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Links 01/10/2022: Akademy 2022 Underway



  • GNU/Linux

    • DebugPointDebugPoint Weekly Roundup #22.07: KDE Plasma on Apple M1, Ubuntu 22.10 Beta and More

      Welcome to the DebugPoint Weekly roundup #22.07, where you can find all the happenings from this week, mainly from the Linux and open-source space. It's been an eventful week where many distro updates arrive, whereas some significant releases from major apps.

      Read more updates here...

    • Unix MenThe Advantages Of Linux Over Other Operating Systems In Business Processes

      Linux has become a go-to option for many businesses in recent years. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, but it boils down to one thing: customization.

      Also, Linux allows you to tailor your computer’s operating system to suit your needs and wants as opposed to having someone else do it for you – which can sometimes mean spending hours learning how things work before being able to actually use them effectively.

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • VideoLinux Must Mimic Windows To Become Popular - Invidious

        Many people within the Linux community lament the fact that we have such a small desktop marketshare, especially compared to Microsoft Windows. Naturally, everyone seems to have a solution to how Linux can become more popular. A common suggestion is that Linux needs to become more like Windows to become popular...

      • VideoSCP Command | Securely Copy Directories and Files on Linux - Invidious

        What's up, guys!!! In this video, we cover a basic Linux command named SCP. Secure copy protocol (SCP) will allow a user to securely transfer computer files between a local host and a remote host or between two remote hosts. It is based on the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol. Please enjoy the video and if you have any questions, leave a comment down below. My goal is to expand the Linux community.

      • VideoEx-NSA Worker Gets Busted Selling US Military Secrets - Invidious

        In this video I discuss the Ex NSA Employee who was arrested in Colorado for attempting to sell US Military Secrets to Russian Intelligence agents for Monero.

      • VideoFinally Global Hotkeys Are Coming To Wayland!!! - Invidious

        I've been a big advocate for global hotkeys in wayland to address things like OBS hotkeys or push to talk in communication apps like discord and finally the solution has been merged, now it's only a matter of waiting.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Applications

      • Linux LinksBest Free and Open Source Software – September 2022 Updates

         Here are the latest updates to our compilation of recommended software. This month’s focus has been on expanding our features on coding and web apps. These sections are now comprehensive. Many thanks to Eilidih Parris who has again prepared many articles in these fields.

        We’ve also published new articles in the fields of documents, audio, and games.

        We always appreciate your suggestions for new articles or additional open source software to feature. Let us know in the Comments box below or drop us an email.

      • LinuxiacMist: An AUR-Helper-Like Application for Debian and Ubuntu

        Mist is a helper for MPR (makedeb Package Repository), which provides extra software for Debian and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions.

        The AUR repository has always been one of the key differences between Arch Linux and other distributions.

        With its wide range of community-supported software and useful helpers for installing software from it, such as yay, paru, trizen, and others, it has helped to establish Arch as one of the major Linux distros today.

        MPR, the community-maintained repository for the makedeb packaging tool, has long been available to users of Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and others.

      • Make Use OfRunning Out of Space? How to Clone Your Linux System Drive to a Larger SSD With CloneZilla

        Any computer can run out of space. The answer is to add more storage – but what if there is nowhere to add a physical drive? You could try an external disk drive, but these can be temperamental. They’re also not ideal for laptops.

        For many, the solution is to replace the existing HDD or SSD with a larger capacity device. Better still, you can clone the existing operating system and personal data to the new drive without spending hours reinstalling and restoring backups.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • ID RootHow To Install TeXworks on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install TeXworks on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, TeXworks is the free open-source application for authoring TeX (LaTeX, ConTeXt, etc) documents. With TeXworks, you can generate PDF documents as your formatted output or configure your processing path to use DVI instead. TeXworks also has a built-in PDF viewer that supports source/preview synchronization, making it easy to see your changes in real-time. The goal of TeXworks is to deliver a similarly integrated, easy-to-use environment for users on other platforms, especially GNU/Linux and Windows.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the TeXworks on Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 22.04 and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop!_OS, and more as well.

      • TechTargetHow to set up a NAS: A step-by-step configuration guide

        At a minimum, this means verifying that the appliance has correctly detected all of its hard disks. Many vendors include a built-in diagnostic function that users can run to assess the overall health of the appliance.

      • Install MariaDB database in Ubuntu based distributions 2022 (Part 1)
      • Create a new user using MariaDB database in the Linux Terminal (Part 2)
      • Create a new database, table and insert data, using MariaDB in the Linux Terminal (Part 3)
      • Perform basic SELECT queries in MariaDB using the Linux Terminal (Part 4)
      • markaicode by MarkHow to Configure Graylog Nginx with SSL | Mark Ai Code

        In this post, we’ll look at how to configure Graylog Nginx reverse proxy with Let’s Encrypt SSL. In this manner, you may use a domain or hostname with a confirmed SSL certificate.

        The first step is to install Let’s Encrypt client like certbot which we’ll use to request the certificate to be used by Graylog.

      • markaicode by MarkHow to Install Graylog 4 on Ubuntu 22.04 with Let’s Encrypt | Mark Ai Code

        Graylog is a free and open-source log monitoring application that can capture, store, and analyze gigabytes of machine data in real-time. It is intended for modern log analytics, allowing users to rapidly and readily find meaning in data and respond more swiftly. It also provides alarms and logs history search systems, with ElasticSearch serving as the primary index database and MongoDB holding metadata. It allows you to monitor, examine, and analyze vast amounts of data in an easy-to-read manner.

      • Install Consul Server on Ubuntu 22.04/Ubuntu 20.04 - kifarunix.com

        Follow through this tutorial to learn how to install Consul server on Ubuntu 22.04/Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Install Consul server on Debian 11/Debian 10 - kifarunix.com

        Follow through this tutorial to learn how to install Consul server on Debian 11/Debian 10.

      • CitizixHow to install and configure Webmin in Ubuntu 22.04

        In this guide we will install and set up Webmin on an Ubuntu 22.04 server. Webmin is a web-based system configuration tool for Unix-like systems, although recent versions can also be installed and run on Microsoft Windows.

      • CitizixHow to Install and Configure Apache Cassandra 4.0 in Rocky/Alma Linux 9

        In this guide we will go through the process of Installing and setting up Apache Cassandra Version 4 in a Rocky Linux 9 and RHEL 9 Linux distributions.

      • CitizixHow to install Java 17 in Ubuntu 22.04

        In this guide we are going to explore how to install Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Developer Kit (JDK) in Ubuntu 22.04. Java and the JVM (Java’s virtual machine) are required for many kinds of software, including Tomcat, Jetty, Glassfish, Cassandra and Jenkins.

      • OSTechNixUse Ansible Vault To Protect Sensitive Playbook Data - OSTechNix

        In this article, we are going to learn what is Ansible Vault and how to use Ansible Vault to protect sensitive playbook data by encrypting the data in Linux.

      • DebugPointTransform Your Arch Installation with Stunning XMonad WM Setup

        The xmonad is a dynamic tiling window manager for the X Window system written in Haskell programming language. It is famous for its window automation, stability, minimal workspace features, and more unique features. With features like - multiple display support, auto window tiling management, quick keyboard navigation, and extension support, this window manager is one of the popular choices for those users who wants a productive and faster working system.

        This article provides a step-by-step installation guide for the xmonad setup in Arch Linux with a custom pre-configured script.

    • WINE or Emulation

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xubuntu Dev Update October 2022

        Xubuntu 22.10 "Kinetic Kudu" Beta (download, release notes) was released on Thursday, September 29. It features the latest updates from Xfce 4.17, GNOME 43, and MATE 1.26. Xfce 4.17, the development series for the upcoming Xfce 4.18 release, includes a massive number of improvements and new features. Many of our GNOME 43 components are now using GTK4 and libadwaita. MATE 1.26 is still the same as in Xubuntu 22.04.

      • 9to5LinuxXfce’s Apps Update for September 2022: Plugin Updates and More Work Towards Xfce 4.18

        The big news this month is the release of the beta version of the upcoming Xubuntu 22.10 (Kinetic Kudu) distribution, which, to my surprise, features the development version of the upcoming Xfce 4.18 desktop environment, due out by the end of the year (if everything goes according to plan).

        Back to our regular releases, there was no Xfce app updated in September 2022, but only Xfce Panel plugins. Most notably, the PulseAudio plugin (xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin 0.4.5) that lets you control the audio output volume of the PulseAudio mixer received two maintenance updates

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • New Releases

      • Linux Lite 6.2 RC1 Released - See Release Announcements

        First of all, the available version through the official releases channel is very old (2.4.3). Might work bad since many things have changed since the previous Linux Lite versions. I use the OpenShot 2.6.1-dev version and it works fine. I make all my video courses using OpenShot, for 2 1/2 years already and except for some glithces that can be avoided using the AppImage version, everything is OK. The AppImage version I use when something goes sideways, is 2.6.1. If this breakes too, I use "OpenShot-v2.4.3-x86_64.AppImage". It is far less comfortable to use than the current one (OpenShot-v2.6.1-x86_64-19-02-2022.AppImage), but it works. I've been using it on Linux Lite 5.x, then tested it under LL 6.0.

    • BSD

      • FreeBSDMeet the 2022 FreeBSD Google Summer of Code Students: Christos Margiolis | FreeBSD Foundation

        The FreeBSD Project is proud to have participated in the Google Summer of Code program since its inception in 2005. At the completion of the 2022 season, the Foundation asked a few of our GSoC students to share more about themselves and their experience working with the Project.

      • DragonFly BSD DigestBSD Now 474: EuroBSDcon 2022

        BSD Now this week is titled ‘EuroBSDCon’, but as far as I know they weren’t there – haven’t listened to the episode yet. Any readers here go?

      • FreeBSDSCALE19X Conference Report | FreeBSD Foundation

        On July 28th, I joined many in the FreeBSD community and headed to Los Angeles, California for SCALE19X. Being the first in-person conference that the Foundation had attended since the pandemic, we were excited to advocate for FreeBSD face-to-face.

        We kicked off the event with an all-day workshop: “Getting Started With FreeBSD” taught by Roller Angel. The workshop was prefaced by a brief presentation that I gave on FreeBSD, the Foundation, and some of our history. Turnout for the workshop was great, and many people who had never experienced FreeBSD before left with a virtual FreeBSD machine set up and configured on their own devices. The workshop started with a from-scratch installation of FreeBSD on virtualbox, covered configuration of a basic desktop environment, and then dove into more advanced setup using Poudriere and Ansible. A text version of the workshop can be found online for anyone who wants to try out the workshop themselves.

      • FreeBSDMeet the 2022 FreeBSD Google Summer of Code Students: Jake Freeland

        The FreeBSD Project is proud to have participated in the Google Summer of Code program since its inception in 2005. At the completion of the 2022 season, the Foundation asked a few of our GSoC students to share more about themselves and their experience working with the Project.

      • DragonFly BSD DigestIn Other BSDs for 2022/10/01
      • DragonFly BSD DigestIn Other BSDs for 2022/09/24
    • Red Hat / IBM

      • Silicon AngleQualcomm partners with Mercedes-Benz and Red Hat to accelerate its automotive chip ambitions - SiliconANGLE

        Qualcomm Technologies Inc. is stepping up its plans to power the next generation of autonomous vehicles on the road, announcing important new partnerships with Mercedes-Benz AG and Red Hat Inc. at its Automotive Investor Day conference today.

      • KlaraRed Hat’s OpenShift vs FreeBSD Jails

        FreeBSD jails can be considered the start of modern containerization and process separation, but it can be hard to understand how FreeBSD jail technologies such as VNET relate to modern container products.

      • The Register UKRed Hat targets networks with OpenStack Platform 17 release ● The Register

        Red Hat has released the latest iteration of its OpenStack Platform 17, with a strong slant towards network operators building out modern infrastructure such as that needed to deliver 4G and 5G services.

        Announced at the MWC Las Vegas event this week, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 17 has features aimed at helping service providers as they build out massive, modern networks with an open hybrid cloud in mind, the open source outfit said.

        Not surprisingly, Red Hat is also extolling the virtues of integration with its OpenShift application platform based around containers and Kubernetes. It will allow service providers to rapidly deliver new services and applications to meet changing demand, it's claimed.

      • TechRadarRed Hat gives enterprise Linux a major boost

        Red Hat is set to launch the beta of the latest version of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) platform, dubbed the 8.7 and 9.1 milestones.

        Both RHEL 8.7 and 9.1 add new features and capabilities designed to help organizations more effectively use its Podman containers.

        Podman is an open-source tool for developing, managing, and running containers on Linux systems, developed by Red Hat engineers alongside the open source community, Podman allows users to manage their container ecosystem using the libpod library.

      • HowTo GeekWhat's New in Fedora 37?

        I’ve always been a fan of Red Hat Linux. I remember buying a set of disks for version 5.2 in a branch of a famous British high-street stationers in 1998, because it was easier and faster than trying to download it at the time. Back then, Red Hat was a freely available distribution, and the logo still had someone—known as the shadowman—wearing the eponymous titfer.

        Red Hat Linux morphed into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which was bundled with some proprietary management software and support, as a commercial offering. Of course, the core Linux had to remain freely available. So, CentOS Linux was created as a Linux distribution that was binary-compatible to RHEL minus the proprietary code. CentOS targeted servers. For users more interested in running a Red Hat-derived Linux distribution, the answer was Fedora Linux.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Download Ubuntu 22.10 ’Kinetic Kudu' | Itsubuntu.com

        Ubuntu 22.10 Kinetic Kudu is the latest version of the Ubuntu operating system. Ubuntu 22.10 “Kinetic Kudu” will be released on October 20, 2022. Meanwhile, right now you can download the beta version of Ubuntu 22.10 from the official website of Ubuntu.

      • Beta NewsUbuntu-based Linux Mint 21.1 ’Vera' will be released on Christmas

        Linux Mint users are usually quite rabid when it comes to news about the operating system, and I am happy to say the distribution's developers have shared some interesting tidbits.

        First and foremost, the upcoming Linux Mint 21.1 will be named "Vera." This is hardly surprising, as the Mint 21.x series will use female names that start with the letter V. Linux Mint 21 was name "Vanessa," for instance.

        More importantly, we now know when Linux Mint 21.1 will be released. You see, the developers say Vera will be made available on Christmas (December 25)! Some Christians may see this release date as sacrilege and an insult to Jesus, while others may view it as a nice Christmas gift.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux GizmosPICO-ITX board ships with i.MX8M SoC and offers 4K@60Hz resolution

        ICP just released the ND118 board which comes in a PICO-ITX form-factor featuring the i.MX8M SoC from NXP. The ND118 provides up to 8GB of RAM, up to 32GB of eMMC storage, one GbE LAN port, dual display support and many other features.

        The i.MX8M SoC integrates a dual core Cortex-A53 processor or a quad-core Cortex-A53 with a maximum frequency of 1.5GHz. The i.M8X8M also features a Cortex-M4 coprocessor for low-power applications as seen in the block diagram below.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Tom's HardwareBanana Pi PicoW Takes On Raspberry Pi Pico | Tom's Hardware

        The Raspberry Pi Pico (opens in new tab) form factor is one that’s just begging to be copied, but Banana Pi has gone one better and borrowed the name, too. The BPI-PicoW-S3, brought to our attention by CNX Software (opens in new tab), is a new microcontroller board that features an ESP32-S3 dual-core chip, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

      • ViceScientists Create AI-Powered Laser Turret That Kills Cockroaches

        This is a follow-up of sorts to earlier projects, in which he used a Raspberry Pi and lasers to zap mosquitoes. However, for this project, Rakhmatulin used a different kind of computer which allowed for more precision in detecting the bug.

      • Sparky news 2022/09 – SparkyLinux

        Anyway, a RaspberryPi 3 or 4 or newer which can boot arm64 OS is required, to make sure it works fine (build in progress). So, if you have such device you don’t need any more, let me know that and send me it out, please.

      • CNX SoftwareUsing SenseCraft firmware for no-code programming with Wio Terminal - CNX Software

        It did not take long, as SeeedStudio very recently released the first version of SenseCraft open source smart sensor software for no-code sense, process, and uplink that happens to be compatible with the Wio Terminal part of the SenseCAP K1100 development kit. So let’s test the new SenseCraft firmware together.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Programming/Development

      • Writing Functions in R

        The beauty of R is its versatility and of course the community you can use R for literally anything (I use blogdown to set up and maintain my website, xaringan to create slide decks, Shiny to build web applications, ….). All these great tools build upon one “little” (or not so little) thing: functions!

      • Perl / Raku

        • PerlMeet jp | Stefan Adams [blogs.perl.org]

          Please welcome the latest JSON tool for the command line: jp!

          jp (mostly named from Json Pointer) is a tool for quickly extracting data from a JSON object. How many times do we get a complex JSON object from some command and we just need to extract a specific set of values from it? Every time! All the time! Most people reach for jq, but I find the syntax too cumbersome to use just to extract my desired data. I just want to use JSON Pointers and move on, but, indeed, sometimes JSON Pointers aren't even enough. jp really shines with some helpful command line arguments, a regular expression JSON Pointer syntax, and, finally, a Perl eval argument for total power.

      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • OpenSource.comWhat’s new with Awk? | Opensource.com

          Awk is a powerful scripting tool that makes it easy to process text. Awk scripts use a pattern-action syntax, where Awk performs an action for every line in a file that matches a pattern. This provides a flexible yet powerful scripting language to deal with text. For example, the one-line Awk script /error/ {print $1, $2, $3} will print the first three space-delimited fields for any line that contains the word error.

          While we also have the GNU variant of Awk, called Gawk, the original Awk remains under development. Recently, Brian Kernighan started a project to add Unicode support to Awk. I met with Brian to ask about the origins of Awk and his recent development work on Awk.

      • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • TediumHexClad Review: Can This Fancy Pan End My Nonstick Frustrations?

      In the breakdown of domestic chores, I’m usually put on weekend breakfast duty, which means I am generally in charge of making a lot of eggs—generally scrambled, with an onion chopped up, and some cheese. In this long period of breakfast duty, I’ve generally found these eggs to be the bane of my existence, not necessarily because of the eggs themselves (I’m pretty good at making them at this point) but the cleanup. Despite the fact that we use nonstick pans, the pans basically have never lived up to the name for me, and have left me frustrated. To put it another way, I have a fraught relationship with pans because stuff sticks. So, when I was asked to review some pans, even though this is not a cooking newsletter, I thought it might solve one of my most tedious problems. Here’s what I learned. Today in Tedium, I’m wrapping my head around the nonstick pan. But not completely—I still have to breathe, after all.

    • Pseudo-Open Source

      • Openwashing

        • TechTargetOpen core vs. open source: What's the difference?

          Open core software has gained attention as an alternative to open source and proprietary models. Learn how open core differs from open source and the two approaches' pros and cons.

    • Security

      • Computing UKMicrosoft SQL Server targeted by ransomware

        FARGO ransomware, also known as Mallox and TargetCompany, disables database protections then encrypts records within...

      • FudzillaChaos hits Linux and Windows machines [Ed: "SSH" and "Linux" FUD; bad passwords]

        SSH infections using password brute-forcing and stolen keys also allow Chaos to spread from machine to machine inside an infected network.

      • TechTargetMandiant spots new malware targeting VMware ESXi hypervisors

        Mandiant researchers said the backdoors were installed with a novel technique that used malicious vSphere Installation Bundles, though it's unclear how initial access was achieved.

      • TechTargetHow to get into cybersecurity with no experience

        Cybersecurity needs new talent now more than ever, but landing that first job without a computer science degree can still be difficult. Here are five tips for getting in the door.

      • ZDNetWhat the Securing Open Source Software Act does and what it misses [Ed: Linux-hostile companies that fund ZDNet are behind this; they don't care about security, they just use that as a leash on communities]

        The Securing Open Source Software Act, however, moves open source from the realm of policy and regulation decisions into federal law. This bill will direct the CISA to develop a risk framework to evaluate how open-source code is used by the federal government. The CISA would also decide on how the same framework could be used by critical infrastructure owners and operators.

      • IT WireiTWire - Did Optus suffer another data breach before the big one?

        Did Optus suffer another data breach before the big leak, one that has gone generally unmentioned and unnoticed? At least one security professional who has been closely following the incidents at the telco appears to think so.

        Brett Callow pointed out in a tweet that a post — on the same forum where claims of the breach of 11.2 million users were put up — dated 17 September offered 1.1 million names and email addresses of Optus customers. It has now been removed.

      • Heather J MeekerSecuring Open Source Software Act of 2022

        A bill was recently introduced in the US Senate, entitled the Securing Open Source Software Act of 2022.

        I don’t usually write much about pending legislation, because it often does not ever become law, or changes substantially before it becomes law. This bill is unlikely to be passed this year because of its timing.

      • NeowinTesting shows AMD Zen 4 handling Spectre, Retbleed mitigations like a real champ - Neowin

        At the end of August, AMD unveiled its Ryzen 7000 series desktop CPU lineup based on the Zen 4 micro-architecture. And although the excitement around it has been somewhat muddled down by Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake-S lineup which has come out guns blazing with lower prices, it does look like Zen 4 also has some redeeming qualities that enthusiasts would be keen to consider.

        Fellow media outlet Phoronix decided to test the new Ryzen 9 7950X, which is the flagship Ryzen 7000 SKU, with the various CPU vulnerability mitigations and more turned on and off. And the results are somewhat surprising in a good way for AMD.

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

        • Security WeekKaiji Botnet Successor ’Chaos' Targeting Linux, Windows Systems | SecurityWeek.Com [Ed: Smear campaign ongoing against "SSH" because you can brute-force a bad password]

          Black Lotus Labs, Lumen Technologies’ threat intelligence team, has issued a warning on Chaos, the new variant of the Kaiji distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) botnet, targeting enterprises and large organizations.

        • Silicon AngleNew cross-platform Chaos malware targets servers, routers and FreeBSD boxes [Ed: It's hardly a security problem when someone brute-forces SSH]

          That includes the ability to enumerate the host environment, run remote shell commands, load additional modules, automatically propagate through stealing, brute forcing SSH private keys and the ability to launch distributed denial of service attacks.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Internet Freedom Foundation#PrivacyOfThePeople: End of season sale of your privacy on e-commerce platforms

          The e-commerce industry in India is growing at an unprecedented rate. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, Myntra, Paytm, BookMyShow, etc. facilitate shopping over the internet though their online applications or sites. These platforms have increased their presence and operations in the globally recognised lucrative as well as large Indian market. However, simultaneously, new risks surrounding digital rights of the users, especially the privacy risks associated with these platforms are being revealed. The benefits and advantages of e-commerce platforms that attract buyers and sellers alike, are often made possible by collecting, storing, analysing, exchanging, and selling customer data with third parties. If you have in the past ever shopped from any of these online retail platforms, and intend to do so again, continue reading to understand the implications of data-driven marketing on our right to privacy.

          [...]

          It’s data harvesting season: Now that we have understood the various kinds of data such e-commerce platforms collect, let us try to understand how they are able to collect it. With the combined benefits of digitisation of commerce and online transactions, e-commerce platforms are able to harvest an unprecedented volume of data about how consumers shop and engage with brands. These platforms employ complex personalisation formulas which not only access our data, but also draws inferences from our digital footprints on the platform. These platforms collect customer data for several reasons, some which include to provide better customer experience, to improve on their marketing strategies or even to generate revenue. These personalisation formulas evaluate our shopping cart, assess the importance we give to product ratings and reviews, and gauge our reliance on price comparisons on competitive platforms. The formulas also estimate the customer’s socioeconomic status based on the customer’s average spending, price bracket for various categories, and the kind as well as type of products bought. Lastly, an assessment of our product buying cycles, i.e., when we will need to buy a new shampoo, along with the information provided by the formula, allows online retailers to nudge us into buying something through special discounts and appealing ads.

          [...]

          Profile, discriminate, target: By now we know what data is collected, how it is collected and among whom it is shared. But what happens next is definitely the most scary part. All our interaction with the platforms and on other networking websites (at least for which the platforms possess the data) are broken down to individual data points, which are ultimately converged and analysed to create customer specific profiles. By using various inference techniques, which we mentioned earlier, the platforms classify their users in categories (Political orientation, sexuality, likes, dislikes, etc.). The platforms then use this data to discriminate among customers based on perceived differences. For instance, retailers often offer special discounts to customers who tend to add items to the cart but don’t end up buying it as compared to customers who regularly buy from the platform. This logic draws from the reasoning that customers who are loyal will remain loyal and thus don’t need to be rewarded. Another aspect of retail discrimination is to identify long term, “high value” customers, which the platforms target to gain profits by sending them deals tailored to their preferences and likings. It is worth noting that customer data is not only accessed when something is bought on these platforms, but even when one is surfing on an e-commerce site, their IP address and location information may be accessed by the company.

        • VideoGoogle Assimilates Your Heath Data

          This week in the Weekly News Roundup, Google will start Assimilating Your FitBit Data, 2FA is falling apart, and more IT work is being done by non-IT employees.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Michael West MediaRussia ‘kidnaps’ nuclear power plant chief

        Ukraine’s nuclear power provider has accused Russia of “kidnapping” the head of a nuclear power plant occupied by Russian troops hours after Moscow illegally annexed a swath of Ukrainian territory in a sharp escalation of the war. The alleged kidnapping comes at a pivotal moment in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • NBCInternet freedom activists scramble to help Iranians evade Tehran’s digital crackdown

        Internet freedom activists are scrambling to help Iranians evade Tehran’s online crackdown and are urging the U.S. government and tech companies to do more to help keep a digital lifeline open for protesters.

        Digital rights groups say they are sending circumvention tools and other technical advice to Iranians to help them sidestep the regime’s internet restrictions, and some activists are calling for a bolder approach to send in satellite internet gear to avoid the country’s computer networks altogether.

        Social media has served as a vital catalyst for the protests that have swept across Iran for more than a week, but the regime has blocked popular social media apps and steadily restricted internet access to try to deprive oxygen to the demonstrations.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Jacobin MagazineAMLO Is Calling for Peace in Ukraine, but More Military in Mexico

        The following day, on the occasion of the annual civic-military parade, AMLO devoted his entire speech to foreign affairs. Before a remarkable assemblage of guests — which included the former presidents of Uruguay and Bolivia, José Mujica and Evo Morales, respectively; the father and brother of Julian Assange; the daughter of Che Guevara; and the family of labor organizer and farmworker advocate César Chavez (the family of Martin Luther King III had attended the previous night’s ceremony) — the president laid out a plan for an international peace commission to intervene immediately in the Ukraine conflict in an effort to bring everyone to the negotiating table.

    • Monopolies

      • Barry KaulerHave cancelled Amazon account

        I have had an account with Amazon for a very long time, but cancelled it yesterday.

        [...]

        I logged back into Amazon and cancelled Prime membership. I then waited 24 hours, to be sure that the cancellation had gone through. Deleted all Amazon-related history in the browser, then logged in and again attempted to order some books. This time I watched very very carefully, and I was not offered anywhere to choose standard shipping.

        Just before final checkout, I did not take that step, as I knew from before that it would have signed me up to Prime again. Instead, I deleted the items in the tray, then cancelled my Amazon account.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • The System

        It's a social commentary on our oh-so-admirable (/sarcasm) modern culture and society. Unpacking this line by line could wind up being a larger post than I have time for right now, but I wanted to share. Like most of what Tom writes, this is pure gold.

      • AEIMOTV Wordo: BELIE

        This is a wordlog for the SpellBinding puzzle (in which you construct words using the specified letters; each word must contain the anchor letter).

      • An Interesting Week (with Some Medical News)

        Things have been a bit busier than usual this last week, which is why I haven't checked in for a few days. I'm sick, which is just great. Not in the really bad way but just enough to make my everyday activities that little bit worse, and then I find myself wishing it could just be ill enough to stay in bed and not have to worry about work.

        I went for an ultrasound yesterday to check the state of my kidney and bladder. The good news is that there was nothing visibly wrong. Everything is fine (no blockages) and although it doesn't get any closer to explaining why I'm still in pain 14 weeks after my operation, it does ease my mind a bit.

      • A week long head cold

        It started Monday night. The wife decided that at midnight she wanted to make some barbacoa. So that meant searing some steak on the cast iron and making a lot of smoke. Left the windows open all night and the temp ended up dropping to just above freezing. Woke up with my sinuses swollen and my mouth dry. Its a weird feeling rolling side to side feeling one side of your head close up and then the other.

        I rarely ever get sick. Not that I'm a germaphobe but I'm pretty good at staying away from sick people, washing my hands all the time, wearing a mask everywhere (now due the pandemic). If I get something like this it usually gone in 24 hours, just long enough to be annoying. But for some reason I just can't kick this one. No other symptoms, just my sinuses feeling like crap.

      • Setting your value, and sticking to it

        I have a side business, where I'm contracted out to do technical writing and drawing for people wishing to file patents or start development projects. I set my price at $150USD an hour and do a preliminary review of the project, write up a list of requirements and needs for doing the work all before the clock starts. This way the customer knows up front what it will likely cost them and allows them to know if they shop around what to expect from others to know if they are being over or under sold on a project. The prices I charge isn't cheap but is far lower than what most law firms will contract out.

    • Politics

      • Backlash from those who stepped away

        I’ve been posting some essays lately on how we need to look beyond the classic anarchist toolbox since those tools aren’t well adapted to fixing climate change.

        [...]

        It’s not appropriate to come along with a bunch of negativity like I did when people are trying to green-hat. However, the negativity and the analysis do need to come at some points in the process too. It’s important that we get it right.

        Also, think of it from the other perspective: I’m trying to think of new solutions because of the limitations of federation to deal with problems like climate change, where local missteps have global fallout. I want to brainstorm new solutions to that particular problem! All y’all trying to shut down that thinking with “nope, go back to anarchism basics!” can you please hold off a li’l bit, so the rest of us can think?

      • She Called It A Social Experiment

        This week was very interesting and stressful! We weren’t fully staffed, for starters, but at least we had Monday off (Jewish holiday). Honestly, I think that’s what added to the fatigue.

        So, we had two sick chefs, and one who spent Tuesday helping out at another location. I’m going to call them E, M, and Y, respectively. M didn’t seem too bad; could’ve been allergies for all I know, but she had a light cough. She took Wednesday and Thursday off to see her doctor.

        E seemed out of it on Tuesday; not sick but he complained about not being able to breathe through his nose. He also has allergies and asthma (and vapes, womp womp). He left early, during the lunch rush, after basically leaving me to fend for myself from the onslaught of unruly teenagers. It put us behind schedule and we didn’t get to leave until an hour past our usual time.

    • Technical

      • Using Bluetooth from the terminal
      • let's talk about AI art i guess

        unavoidable subject i suppose. as i mentioned in my microlog, i don't know why everyone's talking about their hatred for AI art these days; it's not exactly the same as when dall-e 2 was unveiled and half of art twitter was running to the hills, panicking about their jobs [1].

        [...]

        there are two areas in which machine learning can be exploitative: hardware and software.

        hardware can't quite be helped, in some ways, because the entire electronics production chain hinges on exploitation of the environment and workers around the world (but mainly, keeping with imperialism, in the global south), and as such can anyone truly have spotlessly clean hands when tweeting from their phone? of course, AI research is part of the push for "better", more powerful new hardware, and with more compute power comes more energy use, and i'm certainly not denying that [3].

        as for software, the path splits. what people are probably most aware of when it comes to image generation is stuff like dall-e, neuralblender (stole code for profit btw [4]) and artbreeder (the site where i first encountered GANs). these large models use fittingly large datasets like imagenet, that attempt to collect and classify the entirety-ish of our world (specifically imagenet builds on wordnet and uses just nouns because they're supposed to be possible to illustrate with e.g. a photo. it's based on image classification because that's what makes it possible to use prompts).

      • Anti-features of IMs

        All commercial programs are filled with anti-features to make them more addictive, which is nothing new under the Sun. I want to focus on the most popular "features" of instant-messaging programs.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • The internet has ruined people

          I used to think it was only really bad social media like twitter that made the internet so insufferable, then I thought it was all social media, then I thought it was the web, but I have come to the conclusion the internet is the single most destructive invention humanity has created.

          [...]

          I naively thought Gemini was this place, harder to reach and not a dopamine farm, of course it isn't. People came here for various reasons, not all have seen their anti-social tendencies for the ugly thing they are.

        • Re: re: Observations



          I agree that it’s important to be exposed to alternate viewpoints. However, it’s just as important to be able to *avoid* same. The thing is, the internet isn’t the only source of “opposing opinions” that we’re exposed to. I get reactionary nonsense day in and day out just by existing as a trans person, as a bisexual person, as an atheist, *in real life*. I don’t need that shit shoved in my face online too. That’s not an echo chamber, that’s just basic self-care.

          [...]

          What possible value does exposing myself to that provide, for example?

        • re: Observations

          This is where we disagree, I do take issue with creating a feed explicitly created for excluding a certain group. Generally, when one of the features of any collection is that it is without a certain subject or idea, it quickly devolves into being solely against that subject or idea. I've been off reddit for a while but a couple years back there was a subreddit called "EnoughCommieSpam" which, as the name implies, was dedicated to being a place without communists. It quickly became filled with fairly extreme right-wing posts praising Pinochet for killing communists.

          Instead it's better to create collections around a certain subject. These are generally far more positive and less prone to creating in-group out-group dynamics. The social media website pinterest is probably the best example of this, The site is viewed through collections surrounding a given subject and likewise is one of the least toxic social media websites. This is also true on other social media sites with groups surrounding activities; Hiking, biking, foraging, and non-team sports groups are some of the most pleasant places on the web.

        • Echo chambers

          Since I hate the world, I try to think of everything in terms of how it worked pre-internet. We had libraries and magazines and we didn’t have to worry about a chapter from some messed-up book suddenly appearing in an awesome book, or off-topic rants showing up in magazines, at least not normally.

        • Push, Pull, Browse, Read



          For the purps of this discussion, I mean everything that’ll let you know on its own, it’ll blong or ring or hum or blink or sigh.

          Many apps overnotify you about everything, making you hate ‘em, constantly interrupting you all the time.

          A much-behated category so it’s important to not put too much stuff here, and also to be able to toggle notifications on and off quickly (maybe in two tiers).

          If you can manage both of those, this is actually a wonderful category.

      • Programming

        • Dynamically Typed Code Is Just Not Good Engineering

          I'm sorry but it's just not. Languages like JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Lisps, and (my personal favourite) AWK are fine for writing simple bits of automation and general operations stuff but code that is going to be executed in a production environment, code that has to be reliable and maintained for years to come, simply has to be written in a language that has native support for strict, static typing.

          There is nothing that improves my productivity more than having the supercomputer in front of me analyse my code for stupid mistakes. Dynamically typed code is like word processing without a spell checker. I would honestly rather be forced to use ed to edit all my code but keep my type checker than go without. When writing code I make stupid mistakes all the time, and I really don't think that I'm bad at writing code. The only thing I can conclude is that most devs that swear by dynamically typed languages are blind to their own mistakes.


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



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