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Links 7/11/2020: Arch Conf 2020 Talks Published, FlightGear 2020.3, Wine 5.21



  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • How to switch an old Windows laptop to Linux

        By the federal government’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP) count in October 2020, 3.2 percent of computer users still are on Windows 7 — even though Microsoft no longer supports it for free. If you have an older system but are worried that it won’t support Windows 10 — or if you simply don’t want to deal with Windows anymore — I have a suggestion: Switch to desktop Linux.

        Desktop Linux can run on your Windows 7 (and older) laptops and desktops. Machines that would bend and break under the load of Windows 10 will run like a charm. And today’s desktop Linux distributions are as easy to use as Windows or macOS.

        And if you’re worried about being able to run Windows applications — don’t. For instance, you can run the free Office Online, which comes with limited versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Linux. Teams now runs on Linux. Skype has long been available on Linux. And Microsoft’s exporting its new Edge web browser to Linux. The full Office 365 suite will be coming to Linux soon — it’s only a matter of when.

        For all your other desktop software needs, there’s usually a free, open-source program that can do just as good a job. Gimp, for example, instead of Photoshop. Or Thunderbird for email instead of Outlook. For a full-fledged office suite, I highly recommend LibreOffice.

        You can run many native Windows programs on Linux using Wine. This can be hard to set up, but its commercial brother, CodeWeaver’s Crossover Linux, makes it easy to set up many proprietary programs, including games.

        If that doesn’t work for your office’s Windows-only programs, you can always keep running Windows 7, with a lot less danger, on a virtual machine (VM) on Linux. For this job, I recommend Oracle’s great free VirtualBox VM program.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu MATE 20.10 overview | For a retrospective future.

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Ubuntu MATE 20.10 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • Applying Patches To Suckless Software - YouTube

        had a viewer ask me about patching Suckless software (like dwm, st and dmenu). I have done videos on this in the past but it has been awhile. And I noticed that my dmenu build is not up-to-date, so I'm killing two birds with one stone here.

      • Five Interesting Linux Apps To Waste A Bit Of Time - YouTube

        Today we're going to have a bit of fun with Linux, rather than checking out some useful vim plugin or new tool, we're taking a look at 5 interesting linux apps made entirely for wasting a bit of time on Linux, and if nothing else they work great as screeensavers.

      • Ubuntu 20.10 + Deepin: A Marriage Made In Desktop Linux Heaven? - YouTube

        The marriage between Ubuntu and the Deepin Desktop Environment soars to new heights with UbuntuDDE Remix 20.10. But why are we SO excited over clocks, fonts and screenshot utilities? Find out why Ubuntu DDE Remix 20.10 is worth paying attention to in today's video!

      • BSD Now 375: Virtually everything

        bhyve - The FreeBSD Hypervisor, udf information leak, being a vim user instead of classic vi, FreeBSD on ESXi ARM Fling: Fixing Virtual Hardware, new FreeBSD Remote Process Plugin in LLDB, OpenBSD Laptop, and more.

      • Reality 2.0 Episode 47: Revolutions

        Doc Searls, Katherine Druckman and Petros Koutoupis talk to Hadrian Zbarcea about revolutions, both technical and other.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Hitting ~95% Speed Of Native OpenGL Driver Performance

          Zink as the Mesa Gallium3D implementation putting OpenGL 3.x/4.x on top of the Vulkan API is now offering near-native performance.

          Mike Blumenkrantz who has been extensively working on Zink in recent time with implementing much of OpenGL 4.x as well as enhancing the performance has made great strides in making this generic OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation a very capable alternative to dedicated OpeNGL drivers.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Last Day



          This is a sort of bittersweet post as it marks the end of my full-time hobby work with zink. I’ve had a blast over the past ~6 months, but all things change eventually, and such is the case with this situation.

          Those of you who have been following me for a long time will recall that I started hacking on zink while I was between jobs in order to improve my skills and knowledge while doing something productive along the way. I succeeded in all regards, at least by my own standards, and I got to work with some brilliant people at the same time.

          [...]

          This does not mean that zink is dead, or the project is stalling development, or anything like that, so don’t start overreaching on the meaning of this post.

          I still have 450+ patches left to be merged into mainline Mesa, and I do plan to continue driving things towards that end, though I expect it’ll take a good while. I’ll also be around to do patch reviews for the driver and continue to be involved in the community.

          I look forward to a time when I’ll get to write more posts here and move the zink user experience closer to where I think it can be.

          This is Mike, signing off for now.

          Happy rendering.

        • AMD Radeon Graphics Updates For Linux 5.11 Bring New Hardware, Other Enhancements - Phoronix

          An initial round of predominantly AMDGPU kernel driver patches have been called upon for pulling into DRM-Next as new feature work for Linux 5.11.

          Among the highlights for this early feature code queuing up for the Linux 5.11 kernel cycle includes:

          - Initial support for next-gen Van Gogh APUs. AMD published Van Gogh graphics support at the end of September while it is coming with Linux 5.11. Van Gogh is expected to be a combination of Zen 2 CPU cores and RDNA2 graphics. The Linux graphics driver bring-up does reinforce the RDNA2/Navi graphics. Also exciting with Van Gogh is DDR5 system memory support. It's also bringing other new features like as a "fix" for Linux 5.10. Green Sardine looks like it may be the Ryzen 5000 Cezanne APUs.

        • Intel Lands Vulkan Ray-Tracing Prep Work In Mesa 20.3 - Phoronix

          Following the news that we were first to report last month on Intel starting open-source public patches for Vulkan ray-tracing in preparation for their forthcoming Xe HPG graphics card, the initial prep work for that Vulkan ray-tracing support has now been merged in time for Mesa 20.3.

          The Mesa 20.3 code branching is imminent and merged as of writing has just been patches to prep the infrastructure for allowing Intel's "ANV" Vulkan driver to support ray-tracing but not the actual extension enablement. Thus for this Q4'2020 Mesa3D update there might not be the working implementation, but that in turn would then most likely come with Mesa 21.0 next quarter. Given the Xe HPG release doesn't appear imminent, that timing should ultimately turn out fine.

        • Mesa Moves Closer To Having OpenCL 3.0 Support In Clover Gallium3D - Phoronix

          It's not across the finish line at least yet but Mesa 20.3 just merged today the initial prep changes needed for exposing OpenCL 3.0 support within the Clover Gallium3D state tracker.

          David Airlie of Red Hat has merged Clover's "CL3.0 precursor patches" as the initial changes in moving this OpenCL Gallium3D state tracker to OpenCL 3.0 support. Basically it adds the new version number and other prep work around differences in the OpenCL 3.0 spec but doesn't yet enable / flip on any OpenCL 3.0 support as of yet.

        • Intel "Big Joiner" Enabling Nearly Squared Away For Allowing 8K Output On A Single Port - Phoronix

          For the past several months there have been a number of Intel Linux DRM patch series around "big joiner" support and that is looking like it may soon be finished up for allowing support for driving 8K displays off a single port.

          Intel's "big joiner" support with Ice Lake / Gen11 and newer is for allowing two pipes to drive a single transcoder. The main focus of big joiner is for being able to drive an 8K display (at 30Hz or 60Hz, depending upon conditions) off a single DP port.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Linux Performance

        Following yesterday's launch-day AMD Ryzen 9 5900X/5950X benchmarks that showed the utter domination of Zen 3 carrying over just fine in the Linux realm, today we are looking at the performance of the Ryzen 5 5600X on Ubuntu against other Intel/AMD processors. The Ryzen 5 5600X is AMD's new $299 USD part that offers six cores / twelve threads and incredible uplift still over Zen 2 / Zen+ processors while outperforming Intel's Comet Lake competition.

        The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core processor comes clocked at 3.7GHz with a turbo frequency of 4.6GHz. The 5600X has a 32MB L3 cache and has a 65 Watt TDP.

      • AMD 5600X - Live Benchmarks on Linux - YouTube

        Live stream for AMD 5600X where I show it running in Linux using Phoronix-test-suite.

    • Applications

      • Best RSS Readers for Linux

        This article will list open source RSS clients for Linux desktops. Most of these feed readers come with a multi-pane layout, commonly seen in Thunderbird email client for desktop PCs.

        RSS readers provide an organized way to aggregate and read your favorite articles. However, the usage of RSS feeds have been declining over the years, mainly because of widening reach of social media and the closing down of Google Reader in 2013. Some Linux desktop RSS apps like RSSOwl are not in development anymore and there is an overall decline in the number of RSS applications for desktop PCs.

      • Best Terminal Emulators for Linux

        This article will cover a guide on installing various terminal emulators available for Linux. Compared to other operating systems, Linux has more command line applications and tools. Choosing a right terminal emulator for running these apps can improve efficiency, especially if you regularly deal with complex command line apps.

        These are some of the most popular terminal emulators available for Linux. If you regularly work with shell commands and command line apps, you should invest some time to configure a terminal emulator that suits your needs to improve productivity.

      • GIMP 2.99.2 Released With GTK3 UI, Working Wayland Support, Other Big Changes
      • GIMP 2.99.2 Released

        GIMP 2.99.2 marks the first step towards GIMP 3 based on GTK3 user interface toolkit.

        The first difference will be visual as you will notice that GIMP got a bit more of a modern look and it can also use some new widgets (instead of redeveloping them on GTK2) as well as client-side window decorations on various dialogs. But the aesthetic differences are far from being the main appeal of GTK3.

      • Top 10 File Compression Utilities on Linux

        Transferring files between one computer to another or storing them securely is a major task to both normal and professional users. Sometimes it is not possible to send files above a certain size over the internet, so you need utilities that will help decrease your file size without compromising data or its quality. It also helps merge multiple files and reduce the overall file size to help you send it securely over the internet. Linux users are blessed with many effective and reliable file compression utilities at their disposal.

        The majority of utilities listed here work well with all the Linux distros, and we have tested them on Ubuntu.

      • TrueCrypt on modern Linux distributions

        Before we dig into the tutorial itself, let's clarify something. The purpose of this article is not to discuss the moral or security implications for using TrueCrypt in 2020. If you're thinking: but wait, there's VeraCrypt, just no. Please go back to MySpace or something. What I want to show you here are the technical details for how to get TrueCrypt running on a modern Linux distro, regardless of why or if you should.

        It is possible you won't have any issues - grab the old TrueCrypt archive, extract, install, enjoy. But it is also possible that you've had a working copy of TrueCrypt, and now, come a system upgrade, it no longer works. If that's the case - happened me to when I upgraded my Vivobook Kubuntu Bionic to Focal - and you do not have the luxury to port your existing containers or risk your data, then let me outline the steps you need to have TrueCrypt running again.

      • Bluefish Editor 2.2.12 Released with Improved Python 3 Compatibility

        Bluefish, a powerful editor targeted towards programmers and web developers, released version 2.2.12 a day ago with some minor new features.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Create Bootable USB from ISO using Linux Terminal

        There are many third-party tools to create a bootable Linux USB Drive. Here I will show you how to create a bootable USB flash from ISO file using the Linux terminal.

        Before we start make sure you have downloaded the .ISO file and have a USB flash drive with not less than 4GB capacity.

      • How to create Kali Linux Bootable USB drive | FOSS Linux

        Kali Linux is a Debian based Linux distribution with a focus on advanced penetration testing and security auditing. This operating system comes loaded with hundreds of tools used in Information gathering, Penetration testing, forensics, reverse engineering, security research, and much more. Like most Linux distributions out there, Kali Linux is installable on your PC, or you can run it as a live OS from a USB drive.

      • How To Install VNC on Debian 10 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VNC on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, VNC (Virtual Network Computing) server is a free and open-source software which is designed for allowing remote access to the Desktop Environment of the server to the VNC Client whereas VNC viewer is used on the remote computer to connect to the server.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of the VNC server on an Ubuntu Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to Perform a POST Request Using Curl – Linux Hint

        Curl is a free and open-source command-line utility that allows network connections to be generated by users. On Windows, Linux, and Mac, Curl is open, rendering it the take-to option for programmers throughout all channels.

      • What is a 500 Internal Server Error? – Linux Hint

        Your browser will send a request to the host server managing site any time you visit a web page, which produces the requested data and response code. Whether or not the request was successful is indicated by the HTTP response status codes.

        In five groups, responses are categorized. If an error message falls within the 500 to 599 range, it can be identified as a server error.HTTP status code 500 is a generic error message that the server returns because there is no other suitable error message. It can be triggered by a variety of barriers that keep the request from being completed by the server.

      • Linux Security Hardening for Beginners Part 03 – SSH Hardening - The Linux Juggernaut

        Most of the linux servers are remotely managed by using SSH connections. OpenSSH server is the default SSH service software that comes built in with most of the linux/BSD systems. This service is also known as SSH daemon or sshd and since this service acts as the entry point for your server, it is necessary to secure the SSH service. In this guide, you will learn how to harden your OpenSSH server by using different configuration options to make sure that remote access to your server is as secure as possible.

        In this first step, you will implement some initial hardening configurations to improve the overall security of your SSH server. Many of the hardening configurations for OpenSSH you implement using the standard OpenSSH server configuration file, which is located at /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

      • How to Reset the Apps Grid in GNOME 3.38

        Now that you’re able to rearrange apps shortcuts in the Applications grid (one of many new GNOME 3.38 features) you might be wondering what happens when you want to ‘undo’ changes and reset apps back to their original positions.

        In this post I show you how to reset the app picker layout in Ubuntu 20.10. It is quick and easy to do using a single command. When you run it all app shortcuts (and any app folders that you have created) fall into alphabetical order, A to Z, top to bottom.

      • How to Install MongoDB on Debian 9 Linux - Linux Concept

        MongoDB is an open-source and free NoSQL document based database system. Nowadays, it is prevalent as most application developers are using MongoDB, which can handle big data.

        As a MongoDB is a NoSQL database, It stores data in JSON-like documents where fields can vary. You also get benefits with MongoDB like it doesn’t require any predefined database schema or data structure; it can be changed over time.

        In this tutorial, we will explain the process of MongoDB installation step-by-step on Debian 9 Linux using MongoDB’s official repositories.

      • How to Install Slack on Ubuntu 20.04? – Linux Hint

        Slack is among the world’s most successful collaboration platforms that help bring together several of your communication. Slack conversations are grouped into channels. It could be for any groups, ventures, subjects, and any other reason. If you are looking for something where you can share your conversations or networks, slack allows you to have a chat over video or audio calls with your colleagues, and even exchange files, photos, and videos, among others.

        Two ways to install Slack on Ubuntu 20.04 are discussed in this document. Slack can be installed from the Snapcraft store, as a snap package, or Slack repository, like a deb package.

      • How to Secure Your Apache Server – Linux Hint

        Apache is a popular, open-source web server available for both Linux and Windows systems. It allows configuration for a diverse range of use cases, from HTML webpages to HyperText Preprocessor (PHP) dynamic web application content.Apache provides a secure and robust platform to deploy your web applications. However, it is still important to install the latest security patches and configure the server properly to establish a secure environment for your web applications.

      • How To Install GoAccess on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GoAccess on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, GoAccess is a real-time web log analyzer and a visualizer for Both Linux and Unix operating systems. It functions as an interactive app from the Terminal, and after models also supplies an HTML report, which can be conveniently viewed in the browser.

        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 GoAccess 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 install Wizard101 on a Chromebook with Crossover 20

        Today we are looking at how to install Wizard101 on a Chromebook with Crossover 20. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to configure service in Amazon ECS? - Kernel Talks

        An article about service in Amazon ECS. What is the service? How to configure it? and how to run it?

      • How to Set a Policy on SELinux – Linux Hint

        One of the main reasons why people choose Linux is the security it offers. That is why you will find Linux at servers and professional workstations. SELinux is one such security feature of Linux. It has been a part of the standard Linux kernel for quite some time, and any modern distro has SELinux support. There are several different ways SELinux can operate. This is defined by the SELinux policy. In this guide, you will learn more about SELinux policies and how to set a policy in SELinux.

      • How to Schedule a Crontab Job for Every Hour – Linux Hint

        Most Linux users are familiar with the Crontab job scheduler, which acts as a silent daemon that performs all the tasks assigned to it automatically, without any human intervention. This job scheduler makes the life of a Linux user much easier, as the user can hand over all the frequently occurring tasks to the Crontab scheduler so that these tasks can be executed automatically according to a specified schedule. At times, you may wish to execute a specific task once every hour. This could be an extremely challenging task for a user if the task were to be performed manually, as the user would have to be available every hour to execute that task. If the task is extremely critical and somehow the user misses the time to execute it, this could lead to severe consequences.

        The Crontab job scheduler can be a blessing in such situations. With Crontab, you can add tasks to the Crontab file to be executed as a job at specified times. This article will show you how to schedule a Crontab job to occur once every hour in Linux Mint 20.

      • Install Linux in Android without Root – Linux Hint

        Using Linux on an Android phone can be useful when you need to use command-line tools. It is also useful for running entire desktops on your phone. A common issue is that you need to root your phone to get a running system, but there are now many systems available for running your favorite distro and desktop on your mobile device. Some of these systems are available for free and even open-source versions exist.

        Before choosing how to get started, consider what you are aiming for. Are you looking for a few specific applications, a command-line, or a full desktop? Your choice is important since you can use your phone for many different things. This article shows you how to install entire distributions, as well as a CLI-Launcher, on your mobile device.

      • In Linux, How to Find the Size of Directory and Subdirectories? – Linux Hint

        Before installing any new program on your computer system, the first thing that every user needs to ensure is that the system has a sufficient amount of storage space to hold that program and run it without any performance issues. Similarly, whenever you intend to copy or download files in any of the directories of your computer system, you need to check if that directory has an adequate amount of storage space available or not.

        There are multiple ways in which you can check the sizes of the directories and subdirectories within any operating system that is both GUI based and CLI based. However, since the Linux operating system mostly operates with CLI, therefore, its users are generally interested in looking for terminal-based methods of performing any task. Therefore, in today’s article, we will be talking about the methods of finding the sizes of directory and subdirectories in Linux Mint 20.

      • Install Memcached on Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Hint

        In this guide, you’ll see how to set up and configure Memcached on your Ubuntu 20.04 system. For those unfamiliar with Memcached, it’s a free and open-source program that eases the re-extraction of information from a database with an object caching program, which allows for PHP based apps such as WordPress and Joomla to run smoothly without much latency. It does so by reducing the database load; the number of times a data source needs to be re-read upon loading an application.

      • How to view your SSH keys in Linux, macOS, and Windows - TechRepublic

        If you're not sure how to view your SSH certificates, Jack Wallen walks you through the steps on Linux, macOS, and Windows.

      • How to Configure the Crontab MAILTO Parameter to Send Notification to a Specified Location? – Linux Hint

        Whenever a Crontab job is executed, an email regarding the execution of that job is sent to the email address of the root user i.e. the email ID that you have provided while configuring your Cron daemon. These are the default settings of the Crontab service. However, in some situations, the users prefer to send these notifications to a location other than the root user’s email ID.

        You can consider a scenario in which a team lead has asked a subordinate to perform a job after every 4 hours. Whenever that subordinate performs that task, the team lead is supposed to report to the CEO about it, however, this will only be possible if the subordinate informs the team lead after every 4 hours that he has performed the assigned job. It means that if the subordinate forgets to do so, then the team lead will have to face the consequences.

        This task can be simplified if somehow the team lead automatically gets to know every time the subordinate performs that task without needing the subordinate to explicitly inform the team lead. Fortunately, the Crontab service in Linux allows us to do so by configuring its MAILTO parameter in such a way that it can send notifications to the desired recipient. So, today we will be talking about the method of configuring the Crontab MAILTO parameter to send notifications to a specified location other than the root user’s email ID in Linux Mint 20.

      • How Do I Check if Crontab is Working? – Linux Hint

        The crontab is an extremely useful job scheduler in Linux based systems that allow you to transform your daily routine tasks into crontab jobs that can run automatically at the specified schedule. However, since this job scheduler works silently in the background, that is why most of the users wonder whether it is working or not. At times, you assign the tasks of backing up your system or updating it to the crontab job scheduler. These tasks are considered very crucial for the normal working of any computer system. That is why, if they get missed out for any reason, your system will stop working consequently. So, it is considered extremely important to keep a check on your crontab job scheduler as well to stay informed about whether it is running or not and performing the jobs assigned to it or not.

      • Fedora 33 NetInstall / Server Installation Guide / Install any Fedora Spin – If Not True Then False

        This is quick guide / tour howto install Fedora 33 Server on real PC using NetInstall ISO. First download your NetInstall image from (https://alt.fedoraproject.org/), then create your bootable USB flash drive using Fedora Media Writer, dd or similar tool.

        You can use this method to install server or minimal version Fedora 33 or any Desktop Spin too. Like Workstation (Gnome), KDE Plasma Desktop, Xfce Desktop, LXQt desktop environment, Mate-Compiz Desktop, Cinnamon Desktop, LXDE Desktop and SOAS Desktop.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 5.21 Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.21 is now available.
        
        

        What's new in this release (see below for details): - GDI32 library converted to PE. - More fixes for windowless RichEdit. - A number of timezone updates. - Various bug fixes.

        The source is available from the following locations:

        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.21.tar.xz http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.21.tar.xz

        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:

        https://www.winehq.org/download

        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation

        You can also get the current source directly from the git repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.

        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 5.21 Released As One Of The Smaller Updates

        Wine 5.21 was just released as one of the smaller bi-weekly updates this year.

        Wine 5.21 has just a few prominent changes and only two dozen bug fixes over the past week. Notable with Wine 5.21 is the GDI32 library being converted to the portable executable (PE) format, fixes to the windowless RichEdit implementation, and many timezone updates.

    • Games

      • Direct3D 12 to Vulkan layer vkd3d-proton has a 2.0 release | GamingOnLinux

        Supporting newer and more advanced Windows games like Control and Death Stranding, the Direct3D 12 to Vulkan layer vkd3d-proton has a 2.0 release. This is the Valve-sponsored fork of the original vkd3d project from the Wine team, with this having a pure focus on working with the Proton compatibility layer for Steam Play.

        [...]

        You're going to need the most up to date drivers possible to use it fully. For AMD that means Mesa's RADV driver, which according to the readme the current recommendation is for drivers right from the current Git development. For NVIDIA you want at least driver version 455.26.01.

      • VKD3D-Proton 2.0 Released With More Direct3D 12 Games Now Running On Vulkan - Phoronix

        VKD3D-Proton as the Valve-backed fork of Wine's VKD3D for mapping the Direct3D 12 API atop Vulkan is now supporting more features with today's v2.0 release and thus handling more Windows games running on Linux with Steam Play.

        VKD3D-Proton 2.0 was tagged today now that it supports Direct3D 12 Feature Level 12.0 and Shader Model 6.0 DXIL.

      • Humble Choice for November is up with Imperator Rome, Darkwood and more | GamingOnLinux

        Another fresh month is here with a new set of games to claim if you're subscribing to Humble Choice (previously called Humble Monthly), along with multiple big sales on Humble Store.

        For this month, Humble have said they're continuing to allow all 12 games to be claimed along with new subscriptions also seeing a reduced price at $12 for the Premium tier to join.

      • SDL2 Adds Sony PlayStation 5 Controller Support

        While the Sony PlayStation 5 isn't beginning to ship until next week there is now support within the widely-used SDL2 library for its controllers.

        Sam Lantinga of Valve has added support for the PlayStation 5 controller mappings to SDL2 plus necessary joystick code changes.

        [...]

        As it has already been eight months since the release of SDL 2.0.12 and the project roughly on a half-year cadence, it will hopefully be soon for the next official SDL2 release with this PS5 controller support and more.

      • FlightGear 2020.3 Released For This Leading Open-Source Flight Simulator - Phoronix

        FlightGear 2020.3 is out today as the newest feature update to this long-standing, open-source flight simulator software package.

        While not as elaborate as Microsoft Flight Simulator or X-Plane, FlightGear continues to advance and has a steady following.

      • FlightGear 2020.3 Released – FlightGear Flight Simulator

        As always there’s also internal improvements to the flight models and other simulation systems, bug-fixes, and performance improvements.

        We’re going to take a proper tour around Iceland in another post, and detail some of the improved feature and aircraft over the next few months. The full change-log is available here. But we’d like to quickly share some highlights below.

      • DragonBox Pyra handheld Linux gaming PC begins shipping this month

        The DragonBox Pyra is a handheld computer with 5 inch display, a QWERTY keyboard for thumb typing and built-in game controllers. It’s been in development for more than half a decade, but the project’s lead developer says the Pyra is finally ready to ship.

        Michael Mzorek has been posting a few progress updates on Twitter, and now says the team is assembling Pyra units and getting ready to ship them to customers who had pre-ordered within a matter of days.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Updates for Poppler, Plasma, Xfce, LLVM 11 Arrive in Tumbleweed

          Four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released since our last blog more than a week ago.

          These four snapshots had a variety of package updates that included updates for LLVM, Wireshark, Node.js, Plasma and Xfce.

          A few hours ago, the first snapshot of the month of November was released with snapshot 20201104, which started trending at a rating of 90 on the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. The snapshot brought the new major version of LLVM 11. More than half the changelog covers the additions and changes for this compiler. Generic improvements to Clang as a whole were made and new compiler flags like -fstack-clash-protection will provide protection against the stack clash attack for x86, s390x and ppc64 architectures. The edict package, which is a Japanese-English Dictionary in machine readable form received more than a year’s worth of updates in it’s 20201102 release. Node.js 14.15.0 had no major changes, but the Long-Term-Support version had a International Components for Unicode version bump. LibreOffice’s update to version 7.0.3.1 in Tumbleweed provided some bug fixes and translation updates. The update of Perl 5.32.0 brought in support of unicode 13.0 and Wireshark 3.2.8 took care of a build failure caused from the bison parser. The Xfce desktop fixed a memory leak when reconnecting to a DisplayPort monitor with the update of the xfdesktop 4.14.3 package.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/45 – Dominique a.k.a. DimStar (Dim*)

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          We have seen a lengthy rebuild phase of one snapshot due to Perl being upgraded to 5.32, which required all Perl modules to be rebuilt for them to install to the right location. Despite this delay, we still managed to publish three snapshots (1029, 1030, and 1104).

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Conf 2020 - Talks and content release

          We are happy to announce that the talks held at Arch Conf 2020 have been edited and released :) The can be found on CCC Media, Youtube and in our archive.

          On our archive you can find a copy of all the edited talks, the submitted questions from the Q&A and the presentation slides. We have also included the DJ mixes from the break, the assets used for the OBS stream, and the break animation along with the background used for the presentations.

        • Arch Linux Conference 2020 Material Now Available

          For fans of the Arch Linux distribution their Arch Conf 2020 virtual presentations have all been posted now for your enjoyment.

          Arch Conf started as a new annual tradition last year when they met in Berlin as a meeting of the key developers. This year Arch Conf was held virtually given the pandemic while now the edited recordings and all presentation material has been collected and organized in an easily accessible manner.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • COVID-19, Digital Transformation and Teams: Q&A With Red Hat’s Kevin Behr

          Even prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic, enterprise teams found themselves strained as they pressed to move digital transformation goals from whiteboard to reality. Then along came the big push to work from home and many transformations that were planned to occur years from now were put into action. So how are enterprise teams faring in their mission? There are a lot of claims of success, yet surveys continue to show many, if not most, enterprises fall short.

          [...]

          I think it’s that combination of such organizational stupidity and the opportunities in the job market that give people more choices. I’ve just been blown away by how many smart companies are picking up talent during COVID right now and watching all the career changes happen with great people in our industry. People getting better lives.

        • Hybrid Cloud Provides the Foundation for Edge Computing [Ed: Red Hat now pays IDG for puff pieces disguised as 'articles' (this is what IDG has succumbed to)]

          Over the next 3 years, enterprises will spend an average of 30% of their IT budgets on edge cloud computing, according to a 2019 report by Analysys Mason.

          And with good reason. Edge computing takes place at or near the physical location of either the user or the source of the data. It follows, then, that placing computing services closer to these locations enables providers to offer faster, more reliable services to clients while also benefiting from the flexibility of hybrid cloud computing.

          With edge computing, organizations can use and distribute a common pool of resources across a large number of locations. “The future of enterprise tech won't be confined to the data center mothership – nor even the public cloud,” Network World points out. “Wedded to the Internet of Things, edge computing puts processing horsepower wherever it needs to go.”

        • TechStrong TV - Unpacking Red Hat's Open Source Participation Guidelines

          Ruth Suehle, director of the Open Source Program Office at Red Hat, talks about why everyone should be contributing to an open source project.

        • Andrew Clay Shafer on Three Economies, the Wall of Confusion, and the Origin of DevOps

          Today on the InfoQ Podcast, Wes Reisz speaks with one of the people at the center of the creation of the idea of DevOps. Andrew Clay Shafer is the VP of Transformation at Red Hat where his role is about helping companies change their relationship with software in the cloud native ecosystem. In 2009, he was one of the people who first helped to shape what we know today as DevOps. On the podcast Shafer talks about the Three Economies, Wall of Confusion, and a bit about those first mentions of DevOps.

        • In case you missed it: Automation in the Public Sector Q&A at AnsibleFest

          AnsibleFest 2020 was a virtual event this year. When taking a two-day immersive event with thousands of attendees to a completely virtual experience, it’s hard to emulate the thought-provoking interactions you’d get when browsing the expo floor or walking from one session to the next with other sys admins, developers, and project managers in attendance. Similar to this year’s Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience, we set up dedicated spaces in AnsibleFest for attendees to bounce ideas with some of our technical experts and get answers to questions not explicitly covered in general or breakout sessions.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-45

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Election nominations are open through 11 November.

        • Using the Fedora repository with best Bandwidth



          I was trying to install LibreOffice and I was in a bit of a rush, I have 50 MBPS and I couldn’t get speeds above 150 kb / s downloading the packages...

        • Release Osbuild Composer 23

          We are happy to announce that we released osbuild-composer 23 – better late than never!

          Below you can find the official change log, compiled by Ondřej Budai. Everyone is encouraged to upgrade!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical/Ubuntu on The State of Robotics – October 2020

          This post marks the one year anniversary of the Ubuntu Robotics newsletter. We knew adding the year on the end of each title was a good idea! One full year where the Ubuntu Robotics team have been documenting their work, showcasing projects in ROS and discussing interesting things going on in the community. And my, what a year it has been. To mark the occasion, we’d love to hear and write about any work you’ve done in robotics or ROS over the last year.

        • Phil Roche: Package changes between two Ubuntu images

          I work on the Canonical Public Cloud team and we publish all of the Ubuntu server images used in the cloud.

          We often get asked what the differences are between two released images. For example what is the difference between the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS image kvm optimised image from 20200921 and the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS image kvm optimised image from 20201014, specifically what packages changed and what was included in those changes?

          For each of our download images published to http://cloud-images.ubuntu.com/ we publish a package version manifest which lists all the packages installed and the versions installed at that time. It also lists any installed snaps the the revision of that snap currently installed. This is very useful for checking to see if an image you are about to use has the expected package version for your requirements or has the expected package version that addresses a vulnerability.

        • MTS Russia Selects Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack to Power its Cloud Infrastructure

          MTS, Russia’s largest mobile operator and a leading provider of media and digital services, this week announced the selection of Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack to power the company’s next-generation cloud infrastructure.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Comet Lake appears on mini-PC, AI Box, and Mini-ITX systems

        In March, Purism launched a Librem Mini mini-PC that runs its Debian-based, privacy focused PureOS on an 8th Gen Whiskey Lake Core i7-8565U clocked at 1.8GHz/4.6GHz. The Librem Mini v2 offers the same features starting at the same $699 base price with a similarly quad-core, 8-thread Intel Core i7-10510U clocked at 1.8GHz/4.9GHz. The processor comes from the second Comet Lake-S Refresh wave of 10th Gen chips.

        The NUC-like, 128 x 128 x 38mm Librem Mini v2, which appears to replace the v1, is designed as a desktop replacement, media center, home server, or signage system. PureOS provides end-to-end encrypted and decentralized storage and communications plus support for VPN. The company promises to respect user privacy and ownership of data.

        The Librem Mini v2 offers 8GB to 64GB DDR4 with M.2 and SATA storage ranging from a 256GB M.2 SSD to a 2TB NVMe drive. Other features include 4K-ready HDMI and DP, 4x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and a Type-C port. You also get a GbE port plus options including WiFi and Bluetooth.

      • Chuwi CoreBox Pro is a small PC with Intel Ice Lake

        Chuwi says the CoreBox Pro ships with Windows 10, but it should be capable of running most desktop GNU/Linux distributions as well.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Raspberry Pi 400: Great $70 holiday gift for budding computing hobbyists

          Raspberry Pi has been producing compact computers for a while now and is a favourite among the tech industry. What makes their products so popular is the low-cost and versatility of its platform. Now, the company is making a big splash by introducing their first take on a plug-and-play desktop PC – the 400. Unlike its previous offerings, which came in a basic printed circuit board (PCB) format, everything is packed inside a two-tone (white/raspberry red) keyboard.

        • Sue Sentance recognised with Suffrage Science award
        • Massachusetts Voters Overwhelmingly Support Expanded 'Right To Repair' Law

          Back in 2015, frustration at John Deere's draconian tractor DRM culminated in a grassroots tech movement dubbed "right to repair." The company's crackdown on "unauthorized repairs" turned countless ordinary citizens into technology policy activists, after DRM (and the company's EULA) prohibited the lion's share of repair or modification of tractors customers thought they owned. These restrictions only worked to drive up costs for owners, who faced either paying significantly more money for "authorized" repair, or toying around with pirated firmware just to ensure the products they owned actually worked.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • postmarketOS in 2020-11: Apps, UIs & Devices

          After a several month hiatus in blog posts, we're back to give you, our dear readers, an update on what has been happening in postmarketOS development land since our last post. It's quite a lot, and we do not want to leave out any juicy details, so to make it easier to digest we'll be splitting this update post into a two part series. Welcome to part 1!

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How open source makes me a better manager

        I was introduced to open source by my husband, a long-term Unix/Linux user. When he encouraged me to attend the Triangle Linux Users Group (TriLUG), a local meetup in the Raleigh, NC, area, I was quite intimidated, as I was one of a handful of women in attendance. But the more I learned about open source, the more intrigued I became.

        As a quality engineer (QE), it was challenging to comprehend what impact I could have in open source. I had to expand my own understanding to realize that contributing to open source does not only mean code contributions and that QE brings a lot of value by providing feedback, testing, reporting, and verifying fixes. Any way someone can contribute to a project makes the project that much better.

      • Subsurface: An Open-source Multi-platform Diving Logbook for Divers

        Divers often keep a rich logbook to track their diving activities. Trainees also are required to have a logbook for their diving training. There are some commercial solutions to do that, but our topic of the day is an amazing professionally designed alternative solution and it's called Subsurface.

        Subsurface is an open-source free and genuinely rich diving logbook application for professional divers, trainees and hobbyists. Even though, It has rich features but it comes with a simple easy-to-use interface which does not require much time to learn.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • To Prevent Free, Frictionless Access To Human Knowledge, Publishers Want Librarians To Be Afraid, Very Afraid

            After many years of fierce resistance to open access, academic publishers have largely embraced -- and extended -- the idea, ensuring that their 35-40% profit margins live on. In the light of this subversion of the original hopes for open access, people have come up with other ways to provide free and frictionless access to knowledge -- most of which is paid for by taxpayers around the world. One is preprints, which are increasingly used by researchers to disseminate their results widely, without needing to worry about payment or gatekeepers. The other is through sites that have taken it upon themselves to offer immediate access to large numbers of academic papers -- so-called "shadow libraries". The most famous of these sites is Sci-Hub, created by Alexandra Elbakyan. At the time of writing, Sci-Hub claims to hold 79 million papers.

      • Programming/Development

        • Three Beginner-Friendly Data Mining Solutions - LinuxLinks

          Data mining is no longer a mythical thing that only a handful of data scientists understand. Everyone leverages data to do their work, making data mining, collection, and processing more common than ever. In fact, you don’t have to be a data scientist with years of experience to fully leverage data for business or personal purposes.

          Data mining is also becoming more accessible, thanks to the tools and resources available today. Cloud clusters that can support data mining operations can be acquired for less than $5 per month. On-premise, desktop solutions that don’t require cloud computing are also becoming more available. Beginner-friendly data mining solutions are really just a few clicks away.

        • Top 8 Mobile Application Development Frameworks - LinuxLinks

          Mobile application development is the process by which software is created for handheld devices. This article focuses on tools which help developers create applications for mobile phones. The purpose of application frameworks and libraries is to enable developers to spend their time on the creative and interesting part of development, alleviating the repetitive overhead associated with common development patterns.

          A multiple mobile application framework is software that helps developers to create phone applications that are written as embedded dynamic websites and also make use of native phone capabilities.

          The leading mobile platforms are Android and iOS. The platforms support application binaries as found on personal computers with code which executes in the native machine format of the processor. With the diversity of mobile platforms, the mobile developer needs help in creating and managing versions for different platforms. Step forward a mobile application framework that supports multiple mobile platforms, allowing developers to apply their skills to create native applications for multiple platforms.

        • JavaScript Cookie – Linux Hint

          JavaScript is the language behind almost every website you will use. JavaScript is the language of the online world and is used in online communication, as well. The concept and need for cookies arose when developers wanted to store user information in the browser to avoid overloaded communication over a stateless HTTP server. A cookie is like a file containing some data that is stored on the user’s machine. The information stays on the computer, even if the user closes the website or closes the browser. This article provides an overview of the use of cookies in JavaScript.

        • Javascript Random Number – Linux Hint

          While developing a gaming website, we often need to generate random numbers. In this article, we are going to know how we can get a random in Javascript using the random method.

          The random method helps in generating pseudo-random numbers, since, arithmetically, generating a true random number is impossible.

        • Python

          • [Part 1/2] Deploy a Smart Contract on Ethereum with Python, Truffle and web3py | Codementor

            In this tutorial, we'll write a simple smart contract, deploy it to a personal Ethereum blockchain, and call the contract from a Python script.

          • [Part 2/2] Persist data to the Ethereum blockchain using Python, Truffle, and Ganache | Codementor

            The previous post demonstrated how to write a simple smart contract with Solidity and deploy it to the Ethereum Blockchain. This tutorial will show how to update the contract to save some data in the blockchain as well as how to inspect the blockchain to see our transactions.

          • Using Python Generators to avoid extra service calls | Codementor

            I've been using Python Generators for a while now, having to deal with large Django Querysets, reading large Excel files, and being able to save memory by using generators became part of my day to day work. However, these days I faced a different problem where I wanted to avoid making extra calls to services and solved it with generators. This is what this post is about.

            Suppose you want to check if a given user_email is registered in any of the following social media: Facebook, Github, or Twitter.

          • Guide To Frontend Testing Using Django | Codementor

            Web applications can have many different layers of logic including template rendering, request handling, database connection, and form validations. Due to this complex nature of layers, testing a web application can prove difficult.

            Most of the time, backend testing is higher priority than frontend testing, but performance issues on the client-side can prevent users from making the most out of the product.

            For this reason, front-end testing should always be incorporated in the workflows, so that a seamless experience for the end-user can be ensured. Luckily, there are many online tools you can use to create and automate frontend testing in an easy way.

            Writing tests for frontend can prove quite complicated and managing them after multiple iterations can be a challenge for Quality Assurance testers. Fortunately, there are tools available to improve and automate the process of testing.

          • Translating Web Page while Scraping

            Suppose you need to scrape data from a website after translating the web page in R and Python. In google chrome, there is an option (or functionality) to translate any foreign language. If you are an english speaker and don't know any other foreign language and you want to extract data from the website which does not have option to convert language to English, this article would help you how to perform translation of a webpage.

            [...]

            You may not familiar with Selenium so it is important to understand the background. Selenium is an open-source tool which is very popular in testing domain and used for automating web browsers. It allows you to write test scripts in several programming languages. Selenium is available in both R and Python.

          • PyCharm 2020.3 EAP #4: Pair Programming, Intelligent Text Proofreading, and More – PyCharm Blog | JetBrains

            This week’s EAP is devoted to platform-wide features, now bundled in PyCharm: Code With Me, a tool for collaborative development and pair programming, and Grazie, an intelligent text proofreading assistant. For the full list of issues fixed in this update, see the release notes.

            We invite you to join our EAP to try out the latest features we have coming up, test that they work properly in your environments, and help us make a better PyCharm for everyone!

          • In Python, using the logging package is part of your API, or should be

            We have a Python program for logging email attachment type information. As part of doing this, it wants to peer inside various sorts of archive types to see what's inside of them, because malware puts bad stuff there. One of the Python modules we use for this is the Ubuntu packaged version of libarchive-c, which is a Python API for libarchive. Our program prints out information in a very specific output format, which our Exim configuration then reads and makes use of.

          • Blog | New features in Spyder 4's new debugger! — Spyder IDE

            IPython is a great improvement over the standard Python interpreter, bringing many enhancements such as autocompletion and "magic" commands. When debugging, however, many of these features become inaccessible. With Spyder, we aim to bring back these capabilities and more for a truly premium debugging experience! (And believe me, I use this debugger a lot, and not only because I write code that might contain bugs :p).

            In this post, I will describe the debugger improvements we've already made in Spyder 4, as well as those that are already implemented or under review for Spyder 4.2 and beyond.

          • Beginner Python Tutorial: Analyze Your Personal Netflix Data – Dataquest

            That's a question that has run through my head repeatedly over the years. The beloved sitcom has been my top "comfort show/background noise" choice for a long time.

            It used to be a question I couldn't answer, because the data Netflix allowed users to download about their activity was extremely limited.

            Now, though, Netflix allows you to download a veritable treasure-trove of data about your account. With a just a little Python and pandas programming, we can now get a concrete answer to the question: how much time have I spent watching The Office?

            Want to find out how much time you have spent watching The Office, or any other show on Netflix?

            In this tutorial, we'll walk you through exactly how to do it step by step!

            Having a little Python and pandas experience will be helpful for this tutorial, but it's not strictly necessary. You can sign up and try our interactive Python for beginners course for free.

          • Python JSON pretty print – Linux Hint

            JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a widely used format to store the data. It is used to exchange data between servers and software applications, i.e., web application, mobile application, etc. Python provides a built-in JSON module to perform JSON related tasks.

            The Python object (i.e., list, dictionary, tuple) can be converted into JSON. We use the dumps() function from the JSON module to perform this conversion. Whenever the Python object is converted into a JSON, and if we print the converted JSON object, results will be displayed the same as the Python dictionary. The JSON pretty print refers to display the JSON object in a good format and presentable way.

            This article explains the JSON pretty print concept with the help of examples.

          • Python pass statement – Linux Hint

            Python is an effective programming language to get things done in an absolute manner. It provides many built-in modules, statements, and functions to perform various specific tasks. The pass statement in Python works in the same way as a placeholder does for a text field in a web form. It plays the same role as a null play in any programming language. When the Python interpreter executes the pass statement, nothing happens. It is useful to place a pass statement when we syntactically require a statement and do not want to execute it. As its name suggests, it passes the control to the next statement.

            The main difference between the comment and pass statement is that the Python interpreter completely ignores the comments, whereas, the pass statement is not ignored. This article explains the use of the pass statement in detail.

        • Rust

          • Rust from a Gopher - Lessons 3 & 4

            Hello and welcome to the third post in my series about learning Rust. In case you want to hit it from the start, here’s a link to the first one! This entire series covers my journey from being a completely land-locked Gopher to becoming (hopefully) a hardened Rustacean, able to skitter the hazardous seabed of any application safely.

          • This Week in Rust 363
    • Standards/Consortia

      • Deprecating scp

        The scp command, which uses the SSH protocol to copy files between machines, is deeply wired into the fingers of many Linux users and developers — doubly so for those of us who still think of it as a more secure replacement for rcp. Many users may be surprised to learn, though, that the resemblance to rcp goes beyond the name; much of the underlying protocol is the same as well. That protocol is showing its age, and the OpenSSH community has considered it deprecated for a while. Replacing scp in a way that keeps users happy may not be an easy task, though.

  • Leftovers

    • That's Not Gangster, That's Love: Eddie Conway and Jose Saldaña Talking

      Jose Saldaña: I was a street-corner drug dealer. That was my identity and my future. That corner was the only way out of conditions I inherited at birth. As a first-generation Puerto Rican, I’m in New York, a high school dropout, experiencing all kinds of discrimination.

      When the Young Lords came on the scene, they changed my life, totally. They gave me an identity of who I was that connected to a history of resistance to colonial oppression. Before that my heroes was big-time drug dealers. Now my heroes became people like Doña Lolita Lebron who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the Puerto Rican people. This is what I entered prison with.

    • A Call to Reclaim Our Awareness for the Wild

      I know. I hear you. AND, it’s time to reign it in, turn it off, and (re)turn ourselves into conscientious wielders of our own attention. We must recommit to gifting our awareness to the world of wonder that is the world around us. The time has come and gone. And now it is a matter of life and death.

      The American poet philosopher Robinson Jeffers distinguished between two ideals of freedom: one in which a person believes themselves to retain freedom€ to, the other in which a person retains freedom€ from.€ I think about this discernment all the time in the face of a technological revolution that has cracked the code of human psychology in order to leash our need for attention in service of a steady grip on attention. I think about it when the 34th ad for specially formulated curly hair products flashes through my Instagram feed, or when the same but different yoga pants appear for sale on my Facebook sidebar. I have the freedom to spend all my dollars on a perfectly curated version of my stretchy, styly, ringlet-ed self to post on social media. But at what cost? Have I perhaps given up my true freedom to be liberated€ from€ hawkish advertising that uses carefully manipulated algorithms to appeal to my deepest, most narcissistic desires in order to have the freedom€ tobankrupt myself attempting to be something the internet tells me will make me happy, more likeable, more post-able? And what does any of this have to do with my life as a large landscape conservationist?

    • Hardware

      • The Untimely Demise Of Workstations

        Last month’s news that IBM would do a Hewlett-Packard and divide into two—an IT consultancy and a buzzword compliance unit—marks the end of “business as usual” for yet another of the great workstation companies.

        A quick aside on computing history. You can imagine personal computing being driven by two distinct schools of thought. The “top down” school, represented by research-led organisations including Xerox PARC, Bell Labs,academia and the military, asked “what would the world be like if everyone had their own minicomputer”? They took large, time-sharing systems like UNIX and installed them first under, then on, employees’ desks for their own personal use.

        The “bottom up” school was made up of hobbyists who asked “can we make an interesting computer out of inexpensive components”? Thus companies like Apple and MITS in the US, Acorn and Sinclair Radionics in the UK, and others took chips that were usually used as peripherals controllers in “real” computers and built interactive programming systems around them. The microcomputer revolution came from the bottom-up school, as they made home computing affordable. The workstation revolution came from the top-down school, as they made powerful on-demand computing feasible.

        [...]

        In high-tech domains, an engineer could readily have a toolchest of suitable computers in the same way that a mechanic has different tools for their tasks. This one has an FPGA connected by both PCI-E and JTAG to allow for quick hardware prototyping. This one is connected to a high-throughput GPU for visualisations; that one to a high-capacity GPU for scientific simulations.

        The general purpose hardware vendors want us to believe that an okay-at-anything computer is the best for everything: you don’t need a truck, so here’s a car. But when you’re hauling a ton of goods, you’ll find it cheaper and more satisfying to shell out more for a truck. Okay-at-anything is good for nothing.

      • The untimely demise of workstations

        And it shows. Go on eBay to try and get your hand on a used and old SGI or Sun workstation, and be prepared to pay out of your nose for highly outdated and effectively useless hardware. The number of these machines still on the used market is dwindling, and with no new machines entering the used market, it’s going to become ever harder for us enthusiasts to get our hands on these sorts of exciting machines.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Antivax pediatrician Dr. Larry Palevsky hops on the COVID-19 denial grift train

        If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that there is a very close relationship between antivaccine grift and COVID-19 grift and that relationship is conspiracy theories. It’s a relationship that manifested itself very early in the pandemic, as far back as January, when antivaxxers had started blaming the flu vaccine for susceptibility to what was then called the novel coronavirus based on a conspiracy theory. It’s an antivaccine/COVID-19 lie that has persisted with an oddly specific estimate of how much more susceptible the flu vaccine supposedly makes you to COVID-19, an estimate based on the utter misinterpretation of a single study. Soon, antivaxxers were claiming that COVID-19 was actually due to a failed vaccine against SARS, the coronavirus that threatened the world in 2002-2003 but ultimately did not cause nearly as much suffering and death as COVID-19 has so far. (This was back in January, too, before COVID-19 had even really become apparent in the US and was primarily ravaging Wuhan, China and other places in Asia.) It wasn’t very long before the antivaccine movement launched a pre-emptive disinformation war against any COVID-19 vaccine that might be developed, a disinformation war that has continued to this day and intensified. As of last month, antivaxxers had become so prominent in the antimask COVID-19 denialist conspiracy theory movements that they were being featured at conferences by COVID-19 pandemic deniers and minimizers, along with QAnon conspiracy theory cranks. So it should come as no surprise that yet another antivaxxer has jumped on the COVID-19 denial grift train. I’m referring to Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, an antivaccine pediatrician who had become prominent in the antivaccine movement years ago and has now shown up in a video called COVID-19 Exposed, with a New Age woomeister named Jason Shurka.

      • 'A Major Victory': Federal Court Smacks Down FDA Approval of 'Frankenfish'

        "The absolute last thing our planet needs right now is another human-created crisis like escaped genetically engineered fish running amok."

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Appeals Court Denies Immunity To Cop Who Broke A Truck Driver's Jaw During A 'Routine Accident Investigation'

        There is perhaps no sentence that defines the state of policing in America more than this one, which opens up this opinion [PDF] by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals:

      • Inside "Stop the Steal": How right-wingers are organizing to spread baseless claims of voter fraud

        According to reporter Sheera Frenkel at the New York Times, the Facebook group titled "Stop the Steal" was one of the fastest growing Facebook groups in the social media company's history. It launched on Wednesday and grew to over 350,000 members on Thursday. Group members were organizing protests against the presidential election, and some members were calling for violence.

      • Trump Allies Coin ‘Legal Vote’ Media Mantra to Question Election

        The president’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud on social media have been labeled as misleading. Similarly, a Nov. 5 tweet by his son, Donald Trump Jr., calling for “total war” was restricted by Twitter, and as was a post by Eric Trump claiming that Democrats are trying to steal the election.

        When the president has claimed without evidence that there is widespread voter fraud, his posts on social media have been labeled as misleading. Yet both the president and right-wing influencers are using seemingly benign phrases that nonetheless infer fraud -- and avoid action by social media companies.

      • Steve Bannon Banned by Twitter After He Calls for Trump to Behead Dr. Anthony Fauci

        According to Twitter, the company suspended Bannon’s @WarRoomPandemic account for violating its policy banning the “glorification of violence.” Facebook and YouTube also removed the video in question.

      • Former Trump Adviser Steve Bannon Suggests Beheading of Fauci and FBI Chief

        In the middle of a tense election battle in which fears of right-wing militia violence are already running high, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon took the incendiary rhetoric to a dangerous new level Thursday by suggesting that Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded as a “warning to federal bureaucrats.”

      • "I'd Put the Heads on Pikes": Former Trump Adviser Steve Bannon Calls for Beheading of Fauci and FBI Chief

        "Former top White House aide is advocating for the murder of two government officials for being disloyal to Donald Trump."

      • Biden's Wretched Inheritance

        Trump’s attacks on Obama’s health care and environmental legacies during a pandemic is literally breathtaking.€  We will never fully know the extent of the pandemic deaths that can be attributed to his malicious and unconscionable incompetence.€  Central American families have been separated, some never to be reunited.€  Syrian Kurds have been thrown to Turkish wolves. The racist Muslim travel ban is sordid.€  Donald Trump is responsible for it all and, as a result, the reputation of the United States has never been lower.

        Domestic agencies have been savaged by the Trump administration, following Steve Bannon’s pledge to “deconstruct the administrative state.”€  Trump has trampled democratic norms, and has purged professional civil servants and policy experts.€  Lobbyists have been in charge of key agencies and departments such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.€  Just last week, Trump signed an executive order that ended job protection for tens of thousands civil servants.€  As a result, governmental departments have lost their institutional memory and their ability to conduct proper mentoring of new civil servants.€  There has never been so little interest in joining the Civil Service or the Foreign Service.

      • Allan Nairn: Trump and Republicans Use Legal & Physical Means in Attempted Coup Against Democracy

        As President Trump is doubling down on unsubstantiated claims of election rigging as election workers continue counting ballots in several states, concern is growing that some Trump supporters may use violence to disrupt the process. Trump’s supporters have protested at ballot-counting locations in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia, where police arrested two men after receiving a tip that men armed with AR-15s were driving from Virginia to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where votes are still being counted. Meanwhile, Trump’s former campaign manager Steve Bannon called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Trump and the extremist Republicans, who constitute a minority of the population and have a minority of the votes, are trying to consolidate their minority rule,” says investigative journalist Allan Nairn. “Things wouldn’t even be close now if you just based the presidency, like most countries do, on who gets the most votes.”

      • Twitter permanently suspends Steve Bannon account after talk of beheading

        Even if comments from political influencers do not directly call for violence, war-like symbols and veiled references can valorize violence and potentially inspire people to action, said Cynthia Miller-Idriss, director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University.

      • Pearl Harbor sailor’s remains are identified

        The remains of a World War II sailor who was killed at Pearl Harbor and has ties to the village of Greenfield were recently identified. The commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars District 12 told The Times-Gazette he’s hoping a local funeral home with a heart for veterans, or some local veterans organizations, will step forward to underwrite the cost of bringing his remains home for burial with the rest of his family in the Greenfield Cemetery.

        The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced on Sept. 11 that Navy Musician 1st Class Joseph W. Hoffman was accounted for on Sept. 8, 2020, nearly 79 years after that fateful Sunday morning of Dec. 7, 1941.

      • QAnon Is Winning

        But by yesterday, QAnon fans across platforms had managed to agree that Biden was attempting to illegally steal the election—an idea, based on no evidence, that was being promoted on Twitter by prominent right-wing figures, including the president and his son Donald Trump Jr. Once Trump settled on this narrative, QAnon supporters appeared energized and focused. The new Little Miss Patriot, who had at first observed the election coolly and straightforwardly—announcing when states were called for Trump, confessing that she’d gotten nervous about Texas for a minute—was suddenly making promises and expressing confidence. “We knew the left was going to do everything they could to delay this,” she wrote before her account was deleted. “Trump won & they’re trying to rely on fraudulent mail in ballots. it’s not going to work. Trump knew they were going to do this, too. he is prepared.”

      • Jihadist terrorism in the EU since 2015

        The goal of jihadist groups is to create an Islamic state governed only by Islamic law – Sharia. They reject democracy and elected parliaments because in their opinion God is the sole lawgiver.

        Europol defines Jihadism as “a violent ideology exploiting traditional Islamic concepts. Jihadists legitimise the use of violence with a reference to the classical Islamic doctrine on jihad, a term which literally means ‘striving’ or ‘exertion’, but in Islamic law is treated as religiously sanctioned warfare”.

      • Kentucky State Police 'Warrior Mindset' Training Presentation Quotes Robert E. Lee, Adolph Hitler

        Law enforcement training is sketchy stuff. We didn't get to where we are today without telling a blend of do-gooders and bullies that it's the public who's wrong and the blue line warriors who are right. The "us vs. them" mindset seems to have accelerated in recent years, urged on by overheated rhetoric about criminals outgunning the cops (despite historically-low crime rates) and the federal government's willingness to tart up local gendarmes with war gear at zero cost.

      • Justice Department Claims Armed Feds Are Allowed to Inspect Vote Counts

        As ongoing vote tabulation in several key battleground states continues to slowly narrow President Donald Trump’s path to reelection, the New York Times reported late Wednesday that the Justice Department has told federal prosecutors that U.S. law permits armed federal agents to enter ballot-counting locations to investigate alleged “fraud,” heightening fears of possible intimidation efforts by the Trump administration.

      • With World's Eyes on US Election, Israel Bulldozes West Bank Village in Biggest Single Demolition in 10 Years

        The razing of Khirbet Humsa—which left dozens of people homeless—"can only be considered an act of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian population," said one human rights group.€ 

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Following Our Investigation, the Director of Maine’s Public Defense Agency Resigns

        The head of Maine’s agency for defending the poor announced his resignation Wednesday amid mounting criticism of his oversight of attorneys and his handling of finances.

        John Pelletier has spent the past decade as the executive director of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services, or MCILS, which provides legal defense to those who cannot afford a lawyer. His last day will be Dec.11.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Texas Democrats Thought 2020 Would Be a Banner Year. Instead, It Was a Catastrophe.

        Headed into election night, Democrats were bullish about their chances of flipping the Texas House, seizing a handful of GOP congressional seats, and maybe even delivering the state’s 38 electoral votes to Joe Biden.

      • Trump Legal Adviser Admits Campaign Hopes for Supreme Court Intervention

        With the Trump campaign frantically attempting to challenge vote-counting procedures in several battleground states where the president’s early leads have evaporated, a prominent conservative attorney and co-chair of Lawyers for Trump openly admitted in a television interview Thursday that the campaign’s ultimate hope is for newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to “come through” and decide the election.

      • Biden Pulls Ahead of Trump in Georgia and Pennsylvania

        Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in the 2020 election against President Donald Trump, has overtaken the incumbent in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two states that are crucial for Trump to have any chance to win.

      • Georgia's Blue Shift Follows Years of Community Organizing

        We go to Atlanta for an update, after Joe Biden pulled ahead of Donald Trump for the first time in Georgia. The 2020 presidential election could hinge on this extraordinarily tight race. Many credit the state’s blue shift to community organizers on the ground, including Stacey Abrams, who lost a hotly contested race for governor of Georgia in 2018 amid claims of widespread voter suppression and has since led a massive effort to get out the vote through her organizations Fair Fight and Fair Count. Both Senate races in Georgia also appear to be headed to runoff elections, and the state could determine if the GOP holds onto its Senate majority. “There has been a wide investment that has been deeply driven by community to expand the electorate,” says Anoa Changa, a freelance journalist based in Atlanta who focuses on electoral justice and voting rights.

      • Most Americans Trust the Post-Election Day Vote Counting Process -- 1-in-5 Don't

        Most Americans are certain they know who has won the presidential election, and nearly seven in ten are confident that votes have been counted accurately, according to a new poll.

      • Trump Talk

        So I find myself gaping open-mouthed — what else is there to do? — at the€ transcript€ of Donald Trump’s 2 a.m. press conference blather, in which he made everything perfectly clear: If you didn’t vote for him, if you do not support him, you aren’t an American. At least that’s my interpretation of the above words: The “very sad group of people” who are trying to disenfranchise the proud Americans who voted for Trump are, I guess, that group of socialists who voted against him.

        And I imagine, if he could, he’d put every anti-Trumper in the country into border cages. All 72,410,820 (and counting) of us. That’s the Biden vote count as of this writing, which represents a popular vote lead over Trump of almost four million, a number eerily similar to, but even greater than, Hillary’s victory total over Trump in 2016, which turned out not to be sufficiently large to grant her the actual presidency.

      • Western Civilization?

        In June 2020 the French government announced that it would release 19 skulls of Algerian freedom fighters that it had been storing in museums in France to the Algerian government so they could be buried in Algeria on its Independence Day.

        These skulls of Algerian freedom fighters had been taken as trophies by French Generals during the colonialization of Algeria in the 19th century. Before being sent to France for “safekeeping” the newly severed heads of these resistance martyrs had been displayed on pikes in public by the French as a lesson to the Algerian people.

      • Hey, Fox News: Go home, you're drunk — it's time to admit that the Trump party's over

        Most still-rational Americans, watching Donald Trump's atrocity of a press conference on Thursday night, had two simultaneous reactions: Wow, that man really is the worst living American, and also, yeah, this is all over except for the paperwork.

        It was an odd mix of emotions. There was the disgust of watching the actual president of the actual United States demand that legal votes be thrown out insinuating that millions of American voters were somehow fakes. But there was also the relief of seeing Trump's facade of bravado collapsing, exposing the loser that was always hiding behind that wall of bluster. Even many Trump voters knew, at that moment, that it was over. Trump's attempted coup is collapsing under the weight of his own incompetence and laziness.

      • Twitter Marks Presidential Victory Tweets That Lack Sources

        Twitter requires at least two official sources to declare a winner of the presidential election before it will stop labeling tweets this way, the company said in a blog post on Friday. Those sources are either announcements from state election officials, or public projections from at least two authoritative, national news outlets that make independent election calls, Twitter said.

      • How a Pro-Trump ‘Stop the Steal’ Group Became ‘Gay Communists for Socialism’

        One band of leftists, however, came up with a clever way to combat such misinformation: creating a fake Stop the Steal replacement group, attracting tens of thousands of Trump-supporting members; then renaming it Gay Communists for Socialism, adding a photo of Obama and Biden cavorting through the White House with rainbow flags to drive the point home. Trolls then barraged the group with anti-Trump memes.

      • 2020 Popular Vote Election Results: Biden Gains More Votes Than Any U.S. Presidential Candidate Ever (Updated)

        And as Politico reported Wednesday, Biden has broken Barack Obama's record for most votes ever cast for a presidential candidate; according to the Federal Elections Commission, Obama earned 69,498,516 votes in 2008, his first election. As it stands on Friday afternoon, Biden has earned 74,041,691 votes — over 4.5 million more votes than the president he was VP for.

      • The Internet's First Election

        Five interesting ways technology influenced the 1992 presidential election.

      • Did Eminem Just Help Joe Biden Carry Michigan?

        Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ campaign ad may have helped energize some of those people in Detroit, including those that voted for Trump in 2016. While the election itself is undecided, Michigan is firmly in the Biden category. For now, it looks like the race may come down to Pennsylvania and Georgia.

      • America’s Next Authoritarian Will Be Much More Competent

        At the moment, the Democratic Party risks celebrating Trump’s loss and moving on—an acute danger, especially because many of its constituencies, the ones that drove Trump’s loss, are understandably tired. A political nap for a few years probably looks appealing to many who opposed Trump, but the real message of this election is not that Trump lost and Democrats triumphed. It’s that a weak and untalented politician lost, while the rest of his party has completely entrenched its power over every other branch of government: the perfect setup for a talented right-wing populist to sweep into office in 2024. And make no mistake: They’re all thinking about it.

      • Armed Protesters Menace Arizona Vote Center Amid Lies About Uncounted GOP Votes

        A group of at least 200 Trump supporters, many of them armed, gathered outside an elections center in Arizona on Wednesday night, demanding access to see ballots after a false rumor spread online alleging that their votes weren’t being counted.

      • 'Gross Abuse' of Power, Says International Election Observer About Trump Lies of US Voter Fraud

        "Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions," the delegation concluded.

      • Trump Loses Lawsuit to Toss Out 53 Absentee Ballots in Georgia

        A Georgia state judge dismissed a lawsuit on Thursday brought forward by the Trump campaign over allegations that some ballots for the presidential election were improperly included in the total vote count.

      • Trump's PA Strategy Is to Use the Courts to Toss Votes Out. It's Not Working.

        Bethany Hallam, an at-large member of the Allegheny County Council and its elections division, was working a polling place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when the calls started coming in. Poll workers at other local precincts were running out of provisional ballots. Around lunchtime she left to vote at her assigned precinct with a plan to test whether the election was working as it should. Hallam would surrender or “spoil” the mail-in ballot she requested and vote in person, which is legal under Pennsylvania law. However, poll workers told her she could not vote in-person and would have to fill out a provisional ballot instead.

      • Invasion of the Mental Snatchers

        here comes the president (you think, hail to the chief with shoes) dum dum-da-dum dum-da dum da dum da dum duh to the Press, calm practiced confidence a man swooned, I love you phones held high to snap selfies of the prez face all copper tones to keep out the Covid hoax announcing he’s the winner, he won, could he say it otherwise? American flags for every nation we’ve neo-conned standing in limp salutation behind him then more music there goes the prez dum dum-da-dum dum-da dum da dum da dum duh

        Prez to the Press, the pundits to the middle people the people who didn’t have to loot their TVs — smashed glass panes, brokenness everywhere gigging for food and rent and babies crying like abstract saxes, coltranes from the get-go born into the blues of the mighty whitey world (if your product placement lived here, you’d be home today) — to watch people like themselves loot democracy, talking smack, even as they ransack each other’s minds 3 Square Deals on the table daily, kids with a halfway decent chance of getting in Harvard occasionally claiming to be Cherokee, edgy where they’ll hear clarinet lectures from reedy apologists maybe a guest lect sax from Slick Willy in shades the Press, the pundits, but no liddle people

      • Postmaster General DeJoy Defies Federal Judge as Mail-In Ballots Surge for Biden

        At a critical turning point in the 2020 election, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a close Trump consigliere, has defied a federal court order meant to track down and deliver some 300,000 mailed-in ballots.

      • With Control of Senate at Stake, Eyes on Georgia With Possibly Two Races Headed for Runoff

        As races tighten for Democrats in the now crucial state, which party controls the U.S. Senate might not be known until January.

      • Trump, Blue Mirages and False Polls

        Cue to 2020. The scene set before the November 3 vote: the wooden, barely breathing Joe Biden, whose only claim to fame in this presidential race has been not being Trump. A vote for Biden; a vote for a return to amnesia, self-denial and the fiction of “decency”. Trump, campaigning manically across several swing states in the last days; Biden, doing his little bit in Pennsylvania, strumming his Scranton, working class tune to voters.

        Democrats were again counting on the weakness of their opponent, misreading him. Strategists could only see a monster, an apparition that would pass. Left unseen was a campaigner who never left the rally; a person whose four years in office has been one long pitch to retain power. In the meantime, despite the president’s predations and the personalisation of high office, Trump’s supporters have noted the hum of the economy (prior to the coronavirus), delighted in his hard stance on treaties, his pugilism towards Washington’s allies and foes.

      • As We Wait to Figure Out Who We Elected, New York Times Feeds Us Pablum on Our Social Problems
      • Omar and Tlaib Credited as 'Major Factors' in Securing Biden Victories in Minnesota and Michigan

        "You get what you organize for," said Rep. Ilhan Omar. "Direct voter contact wins elections," added Rep. Rashida Tlaib.€ 

      • Calling Trump's Repeated Election Lies 'Dangerous' to Democracy, Watchdogs Urge Twitter to Suspend His Account

        "Twitter has a duty to ensure that its platform is not used to attack the foundations of our democracy."

      • Record Latinx Turnout Boosted Biden — White Voters Are the Ones Who Leaned Trump

        Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appears to be inching toward victory as counting continues in several key states that could put him over 270 electoral votes, the threshold needed to win the Electoral College and take the White House. President Trump and his supporters, meanwhile, have attacked the process and falsely claimed Democrats are stealing the election, and the Trump campaign has launched a barrage of legal challenges in swing states related to ballot counting. With the results closer than many pollsters had predicted, Democracy Now! co-host Juan González says “a false narrative” is taking root that Latinx voters were primarily to blame for the weak Democratic result. “The main story is that people of color, especially Latinos, flocked to the polls in numbers that far exceeded what the experts had expected, while the total number of votes cast by white Americans barely increased from the last presidential election,” says González. “How come none of the experts are asking why white voters underperformed the Democratic Party?”

      • No Matter Who Wins This Election, We Still Have to Defeat Trumpism

        In the weeks leading up to Election Day, some Biden supporters began to see a Biden election landslide as a necessary outcome to rebuke Donald Trump. However, this swift rebuke of Trump did not arrive as we watched the race turn into a battle of attrition overnight.

      • Trump’s Bid to Stop the Count Risks Turning America into an ‘Illiberal Democracy’ like Turkey
      • 'This Is All Anti-Democratic Trash': Trump Spews More Election Lies From White House as Counting of Votes Continues

        One journalist called it "the most dishonest speech he has ever given."

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Google Refuses A Law Enforcement Agency Demand To Remove A Video Depicting Police Brutality (2011)

        Summary: Google began documenting government requests for content removal in 2009. Periodic transparency reports informed users about demands made by government agencies, breaking requests down by country and targeted service (YouTube, Google search, Blogspot, etc.)

      • France is right to defend free speech

        Yet it is important not to lose sight of two points of context. First, more than 250 people have been killed in Islamist terrorist attacks in France since 2015. Last year more suspects of jihadist terrorism were arrested in France than in any other EU country. French intelligence services warn that radicals are waging a war for the minds of the young, especially online, to win recruits to violence. France is right to be more concerned than most, and to seek to respond firmly (see article).

        Second, France is also right to defend free speech. A religion is a set of ideas, and therefore open to debate and even mockery. Considerate speakers will try not to give gratuitous offence. But governments should not compel them to be inoffensive. If they did, everyone would have to censor themselves, for fear of offending the most easily offended person in the audience. And as Mr Paty discovered, an audience can include anyone on Earth with a phone.

      • 'Enola Holmes' Producers Go In Hard On Conan Doyle Estate In Motion To Dismiss Its Bullshit Lawsuit

        Over the summer, we wrote about a very strange lawsuit brought by the Estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle against Netflix and the makers of the forthcoming film Enola Holmes. What made much of this head-scratching is that the vast majority of ACD's Sherlock Holmes works are old enough to have entered the public domain. In the lawsuit, the Estate points out that there are ten Sherlock stories that are not in the public domain, however. And that because the Holmes character in those stories is both more emotional and -- checks notes -- likes dogs, that somehow that makes any depiction of the Holmes character having emotions and liking dogs as somehow copyright infringement. Also, there is a trademark claim for using "Holmes" in the film's title, which is dumb because it's a work of art and the public domain character's name being part of the film's title is of artistic merit.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • With Prop 22’s Passage in California, Tech Companies Are Just Writing Their Own Laws Now

        Companies including Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart poured $205 million into the “Yes on Prop 22” effort to pass legislation that exempts them from labor law requirements relating to health care, unemployment insurance, safe working conditions, and other benefits (potentially including workers’ compensation, such as death benefits, as detailed in this harrowing Los Angeles Times story). The opposition to Proposition 22, largely composed of unions and allied labor organizations, raised $20 million, leaving it outspent ten to one.

      • Parliament votes to clarify Finland's FGM laws

        Female genital mutilation is already prohibited in Finland, but a citizens’ initiative had called for a separate law.

        Finland’s Parliament has voted by a margin of 141 to 10 to make a ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) more explicit in Finnish law.

        There were no abstentions from the vote but 48 MPs were absent.

      • Private Prison Operator GEO Group Discloses Data Breach

        Florida-based private prison operator GEO Group this week revealed that it was recently targeted in a cyberattack that involved ransomware and which may have resulted in the theft of sensitive information.

        The GEO Group operates over 120 jails, rehabilitation facilities, processing centers, and community reentry centers in North America, the UK, Australia and South Africa. In the United States, it also operates some of the controversial ICE detention centers.

      • Private prison stocks plunge as Biden edges closer to the US presidency

        CoreCivic, a real estate investment trust (REIT) that used to be known as Corrections Corporation of America, dropped 14% yesterday, its biggest decline since June. It’s the country’s largest owner of facilities for corrections, detentions, and re-entry programs. GEO Group, another REIT, dropped 11%, the biggest decline since March. It specializes in correctional facilities and has operations in the US, UK, South Africa, and Australia. The companies are estimated to account for about 75% of the private-prison industry in the US.

      • Long Voting Lines Are a Poll Tax

        There are many reasons for long lines, which disproportionately affect communities of color. Not all of the reasons are malicious. A lack of funding, the closing of polling places, misplaced expectations about turnout, malfunctioning machines, and administrative errors can all contribute to wait times. But intent doesn’t change the reality that long lines are a poll tax. And the longer the wait time, the less accessible our democracy is to working-class people. (Fortunately, it appears that there are fewer instances of long voting lines today — likely because so many people have already voted.)

        Simply put, the fact that countless voters were willing to spend hours in line does not make it any less absurd that they had to do so. Nor does the possible circumvention of explicit voter suppression measures (of which there are too many to name here) make them any less despicable and deleterious.

      • Patriarchy’s Post Election End Days

        Which representation of manhood we choose will in part contribute to determining what kind of a country we’ll be: Proud Boys country or a land promoting compassionate men; a Handmaids Tale world of subjugation or a nation advancing empowered women.

        Regardless of who is president come January, Trumpism will still be with us, as will the aforementioned Proud Boys, the faux militia Wolverine Watchmen, the civil war-promoting Boogaloo Boys, and the ex-military/police Oath Keepers. Not to mention the misfits shooting up schools, nightclubs, houses of worship and movie theaters—even threatened sitting governors. White male supremacists one and all.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • WISPs Are Helping Communities Stay Connected And Safe During The Crisis... And Beyond

        Almost universally, COVID-19 and its associated stay-at-home orders challenged networks with crushes of Internet traffic. Big, medium and small networks; urban, suburban and rural – all experienced a massive shift in use as Americans, locked into a single spot for an indefinite amount of time, depended on the Internet to communicate with friends and families, go to work, learn, get healthcare, and generally ride out the storm.

      • A Biden Administration Would Be Likely To Reinstate Net Neutrality

        Others are less certain, though, that a Biden FCC would actually tackle the issue.

        “Biden has moved on from yesterday’s net neutrality battles and will seek a new Communications Act that addresses the booming communications sector,” Brent Skorup, a senior research fellow at free market think tank Mercatus Center, told Adweek.

        In fact, Biden’s Democratic opponents Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have since stepped out of the race, expressed strong support for net neutrality. Biden has not, as CNET pointed out in September.

        “As Barack Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden was proud to push for net neutrality and see the FCC take direct action to keep the [Internet] open and free for all Americans,” a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign told CNET at the time.

      • Cares Act Broadband Funding Came With Unrealistic Deadlines, Ruining Good Intentions

        As our current Techdirt Greenhouse panel is exploring, COVID-19 has shone a very bright light on the importance of widely available, affordable broadband. Nearly 42 million Americans lack access to any broadband whatsoever--double FCC estimates. 83 million are stuck under a monopoly. Millions can't afford service thanks to a lack of competition among very powerful, government pampered telecom monopolies, despite untold billions in federal and state subsidies for fiber networks that routinely, consistently, wind up only half deployed.

    • Monopolies

      • Being a customer, not a producer

        But back to video conferencing, I think this even goes beyond codecs. Like online advertising and tracking, I keep coming back to incentive structures, or what push and pull factors motivate businesses to behave the way they do. A closed chat app is easy to sell as a product—another term I’m beginning to distrust—to customers, which venture capitalists and IPOs reward. VC-funded projects with open protocols exist, but it’s a much tougher sell.

        Just as I’ve said in the context of FreeBSD versus Linux, open protocols do exist, but they can’t hope to match the marketing budgets of these million dollar companies. Until these pervasive incentives can be tweaked, I doubt we’ll see this change. But Doc leaves us with another thought: [...]

      • Patents

        • People With Silly Patents Would Really Like It If It Was Harder To Cancel Them

          A large group of patent holders sent a letter to Congress expressing concern that, since the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Iancu might soon be leaving, recent policies making it harder to challenge bad patents might be reversed. The letter concerns a process created somewhat recently, called inter partes review (IPR), that allows the USPTO to take a second look at the patents they issue based on a public request.

        • Software Patents

          • Eko Loses Emergency Bid to Keep Quibi From Selling Turnstyle Tech

            A California federal judge has rejected Eko's emergency request to freeze some of Quibi's assets in a dispute over the technology the since-shuttered platform uses to transition video from landscape to portrait mode.

            That technology, dubbed Turnstyle by Quibi, has been the center of the legal battle since March. Quibi launched in April and on Oct. 21 announced it would be shutting down operations, which prompted Eko to file a motion asking the court for emergency relief. Effectively, the company wanted U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder to order Quibi not to sell the intellectual property that's at issue here and ensure it keeps enough cash on hand to pay damages in the event that Eko prevails in the dispute.



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