Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 10/12/2022: KDE Development Report and More Gemini Browsers Coming



  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Kernel Space

      • KlaraFreeBSD vs. Linux – Networking | Klara Inc

        As we covered in “History of FreeBSD Part 4: BSD and TCP/IP”, TCP/IP was brought to Unix with BSD first. Many common network utilities like ifconfig, route and netstat date back to the 4.2BSD release and spread from there to other Unix systems. Linux started out with similar utilities modelled on the BSD utilities; these packages continue to be widely available, but most modern Linux distributions have deprecated them in favor of alternate utilities such as ip(8).

        The change on Linux came about alongside a redesign of the kernel interfaces where use of the ioctl(2) system call was replaced by a more flexible socket based interface called netlink. Interestingly, netlink support was recently added to FreeBSD and should be available in FreeBSD 14. This is mainly relevant to the use of the linuxulator, for running Linux applications and containers, but should also make it easier to port Linux software to FreeBSD.

        The Linux ip tool loosely corresponds to ifconfig on FreeBSD, but the arguments take a different form. ip takes a list of sub-commands in a strict and structured order. ifconfig takes an interface device as its first argument and the arguments that follow specify options or actions where the ordering is more flexible.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Tom's HardwareMesa 3D Gets Support for RDNA3 Graphics Cards In Linux | Tom's Hardware

        Linux graphics library Mesa 3D has released an update, version 22.3.0, that adds a number of optimizations and new features to the open-source library. The biggest of these updates is support for AMD's RDNA3 graphics architecture within AMD's own Radeon Vulkan Driver.

        This will provide Linux gamers with support for AMD's latest RX 7000 series graphics cards running on the RDNA3 GPU architecture when running titles that use the Vulkan API. This support should also extend to compatibility layers such as Proton and Wine, which are designed to run Windows DirectX-based titles on Linux through Vulkan.

        Along with RDNA3 support, the new Mesa 3D update also adds a boatload of other additions and optimizations: including Ray Tracing in the RADV driver, and the addition of the Radeon Raytracing Analyzer for analyzing potential bottlenecks in an application's ray tracing pipeline.

    • Applications

      • PowerDNSPowerDNS Authoritative Server 4.5.5, 4.6.4 and 4.7.3 Released | PowerDNS Blog

        Today we have released maintenance updates of PowerDNS Authoritative Server 4.5.5, 4.6.4 and 4.7.3, containing fixes for a few minor issues. For more details on the other fixes, consult the changelogs available at 4.5.5, 4.6.4, 4.7.3.

        The source tarballs (4.5.5, 4.6.4, 4.7.3) and signatures (4.5.5, 4.6.4, 4.7.3) are available from our download server. Packages for various distributions are available from our repository.

      • John GoerzenMusic Playing: Both Whole-House and Mobile | The Changelog

        Ampache has a feature called localplay which allows it to control a mpd server. I tested this out with mpd and snapcast. It works, but is highly limited. Basically, it causes Ampache to send a playlist — a literal list of URLs — to the mpd server. Unfortunately, seeking within a track is impossible from within the Ampache interface.

        I will note that once a person is using mpd, snapcast makes a much easier whole-house solution than the streaming option I was trying to get working 8 years ago.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Beginners Guide for Dir Command in Linux

        The ls command is famous for showing the content of the current working directory and has become so popular that it outranks other commands like the dir command.

        The dir command is rarely used today except for shell script; apart from that, both commands have no differences and provide no extra features.

        In this article, you will learn how to use the “dir” command in the most practical way.

      • This is not a Monad Tutorial | John Azariah’s Blog

        As a new functional programmer, I struggled with a lot of new terminology, intimidating mathematics, strange concepts – and virtually every discussion I had made me feel like my 2 decades of experience as a professional software engineer hadn’t prepared me for FP.

        Now, after many years of working with FP in the industry, and having brought many people along the journey, I have some learnings about how to communicate some foundations of functional programming to professional software engineers – starting with why functional programming matters, how to get started, how to be effective, and how to improve over time.

        One common pattern I’ve encountered in this space is that experienced FP-ers tend to talk about what something is, sometimes at great length, without providing any context of why it is useful, or what problem it solves. My aim in this blog post is to try and address this issue, and derive the motivation of the pattern from a concrete problem.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install VMware Tools on Ubuntu 22.10/22.04/20.04

        With VMware Tools installed, Ubuntu users can make the most of their virtual machines. Enjoy a seamless experience with enhanced features like a shared clipboard between VM and host system, lightning-fast drag-and-drop file transfer capabilities, and automated window resizing for added convenience.

        In the following small tutorial, you will learn how to install VMware or Open VM tools on Ubuntu 22.10 Kinetic Kudu, Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish, or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa using cli commands. The installation will require a reboot, remember to do this, or else the installation will not become effective until you do.

      • Barry KaulerMake sure acpid is killed at shutdown

        acpid is a daemon, that is launched at startup by /etc/init.d/acpid. It is killed at shutdown, however one person reported that shutdown paused for 4 minutes until acpid terminated. Another person reported that it never terminated, so shutdown couldn't happen.

        I have put in a fix; the TERM signal is tried, if that fails after 1 second the KILL signal is sent, and if that fails after 1 second, shutdown will continue.

    • Games

      • EngadgetValve's Steam Deck brought PC gaming back into my life after fatherhood | Engadget

        I started using the Steam Deck to play games in the margins of my day. Picking it up for a few random battles in Final Fantasy IV after the baby fell asleep on my chest, doing a deep space cargo run in Rebel Galaxy Outlaw as I watched her nap on the baby monitor, or sneaking in a few puzzles in Baba is You before turning in for the night. Suddenly I was finishing games I never thought I would have time for.

        The suspend trick even works with non-Steam games and older titles: I spent hours experimenting in Lutris, an alternative Linux game launcher, getting the year 2000’s Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force to run smoothly on Steam Deck. A week or two later, I finally finished a game I abandoned when I was 16 years old.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Nate GrahamThis week in KDE: New Spectacle - Adventures in Linux and KDE

          This week Spectacle’s user interface was rewritten in QML, which makes it easier to develop going forward and will enable us to add screen recording functionality to the app, which is coming! But that’s not all… in the process we integrated the annotations feature into the Rectangular Region selector, so you can select a screen region and immediately start annotating it! The Rectangular Region selector UI is also hugely more responsive. Overall this work was also able to fix 12 bug reports in the bug tracker, in addition to the important architectural and UI improvements.

          Thanks very much to Noah Davis and Marco Martin who have been hard at work on this for quite a while! It will land in Spectacle 23.04.

        • KDE @ SCaLE 19X - bhavishadhruve

          I am happy to share that this year we were able to host the KDE booth at the 19th annual Southern California Linux Expo-SCaLE 19X that took place on July 28-31, 2022 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport in LA, California.

          SCaLE covers visitors from all over the United States and around the world. It is the largest, community-run, open-source, and free software conference in North America.

          We collaborated with OpenSUSE, LOPSA and NextCloud with the vision to promote cross community growth and to provide outreach and knowledge regarding our communities.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • BSD

      • FreeBSDEuroBSDCon 2022 Trip Report: Patrick McEvoy | FreeBSD Foundation

        For me, the road to EuroBSDcon Vienna started in July of 2022, when I started quizzing board members for details on the conference location and shopping around for rental equipment with the help of the other stream team member. While the details on the conference space were scarce, I kept at it, quizzing mailing lists and web-sleuthing my way to contacts at the Technical University of Vienna. I was very excited to see everyone in person again and it was well worth the effort.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Dominique LeuenbergeropenSUSE Tumbleweed - Review of the week 2022/49 - Dominique a.k.a. DimStar (Dim*)

        A very bad thing happened: we missed one snapshot this week! Only 6 out of 7 made it through QA. Snapshot 20221207 has been declined to be published (a python module update broke ansible, and a few more issues). Nevertheless, let’s focus on the positive: you received 6 snapshots to apply on your machine (1202..1206, 1208).

      • TechHQElektrobit and SUSE – powering autonomous cars - TechHQ

        Autonomous cars, and other transport features that rely on autonomy, mean that vehicles, and the manufacturers of the IIoT devices inside them, are increasingly reliant on software. In fact, by 2030, a full 30% of a vehicle’s value is set to come from its software.

        Elektrobit is the name behind the code in a billion devices, smoothing out autonomous processes in more than a hundred million vehicles. It’s a perfect example of an organization that has to focus on the software that’s running on automotive hardware.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

    • Devices/Embedded

      • BootlinEmbedded Linux course labs now available on Beagle Bone - Bootlin's blog

        Following the release of the improved version of our embedded Linux course, we are happy to announce that we have finished porting our new labs to the BeagleBone Black and BeagleBone Black wireless boards.

        Actually, other BeagleBone boards based on the TI AM335x System on Chip (“blue” or “green” for example), should be easy to use as they are very similar and their connectors are compatible.

      • Tom's HardwareRaspberry Pi Turns Its IQAudio HATs Green | Tom's Hardware

        Raspberry Pi has revamped many of its audio add-ons, replacing the previously black PCBs of the HATs with green ones to match the SBCs they’re paired with. There are a few minor layout and connector alterations too, but otherwise, the boards remain functionally unchanged. In a blog post, Raspberry Pi-maker Eben Upton explained what’s going on.

      • Tom's HardwareRaspberry Pi Drives 'Sidecar' Internet Access for Psion PDA | Tom's Hardware

        Maker and developer Kian Ryan has a huge passion for old-school technology. When it came time to tinker around with a Psion PDA from the 90s, he knew he had to throw a Raspberry Pi into the mix. Today, we’re showing off his Sidecar creation that uses a Raspberry Pi to function as both a working Linux serial terminal as well as a modem to connect the Psion to the internet.

      • Tom's HardwareCool Pi 4: The RK3588S Eight-Core Raspberry Pi Alternative | Tom's Hardware

        For those times when the Raspberry Pi 4 just isn’t powerful enough, Cool Pi has a new board that can offer a little more in the way of processing ability. The Cool Pi 4 B is the same size and shape as the Raspberry Pi board, but features an eight-core CPU and an NPU, plus 8K video too. It’s also more expensive, but there seem to be plenty in stock.

      • Tom's HardwareRaspberry Pi Pico Powers Armachat Touch Doomsday Computer | Tom's Hardware

        Maker Bobricius is at it again with another Raspberry Pi-powered doomsday creation—the Armachat Touch Picomputer. This custom PCB is powered by our favorite microcontroller, the Raspberry Pi Pico. It features a keyboard for input and allows users to communicate directly using LoRa wireless communication.

        This is one of several “Doomsday Computers” that Bobricius has made involving some version of the Pi. Previous editions include support for the Raspberry Pi Zero. This one is Pico-powered with a slew of exciting features like an LED-backlit keyboard for text input and glowing green LEDs.

        According to Bobricius, his PCB doesn’t use any additional chip for processing apart from the Raspberry Pi Pico. He’s able to run the entire operation using the Pico alone with the help of some software he obtained from Adafruit. With his custom configuration, he’s able to handle input from 30 separate keys via 12 GPIO on the Pico using a CircuitPython library called Touchio.

      • Tom's HardwareRaspberry Pi Pico Easily Connects Guests to Your Wi-Fi | Tom's Hardware

        The $4 Raspberry Pi Pico, and its $6 Wi-Fi enabled sibling the Raspberry Pi Pico W have proven to be an excellent foundation for great projects and this QR code display project from Predrag Mijatovic is inspired. The simple aim of the project is to display a QR code that enables a device to connect to Wi-Fi.

        Mijatovic's project "qr_wifi" displays a QR code to enable guests to connect to a guest Wi-Fi network. The QR code stores the SSID, security (WEP/WPA) and password details for the network connection. All the user has to do is scan the code with their device's camera and their device will connect.

        What interests us the most is the approach taken which sees a Raspberry Pi Pico accessory, specifically Waveshare's Pico OLED 1.3 inch (64 x 128 pixels) screen display the QR code. All of the code for the project is written in MicroPython and in the video we can see Mijatovic generate the QR code using qrencode, a useful terminal command to generate QR codes from data. The QR code is written to a text file as ASCII text.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • The architecture of Mastodon

      While uncertainty surrounds Twitter, people are looking into alternative microblogging platforms. One such application is gaining a lot of popularity, Mastodon. The concept is similar to Twitter: we can post toots (short messages), which are visible to our followers; we can boost (retweet) posts or favorite (like) them.

      However, there is a significant difference. While Twitter is a centralized platform, there are many independent Mastodon instances. Each Mastodon instance is a small Twitter with its own user base, administrators, and moderation rules. These instances are not isolated: they communicate and exchange data with each other, creating a federated network. Thanks to that, you can easily follow a person from another instance and see their posts in your feed.

      From an IT perspective, let's take a high-level look at the architecture of a single Mastodon instance and how different instances communicate. Specifically, we'll be looking at how the Mastodon network-of-instances might scale.

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Chromium

        • Tech Notes: Chrome, 10 years later

          It's been around 10 years since I worked on Chrome. Here are some stories that have surely been embellished by my own memory over that decade of distance. Treat them all as only maybe 60% true. I figured I could at least write them down before I totally forget them.

          What I did. I worked on Chrome from the early days, from 2007 to 2012, which just about covers the second half of my twenties. I had other stuff going on in my life, of course — including, for example, my wedding — but in terms of anything I did with my life that the larger world cares about, Chrome is what I fed my twenties to. Today it has more than 2.5 billion users. It's still a weird feeling to go to a cafe and see the person next to me have "my" software up on their screen.

          I joined the project with the goal to make Linux Chrome a thing, which meant first working on Windows-only Chrome for some years before eventually leading the Linux team.

    • Programming/Development

      • LinuxiacPHP 8.2 Comes with Functional and Performance Improvements

        PHP 8.2 was released, bringing read-only classes, new standalone types, a new random extension, and deprecated dynamic properties.

        Regarding web applications, PHP is one of the greatest programming languages. It is a dynamic, general-purpose scripting language that is used in the development of server-side applications.

        Leading CMS platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and others, which provide the majority of web content on the Internet, are built using PHP. That is why each new version generates great attention and response among web developers.

      • Austin GilAutomatically Deploy VPS Apps from Git Triggers

        I make a lot of silly projects, and one things I’ve wanted for a long time is a way to automate the deployment process using Git. So in this blog post, we are going to be tackling just that.

      • What I learned from pairing by default

        For the vast majority of my career, I rarely pair-programmed. I’d even tried it a couple of times, but it was awkward and clunky and slow. I wasn’t sold. It became something I only did if I or somebody else was really (really) stuck on something, but never in the regular course of things.

        [...]

        Pairing all the time allowed people to be brought into the fold on day one and be relatively comfortable with the codebase by the time they had access, which for this client took at least a couple of weeks.

        It helped to naturally share and normalize team practices, such as how we used git, without almost no friction and no real need for a “here’s how we … " document or retroactively correcting somebody.

      • Generating Dependency Data for kdesrc-build - Nico's blog

        As you may know KDE consists of many different subprojects, where some projects depend on other projects. Most KDE projects depend on some KDE Frameworks, but other dependencies are also possible, e.g. plasma-desktop depends on plasma-workspace. To be able to automate building projects (for the CI system or tools like kdesrc-build) you need a machine-readable source of dependency information.

        For a long time this information has been available in a set of files in repo-metadata. To declare for example plasma-desktop’s dependency on plasma-workspace one would write the line

        kde/workspace/plasma-desktop: kde/workspace/plasma-workspace to the relevant file.

      • Barry KaulerFix mounts as msdos instead of vfat

        It isn't just vfat being misreported, it may be that a script may misdetect PARTUUID when UUID is intended.

      • Daniel LemireOptimizing compilers reload vector constants needlessly - Daniel Lemire’s blog

        Modern processors have powerful vector instructions which allow you to load several values at once, and operate (in one instruction) on all these values. Similarly, they allow you to have vector constants. Thus if you wanted to add some integer (say 10001) to all integers in a large array, you might first load a constant with 8 times the value 10001, then you would load elements from your array, 8 elements by 8 elements, add the vector constant (thus do 8 additions at once), and then store the result. Everything else being equal, this might be 8 times faster.

        An optimizing compiler might even do this optimization for you (a process called ‘auto-vectorization). However, for more complex code, you might need to do it manually using “intrinsic” functions (e.g., _mm256_loadu_si256, _mm256_add_epi32, etc.).

      • Perl / Raku

        • RakulangDay 10: SparrowCI pipelines cascades of fun - Raku Advent Calendar

          Remember the young guy in the previous SparrowCI story? We have not finished with him yet …

          Because New Year time is coming and brings us a lot of fun, or we can say cascades of fun …

          So, our awesome SparrowCI pipelines plumber guy is busy with sending the gift to his nephew...

        • PerlKephra: goto (last) edit | lichtkind [blogs.perl.org]

          Welcome to my musings: how editing should be (aimed to all users of an editor as food for thought). After select all I will today choose as feature of the day: goto edit (Strg+E) by which I mean jump to the location where you did the last change to the document. In latest version 0.404 I even extended the feature to make it more productive.

          This feature can be implemented in 2 minutes so why even talk about it except bragging about it? If you think about editing strategically (first principles - step one - making requirements less dumb), you see that its not really about moving the caret to some position somewhere or selecting some text. Editing is ultimately an information game. How to get and organize information and apply them in the most effective way.

        • Perlhis Week in PSC (090)

          We ran through the RFC tracker, putting the "updating *'* as package separator" for Tony Cook's pull request, and resetting the counter on the ?-> implementation, as Veesh G. has begun taking a crack at that.

      • Java

        • [Old] Structured concurrency in Java with Loom

          When you create a new Thread in Java a system call is done to the OS telling it to create a new system thread. Creating a system thread is expensive because the call takes up much time, and each thread takes up some memory. Your threads also share the same CPU, so you don't want them to block it, causing other threads to wait unnecessarily.

          You can use asynchronous programming to prevent this from happening. You start a thread and tell it what to do when the data arrives. Until the data is available, other threads can use the CPU recourses for their task. In the example below, we use the CompletableFuture to get some data and tell it to print it to the console when the data is available.

  • Leftovers

    • Joe BrockmeierYak-shaving day: Dissociated Press

      Spent the bulk of the day today doing a little product testing, which involved a lot of yak shaving. Setting up a few servers to test, creating users, etc.

      It’s been a little while since I spent a whole day at the console. It’s been simultaneously fun, humbling, and eye-opening. Fun, for obvious reasons. Humbling, because my admin skills are a bit rusty and outdated. And eye-opening because of the sheer number of things that actually do “just work” which … hasn’t always been the case.

    • TediumFor Amusement Only

      Hey all, Ernie here with a piece from Michael Bentley, who we last saw on the site about a year ago. In the past, he’s covered quizbowl and arcade trivia games. This time he’s going all in on redemption games—the ticket-driven arcade games you play when you’re done playing the latest Street Fighter.

    • Tim Brayongoing by Tim Bray €· Long Links

      Marc Brooker is one of the most senior engineers over at AWS; I was proud to think him a peer. Here he writes important things on an important subject: the power of writing. Writing Is Magic is pretty magic, ten paragraphs of sharp observation and wisdom you’ll be better for having read. If you only have time for one Long Link this time around, pick this.

    • Science

      • Sabine HossenfelderSabine Hossenfelder: Backreaction: Science News Dec 7

        Today we’ll talk about zink batteries, regulations for StarLink satellites, find out how birds feel about fireworks, learn about a new way to detect sugars, thirty thousand molecules that could make better batteries, and more efficient photosynthesis.

      • StratecheryAI Homework - Stratechery by Ben Thompson

        This is a confident answer, complete with supporting evidence and a citation to Hobbes work, and it is completely wrong. Hobbes was a proponent of absolutism, the belief that the only workable alternative to anarchy — the natural state of human affairs — was to vest absolute power in a monarch; checks and balances was the argument put forth by Hobbes’ younger contemporary John Locke, who believed that power should be split between an executive and legislative branch. James Madison, while writing the U.S. Constitution, adopted an evolved proposal from Charles Montesquieu that added a judicial branch as a check on the other two.

      • John GruberChatGPT and A.I. Homework

        ChatGPT is brand new but already astonishing. Even seemingly silly input can result in remarkable output. I feel like I ought to have something profound to say, but I’m struggling to come up with anything beyond “Wow” for now.

    • Hardware

      • Chris HannahNothing Ear (stick)

        A few weeks ago, I got myself a pair of the new Nothing Ear (stick) earphones. They're an intriguing product, and they're certainly a breath of fresh air compared to the competition. So since I've now used them for a while, and in quite a few scenarios, I thought I'd share my feelings on them.

        [...]

        As in, they sound better than the original AirPods to me, and I've never noticed a problem with any kind of audio.

    • Proprietary

      • The VergeSlack CEO Stewart Butterfield is leaving in January

        Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield is leaving Salesforce in January, reports Business Insider. Butterfield helped co-found Slack in 2013 after Glitch — a social MMORPG — was shut down and Butterfield turned his focus to workplace communication tools instead. Butterfield is leaving Salesforce, the company that acquired Slack for $27.7 billion last year, after less than two years at Salesforce.

    • Security

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • MandiantAccelerated Cyber Security Transformation: Time. The Nameless APT | Mandiant

          Time is an extremely persistent threat actor observed across all industries. The group has conducted the longest running and highest volume campaigns observed among any group to date. Time appears to have formidable and global capabilities and often has secondary impacts that lead to other successful threat actor campaigns. Time has not been observed asking for payment and motivations are yet unknown.

          Threat actors are increasing in number and sophistication. They can innovate and launch attacks without the need to submit 3-year roadmaps, gain multiple levels of approvals, go through a change advisory board, schedule downtime windows, or go through lengthy procurement processes. Defenders are intent on reducing the risk and impact of a successful attack and are increasingly focused on improving their security posture; however, they are failing to improve the speed at which they can defend against threat actors. As seen in Figure 1, an organization losing the battle to the Nameless APT will be slower to respond and manage risk. Thus, the average risk over time will be higher, the maximum risk will be higher, and the risk will be fully remediated more slowly.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Declassified UKRed List: MI5’s Culture War

        The greatest challenge, the most important task, facing security and intelligence agencies should be to identify threats to the public from genuinely hostile forces, ranging from state agencies to violent individuals motivated by extreme ideologies.

        Their biggest temptation is to use the special resources and laws – the privileges – at their disposal to amass as much information as possible on individuals, just in case, to play it safe.

        That doesn’t make the country safe of course, quite the opposite. While they relax in the assumption they are covering every possible threat, the truly dangerous individual slips under the net.

        [...]

        Those whose phones were tapped and whose letters were opened by MI5 with the help of the police Special Branch had at one time or another expressed support for, or sympathy with, communism, and in rare cases joined the Communist Party of Great Britain, or who had friends who had done so – people who never remotely posed a threat to Britain’s security.

        They included: the authors Arthur Ransome, JB Priestley, Kingsley Amis, Olivia Manning, Doris Lessing, and Christopher Isherwood; the poets WH Auden, Cecil Day-Lewis, and Stephen Spender; and historians Eric Hobsbawn, Christopher Hill and EP Thompson.

        Also targeted by MI5 were the actor Michael Redgrave, the theatre producer Joan Littlewood, the composer Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears, the Cambridge academic Maurice Dobb, the journalist Claud Cockburn, Lewis Bernstein, the founder of Granada TV, the popular scientist Jacob Bronowski, and Bruce Kent, a leading member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

        They also include a file on the Very Rev. Hewlett Johnston, dean of Canterbury Cathedral. Known as the Red Dean for proposing talks with the Soviet Union on disarmament, Johnston erected a large poster on the front of his Deanery proclaiming ‘Christians ban nuclear weapons’.

      • Declassified UKStill no justice for Kenyan women abused by UK troops

        “I miss her so much – she was like a big sister to me,” reflects Esther Njoki, a wise 18 year old whose aunt Agnes Wanjiru was brutally murdered by a British soldier in 2012. Her body was found in a hotel septic tank months after she went missing.

        “There’s still no progress on extraditing her killer,” Esther complains, speaking to Declassified from Nanyuki, the garrison town near Mount Kenya where six of Wanjiru’s family live in a cramped room behind a teal painted kiosk.

        “The UK government isn’t letting the soldier come here to face trial because they say Kenya’s prison conditions are too bad,” she reasons. “But I think it is fair for him to be imprisoned in Kenya.”

        The family are squeezed on a sofa beneath a life-sized poster of Pope Francis, harshly illuminated by a fluorescent light bulb. Chickens chirp loudly outside and the smell of sewage sometimes invades the room.

        Kenyan prison conditions are undoubtedly poor, but Wanjiru’s killer has left the victim’s family living in very basic circumstances. “It’s especially hard right now because our dad passed away two months ago,” Esther laments. “He was the breadwinner who was catering for us. So it is very sad.”

    • Finance

      • Michael West MediaNew York, New York! Dixon collapse brings Christmas cheer for lawyers, accountants, and 4c in the dollar for clients - Michael West

        Dixon Advisory clients will get 4c in the dollar back from their savings if they accept PwC’s deed at the creditors’ meeting today. A classic case of hubris, greed, hard-selling and poor management, Kim Wingerei and Michael West report on the Dixon wash-up.

        It was sometime after the Global Financial crisis when the second author of this story, then working at the SMH, was threatened with a defamation lawsuit by Dixon Advisory. We had been told by a contact “this thing is going to blow up” but Dixon was keen to muzzle adverse publicity and used its lawyers to threaten journalists.

        Pity because we had also warned of the collapse of Storm Financial and City Pacific (earning legal threats from the City Pacific white shoe brigade too). A small point now, after the fact, and after Dixon has wiped out much of the savings of 4,606 creditors, delivered $368m in losses and a smorgasbord of fees for liquidators and lawyers.

      • AntipopeWTF

        But if this is real—I think it's most likely a hilariously bleak piece of internet satire, but there's an outside chance it's what it says it is—well, I don't want live in a world where there is a real market for this kind of thing.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Left-Wing Voices Are Silenced on Twitter as Far-Right Trolls Advise Elon Musk

        ELON MUSK CLAIMS to be “fighting for free speech in America” but the social network’s new owner appears to be overseeing a purge of left-wing activists from the platform.

        Several prominent antifascist organizers and journalists have had their accounts suspended in the past week, after right-wing operatives appealed directly to Musk to ban them and far-right internet trolls flooded Twitter’s complaints system with false reports about terms of service violations.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • US News And World ReportJulian Assange Appeals to European Court Over U.S. Extradition

        WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange, who is battling extradition from Britain to the United States where he is wanted on criminal charges, has submitted an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the court confirmed on Friday.

        Assange, 51, is wanted by U.S. authorities on 18 counts, including one under a spying act, relating to WikiLeaks' release of vast troves of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables which Washington said had put lives in danger.

      • CPJCPJ, partners send letter calling for US to drop charges against Julian Assange

        We, the undersigned coalition of press freedom, civil liberties, and international human rights organizations, write to express grave concern about the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal and extradition proceedings relating to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, under the Espionage Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

        It is more than a year since our coalition sent a joint letter calling for the charges against Assange to be dropped. In June, then U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel approved Assange’s extradition to the United States, a decision that Assange’s legal team is in the process of appealing. Today, we repeat those concerns, and urge you to heed our request. We believe that the prosecution of Assange in the U.S. would set a harmful legal precedent and deliver a damaging blow to press freedom by opening the way for journalists to be tried under the Espionage Act if they receive classified material from whistleblowers.

      • Library CaseFive Elephants In The Room of IFLA

        There is, however, some hope that this will change, because now, finally, €«Major News Outlets Urge U.S. to Drop Its Charges Against Assange€»

      • NCACNCAC joins CPJ joint letter to express concerns regarding Julian Assange criminal and extradition proceedings - National Coalition Against Censorship

        The National Coalition Against Censorship joins the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other free speech champions in a joint letter to express concern regarding the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal and extradition proceedings relating to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, under the Espionage Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

      • Jacobin MagazineThe Story of the “Twitter Files” Is About Press Freedom, Not Twitter Personalities

        Regardless of what you may think about Elon Musk or Matt Taibbi, the “Twitter Files” offer a behind-the-scenes look at how the firm embarked on an act of unprecedented press censorship — and that should make us very uneasy.

        [...]

        The emails purport to show how Twitter higher-ups “freelanced” the decision to block the New York Post story without the weighing in of either the government or of then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Taibbi says that by 2020, “requests from connected actors” — specifically, the Biden campaign and the Donald Trump White House — “to delete tweets were routine,” though the screenshots provided only show Biden’s team and the Democratic National Committee requesting the removal of Hunter’s explicit personal photos.

        But most scandalously, the select email screenshots shared by Taibbi on Twitter, where the story was reported, appear to show these higher-ups debating not whether they should or shouldn’t suppress the story and the press freedom implications of doing so, but which post hoc justification they should use to sell this censorship to the public.

      • GizmodoJack to Elon: Can We Just Get the Doxxing Over With?

        As the saga of the “Twitter Files” continues, the platform’s former CEO Jack Dorsey seems to be wondering why we can’t just hurry this up already and dump all of the company’s related dirt in one fell swoop.

      • Trump is the Opposable Thumb of the Establishment

        When he ran in 2015-2016, he was wildly contradictory but posed as a critic of endless wars, a critic of Wall Street hedge fund managers, a defender of Wikileaks, as someone who recognized that US policy had been pro-Israel.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • I Taught ChatGPT to Invent a Language - by Dylan Black

          In which ChatGPT and I invent a fictional language spoken by slime-people

        • ChatGPT and the viability of replacing humans with circus tricks

          OpenAI created something remarkable in ChatGPT. If you ask me what it is, I’ll probably wave my hands a bit, say something about “large language model,” and how it’s credited with solving this year’s Advent of Code amongst other things.

          I was skeptical before I tried it. I’ve developed a bit of a gag reflex to the mutant effluence of DALL●E and Stable Diffusion. As a friend in VFX put it to me, it’s a great tool for brainstorming concept art, but not much else. I doubted a chat bot built on similar principles would do any better.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Thoughts on the Locrian Scale

        I've been messing around a bit on guitar playing with some thoughts on dissonance and harmony. Basically, I'm trying to analyze chords and their resolutions in terms of their symmetry. The idea is that more symmetrical chords have more ambiguity since their tonal center isn't clear, which allows them to resolve to lots of different other chords. So, staying in the key of C major for simplicity: you can see Cmaj is a very asymmetrical chord.

        The distance between C and E is a major third, the distance between E and G is a minor third, the distance between G and C is a perfect fourth. The character of the chord is dictated by these intervals, such that if, for example, you put the chord in first inversion, it doesn't become a Gmaj chord: C stays the center of gravity of the chord.

    • Technical

      • E-readers and Print



        As I've begun reading more often, it's been the case that some of my books are on my e-reader, while others are printed and bound. This has given me quite a bit of exposure to using both formats.

        Regarding e-readers versus printed books, many people I know are in one camp or the other. They either swear by Kindle or Kobo, or one will pry their paperbacks from their cold, dead hands. To be honest, however, I like both formats. Each have their strengths and their weaknesses, and I think whether one likes one format over another is probably just a matter of preference.

      • w3m Security



        w3m's security is not very good; it lacks the pledge and unveil support that Firefox and Chromium have been subjected to on OpenBSD. Even if w3m is restricted with pledge and unveil there is a lot an attacker can do; w3m makes use of system(3) which means /bin/sh must be allowed and that lets an attacker run anything they want.

        Or, you custom compile your own w3m that cannot run /bin/sh; in this case w3m must be rewritten to always download files instead of forking them out to an image viewer or whatever. Or, you write custom code with fork(2) and execl(3) instead of throwing who knows what in a string over to system(3). (And the security of image or PDF viewers may not be the best...)

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Elon's Cleanup

          Elon is making waves at Twitter. Firings galore. With no other context, that might sound terrifying. In this case? He's simply cleaning house. To the (now ex) CEO & the UN-backed 'human rights' team: good riddance.

          [...]

          For these reasons, as well as a generally favorable view of Musk (caveats below), I was half-heartedly considering re-joining Twitter. However, a lingering concern was still present: it is still proprietary spyware. I'll pass.

          Even ignoring the class of software that Twitter is, bringing headcount down to ~30-50% (not sure on the exact count) of what it was gives me pause. On the one hand, a not insignifant number of employees in an organization like Twitter are (were?) dedicated to extremist political activism, like thought policing ('moderation', 'fact checking').

          [...]

          On the other, that amount of firings still seems a bit too far. Code takes lots of talent and skill to maintain. On the other hand (I've run out of hands...), what if he is intentionally trying to bankrupt Twitter in an attempt to cleanse the world of the leftist hellscape that it is (was)? He is certainly causing a resurgence of interest in open protocols, like Activity Pub.

          [...]

          When the term 'absolutist' is used to describe yourself, if you make exceptions you are by definition not an absolutist. Yet this 'absolutist' tweets screenshots of a presentation deck highlighting how 'hate speech' interactions are down. What a joke; both the term and the implications behind such a tweet

        • Making a gemini browser

          Well, I wasn't feeling super motivated yesterday to do it but I felt like using the computer today, so I started tackling my next pet project of making a Gemini browser. Originally I was gonna do a proper GUI one with PyQt or something but I didn't feel like it today, so I decided I'd make a terminal based one with Curses instead for now, and do something more graphical later (so 21st century).

          Day one it's already pretty functional; it nicely displays text and does what formatting can be done in a terminal for links and headings and whatever. I got the socket + SSL library in there so it can look at local files as well as stuff online (obviously pretty important). The main thing for it's functionality that I got going is you can follow links in the browser. It can tell if the links are relative or not or if they point to other domains or protocols, but so far I haven't gotten it to handle other protocols yet. I'll also add mouse support if I can, but since it's in a terminal I'm trying to make sure it's fully and easily navigable with a keyboard first.

      • Programming

        • I should have made a check list

          Yup. I messed up again, just as I was afraid of [1]. Using `mod_md [2]` isn't that hard, it's just that *any* mistake you make means you just lost a few days, up to an entire month.


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



Recent Techrights' Posts

One More (Failed) Attempt to Deplatform the Sites by Harassing and Threatening Webhosts
What we're seeing here is a person who abuses the system in Canada at Canadian taxpayers' expense trying to do the same in the UK, at British taxpayers' expense
Coercion From the "Consent" and "CoC" Crowd is a Self-Defeating Tactic
Freedom of the press; Nothing less
According to statCounter, GNU/Linux Increased From 3.77% to 3.89% This Month (Worldwide), Windows Now Below 20% in 78 Nations, Below 10% in 27 Nations
Highest since March (for GNU/Linux)
Patriotism is OK, But We Need Facts and Reason, Not Blind Obedience to Authority
Very seldom in the history of human civilisation has groupthink proven to be of real merit
 
Yes, You Can
Unless you live somewhere like Russia...
[Meme] Listen to the Experts
Bill Gates didn't even finish university]
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) and the Front-End Interfaces
As the Web deteriorates the availability, quality and prevalence of RSS feeds is not improving, to put it mildly
Algeria Shows High GNU/Linux and Android Adoption, All-Time High and Almost Three-Quarters of Web Requests
GNU/Linux was below 3%, now it is above 3%
Mass Layoffs at Microsoft-owned GitHub (About 80 Percent of the Staff in India Laid Off)
It's not just in India
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 16, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Scarecrows, Moles, Ham Radio, and No IPs
Links for the day
Africa is Android and Green (Chrome, Not Just Android Logo)
In Africa Firefox is almost below 1% now
Covering Abuses and Corruption
We'll never surrender to blackmail
Ubuntu Running Out of Energy
Its planet too is deteriorating
Links 16/06/2024: In Defence of Email and Why Recycling Symbol Lost All Meaning
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Computer Science Course Union and Potentiometer
Links for the day
Cross border crime: sale of Swiss insurance in France and European Union without authorisation
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Letting Microsoft systemd Manage /home Was a Terrible Idea All Along
systemd-tmpfiles, deleting /home
When You Touch One of Us You Touch All of Us
We have a principled, uncompromising stance on this matter
Links 16/06/2024: New Sanctions Against Russia, Fentanylware (TikTok) Causing More Problems
Links for the day
Social Control Media in Japan: Twitter (X) Has Collapsed, YouTube Rising (Apparently)
What a genius Mr. Musk is!
Windows Cleansed in South Africa (Already Hovering Around 10% Market Share)
Plus Microsoft's mass layoffs in Africa
[Meme] Satya Nadella's Windows PC RECALLS Not What He Did
Satya got lucky
Usage of Let's Encrypt in Geminispace Has Collapsed (That's a Good Thing!)
Ideally, or eventually, all capsules will sign their own certificates or have their own CA
North Macedonia: Windows Down From 99.2% to 28.5%
Last year it was even measured at 26%
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 15, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 15, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Hand Held Maneuvering Unit and Hugo Static Files
Links for the day
Removing the Tumour From IRC
looking back
[Meme] The Free(dom) Software Engineer in European Elections
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
Vista 11 Was 'Leaked' Exactly 3 Years Ago and This One Picture Says It All
how 'well' Vista 11 has done
A Smokescreen for Brad Smith
Maybe the key point was to say "Linux is not secure either" or "Windows and Linux are equally vulnerable", so don't bother dumping Microsoft
Windows Sinking Below 13% Market Share in the Island of Jamaica
Microsoft's decline continues and will mostly likely continue indefinitely in Jamaica and its neighbours
Links 15/06/2024: Microsoft's Intellectual Ventures Attacks Kubernetes With Software Patents, More Layoff Waves
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/06/2024: On Lagrange and on YouTube Getting Worse
Links for the day
Edward Brocklesby: hacker received advance notice of zero-day vulnerabilities in MH and NMH email software
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Code Liberates Kids
Matthias Kirschner: I can't code, but I can write a book
In Armenia, Bing is Measured at 0.6%, About Ten Times Less Than Yandex
Bing will probably get mothballed in the coming years
[Meme] A Pack and Pact (Collusion Against Computer Users)
They never really cared about users, no more than drug dealers care about drug users...
GNU/Linux in Azerbaijan: From ~0.1% to 7%
Azerbaijan is around the same size as Portugal
Women in Free Software (FOSS) Need Action, Not Mere Words
the men who are loudest about women's rights are some of the very worst offenders
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Minecraft
These folks should check out Minetest
Techrights Statement on Men Who Viciously Attack Women in Free Software
history shows women will win
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 14, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, June 14, 2024
[Meme] People Who Cannot Find Gainful Employment Because of Their Poor Behaviour Online (Not the People Who Merely Call Them Out on It)
Imagine trying to become a lecturer while talking like this in public
You Too Would Get Nervous
countries where Windows is down to 2%
[Meme] The Two Phases (and Faces) of Microsofters
Microsofters: stalk IRC, then troll IRC
The 'Nobody Reads Techrights Anyway' Crowd
Send In the Clowns
Books in the Making
I intend to spend a considerable amount of time explaining what my family and I were subjected to for the 'crime' of promoting/covering Free software
Microsoft is Still Losing Malta
And GNU/Linux is doing well on laptops and desktops
Tux Machines: Third Party Impending
There will be more next week