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Links 07/08/2022: SystemRescue 9.04 Out, Debian Officially Celebrates Censorship

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Matt RickardWill v8 Isolates Coexist With Containers?

        Long term, will v8 Isolates become the basis of a generalized computing platform, or will containers (or some other type of software container)? Or will there continue to be separate infrastructure, application, and edge runtimes? The isolation technologies are complementary today – they make different trade-offs with cold starts, security boundaries, and resource profiles. You'll find v8 Isolates powering edge functions like Cloudflare Workers (but not Lambda@Edge). However, there are many public and private companies working to make isolates more generalized – hardening the security boundary, improving the cold starts, and expanding the supported languages (through WebAssembly).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Petros KoutoupisRapidDisk Tutorial – Episode 2: NVMe Target Exporting – Random [Tech] Stuff

        RapidDisk is an advanced Linux RAM Disk which consists of a collection of modules and an administration tool. Features include: Dynamically allocate RAM as block device. Use them as stand alone disk drives or even map them as caching nodes to slower local disk drives. Access those drives locally or export those volumes across an NVMe Target network.

      • VideoThe SDDM Login Manager Has So Many Amazing Themes - Invidious

        Over the years, I've tried out a few different login managers for Linux. But recently, I have switched over to using SDDM mainly due to its choice of so many gorgeous themes. And it's easy to customize the themes to your liking!

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • LinuxTechiTop 12 Things to Do After Installing Linux Mint 21 (Vanessa)

        Linux Mint is one of the highly rated Linux distribution for desktops. Recently Linux Mint 21, code name Vanessa has been released. We have already covered an article which shows Linux mint 21 Installation steps.

        In this article, we will learn what are the Top 12 things to do after installing Linux Mint 21.

      • Data SwampCreating a NixOS live USB for a full featured APU router

        At home, I'm running my own router to manage Internet, run DHCP, do filter and caching etc... I'm using an APU2 running OpenBSD, it works great so far, but I was curious to know if I could manage to run NixOS on it without having to deal with serial console and installation.

      • Internxt – Web3 Ready Privacy-centric Cloud Storage with Linux client

        Cloud storage has grown in importance in our daily digital lives. Almost all of us utilise some form of cloud storage service to ensure that our crucial information are kept forever. While cloud storage allows us to keep our data and retrieve them whenever and wherever we want, not all of them are as private and safe as Internxt.

      • Ubuntu PitHow To Enable Dark Mode on Chromebook
      • uni TorontoLink: The MGR Window System

        The MGR Window System (via) is a brief introduction to MGR, an interesting and under-mentioned Unix windowing system, including a screenshot. I once used MGR myself and have reasonably fond memories of it, so it's nice to see more writing about it on the Internet.

      • DebugPointList Files and Directories in Style Using lsd and exa

        Reimagine and style your file and directories list using two ls utilities – lsd and exa.

        The ls command in Linux is the most used command. This command lists files and directories in the terminal. So, as you can see, it’s pretty popular and perhaps used by everyone.

        But the command outputs a large set of information, and it’s sometimes easier to view them colourfully.

        For example, if you run the ls command in the most basic way, it should look somewhat like this.

    • Games

      • Thomas RinsmaPorting Doom to a payment terminal

        For the past half a year or so I have been playing around with a specific type of payment terminal, the VX820 from Verifone.

        I randomly bought a couple of second-hand devices, and found out that they are wonderful pieces of hardware with lots of potential for alternative uses. I figured that a fun goal for myself would be to port Doom to it, which would nicely showcase the device’s unexpected computational power.

      • ScummVMLilah? Is that you? This place... it's... amazing...

        Obsidian, the first supported game of the mTropolis engine, is ready for public testing!

        Created in 1996 by Rocket Science Games and published in early 1997, this ambitious 3D-rendered first-person adventure has you journey through 4 surreal, dream-like worlds in search of your lost colleague.

      • Evan HahnEverything we know about the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as of August 2022
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KritaWhat the Krita Developers Are Up To, Part II

           Krita 5.1 is nearing its release, and working on that has claimed a lot of our attention. Not that there haven’t been other things happening!

          And not just bug reports, though with on average a hundred new bug reports a month, that’s taking a lot of work as well. Even if the bug report is more a cry for user support than a real bug report, it will take time to evaluate and close. Say, on average, half an hour of engagement with the report and reporter before the real work starts, just triaging these bugs takes 50 hours a month!

          At the same time, every artist who starts using Krita will have ideas that must be implemented, so there is a never ending stream of feature requests, often of the form “Photoshop has X, it’s incredible that Krita still hasn’t X, too!”. That is not only discouraging, it is also a big timesink. And since there’s so much of it, it’s not possible for the Krita developers to meaningfully engage with all the ideas artists bring to the table.

        • Review: KDE neon 5.25

           In conclusion, I emphasize that for most other things that I use my computer to do, I would install & use other applications anyway (like GNU Emacs for programming or VLC for audio or video), so I feel like my review doesn't have to go much beyond what I've written thus far. I was quite happy & comfortable using KDE, and if I ever have to move away from MATE, I'd be fine with going to KDE. In fact, if the Linux Mint developers still made a KDE edition (which they stopped doing many years ago in order to focus efforts on MATE, Cinnamon, and Xfce), I'd seriously consider using it. It is worth noting that some things I used to harp on in my reviews many years ago, like desktop effects, accessing remote filesystems, and seeing & interacting with previews of audio or video files as well as folders in the file browser, no longer matter to me, so in that regard, I may be easier to please now than I was several years ago. (UPDATE: I forgot to also mention that compared to several years ago, with the exception of Mozilla Firefox, I much prefer visible top menu bars in each application instead of consolidated menu buttons. I'm glad that KDE applications give the option to restore a full menu bar, though it might have been nice to have a global KDE setting to show or hide full menu bars for all KDE applications or to allow each application to have its own setting.) In any case, I really like what I see, and I think KDE is a desktop environment that can work for almost anyone.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • SlashdotCan a Fork Save Cutefish OS (or Its Desktop)? - Slashdot

      In April ZDNet called its beta "the cutest Linux distro you'll ever use," praising the polished "incredible elegance" of Debian-based Cutefish OS, with its uncluttered, MacOS-like "Cutefish DE" desktop.

    • Ruben SchadeRubenerd: Superficial Linux distribution reviews

      Google’s search results for software projects, technical announcements, and questions have steadily been reduced to a mountain of spam and duplicate content wrapped with ads. The remaining original material also tends to be hastily produced, with only a superficial exploration and grasp of the topic they discuss before moving onto the next thing.


      These define the ethos and practical applications of a distribution, and get to the interesting questions and points of difference people care about.

      I don’t mean to criticise everyone here. For every churn factory producing low-quality clickbait (the Linux equivalent of those 5 Minute Craft lifehack videos), there are others who are breaking into the space and wanting to share their journey. We should encourage this! I just think with only minor tweaks and a few additional ideas, this content could be way more useful.

      We need more authentic voices if we’re ever going to be heard over spammers.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • LWNFuture of reiserfs in Tumbleweed (and beyond)
        Hi folks -

        When we introduced reiserfs in SUSE products over 20 years ago, it was a cutting edge file system that brought the protection of journaling to Linux for the first time. In 2006, I proposed moving away from it in openSUSE as the default file system, citing a small and shrinking developer community. These days, while I am technically the maintainer of the reiserfs userspace project upstream. Practically, it's abandoned and I haven't touched it in over 5 years. The kernel implementation gets attention only when updating a common subsystem requires it. It has none of the resiliency features that we've come to expect from modern file systems, and that includes the ability to craft file system images that could result in system crash or possibly compromise.

        It's time to let reiserfs go from openSUSE entirely.

        So, I propose: - Removing the reiserfs package from Tumbleweed immediately (and fixing any fallout caused by removing libreiserfscore), - Disable the kernel implementation immediately.

        I recognize that there may be people out there with disks containing reiserfs file systems. If these are in active use, I would seriously encourage migrating to something actively maintained. If these are sitting on a shelf for archival purposes, GRUB ships with a fuse frontend for all of its file system drivers, including reiserfs. It's not fast but it's enough for data access.

      • LWNOpenSUSE considers dropping reiserfs

        As Jeff Mahoney notes in this message to the openSUSE factory list, the reiserfs filesystem has been unmaintained for years and lacks many of the features that users have come to expect. He has thus proposed removing reiserfs from openSUSE Tumbleweed immediately.

      • Ish SookunAnnouncing the availability of two openSUSE mirrors in Mauritius

        I was invited to speak at the event and I chose to explain a little about openSUSE, its different distributions and how we have managed to set up two mirrors to improve the performance of openSUSE updates in Mauritius.

        Girish is a representative for OSCA Mauritius and he works at OceanDBA. He put all the effort into organising this event. At about 09h30, the conference room at Flying Dodo was almost full. Girish welcomed everyone and introduced the presentation themes for the day.

    • Arch Family

      • 9to5LinuxArch Linux-Based SystemRescue 9.04 Distro Brings New Packages, Improvements

         SystemRescue 9.04 also comes with several new packages to make your system administration tasks easier. These include the rclone command-line utility to manage files on cloud storage, unrar data compression, encryption and archiving tool, qemu-img disk image utility, as well as multipath-tools binaries to drive the Device Mapper multipathing driver.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Jean-François Fortin TamJean-François Fortin Tam: Unsettled by Unison’s Fadeaway from Fedora

        This is in part a rallying cry for packagers, but also a story illustrating how fragile user workflows can be, and how some seemingly inconsequential decisions at the distro level can have disastrous consequences on the ability of individuals to continue running your FLOSS platform.


        But karma had other plans. As I wanted to upgrade from Fedora 33 to Fedora 34 (and newer) in the spring of 2021, I found out that Unison, another mission-critical app I’ve been depending on everyday for the last 15+ years, has been orphaned from Fedora. Déjà-vu, anyone?


        “Sounds like a lot of community management work. Why don’t you just switch distros?”

        Pretty much no other distro does exactly what Fedora does (and listing the possible alternative distros here would be beyond the scope of this blog post).

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Suicide FYI: Lucas Nussbaum & Debian attempted exploit of OVH Hosting insider

        When Debian cabalists wanted to steal the domain in 2014, they didn't go to a lawyer or the World Intellectual Property Organization.

        The Debian Project Leader (DPL), Lucas Nussbaum, who is a professor at Université de Lorraine, France, relied on another Debian Developer to tap the shoulder of an insider at OVH, which is also a French company, to see if the domain registration could be hijacked covertly.

        According to the email below, OVH managers didn't want to get involved in Debian dirty politics.

      • Ownership of domain [Ed: This statement was issued on a Sunday; they've solved none of the underlying issues, they're just gagging those who speak about Debian issues]

        The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), under its Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), decided that ownership of the domain should be transferred to the Debian Project.

        The appointed panel found that the disputed domain name is identical to a trademark in which the Complainant has rights.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Linux Mint 21 "Vanessa" Released

        Linux Mint 21, codenamed “Vanessa,” is now available packed with a slew of new features. This release is based on the most recent Ubuntu LTS release, 22.04.

        This post will go over what’s new in Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa.” Thousands of people have been waiting for this stable release of Linux Mint, and once it is available, it will be fascinating to see if it is worthwhile to upgrade to the latest version.

        One of the most popular Linux distributions is Linux Mint. Linux Mint is a great place to start if you’re new to Linux. It’s available in three flavours: Cinnamon, Xfce, and Mate. It works on practically all modern computers and supports both old and new hardware. The large community assists new Linux users in acclimating to the environment by providing quick resolutions to all typical problems.

        However, there should be no mistake that it is solely for newcomers. I’ve been using Linux Mint for years due to its stability, timely updates, and a vast community that teaches new things about everyday.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Content Management Systems (CMS)

    • Programming/Development

      • Barry KaulerBaCon dependency removed from OE

        Many years ago, I was keen on BaCon. It converts traditional BASIC language to C and then calls gcc to create an executable. The problem I have is that it is cross-compiler-unfriendly. Host x86_64 and target x86_64, compiled in OE, it would generated executables, but some simply didn't work. Host x86_64, target i686, compiling in OE is broken.

        I have previously rewritten some in C, however, there still remained picscale', 'popup', 'pup_event_ipc', 'find_cat' and 'debdb2pupdb'.

      • Dirk EddelbuettelDirk Eddelbuettel: RApiSerialize 0.1.1 on CRAN: Updates

        A new release 0.1.1 of RApiSerialize is now on CRAN. While this is the first release in seven years (!!), it brings mostly minor internal updates along with the option of using serialization format 3.

        The package is used by both my RcppRedis as well as by Travers excellent qs package. Neither one of us has a need to switch to format 3 yet so format 2 remains the default. But along with other standard updates to package internals, it was straightforward to offer the newer format so that is what we did.

      • coarse or lazy? -- wingolog

        One of the things that had perplexed me about the Immix collector was how to effectively defragment the heap via evacuation while keeping just 2-3% of space as free blocks for an evacuation reserve.


        To Immix, a "recyclable" block is partially full: it contains surviving data from a previous collection, but also some holes in which to allocate. But when would you have recyclable blocks at evacuation-time? Evacuation occurs as part of collection. Collection usually occurs when there's no more memory in which to allocate. At that point any recyclable block would have been allocated into already, and won't become recyclable again until the next trace of the heap identifies the block's surviving data. Of course after the next trace they could become "empty", if no object survives, or "full", if all lines have survivor objects.

      • Python

        • Niels ProvosType-On Typewriter Animation in Nuke

          Users of AfterEffects are used to a plethora of presets for text animation. Unfortunately, text animation in Nuke is significantly limited in that the contents of the text field cannot be easily animated. I was working on producing a music video in which type-on text shows the lyrics in time with the music and ran into the limitation. I was not willing to mask letters individually using roto tools and instead decided to write a small python program that generates the animation in side of Nuke.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Jim NielsenMultiple Inline SVGs (From QuickChart)

        I’m working on generating some stats and accompanying graphs for my blog (blog post to come on this…).

        For the charts, I’m using the API (a tool I’ve used before) and it’s beautifully simple: pass data as a URL, get back a chart.

        It’s working. My build hits the quickchart API, gets an SVG, and inlines it into my HTML. It looks great!

  • Leftovers

    • SparkFun ElectronicsMeet Mariah! - News - SparkFun Electronics

      Hey all! My name is Mariah Kelly and I will be your Technical Documentation and Content Support Specialist for this evening. Now, if you’ll take a moment to review the safety guide located in the seatback pocket in front of you – ah, just messin’ with ya! I’ve worked at SparkFun for almost two years and am so excited to now be on this team, interacting with y’all and making cool things together!

    • ChrisMarkov Chains for Queueing Systems

      I’m finally taking the time to learn queueing theory more properly, and one of the exercises in the book I’m reading1 really got me with how simple it was, yet how much it revealed about how to analyse some queueing systems without simulating them.

    • Positech GamesOfficially announcing the next Democracy 4 expansion – Cliffski's Blog

      In the old days, I used to send press releases to news websites etc…and maybe I’ll still do that once I’m testing this and have some screenshots to show. Not that screenshots of Democracy 4 are exactly a visual feast that makes people’s jaws drop as they gasp at the photorealism…but there ya go.

    • Science

      • WiredVR Still Stinks Because It Doesn’t Smell | WIRED

        VR STILL STINKS, and its stench has many notes. It reeks of rich white guys, who wildly overfund and consistently overhype the always-on-the-verge-of-a-breakthrough technology. It has a festering funk of entrenched privilege, despite its purveyors’ claims that it fosters empathy and inclusion. It’s too expensive and only getting more so. Meta’s and the crypto community’s forays into VR stand to make it more putrid. It also, some complain, smells underbaked: In VR, nobody has legs. But perhaps more than anything, the metaverse stinks because it doesn’t smell like anything.

        Smell is VR’s blind spot. Most VR technologists don’t even notice the lack of smells or worry about its consequences, despite the fact that convincing smell technology is becoming available.

      • ACMBuilding a Practical Quantum Computer

        Researchers have speculated about quantum computation for decades, but recent years have seen steady experimental advances, as well as theoretical proofs that it can efficiently do things that classical computing devices cannot. The field is attracting billions of dollars from governmental research agencies and technology giants, as well as startups. Conventional companies also are exploring the potential impact of quantum computing.

      • IEEEThis Startup Is Using AI to Help Keep Store Shelves Stocked

        StartupWisy developed an AI platform to make it easier for stores to track whether there are available products that haven’t yet been put on display. It uses image recognition to detect which items need to be restocked.

        “We are not only solving a customer-experience problem but also a sustainability problem,” says IEEE Senior Member Min Chen, Wisy cofounder and CEO. “All those products that are not sold because they were not displayed get thrown away. WisyAI enables store employees to quickly get information about the stock, reduce losses, and sell [products] more effectively.”

      • ACMTransforming Science through Cyberinfrastructure

        CI encompasses more than the computing resources themselves. Rather—and as the response to the pandemic illustrates—CI constitutes an expansive ecosystem, comprising these resources as well as data, software, networking and security, coordination and user support, and connections to instrumentation and large-scale infrastructure. Realizing such a CI ecosystem requires blending fundamental and translational research in computer and computational science, research infrastructure, and private-sector innovations to ensure continuous refresh of the ecosystem to align with evolving use cases and needs.

      • Six Ways Blockchain Is Bolstering Supply Chains

        In today's digital world, companies are under pressure to be more transparent with their customers. This is especially true for supply chains, where customers want to know where their products are coming from and how they’re being made.

        Ethical compliance is one area that customers are putting under the magnifying glass. In Xinjiang, for example, the Chinese government is using a massive surveillance program to track the movements of the Uyghur Muslims, detaining more than one million people in forced labor camps, according to reports by the State Department and Department of Labor, as well as independent media outlets and the United Nations. As a result, U.S. companies that source products from Xinjiang are finding themselves under increased scrutiny.

      • IEEENecrobotics: Dead Spiders Reincarnated as Robot Grippers - IEEE Spectrum

        Bugs have long taunted roboticists with how utterly incredible they are. Astonishingly mobile, amazingly efficient, super robust, and in some cases, literally dirt cheap. But making a robot that’s an insect equivalent is extremely hard—so hard that it’s frequently easier to just hijack living insects themselves and put them to work for us. You know what’s even easier than that, though?

        Hijacking and repurposing dead bugs. Welcome to necrobotics.

        Spiders are basically hydraulic (or pneumatic) grippers. Living spiders control their limbs by adjusting blood pressure on a limb-by-limb basis through an internal valve system. Higher pressure extends the limb, acting against an antagonistic flexor muscle that curls the limb when the blood pressure within is reduced. This, incidentally, is why spider legs all curl up when the spider shuffles off the mortal coil: There’s a lack of blood pressure to balance the force of the flexors.

      • A secret language of cells? New cell computations uncovered | King Abdullah University

        ​Throughout evolution, individual cells have been making successful decisions on their own, even while forming parts of vast networks, such as neurons and glia in the human brain. Now scientists from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the EPFL Blue Brain Project (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland) have published a new theory describing a secret language that cells may use for internal dialogue about the external world.

        Using a computational model, they hypothesize that metabolic pathways, which are primarily a means of extracting energy and building block molecules from glucose and other substrates to feed the brain, might also be capable of coding details about neuromodulators that stimulate increases in energy consumption. Neuromodulators are chemical messengers that regulate the exchange of information in the brain.

    • Hardware

      • Jon UdellSubtracting devices – Jon Udell

        At some point I opted for the convenience of just using my phone. Why carry an extra, single-purpose device when the multi-purpose phone can do everything? That was OK until my Quixotic attachment to Windows Phone became untenable. Not crazy about either of the alternatives, I flipped a coin and wound up with an iPhone. Which, of course, lacks a 3.5mm audio jack. So I got an adapter, but now the setup was hardly “ideal for dynamic environments.” My headset’s connection to the phone was unreliable, and I’d often have to stop walking, reseat it, and restart the podcast.

        If you are gadget-minded you are now thinking: “Wireless earbuds!” But no thanks. The last thing I need in my life is more devices to keep track of, charge, and sync with other devices.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Michael West MediaFoot and mouth outbreak risk 'diminishing' - Michael West

        The risk of foot and mouth disease reaching Australia is diminishing as Indonesia suppresses its outbreak, state and territory leaders have been told.

        More than 450,000 cases of the disease have been recorded in Indonesia and thousands of infected cattle have been slaughtered, according to media reports. An expert biosecurity task force has been established to ensure Australia is fully prepared for any potential outbreak.

        But West Australian Premier Mark McGowan on Friday indicated there was optimism Indonesia was getting on top of its outbreak.

        “We had a long discussion about foot and mouth disease yesterday at national cabinet,” he told reporters.

      • Researchers use wearable tech to detect COVID-19 before onset of symptoms

        Wrist-worn health devices can be combined with machine learning to detect COVID-19 infections as early as two days before symptoms appear, McMaster researcher David Conen and a team of experts from across Europe have determined.

        The COVI-GAPP study, born out of a larger research project based in Lichtenstein, was conducted by researchers from McMaster, the Dr. Risch Medical Laboratory, the University of Basel in Switzerland and Imperial College London.

        Based on the team’s findings, which were published last month in BMJ Open, another group of researchers have begun a larger study, which could open the door to applying the use of wearable health tech for the early detection of other infectious diseases.

      • Most British COVID-19 mourners suffer PTSD symptoms: survey | News

        The study, based on data from people seeking help and guidance from the United Kingdom’s National Bereavement Partnership in collaboration with researchers from the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition and Christopher Newport University in the United States of America, also found almost two-thirds of British COVID-19 mourners experienced moderate or severe symptoms of anxiety and depression.

        Lead author Professor Lauren Breen, from the Curtin School of Population Health, said the results were alarming given more than six million people had died from COVID-19 across the globe.

        “These survey results indicate a concerning ‘shadow pandemic’ in the wake of a COVID-19 death with the vast majority of British mourners reporting alarming rates of psychological distress including constantly feeling on guard or easily startled,” Professor Breen said.

      • Multi-layered strategies needed to protect public health from oil and gas drilling impacts < Yale School of Public Health

        The growth in the oil and gas development (OGD) industry has placed millions of United States residents in the path of multiple hazards associated with OGD operations. In 2020, nearly one million oil and gas wells were in operation, and a 2017 analysis estimated that 17.6 million U.S. residents lived within 1,600 meters (1 mile) of an active oil or gas well. Evidence continues to mount that OGD contributes to air pollution, water contamination, noise, psychosocial stress, and health risks.

      • Michael West MediaMarvellous Medicare is becoming Labor's Achilles heel - Michael West

        When MWM reported that bulk-billing was falling off in general medical practice, we were met with some scepticism.

        But on Friday Australians were warned across news outlets of a crisis in the provision of primary care. ”Bulk billing is on the verge of collapse,” an article in The Australian warned on Thursday.

        As our article reported, the official bulk-billing rate in Australia is still at 83%. Is that a healthy rate or a slippery slope? That’s in the eye of the beholder. Certainly, even under that yardstick, one in six patients are out of pocket.

    • Security

      • WiredApple Just Killed the Password—for Real This Time [Ed: Apple also gives your data and passwords to the NSA, so...]
      • Silcon RepublicNew quantum encryption method could lead to truly secure communication [Ed: Adding mystique with the word "quantum" to make things sound impenetrable]

        By tapping into quantum entanglement, researchers said they could develop secure communications that are ‘fundamentally beyond’ an adversary’s control.

        An international team of researchers has tested a new form of quantum cryptography that could lead to the ultimate standard in secure communications with real-world devices.

        It is based on quantum key distribution (QKD), which is a method of sharing encryption keys between two parties that can be used to encrypt and decrypt messages. This promises communication security unattainable in conventional cryptography.

      • Matt RickardThe End-to-End Principle in System Design

        It was formalized in a 1984 paper, End-to-End Arguments in System Design, by Saltzer, Reed, and Clark. The paper uses an example of securing a file transfer between two computers. There are many steps during the transfer where the file could get corrupted or lost. Should the network be responsible for error checking, de-duplication, ordering, and crash recovery? The end-to-end solution solves this problem at the end node – a simple checksum at the source and destination.

        David Clark wrote a follow-up paper in 2000 examining how the Internet had changed. Namely, he recognized that the Internet was full of users that might not have others' best interests at heart – spammers, the government interests, users who don't trust each other, users who don't trust the software they're using, etc.

        Clark touches on different ways of approaching this problem: firewalls, NAT, trusted-third parties, public-key cryptography, and non-technical solutions.

      • CoryDoctorowYour computer is tormented by a wicked god

        Computer security is really, really important. It was important decades ago, when computers were merely how we ran our financial system, aviation, and the power grid. Today, as more and more of us have our bodies inside of computers (cars, houses, etc) and computers in our body (implants), computer security is urgent.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Bluetooth Signals Can be Used to Identify and Track Smartphones

          A team of engineers at the University of California San Diego has demonstrated for the first time that the Bluetooth signals emitted constantly by our mobile phones have a unique fingerprint that can be used to track individuals’ movements.

          Mobile devices, including phones, smartwatches and fitness trackers, constantly transmit signals, known as Bluetooth beacons, at the rate of roughly 500 beacons per minute.These beacons enable features like Apple’s “Find My” lost device tracking service; COVID-19 tracing apps; and connect smartphones to other devices such as wireless earphones.

          Prior research has shown that wireless fingerprinting exists in WiFi and other wireless technologies. The critical insight of the UC San Diego team was that this form of tracking can also be done with Bluetooth, in a highly accurate way.

        • Michael West MediaAustralia's creeping surveillance state: Big Brother is on the march - Michael West

          With facial recognition becoming increasingly sophisticated, it will soon be possible to monitor an entire population with minimal effort, discouraging people from participating in political protests and social movements, writes Manal al-Sharif.

          Last year, 7-Eleven in Australia collected the facial prints of 1.6 million customers without their knowledge or consent. The company was not fined.

          And now the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is investigating Bunnings and Kmart over facial recognition. Privacy advocates say that with lack of governance, there is not much hope for fines. The private sector will continue extracting and abusing freely.

          Facial recognition technology violates fundamental human rights such as the right to privacy and self-determination. And if you still don’t care about your privacy, you should care about the collective harm that such practices inflict on freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, civil liberties and democracy in general and will do so for generations to come.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Jonathan Schell, A Niagara Falls of Post-9/11 Violence

        [Note for TomDispatch Readers: In July 2014, almost four months after the death of Jonathan Schell, I posted the following excerpt from his 2004 book The Unconquerable World (which I edited) as a memorial to an old friend I had long admired. Writing that book in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, he was focused on the cliff the U.S. seemed to be going over with its invasion of Afghanistan and its declaration of a Global War on Terror. Schell suggested that it might prove a long-term equivalent of 1914, the year the First World War began. In reading that excerpt again recently, I noticed these lines that — with the war in Ukraine in full swing and a growing confrontation between Washington (backed by NATO) and Russia (supported by China) — seemed all too eerily of this moment: “It is of course impossible to predict how and where history might again go over the precipice… It could even be — hard as it is to imagine now — intentional or semi-intentional nuclear war between Russia and the United States in some future crisis that we cannot foresee but cannot rule out, either.”

    • Environment

      • Michael West MediaGreens to vote for climate change bill - Michael West

        The Albanese government has agreed to a number of changes to its climate laws, securing Greens support to get them through parliament.

        Prime Minister Anthony Albanese declared the laws an opportunity to end the climate wars and urged the coalition to reconsider their stance.

        “This is an opportunity for the whole of the parliament to be on the right side of history,” he told reporters in Canberra.

        (The coalition is) stuck in the past, they’re frozen in time while the world warms around them.”

      • Energy

        • Michael West MediaThe Reverse Bradbury: your electricity bill and the ACCC’s gas report

          Famously, Australian ice skater Stephen Bradbury won the speed skating gold medal at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics when his four more fancied rivals all fell just before the finishing line. So it was yesterday that the ACCC did a Reverse Bradbury and fell at the finishing line, letting the four gouging champions of Australia's gas cartel through for a knife-edge victory.

        • Michael West MediaGas crisis really a transparency crisis, says architect of the “Trigger” Rex Patrick

          As regulator ACCC warns the gas lobby is sending companies to the wall, the political architect of the Gas Trigger, former senator Rex Patrick, writes Australia’s gas crisis is more a crisis of transparency than a shortage of gas. “Australia is a country with relatively abundant gas resources,” wrote the ACCC in its latest gas inquiry report. The surrounding words were ugly – words like “joint venture” and “exclusivity arrangement” and “risk of coordinated conduct” and “market power of the LNG exporters”. I would have preferred more direct language like “gas cartel”, but I’m not as polite as the ACCC.

    • Finance

      • Michael West MediaIf we can cancel New York, we can cancel anywhere - Michael West

        The fiasco over the appointment of former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro to a plum post in New York may yet do some good for long-suffering taxpayers.

      • Michael West MediaWarning on $16bn industry assistance bill

        The federal government is being warned to rein in its spending on industry assistance as Australia’s economy bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic. At least $16 billion was spent on aiding various industries in 2020/21, a $4 billion increase on the previous year, a report by the Productivity Commission has found.

      • Michael West MediaLights out and blinds drawn on the Australian dream as black money fuels house prices - Michael West

        Gaping loopholes, earnest advisers and an international reputation for stability have made Australia a place of choice for illicit funds. Despite a crackdown on the foreign ownership of established houses, there are still many ways for crooks to score a piece of the action, no matter which government is in power, writes Nathan Lynch in an extract from his book The Lucky Laundry – how the Aussie economy got hooked on the world’s dirtiest cash.

        The Lucky Country. The envy of the world. Pure air, pristine beaches and even relatively clean politicians. A place where the world’s hopeless and oppressed can come to make a fresh start. A land of democracy, good governance, bountiful resources and plentiful opportunity. A nation where hard work and a spirit of enterprise will guarantee a roof over your head, a backyard if you want it, top-tier health care and a solid education for your children.

      • Will RBI’s New Measures Open Forex Floodgates? - Madhyam

        Amid large capital outflows, downward pressure on the rupee and reserve drawdowns, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced on July 6 a slew of measures to attract greater foreign exchange flows to India. “In order to further diversify and expand the sources of forex funding so as to mitigate volatility and dampen global spillovers, it has been decided to undertake measures to enhance forex inflows while ensuring overall macroeconomic and financial stability”, the RBI said in its press release.

      • The WeekThe CHIPS Act and industrial policy, explained | The Week

        The United States is going to start making more of its own electronics, and taxpayers are going to pick up a good chunk of the tab.

        Congress has passed the CHIPS Act, a bill that devotes billions of dollars to the research and manufacture of semiconductor chips used in "the nation's smartphones, cars, computers, medical equipment, and weapons systems," Barbara Sprunt reports for NPR. The bill had support from both Democrats and Republicans, who say it "will lower U.S. reliance on China for chip manufacturing, which they say poses a national security risk."

        In the CHIPS Act — and in the new climate bill backed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — some observers see the United States drifting from free-market philosophies in favor of "industrial policy," giving the federal government a firmer hand in shaping the American economy. Even a few conservatives are on board. "What we are doing is industrial policy unlike people of my free-market background have done before," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said after the CHIPS Act passed. Is the United States really returning to an era of industrial policy? Why? And how will that shape the nation's future economy?

      • Michael West MediaCapital v labour: where is the poll on neo-liberalism? - Michael West

        In Fleet Street they used to call it the Reverse Ferret, to say one thing one day then take entirely the opposite editorial stance the next. And so it is with Nine, News Corp and Anthony Albanese. Michael West on media, government and neo-liberalism.

        No less than 34 points now stand between Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton. Murdoch’s Newspoll today marks a record approval rating for Albo and Dutton has sunk even lower than Scott Morrison in the public esteem.

        It’s a far cry from the relentless campaign headlines: “Desperate Albo”, “Not so Albaneasy”, “Don’t Count on Me”, “Amateur Albo” and “Albo’s 600bn carbon bill”. Today, beneath the routine propaganda for the fossil fuel juggernauts in The Australian, is a demure “Record electoral satisfaction with PM”.

      • Business Insider'Complete Chaos' Inside Oracle Marketing As Mass Layoffs Hit the Group
      • Michael West MediaLamborghini Crisis: Australia crippled by critical shortage of Lamborghinis - Michael West

        Business is calling for urgent government intervention to address crippling shortages of Lamborghinis on the East Coast of Australia, according to an exclusive report in the Australian Financial Review. Michael West reports. An exclusive report in the AFR today revealed devastating supply issues in Australia’s Lamborghini market, the crisis coming at a time when prices were rising across the board and the sector was grappling with soaring costs and labour shortages. “The boss of luxury carmaker Lamborghini says the group is still assessing by how much it will lift prices as inflation across the industry accelerates, with heavy demand meaning backlogs for new vehicles have now blown out to 18 months,” said the report. “Jobs will be destroyed unless the Government moves immediately to ease restrictions on the luxury car sector,” said Jennifer Westacott from the Business Council of Australia.

      • Michael West MediaNew Zealand's unemployment at 3.3 per cent - Michael West

        Joblessness in New Zealand remains at rock bottom, with unemployment measured at 3.3 per cent in the June quarter. On Wednesday, Stats NZ released its latest jobless numbers, confirming a slight uptick from 3.2 per cent for the March quarter but remaining at a historically low level. “Measures of spare labour market capacity have fallen over the year and remained low for several quarters, continuing to show a tight labour market,” Stats NZ spokeswoman Becky Collett said.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Michael West MediaABC exodus from Pyrmont to Parramatta: what's the scam? - Michael West

        It was a Coalition idea. Aunty’s getting a new home in Parramatta and former news boss Gaven Morris has landed the plumb consulting gig. What’s the scam?

        The scam is the consultancy deal appears to have been un-tendered. Gaven Morris, only weeks after leaving his role at the ABC to become CEO of Bastion Transforms, has been awarded a contract to advise on the ABC’s newsroom relocation to Parramatta.

      • Michael West MediaA reluctant thank you, Mr Christensen: what we learnt about a travelling MP - Michael West

        A Federal Police warning to the Coalition government over the conduct of one of its MPs was kept secret until it was too late for his constituents, writes Rex Patrick.

        “Thank you, Mr Christensen.” Words I thought I’d never say, and especially never write.

        The Australian Federal Police have been forced to release a June 2018 letter they wrote home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, stating that Queensland federal MP George Christensen, “undertakes extensive international travel to South East Asia during non-sitting periods and has engaged in activities that could potentially place him at risk of being targeted for compromise by foreign interest”.

        Whatever Mr Christensen’s activities in South-East Asia were (and it’s probably best to steer clear of that topic), the battle over access to the AFP’s correspondence relating to the matter has been helpful in showing the public how moribund our FOI regime is.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Matt RickardSufficiently Decentralized

        Most web3 applications will probably be more off-chain than on-chain. And I think that's OK.


        Take a look at how the web works today. Sufficiently decentralized – it may be difficult to become a domain registrar, start an ISP, or run your own DNS infrastructure (that others use), but anyone can create a website and host it on the web. You can post pretty much whatever you want, although it's not completely censorship resistant – remember when Cloudflare erased a Nazi group from the web in 2017 and 8chan in 2019? I think that's a good thing.

        Our financial infrastructure isn't nearly as open. One of the Plaid co-founders spent $50 million to purchase a chartered bank just so that he could build a fintech startup with it. Of course, building programmatic financial products shouldn't be as easy as spinning up a website, but if it were a little easier, we might see far more innovation in the fintech stack from motivated hackers.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • So I made a couple things

        I am definitely paying attention to Gemini. Yep. Anyway, I made a couple things. A program, and an "album".

      • 🔤SpellBinding: ACIPTVY Wordo: BOWIE
      • When does a Zettelkasten become useful?

        As mentioned in a previous blog post of mine, I started using a Zettelkasten about three months ago. It currently has about 240 zettel (without templates and journals). But I also wondered, even before starting the Zettelkasten, when it will actually become useful? Already on the first note? A few hundred notes in? Today I am going to try to answer it, at least for my Zettelkasten. But before listening to anything I am saying, I have to note that I don't even know whether I am doing the Zettelkasten-thing correctly and that my Zettelkasten is still in very early stages so I might not even have reached the point where it is actually useful.

    • Technical

      • How to get NixOS hosted at OpenBSD Amsterdam

        In this guide, I'll explain how to create a NixOS VM in the hosting company OpenBSD Amsterdam which only provides OpenBSD VMs hosted on OpenBSD.

        I'd like to thank the team at OpenBSD Amsterdam who offered me a VM for this experiment. While they don't support NixOS officially, they are open to have customers running non-OpenBSD systems on their VMs.

      • Trash rules everything around me

        In my last post I wrote about finding a 13-yr old not functional windows laptop and throwing Lubuntu on there and having a 'new' to me snappy computer. In this post I'm writing about re-using 'trash.'

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Gemini Search Results Study, Part 1

          This is going to be a fairly brief post that will be further expanded upon in Part 2, which probably won't be published for at least a few days.


          Note that all of the statistics below are only representative of results from 2022-08-07. Changes that affect these statistics could happen in the future. Additionally, more work could be done to get more accurate study results, because the sample sizes provided here are quite low. They are meant to be preliminary, and are not conclusive of which Search Engine is better or worse.

      • Announcements

        • Offline Week July 2022

          A week ago, I switched my life to being primarily 'offline'. Or, perhaps it is better to say I took steps in that direction. I was still online during working hours, and I left the messaging apps on my phone online.

          Still, being offline for that majority of my non-working time was, a little unexpectedly, a bit of a shock. The impetus for this little experiment was blog posts by Ploum and the software they've developed, Offpunk.

      • Programming

        • My experience writing a Lisp system shell

          A couple years ago I found a document that I can only describe as half academic whitepaper, half manifesto. It was dated to the early 2000s (decade), and discussed-then-evangelized the idea of replacing the Unix shell with a dialect of Scheme. The first half of the document, which was about 100 pages or so, was dedicated to enumerating problems with the Unix shell; many of the problems were related to long-term maintenance of software written in Unix shell languages. The document also discussed tradeoffs between interactibility and elements of strutured programming, which make long-term maintenance easier.

        • Re: Preformatted table

          The general idea is to add a new gemtext tag type, with the identifier |||, followed by a label on the same line, and then starting on the next line an ASCII-formatted table similar to Markdown or org-mode's (but not exactly the same).

          The tabular formatted data ends with another ||| line, similar to ```.

          The proposal for multiline and merged-cells table feels a lot more problematic. Gemtext is line-based; you can implement a gemtext parser with a fixed amount of global state and no lookbehind. In other words, the gemtext language is strictly more restricted even than context-free grammar.

        • Thoughts on separate compilation (part 2)

          Continuing musing on how to recover C language optimization lost to separate compilation.

        • Deeps of C runtime

          Recently I have been reading x86-64 SysV ABI documentation, and I found curious paragraph there...

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It's like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

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