Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Reality 2.0 Episode 95: What Was Web 2.0?

        New episode of the Reality 2.0 podcast is uploaded and out today: Reality 2.0 Episode 95: What Was Web 2.0? Tune in to our new episode! Doc Searls and Katherine Druckman talk to Petros Koutoupis about Air Tags and the generations of the web.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17 Mainlines Support For More Obsolete MIPS-Based Wireless Routers – Phoronix

        While the MIPS CPU architecture itself is at the end of the road, kernel developers still are busy with MIPS considering the Loongson hardware that is popular in China and lots of older MIPS hardware out there lacking mainline Linux kernel support. For Linux 5.17 several more older, consumer-grade network routers are seeing mainline support.

        With MIPS-specific code for Linux 5.17 the Loongson 2K1000 reset driver has been merged, support for the TX4939 SoC and RBTX4938/RBTX4939 boards removed with no known users remaining, MIPS support for the Broadcom BRCMSTB PCIe controller, and other fixes and clean-ups. Plus there is support for more MIPS-based devices (routers) using the Broadcom BCM47xx MIPS-based SoCs.

      • Intel’s Linux Graphics Driver Continues With Multi-Tile Preparations – Phoronix

        In addition to Intel’s open-source Linux graphics driver developers being quite busy preparing for upcoming Intel Arc “Alchemist” (DG2) graphics cards on the consumer side, they have concurrently been preparing for Xe HP “Ponte Vecchio” hardware too. One of the big undertakings on that side from the driver perspective is bringing up multiple tiles.

        For Ponte Vecchio’s multi-tile / chiplet design, Linux driver work for multi-tile support has been going on for months. The driver needs to adapt to support multiple GT instances and the multiple memory regions off a single PCI Express device.

      • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Planning To Stick With Linux 5.15 By Default – Phoronix

        It turns out Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is planning to use the Linux 5.15 kernel as its default kernel. It makes sense in that Linux 5.15 is also a long-term support kernel, but unfortunate in that Ubuntu LTS releases haven’t always used LTS kernel versions and v5.15 will be a half-year old already by the time the “Jammy Jellyfish” ships in April. This is a choice particularly unfortunate for those with recent hardware but at least there is the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA and other non-default options available.

      • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Will Use Linux 5.15 Kernel

        Ubuntu 22.04 LTS will come with the Linux 5.15 kernel by default.

        That’s the current plan according to Canonical’s Sebastien Bacher, who says “the plan is to use 5.15 for the LTS but the oem and hwe variants will get 5.17 as some point”.

    • Applications

      • Libre Arts – Streamlining Inkscape for the masses

        It’s not a heavily guarded secret that I have an undying love for Inkscape. For me, it’s one of those applications I’m really excited to use every time I have some silly need for a vector graphics editor. Which is why everyone actively involved with the project is my personal hero, and I’m only happy to chat with them every once in a while about how the project is doing.

        This time, I spoke to Chris Rogers (Vectors team, i.e. PR and communication), Tavmjong Bah (developer), Martin Owens (developer), and Adam Belis (UX guy).

        Q: So, first off, I love a lot of things going on with Inkscape lately. There was a, well, not a moment, but quite a long period of time, actually, when I was a bit scared for the project. Long dev cycles, not enough developers etc. Things seem to be so much better these days. What would you attribute it to? What did you have to change?

        CRogers: better organisation internally helped. A move to RocketChat and Gitlab to track issues and multiple groups for different parts of the project seem to really have helped. Also, sharing successes and mutual respect and gratitude creates motivation, and it’s easier to do that with organised chat and group structures.

      • The 8 Best Open-Source Writing Software for Linux

        Writers are always looking for some exciting tools to compile their written pieces. Despite the various options in the market, there is always an ongoing need to look for open-source options, which won’t burn a hole in the pocket.

        If you are a Linux user, you are in luck, for there are plenty of excellent open-source apps that you can use on your machine. A majority of these apps offer premium-grade type features for free.

        If you’re raring to go, then check out these top open-source writing tools enlisted below.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • 12 Best Practices for Writing Bash Scripts

        Bash shell refers to Bourne Again Shell which can be found as the default shell in most of the Linux distributions. A Bash Script is a file where multiple shell commands are scripted to perform a particular task. If you are familiar with bash script then this article is for you, in this demonstration I have included 12 best practices to write a bash script to enhance the efficiency of the bash script and make it more readable.

      • How to Build Docker Images In a GitLab CI Pipeline – CloudSavvy IT

        One common use case for CI pipelines is building the Docker images you’ll use to deploy your application. GitLab CI is a great choice for this as it supports an integrated pull proxy service, meaning faster pipelines, and a built-in registry to store your built images.

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up Docker builds that use both the above features. The steps you need to take vary slightly depending on the GitLab Runner executor type you’ll use for your pipeline. We’ll cover the Shell and Docker executors below.

      • How to Install OpenLiteSpeed Web Server on Rocky Linux 8 – VITUX

        OpenLiteSpeed is a fast open-source web server application that comes with a built-in fast PHP module. This guide will show you how to install and configure OpenLiteSpeed on Rocky Linux 8 and CentOS 8.

      • How to Install and Use Podman (Docker Alternative) on Ubuntu 20.04

        Podman is an open-source tool for managing containers, images, volumes, and pods (group of containers). It’s used the libpod library APIs for managing container lifecycles and supports multiple container image formats, including OCI (Open Container Initiative) and Docker images.

        Podman is OCI (Open Container Initiative) compliance container engine. It’s compatible with the Docker CLI interface and allows you to run container rootless (running container without root privileges). Podman was released as part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, designed to be the next generation of Linux container tool with faster experimentation and development of features.

        For this tutorial, you will learn how to install Podman on the Ubuntu 20.04 system. You will be installing Podman and learn the basic usages of podman for managing Docker containers, images, and volumes.

      • How to create an RDS instance on AWS using Terraform

        In this article, we will see how to create an RDS MySql Instance. Before proceeding, I assume that you are familiar with the basics of Terraform and AWS RDS Service. If you want to learn to create an RDS MySql instance from the AWS console then search for “How to setup an RDS MySql (Relation Database MySql ) instance on AWS”

      • How to Install NEOS CMS with Nginx and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Rocky Linux 8

        Neos is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that allows you to build complex websites easily without needing to code. You can create a blog, news website, portfolio page, or a company website using it. It offers a rich set of features such as inline editing, supports multiple websites on a single installation, built-in SEO tools, human-readable URLs, plugin manager, device preview, and supports multiple templates. It supports modern-day technologies such as REST API, JSON, GraphQL, and oEmbed.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Neos CMS on a server running Rocky Linux 8 OS.

      • How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 in Ubuntu 20.04 & 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        Linux Kernel 5.16 was released a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.10, and/or Linux Mint 20.x.

      • How to Install and Configure Elasticsearch on Rocky Linux 8

        In this guide, we will learn how to install and configure Elasticsearch on Rocky Linux 8. This guide will also work on other RHEL 8 based distros like Alma Linux 8 and Oracle Linux 8.

        Elasticsearch is a distributed search and analytics engine built on Apache Lucene. It provides a distributed, multitenant-capable full-text search engine with an HTTP web interface and schema-free JSON documents. Elasticsearch has quickly become the most popular search engine and is commonly used for log analytics, full-text search, security intelligence, business analytics, and operational intelligence use cases.

      • How to Install and Configure Kibana on Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8

        In this guide, we will learn how to install and configure Kibana in Rocky Linux 8. This guide will also work on other RHEL 8 based distros like Alma Linux 8 and Oracle Linux 8.

        Kibana is a proprietary data visualization dashboard software for Elasticsearch, whose open source successor in OpenSearch is OpenSearch Dashboards. It is a data visualization and exploration tool used for log and time-series analytics, application monitoring, and operational intelligence use cases. It offers powerful and easy-to-use features such as histograms, line graphs, pie charts, heat maps, and built-in geospatial support. Kibana also acts as the user interface for monitoring, managing, and securing an Elastic Stack cluster — as well as the centralized hub for built-in solutions developed on the Elastic Stack.

      • How to View and Monitor Disk Space Usage From the Linux Command Line – CloudSavvy IT

        While it’s usually pretty clear if your system is running out of memory or using too much CPU time, disk usage is another key metric that can sneak up on you over time if you leave your server unattended. You’ll want to regular check your disk usage using these commands.

      • How to Install LAMP Stack on Debian 11 Bullseye – LinuxCapable

        LAMP is a collection of open-source software commonly used to serve web applications that have been around since the late 1990s. LAMP is an acronym that stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL/MariaDB, and PHP and provides the components needed to host and manage web content and is still arguably the most utilized stack deployment for developers and web applications today.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the LAMP stack (Apache, MariaDB, PHP) on Debian 11 Bullseye using the most up-to-date packages instead of the default Debian 11 repository versions.

        Note, you can install LAMP on Debian 11 using this method without the newer repositories; use the same commands without importing any third-party repositories.

      • How to Install Latest Zoom on Ubuntu & Other Linux Distributions – TREND OCEANS

        Zoom, a.k.a. Zoom Meeting, is video conferencing software that is available for all major platforms, including Linux. It is very popular among working professionals and students.

        And I believe you all are familiar with zoom features. That’s why we are directly moving to the Download and Installation step for Zoom in Linux.

        In this following guide, you will see the download and installation steps for Zoom, which include steps for all major Linux distributions and removing steps.

      • How to Install WordPress with LAMP Stack on Debian 11 Bullseye – LinuxCapable

        WordPress is the most dominant content management system written in PHP, combined with MySQL or MariaDB database. You can create and maintain a site without prior web development or coding knowledge. The first version of WordPress was created in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little and is now used by 70% of the known web market, according to W3Tech. WordPress comes in two versions: the free open source WordPress.org and WordPress.com, a paid service that starts at $5 per month up to $59. Using this content management system is easy and often seen as a stepping stone for making a blog or similar featured site.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install self-hosted WordPress using the latest LAMP Stack – Apache, MariaDB, and PHP versions available on Debian 11 Bullseye.

      • 3 tools for troubleshooting packet filtering | Enable Sysadmin

        Nmap, Wireshark, and tcpdump are helpful tools for troubleshooting your network. This article shows you how to use them with a real-world example, because when you’re trying to learn a new technology or technique, sometimes the best way is to walk through a scenario.

      • How To Install Liquorix Kernel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Liquorix Kernel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Liqourix Kernel is a free, open-source general-purpose Linux Kernel alternative to the stock kernel with Ubuntu 20.04. Liquorix Kernel is popular amongst Linux Gaming, multimedia, and ultra-low latency requirements and often boasts the latest Linux Kernels, having multiple branches to choose from the stable, edge, and development.

        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 Liquorix Kernel 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 Setup and Limit Hotspot Data on Your Android Device

        Suppose you have an emergency situation and need an internet connection badly, but you don’t have any cellular data or Wi-Fi connection nearby. And noticed that some of your friends or colleagues are with you at this moment who are having cellular data on their phones. The thing is, you have to use your Android device to complete the task. So what to do now? Turn on your friends’ or colleagues phones’ cellular data and hotspot and Wi-Fi of your phone. Just connect your device to their hotspot. The setup and limit hotspot data procedure on your Android is as easy as pie.

        Similarly, you can set up your hotspot on your Android device and also limit the users according to your requirements. Normally, if you’re giving your cellular data to another user through a hotspot, then the rate of data consumption is huge.

        As a result, you need to limit your users at a time, though there’s an option called Unlimited users that will be in the hotspot setting. Let’s start with the setup and limit hotspot data on your Android easily.

    • Games

      • Steam Deck on track for the end of February | GamingOnLinux

        Good news, following the previous delay and even with the pandemic and global shortages Valve has announced that the Steam Deck is still on track to ship by the end of February.

        Writing in a fresh post, Valve said that testing for the Steam Deck Verified program is underway, which we already knew since Portal 2 got recently officially verified. It’s also currently still the only one.

      • Discord Overlay for Linux ‘Discover Overlay’ gets a new release | GamingOnLinux

        While Discord continues to not support Linux with their official overlay, there is at least Discover, which helpfully gives you some options to show chatters on your screen. Useful for those of you with a single-screen who want to see who is chatting, plus good for videos / livestreams for viewers to see it too.

      • Quiet ocean survival-adventure Aquamarine launches January 20 | GamingOnLinux

        A quiet survival adventure about perception and discovery in an alien ocean. The crowdfunded game Aquamarine is now confirmed to be launching on January 20. According to the official announcement on Steam that includes “Windows, Mac and Linux”.

        “You play as a lone space traveler known only as The Seeker, whose starcraft is intercepted by a malicious signal while orbiting an uncharted planet covered in water. Forced to eject from her malfunctioning starcraft, The Seeker is marooned on a tiny island surrounded by an endless alien ocean, with nothing but her amphibious survival pod. Throughout her underwater journey to reach her crashed starcraft, she’ll uncover the lost history of this planet reclaimed by the elements, and learn the true nature of why she ended up here.”

      • Humble subscription service is dumping Mac, Linux access in 18 days | Ars Technica

        Humble, the bundle-centric games retailer that launched with expansive Mac and Linux support in 2010, will soon shift a major component of its business to Windows-only gaming.

        The retailer’s monthly subscription service, Humble Choice, previously offered a number of price tiers; the more you paid, the more new games you could claim in a given month. Starting February 1, Humble Choice will include less choice, as it will only offer a single $12/month tier, complete with a few new game giveaways per month and ongoing access to two collections of games: Humble’s existing “Trove” collection of classic games, and a brand-new “Humble Games Collection” of more modern titles.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 6 Reasons Why You Should Try the Lightweight Xfce Desktop

        Xfce is a rather humble desktop environment. It has been around for decades, but it has existed largely in GNOME’s shadow as a more lightweight option that just so happens to also be based on GTK. Fewer developers work on Xfce and hence, there are fewer apps made with Xfce in mind.

        Yet year after year, people continue to use Xfce. It receives updates, and numerous Linux-based operating systems ship Xfce as the default interface.

        So, despite the other options available, why might you want to use Xfce?

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS version 3.2.1 released

          Version 3.2 was released only a few days ago:


          A few minor tweaks, plus one big change; lives video editor replaced with flowblade.

          Release notes here:




          Feedback welcome on the forum:


          I would like to know what you guys think of flowblade!

        • Flowblade video editor now in EasyOS

          Easy 3.2 has LiVES video editor; however, it still has bugs. The developer is working on it, but in the meantime I do need something that works in Easy. So, I looked at the alternatives, and eventually settled on Flowblade.

          Flowblade is written in python, and I had initially rejected it as it requires python2. It also has two dependencies that I really didn’t want to include, ‘frei0r’ and ‘gmic’, as I thought the number of dependencies was getting a bit too high. Besides, gmic seems very similar to ‘imagemagick’ that is already in Easy and required by ‘lives’ and ‘obs’.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • curl, GNOME, KDE Updates Arrive in Tumbleweed – openSUSE News

          openSUSE’s rolling release Tumbleweed finished off 2021 with multiple snapshots and 2022 is starting off the same by producing nine snapshots so far this year.

          The latest Tumbleweed snapshot, 20220112, updated Mozilla Firefox to major version 96.0 and addressed almost 20 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures. The browser added a new feature for printing that allows users to choose to print only the odd/even pages.The browser now defaults all cookies to having a SameSite=lax attribute to helps defend against one-click attacks. While gnome-desktop had a version bump to 41.3, gnome-shell 41.3 fixed some crashes, improved window tracking and updated translations. GNOME’s window manager mutter 41.3 fixed a mixed up refresh rate in multi-monitor setups and fixed orientation changes on devices with 90 degree adjustments. Command line utility hdparm 9.63 added a patch and has a new –sanitize-overwrite-passes flag. Other packages to update in the snapshot were rdma-core 38.1, libpipeline 1.5.5, rdma-core 38.1, vim 8.2.4063 and wayland 1.20.0.

        • openSUSE Leap 15.2 Reached End-of-Life

          As of January 4, 2022, openSUSE Leap 15.2 will no longer receive security and maintenance updates as the version is now EOL (End-ofLife).

          openSUSE Leap 15.2 was released 18 months ago (July 2, 2020) and is based on the SUSE Enterprise Linux 15 operating system family.

          The openSUSE Project recommends that Leap 15.2 users should upgrade to the latest version of openSUSE Leap 15.3 as soon as possible, which will be supported by software updates and security patches until November 2022.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2022/02

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          The holidays are over and people are returning to their computers, submitting a lot more than during the last weeks. Out of the 6 snapshots built and tested,5 made it out to the mirrors (0107, 0109, 0110, 0111, and 0112).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Community Newsletter, January 2022

          The first CentOS Dojo of 2022 is scheduled for February 3rd and 4th, immediately before the first day of FOSDEM 2022. We expect to publish the schedule to the event wiki page by the time you read this newsletter. The event will be held online, and registration is free! Join us for two days of CentOS content and networking.

        • Red Hat expanding Training and Certification offerings to address new challenges

          Throughout 2021, Red Hat recognized an increased demand for virtual training and testing options as much of the IT workforce continued to adjust to working from home. We expect that to continue, so here’s what we’re doing to meet demand and help organizations train up their existing staff and identify qualified professionals with open source skills.

          IT leaders report skills gaps as the top barrier to digital transformation, ranking technology skills training as their number one non-technical funding priority for 2022. Industry leaders recognize that training and certification will be a critical component to the success of organizations in the coming year. As a result, we expect to see continued focus on virtual training and transformational learning, particularly focused on the three areas we’ll outline in this blog post..

        • CPE Weekly Update – Week of January 10th – 14th – Fedora Community Blog

          This is a weekly report from the CPE (Community Platform Engineering)
          Team. If you have any questions or feedback, please respond to this
          report or contact us on #redhat-cpe channel on libera.chat

        • No. 656: On missionaries, MLK and C-sections – plus, New York Tech gets in Linux – Innovate Long Island

          The New York Institute of Technology is collaborating with an IBM software subsidiary to introduce new curricula centered on the Linux open-source operating system.

          North Carolina-based Red Hat – the world’s leading supplier of open-source enterprise solutions, including “turnkey curriculum materials” designed to help academic institutions launch and sustain Linux curriculum programs – is lending its expertise to the New York Institute of Technology Red Hat Academy. Instructors will initially offer Red Hat System Administration 1 and 2 courses, preparing New York Tech students to become Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administrators.

          Linux has become what New York Tech calls “the de facto standard for running critical workloads in the cloud,” aligning the Red Hat Academy with the Old Westbury-based New York Tech’s mission to “provide career-oriented education to future makers, doers and innovators,” according to College of Engineering and Computing Sciences Dean Babak Beheshti. “Our collaboration … provides yet another opportunity for our students to gain practical, real-world experience to help secure sought-after and industry-recognized skills and certifications,” Beheshti added.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Blog: Design and Web team summary – 17 December 2021

          Happy Christmas and New Years everyone! I hope you are all ready for a well deserved break.

          The Web and design team at Canonical run two-week iterations building and maintaining all of the Canonical websites and product web interfaces. Here are some of the highlights from our final iteration of the year.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition Available for Pre-Order

        Pine64, makers of popular single-board computers (SBCs) and the Pine Phone KDE edition, is gearing up to ship the Explorer Edition of its PinePhone Pro, reports Liam Tung.

      • Game Boy Becomes Super Game Boy With A Pair Of Pis | Hackaday

        The extra processing power in this case comes from a Raspberry Pi Pico which is small enough to easily fit inside of a donor NES case and also powerful enough to handle the VGA directly. For video data input, the Pico is connected to the video pins on the Game Boy’s main board through a level shifter. The main board is also connected to a second Pico which handles the controller input from an NES controller. Some fancy conversion needed to be done at this point because although the controller layouts are very similar, they are handles by the respective consoles completely differently.

      • 3.5-inch Tiger Lake-U SBC promoted for healthcare applications

        Nexcom’s Linux-ready, 3.5-inch “X200” SBC runs on an 11th Gen U-series CPU and offers triple and 4Kp60 support, 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, SATA, M.2 M- and E-key slots, and -20 to 70°C support.

        Nexcom announced a 3.5-inch SBC that runs Linux or Win 10 on an 11th Gen Tiger Lake-U processor, which it previously adopted for its NDiS B360 signage player. Other 3.5-inch Tiger Lake-U boards include Commell’s LE-370, Ibase’s IB953, Aaeon’s GENE-TGU6, and Kontron’s 3.5”-SBC-TGL.

        Nexcom pitches the X200 board as an ideal solution for visual inspection or imagery analysis in the healthcare field, noting its triple independent display and 4Kp60 support. Other cited applications include signage and security, which Nexcom also promotes for use in hospitals. The board offers an ISO 13485 medical device certification.

      • Have you checked out our winter sale? | Arduino Blog

        Start the year with a new Arduino hardware component. Or two, or three! Dozens of our products are currently discounted at 20% for our annual winter sale. Just head over to the Arduino store and pick out all the modules, shields and carriers that fit your needs.

        We even have the MKR IoT Carrier and full MKR IoT Bundle on sale, to help you make 2022 the year of your first Internet of Things project. There are all kinds of connectivity available, from LoRa to GSM and NB communication, so you can get to work on a connected project that hooks straight up to Arduino Cloud, too.

      • OnLogic unveils Karbon 800 Series Alder Lake-S embedded computers – CNX Software

        We’ve already seen the newly announced Intel Alder Lake-S desktop IoT processors in some COM Express and COM HPC modules, and quickly mentioned Vecow ECX-3000 rugged computer, and now, OnLogic has just announced the Karbon 800 Series, a family of Alder Lake-S embedded computers.

        There will be four Karbon 800 models at launch, equipped with up to an Intel Core i9 16-core processor, 64 GB of DDR4 ECC or non-ECC memory, as well as single and dual PCIe Gen 4 slots, and optional “ModBay” hot-swappable bays to add connectivity and storage option up to a six 2.5-inch SSD RAID array or 14 Ethernet ports.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • How to install GitEye GUI Git client on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 LTS

          GitEye is a graphical Git client for Windows, OSX, and Linux available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Here we learn the steps and commands to install GitEye on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy JellyFish and Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa.

          CollabNet is the developer behind GitEye to offer a desktop application for easily but graphically managing Git projects with functions of distributed version control in a graphical interface. Apart from GitEye, CollabNet also offers products related to cloud and ALM (Application Lifecycle Management).

        • Encyclopedia Of Broken UserAgent String Detections – otsukare

          This is not a comprehensive encyclopedia, but these are patterns we have met in the past for identifying user agent strings which are broken or future fail.

          Do not use these ! and if your code is using one form of these, please change it. Tell me if you found new ones.

        • Christopher Davis: Lifetimes, Clones, and Closures: Explaining the “glib::clone!()” Macro

          One thing that I’ve seen confuse newcomers to writing GObject-based Rust code is the glib::clone!() macro. It’s foreign to people coming from writing normal Rust code trying to write GObject-based code, and it’s foreign to many people used to writing GObject-based code in other languages (e.g. C, Python, JavaScript, and Vala). Over the years I’ve explained it a few times, and I figure now that I should write a blog post that I can point people to describing what the clone!() macro is, what it does, and why we need it in detail.

        • SpiderMonkey Newsletter (Firefox 96-97) | SpiderMonkey JavaScript/WebAssembly Engine

          SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 96 and 97 Nightly release cycles.

        • Qt

          • Qt 6.3 Alpha released

            You can find initial list of new features in the Qt 6.3.0 from What’s New in Qt 6.3 documentation. But please note the documentation is still under construction and will be updated until we are ready for the final release.

            As usual, you can add the Qt 6.3 Alpha to the existing online installation by using the maintenance tool. Or you can do a clean installation by using the Qt Online Installer. Qt 6.3 Alpha source packages can be downloaded from the Qt Account portal and the download.qt.io as well.

          • Qt 6.3 Alpha Released With New Qt Quick Compiler For Commercial Customers – Phoronix

            The Qt Company just announced Qt 6.3 Alpha as the first formal test release for this next Qt6 toolkit update. The Qt Company also lifted the lid on their new Qt Quick Compiler where they are aiming for QML to run at “a speed close to native” for that interpreted language.

            Qt 6.3 has been working on a new “Qt Language Server” module, there are a number of new functions in the Qt Core module, Qt Quick has added a MessageDialog that will provide a native dialog message box on supported platforms, “qmltc” as the new QML type compiler, the Qt Wayland Compositor module adds a Qt Shell that supports all windowing system features handled by Qt, Qt Wayland can now support creating custom shell extensions, support for Wayland’s Presentation Time protocol, and a variety of other additions.

          • The new Qt Quick Compiler – get QML to run at a speed close to native

            As most of you know, QML is an interpreted language. The flexibility of any interpreted language always comes with a potential decrease in performance. As we are very convinced of many other potentials of QML, we strive to reduce – if not to completely eliminate – this unpleasant potential. We implemented changes in the last Qt5 releases and especially in Qt6 helping to take a significant step towards our long term goal: make QML run at a speed close to native. This blog post explains what is new. The upcoming two blog post will elaborate the technology and its development history.

        • Rust

          • Rust 1.58.0 released [LWN.net]

            More information on “captured identifiers” (the ability to use in-scope variables directly in format strings) can be found on this page.

        • Java

          • How To Install Apache NetBeans on Fedora 35 – idroot

            In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache NetBeans on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, The NetBeans (also known as Apache Netbeans) is an open-source and award-winning IDE (integrated development environment) application for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It offers excellent debugging capabilities, coding, plugins, and extensions with multiple out-of-the-box features.

            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 the step-by-step installation of the Apache NetBeans IDE on a Fedora 35.

  • Leftovers

    • Rapid-Reload Vacuum Cannon Totally Demolishes Those Veggies | Hackaday

      [NightHawkInLight] has been developing his design for a vacuum canon for a while now, so it seems fitting to drop in check out the progress. The idea is pretty straightforward, take a long rigid tube, insert a close fitting piston, magnetically attached to a projectile, and stopper the open end with something easily destroyed. The piston needs to be pulled into the tube with some force, to pull a vacuum against the stopper. The interesting bit happens next, when the piston exits the other end of the tube, with the vacuum at its maximum, there is a sudden inrush of air. Apparently this inrush of supersonic velocity, and the momentum of the mass of air is sufficient to eject the projectile at considerable velocity, smashing through the plug and demolishing the target. So long as the target is of the soft and squishy variety anyway.

    • Science

      • This DIY Microscope Design Is All Wet | Hackaday

        [Robert Murray-Smith] wanted to recreate how some ancient microscopes worked: with a drop of water as a lens. The idea is that the meniscus of a drop of water will work as a lens. This works because of surface tension and by controlling the attraction of the water to the surface, you can actually form convex and concave surfaces.

        What’s interesting is that this doesn’t require a lot of equipment. Some plastic, a hole punch, some pens, a flashlight, and some other odds and ends. Then it’s just a matter of grabbing some puddle water and examining the critters inside. Of course, with a single lens, these are more properly magnifying glasses. Some claim that people in China built such instruments thousands of years ago. [Robert] mentions [Antonie van Leeuwenhoek] as the father of the microscope, although he wasn’t the first to build such a device. He did create amazing glass lenses using a method he kept secret but has been worked out using modern science.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • EVerest: The open source software stack for EV charging infrastructure

                Even if you’d never buy a Tesla, electric vehicles (EVs) are the future. There’s only one big problem. Unlike a gas-based car, where you can always find a gas station when you need to top off, there’s nothing like enough electrical charging stations. One big reason for this is that there’s no standardization to speak of behind those chargers. The Linux Foundation (LF) plans on changing this with the new LF Energy EVerest project.

        • Security

          • Using EM Waves to Detect Malware – Schneier on Security

            I don’t even know what I think about this. Researchers have developed a malware detection system that uses EM waves: “Obfuscation Revealed: Leveraging Electromagnetic Signals for Obfuscated Malware Classification.”

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 200 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 200. This version includes the following changes:

            * Even if a Sphinx .inv inventory file is labelled "The remainder of this
              file is compressed using zlib", it might not actually be. In this case,
              don't traceback, and simply return the original content.
              (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#299)
            * Update "X has been modified after NT_GNU_BUILD_ID has been applied" message
              to, for instance, not duplicating the full filename in the primary
              diffoscope's output.

          • Microsoft pulls new Windows Server updates due to critical bugs

            Microsoft has pulled the January Windows Server cumulative updates after critical bugs caused domain controllers to reboot, Hyper-V to not work, and ReFS volume systems to become unavailable.

          • Ivanti Updates Log4j Advisory with Security Updates for Multiple Products   | CISA

            Ivanti has updated its Log4j Advisory with security updates for multiple products to address CVE-2021-44228. An unauthenticated attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.

          • Security updates for Friday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr), Fedora (cockpit, python-cvxopt, and vim), openSUSE (libmspack), Oracle (webkitgtk4), Scientific Linux (firefox and thunderbird), SUSE (kernel and libmspack), and Ubuntu (firefox and pillow).

          • Google says open source software should be more secure • The Register

            In conjunction with a White House meeting on Thursday at which technology companies discussed the security of open source software, Google proposed three initiatives to strengthen national cybersecurity.

            The meeting was arranged last month by US national security adviser Jake Sullivan, amid the scramble to fix the Log4j vulnerabilities that occupied far too many people over the holidays. Sullivan asked invited firms – a group that included Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle – to share ideas on how the security of open source projects might be improved.

            Google chief legal officer Kent Walker in a blog post said that just as the government and industry have worked to shore up shoddy legacy systems and software, the Log4j repair process – still ongoing – has demonstrated that open source software needs the same attention as critical infrastructure.

          • This Week In Security: NPM Vandalism, Simulating Reboots, And More | Hackaday

            We’ve covered quite a few stories about malware sneaking into the NPN and other JavaScript repositories. This is a bit different. This time, a JS programmer vandalized his own packages. It’s not even malware, perhaps we should call it protestware? The two packages, colors and faker are both popular, with a combined weekly download of nearly 23 million. Their author, [Marak] added a breaking update to each of them. These libraries now print a header of LIBERTY LIBERTY LIBERTY, and then either random characters, or very poor ASCII art. It’s been confirmed that this wasn’t an outside attacker, but [Marak] breaking his own projects on purpose. Why?

            It seems like this story starts back in late 2020, when [Marak] lost quite a bit in a fire, and had to ask for money on Twitter. Two weeks later, he tweeted that billions were being made off open source devs’ work, citing a FAANG leak. FAANG is a reference to the big five American tech companies: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. The same day, he opened an issue on Github for faker.js, throwing down an ultimatum: “Take this as an opportunity to send me a six figure yearly contract or fork the project and have someone else work on it.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Pegasus used to target El Salvador activists, journalists: Report | Cybersecurity News | Al Jazeera

              The mobile phones of dozens of journalists and activists in El Salvador have been hacked since at least early 2020 and implanted with Israeli-made Pegasus spyware typically available only to governments and law enforcement, according to a new report by a watchdog group.

              The University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab said on Wednesday it had identified an operator of the spyware working exclusively in El Salvador and targeting journalists and activists, many of whom were investigating alleged state corruption.

              While the researchers could not conclusively determine the hacks came from El Salvador’s government, the report said “the strong country-specific focus of the infections suggests that this is very likely”.

            • NSO spyware found targeting journalists and NGOs in El Salvador | ZDNet

              The University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab along with Access Now have found the Pegasus spyware developed by the now-sanctioned NSO Group was used to target journalists and non-government organisations operating in El Salvador.

              In total, the investigation found 35 individuals were targeted across 37 devices, with Citizen Lab having a high degree of confidence that data was exfiltrated from devices belonging to 16 targets.

    • Environment

    • Censorship/Free Speech

Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Neptune, GeckoLinux, Slackel, UbuntuDDE & Touch, qBittorrent …

      First PING 2022 and there are already interesting things to collect with this broom, almost everything from this first week of the year … with the inevitable exception of Linux Mint 20.3, whose launch we echoed yesterday.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • What makes Linux the sustainable OS

        Battling the pandemic has created a shortage of microchips needed to produce new computers. In addition, some newer proprietary operating systems come with higher minimum standards for those systems. This conundrum has created an opportunity for those of us who use Linux in our daily lives.

        Linux has long been noted for adding life to aging hardware. That ability has been a boon to those folks who use computers every day.
        I have helped many folks refurbish and refit older computers using Linux in the past year. Linux-based computers consume less power and start up much quicker. The Gnome desktop is great, but many older computers are better suited to LXDE or XFCE environments, which require fewer resources to run.

      • Survey Shows 60% Of VFX Designers Are Using Linux

        VES (Visual Effects Society) is an organization that represents visual effects designers, animators, studios, film makers and other related stakeholders from many different countries around the world. They have thousands of members from many different companies specialized in VFX field, some of which have made the most iconic films in the world.

        VES has published the results of a survey they worked on between October-November of 2021 about studio software platforms used by their members. 88 Unique studios have participated in the survey, which collectively own more than 59,000 artist workstations (Or computers).

        The survey aimed to explore which software platforms are most common in the VFX industry, and the key findings could be quite surprising for you.

      • My sunk cost fallacy relationship with my home desktop

        However, this machine dates from early 2018 so it’s only about three years old now. Three years is a pretty aggressive replacement cycle for desktop machines today, especially when I bought it as a relatively good machine that I was expecting to last me for at least five years. And more importantly, there’s the sunk cost fallacy. I want this machine to work, and I want to persuade myself that magically it will work well enough for me not to do anything (or at least anything substantial). Just as I expected back in August of 2020, I’ve done nothing so far and just coasted along, and so far that has actually worked out in the sense that I’ve avoided both total failure and too many issues (although I had one alarming incident). It’s easier to do nothing than to act.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • USB Changes For Linux 5.17: Overdue Xen pvUSB To DWC3 Multi-Stream Transfer – Phoronix

        Landing this week as part of the various subsystems overseen by Linux’s second-in-command Greg Kroah-Hartman were the USB changes for Linux 5.17.

        There were many USB (and Thunderbolt) changes for Linux 5.17 such as Synopsys’ DWC3 “Multi-Stream Transfer” feature, Xen pvUSB making its debut after being out-of-tree since its start in ~2008, various power management changes, and more. Some of the USB subsystem highlights for 5.17 include:

        - Multi-Stream Transfer (MST; not to be confused with DisplayPort’s MST – Multi-Stream Transport) for the Synopsys DesignWare Core SuperSpeed USB 3.0 controller. Synopsys added Multi-Stream Transfer to improve bulk streams performance for SuperSpeed and SuperSpeed Plus with their DWC3 controller with this latest Linux kernel driver code. Synopsys has found this Multi-Stream Transfer mode for DWC3 can lead to a “significant performance improvement” for UASP transfers.

      • Linux 5.16 speeds up games and boosts system performance – Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated translation]

        Linux 5.16 took a week longer than originally expected. Linus Torvalds decided to give the kernel a little more time to mature. The triggers were not problems or alarming test results, but simply the concern that testing could be too short due to the holidays and the week “between the years”.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa’s “Copper” Is A Step Closer To Being Brazed – Phoronix

          A draft merge request has been opened for landing “Copper” within Mesa.

          Copper came about over the past year by Red Hat’s Adam Jackson with participation from Mike Blumenkrantz and others. This DRI interface extension can lead to much greater efficiency for Zink, the OpenGL on Vulkan implementation, and native WSI handling for it. Copper would help improve upon the Gallium3D architecture and provide substantial benefits for Zink.

          On Thursday Blumenkrantz opened the draft MR for merging Copper with hopes for getting the code into shape for mainlining but not necessarily in the immediate future. Pushing Copper out as more of a longer-term effort is it depending upon other open merge requests such as Zink external memory support, sparse textures, and other bits.

        • Leaks

          It’s come to my attention that there’s a lot of rumors flying around about what exactly I’m doing aside from posting the latest info about where Jason Ekstrand, who coined the phrase, “If it compiles, we should ship it.” is going to end up.

          Everyone knows that jekstrand’s next career move is big news—the kind of industry-shaking maneuvering that has every BigCo from Alphabet to Meta on tenterhooks. This post is going to debunk a number of the most common nonsense I’ve been hearing as well as give some updates about what else I’ve been doing besides scouring the internet for even the tiniest clue about what’s coming for this man’s career in 2022.


          Unfortunately, this turned out to be bogus, no more than chaff deployed to stop us from getting to the truth because we were too close. Later, while I was pondering how buggy NVIDIA’s sparse image functionality was in the latest beta drivers and attempting to pass what few equally buggy CTS cases there were for ARB_sparse_texture2, I stumbled upon the obvious.

          It’s so obvious, in fact, that everyone overlooked it because of how obvious it is.

          Jason has left Intel and turned in his badge because he’s on vacation.

          As everyone knows, he’s the kind of person who literally does not comprehend time in the same way that the rest of us do. It was his assessment of the HR policy that in order to take time off and leave the office, he had to quit. My latest intel (no pun intended) revealed that managers and executives alike were still scrambling, trying to figure out how to explain the company’s vacation policy using SSA-based compiler terminology, but optimizer passes left their attempts to engage him as no-ops.

    • Applications

      • tickrs – terminal realtime ticker data

        One way of keeping alert regarding your financial position is to use a stock ticker. This is software that provides live updates of stock prices and enables you to easily monitor your investments.

        tickrs is a stock ticker that is written in Rust. It’s published under an open source license.

        Terminal-based software is light on system resources (very useful on low specified machines), can be faster and more efficient than their graphical counterparts, they do not stop working when X is restarted, and are great for scripting purposes.

      • QOwnNotes 22.1.6 – Neowin

        QOwnNotes is a open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud (or Nextcloud). So you are able to write down your thoughts with QOwnNotes and edit or search for them later from your mobile device (like with CloudNotes) or the ownCloud web-service. The notes are stored as plain text files and you can sync them with your ownCloud sync client. Of course other software, like Dropbox, Syncthing, Seafile or BitTorrent Sync can be used too.

      • yt-dlp vs youtube-dl

        It’s well known that videos are not nearly as easy to save from a website as things like images or text. Although web browsers do not feature a default way to save videos directly to our hard drive, open source projects like yt-dlp and youtube-dl fill this gap quite nicely.

        As you can tell from the names, these tools work especially for YouTube, where most of the world’s videos are found these days. But they can also work for a variety of other sites – actually, most any site that you come across. And, usually, if there is a site that these tools can’t work with, the developers will work on adding support for it into the next release of their software.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install yt-dlp and youtube-dl on major Linux distros. We will also go over their pros and cons to help you see which one is better.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • SSH Bastion Host Best Practices

        Overall, the core concept of security hardening a bastion host is to run a bastion server with minimal components and reduce the attack surface as much as possible. As you will find below, most of the controls required to secure bastion hosts are, in fact, the same as hardening an operating system. Below, we present a few important things to consider while designing a bastion host.

      • SSH and HTTP to a Raspberry Pi behind CG-NAT

        This modem is on AT&T’s network, but regardless of the provider, unless you’re willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month for a SIM with a public IP address, the Internet connection will be running behind CG-NAT.

        What this means is there’s no publicly routable address for the Pi—you can’t access it from the public Internet, since it’s only visible inside the cell network’s private network.

      • Kali http server setup

        There are multiple ways to set up an HTTP web server in Kali Linux. Apache, NGINX, and Python are a few of the ways this can be accomplished.

        Since you are looking to set up a web server on Kali, it might be safe to assume that you are trying to spoof some other website, or dupe users with some sort of phishing ploy. In that case, all three web server types have their pros and cons, with Python being the quickest one to get up and running.

        Whatever the purpose of your web server may be, nefarious or not, you will learn how to install and configure a simple HTTP server using either Apache, NGINX, or Python in this tutorial. Follow through our step by step instructions below to see how it’s done.

      • How to install Fathom on Debian 11

        Hello, friends. Many admins and website owners use Google Analytics to get advanced statistics of their website. Today, I will show you how to install Fathom Analytics on Debian 11.

      • How to install Kibana Dashboard on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        Analyze the data collected by the Elasticsearch search engine software visually by installing Kibana Dashboard on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or 20.04 Focal Fossa.

        Elasticsearch is a popular enterprise search engine software to collect data, index, and analyze it. The software is open-source, hence distributed to use free of cost. The key feature is it can examine and index a wide variety of data types that can be structured or unstructured. For example, it can be text-based data, numerical data, data with time information, or data with geographic information.

        But this Elastic Seach doesn’t offer itself a graphical option to analyze data, hence to get that we use Kibana, an open-source analysis, and visualization platform. Together with Elasticsearch and Logstash, it forms the Elastic Stack and enables the data collected by Elasticsearch to be visualized. Users can have various types of visualizations representation of their data such as line diagrams, pie charts, donut charts, or histograms. And allows the display of time series or geographical data. Kibana can be operated both on-premises and cloud-based.

      • Install CouchDB using Docker and Docker-compose

        CouchDB is an open-source NoSQL document database that stores data in JSON-based format and offers HTTP-ready REST-API out of the box.

        It can be used as a database backend for web, mobile, or even desktop apps. In contrast, it uses JSON for documents, an HTTP API, & JavaScript/declarative indexing.

        Although, CouchDB can be installed on Ubuntu or Linux using Snap, many developers may require to install it using Docker.

      • How to Install MySQL Workbench in RHEL Systems

        This article piece assumes that you already have the famed MySQL software installed on your RHEL-based Linux system and are ready to exploit database administration to the fullest.

        You log in to the MySQL shell and create the needed databases and their associated tables. You create the needed relationships between these database tables and start managing your data.

        However, this approach does not give you the needed dynamic control in managing your data. Also, it takes too much time switching between databases, creating users and data, viewing linked data, and executing other database-related queries.

      • Installing Arch Linux Using archinstall Automated Script [Complete Guide]

        In this guide, we explain the super easy way of installing Arch Linux using automated script archinstall. Intended for beginner to advanced users.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Run (some) Windows apps on Haiku operating system thanks to Wine port

        Haiku is free and open source operating system designed to be compatible with BeOS, a legacy operating system from the 1990s. Haiku itself has been under development for two decades, but it’s still considered beta software (and it only hit that state a few years ago).

        While there’s a relatively limited number of native apps available for the platform, one potential solution to that app gap could be on the horizon: a developer has been porting Wine to Haiku, which makes it possible to run some Windows applications on Haiku.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • I Tried System76’s New Rust-based COSMIC Desktop!

        If you didn’t know already, System76 developers have been working on a new Desktop Environment (dubbed COSMIC) written in Rust: a memory-safe and superfast programming language.

        Creating a desktop environment from scratch is no small feat. That involves creating everything from the compositor, panel, window manager to the APIs for your desktop environment and other back-end tasks.

        It is not an easy task, and maintaining it is another story.

      • Top 10 best Desktop Environments for 2022 Linux and against Linux | systemd-free linux community

        First we should explain the reason for the title, then we should explain why has this become a trendy catchy titling of pseudo-media, what is pseudo-media, who they serve, and how can there be real linux development without this consuming black hole?

        How were desktop environments conceived and developed, and why were they developed? Many technical reasons:

        1 as hardware became quickly more able to display more complex graphics than the old text terminals, it became possible to display graphical images that weren’t drawn by grouping alphanumeric symbols together in lines, then digital drawings (CAD), then low resolution photographs that kept climbing in higher and higher levels, then video and high-fidelity audio.

        2 the competitive conditioning developed through living in capitalism, elevates marketablility as an unquestionable value, and since operating systems with higher graphic capabilities became popular, coders engaged in a rat race to outscore large corporate graphic projects.

        3 MS-win became nearly a global monopoly in computer systems, so the (conditioned) goal was clear, to provide “cheaper” “less binding” software that were equally pretty and offered similar utility. Those who argued the system is not its graphical abilities but its ability to perform other tasks without much graphical feedback, and just provide adequate information and control for those tasks, became less and less popular themselves, to the extent people called them hopeless romantics.

      • In practice, there are two types of window managers in modern X

        As part of its nominal mantra of “mechanism, not policy”, the X Window System uses a user provided window manager. As far as most X programs are concerned, all window managers are supposed to be equal (assuming that they implement some standards for interoperability, such as EWMH and ICCM). The various Unix desktops (GNOME, KDE, etc) have some extra stuff between their own programs and their own desktop window manager, but theoretically all ‘foreign’ window managers are about the same.

        Unfortunately, this is not the practical reality in modern X. In practice the world of window manager environments has split into two types, one of which is not equal to the other. There are compositing window manager environments, which are found in pretty much every significant X desktop, and also non-compositing window managers. Many stand alone X window managers, such as fvwm, are non-compositing, as you can see in Wikipedia’s comparison of X window managers.

      • Exploring System76′s New Rust Based Desktop Environment

        System76’s objective is to create something that is faster, more customizable, and free of the limitations of the GNOME desktop environment, and let’s face it, we’re all curious as to how this desktop will look like.

        This post will explore how this new desktop environment is shaping up.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Norbert Preining: Future of “my” packages in Debian

          After having been (again) demoted (timed perfectly to my round birthday!) based on flimsy arguments, I have been forced to rethink the level of contribution I want to do for Debian. Considering in particular that I have switched my main desktop to dual-boot into Arch Linux (all on the same btrfs fs with subvolumes, great!) and have run Arch now for several days exclusively, I think it is time to review the packages I am somehow responsible for (full list of packages).

          After about 20 years in Debian, time to send off quite some stuff that has accumulated over time.

          KDE/Plasma, frameworks, Gears, and related packages

          All these packages are group maintained, so there is not much to worry about. Furthermore, a few new faces have joined the team and are actively working on the packages, although mostly on Qt6. I guess that with me not taking action, frameworks, gears, and plasma will fall back over time (frameworks: Debian 5.88 versus current 5.90, gears: Debian 21.08 versus current 21.12, plasma uptodate at the moment).

          With respect to my packages on OBS, they will probably also go stale over time. Using Arch nowadays I lack the development tools necessary to build Debian packages, and above all, the motivation.

          I am sorry for all those who have learned to rely on my OBS packages over the last years, bringing modern and uptodate KDE/Plasma to Debian/stable, please direct your complaints at the responsible entities in Debian.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • First Look at Some of the GTK4 Apps in GNOME 42

          For this first look, I want to focus on three important apps, namely the Nautilus (Files) file manager, GNOME Text Editor (a.k.a. the Gedit replacement), and the GNOME Software graphical package manager.

          Nautilus 42, which is probably the most important app in the GNOME desktop environment, is shaping up to be one of the best file managers on the Linux desktop. The GTK4 look and feel is very modern, and, if you’re coming from GTK3, you’ll immediately notice the differences.

    • Distributions

      • The 9 Best Linux Distros for Privacy-Focused Users

        The proliferation of cyberattacks and increasing security breaches is a matter of great concern in the open-source community. However, there is still hope to overcome these breaches, considering the ongoing stress on privacy-focused Linux distros.

        These open-source Linux OSes combine best-in-class tools, encryption, and virtualization tactics to counter threats. If privacy ranks high on your agenda, and you need to switch to a high-end security-oriented Linux OS, then you should check out the nine Linux distros listed below.

      • EndeavourOS and Manjaro: An in-depth Comparison Between Two of the Best Arch Linux Based Distros

        If you have ever tried using Arch Linux, you know it is almost impossible to install it without proper documentation and Linux knowledge. That’s the charm of Arch Linux, actually.

        But since Arch Linux lies on the expert end of the Linux distros spectrum, there exists several Arch-based distributions that try to make things easier for the common folks.

        Manjaro and EndeavourOS are two of the most popular choices when it comes to an ‘Arch-based Arch alternative’.

        So let’s take a look at the differences between these two. Why should you choose one Linux distribution over another?

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE 15.2 Reached End-of-Life – openSUSE News

          Users of openSUSE Leap 15.2 will not be receiving security and maintenance updates as the version is now EOL (end of life) as of Jan. 4, 2022.

          EOL ends updates for the operating system minor version. Those who continue to use EOL versions will be exposed to vulnerabilities because these discontinued versions no longer receive security and maintenance updates. This is why users need to upgrade to the newer minor release; openSUSE Leap 15.3!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora plans to redesign the Anaconda installer

          The community of Fedora It has been proposed to redesign and modernize the graphical user interface of Anaconda, the installer used primarily by Red Hat Spectrum and RHEL clones.

          As can be read in an entry published in the Fedora community blog, The intention is rewrite the Anaconda graphical interface with web technologies and employing Cockpit. Until now (and it will surely continue to be the case in future versions of Fedora) the graphical interface of the installer has been built with GTK, but some members of the community have begun to see that it is time to modernize and improve it.

          From Fedora they believe that Cockpit is a mature solution with great support for the installer backend: Anaconda DBus. In addition, it seems that there is understanding with those responsible for Cockpit, since they have provided their support and have knowledge of what Anaconda managers might need, something to which is added the increasing support that Cockpit has according to words published in the blog post.

        • Extracting dependencies from Python packages | Red Hat Developer

          Python’s easy-to-learn syntax and rich standard library, combined with the large number of open source software packages available on the Python Package Index (PyPI), make it a common programming language of choice for quick prototyping leading to production systems. Python is a good fit for many use cases, and is particularly popular in the data science domain for data exploration and analysis.

          Thus, Python’s rapid rise on the TIOBE Index of the most popular programming languages shouldn’t be a surprise. PyPI hosts more than 3 million releases of Python packages. Each package release has metadata associated with it, which makes the packages themselves an interesting dataset to explore and experiment with.

          In this article, you’ll learn how to extract metadata and dependency information from Python package releases. You’ll also see how this process works in Project Thoth, which provides Python programmers with information about support for the packages they use, along with the dependencies, performance, and security of those packages.

        • How to ward off the Great Resignation in financial services IT | The Enterprisers Project

          The fight for talent is real: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in September 2021, 4.4 million U.S. workers quit their jobs. That is 6 times the population of Luxembourg.

          Globally, the “Great Resignation” has led to increased challenges and potential growth delays, with 73 percent of CEOs citing labor shortage as their biggest external concern that is most likely to disrupt their business in the next 12 months, according to research by Fortune and Deloitte.

          Financial services CIOs should build a culture that retains industry-leading talent.
          The upshot for CIOs in financial services: You must adapt to recruit and keep talent – and build a culture that retains industry-leading talent. After recently interviewing more than 20 former financial services IT leaders who departed for other companies, I learned that it isn’t about a bad boss or poor pay. They all fondly remembered their time at the firms, yet that wasn’t enough to keep them.

        • Red Hat Statement on White House Open Source Security Summit

          Matt Hicks, executive vice president of Products and Technologies at Red Hat, Chris Wright, senior vice president and chief technology officer (CTO), and Mark Bohannon, vice president of Global Public Policy at Red Hat, along with representatives from other technology industry leaders, today attended a meeting hosted by the White House National Security Council focused on cybersecurity and efforts to advance open source security. Red Hat is the industry’s leading provider of open source software solutions.

        • The Red Hat ecosystem: Then vs. now

          Once upon a time, the Red Hat ecosystem was oriented around one platform: Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          Those days are gone.

          While RHEL remains one pillar of Red Hat’s offerings, the Red Hat ecosystem evolved to include a variety of other products and services through acquisitions and new development. Concurrently, key facets of the relationship between Red Hat, Linux and open source have changed in important ways.

          Let’s examine the state of the Red Hat ecosystem in the 2020s and its relationship to the larger software market. We’ll look at the major products and services Red Hat offers — and how those services interact with third-party tools and software, such as Linux distributions based on RHEL.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Shapes the Future of Snapcraft (and Snap Packs) – itsfoss.net

          There has been some controversy surrounding Snapcraft in recent months that was not looking good for Canonical’s packaging system, but nothing from official sources, but discussions in the community. Now, however, reliable information about the future of Snapcraft and Snap, the package format created by the Ubuntu developer not only for Ubuntu, but for the entire GNU / Linux ecosystem.

          Quickly commenting on what has nothing to do with this news, let’s say that if two or three years ago the support for Snap was more prominent, especially from commercial developers, while Flatpak grew and settled in the community, the Tables have turned and it is now when the second seems to be establishing itself as the most widespread and appreciated alternative, at least among the main Linux distributions.

          Thus, Flatpak has been improving a lot in recent times, while it is increasingly possible to find more applications in this format, in Flathub at least. Snap is not bad either, but it has been dragging problems for years that have not been solved, beyond its centralized model, which is not going to change (Flatpak falls into the same practice, since almost everything is in Flathub). For example, the slow startup of Snap applications.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition: Linux-based smartphone launches for US$399 with the Rockchip RK3399S

        Additionally, the 160.8 x 76.6 x 11.1 mm device has a 6-inch and 720p display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition has relatively thick bezels by modern smartphone standards, along with an 8 MP front-facing camera and a 12 MP rear-facing one, specifically the Sony IMX258. A 3,000 mAh battery powers the device, which supports up to 15 W charging.

        Currently, the PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition supports fewer operating systems than the original PinePhone, which works with over 20 OSes. Still, the Explorer Edition can run Arch Linux ARM and Manjaro ARM, among others. The PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition is pre-orderable now for US$399.

        For reference, PINE64 states that all orders placed before January 18 will ship later this month. Please note that the company will ship the smartphone from Hong Kong, so you may incur customs duties and taxes, depending on where you live.

      • Compact industrial computer builds on Raspberry Pi CM4

        Edatec’s compact, $113-and-up “CM4 Nano” industrial box is built around the RPi CM4 with HDMI, MIPI-DSI/CSI, GbE, WiFi/BT, 3x USB 3.0, 40-pin GPIO, a 12-18VDC input, and -25 to 60°C support.

        Edatech has launched a 103 x 62 x 21.5mm industrial system that runs Linux on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. The company compares the box, which offers access to the CM4 Nano carrier board, with the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC. Touted advantages include a full-size HDMI port with USB-based touchscreen support, a wide-range 12-18VDC input, and an RTC. There is also a wider operating range, which is variably listed at -25 to 50°C and -25 to 60°C.

      • Slimbook 4K grabber, a good choice for Linux

        Today we are going to present a device that can be of great help to those who are dedicated to making screencasting from Linux: Slimbook 4K grabber.

        Although Linux has seen a great improvement as a desktop operating system over the last decade, there are still areas where it is almost useless, and sometimes not because of you. Captors are one of those segments because few of the manufacturers mainstream they support the system, not even through Android or ChromeOS (which would bounce back to GNU / Linux thanks to the kernel).

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Pico Does PID | Hackaday

          If you wanted to, say, control a temperature you might think you could just turn on a heater until you reach the desired temperature and then turn the heater off. That sort of works, but it is suboptimal — you’ll tend to overshoot the goal and then as the system cools down, you’ll have to catch up and the result is often a system that oscillates around the desired value but never really settles on the correct temperature. To solve that, you can use a PID — proportional integral derivative — loop and that’s what [veebch] has done with a Rasberry Pi PICO and Micropython.

          The idea is to control an output signal based on the amount of difference between the actual temperature and the desired temperature (the proportional error). In addition, the amount is adjusted based on the long term error (integral) and any short term change (the derivative). You can also see a video about using the control loop to make a better sous vide burger, below.

        • New free resources for young people to create 3D worlds with code in Unity
        • Network interface routing priority on a Raspberry Pi

          As I start using Raspberry Pis for more and more network routing activities—especially as the Compute Module 4 routers based on Debian, OpenWRT, and VyOS have started appearing—I’ve been struggling with one particular problem: how can I set routing priorities for network interfaces?

        • Ghost in the ethernet optic

          You see, Smart SFP’s are a bit of a terrifying concept. SFP’s are (until now apparently) actually quite simple devices that “simply” take input electrical signals and turn them into optical signalling, or carry them down a Direct Attach Cable (DAC)

          The proposed smart SFP said, “Hey there is plenty of space in this thing! Why not also put a little FPGA, and an ARM core that can share the ethernet link, that way we can do more things!”

        • Throwback to 2021, More from Librem 5 in 2022 – Purism

          We’ve had a really good year of not only adding more functionality for the phone to the Linux kernel and the mainline.

          We have continued to ship out more Librem 5s each month and continued to communicate more reliable shipping estimates.

          The Librem 5 phone has become quite usable in 2021 and will get much better in 2022. Here is a complete run-down from our team.

        • This clock counts down to retirement | Arduino Blog

          For most people, the idea of retiring is a very exciting thought. Finally, after decades of hard work, you can clock out for the last time and spend the rest of your life relaxing and enjoying your leisure years. RdRnr318’s coworker updates her whiteboard every day to countdown the number of days until she gets to retire. To save Martha some effort and reduce the office’s marker budget, RdRnr318 built this “Nearly-Autonomous Retirement Countdown Display” to replace the whiteboard.

          This device does exactly what it says on the tin: it shows a countdown timer with the number of days until Martha reaches her retirement. It also displays the countdown in seconds, minutes, and hours, so Martha can get granular with her retirement daydreams. This device needs no buttons for setting the time, because RdRnr318 programmed it specifically for Martha. Her retirement date is hardcoded and there is a real-time clock with a battery backup, so it can automatically calculate the countdown even after losing power.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source maintainer threatens to throw in the towel if companies won’t ante up

        Yet another developer of open source software has tired of companies utilizing the code he helps maintain without giving anything back to support the project.

        On Tuesday, Christofer Dutz, creator of Apache PLC4X, said he will stop providing community support for the software if corporate users fail to step up and open their wallets.


        “This is my final attempt,” he wrote. “If this also doesn’t help with getting at least some form of financial attribution for my hard work, I will close down my business and there will be no further form of support from my side.”

        This lack of financial support is particularly remarkable given his claims about the potential value that can be accrued by running Apache PLC4X. In a previous blog post he describes prototyping a data collection system using the software that would have saved the unnamed customer €20m.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla and Mint

          • Available Linux Mint 20.3 with the pragmatism and ease of always – itsfoss.net [Ed: Late one, might be plagiarised]

            Linux Mint 20.3, whose code name is Una, is already among us to continue the path of the most popular Ubuntu derivative, which is mainly responsible for facilitating the transition from Windows to Linux thanks to the fact that in its three editions it offers desktops of the style that has generally spent the Redmond giant.

            We start with what is the most visible face of this distribution: the desktop environment Cinnamon. This time we find the version 5.2.5 along with certain aesthetic changes and accompanied by a large number of graphical tools that make life easier for the user, among which are TimeShift for the creation and management of snapshots and the driver manager.

            Seeing that the desktop is essentially more of the same, applications end up having more prominence. In the first place it has been mentioned Hypnotix IPTV, the streaming application that supports TV channels, movies and series. According to distributors, Linux Mint 20.3 looks better than ever thanks to the addition of support for dark mode. In addition, it supports the Xtream API, has incorporated M3U support and local playlists and included a search function to find TV channels, series and movies.

          • Linux Mint and Mozilla join forces to standardize the Firefox package

            Clement lefebvre has announced a agreement between Linux Mint and Mozilla that will affect how Firefox is served to users of the well-known derivative of Ubuntu. The project leader has made it clear that this alliance is both commercial and technical.

            The core part of the agreement is that the Firefox build supplied through the Linux Mint repositories will start using the default settings used by Mozilla and not the Linux Mint one. This means that the default page will no longer be ‘https://www.linuxmint.com/start/‘and the default search engines will be those of Mozilla’s partners (Google, Amazon, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc) rather than those used by the distribution (Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc). Another issue affected is that the code changes from Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Debian will no longer be incorporated, although the package format will remain Deb.

            For Mozilla, the goal of its alliance with Mint is to make Firefox work as equally as possible across distributions to facilitate maintenance and simplify development and bug fixes. This strategy is by no means new on the part of the foundation, but it is a path that it began to follow many months ago to improve the development of Firefox for Linux, since most of the users of the open source system do not use the browser builds provided by Mozilla, but rather those offered by distributions. That, for many years, made the resolution of bugs extremely difficult.

          • Firefox is the most popular web browser of 2021 – itsfoss.net

            Surprise! Notice what you expected, right? In short, it doesn’t matter how many years we’ve been doing our year-end survey, because in the browser section Firefox always wins… and the 2021 survey is no exception. Do we leave it like this? No, because although we know how squared we are for many things Linux users, in the nuances is the interest.

            Thus, it does not matter that Firefox has won the majority favor of the public for another year, because what is really interesting is to see how much support it maintains in relation to previous years, as well as to see the rest of the table and the movements that may have occurred in the same. And is that the world of browsers is not the most changing, but it evolves, even when it may seem otherwise.

            On the other hand, and with regard to the survey in general, this year there were not as many votes as the previous ones, but there was not as much time to vote either. In any case, with more or less votes, what is relevant in the results of the survey is not the raw participation, but rather the percentages that are distributed among the different options and on which we are going to influence to assess the whole.

          • Personalize Firefox with Colorways

            New users will similarly have the choice to opt into this new experience and they will be guided through the customization process. An additional notification for colorway selection will be integrated into the welcome experience. This notification will be visible only after downloading Firefox 94 for the first time.

          • [Old] Introducing new Colorways for Firefox 94

            Today, Firefox is launching Colorways, a new feature that allows our users to express their most authentic selves and to bring them joy while browsing the web. As we challenge what the browser has been, and expand and define the vision of what Firefox browser is and can be, part of that challenge is to ask ourselves “who is it for and who can use it easily and feel included in the experience?”

            We caught up with Mikal Lewis, Senior Director, Product Management for Firefox, to hear more about his vision for Firefox and the impetus for launching Colorways.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Fuzz Testing YottaDB

          Every day, we find fault with our software, so that you don’t!

          Robustness in software is a mark of quality that’s often easy to lose in development.

          Thanks to Zachary Minneker of Security Innovation, Inc., we are implementing fuzz testing to make our software even more robust. Fuzz testing provides us with one more way to generate test cases to test that the software does not do what it is not supposed to do. As expected from a new form of testing, we have discovered bugs that we did not know existed, and which no user has reported to us.

        • How To Connect R Shiny to Postgres Database – The Definite Guide

          Today you’ll learn how to connect R and R Shiny to the Postgres database – one of the most well-known open-source databases. There’s no better way to learn than through a hands-on example, so you’ll also create a fully-working interactive dashboard with R Shiny.

          We assume you already have the Postgres database installed, as well as a GUI management tool like pgAdmin. Installation is OS-specific, so we won’t go through that today. You can Google the installation steps – it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • You’ll be able to write your next Klingon opera in LibreOffice

          Star Trek’s fictional species of space vikings have technically had their own language since The Trouble with Tribbles way back in the original TV series, but the film series started expanding Klingon into a semi-functional language during the 1980s. With a combination of canon works and the help of enthusiastic fans, Klingon has become a somewhat “real” language over the few decades, complete with its own promotional institute and official translations of such works as Hamlet, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and A Christmas Carol.

      • Programming/Development

        • Open Source Sabotage Incident Hits Software Supply Chain | eSecurityPlanet

          An astonishing incident in recent days highlights the risks of widespread dependence on open source software – while also highlighting the free labor corporations benefit from by using open source software.

          Marak Squires, an open source coder and maintainer, sabotaged his repository to protest against unpaid work and his failed attempts to monetize faker.js and color.js, two major NPM packages used by a huge range of other packages and projects.

          The software industry relies on various interdependent ecosystems and resources. This incident shows a well-known and unsolved issue for the software supply chain: the dependency hell. It’s especially true in the world of Nodes.js and JavaScript, but it’s also a common concern with open source software in general.

          Hackers try to infect legitimate apps during a supply chain attack to distribute malware. In the case of faker.js and color.js, we have a pretty rare variant that leverages the highest privileged access.

        • When open-source developers go bad | ZDNet

          Chances are unless you’re a JavaScript programmer, you’ve never heard of the open-source Javascript libraries ‘colors.js’ and ‘faker.js.” They’re simple programs that respectively let you use colored text on your node.js, a popular JavaScript runtime, console, and create fake data for testing. Faker.js is used with more than 2,500 other Node Package Manager (NPM) programs and is downloaded 2.4 million times per week. Colors.js is built into almost 19,000 other NPM packages and is downloaded 23 million times a week. In short, they’re everywhere. And, when their creator, JavaScript developer Marak Squires, fouled them up, tens of thousands of JavaScript programs blew up.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp 1.0.8: Updated, Strict Headers

          The Rcpp team is thrilled to share the news of the newest release 1.0.8 of Rcpp which hit CRAN today, and has already been uploaded to Debian as well. Windows and macOS builds should appear at CRAN in the next few days. This release continues with the six-months cycle started with release 1.0.5 in July 2020. As a reminder, interim ‘dev’ or ‘rc’ releases will alwasys be available in the Rcpp drat repo; this cycle there were once again seven (!!) – times two as we also tested the modified header (more below). These rolling release tend to work just as well, and are also fully tested against all reverse-dependencies.

          Rcpp has become the most popular way of enhancing R with C or C++ code. Right now, around 2478 packages on CRAN depend on Rcpp for making analytical code go faster and further, along with 242 in BioConductor.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Etel Adnan’s Missing Arab Companions

      Etel Adnan, whose work is being celebrated in an exhibition at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, was Arab American. Although she lived in Paris for the past three decades, before that Adnan lived in Sausalito, California. I am an Arab American; so are Ralph Nader, Leila Ahmed, Rashida Tlaib and Naomi Shihab Nye. You’ll find us engaged in all fields—education, industry, medicine, journalism, community service, sports, politics and the arts– and practicing many faiths.

      I offer this as context for the splendid exhibition featuring Etel Adnan at New York City’s prestigious showplace, The Guggenheim. Although contrary to what some claim, recognition of her talent did not arrive late in Adnan’s life. For years, her work has been widely exhibited and celebrated in Europe. Moreover, while she surpassed any specific religious identity, Adnan was an unequivocally proud Arab woman.

    • The Future Of Sports Can Be Changed By NFTs, Virtual Reality, And DAOs

      One of the hottest gifts in Wisconsin over the holiday season was Packers “common stock,” allowing fans who buy in to hold a small percentage of ownership in the NFL franchise. The Packers are selling 300,000 shares of the stock priced at $300 to raise money for stadium improvements at Lambeau Field and sold more than 100,000 in the first week alone. Many are skeptical of why fans are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on shares that, by rule, cannot provide them with any financial benefit. You can find an explanation by looking at a seemingly unrelated technology: non-fungible tokens. An examination of the market for NFTs not only provides insight into the “common stock” phenomenon, but may also provide a glimpse at a different future for how we support and even participate in the decision-making process of our favorite sports teams.

    • Natalie Eilbert, by User 4357

      There’s there there. A sweet empty vacuum bag smells of industry, its provenance. I try a xylophone note, a sound like burnt yellow. Approximations don’t mimic; they stand in a room full of doors. My legs are hungry for money, hang over a man’s ribs. I argue I am trying to be myself when I sever a cucumber. Each object presents its presiding objects. An elbow grinds into a caramelizing thigh bruise. I remove an article, an article too particular to understand. A kitten sleeps, shaped as a pair of slumped lungs. I must laugh at my brain fog, seran wrap over my eyes. Is authorship anything? I am a single combination of cells, dander under a god nail, duplicating. I press my thumb to my femoral nerve until a white light blinks myself open. You enter me, a door warped. In the crease, there.

    • Strange and Intimate Encounters With Kathy Acker

      McKenzie Wark met Kathy Acker in Sydney in 1995 at a reading for 21C Magazine, a publication both wrote for at the time. That evening, they ended up sitting next to each other at a dinner party. Kathy began talking to McKenzie and, just like that, the rest of the room fell away. At the end of the night, McKenzie drove Kathy back to her hotel, idling momentarily at the entrance until Kathy asked impatiently, “Well, are you coming up or not?” Quickly and unceremoniously, their clothes came off and they found their way to the futon. There was a lot of sex and then some talking about the sex. As in her writing, Kathy invited sexual frankness.

    • IndieWeb Search results are also feeds

      I decided to write feeds to accompany search result pages so that I could subscribe to content that matches a particular query. For example, I currently subscribe to the search page for my domain name and “coffee.” This lets me monitor changes in the search results. If new content makes its way onto the first page, that content will show in my feed reader, no matter when it was published. This is a whole new way to discover content. If a page has managed to make its way to page one on a term I care about, the content is probably going to be at least somewhat interesting to me (assuming the term is competitive).

    • Microwave Sampler Is Like Time Domain Mixer | Hackaday

      [Gregory] is building some microwave gear and wanted to convert a 3.3 GHz signal to a 12 MHz intermediate frequency. You might think of using a mixer, but you’d need a local oscillator of nearly 3.3 GHz which is not only hard to build, but also will be very close to the signal of interest which is not a great idea. Instead, [Gregory] opted for a sampler, which uses an effect you usually try to avoid — aliasing — to allow downconversion with a much smaller local oscillator. You can see the design in the video below.

      In the case of converting 3.3 GHz to 12 MHz, the local oscillator is around 100 MHz. How does that work? Watch the video and find out. The final project will triple the 3.3 GHz signal and we presume the 12 MHz downconvert is to easily phase lock the frequency using a PLL (phase-locked loop).

      The circuit is little more than an electronic switch and a capacitor. The first part of the video covers the theory of operation. About 7 minutes in, the whiteboard talk gets more practical, using diodes as switching elements. At the very end, we see he has a PC board design but it isn’t generally available. Still, the theory explanation is well worth the 20 minute watch.

    • Science

    • Education

      • The Monster in the Academic Room

        The Lyle Center and the computer university 

        For 16 weeks I met 8 students at the Lyle Center / Department of Regenerative Studies, College of Environmental Design. The Lyle Center stands on a hill, overlooking the main campus. Yet there’s very little it shares with the university. The two institutions differ in location, architecture, and mission.

      • The Supreme Court Is Poised to Make Critical Decisions in School “Culture War”
      • Second-hand English-language bookstore opens in Tallinn Old Town

        While not the first second-hand bookstore to have opened in the heart of Tallinn’s UNESCO-listed Old Town in recent years, Rüütel & Matilda is currently the only one of its kind in business.

        The founders say it is run as an NGO, with the express aim of encouraging the art of reading, in the traditional way.

      • Stop Using Pie-Charts

        This article shows failures of pie charts, and provides some alternative plots (and matplotlib code) to use in their place.

    • Hardware

      • Soviet-Era Auto Dialler Uses Magnetic Rope Core Memory | Hackaday

        We’ve seen a few interesting magnetic core memories on these fine pages over the years, but we don’t recall seeing too many user programmable magnetic core memory devices. This interesting Russian telephone auto dialer in its day would have been a very useful device, capable of storing and dialing forty user programmable 7-digit numbers. [mikeselectricstuff] tore into one (video, embedded below), and found some very interesting tech. For its era, this is high technology stuff. Older Russian tech has a reputation for incredibly ingenious use of older parts, that can’t be denied. After all, if it works, then there’s no need to change it. But anyway, what’s interesting here is how the designers decided to solve the problem of programming and recalling of numbers, without using a microprocessor, by using discrete logic and core rope memory.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • ‘Tragically Wrong’: Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

        Blocking an executive order from the White House that public health experts said would prevent hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, the right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for large private employers, claiming the Labor Department does not have the congressional authority to impose such a requirement.

        The court ruled 6-3 against the mandate, which would have applied to employers with 100 or more workers. Liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer dissented.

      • Long term exposure to air pollution may heighten COVID-19 risk: Study

        The association was strongest for particulate matter, with an average annual raise of 1 ug/m3 linked to a 5 per cent increase in the infection rate. This equates to an extra 294 cases/100,000 people a year, indicating the findings, which focus on the inhabitants of one Northern Italian city.

        While further research is needed to confirm cause and effect, the findings should reinforce efforts to cut air pollution, say the researchers.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • AWS is Not a Dumb Pipe

          The telcos didn’t go down without a fight. They successfully got so many regulations passed against VoIP that it served a serious barrier to entry for more than a decade. The hyperscalers have an even better card to play than regulation: open source. By bringing the cost of software down to zero, they can commoditize their complement. If AWS open sourced all higher-level services, they would still be a “dumb pipe”, but with fewer competitors.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Open Source Litmus Chaos Engineering Moves Up Cloud-Native Stack

                The open source Litmus chaos engineering project has reached a new level of maturity in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation as usage and features grow.

              • The Linux Foundation Energy & EVerest Join Forces To Create An Open Sourced EV Charging Software [Ed: More ‘greenwashing’ from the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation not staying in its lane]

                Yesterday, I met with Marco Möller, CEO and cofounder of Pionix, and Dr. Shuli Goodman, executive director of Linux Foundation Energy (LF Energy), who shared some details and insights about a major problem in electric vehicle charging and how their project, EVerest, is designed to solve that problem. EVerest is an open-source software stack designed for EV charging infrastructure and LF Energy just announced the project partnership on its website.

                In a nutshell, EVerest is a stack of several software packages run on most Linux distributors. The goal is an open-source software stack for EV charging infrastructure that runs on any device, from AC home chargers to public DC charging stations. Marco told me that the problem the software is solving is a critical issue of EV owners having trouble finding a working EV charger.

              • The OpenSSF and the Linux Foundation Address Software Supply Chain Security Challenges at White House Summit – Linux Foundation

                Today marks an important moment in the Linux Foundation’s history of engagement with public sector organizations. The White House convened an important cross-section of the Open Source developer and commercial ecosystem along with leaders and experts of many U.S. federal agencies to identify the challenges present in the open source software supply chain and share ideas on ways to mitigate risk and enhance resilience.

                At the meeting, the Linux Foundation and the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) represented their hundreds of communities and projects by highlighting collective cybersecurity efforts and sharing their intent to work with the administration across public and private sectors.

        • Security

          • Human Rights Groups Warn UN Cybercrime Treaty Must Avoid ‘Chilling Effect’

            Ahead of a United Nations session next week, nearly 130 academics and advocacy groups asserted that “it is vitally important to apply a human rights-based approach” to drafting a potential cybercrime treaty.

            “A convention without such safeguards or that dilutes states’ human rights obligations would place individuals at risk and make our digital presence even more insecure.”

          • Nearly 130 Public Interest Organizations and Experts Urge the United Nations to Include Human Rights Safeguards in Proposed UN Cybercrime Treaty

            The proposed treaty will likely deal with cybercrime, international cooperation, and access to potential digital evidence by law enforcement authorities, as well as human rights and procedural safeguards. UN member states have already written opinions discussing the scope of the treaty, and their proposals vary widely. In a letter to the committee chair, EFF and Human Rights Watch along with partners across the world asked that members include human rights considerations at every step in the drafting process. We also recommended  that cross-border investigative powers include strong human rights safeguards, and that global civil society be provided opportunities to participate robustly in the development and drafting of any potential convention.

            Failing to prioritize human rights and procedural safeguards in criminal investigations can have dire consequences.  As many countries have already abused their existing cybercrime laws to undermine human rights and freedoms and punish peaceful dissent, we have grave concerns that this Convention might become a powerful weapon for oppression. We also worry that cross-border investigative powers without strong human rights safeguards will sweep away progress on protecting people’s privacy rights, creating a race to the bottom among jurisdictions with the weakest human rights protections.

            We hope the Member States participating in the development and drafting of the treaty will recognize the urgency of the risks we mention, commit to include civil society in their upcoming discussions, and take our recommendations to heart.

          • EFF Asks Appeals Court to Rule DMCA Anti-Circumvention Provisions Violate First Amendment
          • EFF Threat Lab’s “apkeep” APK Downloader, Now More Capable and Available in More Places

            In addition to the ability to download Android packages from the Google Play Store and APKPure, we’ve added support for downloading from the free and open source app repository F-Droid. Packages downloaded from F-Droid are checked against the repository maintainers’ signing key, just like in the F-Droid app itself. The package index is also cached, which makes it easy to run multiple subsequent requests for downloads.

            You can now download specific versions of apps from either the apk-pure app store, which mirrors the Google Play Store, or from f-droid. To try it, issue the following command to see which versions are available:

            Once you’ve picked a desired version, download it with this command:

          • Microsoft touts first PCs to ship natively with secure Pluton chip [Ed: This is not about security at all]

            Asked why the chip is initially disabled, the spokesperson said enterprise customers “have told us they extensively test and evaluate any new security-related software or feature that will be introduced into their network and can choose to enable Pluton on their devices as they see fit. As Pluton rolls out into market and we have time to assess the customer demand for factory enablement, we will review enabling [it].”

            The Pluton processor is aimed at delivering greater protection than the existing Trusted Platform Module (TPM) as it’s a dedicated security chip that handles security features such as BitLocker, Windows Hello, and System Guard.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • San Francisco Police Illegally Used Surveillance Cameras at the George Floyd Protests. The Courts Must Stop Them

              By Hope Williams, Nathan Sheard, and Nestor Reyes

              The authors are community activists who helped organize and participated in protests against police violence in San Francisco after the murder of George Floyd. A hearing in their lawsuit against the San Francisco Police Department over surveillance of Union Square protests is scheduled for Friday. This article was first published in the San Francisco Standard.

              A year and a half ago, the San Francisco Police Department illegally spied on us and thousands of other Bay Area residents as we marched against racist police violence and the murder of George Floyd. Aided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the ACLU of Northern California, we have taken the SFPD to court.

            • Survey on the Digital Services Act: EU citizens want the right to use digital services anonymously

              Internet users should be given the right to use digital services anonymously, i.e. without having their personal data collected. According to a representative opinion poll conducted by YouGov among 10,064 EU citizens in December 2021 64% of respondents are in favour of such a right (with 21% opposed).

              Next week, Members of the European Parliament will vote on their final position on the Digital Services Act. At the request of the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), an amendment on introducing a right to use digital services anonymously will be voted.

            • Apple to allow alternative payment system for 1st time in S. Korea

              The move came as a new law went into effect in the country in September last year, restricting app store operators, such as Google and Apple, from forcing their in-app payment systems on developers.

              In November, Google pledged to provide an alternative payment system on its app store in South Korea at a slightly reduced service charge in an apparent move to abide by the country’s new law.

            • [Reposted] Using Foreign Nationals to Bypass US Surveillance Restrictions

              What’s most interesting to me about this new information is how the US used the Australians to get around domestic spying laws: [...]

            • FBI Honeypot Phone Company Anom Shipped Over 100 Phones to the United States

              Anom, the encrypted phone company secretly commandeered by the FBI and which surreptitiously provided all of its users’ messages to the authorities, shipped many more devices into the U.S. than previously understood, according to multiple files obtained by Motherboard.

              The news highlights that although much of the Anom operation focused on devices overseas, Anom phones were still present in the U.S., raising questions about how many total devices were in the country during the years-long undercover operation.

            • The FCC proposes new data breach rules for phone companies

              The current rules give telecommunication providers seven business days to notify the FBI and Secret Service of data breaches that leak customer proprietary network information, or CPNI. In most cases, the company cannot notify customers about the breach until seven business days after information has been relayed to federal law enforcement. The proposal suggests doing away with that mandatory waiting period and adds the FCC to the list of agencies that companies will have to notify in the case of a data breach. It also says that they would have to send out notifications even in the case of inadvertent breaches.

            • Meta sued for $3.2 billion in UK class action lawsuit alleging Facebook exploited data

              Meta, the parent company for Facebook, is being sued for £2.3 billion ($3.2 billion) in a class action lawsuit in the United Kingdom for allegedly exploiting user data.

              The senior adviser to British watchdog group Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, is suing Meta on behalf of people who used Facebook in the U.K. between 2015 to 2019 for allegedly making users give personal data in order to get on the platform and earning billions of dollars from the tactic, Reuters reported.

            • Facebook faces $3.2 bln UK class action over market dominance

              Social media giant Facebook (FB.O), now known as Meta Platforms, faces a 2.3 billion pound plus ($3.2 billion plus) class action in Britain over allegations it abused its market dominance by exploiting the personal data of 44 million users.

              Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, a senior adviser to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog and a competition law academic, said she was bringing the case on behalf of people in Britain who had used Facebook between 2015 and 2019.

            • Unsafe anywhere: women human rights defenders speak out about Pegasus attacks – Access Now

              A new investigation led by Front Line Defenders reveals the hacking of two women human rights defenders (WHRDs) from Bahrain and Jordan using NSO Group’s notorious Pegasus spyware. The hacking discovery comes on the heels of the Pegasus Project revelations of governments in the MENA region and beyond using the spyware to perpetrate human rights abuses and repress activists and journalists.

              The impact of surveillance on women is particularly egregious and traumatizing given how governments have weaponized personal information extracted through spyware to intimidate, harass, and publicly smear the targets’ reputations. As a result, women targets of surveillance live in a perpetual state of fear, become socially isolated and restricted in their social lives, work, and activism. As expressed by one of the victims, Ebtisam Al-Saegh, “personal freedoms are over for me, they no longer exist. I am not safe at home, on the street, or anywhere.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Language of Violence

        That day, Brooks hit Sumner as he sat writing at a desk. The blows held such force that it snapped his cane into several pieces. He continued to beat him with the part of the cane that had a golden head. Sumner was nearly killed in the attack and the Senate floor was drenched in his blood. He would not be able to return to the Senate for three years due to debilitating injuries and chronic pain that would be with him for the rest of his life. Brooks was arrested and tried, but he only had to pay $300 and received no jail time. Many historians and scholars believe that this incident played a large role in the lead up to the American Civil War.

        There were several other incidents like this one in the Capitol over the years. Several attempts at assassination. Some coup attempts, most notably the one that targeted Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the notorious “Business Plot.” And some might say that these attacks were examples of threats to “American democracy.” But one would have to accept that the United States was a democracy in the first place.

      • Hey, Hey, USA! How Many Bombs Did You Drop Today?

        Over the past 20 years, as documented in the table below, U.S. and allied air forces have dropped over 337,000 bombs and missiles on other countries. That is an average of 46 strikes per day for 20 years. This endless bombardment has not only been deadly and devastating for its victims but is broadly recognized as seriously undermining international peace and security and diminishing America’s standing in the world.

        The U.S. government and political establishment have been remarkably successful at keeping the American public in the dark about the horrific consequences of these long-term campaigns of mass destruction, allowing them to maintain the illusion of U.S. militarism as a force for good in the world in their domestic political rhetoric.

      • Yemenis See U-15 Football Victory Over Saudi Arabia as Sign of Things To Come

        SANA’A, YEMEN – As the Saudi war against Yemen enters 2022, Yemenis seem more determined than ever to hold victory ceremonies and forge ahead into another year of struggle against the Saudi onslaught – notwithstanding a new scorched-earth campaign launched by the oil-rich kingdom, dubbed Operation Happy Yemen Freedom. “As we did before, surely nothing will prevent us from achieving more victories during 2022, until the eventual liberation of all our homeland,” a fresh-faced teenager said during a sporting event at Althawra Sports City Stadium in Sana’a, where damaged stands could be seen, the result of a recent airstrike.

      • Treaties, Constitutions, and Laws Against War

        Of course, what counts as legal is not just what’s written down, but also what gets treated as legal, what is never prosecuted as a crime. But that’s precisely the point of knowing and making more widely known the illegal status of war: to advance the cause of treating war as the crime that, according to written law, it is. Treating something as a crime means more than just prosecuting it. There may be better institutions in some cases than courts of law for achieving reconciliation or restitution, but such strategies are not assisted by maintaining the pretense of war’s legality, war’s acceptability.

      • Abolish NATO

        Unfortunately, the article misses the point. The point is that NATO should have been abolished when the Cold War ended, which would, needless to say, have meant that it would not have absorbed those former Warsaw Pact countries and would not have moved U.S. bases, missiles, and troops inexorably closer to Russia’s borders. 

        The ostensible purpose of NATO was to protect Western Europe from an invasion by the Soviet Union, which, ironically, had been America’s partner and ally in World War II. At the end of the Cold War, the threat of such an invasion was non-existent. Therefore, NATO’s ostensible mission was over. NATO should have been disbanded immediately.

      • Opinion | The Very Dangerous New Cold War in Asia That Nobody Should Want

        The word “encirclement” does not appear in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by President Joe Biden on December 27th, or in other recent administration statements about its foreign and military policies. Nor does that classic Cold War era term “containment” ever come up. Still, America’s top leaders have reached a consensus on a strategy to encircle and contain the latest great power, China, with hostile military alliances, thereby thwarting its rise to full superpower status.

      • Why Do We Let Psychopaths In Suits Get Away With Murder?

        I don’t know the names of the men who poisoned and killed my father and my brother Stan, who died last Thursday, but I know where they worked and why they did it: just like Ruf, Dennis, Hunsucker and Pettis, they intentionally and knowingly took actions they knew would result in death when they sold asbestos to my dad’s employer and got my brother addicted to tobacco.

        The asbestos industry knew as early as the 1890s, and got definite confirmation in the 1940s that their product caused mesothelioma, a particularly brutal lung cancer that killed my father. Even today, their executives are trying to avoid responsibility for it: Johnson & Johnson is playing bankruptcy games to avoid paying for cancers caused by their asbestos-laced talcum powder, and not a single executive is even slightly worried about going to jail for all these dead people.

      • Automated Warfare Is Nothing New

        Here’s a scenario to consider: A military force has purchased a million cheap, disposable flying drones each the size of a deck of cards, each capable of carrying three grams of explosives—enough to kill a single person or, in a “shaped charge,” pierce a steel wall. They’ve been programmed to seek out and “engage” (kill) certain human beings, based on specific “signature” characteristics like carrying a weapon, say, or having a particular skin color. They fit in a single shipping container and can be deployed remotely. Once launched, they will fly and kill autonomously without any further human action.

      • Two reasons why “The Big Lie” is a bad name

        Now, while I think “The Big Lie” is a bad name, I don’t think it’s bad enough to change it retroactively. I’m just asking if we please can take more care next time we come up with names like this.

      • Madison Cawthorn’s Incitement of Insurrection Should Knock Him Off the Ballot

        On January 3, 2021, Madison Cawthorn was sworn in as the youngest member of the US House of Representatives. The 25-year-old Republican from North Carolina pledged in his oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

      • Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube

        The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol subpoenaed some of the country’s largest social media and tech companies on Thursday, arguing they had not been forthcoming following an August request for information.

        The four subpoenas were sent to Facebook parent company Meta, Twitter, Reddit and Alphabet’s YouTube.

      • Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes charged with seditious conspiracy for Jan. 6 role

        The founder and current leader of the right-wing militia group Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, was arrested Thursday for seditious conspiracy along with 10 of the group’s members — the first charges of sedition leveled against those who allegedly planned and executed the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

        It’s a significant moment that breaks down a key argument leveled by Trump allies — argued most prominently in the Wall Street Journal last week — that the breach was not truly an insurrection because no one had been charged with sedition.

      • FBI arrests Oath Keepers leader on Jan. 6 charges

        Federal prosecutors have charged the founder of the Oath Keepers and 10 other members of the far-right militia group with seditious conspiracy for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

        Stewart Rhodes, 56, was arrested Thursday in Little Elm, Texas, and also faces charges for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol.

        The Oath Keepers leader and founder has said he was present at the riot but never entered the Capitol. But members of the group were seen donning paramilitary gear and using a military formation to pass through crowds and enter the Capitol.

      • FBI arrests Oath Keepers leader on charge of seditious conspiracy involving Jan. 6 attack

        The Justice Department has unsealed a major indictment charging the leader of the Oath Keepers militia group along with multiple other members with seditious conspiracy related to their alleged coordination in advance of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

        The three indictments mark the Justice Department’s first Jan. 6 use of the seditious conspiracy charge, which accuses Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and other members of the group of conspiring to “oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power” from outgoing President Donald Trump to incoming President Joe Biden.

      • Republicans Seem Like They’re Pretty Much Done with Presidential Debates

        The RNC will vote on whether to officially adopt the change prohibiting candidates from participating in commission debates next month during its winter meeting in Salt Lake City.

      • RNC threatens to bar candidates from participating in official presidential debates

        The party also requested that the commission make its moderator selection process transparent, as well as adopt a code of conduct for debate moderators.

      • RNC moves to require presidential candidates to skip traditional commission debates

        The Republican National Committee (RNC) alerted the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Thursday that it plans to require GOP presidential nominees not to attend debates run by the commission going forward.

        “The RNC will initiate the process of amending the Rules of the Republican Party at our upcoming Winter Meeting to prohibit future Republican nominees from participating in CPD-sponsored debates,” wrote Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in the letter, which was obtained by The Hill.

      • Democracy in America

        Countries all over the world think of themselves as democratic. There are places with a much higher percentage of voting among the people than in the United States. Are they more democratic? In some places voting is mandatory. Some countries have one party rule, but the people vote. Some countries like Iran have a select group of people who decide who can and cannot run for office yet they think of themselves as democratic. In this case, many people are voting but not for their preferred candidates. In the United States, for most members of Congress and the President, it is Wall Street that decides who’s in and who’s out.

        The United States thinks of itself as the world leader in democracy. So let’s look at it closely. It now costs literally billions of dollars to run for president, and of the two who are given any chance to win, one of them is going to lose. They can lose by 1 percentage point or less, but nearly 50 percent of those who voted will not have any representation at the executive level. And with a low voting turnout, compared to other democracies, tens of millions who are eligible but don’t vote are in no way represented by the victor. We do not build coalitions with other parties; we do not even permit other parties to be in the running. In so many ways, we do not have a two-party system but more like one and one half, as both parties represent the interests of Wall Street, not Main Street. A Princeton/Northwestern study in 2014 identified the US as an oligarchy, not a democracy. It concludes that what the donors want is what is usually promoted and voted on in Congress, even if that does coincide with public opinion. Big Money rules and gains more and more power with each successive election to Congress or the White House and neither party objects to the point of trying to reverse that, especially with Citizens United. (Individual Democratic senators have pushed to repeal it but it steadfastly remains part of our electoral landscape.)

      • Will Democracy Die Before Our Eyes?
      • Destroying Democracy: China in Hong Kong

        That same year, students and professors at the University of Hong Kong erected a statue, called “Pillar of Shame,” to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. The tall sculpture by a Danish artist lasted until the end of 2021 when, in the dead of night, it was carved in half and removed. Two other sculptures of the same event at two other Hong Kong universities were also removed. The ongoing eclipse of civil society by the PRC authorities could not have been more starkly demonstrated.

        It Can Happen Here

      • Overthrow Democracy?

        In post-insurrection America today, one party has quit governing and sounds like a 24/7 talk radio station. A new book by the leading scholar on civil wars—How Civil Wars Start, by Barbara F. Walter—warns that the growing normalization of violent language, threats, and acts can become self-fulfilling. Timothy Snyder, author of the best-selling On Tyranny, thinks it “pathetically naive” to assume that the GOP won’t try to overturn the results if it loses the 2024 presidential election.

        Can we erect stronger levees to hold back the red tide of creeping fascism… before Trump, Manchin, and GOP governors entrench minority rule? Here’s a scorecard of 10 key variables that might answer that question, labeled either with a + (plausible) or a—(uphill): [...]

      • Germany convicts Syrian ex-colonel in ‘historic’ torture trial

        A German court on Thursday sentenced a former Syrian colonel to life in jail for crimes against humanity in a “historic” verdict hailed by victims as a victory for justice, as the first global trial over state-sponsored torture in Syria drew to an end.

        Anwar Raslan, 58, was found guilty of overseeing the murder of 27 people and the torture of 4,000 others at the Al-Khatib detention centre in Damascus, also known as “Branch 251″, in 2011 and 2012.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Julian Assange: A Thousand Days in Belmarsh

        Alison Mason of the Julian Assange Defence Committee reiterated those observations long made about the imprisonment at a gathering outside the Australian High Commission in London on that day.  The WikiLeaks founder was wrongfully confined “for publishing the war crimes of the US military leaked to him by whistleblower Chelsea Manning.”  She, along with supporters, had gathered before the High Commission “because Julian’s country could save him with a simple phone call.”   Mason’s admirably simple reasoning: that Australia had “a bargaining chip with AUKUS and trade deals.”  If only that were true.

        The continued detention of Assange in Belmarsh remains a scandal of kaleidoscopic cruelty.  It continues to imperil his frail health, further impaired by a stroke suffered in October last year and the ongoing risks associated with COVID-19.  It maintains a state of indefinite incarceration without bail, deputising the United Kingdom as committed gaolers for US interests. “Julian,” stated his fiancée Stella Moris, “is simply held at the request of the US government while they continue to abuse the US-UK extradition treaty for political ends.”

    • Environment

      • Environmental Justice Advocates Raise Alarm After White House Exits

        The Biden administration’s commitment to the advancement of environmental justice is the target of fresh doubt Thursday following departures in recent days of two key officials focused on the issue.

        The administration’s top environmental justice official, Cecilia Martinez—who served as senior director for environmental justice at the Council for Environmental Quality—announced her resignation last week.

      • Reversing the Chicago River

        Today, there’s still some remnants of Chicago’s trouble with waste water. On the South Branch of the Chicago River, there’s a section called Bubbly Creek. It literally bubbles with gases that are emitted from the decomposition of blood and guts from the meatpacking businesses that dumped their waste there in the early 1900s (the same meatpacking businesses chronicled in Upton Sinclar’s The Jungle).

      • General distribution of postal ads to be prohibited

        A new bill could regulate that people will have to indicate they do want ads, rather than having to indicate the opposite. If passed, it will mark the end of the yellow “no advertisement” stickers.

        Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development Carole Dieschbourg is working on a draft bill, expected to be filed in the not too distant future.

      • ‘Terrifying’ Hot Streak Continues as NOAA Says 2021 6th Warmest Year on Record

        Amid rising public alarm about human-caused global heating, U.S. government scientists announced Thursday that 2021 was the sixth hottest year since records began in 1880.

        “Failure to act together with the global community will all but ensure more devastating impacts and even irreversible climate tipping points.”

      • 2021 was hot as hell, NASA confirms

        The last eight years have been the eight hottest years on record, NASA and the National Oceanic Administration (NOAA) confirmed today. 2021 ranks as the sixth hottest year on record, the agencies said, as global average temperatures trend upward. Rankings aside, there were plenty of red flags throughout 2021 to show us how remarkable the year was for temperature extremes.

      • Big Bank, Corporate Destruction of Forests Worsening Climate Crisis: Report

        A new report published Thursday details how some of the world’s biggest corporations and banks are exacerbating the global climate emergency by fueling the destruction of the world’s tropical rainforests.

        “Halting agriculture-driven deforestation to halve emissions and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 is not an option but a necessity.”

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Historic Offshore Wind Farm Is a Very Good Thing

          The Biden-Harris White House announced Wednesday that The Department of the Interior is offering a lease sale for offshore wind in the New York Bight, off the coast of New York and New Jersey. The sale will allow companies to put in enough wind turbines to generate 7 gigawatts (GW) of green energy, or possibly more. That would power 2 million homes.

        • With Billions in Fines, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Ranks Are ‘Packed With Rogues’

          The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an ultra-powerful business lobby, does not disclose its members, but it represents the interests of America’s largest corporations — some of which have a long record of breaking state and federal laws.

          A new report from consumer watchdog group Public Citizen details how 111 known members of the Chamber — including major polluters and banks that back fossil fuels — have violated state and federal laws at least 15,896 times since 2000, totaling more than $156 billion in fines and penalties.

        • Jack Dorsey’s Block to build an open bitcoin mining system

          In a tweet thread on Thursday, Block’s general manager for hardware, Thomas Templeton, laid out the company’s plans about building the mining system.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Top Global Brands and Asset Managers Still Lack Adequate Anti-Deforestation Policies, Report Finds

          Heinz, Jimmy Choo and BlackRock are among hundreds of household names doing “little or nothing” to end deforestation, a major new report has found.

          The new Forest 500 report, published today by environmental group Global Canopy, assessed 350 top companies and 150 financial institutions that fund them, finding that a third of companies have no policies in place at all to ensure their products are not driving deforestation. 

    • Finance

      • Crypto’s Heavy Carbon Footprint

        But the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency has environmentalists on edge, as the digital “mining” of it creates a massive carbon footprint due to the staggering amount of energy it requires. Based on data from the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Indexfrom Digiconomist, an online tool created by data scientist Alex de Vries, the carbon footprint of Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is equivalent to that of New Zealand, with both emitting nearly 37 megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, according to a February 2021 CNBC article.

        To understand why this is a problem, it’s important to explain what goes into creating a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Unlike fiat money, which is regulated through central banks, transactions in Bitcoin are tracked through a public ledger consisting of a network of computers around the world: the blockchain. “Mining”—a process in which computational puzzles are solved in order to verify transactions between users, which are then added to the blockchain—allows this validation to take place, which is an energy-intensive process.

      • Ossoff Unveils Bill to Ban Stock Trading by Lawmakers, Immediate Family

        Two Democratic senators on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would prevent congressional lawmakers and their immediate families from trading stocks while in office, as new polling shows that an overwhelming majority of voters across the political spectrum support such a reform—something that Republicans putting forward competing proposals are trying to capitalize on.

        “Members of Congress should not be playing the stock market while we make federal policy.”

      • The Great Resignation, Perhaps Not as Great as We’ve Been Led to Believe?

        The latest figures came out on Jan. 4, 2022, and showed that 4.5 million people voluntarily left their positions in November – an “all-time high,” according to the agency responsible for collecting the data. That’s 3% of the nonfarm workforce, which headlinesalso proclaimed a record level.

        But is it?

      • ‘Workers Are the Best Guarantors of Their Own Safety When They’re Organized’

        The January 7, 2022, episode of CounterSpin included an archival interview with Barbara Briggs that originally aired June 5, 2015. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Jon Ossoff Introduces Legislation to Ban Members of Congress from Trading Stock
      • Senate Finance Chair to Billionaire Developers: Explain How Opportunity Zone Tax Break Is Helping the Poor

        The chair of the Senate Finance Committee is demanding information from several billionaire developers to determine whether they are abusing a Trump tax break that was supposed to benefit poor communities.

      • Reps for Casino Developer Defend the Destruction of Nearly 600 Housing Units in Reno

        Representatives for a prominent casino developer this week defended his decision to raze nearly 600 housing units to redevelop part of Reno’s downtown into an entertainment district and floated his “vision” to contribute land for a publicly funded affordable housing project.

        Many of the several hundred people at a virtual town hall Monday welcomed the idea of better affordable housing in the area but met the proposal by Jacobs Entertainment with skepticism. The idea floated by Jeff Jacobs, who has demolished 15 motels that were used as last resort housing, includes 850 “affordable and workforce housing units” built above public parking garages that would ostensibly provide parking for his nearby planned entertainment venues. Jacobs wouldn’t build the housing; rather, he would contribute land for a project to be built and operated by the Reno Housing Authority.

      • Chronic Underfunding of Public Housing Is Putting 1.2 Million Families at Risk
      • After Navient Forgives $1.7B, Progressive Say Cancel All Student Debt

        As one of the largest U.S. educational lenders on Thursday agreed to pay $1.85 billion to 39 states to resolve predatory lending claims, progressive lawmakers and advocates renewed calls for the cancellation of all outstanding student loan debt.

        “All student loans are predatory because no one should have to go into debt to get an education.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Why Political Representation Doesn’t Represent

        The brand name emblazoned on our system of governance is “the republic.” It is a system of periodic elections for legislators and top administrators who, once elected, are said to represent their electorate. There have been times when the elected have actually represented the people who elected them. But not many.

        Why is that failure so familiar? Why is it so normal to see elected representatives go their own way, regardless of the needs to their constituents? Sometimes, there is real corruption, involving backroom deals and money changing hands. But most often, the failure is owing to a mythological structure called “representationism.” It requires that people see what officials do as “representing” the people, though they clearly do not. It is an ideological disguise that hides the ethical pollution (rather than corruption) to which political proposals or actions fall prey. The notion of ethical “pollution” signifies that each enactment includes counteractions that neutralize it. That happens, for instance, when proposals get bogged down in procedures so that the means prevent themselves from arriving at their proposed ends.

      • Missouri Governor Mike Parson Tries to Stick it Where the Sun Don’t Shine

        Note to Missouri governor Mike Parson: You’re getting this “Show-Me State” business all wrong.

        Parson tried to charge Elad Gross, a  candidate for state attorney general,  $3,618 for documents Gross requested under the state’s Sunshine Law, claiming more than 90 hours of required “research and processing” at $40 per hour. The “processing” involved having attorneys redact information from the requested documents. The state’s Supreme Court ruled against Parson last June.

      • Opinion | Justice Roberts Is Wrong: Federal Judges’ Conflicts of Interest Threaten the Entire Judiciary
      • Opinion | Bin Laden, Trump, and the American Empire

        The end of 2021 and the beginning of a new year is a convenient time to take stock of the causes of America’s decline.

      • Opinion | Now’s Our Chance—We Can Reverse Democracy’s Decline

        Seven out ten of Americans believe the U.S. democracy is “in crisis and at risk of failing.” And in this moment is our chance not only to pull back from the brink but to leap forward—aware that democracy is our “tap root” trouble: For progress on any of the crises weighing on us—whether climate, economic inequity, or lagging public health—depends on governance accountable to the American people.

      • Jayapal Warns ‘Our Democracy Doesn’t Survive’ Without Action on Voting Rights

        Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal stressed Thursday that the stakes couldn’t be higher for U.S. democracy as House and Senate Democrats pushed ahead with their last-ditch effort to pass voting rights legislation in the face of relentless GOP opposition.

        “Our democracy doesn’t survive without this,” Japayal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CDC), said during a morning press call with fellow lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the House Democratic Caucus.

      • Ohio Supreme Court Rules That GOP-Drawn District Maps Are Unconstitutional
      • Schumer Announces Procedural Plan That Will Lead to Vote on Filibuster Changes
      • Schumer Unveils Last-Ditch Plan to Force Floor Battle Over Voting Rights

        In a last-ditch push to overcome GOP obstruction, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer late Wednesday unveiled a plan to temporarily evade the filibuster and bring voting rights legislation to the floor of the upper chamber for debate.

        Outlined in an internal memo distributed to congressional Democrats, Schumer’s strategy involves several obscure procedural maneuvers that began Wednesday night in the House, which moved just before midnight to replace the text of an unrelated NASA bill with language from the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

      • Trump Is Still Casting Himself as the Victim to Keep Political Control
      • Manchin Joins Sinema in Destroying Democratic Hopes to Pass Voting Rights

        As conservative U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday joined his right-wing Democratic colleague Kyrsten Sinema in announcing his opposition to abolishing the Senate filibuster, progressive observers excoriated the pair—who recently supported a filibuster carve-out to raise the debt ceiling—for obstructing their party’s landmark voting rights legislation.

        “Sinema and Manchin voted last month to abolish the filibuster for the debt ceiling—but won’t vote to abolish the filibuster for voting rights.”

      • ‘Shame on Her’: Sinema Sparks Fury by Choosing Filibuster Over Democracy

        Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was met with a torrent of outrage on Thursday after she delivered a floor speech reiterating her opposition to weakening the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, striking a major blow to her party’s plan to finally overcome Republican obstruction of voting rights legislation.

        “If Democrats re-elect her in Arizona in 2024, shame on them.”

      • Critics Lambaste Sinema’s Opposition to Filibuster Changes
      • “The Coming Coup”: Ari Berman on Republican Efforts to Steal Future Elections

        Mother Jones reporter Ari Berman warns the Republican Party is laying the groundwork to steal the 2022 midterms and future elections through a combination of gerrymandering, voter suppression and election subversion, that together pose a mortal threat to voting rights in the United States. Republicans, many of whom are election deniers, are campaigning for positions that hold immense oversight over the election process. “What’s really new here are these efforts to take over how votes are counted,” says Berman. “That is the ultimate voter suppression method, because if you’re not able to rig the election on the front end, you can throw out votes on that back end.”

      • There Are Many Ways to Steal a Midterm — and the GOP Is Laying the Groundwork
      • Fake GOP Elector Refuses to Explain Involvement in Electoral College Plot
      • “Biggest cyber breach in history” as techs scramble to be heard above Omicron din [Ed: A bit of a distraction from the greater perils]

        The devil child of the moment, if you want to call it that, is the very technically named Log4j computer vulnerability, which has left governments and corporations world wide open to attack and scrambling to patch, or repair, their systems. It is being called the biggest cyber security breach in history.

        With the news bandwidth consumed by Omicron and the public immured to cyber scare stories, the scale of the recent Log4j story and the implications it has for the secure operation of government services and infrastructure is only just becoming more broadly understood.

      • Google calls for new government action to protect open-source software projects [Ed: Meeting stacked by the worst culprits, as usual]

        Following a summit on open-source security hosted at the White House Thursday, Google has called for increasing government involvement in identifying and securing critical open-source software projects.

        In a blog post published shortly after the summit, Kent Walker, president for global affairs and chief legal officer at Google and Alphabet, said that collaboration between governmen

      • White House Convenes Open-Source Security Summit Amid Log4j Risks

        The virtual summit, led by deputy national security adviser Anne Neuberger, included executives from Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Microsoft Corp. , among others, along with specialist open-source software organizations such as GitHub Inc., the Apache Software Foundation and the Linux Open Source Foundation.

        The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Commerce Department, the Defense Department and the Energy Department were among the federal agencies present.

      • Twitter, Meta among tech giants subpoenaed by Jan. 6 panel

        Months after requesting documents from more than a dozen social platforms, the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas targeting Twitter, Meta, Reddit and YouTube after lawmakers said the companies’ initial responses were inadequate.

        The committee chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, demanded records Thursday from the companies relating to their role in allegedly spreading misinformation about the 2020 election and promoting domestic violent extremism on their platforms in the lead-up to the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.

      • Congress subpoenas Meta, Alphabet, Twitter, and Reddit over January 6th Capitol attack

        The committee requested records from dozens of companies on a voluntary basis last year, but it says the response from the aforementioned four has been “inadequate” so far. “Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps — if any — social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence. It’s disappointing that after months of engagement, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions,” said committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) in a statement.

      • CSTO troops to complete withdrawal from Kazakhstan by January 19, Russian Defense Minister says

        The withdrawal from Kazakhstan Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) peacekeeping forces, which began on Thursday, January 13, will end by next Wednesday, January 19, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • ‘Menace to Public Health’: 270+ Doctors Denounce Covid Misinformation on Joe Rogan

        Doctors, healthcare workers, and scientists from around the world warned streaming company Spotify that its most listened-to podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” is endangering millions of people by giving a platform to guests who spread misinformation about Covid-19—without the company making an effort to correct false statements.

        “Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

      • ‘A Menace to Public Health’: Doctors Demand Spotify Puts an End to Covid Lies on ‘Joe Rogan Experience’

        Yet Rivera was even more horrified to discover that people in her life, whom she considered to be “quite wise and discerning,” were hoodwinked by Malone’s patina of academic credibility, considering his views on the vaccine legitimate. “When I saw they were falling victim to this, I spoke to some colleagues and we said something has to be done at this point,” she says.

        Rivera is one of 270 doctors, physicians, and science educators who signed an open letter calling on Spotify, which obtained exclusively streaming rights to the Joe Rogan Experience in a reported $100 million deal, to take action against misinformation on the platform, such as that contained in the interview with Malone. “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,” the letter reads. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

      • Oath Keepers Founder Arrested on January 6 Sedition Charge
      • 11 Right-Wing Oath Keepers Charged With Seditious Acts Over Jan. 6 Plot

        Eleven members of the so-called “Oath Keepers”—including the right-wing extremist group’s leader—have been charged with seditious conspiracy for actions related to the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

        The Department of Justice unsealed the indictment Thursday a day after it was handed down by a grand jury.

      • ‘Fuck Em’: Indictment Reveals Top Oath Keeper’s Reaction to Endangered Lawmakers on Jan. 6

        The indictment charges that Rhodes and 10 other co-conspirators “coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, D.C., equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes’s call to take up arms at Rhodes’s direction.” While painting Rhodes as the ringleader, the indictment alleges that “some co-conspirators also amassed firearms on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., distributed them among ‘quick reaction force’ (‘QRF’) teams, and planned to use the firearms in support of their plot to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power.” (Read the full indictment embedded below.)

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Pennsylvania Court Reverses Student’s Expulsion Over A Snapchat Post, Reminds School Students Still Have Rights

        Do you want cheer fucked? Because this is how you get cheer fucked.

      • REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Single Market For Digital Services (Digital Services Act) and amending Directive 2000/31/EC : (COM(2020)0825 – C9-0418/2020 – 2020/0361(COD))

        The Rapporteur welcomes the Commission’s proposal on a Digital Services Act. Digital services are an important backbone of our economy, bringing new opportunities for both consumers and businesses, using the various digital services on a daily basis.

        At the same time digital services have created serious challenges and risks. The nature, scale and importance of digital services for the economy and society have changed dramatically since the current legislation was put into place. An updated regulatory framework on digital services, establishing clear responsibilities is necessary to address these challenges and to ensure a level playing field in the digital Single Market and a safer digital space for the users.

        The Rapporteur acknowledges the horizontal nature of this Regulation, but at the same time considers that the one size fits all approach fails to tackle the problems with illegal products and services sold through online marketplaces. The Rapporteur is of the opinion that stricter rules on online marketplaces must be introduced in order to create a level playing field and ensure the principle of “what is illegal offline should also be illegal online”.

        The Rapporteur welcomes the Commission’s aim to increase the transparency of online advertisement and recommender systems, but is of the view that the Commission’s proposal lacks concrete obligations to ensure accountability and to prevent the amplification of illegal content. The Rapporteur thus sees a need to propose further transparency measures and requirements in order to ensure user protection by design and by default.

        Lastly, the Rapporteur welcomes the focus on the implementation and enforcement provisions and believes that given the cross-border nature of digital services, the hybrid enforcement model suggested by the Commission could ensure an effective and efficient enforcement of this Regulation. However, the Rapporteur finds it necessary to strengthen some provisions to ensure that no Member State becomes a safe haven for online platforms.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | After Decades of Delay, Canada’s National Child-Care Plan Proves Strong Public Systems Are Possible

        After decades of contentiousness, it’s surprising how quickly Canada’s new national child-care program has become as familiar and comfortable as your dog’s favourite squeeze-toy.

      • 200 Inmates Hunger Strike Over ‘Inhumane’ Rikers Island

        A hunger strike by around 200 prisoners at New York City’s Rikers Island jail entered its sixth day Thursday, as demonstrators continued to protest “deplorable” and dangerous conditions including lack of medical care during a surging Covid-19 outbreak at the notorious lockup, where 15 inmates died last year.

        “There’s no safety for us. There’s no one to help us. It’s scary in here.”

      • Confronting Christian Nationalism in the Spirit of Desmond Tutu

        In the wake of one visit, he sent a small postcard that my mom framed and placed on the bookcase near our front door. Every morning before school I would grab my glasses resting on that same bookcase and catch a glimpse of the archbishop’s handwritten note. This wasn’t inadvertent on my mom’s part. It was meant as a visual reminder that, if I was to call myself a Christian — which I did, serving as a Sunday school teacher from the age of 13 and a deacon at 16 — my responsibility was to advocate for policies that welcomed immigrants, freed those held captive by racism and injustice, and lifted the load of poverty.

        Given our present context, the timing of his death is all too resonant. Just over a year ago, the world watched as a mob besieged the U.S. Capitol, urged on by still-President Donald Trump and undergirded by decades of white racism and Christian nationalism. January 6th should have reminded us all that far from being a light to all nations, American democracy remains, at best, a remarkably fragile and unfinished project. On the first anniversary of that nightmare, the world is truly in need of moral leaders and defenders of democracy like Tutu.

      • Opinion | To Honor MLK’s Birthday, Senate Must Override Jim Crow Filibuster

        U.S. democracy is in crisis, as Republican supporters of the January 6th Capitol insurrection restrict or even eliminate democracy’s core tenet of one person, one vote. Former President Donald Trump is driving democracy’s demise, spouting the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him through massive voter fraud. Countless audits, over 60 court cases and both Democratic and Republican state Secretaries of State confirmed President Joe Biden trounced Trump by over seven million votes.

      • The Texas Abortion Ban Could Usher in a Wave of Pregnancy-Related Deaths

        Since Texas the Senate bill banning abortion (SB 8) went into effect in September, the three full-spectrum doulas that work with the Dallas-based based Afiya Center have seen a troubling rise in the number of women forced to continue their pregnancies after being blocked from accessing abortion care. Women at 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, some of whom are victims of domestic violence, are having parenthood imposed upon them with little choice.

      • Lyra Mckee and the Truth That Breathes Beyond Borders

        To know Lyra McKee, you must first know something about the Troubles. They began in 1968 when Northern Ireland’s government – pro-British, mostly Protestant – started crushing the civil rights protests of the minority Catholic population, which had been shut out of jobs and political power. The resulting partisan fury between Catholic “Republicans” who wanted a free Ireland, and Protestant “Unionists,” proud to remain in the UK, metastasized into paramilitary groups led at one extremity by the Irish Republican Army [IRA], and the other by the Ulster Volunteer Force [UVF]. Their bombings and killings lasted 30 years until 1998, when the Good Friday Agreement was signed.

        Lyra was a “Ceasefire Baby,” one of thousands of children meant to thrive, free from violence and factional terror. But with “peace,” and the assurance that Northern Ireland remained in the United Kingdom, the UK Government settled into a policy of imperial neglect, further impoverishing the six northern Irish counties still under its control.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • America’s Struggling Satellite TV Companies Once Again Propose A Terrible MegaMerger

        For decades, like clockwork, somebody at Dish or DirecTV will try and float the idea that the two satellite TV companies should merge. Usually they’ll do this by seeding the idea at trusted news outlets that additional consolidation is just what the U.S. media sector needs. Granted regulators have always balked at the idea of a Dish and DirecTV merger, given that it would only reduce competition in the pay TV space, leading to more layoffs, more price hikes, and even worse customer service (cable TV customer service is among the worst in any industry anywhere thanks to this “growth for growth’s sake” mindset).

      • New Washington Law Requires Home Sellers Disclose Lack Of Broadband Access

        For decades the U.S. newswires have been peppered with stories where somebody bought a house after being told by their ISP it had broadband access, only to realize the ISP didn’t actually serve that address. Generally, the homeowner then realizes they have to spend a stupid amount of money to pay the local telecom monopoly to extend service.. or move again. Time after time, local ISPs are found to be flat out lying when they claim they can offer an essential utility (broadband), and the home buyer has little recourse thanks to the slow, steady erosion of U.S. state and federal telecom regulatory oversight.

      • Another Layer Of Centralization

        Moxie Marlinspike tried building “web3″ apps and reports on the experience in his must-read My first impressions of web3. The whole post is very perceptive, but the most interesting part reveals yet another way the allegedly decentralized world of cryptocurrencies is centralized.

        Below the fold, I explain the details of yet another failure of decentralization.

      • IFF releases the second edition of the Connectivity Tracker #MapTheDigitalDivide

        IFF’s #connectivitytracker for Jan 2022 is here! Our report provides an overview of the state of internet access from Jan 2020 to Oct 2021. In this edition of the report, we analyze the data on telecom and internet connectivity, the digital divide in the context of access to online education, and the progress of government schemes aimed at improving internet access. We also aim to collect data on internet shutdowns (for which we need your help).

    • Monopolies

      • Josh Hawley Was The Democrats’ Partner In Trying To Regulate Big Tech; Then The Public Realized He Was A Fascist

        Karl recently wrote about how Congress’ antitrust efforts are flailing (even with the plan to hold a hearing on Senators Klobuchar & Grassley’s antitrust bill) and one reason why the efforts have stumbled may be Senator Josh Hawley’s decision to really show off his fascist side.

      • It’s Deja Vu for Yet Another Misguided Tech Regulation Proposal – Disruptive Competition Project

        Substantive and procedural concerns in tech regulation bills in the House and Senate are starting to feel like deja vu for yet another misguided anti-tech proposal.

        On June 11, 2021, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Chairman Cicilline introduced H.R. 3816, the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, along with a number of other anti-tech bills. Despite concerns raised by the New Democratic Caucus to House Leadership and the Judiciary Committee requesting that a legislative hearing be held on these bills, these bills were rushed to a marathon 48-hour markup, less than two weeks after introduction. During the markup, on June 23-24, 2021, many members of the House Judiciary Committee complained about the process and not having time to understand the bills before being forced to vote. Nevertheless, all six bills were voted out by House members of both parties and are waiting for floor consideration.


        The prohibition on treating products, services, and lines of businesses differently in S. 2992, as discussed previously on DisCo, could bring an abrupt end to the digital conveniences that Americans have come to know, enjoy, and rely upon during the pandemic. There is a disjunct between the small faction in the Congress that is leading members down the primrose path that ultimately will make its members walk the plank and kill these tech services as we know them by voting for this bill and the U.S. voters, who value these services. Voters will be the bellwether as to which course was correct.

        But the problems surrounding this bill listed above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the untold consequences that can result from its passage. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is futile, among other things. Rather than have a repeat of the 28-hour markup over two days that played out in June 2021, why not hold a hearing to allow the public and other interested stakeholders to provide input? If Senators believe the bill is in the best interest of the American people, it need not be the subject of another rush job.

      • Patents

        • BRAIN Biotech AG: BRAIN-Engineered-Cas (BEC) Considered a Patentable Technology
        • BRAIN Biotech AG: BRAIN-Engineered-Cas (BEC) Considered a Patentable Technology [Ed: EPO pretends that life and nature are “inventions” meriting a patent monopoly]

          Zwingenberg, Germany, January 11th, 2022. BRAIN Biotech AG (“BRAIN”) received an international search report and a written opinion from the European Patent Office (EPO) as international searching authority (ISA). The favorable written opinion states that the BRAIN-Engineered-Cas (BEC) nucleases for which patent protection is sought under the Patent Corporation Treaty (PCT) are – with regard to the BEC nuclease sequences – inventive, are industrially applicable and are also not otherwise excluded from patent protection. Hence, the respective sequences of the BEC nucleases are considered patentable by the EPO.

        • Profits Over People: Why Weren’t the Vaccine Manufacturers Nationalized?

          On January 20, 2021, the day Trump left office, 392,641 people had died of Covid; as of December 18, 2021, 411,359 people died during the first 11 months of Biden presidency – and Biden has another three years in office.

          Often forgot, during the seven years of World War II (1939-1945), 407,316 U.S. military personnel were killed.

        • John Nichols on How “Coronavirus Criminals & Pandemic Profiteers” Hurt World’s Response to COVID-19

          We speak with The Nation’s national affairs correspondent John Nichols on the occasion of his new book, “Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers: Accountability for Those Who Caused the Crisis,” which takes aim at the CEOs and political figures who put profits over people during the coronavirus pandemic. The chapters cover notorious figures such as former President Trump, Mike Pompeo, Jared Kushner and Jeff Bezos. “In the United States alone, hundreds of thousands of deaths occurred that did not have to occur,” says Nichols. “Globally it’s in the millions, and the U.S. could have played a huge role in addressing that.”

        • Confessions of a “Human Guinea Pig”: Professor Quits Vaccine Trial over Moderna’s Corporate Greed

          Jeremy Menchik, a self-described “human guinea pig” who volunteered for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trials, dropped out to protest the company’s greed in reaping profits from the ongoing pandemic while doing little to resolve global vaccine inequity. Menchik is launching a new website — mrna4all.org — where other vaccine trial participants can join the effort to pressure vaccine makers to scale up production to vaccinate the world. “That they have to be accountable to their guinea pigs and they have to advance policies for public health not just private profit … I think that must be unnerving to them,” says Menchik, an associate professor at Boston University. “We have to treat this pandemic as a global crisis, as a global public health emergency.”

        • After Year of Vaccine Profiteering, Pfizer Hikes Prices on 125 Drugs

          After raking in enormous profits from its coronavirus vaccine in 2021, the U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has kicked off the new year by hiking the prices of more than 120 of its drugs, resulting in significantly higher costs for patients amid a deadly pandemic.

          That’s according to a new report released Thursday by Patients for Affordable Drugs (P4AD), which found that pharmaceutical companies have raised the prices of 554 medicines this month alone. Pfizer led the way with 125 price hikes to start 2022, leading P4AD to label the company the industry’s “poster child for greed.”

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Major Online Services Help Identify Pirate Streaming Site Operators

          DISH Network and Sling TV are homing in on the alleged operators of SportsBay.org, SportsBay.tv, Live-NBA.stream, and Freefeds.com. In an amended complaint filed this week, the companies now name two defendants who were unmasked after Google, Cloudflare, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, domain companies and others complied with subpoenas.

        • Google ‘Censors’ The Pirate Bay and Other Pirate Domains in Several Countries

          For several years Google refused to completely remove pirate site domain names from its search results, but that is no longer the case. After removing The Pirate Bay in the Netherlands, similar measures were taken for France, Brazil, and Norway. These removals, which are rooted in ISP blocking orders, also affect many other pirate sites. Meanwhile, law firms in Sweden and the UK have submitted similar requests.


Links 13/1/2022: NetworkManager 1.34 and Everett 3.0.0

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Preparing To Finally Remove Support For The a.out Format – Phoronix

        Back in 2019 the Linux kernel deprecated a.out support for that file format used several decades ago before ELF tookover. Now in 2022 it looks like that a.out code will be removed from the kernel.

        Linux relied on the a.out format until v1.2 in the mid-90′s when ELF became the popular format for binaries. While the a.out format hasn’t been widely used on Linux in many years, it took until 2019 for the support to be deprecated for running a.out binaries on x86 32-bit. Compilers and other toolchain components have moved on from the a.out file format for years.

    • Applications

      • NetworkManager 1.34 Arrives with Better WireGuard Support, Many Improvements

        Almost seven months in development, NetworkManager 1.34 is here to further improve support for the WireGuard VPN tunnel protocol and implementation by introducing support for WireGuard profiles to NetworkManager’s text user interface (nmtui), as well as improving import of WireGuard profiles with DNS domain and address family disabled via the command-line interface (nmcli).

      • Fwupd 1.7.4 Supports More Hardware For Firmware Updating On Linux – Phoronix

        Lead Fwupd/LVFS developer Richard Hughes of Red Hat today released v1.7.4 for this open-souce utility to allow firmware updating on Linux of system motherboards and peripherals.

        The Fwupd 1.7.4 release adds firmware branch support for ModemManager devices, support for firmware engineers to be able to patch files at known offsets, and a variety of bug fixes.

      • SciDAVis is an open-source application for scientific data analysis and data visualization

        SciDAVis is a free interactive application aimed at data analysis and publication-quality plotting. It combines a shallow learning curve and an intuitive, easy-to-use graphical user interface with powerful features such as scriptability and extensibility.

        Alternative to:

        SciDAVis is similar in its field of application to proprietary Windows applications like Origin and SigmaPlot as well as free applications like QtiPlot, Labplot, and Gnuplot.

        What sets SciDAVis apart from the above is its emphasis on providing a friendly and open environment (in the software as well as the project) for new and experienced users alike.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Eclipse IDE on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Eclipse IDE on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Eclipse is a multi-language software development environment comprising an integrated development environment (IDE) and an extensible plug-in system. The most popular Eclipse product is Java Integrated Development Environment (IDE), but there are other pretty cool IDEs, including our C/C++ IDE, JavaScript/TypeScript IDE, PHP IDE, 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 the step-by-step installation of the Eclipse IDE on a Fedora 35.

      • How to Quickly Find Mouse Pointer in Ubuntu 20.04 / 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        For Ubuntu 20.04+ and other Linux with GNOME desktop (e.g., Fedora workstation, Debian and Arch Linux), there’s an extension lets you quickly locate mouse pointer.

        The extension is called “Jiggle“. It highlights the mouse pointer position when it moved rapidly by applying 3 cool animation effects: Cursor Scaling, Spotlight, and Fireworks.

      • How to Install Curl in Ubuntu – buildVirtual

        cURL (Client URL Library) is a command-line tool for transferring data using various network protocols, typically HTTP/s, though it supports many more including ftp, scp and smb. Curl has been around for quite a while – it was first released in 1996 (though back then it was called httpget).

        cURL is a command-line tool for getting or sending data including files using URL syntax. If you are a Linux user there is a good chance you have come across it at some point. Curl is often used as a way to download files from the internet, although it is capable of much more.

        Quite often it can be found on most Linux distributions, or if not it is straight forward to install it. This article shows you how to install curl on Ubuntu systems if it isn’t already present, and gives some simple examples to show you how to use curl and confirm that it is working as expected.

      • How to install and Configure Java 17 on Fedora 35 – NextGenTips

        In today’s guide, we are going to learn how we can install Java SE 17 on Fedora 35. Java is widely used in programs like Cassandra, Graylog, Wine, etc.

        Java delivers thousands of performance, stability, and security updates that is the reason why java is widely used and has a larger community base worldwide.

      • How to Set Up NFS Server and Client on Rocky/Alma Linux 8

        NFS(Network File System) is a distributed file system protocol that allows a user on a client computer to access files over a computer network much like local storage is accessed. It is a popular, cross-platform and distributed file system protocol used to export local file systems over the network so that clients can share directories and files with others over a network and interact with them as though they are mounted locally. This distributed file system protocol allows a user on a client computer to access files over a network in the same way they would access a local storage file. Because it is an open standard, anyone can implement the protocol.

        Rocky Linux 8 supports NFS version 3(NFSv3) and 4(NFSv4). The default NFS version is 4.2 which features support for Access Control Lists (ACLs), server-side copy, sparse files, space reservation, labeled NFS, layout enhancements, and much more.

        In this guide, we will learn how to install and configure the NFS Server and NFS client on Rocky Linux 8.

      • Using Ansible to install and configure Elasticsearch on Ubuntu 20.04 – Citizix

        In this guide, we will learn how to install and configure Elasticsearch on Ubuntu 20.04 using Ansible.

        Elasticsearch is a distributed search and analytics engine built on Apache Lucene. It provides a distributed, multitenant-capable full-text search engine with an HTTP web interface and schema-free JSON documents. Elasticsearch has quickly become the most popular search engine and is commonly used for log analytics, full-text search, security intelligence, business analytics, and operational intelligence use cases.

        Ansible is an open-source software provisioning, configuration management, and application-deployment tool enabling infrastructure as code. It runs on many Unix-like systems, and can configure both Unix-like systems as well as Microsoft Windows.

      • How to install Mysql Server 8 on FreeBSD 13 – Citizix

        MySQL is an open-source relational database management system. Its one of the popular relational management system.

        Mysql is commonly installed as part of the popular LAMP or LEMP (Linux, Apache/Nginx, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/Python/Perl) stack. It implements the relational model and Structured Query Language (SQL) to manage and query data.

        In this guide we are going to install mysql 8 on FreeBSD 13.

      • How to install Godot Game Engine on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Godot Game Engine 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.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

    • Games

      • Humble Bundle retires all Mac and Linux games from the Humble Trove starting February 1st – Neowin

        Notification of the change is abrupt, leaving gamers with only two weeks to download copies of their games from Humble Bundle into their humble bindles. Perhaps the biggest issue is that Humble Bundle will not deliver updates to these games. Those who yearn for the latest content update in this month’s Retired Men’s Nude Beach Volleyball will be out-of-luck. They will forever be locked behind the Humble Choice subscription plan and only be offered to Windows users.

      • Proton Experimental fixes up Sea of Thieves voice chat | GamingOnLinux

        Today a small bug-fix update went out for Proton Experimental, as Valve continues readying it up ahead of the launch of their handheld Steam Deck. What is Proton? It’s a compatibility layer designed to run Windows games from Steam on Linux. See more about it in our full guide.

      • The Anacrusis appears to run on Linux with Proton but some possible caveats | GamingOnLinux

        The Anacrusis is a brand new release from Stray Bombay, and it’s another entry in the swarm-shooter like Left 4 Dead and Back 4 Blood. Running it on Linux is possible too. Interestingly, Stray Bombay was co-founded by former Valve designer Chet Faliszek who worked on the likes of Half-Life, Portal and Left 4 Dead.

        “The Anacrusis is a four-player, cooperative first-person shooter set aboard a massive starship stranded at the edge of explored space. Team up with your friends in an infinitely-replayable fight against alien hordes to unlock perks, weapons, and new ways to play that you can share with your team!”

      • Godot 3.5 Beta 1 Brings Async Shader Compilation & Caching – Phoronix

        While we are very eager for Godot 4.0 with everything that this open-source game engine is going to deliver on, Godot 3.5 beta is out today and is a rather nice interim step forward.

        Exciting with Godot 3.5 is the cross-platform game engine bringing asynchronous shader compilation. Godot 3.5 beta introduces async shader compilation to reduce stuttering with its OpenGL rendering. This new implementation uses an “ubershader” that is compiled on start-up and cached for subsequent runs. For gamers this ubershader system should mean less stalling (or ideally none) during gameplay.

    • Distributions

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 5 Signs the Ubuntu Desktop Has Gone Stale

          Ubuntu initially garnered attention for being a version of Linux that was easy to install and actually use. But that wasn’t all. Ubuntu was exciting. Canonical and the Ubuntu community innovated the desktop, thinking creatively about what the Linux experience needed or could become.

          Two decades later, Ubuntu has more users, but that fire doesn’t seem to burn as bright. Here are some reasons the Ubuntu desktop now seems relatively dim.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Now you can live boot Linux-based postmarketOS on unlocked Android phones – Liliputing

        Ever wanted to try out a Linux-based operating system like postmarketOS on your phone… but didn’t want to overwrite the operating system that’s already installed? Now it’s possible.

        As reported by TuxPhones, a recent postmarketOS update has added support for “network boot,” which essentially lets you plug an Android phone with an unlocked bootloader into your computer with a USB cable and boot the mobile Linux distro on your phone. Just unplug and reboot to return to Android.

      • You can now live-boot postmarketOS on Android phones

        To spread awareness of the Linux ecosystem, the very first “Live CDs” played a crucial role: by taking away most of the fear of overwriting their hard drives, they allowed more people to test and effectively use any spin of the Operating System, and by keeping the filesystem in RAM, have any changes magically disappear on reboot. This has always been possible, RAM constraints aside, because desktop BIOSes tend to support easy booting from external devices.

        The situation on Android devices is, however, more complex. Since most consumer ARM devices are not allowed to boot by any drive other than the internal flash storage, the fastboot protocol used on most Android phones solved this by enabling, in most of its implementations, commands to boot a custom kernel (just on unlocked devices). Furthermore, by unofficial means, even iPhones supported by projects like checkra1n could theoretically sideload kernel code from the modified bootloader.

      • Automating the little things

        As the mainline porting workflow becomes more streamlined, we found ourselves able to automate and simplify a lot of things that previously required a lot of manual work. A great example of this is the mdss-panel-driver-generator which is able to convert vendor devicetree panel control sequences into a driver which meets the requirements for upstreaming into mainline.

        More recently, tools like the new msm-firmware-loader for postmarketOS, and the potential for scripts which can extract and package firmware simply given a link to an OTA update, we might now have a generation of porters with little/no knowledge on how firmware works in the context of downstream / mainline. Qualcomm platforms differentiate between mdt firmware files where the firmware is split into many files, and mbn files where it is squashed into one larger one.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • The 2021 Arduino Open Source Report is out | Arduino Blog

          We’re excited to announce the Arduino Open Source Report for 2021 is now available, offering many insights into the development of our open-source ecosystem during the past year.

          In this retrospective report you’ll learn about the activities Arduino carried out in the last twelve months, thanks to the hard work of the employees, contractors and volunteers on our team and to the passion of our vibrant community, fueling our mission every day.

          We’re proud of the many achievements we celebrated in 2021. It was one of the busiest and most productive years in Arduino’s history of commitment to open source.

      • Older in Tux Phones

        • postmarketOS + mainline for the OnePlus 5/5T!

          The OnePlus 5 is a popular high-end phone from 2017, featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and Adreno 540. It has a 1080p display and up to 8GB of RAM.

          Mainline support for the device has been around for a while, since early 2020 in fact. Unfortunately, the Snapdragon 835 SoC it is based on lacks the same interest upstream that has benefited SDM845 devices so much, requiring a lot of work to reach a usable level of functionality.

          Despite that, after a lot of time and effort from Jami Kettunen and several other Snapdragon 835 developers, we can finally welcome a postmarketOS port based on a close-to-mainline kernel! A surprising amount of the hardware already works, although there are a few known stability issues, such as the requirement to run diag-router, a tool meant for debugging the modem to prevent WiFi from crashing.

        • The world’s first RISC-V phone might be just around the corner

          The RISC-V ISA is commonly divided into two architectures, namely RV32 and RV64, covering 32-bit and 64-bit register sizes respectively. And although the RV64 standard is not yet fully RV32-compatible, the two are, except from some minor divergences, closely associated products of the same family.

          In fact, it took some years to see the Linux kernel running on RV64 (and partially RV32). The first obstacle was predictably the lack of suitable and powerful enough silicon for the new software, and the next – which was thankfully solved quite fast – was porting the entire kernel to a new architecture.

          But now, with Linux support approaching full stability on a variety of RISC-V chipsets, distributions like Alpine starting to add support for RV64 packages, and an increasing quantity of chips powering Linux single board computers which retail for prices as low as $12, another challenge for most consumer producers occurs: how to turn this into a competitive ecosystem for Android smartphones?

        • PinePhone modem gets easy OTA update support via fwupd

          As most readers will know, the PinePhone is essentially considered to be the reference mobile Linux hacker’s playground. And while this achievement may be for the most part thanks to its flexible software, its hardware structure, and the Quectel EG25-G baseband in particular, are no exception. The modem firmware can be flashed through fastboot over USB like a regular Android phone, and in recent months, even an open-source firmware for it was developed, for what could be the first time ever on this kind of device, including audio, GPS and proper power management. In fact, what stopped this impressive operating system from spreading further, or being shipped by default on new Pines, is not really its lack of maturity, but rather the set of legal problems that are associated with re-flashing of mobile broadband modems. (There are still instructions on how to flash it, of course)

        • PinePhone Pro released: specs, pricing and very first impressions

          It was not three years ago that the PinePhone was announced. With entry-level, but relatively modern specifications, video output through Type-C, and full openness to custom software and mainline Linux, the device grew to be possibly even more popular than expected. Name it, and most Linux enthusiast will either know it, or own one themselves.

          While its humble specifications did not put it directly on the same league as Purism’s Librem 5, the community grew large enough to test most pieces of modern open-source software to its form factor.

        • The best Linux phones you can buy right now

          As many will know, the main difference between commercial phones and Linux-native alternatives is in how the latter is more of a “pocket computer” that can be used without firmware limitations. Coupled with often very open, if often modular, hardware, this category of devices kind of takes on the PDAs which we missed since the smartphone era. Having proper desktop-ready apps and advanced hardware in your pocket brings not only somewhat better freedom but also improved possibilities. This, naturally, if you can accept the still limited usability of most mobile Linux software, which is far from the ease of use and stability of commercial models.

        • Short guide to Linux phone desktops

          If choosing a graphical environment for traditional Linux computers is already confusing for some users, deciding one for Linux phones is twice as hard. Most mobile interfaces still lack the maturity and usability of their traditional counterparts, also because integrating all kinds of desktop applications without keyboard can be tricky, given the graphical toolkit fragmentation and the challenges of functionally scaling most windows to very small sizes.

          Here we will briefly showcase the main mobile Linux projects, most of which we mentioned in the past, to give an overview of the reasonable choices for most users.

        • More support for UNISOC and Spreadtrum chips lands in the Linux kernel

          UNISOC (and formerly Spreadtrum) chips have always been a very popular choice for Android device manufacturers. However, they were not commonly known for having wide mainline compatibility. Similarly to Rockchip and AllWinner, these chips became popular for their fast performance and relatively low prices, to the point of being used on devices ranges from the (just released) JingPad A1 to mainstream Android Samsung and Teclast tablets.

        • Kupfer is a postmarketOS-like Arch Linux spin for phones

          In the last years, the number of Linux distributions aimed at smartphones and tablets has grown considerably. What was initially a land of projects like UBPorts, Armbian and postmarketOS has grown to interest projects like Manjaro, and several Debian and Arch spins.

          However, the newborn Kupfer does not look like yet another fork for Linux phones. While at an early stage, the ambitious project’s infrastructure mimics that of postmarketOS, and even shares some early testers and users. The aim is not only to build a ready-to-flash Arch with some added mobile packages, but rather to have a complete pmbootstrap-like suite of tools (the Docker-based kupferbootstrap) to easily port new devices, and maintain existing ones. The first devices to be supported are Snapdragon 845 phones (OnePlus 6T, Poco F1 among others) and the BQ Aquaris X5 – and, interestingly, no PinePhone yet.

        • A SHIFT in perspective, is this the next step for Linux phones?

          You have most likely heard of Fairphone, who iFixit claim to be “the world’s most repairable phone”, and certainly lives up to it. But now, there’s a new kid on the block, and they have a different approach.

          SHIFT are a very small phone manufacturer based in Germany, they produce quite a few models and even have a fully convergent device planned, sort of like the Motorola Lapdock of yonder years. In this article, I will discuss my experience with the SHIFT6mq, and why I think you will hear a lot more about SHIFT in the future.

        • A look at Popcorn Computer’s new Pocket P.C.

          The Pocket P.C., short for Pocket Popcorn Computer, is a handheld created by the independent hardware manufacturer Popcorn Computer, and originally announced in the fall of 2019. This PDA comes with an integrated keyboard, and runs a pure Linux OS based on the Allwinner A64 platform.

        • Another Xiaomi device platform is getting Linux support

          By now, most readers will be aware of the quick progress of Qualcomm phones in the mobile Linux ecosystem. This became especially true with the SDM845 platform, powering the near-stable Linux ports of devices like the Oneplus 6/6T and Poco F1 which we often mentioned in the past.

          However, after some work, a new family of popular Android devices is entering the kernel: the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 from 2019, was finally shown to boot the 5.15 kernel, and should be soon entering the mainline Linux kernel tree in a set of new patches. The Note 7 (not that one) is based on the Snapdragon 660 chipset, a 14nm SoC which is focused on high performance and power efficiency. Powered by eight Kryo cores (custom ARM64), it can be clocked as high as 2.2GHz, supports LPDDR4 memories, top-speed LTE modems and high-speed I/Os while keeping a close eye to the power consumption.

        • Doubling the PinePhone storage perf with a soldering iron and a steady hand

          There have been some recent waves in the Pine64 community, as user Federico Izzo (@_symmetrist_) found a PinePhone mod which can roughly double the eMMC speed simply by moving a single resistor. But, anyone can write a flashy headline, how the heck does this actually work?

          Federico did a write-up on their blog which explains where they got the idea from and how to perform the mod for yourself, as well as how distros can support the mod. Thanks to this it is now already supported in postmarketOS!

          To summarise, the PinePhone eMMC ships in the “DDR52″ timing mode by default, which modes are allowed depends on the eMMC controller voltage (this voltage is supplied by the VCC-PC power rail and provides power to the eMMC controller). DDR52 is the highest timing mode supported at 3.3v, which is what the PinePhone uses. To run this any higher, the supply must be at 1.8v or 1.2v.

        • Freedom and phone advice

          The cold months are here, people are looking forward to the holidays, and of course there is a new FSF Ethical Tech Giving Guide. This is the yearly Free Software Foundation article giving advice what hardware to avoid for reasons of freedom, and which ones are instead recommended.

          This year, the guide starts at the top with advice for smartphones, which is great since these account for a large chunk of computing use these days. Let’s take a closer look at the advice in this screenshot below.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • The Full-Stack Developer Vocabulary(The Full List!) – DEV Community [Ed: Many buzzwords hype and pure bullshit like “serverless”]

          If you’re new to this whole full-stack development thing and get confused by some of the words people use when talking about full-stack development, then stick around because here, I’ll be compiling the most common words and phrases related to full-stack development. Of course, it will take much more time to learn the details of each of the things I’ll be mentioning. Each of the words and phrases will be summarized to give you an idea of what these words and phrases mean, so that you can understand what people are referencing with them when talking about certain areas of full-stack development.

        • Python

        • Rust

          • Announcing Rust 1.58.0 | Rust Blog

            The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.58.0. Rust is a programming language empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

            If you have a previous version of Rust installed via rustup, getting Rust 1.58.0 is as easy as…

  • Leftovers

    • Four Wheel Steering, Always The Option, Never The Defining Feature | Hackaday

      A couple of weeks ago when it emerged that a new Tesla might have a four-wheel steering capability, our colleague Dan Maloney mused aloud as to how useful a four-wheel steering system might be, and indeed whether or not one might be necessary at all. This is hardly the first time four-wheel steering has appeared as the Next Big Thing on the roads. It’s time to take a look at the subject and ask whether it’s an idea with a future, or set to go the way of runflat tyres as one of those evergreen innovations that never quite catches on.

      What’s your dream vehicle? If you’re like me, you have more than one. There in my lottery-winner’s garage, alongside the trail bikes and the mobile hackerspace, the dictator-size Mercedes and the Golf Mk1, will be a vehicle that by coincidence has four-wheel steering. The JCB Fastrac is a tractor that can travel across almost any terrain at full speed, and though I have no practical use for one and will never own one, I have lusted after one of these machines for over three decades. Their four-wheel steering system is definitely unusual, but that makes it the perfect vehicle with which to demonstrate four-wheel steering.

    • Exploring Tesla Model S High Voltage Cabling | Hackaday

      We ignored the warning and jumped right in. The “high” voltages in the case of an electric vehicle (EV) like the Model S is approximately 400 volts. Briefly, external input via the charge connector can be single or three phase, 120 or 250 VAC, depending on your region and charging station. This get boosted to a nominal 400 VDC bus that is distributed around the various vehicle systems, including the motors and the battery pack.

    • Ride-on Tracked Vehicle Is A Stout Metal Build | Hackaday

      When we think of tracked vehicles, we normally think of tanks, or perhaps heavy construction machinery. Meanwhile the average member of the public is left out of the fun. [Bob] of [Making Stuff] won’t be one of them, however, having put together a ride-on tracked vehicle for his own enjoyment.

      The machine is welded together from plenty of steel, making it more than tough enough to soak up the punishment of off-road duty. The design features four suspended buggy wheels on either side running inside rubber tracks, with a cogged drive wheel at the front. Propulsion is thanks to a 440 cc DuroMax engine good for a full 18 horsepower and 26 ft-lbs of torque, driving the tracks through a differential mounted up front.

    • Hardware

      • Impedance Matching Revisited | Hackaday

        If you are an old hand at RF design, you probably have a good handle on matching impedance. However, if you are just getting started with RF, [FesZ Electronic]’s latest video series on lossless impedance matching is well worth watching.

        Matching is important for several reasons. Maximum power transfer occurs when the source and load impedance match. Also, at RF, mismatched impedance can cause reflections which, again, robs you of useful power. The video covers some math and then moves on to LTSpice to simulate a test circuit. But the part you are really waiting for — the practical circuits — is about 15 minutes in. Since the values you need are often oddball, [FesZ] makes his own adjustable inductors and uses a trimmer capacitor to adjust the actual capacitance value.

      • Remoticon 2021 // Hash Salehi Outsmarts His Smart Meter | Hackaday

        Smart meters form mesh networks among themselves and transmit your usage data all around. Some of them even allow the power company to turn off your power remotely, through the mesh. You might want to know if any of this information is sesnsitive, or if the power shutdown system has got glaring security flaws and random people could just turn your house off. Hash Salehi has set out to get inside these meters, and luckily enough for the rest of us, he was kind enough to share his findings in Remoticon 2021. It’s a journey filled with wonderful tidbits about GNU Radio, embedded devices, and running your own power company inside a Faraday cage.

        The smart meter in question is deployed by a power company known as Oncor in the Dallas, Texas, area. These particular meters form an extensive mesh network using a ZigBee module onboard that allows them to to pass messages amongst themselves that eventually make their way to a collector or aggregator to be uploaded to a more central location. Hash obtained his parts via everyone’s favorite online auction house and was surprised to see how many parts were available. Then, with parts in hand, he began all the usual reverse engineering tricks: SDR, Faraday cages, flash chip readers, and recreating the schematic.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • IDrive® 360 Adds Endpoint Cloud Backup Support for Linux Machines

          IDrive® 360, a secure, enterprise-scale endpoint cloud backup solution from IDrive, has added backup support for Linux machines, enabling IT admins to schedule and automate backups for all of their organizational Linux data into a single account through a unified web console.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Baumer, Infineon, Qualcomm Innovation Center, Percepio and Silicon Labs Select Zephyr RTOS for their Next Generation of Products and Solutions
            • Baumer, Infineon, Qualcomm Innovation Center, Percepio and Silicon Labs Select Zephyr RTOS for their Next Generation of Products and Solutions

              The Zephyr™ Project announces a major milestone today with Baumer joining as a Platinum member and Infineon Technologies, Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc., Percepio and Silicon Labs joining as Silver members. These new members have selected Zephyr RTOS as one of the key technologies to build their next generation of connected products and solutions.

            • IBM, Clemson, Linux Foundation join forces for sustainable crop information platform | ZDNet [Ed: Linux Foundation as openwashing and greenwashing services]

              IBM has joined forces with the Linux Foundation and the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service and AgStack Foundation on a new project seeking to provide farmers with detailed information about how to grow crops sustainably and deal with the effects of climate change.

              IBM developers began working with Clemson researchers through the Call For Code program, which IBM created as a way to support people building innovative technology solutions to persistent global problems.

            • Call for Code and AgStack open-source Ag Recommendations – IBM Developer

              Many rural farmers in the U.S. do not have easy access to necessary crop and pest management data. Farmers often rely on information they receive from Research and Cooperative Extension Services. Traditionally, getting this information required calling or going in person to Cooperative Extension Service offices to ask questions. This approach could be prohibitive for those farmers not located near a physical office location. Even farmers in close proximity to an Extension Service office often need faster access to this information to make decisions while they are on the farm.

              If data sources were more accessible to farmers, they could have the crop management resources they need in a more timely manner. Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension Service is one such important data source, providing cooperatives and farmers with agriculture recommendations to improve their yields and day-to-day farming practices. Modernizing and digitizing this kind of data to make it accessible online helps bring agriculture recommendations to farmers when and where they need it, without having to be in a particular location.

        • Security

          • Apache Software Foundation statement on White House Open Source Security Summit

            The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) participated today in a meeting hosted by the White House to discuss security of open source software, and how to improve the “supply chain” of open source software to better facilitate the rapid adoption of security fixes when necessary.

            The virtual summit included representation from a number of companies and U.S. departments and agencies. Three representatives of the ASF participated in the virtual summit, ASF President David Nalley, VP of Security Mark Cox, and ASF board member Sam Ruby.

Links 13/1/2022: Sparky 5.16, Fwupd 1.7.4, and KDE Plasma 5.24 Beta Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • OBS Studio pulls in NVIDIA as a new sponsor | GamingOnLinux

        OBS Studio continues growing, with NVIDIA joining as their latest big sponsor to help this free and open source project continue getting better.

        Announced by the official OBS account on Twitter, it notes that NVIDIA is a new Diamond sponsor. This means that NVIDIA will be providing at least $50,000 a year to the project. This doesn’t mean NVIDIA has any kind of control over OBS and they join the likes of Logitech, Twitch, Facebook and more in helping to fund probably the best way to record and livestream video on Linux.

      • BSDNow 437: Audit that package

        Using FreeBSD’s pkg-audit, 20 year old bug that went to Mars, FreeBSD on Slimbook, LLDB FreeBSD kernel core dump support, Steam on OpenBSD, Cool but obscure X11 tools, and more

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Is Bringing an Important Feature to Linux Kernel 5.17

        Intel is working to provide the Linux kernel with the ability to allow BIOS updates without a reboot.

        Certain compute systems require high Service Level Agreements (SLAs) where fewer system reboot firmware updates are required for deploying firmware changes to address bug fixes, security updates, and to debug and root cause issues. Ever since BIOS updates became possible, the process required rebooting the PC.

        Intel is now changing that, thanks to a new part of the ACPI specification called Platform Firmware Runtime Update and Telemetry (PFRUT). This allows for firmware updates to a PC’s BIOS or UEFI without forcing a reboot. The idea is to reduce downtime, especially for servers that should ideally remain available 100 percent of the time.

      • Intel Arc DG2 “Alchemist” Added For Mesa 22.0 But Code Disabled For Now – Phoronix

        Intel’s open-source Linux graphics driver developers have now committed the DG2/Alchemist graphics card PCI IDs and device information data to Mesa 22.0 for their OpenGL and Vulkan driver support, but for now until the Linux kernel support is baked this is disabled.

        Landing today in Mesa 22.0, which has now been extended by three weeks for additional development, is adding the DG2 (Alchemist) device information and the twenty PCI IDs. Yes, there are 20 PCI IDs for DG2 but not necessarily for all different models planned for going to market but sometimes extras are reserved for early engineering samples, possible but currently unplanned future SKUs, and similar reasons for reserving more possible IDs per family than what necessarily appear in retail/OEM channels.

      • Linux Kernel Patches Posted For Bringing Up Tesla’s Full Self-Driving SoC – Phoronix

        Samsung in partnership with Tesla has posted a set of 23 patches for enabling Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) SoC for the mainline Linux kernel.

        The 23 patches get Tesla’s Full Self-Driving SoC so that it can boot off the upstream Linux kernel compared to the downstream kernel builds currently used. The initial Tesla FSD SoC is made up of three clusters of four Cortex-A72 processor cores and several extra IP blocks.

      • Intel adds twenty ARC Alchemist GPU PCI IDs to open-source Linux Mesa drivers

        As many as twenty Intel ARC Alchemist GPU PCI Device IDs appear in the upcoming open-source Linux Mesa graphics driver update

        Intel has not divulged a massive amount of details on their newest ARC Alchemist discrete graphics cards, especially during last week’s CES 2022 conference in Las Vegas. With this newest update to the next Linux Mesa driver, it is appearing that Intel is diligently working to make sure their newest GPU will be widely available on more than just Window’s operating system.

    • Applications

      • Fwupd 1.7.4 Released with Support for ModemManager Devices and New Hardware

        Fwupd 1.7.4 is here exactly one month after fwupd 1.7.3 and adds firmware branch support for ModemManager devices, adds the ability for firmware engineers to patch files at known offsets, and introduces support for displaying why more devices are not marked as updatable.

        This release also introduces support for more hardware, including the HP USB-C G2 Dock, Nordic HID devices using MCUBoot, ThinkPad Thunderbolt 4 Dock, Quectel EG25-G LTE modem, many UF2 devices, as well as more PixArt devices.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install and use ADB on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Chromebooks, or even in a browser

        If you want to do any number of things that require access to the so-called Android Debug Bridge (ADB) or the fastboot tools for Android — sideloading apps, installing custom ROMs, taking screenshots in apps that forbid it, or accessing certain hidden features — you’ll need to get ADB up and running on your platform of choice first. Fortunately, doing so is possible virtually on any device at this point — you can even start ADB from another Android phone, or a web browser. We’ll help you get set up no matter what platform you’re on in this guide.

      • How To Install ImageMagick 7.1.0 In Ubuntu 20.04 LTS / Linux Mint | Tips On UNIX

        ImageMagick is a free and open-source software used to create, edit, compose or convert digital images. It can read and write images in a variety of formats including 200 images.

        It is available for multiple operating systems Linux, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and others.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install ImageMagick 7.1.0 in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 21.10, LinuxMint 20.3, and Fedora 35

      • Beginner’s Guide to LibreOffice Writer for Microsoft Word Users

        This is a collection of LibreOffice Writer tutorials for beginners published over the years by the Ubuntu Buzz. It covers the most basic exercises like basic writing, inserting pictures and tables, and dealing with page as well as paragraph styles. They are adapted with the hope to be useful and suitable for those who have background in Microsoft Word. We wish you would find Ubuntu, LibreOffice and Free Software community a safe home full of happiness and success.

      • Packaging LLVM Snapshots

        The release manager for LLVM creates source tarballs with every new release of LLVM. That is more or less the result of a git archive operation on a particular directory in the LLVM mono-repository. In the downstream Fedora operating system we take those source tarballs and use them as input to our build system.


        In order to make it easier for us to migrate to the next official version of LLVM, I tried to keep the changes to the original blueprints for a package to a minimum.

      • How to Install Liquorix Kernel on Linux Mint 20 – LinuxCapable

        Liqourix Kernel is a free, open-source general-purpose Linux Kernel alternative to the stock kernel with Linux Mint 20. It features custom settings and new features and is built to provide a responsive and smooth desktop experience, especially for new hardware. Liquorix Kernel is popular amongst Linux Gaming, streaming, and ultra-low latency requirements and often boasts the latest Linux Kernels, having multiple branches to choose from the stable, edge, and development.

        For users seeking to have their Linux Mint system kernel up to date and not wanting to manually install kernels or use the testing/unstable repositories, installing a third-party kernel that may be for you.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to import the Liquorix Kernel PPA and install the latest Linux Kernel on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to Set up Laravel Horizon Queueing in Rocky Linux 8

        Laravel Horizon is an open source dashboard app that keeps track of Laravel Redis queues. The Horizon dashboard is a single page application built using Vue.js. The application is designed to provide real-time insights into queue workloads, recent jobs, failed jobs, job retries, throughput and runtime metrics, and process counts. The Dashboard provides several statistical data on the execution times, throughput or failure of the processes involved, sending notifications if errors occur.

        Laravel Horizon has an excellent code-driven setup and user interface dashboard for your Laravel powered Redis queues. Horizon permits you to effortlessly monitor key metrics of your queue framework like runtime, and work failures.

      • [Old] Isolating Xwayland in a VM

        In my last post, Qubes-lite with KVM and Wayland, I described setting up a Qubes-inspired Linux system that runs applications in virtual machines. A Wayland proxy running in each VM connects its applications to the host Wayland compositor over virtwl, allowing them to appear on the desktop alongside normal host applications. In this post, I extend this to support X11 applications using Xwayland.

      • How To Install Chevereto on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Chevereto on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Chevereto is an image hosting script that allows you to create your own image hosting websites like the popular Tinypic and Photobucket. Chevereto is available in the Free and Paid versions, Paid version comes with all the features like storage, banners, likes, followers, social login, etc, while the Free version is always 6 months behind the paid version. Chevereto comes with all major features like user accounts, albums, admin dashboard, HTML 5 drag, and many 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 Chevereto on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

    • Games

      • Escape Simulator hits over $4M in gross sales | GamingOnLinux

        Escape Simulator has turned into a big success story for indie games and developer Pine Studio, with an announcement about how well it’s done.

        Releasing on Steam back in October 2021, writing on Reddit the team noted how it has managed to hit “$4M in gross sales in less than two months of being released on Steam”. It just goes to show that with the right know-how, indie developers can still manage to cut through the noise of thousands of games releasing on Steam all the time.

        How did they do it? As the Reddit post explains that part of the reason is that they hired a good PR team, and worked to create a good trailer. Plenty of it comes down to clever marketing, although it sounds like it did take a fair bit of time to do, like creating special puzzle rooms for people who covered the game. There was also some cross-promotion with other developers, and a lot of wishlists came from having a demo at some Steam festivals. Overall, it’s an interesting little look into what goes on behind the scenes to make a game a success.

      • SuperTux released free on Steam, an open source classic | GamingOnLinux

        Giving a nice boost to a classic free and open source game, SuperTux has now been released on Steam and it’s free to download and play.

        “Run and jump through SuperTux, the sidescrolling 2D platformer starring Tux, the Linux mascot. Squish and knock out enemies, collect powerups, and solve platforming puzzles throughout the Icy Island and the Rooted Forest, as Tux tries to save his beloved Penny from her kidnapper, Nolok!”

      • Heck Deck is a brilliant fusion of bullet-hell and a card game | GamingOnLinux

        What do you get when you cross a twin-stick bullet-hell with a card-game? Heck Deck. It’s not a particularly long game but the idea is excellent. It ends up more like a deck-building shooter strategy game, it’s thoroughly odd to properly pin it to a genre. Note: key provided by the developer.

        Time only moves when you move and you directly control a little sort-of wiggly-thing. Cards are you abilities and enemies fire cards. The thing is though, when you run out of cards you need to crash yourself into the cards the enemies fire to get more. It hurts you, but you get a new card to use (except health cards – they don’t hurt of course). It’s absolutely genius and I love it.

      • Godot Engine – Dev snapshot: Godot 3.5 beta 1

        Godot 3.4 was released 2 months ago, and some of the major planned features for Godot 3.5 have since been merged and are now ready for wider testing.

        So we’re starting the beta testing phase with this already significant set of changes, and we’ll have frequent beta builds to polish them for the stable release. Some more features are still being worked on and will be included in future beta builds.

        All this work is done by contributors on the side while our main development focus remains on the upcoming Godot 4.0 alpha (see our release policy for details on the various Godot versions).

        Jump to the Downloads section.

        As usual, you can try it live with the online version of the Godot editor updated for this release.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Your First Look at System76′s Rust-Based Desktop Experience – OMG! Ubuntu!

        If you’ve been itching to hear some progress about System76’s new desktop environment, you’re in luck!

        Developer Eduardo Flores went hands on with early development versions of several COSMIC components and written about his findings (with copious amount of screenshots) on his blog.

        “System76’s objective is to create something that is faster, more customizable, and free of the limitations of the GNOME desktop environment, and let’s face it, we’re all curious as to how this desktop will look like,” Eduardo writes.

        And hey: he’s not wrong!

        Do keep in mind that everything you see in his (and this) post is at formative stage. Nothing shown is final, nothing shown is stable, and nothing shown is immune to change. Expect the final version of the Rust-based COSMIC desktop to differ (possibly majorly) from anything you see here.

        With that public service announcement out of the way, let’s dive in!

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • New Breeze Theme Gives KDE Neon Release Lots of Sparkle

          Few desktop environments — and Linux is both blessed and cursed with a plethora of them — can be inviting enough to fit the computing needs of all user scenarios. KDE is one of them. Even better, the October release of KDE Neon 5.23 makes it a fitting choice over other distros running KDE.

          This release has a double claim to fame. KDE Neon 5.23 has components not yet absorbed by other KDE-based distros. It is also the 25th Anniversary edition of KDE, first released in 1996.

          KDE Neon 5.23 is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution featuring the latest KDE Plasma desktop and other KDE community software. With an edge over other KDE installations, the Neon project provides a rapidly evolving software repository with all the latest KDE software.

        • KDE Plasma 5.24 Beta Released with New Overview Effect, Fingerprint Support, and More

          KDE Plasma 5.24 comes with numerous changes that will make many of you happy. For example, it introduces the long-anticipated support for fingerprint readers to unlock the screen, as well as to authenticate in apps that require administration password, and also to authenticate with sudo on the command-line.

          Another interesting feature of the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.24 desktop environment series is a brand-new Overview effect that lets users control their virtual workspaces and find search results from KRunner, all in one place. The new Overview effect can be toggled with the Super+W keyboard shortcut and has a blurred background by default.

        • Plasma 5.24 Beta – KDE Community

          As is traditional, today we are bringing you the testing version of KDE’s Plasma 5.24. Plasma 5.24 Beta is aimed at testers, developers, and bug-hunters.

          To help KDE developers iron out bugs and solve issues, install Plasma 5.24 Beta and test run the features listed below. Please report bugs to our bug tracker.

        • KDE Plasma 5.24 Beta Released With Better Wayland Support – Phoronix

          KDE has made available the beta of the upcoming Plasma 5.24 desktop update ahead of its planned stable release on 8 February.

          KDE Plasma 5.24 Beta brings many Wayland improvements, refining of the Breeze theme, a variety of system tray and widget improvements, continued changes to the KDE System Settings, a new KWin overview effect, many Discover improvements, and a ton of fixes.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Human Interface Guidelines, libadwaita 1.0 edition – Form and Function

          After a lot of hard work, libadwaita 1.0 was released on the last day of 2021. If you haven’t already, check out Alexander’s announcement, which covers a lot of what’s in the new release.

          When we rewrote the HIG back in May 2021, the new version expected and recommended libadwaita. However, libadwaita evolved between then and 1.0, so changes were needed to bring the HIG up to date.

          Therefore, over the last two or three weeks, I’ve been working on updating the HIG to cover libadwaita 1.0. Hopefully this will mean that developers who are porting to GTK 4 and libadwaita have everything that they need in terms of design documentation but, if anything isn’t clear, do reach out using the usual GNOME design channels.

          In the rest of this post, I’ll review what’s changed in the HIG, compared with the previous version.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Rolling repos sync with Cooker (2022/01/13)

          Hard working OM Cooker devs are at work copying Cooker repos to Rolling repos. We do this when Cooker devs believe we are at a good point for stability and bug fixing. There have been a huge amont of bugs fixed. Especially for KDE or other desktop packages it is best to wait for the entire process to complete to avoid problems.

          Do not upgrade your Rolling system while this is in progress.You need to wait until copying cooker repos to rolling repos is finished. This process takes some time so we all need to patient.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 5.16 – SparkyLinux

          ISO images of Sparky “Nibiru” of the oldstable line have been updated up to 5.16.
          This release is based on Debian oldstable 10 “Buster”.

          All packages upgraded from Debian “Buster” and Sparky “Nibiru” repos as of January 11, 2022.

          System reinstallation is not required; if you have Sparky 5.x installed, simply keep Sparky up to date.

          New live/install media of the oldstable line can be downloaded from the download/oldstable page.

        • Bits from Debian: New Debian Developers and Maintainers (November and December 2021)

          The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

          Douglas Andrew Torrance (dtorrance)
          Mark Lee Garrett (lee)

          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Lukas Matthias Märdian
          Paulo Roberto Alves de Oliveira
          Sergio Almeida Cipriano Junior
          Julien Lamy
          Kristian Nielsen
          Jeremy Paul Arnold Sowden
          Jussi Tapio Pakkanen
          Marius Gripsgard
          Martin Budaj
          Tommi Petteri Höynälänmaa

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 users need to upgrade their systems this week

          It’s January 13 which means there’s just one week left until Canonical stops giving out updates for Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’ which launched last April. As it’s an inter-LTS release, it only receives 9-months of updates, and then it’s time to move on. The best plan for people still running Ubuntu 21.04 is to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 and then to upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (not available until April) before July 14.

          If you’re not too sure which Ubuntu version you’re running, open Settings, and then on the left-hand pane scroll down to About. This will open a new page in Settings and you need to look for OS Name, next to which, will be the version of Ubuntu you’re running. If you’re on Ubuntu 21.04 or for some reason still on Ubuntu 20.10, then you need to get upgrading.

        • The State of Robotics – December 2021 | Ubuntu

          I will be honest, I thought that December was going to be a slow month for the robotics news. With all the holidays, I was not expecting a month with exciting announcements or events. And when I was ready to put videos of robots dancing to Christmas carols, with Christmas hats and Christmas lights, I found a month packed with great news!

          So let’s dive into our monthly robotics blog and explore what the last month of 2021 brought us. And if you were looking at our 2021 robotics rewind, this is not it.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • An open source developer’s guide to 12-Factor App methodology

        The 12-Factor App methodology provides guidelines for building apps in a short time frame and for making them scalable. It was created by the developers at Heroku for use with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps, web apps, and potentially Communication-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) apps. For organizing projects effectively and managing scalable applications, the 12-Factor App methodology has powerful advantages for open source development.

        The principles of 12-Factor App methodology are strict rules that act as building blocks for developing and deploying SaaS applications, and they are not constrained to any programming language or database.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Is Currently Facing A Major Bug In Connection

            Users of the open source web browser have started to report a bug on various online communities where the browser simply can’t establish a connection to any website they wish to visit. Even when they try to close the browser, it hangs and keeps running in the background.

            No official statement from Mozilla is released so far. However, the bug is already reported and developers and users are discussing the root cause of the problem.

            Right now, the implementation of HTTP3 protocol in the browser seems to be the root cause of the problem, as users suggested that turning it off could fix the issue completely.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • ‘IwlIj jachjaj! Incoming LibreOffice 7.3 to support Klingon and Interslavic

          There’s a good chance you’ve heard of LibreOffice – OK, yes, and Klingon. Interslavic, maybe not. Here’s why some of you should care.

          LibreOffice is the continuation of the moribund OpenOffice project, which had to change its name because Oracle claimed the trademark on the old name.

          If you’re still using OpenOffice, don’t. It’s basically dead. Download LibreOffice, uninstall OpenOffice, then install LibreOffice instead. It’s completely compatible because it’s the same program, just a more modern version – smaller, faster, less buggy, and more secure.

          It’s even handy if you have a legit copy of Microsoft Office. In your correspondent’s experience, it’s a lot better at recovering corrupted or damaged MS Office files than MS Office itself. (It’s also free, resistant to MS Office viruses, and legal even for commercial use.)

          And as for the languages? The website already lists 51, and more are coming. That’s a tiny fraction of the world’s 7,000-plus languages, and a language goes extinct every two weeks. For small communities trying to keep minority languages alive, being able to write in it is very important.

      • Programming/Development

        • New KDReports Release – KDAB

          We have just released version 2.1.0 of our KDReports developer tool product.

          KDReports generates printable and exportable reports from code and from XML descriptions. Developers write the code that integrates KDReports with the rest of the application. External designers or marketing and sales staff can be tasked with creating the report structure, or its appearance. The created reports can be shown in a preview dialog that is part of KD Reports. They can also be saved to PDF files or sent directly to a printer.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Do-It-Yourself warnings categories

            One of the reasons I have not “moved on” from Perl to some other more “modern” language is that Perl gives me such great access to its inner workings. The Do-It-Yourself Lexical Pragmas post from a couple weeks ago is an example of this. Another example is that Perl lets you tie your own code into its warnings system.

            Tying into the warnings machinery requires a module. That is, the interface assumes you are reporting problems relative to another name space that invoked your code. Your module can either add diagnostics to existing Perl warning categories or actually create new categories. In either case your diagnostics are sensitive to the enablement or disablement of the category, as well as its fatalization.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Work The World On A 555 | Hackaday

        Over the years the humble 555 timer has been used in so many unexpected places, but there’s a project from [Frank Latos] which we think may be a first. On a piece of stripboard sit a pair of 555s, and instead of the usual passives there are a set of LC circuits. This is no timer, instead it’s a CW (Morse) transmitter for the 80 metre amateur radio band.

        One 555 is configured as a feedback oscillator through a toroidal transformer with a tuned circuit to set the frequency of oscillation. The other takes an inverted input from the oscillator to produce complimentary push-pull outputs from both 555s, which are fed to another transformer that in turn feeds a low-pass filter and thus the antenna.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Cloudwashing

            • Let your ideas take flight in the Arduino Cloud Games | Arduino Blog

              Arduino’s brand new initiative, the Arduino Cloud Games, is now live and accepting submissions.

              This new program is a way to build a community showcase of the most creative, innovative ideas that show the vast potential and scope of connected projects. Let’s take a look at how you can get involved, and let your ideas take flight.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (epiphany-browser, lxml, and roundcube), Fedora (gegl04, mingw-harfbuzz, and mod_auth_mellon), openSUSE (openexr and python39-pip), Oracle (firefox and thunderbird), Red Hat (firefox and thunderbird), SUSE (apache2, openexr, python36-pip, and python39-pip), and Ubuntu (apache-log4j1.2, ghostscript, linux, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, and systemd).

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

            • Ransomware is being rewritten in Go for joint attacks on Windows, Linux users [Ed: Microsoft-friendly media wants us to think that the programming languages themselves are to blame for criminals who use them — a typical FUD pattern; this latest FUD comes [1, 2] from a Microsoft proxy, which is also promoting nuclear tensions]

              Cyber security researchers have discovered evidence of a years-old ransomware strain returning after being rewritten in Golang – a cross-platform programming language capable of reaching a higher number of users across different operating systems.

              The TellYouThePass ransomware was first discovered in 2019, however researchers [sic] at Crowdstrike have now spotted a new strain being used as a second-stage attack following a successful exploit of the Log4Shell vulnerability revealed in December 2021.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Using Foreign Nationals to Bypass US Surveillance Restrictions

              Remember when the US and Australian police surreptitiously owned and operated the encrypted cell phone app ANOM? They arrested 800 people in 2021 based on that operation.

              New documents received by Motherboard show that over 100 of those phones were shipped to users in the US, far more than previously believed.

            • Salvadoran journalists’ phones hacked with spyware, report finds | Reuters

              The cell phones of nearly three dozen journalists and activists in El Salvador, several of whom were investigating alleged state corruption, have been hacked since mid-2020 and implanted with sophisticated spyware typically available only to governments and law enforcement, a Canadian research institute said it has found.

              The alleged hacks, which came amid an increasingly hostile environment in El Salvador for media and rights organizations under populist President Nayib Bukele, were discovered late last year by The Citizen Lab, which studies spyware at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. Human-rights group Amnesty International, which collaborated with Citizen Lab on the investigation, says it later confirmed a sample of Citizen Lab’s findings through its own technology arm.

              Citizen Lab said it found evidence of incursions on the phones that occurred between July 2020 and November 2021. It said it could not identify who was responsible for deploying the Israeli-designed spyware. Known as Pegasus, the software has been purchased by state actors worldwide, some of whom have used the tool to surveil journalists.

            • NSO Spyware Linked to Phone Hacks of Journalists, Activists in El Salvador

              Human rights groups say they have identified 35 journalists and activists in El Salvador whose mobile phones were infected with spyware manufactured by the Israeli company NSO Group.

              In a statement released on Wednesday, rights groups Access Now, Amnesty International and Citizen Lab said that the people targeted included employees of media groups El Faro and Gato Encerrado, in addition to employees of regional human rights and pro-democracy organizations, such as Cristosal and Fundación Democracia, Transparencia y Justicia.

              A spokesperson for NSO group declined to comment on the specific allegations but said that the company provides its technology “only to vetted and legitimate intelligence agencies as well as to law enforcement agencies, who use these systems under warrants by the local judicial system to fight criminals, terrorists and corruption.”

            • Journalists in El Salvador Targeted With Spyware Intended for Criminals – The New York Times

              El Salvador’s leading news outlet, El Faro, said on Wednesday that the phones of a majority of its employees had been hacked with the spyware Pegasus, which has been used by governments to monitor human rights activists, journalists and dissidents.

              The revelation came just months after the American government blacklisted the Israeli firm that produces Pegasus, the NSO Group, in an attempt to curb the largely unregulated global market in spyware.

              According to Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School and Access Now, two cybersecurity watchdogs that analyzed the phones of El Faro’s employees, the spyware had been installed on the phones of 22 reporters, editors and other employees between July 2020 and November 2021.

              During that time, El Faro was investigating the Salvadoran government’s clandestine connections to the country’s gangs and corruption scandals. The government has denied any connection to local gangs.

            • NSO Group promised to stop selling tools to spy on journalists. A new report proves otherwise – Rest of World

              In July, a consortium of journalists unveiled the Pegasus Project: An investigation detailing how governments across the world deployed Pegasus spyware against journalists, activists, and opposition politicians. In response, the founder and CEO of the Israeli developer of the software, the NSO Group, vowed it would not work with countries that violated human rights and targeted journalists, and claimed that it had suspended the software in five countries that had abused the malware’s usage, although did not specify which ones.

              Now, a newly published report from a group of prominent digital rights organizations suggests that NSO spyware tools are still being used against journalists in El Salvador.

              The report, produced in partnership by Access Now, The Citizen Lab, Fundación Acceso, Amnesty International, and other digital rights groups, found that Pegasus had been installed and used to infect the devices of 35 Salvadoran journalists and activists between July 2020 and November 2021. The findings have been analyzed and corroborated by two of the groups behind the report.

            • NSO Group Spyware Targeted Dozens of Reporters in El Salvador | WIRED

              THE ISRAELI SPYWARE developer NSO Group has long claimed plausible deniability when it comes to misuse of its powerful targeted surveillance tools. Yet despite its protestations—and increased scrutiny from tech companies and regulators alike—the abuses continue. The latest revelation comes from El Salvador, where NSO’s Pegasus malware was found on 37 devices belonging to 35 journalists and activists as recently as November of last year.

              Those findings, jointly published by a consortium of digital rights organizations, show that despite NSO Group’s insistence that its products are used to track criminals and terrorists, governments continue to deploy them against innocent targets—and that NSO has done little to rein in its clients.

            • Report: 22 journalists at Salvadoran news site hit with Pegasus hack

              At least 22 journalists from the independent Salvadoran news site El Faro were targeted with telephone spyware, investigators announced Wednesday, in one of the most extensive attacks yet discovered using the Pegasus software that human rights advocates say has been abused by governments around the world.

              The journalists were among at least 35 people in El Salvador whose iPhones were hacked with Pegasus between July 2020 and November 2021, according to an analysis by the Toronto-based Citizen Lab and other groups. Also targeted were human rights activists and reporters for other news organizations.

              Some devices were penetrated a dozen or more times, the investigators said. Óscar Martínez, El Faro’s news editor, was hacked 42 times, they said. The digital news site is known for its hard-hitting investigations into the government of President Nayib Bukele.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Blocking access to Twitter in Nigeria is a flagrant violation of fundamental rights

        After seven months of deliberately blocking access to Twitter, authorities in Nigeria have today lifted the ban on the social media platform.

        According to media reports, the government indicated that Twitter had pledged to fulfil certain conditions which had been discussed behind closed doors. Twitter also confirmed that it had been unblocked in the country, but did not acknowledge the conditions, or indicate if it planned on fulfilling them.

        While Access Now welcomes the government’s decision to end the Twitter ban, many aspects of this decision remain unclear, and is appealing to both parties to be transparent and consultative in in regard to the discussions that occurred, or are ongoing to take place, and ensure that the fundamental rights of the people of Nigeria are not jeopardized in the process.

        “Ending the ban on Twitter in Nigeria is the right thing to do, but it is incredibly unfortunate that it took the authorities so many months to do so,” said Felicia Anthonio, Campaigner and #KeepItOn Lead at Access Now. “The ban was an unnecessary attack on fundamental rights, while costing the country’s economy over a billion USD.”

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Canon Temporarily Abandons Smart Ink Cartridges | Hackaday

        An unexpected side effect of the global semiconductor shortage came to light this week — Japanese printer manufacturer Canon announced they are temporarily going to provide consumable ink and toner cartridges without microchips. Furthermore, they provided instructions for consumers on how to bypass the printer’s logic, allowing it to function even when it incorrectly thinks the ink or toner is low.

Links 13/1/2022: Slackware Linux 15.0 RC3 and More Microsoft Aggression Against Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • LWN’s unreliable predictions for 2022 [LWN.net]

      It is 2022 already, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for your editor to make a (bigger) fool of himself by posting a set of predictions for what may come in the new year. One should never pass up an opportunity for a humbling experience, after all. There can be no doubt that interesting things will happen this year; let’s see how many random darts thrown in that direction can hit close to the mark.
      Starting with something that is, hopefully, fairly obvious: 2022 will see a wider awareness that maintainers need support for free-software projects to be healthy. It has been a while since companies working with free software realized that they needed to support the developers of that software; that is the path toward stronger projects and better influence over how those projects evolve. But even the projects with the most economic support struggle to support their maintainers, and the effects can be felt across the entire community. The ongoing Log4j debacle is just the latest symptom of this problem.

      Supporting maintainers can be a hard sell for a corporate manager. Developers can focus most of their time directly on their employers’ needs, but maintainers have to make the project work for all participants, including their employers’ competitors. The value of their contribution is harder to quantify. But the cost of neglected maintenance is high and growing, and the smarter companies will start to figure this out.

      This support will also take the form of a greater willingness to pay for supported free-software products in areas where that has not generally happened. The recent announcement that support for GnuPG is selling well is a case in point. This critical project has languished for years, depending on donations from individuals; maintainer Werner Koch is now telling donors that their support is no longer needed.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 937

        it might pop and crackle but joel has the inside scoop to stoke your fires

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 938

        let Joel tell you how to pop a tent over docker

      • Linux Saloon, the Next Generation of BDLL – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        Being a part of BDLL and doing distro challenges has introduced me to some incredible people and opened doors for me. This show with Rocco, Zeb, Dan, Eric and so many more really allowed me to have a lot of fun with technology in a whole new dimension.

        In late 2020, Rocco stepped away from BDLL. Later, with encouragement from a BDLL community member, Michael Vash, I picked up the torch, and with Rocco’s permission decided to continue to run with BDLL. I didn’t want this all to just drift off into the Internet ether. Largely because of the loyalty I have towards Rocco and the community.

        The name of the rebranded show is Linux Saloon. It will remain at the same time each Saturday, with the same or similar cast of characters that has been around the last few months and to avoid confusion, I have decided to move it to a new channel and give it a fresh start.

      • Multi-Monitor Video Editing – Purism

        Next in our video editing series for the Librem 14, Gardiner Bryant dives into using multiple monitors. Video editing is resource heavy on any laptop, which is why we recommend Librem 14. This video will help those looking to level up their overall video production.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17 Lands Big Rewrite To FS-Cache & CacheFiles Driver Code

        Being worked on since early 2020 by Red Hat’s David Howells has been a rewrite to Linux’s FS-Cache and CacheFiles code focusing on making it smaller and simpler while also presenting possible memory/performance advantages. That major rewrite has been merged now for Linux 5.17.

      • Microsoft Reworks The “DXGKRNL” Driver It Wants To Get Into The Linux Kernel [Ed: Microsoft is still aggressing against Linux]

        Back in 2020 Microsoft announced the DXGKRNL driver as the kernel driver component for supporting GPU accelerated use-cases within Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2). That original DXGKRNL driver was quickly shot down by upstream kernel developers and various issues raised while now for the past year Microsoft has been reworking this kernel driver and on Wednesday published the new version.


        Microsoft was also originally criticized with DXGKRNL since it relied upon closed-source CUDA and DirectX user-space components for operation. To that they now are celebrating the open-source user-space API support offered by Intel with their OpenCL / OpenVINO / oneAPI support atop this kernel driver for use with Intel graphics hardware.

      • x86 Straight Line Speculation CPU Mitigation Appears For Linux 5.17 – Phoronix

        The Linux 5.17 kernel is introducing support for the x86 straight-line speculation “SLS” mitigation with it becoming increasingly clear modern x86_64 CPUs are susceptible to speculatively executing linearly in memory past an unconditional change in control flow.

        Back in mid-2020 Straight Line Speculation was made public for Arm CPUs based on research by Google’s SafeSide initiative. Arm processors were found to be able to speculatively execute linearly in memory beyond what should be an unconditional change in control flow, such as for exception returns, other exception generating instructions, unconditional direct/indirect branches, and function returns. If speculatively executing a “Spectre revelation gadget” it could in turn make secrets vulnerable to revelation through timing analysis.

        Following that disclosure, open-source software quickly mitigated for Arm SLS via GCC and LLVM/Clang compiler hardening around BLR and RETBR instructions.

      • Linux Serial Console Driver Lands Patch For Possible ~25% Performance Improvement – Phoronix

        It’s not an area of Linux hardware performance we normally look at, but thanks to a Red Hat engineer discovering very low serial console performance, there is an improvement queued up for introduction in Linux 5.17…

        Red Hat’s Wander Lairson Costa was noticing the serial console throughput on an HP Proliant DL380 Gen9 server was coming in well below expectations: expecting 10KB/s but with the current Linux kernel only hitting around 2.5KB/s. The Linux 8250 serial console driver was taking around 410 microseconds just to dispatch one single byte.

        With the Linux 8250/16550 serial port console driver, Wander has managed to improve the performance in 2022. The 16550 UARTs have an on-chip FIFO buffer to which is now being used on supported systems by the 8250 serial driver’s write function.

      • Intel Core i5 12400 “Alder Lake”: A Great ~$200 CPU For Linux Users Review – Phoronix

        Formally announced at CES, the Core i5 12400 and other Alder Lake non-K desktop CPUs are beginning to appear in retail channels. Last week I was able to buy an Intel Core i5 12400 “Alder Lake” from a major Internet retailer for $209 USD — and one week later there remains availability during these turbulent supply chain times. The i5-12400 has wound up being a very nice processor for Linux use that exceeded my initial expectations.

      • Zero-copy network transmission with io_uring [LWN.net]

        When the goal is to push bits over the network as fast as the hardware can go, any overhead hurts. The cost of copying data to be transmitted from user space into the kernel can be especially painful; it adds latency, takes valuable CPU time, and can be hard on cache performance. So it is unsurprising that the developers working with io_uring, which is all about performance, have turned their attention to zero-copy network transmission. This patch set from Pavel Begunkov, now in its second revision, looks to be significantly faster than the MSG_ZEROCOPY option supported by current kernels.

        As a reminder: io_uring is a relatively new API for asynchronous I/O (and related operations); it was first merged less than three years ago. User space sets up a pair of circular buffers shared with the kernel; the first buffer is used to submit operations to the kernel, while the second receives the results when operations complete. A suitably busy process that keeps the submission ring full can perform an indefinite number of operations without needing to make any system calls, which clearly improves performance. Io_uring also implements the concept of “fixed” buffers and files; these are held open, mapped, and ready for I/O within the kernel, saving the setup and teardown overhead that is otherwise incurred by every operation. It all adds up to a significantly faster way for I/O-intensive applications to work.

        One thing that io_uring still does not have is zero-copy networking, even though the networking subsystem supports zero-copy operation via the MSG_ZEROCOPY socket option. In theory, adding that support is simply a matter of wiring up the integration between the two subsystems. In practice, naturally, there are a few more details to deal with.

        A zero-copy networking implementation must have a way to inform applications when any given operation is truly complete; the application cannot reuse a buffer containing data to be transmitted if the kernel is still working on it. There is a subtle point that is relevant here: the completion of a send() call (for example) does not imply that the associated buffer is no longer in use. The operation “completes” when the data has been accepted into the networking subsystem for transmission; the higher layers may well be done with it, but the buffer itself may still be sitting in a network interface’s transmission queue. A zero-copy operation is only truly done with its data buffers when the hardware has done its work — and, for many protocols, when the remote peer has acknowledged receipt of the data. That can happen long after the operation that initiated the transfer has completed.

        So there needs to be a mechanism by which the kernel can tell applications that a given buffer can be reused. MSG_ZEROCOPY handles this by returning notifications via the error queue associated with the socket — a bit awkward, but it works. Io_uring, instead, already has a completion-notification mechanism in place, so the “really complete” notifications fit in naturally. But there are still a few complications resulting from the need to accurately tell an application which buffers can be reused.

      • User-managed concurrency groups [LWN.net]

        The kernel’s thread model is relatively straightforward and performs reasonably well, but that’s not enough for all users. Specifically, there are use cases out there that benefit from a lightweight threading model that gives user space control over scheduling decisions. Back in May 2021, Peter Oskolkov posted a patch set implementing an abstraction known as user-managed concurrency groups, or UMCG. Several revisions later, many observers still lack a clear idea of what this patch is supposed to do, much less whether it is a good idea for the kernel. Things have taken a turn, though, with Peter Zijlstra’s reimplementation of UMCG.
        One developer reimplementing another’s patch set is likely to raise eyebrows. Zijlstra’s motivation for doing that work can perhaps be seen in this message, where he notes that the UMCG code looked little like the rest of the scheduler code. He also remarked that it required “reverse engineering” to figure out how UMCG was meant to be used. By the time that work was done, perhaps, it was just easier to recast the code in the form he thought it should take.

        In truth, the documentation for UMCG is no better than before — a significant problem for a major proposed addition to the system-call API. But it is possible to dig through the code (and a “pretty rough” test application posted by Zijlstra) to get a sense for what is going on. In short, UMCG calls for a multi-threaded application to divide itself into “server” and “worker” threads, where there is likely to be one server thread for each CPU on the system. Server threads make scheduling decisions, while workers run according to those decisions and get the actual work done. The advantage of a system like UMCG is that scheduling can happen quickly and with little overhead from the kernel — assuming the server threads are properly implemented, of course.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 22.0 Pushed Back By Three Weeks – Phoronix

          While a lot of open-source OpenGL and Vulkan driver improvements have been landing in recent days in anticipation of the Mesa 22.0 code branching and feature freeze for Wednesday, that deadline has now been extended by three weeks.

          Due to problems merging some merge requests from GitLab as well as FreeDesktop.org hosting issues, Mesa 22.0 has been pushed back. Additionally, some Mesa3D developers have expressed interest in trying to squeeze in some remaining patches not yet merged.

    • Applications

      • Plots is an open-source, free app to visualize visualize mathematical formulas

        Plots is a graph plotting app for GNOME. Plots makes it easy to visualize mathematical formulae. In addition to basic arithmetic operations, it supports trigonometric, hyperbolic, exponential and logarithmic functions, as well as arbitrary sums and products. It can display polar equations, and both implicit and explicit Cartesian equations.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Check MySQL User Privileges in Linux

        The first/fresh installation of a MySQL on any operating system only considers the root user as the default database user. The first database transactions/activities are performed by the root user only.

        Therefore, it is not ideal for any user that needs access to the MySQL database to gain entry via the root user credentials. Root user access should be reserved to the database administrator who will then use the root user credentials to create database users and grant privileges to execute different database queries.

      • Fix Firefox 96.0 And 95.0.2 Not Loading Websites With DNS Over HTTPS Enabled – Linux Uprising Blog

        The latest Firefox 96.0 as well as 95.0.2 have an issue which prevents the browser from establishing any connections when DNS over HTTPS (DOH) is enabled. Simply disabling this option once enabled doesn’t make the issue go away. Read on to see how to fix this.

        With DNS over HTTPS enabled on Firefox 96.0 and 95.0.2, besides not being able to access any websites, the browser hangs in the background when closed. The issue affects Linux, Windows, and macOS Firefox users alike.

      • How to Increase Request Timeout in NGINX – TecAdmin

        Sometimes the long running requests failed with the error message “504: Gateway Timeout” in NGINX web server. To solve this issue, you need to increase request timeout in NGINX server configuration. The default, NGINX request timeout is 60 seconds. Which can be increased or decreased by updating the configuration files.

        In this quick FAQ, you will learn to change the request timeout in NGINX web server.

      • How to Install ModSecurity 3 & OWASP Core Rule Set with Apache (HTTPD) on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        ModSecurity, often referred to as Modsec, is a free, open-source web application firewall (WAF). ModSecurity was created as a module for the Apache HTTP Server. However, since its early days, the WAF has grown and now covers an array of HyperText Transfer Protocol request and response filtering capabilities for various platforms such as Microsoft IIS, Nginx, and Apache.

        How the WAF works, the ModSecurity engine is deployed in front of the web application, allowing the engine to scan the incoming and outgoing HTTP connections. ModSecurity is most commonly used in conjunction with the OWASP Core Rule Set (CRS), an open-source set of rules written in ModSecurity’s SecRules language and is highly regarded among the security industry.

      • How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Linux Mint 20 – LinuxCapable

        Linux kernel 5.16 has many new features, support, and security. The Linux 5.16 kernel release has a great new feature, FUTEX2, or futex_watv(), which aims to improve the Linux gaming experience, growing considerably with better native Linux porting for Windows games utilizing Wine.

        Other improvements have seen write include improved write congestion management, task scheduler for CPU clusters sharing L2/L3 cache, amongst many other additions. More information can be found on the Linux 5.16 Kernel release changelog.

      • How to install and Configure HAProxy load balancer on Debian 11

        HAProxy is a free and open source software that provides a high availability load balancer and proxy server for TCP and HTTP-based applications that spreads requests across multiple servers. It distributes the load among the web and application servers.

        Haproxy is popular for load balancing because of its efficiency, reliability, and low memory and CPU footprint. Load balancing is a common solution for distributing web applications horizontally across multiple hosts while providing the users with a single point of access to the service.

        It is available for install on major Linux distributions. In this guide we will learn how to install and configure HAProxy load balancer on Debian 11.

      • The choose command in Linux

        Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to use choose command in Linux. We have tested this tutorial on Debian 11, but it should work on Ubuntu 20.04 and derivatives.

      • 3 Ways to install and use HandBrake Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        HandBrake is an open-source video transcoder distributed under GPL license, here we learn the steps to install Handbrake on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy JellyFish or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

        After a gap of some time, finally, the developers of Handbrake recently announced the latest version 1.5.1 to install for Linux, Mac, and Windows. The key purpose of this free and open-source software is to convert common video files and formats; to play on smartphones, tablets, TV, game console, PC, or web browser—nearly anything that supports modern video formats. It offers tools such as FFmpeg, x264, and x265 to create new MP4 or MKV video files. To avoid misunderstandings, the Freeware Handbrake cannot handle copy-protected DVDs or Blu-Rays. So you cannot make copies of purchased films with the software. Otherwise, the open-source software is ideal for converting videos.

        One thing that is particularly important with video tools, broad format support. Handbrake definitely offers it, there is hardly a video that cannot be converted with the tool. Apart from the video, Handbrake offers a wide range of options for sound format, bit rate, and image sizes. You can also apply numerous filters or add subtitles. Once set, you can also run several videos in a series.

      • Restricting SSH agent keys [LWN.net]

        The OpenSSH suite of tools for secure remote logins is used widely within our communities; it also underlies things like remote Git repository access. A recent experimental feature for the upcoming OpenSSH 8.9 release will help close a security hole that can be exploited by attacker-controlled SSH servers (e.g. sshd) when the user is forwarding authentication to a local ssh-agent. Instead of allowing the keys held in the agent to be used for authenticating to any host where they might work, SSH agent restriction will allow users to specify where and how those keys can be used.

      • Install Node.js on Raspberry Pi 4

        Node.js is an open-source and cross-platform server-side JavaScript runtime powered by the Google Chrome V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js is mainly used to develop network apps, APIs, and full-stack web apps. Node.js can also be used to develop desktop apps and mobile apps.

        In this article, I am going to show you how to install the latest LTS (Long Term Support) version of Node.js on Raspberry Pi 4 running the Raspberry Pi OS. So, let’s get started.

      • How to change canvas size in Inkscape

        In Inkscape, after creating a design that is ready for finalization, you will most likely need to change the size to accommodate whatever you have created. For instance, you have designed a logo, and now you want to finalize the editable vector copies to deliver them to the intended recipients. Also, when you create a PDF file, Inkscape only saves the objects that exists within the page border. So, understanding how to change the canvas size is essential if you need to change it according to your preferences.

        This write-up will show you how to change the canvas size in Inkscape by using the “Documents Properties” menu. The “Documents Properties” menu also permits you to change the size of the canvas with numerical input. You can also customize your canvas size to fit the specific objects added in your Inkscape document. So, let’s get this guide started!

      • How to convert PNG to SVG in Inkscape

        Vector graphics and Raster graphics are the two primary types of graphics. Portable Graphic Format (PNG) files are the raster images built from discrete colored boxes, called pixels. Pixel graphics are static and have a predetermined size. In a raster image, the individual pixels become more visible as you zoom in or try to magnify them. On the other hand, Vector graphics are based on mathematical formulas that specify the graphics features on the X and Y axes. These formulas are significantly more dynamic than a sequence of static boxes or pixels. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format offers many additional advantages compared to the PNG, such as being fully editable by utilizing the vector graphics tools and having the capability to enlarge its points.

        Suppose that you have a logo file in PNG format and you want to convert it to SVG. What will you do? You will look out for this feature in popular image editing software or vector graphics editors such as Inkscape. Inkscape permits users to save and convert the PNG or JPG image file into SVG file format. Today, we will thoroughly demonstrate how you can convert PNG to SVG in Inkscape. So, let’s start!

      • Linux Command: Namei Usage

        Linux is a diverse platform to play with a lot of commands in its shell at one time and does other work as well. These commands are of diverse use and purpose. There comes a moment while working in Linux that you have to find out and know more about some specific file, its owner, its path, and content between some folders. One of those unique and great commands is the “namei” command of the Linux system. The namei command is used so far to know more about the specific directory i.e., its path, location, and a lot more things. Therefore, today we will be discussing the namei command in our Ubuntu 20.04 Linux shell. So, let’s have a new start.

        You need to open up your system first and then open up the terminal console as well. Use the “Ctrl+Alt+T” for doing so. After the opening of the terminal, we are ready to utilize our command for specific purposes. You have to know that the namei command uses many flags in it for those reasons. If you want to find out more about the namei command, just write “namei” in the shell and you will see the commands info.

      • Linux Command: Bridge Usage

        In Linux systems, the brctl command has been called a bridge command. The “brctl” term stands for bridge control. It is the ultimate unique command to let you see all the current Ethernet bridges in your system. It may also let you add and create new Ethernet bridges and make changes to many of them with few keywords in them. Therefore, we will be utilizing the Ubuntu 20.04 system to discuss the brctl bridge command. For that, we have to start the shell console of our system via “Ctrl+Alt+T”. So, let’s get started.

        We are starting our article with the installation of bridge utilities. For this, we need to use the “apt-get” package command in the shell. The keyword “install” has been used after the apt-get package and the “bridge-utils” package name is utilized after that with the “-y” flag to force installation. At the start of installation, it probably asks for your sudo password and you have to add it necessarily. After that, the bridge utilities will be installed on your Ubuntu system.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 42 Planned for Ubuntu 22.04, But Few GTK4 Apps – OMG! Ubuntu!

          GNOME 42 could still feature in Ubuntu 22.04 when it arrives this April — but don’t expect to see too many GTK4 apps with it.

          Ubuntu developers say they ‘aim’ to include the bulk of GNOME 42 release in Ubuntu 22.04 but are currently tasked with updating the GNOME Shell stack to the latest GNOME 41 release.

          GNOME 42 is itself under active development ahead of a planned stable release in March. The first alpha of GNOME 42 expected to drop this month and will feature a fair number of apps ported to and/or taking advantage of GTK4 and libadwaita.

          And it’s those that Ubuntu isn’t keen on including — not yet.

          If this all sound a bit conservative it’s because it is! Ubuntu 22.04 is an LTS and Ubuntu has to ship a solid, stable software set it can confidently commit to supporting over the next five years (and possibly beyond).

          While upcoming GTK4 ports of Settings and Files are likely to get a ton of stress testing by GNOME developers — and plucky enthusiasts — ahead of the GNOME 42 release, Ubuntu isn’t certain there’s enough time to test them well enough, not for inclusion in a long-term support release.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Aiming For GNOME 42, Avoiding GTK4 Where Possiblex

          Ubuntu developers have laid out their GNOME versioning plans for this spring’s release of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

          While Ubuntu has been behind upstream when it comes to GNOME 40+ packaging, with Ubuntu 21.10 they are on GNOME 40 and for April’s release of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS they are planning to get to GNOME 42. They are currently shifting to GNOME Shell 41 and then working on moving to GNOME 42 updates. GNOME 42 will be officially out in March and the plan is for that new upstream release to be powering this next Ubuntu Long Term Support release.

        • Zrythm Switches to GTK 4 and libadwaita Ahead of Other Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) – It’s FOSS News

          Now that it’s been a while since GTK 4 was unveiled, several applications have started to make the move from GTK 3.

          The latest of which is Zrythm. While still in its alpha phase, this change is incredibly large and impactful, so let’s take a look at it!

          In case you’re curious, Zrythm is a Digital Audio Workstation, just like LMMS, Ardour, and other options in our list of best DAWs.

          Zrythm allows users to edit audio, and make music. It has all the essential features expected from a DAW. And, it seems to be properly working with the various audio servers desktop Linux uses (like Pulseaudio, Pipewire, etc.).

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Kali’s stable Docker image is now named kali-last-release

          Here is a very quick announcement for users of the Kali Linux Docker Images.

          Until recently we used to have a Docker image named simply kali, and it was built from the last versioned release of Kali (e.g. 2019.4, 2020.1, etc.) matching our “kali-last-snapshot” network repositories branch. In a way, this is our “stable” release, as it will only get updates quarterly as it is in synchronisation with our release cycle.

          We still provide this Docker image, but now it has been renamed from kali to kali-last-release for clarity.

      • Slackware Family

        • Development Release: Slackware Linux 15.0 RC3

          “Good hello, and welcome to the third and final release candidate for Slackware 15.0. We’re 99% frozen at this point and are mostly looking for regression or other bug reports that might be able to be addressed before this goes stable. Of course, the management here reserves the right to make exceptions… that 5.15.15 kernel version has a nice ring to it. If your requests didn’t make it into this iteration, perhaps we will revisit them for the next -current cycle. Some were just a little too late but will more than likely be needed next time (I’m looking at Didier’s grubconfig), while others are just out of scope for the main tree where I like to abide by YAGNI as much as possible. Anyway, let’s get some testing done and we’ll be there soon. Enjoy!”

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How to troubleshoot DHCP communication problems on your network | Enable Sysadmin

          Imagine you have a repurposed enterprise switch with a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) service that you need to troubleshoot. There is little information available about the switch’s configuration or previous deployments. The device is reported to be functional and should lease Internet Protocol (IP) address configurations to clients. However, the attached clients are not receiving IP configurations from the switch.

        • IT talent: 3 hot IT roles in 2022 and beyond | The Enterprisers Project

          As organizations kick off 2022 IT hiring, the demand for IT talent is not slowing down. Digital transformation leaders and IT security professionals are in particularly high demand, driven by digital transformation and the continuation of remote work.

          Many companies that put digital transformation on hold during the pandemic are now prioritizing these initiatives and are seeking top IT professionals to lead them. Hand-in-hand with digital transformation initiatives is IT security. Security continues to be a top priority for organizations as phishing attempts and hacking threatens their data.

        • Get started with Node.js 16 on OpenShift | Red Hat Developer

          In April 2021, Node.js released its latest major version, Node.js 16. Code-named Gallium, it became a long-term support (LTS) release in October.

          Red Hat recently released a fully supported Node 16 container image. Every Red Hat build of a Node.js release is tested and supported on Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux and is based on a Red Hat Universal Base Image.

          Red Hat runtimes are tested and certified against various popular development frameworks and technologies while running on Red Hat OpenShift and RHEL. We are unable to test every possible framework and version, but the specific components, modules, and frameworks supported on Red Hat’s build of Node.js can be found on the component details page as per the Node.js module and framework support policies.

        • A developer’s guide to CI/CD and GitOps with Jenkins Pipelines | Red Hat Developer

          CI/CD, or continuous integration and continuous delivery, is an essential part of the modern software development life cycle. Coupled with GitOps, CI/CD allows developers to release high-quality software almost as soon as they commit code to a repository such as GitHub.

          Automation is a key factor for implementing effective CI/CD. In this process, developers and release engineers create scripts that have all the instructions needed to test the code in a source code repository before putting it into a production environment. The process is efficient but complex. Fortunately, there are many tools that lessen the burden.

          Jenkins is one of the most popular tools used for CI/CD. Jenkins has been around for years and has undergone numerous revisions, adding features all along the way. One of the most transformative features added to Jenkins is the ability to run Jenkins Pipeline jobs driven by an automation script stored in a Jenkinsfile. Developers and release engineers can use Jenkinsfiles to combine the practices of CI/CD and GitOps into a unified deployment process. That’s the focus of this article.

          We’ll start with a brief refresher of what Jenkins is and how it applies to both CI/CD and GitOps. Then, I’ll guide you through how to use a Jenkinsfile to create deployments that combine CI/CD and GitOps.

        • Another Fedora integrity-management proposal [LWN.net]

          As is usual for feature proposals, Fedora program manager Ben Cotton posted it to the Fedora devel mailing list on behalf of the feature owner: Roberto Sassu. The change proposal is also on the Fedora wiki. The new feature would use the Digest Lists Integrity Module (DIGLIM) feature, which has been proposed by Sassu as an addition to the kernel’s Integrity Measurement Architecture (IMA). Ensuring that file contents and metadata do not change in unexpected ways is IMA’s job; DIGLIM is an optimization of sorts to IMA.

          IMA has a number of different functions, but at its core it maintains “digests” of file contents and metadata; these digests are cryptographic hashes that can be used to reliably detect file changes. IMA can also use the digests, in combination with the system’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM), to calculate a value that proves that the system is running a known set of software. That value can be used to ensure the system has been securely booted or it can be sent elsewhere to remotely attest to the state of the system.

          Each file being protected by IMA needs its digest stored with the file, which is normally done using extended attributes in the filesystem. IMA can be configured to check each file before it is accessed to see if its digest still matches the stored value; if not, access can be denied. As files are assessed, their digest can be submitted to the TPM to extend a Platform Configuration Register (PCR); the resulting value is a reflection of the files measured, but it is also affected by the order of the accesses.

          According to the DIGLIM proposals (for Fedora and the patch set for the kernel), parallel execution during the assessment results in differing values from the TPM; even if the same code is used, it may result in a different attestation value. DIGLIM provides a mechanism to take a digest value of all of the files installed, instead, and use that for calculating the attestation value. Only files that have digests that were not included in the overall “installation digest” would be used to further extend the PCR in the TPM.

          It does so by providing a mechanism to enroll digest values from the installed files into a kernel “digest list”, which can then be consulted as files are accessed. If the digest of a file appears on the list, it can be considered to be unchanged and its digest value does not get submitted to the TPM; otherwise, the file has been modified or was not included in the digest list at all, so access could be denied and the file’s digest added into the attestation value. The latter would likely mean that the system fails its attestation.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian vs. CentOS | FOSS Linux

          It is a massive deal for any organization to finalize a Linux distribution. Even for an individual, it matters a lot which version of Linux they end up running on their system. Debian and CentOS are two different versions of Linux which have some similarities and differences. Today we will compare them to decide which one will work best for you.

          In addition to checking out the similarities, we will also look at the differences in the builds of both Debian and CentOS, their management tools, community support, upgrading, and a few more crucial features that define an OS. So let us dive right into it and first look at what these operating systems are comprised of.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Bitcoin Mining ASICs Repurposed To Keep NTP Server On Track | Hackaday

        They say time is money, but if that’s true, money must also be time. It’s all figurative, of course, but in the case of this NTP server heater powered by Bitcoin mining dongles, money actually does become time.

        This is an example of the lengths to which Network Time Protocol aficionados will go in search of slightly better performance from their NTP servers. [Folkert van Heusden], having heard that thermal stability keeps NTP servers happy, used a picnic cooler as an environmental chamber for his Pi- and GPS-based NTP rig. Heat is added to the chamber thanks to seven Block Erupter ASIC miner dongles, which are turned on by a Python script when a microcontroller sends an MQTT message that the temperature has dropped below the setpoint.

      • OnLogic reveals quartet of Alder Lake systems with up to 14 LAN ports

        OnLogic unveiled a “Karbon 800 Series” of 4x embedded PCs based on Intel’s up to 16-core 12th Gen Alder Lake-S CPUs with up to 64GB RAM and options including PCIe Gen 4 x16, hot-swap SATA, 4G, Wi-Fi 6E, -40 to 70°C, and up to 14 LAN ports.

        OnLogic has announced four Karbon 800 Series embedded computers that run Windows or Linux 20.04 LTS on Intel’s recently announced 12th Gen Alder Lake platform. This is really a pre-announcement as there are relatively few details and the systems will not ship until Q2.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Raspberry Pi CM4 Nano industrial mini PC supports wide temperature range, 12-18V DC input – CNX Software

          If you ever wanted a mini PC similar to Raspberry Pi 4 but working within a wider temperature range and supply voltage, as well as a few extra features, the Raspberry Pi CM4 Nano industrial mini PC with a metal enclosure might be worth looking at.

          Based on the EDATEC CM4 Nano carrier board, the mini PC supports Raspberry Pi CM4 with up to 8GB RAM, 32GB storage, optional WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0, and offers one HDMI port, a flat cable HDMI + Touchscreen connector, Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 3.0 ports and more. It works in settings with -25 to +60°C ambient temperature and offers a 12-18V DC input.

        • Raspberry Pi system can detect viruses on other devices without use of software

          A team of researchers at the Institute of Computer Science and Random Systems has built a non-software-based virus detection system using a Raspberry Pi, an H-field probe and an oscilloscope to detect electromagnetic wave signatures of multiple types of viruses. The team presented its system and test results at last month’s ACM Machinery’s Annual Computer Security Applications Conference and published a paper describing their system on ACM’s Research Article page.

          The idea behind the new system is that running software generates electromagnetic waves. And each piece of software generates its own unique wave patterns due to the way the software executes its code. The researchers took advantage of this knowledge and began using an H-field probe to capture wave patterns of known computer viruses running on various devices and viewed the results on an oscilloscope. They saw oscilloscope patterns that were unique to individual viruses as they were running. The researchers used that information to program a Raspberry Pi to identify data from the other two devices to recognize known virus wave patterns, using the system as a virus detector. To determine if a virus is running on a computer, IoT device or smartphone, a user places the H-field probe close enough to the device to read the electromagnetic waves that are generated. The Raspberry Pi then reports on whether it found any viruses, and if so, which ones. Testing found the system capable of detecting 99.82% of generic malware, along with a benign virus type.

        • Arduino And An OLED Make This Space Invaders Cabinet Tiny | Hackaday

          For as simple as it appears now, Space Invaders was one machine from the Golden Age of video games that always seemed to have a long line waiting for a chance to lose a couple of quarters. And by way of celebrating the seminal game’s influence, [Nick Cranch] has executed what might just be the world’s smallest Space Invaders replica.

          It appears that this started mainly as an exercise in what’s possible with what’s on hand, which included a couple of quite small OLED displays. For the build photos it looks like there’s an Arduino Nano running the show; [Nick] relates that the chosen hardware proved challenging, and that he had to hack the driver library to make it work. Once he got a working game, [Nick] didn’t rest on his laurels. Rather, he went the extra mile and built a miniature cabinet to house everything in.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guix: Announcing the second online Guix Days

            The Guix hackers are very happy to announce the second online Guix Days Conference on 19 & 20 February 2022. This conference is open to everyone and will be held entirely online. Want to speak? Submit your proposal!


            In addition to the format you would like to choose, please describe your session with 10 lines or more (for lightning talks, at least 1 sentence).

            Once you have sent your proposal, you will be notified in the following days whether your talk will be part of the Guix Days. Submit earlier to get more time to prepare your session!

            Even for live presentation, please prepare a back-up pre-recorded talk, so we can play it if you cannot attend or have a technical problem during the Guix days. The deadline for short presentations (5 minutes) is February 16.

            We welcome all kinds of topics from the community, especially your own experience with Guix, your cool projects that involve Guix in some way, infrastructure around guix (translations, continuous integration, …), and any subject you feel should be discussed during the conference.

            We particularly encourage people who consider themselves part of a group underrepresented in Guix and the broader free software movement to submit a talk. Do not hesitate to get in touch with the organizers at guix-days@gnu.org if unsure or if you would like guidance on how to prepare your talk.

      • Programming/Development

        • Arduino IDE Creates Bootable X86 Floppy Disks | Hackaday

          Arguably the biggest advantage of the Arduino ecosystem is how easy it is to get your code running. Type a few lines into the IDE, hit the button, and in a few seconds you’re seeing an LED blink or some text get echoed back over the serial port. But what if that same ease of use didn’t have to be limited to microcontrollers? What if you could use the Arduino IDE to create computer software?

          That’s exactly what boot2duino, a project developed by [Jean THOMAS] hopes to accomplish. As you might have guessed from the name, the code you write in the Arduino is turned into a bootable floppy disk image that you can stick into an old PC. After a few seconds of beeping and grinding your “Hello World” should pop up on the monitor, and you’ve got yourself the world’s biggest Arduino.

        • Moving librsvg’s documentation to gi-docgen – Federico’s Blog

          Librsvg’s documentation tooling is pretty ancient. The man page for rsvg-convert is written by hand in troff, and the C library’s reference documentation still uses the venerable gtk-doc.

          As part of the modernization effort, I have turned the man page into a reStructuredText document, and the C API documentation into gi-docgen. This post describes how I did that.


          Gtk-doc assumed that magic happened somewhere in developer.gnome.org to generate the documentation and publish it. Gi-docgen assumes that your project publishes it with Gitlab pages.

          Indeed, the new documentation is published there — you can see how it is generated in .gitlab-ci.yml. Note that there are two jobs: the reference job generates gi-docgen’s HTML in a public/Rsvg-2.0 directory, and the pages job integrates it with the Rust API documentation and publishes both together.

        • Python

          • How to Get Return Code from Process in Python Subprocess Execution?

            A process is a name for a running program. Memory, lists of files, and a program counter that takes account of the instructions being implemented, and a call stack that retains the local variables are all part of each process’s system state. A process normally processes statements one after the other in a single command flow sequence known as the process’s main thread. The program only does one thing at any given moment. Our computer is always running subprocesses. Every action we take on our computer entails activating a subprocess. Even if we are constructing a basic “hello world” program in Python. Even if you have been programming for a while, you might not know the concept of a subprocess. The principles of the subprocess will be covered in this article, as well as how to use the Python subprocess standard library.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Rust

        • Java

          • 8 Best Free and Open Source Java Object-Relational Mapping Software – LinuxLinks

            Object–relational mapping (ORM) is a programming technique for converting data between incompatible type systems using object-oriented programming languages. This creates, in effect, a “virtual object database” that can be used from within the programming language.

            In essence, ORM is a design pattern for converting (wrapping) that data stored within a relational database into an object that can be used within an object oriented language. It creates a layer between the language and the database, helping programmers work with data without the OOP paradigm.

            Compared to traditional techniques of exchange between an object-oriented language and a relational database, ORM often reduces the amount of code that needs to be written. It standardizes interfaces reducing boilerplate and speeding development time. Advocates of ORMs claim they increase productivity, improve application design, reuse code and maintain the application over time. On the other hand, ORM suffers the disadvantage of the abstraction obscuring what’s happening in the code. And over-use of ORM software can produce poorly designed databases.

            There are a good range of ORM software available. Here’s our recommendations summarised in a legendary ratings chart.

          • How to install Oracle Java SE 17 on Ubuntu 20.04 –

            In todays guide, we are going to learn how we can install Java SE 17 on Ubuntu 20.04. Java is widely used in programs like Cassandra, Graylog, Wine etc.

            Java delivers thousands of performance, stability, and security updates that is the reason why java is widely used and has a larger community base worldwide.

  • Leftovers

    • Lucille Clifton and the Task of Remembering

      Lucille Clifton’s poetry has seeped into the public consciousness. These days I can’t open Instagram without seeing the telltale lines of won’t you celebrate with me commemorating a birthday or an accomplishment, or some other of Clifton’s poems fitting neatly into a white square. The reissue of her 1976 memoir, Generations, comes at a time of renewed interest in the poet’s life and works. Her daughter Sidney is currently leading the process of transforming the family’s home in Baltimore into a community space to commemorate her parents’ artistry (her father, Fred, was a sculptor and philosopher). Meanwhile, the novelist and poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is at work on a biography. It is clear that Clifton’s legacy continues to blossom.

    • Downstream From Del Rio

      Del Rio, which is across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, hosts a smaller border crossing than those 350 miles downriver in the lower Rio Grande valley and those 400 miles upriver around El Paso. In early September, thousands of Haitian and other Latin American migrants began arriving and crossing the shallows of the river to set up an improvised camp under a bridge. By mid-month, the camp had grown to a maximum of some 15,000 people, without adequate water and sanitation. The migrants were blocked from entering the town to buy food and supplies, which forced them to cross the river to buy them in Ciudad Acuña. Conditions in the encampment were called “deplorable” by the United Nations.

      On September 19, Border Patrol officers on horseback tried to physically block families with children crossing the river to bring supplies back to the camp, which had previously been allowed. Videos of the aggressive use of force against peaceful migrants went viral and provoked widespread condemnation as an echo of historical racist aggression against Black people. The Biden administration disavowed the enforcement operation and initiated an investigation, which is ongoing as of early January.

    • CEO Of $10 Billion Open-Source Company Elastic Steps Down, President Leaves

      Shay Banon, co-founder of the $10 billion open-source company Elastic, who is known for being one of the most outspoken critics of Amazon’s dominant position in the cloud computing sector, is stepping down as CEO and chairman of the company.

    • Cost of Attrition

      How would we think about retention if we could visualise the full impact of someone leaving our team?

      Beware looking at teams on a spreadsheet. If you have a hiring rate matching attrition rate it might look like the team health is maintained. It’s probably not.

      Tracking tenure by team and average tenure in team can be interesting proxy indicators. Teams can be growing but have dropping tenure.

    • Illuminating Origami Is Just Around The Corner | Hackaday

      Pop-up greeting cards are about to get a whole lot more interesting. Researchers at Seoul National University in Korea have created glowing 3D objects with a series of prototypes that fold thin QLED (Quantum Dot LED) sheets like origami. They used a CO2 laser to etch “fold lines” in the QLED so the sheets could be formed into 3D shapes. The bends are actually rounded, but at 5μm they appear to be sharp corners and the panels continue to illuminate across the fold lines for at least 500 folds. Some glow in solid colors, while others use smaller addressable areas to create animated matrix displays of patterns and letterforms. See the short video after the break, read the Physics World article or to see all the prototypes and dig into details of the full research paper in Nature (freed from the paywall by SharedIt).

    • Science

      • Melbourne-led research team finds new way to build quantum devices

        The new technique – developed by Professor David Jamieson and co-authors from the University of New South Wales, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Leibniz Institute of Surface Engineering, and RMIT – embeds single atoms in silicon wafers, one-by-one, mirroring methods used to build conventional devices.

    • Education

      • American teacher fired from Taiwan cram school for catching COVID

        One the reasons the school listed for terminating him was that it had conducted “thorough research about Covid cases and how it’s still very possible for patients to relapse even after three weeks.” It cited the case of a “girl who came back from Japan” with COVID and claimed that after finishing 21 days in quarantine, her PCR test came back positive because she had “relapsed.”

    • Hardware

      • Stout Peristaltic Pump Fabricated From Scratch | Hackaday

        The peristaltic pump is perhaps most well known for its ability to pump fluids without the pump mechanism coming into contact with the working fluid. This is key for food-safe applications and other situations where a pump could contaminate the fluid. [Maciej Nowak] has built a great example of such a pump, crafted out of aluminium from scratch.

        The build video covers the machining process in detail, showing how the aluminium body was fabricated on the lathe before installing bearings and a silicone hose. The pump shaft was then fabricated, along with a set of brass rollers to press along the tube, creating the pumping action. The rollers were also lubricated in order to reduce friction on the tubing. Powering the pump is a small DC motor, sending drive via a small toothed belt, giving the finished build quite an industrial look.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Prevention Centers Save Lives, But Only Radical Change Will End Overdose Crisis
      • Single-Payer Bill Leaps First Major Hurdle in California

        Single-payer advocates cheered Tuesday after legislation in California to create a first-in-the-nation universal healthcare system took a decisive step forward.

        “As the single-payer movement continues to gain momentum, we signal to corporate interests that enough is enough.”

      • Québec PM Vows Health Tax for the Unvaxxed

        As the Omicron-driven surge in coronavirus infections strains their nation’s healthcare resources, Canadian progressives are balancing urgent public health concerns with respect for civil liberties after the province of Québec said Tuesday that it would begin levying fines on residents who refuse Covid-19 vaccinations.

        “I think the government has still not exhausted other alternatives that are more equitable and more fair.”

      • Bernie Sanders Demands Refunds for Seniors Hit by Medicare Premium Hike
      • How the Concerns of Teachers Have Been Misrepresented in Omicron Reporting

        In-person return plans were disrupted at schools in Milwaukee (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 1/2/22) and Atlanta (WXIA, 1/3/22). Chicago canceled school after the Chicago Teachers Union “approved a labor action to work remotely due to safety concerns as Covid-19 and its Omicron variant surge in the city” (WTTW, 1/4/22).

        The Chicago labor dispute has drawn the most eyeballs, as it is the third-largest US city, but teacher unionists nationwide are indicating that the Omicron surge is pushing school systems to their breaking points. In San Francisco, the system saw as many as 600 educators out of work, with the union blasting the district for its severe deficit in Covid-19 testing kits (Mission Local, 1/6/22). The left caucus of New York City’s United Federation of Teachers reported 10,000 student absences and 2,000 staff absences, criticizing the mayor for inadequate “baseline testing” (Twitter, 1/6/22), while dozens of New York state and city lawmakers have demanded a remote option for the city’s schools (Twitter, 1/6/22).

      • On Medicare Limiting Coverage for Alzheimer’s Drug

        If the administration takes no action, Medicare recipients will continue to see their biggest premium increase in history, all because of Biogen’s greed. That cannot be allowed to happen.

        Beyond the incredibly high price, Aduhelm has not been proven to be effective by the scientific community. It was rejected for coverage by the Veterans Health Administration and at least a half a dozen private health insurance companies in the United States, while 10 out of the 11 experts on the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory council voted against approval of the treatment.

      • Brownstone Institute embraces its inner antivaxxer

        The Great Barrington Declaration was published in October 2020 by three scientists brought together by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), an antimask, anti-“lockdown,” anti-(vaccine) mandate “free market” libertarian “think tank.” AIER is but one of many such astroturf groups that have been sowing doubt about collective public health interventions to slow the spread of COVID-19, but the Great Barrington Declaration was among the most successful efforts by any of them, at least when it comes to influencing the policies of major governments. At the time, I characterized the Declaration as eugenics (or at least eugenics-adjacent), given that, in a time before vaccines against COVID-19, it proposed, in essence, a “let ‘er rip” strategy for the coronavirus, at least to let it rip through the “healthy” population (in order to prevent economic damage) while using “focused protection” to keep those at highest risk of severe disease and death safe. Never mind that, as I pointed out, it’s impossible to keep the vulnerable safe when a deadly virus is spreading unchecked through the rest of the population, and, unsurprisingly, public health experts were very much opposed to this strategy. Such a strategy was thus nothing more than a big “screw you” to those at the highest risk from the pandemic. Last year, AIER begat the “spiritual child” of the Great Barrington Declaration, a new think tank named the Brownstone Institute founded by former AIER Editorial Director Jeffery Tucker, who bragged about being in the “room where it happened” as the Great Barrington Declaration was drafted.

      • Gorsuch Goes Maskless at Supreme Court, Increasing Colleagues’ COVID Risk Levels
      • Sanders Reintroduces ‘N95 Mask for All’ Legislation

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday announced the reintroduction of legislation to get free N95 masks to all Americans to “prevent death and suffering” as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage amid an explosive surge in cases driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

        The Masks for All Act, which has 15 co-sponsors in the Senate including Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, would ensure that all individuals—from college students to medical professionals to the unhoused—would receive a free package of three N95 respirator masks.

      • Sanders Introduces Bill to Send N95s to Everyone as Biden Considers Mask Plan
      • Biden Under Fire for Resisting Calls to Distribute N95 Masks to All

        The Biden administration faced growing backlash Wednesday for resisting calls from public health experts and progressives to distribute N95 masks to all U.S. households to help fight the Omicron wave, which is pushing new coronavirus infections to record-shattering highs nationwide.

        An unnamed senior administration official sparked outrage by claiming in an interview with Politico that because “half the country won’t wear any mask,” widespread distribution of high-quality face coverings would be pointless.

      • Sanders Demands Refunds for Seniors Hit by Medicare Premium Hike

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday demanded refunds for seniors who have been hit by the 2022 Medicare premium hike after federal health officials recommended limiting the program’s coverage of Aduhelm, the unproven and expensive Alzheimer’s drug responsible for a large chunk of the premium increase.

        In a statement, Sanders said CMS officials’ preliminary decision Tuesday to restrict coverage of Biogen’s Aduhelm to patients taking part in approved clinical trials was “an important step forward.” CMS’ final decision on the drug is expected by April.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Please Join Us In The January 2022 SPDX Community SBOM DocFest

                SPDX was designed for tools to produce and consume SBOM documents. A decade of experience has shown us that tools may interpret fields differently – a file may be a valid syntactic SPDX SBOM, but different tools may fill in different values.

                By coming together as a community to examine the output of multiple tools and to compare/contrast the results, we can refine the guidance to tool vendors and improve the robustness of the ecosystem sharing SPDX documents. Historically, these events were called Bake-offs, but we’ve evolved them into “DocFests.”

        • Security

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Interview With Reinard Mortlock – Livex

              Reinard Mortlock: We wanted to start a software company to enable startups and SME’s to get access to world-class software development without the massive development cost typically charged by the software industry.

            • VICTORY: Google Releases “disable 2g” Feature for New Android Smartphones

              What is 2G and why is it vulnerable?2G is the second generation of mobile communications, created in 1991. It’s an old technology from a time when standards bodies did not account for certain risk scenarios such as rogue cell towers and the need for strong encryption. As years have gone by, many vulnerabilities have been discovered in 2G.

              There are two main problems with 2G. First, it uses weak encryption between the tower and device that can be cracked in real time by an attacker to intercept calls or text messages. In fact, the attacker can do this passively without ever transmitting a single packet. The second problem with 2G is that there is no authentication of the tower to the phone, which means that anyone can seamlessly impersonate a real 2G tower and a phone using the 2G protocol will never be the wiser. 

              Cell-site simulators sometimes work this way. They can exploit security flaws in 2G in order to intercept your communications. Even though many of the security flaws in 2G have been fixed in 4G, more advanced cell-site simulators can downgrade your connection to 2G, making your phone susceptible to the above attacks. This makes every user vulnerable—from journalists and activists to medical professionals, government officials, and even law enforcement.

            • Livestreamed Hearing Friday: EFF Will Ask Court to Issue Judgment Against SFPD for Illegally Spying on Protesters Marching in Support of Black Lives
            • ABC to go ahead with compulsory iview logins despite privacy concerns

              iview is a service that allows viewers to see programs that have already been broadcast, or in some case which are yet to go to air. All content provided is paid for with taxpayer funds as the ABC is a government-owned body.

              Many commercial TV channels have similar services, but they require registration as this is used to monetise the service.

              An ABC spokesperson told iTWire on the phone this morning that the introduction of logins would go ahead as had been indicated last year, when the company decided to postpone a plan to introduce the measure on 1 July 2021.

            • Pegasus attacks in El Salvador: spyware used to target journalists and activists – Access Now

              NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used to infect the devices of 35 Salvadoran journalists and activists between July 2020 and November 2021. This breaking information, initially flagged by journalists who tested their devices using Amnesty International’s Mobile Verification Toolkit, was analyzed and corroborated by Access Now’s Digital Security Helpline, The Citizen Lab, Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders, Fundación Acceso, and SocialTIC. Read The Citizen Lab’s technical report.

            • Polish Gov’t Finally Admits It Deployed NSO Malware, Pretends Targeting Of Opposition Leaders Isn’t Abusive

              Poland — like far too many countries — has a Pegasus problem. The highly intrusive (and highly effective) phone malware sold by Israel’s NSO Group for the ostensible purpose of tracking down terrorists and other deadly criminals has been observed (yet again) being deployed to track government critics and political opponents.

            • Exposed: civil society condemns use of Pegasus in El Salvador to spy on journalists and activists – Access Now

              We, the undersigned organizations, condemn the use of NSO Group’s Pegasus technology in El Salvador for the surveillance of journalists and civil society, as initially flagged by El Faro and Gato Encerrado, and confirmed through a joint investigation by Access Now, Front Line Defenders, The Citizen Lab, Amnesty International, Fundación Acceso, and SocialTIC. Although, to date, it has not been established who the perpetrator of this surveillance is, NSO Group has repeatedly claimed it only sells Pegasus technology to governments.

              These attacks are particularly alarming, as several of the infections occurred after the Pegasus Project revelations became public in July of 2021, indicating that those behind the spyware attacks were aware of, but ignored, the widespread denouncement of Pegasus use, including by international human rights NGOs and UN experts and officials.

            • Project Torogoz: Extensive Hacking of Media & Civil Society in El Salvador with Pegasus Spyware – The Citizen Lab

              This report describes the results of a collaborative investigation into the abuse of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to target members of the press and civil society in El Salvador. The investigation led to the identification of 35 Pegasus-infected individuals (37 devices) among members of El Salvador’s media and civil society.

              Our investigation began in September 2021 when a group of independent journalists contacted Access Now’s Digital Security Helpline after testing their devices using the Amnesty International Security Lab’s Mobile Verification Toolkit (MVT) tool to detect Pegasus spyware.

              The resulting investigation was a collaboration between the Citizen Lab and Access Now, with investigative assistance and case referrals from Frontline Defenders, SocialTIC, and Fundación Acceso. We asked Amnesty International’s Security Lab to conduct an independent review of our analysis for a sample of cases, and they have confirmed our findings.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The “Credibility” Factor and Biden’s Foreign Crises

        Barely six months after the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden now confronts three crises—in Ukraine, Taiwan, and Iran—that could easily erupt into US military action abroad. Biden would no doubt prefer to avoid such an outcome, but he is under enormous pressure from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to demonstrate “resolve” in these disputes, thereby overcoming the catastrophic loss of “credibility” supposedly suffered by Washington as a result of the “debacle” in Afghanistan. How successful Biden will prove in resisting this pressure will largely determine whether this country will avoid being dragged into another military quagmire—and one that could prove far more deadly than the one in Afghanistan.

      • Opinion | Social Cohesion Is Vital, and We’re Losing It

        The United States is tumbling toward socio-political crisis. Here are just a few of the distress signals recently visible:

      • What If Nuclear Deterrence Fails?

        “It’s not absolutely foolproof, but it has protected us all from nuclear war for 75 years.”

        There is just one obvious problem with this statement. In order for deterrence to work, it has to be absolutely 100 percent foolproof. The consequence of it being less than that is beyond catastrophic. It could amount to the end of life on earth as we know it. That’s one hell of a gamble. And it’s a gamble that is not morally defensible on any level. It’s one that should never be taken.

      • Belarusian peacekeeping insignia adds to confusion as UN criticizes Kazakhstan over troops wearing blue helmets

        Kazakhstan has come under criticism from the United Nations after troops deployed to protect strategic infrastructure amid a crackdown on protests in Almaty were seen wearing blue helmets reserved for UN peacekeepers. According to UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, Kazakhstan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations has offered assurances that the issue has been resolved. However, as reported by RFE/RL’s Kazakh service, the presence of forces from Belarus’s peacekeeping company has caused further confusion, as their insignia closely resembles the UN emblem.

      • Putin’s trigger: Ten years after they first caused the Russian authorities to clutch their pearls, Pussy Riot has been almost entirely forced out of the country

        In November 2021, the feminist protest group Pussy Riot turned 10 years old. For the entirety of the group’s existence, the Russian authorities (among others) have been trying their damnedest to shut them up. After staging a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral in 2012, three Pussy Riot activists were sentenced to two years in prison. After a demonstration at the 2018 World Cup, other Pussy Riot members, who ran onto the field in police uniforms, were arrested — and the group’s unofficial spokesman Pyotr Verzilov was promptly poisoned. In the last two years, arrests and prosecutions targeting Pussy Riot activists have only become more frequent. Just last month, members Maria Alyokhina and Lyusya Shtein went on hunger strike while serving two-week stints in jail. Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova spoke with past and present members of the group to find out who exactly they were in 2011 — and who they are now.

      • Seyed Mohammad Marandi on the Iran Deal and the Assassination of Soleimani
      • To Avert ‘Global Nuclear Holocaust,’ US Groups Demand Abolition of ICBMs

        More than 60 U.S. organizations issued a joint statement Wednesday calling for the total elimination of the country’s land-based nuclear missiles, warning that the weapons are both an enormous waste of money and—most crucially—an existential threat to humankind.

        Organized by the advocacy groups RootsAction and Just Foreign Policy, the statement argues that intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are “uniquely dangerous, greatly increasing the chances that a false alarm or miscalculation will result in nuclear war.”

      • #Ethiopia #TigrayGenocide #ExcuseForRegimeChangeWar
      • Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Fight to Contain Them

        Science fiction? Not really. It could happen tomorrow. The technology already exists.

        In fact, lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) have a long history. During the spring of 1972, I spent a few days occupying the physics building at Columbia University in New York City. With a hundred other students, I slept on the floor, ate donated takeout food, and listened to Alan Ginsberg when he showed up to honor us with some of his extemporaneous poetry. I wrote leaflets then, commandeering a Xerox machine to print them out.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Guardian Angel Platoon’

        The Guardian Angel Platoon is the moniker of Canadian veteran, activist, and singer-songwriter Dennis MacKenzie. He released the self-titled album in 2021, right before Canada’s Remembrance Day.

        The album is a conceptual work that chronologically charts MacKenzie’s journey as a soldier in Afghanistan. It deals with sobering topics such as PTSD, trauma during the war, and mistreatment afterward. It also discusses overlooked issues in connection with veterans.

      • FTA: Fuck the Aggression

        Vietnam was already an unpopular war by the time Fonda went on a political jaunt to NVN.  Still, she gave a radio broadcast from Hanoi in August 1972 that some veterans, to this day, regard as propaganda bordering on treason, and yet which I find quite lovely and moving, accentuating a people’s culture and humanity, de-demonizing them. Of course, she gave more than one broadcast and one speech. Here’s an excerpt of things she saw on her tour of war:

        Fonda’s more infamous speech describing the locals as humans is sharp.  Here is her speech presented before Congress during hearings they held on her travels to the North Country. (It’s preceded by Congressional denunciations that provide a glimpse at the poulter zeit geist.) It is full of humanistic observations of the North Vietnamese people.

      • ‘Not an easy discussion’ Russian and NATO officials say they are far from agreement after talks in Brussels

        Russian and NATO officials convened for talks at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, January 12. The meeting came two days after diplomats from Russia and the U.S. held similar talks in Geneva. Both discussions were largely inconclusive. Washington and NATO are attempting to push back against sweeping security proposals put forward by Russia in December, while also trying to deter Moscow from launching a full-fledged attack on Ukraine. Speaking to the press after Wednesday’s talks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the two sides remain divided on fundamental issues. Meduza summarizes their comments here.

      • Swing State Trumpers Forged Electoral Letters in Harebrained Scheme to Overturn Biden’s Win

        Pro-Trump groups in at least five states sent the government forged certificates of ascertainment declaring Trump the recipient of the state’s 2020 electors. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported on the falsified documents Tuesday night, noting that the fake certifications, which were obtained by watchdog group American Oversight, have “almost the exact same wording” to the real documents.

      • Opinion | The Overthrow of American Democracy: A Scorecard for Trump’s Next Coup

        “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can do much to help it…The freedom to do as one likes leads straight to its overthrow.” —Judge Learned Hand, 1944

      • Revealed: The Billionaires Funding the Coup’s Brain Trust

        The Claremont Institute, once a little-known think tank often confused with the liberal-arts college of the same name, has emerged as a driving force in the conservative movement’s crusade to use bogus fraud claims about the 2020 election to rewrite voting laws and remake the election system in time for the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election. Most infamously, one of the group’s legal scholars crafted memos outlining a plan for how then-Vice President Mike Pence could potentially overturn the last election.

      • Drone drops explosives on civilians’ camp in Michoacán—and films the attack

        A video that shows explosives being dropped on a civilian encampment in a forest in Michoacán has been posted to social media, one of multiple attacks on civilians in the Tierra Caliente municipality of Tepalcatepec on Monday.

        The footage was filmed by a drone from which the explosives were believed dropped by members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), who were allegedly operating the unmanned aerial vehicle.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Environmental Justice Activists Want NJ Gov. to Vote No New Gas-Fired Power Plant in Newark

        In Newark, New Jersey, residents of the largely Black and Latinx community of Ironbound are calling on Governor Phil Murphy to stop plans to build a $180 million gas-fired power plant that could worsen the poor local air quality and exacerbate the climate crisis. As the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission holds a vote to begin construction on Thursday, activists are urging the governor to enforce the environmental justice law that he passed last year. “If we don’t set a good precedent for New Jersey, what does that mean for the country and other states that are trying to pass similar laws?” says Maria Lopez-Nuñez, member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

      • It’s Time to Hold Law Firms Accountable for Their Role in Climate Change

        For too long, law firms have been given carte blanche for their contributions to the climate crisis: They lobby on behalf of the fossil fuel industry, file the paperwork necessary for carbon-emitting projects, and litigate cases against indigenous and frontline communities. With over 1,500 lawyers in offices around the world, Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher LLP is regarded as one of the top law firms in the United States. Like many of its peers, Gibson Dunn profits from squashing class action lawsuits and labor organizing drives, keeping shareholders from reforming corporate practices and debtors from getting their day in court, and shielding US companies from accountability for their actions overseas and from regulation at home. Even by the standards of the legal industry, however, Gibson Dunn’s behavior is notorious. In 2007, the Montana Supreme Court rebuked the firm for engaging in “actual malice” and “legal thuggery,” and a Delaware judge recently described its pretrial practices as constituting “fraud.”

      • Opinion | How Corporate Greed Fuels Killer Tornadoes

        In its ranking of business values, corporate America proudly provides a special place for elevated moral behavior. That place is the trash can.

      • Why Words Matter in the Fight Against Climate Change
      • ‘Don’t Look Up’: Hollywood’s Primer on Climate Denial Illustrates 5 Myths That Fuel Rejection of Science

        By Gale Sinatra, University of Southern California and Barbara K. Hofer, Middlebury. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

        Every disaster movie seems to open with a scientist being ignored. “Don’t Look Up” is no exception – in fact, people ignoring or flat out denying scientific evidence is the point.

      • Climate change: thawing permafrost a triple-threat

        Another study warns that methane and CO2 escaping from long-frozen soil could accelerate warming and overwhelm global efforts to cap the rise in Earth’s temperature at livable levels.

        Exposure of highly combustible organic matter no longer locked away by ice is also fuelling unprecedented wildfires, making permafrost a triple threat, the studies report.

      • Energy

        • Peak period [cryptocurrency] mining makes up 1 percent of all electricity consumption

          Nordcoin Mining manager Hermes Brambat told ERR that their consumption is close to 1.5 MW and there could be some 10 companies in Estonia with comparable consumption. Estonia’s total peak consumption in a colder winter month is close to 1,500 MW, meaning cryptocurrency mining makes up a percentage point of all consumption at peak periods.

        • Jack Dorsey Launches Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund to Protect Open Source Developers – Bitcoin News

          The letter explains that interested parties with questions or concerns can email the fund team and mentions the email domain “bitcoindefensefund.org.” The site appears to be currently under construction, with a message from domain host Namebright stating that the site is “coming soon.”Of course, the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund became trending topics on social media After the open letter was published.

        • Used To Free Electricity, Kosovo’s Bitcoin Miners Are Now Facing Difficult Times After Ban

          Energy prices have soared across Europe amid a spike in demand for natural gas as economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and fresh tensions with Russia, which supplies one third of Europe’s gas.

        • Will The CW Be a Streaming Wars Casualty?

          National broadcast TV networks don’t go on the market very often. So when the news broke that ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia were shopping a majority stake in The CW network, and that local TV giant Nexstar was the lead bidder, eyebrows were instantly raised. The deal, assuming it goes through (one source familiar with the talks says that while they were advanced, they could fall apart), would reshape the network TV landscape at a time when the very idea of what network TV should be is in question.

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • More Than 8,000 Kroger Grocery Workers Strike in Colorado

        On the heels of a new report showing significant financial insecurity, including homelessness, among workers at Kroger grocery stores, more than 8,000 of the chain’s employees in Colorado went on strike Wednesday to demand fair wages and better healthcare benefits.

        “The companies were thriving, but our workers didn’t thrive. Know what our workers got? Covid. Attacked. Beat up. Spit on. Slapped. Overworked. And the company? They did great.”

      • Thousands of Workers at Kroger-Owned Grocery Stores in Colorado Are on Strike
      • Report Debunks Manchin’s Inflation Argument Against Build Back Better

        To justify obstructing one of his party’s top legislative priorities, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has repeatedly claimed that the Build Back Better Act would exacerbate rising inflation.

        “The House-passed Build Back Better Act would make crucial investments to lower inflation and cut household costs.”

      • Manchin Signals Unwillingness Toward Backing Biden’s Calls for Filibuster Reform
      • Job Growth Under Biden and Trump

        It’s not unusual for there to be substantial differences between the surveys, but these are extraordinary. In the last months, the household survey has shown an increase in employment of 1,741,000. By comparison, the increase in jobs in the establishment survey has been just 448,000.

        While these divergences are striking, they largely disappear if we look over a longer period. Over the last year, the household survey shows employment is up by 6,092,000. The establishment survey shows a gain of 6,448,000 jobs.

      • The Nonprofit College That Spends More on Marketing Than Financial Aid

        Baker College sells itself as a place where students thrive and lives are transformed: “a haven for those who dream big.”

        From humble beginnings as a small business school in Flint, Baker rose to become the largest private college in Michigan, forging a presence in online learning and in Michigan towns where many students thought a college degree was beyond their grasp. For decades, the school’s marketing touted low costs and employment rates of nearly 100% for job-seeking graduates — making the dream seem both affordable and achievable.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | The Perilous Condition of American Democracy at the Hands of the Republican Party

        New York Times columnist David Brooks has breathlessly pronounced to his millions of readers Jan. 7 a crucial new discovery about the rising threat to American democracy, which he says, has been unfortunately distorted by election watchdogs, Democrats, and major media. 

      • Ron Johnson Breaks His Term-Limit Pledge in Order to Keep Serving the Billionaire Class

        Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin senator who has caused jaws to drop by promoting Covid vaccine skepticism while at the same time suggesting that gargling with mouthwash might help beat the virus, is running for reelection after pledging to quit at the end of his current term.

      • How the Left Alienates Jews

        Eons ago—in 2019—Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Bob Bland stepped down from their leadership positions on the Women’s March board after a series of self-inflicted wounds. Aside from the widespread mismanagement that starved state chapters of funding and alienated them over trademark wars, the leadership’s failure to grapple with its own anti-Semitism (i.e. cozying up to Louis Farrakhan then offering the weakest possible denunciation of his racist, homophobic vitriol under the guise of intersectionality) exposed a gaping ignorance that many, especially Jewish women, simply could not abide.1

      • Five Starbucks Locations Have Filed to Unionize Over the Past Six Days
      • Republicans in 5 States Forged Electoral College Documents, MSNBC Host Says
      • When Under Pressure, Tories Go “Anti-Woke”

        For one of the richest countries in the world— and one that is much less populated than US, Brazil, India, Russia, and Mexico— these numbers make dismal reading.

        The pressure caused by the Omicron variant on hospitals is not so much on the uptake of ICU beds (it causes less serious illness than preceding variants), but because so many staff are sick and unable to work as a result of the much more contagious Omicron variant.

      • Progressives to Clinton and Other Corporate Democrats: ‘Back Off’ on Election Advice

        Progressives on Wednesday dismissed arguments from corporate Democrats that the party should avoid “going too far left”—despite mounting evidence that voters are in desperate need of—and demanding—bold, far-reaching policies and social programs.

        An article published Wednesday at The Hill quoted a recent NBC News interview with former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential election to former President Donald Trump.

      • AIPAC Goes PAC and SuperPAC to Cover its Tracks as it Targets Progressives

        The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the leading organization of the Israel lobby in the United States, launched two political action committees (PACs) last month in a move largely seen as an attempt to retain control amid a political climate becoming increasingly more critical of Israel.

      • Timeline of Filibuster Helps Explain Why So Many Say It Now Needs to Go

        A new timeline documenting the history of the Senate filibuster shows how the rule, which now requires a 60-vote supermajority to advance most legislation, has been used to protect ruling-class interests for over two centuries and makes the case that the future of democracy in the U.S. depends on reforming it.

        “The Senate MUST end the filibuster and pass voting rights legislation. Our democracy depends on it.”

      • What’s Not to Like About Ike

        Although the 50s were generally a somnambulant era, there were seismic forces below and above the surface that would explode in the decade of the 1960s. The 50s weren’t as staid as they seemed, with a mass movement for civil rights that accompanied Brown V. Board of Education and the Birmingham bus boycott. Closer to home, and unknown to me, or to the vast majority of others, were the ongoing nonviolent protests at the nuclear submarine base and manufacturing facility in New London, Connecticut. There were people going to federal prison during that time, including women, who far outpaced the nascent feminist movement in radicalism and nonviolence. The peace collective that protested in New London was located in nearby Voluntown, Connecticut, which would become the scene of a violent encounter from an armed right-wing group. How much do times actually change?

        The late David Halberstam’s The Fifties  (1993) is a good place to start for a sweeping view of the decade of the 1950s and the change it presaged.

      • Opinion | Biden Is Calling for Urgent Action on Voting Rights—Will Congress Listen?

        President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Atlanta, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s hometown, focused national attention on a somber fact: the legacy of the civil rights movement is threatened by recent and ongoing attacks on voting rights.

      • ‘Victory’: Ohio Supreme Court Strikes Down GOP Partisan Gerrymandering

        Democracy defenders on Wednesday cheered a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court that invalidated Republican-drawn state legislative district maps, which a majority of the justices found were unconstitutionally gerrymandered against the will of the state’s voters.

        “The General Assembly maps entrenched a GOP supermajority and flouted clear partisan fairness requirements in the Ohio constitution.”

      • Statues Down!
      • Although Democrats May Benefit From Redistricting, Midterm Outlook Remains Grim
      • Lani Guinier Taught Me Almost Everything I Know About Voting Rights

        Harvard Law professor and icon Lani Guinier passed away on Friday at the age of 71. When I heard the news, I was reminded of a line from Macbeth: “She should have died hereafter; there would have been time for such a word”—not because I’m a budding authoritarian, but because the line reflects a sadness that grief over a momentous passing must be tabled due to an upcoming battle.

      • Activists Say Greed, Neglect Are to Blame for Bronx Fire That Killed 17 People
      • As Officials Blame Tenants After 17 Die in Bronx Fire, Activists Say Greed & Neglect Are to Blame

        A massive fire in an apartment building in the Bronx, New York, killed 17 people, including eight children, on Sunday. The city is blaming the fire on a malfunctioning space heater. Housing advocates say the real issue is the lack of safe, affordable public housing, citing lack of heat provided by the building during subzero winter temperatures and poor fire safety systems. Tenants and activists note one of the building’s co-owners is a member of Mayor Eric Adams’s transition team, and are demanding an extension to the eviction moratorium set to expire on January 15. “All of them are really asking for accountability, not just from the state and city agencies but first and foremost from their landlord and the building owners,” says reporter Claudia Irizarry Aponte, who covers the Bronx for the nonprofit newsroom The City.

      • Joe Biden Delivers the Speech, and the Fire, on Voting Rights He Should Have Brought Last July

        “I’m tired of being quiet!” President Joe Biden told a crowd at Atlanta University Center, which unites the city’s four historically Black universities, on Tuesday afternoon, in a speech that was supposed to represent Democrats’ new push for federal voting rights legislation. It raised the question: Who’s been keeping him quiet on voting rights?

      • Biden Backs Filibuster Reform to Pass Voting Rights Bills After Sustained Grassroots Pressure

        We go to Atlanta, Georgia, where President Biden and Vice President Harris spoke on Tuesday to pressure Congress to pass critical voting rights legislation. Biden endorsed changing the Senate rules to prevent a minority of senators from filibustering the bills. We speak to two leaders in the voting rights movement about the importance of passing the bills, particularly for people of color. “Right now 40 senators can stop 100 senators from having a vote, and that is absolutely unheard of anywhere else in our democracy,” says Ben Jealous, who attended Biden’s speech and is president of People for the American Way and former president of the NAACP. Biden should prioritize voting rights and “follow up the speech yesterday with actions,” says Cliff Albright, co-founder and executive director of Black Voters Matter, who boycotted Biden’s address.

      • Nigeria lifts its ban on Twitter after 7 months

        The Nigerian government has lifted its ban on Twitter in the West African country, seven months after the country’s more than 200 million people were shut out of the social media network.

        Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari directed that Twitter’s operations will resume in the country on Thursday, according to the director-general of the country’s National Information Technology Development Agency. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said that was only after Twitter agreed to meet some conditions, including opening an office in Nigeria.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Fact-checkers urge YouTube to fight disinformation

        Videos containing false information had gone “under the radar of YouTube’s policies, especially in non-English speaking countries”, they said in an open letter to YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Florida GOP Bill Proposes ‘Cruel and Dangerous’ 15-Week Abortion Ban

        Progressives on Wednesday condemned a bill introduced in Florida’s GOP-controlled Legislature that would ban abortions after 15 weeks—with no exceptions for incest or rape—as the latest salvo in Republicans’ nationwide attack on reproductive rights.

        “There is nothing ‘reasonable’ with controlling decisions about my pregnancy.”

      • New Illinois Law Says Cops Need A Warrant To Grab Data From (Some) Third Parties

        The state of Illinois continues to provide more protection than the US Constitution. Its privacy laws exceed what has been determined to be “reasonable” violations of privacy by decades of court precedent. This has allowed it to go after companies for violating state laws, even when the collections being prosecuted would likely be legal under the Supreme Court-created “Third Party Doctrine.”

      • Opinion | Remembering Dr. King’s Message of Hope in These Dark Times

        2022 has begun with melancholy, as our country sees the pandemic reach new heights. Meanwhile our crises of climate, democracy, and inequality seem more entrenched than ever.

      • The Re-Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

        A year to the day before he was assassinated Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor, publicly defined the war in Vietnam as a civil rights issue on April 4, 1967, in an address titled Beyond Vietnam:  A Time to Break Silence to a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned about Vietnam at Riverside Church in New York City.  In doing so, King uttered the following prescient statement.

        The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality we will find ourselves organizing clergy-and laymen-concerned committees for the next generation. … In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution.  … I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.  We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society.  When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

      • Child Porn Probe of Billionaire Businessman Denny Sanford Continues at State and Federal Level, Court Records Show — ProPublica

        Federal and state authorities are still actively investigating billionaire T. Denny Sanford for possession of child pornography, according to new court records.

        In 2020, ProPublica first reported that South Dakota authorities had started investigating the state’s richest man and had referred the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice. But it was not clear what the DOJ did with the referral or whether state investigators were still pursuing the case.

      • Yazidis Laud France, Sweden for Launching Joint Probe to Prosecute IS Fighters

        The two European countries formed a joint investigation team last week to look into crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against Yazidis by foreign militants linked to IS during the group’s ruthless rule over parts of Iraq and Syria.

        French and Swedish investigation efforts are being coordinated by the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust). The group said the joint team seeks to organize those efforts and enable information and evidence to be shared more effectively.

      • A year on, has Trump benefited from a Twitter ban?

        In theory Mr Trump will be allowed back onto Facebook in a year’s time, on 7 January 2023 to be exact.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Politely Tells ISPs To Stop Abusing Covid Broadband Relief Program To Rip Off Poor People

        During the COVID crisis the FCC launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB program), which gives lower income Americans a $50 ($75 for those in tribal lands) discount off of their broadband bill. Under the program, the government gives money to ISPs (not exactly ideal given the industry’s history of fraud), which then dole out discounts to users if they qualify. But (surprise), many found that big ISPs erected cumbersome barriers to actually getting the service, or worse, actively exploited the sign up process to force struggling low-income applicants on to more expensive plans once the initial contract ended. Very on brand.

      • Internet Shutdown Rules: Gauhati HC on IFF’s application

        IFF filed an intervention application in proceedings challenging the constitutionality of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 issued under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885. These rules empower the Union and State Governments to suspend internet services. But these rules stand on a tenuous legal footing – they confer unbridled powers to governments, and they are beyond the scope, ambit and intent of Sections 5(2) and 7 of the Telegraph Act. On 23rd December 2021, the Gauhati High Court has agreed to hear our application after listening to submissions from our counsel, Mr Anubhab Atreya.


        In June 2020, IFF filed an intervention application in the proceedings initiated by Mr Bhuyan, to assist the Gauhati High Court in determining the constitutionality of the 2017 Rules. In the intervention application, we pointed out, firstly, that the constitutional validity of the 2017 Rules has not been considered by the courts. In fact, the Supreme Court in Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India, (2020) 3 SCC 637 interpreted the 2017 Rules but stated that it was not concerned with its constitutionality since the parties therein had not canvassed arguments on the same (Paragraph 84).

        Secondly, we provided details regarding IFF and stated that one of the core objectives of IFF was to advocate and defend freedom of speech and expression, and access to information in the digital era. We also listed the cases where IFF had provided legal assistance to other individuals/organizations and those where IFF had previously intervened. We provided these details to the Gauhati High Court to demonstrate that IFF has long-standing expertise in freedom of speech, and has responsibly engaged with authorities on the issue of internet shutdowns.

    • Monopolies

      • ‘Major Win’: Judge Says Suit to Break Up Facebook Empire Can Proceed

        A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission’s revised antitrust lawsuit against Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, can move forward—a potentially significant blow to the social media empire, which sought to have the case dismissed.

        In an amended complaint filed last August, the FTC provided additional data and stronger details to back up its allegations that Facebook has maintained a monopoly on social networking services for the past decade by “illegally acquiring innovative competitors and burying successful app developers.”

      • FTC’s Second Antitrust Attempt Against Facebook Gets Past The First Hurdle

        As you’ll recall, at the end of 2020, the FTC filed an antitrust case against Facebook. Last summer, the district court dismissed the case, noting that the complaint was “legally insufficient,” and didn’t really back up its central claims. Based on that, the FTC went back to the drawing board and filed an amended complaint last August. As we noted, the amended complaint was better than the first one — which was heavy on narrative, but little on support to back it up. The amended complaint had more in it, though we still felt that the market definition was odd, and some of the complaint seemed to undermine other parts of it.

      • The World Handled A ‘Wordle’ Ripoff Just Fine Without Any IP Action

        In the video game space, it has become commonplace to see creators freak out over “rip-offs” and “clones” of their games when the targets of their ire are actually not rip-offs or clones at all. This typically comes down to the all to common confusion over whether you can own or protect ideas versus specific expression. Typically in these stories, it turns out someone is complaining that they’re seeing a similar idea in other games, whether it’s first person shooters that share common features, the explosion of battle royale games, or even just artwork.

      • Facebook Objection Dismissed, Glo Fiber Expanding, Utopia’s Timmerman Advocates Gigi Sohn

        Facebook’s attempts to convince the court to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s anticompetition case against it have been rejected by D.C. District Court Judge James Boasberg, which advocacy group Public Knowledge said in a Tuesday press release is “great news.”

        Facebook, now called Meta, filed a complaint in October asking the court to dismiss the case that alleges the company is a monopoly power that controls over 60 percent of the “person social networking services” market. But the court effectively ruled that there is evidence that can move the case forward against the company.

      • Judge says the FTC’s Meta monopoly lawsuit can go forward

        The FTC suit against Meta is one of several US government efforts to curtail the monopoly power of major tech companies, including a Department of Justice lawsuit against Google proceeding under antitrust chief Jonathan Kanter.

      • Copyrights

        • GitHub Takes Down “Widevine Dump” Forks Following MPA Complaint

          The Motion Picture Association has asked GitHub to remove a collection of scripts that allow people to rip content from popular streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. The tools in question bypass the Widevine copy protection, violating the DMCA, the group argues. Hundreds of forks of the “Widevine Dump” code were also targeted and removed by GitHub.

        • PrimeWire Down: Streaming Site Prepares To Counter Domain Seizures

          After being targeted in a lawsuit filed by Hollywood and Netflix, pirate streaming site PrimeWire appears to be digging in for the long haul. In preparation for imminent domain seizures, the site is now advertising a new service that will provide up-to-date information on where the official platform can be accessed in the future.

        • Open Minds Podcast: Hessel van Oorschot of Tribe of Noise & Free Music Archive

          In this episode, CC’s Ony Anukem sits down for a conversation with Hessel van Oorschot, founder and “Chief of Noise” of the online music business Tribe of Noise. Tribe of Noise is a music community that connects artists, fans, and professionals. Founded in 2008 in The Netherlands, its main objective is to create fair and sustainable business opportunities for talented artists. 


Links 12/1/2022: IPython 8.0, Iranian Attacks on Microsoft Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 6:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 6 Key Differences Between macOS and Linux – LinuxBuz

        The most popular operating system for computers is Windows. According to StatCounter, Windows has more than 30 percent of the global market share. macOS and Linux are behind, but it does not mean that the two are inferior to MS Windows.

        If anything, these two operating systems offer a plethora of neat features and fit profiles of certain individuals and businesses. Ultimately, a lot comes down to one’s needs.

        At the same time, someone might be looking to try a different OS, and switching from Windows to Linux or macOS could be just the thing.

        Knowing the key differences between the two will make you decide easier, and you can find these differences below.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Fast Kernel Headers Improves Compile Times By 50% – Invidious

        There are some absolutely crazy people working on the Linux kernel and Ingo Molnar is one of them and he is working on a project that he dubs fast kernel headers which improves kernel build times by over 50%

      • Useless Use Of Cat Isn’t Useless – Invidious

        Every time I make a video where I’m doing stuff at the command line, inevitably I get the troll comment about the “useless use of cat” (UUOC). What’s weird (and mildy annoying) about the folks crying “UUOC” is that my useless use of cat is not useless. I have my reasons!

      • FLOSS Weekly 663: UNIX as a Second Language – Sandra Henry-Stocker

        Sandra Henry-Stocker, @bugfarm on Twitter, whose column for Network World is Unix as a Second Language, joins Doc Searls and Dan Lynch from her home in the mountains of Western Virginia to share wisdom gathered from more than 30 years administering and writing about Unix and Linux systems. The topics range widely to adjacent subjects, including astronomy, containers and lesser operating systems.

      • Fakers and Takers | Coder Radio 448

        Was he justified? Our thoughts on the dev who corrupted libraries in NPM for millions of users with his political statement about free software.

        Plus how Google blew a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to control mobile messaging.

      • Cutefish Desktop Environment | A Brand New Linux Desktop With Stunning Looks & Modern Design! (2022) – Invidious

        Cutefish is an upcoming desktop environment that’s going to be radically different from anything you’ve experienced till now. Stunning looks, modern design, and intuitiveness that’s basically instinct, drive the development of this new and premium interface. I’ve installed the beta version of Cutefish and the way it feels to use this interface has left me very impressed. The idea behind this project is to provide a high-quality interface for Linux newcomers, that is easy to navigate, equipped with all the tools needed for everyday usage but leaves out the complex things which might overwhelm the users.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17 Adds Support For “The First Usable, Low-Cost RISC-V Platform”

        In addition to the prompt support for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, another exciting milestone for the in-development Linux 5.17 kernel is introducing mainline support for the StarFive JH7100, which has been trying to make its debut as the first usable and low-cost RISC-V platform.

        The StarFive JH7100 SoC is powered by SiFive’s U74 dual-core 64-bit RISC-V processor running at 1.5GHz while having 4K display support but no integrated 3D GPU at this point. The StarFive JH7100 was announced last year as a low-cost RISC-V SoC. The performance out of the SiFive U74 cores is reported to be in similar ball park to Arm Cortex-A55 cores.

    • Applications

      • Watch Command in Linux [with Examples]

        The watch command in Linux is used to run other commands on a regular interval, and then it displays the output in the terminal. Here’s how to use it!

        Sometimes, while working on the Linux command line, you might want to execute a command repeatedly so as to track any change in output. Luckily, there is a command-line utility that lets you do this.

        With the Linux watch command, you can track the changes in the output from time to time. It is beneficial for reflecting the real-time view of events that are happening on an operating system.

        The watch command comes installed, by default, on nearly all Linux distributions. It is useful when you need to monitor changes in a command output over time. So instead of reading the whole output, you can keep an eye on the changes.

      • Say Hello to Warble, a ‘Wordle’ Clone for elementary OS – OMG! Ubuntu!

        It was inevitable that the popularity of viral word guessing game Wordle would inspire clones, and thus only a matter of time before one of them popped up on Linux.

        And lo, it has.

        elementary OS gets to call first-dibs with Warble. Built by Andrew Vojak, Warble is described as a “native Linux word-guessing game built in Vala and Gtk for elementary OS.”

        The aim? Just like Wordle (and the 80s gameshow Lingo) you need to figure out what a mystery five letter word is in as few guesses as possible. You smush in a (valid) word and see if it matches. Letters you get in the correct place are green (so you know they go there again), while letters that are the word but not in the right location are yellow.

      • 5 Best Open-Source Writing Software for Linux – Linux notes from DarkDuck

        Linux is fundamentally an open-source Operating System. Using open-source software on Linux is as peaceful as the Himalayas. Here we’ve discussed 5 such software that could be the best friend of a writer if done right.

      • Tellico: Free Open-source Collection Manager

        If you collect anything, then you need to keep records to organize and track your collections.

        Let’s say you collect books, movies, stamps, or even coins, as your collection keeps growing, it will become difficult to organize.

        Here comes Tellico, an outstanding collection manager app that helps you catalog everything and update all records when required.

      • Projectpad: The tool that every developer should have

        Projectpad is constructed with Rust programming language for Linux and Unix systems, which can be installed either by building from source or using the Flatpak package from Flathub.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Top 10 Ansible tutorials of 2021 | Enable Sysadmin

        When I started my career in IT over 25 years ago, automation wasn’t a popular concept. However, sysadmins would still automate parts of their jobs to increase their efficiency and effectiveness in managing their IT environments. At the time, writing scripts was the common way to address repetitive tasks, allowing admins to focus on other issues.

        While scripts can get you a long way, Ansible is a versatile solution that makes automation even easier and more robust. Ansible abstracts the boring part of writing scripts away so that you can focus on your business needs instead of writing code to handle exceptions and special cases.

        Looking at the top 10 Ansible articles from 2021, I see a common theme. Most of these articles are introductory, which means that IT professionals in general, and sysadmins in particular, are looking to learn Ansible and start automating their environment.

        If this describes you, or if you’ve already started automating and are looking to improve your skills, this list contains some valuable information. Make sure to take a look at it.

      • Installing the latest syslog-ng on Ubuntu and other DEB distributions – Blog – syslog-ng Community – syslog-ng Community

        As a follow-up to my RPM blog, here are instructions installing syslog-ng Open Source Edition (syslog-ng OSE) on the Debian / Ubuntu version. If you read my previous blog, skip to the installation part at the end, otherwise: read on.

        The syslog-ng application is part of all major Linux distributions, and you can usually install syslog-ng from the official repositories. If you use just the core functionality of syslog-ng, use the package in your distribution repository (apt-get install syslog-ng), and you can stop reading here. However, if you want to use the features of newer syslog-ng versions (for example, send log messages to Elasticsearch or Apache Kafka), you have to either compile the syslog-ng from source, or install it from unofficial repositories. This post explains you how to do that.

      • Adjusting NordVPN Settings on Linux

        NordVPN is one of the most common VPN providers in the world. They have a Linux version which works on both RPM-based and Debian-based distributions.

        Sadly, they do not provide a GUI client for Linux, only a command line interface. That’s why it could be tricky to adjust NordVPN settings on Linux.

      • Remove metadata from pdf file (e.g. creation date)
      • Change dates/timestamps of all files in the current folder
      • Looking for Something? How to grep Multiple Strings in Linux

        The Linux terminal is full of useful commands, but few are as powerful as the seemingly simple grep. It stands for Global Regular Expression Print, printing the results of user-defined system searches for collections of characters.

        grep is extremely powerful but can be quite intimidating to use, so today, you’ll learn some basics. If you are looking for some information within the documents on your machine, usually, you’ll be looking for several words at once.

        This article focuses on how to search multiple strings using grep and will show you a few similar tips and tricks for using grep in general.

      • How to install Vivaldi Browser on AlmaLinux | Rocky Linux 8 – Linux Shout

        Learn the commands to install the Vivaldi browser on RHEL based AlmaLinux 8 or Rocky Linux 8 using the command terminal.

        Vivaldi is an interesting alternative to Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and other popular browsers. And like most of the other web browsers, this one is also available for Linux. The USP of Vivaldi is it offers a refreshing experience instead of the same monotonous approach. Instead of trying to please all users, the Norwegian company Vivaldi Technologies focuses on users for whom there are never enough functions. The idea for such a browser alternative came from Opera users who were dissatisfied with the radical slimming of “their” browser. The browser is now available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android app. Vivaldi’s in-built Mail client, a calendar, nice tab management, and a feed reader are some interesting features.

      • How to install Second Life on a Chromebook in 2022

        Today we are looking at how to install Firestorm Second Life 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.

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • How to Connect to a Debian 10/11 Server via Remote Desktop Connection using xRDP – ByteXD

        xRDP is a free and open-source implementation of Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), that started in 2004.

        With RDP you can connect to a another computer over a network and control it through its graphical user interface, and use it almost as if you were sitting right in front of it. You also control the remote machine from operating systems that support RDP, which includes Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.

        xRDP allows non-Microsoft operating systems such as Linux and BSD to provide a fully-functional RDP-compliant remote desktop environment.

        The xRDP server is full-screen and doesn’t require any special client-side software to be installed. xRDP allows RDP clients to present an X Windows desktop to the user. It works by bridging graphics from an X Windows system (Unix-like OS) to the client (the one receiving commands) and relaying controls back from the client to X.

      • How to install Google Chrome on Elementary OS 6.0 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Google Chrome on Elementary OS 6.0.

      • How to Install and Configure Memcached on OpenSUSE Leap 15.3

        In this guide we will learn how to install and configure Memcached in ROpenSUSE Leap 15.3.

        Memcached is an open source, distributed memory object caching system. The system caches data and objects in memory to minimize the frequency with which an external database or API must be accessed. This alleviates database load and speeds up dynamic Web applications. It offers a mature, scalable, open-source solution for delivering sub-millisecond response times making it useful as a cache or session store. Memcached is a popular choice for powering real-time applications in Web, Mobile Apps, Gaming, Ad-Tech, and E-Commerce.

        Unlike databases that store data on disk or SSDs, Memcached keeps its data in memory. By eliminating the need to access disks, in-memory key-value stores such as Memcached avoid seek time delays and can access data in microseconds. Memcached is also distributed, meaning that it is easy to scale out by adding new nodes. And since Memcached is multithreaded, you can easily scale up compute capacity. As a result of its speed and scalability as well as its simple design, efficient memory management, and API support for most popular languages Memcached is a popular choice for high-performance, large-scale caching use cases.

      • How to install and configure Squid Proxy on OpenSUSE Leap 11 – Citizix

        In this guide we will learn how to install and configure Squid Proxy server on a OpenSUSE Leap server.

        Squid is a caching proxy for the Web supporting HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and more. It reduces bandwidth and improves response times by caching and reusing frequently-requested web pages. Squid has extensive access controls and makes a great server accelerator. It runs on most available operating systems.

        Squids reverse proxy is a service that sits between the Internet and the webserver (usually within a private network) that redirects inbound client requests to a server where data is stored for easier retrieval. If the caching server (proxy) does not have the cached data, it then forwards the request on to the web server where the data is actually stored. This type of caching allows for the collection of data and reproducing the original data values stored in a different location to provide for easier access.

      • How to install and Configure Mariadb 10 in FreeBSD 13

        In this guide we will learn how to install and configure MariaDB 10 in FreeBSD 13.

        MariaDB is an open-source one of the most popular relational database management system (RDBMS) that is a highly compatible drop-in replacement of MySQL. It is built upon the values of performance, stability, and openness, and MariaDB Foundation ensures contributions will be accepted on technical merit.

        MariaDB was developed as a software fork of MySQL in 2009 in response to Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL. MariaDB intends to remain free and open-source software under the GNU General Public License. It is part of most cloud offerings and the default in most Linux distributions.

      • How To Install Linux Kernel 5.16 In Rocky Linux 8 / Fedora 35 | Tips On UNIX

        Linus Torvalds announced the Linux Kernel 5.16 after a few weeks of development and it is available for general usage. Linux Kernel 5.16 released with new features, security and support.

        It contains the new system feaures are futex_waitv() which improves the Gaming performance in Native Linux , for the compete changelog refer the link

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install Linux kernel 5.16 in Rocky Linux 8 , AlmaLinux 8 and Fedora 35

        This tutorial is for educational purpose, please do not install the kernel in PRODUCTION Server.

      • How to use Wireshark for capturing and analyzing network packets

        Wireshark (formerly Ethereal) is a FOSS (free and open-source software) for network protocol analyzer. One can use it to troubleshoot network issues, analyze communication protocols like TCP, DNS, HTTP etc.

      • How to install UbuntuDDE Remix 21.10
      • How to Use the find Command in Linux

        The Linux find command is great at searching for files and directories. But you can also pass the results of the search to other programs for further processing. We show you how.

      • How to Install Vim in a Docker Container

        You are likely to not find Vim editor installed in your Docker container. Here’s how to get it.

        It’s almost certain that the Linux distribution you are running in a Docker container doesn’t have Vim or any other text editor installed by default.

      • How to Install Drupal on Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        Drupal is an open-source and popular content management tool that is the foundation of many websites across the internet. It comes with a lot of modules that allow the creation of any and every type of website.

        In this post, we are going to explain how to install the Drupal content management tool on Ubuntu OS.
        Note: The steps mentioned here have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

      • How To Install Nload on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nload on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Nload is a command-line-based real-time network traffic and bandwidth usage monitor. It visualizes the in and outgoing traffic using two graphs and provides additional info like the total amount of transferred data and min/max network usage.

        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 Nload monitors network traffic and bandwidth usage 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.

    • Games

      • Red Alert Remastered – There goes my free time

        The 1990s saw the emergence of the quintessential Real Time Strategy (RTS) game. Starting with Dune II, and finishing with Age of Empires II, the genre was born, defined, sculpted. Indeed, the RTS titles of the era, Warcraft, Command & Conquer and a few others became the gold standard of the build-research-destroy computerized fun, never eclipsed despite advancement in software, graphics and availability. Needless to say, I’ve played them all.

        The aforementioned gold standard is so high that it seems impossible to beat. In fact, many a game company has simply stopped trying, and instead decided to play the game of nostalgia instead. Release these supreme classics as modern titles, complete with all the tech bits that have changed in the past 20 years. Mostly extra power and high-def graphics. Age of Empires II and its Definitive Edition are a great example of a timeless success. Now, we also have Red Alert Remastered, the oldie goldie in 4K.

      • Godot Engine – Godot Showcase – RPG in a Box developer talks about his experience

        Welcome to a new Godot showcase developer interview to start off the new year! This time, we asked Justin Arnold about his experience developing and releasing his project RPG in a Box. This “engine within an engine” demonstrates that Godot is not only capable for game development, but also for creating applications with complex user interfaces.


        Hello! My name is Justin Arnold and I’m a solo developer working on RPG in a Box. I’ve always loved programming since my dad got me interested in learning BASIC on our C64 as a child. As I got older I developed a strong desire to build an RPG-focused tool that would allow others to easily create their own worlds and adventures. This idea has gone through several iterations over the past two decades and I’m excited to finally be bringing it to fruition through RPG in a Box!

      • Linux-based Standalone VR Headset Boasts PC Specs with a Price to Match, Kickstarter Coming Soon – Road to VR

        SimulaVR, the startup behind its own open-source VR Linux distro, is creating a VR headset that aims to bring the full power of a PC to the standalone format. The powerful little standalone is definitely going to cost a pretty penny though, as it’s set to include a detachable compute unit featuring the guts of an Intel 11th gen NUC, which sports a Core i7 mobile processor.

        It’s been about a month since we first learned about Simula One, a headset that’s squarely targeted at developers and people who want to use Linux natively on a virtual screen for work (re: not gamers or consumers). Now the company has released price and specs ahead of its Kickstarter campaign, which is slated to launch at some point this month.

      • Looks like Monster Hunter Rise runs well on Linux with Proton | GamingOnLinux

        Monster Hunter Rise has just released on Steam today from Capcom and the good news is – it appears to run very nicely out of the box with Steam Play Proton on Linux. That’s another tick in the box for a big AAA title.

        Tested with Proton Experimental, the only issue currently encountered is a small intro video not playing. This is a reoccurring issue and will be for the Steam Deck, for titles that use things like Media Foundation. If such things bother you, it worked just fine with Proton GE which you can easily download with ProtonUp-Qt.

      • Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu gets big graphical improvements, Flatpak fixes | GamingOnLinux

        Yuzu is another incredibly promising open source project, emulating the Nintendo Switch which is not exactly a small job (not that emulation ever is) and it’s improving at a rapid pace.

        Some good news for NVIDIA users came, with some major problems now being solved. Recently NVIDIA dropped support for some older cards, and the driver changes towards it introduced issues for Yuzu. The devs explain “The root of the problem in NVIDIA’s drivers seems to be in negation of integer and floating point values, and bitwise conversions of input values.” – but thankfully all known issues have been worked around. As it turns out, what they ended up doing fixes it for Intel too and was also an optimization so they’re now doing it for all APIs.

      • Blending 2D and 3D together, puzzle-platformer Neko Ghost, Jump! is out | GamingOnLinux

        Neko Ghost, Jump! shows you what you can get when you blend together new and old, with this platformer having both a 2D and 3D mixture of gameplay in each level.

        This is no gimmick either. Levels are designed around needing both 2D and 3D viewpoints, with some areas only being accessible with one viewpoint. Not only that, you also have physical and ghost forms to switch between to solve puzzles and combat enemies too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.24’s Default Wallpaper is Unveiled

          If you’ve been reading this site for a while you may have noticed that I’m rather fond of desktop wallpapers, particularly the ‘default’ ones used by Ubuntu and related distros, and those shipped by desktop environments like GNOME and KDE Plasma.

          I don’t profess that wallpapers are interesting or worthy of as much attention as I give them, but hey: we all have our little quirks.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Additional benefits for PCLinuxOS users.

          It should be noted that users of PCLinuxOS have the following services available:
          – 25GB Cloud storage
          – Email
          – Graphic Image Hosting
          – Chat messenger

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Flatpak 1.12.3 Released with Important Security Fixes, Support for More PulseAudio Configs

          Flatpak 1.12.3 is an important update as it fixes two critical security issues found in Flatpak, such as CVE-2021-4386, a vulnerability that could allow a malicious repository to send invalid application metadata in a way that the app’s permissions are hidden during the installation.

          Also fixed is an issue affecting the flatpak-builder component of Flatpak, which can cause the flatpak-builder –mirror-screenshots-url commands to access files outside the build directory.

        • How Red Hat helps organizations build DevOps capabilities

          The beginning of any new year brings a wealth of new opportunities for growth and change, which is equally valid for organizations across all industries. So, rather than falling into the same old routines, now is the time to focus on integrating and practicing more robust DevOps approaches and updating archaic practices.

          Throughout 2021, Red Hat Services worked closely with customers and partners across many industries and engagements, both in-person and online, to provide consulting and technology solutions. These interactions have helped refine our observations, advancements, and key takeaways for future engagements, technology utilization, and implementation practices. Out of all of these, four stand out as the most significant focus areas that can bring the biggest impact to your organization’s DevOps plan in 2022.

        • Automating Postfix installation and configuration with RHEL System Roles

          Many organizations have a requirement to configure a mail transfer agent (MTA) on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) servers. This is frequently done to enable servers to send out notifications or reports over email. For example, you might configure a script to email out a notification after an event occurs, or you might have a script to email out a monthly report after it is generated.

          RHEL 7, 8 and 9 provide two options for MTAs: Postfix and Sendmail. Sendmail has been deprecated, and this post will be focusing on Postfix.

          It is possible to install and configure Postfix on RHEL systems manually, following the documentation, however this can be time-consuming and prone to error. Red Hat introduced the postfix RHEL System Role to provide an automated solution to install and configure Postfix. The postfix RHEL System Role was introduced in RHEL 7.6 as a technology preview feature. With the release of RHEL 8.5, the postfix RHEL System Role is now fully supported.

      • Debian Family

        • Revisiting 2021

          2021 was quite challenging overall. It started with four weeks of distance learning at school. Luckily at least at school things got back to “some kind of normal” afterwards.


          For obvious reasons plenty of concerts I was looking forward didn’t take place. With my parents we at least managed to attend a concert performance of Puccinis Tosca with Jonas Kaufmann at Schloßbergbühne Kasematten/Graz, and with the kids we saw “Robin Hood” in Oper Graz and “Pippi Langstrumpf” at Studiobühne of Oper Graz. The lack of concerts and rehearsals once again and still severely impacts my playing the drums, including at HTU BigBand Graz. :-/

          Grml-wise we managed to publish release 2021.07, codename JauKerl. Debian-wise we got version 11 AKA bullseye released as new stable release in August.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Linux 22.04 will be faster than ever on Raspberry Pi computers

          The Raspberry Pi series of single-board computers might be the most popular Linux-based PCs of all time, thanks to their super-low prices, educational resources, and versatility. The first few models weren’t that great at functioning like desktop computers, due to the low-power processors and limited RAM, but newer iterations (like the Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM) are perfectly capable budget PCs. Ubuntu, one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions, is now preparing some Pi-specific performance tweaks for the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 release.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 Desktop Will be Able to Run on 2GB Raspberry Pi 4

          Ubuntu Desktop is available for Raspberry Pi 4 boards since Ubuntu 20.10 release. However, to get a comfortable experience and use it as a desktop/server, Canonical officially recommends 4/8 GB RAM variants of the board.

          After all, memory requirements by modern distributions are gradually increasing. So, it only makes sense not to expect a desktop setup with a 2 GB RAM Raspberry Pi board.

          But, it looks like Canonical has plans to make that happen with a feature enabled in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, scheduled for release in April 2022.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • LibreOffice Calc Basics I: SUM, COUNT, AVERAGE

        This tutorial explains how you can work with Calc, the spreadsheet program of LibreOffice, by learning its basic formula examples. In this first part, we will learn the most basic ones namely SUM, COUNT and AVERAGE. Let’s start!

      • Open@RIT: Helping Students Embrace the Power of Open Source

        Creative, exciting applications of open source software can be found worldwide, and who better to share the details of new use cases than the practitioners themselves. In this blog series we’ll feature guests who told their open source stories during Practical Open Source Information (POSI) 2021, an online conference hosted by OSI.

        The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) not only offers a minor in free and open source software and free culture, but it also recently created an official Center of Excellence called Open@RIT. It’s dedicated to fostering the collaborative engine for faculty, staff, and students working on open source projects. The goal is to discover and grow the footprint of RIT’s impact on all things open across many disciplines, both within the university and beyond. This includes open source software, open data, open science, open hardware, and open educational resources and creative commons licensed efforts, which collectively they refer to as Open Work.

      • Results from the first new members campaign

        We did it! We’re welcoming 1,354 new members to the Open Source Initiative. The membership drive we launched at the end of 2021 surpassed our expectations. These new members are mostly “free” members and don’t have voting rights to elect the next board members; however, there is time to become a full member by the next election cycle in March.


        The majority of traffic to the campaign was through the website, with social media traffic being quite small by comparison. The impact of social media on promotions like this is often overestimated. Social channels are great for engaging with the community, “reinforcing the brand”, and connecting with “influencers”: basically, social media helps make people aware that we exist, but isn’t a particularly effective tool to convince them to take an action. Therefore, we’ll emphasize our website for future promotions, and social media channels will continue to be a part of the promotional mix, but not the primary focus.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 96.0 Released! Significantly Reduced Main-thread Load

            Mozilla Firefox 96.0 was released today. The new release focuses on performance and security improvements.

            Firefox 96.0 significantly reduced the main-thread load, improved noise suppression and automatic gain control for better overall experience.

            It now enforces the Cookie Policy: Same-Site=lax by default which helps defend against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks.

            The release also fixed some issues, including video quality degradation issues on certain sites, issue where WebRTC downgrades screen sharing resolution, and video intermittently drops SSRC. As well, there are various security fixes.

          • Linux Mint Announces Mozilla Partnership

            Linux Mint announced that it will keep Mozilla Firefox as its distribution’s default web browser, but with some major changes. It describes the deal as a “commercial and technical partnership.”

            “Linux Mint signed a new partnership with Mozilla,” the announcement post explains. “It’s a real pleasure for us to join forces with Mozilla and to start this partnership.”

            I’m not fully versed in the politics behind this new partnership, but it goes something like this: Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and is one of the more popular Linux distributions. It has offered Firefox as the default browser for years, but with Ubuntu switching to a new container-based Snap app packaging format that Mint is not a fan of, it needed to find a different distribution method. And it had been packaging Firefox itself using the .deb packaging technology.

            Going forward, Firefox will continue to be distributed through the official Linux Mint repositories, using .deb, but this work will be done by Mozilla. And that means there will be some changes to how the browser is configured. Instead of Mint’s highly customized install, Mint users will now get the Mozilla defaults.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL experiment targets zero-downtime schema migration • The Register

          A Swedish developer has published code that promises to avoid application downtime during PostgreSQL schema migrations.

          Using “views” in the popular open-source database to encapsulate tables and create a versioned interface, Fabian Lindfors, a final year MSc student in computer science at Lund University, has produced a tool that he hopes can automate zero-downtime migrations.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSFE

        • Public Money? Public Code! brochure is now available in Spanish – FSFE

          A large part of our work is possible thanks to the contribution of our volunteers. This was not the exception. Our Public Money? Public Code! brochure is now translated into Spanish, and we hosted an event to share this great news with our community. GNUHealth, Pica Pica HackLab, Lliurex, Linkat, and KDE took part in our event.

          In the framework of our Public Money? Public Code! initiative, we have an exhaustive brochure dedicated to public administrations. It summarises the FSFE’s long-term expertise with additional knowledge from leading experts in various ICT areas. It helps readers understand Free Software and its benefits for a modern digital public infrastructure. Hot topics covered include the avoidance of vendor lock-in, improvement of IT security through openness, exploring different business models, handling of procurement issues, and learning from innovative approaches to smart cities.

          Now, thanks to the work of our volunteers, this brochure is also available in Spanish, which means a broader audience that can read about the benefits of modernising public infrastructure with public code in their own language, and that is a highlight to us.

          To share this good news, we organised an event dedicated to our Spanish speaking community. We had the participation of experts such as Luis Falcón, founder of GNUHealth, Ricardo Muñoz from Lliurex, Alexis Puente Montiel from Pica Pica HackLab, Francesc Busquets in representation of Linkat, and Aleix Pol Gonzalez, president of KDE. Our speakers and panelist also had the chance to discuss the challenges that still lie ahead for Free Software in the public sector with a special focus on Spain.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top Contributors to Qt Project in 2021

          2021 was a successful year for the Qt – we managed to do important releases like Qt 6.2 and Qt Creator 6 on time and with the planned content. That is however not only because of my colleagues at The Qt Company. A lot of community members are also contributing, be it by writing diligent bug reports, contributing patches, giving technical advise, or helping out other users in forums and mailing lists. Thanks to all of you – you are an important part of what makes Qt so great!

        • GCC 12 Shifting To Stage 4 Development – No Sign Of AMD Zen 4 Support – Phoronix

          The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) that serves as the default system compiler on most Linux distributions is nearing its annual update with GCC 12. GCC 12 has been in a general bug fixing period since November while beginning next week will be onto its final phase of focusing just on regression and documentation fixes to the compiler.

          GCC 12 release manager Richard Biener announced that the general bug fixing “stage 3″ period will end on 16 January followed by the stage 4 period of just regression/documentation fixing. At the moment there are about 30 P1 regressions of the highest priority, 307 P2 regressions, and 279 P3 regressions.

        • 9 JavaScript/Node.js One-Liners You Should Know

          As the web and applications become more complex, JavaScript and Node.js are increasingly becoming commonplace requirements in a developer’s repertoire. To improve your code-foo and minimize the headaches you encounter, you can define some functions early in your code that quickly accomplish simple tasks.

        • 10 Best Web Development Frameworks to Use in 2022 [Updated]

          Frameworks have become an essential part of web development, as the standards of web applications are always rising, so does the complexity of the technology needed. It’s completely unreasonable to reinvent the wheel for such sophisticated techniques -assuming that you can reinvent all that. That’s why using frameworks endorsed by thousands of developers around the world is a very sensible approach for building rich and interactive web applications. A web app has a backend (server-side) and a frontend (client-side), so we discuss both best Backend frameworks as well as frontend frameworks.

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • One Day University: How a Learning Company Adapted With the Pandemic

      Say what you will about the last two years, but it’s fascinating how quickly the future caught up with our immediate needs. We had to rebuild entire infrastructures, entire businesses, in the blink of an eye, and some were more successful at riding this unusual economic wave than others. (I repeatedly think how this never would have been possible even 10, 15 years earlier.) We haven’t really stepped back, as a society, and given these success stories their due. So, let’s do that. During the holiday break, I found myself chatting over Zoom with a founder of a company that three years ago was barely even digital in the sense that you might think of it—its approach was structured almost entirely around groups of people being in the same room. And in a matter of literal weeks, his company had to move the whole show onto webcams and chat rooms, and figure out a way to make it work. Somehow, they did—so well, in fact, that the business was acquired last year by a company that has always been digital. And I think the reason they pulled it off says a lot about the way we learn online. Today’s Tedium talks about One Day University, innovating on the fly, and the state of consumer-focused digital education.

    • An Oil Diffusion Vacuum Pump From Thrift Store Junk | Hackaday

      It seems like creating a vacuum should be a pretty easy job, but it turns out that sucking all the air out of something is harder than it seems. A cheap vacuum pump will get you part of the way there, but to really pull a hard vacuum, you need an oil diffusion pump that costs multiple tens of thousands of dollars.

      Or, you need a bunch of thrift store junk, a TIG welder, and a can of WD-40. At least that’s what [Lucas] put into his homebrew oil diffusion pump. The idea of such a contraption is to vaporize oil in a chamber such that the oil droplets entrain any remaining gas molecules toward an exhaust port. His low-budget realization of this principle involved a lot of thrift store stainless steel cookware, welded together with varying degrees of success, with liberal applications of epoxy to seal up any leaks. And an electric smores cooker for the heating element, which was a nice touch. The low-budget approach extended even to the oil for the pump; rather than shelling out for expensive specialty oil, [Lucas] distilled some from a WD-40 silicone spray lubricant.

    • Science

      • Regenerative Medicine: The Promise Of Undoing The Ravages Of Time | Hackaday

        In many ways, the human body is like any other machine in that it requires constant refueling and maintenance to keep functioning. Much of this happens without our intervention beyond us selecting what to eat that day. There are however times when due to an accident, physical illness or aging the automatic repair mechanisms of our body become overwhelmed, fail to do their task correctly, or outright fall short in repairing damage.

        Most of us know that lizards can regrow tails, some starfish regenerate into as many new starfish as the pieces which they were chopped into, and axolotl can regenerate limbs and even parts of their brain. Yet humans too have an amazing regenerating ability, although for us it is mostly contained within the liver, which can regenerate even when three-quarters are removed.

        In the field of regenerative medicine, the goal is to either induce regeneration in damaged tissues, or to replace damaged organs and tissues with externally grown ones, using the patient’s own genetic material. This could offer us a future in which replacement organs are always available at demand, and many types of injuries are no longer permanent, including paralysis.

      • Falling Down The Carbon Rabbit Hole | Hackaday

        Research projects have a funny way of getting blown out of proportion by the non-experts, over-promising the often relatively small success that the dedicated folks doing the science have managed to eke out. Scaling-up cost-effectively is one of the biggest killers for commercializing research, which is why recent developments in creating carbon nanotube transistors have us hopeful.

        Currently, most cutting-edge processes use FETs (Field Effect Transistors). As they’ve gotten smaller, we’ve added fins and other tricks to get around the fact that things get weird when they’re small. The industry is looking to move to GAAFETs (Gate All Around FET) as Intel and Samsung have declared their 3 nm processes (or equivalent) will use the new type of gate. As transistors have shrunk, the “off-state” leakage current has grown. GAAFETs are multi-gate devices, allowing better control of that leakage, among other things.

    • Hardware

      • Even desktops showed up on growth radar in global PC shipment stakes for 2021 [Ed: Faking 'growth' by comparing it to the worst (first) pandemic year]

        “2021 was a watershed year in the history of the PC market, with the PCs place at the center of work, learning and leisure truly cemented,” said Ishan Dutt, senior analyst at Canalys, in a statement.

        According to the figures, Lenovo declined 6.5 per cent in Q4 to 21.7 million units and HP was down 3 per cent to 18.64 million. Canalys didn’t indicate why either shrank but presumably it is related to the scarce supply of parts including integrated circuits and panels. We asked both vendors.

      • Rohde & Schwarz FSIQ Signal Analyzer IF-Filter Module Repair | Hackaday

        Who can’t resist snapping up a piece of really expensive laboratory testing gear for next to nothing when browsing eBay or similar? Maybe it’s giving you mournful eyes when browsing through a yard sale. Often such gear is sold for cheap because it’s defective, but with a bit of attention, can be brought back to life. This is how [Roberto Barrios] ended up with a Rohde & Schwarz FSIQ 7 signal analyzer lounging around his place for a few months until he got it fixed.

      • My Keyboard – January 2022 | Hund

        It’s been exactly four years since I built my last keyboard. It has been a good keyboard that has served me well over the years, but it was time for a long awaited upgrade.

        I have actually been waiting for a long time for some new switches that would be both buttery smooth and affordable. Too much excitement, that day is finally here!

      • The Charachorder Keyboard Is Too Fast For Competition | Hackaday

        We interrupt the flow of Keebin’ with Kristina to bring you this special bulletin. When three different people alert you to a keyboard within 48 hours or so, it calls for more than just a paragraph in the roundup column. So here are several paragraphs, an animated GIF, and some extended commentary about the Charachorder, a new kind of input that came up through Kickstarter in 2021.

        Driving this hype train are some short viral videos that show the founder hitting 500+ WPM on this crazy thing. FYI, that is fast enough to get you banned from typing competitions, including the monkeytype leaderboard. Those apes forbid chorded input altogether, and automatically throw out entries above 300 WPM. It acheives these insane speeds through clever mechanical design and, of course, firmware.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • CNMF Identifies and Discloses Malware used by Iranian APT MuddyWater | CISA

          U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) has identified multiple open-source tools used by an Iranian advanced persistent threat (APT) group known as MuddyWater. According to CNMF, “MuddyWater has been seen using a variety of techniques to maintain access to victim networks. These include side-loading DLLs in order to trick legitimate programs into running malware and obfuscating PowerShell scripts to hide command and control functions.” U.S. Cyber Command has released malware samples attributed to MuddyWater to the malware aggregation tool and repository, VirusTotal.

        • Norfolk County Council suffers delay to Oracle ERP project • The Register

          Norfolk County Council will have to wait a bit longer for that a-ha moment when it finally turns on its new £18m cloud-based Oracle ERP system as the go-live date is delayed until April.

          Expected to accrue between £20m and £31m in savings over 10 years, the project joins a list of local authorities with late-running enterprise application projects including Surrey County Council and West Sussex.

          In May 2020, Norfolk council published deals including £13.5m for Big Red’s software and £4.4m for the “service partner” Insight Direct.

          It promised a fully integrated ERP SaaS system including UK local government HR, finance, procurement, payroll and analytics services.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (cfrpki, gdal, and lighttpd), Fedora (perl-CPAN and roundcubemail), Mageia (firefox), openSUSE (jawn, kernel, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel, openssl, and webkitgtk4), Red Hat (cpio, idm:DL1, kernel, kernel-rt, openssl, virt:av and virt-devel:av, webkit2gtk3, and webkitgtk4), Scientific Linux (openssl and webkitgtk4), SUSE (kernel and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (apache-log4j2, ghostscript, and lxml).

          • New SysJoker Espionage Malware Targeting Windows, macOS, and Linux Users [Ed: One needs to actually install this malware, so it's not the real issue here]

            A C++-based malware, SysJoker is delivered via a dropper file from a remote server that, upon execution, is engineered to gather information about the compromised host, such as MAC address, user name, physical media serial number, and IP address, all of which are encoded and transmitted back to the server.

          • Increasing Number of Bank-Themed Survey Scams | Netcraft News

            Netcraft has seen a large increase in survey scams impersonating well-known banks as a lure. These are often run under the guise of a prize in celebration of the bank’s anniversary, though in some cases a reward is promised just for participating.

            These scams first came to Netcraft’s attention around 16 months ago, when businesses that were particularly useful during lockdown such as supermarkets, mobile phone networks, and delivery companies were targeted. The expansion of these attacks to use banks as a lure started in October 2021. To date we have seen over 75 distinct banks used as lures for these survey scams, with a global spread including banks from US, UK, Asia, and the Middle East.

            Survey scams mislead victims into thinking they are being marketed to by a well-known company or brand and will receive a high-value reward or prize by answering a few simple questions. These sites usually pose as either market research for the company or as a quiz contest e.g. “To win all you need to do is answer these questions”.

            After answering these questions, the victim is told they have won, and then redirected to another scam or a third-party affiliate link under the guise of redeeming their prize. For example, they may be asked to pay a small shipping and handling fee in order to claim their prize but are instead unknowingly signed up for an unwanted subscription service with recurring payments. Alternatively, the user may be tricked into giving away personal information or installing malicious software.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Finance

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ANALYSIS-Kazakhstan’s internet shutdown leaves millions in …

        A state-imposed internet shutdown in Kazakhstan entered a sixth day on Monday, leaving millions of people struggling to access basic services and information about anti-government protests that have rocked the country, digital rights groups said.

        Connectivity was restored nationwide for a few hours on Monday, according to Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks, before being cut off soon after in the Central Asian nation following last week’s wave of unrest.

        “Earlier today, some users briefly came online for the first time in five days,” the group said on Twitter.

        The streets of Kazakhstan’s biggest city Almaty returned to near-normal on Monday after the worst violence in three decades of post-Soviet independence, with thousands of people detained and some public buildings torched.

      • Tech newsletter: Broadband ‘nutrition labels’

        Recently, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency would consider moving ahead with a proposal to establish “broadband labels” that would help customers easily see information about internet-service provider’s (ISPs) prices, data allowances, and internet speeds.

        While this is clearly a great way to help everyday consumers sift through the muck of internet plans, it only address part of a larger problem.

        In a recent letter, Rosenworcel said the FCC would discuss the labels at its open meeting on Jan. 27. The idea of creating labels for broadband plans isn’t new.

        President Joe Biden urged the FCC to move forward with the labels in his July executive order regarding competition, and in 2016 the FCC introduced voluntary broadband labels that were modeled after the nutrition labels you see on various food products.

        But when the FCC repealed net neutrality rules, it also nixed transparency requirements that were part of the 2015 Open Internet order.

    • Monopolies

Links 12/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha Near, Linux App Summit 2022 Set for Italy

Posted in News Roundup at 1:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Major hotel chain ditches Windows for Chrome OS after ransomware attack | Windows Central

        It’s no secret Windows is a ransomware magnet. According to VirusTotal, 95% of all ransomware attacks go after Microsoft’s operating system. And anyone who follows Windows news has likely seen the numerous reports of ransomware raining on the operating system’s parade wherever it can, including with regards to pedestrian functions such as Windows-based printing.

        As such, it’s little surprise that a business unwilling to tolerate ransomware headaches would make the move to abandon the OS altogether and go with a safer alternative, assuming they don’t have a need for the specific functionalities Windows affords.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17: Quicker Mount Times For XFS, Few New Features For EXT4 – Phoronix

        In addition to the Btrfs updates, the EXT4 and XFS file-system maintainers submitted their feature changes already for the in-development Linux 5.17 kernel.

        The main feature change for XFS with Linux 5.17 is the mount code only trying to free stale CoW staging extents if the file-system unmounted cleanly. In turn this means XFS mount times should be lower, especially for file-systems supporting reflinks and having a large number of allocation groups.

      • CXL Memory Hotplug Support Ready To Plug Into Linux 5.17 – Phoronix

        Over the past two years work has been ramping up a lot on Compute Express Link (CXL) enablement for the Linux kernel and with the in-development Linux 5.17 there is more feature code landing.

        The newest CXL subsystem support in place is CXL 2.0 memory hotplug handling, which is handled somewhat similarly to PCI. The ACPI SRAT Physical Address to Proximity Domain information is also extended for handling possible performance-class and memory-target nodes dynamically created from CXL memory.

      • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Sees Timely Support With The Mainline Linux 5.17 Kernel – Phoronix

        Qualcomm only announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and X65 platforms at the end of November but already they have managed to provide timely mainline support for these latest high-end SoCs. This is great to see compared to the days of slow to materialize mainline support for new Arm SoCs, which still persists among some vendors with either belated mainline support or only focusing on vendor downstream kernels. The big batch of Arm SoC/platform changes have landed for Linux 5.17.

        The big set of Arm platform/SoC changes is all ready for mainline Linux 5.17. New SoCs now supported by the mainline Linux 5.17 kernel include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Snapdragon SDX65, NXP i.MX8ULP, Texas Instruments J721S2, and Renesas R-Car S4-8. Seeing prompt support for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is exciting for that recently-announced SoC manufactured on a 4nm process and over the Snapdragon 888 advertises 20% better CPU performance and 30% more power efficient. Besides the SoCs itself, the reference boards for the new Qualcomm SoCs are also supported with Linux 5.17.

      • Graphics Stack

        • One-Line Patch To Intel’s Vulkan Linux Driver Can Help Modern Games By A Few Percent – Phoronix

          A patch merged into Mesa 22.0 on Tuesday for Intel’s “ANV” open-source Vulkan Linux driver is helping bump up the perforrmance in modern games.

          The one-line patch can help modern games both native and via Steam Play (Proton + DXVK) by a few percent. The change is simply increasing the binding table pool size from 4KB to 64KB.

        • Intel Arc Alchemist GPU gets 20-40% perf boost with Mesa 22.0 Linux OS | TweakTown

          Intel’s new Arc Alchemist DG2 GPUs were meant to launch in Q1 2022 but now that’s a mess and it’s sometime in 2022, but Intel has been helping the Linux community by kick-starting their Xe HP pipeline optimization from the get-go so that Linux users wouldn’t have to wait for compatibility.

          But then rolls in Mesa 22.0 which will have pixel pipeline optimizations, boosts to OpenGL and Vulkan performance in Intel discrete GPUs — offering up to 40% more performance. In something like Unigine Valley, there was a huge 40% performance gain in Mesa 22.0 with Intel DG2-448 hardware. DOTA2 for example, had up to 30% more performance while Xonotic had up to 14% more performance… impressive numbers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Download Linux distributions from a terminal using the OSGET utility

        The conventional method to download ISO is best when you have access to Graphical User Interface (GUI), but what to do when you just have a command-line interface? In this situation, you seek another system and get back with an ISO image, quite awful aha!

      • How to Install Apache Maven on Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8

        Maven is a popular open source build tool for used primarily for Java projects, designed to take much of the hard work out of the build process. Maven can also be used to build and manage projects written in C#, Ruby, Scala, and other languages. Maven uses a declarative approach, where the project structure and contents are described, rather then the task-based approach used in Ant or in traditional make files, for example. The Maven project is hosted by the Apache Software Foundation, where it was formerly part of the Jakarta Project.

        In this guide, we will learn how to install Apache Maven on a Rocky Linux 8 server. This guide will also work for other RHEL 8 based systems like Alma Linux and Oracle Linux 8.

      • How to Install NodeJS and NPM on Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8

        Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, back-end JavaScript runtime environment that runs on the V8 engine and executes JavaScript code outside a web browser. Node. js is primarily used for non-blocking, event-driven servers, due to its single-threaded nature. It’s used for traditional web sites and back-end API services, but was designed with real-time, push-based architectures in mind. Node.js can be used both on the frontend and the backend.

        NPM(Node Package Manager) is the default package manager for Node.js and also the largest repository for open-source Node.js packages.

        In this tutorial we will learn how to install Node.js and npm on Rocky Linux 8 but it also works on other RHEL 8 based distributions.

      • How To Update and Maintain Separate Git Branches – CloudSavvy IT

        One of Git’s core features is the ability to make multiple versions of your project. Often, these are used for short-term forks called “feature branches,” which get merged into master. However, sometimes it is necessary to have truly separate branches, which makes it harder to keep them in sync.

      • How to Install Apache (HTTPD) on Fedora 35 – LinuxCapable

        Apache, also known as Apache HTTP server, has been one of the most widely used web server applications globally for the past few decades. It is a free and open-source web application software maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache provides some powerful features with dynamically loadable modules, easy integration with other software, and handling of static files, among other popular features.

        In the tutorial, you will learn how to install and configure Apache (HTTPD) on Fedora 35 Workstation or Server with a free TLS/SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

      • How to Install Oracle JDK 17 (Java 17 LTS) on Linux Mint 20 – LinuxCapable

        Java is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented multipurpose programming language that is popular due to the design of having lesser implementation dependencies, meaning that the compiled Java code can be run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. Java is also fast, secure, and reliable, therefore. It is widely used for developing Java applications in laptops, data centers, game consoles, scientific supercomputers, cell phones, etc.

        JDK 17 (JDK 17) has brought forward new language enhancements, updates to the libraries, support for new Apple computers, removals and deprecations of legacy features, and work to ensure Java code written today will continue working without change in future JDK versions.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest Oracle Java 17 (JDK 17) on Linux Mint 20.

        For users wishing to install the OpenJDK 17 version, please see the tutorial How to Install OpenJDK 17 on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to use Thunderbolt 3 and 4 on CentOS – ByteXD

        The Thunderbolt hardware interface is a relatively new technology launched in 2011 by Apple and Intel. It’s an external hardware interface to connect your external peripheral devices to your laptop/ Desktop. Thunderbolt 1 and 2 used a Mini DisplayPort (MDP) connector illustrated in the image below. However, only a few laptop models and Macbooks shipped their products with the Thunderbolt 1/ 2 interface by this time. The main reason was that for laptop brands to use the interface on their products, they had to pay high copyright fees to Intel.

      • Set up a build system with CMake and VSCodium | Opensource.com

        This article is part of a series about open source DevOps tools for C/C++ development. If you build up your project from the beginning on a powerful toolchain, you will benefit from a faster and safer development. Aside from that, it will be easier for you to get others involved in your project. In this article, I will prepare a C/C++ build system based on CMake and VSCodium. As usual, the related example code is available on GitHub.

      • How to Change Your User Password In Linux – buildVirtual

        It’s a quick and easy process to change a user password on a system using the Linux Operating System. That is, it’s straight forward if you know the commands, which might not be obvious if your background is with other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows. This article shows how to change your user password on a Linux system.

        As there are many Linux distributions, with different desktop environments with can look and feel differently, this guide focuses on how to change your password from a shell prompt. The steps below will work from a shell session within a desktop session, or when connecting remotely using SSH, and will cover how to change your Linux password or reset your or another user password.

      • How to migrate your Java applications to Red Hat OpenShift | Red Hat Developer

        The article Why you should migrate your Java workloads to OpenShift described the benefits of moving a Java application to Red Hat OpenShift, and the tools that help in this effort. Now we’ll walk through how to actually do the migration.

        For this exercise, we’re going to use the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) getting-started kitchen-sink application, but with some modifications to use MySQL as the database. You can find the source code in the eap-quickstarts GitHub repository.

    • Games

      • ProtonUp-Qt adds support for Lutris Flatpak, new batch update feature | GamingOnLinux

        ProtonUp-Qt is the fantastic and simple way to download and upgrade the Linux compatibility tools Proton-GE, Luxtorpeda, Boxtron or Roberta for Steam and works with both Lutris and Heroic Games Launcher too.

        This allows you to easy get these external tools, and have them added to Steam directly so you can pick them as you preferred compatibility option for running games. Proton-GE can sometimes run games that the official Proton can not, Luxtorpeda gives you access to lots of native Linux game engines (like OpenMW for Morrowind), Boxtron for native DOSBox and Roberta for ScummVM. Add to that the ability to easily add newer Wine to Lutris and Heroic and Linux gaming looks easier than ever.

      • PS2 emulator PCSX2 adds in Vulkan API support | GamingOnLinux

        How about some better performance for emulating the PlayStation 2? That’s what you’re going to get with Vulkan support now hooked up nicely in PCSX2.

        Writing on Twitter the official account said: “A lot of people were asking for a Vulkan renderer and courtesy of Stenzek (Duckstation) it is finally here! It performs better than OpenGL in a lot of cases on similar blending levels so it should make a couple of harder to run games much easier to play! Thanks Sten!”.

      • Spring RTS v106.0 released with OpenGL 4 support | GamingOnLinux

        The first major upgrade to Spring RTS in years is here with version 106.0, which has some major architectural changes to the popular game engine. For those who need something of a refresher: Spring RTS starting off life as TASpring to bring the classic Total Annihilation into 3D. It later expanded into a more generic RTS game engine, that has spawned a big community and multiple different games.

        Seems this release took a while, as there were differing opinions on where to take Spring RTS next. They needed to do something though, as Spring was just falling behind on everything so thankfully one developer decided to tag a new release with all the previous development changes.

      • Slay the Spire testing Steam Input ready for the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        Slay the Spire, one of the games that helped to really push the popularity of deck-builders is back with a fresh Beta build, this time getting ready for the Steam Deck.

        Bringing support for Steam Input, this should hopefully give Slay the Spire better gamepad support overall, not just for the Steam Deck but that’s of course the biggest reason to do it right now. The update also additionally adds Finnish language support, and updates for other localizations. There’s also a removal of “excessive” display config loading and an update for log4j to prevent any future security problems.

      • Looks like Portal 2 is the first Steam Deck Verified title | GamingOnLinux

        As we come closer to the February launch date of the Steam Deck, it appears Valve are now starting to actually go through and tick titles for their Deck Verified program.

        Reports coming in that were noticed thanks to updates on SteamDB, showing that Portal 2 has been through verification. It’s not exactly surprising, since it’s Valve’s own title and Portal 2 has long worked nicely on Linux with their native port. That, and it was recently upgraded to use DXVK-Native, to give it Vulkan support too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • This App Makes Installing GNOME Extensions MUCH Easier

          It’s called ‘Extension Manager‘ and it lets you search for and install GNOME extensions without needing to use a web browser.

          Yeah: no web browser — which is handy on Ubuntu 21.10 (and above) since you can’t install GNOME extensions using the bundled version Firefox as it’s a Snap and thus can’t (currently) talk to the chrome-gnome-shell connector integral to the whole process.

        • GNOME Shell & Mutter Prepare For GNOME 42 Alpha With Exciting Improvements

          The GNOME Shell and Mutter have checked in their new development releases for the imminent GNOME 42 Alpha milestone.

          There is a lot of work as usual with these new alpha releases, especially on the Mutter side a number of notable updates for when acting as a Wayland compositor. Below is a look at some of the changes that caught my attention.

        • GNOME Boxes 42 is Shaping Up as an Exciting Alternative to VirtualBox – It’s FOSS News

          GNOME Boxes is an easy-to-use virtualization software that lets you download operating systems from within the program or use ISO files to create new virtual machines.

          It is also the only program that lets you test upcoming GNOME versions, just like we tried GNOME OS.

          While it remains a simplified experience now, the upcoming version brings several UI updates to give you more control and customizations.

          In a tweet, Felipe Borges (maintainer) shared some early development progress with Boxes 42 alpha build.

          I tried it out to give you some key highlights here.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • On January 11th 2022, EmmaDE4 1.01 focused on reuse for all with Ventoy !

          On January 11th 2022, the Emmabuntüs Collective is happy to announce the release of the Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 4 1.01 update (32 and 64 bits), based on the Debian 11.2 Bullseye distribution and supporting both Xfce and LXQt desktop environments.

          This distribution was originally designed to facilitate the reconditioning of computers donated to humanitarian organizations, starting with the Emmaüs communities (which is where the distribution’s name obviously comes from), to promote the discovery of GNU/Linux by beginners, as well as to extend the lifespan of computer hardware, in order to reduce the waste induced by the over-consumption of raw materials.

          This new update of our distribution brings the addition of the Ventoy utility as part of our reuse campaign launched in early September 2020 in collaboration with our friends from Debian-Facile and Tugaleres.com in France, as well as Blabla Linux in Belgium, as we have just put online a second version of our refurbishing USB flash drive now based on Ventoy.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 10 must-read technology books for 2022

          How do you keep up with technology change, given the rapid pace of tech advances? For CIOs and IT leaders who are looking to improve their tech skills or want to learn about the latest developments, we’ve pulled together a reading list for 2022.

          Peruse these titles for a thorough dive into key technologies and the related business and leadership challenges that your organizations may encounter.

        • Change management: 4 tips for leaders on embracing human nature | The Enterprisers Project

          Organizational change continues to speed up and deepen, accelerated by the uncertainty and new demands brought on by the pandemic. Technology executives and their teams are almost always key to these changes because these days, most major organizational changes have a large technological component.

          The simple truth is that this puts you, as a tech leader, in a difficult position because for most people, most of the time, change is hard.

        • Prevent Trojan Source attacks with GCC 12 | Red Hat Developer

          At the start of November of 2021, a new kind of software vulnerability was made public: “Trojan Source,” in which certain Unicode bidirectional control characters are used to write obfuscated code. These control characters can be used to create text in which the logical order seen by a programming language implementation (such as a compiler or interpreter) differs from the visual order seen by a human reading the code.

        • Integrate Apache ActiveMQ brokers using Camel K | Red Hat Developer

          Apache ActiveMQ is a highly popular message broker that features persistence, guaranteed message delivery, and high throughput. Apache ActiveMQ Artemis streamlines the classic message broker implementation for microservices architectures. This article is for developers transitioning from ActiveMQ Classic to ActiveMQ Artemis. We will show you how to get the two versions working together using Apache Camel K. Our example is based on Red Hat AMQ versions 6 and 7, and we will perform the steps on Red Hat OpenShift 4. Our code is written in Java. The integration process and techniques should be applicable to many other scenarios.

        • IBM AIX optimized system boot and dynamic reconfiguration – IBM Developer

          Some of the key factors that are important for system administrators during system maintenance are how long it takes to apply system patches or updates that require a reboot and how fast the system resources can be reconfigured without disrupting the existing workloads.

          Boot time is an important component of system performance as users must wait for the boot operation to complete before they can use the device. It is the time taken for a device to be ready to operate after the power has been turned on. Slow boot times would make the system owners to refuse to apply any patches or updates that require a reboot.

          Dynamic logical partitioning (DLPAR) is the capability of a logical partition (LPAR) to be reconfigured dynamically, without having to shut down the operating system that runs in the LPAR. DLPAR enables memory, CPU capacity, and I/O interfaces to be moved non-disruptively between LPARs within the same server. This support exists on IBM AIX since AIX 5L. System owners expect DLPAR operations to have minimal impact on the currently running workloads.

          This blog talks about the AIX 7.3 system boot and DLPAR optimizations.

          AIX 7.3 comes with an optimized boot phase which will have much shorter boot time when compared to a similar configuration with earlier AIX releases. AIX 7.3 has also significantly optimized the CPU and memory dynamic LPAR operations. Both were achieved by the redesign of the Lightweight Memory Trace (LMT) infrastructure.

          LMT is a critical reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) function on AIX, which is ON by default. To enhance the boot phase, the LMT buffer allocation which occurs early in the boot phase was redesigned and optimized. In AIX 7.3, during boot, LMT will allocate only sufficient buffer size that is sufficient to capture traces during the boot. After the boot, the LMT buffers are resized in the background without holding the boot process, there by resulting in significant improvements in boot times.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20.3 appears – now with more Mozilla flavor: Why this distro switched Firefox defaults back to Google

          The Linux Mint distro has been busy. Not only has it pushed out release 20.3, it’s also announced a deal with Mozilla, meaning vanilla Mozilla versions of Firefox and Thunderbird.

          It’s very hard to estimate the relative popularity of Linux distributions. Aside from a couple of paid enterprise distros, they’re all free downloads without serial numbers, activation nor any other tracking mechanisms. One of the only mechanisms is the Distrowatch popularity page, although vendors dispute its accuracy.

          Saying that, Mint is in third or fourth place, outranking its own upstream distro, Ubuntu, which comes sixth. Each major version of Mint is based upon the long-term support version of Ubuntu: Mint 20 is based on Ubuntu 20.04.

          Like most Linux distros, Mint offers Firefox as its default browser – and Mozilla’s email client, Thunderbird. The Mint team had built these apps itself, based on changes it inherited from its parent distro, Ubuntu. Now, Mint is switching away from Ubuntu’s versions of Firefox and Thunderbird to Mozilla’s versions – skipping an intermediary.

        • Linux Mint 20.3 appears – now with more Mozilla flavor: Why this distro switched Firefox defaults back to Google

          The Linux Mint distro has been busy. Not only has it pushed out release 20.3, it’s also announced a deal with Mozilla, meaning vanilla Mozilla versions of Firefox and Thunderbird.

          It’s very hard to estimate the relative popularity of Linux distributions. Aside from a couple of paid enterprise distros, they’re all free downloads without serial numbers, activation nor any other tracking mechanisms. One of the only mechanisms is the Distrowatch popularity page, although vendors dispute its accuracy.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 Release Date, New Features and More

          Ubuntu fans! It’s time to get excited about the next big release which is Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. Yes. It is a long term support release and it will be supported for five years till April 2027.

          The upcoming LTS release brings several new features. If you are using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, you will notice numerous visual changes. If you are using Ubuntu 21.10, you already have seen plenty of changes but there will still be a few new ones in the upcoming release.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Promises Performance Boost for All Raspberry Pi 4 Devices

          Ubuntu Desktop on Raspberry Pi arrived officially with the Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) release, but it was only recommended for the Raspberry Pi 4 models with 4GB or 8GB RAM, Raspberry Pi 400, as well as Raspberry Pi CM4 (Compute Module 4).

          Well, that’s about to change as Canonical wants to make Ubuntu Desktop work smoothly on the Raspberry Pi 4 model with 2GB of RAM, and the secret to this performance boost is to enable the zswap feature in the Linux kernel.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Cisco Webex

        Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology corporation that focuses on networking hardware and software. It has over 75,000 employees with its headquarters in San Jose, California.

        Cisco has been participating in open source development for almost 30 years including founding projects like OpenDaylight, FD.io, VPP, PNDA, SNAS, and OpenH264, and contributing to projects like OPNFV, Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Maven, and many others.

      • How to build an open source metaverse

        Like web servers on the internet, you need VR servers. But worry not, I wrote one, and an article about it was published right here about a year ago. Then, of course, you need VR-enabled web browsers, but web browsers already do support video/audio streaming (WebRTC) and VR and AR both (WebXR). Furthermore, you need a bunch of 3D content, preferably in open source standard glTF format. And luckily, Sketchfab hosts 500,000+ free 3D models, published under Creative Commons licenses by a huge number of authors. Sketchfab isn’t the only company doing that, but they provide REST API to search and download any of these models.

        Being in VR for quite a while now, I can tell you first hand what I miss the most: The keyboard! I write code on the keyboard, but it disappears when I put on my VR goggles. You can imagine how disruptive taking VR gear off and on is. And not just that, I need to see my code in VR. And then why stop there? Why wouldn’t I see every application in VR? Many people are using two or more displays. In VR, arrange windows wherever you look. That’s better than any number of screens. And once that happens, you’ll be able to talk metaverse for real.

      • Events

        • Italy welcomes Linux App Summit 2022 – Getting to know GNOME

          We’re happy to announce that Linux App Summit will take place in Rovereto, Italy between the 29th and 30th of April.

          Linux App Summit (LAS) is a conference focused on building a Linux application ecosystem. LAS aims to encourage the creation of quality applications, seek opportunities for compensation for FOSS developers, and foster a thriving market for the Linux operating system.

          This year LAS will be held as a hybrid event and attendees will be able to join virtually or in person at our venue in Rovereto.

          Everyone is invited to attend! Companies, journalists, and individuals who are interested in learning more about the Linux desktop application space and growing their user base are especially welcome.

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • It Can Happen Here

      These published opinions, some about the possibility of civil war carried out over years of terrorism, bombings and political assassinations, surfaced against the backdrop of the one-year anniversary Thursday of the deadly storming of the Capitol. A white mob egged on by Donald Trump tried to halt the time-honored electoral process of transferring power peacefully to a new president. It was anything but peaceful.

      Unlike the turmoil of the 1960s antiwar and civil rights movements, 9/11, the Civil War and British Redcoats during the war of 1812, it marked the first time Americans invaded the citadel of American democracy, the guiding light of their own country. They nearly succeeded in overthrowing the government. All because of that pretend Boston Tea Party patriotism riot based on Trump pursuing his Holy Grail – the presidency – by repeatedly lying that he won reelection.

    • “You Come Out With Nothing”: What It Means to Bring Back the Box at Rikers

      On January 5, four new members of the New York City Council arrived at Rikers for an unannounced tour. Council members Alexa Avilés, Sandy Nurse, Tiffany Cabán, and Shahana Hanif visited five of the island’s eight jails, including the isolation units that should already have been shuttered.1

    • Letter to June Jordan in September

      I cannot pass the anniversary of that first news event of childhood without returning to your poem. How from my house I watched. And watching, watched my grief-stricken parents unable to speak. How I leaned into the screen, the chords of the cries, searching for what was recognizable of fingers and thighs, of bracelets and moustaches. Macabre arrangement of bodies with names like our own. I cannot pass without your words. Something about witnessing twice removed. About distances magnified by the shift into language. Of dailyness and my own children’s vernacular and the machine. Grinding us all in its jaws. I met a girl from the camp at a reading in Beirut. She asked if we could talk about the life of poetry. Our families are hauled off to the world of the dead and every day it is on screen. In Gaza we’re watching Ferguson and in Atlanta we’re watching Jerusalem watching Minneapolis watching. Their weapons and their training programs indistinguishable. The word almost flickers for a nanosecond. Here I note the shelf-life of self-censorship, legacy of our era. Some days poems are scrawled on pieces of cardboard and carried on our shoulders at the protest like martyrs. Here I should say something about hope. Here I should say something about living.

    • India’s Patriotic Paradox: Desi vs. Foreign Liquor
    • Oceans Hotter in 2021 Than Any Time in Recorded History

      New research out Tuesday shows that the world’s oceans last year were hotter than they’ve ever been in recorded history—part of a long-term warming trend driven primarily by planet-wrecking fossil fuel emissions.

      “This finding really underscores the urgency of acting on climate now.”

    • A Better World

      Before I go through my favorite unriggings, let me start by making a general point, which some people may miss. I focus much of my writing on ways that we rig the market to give money to the Bill Gates and Moderna billionaires of the world.

      The idea of restructuring the market, so that these people do not get so rich, is not just a question of punishing the wealthy. When we give these people more money, in excess of what they contribute to the economy (we have to pay people something to develop mRNA vaccines, just not as much as we did), then we are generating more demand in the economy. This has the same effect on the economy as an increase in government spending.

    • This Is the Unbuilding of America

      Let me start 2022 by heading back—way, way back—for a moment.

    • Top 10 Things People Pretend They Don’t Know

      There are plenty of good excuses to actually not know something: it would take decades of study, it’s of no interest or value, it would cost so much money to research it that you could have saved millions of lives instead.

      There are, I think, fewer good justifications for pretending to yourself (not just to others) not to know something that you actually already know or would know with a moment’s consideration, something overwhelmingly established by widely acknowledged and clear evidence, regardless of what your television might tell you.

    • About 2021

      Disasters happened all year long. Whatever could go wrong went wrong. So, ’21, it’s simply true: We’re glad to see the back of you.

    • Opinion | The White Christian Nationalism Tearing America Apart at the Seams

      “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    • Obits for a South Korean Dictator Gloss Over US’s Anti-Democratic Role

      When former South Korean dictator Chun Doo-hwan passed away on November 23, Western media were forthcoming about his brutality, including his direction of the 1980 Gwangju Massacre, in which at least several hundred opponents of his regime were slaughtered. But the US role in supporting successive dictatorships in South Korea and its involvement in the 1980 massacre to preserve South Korea’s status as an American vassal state were either erased entirely, or whitewashed to distance Washington’s efforts to suppress democratic uprisings in Korea.

    • Education

    • Health/Agriculture

      • Opinion | Argentina’s Economic Success in the Face of Covid-19

        Although COVID-19 has been hard on everyone, it has not been an “equal opportunity” disease. The virus poses a greater threat to those who are already in poor health, many of whom are concentrated in poor countries with weak public-health systems. Moreover, not every country can spend one-quarter of its GDP to protect its economy, as the United States did. Developing and emerging economies have faced hard financial and fiscal constraints. And because of vaccine nationalism (hoarding by rich countries), they have had to scrounge for whatever doses they can get.

      • Lurking Behind Lackluster Jobs Gain are a Stagnating Labor Market and the Threat of Omicron

        First, the good news. The economy did add jobs in December, 199,000 of them, with gains in most sectors. This was less than the 440,000-job increase that some economists expected. Still, the gains are an indication of a reasonably healthy economy.

        And October and November jobs numbers were revised upward by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, gains were seen across a number of key sectors. The leisure and hospitality sector was up, as expected given recent trends, as were business services and manufacturing.

      • What’s Driving the UK’s Shortage of Medical Doctors?

        His response to bad news was to hide it, which is in keeping with secretive traditions of the NHS, as it is with all large institutions protecting their own interests. In the case of the NHS, the secrecy may be less obvious because a sympathetic media has been giving wall-to-wall coverage to its heroic efforts to treat victims of the pandemic.

        Reporting today focuses largely on the shortage of doctors and nurses, their numbers depleted by Covid-19. Much publicity is given to short-term fixes such as sending in the army and re-employing retired medical staff.

      • Sanders, Khanna Demand Free Covid Tests for All Americans

        As the Omicron variant overwhelms healthcare systems across the country, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna are leading a call for the Biden administration to drastically expand its plans to distribute “one of the most effective tools the federal government has at its disposal”—rapid Covid-19 tests.

        Sanders (I-Vt.), Khanna (D-Calif.), and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) led more than 40 Democrats in the House and Senate in writing to the White House Sunday, urging officials “to take additional, immediate steps to eliminate existing barriers to Covid-19 rapid tests and ensure robust access to free over-the-counter rapid tests throughout the country for the duration of the pandemic.”

      • Fauci Accuses Rand Paul of Kindling ‘The Crazies’ During Heated Exchange

        As U.S. Covid-19 cases surge amid an unprecedented wave of Omicron variant infections, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday parried a salvo of attacks by Republican senators, led by Rand Paul, who object to his expert-endorsed countermeasures against the unrelenting pandemic.

        “I have… threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.”

      • Nurses Plan Nationwide Rally to Demand Better Covid Safety Rules

        Members of the National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union of RNs, will hold demonstrations across the country on Thursday, January 13 to advocate for safer working conditions in hospitals and demand President Joe Biden fufill his campaign promises of protecting nurses and public health.

        “As we enter year three of the deadliest pandemic in our lifetimes, nurses are enraged to see that, for our government and our employers, it’s all about what’s good for business, not what’s good for public health,” said NNU president Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN.

      • Holding $9 Billion Hostage, US Offers $300 Million as Afghan Starve

        The Biden administration said Tuesday that it will contribute roughly $308 million to humanitarian assistance efforts in Afghanistan, where millions are on the brink of starvation and at risk of freezing to death in the aftermath of the U.S.-led war.

        But the newly announced aid falls far short of estimates of the war-torn country’s immediate needs and pales in comparison to the $9.4 billion in Afghan government assets that the Biden administration is refusing to unfreeze, despite growing pressure from progressive members of Congress and human rights advocates.

      • Red Cross Declares First-Ever Blood Shortage Crisis in US

        Due to problems tied to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the American Red Cross on Tuesday declared its first-ever national blood shortage crisis, warning that already, “doctors have been forced to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait.”

        “We’re doing everything we can to increase blood donations to ensure every patient can receive medical treatments without delay, but we cannot do it without more donors.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • ESA

        • European Space Agency: Come on, hack our satellite if you think you’re hard enough

          The European Space Agency (ESA) is inviting applications from attackers who fancy having a crack at its OPS-SAT spacecraft.

          It’s all in the name of ethical hacking, of course. The plan is to improve the resilience and security of space assets by understanding the threats dreamed up by security professionals and members of the public alike.

          OPS-SAT has, according to ESA, “a flight computer 10 times more powerful than any current ESA spacecraft” and the CubeSat has been in orbit since 2019, providing a test bed for software experiments.

          It is therefore the ideal candidate for l33t h4x0rs to turn their attention to, while ESA engineers ensure the environment is kept under control.

        • Security

          • Who is the Network Access Broker ‘Wazawaka?’

            In a great many ransomware attacks, the criminals who pillage the victim’s network are not the same crooks who gained the initial access to the victim organization. More commonly, the infected PC or stolen VPN credentials the gang used to break in were purchased from a cybercriminal middleman known as an initial access broker. This post examines some of the clues left behind by “Wazawaka,” the hacker handle chosen by a major access broker in the Russian-speaking cybercrime scene.

          • Sonicwall SMA 100 VPN box security hole exploit info shared • The Register

            Technical details and exploitation notes have been published for a remote-code-execution vulnerability in Sonicwall SMA 100 series VPN appliances.

            The information was released today by infosec outfit Rapid7. This comes about a month after Sonicwall issued a patch for the security hole, which was discovered and privately disclosed by Rapid7′s Jake Baines to Sonicwall in October.

            If you haven’t yet applied the update, now would be a good time before it’s widely exploited. So far there is no evidence the programming flaw, which is present in SMA 200, 210, 400, 410 and 500v products as well as the 100, has been abused in the wild, Sonicwall said.

          • Faking an iPhone Reboot – Schneier on Security

            I see this as another manifestation of the security problems that stem from all controls becoming software controls. Back when the physical buttons actually did things — like turn the power, the Wi-Fi, or the camera on and off — you could actually know that something was on or off. Now that software controls those functions, you can never be sure.

          • [Older] LastPass users are skeptical after company insists it wasn’t hacked

            Online forums are abuzz with reports that LastPass sent emails to users describing unauthorized login attempts with their master passwords, after one user posted about the issue on Hacker News. LastPass has since said it hasn’t leaked user information, leaving people with a lot of questions.

            Greg Sadetsky, the Montreal-based technologist who wrote the post on Hacker News, calls himself a part-time involuntary “security mensch.” “I think I’m pretty paranoid,” he told Input, before adding that he has a habit of ending conversations with a reminder not to use the same password twice (“not all conversations, though,” he assured me). In the past month alone, he tells me he’s uncovered security vulnerabilities in both a COVID test company lab and the app that controls the lights above the World Trade Center. “I just want these things fixed,” he said. So on December 27, when Sadetsky got a concerning email from his password manager, he spoke up.

            Sadetsky wrote that LastPass had alerted him of a login attempt using his account’s master password with this message: “Someone just used your master password to try to log in to your account from a device or location we didn’t recognize.”

            He considers the incident particularly concerning because the password was used only on LastPass and stored only in an encrypted password manager called KeePassX. Sadetsky says he had gone through a scrupulous extra step to use a second password manager to generate and encrypt the key to his LastPass password manager.

            COULD IT BE A KEYBOARD SNIFFER? — The last time he’d accessed the master password, he says, was in 2017. He copied it from KeePassX and pasted it into LastPass. He initially reasoned that malware, like a clipboard sniffer, could have gotten his password when he copied and pasted it over four years ago. But when his post developed traction and more people reported the same issue, he says he considered that explanation less likely.

            It’s unlikely to be an issue with KeePassX, either. KeePassX encrypts passwords, scrambling them in a way that is unreadable and unusable by hackers.

            HACKED FROM THE SAME PLACE — Another notable detail is the similarity in IP addresses that attempted the logins. In the email alert, LastPass included the IP address from which the login attempt took place, and Sadetsky found four other users who had received alerts involving startlingly similar IP addresses. At least five users’ accounts had experienced log-in attempts from foreign IP addresses in the 160.116 range. But at least five other Hacker News users reported similar LastPass alerts involving IP addresses that did not fit with the rest.

          • Open source isn’t the security problem – misusing it is [Ed: Richard Waters has a long history attacking Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]; his employer receives money from Bill Gates]

            We’re going to be cleaning up Apache Log4j security problems for months to come, but the real problem isn’t that it was open-source software. It’s how we track and use open-source code.

            When security vulnerabilities were found in the extremely popular open-source Apache Log4j logging library, we knew we were in trouble. What we didn’t know was just how much trouble we were in. We know now. Just ask the Belgian defence ministry. In this ongoing security disaster, many people blame open source for all our troubles.

            In the Financial Times (FT), Richard Waters, the newspaper’s west coast editor, wrung his hands, saying it’s a “little alarming to discover that, more than two decades into the open-source era, glaring security holes sometimes surprise even the experts.”

            Surprising? I think not. It’s software. It always has bugs. Sometimes they’re really bad bugs. As security maven Bruce Schneier said over 20 years ago: “Security is a process, not a product.” There’s no surprise here.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Access Now joins Global Encryption Coalition and continues to fight the good fight – Access Now

              As governments around the world unite in efforts to undermine encryption, Access Now is joining the Global Encryption Coalition (GEC) in the fight to prevent this critical technology from being weakened.

              Encryption helps people across the globe communicate freely and securely, and is a necessary tool to protect human rights in the digital age.

              “2020 and 2021 — years that saw an unprecedented rise in online activity owing to the pandemic, also witnessed an increase in proposals threatening encryption and jeopardising our online safety,” said Namrata Maheshwari, Asia Pacific Policy Counsel at Access Now. “We are committed to changing this narrative in partnership with the Global Encryption Coalition.”

              In joining the GEC, Access Now joins over 250 civil society organizations, technologists, industry associations, and companies to defend encryption.

            • Meta Platforms demands staffers provide proof of COVID-19 booster vaccine before returning to office
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the World’s Future

        Late January of this year will mark the first anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  This momentous international agreement, the result of a lengthy struggle by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and by many non-nuclear nations, bans developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, and threatening to use nuclear weapons.  Adopted by an overwhelming vote of the official representatives of the world’s nations at a UN conference in July 2017, the treaty was subsequently signed by 86 nations.  It received the required 50 national ratifications by late October 2020, and, on January 22, 2021, became international law.

      • The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the World’s Future

        Right from the start, the world’s nine nuclear powers—the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea—expressed their opposition to such a treaty. They pressed other nations to boycott the crucial 2017 UN conference and refused to attend it when it occurred. Indeed, three of them (the United States, Britain, and France) issued a statement declaring that they would never ratify the treaty. Not surprisingly, then, none of the nuclear powers has signed the agreement or indicated any sympathy for it.

        Even so, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has acquired considerable momentum over the past year. During that time, an additional nine nations ratified it, thus becoming parties to the treaty. And dozens more, having signed it, are expected to ratify it in the near future. Furthermore, the governments of two NATO nations, Norway and Germany, have broken free from the U.S. government’s oppositional stance to the treaty and agreed to attend the first meeting of the countries that are parties to it.

      • The US Drops an Average of 46 Bombs a Day While Grandstanding for Peace
      • The post-January 6 Future is Ours to Decide

        Yet, despite the pundits, the polls, the stringent warnings, threats, and denunciations, the simple truth remains that the future is ours to decide and will not be decided by a single politician, political party, or cluster of alternative reality organizations.

        There is nothing to cavalierly dismiss about the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump’s disgruntled and facetiously-informed supporters. It was, after all, the first time the Capitol had been invaded since the British did so in 1814. And yes, “invaded” is an accurate description for smashing your way into a building by breaking down the doors and kicking out the windows. It was, and remains, a horrific act of violence that resulted in death and injury to many, particularly those tasked with ensuring the security of the building and the continuance of democracy’s activities within.

      • Guantánamo Is Still “a Black Hole of Secrecy”

        John Ryan, a legal affairs journalist, often sits alone in the front row of the court gallery during pretrial hearings at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. Three panes of glass separate him from the five men accused of orchestrating the attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as the defense and prosecution lawyers, judge, guards, court staff, and witnesses. Television monitors relay the scene and audio with a 40-second delay, should any classified information be uttered, which is flagged by a flashing red light behind the judge’s bench. “It’s a little bit disjointed,” Ryan said. “I think it is important just to be there. It’s hard to articulate. It just feels weird to me that the front row would be empty.” Reporting for this story was supported by a fellowship from the Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

      • Meet the Muslim Army Chaplain Who Condemned Torture of Guantánamo Prisoners & Then Was Jailed Himself

        Twenty years ago today, the U.S. military began imprisoning Muslim men at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. We speak with the prison’s former Muslim chaplain, James Yee, who was jailed and held in solitary confinement for 76 days after being falsely accused of espionage. All charges were eventually dropped, and he received an honorable discharge. Yee describes how boys as young as 12 to 15 years old were treated as enemy combatants on the prison complex and the widespread Islamophobia that put even Muslim Americans under heavy surveillance. “During my time I was there, it was clear that these individuals were not in any way associated with terrorism whatsoever,” says Yee.

      • 20 Years and 4 Presidents Later and Gitmo Still Not Closed

        Human rights defenders marked the 20th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba under the administration of former President George W. Bush by noting that three American presidents have come and gone without anyone being held accountable for the horrific crimes that have occurred there, while calling on the fourth—Joe Biden—to finally close what one advocate called an “indelible stain” on the nation.

        “President Biden needs to fulfill his pledge to finally end this shameful chapter of American history.” 

      • Opinion | Guantanamo Is an Indelible Stain on America. Biden Must Close It Once and for All

        At a recent demonstration outside the White House calling for the closure of the US military prison at the Guantánamo Bay naval base, a teenager approached a colleague to ask what the protest was all about. He told her he had never heard of the detention facility.

      • Ilhan Omar: Close the Prison at Guantánamo Now

        Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wrote in a new op-ed that Tuesday—the 20th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. offshore prison at the Guantánamo Bay naval base—should be “a day to reflect, and to act” and urged younger Americans to heap pressure on President Joe Biden to finally close the facility

        While “Congress has acted to frustrate rather than facilitate closing Guantánamo,” at least most of the work to shutter the prison can be done by Biden, Omar (D-Minn.) argued in her op-ed at Teen Vogue.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Green Groups Urge Biden to ‘Do Much More’ to Stop Arctic Drilling

          While praising President Joe Biden for taking steps Monday to reverse a Trump administration policy that opened up millions of acres in the Western Arctic for oil drilling, environmental justice advocates argued that only a comprehensive federal ban on new fossil fuel leasing can adequately protect public lands and waters and stave off the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

          “We urge the Biden administration… to phase out all new leasing for fossil fuels on our public lands.”

    • Finance

      • Dems Urged to Act First as GOP Mulls Ban on Lawmaker Stock Trades

        Congressional Democrats on Tuesday faced new pressure to bar sitting lawmakers from trading stocks amid reports that Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is considering enacting such a ban if the GOP wins control of the House in the upcoming midterms.

        Seen by progressives as an obvious political ploy rather than a genuine reform effort, news of McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) potential endorsement of a stock trading ban comes just weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended current rules that allow members of Congress to hold and trade individual stocks while in office—a status quo that has helped turn Capitol Hill into a veritable hotbed of insider trading.

      • 150+ NY Groups Back Public Banking Bill to Declare ‘Independence From Wall Street’

        Over 150 advocacy groups from across the Empire State Tuesday sent a letter to New York legislative leaders urging them to follow in the footsteps of places like North Dakota, Germany, and Costa Rica and pass legislation allowing the creation of public banks that would help “advance racial equity and ensure a just recovery for all New Yorkers.”

        “We need to divest from destructive Wall Street banks and invest in our communities!”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • What a Progressive Champion From Rural Maine Can Teach Democrats About Winning

        The 2022 midterms are still 10 months away—but if much of the media is to be believed, the fight is already over before it’s even begun.

      • Whose Body Is It?
      • What Should the Left Do About China?

        Since March 2019, Hong Kong has confronted the greatest challenge to its relatively free and open civil society since it was transferred from British to Chinese rule in 1997. In incidents spanning more than a year, local police faced off against enormous crowds of young demonstrators fighting a losing battle to maintain the city’s autonomy within the People’s Republic of China. Using batons and more than 10,000 canisters of tear gas, officers crushed the protest movement in 2020, but the repression has continued: By February 2021, more than 10,000 Hong Kongers had been arrested in connection with these demonstrations, and over a quarter of those had been prosecuted, while tens of thousands more had sought asylum in Britain, Canada, or Australia.

      • Opinion | January 6th Is Just the Beginning of the Assault on American Democracy

        One year ago, millions of Americans watched as white supremacists and domestic terrorists, emboldened, funded and organized by then-president Donald Trump, his staff and elected officials at every level of our government, attacked the heart of American democracy. 

      • How Democracy Gets Eroded: Lessons From the Nixon Era

        Donald Trump had hoped to reverse his election loss in a single, decisive, dramatic confrontation between his supporters and the republic’s, broadcast live around the world. His plan backfired, filling our screens with vivid illustrations of authoritarianism’s most repugnant ills: chaos, lawlessness, violence, racism, fascismand all manner of hatred run amok. The blatancy of the subversion provoked an immediate backlash, even among some Republicans.

        Had he studied democratic erosion before becoming a practitioner, Trump would know that effective authoritarians tighten their grips on government gradually, stealthilyundermining courts, legislatures, election officials, news organizations, political opposition and other institutions strong enough to check them.

      • Coming This 2022: Refugees, Democracy and Human Rights

        Exasperated with NATO expansion and growing ambitions in the Black Sea region, Moscow has decided to challenge the US-led Western alliance in an area of crucial geopolitical importance to Russia.

      • Why Georgia Voting Rights Groups Are Skipping Biden’s Atlanta Visit

        What might have been a rousing national kickoff not only of a 2022 federal voting rights push but also the campaigns to elect Stacey Abrams Georgia governor and reelect Senator Raphael Warnock has turned out to be anything but that. Days after blasting President Joe Biden for insufficient urgency on passing some kind of voting rights bill, a coalition of crucial Georgia voting groups—the Black Voters Matter Fund, the Asian American Advocacy Fund, the New Georgia Project Action Fund, and the GALEO Impact Action Fund, which organizes Latinos—announced that its leaders would not attend his Atlanta events with Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday. Abrams herself endorsed the visit, but said she would miss it because of a “scheduling conflict.”

      • Opinion | Yes, Donald Trump Is the Antichrist

        A listener called into my program yesterday and asked, “Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?”

      • Ultras

        In 1956, the former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service made a surprising political turn: He announced in an essay in The Washington Post that he saw taxation as a Marxist scheme to “bring capitalism to its knees.” Even though T. Coleman Andrews had served in government only a year before, under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, once out of Washington he turned against the entire enterprise of the modern state. Any progressive or liberal, he insisted, was “either a dupe or, at heart, a dictator.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Indomitable Rev. Addie L. Wyatt

        When she reported to work for her first day at Armour and Company’s meatpacking plant in 1941, Addie L. Wyatt was not planning on becoming a labor activist. She didn’t even really want to be a butcher, but after spending weeks applying for work as a typist and being rejected each time, the young Southern transplant was growing desperate. The meatpacking workers at Armour’s sprawling Chicago facility had a union, the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA), and drew a good wage; Wyatt had a family to support, so despite her lack of butchering experience, the five-foot tall, 100-pound 17-year-old decided to give it a shot. An exasperated foreman tossed her off the line, but as she was leaving, Wyatt noticed a group of white women waiting to apply for clerical positions. She slipped in and took the typing test with them, passing easily thanks to skills she’d acquired in a high school typing course. Those who had passed were told to report to work on Monday, but when Wyatt showed up, she was instead directed to the factory floor, and told to join the other Black women canning stew. At Armour—and in so many other places then—Black women were not welcome in the front office.

      • “Race-Neutral” Traffic Cameras Disproportionately Ticket People of Color
      • Police-Led Youth Programs Don’t Actually Combat the School-to-Prison Pipeline
      • Activists Renew Push for Moratorium in Jackson State Forest; Six Arrested

        Six forest activists were arrested early Monday morning in the course of a nonviolent direct action that shut down logging for the day in Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF). Activists blocked all entrances to timber harvest plan (THP) 1-19-00224-MEN, known as Red Tail, keeping out logging crews from several private companies working under contract with Calfire, the agency in charge of JDSF.  The three men and three women were cited for “trespass” and “false imprisonment”, given a court date, and released on site.

        These were the first arrests since the nonstop protests erupted in JDSF in April 2021, including tree-sits, frequent gate blockades, and work stoppages on active logging sites. However, until now Calfire has declined to arrest forest defenders. Monday, however, the loggers initiated four ‘citizens’ arrests’ at the gate. Two more arrests were made by Calfire on a road inside the THP. The activists had refused orders to move away from the gate because the loggers had refused to identify themselves. When Calfire officers Comer and Dudley arrived, they took over and performed the actual arrests requested by the loggers and security personnel.

      • Georgia Voting Rights Groups to Boycott Biden Speech

        Several prominent Georgia-based advocacy groups are planning to boycott President Joe Biden’s voting rights speech in Atlanta on Tuesday, criticizing the event as yet another symbolic gesture in the face of concrete threats to the franchise nationwide.

        “We don’t need even more photo ops,” Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, told reporters during a press conference on Monday. “We need action, and that action is in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights [Advancement] Act as well as the Freedom to Vote Act, and we need that immediately.”

      • Alabama Amazon Workers Win New Vote to Unionize

        Workers’ rights advocates on Tuesday applauded a decision by the National Labor Relations Board to hold a new union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama nearly a year after employees accused the multinational company of union-busting conduct that unfairly influenced the result of the previous election.

        “A reminder of the shameful anti-union behavior of Bezos and Amazon management and the need to pass the Pro Act bill to protect workers’ rights to form a union.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Kazakhstan internet shutdowns and protests: Timeline

        Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition condemn the use of internet shutdowns in Kazakhstan to crush protests and provide cover for state violence, and are calling on authorities and telecommunication providers to immediately restore full and permanent access to the internet.

        For more than a week, authorities in Kazakhstan have been arbitrarily manipulating and disrupting internet access across the country, leaving much of the population disconnected and uncertain about whether or when the internet will be fully accessible in the future. While the international community’s ability to connect with people on the ground has been fractured, a timeline of escalating events can be identified.

        Here’s what’s happened so far, plus tools and resources to help those impacted by the shutdowns and violence.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • From lab to market – two more case studies highlighting routes to success [Ed: Corrupt EPO still bribing scholars for self-serving patent propaganda, which corrupts academia]

          Today the EPO publishes two more case studies and a podcast in its series on how technology transfer from university research teams can create new companies, new jobs and new markets. The series includes examples from Austria, Italy, Ireland, Sweden and Turkey. Each case study provides advice for researchers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them make better use of the patent system. They show how companies can adapt their patent strategy as it grows, in response to threats and opportunities, whilst balancing cashflow issues in the fragile early years.

          The first case study is about Blubrake, a spin-off from the Politecnico di Milano which developed an award-winning anti-lock braking system for e-bikes and e-cargos. Incubator e-Novia provided industrial expertise combined with a smart patenting strategy, helping to turn university researchers into entrepreneurs and their technology into a market success. Despite the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has been growing fast by providing safety to green mobility. The accompanying podcast features Blubrake’s co-founder and general manager Fabio Todeschini along with technology transfer expert Massimiliano Granieri, who also wrote the case study, and examines Blubrake’s journey from research lab to market from their perspective.

Links 12/1/2022: WordPress 5.9 RC2, Tails 4.26, and Tor Browser 11.0.4

Posted in News Roundup at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Review: Black Box Emerald SE Over-IP System Provides Seamless Desktop Experience | HealthTech Magazine

        Healthcare organizations aim to operate with flexibility, scalability, affordability and security. Linux operating systems offer an affordable option for running back-end systems in a secure manner that only open-source architecture provides.

        At the center of the value Linux provides healthcare systems are Kernel-based Virtual Machines, which are based on open-source virtualization technology that is built directly into Linux. KVMs can turn the Linux OS into a hypervisor that supports multiple, isolated virtual environments called guests or virtual machines, according to Red Hat. This is especially useful for deploying mobile solutions.

      • Why You Should Buy a Computer With Linux Preinstalled

        If you’re a Linux user considering a new machine, you might be tempted to just buy a standard computer and install Linux on it, irrespective of the operating system it came with.

        There are several reasons you might want to seek out a computer with Linux preinstalled. Let’s take a look at some of them.

      • Dell Laptop Intel core i3 11th Gen-1115G4/8GB/256GB SSD/Ubuntu – Latitude 3520

        This laptop is compact and lightweight hence you can easily carry it in your backpack. The dimensions of the Dell Laptop Intel core i3 11th Gen-1115G4/8GB/256GB SSD/Ubuntu – Latitude 3520 are 24.08 x 36.09 x 1.8 cm and it weighs around 1.79 Kg.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Backup your databases with mysqldump – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. In this post, we will show you how to use the mysqldump command. This command allows you to back up your MySQL / MariaDB databases rapidly.

      • How to download tux paint – TechStory

        Tux Paint is a free, grant-winning drawing program made for youngsters ages 3 to 12, yet delighted in by all! It joins a simple to-utilize interface, fun audio effects, and an uplifting animation mascot who guides youngsters as they utilize the program.

      • How to Install Vivaldi Browser on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Vivaldi is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Vivaldi Technologies. It had grown from the downfall of Opera with many disgruntled when it changed from the Presto layout engine to a Chromium-based browser. This platform angered traditional Opera users. Since then, Vivaldi has become one of the most popular alternative Internet Browsers amongst the big three Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

        Vivaldi promotes itself as a leading browser with faster navigation, clever bookmarking, more intelligent browsing, extensive tab management, and a more visual approach.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Vivaldi Browser on Rocky Linux 8 Workstation.

      • How to Install Opera Browser on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Opera is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Opera Software and operates as a Chromium-based browser. Opera offers a clean, modern web browser that is an alternative to the other major players in the Browser race. Its famous Opera Turbo mode and its renowned battery saving mode are the best amongst all known web browsers by quite a margin, along with a built-in VPN and much more.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Opera Browser on Rocky Linux 8 Workstation.

      • How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Linux kernel 5.16 has many new features, support, and security. The Linux 5.16 kernel release has a great new feature, FUTEX2, or futex_watv(), which aims to improve the Linux gaming experience, growing considerably with better native Linux porting for Windows games utilizing Wine.

        Other improvements have seen write include improved write congestion management, task scheduler for CPU clusters sharing L2/L3 cache, amongst many other additions. More information can be found on the Linux 5.16 Kernel release changelog.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest 5.16 Linux Kernel on Rocky Linux 8 Workstation or Server.

      • How to Add a Printer to a Chromebook

        A Chromebook is unlike most traditional laptops you’ll encounter. It runs a web-based operating system known as Chrome OS, which makes it a modern and versatile device to own.

        But sometimes, even performing rudimentary tasks like setting up printers can be daunting to new users considering the unique interface Chromebooks offer. Let’s take a look at how you can add a printer to your Chromebook in a few simple steps.

      • Virtual machine for my courses | Vojtěch Zeisek

        For my courses ofwork in Linux command line not only for MetaCentrum and with molecular data in R I provide VirtualBox image, which allows to run complete desktop Linux (in this case openSUSE Leap) with all preinstalled applications needed for both courses. It’s easy way how to get fully working Linux to play with. It requires at least bit powerful notebook, e.g. at least quad-core with at least 8 GB RAM, but more is better.

      • The Complete Guide to User Management in Linux

        User account management is one of the many challenges of Linux system administrators. Some of the responsibilities of a system administrator are enabling/disabling user accounts, preserving the home directory, setting user permissions, assigning groups/shells to users, and managing passwords.

        Effective control of user accounts is only possible after familiarity with the basics of Linux account management. Hence, this article is a stepping stone towards securing user accounts. It demonstrates how to create, delete and modify user accounts and manage predefined settings or files to build the most suitable and secure environment for Linux users.

      • How to install and Configure HAProxy load balancer on Rocky Linux/Alma Linux 8

        HAProxy is a free and open source software that provides a high availability load balancer and proxy server for TCP and HTTP-based applications that spreads requests across multiple servers. It distributes the load among the web and application servers.

        Haproxy is popular for load balancing because of its efficiency, reliability, and low memory and CPU footprint. Load balancing is a common solution for distributing web applications horizontally across multiple hosts while providing the users with a single point of access to the service.

        It is available for install on major Linux distributions. In this guide we will learn how to install and configure HAProxy load balancer on Rocky Linux 8. This guide also works on other RHEL 8 based distributions like Alma Linux and Oracle Linux.

      • How to install and use Nmap on Ubuntu 20.04 – NextGenTips

        Welcome to today’s topic where we will be talking about how to install Nmap on Fedora 35.

        Nmap (Network mapper) is a free and open-source software for network discovery and security auditing. It is also used for network inventory services, managing service upgrades, and monitoring hosts’ downtime.

        Nmap is designed for bigger networks but it can also work fine with standalone hosts. Nmap suite includes an advanced GUI and results viewer called Zenmap, a flexible data transfer, redirection and a debugging tool called Ncat, a utility for comparing scan results called Ndiff, and a packet generation and response analysis tool called Nping.

      • How to Modify the Configuration of Running Docker Containers – CloudSavvy IT

        Docker containers are usually treated as immutable once they’ve started running. You can update some configuration parameters dynamically though, such as the container’s name and its hardware resource limits.

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to use built-in Docker commands to modify selected parameters of running containers. We’ll also look at what you shouldn’t change and a workaround you can use if you believe you must.

      • How to Secure Docker’s TCP Socket With TLS – CloudSavvy IT

        Docker’s API is completely unprotected by default except for filesystem permissions on its Unix socket. You should set up TLS when exposing the Docker API over TCP so Docker Engine and your clients can verify each others’ identity. Otherwise anyone with access to the TCP port could browse your Docker containers, start new ones, and run actions as root on your system.

        Configured TLS will require clients to present a valid certificate that’s signed by the server’s certificate authority. To get it working, you need to create SSL certificates, then set up Docker Engine to require TLS connections. Docker CLI clients must also be adjusted to expect a TLS server.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • BeOS rebuild Haiku has a new feature that runs Windows apps • The Register

        The Haiku operating system has an experimental new feature, WINE. Originally a Linux subsystem, WINE can run unmodified Windows programs on other operating systems.

        Edward FitzGerald translated only 158 of the more than 1,200 quatrains attributed to the Persian Astronomer-Poet Omar Khayyám so there are probably more experimental operating systems out there than there are of Omar’s rubāʿiyāt in English. Very, very few such OSes ever amount to much – a few demos, some sketchy code on GitHub, and that’s the end.

        Haiku is different. An open-source reimplementation of former Apple exec Jean-Louis Gassée’s BeOS, the project started in 2001 and took until 2018 to make it to its first beta version. But since then, the pace has picked up a little, with Beta 2 in 2020 and Beta 3 in 2021.

        Partly this is because Haiku didn’t start completely from scratch. The project began right after Palm bought Be and cancelled BeOS.

        Haiku uses some of the original code and its GUI is notably based on BeOS’s Tracker and Deskbar, which Be released as open source in 2000 – when BeOS was already at version 5 and a decade old. In fact, that year your correspondent reviewed it. I was impressed:

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.24 Wallpaper: “Wavy McWallpaperface” › Ken Vermette

          After two tremendously fun livestreams the Plasma 5.24 wallpaper is all wrapped up. With this particular image we had a lot of fun using new techniques to create this wallpaper, and the entire process was a fun adventure. To download the wallpaper it’s available on OpenDesktop and GetHowNewStuff if you’re a Plasma user.

          The wallpaper was first sketched in the Krita painting application. Up until this point wallpapers I authored used a fairly inflexible technique of creating a polygon grid and manipulating it, but this new shape would require new techniques.

    • Distributions

      • MakuluLinux Shift – Good News !

        We have a new Video for showing what’s new and upcoming up with Shift, Some really good news !

      • Haiku Contract Report: December 2021

        For the first time, most of the work I did as part of this contract was not in the month’s activity report aside from a passing reference, as nearly all of it took place outside the main Haiku source tree. So, here I detail it; and thanks once again to the generous donations of readers like you (thank you!).

        Nearly all of my work last month was spent on one thing, which was alluded to in the activity report:

        “Xlibe”: an Xlib/X11 compatibility layer for Haiku

      • BSD

        • Using KeePassXC with SSH-Agent on OpenBSD

          I’m using KeePassXC to manage my secrets. But when I log into my OpenBSD laptop, I’m still asked to enter my SSH passphrase to fill-in ssh-agent(1). Somehow, it’s great ; maybe other system don’t even propose that feature out of the box. But what if KeePassXC could know about my passphrase(s) and interact with ssh-agent(1). Well, it can.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How To Install Lynis on Fedora 35 – idroot

          In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Lynis on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Lynis is the popular security auditing tool for Linux, Unix, and macOS systems. Lynis performs an extensive health scan of your systems to support system hardening and compliance testing. Lynis also gives complete information about the current operating system, current operating system version, hardware running on the Linux machine, firmware information, etc.

          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 the step-by-step installation of the Lynis security audit tool on a Fedora 35.

        • How to Tell If You Are a Successful Program Manager [Ed: As a community, Fedora failed, largely due to actions from a community-hostile IBM]

          When I was hired as the Fedora Program Manager, my manager told me that he wouldn’t hold me responsible for Fedora Linux shipping on time. If an on-time release isn’t part of my success, then what could possibly be?! Keeping in mind that a program manager’s primary responsibilities are to coordinate and communicate across functions, I’ve settled on a few ways that I judge how successful I am.

        • Measuring Your Success as an Open Source Program Manager

          Fedora Program Manager Ben Cotton explains how to know when you’re doing a good job as a program manager.

          Cotton says, “as an active and visible member of the team, you have significant influence on the culture. Besides, culture isn’t evenly distributed. So let’s focus primarily on what’s going on near you. Do people trust you? Do they feel safe giving you bad news?”

        • [CentOS] December 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

          Note: Posting late, as we appear to have overlooked posting these after the December meeting.

          Note: The November board meeting didn’t happen due to scheduling conflicts, so there are no minutes for that month.

        • Red Hat / Fedora Anaconda Installer Shifting To A Web Based UI

          The Red Hat / Fedora Anaconda installer for carrying out new operating system installs is in the early stages of a major rewrite to its user-interface and moving forward will be web-based.

          Anaconda has long been GTK-based but as part of modernizing it they are now looking at rewriting the UI to be a web browser-based UI that makes use of Red Hat’s Cockpit project. The new UI will run locally or also remotely for those wanting to carry out headless server installs and the likes more easily than through VNC, etc.

          Red Hat’s Cockpit web-based management system already has Anaconda DBus while they are working on this new installer UI that will allow it to be more consistent with the rest of the system.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.26 is out

          Add a shortcut to open the Tor Connection assistant when starting Tor Browser if Tails is not connected to the Tor network yet.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • How low can you go? Running Ubuntu Desktop on a 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 | Ubuntu

          At Canonical we’re proud to be able to offer a full Ubuntu Desktop experience on the Raspberry 4. Ubuntu Desktop provides everything you need to develop software and even deploy it to Ubuntu Server on devices like the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.

          However the full desktop environment is quite a lot for the Pi to handle. Up until now, we’ve recommended users stick to models with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM to be confident that it will perform well. One of our goals for the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release is to lower that barrier to entry. This means targeting a viable Desktop experience on Raspberry Pi 4 2GB models.

          The secret to this optimisation is a Linux kernel feature called zswap. In this blog, we’ll show you how to enable this functionality today and benefit from the upcoming performance boost that will come as standard in 22.04.

        • Ubuntu Brings Full Desktop to Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB RAM

          Want to run the full Ubuntu desktop on a Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB of RAM? Well, now you can.

          Ubuntu already supports the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 4GB and 8GB versions (and has done since the Ubuntu 20.10 release). Now the team building the distro plan to go further by supporting the Raspberry Pi 4 2GB model too (which costs around £40, if you’re considering one).

          However, making Ubuntu run decently on devices with modest amounts of memory is difficult.

          Enter zswap, Ubuntu’s ‘secret weapon’ in targeting low-memory Pis with the full-blown Ubuntu experience.

          Most Ubuntu systems come with a swap file. This acts as an ‘overflow’ for RAM, caching processes and tasks that aren’t immediately needed to free up RAM for ones that are. The existing Ubuntu Raspberry Pi builds are no exception to this.

          But all that reading to and from an SD card isn’t the fastest fallback. So Ubuntu is swapping — yes, pun intended— to a compression tool like Zswap.

          “When a process is about to be moved to the swap file, zswap compresses it and checks whether the new, smaller size still needs to be moved or if it can stay in your RAM. It is much quicker to decompress a ‘zswapped’ page than it is to access the swap file so this is a great way of getting more bang for your buck from systems with smaller amounts of RAM,” Canonical’s Oliver Smith explains.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition Linux smartphone is up for pre-order for $399

        Pine64’s PinePhone Pro “Explorer Edition”, the successor of the PinePhone Linux smartphone with a much more powerful Rockchip RK3399S processor, is now available for pre-order for $399 on Pine64 store, but mostly for Linux developers since there’s still a lot of work to do before the phone becomes usable.

        Based on Allwinner A64 processor, the original PinePhone was the cheapest Linux smartphone you could get, but as a user, I can also say it’s sluggish and suspect only a few people have made it their main mobile device. The story should be a different story with PinePhone Pro with much better specs include on hexa-core Cortex-A72/A55 processor tweaked to consume less power than RK3399, 4GB RAM, 128 GB eMMC flash, and a 6-inch display that makes it more like a typical entry-level/mid-range smartphone.

      • PinePhone Pro ‘Explorer Edition’ Pre-Orders Go Live

        You’ll need to move moderately quickly if you want the phone in your hands ASAP, as the upcoming Chinese New Year is expected to temporarily interrupt fulfilment.

        Pine64 say all orders placed between January 11th and 17th will ship by the end of the month. After that? Well you might be waiting until the end of February at the earliest.

        Now that this is the first time people have been able to buy the PinePhone Pro. A ‘developer edition’ went on sale late last year targeted at software enthusiasts wishing to work on bringing up OS support for the device.

        The PinePhone Pro ‘Explorer Edition’ is a little further along the refinement process. It ships with a Manjaro-based OS running the Plasma Mobile UI.

        That said, this phone is still targeted at FOSS enthusiasts willing to workaround flaws and wait for missing features to be added.

        There’s plenty of stock to go around as this is a “large production run” that’s not excepted to sell out in minutes. It is, however, limited to one PinePhone Pro per customer.

      • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition is now available for $399 (Linux Smartphones) – Liliputing

        The PinePhone Pro is a Linux-friendly smartphone with a 6 inch FHD+ display, a Rockchip RK3399S processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Priced at $399, it costs about twice as much as the original PinePhone, but it has better specs and should offer significantly better performance.

        Pine64 unveiled the PinePhone Pro last fall and began shipping developer units in December. Today a PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition is available for anyone to purchase – just keep in mind that this is a unit aimed at early adopters and enthusiasts and may not yet be able to do everything you’d expect from a smartphone, especially since software for the PinePhone Pro is still pretty early in the development process.

      • You can pre-order the Linux-powered PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition starting today

        Pine64, the team behind all sorts of Linux-powered hardware like single-board computers, notebooks, and smartphones, announced the PinePhone Pro last October as the successor to its OG PinePhone from 2019. While early units of the Pro model shipped to developers last month, broader availability is only just now getting underway following initial production delays, with the Pro Explorer Edition going up for public pre-order.

        The company posted on its website that it had intended to start pre-orders earlier this month but couldn’t due to some minor problems at the factory, and wanted to be sure everything was running smoothly before opening the floodgates. As a result of that hiccup, only people who place their orders between now and January 17th will have their devices shipped this month, and purchases from the 18th onward will be dispatched after Chinese New Year in February. Regardless of when you choose to place your order, you’re only allowed one unit per person.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • How can AI-based analysis help educators support students?
        • 3D Printed Sensor For Finding Wind Direction And Likely Much More | Hackaday

          Have you ever wondered how an electronic wind vane translates a direction into a unique signal? It seems as though it might be very complicated, and indeed some of them are. [martinm] over at yoctopuce.com has an excellent writeup about measuring wind direction using just a single, easily printed disk and some phototransistors.

        • Geniatech spins two SBC options with RK3568

          Geniatech’s “RK3568 Developer Board (K3-3568)” SBC builds on the quad -A55 SoC with up to 8GB DDR4, 2x GbE, HDMI in and out, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, a mic array, M.2, mini-PCIe, and a DVB-T2 tuner. A recent DB3568 version offers even more features.

          Last February, Geniatech announced a RK3568 Development Board and RK3566 Development Board, which is identical except for using a slightly less I/O capable RK3566 instead of the RK3568. We were confused when Geniatech sent us a link to a new RK3568 Developer Board, until we realized it was a different model called the K3-3568. We then saw that our old RK3568 Developer Board product page link had changed to yet another design called the DB3568, which differed from the larger board we covered in that report, which is now used only for the RK3566 Developer Board. Here we look at the two RK3568-based models.


          Both boards support Linux and Android.

        • i.MX 8M Plus solderable LGA module follows OSM Size-L standard – CNX Software

          SGET Open Standard Module (OSM) specification was ratified in November 2020. It defined specifications for solderable LGA system-on-modules, and we first noticed it though through the launch of F&S Elektronik “FS 8MM OSM-SF” module powered by an NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor, and following OSM Size-S standard (30x30mm).

          As we noted in our introduction about the Open Standard Module, SGET defined four sizes from Size-0 (30x15mm) to Size-L (45x45mm), and there’s now at least one “Large” OSM module courtesy of iWave Systems, and their iW-RainboW-G40M module equipped with an NXP i.MX 8M Plus processor for AI applications.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • Some Cool and Free Android Launcher Apps Without Ads!

          Android smartphones on the market usually have their own default launcher. So, the appearance of a certain brand of smartphone will also be different, unless the smartphone uses the default stock android which looks still standard.

          I have several Chinese production smartphones, and most of them embed ads in their UI. Sometimes these ads are embedded in some of the default apps from smartphones. You can delete some default apps without root using adb.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Registration Now Open for CodeNewbie Challenge 2022

          The CodeNewbie Challenge for 2022 (CNC2022) is now open for registration, with a new track and improved resources to help you connect with other participants. This challenge is a free email-based series designed to help you develop your coding skills.

        • First up in 2022: linux.conf.au!

          First up in 2022: linux.conf.au!
          Mark Filion avatar Mark Filion
          January 11, 2022
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          The new year has only just begun, and already our first conference of 2022 is on the horizon. Join us down under this week for the virtual edition of linux.conf.au, as we discuss bringing WebM Alpha support to GStreamer, and provide a status update on the futex2 syscall!

          Proudly sponsored by Collabora, linux.conf.au 2022 is “the largest linux and open source conference in the Asia-Pacific region. The conference provides deeply technical presentations from industry leaders and experts on a wide array of subjects relating to open source projects, data and open government and community engagement”.

          Just like last year’s edition, LCA2022 will be once again be held entirely online, with four Miniconfs kicking things off this Friday, January 14, followed by a busy two day main conference on January 15 & 16. Among the 80+ sessions spread out over three days will be two from Collabora’s André Almeida and Nicolas Dufresne, as well as a talk on KernelCI by Gentoo’s Alice Ferrazzi. Here’s a look at what each will be discussing.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Can You Use Other Browsers on a Chromebook?

            Chromebooks run Chrome OS, an operating system built around Google Chrome. But what if you want to use another browser like Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge? The answer to that question is not as simple as you might think.

            Naturally, you’d assume a Chromebook—which runs Chrome OS—can only use the Chrome browser. After all, many people consider Chrome OS to be just a glorified browser anyway.

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 11.0.4

            Tor Browser 11.0.4 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory

            This version includes important security updates to Firefox.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • MySQL vs. MongoDB | FOSS Linux

          MongoDB is a NoSQL document-oriented database primarily used to store high-volume data. MongoDB came into existence around the mid-2000s. It is categorized under the NoSQL databases. MongoDB is maintained and owned by MongoDB Inc.

          NoSQL databases are known for using dynamic schemas. This means that users can create records without defining the structure in the first instance with these databases. Besides, MongoDB is widely known for allowing users to change the record structures, thus adding new fields and deleting existing ones.

          MySQL is one of the extensively used and popular RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). The name MySQL was derived from the co-founder’s daughter’s name “My” and “SQL .”MySQL is maintained and owned by Oracle Corporation.

          MySQL is primarily based on a relational database model since it is a Relational Database Management System). This database model makes DB administration straightforward and flexible.

          Unlike MongoDB, in MySQL, you have to pre-define the database schema based on your preferences and set rules to oversee the relationships between fields in the tables.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Content Management Systems (CMS)

        • WordPress 5.9 RC 2

          The second Release Candidate (RC2) for WordPress 5.9 is now available!

          “Release Candidate” means the new version of the software is ready for release. It helps the community check that nothing is missed, given the thousands of plugins and themes and differences in how millions of people use the software.

          Thank you to everyone who has contributed thus far towards testing and filing bugs to help make WordPress 5.9 a great release. WordPress 5.9 is slated for release in just two weeks on January 25, 2022. There’s still time to help! Since RC1 was released, six bugs have been found and fixed. There were 13 bug fixes backported from Gutenberg.

      • FSFE

        • Device Neutrality becomes a reality +++ Stockholm +++ FSFE infrastructure +++ AI

          In our January Newsletter, we recognise the importance of the Digital Markets Act as a mostly positive development for software freedom. Read how the lack of public code cost Stockholm €100 million. Our System Hackers team unravel what lies behind the FSFE infrastructure. Vincent Lequertier stresses that AI needs transparency. FOSDEM is coming up.


          Parents in Stockholm receive information about their children’s schools or kindergartens directly to their devices with the help of Skolplattformen (‘School platform’), a digital platform offered by the city of Stockholm. It cost an estimated €100 million and although it was publicly funded, Skolplattformen’s code was private. Parents spotted irregularities and security issues in the platform and proceeded to fix the flaws themselves. They created a functional and secure Free Software alternative, Öppna skolplattformen (‘Open school platform’). The city of Stockholm took legal measures against the developers who wanted to help.

      • FSF

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Space-Eye: Satellite surveillance from underneath

            High-resolution images from earth observation could help with non-governmental sea rescues in the Mediterranean. However, these have to be purchased from commercial providers, because openly accessible images from EU satellites are of low quality. An initiative now wants to enrich this data with other sources and evaluate it with algorithms.

      • Programming/Development

        • Command Line JSON Client In Golang

          I’m an experienced software developer learning Golang by building an activity tracker1. I want a low-effort way to track my physical activity, and building it seems like a fun learning project. Last time I built a REST service for storing my workout activities, and now I’m going to make a command-line client for it.

        • The burden of an Open Source maintainer

          I look at it this way: if I didn’t use my strategies to stave off burnout, I wouldn’t maintain my projects at all. And having a project that works well and is maintained for 80% of the people who find it is better—in my mind—than adding on extra support and maintenance burden by dealing with every issue and PR that comes my way. And in the end, I maintain the projects for my own needs first.

          Maybe that sounds callous, but it’s the reality of the open source contract, whether the project in question is backed by a multi-billion-dollar corporation or a random guy in St. Louis.

        • Good web scraping is not just about avoiding load

          One of my opinions here is that good web scraping is not just about avoiding load on the target. Ultimately, good web scraping is about being polite. One of the things that’s definitely impolite is overloading the target; harming a scraping target is not a good thing. But another thing that’s impolite, at least in my view (and my view is what matters for Wandering Thoughts), is simple being too large a source of requests and traffic. And 27,000 requests from a single source is at least one order of magnitude larger than I normally see, and the single largest regular source is itself an unreasonable one.

        • AdamW’s Debugging Adventures: Bootloaders and machine IDs | AdamW on Linux and more

          Hi folks! Well, it looks like I forgot to blog for…checks watch….checks calendar…a year. Wow. Whoops. Sorry about that. I’m still here, though! We released, uh, lots of Fedoras since the last time I wrote about that. Fedora 35 is the current one. It’s, uh, mostly great! Go get a copy, why don’t you?

          And while that’s downloading, you can get comfy and listen to another of Crazy Uncle Adam’s Debugging Adventures. In this episode, we’ll be uncomfortably reminded just how much of the code that causes your system to actually boot at all consists of fragile shell script with no tests, so this’ll be fun!

          Last month, booting a system installed from Rawhide live images stopped working properly. You could boot the live image fine, run the installation fine, but on rebooting, the system would fail to boot with an error: dracut: FATAL: Don’t know how to handle ‘root=live:CDLABEL=Fedora-WS-Live-rawh-20211229-n-1′. openQA caught this, and so did one of our QA community members – Ahed Almeleh – who filed a bug. After the end-of-year holidays, I got to figuring out what was going wrong.


          When I checked those files, it turned out that on the live image, the ID in both /etc/machine-id and /etc/machine-info was a69bd9379d6445668e7df3ddbda62f86 – the problematic ID on the installed system. When we generate the live image itself, kernel-install uses the value from /etc/machine-id and writes it to /etc/machine-info, and both files wind up in the live filesystem. But on the installed system, the ID in /etc/machine-info was that same value, but the ID in /etc/machine-id was different (as we saw above).

          Remember how I mentioned above that when doing a live install, we essentially dump the live filesystem itself onto the installed system? Well, one of the ‘tweaks’ we make when doing this is to re-generate /etc/machine-id, because that ID is meant to be unique to each installed system – we don’t want every system installed from a Fedora live image to have the same machine ID as the live image itself. However, as this /etc/machine-info file is new, we don’t strip it from or re-generate it in the installed system, we just install it. The installed system has a /etc/machine-info with the same ID as the live image’s machine ID, but a new, different ID in /etc/machine-id. And this (finally) was the ultimate source of the problem! When we run them on the installed system, the new version of kernel-install writes config snippet files using the ID from /etc/machine-info. But Fedora’s patched grub2-mkconfig scriptlet doesn’t know about that mechanism at all (since it’s brand new), and expects the snippet files to contain the ID from /etc/machine-id.

        • BOLT Merged Into LLVM To Optimize Binaries For Faster Performance – Phoronix

          Merged into LLVM’s mono repository minutes ago was BOLT! This is the Facebook-developed tool for optimizing the layout of binaries in the name of delivering greater performance. Facebook (now Meta) already has been using BOLT internally to great success with production workloads, it’s continued advancing in the public as open-source for a while, and is now upstream in LLVM for fostering its future development.

        • New blog!

          At the time, I used Blogger because I didn’t want to mess implementing a blog on my own website infrastructure. Why? The honest answer is an object lesson in software engineering. The last time I re-built my website I thought that building a website generator sounded like a fantastic excuse to learn some Ruby.

        • Single attribute in-place editing with Rails and Turbo

          Turbo can largely simplify our front-end needs to achieve a single-page application feel. If you have ever wondered how to do a single attribute in-place update with Turbo, this post is for you.

          I’ll assume you have Turbo (with turbo-rails gem) installed, and you already have a classic model CRUD done. If you don’t, just generate a standard scaffold. I’ll use the User model and the name attribute, but it can be anything.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • PyCook

            A few months ago, I went on a quest to better digitize and collect a bunch of the recipes I use on a regular basis. Like most people, I’ve got a 3-ring binder of stuff I’ve printed from the internet, a box with the usual 4×6 cards, most of which are hand-written, and a stack of cookbooks. I wanted something that could be both digital and physical and which would make recipes easier to share. I also wanted whatever storage system I developed to be something stupid simple. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the years it’s that if I make something too hard, I’ll never get around to it.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Tidy tables for data processing

            I’ve seen some very pretty data tables in spreadsheets, on webpages and in word-processed documents.

            There were lots of colours. Careful attention had been paid to font, font size and font emphasis. Column widths, row heights and border thickness had been skillfully adjusted. In spreadsheets there were comments and metadata notes. In word-processed documents there were numbered footnotes, with superscript numbers attached to data items.

            Of course, all that colour and data decoration is for human eyes. If the same tables were to be processed digitally, the processing program wouldn’t care what the table looks like. It just wants the data to be tidy and workable.

            In this post I explain what “tidy and workable” means for data processing.

        • Java

          • The 10 Best IDEs for Java | FOSS Linux

            Java is a leading programming language and a computing platform in the development world. Its first inception was in 1995 by Sun Microsystem and later acquired by Oracle Corporation. So as you know, Java is one of the first programming languages that many learned because of its popularity levels. It is a high-level, object-oriented, and class-based language designed to be an all-around general-purpose language.

            This language permits developers to “write once, run anywhere,” which means that after compiling a code in Java, it can run anywhere- Hence, Java is supported without needing to recompile. It is nothing different from the C and C++ programming language syntax if you don’t comprehend its syntax.

            To implement Java programming language, you need particular environments to develop codes and apps. So here comes the starring role of Java Integrated Development Environment (Java IDE). This (IDE) was felt as developers encountered issues day in day out while coding huge apps and resolved out to find a solution.

            Typically, huge apps have lots of classes and files, and as such, it gets challenging to debug them. But with the help of an IDE, proper project management can be maintained as it offers hints on code completion and syntax errors.

            The integrated Development Environment (IDE) is typically a software app that gives developers a platform with numerous features to formulate computer-based apps, tools, web pages, services, etc.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • PCIe 6.0 Specification Released With 64 GT/s Transfer Speeds – Phoronix

        While PCIe 5.0 adoption is only in its infancy, the PCI-SIG today announced the PCIe 6.0 specification.

        The PCI Express standard speeds are again being doubled with PCIe 6.0 now being designed to deliver 64 GT/s transfer speeds, double that of PCIe 5.0. PCIe 6.0 will be able to deliver up to 256 GB/s of bandwidth in a PCIe x16 configuration. The specs shouldn’t be all that surprising as back in 2019 it was announced PCIe 6.0 would deliver 64 GT/s transfer rates though at that time the spec was expected to be out in 2021.

      • Why Are Hyperlinks Blue

        While musing over my recently published article, Why are hyperlinks blue, I was left feeling a bit blue myself. Yes, it could have been the fact that I was evacuated and Hurricane Ida was destroying my home, I’ll admit. Besides that, I was also bothered by the fact that even though I was able to determine that Mosaic was indeed the first browser to use blue hyperlinks, I was not much closer to determining why the hyperlinks themselves were blue.

        Black hyperlinks had been the standard for many years, but why the sudden shift to blue? One can assume that it is because RGB phosphorescent monitors were becoming more readily available in comparison to monotone phosphorescent monitors that could only produce one color. Okay then, with a palette of colors to choose from, why blue? Why not green? Microsoft 3.1 had used green for hyperlinks. Surely there must have been something to support or inspire Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina on April 12, 1993 to make the hyperlinks blue, but what was it?

        I simply didn’t know, so I published the article anyway and hoped the internet would do as it always does: thrill in pointing out when someone is wrong, in the hope that someone would know the true answer.

        I published the first article, a hurricane destroyed my home, and now two months later I’m once again sitting in my now gutted home with the miracle of the internet once again restored, and I’m back on the case.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Veto Power and Decision Making Process

        Imagine you’re a venture capital partnership that has make decisions on whether to invest in a startup or not. A partner comes to the Monday meeting after having met a promising new startup, but not everyone agrees that it’s a worthwhile investment. What is the optimal decision making process for the group to maximize their return?

        Majority vote? Supermajority? Unanimous? Does anyone have veto power? Can a single individual with high conviction make a unilateral decision?

        Turns out the answer in practice depends in part on the riskiness of the decision being made. Think about it in terms of the probability of a “yes” decision. All other things equal, the more votes needed to pass the proposal lowers the probability of success. Veto power lowers it even more.

      • Many presentations of axiomatic set theory contain an error

        The axiom of union is a typical example. It states that if !!\mathcal A!! is some family of sets, then there is also a set !!\bigcup \mathcal A!!, which is the union of the members of !!\mathcal A!!. The other axioms of this type are the axioms of pairing, specification, power set, replacement, and choice.

        There is a minor technical problem with this approach: where do you get the elements of !!\mathcal A!! to begin with? If the axioms only tell you how to make new sets out of old ones, how do you get started? The theory is a potentially vacuous one in which there aren’t any sets! You can prove that if there were any sets they would have certain properties, but not that there actually are any such things.

        This isn’t an entirely silly quibble. Prior to the development of axiomatic set theory, mathematicians had been using a model called naïve set theory, and after about thirty years it transpired that the theory was inconsistent. Thirty years of work about a theory of sets, and then it turned out that there was no possible universe of sets that satisfied the requirements of the theory! This precipitated an upheaval in mathematics a bit similar to the quantum revolution in physics: the top-down view is okay, but the most basic underlying theory is just wrong.

      • Reusable Booster Rockets, Asian Roundup | Hackaday

        The Space Shuttle’s solid rocket boosters were reusable, although ultimately the overall system didn’t prove cheaper than expendable launches. But given the successes of the Falcon 9 program — booster B1051 completed its 11th mission last month — the idea of a rocket stage returning to the launch site and being reused isn’t such a crazy proposition anymore. It’s not surprising that other space agencies around the world are pursuing this technology.

        Last year the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced plans for a reusable launcher program based on their GSLV Mark III rocket. The Japan Aerospace Exploratory Agency (JAXA) announced last Fall that it is beginning a reusable rocket project, in cooperation with various industries and universities in Japan. The South Korean space agency, Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), was surprised in November when lawmakers announced a reusable rocket program that wasn’t requested in their 2022 budget. Not in Asia, but in December France’s ArianeGroup announced a reusable rocket program called Maïa.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Electronic Drum Toy Built From Scratch | Hackaday

        Drum kits used to be key to any serious band, however, these days, much of our music is created on computer or using a drum machine instead. [spanceac] has built a simple example of the latter, using a microcontroller to build a basic sample-based drum toy.

        The brains of the operation is the STM32F100VET6B, which comes complete with a 12-bit DAC for outputting sound. It’s also got a healthy 512 KB of flash, enabling it to store the drum samples onboard without the need for extra parts. Samples are stored at a sample rate of 22,050 Hz in 16-bit resolution – decent quality for a tiny little build, even if the DAC chops that back down to 12-bits later.

      • Honda Ignition Coils Sing The Song Of Their People | Hackaday

        High-voltage experimenters have been using automotive ignition coils to generate impressive sparks in the home lab for decades, and why not? They’re cheap, easily obtainable, and at the end of the day, producing sparks is literally what they’re designed to do. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

        In his latest Plasma Channel video [Jay Bowles] revisits this classic experiment, bringing to bear the considerable high-voltage experience he’s gained over the last several years. Building on an earlier setup that used a single Honda ignition coil, this new dual-coil version can produce up to 60,000 volts and is driven by a cleaner and more reliable circuit based on the iconic 555 timer. A pair of potentiometers on the front of the driver can adjust its square wave output from 1 to 10 kilohertz manually, while a commercial Bluetooth audio receiver tied into the 555 circuit allows the output to be modulated by simply playing audio from a paired device.

      • HitClips Custom Cartridge Hack Will Never Give Up, Let Down, Or Turn Around

        In August 2000, Tiger Electronics released HitClips: Music cartridges and players designed to easily share 60 second low quality Clips of a youngster’s favorite Hits. Various players were available, and individual cartridges were inexpensive enough to collect. And it’s these toy music players that [Guy Dupont] has been hacking quite successfully on as you can see in the video after the break and on [Guy]’s Hackaday.io page.

      • The Atari Punk Console, Now With More Vacuum Tubes | Hackaday

        Most of us have beheld the sonic glory of an Atari Punk Console, that lo-fi synth whose classic incarnation is a pair of 555 timers set up to warble and bleep in interesting ways. Very few of us, however, have likely seen an APC built from 555s that are made from vacuum tubes.

        It’s little surprise to regular readers that this one comes to us by way of [David] at Usagi Electric, who hasn’t met a circuit that couldn’t be improved by realizing it in vacuum tubes. His “hollow-state” Atari Punk Console began with the 18-tube version of the 555 that he built just for fun a while back, which proved popular enough that he’s working on a kit version, the prototype of which served as the second timer for the synth. With 32 tubes aglow amid a rats-nest of jumpers, the console managed to make the requisites sounds, but lacked a certain elegance. [David] then vastly simplified the design, reducing the BOM to just four dual-triode tubes. Housed on a CNC milled PCB in a custom wood box, the synth does a respectable job and looks good doing it. The video below shows both versions in action, as well as detailing their construction.

      • LED Bubbles From The 1970s Tell The Time | Hackaday

        [CuriousMarc] is nothing if not curious. Finding some old TI timekeeping chips to reverse engineer, he set out to make a clock using old-fashioned “bubble LEDs.” You can see the result of his tinkering in the video below. For the uninitiated, bubble LEDs are 7-segment LEDs with magnifying bubbles over each digit. These were popular in calculators, watches, and other places that used LEDs before LCDs largely displaced them.

        The history of these has to do with the power required to light an LED. You don’t technically need a magnifying lens, but larger LEDs take more power. These displays were relatively low power and used tiny LEDs with light pipes to make each dot a full segment. The lens made the segments larger and easier to see.

        Beyond the TI chip and HP displays, there isn’t too much else needed. [Marc] just wired the whole thing using the IC as a substrate. Sort of dead bug construction using enameled wire. At first, it didn’t work but it turned out to be a battery issue. The device really wanted 2.5 V and not the 3 V provided by the battery. The solution required a little detective work.

      • 3D Printering: Soldering A Heated Bed | Hackaday

        There’s an old saying about something being a “drop in the ocean.” That’s how I felt faced with the prospect of replacing a 12 V heated bed on my printer with a new 24 V one. The old bed had a nice connector assembled from the factory, although I had replaced the cable long ago due to heating issues with that particular printer. The new bed, however, just had bare copper pads.

        I’m no soldering novice: I made my first solder joint sometime in the early 1970s. So I felt up to the challenge, but I also knew I wouldn’t be able to use my usual Edsyn iron for a job like this. Since the heated bed is essentially a giant heatsink for these pads, I knew it would require the big guns. I dug out my old — and I mean super old — Weller 140 W soldering gun. Surely, that would do the trick, right?

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Headed for six figures The Omicron variant is bringing Russia’s coronavirus epidemic to a tipping point, officials warn

        According to government officials, Russia’s coronavirus epidemic has reached a tipping point. On Tuesday, January 11, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova, and Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko all raised concerns about the rapid spread of the Omicron strain during a meeting of the Presidium of the Government Coordination Council on countering COVID-19. Among other things, they warned that the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Russia could soon hit six figures. Meduza summarizes their remarks here.

      • Republicans Only Extend Unemployment When It Protects Anti-Vaxxers
      • EU Says ‘Premature’ to Have Urgent WTO Meeting on Covid-19

        After over a year of the European Union blocking a proposed waiver of intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines—and as case numbers surge thanks to the Omicron variant—an E.U. representative on Monday called India’s proposal for a World Trade Organization conference on pandemic response “premature.”

        “The pandemic hasn’t lasted long enough for the E.U.?” asked Dimitri Eynikel, who represents Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, on the issue of access to medicines at the European Union.

      • There Are No Heroes in Djokovic vs. Australia

        If someone is going to compare you to Spartacus, you had better damn well earn it through your words and deeds. Novak Djokovic, the sour, selfish tennis demigod, isn’t even in the conversation. That didn’t stop the father of the tennis great from saying that his son was “the world’s new Spartacus” and “the symbol and the leader of the free world.” Why? Because he was standing up to “corona fascism” by refusing to be vaccinated or tamed by any mandates or restrictions. Yet Djokovic’s desire to remain a vaccine denier collided with Australia’s own policy of denying entry to anyone who has not gotten the vaccine.

      • Omicron has higher asymptomatic carriage: studies

        The results suggest a high carriage rate even in those vaccinated, the South African Medical Research Council said in a release.

      • How triclosan, found in many consumer products, is triggered to harm the gut

        Increasingly, research links triclosan, an antimicrobial found in thousands of consumer products, with the gut microbiome and gut inflammation. A new study looks at the potential for combating damage to the intestine. The findings suggest new approaches for improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

      • IDPH ‘Unable’ To Say How Many Children Are Hospitalized For COVID
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Instaclustr focuses on pure open source to offer open-core alternative – SiliconANGLE

              The promise of open source is to make software tools free and open, yet some versions contain proprietary add-ons, licensing terms, or risks that must be vetted first.

              This situation is commonly referred to as “open core,” and to address this issue, Instaclustr Pty. Ltd. has built its business around providing managed support to configure open-source technologies such as Apache Cassandra or PostgreSQL while avoiding the encumbrance of open core. Instaclustr has become a player in the estimated $21 billion open-source services market.

        • Security

          • SOK: On the Analysis of Web Browser Security

            Web browsers are integral parts of everyone’s daily life. They are commonly used for security-critical and privacy sensitive tasks, like banking transactions and checking medical records. Unfortunately, modern web browsers are too complex to be bug free (e.g., 25 million lines of code in Chrome), and their role as an interface to the cyberspace makes them an attractive target for attacks. Accordingly, web browsers naturally become an arena for demonstrating advanced exploitation techniques by attackers and state-of-the-art defenses by browser vendors. Web browsers, arguably, are the most exciting place to learn the latest security issues and techniques, but remain as a black art to most security researchers because of their fast-changing characteristics and complex code bases.

            To bridge this gap, this paper attempts to systematize the security landscape of modern web browsers by studying the popular classes of security bugs, their exploitation techniques, and deployed defenses. More specifically, we first introduce a unified architecture that faithfully represents the security design of four major web browsers. Second, we share insights from a 10-year longitudinal study on browser bugs. Third, we present a timeline and context of mitigation schemes and their effectiveness. Fourth, we share our lessons from a full-chain exploit used in 2020 Pwn2Own competition. and the implication of bug bounty programs to web browser security. We believe that the key takeaways from this systematization can shed light on how to advance the status quo of modern web browsers, and, importantly, how to create secure yet complex software in the future.

          • Cloud Apps Replace Web as Source for Most Malware Downloads

            New research shows that enterprise organizations these days are far more likely to experience malware downloads from cloud applications than any other source.

            Researchers at Netskope recently analyzed data gathered from customer networks and discovered that more than two-thirds of malware downloaded to enterprise networks between Jan. 1, 2020, and Nov. 30, 2021, originated from cloud applications. The security vendor found that cloud-delivered malware has become more prevalent than malware delivered via the Web and via malware-laced websites.

          • Mozilla Releases Security Updates for Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird | CISA

            Mozilla has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird. An attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system. 

            CISA encourages users and administrators to review the Mozilla security advisories for [Firefox 96], [Firefox ESR 91.5], and [Thunderbird 91.5] and apply the necessary updates.

          • ‘Wormable’ Flaw Leads January 2022 Patch Tuesday

            Microsoft today released updates to plug nearly 120 security holes in Windows and supported software. Six of the vulnerabilities were publicly detailed already, potentially giving attackers a head start in figuring out how to exploit them in unpatched systems. More concerning, Microsoft warns that one of the flaws fixed this month is “wormable,” meaning no human interaction would be required for an attack to spread from one vulnerable Windows box to another.

          • Microsoft Releases January 2022 Security Updates [Ed: If CISA and NSA were serious about security, they would advise people to abandon Microsoft for the back doors]

            Microsoft has released updates to address multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft software. An attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

          • Citrix Releases Security Update for Workspace App for Linux | CISA

            Citrix has released a security update to address a vulnerability in Workspace App for Linux. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.

          • Adobe Releases Security Updates for Multiple Products | CISA

            Adobe has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in multiple Adobe products. An attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Meta Sues Firm For Data Scraping; Claims That Signing Up For New Accounts After Being Banned Is Equivalent Of Hacking

              For years we’ve talked about the infamous Facebook lawsuit against Power.com. As you may recall, this was a key CFAA case against a site, Power.com, that was trying to create a social media aggregator dashboard — in which you could login through a single interface, and access content from and post to a variety of different social media platforms. Facebook alleged that this was a form of hacking — claiming it was “unauthorized access” to Facebook. This was even though there was no actual unauthorized access. Individual users gave Power their login credentials, so everything was completely authorized. After years of winding through the courts, unfortunately, it was decided that this was a violation of the CFAA, mainly because Facebook sent a cease & desist letter, and somehow going against that now made it “unauthorized.” In my mind, this is one of the biggest reasons why Facebook has much less competition today than it otherwise might — because it used the CFAA and cases against Power.com to create a “you can check in, but you can’t check out” kind of data arrangement. Things like Power.com were an empowering system that might have made people much less reliant on Facebook — but it was killed.

            • Standing Up For Privacy In New York State

              The first piece of legislation is A. 7326/S. 6541—New York bills must have identical versions in each house to pass—which protects the confidentiality of medical immunity information. It does this in several key ways, including: limiting the collection, use and sharing of immunity information; expressly prohibiting such information from being shared with immigration or child services agencies; and requiring that those asking for immunity information also accept an analog credential—such as a paper record.

              As New Yorkers present information about their immunity—vaccination records, for example, or test results— to get in the door at restaurants or gyms, they shouldn’t have to worry that that information will end up in places they never expected. They shouldn’t have to worry that a company working with the government on an app to present these records will keep them to track their movements. And they should not have to worry that this information will be collected for other purposes by companies or government agencies. Assuring people that their information will not be used in unauthorized ways increases much-needed trust in public health efforts. 

              The second piece of legislation, A. 84/ S. 296, also aims to stop unnecessary intrusion on people’s everyday lives. This legislation would stop law enforcement from conducting a particularly troubling type of dragnet surveillance on New Yorkers, by stopping “reverse location” warrants. Such warrants—sometimes also called “geofence” warrants—allow law enforcement agencies to conduct fishing expeditions and access data about dozens, or even hundreds, of devices at once. Government use of this surveillance tactic is incredibly dangerous to our freedoms, and has been used to disproportionately target marginalized communities. Unfortunately courts have rubber-stamped these warrant requests without questioning their broad scope. This has shown that requiring warrants alone is not enough to protect our privacy; legislatures must act to stop these practices.

            • UK Government Apparently Hoping It Can Regulate End-To-End Encryption Out Of Existence

              Politicians — those motivated by the notion of “doing something” — want to end encryption. They don’t want this to affect their communications and data security. But they don’t see the harm in stripping these protections from the general public. Often, the argument is nothing better than “only criminals want end-to-end encryption,” something they trot out as a truism despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

            • Danish spy chief detained over ‘highly sensitive’ leak

              The chief of Denmark’s Defense Intelligence Service (FE), Lars Findsen, has been held in custody for more than a month over an apparent leak, it was revealed on Monday.

              Local media said the leak involved “highly sensitive” information. It follows allegations last year that Danish intelligence colluded with the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European leaders and private Danish citizens.

            • EDPS sanctions Parliament over EU-US Data Transfers to Google and Stripe

              The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued a decision after a complaint filed by noyb confirming that the European Parliament violated data protection law on its COVID testing website. The EDPS highlights that the use of Google Analytics and the payment provider Stripe (both US companies) violated the Court of Justice’s (CJEU) “Schrems II” ruling on EU-US data transfers. The ruling is one of the first decisions implementing “Schrems II” on the ground and may show the way for hundreds of other cases pending before regulators.

            • Stop Europol’s illegal bulk data collection!

              For years, the EU police authority Europol has been collecting massive amounts of data without any legal basis. Now Europe’s top data protection official Wojciech Wiewiórowski is taking action against the police agency, according to an order published today.

            • EDPS sanctions European Parliament for illegal data transfer to the US

              Following a complaint by six MEPs, including Patrick Breyer of the Pirate Party, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has confirmed that the European Parliament‘s COVID test website violated data protection rules. The EDPS highlights that the use of Google Analytics and the payment provider Stripe (both US companies) violated the European Court of Justice’s (CJEU) “Schrems II” ruling on data transfers between the EU and the US. The ruling is one of the first decisions to implement “Schrems II” in practice and could be groundbreaking for many other cases currently being considered by regulators.

              On behalf of six MEPs, the data protection organisation noyb filed a data protection complaint against the European Parliament in January 2021. The main issues raised are the deceptive cookies banners of an internal corona testing website, the vague and unclear data protection notice, and the illegal transfer of data to the US. The EDPS investigated the matter and issued a reprimand on the Parliament for violation of the “GDPR for EU institutions” (Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 applicable only to EU institutions).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Kazakhstan: Militarist’s Newest Case For Confronting Putin’s Russia

        The fact that the Russian force includes members of the 45th Brigade, an elite special forces unit, is indeed worrisome.  This unit fought in both Chechen wars in 1996 and 1999; in South Ossetia in 2008 in the five-day war with Georgia; in the abrupt annexation of Crimea in 2014; and in Syria in 2015.  Nevertheless, Russia’s overall view of war, as expressed by its own writers, is one of defeat and even humiliation.  Moscow lost the Crimean War in the 1850; the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-1905; WWI, which opened the door to the Bolshevik Revolution; the Cold War with the United States; and finally the humiliation of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  The Soviet demise meant the loss of two million square miles, which exceeds the size of the European Union or India.  Even the so-called victory in WWII meant the loss of more than 27 million Soviets, and an economic and social recovery that took decades.

        Russians know the cost of war, and Putin, who lost a brother in WWII, presumably shares that concern.  His so-called adventurism has involved very short campaigns with limited risk.  The short war with Georgia was typical, and in fact was brought on by the Bush administration’s encouragement of Georgian irredentism in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  The seizure of Crimea was quick and tidy, and returned to Moscow a territory that had been in Russian hands for hundreds of years.  As in Georgia, U.S. manipulation of Ukraine’s political firmament had much to do with Putin’s decision to retake Crimea.  (Politically, Ukraine is more united and stable without Crimea because of the heavy concentration of Russian ethnics in the region.)

      • Tech giants banned Trump. But did they censor him?

        But there’s another, more conceptual debate that transcends partisan politics and carries implications beyond Trump’s freedom to tweet. It’s the question of whether the largest social media companies have become so critical to public debate that being banned or blacklisted — whether you’re an elected official, a dissident or even just a private citizen who runs afoul of their content policies — amounts to a form of modern-day censorship. And, if so, are there circumstances under which such censorship is justified?

      • Former Army Chaplain at Guantánamo Was Jailed There Himself
      • Twenty Years Of Barbarism At Guantánamo: Biden Could End It But Lacks The Political Will

        The first “high-value detainee” at Guantánamo military prison was approved for transfer a day before the detention camp marked the 20th anniversary of confining prisoners in the “war on terrorism.”

        According to lawyers from Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) who represented him, Guled Hassan Duran was captured in Djibouti in March 2004. The CIA renditioned him to a secret prison site, where he was tortured and abused prior to his transfer to Guantánamo in 2006. He was designated by President Barack Obama’s review task force for indefinite detention, even though he was not charged with a crime. Duran is a citizen of Somalia with “prior residence in Germany and Sweden.” Congress prohibited the United States government from transferring any Guantánamo prisoners to Libya, Somalia, Syria, or Yemen in 2015. Because he cannot return to Somalia, it could be several years before he is released to a country willing to accept him.  Thirty-nine prisoners remain indefinitely detained at Guantánamo. They have been in confinement for the past 15-to-20 years without charge or trial.

      • Guantánamo Turns 20: Ex-Prisoner Moazzam Begg Calls on Biden to Close Site & End Legacy of Torture

        On the 20th anniversary of the first prisoner’s arrival at Guantánamo Bay, we spend the hour with former detainees, starting with Moazzam Begg, who was imprisoned for three years at the military prison and eventually released without ever being charged with a crime. He now advocates on behalf of victims of the so-called war on terror, calling on the Biden administration to follow through on promises to shut down the military prison and release the remaining 39 prisoners. Twenty years after the detention center opened, Begg reflects on the absurdity and lawlessness of Guantánamo, describing how its torture methods were not only unethical but ultimately extracted very little credible intelligence. “The legacy of this place is imprisonment without trial, torture, the absence of the rule of law, the removal of the presumption of innocence,” says Begg.

      • Twenty Years Of Barbarism At Guantánamo: Biden Could End It But Lacks The Political Will

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter, a project of Shadowproof. Become a paid subscriber and help us expand our work.

        The first “high-value detainee” at Guantánamo military prison was approved for transfer a day before the detention camp marked the 20th anniversary of confining prisoners in the “war on terrorism.”

      • Guantánamo 2.0: Former Prisoner Mansoor Adayfi Says Injustice Continues Even After Release

        Former Guantánamo Bay detainee Mansoor Adayfi was imprisoned for 14 years without charge before being released in 2016 to Serbia. Adayfi says those released from Guantánamo become “stateless men” who experience a brutal legal limbo even after being cleared of all charges, often released to countries where they have no history or connection with their families. Even exonerated former detainees of Guantánamo “live in the stigma of Guantánamo, viewed by the hosting countries as terrorists, as killers,” says Adayfi. He joins advocates everywhere in calling for President Biden to shut the prison down.

    • Environment

      • REPORT Lufthansa group confirmed that 18,000 flights had been flown empty to keep airport slots

        The airline’s parent company, Lufthansa Group, confirmed that 18,000 flights had been flown empty, including 3,000 Brussels Airlines services, according to a report in The Bulletin.

        EU rules require that airlines operate a certain percentage of scheduled flights to keep their slots at major airports.

        Under these “use it or lose it” regulations, prior to the pandemic carriers had to utilise at least 80pc of their scheduled take-off and landing slots.

      • Energy

        • Living Closer to Oil and Gas Drilling Linked to Higher Risk of Pregnancy Complications, New Study Finds

          Living near oil and gas drilling may increase pregnant women’s risk of developing gestational hypertension and eclampsia, according to a new study.

          “We observed for those pregnant women within one kilometer of drilling that there’s about a 5 percent increase in odds of gestational hypertension, and 26 percent increase odds of eclampsia,” Mary Willis, a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University and one of the authors of the study, told DeSmog. “So, it’s this really close range where we are seeing a potential impact right on women’s health.”

        • [Cryptocurrency] Startup Lets You Fund Other People’s Lawsuits Against Each Other

          First, some background on litigation funding. Half-gambling and half-fundraising, the process of litigation funding is a way for people with money to help those without fund their lawsuits — and in return, they get a share of whatever potential settlements the claimants receive.

        • Another Entire Country Just Banned [Cryptocurrency] Mining

          This week Kosovo, located in southeastern Europe, announced that it’s banning mining as well, after spending the last 60 days in a government state of emergency over an ongoing energy crisis.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Environmentalists Sue to Stop Livestock Grazing Plan for Point Reyes National Seashore

          Point Reyes is a spectacular landscape of open prairies and patches of woodlands home to 460 species, 876 plants, and many different marine and terrestrial mammals. In addition, the seashore harbors a hundred listed rare, threatened, and endangered species, an incredible diversity given the seashore’s relatively small size.

          While the peninsula possesses unquestioned scenic value, Point Reyes National Seashore’s ecological significance is recognized by its designation as an international biosphere reserve, part of the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program.

        • What to expect from the world’s sixth mass extinction

          Over the next few decades alone, at least 1 million species are at risk of being wiped out. That’s according to an estimate in a landmark report published in 2019 — but many scientists say it could well be an undercount.

          Trying to predict the results of a complete collapse in biodiversity is almost a black art — ecosystems are incredibly complex.

          Scientists agree, however, that there are several clear predictions should extinctions continue at this rate. And all the effects are inextricably linked, like a game of Jenga.

    • Finance

      • I won’t let you pay me for my open source

        What I do think is interesting is how both Gates and Stallman anchored their worldview in a scarcity paradigm that embraced a similar fear of the freeloader problem, and relied on software licenses, that is contracts, to counter it.

        Gates was afraid that users would take his software and not pay him for it. Stallman was afraid that users would extend his software and not hand over their contributions.

        Both men believed that the distribution of software was a trade exchange. One that had to be bound by certain explicit debt obligations, which had to be settled or else!

        Neither Gates nor Stallman were unique in their zeal to control the terms under which their software was used and distributed. Most of the software world fall in the same category. Share the same mistrust of users, and consider some level of debt obligations for using software completely natural.

      • Too Cheap to Meter

        Like the distances in the race between Achilles and the Tortoise, halving makes things get small quick. At some point, we stopped thinking about how much internet bandwidth we were using and we got free services like YouTube. Storage became so cheap that many companies gave it away for free, and we got practically unlimited storage in our Gmail inboxes. Now, computing power is becoming cheap enough for businesses like Replit or GitHub Codespaces to give it away for free.

        There’s something special about when things are so cheap that they’re free. As I wrote in Jevons Paradox and Software Efficiency, when the efficiency of something increases, sometimes we end up using more of it. There’s few distribution strategies that work better than giving a paid service away for free.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Companies propose scanning content pre-encryption to fight CSAM

        According to a government press release, the three companies will work “to develop software focusing on user privacy, detection and prevention of CSAM and predatory behaviour, and age verification to detect child sexual abuse before it reaches an E2EE environment, preventing it from being uploaded and shared”.

        The firms have said any CSAM detected by the system will be reported to moderators for further action to be taken. When CSAM is discovered by the AI algorithm, the information given to moderators will be tracked and audited to prevent any misuse.

        The developers claim there are currently no products in the market that provide this kind of pre-content filtering with end-to-end encryption.

      • Manufacturing Modi’s popularity

        The Wire news portal last week reported that a little-known app called Tek Fog was used to inflate the BJP’s clout. It can unleash a barrage of orchestrated trolls also against critics through a secret set-up.

        The Wire is among a clutch of courageous media outfits that have refused to be cowed by the state’s daily intrusions and intimidations. The portal observed for two years the existence of the app when a former insider turned whistleblower revealed its use “by political operatives affiliated with the BJP to artificially inflate the popularity of the party, harass its critics and manipulate public perceptions at scale across major social media platforms”. The orchestration was visible quite pronouncedly in the phrases used and references made, for example, to Mr Modi’s convoy, which last week got stranded in Punjab for all of 15 minutes. “Menacingly close to the Pakistan border” was repeated ad nauseum by the chorus of TV anchors to enlarge the threat Mr Modi faced after a change in his travel plan hit a roadblock of protesting farmers who had no clue he was travelling by.

      • Tek Fog: An App With BJP Footprints for Cyber Troops to Automate Hate, Manipulate Trends

        Over subsequent conversations, the source claimed their daily job involved hijacking Twitter’s ‘trending’ section with targeted hashtags, creating and managing multiple WhatsApp groups affiliated to the BJP and directing the online harassment of journalists critical of the BJP, all via the Tek Fog app.

        The source went on to allege that they had decided to come forward after their supposed handler – Devang Dave, ex national social media and IT head, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (the youth-wing of the BJP) and current election manager for the party in Maharashtra – failed to deliver on a lucrative job offer promised in 2018 if the BJP was able to retain power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • The Shocking Things the GOP and Trumpians Believe

        “What you see is what you get” is an old cliche, but it’s endured all these centuries because there’s so much truth in it. “Don’t listen to what people say, instead look at what they do” is another truism we can apply to inform us about today’s politics.

        The past forty years have seen three Republican and three Democratic presidencies, and the modern priorities and values of each Party are now quite clear.

      • Covid Test Misinformation Spikes Along With Spread of Omicron

        Misinformation about Covid-19 tests has spiked across social media in recent weeks, researchers say, as coronavirus cases have surged again worldwide because of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

        The burst of misinformation threatens to further stymie public efforts to keep the health crisis under control. Previous spikes in pandemic-related falsehoods focused on the vaccines, masks and the severity of the virus. The falsehoods help undermine best practices for controlling the spread of the coronavirus, health experts say, noting that misinformation remains a key factor in vaccine hesitancy.

      • AI’s 6 Worst-Case Scenarios: Who needs Terminators when you have precision clickbait and ultra-deepfakes?

        Hollywood’s worst-case scenario involving artificial intelligence (AI) is familiar as a blockbuster sci-fi film: Machines acquire humanlike intelligence, achieving sentience, and inevitably turn into evil overlords that attempt to destroy the human race. This narrative capitalizes on our innate fear of technology, a reflection of the profound change that often accompanies new technological developments.

        However, as Malcolm Murdock, machine-learning engineer and author of the 2019 novel The Quantum Price, puts it, “AI doesn’t have to be sentient to kill us all. There are plenty of other scenarios that will wipe us out before sentient AI becomes a problem.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Niger: Suspended Jail Terms for Journalists Who Published Report On Corruption

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the suspended prison sentences passed yesterday on two Nigerien journalists who published an international report about drug trafficking and corruption in Niger. These totally unjustified sentences send a shocking signal about the state of justice and the fight against corruption in this country, RSF says.

        In a terrible start to the year for journalists in Niger, L’Événement news website editor Moussa Aksar was given a two-month suspended jail sentence and freelance reporter Samira Sabou got a one-month suspended jail sentence for publishing a report by the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) in May.

      • Suspended jail terms for journalists in Niger who published report on corruption

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the suspended prison sentences passed yesterday on two Nigerien journalists who published an international report about drug trafficking and corruption in Niger. These totally unjustified sentences send a shocking signal about the state of justice and the fight against corruption in this country, RSF says.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Chip Shortage Forces Canon To Issue Workarounds For Its Own Obnoxious DRM

        For decades now, consumers have been lured into a sour deal: pay for a relatively inexpensive printer, then spend a lifetime paying an arm and a leg for viciously overpriced printer cartridges. As most have learned first-hand, any attempt to disrupt this obnoxious paradigm via third-party printer cartridges has been met with a swift DRM roundhouse kick to the solar plexus. In fact if there’s an area where the printer industry actually innovates, it’s most frequently in finding new, creative and obnoxious methods of preventing cartridge competition.

      • Indie Label Ilian Tape Removes Entire Catalog From Spotify — “It Just Felt Like the Right Thing to Do” [Ed: DRM]

        The Munich-based label was founded in 2007 by the Zenker Brothers. They announced the shift away from Spotify for 2022 on December 30, celebrating the new year. “This year has been one of the busiest for the label. We want to deeply thank all the artists and all our supporters! Ilian Tape turns 15 next year, lots of fresh stuff coming up,” the tweet reads. “It’s also time for a change; none of the music will be available on Spotify anymore. Happy new year!”

    • Monopolies

      • Big Tech ‘Antitrust Reform’ Agenda Sags, Revealing Mostly Empty Rhetoric

        Much of last year was dominated by talk about how there was a “new, bipartisan coalition” of folks interested in “reining in big tech” via “antitrust reform.” The GOP in particular, which has, for forty years, largely embraced and encouraged monopolization and consolidation at every turn (see telecom as a shining example) was repeatedly portrayed as “very serious about antitrust reform this time.” At least as it applied to “big tech.” There are countless U.S. business sectors where monopolies and anticompetitive behaviors are rampant that Congress simply couldn’t give any less of a shit about, whether it’s banking, health care, telecom, airline travel, or energy.

      • Small Changes, Big Effects

        EU regulators long-since recognize in principle that academic publishers are monopolies, i.e., they are not substitutable, justifying the single-source exception granted to academic institutions for their negotiations with academic publishers (another such negotiation round just recently concluded in the UK). Openly contradicting this justification for the single source exemption, the EU Commission nevertheless classifies academic publishing as a market and, moreover, demonstrates with Open Research Europe, that public, competitive tenders for publishing services are possible. This now offers the opportunity for the first decision: we propose that now is the time for regulators to no longer allow academic institutions to buy their publishing services from academic publishers that do not compete with one another in such tenders. The consequences would be far-reaching, but the most immediate ones would be that the (mostly secret and NDA-protected) negotiations between institutions and publishers, which allowed prices and profits to skyrocket in the last decades, would now be a thing of the past. Another consequence is that the obvious contradiction between academic publishing as a set of recognized monopolies in procurement regulation, but as a regular market in anti-trust regulation would be resolved. After this decision, academic publishing would be an actual market that could be regulated by authorities in pretty much the same way as any other market, preventing future lock-ins and monopolies. Yet another consequence would be that competitive pricing would reduce the costs for these institutions dramatically, by nearly 90% in the long term, amounting to about US$10 billion annually world-wide.

      • Copyrights

        • How The Financialization Of Music Could Lead To Demands For Perpetual Copyright

          Back in October, I noted the huge amounts of money pouring into music copyrights, largely driven by the global rise of online streaming. Since then, that trend has continued, most notably with Bruce Springsteen’s sale of his recordings and songwriting catalogue to Sony, for a rumored $550 million. As I pointed out in the post, one of the problems with this “financialization” of the sector is that music copyrights become completely divorced from the original creativity that lies behind them. They become just another asset, like gold, petroleum or property. On the Open Future blog, Paul Keller has pointed out a plausible – and terrifying – consequence of this shift.

        • Twitch Streamers Deliberately Get Themselves Banned For Copyright Infringement

          One of the more controversial trends to gain traction on Twitch lately is the wholesale streaming of copyrighted TV shows by some of the site’s top streamers. Bizarrely they appear to have understood the consequences in advance and some are currently sitting out suspensions. So why bite the hand that feeds?

        • AimJunkies Returns Fire in Destiny 2 Copyright Lawsuit: ‘Cheating Isn’t Against the Law’

          AimJunkies.com has asked a federal court in Washington to dismiss the lawsuit filed a few months ago by “Destiny 2″ creator Bungie. The defense argues that cheating isn’t against the law and notes that Bungie’s copyright infringement claims fall flat. As it turns out, two Destiny copyrights were registered after the cheats were sold in public, which may cause problems.

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