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Links 15/05/2023: Linux 6.4 RC2 and KeePassXC 2.7.5



  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • FSFE

    • Programming/Development

      • TechTargetPython interpreter vs. IDE: What network engineers should know | TechTarget

        In the network automation era, Python is the de facto language to automate repetitive network tasks on a global scale. Network engineers can use a plethora of tools during their automation journey, including interpreters and integrated development environment, or IDE, tools.

      • Ciprian Dorin CraciunLearning before dabbling in applied cryptography

        I've been for a long time an "applied cryptography passive enthusiast", following various blogs and reading various introductory articles on the subject, but I have newer dug deeper or tried to do anything myself (hence the qualification "passive").

        However, since a year or so, I've started playing, first in my mind then in proof-of-concept code, with various ideas, especially related to long term encryption or encryption in automation scenarios, thus leaning towards "applied cryptography active hobbyist".

        About at the same time, I've started following closer some of the most prominent public writers on the topic. They might not necessarily be cryptographers themselves, however they are able to translate the various primitives, schemes, constructs, and their properties, into plain English.

        Thus, for anyone seriously wanting to start experimenting with cryptography (which has nothing to do with "crypto", that is yet another alias for ponzi-schemes), I wanted to highlight some of these information sources.

        Following that, I will also list a few articles that I consider are good introductory topics, or generic enough to be applicable in a broader sense.

      • Jack KellyThe Maddest My Code Made Anyone

        As Half-Life modding matured, some really interesting inventions appeared. MetaMod was a C++ framework that interposed itself between the server binary and the actual mod DLL, allowing you to inject custom behaviour into an existing mod. I didn’t understand enough C++ to write MetaMod plugins, but that didn’t matter: AMX Mod and later AMX Mod X let you write custom plugins using a simpler C-style language called Pawn (known back then as “Small”). This enabled an explosion of ways for operators to tweak their game servers: quality-of-life improvements for players, reserved player slots for members, and delightfully bonkers gameplay changes. I remember having my mind blown the first time I stumbled upon a game of CS with a class-based perks system, inspired by Warcraft 3, and that was just one instance of the creativity that came from the AMX(X) modding scenes.

        And with the Half-Life-specific background covered, we are now ready to talk about NS: Combat and my gloriously dumb contribution to the AMXX world.

      • Jim NielsenThe Power of Fast Feedback Cycles

        Having code you can inspect, poke at, tweak, and then immediately run is a kind of super power. Fast, iterative feedback loops are incredibly empowering. This is what I was getting at when I wrote about cheating entropy by writing vanilla HTML, CSS, and JS: [...]

      • Nicolas FränkelWorking on an unfamiliar codebase

        In our profession, it’s common to work on an unfamiliar codebase. It happens every time one joins a new project or even needs to work on a previously untouched part in big ones. This occurrence is not limited to a developer having to fix a bug; it can be a solution architect having to design a new feature or an OpenSource contributor working on a GitHub issue in their free time. Hence, I want to describe how I approach the situation so it can benefit others.

      • MaskRayRelocation overflow and code models

        Certain groups prefer static linking or mostly static linking for the sake of deployment convenience and performance. In scenarios where the distributed program contains a significant amount of code (related: software bloat), employing full or mostly static linking can result in very large executable files. Consequently, certain relocations may be close to the distance limit, and even a minor disruption can trigger relocation overflow linker errors.

      • RlangModel Misspecification and Linear Sandwiches

        Details can be found in the mentioned reference. The rest of the post illustrates with examples how to compute “sandwich” estimates in R, and why you may want to do so.

  • Leftovers

    • The Unix Heritage SocietyThe Gnome and Its "Secret Place"

      So a different modification of the Sixth Edition text, we still have "to UNIX" and the continuous "is gathering...and saving". What does change is we no longer know where the gnome is saving those characters. We've now lost the secret place, research and BSD carry on knowing the real story, and MERT 0 kept this intact as well. Taking a look further afield, in the System III manuals, originally produced in 1980, we see the same as PWB, a merged intro document (now just named intro again), and the same text, the Sixth Edition text minus the secret place commentary. So whatever merges of documentation took place between PWB 1.0 and 3.0, it seems the updated text from the Seventh Edition was never picked up, and the modified line persisted through to this point. Checking forward, this text persists into the release of PWB 5.0. The first release of System V only changes "UNIX" to "the UNIX System", consistent with nomenclature changes throughout documentation in the PWB 5.0->System V transition.

    • Education

      • Lusaka ZMDigital training for 100, 000 teachers by Indian Institute Launched

        Minister of Education Douglas Syakalima commented on JAIN Group of Institutions for the timely partnership, especially with the introduction of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) subjects in schools.

        In a speech read for him by Ministry of Education Universities Director Amos Mumba, during the launch, Mr Syakalima noted the urgent need to train staff with the latest technology to enhance efficiency and service delivery to pupils across the country.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Proprietary

      • Stack Overflow Layoffs: Question and Answer Website Sacks 10% Employees, CEO Prashanth Chandrasekar Says ‘Weighs Heavily on Me’

        "I've made the very difficult decision to reduce our workforce by about 10 per cent per cent or 58 employees. This is painful for them, and we are supporting those employees through this transition with severance packages, extensions of healthcare benefits, and outplacement services," the CEO said in a statement.

      • Daniel MiesslerAI’s Next Big Thing is Digital Assistants

        There’s about to be a huge difference, and that difference will come from context. Specifically, your Digital Assistant (DA) will know almost everything about you. Not just a few things like your name and your favorite color. No. It’ll know everything. We’re talking about: [...]

      • GizmodoI Created a Biased AI Algorithm 25 Years Ago—Tech Companies Are Still Making the Same Mistake.

        The dangers of bias and errors in AI algorithms are now well known. Why, then, has there been a flurry of blunders by tech companies in recent months, especially in the world of AI chatbots and image generators? Initial versions of ChatGPT produced racist output. The DALL-E 2 and Stable Diffusion image generators both showed racial bias in the pictures they created.

      • Interesting EngineeringProduction of Polestar 3 and Volvo EX90 pushed to 2024 to develop software

        Swedish automaker Volvo and its subsidiary Polestar have announced delays in the production and delivery of their highly anticipated vehicles, the Volvo EX90 and Polestar 3.

        Originally scheduled for release in 2023, the production start date has been pushed to the first quarter of 2024. The companies attribute the delays to the additional time needed for software development and testing, aiming to ensure a high-quality vehicle introduction and maximize customer benefit from the advanced technology.

      • The Register UKToyota's bungling of customer privacy is becoming a pattern

        The exposed data belongs to almost the entire Japanese customer base that had signed up for Toyota's T-Connect driver assist product, and users of the G-Link service – a similar product for Toyota's luxury subsidiary Lexus.

        [...]

        We've reached out to Toyota to learn more about this latest incident but haven't heard back.

    • Security

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • Jan SchaumannWhose Cert Is It Anyway?

          Screengrab from the TV show 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' with 'line' replaced by 'cert'. Remember the X.509 PKI? You know, the one that gave us such hits as "Oh wait, certificate revocation is basically all broken", The One Where That Dutch CA Issued A Fraudulent *.google.com Cert, and of course my all-time favorite, Honest Ahmed's Used Cars and Certificates? It's great, because it secures virtually all web traffic, and all you have to do is get a certificate from a certificate authority - any one at all!

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • New StatesmanThe memeification of George Orwell

          The publishers’ proud claim that this is the first full-length study for 20 years is not true. The best reason for a second try is that Orwell is worth it. Born as he was into a world at war, a biography of Orwell is almost a running history of that world in 46 years – years in which he hammered himself into a writer of monstrous talent, enormous breadth, and enduring significance. In spite of old colonial money on both sides of the family – sugar and opium on the English side, Burmese teak on the French – it was as a man of the left that Orwell took a sharp and personal interest in struggle wherever he found it. At the same time, for someone who swept so wide (his Eastern Service BBC wartime scripts were outstanding) he also ground exceeding small. One moment we find him discussing nationalism and imperialism as great historical tides, the next moment he is an imperial policeman lying flat on his belly, shooting an elephant he didn’t want to shoot in a village he didn’t want to police. A jeering crowd and a man at bay – it was in small things such as these that Orwell lifted his sights and found his range.

          In recent times, the appeal has gone beyond the writing. He has become a trope, a meme, a signifier, a symbol, a moral force, a patron saint of lost causes and begetter of hopeful ones. He thought working for the BBC was a lost cause, but that didn’t stop the corporation sticking a statue of him at the front door. There he stands outside Broadcasting House, like a doorman spoiling for a fight or looking for a light, however you see him. His deeply etched face, like Big Brother himself, has become part of our culture. Taylor reckons Orwell is not now just a popular writer “but someone who has quarried his way down into the heart of the human condition”. Want to give your op-ed a bit of moral welly? Reach for George.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • RTL'The days when environmental policies were simply pushed through are over'

        Regarding the European Union's target of reducing CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030, Welfring expressed confidence in Luxembourg's progress, affirming that the Grand Duchy is "on the right track." However, she stressed the urgent need for concrete measures to be implemented to achieve this ambitious goal.

      • APNICGood day, sunshine

        We’ve covered this before on the blog — Ulrich Speidel investigated the risks of solar storms to the modern Internet. In his post, Ulrich explains how solar storms can release charged particles that can interact with Earth’s magnetosphere and disrupt power grids, satellite communications, and other technological systems, including the Internet.

        He discussed the 1859 Carrington Event. Widely considered a catastrophe, the Carrington Event had significant impacts on telegraph systems, which were the primary means of long-distance communication at that time. The Carrington Event spiked electric currents in telegraph lines, causing widespread disruptions, damaging telegraph equipment, and even leading to some telegraph offices catching fire. However, the event did not have significant impacts on other aspects of society, as the infrastructure at that time was relatively simple compared to today.

        Ulrich also explored the challenges of mitigating the impacts of solar storms on the Internet, including the need for better monitoring, forecasting, and resilience measures. It’s a great outline of the issues in CME events.

      • GannettScientists warn an El Niño is likely coming that could bring scorching heat to Earth

        Climate scientists are especially concerned about the potential for hotter temperatures. Given things already are warmer than normal, they say a strong El Niño could send global average temperatures soaring to a record high.

      • ScheerpostBig Oil’s Outrageous Spending in California

        If you thought the $18 million that Big Oil spent on lobbying California officials in 2022 was outrageous, the gusher of money the oil and gas industry is spending in their campaign to control the regulatory apparatus is even worse this year.

        Big Oil spent $9.4 million attempting to influence the California Legislature, Governor’s Office and agencies in the first quarter of 2023, according to lobbying disclosures by the oil and gas industry now posted on the California Secretary of State’s website.

      • Energy/Transportation

        • GizmodoRooftop Solar Panels Could Power a Third of U.S. Manufacturing, Study Finds

          Researchers used a survey from the Department of Energy and compared states to understand where rooftop solar could best supply electricity needs for manufacturing. They found that companies that focus on textiles, apparel, and furniture would benefit the most from transitioning to solar energy. Their work is published in the journal Environmental Research: Sustainability and Infrastructure.

        • IOP PublishingTechnical feasibility of powering U.S. manufacturing with rooftop solar PV

          The use of renewable electricity is vital for the decarbonization of industry. Industrial firms source renewables through off-site power purchase agreements or on-site installations, though the latter currently supplies <0.1% of industrial electricity demand in the U.S. Manufacturing buildings typically have large, flat rooftops that are ideal for solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays. This study investigates the feasibility of using rooftop solar PV to cover the net annual electricity needs of industry across all U.S. states and manufacturing sectors. Modeled electricity supply intensity for solar PV arrays is compared with the electricity demand per unit of floorspace for average manufacturing buildings derived from the U.S. Department of Energy Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey. Results show that, depending on geographical location, rooftop solar PV can completely fulfill the electricity requirements of 5%–35% of manufacturing sectors considered on a net annual basis (assuming net metering). Furniture, textiles, and apparel manufacturing can be powered through on-site means in nearly every location, representing 2% of U.S. manufacturing electricity use and 6% of floorspace. Considering seasonal potential during summer months expands the list of feasible sites, particularly in the U.S. Southwest. Compared to off-site sourcing of renewable energy, pursuing on-site PV installations can also enable manufacturers to maintain limited operations during periods of grid disruption, especially when coupled with on-site energy storage. Overall, the results indicate a substantial physical opportunity for industrial firms to expand rooftop solar PV from currently low levels to help meet decarbonization goals.

        • The EconomistThe aviation industry wants to be net zero—but not soon

          The trouble is that the technology that might help Mr Calhoun meet this goal is barely perceptible on the horizon. As the jet age nears its centenary, even the historic pace of improvement is becoming tougher to sustain. “Every leap in tech makes the next one harder,” says Andrew Charlton of Aviation Advocacy, a consultancy. And not just for Boeing and its European arch-rival, Airbus.

          Take engines. CFM, a joint venture between GE and Safran, two engine-makers, has nearly 1,000 engineers working on Rise, an open rotor-engine that does away with the cowling the covers the fan blades. Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, two other big engine-makers, are also beavering away on their own ideas. But neither engine is likely to provide the efficiency gains that Boeing is after.

      • Overpopulation

        • RTLSeven people living in a single-family property - if that's our vision of the future, count me out

          One professor Florian Hartweck from the University of Luxembourg argued that "three bedroom, two bathrooms and a view of nature" isn't feasible and doesn't meet the needs of today.

          Urban architect Christine Muller chimed in that while everyone wants a single-family home, "it is not possible."

        • [Repeat] Hong Kong Free PressMother’s Day: ‘Why would anyone want a kid?’ – How Hong Kong’s fertility rate sank to the world’s lowest

          A 2023 survey by the Hong Kong Women Development Association (HKWDA) showed that over 70 per cent of respondents aged 18 or above told researchers they had no plans to give birth.

        • Modern DiplomacyDrought in Europe and water conflicts on the rise

          The water battle brewing in Letur is a harbinger of conflicts that will play out elsewhere, and whatever happens to Spain’s farming industry — a major source of groceries for its neighbors — will be felt throughout the region.

          “Spain is Europe’s breadbasket and the lack of water there, the lack of agricultural production, is a matter of survival,” said Nathalie Hilmi, an environmental economist at Centre Scientifique de Monaco. “It becomes a financial problem too, because more money needs to be spent finding food.”

    • Finance

      • Jacobin Magazine2023-05-12 [Older] We Need an Economic Bill of Rights
      • CBCDoes Canada really need a digital loonie?

        Rogers says more transactions are being done digitally. Only about 20 per cent of retail transactions are done in cash. And, she says, there's been a surge in interest in various digital currencies.

        When most people think of a digital dollar, they first think of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or Ethereum. What the bank is looking at is not quite [cryptocurrency], but it's not quite what we generally think of as cash either.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • India TimesNew listing reveals Microsoft job cuts may cross 10,000

        Citing a new filing with the state Employment Security Department (ESD), a report by Geek Wire said that Microsoft is slashing 158 jobs in Redmond, Washington state, where it is headquartered. The layoff start date was May 5. The development comes a day after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reportedly told employees that they won’t be getting salary hikes this year.

      • Hollywood ReporterEx-ByteDance Executive Claims Company Shared Data on U.S. Users With Chinese Government

        A wrongful termination suit filed by Yintao Yu, who was head of engineering for the company’s U.S. offices five years ago, alleges that Chinese government maintained a special unit within ByteDance referred to as the “Committee” that “guided how the company advanced core Communist values,” according to an amended complaint filed on Friday in San Francisco Superior Court. He says that ByteDance served as a “useful propaganda tool,” pointing to instances when the company was “responsive to the Chinese Communist Party’s requests to share information, and even to elevate or remove content.”

      • India TimesAustralia's Aristocrat Leisure to buy software firm NeoGames for $1 billion

        Aristocrat Leisure said it would pay a cash [sic] price of $29.50 per share to the shareholders of NeoGames to buy 100% of the Nasdaq-listed software firm.

        The takeover would give Aristocrat entry into the attractive iLottery market, "which is a highly regulated ... and can facilitate further penetration across other online Real-Money Gaming (RMG) verticals," the company said.

      • India TimesChina jails US

        John Shing-Wan Leung, an American passport holder and Hong Kong permanent resident, "was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment, deprived of political rights for life", a statement from Suzhou Intermediate People's Court read.

      • France24China jails US citizen for life on spying charges

        Such investigations and trials are held behind closed doors and little or no information is made public.

        Relations between Washington and Beijing have hit a historical low amid disputes over trade, technology, human rights and China’s increasingly aggressive approach toward its territorial claims.

      • Deutsche WelleChina sentences US citizen to life in prison for spying

        The court said in a statement that Leung "was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment, deprived of political rights for life."

        While the court announced Leung's sentence, no further details were given relating to what he had been charged with.

      • BIA NetÄ°stanbul, Ankara mayors claim KılıçdaroÄŸlu ahead of ErdoÄŸan

        They pointed out that 10 million votes have not yet been counted which corresponds to 20 percent of the total votes.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • VOA NewsAs Net Tightens, Iranians Pushed to Take Up Homegrown Apps

        Banned from using popular Western apps, Iranians have been left with little choice but to take up state-backed alternatives, as the authorities tighten [Internet] restrictions for security reasons following months of protests. Iranians are accustomed to using virtual private networks, or VPNs, to evade restrictions and access prohibited websites or apps, including the U.S.-based Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

        The authorities went as far as imposing total [Internet] blackouts during the protests that erupted after the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, following her arrest for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic's dress code for women.

      • El PaísMarina Ovsyannikova: The Russian journalist who condemned Putin’s war live on TV

        It was the “golden age” of Russian journalism, she recalls in her recently-published book, Between Good and Evil: How I Finally Opposed the Kremlin Propaganda. The situation, however, began to change gradually. In the interviews she has given, the journalist often refers to the 2008 invasion of Georgia as a turning point in the control exercised by the Kremlin over the media. At that moment, Ovsyannikova decided to ignore what she later decided to denounce.

      • The PrintChina censors citizens from discussing Pakistan protest. Political revolt is a sensitive topic

        Hashtags related to the protests in Pakistan were suppressed from trending by Chinese censors on Weibo. Despite some hashtags generating attention, news about the violent protests did not generate significant discussion on Chinese social media. The hashtag “Pakistan ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan arrested” was viewed over one million times on Weibo, and the hashtag “Arrest of ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan sparks violent protests” did not trend heavily, likely due to Chinese censors’ control.

      • Vanity FairTwitter’s Elon Musk Defends Decision To Limit Tweets in Turkey During Tight Presidential Election

        Over his 20 years as president, ErdoÄŸan has methodically tightened his grip on power, undermining key democratic institutions. The election is largely seen as a referendum on whether Turkey will continue its slide into one-man authoritarian rule. Polls closed at 10 a.m. ET this morning, and preliminary results are expected by the evening.

        “The day before a critical election in Turkey, Twitter appears to be acquiescing to the demands of the country’s autocratic ruler, Erdogan, and is censoring speech on the platform,” tweeted California congressman Adam Schiff in response to the news. “Given Twitter’s total lack of transparency, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Musk’s promises of free speech have again fallen away.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Jacobin MagazineGraduate Workers at the University of Michigan Have Been on Strike for Over a Month

        The graduate student workers walked out after rejecting the university’s original pay-raise offer, which would amount to a pay decrease under inflation. The union is also demanding better protections and support for international students, a reformed campus police (including an unarmed response team), and more help with childcare. Four GEO members sat down with Jacobin’s Peter Lucas to discuss the strike and how the university has responded so far.

      • RFARemembering late Tibetan film director Pema Tseden’s ‘weighty’ life

        Pema Tseden, the renowned Tibetan director, died of a heart attack on May 8th, and many hearts worldwide are broken. As a professor of Chinese politics (and Tibet) at Cornell University I have shared his films with my students, and when I informed the current ones of this news they too were pained by his passing. To better understand why Pema Tseden's death is so significant one can, fittingly, turn to one of his most important films, Tharlo.

      • The AtlanticThe Lesson I Wish I Never Had to Learn About Motherhood

        It is 2 a.m. I am sitting up awake in the quiet hell of night, worrying about my sister and wishing you were here. I don’t know when this everlasting winter will end. It is hard to keep our ground-floor apartment warm with its high ceilings. I am writing to you from our dining table, where we have never feasted, thousands of miles away from you. It is one of those cursed nights when I can’t sleep. The traffic of my thoughts overwhelms me. You know how much I used to love sleeping, Mom, but now I don’t remember the last time I rested peacefully. Maybe a year ago? Maybe more. Maybe since my sister and I escaped from the Taliban and left Kabul behind. Maybe since I left you behind.

      • BBCThe Nigerians lured into a trap and for being gay

        When Nigeria passed some of the toughest anti-homosexuality laws in Africa, the [Internet] became a place for the LGBT community to connect with others more safely - until criminal gangs went digital too. BBC Africa Eye investigates how blackmailers pose as potential dates on popular dating apps, only to extort, beat and even kidnap people.

      • [Old] GothamistWhat you need to know about NYC’s upcoming street homeless count

        Started in 2005, the HOPE survey — also known as the HOPE count— is an annual survey of the street homeless population in New York City. It is not a literal count of every homeless person living on city streets, in the subways and other public spaces. It’s a point-in-time sampling of homeless people living in certain neighborhoods and certain streets in the five boroughs.

    • YouTube

    • Monopolies



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IRC logs for Thursday, November 30, 2023
Links 01/12/2023: Many Suppressions in Hong Kong and Attempts to Legitimise Illegal and Unconstitutional Fake Patent 'Court' in EU (UPC)
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Site Priorities and Upcoming Improvements
pages are served very fast
[Meme] One Person, Singular Pronoun
Abusing people into abusing the English language is very poor diplomacy
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not a resolved issue
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very recent update
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IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 28, 2023
IRC logs for Tuesday, November 28, 2023