Links 14/10/2021: Whisker Menu 2.6.1 and KDE’s Birthday

Posted in News Roundup at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Why I only have one computer

        Assuming you’re more than just a consumer of online content, you probably have local files for things that are important to you: school work; in-progress projects; creative pursuits; family photos; a personal music collection; source code repos; saved memes–you name it. With more than one computer, you need to figure out a way to keep these files in sync, and good solutions are elusive.

        Cloud services are expensive and may compromise your privacy. Free non-cloud local sync services only work when both machines are on the same network. Any FOSS versions of these are unfortunately buggy and a chore to set up and maintain. Even if your chosen sync solution works perfectly (which it never does), you have to deal with the headaches of…

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • Best Spotify Alternatives For Linux

        Spotify is the most popular music streaming service. A Spotify free account grants access to a massive catalogue of songs, podcasts, and internet radio. But, if you’re a big fan of open-source software like me, you’ll want to check out these free and premium Spotify alternatives for Linux.

        These Spotify alternatives not only give us access to a large collection of free music resources, but we can also use some of them to host our own streaming server.
        Spotify does not enable you to host the software on your own server. Furthermore, the Spotify client for Linux is not developed by a dedicated team, so expect bugs and glitches with the official Spotify Linux client. In this case, you can look through the following list to see which music application you prefer for your Linux distribution.

      • Whisker Menu 2.6.1 released

        Fix menu not toggling (Issue #61)
        Fix small icon in multi-row panels (Issue #37)
        Fix missing minimize and maximize buttons in settings dialog
        Replace deprecated code for grab check
        Translation updates: Greek, Slovak, Spanish

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Twenty-Five Years of KDE

          It’s KDE’s birthday today. Twenty-five years ago Matthias Ettrich called for programmers to create a GUI for end users of Linux. They came and did. I wrote about the first Twenty Years of KDE five years ago. What I wrote there is still true, but there is more.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Check File Integrity on Linux the Easy Way With GtkHash

          GtkHash is a simple and lightweight tool for generating checksums on Linux. You can also check for the validity of a given checksum using this tool. Comparing checksums is an excellent way of ensuring data integrity as it can help you be sure whether you’re downloading files from a safe site.

          Let’s see how you can check the integrity of your files on Linux using GtkHash.

        • GtkSourceStyleSchemePreview

          In the past, we had a style scheme chooser widget to help people find style schemes that look useful. It was fairly rudimentary and doesn’t fit how we’d like style scheme selection to work going forward. So in what will become GtkSourceView 5.4, I’ve added the GtkSourceStyleSchemePreview widget which you can use to preview a specific style scheme.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What New Features to Expect in the Coming Release of Fedora 35

          Twice each year, in April and October, the community behind Fedora releases a new major version of the extremely popular Linux distribution. Currently scheduled for October 19, 2021, the release of Fedora 35 is quickly approaching. Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you install or upgrade to the 35th incarnation of the world’s most popular bleeding edge Linux distribution.


          Fedora 35 is tentatively scheduled to be released on October 19 with a fallback date of October 26 in case of any release-blocking problems. While we’d love to see Fedora 35 released as soon as possible, history shows that it’s more likely that the release will come on the later date.

          You can currently download Fedora 34 or the Fedora 35 Beta release from the Fedora Project’s website. You’ll also find links to both current and beta versions of the many Fedora spins.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky Linux 2021.10 Semi-Rolling Comes with Updated Packages

          Sparky Linux have just released an update to their rolling release version. Sparky 2021.10 features a new kernel of 5.14 as well as some other changes.

          Sparky Linux is a lightweight desktop-based Linux distribution based on Debian. It aims to be easy on system resources and can breathe new life into aging computers.

          Sparky is a unique distribution in the sense that it provides both Debian stable and testing editions. In general, Sparky is not targeted to Linux beginners, but rather users with some amount of Linux knowledge.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 10 Best Free and Open Source Linux Comic Book Viewers

        A comic book is a magazine which consists of narrative artwork in the form of sequential images with text that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative, usually dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Comics are used to tell a story, and are published in a number of different formats including comic strips, comic books, webcomics, Manga, and graphic novels. Some comics have been published in a tabloid form. The largest comic book market is Japan.

        Many users associate desktop Linux with their daily repetitive grind. However, we are always on the look out for applications that help make Linux fun to use. It really is a great platform for entertainment.

      • Programming/Development

        • New features coming in Julia 1.7

          Julia is an open-source programming language and ecosystem for high-performance scientific computing; its development team has made the first release candidate for version 1.7 available for testing on Linux, BSD, macOS, and Windows. Back in May, we looked at the increased performance that arrived with Julia 1.6, its last major release. In this article we describe some of the changes and new features in the language and its libraries that are coming in 1.7.

          Historically, Julia’s release candidates have been close to the finished product, and most users who would like to work with the new features can safely download binaries of version 1.7rc1 from Julia headquarters in the “upcoming release” section. Officially, however, the current version is not “production ready”; the developers welcome bug reports to the GitHub issue tracker.

        • Rust and GCC, two different ways

          Developers working in languages like C or C++ have access to two competing compilers — GCC and LLVM — either of which can usually get the job done. Rust developers, though, are currently limited to the LLVM-based rustc compiler. While rustc works well, there are legitimate reasons for developers to wish for an alternative. As it turns out, there are two different ways to compile Rust using GCC under development, though neither is ready at the moment. Developers of both approaches came to the 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference to present the status of their work.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Showdown Time For Non-Standard Chargers In Europe | Hackaday

        It seems that few features of a consumer electronic product will generate as much rancour as a mobile phone charger socket. For those of us with Android phones, the world has slowly been moving over the last few years from micro-USB to USB-C, while iPhone users regard their Lightning connector as the ultimate in connectivity. Get a set of different phone owners together and this can become a full-on feud, as micro-USB owners complain that nobody has a handy charging cable any more, USB-C owners become smug bores, and Apple owners do what they’ve always done and pretend that Steve Jobs invented USB. Throwing a flaming torch into this incendiary mix is the European Union, which is proposing to mandate the use of USB-C on all phones sold in its 27 member nations with the aim of reducing considerably the quantity of e-waste generated.

  • Leftovers

    • Progressive Dems Offer Simple, Brilliant Path Forward for Build Back Better Act
    • “No First Use”: An Empty Gesture That Would Cost Nothing

      Is it really a big deal for the US government to affirm that it will not use nuclear weapons first in any future conflict?

      US Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) says it would signal prospective enemies  “that they can plan an attack and do whatever they want to and not worry.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Study Cited by Antivaxxers Is Retracted After Authors Admit Mathematical Error
      • Opinion | Pandemic Politics: 5 Reasons Why Medicare for All Must Be Part of a Workers’ Recovery

        The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the nation for nearly 20 months now and America’s workers have borne the brunt of the crisis. While the wealth of the country’s 614 billionaires increased by 62%, tens of millions of workers deemed essential have been forced to work under Dickensian conditions while disproportionately exposed to Covid-19 infection. Over 20 million workers lost their jobs at some point during the pandemic. The economy is still experiencing a net job loss and 11 million households face the threat of eviction.

      • Health Expert Urges Congress to ‘Transform People’s Lives’ as Millions Face Persistent Financial Hardship

        “The notion of America being a land of opportunity is a fantasy for millions of people, reserved only for those of privilege.”

      • 2 Airlines Plan to Defy Greg Abbott’s Ban on Vaccine Mandates in Texas
      • Prescription Drug Safety Risks Hidden, Hypochondria Created by Marketing

        Humira marketing is a case study in how drug makers promote expensive, dangerous and often unnecessary prescription drugs risking public safety and at taxpayer expense.

        Before creating AbbVie, Abbott had already lobbied Congress successfully to get Humira covered by Medicare and seeded seniors with “free samples” to create “demand.” Today Humira costs $2,984 per one syringe, pricing which the U.S. Congress is investigating. The cost of the Medicare-reimbursed Humira has been raised 27 times since the drug’s launch.

      • Social Medicine and the Coming Transformation: a Manual for Career Path 2.0

        With Social Medicine and the Coming Transformation, Howard Waitzkin, Alina Pérez, and Matthew Anderson, give us a how-to manual on how to become a social medicine practitioner. They invite all of us involved in health work to re-invent ourselves and adopt social medicine as career path 2.0. It should become, as the British say, the primer on the subject.

        The clinician sees patients one by one, assigns diagnoses, and chooses appropriate therapies (which might be medications, surgical procedures, talk therapy, or rehabilitation). This is the essence of a medical education, refined further during postgraduate training. The focus is on the individual patient, on the biological aspects of the individual human organism. The more reductionist and mechanistic, the better. Simply follow the “best practice” algorithms, approved by the insurance corporation. Blood pressure too high? Reduce the afterload! Or, tamp down the sympathetic nervous system! Even psychiatry has fallen prey to mechanistic paradigms. Feeling sad? Ramp up the synaptic re-uptake of serotonin!

      • Ecological fallacy: When a scientist (inadvertently, I hope) uses a favorite antivax form of study

        Longtime regular readers might remember the various times over the years that I discussed bad epidemiology papers by antivaxxers that claimed to have found associations between various vaccines and bad outcomes. You know the studies, for example, the study ten years ago by Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman that claimed to find an association between the vaccination schedules of various countries and infant mortality rates. (Yes, they incorrectly claimed that schedules with more vaccines were associated with higher infant mortality rates.) A couple of years before that, antivaccine activist J.B. Handley had published a report that used a cherry picked group of nations to try to argue not only that nations that require more vaccines have higher rates of infant mortality but higher prevalence of autism in children under five. A year before even that, in 2008, the father-son duo of antivaccine quack activists Mark and David Geier had tried to use a similar technique to “show” (incorrectly) that increased vaccine uptake was associated with and increased prevalence of autism. The flaw at the heart of all of these studies was the ecological fallacy. Sure, there were, as you might imagine, many other problems with these studies, such as failure to control for confounders and cherry picking nations used in the analysis (they were done by antivaxxers after all), but the main problem always came back to the ecological fallacy.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

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

            • FontOnLake Malware Can Target Linux Systems [Ed: This isn't really about Linux any more than a security hole in Adobe Photoshop is about Windows]

              Documentation released by internet security company, ESET, on October 7th, has given details to what was lesser known malware family that emerged this past May, including details that are very relevant to the Linux world, especially those using older RedHat Enterprice Linux systems for production servers.

              The malware family given the name FontOnLake, uses custom modules providing remote access to infected systems, using a rootkit to conceal the infection. The malware is able to collect credentials, and also acts as a proxy server by the use of advanced designed components that can be placed into three categories, according to the ESET release:

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • New ‘Stop Facebook’ Campaign Demands Ban on Data Harvesting and Corporate Surveillance

              A new campaign is calling for federal action to “shut down Facebook’s surveillance machine” including passing legislation to ensure strong data privacy protections.

              “The best way to stop Facebook’s harms for the whole world is to cut off the fuel supply for its dangerous machine,” says the How to Stop Facebook campaign, launched Wednesday by a diverse coalition of over 40 organizations.

            • Meet the Alliance for Encryption in Latin America and the Caribbean

              The virtual launch event is October 21, with the participation of member organizations. It is open to the public.

              This regional Alliance seeks to advance a proactive agenda to promote and defend encryption in Latin America and the Caribbean. It aims to strengthen the use of encryption and generate an ecosystem of trust, security and stability within information and communications technologies (ICTs), particularly the critical infrastructure of the internet and its applications and services.

            • In Latest Black Eye For NSO Group, Dubai’s King Found To Have Used NSO Spyware To Hack His Ex-Wife’s Phone

              NSO Group has endured some particularly bad press lately, what with leaked data pointing to its customers’ targeting of journalists, political figures, religious leaders, and dissidents. That its powerful spyware would be abused by its customers was not surprising. Neither were the findings from the leaked data, which only confirmed what was already known.

            • Big Opportunity! CCI accepts IFF’s expert information in its investigation of WhatsApp’s 2021 Privacy Policy

              In the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) suo moto investigation into potential anti-competitive practices, we have submitted expert information before the Director-General in charge of the investigation. In our information, we have highlighted how WhatsApp has a dominant position in its relevant market, and how WhatsApp’s 2021 Privacy Policy abuses such dominant position. On October 12, 2021, the CCI issued an order tagging the information with the ongoing investigation. As a result, we are now a formal party before the Director-General and will participate as such in the investigation proceedings. This is a huge opportunity to present the user’s point of view to the Commission!

            • Google Analytics: the gold standard?

              Ever since I started this personal blog site, I was curious if people actually read what I write. Luckily, based on the responses I received on Twitter, LinkedIn and in private, there is no problem with that. Next I wanted to see numbers. I was told, that Google Analytics is the gold standard of measurement. Well…


              Last week I asked around what should I use to replace Google Analytics. Quite a few people suggested that I keep using GA, as even if it is not much use, it is still the gold standard. However it is a personal blog without any ads. It is not a business site and I am more curious about real usage than how many ads I can serve.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘No Tech for Apartheid’: 40+ Groups Demand Amazon and Google Ditch Israeli Military

        A day after hundreds of Amazon and Google workers condemned their employers for complicity in Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians, over 40 grassroots groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to amplify the efforts of activists around the world working to stop apartheid profiteers.

        “As the Israeli military bombed homes, clinics, and schools in Gaza and threatened to push Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem this past May, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud executives signed a $1.22 billion contract to provide cloud technology to the Israeli government and military,” the campaign noted. “By doing business with Israeli apartheid, Amazon and Google will make it easier for the Israeli government to surveil Palestinians and force them off their land.”

      • CIA Creates a Mission Center to Counter China

        President Joe Biden has been slow getting out of the blocks on various foreign policy and national security issues, particularly when it comes to China. He has continued the bombastic policies of Donald Trump, leaving tariffs in place over the opposition of American business leaders and concluding a treaty with Australia to provide nuclear submarine technology. The United States hasn’t provided such technology to any nation since the late 1950s, and the Australian treaty violates the spirit of the Non-Proliferation Treaty of the late 1960s.  Meanwhile, there are bipartisan majorities in the Congress supporting increased defense spending and modernization of nuclear weapons in order to counter Brennan’s description of the Chinese threat to “international order,”

        China’s response to the surprising submarine deal was quick and forceful. Last week, nearly 150 Chinese warplanes were flown into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, placing military tensions between China and Taiwan at their worst level in four decades. China’s President Xi Jinping didn’t mention the flights in his speech commemorating the 1911 revolution that overthrew China’s last imperial dynasty. But he did vow to achieve a peaceful “unification” with Taiwan.

    • Environment

      • Fossil Fuel CEOs Will Testify About Role in Climate Denial Before Congress
      • 90 More Arrested as Victims of Climate Chaos Descend on White House

        Another 90 people were arrested outside the White House on Wednesday as residents and supporters of communities on the frontlines of climate chaos joined a week of action ramping up pressure on President Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises.

        “How much longer will the future of our communities be on the shoulders of citizens without the backing of our elected officials?”

      • Opinion | Why Nature-Based Solutions Won’t Solve the Climate Crisis—They’ll Just Make Rich People Even Richer

        Imagine you’re a Baka, a hunter gatherer in the Congo Basin forest. That land has been your home for generations. You know every stone and every tree there. Your grandparents are buried on that land. You and your people have nourished it, taken care of it and loved it. Now imagine that you’re evicted and your house destroyed because, as someone explains to you, a white man living very far away, thinks that your forest has to become a Protected Area where only elephants are allowed to live. He likes elephants, they tell you. White men like elephants. Apparently he went up to space and realized that he likes your forest, and he is worried about climate change. That man created a company that produced 60.64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year—the equivalent of burning through 140 million barrels of oil. But, they tell you, if your forest is protected, he can feel better about his emissions of CO2. You might wonder why he doesn’t stop his emissions instead of destroying your life. The answer to that is money. You might also wonder how anyone can believe he’s doing good. And the answer to that is the topic of this article.

      • Nature Defenders Warn Global Biodiversity ‘Kunming Declaration’ Lacks Urgency

        More than 100 countries on Wednesday concluded a round of negotiations on global efforts to restore and protect the variety of life on Earth by pledging “urgent and integrated action” to achieve “transformative change, across all sectors of the economy and all parts of society.”

        “Ambition urgently needs to ramp up from here before the spring 2022 session.”

      • Opinion | Climate Movement Vs. the Industry

        Global movements see young people utilising their power by voicing their grievances, organising in different youth-run climate change organisations, and using all available platforms to make their demands heard and spread.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • ‘Historic Showdown’ Coming as Fossil Fuel CEOs Agree to Testify on Climate Deception

        Proponents of holding the fossil fuel industry to account for its role in climate deception welcomed confirmation Wednesday that top oil and gas CEOs will testify before House lawmakers later this month.

        News that the executives of BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell Oil—as well as the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—would testify was reported by the Washington Post.

      • US Intervention and Capitalism Have Created a Monster in Honduras

        The Honduran government headed by president Juan Orlando Hernández does have excellent relations with the United States. The alliance is toxic, however, what with the continued hold of capitalism on an already unjust, dysfunctional society. Hondurans will choose a new president on November 28.

        Honduras, a dependent nation, is subject to U.S. expectations. These center on free rein for businesses and multi-national corporations, large foreign investment, low-cost export goods, low wages, foreigners’ access to land holdings and sub-soil resources, and a weakened popular resistance.

      • Top 1 Percent in US Now Have More Wealth Than Entire Middle Class Combined
      • ‘There’s a Lot the Postal Service Can Do to Be Present in the 21st Century’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Lisa Graves about the fight for the Postal Service for the October 8, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Charter Spectrum Threatens To Ruin Potential Customers Over Debt They Don’t Owe

        There’s a reason U.S. cable and broadband companies have some of the worst customer satisfaction ratings of any companies, in any industry in America. The one/two punch of lagging broadband competition and captured regulators generally mean there’s little to no meaningful penalty for overcharging users, providing lackluster services and support, and generally just being an obnoxious ass.

      • How Coinbase Phishers Steal One-Time Passwords

        A recent phishing campaign targeting Coinbase users shows thieves are getting smarter about phishing one-time passwords (OTPs) needed to complete the login process. It also shows that phishers are attempting to sign up for new Coinbase accounts by the millions as part of an effort to identify email addresses that are already associated with active accounts.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | We Must Force Politicians to Recognize the Stakes of This Moment

        In Washington, the big debate over President Biden’s Building Back Better program is coming to a head. It will soon be settled—one way or another.

      • Opinion | Means Testing Is Inhumane, Divisive, and Very Bad Politics

        It’s ‘popularism’ week in the commentariat, as pundits across the ideological spectrum discuss recent remarks by pollster David Shor. This problematic and imprecise term reflects a way of thinking about politics that is poised to reshape the Build Back Better debate, and other debates yet to come. That’s potentially disastrous. Shor has written and spoken extensively on the need for Democrats to back away from talking about unpopular ideas and listen more to pollsters like… well, like David Shor. Ezra Klein covered his ideas well, but the headline for his piece gets it wrong. Shor isn’t “telling Democrats what they don’t want to hear.” Shor’s words are music to the ears of Democratic centrists. Shor seems like an engaging, bright guy. His ‘popularism’ concept is interesting, if not very well defined, and his framework makes the most sense when he’s talking about phrases that poll badly in core Democratic demographics. “Defund the police” performs poorly among communities of color, for example, and it’s easy to see why it’s a problem. The problem arises, as it always does, when Democrats craft tomorrow’s policies on today’s poll readings. That’s like prescribing medication today based on what your temperature was last week. Poll results are transient and reflect the biases of the pollster. Most importantly, they fail to consider the political impact of policies that sound convincing when asked by a pollster, but which are infuriating and unfair once they’re enacted. Shor emphasized his own leftism in interviews and, to be fair, he doesn’t say politicians should shape their policies on what polls well. He says they should talk about things that poll well and play down the things that don’t. In the real world, however, there’s not much difference between the two. You can’t pass a law in Congress without talking about it. Even if you try, if it’s unpopular you can bet your opponents will.

      • Broken Britannia’s Conservative Party Conference

        Unlike the fairly contentious Labour party conference the week before, where its leader Keir Starmer left behind him a slew of broken promises and betrayals of ordinary members and the unions as he pushed the party rightwards into the arms of a played-out Blairism, Boris “BoJo” Johnson encountered nothing to threaten his childhood dream of becoming “king of the world” (or the Tory party at any rate).

        This Tory conference was stage-managed in the manner of the meaningless jamborees held by the US Republicans and Democrats every 4 years in which a candidate from each party is anointed to contest the forthcoming presidential election.

      • Manchin and Sinema Obstruct Reconciliation With No Proposal of Their Own
      • In Dead of Night, Texas House Approves GOP’s Gerrymandered Map

        In the early hours of Wednesday morning, while much of the country slept, the Republican-dominated Texas House approved a heavily gerrymandered district map that critics have denounced as part of an anti-democratic and racist GOP power grab—one that right-wing lawmakers could try to replicate across the United States.

        “Democrats… could soon be powerless to stop the GOP’s takeover of the U.S. House and state capitols for the next decade.”

      • Opinion | Heroes or Parasites: Europe’s Self-Serving Politics on Refugees

        Language is politics and politics is power. This is why the misuse of language is particularly disturbing, especially when the innocent and vulnerable pay the price. 

      • Opinion | Manchin’s Means-Testing and Work Requirements Are a Recipe for Building Back Worse

        President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation would bring the United States into the 21st century, finally enacting programs that other industrialized nations have had for a very long time. These include children’s allowances in the form of tax credits, paid family and medical leave, free post-secondary education, expanded Medicare, home and community-based services, and so much more.

      • Chomsky, Pollin and Lapavitsas: Are We Witnessing the Demise of Neoliberalism?
      • Progressives Push Democrats to Reject ‘Outdated Austerity Policies’ and Pass Bold Agenda

        The leaders of dozens of grassroots progressive advocacy groups joined their congressional allies late Tuesday in calling on Democrats to reject “false choices” posed by right-wing lawmakers and ensure that all of the party’s key priorities—from child care to Medicare expansion to climate action—remain in the final budget reconciliation package.

        “What we are talking about is not simply a laundry list, a wish list. It is the needs of the American people.”

      • Governors Can Run Away to Texas, But They Can’t Hide From the Problems Back Home
      • Cheney Says Trump Aides That Ignore Subpoena Orders Could Face Criminal Charges
      • Come Back with a Warrant: Congress Should Pass the Protecting Data at the Border Act

        CBP as well as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been conducting intrusive warrantless border device searches since at least 2009, when CBP and ICE first published their device search policies (CBP’s currently operative policy was published in 2018). The number of device searches at the border has been steadily increasing, affecting tens of thousands of international travelers each year. Our electronic devices contain intimate information about our personal preferences and daily routines, as well as private communications with friends and family. They contain data revealing health conditions, financial standing, and religious and political beliefs. A search that reveals this information to anyone, let alone law enforcement, is a gross violation of our privacy and free speech rights. 

        EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)—believing that any warrantless search of electronic devices at the border violates travelers’ rights to privacy under the Fourth Amendment, and freedom of speech and press, private association, and anonymity under the First Amendment—filed suit in 2017 on behalf of 11 individuals whose devices were searched without a warrant at the border. Where the U.S. Supreme Court in Riley v. California (2014) acknowledged electronic devices contain “the sum of an individual’s private life” and thus ruled that a warrant must be obtained before searching the cell phone of an arrestee, EFF/ACLU’s suit sought to extend this warrant requirement to border searches of electronic devices. Unfortunately, our path in the courts is currently stalled. The Supreme Court this summer declined to take our case, and despite making some progress in the appellate courts, no circuit court has required a warrant for border device searches in all circumstances.

        The Protecting Data at the Border Act takes the fight to Congress (Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) is expected to introduce the House bill). Along with requiring government officials to obtain a probable cause warrant before accessing the contents of an electronic device, the bill would also protect our digital privacy and free speech rights in the following ways: 

      • The Unsure State of Asian America

        People have strong feelings about Jay Caspian Kang. He is one of the few writers currently working in America who filters many disparate subjects through a singular intelligence—sometimes brusque, but always thoughtful. His most recent endeavor, a newsletter for the New York Times Opinion section, has tackled an incredibly wide range of subjects: NFTs, YIMBYs in California, and Chinese immigrants in the Mississippi Delta. He began his career writing about basketball, gambling, high school debating and identity politics, and, memorably, a highly controversial ranking of pop divas. He is also the cohost of a podcast, Time to Say Goodbye (with journalist E. Tammy Kim and historian Andrew Liu), that discusses current events and politics in Asia and Asian America with a distinctively left-internationalist lens.

      • Democrats Are Ready to Abandon Black Voters, Again

        We have come to a familiar crossroads of American politics. Democrats, who cannot win national office without the overwhelming support of Black people, are facing rejection from perpetually aggrieved, poorly educated whites. These whites are poised to vote to defeat Democrats in upcoming elections. In response, a chorus of powerful Democrats has risen up inside the Beltway to tell Democrats that abandoning Black people—the very people who put them in power in the first place—and making performative efforts to win the support of racists, is the only way to stay in power.

      • Indigenous Peoples, Like Mine, Are Fighting for Their Homelands

        Latin American and Caribbean communities like ours are rarely noticed in U.S. media — except when we migrate.

        In summer 2021, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris came to Central America and told would-be migrants: “Do not come.” More recently, photos of U.S. Border Patrol agents whipping Haitian refugees in the Texas desertbrutally drove that message home.

      • Primary Kyrsten Sinema

        In light of Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s actions repeatedly obstructing progress on policies that would foster greater economic, and racial justice, momentum is gathering for an effort to back a Democratic challenge to her in the 2024 primary when she comes up for reelection. Key state leaders and groups including Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) have launched PrimarySinema, an effort to lay the foundation now for defeating her in 2024. Such an effort makes eminent sense for several political, policy, and moral reasons.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Prudish Mastercard About To Make Life Difficult For Tons Of Websites

        For all the attention that OnlyFans got for its shortlived plan to ban sexually explicit content in response to “pressures” from financial partners, as we’ve discussed, it was hardly the only website to face such moderation pressures from financial intermediaries. You can easily find articles from years back highlighting how payment processors were getting deeply involved in forcing website to moderate content.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Progressives to Put US War Crimes on Trial and Demand Freedom for Julian Assange

        A group of prominent global progressives on Wednesday announced a return of the Belmarsh Tribunal, where participants will put the United States government on informal trial for war crimes and demand freedom for jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

        “At the Belmarsh Tribunal, we will turn the world the right way up, placing crimes of war, torture, kidnapping, and a litany of other gross human rights abuses on trial.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Family Searches for Father Missing in Texas Desert as Border Deaths Peak
      • Opinion | Collapse, Fascism, or Progressive Renewal?

        While there’s apparently “nothing to see here” when it comes to conservative media outlets and even, in many ways, mainstream media, it’s worth asking the question: “How far down the road toward authoritarian oligarchy, or even outright fascism, have we gone?”

      • ‘Striketober’ in Full Swing as Nearly 100,000 Workers Authorize Work Stoppages

        “The so-called ‘labor shortage’—which we know is really just a shortage of jobs that pay us enough to live on—is a powerful bit of leverage workers have over employers right now.”

      • Why Is Stalking Legal?

        Now that they’re beleaguered, this may be the perfect time to convince lawmakers to act to protect Americans’ most personal information: their home address and phone number.

        Type your name into a search engine. Odds are, a few of the results will include private companies that reveal your home address or part thereof, your phone number or part thereof, employment and education history, along with information about “known associates” like your friends and family members. For a fee, these personal search services offer to fill in the gaps with data culled from public records such as those of the Department of Motor Vehicles, marriage records, voter registration rolls and consumer credit reports.

      • Women Activists to World Bank: ‘Unfreeze’ Funds to Pay Afghan Teachers, Health Workers

        As the World Bank held its annual meeting on Wednesday, women’s rights advocates gathered outside the powerful institution’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to demand the release of frozen Afghan funds so that teachers and healthcare workers trying to rebuild war-torn Afghanistan can be paid.

        “After 20 years of military operations that killed tens of thousands of Afghans, the U.S. should not retaliate against the people of Afghanistan.”

      • Family Searching for Migrant Father Who Went Missing in Texas Desert as Border Deaths Hit Record

        Armando Alejo Hernández went missing in the desert after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in May of 2021, but not before sending several last audio messages to his eldest son describing the difficult terrain and asking for help. “He wasn’t feeling so good, and he was out of water and food,” says Hernández’s 17-year-old son Derek. “The group got ahead, and then he lost the group.” Hernández was an undocumented worker in the United States for more than a decade before being deported in 2016. His wife and two sons, who are U.S citizens by birth, have pleaded with Border Patrol and the Mexican Consulate for help, without any luck so far. “This year we are going to break the record of migrants dying at the border,” warns Fernando García of the El Paso-based Border Network for Human Rights, one of many organizations demanding that the Biden administration “fulfill their promise to change the inhumane policies at the border.”

      • “Missing in Brooks County”: Thousands of Migrants Denied Due Process at Border Have Died in Desert

        We continue to look at the humanitarian crisis along the border, where more people are dying trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border than ever before, as President Biden has increased funding for border enforcement and militarization even as he vowed not to expand Trump’s border wall. We go to Brooks County in South Texas, which has recorded at least 98 migrant deaths so far this year, nearly triple the number from 2020. “People are being expelled without any due process regarding their asylum claim,” says Eddie Canales, director of the South Texas Human Rights Center. “There really hasn’t been a change in policy,” said Canales, when asked about Biden’s approach to asylum seekers. We also speak with filmmaker Lisa Molomot, co-director of the new documentary “Missing in Brooks County,” which follows the story of two families searching for lost loved ones who went missing there after crossing the border, driven further into the desert by inland checkpoints and the policy in place since 1994 called “prevention through deterrence.”

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘No Jesus Piece’ By Snotty Nose Rez Kids

        The following was originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Music.The Canadian Indigenous hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids recently released “No Jesus Piece,”the fourth single off their upcoming album “Life After,” which will drop on October 22. It is the follow-up to their excellent 2019 album, “Trapline” (one of the best protest albums of 2019).

        The duo says of the track: “‘No Jesus Piece’ is a reference to embracing our own spiritual symbols. The Catholic church and the government of Canada used Catholicism as a tool of annihilation of Indigenous culture, practice, teachings and ways of being.”“We want to identify the connections between the importance of putting our faith in a sacred metal. While we respect people for having their own religions and religious symbols, we’d rather rock our copper shield.”

      • The Great Strike of 2021

        We are witnessing the ‘Great Strike of 2021’ and it’s composed mostly of millions low paid non-unionized workers!

        Workers returned to jobs at a rate of 889,000 a month during the 2nd quarter 2021 (April-June) as the economy reopened. That average fell to only 280,000 per month in the just completed 3rd quarter 2021 (July-Sept), according to the Economic Policy Institute.

      • George Floyd, Born This Day in 1973
      • Breaking Glass: Curriculum “Diversity” and Its Discontents

        Between the first time I read Tennessee Williams’s play The Glass Menagerie and my current round of teaching it in Hungary, some 40 years and scores of readings have gone by, but I still look forward to its language and atmosphere. This dreamlike memory-play has no heroes or villains; its four characters weave through bravery and folly, through obsession and practicality.

      • Indigenous Leaders Deliver Petitions to Army Corps DC Headquarters, After 155 Activists Arrested at The White House

        On the second day of ‘People vs. Fossil Fuels’ demonstrations in Washington, D.C., hundreds marched to the White House, again calling on President Biden to recognize  the world is in a climate emergency and to halt approvals of new fossil fuel projects. More than 150 people were arrested for refusing to clear the sidewalk in front of the White House, just a day after similar arrests of 136 people. After the U.S. Park Police escorted the last protesters away, a second rally was held in front of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters. There, over a hundred environmental activists showed their ongoing resistance to the recently completed construction of Enbridge’s expanded Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

        Pipeline opponents have been battling against the Line 3 project in northern Minnesota since it was first proposed in 2014. Enbridge, the project owner, described the pipeline as a replacement of an older, corroding pipe built in the 1960s, but opponents dismiss the company’s claim. They argue it is a new pipeline rather than a replacement, saying Line 3 is larger and has portions that traverse a different area than the older pipeline, including traditional Anishinaabe lands.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ‘Unacceptable’: Congressional Democrats Slam Biden’s Refusal to Round Out FCC

        Congressional Democrats are reiterating their warning that President Joe Biden’s glaring failure to fully staff the five-person board of the Federal Communications Commission could result in a 2-1 Republican majority on the panel by year’s end, jeopardizing efforts to secure high-speed internet for all and restore net neutrality.

        “The fact that the Biden administration hasn’t done this, when broadband is such a massive priority for them, is vexing.”

    • Monopolies

Links 14/10/2021: DragonFly 6.0.1 Released and Red Hat Loses Another Top Executive

Posted in Site News at 3:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • What is the Linux Operating System?

        The Linux kernel is the main component of the Linux operating system. In general terms, the kernel is a software code that serves as a layer between the hardware and main programs that run on a computer. It was created by Linus Torvalds back in the early 1990s in Finland and licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). In other words, Torvalds was made the Linux kernel available to the world for free. There is an official website for the Linux kernel.

        The rest of the system consists of other programs, many of which were written by or for the GNU Project. These utilities were then added to the Linux kernel to create a complete system. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself, because the Linux kernel alone does not form a working operating system. It can only function in the context of a complete operating system.

        The Linux kernel is used by Linux distributions alongside GNU tools and libraries that interact with it. This combination is sometimes referred to as GNU/Linux.

        So Linux is just a kernel, but the term Linux is far more commonly used by the public and media and that it serves as a generic term for systems that combine that kernel with software from multiple other sources. Therefore when most people say Linux, they’re really talking about a combination of the Linux kernel plus a lot of tools and libraries from the GNU Project.

        To put it more clearly, Linux and GNU/Linux refer to the same operating system and software. There is still a controversy over which term is more appropriate.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.14.12
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.14.12 kernel.
        All users of the 5.14 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.14.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.14.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.10.73
      • Linux 5.4.153
      • Linux 4.19.211
      • Moving Google toward the mainline [LWN.net]

        Two Google engineers came to Open Source Summit North America 2021 to talk about a project to change the way the company creates and maintains the kernel it runs in its data centers on its production systems. Andrew Delgadillo and Dylan Hatch described the current production kernel (Prodkernel) and the problems that occur because it is so far from the mainline. Project Icebreaker is an effort to change that and to provide a near-mainline kernel for development and testing within Google; the talk looked at the project, its risks, its current status, and its plans.

      • User-space interrupts [LWN.net]

        The term “interrupt” brings to mind a signal that originates in the hardware and which is handled in the kernel; even software interrupts are a kernel concept. But there is, it seems, a use case for enabling user-space processes to send interrupts directly to each other. An upcoming Intel processor generation includes support for this capability; at the 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference, Sohil Mehta ran a Kernel-Summit session on how Linux might support that feature.

      • How Red Hat uses GitLab for kernel development [LWN.net]

        Much of the free-software development world has adopted Git forges (such as GitHub, GitLab, or sourcehut) with enthusiasm. The kernel community has not. Reasons for that reticence vary, but one that is often heard is that these forges simply don’t work well at the scale needed for the kernel project. At a Kernel-Summit session during the 2021 Linux Plumbers conference, Donald Zickus and Prarit Bhargava sought to show how Red Hat has put GitLab to good use to support its kernel team. Not only can these forges work for kernel development, they said, but moving to a forge can bring a number of advantages.

      • How Windows NTFS finally made it into Linux • The Register

        Love it or hate it, Linux users in a Windows world must deal with Microsoft’s New Technology File System (NTFS). This has always been a pain in the rump. Even after Microsoft finally gave up on its anti-Linux rhetoric and released its patents to the open-source community and expressively opened up its exFAT patents, we still couldn’t get into NTFS.

        Things have changed. Starting with the Linux 5.15 kernel, NTFS is finally being fully supported in Linux. This journey hasn’t been easy.

        Microsoft introduced NTFS, a proprietary – naturally – journaling file system in Windows NT 3.1 in 1993. From there, it replaced 1977′s File Allocation Table (FAT) file system across Windows.

      • Rolling stable kernels [Ed: Microsoft wants Linux to become unstable like Windows]

        [Microsoft's] Sasha Levin, one of the maintainers of the stable kernels, gave a presentation at Open Source Summit North America 2021 on a proposal for a different way to handle the stable tree. He noted that throughout most of the kernel’s history, version numbers did not really mean anything, but that the versioning scheme suggests that they do, which leads to a disconnect between how the kernels are seen versus how they are actually maintained. He proposed making a “rolling stable” release that provides users what they need—timely fixes to their kernel—without forcing them to choose to switch to a new version number.

      • Graphics Stack

    • Applications

      • 5 markdown editors I recommend trying

        You can use markdown for anything—formatting websites, authoring books, and writing technical documentation are just some of its uses. I love how easy it is to create rich documents. Everyone has their favorite markdown editor. I have used several on my markdown journey. Here are five markdown editors I have considered.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Reasons to limit your stack size even in non-threaded environments

        One reaction to learning that 4BSD is where Unix started to have a stack size limit is to ask why you would bother with a stack size limit at all in an environment without threads (where a process will thus only ever have one stack). There are a number of reasons that operating systems have generally done this, and probably why it starts in Unix in the 4BSD line, which ran on 32-bit VAX systems instead of the 16-bit PDP-11s that V7 did.

      • An UPDATE without a WHERE, or something close to it

        Imagine what happens when you forget the WHERE. It’s the last thing on the line as shown, so you could send off the command early and it would totally work. It would look like this: [...]

      • How to Clone a Git Repository Into a Specific Folder – TecAdmin

        The process of git repository cloning is initiated on a daily basis in the DevOps world. But, if you simply issue a git clone command, the cloning process will create a new directory for the repository. In this tutorial, we will help you learn how to clone a git repository into a specific folder.

      • How to Download and Upload Remote Directory in sFTP

        sFTP or Secure File Transfer Protocol is a convenient upgrade from the traditional FTP (File Transfer Protocol). The sFTP program boasts of improved security layers since it mirrors encrypted SSH transport protocols in its file transfer operations.

      • How to Install Redis & Configure on AlmaLinux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Redis is an open-source (BSD licensed), in-memory key-value data structure store used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis supports data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperlog logs, geospatial indexes, and streams. Redis also provides high availability with Redis Sentinel software logic, creating automatic partitioning across Redis nodes with Redis Cluster.

        At the end of the guide, you will know how to install and configure Redis on your AlmaLinux operating system.

      • How to Install Redis on Rocky Linux 8 or AlmaLinux 8

        Redis is a popular in-memory key-value store that can be used as a NoSQL key-value database, message broker as well as a caching solution. It is renowned for its flexibility, scalability, seamless replication, simplicity, and ease of use. Redis is widely used in various fields such as machine learning, real-time analytics, chat, messaging, and gaming leaderboards.

        On its own, Redis has no robust features, however, you can still tweak Redis to provide added security and ward off unauthorized users.

      • GNU Linux – network config madness – the (ever changing) basics – how to (try to) set fixed & dynamic ip & dns per interface
      • How to Install Telegram on Linux Mint 20

        Telegram is a popular free cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging system. Telegram is famous for providing end-to-end encrypted video calling, VoIP, file sharing, amongst many other features. One of the main attractions of Telegram, it is unique in having no ties or shared interests with the big social media giants such as Facebook or Twitter. The application is also cross-platform, with versions of the app available for most operating systems for desktops and mobile/tablet devices.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the Telegram client on Linux Mint.

      • Toggle Light & Dark Mode for Flatpak Apps in Ubuntu 20.04+ / Linux Mint | UbuntuHandbook

        Using Flatpak apps in Linux? You may found that Flatpak app appearance does not change when toggling light & dark mode or switching to another app theme.

        As more and more apps publish Linux packages via Flatpak, I have a few of them installed in my Ubuntu laptop. However, the apps stick to the light theme whenever I switches to dark mode in Appearance settings.

        Since Flatpak runs in sandbox and does not have permission to access the “/usr” directory, it does not use system theme according to the document. So, some popular GTK themes are packaged as Flatpaks. And, it detects the current system app theme and tries to install the Flatpak version of the theme if available during app installation or update.

        I’m working with default Yaru theme in the most time, so it automatically installs Yaru theme flatpak package but leaves Yaru Dark not installed. When I switching to Yaru Dark, it can’t find the match theme so falls back to the default Adwaita.

      • How to connect Rocky Linux 8 via Windows RDP protocol – Linux Shout

        f you have Rocky Linux 8 desktop and Windows 7/10/11 in a local environment and want to access using the RDP- Remote desktop protocol, then here is the way.

        To connect Linux operating systems such as Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux 8, or CentOS, we can use the open-source implementation of Remote desktop protocol called XRDP. RDP is developed by Microsoft and has been an integral part of Windows operating systems. It allows the users to remotely control and use the GUI desktop systems just like a local one. Although, Windows can be operated over this protocol out of the box, for Linux we need to install some additional packages. Here we learn how to set up a remote desktop connect to Rocky Linux 8.

      • Automatically reassign your default printer – Fedora Magazine

        I run Linux,…or does it run me? Some computing paradigms are so ubiquitous, so ingrained, we rarely stop to think that things could work another way. When such a realization comes, we can exercise our freedom – one of Fedora’s four foundations – to improve the user experience. For that sentiment to be more than cliché, I needed to re-imagine the idea of the default printer and how it gets set. This article presents that implementation.

      • How to install Ubuntu on VirtualBox (Windows) [Ed: A lot better than WSL]
      • Proxmox VE Full Course: Class 12 – The Command-Line Interface – Invidious

        LearnLinuxTV’s Proxmox full course aims to get you up to speed with all the finer points of Proxmox Virtual Environment. In video #12, we take a look at the Command-Line interface.

      • [Older] Permanently add a directory to shell PATH

        When you type a command into a Linux terminal, what’s really happening is that a program is being executed. Normally, to execute a custom program or script, we need to use its full path, such as /path/to/script.sh or just ./script.sh if we’re already in its residing directory. Alternatively, we can execute a lot of commands without specifying paths, like uptime or date, etc.

      • 15 Super Useful Examples of Find Command in Linux

        The find command is used for searching for files and directories in the Linux command line.

        Find is one of the most powerful and frequently used commands. It is also one of the most extensive commands with over 50 options and this makes it a bit confusing, specially when it is paired with the exec or xargs command.

        It is impossible for a sysadmin or software developer to avoid the find command while working in the command line. Instead of being afraid of it, you should embrace its power.

        I am going to discuss some of the most common examples of the find command that you are likely to use. But before that, let me show you its syntax and how to use it.

      • Sending logs to Panther using syslog-ng – Blog – syslog-ng Community – syslog-ng Community

        Panther is an open-source log management system, which is also available as a service for a time-limited trial. It is still in beta phase, but it looks promising. You can see the “beta” sign on its opening page: https://app.panther.support/ I tested the time-limited cloud service version, but you can also install it locally, either from Dockerhub, or you can build the containers locally from the source.

        Even if it is still in beta phase, Panther comes with detailed documentation. There is a notable exception: while syslog-ng is shown on some of the figures, documenting it is still to be done. This blog helps you to get started with sending logs to Panther, using syslog-ng. You can use either legacy syslog with TLS encryption (still a bit problematic) or the http() destination to send logs to the Panther HTTP API.

      • 7 Important Linux Commands for Every Linux User

        Linux might sound scary for first-time Linux users, but actually, it isn’t. Linux is a bunch of open-source Unix operating systems based on Linux Kernel. These operating systems are called Linux distributions, such as Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, and Mint.

        Since its inception in 1991, Linux has garnered popularity for being open-source. People can modify and redistribute Linux under their own brand. When using a Linux OS, you need a shell to access the services provided. Also, it’s recommended to run your Linux OS through a CLI or command-line interface. CLI makes time-consuming processes quicker.

        This article presents a guide to 7 important Linux commands for every Linux user to know. So, let’s begin.

      • How to Install Ubuntu MATE Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04

        For those not familiar with Ubuntu MATE, it is a free, open-source community-driven lightweight desktop environment and an official derivative of Ubuntu. One of the main differentiation from Ubuntu is that it uses the MATE desktop environment as its default user interface instead of the GNOME desktop environment that is the default user interface for Ubuntu.

        Ubuntu MATE is famous for being lightweight, fast, and stable, a community-driven project, and a great alternative to Ubuntu’s stock Gnome. At the end of the tutorial, you will have learned how to install Ubuntu MATE on your Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How to Install Vanila Forum on CentOS 8 – Unixcop

        Vanilla is a Canadian software company founded in 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is both a cloud-based (SaaS) community forum software and an open source community supported software. The company’s main product is Vanilla Cloud.

        Its open source product, Vanilla OSS, is a lightweight Internet forum package written in the PHP scripting language using the Garden framework. The software is released under the GNU GPL. Vanilla Forums is free software, standards-compliant, customizable discussion forums. Since 2009 there is also a cloud-hosted version (offered by Vanilla).

      • How to Set Environment Variables in Docker | RoseHosting

        Docker is an open-source application that provides lightweight operating-system-level virtualization through the use of containers. It is a kind of virtualization technology that is specially designed to easily develop and deploy applications inside of neatly packaged virtual containerized environments. Docker containers are in essence a set of software packages that run as one application that’s isolated from others. We can deploy it to any machine without any compatibility issues. By using this, the software stays system agnostic, simpler to use, less work to develop, and easy to maintain.

      • How to connect Rocky Linux 8 via Windows RDP protocol – Linux Shout

        If you have Rocky Linux 8 desktop and Windows 7/10/11 in a local environment and want to access using the RDP- Remote desktop protocol, then here is the way.

        To connect Linux operating systems such as Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux 8, or CentOS, we can use the open-source implementation of Remote desktop protocol called XRDP. RDP is developed by Microsoft and has been an integral part of Windows operating systems. It allows the users to remotely control and use the GUI desktop systems just like a local one. Although, Windows can be operated over this protocol out of the box, for Linux we need to install some additional packages. Here we learn how to set up a remote desktop connect to Rocky Linux 8.

      • How to install UTAU on a Chromebook

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

      • How to install Unreal Engine 4 on Ubuntu

        Are you looking to develop video games on your Ubuntu PC using the Unreal Engine? If so, you will need to install the latest Unreal Engine toolkit to your system. This guide will show how to set up the newest release of Unreal Engine 4 on your Ubuntu computer.

      • Install Gitlab CE on Debian 11 – kifarunix.com

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Gitlab CE on Debian 11. GitLab is an open source end-to-end software development platform with built-in version control, issue tracking, code review, CI/CD, etc. It is is a complete DevOps platform, delivered as a single application.

      • FreeIPA Server on Alma Linux 8/CentOS 8 – Unixcop

        We have 3 users, Jhon, Doe, Mike. Suppose you are at the IT department for a Software Company. You have to manage the identity of those 3 users. Easy right? You can easily manage their Identity Access. But how about 3 users become 300 or 3000? How can you manage them?

        Well things get pretty hard I guess, How about if we can have a system that has a central identity info, maybe that would be easier to solve our stated problem.No worries, FreeIPA is here to help you by solving the problem.

      • Add Client to the FreeIPA Server on CentOS 8 – Unixcop

        Hi Everyone ! In the previous article, we have seen how to set up freeIPA Server on centOS 8.

        In this write up, we will show how to add a client host to the freeIPA Domain. We will be configuring a CentOS 8 machine to authenticate against an existing FreeIPA server.

      • How to Install KDE Plasma Desktop Environment on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        The name KDE comes from “K Desktop Environment”. For those not familiar with KDE Desktop, it is a free, open-source desktop environment. It provides Linux users on various distributions an alternative graphical interface to customize their desktop environment and applications for everyday use enhancement.

        Besides the graphical enhancements and changes, it is also a lightweight, fast, smooth environment with superior performance compared to native shipped desktops with some Linux Distributions. In Ubuntu’s case, this is Gnome.

        At the end of the tutorial, you will have learned how to install KDE Desktop Environment on your Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How to fix “Got permission denied while trying to connect to the Docker daemon socket at unix:///var/run/docker.sock error – blackMORE Ops

        Quickest way to fix How to fix “Got permission denied while trying to connect to the Docker daemon socket at unix:///var/run/docker.sock: Post “http://%2Fvar%2Frun%2Fdocker.sock/v1.24/auth”: dial unix /var/run/docker.sock: connect: permission denied” error.

      • How To Install NVIDIA Drivers on Fedora – TecAdmin

        Fedora, the operating system of RHEL(Red Hat Enterprise Linux) does not have pre-installed exclusive Nvidia drivers in it for the users. Although it does have default Nouveau drivers which work in most conditions, you may face some problems while using them. If you encounter issues while using the Nouveau drivers you will have to install the official proprietary Nvidia drivers.

        The official Nvidia drivers can help you get the most out of your GPU by enhancing its performance. In this article, we will learn to install the official Nvidia drivers on Fedora

        However, before we start with the installation process, we need to do system configuration. The first configuration we need to do is stop the GUI from running and the second step is to disable the default nouveau drivers. From the GRUB boot menu, it is really easy and doable.

      • Securing your Kubernetes cluster with Kubewarden

        Kubernetes is fast becoming the operating system of the cloud. Every major cloud provider has a supported Kubernetes platform, Kubernetes can be run on-premises, and Kubernetes even has a package manager with Helm. And thanks to the operator pattern, Kubernetes has built-in support to describe and manage almost any kind of workload.

    • Games

      • DOOM Played By Tweet

        Getting DOOM to run on hardware it was never intended to run on is a tradition as old as time. Old cell phones, embedded systems, and ancient televisions have all been converted to play this classic first-person shooter. This style of playing games on old hardware might be passé now as the new trend seems to be the ability to play this game on more ethereal platforms instead. This project brings DOOM to Twitter.

      • Post-apocalyptic 4x strategy game Punk Wars releases November 11 | GamingOnLinux

        Strategy Forge S.A. and Jujubee S.A. have announced that their 4x strategy game Punk Wars will be releasing with Linux support on November 11.

        “Punk Wars tells the story of four new powers emerging from the ashes of a global cataclysm and fighting for domination of the ruins of a once magnificent megacity. Become the powerful leader of the messianic steampunk, tenebrous dieselpunk, militaristic steelpunk, or technocratic atompunk, with each faction holding the key to a different branch of industrial science, with a different set of unique skills. Explore the ruins of a bygone civilization, where resources are scarce and the dangers way too common. Develop your infrastructure and technology that will secure your triumph. Create a winning strategy and a playstyle for each faction, utilising their distinctive skills and units. Become the messiah of the new age and lead humanity towards the era of prosperity and happiness… as you see it.”

      • Fallout 3 removes Games for Windows Live, works well on Linux with Proton | GamingOnLinux

        Fallout 3 from Bethesda Game Studios received a surprise update recently where the developer finally removed Games for Windows Live which is great news.

        Released back in 2008, Fallout 3 is something of a classic and a game I thoroughly enjoyed before making the switch fully to Linux. Thanks to Steam Play Proton, you can play Fallout 3 easily on Linux and with this update no workarounds are needed – at all.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s 25th Anniversary

          You’ll find on the website − https://25years.kde.org/ − the full celebration of the event: videos, meeting, activities, old KDE distro ready to run on virtual machine, merch (Tee-Shirt/Stickers).

          But if you still wonder what is KDE; I’ll try to give you an overview: KDE is an international free software community that develops free and open-source software. KDE helps these projects to get common tools: bug trackers, software development forge, distributing the software, organizing in real life events like sprints,conferences, etc… Y

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • More GNOME Software FAIL. Useless software reviews. – BaronHK’s Rants

          It’s come to my attention several times now that if you want information about a program for GNU/Linux, don’t bother reading the reviews that people put in GNOME Software.

          Some of it isn’t in English, which is the language that I speak, and GNOME Software doesn’t sort them out based on your preferred language.

          The GNOME Software application doesn’t collect basic information about what distribution of GNU/Linux. (Or if it even is GNU/Linux, as GNOME actually still does run on other *nix systems, but I can’t imagine there’s too many non-GNU/Linux users left).

          It doesn’t consider what package manager you installed the program from.

          It could be from Fedora, it could be from Debian, or Ubuntu, or Arch. It could be a Snap. It could be a Flatpak.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • DragonFly 6.0.1 released

          DragonFly version 6.0 has been released. DragonFly version 6.0 brings a revamped VFS caching system, significant dsynth updates, various filesystem updates including HAMMER2, and a long list of userland updates. 6.0.1 brings a Let’s Encrypt certificate fix for dport installation, plus other minor fixes

        • DragonFlyBSD 6.0.1 Released With AMD Zen 3 Temperature Monitoring, Fixes – Phoronix

          Released back in May was the shiny DragonFlyBSD 6.0 release while today a point release for it has been issued.

          The DragonFlyBSD 6.0.1 release appears to be primarily driven by the need to address a certificate issue for downloading dpkg binaries. Due to an expired Let’s Encrypt certificate, downloading dpkg binaries began failing. With DragonFlyBSD 6.0.1 that certificate has been renewed.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Filezilla » PCLinuxOS

          Filezilla updated to 3.56.0. FileZilla is a fast and reliable FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.

        • Chromium Browser » PCLinuxOS

          The Chromium Browser has been updated to 94.0.4606.81 and shipped to the PCLinuxOS Software Repository.

        • Dino » PCLinuxOS

          Dino 0.2.2 is a modern XMPP (“Jabber”) chat client using GTK+/Vala.

        • Blender » PCLinuxOS

          Blender 2.93.5 is the essential software solution you need for 3D, from modeling, animation, rendering and post-production to interactive creation and playback. Professionals and novices can easily and inexpensively publish stand-alone, secure, multi-platform content to the web, CD-ROMs, and other media.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • ModelMesh and KServe bring eXtreme scale standardized model inferencing on Kubernetes

          One of the most fundamental parts of an AI application is model serving, which is responding to a user request with an inference from an AI model. With machine learning approaches becoming more widely adopted in organizations, there is a trend to deploy a large number of models. For internet-scale AI applications like IBM Watson Assistant and IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding, there isn’t just one AI model, there are literally hundreds or thousands that are running concurrently. Because AI models are computationally expensive, it’s cost prohibitive to load them all at once or to create a dedicated container to serve every trained model. Also, many are rarely used or are effectively abandoned.

          When dealing with a large number of models, the ‘one model, one server’ paradigm presents challenges on a Kubernetes cluster to deploy hundreds of thousands of models.

        • The Application Hierarchy of Needs for SREs and IT Operators – IBM Developer

          The Hierarchy of Needs was defined by the psychologist Abraham Maslow in his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation.” The base of the pyramid contains the most fundamental and most critical needs, with each subsequent layer representing needs that become important once those of the preceding layer have been satisfied.
          Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” was used to represent the needs and behavioral motivation drivers for humans. This pyramid represented a series of basic psychological and self-fulfillment needs.

          Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been adapted and adopted to represent the needs and motivations in other domains, including the needs of applications and services being managed by SREs and IT Operations teams.

        • A Red Hat validated pattern for Industrial Edge

          We’ve improved on the technology of our AI/ML Industrial Edge solution, designed to boost manufacturing efficiency and product quality with AI/ML, edge computing and Kubernetes. Let’s see what’s new!

        • Meet single node OpenShift: Our newest small OpenShift footprint for edge architectures

          Single node OpenShift is here, putting both control and worker capabilities into a single server to help fit into space-constrained environments.

        • Single node OpenShift at the manufacturing edge

          Where does it make sense to utilize single node OpenShift? Learn how it can help at the manufacturing edge!

        • Transitioning Red Hat’s Marketing leadership

          Today, we are sharing news that Tim Yeaton, Red Hat’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer (CMO) will retire in 2022. We’ve had the benefit of planning for Tim’s retirement for some time and using Red Hat’s succession planning process to identify and develop our next CMO. Long time Red Hat marketing communications and brand leader Leigh Day has been promoted to senior vice president (SVP) of Marketing and in January, she will assume the role of CMO. Until his retirement in mid-2022, Tim will become a senior advisor at Red Hat, helping with a smooth transition.

        • Customer experience (CX) plans: 5 questions to ask | The Enterprisers Project

          The pressure is on for companies to deliver a top-notch customer experience (CX). But to deliver a high-quality and holistic CX, you need to invest in the right data and technology. For IT leaders facing an abundance of options, investing in technology to enhance CX can feel like a gamble.

        • IBM Cheese Cutter Restoration | Hackaday

          For a while now, Mac Pro towers have had the nickname “cheese grater” because of their superficial resemblance to this kitchen appliance. Apple has only been a company since the 70s, though, and is much newer than one of its historic rivals, IBM. In fact, IBM is old enough to have made actual cheese-related computers as far back as the 1910s, and [Hand Tool Rescue] recently obtained one of these antique machines for a complete restoration.

        • Going to market with an open source product

          Many people with a long career in engineering, including me, have had misconceptions about sales and marketing. As an engineering community, we’ve viewed it as things like ordering swag, naming things, running ad campaigns, and creating white papers. There’s a joke in the marketing community about how engineers are always willing to provide their “opinions” on marketing decisions without fully comprehending the discipline, but marketers rarely—like never—make suggestions on code improvements. To work together, engineers and marketers must share a common definition.

          While product marketers do help drive those commonly recognized tasks, the role is so much richer. Product marketers, technical marketers, and evangelists have outbound responsibilities like creating content (e.g., blogs, press releases, white papers, demos), delivering roadmap sessions to customers (as well as analysts and journalists), building content for sales teams, and much more. Combined, these outbound functions are often referred to as getting a product to market, but just as importantly, product marketing also has inbound functions. They serve as another set of eyes and ears to listen for customer needs and provide input to the product strategy. There’s a saying in product management: nothing interesting happens within these four walls. Businesses must go out into the world, talk to customers, and more importantly, listen to them.

    • Devices/Embedded

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Deputy health minister proposes ban on all tobacco marketing

        Separately, he called on senators to reject a bill on the legalization of vapers and electronic cigarettes, and claimed that tobacco companies were deliberately obfuscating the issue. “If we go with this fallacy that the tobacco industry has put to us, that vapers are the alternative solution to the tobacco problem, we will once again be making a mistake because vapers and heated tobacco products are not an alternative to harm reduction,” he said.

      • COVID-19 could nudge minds and societies towards authoritarianism

        It is a little-known fact that humans have not one but two immune systems. The first, the biophysical immune system – the one we’ve all heard much about – responds to infections as they enter the body, detecting and eliminating intruders such as the coronavirus.

        The second is the behavioural immune system, which adapts our behaviour to preemptively avoid potentially infectious people, places and things. The behavioural immune system is the first line of defence against infectious disease. It prompts people to socially conform with known traditions and to avoid foreign, dissimilar and potentially infectious groups.

        In a recently published study, my colleagues and I at the University of Cambridge examined the impact of the behavioural immune system on our attitudes towards obedience and authority. We found that high rates of infectious diseases – and the disease-avoidance they promote – may fundamentally shape political opinions and social institutions.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • After Spike in Ransomware Attacks, U.S. Looks to Go on the Offensive [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Biden administration has sought to rally its allies to help fight cyberthreats and ransomware attacks, pushing NATO to adopt a new cyber defense policy and launching talks on cyberthreats among G-7 nations. It also launched a series of initiatives in recent months to target cybercriminals and boost protection against ransomware attacks following several high-profile ransomware attacks against a major oil pipeline company and a meat-processing company earlier this year. The attacks laid bare how vulnerable elements of U.S. critical infrastructure, including its food and energy sectors, were to cyber incursions.

        • VirusTotal study finds 95% of 80m ransomware samples analysed aimed at Windows

          About 2% were Android-based, while one set, known as EvilQuest, targeted OSX, the study, titled Ransomware Activity Report, said. It took into account samples submitted all the way back to January 2020.

          Vicente Diaz of VirusTotal said in a short blog post accompanying the 14-page study that of the 140 countries which submitted ransomware samples, Israel was far and away an outlier with the highest number of submissions and nearly 600% rise in submissions compared to its baseline.

        • Insulin dump

          The student is allowed to keep a small purse with her at all times, as it contains a smartphone that runs an app that talks to, and controls her insulin pump. The teachers at the school were briefed about the smartphone. However, there’s one part of the setup that caused problems: the pump would occasionally issue a beeping noise.

          This beeping makes for a disastrous experience for a sixth grade girl. She’s at the age where social pressures really start to manifest. The pump gives something other students can latch onto to make fun of.

        • White House to host virtual ransomware summit with 30 countries — but not Russia [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The White House plans for at least 30 countries to attend a series of meetings to be held over Zoom. The summit will be the most concrete step it has taken so far to build an international coalition to address ransomware, an epidemic of cybercrime where hackers remotely lock victims’ computers and demand an extortion payment to fix them.

        • End of Life Google Chrome devices should be repurposed with GNU/Linux. – BaronHK’s Rants

          Of all companies, Lenovo gave me an idea.

          They mentioned GalliumOS as a potential Chrome OS replacement on some of their own Chrome devices.

          These are considered low end by PC standards, but they run Chrome OS fine because it’s a stripped down GNU/Linux system. Not some bloated 100 GB+ Windows horror that has to trap every file system call in case it’s a virus.

          The Intel-based ones, mostly, should run a normal GNU/Linux distro, but they occasionally have odd hardware in them that’s not well supported by the vanilla Linux kernel, and GalliumOS steps in to add those.

          Many years ago, there was a guy running a charity in Texas that took old computers that were not able to run Windows anymore, and re-imaged them with a minimum GNU/Linux distribution, which they were able to run okay.

          Somewhere, out of the blue, Texas sent the police in to enforce “environmental standards”.

        • macOS 11.6 makes the theme worse then ever. Free Software GUIs are whatever you want them to be. – BaronHK’s Rants

          Jamie Zawinski commented that his perfect Mac experience continues with light grey text on light grey backgrounds.

          These have been a problem for years, and it’s only getting worse.

          It’s why I use the Adwaita-Dark theme and Solarized Dark for Gedit and GNOME Terminal.

          I think they’re all making the default theme so unusable unless you jack up the display backlight to “IT BURNS US! IT BURNS US PRECIOUS!” so they can market “Dark Mode” as if it was a special feature, when I’ve always used them in one form or another.

          When I started using Solaris, I got hooked on one that Sun wrote for GTK2 called Nimbus. The icon pack was pretty sharp too. And even the light version was quite lovely.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • .NET Foundation admits it ‘violated the trust of project maintainers’ [Ed: Simon Sharwood at it again, relaying Microsoft talking points and face-saving statements]

              The beleaguered .NET Foundation has apologised, again, and reversed one of the policies that saw its members revolt.

              The Foundation’s had a tricky few weeks, after a board member resigned and complained the reasons for doing so were misrepresented. Members have also complained the organisation had made unauthorised changes to projects, and about the decision to move projects to a GitHub account the Foundation controlled without advance notice. Foundation executive director Claire Novotny stepped down as the controversies swirled.

        • Security

          • Russia excluded from virtual White House meeting on ransomware

            The White House on Wednesday will convene a virtual meeting on countering ransomware with senior officials representing 30 countries and the European Union, Biden administration officials said, as part of President Biden’s effort to work with global partners to address cyber threats.

            Ministers and senior officials from a range of countries will take part in the virtual meeting, though the attendees do not include representatives from Russia, which has been a key focus of the Biden administration in trying to root out criminal ransomware groups.

          • How does HTTPS protect you (and how doesn’t it?) – The Mozilla Blog

            It’s true that looking for the lock icon and HTTPS will help you prevent attackers from seeing any information you submit to a website. HTTPS also prevents your internet service provider (ISP) from seeing what pages you visit beyond the top level of a website. That means they can see that you regularly visit https://www.reddit.com, for example, but they won’t see that you spend most of your time at https://www.reddit.com/r/CatGifs/. But while HTTPS does guarantee that your communication is private and encrypted, it doesn’t guarantee that the site won’t try to scam you.

            Because here’s the thing: Any website can use HTTPS and encryption. This includes the good, trusted websites as well as the ones that are up to no good — the scammers, the phishers, the malware makers.

            You might be scratching your head right now, wondering how a nefarious website can use HTTPS. You’ll be forgiven if you wonder in all caps HOW CAN THIS BE?

            The answer is that the security of your connection to a website — which HTTPS provides — knows nothing about the information being relayed or the motivations of the entities relaying it. It’s a lot like having a phone. The phone company isn’t responsible for scammers calling you and trying to get your credit card. You have to be savvy about who you’re talking to. The job of HTTPS is to provide a secure line, not guarantee that you won’t be talking to crooks on it.

            That’s your job. Tough love, I know. But think about it. Scammers go to great lengths to trick you, and their motives largely boil down to one: to separate you from your money. This applies everywhere in life, online and offline. Your job is to not get scammed.

          • Security updates for Wednesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (flatpak and ruby2.3), Fedora (flatpak, httpd, mediawiki, redis, and xstream), openSUSE (kernel, libaom, libqt5-qtsvg, systemd, and webkit2gtk3), Red Hat (.NET 5.0, 389-ds-base, httpd:2.4, kernel, kernel-rt, libxml2, openssl, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (389-ds-base, kernel, libxml2, and openssl), SUSE (apache2-mod_auth_openidc, curl, glibc, kernel, libaom, libqt5-qtsvg, systemd, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (squashfs-tools).

          • Linux Foundation Raises $10M To Expand And Support Open Source Security Foundation
          • Open Source Security Foundation Raises $10 Million in New Commitments to Secure Software Supply Chains
          • Linux Foundation raises $10M to support open-source security project – SiliconANGLE

            The funding came from members of the foundation. The long lineup: Dell Technologies Inc., Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Facebook Inc., Fidelity Investments Inc., GitHub Inc., Google LLC, International Business Machines Corp., Intel Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Microsoft Corp., Morgan Stanley, Oracle Corp., Red Hat Inc., Snyk Inc., VMware Inc., Anchore Inc., Apiiro LLC, AuriStar Technologies Inc., Deepfence Inc., Devgistics, GitLab Inc., Nutanix Inc., Tidelift Inc. and Wind River Systems Inc.

          • The World’s Major Technology Providers and Converge to Improve the Security of Software Supply Chains

            Imagine you have created an open source project that has become incredibly popular. Thousands, if not millions, of developers worldwide, rely on the lines of code that you wrote. You have become an accidental hero of that community — people love your code, contribute to improving it, requesting new features, and encouraging others to use it. Life is amazing, but with great power and influence comes great responsibility.

            When code is buggy, people complain. When performance issues crop up in large scale implementations, it needs to be addressed. When security vulnerabilities are discovered — because no code or its dependencies are always perfect — they need to be remediated quickly to keep your community safe.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • I Lived Through the US Military’s Culture of Surveillance

              I know what it means to be watched all too carefully, a phenomenon that’s only grown worse in the war-on-terror years. I’m a strange combination, I suspect, being both a military spouse and an anti-war-on-terror activist. As I’ve discovered, the two sit uncomfortably in what still passes for one life. In this country in these years, having eyes on you has, sadly enough, become a common and widespread phenomenon. When it’s the government doing it, it’s called “surveillance.” When it’s your peers or those above you in the world of the military spouse, there’s no word for it at all.

            • Who should police the web?

              For an example of how private firms have become the digital police, consider the rules on [Internet] pornography being introduced by Mastercard on October 15th. In a bid to weed out illegal material, the card firm is demanding that porn sites take steps that go beyond what the law requires, including reviewing footage before publication and checking the identity of those who upload or feature in it. Sites that think these sorts of rules too onerous are under no obligation to work with Mastercard. But Visa is also cracking down, and the two firms handle 90% of card payments outside China, meaning that they are becoming the industry’s de facto regulators.

            • Microsoft Agrees to Human Rights Review in Deals With Law Enforcement, Government

              The move came in response to a June filing of a shareholder proposal asking the company to evaluate how well it sticks to its human rights statement and related policies. Microsoft committed to a review of any human rights impacts that its products have on those including communities of Black, Indigenous and People of Color in contracts for police, immigration enforcement and unspecified other government agencies, according to correspondence from the company viewed by Bloomberg.

            • Samsung is the worst phone for privacy in the Android market, and if you try to fix it, they will punish you. – BaronHK’s Rants

              A new report shows that Samsung is the worst Android vendor for invasions of privacy.

              Among the problems unique to Samsung is that they’ve foisted Microsoft spyware and Clown Computing that phones home to Microsoft into the stock ROM as system apps.

              Also, LineageOS could fix it, if you could get it to run. But Samsung’s “security system” will break your camera for no reason whatsoever if you do, in their newer phones. This isn’t “Oh, the other firmware has no driver.”. It’s Samsung Knox preventing the camera from ever working again.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Environmental Justice Advocates Respond to Oil Spill: End Neighborhood and Offshore Oil Drilling Now

        Governor Newsom’s oil and gas regulators have continued granting offshore oil well permits also. As of October 1, 2021, there have been a total of 150 reported permits issued for offshore wells since January 1, 2019, according to a new analysis of permits approved through October 1, 2021 and posted at www.NewsomWellWatch.org by Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance.

        In the wake of another disastrous oil spill, CEJA and VISION provided the following statements:

      • Degrees of danger: What will the world look like if we miss our climate targets?

        In 2015, almost all of the world’s nations agreed to limit the temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above preindustrial levels, and to aim for a limit of 1.5 C under the Paris Agreement.  So far, the actual commitments made to cut fossil fuel use and other measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — if carried through — will only get us down to 2.7 C of warming, the UN has warned.

      • EU Commission: Climate change ‘most comprehensive threat’ facing Arctic

        The Arctic region has reached an “unprecedented crisis point” due to climate change, a problem which is the “most comprehensive threat” facing the region, the EU Commission said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

      • Energy

        • [Old] Will PayPal’s adoption of bitcoin make cryptocurrency more mainstream?

          Cryptocurrencies are decentralised systems with no official oversight, so regulation is difficult. Registered companies that deal in them are finding themselves under increasing scrutiny. In June, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority ruled that Binance Markets Limited, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, had to cease regulated trading in the UK.

        • Bitcoin Uses More Electricity Than Many Countries. How Is That Possible?

          We’ll explain how that works in a minute. But first, consider this: The process of creating Bitcoin to spend or trade consumes around 91 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, more than is used by Finland, a nation of about 5.5 million.

          That usage, which is close to half-a-percent of all the electricity consumed in the world, has increased about tenfold in just the past five years.

        • Anti-money laundering chief: Cryptocurrency licenses should be revoked

          Cryptocurrency operating licenses in Estonia should be revoked, and the system rebuilt from scratch, chief of the money laundering bureau (RAB) Matis Mäeker told investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress. Failure to do so may result in another Danske-style financial scandal. The news comes amid revelations that despite a cull of license-holders in 2020, over 400 cryptocurreny operators are still active in Estonia.

        • EU Pushing for Oil, Coal and Gas to Stay in the Ground

          The European Commission argues that oil, gas, and coal should not be extracted in the Arctic if the climate goals are to be met, in addition to its representing a risk for environmental pollution in vulnerable areas, and calls for an international moratorium on hydrocarbon extraction in the Arctic.

        • EU to push for an end to exploitation of Arctic gas, oil and coal

          The document has been drawn up by the European Commission and the bloc’s diplomatic service. It is due to be finalized and published this week. The strategy says Arctic fossil fuel extraction needs to stop so EU countries can meet targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit temperature rises from global warming. It calls for a widening of the scope of existing curbs on Arctic fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic in areas of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland.

          EU member states would have to change their behavior sharply under the new policy, since they import Arctic fossil fuels including an estimated 87% of liquefied natural gas produced in the Russian Arctic. The new strategy would not have legal force, but it would create political pressure for member states to comply.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Wall Street’s Takeover of Nature Advances with Launch of New Asset Class

          Last month, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) announced it had developed a new asset class and accompanying listing vehicle meant “to preserve and restore the natural assets that ultimately underpin the ability for there to be life on Earth.” Called a natural asset company, or NAC, the vehicle will allow for the formation of specialized corporations “that hold the rights to the ecosystem services produced on a given chunk of land, services like carbon sequestration or clean water.” These NACs will then maintain, manage and grow the natural assets they commodify, with the end of goal of maximizing the aspects of that natural asset that are deemed by the company to be profitable.

          Though described as acting like “any other entity” on the NYSE, it is alleged that NACs “will use the funds to help preserve a rain forest or undertake other conservation efforts, like changing a farm’s conventional agricultural production practices.” Yet, as explained towards the end of this article, even the creators of NACs admit that the ultimate goal is to extract near-infinite profits from the natural processes they seek to quantify and then monetize.

          NYSE COO Michael Blaugrund alluded to this when he said the following regarding the launch of NACs: “Our hope is that owning a natural asset company is going to be a way that an increasingly broad range of investors have the ability to invest in something that’s intrinsically valuable, but, up to this point, was really excluded from the financial markets.”

    • Finance

      • Hampster Economics

        Something about the obnoxious, carefree version of the internet from my youth has always appealed to me. I remember exactly where I was when the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide went down and periodically check the cult’s still-functioning website. Even for a mass suicide cult, there’s something innocuous and joyful in the way the site’s displayed. The rainbow coloring, the dreamy night sky background, the welcoming tone. I love it. My love affair with the cutesy, silly part of the internet started there, but never seemed to end. In my teenage years, I must’ve watched every Homestar Runner episode at least ten times. More than anything though, Hampsterdance left an indelible mark on the way I see the internet. The focus of my own writing each week is branding and it’s impossible not to compare the notoriety of Heaven’s Gate and Homestar Runner against that of the dancing Hampsters. Today’s Tedium ponders the commercial viability of the Hampsterdance. — Jared @ Tedium

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Bullying Standard Practice for Right-wing Republicans
      • The View From Here: Rethinking What Local News Can and Should Be

        Local news organizations are rethinking their relationships with the communities they serve, from deploying new messaging platforms that deliver news to overhauling their reporting practices, editors told ProPublica in a series of recent conversations.

        Amid increased polarization and a pandemic in which misinformation has spread as fast as the virus, editors in Atlanta, Phoenix and Detroit told us in live virtual events that the notion of local news as a public good is more relevant than ever.

      • Facebook increasing protections for activists, journalists against harassment

        The platform’s policies surrounding how public figures are treated include generally allowing users to call for the death of a public figure so long as they are not tagged in the post. Users are not permitted to call for the death of private users, a policy that will now extend to journalists, Reuters reported.

      • Does This Ring A Bell?

        No matter your ultimate lean on politics, you have to admit it’s pretty strange to sit with the knowledge that OAN, a conservative news network, was effectively funded by AT∓T, right? This is a strange headline that kind of shakes through people’s heads in part because of what AT∓T used to represent, as the phone company that we all had to use. (Now, at least with the dust settled, we have something of a choice.) The irony of the company that currently owns CNN bankrolling something that is literally the opposite of CNN in every way that matters is too bizarre to ignore. Now combine this with the effect of Facebook’s many negative headlines this week (including its downtime), creating the real possibility that Facebook is the AT∓T of social media (down to the permissive approach around controversial content) and might need to be broken up, and you have some real knotty fodder to think about. Today’s Tedium considers the messy effects of AT∓T’s breakup with the Baby Bells in a modern context.

      • A second Facebook whistleblower says she’s willing to testify before Congress and that she’s shared documents with a US law agency

        Zhang also said on Twitter on Sunday that she had provided a US law-enforcement agency with “detailed documentation regarding potential criminal violations.”

        When asked by CNN, Zhang did not say which agency she gave documents to. An FBI spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by CNN.

      • Another Facebook whistleblower says she is willing to testify before Congress

        Central to Zhang’s allegations about Facebook is that it doesn’t do enough to tackle abuse of its platform in countries outside of the United States. Roughly 90% of Facebook’s monthly active users are outside the US and Canada, according to its most recent quarterly filing.

      • Sophie Zhang: Second Facebook whistleblower reports ‘potential criminal violations’ to authorities

        “I’ve found multiple blatant attempts by foreign national governments to abuse our platform on vast scales to mislead their own citizenry, and caused international news on multiple occasions. I have personally made decisions that affected national presidents without oversight, and taken action to enforce against so many prominent politicians globally that I’ve lost count.”

      • Facebook says it will ban content that sexually harasses celebrities

        As part of this new policy update, Facebook said that it would remove any profiles, pages, groups, or events dedicated to sexualizing public figures, including celebrities, politicians, and content creators. The new policy bans sexualized photoshops and drawings and any degrading content “in the process of bodily functions,” Antigone Davis, global head of safety at Facebook, said in a blog post on Wednesday.

        Facebook also said that it would remove “unwanted sexualized commentary” and repetitive attacks harassing an individual sexually.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • LinkedIn Caves Again, Blocks US Journalists’ Accounts In China

        LinkedIn — the business-oriented social media platform owned by Microsoft — has spent the last few years increasing its compliance with the Chinese government’s demands for censorship. A couple of years back, the network drew heat for not only blocking accounts of Chinese pro-democracy activists but also critics of the government located elsewhere in the world.

      • Oppose the right-wing, racialist attack on composer Bright Sheng at University of Michigan

        Sheng, the Chinese-born Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor of Composition, is a world-class composer, who has been teaching at the University of Michigan since 1995. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and was given a MacArthur “genius” fellowship in 2001. The Foundation described him as “an innovative composer whose skillful orchestrations bridge East and West, lyrical and dissonant styles, and historical and contemporary themes to create compositions that resonate with audiences around the world.”

        The “crime” for which Sheng has been forced out of teaching the class has only been made possible by the whipping up of racialist frenzy on the university campuses and in the media. No honest or fair-minded individual could find anything remotely offensive about Olivier’s performance or the film as a whole.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Lee Camp: Julian Assange’s Father, John Shipton, on the U.S. Government’s ‘Scandalous’ Plan to ‘Murder’ His Son
      • [Old] 3 arrested can challenge Louisiana pipeline trespass law

        The law “is part of a national effort to crack down on environmental activists across the U.S.,” the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents White Hat, Savage and Mejia, said in Thursday’s news release. It said the first was passed in Oklahoma in 2017, and said similar bills have been introduced 23 times in 18 states since 2017, including 14 in 2019.

      • Covering Myanmar is Becoming Impossible, Say Local Journalists

        Access to social media and the [Internet] was blocked, at least five local media outlets had licenses revoked, and authorities detained dozens of journalists covering nationwide protests against the junta.

        In the months that followed, media outlets have been forced to restructure their operations by working online or from self-imposed exile.

        Win Zaw Naing, a journalist at the Yangon-based Red News Agency, says he has been stuck inside his house for seven months, having to work almost entirely online.

        “It is almost impossible to report on the ground now. I did not leave the house and I did not see anyone. I do it online, I make phone calls,” he told VOA.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Minneapolis Police Caught on Video ‘Hunting’ Activists

        The extraordinary footage was released last week by the lawyer of a man who was caught up in an exchange of fire with police that night. (That man, Army veteran Jaleel Stallings, was exonerated by a jury in September for acting in self defense.) The footage, which was part of the evidence used in Stallings’ trial, also shows Minneapolis cops making racist comments, cursing protesters and journalists, slashing the tires of parked cars — in short, acting more lawless than the crowds they were supposed to be controlling that night.

      • Election workers accused of shredding voter applications

        Preliminary information indicates that the employees checked out batches of applications for processing, and they are alleged to have shredded some of the forms, the Fulton County statement says. Fellow employees reported the alleged actions to their supervisor Friday morning, and the two employees were fired that day.

      • The Government’s Secret ‘Google Search’ Warrant Trap

        Keyword warrants are not new, but they are rare, and they are little known by the broader public. The Forbes documents provide hard proof of the government’s judicial exercise of keyword warrant in a 2019 Wisconsin case tracking down men suspected of kidnapping and abusing a minor. Investigators asked Google for data on anyone who had searched for the victim’s name, her mother’s name, and her address over a period of 16 days.

        Other known uses of keyword warrants include demands for information on Google searches for the address of an arson victim who was a witness in the racketeering case against crooner R. Kelly in 2020 and Google searches for a fraud victim in Minnesota in 2017. It’s not just Google. Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out that keyword warrants were served to Microsoft and Yahoo for searches on things like “pipe bomb” and “low explosives” in the course of tracking down the 2018 Austin bombings. Additionally, Forbes was able to track down the existence of a fifth keyword warrant request in California in late 2020, but it was only noted in a court docket, so we don’t know the extent of the order.

      • The Boston Marathon bomber case reaches the Supreme Court

        “This case is the first case where the court is confronted with an almost unlimited amount of information through social media,” says George Kendall, a capital defense lawyer. “So it was really sort of surprising, to say the least, that when the judge decided, ‘OK, we can do this in Boston,’ that kind of question was not asked of everyone.”

      • Outrage Grows Over Jailing of Children as Tennessee University Cuts Ties With Judge Involved

        In the days after ProPublica’s investigation of the juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee, one state lawmaker wrote that she was “horrified.” Another called it a “nightmare.” A third labeled it “unchecked barbarism.” A former Tennessee congressman posted the story about the unlawful jailing of kids and tweeted, “The most sickening and unAmerican thing I’ve read about in some time.” The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund called for a federal civil rights investigation. A pastor, in his Sunday sermon in Nashville, said: “We can’t allow this madness to continue. These are our babies.”

        And on Tuesday evening, four days after the story published, the president of Middle Tennessee State University notified faculty and staff that Donna Scott Davenport, a juvenile court judge at the heart of the investigation, “is no longer affiliated with the University.” Davenport had been an adjunct instructor at the school, which is based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. For many years, she taught a course on juvenile justice. In 2015, she was one of the university’s commencement speakers.

      • The General Strike of 2021
      • Origin and Meaning of Critical Race Theory

        In August 2021, the Brookings Institute reported that at least eight states had passed legislation banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory, although only Idaho actually uses the phrase.

        The modern iteration of Critical Race Theory begins in the 1980s when legal scholars followed by social scientists and educational researchers began to employ CRT as a way of understanding the persistence of race and racism in the United States. Kimberlé Crenshaw, who teaches law at UCLA and Columbia University and was an early proponent of critical race theory, described it as “an approach to grappling with a history of white supremacy that rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past, and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it.” Basically, Critical Race Theory rejects the idea of colorblindness or legal neutrality and argues that race and racism have always played a major role in the formulation of American laws and the practices of American institutions. It is a study of laws and institutions that sifts through the surface cover to look for underlying meaning and motivation. As an academic discipline it does not claim that everything about the United States is racist or that all white people are racist. The CRT lens examines laws and institutions, not people, certainly not individual people.

      • Ronald Deibert Provides Statement on behalf of Chelsea Manning – The Citizen Lab

        Citizen Lab founder and director, Dr. Ronald Deibert, recently provided a statement in the context of Chelsea Manning’s inadmissibility proceeding before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

        The statement proceeds in four parts. In the first section, Deibert provides background context regarding his professional experience and the Citizen Lab’s work. In the second section, he describes the Citizen Lab’s research activities in detail and the academic and public interest impacts of those activities. In the third section, he summarizes certain events that have threatened or aimed to chill the Citizen Lab’s research activities in the past. In the fourth section, he explains the chilling effects that a broad interpretation of section 342.1 of the Criminal Code and/or of subsection 16(2) of the Security of Information Act (“SOIA”) could have on the Citizen Lab’s scholarship and on related initiatives.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show

        Amazon.com Inc has been repeatedly accused of knocking off products it sells on its website and of exploiting its vast trove of internal data to promote its own merchandise at the expense of other sellers. The company has denied the accusations.

        But thousands of pages of internal Amazon documents examined by Reuters – including emails, strategy papers and business plans – show the company ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines in India, one of the company’s largest growth markets.

      • Patents

        • Corner office podcast: Managing Salesforce’s diverse IP needs [Ed: Software patents propaganda and other nefarious agenda from Salesforce disguised as 'journalism' from the voice of patent trolls, Patrick Wingrove]

          David Simon, senior vice president of IP at Salesforce, shares his views on Section 101, Fintiv, the DMCA, and more

        • Europe’s IPR rules need to be strengthened to ensure they meet current and future challenges, explains Marion Walsmann [Ed: Europe does not have "IPR rules"; it has laws for patents, copyrights, etc. and they're not "rights; what we have here is lobbying that namedrops "SMEs" and shameless (massive) lies about UPC in the text below; What we basically have here is a German EPP MEP frontally attacking small businesses by lying about them while claiming to speak for them.]

          Filing a single application, rather than numerous national procedures, and obtaining a single patent that is valid throughout Europe will dramatically simplify the patent application process and greatly reduce corresponding costs. Pricey parallel lawsuits would also be prevented [sic] by the Unified Patent Court, while legal certainty would be increased. [sic]

        • Patent case: In re Juniper Networks Inc., USA [Ed: Texas run by corrupt judges who treat their courts like for-profit corporations; the higher patent courts belatedly tackle this corruption from the whackos of Waco]

          The federal district court in Waco, Texas abused its discretion in denying Juniper Networks’ motion to transfer six patent infringement actions filed by a Texas-based patent assertion entity to the Northern District of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has decided in granting Juniper’s motion for a writ of mandamus. The district court erred in its analysis of the relevant public and private public interest factors used for determining whether the transferor or the transferee district is the more convenient forum. For example, concerning the most important factor, the relative convenience of the transferee forum for the potential witnesses, Juniper identified 11 witness located in the Northern District of California, while the plaintiff—a company’s whose presence in Texas appeared to be both recent and ephemeral—identified only one witness (In re Juniper Networks, Inc., September 24, 2021, per curiam).

        • Opinion: Tired of Brexit? The exhaustion is still to come! [Ed: Misusing the words "IP" (which are both inappropriate for the subject at hand]

          The UKIPO has still to decide on a path forward for exhaustion after Brexit – but with IP taking a back seat in government circles, don’t hold your breath

        • Hanwha Q-Cells and Hoyng ROKH Monegier win cross-border injunction against Longi [Ed: Instead of journalism JUVE is now doing ads for law firms, puff pieces thinly disguised as nothing but "case studies"; JUVE is just a PR agency now]

          The ruling from Rotterdam District Court is interesting because the Hanwha patent is valid in 16 European countries, but not in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the court issued a cross-border injunction for 9 countries. The court also ordered a penalty sum capped at €5 million.

          The Rotterdam court did have doubts as to whether the Dutch Longi company directly infringed EP 2220689 B1. It nevertheless ruled that the distribution and sale of the solar panels in Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Spain, the UK and Switzerland is an unlawful act against Hanwha Q-Cells. Therefore, the judges granted the cross-border injunction for nine countries (case ID: C/10/621252 / KG ZA 21-563).

        • Restoring the America Invents Act: legislative measure to defend post-grant review of U.S. patents welcomed by tech industry, patent experts

          About a year ago I described a complaint by Apple, Google, Intel, and Cisco over then-USPTO Director Iancu’s PTAB rulemaking as “litigation to the rescue of legislation” because the case was brought in defense of the ideas underlying the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). Essentially, Mr. Iancu had gutted the PTAB IPR (inter partes review) part of the AIA by establishing a discretionary-denial regime.

          By now there is also hope for the PTAB IPR process because of developments on other fronts. The next USPTO Director may undo some of Mr. Iancu’s rulemaking, and now there’s a proposal in the United Senate that amounts to “legislation to the rescue of (earlier) legislation”: the Leahy-Cornyn Restore AIA bill (“RAIA”). Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), one of the sponsors of the original AIA, is now the President pro tempore of the Senate. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) has also taken an interest in patent policy for some time. Both have a reputation for balanced positions on patent enforcement: neither are they in the “Coons camp” (which favors ever stronger enforcement even of weak patents) nor could they be reasonably accused of seeking to weaken patent protection.

          Litigation, executive action, legislation–three ways to reverse Mr. Iancu’s PTAB rules, any single one of which could do the job. Executive action would potentially be quickest (as it won’t take that much longer until the new USPTO Director has been named). Durability is the most important quality of new legislation: the Restore AIA would not only solve the problem at hand but would also prevent it from reoccurring, unless and until Congress would decide otherwise.

        • Koenig & Bauer wins infringement case against Hebenstreit [Ed: This is framed as a shameless advertisement instead of actual reporting about a patent case. JUVE is a marketing company now, which occasionally lies for lobbyists.]

          Koenig & Bauer has won the second instance of the patent infringement case. However the breach of trade secrets dispute is still ongoing. The founders of Hebenstreit, based in Ludwigsburg, are former employees of the patent holder. Koenig & Bauer accuses them of having used the company’s technical drawings for their own business.

          Koenig & Bauer, based in Würzburg, sued Hebenstreit for patent infringement. Its EP 1 266 852 B1 protects a device for feeding and stacking tabular goods. The technology is used in metal pressing, where it stacks the pressed metal plates on top of each other at the end of the line. The speed of the stacking process in particular, as well as its precise coordination with the speed of the press, plays an essential role. The original patent applicant was LTG Mailänder, which was acquired by Bauer + Kunzi (later Koenig & Bauer-MetalPrint) in 2006.

        • Software Patents

          • Prior art found on Heritage IP patent

            Unified is pleased to announce prior art has been found on U.S. Patent 6,854,067, owned by Heritage IP, LLC, an NPE and subsidiary of IP Edge. The ’067 patent generally relates to a method and system for interaction between a processor and a power on reset circuit to dynamically control power states in a microcontroller. This patent has been asserted in district court against NXP, Resideo Technologies, Maytronics, Insulet Corp., August Home, and others.

      • Trademarks

        • Public Backlash Leads Tusla Park To Stop Bullying Coffee Shop Over Trademark

          A good public outcry and backlash can lead to many, many good things. We see it here at Techdirt all the time, particularly when it comes to aggressive bullying episodes over intellectual property. Some person or company will try to play IP bully against some victim, the public gets wind of it and throws a fit, and suddenly the necessity over the IP action goes away. Retailers, manufacturers, breweries: public outcry is a great way to end ridiculous legal actions.

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:27 am by Needs Sunlight

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Süddeutsche Zeitung Became a Propaganda Arm of EPO Management (and by Extension Software Patents/Patent Lobbyists)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Maybe paid and defanged, co-opted like many other German publishers and EPO “media partners”?

Süddeutsche Zeitung on Software Patents (from PDF/JPEG)

Summary: EPO ‘genius’ António Campinos enjoys shallow press coverage, which echoes or resembles Benoît Battistelli‘s corruption of the media (paid-for fluff)

Hours ago the EPO published the above fluff (text below). A “sign of renewed interest by the Süddeutsche Zeitung in the activities of the EPO”?

Sort of.

“Recently published on the EPO’s intranet,” as our source notes, was something “[m]ore like using the SZ as a vehicle for pushing software patents.”

So Süddeutsche Zeitung writes about the EPO again. “But not for critical investigative reporting on breaches of fundamental rights,” our source adds.

Here’s the full text about “EPO’s approach to CII patenting”:

Home → Organisation → DG 0 → PD Communication → Announcements → 2021


Patents in a digitised finance sector

SZ Finance Summit: President advocates greater support for innovative SMEs

Invited as the first-ever EPO speaker to participate at the annual “Bayerische Finanzgipfel” President António Campinos, spoke last week on the EPO’s approach to patenting digital inventions, and the relevance of such inventions for the European economy.

The event was organised by the publishing house SZ-Verlag (Süddeutsche Zeitung) under the auspices of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Economy. Held in a hybrid format with strict COVID measures, the Finanzgipfel attracted some 70 attendees to the congress venue in Munich, and some 250 finance and insurance experts following by video stream. The invitation to President Campinos to speak at the conference can also be seen as sign of renewed interest by the Süddeutsche Zeitung in the activities of the EPO.

The central topic around which the conference presentations and podium discussion revolved was the need of the finance industry to re-invent itself after the pandemic with the help of digital technologies. Speakers from government institutions, leading banks, insurance groups and digital technology providers shared their business experience and discussed a wide range of new digital solutions to improve their services for clients.

The President’s podium dialogue with Herbert Fromme, a leading journalist from Süddeutsche Zeitung’s economics pages, was dedicated to discussing the suitability of patents as appropriate instruments for supporting the digital technology evolution, and whether patentability of software should be legally acceptable in Europe. President Campinos responded by setting out the EPO’s approach to CII patenting, and explaining the role of the EPO’s examiners, as well as the value of our databases and systems, such as Ansera, when processing applications for digital inventions.

President Campinos concluded by encouraging the sector to monitor more closely the development of new and promising inventions in the field, as they are often submitted by start-ups, SMEs and public research institutions. These enterprises need to be more effectively supported by investors if Europe is to catch up with its competitors in Asia and the US.

Süddeutsche Zeitung gave him a platform.

Notice the ridiculously promotional ending (makes one wonder who funded this puff piece, soon to be ‘cited’ with pride by the EPO itself): “President Campinos concluded by encouraging the sector to monitor more closely the development of new and promising inventions in the field…”

Yes, THANK YOU! Thank you, Dr. Professor Sir Campinos!

Funeral de Jorge Campinos

GNOME (and Debian) Infringe Human Rights by Shipping Parental Control Software (Internally Called “Malcontent”)

Posted in Debian, GNOME, GNU/Linux at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

GNOME Parental Control Software

This isn’t easy to say, but it’s true, and I’ve been meaning to write about it for several days now.

In the 1990s, when the Internet at home was becoming more of a thing, Helicopter Parents began to fret that there was a growing “information superhighway” where their kids wouldn’t be “safe”.

In response to this, many corporations appeared on the scene such as Net Nanny and Cybersitter to claim that they would safeguard the PC for parents, so their children wouldn’t be able to access “inappropriate” content on the Web.

Unfortunately, for the stupid people who shelled out money for this crap, Windows 9x/Me had no security mechanisms whatsoever, and a child with even moderate levels of knowledge on how to reboot the machine into MS-DOS mode and run the system from there could disable it, reboot into Windows, do whatever they wanted, and then reboot back into DOS and configure it to turn back on to make their parents think that it was on the entire time. Windows was even worse then than it is now, because it didn’t even pretend at having access control lists, security labels, multiple user accounts (not real ones).

At its core, it was a fancy DOS shell that happened to implement some of the Windows NT APIs.

Most proprietary operating systems now have built-in “Parental Controls” (censorship software).

I couldn’t tell you how well they work, but it’s funny that Microsoft has one, since Bill Gates was palling around with one of the most prolific child rapists of the century, Jeff Epstein.

(As if one affiliation wasn’t bad enough, an engineer named Rick Allen Jones was arrested inside the Gates Mansion for possession of a child pornography trove. And it only barely made the news, and the courts quickly covered it up and the guy even had an illegal handgun, and somehow that went away, and he’s not on the sex offender list, and he’s living in Flagstaff, Arizona with his mother now.)

Even on a much better designed operating system than Windows, like GNU/Linux, one with real security features, one where security vulnerabilities are fewer and are legitimate mistakes in the code and not NSA backdoors like they are on Windows and the Mac, it’s impossible to “secure” or lockdown a computer when a person has physical access to it.

My guess is there will either be a misconfiguration somewhere or the child will just figure out a way to boot into Tails or something, and then there goes GNOME/FreeDesktop “Parental Controls”. (“Malcontent”)

In fact, putting this on the computer and then trying to remove the GNOME metapackage and Flatpak if you get rid of it is an insult on the part of Debian, which has already betrayed the ideals of Free Software by including Firefox, which now has a Surveillance Capitalism Keylogger malware component.

In the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international law which along with (if I recall correctly) the prohibition on cluster bombs and land mines, only the United States has refused to sign, “acknowledges that children have the right to express their opinions and to have those opinions heard and acted upon when appropriate, to be protected from abuse or exploitation, and to have their privacy protected. It requires that their lives not be subject to excessive interference.”.

So, what GNOME and Debian are doing flies in the face of this Treaty as well. I wonder how the GNOME project feels in pushing this software that takes away people’s voices.

Parents can be every bit as autocratic, corrupt, and evil as a rogue state. And just saying “I pay the bills around here!” doesn’t give them an excuse to commit endless offenses against human rights.

In fact, the Treaty has optional protocols that require signatories to crack down hard on child abuse and to take measures to stop child prostitution.

Since the United States refuses to ratify it on account of some right-wing Christian nutcases rambling on about how they won’t be able to have their children “homeskeweled”, it can’t sign those protocols either.

If we, as a society, want to protect children, it needs to be tough punishment for abusers and the enablers of abusers of children.

No more of this trip to namby pamby land that Epstein and Jones got because they were rich, or Bill came to the rescue to avoid personal embarrassment.

But, you see, this is sort of what courts do. It’s not what you did, it’s who you know, how much money you have to fight back with, can you afford a lawyer that’s buddies with the judge.

For the most part, when I was a child, I had a tough time. I was bullied in school. Right after I turned 9 years old, my parents had another child and turned their focus to him, then I started to do poorly in school due to organizational problems and mental illness (which is also the reason why Michael O’Hare had to leave Babylon 5 after the first season…when it hits, it can hit hard).

Then my parents drifted apart and my mother started cheating on my dad with a truck driver.

They had each other in divorce court slinging mud back and forth. Between her cheating and the weird religious cults my dad has been in over the years, and me bouncing back and forth between their houses where my dad would psychologically abuse me and blame me for my mother leaving him, and my mom’s second husband’s house where he’d come home drunk and beat me to within an inch of my life, I’d say it’s amazing I even went back and completed school and did anything.

Was I exposed to Web pornography when I was a minor?

Yeah, I mean, I was curious and we had the internet in the house. My dad didn’t even know we had the internet. I hid an entire web browser in the C:\Windows subfolder mess and made a hidden folder in there where I shoved anything I wanted to keep. I had “free” dial up ISPs where I figured out how to crash the toolbars and then later to decipher my login credentials and use them ad-free on the (Mandrake) Linux partition.

Dad caught me browsing the news or something (so could have been worse, I guess) and reamed me out for getting the Internet without his permission, and he wouldn’t believe me when I said it was a local telephone call and there wouldn’t be any bills coming.

I guess that’s the long way of saying I was above average intelligence. I’d say I still am. Not a genius, but above average. The average is going down, btw.

And I figured out how to thwart my parents, install GNU/Linux in the 90s on an HP Pavilion from Walmart, freeload off some dotcom ISPs, find anything I wanted to on the internet, and use “BitchX” for IRC, which while Mandrake was installing, I said, “BitchX? What the hell is BitchX?”.

If it was still around, maybe Mitchell Baker would rename it BossX. Who knows.

Your kids, if you have them and you are reading this, are probably a lot craftier than you give them credit for. Than society gives them credit for. If I’ve learned a few things in life, one of those is that you underestimate people at your own peril.

In Chicago, right after I moved here with my ex, I was mugged, and I had to go to Juvenile Court to testify against my attacker. While I was waiting, I was reading some Democrat tripe about how “children aren’t just small adults”, except by the time they’re teenagers, they sort of kind of are.

The gangs in Chicago think they’re fine to use as child soldiers as soon as you can shove a gun in their hand and tell them to steal someone’s cars and cell phones and wallets.

The whole reason they can convince teenagers to start a life of crime is, basically nothing happens once they get to court. And they learn that nothing happens, and then they keep offending for life.

In closing, if anyone from GNOME, Debian, or FreeDesktop happens to read this, “Parental Control” software isn’t the answer.

Free and Open Source Software should empower users, including children, who use it.

We shouldn’t aspire to confine, deny information and ideas to, and help oppress people like Microsoft and Apple do.

They say they want to go after child abusers, and I say it takes some to know some.

No, JWZ, Discord is Not “IRC With Pictures”

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 7:36 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Jamie Zawinski made a comment about Discord basically being “IRC with pictures” somewhere along the way, but it’s actually not.

What Discord does is way worse. It pretends to be IRC plus all of these neat features, so that it can rope people in and centralize their communications, and log everything they do.

They have this thing that they call “running a Discord Server”, which is bogus, because you don’t run the server. They do.

This means that anything anyone ever does on Discord is subject to failure if the company goes out of business or has downtime.

According to Wikipedia, once Discord got enough people used to the free version, they started imposing artificial limits on what you could do, and then selling you subscriptions to get the things you were doing before. This is pretty typical of proprietary software, especially “web apps” like Microsoft 365.

When users got together as a community to make robot programs (like you could always do on IRC) to play Youtube music, ad-free, Google sent DMCA attacks and Discord removed the bots.

When people who had various political beliefs that were not popular among the fascist woke “left” started gathering on Discord, Discord promised to Cancel them.

(Did they, eventually do that? I don’t know, but the fact is that they can.)

We may disagree with other people’s opinions, but having opinions isn’t illegal in a civilized society. Woke trolls use Big Tech to silence their opposition and then again to whine and destroy them professionally.

Discord stepped in and disrupted Wall Street Bets, for making rich people look stupid and causing them to lose some money.

This is just a small list of things they can do.

With IRC, we’ll still have it in 20 years and know how it works. Governments won’t be able to tell the “IRC company” (there isn’t one) to ban end-to-end encryption, which government officials themselves use to prevent leaks, or to shut down servers that they don’t like. If they tried it, it could be hosted somewhere else. If you get banned on one server, you can go somewhere else. If your ISP or government tries to blockade it, you can use an obfuscated VPN or Tor tunnel and use it anyway.

Most tech companies just end up doing whatever the government tells them to in order to not have any of their own business activities suspended. In some cases, this includes being unmasked in order to be executed.

The first step in avoiding a trap, is knowing of its existence.

Discord is not “IRC with pictures”. It’s a trap.

Zawinski seems to be more of a hipster who made good on the dotcom hysteria and then went on to rest on his laurels, occasionally amusing himself by buying a bar, and some Macs, which he swears up and down work fine even though they lock him out of his computer.

(In a recent post, it wouldn’t even let him program software and compile it because Apple didn’t sign those make and python binaries.)

The Macs are (still) more buggy than any GNU/Linux distro I’ve ever seen, according to Zawinski himself. (Who goes on to quote problems in GNU/Linux that were solved 13 _years_ ago as reasons for hating GNU/Linux.)

I think he shouldn’t be listened to for advice about software and using it.

IRC can do all of the important things you need it to do, and it hasn’t gotten much fatter than it was in the 1990s, despite having a new version on the way.

How many things on your computer can you say that about? Remember how slow Windows 98 was on the internet, on dial up? Remember progress bars taking forever, and pulling down menus being painfully slow?

Why is it, today, that your laptop is thousands of times faster than your desktop PC was then, and yet it feels like we’ve made no progress at all?

Windows has gotten morbidly obese to the point even a new computer feels slow right out of the box, which is alarming, and something they use to drive hardware sales, even though they’re like a shittier Apple now. Your PC is three years old! Throw it away! Windows 11!

They throw parties for themselves. They pull a string and OMG MSFT! Joey, Michael Larabel, and SJVN dance for them. It’s sad.

But a few things certainly don’t need to get much fatter and more horrible as time goes on because they’re controlled by a community process (like some GNU/Linux operating systems), and IRC is definitely one of those things. Leave IRC alone! 😉

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” – Battistelli’s Swiss Apprentice?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. YOU ARE HERE ☞ “General Bock” – Battistelli’s Swiss Apprentice?

Rambos in the Swiss State
“General Bock’s Rambos” were prominently featured in the February 2021 issue of K-ISOM, a German magazine [PDF] which covers “the real world of modern elite and special units”.

Summary: The António Campinos-led EPO won’t be subjected to real oversight by the Administrative Council, which ‘met’ (online) earlier today; so we look at who in the Administrative Council did what; today we wrap up the parts about Switzerland (third part of three)

In the last part we introduced the controversial Christian Bock and looked at some of the critical media coverage which he has attracted in Switzerland recently. More specifically, we saw how Bock has become the subject of increasing public scrutiny due to his aggressive and confrontational management style as director of the Federal Customs Administration (FCA).

“Like the preceding coverage in the print media, the SRF report referred to Bock’s fondness for dressing up in a specially designed ceremonial uniform and carrying a gun.”Amongst other things, it was mentioned that the Swiss TV channel SRF produced a report on the situation at the FCA, entitled “Zolldirektor mit Pistole: Der umstrittene Christian Bock” (“Customs Director with a Pistol: the controversial Christian Bock”).

Like the preceding coverage in the print media, the SRF report referred to Bock’s fondness for dressing up in a specially designed ceremonial uniform and carrying a gun.

According to SRF, Bock’s fondness for wearing his dress uniform – despite the fact that his job is essentially a civilian administrative position – has earned him the derogatory nickname “General Bock”.

“The MEK Helvetia was originally set up in 2006, but prior to Bock’s arrival it always operated in a low-key manner and stayed out of the public spotlight.”Bock has also attracted a lot of criticism because of his over-enthusiastic promotion of the Swiss Customs’ paramilitary mobile response unit, known as the Mobiles Einsatzkommando Helvetia (MEK Helvetia).

The MEK Helvetia was originally set up in 2006, but prior to Bock’s arrival it always operated in a low-key manner and stayed out of the public spotlight.

However, Bock has ambitious plans to reshape the Federal Customs Administration.

More specifically, he wants to transform it from its traditional role as a predominantly civilian fiscal tax-collecting authority into a paramilitary border security agency endowed with extensive powers of surveillance and intervention.

“…he wants to transform it from its traditional role as a predominantly civilian fiscal tax-collecting authority into a paramilitary border security agency endowed with extensive powers of surveillance and intervention.”And so it came to pass that – with Bock’s approval – the MEK Helvetia ended up posing in a very public manner in a 20-page spread published in the February 2021 edition of Kommando – International Special Operations Magazine (K-ISOM). K-ISOM is a magazine published in Germany which is dedicated to “the real world of modern elite and special forces”.

The reaction in Switzerland was predominantly negative.

A former cantonal police commander did not object to the existence of such a force but he took the view that it was “stupid and harmful to spread it over 20 pages in a magazine.”

An expert in the Swiss Ministry of Defence was quoted as saying “These are General Bock’s Rambos”. The expert – who preferred to remain anonymous – noted that not even Putin’s special forces would put themselves on public display in such an ostentatious manner.

“It was even questioned whether there was an adequate legal basis for such a special militarised unit under the control of the FCA.”Some representatives of the Swiss cantons argued that the Federal Customs Administration did not need “expensive Rambos to kick down doors” because there were already enough well-trained special units in cantonal security forces and in other federal government agencies. It was even questioned whether there was an adequate legal basis for such a special militarised unit under the control of the FCA.

These doubts arose because Switzerland is a decentralized federation with a highly devolved system of government in which the cantons are sovereign to the extent that their sovereignty is not limited by federal law. The competence of the federal government is restricted to a limited number of areas. Public security and law enforcement are primarily matters for the cantons.

This constitutional arrangement is a fundamental aspect of Swiss-style democracy which has deep historical roots. Bock’s plans to restructure the FCA as powerful federal police force in the style of the FBI run contrary to Switzerland’s long-established constitutional traditions and have attracted vigorous criticism from many quarters.

“This constitutional arrangement is a fundamental aspect of Swiss-style democracy which has deep historical roots.”One of his most prominent critics is Markus Mohler, a former public prosecutor and retired Commissioner of Police in Basel. Although now retired from public service, Mohler remains active as a legal consultant.

“From a legal perspective, measures of this kind which involve curtailments of fundamental rights should be defined in a specific and concrete manner in order to ensure their compatibility with the rule of law.”According to Mohler, the legislative proposal drafted by Bock is not compatible with the Swiss constitution because – amongst other things – it envisages the takeover of cantonal security competencies by the Federal Customs Administration.

Mohler described Bock’s legislative proposal as “poorly drafted”. In particular, he criticised numerous general clauses which are designed to grant the customs authorities access to policing and surveillance powers which have not been clearly defined.

From a legal perspective, measures of this kind which involve curtailments of fundamental rights should be defined in a specific and concrete manner in order to ensure their compatibility with the rule of law.

“By a curious coincidence, Markus Mohler also holds a part-time position at the EPO where he is the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the EPO’s Administrative Council.”Mohler expressed surprise that, despite the manifold deficiencies in Bock’s legislative draft, it still managed to pass muster at the Federal Ministry of Justice, which is supposed to function as the “legal conscience of the Federal Council.

By a curious coincidence, Markus Mohler also holds a part-time position at the EPO where he is the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the EPO’s Administrative Council.

This is the body which is competent to conduct disciplinary procedures against Council appointees such as the EPO President, Vice-President and members of the Boards of Appeal. Mohler was appointed to this position at the 154th meeting of the Council in December 2017. (warning: epo.org link)

“It is not known whether Mohler has ever expressed any opinion about the serious breaches of the fundamental rights of EPO staff which occurred during the Battistelli era with the complicity of the Swiss delegation. It would certainly be interesting to hear his views on that topic.”The Administrative Council’s Disciplinary Committee has only been called into action on one occasion over the last 40 years, namely in the notorious case concerning a member of the Boards of Appeal who was unlawfully subjected to a “house ban” by Benoît Battistelli in December 2014. As far as can be determined, Mohler was not involved in that case.

It is not known whether Mohler has ever expressed any opinion about the serious breaches of the fundamental rights of EPO staff which occurred during the Battistelli era with the complicity of the Swiss delegation. It would certainly be interesting to hear his views on that topic.

Swiss legal expert Markus Mohler
Swiss legal expert Markus Mohler is sharply critical of “General Bock” and his attempted power grab at the Federal Customs Administration. Mohler also holds a part-time position at the EPO where he is the chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the Administrative Council.

In any event, the critical coverage of “General Bock” in the Swiss media between April and June 2021 led to political interventions by a number of Swiss parliamentarians and other public figures, accompanied by calls for an independent investigation into the situation at the Federal Customs Administration. [PDF]

At the beginning of May 2021, it was reported that Bock’s current political boss, the Federal Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, had rallied to his defence.

“It was also reported that his “Twitter” account had been deleted.”Amongst other things, Maurer denounced the critical media reports about Bock [PDF] – in particular the series of articles authored by Henry Habegger and published by the CH media group in April 2021 – as a “one-sided and defamatory campaign.”

However, some weeks later in June 2021, it was reported that Maurer had failed to secure the backing of his peers in the national government – the Federal Council – for his efforts to defend his controversial Customs Director.

Federal Finance Minister Ueli Maurer
Bock (left) was supported by Federal Finance Minister Ueli Maurer (right), but in June 2021 it was reported that Maurer had failed to obtain the backing of the Federal Council for his controversial Customs Director.

At around the same time, Bock disappeared from view both inside the FCA and in public. It was also reported that his “Twitter” account had been deleted. Nobody appeared to know what exactly was going on, but the impression was that Bock had flounced off in a huff.

“Although the SFAO was fundamentally positive about the plans for the digitisation of the Customs Administration, it identified a number of serious problems in the ongoing implementation.”More recently in September 2021, Swiss media reported that Bock had re-surfaced but that he was now conducting himself in a more subdued manner. [PDF]

At around the same time, it also became known that the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) had published the results of an intermediate assessment of the implementation of Bock’s DaziT programme. [PDF]

Although the SFAO was fundamentally positive about the plans for the digitisation of the Customs Administration, it identified a number of serious problems in the ongoing implementation.

“In its latest assessment, the SFAO confirmed that it lacked “a complete and comprehensible view of the total costs.”
It remains to be seen how Bock will deal with the fallout from the latest SFAO report and whether or not he will manage to survive much longer in his current position as Director of the Federal Customs Administration.”
Back in 2018, the SFAO had recommended that mechanisms be created “to objectively assess results or goal achievement.” However, in its most recent report it noted that these control mechanisms are still under construction. This made it difficult to perform “a robust assessment of progress” and had a negative impact on the “reliability of the results assessment”.

According to media reports (see above PDF), insiders have long warned about the danger of DaziT getting out of control financially. One criticism which has been voiced repeatedly is that no one really has an overview, either of the status of expenditures or of everything that is being developed and financed.

In its latest assessment, the SFAO confirmed that it lacked “a complete and comprehensible view of the total costs.”

It remains to be seen how Bock will deal with the fallout from the latest SFAO report and whether or not he will manage to survive much longer in his current position as Director of the Federal Customs Administration.

“So far nobody in Switzerland appears to have noticed that – during his time as deputy head of the Swiss delegation on the EPO’s Administrative Council from June 2000 until the end of 2014 -Bock served his apprenticeship under the malignant influence of Grossenbacher, Battistelli and their cronies.”Many commentators have expressed surprise that an individual like Bock has been able to rise to such a senior management position inside the Swiss civil service. In particular, they have wondered where he acquired his authoritarian and confrontational management style which is rather untypical for Switzerland.

So far nobody in Switzerland appears to have noticed that – during his time as deputy head of the Swiss delegation on the EPO’s Administrative Council from June 2000 until the end of 2014 -Bock served his apprenticeship under the malignant influence of Grossenbacher, Battistelli and their cronies.

Perhaps it is nothing more than a coincidence, but in his current role as Director of the Swiss Federal Customs Administration, Bock now seems to be replicating a style of toxic management uncannily similar to that promoted by Battistelli at the EPO between 2010 and 2018.

“Perhaps it is nothing more than a coincidence, but in his current role as Director of the Swiss Federal Customs Administration, Bock now seems to be replicating a style of toxic management uncannily similar to that promoted by Battistelli at the EPO between 2010 and 2018.”That concludes our look at the delegates representing the Swiss Confederation in June 2013 – namely, the Administrative Council “alpha male” Roland Grossenbacher and his deputy, the future “General Bock” – both of whom seem to have been whole-hearted and enthusiastic supporters of Battistelli’s liberticidal project at the EPO.

In the next part we will turn our attention to the members of the French delegation who likewise endorsed the Vichyite "Strike Regulations" proposed by their compatriot Benoît Battistelli.

Links 13/10/2021: Sparky 2021.10 and New Archcraft

Posted in News Roundup at 10:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Microsoft and CNET confuse users with fake “This PC can’t run Windows 11” errors. Suggest buying a completely new computer.

        Microsoft and CNET confuse users with fake “This PC can’t run Windows 11” errors. Suggest buying a completely new computer.

        Mostly, if your machine doesn’t have “Security Theater Boot” and the “Toilet Paper Module” (I jest.) available to be turned on, you need to buy another computer.

        Except that you don’t. You could format Windows off your computer entirely and go on happily using GNU/Linux for many more years without fake incompatibility messages from your pals at Microsoft and Intel, where sales have been in the dumps and they need fake error messages to drive new sales.

      • Framework MarketPlace lets you buy replacement parts, expansion cards for the modular Framework Laptop

        The Framework Laptop is a thin and light notebook with a 13.5 inch display and an Intel Tiger Lake processor. But what really makes the notebook stand out is its modular design and emphasis on repairability and customization.

        When the Framework laptop went up for pre-order earlier this year, customers could choose from a couple of different configuration options. But now Framework has launched a Marketplace, which were you purchase Expansion Cards to further customize the laptop, as well as replacement parts that let you swap out keyboards, batteries, displays, and even motherboards and processors.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Life Changing Virtualization | LINUX Unplugged 427

        Wimpy stops by with a new tool that will change your virtualization game, and we share our thoughts on Ubuntu 21.10 and take the flavor challenge.

      • mintCast 371.5 – Minus One

        1:37 Linux Innards
        35:41 Vibrations from the Ether
        50:04 Check This Out
        53:53 Announcements & Outro

      • LHS Episode #434: Linux Install Media Deep Dive

        Hello and welcome to the 434th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss creating bootable images to start your computer with Linux or install the operating system. Discussion ranges from CDs to DVDS, USB flash drives and Micro SD cards. Also touched on are persistence, running distros from install media, dual booting and more. We hope you enjoy this episode and come back for the next one. Have a great week.

    • Kernel Space

      • 7.4M IOPS Achieved Per-Core With Newest Linux Patches – Phoronix

        Linux block subsystem maintainer and lead IO_uring developer Jens Axboe had a goal of hitting 7M IOPS per-core performance this week. On Monday he managed to already hit 7.2M IOPS and today hit 7.4M IOPS with his latest work-in-progress kernel patches.

        This month Jens Axboe has been making some remarkable improvements to the Linux block code for squeezing out every bit of I/O potential of the system. Yesterday Jens Axboe was hitting 7.2M IOPS with new persistent DMA map patches that also shaved off around 10% of synchronization latency.

      • Loongson Volleys Latest Patches For LoongArch Linux Support – Phoronix

        Chinese vendor Loongson continues working on their Linux kernel patches enabling the LoongArch processor ISA as their fork from MIPS. While early on when copying existing MIPS open-source code they were quick to call their new ISA “not MIPS”, in these later patch series they continue to refer to their ISA as “a bit like MIPS or RISC-V.”

        LoongArch debuted this summer with their Loongson 3A5000 processors and since then their engineers have been working to get the LoongArch support into the mainline kernel. Loongson though has ruffled some feathers of the upstream kernel developers with in some areas just copying existing MIPS code.

      • DAMON Extended To Offer Physical Memory Address Space Monitoring – Phoronix

        One of many exciting additions with the forthcoming Linux 5.15 kernel is DAMON landed as a data access monitoring framework. DAMON opens up new possibilities around proactive reclamation of system memory and other interesting features. Currently though it’s limited to monitoring the virtual address space of the kernel but a new set of patches out allow for physical address space monitoring as well.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Portable Computing Language 1.8 Released For OpenCL On CPUs, Other Accelerators – Phoronix

          PoCL is the open-source project implementing OpenCL for CPU-based execution as well as multi-device support by getting its Portable Computing Language implementation working atop NVIDIA GPUs via CUDA, AMD GPUs via HSA, and other back-ends by way of LLVM. PoCL 1.8 is out today as the newest feature release.

        • Mesa 21.3 Fixes Issue Of Some Games Having Transparency Issues Under Wayland – Phoronix

          Landing in time for the imminent Mesa 21.3 feature freeze / code branching is support for the EGL_EXT_present_opaque extension on Wayland. While this EGL extension may not sound too exciting, for some OpenGL games on Wayland it will address some transparency issues.

          The issue stems from this issue ticket opened during the summer by game porter Ethan Lee. The issue is around needing an EGL equivalent to VkCompositeAlphaFlagBitsKHR as “we’ve got a whole lot of games that are unintentionally translucent in Wayland.” Portal 2 is among the games as a result having issues under native Wayland.

        • Vulkan 1.2.196 Introduces H.265 Encode Extension – Phoronix

          Arriving back in April were the initial Vulkan Video extensions that included support for video decode of H.264 and H.265 while the initial video encode support was limited to H.264. Out today with Vulkan 1.2.196 is the new extension allowing for H.265 encoding with this new industry-standard video API.

          Vulkan 1.2.196 introduces the provisional VK_EXT_video_encode_h265 extension. This extension was worked on by AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA but at least under Linux only the NVIDIA proprietary driver currently exposes Vulkan Video encode/decode support. Presumably this morning NVIDIA will be issuing a new Vulkan beta driver providing timely support for this new H.265 encode provisional extension.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Radeon RX 6600 Linux Performance

        Today AMD is officially launching the Radeon RX 6600 graphics card as a trimmed down model from the Radeon RX 6600 XT that launched back in August. This new (non-XT) model has a suggested price of $329 USD and here is a look at how well this RDNA2 graphics card is performing under Linux.

        The AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics card features 28 compute units, 1792 stream processors, a 2044MHz game clock with up to 2491MHz boost clock, 8GB of GDDR6 video memory, and 32MB infinity cache.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Enable Virtual Emulated Desktop On Proton Steam On Ubuntu Linux! – Fosslicious

        Proton is an application released by Valve that is used to run Windows Operating System Games on Linux. We can install this application via Steam.

        To see a list of games that can be run on Proton, please visit ProtonDB. There are also some discussions posted by users regarding problems when running games using Proton.

        Proton was developed from Wine. So, some features of Wine can be used in this application. One of them is Virtual Emulated Desktop.

      • How To Install Snap on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Snap on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Snap is a package management system for installing and managing applications (called Snaps) developed by Cananoical for Linux operating systems. The system is designed to work for the internet of things, cloud and desktop computing.

        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 Snap on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • Install Docker and Portainer – blackMORE Ops

        Docker is a set of platform as a service (PaaS) products that use OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers. Containers are isolated from one another and bundle their own software, libraries and configuration files; they can communicate with each other through well-defined channels. Because all of the containers share the services of a single operating system kernel, they use fewer resources than virtual machines. The service has both free and premium tiers. The software that hosts the containers is called Docker Engine.

        Portainer CE is a lightweight ‘universal’ management GUI that can be used to easily manage Docker, Swarm, Kubernetes and ACI environments. It is designed to be as simple to deploy as it is to use. Portainer consists of a single container that can run on any cluster. It can be deployed as a Linux container or a Windows native container. Portainer allows you to manage all your orchestrator resources (containers, images, volumes, networks and more) through a super-simple graphical interface. A fully supported version of Portainer is available for business use.

      • Learn Usage of chown (Change Ownership) Command in Linux

        Under Linux, the ownership of created or existing files and directories is associated with a specific Linux system user, group, or other (file/directory permission access types).

        However, files or directories ownership verdicts are not final as it is possible to chown (Change Ownership) of any file and/or directory within the Linux operating system.

      • Learn Usage of chgrp (Change Group) Command in Linux

        If you are reading this article on the chgrp command, there is a high chance you have explored all the depths of Linux’s chown command and chmod command.

      • Linux Essentials: Background (bg) and Foreground (fg) – Invidious

        In this episode of Linux Essentials, we’ll take a look at how to send tasks to the background, and then bring them to the foreground.

    • Games

      • Space sci-fi point and click adventure Warp Frontier releases for Linux in November | GamingOnLinux

        Developed Brawsome emailed to note that their space sci-fi adventure Warp Frontier will be releasing for Linux (and macOS) in November following the Windows release in late September.

        Warp Frontier is a 2D point and click adventure set in the year 2215, in orbit around humanity’s newest extrasolar colony. It follows the story of war hero turned cop, Vincent Cassini, and his robot partner Mac, as they investigate the cover-up of a war crime by an old enemy that stole the lives of thousands, including his wife and best friend. The game has a particularly Australian flavour in both the writing and the voice cast, including the talents of Kevin Powe (Dead Static Drive), Aimee Smith (Eastern Market Murder), and Angela Tran (The Lake). The game also features an original soundtrack by Thomas Regin (Unavowed).

      • Space Crew: Legendary Edition releases as a free expansion on October 21 | GamingOnLinux

        Curve Digital and Runner Duck have together announced that Space Crew: Legendary Edition will arrive on October 21 as a free expansion to the base game with a ton of new content.

        Planned content includes a new “epic” Android Ambush campaign, the ability to take crew off-ship onto stations, outposts and new vessels in Away Team missions. There will also be a new star-system to explore with new missions as well as a range of special features and gameplay experiences.

      • Magical realist point and click adventure No Longer Home now on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        After the initial release back in July, No Longer Home from Humble Grove and Fellow Traveller has launched the Linux version. Funded on Kickstarter back in 2018, the original plan was to have Linux support so it’s good to see it land.

        Based upon the real life experiences of the developer, where they were forced apart so they decided to stay in touch and make a game together. Here’s what the story entails: “Bo and Ao are graduating university and preparing to leave the flat they’ve lived in together for a year. Thanks to visa limitations, Ao is forced to return to Japan, leaving Bo in England. Disillusioned by post-educational life and shoved aside by a government who doesn’t want them there, both are trying to come to terms with their uncertain futures. And deep under their South London flat, something grows…”

      • Doom Fighters turns the classic Doom II into a beat ‘em up | GamingOnLinux

        Doom mods do a lot of things from small adjustments to total conversions and Doom Fighters is one of the most interesting I’ve seen recently that turns Doom II into a beat ‘em up.

        Released on October 10 is genuinely a surprise. Giving you a 3D character model for Doomguy, you run around and beat up monsters. You get to punch, kick, grab enemies, fly away with them and more. The developer mentioned they do plan to expand the game to include powerful execution moves, alternate deaths, weapons and destructible environments. Sounds like multiplayer will be sorted eventually too.

      • Competitive action-puzzler Petal Crash Online arrives on Steam as a free update | GamingOnLinux

        Petal Crash Online is the free update to the original Petal Crash, a block-matching game where you push blocks around and smash them together to score points. It’s pretty great actually. A genre of games that isn’t overly popular on PC but this is easily one of the best.

        This new online mode was first launched on itch.io as a separate game but folks on Steam now have it free as an update download with it now giving you the option to play the original or the online mode when you launch it. The online client was built ground the ground-up to support rollback net-code for nicely synced matches.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • 25 ways you can contribute to KDE

          In honor of KDE’s impending 25th birthday tomorrow, here are 25 ways you can get involved to help make KDE software the best in the world!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Excuse me, your memory is leaking. GNOME Software running in the background, taking hundreds of MB of RAM.

          So I noticed today that GNOME software is constantly running in the background taking up to 435 MB of RAM.

          It does that (very) occasionally, unpredictably. I can’t figure out why. Usually, it’s only taking 30-60 MB.

          Obviously that’s a bit much for a program that’s only job is sitting there and telling me when updates are available or waiting for me to install a program, and obviously there are leaks, and indeed, all you apparently need to do is run valgrind on it and it will find some.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Archcraft October Release Available

          New ISO of Archcraft is now available to download.

          Many users faced issues with the September release, due to the bug in the installer. However it was not a big issue and can be fixed easily, But there are people who are completely new to Linux in general. So, this release belongs to them. This release fixes every issue on the previous release.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Harvester: Deploying virtual machines with Kubernetes

          I use Kubernetes. You use Kubernetes. We all use Kubernetes to manage containers. What you couldn’t do, though, is use Kubernetes to manage virtual machines (VM)s as well. That was another ballgame. Until now. SUSE, the European Linux giant with one foot in containers and cloud computing, has released the first production version of Harvester, which along with Rancher, SUSE’s Kubernetes as a Service offering, enables you to unify the delivery of VMs and containers

      • Slackware Family

        • Un-Googled Chromium update for Slackware 14.2 and -current | Alien Pastures

          After nearly two weeks of pulling my hair out I finally was able to build the newest Chromium in its un-Googled variant. You can find packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current in my repository on slackware.nl.

          It’s a jump from the 92 to the 94 release (94.0.4606.81 to be precise) but I simply did not have the opportunity to build a 93 release. In part because the un-googled repository maintained by Eloston did not offer release tarballs for a while. Extended leave of absence of the maintainer seems to be the issue which by now has been resolved by giving more people commit access to that repository.

          The un-Googled version of Chromium is incapable of “phoning home” to Google, by altering the source code and stripping/mangling all occurrences where that might happen. This is basically what Eloston’s project does.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Kube by Example expands training curriculum with new learning paths for Kubernetes developers

          We see Kubernetes as the foundation for hybrid cloud, and hybrid cloud as the future of IT. The technology remains among both the most loved and most wanted tools in this year’s Stack Overflow Developer survey. Given its prevalence and strategic importance, we have also seen developers seeking out and engaging with Kubernetes-focused training resources like Kube by Example, an online destination for free Kubernetes-focused tutorials, news and community interaction.

          As the company behind the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, Red Hat has backed Kube by Example and is diligently working to establish it as the premier destination for developers and operators to sharpen their Kubernetes skills in a hands-on environment.

        • Celebrating Ada Lovelace with 4 career lessons from women in technology

          Ada Lovelace is known as the first computer programmer. Mainly known for her work with Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine in the 1800s, she was the first to recognize that the machine could do more than simple calculation — that it could follow a set of instructions (a program) to perform tasks. While Babbage’s computer was never built, Lovelace is credited with writing up an algorithm to be carried out by such a machine. Now, every year in mid-October, we celebrate women tech pioneers on Ada Lovelace Day.

        • Igor Seletskiy Steps Down to Assure AlmaLinux Independence – FOSS Force

          Today Igor Seletskiy, co-founder and CEO of CloudLinux, announced that he’s stepped down from his role as chairman of the board at the AlmaLinux Foundation, and is also vacating his seat on the board of directors.

          The foundation, which he started earlier this year, produces AlmaLinux, a drop-in replacement for Red Hat’s CentOS Linux that Seletskiy announced in December, shortly after Red Hat said it was moving the Linux distribution from its traditional role as a downstream clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to sit upstream as RHEL’s “nightly build.”

          A replacement was needed because many organizations, including many Fortune 500 enterprises, use CentOS in production as a way to take advantage of RHEL’s stability without having to pay for support contracts.

          Both Seletskiy and the AlmaLinux Foundation are very clear there’s no palace intrigue behind this move. The new distro’s founder is stepping down not because of some power struggle within the organization, but because he wants the distro he birthed to have a life of its own as an independent project.

        • Why can’t I use sudo with rootless Podman?

          I was recently asked: Why can’t I run rootless Podman containers when I log into a user via sudo or su? The problem is a bit complex to explain, so I’ll start with an example.

        • Digital transformation: 3 myths the pandemic busted

          When the pandemic struck, most organizations had no choice but to accelerate their digital technology adoption. Many condensed into a matter of months what might otherwise have been years of consideration, strategizing, and change.

          According to a survey by McKinsey, the pandemic sparked a seven-year increase in the rate at which companies developed digital or digitally enhanced offerings. It accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and internal operations by three to four years.

          This shift sparked a new reality for today’s organizations to remain competitive and meet customers’ changing needs. But while enterprises have certainly dedicated more resources to the process of digital transformation, many misconceptions still remain.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 2021.10

          Sparky 2021.10 of the (semi-)rolling line is out; it is based on Debian testing “Bookworm”.

          This iso update provides:
          – all packages upgraded as of October 12, 2021
          – Linux kernel 5.14.9
          – Calamares
          – i386 libs removed from amd64 iso images
          – small improvements

          No reinstallation is required if you installed Sparky 2021.09, simply keep it up to date.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • pg_partman 4.6.0 released

          PostgreSQL Partition Manager (pg_partman) v4.6.0 has been released.

        • PostgreSQL: PGConf NYC 2021 Sessions Announced, Last Week for Early Bird!

          The first community PostgreSQL conference in many months is coming to New York City in less than two months! PGConf NYC is a non-profit, community-run and PostgreSQL community recognized conference being run by the United States PostgreSQL Association (PgUS).

          PGConf NYC delivers two days packed with presentations about PostgreSQL and related technologies, as well as the usual hallway and social track. PGConf NYC is being held December 2nd and 3rd, 2021 in New York City.

        • Psycopg 3.0 released

          I am extremely excited to announce the first stable release of Psycopg 3!

          Psycopg 3 is a complete rewrite based on the experience accumulated with the development and maintenance of psycopg2. Psycopg 3 targets all the current versions of Python (3.6-3.10) and PostgreSQL (10-14) and allows the use of modern Python development techniques, such as async and statically typed code. A list of the new features is available in the documentation.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Tender to implement C++ accessibility tests (#202110-01)

          The Document Foundation (TDF) is the charitable entity behind the world’s leading free/libre open source (FLOSS) office suite LibreOffice.

          We are looking for an individual or company to implement C++ accessibility tests.

          The work has to be developed on LibreOffice master, so that it will be released in the next major version.

          The current accessibility tests are rather incomplete and hard to maintain. Additionally, they are written in Java.

      • Programming/Development

        • abs function in C

          Why is it necessary for programmers to use the abs() function? It’s accessible in almost every programming language; But how much good is a function that just turns negative values into positive ones? You may find yourself wanting positive numbers occasionally, and the abs() function ensures that you will get them. The abs function is an abbreviation for “Absolute Value” inside the C programming language, and it specifies the distance of a number just on a number line beginning from 0 without taking the direction into account. The abs value of a number, or its absolute value, has always been positive, implying that a distance could never be negative.
          The abs () method returns the absolute appropriate value integers and is specified in the stdlib.h header file. To return the absolute value of a particular number, we must include the stdlib.h header file in our C application. Only positive values are returned by the abs() function.

          Consider the following scenario: If we have an integer number -2 and wish to find the absolute value, we may use the abs() method to have the positive number 2. In addition, when we have an integer number 2 and want to determine the absolute value, we can use the abs() method to return the very same value as 2. It gives the very same number if we provide it with any positive number.

        • Python

          • Printf-style debugging using GDB, Part 2

            The first article in this series introduced the GNU debugger, GDB, and in particular its dprintf command, which displays variables from programs in a fashion similar to C-language printf statements. This article expands on the rich capabilities of printf-style debugging by showing how to save commands for reuse and how to save the output from the program and GDB for later examination.

          • Python Wrapper to find all primes from a given interval via sieve of Eratosthenes released as C++ procedure
          • Intel Contributes AVX-512 Optimizations To Numpy, Yields Massive Speedups – Phoronix

            Intel has contributed AVX-512 optimizations to upstream Numpy. For those using Numpy as this leading Python library for numerical computing, newer Intel CPUs with AVX-512 capabilities can enjoy major speed-ups in the range of 14~32x faster.

            This summer Intel volleyed their initial AVX-512 code for Numpy and finally this week the code was merged upstream. This open-source AVX-512 code originates from the Intel Short Vector Math Library (SVML) that they open-sourced the code from. Intel has also been working on allowing Numpy to be built against SVML as a separate improvement.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • TSV to CSV on the CLI (if you really have to)

            Regular visitors to this blog will know that I don’t like the CSV format. It’s awful. In my humble opinion, data workers should aim to use invisible tabs (TSV) or visible pipes (PSV) as field separators in delimited text tables. Sometimes, though, data workers are required to convert a perfectly good TSV or PSV to a CSV. What to do?

            I don’t recommend opening the TSV or PSV in spreadsheet software and saving the result as a CSV, unless there are no leading or trailing quotes in the data items, or umatched quotes generally. The original quotes might well disappear in the saved CSV.

            There are a number of TSV-to-CSV programs for the command line. One is in Haskell, for example, and there also routines to do the job in Perl and Python. But if the individual fields in the TSV don’t contain commas or quotes, the TSV-to-CSV conversion is simple — use tr:

          • Useful Bash Commands You May Not Know About

            Bash is a fairly powerful language to program in, and is also quite easy to start off with.

            After all, it’s almost universally the shell you’re going to see when you open up your terminal. That makes it extremely useful to get accustomed to.

            There’s some powerful commands in Bash that you may not be aware of though, even if you’re fairly seasoned with using the language. All of these commands can serve quite useful purposes though, and can make the shell scripts you write cleaner, more maintainable, and just outright more powerful than they could’ve been before.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Adobe Gives a Free PDF Editor for Google Chrome and Edge Users

          Adobe announced via a blog post that Acrobat extension for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge now have basic PDF editing features, right inside the browser.

        • Security

          • Don’t penalise cybersecurity researchers!

            We wrote to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team regarding a provision in their new Responsible Vulnerability Disclosure and Coordination Policy that penalises cybersecurity researchers for vulnerability disclosures. In our representation, we highlighted how such provisions would create an atmosphere in which researchers would be reluctant about reporting vulnerabilities and recommended that a robust disclosure mechanism be implemented that protects researchers from harm.


            Such provisions contribute to a disclosure regime in which security researchers would be liable under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (‘IT Act’), and are penalised for disclosures of genuine security vulnerabilities. Section 43 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 penalizes anyone who gains unauthorized access to a computer resource without permission of the owner, and so fails to draw a distinction between malicious hackers and ethical security researchers. Thus, even when researchers have acted in good faith they may be charged under the IT Act. As we have mentioned earlier, companies have exploited this loophole in the said provision to press charges against cybersecurity researchers who expose data breaches in their companies. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, currently being considered by a Joint Parliamentary Committee, also fails to protect security researchers and whistleblowers. All of this leads to situations in which researchers are reluctant to report vulnerabilities for fear of being sued.

            Clause 7 of the Policy is also in conflict with the Information Technology (The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and Manner of Performing Functions and Duties) Rules, 2013 (‘2013 IT Rules’) which adapts a cooperative and collaborative approach. Rule 10 requires CERT-IN to interact with stakeholders including research organisations and security experts for preventing cyber security incidents. Under Rule 11(2), CERT-IN is obligated to collaborate with, among others, organisations and individuals engaged in preventing and protecting against cyber security attacks. Thus, by imposing complete and sole responsibility on cyber security researchers for actions undertaken during the discovery of a vulnerability, the policy is in conflict with the collaborative spirit of the 2013 IT Rules and so is a genuine impediment to effective collaboration.

          • Airline Passenger Mistakes Vintage Camera for a Bomb

            Back in 2007, I called this the “war on the unexpected.” It’s why “see something, say something” doesn’t work. If you put amateurs in the front lines of security, don’t be surprised when you get amateur security. I have lots of examples.

          • How to create an effective security policy: 6 tips

            Are your security policies boring? OK, that’s not entirely fair. Security policies are boring, especially to people outside of IT – in the way that children find their parents’ or teachers’ rules “boring.” There’s a limit to how interesting one can make “best practices for creating strong passwords” sound to the masses.

            The point of such policies is to educate people on organizational rules and the habits of good security hygiene. This is the administrative layer of security controls: all of the rules, standards, guidelines, and training an organization puts in place as part of its overall security program. It’s the human-focused component that rounds out the other two general categories of security controls, according to Terumi Laskowsky, an IT security consultant and cybersecurity instructor at DevelopIntelligence. The other two categories are technical/logical controls (your hardware and software tools) and physical controls (things like building or site access).

            Laskowsky notes that people tend to question the value of administrative controls. That’s partly because it can be difficult to measure or “see” their effectiveness, especially relative to technical or physical controls. But Laskowsky and other security experts generally agree that they are necessary. Security is not a steady-state affair – while our security tooling and processes are becoming more automated, a strong posture still requires human awareness, intelligence, and adaptability.

            “Raising our security awareness through administrative controls allows us to start seeing the patterns of unsafe behavior,” Laskowsky says. “We can then generalize and respond to new threats faster than security companies can come up with software to handle them.”

          • 10 Most Commonly Used FOSS Packages

            The Core Infrastructure Initiative Census Program II report released earlier this year identified the most commonly used FOSS components in production applications, with the goal of understanding potential vulnerabilities in these components and better securing the open source software supply chain.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Access Now report holds up poster child Aadhaar as ‘Big ID’ bugbear | Biometric Update

              A legal vacuum and vulnerable population allowed the creation of the world’s largest biometric digital ID project and built a myth which could be used by an entire industry to sell similar systems and dreams elsewhere, a new report argues.
              India’s Aadhaar biometric ID program is presented as a ‘cautionary tale’ for all the ills of ‘Big ID’ and its growing number of digital ID projects around the world in a new and in-depth report by campaign group Access Now.

              ‘Busting the Dangerous Myths of Big ID Programs: Cautionary Lessons from India’ attempts to knock the Unique Identification Authority of India project from its pedestal to ask why a digital ID is required in the first place and list what is wrong with “these centralized, ubiquitous, data-heavy forms of digital identification.”

            • Is Australia becoming a surveillance state? | IT PRO

              At the end of August, the Australian Parliament passed the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2021 granting the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) extensive new powers.

              Senator Lidia Thorpe, the Australian Greens spokesperson for Justice, said the bill enables both law enforcement agencies to be “judge, jury, and executioner”, adding there’s no explanation as to why these powers are necessary. She also highlighted that allies like Canada, New Zealand, the UK and US don’t grant their own law enforcement these rights.

              With this bill being brought into law with cross-party support, is Australia moving closer to being a surveillance state?

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Singapore: Withdraw “foreign interference” law or risk violating civic freedoms

        Today, Access Now and nine organizations are calling on the Singapore government to withdraw the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill (FICA) — a law that contravenes international legal and human rights principles, and will significantly curtail already-limited civic space in the country.

        “Protecting national security may be a legitimate aim — but FICA is not the way to achieve it,” said Raman Jit Singh Chima, Senior International Counsel and Asia Pacific Director at Access Now. “It unnecessarily expands the government’s already-wide powers to control and censor online and offline speech, and potentially allows for even legitimate associations to be criminalized and monitored. Civil society, journalists, academics, researchers, artists, and writers who are often supported by cross-border collaboration and funding will be hardest hit.”

        On October 4, Singapore’s parliament passed FICA, three weeks after it was tabled on by the Ministry of Home Affairs to purportedly “prevent, detect and disrupt foreign interference in […] domestic politics.” This move came despite serious red flags raised by members of the public, civil society, legal fraternity, independent media, political opposition, academia, and industry in Singapore that the law would undermine civic freedoms.

      • Access Now to Telenor’s Board: Stop the sale in Myanmar – Access Now

        Norway’s Telenor Group must not jeopardize the human rights of people across Myanmar through the “disposal” of its local enterprise. For months, Telenor has ignored civil society’s ongoing pressure to stop the sale of its Myanmar operations to M1 Group — a telecoms conglomerate notorious for extracting profits from conflict zones and operating without appropriate human rights safeguards. Access Now is urgently calling on Telenor’s Board to immediately reverse their decision, and stop the sale.

        As Access Now’s letter to the Board outlines in detail, M1 Group has demonstrated a complete disregard for human rights in other high-risk markets, and actively coordinates with oppressive regimes. The company’s owners face serious corruption allegations, and there is strong evidence to suggest ties between M1 Group and the Myanmar military.

        “No rights-respecting Norwegian company should operate with such disregard for the human rights of others,” said Brett Solomon, Executive Director at Access Now. “Leaving the people who depend on its services in the hands of a company with such a dubious history is an abandonment of Telenor’s principles of transparency and respect for human rights. Telenor’s subscribers, particularly those most at risk of persecution by the Myanmar military, deserve better.”

        Telenor’s hasty decision in July, 2021, to hand over its operations in Myanmar to M1 Group has alarmed human rights activists, including a group of over 400 Myanmar-based civil society organizations who filed a complaint with the OECD Norwegian National Contact Point, which has since accepted it. In August, 2021, Access Now, along with 44 organizations, laid out the potential dangers of this sale to the Telenor Board, calling for them to stop the sale and conduct human rights due diligence in line with international standards.

      • Singapore’s anti-foreign interference law will ‘substantially narrow’ civic space, rights groups say

        Fica will allow Singapore to ‘expand curtailment of civil freedoms to the detriment of its people’, said 11 groups including Access Now, Human Rights Watch and Article 19

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