Links 28/11/2020: RenderDoc 1.11, GNOME 40 Scrolling Horizontally

Posted in News Roundup at 1:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds doubts Linux will get ported to Apple M1 hardware

        “I’d absolutely love to have one, if it just ran Linux,” Torvalds replied. “I’ve been waiting for an ARM laptop that can run Linux for a long time. The new [Macbook] Air would be almost perfect, except for the OS.”

        Torvalds, of course, can already have an ARM based Linux laptop if he wants one—for example, the Pinebook Pro. The unspoken part here is that he’d like a high-performance ARM based laptop, rather than a budget-friendly but extremely performance constrained design such as one finds in the Pinebook Pro, the Raspberry Pi, or a legion of other inexpensive gadgets.

        Apple’s M1 is exactly that—a high performance, desktop-and-laptop oriented system that delivers world-class performance while retaining the hyperefficient power and thermal characteristics needed in the phone and tablet world. On paper, an M1-powered Macbook Air would make a fantastic laptop for Linux or even Windows users—but it seems unlikely that Apple will share.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RenderDoc 1.11 Released As The Leading Open-Source, Cross-Platform Graphics Debugger – Phoronix

          RenderDoc 1.11 is out as the newest feature release for this leading open-source graphics debugger supporting platforms from Linux to Windows to the Nintendo Switch to even Google’s Stadia and supporting all major graphics APIs.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Starting Over

          Up until now, I’ve been relying solely on my Intel laptop’s onboard GPU for testing, and that’s been great; Intel’s drivers are robust as hell and have very few issues. On top of that, the rare occasions when I’ve found issues have led to a swift resolution.

          Certainly I can’t complain at all about my experience with Intel’s hardware or software.

          But now things are different and strange because I received in the mail a couple weeks ago a shiny AMD Radeon RX 5700XT.

          Mostly in that it’s a new codebase with new debugging tools and such.

          Unlike when I started my zink journey earlier this year, however, I’m much better equipped to dive in and Get Things Done.

        • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Development Now Being Done On RADV With Navi GPU

          Mike Blumenkrantz who has spent most of the year working on the “Zink” Gallium3D code for allowing universal OpenGL over Vulkan translation and took this Mesa code to OpenGL 4.6 compatibility and in some cases 90%+ the performance of a native OpenGL driver is now working on Zink development from a Radeon Navi graphics card with the RADV driver, which may in turn help uncover bugs and areas of optimizations for the open-source Radeon driver stack.

          Blumenkrantz, who is now being funded by Valve as another Linux graphics driver developer and at least for now will continue devoting significant amounts of time to Zink, has switched his development system from using Intel graphics with the ANV Vulkan driver to now in large part using a Radeon RX 5700 XT “Navi” graphics card with RADV.

    • Applications

      • Bashtop on openSUSE | Terminal

        I am generally behind the curve when it comes to the new hotness out there. Not sure what it is, maybe I am out of phase with the rest of the world, maybe just behind on my podcast listening or not really paying attention, so while everyone else has moved on to the next new hotness, I am hanging out in one-month-ago time and have enjoyed this thing called “Bashtop”

        What is Bashtop and why do I care?

        If you are a nerd about what your system is doing and like to see the numbers, charts graphs, etc, than Bashtop is going to be an application you absolutely adore. The little bits of information it gives you from CPU load, load average, and frequency is superb. The chart it produces on the CPU usage looks fantastic and really makes you wonder how they accomplished this when it is only in text mode. Truly a feat of terminal engineering!


        I have historically made htop my go-to terminal system monitoring application. I still think htop is good but I happen to enjoy the experience of Bashtop just a bit more. It feels more like a full fledged product as opposed to a terminal application. If you like such technical information, I highly recommend installing and trying bashtop. I believe you will really enjoy it.

        I have been informed, today, that there is yet another system resource application to try in the terminal called bpytop. That means, more relishable application exploration is on the horizon! Linux and open source software is so much fun!

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install SNAP on Linux Mint 20 – Linux Shout

        The snap universal package management has been removed by the Linux Mint 20 developers. Yes, out of the box, you can’t use the SNAP command as we do in Ubuntu.


        However, we can install most of the available Debian packages using the APT package manager, yet, if any of us still want to use the SNAP on Linux Mint, we can do that because being on the open-source OS, we are not bounded to any particular thing and it’s our choice what to use and what to not. Therefore, if any one of you is interested then here is the tutorial on it.

      • How to install PHP 8 on CentOS 8 & RHEL 8

        In this article, you will learn how to install the latest PHP version 8 on CentOS 8, RHEL 8 Linux distributions.

        PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages. Most of the websites on the internet are using PHP including Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia. There are many frameworks that are also built with PHP, like WordPress, Codeigniter, Laravel, etc.

        Even this website is using PHP. This blog is built on the WordPress framework which is written in PHP.

        So let’s go through the complete guide on how to install the latest stable release of PHP 8.0 on CentOS and REHL.

      • How To Install Pantheon Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Pantheon Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Pantheon is a default desktop environment for Elementary OS. It is developed by the same team that builds the elementary OS. It is written from scratch using Vala and the GTK3 toolkit and is widely known for its highly polished appearance.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Pantheon Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to check who’s logged in to your linux machine – The Linux Juggernaut

        If you have a linux server, It is absolutely necessary to know how to check the users that are logged in to your system and what they are doing. To do that, you have to get yourself familiar with number of different linux commands. In this guide, we will show you how to identify the user accounts on a linux system using commands like whoami, id, and more.

      • How To Install Xtreme Download Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Xtreme Download Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Xtreme Download Manager is a free and open-source download manager. XDM is cross-platform and is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is also compatible with all major web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox Quantum, Opera, Vivaldi, and many popular browsers.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Xtreme Download Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • cpupower-GUI – A Simple Graphical Tool to Adjust CPU Frequency | UbuntuHandbook

        CPUPower-GUI is a simple graphical utility allows to change the frequency limits of your cpu and its governor.

        With the tool, you can easily change the frequency settings based on CPU core by adjusting the sliders and clicking apply button.

        You can also change the cpu governor profiles, Performance and Balanced. And the profiles can be selected easily from the system tray indicator menu.

      • Enable Timestamp For History Command In Zsh In Linux – OSTechNix

        Enabling timestamp in history command output helps us to find when a certain command is executed in Linux. We already have seen how to enable timestamp in Bash history. Today let us see how to enable timestamp for history command in Zsh shell in Linux.

      • How to Resize LVM Partition Inside an Extended Partition

        Resizing a logical volume in Linux is not very difficult and can be achieved through very straightforward approach.

      • Do You Know How To Secure The OpenSSH Server?

        In the last few articles, we have installed the OpenSSH server know we will see how to secure OpenSSH Server.

        Already you know the SSH server is the best secure and simple and easy way to connect with the remote servers, router, and switches. Using OpenSSH gives you One more layer of security.

        At the time of installing we just too basic setup but you need to tweak more to get a highly secure way to connect.

        Few tweaks are required to harden security So, you just need to follow me and change or update the setting according to your need.

      • How to Go Full Dark Mode With LibreOffice

        LibreOffice is a free and open-source cross-platform office productivity software. If you’re not making the most of it, the LibreOffice Tips article is a must-read.

        Dark theme is getting popular even among non-programmers. It is less stressing on the eyes specially for extended use of the screen. Some people believe that it makes the texts looks crisp and clear and that helps improve their productivity.

        Some Linux distributions like Ubuntu come with dark mode these days giving your systems a darker tint. When you turn on the dark mode, some applications will automatically switch to dark mode.

      • How can I Identify who SSH into my Linux System?

        Identifying who has logged into your system in Linux is way easier than the Windows Operating System.

        In Linux System whenever someone tries to log in using SSH is recorded by the log file, the log file is located in /var/log/auth.log. location can be different in other distribution.

      • Mullvad and TailScale coexisting (or “Hello Nftables!”)

        The fix was simple eventually – add two rules to the rules created by Mullvad, allowing access to & from the tailscale interface. However, since I took a look at Nftables, and I am sure I’ll forget it in a few days, I wanted to jot down the commands here for future reference.

      • The Origin of the Shell

        CTSS was developed during 1963 and 64. I was at MIT on the computer center staff at that time. After having written dozens of commands for CTSS, I reached the stage where I felt that commands should be usable as building blocks for writing more commands, just like subroutine libraries. Hence, I wrote “RUNCOM”, a sort of shell driving the execution of command scripts, with argument substitution. The tool became instantly most popular, as it became possible to go home in the evening while leaving behind long runcoms executing overnight. It was quite neat for boring and repetitive tasks such as renaming, moving, updating, compiling, etc. whole directories of files for system and application maintenance and monitoring.

      • Self-modifying code in production

        YouTube famously uses a rolling cipher and effective downloader tools need to be able to decipher it to produce useful links to video files. The cipher changes every few days so downloader tools avoid the need for daily manual updates by automatically downloading the JavaScript implementation of the cipher from YouTube and caching the result.

        I use three downloader tools that have some automated mechanism for dealing with cipher updates.

      • The better way to make an Ubuntu 20.04 ISO that will boot on UEFI systems

        First, I’ve learned that you don’t want to extract ISO images with 7z, however tempting and easy it seems. 7z has at least two issues with ISO images; it will quietly add the El Torito boot images to the extracted tree, in a new subdirectory called ‘[BOOT]‘, and it doesn’t extract symlinks (and probably not other Rock Ridge attributes). The Ubuntu 20.04.1 amd64 live server image has some symlinks, although their presence isn’t essential.

        The two reliable ways I know of to extract the 20.04.1 ISO image are with bsdtar (part of the libarchive-tools package in Ubuntu) and with xorriso itself. Bsdtar is easier to use but you probably don’t have it installed, while you need xorriso anyway and might as well use it for this once you know how. So to unpack the ISO into our scratch tree, you want: [...]

      • How to Add Local User to Sudo Group in Debian Linux

        In Linux/Unix systems, sudo is a program that grants a regular user elevated privileges to execute administrator-level tasks. Once a regular user is added to the sudo group, they are able to carry out tasks that a reserve for the root user. Such include installing and removing software packages, starting and stopping services, updating and upgrading the system to mention a few.

      • How to Install PHP 8 on Debian – Cloudbooklet

        How to Install PHP 8 on Debian. This guide let you learn how install the latest PHP version 8 on your Debian system or your Debian server on any VPS or any Cloud or any Dedicated hosting and configure it with Apache and Nginx.

        The latest PHP 8 version is officially released on November 26th, 2020. It comes with a number of new features and a few incompatibilities that you should be aware of before upgrading from the previous version.

        This installation is tested on Google Cloud Platform with a Compute Compute Engine VM Instance. So this set up is guaranteed to work on all Linux based servers.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Bugfixes and bug triaging

          This week we worked very hard not only fixing bugs in our software, but also on triaging bugs in our venerable bug tracker, bugs.kde.org. Thanks to the coordinating efforts of Justin Zobel, the KDE BugSquad has been working harder than ever to separate the wheat from the chaff so developers can focus on what matters, rather than wading through a sea of obsolete reports and bugs that have been fixed ages ago. If this sounds like fun, please feel free to get involved!

        • KDE Closing Out November With More Plasma Wayland Fixes

          KDE developers remain as busy as ever even with pandemic and Christmas season upon us.

          It’s been another busy week of bug fixing in the KDE world. A new feature was added for allowing color previews within the Konsole when moving the mouse cursor over HTML color codes. But most of the prominent activity this week seems to revolve around bug fixes:

          - The Dolphin 20.12 file manager restores support for being able to launch AppImages and other executable files.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 App Grid Now Scrolls Horizontally

          The GNOME 40 is under development at the moment. And a recent change on App Grid functionality shows that it now scrolls horizontally.

        • GNOME 40 Mutter Moves Input Work To A Separate Thread

          An exciting addition for GNOME 40 is that the Mutter compositor will be punting the input work off to a separate CPU thread.

          The long in development effort by Red Hat’s Carlos Garnacho for restructuring Mutter so that the input work can be handled in a separate CPU thread has finally reached the state where on Friday it was merged into Git.

          This merge request has been open for the past three months but merged on Friday to handle input on a separate thread.

          By moving the input work to a separate thread should allow for avoiding possible blocked cursor pointer situations, better dealing with high frequency input devices, ensuring no libinput events are missed, and just being a superior architecture.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Ardour updated to 6.5.0 » PCLinuxOS

          Ardour is a digital audio workstation. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio. You can produce your own CDs, mix video sound tracks, or just experiment with new ideas about music and sound.

        • Ardour updated to 6.5.0 » PCLinuxOS

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

        • Calibre updated to 5.6.0 » PCLinuxOS

          Songkong is an intelligent music tagger app designed to make the task of managing, organizing and cleaning up your digital music collection easy. Lite version is free. Professional version requires purchase of a license.

        • Songkong updated to 6.11 » PCLinuxOS

          ClipGrab is a multi-platform software package for downloading videos from various websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion or Facebook. It has been praised for its user-friendliness.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Reorganization and migration of Mercurial repositories

            Since Richard Stallman adopted GNU Health in 2011, the development environment has been hosted at GNU Savannah, which generously provided a mercurial (hg) repository, that has been in use since then.

            Many years have passed, and GNU Health is today a Libre digital health ecosystem made of different components.

            In the last couple of years, GNU Health has been facing a tremendous growth, both in the community and in the development environment, yet, the hosting facilities at Savannah has remained pretty much the same.

            One of the issues I have faced is not being able to have multiple mercurial repositories to match all the new components. To give you an idea, this is a list of the GNU Health ecosystem components from 2011 and 2020.

      • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Failed States of Conscience

        Keen leads the reader through three stages in the journey toward his unsettling conclusions – Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, which roughly correspond to the past, present and future of the Internet’s development. He begins with Web 1.0, reminding us of the Internet’s paranoia-driven beginnings. There might not be the online environment we have all come to depend on if not for the US military panic over the Soviet launching of the Sputnik satellite in 1959, which demonstrated an unimagined first-strike capability and made militarists aware of the catastrophic vulnerabilities of the national telecommunications system.

        Keen details the discovery and implementation of two still-key electronic protocols – TCP/IP – that would allow any two computers anywhere in the world to speak and share with one another. It was rather like a Westphalian treaty for data, which provided standardization of rules – protocols – making communication uniform and universal, as the system reduced all human languages to logical data bits. Once generals were certain they’d developed a system of networked computers capable of reliably talking to one another even in the event of nuclear war – they called it ARPANET – they breathed a sigh of relief from within the padded walls of the Cold War policy known as Mutally Assured Destruction (MAD).

      • I Rest My Case

        Jeff Rothenberg’s seminal 1995 Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents focused on the threat of the format in which the documents were encoded becoming obsolete, and rendering its content inaccessible. This was understandable, it was a common experience in the preceeding decades. Rothenberg described two different approaches to the problem, migrating the document’s content from the doomed format to a less doomed one, and emulating the software that accessed the document in a current environment.

        The Web has dominated digital content since 1995, and in the Web world formats go obsolete very slowly, if at all, because they are in effect network protocols. The example of IPv6 shows how hard it is to evolve network protocols. But now we are facing the obsolescence of a Web format that was very widey used as the long effort to kill off Adobe’s Flash comes to fruition. Fortunately, Jason Scott’s Flash Animations Live Forever at the Internet Archive shows that we were right all along. Below the fold, I go into the details.

  • Leftovers

    • Channeling Mad Men On Black Friday

      Mad Men spoilers to follow. Also to be spoiled is anti-consumer Black Friday Scrooges.

      Black Friday, the day where everything is cheap and people buy it is coming up. A lot of people seem to be outraged about consumerism. It’s the disease infecting “the people”. Just like fascism infects “the people”. Give me a break!

    • Maradona: the Bolivarian Soccer Genius

      The hundreds of thousands of tributes being paid throughout the world portray a particular image: Maradona in close solidarity with the biggest progressive leaders of the social reformist wave embraced by the peoples of Latin America, the so called Pink Tide. In fact, Maradona put to the service of the Bolivarian revolution in Latin America all his fame, his influence and his skilled legs. He embraced the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina and more, by developing deep friendships with Fidel, Raúl, Lula, Evo, Hugo, Nicolás, Daniel, the Kirchners, and many more.

      Maradona was for the people of South America what Mohamed Ali was for Black America.

    • Maradona, Soccer’s God has Died

      Maradona came from a very poor family, and he became a very rich man, but he dilapidated his fortune in alcohol and drugs. Although when he as a player he was in remarkable physical form, at the end of his life he became overweight and was plagued with several serious ailments. I believe, however, that very few people ever provoked the kind of admiration that he did.

      He will be always remembered for the extraordinary performance of Argentina against the British during the 1986 Word Cup in Mexico, winning the final game against West Germany to become world champions. With his two goals against the British his legend was cemented forever. The notoriety of his first goal and the majesty of his second goal led the French newspaper L’Equipe to describe him as “half-angel, half-devil”.

    • Prosecutors pull Hitler stamps off the shelves in Russia’s Oryol region

      Prosecutors in Russia’s western Oryol region have managed to get postage stamps featuring a portrait of Nazi Germany’s leader Adolf Hitler withdrawn from sale. According to the head of the Karelia-based community organization that printed the stamps, they were meant to underscore the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The Oryol Regional Prosecutor’s Office, on the other hand, concluded that the stamps violate Russia’s federal law banning the use of Nazi symbols.

    • Don’t Cancel Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

      Holiday specials, a staple of North American childhoods since the early 1960s, are increasingly falling victim to our fragmented media culture. Just as the liturgical calendar gave structure to the lives of the medieval peasants, an equally ritualized TV schedule shaped a communal culture in the era of the cathode tube: The Ten Commandments for Easter, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for Halloween, and then, after Thanksgiving, a slew of familiar shows and movies revisited every year: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, It’s a Wonderful Life, and the many iterations of A Christmas Carol.

    • The Lies of Faith and Youth’s Search for Meaning

      The entrenched situation the primary characters find themselves in are both unique to their families’ particular Muslim observances and as universal as the struggle between generations. There are times when that generational struggle is fought primarily inside families. In other words, there is never a question among those participating that the younger generation will accept the parents’ world for their own. There are other times when that struggle is part and parcel of a greater dynamic; a dynamic that affects the entire world. It is when this happens that the world changes, that revolutions and counterrevolutions occur. The period we call the Sixties was one such period for much of the world. This time is arguably such a period in the Muslim world. There is a struggle that involves cultural identity, anti-imperialism, and individual freedom. In Bhutto’s Runaways, that struggle is reflected in each character’s internal search for a meaning to their life—something more than the next iPhone or the next sexual encounter. In fact, something which provides a lifelong meaning in a seemingly meaningless existence. Something that helps make sense of the world.

      As the 1960s turned into the 1970s, many young people looking for more than what they had found began studying the works of Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Their lessons helped the world become clear. The path to a better world became clear, even if it meant that some people had to die. There were those who understood the texts they were reading were from a certain time and that the ideas and methods presented wee dialectical, not static. However, there were many more who missed that part of the conversation, attempting to apply nineteenth-century restrictions to twentieth-century change, becoming dogmatic and intolerant in the process. Consequently, instead of the movement to make the world a better place becoming more popular, it shrank until only a few hardcore believers remained. For the rest, life had to go on. Some gave up their ideals, some kept them and expanded on them. It seems safe to say that all became more cynical about the possibility for a better world. Perhaps it was the most cynical of all who turned to terrorism or became the political opposite of what they were, becoming ultra-right fanatics hell-bent on destroying the politics of their past.

    • Where is Authority for Inclusivity?

      BTW I take my chances as a writer on a leftward website saying anything good about Andrew Cuomo. Opening an essay with him is likely suicidal. But, I argue, this is not a political endorsement! It is a protest against cancel culture, as everything I write is. Please – must I beg? – don’t cancel me! I need my Cuomo example to make my point – (which, in part, I’ve just revealed).

      Governor Cuomo’s daily pandemic briefings last spring were instances of someone in public office for once using it for the common good at the risk of making himself extremely unpopular with many constituents. The arguments he gave for mask-wearing weren’t intended to appease anyone, but were aimed at those of us whose compliance he needed. As the numbers kept rising, each of those numbers, Cuomo reminded us tirelessly – just as though relationships matter – was someone’s grandmother, father, aunt, cousin, etc. This is not political, he repeated, knowing that cynical ears, the ones smoldering over some other controversial decision he’d made, such as the NYS SAFE Act, or his refusal to tax Wall Street billionaires would respond, Yeah, sure, no matter what he said! The assurance he gave us was of a special kind, rarely voiced by politicians; his explicit inclusion of the ones least able to protect themselves meant, to the specially tuned ears of the heart, all of us were included.

    • Dear Orange Man Bad: An Open Letter From the Enemy of Your Enemy

      Well, winter is coming with a vengeance and I’m guessing that you’re feeling pretty bummed. I’ve noticed the dayglo orange has drained from your cheeks and your once histrionic tirades have taken on all the petty melodrama of a garden variety adolescent hissy fit. And who could blame you? After months of some of the finest race baiting since Willie Horton danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, after what felt like years of a vast Soros funded conspiracy of Black lesbian Bolsheviks and fire breathing Mau Mau flag desecrators coming to put their filthy Marxist fingers all over a daughter near you, even the excitable suburban soccer moms have agreed that they’d rather spend the next four years with a disintegrating fossil like Biden than the next four minutes with you. Tough blow motherfucker! And usually that would be all I have left to say to a glorified chatroom troll getting his comeuppance but, believe it or not, the two of us have something in common and I think it might just be something worth looking into.

      I know what your thinking, what could you possibly have in common with me? On paper we couldn’t be more different. I’m everything you despise; a BLM supporting, Marx quoting, genderqueer anarchist dyke. I “chose” to be a woman and I don’t even have a pussy to grab, just a tiny limp dick like yours and a big set of those things you gave to Bibi Netanyahu for the keys to the White House. I probably disgust you, and trust me honey, the feeling is more than mutual. As far as I can tell, you’ve spent your whole miserable existence failing your way to the top, burning other people’s money like Marlboros just to grab another pack from the taxpayer’s pocket so you can buy more gaudy crap no one on earth needs and get your rocks off next to Bill Clinton with some teenage sex slave on Jeffrey Epstein’s private airline. As far as I can tell, you’re all the toxic byproducts of state sponsored crony capitalism poured into one disgusting lumpy orange beanbag chair and you’ve generally ran the White House like a call girl service for Israel and their head-chopping peace-pals in the Persian Gulf.

    • The Pardon of Corn

      Two of the turkeys in the Rose Garden almost certainly were slightly worried knowing that, absent a pardon, they would almost certainly soon find themselves lying in repose in someone’s oven from which they would be moved to the dining room table and an inglorious end.  The other turkey had a similar concern although absent a pardon his fate would not be known until many months after January 20.  As he well knew, the absence of a pardon might mean a jail cell rather than an oven.

      To the extent the turkeys had an awareness of the control the trump had over their futures, they may have believed that the future of one of them was secure-for good reason.  They had probably been told of the three earlier ceremonies that had taken place during the trump administration in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday during which one of the participants was always pardoned.  Furthermore, in anticipation of the exciting event, the turkeys’ owner had almost certainly told them of some of the pardons the trump had given during the period the power to pardon belonged to him.   Their  owner would have told them  about the pardon given former Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio who was convicted of “immigrant roundups” while serving as sheriff. He would have told them of the pardon given vice-president Pence’s former chief of staff who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.  He would have told them of the pardon given Roger Stone, a long-time friend of the trump who was convicted on charges of witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding and five counts of making false statements  in an investigation of the trump campaign.  And those names were just a just a smattering of those who had been pardoned by the trump, the owner would have explained to them.

    • Short Dialogue between Hyman and Phil in Opposition to Neoliberalists – With Apologies to Berkeley

      Berkeley included in title of his work: ‘in opposition to Sceptics and Atheists’.

      Plato also employed technique of ‘Dialogue’; -as indeed more recent did C.S. Lewis in ‘The Screwtape Letters’ – wherein ‘dialogue’ assumes the form of letters one fictional character to another – context of religious polemic against the hierarchy of satan evidenced as apperceived thru the category ‘senior demon’ to ‘junior tempter’ as ‘intimative’.

    • Thanksgiving à la Mode

      In culinary terms and tastes, this francophile feast is an ocean away from Squanto and Miles Standish and their roast turkey and other meats, dried corn, beans and pumpkins. It’s a menu that might have sent the most ardent New Worlders paddling frantically back to Europe for those Gâteaux à la Napolitaine.

      Two-and-half-centuries on from the first Thanksgiving, these Americans abroad were celebrating with three soups, including a crayfish bisque (crayfish perhaps evoking something of New England); four fish dishes (turbot, cod, hake, and smelt); then it was on to the entrées (smaller items that preceded the main course), among them the chicken “à la Washington” (the first American President lauded in one of the toasts for having freed his own slaves, though only posthumously); other delicacies among this course were the veal sweetbreads with sorrel and game meatballs “à la Lincoln.” The Grosses Pièces (main course) include the obligatory turkeys (Dindons), but these were stuffed with truffles. How difficult it would have been to leave room for the chicken “à la Prairie” and the roast gosling in potato sauce, not to mention the mutton loin and beef. The diners were men and women of stature—and of girth.

    • IBM reportedly cutting 10,000 employees from European services unit

      International Business Machines Corp. is planning to eliminate about 10,000 jobs from its European services unit to cut costs ahead of a spinoff of the division next year, according to a report today from Bloomberg.

      The job cuts would affect about 20% of IBM staff in the region, with the biggest cuts coming to offices in the U.K. and Germany. Offices in Poland, Slovakia, Italy and Belgium will also reportedly see their headcounts cut as well.

    • Science

      • Anti-lockdown ideologues’ “science” is now as bad as antivaccine “science”

        One of the most notable things about the COVID-19 pandemic has been how fast two science denialist movements made common cause and, in essence, fused to become one movement. I’m referring, of course, to the antivaccine cranks/grifters and COVID-19 deniers/minimizers/antimaskers/cranks/grifters, who rapidly formed an unholy alliance that ultimately added QAnon conspiracy theorists to the mix to form one of the most toxic groups of conspiracy theorists ever seen. I note that by “toxic,” I don’t just mean toxic personalities, but I also mean toxic to science, medicine, public health, and the politics of trying to respond to the pandemic, with antivaxxers frequently augmenting COVID-19 deniers at various rallies and events, all the while crying “censorship,” infusing the COVID-19 denialist movement with antivaccine pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, and even launching a pre-emptive disinformation war against COVID-19 vaccines. Just two examples, antivax leader and propagandist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has gone all-in on COVID-19 minimization/denial, and Del Bigtree, who made the antivaccine propaganda film VAXXED with Andrew Wakefield, has urged his listeners to “catch this cold” in order to build up herd immunity among the “healthy,” because, to him, COVID-19 is not dangerous except to those who deserve to be endangered, specifically those with chronic conditions due to overeating, lack of exercise, excess drink, and the like. It was blaming the victim at its most blatant, very typical of antivaccine activists, typical of antivaccine nonsense. That’s not the only antivaccine tactic that COVID-19 denialist/minimizers have adopted, however; they’ve also started abusing the ecological fallacy, the same way antivaxxers have been doing for at least 12 years, which is the first time I noticed it, this time in the context of claiming that lockdowns don’t work.

    • Education

      • One in five British kids don’t know milk comes from cows

        Research has revealed the bizarre beliefs that primary school kids have about where basic essentials, such as bread and milk, and treats like chocolate originate from.

        Of the 1,000 children quizzed, one-fifth (21%) didn’t know milk comes from cows while a tenth (11%) believe milk comes from supermarkets.

        A fifth of kids believe bread is made on a farm (18%) while one-in-ten (11%) believe chocolate is made there too.

      • Many school children have no idea where milk comes from

        The research, by leading dairy cooperative Arla, revealed the lack of understanding may be compounded by the fact that one in ten (9%) had never been to a farm before.

        Ex-Blue Peter host and Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton is backing the campaign, which has seen Arla release a kid-friendly book to bust the myths surrounding dairy farming.

      • Differing Mask Mandates in Georgia Schools Put Teachers at Risk for COVID

        On a balmy August morning in Emanuel County in eastern Georgia, hundreds of children bounded off freshly cleaned school buses and out of their parents’ cars. They were greeted by the principal, teachers and staff at Swainsboro Middle School who hadn’t seen them in four months. Before allowing the children to enter, a longtime receptionist beamed a temperature gun at their foreheads and checked for violations of the public school’s strict dress code: mostly neutral colors, nothing tight and no shoulders exposed.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Cruel Slap in the Face’: Senate GOP Quietly Pushing Pay Freeze for Federal Workers Amid Deadly Pandemic

        “We call on lawmakers to reject this insulting maneuver,” said the president of the largest union of federal employees.

      • Why COVID-19 Granted the U.S. Most Favored Nation Status

        The first and most obvious answer is that its government has been headed by a fascist lunatic who has fanned and fueled the pandemic in numerous overlapping ways: publicly denying its lethal impact while privately understanding its deadly nature; falsely and repeatedly claiming that the virus would soon disappear; backing paranoid-style protests of elementary public health protections; promoting quack cures; setting states against each other in the race for federal medical supplies; failing to order a mask mandate and a comprehensive national testing plan; failing to use the Defense Production Act to direct the manufacture of sufficient medical equipment; demeaning medical and public health expertise; modeling reckless virus-spreading behaviors; mocking and  politicizing mask-wearing; holding numerous super-spreader rallies and other COVID-19-promoting events.

        As with climate change and more, Trump has disdained science, facts, and proper policy and practices. In 2018, he closed a federal office created precisely to prepare for pandemics. Last January, he blew off coronavirus warnings and advice from intelligence officials and his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Beginning in 2017, Trump removed dozens of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s office in China, where the disease originated. Last July, he slashed funding from an American epidemiologist working in China’s leading disease agency.

      • ‘Bleak Milestone’: More Than 100,000 Nursing Home Residents and Staff Killed by Pandemic

        Forty percent of all Covid-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in long-term care facilities. 

      • As US Hospitalizations Hit New Record, Fauci Warns Pandemic Not Expected to Ease for Holidays

        As travelers ignored warnings, Thanksgiving marked the 24th consecutive day of more than 100,000 new daily Covid-19 cases in the United States.

      • ‘Hunger Like They’ve Never Seen It Before’: US Food Banks Struggle as 1 in 6 Families With Children Don’t Have Enough to Eat

        “We’re now seeing families who had an emergency fund but it’s gone and they’re at the end of their rope,” said one Texas food bank director. 

      • Desperation and Hope Amid the Wuhan Outbreak

        On January 23, the day the Chinese central government locked down Wuhan, the filmmaker Hao Wu flew from New York City to Shanghai to celebrate Lunar New Year with his parents. Hundreds of miles away from the world’s first known Covid-19 outbreak, Shanghai residents were staying in. Even without a formal lockdown, gatherings were canceled. The city streets were empty. It was like living in the movie Contagion, Wu recalled.

      • The Focus on Wild Horses Distracts From the Massive Damage Caused by the Livestock Industry

        In the article, the writer characterizes the wild horse issue as an “emotional battle,” and correctly observes, “Many ranchers see the mustangs as an overpopulated invasive species that competes for the public land their livestock grazes.”

        However, the reality is that wild horses are only bit players in a very real, West-wide ecological battle in which the livestock industry is the principle antagonist. Domestic cattle and sheep (not horses) are the most significant overpopulated invasive species, competing for the public land that our wildlife – elk, mule deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep – need to survive.

      • Ricardo Salvador on US’s Dysfunctional Food System

        This week on CounterSpin: As those that celebrate tuck into our Thanksgiving dinner, this year as every year, we’re encouraged to be grateful for what we have, as symbolized by the food on the table. This year, as every year, we ought also to acknowledge the work that brings that harvest from the earth to the plate.

      • How the Privatization of Medicine in India Is Accelerating Its COVID-19 Death Toll

        To ensure that his sick mother received the best treatment, Singh, a self-employed motor mechanic in the small town of Bilaspur, in Chhattisgarh, India, decided to take her to a popular private hospital nearby. She had been running a fever since July 7 and had also developed breathlessness by July 9. Singh rushed her to the hospital, and when they reached the emergency department around 8 p.m., her oxygen levels were dangerously low. The hospital ordered a battery of tests for COVID-19 and quickly admitted her to an intensive care unit to give her oxygen and medicine. In the first eight hours of his mother being admitted to the hospital, Singh deposited Rs 34,000 ($455) and then paid another Rs 1,96,000 ($2,627) over the next four days. To arrange money for his mother’s treatment, Singh had to sell off two and a half acres of land that he owned in his native village. Despite all his efforts, his mother’s condition worsened progressively, and she died on July 16. While still grieving the loss of his beloved mother, he was further stressed about how his family would survive the next month with most of his resources having been exhausted during his mother’s treatment.

        Also in the state of Chhattisgarh, when 60-year-old Savani Bai from the village of Dhanokhar developed mild symptoms of COVID-19, she spoke to a doctor on the state helpline and was advised to go to the hospital. Since all the government hospital beds were occupied, she had to be admitted to the same private hospital in Bilaspur as Singh’s mother, where she was admitted to a general COVID ward. During her 10-day hospitalization, she was given acetaminophen and was kept under daily observation to ensure her condition was not worsening. For this basic treatment, she ended up spending Rs 85,000 ($1,137) and had to mortgage her one-acre farm to meet her hospital expenses.

      • I Got COVID at Work. I Won’t be the Last One

        And there I was, working the floor of a big box store during a pandemic. It was all hands on deck as COVID-19 hit the country and my Kansas town.

        We had lines wrapping around the building and no way to know how many people we had in the store. We tried to control incoming numbers from the front, but no one was counting those exiting. We had cones and arrows to try to manage the flow, but customers weren’t following directions.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Someone attacked our company

        At the start of November, someone decided that they would try to destroy our company. They subjected us to multiple, malicious, targeted DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks over two weeks. They intended to damage the integrity of our customers’ data and take our service offline. This attack wasn’t random and it wasn’t just your typical spam. This attack was targeted at Fathom and was intended to put us out of business.

      • Proprietary

        • Manchester United being held to RANSOM by cyberhackers who STILL have control over their computers [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The embarrassing lapse of security at one of the world’s biggest sports clubs is believed to be far more serious than first feared.

          United’s network has been infected by ransomware – a computer virus – and they now face the option of having to pay up or risk seeing highly sensitive information about the club and its stars leaked into the public domain.

          It’s unclear who the criminals are or how much they want, but the NCSC revealed that in the last year an EFL club were hit with a £5m demand and the biggest single loss to a sports organisation from cyber crime was £4m.

          United could also face fines of £9m, £18m or two per cent of their total annual worldwide turnover from the independent government body Information Commissioner’s Office if the attack is found to have breached their fans’ data protection – although the club last night reassured supporters that is not the case.

        • The emerging cybersecurity headaches awaiting Biden

          The incoming administration will face a slew of cybersecurity-related challenges, as Joe Biden takes office under a very different environment than existed when he was last in the White House as vice president.

          The big picture: President-elect Biden’s top cybersecurity and national security advisers will have to wrestle with the ascendancy of new adversaries and cyberpowers, as well as figure out whether to continue the more aggressive stance the Trump administration has taken in cyberspace.

          Here are details on some key challenges confronting Biden: [...]

        • Security

          • Sophos tight-lipped about data breach, no lessons learnt from WannaCry bungle

            It’s surprising that global cyber security firm Sophos has hidden from public view the fact that it has suffered a security breach which is said to have taken place during the week.

          • Why Aren’t Viruses a Problem on Chrome OS?

            Chrome OS has a reputation for being virus-proof. Google likes to boast about how secure its operating system is compared to others. Are Chromebooks really immune to viruses, though? And, if so, how do they achieve this? Allow us to explain.

            First, let’s consider what a computer virus actually is. Viruses fall under the umbrella of “malware.” They’re destructive because they inject a code into a file (usually, one that’s executable), and when that file is run, the malicious code is released.

            Once the code is released on your system, it can do any number of malicious things, like destroy data, overwrite files, or even replicate itself and spread to other systems.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Google ordered to disclose emails in Russia oligarch’s divorce

              A federal judge in San Jose, Calif., has ordered Google to hand over emails from the son of Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov, a billionaire who has been embroiled in a four-year, $600 million divorce battle with his ex-wife.


              The information from the emails will be used to determine whether Temur helped his father in the fraudulent transfer of millions of dollars in assets, Bloomberg reported.

            • Google Must Disclose Emails in Russian Oligarch’s Divorce

              U.S. Magistrate Judge Virginia M. DeMarchi said she was inclined to comply with the London court’s ruling allowing Akhmedova to seek her son’s emails from Google. The judge said the information released should not go beyond the requirements of the litigation in London.

              The information from the emails will be used to learn whether Temur assisted his father in the fraudulent transfer of assets, and if so, to win a judgment against him, Tatiana Akhmedova said in a filing.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Expansion and Mass Eviction: Israel ‘Takes Advantage’ of Trump’s Remaining Days in Office

        “These days are an irreplaceable opportunity to establish our hold on the Land of Israel, and I’m sure that our friend, President (Donald) Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu will be able to take advantage,” Miki Zohar, a member of the Likud Party was quoted in the Christian Science Monitor.

        By “these days”, Zohar was referring to the remaining few weeks of Trump’s term in office. The US President was trounced by his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, in the presidential elections held on November 3.

      • On to Normalcy

        Many CounterPunch readers are likely familiar with Major General Smedley Butler but far too few are aware among the broad public, which is why we describe ourselves with his name. It is no accident that he has been erased from ideological history. When I was in Marine basic training in 1965 all of us “boots” were regaled with the heroics of Butler’s career and his two congressional medals- the ultimate badge of “manhood” in our toxic militarized culture. Nothing was ever revealed about his denunciation and excoriation of the military exploits he came to comprehend as raw imperialist exploitation. As one of the few who rose to the heights of the military establishment at the time he remains unique and unheralded to this day. He knew first hand of the deceptions that led to American incursions into the Caribbean, Central America, and China and ultimately World War I. He was, he avowed, “a racketeer for capitalism” and had acted as a “gangster for the bankers.” He revealed to Congress a secret plot by agents of Wall Street to overthrow the election of Franklin Roosevelt that was quickly hushed up and spent the last years of his life condemning what he knew to be surreptitious plans to enter World War-Round II. No other general officer in American history has ever been so honest about the realities of American foreign policy and had the moral courage to speak out. No such rectitude will be forthcoming from the likes of four-star marine generals James Mattis or John Kelly, both now in highly paid retirement as consultants to the very arms corporations that, with Big Oil, and major banks dominate U.S. foreign policy.

        A primary reason the U.S. entered World War I was the perception among corporate barons that the occasion of Europe’s self-destruction was a gilded opportunity to insert the U.S. and eventually restructure the global system to the benefit of American capital, to extend the “Open Door” to the entire planet. Indeed, American capital abetted the postwar restitution of Germany’s industry and its ability to rearm, thus a major factor leading to Round Two of the centuries-long inter-imperial war. The U.S. entered that war deceitfully, willing to sacrifice over 400,000 American lives but emerging as the only viable economy, upon which the reconstruction of the planetary system would ensue. World War II also advanced the development and manufacture of cataclysmic weapons, especially nukes, and the profits that accrued to immensely powerful institutions.

      • Keeping the Empire Running: Britain’s Global Military Footprint

        Phil Miller’s rich overview of Britain’s military footprint for Declassified UK shows it to be heavy. “The size of the global military presence is far larger than previously thought and is likely to mean that the UK has the second largest military network in the world, after the United States.” The UK military, for instance, has a presence in five countries in the Asia-Pacific: naval facilities in Singapore; garrisons in Brunei, drone testing facilities in Australia; three facilities in Nepal; a quick reaction force in Afghanistan. Cyprus remains a favourite with 17 military installations. In Africa, British personnel can be found in Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Mali. Then come the ever dubious ties to Arab monarchies.

        The nature of having such bases is to be kind to your host, despite him being theocratic, barking mad, or an old fashioned despot with fetishes. Despite the often silly pronouncements by British policy makers that they take issue with authoritarians, exceptions numerous in number abound. The UK has never had a problem with authoritarians it can work with or despots it can coddle. A closer look at such relations usually reveal the same ingredients: capital, commerce, perceptions of military necessity. The approach to Oman, a state marked by absolute rule, is a case in point.

      • China Stabilizes as the West Dithers

        It isn’t about what happened, it’s about what will happen. Our time has come is the catchphrase, a rallying cry. The people are told they have been cheated. It won’t happen again. We are the justice seekers. Upend the global trade order, it is skewed against us. This is heady stuff.

        These are not the viewpoints of the (current) occupant of the White House but rather of another world leader.

      • ‘Intended to… Set the Stage for War’? Questions and Warnings Follow Assassination of Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist

        “This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” said Iran’s top diplomat.

      • Hyper-Patriarchal Saudi Arabia Equates Mild Feminism With Terrorism, as Sen. Murphy Calls on Biden To Review Ties With Kingdom

        There is nothing in Islam that forbids women to drive, and all the 900 million Muslim women have all along driven except in Saudi Arabia.

      • US Intervenes as Venezuela Prepares for High Stakes Election

        Ambassador Story took his post in Bogotá, Colombia. No, this is not another example of Trump’s bungling by sending his man to the wrong capital. The US government does not recognize the democratically elected government in Caracas.

        Impasse of two Venezuelan presidents

      • Why Imperialism is Obsolete in Latin America

        In September 2018, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro visited China, where he met with China’s President Xi Jinping and signed a series of important agreements on trade and culture. Toward the end of his stay, Maduro said that the two countries had built “a relationship of mutual benefit, of shared gain.”

        Among these agreements was one that highlights the depth of the collaboration: this was for China to participate with the Great Venezuela Housing Mission (GMVV) to build more than 13,000 homes in the El Valle parish in Caracas. The focus of the international media has been on the oil trade between China and Venezuela, and in the aid from China to Venezuela; but the connections go deeper, into the social life of the people who are struggling to emerge from deprivation.

      • Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara — A Rare Look Inside Africa’s Last Colony as Ceasefire Ends

        In this special rebroadcast of a Democracy Now! exclusive documentary, we break the media blockade and go to occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and Morocco’s violent crackdown. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community. Thousands have been tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared while resisting the Moroccan occupation. A 1,700-mile wall divides Sahrawis who remain under occupation from those who fled into exile. Earlier this month, a three-decade ceasefire in Western Sahara ended after the Moroccan military broke into a southern no-go buffer zone on November 13 to attack Sahrawi civilians and exchanged fire with the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi liberation movement seeking independence. Morocco’s action came shortly after a top U.S. general met with the commander of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces Southern Zone, which includes occupied Western Sahara. As Morocco and the Polisario engage on the battlefront, dozens have been arrested in the occupied territory. In late 2016, Democracy Now! managed to get into the Western Saharan city of Laayoune, becoming the first international news team to report from the occupied territory in years. Many of the Sahrawis in this film are currently under police siege or in hiding.

      • German government publishes roadmap on drone armament

        The governing coalition of Christian and Social Democrats wants to introduce armed drones in a hurry before the Bundestag elections. More and more SPD members of parliament are now positioning themselves against it

      • An ‘Implicit Approval If There Ever Was One’: Trump Retweets Post Calling Assassination of Iranian Scientist a ‘Major’ Blow

        “If the U.S. was involved with this assassination, it will be further evidence on top of the already heaping pile that Trump, Pompeo, and the other war hawks will do everything in their power to prevent the Biden administration from succeeding at diplomacy with Iran.”

      • Escaping the Armed Madhouse

        What a gift to receive new material from Robert Anton Wilson, more than 13 years after his passing. Originally written in 1972, The Starseed Signals brings together many familiar themes we see throughout his subsequent work: Timothy Leary’s eight circuit model of consciousness; model agnosticism; Wilson’s autobiographical account of 1960s and 70s counterculture; skewering political and cultural commentary; and the possibility of higher intelligence, space migration, and life extension. I had high hopes for Starseed Signals, and it did not disappoint.

        I think Starseed is Wilson’s most accessible explanation of the eight circuit model of consciousness (more aptly, the eight circuit model of the human nervous system). Wilson’s 1983 title, Prometheus Rising, represents what I would describe as a more refined, albeit advanced, take on the model. Having now seen Wilson’s treatment of the theory in a number of forums, and in a variety of ways, over the course of several years, I think I finally grok all eight circuits. Let me take a stab at a high-level overview of the theory, for those unfamiliar.

      • [Old] A Horrific Korean War Battle Is Now A Haunting Animation

        An animated film, produced by Veterans Expeditionary Media and HOPR studios, illustrates the terror and ferocity of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, as well as the extraordinary resolve of the Marines who fought there. The film, “CHOSIN: Baptized by Fire,” was released in June 2014 on Vimeo and depicts the brutal combat of one of the Korean War’s most decisive battles, which lasted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 13, 1950.

        Surrounded by 120,000 Chinese soldiers, roughly 15,000 American soldiers and Marines struggled to hold a 15 foot-wide mountain pass against a determined onslaught by a numerically superior enemy force. It was also North Korea’s coldest winter in 100 years.

      • [Old] Army Corporal’s remains returned home after more than 65 years

        Hash was a member of the Army’s Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division during the Korean War of the early 1950s.

        In November to December 1950, Hash and his division were part of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, a fierce 17-day battle that saw 30,000 U.S., Republic of Korea (ROK), and British surprise attacked by more than 100,000 Chinese soldiers in the harsh North Korean winter where temperatures regularly fell to 25 degrees below zero.

      • MIA for 70 years, Korean War veteran’s remains to be returned to family; Boston to honor his sacrifice

        The Department of Defense Prisoner of War and Missing In Action Accounting Agency positively identified Redgate through DNA testing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Hawaii in April, just seven months ago.

        Jeannette Gray, a mortuary affairs officer for the Department of the Army Casualty Past Conflict Repatriations Branch, has been working with the family since April to make arrangements for the return of Redgate’s remains. The department works to identify Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action in conflicts including World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars and the Cold War.

      • [Old] A VETERAN’S STORY: The Tootsie Roll Marines

        The Chinese hid in ravines between mountain ridges to protect themselves from small arms fire while regrouping for their next assault. The only weapon the Marines could use against their concealed enemy was the high arcing fire of 60mm mortars, yet ammunition ran low and was near depletion. The Marines sent out emergency requests via radio for resupply of 60mm mortar rounds using code words. The code word for 60mm ammo was “Tootsie Rolls.”

        As bad luck, or conceivably good luck, would have it, the radio operator receiving the emergency request did not have a copy of the Marine code sheets. However, he knew the request was from command authority, which meant it was extremely urgent. As zany as the request may have seemed to the radio operator, he knew there were tons of the candy at supply bases all over Japan. The request went out for urgent shipments of Tootsie Rolls to be dropped to the trapped Marines.

      • [Old] US Marines used chewed-up Tootsie Rolls to patch up damaged vehicles at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir

        General Oliver P. Smith, USMC (October 26, 1893 – December 25, 1977).

        He is famous for his iconic order: “Retreat? Hell, we’re not retreating, we’re just advancing in a different direction.”

      • Reflecting On A Key Korean War Battle, 70 Years Later

        STEVEN RUDDER: Surrounded and beset by some 120,000 Chinese troops, the battle was fought over some of the roughest terrain during some of the harshest winter weather conditions of the Korean War. The battle for and the breakout from Chongjin has become Marine Corps legend.

        KUHN: Chongjin is what the reservoir is called in Korean. Some 30,000 U.S., South Korean and other troops under U.N. command faced the Chinese. Among them was John Lee, a Korea University sophomore when the war broke out. He worked as an interpreter at U.S. 1st Marine Division headquarters at Hagaru-ri on the southern end of the Chosin Reservoir. His mission – gather intelligence on Chinese troops from North Korean locals.

      • Incredible photos from the Korean War campaign that showed what the US Marine Corps is made of

        Still, the UN forces reached Hungnam by December 24. A 193-ship armada evacuated the soldiers, along with 98,000 refugees that the UN and Marines Corps troops protected on the long march to the sea. After the evacuation, the US destroyed the port to deny the Chinese access to it. The Korean War wouldn’t end until July of 1950, and although the US prevented the communists from dominating the south of the peninsula, Korea remains divided to this day.

      • A legendary Marine battle 70 years ago is now becoming part of a rallying cry for China

        On the night of November 27, 1950, US Marines and Army soldiers suddenly came under intense human-wave attacks by Chinese soldiers on both sides of the Chosin Reservoir.

        The Americans, part of a UN force of about 30,000 men, soon found themselves in their first major clash with the Chinese during the war, facing the full weight of about 120,000 Chinese soldiers committed to their destruction.

        The attacks, by hundreds of troops at a time and in temperatures as low as -36 degrees, marked the start of a brutal 17-day fight that became one of the Korean War’s bloodiest battles and one of the most intense battles in modern history.

      • Response to Israeli expert on whistleblowers and The Matter of Mordechai Vanunu

        Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Isreal’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985 and the design of today’s Israeli nuclear weapons will have been considerably changed since then… Modern nuclear weapons bear little relationship to those of the mid-1980.

      • One Is a Free Hero, the Other, a Hostage

        Vanunu, who deserves much greater admiration for his courage, sacrifice and determined struggle, will never be hoisted on the shoulders of most of Israel’s left. Only overseas does he get the respect he deserves: He has won a countless number of international awards, including the John Lennon peace prize. Vanunu wants to sever ties with Israel. Israel prevents his departure based on false excuses which the court approves again and again. Vanunu is the real Prisoner of Zion of the two. Pollard who petitioned the High Court of Justice for the title, doesn’t deserve it. Vanunu served an 18-year sentence, including 11 in scandalous isolation, and Israel still doesn’t loosen the noose. It even sent him back to prison for “speaking to foreigners” and “moving to another apartment without permission” – oh, the democracy.

      • US Air Force to reorganize network, security groups under single entity

        The Air Force is collapsing some of its groups within the 688th Cyberspace Wing to build a network and security operations cell.

        This spring, the service is conducting an experiment in which it will collapse the 690th Cyberspace Operations Group — focused on network operations — the 26th Cyber Operations Group — focused on security operations — and the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group into a single entity, according to Col. Joshua Rockhill, commander of the 26th Cyberspace Operations Group, who spoke Nov. 18 during a virtual presentation as part of an AFCEA Alamo chapter conference.

      • Russia Says It Foiled Islamic State Attacks In Moscow Region

        Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has broken up a cell of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group that was planning “acts of sabotage and terror” in the Moscow region.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Siege the Day: QAnon, Trumpist Blockages, and the Logistics of Spiritual Warfare

        A rarely discussed precursor is Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, launched in 1988. Robertson used the then-new media of cable television to expand and sustain his flock. Robertson’s CBN Family Channel centered around The 700 Club, a daily, hours-long news program that decoded world events through an apocalyptic lens. He also wrote a book called New World Order that laid out the Satanic cabal’s centuries-old secret plans for global control, now careening to the End Times.

        Beyond the garish accounts of decadent cannibal cabals, QAnon has a tripartite narrative structure of biblical proportions. First, we have the Great Awakening, a period encompassing the last few years in which revelations about how the world truly works are being experienced on a mass scale. An individual experience of epiphany, especially in the sharing economy, demands the personal conversion be spread. QAnon encourages proselytizing which, borrowing from the earlier internet “manosphere”, they call Redpilling.

      • Unreliable sources Fake quote attributed to future U.S. Secretary of State spreads from Wikipedia to the Russian media

        Before U.S. president-elect Joe Biden formally announced Antony Blinken as his pick for Secretary of State, an anonymous Wikipedia editor took it upon himself to edit Blinken’s Wikipedia page. The editor beefed up the section on his attitude towards Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, throwing in a quote attributed to Blinken for good measure. The quote was quickly picked up by Russian and Ukrainian media and it spread across social networking sites. But as it turns out, Antony Blinken never actually spoke those words.

      • OAN Is So Dangerous Because It Looks Like a Real News Channel

        It’s the president’s favorite “news” channel, and a cornerstone of America’s growing disinformation problem. It’s One America News (OAN), a rotating collection of wobbly conspiracies and gibberish that has more in common with a state-run disinformation network than a credible news organization.

        OAN’s definition of “news” has included false claims of electoral fraud, baseless Kremlin-backed conspiracy theories, false claims that the novel coronavirus was developed in a North Carolina lab as part of a vast government conspiracy, and accusations that last summer’s protests over the police killing of George Floyd were part of a diabolical “coup.”

      • Sore Loser Trump Snaps at Reporter for Doing His Job

        When asked whether he would concede after the electoral college votes for Joe Biden, Trump responded, “It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede. Because we know there was massive fraud.”

        The president rambled from there, making all sorts of false claims while stating, “I didn’t lose.”

        Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason tried to pin the president down, asking again about the electoral college, which is set to vote on December 14th.

      • Trump’s Pentagon Now Vetting Nonpolitical Experts

        Other officials described the move—which appears to target people who have made remarks critical of Trump on social media—as not just about finding new talent loyal to Trump but an effort to build out the Republican national security bench in the two months before the end of his term. That rationale has also been used to explain the promotion of several Trump allies through the Pentagon’s ranks after the firings of Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James Anderson in a postelection purge earlier this month, including former National Security Council staffers Kash Patel, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Joe Francescon, and Tom Williams, who now hold high-profile roles near the top of the Defense Department’s organizational chart.


        The vetting of nonpolitical experts appears to be an expansion of an ongoing effort to weed out perceived Trump detractors from the ranks of political appointees. Earlier in the administration, the Presidential Personnel Office would find and flag social media posts of appointees at the Schedule C rank and above that were deemed to be a slight to Trump. But the Trump administration has shown interest in remaking the career civil service, too.

    • Environment

      • Advertisements harm the planet, researchers say

        Like them or loathe them, advertisements are everywhere. And they’re worsening the climate crisis, say social scientists.

      • Energy

        • Optimizing Your Web App 100x is Like Adding 99 Servers

          It may sound obvious, but – optimizing your app to fulfill a request in 1/10 the time is like adding 9 servers to a cluster. Optimizing to 1/100 the time (reducing requests from say 1.5 sec to 15ms) is like adding 99 servers.

          That’s a 1U server doing the work of two 42U server racks, formerly busy turning inefficient code into heat.

          That may be an extreme case – but unnecessary bloat is common, and these kinds of gains could be as simple as adding a well-chosen index to speed up a common query by 10x or 100x, or caching some seldom-changing response in memory rather than re-rendering it every time.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • The Rich Are Cheering Wall Street’s Latest Records. Americans of Modest Means Are Draining 401(k)s.

        The nation’s woefully inadequate response to the pandemic is jeopardizing millions of retirement futures.

      • Republican Senator Faces Insider-Trading Accusations Ahead of Georgia Runoff
      • Lookout for Karl Marx!

        Our rulers will never knowingly provide a forum for Marxism and will continue to demonize it as a threat to “freedom,” which indeed it is if by freedom we understand the continued operation of the capitalists’ “free enterprise” system with all the wealth created by labor going to the corporate owning class, whose failures are palpable today world-wide. Why else would we be treated to the calling out of Marxism by the Right, now led by Donald Trump, who also abuses, literally and verbally, anyone who sees it in their interests to fight racism and fascism? The “centrists” of the Democratic party have also weighed in by blaming and trying to proscribe “socialism” for their own failures and defeats? Is this not boiler plate ruling class red baiting in the face of workers’ demands for a betterment of the conditions of life? We’ve seen this all before: in the ‘20s with the government’s anti-communist Palmer Raids that arrested and deported immigrant workers organizing in the interests of their class after World War I, when the Russian Revolutions struck fear into the hearts of the bankers and big businessmen; then after World War II with McCarthyism, which began the capitalist assault on workers’ gains during the Great Depression that continues today; and now, when workers everywhere are once again looking to defend themselves from another capitalist crisis, this time containing both the threats of nuclear war, and global climate change.

        Recently, CounterPunch published a superb essay by Peter Linebaugh, that focused on Marx’s “Critique of the Gotha Program.” It was an inspiration to me, (as has been Linebaugh’s work generally), and I sent it out to friends in a discussion group I attend because I thought it made incisive use of Marx’s ideas to show what was needed in working towards a different and better world. It also prompted me to go back and re-read the Critique, which I had not read for 40 years. Here I would like to share some of my reflections on this experience, which I hope will help emphasize the continuing relevance and importance of Marx’s work, and encourage others to read him.

      • Senate GOP Wants to Freeze Pay for All Federal Workers During a Pandemic
      • The Plight of Blue-Collar Temp Workers

        In 2018-2019, the Responsible Jobs Creation Act mandated the Illinois Department of Labor to begin tracking demographic information of temp agency workers. The Prairie State’s data collection approaches differed from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state-level data delivered “a clearer picture of blue-collar tempworkers,” according to DeSario, director of Temp Worker Justice, and White, lead organizer and digital media coordinator with the Temp Worker Union Alliance Project.

        Here is a shortcoming of Uncle Sam’s data on temp workers. “Businesses that engage in more than one activity, of which temporary staffing is included,” according to DeSario and White, “are not having their temporary workers counted by BLS if temporary staffing is not how they define their principal product or service.” Company definitions matter.

      • Real Platitudes from a Fake Democracy

        You know he’s treated very unfairly. Horribly. The IRS treats him very unfairly. Everyone in the press is nasty to him. Just recently Leslie Stahl was very nasty to him.

        Meanwhile, with notable irony, the Proud Boys are standing back and standing by. I have to wonder if there aren’t some of them that cringe a little and wish he would “man up”, just go outside and pick up a stick or something.

      • Why the G20’s Failure on Debt Cancellation Is Bad News for Women

        World leaders have put wealthy creditor interests before debt justice, further jeopardising women’s rights.

      • Britain’s Class War on Children

        In Hackney, in 1975, I filmed Irene Brunsden’s family. Irene told me she gave her two-year-old a plate of cornflakes. “She doesn’t tell me she’s hungry, she just moans. When she moans, I know something is wrong.”

        “How much money do you have in the house? I asked.

      • Far From a Change, RCEP Agreement is More Capitalism as Usual

        It is true that the RCEP is less draconian than recent trade deals, and less one-sided in advancing corporate profiteering above all other human concerns than the Trans-Pacific Partnership was when the United States was involved and pushing for the harshest rules. But is that the standard we wish to uphold? “It’s not as bad as the worst agreements out there” really shouldn’t be a cause for celebration.

        Much of the same language commonly found in “free trade” agreements is in the RCEP, and what appears to be the most promising development, the lack of the usual “investor-state dispute settlement” process that uses corporate-dominated tribunals that consistently overturn health, safety and environmental regulations, is much less than it appears once we look into the details. And there are no labor or environmental provisions. What we have here is more capitalism as usual, including a dispute process still weighted toward corporate interests.

      • A Deputy Prosecutor Was Fired for Speaking Out Against Jail Time for People Who Fall Behind on Rent

        An Arkansas prosecutor has been fired after speaking out against the state’s criminal eviction statute in an October ProPublica story. Garland County deputy prosecutor Josh Drake was let go from his position on Oct. 31 by Michelle Lawrence, the prosecuting attorney.

        Arkansas is the only state where landlords can file criminal charges rather than civil complaints against tenants for falling behind on rent. Drake told ProPublica, “I hate that law. It’s unconstitutional.” It constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, he said, echoing other Arkansas legal experts and advocates across the political spectrum.

      • Mnuchin’s Treasury Department Shelves $455 Billion in Unspent Stimulus

        Fed chair Powell initially balked at Mnuchin’s request, replying that the Fed needed the funds to ensure market stability since the US economy was entering a “difficult period” in late 2020 and early 2021.  According to Powell, the $455 billion was essential “as a backstop for our ill-stressed and vulnerable economy”. Returning the funds therefore was “not appropriate”.  To do so now was not the right time. Not “yet”, replied Powell.  Not even “very soon.”

        The Fed’s initial response to Mnuchin no doubt reflected Powell’s concern the US economy may very likely weaken in the current 4th quarter, compared to the 3rd. That means possibly more defaults and bankruptcies could be on the agenda for the 1st quarter 2021—in particular for junk bond heavy businesses and state and local governments that appear most vulnerable at the moment.  The Fed therefore needs to keep the $455 billion funds in reserve to address a potentially worsening economic situation.

      • Stripe reportedly eyeing new funding at $70B+ valuation

        Stripe Inc., the startup whose technology powers the online payment features of Amazon and numerous other online platforms, is reportedly in talks for a new round of funding at a valuation exceeding $70 billion.

        The investment could potentially value San Francisco-based Stripe at as much as $100 billion on the high end. That’s according to Bloomberg, which reported the startup’s funding talks Tuesday afternoon, attributing the information to people familiar with the matter.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Senators Warren and Baldwin Say Rehab Work Camps May Violate Federal Law
      • The Road Less Traveled: Cuba and Black America

        In 1953, Cuban revolutionaries attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. In those days, a school in Tennessee [Highlander Folk School] was starting classes to organize and train civil rights workers, most of them Black. The citizen mobilization in Cuba in the 1950s was an expression of the same, parallel struggle for civil rights in the southern and northern United States. At the same time, the social and political struggles at the grassroots level in Cuba and the United States, although separate, were in turn an expression of the decolonization processes in Africa and Asia after World War II. The arguments that Fidel Castro used in his defense were very similar to the concepts of citizen rights that the U.S. Supreme Court recognized in Brown v. Board of Education, prohibiting the segregation of schools. These two traditions referred to 18th and 19th century thinkers, part of a clearly revolutionary culture.

        Cubans, like Americans, confronted the authorities of their respective countries for violating their respective Constitutions.

      • ‘Good But It’s Not Up to Him Anyway’: Trump Says He Will Leave White House If Electoral College Votes for Biden

        “Constitutional law professor says it doesn’t matter what Trump says if the Electoral College votes for Biden.”

      • Maduro’s Government and the Left

        Take privatization of state-run enterprises. Take campesino protests. Take workers’ struggles to control factories. Take police murders of young men from the barrios. On those counts the Maduro government disappoints the left. It compromises. It cedes ground to the right. But it is under siege. And it’s better than the only alternative on offer – a gangster opposition headed by a ridiculous pretender, Juan Guaido, crowned in absentia by regime-change maniacs in Washington.

        Maduro does still pursue a form of socialism. And Venezuela’s economic crisis is by no means all his fault. The chief cause was the collapse of the price of oil some years back. Had oil remained at $100 a barrel, as it was in Chavez’s day, Venezuela could have avoided recession. But then came barbaric U.S. economic sanctions. The Trump regime’s effort to kill the Venezuelan economy, to punish it for its socialism, overthrow its elected leaders, install puppets and rob it of its oil, all intensified the damage done by the oil price plunge.

      • How Mitch McConnell’s Do Nothing Republicans Are Killing You

        To them I ask: How much death and suffering must the American people endure before you act?

      • Forward Into the Past

        It became undeniable, after the Obama-Biden ticket won the general election, as news of Obama’s personnel decisions trickled in.

        Everyone who ran against Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries ran to his left except Biden and Hillary Clinton, his future Secretary of State. These were the two he empowered.

      • Tiny Desk, Tinier Man
      • Lukashenko renews talk of amending the Belarusian constitution

        During a visit to a Minsk hospital on Friday, November 27, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko seized the opportunity to share his thoughts on the importance of amending the country’s constitution.

      • NPR’s Shameful Comparison of Stacey Abrams to Donald Trump

        NPR, in this instance, trivialized the outcry against not just this instance of voter suppression, but the context of historic voter disenfranchisement in the South.

      • Navalny urges EU to impose targeted sanctions against Russian billionaires

        Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny is urging the European Union to impose personal sanctions against Russian billionaires and oligarchs. He raised this issue while speaking at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday, November 27.

      • Black and Latinx Voters Helped Deliver the Nation To Joe Biden—Now, He Owes Them.

        The stage is set for a power struggle over what direction the incoming Biden Administration should take, between the party’s left flank seeking a transformative agenda and moderates pining for a “return to normal” after Trump.  

      • Trump and a Republic That We Could not Keep

        So goes the script of commentators on American politics.  If only it were that simple.  The problems with American democracy are deeper than simply a president refusing to concede an election and claim fraud, yet they will again be glossed over with a return to normalcy with the Biden Administration.

        Since election day pundits and many academics  have bemoaned Trump’s disparaging of the integrity of the elections.  They note how his false accusations of election fraud will do lasting damage to American democracy, instilling in many who voted for him a distrust of our democracy.  Political science research tells us that democracies are held together both by institutions and cultural values, with both requiring a degree of buy-in from political elites and the public.  Yet there has been a hysterical and misplaced emphasis on Trump’s comments when it comes to the stability of American democracy.

      • What is Happening in the United States
      • Putin’s annual press conference to take place on December 17

        Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold his annual press conference on December 17, the Kremlin’s website says.

      • A New World is Possible

        We have to take back the country, and what I really mean is take it “forward,” beyond situation normal — endless war, structural racism, consumer culture and ecological devastation — and into what one might call planetary stewardship.

        This sounds, of course, absurd, as though there’s any facet of the American status quo, political or economic, that would abandon its interests and embrace a vision-in-progress: of a world that has transcended nationalism, borders and war . . . of a world that has transcended us-vs.-them thinking and dominion over Planet Earth.

      • Biden Needs To Report Trump’s Wreckage in Executive Branch as Markers

        The Trump regime gave itself lawless license to do whatever it wanted. Trump operatives dismantled or disabled humane program after humane program, health and safety regulations, and economic protections designed to protect working people, children, the elderly, and people living in poverty.

        After all, the Trumpsters got the green light from their boss Donald, who when not playing golf, tweeting tantrums, and watching Fox News, believed that “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

      • Covid Under Biden: What Can be Done?

        In the period between the 1773 Boston Tea Party up through the start of the American Revolution with the battles of Lexington and Concord and on into late 1775, the citizens of Boston were under the thumb of a tyrannical autocrat, Gen. Thomas Gage, a leader who not only closed off economic life by shutting down Boston harbor as punishment for the city’s acts of rebellion, but also ignored a worsening smallpox epidemic, preventing local authorities from taking action to contain it.

        Recounting that historic time of political and medical crisis, Charles Vidich, author of a forthcoming book Germs at Bay: Politics, Public Health & American Quarantine (Praeger, 2021), on the history of quarantines in America dating back to the early colonial era, notes that Gage’s unwillingness to heed experienced local authorities about the dangers of not dealing with smallpox led to public anger, contributed to the support in Boston for the growing insurgency against British rule, and ultimately undermined his ability to resist the uprising. Indeed the widespread smallpox epidemic in Boston quickly infected to his own Redcoat garrison in their cramped barracks in the city because of his mismanagement, diminishing the forces he had available.

      • Tlaib, Palestine and Israel

        I never cease to be amazed at how people with an agenda will so quickly and easily see anti-Semitism everywhere they look. It has reached the point where anyone who dares accuse Israel of violations of international law and human rights is painted with the ugly brush of anti-Semitism.

        Happily, however, the paint doesn’t stick as it once did. Gone are the days when one takes seriously the bizarre concept of the ‘self-hating Jew’, the Jewish man or woman who, for example, supports the human rights struggles of the Palestinian people and dares to speak out against the apartheid regime that Israel has become.

        But what horrors the Zionists imagine when a Palestinian actually criticizes anything related to Israel! And that is just what has happened with the appointment of Antony Blinken, a Jew, as secretary of state in the incoming administration of that self-proclaimed Zionist, Joe Biden. Michigan member of the House of Representatives Rashida Tlaib had this comment to make about Blinken: “So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies. The Palestinian people deserve equality and justice.”

      • An Open Letter to Trump Voters

        The issue here isn’t that this description of your plight is wrong but that there wasn’t a scintilla of sincerity and conviction behind it. In truth, as they shed their crocodile tears, neither Clinton, Obama before her, nor Biden now, has ever had the slightest interest of solving any of your real problems. Just recently, recall Biden’s assurances to Wall Street funders that “Nothing will change under a Biden presidency.” As you certainly realize, other than for pandering for your votes, the Corporate Democrats have zero respect for you, can’t believe you’re still falling for their con job and laugh at you behind your backs.

        Now — and this will be a sticking point for many of you but please hear me out — the attitude I’ve just described applies equally to those who fund and control the Republican Party. All the evidence suggests that Trump’s policies actually helped the rich get massively richer while not addressing your real life daily grievances, the ones caused by obscene economic inequality and narrowly concentrated wealth and power.

      • Under Biden, We’ll Still Need to Protect Social Security
      • It’s True That Corporate Media Is Biased – But Not in the Ways Right-Wingers Say
      • Janet Yellen at Treasury Is One of Biden’s Best Appointments

        Barring any shenanigans from the Senate, the new Biden administration will feature America’s first ever female Treasury secretary in 2021. It may not be Elizabeth Warren, but at least the nomination of Janet Yellen means that we shall break free—at least for a time—of the seemingly endless Wall Street/DC revolving door that has characterized recent appointments to this crucial position.

      • Snap Judgments

        For the report please click on the image above. (Steve Brodner)

      • 5 Stages of Loss
      • ‘A Win for Voters’: Rights Advocates Celebrate After Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Attempt to Block Certification of PA Election Results

        “The Trump campaign should end its pathetic and futile attempts to subvert democracy and ignore the will of the people.”

      • New Strategies for the Left on a Global Scale

        Although divided into six regions—North America, Latin America, South and East Asia, Africa, Middle East and Northern Africa, and Europe—Dissidents of the International Left drives home the point that, for example, the “Islamic world” and the “West” are not two distinct worlds. In truth, the Left needs to act on the understanding that there is one global system. “Leftism is primarily a domestic politics,” said Michael Walzer, a prominent American intellectual whom Heintz interviewed. “I wanted an international Left that is alert to the realities of the world and honest in confronting them.”

        As humanity copes with the rise of authoritarian leaders, endless wars, systemic racism, environmental degradation, misogyny, religious extremism, and many other challenges, Dissidents of the International Left will continue opening up critical discussions. Such conversations will ideally lead to leftist movements and individuals across international boundaries finding more humane, inclusive, and realistic solutions to dangerous crises that, if left unaddressed, will only worsen over time.

      • Hey, Joe! Here Are Our Demands

        Because there isn’t a political party or other formation that can credibly speak for a broad base of the American left, and because the left is divided between work-from-inside AOC-Bernie types and street-level activists, no one has defined a clear metric to judge the Biden Administration’s personnel, policy and legislative actions. As we saw under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, vague demands foment the unaccountability that allows Democrats to wiggle away and take us for granted.

        We need a clear set of demands.

      • Biden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount | TheHill

        A recount paid for by the Trump campaign of votes cast in Milwaukee County ended on Friday with 132 votes being added to President-elect Joe Biden’s margin of victory. 

      • When he leaves office, can ex-President Trump be trusted with America’s national security secrets?

        Priess and other former intelligence officials say Joe Biden would be wise not to let that tradition continue in the case of Donald Trump.

        They argue soon-to-be-former President Trump already poses a danger because of the secrets he currently possesses, and they say it would be foolish to trust him with more sensitive information. With Trump’s real estate empire under financial pressure and his brand suffering, they worry he will see American secrets as a profit center.

      • Twitter Has Flagged 200 of Trump’s Posts as ‘Disputed’ or Misleading Since Election Day. Does It Make a Difference?

        The question is: Are Twitter’s attempts to fact-check the conspiracy-mongering lame-duck president (who continues to reject the fact that he lost to Joe Biden) doing any good to curb the spread of misinformation?

      • Undermining Democracy

        American democracy’s vulnerability to disinformation has been very much in the news since the Russian disinformation campaign in 2016. The fear is that outsiders, whether they be foreign or domestic actors, will undermine our system by swaying popular opinion and election results.

        This is half right. American democracy is an information system, in which the information isn’t bits and bytes but citizens’ beliefs. When peoples’ faith in the democratic system is undermined, democracy stops working. But as information security specialists know, outsider attacks are hard. Russian trolls, who don’t really understand how American politics works, have actually had a difficult time subverting it.

        When you really need to worry is when insiders go bad. And that is precisely what is happening in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. In traditional information systems, the insiders are the people who have both detailed knowledge and high level access, allowing them to bypass security measures and more effectively subvert systems. In democracy, the insiders aren’t just the officials who manage voting but also the politicians who shape what people believe about politics. For four years, Donald Trump has been trying to dismantle our shared beliefs about democracy. And now, his fellow Republicans are helping him.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Sudan tightens cybercrime law as army pursues “fake news”

        Dura Qambo was on vacation in Egypt in July when a friend called to warn her to stop criticizing the Sudanese army online, she told CPJ. Earlier that day, the army had announced on Facebook that it had appointed a Special Commissioner in May to sue anyone who insults or defames the military on the [Internet].

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Controlled interaction Journalists ask Kremlin spokesman to explain why Putin isn’t social distancing during the pandemic

        During a press conference on Friday, November 27, journalists asked Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov why, in the midst of a global pandemic and spike in coronavirus cases across Russia, footage has aired of President Vladimir Putin walking around without a mask and even shaking hands with people. Here’s what Putin’s press secretary had to say.

      • What’s in store for technology and press rights in 2021?

        For starters, as Josh Gerstein recently reported for Politico, a Biden Justice Department will need to decide whether to go forward with a number of controversial prosecutions that implicate First Amendment rights. Top of mind for many in the media will be the ongoing effort to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Obama administration had previously concluded that charging Assange with espionage for his role in publishing leaked government documents would chill reporting (and violate the Constitution). The Trump administration, though, has charged ahead, and a decision in the extradition proceeding is expected in early January. Similarly, the new administration will confront the question whether to pursue a number of charges arising out of the summer’s protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

      • Police raid on Mezopotamya Agency bureau in Van

        As reported by MA, several police officers from the Counterterrorism Bureau raided the MA Van Bureau by the warrant of the Van 1st Penal Judgeship of Peace which was issued upon the request of the Erzurum Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The police came to the bureau with Dindar Karataş, the detained journalist, and searched the bureau.

        The officers seized the laptop used by Karataş and the letters from prison as well as 3 hard disks and a laptop of the MA. Following the search, police officers took down a report documenting the materials seized. Then, they left the bureau by handcuffing journalist Karataş behind his back.

      • Journalist Hacı Boğatekin acquitted

        Having his final hearing at the Adıyaman 2nd Heavy Penal Court, Hacı Boğatekin, the Editor-in-Chief of Gerger Fırat local newspaper, has been acquitted of “terror propaganda” and “praising the crime and criminal.”

        Boğatekin was facing this charge over his Facebook posts where he called on the state to come to terms with Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

      • Philippine soldiers shoot and kill journalist Ronnie Villamor at checkpoint

        In the afternoon of November 14, Philippine Army soldiers shot and killed Villamor, a contributor to the local independent Dos Kantos Balita weekly tabloid, outside a military checkpoint in Milagros, a town in Masbate province in the central Philippines, while he was on his way to cover a disputed land survey, according to press reports.

        The troops, led by Second Lieutenant Maydim Jomadil, were investigating reports of armed men in the area, according to local broadcaster ABS-CBN. Major Aldrin Rosales, the local police chief, alleged that the troops ordered Villamor to stop his motorcycle, and opened fire when the journalist drew a firearm, according to that report.

      • Thug culture, not a warrior culture, to blame

        The warrior ideal instills a code of conduct that encapsulates duty, honour, loyalty and bravery.

        When I hear ‘warrior’ I think of the brave Indigenous warriors who fought to protect their land against the brutal British invasion; I think of the Samurai ethos of Bushido that is composed of eight virtues: justice, courage, mercy and compassion, respect, honesty, honour and personal dignity.

        Whistleblowers are the true warriors who exemplify the Australian spirit of fairness and talking truth to power. The 10-year flaying of Julian Assange’s rights and repute to deter whistleblowers and freedom of speech doesn’t seem to have worked, given that moral truth-tellers continue to step forward … proving time and time again that integrity and courage are stronger than cover-ups and intimidation.

        Julian Assange, David McBride, Witness K and Bernard Collaery are warriors whose freedom is our responsibility.

      • Julian Assange’s partner appeals to Trump to pardon him

        Moris said he has been confined exclusively to his cell for over a week because of a coronavirus outbreak on his prison block.

        Assange attended four weeks of an extradition hearing at London’s Central Criminal Court in September and October. The judge overseeing the case said she would deliver her decision on Jan.4.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Progressive Coalition Stages Worldwide Black Friday Protests to ‘Make Amazon Pay’

        The corporation is trying to pacify workers with holiday bonuses of $150 to $300, even though “Jeff Bezos could pay a $105,000 bonus to every Amazon worker and still be as rich as he was at the start of the pandemic.”

      • Roaming Charges: Dumb All Over, Again

        + Gorsuch goes on to deprecate the “implied right to ‘bodily integrity,’ … that some [judges] have found hiding in the Constitution’s penumbras.” This is an explicit right that has been repeatedly recognized by the Supreme Court itself in Roe, Griswold and Casey. Though with this court, those cases and that right seem destined to be overturned.

        + So we have the same “originalists” who used to argue that the “Constitution isn’t a suicide pact” to justify torture, rendition and extrajudicial killings have now ruled that the Constitution is a murder-suicide pact when it comes to religious services during a killer pandemic.

      • The Rise of Black Power in Britain

        McQueen calls his anthology Small Axe, inspired by a not very well-known Bob Marley song that includes this lyric:

        From the opening minutes of “Mangrove”, you are immersed in Caribbean culture with a stirring soundtrack featuring not only Marley but other great reggae musicians like Toots and the Maytals. In the film’s opening moments, we see a grinning Frank Crichlow (Shaun Parkes) rising up victoriously from a poker game with cash in hand. He strides down the main street in Notting Hill with the strains of Marley’s “Try Me” following his footsteps. The net effect is to identify a time, a place and a character in the same way of John Travolta’s character in “Saturday Night Fever” backed up by the strains of “Stayin’ Alive.”

      • Will Biden Ensure My Family is Reunited?

        In April 2020, just as I was putting together the final stages of an arduous sponsorship application for my parents to obtain legal residency, President Trump signed an executive order upending our lives. Under cover of the COVID-19 pandemic, he enacted a 60-day suspension of most immigrant visas including those that enable citizens to sponsor their non-citizen parents. Two months later, Trump added more visa categories to the ban and extended it until the end of the year.

        Although the authority to change immigration laws lies with Congress, Trump managed to push through many aspects of an anti-immigrant wish list he has been touting for years. Americans like me suddenly have no access to the same rule that first lady Melania Trump used to sponsor her parents from Slovenia.

      • Toronto police officer says she faced years of sexist, racist retribution for reporting colleague

        A Toronto police officer alleges she was subjected to years of intimidation and reprisals by fellow officers and supervisors after she intervened to stop what she said was the unjustified use of force during the arrest of a Black suspect.

        In her complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Iranian-Canadian officer said she was punched by her partner at the time when she tried to step in during the March 2011 arrest. After reporting him, she said, she was passed over for promotions and left vulnerable to prolonged racist and sexist attacks from colleagues who called her a “rat.”

      • My New Part Time Job

        Starting December 1st, I am one of the three members of the board that authorizes warrants for the Dutch intelligence and security services. This board is called “Toetsingscommissie Inzet Bevoegdheden” or TIB.

        If either of the civil or the military intelligence and security services of The Netherlands want to use their lawful intercept, SIGINT or hacking (& some other) legal powers, they have to first convince their own jurists, then their ministry and finally the TIB. The TIB then studies if the warrant is legal, and that decision is binding.

      • Swedish Foreign Minister Calls Iranian Counterpart Over Death Sentence Against Doctor

        She said she had spoken with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after reports Iran may be planning to enforce the death penalty sentence against Djalali, a Swedish citizen.

        Swedish radio quoted Djalali’s wife as saying earlier on November 24 he had called her to tell her he believed he may soon be executed.

      • Teenaged Arzoo’s marriage with Muslim man is lawful, lawyer tells court

        A Karachi court was told on Friday that the marriage between underage Christian girl Arzoo Raza, who has reportedly converted to Islam, with her Muslim husband was permissible under the federal laws and the Shariah.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day Seven: Beware Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences

        There is no Canadian-content production crisis at the moment, but Mr. Guilbeault’s new bill may well create one.

      • Goodbye DNS, Goodbye PowerDNS!

        A few years ago, I became somewhat upset with DNS. This is not the main reason for quitting the profession, but now that I have your attention for one final time I do want to take one last stand on two important issues.

        In 2018 I did a talk over at the IETF on the ever increasing size of the combined set of DNS specifications – I had looked through the upcoming work from the various standards groups. I plotted the amount of text involved, and also extended this to the historical beginnings of DNS. And it turned out that DNS was growing at one page every two days – without getting any better. I titled this talk “The DNS Camel”, and I wondered if just one more standard might break the back of the protocol.

    • Monopolies

      • Switzerland’s Responsible Business Initiative & Google

        This weekend, the Swiss have another round of referendums, including the Responsible Business Initiative. The initiative aims to codify in Swiss law the obligation of due diligence from the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Fifty significant NGOs and all major Swiss political parties have endorsed the referendum and it seems likely that it will be passed. Nonetheless, it still provides an interesting opportunity to reflect on the way the campaign has been operated and especially the exploitation of children around the world.

        Publicity for the initiative has focused on Glencore, the largest company domiciled in Switzerland. A leaflet dropped in Swiss letterboxes claims that Glencore uses children at the Porco mine in Bolivia. Glencore has denied it and announced legal action.


        One of the world’s largest tobacco companies, Philip Morris, is headquartered in Switzerland. Their products frequently find their way into the hands of children. A case is currently underway in the federal court in Chicago claiming that Juul and Philip Morris deliberately marketed vaping products to children.

        Google’s Android phones remain incredibly popular in Switzerland, many Swiss children use Facebook and many Swiss parents donate to the church. It is not hard to understand why Glencore executives feel they have been unfairly singled out in the campaign for this referendum.

      • Patents

        • Guest book review: Patent Management

          We have before us “Patent Management – Protecting Intellectual Property and Innovation”, the first English edition of the “Patentmanagement”, published in German in four editions, including frequent updates.

          Legal advisors often find that there seems to be a language barrier with managers of various organizations (their clients), when decisions must be made regarding the registration of patents and other intellectual property rights (IPR), or when legal action must be taken for infringements. Even more so when the fillings or procedures are cross-border and the costs increase. Although globally active organizations have already assimilated the strategic use of intellectual property, there is still a lack of understanding of the who, why, what, how, and when of protection within the framework of the company’s competitive strategy. Facilitating this understanding and decision making seems to be the goal of Patent Management. How to make reasoned decisions that justify the associated financial flows? Only an explicit and assumed strategy can justify the financial consequences of IPR decisions.

          The authors are well-known practitioners with strong academic links. Prof. Dr. Martin A. Bader (Technical University of Applied Sciences Ingolstadt/Munich, Germany; WIPO Mediator, iam strategy 300 and former CIPO of Infineon Technologies), Prof. Dr. Oliver Gassmann (University of St.Gallen, Switzerland’s major business school and former VP R&D and Innovation Schindler Group), and Dr. Mark James Thompson (PhD graduate from the famous Swiss ETH University and specialist in patent quality and IP data statistics at IP Australia). This dual role of intangible asset management and academia makes the book of special interest to those in charge of managing portfolios of IPR, especially patents. In fact, the book illustrates the theoretical structure on the management of intangible assets using numerous practical cases, more from a business perspective than from legal practice.

      • Copyrights

        • EU Commission Calls For Substantial Law Enforcement Boost to Fight Piracy

          The EU Commission is calling for the capacity of law enforcement agencies around Europe to be “substantially strengthened” to fight piracy and other IP crimes. Promising to reinforce cooperation between rightsholders, intermediaries, police and prosecutors, the Commission says that dealing with these threats must become a higher priority.

        • Torrentz2 Suffers Prolonged ‘Downtime’ and Returns a 503 Error

          The popular torrent meta-search engine Torrentz2 is suffering some technical problems, it seems. For more than a day the site has been returning a “503 Service Unavailable” error which indicates that the server is overloaded, possibly due to a DDoS attack.


Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

Posted in News Roundup at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • A Linux Survey For Beginners

      So you have decided to give the Linux operating system a try. You have heard it is a good stable operating system with lots of free software and you are ready to give it a shot. It is downloadable for free, so you get on the net and search for a copy, and you are in for a shock. Because there isn’t one “Linux”, there are many. Now you feel like a deer in the headlights. You want to make a wise choice, but have no idea where to start. Unfortunately, this is where a lot new Linux users give up. It is just too confusing.

      The many versions of Linux are often referred to as “flavors” or distributions. Imagine yourself in an ice cream shop displaying 30+ flavors. They all look delicious, but it’s hard to pick one and try it. You may find yourself confused by the many choices but you can be sure you will leave with something delicious. Picking a Linux flavor should be viewed in the same way.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone

        Looking for something to do in quarantine? How about booting DOS from a 10-inch vinyl record?

        While booting an operating system nowadays usually sees the software loaded from disk or flash memory, some of us of a certain age recall the delights of shovelling bytes in memory via the medium of tape, such as an audio cassette sending noise into the RAM of a home computer.

        Tinkerer Jozef Bogin has taken things a little further by booting an elderly IBM PC from a record player.

        Bogin used an old IBM PC and took advantage of a boot loader that would cause the hardware to fall back to the PC’s cassette interface should everything else (floppies etc) fail. An analogue recording of bootable, read-only RAM drive was played through the interface, containing a version of FreeDOS tweaked by Bogin to fit into the memory constraints, a tiny COMMAND.COM and a patched version of INTERLINK to shovel data through the printer cable.

      • The Homer Car, But It’s leinir’s Laptop

        We are now into week three of me sitting in a virtual machine on my better half’s laptop, while we wait for my replacement Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) to arrive, after Dell conceded that they could not fix the old one. Short version: The graphics fan went wonky and stopped spinning, so they sent an engineer out to replace the mainboard (because everything is soldered on, including the fan assembly), and then it stopped booting. So they sent out another, and that also immediately failed to post, and then decided that wasn’t worth trying again, so they would send me a replacement laptop. Three weeks later, and i have a tracking number, with no updates for a couple of days, though it also isn’t past the estimate they gave me for getting it (two weeks for an in stock item, from Ireland to England, nice…).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • How to install Lubuntu 20.10 – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Lubuntu 20.10.

      • Bad Voltage 3×17: Such People In’t

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the reality distortion field is strong in this one, the middle name game continues unsuccessfully…

      • Linux Gaming and Lonely Noobs (w/ Batcastle of Drauger OS) – YouTube

        Welcome to the first in a series of conversations with Thomas of Drauger OS, a Linux distro optimized for gaming. Over the next few videos we’ll discover his Linux origin story, hear about his new project that aims to help ALL gaming-focused Linux distributions, and learn more about Drauger OS.

      • LHS Episode #381: Enter the Dragon | Linux in the Ham Shack

        Welcome to the 381st episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts discuss SpaceX, the spectrum around 5.9GHz, Open WebRX, the non-free part of free software, the latest release candidate of WSJT-X, Kali Linux and much more. Thank you for listening and have a fantastic Thanksgiving week.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds wants Linux running on Apple’s new M1 Macs

        When Apple launched its new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini systems, there was much excitement about the performance boost the M1 chips are bringing to the table.

        People who have been running Windows and Windows apps on Macs, however, are less happy due to the lack of support for Boot Camp, and the lack of M1-ready virtualization software from the likes of Parallels. But what about the prospect of Linux on M1 Macs?

      • Lenovo ThinkPad Palm Sensor Support Coming To Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        As part of Lenovo offering Linux pre-loaded on more laptops and desktops, they have been working on upstream improvements themselves along with their partners at Red Hat and others. One of the latest Lenovo-contributed improvements to the kernel is palm sensor support for newer ThinkPad notebooks.

        Palm sensor support is being contributed by Lenovo to the Linux 5.11 kernel for their ThinkPad hardware. This is similar to the existing lap sensor support for the ThinkPad ACPI code and allows detecting if a user’s palms/hands are near the keyboard area. Like the lap sensor, the palm sensor data is exposed to user-space via sysfs. It’s up to the user-space for anything that should be done if the user’s palms have been detected near the keyboard.

      • Following FUSE & CUSE, Now There Is “MUSE” For MTD In Userspace – Phoronix

        FUSE is well known to longtime Linux users for allowing file-systems to be implemented in user-space for where a Linux kernel port isn’t feasible for portability or licensing restrictions, among other factors. There is also CUSE for character devices in user-space. Now being based on FUSE, there is “MUSE” being worked on for MTD in user-space.

      • Intel Sends In More DG1 Enablement Code, Big Joiner For Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        Intel’s Linux graphics driver developers have submitted their final batch of feature changes targeting the Linux 5.11 kernel.

        With Linux 5.10-rc6 upon us this weekend, it’s basically hitting the cut-off of new feature code to be sent into DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.11 merge window opening around mid-December. The Intel pull request of their graphics driver work is acknowledged as their last batch of feature work for the 5.11 cycle.

        Already from previous pull requests to DRM-Next have been more Gen12 / Tiger Lake fixes, integer scaling support, async page flipping, and other changes.

      • Memory Is Not a File

        An advantage of this approach, he says, “manifests when programs running on UNIX get a “file” to open and, lo, it’s actually the name of a device. Most UNIX programs will still work, provided that the calling process has the correct authorization to open the file.”

        In the article, titled “Everything is a Punch Card,” Garfinkel examines the origins of files and file systems, as well as the related history of punch cards and tabulating machines. He notes that “English has had a difficult relationship with the word “file” since the beginning. Sometimes the word refers to the case or container for organizing physical embodiments of information, sometimes it refers to the objects put into that container, and sometimes it refers to the information itself.”

        Garfinkel also looks at one thing that is not a file: memory. “Yes,” he says, “Linux systems have devices like /dev/mem and /dev/kmem that let programs access memory through the file system, but memory is not file.” He compares the UNIX approach with that of the Multics operating system, “in which files are actually named segments in a two-dimensional memory address space.” On Multics, he says, “saving a “file” was really creating a named memory segment and then persisting it to long-term storage.”

    • Applications

      • Linux Candy: XScreenSaver – Framework and collection of screensavers

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

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

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

        Screen savers display an animation that consistently changes so that a static image isn’t left on the screen for any length of time.

        Screen savers are a legacy from an earlier technology. They are certainly misnamed in today’s scene. They don’t “save” your monitor unless you’ve managed to connect your PC to an ancient CRT monitor. But they can still bring enjoyment.

      • Why Every Linux User Needs To Learn Awk – YouTube

        Awk is one of those tools that every linux user has on their system but they probably only use it for fairly simple tasks, so today I thought I’d explain not only what awk but why you should use it and compare it some other Linux utils like sed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Enable Timestamp In Bash History In Linux – OSTechNix

        How do you know the time at which the command was executed? Easy! This guide explains how to enable timestamp in Bash history in Linux.

      • How to install Mattermost Chat on Ubuntu 20.04 – RoseHosting

        Step-by-step process on how to install Mattermost Chat on Ubuntu 20.04. Follow this simple and easy guide.

      • How To Install Rust on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Rust on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Rust, commonly known as Rust-Lang, is a system programming language that is developed by Mozilla and backed by LLVM. Rust is known for preventing program crashes, memory leaks, and data races before it is compiled into binary, thus creating a highly-productive and stable programming environment

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

      • How to Remove ‘Show Applications’ Icon From the Dock in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        This is a beginner’s guide shows how to remove the ‘Show Applications’ app menu icon from the dock in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10.

      • How to Install OpenNMS Network Monitoring Tool in CentOS 8

        OpenNMS is a free and open-source network monitoring and network management platform used for managing enterprise networks around the world. It is based on Java and is designed to manage thousands of devices from a central location. It has the ability to discover and monitor the services or nodes automatically in your network.

      • How to play Dark Souls III on Linux

        Dark Souls III is an action RPG video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco. It is the fourth game in the Souls series and the final game in the Souls trilogy. Here’s how to get the game working on Linux.

      • Openstack RDO && KVM Hypervisor: Install KDE Plasma on SparkyLinux GameOver 08/11 2020

        At the time of writing KDE Plasma install on any SparkyLinux 2020.09 might be committed via GDM3 installation right after KDE Plasma ( the last one via tasksel or CLI ) due to after system reboot GDM seems to be the only one DM on Sparky detecting previously installed KDE.

      • How to install VLC on a Chromebook

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

      • How to play Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin on Linux

        Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is an action RPG video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco. In the game, the player’s character becomes Undead, cursed never to die, and becomes a hollow zombie creature with no memories or purpose.

      • Create your own Linux ecosystem with Nextcloud, DavX5 and KDE Connect
      • How to Install and Use Flatpak on Linux

        In this guide, we focus on how you can install Flatpak and use it across various Linux distributions.

      • How to create a Linux RPM package | Enable Sysadmin

        You’ve written a great script that you want to distribute, so why not package it as an RPM?

      • How to Install PHP 8 on Ubuntu – Cloudbooklet

        Install PHP 8 on Ubuntu. This guide let you learn how install the latest PHP version 8 and upgrade to latest on your Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 systems or your Ubuntu server on any VPS or any Cloud or any Dedicated hosting and configure it with Apache and Nginx.

        The latest PHP 8 is officially released on November 26th, 2020. It comes with a number of new features and a few incompatibilities that you should be aware of before upgrading from the previous version.

        This installation is tested on Google Cloud Platform with a Compute Compute Engine VM Instance. This set up will work on all Linux servers.

      • Full Circle Magazine #163
      • How To Setup Firewall using FirewallD on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to setup a Firewall using FirewallD on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, FirewallD is an alternative to the iptables service, for dynamically managing a system’s firewall with support for network (or firewall) zones and provides a D-Bus interface for managing configurations. Starting with CentOS 7, FirewallD replaces iptables as the default firewall management tool.

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

      • How to install PHP 8 on Ubuntu 20.04 / Debian 10 – LinuxH2O

        In this article, you will learn how to install the latest PHP version 8 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Debian 10, and their derivative distributions.

        PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages. Most of the websites on the internet are using PHP including Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia. There are many frameworks that are also built with PHP, like WordPress, Codeigniter, Laravel, etc.

        This article will guide on how to install the latest stable release of PHP 8.0 on Ubuntu, Debian, and their derivatives like Mint, MX Linux, Elementary OS, POP OS, Zorin OS, etc.

      • [Old] How to install XRDP (Remote Desktop) Server on Centos 8

        XRDP is an open-source implementation of the Microsoft Remote Desktop (RDP) that allows you to graphically control your system. With RDP, you can log in to the remote machine the same as you had logged into the local machine. It uses Port 3389 for its connection. In this tutorial, we will look at how to set up the Remote desktop Connection on Centos 8.

    • Games

      • Dungeon-crawling gesture-puzzler The Wizard: WizHarder Edition is out now | GamingOnLinux

        The Wizard: WizHarder Edition is a brand new gesture-puzzler dungeon crawling game from Hypnotic Owl, designed as a new modern desktop remake of their popular web game.

      • Godot Engine – Dev snapshot: Godot 3.2.4 beta 3

        While development keeps going at full speed towards Godot 4.0 (see recent devblogs on GDScript typed instructions and Complex Text Layout), a lot of work is also being done on the 3.2 branch for the upcoming Godot 3.2.4.

        This new beta 3 build comes shortly after last week’s beta 2 to fix some of the regressions and bugs reported against that release.

        The only big change is that the classical build for macOS is now a universal binary, with both x86_64 and arm64 architectures included (to support the new ARM-based Apple M1 chip natively). This update also re-adds UWP templates which we missing in beta 1 and beta 2 due to a temporary buildsystem issue.

      • The Red Comrades game series goes supported

        Red Comrades is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The game’s protagonists are from Dmitri Furmanov’s 1923 novel Chapaev: historical Russian military figure Vasiliy Chapayev, his aide Petka, and the machine gunner, Anka.

      • GOG are doing their own Black Friday sale with lots of DRM-free games | GamingOnLinux

        If the Steam Autumn Sale and the itch.io sale aren’t your thing, perhaps you might find something you want over on the DRM-free store GOG.com.

        This sale has GOG doing some extra discounts in the form of time-limited Flash Deals. Each has a timer, with a fresh set being put up once the timer runs out. Some good deals going in those too like 85% off Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition until November 29.

      • Event-driven game engine GDevelop has a new release with a built-in Asset Store | GamingOnLinux

        Continuing to make game and app development easier to get into, the event-driven free and open source game engine GDevelop has an interesting new release available.

        The latest release tagged as 5.0.0-beta102 adds in an easy to use free Asset Store, enabling you to quickly pick from various public domain assets (with full credit to authors and links) to include in projects from sprites to particle effects. It’s a wonderful idea, and makes prototyping even easier to get into.

      • For the Black Friday 2020 sale, itch.io are giving 100% to developers
      • Gravity in Space might be the most unique (and weirdest) space shooter I’ve ever seen | GamingOnLinux

        Currently in development with a release planned to happen in 2021, Gravity in Space is a fully 3D space shooter with six degrees of freedom.

        This is not a traditional space shooter though, it’s not an arcade-like experience either and not a Descent-like either. You are in space, controlling a strange little spaceship-ball with a peculiar cannon on the top. The developer describes it as an “ultimate synthesis of an astrodynamics simulation and an action shooter”. Gravity in Space bounds you to Newton’s laws of motion, making you think differently to control your craft indirectly with “no air resistance, no maximum speed, no limits”.

      • OBS Studio 26.1 in testing with a Release Candidate out now, adds Virtual Camera on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        OBS Studio, the free and open source one-stop solution for video capture and livestreaming has a new release coming with the first Release Candidate for OBS Studio 26.1 out now.

      • UNIGINE Engine 2.13 is an impressive upgrade for this rising game engine

        UNIGINE might not be a name you hear often when it comes to games but it is an impressive game engine, one that supports Linux fully and it continues advancing in major ways.


        When you dive into the finer details, it’s clear that the UNIGINE team have been hard at work to keep up with the likes of Unity, Unreal and Godot for bigger projects. Lots of new advanced rendering techniques are included, along with plenty of optimizations and there’s a couple of Linux-specific fixes included too like correctly importing paths for FBX assets.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Do not use librsvg 2.40.x

          Please do not use librsvg 2.40.x; it cannot render recent Adwaita icon themes correctly.

          The librsvg 2.40.x series is the last “C only” version of the library; it was deprecated in 2017.

          During the port to Rust, I rewrote the path parser to be spec-compliant, and fixed a few cases that the C version did not handle. One of this cases is for compact Arc data.

          The SVG path grammar allows one to remove whitespace between numbers if the next number starts with a sign. For example, 23-45 gets parsed as two numbers 23 -45.

          In addition, the arguments of the Arc commands have two flags in the middle of a bunch of numbers. The flags can be 0 or 1, and there may be no whitespace between the flags and the next number. For example, A1.98 1.98 0 0015 13.96 gets parsed as A1.98 1.98 0 0 0 15 13.96 — note the two 0 0 flags before the 15.


          Please use at least librsvg 2.48.x; any earlier versions are not supported. Generally I keep an eye on the last two stable release sets (2.48.x and 2.50.x as of this writing), but only commit fixes to the latest stable series (2.50.x currently).

        • Pranali Deshmukh: GSoD Weekly Summary 9

          The idea here was to consolidate all documentation regarding the different operational modes of the calculator into a single section consisting of an overview page along with dedicated pages for each of the operational modes: Basic, Advanced, Financial, Programming and Keyboard modes.

    • Distributions

      • Best USB bootable distros of 2020

        Trimmed distros aren’t only designed for ageing hardware. In fact, there are several lean distros that have been pruned and tuned and optimized for booting off of USB.

        There are several uses for shoving Linux distros inside a USB flash drive. For instance, they can be quite handy when you need to use somebody else’s computer. Or, perhaps you need to boot into a live Linux environment to troubleshoot issues with your computer, or perhaps to transfer data from a dying disk.

      • Reviews

        • Xubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla review

          Let’s have some Linux testing today, shall we. This autumn season I’m a reformed man, with a new approach to my distro escapades. Less emotional investment, lower threshold of tolerance, neutral expectations. The new key formula ingredient is fun. If I’m having it, the review becomes super-long and detailed. If not, then I’m stepping away, and you may then decide for yourself what to do, or try other online sources for relevant information.

          After Fedora 33 and Kubuntu 20.10, I want to focus on Xubuntu Groovy Gorilla. For a few years now, I’m under the impression that the Linux desktop enthusiasm has shrunk greatly, and this is quite apparent among the smaller distros. Xubuntu is no exception. I used to have a lot of fun with Xfce systems, but this isn’t quite the case lately. Then, there’s always a chance the next distro I try will be a fresh turning point. Let’s see what Xubuntu can do for us then.


          Call me a bitter dinosaur if you like, but I do believe my expectations are fairly realistic – if not modest. I want a desktop that has stability, consistency, functionality – and good looks. Almost impossible to attain in the Tux world (lately). With Xubuntu 20.10, you get a bit of this and that, but you really need to invest effort in making the system behave. I also don’t see a conflict between having a classic desktop and a modern one, at the same time. Integration with various online tools and services need not impede on the standard desktop formula and proven usage models. Pretty does not imply inefficient.

          Xubuntu 20.10 simply does not radiate pride, quality and attention to detail that would warrant investment from the user. I believe it will find audience among people who really want a no-nonsense 100% bullshit-free system that works and behaves the likes of a classic 2010 box, but then, that also means deliberately compromising on aesthetics as well as some use cases that exist today and that some people may require. No reason why this should be the case, and yet it is. Since I wasn’t having fun, I decided to bow out gracefully. Perhaps you will have more luck, but for me, this feels like a system trapped in time and lethargy.

      • New Releases

        • Why MX Linux reminds me of old-school Linux–in the best ways

          You might not know this, but according to Distrowatch, MX Linux is currently the No. 1 most downloaded Linux distribution. You’re probably thinking, “MXWhat?” That’s right, a distribution that seemingly came out of nowhere has shot up the ranks to the top of the class…sort of.

          MX Linux isn’t all that new. In fact, it’s been around since 2014. MX Linux was created as a cooperation between former MEPIS Linux communities and antiX, a lightweight, systemd-free Linux distribution. Although MX Linux defaults to the Xfce desktop as their flagship, you can download and install versions with KDE or Fluxbox for either a slightly more modern desktop (KDE) or a throwback to old-school Linux (Fluxbox).

        • Q4OS 4.2 Gemini, testing

          An update to the Q4OS 4 Gemini testing branch is immediately available for download as 64bit live media. The new 4.2 release is based on Debian 11 Bullseye and features Plasma desktop environment by default. New visual Plasma themes have been added, they are now available in system settings utility. Debian Bullseye packages has been received in their latest version, Q4OS specific packages has been updated as well. New version of Trinity desktop 14.0.10 is ready for installation using the Desktop profiler tool.

          Feel free to download live media for 64bit computers from the dedicated Testing releases site. Q4OS 4 Gemini will be in development until Debian Bullseye becomes stable, and it will be supported at least five years from the official release date.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.9 brings Apache Kafka integration and more – Red Hat Developer

          Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.9 brings bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features for process and case management, business and decision automation, and business optimization. This article introduces you to Process Automation Manager’s out-of-the-box integration with Apache Kafka, revamped business automation management capabilities, and support for multiple decision requirements diagrams (DRDs). I will also guide you through setting up and using the new drools-metric module for analyzing business rules performance, and I’ll briefly touch on Spring Boot integration in Process Automation Manager 7.9.

        • Getting started with Fedora CoreOS

          Fedora CoreOS (FCOS) came from the merging of CoreOS Container Linux and Fedora Atomic Host. It is a minimal and monolithic OS focused on running containerized applications. Security being a first class citizen, FCOS provides automatic updates and comes with SELinux hardening.

          For automatic updates to work well they need to be very robust. The goal being that servers running FCOS won’t break after an update. This is achieved by using different release streams (stable, testing and next). Each stream is released every 2 weeks and content is promoted from one stream to the other (next -> testing -> stable). That way updates landing in the stable stream have had the opportunity to be tested over a long period of time.

      • Debian Family

        • Slimjet – SparkyLinux

          Slimjet is built on top of the Chromium open-source project on which Google Chrome is also based. It enjoys the same speed and reliablity provided by the underlying blink engine as Google Chrome. However, many additional features and options have been added in Slimjet to make it more powerful, intelligent and customizable than Chrome. In addition to that, Slimjet DOES NOT send any usage statistics back to Google’s server like Google Chrome, which is a growing concern for many Chrome users due to the ubiquitous presence and reach of the advertising empire. Slimjet is compatible with all extensions and plugins designed for Google Chrome available from the Chrome web store.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Becomes A Docker Verified Publisher

          Canonical has teamed up with Docker to distribute its free and commercial software through Docker Hub as a Docker Verified Publisher.

          The collaboration will ensure that hardened free and commercial Ubuntu images will be available to all developer software supply chains for multi-cloud app development.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi alternative seeed Odyssey: Assembly is challenging, but it’s worth it

        I was recently sent a combination of the seeed Odyssey single board computer and the seeed re_computer case for review. I’ve always found these types of computers to be an incredibly valuable part of the IT landscape because they are so versatile. Use them as a desktop or a kiosk. IoT? Sure, why not? Cluster them together for a small container deployment? Of course. Anywhere you need a tiny form factor computer, you’ve got a solution.

        The Raspberry Pi is the gold standard of single board computers. When seeed reached out to me, my first inclination was, “You’re not Raspberry Pi.” Then again, I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, so why not give it a go?

      • Raspberry Pi finds its inner PC

        We take a look at discounted Waveshare kits that extend the Raspberry Pi 400 with an up to 13.3-inch touchscreen and check out some RPi 4 kit discounts, an overview of the RPi laptop scene, a Vulkan driver for the Pi, and more.

        The Raspberry Pi may be the most popular embedded board of all time, but deep in its heart the Pi has always wanted to be a PC. It was intended initially as a low-cost educational computer that plugs into a monitor via HDMI with some GPIO on the side for learning embedded computing. Here we pass on a sampling of news about the PC side of the Raspberry Pi.

      • ASUS Chromebox 4 features Intel Comet Lake processor, WiFi 6, up to 16GB RAM

        Chrome OS devices, be it Chromebook laptops, Chomebox mini PCs, or Chromebit PC sticks, used to be relatively low-cost devices designed to run the Chrome browser. But over the years. the versatility of the platform has increased with more powerful, yet still with low-power consumption, hardware, and improved software with support for Android apps, the Google Play Store, and even Linux programs.


        I could not quite remember what BC 1.2 meant, and it stands for “Battery Charging 1.2” technology meant you’ll be able to charge your smartphone or other battery-powered devices faster through compatible ports.

      • How to choose a wireless protocol for home automation

        In the second article in this series, I talked about local control vs. cloud connectivity and some things to consider for your home automation setup.

        In this third article, I will discuss the underlying technology for connecting devices to Home Assistant, including the dominant protocols that smart devices use to communicate and some things to think about before purchasing smart devices.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • MNT Reform Production Update November 2020 — MNT Research

          Shortly after the conclusion of the Crowd Supply campaign, we shipped 8 hand-built beta devices and collected some last minute feedback. Based on the feedback and our own learnings during this last test assembly phase, we further refined some aspects of the MNT Reform design.

        • uSVC Arduino VGA board – a portable and programmable retro-gaming console (crowdfunding)

          Itaca Innovation previously launched uChip, an Arduino-compatible board that has a Cortex M0+ MCU that features 0.3” spacing between rows. Now, next-hack joined Itaca Innovation to come up with an expansion board for uChip. The uChip Simple VGA Console (uSVC) Arduino based retro-gaming console is open hardware and is a programmable console. It will allow creating and playing retro “9-bit” games with standard USB controllers and keyboards.

        • Arduino Blog » Controlling a gas convection heater with a custom thermostat

          Redditor “Higgs8” had a gas convection heater that is (or was) controlled manually, but they wanted something a bit more. To accomplish this, they came up with a small Arduino-based thermostat.

          This allows you to set the desired temperature using a potentiometer, and it senses the current temperature value via a DS18B20 thermometer unit. It then adjusts the formerly manual knob with a stepper motor and custom gear reduction in response, maintaining the desired comfort level.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • The Original Jolla Phone turns 7 today

          The first one is always the first one. Most Sailfish fans remember the first ever device to run Sailfish OS, the original Jolla phone, or Jolla 1 as we sometimes like to call it. This device, a trailblazer in its own field at the time, was first launched on this very rainy November day in Narinkkatori, Helsinki exactly seven years ago. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jolla phone!

          Launching the Jolla smartphone back in 2013 was a truly memorable event for many of us in the Jolla team, but also for the hundreds of fans queuing to get their hands on the first ever Sailfish device. For me, as one of the founders of Jolla, launching this iconic device was undoubtedly one of the most exciting moments in my life, which I’ll always remember. I trust many others share the same feeling with me.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Phoenix CTMS: An Open-source Clinical Trial Management System

        Phoenix CTMS is a self-hosted cross-platform web application which run seamlessly on Windows and Linux server as well as local machines. It’s built using Java technologies (JEE – Java Enterprise Edition technology stack) and uses PostgreSQL as a database backend.


        However, We recommend using it with a virtual machine with Debian instead of Windows.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Switch Promotion Poster

          Continuing Open Document and Learn LibreOffice posters, here’s the 3rd colorful educational poster to spread LibreOffice. Everyone can adapt and share freely this poster, for example, in schools with their own language. I wish this helps people switch from Microsoft Word – Excel – PowerPoint into the better program, that is Free Software, namely LibreOffice Writer – Calc – Impress. Let’s share once again!

        • Better handling of cached field results in Writer

          Writer now has much better support for preserving the cached result of fields in documents. This is especially beneficial for Word formats where the input document may have a field result which is not only a cache, but re-calculating the formula would yield a different result, even in Word.


          Collabora intends to continue supporting and contributing to LibreOffice, the code is merged so we expect all of this work will be available in TDF’s next release too (7.1).

      • Programming/Development

        • Arm Neoverse N2 Support Added To The LLVM Clang 12 Compiler – Phoronix

          In September Arm began adding Neoverse N2 support to the open-source compilers initially with GCC and now the support has been merged into LLVM Clang 12 as well.

          The Neoverse N2 “Perseus” core was outlined in September as a follow-on design to the successful Neoverse N1. The N2 aims to provide 40% more performance over the N1 for single-threaded performance. The N2 is intended for use from the cloud to enterprise networking devices to edge computing.

        • Qt 6.0 RC and timelines for 6.1 and 6.2

          Hi all,

          First of all, I wanted to thank everybody for the hard work towards getting Qt 6.0 out of the door. We now have a first RC out, so we’re definitely getting very close to the 6.0.0 release.

          With that and the fact that we now have a 6.0 branch, it’s also time to start looking a bit ahead towards 6.1 and 6.2.

          We have long discussed, that the timing of our feature releases to be just before summer and Christmas vacation is a bit unfortunate, as we have little slack for delays without going into the vacation period. Especially the releases in December have sometimes been difficult in that respect. So we’d like to push the schedule a bit and move the minor releases towards a Spring/Autumn schedule.

          A somewhat shorter release cycle directly after 6.0 is probably a good idea anyway, as we will probably still need to do changes/fixes that don’t quite fit with our policy for patch level releases.

          So the idea is to shorten the release cycle for Qt 6.1 a bit and focus mainly on bug fixing and stability for that release. We’d aim for a feature freeze by the end of January, and a final Qt 6.1.0 release end of April.

          6.2 would then also happen a bit earlier, with a feature freeze in June and a release end of September.

          Content wise, I believe we’ll start seeing more and more of the add-ons from Qt 5 being supported over the next 6-9 months, and I believe that with Qt 6.2 we will have brought most modules that we supported in Qt 5.15 over to Qt 6.


        • Qt 6.1, Qt 6.2 Expected To Come Sooner With Tightened Release Cycles – Phoronix

          Qt 6.0 is releasing in December and The Qt Company is already drafting plans for the release cycles of Qt 6.1 and Qt 6.2 LTS next year.

          Normally Qt is on a six-month release cadence but next year’s Qt 6.1/6.2 releases will likely be tightened up both to address a long-standing gripe of the current timing that often puts new releases around summer holidays and the Thanksgiving~Christmas holiday season. To try to move off those May and November~December release windows, they are looking at tightening up the cycles for Qt 6.1 and Qt 6.2, with the latter being the first long-term support release of the Qt6 series.

          Lars Knoll is proposing that Qt 6.1 be shipped by the end of April which would put the feature freeze already at the end of January. But for Qt 6.1 the emphasis anyhow will likely be on bug fixing and stability improvements after all the changes in Qt 6.0, so a tightened up Qt 6.1 release makes sense.

        • PHP

          • Programming language PHP 8 is out: This new JIT compiler points to better performance

            The team behind scripting language PHP has announced PHP version 8.0, a major release that may require developers to review code for any breaking changes.

            This version of 25-year old PHP introduces an improved type system, a new JIT compiler in the PHP engine and some features borrowed from Python and JavaScript, such as named arguments and null safe operators.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Argus: The Linux Commander – Manila Bulletin

          If you are like me who uses a Mac to manage Linux servers, then you may find this little menu bar tool a little nifty. Argus, currently on version 1.3, is a free download from https://argus-app.net. Argus already supports Big Sur and the new Apple Silicon M1 SoC.

          Installing Argus is just like any other MacOS application — drag and drop. Since this is a monitoring tool for remote Linux servers, you will need to add basic server information so Argus can set it up and gather the data from it. Argus creates an SSH tunnel to the server, so it requires SSH credentials (of course this means that the remote server has SSH properly configured). You can use your username-password pair, but I’d advise that you set up your certificates first to make it more secure (and easier).

          Once you have provided the server information and SSH credentials, Argus will connect to it and start downloading the Argus daemon. Installing the daemon will require root privileges, so make sure that you have sudo access, as your password will be asked during the install.

          Configure all the other remote servers that you wish to monitor through the Preferences pane.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: How Apple might completely take over end users’ computers

          Many people are concerned about Apple’s ongoing attempts to take more and more control of end user machines from their users. Some go so far as to say that Apple won’t be happy until they have absolute and total control over all programs running on end user devices, presumably so that they can enforce their 30% tax on every piece of software. Whether this is true or not we don’t really know.

          What we can do instead is a thought experiment. If that was their end goal, how would they achieve it? What steps would they take to obtain this absolute control? Let’s speculate.

        • Additional Linux Power For SAP Business One

          The migration from ERP/ECC 6.0 to S/4 Hana continues to be one of the main challenges in the SAP community. It is worthwhile to also take a look at SAP Business One on Hana in this context.

          It’s well known that more and more companies of all shapes and sizes are taking the first step towards S/4 Hana or are already operating it. What’s not as well known, however, is that Business One (B1), a solution for smaller and mid-sized companies, has been on a steep growth trajectory for a few years now. Experts put the estimated number of B1 installations at 100,000 worldwide.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (go, libxml2, postgresql, and wireshark-cli), Debian (drupal7 and lxml), Fedora (drupal7, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, libxml2, pacemaker, slurm, and swtpm), openSUSE (c-ares, ceph, chromium, dash, firefox, go1.14, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, krb5, perl-DBI, podman, postgresql10, postgresql12, rclone, slurm, ucode-intel, wireshark, wpa_supplicant, and xen), SUSE (ceph, firefox, kernel, LibVNCServer, and python), and Ubuntu (freerdp, poppler, and xdg-utils).

          • diffoscope 162 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 162.

          • Netfilter virtual workshop 2020 summary

            Once a year folks interested in Netfilter technologies gather together to discuss past, ongoing and future works. The Netfilter Workshop is an opportunity to share and discuss new ideas, the state of the project, bring people together to work & hack and to put faces to people who otherwise are just email names. This is an event that has been happening since at least 2001, so we are talking about a genuine community thing here.

            It was decided there would be an online format, split in 3 short meetings, once per week on Fridays. I was unable to attend the first session on 2020-11-06 due to scheduling conflict, but I made it to the sessions on 2020-11-13 and 2020-11-20. I would say the sessions were joined by about 8 to 10 people, depending on the day. This post is a summary with some notes on what happened in this edition, with no special order.

            Pablo did the classical review of all the changes and updates that happened in all the Netfilter project software components since last workshop. I was unable to watch this presentation, so I have nothing special to comment. However, I’ve been following the development of the project very closely, and there are several interesting things going on, some of them commented below.

            Florian Westphal brought to the table status on some open/pending work for mptcp option matching, systemd integration and finally interfacing from nft with cgroupv2. I was unable to participate in the talk for the first two items, so I cannot comment a lot more. On the cgroupv2 side, several options were evaluated to how to match them, identification methods, the hierarchical tree that cgroups present, etc. We will have to wait a bit more to see how the final implementation looks like.

            Also, Florian presented his concerns on conntrack hash collisions. There are no real-world known issues at the moment, but there is an old paper that suggests we should keep and eye on this and introduce improvements to prevent future DoS attack vectors. Florian mentioned these attacks are not practical at the moment, but who knows in a few years. He wants to explore introducing RB trees for conntrack. It will probably be a rbtree structure of hash tables in order to keep supporting parallel insertions. He was encouraged by others to go ahead and play/explore with this.

          • The Peculiar State Of CPU Security Mitigation Performance On Intel Tiger Lake – Phoronix

            One area not talked about much for Intel’s latest Tiger Lake processors are hardened CPU security mitigations against the various speculative execution vulnerabilities to date. What’s peculiar about Tiger Lake though is now if disabling the configurable mitigations it can actually result in worse performance than the default mitigated state. At least that’s what we are seeing so far with the Core i7 1165G7 on Ubuntu 20.10 Linux is the opposite of what we have been seeing on prior generations of hardware.


            On each of these Dell XPS notebooks were clean installs of Ubuntu 20.10 with security / stable release updates of the time and on their default Linux 5.8 kernel. The out-of-the-box / default mitigation performance was tested on each notebook followed by re-testing the same laptop and software stack after booting with mitigations=off.

            Here is the geometric mean of all the results before digging into the individual data points, but as you can see mitigations=off was of noticeably help to the older Kaby Lake R and Whiskey Lake processors, previous-generation Ice Lake was of some help but less given more hardware mitigations, and now with Tiger Lake the tables have turned where disabling the mitigations actually hurt the performance.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opposition leaders speak in one voice after release of Bobi Wine – The East African

        Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine was on Friday released on a Ush1 million ($270) bail, ending three days of tension in Kampala. His arrest on Wednesday triggered protests in the city and major towns, and were crushed by Uganda’s security forces.

        Bobi Wine was ordered to report back to court on December 18.

        Immediately after his release, five presidential candidates jointly issued a statement raising concerns that “the Electoral Commission (EC) has been overrun by security agencies and is no longer in charge of the elections”.

    • Environment

      • Kerry Means Militarization of US Climate Policy

        Howie Hawkins, the 2020 Green Party presidential candidate, condemned the appointment of Cedric Richmond to lead the White House Office of Public Engagement with business and the climate movement.

        “With the appointment of Richmond, Biden just told the climate movement there will be no honeymoon with the new administration,” Hawkins said.

        Richmond has represented Louisiana’s second district, which tracks the oil refineries and plastics factories of Louisiana’s notorious Cancer Alley between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. He received the fifth highest total of oil and gas industry contributions among House Democrats over his ten years in Congress. He voted to approve the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline.

        “Richmond’s role will be to pacify the climate movement and minority communities with sweet talk and token grants while the oil and gas industry continues to frack the hell out of the country and the Louisiana refineries and plastics factories continue to poison workers and residents in his congressional district.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • No Victory Dance: Eight Reasons

        Some Americans are getting ready to celebrate the likely final collapse of Donald Trump’s openly ludicrous and vile attempt to subvert the will of the American electorate.

        I get it. Trump’s chances of success are low. He and his team of legal bozos shoot themselves in their bog floppy clown feet every day. Underscoring the pathetically petulant and Monty Python-esque madness of his coup that can’t think straight, Trump told reporters last Friday that “I won by the way, but you’ll find that out. Almost 74 million votes.”

      • As We’re Giving Thanks, Let’s Resolve to Change Our Food System for the Better

        It’s a time of year to reflect not just on what we’re grateful for, but how we can make the abundance and blessings go around. Making our food system fairer is part of that.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Shirish Agarwal: Farmer Protests and RCEP

        While I was hoping to write about RCEP exclusively, just today farmer protests have happened against three farm laws which had been passed by our Govt. about a month ago without consulting anybody. The bills benefit only big business houses at the cost of farmers. This has been amply shared by an open letter to one of the biggest business house which will benefit the most.

        Now while that is a national experience and what it tells, let me share, some experience from the State I come from, Maharashtra. About 4-5 years back Maharashtra delisted fruit and vegetables from the APMC market. But till date, the APMC market is working, why, the reasons are many. However, what it did was it forced the change to sugarcane, a water guzzling crop much more than previously. This has resulted in lowering the water table in Maharashtra and put them more into debt trap and later they had to commit suicide.

        Now let us see why the Punjab farmers have been so agitated that they are walking all the way to Delhi. They are right now, somewhere between Haryana-Delhi border. The reason is that because even their experiments with contract farming have not been good. This is why they are struggling to go to Delhi to make their collective voices heard and get the farm bills rolled back. Even the farmers from Gujarat were sued, but because of elections were put back, the intentions though are clear. At the end of the day, the laws made by the Govt. leaves our farmer at the mercy of big corporations. It is preposterous to believe that the farmer, with their small land holdings will be able to stand up to the Corporation. Add to that, they cannot go to Court. It is the SDM (Sub-Divisonal Magistrate) who will decide on the matters and has the last word. If this is allowed, in a couple of years there will be only few farmers or corporations who would have large hand-holdings, and they would be easily co-opted by the Government in power.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Oral Proceedings by Videoconference – some light reading at the end of a hot debate

          So the consultation of the public by the Boards of Appeal has ended today. It will be interesting to see the results and the impact, if any, they will have on the final wording of Art. 15a EPC. In the meantime, please enjoy these remarkable oral proceedings before the Committee of Labour and Social Matters of the German Bundestag (in German only, but I’m sure you will catch the drift).

          A colleague of mine told me that this reminded him of one of his recent “oral” proceedings in the EPO. But never mind.

        • German parliament passes bill required for UPC ratification

          The draft legislation required for Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement and its Protocol on Provisional Application received its second and third readings in the Bundestag yesterday and was approved by 570 members, so achieving approval of more than the two thirds of all the 709 Bundestag members, as required for a transfer of sovereign rights. It was this requirement that was not met for the previous bill, leading to the successful constitutional complaint. For the previous bill, the vote was late in the evening and, although approved unanimously, very few members were present to vote. Yesterday there were 645 total votes (72 voting against and 3 abstentions).

Links 27/11/2020: Systemd 247 and Cockpit 233

Posted in News Roundup at 8:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • TUXEDO Computers Enables Full Linux Support on the Intel-TongFang QC7 Gaming Laptop

        At the request of numerous users, TUXEDO Computers is now providing the necessary drivers and software needed to enable full Linux support on the Intel-TongFang QC7 reference gaming laptop, which is the base of several laptops available for purchase in stores across Europe and the US.

        Some well known brands include the Aftershock / LEVEL51 Vapor 15 Pro, Eluktronics MAG-15, MAINGEAR ELEMENT, and XMG FUSION 15, the latter being now offered by TUXEDO Computers on their online store fully configurable and pre-installed with the company’s in-house built, Ubuntu-based TUXEDO_OS.

    • Kernel Space

      • New Systemd 247 Is Out For Linux Operating System As Major Release

        Systemd, a controversial system and service manager for Linux operating systems, has a major version release as Systemd 247.

        Speaking of new changes, systemd 247 has added a new service called systemd-oomd to monitor and take action on processes when memory or swap goes above the configured limits.

        Systemd, a controversial system and service manager for Linux operating systems, has a major version release as Systemd 247.

        Speaking of new changes, systemd 247 has added a new service called systemd-oomd to monitor and take action on processes when memory or swap goes above the configured limits.

      • Systemd 247 Released With Experimental Out-of-Memory Daemon, New Credentials Capability – Phoronix

        Systemd 247 is out today as the latest major version of this Linux init system. Like most systemd releases, systemd 247 is very heavy on new features.

        Systemd 247 most notably introduces the still-experimental systemd-oomd as the out-of-memory daemon with that Linux OOMD code originally developed by Facebook and later adopted for desktop use-cases. Once stabilized, the goal of systemd-oomd is for improving the behavior when the Linux system is low on memory / under memory pressure.

        Beyond systemd-oomd, systemd 247 now defaults to using Btrfs with systemd-homed and other enhancements as outlined below.

      • OpenZFS 2.0-RC7 Brings Better ABI Handling, Reduced Latency For Non-Interactive I/O – Phoronix

        OpenZFS 2.0 is getting quite close to release but isn’t over the finish line yet and this week brings the seventh release candidate.

        OpenZFS 2.0-RC7 is lighter than some of the past release candidates so it looks like work may be winding down. OpenZFS 2.0 is a big release with Zstd compression, mainlined FreeBSD support, various performance improvements, sequential resilvering, persistent L2ARC support, and many other changes.

      • AMD Stages More Driver Updates For New GPUs With Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        While the Radeon RX 6800 series is now shipping that was developed under the Sienna Cichlid codename, there are other fishy codenames remaining and are seeing more work for the Linux 5.11 kernel that will officially open development in December and then likely reaching stable in February.

        AMD on Wednesday sent out more AMDGPU kernel driver updates for Navy Flounder and Dimgrey Cavefish. Navy and Dimgrey are for unreleased AMD Radeon products that appear to be for additional RDNA 2 / Radeon RX 6000 series parts. Nothing too notable with the latest batch of updates, just more enablement churn and more device IDs added in.

    • Applications

      • Blender 2.91 Released with Major Improvements, Including New Setting Search Feature

        A major update to Blender, the open source 3D modelling software is out and it brings a veritable pale-load of improvements to the creative table.

        Following up the colossal Blender 2.90 release back in the summer was never going to be easy but somehow the Blender team has managed it. Blender 2.91 is crammed full of tweaks, fine-tuning, new features, and thoughtful additions.

        New features spotlighted by the project include the addition of collision support to the sculpt cloth brush and filter; new sculpting gestures designed to speed up workflows; support for custom curve bevels; and the ability to convert volume objects into mesh (and vice versa).

        A new ‘property search’ feature channels the old Unity HUD. Press ctrl + f and start typing to instantly see a series of matching settings —even settings inside add-ons— returned, ready for you to select and action. Fuzzy search support makes this handy find-all feature even more useful as you can make typos and still find what you look for.

      • Cockpit 233 — Cockpit Project

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 233.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Mageia Linux

        Mageia is an RPM-based Linux operating system forked from the famous French Linux distribution Mandriva. It is an open-source operating system and is an excellent option for using Linux the RPM way. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install the operating system on your computer.

      • How to free up RAM on Linux

        Are you running out of usable memory on your Linux PC? Are you trying to free up RAM space but don’t know how to do it? We can help! Follow along as we go over how to free up RAM on Linux!

      • [Older] How to monitor network activity on a Linux system – LinuxConfig.org

        In this article we learn how to monitor network activity on Linux.

      • How to Disable Your Webcam in Ubuntu?

        Find out these simple methods to disable webcam in Ubuntu. We can stop the webcam driver to load in Linux OS by modifying the configuration file.

      • How to install Code Blocks on Ubuntu 20.04 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Code Blocks on Ubuntu 20.04. Enjoy! For the command and more, look here: https://www.linuxmadesimple.info/2020/11/how-to-install-code-blocks-on-ubuntu.html

    • Games

      • Amusing adventure game HIVESWAP: ACT 2 is out now | GamingOnLinux

        With no prior knowledge of the Homestuck web comic series needed, the second part of the video game adventure is out now with HIVESWAP: ACT 2.

        “The artistry and humor of the golden age of adventure games meet hand-drawn 2D animation in this love letter to the point-and-click classics. Bizarre, beautifully illustrated alien landscapes and colorful characters make Alternia a joy to explore.”

      • Gaming Rack Design and Construction – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        I have collected a number of gaming systems throughout my life and there is little point in having them if they sit in a box or using them takes an annoying level of set-up time, making it fun prohibitive. I was then inspired by Perifractic Retro Recipes video where the computer museum has everything so nicely laid out. I looked at my mess and decided that I had to do something about it because my arrangement just isn’t presentable.

      • Theme park building game Parkitect is getting 8-player online multiplayer | GamingOnLinux

        With the second year release anniversary of the great theme park building game Parkitect coming up, Texel Raptor had a quite a huge surprise ready.

        Releasing on December 8 is the free cooperative online multiplayer mode. This is absolutely crazy considering the type of game it is, and one I can only imagine right now being ridiculously fun to play online with others. Eight people in total too, that’s a lot of building that can get done. Texel Raptor mentioned you can see what everyone else is doing, and it’s going to have a full online lobby system it seems too.

      • The DualSense Is Making Even More Sense – Boiling Steam

        As reported earlier this month, the DualSense controller from Sony was already working great out of the box on Linux. However, it wasn’t long after that that Valve added support for the more advanced features of the device.

        Starting November 12, Valve updated the controller to have basic input functionality with their beta Steam client:

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • MicroOS & Kubic: New Lighter Minimum Hardware Requirements

          openSUSE MicroOS has been getting a significant amount of great attention lately.
          We’d like to thank everyone who has reviewed and commented on what we are doing lately. One bit of clear feedback we received loud and clear was that the Minimum Hardware requirement of 20 GB disk space was surprisingly large for an Operating System calling itself MicroOS. We agree! And so we’ve reviewed and retuned that requirement.

      • Arch Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • World Health Organization Embraces Open Source Technologies to Assist Healthcare Workers

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced it is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health, to create a sustainable open source development infrastructure to support the development of the Learning Experience Platform (LXP) for the WHO Academy, the organization’s new state-of-the-art training center.

        • DarwinAI and Red Hat Team Up to Bring COVID-Net Radiography Screening AI to Hospitals, Using Underlying Technology from Boston Children’s Hospital

          DarwinAI, the explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) company, and Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced a collaboration to accelerate the deployment of COVID-Net—a suite of deep neural networks for COVID-19 detection and risk stratification via chest radiography—to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. DarwinAI and Red Hat are also leveraging the expertise of a computation research group, the Fetal Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC) at Boston Children’s Hospital to better focus the software for real world clinical and research use.

        • Emmanuel Bernard fell into open-source

          Hello, and welcome to developer’s journey, the podcast, bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. My name is Tim Bourguignon, and on this episode 127, I receive Emmanuel Bernard. Emmanuel is a Java champion, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect for RedHat, open source contributor to the Java standards, public speaker, community leader, and among others, the host of the podcast, The Cast Coders. Emmanuel, welcome to DevJourney.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Arcan 0.6 – ‘M’ – Start Networking

        This time around, the changes are big enough across the board that the sub-projects will get individual posts instead of being clumped together, and that will become a recurring theme as the progress cadence becomes less and less interlocked.

        We also have a sister blog at www.divergent-desktop.org that will slowly cover higher level design philosophy, rants and reasoning behind some of what is being done here. A few observant ones have pieced together the puzzle — but most have not.

        This release is a thematic shift from low level graphics plumbing to the network transparency related code. We will still make and accept patches, changes and features to the lower video layers, of course — ‘Moby Blit’ is still out there — but focus will be elsewhere. Hopefully this will be one of the last time these massive releases make sense, and we can tick on a (bi-)monthly basis for a while.

      • Arcan 0.6 Display Server Adds Network Transparency, XWayland Client Isolation – Phoronix

        For those with some extra time around the US Thanksgiving holiday, the Arcan display server/environment is out with a new release. This is the interesting project that’s powered in part by a game engine, offers X11 and Wayland compatibility, ported to BSDs, and more recently has been exploring VR and other desktop innovations.

        Arcan 0.6 is the new release out as of this week. Arcan 0.6 brings initial network transparency support that the developers feel is more powerful than the X11 network transparency (they dub their protocol “A12″), support for on-demand client debugging, KMSCON-like console support, XWayland client isolation for better security, an improved headless mode, and a number of other features.

      • 4 questions about AI ethics and how open source can help

        As a high school student, I’ve become very interested in artificial intelligence (AI), which is emerging as one of the most impactful innovations of recent times. This past summer, I was selected for the AI4ALL program, where we learned how to develop AI systems using Python.

        For my final project, I created an object-detection program and integrated it with a virtual drone simulation. Throughout the project, I was able to use open source frameworks, including TensorFlow, Keras, Scikit-learn, and PyTorch, to aid in developing the object-detection machine learning (ML) algorithm process.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Beta 1 for Linux, Windows, and Mac is here — get the FREE open-source Microsoft Office alternative now

          Is LibreOffice better than Microsoft Office? No, and it’s not even close. Say what you want about Microsoft, but Office is in a league of its own — the best productivity software on the market.

          Why would anyone not use Microsoft Office? Well, for one, it costs money — potentially hundreds of dollars. Secondly, it is not available on all operating systems. Linux users, for instance, simply can’t use Microsoft Office (except the web version). Not to mention, Microsoft Office is closed-source software, and some folks only want to use open source options.

          So yeah, that’s why people use LibreOffice — it’s free, open-source, and available on most desktop operating systems such as Linux. With all of that said, LibreOffice is actually good software too — it just isn’t as good as Microsoft’s offering. And that’s OK. We should definitely be thankful that LibreOffice exists.

      • Programming/Development

        • Marmite of scripting languages PHP emits version 8.0, complete with named arguments and other goodies

          Version 8.0 of the PHP scripting language is scheduled for release on 26 November, which coincides with the US Thanksgiving holiday.

          PHP turned 25 earlier this year and its latest iteration brings a variety of improvements to those who enjoy the language, which certainly isn’t everyone.

          Type “is PHP” into Google Search box, in Incognito mode, and the first two auto-complete suggestions you’ll see are “is PHP still used” and “is PHP dead.”

          It is and it isn’t: PHP still ranks as the eighth most popular language in the Tiobe index, just below JavaScript. Nonetheless, PHP has something of a mixed reputation among developers.

  • Leftovers

    • Free-Dumb isn’t Free, We’re All Paying the Price
    • Science

      • Trump’s “incompetency” and “anti-science” views will plague US long after he leaves office: expert

        “I don’t think any of us in public health would have imagined a year ago, even with Donald Trump at the helm, that this level of incompetency and toxic messaging that we’ve seen with Donald Trump over these last eight or nine months would have actually been possible under any president’s leadership,” Redlener told Wallace. “But here you have a president who’s firmly opposed to science and evidence in developing policies to deal with this very deadly disease.”

        Redlener added that even after Trump leaves office in January, the type of “toxic messaging” he has pushed during the pandemic won’t be going away.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • SCOTUS Rules Against New York State’s COVID Limits on Large Religious Gatherings
      • As COVID Devastates Native Communities, Indigenous Voters Played Key Role in Defeating Trump

        As COVID-19 rampages through the U.S., we look at how the rapid spread of the disease is affecting Native American communities, which have already faced disproportionate infection and death rates throughout the pandemic. We speak to Jodi Archambault, a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and former special assistant to President Obama for Native American affairs. We also speak with Protect the Sacred founder Allie Young of the Navajo Nation.

      • The Covid-19 Pandemic Helps Tell the True Story of Thanksgiving

        At the time the Pilgrims landed, the Wampanoags and their neighbors had been tested by the years they called the Great Dying. An epidemic from 1616 to 1619—which may have been smallpox (there are other theories)—had killed as many as 9 out of 10 coastal Indians.

      • Hundreds of Thousands of Students Traveled Home This Week Amid COVID Spike
      • What Thanksgiving and the Coronavirus Pandemic Share: As Seen from Boston

        Perhaps more than any other day, Thanksgiving embodies the underlying embrace of endless growth and voracious consumption: normally the year’s biggest travel day, its reliance on massive amounts of fossil fuel makes the holiday a climate changing event.

      • Why are millions of Americans traveling for Thanksgiving as the pandemic rages?

        Then there is the immense confusion generated by the mainstream media, whose presentation, day after day, is that the pandemic is about to turn a corner for the better. The New York Times, the editorial voice of the Democratic Party, has been demanding that schools remain open and insists that they are safe even though more than one million children have contracted the disease. And it was the Times ’ columnist Thomas Friedman who vocalized the slogan of the ruling elite’s approach to the pandemic, that the “cure cannot be worse than the disease.”

        Finally, there is the abysmal state of scientific education in America, the outcome of four decades of attacks on public education, which has resulted in a situation where significant sections of the population deny the existence of the virus, refuse to wear masks when in public and oppose the use of vaccines to protect the population from disease, ignorantly placing themselves and others at risk.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Introducing Vivaldi Mail in Technical Preview

          It makes me very happy to share that we’ve taken it a step further. In addition to the email client, we’ve included a feed reader and a calendar.

          Whether it is the browser or any of Vivaldi’s services – we build our software with you in mind. We know that you are all individuals with your own requirements and wishes.

          Vivaldi Mail is about giving you the choice to communicate online in a much more organized way while having the comfort of knowing that you are in control of your data and choices.

          We now need your feedback on our first Technical Preview (TP) so that we can – together – build this further into a trustworthy option that will let you break away from the dependency on the ecosystems of the few big players today.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Comparing the similarities and differences between inner source and open source [Ed: Inner Source is an attack on software freedom]

              Open source software (OSS) has been around since the 1990s and has thrived, quickly growing to become mainstream. It is now more well understood around the world than it has ever been before. Some refer to it as FOSS to highlight the Freedom part of open source (Free and Open Source Software). And in 2014, at OSCON, the term “inner source” was debuted, and people started talking about how to use the principles of open source, but inside of a company. It raised several questions for those unfamiliar with the term, which I hope to answer with this article. For example, what is similar about the two, what is different, the company roles involved in the two, is inner source taking the energy away from open source, etc. These are all fair questions, and as my organization practices both and is involved in both movements, I want to take some time to share insight with this audience as a developer, as a company, and as an open source enthusiast.

        • Security

          • Windows REvil ransomware used to compromise Argentina portal

            Argentina’s official country portal has been hit by malicious attackers using the Windows REVil ransomware who claim they have exfiltrated 50GB of information.

          • Pipeline – The Critical Risk at the Edge

            We are at a critical decision point, but we do have choices. There’s no magic answer to adapt to the massively changing conditions that we’re all facing around the world. We can cling to old approaches and a fast path to extinction, or we can disrupt the norm and evolve as a global community to transform to next-generation strategies.

            At the forefront of these strategies is 5G mobile network technology combined with highly distributed edge computing on cloud-native platforms. Everywhere around the globe, operators are aggressively testing and deploying innovative 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) technologies and solutions. As these solutions are rapidly being rolled out around the world, there is a compelling opportunity for them to have a sweeping impact on the entire economy.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook pays fine for refusing to localize Russian users’ data

              The Internet giant Facebook has paid in full a four million ruble (about $53,000) fine imposed by the Russian authorities over the company’s refusal to store Russian users’ data on servers located inside Russia. 

            • Microsoft productivity score feature criticised as workplace surveillance | Microsoft | The Guardian

              Tool allows managers to use Windows 365 to track their employees’ activity

            • Why don’t Facebook and Apple like each other?

              Earlier this year, Apple announced it would introduce a feature called App Tracking Transparency, to give people more control over their data.

              Crucially, customers would have to opt in for their data – previously handed over by default – to be used by apps such as Facebook’s.

              That is a massive problem for Facebook, which sells targeted adverts to make eye-watering profits. It says openly that this will damage its business.

              Apple has postponed the proposed changes until next year, to give developers time to prepare.

              In a letter outlining why the change was delayed last week, Apple’s Jane Hovarth couldn’t resist a pop at Zuckerberg: “Facebook executives have made it clear their intent is to collect as much data as possible.

              “This disregard for user privacy continues to expand.”

              Facebook hit back, saying: “They are using their dominant market position to self-preference their own data collection, while making it nearly impossible for their competitors to use the same data.

              “They claim it’s about privacy – but it’s about profit.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Like a Rocket in the Garden: the Unending War in Afghanistan

        Late last week, I learned from young Afghan Peace Volunteer friends in Kabul that an insurgent group firing rockets into the city center hit the home of one volunteer’s relatives. Everyone inside was killed. Today, word arrived of two bomb blasts in the marketplace city of Bamiyan, in central Afghanistan, killing at least fourteen people and wounding forty-five.

        These explosions have come on the heels of other recent attacks targeting civilians. On November 2, at least nineteen people were killed and at least twenty-two wounded by gunmen opening fire at Kabul University. On October 24, at least two dozen students died, and more than 100 were wounded in an attack on a tutoring center.

      • A Good Deed from the Wicked Witch? Actually Ending the War in Afghanistan

        As a consequence, expectations for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to put America back on the path to the Emerald City after a dispiriting four-year detour are sky high. The new administration will defeat Covid-19, restore prosperity, vanquish racism, reform education, expand healthcare coverage, tackle climate change, and provide an effective and humane solution to the problem of undocumented migrants. Oh, and Biden will also return the United States to its accustomed position of global leadership. And save America’s soul to boot.

        So we are told.

      • Investigation ongoing after Russian soldier found dead in Armenia

        A Russian serviceman has been found dead in Armenia, the state news agency TASS reported on Thursday, November 26, citing spokespeople for Russia’s Southern Military District.

      • ICE Seeks Large New Cloud Contract Involving Microsoft, Amazon

        U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is planning new large-scale expenditures on cloud computing with Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Web Services unit. The deal, slated for early 2021, could could reignite tensions within the companies, where groups of employees have objected to working with agencies that have presided over family separations and raids targeting undocumented immigrants.


        Google decided against renewing one contract with the Pentagon; other than that the companies haven’t given in to pressure. In October, Google Cloud head Thomas Kurian defended the company’s work with CBP after documents detailing a $200,000 contract became public, and all three companies have made it clear at various times that they will continue to work with U.S. government agencies. The internal dissent mostly emerged in response to Trump-era policies, and it’s unclear how they’ll fare once he leaves office. But the tension could well persist. Much of the federal government’s immigration enforcement and detention infrastructure pre-dated the Trump Administration, and Democrats have also shown enthusiasm for technological solutions to immigration enforcement, like digital surveillance in lieu of a physical border wall.

        It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much agencies like ICE spend on cloud services with Microsoft and Amazon. Although federal agencies are required to publicly report spending on many government contracts, Microsoft and Amazon receive most of their government revenue as subcontractors, where reporting tends to be inconsistent.

    • Environment

      • Why Agricultural Carbon Offsets Can’t Play a Role in International Climate Action

        Putting the responsibility of mitigation on farmers lets companies off the hook for reducing emissions along the entire supply chain.

      • Roof of the world is home to microplastic fibres

        Microplastic fibres have been found in the snows of Everest. Pollution levels have literally reached new heights.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Last, Best Chance to Save the Northern Rockies

          Aldo Leopold, heralded as the father of modern wildlife biology, wrote “The first step in intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.” The sciences of conservation biology and landscape ecology provide insights vital to the viability of species and protection of habitats essential to native fish and wildlife. Among these are that roadless habitat is better than roaded; bigger roadless areas are better than smaller ones; connected wildlife populations are better than isolated ones; rivers and streams are better free-flowing rather than dammed and diverted.

          A mountain of scientific research from across the globe has re-confirmed that roadless areas are the foundation upon which wild ecosystems and viable populations exist. Moreover, intact systems provide a buffer against sudden change from climate alteration, allowing native species to adapt to new conditions.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • American in Transition: What’s the Hurry?

        “Clinched the presidency” is ABC News-speak for “the media decided he won.” In point of fact, the 2020 presidential election isn’t over yet and won’t be for another three weeks.

        No, I’m not referring to Donald Trump’s campaign of vexatious litigation, which is going, and will go, nowhere.

      • Corporate Media Sources Within the Democratic Party Lean Toward the Right
      • Republicans Have Held On to Enough Power to Influence Future Elections
      • Controlled Demolition of Political Reality

        What’s new in our beleaguered country is not the division of our house but its total fragmentation.  The structure held deceptively intact for so long by constant applications of partisan bullshit, rhetorical spit, legislative baling wire and executive duct tape, is now so fissured and faulted as to be more standing rubble than viable edifice.  We are not simply split in our politics, we are pulverized, in every aspect of our reality.  Start anywhere.

        Economically, we’re the most wildly inequitable of wealthy nations where 10% have more money than 90%, three men have more than half of us, and the richest take everything from everybody.  The bitter resentment of each for the other is intensified by being suppressed as impermissible.

      • Can We Build a Progressive Future If We Dismiss a Large Part of the Working Class?

        But there is something I do regret about being retired. That is the daily interaction with working people from different communities, with social and political backgrounds and outlooks often very different from my own. Instead, like most MAPA members, I spend almost all my time in liberal/progressive social and political circles. I now rarely have meaningful contact with people who do the work – often overlooked and disrespected — to make our society function.

        I don’t idealize the working class. My co-workers and I were fortunate to have union jobs that were mostly highly skilled and relatively well paid. These workers, who were overwhelmingly white and male, could be selfish and individualistic. They not infrequently expressed racist or misogynist attitudes, though eventually not so much when I was present. They often adopted a kind of narrow patriotism that was tinged with white supremacy and American chauvinism. Many of them had problems with drugs or alcohol.

      • ‘We Have Won Over the Occupation’: Israel Frees Maher Al-Akhras After 103-Day Hunger Strike

        The Palestinian father of six was released after refusing all food and drink to protest Israel’s administrative detention policy. 

      • Defeat Trump. OK, Now Comes the Hard Part.

        We must seize the moment. The vision driving these movements, so long mocked and marginalized, must enter the political mainstream and begin to change the world.

      • For Biden, ‘Building Back Better’ Should Be a Global Challenge

        U.S. economic recovery efforts will not succeed if the global economy remains weak and serves only a small rich minority.

      • How a Grassroots Movement is Building Political Power: Notes From Richmond, California

        Richmond is a working class city of 110,000, 80 percent people of color, north of Oakland on the San Francisco Bay. It is home to a major Chevron refinery that has been the focus of political battles about Chevron’s pollution, Chevron’s special tax considerations, and Chevron’s political involvement. The RPA’s 2014 election victory over Chevron’s $3 million campaign for city council is well known. Since that defeat Chevron has stayed largely behind the scenes and depended on other forces to maintain corporate influence in local politics.

        The three RPA candidates for city council this fall, Claudia Jimenez, Melvin Willis, and Gayle McLaughlin, won clear majoritiesin their districts against a well-financed and powerful opposition. The mayor of Richmond, a corporate neoliberal, kept up a drumbeat of attacks in his newsletter, one of the few sources of news of the city. The regional newspaper denounced the RPA candidates. Corporate liberals dominated NextDoor, the community social media.

      • Yes, the Left Should Talk to Trump Supporters

        Left Activism is Not the Same Thing as Left Organizing 

        If your version of political organizing looks like you and your friends working only with people who agree on virtually every issue, you’re not organizing - what you’re doing is called activism. While it’s true that activism and mobilization function as strategic components of any successful campaign or movement, it’s equally true that the left has spent far too much time mobilizing people who already agree with us.

      • Juan González: Mainstream Media Has Missed the Real Story About Latinx Voter Turnout

        About 160 million voters cast ballots in this election, setting a new record, and President-elect Joe Biden’s lead in the popular vote has jumped to over 6 million. Much of the increased turnout was powered by people of color, while the total number of votes cast by white Americans barely increased from the last presidential election. “The main story is that in an election which saw historic turnout, people of color — and especially Latinos — had an unprecedented increase in voting,” says Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. “After decades of political experts talking about the growing Latino vote, this year it actually happened.”

      • Bree Newsome & Prof. Eddie Glaude: The Black Lives Matter Movement Helped the Democrats Defeat Trump

        As President-elect Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris prepare to take power, we continue to look at the growing debate over the direction of the Democratic Party. House Majority Whip James Clyburn recently criticized calls to “defund the police” and argued the phrase hurt Democratic congressional candidates. “It is actually insane that we would think the way to respond to the scale of problems that we confront as a nation is to harken back to an older form of politics that … seems to try to triangulate and appeal to this Reagan Democrat that they are so obsessed with,” responds Eddie Glaude, author and chair of Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies. “It makes no sense that we would go back to the politics that produced Trump in the first place.” We also speak to artist and antiracist activist Bree Newsome Bass, who argues Black voters “are scapegoated when it’s convenient, and then we are thrown under the bus when it’s convenient. … That’s a dynamic that has to end.”

      • The Collapse of the Cuomosexual

        He’s baaack!

      • NPR’s Shameful Comparison of Stacey Abrams to Donald Trump

        It’s very likely that Stacey Abrams is not governor of Georgia today because in 2018, she and thousands of the state’s voters were victims of voter suppression that propelled then–Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp into the governor’s office. She wasn’t quiet about this, not just because the shenanigans probably cost her the election, but because the methods that were overtly employed to suppress the vote were of national significance—and echoed the racist tradition of preventing Blacks from voting in the Jim Crow era.

      • Jacobin and Democratic Socialists of America promote illusions in a “progressive” Biden administration

        While tens of millions of people are on the brink, facing a spiraling pandemic and an economic catastrophe, Biden is forming a right-wing administration of intelligence operatives, militarists, financial executives and big tech representatives. The Democrats have responded to Trump’s refusal to concede the election and his efforts to carry out a political coup by calling for “unity” with the Republican Party, denouncing “socialism” and preparing a government of austerity and war.

        In this context, Jacobin magazine, affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), is playing an essential role in trying to keep radicalizing young people tied to the Democratic Party.

        Throughout the 2020 elections, the DSA worked to subordinate the growing anger of workers and youth to the Democratic Party. This was done first through the full support for the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, who dropped out in March and became Biden’s most enthusiastic supporter.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Penguin Random House to Buy Simon & Schuster

        The biggest book publisher in the United States is about to get bigger. ViacomCBS has agreed to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for more than $2 billion in a deal that will create the first megapublisher.

        Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the United States, is owned by the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Adding Simon & Schuster, the third largest publisher, would create a book behemoth, a combination that could trigger antitrust concerns.

        The deal announced on Wednesday includes provisions that would protect ViacomCBS in the event that a sale is squashed by authorities. Bertelsmann would pay what is known as a termination fee if the deal does not go through.

      • The real threat to democracy isn’t Julian Assange — it’s the espionage case against him

        Beginning in 2010, we, the Yes Men, developed a friendship with Julian Assange and a collaboration with Wikileaks. In 2015, we made this short video about it, originally for inclusion in our third film, “The Yes Men Are Revolting,” but it didn’t quite fit. We think it shows a charming, funny and thoughtful side of the man, and so — despite our more complicated feelings about him after 2016 — we’re making it available now, given the dire threats facing Assange and free speech more broadly.

        Assange is currently facing extradition to the United States from London, for allegedly violating the U.S. Espionage Act — marking the first time the act has been used to prosecute the publishing of information. If the extradition is successful, he’ll face trial in a Virginia “espionage court” that has never once absolved a national security defendant. Allowing the Virginia court to try (and most likely convict) him would be a disaster for democracy — something even Obama’s Justice Department believed in 2013, when they determined that indicting Assange would mean having to prosecute any news organization or writer who publishes classified material. (They called it “the New York Times problem.”)

        Assange’s extradition hearing began in February 2020, with the second part delayed from May until Sept. 7 because of COVID-19. In its apparent eagerness to extradite Assange, the court has committed some egregious abuses — such as introducing new charges in June that Assange couldn’t respond to — that are mentioned in this summary by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and this short film by Wikileaks collaborator Juan Passarelli.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Catholic Church Is Responding to Indigenous Protest With Exorcisms
      • ‘Deliberately Distorting’ Reasoning for Limiting Large Religious Gatherings, SCOTUS Rules Against New York State’s Restrictions

        “Free religious exercise is one of our most treasured and jealously guarded constitutional rights,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “But those principles are not at stake today.”

      • Trump Rushes to Weaken Environmental and Worker Protections Before January 20
      • DOJ to Appeal Judge’s Injunction Against ‘Cruel, Unprecedented Policy’ of Deporting Migrant Children

        The Trump administration—which has denied the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and seized infants from their parents—claims it is acting in the interest of public health and children. 

      • Free Manna

        Moses killed the Minotaur And Egypt was a labyrinth And as he had no ships he split The sea and walked on gravel Like a lizard walks on sand and Wound up in New Amsterdam Watching a sickle cell moon set A jet on its way to La Guardia Passed right over Mars above The trees of life and dogma In the center of the garden one As life, as nature (or physis), Appears as the physician; The tree of dogma, custom, or The nomos, is the nomeus: Shepherd and healer, the Janus of Jesus Where one tree will flourish The other’s diminished —

        Two trees, two forests One with its wood Which builds weapons and prisons Money, pollution The other pumping oxygen And free fruit, like manna

      • Saudi Arabia, MBS Are Benefiting From Trump ‘Silence,’ Says Sister of Jailed Activist Loujain al-Hathloul

        Hopes that Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul would be released by the kingdom’s authoritarian government were dashed Wednesday, when her case was sent to the country’s secretive Specialized Criminal Court used to try terrorist offenses and silence dissidents.

        Al-Hathloul appeared in court looking shaken and unwell, according to her family. She has been held without trial for more than 900 days, in which time she has allegedly been tortured, sexually assaulted and held incommunicado.

      • Loujain al-Hathloul, Saudi women’s rights campaigner, has case transferred to terror court

        Loujain, who rose to prominence when she advocated for women’s right to drive, had been on hunger strike for two weeks since October 26, her sister said. She was among a dozen other female campaigners to be arrested in May 2018, just weeks before Saudi Arabia ended a decades-long ban on women driving.

        Other dissidents, including cleric Salman al-Awda, who called on the country’s rulers to be more responsive to the population’s desires for reform, have also stood trial in the country’s anti-terror court.

        Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have said that at least three jailed women’s rights activists, including Loujain, have been held in solitary confinement and subjected to abuse including electric shocks, flogging and sexual assault. Saudi Arabia has strenuously denied the allegations.

        Officials have not made public the specific charges against Loujain, but last year the Saudi state news agency SPA, said Hathloul and other detained women were being charged with trying to undermine security, stability and national unity.

      • Egypt’s Sisi Intensifies Crackdown on Rights Advocates in Waning Days of Trump Administration

        At last year’s G-7 meeting in France, U.S. President Donald Trump called out loud enough for several to hear, “Where’s my favorite dictator?” He was looking for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led a military coup against the country’s democratically elected leader in 2013, before becoming president himself.

        Trump’s offhand comment got at the uncomfortable heart of what has been a long-standing relationship between the United States and Egypt’s authoritarian rulers—a sort of alliance-despite-dictatorship that Trump took to new levels, often praising Sisi publicly. But with Trump on his way out the door, after losing the Nov. 3 election in resounding fashion to Joe Biden, Sisi is taking advantage of the Trump administration’s waning days to crack down even harder on human rights advocates at home.

      • Biden should rethink America’s fraught relationship with the Saudis

        The U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia best encapsulates the flawed U.S. approach to the Middle East: the support of repressive regimes in service to a superficial security umbrella at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of their populations. It is a policy outlook based on the false choice between the stability of strong men and the rights of the powerless. The coronavirus pandemic will only make state-society relations in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East generally more fraught and is already providing the excuse for the region’s autocrats to curb personal freedoms, crack-down on journalists, and institute further emergency powers.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day Six: The Beginning of the End of Canadian Broadcast Ownership and Control Requirements

        While the largest broadcasters will hold out, they will inevitably lobby the government to remove the remaining restrictions, re-surfacing old arguments about a “level playing field” and claiming that the licensed system cannot compete against unlicensed domestic and foreign streaming services that can access capital from anyone in the world. This may not happen overnight (much like the implementation of this bill), but the future is clear: Bill C-10 not only spells the end of Canadian ownership and control of the broadcasting system as a policy priority, it opens the door to its end as market reality as well.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • ‘Courts cannot shy away from tackling FRAND issues’ – Kluwer Patent Blog

          “We are at a junction where market players lost all confidence on how they should position themselves either as SEP owners or defendants and prospective licensees.” That is the opinion of Peter Chrocziel, partner at Bardehle Pagenberg, specialist in SEP issues and editor of the book ‘International Licensing and Technology Transfer: Practice and the Law’. Kluwer IP Law interviewed Chrocziel, in the first part of a series of interviews with authors and editors of its publications.

        • EPO-CNIPA New PCT Pilot Programme Starts On 1 December 2020

          From 1 December 2020, Chinese PCT applicants will be given the option to select the EPO as their International Searching Authority (ISA). According to the joint communiqué published on the EPO website, this scheme will be implemented as a two-year pilot programme.

          It is envisioned that this programme will enable Chinese applicants to optimise their international patent strategy, especially when considering protection in Europe.


          Although filing in English may not be a particularly appealing option for Chinese applicants, especially for those who already file and prosecute international applications at the CNIPA in Chinese, this option may be beneficial for patent applications that are intended to be enforced in English speaking jurisdictions due to the relevant language requirements with regard to publication. This is due to the fact that in a number of jurisdictions (such as the UK), certain rights are conferred on the publication of a patent application in a national language. For example, it would be possible to seek damages dating back to the earliest date of publication of the patent application for a granted UK patent, given that the earliest publication of the patent application was in English. As this also applies to granted UK patents that are derived from international patent applications that were published in English, applicants may want to ensure that the international patent applications were filed and published in English so that any rights conferred on publication in English-speaking countries are available from the earliest date possible.

          In cases where the international patent application claims priority from an earlier filed Chinese national patent application, both the Chinese national patent application and the international patent application would be published around the same time respectively in Chinese and English, provided that the earlier filed Chinese national application is pursued concurrently with the international application. Thus, there may also be additional benefits in that relevant rights are conferred at an early stage of the application process for both languages.

        • European Union: Priority Entitlement In Europe – Current Best Practice Following Board Of Appeal Decision T844/18

          The Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office
          (EPO) issued its written decision in case T844/18 on 6 November
          2020. The central issue was whether the patentees were legally
          entitled to claim priority. If not, the patent would be invalid for
          lack of novelty.

          The stakes in this case were high. The patent covered a
          game-changing development to the “CRISPR” gene editing
          technology, allowing gene editing to be applied more extensively,
          particularly to humans.

          In their defence, the patentees challenged the EPO’s entire
          approach to priority entitlement, including whether the EPO has
          jurisdiction to examine the matter at all. The Board refused to
          accept any of the patentees’ arguments and determined that they
          had failed to comply with a fundamental aspect of the law.
          Consequently, the patent was revoked.

          The case does not change the EPO’s established practice
          concerning priority entitlement. However, it provides a sobering
          reminder of the sometimes draconian consequences of the EPO’s
          approach and, perhaps, a timely opportunity to reassess best
          practice for applicants. The “Practical Advice” section
          at the end of this briefing provides guidance of this nature. This
          practical advice can be read either separately or in conjunction
          with the preceding sections of this briefing, summarising relevant
          EPO law and then providing a more detailed discussion of the
          T844/18 case itself.

      • Trademarks

        • When goodwill in the business is not enough: clarifying the role of the trademark in a passing off action

          The respondent, Toh Yew Keat, started a successful private tuition business marketed as “TuitionGenius” (“TG Mark”). Subsequently, he and a business associate entered into a joint venture in the private tuition business and incorporated the appellant, Tuitiongenius Pte Ltd. Notwithstanding the joint venture, the respondent continued to run his own private tuition business under a modified form of the TG Mark.

          The appellant brought action against the respondent inter alia for a claim in passing off, alleging that, by using a mark that is similar to the TG Mark, the respondent was passing off his business as the appellant’s. The appellant contended that the TG Mark was distinctive of its business. Under the law of Singapore, the tort of passing off protects a trader’s goodwill in his business. To succeed in a passing off action, a claimant needs to prove the three elements of goodwill, misrepresentation and damage.

          At first instance, the Trial Judge dismissed the claim on the ground that the TG Mark was not used by the appellant to promote its business. Accordingly, the appellant had no goodwill in the TG Mark. The appellant appealed the result.

          On appeal, the Court of Appeal upheld the Trial Judge’s decision to dismiss the claim, but on different grounds. The Court of Appeal held that goodwill attaches to the business as a whole rather than the TG Mark itself. The connection between the mark and the goodwill was to be considered under the head of whether there has been a misrepresentation.

      • Copyrights

        • Access free, high-quality images from HDRI Haven | Opensource.com

          An HDRI is a “high dynamic range image.” In a single image, cameras struggle to capture both the darkest and brightest parts of the scene. This is why when you photograph someone in front of a bright window, you’re either going to end up with them being just a silhouette or the window area appearing solid white. An HDRI doesn’t have that limitation because it’s composed of several photographs of the scene captured at different exposures. In the case of the images on HDRI Haven, they’re full 360° panoramic images with high dynamic range. In Greg’s words, it’s a means of “copy/pasting” the lighting from a given environment so you can use it in your 3D scenes for realistic lighting.

          The CC0 license is basically the same as putting your work into the public domain and “enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.”

        • Researcher Retains EFF To Fight DMCA Takedowns Sent By Proctoring Company

          University student and security researcher Erik Johnson is fighting back after proctoring software company Proctorio sent a series of DMCA notices to suppress his criticism of its controversial ‘spying’ tool. After his project was taken down from Github, Johnson has now filed a counter-notice and is prepared to appear in court, assisted by the EFF.

        • Tech Giants Protest Nomination for US ‘Notorious’ Markets List

          Several major US tech companies including Facebook, Namecheap and Cloudflare, have informed the US Trade Representative that they shouldn’t be listed alongside known piracy sites in the upcoming notorious markets overview. The companies stress that they have policies in place to deal with copyright infringement, adding that the notorious markets process shouldn’t be used for US companies.


Links 26/11/2020: PHP 8.0, Proxmox VE 6.3, UNIGINE 2.13

Posted in News Roundup at 3:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Top 5 Linux PC Desktops You Can Buy in 2020

        The year is 2020, and Linux-based operating systems have never been more popular. All thanks to their increased security and privacy, smooth updates, and open-source nature, everyone wants to at least give a shot to its multitude of distributions. Now we have already covered some of the best Linux-based laptops that you can find in the market as of now. With that being said, we get it that they are not everyone’s cup of tea, so Linux PC desktops are also something that you should be taking a look at as well.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Does Pulse Audio Deserve The Hate It Gets? – YouTube

        In today’s video we’re going to talk about Pulse Audio specifically how Pulse Audio gets a lot of hate for being a terrible linux sound system and whether a lot of this hate is actually very justified.

      • Ubuntu Podcast S13E36 – Singing at the dinner table

        This week we have been playing DRAG. We discuss what we’ve been doing during lock down, bring you an extension of love, go over all your wonderful feedback and take a trip to ThinkPad corner.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 36 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • BSD Now 378: Networknomicon

        Interview with Michael W. Lucas: SNMP and TLS book, cashflow for creators, book sale and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Inventor Linus Torvalds Wants M1 Mac For Linux [Ed: Misleading headline, he does not want it, he says Linux isn't supported (when asked about it)]

        Apple caused a sensation with the introduction of its first Macs based on its own ARM SoC, as they seem to bring a rather unexpected performance boost. Linux inventor Linus Torvalds is accordingly enthusiastic and now wants a MacBook with Apple M1.

      • Tuxera makes SMB compression available for Linux [Ed: More Microsoft assimilation]

        Tuxera, a Finnish software firm, has introduced Microsoft SMB file compression to Linux. “We can open up entirely new use cases for enterprise customers – especially for hosted storage and software-defined storage vendors,” Heinrich von Keler, director of enterprise solutions, said.

        Compressing SMB files for network transfer saves transit time and bandwidth. Tuxera has added SMB compression to its Fusion File Share by Tuxera software. The implementation is based on Microsoft’s documentation, and the company said compatibility is seamless between Windows, Mac, and Linux environments.

    • Applications

      • The 7 Best Wireless File Transfer Apps on Linux

        Do you have some files that need moving between your Linux devices, or maybe between a Linux device and another platform, but you don’t have or don’t want a wired connection? As a Linux user, you have plenty of options.

        We’re going to highlight several apps, across several different file transfer protocols, that will let you connect to different platforms and painlessly transfer your files.

      • Blender 2.91 Released with Better Cloth Sculpting, Improved Animation Tools

        Blender 2.91 was released on Wednesday as the fourth major release in 2020. It features the user experience improvements, powerful new booleans, better cloth sculpting with support for collisions, volume objects modifiers, improved animation tools and more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Add, Delete And Grant Sudo Privileges To Users In CentOS – OSTechNix

        A “sudo” user can run an administrative task or command which a normal user is not allowed to. This guide explains how to add, delete and grant sudo privileges to users in CentOS and other RHEL-based systems. The steps given below are tested in CentOS 8 minimal edition, however it should work on other RPM-based systems as well.

      • How To Install Moodle on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Moodle on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It has become very popular among educators around the world as a tool for creating online dynamic web sites for their students. Moodle brings features to include assignment submission, online quizzes, wiki, grading, instant messages, discussion boards, and others. But since it’s modular software, it can be extended via plugins to add extra functionality.

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

      • Solve error: cannot communicate with server dial unix /run/snapd.socket – Linux Shout

        Then this is because, after installation, the Daemon of SNAP is have not started yet and needs to start and enable manually by the user.

      • Running Multiple MariaDB Instances on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Linux Hint

        At times you may need to run multiple instances of the MariaDB database server software on the same computer/server. MariaDB has an official tool mysqld_multi to run multiple instances of the MariaDB database server software on the same computer/server.

        In this article, I am going to show you how to run multiple MariaDB database server instances on the same computer/server running the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS operating system. So, let’s get started.

      • Simple guide to install MongoDB on Ubuntu – LinuxTechLab

        MongoDB is an open-source general-purpose, document-based NoSQL database server which uses JSON documents. It is created keeping the current requirements of the cloud era & application developers in mind. It boasts many features, some of which are,

        Provides replication
        Easy to scale-out
        index on any attribute
        Deep/rich query abilities, etc

      • The Calamares Series – everything you need to know about Calamares

        Like always some of the videos contain more information than the title suggests

      • Everything you need to know about pacman
      • Orchestrate event-driven, distributed services with Serverless Workflow and Kubernetes – Red Hat Developer

        Serverless workflows have gained renewed interest and usefulness with the rise of serverless architectures. Once seen as centralized and monolithic, they now play a key role in cloud-based event and service orchestration. Until recently, there was no vendor-neutral way to describe service orchestration, so developers were dependent on vendors and vendor implementations. We realized that we needed a common, standards-based language for describing serverless workflows.

        In this article, we introduce the Serverless Workflow specification, now in its 0.5 version release. Our goal with this project is to empower anyone to develop serverless workflow libraries, tooling, and infrastructure for modeling workflows across different cloud platforms.

      • How to Install ElkArte Forum with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on CentOS 8

        ElkArte is a free and open-source forum software based on Simple Machine Forum. In this tutorial, we will show you howto install ElkArte with Let’s Encrypt SSL on CentOS 8.

      • How to Fix ‘Repository does not have a release file’ Error in Ubuntu

        When installing software on Ubuntu, sometimes you may be required to add third-party PPAs. Adding PPAs enables you to access software packages that have not been included in official Ubuntu repositories. Sometimes, when updating your system or installing software packages, you may run into an error indicating that the added PPA does not have a release file.

        This error is quite frustrating as it limits your ability to manage software packages in an efficient manner. In this guide, we will guide you on how you can resolve this issue and go back to using your system without an issue.

      • How To Install Dotnet Core on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot [Ed: If for some reason you wish to help Microsoft]

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Dotnet Core on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, The .NET Core is a free and open-source software framework and open-source software framework. It is developed by Microsoft. It is developed by Microsoft. .NET Core is a very powerful framework. It is usually used to develop web applications.

      • How to install steam on ArcoLinux | Arcolinux.com

        The motto of ArcoLinux is Learn, have fun and enjoy.

        This is the have fun part for sure.

        We install steam via the terminal.

        The desktop you install steam on does not matter.

      • How to manage Linux permissions for users, groups, and others | Enable Sysadmin

        How to manage permissions and ownership for users, groups, and all others to resources such as directories and files.

      • How to set up DaVinci Resolve for High Resolution displays in Linux – Real Linux User

        The non linear video editor DaVinci Resolve on Linux is an incredible free tool, but does not give correct out of the box scaling for high resolution displays, so it will show an UI with very small icons and characters. Even on my 4K 32 inch monitor DaVinci Resolve is at first start up almost unusable, so if you have for example a smaller 27 inch monitor with the same 4K or higher resolution, the UI components are terribly small. In this short article I will show how you can change the scaling of DaVinci Resolve. So join me to see how to set up DaVinci Resolve for High Resolution displays in Linux.

    • Games

      • Bit – Animation Editor is now supported on Linux and it looks seriously slick | GamingOnLinux

        Bit – Animation Editor is a very interesting tool to help people compose and design animated pixel art. Created by the two-person Swedish indie game studio Morgondag, the team behind the 2015 chilled-out space odyssey RymdResa and the 2017 clicking-puzzler imprint-X.

        Morgondag try to set it apart from other tools, mentioning clearly it’s “not a drawing tool”. You’re not drawing pixel-by-pixel or anything like that. Instead, you bundle together all sorts of included assets to create something new and then export it ready for game engines for games, gifs and more.

        The example they gave when announcing Linux support to us on Twitter was somewhat amusing too…

      • Chaotic track-building co-op game Unrailed! gets PC cross-play with the Switch | GamingOnLinux

        Have a friend or two that mainly play on the Nintendo Switch? Here’s a good choice that you can now play with them with cross-play supported across Linux, macOS, Windows and now the Switch too.

        In a short and sweet announcement, Indoor Astronaut and Daedalic Entertainment mentioned that as of the small update released on November 23 it’s now all hooked up. So you can get building a train-track, chop down trees, do a little mining and have plenty of laughs with friends in Unrailed!

        For those who haven’t played it the idea is simple: build the track as far as you can, without letting your train fall of a get destroyed. It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds, as you’re against an ever-changing map along with various obstacles. As you progress you get to upgrade your train with better and more interesting parts like auto-mining, lights, faster building or more storage and lots more. The train gets gradually faster too, so the further you go the more challenging it is.

      • Kerbal Space Program 1.11 will let you fix up your craft during a spacewalk | GamingOnLinux

        Kerbal Space Program 1.11: Some Reassembly Required will be arriving later this Winter, with it some major new features and it sounds super exciting.

        With it comes a new EVA Construction Mode, allowing your Kerbals to repair and reassemble your craft while outside. Just like a real spaceperson, you will do spacewalks and get to work. You will have similar tools as in the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Spaceplane Hangar with place, rotate, and move and you can visualize the center of mass, center of thrust, and the center of lift for a vessel. There’s some obvious limitations like your range to parts, weight and more. The game is also not paused, so you have to try and not crash while doing so if your craft is moving.

      • The fab strategy sim Mini Metro now has full Steam Workshop support | GamingOnLinux

        After recently expanding the game with a free update with Nigeria and Chile, Dinosaur Polo Club have given users another reason to come back to their excellent strategy sim.

        This update comes six years after the original release, so it seems good things come to those who wait. Adding in Steam Workshop support, you can now make your own maps and share them with everyone. They also crafted detailed instructions on how to actually get map-making, which doesn’t seem to be too complicated. Everything is done through plain JSON files with no special tools needed.

      • Valve updates the Steam Linux Container Runtime for Proton 5.13, helps tools like MangoHud | GamingOnLinux

        With the Steam Play Proton 5.13 compatibility tool being a major upgrade, along with it now using the Steam Linux Container Runtime, it did come with some annoying issues that they’re now trying to solve.

        One of the problems was that since the Windows games are contained and isolated from your system, you couldn’t then run tools like MangoHud or the post-processing layer vkBasalt. Valve have now updated the container systems, to allow them to import Vulkan layers from the host system.

      • Unigine 2.13 Continues Enhancing Their OpenGL Engine While Still Porting To Vulkan – Phoronix

        Unigine 2 remains one of the most visually stunning game and simulation engines out there. That’s even with still using OpenGL (or Direct3D 11 also on Windows) while their Vulkan renderer remains in the works. Unigine 2.13 is out this week as their latest iteration of this visually incredible engine with first-rate Linux support.

        Unigine 2.13 adds a GPU lightmapper tool, adds subpixel reconstruction anti-aliasing, even better looking 3D volumetric clouds, performance optimizations, tessellation improvements, new samples, and a variety of other engine improvements.

      • UNIGINE 2.13: GPU Lightmapper, Volumetric Clouds Upgrade, Better Anti-Aliasing, New Terrain Tools Preview – Unigine Developer
      • A pirate quartermaster is a very quirky game about pirate life – Linux version now up | GamingOnLinux

        A pirate quartermaster from developer Ivan Armandy released back in October, and now it’s available and supported directly on Linux too.

        You’re not the captain here, instead your job is to put yourself in the shoes of a quartermaster, the first mate of a pirate ship. Really though, you’re responsible for everything and you will need to deal with the wishes of the captain and often contradicting their orders to appease the crew. The game has a surprising amount of everything, it’s quite a detailed pirating adventure that needs you to learn and fast too. It even teaches you a little about sailing, in its own quirky fantasy sort of way. From setting up gun positions, to organising your crew, there’s plenty of dialogue to read through and when it comes to ship to ship combat – it turns into a weird real-time typing game as you rush out orders to the crew.

    • Distributions

      • Best forensic and pentesting Linux distros of 2020

        20.04 LTS and uses the Xfce desktop, and is available as a single ISO only for 64-bit machines. In addition to the regular boot options, the distro’s boot menu also offers the option to boot into a forensics mode where it doesn’t mount the disks on the computer.

        BackBox includes some of the most common security and analysis tools. The project aims for a wide spread of goals, ranging from network analysis, stress tests, sniffing, vulnerability assessment, computer forensic analysis, exploitation, privilege escalation, and more.

        All the pentesting tools are neatly organized in the Auditing menu under relevant categories. These are broadly divided into three sections. The first has tools to help you gather information about the environment, assess vulnerabilities of web tools, and more. The second has tools to help you reverse-engineer programs and social-engineer people. The third has tools for all kinds of analysis.

        BackBox has further customized its application menu to display tooltips with a brief description of each bundled tool, which will be really helpful for new users who aren’t familiar with the tools.

        As an added bonus, the distro also ships with Tor and a script that will route all Internet bound traffic from the distro via the Tor network.

      • New Releases

        • Proxmox VE 6.3 released

          we have just released version 6.3 of our virtualization platform Proxmox VE. This release now integrates the stable version 1.0 of our new Proxmox Backup Server so that you can easily back up and restore your VMs and containers. Also, the stable Ceph Octopus is supported, and you can select your preferred Ceph version during the installation process in the GUI. We hope you like it!

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GNOME, KDE Frameworks, Mutt update in Tumbleweed

          Four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots have been released since last Thursday.

          Only two packages came in the most recent 20201124 snapshot. Email client mutt had a version bump from 1.14.7 to 2.0.2; the new major release was not because of the magnitude of features but because a few changes are backward incompatible. There were some important changes highlighted like when using attach-file to browse and add multiple attachments to an email; quit can be used to exit after tagging the files. For the full list, read the release notes. The release also fixed a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures that ensures the IMAP connection is closed after a connection error to avoid sending credentials over an unencrypted connection. The other package in the snapshot was the Ruby static code analyzer rubygem-rubocop. The updated 1.3.1 version offers multiple new features and fixes like reading the required_ruby_version from gemspec file if it exists.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Hands-On: Adventures with Ubuntu Linux on the Raspberry Pi 4

          With the introduction of the Raspberry Pi 4 series, with more than 1GB of memory, it has become much more practical to install and run Linux distributions other than the standard Raspberry Pi OS (formerly known as Raspbian). So it’s time for me to give Ubuntu a try again, and see how it goes.

          The first part of this task is simply deciding what version of Ubuntu to install – and that is nowhere near as easy as it sounds. Those who are familiar with Ubuntu and the RPi will know that the Ubuntu Mate project has had a Raspberry Pi version for quite some time, while the “official” Ubuntu Raspberry Pi distribution has only come out recently, and is only available for the Raspberry Pi 4. I will be looking at both of these.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 open source alternatives to GitHub

        Git is a popular version-control system, primarily used for code but popular in other disciplines, too. It can run locally on your computer for personal use, it can run on a server for collaboration, and it can also run as a hosted service for widespread public participation. There are many hosted services out there, and one of the most popular brands is GitHub.

        GitHub is not open source. Pragmatically, this doesn’t make much of a difference to most users. The vast majority of code put onto GitHub is, presumably, encouraged to be shared by everyone, so GitHub’s primary function is a sort of public backup service. Should GitHub fold or drastically change its terms of service, recovering data would be relatively simple because it’s expected that you have a local copy of the code you keep on GitHub. However, some organizations have come to rely on the non-Git parts of GitHub’s service offerings, making migration away from GitHub difficult. That’s an awkward place to be, so for many people and organizations, insurance against vendor lock-in is a worthwhile investment.

      • 8 Best Free and Open Source Functions-as-a-Service

        FaaS (Function-as-a-Service) is a category of cloud computing services. It’s a fairly new development that originated from PaaS. FaaS is a cloud computing model that abstracts server management and low-level infrastructure decisions away from developers, but takes it much further than PaaS. FaaS is a distinct technology. All allocation of resources is managed by the platform, allowing applications to be developed without any thought of implementation, load balancing, or scaling. It allows developers to execute small snippets of code in response to events without having to build complex infrastructure.

        FaaS is often known as serverless. FaaS has been gaining popularity. The main advantage of this technology is the ability to create and run applications without the need for infrastructure management. In other words, when using a serverless architecture, developers no longer need to allocate resources, scale and maintain servers to run applications, or manage databases and storage systems.

      • Open Source/Linux Communities To Join and Enjoy

        Looking for user communities and online forums is one of the very first things any new open source user would normally do after making the switch. These communities can be useful either to provide technical help or just general discussion about various topics in the open source world.

        People simply like to share their thoughts and ideas with other people who are interested in the same topic as they are. And open source or Linux aren’t different in that regard.

        Let us together explore some possible online open source communities to join.

      • The Few, the Tired, the Open Source Coders

        Sometimes open source coders simply walk away: Let someone else deal with this crap. Studies suggest that about 9.5 percent of all open source code is abandoned, and a quarter is probably close to being so. This can be dangerous: If code isn’t regularly updated, it risks causing havoc if someone later relies on it. Worse, abandoned code can be hijacked for ill use. Two years ago, the pseudonymous coder right9ctrl took over a piece of open source code that was used by bitcoin firms—and then rewrote it to try to steal cryptocurrency.

        No one’s quite sure what to do about open source burnout, but some think finding money for the coders might help. Programmer Ashley Williams is a member of the team creating the open source language Rust, and they’re trying to set up a foundation to support core contributors, or get firms to keep contributors on staff. (Some of the largest open source projects thrive in precisely this fashion; firms like Facebook or Google pay some employees to work full-time on open source code.) Eghbal thinks subscriptions could offer new ways to pay for the work. Others worry that injecting pay can deform how and why the work is done in the first place.

        But we need to rethink the very idea of what crowdsourcing is capable of—and understand that it is perhaps more limited than promised. The open source revolution has been carried on the backs of some very weary people.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Querying CRLite for WebPKI Revocations • Insufficient.Coffee

            Firefox Nightly is now using CRLite to determine if websites’ certificates are revoked — e.g., if the Certificate Authority published that web browsers shouldn’t trust that website certificate. Telemetry shows that querying the local CRLite dataset is much faster than making a network connection for OCSP, which makes intuitive sense. It also avoids sending the website’s certificate information in cleartext over the network to check the revocation status: solving one of the remaining cleartext browsing data leakages in Firefox.

            Mozilla is currently publishing CRLite data to Remote Settings four times per day, keeping a very fresh set of revocation information for the public Web. I’ve provided some direct details on how to get at that data from the CRLite FAQ, and I want to introduce one of my command-line tools I’ve used to analyze and play with the dataset: moz_crlite_query. I’ll introduce crlite_status in a later post.

          • Firefox 83 Introduces HTTPS-Only Mode

            According to Mozilla, “the web contains millions of legacy HTTP links that point to insecure versions of websites. When you click on such a link, browsers traditionally connect to the website using the insecure HTTP protocol.”

            With HTTPS-Only Mode enabled, Firefox will attempt to establish HTTPS connections to every website and will ask for permission before connecting to a site that doesn’t support secure connections. Even if you click on an HTTP link or manually enter an HTTP address, Firefox will use HTTPS instead.

          • TenFourFox Development: TenFourFox FPR30b1 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 30 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). I managed to make some good progress on backporting later improvements to the network and URL handling code, so there are no UI-facing features in this release, but the browser should use a bit less memory and run a little quicker especially on pages that reference a lot of resources (which, admittedly, is a lot of sites these days). There is also a minor update to the host database for basic adblock. Assuming all goes well, this release will come out parallel with Firefox 84 on or around December 15. I’ll probably do an SPR-only build for the release immediately following to give myself a break; this will contain just needed security fixes, and there will most likely not be a beta.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice & Open Document Promotion Poster

          Continuing LibreOffice Shortcuts poster, here’s educational poster I made to spread LibreOffice’s ODT – ODS – ODP to all people in all countries. These formats are known with the name Open Document Format and these are better than Microsoft’s. The goal of this poster is to invite people to change their habits of saving as DOC – XLS – PPT formats into saving as ODT – ODS – ODP formats which are better. This poster is an English adaptation of my Indonesian version few years ago. I encourage you to place this on your schools, offices, websites, blogs, social media, and other places. You are free to adapt and share it with your own language. If you are curious, download LibreOffice application here for Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux. Okay, now let’s share once again!

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Music Production on Guix System

            The working title “Ode to One Two Oh” was an obvious choice, being a quasi-palindrome, and its five syllables suggested a time signature of 5/4. Where to from here?

            As I stared at my Emacs session with a Guile REPL (read, eval, print, loop) buffer I tried to recall what the letters “REPL” stand for. Clearly, in my case the “P” was for “Procrastination”, but what about the others? I had stumbled upon the chorus: a description of the Guix development process. Contribute as others before us have shared their contributions (Reciprocation), review patches and discuss (Evaluation), hack on something else (Procrastination), and repeat (Loop).

            The words suggested a simple descending melody, which would need to be elevated by a somewhat less simple chord progression. After trying out a few harmonies on the Grand Stick I remembered how terrible my memory was and decided that I would need to scatter the harmonies onto a canvas, listen to the whole progression, and adjust the lines as needed — all without having to build up muscle memory for harmonies and progressions I may very well end up discarding in the process.

            This is where my composition workflow probably deviates from most other people. Many would use a MIDI sequencer for that kind of approach, whereas I decided to hone in on the exact harmonies with an unlikely tool: the unparalleled music engraving application Lilypond. Lilypond sports a versatile language that covers primitive note input, the means of combining them to larger phrases and musical ideas, and the means of abstraction — it allows for musical ideas to be named and recombined in different shapes. For everything the language doesn’t account for with specialized syntax I can simply switch to Guile Scheme. No other notation software is as flexible and malleable as Lilypond. I let it generate both sheet music and a MIDI file — the sheet music is displayed in a PDF viewer in Emacs and the MIDI file sent to fluidsynth (because I trust my ears over my eyes).

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Good News: Academics Can Make Their Articles Published In Top Journal Nature Freely Available As Open Access. Bad News: They Must Pay $11,000 For Each One

            Two years ago, Techdirt wrote about Plan S, an initiative from top research funders that requires all work they support to be published as open access. It’s one of the most important moves to get publicly-funded work made freely available, and as such has been widely welcomed. Except by publishers, of course, who have enjoyed profit margins of 35-40% under the current system, which sees libraries and others pay for subscriptions in order to read public research. But Plan S is too big to ignore, not least after the powerful Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined the coalition behind it. So publishers have instead come up with ways to subvert the whole idea of making knowledge freely available in order to maintain profits. The latest and perhaps most blatant example of this has come from Springer Nature, the publisher of the journal Nature, widely regarded as one of the top two science titles in the world (the other being Science). Here’s what Nature the publisher is doing, reported by Nature the journal:

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt Desktop Days – Day 1 – KDAB

          If you missed Qt Desktop Days, you might be wondering what you missed. No need to worry! We’re going to give you a day-by-day summary of some of the cool things that were discussed, demoed, and explained. (We’re uploading all of the videos to our YouTube channel, but we’ll provide the direct links to each talk here as well.)

        • Qt Desktop Days – Day 2 – KDAB

          The first session on day 2 was from Nyall Dawson who works for North Road but who is also a significant contributor to QGIS, the largest open-source GIS program in the world. Nyall explains why Qt is an awesome fit for this massive desktop application, and why he believes that Qt is partly responsible for its longevity and success. To understand exactly why QGIS is such a beast (over 1.5 million lines of code and over 500 code contributors), he explains what a GIS system is expected to do, like consuming and creating spatial data, creating high-impact and professionally designed maps, and doing geographical analysis – all with multiple coordinates, projects, and extreme accuracy.


          Bluescape is a company that creates collaborative, multi-screen, multi-touch whiteboards – some pretty “Minority Report” type of stuff. Bluescape’s Romain Pokrzywka joined us to talk about how to really wrangle touch and pen input, and how to develop applications that need to live equally well across mouse and keyboard desktop, touch screen laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.

          Romain talks about the specifics of Qt multi-touch and pen support in both C++ and QML, gives us some of his hard-learned lessons about how to best develop applications that merge these features, and shares his tips and tricks on what works best (like what to do with those non-conformist mouse wheels). He also discusses what’s coming down the pike for Qt 6 when it comes to input API changes, including some long overdue changes.

        • Qt Desktop Days – Day 3 – KDAB

          If you’re building a desktop application today, should you consider building the UI with Qt Quick? That’s the question that KDABian Shantanu Tushar answers in this session. He walks us through the pros and cons of Qt Widgets versus Qt Quick, and explains that although there are still plenty of good reasons to use widgets, there are a lot of advantages that you’re missing if you dismiss a QML-based desktop app out-of-hand.

          But desktop apps aren’t the same as mobile ones, and having implemented many desktop applications in QML, Shantanu knows what works and what doesn’t. He explains how desktop apps are often more complex than mobile, and how he manages to tame QML complexity with imports, assets, and namespaces. He also covers issues that desktop developers need to handle such as screen layout trade-offs and styling to match native controls. Shantanu also gives us real-life examples of why and how to mix designer screens and implementation screens in the same application. If you’re thinking about going down the QML route with your app, you should really watch this talk before you begin.

        • Qt Desktop Days – Day 4 – KDAB

          If you need to play the widest variety of audio, video, or streaming formats on the planet, you probably know about VLC (the “cone player”). But did you know that VLC uses Qt? They didn’t always. Hear the history of this interesting project from Jean-Baptiste Kempf, one of the lead developers on VLC, a project started by rebellious French university students over two decades ago that is still going strong today.

          We learn from Jean-Baptiste some interesting platform constraints of the VLC project (like unbelievably, they still support OS/2!), and how their abstraction architecture has been able to grow and thrive without software bloat despite years of changing software, multiple new platforms, and loads of new features. We also learn what factors drove the switch from wxWidgets to Qt and what the team did to keep their high-performance video codecs working smoothly in their upcoming port from Qt4 to Qt5. If you’re tackling your own open-source project, the dynamic success of VLC as delivered by Jean-Baptiste might be just the inspiration you need.

        • PHP

          • PHP 8.0 Released

            PHP 8.0 is a major update of the PHP language. It contains many new features and optimizations including named arguments, union types, attributes, constructor property promotion, match expression, nullsafe operator, JIT, and improvements in the type system, error handling, and consistency.

          • PHP 8.0 Officially Released With Many Language Additions, Better Performance

            PHP 8.0 is out today as expected as a major update to this widely-used programming language for server-side programming and other purposes.

            PHP 8.0 introduces an optional JIT compiler, integrates the existing JSON support to core (no longer optional), and adds language support for attributes, union types, a static return type, and other additions. See yesterday’s article for some of the PHP 8.0 features and preliminary benchmark data with more performance tests forthcoming.

          • PHP version 8.0.0 is released! – Remi’s RPM repository – Blog

            RC5 was GOLD, so version 8.0.0 GA is just released, at planed date.

            A great thanks to all developers who have contributed to this new major and long awaiting version of PHP and thanks to all testers of the RC versions who have allowed us to deliver a good quality version.

            RPM are available in the remi-php80 repository for Fedora ≥ 31 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS) and as Software Collection in the remi-safe repository.

          • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.25 and 7.4.13

            RPMs of PHP version 7.4.13 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32-33 and remi-php74 repository for Fedora 31 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS).

            RPMs of PHP version 7.3.25 are available in remi repository for Fedora 31 and remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

  • Leftovers

    • Free the Plowshares 7!

      I first met Martha Hennessy a couple of years ago at a barbecue in Vermont, on one of those summer afternoons where the talk winds on and on as smoke from the grill floats lazily up to the heavens. With her grey ponytail and long loose skirt, she fit right in to our post-back-to-the-land community. Lifting her hem a little, she showed me the plastic electronic tag on her left ankle. She was out on bail, awaiting trial for her part in the Plowshares 7 symbolic disarmament action at the largest nuclear submarine base in the world, Kings Bay in Georgia, on April 4, 2018, the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination.

    • ‘Another attack of paranoia’: Community group seeks administrative charges against Moscow school for allegedly violating Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law

      On November 23, Olga Baranets — the so-called “public commissioner for the protection of the family” from a St. Petersburg-based community group — filed a police report requesting that administrative charges be brought against the director of School Number 962 in Moscow for violating Russia’s “gay propaganda” law. Baranets claimed that teachers at the school instructed students in a fifth grade class to draw rainbows as an LGBTQ symbol. According to parents and teachers however, the drawings were part of a lesson marking the International Day of Tolerance (November 16) and the subject of LGBTQ people was never actually raised in class.

    • Diego Maradona: Comrade of the Global South

      The world mourns today the passing of Diego Maradona, the soccer god and revolutionary from Argentina whose play inspired all manner of poetry and prose. The best description of Maradona’s abilities came from the late Eduardo Galeano, who wrote of Maradona in his book Soccer in Sun and Shadow, No one can predict the devilish tricks this inventor of surprises will dream up for the simple joy of throwing the computers off track, tricks he never repeats. He’s not quick, more like a short-legged bull, but he carries the ball sewn to his foot and he’s got eyes all over his body. His acrobatics light up the field…. In the frigid soccer of the end of the century, which detests defeat and forbids all fun, that man was one of the few who proved that fantasy can be efficient.

    • Johnny Depp Refused Permission to Appeal U.K. Libel Case, Ordered to Pay $840,000

      Earlier this month, the same judge ruled against Depp in the actor’s libel case against News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and the tabloid’s executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article alleging he was a “wife beater.” In examining 14 incidents of alleged domestic violence allegedly committed by Depp against Heard, the judge ruled that 12 of the incidents did take place.

    • Working from home: A double-edged sword?

      Few dispute the massive impact that Covid-19 has had on every aspect of our lives, including our work. Thousands of employees have switched to working from home, rather than spread the virus through shared workspaces in office buildings.

      Whether this work-from-home trend will continue, and what its long-term impact on productivity will be, is, however, far from clear.

      One of the most interesting aspects to consider is the potential loss of a multi-generational workforce as a result of the work-from-home imperative. Today’s workforce can include up to four generations working side by side – even a young 5th generation could be added. While this has its challenges, it also brings unique opportunities for symbiotic relationships from which all can benefit.

    • Science

      • A New Study About Color Tries to Decode ‘The Brain’s Pantone’

        Now, Conway is suggesting a new method of organizing and understanding colors: by basing it on patterns of neuron activation in the brain. In a recent paper published in Current Biology, Conway was able to show that each color elicits a unique pattern of neural activity. In this study, he focused first on the brain’s response to a color, rather than on the color each of his study subjects verbally described. This approach reframes how neuroscientists typically try to answer questions about color perception. “Perception is usually taken as the known quantity, and then researchers tried to figure out the neuronal processes leading to that,” writes Chatterjee. “Here, the perceptual variable is taken as the unknown (this abstract color space), and they try to derive it based on the measured neuronal activity.”

    • Hardware

      • TSMC completes work on 3nm process fab, production in 2022

        The world’s biggest contract chip manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, has reached an important milestone with the beam-raising ceremony for its 3nm process fab at Tainan’s Southern Taiwan Science Park on Tuesday.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Calling for End of ‘Shadow Pandemic,’ Rallies Across Globe to Mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

        “Men’s violence against women is also a pandemic—one that pre-dates the virus and will outlive it.”

      • 100+ Public Health and Justice Leaders Call on Biden to Reject ‘Global Vaccine Apartheid,’ Ensure Doses ‘Free and Available to All’

        “The U.S. government has the capacity and the authority under existing law to treat Covid-19 vaccines as global public goods.”

      • A Dangerous New Chapter of the Pandemic
      • How a Turkish-German Couple Invented a Coronavirus Vaccine

        The vaccine success of Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci – both with Turkish roots – is fuelling a new diversity discussion in Germany. In today’s Germany, women and men with a migrant background are still disadvantaged. This is supported by Germany’s right-wing press along with the infamous right-wing tabloid the Bild Zeitung being one of the key favourites when it comes to decades of racial abuse fired towards anyone non-German looking.

        Despite the daily racism, institutional xenophobia, and a rightist press of substantial proportions, the path of Ugur Sahin marks a human and an entrepreneurial success that cannot be seen without German racism. Suddenly, the pair is presented in a glorious light even by Germany’s staunchly conservative press. Ugur Sahin and his wife Özlem Türeci are pushed into the spotlight having produced Germany’s vaccine against the coronavirus as stock prices exploded, and congratulations poured in from around the world.

      • Good Times and End Times on 26th and Folsom

        I’m standing near the sunny corner of 26th and Folsom, two blocks from my writer’s cave, across the street from the projects and down the block from my birthplace, in San Francisco’s Mission district.

      • Fauci Says He’d “Absolutely” Join a Biden COVID Task Force
      • Doctors behind bars Amid the coronavirus pandemic’s second wave, medical workers in Belarus get swept up in the opposition crackdown

        The opposition protests in Belarus have been ongoing for more than three months now, despite the fact that demonstrators opposing President Alexander Lukashenko are beaten, arrested, and fined large amounts of money regularly. According to civil society organizations, there are at least a hundred medical workers among the victims of the crackdown. At the same time, doctors are trying to fend off the coronavirus pandemic’s second wave. According to the official statistics alone, about 1,500 people in Belarus are falling ill daily, but healthcare workers maintain that the actual number of cases is much higher. Meduza recounts how the Belarusian authorities are persecuting healthcare workers amid the worsening pandemic and shortages of medical personnel.

      • Nurse: “We Are Screaming at the Top of Our Lungs and So Few Are Listening”
      • Even COVID-19 can’t stop antivaxxers from publishing crappy “vaxxed/unvaxxed” studies

        If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me, is that, no matter what else is going on, antivaxxers gonna antivax (that is, continue to spread antivaccine propaganda). It’s certainly true that very early on during the pandemic antivaxxers formed an unholy alliance with pandemic deniers/minimizers, antimaskers, anti-lockdown protesters, and promoters of unproven treatments for COVID-19, such as hydroxychloroquine—and QAnon. However, that new alliance, which, thanks to the pandemic’s being the all-consuming crisis and story of 2020, brought antivaxxers to arguably more prominence than they’ve ever achieved before, hasn’t stopped antivaxxers from continuing to do what they do to provide fodder for their disinformation blaming vaccines for autism and other neurodevelopment disorders, as well as all manner of other diseases and chronic health conditions. A favorite among these is what I like to refer to as the “vaxxed/unvaxxed” study, and another such study was just published this week by antivax pediatrician Dr. Paul Thomas and scientist turned antivax crank, James Lyons-Weiler.

      • Donald Trump Is the Ultimate Super-Spreader

        In the absence of anything approaching an actual plan, all he has given the country is performative messaging. And that messaging has been a disaster. Trump is the single largest driver of coronavirus misinformation worldwide. He called it a hoax (it wasn’t); he said it would magically go away (it didn’t); he told people to inject bleach (don’t); he mocked people for wearing masks (wear a mask); he said only older people die from the virus and children are immune (none of that is true). Even after he got Covid-19 and recovered—thanks to the socialized medicine taxpayers provided him—he refused to embrace basic science and reason; instead he ripped off his mask, parading about the White House balcony like some orange Übermensch. He ended his failed reelection campaign by barnstorming around the country holding superspreader events that are thought to have caused 30,000 infections and 700 deaths.

        And now? Now he hides out in the White House, nursing his bruised ego with Big Macs and revenge fantasies. He stokes his clown coup—tweeting, filing lawsuits, refusing to allow a smooth transition to the Biden administration—all the while allowing the virus to run amok. This is the real Trump surge: a surge not of mythical lost ballots but of flagrant, fast-replicating disease. Trump is a walking biological weapon.

      • The Midwest is America’s covid-19 hotspot

        Smaller hospitals suffer the greatest strain—not least because 130 rural ones closed across America in the past decade, putting pressure on those that remain. Ben Christians, an emergency-care doctor at one in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, says it has just experienced by far “the worst month” of the entire pandemic, eclipsing the outbreak in the spring. For the past two months “we’ve been functioning at over 100%” of ICU beds, and adding other sorts, he says. Finding enough trained staff is the biggest constraint. He admits patients from 80 sparsely populated but ever more afflicted counties, sometimes over 150 miles away. The smallest rural clinics, with just a handful of beds and a single dotor, are easily overrun.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Thought the M3 roadworks took a while? Five years on, Vivaldi opens up a technical preview of its email client

          It’s been a while coming, but browser maker Vivaldi has finally released a public preview of its long awaited email client.

          “It arrives,” wrote Vivaldi boss Jon von Tetzchner, “just ahead of Thanksgiving as a way of saying ‘thanks for waiting’.”

          And goodness, it has been a while coming. Back in 2015, the browser makers confirmed: “A robust, efficient, lightweight and good looking email client called M3 is to be integrated into Vivaldi.” And the faithful waited, patiently.

          Over the years, various company representatives have confirmed to us that the client existed, but none would commit to a release date. And now here we are.

        • Vivaldi Integrates Email Client, Feed Reader, and Calendar in a Browser

          The Vivaldi team announced that they are bringing an Email client, a Feed Reader, and a Calendar – all of these together in the latest Vivaldi technical preview release.

          The first technical preview of Vivaldi with these three features is immediately available for download and you can enable it with just a tweak (I explained how – at the end of this post).

          This is probably the best thing that happened to a browser with all three important information sources packed together in a browser for seamless integration. I mean, imagine – if you set up all your emails, feeds, calendar and sync with your Vivaldi account. You can access them anywhere, on any device, and even in Chromebooks.

          But I am skeptical about how the email is stored after retrieving it from the server though. Because email box sizes tend to be in terms of gigabytes for the majority of users.

        • Prolonged AWS outage takes down a big chunk of the internet

          Many apps, services, and websites have posted on Twitter about how the AWS outage is affecting them, including 1Password, Acorns, Adobe Spark, Anchor, Autodesk, Capital Gazette, Coinbase, DataCamp, Getaround, Glassdoor, Flickr, iRobot, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pocket, RadioLab, Roku, RSS Podcasting, Tampa Bay Times, Vonage, The Washington Post, and WNYC. Downdetector.com has also shown spikes in user reports of problems with many Amazon services throughout the day.

        • Security

          • 5 Ways to Check Your Android Phone Hacked or Not

            Do you suspect that your Android smartphone or tablet is infected with some malware or spyware? Well, there are several pointers that can indicate this is the case. For example, your device is unnecessarily slow and even freezes periodically, or displays popups. Experiencing these symptoms can mean that your device has been hacked but that is not always the case. Sometimes, devices act funny due to a handful of reasons including a security hack.

            In today’s article, we give you five tips on how to check whether your phone is infected with malicious software as well as how to ensure that it is safe/protected.

          • Thanksgiving security updates

            Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (blueman, chromium, firefox, LibVNCServer, postgresql10, postgresql12, thunderbird, and xen), Slackware (bind), SUSE (bluez, kernel, LibVNCServer, thunderbird, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (mutt, poppler, thunderbird, and webkit2gtk).

          • Drupal core – Critical – Arbitrary PHP code execution – SA-CORE-2020-013

            AC:Complex/A:User/CI:All/II:All/E:Exploit/TD:UncommonVulnerability: Arbitrary PHP code executionCVE IDs: CVE-2020-28949CVE-2020-28948Description:
            The Drupal project uses the PEAR Archive_Tar library. The PEAR Archive_Tar library has released a security update that impacts Drupal. For more information please see:

            Multiple vulnerabilities are possible if Drupal is configured to allow .tar, .tar.gz, .bz2 or .tlz file uploads and processes them.

            To mitigate this issue, prevent untrusted users from uploading .tar, .tar.gz, .bz2 or .tlz files.

            This is a different issue than SA-CORE-2019-12, similar configuration changes may mitigate the problem until you are able to patch.

          • Financial software firm cites security, control as reasons for moving from email to Slack [Ed: Unbelievable stupidity; Slack is illegal mass surveillance and it’s centralised proprietary software (whereas E-mail can be encrypted, e2e)]

            ASX-listed financial software firm Iress is moving away from email to Slack for communications and its chief technology officer, Andrew Todd, says this is because the app offers improved security and control.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Airlines call for new app-based air travel controls

              During  its online annual general meeting this week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) rolled out a  new proposal for an app-based system of control over air travel that IATA is proposing for use by its member international airlines and by governments.

              The scheme is being promoted as a response to the COVID-10 pandemic, but would institutionalize structures and practices with the potential for continuing and wider abuse.

              IATA is calling its scheme the IATA Travel Pass. As described in these slides,  it would require would-be air travelers to enter both personally identifying information (most likely passport or other ID-card details) and records of tests and/or vaccinations into an IATA  smartphone app.  The data would  be processed by the algorithms of a “rules engine” to detemine whether to issue an “OK to travel” permission message. The output of this algorithmic decision would be available for use by both airlines and governments.

            • Visa Wants to Buy Plaid, and With It, Transaction Data for Millions of People

              Visa, the credit card network, is trying to buy financial technology company Plaid for $5.3 billion. The merger is bad for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it would allow a giant company with a controlling market share and a history of anticompetitive practices to snap up its fast-growing competition in the market for payment apps. But Plaid is more than a potential disruptor, it’s also sitting on a massive amount of financial data acquired through questionable means. By buying Plaid, Visa is buying all of its data. And Plaid’s users—even those protected by California’s new privacy law—can’t do anything about it.

              Since mergers and acquisitions often fall outside the purview of privacy laws, only a pointed intervention by government authorities can stop the sale. Thankfully, this month, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to do just that. This merger is about more than just competition in the financial technology (fintech) space; it’s about the exploitation of sensitive data from hundreds of millions of people. Courts should stop the merger to protect both competition and privacy.

              A few years ago, when you saw a security camera, you may have thought that the video feed went to a VCR somewhere in a back office that could only be accessed when a crime occurs. Or maybe you imagined a sleepy guard who only paid half-attention, and only when…

            • Parler, the “free speech” Twitter wannabe, explained

              Based in Nevada, the company behind Parler is run primarily by two people: Matze and Jared Thomson, who serves as CTO. Neither of them had a particular public profile before creating the app. Jeffrey Wernick, a bitcoin enthusiast and early Airbnb investor, serves as the company’s chief operating officer. But there are other people funding the app.

              Earlier this month, Parler confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that conservative megadonor Rebekah Mercer was the company’s lead investor and agreed to fund Parler only if it gave users control over what they saw on the platform. She recently declared in a Parler post that the site was a “beacon to all who value their liberty, free speech, and personal privacy.” Robert Mercer, who is Rebekah’s father and a billionaire hedge fund investor, previously invested $15 million in Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm hired by the Trump campaign in 2016 and excoriated for harvesting the personal data of nearly 100 million Facebook users. Rebekah Mercer served on the board of Cambridge Analytica.

              Another notable funder of Parler is Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and conservative podcast host with a very popular conservative Facebook page. Despite his apparent success on mainstream platforms — Bongino has nearly 3 million followers on Twitter and nearly 4 million on Facebook — he regularly urges his fans to join him on Parler.

            • Facial Recognition Technology Is Being Used on More Campuses During COVID-19

              However, the resume of David Rivero, the chief of police with the University of Miami Police Department, touts the university’s usage of a camera system that employs facial recognition. “One of the largest security project[s] added during Chief Rivero’s tenure was the creation of the new university-wide camera system,” reads Rivero’s resume, obtained by Teen Vogue. “The system now includes 1,338 cameras, recording 24 hours a day, and featuring video analytics, which is the use of sophisticated algorithms applied to a video stream to detect predefined situations and parameters such as motion detection, facial recognition, object detection, and much more.” In an October 4 interview with Distraction, a student magazine at the university, Rivero admitted to using facial recognition to catch “a few bad guys” on campus. According to the university’s statement, though, Rivero denies the use of facial recognition technology during the September protests on campus. Teen Vogue has reached out for clarity surrounding the matter, but has not received a response.

            • Introducing another free CA as an alternative to Let’s Encrypt

              Let’s Encrypt is an amazing organisation doing an amazing thing by providing certificates at scale, for free. The problem though was that they were the only such organisation for a long time, but I’m glad to say that the ecosystem is changing.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘Truly Grotesque’: On Way Out the Door, Trump Prioritizes Bringing Back Executions by Firing Squad and Electrocution

        “Over 2,000 Americans died yesterday and 266,000 are dead and the gangsters in this regime are focused on bringing back the electric chair and making it easier to spew poison in the air. The Republican Party is unfit to govern.”

      • Biden’s Hawkish Foreign Policy Picks Are a Very Bad Sign

        Biden’s incoming team helped shape some of the most militaristic policies of the Obama administration.

      • How Many Syrians Did You Vote to Kill?

        Syria was not an issue in the presidential campaign and there were no foreign policy questions in the two presidential debates. That won’t stop the Biden team from claiming a mandate to spread truth and justice via bombs and bribes any place on the globe.

        The Biden campaign promised to “increase pressure” on Syrian president Bashar Assad – presumably by providing more arms and money to his violent opponents. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris declared that the U.S. government “will once again stand with civil society and pro-democracy partners in Syria and help advance a political settlement where the Syrian people have a voice.” Northeastern University professor Max Abrahms observed, “Every foreign policy ‘expert’ being floated for Biden’s cabinet supported toppling the governments in Iraq, Libya and Syria, helping Al Qaeda and jihadist friends, ravaging the countries, uprooting millions of refugees from their homes.”

      • The Unending War in Afghanistan Is America’s Shame

        People in the United States continue to pretend that the despair and futility we’ve caused isn’t our fault.

      • German authorities confirm that several items belonging to Navalny contained traces of a Novichok-type nerve agent

        Other items belonging to Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny — in addition to the poisoned water bottle found in his Tomsk hotel room — contained traces of a Novichok-type nerve agent, German officials confirmed on Wednesday, November 25.

      • Biden’s Defense Pick Flournoy Is Part of the Military-Industrial Revolving Door
      • Dutch court refuses to consider alternative explanations for MH17 crash

        The Hague District Court has rejected a request from the defendants in the MH17 case to investigate alternative explanations for the plane crash, reports the Russian state news agency TASS. 

      • Fifth Circuit Denies Immunity To Cops Who Beat And Tased An Unresisting Man To Death

        The Fifth Circuit is a bit infamous for allowing law enforcement to do what it wants without worrying about too much pushback from judges. This is due in part to the Supreme Court’s increasing insistence lower courts take a hands off approach to qualified immunity by encouraging them to avoid determining whether any rights violation has occurred. Instead, the Supreme Court has pushed lower courts to only determine whether or not a similar rights violation has occurred in the past, and whether past precedent justifies the stripping of immunity.

      • Skewed Responsibility: Australian War Crimes in Afghanistan

        The Report goes into some detail about various practices adopted by Australia’s special forces in Afghanistan.  The initiation rites for junior soldiers tasked with “blooding” – the first kill initiated by means of shooting a prisoner – come in for mention.  “This would happen after the target compound had been secured, and local nationals had been secured as ‘persons under control’.”  “Throwdowns” – equipment such as radios or weapons – would then be placed upon the body.  A “cover story” would thereby be scripted “for purposes of operational reporting to deflect scrutiny.”

        A “warrior culture” also comes in for some withering treatment, which is slightly odd given the kill and capture tasks these men have been given with mind numbing regularity.  “Special Force operators should pride themselves on being model professional soldiers, not on being ‘warrior heroes.’”  When one is in the business of killing, be model about it.

      • Feminism Not Militarism: Medea Benjamin on the Movement to Oppose Michèle Flournoy as Pentagon Chief

        President-elect Joe Biden has introduced key members of his national security team this week, including his picks for secretary of state, national intelligence director, national security adviser, homeland security chief and ambassador to the United Nations. Biden has yet to announce his defense secretary, but progressives are already raising alarm over reports that he intends to nominate Michèle Flournoy, a hawkish Pentagon veteran with close ties to the defense industry. If nominated, Flournoy would become the first woman to lead the Department of Defense. “She represents the epitome of what is worst about the Washington blob, the military-industrial complex’s revolving door,” says CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin. “Her whole history has been one of going in and out of the Pentagon … where she supported every war that the U.S. engaged in, and supported increases in the military budget.”

      • The New Humanitarian | MSF and aid worker safety in Afghanistan

        Despite terrible losses, Médecins Sans Frontières has decided to keep working in Afghanistan in the name of a “humanitarian imperative” – and in contradiction of its own security policy.

        On 12 May, 25 people were executed by Islamist insurgents in an MSF-supported maternity hospital in Kabul, including two children, 16 mothers in their beds, and one MSF midwife. Five years before, 45 people were burned to death or cut to pieces in an MSF hospital in Kunduz by the US Air Force, including 24 patients and 14 MSF staff. These two massacres represent the worst killings in MSF facilities since the genocide in Rwanda. No other NGO has experienced such a level of violence against its staff and patients in Afghanistan.

        Since its inception in 1971, MSF has placed exposure to danger as an integral part of its identity; one of the four short paragraphs of its charter recognises the inherently risky aspect of its mission. This “chivalrous” spirit, however, was tempered by another principle: the rejection of sacrifice. MSFers were supposed to take risks, but to come back alive.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Kentucky Judges Reject Proposal For More Warrant Approval Transparency

        Scrutiny of warrants and the judges who approve them has stepped up in Louisville, Kentucky after a no-knock raid ended in the killing of an innocent resident by police officers. The shooting of Breonna Taylor sparked protests, reform efforts, and at least one judge’s personal moratorium on no-knock warrants.

      • Roger Stone-linked group urges voters to write in Trump in Georgia runoffs as revenge against GOP

        A super PAC linked to longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone is calling for Republicans to write-in the president’s name in the upcoming Senate runoff elections in Georgia as retaliation after his re-election bid failed in the once red state.

        The Committee for American Sovereignty, a group tied to Stone which raised millions pushing disinformation during the 2016 election, launched a new website urging Republican voters to “crush” the “plot to destroy America” by “writing in Trump for the Georgia Senate runoffs.”

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Leaves Biden a Quarantine…But Against China

        On the national security front, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s swan song visit to Israel will complicate Biden’s effort to press Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a two-state solution and to stop the illegal construction of settlements throughout the West Bank.  Pompeo used the visit to endorse Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights and to reinforce recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.  Pompeo also denounced the boycott movement against Israeli exploitation of the West Bank as a “cancer,” and denigrated anti-Zionism as anti-Semitic “by its very nature.”  Pompeo’s pressure tactics against Iran will make it harder for Biden to reestablish the Iran nuclear accord that Israel opposed.

        The Trump administration’s economic warfare against China over the past several years will make it particularly difficult for Biden to pursue the necessary adjustments for one of the most important relationships in the world, the Sino-American relationship.  For the past several years, Trump has pursued a trade and tariff war against China that has harmed U.S. farmers and consumers, and has restricted the profitable trade of technology with Chinese firms.

      • Barbara Ransby & David Sirota Warn of Close Links Between Biden’s Cabinet Picks & Corporate Power

        President-elect Joe Biden declared “America is back” this week as he revealed some of the people who will staff his administration in key national security posts, vowing to roll back Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy and embrace multilateralism. Among his picks are longtime adviser Tony Blinken for secretary of state, diplomatic veteran Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations, and former Secretary of State John Kerry for a new Cabinet post as climate czar. Historian, author and activist Barbara Ransby says Biden’s picks so far mostly come from the centrist establishment of the Democratic Party and lack progressive voices. “We need people who have compassion, who have accountability to the most vulnerable, who pledge to defend the planet, people who have a clear understanding and commitment to fighting white supremacy and police violence,” says Ransby. We also speak with investigative journalist David Sirota, who says Biden’s picks represent “an attempt to restore the old Washington.” Sirota served as an adviser and speechwriter for Senator Bernie Sanders during his presidential campaign.

      • Bryan Washington on Fiction ‘Outside the Bounds of Trauma’

        The rare quality of Bryan Washington’s fiction is that he deftly explores the emotional lives of people from marginalized communities without foregrounding or telegraphing trauma or reducing them to their marginalization. In Memorial, his debut novel, two men, countries apart, assess the sum of their four-year relationship while trying to grapple with various forms of familial abandonment. Mike decides to go to Osaka, Japan, to stay with his estranged father, who is dying of cancer, leaving Ben alone in their Houston apartment with Mike’s mother, Mitsuko, who has just flown from Japan to visit her son. The book shifts between the two men’s perspectives as they clumsily form tentative relationships and learn to be vulnerable with the new people in their lives—Mike with his father, Eiju, and the sole employee and patrons of his father’s bar, Ben with Mitsuko and Omar, the older brother of a child at his day care job. That there are few white characters populating the novel and that Mike is Japanese and Ben is Black should not be even worth mentioning, and yet here we are.

      • Are Cuban American Voters Really a ‘Special’ Case?

        A common question this election cycle, especially from non-Cuban Americans, was “How could Cubans immigrants possibly support Trump?” The question of Republican support among the Cuban diaspora in Florida has bedeviled Democrats for decades, including many in the community itself.

      • How the UK Became a Chumocracy

        BoJo’s survival notwithstanding, he’s now having to self-isolate—again– as a result of meeting with a group of Tory MPs, many casual about social distancing and mask-wearing, who subsequently tested positive for the virus.

        BoJo’s self-isolation came at a convenient time for him.

      • Khabarovsk City Duma deputies backpedal on plans to leave the LDPR

        A group of deputies from the Khabarovsk City Council, who announced their intentions to leave the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) just yesterday, have changed their minds, council chairman Mikhail Sidorov told TASS on Wednesday, November 25.

      • ‘One More Stain on Trump’s Rapidly Diminishing Legacy’: President Pardons Former Adviser Michael Flynn

        “One liar pardons another. What a disgrace.”

      • Trump Was No Fluke: George W. Bush Blazed the Trail

        His lies and incompetence created epic disasters that may yet sink America.

      • ‘Proekt’ investigation reveals how Putin’s ‘close acquaintance’ became a multi-millionaire

        The investigative outlet Proekt has released a new report on the wealth of Russian millionaire Svetlana Krivonogikh, revealing her ties to President Vladimir Putin. 

      • Trump’s Election Lies Failed, but the Damage Is Done

        Hopefully, by the time you read this, Donald Trump’s presidency will be in its end stage. But there will have been no graceful concession, no admission of defeat from a man so pathologically insecure that he would rather take down the country than be a loser. Instead, his failed coup d’état will have led, undoubtedly, to a scorched-earth lame-duck session.

      • Disdain and Disbelief After Biden Claims ‘Significant’ Progressive Presence in Administration

        Leftist politicians, pundits, and people also reacted with indignation after a Daily Beast article claimed progressives are satisfied with Biden’s selections so far. 

      • Noam Chomsky: Trump Has Revealed the Extreme Fragility of American Democracy
      • Trump Tweets Bogus Poll Backing His Refusal to Concede
      • To Prevent ‘Another Right-Wing Authoritarian’ Even Worse Than Trump, Sanders Says Democrats Must Pursue Bold Working Class Agenda

        The Vermont senator said Democrats in Congress and the incoming Biden administration “must have the courage to take on the powerful special interests who have been at war with the working class of this country for decades.”

      • Trump Is on a Death Row Killing Spree and Wants to Make Firing Squads Possible
      • Pennsylvania Judge Grants GOP Request to Halt Certification of Election Results
      • Georgia Organizers and the GOP Square Off in a Fight for the Future
      • Corporate Media Begin to Acknowledge GOP Coup Attempt

        Even though President Donald Trump had telegraphed his intent months in advance to steal the 2020 election, by planning to get judges, state legislators and/or the Electoral College to illegitimately declare him the winner—laying out a pretext by lying about widespread voter fraud—corporate media were slow to accurately convey the reality and significance of Trump’s election theft efforts. I’ve noted twice before (FAIR.org, 9/15/20, 11/5/20) that corporate media betrayed their journalistic responsibilities by refusing to report, outside the context of opinion columns, that Trump has been attempting a coup, despite all the plain evidence.

      • New Poll Shows 68% of Americans Want Senators to Block Any Corporate Biden Nominees

        Progressives are calling on the president-elect to reject a “Corporate Cabinet” and instead pick “people dedicated to working in service of the general welfare.”

      • How Mitch McConnell’s Do Nothing Republicans are Killing You

        The writing is on the wall. Do your job, Mitch McConnell. Our lives depend on it. 

      • Trump’s Team Is Sabotaging the Transition

        Trump has yet to concede the 2020 election and quite likely will never acknowledge his loss. It’s not in his character to admit defeat. Instead, he remains diligently at work constructing a “stolen election” myth that will allow him to retain his pride while also building the rationale for a 2024 bid to return to the White House. But no concession is necessary so long as the administrative machinery of transition runs smoothly.

      • Rahm Emanuel Doesn’t Deserve a Job in Biden’s Administration

        The president-elect often speaks of this nation’s ‘better angels.’ The former Chicago mayor isn’t one of them.

      • What President Biden Won’t Touch: Foreign Policy, Sacred Cows, and the U.S. Military

        While there were indeed areas where his ability to cause disastrous harm lent truth to such a belief — race relations, climate change, and the courts come to mind — in others, it was distinctly (to use a dangerous phrase) overkill. Nowhere was that more true than with America’s expeditionary version of militarism, its forever wars of this century, and the venal system that continues to feed it.

      • Hey Joe, Where You Going With That Pentagon in Your Hands?

        Warning and petitioning Biden to dissuade him from a Flournoy nomination probably have scant chances of success. But if Biden puts her name forward, activists should quickly launch an all-out effort to block Senate confirmation.

        As the Biden administration takes office, progressives have an opportunity to affirm and amplify the position that Martin Luther King Jr. boldly articulated when he insisted that “I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism.” In the present day, the pernicious and lucrative aspects of that madness are personified in the favorite to be Biden’s Defense Secretary.

      • US needs to get its mitts out of Australia’s internal affairs

        If proof were ever needed that the US directly interferes in Australia’s internal affairs, US ambassador Arthur Culvahouse has provided it in spades, intervening in a dispute between Beijing and Canberra over a list of Australian actions which reportedly annoyed the Middle Kingdom.

      • Senate Republicans’ Georgia bullying failed. But Lindsey Graham’s ethics violations stand out.

        Graham denies this account and maintains he was merely inquiring into the standards for mail-in ballots. His denial is not plausible. CNN reported that a staffer for Raffensberger, Gabriel Sterling, said “he participated in a controversial phone call with Sen. Lindsey Graham and claimed he heard Graham ask if state officials could throw out ballots.” Sterling and his family have received death threats and are now under 24-hour police protection.

      • Zuckerberg Flipped Secret Switch Favoring Credible News Outlets on Facebook After the Election: NYT

        [...] The drastic shift, intended to fight rampant election misinformation problems, resulted in skyrocketing visibility for mainstream publishers like CNN and NPR and a downturn in engagement for hyper-partisan pages like Breitbart and Occupy Democrats. Facebook reportedly evaluates news outlets on a clandestine metric titled “news ecosystem quality,” which ranks the authority and trustworthiness of their journalism, and the shift in the News Feed system weighted organizations with high N.E.Q. more heavily. [...]

      • Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth

        Typically, N.E.Q. scores play a minor role in determining what appears on users’ feeds. But several days after the election, Mr. Zuckerberg agreed to increase the weight that Facebook’s algorithm gave to N.E.Q. scores to make sure authoritative news appeared more prominently, said three people with knowledge of the decision, who were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

        The change was part of the “break glass” plans Facebook had spent months developing for the aftermath of a contested election. It resulted in a spike in visibility for big, mainstream publishers like CNN, The New York Times and NPR, while posts from highly engaged hyperpartisan pages, such as Breitbart and Occupy Democrats, became less visible, the employees said.

      • How Trump’s conspiracy theories have inspired some supporters to boycott the Georgia runoffs

        A faction of Trump’s base — including a PAC with ties to Roger Stone — has taken Trump’s conspiracy-mongering and attacks on Kemp and Raffensperger as a call to sit out the runoffs. Those rumblings have been significant enough that on Monday, Donald Trump Jr. felt compelled to weigh in with a tweet in which he dismissed talk of withholding votes from Perdue and Loeffler as “NONSENSE,” adding, “We need ALL of our people coming out to vote for Kelly & David.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Cryptocurrency Giant Binance Sues Forbes, Driving New Attention To Article About Binance’s Corporate Structuring

        Binance is one of, if not the, biggest cryptocurrency exchanges around. Its famously vocal CEO Changpeng Zhao (known as CZ) has positioned himself as a supporter of free speech, and even sees cryptocurrency/blockchain as a key element in that. Frankly, Binance is a fascinating company that I think is working on a some very interesting projects. And that’s why it’s incredibly disappointing to see the company sue Forbes over an article published last month, using lawyer Charles Harder (as you’ll recall, Harder was the lawyer in the case against us and has a reputation for filing sketchy SLAPP lawsuits to try to stifle the media when it criticizes the rich and famous.)

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • With Brutal Memories of Standing Rock, Stop Line 3 Campaigners Wary of Rule Barring ‘Counterinsurgency Tactics’

        “I’ve been followed for hundreds of miles along the line by different trucks,” said one Indigenous organizer. “I don’t know if that’s counterinsurgency, but it’s certainly surveillance.”

      • Zero per mill Belarusian doctors spark solidarity demonstrations following arrests over article on protester’s death

        A new type of solidarity protest has sprung up in Belarus, in support of a journalist and a doctor who were arrested on charges of divulging confidential medical information about Raman Bandarenka — an opposition protester who died after being hospitalized on November 12. The solidarity action, called “Nol promille” (Zero per mill), was initiated by doctors at the Minsk Emergency Hospital and has quickly been picked up by other opposition protesters, including journalists and students.

      • US Civil Rights Pioneer Bruce Carver Boynton Dies at 83

        Boynton was arrested 60 years ago for entering the white part of a racially segregated bus station in Virginia and launching a chain reaction that ultimately helped to bring about the abolition of Jim Crow laws in the South. Boynton contested his conviction, and his appeal resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court decision that prohibited bus station segregation and helped inspire the “Freedom Rides.”

      • ‘Unconscionable’: ICE Deported 33 Unaccompanied Guatemalan Children After Judge Ordered Halt to Practice

        “It is not out of the power of the district court, if someone could raise the matter, to order ICE to return the children that it removed on that flight,” said one legal expert. 

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Atlantic’ By Haviah Mighty

        In 2019, Haviah Mighty’s debut album “13th Floor” won the Polaris Prize, an award that goes to the best Canadian album based on artistic merit. She was the first hip-hop artist and black woman to win. The exceptional album touched upon many themes related to blackness and social injustices.

      • Indigenous Groups Vow to Keep Resisting as Construction Is Approved for Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline

        A massive fight is brewing in Minnesota against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit for the project this week. After years of resistance, pipeline construction is now set to begin by the end of the month despite the concerns of Indigenous communities, who say it would violate tribal sovereignty and contaminate the land and water. The controversial proposed pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to a terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, cutting through Indigenous territory in Minnesota and running under more than 200 streams. Construction could also bring thousands of temporary workers to Minnesota even as COVID-19 cases are spiking in the state. “It’s been a long, seven-year fight against this particular project,” says Tara Houska, an Indigenous lawyer, activist and founder of the Giniw Collective, who is Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation. Minnesota leaders, she says, “are willing to put our children’s futures on the line to allow through a Canadian corporation to do as it wishes and to suppress the rights of our citizens.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Trump’s FCC Nominee Asked Fox News To Help Destroy Section 230 To Help Elect More Republicans

        We’ve written a few times about Nathan Simington, who is currently nominated to take over Michael O’Rielly’s seat at the FCC. As you’ll recall, O’Rielly’s renomination was withdrawn after he dared to give a talk in which he noted, accurately, that the 1st Amendment means that the government cannot regulate how private companies handle content moderation. Simington, in contrast to O’Rielly, has been at the center of various efforts to force social media companies to host speech they do not wish to host (a clear violation of the 1st Amendment, which does not allow for the government to compel speech).

      • Ajit Pai’s FCC Does Something Good, Frees Wireless Spectrum The Auto Industry Had Done Little With

        While we’ve had no shortage of criticism for Ajit Pai’s facts-optional, relentless ass kissing of entrenched telecom monopolies, or his wholesale demolition of U.S. consumer protection, his agency has done a good job bringing more wireless spectrum to market. Doing so wasn’t particularly controversial, since everybody, consumers to big carriers alike, benefit from having access to more spectrum — especially valuable middleband spectrum of great use in 5G deployments. Still, it’s complicated and warrants kudos in an era when government often can’t tie its own shoes correctly.

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day Five: The Narrow Exclusion of User Generated Content Services

        The government’s position appears to be that those services do not qualify for the exemption since the exemption only applies to “online undertakings whose broadcasting consists only of such programs.” For the majority of sites and services – even those who feature some user generated content – there will be the prospect of facing the full regulatory model that includes registration, discoverability requirements, and even mandated payments. Yet again, the CRTC could exempt some of these sites and obligations, but Bill C-10 leaves open the possibility of extensive regulation, which may result in sites blocking the Canadian market for fear of facing new regulations. Rather than promoting innovation, greater choice, and new services, Bill C-10 discourages it.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Denuvo’s Anti-Piracy Protection Probably Makes Sense For Big-Selling AAA Titles

        A hacking team believed to have obtained data from gaming giant Ubisoft has published documents that claim to reveal the costs of implementing Denuvo’s anti-piracy protection. While the service doesn’t come cheap, the figures suggest that for a big company putting out big titles with the potential for plenty of sales, the anti-tamper technology may represent value for money.

      • Disappointing: Netflix Decides To Settle With Chooseco LLC Over ‘Bandersnatch’ Lawsuit

        Well, it’s been quite a stupid and frustrating run in the trademark lawsuit between Netflix and Chooseco LLC, the folks behind Choose Your Own Adventure books from our youth. At issue was the Black Mirror production Bandersnatch, in which the viewer takes part in an interactive film where they help decide the outcome. The main character is creating a book he refers to as a “choose your own adventure” book. Chooseco also complained that the dark nature of the film would make the public think less of CYOA books as a result. Netflix fought back hard, arguing for a dismissal on First Amendment grounds, since the film is a work of art and the limited use or reference to CYOA books was an important, though small, part of that art. The court decided that any such argument was better made at trial and allowed this madness to proceed, leading Netflix to petition for the cancellation of Chooseco’s trademark entirely. This story all seemed to be speeding towards an appropriately impactful conclusion.

      • TPM circumvention and website blocking orders: An EU perspective

        Website blocking orders in IP cases (mostly, though not solely, in relation to copyright-infringing websites) are routinely granted in several jurisdictions, whether in Europe or third countries. The availability of such relief has been established in case law, administrative frameworks and academic studies alike.

        The Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) expressly acknowledged the compatibility of such a remedy with EU law in its 2014 decision in UPC Telekabel. Also the European Court of Human Rights recently found that, although it is necessary that this particular remedy is available within a balanced and carefully drafted legislative framework which contains a robust and articulated set of safeguards against abuse, website blocking orders are not per se contrary to the provision in Article 10 ECHR.

        Over time, courts and other authorities (including administrative authorities in certain EU Member States) have dealt with applications which have: been based on different legal grounds; been aimed at protecting different types of rights; and resulted in different types of orders against internet service providers (‘ISPs’).

        An interesting recent development concerns website blocking orders in relation to websites that market and sell devices and software aimed at circumventing technological protection measures (‘TPMs’). TPMs offer rights holders an ancillary right of protection and are deployed to protect against infringement of copyright in works that subsist in multimedia content such as video games. TPMs are a cornerstone in copyright protection in the digital age where large-scale copying and dissemination of copyright-protected content is so prevalent.


        In light of the foregoing, copyright owners appear entitled to seek injunctions against intermediaries to also block access to websites dealing with TPM-circumventing devices. The legal basis for that can also be, subject to satisfying all the other requirements under EU and national law, the domestic provision implementing Article 8(3) of the InfoSoc Directive.

        All in all, it appears likely that we will see more blocking orders in the future, including orders – issued by courts and competent authorities around Europe – targeting websites that provide TPM-circumventing devices. This is an unsurprising and natural evolution of website blocking jurisprudence. It also serves to show the very flexibility of this type of remedy and, matched inter alia with the loose notion of ‘intermediary’, its inherently broad availability.

    • Monopolies

      • France goes ahead with 3% digital tax on big tech firms

        Despite threats of retaliation from the US, France has decided to go ahead with a 3% tax on big technology firms, asking them to pay the levy next month.

      • Comcast to raise internet and TV prices nationwide next year

        At the same time as these price hikes, Comcast also said this week it’d impose a home internet data cap of 1.2TB per month in more than a dozen states next year. If people go over this allotment, they’ll be charged $10 per 50GB, up to $100 in a month. That means it’s going to be an expensive year to be a Comcast customer.

      • Coming to Grips with an IP Business Model [Ed: "AYE PEE" is a misleading propaganda term, not a business model (unless one's business is lying/lobbying)]

        To come to grips with a business model for IP is a dire necessity for any firm seeking to compete on the edge. The many business opportunities afforded by IP extend beyond its ability to protect and enable a firm’s performance. IP can in and by itself constitute a business opportunity. Particularly firms operating in forward looking technology spaces cannot ignore the business dimension of IP. The need to thoroughly establish a business model for IP is given by the sheer growth opportunities enabled in many technology sectors.


        The existing body of IP management suggests that the role IP can assume in a corporate context can extend beyond this single value proposition. Patents can be used to block other market participants from entering the market, but they can also serve to enhance the firm’s reputation. Patent attorney often emphasise on the strategic function of patents to assure a firm the freedom to operate.

        Other than the important signalling function that IP can offer, it can also be an instrument of revenue generation. Often, this is achieved through the licensing and sales of IP.

      • India vs Pakistan: Dispute over Basmati’s GI Registration in the European Union

        Recently, the aromatic, long grain rice known as ‘Basmati’, became another source of conflict between India and Pakistan. It isn’t the first time that a European GI registration for Basmati has been in the news, nor the first conflict relating to a GI between India and Pakistan. In the past, the GI registration of Pashmina had been a contentious issue. In 2008, India had decided to register Pashmina as a GI domestically and a Pakistani body had opposed this on the grounds that Pashmina was also produced in their territory. (discussed here) Pakistan was open for a joint GI tag, but India stated that it could only be possible if it was proven that Pakistan’s wool was of the same quality as India’s. At the end, a GI was granted for ‘Kashmir Pashmina’ solely for India. More than a decade ago, in 2008, India and Pakistan had considered filing a joint application for registration of Basmati as a GI in the EU. However, it could not be realised due to rising tensions between the two after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Coincidently, on the same day, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (hereinafter ‘APEDA’) filed for Basmati’s domestic GI registration and in 2016, the GI was granted in its favour.

        In July 2018, India had applied for protected geographical indication (PGI) status for Basmati before the European Commission. This application for registration was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 11th September 2020 and can be opposed within 3 months of the publication, with a reasoned statement of opposition being required within two months of the notice. India’s GI registration in the EU will affect Pakistani exporters and Pakistan plans on ‘vehemently’ opposing this application. A formal objection will most likely be filed before the deadline. About 65 percent of the Basmati imports in EU are from India, while about 35 percent are from Pakistan. Indian government has stated that it has not claimed ‘exclusivity’ over Basmati. Pakistan would still be able to sell Basmati after EU’s grant of GI protection in favour of India, but the perceived value of their product may change. This post will analyse India’s application, practical problems that Pakistan might face in filing an opposition and the possible grounds on which it might oppose India’s application.

      • Patents

        • Back to the Drawing Board: Indian Courts’ Tryst with Public Interest Principle in Pharmaceutical Patent Infringement

          Recently, India and South Africa made submissions to the WTO seeking a pro tem waiver of rules governing certain IPRs including patents to, inter-alia, ensure affordable and adequate access to diagnostic kits, medicines and vaccines needed to combat the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a development that once again brought to light the uneasy relationship that IPRs, especially patents, generally tend to have vis-a-vis access to knowledge goods. Much of this uneasy equation, including the tussle between the inventor’s interest and public interest, is well documented in patent literature. Quite unsurprisingly, the struggle to balance these competing interests is reflected in the application of the public interest principle in patent law by the Indian courts, especially when it comes to pharmaceutical patents. To be fair (to, inter-alia, Roscoe Pound!), there is a constant tug of war between two societal interests- one, suitably incentivizing the innovators in any society by what currently appears to be the best mode of doing so- the patent system and the other, ensuring that consumers have a real and meaningful access to innovations. Naturally, each society would like to (and should) fix this equilibrium as per its own specific technological and socio-economic realities.


          It is clear that public interest, as it stands today in the Indian jurisprudence, is an etiolated principle in theory as well as in practice, and rendered subservient to the satisfaction of the three-factor test and/or the ‘credible challenge’ test. To be fair, an interim injunction cannot and should not be denied to the patentee in every single case of infringement of a pharmaceutical patent for that would defeat the very purpose of granting patents and would essentially leave the innovator companies without any real right. But public interest cannot be subservient to patent rights either. It therefore should have a greater role to play in deciding patent disputes in India, at least in the domain of pharmaceutical patents.

          A simple reading of the Statement of Object & Reasons of the Patent Act, 1970 reveals public interest as the cornerstone of patent law. A similar understanding is reflected in Articles 7 (“Objectives”) and 8 (“Principles”) of the TRIPS Agreement (to which India is a signatory) which recognise that protection of intellectual property rights must be “conducive to social and economic welfare” and “promote public interest in sectors of vital importance to their socio-economic development”. Undoubtedly, patent law is designed to balance competing interests– the monopoly rights of the patentee and the public interest in availing the consequent benefit from grant of such monopoly rights. Moreover, a first principle understanding of patent law makes it unequivocally clear that the role of public interest is to act as a check on any potential abuse of this monopoly right. Its purpose is straightforward – ensuring that the consumers are not deprived of the benefits of the patented creation by way of availability, accessibility or affordability. In fact, the monopoly rights granted under patent law are in lieu of the patentee working its invention and ensuring that the benefits thereof reach the public. In fact, Franz Xaver, Glaverbel and Sandeep Jaidka have expressly recognised that mere non-working of the patent by the patentee is in itself a sufficient ground for refusing interim injunction as such squatting is to the detriment of the public.

          Admittedly, ‘public interest’ is an extremely broad term, and it is therefore the court’s duty to define its scope, application and its limitations. A situation of clear and overwhelming public interest, backed up by prima facie proof that the patentee is failing to meet such public interest in the immediate foreseeable future, should in itself be a sufficient ground for the non-grant of interim injunction.

        • Around the Blogs

          In other German developments, JUVE Patent reported on the interaction between pharmaceutical and intellectual property law after Daiichi Sankyo won its case against TAD Pharma and Ratiopharm concerning a generic blood pressure medication before Cologne Administrative Court, achieving a further year of market exclusivity via its entitlement to data exclusivity.

        • Data exclusivity means market exclusivity for Daiichi Sankyo

          Data exclusivity could be the emerging battle arena for German IP lawyers in the fight over generic licences. Until now, this property right has been enshrined by pharmaceutical law, and been the domain of administrative courts. However, the case between Daiichi Sankyo and TAD Pharma could set a precedent in higher courts in Germany.


          The reasoning is that generic companies do not have to prove the effectiveness and tolerability of their imitation products through time-consuming and costly studies and clinical trials. Instead, the ‘8 plus 2 plus 1’ rule follows a streamlined procedure to obtain a licence. However, the generic company may only use the study results of the original manufacturer following the relevant time period.

          In the case between Daiichi Sankyo and TAD Pharma, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices in Germany had granted a licence to generic manufacturers TAD Pharma and Ratiopharm. However, the documents also contained a reference to a paper based on a study by the original manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo.

          Therefore, through a preliminary injunction, Daiichi Sankyo achieved market exclusivity and thus economic gain for another year.

        • [BREAKING] Düsseldorf court refers questions on component-level SEP licensing to CJEU in Nokia/Daimler – The IPKat

          While our American cousins were waking up early to put their turkeys in the oven this morning, the Düsseldorf court announced that it will be referring questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the high-stakes patent battle between Nokia and Daimler [Katposts here and here]. The text of the decision is not yet available, but a press release issued by the court can be found here [in German].

          The decision is likely to be the CJEU’s most important decision on the law of Standard Essential Patents [SEPs] since its landmark ruling in C-170/13 Huawei v. ZTE. Among other things, the CJEU will likely resolve whether holders of SEPs must grant licenses on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms to any company that asks, or whether they may choose to selectively license end-device manufacturers to maximize profits.

          This issue has received a lot of attention lately and the European Commission is investigating Nokia’s refusal to license Daimler’s suppliers separately in a pending investigation [here]. In a previous post [here], this Kat reviewed a recent article on the issue and tentatively supported Daimler’s position that holders of SEP’s should be required to make available licenses to all interested parties, unless the text of the FRAND-commitment gives rise to a limitation.

        • German Bundestag approves ratification bill on the Unified Patent Court Agreement

          Welcoming the news, EPO President António Campinos said: “Today’s approval by the Bundestag brings us an important step closer to the much-anticipated implementation of the Unitary Patent package. Once that happens, European inventors will finally be able benefit from the Unitary Patent, giving them uniform patent protection and, what’s more, a unified system for litigation in all participating EU Member States. This will make Europe even more attractive for innovation and investors – and help with economic recovery in light of the COVID-19 crisis”.

        • Preparatory Committee: Unified Patent Court an important step closer

          In an announcement on its website the Committee writes: “The goal of bringing the Unified Patent Court into operation moves an important step closer this evening with the news from Germany that the Bundestag has voted on and approved the legislation for the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court and its Protocol on the provisional application. The approval was given by a majority of over two-thirds of the Bundestag’s members, a requirement which had been set by the Federal Constitutional Court in its decision published 20 March of this year declaring the earlier legislation passed in 2017 void. After Thursday’s vote by the Bundestag the next step is for the bill to be presented to the Bundesrat for a second time in the procedure for a final vote which is expected to take place on 18 December 2020.


          Less than an hour after the Bundestag vote, the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) issued a press release calling for “donations against Unitary Software Patent Trolls after disastrous Bundestag vote” to crowdfund a new constitutional complaint before the German Federal Constitutional Court, against what it calls “the third attempt to impose software patents in Europe, via the Unified Patent Court (UPC)”.

        • German Bundestag approves legislation to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement [Ed: Bristows telling it like it's all done, but it is not. It remains to be seen how many complaints are now filed with FCC.]

          The German Bundestag has approved draft legislation to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement. 571 representatives support the UPCA, 73 voted against. It means the necessary 2/3 majority was easily achieved. There were three abstentions.

          The vote is an important step towards introduction of the Unitary Patent system, which can enter into force only after Germany has completed the ratification procedure. The draft legislation will now go the Legal Committee of the Bundesrat and could be voted on by the Bundesrat in December. It will also have to be signed by the Bundespräsident, before Germany can formally deposit its instrument of ratification with the secretariat of the European Council and finalize the procedure.

        • Bundestag vote for Unitary Software Patents Trolls, FFII call on companies and open source community to donate now

          The Bundestag has voted today on the Unitary Patent, the third attempt to validate software patents in Europe. German Greens betrayed their voters by supporting the bill. FFII is calling on software companies all over Europe and the free and open source (FLOSS) community to urgently donate to crowdfund a constitutional complaint, as the UPC will promote patent trolls and job destruction, without the possibility for the CJEU to have a say in patent law. Only Constititional Courts can save us from the UPC and its Patent Trolls.

          German Greens have betrayed their voters, as the Greens was the only trans-national party in Europe which opposed software patents during the European Elections. The Greens was the only party that voted against the UPC back in 2012 at the European Parliament level, as the UPC creates a non-EU court, which is outside the European Union.

          CDU/CSU/SPD ate the propaganda of the “cheaper” patent for SMEs, while the UPC will increase the costs of access to justice for SMEs. The German Ministry of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD) refused to procure an “impact analysis” for SMEs, relying on an “outdated” and “full of errors” analysis from 2009, while the UPCA treaty was signed in 2012, and expensive court fees of 20.000EUR (validity) and 10.000EUR (infringement) will worsen the case of SMEs to access justice.


          FFII is now calling on its supporting companies and on the open source community to donate to crowdfund a Constitutional Complaint in Karlsruhe. Stopping the UPC in Germany will be enough to kill the UPC for the whole Europe.

        • DEVELOPING STORY: Dusseldorf Regional Court refers component-level licensing of standard-essential patents to Court of Justice of the EU

          The Landgericht Düsseldorf (Dusseldorf Regional Court) has indeed, as widely anticipated in light of the inclination the court expressed during the early-September trial, referred to the top EU court a set of legal questions regarding the right of component makers to an exhaustive component-level standard-essential patent (SEP) license. This news was first shared on Twitter by Benjamin Raetz (“Rätz” in German), an intellectual propety lawyer with the firm of Kather Augenstein, whose clients include Volkswagen (in favor of component-level licenses) and Ericsson (opposed). Here’s the tweet (this post continues below the tweet)…


          EU competition commissioner Magrethe Vestager said at yesterday’s announcement of the Commission’s Action Plan on Intellectual Property that the EC wanted the parties to talk to each other and was seeking to keep these case out of the courts. That’s easier said than done. Judicial clarification is needed, and it will come.

      • Trademarks

        • Nike v. Warren Lotas: A Running Timeline of the Case Over One of Nike’s Most “Iconic” Sneakers

          Los Angeles-based brand Warren Lotas made headlines in September when it revealed that it had teamed up with noted Nike collaborator Jeff Staple for what both parties characterized as a “reinterpretation” of the cult-classic shoe that is said to have “catapulted sneaker culture to the masses” when Staple released it with Nike back in February 2005 to intense fanfare and what has since been characterized as a full-blown “riot.” Consisting of Nike’s classic Dunk silhouette and adorned with a stylized version of the Beaverton-based titan’s swoosh on the side, the $300 Staple Pigeon x Warren Lotas Reinterpreted OG Shoes swiftly led to litigation.
          In the “trademark and anti-dilution” lawsuit that it filed against Los Angeles-based Warren Lotas LLC (“WL”) and Warren Lotas in his personal capacity in October, Nike asserted that it is not in any way involved in the reintroduction of the infringing sneakers – including the Warren Lotas X Staple Pigeon OG, as well as “the Warren Lotas Freddy Broccolini Chanclas, the Warren Lotas Toxic Green, [and] the Warren Lotas Jason Voorhees Dunk Low” styles – and has not authorized WL’s release of them.
          Nike’s suit has swiftly heated up, with the sportswear giant seeking preliminary injunctive relief in order to bar WL from offering up and/or distributing any of the infringing sneakers, including the Lotas x Staple Pigeon, which Lotas offered up in a pre-order capacity in September, and Lotas responding with claims of its own.

      • Copyrights

        • IP Reading Group: Inspiring IP reading recommendations

          Andrew Murray’s article introduces an inspiring analysis on internet regulation, which goes beyond Lawrence Lessig’s breakthrough thesis on ‘code is law’, bringing to the discussion the important role of communication and discourse in the implementation and effectiveness of any internet regulation. In his ‘Active Matrix’ doctrine, Murray argues that regulation does not apply to an individual alone, but to what he calls a ‘Habermasian opinion former’, which is a member of a community who gives or removes legitimacy from any regulation. Besides that, Murray highlights the key role of gatekeepers in this world of multiple overlapping matrices, being the internet gatekeepers that control the flow of the information, and the increasing reliance of regulators on internet gatekeepers as proxies in their attempts to control online activities. Finally, he argues that there are different kinds of gatekeepers and those that are more powerful have a greater gravitational force, making it harder for individuals to overcome their regulatory settlements.


          Another book I would like to recommend is published in 1990 by Lawrence Levine. It focuses on the fabrication of the cultural hierarchy in America. The first chapter backtracks to how Shakespeare plays changed from ‘popular art’ to ‘elite art.’ Then, the second chapter reveals a sacralisation process of some art forms, such as orchestra and painting. The final confirmation of the cultural hierarchy by the end of the 19th century is discussed in the third chapter. Whilst not related strictly to IP, the distinction between culture superiority and culture inferiority portrayed in the book inspires us to regard culture as a dynamic flow, and enables us to discover cultural inequality in the law.

        • EU Study: More People Consume Legally But Stubborn Pirates Remain

          New research published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office shows that, in the EU, people more frequently pay to access online content. There is still a group of stubborn pirates who remain, however, but these often pay for legal services too. Affordable options appear to be the key to lowering piracy rates.

Links 26/11/2020: AV Linux 2020.11.23 and Blender 2.91 Release

Posted in News Roundup at 2:14 am by Guest Editorial Team

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Lubuntu 20.10 overview | Welcome to the Next Universe. – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Lubuntu 20.10 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • Preselections Unlock BSPWMs True Tiling Potential – YouTube

        A little while ago I looked at bspwm receptacles which provided one way to do manual tiling and today we’re looking at another option in the form of bspwm preselections which let you turn bspwm into a manual tiler if you you really want to.

      • 201: Interview with Tutanota Plus $6 Billion IPO for SUSE? – Destination Linux

        Thank you to everyone who joined us LIVE to celebrate 200 Episodes of Destination Linux! We had an absolute blast during Game Fest and can’t wait to do another event in the near future! Thank you to everyone for helping us get to 200 episodes of the best darn Linux show on the planet. This week we have an interview with a representative from Tutanota, an open-source end-to-end encrypted email software and service. Then of course we have our popular tips/tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux.

      • Unfettered Freedom Ep. 12 – Linus on M1 Mac, Snaps 2020, Funtoo, Sabayon, Fedora Pipewire, Systemd

        Unfettered Freedom is a video podcast that focuses on news and topics about GNU/Linux, free software and open source software.

      • Smoked Laptops | Coder Radio 389

        Mike buys a laptop live on air while Chris worries about the turkey.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 882

        thanksgiving, ardor, odin, ready player two

      • FLOSS Weekly 606: The Future of Stuff – Digital Ownership and Rights

        In our conversation about The Future of Stuff with its author Vinay Gupta, we discuss the founding role of Free Software in the digital world. We’ll also talk about the need to list and protect human rights that were barely imaginable in the old physical world—and the radical ways we might make that happen. Vinay is the founder of Mattereum, a London-based fintech company using legally-enforceable smart contracts to enable the sale, lease, and transfer of physical property and other legal rights. He is a technologist and policy analyst interested in how specific technologies can close or create new avenues for decision-makers. This interest has taken him through cryptography, energy policy, defense, security, resilience, and disaster management arenas. He is perhaps best known for his work on the Hexayurt Project, a public domain disaster relief shelter designed to be built from commonly-available materials, and Ethereum, a distributed network designed to handle smart contracts.

    • Kernel Space

      • Tuxera First to Bring Network Bandwidth-Saving SMB Compression Feature to Linux Environments [Ed: Windows assimilation]
      • Tuxera First to Bring Network Bandwidth-Saving SMB Compression Feature to Linux Environments

        Tuxera, a world-leader in quality-assured storage management and networking software, announced that the company’s SMB server implementation, Fusion File Share by Tuxera, now offers transparent compression to platforms outside of Microsoft Windows. Compression is being rapidly and widely adopted in the storage industry as a feature in memory hardware, file system implementations, and also networking protocols such as Microsoft’s server messaging block technology (SMB). The ability to compress files inline during transfer can significantly reduce bandwidth and transfer time. Microsoft released the transparent compression feature to their SMB protocol specification in early 2019. However, Tuxera is the first to implement SMB compression outside of Microsoft Windows, bringing this highly in-demand feature to Linux environments in enterprises around the world.

      • Wake-on-LAN

        With Wake-on-LAN (WoL) it can be slightly easier to manage machines in-house. You can fire up the workstation and start the day’s compile jobs (to catch up with overnight work by the KDE community, say) while drinking an espresso downstairs and doomscrolling.


        If all the administrative bits are in place, then the simple way to wake up a machine is wake <hostname>. This requires root, since it sends specially-crafted (broadcast) Ethernet packets, which isn’t something that regular users can do.

      • AMD+SUSE Tackling Frequency Invariance For AMD EPYC 7002 CPUs – Phoronix

        Thanks to work by AMD and SUSE engineers, the Linux kernel could soon be seeing frequency invariance support for EPYC 7002 “Rome” processors for yielding greater performance and power efficiency.

        Over the past year we have seen a lot of Linux kernel work for dealing with frequency invariance but to now that on the x86 side has been focused on Intel Xeon processors. Now through the cooperation of AMD with patches led by SUSE, frequency invariance is being worked on for the EPYC 7002 “Rome” processors.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Begins Landing Their Open-Source Vulkan Driver Ray-Tracing Support

          This week marked the release of Vulkan 1.2.162 with the ray-tracing extensions now finalized. As such Intel’s stellar open-source team has begun landing their work around Vulkan ray-tracing ahead of the Xe HPG hardware availability that will support this functionality.

          Back in October I wrote about Intel preparing their open-source driver support for Vulkan ray-tracing ahead of Xe HPG and now with the updated Vulkan spec out there they are able to push more of their work.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Performance Impact To POWER9′s Eager L1d Cache Flushing Fix

        Last week a new vulnerability was made public for IBM POWER9 processors resulting in a mitigation of the processor’s L1 data cache needing to be flushed between privilege boundaries. Due to the possibility of local users being able to obtain data from the L1 cache improperly when this CVE is paired with other side channels, the Linux kernel for POWER9 hardware is flushing the L1d on entering the kernel and on user accesses. Here are some preliminary benchmarks looking at how this security change impacts the overall system performance.

        All the latest Linux kernel stable series are now patched with the new POWER9 behavior for the L1 data cache flushing when crossing privilege boundaries. As outlined already, that L1d flushing behavior is the default but can be disabled with new “no_entry_flush” and “no_uaccess_flush” kernel options to maintain the prior behavior of not flushing.

    • Applications

      • qBittorrent 4.3.1 Released, How to Install in Ubuntu via PPA

        The first update for qBittorrent 4.3 series was released today with some new features, bug-fixes, and web UI changes.

      • Blender 2.91 Released

        The fourth major release in 2020 is here to further improve the user experience, adding powerful new booleans, better cloth sculpting with support for collisions, volume objects modifiers, outline, improved animation tools and so much more.

      • Blender 2.91 Released With A Multitude Of Improvements – Phoronix

        Blender 2.91 is the project’s fourth and last major release of 2021 with a focus on enhancing the user experience and usability of this cross-platform, open-source 3D modeling software. There are also improvements to new tooling around cloth sculpting, animation enhancements, continued fine-tuning to the grease pencil, and much more.

      • Blender 2.91 Released with Better Cloth Sculpting, Faster Video Encoding and Decoding

        Highlights of Blender 2.91 include better cloth sculpting with collision support for the Sculpt Cloth brush and filter, a new Sculpt Trim tool for cutting and adding geometry using box or lasso gestures, new Simulation Target property for simulating cloth effects, and new Boundary brush for controlling the shape of mesh boundaries.

        To improve modeling, a new Exact solver is included in this release to handle complex geometry, along with better Intersect Knife and Intersect Boolean, the ability to use a collection as boolean, new options for the Subdivision Surface modifier, better loop select tools in UV Editor, as well as Split Viewport and Render Resolution in Ocean Modifier.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to get Linux kernel 5.8 and 5.9 in Debian 10

        Debian 10 sits at Linux kernel 4.19. While this kernel version isn’t exactly the oldest release ever, it’s undoubtedly out of date. However, it is possible to install more modern versions of the kernel.

      • How to install Reaper on a Chromebook

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

        Reaper is a very powerful tool for audio editing, but it is difficult to learn, so please use their startup guide. You can also use it as a voice-changer, for discord, etc.

      • How to install Lyrebird on Linux Mint 20 – a Voice Changer for Discord – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Lyrebird on Linux Mint 20, which is a voice changer for Discord.

      • Oracle VirtualBox – how to clone virtual machine terminal bash command line – how to tidy up snapshots and consolidate free disk space
      • How to Install and Use Thonny Python IDE on Linux

        Thonny is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Python beginners. It is created with Python and released under MIT License. It is cross-platform and can run in Linux, macOS, Windows.

      • How to easily install git on Linux | 2021 – LinuxH2O

        This article is a quick guide on how to install git on different Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, etc.

        Git is an open-source, cross-platform version control system. It is used to track and maintain changes for a set of files. The tool is mainly popular with programmers for their projects. However, the tool can also be used for any sort of scenario that requires changes to files from time to time.

        Git was developed by Linus Torvalds in 2005 to manage the Linux kernel development.

      • How To Install Redis on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Redis on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Redis is an open-source in-memory key-value data store. It can be used as a database, cache and, message broker, and supports various data structures such as Strings, Hashes, Lists, Sets, and more. Redis provides high availability via Redis Sentinel and automatic partitioning across multiple Redis nodes with Redis Cluster.

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

      • How to Download YouTube Videos in Linux | FOSS Linux

        YouTube is one of the websites with the most videos on the internet (as of writing this post, it is number one on the list). For some reason, you might need to download some videos to watch later while offline. Situations like following a tutorial playlist about a project or listening to your favorite songs while offline requires you to download some of these videos.

        Whatever your reason might be, we will show you how you can download YouTube Videos on a Linux system. We will guide you through both the graphical (GUI) and the command-line way. Let’s dive in!

      • How to play Minecraft Bedrock Edition on Linux [Ed: There are Free software clones that are not Microsoft's]

        Minecraft Bedrock Edition works on Linux with the help of the Minecraft Bedrock Launcher for Linux. It is an unofficial app that makes the game work on Linux with the Minecraft Android APK.

      • [Older] How to install Redis on Ubuntu Linux

        Redis is open source software used as a database and cache that sits in memory, allowing for exceptional performance. When you’re ready to give this lightning fast program a try, the developers recommend installing Redis on a Linux system, and what better candidate than Ubuntu Linux?

        In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the step by step instructions of installing Redis (both server and client) on Ubuntu. Then, we’ll verify that it’s connectable and configure the UFW firewall to allow incoming connections.

      • How to install the NVIDIA drivers on Fedora 33 with Hybrid Switchable Graphics

        This is guide, how to install NVIDIA proprietary drivers on Fedora 33 with Hybrid Switchable Graphics [Intel + Nvidia GeForce]

    • Games

      • Steam Autumn Sale and the 2020 Steam Award Nominations are now live | GamingOnLinux

        Get your wallets ready and your votes as two big events are happening and live now on Steam with both the Steam Autumn Sale and the 2020 Steam Award Nominations.

        Firstly, let’s talk about the Steam Awards. This is the fifth annual event, where users all across Steam can vote for their favourite games across different categories. The final voting will take place in December, with nominations running until December 1 at 5PM UTC.

      • Metro Exodus is still planned to release for Linux and macOS | GamingOnLinux

        4A Games have confirmed in an official 10th anniversary update post today that Metro Exodus is still going to release for Linux and macOS as well.

        They gave a small overview in the post about what’s been going on like celebrating the first release of Metro 2033 which arrived back in March 2010. Not only that, they recently got acquired by Embracer Group who also control Koch Media, Saber Interactive, THQ Nordic and others. Specifically, 4A Games are now an independently run subsidiary of Saber Interactive.

      • 4A Games Still Working On Linux Port Of Metro Exodus – Phoronix

        While Metro Exodus can run on Linux right now via Steam Play, 4A Games is still working on a port of this popular game to Linux and Mac systems.

        Following the reliable ports of Metro 2033 and Metro Redux to Linux, we’ve been looking forward to the native Linux port of Metro Exodus since at least the earlier versions have been benchmark-friendly for our needs following the Linux port (complete with CLI switches, unlike the Windows version at least at the time).

      • Godot Game Engine Has Been Backing “Betsy” As A GPU-Based Texture Compressor – Phoronix

        The Godot Game Engine has been funding work on a GPU-based texture compressor to deal with the issue that importing textures to this leading open-source game engine can often be painfully slow.

        Betsy is the open-source project being worked on for the Godot Engine. Betsy implements BC6, ETC1, ETC2, and EAC algorithms among others using GLSL compute shaders. This compressor is implemented as GLSL compute shaders so the work can be offloaded to the graphics processor either via OpenGL or Vulkan usage as well.

      • Godot Engine – Introducing the Betsy GPU texture compressor

        My name is Matias N. Goldberg, I normally maintain the 2.x branch of Ogre aka ogre-next and I wrote Betsy, a GPU texture compressor that runs on GPUs.

        This work was commissioned by Godot Engine through the Software Freedom Conservancy to solve a major complaint: importing textures is excruciantly slow and takes many minutes.

        Certain compression algorithms such as BC1-5 are quite simple and there are already fast high quality compression algorithms.

        However algorithms such as BC6, ETC1, ETC2 and EAC are currently taking the majority of time and thus considerably attention were given to these.

        Nonetheless Betsy implemented compute-shader versions for BC1,3,4,5,6, ETC1,2 and EAC algorithms.

        Betsy works as a standard Command Line tool which means it can be used like any other exe tool outside of Godot.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.38.2 Desktop Environment Is Out with Even More Improvements and Bug Fixes

          Coming two months after the first point release, GNOME 3.38.2 is here with better support for the GNOME OS project that lets developers and user test drive upcoming features of the popular desktop environment.

          This support was implemented in the GNOME Boxes software, which now comes with up-to-date download URLs for GNOME OS, the ability to install GNOME OS under the osinfo custom database, as well as updated recommended downloads for the latest Linux distro releases and improved handling of file extensions.

        • Friends of GNOME Update – November 2020 – Getting to know GNOME

          The Seattle GNU/Linux Conference took place online this year and we were there. Executive Director Neil McGovern gave a presentation titled “Patently Obvious” about our legal case with a patent assertion entity and how the settlement impacts all of FOSS.

          Strategic Initiatives Manager M. de Blanc gave a surprise talk that had nothing to do with GNOME, but discussed the Foundation nonetheless.

          We also had talks at Linux Application Summit and GNOME.Asia, which you can read more about below.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • OSMC’s November update is here with Kodi v18.9

          Last month, we released Debian Buster with Kodi v18.8. While this version had the majority of fixes backported from Kodi v18.9 which was still in progress, we’ve decided to issue a final release of the Kodi Leia series in the form of an 18.9 point release.

          Our focus will now be on enabling OSMC support for Kodi v19 (codename Matrix) which is now in beta release. This new version of Kodi will bring a significant number of improvements. However — it should be noted that this new Kodi release will also introduce some caveats, and this is why we’ve chosen to polish the Kodi v18.x series of OSMC as much as possible, particularly as some users may need to stay on this version if there device is no longer supported or their add-ons do not work with the new version.

          Kodi Matrix upgrades its Python implementation from Python 2.x to Python 3.x. While the majority of add-ons have already been updated to support this new version, you may find that some add-ons do not work. Furthermore, Raspberry Pi 0, 1 and Vero 2 will no longer be supported, meaning that this release will be the final supported version for these devices.

        • Multimedia-Oriented AV Linux Distro Rebased on MX Linux, Adds New and Updated Audio Tools

          Based on the latest MX Linux 19.3 “Patito Feo” release, AV Linux MX Edition is here about six months after the last update to the project with many new and updated tools for audio production and musicians. The distro is still based on Debian GNU/Linux, but not derived from it anymore, but instead from MX Linux.

          This means that AV Linux now inherits many of MX Linux’s goodies, including the fact that it doesn’t ship with the systemd init system by default. Of course, it also includes the many great tools and utilities of MX Linux.

        • AV Linux 2020.11.23 Released, Based On MX Linux 19.3 ‘Patito Feo’

          After more than six months of development, the creator and maintainer of AV Linux Glen MacArthur released a new version 2020.11.23.


          Being a first build based on MX Linux, AVL-MXE comes in two separate editions for the x86_64 platform with Xfce desktop, Linux Kernel 5.9.1-rt20, and i386 platform with (Xfce plus) Openbox window manager, Kernel 5.9.1-rt19.

          Unlike the MX approach to provide trusted third-party repositories for software packages, AVL-MXE provides carefully selected repositories that are specifically created for users of Debian GNU/Linux.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Presenting Cockpit Wicked | YaST

          If you are into systems management, you most likely have heard about Cockpit at some point. In a nutshell, it offers a good looking web-based interface to perform system tasks like inspecting the logs, applying system updates, configuring the network, managing services, and so on. If you want to give it a try, you can install Cockpit in openSUSE Tumbleweed just by typing zypper in cockpit.


          Cockpit already features a nice module to configure the network so you might be wondering why not extending the original instead of creating a new one. The module shipped with Cockpit is specific to NetworkManager and adapting it to a different backend can be hard.

          In our case, we are trying to build something that could be adapted in the future to support more backends, but we are not sure how realistic this idea is.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Got something to say? How to get started writing

          Well, I suppose after all this talk of how to find your story and then write your story, I should make a post about how to do just that. I’ve broken it down into three sections: how to find your story, how to write your story, and how to share it and get it published.

          During the All Things Open virtual event this year, I was invited to share my tips, and now you can watch that. It’s about 20 minutes with some questions and commentary at the end.


          First, decide whether you want to self-publish, on your own blog or a place like Medium, or if you want to get your article published on a publication like Opensource.com or Linux Today.

          If you’re reaching out to a publication, try to find information about how they would like you to submit your article. Some have webforms, some want you to simply send them an email. Some, like us, have both. Let them know who you are, what you wrote about, and perhaps why you wrote about it.

          For example: My name is Jen Wike Huger. I’m a community manager and editor for Opensource.com, so my expertise is writing and working with authors. My article is about how to find your story, writing, and getting published.

        • Crunchy Data PostgreSQL on Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage

          Deploying critical PostgreSQL applications in the cloud requires both consistent performance and resilience to protect essential data for business continuity. Together, technologies from Crunchy Data and Red Hat can help enable organizations to deliver data resilience for critical PostgreSQL applications.

          Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage plays an increasingly important role, letting organizations deploy reliable, scalable, and highly available persistent storage for their most important PostgreSQL applications. This single software-defined storage solution can be launched on premise, in the public cloud, or in hybrid cloud deployments—increasing agility and resilience even as it simplifies operations.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.8.1 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.8.1 is generally available as of November 23, 2020.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Allies With Docker Inc. on Secure Containers

          Docker Inc. CEO Scott Johnston says this alliance with Canonical extends a verified publisher initiative that already spans 200 organizations. There are now 160 Docker Official Images available via Docker Hub, which is accessed by more than 11 million active developers, according to the company. On average, Johnston notes there are more than 13+ billion pulls per month from 7.9 million application repositories that reside within the Docker Hub container registry.

          Docker Hub container registry is at the core of the ongoing effort to recast Docker Inc. as a provider of tools that optimize workflows for developers building container applications. Currently it is the largest public container registry employed; however, there are now several alternatives to Docker Hub that cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) are positioning as platforms that have no rate limitations. Those alternatives, however, will only make it more complicated for developers to employ container images across multiple platforms, notes Johnston.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Technology as it Should Be

        In Imagine a world without apps Shira Ovide asks “a wild question: What if we played games, shopped, watched Netflix and read news on our smartphones — without using apps? Our smartphones, like our computers, would instead mostly be gateways to go online through a web browser.”

        This question can be extrapolated into a larger question: “What do we want from our technology?”

        The power of control by Big-Tech in the app store is but a small example of exploitation of our digital lives. If you don’t control the software, the companies who wrote that software control you. You become a digital prisoner.


        The ability to encrypt your personal data with your own keys on your own device ensures that you fully control your digital life. With this as the starting point, you can then choose (aka opt-in) to share what you want with the people you want. This right is rooted in personal property rights, and is one of the most egregious abuses by Big Tech and those that have influence over them. If manufacturers, operating system developers, and software developers took a Hippocratic-like oath, one area society would agree on is the right that your personal data is your personal property and something you must retain control over and consent to share before it leaves your possession.

        Without regulatory assistance to protect personal data, society is left to fend for itself against the pressure from a multi-trillion dollar industry to exploit that personal data. There is no way to resist that pressure without the market creating convenient alternatives that honor that right while completely avoiding Big Tech. Purism creates products that are increasing in convenience daily, that fully protect you, and these products are the market answer to the worst abuses of Big Tech companies.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 83 on POWER

            LTO-PGO is still working great in Firefox 83, which expands in-browser PDF support, adds additional features to Picture-in-Picture (which is still one of my favourite tools in Firefox) and some miscellany developer changes. The exact same process, configs and patches to build a fully link-time and profile-guided optimized build work that was used in Firefox 82.

      • CMS

        • The Best 21 Open-source Headless CMS for 2020

          A headless CMS (content management system) is a backend system which works the content available through API (RESTful API or GraphQL). It’s built to give the developers the possibilities to create what they want.

          The API-driven headless approach is trending right now especially for enterprise users and developers.

          Headless CMS programs can be used as a backend for mobile apps, static generated websites with frameworks like Next, Nuxt, Gridsome and Hugo which also supports server-side rendering. They can be also used to manage IoT (Internet of Things) applications.

        • 17 Best Open-source Self-hosted Commenting Systems

          Unlike the majority of content management systems (CMSs) which have built-in embedded comments functionalities (like WordPress), many systems don’t have comments by default, especially the newly trending static generators.

          As example this blog is powered by Ghost which is an open-source blogging system that comes with many functions and options except comments, also it does not have a plugin system to extend it with comments plugin. So, we are forced like many other users to find external options which was Disqus.

      • FSFE

        • Software Freedom in Europe 2020

          2020 is a year to remember. While many may remember the pandemic, there have nevertheless been many positive changes in terms of Free Software in recent months. In fact, a lot has changed. You can now read in one document how busy our movement was in our annual report Software Freedom in Europe 2020.

          The EU and the WHO followed our arguments that publicly funded Corona-related contact tracing apps should be published only under a Free Software license. Several cities, including Munich, promised to rely more on Free Software in the future. We convinced publicly funded hackathons to publish their results as Free Software, and the largest conservative party in Europe, the German CDU, resolved to join the FSFE in demanding that software developed with public money should be publicly available as Free Software.

      • FSF

        • Help in the fight against DMCA anti-circumvention rules by December 7th

          The United States Copyright Office is now accepting comments in support of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions, and we need your help by December 7th to ensure that every new exemption is granted.

          The DMCA has been making headlines recently for all the wrong reasons. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recently was able to temporarily have youtube-dl removed from GitHub, via a poorly thought out take down notice. GitHub has now restored youtube-dl, but not before forcing some changes to the project. While the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA can have some use, it’s clearly an abuse for the RIAA to interfere with such a project — particularly given that part of their notice was a claim about some sort of violation of YouTube’s rights, not the RIAA’s, and was related to a different section of the DMCA, the section 1201 anti-circumvention provisions. Those provisions create legal penalties for avoiding Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and even harsher penalties for sharing the tools to do so.

          This last point — the separate penalties for sharing tools used to remove restrictions — is especially important. Recently, Google demanded GitHub take down tools used to work around its Widevine DRM. This just underscores that users will be unable to take advantage of even approved exemptions, unless they are able to write their own tools from scratch to get the DRM out of their way. It’s like saying everyone is free to cook what they want in their own kitchen, but buying and selling stoves is illegal.

        • Support UserFreedom by purchasing gifts from the GNU Press Shop

          To celebrate this year’s thirty-fifth anniversary of the FSF, we designed and issued an extremely cool undersea-themed 35th Anniversary T-shirt. The initial run sold out faster than a weekend scuba diving trip, but we’ve reprinted them in a new color scheme worthy of Neptune himself — lots of these are in stock and ready to send to you.

          But that’s not all! So excited are we on the occasion of FSF’s coral anniversary that we also made new socks. Warm your toes with the brand new FSF thirty-fifth anniversary socks — crew-length socks whose coral, black, and blue color scheme will match your FSF 35th Anniversary Poster. Orders for these limited edition socks will be accepted on a “pre-order” basis until December 9th — we’ll collect customer orders, then print the socks, which I’ll then ship to you. Be sure to order socks within the above time frame if you want them, because we won’t have a lot of surplus after the orders are filled.


          Finally, a note about shipping. The current pandemic places a lot of obstacles to buying and selling merchandise at FSF, so your order may be shipped less punctually than before — but it absolutely will be shipped. This time of year, many customers place orders hoping to have them in hand by December 25. If this is you, and you are in the United States, please place your order before December 4, in order to provide us with the necessary lead time to make sure that your gifts are shipped on time. In any circumstance, it’s advisable to place any order as soon as you can; I will endeavor to ship it as promptly as circumstances permit. As always, don’t hesitate to email sales@fsf.org with any questions or concerns about shipping, inventory, payment, suggestions for future items for sale, or anything else — this email address is the first thing I check every work day, especially at this time of year.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 6.0 RC1 Takes Flight – Qt 6.0 Should Be Here By Mid-December – Phoronix

          The Qt Company has just announced Qt 6.0 Release Candidate 1 as what should be the second to the last test build ahead of the big Qt 6.0 toolkit release next month.

          Qt 6.0 Release Candidate 1 has the latest batch of bug/regression fixes to the Qt6 code-base. The very basic Qt 6.0 RC1 release announcement can be read on the Qt development list.

        • Porting from Qt 5 to Qt 6 using Qt5Compat library

          Porting from Qt 5 to Qt 6 has been intentionally kept easy. There has been a conscious effort throughout the development of Qt 6 to maintain as much source compatibility with Qt 5 as possible. Still, some effort is involved in porting. This short post summarizes some of the steps required when porting to Qt 6.

          In Qt 5 some of the classes already had existing replacements, and some classes got successors during the Qt 6 development phase. Therefore it might make sense to be able to compile your code with both the old and new Qt version. This can ensure that the amount of work where your code does not compile with either version is minimized, allowing your application or library to continue to work with Qt 5 and Qt 6. Another advantage could be that existing unit tests continue to work for most of the duration of porting, and regressions resulting from porting your code are easily distinguished from bugs introduced in Qt 6.

        • PHP 8.0 Ready To Ship With Many New Features, Even Better Performance – Phoronix

          PHP 8.0 is scheduled for release tomorrow on the US Thanksgiving day. PHP 8.0 brings with it many new language features on top of the opt-in JIT compiler support. Here is a look at some of the PHP 8.0 changes along with a quick look at the near final performance of PHP 8.0 on an AMD EPYC Linux server.

          PHP 8.0 is a very worthy successor to last year’s PHP 7.4. Besides the JIT compiler there is a ton of work incorporated into this big version bump. Among the PHP 8.0 highlights are:

          - PHP8 introduces the much anticipated Just In Time (JIT) compiler for further enhancing the speed of PHP scripts. More details on PHP’s JIT compiler via this Wiki page.

        • Going from Android LinearLayout to CSS flexbox

          Are you an Android developer looking to learn web development? I find it easier to learn a new technology stack by comparing it to a stack I’m already familiar with. Android developers can layout views using the simple yet flexible LinearLayout class. The web platform has similar tools to layout elements using CSS, and some concepts are shared. Here’s some tips to learn web development using your Android knowledge.

        • Software Diagrams Aren’t Always Correct and That’s OK

          Concretely, software is just bits in electronic storage that control and/or are manipulated by processors. Abstractions are the building blocks that enable humans to design and build complex software systems out of bits. Abstractions are products of out minds—they allow us to assign meaning to clusters (some large, some small) of bits. They allow us to build software systems without thinking about billions of bits or how processors work.

          We manifest some useful and generally simple abstractions (instructions, statements, functions, classes, modules, etc.) as “code” using other abstractions we call “languages.” Languages give us a common vocabulary for us to communicate about those abstract building blocks and to produce the corresponding bits. There are many useful tools that can and should be created to help us understand the code-level operation of a system.

          But most systems we build today are too complex to be fully understood at the level of code. In designing them we must use higher-level abstractions to conceptualize, compose, and organize code. Abstract machines, frameworks, patterns, roles, stereotypes, heuristics, constraints, etc. are examples of such higher-level abstractions.

          The languages we commonly use provide few, if any, mechanisms for directly identifying such higher-level abstractions. These abstractions may manifest as naming or other coding conventions but recognizing them as such depends upon a pre-existing shared understanding between the writer and readers of the code.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • How to Convert Integer into String in Python | Linuxize

            Python has several built-in data types. Sometimes, when writing Python code, you might need to convert one data type to another. For example, concatenate a string and integer, first, you’ll need to convert the integer into a string.

          • How To Install PyCharm on Debian 10

            In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PyCharm on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, PyCharm is an intelligent and fully-featured IDE for Python developed by JetBrains. It also provides support for Javascript, Typescript, and CSS, etc. You can also extend PyCharm features by using plugins. By using PyCharm plugins you can also get support for frameworks like Django, Flask. We can also use PyCharm for other programming languages like HTML, SQL, Javascript, CSS, and more.

            This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of PyCharm on a Debian 10 (Buster).

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Isovalent Launches Linux Network Enterprise Product, Closes $29M Round | Data Center Knowledge

            The startup’s networking platform Cilium runs inside Linux, instead of running on top of the OS.

          • ZDNet and Linux often provide a good chance for a laugh

            The site’s security writer, Catalin Cimpanu, has form [1, 2, 3] in screwing up when he writes about Linux. And ZDNet has a person on staff, Stephen J. Vaughan-Nicholls, who knows the Linux very well. So why exactly the kind of dross that was published on 24 November was ever allowed to pass the editor’s knife is puzzling.

            To details. In this case, Cimpanu was writing about a botnet known as Stantinko, a new version of which has apparently been detected by the Israeli security firm Intezer and detailed in a blog post which was shared with Cimpanu before being made available to world+dog.

            Before I go any further, let me say that i have reported on Intezer at least thrice, and they are sound when it comes to their research. There is no hyperbole and when they say something, they have enough evidence to do so.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (spip and webkit2gtk), Fedora (kernel and libexif), openSUSE (chromium and rclone), Slackware (mutt), SUSE (kernel, mariadb, and slurm), and Ubuntu (igraph).

          • Top Tips to Protect Your Linux System

            Linux-based operating systems have a reputation for their high-security level. That’s one of the reasons why the market share for Linux has been growing. The most commonly used operating systems such as Windows are often affected by targeted attacks in the form of ransomware infections, spyware, as well as worms, and malware.

            As a result, many personal, as well as enterprise users, are turning to Linux-based operating systems such as the Ubuntu-based Linux OS for security purposes. While Linux based systems are not targeted as frequently as other popular operating systems, they are not completely foolproof. There are plenty of risks and vulnerabilities for all types of Linux devices which put your privacy as well as your identity at risk.

          • Building a healthy relationship between security and sysadmins | Enable Sysadmin

            Learn how to bridge the gap between operations/development and security.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • India takes aim at Alibaba with new round of Chinese app bans

        India has banned another 43 apps from operating in its territory.

        As was the case with previous bans, India’s Ministry of Electronics & IT (MEITY) said the prohibited apps are “engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” Just how the apps do that was not explained in the announcement of the new ban.

        The new list includes Alibaba’s apps for both buyers and sellers, plus an app named Alipay Cashier that facilitates AliPay payments.

        Whether India worries that Alibaba is misusing locals’ data, represents a threat to local payment schemes, or has been censured for otherwise behaving badly is not known. What is certain is that India and China have recently skirmished on a disputed border and previous app bans were interpreted as a de facto reprisals. India is also running a self-sufficiency drive that it hopes will increase local production to the point at which buyers beyond its shores consider it a viable rival to China as an offshore manufacturing destination.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Women state in India and proposal for corporates in Indian banking – Experiences in the community

        But all hope is not lost. There have been a couple of good judgements, one from the CIC (Chief Information Commissioner) wherein in specific cases a wife can know salary details of her husband, especially if there is some kind of maintenance due from the husband. There was so much of hue and cry against this order that it was taken down from the livelaw RTI corner. Luckily, I had downloaded it, hence could upload and share it.

        Another one was a case/suit about a legally matured women who had decided to marry without parental consent. In this case, the Delhi High Court had taken women’s side and stated she can marry whom she wants. Interestingly, about a week back Uttar Pradesh (most notorious about crime against women) had made laws called ‘Love Jihad‘ and 2 -3 states have followed them. The idea being to create an atmosphere of hate against Muslims. This is when in a separate suit/case against Sudharshan TV (a far-right leaning channel promoting hate against Muslims) , the Government of India itself put an affidavit stating that Tablighis (a sect of Muslims who came from Malaysia to India for religious discourse and assembly) were not responsible for dissemination of the virus and some media has correctly portrayed the same. Of course, those who are on the side of the Govt. on this topic think a ‘traitor’ has written. They also thought that the Govt. had taken a wrong approach but couldn’t tell of a better approach to the matter.

        There are too many matters in the Supreme Court of women asking for justice to tell all here but two instances share how the SC has been buckling under the stress of late, one is a webinar which was chaired by Justice Subramaniam where he shared how the executive is using judicial appointments to do what it wants. The gulf between the executive and the SC has been since Indira Gandhi days, especially the judicial orders which declared that the Emergency is valid by large, it has fallen much more recently and the executive has been muscling in which have resulted in more regressive decisions than progressive.

        This observation is also in tune with another study which came to the same result although using data. The raw data from the study could give so much more than what has been shared. For e.g. as an idea for the study, of the ones cited, how many have been in civil law, personal law, criminal or constitutional law. This would give a better understanding of things. Also what is shocking is none of our court orders have been cited in the west in the recent past, when there used to be a time when the west used to take guidance from Indian jurisprudence sometimes and cite the orders to reach similar conclusion or if not conclusion at least be used as a precedent. I guess those days are over.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • CNIPA-EPO Pilot For ISA Files – Intellectual Property – China

          China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and European Patent Office (EPO) launched a two–year pilot on December 1, 2020 aiming to give nationals or residents of the P.R. China the option of selecting the EPO as their International Searching Authority (ISA) and as their International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) when filing international patent applications in English under the PCT. The pilot is of particular relevance to Chinese applicants who intend to enter the European phase in the following three aspects:

        • EU Pledges To Up The Stakes In Protecting IP Abroad

          The EU has announced plans to beef up its intellectual property protections, amid concerns that foreign nations are unreasonably appropriating European IP.

          In its new Action Plan on Intellectual Property, the European Commission says it aims to promote a global level playing field, improving IP protection and awareness, particularly amongst SMEs, facilitating the sharing of IP and improving the enforcement of IP rights.

          “Europe is home to some of the world’s leading innovations, but companies are still not fully able to protect their inventions and capitalise on their intellectual property,” says commissioner for the internal market Thierry Breton.

        • Action Plan on Intellectual Property – Questions and Answers

          Why is intellectual property important for the EU economy and its recovery?

          Intangible assets such as inventions, cultural creations, brands, software, know-how and data are the cornerstone of today’s economy. Over the last two decades, the volume of annual investments in such ‘intellectual property products’ increased by 87% in the EU, while the volume of tangible investments increased by only 30%.

          Intellectual property (IP) rights are titles for patents, trade-marks, designs, copyright, geographical indications, plant variety rights as well as trade secrets which help companies and creators protect and valorise their intangible assets.

        • Second medical use claims in pharmaceutical patents – sharp sword or toothless tiger?

          Discovering a previously unknown indication for a known drug is a common pattern in pharmaceutical research and development. Perhaps the most widely known example for the repurposing of a known drug is acetylsalicylic acid, also known as aspirin. Originally developed by Bayer in 1897 as a pain and fever medication, long-term low dosing of aspirin was later discovered to be an effective cardiovascular medication that can lower the chances of a heart attack or certain kinds of stroke.

          There are many other examples of successfully repurposed drugs. Pregabalin was originally developed to treat epileptic seizures and it was later discovered to be effective in treating neuropathic pain and generalised anxiety disorder. Similarly, sildenafil was originally developed to treat cardiovascular diseases and only later discovered to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction, eventually leading to Pfizer’s blockbuster drug Viagra.

        • European Commission unveils new IP Action Plan [Ed: UPC is dead, not "currently on hold pending German ratification of the UPC agreement." The delusionists are still pushing lies.]

          The EC supports a rapid roll out of the unitary patent system, to create a one-stop-shop for patent protection and enforcement across the EU (2021), currently on hold pending German ratification of the UPC agreement.



          Following the patent pledges and pooling related to the COVID 19 therapeutics and vaccines, the Commission states to be “looking into ways to incentivise the rapid pooling of critical IP in times of crisis, for instance through a novel licensing system making critical IP available(…)”, including via compulsory licences as last resort.


          Recognising that SEP disputes currently seen in the automotive sector might extend to many other sectors, the Commission wishes to reduce frictions between SEP owners and implementers via industry-led initiatives, but most importantly, through reforms to improve the rules governing essentiality declarations, licensing and enforcement of SEPs, including a third-party essentiality check independent system.


Links 25/11/2020: GamerOS and Biden Transition in Motion

Posted in News Roundup at 1:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Meet DevTerm: An Open Source Portable Linux Terminal For Developers

      You may be familiar with Clockwork company, which earlier launched an open-source Linux-powered portable game console called GameShell for gamers.

      Now, they’re back with another new portable and modular device called DevTerm for developers, which you can easily carry along wherever you go.

    • Assign Actions To Touchpad Gestures On Linux With Touchegg

      The application runs in the background, transforming the multi-touch gestures you make on your touchpad into various desktop actions. For example, you can minimize a window by swiping down using 3 fingers, pinch in using 2 fingers to zoom in, etc.

      This is a demo video recorded by the Touchegg developer (image above credits also go to the dev).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • Sysmon – A Graphical System Activity Monitor for Linux

        Sysmon is a Linux activity monitoring tool similar to Windows task manager, was written in Python and released under GPL-3.0 License. This is a Graphical visualization tool that visualizes the following data.

        By default distribution like Ubuntu comes with a system monitor tool, but the drawback with the default monitor tool is it does not display HDD, SSD, and GPU loads.

        Sysmon adds all the features to a single place similar to the Windows Task Manager.

      • myMPD – standalone and lightweight web-based MPD client

        My favorite pastime is to see an eclectic range of bands, solo artists, and orchestras live. It’s such a life-changing and exhilarating experience to be present. It’s one thing to be sitting at home listening to a CD or watching music videos on TV or on YouTube, but being with an audience, packed out in a stadium or music hall, takes it to another level. But it’s an expensive pastime, and still on hold given the coronavirus pandemic. I’m therefore listening to music from my CD collection which I’ve encoded to FLAC, a lossless audio format, and stored locally.

        Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem.

        MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

        myMPD is a standalone and lightweight web-based MPD client. Its developer claims myMPD is designed for minimal resource usage and requires only very few dependencies.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Shading in Blender – Linux Hint

        Shading is an act of adding shade to a drawn object to give it a look and a perception of depth. Nobody likes white bland 3D objects. In 3D modeling, it is very significant to give objects some color material or texture. The process of adding shades to color materials and textures is called shading. Shading is so essential in 3D modeling that Blender has a dedicated workspace for shading.

        Shading workspace will automatically bring us in the “Look Dev” mode. Look Dev mode approximates lights and gives a general idea of the output of the object or scene. The shader editor will show the shader nodes of the selected object. Every object in Blender can be assigned a default material with white shading. And these shaders can be manipulated in the Shading workspace. You can add material to any object by going into the material tab.

      • Blender Viewport Navigation – Linux Hint

        The viewport is the main view of Blender that a user sees after getting it installed. At first look, it may appear intimidating, but it has become a lot comprehensible after the launch of the 2.80 version. The interface is less complicated and simple to learn.

        The viewport is a window that allows you to look around the scene or object you created. Viewport and camera view can be confusing, but both are not similar. A camera is an object in the scene, whereas the viewport is a part of the interface.

        Basics of navigating viewport include rotating, zooming, and panning the perspective of the view. There are various ways to navigate in the viewport.

      • Blender Cloud Rendering – Linux Hint

        How does it feel when you create a beautiful scene in Blender with high definition textures, shaders, particles, and volumetric effects and when you click on rendering, it just says that you need 2 hours to render just one frame? Yes, it feels discouraging. It is not easy to render a high-quality image or animation using an ordinary workstation.

        It is not a piece of cake to render in Blender, especially when working in Cycles (rendering engine). 3D rendering requires a lot of computing power. If you are rendering an animation, then it will take much more power and time. It would be best if you had a powerful PC with high-end specifications to get decent results. The trouble is the affordability of a robust workstation; they are costly. But this issue is fixable; just use cloud rendering.

      • Delete/Drop a Database in MySQL – Linux Hint

        MySQL is an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) that is famous for its speed and easy-to-use interface. In this article, you will learn about the different methods to delete or drop a database in MySQL. In this article, we assume that you already have a working knowledge of the creation and listing of databases in MySQL. So, feel free to read on if you have already installed MySQL on your system and have some dummy databases in MySQL that you want to delete.

      • CentOS 8 Restart Network – Linux Hint

        Among the most frequent system administration practices is the process of restarting the network. To connect your machine with the Internet, a sound networking service is always required. At times, due to undesirable issues, the networking service in a particular operating system may start malfunctioning. If the issue is temporary, then it can be resolved simply by restarting your networking service.

        There are multiple methods that you can use in any operating system to restart the system’s networking service. Today, we walk you through the two primary methods of restarting the network service in CentOS 8, one of the most popular distributions of the Linux operating system.

        If you are using a system based on CentOS 8 and are not able to establish a secure connection with your network, you would be shocked by how many issues a quick restart can solve. You can restart the Linux networking service using various commands, but you must execute the commands to restart the network using sudo or su commands as a root user.

      • Installation of Sublime text editor on Ubuntu 20.04

        Sublime Text is a well-known text editor used to write source code for web development. This tutorial will assist you in installing Sublime Text on an Ubuntu 20.04 machine.

      • WireShark in-depth Tutorial – Linux Hint

        Wireshark is an open-source and free network traffic inspection tool. It captures and displays packets in real-time for offline analysis in a human-readable format with microscopic details. It requires some sound knowledge of basic networking and is considered an essential tool for system administrators and network security experts.
        Wireshark is the de-facto go-to tool for several network problems that vary from network troubleshooting, security issue examination, inspecting network traffic of a suspicious application, debugging protocol implementations, along with network protocol learning purposes, etc.

        The Wireshark project was initiated in 1998. Thanks to the global networking expert’s voluntary contribution, it continues to make updates for new technologies and encryption standards. Hence, it’s by far one of the best packet analyzer tools and is utilized as a standard commercial tool by various government agencies, educational institutes, and non-profit organizations.

      • How to Access Google Drive on Debian 10

        Google Drive is a cloud storage and synchronization service that allows users to keep, synchronize, and share files across many devices. It offers 15GB of free storage space for each Google account to store files.

      • Keep track of multiple Git remote repositories | Opensource.com

        Working with remote repositories gets confusing when the names of the remote repositories in your local Git repo are inconsistent.

      • Merging and sorting files in Linux: Easier than you think
      • How to Administrate CloudLinux OS from Command Line
      • 5 Ways to Install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu

        Here learn how to download and install IntelliJ on Ubuntu. Intellij Idea can be installed simply from GUI and also from CLI.

      • How to Install Htop in Centos 8? – Linux Hint

        Htop is more like an immersive Centos 8 system process viewer and device monitor. It shows resource-usage measures in color and helps you to conveniently keep track of the performance of your system as an enhancement. With both an additional array of choices and a clear picture on the board, it is the same as the standard main command. It shows details about the usage of Processor & RAM, tasks being done, average load, and uptime. Besides, Htop shows a list of all operating processes and can even show it in a tree-like structure. If you are interested to interactively control your device, then one of your best choices ought to be the Htop command. It runs on all distributions of Linux, and in most situations, is enabled by default.

        In this tutorial, you will learn to install Htop on Centos 8 using the command-line.

      • How to Install Steam on NixOS? – Linux Hint

        When installing things on NixOS, you need to have a package in the right format on the nixos.org web page. Steam is available, but some quirks may trip you up when you try to install it. You will hear more about this here.

        In particular, it is a non-free software package, so you must enable this option. You will also need to handle the ‘glXChooseVisual failed’ problem. The process will work one way in NixOS and another way on other distributions. It is more complex with just the Nix package manager.

      • How to Install and Configure Angular CLI on Linux Distributions

        Modern and dynamic websites require many features, menus, and widgets to make the website user-friendly and reach the perfect marketplace. No matter which tool you use to create your website, javascript is always required to draw the finishing line

      • How to Install and Use FFmpeg in CentOS 8? – Linux Hint

        If you’d like a fast way of converting between audio and video files in Linux and would like something that doesn’t chew on resources and does the task properly, then you may give FFmpeg a try. FFmpeg is vital for keeping some level of familiarity between files uploaded by multiple users, as well as help maintain your storage space under control. When using FFmpeg, you can translate, adjust sample rates, record audio/video streams, and resize files between different video and audio formats. It provides a collection of audio and video libraries that are shared, including libavcodec, libavformat, and libavutil. Whenever it refers to converting files, FFmpeg has several command-line choices, and it is also recommended to use it from the CLI. Follow me on, and I’ll lead you to install FFmpeg in Centos 8.
        FFmpeg is not offered in the default repositories of Centos 8. You may opt to build FFmpeg utilities from the source or install them from the Negativo17 directory via DNF. In this article, we’ll move ahead with the second choice. It is also the fastest way to implement FFmpeg on the Centos 8 OS.

      • How to Kill Zombie Processes on Linux

        Linux, of course, has to keep track of all the applications and daemons running on your computer. One of the ways it does this is by maintaining the process table. This is a list of structures in kernel memory. Each process has an entry in this list that contains some information about it.

        There isn’t a great deal in each of the process table structures. They hold the process ID, a few other data items, and a pointer to the process control block (PCB) for that process.

        It’s the PCB that holds the many details Linux needs to look up or set for each process. The PCB is also updated as a process is created, given processing time, and finally destroyed.

      • How to Setup a Firewall with UFW on Debian 10 Linux – Linux Concept

        Nowadays, a Firewall is an essential utility and property of any system for security; by default Debian Operating system having a firewall configuration tool named UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall). UFW is a user-friendly front-end tool to manage iptables firewall rules. It provides you more straightforward methods to manage iptables as the name of this tool start from Uncomplicated.

      • How to Use arping Command in Linux – Linux Hint

        To a network administrator, the ARP protocol may sound familiar. ARP is a protocol that Layer 2 devices implement for discovering and communicating with each other. The arping tool works using this protocol.
        Now, why would you need arping? Imagine you are working with a small office network. Using the classic ping command to ping hosts to verify their availability is very tempting, right? Well, if you are using the ICMP protocol, then you are actually performing ARP requests for probing devices in the network.

        This is where the arping tool comes in. Like ping, arping pings network hosts using network layer ARP packets. This method is useful for hosts that do not respond to Layer 3 and Layer 4 ping requests.

        This article shows you how to use arping command in Linux.

      • How to configure YAML schema to make editing files easier – Red Hat Developer

        YAML is a friendly data serialization standard that works with all programming languages. While configuration files are often defined in YAML, it can even be used as a programming language, like the workflow language at Google, or Apache Camel K.

        It has the advantage of not having any braces, making it lightweight visually. One of the drawbacks is that editing YAML files may not always be easy. For instance, writing a tag at the wrong indentation level can be hard to detect. To help with editing, it is possible to provide a YAML schema that can be leveraged by a large set of integrated development environments (IDEs). Unfortunately, this practice is not widespread. Consequently, users waste time searching for a missing or extra space and browsing documentation.

        In this article, you will discover the benefits of providing a YAML schema and how to make it consumable for all your users, making it easier to edit YAML files.

      • How to connect and share data between two Linux systems

        I got an interesting request (not from singles in my area). One of my readers asked me, how does one go about connecting two Linux boxes – I presume for sharing purposes. This is a topic I’ve touched upon frequently, but often indirectly. As Commandant Lasard from Police Academy would say, there are many, many, many, many different ways to do this.

        So perhaps it’s time for a proper tutorial. I will show you several common, robust ways to have two Linux systems communicate over network. We’ll do it on the command line, then move up to file managers, and finally, also perform a remote data backup using a friendly GUI tool. Let’s start.

      • How to manage user passwords on Linux

        If you’re a Linux admin, you probably take care of any number of servers, all of which contain numerous users. Those users log in via various means or protocols, such as SSH, FTP, HTTP. In order to successfully log in, those users have to have—passwords.

      • Linux patch management: How to back out a failed patch | Enable Sysadmin

        A good patch management plan always includes a good patch backout plan.

    • Games

      • Best Command Line Games for Linux – Linux Hint

        This article will list various command line games available for Linux. These games do not require you to commit a lot of time and can be played in short bursts. If you are using a lightweight Linux distribution with minimal UI elements or using a headless OS based on Linux, this list should be useful for you.

      • Tristam Island is a Infocom-inspired text adventure available on over 30 platforms | GamingOnLinux

        Okay, now this is quite impressive. Tristam Island is a text adventure designed like old Infocom works and it’s playable across more platforms than you might expect.

        Developed by Hugo Labrande using modern, open source tools on Linux naturally it has first-class Linux support. However, it’s also available on over 30 other platforms too. From Linux to Windows, Amiga to Spectrum and even some calculators can run it. The technical details of it are just as impressive as the adventure you go on. The developer also supplies the plain “.z3″ file to run in your favourite interactive fiction interpreter. It could run pretty much anywhere.

        “After crashing your plane at sea, you end up drifting to a small island, with not much to survive. You explore, and find out the island was inhabited, years ago. But why did the people leave? And why is there a fence around the white house at the top of the hill?”

      • SteamOS-like couch gaming Linux distribution GamerOS expands with a new release | GamingOnLinux

        Need an up to date Linux distribution for your living room big screen experience? GamerOS can fill that gap for you while Valve sit on SteamOS.

        GamerOS is one of the easiest ways to get a full-screen Steam experience on a big screen, with no-fuss updates and a whole bunch of special tweaks to make it run as nicely as possible. Not only that, it has a bunch of extras to support other stores and platforms too.

        With the release of GamerOS 21 the standard components included have been upgraded like the Linux Kernel 5.9.9, Mesa 20.2.2, NVIDIA 455.38, RetroArch 1.9 and updates to their Steam Tweaks and Steam Buddy apps too. Their Steam Buddy is web-based tool you use to manage non-Steam stuff, with these release it expanded to support the Atari Jaguar and PlayStation Portable through emulators. It also now has audio controls, it will generate banner images based on game titles when one isn’t available, fixes gamepads not working with the Epic Games Store and more fixes.

      • Cloud Gaming Services: Explained and Tested on Linux – Boiling Steam

        Here’s a quick test run of some of these game streaming services, and I’ll explain what they do. In particular, we’ll see how well each service fares on the desktop Linux side.

      • 340 or so days later and I am still lost in The Longing | GamingOnLinux

        Remember the unique mix of point and click adventuring with an idle game in The Longing? It’s supposed to have taken people 400 days to finish and it released back in March 2020 – to which I was impressed with it.

        This is because when you start, a big timer at the top of your screen will count down from 400 real-time days. It’s a painfully slow game, and one that’s very much the anti-AAA shot some readers might be needing. It’s all about loneliness, and the longing to know more and have more. It’s such a thoroughly strange experience.

        The Longing sits between a point and click adventure with an idle game. You can walk around, interact with things and explore for a while. However, certain parts of it force you to wait. You might need something to grow or get broken before you can pass, or even just opening a big door might take an hour or two. You can just quit and come back, and time will continue on so you don’t need to have it open.

      • Jedi: Fallen Order arrives on Stadia, six new free games for Stadia Pro for December | GamingOnLinux

        Google continues to boost their game selection with many fan favourites continuing to arrive on their Stadia game streaming service. They also have big plans.

        As of right now, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available to buy on Stadia and it’s 60% off at $23.99 / €27.99 / £23.99. The sale on that will end on December 3. They’re also offering a free Stadia Premiere Edition (Controller + Chromecast Ultra) with pre-orders of Cyberpunk 2077 and I do have to admit I love the feel of my own Stadia Controller.

      • Re-live the experience of Half-Life with Black Mesa: Definitive Edition out now | GamingOnLinux

        Black Mesa: Definitive Edition is the final big update to the re-imagined fan-made Half-Life game, and it’s looking pretty awesome. Easily the best way to experience the first part of Half-Life.

        Don’t get me wrong, the original from Valve still has plenty of true charm but for modern audiences it’s not the ideal way to try and get into it. Black Mesa (especially now with the Definitive Edition) makes it easier for a new generation to get invested into the crazy world that is Half-Life and experience the adventure of Dr. Gordon Freeman.

      • NVIDIA plan to support Linux with GeForce NOW using Chrome | GamingOnLinux

        For a while now you’ve been able to stream games using NVIDIA GeForce NOW in your browser, however it looks like NVIDIA will be making that a bit more official for Linux.

        Currently on certain platforms like Windows and macOS, NVIDIA have a dedicated downloadable application for their GeForce NOW streaming service. They expanded support into the browser for ChromeOS / Chromebooks in the Summer, which initially needed other platforms to spoof their browser string to ChromeOS but that hasn’t been needed for a while.

      • Radeon RX 6800 Series 1440p Linux Gaming Benchmarks With 15 GPUs – Phoronix

        While the new Radeon RX 6800 series is suited for 4K gaming, a number of premium readers inquired about seeing 1440p gaming benchmarks for the cards. Now that all the initial launch coverage is out of the way, here is a look at the Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT with 15 graphics cards in total for this round of Linux gaming benchmarks focused at 1440p.

        Up for this comparison based on the cards I had available were the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 , RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080, RTX 2080 SUPER, TITAN RTX, RTX 2080 Ti, and the RTX 3080 (unfortunately, the RTX 3080 remains my lone Ampere card at the moment with NVIDIA not yet sending out the RTX 3090/3070 for Linux testing). On the Radeon side is the RX 5600 XT, RX 5700, RX 5700 XT, Radeon VII, RX 6800, and RX 6800 XT.

        The very latest open-source Radeon Linux graphics drivers were used for this testing, which does incorporate the recent driver optimizations. Via the Phoronix Test Suite a variety of OpenGL and Vulkan test cases were conducted. The GPU power consumption and GPU core temperatures were also monitored on a per-test basis.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Review: The Familiar Operating System

          Here’s my review on Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa. Two years ago I call it friendly computing, now in 2020, I call it familiar operating system for everyone. We have so many good news with Kubuntu today and let’s go, I hope you enjoy my review.

          Kubuntu 20.04 has a lot of benefits and a little of issues. I believe it is a familiar operating system most computer users can afford, by purchasing real Kubuntu laptops or by installing manually, you can push your computing for daily purposes, teaching and graphic designing quickly and comfortably. To complete everything, let’s not forget it is a Long Term Support edition which will receive Ubuntu-based updates for five years until 2025 and desktop-based updates until 2023. Win-win solution, nice to everybody, that’s Kubuntu Focal for you. That’s my review.

    • Distributions

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu maker wants app developers to stop worrying too much about security

          Buoyed by the recent Snyk security report that found security vulnerabilities in several container images except Ubuntu’s, the company behind it, Canonical, has published a whole portfolio of hardened images.

          Unsurprisingly, Canonical has partnered with Docker to streamline the delivery of the secure portfolio of images through Docker Hub.

          “Canonical and Docker will partner together to ensure that hardened free and commercial Ubuntu images will be available to all developer software supply chains for multi-cloud app development,” Docker’s Matt Carter wrote in a blog post announcing the collaboration.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Office Suite Enters Beta, Promises a Plethora of Improvements

          After about six months of development, the upcoming LibreOffice 7.1 office suite is now ready for public beta testing. The first beta release has arrived and anyone willing to help the development team discover and fix bugs can download it right now from the official website for Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms.

          LibreOffice 7.1 promises a plethora of improvements and some new features, starting with a new outline folding mode for Writer. This adds a button with arrow next to a selected heading in a word document, allowing users to fold all text from the current heading to the next one when clicked and with all its subheadings when right clicked.

        • LibreOffice 7.1 – Top New Features and Release Dates

          The upcoming LibreOffice 7.1 is under development. LibreOffice 7.1 Beta 1 is released just a while back. Here we take a look at the LibreOffice 7.1 top new features and release dates.

      • Programming/Development

        • Get started with Fossil, an alternative to Git

          As any programmer knows, there are many reasons it’s vital to keep track of code changes. Sometimes you just want a history of how your project started and evolved, as a matter of curiosity or education. Other times, you want to enable other coders to contribute to your project, and you need a reliable way to merge disparate parts. And more critically, sometimes an adjustment you make to fix one problem breaks something else that was working.

        • Booting from a vinyl record

          Most PCs tend to boot from a primary media storage, be it a hard disk drive, or a solid-state drive, perhaps from a network, or – if all else fails – the USB stick or the boot DVD comes to the rescue… Fun, eh? Boring! Why don’t we try to boot from a record player for a change?

        • Python

          • Python Namedtuple – Linux Hint

            Python comes up with many built-in data structures like lists, dictionaries, and tuples to store and manage the data efficiently. The namedtuple is the dictionary-like container available in the “collections” module. Similar to the dictionaries, the namedtuple also contains the keys that are mapped to values. However, the namedtuple allows accessing the values through keys and as well as through indexes. As compared to the Python dictionaries, accessing the values through indexes is the additional functionality in namedtuple. This article explains the Python namedtuple in detail with examples.

          • Python OrderedDict – Linux Hint

            Data structures are the essential components of any programming language that store and manage the data efficiently. Python provides many built-in data structures, i.e., lists, tuples, and dictionaries, that help the programmers to create efficient applications. The Python dictionaries store the data in key-value pairs. The OrderedDict is the subclass of the dict class and maintains the order of the keys in which were inserted in. This is the one and the only difference between the dict and OrderDict. The dict does not maintain the key’s order.

            The OrderedDict keeps the order of keys insertion, and when we iterate through the OrderedDict, then it returns the keys in the same order. On the other hand, when the iteration is performed on dict, the keys are returned in random order. However, the dictionaries are now ordered in Python 3.6 and above versions and return the values in the same order as they are inserted. The OrderedDict class exists in the collections module. Therefore, to use the OrderedDict class, first, import the collections module. This article explains the Python OrderedDict in detail with examples.

          • Python Yield – Linux Hint

            Yield is a Python built-in keyword that returns the value(s) from a function. The execution of the function is not terminated. Rather, it returns the value to the caller and maintains the execution state of the function. The execution of the function is resumed from the last yield statement. The yield allows us to produce a sequence of values rather than one value. It is used inside a function body. The function that contains a yield statement is known as the generator function.

            There are several advantages to yield keyword. For instance, it controls the memory allocation and saves the local variable state. However, it increases the complexity of the code.

          • Python defaultdict – Linux Hint

            Python offers many built-in data structures, such as lists, tuples, and dictionaries, to save and manage data efficiently. Dictionaries provide an easy way to save data as key-value pairs. A key acts as an index and is used to retrieve data. Keys should be unique and immutable throughout the dictionary. Keys are mostly strings and integers, though the value of a key could be of any type, such as an integer, string, floating-point number, or complex number. Meanwhile, a dictionary can contain a collection, such as a list, tuple, or some other type of dictionary. A dictionary in Python is created using a pair of curly brackets, in which each key-value pair is separated by a comma.

            What if you try to access or modify a specific key in a dictionary that does not exist? Well, in this case, the Python interpreter will raise the “KeyError” error and terminate the execution of the program.

          • How to Add Command Line Arguments to a Python Script – Linux Hint

            If you have developed a Python script or application meant to be primarily run in terminal emulators or even GUI apps, adding command line arguments can improve its useability, code readability, application structure and overall user friendliness of the application for the end users. These command line arguments are also called “options” or “switches” and work similarly to arguments you usually see in bash scripts and other C / C++ based programs.

            To add arguments to Python scripts, you will have to use a built-in module named “argparse”. As the name suggests, it parses command line arguments used while launching a Python script or application. These parsed arguments are also checked by the “argparse” module to ensure that they are of proper “type”. Errors are raised if there are invalid values in arguments.

            Usage of the argparse module can be best understood through examples. Below are some code samples that will get you started with the argparse module.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • JavaScript

          • What is Vue.js, and Why is it Cool? – Linux Hint

            Vue.js is a progressive JavaScript framework, which is used to build UIs (User Interfaces) and SPAs (Single-page Applications). This framework is famous for its fast-paced learning curve. It is such an easy to learn and approachable library that with the knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, we can start building web applications in Vue.js. The fast learning curve is kind of a signature of this framework. It is a versatile framework for our need as a library or a full-fledged framework for building huge web apps.

            Evan You have created this framework. The idea of Evan You behind this framework is to build the best framework by combining the best features from already existing Angular and react Frameworks. Before building Vue.js, Evan You was working at Google. Inc and worked on Angular based projects. So, he came up with the idea of building his own framework. He picked the best parts of Angular, like template syntax, easy to use, and picked the best parts of React as well, like two-way data binding, the concept of props, component-based approach, and combined them to make a new framework Vue.js better than both of them.

  • Leftovers

    • ‘Mom, is it true?’ What happens when children find out their mother is a sex worker. A report from Russia’s heartland.

      No one knows exactly how many sex workers there are in Russia, but the number is said to be in the millions. Most of these people are young women trying to pull themselves and their families out of poverty. Faced with the illegality of their labor, the dangers of the job, and the powerful social stigma that haunts prostitution, Russia’s sex workers walk a tightrope at home, where many feel compelled to conceal or justify the work that puts food on the table and keeps a roof overhead. Meduza special correspondent Irina Kravtsova traveled to Volgograd, Samara, and Ufa, where she met with three such women and spoke to their children to learn how Russia’s sex workers navigate these enormous challenges.

    • Back to Reality
    • The Teachings of America

      But that’s a strange teaching.

      There’s teachings that say all soldiers are automatically heroes, and as a result, war is holy.

    • Unleash a Desert River and Its Wisdom
    • She had a foul mouth and a bottomless heart Meet Oksana Karas, the director of a new film about the late Elizaveta Glinka, Russia’s humanitarian icon

      Oksana Karas’s new film, “Doctor Liza,” is currently in theaters. The picture follows a day in the life of Dr. Elizaveta Glinka, a story whose protagonist manages to comfort, hug, warm, and save hundreds. Chulpan Khamatova stars in the film, which features many other prominent Russian actors, including Evgeny Pisarev, Andrzej Chyra, Konstantin Khabensky, Andrey Burkovskiy, Yulia Aug, Tatyana Dogileva, Timofey Tribuntsev, Alexey Agranovich, Elena Koreneva, and Yana Gladkikh. Karas told Meduza about what effect she hopes to achieve in Russia with a film about charity.

    • Education

      • Defenders of US Public Schools Call on Biden to Ditch Trump’s Disastrous Education Policies—and Obama’s Too

        “50.8 million children who attend real public schools need a secretary of education who will be their advocate, not an advocate for privatization.”

      • The New Secretary of Education Should Actually Listen to Students, Unlike DeVos

        At the moment, one of the biggest debates in education is whether or not campuses should reopen during the pandemic. The Trump administration has demanded that schools fully reopen irrespective of COVID-19 rates, budget constraints, and before there could be a proper assessment of the risk of community transmission, and DeVos has stated publicly that she does not see tracking the virus’s impact in schools as the Education Department’s responsibility. Meanwhile, the Biden campaign has promised emergency federal relief funding and assistance for schools to address the effects of the pandemic, a move that is in line with many student activists’ demands.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Russia’s coronavirus vaccine developers says ‘Sputnik V’ is 95 percent effective

        Russia’s “Sputnik V” coronavirus vaccine has shown more than 95 percent effectiveness 42 days after the first dose, the researchers developing the vaccine reported on Tuesday, November 24.

      • Betting Pool? Tyson Managers Bet on How Many Workers Would Get COVID. Advocates Call It Grim Pattern

        The family of a former meatpacker who died from COVID-19 alleges in a lawsuit that managers at a Tyson Foods plant in Iowa knew working conditions would result in illness, and even placed bets on how many workers would be infected. The family of Isidro Fernandez, who died in April, says the plant manager set up a winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager on coronavirus infections. Since the start of the pandemic, at least six workers have died and more than 1,000 tested positive for COVID-19 at the Iowa facility. Tyson Foods has suspended the managers involved in the alleged betting scheme, but worker rights advocates say it is further evidence of abuse and exploitation in the meat industry. “These companies are treating them like animals. They’re treating them as disposable,” says Magaly Licolli, executive director of Venceremos, an advocacy group for poultry plant workers.

      • How Many Lives Would Have Been Saved, If We Had Cooperated on a Vaccine With China?

        In recent days, there have been articles in several major news outlets about how China vaccinated close to 1 million people, under an Emergency Use Authorization, for vaccines that are currently in Phase 3 clinical testing (here, here, here, and here). While large-scale distribution of vaccines, that have not completed testing for safety and effectiveness, is probably not a good public health practice, none of these pieces raised any questions about whether the United States, and other countries, might have benefited from access to the Chinese vaccines.

        It would not be reasonable to distribute Chinese vaccines here based on safety and effectiveness data that had not been thoroughly vetted by the Food and Drug Administration. But, if we had chosen to go a collaborative route in developing vaccines, we could have done our own tests, in addition to using data available from tests done by the Chinese manufacturers.

      • Combating the Hazards of 5G – The Project Censored Show

        Guests: Kate Kheel, Phoebe Sorgen, Amber Yang, and Kenn Burrows.

      • Capitalist Competition Is Sabotaging the Race for a Vaccine

        The global race for a Covid-19 vaccine appears to be in its final leg. The research was publicly funded. But Big Pharma stands to make enormous profits, at the expense of people the world over.

      • YouTube Suspends OANN Channel Over COVID-19 Misinformation

        YouTube has temporarily suspended and demonetized the channel for pro-Trump outlet One America News Network. OANN will be barred from publishing videos and livestreams for one week, and will need to reapply to the YouTube Partner Program to regain its monetization status.

        The suspension is the first “strike” for OANN under YouTube’s terms of service. YouTube uses a three strike system, with repeat offenders ultimately being removed from the video platform.

      • 4 in 10 Americans Plan to Defy CDC Guidelines on Thanksgiving
      • YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation

        YouTube has suspended the pro-Trump One America News Network from posting new videos for a week, and the outlet has had its old content demonetized after uploading a video containing misinformation about the coronavirus, YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday.

        The weeklong suspension is the result of a “strike” issued for saying that there is a guaranteed cure for COVID-19, a claim that runs afoul of YouTube’s coronavirus-specific policy.

      • YouTube Suspends OAN, a Trump Favorite, For Touting Covid Cure

        YouTube is temporarily banning One America News Network for breaking rules about Covid-19 claims, shuttering the right-wing cable outlet on the world’s largest video site for a week.

        “After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming there’s a guaranteed cure,” Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokeswoman, said in a statement. After a channel receives three strikes, YouTube terminates it altogether.

        YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is also suspending advertisements from the network for violating other unspecified policies.

      • Top epidemiologist says Sweden has no signs of herd immunity curbing coronavirus

        Sweden’s top infectious disease expert said Tuesday that the country has not seen evidence of herd immunity slowing the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

      • The New Humanitarian | Even if famine isn’t declared, Yemen has a massive hunger problem

        In the coming weeks and months, a group of experts will decide if Yemen, a country the UN has deemed the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis”, is in the midst of, or at risk of, a famine.

        Despite a recent stream of statements from aid officials – including last week’s warning from UN Secretary-General António Guterres that “Yemen is now in imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades” – such a declaration is not a foregone conclusion.

        That’s because, although it’s an emotionally weighted and frequently used word, famine actually has a highly complex technical definition that is hard to meet and requires a level of quality data that doesn’t always exist in Yemen, which has been at war since early 2015.
        For example, the threshold was not met in late 2018, and that was despite similar cries of alarm, despite the fact that some children were clearly starving to death, and despite the finding that nearly 16 million people were expected to be above “crisis” levels of food insecurity.

        Two years later, and after more than five and a half years of war – Houthi rebels in the north are fighting an internationally recognised (but mostly exiled) government and its allies in the south, backed by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition – it seems to many Yemenis that almost everything that could possibly go wrong in one country has done so.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Strange case of the art dealer, the tech billionaire, his email and Picasso’s lover

        The only problem, a judge said yesterday, is that Allen may not have written the email. In fact, Mr Justice Trower said, evidence pointed to the email having been fabricated “for the purpose of misleading the court”.

      • Proprietary

        • This Bluetooth Attack Can Steal a Tesla Model X in Minutes

          Lennert Wouters, a security researcher at Belgian university KU Leuven, today revealed a collection of security vulnerabilities he found in both Tesla Model X cars and their keyless entry fobs. He discovered that those combined vulnerabilities could be exploited by any car thief who manages to read a car’s vehicle identification number—usually visible on a car’s dashboard through the windshield—and also come within roughly 15 feet of the victim’s key fob. The hardware kit necessary to pull off the heist cost Wouters around $300, fits inside a backpack, and is controlled from the thief’s phone. In just 90 seconds, the hardware can extract a radio code that unlocks the owner’s Model X. Once the car thief is inside, a second, distinct vulnerability Wouters found would allow the thief to pair their own key fob with the victim’s vehicle after a minute’s work and drive the car away.

        • Security

          • Ransomware gangs likely to start monetising stolen data: researcher

            Ransomware gangs have shown themselves to be an innovative lot, incorporating more and more tactics as they look to extort money from their victims and this trend will continue into the new year, a veteran researcher of this brand of malware says.

          • Victory! Court Protects Anonymity of Security Researchers Who Reported Apparent Communications Between Russian Bank and Trump Organization

            Security researchers who reported observing Internet communications between the Russian financial firm Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization in 2016 can remain anonymous, an Indiana trial court ruled last week.

            The ruling protects the First Amendment anonymous speech rights of the researchers, whose analysis prompted significant media attention and debate in 2016 about the meaning of digital records that reportedly showed computer servers linked to the Moscow-based bank and the Trump Organization in communication.

            Imagine walking down the street, looking for a good cup of coffee. In the distance, a storefront glows in green through your smart glasses, indicating a well-reviewed cafe with a sterling public health score. You follow the holographic arrows to the crosswalk, as your wearables silently signal the self-driving cars…

            Despite widespread complaints about its effects on human rights, the Brazilian Senate has fast-tracked the approval of “PLS 2630/2020”, the so-called “Fake News” bill. The bill lacked the necessarily broad and intense social participation that characterized the development of the 2014 Brazilian Civil Rights…

          • Every system is a privileged system: Incorporating Unix/Linux in your privilege management strategy

            Despite their importance, Unix/Linux local and privileged accounts often don’t get sufficient oversight in a centralized PAM strategy.

            True, the Unix/Linux userbase is typically more technically savvy and has a greater understanding of security than your typical user. In some ways, Unix/Linux actually led the move toward PAM decades ago. The problem is, not much has changed in decades. They still heavily rely on their own methods for privileged management, such as Sudo controls, and are still using Sudo with few differences from when it was first introduced.

            No matter how savvy the user, Unix/Linux privileged accounts are time-consuming and tedious to manage, so they often don’t get sufficient oversight. In addition, when it comes time for an audit, it’s extremely difficult to piece together all of the privileged account activities and security controls. You might have one report for Windows and Mac and a separate one or many for Unix/Linux. You can’t get a consolidated view of risk to use for decision-making or show progress to your auditors.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Seattle PD Detective Took Clearview Facial Recognition Tech For A Spin, Possibly Violating Local Laws

              It looks like some members of the Seattle Police Department have taken an interest in Clearview. Clearview scrapes photos and data from the open web and sells access to its untested facial recognition AI to government agencies, private companies, and the odd billionaire. According to Clearview, it has 4 billion scraped records in its database. What it doesn’t have is a proven law enforcement track record for solving crimes, despite making extremely forward overtures to hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the globe.

            • FBI Asks To Perform An Intrusive Search Of A Phone For Evidence It Doesn’t Need From A Device That Probably Doesn’t Belong To The Suspect

              It looks like the FBI believes it should be able to pull pretty much anything from someone’s phone for pretty much any reason. A recent warrant affidavit [PDF] submitted by Special Agent Brian De Jesus requests access to nearly everything contained on a cellphone abandoned in a car, supposedly by the suspect now being charged for being a felon in possession of a handgun.

            • Moscow City Hall seeks to expand ‘digital profiles’ of local residents through new monitoring system

              Moscow’s Information Technology Department has is soliciting bids to develop a system that will build detailed “digital profiles” for all users of municipal services, as well as constantly monitor the activities of Muscovites throughout the city and at municipal facilities. The website Open Media first reported the 280-million-ruble ($3.7-million) contract’s appearance. Although the system is reportedly designed to collect information anonymously, experts warn that it could include surveillance mechanisms and that abuse of the system could result in people’s personal information ending up on the black market.

            • UK group wants Google’s ‘privacy sandbox’ tech launch delayed

              An alliance of British businesses, that is campaigning to stop Google from allegedly controlling the open Web, has asked the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority to delay the release of technology by the search firm that is claimed to be able to cement its alleged dominance of online business.

            • Six Australian spy agencies collected COVIDSafe data: watchdog

              Six Australian intelligence organisations have “incidentally” collected data from the COVIDSafe app, according to a report from the watchdog, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, issued on Monday.

            • Advertising for police databases: Germany wants „European Data Quality Day“

              Alerts in the Schengen Information System are increasing significantly every year, entries in Europol databases are also continuing to grow. The German government now wants to use video messages and giveaways to promote the acceptance of the largest European police database.

            • Despite Not Finding Drugs Nearly 95 Percent Of The Time, Judges Keep Approving Drug Warrants For Chicago Cops

              The Chicago Police Department has firmly established itself as one of the worst police forces in America. From running an off-the-books, Constitution-evading “black site” to interrogate detainees without bringing in their lawyers or rights to loading up its gang database with thousands of non-gang members, the department is a horrific mess.

            • Google sued for using 260mb of cellular data per month to track Android users without permission

              The complaint detailed:

            • Amazon’s Ring moves even closer to becoming the perfect urban police surveillance system

              An investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found that the Ring doorbell app for Android was “packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information”. The EFF’s research discovered that four main analytics and marketing companies were receiving information from the app that included things such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers. Also potentially concerning is the fact that Amazon keeps records of every motion detected by its Ring doorbells, as well as the exact time they are logged down to the millisecond. Conscious of the growing concerns about privacy, Amazon has improved account security and privacy control, although not significantly.

            • Twitter verification will return early next year

              If no changes to this proposal are made, the accounts that would be eligible for verification would include government accounts, companies, brands, nonprofits, news media accounts, entertainment, sports, activists, organizers, and what Twitter refers to as “other influential individuals.” Each type of account must meet specific requirements, like being profiled in a media outlet, in order to receive verification. The entirety of Twitter’s draft policy can be viewed here. After receiving feedback, Twitter plans to release the final policy on December 17th.

            • Popular Wireless Doorbells May Carry Cybersecurity Risk

              If you’re not the handy type or perhaps just don’t want to put the effort into putting in a wired security doorbell, such as a Ring, you may opt for a wireless doorbell, saving yourself the hassle. However, you could end up with more hassles than you ever dreamed, as 11 popular wireless doorbells failed basic cybersecurity tests, according to researchers. Cybersecurity Research These 11 wireless doorbells that failed the cybersecurity tests were all available on common online shopping sites, such as Amazon and eBay…

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Yes, It’s Time to Come Home—Now

        Actually ending the war in Afghanistan.

      • Biden’s Pick for Secretary of State Has a Record of Militarism
      • Biden is Facing a Showdown on Iran Sanctions

        This past summer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a series of appeals to the UN Security Council, saying that the United States was still a member of the deal, based on the council’s 2015 favorable vote by former U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Therefore, Washington had the right to initiate the “snapback”—a procedure that allows participants of the deal to reverse any easing or lifting of sanctions instituted by the pact.

        This led to several UN Security Council meetings, where most members rejected Pompeo’s arguments. But Pompeo called for the snapback in late September, despite “objections from most other countries.”

      • ‘Total Reset’ is Wishful Thinking: The Daunting Task of Reordering US Foreign Policy

        While a ‘total reset’ is, perhaps, possible in some aspects of US policies – for example, a reversal of the Donald Trump Administration’s decision to abandon the Paris Agreement on climate change – it is highly unlikely that the US can simply reclaim its position in many other geopolitical battles around the globe.

        President Trump was often accused of leading an ‘isolationist’ foreign policy, a misleading term that, according to Stephen Wertheim’s “Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy”, was deliberately coined to silence those who dared challenge the advocates of military adventurism and interventionism in the first half of the twentieth century.

      • The US Still Penalizes Thousands of Veterans

        I have known several veterans who had serious health issues connected to their military experience and had to fight for support from the Veterans Administration. The plight of those suffering the ill effects of exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange used to make forested areas of Vietnam visible for attacks by the US, are among a group that had to fight strenuously for deserved benefits. A friend from the post-World War II era fought until the end of his life to get the benefits he deserved after serving as a military photographer in the Pacific whose work involved taking photographs of nuclear tests.

        Following the Vietnam War, Jimmy Carter issued an amnesty program that offered the chance for amnesty to hundreds of thousands of draft and military resisters. There were 432,530 veterans who qualified to have their discharges upgraded, who were discharged with either undesirable or general discharges. The Carter amnesty program (“Carter Authorizes Military To Review Viet Discharges,” Washington Post, March 29, 1977) had several pitfalls, with a narrow window of opportunity of only several months for veterans to apply to the program and a lengthy process that typically required the veteran to appear before a special discharge board made up of military officers and plead his case. The earlier Ford program of amnesty was so punitive that amnesty organizations boycotted it. Those veterans who qualified for that program were given a second discharge that further penalized them and marked them negatively. Most had to complete a punitive form of alternative service.

      • Why Biden Must Ignore Sen. Coons’ ‘Caveats’ and Stay on Course to Return to the Iran Deal

        In restoring the Iran deal, Biden can successfully correct the conflict-laden course he is inheriting from Trump, repair U.S. credibility, and prove once again that the administration he served as vice president was right to choose diplomacy.

      • Flare-ups between India and Pakistan in Kashmir are getting fiercer

        Though India and Pakistan agreed on an informal ceasefire in 2003, it fell apart a decade later. Since 2018 the number of ceasefire violations recorded by the Indian Army has almost doubled, while Pakistan has documented a 10% jump (the figures differ because violations are defined loosely, including everything from a stray bullet to an artillery barrage). Things have been getting steadily worse: in 2019 the Indian army recorded 3,479 violations; the figure for this year so far is over 3,800.

      • Lugano attack: Two hurt in suspected terror incident in Switzerland

        She attempted to choke one and stabbed another in the neck with a knife before being stopped by shoppers, police say.

      • The New Humanitarian | Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast: The future of aid

        Refugees from Ethiopia are currently fleeing across the border into Sudan. If this crisis plays out like many do, big aid agencies will soon begin setting up shop, organising camps, handing out food and water, and leading an organised response to those refugees.
        But what if things were done differently?
        In this fourth episode of the Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast series, hosts Heba Aly and Jeremy Konyndyk talk to three disruptors about their visions for alternative humanitarian action.
        They delve into mergers of international NGOs with Simon O’Connell, the incoming CEO of SNV, an international development organisation based in The Netherlands.
        They unpack networked humanitarianism with Paul Currion, the founder of a blockchain company for the aid industry.
        And they hear a vision of local solidarity from Muthoni Wanyeki, regional director for Africa at the Open Society Foundations.

    • Environment

      • Diane Cook’s Morality Tales for Our Climate Future

        “The Way the End of Days Should Be,” a story from Diane Cook’s 2014 collection Man V. Nature, takes place in a flooded world. The story’s unnamed narrator defends their home from desperate strangers with the help of a man named Gary. The narrator’s neighbor, meanwhile, houses every newcomer who washes up on his porch—he welcomes so many people, in fact, that his house begins to deteriorate. No matter how bad things get for the neighbor and the refugees living in his house, the narrator refuses to change their isolationist ways. Eventually, Gary abandons the narrator to help the neighbor, and the narrator reacts by suspecting Gary and the neighbor of conspiring against him. We leave the narrator lingering near their front door, a knife in each hand, waiting to defend his home from a siege that may never come.

      • Energy

        • Cancer Alley Community Leaders Are Cautious As Biden Picks Their Fossil Fuel-Friendly Congressman for White House Role

          Richmond has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in fossil fuel campaign contributions during his career. Despite this history, some fenceline communities in Louisiana are looking forward to the potential of what Joe Biden’s ascension to the White House with Richmond by his side could mean for their majority-Black neighborhoods which are impacted daily by air pollution from an expanding petrochemical industry.  

        • Will a Tar Sands Pipeline Become a Covid Super Spreader?

          From a climate perspective, a clean water perspective and a Covid perspective, Line 3 is nuts.

        • The trashcan bribe How an ambitious software project led to Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Tikhonov’s arrest

          GIS TEK, an expensive software that compiles information about Russia’s entire fuel and energy sector, was created to help fight illegal business dealings and tax evasion. Its main result so far, however, has been an embezzlement case implicating the heads of one of Russia’s largest technology companies, LANIT, along with Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Tikhonov. Meduza technology editor Maria Kolomichenko reports on the story, which involved secretly-recorded phone conversations and reports of bribes being transferred through a trashcan in a women’s restroom.

        • A Power Company’s Quiet Land-Buying Spree Could Shield It From Coal Ash Cleanup Costs

          Over the past several years, utility giant Georgia Power has embarked on an unusual buying spree, paying top dollar for people’s property in places where cheap land was easy to find.

          In 2016, it bought a veterinarian’s 5-acre lot in the rolling hills of northwest Georgia for roughly double the appraised value. The following year, it acquired 28 acres of flood-prone land in southwest Georgia’s pecan belt for nearly four times what the local tax assessor said it was worth. By the year after that, it had paid millions of dollars above the appraised value for hundreds of acres near a winding gravel road in a central Georgia town with no water lines and spotty cellphone service.

        • When Can Pipelines Take Private Land? Jordan Cove LNG Project a Test for Eminent Domain

          After calling around, they soon found out that a company wanted to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Coos Bay on the Oregon coast, and run a natural gas pipeline to California — and Evans’ land was in the way. If the company’s plans worked out, the pipeline would travel right through their property.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Lost the Election, But He Is Still Doing Terrible Damage
      • Trump camp says Michigan election hearing next week; lawmakers say no

        While the Trump campaign is encouraged to submit written testimony, Michigan lawmakers say the hearing the campaign announced is not happening.

      • On to the Inauguration, Please

        So many questions. So many unknowns. To take the pulse of the country, I took the pulse of a small group of intellectuals. What was Trump going to do, I wanted to know. I heard a wide range of views, though almost everyone I asked said, “Your guess is as good as mine.” Nobody I talked to— all of them white, relatively well off and male— saw what we used to call “the light at the end of the tunnel.”  Or, if there was a light it wasn’t all that bright.

        One professor, an expert on the American war machine, suggested that Trump might well launch a military attack on Iran. “Yuk, it’s a scary time,” he emailed.”I worry that Trump will refuse to leave office and provoke a civil war.” An East Coast historian who has written a lot about the American Civil War, has, for months, urged friends to calm down and de escalate their rhetoric. That historian wrote, “I think a lot of what Trump is doing is bluster. I can’t really see what he can actually do to stay in office.”

      • Time for Democrats to Drain the Real Swamp

        Even in defeat, President Trump’s villainies command the spotlight. Speculation is rife over whether the Biden administration or the various state and local criminal investigations in New York will lead to prosecutions of Trump himself on everything from campaign finance violations (the alleged bribes to his mistresses to keep silent about Trump’s dalliances with them in 2016) to tax fraud to obstruction of justice. President-elect Joe Biden has stated that “”this is the time to heal,” suggesting that he’ll leave the pursuit of Trump to others. But for the country to heal, one critical remedy is to rebuild trust in government and pride in public service. And that will require putting the spotlight on how the Trump administration systematically traduced our government.

      • Is Trump’s No Concession Endgame a “Stab-in-the-Back” Gambit Which Helped Bring the Nazis to Power?

        The post-World War I claim in Germany was as big a lie as the American “Biden stole the election” claim, but it came to be believed by a sizable proportion of the German population and helped lead to the collapse of the Weimar Republic.

      • Following Outcry, US Government Halts Deportations of Women Who Allege Medical Abuse in ICE Detention—At Least for Now

        “ICE and others at Irwin thought they could silence these women… But the women have organized and had the audacity to speak out.”

      • Progressives Say Any Cabinet Post for Rahm Emanuel Is Unacceptable
      • Get Ready for Donald Trump’s Shadow Government—via Twitter and Fox News

        Other Republicans, in fear of the wrath of Trump’s supporters, will obstruct Joe Biden at ever.

      • Trump’s End Game

        President Jimmy Carter

        My interest in other presidents became more serious, starting with Jimmy Carter when I joined the US EPA in 1979. Carter reviewed agriculture and, probably, he might have favored a sustainable version of family farming. He was amenable to change, like preparing the country to face global warming.

      • How Should Former Presidents Behave?

        The question is particularly pertinent as speculation abounds about Donald Trump’s future, assuming that he will no longer be in office after January 20, 2021. Apparently, he is already collecting money to be used for a second presidential run in 2024. There are also rumors that he will be trying to start a media platform to compete with his former sycophants at Fox News. One can only hope that the New York State Attorney General and Manhattan District Attorney will take up some of Trump’s future time by dragging him into court for various financial sleights of hand. And, we shouldn’t forget, he does have hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding personal debts that have to be paid off before 2024.

        There has been no mention for the moment of a Trump presidential library. Perhaps at Mar-a-Lago next to the 18th green? Also, surprisingly, there seems little publisher interest in his memoirs, perhaps because a compendium of his tweets would not be marketable or all potential collaborators are afraid of sullying their careers. But, after all, The Art of the Deal did sell 650,000 copies. The New York Times refers to several publishing executives who warn that “publishing Mr. Trump could be perilous…and that the possibilities of boycotts, libel lawsuits and social media campaigns outweighed the obvious financial benefits.” Also, as one top publisher commented; “We’d want to know that he would be willing to be edited and submit to a rigorous fact-checking process.”

      • Election 2020: a Democratic Mandate or a Vote Against Trump?

        The questions that arise now are simple enough: what caused Trump to lose the election, and to what extent did Americans vote for Biden, as opposed to voting against Trump? Answers to these questions emerge from a careful examination of pre-election polling and Edison’s national exit polling, the latter of which surveyed both in-person and mail-in/absentee voters to collect information on voters’ demographic backgrounds and their political and economic motivations. What we find is that mass anger at racial injustice, the disaster of Covid-19, and the depressed economy that accompanied it, were all chief difference makers in the election outcome.

        Continuity with Previous Elections

      • How to Lose Friends and Not Influence the Election Results

        Support independent cartooning: join Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

      • The GOP: Grotesque, Outrageous Putschists
      • Rudy Giuliani Went to Court and Made a Compelling Argument—for His Own Disbarment

        Federal Judge Matthew Brann dismissed Donald Trump’s over-the-top challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results with a withering rebuke to arguments made by the leader of defeated president’s legal team: “This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together.” Then the judge, a former Republican Party operative whose biography identifies him as a member of the conservative Federalist Society, let rip.

      • Birds Of A Feather: Lame Duck Pardons Turkey And Everything’s Fine Here Why Do You Ask?
      • How Biden Can ‘Build Back Better’ With or Without the Senate

        In 2008, as the economy was in free fall, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama worked together with their secretaries of the Treasury, the chair of the Federal Reserve, and the president of the New York Federal Reserve and created one of the largest financing schemes in the history of the United States to prevent total economic meltdown. Part of this was the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion package that Congress passed in response to the financial crisis. But the overwhelmingly greater part of this plan used the Fed to lend out somewhere between $7 trillion and $29 trillion in near-zero-interest loans directly to banks to keep them afloat. While this worked to save our banking system and avoid the worst possible disaster, the plan neglected to invest in rebuilding the real economy. As a result, Americans saw a grueling, decade-long recovery—if they saw any recovery at all.

      • Unforgetting: Confronting El Salvador’s—and My Family’s—Past

        As a young man, I joined a guerrilla insurgency and went to war, but I didn’t really know why I did so. Just six years after the Vietnam War ended, my family and all other Salvadorans started facing the profound consequences of the Reagan administration’s decision to begin spending billions of dollars to bolster the universally condemned Salvadoran government and military in their war against the leftist guerrillas of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. The FMLN was the Salvadoran embodiment of what Reagan referred to as the “evil empire” of communism. By the end of the war, some 80,000 people had been killed in a country of just over 5 million that’s the size of Massachusetts. Most of the innocents were slaughtered by their own government, according to the United Nations and international human rights groups.1This article is excerpted from Roberto Lovato’s Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas (Harper).

      • Trump Scheduled to Meet Devil at Manhattan Crossroads

        Washington, November 24: Mephistopheles, the prince of darkness, announced today through his press spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, that he would meet on Thursday “with his old friend” President Trump and return to him his soul. The transfer is expected to take place at noon at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in the shadow of Trump Tower. The event will be observed by a small audience, selected by the Devil from among Trump’s most fervid supporters. Mephistopheles is expected to wear red, Trump orange.

        The Devil has been in possession of Trump’s soul since 1973, when he met the young real estate heir through their mutual friend, attorney Roy Cohn, described by one colleague as “pure evil.” It’s not known what Trump was paid at the time and there is no record of the transaction in the president’s tax returns, recently published by The New York Times. But it’s likely that profits from the sale – dispersed over many years — were offset for tax purposes by losses from Trump’s Atlantic City casinos, Doral Country Club and multiple golf courses in the U.S. and Scotland.

      • When They Had to Kill the King. Learnings for the Post-Trump Age.

        The U.S. will never be at peace so long as Trump is free to create mischief and mayhem. He needs to prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

      • Activist expelled from university over ‘crucifixion’ protest outside FSB building in Moscow

        The disciplinary commission at People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) has decided to expel activist Pavel Krisevich from its Economics Faculty over a performance protest he staged outside of the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters in Moscow’s Lubyanka Square.

      • ‘Shameful and Concerning He Is Even Being Considered,’ Says AOC as Rahm Emanuel Floated for Role in Biden Cabinet

        “The thing about covering up the murder of Laquan McDonald is that it disqualifies you from holding any type of public office. Forever,” said Rep.-elect Cori Bush.

      • Latinx Voting Surge Boosted Biden’s Victory—but That’s Not the Story Corporate Media Want to Tell
      • ‘Closest Thing to a Concession’ Trump Could Muster, Say Observers as GSA Approves Biden Transition After Weeks of Delay

        “It should not have taken the ire of Congress and the American public to convince Administrator Murphy to do the right thing.”

      • Donald ‘I Concede NOTHING!’ Trump Retweets Utterly Unhinged Randy Quaid

        In one tweet thanking the actor, the president says he’s “working hard to clean up the stench of the 2020 Election Hoax!”

      • As Feinstein Steps Down as Top Judiciary Democrat, Sunrise Movement Demands She Go One Step Further: ‘Resign’

        “Feinstein lost all credibility when she showed she was more willing to treat with contempt 11-year-old climate activists demanding a livable future in her office, than the Supreme Court nominee who refused to say whether she would uphold the laws that would give that future a fighting chance.”

      • Trump Hints of “Big Lawsuit” Even as He Greenlights Transition Process for Biden
      • Sanction Trump’s Election Lawyers—Now!

        That didn’t stop the Trump campaign from declaring victory and saying the quiet part out loud: It had dropped the lawsuit because it had succeeded in its goal of delaying certification of the election results. Rudolph Giuliani, who appears to be leading this coup d’imbécile, spoke for the campaign even though he did not personally represent it in the Michigan case. He said the goal of Trump’s lawsuit had been “to prevent the Wayne County election from being certified prematurely before residents can be sure that all legal votes were counted and all illegal votes were not counted.”

        This statement is effectively an acknowledgment of a violation of legal ethics that is sanctionable under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It is an admission that the team’s legal arguments in court were not designed to achieve victory but only to delay the completion of the process entrusted to the Board of Canvassers. Having achieved that mere delay, by a matter of hours (and not an actual injunction), the legal team withdrew its lawsuit and claimed “victory.” It shows that the lawsuit was a ploy and not a valid legal argument.

        Lawyers are not supposed to bring lawsuits that are merely designed to cause a delay in the normal operation of law. They’re not supposed to bring lawsuits that are frivolous and have no legal rationale. The Federal Rules anticipate the possibility of an attorney doing exactly what Giuliani has admitted the Trump campaign is doing and authorize judges to punish attorneys who do it.

      • The Route to Independence Leads Through Oban
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Will Parler Users Treat Its ‘Glitch’ That Hid Georgia Election Content The Same Way They Treated A Twitter Glitch?

        It’s been absolutely fascinating — though not at all surprising — to watch a ton of Trumpists mentally struggling with the process of understanding the nature, importance, and necessity of content moderation online over the last few months via Parler. As you may recall, after whining about being moderated on sites like Twitter and Facebook, a bunch of Trump fans started using Parler, a site that was only recently revealed to have been cofounded by Rebekah Mercer (Parler fans like to claim that their users are migrating from Twitter to Parler, but most of them are still using Twitter, because Parler is mostly them preaching to the converted).

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The assassination of a ‘Brave Journalist of Afghanistan’

        Dayee, who was 33, was born and raised in Helmand and spent his working life covering the ebb and flow of violence between the military and the Taliban. In the months leading up to his death, the violence had been flowing. Even as peace talks got under way thousands of miles away in Qatar, with the aim of ending the war, Afghanistan was experiencing a surge in assassinations of people in public life.

      • Google’s Vint Cerf takes up cudgels for company over news media code

        Australian news businesses that are arguing for a news media code to ensure that digital platforms pay for their content are trying to turn back time and make the Internet much less open and its business models less diverse, the Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, a Google vice-president and Internet Evangelist, claims.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Another Drug Lab Scandal — One That Took Kids From Their Parents — Ends In Prison Time

        Another horror story involving the government and a drug-testing lab is finally coming to a close. And the owner of the drug lab is going to jail.

      • Juan González Remembers NYC’s Only Black Mayor David Dinkins & Vieques Activist Carlos “Taso” Zenón

        We speak with Democracy Now! co-host Juan González about the deaths of two leading figures he reported on: New York City Mayor David Dinkins and beloved Puerto Rican social leader Carlos “Taso” Zenón. “Most people forget [Dinkins] was a Democratic Socialist before democratic socialism was in vogue,” notes González. He also recalls how Dinkins backed the movement against apartheid in South Africa, ordering the city to divest its pension fund from companies doing business there, and brought Nelson Mandela to the city right after he was freed. González also recalls how Zenón was a longtime activist who for decades led the fight against the U.S. Navy’s occupation of the island of Vieques, his hometown, where the U.S. government tested weapons and held military training exercises.

      • ‘Brutal and Shocking’: Outrage After Paris Police Violently Evict Hundreds of Migrants From Tent Encampment

        “To think that we will solve a social problem with police batons is totally delusional,” said the mayor’s advisor on housing and refugee protection.

      • As 2020 Sets Grim Record for Trans Killings, Advocates Call for Holistic & Uplifting Media Coverage

        At least 37 transgender and gender nonconforming people were violently killed in 2020, making it the deadliest year for trans and gender nonconforming people on record, according to a new Human Rights Campaign report. Of those killed, 22 were Black, and seven were Latinx. More than 200 trans and gender nonconforming people have lost their lives to violence since 2013, when HRC began recording and reporting violence toward trans people. The media often perpetuates systemic discrimination by covering trans and gender nonconforming people “when we’re celebrities or when we’re dead,” says Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative at the Human Rights Campaign, noting that the true number of deaths is likely much higher. “It is important that the media counteract some of the negative imagery around us by telling stories that uplift our community, that provide a more holistic view of who we are.”

      • Demanding Reversal of Trump Cruelty, Immigrant Rights Groups Welcome Biden Pick of Mayorkas for DHS Secretary

        The former director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was a key architect of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and also expanded fee waivers for naturalization and immigration applications. 

      • Two women detained by border agents for speaking Spanish settle with agency

        In a press release, the ACLU of Montana said that Ana Suda and Martha “Mimi” Hernandez had reached an undisclosed settlement with the agency while adding that local backlash surrounding the case had forced the two to move from Havre, Montana, where the incident occurred in May 2018.

      • Russian state investigators announce raids on Jehovah’s Witnesses across the country

        On Tuesday, November 24, the Russian Investigative Committee announced that it is carrying out searches targeting Jehovah’s Witnesses in Moscow, as well as in more than 20 other regions across the country.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Comcast Expands Its Bullshit Usage Caps…In The Middle Of A Pandemic

        Contrary to what some try to claim, broadband usage caps have always been bullshit. They serve absolutely no technical function, do not help manage congestion, and exist exclusively to nickel-and-dime captive customers in monopolized U.S. markets. Worse, they can be used by incumbent ISPs anticompetitively to hamstring competitors in the streaming video and other markets.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Let’s Stand Up for Home Hacking and Repair

        Let’s tell the Copyright Office that it’s not a crime to modify or repair your own devices.

        Every three years, the Copyright Office holds a rulemaking process where it grants the public permission to bypass digital locks for lawful purposes. In 2018, the Office expanded existing protections for jailbreaking and modifying your own devices to include voice-activated home assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home, but fell far short of the broad allowance for all computerized devices that we’d asked for. So we’re asking for a similar exemption, but we need your input to make the best case possible: if you use a device with onboard software and DRM keeps you from repairing that device or modifying the software to suit your purposes, see below for information about how to tell us your story.

        GitHub recently reinstated the repository for youtube-dl, a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user-uploaded video platforms. GitHub had taken down the repository last month after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) abused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s notice-and-takedown procedure to pressure…

        Next time you hear someone blame Section 230 for a problem with social media platforms, ask yourself two questions: first, was this problem actually caused by Section 230? Second, would weakening Section 230 solve the problem? Politicians and commentators on both sides of the aisle frequently blame Section 230 for…

        Today EFF is launching How to Fix the Internet, a new podcast mini-series to examine potential solutions to six ills facing the modern digital landscape. Over the course of 6 episodes, we’ll consider how current tech policy isn’t working well for users and invite experts to join us in imagining…

      • Podcast Episode: Control Over Users, Competitors, and Critics

        Cory Doctorow joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they discuss how large, established tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook can block interoperability in order to squelch competition and control their users, and how we can fix this by taking away big companies’ legal right to block new tools that connect to their platforms – tools that would let users control their digital lives.

    • Monopolies

      • Mine, Mine, Mine! Nintendo Neuters The Cool Ways People, Groups Are Using ‘Animal Crossing’

        To be honest, Animal Crossing was always going to be a hit. It’s just the perfect distillation of the Nintendo experience: a cutesy social experience couched in harmless video game fun. Still, one unanticipated side effect of the global COVID-19 pandemic was how plenty of people and groups turned to the game for new and innovative ways of connecting with others. Examples abound, including players building a real-world economy around the game’s resources, TV stars plying a version of their trade in the game, protests and social movements springing up in the game’s world, and even the use of the game as part of the presidential election campaign. Mostly absent was any pushback from the gaming community. Instead, these few instances of crossover from real world to gaming world appeared to simply show the power of what Nintendo had created: an open and innovative gaming experience based on community and unbridled social interaction.

      • Patents

        • FOSS Patents: European Commission’s Action Plan on Intellectual Property deemphasizes automotive industry concerns, prioritizes upload filters

          Today the European Commission formally adopted and announced its Action Plan on Intellectual Property (“IP Action Plan”).

          A near-final draft of the document already leaked last week and generated some media attention. I elected to wait for the final document (also because I’m very busy with the impending launch of my iOS and Android game). Given that some significant changes have been made, I’m glad I did hold off.


          The fact that the Commission deemphasizes the automotive industry’s SEP issues may be attributable to the immense lobbying firepower and persistent, highly professional efforts by major SEP holders such as Nokia and Ericsson, which is not a conspiracy theory but based in fact (and would serve to explain the repeated postponement of the publication of this document). The automotive industry’s lobbying departments are basically one-trick ponies that only know about emissions standards and similar topics. Those organizations may need another decade or two before they figure out IP policy.

          I actually doubt that the automotive industry would have had to expect anything positive to come out from the Commission’s DG GROW (formerly called DG MARKT) “brokering” an agreement between the automotive sector and major SEP holders. That’s because the commissioner in charge of DG GROW, Thierry Breton, is totally in the tank for Nokia and Ericsson, even up to the point where he describes fake news as “a fact! A fact! It is a fact!”.


          The IP Action Plan is per se underwhelming and unspecific, but that doesn’t mean that the initiatives it outlines as potential measures couldn’t be impactful in the end–possibly even with respect to SEPs. We’ll have to stay tuned.

        • Compulsory licensing: you said “taboo”? [Ed: Blackmail or extortion with #patents euphemised as "Compulsory licensing"]

          1. In his 1913 essay Totem und Taboo, Freud defined taboo as a prohibition related to what is considered sacred or impure. The famous psychoanalyst insists on the irrationality of the phenomenon. Thus, compulsory licensing, which is often seen as an impure danger, seems to be a kind of taboo for intellectual property specialists. But the numerous research studies related to COVID-19 and the need to be ready for eventual health crisis of this type in the future invite us to try to (re)examine the question rationally: what is the real nature of the compulsory license?


          6. Finally, the ex officio license seems to be able to serve as an economic lever for States, more particularly by helping them to encourage patented producers to relocate manufacturing to their territories and to lower prices. Thus, patent law could be a key to addressing the crisis as research for treatments and vaccines is in full swing. More generally, this crisis could lead to a strengthening of the geopolitical and economic roles of intellectual property, provided there is no misunderstanding about its purpose: it is definitely a tool to foster innovation and growth, but also a tool directed towards the society and not only towards the interest of its holder[21]. And, if they refuse to understand this, the rights holders, instead of seeing their prerogatives simply limited, risk expropriations, as has already and notably been proposed by some in France and decided upon in Germany.

        • Researchers and European Patent Office Team Up to Fight COVID-19 [Ed: This is pure propaganda because granting monopolies does nothing towards fighting a virus; but the EPO wants exploit a crisis to do lots of evil things and be seen as heroic]
        • Ferring B.V. v. Allergan, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          The Federal Circuit has taken the occasion, in appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board as well as district courts, to remand judgments whenever the Court believes that the record below is devoid of sufficient detail to properly assess the correctness of the decisions made below (see “Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Wyeth LLC (Fed. Cir. 2019)” and “NeuroGrafix v. Brainlab, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)”). Recently, the Court took advantage of another opportunity to remind a district court of the need to provide ample factual bases for its decisions and avoid a “rush to judgment,” in Ferring B.V. v. Allergan, Inc.

          The case involved the claims to patent ownership of a former consultant, Seymour Fein, for Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Fein was a consultant for Ferring Pharmaceuticals for a little less than four years, until Ferring terminated his consulting agreement in November 2002. During his contract, employment Mr. Fein was involved in a project involving desmopressin, a synthetic analog of naturally occurring arginine vasopressin that is a hormone related to water retention in humans. In particular, desmopressin was used to treat sleep disruption caused by nocturia. The compound had low bioavailability and a large range of absorption, and it was thought that increasing desmopressin doses (to reduce these aspects of use of the drug) could pose a safety issue. A study performed by Ferring scientists starting in October 2000 supported the use of low doses and plasma concentrations of desmopressin as a clinically effective nocturia treatment. However, the drug was also accompanied by hyponatremia (low blood sodium ion concentration), which can be life-threatening, and Mr. Fein was asked to consult on this problem as part of his consulting duties. According to the opinion Mr. Fein suggested using low doses of desmopressin formulated “in a waterless orodispersible form (a ‘melt’) [and administered] sublingually through the mucosal membranes of the mouth” as a solution to the problem. When tested, such a formulation showed double the bioavailability of previously marketed forms of the drug. Clinical trials and a patent application filing by Ferring followed (but this application named no inventors). Thereafter, Mr. Fein was not further involved with development of these formulations of the drug. Instead, he was tasked with overseeing (until Ferring cancelled his consulting agreement) an intravenous desmopressin administration study, where he suggested improvements that permitted a greater weight range of participants. When Ferring filed a PCT application claiming priority to the initial application, Mr. Fein was named as an inventor but his contract with Ferring was terminated shortly thereafter.


          Finally, the Federal Circuit addressed the issue of unclean hands. Being an equitable remedy, defendants’ assertion of equitable estoppel requires their own conduct to be without reproach. In this case, Ferring contended that “the district court erred by ignoring evidence that Fein intentionally and deliberately copied Ferring’s . . . clinical study protocol for use in his own clinical studies.” Ferring asserted several bases for its unclean hands allegations that the panel did not specifically address. However, the opinion notes that for some of these arguments and evidence supporting them there was no discussion in the record and thus “[we have] no basis to infer that the district court considered Ferring’s evidence” in this regard, which the Court found was another abuse of discretion. The Court accordingly left correction of these errors to the District Court on remand.

        • Software Patents

          • Changes Reducing IPR Institution Rate Have Increased Litigation Frequency and Cost

            The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s precedential opinions on discretionary denial are the subject of significant attention—a withdrawn attempt by the Trump Administration to codify discretionary denial as a rule, a request for comments on rulemaking by the Office, and a challenge to the practice of discretionary denial as illegal under the Administrative Procedure Act.

            The attention is deserved. Fundamentally, discretionary denial has harmed the patent ecosystem, reversing the positive changes observed in patent litigation frequency and cost. The changes even appear to have increased the cost of IPR itself. Using cost data from AIPLA’s Report of the Economic Survey, decision analysis from Unified Patents, and statistical data from the PTO itself, the following charts show a clear correlation of the implementation of discretionary denial and these negative impacts on the patent system.


            In other words, after the PTO made the discretionary denial opinions precedential, innovators were more likely to face patent lawsuits, less likely to be able to use the IPR process as a meaningful defense, and the total cost of defending themselves—both in court and at the PTAB—increased significantly.

            It’s also increased the costs for patent owners, who face a more expensive set of proceedings at the Patent Office and more expensive litigation overall. While a discretionary denial might save them money at the Patent Office, it doesn’t provide a petitioner with any reason to back away from their invalidity theory—in fact, in cases like the recent Philip Morris IPRs, the petitioner might even be more likely to fight invalidity in court given the panel’s statement that their merits case was particularly strong. And without a reason to back away, petitioners are more likely to fight in court, increasing overall costs for patent owners.

            Cui Bono?

            So who actually wins here? Innovators—plaintiffs and defendants alike—are forced to spend more on less consistent proceedings, taking money away from their R&D efforts.The chief winners are patent lawyers and law firms, like Irell & Manella, Director Iancu’s former firm, which will have more trials to litigate, leading to more billable hours, and the patent trolls, like prolific filer Fortress Investment Group—represented by Irell & Manella in manycases—who receive higher value settlements when litigation costs increase.

      • Copyrights

        • Anti-Piracy Coalition Seeks Powerful New Tools To Tackle IPTV Piracy in the EU

          The Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance, which counts major TV broadcasters, sports rightsholders, and content security companies among its members, is seeking enhanced anti-piracy tools from the European Union. These include real-time stream takedown tools, toughened repeat-infringer policies, plus ‘take down means stay down’ measures.

        • Twitter Under Fire for Refusal to Attend Senate’s Anti-Piracy Hearing

          US Senator Thom Tillis is incredibly disappointed that Twitter declined his invite to testify at a subcommittee hearing to discuss how online piracy can be tackled through voluntary agreements. In a letter sent to CEO Jack Dorsey, the senator criticizes the company’s track record, suggesting that “Twitter simply does not take copyright piracy seriously.”

        • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day Four: Why Many News Sites Are Captured by Bill C-10

          The potential scope of news sites regulation is vast, covering everything from the Rebel (which sells video subscriptions) to podcast networks like Canadaland. The law also applies to foreign sites, raising the possibility that sites with considerable audio and video and significant Canadian subscribers such as New York Times could be captured as well. As with economic thresholds, it will be open to the CRTC to decide what obligations online undertakings should face with regard to news or to potentially exempt some of these services. However, as it stands now, Guilbeault is incorrect when he claims that Bill C-10 excludes news since the bill opens the door to regulation and creates uncertainty by leaving it to the CRTC to determine precisely what regulatory obligations or exemptions might apply.

        • What happens when a virtual streamer doesn’t own her body?

          Projekt Melody swears her body belongs to her — the purple hair, the cat-eared bow, and all the barely there clothing that strategically covers her up. She commissioned it from an artist for $5,000 and even kept the receipts as proof. And for her thousands of fans on Twitch, this is what they see when she streams herself playing Minecraft, watching movies, or just sitting around chatting in her room.

          It wasn’t until this month that she ran into a problem: the artist, alleging that Melody owed him money, filed a copyright complaint claiming that she didn’t actually own her body — he did. Melody was banned from Twitch.

        • Inconceivable: TikToker Who Made Paint Mixing Very, Very Cool… Is Fired From Sherwin-Williams For Doing So

          TikTok remains a somewhat fascinating service to me, as different people experiment with using it to express all sorts of things in ways that are unexpected and often delightful. A couple months ago I discovered that there appears to be an entire genre of TikTokers creating videos about… mixing paint colors. I know… I know. At first that sounds insane. Who could possibly want to watch that? But some of them are truly amazing, as first noted by reporter Rebecca Jennings who tweeted about her discovery of Christian Hull, an Australian TikToker whose videos of him watching paint mixing videos and trying to guess what color the eventual mix will be is just so insanely joyful and addicting.


Links 25/11/2020: Raspberry Pi 400 With Touchscreens, Animation Framework in GTK/GNOME

Posted in News Roundup at 7:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Everything you need to know to become an expert Linux admin – TechRepublic

        IT professionals have to be life-long learners with quarterly goals for improving their skills to keep up with the industry, particularly when it comes to Linux. System administrators should be constantly looking for new ways to improve their skills for managing Linux servers and distributions.

        This roundup of TechRepublic Premium resources, by Linux expert Jack Wallen, can help you fill the holes in your skills gap. There is advice for mastering the command line as well as selecting the best GUI tool. Maybe your challenge is managing users or permissions? Wallen has got you covered with that task, too.

        Sysadmins can use any one of these resources to get smarter about Linux and bring value to the IT team.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux READFILE System Call Revived Now That It Might Have A User

        Earlier this year we mentioned Greg Kroah-Hartman working on a new READFILE system call. The goal of this new syscall is for reading small and medium files more efficiently by having one call to read a file straight into a buffer without having to use the separate open/read/close system calls. It’s looking like that system call is back on the table and could be mainlined now that there’s a possible user.

        The READFILE system call is simple for reading lightweight files straight into a buffer without the overhead of multiple system calls that in turn can help performance, especially if reading many files such as on sysfs/debugfs and the like.

        It had been a number of months without any updates on that syscall and it wasn’t mainlined in the cycles since it was proposed earlier this year. But now it looks like it’s back on the table.

      • Graphics Stack

        • ZLUDA: Drop-In Open-Source CUDA Support For Intel Xe / UHD Graphics

          An interesting solution built off Intel’s oneAPI Level Zero is the open-source “ZLUDA” that is providing a “Level Zero CUDA” implementation for being able to run programs geared for NVIDIA CUDA atop Intel UHD / Xe Graphics hardware.

          ZLUDA is a project independent of NVIDIA and Intel but one of the most interesting external projects we have seen so far targeting Intel’s Level Zero interface. ZLUDA allows for unmodified CUDA applications to run on Intel GPUs with “near native” performance through this alternative libcuda running with Skylake / Gen9 graphics and newer.

    • Applications

      • The 10 Best Linux Backup Tools

        If you are a high-end software developer, system admin, or content creator who changed their Alien ID to the Linux world, then this article piece is for you. There is no worse enemy to a committed Linux enthusiast than data loss. To deal with data loss, you must understand the essential services of backup tools software.

        You might be thinking, well, my machine system has several partitions. One has my Linux operating system installed, and the remaining ones I use to back up the data that I continuously use and develop. Moreover, you might be considerate enough to acquire an external hard disk drive to store your important files. However, the game of data loss is like playing chess against a supercomputer. The odds are never in our favor. It is usually when everything is going smoothly that an unfortunate event tends to introduce itself.

        An unstable surge could occur and put your entire machine system in an ICU state. Such circumstances tend to corrupt or put your important data in an irretrievable state. Furthermore, a filled coffee mug that puts your ingenious mind in an active and productive state could accidentally spill on your machine or external HDD and commit the highest level of treason. This coffee that keeps our minds awake could have the opposite effect on our machines and any other external storage devices. Worse still, you will be forced to stay awake the whole night to mourn your data loss because the dark shades of coffee you took are still in your system.

      • Vivaldi Web Browser Now Has a Built-in Email Client

        A fully-featured email client is the latest feature to be added to Vivaldi, the Chromium-based web browser.

        The bods beavering away on the wannabe web fave have added a native IMAP and POP3 email client to the app, as well as a RSS feed reader, and multi-account friendly calendar. Other recent feature additions have included a word processor and a built-in arcade game.

        Although Vivaldi Mail (as the feature is known) is currently of a ‘pre-Beta quality’ it is fully functional and works relatively well already.

        On paper Vivaldi Mail will work with most modern e-mail services via IMAP or POP. Alas, for now, this doesn’t include Google or Gmail accounts.

      • GPUOpen Software Updated For The Radeon RX 6000 Series – Phoronix

        AMD has updated their collection of software offered under their “GPUOpen” umbrella for Radeon RX 6000 series / RDNA 2 compatibility.

        The Radeon GPU Profiler, Radeon Memory Visualizer, and other software packages offered via GPUOpen have been updated with “Big Navi” RDNA2 support.

      • OctopusWAF: A Customizable Open-Source WAF for High Performance Applications

        Mainstream web application firewalls (WAFs) can be very difficult to understand, with thousands of lines of code and obscure plugins. This complexity makes it challenging for developers to modify code to block specific anomalies and secure their applications. But OctopusWAF is different – the open-source WAF is customizable, user-friendly and optimized for a large number of parallel connections – making it ideal for high performance Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) applications.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • PAM Bypass: when null(is not)ok

        Someone enters an IRC support channel and proclaims their dovecot server has been hacked and a non existing user sends spam email from their server. The initial reaction might be something along the lines of

        Wat ಠ_ಠ

        With the following assumption that the user clearly did something wrong. Hosting email is difficult after all. I don’t quite recall how rest of the support went, but it was solved and the root cause was not found. However, we keep on rolling! Then someone posts about a similar incident on r/archlinux.

        Now, if this happens twice something is amiss! Arch has had a few issues with PAM lately, thus it could be that there is a configuration issue. Johannes and I try to reproduce, but I don’t get far and Johannes keeps on working on the issue.

      • How to install Discord on Linux Mint 20 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Discord on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to install Discord Canary on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Disord Canary, the Alpha Builds of Discord, on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Automated CI/CD Deployment to App Engine with Cloud Build – Cloudbooklet

        Automated CI/CD Deployment to App Engine with Cloud Build. In this guide you are going to learn how to setup a CI/CD deployment which deploys the code to App Engine when a push is made to a specific branch in GitHub using Google Cloud Build.

      • Ansible Roles: Complete Beginner’s Guide [RHCE Ansible Series]

        This is the ninth chapter of RHCE Ansible EX 294 exam preparation series. You’ll understand how roles are structured in Ansible. You’ll also learn to use ready-made roles from Ansible Galaxy and create your own custom Ansible roles.

      • How to remote access Linux from a Linux system

        Are you trying to figure out how to access your Linux desktop from your Linux laptop? Don’t know the first thing about remote access? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we show you how to access your Linux desktop from your Linux laptop!

      • How to add controller support to Minecraft on Linux

        Minecraft is one of the few mainstream video game franchises to support the Linux platform. That said, although the game works natively on Linux, it does not have controller support.

      • How To Install ModSecurity Apache on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install ModSecurity Apache on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, ModSecurity is an Apache module that helps to protect your website from various attacks such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection attacks, path traversal attacks, etc. ModSecurity can also monitor web traffic in real-time and help you detect and respond to intrusions.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of ModSecurity Apache on an Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa.

      • Enable File Browser in Default Gedit Text Editor in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Editing files regularly with the default text editor in Ubuntu? Without looking your documents through Files (Nautilus file browser), gedit offers a built-in file browser mode to make life easy.

        And this is the beginner’s guide shows you how to enable this built-in file browser mode in Gedit text editor.

        1. First open the text editor either from system applications menu or by click opening a document file.

        2. When the editor opens, go to menu (the icon after Save button) -> View, and enable Side Panel. You can alternatively press F9 on keyboard to toggle ‘Side Panel’ on / off.

      • Container image short names in Podman | Enable Sysadmin

        This new feature, pulling images with Podman by using short names, includes more security, greater convenience, and is another step forward for container management.


        When people approach me to talk about Podman and containers, I usually ask if they are familiar with Docker. Most people are, and the conversations quickly move beyond the fact that Podman can act as a drop-in replacement for Docker. In fact, there are many useful and innovative features that make Podman special. Podman has excellent rootless support, it can generate systemd unit files for easily containerizing systemd services, and it has a powerful RESTful API that allows for running Podman on macOS and Windows. Those are just a few of the great features.

      • Looking forward to Linux network configuration in the initial ramdisk (initrd) | Enable Sysadmin

        One of the tasks that the initrd might be responsible for is network configuration.

      • The Ultimate Guide to Dolphin Emulator. – Make Tech Easier

        Today you can find hundreds of emulators for dozens of old systems for multiple platforms. However, Dolphin manages to stand out from the crowd by achieving something almost impossible: combining advanced features and a high degree of compatibility with ease of use.

        With Dolphin, which is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android, you gain access to the vast majority of titles for Nintendo’s GameCube and Wii consoles. Theoretically, since it’s easy to use, you only have to run it, add some games, and play. Practically, though, it’s worth investing some time to customize and configure Dolphin to your liking. This way, you’ll be able to take advantage of its advanced features and play your games better than you would on the actual hardware.

      • Terminal Vitality

        Ever since Douglas Engelbart flipped over a trackball and discovered a mouse, our interactions with computers have shifted from linguistics to hieroglyphics. That is, instead of typing commands at a prompt in what we now call a Command Line Interface (CLI), we click little icons and drag them to other little icons to guide our machines to perform the tasks we desire.

        Apple led the way to commercialization of this concept we now call the Graphical User Interface (GUI), replacing its pioneering and mostly keyboard-driven Apple // microcomputer with the original GUI-only Macintosh. After quickly responding with an almost unusable Windows 1.0 release, Microsoft piled on in later versions with the Start menu and push button toolbars that together solidified mouse-driven operating systems as the default interface for the rest of us. Linux, along with its inspiration Unix, had long championed many users running many programs simultaneously through an insanely powerful CLI. It thus joined the GUI party late with its likewise insanely powerful yet famously insecure X-Windows framework and the many GUIs such as KDE and Gnome that it eventually supported.

      • Build a motion detection system with a Raspberry Pi | Opensource.com

        If you want a home security system to tell you if someone is lurking around your property, you don’t need an expensive, proprietary solution from a third-party vendor. You can set up your own system using a Raspberry Pi, a passive infrared (PIR) motion sensor, and an LTE modem that will send SMS messages whenever it detects movement.

      • Create a machine learning model with Bash | Opensource.com

        Machine learning is a powerful computing capability for predicting or forecasting things that conventional algorithms find challenging. The machine learning journey begins with collecting and preparing data—a lot of it—then it builds mathematical models based on that data. While multiple tools can be used for these tasks, I like to use the shell.

        A shell is an interface for performing operations using a defined language. This language can be invoked interactively or scripted. The concept of the shell was introduced in Unix operating systems in the 1970s. Some of the most popular shells include Bash, tcsh, and Zsh. They are available for all operating systems, including Linux, macOS, and Windows, which gives them high portability. For this exercise, I’ll use Bash.

      • Use SSH keys for authentication

        Use SSH keys for authentication without password when you are connecting to your server. simple and secure login process.

      • Authentication and authorization using the Keycloak REST API – Red Hat Developer

        Enabling authentication and authorization involves complex functionality beyond a simple login API. In a previous article, I described the Keycloak REST login API endpoint, which only handles some authentication tasks. In this article, I describe how to enable other aspects of authentication and authorization by using Keycloak REST API functionality out of the box.

      • Hording AD groups through wbinfo « On the third side

        In a samba setup where users and groups are fetched from Active Directory to be used in a unix/linux environment, AD may prohibit the samba winbind tools like wbinfo to recurse into its group structure. You may get groups and users and their corresponding gids and uids, but you may not get the members of a group.

    • Games

      • Build your own ruler in the massive Crusader Kings III update out now | GamingOnLinux

        Paradox has released the big 1.2 update to Crusader Kings III, with it comes a fun new feature that lets you properly design your initial ruler.

        Since the release you’ve been able to step into the shoes of pre-set historical monarchs and leaders. Carrying their legacy on through the ages, and across the world. Now though, Paradox are giving us much more control over our game and our leader. You can now design them yourself with various options including appearance, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and more with the results sometimes looking quite amusing. You start by choosing a location, then the option to design your own will be available.

        Unlike how it was handled with Crusader Kings II, this is an entirely free feature added to the base game.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GTK: At the Heart of GNOME

          GTK is at the heart of the GNOME application and software development kit. GTK is used to create graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for desktop environments, applications, and window managers. Since the GTK 4 development process began in 2016, we have about 250 individual contributors, with more than 100 active this year.

          Thanks to the funding received by the GNOME Foundation in 2020, the GTK development team was able to run hackfests, including one we were lucky enough to have at FOSDEM. This funding also supported Emmanuele Bassi, Core GTK Developer at the GNOME Foundation, working on GTK full-time. For most of 2020, Emmanuele worked on implementing a new accessibility interface for GTK 4, to ensure that more people can use GNOME applications, including those with disabilities. We are building a diverse and sustainable free software computing ecosystem where everyone can be empowered by technology they trust. Since Emmanuele works directly for the Foundation he’s uniquely able to focus on the needs of the community, project, and users to support these goals.

          GTK is a project with a long history, and throughout that history, it has gone through multiple iterations. A new major release is on the horizon. After four years of development that included a complete overhaul of the internals of the toolkit, GTK 4 promises to be faster through hardware acceleration; more efficient, in terms of performance and power consumption; and more ergonomic, for both application developers, and end users. Over the past four years, the GTK team has continued work on the existing stable versions of GTK and put out multiple releases.

        • GTK Planning More Improvements In 2021 From Better Accessibility To Animation Framework

          In addition to shipping the much anticipated GTK 4.0, this toolkit driven by the GNOME desktop environment is making more plans for an exciting 2021.

          The GNOME Foundation recently laid out their new initiatives and plans for 2021 while today there was a similar look ahead from the GTK toolkit perspective.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Kubernetes and SUSE Enterprise Storage 7 – SUSE Communities

          Rook is a CNCF – the Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) hosts Kubernetes and related open source projects – graduated project which automates the installation, deployment and upgrade of Ceph. It takes care to launch and configure all Ceph components correctly, setup Ceph on storage devices and allows Kubernetes applications to use Ceph as storage – for block, file, and object storage.

          Deployment with Rook is like many other Kubernetes installation, you install Rook using a helm chart that you can configure, and then Kubernetes will do all the necessary steps to setup Ceph. You can also connect to the Ceph dashboard and see how your applications use storage.

          Once Rook is up, your containerized applications can use Ceph as persistent storage using the usual Kubernetes APIs like PersistentVolumeClaims (PVCs).

          Running Ceph with Rook on Kubernetes means that you have a smaller footprint overall instead of setting up a separate Ceph cluster and a Kubernetes cluster. Kubernetes will run applications and storage together in the same infrastructure. This is not advised for very large storage installations but a great option for a Kubernetes cluster that needs a smaller storage configuration. Depending on your use-cases and requirements, you can use dedicated storage nodes in your single cluster – and have dedicated application nodes – or use all your nodes for storage and applications.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 113 | YaST

          Time flies and it has been already two weeks since our previous development report. On these special days, we keep being the YaST + Cockpit Team and we have news on both fronts. So let’s do a quick recap.

          Cockpit Modules

          Our Cockpit module to manage wicked keeps improving. Apart from several small enhancements, the module has now better error reporting and correctly manages those asynchronous operations that wicked takes some time to perform. In addition, we have improved the integration with a default Cockpit installation, ensuring the new module replaces the default network one (which relies on Network Manager) if both are installed. In the following days we will release RPM packages and a separate blog post to definitely present Cockpit Wicked to the world.

          On the other hand, we also have news about our Cockpit module to manage transactional updates. We are creating some early functional prototypes of the user interface to be used as a base for future development and discussions. You can check the details and several screenshots at the following pull requests: request#3, request#5.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora program update: 2020-48 – Fedora Community Blog

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Elections voting is open through 3 December. Fedora 31 has reached end of life. EPEL 6 will reach end-of-life on Monday.

        • Oracle Linux 8: Oracle Ksplice made easy with free training

          This week’s training blog presents a set of free, short videos on using Oracle Ksplice on Oracle Linux 8. Oracle Ksplice allows you to install the latest kernel and key user-space security and bug fix updates while the system is running. You don’t need to coordinate with users to schedule system down time. You don’t need to stop running applications and you don’t need to reboot your systems to install kernel and user-space updates.

        • More for developers in the new Red Hat OpenShift 4.6 web console – Red Hat Developer

          Red Hat OpenShift 4.6 streamlines developer onboarding in the OpenShift web console, but that’s not all. This article details improvements and new features in the topology view and introduces OpenShift’s new, form-based approach to creating horizontal pod autoscalers and Helm charts. I also touch on application monitoring improvements and the latest updates for Red Hat OpenShift Pipelines, Red Hat OpenShift Serverless, and the Kiali Operator in OpenShift 4.6.

        • Log-On Wave for IBM Z Simplifies Administration and Operation of Virtualized Linux Infrastructures on IBM Z and LinuxONE

          Log-On Software (Log-On) an IBM Business Partner and developer of software solutions for IBM Z, has announced Log-On Wave for IBM Z, with general availability planned for January 2021.

          According to the company, Log-On Wave for IBM Z simplifies the administration and operation of virtual Linux servers running on IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE. The result is that IT organizations and service providers benefit from an intuitive graphical interface and intelligent functionality that improves productivity by simplifying administration, configuration and management and future-proofs operations by shielding complexity and enabling less experienced administrators to easily manage highly virtualized infrastructures.

        • Implementing storage: Compliance concerns for stateful financial services applications

          There’s little doubt that industry pressures have driven financial services firms to implement – and to continue to adopt – transformative solutions to maintain competitive advantages that help streamline operations and introduce new products.

          However, along with having to surmount technical issues, this industry presents special challenges regulatory and compliance concerns, in addition to technology considerations. Regulators play a major role in financial institutions, therefore, by necessity, banks create organizational models and processes to ensure that work is being delivered with the most minimal risk possible – and technology solutions must also adhere to this regulatory overlay.

        • Web interfaces for your syslog server – Blog – syslog-ng Community – syslog-ng Community

          This is the 2020 edition of my most read blog entry about syslog-ng web-based graphical user interfaces (web GUIs). Many things have changed in the past few years. In 2011, only a single logging as a service solution was available, while nowadays, I regularly run into others. Also, while some software disappeared, the number of logging-related GUIs is growing. This is why in this post, I will mostly focus on generic log management and open source instead of highly specialized software, like SIEMs.

        • Red Hat Quarkus Java stack moves to OpenShift

          Red Hat’s Quarkus framework for building Kubernetes-native Java applications is now included with the company’s OpenShift 4.6 open source container application platform, a step Red Hat describes as important in bringing Java into modern cloud-native application development.

          Previously supported in Red Hat Runtimes middleware, Quarkus now is natively integrated into OpenShift to provide for easier development, the company said. Developers can use familiar tools and do remote development on clusters via IDEs such as CodeReady Workspaces. Developers also can do serverless workload deployment and application storage management.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical publishes set of secure container application images

          The LTS Docker Image Portfolio comes with up to ten years Extended Security Maintenance by Canonical. “LTS Images are built on trusted infrastructure, in a secure environment, with guarantees of stable security updates,” said Mark Lewis, VP Application Services at Canonical.

          “They offer a new level of container provenance and assurance to organizations making the shift to container based operations.”

          Canonical and Docker will collaborate on Docker Official Images and LTS Docker Image Portfolio to bring the best of the two to the community and ecosystem. The entire LTS Docker Image Portfolio will be exempted from per-user rate limits.

        • Torsten Franz: My first month at the Ubuntu Community Council

          In the last few weeks I have been asked by many people what topics we have in the Community Council and what we are doing. After a month in the Council, I want to give a first insight into what happened in the early days and what has been on my mind. Of course, these are all subjective impressions and I am not speaking here from the perspective of the Community Council, but from my own perspective.

          In the beginning, of course, we had to deal with organisational issues. These include ensuring that everyone is included in the Community Council’s communication channels. There are two main channels that we use. On the one hand, we have a team channel on IRC on Freenode to exchange ideas. The channel has the advantage that you can ask the others small questions and have a relaxed chat. To reach everyone in the Council, we have set up the mailing list: community-council at lists.ubuntu.com

          No, I haven’t yet managed to read through all the documents and threads that deal with the Community Council or how to make the community more active again. But I have already read a lot in the first month on the Community Hub and on mailing lists to get different impressions. I can only encourage everyone to get involved with constructive ideas and help us to improve the community of Ubuntu.

          I haven’t worked on an international board since 2017 and had completely forgotten one topic that is more complex than national teams: the different timezones. But after a short time we managed to find a date where we all can basically do it and we had our public meeting of the council. This took place twice and the second time we all managed to attend. The minutes of the meetings are publicly available: 1st Meeting and 2nd Meeting. We have decided that we will hold the meeting twice a month.

        • Design and Web team summary – 24th November 2020 | Ubuntu

          Hi, I am Carlos Wu. I work for the Webteam as a web developer, and I just recently reached 1 year at Canonical!

          I have worked previously in a number of Front-end roles and Canonical and the webteam gave me the opportunity to work on both back-end and front-end, which has been my professional goal for some time. I quite like our tech stack, which includes Python and Flask, React, and we use Docker to deploy our projects, so I really enjoy working and learning in this team.

          Coming from agencies and companies where managers would just tell me “Don’t ask questions, just do your work”, Canonical’s webteam has proved to be like a family, where I can be curious and ask questions and not be afraid to explore my boundaries.

          In my free time, I like to do a variety of things. Sometimes, I like to play music, try as many instruments as I can. Although I have been a long time guitar player, I also enjoy playing chords on the piano or fiddling with a violin. Furthermore, I also sometimes build my own small projects to help me in my daily life. I very much enjoy a walk in the park! As you can see in the picture above in Hyde Park, London.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi V3DV Is Officially Vulkan Conformant, Lavapipe Also Nearing 1.0 Conformance

        There are two interesting bits of news today pertaining to open-source Vulkan drivers being officially conformant with the Vulkan 1.0 specification in passing the necessary Vulkan CTS tests.

        First up, Igalia and the Raspberry Pi Foundation are celebrating that their V3DV Mesa driver for Vulkan support on the Raspberry Pi 4 and newer is officially Vulkan 1.0 conformant. This Mesa Vulkan driver has been passing the Vulkan CTS and the results submitted to The Khronos Group.

        They have now approved of V3DV as being an official Vulkan 1.0 implementation as tested on the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.

      • Raspberry Pi 400 kit ships with 7-inch or 13.3-inch touchscreen display

        The Raspberry Pi Foundation has recently launched the Raspberry Pi 4 keyboard computer with impressive performance thanks to a well-designed cooling solution, and I think it’s a great tool for kids (and adults) who may want to carry a Raspberry Pi around.

      • Shutdown button with Raspberry PI and Python – peppe8o

        Because of their low price, mini button switches are useful for many purposes. We have already analyzed how they work (ref. Using mini Switch Button with Raspberry PI and Python) and a funny use case (ref. Reaction Game (v2) with Raspberry PI and Mini Button Switch).

      • Portwell and Congatec spin Elkhart Lake modules in multiple form factors

        Portwell unveiled a “PQ7-M109” Qseven module with Intel’s Atom x-6000. Congatec recently announced x6000 modules in Qseven (Conga-QA7), SMARC, (Conga-SA7), Mini Type 10 (Conga-MA7), and Compact Type 6 (Conga-TCA7) form factors.

        Portwell has announced the PQ7-M109, its first product based on Intel’s 10nm fabricated Elkhart Lake family of low-power system-on-chips, which includes several Atom x-6000, Celeron, and Pentium models. In September, in reporting on Congatec’s Elkhart Lake based Conga-PA7 Pico-ITX SBC, we promised to cover Congatec’s four Elkhart Lake compute modules in a separate report. Well, better late than ever: We briefly summarize Congatec’s Conga-QA7 (Qseven), Conga-SA7 (SMARC), and Conga-MA7 (COM Express Mini Type 10) and Conga-TCA7 (Compact Type-6) modules farther below.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Arduino Blog » This remote-controlled storytelling apparatus is made up of Arduino-driven toy animatronics

          As an exhibit at the Phaneo Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany, Niklas Roy and Felix Figus created a remotely-operated storytelling apparatus dubbed “Smart Fairy Tale.”

          When initiated, a little red ball rolls down the installation’s transparent tubing, triggering different interactions based on the interruption of light sensors along its path. 25 Arduino Nanos are used to control each individual animatronic part of the “story,” making the code manageable and allowing the overall machine to still work if there’s a malfunction in one section.

        • Pine64′s PINECIL RISC-V soldering iron launched for $25

          We’ve previously mentioned PINECIL RISC-V soldering iron during Pine64’s release of PineCube open-source IP camera development kit, and the good news is the soldering iron is now available for $24.99 on Pine64 store together with optional sets of gross or fine soldering tips compatible with the one used with TS100 model The soldering iron is powered by GigaDevice GD32VF103TB 32-bit RISC-V general-purpose microcontroller and features a small display and two buttons for user interaction, as well as changeable tips.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Daniel Stenberg: The curl web infrastructure

        The purpose of the curl web site is to inform the world about what curl and libcurl are and provide as much information as possible about the project, the products and everything related to that.

        The web site has existed in some form for as long as the project has, but it has of course developed and changed over time.

      • DOSEMU2

        Since I have the original DOSEMU working, I’m not going to attempt to install DOSEMU2 at this time. (Especially as I’d have to build from source; precompiled packages for Debian are not provided.) But I’m glad to hear that someone has “forked” the DOSEMU project and is continuing maintenance and development, since the original DOSEMU seems to have been frozen in mid-2013.

      • Generous Match Challenge from Individual Conservancy Supporters for Annual Fundraiser

        We are pleased to launch our annual fundraiser today with a match challenge of $111,029. This match is extremely exciting (not only because it is a prime number for the second year but also) because the pledges comes entirely from individuals (not companies!) who care deeply about software freedom. The bulk of this match challenge was provided by one very generous donor who prefers to remain anonymous. Their amount was augmented by six Conservancy Supporters (listed alphabetically) who came together to increase the match even more: Jeremy Allison, Kevin P. Fleming, Roan Kattouw, Jim McDonough, Allison Randal and Daniel Vetter. You’ll be hearing more about why they joined this year’s match donation in interviews on our blog in the coming weeks.

      • BookStack:Collaboratively Create and editor books with your team

        When writing or editing a complex project like a book collaboratively with a team, there are many problems that start from selecting the best tools. The main problem here is there are many tools to choose from and most of them require a time to learn and setup for all team members.

        Many teams tend to use several tools at once which may conflict with their workflow and takes time to jump from here to there with notes, revisions and content.

        The best option is to keep the collaborative writing and editing workflow in one place to manage book sections, comments, revisions, images, sorting, search and exports.

        Wiki engines and collaborative writing tools usually require customization for book editing. Also, it’s good to consider the technical knowledge of writers and editors and the time needed to learn how to use the system.

      • Hantro H1 hardware accelerated video encoding support in mainline Linux

        With the increasing need for video encoding, there are some breakthrough developments in hardware-accelerated video encoding for Linux. Bootlin has been working on the implementation of Hantro H1 hardware accelerated video encoding to support H.264 encoding on Linux which follows the company’s work on the previously-released open-source VPU driver for Allwinner processors.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Beta1 is available for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.1 Beta1 is available for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.1 will be released as final at the beginning of February, 2021 ( Check the Release Plan for more information ) being LibreOffice 7.1 Beta1 the second pre-release since the development of version 7.1 started at the end of May, 2020. Since the previous release, LibreOffice 7.1 Alpha1, 1131 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 245 issues got fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

      • Programming/Development

        • DOM Recording For Web Application Demos

          To show off the power of our Pernosco debugger, we wanted many short demo videos of the application interface. Regular videos are relatively heavyweight and lossy; we wanted something more like Asciinema, but for our Web application, not just a terminal. So we created DOMRec, a DOM recorder.

        • The 20 Best Kotlin Books for Beginner and Expert Developers

          Here you will find the top Kotlin books that will make it very interesting and almost effortless for you to learn Kotlin.

          Kotlin is a statically composed, universally useful programming language with type deduction. It is also a cross-platform language. Kotlin is intended to engage completely with Java, and Kotlin’s standard library’s JVM variant relies upon the Java Class Library. However, Kotlin’s type of derivation permits its syntax to be more compact and precise. Therefore, it has become quite crucial to learn Kotlin these days. But to learn it in the shortest number of days, a perfect set of Kotlin books is indecipherably important.

          Whether or not to pick Kotlin or Java for new advancement has been coming up a ton in the Android people group since the Google I/O declaration. The short answer is that Kotlin code is more secure and more succinct than Java code and that Kotlin and Java records can coincide in Android applications, so Kotlin isn’t just valuable for new applications but also for growing existing Java applications as well.

        • JS

        • Rust

          • What the Error Handling Project Group is Working On

            The Rust community takes its error handling seriously. There’s already a strong culture in place for emphasizing helpful error handling and reporting, with multiple libraries each offering their own take (see Jane Lusby’s thorough survey of Rust error handling/reporting libraries).

            But there’s still room for improvement. The main focus of the group is carrying on error handling-related work that was in progress before the group’s formation. To that end, we’re working on systematically addressing error handling-related issues, as well as eliminating blockers that are holding up stalled RFCs.

            Our first few meetings saw us setting a number of short- and long-term goals. These goals fall into one of three themes: making the Error trait more universally accessible, improving error handling ergonomics, and authoring additional learning resources.

          • How to collect Rust source-based code coverage

            Source-based code coverage was recently introduced in Rust. It is more precise than the gcov-based coverage, with fewer workarounds needed. Its only drawback is that it makes the profiled program slower than with gcov-based coverage.

            In this post, I will show you a simple example on how to set up source-based coverage on a Rust project, and how to generate a report using grcov (in a readable format or in a JSON format which can be parsed to generate custom reports or upload results to Coveralls/Codecov).

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The New Humanitarian | Community aid and growing needs in Chile

        Up and down the length of Chile, people are turning to soup kitchens for their hunger needs as the coronavirus pandemic broadens inequality after lockdown measures shuttered the informal economy for months.
        Food insecurity in Chile has risen dramatically over the course of the pandemic, and its impacts have been particularly acute among already marginalised urban populations.
        Despite some government subsidies and the efforts of local aid groups, hunger remains: Chile is considered an upper-middle-income country, so the international humanitarian aid sector is unlikely to step in, regardless of inequalities and growing poverty.
        Since its return to democracy 30 years ago following a brutal military dictatorship, Chile has been considered a beacon of economic growth and stability in South America – a continent often convulsed by political and social turmoil. “In the midst of this troubled Latin America, our country is a true oasis, with a stable democracy,” Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said in a television interview in October 2019.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Communication by example: Which methods do high-performing open source communities use?

                Although effective communication is an essential life skill, it is the most critical element in any business [2]. Lack of accurate communication is the common cause of any organization’s issues, causing conflicts, reducing client relationships, team effectiveness, and profitability [2]. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), ineffective communication is the main contributor to project failure one-third of the time. It has a negative impact on project success more than half of the time [1].

                In open source projects where there is a diverse and world spread community, effective communication is the key to projects’ success. Using the right technology is crucial for that. So, which tools do open source communities use for communication?

              • ONAP Certification Launches to Help Close Talent Gap with Growth of Network Automation, 5G and Edge Computing

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and LF Networking (LFN), which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open source networking projects, today announced the Certified ONAP Professional (COP) exam, previously announced to be in development, is now generally available.

              • CNCF Announces Graduation Of etcd

                The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has announced the graduation of etcd. The project was created at CoreOS in 2013 and joined CNCF in December 2018 as an incubating project.

                To move from the maturity level of incubation to graduation, etcd has demonstrated growing adoption, an open governance process, feature maturity, and a strong commitment to community, sustainability, and inclusivity.

              • CNCF Survey Shows Continued Increase in Container Use

                The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) published the results of its 2020 Cloud Native Survey. Of the 1,324 respondents, 54 percent are part of the CNCF End User Community.

              • etcd recognized as a well-matured, production-ready project at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation – IBM Developer

                etcd is an open source distributed key-value store that plays a crucial role in scaling Kubernetes clusters. The etcd project has been on an impressive journey to maturity under the guidance of the CNCF.

                Two short years ago at KubeCon North America 2018, etcd was accepted as an incubation project at the CNCF. Today, we’re celebrating another milestone for the etcd project: Graduating from incubation within the CNCF.

        • Security

          • Critical Unpatched VMware Flaw Affects Multiple Corporates Products

            VMware has released temporary workarounds to address a critical vulnerability in its products that could be exploited by an attacker to take control of an affected system.

            “A malicious actor with network access to the administrative configurator on port 8443 and a valid password for the configurator admin account can execute commands with unrestricted privileges on the underlying operating system,” the virtualization software and services firm noted in its advisory.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (chromium, microcode_ctl, and seamonkey), Mageia (f2fs-tools, italc, python-cryptography, python-pillow, tcpreplay, and vino), Oracle (thunderbird), Red Hat (bind, kernel, microcode_ctl, net-snmp, and Red Hat Virtualization), Scientific Linux (net-snmp and thunderbird), SUSE (kernel and mariadb), and Ubuntu (atftp, libextractor, pdfresurrect, and pulseaudio).

          • Syxsense Announces New Support for AWS Linux Devices

            Syxsense, a global leader in SaaS IT and security management solutions, extends support of its cloud-native, real-time architecture to Amazon Web Service (AWS) Linux devices. AWS Linux assets are protected with a single lightweight agent allowing real-time patching and management from the Syxsense Management Cloud.

          • Syxsense Announces New Support for Amazon Web Service (AWS) Linux Devices
          • WireGuard For Windows Updated With Improved Installer, ARM/ARM64 Support [Ed: Can we take VPN software seriously when it’s ported to platforms with NSA back doors?]
          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Stantinko Botnet Now Targeting Linux Servers to Hide Behind Proxies [Ed: They say almost nothing about the fact that you actually need to sabotage your GNU/Linux setup and have malware installed on it for this to become a risk. Microsoft propaganda at ZDNet set off this "Linux" FUD.]

              According to a new analysis published by Intezer today and shared with The Hacker News, the trojan masquerades as HTTPd, a commonly used program on Linux servers, and is a new version of the malware belonging to a threat actor tracked as Stantinko.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Platform exclusivity, DRM, and independent authors: A cautionary tale

        Imagine, for the sake of argument, that you wrote a book. You’ve worked on it for years, and you want to share it with the world. You want to reach as many people as possible, but it would be nice to be compensated for your hard work. How many weekends did you spend at home, polishing your manuscript instead of going out with friends? How many sleepless nights have you spent staring at a blank page, looking for inspiration?

        While researching the best way to publish, you hear horror stories about authors finding their books sold on counterfeit Web sites or distributed gratis without the author’s consent. You read stories about authors feeling violated as their hard work is stolen in such a way.

        As you read about these activities, you also see mentions of companies that claim that they would protect your work against it. Should you publish your book through them, your book would only be available through their application. People could only access it through their store, and they wouldn’t even be able to open the file on a device that isn’t vetted by the company. The app is very popular, so most people use it anyway, and authors do not have to worry about a lack of interest. Only dealing with one store would also make things easier on your end. You won’t have to manage different things. They’ll even format your book for you. Sounds easy enough, so you take the deal.

        Weeks pass, and you make a few sales. It’s by no mean a huge success, but you got a few positive reviews, mostly from family and friends. You keep mentioning your project to everyone you know, and find some limited interest.

        One day, a friend you hadn’t talked to in a while asks about your book. They say that they don’t like the app your book requires, and they don’t want to buy it through the one store you signed an exclusivity deal with. They explain that Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) restricts their freedom to read the book on their device of choice, and won’t even let them make backups of the file. They tell you how they once used a similar app, but were locked out of all the books they purchased after moving away from said application.

        After hearing your friend’s story, you decide to give them a DRM-free copy of your book. After all, you wrote it so people would enjoy it first and foremost, and you want your friend to see the fruit of your labor.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Obviousness: Claim Construction (Q.of.Law) vs. Interpretation of the Prior Art (Q.of.Fact)

          The basic question in this ex parte appeal is whether the asserted references teach the layering of aerogels as required by the insulation materials claim pending before the USPTO. The pending APN 14/446,663 was filed in 2014, but claims a chain of priority stretching back to a 2005 provisional patent application. The basic idea here is that aerogel is a great insulator, but is fragile, so the claim requires fiber-reinforcement. The claim particularly requires two plys of fiber-reinforced aerogel — and that the fibers in the plys are interlaced with one-another.


          But, the issue is that Stepanian stacks the fibers and then pours in the areogel over the layers of fibers. The PTAB made the factual conclusion that Stepanian disclosed “plys” of fiber-aerogel, even with the pour-over approach, and the appellate panel found substantial evidence for that conclusion.

Links 24/11/2020: Linux 5.9.11, Istio 1.6.14 and LibreOffice 7.1 Beta Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Mobile/Desktop Convergence

      Mobile/Desktop convergence is something that Purism had planned and has been developing since the launch of the Librem 5.

      It all started with the amazing work that Adrien initiated with the libhandy library, that let the default Librem 5 applications be adapted from the exact same applications running on the laptops.

      Now the Librem 5 team is moving a step further by letting the Librem 5 being used as a real desktop computer by simply plugging it into an external monitor, keyboard and mouse through a single USB hub. The feature is still under active development at the time of writing this article, but the different components are starting to come together and it is already pretty functional.

    • Server

      • Announcing Istio 1.6.14

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.6.13 and Istio 1.6.14

      • ISTIO-SECURITY-2020-011
      • Support for Istio 1.6 has ended

        As previously announced, support for Istio 1.6 has now officially ended.

        At this point we will no longer back-port fixes for security issues and critical bugs to 1.6, so we heartily encourage you to upgrade to the latest version of Istio (1.8) if you haven’t already.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds worried Linux kernel might get messy around Christmas

        Linus Torvalds has expressed some worries about progress of version 5.10 of the Linux kernel.

        “Hmm. The 5.10 release candidates stubbornly keeps staying fairly big, even though by rc5 we really should be seeing things starting to calm down and shrink,” he said in his weekly state of the kernel post.

        While Torvalds went on to write: “There’s nothing in here that makes me particularly nervous,” adding: “I’m still hopeful for things to calm down. Otherwise we get into uncomfortable territory for the next release with the holiday season coming up too.”

        Torvalds prefers releases to have eight release candidates. If he can stick to that plan, a full 5.10 release will emerge in the week before Christmas. His practice is then to open a two-week merge window that would occupy the less-than-busy times between Christmas and New Year. As a resident of the USA, Torvalds may also have this week’s Thanksgiving holiday on his mind as that’s another time in which productivity is not at its peak. Developers could therefore move slower than usual and see 5.10 remain a little unruly.

      • Linus Torvalds would love to own a new M1 MacBook Air, but it doesn’t run Linux Natively
      • Linus Torvalds would like to use an M1 Mac for Linux, but…
      • Linus Torvalds Wants Linux on Apple Silicon
      • Apple – Linus Torvalds desires Apple’s new M1-powered Macs to run Linux
      • Linux 5.9.11
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.9.11 kernel.
        All users of the 5.9 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.9.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.9.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.4.80
      • Linux 4.19.160
      • Linux 4.14.209
      • Linux 4.9.246
      • Linux 4.4.246
      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Don’t Call It A Comeback

          I guess I never left, really, since I’ve been vicariously living the life of someone who still writes zink patches through reviewing and discussing some great community efforts that are ongoing.

          But now I’m back living that life of someone who writes zink patches.

          Valve has generously agreed to sponsor my work on graphics-related projects.

          For the time being, that work happens to be zink.

        • Valve funds open source developer to work on Zink, the OpenGL on Vulkan driver | GamingOnLinux

          Developer Mike Blumenkrantz has announced that they’re now being funded by Valve, so Blumenkrantz’s work on the OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan with ‘Zink’ will continue.

          Hold on, what actually is Zink? As described by Collabora dev Erik Faye-Lund it’s an “OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan. Or to be a bit more specific, Zink is a Mesa Gallium driver that leverages the existing OpenGL implementation in Mesa to provide hardware accelerated OpenGL when only a Vulkan driver is available”.

          After working on Zink for a while, Mike Blumenkrantz posted a blog entry back on November 6 saying it was the “last day” due to the end of it being hobby work while being between jobs. In a new blog post titled “Don’t Call It A Comeback”, Blumenkrantz mentions that “Valve has generously agreed to sponsor my work on graphics-related projects” and that the focus will be on Zink.

        • Valve Now Funding Blumenkrantz – Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan To Continue

          Longtime open-source developer Mike Blumenkrantz who has been an Enlightenment developer for many years and was working for Samsung’s Open-Source Group prior to its demise jumped into the open-source Linux graphics world this year. While being unemployed he began hacking on the Zink Gallium3D code that allows generic OpenGL acceleration over the Vulkan API. He quickly got the code to the point of OpenGL 4.6 support and quite compelling performance compared to where Zink was at earlier this year. Now it turns out he will continue with his Linux graphics adventures thanks to funding from Valve.

          Mike Blumenkrantz shared today that Valve is going to be sponsoring his graphics-related work moving forward. At least for now, that Linux graphics work is still on the matter of Zink.

    • Benchmarks

      • Tiger Lake + Renoir On Ubuntu Linux For Battery vs. AC Performance

        Given the recent Intel presentation alleging AMD Ryzen laptop performance being worse on battery relative to the AC vs. battery performance seen with Intel EVO notebooks featuring Tiger Lake processors, I ran a mini comparison on my side to see whether there is any merit to Intel’s information when testing under Ubuntu Linux.

        Here is just some initial data on my side when benchmarking AMD Ryzen “Renoir” versus Intel Core i7 “Tiger Lake” when running Ubuntu 20.10 and comparing the AC power versus battery performance.

    • Applications

      • Top 7 Linux GPU Monitoring and Diagnostic Commands Line Tools

        A video card is a special circuit board that controls what is displayed on a computer monitor. It is also called a graphics processing unit (GPU), which calculates 3D images and graphics for Linux gaming and other usages. Let us see the top 7 Linux GPU monitoring and diagnostic command-line tools to solve issues.

        The following tools work on Linux for GPU monitoring and diagnostic purposes and other operating systems such as FreeBSD. The majority of Linux and FreeBSD users these days use Nvidia, Intel, and AMD GPUs.

      • LibreSSL 3.3.0 Released

        We have released LibreSSL 3.3.0, which will be arriving in the LibreSSL directory of your local OpenBSD mirror soon.

        This is the first development release from the 3.3.x series, which will eventually be part of OpenBSD 6.9.

      • New alpha release: Tor

        There’s a new alpha release available for download. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for from the download page on the website. Packages should be available over the coming weeks, with a new alpha Tor Browser release by mid-December.

        Remember, this is an alpha release: you should only run this if you’d like to find and report more bugs than usual.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install XFCE Desktop Environment in Linux Mint

        XFCE is a well know desktop environment for Linux, Solaris, and BSD systems. It is a fast, lightweight, user-friendly, GTK toolkit based desktop environment. It comes with a wide range of applications and Linux users find it very useful and appealing.

        You can download Linux Mint 20, in three editions Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce. Here I will show you how to install Xfce 4.14 (GTK3 based) desktop environment on Linux Mint 20 Ulyana.

      • How to get system hardware details on CentOS 8

        When working on a Linux distribution, the user may need to know about hardware and basic system information of the current working system. Regardless of whether you are a software developer or a normal Linux user, it might be necessary to check software and hardware system compatibility. The command-line Linux system provides built-in commands through which a user can get the details about the currently used system and hardware platform.

        In this article, you will find a brief description of all commands, which will help you easily get details about your system and hardware.

      • [Old] The Finfisher Tales, Chapter 1: The dropper

        Amnesty International finally dropped the bomb and released a report about FinSpy spyware made by FinFisher Gmbh.

        The most interesting thing was the revelation of Mac and Linux versions, something that was missing from previous reports on this commercial malware (Kaspersky, Wikileaks).

        Their report summarizes the most important features but isn’t technically deep. This got me interested in verifying if FinSpy for Mac was any good malicious software or just the same kind of bullshit commercial malware like HackingTeam (they finally went kaput, oh so many crocodile tears!).

      • How To Install Zoom on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Zoom on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Zoom is a cross-platform video communication tool that works on Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux systems. With Zoom, you can host webinars, organize online meetings, and create conference rooms.

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

      • How To Install OpenLiteSpeed on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install OpenLiteSpeed on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, OpenLiteSpeed is an open-source HTTP server developed by LiteSpeed Technologies. OpenLiteSpeed is a high performance and lightweight HTTP server which comes with a Web Gui administration interface. As far as Linux web servers are concerned, OpenLiteSpeed has some interesting features that make it a solid choice for many installations. It features Apache compatible rewrite rules, a web administration interface, and customized PHP processing optimized for the server.

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

      • How to Install Gibbon LMS on Ubuntu 20.04

        Gibbon is a free and open-source school management system specially designed for teachers, students, parents and leaders. It helps teachers to find, contact and help their students. It allows teachers to plan, teach, collect, assess and return work in one streamlined process. It is an excellent and one-stop-shop efficient tool that makes all information available in one place. It comes with a simple web-based interface that helps teachers to access all student details on the go.

      • How to Install Arch Linux [Beginner's Guide]

        This beginner’s guide explains the steps on how to install Arch Linux – in a most easy and friendly way.

      • How to install MySQL server on CentOS 8 Linux – nixCraft

        How do I install MySQL server 8.0 on CentOS 8 Linux server running on Linode and AWS cloud? How do I add and set up a new MySQL user and database account on the newly created CentOS server?

        Oracle MySQL server version 8.0 is a free and open-source free database server. It is one of the most popular database system used in web apps and websites on the Internet.

        Typically MySQL is part of the LAMP (Linux, Apache/Nginx, MySQL, Perl/Python/PHP) stack. Popular open-source software such as WordPress, MediaWiki, and others profoundly used by MySQL as a database storage engine. Let us see how to install MySQL server version 8.x on CentOS 8 Linux server.

      • Linux Fu: VPN For Free With SSH | Hackaday

        If you see a lot of banner ads on certain websites, you know that without a Virtual Private Network (VPN), hackers will quickly ravage your computer and burn down your house. Well, that seems to be what they imply. In reality, though, there are two main reasons you might want a VPN connection. You can pay for a service, of course, but if you have ssh access to a computer somewhere on the public Internet, you can set up your own VPN service for no additional cost.

        The basic idea is that you connect to a remote computer on another network and it makes it look like all your network traffic is local to that network. The first case for this is to sidestep or enhance security. For example, you might want to print to a network printer without exposing that printer to the public Internet. While you are at the coffee shop you can VPN to your network and print just like you were a meter away from the printer at your desk. Your traffic on the shop’s WiFi will also be encrypted.

      • YANUB: yet another (nearly) useless blog: QSoas tips and tricks: using meta-data, first level

        By essence, QSoas works with \(y = f(x)\) datasets. However, in practice, when working with experimental data (or data generated from simulations), one has often more than one experimental parameter (\(x\)). For instance, one could record series of spectra (\(A = f(\lambda)\)) for different pH values, so that the absorbance is in fact a function of both the pH and \(\lambda\). QSoas has different ways to deal with such situations, and we’ll describe one today, using meta-data.


        QSoas is a powerful open source data analysis program that focuses on flexibility and powerful fitting capacities. It is released under the GNU General Public License. It is described in Fourmond, Anal. Chem., 2016, 88 (10), pp 5050–5052. Current version is 2.2. You can download its source code there (or clone from the GitHub repository) and compile it yourself, or buy precompiled versions for MacOS and Windows there.

      • Many ways to sort file content on Linux

        The Linux sort command can arrange command output or file content in a lot more ways than you might realize–alphabetically, numerically, by month and randomly are only some of the more interesting choices. In this post, we take a look at some of the more useful sorting options and explain how they differ.

      • How to install Luminance HDR

        Luminance HDR is an open-source GUI tool that provides an easy to use toolkit for HDR imaging. It is available on all major Linux operating systems and is excellent for photographers. In this guide, we will go over how to install Luminance HDR on Linux.

      • How to add a WordPress user sign up – Anto Online

        Adding an external user sign up page on a website allows users to register for different roles. Once registered, they can perform tasks such as adding new articles, new comments, and even performing other actions such as designing.

        Allowing a user to sign up is a common thing for bloggers and companies that accept guest posts. However, this feature can also be used to offer premium content for your members. But, this may require more custom fields and branding. The default WordPress sign up page contains fixed fields and a WordPress logo.

      • How to install Lyrebird on a Chromebook – a Discord Voice Changer

        Today we are looking at how to install Lyrebird, a voice changer for Discord on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to play Brawlhalla on Linux

        Brawlhalla is a free-to-play 2D fighting game. It was developed by Blue Mammoth Games, published by Ubisoft, and released on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, and PC. In this guide, we’ll show you how to play it on Linux.

    • Games

      • Aerofly FS 2 Flight Simulator from IPACS is now available on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Need to take to the skies? We can possibly help with that. Aerofly FS 2 Flight Simulator from IPACS recently quitely released a Linux version. They don’t seem to have announced it in a news post but it’s up and live on Steam right now. A reader emailed in about this, and the developer has confirmed it on their Steam forum.

        Looks like quite a detailed flight sim too with a number of aircraft included like the A320, B737-500, F-15, F-18, Aermacchi MB-339, King Air C90 GTx, Learjet 45, ASG 29 and Swift S1 gliders and more. After being released in Early Access in 2016, then a full release in 2017 it’s continued being supported for a long time now. Most recently, it had a big update adding in the EC135 helicopter along with a bunch of optimizations to the game.

      • Amnesia: Rebirth is easily one of the scariest and best games of 2020

        After a rough launch, Frictional Games have nicely fixed up Amnesia: Rebirth and overall the experience is one we’re not going to forget any time soon.

        “In Amnesia: Rebirth, you are Tasi Trianon, waking up deep in the desert of Algeria. Days have passed. Where have you been? What did you do? Where are the others? Retrace your journey, pull together the fragments of your shattered past; it is your only chance to survive the pitiless horror that threatens to devour you.”

        While our livestreamer did a full playthrough live on our Twitch Channel cheered on by viewers which you can watch through on-demand on our YouTube Channel, I was spending it entirely alone in a dark room with no one but myself to count on. Not the best idea, because I am a complete wimp. I’m at least honest about that though and Amnesia: Rebirth was, in a word, terrifying. Okay, not all the way through, but plenty of it was.

        Amnesia: Rebirth might be Frictional’s weirdest yet too. All of their games are strange in their own way but it feels like they really went hard on the darkness in Amnesia: Rebirth. It worked well though, not many games have made me terrified to look at a tiny window on a door before while I search a room for anything useful to keep me going that little bit longer.

      • Deep survival game Vintage Story has my full attention with the latest expansion

        Vintage Story has a huge new version almost ready to release, with a couple of Release Candidates going up for the 1.14 release and it’s looking awesome.

        This is the survival game for those of you who love the blocky style of Minecraft but want something deeper, something much more complex and exciting. With full Linux support, Vintage Story is a good choice and the developer is definitely dedicated to their idea.

        With the 1.14 update pulling in lots of often requested features including character customization, the “Steel Age” along with assorted items to build like a metal door and a mechanical powered Pulverizer building that can grind down things for you which looks awesome. Your body temperature now matters more too with clothing giving warmth, frost damage during harsh winters, lots of new blocks, new graphics with shader effects and lots more.

      • You can now try the RetroArch Playtest on Steam for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        With the awesome RetroArch application for running emulators and all sorts coming to Steam, they now have a Playtest available you can opt into to try it out.

        Using the new dedicated Steam Playtest feature announced by Valve in early November, developers can have a banner on their Steam store page letting users request access. So the Libretro team have put this up, and as of today it also has Linux builds available for testing.

      • PulseAudio 14.0 Released With Better USB Gaming Headset Support – Phoronix

        While in 2021 we might begin to see PipeWire replacing PulseAudio by default at least on bleeding-edge distributions like Fedora, for now PulseAudio still is the dominant sound server used by desktop Linux distributions. Rolling out today is PulseAudio 14.0.

        PulseAudio 14.0 comes with many changes compared to PulseAudio 13.0 that shipped all the way back in September of 2019.

      • “Anarch”, a new, public-domain Doom-like game coded from scratch in <256K

        I’ve argued that the video-game “Doom” is a sort of cultural version of Turing Completeness. Given that we’re jamming computers and screens into just about any device these days, inevitably (and delightfully) someone gets it to run Doom: Watches, digital cameras, ATMs, pregnancy sticks.

        But you know what’s even cooler? Creating your own new, original game in the exactly style of Doom, and making it so wildly resource-efficient that it fits in under 256K and will run on just about any computational device around.

        That’s what the programmer Miloslav Číž has done, with his new game “Anarch”. You can play it in your browser here or download it here; I just blasted away in it for a while, and it’s a hoot — he neatly channels the mechanics and twitchy low-rez aesthetics of the original. Gameplay trailer is here; he put it in the public domain, and the code is all here on Gitlab.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Customize Task Switching Experience on GNOME Desktop With These Nifty Tools

          Unless you’re new to Linux, you know that there are several popular desktop environment choices for users. And if you’re that newbie, I recommend you to learn what a desktop environment is along with this tutorial.

          Here, I shall be focusing on tweaking the task switching experience on GNOME. I know that the majority of users just tend to use it as is and stock settings are good enough for the most part.

          I mean there is nothing wrong with the application switcher that you use with Alt+Tab keyboard shortcut in Ubunt

        • Gnome Asia summit 2020
    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Adam Williamson: Site and blog migration

          So I’ve been having an adventurous week here at HA Towers: I decided, after something more than a decade, I’m going to get out of the self-hosting game, as far as I can. It makes me a bit sad, because it’s been kinda cool to do and I think it’s worked pretty well, but I’m getting to a point where it seems silly that a small part of me has to constantly be concerned with making sure my web and mail servers and all the rest of it keep working, when the services exist to do it much more efficiently. It’s cool that it’s still possible to do it, but I don’t think I need to actually do it any more.

          So, if you’re reading this…and I didn’t do something really weird…it’s not being served to you by a Fedora system three feet from my desk any more. It’s being served to you by a server owned by a commodity web hoster…somewhere in North America…running Lightspeed (boo) on who knows what OS. I pre-paid for four years of hosting before realizing they were running proprietary software, and I figured what the hell, it’s just a web serving serving static files. If it starts to really bug me I’ll move it, and hopefully you’ll never notice.


          I also set up a Kolab Now account and switched my contacts and calendar to it, which was nice and easy to do (download the ICS files from Radicale, upload them to Kolab, switch my accounts on my laptops and phone, shut down the Radicale server, done). I also plan to have it serve my mail, but that migration is going to be the longest and most complicated as I’ll have to move several gigs of mail and re-do all my filters. Fun!

        • IBM Cloud Now: Instana Acquisition, myInvenio Partnership, and Lower Prices for RHOS on IBM Cloud
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • A New Chrome OS-Like Ubuntu Remix is Now Available

          If you’ve used Chrome OS, you know there’s a beauty in the simplicity. Over the years, there have been a few attempts at recreating that same simplicity for Linux, but many of those distributions have vanished. From the creator of Ubuntu Unity, comes yet another attempt to create that user-friendly magic. The new distribution, called Ubuntu Web, is based on Ubuntu 20.04, and offers an open source take on Chrome OS.

          The developer, Rudy Saraswat, has employed the GNOME desktop (version 3.36) to pull this off and includes plenty of pre-installed apps to make Ubuntu Web a distribution anyone can use. Included in the app listing you’ll find web apps for Mastodon, Twitter, SoundCloud, and a number of others from the /e/ Foundation.

        • Canonical publishes LTS Docker Image Portfolio on Docker Hub

          The LTS Docker Image Portfolio comes with up to ten years Extended Security Maintenance by Canonical. “LTS Images are built on trusted infrastructure, in a secure environment, with guarantees of stable security updates,” said Mark Lewis, VP Application Services at Canonical. “They offer a new level of container provenance and assurance to organisations making the shift to container based operations.”

          Canonical and Docker will collaborate on Docker Official Images and LTS Docker Image Portfolio to bring the best of the two to the community and ecosystem. The entire LTS Docker Image Portfolio will be exempted from per-user rate limits.

        • Ubuntu Linux maker Canonical publishes curated container images to help secure software supply chains

          A good deal of software development now relies on open source images, but it can be hard for businesses to know if they’re introducing security flaws by using them.

          Canonical — the company behind Ubuntu Linux — is addressing this by publishing the LTS (Long Term Support) Docker Image Portfolio, a curated set of secure container application images, on Docker Hub.

          LTS Images are built on trusted infrastructure, in a secure environment, with guarantees of stable security updates. Canonical and Docker will collaborate on Docker Official Images and the LTS Docker Image Portfolio to bring the best of the two to the community and ecosystem. The entire LTS Docker Image Portfolio will also be exempted from per-user rate limits.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 658

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 658 for the week of November 15 – 21, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • On Safety Razors and Technology

        Think Windows on one side, vs Linux (and the BSDs) on the other (with macOS initially being in the middle and increasingly swaying to becoming even more constraining than Windows). Think proprietary gaming consoles and mobile IAP-chasing games, vs game platforms that encourage participation like TIC-80 and LÖVE. Think US-centric proprietary social networks (Facebook, Twitter) and services (Dropbox, Google Suite) vs distributed social networks (Mastodon, Pleroma, Diaspora etc.) and self-hosted services (Nextcloud, Cryptpad etc.).

        What are most people sacrificing to the altar of promised convenience? Literally both time and money: our attention, higher costs; also our autonomy (you’re locked in) and our privacy (… so platform owners can mine your attention and monetize what they observe of your behavior).

        If you believe in capitalism, this is bad news. If you don’t it’s even worse.


        But in other jurisdictions like the US, regulation might be a long time coming, except maybe in California (plus the companies we’re trying to unshackle users from are mostly US-based). So a lot of the solution has to be bottom up.

        We simply need to lower barriers to entry, both actual and perceived, to using the platforms we’re championing. Some involve compromises (e.g. Flatpak is a great way to abstract away the differences between Linux distributions, to the point that it’s easier to install proprietary apps, including Steam – which improves the availability of games on Linux despite, yes, being proprietary). Some involve corporate backing (e.g. Fedora on Lenovo laptops). A lot would involve being more welcoming to newcomers, and bridging the actual usability gaps there are.

        It’s hard enough to overcome incumbency and the network effect. Let’s not make it harder for ourselves.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Beta Released With Faster Spell Checking, Speedier Find And Replace – Phoronix

          LibreOffice 7.1 was branched this weekend that also marked the hard feature freeze for this next half-year update to this open-source office suite. LibreOffice 7.1 Beta has now shipped ahead of next month’s release candidate and the additional test releases in January before going gold in early February.

          LibreOffice 7.1 brings presentation improvements, an outline folding mode as an experimental feature, faster find/replace performance, faster spell checking performance within the Calc spreadsheets, new physics-based animations within Impress, LibreOffice Math now has full support for HTML colors, native support for Windows ARM64, and a wealth of low-level improvements.

        • Community Member Monday: Yusuf Keten – The Document Foundation Blog

          I was born on February 25, 1998 in Istanbul, Turkey. Currently I’m a third-year Computer Engineering student at Hacettepe University in Turkey. I really like coding. Nowadays, I am working on computer graphics. Also, I have academic projects about GPGPU programming. I am contributing to LibreOffice in my free time because of my enthusiasm for open source culture.

      • FSF

        • Moving into the future with the FSF tech team

          The FSF is well-known for spearheading the advocacy and support of free software, not just by recommending it in the face of pervasive proprietary options, but also by condemning nonfree software altogether. Following this recommendation is hard, even for us, because of the ever-increasing dependency on software and computer networks that we are all subject to. To follow through with our commitment, our tech team maintains a large list of services that many other offices our size would have long ago been wrongly pressured into transferring to one of the handful of gigantic corporations that monopolize those services.

          Your work email account is most likely implemented through Gmail or Outlook; your office’s software is likely to be served by Amazon Web Services, along with all the data backups; your company’s customer service is likely to be managed through Salesforce or SAP, and so on. Make no mistake, this is true for your local government and school networks, too!

          In contrast, at the FSF, we never jumped on the outsourcing wagon, and we don’t use any Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS) in our operations. We run our own email servers, telephony and fax service, print shop, full server stack, backups, networking, systems monitoring, accounting, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and a long list of other tasks and software development projects, with a team of just four extremely dedicated technicians. And we implement this on hardware that has been carefully evaluated to meet very high ethical standards, criteria that we push for vendors to achieve through our “Respects Your Freedom” certification program.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guix 1.2 Adds Btrfs Subvolume Booting, New GNU Hurd Options

            GNU Guix 1.2 is out today as both an update to the cross-platform package manager as well as the Guix System Linux distribution.

            This release comes after being in development the past half-year and also on the 8th anniversary of this GNU project. GNU Guix 1.2 comes with new features, performance improvements, and many fixes to the package manager as well as the GNU/Linux system distribution.

          • GNU Guix 1.2.0 Released With Linux-libre 5.9.3, GNOME 3.34.2, More

            Celebrating the eighth anniversary of the GNU Guix project, Ludovic Courtès has announced the release of a new GNU Guix version 1.2.0.

            The latest v1.2.0 includes several new features, user interface, security update, performance improvements, and bug fixes. But before we see it in more detail, let me brief you about GNU Guix.

          • Gimp Turns 25
      • Programming/Development

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.47 Present Release – Rakudo Weekly News

            Alexander Kiryuhin again did all the hard work to create a new Rakudo Compiler release: the Rakudo Compiler 2020.11 Release! With a bunch of new features, such as new coercion semantics, support for the [|| ] and {|| } postcircumfix operators, a new is test-assertion trait for better error reporting during testing. Plus some efficiency improvements and quite a number of bug fixes and improvements.

            Sadly, shortly after the release it became clear that some typical workloads seem to be affected by a noticeable performance regression. This appears to be caused by the new coercion semantics inadvertently disabling some runtime optimizations. Fixing this has now become a blocker for the next release. It just goes to show that in Raku, it’s important to first make it work, and then make it work fast. And that a lot of users are already relying on those runtime optimizations.

        • Python

          • 13 Best Free and Open Source Python Microframeworks

            One of the types of software that’s important for a web developer is the web framework. A framework “is a code library that makes a developer’s life easier when building reliable, scalable, and maintainable web applications” by providing reusable code or extensions for common operations. By saving development time, developers can concentrate on application logic rather than mundane elements.

            A web framework offers the developer a choice about how to solve a specific problem. By using a framework, a developer lets the framework control portions of their application. While it’s perfectly possible to code a web application without using a framework, it’s more practical to use one.

        • Java

          • JDK 16: The new features in Java 16 | InfoWorld

            Java Development Kit (JDK) 16 has added two more proposed new features including strong encapsulation of JDK internals and a foreign linker API. Previously proposed features include a foreign-memory access API, pattern matching, a production-ready package tool, concurrent thread-stack processing for garbage collection, support for C++ 14 language features, and an “elastic metaspace” capability to more quickly return unused class metadata memory to the OS.

            JDK 16 will be the reference implementation of the version of standard Java set to follow JDK 15, which arrived September 15. A proposed release schedule has JDK 16 reaching rampdown phases on December 10 and January 14, 2021, followed by release candidates arriving February 4 and February 18, 2021. The production release is slated to be published March 16, 2021.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • The Internet Archive are keeping Flash creations alive with the open source Ruffle

        Like many of you, I have certain fond memories of playing various Flash games many years ago. There’s obviously many better ways to do web games now and Adobe are killing Flash in December.

        On December 31, Adobe will be cutting off Flash from any further updates, it will effectively be End Of Life. There’s a few projects around trying to keep it alive, like the open source Ruffle emulator written in Rust. Ruffle is still in development but even so the results are impressive, and it can already play thousands of Flash items. All you need is an up to date browser and it does it all for you with no plugins needed. If you have any Flash stuff, you can even test it online.

        Seems people have taken notice of this effort, like The Internet Archive who are known rather well for their Wayback Machine that stores websites at various dates. Announced in a blog post on November 19, the archive’s Jason Scott announced that they’re now storing and emulating various Flash animations, games and toys in their growing collection.

  • Leftovers

    • Have You Ever Loved Someone?

      The letting go is not out of hate, but out of an even deeper love, where truth and balance and harmony exist. Knowing that a more perfect love is not only possible, but something that must be and we are moved. Love, true love, the kind we imagine in our best moments, eventually always requires a full commitment to that which is real and honest.

      In real love, the masks come off, which of course is a grand part what makes love so enticing, exciting, and fun! Love of the other, in such a case requires, if it is to be of its fullest nature, requires that it needs to be coupled with that ever so important other ingredient in any mutual affection, self-respect and the kind of love “of self” that a respect of self generates.

    • Sharing the Landscape: Gator and Gunner Come To An Agreement, More or Less
    • Buy Nothing Day

      Although Buy Nothing Day can be celebrated as a holiday, most people consider it an anti-holiday. It is a day that is celebrated all over North America and Europe on the Friday after the United States’ Thanksgiving – on the same day as Black Friday. In a sense, this makes this holiday the anti-Black Friday, at least in the U.S. In some parts of Europe, however, it is celebrated on the last Saturday in November.

    • The Olympic Machine Meets With Protest in Tokyo

      It was a bizarre attempt at normality in highly abnormal times. Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, visited Tokyo last week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic throttled Japan. In a highly scripted set of photo-ops throughout Tokyo, Bach projected a brand of buoyant optimism untroubled by the precariousness of our collective historical moment.

    • Science

      • Why Is Scientific Illiteracy So Acceptable?

        When it comes to science rather than mathematics, it isn’t so simple. Proudly proclaiming scientific illiteracy is not de rigueur. Instead another refrain has recently become popular among politicians and public figures: “I am not a scientist, but…” Equally prominent, is the statement “I believe in science” (as if there is a choice) which is then followed by some scientific gibberish.

        Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick once said, “Reality is that which continues to exist even when you stop believing in it.” The line between being scientifically or empirically controversial vs being politically controversial has been blurred to the point of erasure. In Washington, and many other seats of government throughout the world, belief trumps reality.

    • Education

      • For Some Workers, Schools Never Closed

        Before Covid-19 hit Lexington, Mass., Amy Morin loved her job helping special needs students at an elementary school. She still does, but now she also feels a creeping sense of dread.

      • Siberian student scales birch tree for internet access as classes move online

        Russian student Alexei Dudoladov has been forced to go to great lengths – or rather great heights – to attend classes online, having to climb a birch tree in his remote Siberian village every time he needs an internet connection.

        The 21-year-old, a popular blogger and a student at the Omsk Institute of Water Transport, located 2,225 kilometres (1,383 miles) east of Moscow, has got the authorities’ attention by pleading for better internet coverage from the top of a snow-covered birch tree.

        In his plea – viewed 1.9 million times on TikTok and more than 56,000 times on Instagram since last week – Dudoladov tells regional governor Alexander Burkov that his home internet is not strong enough to connect to his online classes and that he has been forced to come up with a creative solution.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • CDC ready for Biden transition: ‘This is what we’ve been waiting for’

        Leadership at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, beset by a Trump White House that was harshly critical of the agency’s coronavirus response, are anticipating the Biden transition team and the change a new administration will bring, senior health officials tell CNN.

      • Drugmakers Will Profit Off COVID Vaccines Generated by Taxpayer-Funded Research
      • Russian authorities launch investigation over forced sterilizations at assisted living facility in Yekaterinburg

        Russia’s Investigative Committee branch in the Sverdlovsk region has opened an investigation into reports of the forced sterilization of women at the Uktussky Assisted Living Facility in Yekaterinburg. This was reported by the news outlet Lampa Yekaterinburg on its Telegram channel. 

      • High Drug Prices Could Result in Premature Deaths of More Than 1.1 Million Seniors in Next Decade: Analysis

        “The costs of doing nothing about high drug prices are too high.”

      • Two School Districts Had Different Mask Policies. Only One Had a Teacher on a Ventilator.

        On a balmy August morning in Emanuel County in eastern Georgia, hundreds of children bounded off freshly cleaned school buses and out of their parents’ cars. They were greeted by the principal, teachers and staff at Swainsboro Middle School who hadn’t seen them in four months. Before allowing the children to enter, a longtime receptionist beamed a temperature gun at their foreheads and checked for violations of the public school’s strict dress code: mostly neutral colors, nothing tight and no shoulders exposed.

        Masks were optional, and about half of the children wore them. So did the receptionist, but only sporadically, according to several teachers.

      • What Could be Better Than a Drug That Can Stop Covid? A Society That Doesn’t Let Some Make Billions off a Drug Millions Can’t Access

        Now we find ourselves in a race of much greater import: the dash to develop an effective vaccine for Covid-19. The world now watches with that fabled bated breath. Pfizer, a Big Pharma behemoth, is running neck-in-neck with Moderna, a lavishly funded corporate upstart.

        Pfizer, first to announce trial results, reports 90 percent effectiveness rates for its pandemic-stopper. Moderna, not to be outdone, reports 95 percent success rates. We actually hit that brass ring, too, retorts Pfizer. And ours even works with older people!

      • A People’s Vaccine? Drugmakers Set to Profit from COVID Vaccines Made with Publicly Funded Research

        With the world pinning its hopes on a successful coronavirus vaccine to curb the pandemic, corporate watchdogs say much of the research and development of the medicines rely on publicly funded research. “The investment in these vaccines, as for most drugs, has really been underwritten by the taxpayer, by the government,” says Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.

      • Steak-umm vs. COVID-19 misinformation

        Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US nine months ago, a number of bizarre things that I never thought I’d see have happened. For example, I never thought I’d see a President of the United States promote unproven treatments for a deadly viral illness, as President Trump did with hydroxychloroquine. (Dr. Mehmet Oz and other medical grifters promoting unproven treatments, sure, but the President of the United States? Well, I guess I did forget momentarily who our President was.) Nor did I ever think I’d see a President say such incredibly stupid things about potential treatments for such a disease, including using light and disinfectants internally to fight the coronavirus. Don’t get me wrong, though. Given my background, certainly, I did expect there to be COVID-19 conspiracy theories and wasn’t particularly surprised to see the antivaccine movement team up so quickly with COVID-19 conspiracy theorists and cranks given their shared world view viewing the same groups as villains hiding “The Truth” from you—yes, you!—but even I was a bit taken aback at how vociferously antimask ideology became a thing even though masks do work (COVID-19 denier misinterpretations of studies notwithstanding) to slow the spread of COVID-19. Perhaps the strangest thing, though, that happened during the pandemic is the rise of the most unexpected source of reason, science, and information to fight disinformation. I’m referring to the Twitter feed of a frozen meat company called Steak-umm.

      • 120,000 too many: Russia’s coronavirus mortality statistics at odds with spike in excess deaths during the pandemic, report says

        The official mortality statistics from Russia’s operational headquarters for the fight against the coronavirus contradict the country’s excess mortality rate for 2020, says a new report from “Mediazona.” Based on data from Russia’s federal statistics agency and regional registry offices, “Mediazona” calculated that in the last seven months, Russia has seen 120,000 more people die than on average for this same period over the last five years. The country’s coronavirus headquarters, on the other hand, has only counted 28,200 deaths from COVID-19 during this period. 

      • Newsom, family quarantining after exposure to COVID-19
      • We’re celebrating Thanksgiving amid a pandemic. Here’s how we did it in 1918 – and what happened next

        “Every time I hear someone say these are unprecedented times, I say no, no, they’re not,” said Brittany Hutchinson, assistant curator at the Chicago History Museum. “They did this in 1918.”

        On Thanksgiving more than a century ago, many Americans, like today, lived under various phases of quarantines and face mask orders. Millions mourned loved ones. And health officials in many cities issued the same holiday warning: Stay home and stay safe.

      • NY’s Cuomo to receive International Emmy for virus briefings

        International Academy President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner said Cuomo is being honored with the academy’s Founders Award for using his briefings to inform and calm the public. Previous recipients include former Vice President Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, and director Steven Spielberg.

        “The governor’s 111 daily briefings worked so well because he effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure,” he said. “People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back.”

      • Patrick Quinn, co-creator of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, dies

        The men’s spin on the trend, in which social media users filmed themselves being doused in a bucket of ice-water and then nominating friends to do the same, encouraged participants to donate to ALS research after completing the challenge.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Manchester United forced to take systems offline following cyberattack

          Manchester United said in a statement Nov. 20 that it had extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this risk. It added that “our cyber defenses identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data.”

          Media channels including the club’s website, mobile app and streaming service were unaffected by the attack and no personal data is believed to have been stolen.

        • Apple’s global security chief and two members of Sheriff’s office indicted for alleged bribery
        • iPads for gun permits: Apple global security chief indicted in bribery case

          The head of global security at Apple and two top officials from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and a local business owner have been accused in a grand jury indictment of exchanging bribes for concealed gun permits, the Morgan Hll Times, a newspaper in California, has reported.

        • Apple Security Head Charged With Bribery for Gun Licenses

          A California district attorney accused Apple Inc. Chief Security Officer Thomas Moyer of offering a bribe to state officials for gun licenses, according to indictments issued on Monday.

          Moyer was named along with Santa Clara County Undersherrif Rick Sung and Captain James Jensen in a case that involved offering bribes in return for concealed firearms licenses, according to a court document and a statement from the Santa Clara district attorney’s office.

        • Apple head of security accused of offering iPads as bribes for concealed gun permits

          A California grand jury has indicted Apple’s head of global security on charges that he tried to bribe Santa Clara County officials to procure firearms (CCW) licenses, according to a news release. Santa Clara district attorney Jeff Rosen alleges that Thomas Moyer offered 200 iPads — worth about $70,000 — to Capt. James Jensen and Undersheriff Rick Sung in the Santa Clara County sheriff’s office, in exchange for four concealed firearms licenses for Apple employees.

          The charges came after a two-year investigation. “In the case of four CCW licenses withheld from Apple employees, Undersheriff Sung and Cpt. Jensen managed to extract from Thomas Moyer a promise that Apple would donate iPads to the Sheriff’s Office,” Rosen said in the news release. The iPads were never delivered, according to Rosen’s office, because Sung and Moyer became aware in 2019 that the district attorney was executing a search warrant for the sheriff department’s CCW records.

        • Security

          • Israel cyber directorate warns of remotely exploitable Drupal flaw

            A warning has been issued by the Israel National Cyber Directorate about a critical remote code execution flaw in the Drupal content management system.

          • Australian legal industry provider Law In Order hit by Windows ransomware

            Australian end-to-end document and digital solutions provider to the legal industry Law In Order says it has suffered a “cyber security incident” and has had to limit access to most of its website as a precaution.

          • Critical VMware Zero-Day Bug Allows Command Injection; Patch Pending

            VMware explained it has no patch for a critical escalation-of-privileges bug that impacts both Windows and Linux operating systems and its Workspace One.

            The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is warning of a zero-day bug affecting six VMware products including its Workspace One, Identity Manager and vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager.

            The critical unpatched bug is a command injection vulnerability.

            In a separate VMware advisory, the company did not indicate whether the vulnerability was under active attack. Tracked as CVE-2020-4006, the bug has a CVSS severity rating of 9.1 out of 10. The company said patches are “forthcoming” and that workarounds “for a temporary solution to prevent exploitation of CVE-2020-4006” are available.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Russia’s Cabinet mandates pre-installed Russian-made apps on all new devices starting in 2021

              Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a government decree obliging electronics manufacturers to install Russian-made software on new devices — including smartphones, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and smart TVs — as of January 1, 2021.

            • Florida Sheriff’s Pre-Crime Software Says D-Students And Victims Of Domestic Violence Are Potential Criminals

              Predictive policing is coming for your children. That’s what’s happening in Florida, where the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has taken an inappropriate interest in minors. It all begins with some questionable access to sensitive records and ends with the Sheriff deciding some students are destined for a life of crime. (h/t WarOnPrivacy)

            • Research Shows iOS Covid Apps Are A Privacy Mess

              Jonathan Albright, director of the Digital Forensics Initiative at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, recently released analysis he did into 493 COVID-19 related iOS apps across dozens of countries. The results are…not great, and highlight how such apps routinely hoover up far more data than they need to, including unneeded access to cameras and microphones, your photo gallery, your contacts, and far more location data than is needed. Much of this data then winds up in the adtech ecosystem for profit, where it winds up in the hands of third parties.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • US Must Halt Renewed War Between Morocco and Polisario

        We must act swiftly to prevent war and further conflict, end the occupation, and allow Sahrawis to make their decision on union with Morocco or independence. 

      • Should Michèle Flournoy be Secretary of Defense?
      • Russian peacekeeper injured in mine explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh

        A Russian peacekeeper has been injured in a mine explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh, reports Interfax on Monday, November 23, citing Russia’s Defense Ministry.

      • FBI Turns A Man With Mental Health Issues Into A ‘Terrorist,’ Busts Him For Using The Internet

        Another FBI counterterrorism “investigation” has turned someone with mental health issues into a potential long term tenant of the federal prison system. The arrest happened in August, but the documents related to the arrest weren’t unsealed until earlier this month.

      • Message to Joe Biden: No Torturers in the Next Cabinet

        Biden and Harris must eschew anyone complicit in torture or who frustrated oversight.

      • What If They Called an Election and Nothing Changed in the War State?

        Foreign policy, sacred cows, and the U.S. Military.

      • Biden’s Secretary of State Pick Showed Support of Iraq and Libya Invasions
      • Reports of Meeting Between Netanyahu, Pompeo, bin Salman Spark Fear of Iran War
      • #FeminismNotMilitarism: Peace Groups Blast Biden’s DNI Pick Over Links to Drones, Torture, and Mass Surveillance

        CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies recently noted that Avril Haines “provided legal cover” for CIA torture and “worked closely” on the Obama administration’s expanded drone policy. 

      • Hey Joe, Where You Going With That Pentagon in Your Hands?

        The pernicious and lucrative aspects of military madness are personified in the favorite to be Biden’s Defense Secretary.

      • ‘Iran in the Crosshairs?’ Reports of Secret Meeting Between Netanyahu, MbS, and Pompeo Spark Fears of War Plot

        “It is extremely alarming that the warmongers most reliant on Trump’s blank checks are secretly meeting in the middle of the night as the clock nearly runs out on the Trump administration.”

      • The Yemen Civil War Arms Bonanza

        They do, and will continue to do so, despite the cholera outbreak, coronavirus, poorly functioning hospitals, and 10 million hungry mouths. The latest illustration of this is the Trump administration’s hurried $23 billon sale of 50 F-35 fighter aircraft, 18 MQ-9B Reaper drones, air-to-air missiles and various other munitions to the United Arab Emirates. The UAE used to be a more enthusiastic member of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition that has been pounding Yemen since 2015. Despite completing a phased military withdrawal from the conflict in February 2020 to much fanfare, Abu Dhabi remains involved in the coalition and an influential agent. Amnesty International has issued a grim warning that such weapons might well be used in “attacks that violate international humanitarian law and kill, as well as injure, thousands of Yemeni civilians.”

        With the imminent change of administration in the United States, there is a moral flutter in Congressional ranks, though much of it remains meek and slanted. Democratic Senators Bob Menendez (NJ) and Chris Murphy (Conn.), along with Republican Senator Rand Paul (Ky) intend introducing separate resolutions disapproving of President Donald Trump’s sale. Menendez felt morally mighty in warning the Trump administration that “circumventing deliberative processes for considering a massive infusion of weapons to a country in a volatile region with multiple ongoing conflicts is downright irresponsible.”

      • Dagestani police colonel accused of complicity in 2010 Moscow subway bombings

        On Monday, November 23, Russian state investigators charged Dagestani Police Colonel Gazi Isayev with complicity in a 2010 terrorist attack on the Moscow subway system. Isayev has headed a district police department in Dagestan for a decade. State investigators maintain that he is also responsible for leaking information on special operations to local militant groups, and sources told the media that he is potentially under suspicion for organizing murders, as well. 

      • France’s Macron asks Muslim leaders to back ‘republican values’ charter

        The CFCM has agreed to create a National Council of Imams, which will reportedly issue imams with official accreditation which could be withdrawn.

        It follows three suspected Islamist attacks in little more than a month.

        The charter will state that Islam is a religion and not a political movement, while also prohibiting “foreign interference” in Muslim groups.

      • Trump, GOP’s ridiculous, flailing coup isn’t a joke. It’s a crime. There must be consequences | Will Bunch

        But it’s time now for all the laughter to die in outrage. Because we need to state in the clearest and most unambiguous terms what is happening in America in November 2020: The president of the United States is using the power of his office to try to overturn, by any means necessary, the fair and democratic election that will remove him from office. In a nation that stakes its claim to “exceptionalism” on 44 peaceful transfers of power (despite one that wasn’t) over 231 years, its current leader is attempting a coup.

        It’s not a joke. It’s a crime. And there ought to be consequences — for Trump and his enablers, and to ensure this never happens again.

      • Trump’s Coup Attempt Will Be a Very Costly Failure

        Meanwhile, most Republican voters don’t think Joe Biden won fairly, despite election officials — including Republicans, who are now getting death threats from other Republicans — saying it might have been among the fairest elections on record. Trump and his enablers in Congress and right-wing media are treating their own supporters with sneering contempt, writes Jonathan Bernstein, but the damage is done: Many of these people may never accept a loss as legitimate again.

      • In Another Country This Would Be Called a Coup: Detroit NAACP Head on Trump Trying to Overturn Vote

        As part of the unprecedented attempt to keep President Trump in office despite his election loss, Republicans have focused on Michigan, where the party is seeking a delay in the certification of the vote results and to throw out votes from Detroit, which is overwhelmingly Black. A group of Michigan Republicans met with President Trump at the White House last week in what was widely viewed as an attempt by Trump to personally pressure the lawmakers to block Biden from being awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes. “This is an attempt to disenfranchise the African American vote and to give the election to Trump,” says Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit branch of the NAACP. “If we were in a different country, this would be called a coup, a political coup.”

      • The Coup Stage of Donald Trump’s Presidency

        They are probably right. Then again, we in the media don’t have a great record for recognizing coups when they are staring us in the face. One of the best critiques of American journalism, still taught today because it remains relevant a hundred years after its publication, is an essay by Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz, “A Test of the News,” which analyzed the Times’ failure to cover the Russian Revolution. But Russian journalists missed it, too. On October 25, 1917, my great-grandfather, Arnold Gessen, wrote a long article for Petrograd’s Birzheviye Vedomosti (Stock Market News)—the Wall Street Journal of its time and place. He had been serving as the paper’s parliamentary correspondent since the Russian parliament had been formed, twelve years earlier. Great-grandpa Arnold explained that the Bolsheviks ought not to be taken seriously, because they were a bunch of grifters with no political plan. His article was printed the following day—November 8, 1917, on the Western calendar—in what turned out to be the last issue of Birzheviye Vedomosti: it was promptly shuttered by the Bolsheviks, who had seized power.

        “Con versus coup” might be a false dichotomy. A coup is a power claim made illegitimately, often but not always with the use of force, sometimes illegally but sometimes within the bounds of a constitution. A con is a mushy term: it can be a criminal act or simply an unethical one, perhaps just wily and manipulative. A con, in other words, is an illegitimate act of persuasion. A coup always begins as a con. If the con is successful—if the power claim is persuasive—then a coup has occurred.

      • The Danger (and Ineptitude) of Trump’s Failed Coup

        As a straightforward putsch, it’s too little, too late. Trump failed to come up with a theory for disqualifying crucial states in time, settled on one so silly many Republicans can’t convince themselves of its validity, and failed to lay the groundwork to overrule the election. And while his maneuvers won’t prevent Biden from taking office on January 20, they will serve several other purposes. First, the coup attempt provides Trump with a narrative to sustain his next venture. In the decades-old Trumpian mythos, he never loses; every event must be categorized either as Trump winning or Trump being treated very unfairly. Having now established the latter to the satisfaction of a large segment of the party base, Trump can fulfill plans he has been reportedly discussing to monetize his loyalty as a media brand, run again in 2024, or perhaps both. The Trump cult will stay in place, and any Republican with national ambitions will feel compelled to draw upon its energy and defer to his twisted alt-history. A Reuters interview of 50 Trump supporters found every one of them calling the election rigged or illegitimate and only 20 even open to the possibility of accepting a Biden win.

        Second, the stolen-election narrative helpfully motivates the right to despise Biden. Biden’s personality has been the weakest point in the Trump campaign all along. Republicans could not get their voters to hate and fear the Democratic nominee as they did Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Whipping them up against his “stolen election,” and priming them to view the Biden presidency itself as illegitimate, does the base-mobilization work for them.

        Third, and most dangerously, it gives Trump a pretext for withholding cooperation from the incoming Biden administration. Trump’s order forbidding all federal officials from cooperating with the normal transition planning has been felt most keenly in the pandemic response. Staffers at the Department of Health and Human Services “have been informed that if anyone from Biden’s team contacts them, they are not to communicate with them and should instead alert the deputy surgeon general of the communication,” CNN reported. Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed public alarm at the failure to loop in the next president.

      • Donald Trump is attempting a coup. I fear what comes next

        My three days and nights on the streets of Moscow were the most exhilarating and the most frightening of my career.

        No one knew who was in control of the military and law-enforcement agencies. That question was crucial in determining the fate of the plot.

        Finally, with most of the armed forces supporting Yeltsin, the conspirators were arrested and imprisoned. Gorbachev returned to Moscow, where he ruled for four more months, until the Soviet Union officially dissolved that Christmas Eve.

        Twenty-nine years later, Donald Trump has flipped the script.

        Once again, there is a coup attempt from the highest government levels of a superpower.

        Only this time, the president isn’t being held hostage.

        This time, it’s democracy itself.

        This time, the coup comes from inside the Oval Office.

      • Just because Trump’s coup is comically inept doesn’t make it less dangerous

        There isn’t much chance that all the effort will pay off in a second Trump term. Biden’s victory margin is just too large, even if barely so. But even if it doesn’t work, Trump’s half-baked coup attempt is setting a precedent that elections are just an opening bid. From that point, the loser can simply negotiate—a few ballots thrown away here, some questionable affidavits there—and either overturn the results, or at the very least invalidate them in the eyes of half the electorate.

        We are heading down a dark path, and laughing all the way about the shoddy paving.

      • Alarm over Trump’s ‘coup’ in slow motion

        Many political analysts and commentators are sounding alarm over what they see as a coup. “The legal ‘challenges to the election are toast. Realizing the courts are a lost cause, Trump is now trying to convince elected officials to overturn the will of the voters. This is a political coup that is the definition of anti-democracy,” Daniel Goldman, a former Congressional counsel warned.

        Full-fledged editorials are now appearing in US newspapers and international dailies referring to an unfolding coup. There is also alarm over some of the more ardent Trump aides urging his followers to “retake the country” — words seen as a call to arms to militant groups.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Are the American Media Legitimizing Terror Attacks in France?

        This is also a major difference between France and the American mainstream outlets, of which some apparently would even like to change the date of foundation of the United States. The New York Times’s “1619 Project” could serve as Exhibit A for this new “manipulation of history”.

        Macron plans to fight “Islamist separatism”. We do not know if the French president’s project will be successful; it is legitimate to have doubts about its real effectiveness in stopping the disintegration of French society operated by the extremist communitarianism that feeds terrorism. We are not, all the same, allowed to accuse France of racism and “Islamophobia”, as the Anglophone media is obsessively doing. It seems that the entire American media has decided to blame the victim of terrorism.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • The Krugman Boom? Don’t Count on It

        He argues that this will lead to a spending boom, as consumers have accumulated savings through the slump and will now be in a position to spend lots of money. As a model he points to the boom in 1983 and 1984 after the Fed lowered interest rates.

        While I have not been one of the doomsayers predicting economic collapse, I can’t be as optimistic as Paul on this one. First, just to be clear, Krugman does not at all question the need for immediate and substantial stimulus. In the next few months, with the pandemic spreading largely unchecked until vaccines become widely available, millions of people will be thrown out of work as restaurants, bars and other businesses in the service sector are either forced to close or see demand collapse even if they remain open.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Pennsylvania certifies Biden win over Trump in presidential election
      • The Smoke Rings of My Mind

        I felt really good to finally have gotten out of the prison day-camp Catholic boys high school I’d been in for 4 years, and out of the nice suburban North Shore Long Island town my family lived in during my adolescence (before that being in New York City); and I had a brand spanking new draft deferment that I thought would insulate me from the carnage of the Vietnam War, which was at its peak at that time with the Tet Offensive.

        In fact, Lyndon Johnson’s televised speech with the surprise announcement that he would not seek reelection in November 1968 happened two days after my 18th birthday, after which I had to troop down to the post office and register for the draft. That didn’t feel too good believe me, because I’d watched the news and read the papers daily all through high school. Those were my “Greta Thunberg” years, 1964-1968: from the Bay of Tonkin con-job and 1965’s Marine invasion of South Vietnam — “escalatio” as Tom Lehrer called it — to Tet, erupting on January 31, 1968, and pulsing through three bloody phases that year; when I was dreading the fucked-up situation the adults were shoving my way (you know: die for us, it’s good for “the country”).

      • A Man-Child in A Promised Land

        It sucked. The interview that is. I can’t and won’t read the memoir. Myself also (like Obama) the author of three books on Obama, I have read enough of the 44th president’s dreary, pedantic, fake-progressive, and fake-poetic prose to last a lifetime. No more, please.

        The interview warmed the Obama fan Goldberg’s heart by “remind[ing him] of what a thoughtful president sounds like.”

      • Portland, Maine Passes Facial Recognition Ban That Says The City Can Fire Employees For Violating It

        Another facial recognition ban has been passed, bringing a bit more enforceable privacy to the eastern side of the nation. Most of the ban action to date has been on the West Coast, with small pockets of resistance popping up elsewhere. Well, mainly just Massachusetts. The latest ban passed during the most recent election, gives Portland, Maine residents the freedom to live their lives with a little less panopticon.

      • Neither harmless nor distant How Russian state conservatism combines emancipation and tradition to undermine women’s rights and suppress sexual awareness

        Many in Russia are inclined to dismiss the bluster of state conservatism as a largely meaningless sideshow. After all, the nation’s laws protecting women’s rights remain relatively liberal, and even the loudest speeches by right-wing politicians have virtually no effect on the everyday lives of the denizens inhabiting Russia’s big cities, where women are part of the workforce, where they get proper healthcare, and where the state apparently doesn’t interfere in their lives. In an article for Meduza, European University at St. Petersburg Sociology Professor of Public Health and Gender Anna Temkina explains how Russia’s “conservative turn” is in fact quite real for many women. 

      • To Prevent ‘Active Sabotage’ of His Agenda, Biden Urged to Clean House of Trump Loyalists on Day One

        “The next administration must consider all possibilities, including unconventional but legal removals, to get the federal government working for the public interest as quickly as possible.”

      • Crashing Against the Glass Ceiling

        Jews have long held important positions at all levels of government, but have never been closer to the highest office since the vice-presidential bid of Senator Joseph Lieberman. An argument can be made that Al Gore’s running mate in 2000 was far away from being even close to liberal, but of major party candidates in this duopoly, he got as close as has been recorded.

        In a post-election discussion of her multiethnic background, Kamala Harris noted that besides being of Black and South Asian heritage, she is married to a Jew (“Doug Emhoff prepares to brake new ground as America’s second gentleman,” Guardian, November 11, 2020). Her status as a woman also broke through another glass ceiling. Marriage doesn’t count as an attribute, however, since partners in the US can’t ascend to political office.

      • The Liberal Establishment Is ‘a Stranger to Self-Examination’

        How might we explain to youths, who have witnessed a world turned upside down by Covid-19 and the rise of strongmen around the world, the liberal triumphalism of the 1990s and 2000s? How might they, for instance, respond to Francis Fukuyama’s pronouncement at the end of the Cold War that “what we may be witnessing [is] the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government”?

      • Here’s the Truth: The Oligarchy Loves This Democratic Decay and Politics of Lies

        American political leaders display a widening disconnect from reality intended to mask their complicity in the seizure of power by global corporations and billionaires.

      • Georgia GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler Just Got Caught Violating the Law

        Georgia Republican Kelly Loeffler is the richest member of the United States Senate, but that hasn’t stopped the appointed senator from making an illegal pitch for money to fund her embattled bid for a full term in the chamber.

      • The Day After
      • Pussy Riot activists fined for rainbow flag protests on Putin’s birthday

        On Monday, November 23, two Moscow courts handed down fines to Pussy Riot activists Maria Alyokhina and Veronika Nikulshina for a protest action they conducted on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday, reports MBX Media. 

      • ‘The People of Michigan Have Spoken’: Trump Defeat More Official Than Ever After Board Certifies Election Results

        A Democratic county clerk warned that a vote against certifying the results of the state’s November election would “signal that democracy is dying in Michigan.”

      • Future of American Democracy: On Inequality, Polarization and Violence

        The demotion of a country that has constantly prided itself, not only on being democratic but also on championing democracy throughout the world, took many by surprise. Some US pundits challenged the findings altogether.

        However, judging by events that have transpired since, the accuracy of the EIU Index continues to demonstrate itself in the everyday reality of American politics: the extreme political and cultural polarization; growing influence of armed militias, police violence; mistreatment of undocumented immigrants, including children; marginalization of the country’s minorities in mainstream politics and so on.

      • US Political Crisis Just Entered More Dangerous Phase

        The veil of Democracy in America is being ripped away from the body politic right before our eyes. Not only can the Electoral College thwart the popular vote for president; but there are even more nefarious ways for political elites to circumvent the Electoral College if they don’t like it.

        The electoral college is, of course, the means by which the popular vote for the president is prevented. Instead of Democracy’s principle of ‘one person, one vote’, we have electors who are selected by their state legislatures who then cast their vote for president. That’s the appearance. But it’s even worse than that.

      • Democrats No Longer Have a Coalition

        In 2008, Barack Obama was widely described as having built a game-changing political coalition: young people, racial and ethnic minorities, educated professionals, urban and suburban voters. He was held to have built an innovative campaign infrastructure, leveraging big data and social media in an unprecedented way, increasing turnout and Democratic vote share with constituencies that are typically underrepresented at the ballot box.

      • Trump’s Election Fraud Claims Don’t Appear in Result-Challenge Lawsuits
      • All Eyes on Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona — Will They Certify?
      • ‘Elite Strike Force’? Trump Legal Team Throws Right-Wing Attorney Sidney Powell Under the Bus as Coup Attempt Flails

        “It’s OK to laugh at this hilarious clown car and yet appreciate that what’s going here is deadly serious. These tactics will go nowhere but still infect our democracy with doubt.”

      • Profiles in Cowardice

        Most elected Republicans in Washington are failing the test by refusing to stand up to Trump. Their cowardice is one of the worst betrayals of public trust in the history of our republic.

      • As Biden Taps Blinken as Secretary of State, Critics Denounce Support for Invasions of Iraq and Libya

        “In the U.S., there is no accountability for supporting the worst foreign policy disaster in modern history. Only rewards.”

      • Trump’s Massive, Lawless, and Immoral Legacy to Our Country Will Continue Unless …

        Refusing to concede, however, so as to prolong his crazed fantasies, Trump is distracting the mass media from his looting of the Executive Branch departments to the advantage of big business bosses and his failing family enterprises. Expect this to continue until January 20, 2021. (See my op-ed titled: “If Trump loses, expect him to exact revenge on his way out” Boston Globe, August 10, 2020).

        Trump and his cronies will get away with their crime sprees unless Joe Biden has a Justice Department team that will follow the law and prosecute any government official who broke the law. In 2009, Barack Obama let law-breaking Wall Streeters and the Bush/Cheney war criminals become successful fugitives from justice.

      • What Will a Biden Presidency Mean for the Asia-Pacific Region?

        It is unlikely that Joe Biden will continue Trump’s trade war with China. That would simply be too destabilizing for everyone. Not only is the U.S. greatly dependent on China for so many of its industrial imports, but so many countries are dependent on China as a market for their exports.

        This is not only for raw materials and agricultural goods, as in the case of Africa and Latin America, respectively, but also industrial goods, as in the case of Southeast Asia, which manufactures components that are shipped to China, assembled there, then sent to the U.S., Europe, and everywhere else.

      • Trump’s Wisconsin Recount Observers Are Breaking Rules, Making Absurd Challenges
      • Biden’s Moral Hazard

        Next month will mark a year since US newspapers published the Afghan Papers, a mass trove of secret US government documents that irrefutably detailed a coordinated effort by the US government, through three presidential administrations, to lie to the American people and their elected leaders, about the war in Afghanistan. Of course, these lies of the Afghan War followed the lies that made possible the US invasion and destruction of Iraq. The 2011 war in Libya was another war built on lies, as documented by the British Parliament. Slips of the tongue and leaks by senior US officials, including the incoming US President, have shown the US and its allies’ role in the Syrian war to be in support of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Lies, perjury and propaganda characterize what the US people have been told with regards to torture; intelligence surveillance of their phones and computers; the incredibly high rate of civilians killed by US drones, including American citizens; and the presence of US forces in Africa, including hiding knowledge US soldiers have been killed and wounded in countries that senior members of Congress had no idea US troops were in.

        The lies to elected officials and the American people continue. This month, Ambassador James Jeffrey, explained to journalists how he intentionally lied to the President of the United States about the number of troops in Syria. In case you think this is fine because the President was Donald Trump, remember it was the computers of Democratic Senators who were hacked and monitored by the CIA in retaliation for the Senate’s investigation of the CIA’s torture program.

      • What Biden Can Do About the Israeli-Palestinian Mess He’ll Inherit

        As if finding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict weren’t difficult enough, the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government seem hell-bent on making this already bad situation even worse. Sensing that the Trump era will soon be over, members of his team and the Israelis are racing against the clock to implement new “facts on the ground” that will, they hope, permanently alter the political landscape in Israel’s favor.

      • How Long Can Biden Avoid Confronting Trump?

        Refusing to concede his loss in the presidential election, Donald Trump continues to spin absurd conspiracy theories, file vexatious lawsuits, pressure state lawmakers to overturn vote counts, and in general stonewall the transition to the next presidency. On Sunday night, Trump sent out one of his typically nonsensical tweets, writing, “In certain swing states, there were more votes than people who voted, and in big numbers. Does that not really matter? Stopping Poll Watchers, voting for unsuspecting people, fake ballots and so much more. Such egregious conduct. We will win!”

      • “Frankenstein’s Monster”: Judge Slams Trump Team’s Efforts to Overturn Election Results

        As President Trump’s unprecedented campaign to overturn the results of the presidential election drags on, over two dozen lawsuits filed by his legal team have been dismissed or withdrawn. The Trump team is now focusing on delaying or blocking the certification of the election in several states while trying to toss out votes in cities with large Black populations, including Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta. New York Times Magazine staff writer Emily Bazelon says the Trump legal team’s efforts have so far lacked real substance, with the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani “treating court as if it’s cable news.” She also says more Republican lawmakers need to stand up against Trump’s attempt to subvert democracy.

      • Trump Is Blowing Up the Georgia GOP—and It Couldn’t Happen at a Better Time

        Never underestimate the capacity of Republicans to put aside differences and “come home” just before an election, but right now I’d say Donald Trump’s insults and demands that Georgia Republicans somehow overturn Joe Biden’s stunning if narrow win there—after they certified it on Friday—is inflicting genuine damage to the campaigns of GOP Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

      • Moscow Court rejects Navalny’s lawsuit against Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

        Moscow’s Presnensky District Court has dismissed opposition figure Alexey Navalny’s defamation lawsuit against Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov. 

      • The Birther Myth Stuck Around For Years. The Election Fraud Myth Might Too.

        A significant number of Americans currently believe the 2020 election was stolen, even though it wasn’t. A Reuters/Ipsos poll last week showed 52 percent of Republicans believe President Trump “rightfully won” the election. But the only “evidence” of election fraud has been widely debunked.

        An optimist might think the public will gradually drop this election fraud myth as the Trump campaign’s lawsuits are thrown out, recounts and audits are conducted, and, eventually, Joe Biden is sworn in as president. But we’ve seen Trump try to falsely claim a president is illegitimate before, as he spent years claiming without evidence that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States, and thus ineligible to be president. If this recent saga is anything like the birtherism movement, it’s not going anywhere.

      • 3 Hong Kong activists incl. Joshua Wong remanded in custody over 2019 demo, sentencing next Wed

        Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow have been remanded in custody on unauthorised assembly charges linked to the siege of the police headquarters in Wan Chai last June. The trio will face sentencing next Wednesday.

      • Right-Wing Social Media Finalizes Its Divorce From Reality

        Parler, whose backers include the conservative donor Rebekah Mercer and the prominent pro-Trump activist Dan Bongino, was founded in 2018 and began marketing itself to a right-wing audience that felt victimized by supposed censorship on mainstream social platforms. The conspiratorial right-wing media outlet Epoch Times was an early adopter, but most prominent conservative media figures did not join until June 2020, when Twitter took the bold step of fact-checking the president’s tweets. That supposed injustice prompted a recruitment drive for Parler, where posts are neither fact-checked nor labeled, even when demonstrably false. Influential figures such as Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Representative Devin Nunes tweeted about the app. Senator Ted Cruz made a two-minute video declaring that he was joining Parler, and exhorting his followers to join him on the platform: “Let’s speak freely.” For some of American conservatism’s highest-profile figures to insinuate that they were being censored was patently absurd, but the publicity push still won Parler a few hundred thousand new users over a three-day span. By early July, the service claimed 2.8 million users. Parler attracted approximately 1 million downloads in the five days following November 3, and COO Jeffrey Wernick recently put the app’s user count at nearly 9 million. (By comparison, Twitter has 330 million active users globally; Facebook has 2.7 billion, and 255 million in the United States alone.)

      • Epidemiologist warns of “contagion” of violent speech coming “from the White House”

        Dr. Gary Slutkin is an epidemiologist who spent years working with the World Health Organization to respond to the AIDS crisis and epidemics in Africa and Latin America. After returning to the United States in the 1990s, he “saw the problem that the U.S. was having with violence.” He soon launched a project that eventually became Cure Violence, a non-governmental organization that “stops the spread of violence in communities by using the methods and strategies associated with disease control.”

      • Rush Limbaugh Criticizes Trump Campaign for Hyping Up ‘Blockbuster’ Voter Fraud Evidence: ‘Nothing Happened… Not Good’

        “You call a gigantic press conference like that, one that lasts an hour,” Limbaugh said. “And you announce massive bombshells, then you better have some bombshells.”

      • Trump fears Giuliani and other Biden vote challenge lawyers are fools
      • Georgia Senate race reminds Republicans they don’t have a lock on ‘God talk’
      • Biden team pushing Democrats to strike quick stimulus deal with GOP: report – Business Insider

        The surge in virus cases is causing another wave of restrictions and closures that experts say could damage the economic recovery.

      • White House Christmas tree arrives, continuing tradition amid Covid-19 and election disputes – CNNPolitics

        First lady Melania Trump welcomed the 2020 White House Christmas tree Monday afternoon, continuing the long-held tradition even as the coronavirus pandemic rages on and as President Donald Trump’s longshot election challenges remain unsettled.

      • Trump administration officially begins transition to Biden after weeks of delay
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Roskomnadzor takes administrative action against Google for failing to remove banned sites from search results

        Russia’s media regulation and censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, has opened an administrative case against Google for its alleged refusal to delete information banned in Russia from its search results.

      • Retracting a Controversial Paper Won’t Help Female Scientists

        Why should this possible takeaway evoke outrage? A recent study8 found that people evaluate scientific studies reporting a male-favoring advantage less favorably, compared to those reporting a female-favoring one. Papers demonstrating a male (versus female) advantage were viewed as less credible, less valuable, more offensive, and more harmful. These findings suggest merely highlighting a disparity disfavoring women is likely to evoke public outcry. Science, however, relies on the dispassionate accumulation and scrutiny of data. It is quite improbable that the entirety of findings will cohere perfectly with our cherished worldviews. With larger and larger datasets available for analysis, we will inevitably uncover unpalatable findings, some with important implications. However, only by documenting reality (or our closest approximation to it) can we strive to improve society. Interventions based on faulty data or incorrect assumptions will fail, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars and innumerable hours. When we bury findings that make us uncomfortable, the empirical landscape presents an inaccurate, lopsided view of reality. If policies and interventions hinge on that empirical landscape, we will only set ourselves up for failure. Moreover, by presenting an incomplete picture of phenomena, we undermine trust in science. Millions of taxpayers are counting on scientists to forward the most compelling evidence, to best inform subsequent interventions and policies.

        If female scientists benefit by collaborating with both male and female scholars, we deserve to know that. Female scientists deserve to know that. Rather than erasing AlShebli and colleagues’ laborious work from the record, their findings should stimulate future investigations to examine whether the patterns replicate, and if so, examine the underlying causal forces.

      • [Old] Hollywood Continues to Cave to Chinese Censorship, Jeopardizing Free Speech, Report Finds

        Hollywood has increasingly capitulated to the Chinese regime’s pressure to censor its films, threatening freedom of speech, according to a new report by rights group PEN America.

        The report, based partly on interviews with industry insiders, said that Beijing has used the allure of China’s massive film market to get Hollywood studios to censor or alter movies—either through direct censorship requests or increasingly through voluntary self-censorship.

        This year, the Chinese cinema market is projected to overtake the U.S. box office, which in 2019 stood at $11.4 billion. Beijing allows only 34 international films to be screened in the country each year.

      • One Year After Iran’s Deadly Crackdown, Victims’ Families Face Harassment

        One year after Iran’s deadliest crackdown on anti-establishment protests, no one has been held responsible for the killing of hundreds of citizens.

        Officials have instead pressured the families of some of those killed to remain silent and warned them not to hold public memorials for their loved ones.

      • Kazakh Blogger Critical Of Government Forcibly Admitted To Psychiatric Clinic

        A Kazakh blogger and journalist accused of being involved in the activities of a banned organization has been taken to a psychiatric clinic on a court order.

        Police in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, on November 23 took Aigul Otepova from her apartment after a court decision to forcibly admit her into a clinic was upheld by an appeals court last week.

        Before getting into the police car, Otepova told an RFE/RL correspondent that she had no medical conditions, including mental problems.

      • Defendant In Chechen Blogger Assault Case In Sweden Says He Acted On Grozny’s Orders

        A Russian citizen charged in Sweden with the attempted murder of a blogger and outspoken critic of the authoritarian leader of Russia’s North Caucasus region of Chechnya says he acted on orders he received from Chechen officials.

        As the trial started at the Attunda district court in Sweden on November 2, the defendant, Ruslan Mamayev, testified that from the very beginning he secretly planned to fail when carrying out the assault against Tumso Abdurakhmanov to keep the Chechen officials who ordered the attack from turning on him. He added that he has since asked for political asylum in Sweden.

        Abdurakhmanov’s lawyer, Jens Sjolund, said at the hearing that Chechen authorities had promised a reward for the assassination of his client.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • France’s ‘global security’ bill

        The French National Assembly is currently examining, with the usual fast track procedure that prevents and marginalises parliamentary debate, a bill called “global security”. This law, filed on October 20 by a group of MPs from the presidential party, couched in the best neoliberal rhetoric, aims to provide a new framework for security actions that its drafters promise will be “inventive and innovative”.

        With these two adjectives, “inventive and innovative”, the legislators are probably referring to the three highly controversial articles of the proposal that concern the recording and dissemination of images in the context of police actions. Perfectly in line with the trend of the times – and by consequence, we are sorry to have it observed, with very little inventiveness and innovation – these articles impose a general surveillance for the many and a privileged disclosure for the few, as they provide for ground mass surveillance, air mass surveillance and a ban on documenting police action.

      • French bill banning images of police sparks concern over media freedom, civil rights

        France’s parliament voted to approve a controversial law Friday that will ban the publication of images of on-duty police officers as well as expand the use of surveillance drones and police powers. Journalists’ groups, human rights activists and unions – including Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International’s French branch – organised protests in Paris and other French cities on Saturday.

      • FRANCE: Draft law on “Global security” is dangerous for fundamental rights

        From 17 to 20 November, the National Assembly is scheduled to examine the so-called “Global Security” bill, supported by MPs from the governing majority. If such a law were to enter into force as it stands, it would constitute a serious violation of the right to information, respect for privacy, and freedom of peaceful assembly, three conditions that are essential to the right to freedom of expression.

        We deplore the fact that this bill is being examined under an accelerated procedure when there is no urgency to do so. This has already been the case in recent years for several laws with a strong impact on human rights (the Intelligence Act, the SILT Act, the so-called “anti-rioters law”). This procedure de facto restricts their in-depth examination and informed communication to society. We regret that this text is no exception to the rule.

      • Macron prepares “global security” law banning the filming of French police

        On Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron’s government presented its “global security” bill to the National Assembly. Coming after the announcement of plans for a law against “separatism” ostensibly targeting Islamist groups, this bill is part of a campaign to establish a permanent state of emergency, handing draconian powers to the police.

        Its provisions are unprecedented. Anyone publishing of images of a public event including police agents in a way that could “harm the agent’s physical or psychological well-being” faces one year in jail and a €45,000 fine. This purely subjective criterion, which allows police to arrest anyone filming them simply by stating that they feel uncomfortable being filmed, undermines freedom of the press and any attempt to hold security forces accountable for police brutality.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Indigenous Activists Are Occupying the Hamptons Until Thanksgiving
      • The Philippines wants to outlaw child marriage. But in Muslim-majority Bangsamoro, change will be hard

        Experts say decades of war in the Bangsamoro region have caused an increase in child brides, while long-held cultural practices could prove difficult to shift.

      • Workshop on child marriage in Raqqa

        In the workshop, 3 sessions were held on causes of child marriage, methods to reduce child marriage and scientific approach to child marriage.

        A presentation was made by Jineoloji Center Board Member Xaliya Neimê on the topic of reasons for child marriage. Xaliya noted that child marriage occurs because when there are no deterrent sanctions against violence against women.

      • White Hat Senior and Education – Experiences in the community

        I had been thinking of doing a blog post on RCEP which China signed with 14 countries a week and a day back but this new story has broken and is being viraled a bit on the interwebs, especially twitter and is pretty much in our domain so thought would be better to do a blog post about it. Also there is quite a lot packed so quite a bit of unpacking to do.


        Now that lies in the eyes of the Court whether the single bench choses the literal meaning or use the spirit of the law or the genuine concerns of the people concerned. While in today’s hearing while the company asked for a complete sweeping injunction they were unable to get it. Whatever may happen, we may hope to see some fireworks in the second hearing which is slated to be on 6.01.2021 where all of this plays out. Till later.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The FCC’s Independence and Mission Are at Stake with Trump Nominee

        When there are only five people in charge of a major federal agency, the personal agenda of even one of them can have a profound impact. That’s why EFF is closely watching the nomination of Nathan Simington to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

        Simington’s nomination appears to be the culmination of a several-month project to transform the FCC and expand its purview in ways that threaten our civil liberties online. The Senate should not confirm him without asking some crucial questions about whether and how he will help ensure that the FCC does the public interest job Congress gave it, which is to expand broadband access, manage the public’s wireless spectrum to their benefit, and protect consumers when they use telecommunications services.

        Next time you hear someone blame Section 230 for a problem with social media platforms, ask yourself two questions: first, was this problem actually caused by Section 230? Second, would weakening Section 230 solve the problem?

        If you are on Instagram, you have been probably bombarded by Instagram Stories and notifications about new features like emojis, chat themes, selfie stickers, and “cross-platform messaging” that will allow you to exchange direct messages with, and search for, friends who are on Facebook. But the…

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Sherwin-Williams Co. v. PPG Industries, Inc. (W.D. Pa. 2020)

          Earlier this month, in Sherwin-Williams Co. v. PPG Industries, Inc., Special Master Henry M. Sneath issued a Report and Recommendation in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania that a motion by Defendant PPG Industries, Inc. to partially exclude the opinions of Plaintiff Sherwin-Williams Co.’s expert witness should be granted. In particular, the Special Master recommended that the opinions set forth in ¶¶ 94-117 of the expert’s Rebuttal Report be excluded.

          Sherwin-Williams initiated the dispute between the parties by filing suit against PPG for infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,617,663; 8,835,012; 9,242,763; 9,415,900; and 9,862,854. The asserted claims are directed to “[a] coating composition for a food or beverage can” that is substantially free of bisphenol A (“BPA”). PPG retained two experts, including Dr. Leon Perez, to opine on the invalidity of the asserted patents, and Sherwin-Williams retained two experts of its own, including Dr. F. Joseph Schork, to rebut the opinions of PPG’s experts.

          PPG’s experts opined that the asserted patents were invalid in view of U.S. Patent No. 5,714,539 (the ’539 patent or Perez Patent). In his Rebuttal Report, Dr. Schork opined that the ’539 patent does not disclose a BPA-free coating, explaining that “Perez does not disclose a complete coating formulation,” much less one that is BPA-free; that “Perez’s lack of reference to BPA is not an affirmative disclosure of a composition that” is substantially free of BPA; that PPG did not to cite the ’539 patent as prior art when prosecuting its own BPA-free coating patent; and that when PPG formulated the exemplary latexes disclosed in the ’539 patent into coatings, PPG made coatings that contained BPA.

        • Lost in translation

          Spain has a well-deserved reputation of being a rather formalistic country when it comes to litigation. For example, according to the Civil Procedure Act, a Spanish translation of documents written in languages other than Spanish must be attached to the initial complaint. Otherwise, the Court may simple ignore them. A judgment of 15 October 2019 from the Valencia Court of Appeal is a good example of the risks entailed when embarking on litigation without bringing onboard the required translations. The facts of the case, for the purpose of the theme discussed in this blog, can be summarised as follows:

          A toy manufacturer filed a patent infringement action against another toy manufacturer based in Spain, alleging the infringement of a European patent. The latter filed a revocation counterclaim based on lack of novelty and lack of inventive step. For the purpose of questioning novelty, the defendant filed a video and a catalogue, which allegedly disclosed the invention. The inventive step attack was based on two French patents, a German patent, and a Spanish patent. No translations of the French or German patents were filed.

          Valencia Commercial Court Number 2, in a judgment of 5 December 2018, dismissed both the infringement action and the revocation counterclaim. This judgment was entirely upheld by the Valencia Court of Appeal in the aforementioned judgment of 15 October 2019. Some of the highlights, dealing with the patent’s validity, are briefly discussed below:

          First, the Court of Appeal dismissed the novelty attack because, in its opinion, neither the video nor the catalogue invoked by the defendant disclosed all the features of the claims of the relevant patent. Therefore, it was not satisfied that the invention, as such, had been made accessible to the public at the priority date.


          All in all, this teaching warns prospective complainants on the risks of getting lost in translation or, to be precise, failing to duly provide the translations required by law.

        • For Better or Worse: A time for Family
        • Software Patents

          • InterDigital patent challenged as likely invalid

            On November 20, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 8,363,724 as part of its ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone. The ’724 patent is owned by InterDigital VC Holdings, Inc. The patent is claimed to be essential as part of SISVEL’s Video Coding pool, as to both the VP9 and AV1 standards. It was also formerly owned by Technicolor, who self-declared the patent as essential to H.265.

      • Copyrights

        • Senator Tillis Plans Major Copyright Overhaul: Recognizes Legit Problems, But Current Solutions Are Lacking

          We’ve criticized Senator Thom Tillis for his patent and copyright reform ideas that seemed to take a strong “maximalist” line in its approach. He’s also taken the Hollywood line on things like the Internet Archive that was troubling. He’s been promising a copyright reform bill for a while, and many thought it wasn’t going to matter much, since polls indicated that he was very, very likely to lose his re-election campaign in North Carolina (even after his opponent’s bizarrely chaste sex scandal made the news). However, Tillis pulled out a surprise victory, and that means that his plan to reform copyright is something worth watching.

        • ‘The US Piracy Watchlist is a Marketing Campaign for Pirate Sites’

          A concerned taxpayer has warned the US Trade Representative that its annual “notorious markets” overview, which lists prominent pirate sites, may do more harm than good. According to former criminal defense practitioner Jim Zhoui, it essentially acts as an “advertising campaign for black marketeers at the taxpayer’s expense.”

        • YouTube “Failed to Provide Evidence” in Copyright Class Action Counterclaim

          During the summer, Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider and Pirate Monitor sued YouTube in an attempt to gain access to its Content ID tools. YouTube then fought back, claiming that Pirate Monitor had already proved itself untrustworthy. However, in a motion to dismiss, Pirate Monitor now says that YouTube has provided zero evidence to back up its claims.

        • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day Three: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t.

          The uncertainty of who is caught by the regulation is sure to have an impact on the market. Internet streaming services thinking about the Canadian market may put those plans on hold until they have some visibility over what they face from a regulatory perspective, leading to less competition and less choice for Canadians. Should the CRTC establish an economic threshold, that too could have an unexpected impact. If it sets a high threshold that is limited to a handful of large, U.S.-based streaming services, it invites the possibility of a trade challenge. If a low threshold becomes the standard, foreign services may avoid the Canadian market altogether given the regulatory costs. Either way, Bill C-10 in its current form creates considerable uncertainty that is compounded by inaccurate claims from Minister Guilbeault.

        • Ridiculous: ‘Cyberpunk 2077′ Will Ship With A Mode Just To Help Streamers Avoid DMCA Notices

          You will likely have been following along with us as we have steadily commented on the ongoing controversy at Twitch. But if you’re not read up on the topic, Twitch suddenly nuked zillions of hours of recorded content made by Twitch streamers in response to RIAA and game publisher DMCA notices, all without warning and all without a way to counternotice or get any of that content back. As the community went into revolt, Twitch continued taking down content, at times for sound effects within the games streamers were streaming. All the while, Twitch has issued a steady stream of apologies, while the streamer community has basically just shouted “Well then do something!” in response.

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