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Links 16/12/2020: Linux Mint 20.1 Beta, GTK4 Release Party in Two Days

  • GNU/Linux

    • We like to move it, move it!

      Get Linux on your laptop! There’s no doubt many of you already have, but just as with running Linux on a desktop there’s more than one way of getting things done for your laptop. Truth be told, laptops of old were more akin to butchered desktops and so things – software wise at least – transferred more easily for Linux users.

      Over the years hardware designers have steadily optimised mobile hardware, to the point where getting Linux on mobile devices has become increasingly difficult. Some of that is deliberate lockdown (the bad sort, of course) of hardware, but also modern power-efficiency tricks can trip up operating systems designed for desktop use. Elsewhere, obscure, almost bespoke peripherals can leave missing modules that are hard to track down.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.10 Released

        Linus Torvalds released version 5.10 of the Linux kernel, saying “it's mostly drivers—as it should be—with a smattering of fixes all over: networking, architectures, filesystems, tooling.”

        The release of 5.10 means the merge window for 5.11 is open, and, Torvalds said, “the most notable thing about the 5.11 merge window will be obvious to anybody who takes a look at the calendar: realistically speaking, we only have one week before the holidays are upon us, and everybody is much too distracted.”

      • Intel "IGEN6" Driver Comes To Linux 5.11 For In-Band ECC (IBECC) - Phoronix

        Initially found with "Elkhart Lake" SoCs and likely to be found on further future Intel client SoCs is the integrated memory controller supporting in-band ECC (IBECC). Coming with Linux 5.11 is the "IGEN6" EDAC driver for handling this error detection and correction on Intel SoCs sporting IBECC.

      • SECCOMP Filters Get A Very Nice Speed-Up With Linux 5.11 - Phoronix

        The Linux 5.11 kernel cycle continues to prove to be very exciting. The latest are SECCOMP filters for this secure computing mode yielding a nice speed-up.

        The SECCOMP updates for Linux 5.11 include the addition of constant-action bitmaps to reduce the overhead for many real-world syscall filters from O(N) to O(1). The filters benefiting the most are for allow/reject-only system call handling. This constant action bitmaps is also faster than BPF call optimization.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Emulation

          One of the people in the #zink IRC channel has been posing an interesting challenge for me in the form of trying to run every possible console emulator on my zink-wip branch.

          This has raised a number of issues with various parts of the driver, so expect a number of posts on the topic.

        • A Wayland driver for Wine

          Wine is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on Linux, MacOS and other systems. It's been developed and used for over two decades and it's also what Steam Proton uses under the hood to enable Windows games to run on Linux systems.

          On Linux systems Wine currently uses its X11 driver to interface with the X11 display server. In many modern systems, where Wayland has become the display server protocol of choice, another layer is needed to translate between X11 and Wayland. This comes in the form of a special X11 server called XWayland.

          This setup works but the extra dependency on X11/XWayland is a source of complexity and possible inefficiencies. It would be ideal if Wine could talk directly to Wayland to enable a leaner and more efficient stack on modern systems.

          After several months of work, we are excited to announce a first proposal for a Wayland driver for Wine. At this point the proposal is in the form of an RFC (Request For Comment), in order to explore how to best move forward with the upstreaming and further development of the driver.

        • There's Finally An Experimental Driver For Native Wayland Support Within Wine

          Alexandros Frantzis has announced the creation of a Wayland driver for Wine. This driver allows Windows GDI/OpenGL applications to run on Wayland compositors without any use of X11/XWayland.

          The code hasn't yet been merged into Wine and given the code freeze is too late to appear for next month's Wine 6.0 release, but the experimental branch is available today for those interested.

    • Applications

      • Everything You Need to Know about Linux OpenSSH Server

        The OpenSSH suite is a collection of robust tools intended to facilitate the remote control and transfer of data between networked systems. It consists of a number of tools, including SSH, SCP, SFTP, SSHD, and many more. Every time you use ssh to log in to a remote machine, you are highly likely to leverage the OpenSSH server. In this guide, we will provide an in-depth discussion on how OpenSSH works and how to utilize it properly for meeting growing security demands. So, if you want to learn more about the intricacies of OpenSSH, stay with us throughout this guide.

      • Remap Keyboard And Mouse Buttons On Linux With The New Key Mapper GUI (Supports X11 And Wayland)

        Key Mapper is a new GUI tool to remap your keyboard and mouse buttons on Linux desktops (it supports both X11 and Wayland).

        The application supports per-device presets, and it allows using timed macros with the ability to repeat keys, wait between keys, hold a modifier while using a key, and more. Besides keyboards and mice, Key Mapper also comes with basic support for gamepads.

        Other features include support for stopping any mappings and using system defaults for a device (using the Apply Defaults button), and support for automatically loading presets on login for plugged in devices. Also, Key Mapper uses evdev to read keycodes and display them inside the application, so the user doesn't have to do this manually.

      • How to View Images from the Linux Terminal

        Linux has many GUI applications for viewing images.

        But I have never tried any CLI applications to see it.

        Fortunately while working with the ImageMagick tool I got a command to view an image from the terminal.

        The command name is “display”, which is part of the ImageMagick tool.

        This is a great tool that allows NIX users to view images from the terminal.

        Also, I got another great tool called FIM for this purpose.

        We will show you how to install and use it to view images from the Linux terminal.

        These commands use the system’s framebuffer to display images directly from the command line.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • 4 Ways To Install Firefox 84 In Ubuntu / LinuxMint / CentOS | Tips On UNIX

        Firefox or Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla foundation and generally utilized by thousands and thousands of individuals in their daily actions.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install firefox 84.0 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Linux Mint 20, and CentOS 8.1 / 7.x

      • How to install virtualbox from A till Z and learn to use it

        We recommend this option as it is the easiest way to get VirtualBox on your computer.

      • How to automatically remember running applications from your last session in Debian

        Sometimes, you are performing an important task on your system using certain applications, but suddenly your system goes into hibernation mode or something else wants your attention and you have to hibernate the system. In this scenario, you might lose your work, as your running applications will be closed.

        To make your system remember the application you were running in your last sessions and restoring the system to its previous state, Dconf editor is the best tool that can help you in achieving this. In this article, we will describe how you can install and configure the tool Dconf Editor to achieve this purpose.

        We have used Debian 10 OS for running the commands and procedure mentioned in this article.

      • How to Tweet Directly from Debian GNOME Desktop using Tweet Tray

        Tweet Tray is a desktop utility that allows you to tweet directly from your desktop without the need of opening a web browser. It is great utility for users who really need to tweet but without any further distractions such as viewing other people’s tweets, notifications, and other social network features.

        In this article, we will explain how to install and use the Tweet tray utility to tweet directly from the Debian desktop. We will explain the installation of Tweet Tray via both command-line and GUI. Note that we have explained the commands and procedure mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 system.

      • Download Spotify Deb packages to install on Ubuntu, Debian & Linux Mint

        We already have done a tutorial where we have shown the process of installing Spotify using snap packages including via graphical user interface of the “Ubuntu Software” app.

        Here we are going to use the Debian package method. This means first we download the Spotify Deb package from its official website and then will install it using the command terminal package installer. This tutorial will work on all Debian-based operating systems including Linux Mint, Zorin OS, Elementary, Ubuntu, and others…

      • How to Disable Automatic Workspaces in Gnome 3 (And Other Shell Tweaks)

        With distros rolling out releases using the latest versions of GNOME 3, more and more users are coming back to GNOME and finding that it’s much improved since the GNOME project first released it. Performance is better, features around customization and integration are more numerous, and there is nowhere near as many rough edges. However, there are still some major GNOME-isms that can grate on users. A great example is the way that workspaces are managed – GNOME creates and destroys workspaces dynamically, but many users prefer to have a set number of virtual workspaces that don’t change when windows are added. Here we show you how to disable automatic workspaces in GNOME.

      • How to Rename a Directory or Multiple Directories on Linux - buildVirtual

        File-system management is an important skill to have if you are working with Linux systems often. If you are from a Windows background, you may not yet be familiar with the ways and commands to rename directories on Linux. This article aims to help you out if you need to rename a directory on Linux, or multiple directories at the same time. We will start by giving some simple examples of how to do so using the command line tools commonly available on Linux distributions, then move onto some more advanced examples. I’ll be using my CentOS system for the examples in this article, but it will be much the same for other distributions.

      • How to install the ArangoDB multimodal database on Ubuntu Server 20.04 - TechRepublic

        Your company depends on data. To that end, you probably have deployed any number of databases to house and use that data. You might have databases that cover graph, document, and key-value data models, all of which probably use a specific database.

        What if you could use one database to cover all of those modalities?

      • How to set up a VirtualBox remote GUI for easy VM management - TechRepublic

        VirtualBox is a powerful tool for creating and managing virtual machines. If you want to serve your VMs from a server within your data center, and your preferable management tool is a GUI, what do you do? Once upon a time, you could use phpVirtualBox. Unfortunately, that tool hasn't been in development for some time. However, there's another option--RemoteBox.

      • Install Spotify on Fedora Linux using command line

        Spotify is a popular streaming client for listening to various genres of songs using an internet connection on smartphone and desktop devices. It is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. However, officially for Linux, Spotify is available as SNAP and Deb package only. Well, as Snap packages can be installed regardless of Linux distros base, thus we can install Spotify on Fedora as well.

    • Games

      • Godot Engine - Godot Showcase - Little Red Dog Games talk about their experience

        We're Little Red Dog Games! We're a commercial developer that has been developing deep strategy games with despotic roosters and snarky surveyor probes for almost a decade now.

        We'd love to show off Rogue State Revolution, which will be debuting for Windows and Linux in late February 2021. As President of the People's Republic of Basenji, you must appoint ministers and make sure they stay loyal. Build roads, factories, nuclear power plants and more, if you can afford it. Anything can happen: meteor strike, a pandemic, a cane-toad infestation, a robot apocalypse... if you can imagine it, there's a good chance that it's hiding somewhere in this game, waiting to be discovered. Your role is to care for your society, but a growing rebellion threatens to remove you from power. The game has lots of FMV, beautiful 3D visuals and represents a huge creative effort over the past two years. You can check it out on Steam.

      • Get some cheap games in the Humble Québec Indies Bundle, and a big Paradox sale | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for more games to add to your collection? The Humble Québec Indies Bundle is now live, as is the Paradox Holiday Sale over on Humble Store.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GTK4 To Bring Better & Faster macOS Support

          On top of the many other improvements for the soon-to-be-released GTK4 toolkit, there is now better support for Apple's macOS.

          GTK4 is bringing with it a new macOS back-end that helps improve the performance. The new macOS back-end supports software-based rendering via Cairo or GPU-accelerated rendering by means of OpenGL. Yes, OpenGL is deprecated on macOS but does remain available with macOS 11.0 Big Sur. There isn't yet any Apple Metal or Vulkan-on-MoltenVK support for the macOS back-end with GTK 4.0.

        • Molly de Blanc: GTK4 Release Party

          Join us on Friday December 18 at 18:00 (UTC) to celebrate the release of GTK4. There will be Q&A time with GTK developers, including Emmanuele Bassi and Matthias Clasen, and open social time. We’ll be hosting the event using the

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Linux Mint 20 Review: Cool Operating System

          Here's my review of Linux Mint 20, the user friendly computer operating system from Ireland, Europe, released June this year, named Ulyana, and is also a Long Term Support version. This major release happened two months after its basis, Ubuntu Focal Fossa, and two years after the previous Linux Mint 19 Tara LTS, released. It brings a new star feature, called Warpinator, which enables us to share files between laptops easily via wifi hotspot, along with other features. It comes with great news too as now it shipped as their third generation branded computer MintBox3. I do this review using my Lenovo ThinkPad laptop with my favorite edition selection Cinnamon. Finally, now let's enjoy Ulyana goes on!

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Nathan Wolf: My Platform for the 2020 openSUSE Board Election

          I began my Linux journey in 2003 back when you could go into nearly any local software store and buy a boxed set of SUSE, Redhat or Mandrake. After a few months of trying to start out the easy way, I went with Mandrake, and stuck with it as it became Mandriva. It was about 2005, I gave openSUSE my first spin due to better hardware support with dial up modems and sharing the blazing 56 kbaud speed with the other computers on the network. I found it had all these fantastic additional tools to make life easier and I ultimately shifted to openSUSE full time in 2011. Even after some distro hopping I just happened to enjoy the structure and layout of the openSUSE project as a whole. It just made sense as compared to the other available offerings.

          I started contributing to openSUSE in 2013 when I had a need to document the process to set up using the smart card system for openSUSE Linux. I compiled the works from several sources to make an easy to follow, repeatable process to properly set up the smart card. I enjoyed it so much, I started to update and contribute to as many instructions that I could write to with some level of knowledge. I discovered at that point I started to really enjoy documenting the processes of getting things working or adjusting things to work for specific use cases and rather than just keep my instructions for myself only, I used the fantastic openSUSE wiki to share my knowledge.

          My career has been largely focused on Computer Aided Design and with some recent changes, I have been given the great privileged of using Linux exclusively for such activities. openSUSE is now my preferred platform to do everything from CAD, 3D Printing, Video Editing, creating Christmas Light shows to music to just everyday word-processing and data management.

          As far as hobbies go, beyond playing with anything Linux, I enjoy retro tech; especially the Commodore 64, well, pretty much anything Commodore but the 64 was my first computer. Beyond playing games, I have been able to get my Commodore 64 online and chatting in IRC rooms to enforce that just because something is old, doesn’t mean it is obsolete.

          Another hobby of mine that openSUSE makes incredibly more enjoyable is baking. Using an all-in-one Desktop with openSUSE Leap, GNOME Recipes and Firefox, I am able to access my local repository of cookies, cakes, pies and pastries as well as readily have access to a whole world of new recipes. Thanks to openSUSE and its many tools, it has made my kitchen life much more fund and efficient.

      • Oracle and IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Where CentOS Linux users can go from here
          Red Hat, CentOS's Linux parent company, announced last week it was "shifting focus from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to CentOS Stream, which tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release." CentOS users were, shall we say, not amused. OK, actually, they're fit to be tied. That's because millions of users have been using CentOS as a stable point distribution for their servers, virtual machines, and appliances.

          These aren't just small businesses. Top companies that rely on CentOS Linux include Disney, GoDaddy, RackSpace, Toyota, and Verizon. Other important technology companies build products around CentOS. These include GE, Riverbed, F5, Juniper, and Fortinet.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.8.2 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.8.2 is generally available as of December 15, 2020.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

        • CloudLinux promises a CentOS Replacement

          CloudLinux has put out a press release stating that it will commit over $1 million per year toward the creation and maintenance of a CentOS replacement distribution. "CloudLinux is sponsoring Project Lenix, which will create a free, open-source, community-driven, 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL 8 (and future releases). It will provide an uninterrupted way to convert existing CentOS servers with absolutely zero downtime. Entire server fleets will be able to be converted with a single command with no reinstallation and no reboots required."

        • CloudLinux Commits More Than $1 Million a Year to CentOS Replacement
        • Expanded availability: contributor discount for Lenovo ThinkPad laptops with Fedora Workstation!

          Earlier this year, we announced the initial availability of discounted Lenovo ThinkPad laptops with Fedora Workstation. This discount was available to US and Canada for all Fedora contributors with “CLA +1“. Today, I’m excited to announce that Lenovo has expanded the discount to much of Europe!

          To get this discount, log in to the country-appropriate portal with your email address.

        • Rocky has competition as more CentOS alternatives step into the ring: Project Lenix, Oracle Linux vie for attention

          In the wake of Red Hat's decision to end support for CentOS Linux comes a raft of alternatives to fill the void, including Project Lenix - an offshoot of Cloud Linux - and Oracle's free Linux, which Big Red is heavily promoting.

          CloudLinux is a distribution based on RHEL/CentOS aimed at hosting providers and enterprises. It is not free but is offered on subscription from $14.00 per month, with support from $3.95 per month. Now the company behind it has introduced Project Lenix as an "open-sourced and community-driven RHEL Fork by the CloudLinux OS Creators".

          The first release is set for "Q1 2021". The name is not final, but will be determined by the project.

          Project Lenix will be a "1-1 compatible form of RHEL 8 and future releases," according to CloudLinux CEO and co-founder Igor Seletskiy. A key feature will be the ability to migrate easily from CentOS. "Entire server fleets will be able to be converted with a single command with no reinstallation and no reboots required," the company declared today.

          The CloudLinux company has also undertaken to sponsor the development and maintenance. Its stated motivation is to promote its KernelCare live patching service.

        • The Maple Tree, a new data structure for Linux

          Last week, Liam Howlett posted the first version of the Maple Tree to the linux-kernel mailing list. The Maple Tree, a collaboration between Liam Howlett and Matthew Wilcox, introduces a B-tree based range-locked tree which could significantly reduce unnecessary contention on the memory management subsystem -- with the eventual goal of perhaps removing mmap_sem entirely. They have been working on this for a year over at and I'm really excited to see this project sent out for comment and review!

        • How long does your IO take ?

          There are times despite having a Highly Available and Fault Tolerant architected storage environment, the disk IO takes an abnormally longer time to complete, potentially causing outages at different levels in a data center. This becomes critical in a Cluster with multiple nodes that are using disk heartbeat to do health checks.

          There are utilities like iostat and sar that provide some information at a higher level. The service time 'svctm' column in both iostat and sar shows the latency from the host, the amount of time spent on the wire between the HBA port and the target/lun. Sometimes the service time 'svctm' provided by Linux iostat and sar are not reliable.

          Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) allows one to measure latency at a more granular level like measuring elapsed time at adapter driver layer. With this we can find out where in the whole driver stack more cycles are spent. This can be done on the running Linux kernel without having to install an instrumented driver or requiring a reboot of the system.

          Below is an example of DTrace measuring latency in the QLogic FC qla2xxx driver from the time the SCSI command is queued until it is completed from the target. This would measure every IO that is sent down the FC channel. We can also filter for commands that are taking abnormally longer time to complete. We would be interested in SCSI commands that have taken more than 25 milliseconds. Anything less than 15 milliseconds is normal per the SCSI specification standard for a spindle Disk.

          The DTrace utility on Oracle Linux can be installed by following the instructions on Getting Started With DTrace, the kernel DTrace provider modules can be dynamically loaded.

        • Martin Pitt: A quarter on the Red Hat Installer team

          Work rotation Today is may last day at work for this year. I spent the last quarter working in the Red Hat Installer team, on a temporary rotation. They needed some help with their testing workflows and CI, it was a good chance of reducing “bus factor 1” activities in my home team (Cockpit), and for me personally it was a great opportunity to make new friends and learn new stuff.


          The main purpose of these CI improvements is to become able to land changes with confidence. But this of course only works with a certain discipline: the nightly and PR tests must be kept green. Regressions need to be investigated immediately, and reported/marked/skipped accordingly (broken windows theory), otherwise they quickly lose their value.

          Also, right now the unit tests only run for Fedora Rawhide, Fedora ELN, and RHEL 8; and the kickstart-tests only for Rawhide and RHEL 8. These should quickly be expanded to cover all supported OSes, mostly CentOS Stream and RHEL 9.

        • Building a better subscription management experience part 2: Subscription Watch

          A common complaint among IT managers is the complexity of managing subscriptions across platforms, technologies and tools. From licensing to usage, dealing with constant changes in personnel, security concerns and technology expansions can create a stressful renewal period - even with Red Hat.

          We acknowledge that especially near the end of a fiscal year, when budgets, hiring and forecasts are due, trying to figure out your Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription needs for the following year is probably the last thing IT managers want to be thinking about.

          That’s why we’ve taken a two-pronged approach to making subscription management faster, simpler and more accurate than the manual approach to which you've become accustomed.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Inexpensive highly available LXD cluster: Introduction

          It’s been a couple of years since I last posted here, instead I’ve mostly been focusing on LXD specific content which I’ve been publishing on our discussion forum rather than on my personal blog.

          But this is going to be a bit of a journey and is about my personal infrastructure so this feels like a better home for it!


          LXD has a very solid clustering feature now which requires a minimum of 3 servers and will provide a highly available database and API layer. This can be combined with distributed storage through Ceph and distributed networking through OVN.

          But to benefit from this, you need 3 servers and you need fast networking between those 3 servers. Looking around for options in the sub-500CAD price range didn’t turn up anything particularly suitable so I started considering alternatives.

        • Open the door.

          Wait until you see what I will bring you. If that was a server using 300MB of my 128GB? Do you see my point? Ubuntu tries to keep their server edition to them self . I am fixing to screw that all up. They have not liked me since day #1, why stop now? I watched it rip out every one of those packages, including mine. Only because I told it to do so. The end resolve is much better then they could even think about.

          That is the GUI (Graphical User Interface) based Tmosb starting to come online. Does that say removing? The end resolve is a lower over head & higher performance rig. I wont get into the things I have fixed for them. That actually purges it from you system, “Like it never existed”. You will see.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • PinePhone keyboard and wireless charging add-ons are on the way

        One of the nifty things about the PinePhone is that there are a series of pogo pins hidden behind the back cover that make it possible to add new hardware to the phone.

        Individual hardware hackers have used those pins to add things like a thermal camera or a fingerprint reader. But, as revealed earlier this year, PinePhone maker Pine64 is also working on a series of official add-ons.

        Now Pine64 says two of those accessories are on the way. A PinePhone wireless charging case is now under production and should be available for purchase by early February, 2021. And Pine64 has partnered with a keyboard vendor to produce an official PinePhone keyboard.

      • I Love You For Your Personality

        If you are as excited about the Librem 5 as I am, you will want to show it to all your non-techie friends and family. “Look, it’s a Linux phone!”, you’ll say. They may be briefly impressed with the terminal, which evokes The Matrix to the uninitiated, but after brief fiddling, they will fail to share your joy. “Why,” you may ask, “why don’t they get it?”

        That’s because there’s a chasm of understanding between you. I was on its other side once.

        A long, long time ago, I met an owner of a Jolla phone at a conference. I had never seen it before, and I was excited to try it. But after I swiped around, tried out a few apps, and when the novelty of the user interface wore off, I ended up unimpressed. Yes, it was a phone. Yes, it had apps, just like mine. But I didn’t come across anything exceptional. What went wrong?

        On the way back home, I realized that nothing went wrong: on the surface, the Jolla phone was just a phone. That’s what I saw then, and that’s what your family will initially see in the Librem 5. But the amazing thing about it takes longer to discover: its personality as a Linux phone.

      • Four new products: IQaudio is now Raspberry Pi
      • Raspberry PI Portable Hotspot with Android USB tethering

        Connecting devices from Android WiFi Hotspot fastly drains smartphones battery and can consume in a few days your mobile subscription traffic. Raspberry PI, connected to smartphones USB tethering, works greatly as WiFi hotspot and adds advanced features

      • ASRock announces Tiger Lake based NUC, Mini-STX, and Mini-ITX boards

        ASRock typically preloads Win 10 on its embedded computers, including industrial focused models, but it usually sells its motherboards as barebones, without an OS.

      • Ubuntu Linux on the GMK NucBox 2.4 inch mini PC

        The GMK NucBox is a tiny computer that fits in the palm of your hand, but which is a full-fledged desktop computer with a 10-watt Intel Celeron J4125 quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.

        It ships with Windows 10, and when I reviewed a pre-release version of the NucBox this summer, I focused on Windows performance… because I couldn’t get the demo unit GMK sent me to boot into Ubuntu or any other GNU/Linux distribution.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Arduino Blog €» Living Pixels is a light frame that comes alive when you leave

          As smart devices become more ingrained in our everyday lives, it’s perhaps only natural that we start to think of them as living things. What if such gadgets actually did have personalities and emotions that we as humans don’t ever see?

          Zekun Yang’s “Living Pixels” project illustrates this idea in luminescent style, as a picture frame that shows a static pattern of lights when anyone is around. When people aren’t present, it displays a range of emotions on its 16×16 LED matrix, from sleepy, to relaxed, and even angry.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • The new faces in Firefox 84

            With the release of Firefox 84, we are pleased to welcome the developers who’ve contributed their first code change to Firefox, 10 of whom were first-time contributors to the code.

          • And now for … Firefox 84
            As December ushers in the final curtain for this rather eventful year, there is time left for one more Firefox version to be given its wings. Firefox 84 includes some interesting new features including tab order inspection, complex selector support in :not(), the PerformancePaintTiming API, and more!

            This blog post provides merely a set of highlights; for all the details, check out the following...

          • Mozilla Thunderbird 78.6 Improves Calendar’s Dark Mode on Linux, OpenPGP

            Mozilla Thunderbird 78.6 is mostly about further improving the OpenPGP implementation, which is the biggest feature of the Thunderbird 78 series allowing users to send encrypted messages with ease and without the need of a third-party extension.

            As such, this release improves the discovery of keys online via Key Manager on Linux, improves inline PGP parsing, improves the Key Manager to no longer display properties of the wrong key after importing a secret key, improves the verification of clear signed UTF-8 text, and fixes the “Decrypt and Open/Save As” option for encrypted attachments.

          • Firefox 84.0 and 78.6 ESR

            Firefox 84.0 has been released. This version includes an accelerated rendering pipeline for Linux/GNOME/X11 users and improved performance and compatibility with Docker. This is the final release to support Adobe Flash. The release notes have additional details.

          • Mozilla reacts to publication of draft Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act - Open Policy & Advocacy

            The European Commission has just published its landmark Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA). These new draft laws have the potential to transform regulation in the tech sector and we’re happy to see the Commission take on board many of our earlier recommendations for the laws.

          • Our Year in Review: How we’ve kept Firefox working for you in 2020 - The Mozilla Blog

            This year began like any other year, with our best intentions and resolutions to carry out. Then by March, the world changed and everyone’s lives — personally and professionally — turned upside down. Despite that, we kept to our schedule to release a new Firefox every month and we were determined to keep Firefox working for you during challenging times.

            We shifted our focus to work on features aimed at helping people adjust to the new way of life, and we made Firefox faster so that you could get more things done. It’s all part of fulfilling our promise to build a better internet for people. So, as we eagerly look to the end of 2020, we look back at this unprecedented year and present you with our list of top features that made 2020 a little easier.

          • Mozilla Accessibility: VoiceOver Preview for macOS Firefox

            For the better part of two decades, Mozilla has been building browsers that are highly accessible for users with disabilities. While we’ve worked to ensure that people with a wide range of disabilities can participate on the web, much of our engineering effort has been focused on improvements for screen readers, an assistive technology that allows blind users to engage with computers through synthesized speech or a braille display.

            On Windows, Firefox supports the two most popular screen readers, NVDA and JAWS. On Linux, Firefox works with the Orca screen reader. On Android, Firefox users have their pick of Google’s Talkback or Samsung’s Voice Assistant. And on iOS, Firefox users can work with the built-in VoiceOver screen reader.

      • Programming/Development

        • How do I use git tags? – Linux Hint

          Git Tags are specific reference points in the Git history. Git tags are used to capture the specific point in the history that is further used to point to a released version. A tag does not change like a branch. They don’t have a further history of commits after being created. Most people use this feature to mark some release points like (v1.0,…v4.0, and so on). In simple words, Git Tags are used to give some meaningful name to a particular in the git project repository. Suppose two users decide to tag their project code for access later.

          In this article, we will discuss the concept of Git tags and how the git tag command does work. We will cover various kinds of tags, how to create new tags, tag listing, and deletion of a tag, and more in this article. A few commands we have executed on the Ubuntu 20.04 system, which we will elaborate on in the rest of the section.

        • Use of ksort() function in PHP – Linux Hint

          Many built-in functions exist in PHP to sort the array in different ways. ksort() function is one of them. This function is used to sort the array based on its key value, and it is mainly used to sort the associative array in ascending order based on key. How this sort function can be used in a PHP array is explained in this tutorial.

        • Execute Shell Command in PHP using exec() – Linux Hint

          The PHP script is mainly used for developing web applications but it can be used for other purposes also. PHP has some built-in functions to execute system-related commands. exec() is one of them. It is used to execute shell commands or any program from the PHP script. How this function can be used in PHP are shown in this tutorial.

        • Class and Object in PHP – Linux Hint

          Any complex application can be developed in a more manageable and maintainable way by using object-oriented programming (OOP). It is more efficient than procedural programming for developing large and complicated applications. In this programming, all variables and functions are defined as a group by using class and the instance of a class is called an object that is used to access the properties of the class. This tutorial shows the basics of object-oriented programming with the uses of class and object.

        • Use of two-dimensional array in PHP – Linux Hint

          Array variables are used in PHP to store multiple values in a variable, and the values can be accessed using indexes or keys. The index of the array can be numeric or associative. Two types of array can be declared in PHP. One is a one-dimensional array, and another is a multi-dimensional array. When the array contains more than one dimension, then it is called a multi-dimensional array. A two-dimensional array is one type of multi-dimensional array that has two dimensions. Tabular data are stored in a two-dimensional array that contains a fixed number of rows and columns. How a two-dimensional array can be declared and used is shown in this tutorial.

        • Scope in C++ – Linux Hint

          An entity in C++ has a name, which can be declared and/or defined. A declaration is a definition, but a definition is not necessarily a declaration. A definition allocates memory for the named entity, but a declaration may or may not allocate memory for the named entity. A declarative region is the largest part of a program in which the name of an entity (variable) is valid. That region is called a scope or a potential scope. This article explains scoping in C++. Furthermore, basic knowledge in C++ is needed to understand this article.

        • AVIF support for KImageFormats just landed

          Thanks to Daniel Novomeský we will have support for AVIF images in KImageFormats starting in the next release.

          We have (and by we I mean him) also added the avif code to be fuzzed under oss-fuzz so we'll be helping the upstream libavif/libaom to find potential memory issues in their code.

        • BBC Dr Who HiFive Inventor Coding Kit review - Tynker visual programing and MicroPython

          The BBC Doctor Who HiFive Inventor Coding Kit was announced at the end of November 2020 with the goal of teaching IoT to young kids. But one day, I noticed the postman left a package on the ground right next to my house’s gate for some reason. I had no idea what it could be until I read it was from SiFive on the package. So here I am about to review BBC Doctor Who HiFive Inventor Coding Kit!

        • Perl/Raku

          • The second wave of – Andrew Shitov

            When I started about seven months ago, I thought there would be no need to update it after about 3-4 months. In reality, we are approaching to the end of the year, and I will have to fix the graphs which display data per week, as the week numbers will very soon make a loop.

            All this time, more data arrived, and I also made it even more by adding a separate statistics for the regions of Russia, with its 85 subdivisions, which brought the total count of countries and regions up to almost 400.

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 91: Count Numbers | laurent_r

            These are some answers to the Week 91 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar.

        • Python

          • How to Create a Simple Application in Python and GTK3 – Linux Hint

            This article will explain how to create a graphical “Hello World” application in Linux using Python 3 programming language and GTK3 GUI framework. All code samples in the tutorial are tested with Python 3.8.6 and GTK 3.24.23 on Ubuntu 20.10.

          • Vue.js vs. Django – Linux Hint

            When you are required to choose a library or framework for building web applications, there is no question that JavaScript libraries are preferred over any other library. But that does not mean that other libraries are not good enough.

            Vue.js and Django are both famous JavaScript web frameworks. They are also both open-source tools. Vue.js is famous for building clean, reusable, component-based web applications. Django is a framework that is built on Python and is known for its rapid development and rational code design.

            In this article, we will discover some of the basic and more technical differences between Vue.js and Django. This includes the pros and cons of each framework, the companies that currently use these frameworks, integrated tools, and much more.

          • django-firebird driver status

            django-firebird pre released 2.2a1 version with support for Firebird 3 and Django 2.2.x LTS (That will be supported until 2022 according to the roadmap)

            Thanks to this pull request #111.

            The stable version corresponds with django 2.2 and live into stable/2.2.x branch. The current master branch of this repository is being developed under django 3.0.x.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • "Myopia:" Moroccan Director/Actor Sanaa Akroud’s Latest Screen Gem

      Fatem a hardy woman from a remote Moroccan mountain village is sent on a frivolous mission to the city where she is innocently swept up in a street protest. She finds herself in police custody with no ID and unable to convey what she was doing among the protestors. Six-months pregnant, possibly affected by tear gas from the street riot, she suddenly miscarries while being interrogated as a potential political agitator.

      The next scene seems to offers redemption: we find Fatem comfortably settled in a hospital bed attended by two social workers. But it soon becomes clear they’re actually from an opposition party with a self-interest in her ‘case’. They abandon Fatem after she doesn’t accept their conditional help. By now the media has been alerted, and our reluctant hero, still in the hospital, her bed now bedecked with flowers, is next subjected to an on-camera interview.

    • Civilian Control Means More Than Just Wearing a Suit to Work

      President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of retired US Army general Lloyd Austin to serve as defense secretary has triggered a bit of a kerfuffle. And rightly so, in my estimation. Critics complain that appointing yet another recently retired general with lucrative ties to weapons manufacturers—among other things, Austin sits on the board of Raytheon—makes a mockery of civilian control.

    • Sam Blasucci Holiday Special
    • Hope in a Vial
    • Hillbilly Happy Days: Lil' Opie Lost in Appalachia

      The critics can be neatly divided into two groups. People who haven’t read the book upon which the movie is based, think Opie presented treacly nonsense, stick-figure characters, improbable events, clichéd dialogue and ridiculous behavior.

      Critics who’ve read the book think Howard bowdlerized it, eliminating all the points the author was trying to make—leaving a tower of mush in his wake.

    • My Pet Goat: Newly Translated Sequels Found

      As for “My Pet Goat.” it’s actually called “The Pet Goat.” ‘The’ not ‘My’. As a translator (I’ve translated Heinrich Heine poetry), I know how important these differences can be. And, truly, anybody who has compared, say, R. J. Hollindale’s translation of Nietzsche’s work with Walter Kauffman’s will know that such differences in the field philology are not mere instances of pedantry: meaning must mean something if it is to make sense to the reader. That said, “The Pet Goat” has a follow-on story, “The Goat Stops the Robber,” a far more nuanced narrative showing the disadvantaged students in the elementary classroom how mistakes can be made in gated communities.

      It should also be noted that “The Pet Goat” is extraordinarily difficult to find on the Internet or elsewhere. Some theorists have theorized that the story was ‘disappeared’ because it contained esoteric symbolism and coded information about the attacks on 9/11. I make no such inference here. In fact, there is a solid and reasonable explanation for the difficulty in finding these simple tales: They are not stand-alone tales, but part of Reading Mastery — Level 2 Storybook 1. There: That mystery is solved. We needn’t lose sleep again over any proposed bleak symbolism. The stories that GW Bush was participating in with the disadvantaged Black students in the classroom are available on the miraculous site Archive.Org. You can view them there and read what the children read. Here it is.

    • Science

      • 5 Mindfulness Techniques for Dealing with Life in Tech

        During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have had to navigate new situations and handle new stresses while working from home and dealing with daily challenges.

      • Written Description: Patents and Science Fiction: Does Science Fiction Promote Innovation?

        Dan Brean and I have just posted a new essay called Enabling Science Fiction. We wrote the essay for the upcoming Association of American Law Schools panel: Science Fiction and the Law, co-sponsored by Biolaw and Intellectual Property. The panel, put together by Nicholson Price, will take place at AALS on January 8th at 11AM EST, and will feature myself (Camilla Hrdy), Dan Brean, Marc Blitz, Deven Desai, and Victoria Sutton.

        The full version of Enabling Science Fiction can be downloaded on SSRN. The essay itself, which will be published in a symposium issue in Michigan Technology Law Review, is under 8000 words. This is like 20% of an average law review article, but below is an even shorter excerpt. We welcome your comments! (

    • Health/Nutrition

      • What if Scientists Already Know How to Prevent the Next Pandemic?

        This past April, as Covid-19 deaths in the United States were climbing toward their terrifying first peak, a journalist with the conservative outlet Newsmax raised her hand during a White House press conference. Struggling to conceal a smirk, the reporter, Emerald Robinson, asked Donald Trump a question that seemed perfectly calibrated to feed the paranoid fever dreams of the far-right.

      • Public Distrust in Science Made COVID Worse. It Will Also Harm Climate Policy.
      • Ron Johnson Brings Fringe Science to the US Senate

        On Tuesday, the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on “early outpatient treatment” for Covid-19. You’d be forgiven for assuming this panel emphasized mask wearing, or urged social distancing, or embraced standard scientific treatments. After all, these are all recommendations endorsed by respected medical experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci.

      • Uproar in India: And You Thought It Was Only About Farmers?

        And you thought the new laws were only about farmers? Sure, there are other laws that also exclude prosecution of civil servants for carrying out their legal duties. But this one goes way over the top. The immunity given to all those in respect of anything, acting ‘in good faith,’ whatever they do, is sweeping. Not only can they not be taken to the courts for a crime they may have committed ‘in good faith’ – they’re protected against legal action for crimes they are yet to commit (‘in good faith’ of course).

        Just in case you missed the point – that you have no legal recourse in the courts – Section 15 rubs it in:

      • How to Cure America’s Vaccine Paranoia

        Except that if the United States has led the world in per capita infections and deaths because of deep skepticism from an intransigent population toward even the mildest of safety precautions, do we expect the same people refusing to wear a face mask to take not one, but two doses of a brand-new vaccine? We may have safe and effective vaccines soon enough, but through a cruelly ironic twist of our nation’s perverted political climate, society may simply refuse to save itself.

        Several key segments of the American population have varied reasons for vaccine skepticism. Among Black and brown communities, there is a deep-seated and justifiable mistrust due to historical government-sanctioned medical abuse that is reflected in new polls about the COVID-19 vaccine. On the American left, mistrust of large pharmaceutical companies putting profits above the public health—again justifiable—is driving cynicism about the motives of private corporations that have had piles of taxpayer cash thrown at them.

      • Vaccine Equity: Why Communities of Color & Incarcerated People Should Get Early Access to Shots

        As the first shipments of a federally approved COVID-19 vaccine arrive across the United States, healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes will receive the first shipments, and epidemiologist Camara Phyllis Jones says communities of color with high rates of COVID-19 should also get consideration for early access. “I think that CDC got it right partially in terms of those overexposed because of their work or their living conditions, but they did not include our brothers and sisters in prisons, jails, detention centers, and they did not include those of us who are more exposed and less protected in our work,” say Dr. Jones, who is the former president of the American Public Health Association.

      • As Vaccine Gains Approval, Hospitals Scramble Over Which Workers to Prioritize
      • 'It Never Had to Be Like This': 300,000 Dead in US From Covid-19 Under Donald J. Trump

        "It is equal to a 9/11 attack every day for more than 100 days."

      • As COVID Rages, We Are Experiencing Mass Abandonment Amid Abundance
      • Paul Thomas: An antivax pediatrician de-licensed (for now)

        If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has made all too painfully undeniable, it’s that there are a lot of healthcare professionals out who are very awful people, with very awful, unscientific beliefs about the pandemic, pushing awful unproven treatments, unscientific treatments, or even just plain quackery (often based on conspiracy theories) to prevent or treat COVID-19, while denying the efficacy of public health interventions such as masking and social distancing, using bad science to deny the severity of the pandemic, and even participating in the ongoing disinformation war against COVID-19 vaccines being waged by antivaxxers. Sadly, more than a few of these disinformation spreaders are physicians, with some of the usual antivax physician suspects jumping on the COVID-19 denial grift train so effortlessly. Sadly, physicians behaving badly is nothing new, as there are antivaccine pediatricians(!) like Dr. Bob Sears and Larry Palevsky, and many have been the times that I’ve bemoaned the seeming inability of state medical boards to act to take away the licenses of quacks like Stanislaw Burzynski (who’s managed to keep practicing in Texas since the late 1970s despite peddling nonsense) and antivaxxers who endanger their patients—or even of just run of the mill utterly incompetent surgeons, which brings me to antivax pediatrician Dr. Paul Thomas.

      • 'The Actual Scandalous Headline Is Medics Need Two Jobs to Survive': AOC Defends Paramedic Outed by NY Post

        "It's not like she does anything shameful for money, like writing for the€ New York Post."

      • Big Pharma Strikes Back
      • The Ghosts of Christmas Present: GOP Kick the Most Vulnerable Amid Pandemic

        Vaccine thinking applied to all of American life.

      • 'What a Failed State Looks Like': GOP Under Fire for Blocking Necessary Funds as Covid Vaccine Distribution Begins

        "The end of a tragic, crippling pandemic is in sight and Senate Republicans can't get around to authorizing any money to complete the job."

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Tableau 2020.4 Simplifies Data Preparation with Browser-Based Tableau Prep [Ed: Proprietary software being ported to GNU/Linux because Windows is passe]

          Tableau Server on Linux has been an invaluable solution for customers who deploy Linux in their IT environments and don't want to maintain a Windows instance to host their Tableau deployment.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • IBM joins the Crossplane community [Ed: No, Crossplane is not a community, it's a corporate front. Quit calling corporations "community"; they've also outsourced this to proprietary software monopoly of Microsoft (GitHub)]

                Crossplane is a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Sandbox project that provides the ability to manage infrastructure and resources, including cloud managed services using Kubernetes CRDs, and has contributions and support from a number of major vendors. These include Microsoft, Alibaba, GitLab, and Red Hat, as well as Upbound, which founded the Crossplane project two years ago.

                One unique feature is the capability to define compositions to represent resources such as databases, and back those compositions with one of more pluggable providers that deploy and manage an instance of the resource.

                This makes it possible to create applications that are portable across cloud providers and still use cloud-managed resources: an application defines the deployment of a resource such as for a PostgreSQL database using a Crossplane composition CRD, and the database is then created and controlled by the configured provider.

                This capability extends the hybrid, multi-cloud portability that already comes from Kubernetes and OpenShift. You can deploy the same application to Amazon AWS and to IBM Cloud, using the Amazon Relational Database Service in the first case, and the Databases for PostgreSQL service in the second. This concept also extends to hybrid-cloud scenarios, using an in-cluster provider to deploy a containerised instance of PostgreSQL.

              • Cut your Cloud Computing Costs by Half with Unikraft

                A novel modular unikernel allows for extreme tailoring of your operating system to your application’s needs. A proof of concept, built on Unikraft, a Xen Project subproject, shows up to 50% efficiency improvements than standard Linux on AWS EC2.

                Cloud computing has revolutionized the way we think about IT infrastructure: Another web server? More database capacity? Resources for your artificial intelligence use case? Just spin-up another instance, and you are good to go. Virtualization and containers have allowed us to deploy services without worrying about physical hardware constraints. As a result, most companies heavily rely on micro-services, which are individual servers highly specialized to perform a specific task.

                The problem is that general-purpose operating systems such as Linux struggle to keep pace with this growing trend towards specialization. The status quo is that most microservices are built on top of a complete Linux kernel and distribution. It is as if you wanted to enable individual air travel with only one passenger seat per aircraft but kept the powerful engines of a jumbo jet. The result of having a proliferation of general-purpose OSes in the cloud are bloated instances, that feast on memory and processing power while uselessly burning electrical energy as well as your infrastructure budget.

        • Security

          • Two Indian banks affected by Windows ransomware attacks

            Two banks in India are among the latest businesses to suffer from Windows ransomware attacks, with Nav Jeevan Co-operative Bank taking a hit from the Egregor ransomware while the IDFC First Bank was attacked by a gang using the Everest ransomware.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libxstream-java and xen), Fedora (curl), openSUSE (curl, kernel, mariadb, and openssl-1_1), Oracle (kernel, libexif, thunderbird, and xorg-x11-server), Red Hat (curl, gd, kernel, kernel-rt, linux-firmware, net-snmp, openssl, pacemaker, python-rtslib, samba, targetcli, and xorg-x11-server), Scientific Linux (libexif, thunderbird, and xorg-x11-server), and SUSE (clamav, gdm, and kernel).

          • SolarWinds quietly pulls customer page after news of global attack

            The company at the centre of the global intrusion detailed by security company FireEye on Monday AEDT — SolarWinds — has quietly taken down the page on its website which had a list of its elite customers.

          • Backdoored Orion binary still available on SolarWinds website

            A backdoored binary that was said to have allowed compromises of companies in a number of countries is still present on the site of American vendor SolarWinds, a tech researcher says.

          • Ex-NSA hacker slams SolarWinds over wording of SEC breach filing

            Former NSA hacker Jake Williams has criticised the SEC filing made by security firm SolarWinds following the disclosure that the company's Orion network management software had been compromised and used to breach numerous companies in many regions of the globe.

          • SolarWinds FTP credentials were leaking on GitHub in November 2019

            More details are emerging about poor security at SolarWinds, following the compromise of its Orion network management software that was then used to effect attacks on many companies in a number of regions around the globe.

          • Why I'm not concerned about the rise in Linux attacks

            Linux powers big business--of that there is no debate. With more and more manufacturers selling Linux preinstalled on desktops and laptops, the writing on the wall is clear: Linux popularity is growing faster than most expected.

            For some, that means the rise of attacks on the platform is inevitable. I'm not concerned. I know, that sounds like crazy talk. After all, we've seen a number of attacks reported over the past few years.

            But why am I not worried?

            By design the security of Linux is simply superior to most platforms. Consider this: For most traditional malware, the user must execute an application. This is done by running a binary attachment or clicking on a malicious link.

            On the Windows platform, these malicious payloads can be executed without having to first give the malicious code executable permission or admin rights. On Linux, that's not the case.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Reviewers call the Amazon Halo wearable the "most invasive we've ever tested"

              Let’s get away from how the camera and gyroscope and other dedicated physical sensors are used and focus on the Halo’s use of the microphone. Amazon is also including a tone recognition in the Amazon Halo band, meaning the wearable will differentiate between your voice being in states such as “disgusted,” “irritated,” and “angry.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Bosnian War, in photos ‘Meduza’ marks the 25th anniversary of the end of Europe’s bloodiest interethnic conflict since World War II

        On December 14, 1995, the Dayton Accords were signed in Paris, officially ending the Bosnian War — the bloodiest interethnic conflict in Europe since World War II, which saw about 100,000 people killed between 1992 and 1995. To mark the 25th anniversary of the end of the conflict, Meduza shares photographs from the three-and-a-half years of fighting.€ 

      • Will Biden’s America Stop Creating Terrorists?
      • The Most Lethal Virus Is Not COVID-19, It Is War: John Pilger

        Around the world and under the cover of COVID-19, the West continues to wage war on innocent people, while Western governments deprive health systems of billions of dollars that could save countless lives. John Pilger explains.

      • The Most Lethal Virus Is Not Covid. It Is War.

        John Pilger describes the invisible weapon of past and current wars, and the threat of nuclear war, under cover of the Covid pandemic. This is propaganda, aided by censorship by omission.

      • An Opportunity to Normalize Relations with Cuba

        Henry Kissinger was certainly not thinking about Cuba when he said, “It’s not a matter of what is true that counts but a matter of what is perceived to be true.” This could well be applied to the supposed threat that Cuba poses to U.S. democracy. For almost 60 years the U.S. has imposed an embargo on Cuba. Yet, rather than achieving its goal to provoke the fall of the Castro brothers’ regime, the embargo only made life miserable for most Cubans, limiting their access not only to common goods but also to some vital medicines.

        On several UN health-related missions to Cuba, I was able to see how eager the Cubans were for a normalization of relations with the US. They understand the difference between the hardships caused to them by U.S. governments and the American people, whom they feel are also interested in improving interactions with the Cubans.

      • Shut It Down: Calls Grow to Close Fort Hood After Probe into Murders & Sexual Assaults at Army Base

        The U.S. Army has fired or suspended 14 officers and soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, following an investigation into sexual assaults and murders at the base, including the bludgeoning to death of 20-year-old soldier Vanessa Guillén, whose remains were found in July. “These are institutional failures at scale. And by the Army’s own admission, and in this report, it’s clear that this is not unique to Fort Hood,” says Pam Campos-Palma, an Air Force veteran who leads the Vets for the People project at the Working Families Party. “The military is dealing with large-scale corruption and crime, and it should be treated as such.” Meanwhile, veterans groups are demanding the firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie after an inspector general report found he tried to smear a woman who filed a complaint of sexual assault at a VA hospital.

      • ‘Bellingcat’ joint investigation implicates FSB in Navalny poisoning

        A group of operatives from a secret sub-unit of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) were responsible for the assassination attempt on opposition figure Alexey Navalny in Tomsk this summer, says a joint investigation from Bellingcat and The Insider, in cooperation with Der Spiegel and CNN.€ 

      • St. Petersburg historian facing 15 years in prison for murdering graduate student girlfriend

        The prosecution has requested 15 years in a maximum-security prison for former St. Petersburg State University professor Oleg Sokolov, who killed his former graduate student Anastasia Yeshchenko in November 2019.€ 

      • Will Biden’s America Stop Creating Terrorists?

        We hope Biden will finally renounce hare-brained, militarized policies that destroy societies and ruin people’s lives for the sake of unattainable geopolitical ambitions, and that he will instead invest in humanitarian and economic aid that really helps people to live more peaceful and prosperous lives.

      • It’s Time We Called It What It Is: Fascism

        The epic thrash we’re witnessing is because the forces of capitalism, seeing a terminal economic crash approaching, are attempting to preemptively replace democracy with authoritarianism—fascism—so that they can control the outcome.

      • How Right-Wing Conservatives Have Laid Waste to America for 50 Years

        Thanks to a half century of insidious "trickle-down" philosophy—which astoundingly continues to be preached by many of the super-rich—inequality has stretched our nation nearly to the breaking point.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • District Court Rejects CDT's Challenge Of Trump's Ridiculous Executive Order On Section 230

        Back in May, you may recall, Donald Trump issued his silly executive order on Section 230 in response to Twitter adding a couple fact checks to blatant conspiracy theory nonsense that Trump was posting. A week later, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) sued over the executive order, arguing that it was unconstitutional, and clearly retaliatory against Twitter.

      • USA Today Publishes Yet Another Bogus OpEd Against 230, Completely Misrepresents The Law

        Another day, another op-ed that totally misrepresents Section 230. This one comes from USA Today, and is written by faux-conservative Rachel Bovard, who is doing this on purpose. Sometimes we see op-eds where it's clear the author is unfamiliar with how Section 230 works. Other times they are deliberately misrepresenting it. Bovard is in the latter category. She works for an organization, with dark money funding, that pretends to be for "transparency" about the tech industry -- which is hilarious since that organization's own funding is kept secret. The only known funding for that organization comes from Oracle, a company that has made it clear it wants to do away with Section 230 (despite the fact that it wants people to use its cloud services). Bovard has had many, many experts in Section 230 explain to her why she's misrepresenting the law. And she has never once changed her arguments, nor admitted to being wrong. She just keeps repeating the bullshit.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Lightning Strike

        Hundreds of thousands of people in Poland have protested drastic abortion restrictions in recent months. The movement is called the Women’s Strike, with a red lightning bolt as its symbol. The fight started in 2016, when women bearing black umbrellas rallied against attempts to ban abortion. Polish illustrators have shown their support with art. For more images and an interview with the artist behind the bolt, go to Ola Jasionowska(Marysia Machulska)(Agata Nowicka)(Kasia BogdaÅ„ska)(Joanna Grochocka)(Kasia BogdaÅ„ska)

      • Unequal Before the Law

        This spring, graphic images of a white police officer digging his knee into George Floyd’s neck served as a catalyst to renew the mass social movement against police violence and racism that has come to be known as Black Lives Matter. After the highly publicized police killings of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Rayshard Brooks, protests continued into the summer and fall. These protests have been large in size and radical in their demands. Just a few years ago, in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo., modest calls to reform the police and implement federal consent decrees seemed almost revolutionary to many Americans and were the primary aim of many marching in the streets. Today, calls to defund the police have become the central demand. For so many, there is no fixing today’s system of policing. It needs to be abolished.

      • 13 Million More Girls Expected to Be Forced Into Marriage Due to Covid-19 Lockdowns and Economic Hardship

        "I believe that a whole lot of girls would have gone through early marriage silently because movements were restricted and we can't reach them," Sierra Leonean First Lady Fatima Maada Bio said.€ 

      • Two Studies Show Giving Military Gear To Cops Doesn't Result In Lower Crime Rates

        One of President Trump's main goals while in office was to roll back anything his predecessor had put in place. One of his earliest executive orders removed the (minimal) restrictions Barack Obama had placed on the Defense Department's 1033 program. This program allowed local law enforcement agencies to acquire military gear at almost zero cost -- something that had been used and abused for years until the sight of an armored vehicle rolling up on protesters in Ferguson, Missouri proved to be a bit too much for Americans and their Congressional representatives.

      • Police Say Seizing Property Without Trial Helps Keep Crime Down. A New Study Shows They’re Wrong.

        In 2015, New Mexico lawmakers unanimously passed a bill to all but end civil asset forfeiture, the process that lets police keep cash or property they seize, even if they never charge the owner with a crime, so long as they suspect that it’s linked to criminal activity. High-profile lawsuits and press attention had prompted some states to reexamine their forfeiture laws.

        Law enforcement officials howled in outrage. In New Mexico, sheriffs and prosecutors implored the governor to veto the legislation. Eliminating civil forfeiture, they argued, would hand the bad guys a win and put public safety at risk. “You’ll get less law enforcement,” predicted the chair of the state sheriffs’ association, Ken Christesen, who noted that police departments use forfeitures to help fund their budgets. (The bill still allowed forfeiture, but only through criminal court, which imposes a much more stringent burden of proof on prosecutors than its civil counterpart.)

      • Have the Machines Already Taken Over?

        The same study points out that, for each person on Earth, a quantity of “anthropogenic mass” greater than their body weight is produced each week. That’s right, your weight in human-made crap is produced EVERY WEEK. Just for you.

        Have we built enough STUFF yet? Do we have enough things? We surround ourselves in a sterile, artificial, soulless world of our own making, becoming ever more dependent on our machines and edifices as we destroy the very world around us. We are flies trapped in amber, struggling fruitlessly to free ourselves as the trap solidifies. We will make amazing fossils.

      • International Law vs. Eternal Recurrence

        Chances are good that the environment will get more attention now that the egocentric and nearsighted U.S. de-regulators (aka the Trump administrators) are bering kicked out of office. The Paris Climate Agreement signed by 195 countries is already in place, and the incoming Biden administration has pledged that the U.S. will rejoin the pact.

        Things look much dimmer for the future of international law.€ € The events that spurred on the present manifestations of such law were the wars and genocides of the first half of the 20th century, particularly the Nazi Holocaust, which was directed primarily against Europe’s Jews. That catastrophic event ended in 1945. What followed was a heightened concern for human rights reflected by treaty prohibitions on, among other things, crimes against humanity.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Cost Of Broadband Is Too Damned High

        How much do consumers pay for internet service in the United States? The question might seem relatively simple, but the answer has stymied the federal government for years—because no agency collects this data. Throughout 2020, my organization, New America’s Open Technology Institute, published the Cost of Connectivity series to crack open the black box of internet pricing. The collective takeaway of these studies is clear: the cost of internet service is alarmingly high, and there is substantial evidence of an affordability crisis in the United States.

      • Consumer Groups Say The FCC Just Blew $9 Billion To Deliver Broadband To Already Served Rich People

        The FCC last week held a reverse auction to dole out $9 billion to, purportedly, improve patchy U.S. broadband. But consumer groups say the auction did nothing of the sort, instead delivering $9 billion to a dodgy roster of companies with existing histories of fraud that will be using much of the funds to expand broadband to affluent areas where broadband is often already available.

    • Monopolies

      • Google is Getting Left Behind Due to Horrible UI/UX

        Focus on the experience. Focus on simplicity. And use navigation language that’s similar across your various properties, so that I’ll know what to do whether I’m managing my Apps account, or my domains, or my Analytics.

        You guys are awesome at so many things. Make the commitment to fix how we interact with them.

      • Patents

        • Pemetrexed – NL – Court of Appeal Inverts District Court

          Yesterday, the Dutch prime minister announced the Netherlands will be ‘locked down’ until mid-January. At the same time the author of this blog, part of a six member audience due to COVID restrictions, paid his last visit to the movies for many weeks to come. On the screen Tenet, a mishmash of Sci-Fi wannabe and James Bond. Its core ingredient: inversion. In between yawns, this concept reminded the author of the Dutch Court of Appeal’s inversion of the District Court’s decision in the pemetrexed case.

          No, not really. The movie didn’t drop to the level that the mind wandered off to patent litigation. That would have been equivalent to a one star review (actually, literally, it’s three out of five). But, in retrospect and applying Tenet’s unintelligible philosophy, the Court of Appeal (‘CoA’) inverted the District Court’s almost – from a European-wide perspective – one-off pemetrexed decision.

        • Some pending en banc petitions before the Federal Circuit

          In re Apple (level deference given on mandamus review of discretionary transfer decisions).

        • Injury-in-Fact and Standing to Appeal from the AIA-Trial Decisions

          New petition for writ of certiorari in an interesting Hatch-Waxman and the question of Article III standing in appeals of AIA-Trial Decisions.

        • FOSS Patents: Nokia's attempt to evade referral of antitrust questions to top EU court faces high hurdles: questionable appealability, deferential standard of review

          Nokia dreads Dusseldorf. That wasn't always so. For many years, Nokia filed cases in that city even though its disputes typically got settled on the basis of decisions that came down faster in Mannheim and Munich. But last month's order to refer to the Court of Justice of the EU multiple legal questions related to standard-essential patent (SEP) enforcement has left Nokia, well, disgruntled.

          Just a few days before trial, Nokia withdrew two cases against Daimler and one against Lenovo (only to refile in Munich).

          But Nokia can't derail the CJEU referral by means of withdrawing the case in which the referral happened. Once a plaintiff has formally (re)stated the prayers for relief at trial time in Germany, any withdrawal would require the defendant's consent. Daimler, however, now has a strong interest in getting the question of component-level licensing clarified. Nokia could solve the problem by getting leverage over Daimler in some other venue (coercing Daimler into a settlement that would result in a stipulated dismissal of the case that would otherwise be decided by the CJEU), but on Thursday Nokia is going to be dealt a serious blow in Munich.

          Last Thursday, Nokia filed a 29-page "Sofortige Beschwerde" (the closest thing in Germany to what would be called an interlocutory appeal in the U.S.). Initially, the court that made the decision complained of (here, the Dusseldorf Regional Court) decides whether to grant relief or whether to refer it to the appeals court.

        • Software Patents

          • $3,500 for Trust & Verify Data Protection Prior Art

            Unified Patents has a PATROLL contest, with a $3,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on all of the limitations of dependent Claim 10, and including all of the limitations of independent Claim 4, of U.S. Patent 7,162,735. The patent is owned by Trust & Verify Data Protection, LLC, an NPE. The '735 patent generally relates to an arrangement with a protected code that comprises incomplete executable code and a call instruction to a security code such that when the security code is executed, it replaces the call instruction such that the executable code of the protected code is complete.

          • $3,000 for Texas Secure Authentication

            On December 15, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,00 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least Claim 1, 6 and 7 of U.S. Patent 7,873,682. This patent is owed by Texas Secure Authentication, LLC, an NPE. The '682 patent generally relates to determining identification information through a plurality of container registers using multi-factor authentication methods in online banking and internet services. It is being asserted against FCT Bancshares, Inc. and its subsidiary, First National Bank of Central Texas, in the Western District of Texas. The complaint acknowledges that the '682 patent expired on February 25, 2019.

      • Trademarks

        • Owner of 'Derby Pie' Trademark Sues Newspaper For Using The Term, Publishing Recipe

          Long-time Techdirt readers may recall that the "Derby Pie", a notable dessert sold in Kentucky chiefly around the time of The Kentucky Derby, has been the previous subject of trademark issues. Way back in 2013, the EFF posted a special recipe for its "mean-spirited censorship pie" after Kern's Kitchen, headed by Alan Rupp, went on a threat blitz against a bunch of blogs for posting their own recipes for "derby pie". Rupp has a trademark on the term, see, and seems to think that trademark means that he is in universal control of anyone using it for their own recipes, regardless of whether those recipe posts cause any customer confusion, are used in actual commerce, or generally violate the other aspects of trademark protection statutes. He's wrong about that, of course, but his threats are often met with shivering compliance.

      • Copyrights

        • Spreading Joy and Giving Gratitude: A Toast to This Year’s Silver Linings

          We’re grateful for every image, video, song, book, and article that millions of you continue to share using a CC license or public domain mark. 2 billion and counting! From 3D models of spacecraft to vital public health information. During this festive season especially, we’re grateful for the countless photographs of pets in holiday-themed outfits, like these pictures of our favorite pugs on Flickr!€ 

        • Conservancy Files “Long Comments” for Its Three DMCA Exemptions

          Software Freedom Conservancy filed its long-form comments yesterday in support of three DMCA exemption requests in the Library of Congress' Copyright Office Triennial Rulemaking process. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides this process to grant temporary exemptions to allow circumvention of technological protection measures (i.e., DRM) that restrict access to copyrighted material.

          The three exemptions, which Conservancy has shepherded through the 2021 process since September 2020, seek essential rights for those who wish to exercise their software freedom. There were many great exemption requests filed this round by many different organizations.


          Conservancy plans various blog posts this month that explain the DMCA exemption process, where we are currently in that process this year, and gives detailed non-legal explanations of our Long Comments.

          Conservancy's annual fundraiser is currently underway with a generous match donations from individuals who care deeply about software freedom and Conservancy's work. You can support our efforts on these DMCA exemptions and our other work by becoming a Supporter now.

          Please note: while the Long Comment templates were indeed provided by the Copyright Office in Microsoft Word format and say so at the top of each document, we and our attorneys imported them into LibreOffice for preparation and filing.

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme] 'Secure' Boot in a Nutshell
Ask Microsoft if it is "safe" to boot Linux
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Guest Writers (Intimidation)
Some high-profile people have told me that the serial defamer is a "monster" (their word), so why would Neil Brown wish to help him?
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Several Webhosts (in Collaboration and Conjunction With Mentally-Ill Flunkies)
Every attempt to nuke the current hosting failed, but it's still worth noting
Guardian Digital, Inc ( Handed Over Its Web Site to Chatbots That Generate SEO Garbage
They need to be called out on it
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
Not even 1%!
Windows Down to 60% of Guam's Desktops/Laptops and Down to a Quarter Overall
No wonder Microsoft is panicking
Today in UEFI 'Secure' Boot Debates (the Frog is Already Boiling and Melting)
Over at LQ today
[Meme] A "Modern" Web's Message in a Bottle
So-called 'security'
Brittany Day: Still Chatbot Slinging, Producing Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
random garbage produced (and censored) by Microsoft
Almost 4k Gemini Capsules, 5th Anniversary Only Weeks Away
The Web will continue to deteriorate
Microsoft: $1 Million a Day for Contempt of Court Orders (Justice Department)
Microsoft behaves as if it's 100% exempt from laws
Catbodia? In Cambodia, Microsoft's Windows Fell to All-Time Low of Less Than a Quarter.
Cambodia is leaving Microsoft behind
[Meme] Deadnaming
Guess who uses a name that was deprecated well over a decade ago?
New Press Report Explains Microsoft Severance and Quiet (Undisclosed) Layoffs
Some people will call this "loophole", whereas others will opine that it is outright illegal (but kept secret to circumvent scrutiny)
Global South is Android/Linux (Windows Era Has Come to an End Already)
I've decided to take a quick glance at South American trends for all operating systems
[Meme] Unified Patent Troll
Unified Patent Court remains illegal and unconstitutional
The European Patent Office is Sinking
Officials (or national delegates) at the European Patent Organisation have long been warned about this (by staff representatives from the European Patent Office), but they ignored the warnings
Summer in the Air
We have a good pace going on owing to health, positivity, inertia and good software tools
GNU/Linux Activity in Belize
From an economic point of view, Microsoft needn't worry about Belize, but when it comes to preserving the Windows monopoly/monoculture Belize matters
Links 28/05/2024: Back to MP3, NVIDIA Sued by Authors
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: Bad Beach and TLS
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Fell From 100% to Just 7.5% in Sierra Leone
Based on statCounter
In Benin, Microsoft's Windows Fell Below 10%, GNU/Linux Surged to 6% or Higher on Desktops/Laptops
That's nearly 7% - a lot higher than the average in Africa
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 27, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 27, 2024
[Meme] Elephant in the Asian Room
With ChromeOS included GNU/Linux is at 6% across Asia
GNU/Linux in Bangladesh Up From 0.5% to Over 4% (Windows Slid From 95% to 18%)
Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely-populated countries
Links 27/05/2024: One Month Left for ICQ, More Openwashing Highlighted
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Back to GNU/Linux, Librem 5 Assessed
Links for the day
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Mostly Recovered From a Day's Downtime (Malfunction)
Some of the material we've published based on the statCounter datasets truly annoys Microsofters
Google: We Don't Have Source Diversity, But We Have Chatbot Spew in Place of Sources (and It's Not Even Accurate)
Search engines and news search never looked this bad...
[Meme] Security is Not a Failure to Boot (or Illusion of Security Due to 'Unknown' System)
Red Hat is largely responsible for this mess
What is Secure Boot?
Security means the user feels safe and secure - i.e. confident that the machine would continue to work following a reboot or a system upgrade (or kernel upgrade)
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Old "Tweets"
This was basically an act of vandalism no better and no worse than UEFI restricted boot
Links 26/05/2024: Google 'Search' Morphing Into Disinformation Factory, Discussion of Maze of the Prison Industrial Complex
Links for the day
In the Pacific (Mostly Islands Around Oceania) GNU/Linux Grew a Lot
Microsoft cannot compete fairly
A Toast to Tux Machines
Food ready for the party, no photos yet...
IBM/Red Hat Failing to Meet Its WARN Obligations in NC (STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA), or Perhaps It's Constantly Delaying the Layoffs
IBM isn't named even once
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 25, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 25, 2024
GNU/Linux in Greenland
The sharp increases for GNU/Linux started last summer
The Sheer Absurdity of the EPO's Career System Explained by EPO Staff
"Staff representation has previously pointed this out to management, and the career system has been the reason for several industrial actions and litigation cases initiated by SUEPO."
[Meme] Productivity Champ Nellie Simon: It Takes Me 3+ Weeks to Write 6 Paragraphs
Congrats to Nellie Simon!
It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
The funny thing about it is that Nellie Simon expects examiners to work day and night (which is illegal) while she herself takes 3+ weeks to write a 1-page letter
Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) in The Hague Taking Action to Rectify Cuts to Families of Workers
they "are active in challenging this measure via the legal system"