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Links 29/4/2021: Proxmox Virtual Environment 6.4 and Calculate Linux 21

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • AMD Hits Intel Below The Belt In The Datacenter Wallet

        What Intel calls “cloud digestion” as the cause of the massive pullback in spending in its Data Center Group is looking more and more like a case of “Epyc indigestion” for Intel, not for the hyperscalers and cloud builders. And the top brass at Intel should be thanking the heavens for their good luck that capacity for advanced fab processes has been severely constrained at the same time Intel struggled to get its server chip act together. If that had not been the case, AMD might be truly cleaning Intel’s CPU clocks.

        In the first quarter ended in March, AMD was hitting on all cylinders, with its client, server, and game console businesses all up significantly year-on-year as well as up sequentially, delivering a stunning 92.9 percent revenue growth, to $3.45 billion, and an amazing 3.4X increase in net income, to $555 million. All of this good business helped AMD increase its cash hoard by 2.3X to $3.12 billion, which helps cushion the blow on that pending $35 billion acquisition of FPGA maker Xilinx. When you start using “X” instead of “percent” on numbers moving up and to the right, that is always a good sign.

      • Simplifying In-Place Upgrade from Oracle Linux 7 to 8 with Leapp

        Upgrading to a newer major release of Oracle Linux (from Oracle Linux 7 to 8) has been historically quite intrusive.

      • Kubernetes configuration patterns, Part 1: Patterns for Kubernetes primitives

        This article is the first in a two-part article series on Kubernetes configuration patterns, which represent ways of configuring Kubernetes applications and controllers. Part 1 introduces simple approaches that use only Kubernetes primitives. These patterns are applicable to any application running on Kubernetes. Part 2 will introduce more advanced patterns. These patterns require you to code against the Kubernetes API when you are developing Kubernetes controllers.


        For simplicity, I’ve used only Deployments in the example YAML files. However, the examples should work with other PodSpecables (anything that describes a PodSpec) such as DaemonSets and ReplicaSets. I also omitted fields like image, imagePullPolicy, and others in the example Deployment YAML.

      • Kubic with Kubernetes 1.20.0 released

        The Kubic Project is proud to announce that Snapshot 20210426 has been released containing Kubernetes 1.21.0.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • I Need Ambient Noise At My Workstation

        So about thirty minutes ago, I was sitting at my desk trying to do some work. And it was quiet. No, it was TOO quiet. I needed some ambient background noise. So I created a thing.

      • The Misadventures of Mad Mikhail | Coder Radio 411

        Mike has a few stories to share, but more importantly a very hard lesson he's going to make sure you damn sure you learn.

      • mintCast 359.5 – FLoC Blocked

        2:30 Linux Innards 48:43 Vibrations from the Ether 57:56 Check This Out 1:08:03 Announcements & Outro

        In our Innards section, another stroll down privacy lane

        And finally, the feedback and a couple suggestions

      • FLOSS Weekly 627: Beyond the Browser - Intention Byway

        Browsers and the Web are just one model for making the Internet work. Another is one Doc Searls and his colleagues at Customer Commons are working on: the Intention Byway. With co-hosts Katherine Druckman and Shawn Powers, Doc discusses how it all works: with compute nodes called "intentrons" at the ends and a "byway" for pub-sub messaging in the middle. As a new model, it creates a boundless variety of ways for demand and supply to signal each other in the open marketplace, outside the silos and platforms of the big tech giants. And, of course, it's all open source.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.13 Graphics Drivers Are Exciting From Intel Alder Lake S Bring-Up To AMD FreeSync HDMI - Phoronix

        The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) kernel graphics driver changes have been submitted and merged for the ongoing Linux 5.13 kernel merge window and it brings with it many changes, especially for these open-source Intel and AMD Radeon drivers.

      • Rust heads into the kernel?

        In a lengthy message to the linux-kernel mailing list, Miguel Ojeda "introduced" the Rust for Linux project. It was likely not the first time that most kernel developers had heard of the effort; there was an extensive discussion of the project at the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference, for example. It has also been raised before on the list. Now, the project is looking for feedback from the kernel community about its plans, thus the RFC posting on April 14.

      • Btrfs on zoned block devices

        Zoned block devices have some unfamiliar characteristics that result from compromises made in the name of higher storage density. They are divided into zones, some or all of which do not support random access for write operations. Instead, these "sequential" zones can only be written in order, from the first block to the last. This constraint poses a new challenge for filesystems, which are normally designed with the assumption that storage blocks can be written in any order. It is thus not surprising that zoned-device support in mainstream filesystems in Linux has been slow in coming; that is changing, though, with the addition of support for zoned block devices to Btrfs in Linux 5.12.

        The only way to overwrite data in a zoned drive's sequential zone is to reset the write pointer to the beginning of the zone, which immediately erases the entire content of that zone. On the other hand, random read access is fully supported. Many zoned devices also provide some "conventional" zones that support random read and write operations. Zoned devices were first seen in the form of shingled magnetic recording (SMR) drives; the kernel has low-level support for these devices. Zoned devices using flash storage also exist; they trade flexibility for reduced hardware complexity. These devices were added to the NVMe standard in the form of the Zoned Namespaces (ZNS) command set, which has been supported in Linux since the 5.9 release.

        Work has been going on for a number of years to support zoned drives in Linux filesystems. Copy-on-write filesystems should be easier to adapt, as they are designed to avoid overwriting data blocks. Among the existing Linux filesystems, F2FS already supports zoned devices, and allows normal operations on such devices (but requires that the drive provide at least one conventional zone). In addition, zonefs, a special filesystem for zoned devices, was included in the 5.6 kernel. Using zonefs requires applications designed for this purpose, as the filesystem does not support the creation of normal files. Some types of applications do fit the model well, however, for example those with log-structured data.

      • Running code within another process's address space

        One of the key resources that defines a process is its address space — the set of mappings that determines what any specific memory address means within that process. An address space is normally private to the process it belongs to, but there are situations where one process needs to make changes to another process's memory; an interactive debugger would be one case in point. The ptrace() system call makes such changes possible, but it is slow and not always easy to use, so there has been a longstanding quest for better alternatives. One possibility, process_vm_exec() from Andrei Vagin, was recently posted for review.

        In truth, alternatives to ptrace() already exist for some tasks. The cross-memory attach system calls were merged for 3.2 in 2011 as process_vm_readv() and process_vm_writev(). As their names would suggest, they allow one process to read from and write to another process's memory. Those system calls satisfy many needs, but fall short when even more invasive access is needed to another process's address space. Sometimes, it seems, there is no alternative to running code within the target address space.

        Vagin's patch set gives a couple of examples of where this access would be useful. User-mode kernels, such as User-mode Linux and gVisor, have to be able to intercept system calls made by a sandboxed process and, possibly, run them in the address space of that process. The Checkpoint/Restore in User space project needs to reach deeply within a process to extract all of the information needed to checkpoint it. Both use cases are currently handled with ptrace() but, once again, better and faster alternatives are wanted.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMDVLK 2021.Q2.2 Brings Minor Improvements But No Vulkan Ray-Tracing Yet - Phoronix

          AMD engineers today published AMDVLK 2021.Q2.2 as their latest open-source public code drop of their official Linux Vulkan driver.

          While this month AMD published a new Radeon Software packaged driver build with Vulkan ray-tracing support for Linux systems, that driver is binary-only. Now as their first AMDVLK update since that milestone, unfortunately, the ray-tracing support hasn't made it into this open-source driver yet.

    • Applications

      • timg, a text mode image viewer and video player

        timg is developed by Henner Zeller, and in 2017 I wrote a blog post about creating a snap package for timg. A snap package was created and published on the Snap Store. I even registered the name timg although some time later it became much stricter to register a package name if you are not the maintainer. In addition, it was so early days for snap packages that I think you could not setup the license of the software in the package, and it always came up as Proprietary.

        Fast forward from 2017 to a couple of weeks ago, a user posted an issue that the snap package of timg does not have the proper license. I was pinged through that Github issue and decided to update the snapcraft.yaml to whatever is now supported in snap packages. Apparently, you can now set the license in snap packages. Moreover, timg has been updated and can play many more image and video formats. I figured out the latter because timg now has a lot more dependencies than before.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • My Infrastructure As Of 2020

        Last year, I wrote about my infrastructure as of 2019. Here's the update for 2020! I would advise that you first (re)read last year's article, since this one will be more like a diff.

      • My current HTML boilerplate

        Every element I use for the basic structure of a HTML document, with explanations why.

        Usually when I start a new project, I either copy the HTML structure of the last site I built or I head over to HTML5 Boilerplate and copy their boilerplate. Recently I didn’t start a new project, but I had to document the structure we use at work for the sites we build. So, simply copying and pasting wasn’t an option, I had to understand the choices that have been made. Since I spent quite some time researching and putting the structure together, I decided to share it with you.

      • [Old] Highlighting columns in HTML table

        The other day I looked up colgroup on MDN because something didn’t work the way I expected it to work. I found the solution to my problem, but the demo at the beginning of the page also caught my attention. The author adds a class to the col element, which does nothing with the col element itself, at least not visually, because the element doesn’t get rendered on the page, but it applies the styles from the class to all the cells in the column.

        Why is this interesting? Well, there are no columns in HTML tables, only rows and cells and the col element allows us to style columns anyway.

      • Struggling With the Linux Secure Copy Command? Use This scp Example

        The scp command lets you copy a file efficiently between two different hosts. The syntax for scp reuses the syntax of cp, so it should feel familiar to most Linux users.

        The tricky bit with the scp command is that either source or destination may be remote i.e. a computer connected to another network, different from your local one. When specifying a file for copying, you’ll need to include details about the remote host as well. This includes its IP address and username.

      • How to Manage systemd Services Using the systemctl Command in Linux

        Managing services is one of the key responsibilities of Linux system administrators. Knowing how to manage system services is also important for Linux users as they might have to deal with services in one way or the other.

        This guide takes a look at how to manage systemd services using the systemctl command.

      • Fix The “No Module Named Setuptools_rust” Error In Python

        This post will show you how to fix the “ModuleNotFoundError: No module named setuptools_rust” error when installing packages in Python 3. We will also look at a cryptography module error that sometimes also occurs.

      • Junichi Uekawa: Surrounding a region with Emacs lisp.

        Surrounding a region with Emacs lisp. I wanted to surround a region with HTML tags and here's what I learnt today. Specifying "r" in interactive gives two numbers, begin and end. When I want to obtain multiple kinds of values in interactive, I can use newlines to delimit. set-marker is an api to keep a marker at relative position even after edits, API needs making make-marker to create an empty marker first, and seems like the number of markers affects editing speed so the API is made to allow reuse of markers. After I got these going I could now write.

      • What To Do After Installing Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo

        This is an introduction & collection of tips of Ubuntu for first time users who just had new computer with 21.04 codenamed Hirsute Hippo. This article is for you to help knowing the most basic things of Ubuntu, like the versions & names, the desktop and apps you are using, and learning about everything else. This is also for those who meet Ubuntu after switching from other operating systems like Windows or MacOS. Lastly, I hope you will like it and enjoy your computing happily with Ubuntu!

      • Junichi Uekawa: Setting wake-on-lan in Debian way.

        Setting wake-on-lan in Debian way. There's several ways that your network interfaces can be configured. The Debian way is to use ifup/ifdown. Make sure your network is configured with it by checking ifquery. nmcli d and networkctl list are NM and systemd equivalents of commands. After you know which one is managing your device you can go ahead and set up WoL configuration appropriately. Default Debian installation would probably start with a ifup/ifdown config.

      • How to install JetBrains CLion on Linux

        JetBrains Clion is a cross-platform IDE (integrated development environment) for both the C and C++ programming languages. It offers many valuable features, such as code generation, code analysis, etc.

      • Linux: How to export and import VMs in VMware Workstation

        If you use VMware Workstation 16 on Linux and want to know how to export and import VMs, you’ll need to take advantage of the OVF file format. In this guide, we’ll show you how to use VMware to export and import VMs in the OVF format on Linux.

      • How to install Rigs of Rods on a Chromebook

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

      • No audio device detected after upgrading to F34

        In Fedora 34, Fedora team decided to switch from Pulse Audio to Pipewire. Pipewire is still very experimental and has various issues.

        After I upgraded to Fedora 34, Pipewire refused to detect my audio. I read through forums on Archlinux, etc and mailing list. Initially, I attempted to rectify this issue. However, after spending an hour on this issue, I realised that it is probably because my audio card or whatever hardware is not compatible with it yet.

      • Define an alias in Nushell

        A few days ago I decided to switch my main shell to nushell.


        This switch feels like the biggest shell related change for me since I switched from Windows Command Prompt to Bash. Even the switch from Bash to ZSH was small in comparison.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Let's welcome Kate the Cyber Woodpecker

          A lot of good things happen at the moment in Kate’s development.

          We didn’t only implement a plentoria of new features for 21.04 and fix a lot of bugs in the last months and year, we did improve our overall product branding, too.

        • Kdenlive 21.04 Released with Exciting Improvements and Bug Fixes

          A new Kdenlive update (21.04) has arrived as part of KDE app upgrades.

          This release isn’t limited to resolving some issues or applying marginal updates, but it should give a boost to Kdenlive through significant contributions, varying from interface improvements to new media features.

          In case you’re hearing about Kdenlive for the first time, let me briefly give you a description:

          Kdenlive stands for KDE Non-Linear Video Editor. Non-linear means that editing can be done in any order that suits your needs, and the original media files are never overwritten. Kdenlive is written in C++ with the Qt and KDE libraries. The MLT framework enables Kdenlive to integrate many plugin effects for video and sound processing.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Bully de Blanc: Friends of GNOME Update – April 2021 28.04.21 22:41

          Linux App Summit is coming up. Join us and KDE from May 13 – 15 to learn and grow the Linux app ecosystem. Keynote speakers include GNOME Foundation member and former executive director Karen Sandler and Kathy Giori, who has built her own Linux powered private smart home. The schedule is online and registration is open.

          We’ve opened registration for GUADEC 2021. This year’s conference will take place online, using our BigBlueButton installation. You can [read the schedule][] and then register online to attend! Highlights from the schedule include 24 sessions on all sorts of topics, the GNOME Foundation annual members meeting, and keynotes by Hong Phuc Dang and Shauna Gordon-McKeon.

    • Distributions

      • Proxmox Virtual Environment 6.4 released
        We have just released version 6.4 of our virtualization platform Proxmox Virtual Environment! The new version brings the Single File Restore and Live Restore features to you, simplifying your restore tasks, hence improving recovery time objectives (RTO).
      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • KaOS 2021.04

          Today we are looking at KaOS 2021.04. It uses KDE 5.21.4, Linux Kernel 5.11, and uses about 700-1000 MB of ram when idling. It is beautiful, stable, and just a great Linux distro. Enjoy!

        • KaOS 2021.04 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at KaOS 2021.04.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • opera browser updated to 76.0.4017.94

          Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

      • Gentoo Family

        • Gentoo-Based Calculate Linux 21 Released with New Gaming Flavor, LXQt 0.17 and Xfce 4.16

          It’s been almost a year since the last Calculate Linux release, which celebrated project’s 20th anniversary, and now a new major release saw the light of day, Calculate Linux 21, introducing a new flavor for Linux gamers.

          Meet Calculate Container Games, a new Calculate Linux flavor designed as a solution for playing modern games on Steam anywhere, on any device. It is based on the Calculate Scratch Server flavor and uses Valve’s recently released Steam Link app to play on any TV set, phone, laptop, tablet, etc.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Cockpit 243

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly.

          Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 243.

        • Fedora Linux 34 Delivers A More Integrated Desktop Experience With GNOME 40

          Fedora Linux 34, the latest version of the fully open source Fedora operating system, is now generally available. Fedora Linux 34 further improves the overall user experience with key updates like GNOME 40, while still providing a foundation for new use cases, like edge computing, with improved support for hardware watchdogs for automated system recovery.

          A more integrated, unified desktop experience with GNOME 40, which makes key features of the GNOME shell, like search, windows and workspaces more spatially coherent.

        • Looking forward to Fedora 34

          The Fedora project may have managed to shake off its reputation for delayed releases in recent years, but that hasn't stopped the release date for Fedora 34 from slipping one week to April 27. Modulo a handful of bugs, though, this release is in its final form, so a look at what is coming is warranted. Distribution releases, especially those for fast-moving community distributions, are a good point at which to catch up with the state of many free-software projects and where Linux is headed in general. Fedora 34 includes a lot of changes, including the GNOME 40 release but, for the most part, it looks like an exercise in continuity. Incidentally, your editor has been made aware that we are all supposed to call the distribution "Fedora Linux" now, with the bare name "Fedora" reserved for the project. So this article should properly be talking about "Fedora Linux 34", but old habits die hard.

          Like many distributors, Fedora makes it easy to beta-test its upcoming releases so, on a whim, your editor decided to update his system and see what was coming; what could possibly go wrong? The target Thinkpad, which nicely came with Fedora pre-installed by the manufacturer, was just sitting there waiting for this sort of opportunity. As expected, the upgrade went smoothly and the laptop booted up in the new system without any obvious hitches.

        • Value range propagation in GCC with Project Ranger

          One of the optimizations GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) performs on C and C++ programs is value range propagation (VRP). VRP determines what subranges a variable can contain and uses that information to eliminate redundant calculations. This in turn makes programs smaller and run faster.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 Will Soon Be available

          Red Hat has introduced new capabilities and enhancements to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Generally available in the coming weeks, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 refines the platform’s role as a lightweight, production grade operating system for edge deployments, adding new Linux container, deployment and management capabilities scaled for the needs of edge computing.

          According to the company, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the established foundation for the Red Hat Edge initiative, which aims to extend the capabilities of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio to the edge, from telecommunications and transportation to smart automobiles and enterprise devices.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 to focus on driving edge adoption - SD Times

          Red Hat announced new features coming to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4, which will be released in a few weeks, at its Red Hat Summit virtual conference this week.

          According to the company, this release “refines the platform’s role as a lightweight, production grade operating system for edge deployments, adding new Linux container, deployment and management capabilities scaled for the needs of edge computing.”

          Red Hat recently released a report, “The State of Enterprise Open Source,” which showed that 72% of IT leaders are expecting open source to drive adoption of edge computing in the new two years. Red Hat Edge is a new effort being highlighted in RHEL 8.4 that aims to extend Red Hat’s cloud portfolio to the edge. This includes extending existing solutions like OpenShift, Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, Ansible Automation Platform, Red Hat Integration, and Red Hat Data Services.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux takes aim at edge computing | InfoWorld

          With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4, Red Hat is emphasizing edge computing deployments, with the addition of container deployment and management capabilities geared to edge usage. RHEL 8.4 will become generally available in the coming weeks.

          Announced April 27, RHEL 8.4 helps maintain standardization and control across Linux container images, beginning with updates to Red Hat’s Podman container engine, for managing containers across the hybrid cloud from a single point. Additionally, the Image Builder tool has added support for creating installation media tailored for bare metal, helping IT teams maintain a common foundation even when dealing with disconnected edge environments.

        • Register now to join us May 11 & 12 for Code @ Think 2021

          Think 2021 is your chance to connect with subject-matter experts, explore the latest tech, and build your skillset to make yourself indispensable. This year’s event offers you the chance to get certified in technologies through new courses, try out new products, and work with the experts behind emerging technologies – from Kubernetes to quantum and edge computing. This year, Code @ Think is a dedicated track for you to engage with the greater community of developer and open source leaders to explore key technologies through unparalleled interactive experiences.


          And you won’t just be hearing from us. You’ll meet and collaborate with leading technologists, subject-matter experts, IBM clients and business partners, analysts, and countless others who are working on today’s most important issues and challenges.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Users warned against upgrading to Ubuntu 21.04

          In a strange turn of events, Ubuntu developers are asking users not to upgrade their Ubuntu 20.10 installations to the recently-released Ubuntu 21.04 due to a strange bug.

          Normally, as soon as a new release is up for grabs, existing Ubuntu users would typically get a notification about its availability and can then switch to the new release with a single click.

          However, a severe issue prompted Ubuntu developers to disable the upgrade prompt. While a manual upgrade was still possible, some top Ubuntu developers want the distro to actively discourage users from upgrading.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is now available with native Microsoft Active Directory integration and Wayland as the default

          Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04, a new version of the organization's Linux distribution. The release comes three weeks after the release of beta versions, and can already be downloaded from the official Ubuntu website as desktop, server and cloud versions.

          Updates from Ubuntu 20.10 are not enabled at this point as some systems may end up in an unbootable state if EFI version 1.10 is used. Upgrades will be enabled in the future "once an updated version of shim is available 2hich is compatible with EFI version 1.10".

          Ubuntu 21.04 is a short-term release, which means that it is good for 9 months of updates before it is running out off support. The latest long-term servicing release is Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          The release is powered by Linux 5.11 kernel and GNOME 3.38, and the first that makes Wayland the default on the system, provided that the computer's hardware supports it.

        • Ubuntu 21.10 is called 'Impish Indri' -- here is when the Linux distro should be released

          Linux distributions and silly names go together like peanut butter and jelly. For whatever reason, the maintainers of these operating systems seem to enjoy having fun with what they call them -- some argue it is childish. Hell, even Google -- a multi-billion dollar company -- once used sugary dessert names for the Linux-based Android operating system. I am glad the search giant stopped that nonsense.

          One of the most well-known desktop Linux distributions to use funny names is Ubuntu. It famously uses the convention of an adjective and a lesser-known animal, each starting with the same letter. The letter is chosen sequentially by alphabet. For example, Ubuntu 21.04 uses the letter "H" -- "Hirsute Hippo".

          The next version of the operating system, version 21.10, will use the letter "I." For this release, Canonical has chosen "Impish Indri." Never heard of a an indri? Neither have I. Apparently it is a type of a large lemur. The word "impish" is a synonym of "mischievous." The animal looks pretty cool, as you can see from the image at the top of this page.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Meet SeedGerm: a Raspberry Pi-based platform for automated seed imaging
        • Pimoroni Keybow 2040 Review: Programmable Keyboard with Pi Silicon Inside

          With the ability to map keystrokes, mouse movements and commands to any of the 16 keys, the Keybow 2040 is a powerful device for home workers and gamers. We can map commonly used sequences including reloading, inventory management and combo moves in our games or actions in a photo editor like Photoshop, and we can use Keybow 2040 perform a series of complex steps all from the push of a button.

          If you’ve ever wanted an extra 16, programmable keys on your keyboard, the Keybow 2040 lets you add them.

        • Xilinx Introduces Kria K26 SoM and vision AI devkit based on Zynq Ultrascale+ XCK26 FPGA MPSoC - CNX Software

          Silicon vendors will usually focus on chip design, and provide an expensive evaluation kit to early customers, leaving the design of cost-optimized boards and system-on-modules to embedded systems companies.

          But Xilinx has decided to enter the latter market with the Kria portfolio of adaptive system-on-modules (SOMs) and production-ready small form factor embedded boards starting with Kria K26 SoM powered by Zynq UltraScale+ XCK26 FPGA MPSoC with a quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor, up to 250 thousand logic cells, and a H.264/265 video codec designed for Edge AI applications, as well as computer vision development kit.

        • Arduino-controlled gas mixing device fills DIY laser tubes | Arduino Blog

          Lasers come in two varieties: solid-state and gas tube. As the name suggests, the latter types contain gas. That is a mixture of gas in precise proportions. To fill his DIY laser tube, Cranktown City built an Arduino-controlled gas mixer.

          This device has an Arduino Uno board that drives three relay modules. The first relay switches power to a gas pump, the second relay controls an output valve, and the third relay controls an input valve. A push button starts the pumping process. The pump turns on and the input valve opens. Gas from a storage tank is pumped into an inflatable bag. Once the bag is full, as detected by a limit switch, the two valves flip and the gas pumps into the laser tube.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Norbert Preining: In memoriam of Areeb Jamal

        We lost one of our friends and core developers of the FOSSASIA community. An extremely sad day.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • I Want to Learn LibreOffice

          This is a collection of recommended videos and tutorials to practically learn LibreOffice for beginners divided to Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheet), and Impress (presentation). They are excellent, thorough, and rich of examples user guide made by TheFrugalComputerGuy (videos) and Ahuka (tutorials) -- they are people who care deeply about LibreOffice. If you want to learn LibreOffice, we suggest you start with their tutorials. Thank you very much for them for making these tutorials patiently for years!


          If you prefer learning by reading books or written tutorials, Prof. Kevin O'Brien, also known as Ahuka, one among speakers behind Hacker Public Radio -- a popular internet show about technologies --, made a thorough guide for Writer, Calc, and Impress you can learn by reading. Interestingly, each tutorial is accompanied by its audio recording from the Radio you can listen too. It is worth learning. No other one made such excellent tutorials can be read freely on the web (outside of the official tutorials) for LibreOffice up to today.

        • LibreOffice Macro Team: progress report

          Macros help users to automate common tasks in LibreOffice. In September 2019 we announced a new team in our community to work on macro support. The last progress report was published in April 2020, so it is high time to look into what has happened since then.


          The biggest single event was the introduction of ScriptForge Libraries in LibreOffice 7.1. ScriptForge and its documentation is a collaboration betwen Jean-Pierre Ledure, Alain Romedenne and Rafael Lima. You can read more about it in the January 2021 blog post and the work-in-progress Help content.

        • LibreOffice Conference: Call for Papers is Open !

          The Document Foundation invites all members and contributors to submit talks, lectures and workshops for this year’s LibreOffice Conference, which will take place online. The event is scheduled from September 23 to 25, Thursday to Saturday. Whether you are a seasoned presenter or have never spoken in public before, if you have something interesting to share about LibreOffice, ODF, the Document Liberation Project or the ODF Toolkit, we want to hear from you!

          Proposals should be filed by June 30, 2020, in order to guarantee that they will be considered for inclusion in the conference program.

      • CMS

        • CC Search to join

          The WordPress community has long advocated for a repository with GPL-compatible images, and it’s time to listen to that need. CC Search, a CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) image search engine, is joining the WordPress project with over 500 million openly licensed and public domain images discoverable from over 50 sources, audio and video soon to come.

        • Creative Commons Search to Relaunch on

          The Creative Commons search engine will soon be part of, as Automattic will begin sponsoring several members of the CC Search team to maintain it. The engine currently offers over 500 million images, audio, and videos, under Creative Commons licenses or the public domain, aggregating more than 45 different sources.

          Matt Mullenweg announced the acquisition on his personal blog, saying that CC Search would be “joining the WordPress project.” It is a major benefit to the community, providing a valuable resource for finding GPL-compatible images for use in WordPress-derivative products like themes and plugins. Mullenweg hinted at a long-term plan where deeply integrating CC search into is just the first step...

      • Programming/Development

        • Print Debugging Should Go Away

          There are many reasons why print debugging is still the best option for many developers. rr, Pernosco and similar tools can't even be used at all in many contexts. However, most of the limitations of these tools (programming languages, operating systems, hardware platforms, overhead) could be mitigated with sufficient investment in engineering work and a modicum of support from platform vendors. It's important to keep in mind that the level of investment in these tools to date has been incredibly low, basically just a handful of startups and destitute open source projects. If the software industry took debugging seriously — instead of just grumbling about the tools and reverting to print debugging (or, at best, building a polished implementation of the features debuggers have had since the 1980s) — and invested accordingly we could make enormous strides, and not many people would feel the need to resort to print debugging.

        • Laravel vs CodeIgniter - Which is Better PHP Framework for Development

          Laravel vs CodeIgniter - Which is Better PHP Framework for Development? we’re considering the two best PHP frameworks Laravel and CodeIgniter for website development.

        • Qt Design Studio 2.1 released

          Qt Design Studio is a UI design and development tool that enables designers and developers to rapidly prototype and create beautiful experiences for desktop, embedded, and mobile platforms. Both designers and developers use Qt Design Studio which makes collaboration between the two a lot simpler and more streamlined.

        • Python

          • Make a Countdown and Pomodoro Timer in Python

            In this tutorial, we’ll be creating a countdown timer that asks the user how much time (in seconds) they want to set the timer for—once time is up, print out “Blast Off!”.

            We’ll also be creating an extension to this project where we’ll make a Pomodoro Timer with 25-minute and 5-minute intervals—the Pomodoro technique is a productivity method that is often used while studying or working. It uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short 5 minute breaks.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash Command Line And Shell Scripts (Mercury Learning)

            but sometimes it just looks like the Linux command line. As a result books on the "language" have to make a choice of targeting programmers or users. Books that target the programmer tend to assume that the reader knows most of the basics of the Linux command line and proceed from this point to introduce programming features that make scripting possible.This Pocket Primer spends a lot of time discussing the Linux command line and so is much more suitable for the beginner.

            It starts off with a look at what Bash is and what shells use it and what you are likely to encounter in the real world. From here we have a fairly standard account of the command line mostly working with files. My only complaint is that there isn't enough distinction between the features that are Bash and those that are simply Linux/Unix utilities. Chapter 2 continues with an in-depth look at file commands. Chapter 3 lists "useful" commands - of course what is useful depends on what you are trying to do, but this is not a bad selection.

        • Rust

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut, dies at 90

        Collins was selected by NASA to become an astronaut in 1963. His first flight was a three-day mission aboard Gemini 10, which launched on July 18, 1966. The expedition conducted a docking test and double rendezvous in orbit, and during the flight, Collins became the third person in U.S. history to conduct a spacewalk.

        Apollo 11 was Collins' second flight into space. In his bestselling 1974 memoir, "Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journey," Collins reflected on his solitary time in orbit around the moon — an experience that prompted some to call him "the loneliest man in history."

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Austrian doctors confirm that Ramadan boosts corona infections – In German hospitals, there is already a separate (unofficial) specialist term for Muslim patients: “patients with communication blockage”

        The fact that, due to the prevailing “politically correct” ideology, any reference to migrants as potential source of infection is immediately dismissed as “racism” or “right-wing extremism”, no matter what the facts are, is certainly an obstacle. This makes a factual discussion or the implementation of effective countermeasures almost impossible.

      • COVID in India

        Delhi’s notorious pollution relented, and there were blue skies during my week there.

        But the pandemic was looming. A conference participant from Tokyo took ill with what turned out to be Delhi Belly (aka traveller’s diarrhoea). However, since Covid-19 has already taken hold in Japan, and some of its symptoms overlap with Delhi Belly, the organizers took him to a nearby clinic. They were not equipped to administer a Covid test, so he was sent on to a hospital with this capacity. To the relief of all at the conference, his test result was negative.

      • Indians are crowdsourcing aid as covid surges | MIT Technology Review

        Ninety percent of India’s oxygen supply—7,500 metric tons daily—is being directed to covid patients. Still, demand has been so overwhelming that any possible lead on extra supplies, no matter the price, can disappear quickly.

      • As India's COVID-19 deaths rise, grief goes online

        Unable to attend the funerals of friends and relatives dying in their thousands from a resurgent coronavirus, bereaved Indians like Sudarshana are channeling their grief through a rare safe public space: the internet.

        Images of burning funeral pyres and heart-rending eulogies have flooded social media since a surge in infections pushed the COVID-19 death toll to over 200,000 on Tuesday.

      • Breakthrough: New Malaria Vaccine Proves Highly Effective - The Wire Science

        Coronavirus vaccines have been developed and deployed in record time, but as global rollout has progressed, too few doses have been made available in low-income countries. It’s a stark reminder that when it comes to infectious diseases, the world’s poorest often get left behind.

        This is a problem that extends far beyond COVID-19. In Africa, for example, malaria has probably caused four times as many deaths as COVID-19 over the past year. Thankfully, our new research shows that an effective vaccine against malaria could now be closer than ever before.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Fortnite’s cash cow is PlayStation, not iOS, court documents reveal

          Court documents reveal that PlayStation 4 generated 46.8 percent of Fortnite’s total revenues from March 2018 through July 2020, while Xbox One, the second-highest platform, generated 27.5 percent. iOS ranked fifth, with just 7 percent of total revenue. The remaining 18.7 percent would have been split between Android, Nintendo Switch, and PCs.

        • Academics fret as Turnitin nears monopoly on plagiarism checks

          Turnitin’s proposal to buy out its last major competitor would give it a near monopoly in global academic integrity services, with insiders warning that the deal could reduce product diversity while handing the company a treasure trove of data.

          Turnitin’s latest planned acquisition is Ouriginal, a Stockholm-based company formed just last September from the union of European text-matching services Urkund and PlagScan. Turnitin said the deal was “subject to regulatory approvals”.

        • Apple Touts 660 Million Paid Subscriptions Across Services, Including TV, Music and Games

          Apple CFO Luca Maestri told analysts on an earnings call that the company had "more than 660 million paid subscriptions" across its services division, including video music, news and games, and that its video, music, games and advertising businesses all had their best quarters yet.

        • Apple profits double as it squares up to Facebook

          Sales to China nearly doubled, leading to overall revenues for the first three months of this year of $89.6bn (€£64.2bn), more than 50% up compared to a year earlier.

        • Will Apple’s tighter privacy rules for ads hurt Facebook?

          On April 26th Apple, which supplies one-fifth of the world’s smartphones and around half of America’s, introduced a software update that will end much of this snooping. Its latest mobile operating system forces apps to ask users if they want to be tracked. Many will decline. It is the latest move forcing marketers to rethink how they target online ads.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Uni group reveals the sordid buggy Linux kernel patch story

                Students and the staff member at the University of Minnesota who were involved in submitting known buggy patches to the Linux kernel project have released a statement which they claim details the full history behind their actions which were geared towards writing a research paper.

                In the statement, which was not attributed to anyone and dated 27 April, they said that the research paper had been withdrawn. It was linked online by the Linux Weekly News website, run by Jonathan Corbet, a developer himself.

                It said the group would detail two aspects: the message log of disclosure of the findings to the community; and the patches submitted.

                "By showing the details of the patches and the exchange of messages, we wish to help the community to confirm that the buggy patches were 'stopped' during message exchanges and not merged into the actual Linux code," the statement claimed.

              • Intentionally buggy commits for fame—and papers

                Fields asked for more details, some of which were filled in by Leon Romanovsky. A paper [PDF] by Qiushi Wu and Kangjie Lu, both of the University of Minnesota, details the process of introducing use-after-free bugs into the kernel for the purposes of, essentially, showing that it can be done—and presenting a paper about it, naturally. Romanovsky continued: "Yesterday, I took a look on 4 accepted patches from Aditya [Pakki] and 3 of them added various severity security 'holes'."

                Kernel developers have enough problems with bugs being added by mistake, so patches with intentional bugs are obviously unwelcome. Kroah-Hartman said that all of the patches coming from these developers need to be reverted because "what they are doing is intentional malicious behavior and is not acceptable and totally unethical". He put together a patch set of 190 reversions that he called the "easy" reverts; there is a set of 68 additional patches that need manual review to determine what to do about them. "Some of them are not able to be reverted as they already have been reverted, or fixed up with follow-on patches as they were determined to be invalid. Proof that these submissions were almost universally wrong."


                It is a horrifically messy situation, seemingly brought about by researchers who were not too concerned about the effects of their research on others. While Linux developers hardly need the additional work, the resulting "extra" scrutiny of new patches will be beneficial. It is a bit hard to see that as a silver lining, exactly—more like a sad but necessary outcome that was inevitable, as Roeck put it. This incident also should serve as a warning to researchers, at least hopefully, going forward: our communities are not playthings. Our code is free and open, but not for abuse.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium and shibboleth-sp), Fedora (ceph and salt), Oracle (thunderbird), Red Hat (etcd), Scientific Linux (nss and openldap), SUSE (curl, gdm, and libnettle), and Ubuntu (openjdk-8, openjdk-lts and underscore).

          • Too big to care: About the deteriorated abuse handling at some western IT giants

            Imagine you are in need of an ISP to host your 100,000 malware distribution sites. Which one would be your first choice? You operate a website for exchanging stolen credit card data, and need a reliable place for web and DNS services. Where do you go? A botnet operation of yours relies on reachable C&C servers, but even the dirtiest ISPs shut them down quickly. What to do?

            Among the western cloud providers that fit the bill are Google, Microsoft and Cloudflare. Choose three.


            Firewall rules tend to fail when it comes to malicious activity originating from big cloud providers or other heavily centralised IT players, such as major ESPs (email service providers). While processing Autonomous Systems makes it easier to permit access to one distinct cloud provider, but drop traffic to others located in the same area, they cannot protect against abuse within the AS or IP networks allowed.

            This is precisely why the author is so disappointed about Google, Microsoft and Cloudflare: Blocking them is impossible in almost any circumstances - even dropping traffic to single IP addresses of them already causes huge collateral damage. Worse, they know they can get away with this attitude. Among the motivations behind this post is to raise pressure on such ISPs, striving for a internet being less dirty than the one we have to make do with today.

            Using IPFire's web proxy in combination with some good and reliable domain-based blocklists2 is not a silver bullet either: While it helps to deny access to knowingly malicious domains hosted on legitimate infrastructure, it is of no use if the offending domain is something like firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com, being abused for hosting phishing sites for years.

          • Valid Takes: More Ethereum Upgrades to Come After Proof of Stake, Buterin Says

            The Ethereum 2.0 network had its first major incident on Saturday, April 24. A bug was discovered in the software client, Prysm, that prevented roughly 70% of validators on the network from producing blocks.

          • Daniel Kaminsky, Internet Security Savior, Dies at 42

            Daniel Kaminsky, a security researcher known for his discovery of a fundamental flaw in the fabric of the internet, died on Friday at his home in San Francisco. He was 42.

            His aunt, Dr. Toby Maurer, said the cause was diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that led to frequent hospitalizations in recent years.

          • Experian API Exposed Credit Scores of Most Americans
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook expects ad tracking problems from regulators and Apple

              “We continue to expect increased ad targeting headwinds in 2021 from regulatory and platform changes,” Facebook CFO Dave Wehner writes in the company’s Q1 2021 earnings release. Wehner specifically calls out iOS 14.5, which includes a feature that lets iPhone and iPad users easily stop apps from tracking them in certain ways. Facebook expects to start seeing an impact from the changes to iOS right away.

            • Facebook Revenue Soars to $26.1 Billion, Tops 2.85 Billion Monthly Active Users

              Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also addressed Apple introducing an iOS 14 privacy update that will impact her company's advertising conversions. "We're working with our customers to implement Apple's API and our own aggregated events measurement API to mitigate the impact of the iOS 14 changes," she told analysts.

            • Irish DPC "handles" 99,93% of GDPR complaints, without decision?

              The two hour hearing (full video 1, video 2 and video 3) before the Joint Committee on Justice was split into two sessions, with Max Schrems (noyb) and Fred Logue (FP Logue Solicitors) in the first session, and Helen Dixon (DPC) and Johnny Ryan (ICCL) in the second session. Witnesses in the first session largely agreed on countless issues with the DPC and highlighted that most complaints before the DPC hardly see any decisions - often for years. Despite reporting more than 10,000 complaints in 2020, the DPC only plans six to seven formal decisions in 2021, meaning that only 0.07% of all GDPR complaints might possibly see a formal decision. This "disappearance" of complaints led Mr Schrems to speculate about a "Bermuda triangle" at the DPC.

            • Citizen Lab Responds to NSO Group and Continued Spyware Abuse

              In December 2020, the Citizen Lab published The Great iPwn: Journalists Hacked with Suspected NSO Group iMessage ‘Zero-Click’ Exploit. This report detailed how government operatives used NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to hack 36 personal phones belonging to journalists, producers, anchors, and executives at Al Jazeera, as well as the personal phone of a journalist at London-based Al Araby TV. After the report was published, NSO Group stated that it would review the information in the report and undertake an investigation “if warranted.”

              However, the Citizen Lab has little reason to believe that such an investigation would be genuine, transparent, and thorough. As highlighted by a coalition of human rights organizations in a letter to NSO Group released today, NSO Group continues to fail in human rights compliance. The company has fallen far short of numerous promises and commitments it made, in particular with regards to transparency and its human rights due diligence framework. Dr. Ron Deibert, founder and director of the Citizen Lab, makes the following points in his latest reply to NSO Group: [...]

            • Poll: 72% Of Citizens Oppose EU Plans To Search All Private Messages For Allegedly Illegal Material And Report To The Police

              For the representative opinion poll citizens from the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden and Ireland were asked about their opinion on the automatic searching of all personal electronic mail and messages of each citizen for presumed suspicious content in the search for child pornography. On average across Europe, a large majority of 72% of respondents opposes the idea. Only 18% support the EU‘s plans.

              The survey was commissioned by the Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer who is negotiating the file for the Greens/EFA group. Breyer comments on the poll results as follows: [...]

            • Your social media photos could be used in ways you never expected | Opinion

              And this is the weird detail I can't get past: Last year, the majority of the pictures Detroit police used with the department's controversial facial recognition technology came from social media. This year, images from social media are running a close second to images from Project Greenlight.

              "We’re in a perpetual lineup, all day, every day," said Tawana Petty, a Detroit author and activist who. "Everybody is in a lineup, whether you snap a selfie, walk past a green light, drive past a traffic camera ... if there happens to be a surveillance camera in your neighborhood. All day, every day, in a lineup, hoping you don’t get misidentified for something you didn’t do."

              Part of what seems odd about this social media thing is that most of us have no idea that the pictures we upload to social media could be used in this way.

            • Signal Received Grand Jury Subpoena to Hand Over User Data

              Signal has received a subpoena coming from the United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California, asking the end-to-end encrypted IM platform to hand over user data that was determined to be relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations.

            • Confused U.S. Feds Subpoena Signal for Data It Doesn’t Collect

              For the second time in several years, Signal has been subpoenaed by U.S. federal investigators for data that the encrypted chat app company doesn’t actually collect.

              In a statement published Wednesday, the company disclosed that it had recently received a summons from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California. The request comes from investigators with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and asks for data on half a dozen Signal users — including their addresses, “their correspondence, and the name associated with each account,” along with other subscriber data.

              Apparently, the investigators who filed the subpoena aren’t too familiar with the company. All Signal can actually do is provide them with Unix timestamps for when each user account was created and the date when each account last connected to Signal’s servers — because that’s all the company actually collects. As a recent comparison between different data collection practices by various chat apps shows, Signal is in a league of its own when it comes to respecting users’ privacy. Whereas something like WhatsApp, despite offering encryption, still hoovers up a host of analytics and user information including your name, location, contacts, user and device ID, etc., Signal retains pretty much zilch.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The MH17 Trial: The Dangers of Presuming the Fairness of a Geopolitically-Driven Enterprise

        November 2020 saw the conclusion in Schiphol, the Dutch airport near Amsterdam, to the pre-trial hearings in the case being brought by the Dutch Prosecution Service against three Russians (Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov) and one Ukrainian (Leonid Kharchenko), former military leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic. They were charged with the delivery of a Russian Buk-Telar missile launcher that was allegedly used by separatists in eastern Donbass to shoot down civilian Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, with the ensuing loss of 298 lives.

      • Jeremy Scahill: Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy Record Shows Evolution of U.S. Empire Since Vietnam War

        An investigation into President Joe Biden’s foreign policy record reveals “the history of the evolution of the American empire, from the Vietnam War to the present,” says Jeremy Scahill, award-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept, which recently published a project titled “Empire Politician” that examines Biden’s stances on war and militarism. Scahill says Joe Biden is the first president in decades to come to the White House after spending significant time in Congress, but it’s not clear whether that will push him toward greater restraint in matters of war and peace. “Biden has spent his entire life railing against executive overreach, demanding that Congress be in charge of declaring war, and he may well be presented with a conflict around the world where it’s going to really call the question on which Joe Biden shows up: Joe Biden, commander in chief, or Joe Biden who spent most of the past 50 years as a senator demanding that Congress be given its proper authority,” says Scahill.

      • “Empire Politician”: Joe Biden’s Half-Century Record on Foreign Policy, War, Militarism & the CIA

        As President Joe Biden nears his 100th day in the White House, we look at his foreign policy record, both as president and over the past five decades. A new project created by Jeremy Scahill, award-winning journalist and senior correspondent at The Intercept, examines Biden’s stances on war, militarism and the CIA going back to the early 1970s, when he was first elected as a senator in Delaware. We air a video discussing the project, titled “Empire Politician,” featuring Scahill.

      • QAnon fans are obsessed with Arizona vote "audit," still hoping for Trump comeback

        The audit is being conducted by Florida-based tech company Cyber Ninjas, owned by Doug Logan, a known QAnon conspiracy theorist who, in advance of the recount, speculated that it would garner an extra 200,000 votes for Donald Trump, according to the Huffington Post. Logan himself has widely spread false claims on Twitter that Trump lost the election due to systemic fraud, without of course supplying any evidence.

        Arizona Republican officials had reportedly never heard of Cyber Ninjas, which has no known experience in auditing elections. On Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury demanded that the firm provide more transparency regarding its recount procedures. Cyber Ninjas has so far refused to hand over such information, claiming it would "compromise the security of its recount," according to The Arizona Republic. The company also alleged that divulging the details of its recount procedures would threaten its trade secrets.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Pirates: Mandatory Transparency Register For Lobbying In EU Institutions Doesn’t Live Up To Its Name

        Yesterday evening, the European Parliament endorsed an Interinstitutional Agreement for a Mandatory Transparency Register, aiming at implementing stricter rules for lobbying within Parliament, Commission and Council. While the text is an important step towards more transparency, it fails at its aim of enhancing openness of the EU decision-making processes. For the Pirates Delegation in the Greens/EFA Group, significant registration exemptions represent missed opportunities for more accountability in the institutions.

    • Environment

      • Julian Casablancas Interviews Noam Chomsky on Latest ‘S.O.S. — Earth Is a Mess’

        The interview ends with Casablancas asking Chomsky what he would do with a magic wand, to which he replies, “If I had a magic wand, I would get people to understand… let’s take the environment, which is the most crucial issue we face. You can’t overestimate, we have maybe a decade or two, that’s it, in which we can decide to get the heating of the environment under control. If we don’t do it, we’re finished. It’s not that everybody’s going to die the next year, but we’ll be on a course that is irreversible.”

      • Energy

        • The Composer Who Fought Uranium Mining on the Orkneys

          “Yellow cake” or uranium ore, seemed like an unlikely subject matter for a cabaret. But Maxwell Davies was an unlikely kind of musician — deeply connected to causes including gay rights, anti-war and the environment.

          I first learned of the music of Maxwell Davies through Donald Ranvaud, another renaissance polymath, who was teaching at the University of Warwick when I was a student there and inspired in me a passion for Italian cinema, especially Bertolucci and Pasolini.

      • Wildlife/Nature

      • Overpopulation

        • Counterpoint: In truth, overpopulation is blighting human lives

          In recent years, several economists have argued that future population decreases would be economically deleterious. Although Cowen notes this only briefly, others have been more explicit that fewer people, leading to decreased consumption and reduced economic growth, will damage the global economy. This is the case only if humanity stubbornly pursues an 18th-century economic system that understandably did not anticipate the constraints of the 21st-century world.

        • ‘It’s a massive injustice’: inside a film on the dangers of overpopulation

          When asked why people might perceive him as evil, he sheepishly replies: “By wasting a limited resource that should be left for future generations.” It is this dichotomy of consumption and conservation that’s the root of the new documentary 8 Billion Angels.

          It’s a film about the connection between climate change and overpopulation, demonstrated through the intersection between human geography and resource management. It’s the brainchild of producer Terry Spahr, who previously worked in the private sector but the realities of climate change frightened him into action.

        • Population growth and resource depletion

          Students may have a hard time understanding that population growth is controlled not only by birth and death rates but also by the present population. The mathematics of exponential growth govern the prediction of population growth. In some cases, you may want to point out that students may have heard of exponential growth in other contexts, such as compound interest or the spread of viral disease. The rate of population growth at any given time can be written: [...]

        • Poverty and overpopulation
        • [Old] Letter: Overpopulation is the elephant in the room

          Around 1920 the global population was about a third of what it is today. In 1968 it was about half. The population doubled from 1968 and is now approaching 8 billion and growing rapidly.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Verizon Communications Is Weighing a Sale of Yahoo!, AOL Unit

        Verizon Communications Inc. is considering selling its media division, according to people familiar with the matter, as the telecommunications giant seeks to unload once high-flying dot-com brands such as Yahoo! and AOL.

        Verizon Media could fetch as much as $5 billion, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. The company is talking to Apollo Global Management Inc. about a deal, they said. It couldn’t immediately be learned how a deal would be structured or if other suitors may emerge. No final decision has been made and Verizon could opt to keep the unit.

      • How to stream President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress

        President Biden will deliver his first joint address to Congress on Wednesday. There will be an unusually small crowd in the House chamber due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but the event will be streamed on social media platforms for viewers across the country.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Right-wing lies like Biden's beef ban and Kamala's book spread too fast for corrections to counter

        In both cases, however, it's highly unlikely that corrections will ever penetrate the consciousness of the average person who shared straight-faced posts referencing these fake stories on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or the other social media sites. On the contrary, you'll probably be hearing right wing relatives griping about Harris using her book to indoctrinate migrant children and "jokes" about Biden's burgers for years to come.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook claims it mistakenly hid posts calling for India’s prime minister to resign

        When Facebook users tried to view a hashtag calling for the resignation of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, they instead saw a message saying that Facebook was temporarily hiding the posts in order to keep the community safe. Buzzfeed News reports that the posts were hidden for about three hours.

      • Controversial EU Anti-Terror Internet Regulation TERREG Adopted

        After the European Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) agreed to a new EU regulation to prevent the dissemination of terrorist content online (TERREG) by 52:14 votes last week, the regulation has now been deemed approved by the plenary without a vote. The regulation will allow national authorities to have Internet content removed, even if hosted in another Member State, within one hour, without requiring a court order. The proposal has been criticized by numerous NGOs as well as UN Special Rapporteurs, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

      • PM says his approach to tackle blasphemy will work

        “I want the Muslim countries to devise a joint line of action over the blasphemy issue with a warning of trade boycott of countries where such incidents will happen. This will be the most effective way to achieve the goal.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Jeremy Scahill on Biden’s “War Against Whistleblowers,” from Daniel Ellsberg to Edward Snowden

        We continue our conversation with The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, who just published a groundbreaking new project on Joe Biden’s decades-long foreign policy record. Scahill says that during his years in the U.S. Senate, Biden “almost never meets a war he doesn’t support,” becoming one of the most hawkish figures in Washington in the 1990s and 2000s. Scahill also discusses Biden’s “war against whistleblowers,” from Daniel Ellsberg to Edward Snowden.

      • New Report Shows Curbs to Media Freedom in Europe

        Leading media organizations and watchdog groups have issued a new report concerning threats to press freedom across Europe. It documents a record number of reported violations including physical attacks, harassment, intimidation and online violence against journalists in 2020 — in some cases intensified by COVID-19 pandemic measures.

        This is the third annual report authored by media groups partnering with the 47-member Council of Europe to promote press protection and safety in a region stretching from Portugal to Russia.

        Among its key findings: eroding legal protections for journalists and government interference are threatening free expression and the media’s role as watchdog against abuse.

      • 2 Spanish Journalists Among 3 Killed in Ambush in Burkina Faso

        In Burkina Faso, violence has fueled a fast-growing displacement crisis, with more than a million people fleeing their homes since 2019, according to the United Nations’ humanitarian affairs body. Three million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, in a country with a population of 20 million.

      • Two Spanish journalists killed in eastern Burkina Faso

        War reporter David Beriain and cameraman Roberto Fraile were killed when the government convoy they were accompanying was attacked yesterday morning on the road leading to the Pama national park in the east of the country, several Burkinabe security and governmental sources told RSF.

        They were travelling with the convoy with the aim of covering its operations against poachers. This park is located near the tri-border Sahel zone – Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso – where several armed groups are active.

      • Spanish journalists David Beriain and Roberto Fraile killed in Burkina Faso

        The two journalists were working on a documentary about poaching when unidentified gunmen ambushed the group of about 40 people they were traveling with, according to those news reports. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez confirmed the journalists’ deaths in a tweet today.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • “They’re Trying to Make It So We Walk Away”: It’s About to Get Harder to File Lawsuits Saying Sugar Harvesters Poisoned the Air

        Two years ago, a group of residents from the rural Glades region of western Palm Beach County took powerful sugar companies to court, alleging that the farmers’ harvesting practices were poisoning poor communities in Florida’s heartland.

        For sugar companies, the most efficient way to cull crops is to burn away the plant’s leafy outer stalk, which sends plumes of smoke and ash into mostly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods on the northern edge of the Everglades. Some residents say the smoke is making them and their children sick. The industry disputes that claim and has sought to dismiss the lawsuit.

      • A fired Amazon worker is trying to unionize four NYC-area facilities

        Amazon workers at four different facilities near Staten Island have begun the process of unionizing with the Amazon Labor Union. The organizing effort is being led by Christian Smalls, a former warehouse worker who was fired in March after organizing a walkout to protest unsafe working conditions during the pandemic, according to Protocol.

        The company has responded by posting anti-union messages on TV screens at JFK8, the fulfillment center where Smalls used to work. “KNOW THE FACTS BEFORE YOU SIGN A UNION CARD,” reads one of the messages obtained by Motherboard. “If someone asks you to provide your personal information or sign a union card, do not release your personal information without knowing all the facts.”

      • Who Is Mario Gonzalez? Bodycam Shows Police Kneeling on Man Before His Death

        But Gonzalez's family says he was complying with the officers and they had no reason to use force.

        "The police killed my brother in the same manner they killed George Floyd," his brother Gerardo Gonzalez said after viewing the body camera footage of the incident.

        The nearly hourlong video from the body cameras of two of the officers involved was posted on YouTube on Tuesday.

      • Video Shows Police Laughing at Footage of Arrest of Woman With Dementia

        In the newly released footage, an hourlong video uploaded to YouTube by the law firm representing Ms. Garner, three Loveland police officers laugh while they watch footage of Ms. Garner’s arrest.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • A Digital Dystopia: How Calls for Backdoors to Encryption Would Ruin the Internet for Everyone

        Imagine what would happen if they got their wish. Without secure encryption, the Internet – and parts of the world that increasingly rely on it – would soon become a dystopia.

        It would have a dramatic effect on the ability of business and governments to continue functioning, especially when most collaboration is happening online. The risks of information breaches, trade secrets, and employee information being leaked would have long-term, negative implications – the very reason businesses and governments rely on encryption to secure their data.

      • Internet freedom declined in Pakistan in 2020, says report

        Internet freedom in Pakistan declined dramatically in 2020 due to increased blocking of political, social and cultural websites by the government, beefed-up operationalisation of an undeclared policy of connectivity restrictions and increased disinformation and weaponisation of the cybercrime law as a tool.

        This is the crux of the findings of the “Annual Pakistan media legal review 2020” report launched by the Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA) to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

    • Monopolies

      • Google Says Pretty Much Everything Shields It From Being Sued Over Things Telegram Users Said

        An ambassador who last worked as a US ambassador more than two decades ago recently sued Apple and Google for… well, let's go to the tape. Apparently, it's somehow these two companies' fault that Telegram users make anti-Semitic comments and otherwise make "Ambassador Marc Ginsberg" (as the plaintiff refers to himself in his complaints) feel unsafe.

      • Australian antitrust watchdog goes after preinstalled iOS apps

        As part of an investigation into app store dominance, namely Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this week called for the two tech giants to give users more choice when it comes to preinstalled apps.


        "There is a need for consumers to have more choice through an ability to change any preinstalled default app on their device that is not a core phone feature," the report reads. "This would provide consumers with more control to choose the app that best meets their needs, and promote more robust competition in downstream markets for apps."

        So-called "choice screens" are being investigated as a potential solution. Seen on Android, the feature presents users with the option of downloading alternative search engines and browsers, but could be broadened in Australia to include preinstalled apps.

        In Russia, Apple implements a similar feature to adhere to local law, albeit with government-approved apps. Elsewhere, iOS 14 users are able to change the system default browser, email app and search engine in the Settings app.

      • Patents

        • U.S. Patent Office Issues Notice of Allowance for Nicox’s Latanoprostene Bunod in Normal Tension Glaucoma
        • Meril Life Sciences denied compulsory licenses in heart valve dispute [Ed: These patents can only lead to more deaths, nothing else]

          The dispute between Edwards Lifescience and Meril Life Sciences spans numerous jurisdictions and numerous patents. All patents relate to minimally-invasive heart valve technology. Now, the Federal Patent Court in Germany has denied Meril a compulsory licence.

          Edwards Lifescience owns several patents and utility models for this technology, including EP 3 593 762 B1, EP 3 498 226 B1, EP 2 628 464 B1, EP 3 494 928 B1, EP 3 494 930 B1 and EP 3 590 471 B1. These patents protect minimally-invasive heart valves and accessories. A further patent, EP 3 494 929, relates to a delivery system for transcatheter heart valves.

          US company Edwards Lifescience provides the heart valves in four sizes which can be individually adapted to patients’ physical conditions. However, Meril offers its product in a larger variation of sizes.

        • EPO President comments on referral G1/21 [Ed: EPO management breaks the law, then attacks the courts, then lies about the whole thing. Incredible! Will the German government wake up and do something before it's too late?]

          Yesterday, the President of the EPO submitted written observations to the Enlarged Board of Appeal on case G 1/21, "Oral proceedings by videoconference". The referral concerns the question whether the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference is compatible with the right to oral proceedings as enshrined in Article 116(1) EPC if not all of the parties to the proceedings have given their consent to the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference.

        • EPO President at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce on the support to innovators [Ed: The criminal who runs the EPO is doing lobbying while pretending he stands for innovation]

          Yesterday, 27 April, EPO President António Campinos appeared as guest speaker at a virtual meeting of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce's Research and Innovation Committee.

          Mr Campinos spoke with the committee members about the significant role that innovation and intellectual property can play in a sustainable recovery of the global economy. "It's the innovation sector that's going to help us get back to better days", he said.

        • Clean energy innovation slowing globally: report [Ed: When the EPO isn't misusing funds to bribe scholars (for self-serving propaganda) it does this greenwashing of patents]

          A joint report by the European Patent Office and the International Energy Agency found that found that the average annual growth rate of patents for low carbon emissions technologies has fallen to 3.3 percent since 2017, considerably slower than the average level of 12.5 percent in the period 2000-2013.

        • Clean Energy Innovations Slowed Between 2017-19 [Ed: EPO pretends to be doing studies (propaganda), clearly a misuse of a patent office for objectives unrelated to it]
        • Clean energy patents rise, but below 10-year rate: IEA [Ed: More greenwashing stunts of the EPO have reached far and wide. Are these publications bribed (the EPO does bribe publishers)?]

          The new joint study by the IEA and the European Patent Office (EPO), titled “Patents and the energy transition: global trends in clean energy technology innovation”, finds that patents related to low-carbon energy technologies grew on average by 3.3% a year in the 2017-19 period, highlighting that innovation progress will be essential to accelerate the transition to clean energy,

        • Software Patents

          • $2,250 Awarded for KinectUs prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Vibhor Dimri, who received a cash prize of $2,250 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent 9,294,428. The patent is owned by KinectUs LLC. The '428 patent generally relates to a system and method for establishing a communication between mobile device users that register with a collaboration system, which determines a match between profile data of the first registered mobile device and profile data of the second registered mobile device. It is currently being asserted against Bumble Trading, LLC.

      • Copyrights

        • Activision Fights Back Against Call of Duty Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

          Activision and Infinity Ward were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in February alleging that the companies made a direct copy of a character called "Cade Janus" and relabeled her as "Mara" in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. In a response filed this week, the defendants provide a laundry list of affirmative defenses including fair use and the existence of an implied license.

        • File-Sharing Site Wants Movie Company to Pay For Overturned Anti-Piracy Filter

          Czech file-sharing and hosting site Ulož.to has successfully appealed a preliminary court order that required it to block files that contain the word "Charlatan." The broad measure, requested by movie distributor CinemArt, was overturned on appeal and the file-sharing site is now looking for more than $36,000 in compensation.

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