterday, Red Hat introduced the open source Project Quay container registry, which is the upstream project representing the code that powers Red Hat Quay and Quay.io. Open-sourced as a Red Hat commitment, Project Quay “represents the culmination of years of work around the Quay container registry since 2013 by CoreOS, and now Red Hat,” the official post reads.

          Red Hat Quay container image registry provides storage and enables users to build, distribute, and deploy containers. It will also help users to gain more security over their image repositories with automation, authentication, and authorization systems. It is compatible with most container environments and orchestration platforms and is also available as a hosted service or on-premises.

        • Red Hat declares Quay code open

          Red Hat has open sourced the code behind Project Quay, the six year old container registry it inherited through its purchase of CoreOS.

          The code in question powers both Red Hat Quay and Quay.IO, and also includes the Clair open source security project which was developed by the Quay team, and integrated with the registry back in 2015.

          In the blog post announcing the move, Red Hat principal software engineer – and CoreOS alumnus – Joey Schorr, wrote, “We believe together the projects will benefit the cloud-native community to lower the barrier to innovation around containers, helping to make containers more secure and accessible.”

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 13×47

        Starting and finishing the **t** section of **/usr/bin** from the util-linux package: **tailf** and **taskset**

      • Linux Action News 132

        Docker’s surprising news, new nasty Intel vulnerabilities, and why Brave 1.0 changes the game.

        Plus, our thoughts on the PinePhone BraveHeart limited edition, and Stadia’s potentially rocky launch.

    • Kernel Space

      • The 15 Best Linux Bootloader for Home and Embedded Systems

        A bootloader is a small but mandatory software program that allows your CPU to boot your operating system correctly. Bootloaders come in all sorts of variations, each with their trademark features and specific target architecture. Since Linux powers a wide variety of computer hardware, different types of Linux bootloaders exist. So, it’s quite impossible for many starting Linux users to determine the best Linux boot manager for their application. That’s why we’ve curated this research-intensive list of 15 widely used bootloaders. Stay with us to discover the best one for your needs.

      • Linux 5.4-rc8
        I'm not entirely sure we need an rc8, because last week was pretty
        calm despite the Intel hw workarounds landing. So I considered just
        making a final 5.4 and be done with it, but decided that there's no
        real downside to just doing the rc8 after having a release cycle that
        took a while to calm down.
        But it *has* calmed down, and I expect the upcoming week to be quiet
        too (knock wood).
        In fact, considering that the week after that is Thanksgiving week in
        the US, I'm hoping that most of the pull requests I get next week
        aren't fixes for 5.4, but people sending me early pull requests for
        when the merge window for 5.5 opens. That way those proactive
        developers can then sit back and relax during that turkey-filled
        Anyway, looking at the rc8 diffs, the bulk of it is for the intel hw
        issues, both on the CPU side (TSX Async Abort, and the iTLB multihit
        thing), and on the GPU side (GPU hang and invalid accesses). None of
        the patches are big, and honestly, shouldn't affect anybody.
        The other noticeable thing in the diffs is the removal of the vboxsf
        filesystem. It will get resubmitted properly later, there was nothing
        obviously wrong with it technically, it just ended up in the wrong
        location and submitted at the wrong time. We'll get it done properly
        probably during 5.5.
        Outside of those two areas, there's some kvm fixes, and some minor
        core networking, VM and VFS fixes. And various random small things.
        Nothing really looks all that worrisome from a release standpoint, and
        as mentioned I was toying with just skipping this rc entirely. But
        better safe than sorry.
        Please do go give the tires a final few kicks before the expected 5.4
        release next weekend.
      • Linux 5.4-rc8 Released – Things Are Calm For Linux 5.4′s Debut Next Week

        As expected, Linus Torvalds opted for doing a 5.4-rc8 kernel release today rather than going straight to Linux 5.4 stable. However, he says he could have just as well done the stable kernel release thanks to the cycle settling down.

        Linus decided to release Linux 5.4-rc8 and then ship Linux 5.4.0 next Sunday to allow for extra testing. But he wouldn’t mind if kernel maintainers begin sending in their Linux 5.5 pull requests early especially since the week after next is the US Thanksgiving week.

      • The Exciting Linux 5.4 Changes From exFAT Support To Intel Tiger Lake Graphics

        It’s possible this afternoon Linus Torvalds will release Linux 5.4 stable but considering his communications in recent weeks and many changes still flowing in this week, it’s more than likely he will divert and release Linux 5.4-rc8 today and then ship this next stable kernel update on the next Sunday.

      • Linux 5.5 Should Bring Another Power Management Improvement For Intel Ice Lake

        The upcoming Linux 5.5 kernel cycle should bring an improvement for power management on Intel’s latest-generation Ice Lake processors.

        With my Dell XPS 7390 Ice Lake Core i7 testing the power management has been quite good, but it looks like Linux 5.5 will be even better. On Saturday this commit was staged as part of USB testing code ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.5 merge window.

    • Benchmarks

      • Zink Benchmarks – Mesa OpenGL Running Over Vulkan

        With the upcoming Mesa 19.3 release one of the big new features is the “Zink” driver that provides a Mesa OpenGL implementation over Vulkan. This in theory allows for a generic OpenGL driver running over Vulkan hardware drivers, but there is a lot of work ahead before it’s really a viable option.

        Zink is one of the OpenGL-over-Vulkan options to date that in the future could make it so hardware vendors don’t need to maintain OpenGL drivers for future hardware generations but instead could just focus on Vulkan and leave it to these generic implementations. However, a lot of work is needed before it’s really to that state in being able to replace existing hardware OpenGL drivers.

        With Mesa 19.3, Zink only fully supports OpenGL 2.1. Support for OpenGL 3.x/4.x and OpenGL ES 3.0 is still a work-in-progress likely taking at least a few months to get there if not longer. When trying to launch even the Steam client with Zink, Steam was simply crashing.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Sketchnotes at Capitole du Libre 2019

          During this week-end, I attended the Capitole du Libre in Toulouse. I didn’t attend many talk for once since I wanted to benefit a lot from the “hallway track”. Still, I did a few sketchnotes of the talks I attended.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Emmabuntüs DE3-1.00

          It was recently pointed out to me that I have never written a review of the Emmabuntüs distribution and I was asked to address this oversight. With that in mind, I downloaded the latest version of this Debian-based, desktop distribution. Emmabuntüs features the Xfce desktop and runs on packages provided by Debian 10 “Buster”. The project, which is designed to be run on older or used computers in order to extended their usefulness, is available in 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) builds.

          The distribution strives to lower the bar for trying Linux by providing support for multiple languages and using the friendly Calamares installer to set up the operating system. I downloaded the 64-bit version of Emmabuntüs which is a hefty 3.1GB.

          Booting from the Emmabuntüs media brings up a boot menu asking us to pick our preferred language from a list. Then we are asked if we want to try the distribution’s live desktop or launch either a text-based or graphical installer. The installer options launch Debian’s text and graphical installers, respectively. The Try option launches a live desktop environment running the Xfce 4.12 desktop. I decided to use the live desktop to test the distribution before installing it.

          When the Xfce desktop first loads we are shown a series of welcome windows. The first one just displays a short greeting. The next one invites us to change our keyboard’s layout (the default mapping is US). Another pop-up asks if we want to turn on a number of features. These include enabling a dock, activating the taskbar, activating the workspace, and enabling a dark theme. To be frank, I’m not sure what the utility means by activating the workspace and none of the options are explained. Enabling the dock gives us a macOS style launcher at the bottom of the screen and the other two options did not appear to have any significant effect whether turned on or not.

          The next window offers to install Flash and media codecs. It will then try to download and install these packages while we wait. When it is done, another welcome window appears. This one displays a grid of buttons that provide short-cuts to on-line documentation and a forum, a local PDF with tips on using Debian, and quick access to the software manager, settings panel, and some convenience tools. I will talk about these features later.

          A panel at the top of the Xfce desktop holds the application menu, task switcher, and the system tray. In the upper-right corner is a menu we can use to logout or shutdown the computer. Icons on the desktop offer to run the Calamares installer, run an uninstaller, launch the Disks utility to partition the hard drive, and open a tool to change the keyboard layout. There is also an icon for opening a tool to repair the boot loader. The concept of an uninstaller intrigued me since usually people do not remove operating systems so much as remove their partition or install over them. I tested this tool and found the uninstaller will search for partitions with an operating system installed and then offer to format the selected partition with either the NTFS or ext3 filesystem.

          The live environment, once we navigate through the welcome windows, worked well for me. Xfce was responsive and straight forward to use. My hardware was working well with the distribution and I was happy to move ahead with running the installer.

      • New Releases

        • OSMC’s November update is here with Kodi 18.5

          OSMC’s November update is now here with Kodi v18.5. Please be aware that there are currently issues with the TVDB scraper. This is not related to the update and we expect these issues to be resolved shortly.

          We continue our development for 3D Frame Packed (MVC) output for Vero 4K / 4K + and a significantly improved video stack which will land before the end of the year.

          Our work on preparing Raspberry Pi 4 support continues.

          Team Kodi recently announced the 18.5 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux Held Their First Internal Conference Last Month In Berlin

          Key stakeholders of the Arch Linux distribution quietly met in Berlin last month for their first conference.

          Arch Conf 2019 was the first organized meeting of the key Arch Linux developers for this internal event but they hope for Arch Conf to become an annual tradition.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 10.2 ‘Buster’ Linux distro released with many security updates and bugfixes

          Debian is a great Linux distribution in its own right, but also, it serves as a solid base for many other distros. That’s why when a new version of Debian is released, it has a huge impact across the Linux community.

          Today, you can download the newest version of Debian 10 “Buster.” Debian 10.2 is the latest and greatest, but it is hardly exciting. To be fair though, Debian point releases shouldn’t really be seen as a source for new features. Instead, you should expect security updates and bugfixes. And this time, with version 10.2, we get many of them. In addition, Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) is being dropped from the ARMEL variant of Debian, but that really shouldn’t have any impact on desktop users.

        • Announcing extrepo

          While there is a tool to enable package signatures in Debian packages, the dpkg tool does not enforce the existence of such signatures, and therefore it is possible for an attacker to replace the (signed) .deb file with an unsigned variant, bypassing the whole signature.

          In an effort to remedy this whole situation, I looked at creating extrepo, a package that would download repository metadata from a special-purpose repository, verify the signatures placed on that metadata, and if everything matches, enable the repository by creating the necessary apt configuration files.

          This should allow users to enable external repository “foo” by running extrepo enable foo, rather than downloading a script from foo’s website and executing it as root — or other similarly insecure options.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 3D Subscription software driving move to open source

        3D software makers’ move to subscription models is pushing people to use open-source software because users are fed up with the price and neurotic terms and conditions.

        For a while now professional 3D software like 3DMax, Maya, AutoCAD (Autodesk) and Substance Painter (Adobe) are only available on a monthly or yearly subscription basis which means that you cannot get your paws on a perpetual license for these industry-standard 3D tools anymore, cannot offline install or activate the tools, and the tools also phone home every few days over the internet to see whether you have “paid your rent”.

        This means if you stop paying your “rent” the software shuts down, leaving you unable to even look at any 3D project files you may have created with software.

        But this has created so much frustration, concern and anxiety among 3D content creators that, increasingly, everybody is trying to replace their commercial 3D software with Open Source 3D tools.

      • Huawei to develop open-source software Huawei Ecosystem

        Huawei Mobile Services is working on developing open-sources software ‘Huawei Ecosystem’ to ensure smart living.
        At the Asia-Pacific Huawei Developer Day, the Chinese tech giant revealed a wide range of developer incentive programmes and open capabilities, showing its determination in growing quality content, said a release.
        It also introduced new services and user benefits in the Asia-Pacific market to enhance the user experience.

      • Look east as the IT center of gravity shifts

        Now that a little time has passed since the Huawei Connect conference was held in Shanghai, it seemed like a good time to look back on a couple of the underlying trends from the event. The jumping off point for this is a round table Q&A with Guo Ping, one of the company’s rotating chairmen.

        Three main themes emerged that are crucial to a number of wider issues related to what CIOs need to be thinking, particularly just how much the three main prongs of Huawei’s game plan they need to be considering. The chances are growing that they will soon need to address all three.

        Open source

        One of the interesting undercurrents here is the company’s commitment to open source software, both as a user and a contributor. Even when it does set out to develop significantly new lines of software, as it did earlier this year with the introduction of HamornyOS, open source contributions from many others play an important part.

        For example, though Hauwei’s primry contribution to 5G development is in the communications infrastructure, it is well aware that much of the reason for anyone using it will come from the applications that are developed as a consequence of its existence. Those applications will come from around the world, and some will certainly have global impact over time. Being as open as possible with the software infrastructure, therefore, gives those developers the best possible chance to flourish.

      • LG introduces Auptimizer, an open-source ML model optimization tool for efficient hyperparameter tuning at scale

        Hyperparameters are adjustable parameters that govern the training process of a machine learning model. These represent important properties of a model, for instance, a penalty in Logistic Regression Classifier or learning rate for training a neural network.

        Tuning hyperparameters can often be a very tedious task, especially when the model training is computationally intensive. There are currently both open source and commercial automated HPO solutions like Google AutoML, Amazon SageMaker, and Optunity. However, using them at scale still poses some challenges. In a paper explaining the motivation and system design behind Auptimizer, the team wrote, “But, in all cases, adopting new algorithms or accommodating new computing resources is still challenging.”

      • New Open Source Offerings Simplify Securing Kubernetes

        In advance of the upcoming KubeCon 2019 (CyberArk booth S55), the flagship event for all things Kubernetes and Cloud Native Computing Foundation, CyberArk is adding several new Kubernetes offerings to its open source portfolio to improve the security of application containers within Kubernetes clusters running enterprise workloads.

      • Java Applications Go Cloud-Native with Open-Source Quarkus Framework

        “With Quarkus, Java developers are able to continue to work in Java, the language they are proficient in, even when they are working with new, cloud-native technologies,” John Clingan, senior principal product manager of middleware at Red Hat, told IT Pro Today. “With memory utilization measured in 10s of MB and startup time measured in 10s of milliseconds, Quarkus enables organizations to continue with their significant Java investments for both microservices and serverless.”

        Many organizations have been considering alternative runtimes to Java, like Node.js and Go, due to high memory utilization of Java applications, according to Clingan. In addition, Java’s startup times are generally too slow to be an effective solution for serverless environments. As such, Clingan said that even if an organization decided to stick with Java for microservices, it would be forced to switch to an alternative runtime for serverless, or functions-as-a-service (FaaS), deployment.

      • Styra Secures $14M in Funding Led by Accel to Expand Open Source and Commercial Solutions for Kubernetes/Cloud-native Security

        New technology—like Kubernetes, Containers, ServiceMesh, and CICD Automation—speed application delivery and development. However, they lack a common framework for authorization to determine where access should be allowed, and where it should be denied. Styra’s commercial and open source solutions—purpose-built for the scale of cloud-native development—provide this authorization layer to mitigate risk across cloud application components, as well as the infrastructure they are built upon.

      • Pakistan makes impressive strides in open source development [Ed: More of that Microsoft FUD, reinforcing the lie that only projects Microsoft control should count and nothing else exists]
      • Open Source: Tech Companies Commandeer Open Source [Ed: Formtek uses Microsoft data to spread Microsoft propaganda; as if FOSS does not exist except what Microsoft controls]
      • Want to make the world a better place? Fund open source developers. [Ed: Microsoft is trying to hijack the narrative surrounding "Open Source", urging all developers to give all their work/code to proprietary software trap of Microsoft. In this ITWire Microsoft 'ad' the headline means "give money to Microsoft/GitHub" when it says "Fund open source developers."]
      • With Open-Source Caravan Wallet, Unchained Wants to Make Multisig Mainstream

        Revealed exclusively to Bitcoin Magazine in anticipation of the launch, Caravan is the latest tool in Unchained Capital’s suite of bitcoin investor products. Like the Collaborative Custody that came before it, Caravan is a multisignature bitcoin wallet, meaning it requires multiple devices/parties to sign off on a transaction before it is sent.

      • Texas A&M and Simon Fraser Universities Open-Source RL Toolkit for Card Games

        In July the poker-playing bot Pluribus beat top professionals in a six-player no-limit Texas Hold’Em poker game. Pluribus taught itself from scratch using a form of reinforcement learning (RL) to become the first AI program to defeat elite humans in a poker game with more than two players.

        Compared to perfect information games such as Chess or Go, poker presents a number of unique challenges with its concealed cards, bluffing and other human strategies. Now a team of researchers from Texas A&M University and Canada’s Simon Fraser University have open-sourced a toolkit called “RLCard” for applying RL research to card games.

      • Open Source Saturday aims to build coding skills

        A gap exists between those entering the workforce and those looking for talented workers in the tech industry.

      • How does Plume get all these ISP partnerships? Open source software

        Releasing Plume’s front end as open source software (OSS) does more than accelerate the development pipeline for ISPs. It also overcomes a potential objection to adoption—vendor lock-in.

      • MemVerge Introduces Open Source Solution to Improve Spark Shuffle Processes

        MemVerge, the inventor of Memory-Converged Infrastructure (MCI), today announced MemVerge Splash, a first-of-its-kind, highly performant open source solution that allows shuffle data to be stored in an external storage system. MemVerge Splash is designed for Apache Spark software users looking to improve the performance, flexibility and resiliency of shuffle manager.

        Traditionally, when shuffle data is stored remotely, system performance can degrade due to network and storage bottlenecks which can negatively impact performance and stability. MemVerge Splash, working together with MemVerge’s distributed system software named Distributed Memory Objects (DMO), solves these issues to make Spark highly performant through a high performance in-memory storage and networking stack.

      • BSC to Open Global Collaboration Facility to Develop Open Computer Architectures
      • New LOCA Facility to Develop Open Computer Architectures at BSC in Barcelona
      • Bangle.js open source hackable smartwatch £47

        If you are searching for a less restrictive smartwatch when it comes to operating systems, you may be interested in the new Bangle.js hackable smartwatch that can easily be customised and is completely open source. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Bangle smartwatch which is this month launched via Kickstarter to raise the required funds needed to make the jump from concept into production.

      • The Non-Contradiction of Proprietary Finance and Community Open Source Programming

        I work in financial services, typically quantitative technology applications. A recent employer of mine was an imagery company, providing satellite and drone-sourced data into finance and insurance. In this heady mix of finance and space, I worked with people from defence, aerospace, geospatial, surveying and satellite communications backgrounds who were intrigued and often surprised to hear about the relevance of open source and community programming in financial services.


        Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are certainly driving open source, often with ulterior motives, consciously supporting the sale of proprietary tools and services. Unconsciously, they can be accused of driving liberal west coast values and weeding out smaller commercial competition – I will be fascinated to see the consequences of Google releasing its Quantitative Finance Tensorflow. I also acknowledge the historical and continuing proprietary tendencies of financial services. A finance technology VP once told me around Year 2000 that “open source would never take off in quantitative finance”. While factually wrong even then, his assumptions were reasonable – management reputation, internal risk management and regulators beyond wouldn’t want untraceable, dangerous code running key algorithms. Key algorithms and the packages and languages in which they were embedded were also differentiators, hence proprietary. At the time, institutions did what they could to make the most, hire the best and beat the rest, and proprietary languages and code were the norm.

      • Appear.in Vs. Jitsi: Subscription WebRTC Faces Off Against Open-Source VC

        Open-source video conferencing is one of the few remaining glimpses of the utopian potential of the internet. If you’re willing to get a little sentimental about what the internet is or was supposed to deliver, you can see it within the chat windows of apps such as Jitsi–emerging technologies developed and given away for free so that anyone and everyone can participate in the digital communications revolution.

        That’s the idealized version of Jitsi’s existence, anyway. The reality is that while the highly adaptable, open-source app is still free to use and deploy within personalized platforms, it has become something of a research and development unit for subscription content providers. So, Jitsi stands as a kind of glorified public Beta test of the latest video conferencing technology.

        Its logical counterpoint in many ways is Appear.in (recently rechristened Whereby). This WebRTC-powered video platform has taken the same open-access ideals of Jitsi and turned them into a commercial subscription service.

      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Gitea

        “The goal of this project is to make the easiest, fastest, and most painless way of setting up a self-hosted Git service. Using Go, this can be done with an independent binary distribution across all platforms which Go supports, including Linux, macOS, and Windows on x86, amd64, ARM and PowerPC architectures,” according to the project’s GitHub page.

      • Voyage Launches Open-Source Self-Driving Simulation Platform

        Voyage, which is developing self-driving vehicles, today announced the public release of Voyage Deepdrive, a free and open-source self-driving car simulator.

      • Ether1.org, Open Source Blockchain Project, Rolls-Out ethoFS – A Decentralized Website Hosting & File Sharing Protocol That Aims to Combat Web Censorship

        In an industry first move, Ether-1 (ether1.org) has completed a network wide deployment of their decentralized, immutable data hosting protocol called ethoFS. With their unique democratized and “decentralize everything” approach, this latest technological advancement furthers the ideals originally taken mainstream by people like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

        EthoFS (ethofs.com) combines blockchain technology and IPFS creating a simple to use hosting platform that allows anyone to store data across a network of nodes with several levels of redundancy and immutability built into the decentralized system. The ethoFS system prevents a multitude of attack vectors and censorship efforts to allow any data or website to be hosted beyond the reach of “big brother.”

      • Project Alvarium: The Open-Source Project to Bolster IoT Security

        The Linux Foundation’s Project Alvarium aims to harness collective wisdom to create enterprise trust and drive IoT security.

      • Events

        • LAS 2019: A GNOME + KDE conference

          Thanks to the sponsorship of GNOME, I was able to attend the Linux App Summit 2019 held in Barcelona. This conference was hosted by two free desktop communities such as GNOME and KDE. Usually the technologies used to create applications are GTK and QT, and the objective of this conference was to present ongoing application projects that run in many Linux platforms and beyond on both, desktops and on mobiles. The ecosystem involved, the commercial part and the U project manager perspective were also presented in three core days. I had the chance to hear some talks as pictured: Adrien Plazas, Jordan and Tobias, Florian are pictured in the first place. The keynote was in charge of Mirko Boehm with the title “The Economics of FOSS”, Valentin and Adam Jones from Freedesktop SDK and Nick Richards where he pointed out the “write” strategy. You might see more details on Twitter.


          It was lovely to see again several-years GNOME’s members as Florian, who is always supporting my ideas for the GNOME games


          Thanks again GNOME, I will finish my reconstruction image GTK code I started in this event to make it also in parallel using HPC machines in the near future.

      • Web Browsers

        • Brave 1.0 launches, bringing the privacy-first browser out of beta

          Today marks the official launch of Brave 1.0, a free open-source browser. The beta version has already drawn 8 million monthly users, but now, the full stable release is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

          Brave promises to prioritize security by blocking third-party ads, trackers, and autoplay videos automatically. So you don’t need to go into your settings to ensure greater privacy, though you can adjust those settings if you want to.

          Several browsers have taken steps to block trackers and ads, but in many cases, they’re limited or need to be enabled. Firefox started blocking some trackers by default earlier this year. Safari goes a step further by blocking almost all third-party trackers from sites you don’t visit frequently while allowing trackers from sites you check regularly but limiting their duration to 24 hours.

          Microsoft Edge is still testing a feature that also only blocks some trackers by default, which should arrive on January 15th. Google announced in May that it plans to launch some tracker-blocking tools, but doesn’t plan to block cookies on a large scale and hasn’t rolled out those tools quite yet; instead, the company has said it’s expecting to deliver a way to block certain “classifications” of cookies in Chrome by default in February 2020.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla, Intel and Red Hat form Bytecode Alliance for better open-source security

            THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has joined forces with three big industry players to form the Bytecode Alliance.

            The new open-source consortium sees the browser maker snuggle up with edge-cloud maker Fastly, chipmaker Intel and enterprise Linux distro Red Hat.

            The Bytecode Alliance has been formed to up the security game in the open-source development field, with a secure platform that will allow developers to run code safely on any device, running any operating system, to test it before it’s released to the big wide world.

            Essentially, think of it as a world of sandbox but a sandbox for cheetah poop, not domestic kitty poop.

      • Intel

        • Intel Releases oneAPI Base Toolkit Beta For Performance-Focused, Cross-Device Software

          The oneAPI Base Toolkit is for writing code that runs across CPUs, GPUs, and FPGAs among other possible accelerators. The primary programming language is their Data Parallel C++ and SYCL fits into the toolchain as well. OpenMP and MPI are supported with the oneAPI HPC toolkit. While other components include the oneAPI IoT Toolkit for developing IoT software and the oneAPI rendering toolkit for ray-tracing and visual rendering. The different toolkits can be found here.

        • IWD 1.1 Released For Intel’s Linux Wireless Daemon

          IWD 1.0 stabilized this wireless daemon’s interfaces and made it ready for embedded and desktop use-cases as an alternative to the likes of WPA-Supplicant. With IWD 1.1 are just a few changes amounting to some basic fixes while the new feature is radio resource management.

        • Intel Confirms Ponte Vecchio As 7nm General Purpose GPU

          Intel confirmed the ANL Aurora supercomputer due to be ready in 2021 will feature two Xeon Scalable “Sapphire Rapids” CPUs and six Ponte Vecchio GPUs per node.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • CMS

        • Acquia, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert on open source, Vista, CDPs

          Dries Buytaert: No. We were profitable, we really didn’t need more investment. But at the same time, we have an ambitious roadmap and our competitors are well-funded. We were starting to receive a lot of inbound requests from different firms, including Vista. When they come to you, you’ve got to look at it. It made sense.

        • New Acquia Drupal tools show open source loyalty post-Vista deal

          Web content management vendor Acquia Inc. delivered new marketing automation and content personalization platforms for the open-source Drupal faithful and for commercial customers.

          In late September, venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Acquia, but commitment to Acquia Drupal open source content management applications remain steady, according to Acquia CMO Lynne Capozzi.

      • Blockchains

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Funding

        • New challenges for Free Software business models

          This year the FSFE community meeting was combined with the “South Tyrol Free Software Conference” (SFScon) in Bolzano. For me this was a special event because the first international FSFE community meeting ever happened as well at the SFScon in 2006. Back then I met many people from FSFE in person for the first time. For me this was the starting point for getting more and more involved in the Free Software Foundation Europe.

          At this years conference I gave a talk about the “New challenges for Free Software business models” at the FSFE track. A few weeks ago I published a article about this topic in the German Linux Magazine. As many of you may know, Free Software as such is not a business model but a license model which can be combined with many different business and development models.

        • Docker restructure sees enterprise platform business sold to open source cloud firm Mirantis

          Container technology firm Docker has secured a $35m investment to fund a restructure of its business, after disposing of its enterprise arm to OpenStack distribution provider Mirantis.

      • BSD

        • DragonFlyBSD Pulls In AMD Radeon Graphics Driver Code From Linux 4.9

          DragonFlyBSD developer François Tigeot has continued doing a good job in continually updating their kernel’s graphics driver code with a port of the AMD Radeon graphics source code from the Linux kernel along with related components like TTM memory management.

          It’s a never-ending process for the BSDs of pulling in newer Linux Direct Rendering Manager code into their kernels and addressing various Linux-isms in the process. With the code pushed over night, the DragonFlyBSD kernel is now riding off a Linux 4.9 era Radeon driver stack. This update cleans up the code, provides better DisplayPort support, improvements for atomic mode-setting, performance improvements, better stability, and more. This was just an update of the Radeon code with the Intel graphics driver code not being touched this round.


      • Public Services/Government

        • Crunchy Data, ORock Technologies Form Open Source Cloud Partnership for Federal Clients

          Crunchy Data and ORock Technologies have partnered to offer a database-as-a-service platform by integrating the former’s open source database with the latter’s managed offering designed to support deployment of containers in multicloud or hybrid computing environments.

          The partnership aims to implement a PostgreSQL as a service within ORock’s Secure Containers as a Service, which is certified for government use under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, Crunchy Data said Tuesday.

        • Crunchy Data and ORock Technologies Partnership Brings Trusted Open Source Cloud Native PostgreSQL to Federal Government

          Crunchy Data and ORock Technologies, Inc. announced a partnership to bring Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes to ORock’s FedRAMP authorized container application Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution. Through this collaboration, Crunchy Data and ORock will offer PostgreSQL-as-a-Service within ORock’s Secure Containers as a Service with Red Hat OpenShift environment. The combined offering provides a fully managed Database as a Service (DBaaS) solution that enables the deployment of containerized PostgreSQL in hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

          Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes has achieved Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification and provides Red Hat OpenShift users with the ability to provision trusted open source PostgreSQL clusters, elastic workloads, high availability, disaster recovery, and enterprise authentication systems. By integrating with the Red Hat OpenShift platform within ORock’s cloud environments, Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes leverages the ability of the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform to unite developers and IT operations on a single FedRAMP-compliant platform to build, deploy, and manage applications consistently across hybrid cloud infrastructures.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • Developers still care a lot about open source licensing [Ed: Mac Asay of AWS calls GPL "restrictive license" and echoes the Microsoft-connected claims of its demise]

          But licensing sits atop that heap, and for good reason: No developer wants to get into a new open source package without knowing how she’s going to get out. This is one critical reason that highly permissive licenses (Apache, BSD, MIT) have been on a steep climb for many years while more restrictive licenses (GPL) have declined.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Ntablet Linux commercial open-source tablet from $225

            The Ntablet open source tablet has been created to provide developers, enthusiasts and hobbyists with a programmable learning platform offering an all in one device for creative projects. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the world’s first commercial open source tablet.

            Launched via Kickstarter this week and is now available with earlybird pledges from $225 or roughly £176, offering a 50% discount off the recommended retail price. Full goes to plan worldwide shipping of the open source tablet is expected to take place during March 2020

            “As a portable tool, it gives not only convenience to your projects, but also help to create more innovative designs as what you imagine. With it, you can start programming and developing anywhere, you can freely DIY and control TV, air conditioner, curtain, light, and even Robot. Ntablet is also a Linux based tablet, the inside core-board and motherboard are connected in the way of the socket, which enables users to change the core-board anytime, to run different operating systems or applications, like Android and Linux. 20 pins and 4 pins sockets are designed on the motherboard, to be used to connect with GPIO board, users can do kinds of debug or control after connection.”

          • FieldKit Is The Grand Prize Winner Of The 2019 Hackaday Prize

            While some are still waiting for the age of the Linux desktop, this project moves past that and achieves an open design for a Linux-based tablet. Goals of the project focus on sidestepping the OS lock-in present in many consumer tablets, and delivering a hardware design that is both repairable and upgradable — traits currently absent in all consumer tablets. Recognized for Best Design, this project is awarded a cash prize of $10,000.

      • Programming/Development

        • What is -pipe and should you use it?

          This argument may have been needed in the ye olden times of supporting tens of broken commercial unixes. Nowadays the only platform where this might make a difference is Windows, given that its file system is a lot slower than Linux’s. But is its pipe implementation any faster? I don’t know, and I’ll let other people measure that.

          The “hindsight is perfect” design lesson to be learned

          Looking at this now, it is fairly easy to see that this command line option should not exist. Punting the responsibility of knowing whether files or pipes are faster (or even work) on any given platform to the user is poor usability. Most people don’t know that and performance characteristics of operating systems change over time. Instead this should be handled inside the compiler with logic roughly like the following:

        • ABlog v0.10 released¶

          ABlog v0.10 is released with the main focus being to support the latest version of Sphinx as well as Python 3 only support.

          Ablog V0.9.X will no longer be supported as Python 2 comes to an end in a few months and it is time people upgraded.

        • How and why I built Sudoku Solver

          The process was pretty intensive first of all i went to the drawing board thinking of how to actually do this i drew a 3×3 matrix and thought how it could be done on this miniature matrix of 3×3.But figuring out the right path was difficult and to get inspiration or an idea as to how to solve this problem I started solving sudoku problems on my own easy to expert level but once I got a hang of them I got back to my project I noted down every technique or idea in the notebook that I always carried with me,I made sure not too look this up on google I wanted to build this thing from scratch on my own.Experimenting day after day lines of code stacking up it took me 15 days to complete the code and the moment correctly filled sudoku matrix was given out well I was on cloud nine.

        • Unconventional Secure and Asynchronous RESTful APIs using SSH

          Some time ago, in a desperate search for asynchronicity, I came across a Python package that changed the way I look at remote interfaces: AsyncSSH.

          Reading through their documentation and example code, you’ll find an interesting assortment of use cases. All of which take advantage of the authentication and encryption capabilities of SSH, while using Python’s asyncio to handle asynchronous communications.

          Thinking about various applications I’ve developed over the years, many included functions that could benefit from decoupling into separate services. But at times, I would avoid it due to security implications.

          I wanted to build informative dashboards that optimize maintenance tasks. But they bypassed business logic, so I wouldn’t dare expose them over the same interfaces. I even looked at using HTTPS client certs, but support from REST frameworks seemed limited.

        • Winter is coming even more quickly

          Motivated by my work at the DFINITY Foundation, I was looking into interpreters for WebAssembly written in Haskell, and found my colleagues John Wiegley’s winter: A straight-forward port of the WebAssembly reference interpreter, written in Ocaml by Andreas Rossberg (another colleague of mine … I guess there is a common theme here.)

          Obviously, an interpreter will never be as fast as a real compiler implementation (such as the one in v8, lucet or wasmtime). But for my purposes an interpreter is fine. Nevertheless, I don’t want it to be needlessly slow, and when I picked up wasm, it was clear that I had to work at least a little bit on performance.

        • Faster Winter 1/7: Vectors
  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • An Open Source Toolbox For Studying The Earth

        Fully understanding the planet’s complex ecosystem takes data, and lots of it. Unfortunately, the ability to collect detailed environmental data on a large scale with any sort of accuracy has traditionally been something that only the government or well-funded institutions have been capable of. Building and deploying the sensors necessary to cover large areas or remote locations simply wasn’t something the individual could realistically do.

        But by leveraging modular hardware and open source software, the FieldKit from [Conservify] hopes to even the scales a bit. With an array of standardized sensors and easy to use software tools for collating and visualizing collected data, the project aims to empower independent environmental monitoring systems that can scale from a handful of nodes up to several hundred.

      • The Early History of Usenet, Part II: Hardware and Economics

        There was a planning meeting for what became Usenet at Duke CS. We knew three things, and three things only: we wanted something that could be used locally for administrative messages, we wanted a networked system, and we would use uucp for intersite communication. This last decision was more or less by default: there were no other possibilities available to us or to most other sites that ran standard Unix. Furthermore, all you needed to run uucp was a single dial-up modem port. (I do not remember who had the initial idea for a networked system, but I think it was Tom Truscott and the late Jim Ellis, both grad students at Duke.)

        There was a problem with this last option, though: who would do the dialing? The problems were both economic and technical-economic. The latter issue was rooted in the regulatory climate of the time: hardwired modems were quite unusual, and ones that could automatically dial were all but non-existent. (The famous Hayes Smartmodem was still a few years in the future.) The official solution was a leased Bell 801 autodialer and a DEC DN11 peripheral as the interface between the computer and the Bell 801. This was a non-starter for a skunkworks project; it was hard enough to manage one-time purchases like a modem or a DN11, but getting faculty to pay monthly lease costs for the autodialer just wasn’t going to happen. Fortunately, Tom and Jim had already solved that problem.

      • UNIX Version 0, Running On A PDP-7, In 2019

        WIth the 50th birthday of the UNIX operating system being in the news of late, there has been a bit of a spotlight shone upon its earliest origins. At the Living Computers museum in Seattle though they’ve gone well beyond a bit of historical inquiry though, because they’ve had UNIX (or should we in this context say unix instead?) version 0 running on a DEC PDP-7 minicomputer. This primordial version on the original hardware is all the more remarkable because unlike its younger siblings very few PDP-7s have survived.

        The machine running UNIX version 0 belongs to [Fred Yearian], a former Boeing engineer who bought his machine from the company’s surplus channel at the end of the 1970s. He restored it to working order and it sat in his basement for decades, while the vintage computing world labored under the impression that including the museum’s existing machine only four had survived — of which only one worked. [Fred’s] unexpected appearance with a potentially working fifth machine, therefore, came as something of a surprise.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 170 – Until that quantum computer is cracking RSA keys, go sit back down!

        Josh and Kurt talk about banking and privacy. It’s very likely nothing will get better anytime soon, humans will continue to be terrible at understanding certain risks. We also discuss what quantum supremacy means (or doesn’t mean) for security.

      • Cisco: there’s a bad bug in open source software that a Netflix engineer abandoned in 2016 [Ed: Notice how IDG will never say things like "there’s a bad bug in proprietary software something something" because it's all about propping up anti-FOSS stigma and dogma]

        Cisco has disclosed a bug in Exhibitor, a popular open source package for the Apache Zookeeper server for distributed applications in the cloud.
        Exhibitor is an open source program developed by Netflix to help deal with ephemeral cloud instances within Zookeeper, which wasn’t built to handle cases where hosts don’t know the hostnames of other hosts within an ‘ensemble’ of container engines.
        As Google Cloud explains, Exhibitor is “a supervisor process that coordinates the configuration and execution of Zookeeper processes across many hosts”, which gives Zookeeper users backup and restore capabilities and provides a GUI for Zookeeper nodes among other things.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Forgotten Plunder of Iraq

        Victor Hugo said of the devastated Balkans in the 19th century: ‘The Turks have passed by here. All is in ruins or mourning.’Welcome to modern Iraq. The British were always masters of efficient imperialism. In the 19th century, they managed to rule a quarter of the Earth’s surface with only a relatively small army supported by a great fleet.

      • Risking Lives in Endless US Wars Is Morally Wrong and a Strategic Failure

        We just celebrated Veterans Day last week, paying tribute to the young men and women who have served our country. Across the country, families gathered at the gravesites of those who gave their lives. Veterans drank toasts to their fellow soldiers.In football and basketball stadiums, crowds offered a moment of silence for the fallen. The rituals are heartfelt, but far from

      • Hong Kong police warn of ‘live fire’ as stand-off at university continues

        Pro-democracy demonstrators holed up in a Hong Kong university campus set the main entrance ablaze Monday to prevent surrounding police moving in, after officers warned they may use live rounds if confronted by deadly weapons.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Julian Assange’s lawyer says his health is ‘seriously deteriorating’

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains ill and effectively isolated in a high-security prison alongside inmates facing charges for violent offences and terrorism, his lawyer Jennifer Robinson told a Sydney audience on Friday night.

        “I was with Julian on Tuesday… and his health is obviously significantly and seriously deteriorating,” said Ms Robinson, a prominent human rights advocate and barrister who has defended Mr Assange since 2010.

    • Environment

      • 70% of Venice Is Now Submerged, And It’s a Disturbing Preview For Coastal Cities

        Venice, over the centuries, has diverted rivers to protect the lagoon and extended the barrier islands. But now, the sea level is rising several millimeters a year.

        Offshore, at the inlets between those barrier islands, a massive project known as MOSE could potentially boost Venice’s protection — with floodgates that could be raised from the sea during high tide, sealing off the lagoon.

        The project, launched in 2003, was once forecast to finish in 2011. Then 2014. Now, projections call for completion in 2022.

      • Italian council is flooded immediately after rejecting measures on climate change [iophk: social control media in place of official communications]

        And the council chamber in Ferro Fini Palace started to take in water around 10 p.m. local time, as councilors were debating the 2020 regional budget, Democratic Party councilor Andrea Zanoni said in a long Facebook post.

        “Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change,” Zanoni, who is deputy chairman of the environment committee, said in the post, which also has photographs of the room under water.

      • What Felled the Great Assyrian Empire?

        Weiss and the research team synchronized these findings with archaeological and cuneiform records and were able to document the first paleoclimate data for the megadrought that affected the Assyrian heartland at the time of the empire’s collapse, when its less drought-affected neighbors invaded. The team’s research also revealed that this megadrought followed a high-rainfall period that facilitated the Assyrian empire’s earlier growth and expansion.

        “Now we have a historical and environmental dynamic between north and south and between rain-fed agriculture and irrigation-fed agriculture through which we can understand the historical process of how the Babylonians were able to defeat the Assyrians,” said Weiss, adding that the total collapse of Assyria is still described by historians as the “mother of all catastrophes.”

        Through the archaeology and history of the region, Weiss was able to piece together how the megadrought data were synchronous with Assyria’s cessation of long-distance military campaigns and the construction of irrigation canals that were similar to its southern neighbors but restricted in their agricultural extent. Other texts noted that the Assyrians were worrying about their alliances with distant places, while also fearing internal intrigue, notes Weiss.

      • Role of climate in the rise and fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire

        Northern Iraq was the political and economic center of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 912 to 609 BCE)—the largest and most powerful empire of its time. After more than two centuries of regional dominance, the Neo-Assyrian state plummeted from its zenith (c. 670 BCE) to complete political collapse (c. 615 to 609 BCE). Earlier explanations for the Assyrian collapse focused on the roles of internal politico-economic conflicts, territorial overextension, and military defeat. Here, we present a high-resolution and precisely dated speleothem record of climate change from the Kuna Ba cave in northern Iraq, which suggests that the empire’s rise occurred during a two-centuries-long interval of anomalously wet climate in the context of the past 4000 years, while megadroughts during the early-mid seventh century BCE, as severe as recent droughts in the region but lasting for decades, triggered a decline in Assyria’s agrarian productivity and thus contributed to its eventual political and economic collapse.

      • Extinction Rebellion Members Blockade Private Jet Terminal Used by Wealthy Elites in Geneva

        “We want to denounce this completely absurd means of transport since a private jet emits twenty times more CO2 per passenger than a conventional airplane.”

      • Venice Is Flooded—A Look at Our Coastal Future

        If humans have been lucky, basking in the comforting warmth of an inter-glacial period for the last 10,000 years, that luck may be about to turn.  Rest assured we are not entering a glacial period.  No, our quest for greater comfort has us pumping fossil fuel residues in the air—particularly CO2—warming the earth beyond its natural trajectory.  One consequence is melting

      • DeSmog Was Created to Combat Climategate-Style Misinformation. We’re Still Going

        Little did we know that climate science denial was spreading throughout the English-speaking world, and we would have to follow it to the UK and beyond.

      • Where Are the Ring-Leaders of the Manufactured Climategate Scandal Now?

        Climate science deniers pounced on the leaked emails as supposed proof that scientists were manipulating data and creating panic about climate change out of nothing.

      • Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

        In 2016, it happened to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. That was déjà vu for climate scientists, who seven years earlier had experienced a nearly identical chain of events leading up to the 2009 UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. 

      • Interview: Climategate Felt Like a Disaster, But Climate Science Is Now Stronger Than Ever

        Brulle is a professor of sociology and environmental science at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, who has researched the environmentalism movement for more than two decades, and has focused in recent years on the funding of climate denial. In some sense, his prediction would be proven correct. 

      • How the Climategate Email Hack Laid the Foundations for the Fake News Era

        Lord Lawson stepped to the curb hailing a taxi. We had both been at an event in a swish Fleet Street hotel discussing illegal phone hacking by journalists. I had followed him out onto the pavement and asked whether the hacking of scientists’ emails from the servers of the British university had been unethical — as well as criminal. “It was a whistleblower,” he scowled. The black taxi took off, leaving me in a cloud of diesel.

      • Climate Change Is Threatening Newborn Babies

        Today’s world is not a welcoming place for babies, who – across the globe – face multiple climate health risks.

      • Overpopulation

        • Club of Rome: Looking to Africa for solutions to climate collapse

          In 1972, the global think-tank Club of Rome issued a chilling warning that the global economy could not assume infinite growth on a finite planet. Nearly half a century later, the collapse of life-supporting natural systems foretold in its ‘Limits to Growth’ study is unfolding before our eyes. This month, the group came ‘home’ to Africa, to see what the world can learn from the mother continent.
          “Extractive industry is not development. When you come to extract what is in the soil for the benefit of shareholders, when you come to pollute water, destroy biodiversity and natural resources, and the ecological infrastructure, that is not development. The kind of development trajectory we want is one that is ecologically sustainable.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • On Bolivia: Four Provocations for the International Left

        After President Evo Morales’ resignation on Sunday, November 10, violence has been spreading around Bolivia. Following the “shock doctrine” formula, the neoliberal, racist and revanchist Right is quickly taking advantage of the political chaos. Bolivia urgently needs international solidarity to protect basic human rights. However, we must also challenge the simplistic myths

      • With 67% of the Vote, California Young Democrats Endorse Bernie Sanders for President

        Sanders received more than twice the number of votes as Elizabeth Warren and while Pete Buttigieg received just one vote, former Vice President Joe Biden received zero.

      • Democrats Not Headed Too Far Left, Says Ocasio-Cortez, ‘We Are Bringing the Party Home’

        “I want to be the party of the New Deal again,” says the progressive congresswoman from New York. “The party of the Civil Rights Act, the one that electrified this nation and fights for all people.”

      • Democrats Invite Trump to Testify in Impeachment Inquiry

        Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Donald Trump to testify in front of investigators in the House impeachment inquiry ahead of a week that will see several key witnesses appear publicly.

      • Democrat Wins Reelection in Conservative Louisiana

        Deep in the heart of the conservative South, Louisiana’s voters reelected Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards to a second term, shocking Republicans who had hoped to reclaim the seat on the strength of President Donald Trump’s popularity.

      • Did Obama Make a Mistake by Deporting 3 Million People? Bernie Sanders: ‘Yes’

        “We’re not talking about tearing down the system—we’re fighting for justice,” said 2020 candidate in response to former president’s reported warning that some Democrats moving too far left.

      • Bernie Sanders Denounces Obama’s Deportations

        Asked at a presidential candidate forum in California Saturday night if the Obama administration made a mistake by deporting an estimated 3 million people during its 8-year tenure, 2020 hopeful Bernie Sanders offered a direct and one word response: “Yes.”

      • Left Twitter Responds With Viral #TooFarLeft Hashtag After Obama Counsels Democrats to Tamp Down Progressive Ambitions

        “I launched the #TooFarLeft tag,” declared Peter Daou, “because I’ve had it with Republicans, media elites, and corporate Dems enabling fascists while denigrating those who seek economic and social justice as ‘too far left.’  I’d like to ONCE hear them complain America is too far right.”

      • The Progressive Press Is Facing Mass Extinction

        About a month before Deadspin was throttled by its new private equity owners, those same owners shut down Splinter, the progressive politics website I contributed to for a little over a year. Last week, at an emergency all-hands meeting, G/O Media’s editorial director, Paul Maidment, elaborated on the decision to kill Splinter.

      • Episode 54 – In Pod We Trust – Along The Line Podcast

        Along the Line, is a member of the Demcast network, brought to you by the Media Freedom Foundation. On today’s episode hosts Nicholas Baham III (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo,  and Nolan Higdon discuss how podcasts are being used to combat neofascism. ATL’s  Creative Director is Dylan Lazaga.  Mickey Huff is ATL’s producer. ATL’s engineer is Janice Domingo. Adam Armstrong is ATL’s webmaster.

      • Women’s rights activists in Russia lobbying for new legislation against domestic violence have started receiving threats online

        Activists working to develop legislation to curb domestic violence in Russia have started receiving threats on social media, says State Duma deputy Oksana Pushkina, who has co-authored a draft bill in parliament. Law-enforcement agencies were alerted to the threats last week, according to Pushkina, who says the messages were addressed to Alyona Popova, a Moscow lawyer and women’s rights activist, and the attorneys Mari Davtyan and Alexey Parshin, who are defending the Khachaturyan sisters (three women charged with murdering their abusive father).

      • The Electoral College’s Racist Origins

        Is a color-blind political system possible under our Constitution? If it is, the Supreme Court’s evisceration of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 did little to help matters. While black people in America today are not experiencing 1950s levels of voter suppression, efforts to keep them and other citizens from participating in elections began within 24 hours of the Shelby County v. Holder ruling and have only increased since then.

        In Shelby County’s oral argument, Justice Antonin Scalia cautioned, “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get them out through the normal political processes.” Ironically enough, there is some truth to an otherwise frighteningly numb claim. American elections have an acute history of racial entitlements—only they don’t privilege black Americans.

        For centuries, white votes have gotten undue weight, as a result of innovations such as poll taxes and voter-ID laws and outright violence to discourage racial minorities from voting. (The point was obvious to anyone paying attention: As William F. Buckley argued in his essay “Why the South Must Prevail,” white Americans are “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally,” anywhere they are outnumbered because they are part of “the advanced race.”) But America’s institutions boosted white political power in less obvious ways, too, and the nation’s oldest structural racial entitlement program is one of its most consequential: the Electoral College.

      • Global storm clouds threaten our democracy. Let’s do something about it

        Former prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC has published two books with Andrew Butler calling for a written, codified constitution that sets out ‘in an accessible form and a single document the fundamental rules and principles under which New Zealand is to be governed’. A road trip and consultation attracted hundreds of submissions, but relatively little political pick-up. Here Palmer reflects on the process, explains why it’s so pressing, and where to next.

        There are a number of reasons why elected politicians and political parties are leery of constitutional change. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that people who are elected tend to believe they should be able to legislate freely and without restraint.


        First, there is climate change. This is bringing terrible disruption with sea level rise and increasing extreme weather events. While the public has a better understanding of the issues now than was the case a few years ago, the problems have been evident since before 1990. The public do not appreciate the enormous economic and social consequences of the transitional change that will be required.

        That is not the end of the environmental problems faced by the planet. Species extinction and environmental degradation generally has gone on at pace. And look at the water degradation that has occurred in New Zealand.

      • The Disdain for Ukraine Is Mainly in Trump’s Brain

        Watching the first two days of the House impeachment inquiry’s public hearings, what struck me once again is the utter contempt Donald Trump has for other sovereign nations and fellow heads of state. We’ve seen the evidence of it many times before—”shithole countries,” disdain for NATO, the UN and the European Union—but this current mess really brings it home.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Iran’s Top Leader Warns ‘Thugs’ as Protests Reach 100 Cities

        Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday cautiously backed the government’s decision to raise gasoline prices by 50% after days of widespread protests, calling those who attacked public property during demonstrations “thugs” and signaling that a potential crackdown loomed.

      • Internet disrupted in Iran amid fuel protests in multiple cities

        Network data from the NetBlocks internet observatory confirm disruptions with multiple fixed-line and mobile providers in Iran, amid protests against rising fuel prices. The outages have partial (update: now near-total, see below) impact at the time of writing affecting multiple cities including Tehran.

      • How vaginas are finally losing their stigma

        Such censorship proves we’re still far from being as comfortable with vaginas as we should be, even if creative depictions of vaginas and vulvas in all their varied glory – messy, silly, funny, sexy, beautiful, and empowered – do seem to increasingly be able to take a place at the table. Not to mention, at last, being given a museum all of their own.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Majority of Americans know they’re under constant surveillance, don’t trust the companies doing it, and feel helpless to stop it

        A Pew Study found that 60% of Americans believe that they are being continuously tracked by companies and the government, 69% mistrust the companies doing the tracking, 80% believe that advertisers and social media sites are collecting worrisome data, 79% think the companies lie about breaches, and 80% believe that nothing they do will make a difference.

      • Most Americans think they’re being constantly tracked—and that there’s nothing they can do

        Despite these concerns, more than 80% of Americans feel they have no control over how their information is collected.

        The small print: Very few people read privacy policies, the survey shows. That’s understandable. A review of 150 policies from major websites found that the average one takes about 18 minutes to read and requires at least a college-level reading ability. Few people have time for that—and even if they did, most people are forced to agree anyway if they really need the service.

      • Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control Over Their Personal Information

        A majority of Americans believe their online and offline activities are being tracked and monitored by companies and the government with some regularity. It is such a common condition of modern life that roughly six-in-ten U.S. adults say they do not think it is possible to go through daily life without having data collected about them by companies or the government.

      • Edward Snowden calls for the restructuring of the Internet

        Speaking to Journalist James Ball who was interviewing him for the Web Summit, Snowden reiterated his reasons to speak out: “On the first day you work at the CIA, you have to take what they call an oath of service. It’s a very solemn vow in a dark room, with flags all over the place, with everybody else that’s entering government service on the same day. And here you have to swear an oath to support and defend not the agency, not a secret, not even a president, but the Constitution of your country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and many years later, you find that what you are doing, what everyone at your agency is doing is a gigantic conspiracy to violate precisely that oath you took on the very first day. This is what I struggled with for many years and eventually drove me forward. What do you do when you have contradicting obligations? To what do we owe our greater loyalty?”

        To answer the question about what his primary message was, Snowden said that what drove him forward in the first place was the observation that information about everyone – even those who had done nothing wrong and were not suspected of anything- was being collected, just in case it would be useful. “And nobody in a position of power tried to stop it, because it benefited them.”

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Conservative radio host says he was fired mid-show for bashing Trump

        Craig Silverman told The Denver Post that he was discussing the president’s notorious former New York lawyer, Roy Cohn, when his weekly 710 KNUS radio station suddenly cut to a news bulletin.

        As he looked to his crew to see what was wrong, he says program director Kelly Michaels suddenly walked into the room.

        “You’re done,” Michaels told Silverman, a former chief deputy district attorney in Denver, according to the report.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A New Arab Spring in Lebanon and Iraq

        Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Lebanese have been demonstrating in the streets against corruption and for democratic rights. The protestors come from all economic classes and religious/ethnic groups. Like the Arab Spring uprisings that began in 2010, these protests are spontaneous and without traditional leaders.

      • Sudan: Justice Needed for Protester Killings

        Fatal attacks on protesters in Sudan in June were planned and could amount to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Sudan’s transitional authorities should commit to genuine accountability for unlawful violence against protesters since December, in which hundreds were killed.

      • Uganda: Stop Police Harassment of LGBT People

        The Ugandan authorities should drop charges against dozens of people arrested over the last month in Kampala, the capital, on the basis of their presumed sexual orientation or gender identity.

      • While Warning of Nazi-Like Fascism and Corporate Crimes, Pope Francis Proposes Adding ‘Ecological Sin’ to Church Teachings

        In remarks at the Vatican, the leader of the Catholic Church condemned “the large-scale delinquency of corporations.”

      • US held record number of migrant children in custody in 2019

        This month, new government data shows the little girl is one of an unprecedented 69,550 migrant children held in U.S. government custody over the past year, enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to overflow the typical NFL stadium. That’s more children detained away from their parents than any other country, according to United Nations researchers. And it’s happening even though the U.S. government has acknowledged that being held in detention can be traumatic for children, putting them at risk of long-term physical and emotional damage.

      • China is still harvesting organs from prisoners and covering it up

        Now, a new report in BMC Medical Ethics Journal has affirmed the tribunal’s conclusion, concluding that the official accounts of organ transplants in China contain a “systematic falsification and manipulation of official organ transplant datasets.”

      • Analysis of official deceased organ donation data casts doubt on the credibility of China’s organ transplant reform

        A variety of evidence points to what the authors believe can only be plausibly explained by systematic falsification and manipulation of official organ transplant datasets in China. Some apparently nonvoluntary donors also appear to be misclassified as voluntary. This takes place alongside genuine voluntary organ transplant activity, which is often incentivized by large cash payments. These findings are relevant for international interactions with China’s organ transplantation system.

    • Monopolies

      • Trade Secrecy Injunctions, Disclosure Risks, and eBay’s Influence

        Historically, intellectual property (IP) owners could rely on injunctive remedies to prevent continued infringement. The Supreme Court’s eBay v. MercExchange decision changed this, however. After eBay, patent courts no longer apply presumptions that push the deliberative scales in favor of injunctions (or “property rule” protection). Instead, patent injunctions require a careful four-factor analysis, where plaintiffs must demonstrate irreparable injury (i.e., that money damages cannot compensate). The eBay decision has made it harder for patent plaintiffs to secure injunctions, and has led many district courts to consider innovation policy concerns (e.g., the strategic behavior of patent “troll” plaintiffs) in the injunction calculus. By and large, courts’ more deliberative approach to patent injunctions post-eBay has been viewed as beneficial for the patent system.

        Over the past decade, eBay’s influence has migrated to other areas of IP. This Article analyzes eBay’s impact on federal trade secrecy injunctions. Important differences between trade secret law and other areas of IP — for example, the hard-to-quantify risk that disclosure poses to trade secret owners — has lessened eBay’s influence on trade secrecy injunctions. This Article argues that disclosure risks likely justify a bifurcated approach to trade secrecy injunctions. That is, in cases involving the dissemination of trade secrets, courts should presume irreparable harm. However, in cases involving only the unauthorized use of a trade secret — i.e., where a defendant builds upon a plaintiff’s trade secret — courts should apply the eBay framework. As part of this assessment, courts should consider policy concerns related to cumulative innovation and employee mobility.

      • External Knowledge and Technology Transfer, Transfer, Partnership and Diffusion of Innovation

        Technology transfer means technology transfer towards the application of knowledge. For developing countries, international knowledge and technology transfer is a key channel for economic growth, a key advantage for outbound countries.

        Technology transfer is divided into commercial and non-commercial. Financial gain is the main purpose of commercial technology transfer. The objects of commercial technology transfer are: industrial property (patents for inventions, patent licenses, know-how, trademarks, industrial designs, design certificates and utility models), except for trademarks, service marks and commercial names, unless they form a significant part of technology transfer transactions; know-how and technical experience in the form of feasibility studies, models, designs, instructions, drawings, specifications, technological equipment and the university.

        The objects of non-commercial technology transfer are: scientific-technical and educational literature, reference books, reviews, standards, patent descriptions, catalogues, brochures, etc. international conferences, seminars, round tables, expert councils, working groups, congresses, meetings, symposiums, exhibitions, venture fairs, contests, shows; training and internship of scientists and specialists on a gratuitous basis or on special conditions of parity reimbursement of expenses by the parties.

        Necessary and sufficient conditions. As the current international practice has shown, even having spent considerable funds on R&D, the country is not immune from failure in innovative development. For example, the United Kingdom has had some recognized success in creating innovative technologies. For example, an EMI CT scanner.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • The Interaction of Patent Exhaustion and Transactions in Patented Goods After Impression Products v. Lexmark International

          In Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court provided a justification for patent exhaustion and established rules governing its application. Both U.S. and foreign sales of a patented product trigger application of the doctrine to the article sold. This allows patented articles to flow in commerce without any attached patent rights in­terfering with the free alienability of such articles. Further, conditions attached to the sale of patented articles are enforceable via breach of contract actions rather than by patent infringement actions. Analogizing to copyright law, these bright-line rules should permit avoidance of exhaustion by licens­ing mere use rights for patented products. However, it is proposed that bona fide purchaser rules apply to such licenses so that downstream users of pat­ented products may possess these products free of any use restrictions they lack notice of; thereby furthering the policy of minimizing restraints on alien­ation of such goods.

        • Apple Loses PTAB Bid to Kill Claims in Universal ID Patent

          A mobile payment company has fended off Apple Inc.’s bid to kill claims in an information identification patent involved in an infringement lawsuit against the tech giant.

          The Patent Trial and Appeal Board rejected Apple’s argument that claims in Universal Secure Registry LLC’s U.S. Patent No. 8,856,539 were obvious due to prior inventions and invalid. The patent covers an identification system for providing a person’s financial or other information to authorized users.

        • United States Files Complaint against Pharmaceutical Company Gilead for Patent Infringement Related to Truvada® and Descovy® For Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis of HIV

          The Department of Justice announced today that the United States has filed a complaint alleging infringement by Gilead Sciences Inc. and Gilead Sciences Ireland UC (collectively, Gilead) of four U.S. patents awarded to and owned by the United States, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These patents cover specific drug regimens used for pre-exposure prophylaxis (commonly referred to as PrEP) that prevents HIV transmission. The complaint alleges infringement in connection with two of Gilead’s drugs, Truvada® and Descovy®, which Gilead markets for use to prevent HIV as part of the PrEP regimen.

          “Gilead has received billions of dollars in revenue from HIV prevention regimens invented by HHS researchers and patented by the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “This lawsuit demonstrates the Department’s commitment to protect the government’s intellectual property and hold accountable those who seek to unfairly gain from the government’s research without paying reasonable royalties as the law requires.”

          “HHS recognizes Gilead’s role in selling Truvada® and Descovy® to patients for prevention of HIV. Communities have put these drugs to use in saving lives and reducing the spread of HIV,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar II. “However, Gilead must respect the U.S. patent system, the groundbreaking work by CDC researchers, and the substantial taxpayer contributions to the development of these drugs. The complaint filed today seeks to ensure that they do.”

        • Trump Administration Sues Drugmaker Gilead Sciences Over Patent on Truvada for HIV Preventio
      • Copyrights

        • Disney Wants to Reinforce Its ‘Piracy Intelligence’ Team

          Disney entered the streaming market this week with its own video on demand platform. While there is plenty of interest in the new service, piracy remains a major concern. This is an area Disney’s “piracy intelligence team” is keeping a close eye on, and they are currently looking for reinforcement.

        • Judge Recommends Denial of $150,000 Piracy Judgment Against APK Download Site

          Several independent movie studios, including the makers of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” and “London Has Fallen,” have suffered a setback in a Hawaii court. A magistrate judge is recommending a denial of their request for a $150,000 default judgment against the foreign operator of an APK site that offered copies of the pirate apps Popcorn Time and Showbox.

        • Steal This Show S05E02: ‘‘On The Frontline Of The Code War’’

          Today we bring you the next episode of the Steal This Show podcast, discussing renegade media and the latest decentralization and file-sharing news. In this episode, we talk to John P. Carlin, author of Dawn of the Code War and former Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division.

        • KodiUKTV Considers its Future Following FACT Cease & Desist

          This week, the Federation Against Copyright Theft confirmed that it had sent cease-and-desist notices to at least two players in the Kodi add-on community. Amid the uncertainty, both took a quick decision to close down. The founder of one of them, KodiUKTV, has been sharing his thoughts with TorrentFreak, reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future.

        • Safeguarding User Freedoms in Implementing Article 17 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive: Recommendations from European Academics

          On 17 May 2019 the new Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market was officially published (DSM Directive). Article 17 (ex-Article 13) is one of its most controversial provisions. Article 17(10) tasks the Commission with organising stakeholder dialogues to ensure uniform application of the obligation of cooperation between online content-sharing service providers (OCSSPs) and rightholders, and to establish best practices with regard to appropriate industry standards of professional diligence.

          This document offers recommendations on user freedoms and safeguards included in Article 17 of the DSM Directive – namely in its paragraphs (7) and (9) – and should be read in the context of the stakeholder dialogue mentioned in paragraph (10).


Links 17/11/2019: Slax Beta and Arch Conf 2019 Report

Posted in News Roundup at 11:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links for the day

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • IBM

        • First Major Update to Oracle Linux 8 Brings Enhanced Security, Latest Updates

          Based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 release, Oracle Linux 8 Update 1 is here six months after the release of the Oracle Linux 8 operating system series, which adds a new distribution method combining BaseOS and Applications Streams. It adds updated components and enhanced security to better control and protect your installations on desktop and cloud.

          “With Oracle Linux 8, the core operating environment and associated packages for a typical Oracle Linux 8 server are distributed through a combination of BaseOS and Applications Streams. BaseOS gives you a running user space for the operating environment. Application Streams provides a range of applications that were previously distributed in Software Collections, as well as other products and programs, that can run within the user space,” said Oracle.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS Now Patched Against Latest Intel CPU Flaws

          After responding to the latest security vulnerabilities affecting Intel CPU microarchitectures, Red Hat has released new Linux kernel security updates for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating systems to address the well-known ZombieLoad v2 flaw and other issues. The CentOS community also ported the updates for their CentOS Linux 6 and CentOS Linux 7 systems.

          The security vulnerabilities patched in this new Linux kernel security update are Machine Check Error on Page Size Change (IFU) (CVE-2018-12207), TSX Transaction Asynchronous Abort (TAA) (CVE-2019-11135), Intel GPU Denial Of Service while accessing MMIO in lower power state (CVE-2019-0154), and Intel GPU blitter manipulation that allows for arbitrary kernel memory write (CVE-2019-0155).

    • Benchmarks

      • Firefox vs. Chrome Browser Performance On Intel Ice Lake + Power/Memory Usage Tests

        Using Firefox 70 (including WebRender) and Google Chrome 78, here are our latest round of Linux web browser benchmarks tested on the Dell XPS Ice Lake laptop. Making this round of Linux browser benchmarking more interesting is also including power consumption and RAM usage metrics for the different browser benchmarks.

        For those wondering about whether Firefox or Chrome makes the most sense for Linux laptops, these benchmarks from the Dell XPS with Intel Core i7-1065G7 will hopefully be useful.

        Ubuntu 19.10 with the Linux 5.3 kernel was running on this Intel Ice Lake laptop while using the official builds of Mozilla Firefox 70.0 (both out of the box and with WebRender) and Google Chrome 78. The AC system power consumption was monitored on battery and the total RAM usage was being monitored throughout testing as well. All of the benchmarking was carried out using the Phoronix Test Suite.

    • Applications

      • Monitoring Bandwidth On Linux: Top 5 Tools in 2019

        Don’t we all wish our networks had infinite bandwidth? The reality is, however, that it is often a severely limited resource. Add to that the fact that bandwidth over-utilization can have huge impacts on network performance and we have a recipe for disaster.

        The solution: set up some bandwidth monitoring system. A lot of them are available. Most of them run on Windows, though, and if your OS of choice it Linux, your options are slightly more limited. You still have plenty of options, however, and we’re about to introduce the best tools for bandwidth monitoring on Linux.

        We’ll begin by introducing bandwidth monitoring and explain what it is. Next, we’ll cover the ins and outs of the Simple Network Management Protocol, or SNMP, one of the most-used monitoring technology. Our next order of business will be to have a look a Linux as an operating system but, more specifically, as a platform for monitoring tools. And finally, we’ll briefly review some of the best tools for bandwidth monitoring on Linux and describe their best features.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Excellent rule-changing puzzle game Baba Is You is getting an official level editor

        Baba Is You, the truly excellent puzzle game where you have to break the rules of each level to beat them is getting a big update soon. See Also: previous thoughts on it here.

        How do you break these rules? Well, on each level there’s logic blocks you can push around to change everything. Turn yourself into a rock, a jellyfish, make it so touching a wall wins instead of a flag you can’t access and all kinds of really crazy things it becomes quite hilarious.

      • Dicey Dungeons outsold Terry Cavanagh’s last two Steam games in the first month

        Terry Cavanagh, the indie developer behind VVVVVV, Super Hexagon and the latest Dicey Dungeons has a new blog post out talking about how well Dicey Dungeons has done and what’s to come next.

        Leading up to the release, Cavanagh was doing a blog post each day for seven days. This latest post from yesterday then, is long overdue considering Dicey Dungeons launched in August.

      • Factorio is leaving Early Access in September next year

        As a result of the team behind Factorio feeling like it’s going on for too long, they’ve now set a proper release date.

        In their latest Friday Facts update, they mentioned how their “when it’s done” approach has served them well to create a high-quality game “but if we continued this way, we would be doing it basically forever”. Part of the issue is that they want to work on new features and add content, instead of constant polishing. So they’re setting a date publicly now “so we have to stick with it”. With that in mind, it’s going to leave Early Access on September 25, 2020.

        Development is not ending once they hit the big 1.0, they also don’t want to say it’s 100% finished either. Like a lot of games, as long as the money keeps coming in they will likely keep adding to it.

      • Enabling GameMode on Linux for best gaming performance
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: touchy and scrolly and GTK-ey and iconey

          There are some neat things to report and I think you will enjoy them! In particular, I think folks are really going to like the improvements to GNOME/GTK app integration and two sets of touch- and scrolling-related improvements to Okular and the Kickoff Application Launcher, detailed below:

        • KDE Plasma 5.18 Bringing Better GTK/GNOME App Integration

          Aside from tightening the GNOME/GTK integration with KDE, this week there has also been some Okular improvements, better touch support for the Kickoff Application Launcher, deleting files within the Dolphin file manager now uses a separate worker thread for the I/O, Spectacle can now integrate with OBS Studio as a new screen recording option, and other enhancements.

        • Lakademy 2019

          I’m now writing this post in the last hours of the Lakademy 2019 (and my first one). It was really good to be “formally” introduced to the community and it’s people, and to be in this environment of people wanting to collaborate to something as incredible as KDE. Althought I wanted to contribute more to other projects, I did some changes and fixes in the rocs, wrote my Season of KDE project and got some tasks that can help with the future of rocs.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Testing Slax 10.2 beta1

          Changes include disabling apparmor, which was preventing some programs from starting properly (eg. man), and fixing chromium by installing chromium-sandbox package. Also added was dummy ‘sudo’ command (so you can copy&paste sudo commands from internet and it will work as long as you are signed in as root).

          I will be happy if you let me know problems you encounter, either by email, or using slax-users google group, or by commenting to this blog post.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • PCLinuxOS Gets November 2019 ISO with Refreshed Themes, Latest Updates

          The PCLinuxOS community released their monthly ISO snapshots for November 2019, a release that contains all the latest bug and security updates, as well as various improvements.

          PCLinuxOS 2019.11 is out now as the latest and most up to date installation medium for this independently developed and user-friendly GNU/Linux distribution, including a fully updated system with all the updates released as of November 12th, 2019, with refreshed themes for GRUB, bootsplash, and the desktop.

          PCLinuxOS 2019.11 is available in there different edition, with the KDE Plasma 5, Xfce, and MATE desktop environments. The PCLinuxOS 2019.11 KDE edition ships with the latest KDE Plasma 5.17.3 desktop environment, as well as the KDE Applications 19.08.3 and KDE Frameworks 5.64.0 open-source software suites.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Conf 2019 Report

          During the 5th and 6th of October, 21 team members attended the very first internal Arch Conf. We spent 2 days at Native Instruments in Berlin having workshops, discussions and hack sessions together. We even managed to get into, and escape, an escape room!

          It was a great and productive weekend which we hope will continue in the next years. Hopefully we will be able to expand on this in the future and include more community members and users.

          There is a report available for the workshops and discussions from the conference!

      • Debian Family

        • Seems like I only ever write something at CD release time … Buster release 2 is happening round about now

          Updating CD images again for Buster release 2. I’ve spent a happy day chasing down various CD images and discovering my ignorance once again :)

          Thanks to Sledge for having me around and also to Schweer – who wasn’t feeling so well. No RattusRattus or Isy this time round – that meant I got to do a little more but I do miss their company.

        • Debian GNU/Linux 10.2 “Buster” Live & Installable ISOs Now Available to Download

          Just one day after announcing the availability of the Debian GNU/Linux 10.2 “Buster” maintenance update, the Debian Project now published live and installable ISO images for all supported architectures and flavors.

          Debian GNU/Linux 10.2 “Buster” consists of over two months of updates release through the official software repositories. It includes a total of 115 security updates and bug fixes, offering the community the most up-to-date install mediums for the latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series.

          Debian GNU/Linux 10.2 “Buster” ISO images are now available to download (see download links below) for all supported architectures, including 32-bit (i386), 64-bit (amd64), ARM64 (AArch64), Armel, ARMhf, MIPS, MIPSel (MIPS Little Endian), MIPS64el (MIPS 64-bit Little Endian), PPC64el (PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian), and s390x (IBM System z).

          Live images are available as well with the KDE Plasma, GNOME, Xfce, LXDE, MATE, and Cinnamon desktop environments, but only for 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (amd64) systems. As usual, a multi-arch image supporting both amd64 (64-bit) and i386 (32-bit) architectures is available as well, along with netboot images.

        • Debian Moves Closer To Voting On Proposals Over Init System Diversity

          Following the decision by Debian Project Leader Sam Hartman to seek a general resolution over init system diversity and just how much Debian developers care about supporting systemd alternatives, the general resolution vote is moving closer.

          The text is now laid out over three proposals drafted by Sam Hartman in weighing the importance of systemd / init system diversity by Debian developers.

          The three choices include affirming init diversity, focusing on systemd but supporting the exploration of alternatives, and focusing on systemd for the init system and other facilities.

        • Linux 10.2/Debian GNU “Buster” Released with Extended Security Tweaks!

          The official Debian project named this extended version as the “Buster”. This version launched with 100+ bug fixes and security updates. You can directly update from the Debian 10 or 10.2 using the upgrading commands.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source radio system delivers emergency alerts and music to the Yukon and beyond

        “Radio Rob” Hopkins lives in Tagish, Yukon, 120km south of the capital city, Whitehorse. It is here that he created Open Broadcaster, an open source system that enables small rural market radio stations to manage their operations and volunteers.

        Having lived in the Yukon for 35 years, back when there was no phone or internet, Rob got into communications to set up a low-power FM (LPFM) station for the community. He wanted to make it easier to manage stations, so he made a pitch to the Yukon government for seed money to develop an application to use the internet to run a radio station and deliver the last mile through FM radio.

      • Can Google’s New Open Source Tool Make Kubernetes Less Painful?

        Google has pushed Skaffold – a command line tool that automates Kubernetes development workflow – out to the developer community, saying the tool is now generally available after 5,000 commits from nearly 150 contributors to the project.

        Kubernetes – the de facto container orchestration standard – has become the linchpin of much cloud-native computing, sitting underneath swathes of cloud-based tools to manage how applications run across a wide range computing environments.

      • Molly de Blanc: Rebellion

        We spend a lot of time focusing on the epic side of free software and user freedom: joys come from providing encrypted communication options to journalists and political dissidents; losses are when IoT devices are used to victimize and abuse.

        I think a lot about the little ways technology interacts with our lives, the threats to or successes for user freedom we encounter in regular situations that anyone can find themselves able to understand: sexting with a secure app, sharing DRM-free piece of media, or having your communications listened to by a “home assistant.”

        When I was writing a talk about ethics and IoT, I was looking for these small examples of the threats posed by smart doorbells. False arrests and racial profiling, deals with law enforcement to monitor neighborhoods, the digital panopticon — these are big deals. I remembered something I read about kids giving their neighbor a pair of slippers for Christmas. This sort of anonymous gift giving becomes impossible when your front door is constantly being monitored. People laughed when I shared this idea with them — that we’re really losing something by giving up the opportunity to anonymously leave presents.

        We are also giving up what my roommate calls “benign acts of rebellion.” From one perspective, making it harder for teenagers to sneak out at night is a good thing. Keeping better tabs on your kids and where they are is a safety issue. Being able to monitor what they do on their computer can prevent descent into objectively bad communities and behavior patterns, but it can also prevent someone from participating in the cultural coming of age narratives that help define who we are as a society and give us points of connection across generations.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Google’s OpenTitan Chip Could Make Data Centers More Secure… Someday
          • Google meets RISC-V to define open source root of trust from edge to cloud

            Silicon root of trust (RoT) technology is important for embedding security mechanisms at silicon level for a wide range of products from mobile devices to network cards to webscale servers. It is increasingly important as fears about 5G and cloud security rise, but it is also highly proprietary to each equipment vendor. To address that issues, an open source project called OpenTitan says it will produce a reference design and integration guidelines for silicon RoT. Although Google is a leading figure in the group, and its own RoT design is called Titan, OpenTitan will not be an open source version of that technology. All participants will co-develop a design from scratch that will be agnostic to platform and vendor, said…

          • Google’s OpenTitan aims to Create an Open Source Secure Enclave

            Google wants Android phones to have a Secure Enclave chip like iPhones. Its OpenTitan project aims to help design an open source one.

      • Programming/Development

        • The GCC 10 Compiler Lands OpenMP / OpenACC Offloading To AMD Radeon GPUs

          A few days ago I wrote about the OpenMP / OpenACC offloading patches for Radeon “GCN” GPUs being posted and seeking inclusion in the GCC 10 compiler that will be released in a few months. Those patches were successfully merged meaning this next annual update to the GNU Compiler Collection will feature initial OpenMP/OpenACC code offloading support to supported AMD GPU targets.

          After GCC 9 only had the initial AMD Radeon GCN target in place, GCC 10 in early 2020 will feature the initial offloading support using the modern OpenMP and OpenACC APIs, thanks to the merges this week. The libgomp port and associated bits for the AMD GCN back-end have landed thanks to the work done by Code Sourcery under contract with AMD.

        • RFC: Add a static analysis framework to GCC
          This patch kit introduces a static analysis pass for GCC that can diagnose
          various kinds of problems in C code at compile-time (e.g. double-free,
          use-after-free, etc).
          The analyzer runs as an IPA pass on the gimple SSA representation.
          It associates state machines with data, with transitions at certain
          statements and edges.  It finds "interesting" interprocedural paths
          through the user's code, in which bogus state transitions happen.
          For example, given:
             free (ptr);
             free (ptr);
          at the first call, "ptr" transitions to the "freed" state, and
          at the second call the analyzer complains, since "ptr" is already in
          the "freed" state (unless "ptr" is NULL, in which case it stays in
          the NULL state for both calls).
          Specific state machines include:
          - a checker for malloc/free, for detecting double-free, resource leaks,
            use-after-free, etc (sm-malloc.cc), and
          - a checker for stdio's FILE stream API (sm-file.cc)
          There are also two state-machine-based checkers that are just
          proof-of-concept at this stage:
          - a checker for tracking exposure of sensitive data (e.g.
            writing passwords to log files aka CWE-532), and
          - a checker for tracking "taint", where data potentially under an
            attacker's control is used without sanitization for things like
            array indices (CWE-129).
          There's a separation between the state machines and the analysis
          engine, so it ought to be relatively easy to add new warnings.
          For any given diagnostic emitted by a state machine, the analysis engine
          generates the simplest feasible interprocedural path of control flow for
          triggering the diagnostic.
        • GCC Might Finally Have A Static Analysis Framework Thanks To Red Hat

          Clang’s static analyzer has become quite popular with developers for C/C++ static analysis of code while now the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) might finally see a mainline option thanks to Red Hat.

          Red Hat’s David Malcolm has proposed a set of 49 patches that appear to be fairly robust and the most we have seen out of GCC static analysis capabilities to date.

        • Introduce a new GCC option, –record-gcc-command-line
          I would like to propose the following patches which introduce a compile option --record-gcc-command-line. When passed to gcc, it saves the command line option into the produced object file. The option makes it trivial to trace back how a file was compiled and by which version of the gcc. It helps with debugging, reproducing bugs and repeating the build process.
          This option is similar to -frecord-gcc-switches. However, they have three fundamental differences: Firstly, -frecord-gcc-switches saves the internal state after the argv is processed and passed by the driver. As opposed to that, --record-gcc-command-line saves the command-line as received by the driver. Secondly, -frecord-gcc-switches saves the switches as separate entries into a mergeable string section. Therefore, the entries belonging to different object files get mixed up after being linked. The new --record-gcc-command-line, on the other hand, creates one entry per invocation. By doing so, it makes it clear which options were used together in a single gcc invocation. Lastly, --record-gcc-command-line also adds the version of the gcc into this single entry to make it clear which version of gcc was called with any given command line. This is useful in cases where .comment section reports multiple versions.
          While there are also similarities between the implementations of these two options, they are completely independent. These commands can be used separately or together without issues. I used the same section that -frecord-gcc-switches uses on purpose. I could not use the name -frecord-gcc-command-line for this option; because of a {f*} in the specs, which forwards all options starting with -f to cc1/cc1plus as is. This is not we want for this option. We would like to append it a filename as well to pass the argv of the driver to child processes.
          This functionality operates as the following: It saves gcc's argv into a temporary file, and passes --record-gcc-command-line <tempfilename> to cc1 or cc1plus. The functionality of the backend is implemented via a hook. This patch includes an example implementation of the hook for elf targets: elf_record_gcc_command_line function. This function reads the given file and writes gcc's version and the command line into a mergeable string section, .GCC.command.line.
        • GCC Developers Discuss New Option For Recording Compiler Flags / Details In Binaries

          GCC developers recently have been discussing a new proposal over an option for preserving the command-line flags/options used when building a binary as well as the associated compiler version.

          The proposal sent out last week was over a –record-gcc-command-line option to save the compiler options into the produced object file. The proposal is in the name of helping debugging, reproducing bugs, and repeating build process. There is already a -frecord-gcc-switches option that is somewhat similar in behavior but with key differences as explained in the proposal.

        • RcppEigen

          A new minor release of RcppEigen arrived on CRAN today (and just went to Debian too) bringing support for Eigen 3.3.7 to R.

          This release comes almost a year after the previous minor release Besides the upgrade to the new upstream version, it brings a few accumulated polishes to the some helper and setup functions, and switches to the very nice tinytest package for unit tests; see below for the full list. As before, we carry a few required changes to Eigen in a diff.

        • “Higher Performance Python” at PyDataCambridge 2019

          I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at the first PyDataCambridge conference (2019), this is the second PyData conference in the UK after PyDataLondon (which colleagues and I co-founded 6 years back). I’m super proud to see PyData spread to 6 regional meetups and now 2 UK conferences.

        • [Older] Linux Systems Performance

          Systems performance is an effective discipline for performance analysis and tuning, and can help you find performance wins for your applications and the kernel. However, most of us are not performance or kernel engineers, and have limited time to study this topic. This talk summarizes the topic for everyone, touring six important areas of Linux systems performance: observability tools, methodologies, benchmarking, profiling, tracing, and tuning. Included are recipes for Linux performance analysis and tuning (using vmstat, mpstat, iostat, etc), overviews of complex areas including profiling (perf_events) and tracing (Ftrace, bcc/BPF, and bpftrace/BPF), and much advice about what is and isn’t important to learn. This talk is aimed at everyone: developers, operations, sysadmins, etc, and in any environment running Linux, bare metal or the cloud.

        • Martin Pieuchot: The Unknown Plan

          Since I attend OpenBSD hackathons, I hear stories about how crazy are the ports hackathons. So I try my best to look like a porter in order to experience this craziness. I must admit p2k19 was awesome but the craziness of port hackathons is still an enigma to me.

        • Google’s AI-powered FreddieMeter can tell if you sing like Queen’s frontman

          While Freddie may have sadly bitten the dust, his fame lives on, so much so that Google’s Creative Lab has cooked up the FreddieMeter.

          The show must go on! It’s an AI-powered thingy which uses its smarts to figure out if one’s singing voice has a pitch, melody and timbre to match that of Mercury’s champion vocals.

        • What is Python? Powerful, intuitive programming

          Why the Python programming language shines for data science, machine learning, systems automation, web and API development, and more.

        • Ian Ozsvald: Training Courses for 2020 Q1 – Successful Data Science Projects & Software Engineering for Data Scientists
        • The simplest explanation of Decorators in Python

          Before starting about decorators, first, understand that functions in python have below three properties.

        • Basic Data Types in Python 3: Booleans

          Welcome back to our ongoing series of blog posts on basic data types in Python 3! Last time, we explored the functionality of strings. Today, we dive in to another key data type – booleans. Booleans (and “boolean logic”) are an important concept in programming, representing the concept of “true” and “false”.

          If you’re learning Python, you might also want to check out TwilioQuest 3. You’ll learn about basic data types like the boolean, and much more about Python programming.

          Ready to learn how to use booleans in Python 3? Let’s get started!

      • Standards/Consortia

        • The Relationship Between Open Source Software and Standard Setting

          Standards and open source development are both processes widely adopted in the ICT industry to develop innovative technologies and drive their adoption in the market. Innovators and policy makers assume that a closer collaboration between standards and open source software development would be mutually beneficial. The interaction between the two is however not yet fully understood, especially with regard to how the intellectual property regimes applied by these organisations influence their ability and motivation to cooperate. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the interaction between standard development organisations (SDOs) and open source software (OSS) communities. The analysis is based on 20 case studies, a survey of stakeholders involved in SDOs and OSS communities, an expert workshop, and a comprehensive review of the literature. In the analysis, we differentiate according to the governance of SDOs and OSS communities, but also considering the involved stakeholders and subject matter. We discuss the preconditions, forms and impacts of collaboration, before we eventually focus on the complementarity of the different Intellectual Property Right (IPR) regimes. Finally, we derive policy recommendations addressing SDOs, OSS communities and policy makers.

  • Leftovers

    • With one secret ingredient, you can bake the flakiest pastry crust of all time

      “The thing about pastry is you have to get your exact measurements,” Alana explained one particularly cold afternoon as I walked into the kitchen with my friend Jason.

      In order to form the pastry, you need three ingredients: ice-cold water, six ounces of all-purpose wheat flour, and eight ounces of cold butter. But not just any butter could be used, and it would not be unsalted butter. That was not worth the drive to Tesco’s.

    • Black, Blue, Jazzy and Beat Down to His Bones: Being Bob Kaufman

      It wasn’t ever easy to be Bob Kaufman, not even in San Francisco, a city hospitable to poetry and poets, and where Kaufman was a larger than life figure who attracted attention wherever he went, not unlike that San Francisco native, Jack London, who also attracted attention and stood out from his contemporaries. Like London, Kaufman was the real thing and no imitation writer.

    • Noel Ignatiev: Remembering a Comrade and a Friend

      For all of the opprobrium Facebook deserves, it is still essential for building ties on the left when there are so few opportunities for networking in real space as opposed to cyberspace. Just checking now, it seems that I became a FB friend with Noel Ignatiev sometime in 2015. It was worth it to me to make such a connection, even if it meant putting up with all the ads and heavy-handed automated interference into saying what was on my mind. (I lost FB posting privileges twice for no good reason.)

    • Poetry and Political Struggle: The Dialectics of Rhyme
    • 94 Well-Lived Years and the $27 Traffic Fine

      On Friday, November 8, 2019, I delivered the following eulogy to honor the memory of a dear and trusted friend.

      Sometime in the late fall of 1968 I had my first encounter with Jane Quick in front of Ed Flaig’s Mobil station – at the intersection of 10th and Pine – only a couple of blocks west of here.

      That encounter cost me 27 dollars.

      Allow me to explain: I was heading to the newly opened Snack Shack, a tiny, alpine-style structure across the street from where the Sonic would eventually move in and put the Shack out of business. The Snack Shack was best known for its poor students’ budget-conscious menu of unhealthy, greasy meals. Where else could one get a 19 Cent hamburger, a miniscule 19 Cent packet of fries, and 10 Cent cokes?

      From 3:30 p.m. until closing, usually around 11:30 p.m., I cooked, served meals at the seven seater eating bar and the takeout window to the side, cleaned, hauled trash, and stocked all the artery clogging lard for the next day’s opening.

    • Performance Anxiety

      How did I get into this? As a kid that was the inevitable question of concert day. I still ask it now and again. One of my colleagues, to be heard on violin with your Musical Patriot at the organ on All Your Cares Beguile: Songs and Sonatas from Baroque London will often acknowledge his own anxiety before a gig by reminding himself that being nervous is better than being bored. But I’m not always so sure.

    • Are you conservative? Read to find out!

      It’s all very simple. Biological survival. Bullshit reduces it, good stuff enhances it. So your resistance to change is your evolutionary right. And if you actually stop to think about what changes mean to you and how they impact your life, congratulations, you’re doing something 99% of people can’t – you’re using your brain!

      I also mentioned ignorance. Most people don’t have the ability to care. Now, you could also have apathy. You do understand all the big words and whatnot, but you equally don’t care. That puts you neither here nor there, which is perfectly fine. Just remember that people will almost always try to bundle you into a box they are comfortable with, so it’s going to be a binary choice, black or white, for or against. Whatever suits their convictions the best.

      And that brings us to the end of this article, and you got the answer you’re seeking. Paradoxically, if you actually bothered reading, you already know the answer. Because this article is sort of designed to provoke and challenge your views, and if you can’t stomach that, then you’re not reading this sentence. Very simple. Thus endeth the rant.

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Scientists say nature therapies don’t just feel good — they save trillions in health costs

        Researchers at Griffith University in Australia suggest that national parks and protected areas save an approximate $6 trillion globally in mental health care costs. Lead study author Ralf Buckley said while that is a “conservative” estimate, it’s still “10 times greater than the global value of park tourism and 100 times greater than the global value of park agency budgets.”

      • Putting ‘Health of All Species’ in Danger, Trump EPA Proposal Guts Restrictions on Toxic Herbicide Linked to Birth Defects

        “The pro-industry zealots now running the EPA’s pesticide office are making a mockery of science and eliminating key safety measures, all for company profits.”

      • Labor Opponents of Single Payer Don’t  Speak For Low Wage Union Members

        As popular support grows for replacing private insurance plans with Medicare for All, critics of the single-payer approach have been playing up the fact that some top union officials, and their political allies, don’t want to do away with job-based medical coverage.

      • To Ensure ‘Genuine Public Service for All,’ UK Labour Party Proposes Free, Nationalized Broadband

        “Instead of you forking out for your monthly bill, we’ll tax the giant corporations fairly—the Facebooks and the Googles—to cover the running costs.”

      • What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Health Care

        Every weekday for six weeks this fall, I had radiation treatment for early-stage breast cancer. This journey has been a lesson in our broken social and economic systems.

      • A Century of Prohibition

        We live in the shadow of the past; it haunts the present like the memory of a dead relative who can’t be forgotten or forgiven.  Prohibition is a dead historically moment that can’t be forgotten.

      • Final building handed over to European Medicines Agency in Amsterdam

        EU member states decided in 2017 that the agency, formerly based in London, would be transferred to another location because of the Brexit. Nineteen cities were interested in housing the EMA. After three rounds of voting following a meeting of the European Council in November 2017, a tie was declared between Amsterdam and Milan and the final decision was made by the presidency drawing lots between the two cities.

        In March of this year the EMA moved to Amsterdam, operating from temporary premises in Amsterdam Sloterdijk. Now that the newly built and tailor-made Zuidas building has been handed over to EMA, technical equipment will be installed followed by IT configuration and testing.


        According to the Dutch public news service NOS, the new EMA building cost 225 million euro, including 20 years of maintenance. This must be earned back through EMA’s rental payments. The Dutch ministry of economics expects The Netherlands to earn an estimated 128 million euros per year from the arrival of EMA.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump Pardons 2 Army Officers Accused of War Crimes

        President Donald Trump has pardoned a former U.S. Army commando set to stand trial next year in the killing of a suspected Afghan bomb-maker and a former Army lieutenant convicted of murder for ordering his men to fire upon three Afghans, killing two, the White House announced late Friday.

      • Aircraft-carriers are big, expensive, vulnerable—and popular

        Is this fashion for flat-tops well advised? Carriers have long been threatened by submarines. During the Falklands war Argentina’s navy kept its only carrier skulking in port for fear of British submarines. Now they are increasingly threatened above the waterline, too, by ever more sophisticated land- and air-launched anti-ship missiles. To remain safe, carriers must stay ever-farther out to sea, their usefulness dropping with every nautical mile. Missile improvements also threaten the ability of the carriers’ air wings to do what is required of them, nibbling away at their very reason for being.

      • Why Now, and Why Hong Kong, for Alibaba’s Share Sale?

        Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. pulled off the biggest-ever initial public offering on Wall Street five years ago and today sports a market capitalization north of $450 billion. So why is it looking to raise billions more now in Hong Kong, where months of violent pro-democracy protests have unsettled investors and helped tip the city into recession? Fresh capital is not the only reason.

      • Abandoning Malmö to Its Criminals

        Half an hour later, I gave a young and resigned-seeming police officer my account of the incident. When I asked him how best to protect my family in the future, he told me the best solution was “not living in Malmö: Things have escalated to a point where we can’t manage the situation.”

      • ‘Grand American Tradition of Immunizing Its War Criminals’ Continues as Trump Pardons US Soldiers

        “A shameful use of presidential powers,” said the ACLU. “It sends a clear message of disrespect for the law, morality, the military justice system, and those in the military who abide by the laws of war.”

      • Coups-for-Green-Energy Added to Wars-For-Oil

        The US-supported right-wing coup against Bolivian President Evo Morales on November 10th was a serious strike against that nation’s autonomy and its people (especially its indigenous, of whom Morales was one). Such meddling has defined US foreign policy in Latin America for nearly two centuries, since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823.

      • ‘Civil War, Now!’ Bolivia Crisis Escalates; 8 Dead, Dozens Hurt

        Bolivia’s political crisis turned deadly again when security forces opened fire on supporters of Evo Morales. Officials said Saturday that at least eight people died and dozens were injured in an incident that threatens the interim government’s efforts to restore stability following the resignation of the former president in an election dispute.

      • Missed Opportunity to Recall a Day to ‘Perpetuate Peace’

        And, the magazine added, be sure to spell Veterans Day without an apostrophe!

      • The Violence of Fascist Leaders, Then and Now

        “[A]fter the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace. . . which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want.” —Atlantic Charter issued August 14, 1941

      • Permanent War: the Drive to Emasculate

        Trump announced to the world the gruesome death and terrorizing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “… He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.. They were led to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast…. The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him.”

      • It’s Still Not Too Late for Rojava

        As Turkey continues its devastating military assault on Rojava, the Kurdish-led region of northeastern Syria, officials in Washington are facing a critical decision: allow Turkey to prevail in its campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Kurds or take action to protect them.

      • Amnesty International Amplifies Clemency Demand for Rodney Reed as Supreme Court Considers Taking Up Case

        “Killing a person creates a murderer out of the executioner, is not justice for Stacey Stites, and deprives Rodney Reed of dignity and humanity.”

      • Heartrending Antiwar Songs

        What makes for a heartrending antiwar song? Is it a doleful poetic and folkloric lament, or is it a driving martial beat with piercing raging lyrics of protest? Does it need a woman’s plaintive voice to make your heart ache with pain, or a man’s fierce growl to give you that gut-wrenching sinking feeling? I suppose it all depends on your kind of musical ear, and on your own situation with regard to the hazards of war.

      • Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded

        War drives the American police state.

      • The USA “Defends” Its Blockade, and Cuba Responds

        The annual vote on the Cuban resolution at the UN General Assembly on “the need to end the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” is a time of celebration in Cuba, for it is a time in which the governments of the world nearly unanimously support the Cuban demand for the United States to cease its long-standing blockade. The first vote on the resolution was held in 1992, and it was approved with 59 votes in favor, 3 opposed, and 71 abstentions. For the next seventeen years, the annual vote saw a steady increase of votes in favor and a corresponding decrease in abstentions, arriving in 2000 to 167 votes in favor, 3 opposed, and 4 abstentions. Since 2005, there have been only five countries or less that have opposed or abstained. In the vote 2019 this past week, there were 187 votes in favor of the Cuban resolution, three opposed (the United States, Israel, and Brazil), and two abstentions (Colombia and Ukraine).

      • Why War Deaths Increase After Wars

        I don’t know if somebody dumped a bottle of sanity solution into Rhode Island Sound or what the reason is, but Brown University, which has military contracts just like everywhere else, is the headquarters of a group of dozens of scholars and experts working to educate the public about the various costs of wars (funders worth thanking are here). If every educational institution in the United States did even a teeny bit of what this group does, I think there’s a chance that “peace on earth” might become a phrase with actual meaning, understood as something that might actually be created.

      • Drones, Guns and Abject Heroes in America

        A couple Saturdays ago I attended the monthly protest near the drone base located on what used to be the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham, PA, outside Philadelphia. The vigil has been going on monthly for a number of years, peopled by some of the most spiritual, peace-loving people I know. I’d say many of them also qualify as Cassandras, people who have consistently spoken out in an ethical and reasonable manner against the morally confusing reality of our imperial wars. Cassandra was a mythic Greek figure who spurned Apollo and was, thus, doomed to prophesize correctly; the catch was no one would listen to her. Marginalization with a mythic spin.

      • Fundamentalism as Speechlessness

        Our world is bent out of shape. It is all twisted and tangled like a bombed out bridge after an air raid. As we gaze out upon this mangled world, on a very bad day one can see apocalypse around every corner. This was the case in July 2011, when Anders Breivik systematically massacred 76 children at a Labour party youth camp, situated on an idyllic island, in Norway of all places. He imagined that these youth were being trained to respect all peoples in a multicultural world, including Muslims. When some of us in the West first heard this grizzly news, we immediately thought that this must be linked in some ghoulish way with Islamist terrorists. And that is just the problem, isn’t it? Since 9/11, we in the West can easily slip and slide into this quick judgment. Mention terrorism, think Muslim.

      • Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”

        When the dust settles in a month or two, the House of Representatives will have impeached President Donald Trump with a one-sided partisan vote and then the Senate will have exonerated Donald Trump with a similarly one-sided partisan vote.  But at the end of the day, the United States will have acquired a new strategic ally in Central Europe: Ukraine. The very first day of the impeachment hearings in November has been responsible for an important national security decision that had no input from Trump’s national security team or from the congressional foreign policy committees. The implications of this decision are onerous.

      • The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors

        Claims that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons are almost as old as the Syrian civil war itself. They have produced strong reactions, and none more so than in the case of the alleged attack in April last year on the opposition-controlled area of Douma near Damascus in which 43 people are said to have been killed by chlorine gas. The United States, Britain and France responded by launching airstrikes on targets in the Syrian capital.

      • Kashmir witnessed ISIS-level horror before the West was apprised on it: Columnist Sunanda Vashisht

        “We have seen ISIS level of horror and brutality in Kashmir, 30 years before the West was even introduced to the brutalities of radical Islamic terror. I am glad these hearings are happening here today because when my family and everyone like me lost our homes our livelihood and our way of life the world remained silent,” Vashisht told a Congressional hearing on Human Rights organised by Tom Lantos HR Commission in Washington on Thursday (local time).

      • Forget North Korea: This Is The Nuclear Hotspot No One is Talking About

        The bone of contention has always been the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. At the time of partition, the predominantly Muslim state was politically divided over which nation to join. When Pakistani-allied tribesmen attempted to force the issue, the Hindu maharaja of the region chose to accede to India, leading to the first war between India and Pakistan. Ever since, the line of control between the Indian and Pakistan side has remained bitterly contested, with artillery and sniper fire routinely exchanged. Pakistan intelligence services have infiltrated insurgents and plotted attacks across the border for decades, and Indian security troops have been implicated in human-rights violations and killings of the locals as a result of their counterinsurgency operations.

      • Israel Says It Has Completed Gaza Strikes After Rocket Fire

        Israel said early Friday it has completed a series of airstrikes on targets linked to the Islamic Jihad militant group in Gaza after overnight rocket fire that rattled a day-old truce.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • EFF to Court: Don’t Let Private Organizations Control Access to the Law

        Public.Resource.Org has one simple mission: to improve public access to government documents, including our laws. Public Resource believes—and EFF agrees—that everyone should be able to read, analyze, and share the laws that govern us, without having to pay a gatekeeper or sign a contract. Sounds uncontroversial, right? Not for the standards organizations that sued Public Resource, claiming that they have the right to control access to a huge chunk of the law because they convened the people who drafted it.

        As a practical matter, the core issue is how these particular laws became legal mandates. In these cases, the works started out as voluntary standards on topics like fire safety, energy efficiency, and test design. Those once-voluntary standards were then adopted as binding law by various city, state, and federal agencies through “incorporation by reference.”

      • Submit Your FOIA Horror Stories for The Foilies 2020

        Calling all transparency advocates, investigative journalists, and assorted FOIA punks!

        It’s once again time to submit your nominations for The Foilies—EFF’s annual, tongue-in-cheek awards for outrageous, ridiculous, and infuriating responses to public records requests. 

    • Environment

      • Air Quality Remains Severe In Delhi, Schools Shut On Children’s Day

        The Supreme Court had on Wednesday asked the central government to explore Hydrogen based fuel technology to find solutions to combat air pollution in Northern India including Delhi-NCR.

      • Why the Climategate Hack was More Than An Attack on Science

        The BBC documentary, Climategate: Science of a Scandal, begins with Michael Mann, a climatologist at Pennsylvania State University recounting how he opened a letter and unleashed wafts of white powder. “My first thought was: I may have been subject to a deadly substance, anthrax,” he says. “All because I decided to study applied math and physics, and move into climate science.”

      • New-borns face multiple climate health risks

        Multiple climate health risks threaten today’s babies. They may grow up hungrier, more diseased and facing more pollution and danger. But there’s hope.

      • The Benefits of Environmental Citizenship

        It is not an unreasonable extension of reasoning to argue that the political and social tension wracking Canada today can be traced to orchestrated environmental disarray and a deliberate agenda, now decades in the making, to make sure citizens and scientific evidence and reasoning are kept separate from decision makers and decision making.

      • Voting on the Future of Life on Earth

        One of the key research facilities leading the discussion on the climate crisis is the National Centre for Climate Restoration in Melbourne, Australia, whose work is arguably a major plank underpinning the Extinction Rebellion mindset. Over the last few years, the team there has been analyzing a lot of the leading climate research and issuing reports based on their meta-analyses of these studies.

      • The Truthiest Reality of Global Warming

        An omniscient individual on my electronic social media splattergram expressed skepticism that the 0.04% of the atmosphere made up of CO2 could possibly have any responsibility for causing global warming, now also known as climate change. It seems clear to me now that with each passing day more people will stumble upon this startling insight, and the whole carefully constructed edifice of climate change ideological mass conditioning for social control might suddenly crack apart, and our civilization fall into ruins. So, I have decided here to break with my scientifical colleagues and to finally reveal the heretofore hidden truth of the matter, the truth behind the truth, in essence: the truthiest reality of global warming.

      • DNC Dithers While the World Burns

        It wasn’t long ago that seemingly every green group in America was up in arms over the Democratic Party’s self-defeating refusal to sponsor a nationally televised presidential debate on the climate crisis.

      • ‘Pure Propaganda’: New York Times Condemned for Comparing Sanders Green New Deal to Trump Border Wall

        “Article misses a key ‘expert’ perspective: The climate scientists who are saying we need to radically transform every aspect of our economy in the next decade if we want even a 50 percent chance of averting catostrophic climate crisis.”

      • Irish Youth Activists at First-Ever Climate Assembly Implore Govt to Listen to Science

        Lawmakers were told they must “work on our behalf to ensure that we—and you—have a future.”

      • Break Free From Plastic Movement Blasts Big Polluters on Industry-Backed ‘America Recycles Day’

        “Corporate polluters have been using recycling to justify ever-increasing production of single-use packaging, while taxpayers and cities are left to foot the bill.”

      • Energy

        • Cap and Trade Is Supposed to Solve Climate Change, but Oil and Gas Company Emissions Are Up

          Gov. Jerry Brown took the podium at a July 2017 press conference to lingering applause after a steady stream of politicians praised him for helping to extend California’s signature climate policy for another decade. Brown, flanked by the U.S. and California flags, with a backdrop of the gleaming San Francisco Bay, credited the hard work of the VIPs seated in the crowd. “It’s people in industry, and they’re here!” he said. “Shall we mention them? People representing oil, agriculture, business, Chamber of Commerce, food processing. … Plus, we have environmentalists. …”

          Diverse, bipartisan interests working together to pass climate legislation — it was the polar opposite of Washington, where the Trump administration was rolling back environmental protections established under President Barack Obama.

        • The Trouble With Biofuels
        • Creating a New Market for Coal in the Push to Mine ‘Critical Minerals’ for National Security

          This move may have particular implications for the struggling U.S. coal industry and its promoters, which have begun rallying behind efforts to extract some of these so-called “critical minerals” from coal and its by-products.  

    • Finance

      • Asking Supreme Court to Shield His Tax Returns, Trump Claims He Is ‘Absolutely Immune’ From Criminal Investigation

        “It’s absolutely shocking the lengths Donald Trump will go to to shield himself from accountability.”

      • A Crash Course on How to Handle Homelessness

        I really discovered homelessness for the first time when I left my job at an upscale Hollywood radio station in 1987 to work at a downscale downtown newspaper.

      • Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy

        The term ‘income inequality’ suggests the inevitability of a natural process, a division of winners from losers along the lines of hair loss or disproportionate body mass that corporate researchers are working to solve for the sake of the self-esteem of the losers. Some people are tall, others short, some people have pleasant dispositions, others not so much. Otherwise, it almost certainly isn’t the ‘winners’ for whom inequality is a problem, is it?

      • Business as Usual: Evo Morales and the Coup Condition

        There is an inherent bestiality in the politics of the Americas that signals coup, assassination and disruption. No state is ever allowed to go through what is weakly called a transition, except over corpses, tortures and morgues. When a social experiment is conducted, rulers must ensure their wills are well inked ahead of time. Opponents, often funded and sponsored by external powers with an umbilical chord to Washington, lie in wait, hoping for an unequal status quo.

      • Massive Anti-Coup Protests Explode Across Bolivia ‘Against the Many Violations to Democracy’

        “Do you think we are ignorant?”

      • Western Media Whitewash Bolivia’s Far-Right Coup

        Bolivia has a new US-backed puppet leader, and the Western media can hardly conceal their adulation.

      • Alex Main on Bolivia Coup

        This week on counterspin: The Washington Post doesn’t want you to be confused, so they headlined their editorial, “Bolivia Is in Danger of Slipping Into Anarchy. It’s Evo Morales’s Fault.” Elite US media, you understand, are deeply invested in the well-being of Bolivia’s people, who are in uproar after a coup ousting Morales, over charges of irregularities in the recent election that appear to have no evidential grounding—nor, in media’s view, to require any. Back in 2006, US media were counseling Morales that policies like nationalizing the country’s gas industry were popular but “not the answer to Bolivia’s problems.” Their preferred answer, judging by today’s coverage, is celebrating the extra-legal pushout of the country’s first indigenous president, and welcoming the self-declared leadership of a legislator who has tweeted that she “dream[s] of a Bolivia free of satanic indigenous rites.” That’s the topsy-turvy world of elite US media’s “concerned” foreign policy. Which is why we’ll look for a different view from Alex Main, director of international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

      • Bolivia and the Loud Silence

        The lack of criticism about the destruction of democracy in Bolivia from the presidential candidates in the so-called democratic party of the faking United States of America is possibly the single most revealing non-event in the charade of the 2020 electoral scheming. It is more telling than all of their words. The only one of this group who has so far made a statement about the military pushed resurgence of fascist impunity in Bolivia is Bernie Sanders. His tepid expression of concern included an avoidance of saying this was a coup (he said it “appears to be” a coup) and he made an appeal to peaceful and democratic processes in Bolivia (as if the reality of the violent destruction of democratic processes had not just happened!). So, a mealy-mouthed concern is the best the would-be presidents who call themselves democrats could muster to supposedly counterbalance the enthusiastic and deceitful endorsements of fascism by the republicans and Trump administration. The fact that Morales still had a couple of months left in his term as president of Bolivia as he was removed under the threat of greater violence definitely makes this a coup. It “appears to be a coup” because it is a coup. Saying it only “appears to be” something is a way of possibly later backtracking and is suspiciously unnecessary.

      • Morales: Bolivia Suffers an Assault on the Power of the People

        As the military coup continues to entrench itself in Bolivia, the first goal of the perpetrators is to appear to be following the constitutional process. But the façade is not enough to hide the real disaster of yet another self-proclaimed president in Latin America. When you thought that the Juan Guaido experiment in Venezuela was a total failure in every respect, Bolivia repeats the same pathetic tragedy.

      • When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia, Look For a US Role

        When it comes to politics in Latin America, what initially seems clear is usually anything but.

      • A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia

        This sounds like a modern day comment from the US far left, but the source is hardly that. It’s from a man who was the most decorated Marine ever at the time of his death. He was an expert on the topic. He served in WW I as well as the Mexican Revolution. Smedley Butler was doomed to be a largely forgotten voice in the rush to gloss over the true causes of war and regime change. He pointed out the techniques used to win public approval and the subsequent serving of the corporate needs by entering these ever-repeating violent conflicts. He described his military career as that of “a high class muscleman for Big Business, Wall Street, and the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

      • Let’s restore our values, do away with capitalism

        In this past decade, we witnessed a degeneration of politics across the spectrum, with social media, notwithstanding its use, becoming the worst platform for corrosive politics.

        We also witnessed moral degeneration and character assassination as influenced by capitalism.

        The moral degeneration in SA is very high and that directly reflects the politics of our country.

        This open letter is an invitation for us, more especially ANC and Alliance partners, to think critically about who we are as a society and perhaps champion ways in which we can restore some of the values that we have lost.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Goes to Walter Reed Medical Center for Tests

        President Donald Trump spent more than two hours at Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday for what the White House said were medical tests as part of his annual physical.

      • Brett Kavanaugh Speech Protested With Rape Whistles, Handmaid Costumes, Christine Blasey Ford Video

        Ford’s testimony on repeat was just one part of the protest. There was a giant banner reading “KAVANAUGH LIED” at the VIP entrance, several people dressed as handmaids from The Handmaid’s Tale (a common tactic), and chants of “shame” yelled at gala attendees who were waiting in line outside the event for over an hour.

      • Veterans face growing threat from online disinformation

        Disinformation attacks and scams targeting veterans online have ramped up in recent years, leaving lawmakers and social media platforms scrambling to address the issue.

        According to experts, veterans often seem an easy target due to their high level of trustworthiness, the older age of veterans, and the emotional attachment many Americans feel for the group.

        A study published by the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) in September highlighted the threat to veterans. The report found that the Russian Internet Research Agency had bought over 100 advertisements targeting followers of veteran accounts on social media sites during and after the 2016 election.

      • The cost of a sponsored post on Instagram has shot up 1,125 per cent since 2014

        Marketing firm Izea has just released a report that’s likely to make you choke on your cool, refreshing Pepsi Max*. It seems the average rate a brand will pay for a sponsored Instagram photo has risen from $134 in 2014 to $1,642 this year.

        But don’t go reaching for an inferior caffeinated Cola brand* just yet, because that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The report highlights that influencer rates have been going up across the board. A Facebook status update would once have set you back a bargain $8 is now worth $395, while a $29 Twitter post would now cost $422 a pop. In the same time period, a branded YouTube video encouraging you to smash that Like button was once a steal at $420 – now it comes to $6,700.

      • Deval Patrick Had Chris Christie’s Nod … a Year Ago

        Here’s a political riddle: Why would a GOP operative like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie want to give a Democrat like Deval Patrick a boost in the 2020 presidential race? And why would Christie pointedly name-check Patrick, the onetime Massachusetts governor who confirmed Wednesday that he was indeed making a run at the White House, a full year before Patrick announced?

      • Twitter Details Political Ads Ban, Issue Ads Allowed

        Twitter says its new ban on political ads will cover appeals for votes, solicitations for campaign contributions and any political content.

      • Conflicting White House Accounts of 1st Trump-Zelenskiy Call

        President Donald Trump released the rough transcript Friday of a congratulatory phone call he had with the incoming president of Ukraine, holding it out as evidence that he did nothing wrong. Instead, the memorandum shows how White House descriptions of Trump’s communications with foreign leaders at times better reflect wishful thinking than the reality of the interactions.

      • Yovanovitch Testifies for 5 Hours in House Probe
      • The Most Impeachable President in US History vs. The Most Hesitant Congress.

        Amid the worst Republican President and Republican Party in modern times, the Democrats are playing the politics of low expectations. This is not the time for Democrats to be in disarray. On Capitol Hill, the prevailing view of most Democrats is that they will cling to their House majority and they shouldn’t expect to regain the Senate in the 2020 elections.

      • ‘A Victory for the Whole Country’: Chile to Hold Referendum on Rewriting Constitution

        “We are here thanks to many Chileans that have risked their lives to make Chile a fairer country.”

      • Welcome to Chile: One of Latin America’s Most Unequal Countries

        Following 9-11 many editorial cartoonists, myself included, tried to make sense of the tragic events. My work criticized US foreign policy and the ensuing, heavy-handed military interventionism that followed. As a result, I was denied boarding a domestic Air Canada flight in 2004. I also began to receive extra screening on a routine basis by airlines in many countries. One of

      • Tanisha Anderson, Impeachment, and a Hawk

        I was thinking about impeachment when a bird fell out of the sky. I was thinking about quid pro quos and the using of the presidency for personal gain when I rounded a corner and saw a hawk, gray and crumpled. It was a bright blue day, and she seemed to have slammed herself into a window, mistaking it for the sky.

      • ‘Witness Intimidation in Real-Time’: Trump Tweets Attack on Yovanovitch During Public Impeachment Testimony

        “It’s very intimidating,” former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said of the president’s tweets.

      • Resisting Misleading Narratives About Pacifica Radio

        The counter-narratives about the recent takeover, and restoration, of New York City’s Pacifica radio station, WBAI, have apparently begun. Thus far we have no new offerings but rather restatements of previously given excuses, ones that wilt in the face of reasoned critique.

      • Remembering the Battle for Seattle: Organizers Launch Project to Reflect on 20 Years of Lessons

        It is imperative that we remember what happened in Seattle 20 years ago. We are living in a moment of mass uprisings around the world. Today’s political moment traces back to many turning points in political, economic, and social movement history.

      • As Brazil’s ex-President Lula is Set Free and BRICS Leaders Summit, What Lessons From the Workers Party for Fighting Global Neoliberalism?

        Just as Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) heads of state prepared to meet in Brasilia on November 13-14, hosted by Jair Bolsonaro, a double political earthquake hit: Lula’s freedom from prison on November 8, followed by a coup against Bolivian president Evo Morales on November 11.

      • Why Facebook Filtering Will Ultimately Fail

        In its content-moderation report released this week, Facebook revealed that it had removed a whopping 3.2-billion fake accounts from March through September 2019.

      • Applauding His Record of Standing Up to ‘Charter Billionaires,’ United Teachers Los Angeles Endorses Bernie Sanders

        “Critically, like UTLA, Sen. Sanders believes in building a national movement for real, lasting change.”

      • Must-See Labour Ad Shows When Right Wing Blames Immigrants for Everything ‘You Know They’ve Run Out of Ideas’

        “Immigrants haven’t been cutting public services,” wrote one Tory critic in response. “Conservatives have.”  

      • Benjamin Netanyahu’s Sinister Plot to Hold On To Power

        What follows is a conversation between author Jeff Halper and Marc Steiner of The Real News Network. Read a transcript of their conversation below or watch the video at the bottom of the post.

      • Vowing to Take on the ‘Greedy, Corrupt Donor Class,’ Young Turks Founder Cenk Uygur Announces Congressional Bid

        “I’m going to fight to get money out of politics, and I’m going to call it like it is. You know what campaign donations are from big corporations and lobbyists? Bribes.”

      • The Fragile Boris Johnson

        I find election campaigns in which the Prime Minister addresses scrubbed, smug Tory audiences, filmed by the BBC in close shot to conceal the sparsity of their numbers, deeply disturbing. I find the speeches in factories to employees even more chilling. The sullen compliance of employees, too cowed to show discontent before their bosses, should disturb any right thinking person. This may bore millennials, but back in the 1970s it was inconceivable that a politician of any stripe could address a factory floor without some robust reaction from the workforce. In those days, workers had rights, their employment was protected, and they could not be dismissed on a whim. I have no doubt that the rise of the North Korean factory style meeting in British politics relates directly to the destruction of workers’ rights. Johnson did one in a electric taxi factory a couple of days ago and it was a staple of May’s appalling campaign.

      • Protests Erupt in Georgia over Failed Electoral Reforms

        Spontaneous protests have erupted in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi following the parliament’s failure to adopt a critical electoral reform. Opposition parties and civic activists have called for continuous protests in front of the parliament, with a major demonstration announced for Sunday. 

      • WATCH LIVE: Day 2 of Trump Impeachment Hearings

        Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch “is expected to describe the personal trauma she endured as the administration’s traditional diplomatic establishment in Ukraine collided with a rogue foreign policy operation” run by the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

      • Impeachment Hearings Highlight More Trump Phone OPSEC Failures

        Plenty has been made of the President’s unwillingness to adhere to anything close to reasonable security when using his mobile phones. Whereas the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the National Security Agency usually work in concert providing state leaders with “hardened” devices that are heavily encrypted, routinely updated, and frequently swapped out, Trump has refused to use these more secure DMCC-S devices (effectively a Samsung Galaxy S4 device utilizing Samsung’s Knox security architecture) because they apparently infringe on his ability to Tweet.

      • St. Petersburg councilman files defamation charges after media tied to ‘Putin’s chef’ accuse him of sexually harassing his students

        Boris Vishnevsky, a deputy in St. Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly and perhaps the city’s most prominent oppositionist, is suing Evgeny Prigozhin’s “Patriot” media group over a series of publications accusing him of sexually harassing his students.

      • Get Trump First, But Then…

        Were Donald Trump and the Republicans who support him slightly less relentless in giving reasons to despair for the human race, it would be a lot harder than it now is to maintain a proper perspective.

      • Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton

        US president Donald Trump “elevated his political interest above the national interest and demanded foreign interference in an American election,” Peter Beinart asserts at The Atlantic. “What’s received less attention is what the scandal reveals about Joe Biden: He showed poor judgment because his staff shielded him from hard truths. If that sounds faintly familiar, it’s because that same tendency underlay Hillary Clinton’s email woes in 2016.”

      • The United States Needs Citizens Like You, Dreamer

        You may not even remember the journey across the border. Maybe you tracked through a desert. Maybe you hid in a trunk. Maybe you arrived in an airport, your passport stamped with a visa. Maybe you came here all by yourself to reunite with your mom or dad. Maybe you were excited, maybe scared. And, in the end, you stayed.

        You enrolled in an American school. You grew up eating Cheerios and grilled cheese, playing softball, listening to hip hop. Then one day you were told that you don’t belong. That you are illegal. You need to go.

        But go where? This is the country you know. This is your home.

        Culturally integrated but legally excluded, you are assimilated and alienated at once.

        How daunting it must be to realize that once you graduate from high school, you will find yourself barred from government financial aid, student loans, and legal employment. How frightening, to contemplate the possibility of being forced into an underground economy of temporary jobs, unfair wages, unsafe working conditions. How hard, to watch your American-born classmates move on with their lives, while you watch over your shoulder for cop cars driving by. How exhausting to live in fear. Fear of arbitrary detention, deportation. Fear of being separated from your family. Fear of what the future may or may not hold.

      • All That Gunsmoke

        A gun is usually acknowledged to be a weapon from which a bullet is fired, and a ‘smoking gun’ is literally one from which a bullet has emerged, causing a puff of smoke to appear at the end of the barrel. On the other hand, a smoking gun is frequently defined as “a piece of incontrovertible incriminating evidence”, and there are countless smoking guns in the United States right now : some in politics, but many in literal circumstances in which people have been killed. We are told that “as of September 24, 2019, 334 mass shootings have occurred in 2019 . . .  In these shootings, 1,347 people were injured and 377 died.” In almost every other country in the world, this would be regarded as a massive domestic problem that required decisive action, such as that taken so swiftly by New Zealand after a horrific gun attack by a terrorist in March 2019.

      • Toward a Counterculture of Rebellion

        Living In A World That Can’t Be Fixed is not a guidebook to terminal melancholy. Curtis White, the author of this book, also wrote The Spirit of Disobedience along with other social criticism, hardly advocates that course of inaction. On the contrary, White’s provocative title poses a challenge. He’s saying political reformism offers modest remedies, at best, to mitigate the catastrophe upon us. And he says it with a range of insights—from Wordsworth to Adorno by way of Agnes Varda. Curtis writes with assurance of his sources, but far removed from a pedantic style.

      • Why is there so Much Wrong in Our Society?

        As old certainties crumble and systems crystallize, social divisions grow and extremes harden, a friend asks: “Why is there so much wrong in our society?” It’s a good question. He was referring specifically to Britain where we both live, but, although the specific problems may vary, the question could be applied to any country, and by extension, to world society.

      • “There Is No India Without Kashmir”: Indian Columnist At US Congress

        India has successfully defeated insurgencies in Punjab and the Northeast and it is now time to strengthen New Delhi’s fight against insurgencies in Kashmir, columnist Sunanda Vashisht told a US Congressional hearing on Human Rights in Washington on Thursday. Terrorists trained by Pakistan had caused “ISIS level of horror and brutality” in the Kashmir Valley long before the West was even introduced to the brutalities of radical Islamic terror, Ms Vashisht said, adding that international cooperation in India’s fight against terror would also solve the human rights problem in the state.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • “The Palace… Threatened Us a Million Different Ways”.

        This leaked off-air recording of ABC News anchor Amy Robach is much more revealing than anything the BBC is going to air about Andrew Saxe Coburg Gotha.

      • Court To Racist Douchebags: It’s Not Defamatory For A Newspaper To Call You ‘Racist Douchebags’

        When is it defamatory to call people “racist douchebags?” Well, let’s start with the “douchebag” part. This is always a statement of opinion and never actionable. Calling someone (in this case, several someones) a “douchebag” is like calling them an “asshole.” It’s not something that is possible of defaming anyone since it’s always, without exception, a statement of opinion.

      • Russia: Criminal Charges for Gay-Friendly Chat Show

        Russian authorities should drop a criminal case over a YouTube video of children talking to a gay man and ensure the man’s safety amid threats and attempted physical attacks, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • Russian Justice Ministry names Radio Liberty project a ‘foreign agent’ media source

        The Justice Ministry of the Russian Federation has named Sever.Realii, a regional news project for Russia’s north created by Radio Liberty, as a “foreign agent” media source. The designation follows the formation of a State Duma commission to investigate foreign interference in Russia’s elections. Commission members have publicly accused Radio Liberty and Meduza, among others, of taking part in such interference.

      • Lebanon: Defamation Laws Used to Silence Critics

        Lebanese authorities have been increasing their reliance on insult and defamation laws to silence journalists, activists, and others critical of government policies and corruption, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

      • Say bye to internet censorship in India, China with this new AI tool

        An Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system, called Geneva (short for Genetic Evasion), that automatically learns to evade censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan has been developed by researchers at the University of Maryland in the US.

        The researchers are scheduled to introduce Geneva during a peer-reviewed talk at the Association for Computing Machinery’s 26th Conference on Computer and Communications Security in London on Thursday, November 14.

      • Can an employee’s freedom of expression trump their confidentiality obligations? The ECtHR weighs in (in a case concerning an employee’s personal website)

        In 2006, the applicant worked as a human resources management expert at a financial institution (Bank O.) in Hungary. In this capacity, he undertook the analysis and calculation of salaries and staffing management. Among other things, he contributed to his employer’s remuneration policy reform.

        According to the code of ethics of the bank, he was under an obligation not to publish formally or informally any information relating to the functioning and activities of his employer.

        In January 2011, whilst he was still employed by Bank O., the applicant launched a knowledge-sharing website for human resources management-related publications (including articles) and events. The website also contained a presentation of the applicant with his photograph, describing him as an expert in human resources management and indicating that he worked in the human resources department of a large domestic bank, without mentioning his employer.

        In February that year, after two articles appeared on the website, the applicant’s employment was terminated due to a breach of Bank O.’s confidentiality standards. The bank argued that the applicant’s conduct in providing educational services in the field of human resources management had infringed its economic interests. Moreover, given the nature of his position, the applicant was in possession of information the publication of which would have interfered with the bank’s business interests.


        The Court recalled that freedom of expression also applies in the context of private employment relations (Heinisch v Germany, No 28274/08) and that the State has a positive obligation to ensure that a fair balance is struck between the competing interest of the individual and of the community as a whole. All this is, in any event, subject to the margin of appreciation enjoyed by the State, which – in the case of commercial speech – is quite broad.

        In the context of employment relations, there must be a mutual trust between employer and employee. This means that certain manifestations of freedom of expression that may be legitimate in other situations, would not be so in the context of such relations (Palomo Sánchez and Others, Nos 28955/06).

        In the present case, the issue for the ECtHR to consider was whether domestic authorities, in dismissing the applicant’s claims, had adequately secured his right to freedom of expression in the context of labour relations and balanced it against the employer’s right to protection of its commercial interests. To this end, the court considered the following:

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Every Tech Company Wants to Be a Bank—Someday, At Least

        The US tech firms need only look to Asia for a lesson in how a push into banking can accelerate their growth. There, tech firms plowed into finance years ago and largely won out. In Beijing, it’s embarrassing to pull out a credit card rather than a QR code that links to your WeChat account. Ant Financial, the banking arm of Alibaba, is far bigger than Goldman Sachs, the bank that helps Apple issue its credit cards. On the same apps you use for news and games and texting, you can also get loans, credit, and manage your investments.

      • Amazon Says It Didn’t Get a $10 Billion Contract Because Trump Hates Bezos

        Research firm Gartner pegs Amazon Web Service’s cloud-computing market share at 48 percent, with Microsoft Azure lagging behind at 15.5 percent. AWS also remains the only company to hold the Pentagon’s highest security clearance classification, known as Impact Level 6. Microsoft’s victory could have the potential to not only hasten its acquisition of Impact Level 6, but add momentum to its ascension as a serious alternative to Amazon and as the preferred choice for government contracts.

      • French government seeks to comb social media to fight tax fraud

        […] “An experiment without any goals is a joke,” said Arthur Messaud, a legal expert at French internet freedom advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. “We’re putting the cat among the pigeons by allowing the generalized monitoring of the Internet for everything and anything.” […)

      • Federal Judge Issues Historic Opinion for Digital Privacy at the Border

        In a historic opinion on privacy at the border, a federal judge this week recognized that international travelers have significant privacy interests in their digital data and ruled that suspicionless electronic device searches at U.S. ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment. U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper in Boston held that border agents must have reasonable suspicion that a device contains digital contraband before searching or seizing the device.

        The summary judgment opinion was issued in EFF and ACLU’s case Alasaad v. McAleenan, in which we represent 11 plaintiffs against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The case is a constitutional challenge to the agencies’ polices on border searches and seizures of electronic devices.

      • At last, some good news for privacy: signs that micro-targeted advertising may be on the way out

        At the beginning of this year Privacy News Online wrote about how people were waking up to the dangers of micro-targeted advertising. Despite that, nothing much happened – until now. One reason for the shift is the heightened awareness of the role of social media in politics and elections. Twitter has said it will drop all political ads. Facebook has refused to do the same, and has even gone so far as to exempt political ads from a ban on making false claims. A recent open letter from Mozilla and others called for Facebook and Google to stop hosting political ads in the UK until after the General Election currently underway there. The signatories said this was because “the online advertising model, which depends on vast collection of data and opaque ad targeting systems is not fit for purpose”. British political parties are already actively trying out multiple versions of ads on Facebook to see which will be most effective in the General Election campaign that is now underway in the UK.

      • Amazon unhappy Microsoft won $10 billion ‘war cloud’ Pentagon contract

        Amazon, the company founded by Jeff Bezos, plans to dispute the contract process, claiming “unmistakable bias.”

      • Amazon appeals $10B Pentagon contract won by Microsoft

        In a statement Thursday, Amazon said that “numerous aspects” of the bidding process involved “clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias.” It did not elaborate.

      • India’s requests for Facebook user data increases by 37%, second only to U.S.

        The Indian government’s requests for user data from Facebook increased nearly 37% in the first half of 2019, and at 22,684 queries, was the second highest globally, according to the Transparency Report of the U.S.-based social networking site.

        In comparison, Facebook received 16,580 requests in the January-June 2018 period and 20,805 requests during July-December that year. Of the 22,684 data requests, Facebook said it had produced some data in 54% of cases. “Facebook responds to government requests for data in accordance with applicable law and our terms of service. Each and every request we receive is carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency and we may reject or require greater specificity on requests that appear overly broad or vague,” the company said.

      • Judiciary warns staff against using pseudo names on WhatsApp

        However, some staff members have expressed skepticism over the move, saying it infringes on their freedom of association, privacy and expression. “That WhatsApp group was established about two years ago but we are wondering why the directive is coming up now? They only want to reprimand those people posting issues they consider negative,” a staff, who preferred anonymity, said.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Whistleblowers Are Public Servants. We Must Protect Them.
      • Russian media veteran Dmitry Muratov returns to ‘Novaya Gazeta’ editor-in-chief post

        Dmitry Muratov, whose storied career saw him launch one of Russia’s major independent news sources with support from figures as famous as Mikhail Gorbachev, has returned to his former post as editor-in-chief of that publication, Novaya Gazeta. 51.7 percent of the newspaper’s staff (or 74 individuals, according to the Moskva news agency) voted for Muratov to take the post.

      • Why local news is necessary

        Good government flourishes in the sunshine, and our nation’s founders knew that. “A press that is free to investigate and criticize the government,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, “is absolutely essential in a nation that practices self-government and is therefore dependent on an educated and enlightened citizenry.” But the provision for a free press to enlighten the citizenry is a hollow promise if there’s no publication to practice it.

        By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy. So who needs local news? Jefferson would say “everyone.” But in case you’re not convinced, look at it this way: When five burglars broke into an office at the Watergate Hotel in Washington on June 17, 1972, it was a local story. Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein were unknowns; The Washington Post had virtually no national profile.

      • What Readers Told Us About Our Story, “The Legend of A-N-N-A”

        How are you? I, for one, have a cat sitting in my lap. I’ve been busy the last few days reading and replying to many of your thoughtful, interesting responses to the story we published last week, “The Legend of A-N-N-A: Revisiting An American Town Where Black People Weren’t Welcome After Dark.”

        If I haven’t gotten back to you yet, I will!

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon Antitrust Complaint Lodged in U.S. Gets Attention in EU

        The merchant accused Amazon of rewarding those who pay for the company’s warehousing, packing and delivery services with better visibility on Amazon’s e-commerce website.

        The European Commission, which is already investigating Amazon’s double role as store and host to other retailers, asked a U.S. Congressional committee looking into big tech companies’ abuse of power to hand over a 62-page document from the long-time Amazon merchant made public by Bloomberg News last week. The paper is based on an analysis of thousands of Amazon transactions and accuses Amazon of “tying” its marketplace and logistics service together.

      • Uber Hit With $650 Million Employment Tax Bill in New Jersey (3)

        Uber Technologies Inc. owes New Jersey about $650 million in unemployment and disability insurance taxes because the rideshare company has been misclassifying drivers as independent contractors, the state’s labor department said.

        Uber and subsidiary Rasier LLC were assessed $523 million in past-due taxes over the last four years, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development said in a pair of letters to the companies. The rideshare businesses also are on the hook for as much as $119 million in interest and penalties on the unpaid amounts, according to other internal department documents.

        The New Jersey labor department has been after Uber for unpaid employment taxes for at least four years, according to the documents, which Bloomberg Law obtained through an open public records request.

      • Patents and Software Patents

      • Copyrights

        • EU Court to Decide on BitTorrent Questions in Copyright Trolling Case

          A copyright troll that failed in its quest to target Virgin Media customers earlier this year is having another bite at the cherry against a different ISP in Belgium. This time, however, a local court has referred several questions to the European Court of Justice, specifically related to the BitTorrent mechanism and EU privacy law.

        • Company That Acquired ‘Copyright Troll’ Warns ISPs & VPN Providers

          American Films Inc, a company that ‘acquired’ the US operations of notorious ‘copyright troll’ outfit GuardaLey earlier this year, says it has made a new acquisition. With the addition of “strategic data company” Maker Data Services LLC, the company hopes to help Hollywood bring lawsuits against ISPs and VPN providers.

        • Court Punishes Copyright ‘Troll’ Lawyer for Repeatedly Lying to The Court

          Copyright lawyer Richard Liebowitz has been sanctioned by a federal court in New York for repeatedly lying about his grandfather’s date of death, which made him miss a hearing. The lawyer, who many see as a photography ‘copyright troll’, refused to hand over the relevant death certificate for months. When he finally provided the document this week, the Judge found out that he hadn’t been honest about the date.

        • Richard Liebowtiz’s Lawyer To Judge: Please Excuse His Lying To The Court Since He Doesn’t Really Know How To Law

          Earlier this week we already covered infamous and oft-sanctioned copyright troll lawyer, Richard Liebowitz, showing up in court to explain to the judge why he lied about the timing of the death of his grandfather multiple times over the course of many months as he tried to explain away why he missed a discovery conference. As we noted, Liebowitz actually showed up in court this time (good call, considering that the judge made it clear she was considering sending him to jail), and brought a lawyer with him (also a good call). He did remain out of jail, though Judge Cathy Seibel noted that she had referred the matter to the Grievance Committee, which could lead to sanctions. She also warned that her various contempt rulings against Liebowitz will require him to disclose the sanctions both to other courts and to prospective clients.

        • Giant Publisher Macmillan Goes To War Against Libraries

          We’ve joked in the past that, given the insane state of copyright maximalism, if libraries were invented today, it’s quite clear that book publishers would insist they were dens of piracy and had to be stopped at all costs. It is, at best, the luck of history that libraries got “grandfathered” in before copyright system maximalists went completely out of their minds. But, in fact, copyright holders still do appear to hate libraries and wish they’d go away. Case in point: publishing giant Macmillan, which has decided that libraries shouldn’t be lending ebooks any more. Back in July it announced a new plan, starting November 1st, to “embargo” ebooks offered to libraries.

        • Elizabeth Warren Backs Taylor Swift in Big Machine Battle, Slams Private Equity Firms

          Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren retweeted Swift’s Thursday message about her former record label preventing her from performing her old hits at the American Music Awards, adding that Swift is “one of many whose work as been threatened by a private equity firm.”

          “They’re gobbling up more and more of our economy, costing jobs and crushing entire industries,” she continued. “It’s time to rein in private equity firms — and I’ve got a plan for that.

        • Oracle and Google will fight in court over Java, AGAIN and this time it’s going to the Supremes

          The US Supreme Court has agreed to once and for all decide the copyright case between Oracle and Google after nine years of legal wrangling.

          The nine judge panel on Friday issued a grant of certiorari (PDF), agreeing to hear the case over Android’s use of copyrighted APIs owned by Oracle via the purchase of Sun Microsystems.

          Yes, that case.

          The fight kicked off back in 2010 shortly after Oracle acquired Sun and decide to weaponize its intellectual property by filing a copyright infringement suit against Google and its wildly popular Android mobile platform.

          At issue is code Google was said to have cribbed from Sun in order to piece together the Java API in Android. The big sticking point throughout the nearly decade-long back and forth is the issue of whether the APIs were copyrightable.

        • Supreme Court to Hear Google and Oracle Copyright Case

          The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether Google should have to pay Oracle billions of dollars in a long-running copyright infringement lawsuit over software used to run many of the world’s smartphones.

          In a brief urging the Supreme Court to hear its appeal, Google called the dispute “the copyright case of the decade.”

          Oracle asked for $9 billion in damages over what it said was Google’s wrongful copying of about 11,000 lines of software code in Android, its mobile phone operating system.

          In 2016, a San Francisco jury found that Google had not violated copyright laws because it had made “fair use” of the code. But last year a specialized appeals court in Washington, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, disagreed with that assessment and sent the case back for a trial to determine how much Google must pay in damages.

        • Supreme Court to Take-On Software Copyright Case

          Issues: (1) Whether copyright protection extends to a software interface; and (2) whether, as the jury found, the petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.

        • Google Gets Supreme Court Hearing in Oracle Copyright Clash

          At issue are pre-written directions known as application program interfaces, or APIs, which provide instructions for such functions as connecting to the internet or accessing certain types of files. By using those shortcuts, programmers don’t have to write code from scratch for every function in their software, or change it for every type of device.

        • Big News: Supreme Court To Hear Google v. Oracle Case About API And Copyright

          Some big news out of the Supreme Court this morning, as it has agreed to hear the appeal in the never-ending Oracle v. Google lawsuit regarding whether or not copyright applies to APIs (the case is now captioned as Google v. Oracle, since it was Google asking the Supreme Court to hear the appeal). We’ve been covering the case and all its permutations for many years now, and it’s notable that the Supreme Court is going to consider both of the questions that Google petitioned over. Specifically:

        • Big Big Big Case: Oracle v. Google

          Odds are good that the biggest patent case of the year will be a copyright case. The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Google v. Oracle — a case focusing on copyright protections for the JAVA programming interface. The innovations at issue in the case sit near the fuzzy ‘borders’ of copyright and patent law and a number of members of the court will be looking to define those dividing lines.


          Even if the Supreme Court was serious at the time that Seldon should have gone after patent protection, today we know that such an attempt would be seen as improperly claiming an abstract idea under Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014). In its petition, Google explains that – as in Seldon, a “monopoly over those methods and diagrams could be secured only by patent law, not copyright.”

        • Elsevier Gets Sci-Hub And LibGen Blocked In Austria, Thereby Promoting The Use Of VPNs And Tor In The Country

          Sci-Hub describes itself as “the first website in the world to provide mass & public access to research papers”. At the time of writing, there were 77.5 million academic papers available on the site. Many, perhaps most, of them were funded by taxpayers, through government grants to researchers working at educational institutions. The person behind Sci-Hub, Alexandra Elbakyan, presumably sees her site as a way of letting people have access to the work they paid for. The publishing giant Elsevier doesn’t agree. For some reason, it seems to think it has a right to a profit margin of 35-40% arising from its role as a gatekeeper to the papers that the public has paid for.

The Open Invention Network Has Become a Guard Dog of (Some) Patent Trolls and It Misrepresents Us Under the Guise of ‘Open Source’

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Law, News Roundup, OIN, Patents, Standard at 2:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Defending software patents and trolls. Calling them “charities” was likely the last straw.

2 dogs

Summary: The Open Invention Network (OIN), in collaboration with Fraunhöfer, is promoting software patents and all sorts of other nonsense as part of ‘open’ standards in a new paper sponsored by the EU and edited by the former EPO Chief Economist Nikolaus Thumm (not Battistelli's choice); this is another reminder of the fact that OIN misrepresents Free/Open Source software (FOSS) developers and their interests

The Open Invention Network (OIN) is somewhat of a scam. It wasn’t always like this. Ignore their use (or misuse) of the Tux logo and the brand “Linux”; then, check the pertinent members instead. Check the leadership. OIN will truly serve Linux only when it finally combats software patents, i.e. when pigs fly (“OIN OIN!”). As we showed earlier this year, “Today’s Open Invention Network is Run by Former Patent Trolls, Connected to and Backed by Microsoft”

Today’s OIN already calls some patent trolls “charities”, works with them, even hires from them. OIN does not speak for FOSS. It speaks for patent bullies like IBM that also happen to rely on FOSS for some things. OIN is convenient for the likes of IBM. Right now OIN even promotes patents and software patents as part of standards. What are they thinking? Who on Earth thought it would work out well? With the likes of Microsoft as celebrated OIN members, the brain might ‘have gone somewhere else…’ (to put it in more subtle terms)

OIN does not oppose software patents (it never did, since its very inception); its members, especially the big ones, oppose 35 U.S.C. § 101 and are big “customers” of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Yes, the word “customers” is used by them. They are, in a lot of ways, part of the problem, not the solution to it.

“OIN does not oppose software patents (it never did, since its very inception)…”You know something has gone wrong when you see OIN acting as more of a front group for proponents of software patents, manned by patent trolls instead of FOSS proponents. These are people who actually sued Linux (in the previous employer). Unfortunately, many people lost sight of how OIN changed over the years. Therefore, they can’t quite see the changes.

As Henrion noted the other day: “OIN and Fraunhöfer, the foxes in the henhouse, behind the an awful study on how patents in standards are ‘compatible’ with FLOSS…”

With ‘representatives’ like these…

Knut Blind

EU paper

He added that “[t]hey should have read the GPL” and citing the GPL he quoted: “Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, IN EFFECT MAKING THE PROGRAM PROPRIETARY. [...] To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone’s free use or not licensed at all.”

“…many people lost sight of how OIN changed over the years.”“OIN is in the same ‘club’ that opposes and badmouths copyleft,” I told him (check what IBM et al use for licensing of choice). They only adopt GPL when “there’s no choice” (e.g. Linux kernel). “Software patents ought not even exist and after Alice (which Microsoft and IBM attack via their front groups and corrupt lobbyists like Kappos selling ‘connections’) such patents are likely bunk, invalid anyway.”

I was reminded of this again some hours ago because of this new blog post. It’s by Mirko Boehm from OIN, who blocked me in Twitter so we know he has much to hide… (some of his tweets are appalling)

“Their paper uses propaganda terms such as “Intellectual Property Right (IPR)” and I’ve circulated this for discussion in IRC.”“I already tweeted about it,” Henrion told me, “as the fox in the henhouse. We cannot tolerate lobbyists of OIN and Franhofer to write such papers with public money, as they have an interest. This has basic conflict of interests problems.”

Their paper uses propaganda terms such as “Intellectual Property Right (IPR)” and I’ve circulated this for discussion in IRC. For obvious reasons we’d rather not quote the paper or link to it directly (there’s an indirect link above). Instead, we shall leave readers with this OIN tweet:

Mirko Boehm on Fraunhofer as charity


Links 16/11/2019: New Debian Release, Wine staging 4.20

Posted in News Roundup at 12:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD OverDrive Overclocking To Finally Work For Radeon Navi GPUs With Linux 5.5 Kernel

        While most Linux gamers don’t appear to be into GPU overclocking, one of the limitations of the Radeon RX 5000 “Navi” series support with the AMD open-source driver to date has been no overclocking support. With the upcoming Linux 5.5 kernel that is set to change.

        With the Linux 5.5 kernel there is slated to be the “OverDrive” overclocking support in place for Navi graphics processors with the AMDGPU kernel driver.

      • EXT4 On Linux 5.5 To Support Encryption On Smaller Block Sizes

        For the past four years going back to Linux 5.5 has been EXT4 native file-system encryption making use of the kernel’s FSCRYPT framework that is shared between several file-systems. That support has continued to improve with time and with Linux 5.5 another limitation will be dropped.

        One of the lingering limitations of the EXT4 encryption code is that it hasn’t worked where the file-system block size is different from the system’s page size. But beginning with Linux 5.5, a different block size compared to the kernel’s page size will be supported while still allowing encryption to be enabled. Namely this will help those preferring non-default block sizes for better efficiency on different storage devices or other reasons.

      • Lenovo X1 Extreme 2nd Generation To Have Better Touchpad Input On Linux 5.4

        The Synaptics RMI(4) mode is the modern protocol used by the hardware for touch input handling and should yield a better input experience for users with less quirks.

        With the enabling of RMI mode for this laptop just requiring its LEN0402 ID to be added to a list, it was safe for the current Linux 5.4 cycle (and for back-porting to stable series) rather than needing to wait for Linux 5.5.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Don’t blaze it too hard for the release of Wine 4.20

        Wine, that wonderful software that enables you to run Windows-only software and games on Linux has a new release out with Wine 4.20. Nice.

      • Wine-Staging 4.20 Adds Undocumented D3D9 Internal Function For The Sims 2

        Wine 4.20 came out last night while out today is Wine-Staging 4.20 as this experimental blend of Wine with more than eight-hundred extra patches on top.

        Wine-Staging 4.20 comes in slightly smaller than its predecessor due to upstreaming a number of patches around Winebus, Wineboot, DSDMO, Wine.inf, and other bits, but Wine-Staging is still carrying a weight of more than 830 patches compared to upstream.

        Wine-Staging 4.20 has updated some of its NTDLL patches and the Winebuild Fake DLLs work while adding just one new patch.

      • Wine staging 4.20 release
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        Summary since last release
        * Rebased to current wine 4.20 (832 patches are applied to wine vanilla)
        Upstreamed (Either directly from staging or fixed with a similar patch).
        * dsdmo: Added dll
        * winebus.inf: Add new INF file and copy it to the INF  directory.
        * winebus.sys: Implement AddDevice().
        * wineboot: Create a root-enumerated device object for winebus.
        * winebus.sys: Initialize and teardown the HID backends while the bus 
        FDO is still extant.
        * ntoskrnl.exe: IoInvalidateDeviceRelations() receives the parent PDO.
        * wine.inf: Remove registration for the winebus service.
        * ole32: Implement returning a name in IEnumSTATPROPSTG.
        * [46735] The Sims 2 demo needs Direct3DShaderValidatorCreate9() 
        * winebuild-Fake_Dlls
        * ntdll-NtContinue
        * ntdll-MemoryWorkingSetExInformation
        Where can you help
        * Run Steam/Battle.net/GOG/UPlay/Epic
        * Test your favorite game.
        * Test your favorite applications.
        * Improve staging patches and get them accepted upstream.
        As always, if you find a bug, please report it via
        Best Regards
    • Games

      • Rick And Morty Virtual Rick-ality | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.04 | Steam Play

        Rick And Morty Virtual Rick-ality running through Steam play.

      • Will Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Platform Be A Dud?

        On November 19, Google is expected to finally launch the company’s long awaited game streaming platform, Google Stadia. Stadia is being heralded as the vanguard of a new push to eliminate your local game console, and shift all of the computing and processing power to the cloud. The shift to game streaming is likely inevitable, the only problem is that Stadia may be a little ahead of its time. And, like so many Google projects (like Google Fiber), game developers are apparently worried that Google may waffle on its commitment to the project…

      • Google Stadia’s Upcoming Launch Looking Increasingly Incomplete

        Google Stadia is set to debut on November 19. That launch already had several caveats, however, including the fact that not everyone who pre-ordered the Founder’s Edition bundle will receive their hardware in time for the platform’s debut. Now the company has said that many of Stadia’s multiplayer-centric features won’t be ready in time for the game streaming platform’s launch either.

        The additional information about Stadia’s launch arrived during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with Stadia product director Andrey Doronichev and Beri Lee, who “look[s] after the Publisher experience on Stadia,” on Reddit. Doronichev and Lee revealed that many of Stadia’s features aren’t ready in time for launch and said that several won’t make their debut until some time in 2020.

      • Stadia looks to be very limited at launch and not just the amount of games

        The official launch of Stadia is only days away, so Google recently hosted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) and we have some more details to share about it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KPublicTransport Backend Selection

          At Akademy earlier this year I presented the current state of KPublicTransport, and mentioned a remaining privacy-relevant issue in there for giving its users full control about which backend service to query. This has now been addressed, with a way to list and chose backends globally or per request.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Molly de Blanc: GNOME Patent Troll Defense Fund reaches nearly 4,000 donors!

          A lot has happened since our announcement that Rothschild Imaging Ltd was alleging that GNOME is violating one of their patents. We wanted to provide you with a brief update of what has been happening over the past few weeks.

          Legal cases can be expensive, and the cost of a patent case can easily reach over a million dollars. As a small non-profit, we decided to reach out to our community and ask for financial support towards our efforts to keep patent trolls out of open source. More than 3,800 of you have stepped up and contributed to the GNOME Patent Troll Legal Defense Fund. We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated. If you need any additional documentation for an employer match, please contact us.

    • Distributions

      • Top 15 Best Security-Centric Linux Distributions of 2019

        Being anonymous on the Internet is not particularly the same as surging the web safely, however, they both involve keeping oneself and one’s data private and away from the prying eyes of entities that may otherwise take advantage of system vulnerabilities in order to harm targeted parties.

        There is also the risk of surveillance from the NSA and several other top-level organizations and this is why it is good that developers have taken it upon themselves to build privacy-dedicated distros that host an aggregate of tools that enable users to achieve both online autonomy and privacy.

        In as much as these privacy-centric Linux distros are targetted at a niche in the Linux community, many of them are robust enough to be used for general-purpose computing and many more can be tweaked to support requirements for virtually any specific user base.

        A common factor across almost all privacy-centric Linux distros is their relationship with Tor given that many of them come with Tor’s solid anonymity network service built-in and this, in turn, gives users an environment for them to live in safely without any data logs whatsoever, unlike most VPN providers that will still log your real IP address while still being able to see whatever data you may be transmitting at the point of exit of VPN servers.

      • Debian Family

        • Updated Debian 10: 10.2 released

          The Debian project is pleased to announce the second update of its stable distribution Debian 10 (codename buster). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

          Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 10 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old buster media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror.

          Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won’t have to update many packages, and most such updates are included in the point release.

          New installation images will be available soon at the regular locations.

        • Debian 10.2 Released With The Latest Security Fixes

          Debian 10.2 is out this morning as the latest point release to the “Buster” series.

          As is usually the case with Debian point releases, Debian 10.2 has been christened to bundle up all of the latest security fixes affecting the massive Debian package set.

        • Debian GNU/Linux 10.2 “Buster” Released with More Than 100 Bug & Security Fixes

          The Debian Project announced today the availability of the second point release to its latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series, Debian 10.2.
          Coming a little over two months after the first point release, Debian GNU/Linux 10.2 “Buster” is here as a new installation medium for those who want to deploy the operating system on new computers or reinstall and don’t want to download hundreds of updates from the repositories after installation.

          Debian GNU/Linux 10.2 “Buster” contains a total of 115 changes, consisting of 66 miscellaneous bug fixes and 49 security updates for various core packages and applications included in the main archives. These have already been released to those who have the operating system installed and up to date.

          “Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 10 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old buster media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror,” said the Debian Project.

        • Debian Linux 10.2 released and here is how to upgrade it

          he Debian GNU/Linux project has released an updated version of its stable Linux distribution Debian 10 (“buster”). You must upgrade to get corrections for security problem as this version made a few adjustments for the severe issue found in Debian version 10.1. Debian is a Unix-like (Linux distro) operating system and a distribution of Free Software. It is mainly maintained and updated through the work of many users who volunteer their time and effort. The Debian Project was first announced in 1993 by Ian Murdock.

        • Debian Project Drafts General Resolution on Init-System Diversity

          Debian “is heading toward a new general resolution to decide at what level init systems other than systemd should be supported,” reports LWN.net.

          “I’m absolutely convinced we’ve reached a point where in order to respect the people trying to get work done, we need to figure out where we are as a project,” writes Debian project leader Sam Hartman. “We can either decide that this is work we want to facilitate, or work that we as a project decide is not important.”

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 4 critical growth opportunities for open source

        I recently served on a panel about growth opportunities in open source at the Open Source India conference in Bengaluru. As you might expect, my fellow panelists and I approached the topic from widely varying perspectives, and I came away with the feeling that we may have confused many in the audience rather than enlightening them. With that in mind, I thought it would be useful to consolidate the panel’s ideas about open source growth opportunities, drawing upon many of the points put forth in the session as well as my own thoughts.

      • Web Browsers

        • Like a BAT outta hell, Brave browser hits 1.0 with crypto-coin rewards for your fave websites

          The privacy-focused Brave web browser has reached version 1.0, available now for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android.

          Brave, an open-source browser based on the Google Chromium project, is notable for two things. First, it blocks ads, trackers and cross-site cookies by default. This feature is called Shields. An icon in the toolbar tells you how many items are blocked, with numbers in the 30s and 40s common.

          If the site is either well-behaved and you want to allow ads to be displayed, or so badly behaved that it does not work with Shields on (and you are desperate to see the content), you can disable Shields for a site by clicking the icon.

          The second feature is more radical, and aims to provide an alternative way of funding web publishers via the BAT (Basic Attention Token) cryptocurrency. Users can opt-in to Brave Rewards, which means they see ads in the browser (by default 2 per hour), published by Brave rather than by the sites you visit, for which they earn BATs. You can spend BATs by donating to websites that you like (currently around 300,000 are registered), via an auto-contribute feature, or use them as you wish. BAT is built on the Ethereum platform, and a token currently trades for around $0.25.

      • Linux Foundation

        • The ONNX format becomes the newest Linux Foundation project

          The Linux Foundation today announced that ONNX, the open format that makes machine learning models more portable, is now a graduate-level project inside of the organization’s AI Foundation. ONNX was originally developed and open-sourced by Microsoft and Facebook in 2017 and has since become somewhat of a standard, with companies ranging from AWS to AMD, ARM, Baudi, HPE, IBM, Nvidia and Qualcomm supporting it. In total, more than 30 companies now contribute to the ONNX code base.

      • Programming/Development

        • The 30 Best Python Libraries and Packages for Beginners

          Python Libraries and Packages are a set of useful modules and functions that minimize the use of code in our day to day life. There are over 137,000 python libraries and 198,826 python packages ready to ease developers’ regular programming experience. These libraries and packages are intended for a variety of modern-day solutions.


          OpenCV, a.k.a Open Source Computer Vision is a python package for image processing. It monitors overall functions that are focused on instant computer vision. Although OpenCV has no proper documentation, according to many developers, it is one of the hardest libraries to learn. However, it does provide many inbuilt functions through which you learn Computer vision easily.

        • How to Extract Data from PDF to Excel

          To be honest, if you’ve only got a handful of PDF documents to extract data from, manual copy & paste is a fast way. Just open every single document, select the text you want to extract, copy & paste to the Excel file.

          Sometimes when you need to copy a table, you may need to paste it to Word document first and then copy and paste from Word to Excel to have a structured table.

          Obviously, this method is tedious when you have tons of files. It would be much better to let dedicated tools to automate the whole job.

  • Leftovers

    • Love and Death in the Age of Revolution

      It’s unlikely that many TV viewers will remember that veteran Welsh actor, Vincent Regan, played Colonel Edward (“Ned”) Despard in the show Poldark, which is based on the novels of Winston Graham, and that traces the life and times of a British soldier during the time of the American Revolution. Ned Despard is a minor character in the TV series that ran on the BBC for five seasons, and, while it won some applause, a reviewer in the Guardian noted that in the final episode, “There were times when as a viewer you just didn’t know whether you were coming or going.” Historian Peter Linebaugh, a contributor to CounterPunch, has made Despard into a kind of major minor figure in his tome Red Round Globe Hot Burning (University of California Press; $34.95). The book is subtitled “A Tale at the Crossroads of Commons & Closure, of Love & Terror, of Race & Class, and of Kate & Ned Despard.”

    • The Joshua Tree is Us

      For hundreds of years, the Joshua tree has been a source of inspiration for not only Americans but people all around the world. Its branches reaching to the sky reminded early settlers of the biblical story of Joshua raising his arms in prayer. My prayer, today, is that it’s not too late to save this American treasure so that future generations may likewise be inspired by its majestic beauty.

    • Soap Operas as Teaching Tools

      A friend of mine, a physician who works the longest hours of anybody I know, makes only one exception from her demanding schedule in New York. Once a week, she returns home early to watch a new episode of her favorite Brazilian soap opera.


      By identifying themselves with the protagonists’ dreams and problems the viewer establishes an immediate connection with them. “I think people like stories that continue so they can relate to these people. They become like a family, and the viewer becomes emotionally involved. Viewers respond in two ways: One, that the stories are similar to what happened to them in real life, or two, thank goodness that isn’t me,” said H. Wesley Kenney when he was a producer of the TV series General Hospital.

      In Colorado, state officials have developed a telenovela called “Crossroads: Without Health, There Is Nothing,” specifically aimed at conveying health messages to the population. One of the producers’ aims was to increase the number of health-insured kids in the state since almost half of the 150,000 uninsured children (many of them Spanish-speaking) were eligible either for Medicaid or the Child Health Plan Plus program. Following the airing of the telenovelas, there was a substantial increase in the number of children applying for insurance. That same program was used by the Baltimore Child Health Plan to educate Spanish speakers on how to navigate the health care system.

      “We’re trying to get people to get related with this character and then feel, it’s such a shame that we lost her just because she didn’t know in time what to do and how to take care of herself, because she could have saved her life” said Julieta Ortiz, who plays one of the main characters in that telenovela.

    • Noel Ignatiev and the Great Divide

      One of the finer scholars of his generation, a mighty class warrior, and an unapologetic emblem of his ideological tendency has joined the pantheon of great revolutionaries. Noel Ignatiev, whose classic monograph How the Irish Became White and an anthology co-edited with John Garvey, Race Traitor, belong on every shelf in Trumpland, passed away on November 9, 2019.

    • Science

      • Correlation Found Between Left-Handedness and Genetic Markers Associated with Neurological Disease

        Left-handedness is a uniquely human trait, with 90% human populations globally being right-handed since the Paleolithic (extending from 3.3 million years ago to the end of the Pleistocene). A feature of motor control, the prevailing theory is that handedness is a consequence of language being “lateralized to the left hemisphere”; “lefties” are known to have more bilateral or language activation in the right hemisphere. It is also known that left-handedness is associated with several neurological disorders, including schizophrenia. But up to now no good neuroanatomical localization of the trait were known. Also unknown was the genetic basis (if any) for left-handedness (although it is known to “run in families”).

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Three Common Privacy Misconceptions That Companies Love
      • ‘This Should Probably Be Illegal’: Rights Advocates Target Lawmakers and Lobbyists With Facial Recognition Technology in US Capitol

        “It’s terrifyingly easy for anyone—a government agent, a corporation, or just a creepy stalker—to conduct biometric monitoring and violate basic rights at a massive scale. We did this to make a point.”

      • Federal Court Rules That Border Officers Can’t Arbitrarily Search Our Electronic Devices
      • Federal Court Says ICE, CBP’s Suspicionless Searches Of Electronic Devices Is Unconstitutional

        There’s a bit more Constitution in the “Constitution-free zone.” A federal court in Massachusetts has ruled [PDF] border agents can no longer perform suspicionless device searches. This ruling aligns itself with the decision handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year. If the government wants to dig into travelers’ phones and laptops without a warrant, it needs to show it believes contraband will be located on the seized device.

      • Maryam Namazie and Afsana Lachaux, Joint Winners of 2019 Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize

        Maryam Namazie and Afsana Lachaux were joint winners of the 2019 Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize for their campaigning work in support of women under Sharia laws. The award recognised the links with Sharia and religious laws and violence against women.

      • Sharia law in Britain shows women are traumatised and humiliated in a system weighted against them

        As part of the One Law for All campaign, we will be holding a protest outside the Court of Appeal to let the government and the public know that minority women will not tolerate being trapped in marital captivity and treated as subjects of their so called religious communities rather than as citizens with equal rights.

      • Supreme Court refers Sabarimala temple issue to larger bench, no stay on women’s entry

        The Supreme Court said restrictions on women in religious places weren’t limited to Sabarimala alone, and that they were prevalent in other religions too.

        Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi read the verdict on behalf of himself and Justices AM Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra; he said the larger bench would decide all such religious issues relating to Sabarimala, the entry of women in mosques and the practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawood Bohra community.

      • Sabarimala verdict: A timeline of temple entry issue ahead of Supreme Court verdict today

        The Sabrimala verdict will be delivered by a constitution bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra at 10:30 am today.

        Here is a brief timeline of the Sabarimala Temple Case: [...]

      • Indian Court to Set Law on Women’s Entry in Temples, Mosques

        The court deferred a decision on petitions seeking a review of its 2018 ruling to lift a ban on women of menstruating age entering the temple’s grounds.

        Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said seven judges will take up issues relating to women entering any house of worship.

        Gogoi said the question of whether women of all ages should be allowed into Sabarimala is part of a larger debate that includes issues like allowing Muslim and Parsi women to enter religious practices and female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.

      • Significant case on women’s rights following break up of marriage at the Court of Appeal

        As part of the One Law for All campaign, we will be holding a protest outside the Court of Appeal to let the government and the public know that minority women will not tolerate being trapped in marital captivity and treated as subjects of their so called religious communities rather than as citizens with equal rights.

      • A woman’s stalker compromised her car’s app, giving him the ability to track and immobilize it

        Stalkerware is now a factor in the majority of spousal abuse cases; since stalkerware compromises mobile devices, and since these devices can be used to control a wide range of other devices (vehicles, thermostats, medical implants, door locks, etc), an abuser can leverage their stalkerware infections to turn their victims’ lives into digital Kafka novels.

      • ‘Annoying’ a cop could be illegal soon in this upstate county

        Under a proposal that was approved by the Monroe County Legislature, someone who annoys, alarms or threatens a police officer or other first responder could be arrested and sentenced to a year in jail or forced to pay a $5,000 fine.

        The legislature approved the bill by a 17-10 vote on Tuesday. The county executive will now hold a public hearing and decide whether to pass it into law.

        The bill sparked outrage among groups such as the New York Civil Liberties Union.

      • The Case for Internet Access as a Human Right

        The new study, published this week in the Journal of Applied Philosophy, comes courtesy of Dr. Merten Reglitz, a lecturer in global ethics at the University of Birmingham. In it, Reglitz makes the case that [Internet] access is an essential part of keeping those in power accountable.

        “Internet access is not merely a luxury for those who can afford it,” Reglitz said. “It is instead highly conducive to a multitude of crucial human interests and rights. Internet access is a uniquely effective way for lobbying and holding accountable global players like global governance institutions and multinational corporations.”

      • Google Is Basically Daring the Government to Block Its Fitbit Deal

        Google’s plan to buy Fitbit took chutzpah from the start. The company was already being investigated by Congress, state attorneys general, and federal antitrust regulators, a reflection of growing alarm over a conglomerate whose dominant market share is built on unrivaled access to personal data. Now it was announcing a $2.2 billion acquisition of a firm with troves of the most intimate details of its users’ physical health, from their heart rate to their exercise routines to how many hours they sleep at night. Fitbit was apparently worried enough about the threat of the deal being blocked that it negotiated a $250 million breakup fee in case of “a failure to obtain Antitrust Approvals.”

      • Facebook is receiving a record number of government data demands

        The social network Facebook received a record number of government requests for user data during the first half of 2019, according to its latest Transparency Report.

        The report indicates that government data demands surged 16 per cent to 128,617 during the first six months of 2019, compared to the second half of 2018.

      • Mark Zuckerberg says TikTok is a threat to democracy, but didn’t say he spent 6 months trying to buy its predecessor

        Facebook once tried to buy Musical.ly, the Chinese lip-syncing app that was eventually acquired by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance and merged with its app Douyin to form the viral video app TikTok, according to reports from BuzzFeed and Bloomberg.

        Three sources familiar with the talks told BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac that Facebook spent the second half of 2016 trying to buy the Shanghai-headquartered Musical.ly in an attempt to break into the Chinese market. These sources said the talks were “serious” but never came to fruition, with Facebook unable to close the deal.

      • Tencent Music Earnings Surge 31% In the Latest Quarter

        Tencent Music Entertainment Group has released its third-quarter financials for 2019, with revenue surging a staggering 31% and beating the expectations of Wall Street analysts.

      • Love of cash hinders India’s move to digital economy

        One of the key objectives of the note ban was to discourage the use of cash, but India continues to see a surge in currency in circulation even as economic growth has slowed to a six-year low.

        Central bank data shows that since the controversial demonetization gambit, currency in circulation has grown, rising 17 per cent to 21.1 trillion rupees (USD 295.7 billion) as of the end of March 2019.

      • Warrantless searches of devices at ports illegal, court rules

        Tuesday’s ruling in U.S. District Court came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.

        ACLU attorney Esha Bhandari said the ruling strengthens the Fourth Amendment protections of international travelers who enter the United States every year.

        The ACLU describes the searches as “fishing expeditions.” They say border officers must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of contraband before they can search a traveler’s electronic device.

      • Popular UK health websites share sensitive user data with Google, Facebook, dozens more

        Not good. An important new investigation from the Financial Times reveals symptoms, drug names, and terms like ‘abortion’ are shared with hundreds of third parties.

        The scariest ones in this list aren’t just Google, Amazon, Facebook, Oracle, Scorecard, or OpenX, but the ones you’ve never heard of, who receive even less scrutiny over data privacy and security practices.

      • European privacy regulators raise ‘concerns’ about Privacy Shield
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Peak Hubris

        “Hubris” is defined as rash and foolish pride, a dangerous overconfidence, manifested with arrogance.  The Deep State vaunts our “exceptionalism”, and since Reagan’s “City on a HIll” trope Americans have been assured by all succeeding Presidents that ours is the “indispensible nation”. The word describes the way America sells itself to the world, and has for generations.

      • Trump Administration Forgoes Petition to Supreme Court in Jane Doe Case
      • “What About the Children?” Youth Rights Before Parental Police States

        “What about the children?!” Some haggard disembodied voice wails from my flickering TV set, jerking me awake from the Ambien-grade slumber that any more than 15 minutes of C-Span inevitably delivers. It’s happened a thousand times before. The voice almost always belongs to some sobbing middle-aged white woman, overdressed like June Cleaver for some senate hearing on the dangers of one victimless crime or another, online prostitution or E-cigarettes or satanic Portuguese techno, always something new, always something to be terrified of. Part of me feels for the woman, I really do. She’s usually lost a child to something or other. She’s clearly in pain. But another disgraceful part of me wants to tell her to shut the fuck up and take some goddamn responsibility for your own life. Because, beneath the theatrics, 9 times out of 10, this pearl-clutching stock character is really saying “I couldn’t find the time to parent my dead child, so now the police state has to pick up the slack!” And the Wall Street whores of Washington take their cue and start passing more pointless legislation.

      • Adidas explains why it put the Russian flag upside down on its new uniforms for the national soccer team
      • Watch the CIA Get Away With Torture

        In the aftermath of 9/11, Americans might generously attribute their embrace of the “dark side,” as former Vice President Dick Cheney described torture, to a collective nervous breakdown. It’s a chapter in our recent history detailed in Jane Mayer’s bestseller, “The Dark Side,” and more broadly in the entertaining and fallacious movie, “Zero Dark Thirty,” but it remains a national shame yet to be confronted by holding those responsible accountable. The end credits of Scott Z. Burns’ expository epic, “The Report,” in theaters Friday, inform us that many associated with the enhanced interrogation techniques (EIT) program remain on staff at the CIA or were even promoted, such as current Director Gina Haspel.

      • We Investigated the Crisis in California’s Jails. Now, the Governor Calls for More Oversight.

        Faced with a surge of homicides in some of California’s largest jails, inmates held in inhumane suicide-watch conditions and elected sheriffs who rebuff state inspectors, Gov. Gavin Newsom is crafting plans that would give the state more power to oversee local sheriffs and the lockups they run.

        The measure will be part of a broader criminal justice reform package he plans to introduce next year, he told The Fresno Bee editorial board last week. Also on the table: adding “step-down facilities” to bolster rehabilitation and reentry options for people being released from custody and, ultimately, shuttering one of the state’s 35 prisons.

      • Algeria: Escalating Repression of Protesters

        Algerian authorities have arrested scores of pro-democracy movement activists since September 2019. Many remain detained on vague charges such as “harming national unity” and “undermining the morale of the army.” The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release the peaceful activists and respect the rights to free speech and assembly of all Algerians. 

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Congress Says The FCC Is Trying To Run Out The Clock On Wireless Location Data Scandals

        US wireless carriers have spent much of the last year under fire for hoovering up your location data, then selling that data to any nitwit with a nickel. More recently they’ve been busted even selling access to E-911 location data, which is increasingly even more accurate in tracking users than traditional GPS. We’ve noted repeatedly that lax ethical standards result in this data often being abused by dubious third parties, or used illegally by law enforcement or those pretending to be law enforcement.

    • Monopolies

      • USMCA deal close, but not ‘imminent,’ Democrats say

        Democrats say a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is close, but not “imminent,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

      • Now a Senator Is Investigating the Sexist Apple Card Debacle

        Responding to several allegations that husbands tend to received higher credit limits than their wives, Goldman Sachs representatives have repeatedly stated to Gizmodo and other outlets that the company is blind to gender, race, marital status, and familial relationships. They surmise that the wives in question had perhaps been banking as secondary cardholders under their husbands’ accounts, ergot, they would not have accrued as long of a debt payment history. But you can certainly take it up with customer service.

      • Google to offer personal banking accounts next year

        Google is preparing to launch a personal checking account service in the United States as early as next year, following moves by some big tech rivals to increasingly expand into consumer finance.

        The consumer checking accounts will be offered through the Google Pay app, initially in partnership with Citigroup and a small credit union at Stanford University.

      • Porn Site Says PayPal Ban Will Hurt More Than 100,000 Performers

        PayPal Inc. is blocking transactions at Pornhub, a move the adult-video site says will halt payments to “over a hundred thousand performers who rely on them for their livelihoods.”

        PayPal took steps to stop the Pornhub transactions after a review of the situation, the online-payment giant said. “We have discovered that Pornhub has made certain business payments through PayPal without seeking our permission,” it said, without elaborating on the nature of the transactions.

      • PayPal abruptly cuts off Pornhub’s payroll, leaving performers with few payment options

        It seems like a reach to expect the hundred thousand performers to switch over to a single type of cryptocurrency for their paychecks, though, and direct deposit may also be dicey for some: a number of banks refuse to serve sex workers, according to this list compiled by Survivors Against SESTA. Pornhub explained last year that PayPal was a key alternative to banks: “PayPal specifically is a method of payment that many people, who may not have the luxury of a bank account, rely on to get paid,” the company wrote.

        PayPal’s decision to drop Pornhub appears to have been sudden, as some have expressed dissatisfaction on having to scramble to find a way to receive payments (though Pornhub seems to be helping out): [...]

      • Delhi HC Gives Expansive Interpretation to Section 79 of IT Act: Issues Global Blocking Order Against Intermediaries

        On October 23, a single judge of the Delhi High Court – Justice Prathiba M Singh – issued an interim injunction directing Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other unnamed intermediaries to take down on a global basis, defamatory content uploaded on their platforms against Baba Ramdev (‘Judgment’). The Judgment is significant as it went beyond the conventional mode of ‘geo-blocking’, whereby the take-down of URLs is limited to specific geographic locations.

      • La Sierra University: Abolish Intellectual Property Law

        Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 276. This is my speech delivered for the Troesh Talk, part of the Business Colloquium course, at the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University Nov. 12, 2019. I was invited by Associate Dean Gary Chartier, who runs the Colloquium. The audience consisted mainly of business and grad students.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Magic Leap rattles money tin, assigns patents to a megabank, sues another ex-staffer… But fear not, all’s fine

          Augmented reality hype-merchant Magic Leap has had to whip out its begging cap, sorry, sorry, its once-in-a-lifetime investment chest again for venture capitalists to top up with with millions of dollars.

          Having burned through $2.6bn – that’s billion – on its way to producing an AR headset that has so many limitations it seemingly has zero chance of becoming a consumer device, the upstart has announced it is now part way through series E funding.

          That’s just a Silicon Valley way of saying it’s on a fifth formal round of begging to banks and venture capitalists to help it keep going before the biz finally starts making money. In reality, it is the manufacturer’s eighth funding round, with the most recent being a cash influx of $280m in April this year. That money appears to be running out, or just simply not enough, just six months later.

          And while things were already looking perilous for the company that continues to promise the Earth yet has persistently underwhelmed, failed to hit deadlines and often flat-out spewed BS, there is some troubling news that has just emerged.

        • Munich appeals court schedules ruling on Nokia’s anti-antisuit injunctions against Continental for December 12

          Just a quick follow-up to yesterday’s report on the appellate hearing in Munich on Nokia’s anti-antisuit injunctions against Continental:

          The Munich I Higher Regional Court’s press office told me today that a ruling has been scheduled for December 12.

          I still predict the same outcome: reversal. The court’s position on the irreconcilability of an antisuit–including anti-antisuit–injunction with German law didn’t appear to change at any moment during the hearing that lasted well over two hours. What I attribute the delay to is simply that this appeals court–at least when it comes to patent cases–tends to write very comprehensive opinions. Those judges won’t necessarily address each and every argument they don’t have to reach. But unlike their U.S. counterparts, they do cover a lot of ground beyond the shortest path to a particular outcome when fundamental questions are at stake. Earlier this year, an injunction Qualcomm had won and enforced against Apple in Germany was tossed on three independent grounds, any single one of which would have been self-sufficient.

          The practical effect of this target date is that Continental can’t make a third attempt at a U.S. antisuit injunction for another four weeks. Meanwhile, on December 10, the first Nokia v. Daimler trial will be held in Mannheim (there have been first hearings in three Munich cases, but the second hearings there are the actual trials and the soonest one of them will take place in February). In all those years I’ve seen only one bench ruling in Mannheim, so realistically, there won’t be any German patent injunction in place against Daimler before sometime in January. Meanwhile, a renewed motion for an antisuit injunction in the U.S. could be resolved if a motion to shorten time succeeded–which it might if a Mannheim injunction loomed large after the December 10 trial, especially since the issues have been briefed before, even if not by Sharp and Conversant.

        • Munich appeals court likely to reverse Nokia’s anti-antisuit injunction against Continental: Judge Koh may have to rule on third antisuit motion soon

          Before we go to today’s Munich appellate hearing, let me just say that this week’s Component-Level SEP Licensing conference in Brussels exceeded expectations, which applies to the quality of the presentations of those who strongly advocate component-level licensing obligations under antitrust and contract law as well as of those who are skeptical of, or even adamantly opposed to, at least one of those legal bases–everyone I invited was terrific. I’ll publish the slides no later than this coming weekend. Now, the latest from Nokia v. Continental.


          Anan Kasei Co. Ltd & Rhodia Operations S.A.S. v Neo Chemicals and Oxides Limited & Neo Performance Materials Inc, Court of Appeal, London, 9 October 2019, [2019] EWCA Civ 1646

          In this judgment, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Neo Chemicals and Oxides (Europe) Limited (previously Molycorp Chemicals and Oxides (Europe) Limited) and Neo Performance Materials Inc (together “Neo”) relating to the sufficiency of European Patent (UK) No. 1 435 338 (the “Patent”) owned by Anan Kasei Co. Ltd (now Solvay Special Chem Japan, Ltd) and exclusively licensed to Rhodia Operations S.A.S. (together “Rhodia”).

          In doing so, the Court of Appeal has provided further guidance on the law of sufficiency, in particular insufficiency due to ambiguity (or uncertainty), and excessive claim breadth. In the same judgment, the Court of Appeal allowed two procedural appeals by Rhodia regarding the joining of Neo’s parent company to the proceedings.

        • Logo Placement Relevant for Infringement in Design Patent Cases

          Note here that my gloves are the cheap liners, the lawsuit focuses more on the expensive gloves and clothing that have the heat-reflective material on the inner liner. My gloves also show a different pattern than the original accused HeatWave product.

          In the case, Columbia asserted both a design patent (US.D657093) and a utility patent (US.8453270) and the case resulted in a partial victory for Columbia — Jury award of $3 million in damages for design patent infringement but a determined that the asserted utility patent were invalid.

        • Guest Post: The real puzzle in Campbell Soup v. Gamon Plus

          However these claims are interpreted (a matter of much dispute in this case), they are each clearly directed to what we might call a “multi-article” design. Each design defines parts of the shapes of separate articles—a dispenser and a can.

          The problem is that the design patent “primary reference” requirement was created in the context of—and implicitly assumes—a single-article design. The lesson in Durling and Rosen was that you can’t create a Franken-article to serve as a primary reference. If the patent (or application) claims a design for a table, you can’t splice parts of different tables together to form a single, hypothetical table. You have to find a table that actually exists (or a sufficient description thereof) in the prior art.

          But what happens when the design extends over separate articles? Gamon Plus (and Judge Newman, in dissent) seem to argue that there must be a single reference that explicitly discloses both articles being used together in the same way. That can’t possibly be right—especially on the facts of this case.

        • 6 things readers should know about Liconsa v. Boehringer Ingelheim

          Our friends from the EPLAW Patent Blog recently published an interesting blog commenting on the judgment of 29 March 2019 from the Court of Appeal of Barcelona (Section 15) where, among other aspects, the requirements for requesting the limitation of a European patent before the Spanish Patents and Trademarks Office (“SPTO”) were discussed. As explained in such blog, the Court came to the conclusion that the limited patent published by the SPTO was not enforceable because the judicial authorization foreseen in article 105.4 of the new Patents Act had not been obtained. For the readers’ benefit, it will be helpful to remember that, according to that article 105 “4. If judicial proceedings on the validity of the patent are pending and without prejudice to the provisions of article 120, the request for limitation, addressed to the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, must be authorized by the Judge or Court that handles the proceedings.”

          To avoid confusion and possible misunderstandings among the public, a few clarifications are in order:

          The first clarification is that although that blog might convey the impression that the Court of Appeal of Barcelona (Section 15) had the last say on this debate, in reality that judgment is not final. This is because BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM (“BI”) filed an appeal, which is pending before the Supreme Court.


          Finally, the debate explained in these blogs is a “one-off” that will not arise again in future cases. This is because the facts of the case were unique in the sense that the parties were trapped in the transition between the old and the new Patents Acts and the debate arose because of the different transitional regimes established for different provisions of the new Patents Act.

      • Trademarks

        • In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different: Chanel in trade mark dispute over GABRIELLE mark – again

          In December 2017, Chanel Limited applied to register the trade mark CHANEL’S GABRIELLE in respect of goods in classes 9, 14 and 18. Gabrielle is the first name of CoCo Chanel, its founder.

          The application was partially opposed by Catherine Sidonio, based on the UK trademark registration for the mark GABRIELLE for various goods, including those in class 25. She claimed that the respective goods were similar and that the marks were similar, so much so that CHANEL’S GABRIELLE gave the impression of a collaboration between the parties.

          This is not the first time the parties have come across one another and Chanel referred to a previous decision (BL-O-646-17), in which the same parties had played “inverted roles”. In that decision, it was held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the marks GABRIELLE and GABRIELLE CHANEL for identical goods in class 25.

          Sidonio produced a variety of evidence, including copies of “Coco Chanel” posters that related to three films produced in 2008-2009, web prints showing clothing items branded with “GABRIELLE BY MOLLY BRACKEN”, and a web print stating the French brand origin of MOLLY BRACKEN, which was launched in 2008.


          The opposition failed in respect of sunglasses, sunglasses frames and lenses (in class 9) and jewellery; charms; decorative pins; brooches; medallions (in class 14). The opposition succeeded in relation to cufflinks and tie pins (in class 14) and handbags; vanity cases (not fitted), briefcases articles of luggage, wallets, purses (not of precious metal or coated therewith), leather shoulder belts; bags; sporrans; credit card holder; card holders; and key holders (in class 18).

        • Needless Trademark Spat In Canada At Least Has Exactly As Polite Ending As You’d Expect

          It probably shouldn’t be all that surprising that there is a decent volume of trademark disputes that occur over restaurant menu items. Somewhat like the craft beer industry, the restaurant industry has for a long, long time looked toward creative output for menu items as a way to stand out. Because there are only so many ways you can name food or a dish, occasionally this creative naming practice causes trademark issues.

        • High Court TM Profit Award Standard May Be Coming
        • The bad faith conundrum in the EU continues – KOTON, SKY, ANN TAYLOR, NEYMAR, CAFÉ DEL MAR

          Bad faith is on the rise – whether in reality or as a useful weapon against trade marks is another question. Recently, both the General Court (GC) and the Court of Justice (CJEU) have had several opportunities to consider whether trade marks had been filed in bad faith. The tendency seems to become stricter and to focus more on balancing the interests of the trade mark owner and the competition in the market.

        • Ferrero succeeds in enforcing its rights in the Tic Tac container before Italian court

          It was just a few months ago that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (BMB v Ferrero, C‑693/17 P) sided with well-known foodstuffs manufacturer Ferrero by upholding the invalidity of a registered Community design right for comfit boxes and containers pursuant to Article 25(1)(e) of Regulation No 6/2002. This was due to a conflict with Ferrero’s international trade mark (below) representing the container of its Tic Tac comfits.


          Among other things, in 1973 Ferrero obtained two Italian 3D trade mark registrations for said container. In 1974, it obtained the corresponding international trade mark registration for one of these trade marks (which it had relied upon in the design case mentioned in the opening).


          The mark was registered early-on for “coaching services.” However, Copeland-Smith also wanted a registration covering t-shirts and soccer balls. (The amended application disclaimed rights to SOCCER except as part of BEAST MODE SOCCER.)

          The problem for Copeland-Smith is that other folks have their own registered Beast-Mode marks. This include’s former NFL’r Marshawn Lynch’s BEAST MODE apparel line. [beastmodeonline.com].


          Factor 6 – number and nature of similar marks — Copeland argues that Lynch’s mark is weak because “Beast Mode” is a well known American slang referring to using “high effort or energy in exercise or sport.” (Citing the UrbanDictionary). (I’ll note that several UrbanDictionary definitions refer directly to Lynch. E.g., “beastmoed: to go crazy like marshawn lynch does.”) (I’ll also note the following definition “Patent: To take an existing commodity and claim ownership over its production rights.”)

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit again agreed with the TTAB’s factual conclusion that Factor 6 favored denial-of-registration. The court noted that Copeland-Smith produced a “large quantity of evidence”, but that the evidence lacked “quality.”

      • Copyrights

        • Rome court rules that iconic photograph of judges Falcone and Borsellino is not a photographic artwork

          However, according to the Rome Court of First Instance (decision 14758/2019), the photograph above is not sufficiently original to be considered a photographic artwork protected under Article 2 of the Italian Copyright Act (Law No 633/1941).

          The decision was issued in the context of proceedings brought by Gentile against RAI – Radiotelevisione Italiana, the Italian national public broadcasting company, over the unauthorised use of the image.

          The Rome court pointed out at the very outset that, historically, photographs were not protected by copyright under Italian law. This choice, which dates back to 1941, “was determined, on the one hand, by the importance of the role of pictures to the cultural industries, so that limiting as much as possible any monopoly on them would be preferable; on the other hand, by the difficulty of finding a creative quid in photographic works which would allow to distinguish the technical nature of the process from to the photographer’s personal contribution in reaching the final result”.

          The choice of Italian legislature, however, was at odds with the Berne Convention, and the law was eventually amended.

        • Academic Publishers As Parasites

          This is just a quick post to draw attention to From symbiont to parasite: the evolution of for-profit science publishing by UCSF’s Peter Walter and Dyche Mullins in Molecular Biology of the Cell. It is a comprehensive overview of the way the oligopoly publishers obtained and maintain their rent-extraction from the academic community: [...]

        • Should Doxxing Be Illegal?

          There has been a debate over the past few years about the legality of “doxxing,” which would loosely be defined as identifying individuals and/or their personal information which they’d prefer to remain secret. This is coming up in a variety of contexts, including effort to unveil the whistleblower who first called attention to President Trump’s questionable call with Ukraine’s President. However, we also noted in passing, last week, that the new privacy bill from Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo contained an anti-doxxing clause…

        • Taylor Swift provoked fans to go after her rivals and now they’re being doxxed

          Taylor Swift wants the rights to her own music — and she may have just crossed an ethical line to get it. On Thursday afternoon, Swift asked her gigantic army of fans to get in touch with music industry talent manager Scooter Braun and former label boss Scott Borchetta to “let them know how you feel” about their attempts to keep her from performing her old hits on TV or using them in an upcoming Netflix documentary.

          That request, of course, would require Taylor’s fans to know how to get in touch. So fans promptly began doxxing the pair, publishing what appear to be Braun and Borchetta’s private contact information — including phone numbers and a physical home address — on Twitter.

        • Taylor Swift Says Scooter Braun, Scott Borchetta Are Blocking Her From Playing Old Hits at AMAs

          Swift says in her posts that the Big Machine team told her she would be allowed the use of her old songs only if she agreed not to re-record them in the future — a non-starter for her, she says — and if she affirmed she would not speak negatively going forward.

          Embedded in her plea to fans to make their feelings known to Braun and Borchetta is what might be referred to as burying the lead: Swift says Netflix has been working on a documentary about her for several years. “This isn’t the way I had planned on telling you this news,” she writes.

          Normally, performing older material live when the master recordings are held by someone else shouldn’t require permission, except Swift claims that Borchetta and Braun are contending that a performance of them on the AMAs constitutes “re-recording them before I’m allowed to next year.”

        • Who will win the media wars?

          This binge is the culmination of 20 years of creative destruction (see Briefing). New technologies and ideas have shaken up music, gaming and now television. Today many people associate economic change with deteriorating living standards: job losses, being ripped-off, or living under virtual monopolies in search and social networks. But this business blockbuster is a reminder that dynamic markets can benefit consumers with lower prices and better quality. Government has so far had little to do with the boom, but when it inevitably peaks the state will have a part to play, by ensuring that the market stays open and vibrant.

        • Troll Lawyer Shows Up In Court To Explain His ‘Dead Grandfather’ Excuse, Gets His ‘Fitness To Practice’ Questioned By The Judge

          Just a few days ago, copyright troll lawyer Richard Liebowitz was being threatened with jail time for refusing to provide a judge with some evidence his grandfather had died. If that doesn’t seem like something most judges would demand, you’re right. It takes a special kind of lawyer to drive a federal court judge to start demanding proof of death from an attorney.

        • Universal Music Claims Copyright Over Newly Public Domain ‘Yes! We Have No Bananas’

          As you’re probably aware, on January 1st of this year, we actually had a public domain day in the US for the first time in over two decades. Prior to that Congress (with the help of Hollywood lobbyists) had worked to continually extend copyright law whenever new works were due to go into the public domain. These extensions still seem to violate the spirit of the copyright clause in the Constitution, given that it is granting Congress permission to create such monopolies only so much as those monopoly rights “promote the progress.” Any reasonable interpretation of that clause means that copyright law should be allowed in cases where it creates the incentive to create. But it’s difficult to see how extending copyright law decades after the work has been created does anything to incentivize that work in the first place.


Links 16/11/2019: Wine 4.20, Picolibc 1.1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • MSI Cubi 5 should make an excellent mini Linux computer

        If you want a basic Linux desktop, you can never go wrong with an all Intel-based mini computer — such as that company’s own NUC line. Things typically work without issue — an Intel Wi-Fi card, for instance, shouldn’t give you any headaches on Linux.

        Intel is not the only game in town, however. Other companies manufacture and sell mini desktop computers too. Today, MSI unveils its latest, and it looks like a real winner. Called “Cubi 5,” it comes with 10th gen Intel Comet Lake processors, USB-C, and supports Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

        “Keeping in mind the needs of consumers, MSI announces the world’s first energy-efficient Mini-PC to be equipped with Intel’s 10th gen Comet Lake processors: Cubi 5. The Cubi 5 delivers upgraded computing capability as well as improved functionality. Cubi 5 may be small, but its performance can be improved all the way up to Intel Core i7 processor (Comet Lake), which helps deliver computing capability that will keep you in the flow, wherever you go,” says MSI.

      • Deepin Linux Shows Off Its Next Big Feature: A Smart AI Voice Assistant

        I’ve just obtained a video that was shared inside the Deepin Telegram Group, and it contains some compelling evidence that the upcoming version of the slick Desktop Linux distribution may ship with an AI Voice Assistant. And a clever one, at that.

        The video (which is entirely in Chinese), shows a user asking a series of questions and receiving responses in both voice and via text in a pop-up window. But as the video progresses, it becomes clear that the AI voice assistant also interfaces directly with Deepin system settings.

      • VXL Launches CloudDesktop On the Go (CoGo), a Truly Portable Linux Micro Thin Client

        VXL, a leader in thin clients, endpoint management and digital signage software solutions, launches its new, low cost, CloudDesktop On the Go (CoGo). An ultra-compact and highly portable USB key, CoGo repurposes legacy PCs into a fully functional Linux thin client. Available with a lifetime perpetual license and priced at a highly competitive $77 including first year support, CoGo offers users up to a massive 50% saving over equivalent software solutions.

        CoGo allows businesses to extend the life of ageing PC hardware by using it to access server-hosted computing sessions or virtual desktop infrastructure. Users simply plug CoGo into a PC and boot from it. The VXL Gio Linux firmware is instantly useable without overwriting the local OS and the converted PC can be managed as thin client.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Announcing Oracle Linux 8 Update 1

          Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 8 Update 1. Individual RPM packages are available on the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux yum server. ISO installation images will soon be available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud and Docker images will soon be available via Oracle Container Registry and Docker Hub.

          Oracle Linux 8 Update 1 ships with Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) (kernel-4.18.0-147.el8) kernel packages for x86_64 Platform (Intel & AMD), that include bug fixes, security fixes, and enhancements; the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform is also available for installation as a developer preview release.

        • Oracle Linux 8 Update 1 Announced With Udica, Optane DCPM Support

          Fresh off the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 at the beginning of November, Oracle is now shipping Oracle Linux 8 Update 1 as their spin of RHEL 8.1 with various changes on top — including their “Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel” option.

        • Telco revolution or evolution: Depends on your perspective, but your network is changing

          As the market embraces edge computing and 5G networks, telecommunications service providers are increasingly looking for ways to migrate their monolithic services to microservices and containers. These providers are moving from legacy hardware appliances to virtualized network functions to containerized network functions on cloud infrastructure. Red Hat’s partnership with a rich ecosystem of software-defined networking (SDN) vendors, independent software vendors (ISVs), network equipment providers (NEPs), as well as its deep involvement in the open source projects powering these initiatives, give customers the choices and long-life support they need to build the services infrastructure that supports their business needs both today and tomorrow – as well as the journey in between.

        • The rise of the network edge and what it means for telecommunications

          5G. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). IoT. Edge computing. Much has been said about these technologies and the impact they will have on the telecommunications services of tomorrow. But it’s when they’re talked about together—as part of the broader digital transformation of service provider networks and business models—that things really get interesting. It’s a story that may impact every corner of the telecommunications ecosystem, from mobile network operators (MNOs), traditional service providers, and cable network operators to cellular tower companies, data center operators, managed services providers, and vendors.

          SDN and NFV hold the promise of replacing enormous networks of proprietary, single-purpose appliances with racks of off-the-shelf compute and storage platforms that are running software from a variety of vendors for a variety of services. Progress on this front has been slowed by several issues, leaving operators looking for their next opportunity. It has emerged in the form of 5G, and whether they are early adopters or taking a wait-and-see approach, every telco company is looking for its 5G play.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Interesting Facts About Linux That You Should Know

        There are many, especially those who are newly orientated with Linux, think that it is an operating system. But, the fact is, it is not an operating system; instead, it is a kernel. A kernel is the central part of an operating system. The name of the OS is GNU Linux OS, which has many other derivatives like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Kali Linux, and much more.

      • How the Linux kernel balances the risks of public bug disclosure

        Last month a serious Linux Wi-Fi flaw (CVE-2019-17666) was uncovered that could have enabled an attacker to take over a Linux device using its Wi-Fi interface. At the time it was disclosed Naked Security decided to wait until a patch was available before writing about it.

        Well, it’s been patched, but the journey from discovery to patch provides some insights into how the Linux open-source project (the world’s largest collaborative software development effort) manages bug fixes and the risks of disclosure.

      • Linux 5.5 To Finally Kill The Async Block Cipher API In Favor Of SKCIPHER

        The crypto code within the Linux kernel for the upcoming 5.5 cycle finishes converting the drivers to making full use of the four-year-old SKCIPHER interface so that the old ABLKCIPHER code can be removed.

        SKCIPHER was introduced in 2015 to the mainline kernel to ultimately replace BLKCIPHER/ABLKCIPHER. This “symmetric key cipher” interface is a generic encrypt/decrypt wrapper for ciphers.

      • NUVIA To Make Serious Play For New CPUs In The Datacenter, Hires Linux/OSS Veteran

        Making waves this afternoon is word of the NUVIA server CPU start-up landing its series A funding round and thus making more information known on this new silicon start-up.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Spins Up Latest Graphics Compiler + Compute Runtime With Ice/Tiger Lake Work

          The Intel developers working on their open-source compute run-time this morning released a new version as they continue making improvements to their Gen11 Ice Lake support as well as further bringing up the Gen12/Xe Tiger Lake support.

          As part of the compute runtime is the Intel Graphics Compiler to which this morning they released IGC 1.0.2805. With this compiler update is a memory leak fix, an OpenCL fix, and minor fixes/improvements.

        • NVIDIA have released another Vulkan Beta Driver 435.27.07, just for Linux this time

          NVIDIA have pushed out the second Vulkan Beta Driver in the space of a week, with 435.27.07 now available for Linux.

        • WXRC Is The Wayland XR Compositor For VR Headsets

          Drew DeVault of Sway/WL-ROOTS notoriety and longtime Wayland developer Simon Ser have started development on WXRC, a new Wayland compositor.

          WXRC is the Wayland XR Compositor and is based on OpenXR and the open-source Monado implementation. This is better than the past Linux VR desktop efforts we’ve recently seen that relied on SteamVR. As of this week, WXRC has working 3D Wayland clients.

    • Benchmarks

      • OnLogic Karbon 700: Passively-Cooled, Up To 8 Core / 16 Thread Industrial & Rugged PC

        OnLogic (formerly known as Logic Supply until a recent rebranding) announced the Karbon 700 back in August as a durable Linux-friendly computer largely intended for industrial applications but nothing prevents the user from using it as a passively, well-built desktop PC either. OnLogic recently sent over the Karbon 700 and it’s been working out very well even with passively cooling an Intel Xeon eight-core / sixteen-thread processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB NVMe storage, and more.

        In suiting the Karbon 700 for industrial applications, this high-performance rugged computer supports power over Ethernet (PoE), wireless, the ability to have an external graphics card (though that variant is no longer fanless), CAN bus support, dual COM RS-232, 8-bit DIO, and other interfaces in addition to triple Gigabit LAN, triple DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen 1, and other connectivity options.

    • Applications

      • Linux Presentation Software that Shines

        A presentation software is a tool used to show information in the form of a slide show, a presentation of a series of still images.

        Presentation software helps a speaker keep structure to a presentation when standing in front of an audience. Like any good composition tool, this type of application should help the presenter focus on the substance of the presentation. Effective presentation software will also help the audience follow the matters being discussed, whether it is being conducted in a business or personal setting. This type of software is a presenter’s best friend helping information to be communicated effectively at events, meetings, conferences, lectures, sales presentations, and more. Embellishing the presentation with smooth transitions, text, photo and video will help retain the attention of the audience, bring out the key ideas that are being shared, and make the presentation more professional.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 7 high quality open source Linux presentation software. The software listed below will help make your slides look stunning. Whether you are teaching a lesson, pitching a product, delivering a keynote, or trying to promote a worthy cause, these tools will help bring simplicity and engagement to your presentations. Hopefully there will be something of interest for anyone who needs to produce professional quality presentations.

      • Dart 2.6 Goes Native on Linux, Windows, and MacOS

        The latest version of Google programming language Dart, numbered 2.6, extends support for native, ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation with the addition of dart2native, which enables the creation of command-line programs on Linux, Windows, and MacOS.

        Importantly, dart2native generates self-contained binaries, meaning they do not require the Dart SDK to run. Another key feature of dart2native is it supports the whole set of Dart core libraries which are available on the rest of Dart-targeted platforms. dart2native is also compatible with dart:ffi, the C-interoperability layer introduced in Dart 2.5 to interface with C=compatible system functions available on a native platform.

      • Rufus for linux? Not available, Use these best alternatives

        Rufus for Linux, yes, everybody who has ever used this bootable USB creator tool which is only available for Windows, definitely wished to have it for Linux operating systems too. However, although it is not directly available for Linux, we can still use it with the help of Wine software. But again even after installing it using Wine on Ubuntu, in our case, it couldn’t recognize the attached USB drives, which again closed the door for normal users to use Rufus on Linux. Thus in such scenarios what do?

        Don’t worry. The Rufus is not the only software for creating a bootable USB drives in the world. There are also few other best alternatives to Rufus that we can use easily on Linux operating systems. And here today we will discuss such opensource or free tools for creating bootable drives on Linux Distros.

      • Proprietary

        • Winstars 3 is a planetarium application for Windows, Linux, macOS and Android

          Who remembers going to the planetarium? I was a kid when I visited one on a field trip. Stargazing isn’t exactly my forte, though I like watching the night sky and try to identify some of the objects that I see.

          Most of my space knowledge comes from sci-fi movies, shows, games, and the occasional news article or two. The most fun I had looking at the star-studded sky was probably when I used mobile apps like Sky Map.

          But it’s not really that easy to learn much while you’re pointing a phone at the sky and trying to figure out what the celestial object you’re looking at actually is.

        • 10 Best Note-Taking Apps for Programmers and Coders

          There are a thousand and one note-taking applications in the market right now but not all note-taking applications are created equal and some are developed with a specific userbase in mind and are, thus, more efficient for certain tasks.

          For example, a note-taking application aimed at coders typically features auto-complete and auto-correction, syntax highlighting, and support for a variety of programming languages.

          Today, we bring you a list of the best note-taking applications designed with programmers and developers in mind listed in no particular order for mixing plain text with code snippets, regular expressions, etc.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • D9VK developer is working on allowing DXVK to help Linux ports for Direct3D to Vulkan

        You have a fancy game using Direct3D 11 and you want to port it to Linux? In future, DXVK may be able to help with that.

        Currently, DXVK translates D3D11 and D3D10 into Vulkan when used with Wine. However, Joshua Ashton who developed D9VK which is the offshoot of DXVK to do the same for D3D9 put out word on Twitter that they’ve begun working on “a way to use DXVK on your native platform! (ie. D3D11 on Linux! :D)”.

      • Experimental Work Allows DXVK To Be Natively Used For Direct3D 11 On Linux

        The DXVK Direct3D 10/11 over Vulkan implementation to date has been built as a Windows library run under Wine along with the game/software being rendered for converting the calls to Vulkan for execution by the host drivers. There is now experimental work for building DXVK as a native Linux library for converting D3D10/D3D11 calls to Vulkan outside of Wine.

        Joshua Ashton who previously worked on DXUP and is well known for his work on D9VK for taking Direct3D 9 over Vulkan has been tackling this experimental DXVK support for running natively on Linux itself rather than within Wine.

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 4.20 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - New version of the Mono engine with an FNA update.
          - Code persistence in VBScript and JScript.
          - Vulkan spec updates.
          - Improved support for LLVM MinGW.
          - Various bug fixes.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 4.20 Brings Vulkan Updates, Better LLVM MinGW Support

        Wine 4.20 is out today as the newest bi-weekly development snapshot for this open-source project allowing Windows games and applications to run on Linux and other non-Microsoft platforms.

        Wine 4.20 brings with it an updated Mono engine with newer FNA, code persistence within VBScript and JScript, Vulkan specification updates, improved support for LLVM MinGW, and a total of 37 bug fixes.

    • Games

      • Explore a fractured future in ‘Resolutiion’, a ridiculously stylish Zeldaesque action-adventure

        Step into the role of Valor, an old killer escorting a curious AI to infiltrate a terrorist network in the dark cyberpunk world of Resolutiion, which seems to be shaping up beautifully with a new trailer.

        Loaded with gorgeous pixel art, dirty jokes, awesome tunes and hours of punishing combat, Resolutiion will be wrapped up in some exploration they say will be rewarding thanks to the layered storytelling.

      • Game dev: Flax Engine is adding Linux support in an upcoming update

        Flax Engine, another game engine that supports Vulkan is going cross-platform with an upcoming release adding in Linux support.

        In a fresh blog post today, the team noted that Linux support is coming and development builds of Flax are already running great on Ubuntu and cloud-based solutions. This comes with their Vulkan rendering engine and all core engine features working.

      • Weekend deals and free stuff, here’s what is currently hot for Linux gamers

        Hello Friday, welcome back into our lives. Here’s a look at what you can pick up cheap across this weekend and what’s free.

        First up, Company of Heroes 2 is free to pick up on Steam and keep forever! This deal will last until Sunday, November 17 at 6PM UTC. Relic Entertainment are also giving out the Victory At Stalingrad DLC as a free extra if you join their newsletter. This could mean there’s a new one on the way. It has a Linux port from Feral Interactive and it’s a huge amount of fun.

      • Woolen adventure game Woven is out today, some thoughts on my adventure

        A world stitched together with a clumsy stuffed animal for a protagonist, a flying mechanical bug companion and a softly spoken rhyming narrator, the adventure game Woven certainly has a lot of initial charm and it’s out now.

        The developers said it’s like “platform, point-and-click and action-adventure games without being exactly like any of them”. To me though, it felt a lot simpler than that, more like a walking sim with basic puzzle elements.

      • Amusing action game Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II adds AI bot support

        The biggest problem for a lot of multiplayer games, even when they’re free is pulling in players. To help with that, Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II now supports playing with AI bots.

        In the latest update released this month, it adds in bot support for when playing both offline and online. Now servers can fill up with bots and be replaced by players so you’re not waiting around for anyone to join. There’s also new achievements to do with the bots too, based on how many bot kills you get and one for if a bot manages to dominate you in the game.

      • This War of Mine turned 5, so 11 bit studios gave it a big free Final Cut update

        11 bit studios are celebrating their dark and depressing survival game This War of Mine turning five years old, so they’ve given everyone a huge free Final Cut update.

        Adding in all the maps from the Stories DLC packs into the main game making each run now have more possibilities, new quests and events for those added locations, a new classic scenario, a new character, remastered versions of the original locations along with various visual improvements, UI improvements and an opt-in Beta on Steam to play the original “Vanilla” game without all this and more.

      • Enjoy our daily news and updates? We would appreciate your support

        For a long time now GamingOnLinux has been providing daily (and often on Weekends too) Linux gaming news, tips, reviews, interviews and more.

        A few months ago, we passed the ten year mark! We would very much like to be here for another ten years and more, with your support that will be possible. A call for donations and support isn’t something we do directly often either, as we prefer to spend our time chatting with developers and getting news out for you to read. Thanks to all the existing support, we have no need to have any adverts keeping your browsing experience nice and clean.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.16 Desktop Environment Enters Development Phase

        The next installment of XFCE desktop environment version 4.16 enters dev phase.

        With the release of recent XFCE 4.14, the stage is set for the next major XFCE release – version 4.16. XFCE 4.16 would be significant considering number of core changes that is slotted to be worked upon.

        Here’s a list of items we can expect in XFCE 4.16. Remember, features are rolling at the moment and would change in the final XFCE 4.16 release which would be released on June 2020.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 5 Eye-Catching GTK Themes by Vinceliuice

          Few GTK theme makers are as prolific as ~vinceliuice, an open source designer based in Jinan, China.

          Vince’s theme portfolio is wildly unlike anyone else’s. It’s packed full of eye catching designs boasting dramatic visual elements and modern design sensibilities.

          So good, in fact, that I’ve written this post to spotlight 5 of the best themes made by vinceliuice — themes that showcase this designer’s colourful creativity and theme crafting skill.

    • Distributions

      • Glen Singh on why Kali Linux is an arsenal for any cybersecurity professional [Interview]

        Kali Linux is a popular term for anyone related to computer security. It is the most renowned tool for advanced Penetration Testing, Ethical Hacking and network security assessments.

        To know more about Kali Linux more closely, we recently had a quick chat with Glen D. Singh, a cyber security instructor and an Infosec author with Learn Kali Linux 2019 being his latest book. In his book, Glen explains how Kali Linux can be used to detect vulnerabilities and secure your system by applying penetration testing techniques of varying complexity.

        Talking to us about Kali Linux, Glen said that the inclusion of 300 pre-installed tools makes Kali Linux an arsenal for any cybersecurity professional. In addition to talking about certification options for both novice and experienced cybersecurity professionals, Glen also shared his favorite features from the latest Kali Linux version 2019.3 among other things in this deeply informative discussion.

      • OpenWrt 19.07.0 first release candidate

        The OpenWrt community is proud to announce the first release candidate of the upcoming OpenWrt 19.07 stable version series. It incorporates over 3700 commits since branching the previous OpenWrt 18.06 release and has been under development for about one a half years.

        With this release the OpenWrt project brings all supported targets back to a single common kernel version and further refines and broadens existing device support. It also provides initial support for the new ath79 target, the future device tree based successor of the popular ar71xx target.

      • OpenWrt 19.07 RC Offers WPA3 Configuration Support, All Targets On Same Kernel Version

        OpenWrt 19.07 is on the way as the next feature release to this router/network focused Linux distribution that remains quite popular with hobbyists.

        The release candidate of OpenWrt 19.07 was made available this week and it features all hardware targets now converging on the same kernel version (Linux 4.14.151) where as previous releases saw a mix of Linux branches used depending upon the hardware. GCC 7.4, musl libc 1.1.24, and Binutils 2.31.1 are among the other components powering OpenWrt 19.07 RC1.

      • Reviews

        • ALT Linux: Worthy Linux Alternatives, With a Catch

          ALT Linux may have a problem with getting English language updates on some of its most recent product releases. The primary geographic audience it serves may not make English a top priority. Yet many of its products are available with the English language intact.

          The great variety of Linux distros available make ALT Linux a very viable source of options for anyone looking to sample the flexibility the Linux operating system offers. I like the starter kit inventory maintained by the ALT Linux developers.

          Distro hoppers particularly can focus on trying dozens of desktop varieties without having to adjust to separate distro designs. All of the ALT Linux distros share a common, simple design for ease of use and reliability.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • [Older] SUSE doubling up investment almost every year in India: Rajarshi Bhattacharyya

          German multinational open source software company SUSE that develops and sells Linux products is doubling up investment almost every year in India. In the last 3 years, it has grown five-times and manpower is up by three-times. According to a senior executive, the open source giant has significantly invested in the support system and now looking to leverage it to broaden the company’s reach in the government vertical in India.

        • Virtualization Management with SUSE Manager

          SUSE® Manager 4 is a best-in-class open source infrastructure management solution that lowers costs, enhances availability and reduces complexity for life-cycle management of Linux systems in large, complex and dynamic IT landscapes. You can use SUSE Manager to configure, deploy and administer thousands of Linux systems running on hypervisors, as containers, on bare metal systems, IoT devices and third-party cloud platforms. SUSE Manager also allows you to manage virtual machines (VMs).

          Virtualization is the means by which IT administrators create virtual resources, such as hardware platforms, storage devices, network resources and more. There are quite a few tools that enable the creation of virtual resources (such as Xen and KVM), but what about the management of those tools? That’s where SUSE Manager comes in.

        • Private and Air-Gap registry for openSUSE Kubic

          Sometimes there are occasions where direct internet access is not possible (proxy/offline/airgapped). Even in this setups it is possible to deploy and use Kubernetes with openSUSE Kubic and a local private registry.

          In this blog I will explain how to setup a local server which acts as private registry providing all the container images needed to deploy Kubernetes with openSUSE Kubic.

        • Join SUSE in Booth #4011 at AWS re:Invent, Las Vegas, December 2-6th!
        • Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/46

          This has been a busy week, with 5 successfully tested snapshots delivered to you, the users (1107, 1109, 1110, 1111 and 1112).

      • Slackware Family

        • Slackware November ’19 release of OpenJDK 8

          Today, icedtea-3.14.0 was released. IcedTea is a software build framework which allows easy compilation of OpenJDK.

          The new IcedTea release will build you the latest Java8: OpenJDK 8u232_b09. This release syncs the OpenJDK support in IcedTea to the official October 2019 security fixes that Oracle released for Java. The release announcement in the mailing list for distro packagers has details about all the security issues and vulnerabilities that are addressed.

          I have built Slackware packages for the new Java 8 Update 232 and uploaded them already. Please upgrade at your earliest convenience. Java is still widespread which makes it a popular target for vulnerability attacks.

      • Fedora Family

        • PoC to auto attach USB devices in Qubes

          Here is PoC based on qubesadmin API which can auto attach USB devices to any VM as required. By default Qubes auto attaches any device to the sys-usb VM, that helps with bad/malware full USB devices. But, in special cases, we may want to select special devices to be auto attached to certain VMs. In this PoC example, we are attaching any USB storage device, but, we can add some checks to mark only selected devices (by adding more checks), or we can mark few vms where no device can be attached.

        • David Cantrell: rpminspect-0.9 released

          Very large packages (VLPs) are something I am working on with rpminspect. For example, the kernel package. A full build of the kernel source package generates a lot of files. I am working on improving rpminspect’s speed and fixing issues found with individual inspections. These are only showing up when I do test runs comparing VLPs. The downside here is that it takes a little longer than with any other typical package.

        • Fedora pastebin and fpaste updates

          A pastebin lets you save text on a website for a length of time. This helps you exchange data easily with other users. For example, you can post error messages for help with a bug or other issue.

          The CentOS Pastebin is a community-maintained service that keeps pastes around for up to 24 hours. It also offers syntax highlighting for a large number of programming and markup languages.

        • ProcDump for Linux in Fedora

          ProcDump is a nifty debugging utility which is able to dump the core of a running application once a user-specified CPU or memory usage threshold is triggered. For instance, the invocation procdump -C 90 -p $MYPID instructs ProcDump to monitor the process with ID $MYPID, waiting for a 90 % CPU usage spike. Once it hits, it creates the coredump and exits. This allows you to later inspect the backtrace and memory state in the moment of the spike without having to attach a debugger to the process, helping you determine which parts of your code might be causing performance issues.

        • What’s a kernel headers package anyway

          I’ve written before about what goes into Fedora’s kernel-devel package. Briefly, it consists of files that come out of the kernel’s build process that are needed to build kernel modules.

          In contrast to kernel-devel, the headers package is for userspace programs. This package provides #defines and structure definitions for use by userspace programs to be compatible with the kernel. The system libc comes with a set of headers for platform independent libc purposes (think printf and the like) whereas the kernel headers are more focused on providing for the kernel API. There’s often some overlap for things like system calls which are tied to both the libc and the kernel. Sometimes the decision to support them in one place vs the other comes down to developer choices.

          While the in-kernel API is not guaranteed to be stable, the userspace API must not be broken. There was an effort a few years ago to have a strict split between headers that are part of the userspace API and those that are for in-kernel use only.

          Unlike how kernel-devel gets packaged, there are proper make targets to generate the kernel-headers (thankfully). make headers_install will take care of all the magic. These headers get installed under /usr/include

        • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-46

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 29 will reach end of life on 26 November. Elections voting begins next week. Candidates must submit their interviews before the deadline or they will not be on the ballot.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • New HA clustering on MicroK8s eases path to clustered edge appliances

          Canonical announced high availability clustering in MicroK8s, its single-node Kubernetes environment for prototyping k8s applications and running edge containers on IoT gateways. The feature is enabled using Dqlite.

          Last month with the release of Ubuntu 19.10, Canonical announced “strict confinement” support for Canonical’s MicroK8s Kubernetes environment for single-node clusters, thereby enabling easier deployment on edge devices. Now, Canonical has announced high availability (HA) clustering in MicroK8s.

          High availability clustering enables a group of hosts that act like a single platform. It’s often used to ensure continuous uptime via load balancing, backup, and failover strategies. All the HA-clustered hosts need to be able to access the same storage.

        • Canonical Finally Discovers “–no-install-recommends” Is Worthwhile For Docker

          Debian’s APT package manager has supported the –no-install-recommends for years so only the main dependencies are installed and not the “recommended” packages. Seemingly it’s taken Canonical until now to figure out how practical that option is for reducing the size of their Docker containers.

          In an official Ubuntu.com blog post they announced their Ubuntu Docker images were reduced by 60% via the use of using the –no-install-recommends option within their Docker files. The option has been in APT and just a matter of making use of that option as opposed to announcing a new development or capability.

        • Ubuntu Blog: We reduced our Docker images by 60% with –no-install-recommends

          Here at Canonical, we use Dockerfiles on a daily basis for all our web projects. Something that caught our attention recently was the amount of space that we were using for each Docker image, and we realized that we were installing more dependencies than we needed.

          In this article, I’ll explain how we improved our image build time and reduced the image size by using the flag –no-install-recommend in our Dockerfiles.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities, October 2019

        In October, work was quite busy, though a lot of it was behind-the-scenes stuff I cannot yet update you on. It was also very busy with a very exciting trip I took that had absolutely nothing to do with free software. If you’re ever going to Kyoto or Tokyo and looking for some recommendations for coffee, cocktail bars, restaurants, or general things to do, hmu.

      • Corteza Service Cloud Released

        Corteza Service Cloud features: Case Management, Account & Contact Management, including entitlements, Product management, including entitlement templates for products, Knowledge Base, Process Automation, Advanced role-based permissions, Notifications, Advanced reporting, Record importing and exporting, Mobile ready (responsive design), and Enterprise messaging (via Corteza Messaging).


        I have regular meetings with Patrick Masson, the general manager of the OSI. We made most of them in October.
        I did some writing for the OSI. Not all of it is published at this point.
        I worked on crafting drafts of organizational policies for the OSI, including staffing, travel, and a whistle blower policy. I hope to be able to arrange for an HR specialist or employment lawyer to review these.
        The OSI has two new board members! In order to make this happen, I contacted all of the nominees for whom I had contact information. I spoke with them about the OSI, the Board and it’s activities, and how they saw their potential involvement. Basically I interviewed a bunch of ~fancy~ people. It was so much fun talking with every one of them and I learned so much during the process.
        The Debian Community Team had some meetings, wrote some emails, and discussed The Future together and with the greater Debian community.

      • Corteza Service Cloud, the open-source Salesforce Service Cloud alternative, has been released

        Corteza today announced the release of Corteza Service Cloud, the free, open-source and self-hosted Salesforce Service Cloud alternative. Corteza Service Cloud is a customer service desk, built on the Corteza Low-Code platform. It enables businesses to deliver faster and more personalised service to their clients, across multiple channels.

      • My System Administration Ethics book has been published

        Dear readers, I am truly happy to announce the publication of my latest technical book. It comes with a lengthy but important title – System Administration Ethics: Ten Commandments for Security and Compliance in a Modern Cyber World. A colleague and I have been writing this book over the past year and a bit, and we’ve jotted down what we believe are the most critical dos and don’ts of information technology.

        Ethics has never been more important – just look around, and you’ll see the Wild Wild West of the digital world, breach here, breach there, data this, data that. Amidst this chaos, you will find techies, afloat, lost, confused, angry, and wondering how their work and passion has become the spearpoint of social dissent and mistrust. I hope this book can provide the right pointers.

      • Events

        • LAS 2019, Barcelona

          The Linux App Summit (LAS) is a great event that bring together a lot of linux application developers, from the bigger communities, it’s organized by GNOME and KDE in collaboration and it’s a good place to talk about the Linux desktop, application distribution and development.

        • Capitole du Libre 2019

          The Capitole Du Libre is a french event that takes place at INP-ENSEEIHT in Toulouse. It is an event dedicated to free and open source softwares. The Capitole Du Libre 2019 will happen this weekend on 16th-17th November.

          There will be a Debian booth with the DebianFrance team, I will be there to help them. A lot of interesting talks will be presented, see the schedule here.

        • First Day of Lakademy

          Next day, we got up early to move to the Universidade Federal da Bahia and began the Lakademy. Some members went to buy some groceries and some went directly and prepared the room. After a round of presentations, Lakademy was declared online! I spent most of the time reviewing ROCS code and wrote some fixes for redundant code and a problem with the interface that was introduced in the last commits. After that, I listed some tasks that could be done this week. We ended the first day with some good drinks in some fun places in Salvador. :)

      • Web Browsers

        • Brave 1.0 is ready for privacy-loving web surfers

          The browser promises to not only block adverts and trackers but to also offer Brave Ads, which are a form of adverts that will pay people to view them and not gobble their data. Such ads are delivered through push notifications rather than intrusive web page banner ads.

          It’s a somewhat novel approach and one that will see targeted ads that won’t spill data out of the browser’s hands and into the grubby mitts of third parties.

          Folks who opt into Brave Ads will get blockchain tokens as a reward. These can be cashed in for vouchers or gift cards through Brave’s partner Upload, or they can be given to an article’s writer or website creator.

        • Mozilla

          • Karl Dubost: Best viewed with… Mozilla Dev Roadshow Asia 2019

            I was invited by Sandra Persing to participate to the Mozilla Developer Roadshow 2019 in Asia. The event is going through 5 cities: Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok. I committed to participate to Tokyo and Seoul. The other speakers are still on the road. As I’m writing this, they are speaking in Taipei, when I’m back home.

            Let’s go through the talk and then some random notes about the audience, people and cities.

      • Linux Foundation

        • With Vitess 4.0, database vendor matures cloud-native platform

          As a software engineer at YouTube in 2010, Sugu Sougoumarane realized that scaling the MySQL database for the cloud was a tough challenge. His realization helped lead to the creation of the open source Vitess project, which hit a major milestone with the release of Vitess 4.0.

          The Vitess project joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which is home to the Kubernetes container orchestration project, in February 2018. At the same time, Sougoumarane co-founded PlanetScale, a commercial service supporting Vitess and its deployment.

          Just over a year and a half later, on Nov. 5, 2019, the Vitess project graduated from the CNCF, marking a major milestone for the project. CNCF graduation is the highest level of project status within the CNCF and is an indicator of the maturity of the project code and processes. With graduation, Vitess 4.0 became generally available, providing users with new features.

        • Helm Reaches Version 3

          The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, today announced that Helm, the package manager for Kubernetes, has released its third major update with Helm 3.

          Helm 3 builds on the core features of Helm 2, with improvements to chart repositories, release management, security, and library charts. With this release, the Helm maintainers incorporated feedback and requests from the community to better address the needs of Kubernetes users and the broad cloud native ecosystem.

      • Programming/Development

        • Interview Guido van Rossum: “I’d rather write code than papers.”

          Guido van Rossum (1956) is the founding father of the Python programming language, one of the most popular development tools in the world. In 2019 CWI will award him the Dijkstra Fellowship.

          What led you to come up with a brand new programming language during your time at CWI?

          “I started at CWI as a junior programmer on a research team with Lambert Meertens, Leo Geurts and Steven Pemberton. They wanted to develop a language which would enable people without programming experience – such as scientists – to start writing computer programs fairly quickly.”

          “It was at the time that Basic was on the rise due to the arrival of the microcomputer. Meertens looked at this inadequate language with horror. ‘Stamp out Basic!’ Was his motto. In the end, ABC, as our language was called, would not work. The target group could not use it on their microcomputers, which were not powerful enough for it, while Unix users already had other tools. Those users thought ABC was an odd man out.”

          “Then I came across the so-called Amoeba project. That was a distributed operating system based on a microkernel, developed by Andrew Tanenbaum at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Sape Mullender at CWI. Not aiming at popularizing their operating system, their first and foremost goal was writing papers. Scientifically it was a breakthrough indeed: those papers are still being studied. I myself was not a researcher but a programmer on that project. I must say thought that there was an atmosphere at CWI in which programmers had a major input in the projects.”

        • Python Tears Through Mass Spectrometry Data

          At the November 2019 Python Frederick event, Conor Jenkins showed the group how mass spectrometry works and how Python saves huge amounts of time when processing the large amount of data produced by a mass spec analysis.

        • Wingware News: Wing Python IDE 7.1.3 – November 14, 2019

          Wing 7.1.3 adds improved and expanded documentation and support for matplotlib, improves the accuracy of code warnings, fixes automatically debugging child processes on Windows with Python 3.8, fixes installing the remote agent from .rpm or .deb installations, solves several issues with runtime type introinspection, allows Open from Project and similar navigation commands from non-Browse vi mode, improves debugger reliability, and fixes about 30 other minor usability issues.

        • Easily specifying colours from the default colour cycle in matplotlib

          Another quick matplotlib tip today: specifically, how easily specify colours from the standard matplotlib colour cycle.

          A while back, when matplotlib overhauled their themes and colour schemes, they changed the default cycle of colours used for lines in matplotlib. Previously the first line was pure blue (color=’b’ in matplotlib syntax), then red, then green etc. They, very sensibly, changed this to a far nicer selection of colours.

        • Typing Mercurial with pytype

          Following the recent introduction of Python type annotations (aka “type hints”) in Mercurial (see, e.g. this changeset by Augie Fackler), I’ve been playing a bit with this and pytype.

          pytype is a static type analyzer for Python code. It compares with the more popular mypy but I don’t have enough perspective to make a meaningful comparison at the moment. In this post, I’ll illustrate how I worked with pytype to gradually add type hints in a Mercurial module and while doing so, fix bugs!

          The module I focused on is mercurial.mail, which contains mail utilities and that I know quite well. Other modules are also being worked on, this one is a good starting point because it has a limited number of “internal” dependencies, which both makes it faster to iterate with pytype and reduces side effects of other modules not being correctly typed already.

        • Two Books About the Kivy GUI Framework

          The Kivy Python GUI framework is intriguing.

          Not only it’s cross-platform but also supports Android. Java is too verbose and low level for me and Kivy is an opportunity for developing native Android apps without leaving Python.

          Outside of the Kivy project documentation, there are few third-party advanced tutorials that go in more depth than the official tutorials. So, before diving into the code of the Kivy demos, I wanted some books to explore more features and get a broader picture of the framework and what it can do.

          I found two potentially interesting books: Building Android Apps in Python Using Kivy with Android Studio: With Pyjnius, Plyer, and Buildozer by Ahmed Fawzy Mohamed Gad (Apress, 2019), and Kivy – Interactive Applications and Games in Python – Second Edition by Roberto Ulloa (Packt, 2015).

        • A Qt GUI for logging

          A question that comes up from time to time is about how to log to a GUI application. The Qt framework is a popular cross-platform UI framework with Python bindings using PySide2 or PyQt5 libraries.

          The following example shows how to log to a Qt GUI. This introduces a simple QtHandler class which takes a callable, which should be a slot in the main thread that does GUI updates. A worker thread is also created to show how you can log to the GUI from both the UI itself (via a button for manual logging) as well as a worker thread doing work in the background (here, just logging messages at random levels with random short delays in between).

        • Picolibc 1.1 Released With POSIX File I/O Support

          Longtime X11 developer Keith Packard has spent a lot of time in recent months while being employed by SiFive working on Picolibc as a new C library for embedded systems.

          Picolibc is designed solely for embedded use-cases at this point and was formerly developed by Keith under the name newlib-nano. Picolibc 1.1 is out now as the project’s second stable release.

        • Picolibc Version 1.1

          Picolibc development is settling down at last. With the addition of a simple ‘hello world’ demo app, it seems like a good time to stamp the current code as ‘version 1.1′.

        • Catching Java exceptions in Swift via j2objc

          it’s possible to handle Java-originating exceptions in Swift for j2objc-based projects. Scroll to the end for example code.

          It’s getting more common to call j2objc-generated Objective-C code from Swift as iOS development shifts to this modern language. At a high level, we can imagine this means calling Java code from Swift. But Objective-C is an important link in this chain and it shapes the way Swift interacts with the code that started its life as Java.

        • Long-term betting on dependencies

          Thankfully, my bet on j2objc proved to be a good one. It’s actively maintained by very helpful developers and works as expected. I’ve completed most of the risky work in porting the core of my app to iOS and any work I do on that core benefits the apps on both platforms.

          There are very few compromises I have to make because language features in Java map surprisingly well to both Objective-C and Swift.

          But one important exception remained. I’ll cover that in a subsequent post.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Botond Ballo: Trip Report: C++ Standards Meeting in Belfast, November 2019

          Last week I attended a meeting of the ISO C++ Standards Committee (also known as WG21) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This was the third and last committee meeting in 2019; you can find my reports on preceding meetings here (July 2019, Cologne) and here (February 2019, Kona), and previous ones linked from those. These reports, particularly the Cologne one, provide useful context for this post.

          At the last meeting, the committee approved and published the C++20 Committee Draft (CD), a feature-complete draft of the C++20 standard which includes wording for all of the new features we plan to ship in C++20. The CD was then sent out to national standards bodies for a formal ISO ballot, where they have the opportunity to file technical comments on it, called “NB (national body) comments”.

          We have 10-15 national standards bodies actively participating in C++ standardization, and together they have filed several hundred comments on the CD. This meeting in Belfast was the first of two ballot resolution meetings, where the committee processes the NB comments and approves any changes to the C++20 working draft needed to address them. At the end of the next meeting, a revised draft will be published as a Draft International Standard (DIS), which will likely be the final draft of C++20.

          NB comments typically ask for bug and consistency fixes related to new features added to C++20. Some of them ask for fixes to longer-standing bugs and consistency issues, and some for editorial changes such as fixes to illustrative examples. Importantly, they cannot ask for new features to be added (or at least, such comments are summarily rejected, though the boundary between bug fix and feature can sometimes be blurry).

          Occasionally, NB comments ask for a newly added feature to be pulled from the working draft due to it not being ready. In this case, there were comments requesting that Modules and Coroutines (among other things) be postponed to C++23 so they can be better-baked. I’m pleased to report that no major features were pulled from C++20 at this meeting. In cases where there were specific technical issues with a feature, we worked hard to address them. In cases of general “this is not baked yet” comments, we did discuss each one (at length in some cases), but ultimately decided that waiting another 3 years was unlikely to be a net win for the community.

          Altogether, over half of the NB comments have been addressed at this meeting, putting us on track to finish addressing all of them by the end of the next meeting, as per our standardization schedule.

          While C++20 NB comments were prioritized above all else, some subgroups did have time to process C++23 proposals as well. No proposals were merged into the C++23 working draft at this time (in fact, a “C++23 working draft” doesn’t exist yet; it will be forked from C++20 after the C++20 DIS is published at the end of the next meeting).

  • Leftovers

    • The Strange Life and Mysterious Death of a Virtuoso Coder

      By running the name through an Ohio law-enforcement database, the investigators learned that Haas had been reported missing seven weeks earlier. Haas had lived in Columbus, 80 miles from where his remains were discovered, but he’d last been seen at a gas station one county over from O’Bryan’s sprawling property. He’d disappeared along with a black backpack in which he carried the tools of his career as a computer programmer: three smartphones, two Dell laptops, an Amazon tablet, and an array of USB sticks and cables. He never let the backpack out of his sight; even on trips to the office bathroom, the bag stayed glued to his shoulder. But the backpack was nowhere to be found in the woods.

    • Audio Porn Streams Erotica to Your Ears—and Your Imagination

      Quinn is part of an audio porn renaissance. The old format, popularized by red-light chat lines, has reemerged, riding the wave of the podcast boom. Today there are as many forms of audio erotica as the sexual preferences it represents. Some companies like the venture-backed Dipsea produce narrative audio stories that people can subscribe to for a monthly fee. Others like the less glossy Literotica get authors to read their erotic literature aloud. Quinn’s biggest competitor is Reddit, where a community of more than 300,000 people upvote erotic audio clips on r/GoneWildAudio.

    • My reddit story: the Android subreddit drama
    • Science

      • The Early History of Usenet, Part I: The Technological Setting

        Usenet — Netnews — was conceived almost exactly 40 years ago this month. To understand where it came from and why certain decisions were made the way they were, it’s important to understand the technological constraints of the time.
        Metanote: this is a personal history as I remember it. None of us were taking notes at the time; it’s entirely possible that errors have crept in, especially since my brain cells do not even have parity checking, let alone ECC. Please send any corrections.
        In 1979, mainframes still walked the earth. In fact, they were the dominant form of computing. The IBM PC was about two years in the future; the microcomputers of the time, as they were known, had too little capability for more or less anything serious. For some purposes, especially in research labs and process control systems, so-called minicomputers — which were small, only the size of one or two full-size refrigerators — were used. So-called “super-minis,” which had the raw CPU power of a mainframe though not the I/O bandwidth, were starting to become available.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Woman Who Can Smell Parkinson’s

        For the last several years, scientists have taken an acute interest in her nose. Milne, after all, is also able to smell diseases. People with Alzheimer’s smell to her like rye bread, diabetes like nail polish, cancer like mushrooms and tuberculosis like damp cardboard. Having provided care to thousands of sick people in her life, she has had plenty of contact with various illnesses. Milne, though, is most familiar with the smell of Parkinson’s. It’s the disease that killed her husband Leslie and his mother, who she also cared for during her illness.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 137 released

        We are happy to announce the release of IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 137. It comes with an updated kernel, a reworked Quality of Service and various bug and security fixes.

        Development around the Quality of Service and tackling some of the bugs required an exceptional amount of team effort in very short time and I am very happy that we are now able to deliver the result to you to improve your networks. Please help us to keep these things coming to you with your donation!

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel), Debian (ghostscript, mesa, and postgresql-common), Fedora (chromium, php-robrichards-xmlseclibs, php-robrichards-xmlseclibs3, samba, scap-security-guide, and wpa_supplicant), Mageia (cpio, fribidi, libapreq2, python-numpy, webkit2, and zeromq), openSUSE (ImageMagick, kernel, libtomcrypt, qemu, ucode-intel, and xen), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (ghostscript, kernel, and kernel-rt), Scientific Linux (ghostscript and kernel), SUSE (bash, enigmail, ghostscript, ImageMagick, kernel, libjpeg-turbo, openconnect, and squid), and Ubuntu (ghostscript, imagemagick, and postgresql-common).

      • New NextCry Ransomware Encrypts Data on NextCloud Linux Servers
      • Using Nmap For Port Scanning + Other Tools to Use

        Nmap is a well-known utility that is bundled with many Linux distributions and that is also available for Windows and several other platforms. Essentially a scanning and mapping tool, there’s a lot that Nmap can do for you.

        Today, we’re having a look as using Nmap for port scanning which, incidentally, is the tool’s primary usage. Port scanning is an essential task of network management as it ensures that no backdoors are left unaddressed. It is one of the most basic forms of securing the network.

        Before we get into the how-to part of this post, we’ll sidetrack a little and first introduce Nmap and its GUI cousin Zenmap. We’ll then explain what ports are and how you need to be careful not to leave unused ports open on your devices. Then, we’ll get to the essence of this post and show you how to use Nmap for port scanning. And since there are quite a few other tools that can be viable alternatives to Nmap for port scanning—some of them much better or easier to use tools—we’ll finally review some of the very best Nmap alternatives for port scanning.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ISIS is Targeting Syria’s Christians

        The Americans returned with tanks only to check the oil wells and prevent the Syrian army from regaining possession, while in the region “insecurity is growing. We too in Aleppo – he concludes – are the object of bombing and only two days ago a little girl died. Rebels and jihadists are still in the suburbs and continue the attacks. We are exhausted!”.

      • Unprecedented UN Critique of China’s Xinjiang Policies

        The UN rights experts’ assessment shows that as more and more details of China’s abuses in Xinjiang emerge and international outrage escalates, China increasingly faces an uphill battle.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Audit Blackout: gatekeepers cuddled while sleeping on the job

        Why then are the audit inspections blacked out? These are inspections of public documents, of public financial accounts for this country’s largest corporations yet the findings remain largely secret.

        ASIC looked at 49 audits for “Listed entities and other public interest entities” and found failures across the board.

        In the KPMG inspection, for instance, 19 of the audits were dodgy, or to quote the ASIC narrative from the bits which were not blacked out, “In our view, the auditor did not obtain reasonable assurance that the financial report was free of material misstatement in 15 of the 70 key areas reviewed in total across 19 audits”.

      • What Samherji wanted hidden
    • Environment

      • CDC: The number of Americans dying from antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” vastly underestimated

        Twice as many people are dying from antibiotic-resistant infections, also known as superbugs, than previously thought, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

        The report, published on Wednesday, states that nearly 3.1 million antibiotic-resistant infections happen each year in the United States. As a result, an estimated 48,700 people die. The findings are based on data from millions of patient health records, and are an update to a 2013 report in which the public health agency raised concerns about these superbugs.

      • In water disputes, what to do if authorities can’t be counted on to fix it?

        So when some kind of unfairness is threatening one’s livelihood, what’s to be done if the authorities can’t be counted on to fix it? How, as a society, do we deal with injustice when no institution can actually solve it or enforce the rules that are already there?

        There are plenty of places in Mexico where large companies and factories, expensive resorts, and yes, the land and businesses of wealthy families, have all the water they need, even when scarcity in the area is a problem.

        Those who live in surrounding areas often go without, or have to figure out other solutions to the unequal distribution.

      • Climate Change Is Already Making Us Sick
      • India must not look at its water crisis in isolation

        India’s water woes, though, stem largely from its over-dependence on groundwater, and here, the climate links are less pronounced because underground aquifers take much longer to react to changes in temperature and rainfall. India is the world’s largest user of groundwater, extracting 250 cubic km of groundwater annually, and has 20 million wells and tube wells. Most of our cities depend on groundwater, and our irrigation is overwhelmingly groundwater dependent. The risk of linking our water crisis to climate change is that policymakers can throw their hands up and say that there is little that they can do. And that’s a dangerous road, because, so much of our water crisis originates from misplaced policies.

        First, India’s cities. In almost all our cities, wetlands, lakes and ponds have been encroached upon, and this, when added to mostly concrete surfaces, drastically reduces groundwater recharge, causing the kind of water crisis we saw in Chennai this past summer, and also paradoxically, urban floods of the kind that Mumbai witnessed this year, and every other year. We need policies that incentivise urban municipalities to implement nature-based solutions such as rejuvenating water bodies, to demarcate areas where recharge happens as protected places, and provide incentives to urban residents and industries to undertake rainwater harvesting and reuse waste water.

      • Greenhouse gases drive Australia’s bushfires

        Australia’s bushfires are feeding on heat from the climate change happening in the tropics, but its government doesn’t want to know.

      • Energy

        • New Paper Reveals Rail Industry Was Leader in Climate Denial Efforts

          In the paper, Networks of Opposition: A Structural Analysis of U.S. Climate Change Countermovement Coalitions 1989-2015, author Robert Brulle, looks at “key political coalitions that worked to oppose climate action. In conjunction with their allied trade associations, these coalitions have served as a central coordination mechanism in efforts opposed to mandatory limits on carbon emissions.”

    • Finance

      • A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor’s Superyacht Marina

        The Rybovich superyacht marina lies on the West Palm Beach, Florida, waterfront, a short drive north from Mar-a-Lago. Superyachts, floating mansions that can stretch more than 300 feet and cost over $100 million, are serviced at the marina, and their owners enjoy Rybovich’s luxury resort amenities. Its Instagram account offers a glimpse into the rarefied world of the global 0.1% — as one post puts it, “What’s better than owning a yacht, owning a yacht with a helicopter of course!”

        Rybovich owner Wayne Huizenga Jr., son of the Waste Management and Blockbuster video billionaire Wayne Huizenga Sr., has long planned to build luxury apartment towers on the site, part of a development dubbed Marina Village.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Smarter Responses Needed for Online Abuse in South Korea

        We only know her as “A,” and she is dead. The court ruled this week in the case of a young woman in South Korea who killed herself after learning she had been secretly filmed in a changing room of the hospital where she worked.

      • Introducing Private.sh: A search engine that cryptographically protects your privacy

        Private.sh is a new private search engine that uses cryptography to ensure that your search history cannot be tracked by anyone – even us. Private.sh comes from the same privacy committed makers of Private Internet Access in partnership with GigaBlast – one of the few companies to have their own index of the internet available for search.

      • Privacy Implications of Transparent Pixels

        Well, it does what it says. If you leave this option checked when you export your image, any pixels you erased will be saved in the exported image. They will not be truly erased, just made fully transparent. In other words, the data that describes the color of each pixel will be preserved, they will just be made invisible. This option has privacy implications. With it enabled, what you erase from an image may still be present in transparent pixels.

      • Mudi is a Tor & VPN Enabled Portable 4G LTE WiFi Router (Crowdfunding)

        GL.inet has made routers for a long time, and its latest product is called Mudi which they promote as a “4G LTE Privacy Router for Road Warriors”.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Canadian Court Rejects Reverse Class Action Against BitTorrent Pirates

          The Canadian Federal Court has dismissed a motion from Voltage Pictures to go after alleged BitTorrent pirates through a reverse class action lawsuit. The case in question started in 2016, in an attempt to sue alleged pirates at reduced cost. However, the court rejected this approach, as it’s not suitable for file-sharing cases.

        • Kodi Addon & Build Repositories Shut Down Citing Legal Pressure (Updated)

          Two groups involved in the distribution of third-party Kodi addons and ‘builds’ have shut down citing legal pressure. KodiUKTV and OneNation both ran so-called repositories where software could be downloaded but that activity will not continue into the future. TorrentFreak has been able to confirm that FACT was behind the action.

Links 15/11/2019: New Opera and Brave, GNU/Linux Flatpa(c)ked

Posted in News Roundup at 5:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Red Hat Adds AI Capabilities to Process Automation Suite
        • Department of Defense Enlists Red Hat to Help Improve Squadron Operations and Flight Training

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) worked with Red Hat to help improve aircraft and pilot scheduling for United States Marine Corps (USMC), United States Navy (USN) and United States Air Force (USAF) aircrews. Using modern development practices and processes from Red Hat Open Innovation Labs that prioritized end user needs, the project team identified unaddressed roadblocks and gained new skills to build the right solution, a digital “Puckboard” application, for their unique scheduling challenge.


          The problem facing squadrons was seemingly straightforward: how to improve and digitize the management of flight training operations. The existing process was entirely manual, each representing pertinent information like a pilot’s name, associated with their training syllabus, location and time of flights. Simple at a glance, the number of cognitive variables contained within this undertaking made it stressful for the operator and difficult to scale across squadrons and bases.

          For more than a decade, various project teams within the DoD had tried to improve the system via custom built applications, aircraft scheduling software and hybrid solutions. None of these deployments withstood the test of time or could be replicated if the operator took a new role elsewhere. The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), an organization tasked with accelerating commercial technologies into the military, took on this challenge.

        • It’s RedHat, And Everyone Else

          As time passes, it appears that corporations are primarily considering one distribution when considering installing Linux, and that distro is clearly RedHat. That probably does not come as any major surprise, but it appears RedHat’s dominance continues to get stronger. What use to be a landscape littered with a multitude of choices has nearly been rendered down to one. Wow! That didn’t take long. The open source software dynamic seemed to be formed on the premise that users were never again going to be pigeon-holed into using one piece of software. Or, perhaps better stated, that was a byproduct of making the source code readily available. And, that is still true to this day. However, as a corporate citizen in today’s business climate, one finds themselves with limited possibilities.

          It was a mere 20 years ago when the buzz of Linux was starting to hit its stride. Everywhere you looked, there was a different flavor of Linux. There were nearly too many to count. And, these were not just hobbyist distros. Instead, they were corporations rising like corn stalks all over the place. Sure, there were more dominant players, but one had the ability to analyze at least 10 different fully corporate supported distributions when making a decision. With that amount of possibilities, the environment was ripe for consolidation or elimination. And, we have all watched that take place. But, did we ever think we were going to find ourselves in the current predicament?

          The data that has been collected over the past five years paints a concerning picture. Even a mere five years ago, it seemed likely that at a minimum RedHat would always have Suse as a legitimate competitor. After all, those were the two distros that seemed to win the consolidation and elimination war. At least in the corporate space. As was widely reported during that time, RedHat had somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% marketshare. It was always the gorilla in the room. But, Suse was always looked upon as an eager and willing participant, no matter its stature, and tended to garner most of the remaining marketshare. That is the way it appeared for a length of time prior to this decline over the past few years.

        • Scale testing the Red Hat OpenStack Edge with OpenShift

          Red Hat Openstack offers an Edge computing architecture called Distributed Compute Nodes (DCN), which allows for many hundreds or thousands of Edge sites by deploying hundreds or thousands of compute nodes remotely, all interacting with a central control plane over a routed (L3) network. Distributed compute nodes allow compute node sites to be deployed closer to where they are used, and are generally deployed in greater numbers than would occur in a central datacenter.

          With all the advantages that this architecture brings, there are also several scale challenges due to the large number of compute nodes that are managed by the OpenStack controllers. A previous post details deploying, running and testing a large scale environment using Red Hat OpenStack Director on real hardware, but this post is about how we can simulate far greater scale and load on the OpenStack control plane for testing using containers running on OpenShift without needing nearly as much hardware.

          In order to prove the effectiveness of Red Hat’s DCN architecture, we’d like to be able to get quantitative benchmarks on Red Hat Openstack’s performance when many hundreds or thousands of compute nodes are deployed.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E32 – Dungeon Keeper

        This week we’ve become addicted to Sedna SSD to PCIe controller cards. We discuss why distro hoppers are the worst, bring you some GUI love and round up our listener feedback.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 32 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • I.T. Phone Home | TechSNAP 416

        Ubiquiti’s troublesome new telemetry, Jim’s take on the modern Microsoft, and why Project Silica just might be the future of long term storage.

      • 2019-11-14 | Linux Headlines

        Mirantis acquires Docker, WordPress brings a big new feature to Jetpack, GitHub has a plan for archiving the world’s open source code, and a new developer hub is available for Go.

      • Talk Python to Me: #238 Collaborative data science with Gigantum

        Collaborative data science has a few challenges. First of all, those who you are collaborating with might not be savvy enough in the computer science techniques (for example, git and source control or docker and Linux). Second, seeing the work and changes others have made is a challenge too.

    • Kernel Space

      • Security things in Linux v5.3

        In the continuing work to remove “uninitialized” variables from the kernel, Alexander Potapenko added new “init_on_alloc” and “init_on_free” boot parameters (with associated Kconfig defaults) to perform zeroing of heap memory either at allocation time (i.e. all kmalloc()s effectively become kzalloc()s), at free time (i.e. all kfree()s effectively become kzfree()s), or both. The performance impact of the former under most workloads appears to be under 1%, if it’s measurable at all. The “init_on_free” option, however, is more costly but adds the benefit of reducing the lifetime of heap contents after they have been freed (which might be useful for some use-after-free attacks or side-channel attacks). Everyone should enable CONFIG_INIT_ON_ALLOC_DEFAULT_ON=1 (or boot with “init_on_alloc=1“), and the more paranoid system builders should add CONFIG_INIT_ON_FREE_DEFAULT_ON=1 (or “init_on_free=1” at boot). As workloads are found that cause performance concerns, tweaks to the initialization coverage can be added.

    • Benchmarks

      • Zombieload V2 TAA Performance Impact Benchmarks On Cascade Lake

        While this week we have posted a number of benchmarks on the JCC Erratum and its CPU microcode workaround that introduces new possible performance hits, also being announced this week as part of Intel’s security disclosures was “Zombieload Variant Two” as the TSX Async Abort vulnerability that received same-day Linux kernel mitigations. I’ve been benchmarking the TAA mitigations to the Linux kernel since the moment they hit the public Git tree and here are those initial benchmark results on an Intel Cascade Lake server.

    • Applications

      • Top GIF Recorders For Linux

        Whether you pronounce it as ‘gif’ or ‘jif’, it’s still a no-brainer that the Graphics Interchange Format is the most widely used image format there is today, gaining in popularity exponentially. This surging bitmap image format is used for a number of purposes, most of which include producing eye-catching animations to improve digital marketing. However, due to its convenience of storing multiple images in the same file while retaining file compression, it is also now considered a popular alternative to screen recording.

        While there’s a lot of support for GIFs on Windows and other operating systems like Android, they can also readily be produced on Linux with a lot of flexibility and in the best quality. Let’s look at some of the most popular GIF recorder tools used to produce GIFs on Linux.

      • Proprietary

        • Opera Browser 65 Released with Redesigned Address Bar

          Opera web browser 65 was released a day ago with redesigned address bar, improved tracker blocker, and new bookmarks panel.

        • Opera 65 Launches with Much-Improved Tracker Blocker, Redesigned Address Bar

          Opera Software announced today the general availability of the Opera 65 web browser for desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, a release that brings a bunch of enhancements and new features.
          Based on Chromium 78, the Opera 65 web browser is here and it’s better than ever, brining a much-improved tracker blocker that finally lets you see which trackers are tracking your digital footprint while you’re surfing the Internet.

          Based on the EasyPrivacy Tracking Protection list, Opera’s tracker blocker feature will now show you all the trackers following you and let you take action against them if you believe some aren’t good for you.

          By default, the tracker blocker will automatically block known tracker scripts to speed up the loading of pages and keep your online activity private. In Opera 65, the built-in tracker blocker can be toggled on and off per site too.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Stardew Valley is getting a nifty whole-farm screenshot feature in an upcoming update

        The developer of the sweet game Stardew Valley, ConcernedApe, has announced that a feature-filled update is coming.

        Coming with the update is a big variety of new things. Their main aim with it, they said is to “polish” the game more. So they’re going through fixing various issues that have been hanging around and add a lot of quality of life features. They don’t go into too much detail though as they said they don’t want to spoil it all, but it sounds like a massive update. One thing they did say is that Wild Bait, as an example, used to be “essentially worthless” but now gives you a chance to catch double fish. Also, every spouse option now has a unique 14-heart event after marriage.

      • The latest Overland update should address some inventory management nuisances

        While I appreciated Overland as difficult as it is, certain parts of it did need improvements and this new update aims to address some of the pain points.

        First up, a refresher course: what is Overland? It’s a tough turn-based survival game, where you take care of a group of travellers on a post-apocalyptic road-trip across the United States.

      • inXile’s big party-based RPG ‘Wasteland 3′ launching May 19 next year, now up for pre-order

        Wasteland 3, the big new squad-based role-playing game from inXile entertainment has a new trailer plus a release date. Today, they confirmed May 19 next year for Linux, macOS and Windows.

        Moving away from the scorching deserts of post-apocalypse Arizona to the frosty mountains of Colorado, you’ve been promised aid to keep your own home alive if you help the self-proclaimed Patriarch of Colorado rescue it from the ambitions of their bloodthirsty children. inXile are promising it will be full of challenging tactical combat, exploration, a deep story full of twists and ethical decision making.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Arch Family

        • 6 Best Arch Linux Based User Friendly Distributions of 2019

          If you’re an avid Linux user you probably know by now that it is no Operating System for the weak at heart (well sometimes). The chances of you getting crushed when trying to install a Linux-based Operating System or learning the usual curves in your first week are pretty high.

          On the other hand, if you’re starting your trip into the world of Linux you will probably be using one of the mainstream distros out there – Ubuntu and Linux Mint, for example. Yes, these are excellent distro choices as is suggested by the Google results of the typical keyword search, but if you are explorative enough, you would have already started craving for something that is radically different from what the mainstream has to offer and this is when Arch Linux comes to the rescue.

          Arch Linux is a lightweight rolling release Linux distribution for x86-64 architecture-based computers. It is open-source and contains both libre and proprietary software because of its flexibility-based philosophy. As much loved as Arch Linux is, word on the blog streets is that it has a steep learning curve and new users end up searching for derivatives that are less developer-centric or switch to trying out a different Linux distro line completely.

      • Debian Family

        • Chrome OS 80 will start using Debian 10 Buster on new Linux installations

          At Google I/O last year, Google announced Linux app support for Chrome OS. This is made possible thanks to installing a GNU/Linux distribution, specifically Debian 9 “Stretch”, in a Linux container. Earlier this year, the Debian project announced Debian 10 “Buster,” but Google wasn’t ready to upgrade the default Linux container on Chromebooks just yet. Now, after months of testing and bug fixing, Google is ready to enable Debian 10 “Buster” as the default Linux container in Chrome OS.

          According to a recently merged commit we spotted in the Chromium Gerrit, new Crostini (the code-name for Linux apps on Chrome OS) installations will get Debian 10 by default. The commit doesn’t mention how Chromebooks with existing Debian 9 “Stretch” installations will be migrated to the newer version, but users can easily upgrade the container themselves by running a few commands. Upgrading to the newer version of Debian enables new features and should also bring greater application support. For the truly enterprising, it’s even possible to replace the Debian container with Arch Linux.

        • Debian Project Releases Linux Security Updates to Patch Latest Intel CPU Flaws

          As reported earlier this week, four new security vulnerabilities have been discovered in the Linux kernel and with an impact on Intel CPUs, namely CVE-2019-11135, CVE-2018-12207, CVE-2019-0154 and CVE-2019-0155, which may lead to privilege escalation, information leak, as well as denial of service.

          Following on the footsteps of Canonical and Red Hat, Debian Project has also released new Linux kernel security patches, along with new intel-microcode updates to mitigate all these new vulnerabilities in the Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” and Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating systems.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • UBports offers free Ubuntu Touch to developers willing to help

          Earlier today, UBports tweeted that Canonical had gifted them several Ubuntu Touch devices to use for further development. In the tweet, UBports offered to send the gifted devices to users willing to help develop Ubuntu Touch.

          Ubuntu Touch (also known as Ubuntu Phone) is the mobile version of Canonical’s popular Ubuntu Linux distro designed primarily for touchscreen devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

        • Canonical enhances Kubernetes reliability for edge, IoT and multi-cloud

          Canonical today announced high-availability clustering in MicroK8s, the workstation and appliance Kubernetes, and enterprise SQL database integration for its multi-cloud Charmed Kubernetes.

          “The rapid rise of enterprise and edge Kubernetes creates a challenge for corporate IT, with thousands of edge nodes running Kubernetes, and hundreds of cloud Kubernetes clusters,” said Stephan Fabel, Director of Product at Canonical. “The next generation of Canonical’s Kubernetes offerings reduce the number of moving parts, and embrace standard corporate SQL databases for Kubernetes data stores, to address the operational consequences of Kubernetes cluster sprawl.”

          Canonical’s MicroK8s gained popularity as an IoT, appliance and developer workstation Kubernetes, with a very small footprint suitable for edge devices and laptops. MicroK8s 1.16 added clustering, enabling rapid deployment of highly standardised small K8s clusters. The next step is to ensure high availability of these clusters, using Canonical’s Dqlite distributed SQL engine. Dqlite removes process overhead by embedding the database inside Kubernetes itself, and reduces the memory footprint of the cluster which is important for IoT.

        • Canonical Announces High-Availability Clustering In MicroK8s
        • Canonical Enhances the Reliability of Its Kubernetes for IoT, Multi-Cloud & Edge

          MicroK8s is an upstream Kubernetes deployment certified by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and developed entirely by Canonical to run offline on your workstation or edge device for all your development, prototyping, and testing needs. MicroK8s is delivered as a snap, which makes it possible to run all Kubernetes services natively and comes bundled with all the libraries and binaries required.

          The latest MicroK8s 1.16 release adds high-availability clustering by integrating enterprise SQL database through Canonical’s in-house built Dqlite distributed SQL engine to enable rapid deployment of highly standardized small K8s clusters. Dqlite is designed to reduce memory footprint of the cluster in MicroK8s by embedding the database inside Kubernetes itself.

        • Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

          There are some specific linux distros out there that specially target the new and casual Linux users, most notably, Linux Mint and Zorin OS. In this article we will compare them.

          Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

          Both of these distros have earned a solid reputation from the community for being two of the most user-friendly distros of all. Both of them use Ubuntu as the core. Thus, both of them offer similar functionality at the core. However, the real magic is how each of them builds up on top of it. Both Linux Mint and Zorin OS comes up with different feel and vibe.

          While both of them are extremely user-friendly and robust, there are some key differences between them. That’s the beauty of Linux.

        • The future of Linux desktop application delivery is Flatpak and Snap

          Once upon a time, GNOME and KDE got along like cats and dogs. That was then. This is now. At Linux Application Summit (LAS) in Barcelona, the two, along with other desktop developers, came together to make the Linux desktop a friendlier place for all users. A big way developers will do that is by using Snap and Flatpak to deliver programs.

        • The long run of Linux desktop software shipping is Flatpak and Snap

          The moment upon a time, GNOME and KDE bought along like cats and canines. That was then. This is now. At Linux Application Summit (LAS) in Barcelona, the two, along with other desktop builders, came jointly to make the Linux desktop a friendlier area for all end users. A significant way builders will do that is by making use of Snap and Flatpak to supply plans.

        • A technical comparison between the snap and the Flatpak formats

          Since we’ve already discussed the snap layout and architecture in greater details in the previous weeks, let’s start with a quick overview of Flatpak. Much like snaps, Flatpak packages come with necessary components contained inside standalone archives, so they can be deployed and maintained with simplicity on a range of Linux distributions. Runtime and image components are bundled into a single file using the OCI format.

          In general, Flatpak applications are built against runtimes, but they can also contain additional libraries inside their own bundles. A Linux system with the Flatpak binary (primary command) installed and configured can then run Flatpak applications. At the moment, there are 21 distributions that offer Flatpak support.

          Furthermore, applications are sandboxed using Bubblewrap, which utilises kernel security and namespace features to set up unprivileged containers. Communication outside the sandbox is possible through a mechanism of portals, which allows granular access to system resources.

          Flatpak packages are available to end users primarily through Flathub, an app store and build service that is (semi)-officially associated with the Flatpak project. Submissions to Flathub are done as pull requests through GitHub, and require approval from the store admins. Similarly, publishers of proprietary software have to manually request inclusion of their applications. Flatpak applications are also sometimes available as manual download links. There is no automatic update mechanism available by default.

        • Canonical enhances Kubernetes reliability for edge, IoT and multi-cloud

          14 November 2019: Canonical today announced high-availability clustering in MicroK8s, the workstation and appliance Kubernetes, and enterprise SQL database integration for its multi-cloud Charmed Kubernetes.

          “The rapid rise of enterprise and edge Kubernetes creates a challenge for corporate IT, with thousands of edge nodes running Kubernetes, and hundreds of cloud Kubernetes clusters,” said Stephan Fabel, Director of Product at Canonical. “The next generation of Canonical’s Kubernetes offerings reduce the number of moving parts, and embrace standard corporate SQL databases for Kubernetes data stores, to address the operational consequences of Kubernetes cluster sprawl.”

          Canonical’s MicroK8s gained popularity as an IoT, appliance and developer workstation Kubernetes, with a very small footprint suitable for edge devices and laptops. MicroK8s 1.16 added clustering, enabling rapid deployment of highly standardised small K8s clusters. The next step is to ensure high availability of these clusters, using Canonical’s Dqlite distributed SQL engine. Dqlite removes process overhead by embedding the database inside Kubernetes itself, and reduces the memory footprint of the cluster which is important for IoT.

          RAFT and SQLite are well-understood best practices for distributed and embedded systems. Using Dqlite as the Kubernetes datastore simplifies the deployment of a resilient K8s cluster. Telco and retail edge applications can now achieve high reliability at very low cost on x86 or ARM commodity appliances such as clusters of Intel NUCs or Raspberry Pi boards.

        • Lessons learned from 100+ private cloud builds

          Building a private cloud based on OpenStack has typically been a complex process with uncertain build costs based on time and materials requiring specialised expertise and low-level Linux OS knowledge. To help enterprises overcome these challenges,Canonical offers Private Cloud Build to provide businesses with a fully deployed OpenStack delivered in as little as two weeks at a fixed cost.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • PyRadio: An open source alternative for internet radio

        PyRadio is a convenient, open source, command-line application for playing any radio station that has a streaming link. And in 2019, almost every radio station (certainly, every one that has a web presence) has a way to listen online. Using the free PyRadio program, you can add, edit, play and switch between your own selected list of streaming radio stations. It is a command-line tool for Linux that can run on many computers, including Macintosh and tiny computers like Raspberry Pi. To some, a command-line client for playing music might sound needlessly complicated, but it’s actually a simple alternative and one that serves as an instant text-based dashboard to easily select music to listen to.

        A little background about myself: I spend a lot of time browsing for and listening to new music on Bandcamp, on various blogs, and even Spotify. I don’t spend time casually listening to app *radio* stations, which are really algorithmically-generated continuous streams of similarly tagged music. Rather, I prefer listening to non-profit, college and locally-produced independent radio stations that are run by a community and don’t rely on advertisements to sustain themselves.

      • PHP 7.4.0RC6 is available for testing
        PHP 7.4.0RC6 has just been released and can be downloaded from:
        Or use the git tag: php-7.4.0RC6
        Windows binaries are available at: <https://windows.php.net/qa/>
        Please test it carefully, and report any bugs in the bug system at
        Hash values and PGP signatures can be found below or at
        7.4.0 should be expected in 2 weeks, i.e. on November 28th, 2019.
        Thank you, and happy testing!
        Peter Kokot & Derick Rethans
      • PHP 7.4 Aims For Release In Two Weeks With FFI, Performance Improvements

        The sixth and final release candidate of PHP 7.4 is now available with it being on track for the general availability release before month’s end.

        PHP 7.4-RC6 is now available for testing with plans for the official release in just two weeks. PHP 7.4-RC6 is just comprised of fixes ranging from making stream_copy_to_stream using mmap more often to a reflection bug to TLS issues.

      • Google: As Go programming language turns 10, here are the big names using it

        To celebrate its anniversary, Google has launched a new website on its recently launched .dev domain, simply called go.dev, which highlights Go’s strengths for building cloud services, command-line interfaces, web applications, and its support of DevOps.

        Claiming over a million Go users worldwide, Google is also keen to show how many big brands are using the language extensively, including American Express, Salesforce, IBM, Target, Twitch, Netflix, Twitter, Uber, and Dropbox.

      • Google releases source code of new on-device machine learning solutions

        In a blog post, software and silicon engineers Andrew Howard and Suyog Gupta from Google Research said on Wednesday that both the source code and checkpoints for MobileNetV3, as well as the Pixel 4 Edge TPU-optimized counterpart MobileNetEdgeTPU, are now available.

      • Web Browsers

        • Brave Browser Reaches Version 1.0

          The Brave browser was pioneered by Mozilla co-founder and JavaScript inventor Brendan Eich and we originally reported on it in January 2016 when it was at version 0.7. Now as it launches Version 1.0, the Brave browser already has 8.7 million monthly active users across the globe

          Motivated by dissatisfaction with “maladvertising”, Brave promises to prioritize security by blocking third-party ads, trackers, and won’t allow video to autoplay. This makes it faster and saves users’ time and battery life.

          Announcing the official launch of Brave 1.0 the blog post states:

          The Brave open source browser fundamentally shifts how users, publishers, and advertisers interact online by giving users a private, safer, and 3-6x faster browsing experience, while funding the Web through a new attention-based platform of privacy-preserving advertisements and rewards.

          The numbers displayed at the top of this screen reveal that Brave has blocked 117,674 ads and trackers, saved 2,846 upgrades, thus saving an estimated 59 minutes in the current brower session.

        • Mozilla

          • Thermostats, Locks and Extension Add-ons – WebThings Gateway 0.10

            Happy Things Thursday! Today we are releasing WebThings Gateway 0.10. If you have a gateway using our Raspberry Pi builds then it should already have automatically updated itself.

            This new release comes with support for thermostats and smart locks, as well as an updated add-ons system including extension add-ons, which enable developers to extend the gateway user interface. We’ve also added localisation settings so that you can choose your country, language, time zone and unit preferences. From today you’ll be able to use the gateway in American English or Italian, but we’re already receiving contributions of translations in different languages!

          • The ByteCode Alliance wants to bring binary apps into your browser

            Back in 2015, a consortium including Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and the WebKit project announced WebAssembly. This week, Mozilla, Intel, Red hat, and Fastly announced a new consortium called the Bytecode Alliance, which aims to foster WebAssembly and other “new software foundations” that will allow secure-by-default ways to run untrusted code, either inside or outside the Web browser environment.

            For many, this raises an obvious question: what is WebAssembly? WebAssembly (wasm) was and is a potentially exciting project, offering a way to run native bytecode inside the browser for potentially very large increases in performance over the Javascript engines in use both then and today.

            Javascript is frequently misunderstood as a scripting language that is interpreted at runtime. Although it is generally loaded into the browser as source code, it may be either interpreted or compiled to bytecode and executed. Compilation means higher performance execution—particularly inside tight loops—but it also means a startup penalty for the time needed to do the JIT compilation itself.

          • 2019 Add-ons Community Meetup in London

            At the end of October, the Firefox add-ons team hosted a day-long meetup with a group of privacy extension developers as part of the Mozilla Festival in London, UK. With 2019 drawing to a close, this meetup provided an excellent opportunity to hear feedback from developers involved in the Recommended Extensions program and to get input about some of our plans for 2020.


            We recently announced that Firefox Preview, Mozilla’s next generation browser for Android built on GeckoView, will support extensions through the WebExtensions API. Members of the Android engineering team will build select APIs needed to initially support a small set of Recommended Extensions.

            The group discussed a wishlist of features for extensions on Android, including support for page actions and browser actions, history search, and the ability to manipulate context menus. These suggestions will be considered as work on Firefox Preview moves forward.

          • Here’s why pop culture and passwords don’t mix

            Were they on a break or not?! For nearly a decade, Ross and Rachel’s on-screen relationship was a point of contention for millions of viewers around the world. It’s no surprise to learn that years after the series finale, they are not only TV’s most beloved characters, but their names are popular account passwords, too. That’s right. More than thousands of internet users love Rachel, Monica, Joey, Chandler, Ross and Phoebe enough to use their names as passwords.

            Wondering about trends, we turned to haveibeenpwned (HIBP) — the website that aggregates data from known breaches — for pop culture favorites. (Firefox Monitor draws from HIBP to help people learn if they’ve been caught up in a data breach and take steps to protect themselves.)

            We couldn’t access any data files, browse lists of passwords or link passwords to logins — that info is inaccessible and kept secure — but we could look up random bad passwords manually on HIBP. It turns out, quite a lot of sitcom and sports fans are using pop culture passwords for their accounts. These bad passwords are not only weak, they have also been breached. Here’s what we spotted.

          • Adding CodeQL and clang to our Bug Bounty Program

            One of the ways we’re supporting this initiative at Mozilla is through renewed investment in automation and static analysis. We think the broader Mozilla community can participate, and we want to encourage it. Today, we’re announcing a new area of our bug bounty program to encourage the community to use the CodeQL tools. We are exploring the use of CodeQL tools and will award a bounty – above and beyond our existing bounties – for static analysis work that identifies present or historical flaws in Firefox.

      • Linux Foundation

        • The Linux Foundation and AWS announce new open data model

          The Linux Foundation’s joint Development Foundation (JDF) is teaming up up with AWS, Genesys and Salesforce to create an open source data model that standardizes data interoperability across cloud applications. They’re calling it the Cloud Information Model (CIM).

          The CIM is meant to tackle the challenge of cloud computing and creating data models. The foundation explained that data models force developers to build, test and manage custom code in order to translate data across systems.

          According to the foundation, the new open data model aims to reduce the complexities of integrating data across cloud applications by providing data interoperability guidelines to point-of-sale systems, digital marketing platforms, contact centers or CRM centers.

        • LF AI Welcomes ONNX, Ecosystem for Interoperable AI Models, as Graduate Project

          The LF AI Foundation, the organization building an ecosystem to sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL), is announcing today the Open Neural Network eXchange (ONNX) is its newest graduate level project. Moving ONNX under the umbrella of LF AI governance and management is viewed as a key milestone in establishing ONNX as a vendor-neutral open format standard.

          ONNX is an open format used to represent machine learning and deep learning models. An ecosystem of products supporting ONNX provides AI capabilities like model creation and export, visualization, optimization, and acceleration capabilities. Among its many advantages, ONNX provides portability, allowing AI developers to more easily move AI models between tools that are part of trusted AI/ML/DL workflows.


        • GIMP basics: Best tips and tricks for beginners

          GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), like so many other open source programs, started out as a student project at the University of California, Berkeley. It was developed by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis in 1995, and the first version (0.54) was released in 1996.

          As of the current version (2.10) GIMP has matured into a truly incredible photo-editing program. It’s not as complex as Photoshop, but it’s not as basic as PC Paint either. It rivals all the top dogs on the market today. Best of all, it’s free!

          If you’re coming at GIMP by way of Photoshop, however, you may be frustrated by the some of the differences. Here are a few user tips to get you started, whether you’re a rookie or a pro.

      • Programming/Development

        • Manipulating text with grep

          Imagine you have a file (or bunch of files) and you want to search for a specific string or configuration setting within these files. Opening each file individually and trying to find the specific string would be tiresome and probably isn’t the right approach. So what can we use, then?

        • Hiring a technical writer in the age of DevOps

          It’s common for enterprises to leave the technical writer’s role out of the DevOps discussion. Even the marketing department joins the discussion in some DevOps-first organizations—so why not the writers?

          Our industry doesn’t ask enough of its technical writers. Documentation is an afterthought. Companies farm out technical writing to contractors at the end of the project lifecycle. Corners get cut. Likewise, technical writers don’t ask enough of their industry. The expectations for the role vary from company to company. Both circumstances lead to technical writers being left out of the DevOps discussion.

          As your organization matures its DevOps practices, it’s time to revisit the role of your technical writer.

        • How to port an awk script to Python

          Scripts are potent ways to solve a problem repeatedly, and awk is an excellent language for writing them. It excels at easy text processing in particular, and it can bring you through some complicated rewriting of config files or reformatting file names in a directory.

        • Navigating Python Code with Wing Pro 7 (part 1 of 3)

          Wing Python IDE includes a boatload of features aimed at making it easier to navigate and understand the structure of Python code. Some of these allow for quick navigation between the definition and uses of a symbol. Others provide a convenient index into source code. And still others quickly find and open files or navigate to symbols matching a name fragment.


          This tool supports text matching, wildcard, and regular expression searching and automatically updates the search results as files change.

          Searching on Project Files assumes that you have used Add Existing Directory in the Project menu to add your source code to your project. Typically the project should contain the code you are actively working on. Packages that your code uses can be left out of the project, unless you anticipate often wanting to search them with Search in Files.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Report from July 2019 ISO C++ Standards Committee Meeting (Concurrency and Parallelism Study Group) S

          The summer 2019 WG21 C++ Committee meeting was held in Cologne, Germany during the week of July 13. As usual,
          Red Hat sent three representatives, Jason Merrill in the Core Working Group (CWG), Jonathan Wakely in the Library Working Group (LWG), and myself in the Concurrency and Parallelism Study Group (SG1). This rather late report covers the Cologne SG1 session and looks ahead to some revised papers from that meeting, which are scheduled for the fall meeting in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the first week of November 2019.

        • On data encoding and complex text shaping

          The summit was inaugurated by Fahad Al-Saidi of the Scribus fame, who was instrumental in implementing complex text layout (CTL). Prior to the talks, I got to meet the team who made it possible to switch Janayogom’s entire publishing process on to free software platform — Kubuntu based ThengOS, Scribus for page layout, Inkspace for vector graphics, GIMP for raster graphics, CMYK color profiling for print, new Malayalam Unicode fonts with traditional orthography etc. It was impressive to see that entire production fleet was transformed, team was trained and the news paper is printed every day without delay.

          I also met Fahad later and pleasantly surprised to realize that he already knows me from open source contributions. We had a productive discussion about Scribus.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Logic of Medical Co-Payments

        Aaron Carroll had a very useful NYT Upshot piece highlighting research showing that even modest co-payments discourage people from getting necessary medical care. The article is about co-payments for prescription drugs where it highlights research showing that people will often skip taking prescribed drugs to avoid co-payments. There are a couple of points worth making about co-payments in this context and more generally.

      • Justice Democrats Accuses Buttigieg of Abandoning Medicare for All After Taking ‘Tons of Cash’ From Corporate Interests

        The progressive group said Buttigieg has “no credibility” to attack Warren and Sanders on Medicare for All given “how much money he’s been taking from Big Pharma and insurance executives.”

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Why Kali Linux is loved by penetration testers [Q&A]

        Penetration testing is an essential tool for organizations to make sure their systems are safe and secure. It probes systems by attacking them in the way that a hacker would.

        But for many, the concept of pentesting is something of a dark art, and the tools used to carry it out shaded in obscurity. One of the most popular tools among testers is Kali Linux but you could be forgiven for never having heard of it.

        We spoke to Jim O’Gorman of testing training specialist Offensive Security, which maintains the Kali Linux project, to discover more about what Kali Linux is and why pen testers love it so much.

      • Windows and Linux Get Options To Disable Intel TSX To Prevent Zombieload v2 Attacks
      • Windows & Linux get options to disable Intel TSX to prevent Zombieload v2 attacks
      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (kernel, linux-lts, and linux-zen), CentOS (kernel, sudo, and thunderbird), Debian (linux-4.9), Fedora (samba), openSUSE (apache2-mod_auth_openidc, kernel, qemu, rsyslog, and ucode-intel), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (kernel and kernel-rt), Scientific Linux (kernel), SUSE (kernel and microcode_ctl), and Ubuntu (kernel, libjpeg-turbo, linux, linux-hwe, linux-oem, linux, linux-hwe, linux-oem-osp1, and qemu).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Murder Like It’s 1495: U.S.-Backed Counterinsurgency in the Philippines

        Two men, soldiers probably, noticed Bai Leah Tumbalang. This was last August. She was in Valencia City, in the Philippine province of Bukidnon. The men drew near on their motorcycle, followed her, then pulled up to shoot her in the forehead. She died immediately.

      • The So-Called War on Terror Has Killed Over 801,000 People and Cost $6.4 Trillion: New Analysis

        “The numbers continue to accelerate, not only because many wars continue to be waged, but also because wars don’t end when soldiers come home.”

      • A Doubtful Proposition: a Reflection on the Trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7

        “Whether nuclear weapons are actually illegal under international or domestic law (a doubtful proposition) is not relevant or an appropriate issue to litigate in this case,” so ruled Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the US District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, late on Friday October 18. This last-minute order, restricting the defense of seven antinuclear activists at a trial that began Monday morning the 21st, made a short trial a foregone conclusion. It also, more than any evidence that the yet to be impaneled jury would eventually hear, made their convictions all but certain.

      • ‘Schools of Mass Destruction’: Report Details 49 US Universities Abetting Nuclear Weapons Complex

        “Why would an institution of higher learning support weapons that cause terrible humanitarian consequences?”

      • How Not to End a Forever War

        I love “caper’ movies. There’s nothing like a gang of lovable rogues executing an elaborately planned, seemingly impossible crime. President Donald Trump, while in no way lovable, pulled off the perfect caper when he grabbed the White House three years ago. Now Trump has launched a new caper: stealing Syria’s oil. Danny Ocean, eat your heart out.

      • Reckoning With the Costs of War: It’s Time to Take Responsibility

        In 2008, when he was only 29, Army Pfc. Russell Madden enlisted in the Army because he needed health insurance for his son, who was born with cystic fibrosis. While deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, he died after a rocket-propelled grenade hit his convoy.

      • Israel Intensifies Strikes as Rockets Rain Down on Gaza

        Israeli aircraft struck Islamic Jihad targets throughout the Gaza Strip on Wednesday while the militant group rained scores of rockets into Israel for a second straight day as the heaviest round of fighting in months showed no signs of ending. The death toll rose to 26 Palestinians, including a 7-year-old boy and two other minors.

      • Sanders Has Denounced Coup, But Biden, Warren, and Buttigieg So Far Silent on Overthrow of Bolivia’s Morales

        “Why is Bernie Sanders the only one who has spoken out? Don’t the other candidates have a position about a destabilizing, right-wing takeover of a neighboring country? We need to hear from them.”

      • The Bolivian Coup Comes Down to One Precious Mineral

        Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was overthrown in a military coup on November 10. He is now in Mexico. Before he left office, Morales had been involved in a long project to bring economic and social democracy to his long-exploited country. It is important to recall that Bolivia has suffered a series of coups, often conducted by the military and the oligarchy on behalf of transnational mining companies. Initially, these were tin firms, but tin is no longer the main target in Bolivia. The main target is its massive deposits of lithium, crucial for the electric car.

      • How the OAS and US Just Helped Overthrow Another Government

        The United States and the Organization of American States can add another coup to their scorecards, even if U.S. media refuses to recognize it as such.

      • Military Coup in Bolivia ‘Has Been Consummated,’ Says Evo Morales as Right-Wing Senator Declares Herself President in Defiance of Constitution

        “She’s declared herself president without having a quorum in the parliament,” said Morales supporter Julio Chipana. “She doesn’t represent us.”

      • New Revelations on Dutch Role in Deadly Iraq Attack

        Recent news reports have exposed Dutch involvement in an airstrike in Iraq in June 2015 that killed at least 70 civilians, with the Minister of Defense finally admitting on November 5, 2019 that the ministry had known about the deaths after years of denial.

      • ‘Everybody at the school knew’ The St. Petersburg university that employed the historian who dismembered his grad student girlfriend denies past complaints about other sexual assaults

        On November 9, police pulled 63-year-old historian and St. Petersburg State University senior lecturer Oleg Sokolov from the Moyka River. He was alive, but the same could not be said for Anastasia Eshchenko, a 24-year-old graduate student who lived with Sokolov as his fiancée. Officials soon realized that he had murdered her and dismembered her body. When he was discovered in the river, Sokolov was carrying a backpack that contained the woman’s severed hands. On November 11, a court formally jailed the historian, and St. Petersburg State University quickly announced his dismissal. Many are angry, however, that the school didn’t act sooner. A petition at Change.org now has more than 72,000 signatures demanding punishment for the university officials who failed to take action against Sokolov, despite apparent allegations against him. In St. Petersburg, demonstrators have also staged isolated pickets with the same demands. The historian’s colleagues say the school was aware of his multiple romances with students, but they say there were no grounds to fire Sokolov, because no one ever filed a formal complaint against him.

      • Criminalated Warmongers

        The Dawn Patrol is a 1938 film about British World War I fighter pilots, roistering and dying in an aerial war of attrition in France with their German counterparts. It was directed by Edmund Goulding from a screenplay written by Seton I. Miller and Dan Totheroh, which was adapted from a story by John Monk Saunders. The film starred Errol Flynn (Captain Courtney), Basil Rathbone (Major Brand), David Niven (Scott), Donald Crisp (Phipps), and Morton Lowry (Donnie Scott), and was produced by the Warner Brothers Studio as a remake of their earlier 1930 film of the same story.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Assange, Zuckerberg and Free Speech

        This time, more than any other, is a time for free speech absolutism. It is a time where the influence of one’s speech can be bought. Corporations are considered people. Truth is not defined by people, it is defined by corporate interests—namely profit. Sectarianism has at least culturally collapsed, creating the potential, although not a guarantee, of a united global revolution against the prevailing ideology of capital. Now is not the time for censorship. Now is the time to leave the truth behind all together and accept something greater. We must transcend truth and begin to live in material reality that is not conscious of anything except for the mission at hand and the urgency of life itself as the material clock of both ourselves and civilization as we know it nears midnight.

      • Norway’s DNB to investigate allegedly improper Icelandic payments to Namibia

        Norwegian bank DNB (DNB.OL) is investigating media allegations that an Icelandic company transferred money via the bank to bribe Namibian officials, DNB said on Wednesday.

        Iceland’s public broadcaster reported on Tuesday that fisheries group Samherji had made illicit payments worth millions of dollars to secure fishing quotas in Namibia.

        “We are of course investigating the claims,” DNB said of the report.

        Separately, Namibian media reported that two Namibian ministers had resigned from their cabinet positions on Wednesday following the Icelandic news report.

        The Namibian government had no immediate comment.

        Samherji said in a statement it had hired a law firm to investigate the allegations.

      • Ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhardt Esau resign after kickback exposé

        Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala and Fisheries Minister Bernhardt Esau have resigned after The Namibian newspaper exposed a Namibian fishing quota kickback scandal worth millions of dollars.

        State House issued a press statement Wednesday afternoon announcing the resignations.

        The Presidency said since assuming office President Hage Geingob “has taken practical steps to promote effective governance, prioritising the fight against corruption, promoting greater transparency and accountability. ”

      • Julian Assange’s judge and her husband’s links to the British military establishment exposed by WikiLeaks

        The husband of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate overseeing WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the US, has financial links to the British military establishment, including institutions and individuals exposed by WikiLeaks.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Ring Spends The Week Collecting Data On Trick-Or-Treating Kids And Being An Attack Vector For Home WiFi Networks

        Nothing owns like a self-own. And Ring — Amazon’s doorbell surveillance project — is so into self-abuse, it’s almost kinky. It’s a DOM when it picks up another submissive law enforcement partner (400+ at last count, so maybe get tested if you install a doorbell without protection). Any other time, it seems to be a relentlessly cheery masochist. Hopefully it’s deriving some pleasure from the endless negative news cycles. Maybe 95% market share heals all wounds.

      • Facebook Says It Axed 3.2 Billion Fake Accounts in Last Six Months

        Facebook says it removed 3.2 billion fake accounts from its service from April to September, up slightly from 3 billion in the previous six months.

      • Microsoft Says It’s Cool With California’s New Privacy Law

        We’ve made it abundantly clear that California’s new privacy law is aggressively undercooked, and will require some very serious fine tuning if it’s going to be workable for many California companies. At the same time, giant companies like Google, Comcast, and AT&T have spent a lot of time aggressively misrepresenting what the law actually does, running ads outright lying about the bill’s impact, and downplaying the fact that states wouldn’t be wading into the privacy waters if these companies hadn’t lobbied to kill modest federal privacy requirements in the first place.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • DirectTV Forgot To Stop Charging Customers For Channels That Were Blacked Out

        As we’ve detailed for some time now, while contract blackouts have almost always been an annoyance in the cable television industry, they are becoming increasingly prevalent alongside the rise of cord-cutting. Normally when we discuss cable blackouts, the discussion revolves around the entirely predictable strategy by both the broadcaster and cable operator to blame one another, all while paying customers sit without the channels they’re paying for. While annoying, that is usually the extent of our comments on the matter.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts