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


Links 11/12/2019: Huawei Lobbied by Microsoft (Because of GNU/Linux) and Microsoft Still Googlebombs Linux to Promote ‘Teams’

Posted in News Roundup at 2:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The OS Wars Continue

        Chuckle. While attempting to protect “intellectual property” and enhance security, the Trumpists ban Huawei and slap on tariffs. China is now banning some of that intellectual property including TOOS and hardware from several USAian manufacturers. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

        I have mixed feelings. On the one hand this will reduce the GOP’s hold on USAian politics as manufacturing and the GDP suffer under this crap but on the other Free Software may actually get a boost in China. Go GNU/Linux!

      • Huawei New MateBook D Series Laptop Lineup Comes With Multiple Configuration Choices Incl. Windows Or Linux OS, AMD or Intel And Discreet NVIDIA Graphics

        Huawei announced its latest line of MateBook laptops that feature a unique privacy-focused webcam design. The powerful, sleek and versatile portable computing devices come in multiple configurations. Interestingly, Huawei is also offering a choice between Windows and Linux operating systems. A while ago the company had apparently ditched Microsoft Windows 10 for Deepin OS completely, but the relaxation of the US-China trade war appears to have had an impact.

        The latest Huawei MateBook D14 and D15 laptops are quite versatile in terms of hardware as well as software. Huawei is offering multiple configurations that allow buyers to choose either an Intel or AMD processor that can be paired with a discrete NVIDIA GPU. Interestingly, besides the hardware customization, the latest Huawei MateBook laptops could ship with either Windows 10 or a Linux OS installed on certain SKUs.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • MicroProfile 3.2 is now available on Open Liberty in Red Hat Runtimes

          Open Liberty provides support for MicroProfile 3.2, allowing users to provide their own health check procedures and monitor microservice applications easily with metrics. Additionally, updates allow trust to be established using the JDK’s default truststore or a certificate through an environment variable.


          Open Liberty has added support for Jaeger in MicroProfile OpenTracing. A sample tracer is available for using Zipkin as a tracing backend. With the addition of Jaeger support, developers can also use Jaeger as a tracing backend.

        • Working with Linux containers on RHEL 8 with Podman, image builder and web console

          Podman was released with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 and 8.0 as the next generation of Linux container tools, is designed to allow faster experimentation and development of features.

          Podman features include rootless, kube generate, and kube play (see: “Podman can now ease the transition to Kubernetes and CRI-O”). Podman is also compatible with the Open Containers Initiative (OCI), Runtime, Image, and Distribution specifications, so customers can build container images that run on OpenShift (which uses CRI-O) or other 3rd-party OCI compliant container engines, and vice versa.

          As can be seen in Figure 1, CRI-O, in Red Hat OpenShift, shares many of its underlying components with Podman. This allows Red Hat engineers to leverage knowledge gained in experiments conducted in Podman for new capabilities in OpenShift.

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.4, Red Hat Developer Toolset 9 now generally available

          Building the next generation of enterprise applications requires the latest and greatest developer tools paired with production-grade stability. To help meet these twin needs, we’re pleased to deliver the latest version of Red Hat’s curated collection of the latest open source runtime languages, databases, compilers and related developer tools: Red Hat Software Collections 3.4.

        • Celebrating 20 years of enterprise Java: Innovation

          Twenty years ago this week, enterprise Java was born. The Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) launched as version 1.2 on Dec. 12, 1999. It built upon many years of work previously in the enterprise distributed systems arena, such as the common object request broker architecture (CORBA) and distributed computing environment (DCE), and its birth marked the beginning of a technology that would become a powerhouse in the world of enterprise application development.

          Building on the “write once, run anywhere” promise of the Java programming language, the enterprise Java platform extends this neutrality and portability with a set of specifications that are well-suited for building large scale applications. As a result, enterprise Java has been able to offer an appealing option for developers that enables them to take advantage of the reliability, speed, efficiency and ease-of-use needed for enterprise-grade development.

        • Keycloak: Core concepts of open source identity and access management

          Keycloak provides the flexibility to export and import configurations easily, using a single view to manage everything. Together, these technologies let you integrate front-end, mobile, and monolithic applications into a microservice architecture. In this article, we discuss the core concepts and features of Keycloak and its application integration mechanisms. You will find links to implementation details near the end.

        • What 5 new innovations will open source yield in the 2020s?

          When I look back to where technology was in 2010, it’s astounding to think about how much has changed — and how so many of those advancements were fueled by open source.

          Ten years ago, AI was not a part of our everyday lives, most developers hadn’t even heard of containers or microservices, blockchain was little more than an idea, and serverless was a far-off dream. Now these technologies, built on open source projects and the communities that surround them, are shaping how developers do their jobs and how people interact with technology on a daily basis.

          In this blog post, I talk about some of the trends that have shaped the past decade as we look forward to what 2020 — and the next decade — has in store for us.

        • Open and Innovative: others don’t have a patch on SUSE

          It’s not just general purpose and large x86_64 systems that feel the benefit of fixing vulnerable systems without waiting for a planned maintenance window. We see so many customers in the SUSE world that run critical applications or large database instances on IBM POWER. In many cases these systems do not have the same levels of flexibility built into general purpose systems, and so every minute of downtime hurts.
          SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching has supported live patching on the POWER systems for almost 2 years now. This is just another example of SUSE always listening to the user community and delivering to them what the users really need and when they need. Customers know and depend on SUSE to be the first to deliver the right technology at the right time.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Talk Python to Me: Episode #242: Your education will be live-streamed

        Online education has certainly gone mainstream. Developers and companies have finally gotten comfortable taking online courses. Sometimes these are recorded, self-paced courses like we have at Talk Python Training. Other times, they are more like live events in webcast format.

        In this episode, you’ll meet two guys who are taking the interactivity of online learning up a notch. Brian Clark and Cecil Philip run a weekly event on Twitch where they are live-streaming an interactive Python course. They take questions from 100′s of students and dig into the diversions more mainstream online learning simply cannot.

      • [Krita artist] Production report: episode 31

        Slowly but surely and in the background of the book-publishing project I’ve been working on a future episode of Pepper&Carrot. Here is a report about that with many screenshots:

      • mintCast 323.5 – Traveling Networker Problem

        In our Innards section, we talk more about Linux Mint and Clem’s comments.

    • Kernel Space

      • Improving the security model of the LVFS

        There are lots of layers of security in the LVFS and fwupd design, including restricted account modes, 2FA, and server side AppStream namespaces. The most powerful one is the so-called vendor-id that the vendors cannot assign themselves, and is assigned by me when creating the vendor account on the LVFS. The way this works is that all firmware from the vendor is tagged with a vendor-id string like USB:0x056A which in this case matches the USB consortium vendor assigned ID. Client side, the vendor-id from the signed metadata is checked against the physical device and the firmware is updated only if the ID matches. This ensures that malicious or careless users on the LVFS can never ship firmware updates for other vendors hardware. About 90% of the vendors on the LVFS are locked down with this mechanism.

        Some vendors have to have IDs that they don’t actually own, a good example here is for a DFU device like the 8bitdo controllers. In runtime mode they use the USB-assigned 8bitdo VID, but in bootloader mode they use a generic VID which is assigned to the chip supplier as they are using the reference bootloader. This is obviously fine, and both vendor IDs are assigned to 8bitdo on the LVFS for this reason. Another example is where Lenovo is responsible for updating Lenovo-specific NVMe firmware, but where the NVMe vendor isn’t always Lenovo’s PCI ID.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA 440.44 Linux Driver Brings Fixes, __GL_SYNC_DISPLAY_DEVICE Honored With Vulkan

          Out today is NVIDIA 440.44 as the latest stable Linux driver update in their new long-lived driver series.

          Succeeding the 440.36 and 440.31 stable drivers, the 440.44 release isn’t too exciting but at least NVIDIA should be introducing a new beta series shortly.

        • Intel’s OpenSWR OpenGL Software Rasterizer Pulls In Tessellator From Microsoft Direct3D Code

          OpenSWR is Intel’s performance-minded software rasterizer for purposes like workstation visualizations and is where it outperforms the likes of LLVMpipe. This CPU-based OpenGL implementation can make use of not only AVX/AVX2 but also AVX-512 and other optimizations to support speedy CPU-based GL operations from laptops to Xeon Scalable hardware. Like LLVMpipe, OpenSWR does leverage LLVM in part. Those unfamiliar with this long-standing Intel open-source project can learn more at OpenSWR.org.

    • Applications

      • Annotate screenshots on Linux with Ksnip

        I recently switched from MacOS to Elementary OS, a Linux distribution focused on ease of use and privacy. As a user-experience designer and a free software supporter, I take screenshots and annotate them all the time. After trying out several different tools, the one I enjoy the most by far is Ksnip, an open source tool licensed under GPLv2.

      • Daniel Stenberg: BearSSL is curl’s 14th TLS backend

        curl supports more TLS libraries than any other software I know of. The current count stops at 14 different ones that can be used to power curl’s TLS-based protocols (HTTPS primarily, but also FTPS, SMTPS, POP3S, IMAPS and so on).

        The beginning

        The very first curl release didn’t have any TLS support, but already in June 1998 we shipped the first version that supported HTTPS. Back in those days the protocol was still really SSL. The library we used then was called SSLeay. (No, I never understood how that’s supposed to be pronounced)

        The SSLeay library became OpenSSL very soon after but the API was brought along so curl supported it from the start.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Hellpoint, the dark sci-fi action RPG from Cradle Games now launching in 2020 with new details

        Cradle Games recently put out some fresh exciting details for Hellpoint, their upcoming crowdfunded dark sci-fi action RPG.

        Firstly, it seems the release has been pushed back a while. They were aiming for this year but they’re just not going to hit it. They’ve been going through console certification, along with doing regular updates to the PC Beta and they’re now saying it’s going to be sometime in “Q1 2020″ for Hellpoint’s release.

      • Get Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut FREE in the GOG Winter Sale, lots of Linux games going cheaps

        Is there seriously another big sale going on already? Yep! This time it comes with a FREE game too. GOG are offering Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut at no cost.

        Firstly then, the Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut Digital Classic Edition going FREE on GOG which also comes with Wasteland 1: The Original Classic so you’re getting two games for nothing here. That should keep you busy enough through the colder Winter nights.

      • Action-RPG platform shooter Bite the Bullet is going to have some really crazy weapons

        Mega Cat Studios previously showed how eating enemies in Bite the Bullet would power you up, now they’re talking about the varied weapons you get to play with.

        As a huge fan of Broforce and other such crazy action platformers, Bite the Bullet is high up on my list of games coming out next year. We shouldn’t be waiting too long on it, with it due in the first quarter of 2020. To show it off a little more, Mega Cat Studios have a new video talking about all the weapons and some of them are pretty crazy.

      • Another Steam Beta is out, updates the Linux Runtime to help Steam Play Proton

        Quite a small update to the Steam Beta recently, but for some Linux gamers using Steam Play Proton it might be a rather helpful one.

        The new Library got tweaked a little again, now allowing for Family Sharing of tools, Valve also fixed new categories created in small mode or Big Picture mode not being properly saved when switching to normal mode and recently played but disallowed by Family View games not appearing in the Recent Games shelf when Family View is enabled on startup.

      • Enable your Python game player to run forward and backward

        In previous entries in this series about creating video games in Python 3 using the Pygame module, you designed your level-design layout, but some portion of your level probably extended past your viewable screen. The ubiquitous solution to that problem in platformer games is, as the term “side-scroller” suggests, scrolling.

        The key to scrolling is to make the platforms around the player sprite move when the player sprite gets close to the edge of the screen. This provides the illusion that the screen is a “camera” panning across the game world.

        This scrolling trick requires two dead zones at either edge of the screen, at which point your avatar stands still while the world scrolls by.

      • Survival Mode in The Long Dark just got a lot bigger with the ERRANT PILGRIM update

        As promised, Hinterland Studio have released a huge update to the Survival Mode side of The Long Dark named ERRANT PILGRIM.

        It brings in a whole new region to explore, Bleak Inlet. Once a home to a thriving industrial Cannery, seismic activity cut-off Bleak Inlet from the rest of the Great Bear mainland. Exploring is not for the faint of heart, being Timberwolf territory but the treasures contained in the industrial complex may just be enough to warrant the journey.

      • DXVK To Enter Maintenance Mode Because Of Fragility And Unreliability

        It looks like DXVK, the Vulkan-based translation layer for Direct3D 11 and 10, is entering maintenance mode. That’s not because it’s considered feature complete and bug-free, like it’s usually the case when software enters maintenance mode, but because the main developer considers that DXVK has become a “fragile, unreliable and frustrating maintenance nightmare”.

      • DXVK Reportedly Going Into “Maintenance Mode” Due To State Of Code-Base

        While DXVK tends to be much-loved by Linux gamers for allowing more Direct3D 10/11 Windows games to run nicely on Linux with Wine or Proton (Steam Play) thanks to its fairly complete translation of D3D10/D3D11 API calls to Vulkan, it looks like Philip Rebohle is at least contemplating shifting it just into maintenance-mode.

        The DXVK lead developer recently commented that DXVK is “entering maintenance mode” and he doesn’t want to make any significant changes or additions to the code.

      • Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Shovel Knight Showdown are out, completing the series

        Starting off with a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign back in 2013 and growing into a massive multi-part 8-bit inspired world, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove now finally finished. Note: Keys provided by GOG.com to us.

        Originally having a goal of $75,000 and a Linux/macOS stretch goal at $130,000 it proved to be popular ending on $311,491. It’s taken six years for Yacht Club Games to get here starting with Shovel of Hope, followed by Plague of Shadows in 2015, Specter of Torment in 2017, and now King of Cards and Shovel Knight Showdown in 2019.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Revamp your old Linux desktop with Joe’s Window Manager

        Joe’s Window Manager (JWM for short) is a lightweight window manager for X11. It’s written in C, minimally using Xlib. Because it’s so small and simple, JWM makes a great window manager for slow or old computers. The Raspberry Pi barely registers that JWM is running, leaving precious system resources for more important tasks than the desktop.

        JWM follows in the footsteps of environments like FVWM, Window Maker, and Fluxbox. It provides an application menu, window decoration, and a panel with an application menu, taskbar, and clock.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Fedora 31 Workstation review – The color of winter

          Last week, we talked about MX Linux MX-19. This week, let’s have a look at Fedora 31. Now, some of you may already start grumbling and complaining. Because I will focus a lot of my energy on the Gnome desktop and what it doesn’t do, and all that. But then, Fedora is the pioneer child (not in the communist sense) of the Gnome world, showcasing the latest fixes and features the environment offers. Therein lies my hope and my expected but hopefully proven wrong disappointment.

          Looking back to the past two years or so, I found Fedora to have improved a little in the performance area, has become more consistent, gained stability in major areas side by side with bugs and problems in others, and still isn’t user-friendly enough for immediate consumption. Y’know, proprietary stuff, window buttons, desktop icons, stuff like that. Fedora 30 is a good melting pot of all these observations. I wasn’t happy, but then, it’s time to rewind the clock, reset my emotions, and boldly charge head first into the wall of open-source.

      • New Releases

      • Debian Family

        • How to Install ElkArte Forum with Apache and Let’s Encrypt on Debian 10

          ElkArte is a free, open-source and powerful forum software that allows you to create your own online forum community. In this tutorial, we will explain how to install ElkArte on Debian 10 server.

        • My Free Software Activities in November 2019

          Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

        • Debian GNU/Linux riscv64 port — Sponsors and Build machines

          In previous posts about the riscv64 port there were mentions about history, progress and other details, but in this one I want to address the topic of sponsors and build machines, which even if there are mentions from time to time (e.g. in talks and slides posted here), it has not been covered in a comprehensive manner.

          And it’s only fair that we acknowledge people and orgs sponsoring and contributing resources… and about time too. They will appear roughly in chronological order.

        • Ian Jackson: Debian GR on init systems – Ballot paper format

          You are allowed to reorder the choices on your ballot paper, and this is effective.
          That is, you can take the ballot paper in the CFV and edit the lines in it into your preferred order with cut and paste. You can look at the letters, or the Secretary’s summary lines, when you do that.

          It’s important to use a proper text editor and not linewrap things while you do this.

          After, that you can simply write numbers 1 to 8 into the boxes down the left hand side.

          Rank all the options. That way when you get your vote ack back, any parse failure will show up as a blank space in the ack.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 10 Reasons to Use Linux Mint in 2019

          In the past, we have published articles listing the reasons to use a handful of Linux distros such as 10 Reasons to Use Arch Linux, 10 Reasons to Use Manjaro Linux, The 10 Best Reasons to Use Fedora Linux and today, we have a shift in our focus as this time around, our subject matter is Linux Mint.

          Linux Mint is a community-driven Linux distribution with a major focus on making open-source goodies freely available and easily accessible in a modern, elegant, powerful, and convenient operating system. It is developed based on Ubuntu, uses dpkg package manager, and is available for x86-64 and arm64 architectures.

          Linux Mint has been hailed by many as the better operating system to use when compared to its parent distro and has also managed to maintain its position on distrowatch as the OS with the 3rd most popular hits in the past 1 year.

        • Juju 2.7: Enhanced k8s experience, improved networking and more

          Canonical is proud to announce the availability of Juju 2.7. This new release introduces a range of exciting features and several improvements which enhance Juju across various areas.

          To learn more about Juju, visit our page.

          Kubernetes extensions

          Juju is becoming the simplest way to deploy and manage your container-centric workloads. This release was aimed at bringing more Juju features to k8s charms and more k8s features to Juju.

          K8s charms can now define actions, introspect agents, and communicate back to Juju via the addition of juju-run within the pod’s PATH environmental variable. Experienced k8s operators will feel more at home with the ability to set secrets, administer service accounts, and other k8s-native features from their charms directly.

        • How using Charmed OSM helps telcos to accelerate their NFV transformation
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Frédéric Wang: Review of my year 2019 at Igalia

        In 2016, I was among the new software engineers who joined Igalia. Three years later I applied to become co-owner of the company and the legal paperwork was completed in April. As my colleague Andy explained on his blog, this does not change a lot of things in practice because most of the decisions are taken within the assembly. However, I’m still very happy and proud of having achieved this step

        One of my new duty has been to be the “mentor” of Miyoung Shin since February and to help with her integration at Igalia. Shin has been instrumental in Igalia’s project to improve Chromium’s Code Health with an impressive number of ~500 commits. You can watch the video of her BlinkOn lightning talk on YouTube. In addition to her excellent technical contribution she has also invested her energy in company’s life, helping with the organization of social activities during our summits, something which has really been appreciated by her colleagues. I’m really glad that she has recently entered the assembly and will be able to take a more active role in the company’s decisions!

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Announcing Version 2.7 of the Mozilla Root Store Policy

            After many months of discussion on the mozilla.dev.security.policy mailing list, our Root Store Policy governing Certificate Authorities (CAs) that are trusted in Mozilla products has been updated. Version 2.7 has an effective date of January 1st, 2020.

          • Week notes – 2019 w49 – worklog – The Weak Notes

            A week with a bad cold makes it more difficult to write week notes. So here my weak notes. Everything seems heavier to type, to push.

            This last week-end I was at JSConf JP. I wrote down some notes about it.

            The week starts with two days of fulltime diagnosis (Monday, Tuesday). Let’s get to it: 69 open bugs for Gecko. We try to distribute our work across the team so we are sure that at least someone is on duty for each day of the week. When we have finished our shift, we can add ourselves for more days. That doesn’t prevent us for working on bugs the rest of the week. Some of the bugs take longer.

          • Problematic monetization in security products, Avira edition

            A while back we’ve seen how Avast monetizes their users. Today we have a much smaller fish to fry, largely because the Avira’s extensions in question aren’t installed by default and require explicit user action for the additional “protection.” So these have far fewer users, currently 400 thousands on Firefox and slightly above a million on Chrome according to official add-on store numbers. It doesn’t make their functionality any less problematic however.

            That’s especially the case for Avira Browser Safety extension that Avira offers for Firefox and Opera. While the vendor’s homepage lists “Find the best deals on items you’re shopping for” as last feature in the list, the extension description in the add-on stores “forgets” to mention this monetization strategy. I’m not sure why the identical Chrome extension is called “Avira Safe Shopping” but at least here the users get some transparency.


            The Avira Browser Safety extension is identical to Avira Safe Shopping and monetizes by offering “best shopping deals” to the users. This functionality is underdocumented, particularly in Avira’s privacy policy. It is also risky however, as Avira chose to implement it in such a way that it will execute JavaScript code from Avira’s servers on arbitrary websites as well as in the context of the extension itself. In theory, this allows Avira or anybody with control of this particular server to target individual users, spy on them or mess with their browsing experience in almost arbitrary ways.

            In addition to that, the security part of the extension is implemented in a suboptimal way and will upload the entire browsing history of the users to Avira’s servers without even removing potentially sensitive data first. Again, Avira’s privacy policy is severely lacking and won’t make any clear statements as to what happens with this data.

      • BSD

        • NomadBSD 1.3 Released To Offer A Pleasant FreeBSD 12.1 Based Desktop Experience

          Along similar aims to GhostBSD and MidnightBSD, GhostBSD is another one of the BSD distributions focused on providing a nice out-of-the-box experience. NomadBSD 1.3 is now available that is in turn based on the recent FreeBSD 12.1.

          NomadBSD 1.3 is based on FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE, adds ZFS file-system support to its desktop installer, auto-configuration support for running within Oracle VirtualBox, bundles the NVIDIA 440 proprietary graphics driver, adds nomadbsd-dmconfig and nomadbsd-adduser Qt tools for further configuring the desktop OS, better X.Org driver detection for newer Intel graphics, Audacity and Orage have been added to the default application list, Thunderbird and Palemoon have been bumped from the default application list, and a variety of other desktop application defaults have changed.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt Shader Tools Looks To Become Official Qt6 Module

          The currently-experimental Qt Shader Tools allows for graphics/compute shader conditioning and used by the in-development Qt graphics abstraction layer for supporting Vulkan / Metal / Direct3D / OpenGL APIs.

          Qt Shader Tools offers various shader features in preparing them for consumption by different graphics APIs. Qt Shader Tools is currently used ahead of time for QtGUI with Qt 5.14+. But for Qt 6.0, Qt Shader Tools is going through the appropriate steps for becoming a formal Qt 6 module for compiling and translating shaders between interfaces.

        • Vim

        • Python

          • Python Positional-only parameters

            I have downloaded Python 3.8 and start to play around with those latest python functions. In this article, we will look at the Positional-only parameter syntax which is a function parameter syntax / to indicate that some function parameters must be specified positionally and cannot be used as keyword arguments which means after the / syntax we may specify a value for each parameter within that function.

          • For Loop in Python Explained With Practical Examples

            If you are just getting started to learn Python, you must be in search of something to explore for loop in Python.

            Of course, our list of free python resources should help you learn about it quickly.

            In either case, we shall help you learn more about the ‘for‘ loop in python using a couple of important examples.

          • Data Engineer Interview Questions With Python

            Going to interviews can be a time-consuming and tiring process, and technical interviews can be even more stressful! This tutorial is aimed to prepare you for some common questions you’ll encounter during your data engineer interview. You’ll learn how to answer questions about databases, Python, and SQL.

          • 8 AI Predictions for 2020: Business Leaders & Researchers Weigh In

            The first industrial revolution was powered by coal, the second by oil and gas, and the third by nuclear power. The fourth — AI — is fueled by an abundance of data and breakthroughs in compute power. While this abundance has allowed us to make significant progress in recent years, there is still much to be done for AI to be the positive life-changing force that many hope it will be. We asked thought leaders at the forefront of AI and machine learning technology to contribute some insight into what they think will transpire in 2020. Their predictions center around hardware, the human impact of AI, the public’s understanding of AI, and its limitations.

          • The easiest way to deploy Django application

            Heroku is a cloud application platform, it facilitate the deployement of a web application.

            They support several programming languages, include Python.

          • Encoding and Decoding Base64 Strings in Python

            Have you ever received a PDF or an image file from someone via email, only to see strange characters when you open it? This can happen if your email server was only designed to handle text data. Files with binary data, bytes that represent non-text information like images, can be easily corrupted when being transferred and processed to text-only systems.

            Base64 encoding allows us to convert bytes containing binary or text data to ASCII characters. By encoding our data, we improve the chances of it being processed correctly by various systems.

            In this tutorial, we would learn how Base64 encoding and decoding works, and how it can be used. We will then use Python to Base64 encode and decode both text and binary data.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft Teams for Linux available in preview
        • Microsoft announces the release of Teams on Linux
        • Microsoft Teams comes to Linux
        • Microsoft Teams is now available for Linux
        • Microsoft’s Teams goes to bat for the other team with preview on Linux
        • Microsoft Teams Is Now Officially Available For Linux

          Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaborative platform that allows you to keep your teams chats, meetings, files and apps together in one place. If your company has a team of developers who uses Linux desktop, they can now use Microsoft Teams natively on their Linux desktops. Microsoft Teams clients are available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, Android and iOS. It also available as web app, so we can use it on any Internet-enabled devices, regardless of the operating system.

        • Windows Subsystem For Linux Performance At The End Of 2019

          Recently I wrapped up some benchmarks looking at the performance of Ubuntu on Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux comparing WSL on Windows 10 Build 18362 (May 2019 Update) and then both WSL and WSL2 performance using the Windows 10 Build 19008 Insider’s Preview (what will come as Windows 10 20H1 update) for looking at where the WSL performance is heading. Additionally, looking at the bare metal performance of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for which the WSL instances were based plus Ubuntu 19.10. As well, for the Windows-compatible tests also looking at how the Windows performance itself was outside of WSL/WSL2.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (crypto++ and thunderbird), Debian (cacti, freeimage, git, and jackson-databind), Fedora (nss), openSUSE (clamav, dnsmasq, munge, opencv, permissions, and shadowsocks-libev), Red Hat (nss, nss-softokn, nss-util, rh-maven35-jackson-databind, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (nss, nss-softokn, nss-util, nss-softokn, and thunderbird), SUSE (caasp-openstack-heat-templates, crowbar-core, crowbar-openstack, crowbar-ui, etcd, flannel, galera-3, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, openstack-dashboard-theme-SUSE, openstack-heat-templates, openstack-neutron, openstack-nova, openstack-quickstart, patterns-cloud, python-oslo.messaging, python-oslo.utils, python-pysaml2, libssh, and strongswan), and Ubuntu (git, libpcap, libssh, and thunderbird).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Ad industry groups ask that the CCPA keep its mitts off their cookies

              Five ad industry groups have asked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to change stipulations about cookie-blocking in the state’s impending, far-reaching, almost-GDPR-but-not-quite privacy law, which goes into effect in the new year.

              It’s for the sake of consumer choice, they said.

              Initially, the language in their letter seemed to be requesting a ban on privacy tools such as extensions that block ads and tracking scripts, but the comments turned out to be asking for something a bit more nuanced than that: MediaPost reporter Wendy Davis later said that the groups clarified, saying that they only want the AG to prohibit browsers from blocking the industry’s opt-out cookies – AdChoices – as opposed to all cookies.

    • Monopolies

      • Trademarks

        • Federal Court in Australia Grants Injunction Restraining Unlawful Use of Scotch Whisky

          On 15 November 2019, a Federal Court in Melbourne, Australia, granted a series of permanent injunctions restraining Rex D’Aquino (principal director, D’Aquino Bros Pty Ltd) and D’Aquino Bros Pty Ltd (Australian based liquor company) from infringing and unlawfully using the Australian certification trade mark for Scotch Whisky. The Scotch Whisky Association(SWA) instituted the Federal Court action following an ABC investigation which revealed D’Aquino Bros Pty Ltd allegedly sold whisky produced in Orange, New South Wales, Australia as Scotch Whisky produced in Scotland, in breach of Australian trade mark law. The brands of contested whisky included “The Black Scot”, “The Clansmen” and “J.B.R Scotch Whisky.” These brands fail to meet the established requirements for Scotch Whisky.

Links 11/12/2019: Edge Native Working Group, CrossOver 19.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux users identify with their OS more often than Mac, Windows users

        We’ve all heard anecdotes or stereotypes of “die hard Mac users”, or “Linux zealots.” Stories of people who strongly identify with the computers they use (aka “I am a Mac user”).

        But how often do people really identify with the Operating System they use the most on their computer?

        I recently conducted a survey as part of study on how Operating Systems impact our happiness. Responses were submitted from 2,259 computer users — using a broad range of Operating Systems — primarily from “pro user” communities (not a random cross-section of the populace).


        The results for Android users were surprisingly similar to iOS users. Android users more often identified with their mobile platform (55.7%) than iOS users with theirs (54%). Based on the sample size, it seems entirely possible that the margin of error here would put the two platforms as nearly identical in these terms.

    • Server

      • Do I need a college degree to be a sysadmin?

        If we could answer that question with a simple “yes” or “no,” this would not be much of a story. Reality is a little more nuanced, though. An accurate answer begins with one of “Yes, but…” or “No, but…”—and the answer depends on who you ask, among other important variables, including industry, company size, and so forth.

        On the “yes” front, IT job descriptions don’t typically buck the “degree required” assumption, sysadmin roles included. This fact is perhaps especially true in the corporate business world across a wide range of sectors, and it isn’t limited to large companies, either. Consider a recent opening posted on the jobs site Indeed.com for an IT system administrator position at Crest Foods, a 650-person food manufacturing company in Ashton, Ill. The description includes plenty of familiar requirements for a sysadmin. The first bullet point under “Desired Education & Experience” reads: “Bachelor’s degree in computer science, networking, IT, or relevant field.”

        “Generally, systems administrators will have [degrees] from four-year universities,” says Jim Johnson, district president at the recruiting firm Robert Half Technology. While some employers don’t specify a particular degree field, Johnson notes the bachelor’s in computer information systems (CIS) as a good fit for the sysadmin field and overlapping IT roles.

        That said, Johnson also points out that there are other options out there for people that don’t pursue a traditional degree path. That’s especially true given the growth of online education and training, as well as in-person opportunities such as technical schools.

        “There are [sysadmins] with computer systems professional or computer operator certificates from technical or online schools,” Johnson says.

        Moreover, a potential employer’s “desired” educational background can be just that: An ideal scenario, but not a dealbreaker. This fact can be true even if a degree is listed as “required,” perhaps especially in markets with a tight supply of qualified candidates. If you’ve got the technical chops, a degree might become much more optional than a job description might lead you to believe.

      • Resource scarcity in Public Clouds

        In addition to this, there are some “special” moments, such as Thanksgiving and the nearby days that, by now, have become a widespread event even beyond the countries where they used to be celebrated. Probably, in the data-centers in areas where those festivities are celebrated (or at least where the capitalistic part of the celebration is celebrated), the load reaches the annual peak, due to the e-commerce websites.

        To make the situation even worst, many Cloud customers are rewriting and improving their applications, making them more cloud-native. Now, you’ll wonder how cloud-native applications can make things worse? The reason is very simple: the cloud-native applications scale. This means that during the off-peak season the applications will drastically reduce their footprint, creating the false feeling of resource abundancy.

        This situation creates some problems, in my opinion.

        First of all, since it’s very hard for the Public Cloud provider to estimate the load – and in the future, it will be even harder – we will have to live with frequent resource exhaustion in public clouds, which will make a single-cloud single-region application fragile. This will be true, not even considering the economic aspect of the problem. There will be situations where it will not be economically convenient for the Cloud Provider to provision enough resources to manage the peaks since the additional provisioning cost would not be repaid during the short periods those resources will be used.

      • Notice: Linode Classic Manager Users

        Our legacy Linode Manager will be decommissioned on January 31, 2020. After that time, you will be automatically redirected to the Cloud Manager when logging in to manage your infrastructure on Linode.

      • IBM

        • Configuration Drift Prevention in OpenShift: Resource Locker Operator

          There are times in which we must be absolutely sure that a set of Red Hat OpenShift configurations “stay in place” lest an application, or potentially the entire cluster, becomes unstable.

        • Kubernetes 1.17: Volume Snapshots Beta and Scheduler changes for stability and extensibility

          It’s almost become boring to say that Kubernetes has become boring. This massive open source project has now been in development for so long that the major changes from revision to revision tend to focus on stability, reliability and performance: the sorts of changes that make life easier every day, but do not look so exciting when listed out in a change log.

          In truth, nothing in Kubernetes 1.17 will drastically change how you use containers, but they will result in more powerful and dependable architectures, capable of scaling to meet enterprise needs without buckling under pressure. Indeed, Kubernetes is now not only a stable platform for constructing cloud-native infrastructure, it is a stable foundation for the entire ecosystem of services and projects which rely upon it: from Prometheus to Istio to Fluentd to data services layers and Operators.

          That’s not to say there aren’t major enhancements in-bound in this release of the platform. One of those new additions, in fact, can directly affect data services – volume snapshots. That new feature is currently in beta with this release, but has been in development for a considerable amount of time.

        • Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook 2020: Hybrid cloud leads strategy, AI/ML leaps to the forefront

          For the sixth year running, we have reached out to our customers to hear where they are in their technology journey, and where they wish to go in the next year. For the 2020-focused survey, we received more than 870 qualified responses1 from Red Hat customers from around the world. They’ve weighed in about their challenges, strategies, and technologies they are planning to pursue in the next year and we’re eager to share the results with you in our report.

        • NooBaa Operator for data management, now on OperatorHub.io

          We are excited to announce a new Operator—the NooBaa Operator for data management. The NooBaa Operator is an upstream effort that Red Hat is leading and is included as part of the features of the upcoming Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4, currently released for Early Access.

          Operators are design patterns that augment and implement common day one and day two activities with Kubernetes clusters, simplifying application deployments and empowering developers to focus on creation versus remediation.

        • Cloud native and Knative at W-JAX 2019

          The W-JAX conference in November 2019 in Munich, Germany, is a popular conference for Java, architecture, and software innovation with highly renowned speakers and sessions. Hot topics at this year’s conference included cloud-native development and open source technologies. Knative is one of the hottest topics, particularly here in Germany, it even has prime position on this month’s Java Magazin front cover.

          It was a pleasure to welcome Jason McGee, IBM Fellow, VP and CTO of the IBM Cloud Platform, whose keynote “The 20 Year Platform – bringing together Kubernetes, 12-Factor and Functions” revealed the next twenty years of application development. Jason showed the open source technologies that define how developers can rapidly build and operate high scale applications, discussing the key role Kubernetes plays in cloud platforms. However, in the future, Kubernetes will not be enough. Jason stressed the importance of up-and-coming tools such as Knative, Kabanero, Tekton and Razee, for the cloud-native landscape of the future.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • apt install arch-linux | LINUX Unplugged 331

        We’re myth-busting this week as we take a perfectly functioning production server and switch it to Arch. Is this rolling distro too dangerous to run in production, or can the right approach unlock the perfect server? We try it so you don’t have to.

      • 2019-12-10 | Linux Headlines

        Microsoft releases Teams for Linux, SiFive enters the education market, the Eclipse Foundation champions open source on edge computing, and xs:code wants to help improve open source funding models.

      • Brunch with Brent: Alan Pope | Jupiter Extras 38

        Brent sits down with Alan Pope (popey), who shares his knack for fuzzy-testing, the beginnings of Ubuntu Podcast, insights into Ubuntu Touch and Unity, the joys and perils of being “Internet Famous”, and how to contribute meaningfully to your favorite Linux distributions.

        popey is a Developer Advocate at Canonical working on Snapcraft & Ubuntu, co-host of User Error and Ubuntu Podcast.

    • Kernel Space

      • WireGuard VPN For Linux Is Finally Ready For Launch

        For several years, developers have been working on WireGuard VPN for Linux and now it is finally ready to arrive on the platform.

        Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux himself praised the new in-kernel Linux VPN, calling it a “work of art” in comparison to other VPNs such as OpenVPN and IPSec (referring to them as horrors).

      • The latest Linux kernel is headed to Chromebooks in the very near future and that’s a big deal

        For those of you who may not be familiar with the subject, Google’s Chrome OS that powers millions of Chromebooks is built on the Linux kernel. I’ll save you the long-winded explanation of what the Linux kernel is and how it works for two reasons. One, it would take all day. Two, I’m not a developer and I would likely confuse myself and you in the process. Apart from numerous Linux distributions and Chrome OS, the Linux kernel is at the heart of the Android operating system as well as various embedded devices and products such as smart TVs and webcams.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Google Releases GraphicsFuzz 1.3 For Continuing To Fuzz GPU Drivers

          GraphicsFuzz is the project born out of academia a few years ago for fuzzing GPU drivers to find OpenGL / OpenGL ES (WebGL) driver issues. This work was ultimately acquired by Google and then open-sourced just over one year ago. Today marks the release of GraphicsFuzz 1.3.

          GraphicsFuzz these days is no longer about just OpenGL / GLES and GLSL shaders but also operating on SPIR-V shaders for consumption by Vulkan drivers. There are also GLSL/SPIR-V shader reducers in addition to the fuzzer that relies upon randomized metamorphic testing.

        • RadeonSI Driver Switches To NIR, Thereby Enabling OpenGL 4.6 By Default For AMD GPUs

          Mesa 20.0 due out in Q1’2020 is now the magical release that is set to switch on RadeonSI NIR usage by default in place of the TGSI intermediate representation. What makes this IR switch-over prominent is that OpenGL 4.6 is then enabled by default on this open-source Gallium3D driver supporting Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer.

          Recently in Mesa 20.0-devel, RadeonSI plumbed in OpenGL 4.6 support but it was contingent upon enabling NIR due to sharing some code-paths with the NIR-built RADV Vulkan driver around the SPIR-V code. NIR is the intermediate representation that most Mesa OpenGL/Vulkan drivers are focusing on and is more versatile than the likes of TGSI, the traditional IR of Gallium3D that has been around a decade.

        • Mesa 19.3 Is Introducing A Lot Of Open-Source OpenGL + Vulkan Driver Improvements

          Mesa 19.3 could be released as soon as this week after being challenged by several delays over blocker bugs. This release should be making it out in the days ahead and is a fantastic Christmas gift to Linux desktop users and a big step-up for these OpenGL / Vulkan driver implementations as we end out 2019.
          Among the many changes to find with this quarterly Mesa3D update are finally having OpenGL 4.6 for Intel, initial Intel Gen12/Tigerlake support, Zink was merged for OpenGL on top of Vulkan, Radeon Vulkan ACO back-end added for better Linux gaming performance, many new Vulkan extensions supported on both the Intel and Radeon drivers, the Intel Gallium3D driver is now in excellent shape, there are more Intel performance optimizations, and a lot of other changes throughout.

        • Radeon OpenGL Linux Driver Gets Fix For Corruption Issues

          An issue affecting some Linux users with Radeon graphics for at least the last four months around graphics corruption problems when switching to newer versions of the Linux kernel have been resolved.

          On Linux 5.2+ have been reports of some graphics corruption issues in cases like web browsers. While the issue manifested with a kernel upgrade, the resolution is a change to the RadeonSI OpenGL driver. Besides the aforelinked DRM bug report, there has also been other similar bug reports like garbled graphics.

        • Unisoc Looking To Introduce A New DRM Display Driver For Mainline Linux

          Unisoc, the Chinese SoC provider for smartphones that is part of the Tsinghua Unigroup, has published a new open-source DRM display driver that ultimately they are looking to get into the mainline kernel.

          Out today is just the “request for comments” patches for this Unisoc “SPRD” Direct Rendering Manager display driver. The twelve thousand lines of driver code wire up their display controller, MIPI DSI, MIPI DPHY, and the Unisoc display subsystem. The patches were worked on by Unisoc with cooperation from Linaro. All of this driver work is on the display front as their SoCs for 3D/GPU capabilities rely upon Arm Mali and Imagination PowerVR IP.

    • Applications

      • Clementine | A New Music Player in Debian 10

        Clementine has improved the interface by putting all the main features, from accessing the local library to streaming services, on a sidebar on the left. This sidebar has several options, although the most legible, the plain toolbar, is not the default. Still, no matter what the appearance, Clementine’s sidebar goes one better than Amarok by adding a file manager to the tool collection. However, one change that is not an improvement is the song info tool. To get lyrics and other information, users must click on a link and go to their web browser. There, instead of offering and displaying a best guess, like Amarok does, Clementine offers a range of possibilities, which are often so lengthy a list that, by the time you find the right entry, the track could easily have finished. Admittedly, Amarok’s best guess could occasionally be hilariously wrong, but it was quicker and displayed results in Amarok’s own window.

        Another interface quirk that Clementine does not improve upon is Amarok’s insistence that, unless File | Quit is selected, it minimizes to the notification bar. I have always wondered: Why isn’t shutting down the window (no matter how you close the window) the default behavior and minimizing a deliberate choice? I also don’t see much reason for the mood bar, whose colors supposedly change to reflect the nature of the current song. Fortunately, though, the mood bar can be turned off in Tools | Preferences | Appearance.

        Still, although some of the tools are less than optional, on the whole, Clementine preserves Amarok’s tradition of attempting to digitally reproduce the experience of a physical album — an effort that few other music players do as well, or at all. I especially like Clementine’s tabbed playlists, which mean that selections can be queued up like a stack of LPs or CDs, with only a click required to change them.

      • The best free music production software

        The best DJs hunt out all the best music and then play right tracks at the exact right moment for the crowd to hear them . It sounds like an easy job, but it’s not. On top of that, if you want to become a superstar DJ who tours the world, there is something else you’ll have to master; music production. Unsurprisingly, a LOT of people want to be superstar DJs, which makes it very hard to stand out the crowd. The best way you prove yourself to be special, however, is by making your own songs to play in your own sets and for other DJs to play in theirs. Yep, music production is an integral part of the journey you take towards becoming an international superstar DJ. It’s time to become a music maker.


        Audacity works on Windows, MacOS, and GNU/Linux and is a marvel of free music software. Like all the best pro-grade free programs, such as the image editor GIMP, Audacity is open source software, which means users and developers can add features to the main product or iron out any bugs they find.

        Audacity has a lot of features that put it alongside some of the more expensive premium options out there. With Audacity you can easily perform live audio recording, record sounds coming from your PC, convert music, edit, cut, copy, and splice tracks of many different audio formats, and download and install plugins to add new features as and when you realize you need them. Audacity offers advanced audio editing software while, somewhat surprisingly, remaining very simple to use.

      • RipMe – Bulk image downloader for Linux

        There are instances when you need to download quite a bulk of pictures at once. Be it for project work, or photos of something that you love.

        In any case, downloading many photos one by one is great pain, and extremely time-consuming. Another option could be to download an already compiled album, but honestly, there are not a whole lot of albums available to download on every occasion. Any easy solution?

        We have a solution to offer here: a bulk image downloader, RipMe.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation


        My family likes to make fun of me because I enjoy hard problems. One of my favorite games of all time is Don’t Starve. The way I played it – with no googling allowed – meant that I died all the time. While each death would make me pull out more and more of my hair, when I was finally able to master winter and find the portal, I felt a genuine sense of accomplishment.

        That’s true for CodeWeavers, as well. My first guiding principle is that I want to do challenging and meaningful work.

        And, it turns out, working on Wine is the most challenging thing I’ve ever been part of. We are re-implementing the Windows operating system; our 43 employees work every day to keep up with the work of the 144,000 people at Microsoft.

      • CrossOver 19.0 Released – Ending Out 2019 With Better Microsoft Office Support On Linux

        CodeWeavers has announced the availability of CrossOver 19 for their Wine-based software for running Windows programs/applications/games on macOS and Linux.

        CrossOver 19.0 entered beta last month with the headlining feature being initial support for macOS Catalina, including going to great lengths for supporting 32-bit Windows programs on Catalina even with Apple phasing out their 32-bit software support.

    • Games

      • Playing Tomb Raider (Definitive Edition) Using Stadia on Linux

        Lara Croft, if you didn’t already know, is an adventurer extraordinaire, and hero of the game, “Tomb Raider”. As part of the Google Stadia Pro edition, I have had the pleasure to follow Lara Croft in some of her adventures in this amazing game.

      • Playing CrossCode within a web browser

        The commercial video game Crosscode is written in HTML5, making it available on every system having chromium or firefox. The limitation is that it may not support gamepad (except if you find a way to make it work).

        A demo is downloadable at this address https://radicalfishgames.itch.io/crosscode and should work using the following instructions.

      • Create a turn-based combat system | Wireframe #28

        Learn how to create the turn-based combat system found in games like Pokémon, Final Fantasy, and Undertale. Raspberry Pi’s Rik Cross shows you how.

      • Kalypso Media form new studio to work on next-gen Commandos games

        Now that Kalypso Media own the rights to the Commandos franchise, along with a remaster of Commandos 2 coming to Linux next year, they’re now planning more.

        Announced today, Kalypso Media have formed their third internal development studio to be based in Germany’s Greater Frankfurt. They have announced that industry veteran Jürgen Reußwig will be the Studio Director, with the new as-yet-unnamed studio’s explicit task being the creation of a next-generation entry in the Commandos strategy series.

      • Physics-based escape room puzzler Area 86 delayed, wins Best Game Design award

        SimDevs have announced their amusing physics-based escape room puzzle game, Area 86, is now going to release in Q1 2020.

        Area 86 is a game I tried out and gave a few early thoughts on back in September, coming away very impressed at the idea. A clumsy physics-based puzzle game, where you need to solve multiple different puzzles to escape each level.

      • Insurgency: Sandstorm no longer getting Linux/Mac support or a campaign mode

        New World Interactive have released a news post going over the state of Insurgency: Sandstorm, along with announcing a bunch of features no longer being made.

      • The Humble Paradox Management Bundle just launched, great deal for Linux gamers

        The Humble Paradox Management Bundle just launched and it’s a really great selection of games that’s available for Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt for MCUs 1.0 is now available

          Qt for MCUs enables creation of fluid graphical user interfaces (GUI) with a low memory footprint on displays powered by microcontrollers (MCU). It is a complete graphics toolkit with everything needed to design, develop, and deploy GUIs on MCUs. It enables a unified technology approach for an entire product line to create a consistent and branded end user experience. Watch the Qt for MCUs video showcasing different use cases.

          Qt for MCUs 1.0 has already been adopted by lead customers in Japan, Europe and the US, who have started developing their next generation product. This release has been tested on microcontrollers from NXP, Renesas and STMicroelectronics. The software release contains Platform Adaptations for NXP i.MX RT1050 and STM32F769i as the default Deployment Platforms. Platform Adaptations for several other NXP and STM32 microcontrollers as well as the Renesas RH850 microcontroller are available as separate Deployment Platform Packages. On request, Qt Professional Services can provide new Platform Adaptions for additional microcontrollers.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Vanilla is a complex and delicious flavour

          If we’re looking at the code shipping in Endless OS today, then yes, our desktop is vanilla GNOME Shell with a few hundred patches on top, and yes, as a result, rebasing onto new GNOME releases is a lot of work. But the starting point for Endless OS was not “what’s wrong with GNOME?” but “what would the ideal desktop look like for a new category of users?”.

          When Endless began, the goal was to create a new desktop computing product, targeting new computer users in communities which were under-served by existing platforms and products. The company conducted extensive field research, and designed a desktop user interface for those users. Prototypes were made using various different components, including Openbox, but ultimately the decision was made to base the desktop on GNOME, because GNOME provided a collection of components closest to the desired user experience. The key point here is that basing the Endless desktop on GNOME was an implementation detail, made because the GNOME stack is a robust, feature-rich and flexible base for a desktop.

          Over time, the strategy shifted away from being based solely around first-party hardware, towards distributing our software a broader set of users using standard desktop and laptop hardware. Around the same time, Endless made the switch from first- and third-party apps packaged as a combination of Debian packages and an in-house system towards using Flatpak for apps, and contributed towards the establishment of Flathub. Part of the motivation for this switch was to get Endless out of the business of packaging other people’s applications, and instead to enable app developers to directly target desktop Linux distributions including, but not limited to, Endless OS.

          A side-effect of this change is that our user experience has become somewhat less consistent because we have chosen not to theme apps distributed through Flathub, with the exception of minimize/maximize window controls and a different UI font; and, of course, Flathub offers apps built with many different toolkits. This is still a net positive: our users have access to many more applications than they would have done if we had continued distributing everything ourselves.

    • Distributions

      • Comparing Linux distributions: Red Hat vs. Ubuntu

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu are easily two of the most popular Linux distributions used in the enterprise. Even so, there are some key differences between these two Linux flavors. Features, user experience, licensing and documentation are the key components to evaluate when comparing Linux distributions.

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) can support nearly any application server or infrastructure role. In its latest version, Red Hat seems to focus heavily on security and compliance. The company has introduced systemwide cryptographic policies, advanced auditing capabilities and updated protocols. These include Transport Layer Security, IPsec, Domain Name System Security Extensions and Kerberos.

        Red Hat has also reduced the complexity of RHEL’s latest version. RHEL 8 is designed to provide a consistent user experience by using the same administrative tools, regardless of whether the server is running in the cloud, in a VM or on a bare-metal server

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Wrapping Up a Decade of Synergistic Technology

          What a decade! Thinking back to 2009, it?s obvious that so much has changed ? and so fast! Not surprisingly, technology is at the forefront of everything. But it?s not confined to just one branch or field of advancement. The 2010s can rightly be characterized as a decade of technological synergy. An era of overlapping and interdependent technologies where the combined effect and impact is greater than the sum of the individual elements.


          As we finish one decade and start on a new one, it’s natural to speculate about what’s coming next. But as always, the future is difficult to predict. Sometimes, we don’t become aware of paradigm shifts or radical changes until they are in progress, or maybe even for a while after they have happened.

          Even so, one thing is beyond doubt. All the dominant industry trends involve interconnected, converging and synergistic technologies. In such a collaborative environment, the open source model is an indispensable and crucial element. It has become the “secret source” driving so much of the technological advancement and progress around us.

        • openSUSE Heroes: Piwik -> Matomo

          You might know that Piwik was renamed into Matomo more than a year ago. While everything is still compatible and even the scripts and other (internal) data is still named piwik, the rename is affecting more and more areas. Upstream is working hard to finalize their rename – while trying not to break too much on the other side. But even the file names will be renamed in some future version.

          Time – for us – to do some maintenance and start following upstream with the rename. Luckily, our famous distribution already has matomo packages in the main repository (which currently still miss Apparmor profiles, but hey: we can and will help here). So the main thing left (to do) is a database migration and the adjustments of all the small bits and bytes here and there, where we still use the old name.

        • How the Internet of Things (IoT) will drive adoption of Software Defined Storage

          Real world IoT use cases are everywhere. There are those we are familiar with as consumers: the app-controlled central heating system that sends household fuel consumption data to gas and electricity providers; the telemetry devices in the cars of inexperienced drivers, which report speed, location and journey duration data to the insurer; and the smart watch that records our sleep patterns, exercise workouts and our heart rate. Then there are those we are becoming familiar with as employees: the cameras that count us in and out of the workplace, manage security in retail outlets, or examine and optimise our journeys around a warehouse, and check ‘real’ stock levels vs the ERP count.

      • Debian Family

        • Meet Sparky Bonsai, SparkyLinux Portable Edition Featuring Joe’s Window Manager

          The Debian-based SparkyLinux operating system recently received a new community edition that you can run and use directly from a USB stick without installing anything on your personal computer.
          While many of today’s GNU/Linux distributions come as a live medium that lets users test drive it without installing the actual OS on their computers, it would appear that some users are still interested in the type of systems that lives in a USB flash drive, running completely from there with persistence.

          So today’s we’d like to introduce you Sparky Bonsai, a portable edition of the Debian-based SparkyLinux operating system that works in the same way famous portable distros like Slax, Puppy Linux, Porteus, and DebianDog work. It features the JWM (Joe’s Window Manager) stacking window manager for X11.

        • DebEX Linux Distro Released for Older PCs with LXQt Desktop and Linux Kernel 5.4

          GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton has released today a new version of his Debian-based DebEX Linux distribution, which promises to bring back to life older 32-bit computers.
          Based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series, DebEX Linux uses LXQt as default desktop environment, which is known to be very resource-friendly and efficient on older computers from 15 or 20 years ago.

          The new DebEX Linux version comes with only a minimum set of packages installed in the live and installable ISO image, which makes it just under 1GB in size. Under the hood, DebEX Linux uses the latest and greatest Linux kernel, Linux 5.4.2, for out-of-the-box hardware support.

          “I’ve made a new DebEX system for older computers. It uses LXQt as desktop environment. I could run and install DebEX LXQt without problems on my oldest computer, an Acer Aspire 5102WLMi from the year 2006,” said Arne Exton.

        • Ian Jackson: Debian GR – vote without thinking?

          Since you can change your vote up to the deadline of 23:59:59 UTC on Friday 2019-12-27, you could run a rune like that now and then change your vote later if you get time to think about it properly.

          Obviously it would be best for you to read something like my voting guide and make up your own mind. But maybe it would be better to run my rune than not vote at all? Up to you I guess.

        • Ian Jackson: Debian GR on init systems – Ballot paper format

          This can get a bit confusing. The ballot options have letters (eg, “E”). They also have numbers, which show up on the vote page as “Choice 6″ or whatever. Separately, there are the ranks you have to assign when voting, where 1 is your first preference, etc.
          On the ballot paper, the choices are numbered from 1 to 8. The letters appear too along with the Secretary’s summaries. Your preferences also have to be numbered. It is important not to get confused.

          Reorder the ballot paper!

          You are allowed to reorder the choices on your ballot paper, and this is effective.
          That is, you can take the ballot paper in the CFV and edit the lines in it into your preferred order with cut and paste. You can look at the letters, or the Secretary’s summary lines, when you do that.

          It’s important to use a proper text editor and not linewrap things while you do this.

          After, that you can simply write numbers 1 to 8 into the boxes down the left hand side.

          Rank all the options. That way when you get your vote ack back, any parse failure will show up as a blank space in the ack.

        • Jonathan Dowland: Debian’s init system GR

          Debian is currently conducting a vote on a General Resolution entitled Init systems and systemd. I had a few brief thoughts about the circumstances around this that I wanted to share.

          I like systemd and I use it on all of my systems. That said, I have some concerns about it, in particular the way it’s gradually eating up so much other systems software. The opportunity for alternatives to exist and get feedback from interested users seems important to me as a check and balance and to avoid a monoculture. Such an environment should even help to ensure systemd remains a compelling piece of software. The question that this GR poses is really whether Debian should be a place where alternatives can exist. In answering that question I am reminded of the mantra of Extinction Rebellion. I appreciate that is about a far more impotant topic, but it still seems pertinent: If not us, who? If not now, when?

          What is Debian for, anyway? Once upon a time, from a certain perspective, it was all counter-cultural software. Should that change? Perhaps it already has. When I was more actively involved in the project, I watched some factions strive to compete with alternative distributions like Fedora. Fedora achieves a great deal, partly by having a narrow and well-defined focus. With the best will in the world, Debian can’t compete at that game. And why should it? If Fedora is what you want, then Fedora is right there, go use it!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • MicroK8s updated to Kubernetes 1.17. What’s new?

          We’re excited to announce the release of MicroK8s with Kubernetes 1.17! MicroK8s is a Kubernetes cluster delivered as a single snap package – it can be installed on any Linux distribution which supports snaps. MicroK8s is small and simple to install and is a great way to stand up a cluster quickly for development and testing. Try it on your laptop!

        • Canonical Announces Support for Kubernetes 1.17

          Canonical announces full enterprise support for Kubernetes 1.17, with support covering Charmed Kubernetes, MicroK8s and Kubeadm.

          MicroK8s will be updated with Kubernetes 1.17 enabling users access to the latest upstream release with a single-line command in under 60 seconds. MicroK8s now brings Machine Learning deployments in seconds with the Kubeflow add-on. MetalLB load balancer add-on is now part of MicroK8s as well as enhancements, upgrades and bug fixes. With MicroK8s 1.17, users can develop and deploy enterprise-grade Kubernetes on any Linux desktop, server or VM across 42 Linux distros. It’s a full Kubernetes in a small package, perfect for IoT, Edge and your laptop!

          Canonical’s Charmed Kubernetes 1.17 will come with exciting changes like CIS benchmarking ability, Snap coherence and Nagios checks.

        • Meet The New Way To Experience Ubuntu Linux 19.10

          Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix is an interesting project with a promising future, and for existing fans of the Cinnamon Desktop who love Ubuntu, this is probably a no-brainer. The developers are already working on multiple improvements for version 20.04 early next year, including a Welcome screen, GRUB and Plymouth themes, a slideshow presentation during installation, a tweaked application layout and more.

          For now, you can check it out for yourself by downloading it here; it does support a Live Session so you can burn the 1.6GB ISO to a USB Stick and test drive it without having to install it directly.

        • Ubuntu 19.10.1 Released For Raspberry Pi

          Ubuntu 19.10.1 has been released as an unscheduled re-spin of Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine for Raspberry Pi 2 / 3 / 4 ARM single-board computers.

          As reported a month ago, Canonical has been working to improve the Raspberry Pi 4 support and that in turn led to these Ubuntu 19.10 re-spins catered towards the popular ARM SBCs.

        • Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS To Retire Their Old Debian Installer To Focus On Subiquity

          Introduced back in Ubuntu Server 17.10 and improved upon since has been “Subiquity” as a new Ubuntu Server install option rather than their classic installer derived from Debian. But with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, they will be dropping that Debian Installer based option and focusing solely on their modern “Subiquity” server installer option.

          Canonical’s Michael Hudson Doyle has laid out their plans for the server installer for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS that involve just supporting their new/current installer and dropping the old Debian Installer option.

          As part of the new disclosure this week, for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS the server installer is expected to add auto-install support for automated/unattended installations, a resilient installation option, support for SSH’ing into an installer session, and VTOC partition table support for IBM s390x.

        • Server installer plans for 20.04 LTS
        • ObjectBox, database for IoT devices, adopts snaps for simplicity and ease of installation

          When designers put their heart and soul into making super-fast, easy-to-use software to help take Internet of Things (IoT) apps to the next level, installation of that software needs to meet the same high standards.

          ObjectBox is a database and synchronisation solution for rapid, efficient edge computing for mobile and IoT devices. Rather than each device sending all its data back to a cloud/server, ObjectBox enables data storage and processing within the device. Developers get simplicity and ease of implementation with native language APIs instead of SQL. Users can use data on edge devices faster with fewer resources.

          Markus Junginger, CTO and co-founder of ObjectBox explains, “Moving decision making to the edge means faster response rates, less traffic to the cloud, and lower costs. We built an edge database with a minimal device footprint of just 1 MB for high on-device performance.” ObjectBox also synchronises data between devices and servers/the cloud for an ‘always-on’ feeling and improved data reliability. With ObjectBox, an application always works – whether the device is online or offline.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Devs: Open Source Is Growing Despite Challenges

        Optimism about the future of open source is high among software developers worldwide. However, a growing number of devs worry that a lack of funding and corporate support threatens its sustainability.

        That is one of the key takeaways from DigitalOcean’s second annual open source survey, published in its “Currents, Open Source 2019,” seasonal report last week.

        The online survey provides a snapshot of the state of open source, as well as a gauge of the inclusivity and friendliness of contributors. More than 5,800 developers from around the world participated.

        Because developers may work as individuals or in small teams, the survey was not sent to specific companies. Respondents self-identified and shared the size of the company/team they worked with, said Eddie Zaneski, manager of developer relations at DigitalOcean. The company reached out to the developer community primarily through social media and email campaigns from late August to early October.

      • Interview candidates with an Open Source background

        I often say that there are two actions that defines the line management role: one-on-ones and hiring people. This is specially true in growing organizations. If you nail these actions, you have a great chance to influence your colleagues and organization, the ultimate goal, in my view, for a line manager.

        One of the common strategies to speed up the journey from being an Open Source contributor to become a Good Open Source citizen is to hire talent with a solid Open Source background. The process of hiring such talent is different from what most organizations and recruiters are used to. That is so true that we have now companies specialized in hiring these profiles.

        One key part of the hiring process is the interview.

        The article is another one of those I am writing the last couple of years about management topics, based on my experience working in Open Source as manager and consultant. More specifically, it is an attempt to describe some of the key points that hiring managers with little or no experience in hiring Open Source talent need to consider to increase their hit rate.

        As usual, I would appreciate if you add in the comments section or to me directly your experience, criticisms or missing points. I would add them to this article as update.

      • Marco Zehe: mailbox.org is giving new customers €6 until Jan 10, 2020

        The Open-Xchange web front-end is very accessible in many parts, and more stuff is added frequently with each release. I use it for my personal e-mail, and am really liking it. You can also use any compatible IMAP/SMTP mail client, the open standards integrate extremely well with iOS and MacOS.

      • How open source can live up to its name in a post-Brexit world

        “Brexit”, the popular term coined to represent Britain’s exit from membership of the European Union, has caused political and social turmoil in the UK for the past three years. And while the exit date may have shifted three times and prompted two general elections, clarity around whether the UK’s population and economy will be open or closed to the EU, after 46 years of membership, has yet to be realised. It is a situation which has left many people and businesses in the UK exhausted and uncertain of their future.

        Perhaps those handling the Brexit crisis could benefit from taking a closer look at the open source community, whose philosophy is based on working collaboratively toward common goals with the accent on quality and transparency. With this approach in mind, could Brexit present an opportunity, whatever the outcome of the UK’s voting practices?

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome 79 Released With WebXR Improvements, Other Developer Additions

            Chrome 79 is out as Google’s last feature update to their web browser for 2019.

            The changes with Chrome 79 are mostly developer facing but there are some improvements around safe browsing and a built-in password checking tool. Some of the highlights for Chrome 79 include:

            - Built-in password checking tool to try to alert the user about passwords that have been harvested from past data breaches.

          • Stable Channel Update for Desktop
          • Google Releases Chrome 79 for Linux, Windows, and Mac with 51 Security Fixes

            Chrome 79 has been in development since earlier this fall and entered beta testing at the end of October, when Google gave us a glimpse of the new features and improvements to come. And now, users can now enjoy all of them if they update their Chrome web browser to version 79.0.3945.79, which is rolling out now to Linux, Windows, and Mac desktop platforms.

            With Chrome 79, Google brings VR (Virtual Reality) support to the Web with a new API called WebXR Device API, which allows developers to create immersive experiences for smartphones, as well as head-mounted displays. This also paves the way for the development of many other similar emerging technologies, among which we can mention AR (Augmented Reality).

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 71 Is Now Available for All Supported Ubuntu Linux Releases

            Mozilla’s latest Firefox 71 web browser is now finally available for installation from the software repositories of all supported Ubuntu Linux releases.
            Officially announced by Mozilla last week, the Firefox 71 web browser introduces native MP3 decoding, a much-improved built-in password manager that can now recognize subdomains and automatically fill domain logins or warn users with screen readers about breaches from Firefox Monitor, and a new kiosk mode that allows the use of Firefox in kiosk terminals by running it exclusively in full-screen.

            Firefox 71 also comes with a redesigned internal configuration page (about:config) rewritten in HTML, an improved Enhanced Tracking Protection feature to offer users more information about the actions it takes by displaying notifications when Firefox blocks cryptominers, and new locales for Catalan (Valencian) (ca-valencia), Tagalog (tl), and Triqui (trs).

          • Getting WebXR to 1.0

            As the WebXR standard goes through the final stretch to hit 1.0, we have updated our tools to the final API. WebXR is the new standard for virtual and augmented reality on the web. It lets web developers create immersive experiences without native code or installing an app. People can browse VR catalogs, play VR games, and view 360 videos. On the AR side, you can build a web app that places objects in real 3D space inside of a viewer’s living room, while still protecting user privacy and security. It is still in the draft state, but we don’t expect any more API changes before it hits Candidate Release (CR) in early 2020.

          • ECSY Developer tools extension

            Two months ago we released ECSY, a framework-agnostic Entity Component System library you could use to build real time applications with the engine of your choice.

            Today we are happy to announce a developer tools extension for ECSY, aiming to help you better understand what it is going on in your application when using ECSY.

            A common requirement when building applications that require high performance- such as real time 3D graphics, AR and VR experiences- is the need to understand which part of our application is consuming more resources. We could always use the browsers’ profilers to try to understand our bottlenecks but they can be a bit unintuitive to use, and it is hard to get an overview of what is going on in the entire application, rather than focusing on a specific piece of your code.

          • How to speed up the Rust compiler one last time in 2019

            I last wrote in October about my work on speeding up the Rust compiler. With the year’s end approaching, it’s time for an update.

          • Async Interview #2: cramertj, part 2

            In the first post, I covered what we said about Fuchsia, interoperability, and the organization of the futures crate. This post covers cramertj’s take on the Stream trait as well as the AsyncRead and AsyncWrite traits.

          • India’s new data protection bill: Strong on companies, step backward on government surveillance

            Yesterday, the Government of India shared a near final draft of its data protection law with Members of Parliament, after more than a decade of engagement from industry and civil society. This is a significant milestone for a country with the second largest population on the internet and where privacy was declared a fundamental right by its Supreme Court back in 2017.

            Like the previous version of the bill from July 2018 developed by the Justice Srikrishna Committee, this bill offers strong protections in regards to data processing by companies. Critically, this latest bill is a dramatic step backward in terms of the exceptions it grants for government processing and surveillance.

            The original draft, which we called groundbreaking in many respects, contained some concerning issues: glaring exceptions for the government use of data, data localisation, an insufficiently independent data protection authority, and the absence of a right to deletion and objection to processing. While this new bill makes progress on some issues like data localisation, it also introduces new threats to privacy such as user verification for social media companies and forced transfers of non-personal data.

          • Debugging Variables With Watchpoints in Firefox 72

            Have you ever wanted to know where properties on objects are read or set in your code, without having to manually add breakpoints or log statements? Watchpoints are a type of breakpoint that provide an answer to that question.

            If you add a watchpoint to a property on an object, every time the property is used, the debugger will pause at that location. There are two types of watchpoints: get and set. The get watchpoint pauses whenever a property is read, and the set watchpoint pauses whenever a property value changes.

            The watchpoint feature is particularly useful when you are debugging large, complex codebases. In this type of environment, it may not be straightforward to predict where a property is being set/read.

            Watchpoints are also available in Firefox’s Visual Studio Code Extension where they’re referred to as “data breakpoints.” You can download the Debugger for Firefox extension from the VSCode Marketplace. Then, read more about how to use VSCode’s data breakpoints in VSCode’s debugging documentation.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Making LibreOffice a Friendly Platform for Indigenous People in Taiwan

          Like many indigenous or native people around the world, the indigenous Taiwanese people have been excluded from contemporary technology for decades. During the rapid development of personal computers between the 1960s and 1980s, the indigenous people were suffering from the “national language” policy, which banned all indigenous languages and discourse promoting Chinese identity in school. That is the reason that the earliest Chinese input method for computers was invented before 1976, but there were no equivalents for indigenous languages until the late 2000s.

          As smartphones boomed in this decade internationally, more and more indigenous people gained access to the internet mobile apps as, like other people do Taiwan. But the majority of the digital resources are still in Chinese: online news articles, educational materials, translation systems, digital government services, medical information, chat forums, and many more. Almost all of them are not available in the indigenous languages.

          Maybe Taiwan has done a lot for indigenous rights, but as members of the indigenous community and students of anthropology here, we think there is still huge room for improvement. The input system is the first step. Typing has been difficult for indigenous people as sentences are treated as English – hence tons of red underlines indicating spelling or grammatical “mistakes” identified by various office software brands in the market. Therefore, making indigenous dictionaries for the apps to remove the underlines has become the top priority of our work.

      • Programming/Development

        • Eclipse Foundation launches Edge Native Working Group

          The Eclipse Foundation announced an “Edge Native Working Group” to develop open source software for edge computing, starting with its Eclipse ioFog and Eclipse fog05 projects. Members include Adlink, Bosch, Edgeworx, Eurotech, Huawei, Intel, Kynetics, and Siemens.

          The Edge Native Working Group is a “vendor-neutral and code-first industry collaboration that will drive the evolution and broad adoption of open source software for edge computing,” says the Eclipse Foundation. The new working group will develop an end-to-end software stack that will support IoT, AI, autonomous vehicles, and more.

        • Sonja Heinze: What this blog is about

          In order to ask for an Outreachy grant for a certain open-source project, applicants first have to contribute to that project for about a month. When choosing a project, I didn’t know any Rust. But the fact that Fractal is written in Rust was an important point in favor due to curiosity. But I also expected to have a hard time at the beginning. Fortunately, that wasn’t really the case. For those who haven’t used Rust, let me give two of the reasons why:

          If you just start coding, the compiler takes you by the hand giving you advice like “You have done X. You can’t do that because of Y. Did you maybe mean to do Z?”. I took those pieces of advice as an opportunity to dig into the rules I had violated. That’s definitely a possible way to get a first grip on Rust.

          Nevertheless, there are pretty good sources to learn the basics, for example, the Rust Book. Well, to be precise, there’s at least one (sorry, I’m a mathematician, can’t help it, I’ve only started reading that one so far). It’s not short, but it’s very fast to read and easy to understand. In my opinion, the only exception being the topics on lifetimes. But lifetimes can still be understood by other means.

        • Joey Hess: announcing the filepath-bytestring haskell library

          filepath-bytestring is a drop-in replacement for the standard haskell filepath library, that operates on RawFilePath rather than FilePath.

        • Parsing XML with Qt: Updates for Qt 6

          This module provides implementations for two different models for reading and writing XML files: Document Object Model (DOM) and Simple API for XML (SAX). With DOM model the full XML file is loaded in memory and represented as a tree, this allows easy access and manipulation of its nodes. DOM is typically used in applications where you don’t care that much about memory. SAX, on the other hand, is an event based XML parser and doesn’t load the whole XML document into memory. Instead it generates events for tokens while parsing, and it’s up to the user to handle those events. The application has to implement the handler interfaces (fully, or partially by using QXmlDefaultHandler). A lot of people find this inconvenient as it forces them to structure their code around this model.

          Another problem is that the current implementation of SAX (and as a consequence DOM, since it’s implemented using SAX) is not fully compliant with the XML standard. Considering these downsides, Qt does not recommend using SAX anymore, and the decision has been made to deprecate those classes starting from Qt 5.15.

        • Python

          • pathlib and paths with arbitrary bytes

            The pathlib module was added to the standard library in Python 3.4, and is one of the many nice improvements that Python 3 has gained over the past decade. In three weeks, Python 3.5 will be the oldest version of Python that still receive security patches. This means that the presence of pathlib can soon be taken for granted on all Python installations, and the quest towards replacing os.path can begin for real.

            In this post I’ll have a look at how pathlib can be used to handle file names with arbitrary bytes, as this is valid on most file systems.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #398 (Dec. 10, 2019)
          • Variables in Python

            If you want to write code that is more complex, then your program will need data that can change as program execution proceeds.

          • Creating an email service for my son’s childhood memories with Python

            This was very flexible as it allowed me to keep anything else I wanted in this document – and it was portable (to anyone who have access to some way of reading Word documents) – and accessible to non-technical people such as my son’s grandparents.

            After a while though, I wondered if I’d made the right decision: shouldn’t I have put it into some other format that could be accessed programmatically? After all, if I kept doing this for his entire childhood then I’d have a lot of interesting data in there…

            Well, it turns out that a Word table isn’t too awful a format to store this sort of data in – and you can access it fairly easily from Python.

            Once I realised this, I worked out what I wanted to create: a service that would email me every morning listing the things I’d put as diary entries for that day in previous years. I was modelling this very much on the Timehop app that does a similar thing with photographs, tweets and so on, so I called it julian_timehop.

          • Executing Shell Commands with Python

            Repetitive tasks are ripe for automation. It is common for developers and system administrators to automate routine tasks like health checks and file backups with shell scripts. However, as those tasks become more complex, shell scripts may become harder to maintain.

            Fortunately, we can use Python instead of shell scripts for automation. Python provides methods to run shell commands, giving us the same functionality of those shells scripts. Learning how to run shell commands in Python opens the door for us to automate computer tasks in a structured and scalable way.

            In this article, we will look at the various ways to execute shell commands in Python, and the ideal situation to use each method.

  • Leftovers

    • In Wisconsin, the Teamsters Faced a Revolt From Below

      Every day, Nikki Sampson drives from her home in Portage to Madison, where she works as a dispatcher for the city’s bus service. To get there, she drives along a 40-mile stretch of highway, which crosses the Wisconsin River twice and then slices south through farms and municipalities. That road lies at the heart of the region represented by Sampson’s 4,256-strong union — Teamsters Local 695.

    • If You’re Having Alphabet Problems, I Feel Bad For You Son, I Got 99 Problems But My ABC’s Aren’t One.

      In the continuation of Marque’s exposé into Jay-Z’s 99 problems, where we seek to ascertain what issues do not form part of those 99 problems, we have discovered that learning the alphabet is not one. Emma Johnsen and Nathan Matlock explain.

    • Kazakhstan: In Memory of Ninel Konstantinovna Fokina

      Human Rights Watch mourns the passing of the dedicated Kazakhstan human rights activist Ninel Konstantinovna Fokina. She passed away recently in Almaty at the age of 85.

      “Fokina was at the heart of the early days of Kazakhstan’s human rights movement and she fiercely defended human rights all her life,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Her dedication and commitment to seek justice on behalf of people whose rights have been suppressed was truly remarkable.”

    • ‘He made mistakes and worked to fix them’ Yury Luzhkov, Moscow’s mayor in the 90s and aughts, has died. Here’s how public figures from Putin to Khodorkovsky remember him.

      On December 10, Yury Luzhkov died in Munich. Luzhkov was the second mayor of Moscow following the collapse of the Soviet Union and by far the longest-serving mayor the capital has seen since the Russian Federation was born. In the 1990s, Luzhkov was one of the most popular politicians in Russia. In the 2000s, he funded projects aimed at preserving Russian influence in Crimea well before the peninsula was annexed. In 2010, then-President Dmitry Medvedev sent the Moscow mayor into retirement, writing in his order that Luzhkov had “lost the trust” required of his office. In a subsequent memoir, Luzhkov himself claimed that he was fired because of increasing calls for regional executives like himself to be elected rather than appointed, as they were between 2004 and 2012. Dmitry Medvedev did not issue an official message of sympathy upon the former mayor’s death, but he reportedly made contact with Luzhkov’s family. Vladislav Gorin has collected other responses to and memories of Luzhkov’s life from public figures who knew him personally.

    • Science

      • The Early History of Usenet, Part V: Authentication and Norms

        The obvious solution was something involving public key cryptography, which we (the original developers of the protocol: Tom Truscott, the late Jim Ellis, and myself) knew about: all good geeks at the time had seen Martin Gardner’s “Mathematical Games” column in the August 1977 issue of Scientific American (paywall), which explained both the concept of public key cryptography and the RSA algorithm. For that matter, Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman’s technical paper had already appeared; we’d seen that, too. In fact, we had code available for trapdoor knapsack encryption: the xsend command for public key encryption and decryption, which we could have built upon, was part of 7th Edition Unix, and that’s what is what Usenet ran on.

      • EU approves 3.2 billion euro state aid for battery research

        The European Commission approved on Monday 3.2 billion euros ($3.53 billion) of state aid from seven European Union countries for research and innovation in battery technology.

        The approval is for projects in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries.

    • Hardware

      • Patch, Or Your Solid State Drives Roll Over And Die

        Expiration dates for computer drives? That’s what a line of HP solid-state drives are facing as the variable for their uptime counter is running out. When it does, the drive “expires” and, well, no more data storage for you!

        There are a series of stages in the evolution of a software developer as they master their art, and one of those stages comes in understanding that while they may have a handle on the abstracted world presented by their development environment they perhaps haven’t considered the moments in which the real computer that lives behind it intrudes. Think of the first time you saw an SQL injection attack on a website, for example, or the moment you realised that a variable type is linked to the physical constraints of the number of memory locations it has reserved for it. So people who write software surround themselves with an armoury of things they watch out for as they code, and thus endeavour to produce software less likely to break. Firmly in that arena is the size of the variables you use and what will happen when that limit is reached.

      • New Plundervolt attack impacts Intel CPUs
    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft Teams is now available on Linux [Ed: Microsoft is googlebombing “Linux” again to push proprietary software that spies on people]

          Available in public preview, Microsoft just added Linux support for their unified communication and collaboration platform Microsoft Teams.

        • Microsoft Teams for Linux now available in public preview [Ed: The fours stages of Microsoft googlebombing "Linux": 1) Microsoft might bring proprietary software/spyware to Linux. 2) Microsoft will definitely bring it. 3) There's a "public preview"! 4) It's coming, it's coming! Get ready for spying!]
        • Microsoft Teams for Linux Officially Released, Available to Download Now [Ed: The Microsoft Teams thing is sort of ‘fake news’ because when Microsoft bought Skype it already had GNU/Linux support and “Teams” is just a Skype rebrand]
        • Microsoft Teams Is Now Available For Linux In Public Preview Form
        • Microsoft’s first Office app arrives on Linux
        • Microsoft Teams is coming to the Linux operating system
        • Microsoft announces public preview of Microsoft Teams for Linux
        • Microsoft Teams is the first Office app for Linux
        • Microsoft launches Teams for Linux in preview
        • Linux users get an early Christmas gift — Microsoft Teams [Ed: Christmas gift? How many GNU/Linux users even asked for it? Unwanted gift.]
        • Microsoft Teams launches on Linux in public preview
        • Microsoft Just Released Its First Native Office App For The Linux Desktop
        • Microsoft Teams for Linux is Now Available in Preview
        • Microsoft Teams is now available for Linux in preview
        • Microsoft Teams is the First Office App For Linux
        • Microsoft Teams app for Linux debuts in public preview
        • Microsoft launches Teams for Linux
        • Microsoft Teams app finally available on Linux
        • Microsoft Teams Linux client public preview now available
        • Microsoft Teams is now available to Linux users

          In brief: Microsoft Teams is easily one of the most popular communication and collaboration tools out there, and with how many platforms it’s available on — including iOS, Android, macOS, and, of course, Windows — it’s not hard to see why that’s the case. Today, Microsoft expanded Teams’ availability to Linux users as well.

        • Microsoft Teams becomes first Office app available for Linux. What’s next?
        • Do you hear an odd buzzing sound? Minecraft 1.15 is out with a new friend

          Mojang just released the stable Minecraft 1.15 build with a new stripey friend, the Buzzy Bee and a bunch of new blocks.

          Even though it’s not technically a major update and small in comparison to some previous, it’s still quite feature-filled. There’s now bees, bee nests and beehvies, honey blocks, a honey bottle, honeycomb and honeycomb blocks.

        • Join us on our new journey, says Wunderlist – as it vanishes down the Microsoft plughole

          Three months after its former CEO pleaded with Microsoft to sell him back Wunderlist, the software giant has confirmed the worst: it really is killing the popular to-do app.

          On May 6, 2020, Microsoft will pull the plug on the app that it paid somewhere between $100m and $200m for in 2015. In its place, it is encouraging everyone to move to its To Do app, which is tightly integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem and, as a result, probably doesn’t work well with anything that isn’t Microsoft.

          Even after years of neglect, Wunderlist remains a very popular application for to-do tasks, in large part because it does that singular task extremely well, syncing across devices and allowing users to quickly and easily attach dates to tasks, as well as arrange them in different folders.

        • [Old] The economics of streaming is changing pop songs

          It helps to be included on a streaming company’s playlist. These account for roughly a third of all streams. Tracks are selected by opaque algorithms, but by analysing performance data you can work out what the bots like, says Chiara Belolo of Scorpio Music, a boutique label. Composers are adapting to what they think is being looked for. Hit songs are shorter. Intros have become truncated, says Mr Kalifowitz, “to get to the point a bit faster”.

          Choruses are starting sooner (see chart). Take this year’s most-streamed Spotify track. The first notes on “Señorita”, by Shawn Mendes, preview the refrain, which arrives 15 seconds in and is a fixture throughout the playing time of 3:10.

        • Apple, Facebook Clash With Senators Over Encryption, Backdoors

          In a Senate hearing on Tuesday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pushed the companies to let the police and other authorities access personal data that lies behind encryption on devices and technology platforms. Senators threatened to legislate if the private sector doesn’t offer solutions on its own.

        • The Senate Judiciary Committee Wants Everyone to Know It’s Concerned About Encryption

          This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on encryption and “lawful access.” That’s the fanciful idea that encryption providers can somehow allow law enforcement access to users’ encrypted data while otherwise preventing the “bad guys” from accessing this very same data.

          But the hearing was not inspired by some new engineering breakthrough that might make it possible for Apple or Facebook to build a secure law enforcement backdoor into their encrypted devices and messaging applications. Instead, it followed speeches, open letters, and other public pressure by law enforcement officials in the U.S. and elsewhere to prevent Facebook from encrypting its messaging applications, and more generally to portray encryption as a tool used in serious crimes, including child exploitation. Facebook has signaled it won’t bow to that pressure. And more than 100 organizations including EFF have called on these law enforcement officials to reverse course and avoid gutting one of the most powerful privacy and security tools available to users in an increasingly insecure world. 

        • WSL/EEE

          • Canonical Sponsoring Microsoft’s 1st Windows Subsystem For Linux Conference!

            Canonical Sponsors WSL Conference: The team Canonical is the founders of Ubuntu Linux Operating System. The team canonical announced that the team Canonical will be a featured as a sponsor on Microsoft’s 1st WSL Conference. This is the 1st conference held by Microsoft team for WSL.
            The official WSL Conference is scheduled for March 10th-11th, 2020 at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington
            We can expect that the conference will bring “Founders, Developers, Programmers, Community Members” from the WSL project.

          • Canonical Sponsors WSLConf, Microsoft?s First Linux Conference

            WSLConf is the first Linux-related conference to be hosted by Microsoft and, if you hadn?t already guessed, is focused around the Windows Subsystem for Linux (aka WSL and WSL 2).

            Developers, enthusiasts, and users WSL will get to enjoy two jam-packaged days dedicated to the tech, with presentations, workshops, and networking around the platform.

          • Canonical co-sponsors Windows Subsystem for Linux conference

            There may never be a “Year of the Linux desktop” per se, but Linux on Windows, via the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), is certainly gaining popularity. Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has just announced it will help sponsor WSLConf, the first WSL-specific conference.

          • Canonical to Sponsor Microsoft’s First Windows Subsystem for Linux Conference

            Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, announced that they will be an official sponsor of Microsoft’s first-ever Linux Conference for WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux).

            Announced earlier this fall, WSLconf, the first Microsoft Linux Conference for WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), a Windows 10 feature that allows users to run various GNU/Linux distributions on top of their Windows installations, will take place next spring from March 10th to 11th, and it looks like Canonical will be there to give presentations and also sponsor the event.

          • Openwashing

            • Announcing Google Summer of Code 2020!

              Google Open Source is proud to announce Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2020—the 16th year of the program! We look forward to introducing the 16th batch of student developers to the world of open source and matching them with open source projects, while earning a stipend so they can focus their summer on their project.

              Over the last 15 years GSoC has provided over 15,000 university students, from 109 countries, with an opportunity to hone their skills by contributing to open source projects during their summer break.

        • Security

          • VPN hijack – compromise on Linux, Android and MacOS exposed

            A flaw that affects most Unix-based operating systems, including MacOS, Android and Linux, may allow attackers to defeat VPN security.

          • CVE patching is not making your Linux secure

            Would you like to enhance your Linux security? Do you wonder what factors should be considered when evaluating your open source security from both – the infrastructure and the application perspectives? Are you keen to learn the Ubuntu security team approach? I’ve learned that CVE patching is indeed an important puzzle, but without a structured approach, professional tools and well-defined processes in place, your Linux environment will not be secure.

            What do Linux security experts say?

            I got inspired by all these questions during the Open Source Security Summit, which was followed by the Linux Security Summit. I really enjoyed a week full of keynotes, workshops and meaningful conversations. So much so that, in my notebook, I noted down some really good quotes about the Linux security. For instance, Kelly Hammond from Intel opened her keynote by saying that “security is like doing the laundry or the dishes – it’s never done”.

            Linux security is more complicated than fixing CVEs

            Fixing CVEs is a continuous job that all Linux security teams focus on. In his keynote, Greg Kroah-Hartman from the Linux Foundation looked at this problem from the kernel perspective. In his exact words “CVEs mean nothing for the kernel” because very few CVEs are ever going to be assigned for the kernel. A stable Linux kernel receives 22-25 patches every day without any CVE process involved. So Greg’s position on the Linux security comes down to always using the latest stable kernel and not worrying about CVEs.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, jruby, and squid3), Fedora (librabbitmq, libuv, and xpdf), openSUSE (calamares and opera), Oracle (kernel and nss), Red Hat (httpd24-httpd, kernel, kernel-alt, kpatch-patch, nss-softokn, sudo, and thunderbird), SUSE (apache2-mod_perl, java-1_8_0-openjdk, and postgresql), and Ubuntu (eglibc, firefox, and samba).

          • Git v2.24.1 and others

            The Git project has released Git v2.24.1, v2.23.1, v2.22.2, v2.21.1, v2.20.2, v2.19.3, v2.18.2, v2.17.3, v2.16.6, v2.15.4, and v2.14.6. “These releases fix various security flaws, which allowed an attacker to overwrite arbitrary paths, remotely execute code, and/or overwrite files in the .git/ directory etc.” The release notes contained in this announcement have the details.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Cops Offered Deeper Discounts On Ring Cameras Depending On How Much Of The Neighborhood The Cameras Would Surveil

              “You know what would be cool,” said the consumer product that wished it was a cop? “If everything we made catered to law enforcement rather than the end user.” That’s the Ring business model: make inroads with security-conscious homeowners by inserting them into a toxic ecosystem that includes a snitch app that amps up the worst aspects of humanity, and breaks down the walls between “sharing” and “giving law enforcement agencies footage they can keep and distribute forever without limitation.”

            • DHS Sued Over First Amendment-Trampling Social Media Vetting Program

              The DHS continues with its social media vetting program targeting foreign visitors despite questions about its Constitutionality and its effectiveness. Once a government agency decides to do something, it’s difficult to talk it out of it, even if it appears to be throwing money down an unconstitutional hole.

            • FTC Slaps Cambridge Analytica With An Order Barring The Already Defunct Company From Illegally Collecting Data Ever Again

              There still remains little to no evidence that the silly games played by Cambridge Analytica actually did anything at all to influence voting practices in the US. However, Facebook allowing the company to get a bunch of data was a big part of the basis for hitting the company with a $5 billion fine earlier this year. The FTC also went after Cambridge Analytica, targeting the company, its CEO Alexander Nix, and the academic/app developer Aleksandr Kagan, whose app was used to grab all that Facebook data.

            • Genetic Genealogy Company GEDmatch Acquired by Company With Ties to FBI & Law Enforcement—Why You Should Be Worried

              This week, GEDmatch, a genetic genealogy company that gained notoriety for giving law enforcement access to its customers’ DNA data, quietly informed its users it is now operated by Verogen, Inc., a company expressly formed two years ago to market “next-generation [DNA] sequencing” technology to crime labs.  

              What this means for GEDmatch’s 1.3 million users—and for the 60% of white Americans who share DNA with those users—remains to be seen. 

            • What we know about you when you click on this article

              We might be privy to more information, but what we utilize about people is restricted to information that signifies groups of people: say age, income, interests, gender.

              I’m telling you all this because as part of our Open Sourced project, we intend to explore the hidden consequences that various technologies — including ones we employ — have on regular citizens. We’ll be looking at things like Twitter’s privacy and free-speech policies as it begins to impose restrictions on political advertising; we’ll examine how Facebook tracks you around the internet; and we’ll explain how technologies like artificial intelligence are hoovering up vast amounts of data — and what they’re doing with it. Our goal is to explore and demystify the online world we all live in, to explain how algorithms work and what data you’re sharing with companies. And this means not only looking outward, but inward.

            • Lawsuit Challenges Social Media Disclosure Rule for Visas

              Two organizations of documentary filmmakers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday arguing that new rules requiring U.S. visa applicants to register their social media handles are making them fearful of publicly speaking their minds.

              State Department rules took effect in May and apply to more than 14 million applicants each year, requiring them to register all their social media handles from the past five years on about 20 different online platforms. The requirement includes pseudonyms. The department said collecting the additional information from more applicants “will strengthen our process for vetting these applicants and confirming their identity.”

              The information can be retained indefinitely and shared around to U.S. government agencies, and in some cases, to other governments, the suit said.

            • QQ? Weibo? Youku? US visa applicants told to list social media profiles

              Applicants for US visas now have to list all social media platforms and usernames that they used within the last five years.

            • Trump administration sued over new social media disclosure rules

              Applicants must disclose accounts on Facebook Inc and its Instagram site, Flickr, Alphabet Inc’s Google+ and YouTube, LinkedIn, Myspace, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine as well as Chinese sites Douban, QQ, Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, and Youku; the Russian social network VK; the Belgian site Twoo; and the Latvian site Ask.fm. The groups said the information will be retained indefinitely.

            • New Release: Tor (also,, and

              This is the first stable release in the 0.4.2.x series. This series improves reliability and stability, and includes several stability and correctness improvements for onion services. It also fixes many smaller bugs present in previous series.

              Per our support policy, we will support the 0.4.2.x series for nine months, or until three months after the release of a stable 0.4.3.x: whichever is longer. If you need longer-term support, please stick with 0.3.5.x, which will we plan to support until Feb 2022.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • US Government Would Like Staunch Opponent Of WikiLeaks To Testify Against Alleged ‘Vault 7’ Leaker

        The United States government would like a staunch opponent of WikiLeaks to testify against former CIA employee Josh Schulte, who is accused of leaking the “Vault 7” files to WikiLeaks. But Schulte’s defense attorney contends such testimony would be “irrelevant, prejudicial, and confusing.” Paul Rosenzweig is the founder of a homeland security consulting company called Red Branch Consulting. He is a senior advisor to the Chertoff Group, founded by former Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff and is a former Homeland Security official. He is a “professional lecturer in law” at George Washington University and a contributor to the popular Beltway blog, Lawfare.In December 2010, after WikiLeaks published U.S. military incident reports, several thousand State Department cables, and the “Collateral Murder” video, he contended WikiLeaks has a “malevolent intent.” He urged Congress to update espionage laws so prosecuting those involved in the media organization would be easier and more efficient. Schulte allegedly released files that brought scrutiny to the CIA’s hacking arsenal, which targeted smartphones and computers. A program called “Weeping Angel,” that allowed the CIA to attack Samsung F8000 TVs and convert them into spying devices was exposed. They also showed how the CIA targeted Microsoft Windows, as well as Signal and WhatsApp users, with malware.

        In June 2018, Schulte was charged with 13 offenses, including four counts of violating the Espionage Act.The government would like a federal court [PDF] to certify Rosenzweig as an “expert” on WikiLeaks. In particular, prosecutors believe Rosenzweig can “explain WikiLeaks’ typical practices with regard to receiving leaked classified information” and “its practices or lack thereof regarding the review and redaction of sensitive information contained in classified leaks and certain well-publicized harms to the United States that have occurred as a result of disclosures by WikiLeaks.” But Schulte’s defense argues [PDF] Rosenzweig’s purpose will be to “suggest to the jury that WikiLeaks is an inherently criminal or evil organization that harms the United States.” His attorneys say prosecutors may want to use the former Homeland Security official’s testimony to convince the jury that Schulte’s decision to pass the information to WikiLeaks is proof that he intended to harm the United States. Several questions about the nature of Rosenzweig’s proposed testimony are raised.“About what prior leaks does he plan to testify? What damage to the United States will he assert occurred as a result of these leaks? Has he done an analysis to determine that the ‘well-publicized harms’ of prior leaks were in fact accurate? Does he have any personal experience with the WikiLeaks organization? Has he done any specialized research about the organization?” they ask.

      • A Sick U.K. Boy’s Story Was True. But False Posts Followed.

        It is not clear how widely the false claims were seen, especially because Facebook does not provide a way to track messages posted inside private accounts and groups. Many people posted the message as a screen shot, which also cannot be discovered through a word search. Among those sharing the message were public figures including Allison Pearson, a columnist for The Telegraph, and Kevin Pietersen, a retired cricket star.

        The origins of the false information about the boy are murky. According to First Draft, a London-based group that tracks disinformation, the first known post was made on Facebook. But when The Guardian newspaper reached the woman thought to have written the post, she said her account had been hacked. “I’ve had to delete everything as I have had death threats to myself and my children,” said the woman, whose name was withheld by The Guardian to protect her privacy.

        Efforts to reach the woman at what is believed to be her office were unsuccessful.

    • Environment

      • ‘This is not normal’: Minister urges action on climate change

        In the state government’s strongest comments yet on the link between climate change and bushfires, Mr Kean said: “This is not normal and doing nothing is not a solution”.

      • A ‘bombogenesis’ cyclone travels across Iceland – a life-threatening situation with a significant amount of snow (100-200 cm) and hurricane-force winds across the northern half of the country, Dec 10-11th

        As we discussed earlier – an active pattern across the North Atlantic – continues this week. A monster cyclone with pressure near or below 940 mbar will develop over Iceland and significantly enhance severe weather threat as an extreme amount of snow, dangerous winds and major snowdrifts develop. The result will be many impassable roads and significantly disturbed travels through Tuesday and Wednesday. Various models are hinting 100-200 cm of fresh snow in only two (2) days, together with hurricane-force winds!

      • Want the Greenest Device? You May Already Own It

        One way to help the planet is not to buy new tech, especially stuff the planet never needed, says Kendra Pierre-Louis, who reports on the environment.


        Tech has a tremendous footprint. One estimate by the Lawrence Berkeley Lab said it took 70 billion kilowatt-hours in 2014, or nearly 2 percent of the total electricity generation in the United States that year, just to run the internet.

      • Jet stream changes may hit global breadbaskets

        Food shortages and civil disturbances may result from changes in the jet stream winds which circle the Earth, scientists say.

      • Warren Says Blue New Deal Crucial Because Future of People and Planet ‘Depends on Healthy Oceans’

        “A Blue New Deal must be an essential part of any Green New Deal.”

      • Citing Climate Crisis as Top Concern for Future of Humanity, Young Adults Say They Are Living in ‘Failed System’: Amnesty Poll

        “This is a wake-up call to world leaders that they must take far more decisive action to tackle the climate emergency or risk betraying younger generations further.”

      • New England Fishing Communities Being Destroyed by ‘Climate Shocks’: Study

        “There are communities that are just not going to be fishing communities anymore.”

      • ‘A Matter of Life and Death’: COP 25 Protest Outside US Embassy Demands Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

        Demonstrators urged the global community to “join our demands for the real action it will take to protect and respect Indigenous women.”

      • US Has Almost No Presence at COP25 But Is Still Obstructing Any Progress

        This week, Democracy Now! is broadcasting from inside the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain, where representatives from almost 200 countries have gathered to negotiate solutions to the climate crisis. Known as COP25 for “conference of parties,” the summit offers a rare opportunity for all countries, especially those on the front lines of the climate crisis, to have an equal say in negotiations. It comes four years after the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius,” or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But as the summit heads into its final days, representatives from the Global South say that the United States and other rich countries are obstructing the talks and trying to avoid their obligation to assist poorer countries already facing the worst effects of the climate crisis. We speak with Harjeet Singh, climate change specialist at ActionAid, and Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want. He has worked on climate change issues for over a decade. “The U.S. is in all streams of discussions that are happening, be it finance, be it loss and damage,” he says. “They’re everywhere. And everywhere they are obstructing and not allowing any progress to happen.”

      • Is the Pentagon Prepared for the Hellish Climate Future It Created?

        It was Monday, March 1, 2032, and the top uniformed officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps were poised, as they are every year around this time, to deliver their annual “posture statement” on military readiness before the Senate Armed Services Committee. As the officers waited for the committee members to take their seats, journalists covering the event conferred among themselves on the meaning of all the badges and insignia worn by the top brass. Each of the officers testifying that day — Generals Richard Sheldon of the Army, Roberto Gonzalez of the Marine Corps, and Shalaya Wright of the Air Force, along with Admiral Daniel Brixton of the Navy — sported chestfuls of multicolored ribbons and medals. What did all those emblems signify?

      • UN: Climate Change Will Create “New Great Divergence” Between Rich and Poor

        Protests and uprising erupted across the world this year. In Chile, a transportation fare strike boiled over into mass demonstrations against austerity and inequality. In Bolivia, a contested election and military coup led to violent street clashes between the left and the right. In Haiti, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, governments waged bloody crackdowns as protests against corruption, poor public services and unemployment became riotous demonstrations against the ruling elite. Climate strikes popped off in all corners of the globe.

      • The U.S. Military on a Planet From Hell

        Insignia, badges, and medals for a climate-wracked era.

      • Climate Talks in Madrid: What Will It Take to Prevent Climate Collapse?

        The two-week marathon of the annual UN climate conference is underway in Madrid, and the world’s expectations have perhaps never been lower. The Amazon is burning and unprecedented storms are raging worldwide, but the world’s climate diplomats are still mostly talking business-as-usual. Never mind that this year’s 25th Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Climate Convention (UNFCCC) almost didn’t happen, after it was disinvited by the fascistic Bolsonaro regime in Brazil and almost derailed again by the recent upheaval in the streets of Santiago, Chile, where it had been rescheduled to occur. And Trump’s effort to withdraw US participation is not the most serious problem.

      • ‘This Isn’t the End,’ Vow Climate Campaigners After New York Court Sides With Exxon in Fraud Trial

        “Despite this ruling, the crucial work to hold the likes of Exxon accountable for climate crimes goes on,” said 350.org. “This is just the tip of the accountability iceberg.”

      • We Can’t Do It Ourselves

        In contrast to policies aimed at individuals, policies that frame sustainability as a systemic, institutional challenge can bring about the many forms of innovation that are needed to address problems like climate change. 

      • Energy

        • Most Americans Support Phasing Out Fossil Fuels. Isn’t That Worth a Headline?

          Last month, The Washington Post reported on the results of a poll it conducted with the Kaiser Family Foundation earlier this year. The poll had remarkable finding: nearly half — 46 percent — of American adults believe the U.S. needs to “drastically reduce” fossil fuel use in the near future to address the climate crisis, while another 41 percent favor a more gradual reduction.

        • Blame Sunspots: Climate Science Denial Continues at Shale Gas Pipeline Industry Conference

          That comes six years after a widely cited 2013 study reported 97 percent agreement among publishing climate scientists that human activity causes climate change — a consensus that has grown stronger in the years since. John Cook, lead author of that study, described this summer a 99 percent scientific consensus that humans cause global warming.

        • Renewables Are Gaining Traction, But We Need to Be Able to Store the Energy

          The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ recent decision to award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to scientists who developed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries reminded the world just how transformative they have been. Without them, we wouldn’t have smartphones or electric cars. But it’s their potential to store electricity generated by the sun and the wind at their peak that promises to be even more revolutionary, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and protecting the planet from the worst consequences of climate change.

        • Indigenous Youth, Elders Protest Canada’s Support of Tar Sands Projects at COP25
        • Since Paris Agreement, Global Financial Firms Have Sunk $745 Billion into New Coal Plant Development

          That research, published by the German NGO Urgewald along with BankTrack and 30 partner organizations, reveals and ranks the financial institutions sinking money into the dirtiest form of fossil fuels in the three years since the Paris Agreement was signed. The research shows hundreds of billions of dollars have flowed to 258 coal plant developers between January 2017 and September 2019 in the form of loans, investments, and underwriting. These groups clarify underwriting as the process of banks raising “investment capital for companies by issuing bonds or shares on their behalf and selling them to investors.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Warren vs. Buttigieg Clash Offers Contrast with Bernie’s Consistency

        A fighter for the most vulnerable Americans his whole life, Sanders’ history is undisputed.

      • Barr: FBI’s Russia Investigation Based on ‘Bogus Narrative’

        Attorney General William Barr leveled blistering criticism at how the Russia investigation was conducted, saying Tuesday that it was based on a “bogus narrative” that the Trump campaign might have conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

      • Russian Constitutional Court affirms that children of Soviet repression victims have the right to receive housing in their parents’ cities

        Russia’s Constitutional Court has affirmed that rehabilitated victims of political repressions as well as any children born in the Gulag system or in exile have the right to receive housing in the cities where their families lived at the time of the repression.

      • What’s the Matter With America?

        To impeach or not to impeach.  A lot of decent voters don’t know what to think.  Kansas is no exception, but Kansas has a number of exceptional role models for our troubled times, leaders who demonstrated that it’s okay to change one’s mind in politics.  In fact, it’s a mark of true character.

      • Trump in the Toilet
      • Was Trump Looking for Corruption or a Personal Favor?

        Congress’s first round of impeachment hearings wound up largely focused on whether President Trump had offered a quid pro quo for receiving a favor from Ukraine, i.e. Trump would release held up military aid and other signs of US support only after Ukraine investigated a particular company that employed Joe Biden’s son, and the former Vice President for his actions as well.

      • Where Justice is a Game: Impeachment Hearings Redux

        The Monday, December 9th hearings were another repetition of the facts by Democrats and the ignoring of them by the trumpists. The hearings began with a so-called silent protest by the GOP. Despite this misappropriation of a popular tactic by the right wing, one has to admit it’s nice when they keep their mouths shut. Then an InfoWars hack stood up and called the hearings a sham, repeating the standard trumpist lies and half-truths. I won’t go into the details offered by the witnesses since the information and the arguments have been revealed numerous times in just the past few weeks. The trumpists continue their attacks on the process and attempt to divert the debate to Hunter Biden. Their approach is to ignore the charges and attack those making the charges—just like their media at FoxNews. While there are certainly issues of corruption in both parties, this fact does not mean that Trump did not commit impeachable offenses. In other words, Biden’s potential improprieties do not render Trump’s impeachable offenses irrelevant.

      • Alexander Gabyshev, Yakutian shaman walking across Russia to exorcise Putin, arrested once again

        Alexander Gabyshev, a shaman who has earned nationwide fame in Russia, has been arrested for the second time. The arrest took place on a federal highway in the region of Yakutia, where Gabyshev was walking across Russia with a small group of supporters. They hope to reach Moscow, exorcise Russian President Vladimir Putin, and spur his resignation. An attorney for Open Russia’s Human Rights Project told Novaya Gazeta about the arrest; its cause is unknown.

      • American Culture Loves a Good Killer

        Donald Trump’s narcissistic, authoritarian instincts and the man’s clear admiration of Vladimir Putin’s gangster-capitalist leadership style makes me think of archetypal killers. During his campaign for president he spoke often of killing; he would anonymously refer to some of his business friends as “real killers,” which was meant as a compliment on their skills and effectiveness. There was the remark he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. Lately, it’s his public intervention in military discipline issues lionizing Seal Team Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who’s accused of being an overly enthusiastic killer.

      • Robert Reich: A Billionaire-Backed Moderate Will Hand Trump the 2020 Election

        Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich released a video Tuesday explaining his case for why Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren pose a far better chance of defeating President Donald Trump in 2020 than “some billionaire-backed milquetoast moderate.”

      • The Demonization of Jeremy Corbyn

        For years, under the glitzy brand of ‘New Labour’ and its facile slogans of ‘modernisation’, the British Labour Party had been moving to the right. Encouraging people to get ‘filthy rich’, systematically reducing corporation tax, courting powerful press barons like Rupert Murdoch and committing to the type of bellicose foreign policy which would facilitate the death of hundreds of thousands in the bloody mire of Iraq.  Inevitably, inexorably, Labour ceased to be ‘the party of dissent’ as its policies shaded seamlessly into the politics of the ruling elite more generally.

      • Britain Could Be the First Domino in a Left-Wing Revolution

        Just like that, we’re hours away from the Dec. 12 U.K. general election that will decide the nation’s direction at a crucial time in its history and in the wider global context, what with the rise of the far-right in the West and the worsening climate crisis. Although U.K. political campaigns are happily much shorter than those in America, a lot has transpired over the course of the past month since a snap election was called by Boris Johnson.

      • Democrats Charge Trump with Abuse of Office, Obstruction

        It was only the fourth time in the 243-year history of the United States that impeachment charges have been brought against an American leader, although Trump’s removal from office remains unlikely.

      • He Knew (and Did) Everything
      • House Democrats Unveil Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

        House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in a historic announcement on Tuesday.

      • ‘Abuse of Power’ and ‘Obstruction of Congress’: Democrats Announce Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

        “We stand here today because the president’s continuing abuse of his power has left us no choice.”

      • Trump vs. Democracy

        The US House of Representatives marked a milestone on November 6, 2019, as it decided to report out articles of impeachment on Trump. But there’s a bigger picture to consider. The impeachment represents a new stage in the political ‘food fight’ between the two wings of the political-economic elite in the USA. It also represents a further escalation in the crisis and decline of American Democracy–a decline that’s been going on since at least the early 1990s, when Newt Gingrich and the radical right took over the House of Representatives and declared publicly that their objective was to create a dysfunctional US government. In retrospect, Gingrich certainly succeeded.

      • The House Leadership Soberly Announces 2 Articles of Impeachment

        The New York Democrat explained the first article by saying, “It is an impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interest. That is exactly what President Trump did when he solicited and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election.”

        He explained the second by saying, “A president who declares himself above accountability, above the American people and above Congress’s power of impeachment—which is meant to protect against threats to our democratic institutions—is the president who sees himself as above the law.”

      • Here Are the Articles of Impeachment Against Trump—and Why They Matter

        House Democrats have officially accused President Trump of violating the U.S. Constitution by committing high crimes and misdemeanors. On Tuesday, Democratic leaders announced that they were filing two articles of impeachment against Trump: one for abuse of power by putting his political concerns over the national interest, and another for obstructing Congress’ attempts to investigate.

        The articles claim that Trump acted “in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”

      • Sanna Marin tapped to be Finland’s next prime minister

        Lawmakers are likely to approve the appointment of Ms. Marin and her government this week so she can represent Finland at the Dec. 12-13 EU leaders’ summit in Brussels. Finland holds the European Union’s rotating presidency until the end of the year.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Four Congressional Reps Ask Bill Barr To Restart His War On Porn

        A handful of Congress members seem to think we need a War on Porn to go with our War on Drugs and our War on Terror. They think they have the right person in the DOJ to get this war machine mobilized.

      • France, As Promised, Is First Out Of The Gate With Its Awful Copyright Directive Law: Ignores Requirements For User Protections

        France was the most vocal supporter of the EU Copyright Directive’s upload filters provisions (originally known as Article 13, but Article 17 in the final version). Despite promises that the law wouldn’t require a filter, right after the Directive passed (which only happened after the French negotiators strong-armed Germany into a questionable deal), French officials promised that it would be be first in line to “transpose” Article 17 into a new law.

      • Iran’s President Wants to Build a State-Controlled Internet

        Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, announced plans to replace the country’s [Internet] with a state-run intranet, granting the government increased control over online activity.

        The announcement comes shortly after the Iranian government quelled mass protests by cutting off [Internet] access across the country, CNET reports. With its own state-controlled network, Iran would be able to nip future protests in the bud by rapidly identifying dissidents and cutting them off from one another — a disturbing blow against online freedom and privacy.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Self-Defense in the Civil Rights Movement: the Lessons of Birmingham, 1963

        Hope is the fuel upon which working-class movements for social change draw their core strength. But hope divorced from solid organizing leads no-where. So, if we are to continue to propel our class forward it is vital that we learn the full lessons of how our sweetest victories are seized from the hands of our oppressors. Birmingham, 1963, represents one such success story, an inspiring tale that pitched Martin Luther King’s determined civil rights activists against the steel town’s white supremacists who, as folk singer Phil Ochs tells it, literally fed their dogs on civil rights. A pivotal struggle against the evils of segregation that achieved its crowning glory shortly after thousands of children peacefully stood-up to the seething racist violence of Bull Connor. But while Connor became world-famous for allowing his police dogs to tear flesh off the bodies of peaceful protestors, what is often overlooked in sanitized narratives of this story of good versus evil is the full context in which King’s nonviolent victory was obtained. Digging beneath this peaceful patina is however critical if we are to comprehend the important role that violent self-defense fulfilled within Birmingham’s black community in opposing the horrors of segregation.

      • Citizens Are Never Trusted

        My personal impression of Canada is that of a tattered nation where social cohesiveness based on equality of all citizens in the eyes of the law and within our political system, and with a common-good agenda, has been in continuous decline since the post war years of the 1950’s.

      • The Trump Administration Continues to Rip Children From Their Families

        Forced separation of undocumented migrants and their children, supposedly over in 2018, is alive and well, The Intercept reported Monday.

      • At Emotional Meeting, North Dakota Residents Talk County Officials Out of Trumpian Plan to Ban Refugees

        “We are not coming to North Dakota to rob anybody,” said one young refugee at the hearing. “Hell, we have been robbed—of our childhood. We have been robbed of a lot of things.”

      • Speaking Freely: Biella Coleman

        Gabriella “Biella” Coleman is an anthropologist whose work focuses on a range of subjects, from the anthropology of medicine to the practice of whistleblowing. To EFF readers, she is probably best known for her work on hacker communities. In 2014, she published the book Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous (Verso). She currently holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific & Technological Literacy at McGill University in Montréal.

        I first met Biella at Berlin’s re:publica conference in 2011, and got to know her when we both contributed chapters to Beyond Wikileaks: Implications for the Future of Communications, Journalism, and Society. She’s a long-time friend to many EFFers, and contributed to our 2018 collaboration with McSweeney’s, The End of Trust.

      • Who Cares About North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses?

        For the second year in a row, the United States has prevented the United Nations Security Council from scrutinizing North Korea’s abysmal human rights record, sending a clear message to Pyongyang and other abusive governments that the US is prepared to look away regarding rights violations. 

        The special Security Council meeting was set to convene today, to coincide with Human Rights Day. Earlier this month it appeared the Council had the minimum number of member votes – nine, including the US – for the meeting to happen. But on December 6, US Ambassador Kelly Craft told reporters her delegation had not yet decided whether to go ahead with the meeting. 

      • Turkey: Free Osman Kavala
      • India: Citizenship Bill Discriminates Against Muslims

        A protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Gauhati, India on December 10, 2019. 

      • ‘This Is Fascism’: Indian Law Stripping Naturalization Rights From Muslims Sparks Criticism and Protest

        “Dark times in Modi’s far-right India.”

      • What to Know About Your Rights to Unionize

        As more young people find themselves stuck in precarious jobs with variable hours and benefits, some are turning to unions to help secure their rights. Just look at the recent swelling of support for unionization in “new” industries such as digital media, white-collar tech, and nonprofits.

        Most employees in the private sector are protected by the National Labor Relations Act, enacted in 1935 “to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices,” according to the National Labor Relations Board. But the revitalized labor movement has seen some employers being accused of working to dissuade union participation.

      • Church’s Nativity Scene Puts Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Cages [iophk: Facebook instead of a press release :( ]

        The Mylar blanket glitters like tinsel, but wrapped around the figure of the baby Jesus, it looks hostile and stark. His parents, Mary and Joseph, look on from their own chain-link cages. Barbed wire hovers overhead.

        This is no typical Nativity scene.

      • Church unveils nativity scene depicting holy family as caged refugees

        The display shows classic nativity figurines of Joseph and Mary in cages on either side of a cage containing the manger of Jesus. The Rev. Karen Clark Ristine, who says she was “stirred to tears” by the depiction, says the church uses its annual nativity scene to tackle a societal issue, such as the homeless population of Southern California.

      • Futurist Sees ‘The End of the World as We Know It for Average Person’

        This forecast is not good news for most people: The polarization in the job market will only grow and the inequality between those who buy the new smart machines, those who build them, and those who cannot – will only widen.

        In an interview with TheMarker, Tzezana sets aside all the most recent reports, such as that of the World Economic Forum, which shows that in addition to the forecasts of millions of jobs being eliminated, new jobs are created too – because this, he says, is simply the wrong debate.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Verizon Is Undermining Efforts To Archive Yahoo Groups…For No Coherent Reason

        Verizon’s often sad efforts to pivot from curmudgeonly old telco to sexy new Millennial advertising giant have not gone as the company had hoped. From the failure of its Go90 streaming service to its clumsy effort to turn AOL and Yahoo into a Facebook-killing ad empire, Verizon often can’t get out of Verizon’s way. The “consumer comes last” executive mindset of the government-pampered telecom monopoly is frequently reflected by its policies, like Verizon’s decision to acquire Tumblr, ban one of the most compelling aspects of the service (adult content and art), then turn around and sell it at a massive loss.

      • Verizon Is Undermining Efforts To Archive Yahoo Groups…For No Coherent Reason

        Verizon’s often sad efforts to pivot from curmudgeonly old telco to sexy new Millennial advertising giant have not gone as the company had hoped. From the failure of its Go90 streaming service to its clumsy effort to turn AOL and Yahoo into a Facebook-killing ad empire, Verizon often can’t get out of Verizon’s way. The “consumer comes last” executive mindset of the government-pampered telecom monopoly is frequently reflected by its policies, like Verizon’s decision to acquire Tumblr, ban one of the most compelling aspects of the service (adult content and art), then turn around and sell it at a massive loss.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Trump and Pelosi Agree to Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico

            U.S. President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have agreed to ratify a new trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, which will likely have direct consequences for the music industry.

          • U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement—Weak Tea, at Best

            The USMCA will in no way offset or reverse the massive devastation caused by the original NAFTA agreement. 

          • McCarthy alleges timing of Pelosi’s announcement on USMCA was politically motivated

            During a press conference on Tuesday morning, top Democrats in the House unveiled two charges against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Soon after, Pelosi held a press conference to announce House Democrats and the White House reached an agreement to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

          • USMCA: Agreement reached on [NAFTA] trade deal replacement [iophk: tweets in place of official press conference :( ]

            US President Donald Trump, who had accused the Democrats of holding up the deal, also declared victory.

            The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will be “the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions – tremendous support,” he tweeted.

          • Tax Investment Scheme Not Patent Eligible

            An obvious “problem” with tax-deferral schemes (such as a retirement plan) is that Government officials would like to spend the money already. Mark Greenstein has the solution – monetizing the taxes-owed. Essentially the government could sell the right to collect the future taxes just like you might sell-off accounts receivables or unpaid invoices. Because the state has powerful collection mechanisms, the particular approach here is that the Gov’t still collects the taxes and then forwards the money to the investors.

            Greenstein’s pending patent application claims this approach. Although the claims are a bit unclear, it looks like he intends to roll-up the future taxes into a couple of different funds with “which provide rates of return based on factors which are different from each other.”

          • The real US patent ‘crisis’ [Ed: “Brian Pomper is executive director of the Innovation Alliance.” Typo. Litigation alliance. “Software patent lobbyists who worked for the Oil industry make their ‘case’ to restore software patents in the US,” Henrion wrote.]

            While the hearing was informative, unfortunately, proponents of weaker patent rights, primarily incumbent corporate interests seeking to lower their patent licensing costs, appear to be trying to distort the issue of patent quality to serve their own ends. The term “bad patent” or “poor quality patent” is now often used as shorthand to denigrate a patent that may in fact be strong on substance, but that stands in the way of someone who wishes to use the invention protected by the patent without taking out a license to do so.

      • Trademarks

        • Trolling The Trademark Troll: Lemonade CEO Releases Chrome Extension To Remove Magenta From Websites

          You will recall that last month we discussed the latest iteration of T-Mobile’s ongoing war to defend its trademark on the color magenta, as well as close variants of that color. While there are instances in which a particularly unique color or shade of color can be trademarked by a company, this case involved T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, bullying insurance company Lemonade out of using the color magenta in its branding. Given that the insurance and mobile phone industries are quite disparate, this never should have been a dispute, regardless of how ridiculous it is for a company to have exclusive rights to a color like magenta.

      • Copyrights


Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

Posted in News Roundup at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • China Says No Mo Windows or PCs Starting 2022

        Here’s one to remember and keep track of. According to the Australian Financial Review, as reported at MSPowerUser.com: “The Chinese Communist Party Central Office has ordered all government services to replace all computers running non-Chinese software and operating systems within the next 3 years.” By 2022, that is. That’s why I entitled this blog post “China says no mo Windows or PCs starting 2022.”

        Apparently, this comes in response to the US Government’s decision to add Huawei to the “entity list.” That list is a compilation of companies with which it will not do business. (Nor may its contractors do likewise, for any systems that touch or interact with US Government systems.) I’m wondering if the Chinese Communist Party has the oomph to pull this off. It certainly adds impetus for Huawei to keep working on its Hongmeng/Harmony/Ark OS alternative (I wrote about this back in June of this year for Win10.Guru). Here’s a Huawei Central blog post from August, 2019, that provides something close to an “official line” (it’s probably in need of updating, though): HarmonyOS/Hongmeng OS: Here’s everything you need to know about this new Operating System.

      • China to ditch all Windows PCs by 2022 – could this be Linux’s time to shine?

        In a major blow to Microsoft, the Chinese government will be replacing all PCs that run Windows by 2022, and could instead use a Chinese-created Linux distro, such as Kylin Linux.

        The order comes from the Chinese Communist Party Central Office, and is part of a drive to replace any computer that runs non-Chinese software, partly in response to the US government’s blacklisting of Chinese hardware.

        Microsoft gave a recent Windows 10 update to the wrong users
        These are the best Windows 10 laptops out there
        And the best Windows 10 antivirus apps of 2019

        Chinese government services have been ordered to replace 30% of Windows PCs by the end of 2020, a further 50% in 2021 and the final 20% by the end of 2022.

      • 10 Best Cheap Linux Laptops to Buy on a Budget

        In comparison to other operating systems, Linux offers a dedicated environment for programmers that is free and more dedicated to user’s privacy and security. This is why Linux’s popularity has increased drastically over the years.
        Whether you’re looking at buy a laptop with pre-installed Linux or want to run it on parallel with a Windows operating system, you’ve come to the right place. Read on below to find out some interesting specifications of the top ten Linux laptops you can buy at the most affordable prices.

      • Ampere’s Arm-based eMAG CPU is now available in a workstation

        Avantek offers the workstation with a few graphics cards options including the AMD FirePro W2100 2GB, a Radeon Pro WX 5100 8GB, and the Nvidia Quadro GV100 32GB. The workstation is only offered running Linux with a few different flavors including Ubuntu, centOS and Linux SUSE / openSUSE.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes 1.17: Stability

        We’re pleased to announce the delivery of Kubernetes 1.17, our fourth and final release of 2019! Kubernetes v1.17 consists of 22 enhancements: 14 enhancements have graduated to stable, 4 enhancements are moving to beta, and 4 enhancements are entering alpha.

      • Kubernetes 1.17 Feature: Kubernetes Volume Snapshot Moves to Beta

        The Kubernetes Volume Snapshot feature is now beta in Kubernetes v1.17. It was introduced as alpha in Kubernetes v1.12, with a second alpha with breaking changes in Kubernetes v1.13. This post summarizes the changes in the beta release.

      • Kubernetes 1.17 Feature: Kubernetes In-Tree to CSI Volume Migration Moves to Beta

        The Kubernetes in-tree storage plugin to Container Storage Interface (CSI) migration infrastructure is now beta in Kubernetes v1.17. CSI migration was introduced as alpha in Kubernetes v1.14.

        Kubernetes features are generally introduced as alpha and moved to beta (and eventually to stable/GA) over subsequent Kubernetes releases. This process allows Kubernetes developers to get feedback, discover and fix issues, iterate on the designs, and deliver high quality, production grade features.

      • IBM

        • LoRaWAN setup at the EclipseCon IoT playground

          At the recent EclipseCon Europe in Ludwigsburg, Germany, we had a big dashboard in the IoT playground area showing graphs of the number of WiFi devices, the temperature, and air quality, all transmitted via LoRaWAN. We worked on this project during the community day and kept the setup throughout the conference, where we showed it and played with it even further. This article describes the architecture of the setup and gives pointers to replicate it.

        • Italian job: Translating our mission statement in the open

          A few months ago, I noticed a post on our company’s internal collaboration platform that seemed to be calling my name. Colleagues from around the world were leaving comments on translated versions of one particular (and very important) corporate message: the company’s mission statement. And they had questions about the Italian translation.

          So I joined the conversation with no hesitation, assuming I’d engage in a quick exchange of opinions and reach a conclusion about the best way to translate Red Hat’s mission statement:

          To be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors, and partners creating better technology the open source way.

          That’s a single sentence consisting of less than 20 words. Translating it into another language should be a no-brainer, right? If anything, the work should take no longer than a few minutes: Read it out loud, spot room for improvement, swap a word for a more effective synonym, maybe rephrase a bit, and you’re done!

          As a matter of fact, that’s not always the case.

          Translations of the mission statement in a few languages were already available, but comments from colleagues reflected a need for some review. And as more Red Hatters from different parts of the globe joined the discussion and shared their perspectives, I began to see many possibilities for solving this translation problem—and the challenges that come with this abundance of ideas.

        • Explore Kubernetes with OpenShift in a workshop near you

          The Kubernetes with OpenShift World Tour is a series of in-person workshops around the globe that help you build the skills you need to quickly modernize your applications. This World Tour provides a hands-on experience and teaches the basics of working with the hybrid-cloud, enterprise container platform Red Hat® OpenShift® on IBM Cloud™. You learn coding skills in the world of containerized, cloud-native development with expert developer advocates, who have deep technical experience building cloud microservices and applications with Red Hat OpenShift.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Episode 89 | This Week in Linux

        01:32 = Sponsored by Digital Ocean · [link]
        02:30 = elementary OS 5.1 “Hera” Released · [elementary.io]
        07:15 = Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Pre-release Survey · [ubuntu.com]
        09:36 = Ubuntu Cinnamon – First Release · [Links: ubuntu.com, 13:35 = Tails 4.1 Released · [tails.boum.org]
        16:39 = Kali Linux 2019.4 Released · [kali.org]
        19:49 = CAINE 11.0 Released · [caine-live.net]
        21:13 = DLN + FreeGeek = DLN Charity Drive · link coming soon
        23:19 = Firefox 71 Released · [mozilla.org]
        25:17 = Timekpr-nExT (Parental Controls) · [launchpad.net/timekpr-next]
        29:24 = TWinL Housekeeping
        33:21 = KDE Improvements for Plasma 5.18 · [Links: pointieststick.com
        36:40 = Lutris 0.5.4 Released · [Links: lutris.net, 39:02 = Humble Choice Replaces Humble Monthly · [tuxdigital.com/go/humble-choice]
        41:45 = Indie Hits Sale on Humble Store · [tuxdigital.com/go/humble-indie-hits-sale]
        42:13 = Humble Sonic Bundle 2019 · [tuxdigital.com/go/humble-sonic-bundle-2019]
        43:27 = Data Science Book Bundle · [tuxdigital.com/go/
        43:56 = Yogscast Jingle Jam · [humblebundle.com]
        45:14 = Outro

      • 2019-12-09 | Linux Headlines 64

        The Raspberry Pi 4 Ubuntu bugs get sorted out, and Canonical reaffirms its commitment to the platform and all future devices. Plus an approachable way to give back to KDE, and more.

      • LHS Episode #316: GridTracker Deep Dive Part 2

        Welcome to the 316th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we have Stephen “Tag” Loomis, N0TTL, back for a second episode on GridTracker. In this episode, the hosts discuss updates, additions and bug fixes to the application since the last time and then dive into its most complex and powerful feature, the Callable Roster. Then there is information about the myriad updates to statistical analysis that will be available in the next release. Thank you for listening and we hope you enjoy this episode and your time using GridTracker.

    • Kernel Space

      • At long last, WireGuard VPN is on its way into Linux

        How much are people looking forward to WireGuard, the new in-kernel Linux virtual private network (VPN)? Well, Linus Torvalds said, “Can I just once again state my love for it and hope it gets merged soon? Maybe the code isn’t perfect, but I’ve skimmed it, and compared to the horrors that are OpenVPN and IPSec, it’s a work of art.”

        If that sounds like damning with faint praise, you don’t know Torvalds. For him, this is high praise. WireGuard has now been committed to the mainline Linux kernel. While there are still tests to be made and hoops to be jumped through, it should be released in the next major Linux kernel release, 5.6, in the first or second quarter of 2020.

      • WireGuard VPN Is On Its Way To Linux

        WireGuard has now been committed to the mainline Linux kernel. “While there are still tests to be made and hoops to be jumped through, it should be released in the next major Linux kernel release, 5.6, in the first or second quarter of 2020,” reports ZDNet

      • Managing the Linux kernel at AWS: ‘A large team of security experts’ dealing with fallout from Spectre, Meltdown flaws

        Schlaeger told us he’s responsible “for the lowest layer of the software stack that runs on almost all the servers. We work on things like the Linux kernel, various hypervisors, Xen, KVM, Firecracker if you want to include the VMM [Virtual Machine Manager] as well. And we are heavily involved in the definition of the EC2 [Elastic Compute Cloud] instance types, especially for the accelerated platform.”

        A couple of months ago, Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman told us that the infamous Spectre, Meltdown and other MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) bugs would be “with us for a long time,” as “more and more of the same types of problems” are discovered.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Upstream Graphics: Too Little, Too Late

          Unlike the tradition of my past few talks at Linux Plumbers or Kernel conferences, this time around in Lisboa I did not start out with a rant proposing to change everything. Instead I celebrated roughly 10 years of upstream graphics progress and finally achieving paradise. But that was all just prelude to a few bait-and-switches later fulfill expectations on what’s broken this time around in upstream, totally, and what needs to be fixed and changed, maybe.

          The LPC video recording is now released, slides are uploaded. If neither of that is to your taste, read below the break for the written summary.

          Mission Accomplished

          10 or so years ago upstream graphics was essentially a proof of concept for the promised to come. Kernel display modeset just landed, finally bringing a somewhat modern display driver userspace API to linux. And GEM, the graphics execution manager landed, bringing proper GPU memory management and multi client rendering. Realistically a lot needed to be done still, from rendering drivers for all the various SoC, to an atomic display API that can expose all the features, not just what was needed to light up a linux desktop back in the days. And lots of work to improve the codebase and make it much easier and quicker to write drivers.

          There’s obviously still a lot to do, but I think we’ve achieved that – for full details, check out my ELCE talk about everything great for upstream graphics.


          Also, there just isn’t a single LTS kernel. Even upstream has multiple, plus every distro has their own flavour, plus customers love to grow their own variety trees too. Often they’re not even coordinated on the same upstream release. Cheapest way to support this entire madness is to completely ignore upstream and just write your own subsystem. Or at least not use any of the helper libraries provided by kernel subsystems, completely defeating the supposed benefit of upstreaming code.

          No matter the strategy, they all boil down to paying twice – if you want to upstream your code. And there’s no added return for the doubled bill. In conclusion, upstream first needs a business case, like the open source graphics stack in general. And that business case is very much real, except for upstreaming, it’s only real in userspace.

          In the kernel, “upstream first” is a sham, at least for graphics drivers.

          Thanks to Alex Deucher for reading and commenting on drafts of this text.

        • The Open-Source Qualcomm “TURNIP” Vulkan Driver Adds Important Performance Feature

          The TURNIP Mesa Vulkan driver providing support for recent Qualcomm Adreno graphics processors and akin to the Freedreno Gallium3D driver has added an important performance-boosting feature.

          Thanks to Jonathan Marek who has been driving much of the TURNIP driver advancements in recent time is now hardware binning support. The nearly 400 lines of code implement hardware binning as an important performance sensitive feature.

        • ChamferWM Still Appears To Be The Most Capable Vulkan-Powered X11 Tiling Window Manager

          While we are approaching 2020 and the four year anniversary since the Vulkan 1.0 launch, one aspect that has been a bit disappointing has been the lack of not seeing quicker uptake by various Linux window managers / compositors in at least offering a Vulkan code path. One of the best examples of a Vulkan-powered compositor with that has been the independent ChamferWM.

        • Intel Jasper Lake Support Added To Mesa 20.0 OpenGL / Vulkan Drivers

          With Intel Jasper Lake graphics support making it as one of the prominent hardware support additions for Linux 5.5, the user-space OpenGL/Vulkan driver support is now found within Mesa 20.0-devel.

          Commits today added the Intel Jasper Lake support for Mesa 20.0. Though with Jasper Lake being “Gen 11″ graphics like existing Ice Lake as well as Elkhart Lake, the Jasper Lake addition primarily comes down to adding the new PCI IDs and then following the same driver code paths as Elkhart Lake.

    • Applications

      • Daniel Stenberg: Mr Robot curls

        Vasilis Lourdas reported that he did a “curl sighting” in the show and very well I took a closer peek and what do we see some 37 minutes 36 seconds into episode 8 season 4…

        (I haven’t followed the show since at some point in season two so I cannot speak for what actually has happened in the plot up to this point. I’m only looking at and talking about what’s on the screenshots here.)

        Elliot writes Python. In this Python program, we can see two curl invokes, both unfortunately a blurry on the right side so it’s hard to see them exactly (the blur is really there in the source and I couldn’t see/catch a single frame without it). Fortunately, I think we get some additional clues later on in episode 10, see below.

        He invokes curl with -i to see the response header coming back but then he makes some questionable choices. The -k option is the short version of –insecure. It truly makes a HTTPS connection insecure since it completely switches off the CA cert verification. We all know no serious hacker would do that in a real world use.

        Perhaps the biggest problem for me is however the following -X POST. In itself it doesn’t have to be bad, but when taking the second shot from episode 10 into account we see that he really does combine this with the use of -d and thus the -X is totally superfluous or perhaps even wrong. The show technician who wrote this copied a bad example…

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Indie Hits Sale over on Humble Store went live with some great Linux deals

        Humble are now celebrating Indie games, with a big sale going on some really great Indie games and a lot of good deals for Linux gamers on the lookout for something new.

        We’re certainly not short on indie games, something Linux has thankfully done reasonably well with getting ports and official support from developers. Some of my all time favourite games are indie too, the variation you can find even in a single genre is often amazing.

      • Chooseco are getting indie games using ‘choose your own adventure’ taken down on itch.io

        The creator of indie store itch.io has issued a warning to game developers, as Chooseco appear to be trying to take down anything using the ‘choose your own adventure’ phrase.

        Not surprising it’s happening though, Chooseco went after Netflix for using the same phrase with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

      • Dying Light is doing a Chivalry crossover event with new weapons and an outfit

        Things are getting a bit medieval in Dying Light, with a new Chivalry crossover event that’s arrived with some new free goodies to grab.

        Running until December 16, this event has some new random encounters available as you travel through either the Slums or Old Town. One of the event quests needs you to take two airdrops from Rais’ men, this will reward you with a Agatha Medieval Shield. The other new event quest will require you to save some helpless people from monsters and bandits, help some survivors in their fight against the undead (both parts need doing twice) and that will reward you with a Zweihänder Sword.

      • Atari VCS going through ‘Engineering Validation Testing’ on the road to release

        Another update on the Linux-powered little console the Atari VCS, which is now going through Engineering Validation Testing (EVT) as it’s on the road to release next year.

        In the last update we posted last month, the Atari VCS was going through pre-production. Something that stuck out, was the actual units looking seriously cheap and shiny.

      • The 15 Best NES Emulator Apps for Android Device in 2020

        Did you ever hear about NES Emulator? Well, NES Emulator is a system that helps you to play old days games in your Android device. The word NES stands for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is a kind of iconic gaming console. The main task of this console is to make you eligible to play those classic games. However, if you are nostalgic, want to have the experience of playing those exotic games, you can install an NES app from PlayStore. Here, I have added some useful NES Emulator apps for Android that you can find for free to use and enjoy those classic games.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Customize your Linux desktop with FVWM

        The FVWM window manager started out as modifications to TWM, back in 1993. After several years of iteration, what emerged is an extremely customizable environment where any behavior, action, or event is configurable. It has support for custom key bindings, mouse gestures, theming, scripting, and much more.

        While FVWM is usable immediately after installation, its default distribution provides only the absolute minimum configuration. It’s a great foundation to start your own custom desktop environment, but if you just want to use it as a desktop, then you probably want to install a full configuration distributed by another user. There are a few different distributions of FVWM, including FVWM95, which mimics Windows 95 (at least in appearance and layout). I tried FVWM-Crystal, a modern-looking theme with some common Linux desktop conventions.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.18 featuring new emoji picker to release in Feb 2020

          Although the KDE Plasma 5.17 release is just a few months old (released in October 2019), news of the next major KDE offering, KDE Plasma 5.18, is already making headlines. KDE Plasma 5.18 is not only the next major release of the distro.

          It is their next LTS version of the open-source Linux distro. The last LTS release was KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS launched in February 2018.

          Let’s take a gander at the improvements and new features planned for KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS.

        • Legislating is patch review

          Patch review is a process by which newcomers and experts debate proposed changes to a codebase–a textual description of how a particular human-created system is to function. In KDE, we use Phabricator for this, but we’re switching to GitLab soon. Both serve the same purpose: to provide a forum where proposed changes can be discussed, revised, and decided upon.


          Rushing isn’t such a huge deal as long as you have a QA process and discrete releases. These tools provide time for regressions to be fixed and rough edges to me smoothed out. When patches can be evaluated in a safe sandbox of sorts and subsequently tweaked before their effects are released to users, it’s not so bad to move quickly. But you can’t expose your users to the churn stirred up by a fast process; it needs to be contained internally.

          Lesson for politicians: You don’t need so much process surrounding lawmaking if you don’t roll out all approved changes immediately. Before new bills take effect, let them simmer for a while in a “release branch” where they can undergo QA so that regressions can be found before they’re inflicted on unsuspected citizens (users)!

          As software people, there are lessons we can take from our governments’ successes (and more often these days it seems, their failures), because this aspect of our professions overlaps quite a bit. It also exposes an uncomfortable truth: changing the rules and behaviors of a system that effects everyone is inherently political. That’s why we invented patch review processes: to make sure that important voices are heard, that the system doesn’t become inhumane for people who depend on it, and that its overall trajectory is positive.

          Personally I’m a lot more sanguine about the prospect of this in software than government right now, and I think that’s something that needs to change. The efficacy and positive societal impacts of our governments’ lawmaking seems to be at a bit of an ebb at this moment in time. But there may come a point in time when our experience in patch review becomes useful on a larger stage, and benefits not only users of KDE software, but also the people of the world. We shouldn’t shy away from politics. Our everyday experiences in KDE are in fact the prefect preparation! Far from being distant and scary, it’s something we’re engaging in–and succeeding at–every time we contribute to KDE.

        • A better Qt because of Open Source and KDE

          The development framework Qt is available both as Open Source and under paid license terms. Two decades ago, when Qt 2.0 was first released as Open Source, this was exceptional. Today, most popular developing frameworks are Free/Open Source Software1. Without the dual licensing approach, Qt would not exist today as a popular high-quality framework.

          There is another aspect of Qt licensing which is still very exceptional today, and which is not as well-known as it ought to be. The Open Source availability of Qt is legally protected through the by-laws and contracts of a foundation.

          The KDE Free Qt Foundation was created in 1998 and guarantees the continued availability of Qt as Free/Open Source Software2. When it was set up, Qt was developed by Trolltech, its original company. The foundation supported Qt through the transitions first to Nokia and then to Digia and to The Qt Company.

          In case The Qt Company would ever attempt to close down Open Source Qt, the foundation is entitled to publish Qt under the BSD license. This notable legal guarantee strengthens Qt. It creates trust among developers, contributors and customers.

          The KDE Free Qt Foundation is a cooperation between The Qt Company on the one hand and KDE on the other hand. KDE is one of the largest Free Software communities for general purpose end-user software, founded in 1996. In case of ties, KDE has an extra vote, ensuring that The Qt Company does not have a veto on decisions.

          My in-depth presentation below provides an overview of the history of the Foundation and describes its importance for Qt today. It explains in detail why the existence of the Foundation has a positive influence on the long-term market success of Qt.

    • Distributions

      • Best Linux Distributions that Look Like MacOS

        The Linux world is filled with several distributions born of the desire to solve a specified problem using unique design and build approaches. There are distros created for chemists, astrologers, music producers, and there are ones created to emulate macOS.

        Do you miss the UI/UX of your old Mac? Or do you want to turn up your computing experience by giving your laptop a shiny new look with an appearance difficult to distinguish from macOS? Today’s list is of the best Linux distributions that look like macOS.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • rpminspect-0.10 released

          I released rpminspect-0.10 today. There are a lot of bug fixes in this release, but also some new features.

        • Fedora 31 : Can be better? part 003.

          Yes! The Fedora distro Linux can be better.
          One bad problem for most Fedora users is video drivers.
          I have an old NVIDIA graphic card: NVIDIA Corporation GT218 [GeForce 210] (rev a2).

        • Fedora 32 Will Still Allow Empty Passwords By Default

          Last month was a proposal for Fedora 32 to disallow empty passwords for local users by default but at today’s Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) they completely shot down that proposal.

          Fedora has been shipping with the Fedora PAM module parameter that allows for empty/null passwords on local users — to be clear, root passwords cannot be null and the default OpenSSH server configuration doesn’t allow empty passwords either for logging into user accounts. Fedora local accounts can have an empty password for legitimate use-cases like testing environments where security is of little to no importance, throw-away VMs/instances, and some tooling like Fedora Live images relying upon this behavior.

        • Quality and Badlisting in Kanidm

          Passwords are still a required part of any IDM system. As much as I wish for Kanidm to only support webauthn and stronger authentication types, at the end of the day devices can be lost, destroyed, some people may not be able to afford them, some clients aren’t compatible with them and more.

          This means the current state of the art is still multi-factor auth. Something you have and something you know.

          Despite the presence of the multiple factors, it’s still important to quality check passwords. Microsoft’s Azure security team have written about passwords, and it really drives home the current situation. I would certainly trust these people at Microsoft to know what they are talking about given the scale of what they have to defend daily.

          The most important take away is that trying to obscure the password from a bruteforce is a pointless exercise because passwords end up in password dumps, they get phished, keylogged, and more. MFA matters!

          It’s important here to look at the “easily guessed” and “credential stuffing” category. That’s what we really want to defend against with password quality, and MFA protects us against keylogging, phising (only webauthn), and reuse.

        • Fedora Women’s Day Report (Bhubaneswar)

          For the very first time, Fedora Women’s Day was celebrated in Bhubaneswar, India. The event happened on 26th November 2019 at the College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar. My aim as an organiser was to have a session on “Getting started with OpenSource” which includes understanding the opportunities Fedora Project provides as an Open-source community as well as getting to know what open source is.
          Since I had a diverse audience of students from different years, I had to plan the event in favour of both. So, the session was divided into 2 parts, with the first part being What is Open Source and how to get started with it and the second part which introduced Fedora Project as an open-source community. A huge crowd of students showed up, which consists of both genders. I was accompanied by @amitosh (Amitosh Swain Mohapatra), another community member of Fedora. The session was for 2 hours.

          I started introducing what is open source, what are the perks of doing open source. I spoke about Git and Github and how they are so important in the life of an aspired developer. Followed which I moved on to explain to them about different internship programs like Outreachy, GSoC, GSSoc, RGSoC etc.
          A closed overview of the following internship included talking about their community, stipend and perks. Then I shared my experience as an Outreachy intern with Fedora and my experience at Flock 2019.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian GR on init systems – Ballot paper format

          You are allowed to reorder the choices on your ballot paper, and this is effective.

          That is, you can take the ballot paper in the CFV and edit the lines in it into your preferred order with cut and paste. You can look at the letters, or the Secretary’s summary lines, when you do that.

          It’s important to use a proper text editor and not linewrap things while you do this.

          After, that you can simply write numbers 1 to 8 into the boxes down the left hand side.

          Rank all the options. That way when you get your vote ack back, any parse failure will show up as a blank space in the ack.

        • Debian init systems GR – voting guide

          If you don’t know what’s going on, you may wish to read my summary and briefing blog post from a few weeks ago. There are 7 options on the ballot, plus Further Discussion (FD). With this posting I’m trying to help voting Debian Members (Debian Developers) cast their votes.

          I am going to be neutral about the technical merits of systemd. My advice does not depend on your opinion about that.

          So my advice here is addressed to people who like systemd and want to keep running it, and developing with it, as well as, of course, people who prefer not to use systemd. I’m even addressing readers who think systemd has useful features which they would like Debian packages to be able to use.

          However, I am going to be opinionated about one key question: My baseline is that Debian must welcome code contributions to support running without systemd, just as it welcomes code contributions for other non-default setups. If you agree with that principle, then this posting is for you. Unfortunately this principle is controversial. Several of the options on the current GR mean rejecting contributions of non-systemd support. So in that sense I am not neutral.

        • Philipp Kern: Voting for systemd

          I have voted putting Proposal F first, Proposal B second and everything else after Further Discussion. I think if something truly better than systemd comes around, people in Debian will not stand in the way of people making it work – even despite this GR passing. That’s how systemd started out after all. But the fact that we also want to support inferior old ways holds us back.

          At the point where Debian decided on the question of upstart vs. systemd, to me upstart was not a valid contender anymore. I had to deal professionally with it and no-one really know how to hold it in the right way so that modifications to upstart jobs did not break the boot. For systemd – despite the complexity everyone mentions as the problem – I only recall one major one where a certain machine type did not boot anymore and that was actually due to a regression in udev. If we would be discussing this as we debate the next serious contender to systemd, I would vote differently.

        • Gunnar Wolf: GR vote: init systems

          For Debian followers, it should not be a surprise: a new General Resolution regarding the init systems is underway, trying to finally settle the set of issues that stem from the way our project works, following the 2014-003 vote, init system coupling.
          Back in 2014, I find it quite understandable the project was not in a collective mental state that would have allowed for closure after the infamously long and flamey bug #727708.

          As others have shared theirs, and given this is a non-secret vote (choices will be spelt out once the vote is done), I am doing so as well.

        • Lucas Nussbaum: init systems GR vote

          At this point, I don’t think that it is useful anymore for Debian to spend energy on supporting several init systems. I believe that experimentation is useful, that Debian should support it, but that it does not need to happen inside Debian. Interested people can work on derivative distributions, or even just maintain a small set of packages installable on top of Debian that will add support for alternative init systems where needed.

        • Wouter Verhelst: GR 2019 002

          Just sent in my vote. After carefully considering what I consider to be important, and reading all the options, I ended up with 84312756.

          There are two options that rule out any compromise position; choice 1, “Focus on systemd”, essentially says that anything not systemd is unimportant and we should just drop it. At the same time, choice 6, “support for multiple init systems is required”, essentially says that you have to keep supporting other systems no matter what the rest of the world is doing lalala I’m not listening mom he’s stealing my candy again.

          Debian has always been a very diverse community; as a result, historically, we’ve provided a wide range of valid choices to our users. The result of that is that some of our derivatives have chosen Debian to base their very non-standard distribution on. It is therefore, to me, no surprise that Devuan, the very strongly no-systemd distribution, was based on Debian and not Fedora or openSUSE.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 608

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 608 for the week of December 1 – 7, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Developers shouldn’t distribute their own software

        Thankfully, each distro includes its own set of volunteers dedicated to this specific job: packaging software for the distribution and making sure it conforms to the norms of the target environment. This model also adds a set of checks and balances to the system, in which the distro maintainers can audit each other’s work for bugs and examine the software being packaged for anti-features like telemetry or advertisements, patching it out as necessary. These systems keep malware out of the repositories, handle distribution of updates, cryptographically verifying signatures, scaling the distribution out across many mirrors – it’s a robust system with decades of refinement.

      • attention please: host’s IP stack behavior got changed slightly

        Your laptops, desktops and servers now check packet destination address with IP address bound to interface, where such packet is received on. If there will be mismatch the packet will be discarded and ‘wrongif’ counter will be bumped. You can use ‘netstat -s|grep wrongif’ to display the counter value.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Trusted Recursive Resolvers – Protecting Your Privacy with Policy and Technology

            In keeping with a longstanding commitment to privacy and online security, this year Mozilla has launched products and features that ensure privacy is respected and is the default. We recognize that technology alone isn’t enough to protect your privacy. To build a product that truly protects people, you need strong data policies.

            An example of our work here is the U.S. deployment of DNS over HTTPS (DoH), a new protocol to keep people’s browsing activity safe from being intercepted or tampered with, and our Trusted Recursive Resolver program (TRR). Connecting the right technology with strict operational requirements will make it harder for malicious actors to spy on or tamper with users’ browsing activity, and will protect users from DNS providers, including internet service providers (ISPs), that can abuse their data.

            DoH’s ability to encrypt DNS data addresses only half the problem we are trying to solve. The second half is requiring that companies with the ability to see and store your browsing history change their data handling practices. This is what the TRR program is for. With these two initiatives, we’re helping close data leaks that have been part of the Internet since the DNS was created 35 years ago.

          • Mozilla Privacy Blog: Mozilla comments on CCPA regulations

            Around the globe, Mozilla has been a supporter of data privacy laws that empower people – including the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). For the last few weeks, we’ve been considering the draft regulations, released in October, from Attorney General Becerra. Today, we submitted comments to help California effectively and meaningfully implement CCPA.

            We all know that people deserve more control over their online data. And we take care to provide people protection and control by baking privacy and the same principles we want to see in legislation into the Firefox browser.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • New: Collabora Office for Android

          We are excited to announce a complete new version of Collabora Office for Android, available now in Google Play, with the following main improvements:

          - A great looking interface, easy to use with just one hand on your phone
          - Editing of complex office documents, not just viewing
          - Now re-uses the same technology as Collabora Online.

          In common with other Collabora Productivity products, this new Android release enables people to edit their documents without compromising on privacy. There is no longer a reason to hand over your data to get rich mobile editing.
          The new release marks the end of a period of rewriting important parts of the application. We now share much of the code and user experience from Collabora Online’s collaborative editor as well as Collabora Office 6.2 for displaying the documents.

      • FSF

        • Licensing / Legal

          • Linux is junk, but GPL is for ever

            Once in a while people used to say that the lovely programs they used becomes obsolete. Then talk about its nostalgia.

            What will be the status of linux kernel after 100 years? Lets say 50 years? Will it be there supporting the new technologies of that time? I don’t think so.

            Linux like all other technologies may not able to adapt to those new environments.

            Where as GPL is eternal. As far as there is software, the rules of GPL will be valid.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppClassic 0.9.12

          A maintenance release 0.9.12 of the RcppClassic package arrived earlier today on CRAN. This package provides a maintained version of the otherwise deprecated initial Rcpp API which no new projects should use as the normal Rcpp API is so much better.

          Changes are all internal. Testing is now done via tinytest, vignettes are now pre-built and at the request of CRAN we no longer strip the resulting library. No other changes were made.

          CRANberries also reports the changes relative to the previous release from July of last year.

        • [llvm-dev] [10.0.0 Release] Release schedule
          Hello everyone,
          I know 9.0.1 is still in full swing, and 10.0.0 isn't due for some
          time, but I'd like to get the schedule settled well before we start.
          Below is my proposed timeline. It's essentially the same as last time.
          - 15 January 2020: Create the release branch, Release Candidate 1
          ships soon after
          - 5 February 2020: Release Candidate 2
          - 26 February 2020: Final (this usually slips a little, but let's try not to).
          Please let me know what you think.
        • LLVM / Clang 10.0 Should Be Out In Late February Or Early March

          Google’s Hans Wennborg is once again stepping up to manager the next feature release of LLVM and sub-projects like Clang. If all goes well, LLVM 10.0 will be out with Clang 10.0 and friends before the end of February.

          For the projected release date of 26 February to be realized, Wennborg is aiming to branch the code (and thereby the feature freeze) around 15 January and after that to issue the first release candidate.

        • Niko Matsakis: Async Interview #2: cramertj

          For the second async interview, I spoke with Taylor Cramer – or cramertj, as I’ll refer to him. cramertj is a member of the compiler and lang teams and was – until recently – working on Fuchsia at Google. They’ve been a key player in Rust’s Async I/O design and in the discussions around it. They were also responsible for a lot of the implementation work to make async fn a reality.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn JavaScript

          JavaScript is possibly one of the easiest language to get up and running with. But to truly master the language requires a firm foundation of its intricacies.

          JavaScript is an interpreted, prototype-based, scripting computer programming language. It came to popular attention as a simple client-side scripting tool, interacting with the user using forms and controlling the web browser, and remains a front-end language for web applications.

          JavaScript features dynamic types, it’s weakly typed, supports the structured programming syntax from C, uses prototypes instead of classes for inheritance, and copies many names and naming conventions from Java. It also borrows design principles from Scheme and Self, as well as concepts and syntax idioms such as C-style procedural roots.

        • Lessons learned from programming in Go

          When you are working with complex distributed systems, you will likely come across the need for concurrent processing. At Mode.net, we deal daily with real-time, fast and resilient software. Building a global private network that dynamically routes packets at the millisecond scale wouldn’t be possible without a highly concurrent system. This dynamic routing is based on the state of the network and, while there are many parameters to consider here, our focus is on link metrics. In our context, link metrics can be anything related to the status or current properties of a network link (e.g.: link latency).

        • Add address of FreeBSD iocage jails to PF table

          I started mucking about with PF, but that’s not my department … and so the jails table remained empty which meant the jail could not access anything beyond the host.

          After a bit of searching I found iocage supports most jail(8) parameters, so I did this: [...]

        • Perl / Raku

          • 2019.49 Almost Starring

            Patrick Spek has made the first release candidate of Rakudo Star 2019.11 available for download. If you are working with Raku from Rakudo Star distributions, then this is the moment to test the distribution so that you can be sure that nothing was missed! So please, download and test it! Which of course you can also do if you’re not generally a user of Rakudo Star

        • Python

          • More fun with Jinja2 templates

            When last I left this discussion, I was advocating using Python 3 dataclasses to wrap Jinja2 templates. I had another idea and a chance to experiment with it, and I was reasonably happy with the results.

            Can the dataclass corresponding to the Jinja2 template be used by the test suite to check that all required parameters for a template are present in the dataclass?

            The answer is mostly yes, although unfortunately there are some substantial caveats because Jinja2 doesn’t provide all of the tools that one would like to analyze parsed templates.

          • Django Weblog: 2020 DSF Board Election Results

            Our 2020 Django Software Foundation Election results are in. The Top 7 candidates are listed below in order of their ranking:

            Frank Wiles
            Anna Makarudze
            James Bennett
            William Vincent
            Kátia Nakamura
            Aaron Bassett
            Sayantika Banik

          • Python 3.8.1rc1

            The Python 3.8 series is the newest major release of the Python programming language, and it contains many new features and optimizations.

          • Python 3.8.1rc1 is now available for testing

            Python 3.8.1rc1 is the release candidate of the first maintenance release of Python 3.8.

            The Python 3.8 series is the newest feature release of the Python language, and it contains many new features and optimizations. You can find Python 3.8.1rc1 here:


            Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2019-12-16, the scheduled release date for 3.8.1 as well as Ned Deily’s birthday, no code changes are planned between this release candidate and the final release.

            That being said, please keep in mind that this is a pre-release of 3.8.1 and as such its main purpose is testing.

            See the “What’s New in Python 3.8” document for more information about features included in the 3.8 series. Detailed information about all changes made in 3.8.0 can be found in its change log.

            Maintenance releases for the 3.8 series will continue at regular bi-monthly intervals, with 3.8.2 planned for February 2020.

          • Python Docstrings

            In this tutorial, we will learn about Python docstrings. More specifically, we will learn how and why docstrings are used with the help of examples.
            Python docstrings (documentation strings) are the string literals that appear right after the definition of a function, method, class, or module. Let’s take an example.

          • Python Comments

            Comments are descriptions that help programmers better understand the intent and functionality of the program.

            They are completely ignored by the Python interpreter.

          • 3 easy steps to update your apps to Python 3

            The 2.x series of Python is officially over, but converting code to Python 3 is easier than you think. Over the weekend, I spent an evening converting the frontend code of a 3D renderer (and its corresponding PySide version) to Python 3, and it was surprisingly simple in retrospect, although it seemed relatively hopeless during the refactoring process.

  • Leftovers

    • Joey Hess: counterpoint on Yahoo Groups archiving

      Yahoo Groups being shut down and the data deleted is a big enough story that it’s being talked about on the radio. The typical presentation is that they’re deleting these mailing list archives, and blocking attempts to save them and so huge amount of things will be lost from the historical record.

      That’s a common story these data, but it’s not entirely accurate in this case. These are mailing lists, so they’re not necessarily only archived by Yahoo. Anyone who subscribed to a mailing list may have archived it. I’ve been on a couple of those mailing lists, and the emails I kept from them are already archived rather well (10+ copies). I probably didn’t keep every email, and I probably won’t be exhuming those emails to add them to some large archive.org collection of Yahoo Groups. But multiply all the people who subscribed to these lists by all the traffic to them, by the probability that people keep copies of mailing list mails, and there’s a huge, well-distributed archive of Yahoo Groups out there.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Polish Minister of Health Proposes Carcinogenic 5G Emission Levels as National Norm

        Hundreds of letters are pouring into the office of Polish Minister of Health, Lukaz Szumowski, from Polish citizens and people all over the world, responding to Mr Szumowski’s proposition to exponentially raise the officially recognized limit for cell phone emissions.

      • Hitting at Cuban Doctors and at Human Solidarity

        News item: Three rightwing Latin American governments have forced out Cuban doctors working in their countries. Over 8000 of them departed from Brazil in late 2018 and 382 doctors left Ecuador in mid-November, 2019. Some 700 Cuban doctors exited Bolivia after the coup there on November 10. Brazilian President Bolsonaro alleged that Cuban doctors were incompetent. In referring to money paid by Brazil for their services and retained by Cuba’s government, Bolsonaro accused the Cuban government of enslaving them. Governments in Ecuador and Bolivia claimed the Cubans doctors had supported their political opponents.

      • Setting Gallup Record, Quarter of Americans Say They or Family Member Delayed Medical Care Over Cost in Last Year

        “This is the ‘choice based’ system Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg want to preserve.”

      • From Health Insurance Spin Doctor to Truth Teller

        “I was getting people to make decisions based on misleading information that could have life or death consequences.”

      • ‘An Abomination’: Sanders Decries Reality in Which GoFundMe Has a ‘Six Cancer Fundraising Tips’ Webpage

        Not upset with with the crowdfunding service for providing resources to those in desperate need, 2020 presidential candidate lashed out against a system that creates the need for such campaigns in the first place.

      • The NHS Shows What Life Outside the Market Could Look Like

        Deeper democratic planning would unite health care workers with patients and entire communities, as active coproducers of health and collective owners of a health care service. The very idea of an NHS, even as it is being undermined and partly dismantled, represents the possibility of this new economy. A public universal system free at the point of service is also one that builds its own constituency and creates a different kind of people — more willing to cooperate and to see their own destinies cooperatively tied up with those of others.

        The example of the NHS shows that even the planning of ostensibly public sector endeavors is not always fully democratic — and, to the extent that it exists, that it is constantly under threat of privatization, or at least marketization through the back door.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • You can now email your emails in Gmail [iophk: they begin to close the protocol]

          Fervent emailers can attach as many emails, which will appear as an .eml file, as they like. Users who love to have multiple tabs open may also be pleased to hear that the attachment will open in a new window.

        • More than half of NHS devices are still running Windows 7 [iophk: Why is Canonical not spinning this into gold?]

          As per the FoI, 52 per cent of the total 447,000+ devices being used in the NHS, including desktops, laptops, and tablets, are still running Windows 7, which reaches end-of-life status on 14 January 2020.

          That’s despite the fact that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) last year announced a £150m plan to upgrade all NHS systems to Windows 10 by the time that Windows 7 reaches the digital graveyard. However, it’s worth noting that the NHS is an E5 licence holder, which means it’ll get an extra year of Windows 7 support for free.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • AGL Announces CES 2020 Demos by 18 Members

                Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a cross-industry effort developing an open source platform for all connected car technologies, will be at CES 2020 demonstrating open source infotainment and instrument cluster applications along with 20+ connected car demonstrations developed by AGL members.

                The AGL Booth in the Westgate Hotel Pavilion #1815 will feature a 2020 Toyota RAV4 with an AGL-based multimedia system that is currently in production, a 2020 Mazda CX-30 showcasing a proof of concept (POC) demo using new AGL reference hardware, and automotive technology demonstrations by: AISIN AW, DENSO, DENSO TEN, Igalia, IoT.bzh, LG Electronics, Mazda, Microchip, NTT DATA MSE, OpenSynergy, Panasonic, Renesas, SafeRide Technologies, Suzuki, SYSGO, Tuxera and VNC Automotive. The booth will be open to the public during CES show hours from January 7-10, 2020.

                “Instrument Cluster has been a big focus over the past year, and we look forward to demonstrating the amazing work being done by our members to optimize the AGL platform for use in lower performance processors and low-cost vehicles, including motorcycles,” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “We are proud to be showing vehicles from Toyota and Mazda and we will also have 20+ open source demos in our booth, a small sampling of some of the AGL-based products and services that automakers and suppliers continue to bring to market.”

        • Security

          • It’s Not A VPN-busting Bug, It’s A Social Media Enhancer For UNIX Users

            Kidding aside, this vulnerability applies to most UNIX based OSes, with most Linux distros, Android, iOS, macOS, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD all affected. The attacker needs to be able to intercept your data, which means they need to already be on the same network span as your machine or by having control of the router or other exit point, but if they do they can use this flaw to determine the exact SEQ and ACK numbers in your encrypted session.

            That information can be used to successfully inject data, hijack the connection and possibly redirect your VPN session to imposter pages or other places on the web you really don’t want to go to. Not all VPNs are vulnerable, the researches quoted at The Register tested this on OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPSe.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • TikTok Settles Its Child Privacy Class Action for $1.1 Million

              As expected, TikTok has quickly settled a class-action lawsuit brought against it by parents of users who felt that the company had violated child privacy laws.

            • Apple explains location seeking behavior on iPhone 11 Pro

              Apple has released a detailed explanation of the privacy invading location seeking behavior observed on the iPhone 11 Pro by security researcher Brian Krebs. Privacy Online News first reported on the iPhone 11 Pro phoning home with location data earlier in December. Apple has explained that the location data is used by Ultra Wideband technology to check for geo-restrictions on use of that technology.

            • Health Records on iPhone Now Available to Bayhealth Patients

              Bayhealth now supports Health Records on iPhone, which brings together hospitals, clinics and the existing Apple Health app to make it easy for patients to see their available medical data from multiple providers whenever they choose.

            • A DNA Firm That Caters to Police Just Bought a Genealogy Site

              On Monday afternoon, GEDmatch announced it was being taken over by a new owner, the forensic genomics firm Verogen. The San Diego-based company spun out of sequencing giant Illumina two years ago, specializing in next-generation DNA testing services catered to law enforcement. With the acquisition of GEDmatch, Verogen may also start offering genealogy searches like the ones that have so far identified suspects in as many as 70 cases. “Never before have we as a society had the opportunity to serve as a molecular eyewitness, enabling law enforcement to solve violent crimes efficiently and with certainty,” Verogen CEO Brett Williams said in a statement announcing the deal. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

            • It’s the end of the road for Google Glass Explorer Edition

              THERE’S AN ELEMENT OF RISK in being an explorer, as Wikipedia grimly documents. Perhaps with hindsight, the words “Explorer Edition” that featured prominently on the first generation of Google Glass should have warned of a similarly disappointing end.

              Google plans to put out one final software update and then to cut all those Explorers loose. And it’s less of a last hoorah and more a last wah-wah.

              The update simply lets you pair Glass with the phone, as MyGlass will stop working. Bluetooth will continue, as will the ability to creepily take photos and videos via your lenses.

              People who refuse to apply the update will still be able to use it for the time being, but mirrored apps such as Gmail, YouTube and Hangouts won’t work. But really, how dedicated to Google do you have to be to be using Hangouts on your Glass in 2019?

    • Defence/Aggression/Deaths

      • Premature Democratic Socialists: Reasons for Hope and Change

        In the United States there was a time in the previous century when a political campaign was waged against “premature antifascists,” namely against members of the socialist left who warned and fought against fascism well before World War II.

      • In Wag the Dog Move, Indicted Israeli PM Netanyahu Moves to Annex 25% of Palestinian West Bank

        Netanyahu is brazenly planning to steal a quarter of all the land in the Palestinian West Bank, forever ending any chance of a Palestinian state.

      • ‘Read Every Word of This’: WaPo Investigation Reveals US Officials’ Public Deception Campaign on Afghan War

        Officials repeatedly told the public “progress” was being made, but new documents show they knew that wasn’t true.

      • I Knew the War in Afghanistan Was a Lie

        Nightmares still haunt me. Sometimes it’s the standard stuff associated with classic post-traumatic stress disorder: flashbacks of horrible attacks and images of my mutilated troopers. More often, though, peculiar as it may sound, I dream that my sociopathic, career-obsessed colonel calls to give me another late-night order to do something unnecessary—usually dangerous, always absurd—the next day.

      • U.S. Misled Public on Progress in Afghanistan, Documents Show

        The U.S. government across three White House administrations misled the public about failures in the Afghanistan war, often suggesting success where it didn’t exist, according to thousands of pages of documents obtained by The Washington Post.

      • Sri Lanka Continues Its Delicate Dance With India

        Sri Lanka is a role model for the dictum of diplomacy being the extension of a country’s national policies. Sri Lanka’s performance must be commended since it also grapples with an unresolved nationality question in which its big neighbor India has historically staked claim as stakeholder, a claim that Sri Lanka cannot brusquely repudiate due to the huge asymmetry in their comprehensive national power.

      • These Homes for Mentally Ill Adults Have Been Notoriously Mismanaged. Now, One Is a Gruesome Crime Scene.

        On the afternoon of Dec. 3, workers at the Oceanview Manor Home for Adults found resident Ann McGrory, 58, lying on the floor, lifeless, with her pants down around her ankles. She had cuts and bruises on her hands, head and face. By her side, seated atop his bed in Room 512, was resident Frank Thompson, 64, her sometimes-boyfriend who had a reputation at the home as a heavy drinker with a short temper. The aides called police. Thompson was brought into custody for questioning later that day and placed under arrest on Wednesday.

        He is charged with second-degree attempted murder rather than murder because the medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of death to be a homicide, according to a law enforcement source. McGrory also had serious preexisting medical issues, including brain cancer. The criminal complaint, however, lays out evidence that McGrory was severely beaten. She was found with a bruised, swollen eye, blood on the back of her head, broken fingernails and what appeared to be blood beneath them. Thompson has not yet entered a plea. Brooklyn Defender Services, which is representing him, declined to comment because the case is in such an early phase.

      • Myanmar: Hearings Begin in Genocide Case
      • Juice WRLD Fallout Begins: Two Bodyguards Arrested at Chicago Airport

        The fallout from the sudden death of rapper Juice WRLD is already beginning, with the arrest of two of his bodyguards, along with the onset of an investigation by Homeland Security.

      • Cameroon: Make Humanitarian Response More Inclusive

        Concrete action is needed to make the humanitarian response to the crisis in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon more inclusive of people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today on International Human Rights Day. In September 2019, the United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs made a commitment to make the humanitarian response more inclusive, but the commitment needs to be translated into action on the ground.

        Violence has intensified since July 2019 in the North-West and South-West regions, escalating in August after a Yaoundé military court handed down life sentences to 10 leaders of the separatist Ambazonia Interim Government following a flawed trial. Human Rights Watch research and media reports indicate that at least 130 civilians have been killed in over 100 incidents since July, and thousands have been forced to flee. Given the ongoing violence and the difficulty of collecting information from remote areas, the number of civilian deaths – including of people with disabilities – is most likely higher.

      • 5 Dead, 8 Missing After New Zealand Volcano Eruption

        A volcano off the New Zealand coast erupted Monday with a towering blast of ash and scalding steam as dozens of tourists were exploring the moon-like surface, killing five people and leaving eight others missing and feared dead, authorities said.

      • Preventing India’s Factory Disasters
      • Russia: Domestic Violence Bill Falls Short

        At a Moscow rally in support of domestic violence legislation, a woman holds a banner that reads “We demand a law against domestic violence. We are not killed yet, but we’re close”, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.

      • Uzbekistan: Torture Widespread, Routine

        Screenshot from a video showing a photo of a prisoner working at Uzbekistan’s Jaslyk prison.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Interview: Writer Tom Mueller On His Book, ‘Crisis Of Conscience: Whistleblowing In An Age Of Fraud’

        Writer Tom Mueller joins the “Unauthorized Disclosure” weekly podcast to discuss his book, Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing In An Age Of Fraud, which was released in October.

        During the interview, Mueller describes how he came to work on this book, which over 500-plus pages documents and explores whistleblowing in many different arenas—corporate, institutional, government, etc. He highlights common threads he sees in various whistleblower cases, such as what leads one to become a whistleblower.

      • The Last Days of the BBC?

        For those of us familiar with the politics of the BBC, it has all been fairly predictable, even if still a little depressing, and sometimes even shocking, to watch. Let’s start with the prime minister. As a number of critics have noted, the public persona of “Boris” was partly honed on the BBC in a series of appearances on its tired satirical show, Have I Got News for You, and the institution has since proved for the most part either unable or unwilling to puncture the performance and hold the politician to account.

      • Away replaces CEO Steph Korey after Verge investigation

        The news comes after days of public backlash due to leaked documents showing Korey routinely intimidated employees on public Slack channels. After The Verge’s initial story broke, new leaks showed Away was directing employees not to engage with the article even from their personal social media accounts.

        Away does not allow employees to email each other, and asks that direct messages be kept to a minimum. The result is that almost all conversations take place on public Slack channels where executives give harsh feedback and reprimand people for small mistakes. “You could hear her typing and you knew something bad was going to happen,” a former employee told The Verge, as we reported on December 5th.

    • Environment

      • Carbon Majors Can Be Held Liable for Human Rights Violations, Philippines Commission Rules

        The world’s biggest polluters could be held legally liable for their contributions to climate change, a major national inquiry into the links between climate and human rights has concluded.

      • Investors fight back against climate wreckers

        Investors are using their shareholdings to force polluting companies to change their ways and cut carbon emissions.

      • 8- and 11-Year-Old Siblings Rappel From Bridge Demanding Climate Action

        As hundreds of thousands marched to the main stage during Friday’s climate march in Madrid, two young children — a brother and sister aged 8 and 11 — staged an act of civil disobedience from a bridge overlooking the protest. While demonstrators marched beneath them, the two children rappelled from an overpass, dangling from ropes in mid-air to hang a banner calling for climate action. Democracy Now! briefly spoke to them after their action.

      • Indigenous and Youth Activists Slam Global Leaders for Climate Inaction
      • Alaska Is Already Irreparably Changed by Climate Disruption

        Recently, I was in Homer, Alaska, to talk about my book The End of Ice. Seconds after I had thanked those who brought me to the small University of Alaska campus there, overwhelmed with some mix of sadness, love and grief about my adopted state — and the planet generally — I wept.

      • Calling for ‘Climate President,’ 500+ Groups Demand Next Administration Take Immediate Action

        “Swift action to confront the climate emergency has to start the moment the next president enters the Oval Office.”

      • Energy

        • Coal and the Regions Left Behind

          The NYT had an article that focused on Buchanan County, Virginia as an example of a left behind area in the United States. The county’s economy had centered on coal.

        • Even Insurance Companies Are Turning Their Backs on Coal

          It’s rapidly running out of friends in the financial world: coal is now too hot for many big insurers to want anything more to do with it. The burning of coal is one of the key factors behind rising emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases.

        • Big Energy Front Group Launches Push for Troubled Atlantic Coast Pipeline

          A lobbying group formed by oil and gas industry insiders to push for increased fossil fuel production has turned its focus from promoting offshore drilling in the Atlantic to championing Dominion Energy’s and Duke Energy’s controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). It’s doing so under the guise of being a pro-consumer group concerned about energy justice, even while its members include major gas production companies as well as Dominion Energy.

        • Police Halt Activist-Led “Toxic Tour” of Corporate Polluters Sponsoring COP25

          In Spain, the country’s biggest fossil fuel polluters are also some of the most generous sponsors for this year’s U.N. climate talks. On Saturday, we joined activists on a “toxic tour” of Madrid from the Madrid stock exchange to Santander Bank. Activists explained that when Spanish President Pedro Sánchez announced that Spain would host COP25, he went to IBEX 35 — the 35 biggest listed companies in the Spanish stock exchange — offering them a 90% tax break on a $2 million sponsorship. Advocates say that these same companies “have deep and dirty links to the fossil fuel industry.” But midway through, the police shut down the tour, threatening fines of over 3,000 euros if the peaceful tour did not disperse. Climate justice campaigner for Friends of the Earth International Héctor de Prado says he was shocked and “ashamed” by the attempts by police to halt the tour. “It is not normal,” he says.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Subtweet Defense Wins: Elon Musk Cleared In Defamation Case

        A little over a year ago when cave diver Vern Unsworth sued Elon Musk for defamation, we noted that (unlike many defamation cases), it did not appear to be an out-and-out SLAPP case. That said, we noted that many of the claims in the lawsuit did not look to be about defamatory speech at all, and that would make much of the lawsuit an uphill battle. The part that appeared to be the most problematic for Musk, however, was the emails he had sent to Buzzfeed reporter Ryan Mac after the initial tweets, in which he made more detailed accusations, including what appeared to be factual statements implying deeper knowledge about Unsworth.

      • Russia Blocks All Of Shutterstock Due To ‘Offensive’ Image Involving The Russian Flag

        We’ve talked quite a bit over the years about Rozcomnadzor, the Russian agency in charge of policing the internet for copyright infringing content… and really anything else that the Russian government decides it doesn’t like. The agency operates exactly as deftly as you would expect, routinely blocking entire sites that are in regular use in Russia over a tiny percentage of “illicit” use. The problem, of course, is that Rozcomnadzor often interprets “illicit” uses of the internet to mean embarrassing public Russian figures with ties to the government, criticizing the government itself, or using basic internet security tools such as VPN to keep the Russian government out of one’s internet use. This makes it all the more infuriating that American groups such as the MPAA have happily signed on with the Russian agency in an effort to protect copyright content, despite the agency’s more widespread aims.

      • Ex-Governor Tries To Silence A Critic With A Bar Complaint; Gains Critic 70,000+ New Twitter Followers

        The whitest boy on the beach, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, has decided to bring his beach-grabbing exploits to the attention of everyone.

      • Kenn Burrows and Amber Yang – The Project Censored Show
      • First Russian journalist punished under ‘fake news’ law gets fine cancelled on appeal

        A Vladivostok court has cancelled the 30,000-ruble ($471) fine against Mikhail Romanov, a journalist for Yakutsk Vecherny (The Evening Yakutsk) who was sentenced the administrative violation of “abusing the freedom of information.” Vitaly Obedin, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, posted about the ruling on Facebook.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Snowden Needs a Better Public Interest Defense: Disposing of the Journalist Filter

        Assuming the NSA, focusing all its forensic powers on understanding what had been, to that point, the agency’s worst breach ever, managed to correctly assess the vulnerability Snowden used by October 29, 2014, the date the NSA wrote a report describing “Methods Used by Edward Snowden To Remove Documents from NSA Networks,” then the NSA has presumably already fixed the vulnerability.

        I honestly don’t know why, then, Snowden kept that detail secret. It’s possible it’s something banal, an effort to avoid sharing the critical forensic detail that would be used to prosecute him if he ever were to stand trial (though it’s not like there’s any doubt he took the documents). I can think of other possible reasons, but why he withheld this detail is a big question about the choices he made about what to disclose and what not to disclose in this book.

      • Trump campaign says it will shut out Bloomberg News from events

        President Donald Trump’s campaign said Monday it will no longer give credentials to Bloomberg News reporters to cover campaign events because of coverage “biases,” an accusation that the news organization rejects.

        The decision comes a week after the news service’s founder, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, announced he was seeking the Democratic nomination for president. And Bloomberg News, which the former New York City mayor founded in 1990, said it would not investigate him or his Democratic rivals but would continue to probe the Trump administration, as the sitting government.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Supreme Court Won’t Hear Appeal of Kentucky’s Forced Ultrasound Law, Allowing Law Intended to ‘Shame’ Patients Stand

        “The goal is to shame and intimidate people ending pregnancies. It’s scary when laws are used for that and scarier that the Supreme Court let it stand.”

      • “It Is About Perseverance Against Cruelty”: California Church’s Nativity Scene Shows Holy Family Separated in Cages

        “If this isn’t your church’s politics, you’ve got the wrong faith.”

      • Kenya: Elusive Justice for Gross Injustice, Abuse

        Residents flee as anti-riot policemen pursue opposition protestors in Mathare, Nairobi, on August 12.

      • Attorney General To Law Enforcement Critics: Good Luck Getting A Cop When You Need One

        Attorney General Barr to America: Fuck you, you ungrateful bastards. You’re on your own.

      • Lawyer Asks Racists To Use Sketchy Millions They Got From UNC To Fund Scholarships For Black Students To Avoid Lawsuit For Bogus Takedown

        Last week we wrote about the sketchy, sketchy deal in which UNC gave some racists $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit that was filed after the agreement was made, and settled moments later. More and more details keep coming out, making the whole situation look even sketchier (and even less legal). However, for our purposes, we’re focused on the copyright angle of this story. As you’ll recall, the lawyer who tracked down many of the details, T. Greg Doucette, also got his hands on a letter from the racist group, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, explaining the whole deal, including them admitting flat out that they didn’t have standing to sue, and any lawsuit would be thrown out almost immediately. That is, unless you’ve set it up so that the University has already agreed to give you millions of dollars. Doucette posted the letter to his Dropbox account, where he had posted other documents regarding this mess.

      • Human Rights Watch Film Festival

        The Human Rights Watch Toronto Film Festival poster featuring a still from the opening night feature, ‘I Am Not Alone’. The festival will run from January 30 to February 4, 2020.

      • Meet Virgil Griffith: America’s Newest Political Prisoner

        On November 29, FBI agents arrested hacker and cryptocurrency developer Virgil Griffith. His alleged crime: Talking.

      • Lighting Up Hope for Human Rights

        Human Rights Watch has arranged for 17 landmarks across the globe to shine bright blue on December 10, 2019, to celebrate Human Rights Day. From New York to Sydney, Munich to Toronto, the world will light up in solidarity with the fundamental principles of human dignity that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms, and that Human Rights Watch works to defend each day.

        “Human Rights Watch is working to build a world where everyone is free to say what they believe, to marry the person they love, can put food on the table and send their kids to school,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “We’re part of a movement that puts the dignity of each and every person on this planet before any politician’s quest for power or profit.”

      • In Kurdistan, Women Are Coming Into Their Own

        In a restaurant off a busy road in Sulaymaniyah, in the south of Kurdistan, dozens of women sit in a group, talking animatedly and drinking glasses of black, sweet tea. The women, some wearing headscarves, others in jeans and colorful nail polish, are part of a feminist organization called the Sofia Society.

      • ‘This Is Not a Troll. This Is Real Life.’
      • Utah Governor to Trump: ‘Allow Us to Accept More Refugees’

        Recently, Gary R. Herbert, the Republican governor for the US state of Utah, sent a letter to President Donald Trump saying Utah would like to sponsor more refugees because, “We empathize deeply with individuals and groups who have been forced from their homes and we love giving them a new home and a new life.” It was a refreshing appeal, recalling the country’s historically supportive approach toward refugee resettlement.

        But that’s probably not the response Trump had in mind when he signed an executive order in September saying refugees would only be resettled in places where both state and local officials indicated in writing their willingness to receive refugees. The intent of that order, to undercut refugee resettlement, was underscored by the Trump administration lowering the annual refugee admissions cap to 18,000, the lowest annual ceiling in the nearly three-decade history of the US refugee resettlement program. In October, the first month of the new fiscal year, the number of refugees admitted to the United States reached a new low: zero.

      • Trump’s Hand-Picked Prosecutor John Durham Cleared the CIA Once, Will He Again?

        For months, the names of Michael Horowitz and John Durham have figured in the pounding rhythms of right-wing media in which a heroically afflicted president faces down his perfidious enemies.  A steady drumbeat of reports from Fox News, echoed by President Trump and Republican loyalists in Congress, proclaimed these two obscure Justice Department officials would get to the bottom of an alleged conspiracy against the Trump presidency.

      • Speaking Freely: Rima Sghaier

        Rima Sghaier is a human rights activist and researcher who works at the intersection of technology and human rights, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. 

        Rima grew up in Tunisia under the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, which lasted for twenty-four years. Although Tunisia was among the earliest countries in its region to connect to the internet (in 1991), its use by dissidents and subcultures led to the government increasingly restricting access to information and communications tools. By the end of 2010, Tunisians had had enough and overthrew the Ben Ali government in a popular revolution that kicked off what some have referred to as the “Arab Spring.”

      • Russian penitentiary employees demand housing nationwide as Penitentiary Service calls their campaign a ‘provocation’

        Former and current employees of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) have begun posting protest videos addressed to the agency’s leadership and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The videos say employees have been denied or kicked out of housing that was promised to them, leading them to launch a national campaign they call “The Homeless Regiment.” A video featuring FSIN employees from 30 regions of Russia is scheduled to be posted on December 11.

      • The Fight to Secure Labor Rights for Exploited Prisoners

        Their 10 demands were straightforward, and sought to address systemic injustices as well as dangerous conditions within the prison walls. The strikers called for voting rights, for increased rehabilitation and educational opportunities, and for an end to racist policies. They also demanded an end to prison slavery, a horrifying reality that remains legal thanks to the 13th Amendment. A legal loophole buried within its text allows what amounts to slavery to be used as a penalty for those convicted of a crime — another toxic stain on the U.S. government’s already barbaric history. “The system of slavery continues not just in the prison setting but in the way people are rendered socially dead in amerikan society, in the white power structure assault on Black lives, communities of color, and on poor people’s lives,” explained a member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), a branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) comprised of organizers inside and outside detention facilities, when I reached out around the anniversary of the 2018 strike.

        Just over a year later, how much has changed? Those demands have not been met. Advocates say that conditions for people in prison have continued to deteriorate, and while the conversation about restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated people (and those currently in prison) has picked up steam ahead of the 2020 presidential election, we’re still a long way from universal suffrage. But organizers say the sacrifices those incarcerated workers made in 2018 were not in vain.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Study Says US Ranked 68th Out Of 100 In Mobile Video Quality

        While the telecom sector often enjoys crowing about the superiority of U.S. wireless, the reality is we’re not all that superior. While the U.S. was among the first countries to deploy 4G LTE, US 4G speeds tend to be fairly pathetic, with one study ranking the US 47th out of 77 countries studied. US wireless data prices are also significantly higher than a long list of other developed nations, thanks in no small part to regulatory capture and revolving door regulators.

    • Monopolies

      • Uber Has Always Been a Criminal Organization

        But anyone who’s really paid any attention to Uber’s history shouldn’t be surprised at all. Uber’s whole business model was premised on criminality — the willful, systematic flouting of local taxi regulations, based on a wager that the company could retroactively absolve itself by getting the laws changed via big-money lobbying. With that kind of mission, it’s not surprising its executives had blood on their hands long before they started taking Saudi blood money. It comes from a mindset that pursues growth at quite literally any cost — human or financial.

      • Copyrights

        • The Pirate Bay is Trialing High-Quality Video Streaming Links

          Developments over the past few days indicate that The Pirate Bay may about to fully launch a brand new feature. In addition to traditional magnet links, many titles now feature a subtle ‘B’ button which allow users to stream movies and TV shows directly in the browser on a new site called BayStream.

        • Filmmaker Wins Piracy Lawsuit Against YouTube and Google India

          YouTube and Google are liable for infringing the copyrights of Indian filmmaker Suneel Darshan, a local court has ruled. The video platform was ordered to pay compensation and must prevent similar infringements going forward. In its defense, YouTube argued that it’s a neutral intermediary which responds to takedown notices, but that’s not enough, the court concluded.

        • Save the Date: Public Domain Day 2020 Is Happening in January in Washington, D.C.

          Registration is free—and open now! Please join us for an evening of celebrating our shared culture and heritage. Be on the lookout for more information coming soon.

        • Widow of Chris Cornell Suing Soundgarden Over Unpaid Royalties

          The widow of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell is suing both the band and its business manager over unpaid royalties while accusing them of trying to force her to turn over some of Cornell’s unreleased recordings.

        • Deezer Inks Major Telco Partnership With Saudi Telecom Company

          Deezer has landed a major deal with Saudi Telecom Company. It’s the French music streaming service’s first MENA telco expansion since launch in the region.

        • Revolving Door Revolves Some More: Head Of Copyright Office Leaves To Join MPAA

          For many years we’ve been covering the rather disturbing revolving door between the US Copyright Office and Hollywood. This includes a bunch of copyright maximalists going back and forth between entertainment industry lobbying organizations and government positions. It seems to happen over and over and over again. Indeed, the former head of the Copyright Office, Maria Pallante, now leads the Association of American Publishers, where she’s been advocating for ever more ridiculous copyright laws.


Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 3:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Breathe Life Back Into Your Late 2013 Or Older Apple Mac With Linux

        I receive a ton of great questions about using Linux, but it’s challenging to answer them all personally. Going forward, I’ve decided to write answers to some of these questions so a wider audience can benefit from them. One recurring theme that’s constantly hitting my inbox centers around installing Linux on an older MacBook.

      • China orders officials to remove foreign tech from computers

        China began building its own operating system to replace Microsoft Windows or iOS in 2013, with the help of a British company Canonical.

        Canonical was founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth to market commercial support and related services for Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system which is open-source and not owned by an individual or company.

        Canonical provided technical support to build Chinese users an Ubuntu open-source operating system named Kylin, at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

        Earlier this year the US banned American companies from doing business with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. Google, Intel and Qualcomm stopped working with the technology company.

        Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted that the future of Chinese technology companies in the UK could be on the line after vowing not to involve Huawei in upcoming 5G networks if it would create a rift with security allies like the US.

    • Server

      • Embracing digital transformation with containerisation and Kubernetes

        While digital transformation is creating new business opportunities, it is also bringing a host of challenges and technological barriers with its wave of progress. With changes ongoing and always around the corner, organisations are having to re-evaluate how they can modernise their often-out-dated digital infrastructure in order to keep up. Is there any way to make the transition simpler?

        Enter Kubernetes. The word is taken from ancient Greek, where it translates as ‘helmsman’ or ‘pilot’. So, it makes sense that your IT business strategy can be guided, not through the Aegean, but through the waters of digital transformation towards stability and efficiency. What began life as Google’s original open source container-orchestration system, has now paved the way for a reliable precedent to automating, controlling and extending modern IT applications.

      • Datacenters Are Hungry For Servers Again

        Server consumption is a pretty good proxy for how enterprises of all shapes and sizes feel about their particular business. And judging by the number of machines and the aggregate revenue they drove in the third quarter – despite all of the uncertainty in the world – they must be feeling pretty good.

      • IBM

        • New Linux Kernel Update for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 & CentOS 7 Fixes Two Bugs

          The new Linux kernel update, which is available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and CentOS Linux 7 systems, is only a bugfix release, not a security update, addressing a bug that made applications consume the entire allocated CPU quota, as well as to backport the “sched: Fix race between task_group and sched_task_group” fix.

          Users are advised to update their kernel packages in all the supported systems (see below for details) to kernel-3.10.0-1062.9.1.el7.x86_64.rpm and related packages, all of which are available to install for free from the stable software repositories of all supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system variants and CentOS Linux 7.

        • CodeReady Workspaces devfile, demystified

          With the exciting advent of CodeReady Workspaces (CRW) 2.0 comes some important changes. Based on the upstream project Eclipse Che 7, CRW brings even more of the “Infrastructure as Code” idea to fruition. Workspaces mimic the environment of a PC, an operating system, programming language support, the tools needed, and an editor. The real power comes by defining a workspace using a YAML file—a text file that can be stored and versioned in a source control system such as Git. This file, called devfile.yaml, is powerful and complex. This article will attempt to demystify the devfile.

        • Building freely distributed containers with Podman and Red Hat UBI

          DevNation tech talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions and code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about building containers with Podman and Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI) from Scott McCarty and Burr Sutter.

          We will cover how to build and run containers based on UBI using just your regular user account—no daemon, no root, no fuss. Finally, we will order the de-resolution of all of our containers with a really cool command. After this talk, you will have new tools at the ready to help you find, run, build, and share container images.

        • Backfitting SLES 12 for IBM z15 – It’s in Our DNA

          For 20 years, SUSE has partnered with IBM to advance Linux on Z. From the early days of the IBM Linux Tech Center to an elaborate open source ecosystem, you might say that supporting IBM Z is part of our DNA.
          Several months ago, SUSE included support for the newly announced IBM z15 and IBM LinuxONE III systems as part of SLES 15. Now, with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM Z and LinuxONE 12 SP5, we are backfitting all the latest IBM Z support for pervasive encryption and more.
          The latest IBM z15 system is designed to support your mission-critical initiatives and allow you to be innovative as you design and scale your environment. Combined with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for IBM Z and LinuxONE, these state-of-the-art systems provide an ultra-secure data serving platform to support the global economic growth we are seeing today.

        • Red Hat’s Adam Young: Containers from first principals

          Computing is three things: calculation, movement, and storage. The rest is commentary.

          What are containers? I was once told they were “just” processes. It took me a long time to get beyond that “just” to really understand them. Processes sit in the middle of a set of abstractions in computer science. Containers are built on that abstraction. What I’d like to do here is line up the set of abstractions that support containers from the first principals of computer science.

          Computation is simple math: addition and the operations built from it like subtraction and multiplication, and simple binary tricks like left shift which are effectively forms of multiplication.

          A CPU takes a value out of memory, performs math on it, and stores it back in memory. Sometimes that math requires two values from memory. This process is repeated endlessly as long as your computer is on.

          Storage is the ability to set a value somewhere and come back later to see that it has the same value. If maintaining that value requires electricity, we call it volatile memory. If it can survive a power outage, we call it persistent storage.

          The movement of information from one location to another involves the change of voltage across a wires. Usually, one value is used to select the destination, and another value is transferred.

          That is it. That is the basics in a nutshell. All other abstractions in computer science are built from these three pieces.

          One little quibble: there is a huge bit I am skipping over: interactions with the outside world. Input, from sensors, and various parts of the output story as well. I’ll just acknowledge those now, but I’m not going to go in to them in too much depth.

        • What’s new in Red Hat Integration

          The latest release of Red Hat Integration is now available, and with it we’ve introduced some exciting new capabilities aimed at helping customers better manage APIs at scale, enhancements for Apache Kafka-based environments, and API policy extensibility.

          Red Hat Integration is a comprehensive set of agile and flexible integration and messaging products that provide API connectivity, data transformation, service composition and orchestration, real-time messaging, cross-datacenter message streaming, and API management to connect apps across hybrid architectures and enable API-centric business services.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 13×50

        Listener feedback.

      • Linux Action News 135

        Ubuntu Pro is a click away, and their kernel goes rolling on AWS. We process the range of announcements, while Mozilla cranks up the security and impresses us with DeepSpeech.

        Plus why Ubuntu is taking the Windows Subsystem for Linux so seriously.

      • The $2000 Dollar Linux Phone | Librem 5 USA

        Well isn’t this interesting… a $2000 dollar Linux phone. Yeah, that is three zeros and I must say this phone… is different

    • Kernel Space

      • Re: [GIT PULL] treewide conversion to sizeof_member() for v5.5-rc1
        On Sat, Dec 7, 2019 at 11:48 AM Kees Cook wrote:
        > Please pull this mostly mechanical treewide conversion to the single and
        > more accurately named sizeof_member() macro for the end of v5.5-rc1.
        So this one I'm _still_ not convinced about. It makes yet another name
        for something we've had before, which just annoys me. And maybe it's
        the 13-year old in me, but "sizeof_member()" just makes me go "that's
        I _can_ see why we'd want to standardize on one of the tree versions
        we have, but I can't really see the problem with the existing #define
        that we have, and that is used (admittedly not all that much):
      • Linus Rejects “Size Of Member” Change From Linux 5.5 Kernel

        This weekend was the last-minute pull request by Google’s Kees Cook to introduce the new sizeof_member() macro that had been previously rejected from Linux 5.4. Well, it was again rejected by Linus Torvalds prior to tagging the Linux 5.5-rc1 kernel.

        The sizeof_member() macro has been aimed to unify 2~3 other macros within the kernel tree currently and using the size-of-field moniker, but Cook argued that for measuring the size of a member of a C struct, the new macro is more appropriate and converted usage of the old macros to this new single macro.

      • WireGuard Sends Out Latest Patch Revision In Preparing For Linux 5.6

        While there are some pretty great features for Linux 5.5, one that didn’t make it quite in time was the long-awaited introduction of WireGuard as the in-kernel secure VPN tunnel. While it was a bummer it didn’t make 5.5, all indications are at this point is that it will be in Linux 5.6.

        With Linux 5.5 the crypto subsystem adopted some elements of WireGuard’s “Zinc” crypto code and that in turn opened the door for merging WireGuard now that the cryptography side was sorted out. But WireGuard was too late for introduction in net-next even with a last minute attempt trying to get it into 5.5, but instead it’s aiming early for merging to net-next to ensure it’s timely introduction with Linux 5.6.

      • WireGuard Lands In Net-Next While It Waits For Inclusion In Linux 5.6

        The WireGuard secure VPN tunnel kernel code has landed in net-next! This means that — barring any major issues coming to light that would lead to a revert — WireGuard will finally reach the mainline kernel with the Linux 5.6 cycle kicking off in late January or early February!

        Quick action overnight surprisingly saw WireGuard already land in net-next. It was just last night before sleeping that I wrote of the latest patch review for WireGuard and its prospects for Linux 5.6 after being just too late for Linux 5.5.

      • WireGuard VPN is a step closer to mainstream adoption

        As of this morning, Linux network stack maintainer David Miller has committed the WireGuard VPN project into the Linux “net-next” source tree. Miller maintains both net and net-next—the source trees governing the current implementation of the Linux kernel networking stack and the implementation of the next Linux kernel’s networking stack, respectively.

        This is a major step forward for the WireGuard VPN project. Net-next gets pulled into the new Linux kernel during its two-week merge window, where it becomes net. With WireGuard already a part of net-next, this means that—barring unexpected issues—there should be a Linux kernel 5.6 release candidate with built-in WireGuard in early 2020. Mainline kernel inclusion of WireGuard should lead to significantly higher uptake in projects and organizations requiring virtual private network capability.

        Normal, day-to-day Linux users probably won’t see in-kernel WireGuard until late 2020. Ubuntu is one of the faster-moving mainstream distributions, and its next Long Term Support (LTS) release is in April 2020. But the Linux 5.6 kernel and Ubuntu 20.04 will likely be in release candidate status at the same time, so its inclusion in 20.04 seems unlikely. The interim 20.10 Ubuntu release seems like a much safer bet for Canonical’s first use of a 5.6 or later kernel. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) inclusion will likely be a year or more beyond that; the current RHEL 8.1 shipped in May 2019 with the 4.18 kernel, which was already 9 months old.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.5-rc1

        Linus has released the 5.5-rc1 kernel prepatch and closed the merge window for this development cycle.

      • Facebook’s New Linux Slab Memory Controller Saving 30~40%+ Of Memory, Less Fragmentation

        Back in September we wrote about Facebook’s Roman Gushchin working on a new slab memory controller/allocator implementation that in turn could provide better memory utilization and less slab memory usage. This wasn’t ready in time for the 5.5 kernel but a revised patch series was sent out last week.

        Roman continues to talk up this new slab memory controller with it turning out much better than the existing slab memory code, which he says in Facebook production workloads is only seeing 45~65% slab utilization and at best case around 85%. This controller rework aims for better slab utilization and also sharing of slab pages between multiple memory cgroups. The memory accounting is done now per-object rather than per-page, among other changes.

      • KubeCon gets bigger, the kernel gets better, and more industry trends

        The impact: The kernel’s continued relevance is a direct result of the never-ending grind to keep being where people need it to be (i.e. basically everywhere).

      • Graphics Stack

        • ADriConf GUI Control Panel Support For Mesa Vulkan Drivers Is Brought Up

          One of the most frequent complaints we hear from Linux gamers running open-source GPU drivers is over the lack of the hardware vendors supporting any feature-rich control panels like they do on Windows. There are many Linux driver tunables exposed by these open-source graphics drivers, but often they can only be manipulated via command-line options, environment variables, boot parameters, and other less than straight-forward means especially for recent converts from Windows and other novice Linux users. ADriConf has been doing a fairly decent job as a third-party means of helping to improve the situation and now there is talk of it supporting Vulkan driver settings.

        • Vulkan 1.1.130 Released With New Tooling Extension

          The new extension with Vulkan 1.1.130 is VK_EXT_tooling_info. The VK_EXT_tooling_info extension is for letting the Vulkan application/game/engine query what development tools are running right now. In particular, this is for tools like RenderDoc and other Vulkan profilers/debuggers. This extension will offer some uniformity and assistance to developers in debugging potential compatibility issues between Vulkan tools and other problems.

        • New graphing tool for PipeWire debugging

          PipeWire, the new and emerging open source framework that aims to greatly improve the exchange and management of audio and video streams inside a Linux system, has seen a number of improvements and bug fixes over the past year. With many developers now actively contributing to it, PipeWire is maturing quickly and is well on its way to becoming the new standard.

          At Collabora, we have been busy helping clients work with PipeWire, notably Automotive Grade Linux who have chosen to adopt PipeWire for its implementation of the low-level platform audio service, replacing previous solutions like 4A, PulseAudio and AudioManager. Assisting early adopters such as AGL has brought us to design and implement new elements within PipeWire, such as the session & policy management component WirePlumber, which George Kiagiadakis presented in October at the GStreamer Conference in Lyon.

    • Benchmarks

      • Clear Linux On The OnLogic Karbon 700 Boosted Performance By 13% Over Ubuntu With 141 Benchmarks

        Last month we reviewed the OnLogic Karbon 700 as a passively-cooled, industrial-grade PC powered by an eight-core / sixteen-thread Intel Xeon, 16GB of RAM, 512GB NVMe storage, and a plethora of connectivity options in suiting to industrial use-cases. The performance was great and even the thermal performance was very good for being a fan-less PC. In seeing how well other Linux distributions were panning out on the Karbon 700, I tested five popular Linux distributions on the Xeon Coffee Lake system and once again Intel’s performance-optimized Clear Linux squeezed out much more performance potential.

    • Applications

      • Odio is a Classy Looking Radio Player for Linux Desktops

        If so, check out Odio (styled ‘odio’). This is a free Electron-based radio streaming app for Windows, macOS and Linux desktops.

        Odio has super clean UI that is, to my eyes at least, somewhat inspired by Spotify’s desktop client (no bad thing). Plus, the app touts broad internal radio station support (over 20,000, apparently) and offers a couple of handy customisation options.

      • Google is bringing a Tab Strip to Chrome for Windows and Linux

        If you have used the Microsoft Edge web browser, classic or new, you may have stumbled upon the browser’s Tab Strip feature. Just click on the arrow icon on the tab bar to display thumbnail images of the sites and resources open in the browser.

        It appears that Google is attempting to bring a similar feature to the company’s Chrome web browser. Already in Chrome OS, Google engineers are working on introducing Tab Strip functionality in the Chrome browser.

        The feature introduces an option in the Chrome browser to display a strip of tabs. While it is unclear yet how it would be activated by the user, it is likely that Google is adding an icon to the browser’s tab bar to activate and deactivate the Tab Strip view in the browser.

      • Matroska (MKV) Creation Software Suite MKVToolNix Sees New 41.0.0 Release

        MKVToolNix, a free and open source set of tools for creating, editing and inspecting Matroska (MKV, MK3D, MKA, and MKS) files, has seen a new release which brings support for reading Opus audio and VP9 video from MP4 files for mkvmerge, improvements for predefined track names, and more.

        MKVToolNix is made of 4 command line tools: mkvmerge (create Matroska files from other media files), mkvinfo (show Matroska file information), mkvextract (extracts tracks / data from Matroska files), and mkvpropedit (change the properties of existing Matroska files without a complete remux), as well as MKVToolNix GUI (a Qt GUI for mkvmerge, mkvinfo and mkvpropedit). The tools are available on Linux, *BSD, Windows and macOS.

        With the latest MKVToolNix 41.0.0, Vorbis, Opus and VP8 stream comments (Vorbis comments) are converted to Matroska attachments for cover art, and Matroska track tags for other comments. This has been implemented for both the Matroska and Ogg readers.

      • Deb-pacman : A Pacman-style Frontend For APT Package Manager

        Apt, Advanced Packaging Tool, is a powerful command line tool used to install, update, upgrade and remove packages in Debian and its derivatives like Ubuntu. There are several frontends available for Apt, such as Aptitude, Synaptic and Ubuntu software center to name a few. Today I am going to introduce yet another frontend for APT package manager called Deb-pacman.

        Deb-pacman is a Bash script that emulates the functionality of Pacman (the package manager for Arch Linux and its variants). Using Deb-pacman, you can use the pacman commands, as the way you use them under Arch Linux to install, update, upgrade and remove packages, in a Debian-based system. You can simply invoke “pacman” instead of “apt” command in your Ubuntu system. Deb-pacman simply emulates the Archlinux’s Pacman package manager feel for Debian users who may prefer the style of Pacman over Apt. This can be helpful for those who get used to pacman.

        As you know already Apt itself was originally designed as a front-end for dpkg, which was developed by Ian Murdock (founder of Debian project) for Debian OS to install, remove and provide information about .deb packages. So technically speaking Deb-pacman is a front end for APT which is a frontend for Dpkg. In other words, it is just a wrapper.

      • Kiwi TCMS 7.2

        We’re happy to announce Kiwi TCMS version 7.2! This is an improvement & bug fix release which includes new database migrations and API methods, internal refactoring and updated translations. You can explore everything at https://public.tenant.kiwitcms.org!

      • Daniel Stenberg: This is your wake up curl

        One of the core functionalities in libcurl is the ability to do multiple parallel transfers in the same thread. You then create and add a number of transfers to a multi handle. Anyway, I won’t explain the entire API here but the gist of where I’m going with this is that you’ll most likely sooner or later end up calling the curl_multi_poll() function which asks libcurl to wait for activity on any of the involved transfers – or sleep and don’t return for the next N milliseconds.

        Calling this waiting function (or using the older curl_multi_wait() or even doing a select() or poll() call “manually”) is crucial for a well-behaving program. It is important to let the code go to sleep like this when there’s nothing to do and have the system wake up it up again when it needs to do work. Failing to do this correctly, risk having libcurl instead busy-loop somewhere and that can make your application use 100% CPU during periods. That’s terribly unnecessary and bad for multiple reasons.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Uncover the truth in Interrogation: You will be deceived, out now

        With a seriously cool Noir style, the detective conversational puzzle-sim Interrogation: You will be deceived is out now.

      • Indie FPS Ravenfield’s work in progress Conquest Mode gets a tech tree

        Ravenfield, the highly amusing and incredibly moddable indie FPS that’s in Early Access continues expanding the new Conquest Mode.

        While Ravenfield has been fun for a while, only recently has it gained a game mode that has you do more than just run around, shoot and laugh at the ragdolls. The new (and heavily work-in-progress) Conquest Mode has you fight against the AI across map-nodes, acting as a sort-of lengthier campaign option. While it’s early, it’s very promising and certainly quite different for an FPS to have a game mode like this.

      • Abstractanks, the indie fast-paced RTS continues evolving into a fun niche strategy game

        Ever tried Abstractanks? It’s an indie real-time strategy game we took a look at a long time ago and it’s gained some huge features.

        The core idea of the game is that it’s simple and streamlined, fast and easy to get into while also giving you a healthy challenge that will keep you wanting to come back for more. Battles can end up huge too, with each side controlling swarms of units.

      • Trick the world in the Fake News update to Plague Inc: Evolved

        Plague Inc: Evolved just got another big free update with a fun new Fake News scenario giving you a chance to deceive the whole world.

        A great game you could already have a lot of fun with, as I did before naming a Bacteria after someone close. Now though, you’re not dealing with coughs and colds but the spread of misinformation. Starting off with only one person being Deceived, you begin writing your Fake News Manifesto to evolve the information and it shall begin to spread.

        I decided to spread some fake news in the USA, that was started by Aliens because they just wanted to watch the world burn. You certainly can make some amusing things with it.

      • In AI Dungeon 2 the game is created as you play and it can be both impressive and ridiculous

        I can’t even begin to understand the fancy AI learning stuff behind the scenes, but AI Dungeon 2 is certainly a very fun idea and a possible look into the future of games.

        AI Dungeon 2 is a text adventure, like the classics but with a huge twist as it’s built with OpenAI opening up a huge amount of ever-expanding actions that are possible. It can be impressive, there’s some really surprising and amusing interactions you can have with it.

      • OBS Studio 24.0.4 is out with numerous bug fixes, better Linux Window Capture

        A few days ago, a “Hotfix” update was released for the video capture and livestreaming FOSS application OBS Studio.

        OBS Studio 24.0.4 is quite a small release, but for those of you creating video content on Linux you might find this version working a lot better. For Linux especially, the Window Capture function got multiple fixes like certain windows just not appearing and sometimes multiple 0×0 windows would appear. Display Capture on Linux was also fixed up where the crop value would shift the cursor’s captured position incorrectly.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Use the Fluxbox Linux desktop as your window manager

        The concept of a desktop may differ from one computer user to another. Many people see the desktop as a home base, or a comfy living room, or even a literal desktop where they place frequently used notepads, their best pens and pencils, and their favorite coffee mug. KDE, GNOME, Pantheon (and so on) provide that kind of comfort on Linux.

        But for some users, the desktop is just empty monitor space, a side effect of not yet having any free-floating application windows projected directly onto their retina. For these users, the desktop is a void over which they can run applications—whether big office and graphic suites, or a simple terminal window, or docked applets—to manage services. This model of operating a POSIX computer has a long history, and one branch of that family tree is the *box window managers: Blackbox, Fluxbox, and Openbox.

        Fluxbox is a window manager for X11 systems that’s based on an older project called Blackbox. Blackbox development was waning when I discovered Linux, so I fell into Fluxbox, and I’ve used it ever since on at least one of my active systems. It is written in C++ and is licensed under the MIT open source license.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Slimbook & Kubuntu – Combat Report 11

          The Slimbook remains a smart, useful choice. I am amazing that a whole year’s gone by. The laptop is holding amazing well. I’m using it outside quite some, and yet, there are no scratches or dents or anything, and neither the heat nor the cold phase it, and the battery change remains full and fresh, as good as new. People are also drawn to its sleek, understated look, and often comment and ask me about the name.

          Kubuntu 18.04 is also top-notch. I do have some small struggles, and I’d like to see several outstanding issues polished. But then, all in all, you get a slick, aesthetic product, it looks like something you could pay money for and feel it’s the right thing to do, and overall, it’s highly consistent and robust. That would be all for this episode. No great drama or fuss, which is exactly how I like my productivity. Take care.

        • Akademy 2019

          At this year’s Akademy I had great moments with new and already known people. Akedemy gives me much power for hopefully the rest of the year. I really enjoyed the daytrip to the lake. It was calm and beautiful environment. The daytrip helped me to calm down again. Together with Leiner, Florian and Valorie we sat down to discuss issues for newcomers attending Akademy the first time while having an amazing lunch. Is it often hard to remember how hard it can be to attend the Akademy the first time without knowing lots of people. The outcome of this discussion will feed back to community after some more cleanup of our notes. Hopefully we can make the next Akademy even better for newcomers next year!

          My highlights from the first two days of great talks are Kirogi and “Developers Italia”. I really enjoyed seeing that Open Source reaches more and more domains and now you can even control your drone with Open Source named Kirogi. The software itself looks already quite usable and I’m looking forward what features we will see there in future…

          “Developers Italia” was an eye opener, in how governments can change the laws so administrations must invest in Open Source. In Italy, administrations are forced to search for an existing solution in Open Source and then use this solution. If the software does not work for them they can pay developers to implement their needed features, but still the code will be owned by the administration and they need to publish the code afterwards under an Open Source license. I’m very interested to see how this will develop in future, because at the moment I still have the bad feeling that some big companies may have the ability and also the desire to destroy this revolutionary idea, with the result that only some big companies will get all the big grants, and the result will be bloated unusable Open Source software. But none the less, let’s give the Italy administrations a warm welcome and give them a hand to become good Open Source citizens.

          I also enjoyed the talk by Albert about the status of fuzzing KDE software. Albert explained, that the first Frameworks are covered by fuzzing, and the results that were found by the fuzzer. The first days and weeks spit out a lot of interesting issues, but nowadays, the fuzzer takes a lot of time to find new issues. So it is time now to add the next set ready to be fuzzed. I talked with Albert about what would be the most valuable parts of KDEPIM that should be covered by fuzzing. The first set is KMime, KContacts and KCalenderCore as they handle input without any user interaction.

        • Gamechuck sponsors Krita

          Gamechuck, a new studio based in Zagreb, has just released the first trailer for their upcoming role-playing adventure game Trip the Ark Fantastic. Trip the Ark Fantastic is planned for release in 2022 on PC/Mac/Linux and consoles, and Gamechuck has created the game entirely with free software.

          What’s more, they have also decided to sponsor Krita’s development!

          Trip the Ark Fantastic is a story-driven roleplaying adventure set in the Animal Kingdom on the verge of both industrial and social revolution. The story follows Charles, a hedgehog scholar on a mission by the lion king to save the monarchy, but his decisions could end up helping reformists or even to bring about anarchy.

        • Interview with teteotolis

          I have a webcomic (95% worked in Krita) called “emery”, take a look!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Developing Leaderboard for GNOME Hackers

          After completing my Google Summer of Code assignment, I had an idea in my mind for a project where the hard-working people on GNOME, known as GNOME Hackers, could be appreciated based on the amount of work they do for the FLOSS community. In the quest for the same, I wrote a leaderboard web app, GNOME Hackers. It was an awesome experience and I utilized my weekends very well by learning many new things. I will give a brief of them below.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • elementary OS 5.1 Hera releases with Flatpak native support, several accessibility improvements, and more

          In elementary OS 5.1 Hera, the greeter and onboarding have seen major changes in order to give users an improved first-run experience. In addition to looking better, the redesigned greeter addresses some of the key reported issues including keyboard focus issues, HiDPI issues, and better localization. Hera also ships with a new Onboarding app that gives you a quick introduction to key features and also takes care of common first-run tasks like managing privacy settings.

        • Elementary OS 5.1 Has Arrived

          One of the most highly regarded Linux desktop distributions has released its next iteration.

          If you’ve not heard of Elementary OS, chances are you don’t know what Linux is. If, on the other hand, you have heard of Elementary OS, and you’ve yet to give it a try, now’s a great time. Why? The latest release, 5.1 (aka “Hera”) is available and it promises to be the best release yet.

          Elementary 5.1 brings a number of new and exciting changes to what is often considered the most elegant desktop operating systems on the market.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 5 is Generally Available

          As you know, SUSE Linux Enterprise service packs are released on a yearly cadence. Service Pack 5 is the next service pack since the release of Service Pack 4 in Dec 2018. In addition, Service Pack 5 is also the last service pack for SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 release. With the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 5 on December 9th, general support for SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 4 will end on June 30th, 2020. Customers wishing to maintain support of their SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 4 installations after June 30, 2020 can continue support through the purchase of Long Term Service Pack Support.


          If you are currently running SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP4, you can migrate to Service Pack 5 as part of your active subscription until June 30, 2020.

      • Fedora Family

        • Contribute at the Fedora Test Week for Kernel 5.4

          The kernel team is working on final integration for kernel 5.4. This version was just recently released, and will arrive soon in Fedora. This version has many security fixes included. As a result, the Fedora kernel and QA teams have organized a test week from Monday, December 09, 2019 through Monday, December 16, 2019. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test images you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

        • Fedora Prepares To Roll-Out Linux 5.4 Kernel Update But Needs Help Testing

          Fedora users eager to see the Linux 5.4 stable kernel can engage by helping to test their newly-spun 5.4-based kernel image prior to it officially landing as a stable release update.

          Fedora remains one of the few non-rolling-release distributions that is willing to send down major kernel updates as part of their stable release updates for existing distributions. They are in the process of sending down Linux 5.4 but are hoping for more widespread testing first.

        • F31-20191206 update Live isos released

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F31-20191206 Live ISOs, carrying the 5.3.8-300 kernel.

          This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have 800+MB of updates)).

          A huge thank you goes out to irc nicks dowdle, ledeni, Southern-Gentleman for testing these iso.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical’s Multipass 0.9 Released For Easily Spinning Up Ubuntu VMs

          Multipass, the Canonical-led open-source project that aims to make it easy to spin up Ubuntu VM instances on Linux and Windows and macOS, is up to version 0.9 ahead of a possible 1.0 release for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          Multipass is the Canonical-led lightweight VM manager focused on quickly and easily creating new Ubuntu instances. Multipass builds atop KVM on Linux while on Windows has Hyper-V or VirtualBox and macOS has HyperKit and VirtualBox at its disposal. Multipass is a lot like Vagrant and makes it easy to fetch the latest distribution images, quickly and easily launching new instances with a single command, and other features. In catering to Ubuntu, it’s also friendly with Snaps for deployment.

        • First Look: Ubuntu Cinnamon, Beautiful Remix Worthy of Becoming Official Flavor

          As we reported over the weekend, Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix has seen its first ever release as an unofficial Ubuntu Cinnamon flavor featuring the beautiful and modern Cinnamon desktop environment, which is developed and maintained by the developers of the Linux Mint distribution.

          To make things clear, Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix is called a “remix” because it’s not yet an official flavor recognized by Canonical, but we believe it has all the odds to become an official Ubuntu flavor. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t get all the benefits of Ubuntu.

        • The Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Pre-release Survey

          In what is becoming an incredibly insightful tradition, we have built a 5 to 10-minute survey to collect direct feedback from as many operating system users as we can. Not just those on Ubuntu desktop but also those using Ubuntu server and Ubuntu in the cloud. Before our last LTS release, we sent out a call to action for developers to tell us how can we make Ubuntu better. Today, we would like to ask our broader community for similar feedback. With our next LTS release on the horizon, there is still time to influence the final picture and Ubuntu’s future roadmap. And not just for 20.04, but beyond. The results here will be used to inform decisions for several releases to come. But like all new things, its success ultimately depends on the user. You.

          Throughout the development process, our teams are in the various forums and threads, listening to your feedback to help inform our decision making. Our engineers themselves are incredibly passionate about Linux, and the Ubuntu community in general, and our decision-making process will always revolve around this fact.

          But in the run-up to something big like an LTS release, is it possible we find ourselves lost in an Ubuntu bubble? Are there developments in open source or trends on a level that we’re just not seeing? And if so, what are they?

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Survey Launched — You Can Help Shape Ubuntu’s Future

          The Ubuntu 20.04 LTS survey is set to run until January 10, 2020 and hopes to gather feedback from a diverse pool of Linux users.

          The responses garnered by the survey will be used to “inform” the future direction of Ubuntu, its roadmap, feature set, and so on.

          Heck, it’s even possible that the results could affect the eventual makeup of the upcoming LTS release, due next April.

        • Canonical Needs Your Help to Improve Ubuntu, Take the Ubuntu 20.04 Survey Now

          Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, have published today a survey to encourage the community to contribute suggestions and ideas to make future Ubuntu releases even better than before.

          Dubbed Focal Fossa, Ubuntu 20.04 will be the next LTS (Long Term Support) series of Ubuntu Linux, due for release in April 2020. Development kicked off officially back in October, and daily build ISOs are already available for public testing, but Canonical now asks the entire community for feedback to make Ubuntu 20.04 LTS the release of their dreams and also shape future Ubuntu releases.

        • Canonical Releases Updated Ubuntu Images for All Supported Raspberry Pi Boards

          Canonical released today updated Ubuntu images for all supported Raspberry Pi single board computers with out-of-the-box USB ports functionality and various bug fixes.

          Last month, Canonical pledged to fully support its popular Ubuntu Linux operating system on all Raspberry Pi boards, including Raspberry Pi 2, Raspberry Pi 3, and the latest Raspberry Pi 4 model. Ubuntu 19.10 shipped with a Linux kernel bug blocking the use of USB ports out of the box in the official arm64 image on the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 4GB RAM.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Updated images of Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and 4

          Updated 32-bit and 64-bit images of Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi family of devices have just been released. Innovators around the world can now download 32-bit images for the Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and 4, as well as 64-bit images for the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4.

          With the new images, USB ports are now fully functional out of the box on the 4GB RAM version of the Raspberry Pi 4. A kernel bug was limiting our official support to the 1GB and 2GB versions of the board. A temporary workaround was proposed to enable USB on the 4GB RAM version. This bug is now fixed, and the limitation lifted.

          We are on a journey to offering outstanding official support for Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi boards. As next steps, we will deliver Ubuntu Server LTS and Ubuntu Core on the Raspberry Pi boards. We aim to collaborate with the Raspberry Pi foundation to have an officially supported image of Ubuntu available at every new release of a Raspberry Pi board. We ambition to make developers’ favorite operating system always available on makers’ favorite single-board computer.

          Next year will be exciting for makers and developers who chose to innovate on Ubuntu. Besides additional official image

        • New, fully working Ubuntu Linux images now available for Raspberry Pi

          While most Raspberry Pi owners opt for Raspbian as their operating system, the tiny barebones board can run a number of other Linux distros, including Ubuntu.

          There was a major problem with the previous Ubuntu images though — a kernel bug prevented USB ports from working on the 4GB RAM model of the Raspberry Pi 4. A temporary workaround was proposed, but Canonical has finally fixed the flaw, and made updated 32 and 64-bit images of Ubuntu available for the Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and 4, which you can download now.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What Free Software, FOSS, and Open Source Share in Common

        In any field, activists can be each other’s worst enemies — and FOSS is no exception. Simply for suggesting that free software and open source have more similarities than differences, I have been denounced as a capitalist-shill, and worse. Yet, even a casual glance around proves FOSS is an alliance of overlapping yet separate interests. True, many of us have little in common with certain members of the alliance — I, for example, couldn’t care less about why corporations support FOSS, despite the denouncements — but that’s the nature of an alliance. Moreover, without those sometimes competing interests, I doubt FOSS would be such an overwhelming success.

        I count at least four major interests within FOSS today: the academic, the corporate, the hobbyists, and the political. Almost certainly, there are more.

      • NVDA 2019.3beta1 now available for testing

        Beta1 of NVDA 2019.3 is now available for download and testing. For anyone who is interested in trying out what NVDA 2019.3 has to offer before it is officially released, we welcome you to download the beta and provide feedback.

        NVDA 2019.3 is a very significant release as there are a great deal of under-the-hood changes which improve security and allow for some pretty cool innovations in the future. The most significant changes are the upgrade of Python 2 to Python 3, and a major re-write of NVDA’s speech subsystem.

        As these changes require add-ons and custom synthesizer drivers to be re-written, we plan to make the 2019.3 beta cycle much longer than normal, so that we can ensure that add-on developers have plenty of time to upgrade and test their add-ons with NVDA 2019.3 betas before 2019.3 stable is officially released. the current plan is to release several more betas over this month, and hopefully make the official release very early in the new year.

      • NVDA 2019.3 Beta 1 is available
      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Secure your addons.mozilla.org account with two-factor authentication

            Accounts on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) are integrated with Firefox Accounts, which lets you manage multiple Mozilla services from one login. To prevent unauthorized people from accessing your account, even if they obtain your password, we strongly recommend that you enable two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your account by adding an additional step to the login process to prove you are who you say you are.

            When logging in with 2FA enabled, you will be asked to provide a verification code from an authentication application, in addition to your user name and password. This article on support.mozilla.org includes a list of supported authenticator applications.

            Starting in early 2020, extension developers will be required to have 2FA enabled on AMO. This is intended to help prevent malicious actors from taking control of legitimate add-ons and their users. 2FA will not be required for submissions that use AMO’s upload API.

            Before this requirement goes into effect, we’ll be working closely with the Firefox Accounts team to make sure the 2FA setup and login experience on AMO is as smooth as possible. Once this requirement goes into effect, developers will be prompted to enable 2FA when making changes to their add-ons.

      • FSF

        • At SeaGL 2019, free software was in fine feather

          While the satisfactions of software freedom are quite enjoyable on your own, some of the greatest joys of free software come from our opportunities to flock together with other members of our community: to collaborate on our work, teach new skills, or simply show off new achievements. A grassroots gathering like the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference (SeaGL) is fun because it’s so thoroughly participatory: everyone comes into the room with something they’re excited to tell you about, and they’re equally excited to hear what you’re working on. The people at the front of the room giving a keynote talk are just as likely to be sitting next to you in the next session, so you can tell them what you thought of their talk, and even find out how to participate in their projects!

          As someone who is fairly new to the free software world and comparatively short on tech knowledge, I mostly attended talks on free software culture and more easily understood technological talks, although these were hardly the only topics on offer. Having unfortunately missed the opening keynotes by Lisha Sterling and Abigail Cabunoc Mayes due to some bad allergies, I began the day with a talk on DIY decentralization, by Aeva Black. Black set an irreverent tone for their talk with a reference to the notoriously goofy nineties movie Hackers, but quickly veered into much more serious territory: major digital communication platforms have exercised bias and even overt censorship against marginalized groups. How do we navigate around the power of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and the rest? Decentralization, federation, and self-hosting provide some good solutions, and a quick demonstration showed that if you have some basic know-how and tools, anyone can do it.

        • Free Software program Basis Provides Advantages and Merchandise In Its Annual Fundraiser

          An nameless reader writes:
          The Free Software program Basis is holding its annual fundraiser, with a aim of attracting 600 new members by the tip of December. (New members to date: 112.) “We’re nonetheless combating the oppressive nature of proprietary software program,” explains the marketing campaign’s net web page. “Now we have made strong inroads, and the neighborhood is as passionate as ever.”

          As a 501(c)(3) charity the group’s membership dues are all tax deductible, and affiliate memberships are simply $10 a month ($5 for college kids). They arrive with particular advantages together with as much as 5 electronic mail aliases within the member.fsf.org area, eligibility to hitch the nonprofit Digital Credit score Union, free admission to the annual LibrePlanet convention in Boston, and 20% reductions on FSF merchandise and GNU gear (together with this pleasant stuffed child gnu).

        • Licensing / Legal

          • Mark J. Wielaard: Software Freedom Conservancy Donor Match

            Please support the Software Freedom Conservancy by donating so they will be able to provide a home to many more communities. A donation of 10 US dollars a month will make you an official sponsor. Donations will be matched and so count double. And new Supporters will even have their donations tripled!

      • Programming/Development

        • How to Boost Your Programming Skills

          Anyone with an old computer that they don’t use anymore should install Ubuntu on it in order to improve their programming skills. It’s a free Linux-based operating system that can run on a wide range of hardware. Successfully using Ubuntu will require you to learn more about Python, which is considered one of the most simplified and beginner-friendly programming languages in use today. – Bryce Welker, The Big 4 Accounting Firms

        • Python

          • It’s Time to Upgrade to Python 3 – Time Is Running Out!

            As of January 1, 2020, Anaconda will no longer be adding new packages built for Python 2.7 to repo.anaconda.com default channels. The Python 2.7 packages available prior to that date will remain available.

            This means, for instance, that if there is a newly released version of TensorFlow after the first of the new year – it will not be available in defaults for Python 2.7.

            The one exception is that Python 2.7.18 is slated to be released in mid-April 2020 according to PEP-0373. Packages for Python 2.7.18 will be built and made available on the repo.anaconda.com defaults channel.

          • MicroPython: An Intro to Programming Hardware in Python

            Are you interested in the Internet of Things, home automation, and connected devices? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to build a blaster, a laser sword, or even your own robot? If so, then you’re in luck! MicroPython can help you do all of those things and more.


            Python’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. These days, it’s used everywhere from DevOps to statistical analysis, and even in desktop software. But for a long time, there was one field where Python use was conspicuously missing. Developers working with microcontrollers had not yet adopted the language.

            All of that changed in 2013 when Damien George launched a Kickstarter campaign. Damien, an undergraduate at Cambridge University, was an avid robot programmer. He wanted to move the Python world from machines that worked with capacities in the gigabytes down to the kilobytes. His Kickstarter campaign was an attempt to back his development while he turned his proof of concept into a finished implementation.

            Many developers jumped at the chance, not only to use Python on microcontrollers but also to get an early version of Damien’s own reference hardware, which was built especially for the task! In fact, by the end of the campaign, Damien had blown past his £15,000 goal. Thanks to over 1,900 backers, he reached just shy of £100,000.

          • Creating Command Line Utilities with Python’s argparse

            Most of the user-facing software comes with a visually pleasing interface or via a decorated webpage. At other times, a program can be so small that it does not warrant an entire graphical user interface or web application to expose its functionality to the end-user.

            In these cases, we can build programs that are accessible via a Command Line Interface, or CLI.

            In this post, we will explore Python’s argparse module and use it to build a simple command-line tool to help us shorten URLs swiftly.

          • Learn all About Installing & Updating Packages in Python

            In this tutorial, we will learn the basics of installing, working and updating packages in Python. First, we will learn how to install Python packages, then how to use them, and finally, how to update Python packages when needed. More specifically, we are going to learn how to install and upgrade packages using pip, conda, and Anaconda Navigator.

            Now, before we are going to learn how to install Python packages we are going to answer the question “what is a package in Python?”

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Canonical sponsors WSLConf at Microsoft HQ [Ed: Mark Shuttleworth donates money to Microsoft’s attacks on GNU/Linux]

            Canonical is announcing today it will be a featured sponsor of WSLConf, the first conference dedicated to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) platform. WSLConf is scheduled for March 10th-11th, 2020 and is being held on the campus of Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The conference brings together developers, start-up founders, academics, enterprise, community members, and teams from Microsoft and Canonical around Windows Subsystem for Linux. The conference will include two densely-packed days of presentations and workshops on the latest developments on the rapidly evolving platform.

          • Openwashing

            • LibreCorps mentors humanitarian startups on how to run the open source way

              Free and open source software are no longer workplace taboos, at least not in the same way they were fifteen years ago. Today, distributed collaboration platforms and tools empower people around the world to contribute code, documentation, design, leadership, and other skills to open source projects. But do newcomers actually have a deep understanding of free and open source software?

              If you hang around in open source communities for long enough, you realize there is more to open source than slapping a free software license on a project and throwing it over an imaginary fence to wait for contributors who never come. To address this problem in the humanitarian sector, the LibreCorps program, led by Rochester Institute of Technology’s FOSS initiative at the Center for Media, Arts, Interaction & Creativity (MAGIC,) partnered with UNICEF to develop a set of resources to help new open source maintainers chart an “open source roadmap” to build a community.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • IOTA Works With Dell And Linux On Project Alvarium To Establish Measurable Trust In Data

                According to a recent blog post released by the Linux Foundation, this new project will be working in order to facilitate intrinsic trust in data and appk¡lications spanning heterogeneous systems of systems.

                Dell Technologies is the firm that will place the seed investment and other industry leaders such as IBM, Arm, IOTA Foundation OSIsoft, Unisys and MobiledgeX, among others, will also be supporting the development of this project.

                The Trust Fabric is a framework that has been developed through a wide range of technologies that help increase trust in the whole data path. This makes it easy for AI models to analyze the data and scale digital transformation initiatives.

                Furthermore, the new project aims at building a collaborative community that will focus on unifying and creating trust insertion technologies.

        • Security

          • Networking attack gives hijackers VPN access

            Researchers have discovered a security flaw in macOS, Linux, and several other operating systems that could let attackers hijack a wide range of virtual private network (VPN) connections.

          • Serious Vulnerability Allows Hijacking of VPN Connections Across Many Linux Based Systems (Including Android and MacOS)

            A serious vulnerability has surfaced affecting VPN connections on many systems. Upon exploitation, this vulnerability allows a potential attacker to sniff on other users’ VPN data. The attacker can also hijack VPN-tunneled connections.

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (SDL), Debian (htmldoc, librabbitmq, nss, openjdk-7, openslp-dfsg, and phpmyadmin), Fedora (chromium, community-mysql, kernel, libidn2, oniguruma, proftpd, and rabbitmq-server), Mageia (ansible, clamav, evince, firefox, graphicsmagick, icu, libcryptopp, libtasn1, libtiff, libvncserver, libvpx, lz4, nss, openexr, openjpeg2, openssl, phpmyadmin, python-psutil, python-twisted, QT, sdl2_image, SDL_image, sysstat, thunderbird, and tnef), Oracle (firefox), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-ibm and nss), Scientific Linux (firefox and kernel), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (nss).

          • Exploiting a Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

            Buffer overflow flaws can be present in both the web server and application server products that serve the static and dynamic portions of a site, or in the web application itself. Buffer overflows found in commonly-used server products are likely to become widely known and can pose a significant risk to users of these products.

          • Securing your Kubernetes cluster with Webhook and Keystone

            As we move into complex K8s cluster deployments, we need to consider a robust user and role management for our clusters. The native K8s user management is primitive and vulnerable to access and DOS attacks.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Linux users can now enjoy Disney+

        When Disney+ launched, Linux users were shut out. Attempting to stream content resulted in an error message reading: “Something went wrong. Please try again. If the problem persists, visit the Disney+ Help Center (Error Code 83).”

        The problem stemmed from the way in which Disney chose to implement digital rights management but now the company has tweaked the way DRM is used, lowering the security settings it had in place, meaning that it is now possible to enjoy Disney+ on Linux.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Patent case: Judgment of Zaragoza Court of Appeals No. 450/2019, Spain

          Following the 2017 revamp of the Spanish patent system, only certain courts in Barcelona, Madrid and some other industrial hubs now have jurisdiction in patent matters. However, decisions from other courts in cases brought under the old rules are still trickling in. In this case, the Zaragoza Court of Appeal delivers a judgment which contains some interesting findings, particularly in the context of novelty assessment, which call for some important observations and qualifications.

        • Nokia v. Daimler Mannheim trial postponed from tomorrow to March 2020: rare case in which postponement is bad for defendant

          Tomorrow’s Mannheim patent trial between Nokia and Daimler, with many suppliers intervening, has been postponed to March 17, 2020, as Judge Dr. Joachim Bock, the court’s spokesman, confirmed to me today.

          In most cases, pushing back a trial date is in the defendant’s interest. What’s obviously a different situation is when the “defendant” is actually a declaratory-judgment plaintiff and seeks to get a ruling in one jurisdiction in time to influence a decision in another (such as UK complaints designed to get German cases stayed). But this is the very first time in my observation for a postponement of a German patent infringement case to benefit the plaintiff, not the defendant.

      • Trademarks

Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

Posted in News Roundup at 5:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Linux Setup – Kezz Bracey, Web Designer/Developer

        I found Kezz on Twitter and I’m so glad I did because this is a wonderful interview. First of all, I love the KDE details. Because while I don’t use KDE, I respect it. I wish I could tame it the way Kezz has. Instead, I tend to bow to its will, when really, if I knew how, like Kezz, I could bend it to mine. I also appreciate the screencasting information. I don’t do it very often anymore, but I do know that at some point, there were concerns about the lack of a good Linux screencasting program. Apparently that’s no longer an issue, which is great to hear.

      • [Older] The Linux Setup – Akash Angle, Blogger

        I’m an avid Linux user who ditched Windows for some unknown reason, trying to make my life fully compatible with free and open source software. I’m a distro-hopper, a hardware enthusiast, blogger, and, in my leisure time, a console gamer. I was introduced to Linux back in mid-2008 by a school friend. I’m a senior support networking specialist currently working on the outskirts of Navi Mumbai, India.

    • Server

      • 5 Not to miss Linux hosting providers

        Next to this, Linux based servers have proved to be stable and capable of handling numerous requests at the time. Because no one wants a site that crashes when visitors are trying to get to it. It can be very annoying and bad for business. Linux has a very dedicated community and on the various forums, you can find useful information in dealing with a certain problem that you may encounter.

      • IBM

        • Red Hat’s David Egts Talks Open-Source Approaches to Digital Transformation

          David Egts, chief technologist of Red Hat’s (NYSE: RHT) North American public sector business, has said that open-source procedures can help organizations meet digital transformation goals while promoting mobility and addressing a skills gap.

          In a Fedscoop interview posted Monday, Egts noted that Red Hat’s Open Innovation Labs works with government customers to help them reduce workload processing time through new software development methods.

        • Empowering the open source community

          Red Hat invests heavily in open source communities, offering our employees’ time and skills in many upstreams to advance the pace of innovation and support our customers’ interests. And when Red Hat purchases a company, it ensures that any proprietary software becomes available as open source. For instance, just this month, Red Hat shared Quay, the formerly proprietary container registry and security scanner software, as an open source upstream available to all.


          Awareness of open source in the Middle East is growing in many sectors, particularly in the telecommunications sphere. As operators seek to evolve from physical to digital players, open source ecosystems and solutions are being implemented to optimise and simplify operations, reduce costs, and facilitate digital transformation agendas. From Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, to everywhere in between, open source solutions are being unlocked as cost-effective, flexible, reliable, secure, and alternative foundational systems to drive innovation and digital transformation. For telecommunications organisations, open source will enable improved delivery of digital services, the ability to introduce new digital services faster, and the capabilities to leverage insights from data to create new revenue streams.

        • Coders are the new superheroes of natural disasters

          The film, produced by IBM and directed by Austin Peck, centers on the increasing incidents of the devastation of natural disasters, and a cadre of coders who’ve dedicated their attentions and tech talent to help facilitate and expedite the responders’ response to natural disasters. The social-activist developers serve as a frontline defense against some of the society-at-large greatest dangers.

        • Explore Kubernetes with OpenShift in a workshop near you

          The Kubernetes with OpenShift World Tour is a series of in-person workshops around the globe that help you build the skills you need to quickly modernize your applications. This World Tour provides a hands-on experience and teaches the basics of working with the hybrid-cloud, enterprise container platform Red Hat® OpenShift® on IBM Cloud™. You learn coding skills in the world of containerized, cloud-native development with expert developer advocates, who have deep technical experience building cloud microservices and applications with Red Hat OpenShift.

        • IBM VP of ‘opentech’ on the open road ahead

          Moore and his team of open source developers work with open source communities such as the Apache Software Foundation, Linux Foundation, eClipse, OSGi, OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, Docker, JS, Node.js and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.5-rc1
        We've had a normal merge window, and it's now early Sunday afternoon,
        and it's getting closed as has been the standard rule for a long while
        Everything looks fairly regular - it's a tiny bit larger (in commit
        counts) than the few last merge windows have been, but not bigger
        enough to really raise any eyebrows. And there's nothing particularly
        odd in there either that I can think of: just a bit over half of the
        patch is drivers, with the next big area being arch updates. Which is
        pretty much the rule for how things have been forever by now.
        Outside of that, the documentation and tooling (perf and selftests)
        updates stand out, but that's actually been a common pattern for a
        while now too, so it's not really surprising either. And the rest is
        all the usual core stuff - filesystems, core kernel, networking, etc.
        The pipe rework patches are a small drop in the ocean, but ended up
        being the most painful part of the merge for me personally. They
        clearly weren't quite ready, but it got fixed up and I didn't have to
        revert them. There may be other problems like that that I just didn't
        see and be involved in, and didn't strike me as painful as a result ;)
        We're missing some VFS updates, but I think we'll have Al on it for
        the next merge window. On the whole, considering that this was a big
        enough release anyway, I had no problem going "we can do that later".
        As usual, even the shortlog is much too large to post, and nobody
        would have the energy to read through it anyway. My mergelog below
        gives an overview of the top-level changes so that you can see the
        different subsystems that got development. But with 12,500+ non-merge
        commits, there's obviously a little bit of everything going on.
        Go out and test (and special thanks to people who already did, and
        started sending reports even during the merge window),
      • Linus Torvalds Kicks Off Development of Linux Kernel 5.5, First RC Is Out Now

        The two week-long merge window that opened with the release of the Linux 5.4 kernel series last month ended today with the launch of the first release candidate of Linux kernel 5.5, which was announced by Linus Torvalds himself.
        That’s right, Linus Torvalds has officially kicked off the development cycle of the next major Linux kernel series, Linux 5.5, which is now available for public testing from the kernel.org website. Linux kernel 5.5-rc1 is the first milestone in many to come and gives the community a first look at the new features and changes.

        “We’ve had a normal merge window, and it’s now early Sunday afternoon, and it’s getting closed as has been the standard rule for a long while now,” said Linus Torvalds. “Everything looks fairly regular – it’s a tiny bit larger (in commit counts) than the few last merge windows have been, but not bigger enough to really raise any eyebrows. And there’s nothing particularly odd in there either that I can think of: just a bit over half of the patch is drivers, with the next big area being Arch updates.”

      • Linux 5.5-rc1 Kernel Released With 12,500+ Commits

        Linus Torvalds has just issued the first release candidate of the Linux 5.5 cycle following the traditional two week long merge window.

        See our newly-published Linux 5.5 feature overview to learn about all of the new changes and improvements in this kernel — there’s a lot.

      • Linux 5.5 Feature Overview – Raspberry Pi 4 To New Graphics Capabilities To KUnit

        Linux 5.5-rc1 is on the way to mirrors and with that the Linux 5.5 merge window is now over. Here is a look at the lengthy set of changes and new features for this next Linux kernel that will debut as stable in early 2020.
        Among the many changes to find with Linux 5.5 are support for the Raspberry Pi 4 / BCM2711, various performance changes still being explored, support for reporting NVMe drive temperatures, a new Logitech keyboard driver, AMD HDCP support for content protection, wake-on-voice support from Chromebooks, the introduction of KUnit for unit testing the kernel, new RAID1 modes that are quite exciting for Btrfs, and much more. Below is a more detailed look based upon our original monitoring and reporting.

      • Unified sizeof_member() Re-Proposed For Linux 5.5

        After not being merged for Linux 5.4, the new sizeof_member() macro as a unified means of calculating the size of a member of a struct has been volleyed for Linux 5.5 for possible inclusion on this last day of the merge window.

        The Linux kernel to now has supported SIZEOF_FIELD, FIELD_SIZEOF, sizeof_field as means of calculating the size of a member of a C struct… The new sizeof_member looks to clean-up that code cruft that has accumulated over the years with converting all usage of the old macros over to this new unified macro.

    • Applications

      • gorss – simple RSS/Atom reader written in Golang

        A news aggregator is software which collect news, weblog posts, and other information from the web so that they can be read in a single location for easy viewing. With the range of news sources available on the internet, news aggregators play an essential role in helping users to quickly locate breaking news.

        There are a number of different file formats which information publishers use. Popular formats are RSS and Atom. RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a defined standard based on XML with the specific purpose of delivering updates to web-based content. In other words, RSS is a Web content syndication format.

        For individuals that read lots of weblogs, a news aggregator makes keeping track of them effortless, and particularly useful if the weblogs are only updated occasionally. If you follow specific writers, publications and channels, an RSS reader app helps you see all new content that interests you in a central source.

        Our roundup of RSS readers recommends FeedReader, Liferea, and Akregator. And there’s other alternatives available. One RSS reader we’ve not previously covered is gorss. It’s first release was only a few months ago.

      • App Highlight: Open Source Video Transcoder Handbrake

        HandBrake is a quite useful tool which helps you to convert a video from one format to some of the widely supported codecs (.mp4/.m4v/.mkv/.webm)

        It can support any video format and help you convert it. In addition to that, you have several features on board to customize the video attributes while converting.

        If you are looking for a Format Factory alternative, this is your best bet.

      • The 20 Free and Open Source CRM Solutions for Small Enterprises

        Customer satisfaction is arguably among the most critical tasks for emerging businesses. It’s hard for companies to find success without providing excellent customer support. Thankfully, a plethora of modern CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution is available to make this job easy for enterprises. And, companies need to choose the perfect CRM for their business if they want to be successful. If you’re a new business, we suggest you go with an Open Source CRM. Moreover, they can also be useful for established enterprises due to their extendibility. Continue reading to find out the 20 best free CRM for your business.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.18 Makes It Easier to Enter Emoji

          brand new emoji picker tool is currently in development for KDE Plasma 5.18. This smorgasbord of smilies will be accessible through a meta + . key binding (one assumes ‘meta’ is KDE speak for the super key, but you may want to check).

          And below is a currently glimpse at what the glyph selection palette currently looks like…

        • Contributing to KDE is easier than you think – Porting websites to Markdown

          This will be a new series of blog posts explaining different ways to contribute to KDE in an easy-to-digest manner. I plan for this series to be parallel to my keyboard shortcuts analysis so that there can be content being published (hopefully) every week. I was also feeling a bit bad about the fact that this blog is available over planet.kde.org (a feed for blog posts made by KDE contributors that also shows a bit of their personal lives and projects), but my other series was focusing more on other DEs, despite also being a project to improve KDE.

          The purpose of this series originated from how I feel about asking users to contribute back to KDE. I firmly believe that showing users how contributing is easier than they think is more effective than simply calling them out and directing them to the correct resources; especially if, like me, said user suffers from anxiety or does not believe they are up to the task, in spite of their desire to help back.

          It is true that I had the initiative to contact Nate Graham and Carl Schwan through Reddit, but it is also true that, had they not shown me how contributing back can be done in several small, feasible ways too, I would likely not have started contributing back.

          Out of respect and due to the current need for help with updating the KDE websites, my first post on this subject will document how to help Carl Schwan port older websites to Markdown, despite there being easier tasks than that. Currently, and as to my knowledge, Carl Schwan and Adrián Chaves Fernandez are the only two main KDE websites contributors, with help and mentorship from other KDE contributors such as Jonathan Riddell and, of course, the whole Promo team, who handles websites as well. This is quite the low number of contributors for such a huge amount of websites to be updated, you see; that’s why your help would be much appreciated!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • HTML overlays with GstWPE, the demo

          Once again this year I attended the GStreamer conference and just before that, Embedded Linux conference Europe which took place in Lyon (France). Both events were a good opportunity to demo one of the use-cases I have in mind for GstWPE, HTML overlays!

          As we, at Igalia, usually have a booth at ELC, I thought a GstWPE demo would be nice to have so we can show it there. The demo is a rather simple GTK application presenting a live preview of the webcam video capture with an HTML overlay blended in. The HTML and CSS can be modified using the embedded text editor and the overlay will be updated accordingly. The final video stream can even be streamed over RTMP to the main streaming platforms (Twitch, Youtube, Mixer)! Here is a screenshot:

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Project Trident Void Alpha

          As one should expect with an initial alpha release, Trident’s Void branch is not yet ready for the general public. At the moment it is more of a proof of concept – that Void’s base can be set up with an alternative installer and use ZFS on root. It’s a good beginning, but I suspect there are still a few months to go before Trident’s new branch will provide a live desktop and boot environments. When that happens, I think Trident will offer a good experience, and the ZFS snapshots will provide insurance against broken updates from Void’s rolling repositories. For now Trident’s Void branch is an interesting idea and I hope it gets rounded out by the time a stable release happens early in 2020.

      • New Releases

        • The new elementary OS 5.1 Hera is a valuable addition to the Linux landscape

          This week, on Tuesday December 3, 2019, Co-founder Cassidy James Blaede announced in an extensive blog that the 5.1 successor to the previous elementary OS Juno 5.0, which was already introduced more than a year ago, is immediately available for download. The new Linux distribution elementary OS 5.1 has been named Hera. Hera is a Greek goddess and also the wife of the God Zeus. This is nicely in line with Juno, which is the Latin name that the ancient Romans used for this same goddess Hera. Many of the improvements in Hera have, due to the somewhat rolling nature of elementary OS, been released to users in various interim updates in recent months. But this official new major update offers many more improvements in addition to these already released changes. In this blog post I will only give a global overview of what this release has to offer. When I have been able to work productively with this latest version for a while I will come back with a blog post with a more in depth and detailed description of everything that this distribution has to offer. So let’s see if the update to elementary OS 5.1 Hera is a valuable addition to the Linux landscape.

        • Easy Buster 2.1.9 and released

          Another release of EasyOS Buster series, versions 2.1.9 and The reason for the two version numbers, is the 2.1.9 build is with the 5.2.21 kernel, and is with the 5.4.2 kernel.

          And the reason for building with two different kernels, is that audio does not work on some hardware with the 5.4.x kernel (so far, 5.4, 5.4.1 and 5.4.2).

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Begins Vote On Supporting Non-Systemd Init Options

          “It’s been five years already since the vote to transition to systemd in Debian over Upstart,” reports Phoronix, noting that the Debian developer community has now begun a 20-day ranked-choice vote on eight different proposals for “‘init system diversity’ and just how much Debian developers care (or not) in supporting alternatives to systemd.”

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix Version Released & Available for Download!

          buntu Cinnamon Remix Released: The team behind the Ubuntu Cinnamon Unofficial flavour announced the release date after many months of development. This is the first-ever remixed Ubuntu Cinnamon version released by the Team! Ubuntu is one of the major distros of the Linux Operating system. The official version of the Ubuntu comes with the major essential environments like Gnome, KDE Plasma & Mate, Budgie. The team behind the Ubuntu cinnamon remixed version decided to add the “Cinnamon Flavour” to the Ubuntu operating system.

          The creator of the Remixed Flavour version of Ubuntu is “UbuntuCinnamon“. After many months of developing, the Ubuntu remixed version comes with the Ubuntu-based open-source environments like Gnome, KDE plasma, Budgie, Mate & Xfce. The creator named this edition as “Ubuntu Cinnamon Remixed” version. You can find the official download version from the Sourceforge.net website.

        • Comparison between LXC and LXD

          Traditionally, we would have a physical computer and expect to run a single operating system on it. One way to go over this limitation, is to use virtualization, which allows us to run multiple operating systems (virtual machines) on a computer. For virtualization to work efficiently, we would need special virtualization support from the CPU (Intel CPUs: VT-x, AMD CPUs: AMD V). Relevant virtualization software include KVM, Xen, VirtualBox, Hyper-V and VMWare.

          Virtualization is good, but takes lots of system resources because you boot up a full operating system for each virtual machine. Can we have an additional option for lightweight virtual machines that do not require to boot their own Linux kernel but can reusing the running Linux kernel of the host? Well, we can, and these are the Linux Containers.

        • Discussion on running X11 applications from within LXD system containers

          With LXD, you can create system containers. These system containers are similar to virtual machines, while at the same time they are very lightweight.

          In a VM, you boot a full Linux kernel and you run your favorite Linux distribution in a virtualized environment that has a fixed disk size and dedicated allocation of RAM memory. To get a graphics application to run in a VM, you need a virtualized GPU, such that will have hardware accelerated access to the host graphics driver.

          In contrast, in a system container, you keep using the running Linux kernel of the host, and you just start the container image (runtime, aka rootfs) of your favorite Linux distribution. Your container uses as much disk space are needed from a common storage, and the same goes with the memory (you can also put strict restrictions, if you need). To get a graphics application to run in a container, you need to pass a Unix socket of your existing X server (or a new isolated X server).

        • [Older] Ubuntu Touch: reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated

          Remember the times when Canonical was working on a Qt-based desktop and mobile phone? Remember Unity, the default Ubuntu desktop that was about to be rewritten in Qt under the name as Unity8 shortly before Canonical killed the project and switched to GNOME? And Remember Ubuntu Touch, the Linux-based operating systems for tablets and smartphones based on Ubuntu with a QML-based user interface? Turns out that the Ubuntu-based mobile operating system is living on and thriving in an independent community under the auspices of the UBports project. Quite possibly, being driven by a community of passionate volunteers may be turning out as one of its strongest points. Time to try it out!

          Wouldn’t it be cool if besides Android and iOS there was a mobile operating system that was truly open source not only by license but also by spirit, one in which you you could actually be in full control over your device and personal data, one which you could change as you please, one which you wouldn’t have to “jailbreak” and fiddle around with to get at a Linux root shell and to install a system-wide ad blocker? One where you could send a pull request on GitHub with a realistic change of it being reviewed and merged?

    • Devices/Embedded

      • ROCK Pi SATA HAT Targets ROCK Pi 4 & Raspberry Pi 4 NAS

        Raxda ROCK Pi 4 is a single board computer (SBC) powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and inspired by Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Internet of Things Smart Board open-source development platform

          Makers, hobbyists, engineers and developers looking for an open source development board to create Internet of Things projects may be interested in the aptly named Smart Board. At the heart of the OpenSensIOT main board is a STM32F4 microcontroller which is based on Arm Cortex-M4 32-bit RISC core, operating at frequency up to 180 MHz.

        • Open-source driving customisation which drives new chip industry players

          “We fully believe in industry standards and the importance of open-source,” says UltraSoC CEO Rupert Baines (pictured), “by donating this encoder we can help industry adoption of RISC-V, strengthen the ecosystem and support compatibility and consistency. Open-source is a familiar model in the software world, but in hardware we’re just beginning to unlock the possibilities of this powerful approach. The RISC-V ISA has provided initial momentum, and industry bodies such as the OpenHW Group are now taking it a step further. At the same time, the legal framework has developed to allow hardware IP companies to confidently license their technologies.”
          The open-source movement is creating a new wave of IC customisation, reckons Baines, leading to a more disaggregated chip industry as more companies want to make their own chips which leads to more companies emerging to help those companies which are getting into developing custom silicon.
          ”We’re in the customisation cycle of Makimoto’s Wave,” Baines told EW, “car companies are designing their own chips, basestation companies are designing their own chips, the big Silicon Valley guys have huge silicon teams. We can help all of them.”

        • Trade War Concerns Push RISC-V to Move HQ

          The RISC-V Foundation is moving its headquarters from the U.S. to Switzerland after concerns among its members of potential restrictions on the core technology that could arise from the U.S. China trade war.

          Speaking to Reuters, the RISC-V Foundation’s CEO Calista Redmond said she wants to ensure that universities, governments and companies outside the United States can maintain access to and develop the open-source RISC-processor core technology. She said that its members, which include Qualcomm, NXP Semiconductors, Huawei and Alibaba, are concerned about possible geopolitical disruption.

        • UltraSoC Tackles RISC-V Support Challenge by Donating Trace Encoder
        • UltraSoC donates RISC-V trace implementation to enable true open-source development

          UltraSoC today announced it will offer an open-source implementation of its industry-leading RISC-V trace encoder via the OpenHW Group. The availability of a production-grade, standards-compliant processor trace solution is a key enabler for developers, and supports the OpenHW Group’s aim of creating an open, commercial grade ecosystem for development based on open-source processors.

          Rupert Baines, CEO of UltraSoC, said: “We fully believe in industry standards and the importance of open-source; by donating this encoder we can help industry adoption of RISC-V, strengthen the ecosystem and support compatibility and consistency. Open-source is a familiar model in the software world, but in hardware we’re just beginning to unlock the possibilities of this powerful approach. The RISC-V ISA has provided initial momentum, and industry bodies such as the OpenHW Group are now taking it a step further. At the same time, the legal framework has developed to allow hardware IP companies to confidently license their technologies.”

        • David Williams Is “FPGA-Curious”

          If you hadn’t noticed, we had a bit of an FPGA theme running at this year’s Superconference. Why? Because the open-source FPGA toolchain is ripening, and because many of the problems that hackers (and academics) are tackling these days have become complex enough to warrant using them. A case in point: David Williams is a university professor who just wanted to build a quadruped robotics project. Each leg has a complex set of motors, motor drivers, sensors, and other feedback mechanisms. Centralizing all of this data put real strains on the robot’s network, and with so many devices the microcontrollers were running out of GPIOs. This lead him to become, in his words, “FPGA-curious”.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source luminaries turn up spotlight on GitHub over ICE deal

        An open letter to Git Hub demanding that it drop its controversial contract with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was heading towards 400 signatures from open source maintainers and developers as of Friday.

        The open letter, posted, naturally, on GitHub, referenced a previous open letter four years ago that lit a fire under the company and forced to fix a range of issues that had been troubling users.

        “Now, we are asking you to help again,” the signatories wrote, going on to say that as it enforces the Trump administration’s immigration policies, ICE “is actively committing numerous crimes and human rights violations, in contravention of both US and international law”.

        “At the core of the open source ethos is the idea of liberty,” the letter writers say. “Open source is about inverting power structures and creating access and opportunities for everyone.”

      • A group of developers sent a letter demanding GitHub cancel its ICE contract, saying it puts the Microsoft-owned company at odds with its own community and values
      • Software freedom vs human freedom: A surge of activism is rocking open source developers, as programmers fight to stop their software from being used for ‘evil’
      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: GraalWasm

        GraalWasm is a WebAssembly engine implemented in GraalVM. It can run WebAssembly programs in the binary format, generated with compiler backends such as Emscripten.

        “Supporting WebAssembly expands the set of languages GraalVM can execute with a whole other set of languages to the ones supported by GraalVM and further step towards making it a universal platform for programming language execution,” the developers behind the project wrote in a blog post.

      • Scientists Created Open Source Tools to See in Animal Vision

        Given that every animal species sees colors, patterns, and brightness differently due to their unique eye adaptations, there are countless modes of vision that humans have never experienced. That’s why scientists have developed free, open-source software that can be run on photos taken with an average smartphone to simulate the perspective of animals. The platform is described in a paper published on Tuesday in Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

        Called the Quantitative Colour Pattern Analysis (QCPA) framework, the platform enables people to customize digital photos to match properties associated with animal visual systems.

      • This open-source tool ‘Doccano’ provides annotation features for text classification

        Doccano is an open-source text annotation tool for machine learning professionals. It sets annotation features for sequence labeling, text classification and sequence to sequence tasks. It has multiple applications like creating labeled data for sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, text summarization and so on.

      • When – and When Not – to Use Open Source Apache Cassandra, Kafka, Spark and Elasticsearch
      • Doubts Surface in Open Source Survey
      • Open Source Still Rolling, But Roadblocks Loom
      • Can open source software be gender-biased? Yes, say NAU professors who are working to eliminate gender-biased ‘bugs’ [Ed: This is not a FOSS thing; equally applicable to nonfree software, but that doesn't seem to matter when gender issues are leveraged in a partisan fashion]

        The cycle of open source software (OSS) development and gender representation is, perhaps, unsurprising—women are vastly underrepresented among OSS developers. As a result, women miss out on development and professional opportunities, and as jobs in OSS development open up, women lack the experience to get them. And the cycle continues.

        It’s so pervasive that it’s likely built right into the software itself, say four researchers, which is an entirely separate problem—one they’re aiming to resolve through finding these bugs and proposing redesigns around them, leading to more gender-inclusive tools used by software developers.

      • Can an open source virtual assistant take on Alexa?

        Based on the data collected and patterns determined (such as purchasing a specific orange juice in every grocery order), virtual assistants can identify our preferences and help their vendors build a profile of ourselves, and users collectively.

        From one perspective, this could lead to the development of personalized customer experiences as a result, on the other, it can raise concerns over the privacy of a system consumers trust to put in their own home and uncertainty around what the end uses are for the data it collects.


        The virtual assistant is also embedded with Genie, a deep learning model that trains Almond to understand more complex commands across more domains. Presently, Almond has achieved an accuracy of 68 percent of the user’s input and the continuous training of Almond would allow the virtual assistant to acquire more skills, on par with today’s commercialized virtual assistants.

      • 3 Ways Open Source is Accelerating Geoint for Defense Missions [Ed: Free software leveraged by militarism too (white-washed as "defence")]

        That’s why open-source software development has quickly become indispensable to defense missions. With open-source maps and search engines, users can drop layers from unique indices into a single dashboard and filter across them in real time to search for all kinds of location data—from geopoints (like longitude and latitude) to geoshapes (like polygons, circles and lines)—enabling speedier analyses that scale through dynamic visualizations. Now, defense analysts can query geodata faster than ever before, resulting in improved situational awareness, monitoring, tracking and spatial analysis capabilities essential to the missions of our troops.

      • Benefits and importance of open source technology for enterprises

        Technology should be carefully selected to actively grow business over the long term, so it requires careful consideration and foresight. Open source has been gaining popularity or a long time due to the benefits it comes with. Those who don’t know the difference between the two, open source software’s source code is available to everyone. Anyone can modify its code while proprietary software is owned by enterprises or individuals and its source code can only be modified by its owners. Enterprises that use open source software enjoy many advantages over those using proprietary software. These are enumerated below.


        Compared to proprietary software, open-source software is inexpensive. In an enterprise environment, it is more affordable than proprietary software of similar capabilities. Furthermore, in enterprise environments, the capabilities of open source software often exceed those of proprietary software. Using such software also makes sense for enterprises because as they scale the software scales with them. Because fledgling enterprises have modest budgets such software is ideal for them.

      • TIBCO Adds Support for Apache Pulsar to Messaging Solution

        TIBCO Software Inc., a global leader in integration, API management, and analytics, announced its plans to add Apache Pulsar as a fully supported component in TIBCO® Messaging. Continuing its commitment to open source technologies, this addition will ensure that users of the highly popular Apache pub-sub messaging system can now leverage TIBCO Messaging to create a single, fully integrated application integration infrastructure, giving developers the freedom to choose the right messaging tool for the job at hand.

      • Tibco dials into Apache Pulsar

        Software integration and analytics company Tibco has added Apache Pulsar as a fully supported component in its own messaging brand, TIBCO Messaging.

        By way of definition and clarification then…

        Apache Pulsar is a distributed ‘pub-sub’ messaging platform with a flexible messaging model and an intuitive client API.

      • Events

        • Paris Open Source Summit 2019 (in english)

          Just so you know, the Fedora-fr community will be present at the 2019 edition of Paris Open Source Summit. This year, POSS will be held on December 10th and 11th from 9am to 6pm and, like every year, will be held at Dock Pullmann, in Aubervilliers. We will have a stand on the associative village (booth A34, to be quite exact).

          We will be there to answer any questions about Fedora, offer to burn an image of Fedora 31 on your USB key. We will have Fedora goodies for people who are interested. Feel free to come to the Salon if you have time during the 2 days in question and drop by to say hi if you’re there!

        • Advent of Code 2019

          My work does not involve that much coding any more. I probably spend more time doing email, attending meetings, and preparing presentations than anything else these days. Still, my fingers itch if I don’t get to write some code now and then.

          This has resulted in small apps such as Mattemonster, where I pushed myself to get it into a presentable state so that I could publish it to Google Play. Any one with kids starting with maths should try the app – my son loves it!

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • If you want an example of how user concerns do not drive software development, check out this Google-backed API

            A nascent web API called getInstalledRelatedApps offers a glimpse of why online privacy remains such an uncertain proposition.

            In development since 2015, Google has been experimenting with the API since the release of Chrome 59 in 2017. As its name suggests, it is designed to let web apps and sites determine whether a corresponding native app is installed on a user’s device.

            The purpose of the API, as described in the proposed specification, sounds laudable. More and more, the docs state, users will have web apps and natives apps from the same source installed on the same device and as the apps’ feature sets converge and overlap, it will become important to be able to distinguish between the two, so users don’t receive two sets of notifications, for example.

        • Mozilla

      • Data Transfer Project

        • It’s Now Easy to Shift Facebook Pics to Google (in Europe Anyway)

          A beta of the photo-transfer tool is rolling out today in Ireland with a wider release expected during the early months of 2020. The tool will move photos and their related metadata—including the folders they are in, file names, and any other information attached to the image. Transferring to Google comes first, with other services to follow at a later date.

          But Facebook isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its own heart. Data portability, as its known, is a key part of GDPR. And that means being able to easily shift your Facebook photos to another service. They’re your photos, after all, so why not? “We’re increasingly hearing calls from policymakers and regulators, particularly those focused on competition, that large platforms should be doing more to enable innovation,” Satterfield says. “Including by allowing people to move their data to different providers.”

        • Facebook’s new tool lets you transfer pictures to Google Photos

          Facebook is releasing a new tool today that will allow its users to transfer photos directly to Google Photos. The tool is being released initially in Ireland, and will be available worldwide in the first half of 2020. “For almost a decade, we’ve enabled people to download their information from Facebook,” explains Steve Satterfield, director of privacy and public policy at Facebook. “The photo transfer tool we’re starting to roll out today is based on code developed through our participation in the open-source Data Transfer Project.”

        • Facebook launches a new tool that will make it easier for users to transfer photos and videos OFF the social network and onto other services like Google Photos

          Do you have thousands of photos uploaded to Facebook that you’d like to move onto another app or website? Now the social media company will let you do just that.

          The new image transfer tool will let users copy all their photos and videos from Facebook to Google Photos, and eventually other social networking sites.

          It was built as part of the open-source Data Transfer Project – a technology partnership between major social networking and digital companies designed to make information hosted on one social media service available on other services.

          The new Facebook tool will only be available in Ireland initially, but will be rolled out worldwide in 2020.

      • CMS

        • Revitalizing the Canadian government’s online presence

          Many government branches rely on proprietary software to power their websites and digital services. Using licensed technology can leave users locked in to costly and outdated platforms that are not easily updated, says Chris Smith, the CEO of Ottawa digital agency OPIN Software.

          Several government organizations have teamed up with OPIN over the past year to make the switch to Drupal, providing a more streamlined and functional experience for Canadians and giving government IT managers more flexibility.

        • Open Source Technology Could Be a Boon to Farmers

          Chang, who started farming eight years ago and works full-time in information technology off-farm, searched for a different solution for his 14-acre organic vegetable and cut flower farm in northeastern Connecticut, finding software aimed at CSAs, which he doesn’t run, or marketing and sales, which he didn’t need. Then he discovered farmOS, a free, open source record-keeping software built on the web platform Drupal.

        • Open source technology could be a boon to farmers

          Robert Chang’s fellow small-scale farmers turn to each other when they need low-cost tech to stay organized as they plant dozens of varieties of vegetables each season and seek to consistently fill their community-supported agriculture (CSA) boxes each week.


          In the case of farmOS, on the other hand, Chang says, “Nobody is mining it or monetizing it in any way. It’s yours. You can export it in whatever way you want.” And it is infinitely customizable, if you’re tech savvy. “Since it’s open source, you can change the code, if you want to do your own customizations.”

      • Healthcare

        • Researchers Develop Open Source EEG Visualization Tool
        • Open source EEG visualization tool

          Researchers at UT have developed a free open source computer program that can be used to create visual and quantitative representations of brain electrical activity in laboratory animals in hopes of developing countermeasures for opioid use disorder.

          The program is described in a paper published in JoVE. Lead author Christopher O’Brien is a UT graduate who manages the research laboratory of Helen Baghdoyan and Ralph Lydic, both co-authors on the paper and professors in UT’s Department of Psychology and the Graduate School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology.

          In the paper, the researchers describe the steps they took to create a multitapered spectrogram for electroencephalogram (EEG) analyses with an accessible and user-friendly code. They validated the program through analyses of EEG spectrograms of mice that had received different opioid treatments.

        • Researchers develop open source EEG visualization tool

          “There is a misconception that opioids promote sleep, but in quantitative studies of states of sleep and wakefulness using electroencephalographic recordings of brain waves, opiates are shown to disrupt sleep,” Lydic said. “Additionally, drug addiction studies show that abnormal sleep is associated with increased likelihood of addiction relapse.”

        • Open-source gaining momentum in the healthcare industry

          Following the ongoing global digital revolution, the continuously evolving role of information technology (IT) in the healthcare sector is only set to gain more weight going forward. While new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and big data have already started making headway within healthcare, IT continues to play a vital part from an administrative point of view, enriching the quality and efficiency of healthcare.
          Healthcare IT practitioners can choose from options such as open-source tools, licensed vendor tools, hybrid software environment or in-house tools to fulfill their operational requirements. Of these options, open-source technology is often the most affordable and accessible solution. Built upon the concept of collaboration, open-source software deploys publicly accessible code, allowing constant engagement with a vast developer community. This results in a well-designed, reliable and constantly evolving software product that can prove to be vital for healthcare IT infrastructural needs.

        • Researcher to Make Workhorse Microscopes More Powerful

          Kevin Eliceiri, professor of medical physics and biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, plans to improve the architecture and infrastructure of μManager, an open-source software package for control of automated microscopes.

          Open-source software is crucial to modern scientific research for advancing biology and medicine while also providing reproducibility and transparency. Yet, even the most widely used research software often lacks dedicated funding.

      • Funding

        • $100M open source fund via Codefresh launches

          From the deck of the HMS Surprise pirate ship at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, on the eve of Kubecon, Codefresh announced the establishment of a $100 Million Open Source Fund offering grants up to $1 Million. This “heave-ho” is designed to foster the growth and expediency of open source projects from development and deployment to ongoing maintenance.

          “Open source is part of every project and drives change in the modern world at an incredible pace,” said Dan Garfield, Chief Technology Evangelist of Codefresh. “Codefresh has contributed to open source projects related to Kubernetes such as Helm and Chart Museum, and many open-source projects have used Codefresh to power their CI/CD and software delivery supply chain. The Codefresh $100 Million Open Source Fund is a way to give even more back to the community that has embraced and empowered Codefresh from the beginning.”

        • WhiteSource and Codefresh Combine Forces to Offer Built-in Open Source Management in CI/CD Pipelines [Ed: Codefresh now liaising with anti-FOSS Microsoft 'proxy', WhiteSource. This makes one wonder what or who Codefresh will help with money...]
      • Public Services/Government

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • How Open-Source Product Information Management is Bringing SMBs On a Level Playing Field with Big Tech Firms?

          As detailed above, open-source PIM systems are an absolute blessing for SMBs looking to move toward an Omnichannel customer engagement strategy. This is especially true for organizations that have strong IT teams or partners because successfully customizing and implementing open source software often requires specialized IT knowledge. Luckily, even if you don’t have the right skill sets on hand, you can simply outsource the implementation to the PIM system provider or a third party IT services firm. At the same time, you may also consider nurturing software development talent in-house to achieve the best results at optimal costs.

        • Cooperatives Europe builds open-source index for the co-op movement
        • Intellegens and Optibrium announce success in the Open Source Malaria global initiative

          Intellegens, an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, and, Optibrium™, leading providers of software and services for drug discovery, today announced joint success in the Open Source Malaria (OSM) global initiative aimed at identifying the best predictive models for antimalarial compounds. Together, the companies developed one of the top models, deploying a cutting-edge deep neural network algorithm, Alchemite™, to accurately predict active compounds with novel mechanisms of actions that could be critical to future malaria control and elimination. As one of four prizewinning models selected, the project will now progress through the next phase of the initiative that includes the proposal of new compounds that are predicted to be active, for synthesis and testing against the malaria parasite.

        • Open Data

          • These Reporters Rely on Public Data, Rather Than Secret Sources

            Leaked documents and interviews with whistle-blowing sources will always be a part of investigative journalism. But thanks to the rise of digital technology, and the easy availability of data that has gone with it, reporters have more ways to get stories than ever before.

            “You can be on your couch in front of your computer and solve a mystery of a missile system downing a plane,” said Aliaume Leroy, a journalist who is part of the BBC’s Africa Eye team.

          • News Organizations are Engaging More Proactively in Open-Source Journalism to Rebuild Trust in News Media

            As news media skepticism grows worldwide and digital tools become increasingly robust and available, reporters and news organizations are engaging more proactively in open-source journalism—a practice in which reporters investigate and construct stories based on publicly available data, including via social media, per The New York Times.

          • India’s first open source integrated geospatial data observatory launched

            India Observatory, country’s first socio, economic, ecological open source integrated Geospatial data platform, was launched on Tuesday at Hyderabad in GeoSmart India conference.

          • SFU global collaboration creates world’s first open-source database of natural microbial products

            Surprisingly, despite our extensive knowledge of the chemical compounds found in nature, there has never been a comprehensive, open-source database for researchers to store information on the chemistry produced by bacteria and fungi. Until now.

            Simon Fraser University associate professor Roger Linington and a team of international collaborators have created the Natural Products Atlas, which holds information on nearly 25,000 natural compounds and serves as a knowledge base and repository for the global scientific community.

        • Open Access/Content

          • Promoting success: Music professor involved in Open Educational Resources
          • Open Source Emoji System: OpenMoji

            With the widespread use of smartphones, the use of emojis has increased to a new level. The new open source emoji system OpenMoji has been released with a collection of 3,180 characters to improve this language.

            If you’re looking for an open-source, good-looking emoji set, OpenMoji with 3,180 emojis is just for you.

            According to OpenMoji’s website, OpenMoji is the first open source and standalone emoji system. The project involved more than 50 students and two professors from the Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd University in Germany. All emojis are approved and licensed Creative Commons.

          • Meet OpenMoji, a Free and Open Source Emoji Set

            According to OpenMoji’s website, the project is the first open-source and independent emoji system. The project is the team-effort of over 50 students and 2 professors at the HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd (Design University). All the emojis are approved and are available with a Creative Commons (Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International) license.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 4 open source automation tools for admins

          Open source offerings are an easy way to bring automation into your organization. When selecting software, evaluate the user experience, main features offered and Linux support.

        • Why front-end development may be the new frontier

          Google frameworks lead Nicole Sullivan praised Next.js at the October JAMstack_conf_19 in San Francisco. Though React started within Facebook (and AngularJS started within Google), developers are less concerned with origins and more focused on direction. Google Chrome has a mandate to make the web faster, she said, and React-centric Next.js is part of that mandate. Rauch was also featured with a walk-on presentation during the keynote address at Google’s Chrome Dev 19 conference in San Francisco last month.

        • 11 top open-source test automation frameworks: How to choose

          If you’re thinking about building your own test automation framework, think again. In most cases, you’d do better to consider one or more of the open-source options available.

          That’s because, in general, a framework is a set of best practices, assumptions, common tools, and libraries that you can use across teams. You simply don’t need to build one that’s unique to your dev environment. A framework will help make your test automation code reusable, maintainable, and stable.

          Teams that take these benefits to the extreme by building their own elaborate automation frameworks from scratch drive me crazy. That’s because they could have easily made use of existing open-source tools and libraries that would have met their needs without writing any code—and, in most cases, with better results.

        • Google Code-In 2019 Underway

          Google Code-in (GCI) is a unique opportunity for students to work on real open source software projects and for open source projects to gain extra help as well. Over the past nine years, more than 11,000 students from 108 countries have successfully completed over 55,000 tasks in GCI and this year 29 organizations, all of which have participated in Google Summer of Code, are devising over 2,500 task for teenager to choose to work on.

        • The most copied StackOverflow Java code snippet contains a bug

          Nine years later, developer corrects code snippet.


          An academic paper [PDF] published in 2018 identified a code snippet Lundblad posted on the site as the most copied Java code taken from StackOverflow and then re-used in open source projects.

        • Testing NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit with and without Fan

          A few weeks ago I received NVIDIA Jetson Nano for review together with 52Pi ICE Tower cooling fan which Seeed Studio included in the package, and yesterday I wrote a getting started guide…

        • Python

          • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Sebastian Steins

            This week we welcome Sebastian Steins (@sebastiansteins) as our PyDev of the Week! Sebastian is the creator of the Pythonic News website. You can find out more about Sebastian by checking out what he’s been up to over on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know him better!

          • Podcast.__init__: Debugging Python Projects With PySnooper

            Debugging is a painful but necessary practice in software development. The tools that are available in Python range from the built-in debugger, to tools integrated with your coding environment, to the trusty print function. In this episode Ram Rachum describes his work on PySnooper and how it can be used to speed up your problem solving in complex or legacy applications.

            Debugging is a painful but necessary practice in software development. The tools that are available in Python range from the built-in debugger, to tools integrated with your coding environment, to the trusty print function. In this episode Ram Rachum describes his work on PySnooper and how it can be used to speed up your problem solving in complex or legacy applications.

          • Nash publishes open-source Python trading bot for market-making

            Nash recently announced that it has released a simple, open-source bot designed to help traders perform automatic market-maker strategies. Written in Python 3, the Makerbot is set up to allow for trading on Nash in its default configuration.

            Trading bots are commonly used to improve liquidity on an exchange. The Nash Makerbot uses a symmetric market-maker algorithm, aiming to take advantage of the concept of “intrinsic volatility” in a market. Makerbot will watch the order book for a programmed trading pair until it is triggered to trade within a fixed price range.

          • pydeps: a very useful program

            A few weeks ago, I was doing some refactoring of Friendly-traceback and had some minor difficulty in avoiding the creation of circular imports. For some reason (age perhaps), I could not visualize the file structure properly. Enter pydeps. After I used it to generate a graph for all the files internal to Friendly-traceback, I was able to use that graph to figure out a better way to structure my program.

            Today, as I stared at that graph, after including it in the newly styled documentation, I noticed that the “version” file I had created early on, was really redundant since its content (a single variable) could easily be incorporated in the Public API file.

          • Coverage 5.0 beta 2

            I mean it this time, coverage.py 5.0 is nearly ready. I’m putting out coverage.py 5.0 beta 2 for a week before declaring it really done. Please try it.

          • Test-Driven Development with PyTest – Part 2

            For part two of the TDD with Pytest.

            I would be covering the project structure where your test cases will reside.

            The creation of test cases as a class or function under pytest.

            Do head to part 1 of the series before proceeding with part 2.

            It is assumed that a Linux system is used for this series.

            Please use a Linux variant like Ubuntu or a cloud IDE like Codenvy running a Linux virtual container.

  • Leftovers

    • [Older] Everything is Amazing, But Nothing is Ours

      One of the funny outcomes of this half-mobile half-desktop world is where our de facto file system remerged. In absence of a coherent, logical file system across these two worlds, we trampled down a desire path and made our own: our email inboxes.

    • Science

      • NCCA Test for Espionage and Sabotage Administration Guide

        It should be noted that in a secret experiment conducted at the National Center for Credibility Assessment (then called the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute), 80 percent of subjects succeeded in beating the Test for Espionage and Sabotage after an hour-long training session.

        There is no documented instance of the Test for Espionage and Sabotage ever catching a spy or saboteur.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Nail Salon Workers Face Respiratory Illness and Cancer Risks, Study Shows

        Anyone who has walked past a nail salon is familiar with the noxious odors that emanate from acrylic nails, polishes and removers. Customers getting manicures and pedicures endure the smell temporarily, but manicurists who inhale these evaporating chemicals for hours expose themselves to health risks.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Let’s Push Democratic Presidential Hopefuls to Address U.S. Bases on Okinawa

        As Democratic presidential contenders gear up for the next debate on December 19, they are addressing many issues around foreign policy. However, it seems that all of them are neglecting to even discuss one major issue.

      • The Word Is Love

        It was 39 years ago Sunday that John Lennon was murdered by a deranged fan in front of his apartment – or, in the bitter words of Jimmy Breslin that night, “became another person who died after being shot with a gun on the streets of New York.” He was 40. Yoko Ono posted a searing tribute: Alongside her devastating photo of John’s blood-spattered glasses, she described his loss as “a hollowing experience” and mourned that 1,400,000 Americans have been killed by guns since his death, or roughly 100 a day. It’s difficult to confirm the number – in 2015, other sources cited the figure of 1.15 million – but the proximate reality is, regardless, horrific. A final, lengthy interview a few days before his death reveals the buoyant, conscientious, sometimes dark, always forthright human being we lost – on being an imperfect father: “I’m doing me best.” We can only imagine the art we lost as well. These dark days, God knows we could use his voice, heart, wit and enduring hope: “Imagine all the people/ Living life in peace/ You may say I’m a dreamer/ But I’m not the only one/ I hope someday you’ll join us/ And the world will live as one.” RIP.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Truth has been the first casualty of Britain’s election

        Winston Churchill once said that “in wartime truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” If Britain’s election is anything to go by, these days lies are so precious that they need to be attended by a bodyguard of further lies. This election has been marinated in mendacity: big lies and small lies; quarter truths and pseudo-facts; distortion, dissembling and disinformation; and digital skulduggery on an industrial scale. The public is so disillusioned with the political process that, when a member of the public asked Boris Johnson during a televised debate whether he valued truth, the audience burst into laughter. Mr Johnson is the favourite by a substantial margin.

    • Environment

      • Gone with the Wind: How to Lose a Lifetime of Soil Health

        Agriculture’s past sometimes is separated from its present by the barest degree, and the glaring story of soil loss in North Dakota, highlighted by the efforts of researcher Dave Franzen, is a signpost account of cost and consequence, with relevance for the entire farming industry. Even today, after a grower works a Dakota field and looks in the back window—the soil appears as black as it did in years past. It is not. As Franzen bluntly summarizes: “People can’t believe how much soil we once had in this state. The really rich stuff is long gone and some farmers never realize that.”

      • Study Confirms Hurricanes Are Stronger, More Frequent, More Destructive Than Ever

        Danish researchers have settled a problem of US disaster accounting, confirming that in the last century North America’s worst hurricanes have become three times more frequent – and significantly more destructive.

      • Migrant Women and Girls Are Leading the Battle Against Climate Change

        Into the late afternoon hours, the blistering light gave way to soft, horizontal rays that crisscrossed over Lebanon’s Beqaa valley. The rays played with the children, casting long silhouettes of their forms, while they chased each other. As the temperature subsided, the elders of the community descended to the lowest level of the mosque-turned-refugee shelter.

    • Finance

      • The Pitchforks Will Come Out Eventually

        Failing to address wealth inequality means only one thing for a civilization: the end is near.

      • Trump Official Who Doesn’t Want Poor People to Have Publicly-Funded Healthcare Wants Public to Pay for Stolen Ivanka Jewelry

        New reporting by Politico reveals that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma filed a claim for over $40,000 for items stolen while she gave a speech bashing Medicare for All.

      • Schumer: Federal Workers to Get 12 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave

        The Senate’s top Democrat said Sunday that congressional leaders have reached a “real breakthrough” deal to give 12 weeks of paid parental leave to millions of federal workers as part of the annual defense policy bill.

      • China to exempt US soybeans and pork from tariffs
      • Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith accused of helping North Korea evade sanctions

        A special agent for the FBI interviewed Griffith back in May 2019. It was a consensual interview and he talked about his presentation titled “Blockchain and Peace” with the agent. He showed photos of his trip and said he would like to attend the same conference next year.

        Griffith discussed his presentation with another individual via a messaging app. “Individual-1 asked, in sum and substance, what interest North Koreans had in cryptocurrency. Griffith replied, in sum and substance, ‘probably avoiding sanctions… who knows,’” the complaint says.

      • Huawei is now shipping smartphones with zero US components

        No US components is an improvement over Huawei’s previous flagship, the P30 Pro. We did our own version of this analysis back in May for the P30, where we looked over teardowns for US components. The P30 Pro is Huawei’s previous flagship smartphone, and while it was designed and launched before the US export ban, it still didn’t have a heavy reliance on US manufacturers. Huawei says it has been working to reduce its reliance on US companies for some time, with Huawei’s deputy chairman, Ken Hu, writing in May that “The company has known [a US export ban] could be a possibility for many years. We have invested heavily and made full preparations in a variety of areas, including R&D and business continuity, which will ensure that our business operations will not be greatly affected, even under extreme conditions.” So far, Huawei’s preparations seem to be working.

        On the older P30 Pro, Huawei already had its own SoC, thanks to its HiSilicon chip design division. HiSilicon was also responsible for several smaller chips, like audio, the RF transceiver, power-management, and mid-band 5G chips. From there the P30 components were a whirlwind tour across the world: a display from BoE in China, cameras from Sony in Japan, RAM from SK Hynix in South Korea, an NFC chip from NXP in the Netherlands, and a battery from Huizhou Desay Battery Co. in China. The biggest US components were the flash memory from Micron, LTE antennas from Skyhook and Qorvo, and SMPS (switched-mode power supply) chips from Broadcom.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • All-Female Ticket? Warren Says America Is Ready

        CHARLESTON, S.C.—Elizabeth Warren said Sunday she believes Americans are ready for a presidential ticket with two women at the top, rejecting concerns from some Democrats that a woman can’t beat President Donald Trump.

      • The Missing Stories: Three Big Issues the Media Is Missing

        When the media and both political parties represent the interests of the oligarchy, attempts to prop up corporate centrists will fail, and surprises like Trump will be inevitable.

      • Pressure Mounts for Deeper Investigation of Devin Nunes in Ukraine Scandal

        Problems continue to mount for one of Trump’s fiercest defenders in the House, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California). On December 3, the House Intelligence Committee revealed in its impeachment report that Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani’s indicted associate Lev Parnas made calls to Nunes on April 10 and April 12. The report only states the existence of the calls, not their content, but highlights that they occurred four days after an opinion piece containing disinformation about Joe Biden was published in The Hill. The Intelligence Committee report alleges this was part of a “coordinated effort by associates of President Trump” to push “false narratives publicly.”

      • Beating Trump Is Not Enough: The Real Change Democrats Must Pursue

        If we have another Obama-type presidency, without real change, we will eventually get Trumpism without Trump

      • Social Media Penetrates Every Aspect of Our Online Lives for Profit

        When powerful players in politics and media gather in secret and their meeting is exposed, is it any wonder that people would see straight through the stagecraft to the leading actors rehearsing their parts? In today’s growing political authoritarianism, there is little doubt that control and consolidation of communications is necessary to manage an agenda and major narratives. In light of the recent meeting between President Trump and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, what new productions are now on the horizon for the people to parse?

      • Southern States Take Up Fight for Bold Democracy Reforms

        On Jan. 3 of this year, the first day of the 116th U.S. Congress, the new Democratic majority in the House introduced as its first bill a sweeping reform of the country’s elections. H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a bold package of measures aimed at improving voting access, tackling Big Money’s corrupting influence in politics, and bolstering ethics rules. The Washington Post called it “perhaps the most comprehensive political-reform proposal ever considered by our elected representatives.”

      • ‘Pushing Blatant Antisemitism’: Trump Rebuked for ‘Disturbing’ Comments

        “Trump’s antisemitism and his racism are two sides of the same coin.”

      • Hackers with high-placed daddies ‘Evil Corp’ member designated by U.S. Treasury is son of former Russian mayor

        Meduza has learned that one of the members of the hacker group “Evil Corp,” which U.S. official say is “behind the world’s most egregious cyberattacks,” is Andrey Kovalsky, the son of former Khimki Mayor Vladimir Strelchenko. 

      • Prince Charles demands Andrew be ‘open and honest’ about Epstein ‘issue’

        Prince Charles has ordered a crisis meeting with brother Andrew — demanding he comes clean about his dealings with Jeffrey Epstein before a potentially damaging TV special, according to a report Sunday.

        Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the throne, has ordered the meeting with his scandal-scarred brother before Monday night’s BBC special with key accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the Sunday Mirror said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • When the Voiceless Speak

        “Invisible People: Stories of Lives at the Margins”


        This is how Alex Tizon starts his deeply personal essay, “My Family’s Slave.” The article ran in The Atlantic after his sudden death in 2017, and is the centerpiece of a collection of Tizon’s works called “Invisible People: Stories of Lives at the Margins.” He was hardly a household name. Tizon was one of three Seattle Times reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for “their investigation of widespread corruption and inequities in the federally-sponsored housing program for Native Americans, which inspired much-needed reforms.” Despite this towering professional achievement, Sam Howe Verhovek, a friend and colleague of Tizon when he worked at the Los Angeles Times, thinks he deserves more, and has edited this collection of Tizon’s stories and articles. Through a diverse catalog, Verhovek showcases Tizon’s unique gift for giving voice to those invisible people whom the world has chosen to ignore.

        Tizon brings a wide breadth of subjects to life, from a native woman at the edges of civilization to a man in search of UFOs, from a teenage gang member in prison for murder to a Khmer Rouge survivor facing lifelong trauma. But Tizon was no ordinary reporter: In every story, Tizon lifts the voice of his subject with an eloquence and dignity that reflect a deep human respect for each of them.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Now You can Stream Disney+ On Linux Operating Systems
      • Linux Users Can Now Use Disney+ After DRM Fix

        When Disney+ was first launched, Linux users who attempted to watch shows and movies were shown an error stating “Something went wrong. Please try again. If the problem persists, visit the Disney+ Help Center (Error Code 83).”

        As explained by Hans de Goede, this error was being caused by the Disney+ service using the highest level of security for the Widevine Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. As some Linux and Android devices did not support this higher DRM security level, they were unable to stream Disney+ shows in their browsers… Yesterday, Twitter users discovered that Disney+ had suddenly started working on Linux browsers after the streaming service tweaked their DRM security levels…

    • Monopolies

      • China Bids to Lead World Agency Protecting Intellectual Property

        Of all nations, China has been perhaps the most aggressive in stealing intellectual property, especially from U.S. companies—a key issue in U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing. Now, Beijing has its sights on leading the global organization that is supposed to protect IP, and which sets international standards for patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

        Earlier this month, China nominated a candidate to head the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, signaling its desire to more actively shape the international system for defining intellectual property rights.

        Given China’s long track record of corporate espionage, rampant IP theft, and support for U.S. enemies, many trade experts are wary, to say the least. Several years ago, the United States even opposed the creation of a patent office in China on the grounds that stringent safeguards for protecting the confidentiality of trade secrets in patent applications might be subject to intrusions in China, according to James Pooley, a former deputy director-general at WIPO who managed the agency’s international patent system. A WIPO official said the agency has no intention of opening a patent office outside the agency’s high-security office in Geneva.

        Under WIPO rules, patent applications remain confidential for 18 months before they are approved and then made public.

      • Patents

        • Ford Patent Application Shows New ‘Skateboard’ EV Truck Chassis Design
        • New Notice of U.S. Patent Allowance Granted to Axim® Biotechnologies for Suppository Formulations Comprising Cannabinoids
        • To compete and win, the US needs to get into the game

          For the U.S. to “win” we need to compete smarter and more aggressively. We must get far better at multilateral leadership campaigns, anticipating leadership changes, and identifying and placing qualified Americans or others who will champion the U.S. reform agenda in roles in these organizations.

          This is not a Republican or Democratic problem. This is an American problem.

          The multilateral system, for all its faults, is an effective vehicle for collective action and burden-sharing. The U.S. created the World Bank, regional development banks, the UN, and other multilateral organizations to advance broad U.S. interests. If we didn’t have these institutions, we would have to invent them — or, worse — they would be invented and led by others, such as China.

          It doesn’t help our credibility when we don’t pay our dues and owe a massive amount of arrears to the UN. Not paying our dues could work 20 or 30 years ago, but in a world where we have less influence than we used to, this strategy impacts our ability to project U.S. influence and instead tempts others to fill the financial and leadership void.

          There is a sense in Washington that these institutions are not “ours” and thus we tend to favor bilateral solutions to problems. However, while bilateral engagement can be uniquely effective, we cannot underestimate U.S. leverage in the multilateral system and miss opportunities for low-cost and high-impact engagement.

          Right now, it seems the Chinese are “winning” the UN appointments game. For example, in May, the Chinese at the World Health Organization (WHO) barred Taiwan from participating in the WHO assembly, where Taiwan has observer status. In 2015, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was taken over by Chinese national, Fang Liu. The leadership position has historically been held by Europeans or Americans. The ICAO, with the appointment of Liu, now follows China’s “One China” policy and refuses to allow Taiwan to attend ICAO meetings.

        • Attacking Innovation

          Economists generally agree that innovation is important to economic growth and that government support for innovation is necessary. Historically, the U.S. government has supported innovation in a variety of ways: (1) a strong legal system for patents; (2) direct support through research performed by government agencies, grants, loans, and loan guarantees; and (3) indirect support through various tax incentives for private firms. In recent years, however, we have seen a weakening of the U.S. patent system, a decline in direct funding of research, and a weakening of tax policy tools used to encourage new innovation. These disruptive changes threaten the future of innovation in the United States, potentially driving innovation activities offshore to Europe and China. This Article concludes that the current innovation crisis demands changes to both the patent and tax systems in order to instill confidence in the innovation landscape.

        • Solicitor General Recommends That Supreme Court Deny Certiorari in Hikma Pharmaceuticals v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals

          On Friday, the United States filed its brief in response to the March 18, 2019 order of the Supreme Court inviting the Solicitor General to express the views of the United States on the petition for certiorari filed by Petitioners Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. and Hikma Pharmaceuticals International Ltd. in Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. The Solicitor General concluded that “[i]n the view of the United States, the petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied,” stating that the case was “not an optimal vehicle for bringing greater clarity [to the Court's recent § 101 precedents] because the court of appeals majority arrived at the correct result.”


          The District Court determined that Hikma’s proposed products would infringe Vanda’s patent, rejecting Hikma’s argument that the ’610 patent claimed a patent-ineligible natural law. The Federal Circuit affirmed, with the majority (Judges Lourie and Hughes) concluding at step one of its Mayo/Alice analysis that the claims of the ’610 patent are patent-eligible because they are not directed to a patent-ineligible natural law, but rather are “directed to a novel method of treating a disease.” As explained in the Solicitor General’s brief, “[t]he majority explained that, although ‘[t]he inventors recognized the relationships between iloperidone’ and genetically linked side effects, they had not claimed the relationship itself, but instead had ‘claimed an application of that relationship’ that requires the administration of a specific dosage, ‘depending on the result of a genotyping assay.’” The brief also explained that Chief Judge Prost, writing in dissent, “stated that, ‘[w]hatever weight can be ascribed to’ Mayo’s suggestion that ‘a new way of using an existing drug’ may be patent-eligible, lower courts ‘remain beholden’ to what she described as Mayo’s contrary ‘holding.’” Following the Federal Circuit’s denial of rehearing en banc, the Hikma filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, offering the following Question Presented…

        • Software Patents

          • VirnetX patent win against Apple vacated by U.S. appeals court

            A U.S. appeals court on Friday voided a jury’s calculation that Apple Inc (AAPL.O) should pay $503 million for infringing patents owned by licensing firm VirnetX Holdings Corp , setting the stage for another potential trial in a decade-old legal battle.

            In a partial victory for VirnetX, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit left in place a Texas jury’s finding that Apple iPhones infringed two VirnetX patents relating to secure communications technology.

          • Apple Must Fight Credit Card Tech Patent Lawsuit in Texas (1)

            Apple Inc. failed to convince an East Texas federal district court to move a patent infringement dispute involving its Apple Wallet application to a court closer to its California headquarters.

            The Nov. 27 ruling is a win for Marshall, Texas-based Quest NetTech Corp., which is suing Apple for allegedly infringing its U.S. Patent No. RE38137 that describes a electronic credit card system to store financial account and transaction data.

      • Copyrights

        • RIAA Shut Down DBR.ee, Now Obtains Subpoenas to Target Replacement

          The RIAA, IFPI, and Music Canada teamed up earlier this year to shut down file-hosting platform DBR.ee, claiming it infringed their members’ copyrights. A replacement site, that later appeared at a new URL, is now being targeted by the RIAA after it obtained subpoenas against Namecheap and Cloudflare.

        • Google Sees DMCA Anti-Circumvention Notices Skyrocket

          Copyright holders are increasingly targeting Google with DMCA anti-circumvention notices. The number of complaints has already doubled compared to last year, and skyrocketed compared to the years before. The notices are particularly effective as there is no standard mechanism to file a counter-notification.

        • Juice WRLD Dead at 21 After Sudden Seizure at Chicago Airport

          Rapper Juice WRLD (aka Jared Higgins) was pronounced this dead this morning after suffering a massive seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport.  The rapper was 21.


Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

Posted in News Roundup at 10:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • You Can Now Stream Disney+ On Linux Computers

        With Disney+ now lowering the DRM requirements, Linux users should be able to watch their favorite shows like The Mandalorian and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

        In order to stream the Disney+ service on Linux devices, users need to ensure that DRM is enabled in their browser.

      • Why choose Xfce for your lightweight Linux desktop

        The Xfce desktop has a specific, self-stated goal: to be fast on a system with low resources while being visually appealing and user-friendly. It’s been the de facto choice for lightweight Linux distributions (or remixes) for years and is often cited by its fans as a desktop that provides just enough to be useful, but never so much as to be a burden.

        You may find Xfce included in the software repository of your Linux distribution, or you can download and install a distribution that ships Xfce as an available desktop (like the Xfce Mageia or Fedora spins or Slackware). Before you install it, be aware that, while it’s lightweight, it is intended to provide a full desktop experience, so many Xfce apps are installed along with the desktop. If you’re already running a different desktop, you may find yourself with redundant applications (two PDF readers, two file managers, and so on). If you just want to try the Xfce desktop, you can install an Xfce-based distribution in a virtual machine, such as GNOME Boxes.

      • 10 Years of Using Linux: How It Was Before, And How it Became

        2020 Marks my 10 years of using Linux, a decade of my life that I also spent in supporting, promoting and developing free software both in my local community and globally. But the Linux ecosystem today was nothing like 10 years ago, and we are here today to take a look at the past and how both the Linux ecosystem and other open source software developed through the decade.

        If you asked anyone who used Linux in 2010, what was your biggest issue? They would tell you: Drivers. Back then, drivers for literally everything on Linux were not that good, and in a lot cases didn’t even exist.

      • Raptor Computing Is Working On More AMD Radeon Driver Improvements For POWER

        Similar to 64-bit ARM (AArch64) improvements we’ve seen with time for the Radeon Linux driver, Raptor’s Timothy Pearson has been working to improve the Radeon support for PowerPC or more specifically POWER9. While NVIDIA offers a POWER9 graphics driver for IBM POWER servers, AMD Radeon graphics jive much better with Raptor’s target customers thanks to the open-source driver stack — allowing a fully open-source graphics/compute stack with the AMD hardware sans the closed-source microcode required by the GPUs, but much better than the completely closed-up NVIDIA driver stack.

    • Kernel Space

      • GRUB Now Supports Btrfs 3/4-Copy RAID1 Profiles (RAID1C3 / RAID1C4 On Linux 5.5+)

        When it comes to the storage/file-system changes with the in-development Linux 5.5 kernel one of the most prominent end-user-facing changes is more robust RAID1 for Btrfs with the ability to have three or four copies of the data rather than just two copies, should data safety be of utmost importance and concerned over the possibility of two disks in an array failing.

        The Btrfs “RAID1C3″ mode was merged last week for this three/four-copy RAID1 while now the GRUB boot-loader has adapted support for these new profiles in order to be able to boot to said arrays.

      • Linux 5.5 Adds NFS Client Support For Cross-Device Offloaded Copies (Server To Server)

        With NFSv4.2 is the server-side copy (SSC) functionality with the Linux 5.5 kernel’s NFS client-side support for that support in allowing “inter” copy offloads between different NFS servers.

        This support allows for server-to-server efficient file copies with NFSv4.2 SSC rather than first having to copy to the client system. The NFS client changes also introduce new RDMA tracepoints for debugging congestion control and various other fixes.

      • Linux 5.5 KVM Adds POWER Support For Secure Guests/VMs

        IBM’s work from over a year ago in working towards secure virtual machines on POWER hardware is finally coming to fruition with Linux 5.5 due out early next year.

        After those original Secure Virtual Machine POWER9 patches were posted last year, the ultravisor / secure bits landed in Linux 5.4 in preparing the foundation. As explained in that earlier article, “The Ultravisor / SVM support is part of IBM’s approach for protected computing that is akin to the approaches of Intel SGX and AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). IBM’s Ultravisor code runs with higher privileges than the virtualization hypervisor and in turn the virtual machines rely upon IBM Protected Execution for verifying the behavior of the hypervisor/ultravisor.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • RADV’s ACO Compiler Back-End Now Supported For Older AMD “Sea Islands” GPUs

          The Valve-backed “ACO” compiler back-end for the open-source Radeon “RADV” Vulkan driver has added support now for AMD GCN 1.1 “Sea Islands” graphics cards.

          Sea Islands includes the Radeon Rx 200 series with the R7 260/260X/290/295 series and these 2nd Gen GCN GPUs also ended up in the Radeon HD 7790, Radeon HD 8770, Radeon R7 360, Radeon R9 390/390X, and Radeon RX 455. Up to now the ACO compiler back-end has only supported GCN1.2/GFX8 and newer but with the latest Mesa 20.0-devel code as of today in Mesa Git there is now ACO support for GCN 1.1 Sea Islands.

        • Wayland’s Weston 8.0 Reaches Alpha With EGL Partial Updates, Headless OpenGL

          Weston 8.0 is another significant update for this Wayland reference compositor in it offers EGL_KHR_partial_update support to reduce GPU vRAM usage on supported drivers/GPUs thanks to handling partial screen updates, support for building the DRM back-end without Mesa’s GBM, greater hardware planes usage, the Weston headless back-end now supports OpenGL, a direct display extension, HDCP support in the DRM back-end, and various other improvements / features.

        • weston 7.0.91
          This is the alpha release for weston 8.0. Here is a highlight of the
          main new features:
          - DRM hardware planes should be used more effectively
          - Headless backend now supports OpenGL
          - DRM backend can now be built without GBM
          - EGL_KHR_partial_update is now used when available, reducing memory
            bandwidth usage on some GPUs
          - Logging framework improvements
          - Documentation for weston can now be built
          A lot of fixes have been merged too. Thanks to all contributors!
          Full commit history below.
          Adam Jackson (5):
                simple-dmabuf-egl: Allow QueryDmaBufModifiers to report no modifiers
                gl-renderer: Fix possible memory leak when no dmabuf modifers are supported
                libweston: Fix integer underflow in weston_layer_mask_is_infinite
                image-loader: Fix undefined left shift in premultiply_data
                tests: Fix undefined left shift in internal-screenshot-test
          Ankit Nautiyal (6):
                backend-drm: Add support for content-protection
                libweston: Add functions to modify disable_planes counter for an output
                libweston: Add function to schedule idle task for updating surface protection
                libweston: Notify the client, when output recording is started/stopped
                man: Declare drm-backend support for HDCP
                backend-drm: Check for HDCP Content Type property before setting
          Daniel Stone (8):
                renderer-gl: Assert function presence matches extensions
                remoting: Use DRM FourCC formats instead of GBM formats
                Revert "backend-drm: Teach drm_property_info_populate() to retrieve range values"
                config-parser: Export get_full_path and destroy
                backend-drm: Use aspect-ratio bit definitions from libdrm
                config-parser: Make get_bool be bool
                tests/config-parser: Remove useless duplicate test
                option-parser: Make bools boolean
          Drew DeVault (1):
                simple-dmabuf-egl: update to xdg-shell stable
          Eero Tamminen (1):
                Add include for missing symbols
          Emmanuel Gil Peyrot (1):
                shared: Use memfd_create() when available
          Harish Krupo (3):
                gl-renderer: Censor protected views when output is recorded
                clients/window: Add viewport destination support
                desktop-shell: Set 1x1 buffers for solid-color backgrounds
          Jeffy Chen (2):
                clients: Drop corresponding touch points when destroying windows
                clients: Add more sanity checks to catch destroyed window
          Leandro Ribeiro (11):
                build: bump libdrm requirement to newer version (2.4.83)
                backend-drm: remove unecessary ifdef checks
                backend-drm: remove unnecessary ifdefs
                move frame_signal emission to weston_output_repaint()
                screenshooter: stop using frame_signal void *data parameter to get weston_output
                tests: stop using frame_signal 'void *data' argument to get weston_output
                renderer: change frame_signal emission to pass previous_damage as data argument
                screenshooter: get previous_damage from data argument instead of weston_output
                screen-share: get previous_damage from data argument instead of weston_output
                Revert "move frame_signal emission to weston_output_repaint()"
                libweston: remove previous_damage from struct weston_output
          Link Mauve (1):
                xwayland: Remove unused variable
          Loïc Yhuel (1):
                libweston: fix possible crash after a view is removed the layer
          Marius Vlad (53):
                weston-log: s/scope/sub, leftover from the logging framework
                libweston: Fix rename of weston_compositor_destroy() reference
                weston-log: 'new_subscriber' is actually 'new_subscription'
                weston-log: Add 'destroy_subscription' callback for the subscription
                weston-log-internal: Allow to hang-off data over the subscription
                weston-log: Add a subscription iterator
                libweston: Clean-up timeline to make room for a new approach
                libweston: Introduce timeline subscription and timeline subscription object
                libweston: Create the 'timeline' scope
                libweston: Convert timeline points to use the timeline scope
                libweston: Notify timeline of object modification
                libweston: Remove timeline-object and clean-up
                doc/sphinx: Add some documentation about timeline points
                compositor: Allow protocol to be displayed when asked for, even if we're not supplying debug argument
                libweston: Init weston_output's 'destroy_signal' before timeline has a chance to emit a
                compositor: Pass the entire string in one-shot when writting logger data
                weston-log: Avoid prefix-matching the scope name when checking for a
                backend-drm: Teach drm_property_info_populate() to retrieve range values
                backend-drm: Teach drm_property_info_populate() to retrieve range values
                backend-drm: Add zpos DRM-property
                backend-drm: Add a helper to display plane type as a 'string'
                backend-drm: Hard-code zpos values if HW doesn't exposes them
                libweston: Add a new helper weston_view_has_valid_buffer
                libweston: Add a new helper to check if the view spawns the entire
                backend-drm: Construct a zpos candidate list of planes
                backend-drm: Place pixel format checks for the overlay plane in its own
                backend-drm: Place pixel format checks for the cursor plane in its own
                backend-drm: Check pixel format before constructing the zpos candidate list
                backend-drm: Allow for views to reach overlays/underlays planes
                backend-drm: Pass the plane to prepare_overlay_view
                backend-drm: Pass the drm_fb to each prepare_overlay/scanout_view functions
                backend-drm: Move plane's availability in drm_output_try_view_on_plane()
                backend-drm: Print whenever a view will reach the renderer region
                backend-drm: Print whenever a view could not placed on the primary due to
                compositor: Fix some warning when passing debugoptimized to meson
                protocol: Add weston-direct-display extension
                libweston: Add weston-direct-display server side implementation
                libweston: Add the ability to determine if a dmabuf is scanout-capable
                backend-drm: Add dmabuf scan-out check for DRM-backend
                renderer-gl: Avoid retrieving the EGL image it direct_display flag was set
                renderer-gl: Display a solid shader color when direct-display is in use
                clients/simple-dmabuf-egl: Make use of direct-display
                clients/simple-dmabuf-drm: Make use of direct-display
                backend-drm: Assign the primary plane the lowest zpos value
                backend-drm: Skip testing plane state if plane is not enabled
                backend-drm: Turn zpos duplicate check into an hard assert
                backend-drm: Further checks to skip plane assignment to HW planes
                weston-log-flight-rec: Add a global variable to access the ring buffer
                weston-log-flight-rec: Don't allow more than one flight recorder to be
                weston-log-flight-rec: Fix useless comparison when displaying the
                doc/scripts/gdb: Added gdb script to dump contents of the flight recorder
                clients/fullscreen: Refuse to resize the surface size when fullscreen'ed
                gitlab-ci: Update ci-templates to latest SHA commit
          Miguel A. Vico (2):
                desktop-shell: Avoid NULL output dereference when getting surface label
                compositor: Do not trigger invalid destructors when hotunplugging
          Nicholas Niro (2):
                backend-drm: Fix for gbm modifiers when they are not available.
                backend-drm: Added support for legacy fd_import
          Olivier Fourdan (1):
                xwm: Use Xwayland allow commits for repaint
          Pekka Paalanen (73):
                backend-headless: fix comment on use_pixman
                backend-headless: refactor into headless_output_enable_pixman
                backend-headless: refactor into headless_output_disable_pixman
                backend-headless: make renderer type an enum
                clients: fix len-string formatting
                gl_renderer: remove unused NO_EGL_PLATFORM
                gl-renderer: fix typo native_window to native_display
                gl-renderer: remove platform_attribs
                gl-renderer: remove gl_renderer_display
                gl-renderer: remove gl_renderer_output_surface
                gl-renderer: remove print_egl_error_state
                backend-drm: use format db for fallback too
                gl-renderer: move into egl-glue.c
                gl_renderer: introduce gl_renderer_get_egl_config()
                gl-renderer: use gl_renderer_get_egl_config() for display_create
                gl-renderer: do not even pick a config with configless_context
                pixel-formats: add RGBA bits and type fields
                gl-renderer: use pixel_format_info internally for EGL
                gl-renderer: fuzzy EGLConfig matching for non-GBM
                backend-wayland: use DRM formats for EGLConfig
                backend-x11: use DRM formats for EGLConfig
                gl-renderer: remove EGLConfig attributes from API
                gl-renderer: configs for pbuffers too
                gl-renderer: pbuffer config for non-surfaceless
                gl-renderer: prefer the base EGLConfig
                gl-renderer: improve get_egl_config errors
                gl-renderer: print detailed EGLConfig list
                gl-renderer: use EGLConfig printer for window outputs
                build: shells do not need matrix.c
                build: use dependency for matrix.c
                xwm: dnd does not need cairo-util.h
                Unify the include style of shared/ headers
                build: simplify include_directories
                xwm: no need for compositor/weston.h
                gl-renderer: display_create needs surface type
                gl-renderer: document display_create
                gl-renderer: document output_window_create
                gl-renderer: add EGL surfaceless platform support
                noop-renderer: zero-initialize struct
                headless, gl-renderer: support pbuffer outputs
                compositor: add use-gl option to headless
                gitlab-ci: fix pages
                build: separate deps for int and ext libweston users
                build: link libm explicitly
                build: link libdl explicitly to DRM backend
                backend-x11: need libdrm headers in build
                build: reduce sub-dependencies of libweston
                compositor: turn weston main() into a lib
                cms-colord: work around unresolved symbols
                backend-rdp: work around unresolved symbols
                Link Weston plugins to libexec-weston.so
                tests: surface-screenshot needs libshared
                build: do not allow unresolved symbols
                libweston: drop a misleading dmabuf comment
                tests: remove static data from viewporter
                tests: remove static data from ivi-layout-test-plugin
                tests: remove static data from ivi-shell-app-test
                tests: remove static data from ivi-layout-test-client
                tests: remove static data from presentation
                tests: fix test-shell init error path
                ivi-shell: fix init error path
                colord: remove destroy listener on clean-up
                Use weston_compositor_add_destroy_listener_once() in plugins
                libweston: allow double-loading modules
                compositor: allow double-loading modules
                tests: write image to current directory by default
                tests/subsurface-shot: hardcode reference image names
                tests: replace fprintf() with testlog()
                tests/xwayland: do not call exit(SUCCESS)
                tests: rename struct weston_test to weston_test_entry
                tests/ivi: rename test_section
                tests: drop FAIL_TEST
                libweston: do not include weston.h
          Sebastian Wick (7):
                shared: add read-only anonymous file abstraction
                CI: build wayland from source
                input: bump wl_seat version to 6
                clients/window: bump wl_seat version to 6
                input: bump wl_seat version to 7
                clients/window: bump wl_seat version to 7
                input: use ro_anonymous_file to minimize duplication of keymap files
          Simon Ser (4):
                build: reopen master for regular development
                clients: drop simple-dmabuf-drm
                clients: remove leftover from simple-dmabuf-drm
                build: bump to version 7.0.91 for the alpha release
          Stefan Agner (10):
                backend-rdp: don't use shadow buffer for the RDP backend
                backend-headless: fix build issue without gl-renderer
                clients: avoid build error without gl-renderer
                gitlab-ci: add build configuration without gl-renderer
                backend-drm: use DRM_ constants everywhere
                remoting: make sure GL renderer is enabled
                backend-drm: separate out DRM virtual support
                backend-drm: make GBM optional
                weston-launch: show when a signal is sent to a child
                weston-launch: use exec to ensure signal delivery
          Veeresh Kadasani (1):
                simple-dmabuf-egl: make application generic
          Vivek Kasireddy (2):
                gl-renderer: Replace EGL_*_WL macros with locally defined enums
                gl-renderer: Add support for XYUV format (v2)
          sichem (1):
                libweston: Bring back 'weston_output_move'
          git tag: 7.0.91
        • Mesa 20.0 Now Includes Intel’s Gallium3D Driver To Build By Default

          As part of the ongoing effort for Intel’s plans to use their new Gallium3D OpenGL Linux driver by default on next quarter’s Mesa 20.0 for Broadwell “Gen8″ graphics and newer, another step in that direction was achieved on Friday.

          Intel’s “Iris” Gallium3D driver is still making good progress in its goal for Mesa 20.0 to switch the default “i965″ classic driver to Intel Gallium3D for Broadwell and newer hardware. Earlier this week was adding a build-time option to change the Intel OpenGL driver default so those building from source or distribution vendors can change the default on their own with ease.

    • Benchmarks

      • CentOS 6 Through CentOS 8 Benchmarks On Intel Xeon

        Complementing the CentOS 8 benchmarks I did following the release of that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 rebuild in late September, here are tests going back further for showing the performance of CentOS 6, CentOS 7, and CentOS 8 all benchmarked from the same Intel Xeon Scalable server. These tests were done about a month ago albeit with all the hardware launches, new child, and other factors, only now getting to posting the data.

        These benchmarks are of CentOS 6, CentOS 7, and CentOS 8 with all available stable release updates for each as of early November (prior to TAA, JCC Erratum, and other more recent disclosures). This was done to look at how the performance of these CentOS releases compare that track RHEL6, RHEL7, and RHEL8 respectively. Additionally, for each operating system was also a secondary run when booted with mitigations disabled to also provide a look at the CentOS Linux performance with the various CPU security mitigations disabled.

    • Applications

      • Top 7 Best Linux Terminals

        It doesn’t matter if you’re a casual Linux user or a season system administrator, a good terminal emulator can vastly improve your experience, allowing you to unleash the full potential of Linux and various command-line tools.

        This article isn’t about Linux terminals that ship with popular desktop environments, such as GNOME Terminal, Konsole, or xfce4-terminal. Instead, we’re focusing on the best available alternatives so you have a lot of options to choose from regardless of whether you place greater value on minimalism or features.

      • 8 Best Open Source Accounting Software

        Accounting software is a necessity when it comes to managing billings, debts, stocks, invoices and any other kind of financial transactions. You might require something for your personal finances or perhaps for enterprise-focused accounting software. No matter what, it is important to consider open source solutions available (especially being Linux enthusiasts).

        So, in this article, I list out some of the best open source accounting software that I think would come in handy for you. At the end of the list, feel free to suggest your favorite ones in the comments.

      • Some Free Sticky Notes Applications For Ubuntu Linux!

        Sticky notes application is one application that looks trivial but is very useful. This application is usually used to note something. We can choose several Sticky Notes applications below to be used on Ubuntu and other linux distributions!.

      • What’s your favorite terminal emulator?

        Preference of a terminal emulator can say a lot about a person’s workflow. Is the ability to drive mouseless a must-have? Do you like to navigate between tabs or windows? There’s something to be said about how it makes you feel, too. Does it have that cool factor? Tell us about your favorite terminal emulator by taking our poll or leaving us a comment. How many have you tried?

        We asked our community to tell us about their experience with terminal emulators. Here are a few of the responses we received.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • HD Remastered Games for Linux that Never had a Linux Release Earlier

        Many game developers and publishers are coming up with HD remaster of old games to extend the life of franchise, please fans requesting compatibility with modern hardware and of course, to make a profit. Linux has its own share of these remastered games. This article will specifically list games that never had a Linux release back in the day, but a got a HD remaster version in recent times.

      • Prepare for Half-Life: Alyx with the full and complete Beta of Half-Life recreation Black Mesa out now

        Black Mesa, the seriously impressive recreation of the original Half-Life can finally be completed! Crowbar Collective have put up the big complete Beta. A great way to prepare for the Half-Life: Alyx release next year.

        To get in, all you have to do is own Black Mesa on Steam and opt into the “public-beta” branch. Full release notes can be found here. So we’re finally closing in on Black Mesa leaving Early Access!

        If you just want to jump into the newer Xen levels, you can unlock all chapters quite easily. Go to Options, Keyboard, Advanced, Enable Developer Console. Bring up the console and type “sv_unlockedchapters 19″.

        A few quick shots of it on Linux…

      • A round-up of some good sales going on Linux games for you this weekend

        Roll up! Roll up! Come and see what could possibly be your next game purchase. Here’s a little round-up of what’s going cheap for you this weekend.

      • 60 FPS Screen Recording Apps for Linux

        There are a number of screen recording apps available for Linux, each with their own feature sets. They work fine in most of the use cases, however I found that many of these apps struggle to record videos at 60 frames per second (FPS) at full HD resolution.It is understandable that recording videos at 60 FPS can be taxing on hardware and performance will depend on your PC’s strength, specially when you are recording graphically demanding PC games. However, in my testing I observed that some of these screen recording apps don’t provide an option to set FPS at all while others limit it to a predetermined value. Further, some apps were able to consistently record around 58-60 FPS videos with ease while others struggled to achieve even 50 FPS on the same set of hardware. During this test, I disabled on the fly encoding wherever it was possible.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KF6: How We Organize The Work

          In the previous post, I mentioned the KF6 Workboard. I also promised that I would make a specific post once the workboard would be properly organized. I didn’t write it right away, so this post is now long overdue. :-)

          If you clicked on the link above, you might be a bit scared by the massive board you’re seeing. Yes, this is a massive endeavor even if a bit less overwhelming than the kdelibs to KDE Frameworks transition (but just a bit really). Anyway, if you’re scared: I’m here to help.

        • This week in KDE: Easy Emoji input and more

          Something cool this way comes… easy Emoji input! Speaking personally, lack of easy Emoji input on Plasma has been irritation for years. But no longer! Plasma now has a built-in Emoji chooser similar to the ones on other competing operating systems. Ours is invoked with the Meta+period keyboard shortcut.

        • KDE Plasma 5.18 Introducing Built-In Emoji Picker

          KDE Plasma is gearing up for 2020 by introducing a built-in emoji picker… Coming with Plasma 5.18 is easier support for inserting Unicode emojis.

          With Plasma 5.18 and later, the Meta + period keyboard shortcut will launch this emoji picker where one can see all available emojis sorted by category.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Getting started with the GNOME Linux desktop

          The GNOME project is the Linux desktop’s darling, and deservedly so. It began as the free and open desktop alternative to proprietary options (including KDE at the time), and it’s been going strong ever since. GNOME took GTK+, developed by the GIMP project, and ran with it, developing it into a robust, all-purpose GTK framework. The project has pioneered the user interface, challenging preconceptions of what a desktop “should” look like and offering users new paradigms and options.

          GNOME is widely available as the default desktop on most of the major modern Linux distributions, including RHEL, Fedora, Debian, and Ubuntu. If your distribution doesn’t offer a version of it, you can probably install GNOME from your software repository. Before you do, though, be aware that it is meant to provide a full desktop experience, so many GNOME apps are installed along with the desktop. If you’re already running a different desktop, you may find yourself with redundant applications (two PDF readers, two media players, two file managers, and so on). If you just want to try the GNOME desktop, consider installing a GNOME distribution in a virtual machine, such as GNOME Boxes.

    • Distributions

      • Here are the 5 Lightweight Linux Distributions We Recommend

        Linux is quite good in that it offers a lot of options for almost any use case. A lot of you may have an old desktop or laptop thrown in some dark corners of your house, but did you know that you can fully renew it with Linux? Here are some lightweight Linux distributions that we recommend for the task.

        A lot of other people and websites may recommend a totally different set of lightweight distributions for you, but in our selection, we didn’t just care for resources usage and the distro’s ability to work on old hardware. Instead, we also cared for the ease of use and your ability as a user to deal with the distribution on daily basis to do your tasks. At the end, the goal is not simply to get an old computer to just work – the goal is to get an old computer to work and do things that you need as someone living in 2020.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Revives Patches For Exposing /proc/cpuinfo Data Over Sysf

          Back in 2017 were patches for exposing /proc/cpuinfo data via sysfs for more easily parsing selected bits of information from the CPU information output. That work never made it into the mainline kernel but now SUSE’s Thomas Renninger is taking over and trying to get revised patches into the kernel.

          Renninger sent out revised versions of the “sysfs-based cpuinfo” on Friday that within /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuX/info/ would expose nodes to easily parse pieces of cpuinfo like bogomips, cpu_family, flags, model, model_name, stepping, vendor_id, and more. Reading the information via sysfs with a single-value-per-file makes it much easier for parsing compared to having to parse the entire /proc/cpuinfo output and complements other CPU information already accessible via the very convenient sysfs.

      • Fedora Family

        • Updated NeuroFedora Computational Neuroscience ISO image available

          We’ve been working on making more software available in NeuroFedora. Neuron is now built with IV support, so models from ModelDB that use these should now be runnable using NeuroFedora.

          The Computational Neuroscience ISO image has been updated to include these improvements. After receiving some feedback, we’ve also added Julia and R to the image. The new version, 20191201, is available for download here. The checksum file is also provided. So please test your download for correctness before you proceed to use it.

        • Time needed to dist-upgrade Fedora

          Every couple of months I upgrade my main home computer to the latest Fedora. As this process is not instantaneous, this means some time without internet, wifi, smart home controls etc. This time I decided to measure how long it takes exactly.

          Hardware is mid-range home server: Core i5 CPU, 16GiB of RAM, storage is 2x HDD in btrfs raid1, over LUKS, bcached on NVMe drive.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 “Bullseye” Alpha 1 installer released

          Yesterday, the Debian Installer team announced the first Alpha release the Installer for Debian 11, codenamed “Bullseye.”

          Debian originally announced their upcoming Debian 11 Bullseye, the next major Debian release, in July of this year at the 20th annual DebConf19 conference in Brazil. Development on Debian 11 began months ago.

          Yesterday’s announcement of the Installer’s Alpha release is the first news we’ve had from the Debian Development team since DebConf19.

        • Public service announcement for a modern Debian

          Don’t forget to vote!

        • Debian init systems GR – voting guide

          If you don’t know what’s going on, you may wish to read my summary and briefing blog post from a few weeks ago. There are 7 options on the ballot, plus Further Discussion (FD). With this posting I’m trying to help voting Debian Members (Debian Developers) cast their votes.

          I am going to be neutral about the technical merits of systemd. My advice does not depend on your opinion about that.

          So my advice here is addressed to people who like systemd and want to keep running it, and developing with it, as well as, of course, people who prefer not to use systemd. I’m even addressing readers who think systemd has useful features which they would like Debian packages to be able to use.

          However, I am going to be opinionated about one key question: My baseline is that Debian must welcome code contributions to support running without systemd, just as it welcomes code contributions for other non-default setups. If you agree with that principle, then this posting is for you. Unfortunately this principle is controversial. Several of the options on the current GR mean rejecting contributions of non-systemd support. So in that sense I am not neutral.

        • Charles Plessy: I voted

          Nevertheless, I am crushed under the number of options. Their texts are long, sometimes very similar, and do not separate clearly the normative from the preambles. Like in a parody of the dysfunctions of modern democracies, I ended up considering only the proposals written or seconded by people with whom I feel in phase. I have not voted for the others, which ranks them equally under « further discussion ».

        • Update to packaging the Jekyll import tool

          For moving my personal blog away from blogger I’ve put a lot of work into packaging and/or updating (the most common) Jekyll plugins for Debian. To ease the work further I began to package the Jekyll importers. But they need some (yet) unpackaged gems. So I’ve created an issue to track the progress and put my work on this package on hold. Yesterday @utkarsh2102-guest contacted me and asked me for more details. So I’ve spent the last hours to track down what actually needs to be done. And the news are a lot better than expected.

        • When terms and policy turn users away

          When asked to accept terms of use and privacy policies that state it will to remove rights I otherwise had or accept unreasonable terms undermining my privacy, I choose away the service. I simply do not have the conscience to accept terms I have no indention of upholding. But how are the system and service providers to know how many people they scared away? Normally I just quietly walk away.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Announces Ubuntu AWS Rolling Linux Kernel for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS AMIs

          Until now, the Ubuntu images for AWS (Amazon Web Services) have been using a normal Linux kernel that was updated whenever a new security update was available. With the new rolling model, the kernel in the Ubuntu AWS images gets all the latest fixes, performance tweaks, and security patches from upstream, as soon as they are available.

          “The Ubuntu rolling kernel model provides the latest upstream bug fixes and performance improvements around task scheduling, I/O scheduling, networking, hypervisor guests and containers to our users,” said Canonical. “Canonical has been following this model in other cloud environments for some time now, and have found it to be an excellent way to deliver these benefits while continuing to provide LTS level stability.”

        • First Ever Release of Ubuntu Cinnamon Distribution is Finally Here!

          Ubuntu Cinnamon is a new distribution that utilizes Linux Mint’s Cinnamon desktop environment on top of Ubuntu code base. It’s first stable release is based on Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine.

        • Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 19.10 Eoan Ermine Released

          I am speechless. I have gained so much help from the community, and people across the world.

          I am glad to present that with the help of people from Ubuntu Budgie, Alan, and Simon Quigley’s (Lubuntu Lead) jokes, Ubuntu Cinnamon 19.10 Eoan Ermine is now released.

        • Ubuntu Cinnamon Unofficial Flavor Gets Its First Ever Release, Download Now

          After many months of hard work, the team behind the unofficial Ubuntu Cinnamon flavor has announced the release of the first ever version.

          The popular Ubuntu Linux operating system comes with a wide range of variants, with some of the most popular Open Source desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce, LXQt, MATE, and Budgie, but it never had an official flavor featuring the Cinnamon desktop environment made by the creators of the Linux Mint distro.

          Well, someone has been working on a Cinnamon flavor for Ubuntu for quite some time now, and we kinda observed the progress during several months. After a lot of hard work, a final release is now finally available for download of the first, unofficial Cinnamon flavor, which, for now, is called Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • US 2020 Election Security: Auditing Tool Coming Soon

        The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said it is working with a non-partisan, non-profit group to customize an open source, post-election auditing tool to verify votes in the upcoming 2020 elections.

        The tool is known as Arlo. VotingWorks, an organization focused on developing secure election technology, is CISA’s partner. Arlo is used to conduct risk-limited audits (RLA), which VotingWorks calls the “best safeguard we have against hacked or otherwise faulty voting systems.” In an RLA, Arlo determines how many ballots to count, selects which ballots to inspect and compares audited votes to tabulated votes. Election officials in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Ohio and Georgia are currently piloting the software and others are expected to join. Colorado became the first state to implement RLAs when in 2017 it audited one race in each of 50 of its 64 counties.

      • New machine learning from Alibaba and Netflix, mimicking animal vision, and more open source news

        Have you ever wondered how your dog or cat sees the world? Thanks to work by researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK and Australia’s University of Queensland, you can find out. The team just released software that allows humans to see the world as animals do.

        Called micaToolbox, the software can interpret digital photos and process images of various environments by mimicking the limitations of animal vision. Anyone with a camera, a computer, or smartphone can use the software without knowing how to code. But micaToolbox isn’t just a novelty. It’s a serious scientific tool that can help “help biologists better understand a variety of animal behaviors, including mating systems, distance-dependent signalling and mimicry.” And, according to researcher Jolyon Troscianko, the software can help identify “how an animal’s camouflage works so that we can manage our land to protect certain species.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 70 review – the inversion point?

            I am happy that Mozilla has found some of its old identity, the one before it tried to copypasta Chrome. The privacy message resonates well with all that’s been happening lately. So perhaps it’s difficult to convince the Average Joe about memory consumption and perceived speed and such, but “they gonna git yo data” argument might stir an odd photon or two in a brain somewhere. When it comes to privacy, Firefox definitely leads the field, and this is a great selling point.

            It’s not everything of course, but the combination of a toned down message, the ability to change pretty much every setting, including the browser look & feel, do offer a sense of freedom in a world of diminishing liberties for consumers. Firefox 70 offers a nice bundle, and it might be the version that slowly brings the stray ones back to the fold. Hopefully. All in all, if you have reasons to like Firefox, version 70 should give you a dose of extra happiness. If you don’t, it might be the version that makes you reconsider. From the most cheerful reviewer of software on the planet, goodbye.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Funding

        • Some Of The Interesting Open-Source Projects For Outreachy’s Winter 2019 Round

          Outreachy recently kicked off their winter (December to March) round of internships for diversity in tech with 49 individuals tackling a range of open-source tasks.

          Complementing the useful contributions made this summer during their previous round, some more interesting tasks are being tackled over the next few months too. In going through the 49 projects, some of the interesting ones include:

          - Adding “did you mean?” hints to Git when entering incorrect sub-commands.

      • BSD

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppArmadillo 0.9.800.3.0

          A small Armadillo bugfix upstream update 9.800.3 came out a few days ago. The changes, summarised by Conrad in email to me (and for once not yet on the arma site are fixes for matrix row iterators, better detection of non-hermitian matrices by eig_sym(), inv_sympd(), chol(), expmat_sym() and miscellaneous minor fixes. It also contains a bug fix by Christian Gunning to his sample() implementation.

          Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language–and is widely used by (currently) 679 other packages on CRAN.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RDieHarder 0.2.1

          A new version, now at 0.2.1, of the random-number generator tester RDieHarder (based on the DieHarder suite developed / maintained by Robert Brown with contributions by David Bauer and myself) is now on CRAN.

          This version has only internal changes. Brian Ripley, tireless as always, is testing the impact of gcc 10 on CRAN code and found that the ‘to-be-default’ option -fno-common throws off a few (older) C code bases, this one (which is indeed old) included. So in a nutshell, we declared all global variables extern and defined them once and only once in new file globals.c. Needless to say, this affects the buildability options. In the past we used to rely on an external library libdieharder (which e.g. I had put together for Debian) but we now just build everything internally in the package.

        • There are (at least) three distinct dependency types

          Using dependencies is one of the main problems in software development today. It has become even more complicated with the recent emergence of new programming languages and the need to combine them with existing programs. Most discussion about it has been informal and high level, so let’s see if we can make it more disciplined and how different dependency approaches work.

          What do we mean when we say “work”?

          In this post we are going to use the word “work” in a very specific way. A dependency application is said to work if and only if we can take two separate code projects where one uses the other and use them together without needing to write special case code. That is, we should be able to snap the two projects together like Lego. If this can be done to arbitrary projects with a success rate of more than 95%, then the approach can be said to work.

          It should be especially noted that “I tried this with two trivial helloworld projects and it worked for me” does not fulfill the requirements of working. Sadly this line of reasoning is used all too often in online dependency discussions, but it is not a response that holds any weight. Any approach that has not been tested with at least tens (preferably hundreds) of packages does not have enough real world usage experience to be taken seriously.

        • Monads aren’t as hard as you think

          I’ve been scared of monads ever since I first heard of them. So many references to burritos, or nuclear waste containers, or some other analogy that didn’t make sense to me. So if you’re scared of monads too, maybe my take on what a monad is will help.

        • Print all git repos from a user
        • Print all git repos from a user
        • Do’s and Don’ts of implementing a hamburger menu

          The infamous hamburger menu is one of the examples where I see bad practice very often. Surf the web one day using a screen reader or using only your keyboard and you will most likely experience some of the problems as well. Let’s have a look at the most common errors and how to avoid them.

        • The GCC Git Conversion Heats Up With Hopes Of Converting Over The Holidays

          Decided back at the GNU Tools Cauldron was a timeline to aim converting from Subversion as their default revision control system to Git over the New Year’s holiday. For that to happen, by the middle of December they wanted to decide what conversion system to use for bringing all their SVN commits to Git. As such, now it’s heating up ahead of that decision.

          Eric S Raymond announced the conversion work in progress. Right now he’s been working on addressing the remaining problems with Reposurgeon in being able to convert the GCC SVN repository to Git. Following those lingering issues being resolved, he’s seeking broader review of the Reposurgeon “recipe” and then “the conversion progress starts to become desirable.”

        • Python

          • Talk Python to Me: #241 Opal: Full stack health care apps

            Open source has permeated much of the software industry. What about health care? This highly regulated and important industry might seem to be the domain of huge specialized software companies.

          • Sleepy snake

            I love this drawing! I’ve always been charmed by cartoonists’ ability to capture an essence in a seemingly simple drawing. Objects are reduced to stereotypes, but with some whimsy thrown in. Ben has always had this gift: to create just the right stroke to perfectly express an attitude or feeling.

            Here Sleepy is snug in his bed, covered by a blanket. Even in his custom bed, he’s too long to fit, but he’s comfortable. The pillow isn’t shaped like a real pillow, but it’s exactly our cartoon Platonic ideal of a pillow.

          • Generate a Python Random Number

            Here is a quick guide on Python’s random number. You can always refer to it whenever you need to generate a random number in your programs.

            Python has a built-in random module for this purpose. It exposes several methods such as randrange(), randint(), random(), seed(), uniform(), etc. You can call any of these functions to generate a Python random number.

            Usually, a random number is an integer, but you can generate float random also. However, you first need to understand the context as a programmer and then pick the right function to use.

          • Trigger Local Python App Remotely

            With an old Mac I have lying around at home and free web-based services, I’ve setup a simple app that fetches some data from an external service (YNAB) in order to run some daily budget calculations that I used to calculate manually for a long time. The output of my app is then sent back to my phone within seconds so I can trigger it from anywhere. I wanted to share the approach I’m using which has cost me nothing.

            This (obviously) isn’t an approach that should be used for large scale applications or anything other than pet projects. I just wanted to highlight how simple it can be using existing free tools. There are plenty of low cost, production ready, and scalable options out there (like AWS Lambda) if you prefer to start with that approach.

            My app is written in Python and served via Flask to a local endpoint (http://localhost:5000) which ngrok points to. I then have a IFTTT webhook hitting the Ngrok URL after clicking an IFTTT button widget from my phone. The app ends up broadcasting the output to my Slack account so I end up getting a push notification on my phone containing the app output within seconds of hitting the button:

          • PyGotham 2019 Speaker Coaching Recap

            I’m one of the organizers for PyGotham, the yearly Python programming conference in New York City. This year thirteen PyGotham speakers received training from opera singer and speaking coach Melissa Collom, paid for by the conference and free for the speakers. Eight of the speakers were new to the conference scene; Melissa helped them focus on delivering value to their audience, structuring their talks clearly, and speaking with conviction. All the speakers who responded to a survey said they felt more confident and they were more likely to propose conference talks again.

            Here’s what some of our speakers said:

            “Melissa helped me pick out the areas I needed to improve, that I could work on for maximum impact in the limited time that I had before the conference. More importantly, she told me what she thought were my strengths and it helped me immensely to know what I had working for me.”

            “It was fun and Melissa made me feel comfortable to be myself! She brought out the best in me. The positive and constructive feedback was helpful and provided in a supportive way.”

  • Leftovers

    • Across the Balkans: From Banja Luka to Sarajevo

      An account of a journey from Croatia to Kosovo, by way of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia, and with a detour into Montenegro. This is part III of a series.

    • Parasitic Sounds

      Even movie soundtracks are going green.

    • Marco Zehe: The myth of getting rich through ads

      In addition, the web hosting was expensive, but not really performant. And they often let essential software get out of date. My WordPress at some point had started complaining because my PHP version was too old. Turned out that the defaults for shared hosts were not upgraded to a newer version by default by the hoster, and one had to go into an obnoxious backend to fiddle with some setting somewhere to use a newer version of PHP.

      I then decided to try something completely new. I exported the contents of my three blogs and set up blogs at WordPress.com, the hosted WordPress offering from the makers themselves: Automattic. I looked at their plans, and the Premium plan, which cost me 8€ per month, per blog felt suitable. I also took the opportunity to pull both German language blogs together into one. I just added two categories that those who just want to see my tecnical stuff, or the private stuff, could still do so.

      With that move, I got a good set of features that I would normally use on a self-hosted blog as well, so I set up some widgets, some theme that comes with the plan, and imported all my content including comments and such. I lost my statistics from the custom plugins, but hey, I had lost years of statistics from before that when I decided to no longer use JetPack on my self-hosted blogs, too, so what.

      And I did two more things. I added a “Buy me a coffee” button so people could show their appreciation for my content if they wanted to. And I opted into the Word Ads program, that would display some advertisement on the blog’s main page and below each individual post. I simply wanted to see if my content would be viable enough to generate any significant enough income.


      When I compare my experience to that of my wife, who runs both a guide and a forum for the popular Sims FreePlay game in Germany, it is clear that even she with her thousands of visitors to both the guide and forum does not always generate enough traffic to get the minimum Google Adsense payout threshold per month. And that is just enough to cover her monthly domain and server costs, because the traffic is so heavy that shared hosting cannot cope. So she has to run a dedicated v server for those, which are way more expensive than shared hosting.

      So, ads on the web are really not a sustainable model for many. Yes, there may be some very popular and widespread 8content-wise) blogs or publication sites that do generate enough revenue through ads. But the more niche your topic gets, if you don’t generate thousands of visitors per month, ads sometimes may cover the costs of a service like WordPress to run your blog, but only if you are on one of the lower plans with less control over what your blog can do or the ads that are being displayed.

      I believe that a more engaged interaction with the actual audience is a better way to generate revenue, although that, of course, also depends on readers loyalty and your own dedication. I think that initiatives like Grant For The Web are the future of monetisation of content on the web, and I may start supporting that once my move back to self-hosting is complete. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Global Poison Spring

        The power of the chemical industry in the United States all but wiped out the US EPA. The politicized department administers laws and regulations that prescribe what it can do. However, in practice, it’s the political appointees that decide what EPA does. Related to this political reality, and knowing the deep roots of industry influence in Congress and the White House, EPA does its work reluctantly most of the time.

      • We Asked Public Universities for Their Professors’ Conflicts of Interest — and Got the Runaround

        Sharon Donovan and Richard Mattes have a lot in common. Both are full professors of nutrition science at leading public universities. Both sit on a federal advisory committee that helps craft the nation’s dietary guidelines. And both have extensive ties to the food industry.

        That last similarity isn’t easy to uncover. Donovan, who teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has reported in required state filings that she received gifts, honoraria or consulting income from infant formula companies such as Wyeth Nutrition and Mead Johnson. The state makes her annual reports, and those of other University of Illinois employees, available to the public.

      • Medical Professors are Supposed to Share Their Outside Income With the University of California. But Many Don’t.

        For nearly two decades, Dr. Neal Hermanowicz has led the movement disorders program at the University of California’s Irvine campus, where he earns more than $380,000 a year in salary and bonuses. The widely respected expert on Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases adds to his income by consulting for drug companies.

        Since 2014, 11 pharmaceutical companies have paid him a total of at least $588,000 for consulting, speaking and honoraria, according to federal data. For example, he has received more than $225,000 in speaking and consulting fees from San Diego-based Acadia Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of a controversial drug for Parkinson’s-related psychosis. In 2017, he was the company’s highest-paid physician consultant in the U.S. That year, he prescribed the drug more than 180 times, costing patients or their insurers more than $445,000.

      • Federally Funded Health Researchers Disclose at Least $188 Million in Conflicts of Interest. Can You Trust Their Findings?

        Federally funded health researchers reported more than 8,000 “significant” financial conflicts of interest worth at least $188 million since 2012, according to filings in a government database obtained by ProPublica.

        The database of disclosures reported to the National Institutes of Health, which has not been made public before, details the financial relationships of researchers at universities, hospitals and nonprofit organizations. These outside interests range from stock holdings in companies that may benefit from the outcome of research to payments for royalties, consulting work and speaking engagements. The total value of the conflicts is likely much higher than $188 million, in part because 44% of the disclosures did not place a dollar value on the investigator’s financial relationship.

      • ‘We already learned this lesson’ A regional health minister in Russia is asking clinics to cancel their abortion licenses voluntarily. Here’s what local doctors have to say about it.

        On November 20, Samara Regional Health Minister Mikhail Ratmanov announced that his agency had asked all private clinics in the region to refuse to provide abortions. Ratmanov said that out of the 31 clinics in his region that are licensed to perform abortions, 10 responded to his recommendation: By the time the health minister made his announcement, all ten had “voluntarily given up” their licenses. Beginning in 2020, private clinics in the Samara region will stop performing abortions entirely, according to Ratmanov. Regional officials have assured their constituents that state-owned medical facilities will continue to provide those services on the condition that staff at public facilities will try to persuade patients to continue their pregnancies. Anti-abortion protests, sometimes lasting several days, preceded the announcement both in the Samara region and elsewhere.

      • The Extraordinary Danger of Being Pregnant and Uninsured in Texas

        Rosa Diaz was no stranger to hunger and stress and a throbbing pain in the gut that was usually nothing serious — gastritis, she had been told, or lactose intolerance. When she became ill on the evening of Jan. 6, 2015, she figured it was the hot chocolate she’d been drinking with her family to celebrate El Día de los Reyes. It was made with milk, but she finished it anyway, savoring every drop.

        In the middle of the night, her oldest daughter, Diana, found her on the couch, clutching her belly and moaning. Diana half-carried her to the bathroom, offering her some Alka-Seltzer and a sip of Gatorade to wash the antacid down. Rosa started to shiver and cry. “Let me drive you to the emergency room,” Diana urged. “No, I don’t have insurance,” Rosa protested. “I just want to go to sleep. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

      • Recreational Marijuana Becomes Legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. Here’s How Communities Across the State Are Dealing With the New Law.

        This week in our state: weed and taxes! With less than one month left of 2019, and with recreational marijuana set to become legal on Jan. 1, officials in cities and towns across the state are wrestling with the issue and determining where they’ll stand.

        Some of the biggest news on the issue this week occurred in Evanston, where the City Council voted Monday to use sales tax revenues from marijuana to fund a local reparations program, according to the Chicago Tribune. While logistics are up in the air, aldermen who approved the measure see it as a way to try to retain the city’s black population, which has fallen in recent years, while “investing in residents who were harmed by discriminatory housing and other past policies.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft: 44 Million User Passwords Have Been Breached

          It found a match for over 44 million Microsoft Services Accounts, used primarily by consumers, and AzureAD accounts, which is more worrying for businesses.

          “For the leaked credentials for which we found a match, we force a password reset. No additional action is required on the consumer side. On the enterprise side, Microsoft will elevate the user risk and alert the administrator so that a credential reset can be enforced,” it explained.

        • Anti-Virus Vendors Flag uTorrent and BitTorrent as a “Threat” Again

          The popular BitTorrent client uTorrent is currently being flagged as a threat by several anti-virus tools. The issue affects the desktop client as well as the Web version and the BitTorrent Mainline client. According to the anti-virus vendors, the flags were likely triggered by bundled advertisements or other unwanted software.

        • DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman is moving to Google

          Suleyman announced over the summer that he was taking open-ended leave from DeepMind, fuelling speculation of a rift. However, he has emerged, seemingly unscathed and will now take up a role involving AI at Google. It’s not clear exactly what that looks like

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Developers join call for GitHub to cancel its ICE contract

            Since at least September, employees of GitHub have been pressuring the Microsoft-owned code repository to terminate its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, without success. Now they’re getting reinforcements from a constituency that could have more clout.

            In an open letter published Wednesday on GitHub, software developers representing the open source community joined the call for GitHub to immediately cancel the $200,000 contract with ICE.

          • Openwashing

            • Exadel Launches Adobe Experience Manager Authoring Toolkit as Open Source Tool for Digital Marketing Community

              Exadel, a global leader in digital software engineering solutions, announced the availability of its Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Authoring Toolkit. An open source project developed and maintained by the Exadel Digital Marketing Technology team, the Toolkit is available as a packaged, fully supported solution to Exadel’s enterprise clients and as an open source tool for the community. The Toolkit supports an automatic yet versatile and extendable generation of UI elements for AEM authors and provides a next-gen authoring experience in Adobe’s Coral UI-powered environment.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Alibaba Cloud Releases Machine Learning Algorithm Platform on Github [Ed: Alibaba gives its code to proprietary software and Microsoft will control it. Is this "open source" or trapsource?]

              Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, announced that the core codes of Alink, its self-developed algorithm platform, have been made available via open source on Github, the world’s largest developer community. The platform offers a broad range of algorithm libraries that support both batch and stream processing, which is critical for machine learning tasks such as online product recommendation and intelligent customer services.

        • Security

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

            • OpenBSD bugs, Microsoft’s bad update, a new Nork hacking crew, and more

              The freely available OpenBSD operating system is the host of some annoying security holes.

              Researchers at Qualys found and reported authentication bypass flaws that can be exploited locally, and potentially remotely, to log into services without valid credentials.

              “We discovered an authentication-bypass vulnerability in OpenBSD’s authentication system: this vulnerability is remotely exploitable in smtpd, ldapd, and radiusd, but its real-world impact should be studied on a case-by-case basis,” notes Qualys. “For example, sshd is not exploitable thanks to its defense-in-depth mechanisms.”

              Admins will want to update their systems as soon as possible.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Another Federal Court Says Compelled Production Of Fingerprints To Unlock A Phone Doesn’t Violate The Constitution

              Where the Fifth Amendment ends for device owners largely seems to be determined by their favored security measure. If it’s a password keeping a device encrypted, courts seem more willing to call compelled production a Fifth Amendment violation. If it’s a biometric feature — most commonly fingerprints or faces — the courts are more likely to consider body parts non-testimonial.

            • California Supreme Court Closes Warrantless Vehicle Search Loophole

              The California Supreme Court has overturned 17 years of questionable case law, restoring a bit of the Fourth for drivers in the state. (via Courthouse News)

            • The FBI Says Your TV Is Probably Spying On You

              Like most of the infamous “internet of things,” (IOT) smart TVs are a security and privacy dumpster fire. Numerous set vendors have already been caught hoovering up private conversations or transmitting private user data unencrypted to the cloud. One study in 2017 surmised that around 90% of smart televisions can be hacked remotely, something intelligence agencies, private contractors and other hackers are clearly eager to take full advantage of.

            • Strengthen California’s Consumer Data Privacy Regulations

              EFF and a coalition of privacy advocates have filed comments with the California Attorney General seeking strong regulations to protect consumer data privacy. The draft regulations are a good step forward, but the final regulations should go further.

              The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) created new ways for the state’s residents to protect themselves from corporations that invade their privacy by harvesting and monetizing their personal information. Specifically, CCPA gives each Californian the right to know exactly what pieces of personal information a company has collected about them; the right to delete that information; and the right to opt-out of the sale of that information. CCPA is a good start, but we want more privacy protection from the California Legislature.

            • No Credit Score: What Happens Without a Credit History?

              There are two major credit analytics companies that calculate your credit scores: Fair Isaac Corp., commonly known as FICO, and VantageScore. Both assign credit scores, which may be similar but aren’t calculated identically.

              FICO and VantageScore have different minimum requirements for generating a score. According to Shawn Lane, co-founder and chief operating officer of credit repair company Financial Renovation Solutions Inc., FICO needs: [...]

            • TikTok may be leaking people’s data from the US to China

              But court cases and investigations are raising concerns about how the app shares people’s data. The fact that the app is owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance seems to be heightening the alarm.

              Earlier this week, a student in California filed a lawsuit against TikTok for allegedly transferring “vast quantities of private and personally-identifiable user data” to servers in China. The student, Misty Hong, claims that TikTok transfers data about users’ phone use, including websites visited outside the app, surreptitiously to Chinese servers. Hong claims that this was done despite her never creating an account, and that the information secretly transmitted to China included draft videos she had made using the app but never posted.

            • FISA reauthorization: What will Europe think?

              In the Sept. 18 hearing before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, and again in the Nov. 6 hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary , representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency urged Congress to permanently reauthorize FISA’s roving wiretap, business records, lone wolf and call detail records provisions. The administration does so while acknowledging that neither the lone wolf or CDR authorities are in use.

            • How Ring Transmits Fear to American Suburbs

              There’s a crucial, unstated aspect of owning a Ring camera: You aren’t just making the decision to surveil your own property and visitors when you buy one. You make a decision on behalf of everyone around you. If someone walks by your house, lives next door, or delivers packages to your home, they will be recorded and surveilled. They don’t get a choice. Buying even one Ring camera is a fundamentally communal decision.

            • Confidentiality

              • ‘The Information Nation’: Kremlin researchers and forensic journalists intersect at Russia’s black market for leaked personal data

                The Russian Presidential Affairs Department’s Scientific Research Computing Center (GRCC) develops systems to monitor and deanonymize social-media users, and it sells these systems to government and private clients alike. Using the company’s services, insurance companies can root out dishonest employees, and security-guard companies can recruit new staff. Other GRCC programs allow the police to hunt down “extremists” online. In a special report published in late September, Meduza learned that these computing systems collect information on Russians not just from open sources, but also from leaked databases that are sold illegally on the black market. 

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Terror Links Probed in Florida Naval Base Shooting; 10 Saudi Students Held

        PENSACOLA, Fla.—The Saudi student who fatally shot three people at a U.S. naval base in Florida hosted a dinner party earlier in the week where he and three others watched videos of mass shootings, a U.S. official told The Associated Press on Saturday.

      • US scholar released in Iran, jailed Iranian scientist freed in prisoner swap

        Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday said Chinese-American graduate student Xiyue Wang and Iranian scientist Massoud Soleimani would be reunited with their families.

        “Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will be joining their families shortly. Many thanks to all engaged, particularly the Swiss government,” Zarif tweeted.

      • NATO is a Brain Dead, Obsolete, Rabid Dog. Euthanize It.

        In early November, French president Emmanuel Macron complained that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization  (NATO) is experiencing “brain death” as its member states go their own ways, with “no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making.” US president Donald Trump’s reply: “Nobody needs NATO more than France.” The two continued their duel over NATO’s future at an early December meeting of the alliance’s members in London.

      • Bolivia’s Coup Government: a Far-Right Horror Show

        Since coming to power on November 12, Bolivia’s right-wing coup government, led by interim president Jeanine Añez, has quickly consolidated power and achieved international legitimacy. So far, the Añez government has succeeded in calling elections for 2020; persecuting journalists, political opponents, and human rights activists; and, following two massacres of unarmed, mainly indigenous protesters that left at least nineteen dead — first on November 15 in Sacaba (near Cochabamba) and again on November 19 in El Alto (adjacent to La Paz) — negotiating a truce with the country’s trade union and social movements to remove road blockades in cities and countryside. It has also returned the armed forces to the barracks with impunity and $5 million in extra funds and equipment.

      • Trump Fails Again to Bring Troops Home From the Middle East

        Donald Trump’s Pentagon is allegedly mulling sending 14,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East to counter Iran.

      • Authorizations for Madness; The Effects and Consequences of Congress’ Endless Permissions for War

        For the first time in decades, passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been delayed due to disagreements between Democrats and Republicans. The disagreements at the center of the delay in Congress are, as usual, partisan in nature: funding for the President’s border wall with Mexico, a Space Force the Pentagon doesn’t want, the impeachment hearings, and other domestic political issues. This delay in passage of a reconciled NDAA between the two houses of Congress, however offers an opportunity, because buried within the NDAA are possibilities to repeal the pieces of legislation that have brought mass human, financial and moral consequences to the US, have wrecked entire nations and societies abroad, and have made the United States less safe.

      • Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’

        In the long-running nightmare of the Syrian civil war, the attack at Douma was a déjà vu atrocity with big consequences in Washington.

      • Trump Fails Again to Bring Our Troops Home From Mideast: Mulling Escalation of 14,000 US Troops to the Middle East to Counter Iran

        Trump’s Pentagon is allegedly mulling sending 14,000 US troops to the Middle East to counter Iran.Although the Pentagon pushed back against the initial report, that had only said they were considering the troop escalation, and the Pentagon did not deny considering it. | By Juan Cole

      • Why Do We Punish the Peacemakers?

        You’re liable to run into trouble if you try to suggest there is a greater threat to planetary survival than climate change. But there is. It’s called nuclear war.

      • Trump-Led Shift Away From Multilateralism Risks Survival of Future Generations and Planet, Warn The Elders

        Former leaders and peace advocates known as the Elders urge countries to continue working together to fight nuclear proliferation, the climate crisis, and global injustice.

      • A ‘No-Brainer’: Anti-Nuclear Movement Urges Trump to Accept Putin Offer to Renew START Treaty

        “Losing New START would set the United States and Russia on a path to nuclear anarchy: a state of affairs where legal constraints of nuclear arsenals has ended and norms of voluntary restraint are weak or nonexistent. We’d all be flying blind into a nuclear arms race.”

      • Of Course John Kerry Endorsed Joe Biden

        On Thursday afternoon, the Washington Post sent out a news alert headlined “John Kerry Endorses Biden in 2020 Race, Saying He Has the Character and Experience to Beat Trump, Confront the Nation’s Challenges.” Meanwhile, in Iowa, Joe Biden was also touting his experience. “Look,” Biden said as he angrily lectured an 83-year-old farmer at a campaign stop, “the reason I’m running is because I’ve been around a long time and I know more than most people know, and I can get things done.”

      • Kerry’s Endorsement of Biden Fits: Two Deceptive Supporters of the Iraq War

        On Thursday afternoon, the Washington Post sent out a news alert headlined “John Kerry Endorses Biden in 2020 Race, Saying He Has the Character and Experience to Beat Trump, Confront the Nation’s Challenges.” Meanwhile, in Iowa, Joe Biden was also touting his experience.

      • Srinagar’s Shikaras: Still Waters Run Deep Losses

        Gulzar Ahmad Bhat is sitting quietly on a wooden bench at Ghat No. 15 of Dal Lake. Like other shikara rowers in Srinagar, he has seen barely any customers since August 2, when the Jammu and Kashmir government issued an advisory to tourists to leave Kashmir Valley immediately. “That made our future uncertain. In my 18 years here, I have never seen such bulk bookings [getting cancelled],” says 32-year-old Gulzar.

      • What Religion is Your Nationalism?

        In India today, if you do not belong to the majority community, your nationalism is suspect. If you do not hail their worship, you are a dissenter. But can a deity represent a nation’s ‘asmita’, self-esteem? Is building a temple nationalism?

      • Is Kashmir India’s Palestine?

        In August of this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India suspended Article 370 of the constitution, the provision that granted some level of autonomy to Kashmir. Already heavily policed by Indian soldiers, nearly 40,000 additional troops were deployed to ‘calm’ (read: further oppress) the population following Modi’s repressive and illegal decision. Travel in and out of the country was banned, with even news reporters forbidden from entering, and all communication was disrupted, leaving people around the world with no word on the status of their friends and family members in Kashmir.

      • Saudi Air Force Pilot in Shooting Spree at US Naval Base

        The U.S. Navy and law enforcement officials identified the shooter as a Saudi pilot, one of up to a few hundred foreign nationals who had come to the base in Pensacola for training.


        Before the pilot opened fire at the base, he tweeted a will and quoted Osama bin Laden in justifying his actions, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which translates jihadist threats and communications.

      • Trump speaks with Saudi king after Pensacola shooting

        The president echoed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s denials of involvement in Khashoggi’s death and argued the economic relationship between the two countries was critical. The Trump administration ultimately sanctioned several individuals involved in the murder, but did not target the crown prince.

        The CIA later concluded the crown prince likely ordered Khashoggi’s killing.

      • World Bank adopts $1 billion-plus annual China lending plan over US objections

        The World Bank said its board on Thursday adopted a new plan to aid China with $1 billion to $1.5 billion in low-interest loans annually through June 2025, despite the objections of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and several U.S. lawmakers.

        Mnuchin told a House Financial Services Committee hearing that the Treasury’s representative on the board had objected on to the plan on Wednesday, adding he wants the World Bank to “graduate” China from its concessional loan programs for low- and middle-income countries.

      • Pearl Harbor shooting: US sailor kills workers at Hawaii navy base

        The shooting was reported at about 14:30 (00:30 GMT) local time. The identities of those involved in the shooting have not yet been confirmed.

      • War and Betrayal: Change and Transformation
    • Environment

      • Not just Greta: Young people worldwide take charge on climate

        All over the world, in big cities and small villages, in developed and still-developing countries, in global powers and tiny island nations, young people are mobilizing and marching, as seen in Friday’s global climate strike. Beyond that, young people are starting their own organizations and innovating greener everyday-living practices, all in the name of addressing climate change.

        Motivated by increasingly grim scientific reports on where the planet is headed – rising temperatures, rising seas, rising drought – and by the reality that they will be inheriting the Earth, young people are taking action.

        But to speak with just about any of these young activists is to realize that they are also motivated by hope – hope in humanity to have the intelligence and determination to address this era’s existential threat, and hope that their own role, that any individual’s involvement, is a key factor in moving the whole world forward.

      • New Report on Ocean Oxygen Loss Gives ‘Ultimate Wake-Up Call’ to Act on Climate

        “Decisions taken at the ongoing climate conference will determine whether our ocean continues to sustain a rich variety of life, or whether habitable, oxygen-rich marine areas are increasingly, progressively, and irrevocably lost.”

      • Oceans losing oxygen due to climate emergency

        The authors say the report, “Ocean deoxygenation: Everyone’s problem,” is the largest ever peer-reviewed study into the causes, impacts and possible solutions to the ocean’s oxygen loss.

        “With this report, the scale of damage climate change is wreaking upon the ocean comes into stark focus. As the warming ocean loses oxygen, the delicate balance of marine life is thrown into disarray,” said Dr Grethel Aguilar, Acting Director General at the The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a body comprised of governmental and civil societies.

      • Climate policy needs negative carbon-dioxide emissions

        And soon Drax—the power plant is owned by a company of the same name—hopes to be more than an electricity supplier. It hopes to be a carbon remover. By pumping the CO2 it produces from its pellets into subterranean geological storage, rather than returning it to the atmosphere, it hopes to pioneer a process which climate policymakers see as vital: so-called “negative emissions”.

      • Commuting costs Americans over $16 billion per year, data shows

        Not only can commuting increase your stress load, but it can also be a strain on your financial resources. In fact, real estate service Clever reports that Americans spend more than $16 billion annually on commuting when we account for the cost of not just fuel and vehicle maintenance, but also, time spent on the road. And that’s reason enough to take steps to shrink your commute – or perhaps eliminate it altogether.

        The typical American spends $1,249 a year on fuel and automobile maintenance to drive to and from work. That equates to 2% of the average U.S. salary, as per Clever’s research.

      • 6 Youth Climate Activists Explain Their December 6 Climate Strike

        We caught up with six youth activists (ages 16-25) from various climate change action groups around the country who are striking today. We asked them how they got involved and what activism means to them. Here’s what they had to say.

        Answers have been edited for clarity and length.

      • Australia bushfires north of Sydney ‘too big to put out’

        The fire across almost 300,000 hectares (1,150 sq m) is just an hour’s drive from the nation’s most-populous city.

      • Calling Him Only 2020 Candidate Whose Plan ‘Can Save Our Planet,’ US Youth Climate Strike Leaders Endorse Bernie Sanders for President

        As sit-ins targeted establishment Democrats nationwide to demand the Green New Deal, Sanders stood with climate campaigners in Iowa on Friday and applauded striking youth worldwide who are saying: “Hey, we want a planet that we can grow up in and have kids in that is healthy and inhabitable.”

      • Greenland ice melt feeds glacier instability

        In a runaway effect, the Greenland ice melt lets surface water gurgle down to the bedrock – and at unexpected speeds.

      • Could the Pentagon Be a Climate Change Leader?
      • Alternative Climate Summit Honors Victims of Corporate Crimes

        We broadcast from Madrid, Spain, where the United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP25, began Monday and will continue through next week, as environmental leaders from around the world gather to negotiate global solutions to the climate crisis. Activists have converged on Madrid for the conference and are hosting an alternative summit of their own: Cumbre Social por el Clima — the Social Summit for the Climate. The alternative summit has been organized by social justice and environmental groups to draw attention to the ongoing political repression in Chile, corporate influence on the climate summit, Spain’s own failure to address the climate crisis and the Eurocentrism of the climate conference. This is the third year in a row that the conference is being held in Europe. We speak with Tom Kucharz, one of the organizers of the alternative climate conference. He is a journalist and activist with the group Ecologists in Action.

      • Young People Are Escalating to Sit-ins in Politicians’Offices Today. Here’s Why.

        Three weeks ago, hundreds of young people stormed the field during the annual Harvard vs Yale football game, holding banners reading, “Nobody wins. Yale and Harvard are complicit in climate injustice,” calling for their universities to divest from fossil fuels. When asked to leave the field, they responded with a resounding…

      • Even as 500,000 March in Madrid, Greta Thunberg Warns Climate Movement Has ‘Achieved Nothing’ Until Emissions Fall

        “We cannot afford more days going by without real action being taken.”

      • Cross-Generational Power to Change

        Greta Thunberg was just a little girl in Sweden who learned about the emerging threats to all of us–literally to every human being on Earth and to all species–from anthropogenic (human-caused) climate chaos.

      • Despite Warmest Decade on Record, We Still Act Like “Addicts Blowing Our Carbon Budget”

        For those following our climate crisis and the near-daily stories of extreme weather being experienced around the world, this will come as no surprise.

      • As Press Swarm Greta, Fellow Youth Activists Stage ‘Powerful and Strong’ Silent Protest at COP 25

        “We need climate action and we need change right now. And the time to act is now.”

      • ‘Fleeing Not Migrating’

        The term “climate refugee” has real meaning for Jose, who says he was forced off his family farm in Tabasco, Mexico due to pollution from oil production, which damaged crops and contributed to climate change.

      • Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold

        For tens of thousands of years the Arctic’s carbon sink has been a powerful dynamic in functionality of the Earth System. However, that all-important functionality has been crippled and could be permanently severed. According to new research based upon field observations conducted from 2003 to 2017, a large-scale carbon emission shift in the Earth System has occurred.

      • What We Must Do

        The Warming Planet


        If we now conclude that “worlding” is a kind of unfortunate thing humans do and that’s it’s too bad we can’t all live in accordance to or congruent with the facts, we need to re-read Book Three of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels where Gulliver encounters a society where words are eschewed:“[M]any of the most learned and wise adhere to the new scheme of expressing themselves by things; which has only this inconvenience attending it, that if a man’s business be very great, and of various kinds, he must be obliged, in proportion, to carry a greater bundle of things upon his back, unless he can afford one or two strong servants to attend him.” Merely pointing to this or that to circumvent the processes of “worlding” and thus fashion universal understanding is an absurdity that Swift enjoys describing.

        Our often-screwy mediation of “the things themselves” wherein each of us insists things speak for themselves and we’re the ones who hear what they are saying makes our human “worlding” what human history shows it to be. “Mehr Licht” (“more light”) are said to be Goethe’s last words, as I suppose the wreckage of human history passed before his dying eyes.

        Both individuals and cultures live within various worlding bubbles, thus transmuting even absolute necessities into what is palpable within those bubbles, those mediated zones. Thus, you may have no fear of what an increase of temperature by 2040 will do to you personally because, say, you’re a member of the Dividend Class and anticipate being on some Olympian remove where the perils of global warming will not affect you. You may even be anticipating turning such catastrophe into a winning situation for yourself, as savvy market players tend to do.

      • Africa Could Power a Green Revolution

        Just before this year’s global climate summit opened in Madrid recently, researchers announced that emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels will hit a record high in 2019.

      • The Climate Emergency Has Already Begun as Earth Systems Collapse

        More than 11,000 scientists across 153 countries are shouting out a new climate change warning. The delay for action has been too long. Addressing our rapidly degrading and already overly dangerous climate is now officially an emergency.

      • Energy

        • Big Energy Front Group Launches Push for Troubled Atlantic Coast Pipeline

          The group argued that building the pipeline would save North Carolinians money by bringing more natural gas into the non-drilling state, characterizing that as an “energy justice” issue.

        • Bankrupt PG&E Makes $13.5 Billion Deal With California Wildfire Victims

          Pacific Gas and Electric announced Friday it has reached a tentative $13.5 billion settlement resolving all major claims related to the deadly, devastating Northern California wildfires of 2017-2018 that were blamed on its outdated equipment and negligence.

        • Chernobyl, Lies and Messianism in Russia

          “How much are these lies going to cost?” asks the nuclear physicist Legasov, as played by Jared Harris in the American series Chernobyl. This HBO series, broadcast a few months ago and based partly on Svetlana Alexievich’s book Voices from Chernobyl, reveals how the Soviet state tried to cover up the lethal explosion of the nuclear power station, by telling lie after lie. How much do lies cost? Today this question is just as valid as in the days of Gorbachev, Stalin and Lenin,

        • Why Are Some of the World’s Biggest Polluters Sponsoring UN Climate Summit?

          A group of climate activists walked out of a panel at the U.N. climate summit in Madrid on Thursday to protest the presence of Shell, BP and Chevron. Representatives from the oil companies were taking part in an event organized by the International Emissions Trading Association. This comes as the Spanish government is facing criticism for reaching out to Endesa, Spain’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas polluter, to sponsor the U.N. climate talks. We speak with Pascoe Sabido, a researcher and campaigner for the Corporate Europe Observatory, who has been organizing toxic tours of Madrid to expose the corporations and financiers driving the climate crisis.

        • BP Challenged Over Ads That Mislead Consumers About Its Polluting Portfolio

          Environmental lawyers have made a formal complaint against oil giant BP, claiming its latest advertising campaign is misleading consumers about its commitment to tackling climate change.

        • EPA Watchdog: White House Blocked Part of Truck Pollution Investigation, Caused Lack of Public Information

          The Trump administration pushed through an exemption to clean air rules, effectively freeing heavy polluting, super-cargo trucks from following clean air rules. It rushed the rule without conducting a federally mandated study on how it would impact public health, especially children, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan in a report released yesterday, as the AP reported.

        • ‘Now Let’s Do This Everywhere’: Kansas City, Missouri Approves Free Public Transit for All

          Measure championed as “visionary” way to reduce inequality and better serve everyone in the community.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Factory Farm Conditions Are Bad for People Too

          In 2014, the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, commissioned by the UK government and Wellcome Trust, estimated that 700,000 people around the world die each year due to drug-resistant infections. A follow-up report two years later showed no change in this estimate of casualties. Without action, that number could grow to 10 million per year by 2050. A leading cause of antibiotic resistance? The misuse and overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.

        • Nature’s ‘Brita Filter’ Is Dying and Nobody Knows Why

          Freshwater mussels, like pollinators and trees, are critical to their larger ecosystems and the world around them. They create habitat for other species, like freshwater coral reefs, and help maintain the structure and rigidity of the waterways they call home. They scoop up algae and nutrients, processing and concentrating them for others to eat.

          But perhaps most importantly, these soft-bodied invertebrates improve the water quality around them (check out this video.) They filter out sediment and agricultural runoff, limiting the size and impacts of dead zones. They reduce fecal bacteria from water, lowering the risk of E.coli. They sequester carbon, phosphorous and heavy metals. There’s even evidence they can remove man-made contaminants from water, like pharmaceuticals, flame retardants and personal care products.

          A single freshwater mussel can filter more than 15 gallons of water in a day.

        • Aldo Leopold, Revisited

          I had long heard of Aldo Leopold but never got around to reading his famous book till my sister put it in my hands a few weeks ago. Any book considered a classic almost certainly has a lot to recommend it, and this is no exception; but before getting around to that, I would point out what were, to me, some surprising features of Mr. Leopold’s behavior and opinions.


          Before relating the above anecdote, he had told, in a section called “Red Legs Kicking,” of killing the last duck that had not left for winter. He achieved this with exquisite knowledge of fowl behavior, guessing that if one were around it would come to the only place not totally iced over. There he waited for a long time in the cold. “I cannot remember the shot; I remember only my unspeakable delight… p. 121”

          Whatever one thinks of such sport it is clear that, as a young man, Aldo Leopold was prone to wanton killing. “When she climbed the bank toward us and shook out her tail, we realized our error: it was a wolf. A half-dozen others, evidently grown pups sprang from the willows and all joined in a welcoming melee of wagging tails and playful maulings. What was literally a pile of wolves writhed and tumbled in the center of an open flat at the foot of our rimrock.

          “In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we were pumping lead into the pack… When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable slide-rocks… I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean a hunters’ paradise. But seeing the green fire die, [in the old wolf’s eyes] I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view. p. 130”

          Leopold distinguishes between the young trophy-hunter and the mature. “The trophy-hunter is the caveman reborn. Trophy-hunting is the prerogative of youth, racial or individual, and nothing to apologize for.

      • Overpopulation

        • From Caesar’s Last Breath to Ours

          Human Life is a sexually transmitted planetary disease, Climate Change is the disinfectant that will cure it. (I’ll explain myself on this later.)

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Fastest-Growing Washington Lobbying Firms Benefit From Trump Ties

        For many well-connected Washington lobbying firms, business is booming after President Donald Trump’s 2016 election.

      • The Truth About this Election

        This is the most vital fact to understand what has happened so far in this election. There is a striking consistency across the opinion polls that the Tories have stabilised around 42%. That is just less than they achieved at the 2017 election.

      • How Media Turn Support for Public Schools Into Opposition to Children of Color

        Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic presidential candidates are rejecting the Obama administration’s embrace of charter schools, and media observers aren’t taking kindly to it. “Minority Voters Chafe as Democratic Candidates Abandon Charter Schools,” blared a recent New York Times headline (11/26/19). “The front-runners for the presidential nomination are moving away from the charter school movement, and black and Latino families ask why their concerns are lost,” read the subhead.

      • House Impeachment Report Cites Abuse of Power, Bribery, Corruption

        Previewing potential articles of impeachment, the House Democrats on Saturday issued a lengthy report drawing on history and the Founding Fathers to lay out the legal argument over the case against President Donald Trump’s actions toward Ukraine.

      • Los Angeles County’s District Attorney Must Go, and Here’s Why

        All over the nation, organizers are calling attention to the tremendous power of prosecutors and demanding reforms that protect public safety and accountability for all communities, especially black people, people of color and poor people.

      • Misconceptions About Lobbying Representatives and Agencies

        Never overestimate the knowledge, intelligence, or courage of elected representatives.

      • With Support of Just One Republican, House Passes ‘Historic’ Bill to Restore and Expand Voting Rights

        “Brings us one step closer to restoring the Voting Rights Act.”

      • The Focus on Trump Reveals the Democrat Model

        In 2016, the democrats and republicans openly agreed on one major vital point in the presidential campaign. Both organizations agreed that the best candidates they could put forward were devious, obfuscating windbags who disingenuously and deliberately used words to give the impression that they gave a rat’s ass about people who were suffering under the corruptions to which both candidates were intimately aligned. As events unfolded, the one person who seemed to have a clue as to how things needed (and still need) to change proudly allowed his supporters’ wishes to be jettisoned as he embraced the democrats’ fraud.

      • A Presidential Speech the World Needs to Hear
      • Are Democrats Blowing Trump’s Impeachment?
      • Law Seminar in the Hearing Room: Impeachment Day Six

        The week began with a few tweets from ignorant congresspeople and the president decrying the supposed unfairness of the proceedings. Pompeo chimed in with a remark that the timing was “unfortunate.” His reasoning was that Trump had important business to take care of in Britain at the NATO meeting. You know, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which Trump claims to hate. Personally, I think if they changed the name of it to North Atlantic Trump Organization, he would be fine with it. Like a dog pissing on every tree he passes by, Trump wants people to know he’s been there. Preferably, he hopes they will not only acknowledge his greatness but like him, too. Still, it’s about more than Trump’s ego.  Like I wrote before, it’s also about trumpism remaking the United States in his image—white and rude. He has a good start on that aspect, given that many US residents are precisely that. It’s also about giving the US government to the most reactionary factions of the US ruling class.  That’s why the white supremacist Stephen Miller remains in charge of immigration and why each head of the State Department is more belligerent sounding than the previous one. Admittedly, there’s a fine line involved there, but the trend does seem to hold true.

      • Phoning It In
      • The Chosen One

        It all made sense thanks to a simple trumpian tweet.  At first glance it had seemed to be just another in the never-ending tweet storm inflicted on the country by the boy in the Oval Office. Placed in the proper context, however, it makes perfect sense.


        In an interview on Fox News, the Secretary said he believed the trump was chosen by God to lead the country. Acknowledging something virtually all democrats, and perhaps a handful of Republicans such as Mr. Perry are aware, Mr. Perry said that the trump is not perfect. He said: “God’s used imperfect people all through history. King David wasn’t perfect. Saul wasn’t perfect. Solomon wasn’t perfect.”

      • Appalachia Has a Rich History of Women-Led Social Movements

        After the 2016 presidential election, many people in the United States sought to understand the rise of Trump through stories of rural America. Books like “Hillbilly Elegy” and “Strangers in Their Own Land” examined conservative communities as a way to explain the rise in right-wing politics.

      • Why Not Also Go With “The Kitchen Table” Impeachable Offenses for Removal?

        Failure by Congress to prevent devastating precedents from being invoked and followed by future presidents will create a legacy of disgrace for Congress.

      • Who Is the Audience for the Judiciary Committee Hearing?

        An evaluation of the House Democratic leadership’s performance.

      • ‘Where’s the Party? Come On, Man’: Biden Claims Democrats Not Down for AOC-Style Progress Like Medicare for All

        “OK boomer,” progressives responded.

      • The Dismal Dollar Dems and the Subversion of Democracy

        I never cease to be amused by the brazen hypocrisy of the dismal, dollar-drenched Goldman Sachs-Citigroup-JP Morgan Chase-Council on Foreign Relations Democrats. Yesterday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Net Worth: $101 million, D-CA) blessed the drafting of Articles of Impeachment against the demented fascist oligarch Donald Trump. She gave the nod in a short oration that cited the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution to accuse the rancid and rogue President of the United States of trying to enlist foreign leaders in helping him undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.

      • Trump Gets Away with Stuff Because He Does

        “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters, okay?” Donald Trump said at an Iowa campaign rally in January of 2016. That remark gets quoted, mostly by liberals bemoaning the unquestioning loyalty of the president’s stupid supporters, a lot.

      • We Need to Talk About Joe Biden
      • Pete Buttigieg Faces New Scrutiny for McKinsey Past

        Days after reports surfaced about the global consulting firm McKinsey’s work advising the Trump administration on immigration policy, calls are growing louder for South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to disclose details about the work he did for the company.

      • Demand Grows for Buttigieg to Come Clean About His Time at ‘Corporate Greed Machine’ McKinsey

        “The political risk is not that his former employer, a multibillion-dollar corporate entity that promotes fraud across the globe, will be mad at him. It’s what he would have to disclose.”

      • Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard and the Slow Death of the Democratic Delusion

        As a practice, I despise both major parties with a passion usually reserved for religious zealotry. But I’m not ashamed, even as a lifelong leftist, to admit that I hate the Democrats most of all. In fact, it’s precisely because I’m a leftist that I hate the Democrats most of all. The only thing worse than a racist horde of war hungry zillionaires is a racist horde of war hungry zillionaires who try to pass them selves off as the high handed voice of egalitarianism. It’s like having Strom Thurmond throw on a Rasta wig and wax poetic about how he understands why the n*ggers feel cold and the slum’s got so much soul (compliments to Jello Biafra). It doesn’t exactly make me feel better that I use to be a member of that limp-wristed blackface fraternity.

      • Whatever Happened to the Obama Coalition?

        Kamala Harris is out. This makes me almost sad; she was a snarky debater and, for a “moderate,” she wasn’t all that bad. Perhaps her managers ought to have stressed that point: “Better Than Booker” would have been a fine slogan for her to run on. Now, with Harris gone, it falls to that dreadful Obama wannabe to take the lead in keeping talk of “reviving the Obama coalition” on the front burner.

      • Conviction and Removal Aren’t the Issue; It’s Impeachment of Trump That is Essential

        A lot of pundit verbiage and Democratic Party internal debate as well is being wasted on the question of whether Trump could be convicted successfully in a Senate currently run by a lickspittle Republican majority afraid of their shadows and devoid of any concern for the fate of Constitutional government.

      • Trump Will Likely Survive Impeachment — But It Will Still Hurt Him

        After deliberating with the members of her caucus and reading the House Select Committee on Intelligence report on the Ukraine bribery scandal, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday morning that she has directed the chairs of the Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, Financial Services and Ways and Means committees to begin writing articles of impeachment against President Trump.

      • Eat an Impeachment

        Alexander Cockburn and I had our most ferocious arguments not over climate change or the relative merits of Muddy Waters versus Howlin’ Wolf, but about the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Alex didn’t think Clinton should be pilloried for lying about sex. I thought the more trivial the offense the better, for the man whose murderous sanctions on Iraq killed a half million innocent kids.

      • The Audacity of Hypocrisy

        It is the era of disavowal of Trump.  Long despised by anti-racists and humanists of many stripes, his foreign policy has now even offended US empire builders, leaving us with an overlap of interests between those who wish to scuttle Trump’s overt policies of hate and those who hate to see US power decrease in the world. Whether via impeachment or election, the time has come for a new carrier of the torch. That person will almost certainly be a Democrat, one who is “liberal” enough to appear to support human rights, justice and democracy but who is also committed to the maximization of US economic and political influence, just more nicely done.

      • Imperiling Progressive Change ‘For as Long as We Live,’ One in Five Federal Judges Now a Trump Appointee

        “Without a meaningful plan for court reform any presidential attempts to make needed change will simply be blocked by the courts.”

      • Fastest-Growing DC Lobbying Firms Benefit From Trump Ties

        For many well-connected Washington lobbying firms, business is booming after President Donald Trump’s 2016 election.

      • Great Uncertainties in UK Election Polls Suggest Fight Against Brexit Isn’t Over

        With barely one week to go until the U.K. votes in its general election, opinion polls show Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives out in front. But most of them also show that the race has tightened somewhat in the past couple of weeks. Increasingly, what once looked likely to be a multiparty free-for-all is reverting to the historic norm: a two-way fight between Conservatives and Labour for most voters’ loyalties.

      • Long Overdo
      • Julie Hollar on Election 2020 Coverage
      • With People in the Streets Worldwide, Media Focus Uniquely on Hong Kong

        2019 may be remembered as the year of the protest, as demonstrations are engulfing the world. From the Yellow Vests in France to demonstrations in Lebanon, Gaza, Chile, Ecuador and Haiti, sustained movements all over the planet have taken to the street demanding change. Yet US corporate media have been disproportionately interested in only one: the Hong Kong protests.

      • More than 500 law professors sign letter calling Trump actions impeachable

        The 520 professors said in the letter posted to Medium that impeachment does not require a crime, but rather an abuse of the public trust.

        “There is overwhelming evidence that President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to use presidential power to pressure a foreign government to help him distort an American election, for his personal and political benefit, at the direct expense of national security interests as determined by Congress,” the professors wrote.

      • Episode 57 – Right Wing Conspiracies: From John Birch to QAnon – 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 unsubstantiated right wing conspiracies. 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.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Duterte threatens to shut down Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN

        On December 3, Duterte threatened ABS-CBN, a privately owned news network whose franchise agreement is due to expire on March 30, 2020, saying, “Your franchise will end next year. If you expect it to be renewed, I’m sorry. I will see to it that you’re out,” according to a report by Philippine news website Rappler.

      • The Next Chapter in Anti-Censorship

        This talk gets you up to speed on all the ways governments have tried to block Tor, walks through our upcoming steps to stay ahead of the arms race, and gives you some new—easier—ways that let you help censored users reach the internet safely. Full talk blurb here.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • The Plot to Discredit and Destroy Julian Assange

        A day after dozens of doctors around the world released a statement about their mounting concerns regarding Julian Assange’s health as he’s detained in a British prison, Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer spoke with Tariq Ali, a renowned British journalist and co-editor of a recent collection of essays titled “In Defense of Julian Assange.” To Scheer, Ali and the book’s many contributors, the case against the WikiLeaks founder boils down to an international effort to suppress press freedoms. Yet as Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States have co-authored Assange’s downfall, many journalists and publishers, including some at The Guardian and The New York Times—two publications that published work based on WikiLeaks—have refused to defend Assange.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Celebrating WTO+20 and Looking Forward in Seattle

        Marking the anniversary of the WTO street uprising would not be complete without getting into the streets.

      • New Orleans Activists Clash With Sheriff Over Jail Expansion

        Back in 2010, New Orleans Sheriff Marlin Gusman asked the city government for a 6,000-bed jail to replace buildings damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The proposal faced backlash in a city notorious for the conditions in its jail and the brutality of its criminal legal system. In 2015, a new jail opened with only 1,438 beds.

      • Numbers Tell the Story of Hong Kong’s Human Rights

        The highs and lows of the Hang Seng index. Real estate prices. The cost of new cellphones. In the past, it was these sorts of numbers that some people in Hong Kong noticed.

        But now, six months into an unprecedented wave of pro-democracy protests, it’s different figures that capture some people’s attention: 5,800 arrests, 10,000 rounds of tear gas; at least 17 protest applications rejected by authorities, 1,000 retired police officers pressed back into service. And this one: 25 percent of Hong Kong people have participated in a recent protest.

      • Trump Has Built a Bureaucratic Wall to Keep Out Immigrants He Says He Wants

        Samir came to the United States from India in 2006 as a graduate student. He got a master’s degree in environmental engineering, and after a few internships where he picked up programming skills, he was hired in 2010 by UnitedHealthcare, a Fortune 500 insurance company based in Minnesota. He loved his job streamlining its claims process. “There were days where I worked three days nonstop, no sleep, nothing, because we wanted people to get cured—they need to get the treatment,” he recalls. “I put my soul in there.”

      • Police-Perpetrated Torture and Abuse Are Reopening Old Wounds in Chile

        What began over a public transportation fare hike in Chile grew into a massive protest movement against inequality and abuse. The protest demanded a profound social change. On October 19, former Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick, along with President Sebastián Piñera, declared a state of emergency, flooding the country’s streets with police and military officers to limit popular mobilization.

      • Why Are Cops Around the World Using This Outlandish Mind-Reading Tool?

        The police gave Ricky Joyner a pen and a nine-page questionnaire.

        Write what you did, beginning to end, on the day Sandra Hernandez disappeared, one question asked.

      • A Just Society Doesn’t Criminalize Girls

        The policies and unfair practices that disproportionately push girls of color from institutions of learning stem from deeply entrenched biases that require bold, community-based solutions to correct.

      • What the C.I.A.’s Torture Program Looked Like to the Tortured

        Drawings done in captivity by the first prisoner known to undergo “enhanced interrogation” portray his account of what happened to him in vivid and disturbing ways.

      • Going to the ICJ: Myanmar, Genocide and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Gamble

        Leaders currently in office rarely make an appearance before either the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court. International law remains affixed to the notion that heads-of-state are, at least for the duration of their time in office, safe from prosecution. Matters change once the time in office expires.

      • A Lesson From the Danes on Immigration

        Denmark is in the news now because of its purported hostility to immigrants. Brooke Harrington, a sociology professor at Dartmouth, published an op ed in the New York Times on Tuesday about how she was nearly carted off to a Danish prison for giving invited guest lectures to the Danish parliament. Danes had tightened up the immigration laws so swiftly recently that apparently even the parliament was unaware that it had become illegal for academics from outside the European Union to give guest lectures.

      • House Chairman Says Trump Administration Misled Congress on Boy’s Death in Custody

        The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee accused the Trump administration of misleading Congress and the public about the death of a 16-year-old boy in Border Patrol custody, and he urged a swift completion of an internal investigation.

        Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said a report by ProPublica on the May 20 death of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez “calls into serious question the steps U.S. Customs and Border Protection claims to have taken to care for a child in its custody.”

      • Carlos’ Family Objects to Publication of Video Detailing His Death

        The family of a teenage boy whose death ProPublica investigated has objected to the publication of a surveillance video that documented his last hours.

        Yesterday, ProPublica published a detailed account of failings and missteps by the U.S. Border Patrol, in whose custody 16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died. As part of the story, ProPublica published several moments from a lengthy surveillance video in which Carlos struggles on the floor of his cell and then stops moving. The video, which had not been shared with Congress or the public, contradicts the government’s claim that Carlos was discovered as a result of a “welfare check.’’ It shows that his cellmate awoke, saw his motionless body, and summoned Border Patrol agents.

      • 1619: The Mighty Whitey Arrives

        One of the more interesting sub-narratives of Edward Snowden’s recent memoir, Permanent Record, is his discussion of his All-American heritage. His mother descended from the first Pilgrim child born in the New World, not long after their arrival on the Mayflower in 1620. His father’s side featured seafarers, merchants and adventurers, and other defenders of the far-flung realm. Eventually, his more direct relatives settled in Maryland and with the 1900 acres given them by King Charles II and opened up the Patuxent Iron Works, whose manufacture of cannonballs was later crucial to the War of Independence, and Snowden Plantation, a farm and dairy operation manned by slaves.

      • Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and the Insecurity of China’s Leadership

        Hong Kong is in chaos, with no sign that the protesters will yield on their demands. Mass incarceration and indoctrination of Uyghurs and other Chinese Muslims has become so widely publicized, and evidenced, that Chinese leaders no longer try to deny that a roundup has taken place, though they dispute the numbers. As China extends its economic reach, its leaders have to confront another reality: Reputation matters, and economic clout will not easily convert to political or cultural influence. International repugnance is widespread over the Xi Jinping government’s flouting of human rights norms and seeming indifference to human suffering.

      • Moscow court fines journalist 300,000 rubles for attending protest

        Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court has fined journalist Ilya Azar 300,000 rubles ($4,700) for participating in a demonstration on August 31. In court, Azar rejected allegations that it was an illegal assembly, and his lawyer, Tatyana Molokanova, argued that prosecutors presented no evidence that any disorderly conduct occurred at the rally. “In photographs, you can see Mr. Azar eating ice cream and not chanting any slogans,” Molokanova told the court.

      • Feminist Art Exhibit Threatened in Kyrgyzstan

        The “Feminnale” exhibition at Kyrgyzstan’s National Art Museum centers on the theme of economic independence for women, intentionally challenging gender norms in the country. But instead of treating the event as an opportunity to foster conversation, opponents have instigated an intense backlash

      • Saudi Arabia’s Strategy to ‘Sportswash’ Abuses

        Saudi Arabia has been better known of late for serious human rights violations than sports spectacles. Yet the country is hosting the December 7 heavyweight world title boxing rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua, with likely millions watching around the world.

      • Brazil Grants Asylum to 21,000 Venezuelans in a Single Day

        On December 5, Brazil’s refugee agency (CONARE) granted asylum to 21,432 Venezuelans . Until then, CONARE had granted asylum to a total of just 263. There are currently 224,000 Venezuelans living in Brazil.

      • Algeria: Crackdown as Election Looms

        Algerian Algerian authorities are cracking down on the protest movement known as “the Hirak,” which opposes holding the presidential elections scheduled for December 12, 2019, arresting hundreds of activists and imprisoning scores for protests or waving flags, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • Russian Trans Woman Sentenced to Three Years in Men’s Prison on Bogus Pornography Charges

        A Russian court has sentenced a 53-year-old trans woman to three years in prison, on bogus “distribution of pornography depicting minors” charges for sharing nude anime drawings on social media.

      • BNP Before a French Court

        A court case is currently running in France that is of relevance to more than the French.

      • U.S. says Iran may have killed more than 1,000 in recent protests

        Tehran has given no official death toll but Amnesty International said on Monday it had documented the deaths of at least 208 protesters, making the disturbances the bloodiest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

        Tehran’s clerical rulers have blamed “thugs” linked to its opponents in exile and the country’s main foreign foes – the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia – for the unrest.

      • DHS Wanted To Add US Citizens To The Long List Of People Subjected To Mandatory Face Scans At Airports… But Has Backed Down For Now

        We knew the DHS would get to this point eventually. Since the beginning of its biometric scanning program rollout, the DHS has planned on adding US citizens to the list of people forced to trade their faces for air travel privileges. So far, the program has been limited to suspicious foreigners (which is all of them, including those here on visas), but a recent filing — caught by Zack Whittaker at TechCrunch — says flying in the United States would soon require adding yourself to the government’s facial recognition databases.

      • Trump Administration Drops Plans For Mandatory Face Scans of Citizens

        Sen. Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, credited public pressure as the impetus for the agency’s reversal. Markey panned the scheduled proposal as an “outrageous invasion of privacy” when it was made public and pledged to introduce legislation blocking it.

        “Thanks to our pressure, DHS is reversing course and NOT moving forward with its dystopian facial recognition proposal at U.S. airports,” Markey said Thursday. “But we cannot take our right to privacy for granted. I still plan to introduce legislation to ban this kind of surveillance.”

      • UK’s oldest ISP blames DoS attack on attempt to suppress human rights report about West Papua (read it now!)

        Last month, Greennet was taken offline by a massive denial of service attack that it believes was aimed at suppressing this report from Papuans Behind Bars, which documents Indonesian political repression in West Papua, aimed at suppressing an independence movement.

      • New political prisoners, treason charges and lack of judicial transparency in political prisoner cases

        Numerous political arrests have taken place in 2018 and 2019 as the Indonesian authorities attempt to suppress political protests in West Papua and Indonesia. In particular, treason charges have been used to an unprecedented extent to arrest political activists during August and September thisyear, in response to an apparent increase in support across Indonesia for the West Papuan self-determination struggle. Foreign as well as local human rights advocates are being subjected to similar scrutiny.

        Papuans Behind Bars (PBB) documents and identifies Papuan political prisoners/ detainees in order to bring to light their cases, and also monitors for fair and free trials. The people involved in gathering the data are lawyers from non-profit, independent legal aid institutions in West Papua whoalso provide legal assistance to political prisoners, human rights advocates and activists. They collaborate so as to get accurate data on the prisoners/detainees. PBB also analyses the consistency between the data it collects and any reports in the media. Most of these cases, however, are not reported in the media.

      • Rape, aftermath, GST

        While I do not usually like to start with bad news, but seems bad news is the flavor of the month. We seem to be going downhill one day after that. So let’s see what happened. First there is this piece which came in Washington Post and then there was the travel advisory for women travelling by their lonesome from UK and USA . It probably applies to women, even couples for sure . I am sure it was not an easy decision to come to but they had to as they as citizens come first for them. In between my last blog post and this, couple of more horrific things happened. The first thing we came to know is the burning of the Unnao rape victim which happened on Thursday i.e. 2 days from now when I am blogging. Apparently, she had gone to give her statement in a court hearing when the 5 people burned her. It does raise questions about the quality of protection being given to her. Just to be clear, there were no reports of any of the policeman coming to any harm which makes it all the most curious.

        The second horrific incident were when the 4 accused in the Hyderabad rape case were ‘encountered‘ . Curiously in this case as well, except for some slight injuries to the policeman there were no injuries. This was when there were 10 policeman accosting the 4 accused. The 4 accused have supposed to taken away all the guns, how we don’t know and still didn’t manage to fire on one of them. It raises and raised too many unanswered questions. Because of these killings, we will never know the answers. What if it turned in investigation that these were not the culprits or there was a fifth or a sixth person who was not named. There was also lot of celebration of this ‘encounter’ which seems that we are still a medieval state rather than a 21st century state. Of course when you have majoritarian narratives such as ‘Hindu Khatre mein hain‘ driving election campaigns rather than anything else than all sorts of things are possible. This is when the country is going through its worst economic history, probably parallel to 1991 although that one was more externally driven while this was is more due to internal factors rather than externals.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Vowing to Deliver High-Speed Broadband for All, Sanders Plan Would Enshrine Internet as Public Utility

        “Access to the internet is a necessity in today’s economy, and it should be available for all.”

      • Another Day, Another Telecom Giant Caught Taking Taxpayer Subsidies They Didn’t Deserve

        For decades, big and small telecoms alike have abused the FCC Lifeline program, a fund that’s supposed to help subsidize telecom connectivity for low income users. Started by Reagan and expanded by Bush, the fairly modest program doles out a measly $9.25 per month subsidy that low-income homes can use to help pay a tiny fraction of their wireless, phone, or broadband bills (enrolled participants have to chose one). While the program (which you pay into via your telecom bills) has been a subject of fraud, enforcement of abuse hasn’t always been consistent.

      • Why I Don’t Have a Mobile Phone

        In the late 1990’s I bought an early model Ericsson mobile phone. Traveling around the UK countryside visiting farmers, it seemed quite useful, in spite of the very intermittent signal availability of that time. However, I found the masts which transmitted the signals to be extremely ugly and completely unfitting to the rolling beauty of much of the English countryside.

      • Bernie Sanders Says Internet Service Should be a Human Right

        Sanders wants to break up large media and telecommunications giants, force companies to make [Internet] services more accessible to people with disabilities, and regulate broadband prices to ensure affordability. He says he will treat [Internet] service as a human right.

        “Just as President Roosevelt fundamentally made America more equal by bringing electricity to every farm and rural community over 80 years ago, as president, I will do the same with high-speed [Internet],” Sanders said in a statement.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Disney’s Decision Not To Renew SecuROM License Bricks ‘Tron: Evolution’

        Show of hands: who remembers SecuROM? Alright, put your hands down, we can’t see each other anyway. So, SecuROM was a really bad DRM used by several publishers to “protect” video games, by which I mean it mostly just annoyed legitimate buyers, got some of those publishers sued, and ultimately made the game unplayable on modern operating systems. The track record is enough to make you wonder why anyone would use DRM at all after this whole debacle.

    • Monopolies

      • Bernie Sanders Vows to Break Up Comcast, Verizon & AT&T: ‘Their Greed Must End’ [iophk: what about the subsidies they already received but did not build with?]

        “Telecom and cable monopolies exploit their dominant market power to gouge consumers and lobby government at all levels to keep out competition. Just four companies control nearly two-thirds of the entire market,” the proposal reads. But instead of just forcing [Internet] providers to divest from some of their access business, Sanders plans to hit them where it hurts — and effectively roll back much of the media consolidation of the past couple of years.

        Not only does his proposal call for the full reinstatement of net neutrality and for classifying broadband as a public utility, but Sanders also threatened to “unwind anticompetitive vertical conglomerates” and bar [Internet] service providers from also providing content.

      • Uber Reports Over 3,000 Sexual Assaults on 2018 Rides

        Uber, as part of a long anticipated safety report, revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported during its U.S. rides in 2018.

      • Uber safety review reports more than 3,000 allegations of sexual assault last year

        According to the 84-page review of 2017 and 2018, Uber received 5,981 allegations of serious sexual assault in the U.S. over the course of 2017 and 2018 and 3,045 last year alone.

        Of those sexual assaults complaints, 235 were reports of rape in 2018, up from 229 in 2017 and 280 were reports of attempted rape in 2018, down from 307 in 2017. There were 1,560 reports of groping in 2018, up from 1,440 in 2017 and 376 reports of unwanted kissing on the mouth, breast or buttocks, down from 390 in 2017.

        Another 594 reports in 2018 involved unwanted kissing of a different body part, up from 570 in 2017.

        These numbers count only those victims who came forward to make a complaint and, as sexual assault is an under-reported crime, may be higher. In all, Uber reported sexual assault and sexual misconduct data in 21 categories.

      • Uber Received Nearly 6,000 U.S. Sexual Assault Claims In Past 2 Years

        The company received 5,981 allegations of serious sexual assault in the U.S. over two years, according to a new report covering 2017 and 2018. The claims range from unwanted touching and kissing to rape.

        The U.S.-only report also covers deaths involving Uber rides. During those two years, 107 people died in crashes involving Uber cars, and 19 people were killed in physical assaults during or soon after an Uber ride.

      • Patents

        • Litigation

          • Super Mario company paved the way for BMW and Daimler’s invalidity defense against a Broadcom patent

            There was a time when a video game console manufacturer like Nintendo and car makers like BMW and Daimler were technologically so far apart that one could hardly have imagined the same patent would get asserted against those three organizations. But times have changed, and a patent on programmable texture processing (a computer graphics patent) can now be alleged–whether with or without merit–to read on game consoles as well as car navigation systems (or other computing technology incorporated into a modern automobile).

            There also was a time when Broadcom was more interested in making products than asserting patents, and often filed pretty good amicus curiae briefs advocating reasonableness in patent enforcement (particularly, but not only, with respect to standard-essential patents). That, too, has changed.

            Time is ticking away for some very old Broadcom patents on the verge of expiry. Last year, however, Broadcom forced the Volkswagen group into a billion-dollar settlement, exploiting the sad state of affairs of German patent law, where injunctions are granted–mnst of the time over patents that would later be held invalid–without an eBay v. MercExchange-like proportionality analysis. One of Europe’s best patent judges believes Germany is in breach of EU law for that reason, and at a conference I recently organized in Brussels, a lawyer said the European Commission could, if it wanted, fine Germany for infringement of an EU directive.

            The latest insanity–Germany-wide patent injunctions obtained by BlackBerry against Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram subsidiaries over four different (most likely invalid) software patents–shows that this situation is unsustainable, and I’m confident that change will come. Germany’s patent infringement judges unanimously oppose reform, but they’re not going to be the ones to decide. At the most, they can influence the unelected officials at the ministry of justice, but the German legislature will make the actual decision and is going to be a million times more interested in strengthening the German economy and protecting German jobs and consumers than in attracting lots of patent troll litigation to the country. There won’t be a single party in the German parliament that would support the status quo. The judges are going to lose this battle.

          • Korea Fair Trade Commission defeats Qualcomm’s antitrust appeal in court, but Qualcomm will appeal–and violate–further

            As Reuters and other media outlets reported, the Seoul High Court upheld the record $873 million fine the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) had imposed on Qualcomm. The issues in the South Korean antitrust case are very similar to the ones in the U.S. FTC v. Qualcomm case, and the most important overlap concerns the obligation to extend exhaustive SEP licenses, on FRAND terms, to rival chipset makers.

            For the South Korean competition authority, this is a major legal victory. Qualcomm has announced its intent to appeal this matter further to the Supreme Court of South Korea. But that appeal will take roughly half a decade to be resolved.

            Qualcomm’s problem is not to cough up the (almost) billion-dollar fine. Korea–with Samsung and LG being based there–is a strategically important market. What hurts Qualcomm much more in the short term is that this Korean decision may also serve to demonstrate to the Ninth Circuit that the U.S. FTC and Judge Lucy H. Koh reached decisions that are simply in the global antitrust mainstream. I guess the U.S. FTC will file a request for judicial notice soon–and, by the way, I believe the companies who lodged EU antitrust complaints against Nokia (Daimler, Continental, Valeo, Gemalto, BURY Technologies) should also try to leverage the Korean decision in Brussels.

            The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear FTC v. Qualcomm on February 13, 2020. In the post I just linked to, I listed my posts on most of the amicus curiae briefs filed in support of the FTC, and subsequently I also blogged about an automotive-industry brief.

      • Copyrights

        • WinRAR Nukes Pirate Keygen But is a “Good Guy” Towards Regular Users

          WinRAR is one of the most recognizable pieces of software in history and one that’s effectively free to use, forever. Nevertheless, the company behind the product still has to deal with infringement, something that was highlighted in a complaint filed against a keygen creator this week. That said, WinRAR informs TorrentFreak that no one should really need to use a pirated copy of its software.

        • Our Book, “Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians,” Is Now Available

          The book, Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians, is now published under CC BY and offers an additional way to access the openly licensed CC Certificate content. It’s available in print at the ALA store, or it can be downloaded from our website! 

        • Jason Mraz Sues Coors Light for Copyright Infringing ‘I’m Yours’

          Singer Jason Mraz is suing MillerCoors LLC because it used his Grammy-nominated hit song “I’m Yours” in a Coors Light advertisement on Instagram without his consent.

        • Zoe Keating Offers More Evidence That Spotify Royalties Are Declining

          Artist Zoe Keating has announced on Twitter just how much she is earning through Spotify, which appears to indicate that streaming royalty rates from the company are declining sharply.

        • Katy Perry Fights Back Against $2.8 Million Copyright Infringement Ruling

          Katy Perry and her legal team are officially striking back against a recent $2.78 million copyright infringement ruling related to the hit song “Dark Horse” — with the first counter-arguments scheduled for January of 2020.

        • It Doesn’t Take A Genius To Recognize How Dumb Genius’ Lawsuit Against Google Is Over ‘Stolen’ Lyrics

          Earlier this year, we wrote about what we referred to as “the dumbest gotcha story of the week”, in which the annotation site Genius accused Google of “stealing” lyrics from their site — which they “discovered” by a modestly clever use of curly apostrophes and straight apostrophes as hidden markers in their own posting of lyrics, which they then spotted on Google. As we explained, the actual evidence did not suggest at all that Google was copying the lyrics from Genius. Instead, as became obvious, Google (like most other lyrics sites on the internet), licenses lyrics from LyricFind. Indeed, it later came out that basically every site that uses LyricFind had the same “watermarked” lyrics.

        • Access granted!

          We have fabulous news! The Norwegian government has announced an effort to give the public access to court decisions – and credited the rettspraksis.no project for being the inspiration!

        • France proposes upload filter law, “forgets” user rights

          When the European Union adopted the new copyright directive, including its infamous Article 17, the upload filtering provision, it gave Member States time until June 2021 to introduce the new rules into their national copyright laws. France, the most fervent supporter of Article 17, apparently has no time to lose and just presented the new draft law designed to transpose Article 17 and some other parts of the copyright directive.

          France’s implementation proposal is important to follow wherever you are in the EU, because it likely marks the worst-case scenario of how Article 17 could unfold if rightsholders get their way. Given that the French government has been the mouthpiece of the entertainment industry throughout the negotiations, perhaps one should not be surprised that it tries to interpret the new rules in the way most favorable to rightsholders. After all, president Emmanuel Macron personally intervened with Angela Merkel to secure Germany’s support for Article 17 in clear breach of the German coalition government agreement.


Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

Posted in News Roundup at 12:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Goodbye Error 83: You Can Now Stream Disney Plus on Linux Devices

        Prior to Disney+ launching, there was some speculation that the service wouldn’t work on Chromebook or Linux Devices. Those streaming on certain devices during the test in the Netherlands received an Error 83 which meant a “device compatibility issue.” This was a result of how Disney+ handled Widevine DRM and the fact that Disney+ required a higher level of security than other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

        While Disney was able to add Chromebook support ahead of launch (which is good because, you get 3 free months when you buy one), some Linux devices still did not support the streaming service. But now, according to many Linux users, earlier this week that changed.

      • Arm Server CPUs: You Can Now Buy Ampere’s eMAG in a Workstation

        Avantek offers the system with three optional graphics cards: AMD FirePro W2100, a Radeon Pro WX 5100, and the NVIDIA Quadro GV100. OS options are variants of Linux: Ubuntu, CentOS, SUSE SLES, and openSUSE.

    • Server

      • When you’re in the release team, you’re family: the Kubernetes 1.16 release interview

        It is a pleasure to co-host the weekly Kubernetes Podcast from Google with Adam Glick. We get to talk to friends old and new from the community, as well as give people a download on the Cloud Native news every week.

        It was also a pleasure to see Lachlan Evenson, the release manager for Kubernetes 1.16, win the CNCF “Top Ambassador” award at KubeCon. We talked with Lachie when 1.16 was released, and as is becoming a tradition, we are delighted to share an abridged version of that interview with the readers of the Kubernetes Blog.

        If you’re paying attention to the release calendar, you’ll see 1.17 is due out soon. Subscribe to our show in your favourite podcast player for another release interview!

      • IBM

        • Containers and Kubernetes can be essential to a hybrid cloud computing strategy

          Hybrid cloud is gaining ground among enterprises that want to expand computing resources with public cloud infrastructure while still using their on-premise, data center environments. Adding public cloud can mean more elasticity, scalability, and even faster time to market. But if you want to improve the chances that your hybrid cloud can deliver on its promise, you need to think about adding containers to the mix.

          Linux containers provide a way to encapsulate application code in a way that makes the code more portable and faster to deploy. More and more organizations are using containers as part of the infrastructure for microservices-based, cloud-native applications.

          Containers can be portable across environments such as Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and consistent, so they can speed application delivery times and make it easier for teams to collaborate, even if those teams are working in different deployment environments. And they can serve as a bridge between your data center and public cloud environments.

        • Systemd-homed Looks Like It Will Merged Soon For systemd 245

          Announced back in September at the All Systems Go event in Berlin was systemd-homed as a new effort to improve home directory handling. Systemd-homed wants to make it easier to migrate home directories, ensure all user data is self-contained, unify user-password and encryption handling, and provide other modern takes on home/user directory functionality. That code is expected to soon land in systemd.

          Systemd-homed was talked about by Lennart as being ready for versions 244 or 245. Now that systemd 244 shipped at the end of November, systemd-homed is looking like it will soon land in Git.

        • Understanding Red Hat AMQ Streams components for OpenShift and Kubernetes: Part 3

          In the previous articles in this series, we first covered the basics of Red Hat AMQ Streams on OpenShift and then showed how to set up Kafka Connect, a Kafka Bridge, and Kafka Mirror Maker.

        • What personality trait most defines a sysadmin?

          When you think of a system administrator, who do you think of?

          Chances are, most of us have taken a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test at some point in our careers. For me, my results typically come up as INTJ, and I’ve always thought the traits associated with that type (introversion, intuition, thinking, judging) have aligned with my interest in technology and the kind of work I enjoy.

          But that doesn’t mean that those are the only characteristics that make a good sysadmin. Far from it. A successful team is made up of a diversity of skills, viewpoints, and personal characteristics.

        • How to identify a strong sysadmin job applicant

          When a company looks for new resources with skills in a specific focus area—especially in IT—the challenge is on. Why? Because only a few in the company, if any, have even a vague notion of how to verify the skills they are looking for. The work of a system administrator is a key function, and if it goes wrong, the very existence of the company is at stake (something I’ve been unfortunate to witness when called in on an emergency rescue effort).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2019-12-06 | Linux Headlines

        The W3C puts forward WebAssembly as an official standard, Azure Sphere gains support for Ubuntu developers, CodeWeek reports back in with this year’s results, and Manjaro has some exciting news for PinePhone backers.

      • Playing “Teeny Titans 2″

        I love “Teen Titans GO,” even if I am a grown up adult human male with teenagers. So, when I saw this in my Play Store suggested list, I could not resist. I mean, come on! So, I downloaded it, installed it, and began playing.

      • Destination Linux 150 – Librem 5, Zorin OS, Private Internet Access, UBports, Fedora, Bitwarden

        Topics covered in this episode:

        ZorinOS Privacy Concerns
        Ubuntu Touch Runs On Raspberry Pi
        Librem 5 Birch Has Shipped
        Fedora Users Concerned GNOME Software Proprietary Software
        Linux Powered Handheld Returns

      • Linux Apps I Use Daily

        In this video, I go over all the Linux distributions and apps that I use every single day. I could not imagine my life without any of this software.

      • 411 DevSecOps: Karthik Gaekwad | Jupiter Extras 37

        Ell and Wes sit down with Karthik Gaekwad to sort through the buzzword bingo and explain what DevSecOps is, what it isn’t, and why security should be part of the full lifecycle of your apps.

      • Imaginary Turkey | User Error 80

        Talking to ourselves, delicious family meals, and the complexities of modern work.

        Plus inexpensive acquisitions, the price we put on security, and popey refusing to answer the simplest of questions.

      • LHS Episode #315: The Weekender XXXVIII

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

    • Kernel Space

      • A General Notification Queue Was Pushed Back From Linux 5.5 Introduction

        Red Hat has been working on a “general notification queue” that is built off the Linux kernel’s pipe code and will notify the user-space of events like key/keyring changes, block layer events like disk errors, USB attach/remove events, and other notifications without user-space having to continually poll kernel interfaces. This general notification queue was proposed for Linux 5.5 but has been pushed back to at least 5.6.

        This Linux kernel general notification queue builds off a standard pipe and allows user-space applications to efficiently become aware of changes to block devices (disks), keys, USB subsystem happenings, and other possible events. The proposed documentation spells out more of the planned functionality and behavior.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA presenting a talk at GTC 2020 about Linux drivers and possibly some open source news

          Both AMD and Intel already have their drivers open, with developers paid to work on them and so perhaps NVIDIA will finally follow along? Stranger things have happened, so I wouldn’t completely count NVIDIA out on that, although I’m not expecting them to make such a big shift. What do you think they’re planning?

          GTC is being hosted in San Jose, California and runs from March 23 – 26, 2020. The talk doesn’t seem to have a set time or date yet.

    • Benchmarks

      • RadeonSI NIR Benchmarks Show Great Progress With Mesa 20.0

        With AMD last week having enabled OpenGL 4.6 for their RadeonSI OpenGL Linux driver when enabling the NIR intermediate representation support, you may be wondering how using NIR is stacking up these days compared to the default TGSI route. Here are some benchmarks on Polaris, Vega, and Navi for comparing this driver option that ultimately allows OpenGL 4.6 to be flipped on.

        NIR is the modern intermediate representation used by a majority of Mesa drivers now in some capacity as an alternative to the likes of TGSI as what had been the default IR for Gallium3D drivers. With RadeonSI they have been transitioning to NIR since that has been the growing trend of these open-source drivers for sharing IR optimizations and the like. As well, NIR is being wired up in order to re-use some code-paths used currently by the “RADV” Radeon Vulkan driver to share some of the SPIR-V work that was needed in order for RadeonSI to have OpenGL 4.6 support. Like on the Intel side when they crossed the OpenGL 4.6 milestone recently, the big blocker to GL 4.6 on these drivers was handling SPIR-V ingestion with GL_ARB_gl_spirv / GL_ARB_spirv_extensions.

    • Applications

      • Terminal File Manager nnn Adds Session Management, Rclone Cloud Storage Integration

        nnn is a very fast file manager created to work seamlessly with desktop environments and GUI utilities. The ncurses based keyboard-driven terminal application should run smoothly on the Raspberry Pi, Termux on Android, Linux, macOS, BSD, Cygwin and WSL.

        Besides basic file manager features (with tabs/contexts, bookmarks, search, and so on), the tool also various handy utilities like a disk usage analyzer (block/apparent), a fuzzy application launcher, batch renamer, and more. It’s also extensible via a plugin system, and comes with many built-in plugins. For navigation, nnn supports navigate-as-you-type with directory auto-select. Search-as-you-type is also supported.

        Other features include SSHFS mounts support, support for navigating using the mouse, batch operations on selections, multiple sorting options and a lot more.

      • A 25K commit gift

        The other day we celebrated curl reaching 25,000 commits, and just days later I received the following gift in the mail.

      • curl speaks etag

        That’s a quote from the mozilla ETag documentation. The header is defined in RFC 7232.

        In short, a server can include this header when it responds with a resource, and in subsequent requests when a client wants to get an updated version of that document it sends back the same ETag and says “please give me a new version if it doesn’t match this ETag anymore”. The server will then respond with a 304 if there’s nothing new to return.

        It is a better way than modification time stamp to identify a specific resource version on the server.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 5.0 Code Freeze To Begin Next Week

        As expected by Wine’s annual release cadence, next week Wine 5.0 will enter its code freeze followed by release candidates until this next stable Wine release is ready to ship around early 2020.

        Wine project leader Alexandre Julliard shared that following next week’s development release will mark the expected code freeze season for Wine 5.0. Wine 4.22 will be out one week from today and the last point by which Wine developers can land any features they want to see in this annual stable release. Following that will be weekly Wine 5.0 release candidates until the 5.0.0 release is ready to ship, likely in January or February.

    • Games

      • Aquiris Game Studio ending support for their online FPS Ballistic Overkill

        Ballistic Overkill, an easy pick up and play first-person shooter from Aquiris Game Studio is now essentially being killed off.

        In an announcement on Steam, the team noted that “supporting a game like this with frequent updates is no easy task, nor is it something cheap, especially for an independent studio like us” and they’re certainly not wrong about that. Keeping a multiplayer game going, with constant updates to keep people interested and fighting against cheaters certainly isn’t easy for a smaller team.

      • Roadwarden, an upcoming illustrated text-based exploration fantasy RPG with a Linux demo

        Roadwarden certainly grabs your attention! A game that blends together features from a ton of different genres to create a mix of an RPG, interactive fiction, adventure, exploration and a lot more. It doesn’t really fit into any clear genre.

        Somehow, I completely missed it being announced with a demo a good few months ago. Thankfully, I did notice it popping up on Steam just recently and they have a new announcement trailer:

      • Gloomy and surreal adventure game Mosaic from Krillbite Studio is out now

        Krillbite Studio, developer of the creepy Among the Sleep have released Mosaic, a dark and surreal adventure game about life in a cold overpopulated and ever-expanding city. Note: Key provided to us by GOG.com.

        I was a big fan of Among the Sleep, the story telling and the atmosphere they made with it was brilliant and to this day the ending still makes me think. With Mosaic, they’ve done quite the opposite in terms of the story. Life is hard, it can often be quite dull and Mosaic is showing it all off with a dystopian near-future setting. This is a game about adult life, how it’s often monotonous as we go through it just trying to survive. Things get a little weird though, as you expected it to with such a game.

      • The Humble Choice game bundle subscription has launched replacing Humble Monthly

        Humble Bundle have today replaced their Humble Monthly subscription service with Humble Choice, offering subscription tiers and more.

      • The Llama of Wall Street has invaded Tropico 6 in a new DLC out now, plus a free update

        Limbic Entertainment and Kalypso Media today released the first expansion to the humurous city building sim Tropico 6, along with a free update for everyone.

        Firstly, the Seguridad Social update is free for everyone who owns Tropico 6 and adds in a new Warehouse building, a sandbox map ‘Rio’, and a community-requested Social Security edict, which helps prevent in-game student and retiree NPCs from going broke. There’s also quite a healthy amount of bug fixing in this update.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma Pass 1.1.0

          Plasma Pass, a Plasma applet for the Pass password manager version 1.1.0 is out.

          There’s only one bugfix, but an important one – the applet now no longer freezes during filtering, so searching for your passwords is faster and more comfortable. The new release also contains new and updated translations.

        • Plasma Mobile: weekly update: part 9-10

          Calindori, the calendar application, now offers a flat event view which allows to show all events in single card list view. The events are sorted by start date.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3 won’t unlock

          Every couple days something on my RHEL 7 box goes into a swapstorm and uses up all the memory. I think it’s Firefoxe, but I never figured out why, generally I have four different Firefoxes running with four different profiles, so it’s hard to tell which one’s failing (if it even is that). Anyway, sometimes it makes the screen lock crash or something, and I can’t get in, and I can never remember what process you have to kill to get back in, so here it is: gnome-shell. You have to killall -9 gnome-shell, and it lets you back in. Also killall -STOP firefox and killall -STOP “Web Content” are handy if the swapstorm is still under way.

        • LaTeX or ConTeXt for writing documents

          If I wanted to re-implement GNOME LaTeX, it would target the ConTeXt language instead. If there are any ConTeXt user reading this, I would be interested to know what application you use for writing ConTeXt documents, and what features are important to you.

        • GNOME Outreachy 2019

          The Outreachy program provides internship to work in Free and Open Source Software. This year I’ve proposed two projects as part of the GNOME project and we’ve two interns working for three months, so we’ll have a lot of improvements in the following months!

          I’ll be mentoring these interns, so I will need to spend some time helping them to work on the existing codebase, but it worth it, if this makes more people to collaborate in free software development and if this help us to improve some useful apps.

          These two projects are Fractal and the GNOME translation editor. You can take a look to the list of outreachy interns.

        • Barcelona: LAS 2019

          This November I was in Barcelona for the Linux App Summit 2019. It was awesome \o/. I really liked that the conference was a joint event by GNOME and KDE, I met so many cool new people. During the conference I volunteered to show the “time left” signs to speakers, and helped out at the registration desk.

          Aside from normal conference stuff I also managed to do quite a bit of hacking during the week. I made my first contribution to Gnome Initial Setup, and cleaned up Teleport a bit so I can hopefully get a new release out soon.

          I’m bad at taking pictures, so here’s a picture of a tree in the middle of the stairs on the slopes of Mount Montjuic.

        • Open source case prompts patent troll litigation fears

          The Gnome Foundation, an organisation that aims to develop a desktop platform based on free software, announced in October that it was being sued by NPE Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) for developing the Shotwell, an application for managing images.

          RPI filed its action in the Northern District of California over US patent number 9,936,086, which is allegedly infringed by Gnome’s product that, among other things, uses an image-capturing device to perform a method.

          Mike Dolan, vice president of strategic programmes at the Linux Foundation, tells Patent Strategy that open software is becoming a larger component of most software projects and is growing every year.

          Recent open source activity such as RPI suing Gnome over an open source project, he says, points to the level of indifference inherent in the litigious NPE business model.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the weeks 2019/48 & 49

          Once again I’m spanning two weeks; besides the normal work on getting you openSUSE Tumbleweed updated and timely delivered, the release team has been working together with the build service team to implement/stabilize the OBS-internal staging workflow. There is (should) not be any real noticeable difference for the contributors – except the new used URLs. The Factory Staging dashboard can now be found at https://build.opensuse.org/staging_workflows/1

          During the last two weeks, we have pushed out 10 Tumbleweed Snapshots (1121, 1122, 1123, 1124, 1126, 1127, 1128, 1202, 1203 and 1204) containing those changes…

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora 31 Elections Results

          The Fedora 31 election cycle has concluded. Here are the results for each election. Congratulations to the winning candidates, and thank you all candidates for running in this election!


          One Council seat was open this election. A total of 243 ballots were cast, meaning a candidate could accumulate up to 729 votes (243 * 3).

          # votes Candidate
          520 Dennis Gilmore
          259 Alberto Rodríguez Sánchez
          237 John M. Harris, Jr.


          Five FESCo seats were open this election. A total of 273 ballots were cast, meaning a candidate could accumulate up to 2184 votes (273 * 8).

          # votes Candidate
          1490 Miro Hrončok
          1350 Kevin Fenzi
          1115 Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek
          879 Fabio Valentini
          877 David Cantrell
          868 Justin Forbes
          813 Randy Barlow
          534 Pete Walter

        • Fedora program update: 2019-49
      • Debian Family

        • Debian Developers Take To Voting Over Init System Diversity

          It’s been five years already since the vote to transition to systemd in Debian over Upstart while now there is the new vote that has just commenced for judging the interest in “init system diversity” and just how much Debian developers care (or not) in supporting alternatives to systemd.

          Due to Debian developers having differing opinions on handling non-systemd bugs in 2019 and the interest/commitment to supporting systemd alternatives in the scope of Debian packaging and various related friction points, they’ve taken to a new general resolution over weighing init system diversity.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Blog: Introducing the Ubuntu AWS Rolling Kernel

          The linux-aws 4.15 based kernel, which is the default kernel in the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS AMIs, is moving to a rolling kernel model.


          The Ubuntu rolling kernel model provides the latest upstream bug fixes and performance improvements around task scheduling, I/O scheduling, networking, hypervisor guests and containers to our users. Canonical has been following this model in other cloud environments for some time now, and have found it to be an excellent way to deliver these benefits while continuing to provide LTS level stability.

        • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E35 – Feud

          This week we’ve been talking to the BBC about Thinkpads and Ubuntu goes Pro. We round up the news from the Ubuntu community and discuss our picks from the wider tech news.

          It’s Season 12 Episode 35 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

        • The State of Robotics – November 2019

          November, for robotics, was a good month. We’re seeing new things develop, current projects finish and more cute animals in our future. So who can complain? The news we’re covering here are things that have crossed our path and that we’ve found interesting. If you have suggestions for next months post or your own projects you would like us to highlight, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Send an email and a brief summary to robotics.community@canonical.com and we can start the discussion. As ever we want this to be a highlight reel for cool robot stuff because we like cool robot stuff. Happy December everyone.

        • Simplifying hardware management during Linux development

          Every few months we release a Snapcraft update, with improvements to both Linux development, and snap user experience. Last week, we released Snapcraft 3.9, and this blog post will focus on the remote build feature that is now a fully accessible preview.

          Let’s dig deeper into why you need to try remote build, and how you can use it today.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Ardour Digital Audio Workstation Finally Adds Native MP3 Importing Support

        While lossy compression audio formats like MP3 are not recommended for use within professional audio tasks, for those using the open-source Ardour digital audio workstation (DAW) software as of today there is finally native MP3 import support.

        Obviously it’s better working with lossless audio formats as source material for Ardour and other digital audio workstation software suites, but given how common MP3 content is, there certainly is relevance to being able to import MP3s into DAWs. But historically due to licensing/patent issues, MP3 support within Ardour hasn’t been possible — thus leading to common complaints/questions by users over the years.

      • Certbot Leaves Beta with the Release of 1.0

        Earlier this week EFF released Certbot 1.0, the latest version of our free, open source tool that helps websites encrypt their traffic. The release of 1.0 is a significant milestone for the project and is the culmination of the work done over the past few years by EFF and hundreds of open source contributors from around the world.

        Certbot was first released in 2015 to automate the process of configuring and maintaining HTTPS encryption for site administrators by obtaining and deploying certificates from Let’s Encrypt. Since its initial launch, many features have been added, including beta support for Windows, automatic nginx configuration, and support for over a dozen DNS providers for domain validation.

      • Open Repos provides code metrics on open source projects

        GitClear is offering Open Repos as a free product, though it is not open source. GitClear’s paid product offers many of the same insights and more. Long-term plans include allowing projects to embed an Open Repos view of a project in their site, and “improving data quality before adding features.”

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Improvements in LibreOffice’s PowerPoint presentation support

          LibreOffice’s native file format is OpenDocument, a fully open and standardised format that’s great for sharing documents and long-term data storage. Of course, LibreOffice does its best to open files made by other office software as well, even if they’re stored in pseudo-“standards” with cryptic and obfuscated contents. Compatibility with PowerPoint PPT(X) presentations is therefore a challenge, but developers are working hard on improvements…

          A few months ago, we announced an initiative to improve the support of PPT and PPTX files in LibreOffice. Lots of great work happened since then and the results are collected below!

      • CMS

        • People of WordPress: Jill Binder

          Jill Binder never meant to become an activist. She insists it was an accident.

          Despite that, Jill has led the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training working group in the WordPress Community team since 2017. This group is dedicated to increasing the number of women and other underrepresented groups who are stepping up to become speakers at WordPress Meetups, WordCamps, and events.


          The following year her internship advisor, who had become a client, was creating the first ever BuddyCamp for BuddyPress. He asked Jill to be on his organizing team. At that event she also moderated a panel with Matt Mullenweg. Then, Jill was invited to be on the core organizing team for WordCamp Vancouver.

          Part of this role meant reviewing and selecting speakers. From 40 speaker applications the team had to pick only 14 to speak.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guile 2.9.6 (beta) released

            We are delighted to announce GNU Guile 2.9.6, the sixth beta release in preparation for the upcoming 3.0 stable series. See the release announcement for full details and a download link.

            This release fixes bugs caught by users of the previous 2.9.5 prerelease, and adds some optimizations as well as a guile-3 feature for cond-expand.

          • GCC 10′s C++20 “Spaceship Operator” Support Appears To Be In Good Shape

            The C++20 spaceship operator support was merged in early November for GCC 10. The commits this week meanwhile allow the operator to be used with std::pair and std::array, among other related commits in recent weeks.

            See the GCC C++ status page for the state of C++20/C++2A with GCC 10. Most C++20 functionality is already in place even on GCC 8/9 but some pieces remain around atomic compare-and-exchange with padding bits, modules support, coroutines, using enum, and more implicit moves.

      • Programming/Development

        • A beginner’s guide to using Vagrant

          Vagrant describes itself as “a tool for building and managing virtual machine environments in a single workflow. With an easy-to-use workflow and focus on automation, Vagrant lowers development environment setup time, increases production parity, and makes the ‘works on my machine’ excuse a relic of the past.”

        • Convert CSV to JSON with miller
        • Android’s commitment to Kotlin

          When we announced Kotlin as a supported language for Android, there was a tremendous amount of excitement among developers. Since then, there has been a steady increase in the number of developers using Kotlin. Today, we’re proud to say nearly 60% of the top 1,000 Android apps contain Kotlin code, with more and more Android developers introducing safer and more concise code using Kotlin.

          During this year’s I/O, we announced that Android development will be Kotlin-first, and we’ve stood by that commitment. This is one of the reasons why Android is the gold partner for this year’s KotlinConf.

        • Google Reaffirms Commitment To Kotlin Programming Language For Android

          Google is continuing to embrace Kotlin programming for Android, making more Android APIs accessible by Kotlin, Jetpack Compose as a UI toolkit catered to Kotlin, and Kotlin extensions for more Google libraries. Google is also working to offer more Kotlin + Android learning material, working with JetBrains on improving the Kotlin code compiler, speeding up the build time of Kotlin code, and other improvements.

        • Python

          • New Project, Who Dis? – Building SaaS #38

            In this episode, we started a brand new project! I had some internet troubles so this “stream” is actually a local recording from my computer. We created a new Django project from scratch and set up Heroku to handle deployments.

            In spite of the streaming trouble, we were able to get a bunch done. We started the project from scratch so we made a repository on GitHub with some .gitignore settings tailored for Python projects.

          • RunSnakeRun for Python3 Out

            So I finally pushed out the Python3/wxPython Pheonix compatible release of RunSnakeRun. The Python3 version has to run Python2 in order to load Python2 pstats dumps, and Meliae doesn’t AFAIK support Python3 yet, so I expect I’ll just drop support for it eventually. The code is now living on GitHub rather than Launchpad.

          • Angular 9 CRUD Tutorial: Consume a Python/Django CRUD REST API

            This tutorial is designed for developers that want to use Angular 9 to build front-end apps for their back-end REST APIs. You can either use Python & Django as the backend or use JSON-Server to mock the API if you don’t want to deal with Python. We’ll be showing both ways in this tutorial.

          • Django: Angular 9/8 Tutorial By Example: REST CRUD APIs & HTTP GET Requests with HttpClient

            In this Angular 9 tutorial, we’ll learn to build an Angular 9 CRUD example application going through all the required steps from creating/simulating a REST API, scaffolding a new project, setting up the essential APIs, and finally building and deploying your final application to the cloud.

          • Comparing equivalent Python statements

            While teaching one of my Python classes yesterday I noticed a conditional expression which can be written in several ways. All of these are equivalent in their behavior…

          • Serving Files with Python’s SimpleHTTPServer Module

            Servers are computer software or hardware that processes requests and deliver data to a client over a network. Various types of servers exist, with the most common ones being web servers, database servers, application servers, and transaction servers.

            Widely used web servers such as Apache, Monkey, and Jigsaw are quite time-consuming to set up when testing out simple projects and a developer’s focus is shifted from producing application logic to setting up a server.

            Python’s SimpleHTTPServer module is a useful and straightforward tool that developers can use for a number of use-cases, with the main one being that it is a quick way to serve files from a directory.

            It eliminates the laborious process associated with installing and implementing the available cross-platform web servers.

            Note: While SimpleHTTPServer is a great way to easily serve files from a directory, it shouldn’t be used in a production environment. According to the official Python docs, it “only implements basic security checks.”

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Mint: Late-Stage Adversarial Interoperability Demonstrates What We Had (And What We Lost)

          In 2006, Aaron Patzer founded Mint. Patzer had grown up in the city of Evansville, Indiana—a place he described as “small, without much economic opportunity”—but had created a successful business building websites. He kept up the business through college and grad school and invested his profits in stocks and other assets, leading to a minor obsession with personal finance that saw him devoting hours every Saturday morning to manually tracking every penny he’d spent that week, transcribing his receipts into Microsoft Money and Quicken.

          Patzer was frustrated with the amount of manual work it took to track his finances with these tools, which at the time weren’t smart enough to automatically categorize “Chevron” under fuel or “Safeway” under groceries. So he conceived on an ingenious hack: he wrote a program that would automatically look up every business name he entered into the online version of the Yellow Pages—constraining the search using the area code in the business’s phone number so it would only consider local merchants—and use the Yellow Pages’ own categories to populate the “category” field in his financial tracking tools.

  • Leftovers

    • In memoriam: D. C. Fontana, the creator of Mr. Spock from Star Trek

      Kat readers younger than I will have come to know the original series through broadcast syndication and, later, via internet access. Whatever the medium, for many, one character stood out, Starfleet officer Spock, as portrayed by Leonard Nimoy.

      The son of a human mother and a Vulcan father, Spock embodied the tension between the emotional (his human side) and the analytical (his Vulcan side), a dichotomy that reaches back to the foundations of the Western philosophical tradition, and which sets the tone for the series.


      One wonders to what extent her gender influenced the ultimate decision how to credit her contribution. Indeed, her preference for “D.C. Fontana” over “Dorothy” (or “Dorothy Catherine”) might have been a concession to the challenge of being identified as a woman. Also, in the third season, she worked as a freelance scriptwriter and was credited as Michael Richards.

      Fontana went on to have a distinguished career as a script writer in several genres (including westerns), as well as a producer and novelist. In the words of her husband—
      She was a very, very tough lady. She carried a phaser with her right to the end.
      But it was for her work on Star Trek and the development of the Spock character that she will likely be best remembered. In doing so, as The New York Times reported, Fontana realized only later to what extent-
      she had gone where no woman had gone before.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Big Deal in Warren’s Prescription Drug Plan

        Earlier this month, Senator Warren put out a set of steps that she would put forward as president as part of a transition to Medicare for All. The items that got the most attention were including everyone over age 50 and under age 18 in Medicare, and providing people of all ages with the option to buy into the program. This buy-in would include large subsidies, and people with incomes of less than 200 percent of the poverty level would be able to enter the Medicare program at no cost.

      • Donald Trump, the US Private Health Giant, and Top NHS Officials—Special Relationships?

        In the UK, we have a simple take on the US healthcare system as a for-profit, private system that fleeces its customers and fails the poor.But here’s the secret: the US has its own ‘mini NHS’. Smaller than the UK’s system, but still a government funded, (mostly) publicly-run system that serves people according to their need.

      • Catholic Ban on Contraception Is Driving Doctors to Fabricate Diagnoses

        “I don’t know how else to put it, except that people lied all the time.”

      • As Abortion Access Dwindles, App Offers Safe and Discreet Options

        Each year, 25 million unsafe abortions are performed around the world. The rate of unsafe abortions is higher where access to skilled providers and effective contraception is limited or unavailable, or where sexual education is lacking.

      • Avicii Tribute Concert to Be Streamed to Raise Mental Health Awareness

        The Avicii tribute concert was live-streamed on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Tickets to the concert sold out instantly, and proceeds will go to raising mental health awareness.

      • Don’t Look, Don’t See: Time for Honest Media Reporting on Impacts of Pesticides

        The UK-based Independent online newspaper recently published an article about a potential link between air pollution from vehicles and glaucoma. It stated that according to a new study air pollution is linked to the eye condition that causes blindness.

      • Trump Administration Considering Reduction in Biologics Exclusivity Period

        On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration is considering reducing the 12-year data exclusivity period for biologic drugs set forth in the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) to ten years. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration is considering the change in order to persuade Democrats to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), that the administration negotiated last year. The USMCA would establish at least a 10-year data exclusivity period for biologic drugs, which would double the exclusivity period in Mexico and increase the exclusivity period in Canada by two years.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Former Oracle product manager says he was forced out for refusing to deceive customers. Now he’s suing the biz

          A former Oracle employee filed a lawsuit against the database giant on Tuesday claiming that he was forced out for refusing to lie about the functionality of the company’s software.

          The civil complaint [PDF], filed on behalf of plaintiff Tayo Daramola in US District Court in San Francisco, contends that Oracle violated whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, the RICO Act, and the California Labor Code.

          According to the court filing, Daramola, a resident of Montreal, Canada, worked for Oracle’s NetSuite division from November 30, 2016 through October 13, 2017. He served as a project manager for an Oracle cloud service known as the Cloud Campus BookStore initiative and dealt with US customers. Campus bookstores, along with ad agencies, and apparel companies are among the market segments targeted by Oracle and NetSuite.

          Daramola’s clients are said to have included the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, the University of Texas at Austin, Brigham Young University and the University of Southern California.

          The problem, according to the complaint, is that Oracle was asking Daramola to sell vaporware – a charge the company denies.

          “Daramola gradually became aware that a large percentage of the major projects to which he was assigned were in ‘escalation’ status with customers because Oracle had sold his customers software products it could not deliver, and that were not functional,” the complaint says.

        • Canonical makes Ubuntu for Windows SubSystem for Linux a priority [Ed: GNU/Linux volunteers worked hard to make an alternative to Windows and now comes Ubuntu helping Microsoft make it just an “app” or a “feature” of Windows, with Windows-only “extensions”]

          Ubuntu was the first Linux supported by WSL on Windows 10. Since then, many other Linux distros have appeared on WSL. These include Debian, Fedora, Kali, openSUSE, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and the WSL-specific distribution, PengWin. Now, from a recent Canonical job advertisement, we know Ubuntu’s founding company wants to be the leading WSL Linux.

        • Still in preview, but look! You can now develop Azure Sphere apps in Linux – if you dare [Ed: Several Microsoft lies packed into one article, even the feature image, and they help googlebomb "Linux" to sell proprietary software of Microsoft]

          Ominously, Microsoft warns that “your success using different distributions may vary”, so Ubuntu it is then. This is preview stuff after all.

        • OAS Expands Its Platform Compatibility with Runtime Support for Linux

          Open Automation Software, a well-established IoT Automation Company, has further expanded its platform compatibility with runtime support for Linux. With this recent development, the company aims to offer superior services to customers who have mixed platform environments. Over the years, Open Automation Software has set a benchmark in the field of industrial automation. Now, the company has expanded its platform compatibility for the enterprises that have both Windows and Linux OS servers.

        • Security

          • Hackers Can Hijack VPN Connections Using A New Linux Vulnerability

            Researchers have found a vulnerability on most Linux distros and *NIX devices which allow hackers to hijack the VPN connections and inject malicious data into the TCP stream.

            The security researchers found the vulnerability in most Linux distributions and operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, macOS, iOS, and Android.

          • Linux security flaw could let VPN connections be hacked

            The Breakpointing Bad cybersecurity research team from the University of New Mexico discovered and reported on a security flaw which could allow malicious actors to hack Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections.

            William J. Tolley, Beau Kujath, and Jedidiah R. Crandall said the flaw impacts Linux, Android, macOS and other Unix-based operating systems and could allow attackers to sniff, hijack and tamper with VPN-tunnelled connections. The vulnerability was named CVE-2019-14899, with the researchers claiming it takes advantage of how operating systems handle unexpected network probes.

          • OpenBSD devs patch authentication bypass bug

            One of the internet’s most popular free operating systems allowed attackers to bypass its authentication controls, effectively leaving the keys in the back door, according to an advisory released this week. The developers of the OpenBSD system have already patched the vulnerability.

            OpenBSD allowed people access to its smtpd, ldapd, and radiusd programs – which send mail, allow access to user directories, and allow remote access to the computer system. All an attacker needed to do was enter a specific word prefixed by a hyphen as a username.

            Qualys Research Labs found four bugs in BSD Authentication, which is the code that OpenBSD uses to authenticate users. Three of them were local privilege escalation bugs, while the other, CVE-2019-19521, bypassed the authentication system altogether. According to its security advisory, BSD Authentication supports four authentication styles: password, a one-time password mechanism called S/Key, and Yubico’s YubiKey hardware token.

          • Linux Flaw Allows VPN Hijacking

            A number of Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian, contain a newly discovered vulnerability that an attacker could use to determine whether an individual is using a VPN and then potentially hijack that encrypted connection.

            A research team from the University of New Mexico discovered the vulnerability and developed an attack to exploit it. The attack has some specific requirements and relies on some analysis of the traffic going to and from the target device running the VPN client. The attack is confirmed to work against WireGuard and OpenVPN, but the researchers said that the VPN a victim is using doesn’t really matter. The main prerequisite for the attack to work is for the attacker to be able to send unsolicited packets to the victim’s VPN client.

          • New Linux vulnerability lets attackers to hijack VPN connections

            Three researchers from the University of New Mexico and Breakpointing Bad have identified vulnerability in the way Unix and Linux-based operating systems like the macOS handle the TCIP connections. Researchers believe that vulnerability can specifically affect VPN users by hijacking encrypted traffic.

          • New Linux Bug Lets Attackers Hijack Encrypted VPN Connections

            A team of cybersecurity researchers has disclosed a new severe vulnerability affecting most Linux and Unix-like operating systems, including FreeBSD, OpenBSD, macOS, iOS, and Android, that could allow remote ‘network adjacent attackers’ to spy on and tamper with encrypted VPN connections.
            The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-14899, resides in the networking stack of various operating systems and can be exploited against both IPv4 and IPv6 TCP streams.
            Since the vulnerability does not rely on the VPN technology used, the attack works against widely implemented virtual private network protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, and more, the researchers confirmed.
            This vulnerability can be exploited by a network attacker — controlling an access point or connected to the victim’s network — just by sending unsolicited network packets to a targeted device and observing replies, even if they are encrypted.

          • VPN Bug Affects “Most” Linux Distros

            A team of security researchers from the University of New Mexico has disclosed a new vulnerability that could allow attackers to probe devices and determine various details about the VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection status of a user.

            The security vulnerability (CVE-2019-14899) appears to affect most GNU/Linux distributions, besides FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Android, iOS and macOS systems. William J. Tolley, one of the security researchers, explained in a post that the vulnerability could let attackers to determine if another user is connected to a VPN, the virtual IP address they have been assigned by the VPN server, and also sniff out whether or not there is an active connection to a given website.

          • VPN hijacking on Linux (and beyond) systems
            Hi all,
            I am reporting a vulnerability that exists on most Linux distros, and
            other  *nix operating systems which allows a network adjacent attacker
            to determine if another user is connected to a VPN, the virtual IP
            address they have been assigned by the VPN server, and whether or not
            there is an active connection to a given website. Additionally, we are
            able to determine the exact seq and ack numbers by counting encrypted
            packets and/or examining their size. This allows us to inject data into
            the TCP stream and hijack connections.
            Most of the Linux distributions we tested were vulnerable, especially
            Linux distributions that use a version of systemd pulled after November
            28th of last year which turned reverse path filtering off. However, we
            recently discovered that the attack also works against IPv6, so turning
            reverse path filtering on isn't a reasonable solution, but this was how
            we discovered that the attack worked on Linux.
            Adding a prerouting rule to drop packets destined for the client's
            virtual IP address is effective on some systems, but I have only tested
            this on my machines (Manjaro 5.3.12-1, Ubuntu 19.10 5.3.0-23). This
            rule was proposed by Jason Donenfeld, and an analagous rule on the
            output chain was proposed by Ruoyu "Fish" Wang of ASU. We have some
            concerns that inferences can still be made using slightly different
            methods, but this suggestion does prevent this particular attack.
            There are other potential solutions being considered by the kernel
            maintainers, but I can't speak to their current status. I will provide
            updates as I receive them.
            I have attached the original disclosure I provided to 
            distros@vs.openwall.org and security@kernel.org below, with at least
            one critical correction: I orignally listed CentOS as being vulnerable
            to the attack, but this was incorrect, at least regarding IPv4. We
            didn't know the attack worked against IPv6 at the time we tested
            CentOS, and I haven't been able to test it yet.
            William J. Tolley
            Beau Kujath
            Jedidiah R. Crandall
            Breakpointing Bad &
            University of New Mexico
            **General Disclosure:
            We have discovered a vulnerability in Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, MacOS,
            iOS, and Android which allows a malicious access point, or an adjacent
            user,  to determine if a connected user is using a VPN, make positive
            inferences about the websites they are visiting, and determine the
            correct sequence and acknowledgement numbers in use, allowing the bad
            actor to inject data into the TCP stream. This provides everything that
            is needed for an attacker to hijack active connections inside the VPN
            This vulnerability works against OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPSec,
            but has not been thoroughly tested against tor, but we believe it is
            not vulnerable since it operates in a SOCKS layer and includes
            authentication and encryption that happens in userspace. It should be
            noted, however, that the VPN technology used does not seem to matter
            and we are able to make all of our inferences even though the responses
            from the victim are encrypted, using the size of the packets and number
            of packets sent (in the case of challenge ACKs, for example) to
            determine what kind of packets are being sent through the encrypted VPN
            We have already reported a related vulnerability to Android earlier
            this year related to the issue, which resulted in the assignment of
            CVE-2019-9461, however, the CVE strictly applies to the fact that the
            Android devices would respond to unsolicited packets sent to the user’s
            virtual IP address over the wireless interface, but this does not
            address the fundamental issue of the attack and did not result in a
            change of the reverse path settings of Android as of the most recent
            security update.
            This attack did not work against any Linux distribution we tested until
            the release of Ubuntu 19.10, and we noticed that the rp_filter settings
            were set to “loose” mode. We see that the default settings in
            sysctl.d/50-default.conf in the systemd repository were changed from
            “strict” to “loose” mode on November 28, 2018, so distributions using a
            version of systemd without modified configurations after this date are
            now vulnerable. Most Linux distributions we tested which use other init
            systems leave the value as 0, the default for the Linux kernel.
            We have described the procedure for reproducing the vulnerability with
            Linux and included a section illustrating the differences in
            There are 3 steps to this attack:
            1. Determining  the  VPN  client’s virtual IP address
            2. Using the virtual IP address to make inferences about active
            3. Using the encrypted replies to unsolicited packets to determine the
            sequence and acknowledgment numbers of the active connection to hijack
            the TCP session
            There are 4 components to the reproduction:
            1. The Victim Device (connected to AP, 192.168.12.x,
            2. AP (controlled by attacker,
            3. VPN Server (not controlled by attacker,
            4. A Web Server (not controlled by the attacker, public IP in a real-
            world scenario)
            The victim device connects to the access point, which for most of our
            testing was a laptop running create_ap. The victim device then
            establishes a connection with their VPN provider.
            The access point can then determine the virtual IP of the victim by
            sending SYN-ACK packets to the victim device across the entire virtual
            IP space (the default for OpenVPN is When a SYN-ACK is
            sent to the correct virtual IP on the victim device, the device
            responds with a RST; when the SYN-ACK is sent to the incorrect virtual
            IP, nothing is received by the attacker.
            To quickly demonstrate this difference, we use the nping commands on
            the AP device running create_ap. The source IP is the gateway of our
            AP, the destination IP is the virtual IP assigned to the tun interface
            by the VPN client, ap0 is the interface create_ap created on the
            attacker device, and the destination MAC is the victim’s wireless MAC
            For example:
            The correct address generates a RST from the victim:
            nping --tcp --flags SA --source-ip --dest-ip --
            rate 3 -c 3 -e ap0 --dest-mac 08:00:27:9c:53:12
            The incorrect address does not elicit a response from the victim:
            nping --tcp --flags SA --source-ip --dest-ip --
            rate 3 -c 3 -e ap0 --dest-mac 08:00:27:9c:53:12
            Similarly, to test if there is an active connection for any given
            website, such as, for example, we send SYN or SYN-ACKs
            from on port 80 (or 443) to the virtual IP of the victim
            across the entire ephemeral port space of the victim. The correct four-
            tuple will elicit no more than 2 challenge ACKs per second from the
            victim, whereas the victim will respond to the incorrect four-tuple
            with a RST for each packet sent to it.
            To quickly test this, we suggest creating a netcat connection on the
            victim device, such as this:
            Netcat 80 -p 40404
            The correct four-tuple generates challenge ACKs
            nping --tcp --flags SA --source-ip -g 80 --dest-ip
   -p 40404 --rate 10 -c 10 -e ap0 --dest-mac 08:00:27:9c:53:12
            The incorrect four-tuple generates a single RST for each packet sent:
            nping --tcp --flags SA --source-ip -g 80 --dest-ip
   -p 40405 --rate 10 -c 10 -e ap0 --dest-mac 08:00:27:9c:53:12
            Finally, once the attacker determined that the user has an active TCP
            connection to an external server,  we will attempt to infer the exact
            next sequence number and in-window acknowledgment number needed to
            inject forged packets into the connection. To find the appropriate
            sequence and ACK numbers, we will trigger responses from the client in
            the encrypted connection found in part 2. The attacker will continually
            spoof reset packets into the inferred connection until it sniffs
            challenge ACKs. The attacker can reliably determine if the packets
            flowing from the client to the VPN server are challenge ACKs by looking
            at the size and timing of the encrypted responses in relation to the
            attacker's spoofed packets. The victim’s device will trigger a TCP
            challenge ACK on each reset it receives that has an in-window sequence
            number for an existing connection. For example, if the client is using
            OpenVPN to exchange encrypted packets with the VPN server, then the
            client will always respond with an SSL packet of length 79 when a
            challenge ACK is triggered.
            The attacker must spoof resets to different blocks across the entire
            sequence number space until one triggers an encrypted challenge ACK.
            The size of the spoof block plays a significant role in how long the
            sequence inference takes, but should be conservative as to not skip
            over the receive window of the client. In practice, when the attacker
            thinks it sniffs an encrypted challenge-ACK, it can verify this is true
            by spoofing X packets with the same sequence number. If there were X
            encrypted responses with size 79 triggered, then the attacker knows for
            certain it is triggering challenge ACKs (at most 2 packets of size 79
            per second).
            After the attacker has inferred the in-window sequence number for the
            client's connection, they can quickly determine the exact sequence
            number and in-window ACK needed to inject. First, they spoof empty
            push-ACKs with the in-window sequence while guessing in-window ACK
            numbers. Once the spoofed packets trigger another challenge-ACK, an in-
            window ACK number is found. Finally, the attacker continually spoofs
            empty TCP data packets with the in-window ACK and sequence numbers as
            it decrements the sequence number after each send. The victim will
            respond with another challenge ACK once the attacker spoofs the exact
            sequence number minus one. The attacker can now inject arbitrary
            payloads into the ongoing encrypted connection using the inferred ACK
            and next sequence number.
            This can be tested by observing the behavior from this sequence of
            commands, continuing with the same four-tuple:
            Using the four-tuple from the previous steps, we send RSTs in the
            sequence number range in blocks of 50,000 until we trigger a challenge
            nping --tcp --flags R --source-ip -g 80 --dest-ip
            -p 40404 --rate 10 -c 10 -e ap0 --dest-mac 08:00:27:9c:53:12 --seq [SEQ
            If the packet lands in-window, the victim will respond with at most 2
            challenge ACKs per second. These packets are still encrypted and
            originate from the virtual interface, unlike with Android, but we can
            still determine the contents of these packets by their size. The
            encrypted challenge ACK packets are larger than the encrypted RST
            packets. You can run tcpdump on the victim machine to accelerate the
            testing of his process by viewing the actual sequence and
            acknowledgement numbers.
            After we have found an in-window sequence number, we locate an in-
            window acknowledgement by spoofing empty PSH-ACKs with the in-window
            sequence number and guessing the acknowledgement number by dividing the
            acknowledgement number space into eight blocks. In most instances,
            seven of these blocks will trigger challenge ACKs, but one of them will
            not, which allows us to quickly determine which block falls within the
            acknowledgement window. We are interested in the block that  does not
            respond with a challenge ACK. This behavior can be observed by using an
            in-window sequence number and an acknowledgement number in the block
            containing the correct acknowledgement number.
            nping --tcp --flags PA --source-ip -g 80 --dest-ip
   -p 40404 --rate 10 -c 10 -e ap0 --dest-mac 08:00:27:9c:53:12
            -seq 12345678 --ack [ACK RANGE]
            Finally, using the in-window sequence and acknowledgement numbers, we
            spoof empty PSH-ACKs using the same in-windows acknowledgement number
            and decrementing the sequence number until we trigger another challenge
            ACK. This sequence number is one fewer than the next expected sequence
            number. We can then arbitrarily inject data into the active TCP
            Continuing with our toy example:
            nping --tcp --flags PA --source-ip -g 80 --dest-ip
   -p 40404 --rate 10 -c 10 -e ap0 --dest-mac 08:00:27:9c:53:12
            -seq [EXACT] --ack [IN-WINDOW] --data-string “hello,world.”
            **Operating Systems Affected:
            Here is a list of the operating systems we have tested which are
            vulnerable to this attack:
            Ubuntu 19.10 (systemd)
            Fedora (systemd)
            Debian 10.2 (systemd)
            Arch 2019.05 (systemd)
            Manjaro 18.1.1 (systemd)
            Devuan (sysV init)
            MX Linux 19 (Mepis+antiX)
            Void Linux (runit)
            Slackware 14.2 (rc.d) 
            Deepin (rc.d)
            FreeBSD (rc.d) 
            OpenBSD (rc.d) 
            This list isn’t exhaustive, and we are continuing to test other
            distributions, but made usere to cover a variety of init systems to
            show this is not limited to systemd.
            **Operating System Variations:
            The behavior is slightly different on other operating systems. Here is
            a summary of the differences:
            Android: In the first phase of the attack, Android responds with
            unencrypted RSTs to unsolicited SYN-ACKs for the correct port and ICMP
            packets for the incorrect one. For the second phase, it will respond
            with RSTs on the correct four-tuple.
            MacOS/iOS: The first phase of the attack does not work as described
            here, but you can use an open port on the Apple machine to determine
            the virtual IP address. We use port 5223, which is used for iCloud,
            iMessage, FaceTime, Game Center, Photo Stream, and push notifications
            We know the phone will communicate with one of the push notification
            servers on port 5223, and have observed that on MacOS, the port used on
            the victim device is not the same as the port used to connect to the
            VPN server, but is very close (in our testing it has always been within
            nping --tcp --flags SA --source-ip 17.57.144.[84-87] -g 5223 --dest-ip
   -p [X] --rate 3 -c 3 -e ap0 --dest-mac 08:00:27:9c:53:12
            For iOS devices, it does not follow this convention for choosing the
            client’s source port, but always choose a port between ~48000-50000
            (our testing on iOS 13.1 was between 48162-49555).
            FreeBSD: The first two phases work essentially the same as Linux,
            however, for the last phase, the ACK number is not needed at all, so
            that piece of phase three can be skipped.
            OpenBSD: OpenBSD responds to spoofed SYN packets to the correct virtual
            IP with unencrypted RST packets, and the incorrect virtual IP elicits
            unencrypted NTP packets or nothing at all for the first part of the
            attack. For the second part, the responses are encrypted, but we can
            still determine which packets are challenge ACKs from the packet size,
            as with Linux. Connections can be reset by sending a RST with the
            correct sequence number.
            **Possible Mitigations:
            1. Turning reverse path filtering on
            Potential problem: Asynchronous routing not reliable on mobile devices,
            etc. Also, it isn’t clear that this is actually a solution since it
            appears to work in other OSes with different networking stacks. Also,
            even with reverse path filtering on strict mode, the first two parts of
            the attack can be completed, allowing the AP to make inferences about
            active connections, and we believe it may be possible to carry out the
            entire attack, but haven’t accomplished this yet.
            2. Bogon filtering
            Potential problem: Local network addresses used for vpns and local
            networks, and some nations, including Iran, use the reserved private IP
            space as part of the public space.
            3. Encrypted packet size and timing
            Since the size and number of packets allows the attacker to bypass the
            encryption provided by the VPN service, perhaps some sort of padding
            could be added to the encrypted packets to make them the same size.
            Also, since the challenge ACK per process limit allows us to determine
            if the encrypted packets are challenge ACKs, allowing the host to
            respond with equivalent-sized packets after exhausting this limit could
            prevent the attacker from making this inference.
            We have prepared a paper for publication concerning this
            vulnerability and the related implications, but intend to keep it
            embargoed until we have found a satisfactory workaround. Then we will
            report the vulnerability to oss-security@lists.openwall.com. We are
            also reporting this vulnerability to the other services affected, which
            also includes: Systemd, Google, Apple, OpenVPN, and WireGuard, in
            addition to distros@vs.openwall.org for the operating systems affected.
            William J. Tolley
            Beau Kujath
            Jedidiah R. Crandall
            Breakpointing Bad &
            University of New Mexico
          • New Linux vulnerability puts VPN connections at risk of hijacking

            Furthermore, the research team also identified the SEQ and ACK numbers from inspecting the encrypted packet size and number and managed to inject data into the TCP steam, which led to the hijacking of the connection. This means VPN technology was ineffective in preventing the attack since even encrypted packets could be assessed.

            After testing on Manjaro 18.1.1, CentOS, and Ubuntu 19, researchers discovered that the exploit was applicable to both IPv4 and IPv6. Other systems that are vulnerable to exploitation include Void Linux, Debian 10.2, Slackware 14.2, Arch 2019.5, MX Linux 19, Deepin, Fedora, Devuan, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD. They will be testing the effectiveness of the exploit against Tor as well.

          • Attackers using Linux Vulnerability to Hijack VPN Connections
          • Linux VPN connections can be hacked

            Insecurity experts at Breakpointing Bad have found aa new vulnerability allowing potential attackers to hijack VPN connections on affected *NIX devices and inject arbitrary data payloads into IPv4 and IPv6 TCP streams.

            The security flaw tracked as CVE-2019-14899 to distros and the Linux kernel security team, as well as to others impacted such as Systemd, Google, Apple, OpenVPN, and WireGuard. The vulnerability is known to impact most Linux distributions and Unix-like operating systems including FreeBSD, OpenBSD, macOS, iOS, and Android.

            A currently incomplete list of vulnerable operating systems and the init systems they came with is available below, with more to be added once they are tested and found to be affected: Ubuntu 19.10 (systemd), Fedora (systemd), Debian 10.2 (systemd), Arch 2019.05 (systemd), Manjaro 18.1.1 (systemd), Devuan (sysV init), MX Linux 19 (Mepis+antiX), Void Linux (runit), Slackware 14.2 (rc.d), Deepin (rc.d), FreeBSD (rc.d), and OpenBSD (rc.d).

          • VPN connections could be hacked due to Linux security flaw

            A new vulnerability that could allow potential attackers to hijack VPN connections on affected NIX devices and inject arbitrary data payloads into IPv4 and Ipv6 TCP streams has been discovered by security researchers.

            The researchers disclosed the security flaw they detected, tracked as CVE-2019-14899, to Linux distro makers, the Linux kernel security team and to others that are impacted including systemd, Google, Apple, OpenVPN and WireGuard.

          • Unix-like Systems Vulnerable to VPN Inferring and Hijacking Attacks

            Three researchers from Breakpointing Bad and the University of New Mexico have discovered a vulnerability that exists in Linux and Unix-like operating systems like Android and macOS. Given the tracking code “CVE-2019-14899”, the flaw resides in the routing table code and the TCP code that is present in these systems. The vulnerability allows an attacker to perform traffic analysis via clever use of encrypted DNS queries in conjunction with error messages, leading to the sniffing of open TCP connection information. The attack was discovered quite a while back, but the researchers disclosed it publicly now, and after they allowed the vendors some time to plug the holes.

          • Researchers say VPN bug affects Linux, Unix systems
          • Linux Bug Opens Most VPNs to Hijacking

            In a coffee-shop scenario, attackers can hijack “secure” VPN sessions of those working remotely, injecting data into their TCP streams.

            A vulnerability in most Linux distros has been uncovered that allows a network-adjacent attacker to hijack VPN connections and inject rogue data into the secure tunnels that victims are using to communicate with remote servers.

            According to researchers at University of New Mexico and Breakpointing Bad, the bug (CVE-2019-14899), “allows…an attacker to determine if…a user is connected to a VPN, the virtual IP address they have been assigned by the VPN server, and whether or not there is an active connection to a given website.”

          • New vulnerability lets attackers sniff or hijack VPN connections
          • Researchers find a new Linux vulnerability that allows attackers to sniff or hijack VPN connections

            On Wednesday, security researchers from the University of New Mexico disclosed a vulnerability impacting most Linux distributions and Unix-like operating systems including FreeBSD, OpenBSD, macOS, iOS, and Android. This Linux vulnerability can be exploited by an attacker to determine if a user is connected to a VPN and to hijack VPN connections.

            The researchers shared that this security flaw tracked as CVE-2019-14899, “allows a network adjacent attacker to determine if another user is connected to a VPN, the virtual IP address they have been assigned by the VPN server, and whether or not there is an active connection to a given website.” Additionally, attackers can determine the exact sequence and acknowledgment numbers by counting encrypted packets or by examining their size. With this information in hand, they can inject arbitrary data payloads into IPv4 and IPv6 TCP streams.

          • Cyber Security Today – An email gift card scam, please stop re-using passwords and more open data found on Amazon storage

            Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Friday December 6th. I’m Howard Solomon, contributing reporter on cyber security for ITWorldCanada.com.

          • NetworkManager Adds Support For Enhanced Open / Opportunistic Wireless Encryption

            Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE) provides a means of encrypting wireless data transfers without having any secret/key. Opportunistic Wireless Encryption is advertised as Wi-Fi Certified Enhanced Open.

            This OWE / “Enhanced Open” standard is now supported by NetworkManager for allowing supported devices connecting to Linux systems to make use of this means of opportunistic encryption. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Enhanced Open has been around just since summer of 2018 to better secure open WiFi networks. More details on the standard can be found via Wi-Fi.org.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libav), Fedora (kernel, libuv, and nodejs), Oracle (firefox), Red Hat (firefox and java-1.7.1-ibm), SUSE (clamav, cloud-init, dnsmasq, dpdk, ffmpeg, munge, opencv, and permissions), and Ubuntu (librabbitmq).

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

            • Hackers Exploit New Linux Vulnerability To Hijack VPN Connections [Ed: Techworm misreporting, as usual. There are no known attacks]

              The attack has been reported to work against several popular VPN solutions, including OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard.

              However, the researchers are still testing their viability against Tor, as it works in a SOCKS layer and implements authentication and encryption that takes place in userspace.

              “It should be noted, however, that the VPN technology used does not seem to matter and we are able to make all of our inferences even though the responses from the victim are encrypted, using the size of the packets and number of packets sent (in the case of challenge ACKs, for example) to determine what kind of packets are being sent through the encrypted VPN tunnel,” clarifies the research team.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Envisioning a United World

        Let’s bomb Iowa! Or maybe Texas or Michigan or Nebraska . . .

      • The Hillsborough Soccer Tragedy: Who is Responsible?

        Who was responsible for the deaths of 96 people and the hundreds injured in the collapse of stands at a soccer match in England in 1989? A jury at the Preston Crown Court in England last week exonerated David Duckenfield for responsibility for the Hillsborough tragedy. A 1991 inquiry said it was accidental and not caused by the rush of Liverpool fans; a 2016 inquest said it was disorganization and negligence by the police who ordered one of the exit gates to be opened, and David Duckenfield, the match commander for the local police, was judged not guilty.

      • As Impeachment Looms, 350 Mental Health Professionals Warn Congress That Nuclear-Armed Trump ‘A Threat to Safety of Our Nation’

        “We are convinced that, as the time of possible impeachment approaches, Donald Trump has the real potential to become ever more dangerous.”

      • Today’s Republican Party Preserves US Legacy of Slavery and Imperialism

        On the Thursday of the second week of the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had a special guest on his weekly podcast, Carl Bernstein. It was Bernstein, with fellow Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, whose reporting broke open the story of how the Committee to Re-elect the President burglarized Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate office building in Washington, D.C. That reporting and the impeachment hearings that followed eventually forced President Richard Nixon to resign in disgrace in 1974. Bharara wanted to hear about what differences Bernstein sees between the Nixon impeachment proceedings and Donald Trump’s today.

      • ICC Holds Hearing on Afghanistan War Crimes, Including US Torture

        The International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a three-day hearing in the The Hague, Netherlands on Wednesday at which prosecutors and Afghan torture victims are attempting to convince the court to overturn a previous decision to refuse to investigate war crimes committed by Taliban, Afghan government and US forces.

      • U.S. Considers Sending Several Thousand More Troops to Mideast

        The Pentagon is considering sending several thousand additional troops to the Middle East to help deter Iranian aggression, amid reports of escalating violence in Iran and continued meddling by Tehran in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the region.

      • ‘This Isn’t How You End the Endless War’: Trump Weighs Plan to Send 14,000 More US Troops to Middle East

        “Trump ran on ending these endless wars. But he’s sending more troops to the Middle East, making yet another war there more likely.”

      • Everyone Should Watch The Report. Take It From a Guantánamo Bay Lawyer

        Here’s a quiz question: how many famous songs, or films, can you name that address the serious contemporary issues of torture and rendition? There aren’t many. When I think of music in connection with our US secret prisons, it is the kind blasted at prisoners at deafening volume, all day and night.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • ‘Victory for the People’: Michigan Court Rejects Nestlé’s Claim That Privatizing Local Town’s Water Provides ‘Essential Service’

        “Allowing a corporation to bottle our water just to sell it back to us is hardly an ‘essential service.’”

      • The U-Turn That Made America Staggeringly Unequal

        Wealth in America has concentrated — and dramatically so — over the past four decades. Since 1980, note wealth researchers Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the top 0.1 percent share of the nation’s total wealth has more than doubled, from under 10 percent in 1980 to over 20 percent today. In a nation of over 125 million households, just one ten-thousandth of those households — some 12,500 — now control over 10 percent of our wealth.

      • Big Rallies and Big Differences in Germany

        Looking out my window at the wide Karl Marx Allee boulevard below, I have seen many a big May Day parade march by in the old GDR days, and many a passing bicycle race or Marathon. Recently, for the first time, I saw a slow, endless column of green or yellow tractors. I learned later that 5600 of them, after blocking traffic while driving in from North, South, East and West Germany, had converged at the Brandenburg Gate, parked in orderly rows and then voiced their demands: “Fewer or better pesticides, OK! Less or better fertilizers, also OK! We too want to save our planet. But not without consulting with us, who are fighting a bitter battle against monopoly agriculture giants and monopoly retailing giants which are threatening the survival of us family farmers.”

      • Sweden Offers Free Higher Ed, Universal Health Care, Daycare — Why Can’t the US?

        Medicare for All and tuition-free universities have been at the core of the 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns, creating a stark division between progressive candidates and their centrist counterparts. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have proposed to make Medicare for All and public universities cost-free by taxing massive corporations and the super wealthy, and earlier this year, Sanders introduced legislation that would cancel student loan debt. His plan would be paid for with a new tax on Wall Street, he says. It would also make public universities and community colleges free — a key pillar of Sanders’s 2020 education platform. These proposals are not radical ideas in Sweden, a country that has built one of the world’s most extensive social welfare systems. In Sweden, healthcare costs are largely subsided by the state. Daycare and preschool programs are mostly free. College and university are free. Public transportation is subsidized for many users. To explain how Sweden does it, we speak with Mikael Törnwall, Swedish author and journalist focusing on economic issues at Svenska Dagbladet, a Stockholm daily newspaper. His most recent book is titled Who Should Pay for Welfare?

      • Denouncing Macron’s Neoliberal Pension Reforms, Hundreds of Thousands of Striking Workers Bring France to a Halt

        “We have one of the best pension systems in the world, if not the best. Yet the president has decided, purely out of ideology, to wipe it out.”

      • ‘Flat-Out Corruption’: DeVos Accused of Scheming to Stop Next President From Canceling Student Loan Debt

        “Normally the rich are moderately more subtle about rigging the system in their favor. They’re scared.”

      • Trump’s SNAP Cuts
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Investigation Uncovers Israel-Based Group Behind Bigoted Facebook Smear Campaign Aimed at US Muslim Congresswomen

        “The goal of these anti-Muslim hate campaigns is clear—they put Muslim lives here and around the world at risk and undermine our country’s commitment to religious pluralism.”

      • Inside the Battle for Another World

        A succession of social upheavals over the last decade has radically realigned political power throughout the world. As a result of these tectonic shifts, what had once been on the furthest fringes of the right has now moved toward the center while the left has been pushed to the margins. “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,” poet William Yeats wrote…

      • Protocols of the Elders of the Republican Party

        How do the horrific events of Charlottesville, the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and a similar hate crime in California directly relate to the eye-rolling pronouncements by Devin Nunes, Rudy Giuliani, and other Republicans in defense of President Donald Trump?

      • “It’s On”: Pelosi Officially Asks Nadler to Prepare Articles of Impeachment

        “The president leaves us no choice but to act.”

      • The Most Important Election in British History

        Democracy in Britain has never been particularly strong or vibrant. Yet, for the first time in decades, the British people face a real choice at the ballot box in December. It wasn’t long ago that any possibility of radical change was excluded from the outset.

      • Bernie Sanders Tops New California Poll—But You Wouldn’t Have Known It By Reading This LA Times Headline

        In latest #BernieBlackout example, Sanders’ deputy campaign manager notes it took major newspaper “three paragraphs to mention who is leading.”

      • Kerry Endorses Biden as Ad Cites NATO Leaders Mocking Trump

        John Kerry, the former secretary of state and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, endorsed Joe Biden for president on Thursday, buoying the former vice president’s argument that his international experience should be a deciding factor for voters in 2020.

      • New York’s Other Hopelessly Corrupt Candidate

        For better or worse, New York City has produced some of the biggest names in contemporary U.S. politics. From President Donald Trump and his conspirator-in-corruption Rudy Giuliani, all the way to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (the latter has spent most of his life in Vermont, of course, but is a New Yorker to the core), politicians from across the political aisle have hailed from the Big Apple.

      • A Playboy Misrules Pakistan

        Unlike Western press practices, Pakistan’s privacy traditions constrain a robust discussion of the private lives of celebrities in electronic or print media. However, hush-hush gossip, group text messages, and social media in Pakistan are as brutal as anywhere else in the world. As such private lives of political leaders, such as Prime Minister Imran Khan (IK), remain shrouded in an unsortable mixture of fabrications and truths. For the most part, the Pakistani public ignores the private lives of favored leaders, including IK.

      • Biden Campaign’s “World Is Laughing at Donald Trump” Video Wins Viral Moment

        “They see him for what he really is: dangerously incompetent and incapable of world leadership.”

      • Burundi: Elections ‘Levy’ Opens Door to Abuse

        Local officials and members of the widely feared youth wing of Burundi’s ruling party have extorted donations for the upcoming 2020 elections, in many cases with threats or force.

      • The Mad Activist Impeaches Western Culture
      • Look Out for the Drift

        In the mid-nineties, after receiving a BA in psychology, psychopathology was on my mind daily. I worked at a group home for psychiatrically diagnosed teens in Queens, New York; later as a psychiatric rehab counselor for adults transitioning from group homes to independent living in the South Bronx. My experiences were disturbing enough to make me leave that counselor career path and drift from one job to another—finally end up as a poet, with society and politics being main interests. How could they not be: my family is from Puerto Rico. If government is, indeed, now just a big business, the tiny defenseless island of Puerto Rico has received a brutally raw deal since its occupation in 1898. It’s difficult to see your mother raped by someone you are supposed to trust—a neighbor you were taught was moral and good.

      • Impeachment of Trump Appears Inevitable in the House

        The House Judiciary Committee convened Wednesday for eight and a half hours of testimony to discuss what the Constitution requires for impeachment. It was an exercise that didn’t reveal any new information on the investigation, but rather laid out the legal justification for Trump’s potential impeachment. The hearing underscored that any eventual impeachment will most likely be partisan. Judiciary Committee Republicans continued the House GOP’s approach of raising procedural complaints and bad-faith attacks on the Democratic witnesses, while the Republican witness argued there isn’t sufficient evidence to justify impeaching Trump. But Democrats made a strong case for the obligation Congress has to impeach, given Trump’s conduct. The three Democratic witnesses all argued that Trump has not only committed impeachable offenses, but that the gravity of the president’s abuse of power made impeachment utterly necessary.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Gen Z and Free Speech

        The Knight Foundation released a study that details the attitudes surrounding free speech in our precious young people today. Generational tension is on the rise as young people confront the richer and more conservative “Boomer” generation. Among the many divides is the attitude towards free speech.

      • TikTok Secretly Hid Content From Fat, Queer, and Disabled Users

        TikTok has admitted it adopted a set of policies to suppress the content of ‘vulnerable’ creators. TikTok says the policy was to prevent cyberbullying but hints at censorship.

      • Russian lawmakers adopt legislation imposing massively higher fines on violations by ‘foreign agent’ news media

        The State Duma has adopted the third and final draft of legislation that imposes fines as high as 5 million rubles ($78,300) for repeated violations of Russia’s media laws pertaining to “foreign agents.” 

      • Russia’s Council of Judges advocates new protections for the judiciary against ‘biased journalists’

        Russia’s Council of Judges has developed a new draft concept for the judicial system’s information policies in the next decade, says the newspaper Vedomosti, citing the document. Among other things, the federal agency wants to impose legal liability on mass media outlets and journalists for “pressuring” courts through “negative content published for money.” The council argues that Russia’s judges need additional protection from “biased publications.”

      • [Reposted, different site] We Need To Save .ORG From Arbitrary Censorship By Halting the Private Equity Buy-Out

        The .ORG top-level domain and all of the nonprofit organizations that depend on it are at risk if a private equity firm is allowed to buy control of it. EFF has joined with over 250 respected nonprofits to oppose the sale of Public Interest Registry, the (currently) nonprofit entity that operates the .ORG domain, to Ethos Capital. Internet pioneers including Esther Dyson and Tim Berners-Lee have spoken out against this secretive deal. And 12,000 Internet users and counting have added their voices to the opposition.

        What’s the harm in this $1.135 billion deal? In short, it would give Ethos Capital the power to censor the speech of nonprofit organizations (NGOs) to advance commercial interests, and to extract ever-growing monopoly rents from those same nonprofits. Ethos Capital has a financial incentive to engage in censorship—and, of course, in price increases. And the contracts that .ORG operates under don’t create enough accountability or limits on Ethos’s conduct.

      • ‘Let’s look in the mirror’ A young Russian YouTuber who faces four years in prison for ‘extremism’ delivers a powerful courtroom speech

        On December 4, Moscow’s Kuntsevsky District Court continued hearing the case against 21-year-old Higher School of Economics (HSE) student and libertarian YouTube personality Egor Zhukov. Zhukov stands accused of issuing public calls for extremism: Prosecutors have argued that his videos on nonviolent resistance were motivated by “political hatred and enmity to the constitutional structure extant in the Russian Federation” as well as a desire to destabilize the country’s social and political order.

      • Devin Nunes’ Virginia SLAPP Suits Causing Virginia Legislators To Consider A New Anti-SLAPP Law

        We’ve been covering all the various SLAPP suits filed by Devin Nunes against his critics, journalists, political operatives, and (most famously) a satirical internet cow. As we’ve noted, despite Nunes being a Representative from California, and despite the fact that many of the people and companies he’s targeting are California-based, he’s filed most of the suits in Virginia state court. The reasons for this seemed fairly obvious to many commentators. Virginia has a very weak anti-SLAPP law. California has a very robust one.

      • Kyrgyzstan: Blogger Faces Incitement Charges

        A blogger in Kyrgyzstan who wrote about corruption on social media is facing charges of inter-regional incitement, Human Rights Watch said today. The blogger, Aftandil Zhorobekov, was detained on November 24, 2019 by Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security (GKNB) and held in pretrial detention until being placed under house arrest on December 5, with the charges against him still standing.

      • IP and the controversial “Hate Speech Bill” in Nigeria

        As some readers may be aware, many Nigerians are vehemently opposed to the National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches Bill, 2019 (SB. 154) (the “Hate Speech Bill”), which recently passed second reading in the Nigerian Senate. There have been complaints that the offences created under the Bill seek to silence criticism and free speech and that the establishment of a Commission to curb hate speech under the Bill is a waste of resources.


        IPRs holders may be imprisoned for life or punished with death by hanging where they produce (see section 3 of the Bill for all the verbs) written or visual material that is threatening, abusive or insulting and intended to stir up ethnic hatred against any person or person from an ethnic group in Nigeria. [Death by hanging only applies to where the hate speech leads to the death of another person]. The Bill offers no guidance on how a court may determine what constitutes “threatening, abusive or insulting” material and/or how intention to stir up ethnic hatred may be determined. As opined here, proving the commission of a crime requires that the prosecution show that the accused person(s) is responsible for the actus reus (physical act) and had the mens rea (guilty mind or intention). Proving the intention to stir up ethnic hatred may not be so straightforward. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups: would/should the court be invited to consider history of inter-ethnic relations to decide subjects that would stir up ethnic hatred?


        However, the powers of the Commission in the case of receiving contravention complaints may in some sense be quasi-judicial. Persons who are directly aggrieved or who claim that the Bill has been contravened may lodge a complaint with the Commission. See sections 37 and 38 of the Bill. The Commission may decline to entertain complaints that are frivolous or lacking in substance or, that may be more appropriately dealt with by the court. See section 39. Under section 45, the Commission must ensure that it attempts conciliation regarding complaints lodged with it. After hearing the representation of the parties to a complaint, the Commission may issue a compliance notice under section 50 of the Bill. Where parties fail to comply with the compliance notice, the Commission needs an order of the Magistrate’s court or other court to compel such compliance. See section 52 of the Bill.

        Given these circumstances, it may be apt to argue the establishment of the Commission is a waste of resources. By and large, the Hate Speech Bill is still going through the legislative process and nothing is cast in stone (yet).

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Spying on Assange: the Spanish Case Takes a Turn

        Judge José de la Mata of Spain’s High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, had been facing a good deal of stonewalling on the part of his British colleagues. He is overseeing an investigation into the surveillance activities of a Spanish security firm aimed at WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, during his stay at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘Make America 36th Out of 41 Developed Nations Again’: Social Justice Index of Developed Nations Puts US Near Bottom

        Meanwhile, the democratic-socialist Nordic countries of Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden enjoy the top spots in detailed survey of OECD nations.

      • The Activists Guiding Us Through These Dark Days

        Over 1,000 people packed into the historic Cirkus Arena in downtown Stockholm Wednesday night. It wasn’t for the building’s original purpose, an actual circus, or for a rock concert, which is one of the contemporary uses of the building. What drew this remarkable cross section of Swedish society, as well as people from around the world? Activism. Courage. Passion.

      • US Official Threatens Communities That Don’t ‘Respect’ Police

        On Tuesday, Attorney General of the United States William Barr warned that if Americans don’t give more “support and respect” to police, “they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”

      • Indonesia Arrests Yet More Indigenous Papuans

        The list of political prisoners in Indonesia’s West Papua and Papua provinces is growing higher, as at least 110 people were arrested for raising the Papuan national flag over the weekend.

      • Edward Snowden: In the US, I Would Likely Die in Prison for Telling the Truth

        The Right Livelihood Awards celebrated their 40th anniversary Wednesday at the historic Cirkus Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, where more than a thousand people gathered to celebrate this year’s four laureates: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg; Chinese women’s rights lawyer Guo Jianmei, Brazilian indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa and the organization he co-founded, the Yanomami Hutukara Association; and Sahrawi human rights leader Aminatou Haidar, who has challenged the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara for decades. The Right Livelihood Award is known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” Over the past four decades, it’s been given to grassroots leaders and activists around the globe — among them the world-famous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. At Wednesday’s gala, Amy Goodman interviewed Snowden in front of the award ceremony’s live audience via video link from Moscow, where he has lived in exile since leaking a trove of secret documents revealing the U.S. government’s had built an unprecedented mass surveillance system to spy on Americans and people around the world. After sharing the documents with reporters in 2013, Snowden was charged in the U.S. for violating the Espionage Act and other laws. As he attempted to flee from Hong Kong to Latin America, Snowden was stranded in Russia after the U.S. revoked his passport, and he has lived there ever since. Edward Snowden won the Right Livelihood Award in 2014, and accepted the award from Moscow.

      • No Free Pass for North Korea’s Abuses

        The United Nations Security Council has an opportunity this month to refocus attention on North Korea’s abysmal human rights record after giving it a pass last year.

      • Inside the Cell Where a Sick 16-Year-Old Boy Died in Border Patrol Care

        Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant, was seriously ill when immigration agents put him in a small South Texas holding cell with another sick boy on the afternoon of May 19.

      • These Cops are Supposed to Protect Rural Villages. They’re in the Suburbs Instead.

        WASILLA, Alaska — The man appeared around dinnertime in the parking lot of the city Police Department, asking to see a cop. Another fight with his wife. Nothing violent, he said, but she threatened to carve a word in the paint of his luxury pickup: CHEATER.

        Maybe an officer could go talk to her? A routine request on a routine night for the Police Department of this small suburban city, made famous by former Mayor Sarah Palin. (She lives up the road.)

      • R. Kelly Accused of Bribing a Public Official to Marry Aaliyah at Age 15

        R&B singer R. Kelly is now facing bribery charges for the fake ID he used to marry Aaliyah. The charges were revealed in an unsealed indictment this afternoon.

      • Professor Turley Is Dead Wrong on Impeachment and Here’s Why

        In his opening statement emphasizing the importance of legal standards, George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley claimed that impeaching, “a president on this record would expose every future president to the same type of inchoate impeachment” and warned, “I hope you will consider what you will do when the wind blows again…”

      • The Twenty-First-Century Legacies of America’s Twin Sins

        On the Thursday of the second week of the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had a special guest on his weekly podcast, Carl Bernstein. It was Bernstein, with fellow Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, whose reporting broke open the story of how the Committee to Re-elect the President burglarized Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate office building in Washington, D.C.  That reporting and the impeachment hearings that followed eventually forced President Richard Nixon to resign in disgrace in 1974. Bharara wanted to hear about what differences Bernstein sees between the Nixon impeachment proceedings and Donald Trump’s today.

      • Be Best, My Ass

        OK, we are now and truly done with the con man and his vile hooker squatting in the White House. Having stayed silent through endless atrocities – rapes, lies, cruelty, racism, bullying, leaving families hungry, caging 70,000 children and killing six…

      • ‘Impeach Trump for This’: Video Shows Final Hours of Teen’s Horrible Death in US Immigration Detention Center

        Contrary to claims by Border Patrol, “they didn’t take him to the hospital. They didn’t release him. They didn’t even seem to check on him as he was dying on the floor of his cell.”

      • Video Shows Teen’s Horrible Death in U.S. Immigration Detention Center

        Footage from an immigrant detention center in Texas obtained by Pro Publica and published online Thursday shows the final hours of 16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez—who died from complications of the flu while in custody—but also strongly indicates the border patrol agents responsible for his care lied about what happened that night.

      • Mexican Immigration Officials Destroy Asylum Seekers’ Tents

        Mexican immigration officials arrived at a refugee camp in Matamoros, Mexico early Tuesday morning bearing machetes used to destroy unoccupied tents left behind by Mexican asylum seekers, according to multiple camp residents who witnessed the event.

      • France Drops Plan to Give Boats to Libya

        France’s decision last week to withdraw its offer of six boats to the Libyan Coast Guard is good news, as Libya could have used this “gift” to subject even more migrants and refugees to serious abuses in Libya.

      • Fred Hampton: “Peace To You…If You’re Willing to Fight For It

        It was 50 years ago that Chicago cops executed Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton as he slept, firing over 90 shots into his apartment for the crimes of feeding hungry kids, opening medical clinics, forming a Rainbow Coalition and championing black self-determination. Targeted by the FBI as a danger who could “electrify the masses,” Hampton vowed to fight racism with

      • NYPD Finally Releases A Body Camera Policy That Gives The Department Plenty Of Ways To Withhold Footage

        The NYPD has finally finalized its body-worn camera footage release policy. It’s not much better than its initial public offering, which sought public input and then ignored every bit of the public’s input to craft an officer-friendly deployment policy that left the act of recording to officer discretion.

      • This Judge Is Married to the Sheriff. Ethics Complaints Have Piled Up.

        Two years ago, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina accused a pair of lower-court judges of unfairly blocking the sheriff’s requests for criminal warrants.

        A top deputy planned to file a complaint with the chief magistrate and the local state senator, who controls the county’s judicial appointments. But before doing so, the deputy turned to an unlikely ally to help craft his appeal: Magistrate Angel Underwood.

      • American WeChat Users Getting Banned For Celebrating Hong Kong Election Results

        The recent election in Hong Kong may have scored some wins for pro-democracy candidates, but supporters of protesters and newly-elected candidates still aren’t able to do much celebrating on social media. WeChat, the massively popular messaging app owned by China’s Tencent, is apparently censoring posts and shutting down pro-democracy accounts.

      • ALEC-Crafted Laws Could Send Me to Prison for a Decade for My Activism

        This week, corporate executives and legislators from around the country are gathering in Scottsdale, Arizona, for the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual States and Nation Policy Summit, where they will craft policies to introduce into state legislatures. More than a dozen groups have protested outside the meeting. ALEC is a shadowy group — meeting in secret, hiding its membership, and prohibiting journalists and the public from observing its activities. Various watchdogs have increasingly exposed ALEC’s undemocratic nature. What has received less attention, however, are the policies that emerge from ALEC.

      • Black Back Room Deals Must Not Stifle Right To Die With Dignity: Philip Nitschke

        Culture is crucial to Indigenous Australia, but it doesn’t give a handful of black leaders the right to scuttle laws to assist everyone the right to die with dignity, writes Dr Philip Nitschke.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T Says The Real Problem With The Internet Is We Pay Too Much Attention To Giant ISPs

        As Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook face all manner of (justified) regulatory scrutiny, telecom has been able to somehow remove itself from the conversation, despite engaging in many of the same (if not worse) behaviors over the years. While Congress obsesses about new ways to regulate “big tech,” the US government has oddly been busy neutering all oversight of “big telecom”. That’s at least partially by design; giants like AT&T and Comcast have spent years pushing for the hyper regulation of companies telecom increasingly competes with in the online ad space.

    • Monopolies

      • CJEU rules that “aceto” and “balsamico” are not individually protectable components of PGI “Aceto Balsamico di Modena”

        Yesterday, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) issued its decision in Case C-432/18, Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico di Modena v Balema GmbH [here]. The decision sets important limitations on the scope of protection of the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) “Aceto Balsamico di Modena” and for PGI’s registered in a similar manner, because the Court held that individual components of this PGI are not protected.

        Background to the case

        Balema is a German producer of balsamic vinegar and markets its products as “Balsamico” or “Deutscher Balsamico”. The consortium of producers of Modena balsamic vinegar hold the PGI for “Aceto Balsamico di Modena (PGI)”, which enjoys protection under Regulation 1151/2012 (the Agricultural Foodstuff Regulation). It was registered under its predecessor and, as is common practice for European geographical indications, on the conditions set forth in the granting regulation, 583/2009. The consortium sued Balema in Germany and the Federal Supreme Court asked the CJEU whether the protection for “Aceto Balsamico di Modena” extends to the use of individual, non-geographical components of this term.

      • One-minute survey: Does judicial recruitment need a shake-up?

        The England and Wales High Court is in need of IP specialist judges. But with the courts facing a wider recruitment issue, filling the gap is not easy.

        Factors including pay and changes to pension arrangements mean there is a lack of candidates who want to become a judge. The UK’s Ministry of Justice has itself cited “very strong evidence” for recruitment difficulties in the High Court.

      • Mandatory mediation in Greece: Odysseus reaches Ithaca

        We have previously reported on Greece’s legislative initiative to introduce mandatory mediation in certain civil and commercial disputes, including trademark infringement disputes.

        The respective law, 4512/2018, had been enacted, but its entry into force was postponed, following reactions of lawyers and bar associations. As a result, the drafting of a new law was commenced. After the conclusion of the public consultation, a final draft was submitted to Parliament, and it was approved by the Plenary on November 28, 2019.

        Published the following day, on November 29, 2019, it is now law no 4640/2019 “Mediation on civil and commercial disputes – Further harmonization of Greek legislation with Directive 2008/52/EC of the European parliament and of the council of 21 May 2008 and other provisions” (the Law).

      • Patents

        • As 9th Circuit Prepares For Argument, Korean Fine Against Qualcomm Upheld

          Qualcomm’s appeal of the FTC’s success in district court continues to move forward, with the second set of amicus briefs (including CCIA’s) filed the week of Thanksgiving. Qualcomm’s reply brief is due by Friday, December 13th, and oral argument is scheduled for February 13th, 2020. Judge Koh found that Qualcomm had abused its dominant position in baseband modems, harming consumers and competitors alike.

          On appeal, Qualcomm has in essence argued that competition law shouldn’t apply to it because of its importance to cellular standards. Many amici, from technology firms to auto companies to former heads of the FTC, repudiated the argument that maintaining Qualcomm’s position in 5G is more important than ensuring healthy competition. We’ll see if that argument flies in the United States—given the strength of the factual determinations and the evidence in the district court, it shouldn’t—but in the meantime, Qualcomm has been handed another setback.

        • Nokia outmaneuvering Daimler with settlement effort that has zero credibility–but Mannheim court confirms hearing date

          One week ago, Reuters’ Foo Yun Chee (who’s been covering EU competition matters for more than a decade and whom I regard very highly) reported on a statement by Nokia according to which “the Finnish telecoms equipment maker had submitted a proposal for resolving the patent licensing fee row.” This relates to the situation between Nokia and Daimler as well as Daimler’s suppliers. Nokia brought ten German standard-essential patent (SEP) infringement actions against Daimler earlier this year–several months after Daimler had lodged an antitrust complaint with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) over Nokia’s refusal to extend exhaustive SEP licenses on FRAND terms to Daimler’s suppliers. At around the same time, four suppliers (Continental, Valeo, Gemalto, and BURY Technologies) also filed complaints against Nokia with DG COMP.

        • Supreme Court Hears Appealability Appeal

          The section 315(b) time bar prohibits institution of a petition “filed more than 1 year after the date on which the petitioner … is served with a complaint alleging infringement of the patent.” Years ago (well before the 1-year date) the patentee Click-to-Call sued Thryv’s predecessor-in-interest for infringement and served the complaint as required under § 315(b). That lawsuit, however, was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice. When the defendant later filed its IPR petition, the PTAB found that the dismissal without prejudice effectively nullified the original lawsuit and, as such, did not raise the time-bar. The PTAB then invalidated the claims. On appeal, the Federal Circuit rejected PTAB’s approach — holding that the statute does not allow for any exception to the time-bar for cases dismissed without prejudice. In its petition to the Supreme Court, Thryv asked the court to review both whether (1) the issue is appealable; and (2) the time-bar still applies after a dismissal without prejudice. The Supreme Court granted certiorari, but only as to question 1 – whether the issue is appealable.

        • Another German FRAND Ruling – OLG Karlsruhe, Judgment of 30 October 2019, 6 U 183/16 (Philips v Wiko)

          In its latest ruling on FRAND and the Art. 102 TFEU defense, the OLG (Higher Regional Court) Karlsruhe put an emphasis on the ‘fairness’ of the licensing negotiation procedure and thus on the ‘F’ prong of FRAND. To allow fair and expedient licensing negotiations and avoid a finding of abuse of dominance, the owner of a standard essential patent (SEP) has to explain and substantiate vis-à-vis the willing licensee why its license offer is FRAND in such a way that the implementer can assess the offer and respond with a counter-offer in a meaningful way. Even though both the SEP holder and the implementer may still comply with their ‘negotiation duties’ after filing the complaint, undue pressure by the threat of an injunction has to be avoided, e.g. by suspending the proceedings.

          The case concerned a patent essential for the LTE standard. The OLG Karlsruhe, appeal instance to the Mannheim Regional Court, confirmed patent infringement by defendant’s LTE compatible mobile phones, resulting in a declaration on damages and full claims for information and accounting. However, the defendant’s FRAND/Art. 102 TFEU defense was successful and the court rejected the requests for an injunction, recall and destruction as currently unfounded.

          With this decision, the Karlsruhe court tackles questions on the implementation of the negotiation framework as set out in the landmark decision Huawei v ZTE of the CJEU (case C-170/13) from yet a different angle than the appeal courts in Duesseldorf (with an emphasis on the ‘non-discriminatory’ assessment of the content of the SEP holder’s license offer and stricter requirements on the provision of third party licenses) and the UK (with a focus on the ‘fair and reasonable’ prong of FRAND and a more flexible application of the CJEU negotiation framework; see previous posts here and here). The Karlsruhe court also came to a different conclusion than the Court of Appeal The Hague in the parallel proceedings between the same parties earlier this year. According to public comments, the Dutch court held that the plaintiff was entitled to an injunction as the defendant was not a ‘willing licensee’ prior to the proceedings and had not met its burden to show that the plaintiff’s later license offer was non-compliant with FRAND. In contrast, the OLG Karlsruhe found that the plaintiff had not met its burden to substantiate the FRANDness of its license offer to the defendant. This failure to meet its information and negotiation duties amounts to an abuse of the plaintiff’s dominant position acc. to Art. 102 TFEU.

        • TCL v Ericsson overturned on appeal in US; will go to jury trial

          Readers will remember the news of Christmas 2017: Judge Selna in the Central District of California determined the FRAND royalties that TCL should pay to Ericsson. The decision attracted comment because the rates were very much lower than the findings that Mr Justice Birss had made in relation to Ericsson’s portfolio in Unwired Planet, despite similar evidence

          Today the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit overturned that decision.

          Ericsson appealed on two grounds: that it had been deprived of its right to a jury trial, and that Judge Selna’s calculations contained many errors. Happily for Ericsson, but disappointingly for followers of FRAND, the CAFC agreed with the first of those grounds. That means it did not need to look at the second.

      • Trademarks

        • Fraudulent Trademarks: How They Undermine the Trademark System and Harm American Consumers and Businesses

          Congress is moving on Trademark Legislation with a number of different potential proposals circling.

        • Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act of 2019

          Copyright, trademark, and “trade name” violations are already listed in the statute; patents and trade secrets are not listed. The basic idea here is that it is pretty easy for CPB to stack design patents atop their current system that looks at copyright and trademark. The hope here is that a layman (e.g., CPB official) can quickly and easily determine design patent infringement at a relatively high level of accuracy. This would be much more difficult for utility patents, and wouldn’t work for trade secrets without disclosing the secret to CPB.

        • AG Campos advises CJEU to rule that Amazon might be potentially liable for trade mark infringement

          Subsequently Coty requested Amazon to provide all perfumes stocked on behalf of the seller. 11 of the 30 perfumes delivered by Amazon to Coty had been stocked on behalf of another seller, whose identity Amazon was not able to confirm.

          Coty sued Amazon for trade mark infringement in Germany, but without success. In fact, both at first instance and on appeal, the German courts found that Amazon had not directly used the trade mark or stocked the goods to sell them; rather, it had just stocked them on behalf of third parties and was unaware that the trade mark rights had not been exhausted.

          On appeal to Germany’s Federal Court of Justice (BGH), a question arose: Does a person who, on behalf of a third party, stores goods which infringe trade mark rights, without having knowledge of that infringement, stock those goods for the purpose of offering them or putting them on the market under Article 9(3)(b) EUTMR, if it is not that person himself but rather the third party alone which intends to offer the goods or put them on the market?

          The BGH was unsure, though it was inclined to answer in the negative in light of what happens in Germany in the patent field. The court also excluded that Amazon’s behaviour would amount to a ‘use’ of the trade mark within the meaning of Article 9(2) EUTMR.

          Despite all this, a referral was made to the CJEU.

      • Copyrights

        • When you own an artwork, you don’t own the copyright: Danish artist wins injunction against watchmakers planning to cut up painting

          With thanks to Hanne Kirk and her team at Gorrissen Federspiel (Denmark) for this fascinating post regarding the outer limits of copyright in an artwork:

          On Monday, 2 December 2019, the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court issued a ruling in a case which explores the fine line between destruction and alteration of existing artwork. The conclusion? Cutting up an existing artwork to repurpose the individual pieces as wristwatch faces constitutes reproduction of the work in an amended form – not destruction followed by the creation of a new, original work.


          In its 2 December 2019 ruling, the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court found in favour of Tal R on all claims, confirming expressly that the insertion of pieces of a painting into wristwatches was, in the view of the Court, not a destruction of the work, but rather a reproduction of the work in an amended form.

          In support of this conclusion, the Court noted that Kanske had itself explained that the very idea of the project was to transform Tal R’s artwork, and had further asked on its website “what happens when you take an original artwork and turn it into something else?” It made no difference in this regard that the artwork, once incorporated into the wristwatches, would no longer be recognizable.

          (This GuestKat finds the last-mentioned statement somehow surprising, given that similarity is a prerequisite for an infringement, and given that similarity calls for a certain recognizability of the original work.)

          The Court further ruled that the project would indeed, as claimed by Tal R, constitute an alteration and making available to the public of Tal R’s artwork “in a manner or in a context which is prejudicial to the author’s literary or artistic reputation or individuality,” thereby violating section 3(2) of the Danish Copyright Act.

          Finally, the Court also agreed that Kanske had violated sections 3(1) and 22(1) of the Danish Marketing Practices Act by marketing and offering for sale the wristwatches, including by making unauthorized use of the “Tal R” brand.

          Overall, the Court dismissed Kanske’s defense that the project was art and should benefit from the protections granted to expressions of artistic freedom.

        • Creative Commons Receives an AWS Imagine Grant to Improve CC Search

          With that in mind, we’re excited and proud to announce that we’ve been awarded an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Imagine Grant—a public grant for non-profit organizations that are “using technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.”

        • The Pirate Bay Moves to a Brand New Onion Domain

          The most famous torrent site in the world, The Pirate Bay, has ditched its old and mostly unreadable Onion domain for something more recognizable and potentially more permanent. The switch was reported to TorrentFreak after Pirate Bay proxy sites noticed extended downtime on the old domain.

        • IPTV Service Easily Circumvents First Canadian Piracy Blockade

          Through the Federal Court, Bell, Rogers, and Groupe TVA recently obtained the first Canadian pirate ‘site’ blocking order. The companies argued that ISP blockades are an effective way to deal with copyright infringing sites and services. While that may be true to a certain degree, the targeted GoldTV service simply switched to a new domain and continues to offer its services.

        • Meet the Guy Behind the Libgen Torrent Seeding Movement

          Libgen and Sci-Hub, regularly referred to as the ‘Pirate Bay of Science’, are continually under fire. However, if all of the important data is decentralized, almost any eventuality can be dealt with. Today we meet the guy leading a new movement to ensure that Libgen’s archives are distributed via the highest quality torrent swarms possible.

        • Why Won’t Creative Future’s Members Comment About This Hollywood Front Group Smearing A Well Respected Law Professor?

          If you look in the dictionary, the word “projection” has many different definitions. I find it particularly amusing that in Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the following two are right next to each other: the attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety the display of motion pictures by projecting an image from them upon a screen This is a story that kind of involves both of those definitions, because it’s all about a front group, created and funded by Hollywood, very much “projecting” its own blame, guilt and responsibility onto one of the most respected and thoughtful copyright law professors. And… almost no one wants to comment on the organization’s shameful tactics. Perhaps some of you might help in my ongoing efforts to get literally any of Creative Future’s members to explain why it still supports the organization after its shameful smear campaign over the past few weeks and months.


Links 6/12/2019: DRM in GNU/Linux and Sparky Bonsai

Posted in News Roundup at 6:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux For All Shines on LXDE Desktop

      Linux For All very well could be a unifying Linux distribution that provides a common computing platform.

      LFA is a distro developed by Sweden-based software engineer Arne Exton of Exton Linux, the same developer who distributes ExTix Linux. The Swedish Linux Society hosts 16 Exton distributions.

      The Exton Linux inventory of distributions is a fertile repository of custom distros you will not find elsewhere. Among Exton Linux releases are an assortment of customized Linux distros based on a wide family of options such as Arch, Debian, Ubuntu, Puppy and Slackware. Multiple versions of these distros offer an even wider range of desktops.

      The ExTix distro, which I recently reviewed, is perhaps one of the best known of Exton’s Linux platforms. That is in part due to its multiple desktop offerings.

      Linux For All comes in just one flavor, the LXDE environment. However, LXDE is an inviting option that eliminates confusion and complexity in favor of a powerful desktop that is lightweight enough to run on low-powered aging hardware.

    • Server

      • [Older] Making sense of a multi-cloud, hybrid world at KubeCon

        More than 12,000 attendees gathered this week in San Diego to discuss all things containers, Kubernetes and cloud-native at KubeCon.

        Kubernetes, the container orchestration tool, turned five this year, and the technology appears to be reaching a maturity phase where it accelerates beyond early adopters to reach a more mainstream group of larger business users.

        That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of work to be done, or that most enterprise companies have completely bought in, but it’s clearly reached a point where containerization is on the table. If you think about it, the whole cloud-native ethos makes sense for the current state of computing and how large companies tend to operate.

      • [Older] ‘Kubernetes’ Is the Future of Computing. What You Should Know About the New Trend.

        Nearly all major technology companies are saying the same thing. Kubernetes is the next big thing in computing.

        The Greek word for helmsman or pilot, Kubernetes is accelerating the transition away for legacy client-server technology by making cloud-native software development easier, better and faster.

        Last week, more than 12,000 developers and executives gathered in San Diego at the largest annual Kubernetes conference called KubeCon. That’s up from just 550 attendees four years ago. The conference goers are all looking for ways to take advantage of Kubernetes and its ability to automatically deploy, manage, and scale software workloads in the cloud.

        To understand the trend, let’s start with the changing dynamics of software in the cloud. Cloud apps increasingly run in aptly-named containers. The containers hold an application, its settings, and other related instructions. The trick is that these containers aren’t tied down to one piece of hardware and can run nearly anywhere—across different servers and clouds. It’s how Google manages to scale Gmail and Google Maps across a billion-plus users.

        Alphabet’s (ticker: GOOGL) Google long ago developed software called Borg to orchestrate its in-house containers—spinning them up and down as needed. In 2014, the search giant opted to make a version of Borg open source, calling it Kubernetes. Today, the major cloud providers all offer a Kubernetes option to customers.

      • IBM

        • Understanding Red Hat AMQ Streams components for OpenShift and Kubernetes: Part 2
        • Red Hat announces beta access to the Red Hat migration analytics service

          Do you know where your workloads are, their current state and what it would take to modernize them? The answer is likely no. That’s why Red Hat is unveiling the Red Hat migration analytics service, currently in beta. Here’s what the service offers, and how it can help you with inventory, migration suggestions and more.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 Debuts With Added Developer Tools, Security & Automation

          Red Hat, Inc. today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1, the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. The first minor release of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 enhances the manageability, security and performance of the operating system underpinning the open hybrid cloud while also adding new capabilities to drive developer innovation.

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the foundation of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio, providing the underlying engine that allows complex workloads to be developed and deployed across physical, virtual, private and public cloud environments with greater confidence and control. As the backbone of the hybrid cloud, the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform provides a consistent user experience across on premise deployments and all major public cloud infrastructures. At the same time, it supports key production workloads like Microsoft SQL Server and SAP HANA while also enabling new workloads like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2019-12-05 | Linux Headlines

        Mozilla speeds up its open source speech-to-text engine, Disney+ is now available on Linux, and Amazon has a new AI-powered service for automated code review.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.5 Lands Broadcom BCM2711 / Raspberry Pi 4 Bits

        Following last week’s Arm architecture updates for Linux 5.5, sent in via four pull requests on Thursday was all the new and improved hardware enablement for the SoCs and single-board computer platforms.

        The prominent ARM hardware support change with Linux 5.5 is mainlining the Broadcom BCM2711 SoC that is notably used by the Raspberry Pi 4 and also integrating the various RPi4 device tree additions. It’s great seeing the Linux kernel finally beginning to get into shape for the modern Raspberry Pi 4.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Nvidia Is Preparing An Unexpected Surprise For Linux Users In 2020

          Each year Nvidia hosts the GPU Technology Conference, a global gathering of AI developers, data scientists, graphic artists, and pretty much anyone in the technology industry working with GPUs in their chosen fields. The event packs in keynotes with roadmaps and reveals, face-time with Nvidia engineers, and hundreds of sessions to participate in. GTC 2020, though, looks to include a special surprise for Linux users and open source enthusiasts.

          Supporting Nouveau eh? That’s the open source Linux driver used to drive Nvidia graphics cards (Nvidia also supplies a proprietary driver for Linux), and Nvidia’s historical lack of contributions is what led Linus Torvalds to famously flip Nvidia the bird and utter words I can’t print here. (I can link to them though. . .)

          The community of developers working on the Nouveau driver have experienced several roadblocks throughout the years. Paramount among them is the inability to achieve normal GPU clock speeds due to Nvidia’s locked down firmware on many models of graphics cards. This leads to undesirable performance and a multitude of potential video display issues across many Linux distributions.

    • Applications

      • Gammy – Adaptive screen brightness utility for Linux

        All technology enthusiasts heartily greeted smartphones when they came around. Not only because it was all futuristic and attractive, but also because now you could do things that you could only do on your desktop or laptop.

        E-mailing, text messaging, sharing files, all became much easier. Even though it seems like smartphones are given features based on those possessed by notebooks, they have a world of their own. Now, even the computer world is learning things from smartphones.

        One such feature of smartphones that we all find helpful is automatic brightness adjustment. Having that on our Linux systems will be great, especially for those who move around with their laptops a lot. We present a program just for that task, Gammy.

      • Migrating the MAAS UI from AngularJS to React

        MAAS (metal as a service), is a Canonical product which allows for very fast server provisioning and data centre management. Around 2014, work began to build a rich UI for MAAS, primarily using the AngularJS JavaScript framework from Google. AngularJS today is in long term support (LTS) and due to reach end-of-life in 2021. This year we began the work of transitioning away from AngularJS in anticipation of this impending EOL to more contemporary tooling.

        Evaluating Angular vs React

        Google’s recommended upgrade path for applications built in AngularJS is to transition to the Angular framework. Despite the similarity in naming, Angular is very different from AngularJS architecturally, and the migration process is non-trivial. While components (allowing for the now ubiquitous uni-directional data architectural pattern) were later backported from Angular to AngularJS, most of MAAS UI predated this and consequently migration to Angular would require significant app-wide refactoring.

        Since the inception of the MAAS UI, a number of other products had been built at Canonical using React. As we had developed significant experience using React, and tooling in the surrounding ecosystem, ultimately it made more sense to invest in transitioning the MAAS UI to React rather than Angular. This choice conferred additional benefits, such as standardising our build and testing infrastructure, and allows for component reuse across products. We also just generally enjoy working with React, and feel that the most significant developments in web UI technology are happening within the React ecosystem (hooks, concurrent mode, suspense, CRA).

      • 6 Best Free Linux Speed Reading Tools

        The idea of speed reading was invented by an American schoolteacher named Evelyn Wood.

        There’s a few different approaches when it comes to speed reading. Spritz technology is based on the notion that much of the time spent in reading text is taken by the eye’s focus moving between words and across the page. According to Spritz, spritzing is defined as reading content one word at a time with the optimal recognition point (ORP) positioned inside of their custom “redicle”. After your eyes find the ORP, your brain starts to process the meaning of the word that you’re viewing. The concept of speed reading in this context is simple: slice a text into individual short segments, like a word.

        The software featured in this group test is based on spritzing. Read text without moving your eyes, and therefore rapidly increase your reading speed. Unlike other reading techniques, you don’t need to rewire your brain to work more efficiently.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Offering up some intense multiplayer mayhem, Tank Maniacs is out now

        GAMELAB today released Tank Maniacs, a very intense multiplayer party game for up to four players. Your task is simple: eliminate the competition in any way possible and it’s really quite hilarious.

        A game for when you want things to be a little less serious perhaps? Tank Maniacs would certainly slot into your gaming schedule nicely there I think. You don’t need to have other players with you, thankfully, as the AI can be quite menacing I found during my time playing it. If you livestream games on Twitch, they also have a fancy Extension you can try which helps viewers get involved.

      • Beyond a Steel Sky, the sequel to the classic Beneath a Steel Sky is coming to Linux next year

        Revolution Software today put out an announcement about Beyond a Steel Sky, the sequel to Beneath a Steel Sky, to give an update on the release date.

        Beyond a Steel Sky is a dramatic, humorous, cyberpunk thriller in which engaging puzzles drive a fast-paced narrative set in a dynamic game-world that responds to – and is subverted by – the player’s actions. It was quite a surprise when writing about it back in September as it popped up on Steam with Linux system requirements. We didn’t manage to get full confirmation from the developer, until today! They confirmed to us on Twitter that Linux support is happening—awesome!

      • Kickstarting a new edition of Steve Jackson Games’s Car Wars

        Now, Steve Jackson Games (previously) is kickstarting a sixth edition of Car Wars, set in a fallen USA in 2069, dominated by “wilderness lawlessness, banditry, regional dictators, and of the men and women who combat them.” The sixth edition includes rules, detailed miniature plastic model cars, player dashboards, and card-decks for internal damage. Stretch goals include custom six sided dice (a set of 20!), extra tokens, a new collision system and a 36″x36″ playspace — at higher levels, they’re going to add more minis and extra rules.

      • Stylish 2D action adventure Alwa’s Legacy is successfully funded and coming to Linux

        Great news for fans of colourful retro-inspired action adventures, as Alwa’s Legacy (the successor to Alwa’s Awakening) has managed to get funding.

        After launching on Kickstarter last month, Elden Pixels managed to raise a total of around SEK 290,369 (approx £23,332). Just like the previous game, they’re planning for full Linux support. Since it has been successful, it’s another listed on our dedicated Crowdfunding Page.

      • New Steam Client Beta upgrades the Linux Steam Runtime Container and Remote Play Together

        Valve have another freshly brewed Beta available for the Steam Client that was released yesterday ready for more testing.

        For Linux gamers, this Beta brings with it some upgrades to the Linux Steam Runtime and the Linux Steam Runtime Container with “improved graphics drivers diagnostics”. Don’t know what we mean by Container? Recently Steam gained a new feature to enable you to run Linux games inside a special Linux Runtime Container. I have some high hopes that this container feature will reduce further any QA testing issues game developers have when deploying for Linux.

      • Creator of WebRTC now working on Google Stadia, Darksiders Genesis out plus more Stadia news

        We have more interesting news to share this morning about updates surrounding Google Stadia, the game streaming service.

        Firstly, engineer Justin Uberti who helped to created WebRTC and Google Duo has announced they’ve moved onto leading the Google Stadia engineering team. Google certainly need all the help they can get building their gaming platform, after such a rough launch. Uberti also mentioned that they will be hiring for Stadia in in Seattle/Kirkland (USA) so get in touch if working on cloud gaming sounds like your thing.

        Google have also finally put the Stadia store online in the browser, it’s no longer totally locked to the mobile app. This was one of the pain points of the early launch, although you likely still need to actually have a Stadia account and a Chromium-based browser to even access it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Pekwm: A lightweight Linux desktop

        Let’s say you want a lightweight desktop environment, with just enough to get graphics on the screen, move some windows around, and not much else. You find traditional desktops get in your way, with their notifications and taskbars and system trays. You want to live your life primarily from a terminal, but you also want the luxury of launching graphical applications. If that sounds like you, then Pekwm may be what you’ve been looking for all along.

        Pekwm is, presumably, inspired by the likes of Window Maker and Fluxbox. It provides an application menu, window decoration, and not a whole lot more. It’s ideal for minimalists—users who want to conserve resources and users who prefer to work from a terminal.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita Weekly #6

          I will just run through what are the folks did over the week. Dmitry is working on fixing the rendering of vector shapes. I gave it a try last day, though there are a few snitches here and there, but overall it was much faster than the current one. He also worked with a new contributor Fredrik and fixed the transform tool crash bug.

          Kai Uwe Broulik fixed almost year old regression which made the layer filter menu too narrow with the breeze theme. Tiar fixed a couple of bugs related to onion skins and selections along with her work on the implement tagging of resources in the new system. Also Wolthera can be seen working on the UI and resource models for the same. Ivan has finished his patch to accurately draw 1px lines. Amidst exams even I patched one of the bugs related to text tool, although I was the one who introduced that in the first place.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • New Local Build Environment Features

          We have just created osc 0.167 release which focuses on the local build functionality. It is way easier now to deal with VM builds (eg. inside of KVM) and also building for foreign hardware architecture becomes way easier now.

        • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 90

          As usual, during this sprint we have been working on a wide range of topics. The release of the next (open)SUSE versions is approaching and we need to pay attention to important changes like the new installation media or the /usr/etc and /etc split.

      • DRM

        • Disney+ Now Works in Linux After DRM Tweak

          Linux users can now stream shows and movies from the Disney+ streaming service after Disney lowering the level of their DRM requirements.

          When Disney+ was first launched, Linux users who attempted to watch shows and movies were shown an error stating “Something went wrong. Please try again. If the problem persists, visit the Disney+ Help Center (Error Code 83).”

        • Disney+ finally works on Linux!

          A little more than three weeks after the new Disney+ movie streaming service went officially live, the Disney company has added Linux support to their Widevine DRM protection. No more “Error 83”. No more need to install the Windows version of Chrome in Wine. Watching your favorite movies is now possible in the native Linux browsers – both Mozilla and Google based. Firefox will download the Widevine CDM (content delivery module) automatically, Chrome has the support built-in and for my Chromium package and other Chromium-based browsers you;ll have to install my chromium-widevine-plugin package.

      • Fedora Family

        • 5 cool terminal pagers in Fedora

          Large files like logs or source code can run into the thousands of lines. That makes navigating them difficult, particularly from the terminal. Additionally, most terminal emulators have a scrollback buffer of only a few hundred lines. That can make it impossible to browse large files in the terminal using utilities which print to standard output like cat, head and tail. In the early days of computing, programmers solved these problems by developing utilities for displaying text in the form of virtual “pages” — utilities imaginatively described as pagers.

          Pagers offer a number of features which make text file navigation much simpler, including scrolling, search functions, and the ability to feature as part of a pipeline of commands. In contrast to most text editors, some terminal pagers do not require loading the entire file for viewing, which makes them faster, especially for very large files.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Installer Bullseye Alpha 1 Released

          Debian 11 “Bullseye” isn’t expected to be released until well into 2021 but out today is the first alpha release of the Debian Installer that will ultimately power that next major Debian GNU/Linux release.

          This is just the first of many alpha releases today of the Debian Installer and not of the Debian Bullseye itself. Bullseye continues to serve as the Debian testing and many changes have been landing in the months since the Debian 10 “Buster” release.

        • Sparky Bonsai – a portable edition of SparkyLinux

          Sparky Bonsai is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian/Sparkylinux in a portable form. Taking advantage of the experience of portable distros such as Slax, Porteus, Puppy and DebianDog, we made a remix of our favor Debian-based distro SparkyLinux. The idea was to make a portable version of the linux distro having already installed at home, in cases we can’t, don’t need or wish to install it properly…

          …Sparky Bonsai lives in a USB flash 4GB minimum and run with 512 MB of RAM on x86 processors. At the moment it’s only available in 64bit version. It fits on a DVD or CD optical disk and runs in ext2/3/4, fat32, xfs, exFAT file systems. In order to load it to RAM, 1GB is recommended.

          It is a minimal Debian Buster file system using Debian linux kernel v. with the BusterDog’s modules for porteus boot, live-boot-3x and aufs support. Kernel updates are not available the way they are on a properly installed linux system. As you may know, BusterDog uses the Antix Linux init system. Sparky Bonsai uses systemd as pure Debian and Sparky Linux. If you don’t wish to use systemd, check the BusterDog (based on Antix) or Beowolf (based on Devuan).

          Sparky Bonsai use PCmanFM as file/desktop manager and JWM as windows manager. JWM’s menu construction is based on xdgmenumaker. It comes with Pale Moon as the default web browser, Mousepad as the default text editor and LXterminal as default terminal emulator. All DebianDog’s module and remaster scripts are included as well.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.3 Will be Released by Christmas

          Just in time for the holidays, the developers behind Linux Mint have announced that version 19.3 (Tricia) will be released by December 25. The beta for the upcoming iteration has already been made available (download from one of the official mirrors here) for the public to test.

          The latest iteration of Linux Mint contains a number of new features. One such features is the System Reports tool. This new tool detects potential issues on your computer (such as a missing language pack, multimedia codec, new firmware drivers, etc.).

        • Linux Mint 19.3 “Tricia” Beta Available To Download

          For the past many releases I have been covering Linux mint and in each release, the team has delivered what it had promised. Now the new release is getting closer, Mint users should know what’s going to be delivered in the coming release Linux Mint 19.3 “Tricia”.

          Yesterday Linux Mint 19.3 codenamed “Tricia” was released. It is a big milestone for developers to reach since this release reflects what the team has been working for. After reading the release note and also using it, it looks like the team is on its way to deliver another user-friendly, stable, and feature-rich OS.

          So let’s see what’s new in Linux Mint 19.3 “Tricia” Beta.


          Cinnamon 4.4 is more lightweight than its predecessors. Cinnamon 4.4 uses 28mb less memory than 4.2 and 4.3.

          In Linux mint 19.3, there are a few tweaks in the desktop environment. The system panel’s font & icons sizes can be adjusted differently. Uses can change the font & icon size of left of panel, center of the panel, and right of the panel separately.

        • Some Of The Possible Changes Coming For The Desktop With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          While we aren’t even half-way through the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS development cycle yet, Ubuntu’s Trello board provides a look at some of the changes and new features being at least considered for this next Ubuntu long-term support release.

          With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, the Focal Fossa, we’ve known about some items like working to drop Python 2 and never-ending GNOME performance work and continuing the great ZFS/Zsys integration introduced as experimental in Ubuntu 19.10. But there’s also more coming to this next Ubuntu release due out in April.

        • Web application development with Juju charms: an interview with Marc André Audet from Absolunet

          Targeting the web platform is increasingly complex. Tim McNamara, Developer Advocate in the Juju team at Canonical, recently interviewed Marc André Audet, Security Expert at Absolunet to discuss how Juju charms can be used for web application development. In the interview, you’ll learn about how to use Juju for web apps.


          Absolutely. Right now we have 2 clients in production using Juju, but we have spun up many sites for development, testing and sales purposes.

          I’ve automated everything so much that we only have to deploy a bundle and we get a ready-to-use environment from scratch in under 20 minutes on the AWS cloud. And for any version of Magento. As long as Magento retains backwards compatibility, no changes are needed.

          In the near future, we have plans to make it possible for anyone to spin up a new site with a single click, regardless of the intended use. With this, we expect to see an important increase in Juju usage and adoption at Absolunet.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Haiku almost-monthly activity report – October and November 2019

        The last two months have been quite busy for me and I had no time to write up a report. Remember that everyone is welcome to contribute to the website and if you wand to write the report from time to time, this would be much appreciated, by me because I wouldn’t need to do it, and by others because they will enjoy reading things written with a different style and perspective.

        Anyway, let’s look at what’s going on!

        Let’s start with the non-technical side of things. The months of october and november are traditionally quite active in Haiku (matching with our autumn-themed logo, of course). There was no BeGeistert this year, but I attended Alchimie and Capitole du Libre with mmu_man, while Korli, scottmc and Hy Che went to the GSoC mentor summit, which was in Germany this year.

        These events are an opportunity to advertise Haiku a bit, share ideas and projects with other alternative operating systems such as MorphOS, ReactOS, FreeBSD, or RTEMS, and overall meet other people working on open source software.

        All while managing this, we also had to get ready for Google Code-In, which is celebrating its 10th year. We are the only project with enough contributors and ideas to be able to participate every year since the contest was established, and look forward to what our contestants will accomplish this year. The first patches are already getting to our Gerrit code review.

      • BeOS-Inspired Haiku Continues Working On 64-bit ARM, Other Hardware Improvements

        The open-source Haiku operating system project working off inspirations from BeOS continued to be quite active over the past two months in adding various modern features and fixes to their platform.

        Some of the Haiku work tackled over October and November included:

        - Continued preparations around 64-bit ARM (AArch64) support for Haiku. Related is making the Haiku EFI code more platform agnostic to work both on x86_64 and ARM64.

      • How I Switched To Plan 9

        Hi, I’m SL. You may remember me from my classic appearances in contentious 9fans threads, or maybe you’ve read one of my books.

        I’m a veteran UNIX admin of 20+ years. I produced a bunch of multimedia stuff on a Macbook in the mid-2000s. I ran 9front on all my production servers and on my personal laptop (my main personal computer) almost exclusively from 2011 to 2017. In early 2017 I moved to a new job that involved a lot of traveling and infrequent access to WiFi. It also turned out that carrying a second laptop (besides my work laptop) added too much bulk/weight to all the stuff I already had to carry everywhere I went. I bought one of those early iPad Pros equipped with an LTE connection and did most of my necessarily mobile computing via that device for the better part of two years. I was able to rig up a command line connection to 9front using a native iOS SSH client and drawterm -G. I explained how this was accomplished in a previous blog post. Infrequently, I carried a ThinkPad X230 Tablet, and later a ThinkPad X250 along with me, piggybacking off the iPad’s WiFi tethering.

        The experience sucked. Replacing a general purpose computer with a jacked-up surveillance sensor package is not my idea of solving the problem of mobile computing. Lugging around extra pounds put a lot of strain on my already compromised back. Something had to give.

        No pun intended.

        Recently, I acquired a used ThinkPad X1 Tablet (1st Gen). This thing is small enough to fit in my bag, works well with both OpenBSD and 9front, and weighs almost as little as my iPad Pro with it’s folding keyboard cover. Finally, I’m back in business.

      • What motivates people to contribute to open source?

        Knowing what motivates people is a smart way to recruit contributors to an open source project—and to keep them contributing once they’ve joined.

        For his book How Open Source Ate Software, Red Hat’s Gordon Haff did a lot of research on the topic of motivation, and he shared some of it in his Lightning Talk at All Things Open 2019, “Why do we contribute to open source?”

        Watch Gordon’s Lightning Talk to learn about the three main types of motivation—extrinsic, intrinsic, and internalized extrinsic—what they are, and how they relate to open source communities.

      • Events

        • Jakub Steiner: Conferences

          This year I haven’t done any drone-related travelling. The sponsorship deal fell through and Rotorama didn’t participate in DCL. I admit I haven’t been practicing as much as I would need to to do any better in the local races either.

          So at least I got the world of FOSS to get out of the couch.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Newly born Firefox 71 emerges from its den – with its own VPN and some privacy tricks

            Patting itself on the back for blocking more than one trillion web tracking requests through its Enhanced Tracking Protection tech, Mozilla on Tuesday continued its privacy push with a further test of its Firefox Private Network service, an update to Firefox Preview Beta for Android, and the debut of its latest desktop browser, Firefox 71.

            Back in September, Mozilla began testing its Firefox Private Network (FPN), a virtual private network (VPN) service for browser traffic, enabled through a Firefox extension (add-on), and soon for protecting all applications on devices at the operating system level.

            That FPN beta test has now reached its next stage. Mozilla is inviting US users of the Firefox desktop browser with Firefox Accounts to try FPN out, for free, for up to 12 hours per month.

            “With the holidays around the corner, the FPN couldn’t come at a more convenient time,” said Marissa Wood, VP of product at Mozilla, in a blog post. “We know people are traveling and might have to rely on an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, like the one at the airport, at your local coffee shop, or even at your doctor’s office.”

            FPN creates a secure tunnel from the user’s browser or device to the internet, protecting any data passing through a Wi-Fi hotspot – if you must log into a public WiFi hotspot, you should use a VPN. Instead of providing the user’s IP address, it presents its own IP address, which makes tracking more difficult.

      • Funding

      • FSF

        • Librem 5 on the Free Software Foundation’s Ethical Tech Gift Giving Guide

          The Ethical Tech Gift Giving guide is a list of gifts approved by the FSF for our loved ones this festive season. It prioritizes devices that respect the freedoms of our friends and families over the latest gadget from Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, and countless other companies because “freedom is the gift that keeps on giving”. Big Tech require our complete trust in their proprietary exploitative systems, whether using a free email account, buying a heavily subsidized phone or tablet and even using a search engine. We pay for them by giving up the freedom over our lives and give them control to exploit us and our loved ones to increase shareholder value.

      • Public Services/Government

        • A Major Step for Open Source in Europe

          As long-time supporters of Open Source, we had high expectations of last week’s European Commission ambitious workshop ‘Open Source Beyond 2020’. These expectations were exceeded. The event gathered an impressive group of representatives of the relevant stakeholder groups, spanning industry, research, advocacy, and policy-making. But what was particularly encouraging was the way the Commission actively sought fresh ideas on how the Open Source opportunity for Europe could be maximised.

          It was helpful that DG CNECT and DIGIT jointly hosted the event, bringing together their experiences and initiatives. Two intensive days of insightful panels and discussions with practitioners from around Europe gave a strong feeling of pragmatism rather than rhetoric.

          Contributing to the Workshop CEO Sachiko Muto spoke on the role of Open Source as innovation enabler and the role of Standards in Open Source, and our research director Sivan Pätsch shared his insights on digital skills for Open Source. But it was particularly pleasing to see many of the OpenForum Academy Fellows giving expert opinion.

          Open Source has reached global ubiquity within software development so it is fundamental that Europe understands how to maximise the potential impact for economic development, business and citizens. The European Commission employed a proactive approach when it came to listening to the broad community in planning and delivering the workshop. This holds high hopes for the future of digital openness in Europe and possibilities of cross-industry and cross-institutional cooperation. But to date much of the success has come from bottom up initiatives. Just what are the policy and leadership measures that the Commission could take that would positively affect the outcome? Are there any? Are they really needed?

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Interactive (Touch) Musical Christmas Tree

            In this video I should how to build a capacitive touch Christmas tree that allows you to play music just by touching the ornaments. All it takes is a little bit of Python code, a Raspberry Pi, and a Bare Conductive Pi Cap.

          • How Machine Learning Will Generate up to $2 Trillion in Value for the Manufacturing Industry

            Open-Source Technologies Provide Innovative Solutions

            With the right skill set, data scientists in the manufacturing industry can provide a strategic advantage by implementing the use cases discussed here using Python and cutting edge open-source libraries like TensorFlow, scikit-learn, and scikit-image. For this reason, many manufacturing organizations would realize greater value from an enterprise machine learning platform that incorporates open-source libraries and tools rather than a point solution designed for a single use case.

          • Significant changes for some error messages in Python 3.8

            As I work on including more exceptions in Friendly-traceback, I am mostly pleasantly surprised by generally more precise error messages. For example, in Python 3.7, the following

            __debug__ = 1

            would yield “SyntaxError: assignment to keyword” which likely would baffle almost everyone looking up the list of Python keywords. In Python 3.8, that message has been replaced by the more precise: “SyntaxError: cannot assign to __debug__”. Much better, in my opinion, even though one may be surprised to learn about this constant.

          • SunPy Receives NASA Grant, Helps Generate Parker Solar Probe Results

            The one-year proposal, entitled “Supporting and extending SunPy for the heliophysics community,” will create a spectral datatype and provide more coordinate systems in SunPy. In addition, code snippets demonstrating the use of SunPy and other heliophysics-focused Python packages will also be created. Finally, an extensive analysis of the codebase will be performed in order to improve SunPy’s long-term maintainability. The PI is Jack Ireland (NASA GSFC), and the co-I is Andy Terrel (NumFOCUS). In addition, two SunPy affiliated packages were selected for funding from the same NASA program.


            A co-author on one of the results papers, David Stansby, previously published a short paper called “Predicting Large-scale Coronal Structure for Parker Solar Probe Using Open Source Software.” That short paper provided a completely open toolkit (pfsspy), built on the NumFOCUS stack, to make predictions of the Sun’s magnetic field structure. One of the key results presented in the new Nature paper grew directly out of this work, which relies heavily on SunPy, NumPy, SciPy, and Matplotlib.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Another surprising AWK trick

            So why is AWK ignoring everything but the numbers in returning “626″? Because “Strings are converted to numbers and numbers are converted to strings, if the context of the awk program demands it”. In this case AWK is told to subtract field 3 from field 2. Subtraction being a numbers operation, AWK treats the strings in the fields as numbers, and since ” lid” and “)” aren’t numbers, they’re ignored.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Google to stop indexing Flash for search

          Adobe laid out Flash’s demise two years ago when it disclosed that it would stop updating and distributing Flash Player at the end of 2020. At the same time, browser makers revealed how they were going to sunset the player software and thus put an end to the multimedia format.


          Shutting down Flash indexing will impact only a fraction of all websites: According to technology survey site W3Techs, only 3% of sites now utilize Flash code. That number climbs when more popular sites are polled; 8.4% of the top-1,000 sites, said W3Techs, contain Flash code.

  • Leftovers

    • Science