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Links 16/5/2018: Cockpit 168, GCompris 0.91, DHCP Bug

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • What Linux apps on Chrome OS means for open source
      I own a Pixel 2 laptop. Right now, it's collecting dust, which is a shame, as it's some of the best hardware I've ever used. And don't get me wrong, for the longest time I used that Pixel proudly. But eventually I needed more like when edits came back for a book and Google Docs didn't handle MS Office Track Changes, which it can now do, or when I needed to work with an image editor and Pixlr simply wouldn't cut it. In all honesty, there were more moments like that than not.

      But I don't consider myself an average user (for which the Chromebook is perfectly suited). So eventually I put the Pixel on a shelf, in favor of a MacBook Pro. Although that particular hardware isn't quite as nice as the Pixel (battery life, keyboard, and screen layout pale in comparison), it allowed me to get my work done without much of a struggle.

    • The desktop belongs to Electron
      I’ve been using a Pixelbook over the past week, checking out the new Linux application functionality. It’s not ready for prime time, but it’s a billion times better than the last time I tried to run Linux apps on Chrome OS.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Cooking with Linux (Without a Net)
      It's Tuesday, and it's time for Cooking With Linux (without a net) where I do some live Linuxy and open source stuff, live, on camera, and without the benefit of post video editing therefore providing a high probability of falling flat on my face. Today, we're going back to WSL and trying to run X Windows and we're going to take a Linux distribution most people have never heard of out for a spin.

    • Episode 28 | This Week in Linux
      On this episode of This Week in Linux, check out some big distro release news from Fedora, CentOS, CoreOS, KaOS and more. There’s new versions of Firefox, Kdenlive, GNOME and Cinnamon available. Lubuntu announces their switch to LXQt by default. If you’re interested in learning Python, Humble Bundle has a great Python Development bundle available. Ubuntu 18.10’s codename was announced and some of the Ubuntu Flavours might be dropping support for 32bit ISOs in the 18.10 cycle. Google confirmed that Linux Apps are coming to ChromeOS. Then later in the show we’ll look at some gaming news from Atari and Valve, also some mobile news from and Android. All that and much more!

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.16.9
    • Linux 4.14.41
    • Linux 4.9.100
    • Linux 4.4.132
    • Linux 3.18.109

    • Linux 4.9.100, Linux 4.16.9 Bring More Spectre V1 Safeguards

    • P-State Powersave Improvements May Help Boost I/O Performance
      Those running Intel Skylake servers may soon see better I/O performance if using the P-State powersave governor that is often the default on many Linux distributions.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Free Webinar on Community-Driven Governance for Open Source Projects
        Topics such as licensing and governance are complex but nonetheless critical considerations for open source projects. And, understanding and implementing the requirements in a strategic way are key to a project’s long-term health and success. In an upcoming webinar — “Governance Models of Community-Driven Open Source Projects” — The Linux Foundation’s Scott Nicholas will examine various approaches for structuring open source projects with these requirements in mind.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA 390.59 Linux Driver Brings New GPU Support, X.Org Server 1.20 Compatibility
        For those using the long-lived NVIDIA 390 driver series rather than the latest NVIDIA 396 short-lived series (or happen to be stuck on 390 like for Fermi GPU support), the NVIDIA 390.59 Linux driver was released minutes ago.

        Most notable for existing NVIDIA 390 driver series is there is now xorg-server 1.20 compatibility. There is X.Org Server 1.20 support on the NVIDIA 396 series already, but for those using this long-lived driver branch, there is back-ported 1.20 server compatibility.

      • AMDGPU Feature Updates Submitted For Linux 4.18, Bringing Vega M & More
        Alex Deucher of AMD today submitted the initial batch of Radeon/AMDGPU DRM driver feature updates to DRM-Next that in turn are slated to land in the Linux 4.18 merge window in June. There's a fair amount of notable feature work this round for Radeon Linux users.

      • AMD Publishes Open-Source Driver Support For Vega 20
        AMD today published their big set of patches bringing open-source Linux kernel support for the "Vega 20" graphics processor.

        Vega 20 is the rumored 7nm AMD graphics processor that is said to be up to 70% faster than the current leading RX Vega 64 graphics card, according to some reported leaks. Vega 20 is expected to offer up to 32GB of HBM2 memory and be announced this calendar year, but there is some belief that it might just be a deep learning accelerator and not focused as a gaming graphics card or at least not initially.

      • Gallium3D's HUD Gets A Frametime Graph Capability
        In addition to being able to plot the frames per second, CPU usage, and many other possible sensor outputs, the Gallium3D Heads-Up Display (HUD) is now capable of showing the frametime while gaming.

      • Mesa 18.0.4 Coming This Week With More Fixes
        While Mesa 18.1 is expected for release this week, those riding the Mesa 18.0 stable series will also have an 18.0.4 point release coming in the next few days.

        Mesa 18.0.4 is expected for release this Thursday or Friday as the newest point release for this Q1'2018 Mesa series. Mesa 18.0.4 release candidate 1 was issued today with just over two dozen fixes.

      • Mesa 18.0.4 Linux Graphics Stack to Squash Rendering Bugs in Trine & The Witcher
        The Mesa graphics stack for Linux-based operating systems will soon receive a new maintenance update that addresses a few important bugs in some games and improves various of the included open-source graphics drivers.

        Mesa 18.0.4 is expected to arrive this week as the fourth maintenance update to the Mesa 18 series, bringing improvements to the r600 graphics driver for ATI/Radeon GPUs that fix some rendering bugs in the Trine and The Witcher video games, as well as several bug fixes for the Radeon RADV Vulkan driver.

        The Intel ANV Vulkan and Intel i965 OpenGL graphics drivers have been improved as well in this Mesa 18.0.4, which patches a leak in Intel's BLORP code for 4th Generation and 5th Generation Intel Core processors, and adds a few fixes to code emission around 16-bit integers and Image Signal Processor (ISP).

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Devs to Remove the Ability to Launch Apps from the Nautilus File Manager
        Launched in mid-March 2018, GNOME 3.28 is the most advanced and also the first release of the widely-used desktop environment for Linux-based operating systems to drop support for desktop icons from the Nautilus file manager, which handled them for the past two decades, planning to move the functionality to GNOME Shell.

        Last month, the GNOME Project kicked off the next six-month development cycle, for GNOME 3.30, which will see the light of day in September 2018 with a more sandboxed system where you won't be able to launch binaries/executables, nor programs directly from the Nautilus file manager.

      • Endless OS Picks Up Companion App for Android, Smarter Updates in Major Release
        Packed with dozens of stability and performance improvements, the Endless OS 3.4 release is one of those major ones that you'll have to install on your personal computer if you're running the Linux-based Endless OS. It features an enhanced GNOME 3.26 desktop environment with smarter updates to help you manage data consumption on limited data plans.

        Additionally, Endless OS 3.4 marks the introduction of the Endless Companion App for Android smartphones, which will be available in the coming weeks and promises to let users view content from their Endless OS computers on their Android phones while enjoying the features of the native Endless OS apps.
      • Endless OS 3.4 Released, Allows Scheduled Updates & Companion App For Android

      • Endless OS 3.4 Released With New Features, Linux 4.15, And Phone Companion App
        Founded in 2011, Endless Mobile, Inc. develops Linux-based Endless OS and hardware running the same. The firm has recently shipped Endless OS 3.4, the latest and major release of the operating system.

      • Flatpak 1.8 Runtime Is Yocto-Free, Powered By BuildStream
        The current Flatpak runtimes are based upon the 1.6 runtime but a major new version is in the works.

        Unlike the current Freedesktop runtime where the lower-layer is built using Yocto and the upper-layer built with Flatpak-Builder, the new 1.8 Freedesktop runtime is making use of BuildStream.
      • Introducing the 1.8 freedesktop runtime in the gnome nightly builds
        All the current Flatpak runtimes in wide use are based on the 1.6 Freedesktop runtime. This is a two-layered beast where the lower layer is built using Yocto and the upper layer is built using flatpak-builder.
      • GNOME's 2018 Performance Hackfest Wraps Up In Cambridge
        GNOME's 2018 Performance Hackfest is wrapping up today in Cambridge, UK after spending the past few days focusing on how to better optimize the desktop stack for RAM/CPU/GPU/power efficiency. The fruits of this hackfest will hopefully become apparent with the GNOME 3.30 release due out this September.

        The GNOME Foundation and Raspberry Pi Foundation put on this latest developer gathering to focus on improving GNOME's performance. Among their work was looking at how to improve the graphics performance of GNOME Shell, reducing system memory usage, looking at slow I/O issues, and more.
      • Fractal Hackfest in Strasbourg
        Last week we had an intense 4-day hackfest in Strasbourg to map out the future of Fractal, a native GNOME Matrix messaging app. The event was held at Epitech in Strasbourg’s old town, and organized by Alexandre Franke. Among the attendees were core Fractal contributors Daniel, Alexandre, Eisha, and Julian, as well as Dorota, Adrien, and Francois from Purism. Special thanks go to Matthew from the Matrix core team for joining us on the first two days.
      • Internationalization of Fractal (part 2)
        For my investigations, I first tried to write a textual program that works with gettext. I spent quite some time to figure out how all of this works but I finally was able to make it work. And that means that we should be able to implement i18n for Fractal using gettext!
      • GNOME Performance Hackfest
        We’re about to finish the three days long first GNOME Performance Hackfest here in Cambridge.

        We started covering a few topics, there are three major areas we’ve covered and in each one of those there has been a bunch of initiatives.
      • GIMP 2.10.0 is out!

        So we are a bit late to announce it, since this happened on April 27, during Libre Graphics Meeting 2018 (by the way, can you spot ZeMarmot team, Aryeom and Jehan, in the goodbye photo of the meeting?), but yeah after 6 years of hard work, GIMP 2.10.0 is finally out!

        This is a huge release. You can read the release notes which are scrolling like forever and that is still not actually the full deal. We had so many awesome changes and cool new features in this release that we had to cut down the release notes contents when writing it.

      • Announcing Board of Directors Elections 2018
        From 2016 to 2017, I was a director on the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors. This is a great opportunity for anyone working on the GNOME project. And because Board elections are coming up, I wanted to share the news.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Linspire Server 2018 Released
        Today we are pleased to announce the release of Linspire Server 2018 to the public. Linspire Server 2018 is based on Ubuntu Server 16.04. Linspire Server 2018 is a solution for medium to small businesses as well as education facilities. Linspire Server 2018 is available today and will be free to download and use under a self support license. Commercial support is available for customers who want that piece of mind.

        Linspire Server 2018 boots by default into a customized XFCE environment for a GUI environment to ease the complexity for customers coming from Windows Server or macOS Server. We use DWM as a secondary window manager and users can use the server as a command line only environment as well.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Leap 15 Promises Enterprise Migration to SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15
        Being based on SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15, the upcoming OpenSuSE Leap 15 operating system borrows a lot of code from upstream, so you can imagine that one of the most attractive features of this release will be the ability to migrate installations to the long-term supported, enterprise-ready SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 operating system series for certifications, mass deployments, and everything else you might need from an enterprise OS.

        "For the first time, SUSE will support migration from Leap to SLE, which gives system integrators developing on Leap the possibility of moving to an enterprise version for certifications, mass deployments and/or extended Long Term Support," said openSUSE Project. "openSUSE Leap 15 brings plenty of community packages built on top of a core from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 sources, which is the first time the two major releases were built from the beginning in parallel."

      • Have a Release Party, Promote openSUSE’s Newest Version
        There are just 9 days left for the release of openSUSE Leap 15 and the community can help spread the word of the release by having a release party and promoting the newest version of Leap.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Brings in Red Hat Virtualization 4.2 to Enable IT Infrastructure Innovation
        Red Hat, Inc. recently announced the availability of Red Hat Virtualization 4.2. The latest release of its Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)-powered virtualization platform is underpinned by the enterprise-grade backbone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It offers substantial product updates including a simplified user interface and new capabilities regarding virtual networking. It combines new capabilities with the company's enterprise-grade reliability and support to provide a solid foundation for IT-related innovation. Along with Red Hat Virtualization 4.2, the company also introduced Red Hat Virtualization Suite. The suite includes Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat CloudForms -- the company's hybrid infrastructure management platform, delivering a pre-integrated and simplified access point to open virtualization technologies mixed with management.

      • Red Hat’s new mission: Making IT’s four footprints immaterial

        For the past several years, Red Hat has emphasised the interplay of IT’s four footprints, from physical servers and virtual machines to private and public clouds.

        A single environment is unlikely to scale and adapt to meet the needs of the modern enterprise, from competitive dynamics to evolving customer demands.

        Hybrid cloud, where workloads and resources span these deployment options, is now a critical component for digital transformation, as is consistency. CIOs need to know that their applications and services will respond consistently in a certain way, every time, everywhere.

      • CoreOS Is New Linux, Not A RHEL Classic Killer
      • Red Hat's CEO On Why The Open Source Leader Will Dominate Containers
      • Boston Children's, Red Hat develop cloud platform for images
        The cloud-based platform—called the ChRIS Research Integration Service—was developed as part of a collaborative effort between Boston Children’s Hospital, Red Hat, Boston University and the Massachusetts Open Cloud.


        ChRIS provides a standardized way of deploying imaging applications, reducing the barrier that currently exists between app developers and users who need quick access to them. Because ChRIS runs on Red Hat OpenShift deployed on Red Hat OpenStack Platform, app containers built for ChRIS come prepackaged with all of the required libraries, enabling the user to quickly install an app and then use it in an orchestrated way within the platform.

      • Red Hat 3scale 2.2 aligns API management, open source drive
        The next update to 3scale's API management platform improves multi-tenancy and other features to align the product's on-premises and hosted versions. But the real changes arrive later this summer, when all components of the platform are open-sourced.

      • Red Hat Summit: Functions as a Service with OpenWhisk and OpenShift
        Serverless computing (often called Functions-as-a-Service, or FaaS) is one of the hottest emerging technologies today. The OpenWhisk project, currently in incubation at Apache, is an open-source implementation of FaaS that lets you create functions that are invoked in response to events. Our own Brendan McAdams gave a presentation and demo that explained the basics of serverless, how the OpenWhisk project works, and how to run OpenWhisk in OpenShift.
      • Next DevNation Live: Serverless and Servicefull Applications: Where Microservices Complements Serverless, May 17th, 12pm EDT

      • CRN names four Red Hat leaders to its 2018 Women of the Channel list
        We are excited to share that four of Red Hat’s channel leaders have been named to CRN’s 2018 Women of the Channel list. Margaret-Ann Bolton, senior director of Global Partner Marketing; Terri Hall, vice president of Global Cloud and ISV Partners and Alliances; Petra Heinrich, vice president of EMEA Partners and Alliances; and Kim Leavitt, director of Global Partner Marketing, were recognized by CRN for their outstanding work in the channel. Their dedication, leadership and effort has helped to lead to another year of partner successes and innovation for Red Hat. This is the sixth consecutive year that Margaret-Ann has been recognized, third consecutive year for Terri, and the first time for both Petra and Kim.

      • Video: Women and Open Source
        In this video from the Red Hat Summit, Mary Cochran from Red Hat leads a panel discussion on Women in Open Source.

      • Open integration is ‘key tenet’ of Red Hat Virtualization
        The open hybrid cloud lies ahead of us, this is the way of things. This truism (if indeed it is one) is impacting the way firms like Red Hat are building out virtualisation technologies.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora-Based Korora Linux Takes a Break, No Updates Are Planned in the Future
          When a new stable Fedora Linux release hits the streets, the Korora development team starts preparing the next major release of their GNU/Linux distribution, based, of course, on the latest Fedora Linux operating system. But not this time, as the Korora team announced they are taking a break from developing the Korora Linux, which won't be getting any updates in the foreseeable future.

          "Korora for the foreseeable future is not going to be able to march in cadence with the Fedora releases. In addition to that, for the immediate future, there will be no updates to the Korora distribution," said one of the developers. "So we are taking a little sabbatical to avoid complete burnout and rejuvenate ourselves and our passion for Korora/Fedora and wider open source efforts."

        • Void Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta – life is hard for small distros

        • Fedora-based Linux distro Korora is dead
          Fedora is a great Linux distribution, but it is not always a wise choice for beginners. Since the distro focuses on truly free and open source software, it can be hard to get non-free packages, proprietary drivers, fonts, and codecs installed. Fedora 28 makes this easier thanks to an update to the Software app, but it is still not as easy as say, Ubuntu.

    • Debian Family

      • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, April 2018
        Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

      • Derivatives

        • Truth is More Important Than Harmony
          Today I did a very silly thing, because it was the right moment and the right audience…

          No, it probably wasn’t! But I figured it was probably as close as it would get to one. Of course it will brand me further as a troublemaker, but that’s not entirely fair– I really wasn’t the one who started the trouble.

          Devuan’s structure is clearly built on the bazaar– when they find something unofficial that can help Devuan more than hurt it, they just offer the opportunity to be official.

          This is based on observation and it may not be true as a solid rule, but it happened with Devuan-live (and it’s one the best moves Devuan made– it helped me to believe they can make timely, great decisions) and it appeared to be happening eventually with vdev (unfortunately abandoned by its author) and it appears to have happened with the now-official Devuan forum:

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Says There's No Rules Against Mining Cryptocurrencies through Snaps
            Last week, users discovered that two of the snap packages uploaded by user Nicolas Tomb in the Snap Store, namely 2048buntu and Hextris, mined cryptocurrency in the background while the applications were running without user's knowledge. Canonical immediately removed the apps from its Snap Store.

            Now, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system is addressing the issue saying it has no rules against mining cryptocurrencies through snap apps if the developer informs users about this. As Nicolas Tomb didn't inform users that his apps are mining for cryptocurrencies, the apps were removed.

          • Canonical finally comments on Ubuntu Linux Snap Store security failure

          • Canonical on trust and security in the Snap Store
            Here's a posting from Canonical concerning the cryptocurrency-mining app that was discovered in its Snap Store.

          • Potentially Malicious Bytecoin Miner Removed from the Ubuntu Snap Store

          • Canonical on trust and security in the Snap Store
            Here's a posting from Canonical concerning the cryptocurrency-mining app that was discovered in its Snap Store.

          • Canonical finds hidden crypto-miners in the Linux Snap app store
            Last Friday, Canonical, the developer of the popular Ubuntu operating system and owner of the Snapcraft app store, spotted one application surreptitiously mining cryptocurrencies in the background.

          • Ubuntu Server development summary – 15 May 2018

          • Top Snaps in April 2018
            In case you missed it, here are some of the snaps we featured during April 2018. Here you’ll find snaps to enhance your productivity, tools for creatives, IDEs for developers and games for the weekend.

            You can stay up to date with our editorial picks by following @snapcraftio on Twitter where we share three new and interesting snaps a week. We’d also love to hear what your favourite snaps are, perhaps you’ve found something we’ve missed.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver - Middle ground
              Year 2016 was the year of Xfce. Year 2017 belongs to Plasma. This year, so far, it seems MATE is the innovative beast, and Xfce is sort of stagnated, without pushing the initiative. I think secretly the projects are afraid to make things better, because that will break the neverending cycle of development. After all, for devs, the only thing that matters is coding. User experience is an alien concept. And inside this gap, Xubuntu 18.04 fits perfectly. Which means not that well.

              The distro did the basics okay - media, phones, apps. Package management can be better, battery life can be better, network support can be better, the visual side of things can be a whole lot better. There were way too many inconsistencies, and the distro lacks the love and fun that it used to have only a year ago. Is it apathy, exhaustion, mere luck? I don't know. But Xubuntu Beaver feels like a product of habit rather than love and passion. And it is not LTS solid. Plus very little actual innovation, which can sort of be excused, but then why all them bugs? Overall, Bionic behaves something like 6.5/10. Worth checking, but for the time being, the other lightweight option - Ubuntu MATE - seems more mature and fun ready. It will be quite interesting to see how things evolve over the coming months. Check it, don't expect any miracles.

            • Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Review: The Perfect Blend of Ubuntu and Budgie Desktop
              Solus Linux is loved for many reasons. Its flagship desktop environment Budgie, in my opinion, is the biggest reason to love Solus. While there was no shortage of desktop environments in the Linux domain, the arrival and the acceptance of Budgie desktop environment by a widespread audience, clearly showed that there was a huge scope (or even a need?) for a modern, intuitive and non-intrusive desktop environment.

              But all is not well in Solus land. Solus unlike a majority of Linux distros is not based on any other parent distro. Solus is written from scratch and has it’s own package management system and software repository. I loved Solus 3. But as an ardent Linux user, I need the latest packages and support from newer software, which, at the moment is not that good on Solus. The software repository is not as vast as that of Ubuntu. Also, the package manager itself needs to evolve.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Helping enterprises adapt to open source switching
    Enterprise adoption of open source switching hasn't kept pace with cloud providers and telcos. What are some of the barriers blocking the use of disaggregation?


    Today, there are a number of NOSes available from vendors both large and small -- suitable for use in a variety of ways, including top of rack, where the Open Compute Project (OCP) has provided the underlying open source switching design standard.


    Disaggregated NOS often requires Linux knowledge, rather than the familiar command-line interfaces known by conventional network engineers. Its deployment may rely on an automation-based Agile process, such as NetOps, which differs from predictable IT processes, like IT service management.

  • Summer of Code: Quick Update
    I noticed that my blog posting frequency is substantially higher than last year. For that reason I’ll try to keep this post shorter.

    Yesterday I implemented my first prototype code to encrypt and decrypt XEP-0374 messages! It can process incoming PubkeyElements (the published OpenPGP keys of other users) and create SigncryptElements which contain a signed and encrypted payload. On the receiving side it can also decrypt those messages and verify the signature.

    I’m still puzzled about why I’m unable to dump the keys I generate using pgpdump. David Hook from Bouncycastle used my code to generate a key and it worked flawlessly on his machine, so I’m stumped for an answer…

    I created a bug report about the issue on the pgpdump repository. I hope that we will get to the cause of the issue soon.

  • BCE Panel: Open Source Makes Telcos 'Nimble'
    Big Communications Event -- Open source can help telcos become "nimble," and shed their history of "wait and see," James Feger, CenturyLink VP of network virtualization, said here Tuesday at Light Reading's Big Communications Event (BCE).

    "The power of open source is it allows telcos to be more nimble, rather than the wait-and-see attitude we've traditionally been viewed with," CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)'s Feger said, speaking on a panel about open source in telecom.

    Indeed, innovation rather than cost savings are the main reason to adopt open source, noted Csaba Kiss Kallo, head of connectivity, mobility and security portfolio at Vodafone Ireland. "'Free' is not the main reason we go after open source. The reason is agility -- the benefits you get from an ecosystem and development, those thousands of software developers who've put their knowledge together and developed something that can be used by everyone in the community," he said. (See Vodafone Prioritizes Automation as Efficiency Bolsters Margins.)

  • OpenFin contributes FCD3 program to Fintech Open Source Foundation
    The Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS), a nonprofit foundation promoting open innovation in financial services, together with OpenFin, the operating system powering digital transformation on financial desktops, today announced the contribution by OpenFin of the FCD3 program into the Foundation’s open source governance framework.

    Financial applications are often difficult or impossible to connect to one another, requiring users to continuously re-key information, hampering productivity and creating operational risk. The Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium (FDC3) solves the problem by providing industry standards for desktop application interoperability.

  • App development tool provider Fuse joins open source community
    Fuse is joining the open-source world with the release of Fuse Open. Fuse is a cross platform mobile app development tool suite that supports Android and iOS applications. that aims to reduce development times and resources.

  • Events

    • Ceph Day London 2018 Recap
      Some days since the Ceph and CloudStack Day in London last month now. It was a great event, great presentations and a lot of networking with the local community.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Thunderbird: EFail and Thunderbird, What You Need To Know
        DO NOT DISABLE ENCRYPTION. We’ve seen recommendations from some outlets to stop using encrypted Email altogether. If you are sending sensitive data via Email, Thunderbird still recommends using encryption to keep those messages safe. You should, however, check the configuration of the applications you use to view encrypted EMail. For Thunderbird, follow our guidelines below to protect yourself.

      • Debugging Modern Web Applications
        Building and debugging modern JavaScript applications in Firefox DevTools just took a quantum leap forward. In collaboration with Logan Smyth, Tech Lead for Babel, we leveled up the debugger’s source map support to let you inspect the code that you actually wrote. Combined with the ongoing initiative to offer first-class JS framework support across all our devtools, this will boost productivity for modern web app developers.

        Modern JS frameworks and build tools play a critical role today. Frameworks like React, Angular, and Ember let developers build declarative user interfaces with JSX, directives, and templates. Tools like Webpack, Babel, and PostCSS let developers use new JS and CSS features before they are supported by browser vendors. These tools help developers write simpler code, but generate more complicated code to debug.

      • Firefox Performance Update #8

        Talos is a framework that we use to measure various aspects of Firefox performance as part of our continuous integration pipeline.

        There are a number of Talos “suites”, where each suite contains some number of tests. These tests, in turn, report some set of numbers that are then stored and graphable via our graph viewer here.

        Here’s a full list of the Talos tests, including their purpose, the sorts of measurements they take, and who’s currently a good person to ask about them if you have questions.

        A lot of work has been done to reduce the amount of noise in our Talos tests, but they’re still quite sensitive and noisy. This is why it’s often necessary to do 5-10 retriggers of Talos test runs in order to do meaningful comparisons.

        Sometimes Talos detects regressions that aren’t actually real regressions1, and that can be a pain. However, for the times where real regressions are caught, Talos usually lets us know much faster than Telemetry or user reports.

        Did you know that you can get profiles from Try for Talos runs? This makes it much simpler to diagnose Talos regressions. Also, we now have Talos profiles being generated on our Nightly builds for added convenience!

      • This Week in Rust 234

      • Thoughts on retiring from a team

        The Rust Community Team has recently been having a conversation about what a team member’s “retirement” can or should look like. I used to be quite active on the team but now find myself without the time to contribute much, so I’m helping pioneer the “retirement” process. I’ve been talking with our subteam lead extensively about how to best do this, in a way that sets the right expectations and keeps the team membership experience great for everyone.

      • Rust turns three
        Three years ago today, the Rust community released Rust 1.0 to the world, with our initial vision of fearless systems programming. As per tradition, we’ll celebrate Rust’s birthday by taking stock of the people and the product, and especially of what’s happened in the last year.


        Finally, the Rust community continues to work on inclusivity, through outreach programs like Rust Reach and RustBridge, as well as structured mentoring and investments in documentation to ease contribution. For 2018, a major goal is to connect and empower Rust’s global community, which we’re doing both through conference launches in multiple new continents, as well as work toward internationalization throughout the project.

      • New in Firefox 61: Developer Edition
        Firefox 61: Developer Edition is available now, and contains a ton of great new features and under-the-hood improvements.

  • Databases

    • Open source HarperDB database solution studio launched
      “With the release of the HarperDB studio, we are providing tools that the industry expects while at the same time taking it a step further and including analytical capabilities to shorten the data value chain and provide accessible, real-time actionability on big data for IoT and HTAP use cases,” said HarperDB CEO Stephen Goldberg.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 32 released
      We've just released Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 32. It's available from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2045311.1, or via 'pkg update' from the support repository at .
    • Solaris 11.3 SRU 32 Released With Package Updates
      While waiting for Solaris 11.4 to be released, Oracle has today rolled out its thirty-second stable release update to Solaris 11.3.

      With this latest SRU to the two-year-old Solaris 11.3 is now Apache 2.4.33, OpenSSL 1.0.2o, Wireshark 2.4.6, Perl 5.22, Python 2.7.14, and a wealth of other package updates. There are also some new system calls for yielding better network performance, netstat providing more UDP socket statistics, and various other minor enhancements.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)


    • Zerocat Chipflasher "board-edition-1" now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom
      This is the first device under The Zerocat Label to receive RYF certification. The Chipflasher enables users to flash devices such as laptops, allowing them to replace proprietary software with free software like Libreboot. While users are able to purchase RYF-certified laptops that already come with Libreboot pre-loaded, for the first time ever they are capable of freeing their own laptops using an RYF-certified device. The Zerocat Chipflasher board-edition-1 is now available for purchase as a limited edition at These first ten limited edition boards are signed by Kai Mertens, chief developer of The Zerocat Label, and will help to fund additional production and future development of RYF-certified devices.

      "The certification of the Zerocat Chipflasher is a big step forward for the Respects Your Freedom program. Replacing proprietary boot firmware is one of the first tasks for creating a laptop that meets RYF's criteria, and now anyone can do so for their own devices with a flasher that is itself RYF-certified," said the FSF's executive director, John Sullivan.

      An RYF-certified flashing device could also help to grow the number of laptops available via the RYF program.

      "When someone sets out to start their own business selling RYF-certified devices, they now have a piece of hardware they can trust to help them with that process. We hope to see even more laptops made available under the program, and having those laptops flashed with a freedom-respecting device will help to set those retailers on the right path from the start," said the FSF's licensing & compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Councils back launch of open source library for digital services
      A new community driven repository of shared material where local authorities and partners can collaborate by uploading and downloading assets for building digital services has been launched.

      Local authorities already sharing and using resources on the Jadu Library include Swindon Borough Council, The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Norwich City Council, Canterbury City Council, London Borough of Hounslow and Birmingham City Council, with more pledging to follow.

      Dr Mark Thompson, a key architect of the UK government’s open IT strategy and senior lecturer at Cambridge Judge Business School who co-authored the recent Green Paper Better Public Services: A Manifesto commented: “In the UK there are 430 councils that at a business process and technology level are pretty much replicating versions of the same things. It makes no sense to be reinventing the wheel time and time again.

    • New open source library helps councils share digital assets
      The Jadu Library will enable the sharing and reusing of work and help councils become hubs for economic and social exchange. Rather than having to build online services themselves, the councils can capitalise on what is already available and use service specialists.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Beta Available
      We are getting close to releasing the Qt 3D Studio 2.0 and the first Beta is released today. First beta packages are now available through the Qt online installer & Qt download. Let’s have a quick summary of the changes & new features we are introducing. For detailed information about the Qt 3D Studio please visit our web pages at:

    • Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Reaches Beta
      Qt 3D Studio, the 3D focused user-interface IDE born out of NVIDIA's big code contribution to Qt, is now in beta for its version 2.0 update.

      The big focus for Qt 3D Studio 2.0 has been on developing a new runtime based upon Qt 3D. That is happening and Qt 3D Studio is still on track for releasing around June while the Qt 3D Studio 2.1 release is expected in September and Qt 3D Studio 2.2 in December, per earlier communication.

    • Code contributions via bug reports and forum posts

    • Optimizing Device Communication with Qt MQTT
    • OPC UA support in Qt 5.11
      OPC UA is a central element of the Industry 4.0 story providing seamless communication between IT and industrial production systems. basysKom has initiated Qt OPC UA in 2015 with the goal of providing an out of the box Qt API for OPC UA. In 2017 basysKom, together with The Qt Company, has finished up a Technology Preview of that API. It will be available with the upcoming Qt 5.11 release end of May.


  • FileMaker 17 makes all users Advanced

  • John Carmack recalls “frustrating” arguments with Apple’s Steve Jobs

  • John Carmack, Legendary Developer of Wolfenstein 3D And Doom, Reflects On His Relationship With Steve Jobs

  • Twitter delays shutdown of legacy APIs by 3 months as it launches a replacement
    Twitter is giving developers more time to adjust to its API platform overhaul, which has affected some apps‘ ability to continue operating in the same fashion. The company clarified this morning, along with news of the general availability of its Account Activity API, that it will be delaying the shutdown of some of its legacy APIs by three months’ time. That is, APIs originally slated for a June 19, 2018 shutdown – including Site Streams, User Streams, and legacy Direct Message Endpoints – will now be deprecated on Wednesday, August 16, 2018.

    The news follows an announcement from Favstar that said it will end its business when the older APIs are shut down for good. And it follows the relaunched Mac app from Tweetbot, which includes a list of changes as to how the app will work when the API changes go into effect.

    Twitter had said back in April that it would delay the scheduled June 19th deprecation date, but didn’t announce a new date at that time. That may have led some developers to believe that a longer reprieve was in order while Twitter rethought its plans.

  • DevOps hiring strategies to attract top talent
    I don't often talk to recruiters. In fact, I don't typically work with third-party recruiters because all too often, they are interested only in filling a job req, collecting their commission, and moving on to the next one. Additionally, most recruiters don't really understand the needs of a DevOps-minded organization. But good recruiters are often the best source of knowledge when it comes to finding great talent.

    When I sat down to write an article about DevOps hiring, I knew that candidates' and hiring managers' thoughts would be well covered by the DevOps community. But I thought it'd be great to get some tips from a recruiter on how to find, cultivate, and, well, recruit great talent for DevOps roles.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • USDA wants public comments on its plan to label GMO foods

      One controversial solution to societal unease has been the call to place labels on foods that contain GMOs. While these have been considered on local and state levels, a relatively obscure 2016 federal law mandated that labels be applied nationwide. The task of devising the labeling system was given to the Department of Agriculture. Last week, the USDA finally got around to proposing some possible solutions and is now asking for public comment on them.

    • At St. Luke’s in Houston, Patients Suffer as a Renowned Heart Transplant Program Loses Its Luster

      The anonymous letter reached Judy Kveton in March 2017. Nearly two months earlier, her husband’s failed heart transplant at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center had led to a week of follow-up surgeries, a pair of devastating strokes and then, his death. The donor heart that doctors had implanted in David Kveton was “just not acting right,” Judy remembers the surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Morgan, telling her hours before she decided to remove her husband from life support.

      The letter mailed to her home in nearby Fort Bend County — one page, single-spaced and folded into an envelope with no return address — told a different story.

      It said St. Luke’s has had some of the worst heart transplant outcomes in the country. It said other physicians had specifically voiced concerns about Morgan, the program’s lead surgeon. And it said, despite “numerous complications, deaths, and poor outcomes,” administrators had not done enough to correct the problems.

    • As Wait for New Heart Got Longer, Patient Grew Sicker
      In early 2014, when Travis Hogan’s malformed heart was failing, his longtime doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital referred him to Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, long recognized as one of the best in the country for complicated heart transplants.

      Hogan, then 29 and living at his family’s home in Pasadena, Texas, didn’t know it, but the iconic program was undergoing a series of dramatic changes.

      Two years earlier, the transplant program slipped into turmoil when several top physicians left for a competitor. In the years that followed, patients at St. Luke’s waited significantly longer than the regional or national average for new hearts.

    • EU-Mercosur FTA Seen As Best Chance To Advance Access To Health In Trade Deals [Ed: Killing poor people to artificially elevate the price of life-saving medicine (which can be reproduced very cheaply by every nation)]
      AIDS activists, health activists and civil society organizations in Brazil and Argentina are pushing back against the negative effects of the planned free trade agreement between the Mercosur countries and the European Union. The EU-Mercosur negotiations might be the best chance as of now to advance an intellectual property agenda that is more favourable to access to health, says Pedro Villardi, coordinator on IP policy issues at the Associação Brasiliera Interdisciplinar de Aids Observatorio National de Politicas de Aids (ABIA).

  • Security

    • Protect your Fedora system against this DHCP flaw
      A critical security vulnerability was discovered and disclosed earlier today in dhcp-client. This DHCP flaw carries a high risk to your system and data, especially if you use untrusted networks such as a WiFi access point you don’t own. Read more here for how to protect your Fedora system.

      Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) allows your system to get configuration from a network it joins. Your system will make a request for DHCP data, and typically a server such as a router answers. The server provides the necessary data for your system to configure itself. This is how, for instance, your system configures itself properly for networking when it joins a wireless network.

      However, an attacker on the local network may be able to exploit this vulnerability. Using a flaw in a dhcp-client script that runs under NetworkManager, the attacker may be able to run arbitrary commands with root privileges on your system. This DHCP flaw puts your system and your data at high risk. The flaw has been assigned CVE-2018-1111 and has a Bugzilla tracking bug.

    • Security updates for Tuesday

    • Security updates for Wednesday

    • Study Finds Students With Better Grades Are Equally Poor At Keeping Strong Passwords [Ed: Well, the "attack surface" as security bigwigs like to call it goes well beyond just passwords; many people still use platforms with back doors, keyloggers etc.]

    • Kaspersky to move some core infrastructure out of Russia to fight for trust

      “By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow,” it writes in a press release.

    • RedHat admins, patch now – don’t let your servers get pwned!
      RedHat Linux, together with its stablemates Fedora and CentOS, just patched a serious security bug.

      This bug doesn’t need a fancy nickname, because it ended up (entirely by chance, of course) with a very memorable bug number: CVE-2018-1111.

      Bug OneOneOneOne affects DHCP, short for dynamic host configuration protocol, a network-based system that helps you automate the process of getting computers to play nicely together online.

      DHCP solves the problem of how to use the network itself to get a network number (in popular parlance, an IP address) in order to start using the network.

    • What OpenShift Online and Dedicated Customers Should Know About the Recent DHCP Vulnerability
      Red Hat recently announced information about CVE-2018-1111, a vulnerability in the integration between Network Manager and DHCP present in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      OpenShift Online and Dedicated run on top of RHEL and as such have the vulnerable package installed. However, because each cluster is contained within individual private networks all of the common ways to exploit this flaw are effectively removed.

    • Thunderbird and the Recent #EFAIL Vulnerability, Fedora Urges Users to Update DHCP Packages, Kernel Updates and More
      The Fedora team is pushing its users to update their DHCP packages addressing a recently discovered flaw (CVE-2018-1111). Fixes are available for versions 26, 27, 28 and Rawhide.

    • Linux admins: Dire vulnerability gives attackers root access in RHEL, CentOS, Fedora

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Maharashtra ATS nabs Pak-trained man planning to carry out assassinations

      Officials said that the man, who was arrested by the anti-terror agency's Juhu unit on May 11, had been to Pakistan, via Sharjah and Dubai, for training at a camp operated by a terror outfit.

    • DPRK cancels talks with ROK, threatens to scrap Trump summit over US-South Korea military drills
      The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea cancelled talks with the Republic of Korea in response to military drills carried out between ROK and the United States, Yonhap reported Wednesday (local time).

      According to the report, DPRK’s Central News Agency (KCNA) stated that the air force drills being carried out between ROK and the United States are a “rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation.”

      The talks scheduled for Wednesday were planned to discuss follow up actions following the historic summit that took place between DPRK’s leader Kim Jon Un and ROK’s president Moon Jae-in.

      The DPRK has also threatened to pull out of the upcoming Trump summit over the military drills.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Trump Wants to Expand Oil Drilling to 90 Percent of Our Seas. We’re Marching on June 9 to Stop Him.

      Summer beckons—and with it, the season’s first trip to the beach, which remains the number-one outdoor recreational activity for Americans of all classes and ideologies. It may be one of the last truly nonpartisan activities we do together. But thousands will come out of the water on June 9 for the first ever March for the Ocean—and that should be nonpartisan too.

    • The Bigger The Mother Fish, The More Babies She Has

      But the surprising thing that Marshall's team found was that bigger fish produce "massively more offspring and larger offspring than smaller fish," Marshall says. As fish grew larger, female fertility grew even faster. For example, take a 60-pound fish and compare it with a 4-pound fish. It's 15 times as big. But it produces 28 times the amount of eggs as the smaller one.

    • Large Female Fish Play a Big Role in Replenishing Populations: Study

      After examining the size and number of eggs laid by females from 342 fish species, researchers discovered that in 95 percent of those species, big, old females produced more eggs per kilogram of their body mass. In Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), for example, the team found that a 30-kilogram female fish spawned more eggs than two 28-kilogram counterparts did combined. The eggs from the larger mothers were also bigger and packed with more calories.

      Bigger fish produce “massively more offspring and larger offspring than smaller fish,” study coauthor Dustin Marshall of Monash University tells NPR.

    • How one man’s death led to the extinction of a butterfly population

    • California approves measure to require solar on new homes after 2020

      The standards also include some smaller efficiency requirements for non-residential buildings. The state expects that, on the whole, the new requirements will help state residents save money. Overall, California expects the new residential and non-residential standards to cost the state economy $2.17 billion, while generating an energy bill savings of $3.87 billion, for a net savings of $1.7 billion.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Macron to Merkel: I’m still out to change Europe

    • Media Can Tell Readers Who’s Killing Whom–When They Want To
      If you’ve been noticing the headlines about Israeli forces killing Palestinian protesters that seem carefully designed to avoid mentioning who’s doing the killing, you may be wondering: Is that how media always do it? The answer is no: Journalists know very well how to include the identity of the killers in the headline—when they think that’s information that’s important for the reader to know.
    • Writing Off Democracy in Venezuela, US Press and Politicians Dream of a Coup
      When are elections free and fair, according to corporate media? When the US government says they are.

      The May 20 Venezuelan presidential elections pit Hugo Chavez’s successor, President Nicolas Maduro, against opposition challenger Henri Falcon. Maduro has called for the United Nations to observe and oversee the contest. Despite calling for elections throughout 2017, many local opposition groups, together with the US government, have demanded no observers should come, arguing that it would “validate” the elections, and have preemptively decided they will not recognize the victor.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Twitter to de-rank ‘trolls,’ provokes conservative anger over ‘censorship’

    • Twitter's new troll filtering might actually prevent more abuse than any ban

    • Twitter amps up censorship: Hides bad tweets

    • Twitter Admits Shadowban Plan: Conservatives on Twitter Brace for MORE Censorship
      Twitter has announced new measures to crack down on "trolls" on the social media platform. But because the company is so Left-leaning, conservatives are preparing for the worst. While the company isn't using the now popular term "shadowban," they appear to be admitting that's basically what they're doing. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has in the past tweeted his approval of an article calling for the annihilation of the conservative movement.

    • Twitter Will Begin Hiding All Tweets From Suspect Accounts

      Those whose tweets are deemed to be "disruptive," but that don't violate Twitter's policies outright, will be secluded at the bottom of a conversation thread or search result, to make room for more productive and respectful conversations. Some of the new signals Twitter will consider include whether you've confirmed your email address, whether you've created multiple accounts from the same IP address, and whether you're frequently blocked by accounts you interact with. Tweets that get filtered this way—as long as they don't violate Twitter's policies—won't be removed, but you will have to click "Show more replies," or elect to "show everything" in your search settings in order to view them.

    • Britain's New Porn Law Is Insanely Stupid

      In another bid to Make Britain Victorian Again, the Conservative government is in its final stages of implementing stricter porn regulations. The original proposal? By the end the year, all British adults wishing to visit an X-rated website would have to legally prove their age, most likely by putting down a credit card number -- something no human has done to see porn since 1998. But in response to criticism regarding hacking, the government has thought of a more discreet system for accessing porn: asking your local mini-mart guy.

    • Stormy Daniels' Lawyer Sends Totally Bogus, Censorial Defamation Threat To Reporter He Doesn't Like
      No matter what you might think of the various legal fights involving Stormy Daniels, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, is making quite a name for himself over the past couple of months -- partly for his legal strategy, partly for breaking news about Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, and partly for constantly appearing on TV at what appears to be every possible opportunity. Even if you happen to support his dogged focus on calling out Cohen and Trump, it is worth noting that Avenatti seems to fall into the camp of a few other lawyers in filing and threatening completely bogus defamation threats trying to silence people. Last month, there was some news when Daniels, represented by Avenatti, sued Donald Trump for defamation over a tweet of Trump's.

      I could probably write 90,000 words just to give you a basic background of how we got here, but assuming you follow at least some of the news around this, the short version is that Daniels claimed on 60 Minutes that a few years back she was threatened in a parking lot by a man who told her to leave Trump alone. There was some dispute about the veracity of this claim, and Daniels eventually had a sketch artist draw what the guy looked like, leading Trump to then tweet: "A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!" Daniels sued over this tweet, calling it defamatory.
    • They Always Suck: UK ISP 'For The Children' Filters Block Disney And Educational Websites
      Website blocking is now all the rage across much of the world. The way such website censorship happens is, however, as varied as the countries in which the censoring occurs. While some nations enact laws for internet filtering on all sorts of grounds -- be it porn, extremist content, or political dissent --, other countries have ISPs that proactively do this kind of filtering for their host countries. In many cases, this results in "parental filters" designed to keep harmful content from finding the eyeballs of children. In reality, when Comcast tried this here in America, it managed to block TorrentFreak for some reason.

      But nobody does collateral site-blocking damage like UK ISPs. The stories about "for the children" and "but...terrorists!" ISP website filtering are legion, but recent reports put any focus by ISPs on the well-being of children in heavy doubt, given the amount of purely innocent children's content that is getting blocked by ISP filters.

    • The risk of self-censorship
      The International Publishers Association (IPA) broached the subject of freedom to publish at the recent London Book Fair, where the president of PEN International, Jennifer Clement, chaired a panel on censorship and self-censorship. Hearing how the censors work in Iran was fascinating—for example, there are words that cannot be used in publications, forcing translators to turn "wine" into "water". This is an amusing example, to Western ears at least, but it points to the arbitrary and heavy-handed nature of state-sponsored censorship (and it raises issues around violating the integrity of a publication).


      Even in countries with legal regimes that protect freedom of expression, you can see it happening. Take France as an example. Emmanuel Pierrat, president of the French PEN Club, recently wrote in Livres Hebdo of two examples of French children’s book publishers coming under pressure to alter their publications: On a Chopé la Puberté is a book trying to help children through puberty; Tous à Poil! tries to help children see through physical differences between people. In one case, the publisher withdrew the publication. In the other, the illustrator announced not just the end of the publication in question but of the whole universe of characters the book was based on.

    • Lars von Trier Is ‘Against Censorship’ of Any Kind: ‘If You Can Think It, You Should be Able to Show It’
      Lars von Trier is back, and not everyone is too thrilled about it. The controversial filmmaker returned to the Cannes Film Festival on May 14 to debut his serial killer drama “The House That Jack Built,” but the movie’s extreme graphic violence against women and children caused walkouts during the screening and severe outrage in the hours after the film’s debut. It’s hardly the first time von Trier has shocked viewers, but the director tells University Posts that he doesn’t see anything wrong with depicting graphic violence and nudity.

      “I’m against censorship of any kind,” von Trier said. “My opinion is that if you can think it, you should be able to show it.”

    • Reporters Without Borders Germany Brilliantly Bypasses Government Censorship
      Despite a large amount of criticism over “fake news” and American journalism, things could be worse when you look at the extreme censorship of news media that exists across the world. For the billions of people deprived of this right, getting around government enforced censorship is no easy task, but there may now be a glimmer of hope due to a brilliant hack by Reporters Without Borders Germany.

      It was discovered that while some of the most repressive countries routinely restricted access to independent blogs and news media by blocking individual sites or social networks, the ability to censor music is not as easy. So when Reporters Without Borders Germany realized this digital loophole earlier this year, they went to work at taking advantage of it in a creative and very effective way.

    • Groups Plan to Fight Social Media's Anti-Conservative Bias

    • New Coalition Forms to Combat Censorship of Conservative Speech Online

    • Conservative activists launch effort to combat social-media political bias

    • 'Conservatives Against Online Censorship' Coalition to Persuade Social Media Giants to Address Bias Complaints

    • Conservatives unite to fight online censorship

    • New Coalition Forms to Combat Censorship of Conservative Speech Online
      In response to the continued restriction and censorship of conservatives and their organizations by tech giants Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube, the Media Research Center (MRC) along with 18 leading conservative organizations announced Tuesday the formation of a new, permanent coalition, Conservatives Against Online Censorship.

    • Facebook Releases Censorship Stats In First Ever Such Report [Ed: In the name of (selective) 'transparency' Facebook is now telling us that censorship is needed because "violence". So those who oppose censorship by Facebook are violent people? Does that follow? No. Innuendo.]

    • Facebook says posts with graphic violence rose in early 2018 [Ed: Facebook wants the media to frame its censorship as "against violence"... controlling the narrative under the guise of 'transparency']

    • Spotify removing R. Kelly’s songs is a sign of a worrying trend towards censorship

    • Take R Kelly’s smug face off Spotify altogether

    • What does Spotify’s new ‘hate content’ policy mean for artists, the music industry, and Time’s Up?

    • R. Kelly Banned from Playlists on Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify

    • Pandora, Apple Music Join Spotify In Pulling R. Kelly’s Music From Promoted Playlists

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Less Than One Week To Back Our Kickstarter For The CIA's Card Game; Also Reddit AMA Today
      So, we're now less than a week away from the close of our Kickstarter campaign for our version of the CIA's recently declassified training card game, which we've dubbed: CIA: Collect It All.

    • Xbox: Here's All Your Data That Microsoft May Share With Publishers

      If some or all of this information sounds spooky to you, there is something you can do. You can stop sharing game or app data with publishers by revoking access either on your console or through this website for some games and apps.

    • Philip Morris device knows a lot about your smoking habit
    • Special Report: Philip Morris Device Knows a Lot About Your Smoking Habit
      In seeking regulatory approval for a new smoking device called iQOS, Philip Morris International Inc is claiming the electronic gadget is less likely to cause disease than traditional cigarettes. But the iQOS holds another, less obvious advantage over regular smokes: the ability to harvest personal data about users' smoking habits.

      The tobacco giant is already building a database of iQOS customers who register with the company. And it has developed a software application that could take things a step further.

    • Bill Introduced To Prevent Government Agencies From Demanding Encryption Backdoors
      The FBI continues its push for a solution to its "going dark" problem. Joined by the DOJ, agency head Christopher Wray has suggested the only way forward is a legislative or judicial fix, gesturing vaguely to the thousands of locked phones the FBI has gathered. It's a disingenuous push, considering the tools available to the agency to crack locked devices and obtain the apparently juicy evidence hidden inside.

      The FBI hasn't been honest in its efforts or its portrayal of the problem. Questions put to the FBI about its internal efforts to crack locked devices are still unanswered. The only "new" development isn't all that new: Ray Ozzie's "key escrow" proposal may tweak a few details but it's not that far removed in intent from the Clipper Chip that kicked off the first Crypto War. It's nothing more than another way to make device security worse, with the only beneficiary being the government.

      The FBI's disingenuousness has not gone unnoticed. Efforts have been made over the last half-decade to push legislators towards mandating government access, but no one has been willing to give the FBI what it wants if it means making encryption less useful. A new bill [PDF], introduced by Zoe Lofgren, Thomas Massie, Ted Poe, Jerry Nadler, Ted Lieu, and Matt Gaetz would codify this resistance to government-mandated backdoors.
    • California Bill Would Allow Elected Officials to Regulate and Veto Police Use of Military Spy Tech
      In recent years, protesters have come face to face with police forces that are increasingly well-equipped with battlefield surveillance technologies. That’s because U.S. police are getting more and more equipment from the U.S. military—including sophisticated surveillance equipment. The trend has led to disturbing scenes like those from 2014 protests against police shootings, in which peaceful protesters were confronted by law enforcement equipped with sophisticated military equipment.

      In California, a bill is moving forward that would rein in those acquisitions of military equipment, and restore frayed relationships between police and the communities they serve. A.B. 3131 would allow police to acquire military equipment only after the acquisition is approved by a relevant elected legislative body, with opportunity for public comment required.

      Typically, the governing body for a law enforcement agency will be a city council or county board of supervisors. These officials would also need to evaluate the threat to civil liberties posed by the technology, and create a use policy that is legally enforceable.

    • The Supreme Court Says Your Expectation of Privacy Probably Shouldn’t Depend on Fine Print

    • Australia looking into claim Google harvests data while consumers pay

      Google is under investigation in Australia following claims that it collects data from millions of Android smartphone users, who unwittingly pay their telecom service providers for gigabytes consumed by the activity, regulators said on Tuesday (May 15).

    • You're paying for Google to track you so that you can use Google services for free

    • Facebook: 'No plans' for Zuckerberg to testify in UK despite summons threat

    • Facebook Faulted by Judge for ‘Troubling Theme’ in Privacy Case

      The social media giant has misinterpreted prior court orders by continuing to assert the “faulty proposition” that users can’t win their lawsuit under an Illinois biometric privacy law without proving an “actual injury,” U.S. District Judge James Donato said in a ruling Monday. Likewise, the company’s argument that it’s immune from having to pay a minimum of $1,000, and as much as $5,000, for each violation of the law is “not a sound proposition,” he said.

    • Cambridge Analytica/Facebook: Will EU politicians back up their words with deeds?

      Faced with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, representatives of all the major political groups expressed concern about the dangers to democracy and the abuse of personal data. One effective way of stopping political micro-targeting is having the discipline and courage not to engage in it. The European Parliament has repeatedly called for all relevant stakeholders to “self-regulate”. If MEPs believe their own words, surely the same should also apply to them?

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Delaware Became the First State to Ban Child Marriage and New Jersey Could Be Next

    • FBI's Bust Of Black Open Carry Advocate Predicated On An InfoWars Video Ends In Dismissed Indictment
      The FBI's throwback to its Martin Luther King Jr.-watching heyday has reached the first stop on its way to its eventual nadir. Deciding backlash against violence perpetrated by law enforcement officers had resulted in too many frightening African Americans organizing, the agency decided to place "Black Identity Extremists" under surveillance, claiming this made-up group would "likely" engage in violence against police officers.

    • UK Cops Threaten Facebook Users With Arrest After They Mock Department's Tiny Drug Bust

      If any officers were distressed or anxious because locals dragged them a bit for peacocking their tiny pot bust, they're in the wrong field of work. Facebook commenters pale in comparison to the invective routinely hurled at officers during the course of the day, often delivered in person by someone on the receiving end of an arrest. And that's even less anxiety-raising or distressing than the sticks-and-stones equivalents (knives, mostly) suspects might bring to bear against officers of the law. "Words may never hurt me," say the police, as they seek to use others people's words to hurt them.

      Finally, there's the idiotic claim about gateway drug use, one that has been repeatedly found false. Busting people for smoking weed in a park isn't going to do anything to stop the trafficking of harder drugs or the "resulting criminality" involved in their distribution. Not only is the West Yorkshire Police willing to abuse a law to silence critics, it also wants everyone to believe they reside in a magical dystopia where minor pot busts in a nature park somehow accomplishes something of value to society as a whole.

    • Police Are Mislabeling Anti-LGBTQ and Other Crimes as Anti-Heterosexual
      Rob heard a loud knock at his door late one night in August 2014. His landlord had been calling him about maintenance issues in his Columbus, Ohio, apartment, but that night she came with a male companion and began to scream at him. According to a police report, the man jumped into the argument and threatened Rob — who asked that we not use his full name — with a homophobic slur. Fearing an escalation, he called the police.

      “A thing that I’ve dealt with my entire life as a gay man is extreme prejudice, from threats to constant harassment,” Rob said, noting that his landlord had previously told his neighbors that he was a “filthy queer.”

      Columbus police acknowledged Rob’s concern that the incident may have been motivated by bias, but they got a key detail wrong in their incident report: They mistakenly marked it as a case of anti-heterosexual harassment.

    • The Government Has Information on Gina Haspel’s Torture Record. The Senate Can’t See It.
      In 2005, the CIA destroyed 92 videotapes that had depicted the torture of two detainees. The destruction took place over objections from the White House, the CIA’s legal counsel, and senior intelligence officials.

      Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, drafted the cable ordering the tapes' destruction and lobbied for them to be shredded. She claims, however, that she did not think the cable she drafted would be sent before “making sure that we had all the stakeholders’ concurrence.”

      Now, a bipartisan group of senators, including Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), are calling on the Justice Department to make a federal prosecutor’s report about the destruction of the videotapes available to senators before the chamber votes on Haspel’s nomination.


      Haspel’s nomination has prompted renewed urgency to release the Durham report. In her confirmation hearing last week, Haspel contradicted the CIA’s own documents when she claimed that there was only one detainee depicted in the tapes, not two.

      The report may also shed light on conflicting statements from Haspel and her former boss, Jose Rodriguez, about her knowledge of his decision to order the videotapes destroyed. Rodriguez has implied that Haspel knew more than she has let on.

    • Iowa’s New Abortion Law Is Just One of Many Intended to Render Roe Meaningless
      Slowly but surely, state legislatures are stripping women of their constitutional right to abortion.

      On May 4, Iowa earned the dubious honor of signing into law the most extreme abortion restriction in the nation. The measure prohibits most abortions after six weeks into pregnancy — long before many women even know they’re pregnant.

      The good news is it will likely be blocked before it ever goes into effect because the ACLU of Iowa, Planned Parenthood, and the Emma Goldman Clinic are suing and a similar ban from North Dakota was previously struck down.

      The bad news is the political theatre surrounding the passage and invalidation of overreaching laws like this one frequently obscures the harmful effects of other abortion restrictions that are equally pernicious but deemed more moderate by comparison.

    • New Orleans’ District Attorney Has a Warped Vision of Justice
      Prosecutor Leon Cannizzaro has illegally abused crime victims and witnesses — all in the name of upholding the law.

      We appeared in court last week for the first hearing in our lawsuit, with partner Civil Rights Corps, against the Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s Office. We are challenging the office’s illegal use of fake subpoenas and its practice of arresting crime victims and witnesses on the basis of false information.

      The case is, at its core, about the prosecutor’s office abusing its power and coercing the victims and witnesses of crimes in violation of the Constitution. Yet, after the hearing, instead of taking responsibility for his office's unethical and illegal actions, Cannizzaro issued a public statement grossly mischaracterizing the case and, in doing so, further misled the public.

      Cannizzaro’s response to the hearing is befitting of a prosecutor’s office so laser-focused on end results that it cannot see the illegalities of its actions or the harm it is causing the very community it is charged with safeguarding. He called our suit “a calculated attack on the criminal justice system” and claimed that its goal was to prevent witnesses from testifying altogether. The district attorney’s office further alleges that our clients are seeking to “disregard their civic duty to testify truthfully.”

      These claims could not be further from the truth.

      Our client Lazonia Baham, in fact, dutifully appeared at multiple court dates, but when she did not respond to a fake subpoena, the office sought a material witness warrant against her alleging she failed to communicate with them. She was jailed for 8 days on a $100,000 bond. Ms. Baham was never even called to testify in the criminal case; the defendant accepted a plea deal.
    • We’re Victims’ Rights Advocates, and We Opposed Marsy’s Law
      The proposal would have backfired and undermined the due process rights of the accused.

      The “Marsy’s Law” campaign arrived in Iowa this year like it has in many other states. This national effort seeks a specific list of constitutional rights for crime victims more expansive than the statutory rights afforded victims in every state. Iowa’s version sought to enshrine existing legal rights to notification, participation, and restitution into our constitution and add rights to safety, privacy, and the right to refuse discovery requests. For now, state legislators resisted the popular appeal of the campaign’s central theme — that crime victims deserve “equal rights” to the accused in criminal proceedings.

      The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault remain unwavering in our support for victims, yet we oppose Marsy’s Law. We represent agencies providing direct services to crime victims before, during, and long after any encounter with the criminal legal system. In addition to offering emergency services, these are the people law enforcement call to assist at a crime scene or at the hospital to support rape victims. Lawyers and judges rely on them to accompany victims in court and explain legal proceedings. They help victims obtain housing, jobs, and access to services and safety.

      We believe this well-intentioned effort promotes the wrong mechanism for advancing victims’ rights. Amending the Iowa Constitution to comport with Marsy’s Law undermines the legal system and strains resources to the range of programs addressing victims’ comprehensive needs. The assertion that victims deserve constitutional rights equal to the accused mischaracterizes how the justice system operates.

      Granting equal constitutional rights to a victim identified at the outset of criminal proceedings threatens due process and diminishes fundamental principles of American justice. It also unfairly prioritizes the needs of victims seeking remedy in criminal court over the vast majorities who do not. Victim needs identified in a statewide survey include housing, transportation, counseling, and healthcare, as well as legal assistance.

    • Haspel now likely to get CIA boss confirmation. Thanks, Democratic senators. You had one job.

    • 'Common Doodle'? 'Jihad' Graffiti on Swedish Church Sparks Social Media Storm

      "Imagine somebody painting a swastika over a mosque. Would we have the same 'consequence-neutral' coverage?" yet another user argued.

    • The young Turks rejecting Islam

      In the 16 years that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party has been in power, the number of religious high schools across Turkey has increased more than tenfold.

    • Indonesia church bombings: A timeline of militant attacks

    • Surabaya: Suicide bombers attack Indonesia police headquarters

    • Men-only event at US mosque sparks backlash

      Ruhii says she was accused of denigrating the community and even hurting the chances of the mosque being built. Male members in her family were taunted, her mother was "cold-shouldered" by her co-workers, she says.

    • Radicalism: The Real Shock Was the Reaction of the Americans...

      He expressed disgust that most women did not wear the hijab or participate in prayer five times a day. Then he got straight to the point: "Ours," he explained, represented Muslims like him.

      The sentiment is hardly a new one. A person hears similar proclamations from many Muslim extremists throughout the years. The real shock was not letter but the reaction of many Americans after seeing it.

    • How London’s gangs could spawn tomorrow’s jihadis

      Britain is making the same mistakes about its own ‘lost territories’, those identified in 2016 by Dame Louise Casey in her government review. Describing the “worrying levels” of segregation within some British communities, Dame Louise warned they were fuelling Islamic extremism and she made a series of recommendations to tackle the growing problem. Last November she bemoaned the fact that her review had been “tucked away in the all-too-difficult filing cabinet and it hasn’t seen the light of day”.

    • Ad Software Dev Doesn't Like Being Called Out For Privacy Violations ; Sends Threatening Letter To Researchers Who Exposed It
      The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), passed in 1998, governs the sort of data that can be collected from children under the age of 13. That's why kids have to age themselves prematurely to create accounts on some social media networks. It's a law kids under the age of 13 subvert every day, but it's in place to protect kids from online services and restricts information collected by apps and online services that cater to children.

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of app developers ignoring this law. A recently-published research paper shows a host of violations and questionable practices that smartphone/tablet app developers are engaged in. Serge Egelman, one of the paper's co-authors, notes that thousands of apps are violating this law every day. In just one example, an advertising SDK (software development kit) made by ironSource is harvesting personal data from 466 child-directed apps.

      It's not as though this is a simple oversight. In an earlier blog post detailing COPPA violations, Egelman points out Android developers must take a series of affirmative steps to market apps directed at children. There's a long list of stipulations that must be met before Google will allow apps to become part of its Designed For Families program.

      Apps using ironSource's SDK are being marketed to kids, making the presence of a targeted advertising tool not merely questionable, but possibly illegal. As Egelman's blog post notes, it certainly violates ironSource's own terms of service. This is taken from its privacy policy, as archived late last year.

    • For Students of Color with Disabilities, Equity Delayed Is Equity Denied
      A key step towards addressing racial disparities in special education is being derailed.

      A core promise of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is that a child with disabilities will receive a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment possible. This requirement is a matter of civil rights and equity: It ensures that children do not receive a substandard education because they have a disability.

      In 2004, Congress included another promise of equity when it reauthorized the IDEA by requiring states and the Department of Education to address racial and ethnic disproportionality in special education. To date, that promise has gone unfulfilled. And now, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants to press pause on the effort to fulfill it.

      “Significant disproportionality” is a term that describes when school districts “identify, place in more restrictive settings, or discipline children from any racial or ethnic group at markedly higher rates than their peers.” The IDEA requires states to determine whether there are disproportionalities in state or in local educational agencies and to make necessary adjustments in policies and practices.

      Recognizing these disparities is hugely important because they can be indicators of over-identification, under-identification, or misidentification of disabilities. In any of these cases, students with disabilities may miss out on opportunities to receive needed and appropriate services. Moreover, over-identification of students of color turns special education into a tool of segregation because these students are more often placed in restrictive settings, suspended, and expelled. Instead of spending time in the classroom learning with their peers, they may make contact with the school-to-prison pipeline.

      Despite the requirement to track disproportionality, the question of how states should actually do so remained. Without a standard approach for measuring, states’ findings did not reflect reality.

    • Third teenage girl is raped and burned alive in India in one week

      Two other teenagers were victims of similar attacks a week ago in Jharkhand state. One died and one is in hospital.

      The latest teenager was alone at her home in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh state when she was raped, police said on Friday.

    • Noura Hussein: Sentenced to death in Sudan for killing 'rapist husband'

      The judge in Omdurman confirmed the death penalty for Noura Hussein after her husband's family refused to accept financial compensation.

    • She stabbed her husband as he raped her. A court sentenced her to death

      A 19-year-old Sudanese woman has been sentenced to death for fatally stabbing the man she was forced to marry, who she says raped her as his relatives held her down.

    • Teenager who killed husband after he raped her is sentenced to death in Sudan

      Married by her family at 16, Noura fled to take refuge at an aunt’s house for three years before she was tricked into returning home by her own family, who then handed her over to her husband’s family.

    • Sudan: Defend Noura Hussein Hammad

      In May 2017 after Noura was forced to take part in her own wedding ceremony and after she was sent on a “honeymoon” with her “husband”, she refused to have sex with him for 5 days. On the 6th day the “husband” called his brother & cousins who held Noura’s arms and legs, while he raped her. On the 7th day, as he entered the room to rape her again, Noura killed him with the knife that he brought with him to threatened her.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Still Makes A Killing, Even When You Cut The Cord
      While the rate of cord cutting is expected to double for Comcast this year, the phenomenon isn't having as dire an impact on the company's bottom line as you might expect. That's thanks to Comcast's growing monopoly over broadband in countless markets where the nation's phone companies are simply refusing to upgrade their networks at any real scale. That lack of competition lets the company not only jack up the standalone price of broadband (starting at $75 in many markets), but it allows the company to implement punitive and unnecessary usage caps and overage fees to drive up your bill should you embrace streaming alternatives.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TRIPS Flexibilities In High Demand
      Using flexibilities in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has long been an issue of the developing world. But policymakers gathered at a meeting on access to health in Brussels today said there was an urgent need for European Union countries, too, to make more use of flexibilities.

      Nessa Childers, Member of the European Parliament, said, “An important message we need to heed is that we must reverse course on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, to fully implement and promote the flexibilities and safeguards allowed under trade law,” according to a press release from Health Action International (HAI), organiser of the event.

    • The Guangdong High People’s Court guideline for SEP disputes: a primer [Ed: In China they call the place where patent trolls wielding SEP/FRAND patents (one you cannot dodge) come to destroy you the "People's Court"]
      Ben Ni of King & Wood Mallesons gives an overview of the guideline for trial of standard essential patent dispute cases, which incorporates rules established in cases worldwide

    • Trademarks

      • Mark McKenna: Trademark Counterfeiting And Creep
        One of my favorite events at Akron Law this past school year was hearing Professor Mark McKenna deliver the Oldham Lecture on his fascinating paper, Criminal Trademark Enforcement And The Problem Of Inevitable Creep. The completed article, forthcoming in the Akron Law Review, is now available on SSRN.

        The story, in Mckenna's telling, is simple. There is a criminal remedy for trademark "counterfeiting" because, most people would agree, using an identical trademark for goods or services that are identical to the trademark owner's is an economically and morally worse act than ordinary trademark infringement. A modern-day example of this atrocious crime is the company that has been hawking dysfunctional "Philips Sonicare" toothbrush replacement heads on Consumers buy them thinking they are the real thing, and are sorely disappointed when the brush heads do not work. But to deserve the classification as criminal, as a legal matter, the act of counterfeiting must be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt" to fit within the exact text of the relevant statute, the Trademark Counterfeiting Act. According to McKenna, courts have veered from the statutory text, and are instead expanding criminal counterfeiting beyond Congressional authorization. Thus, the article's reference in its title to "inevitable creep."

        There are parts of this well-done article with which people are likely to agree, and other parts with which people are likely to strongly disagree.

    • Copyrights

Recent Techrights' Posts

Links 01/10/2023: Climate, Patents, Programming, and More
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Apple and Microsoft Problems
half a dozen links
Malware in the Ubuntu Snap Store, Thanks to Canonical Bloatware Mindset
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
Gemini Rising
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We won't forgive and forget
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 30, 2023
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Snaps Were Never Good at Security, But the Media Coverage is Just Appalling
The media should focus on culling Windows, not making a huge fuss over minor things wrongly attributed to "Linux"
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Richard Stallman speaks about the cancer situation early in his speech
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Over at Tux Machines...
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The Web and the Net at large became far too centralised
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That's not freedom
They Say Free Software is Like Communism When They, the Proprietary Software Giants, Constantly Pursue Government Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
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There are forbidden topics in the hacker community
They're Been Trying to 'Kill' Richard Stallman for Years (by Mentally Tormenting Him)
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Consumerism is Lying and Revisionism
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IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 29, 2023
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A Society That Fails Journalists Does Not Deserve Journalism
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Almost Nothing To Go With Your Morning's Cup Of Coffee
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Selling Out to Microsoft Makes You Dead Beef
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Curation and Preservation Work
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Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
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biggest ego in the world
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Richard Stallman's Public Talk in GNU's 40th Anniversary Ceremony
Out now
Links 29/09/2023: Linux Foundation Boasting, QLite FDW 2.4.0 Released
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The Debian Project Leader said the main thing Debian lacked was more contributors
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IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Links 28/09/2023: Openwashing and Patent Spam as 'News'
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