08.31.21

[Meme] Facts and Laws Don’t Matter to Team UPC

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Are you telling me that something of the EU which strictly requires London can be passed without the United Kingdom in the EU?

Summary: Unless London is moving — literally relocating — to Italy or France (or Britain re-joins the EU), the UPCA is, by definition, simply dead and Team UPC is just lying and cheating in another desperate effort to salvage something* of proposed laws crafted by themselves (for self-enrichment at Europe’s expense); these lies are repeated almost every day, so more people need to call them out on it
____
* As noted in the latest Daily Links, hours ago we caught up with this post from Keltie LLP; in it, they’re lying about UPC prospects yet again; notice how Team UPC keeps pretending that the UK is still in the EU and will ratify (it cannot; in fact it de-ratified). These patent litigation firms and their largest clients have infiltrated and corrupted patent offices; next, with UPC, they want to do the same to courts. Not only administrative tribunals.

Team UPC Has Spread a Dozen or So Fake News Headlines With Patently False Claims, Which It’s Unable and Unwilling to Justify

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Naming and Shaming ‘Captured’ Publications That Knowingly and Intentionally Published Fake News About the EU’s Unified Patent Court So Far This Week

Summary: Classic Team UPC, dancing around the actual facts and ignoring constitutions as well as basic laws

“Pretty empty answer from this Preparatory Committee,” a reader has called it, sending along to us what he or she received in response to a polite/amicable enquiry. We omit the name from the correspondence below.

Dear ████████ █████████████,

Thank you for your interest in the Unified Patent Court.

For updates and information on the next steps of the project, please consult our website. Further information will be published in due course.

Kind regards,

UPC Secretariat.

—–Original message—–
From: ███████████████████████████
Sent: Wednesday 25th August 2021 10:09
To: Contact Unified Patent Court █████████████████
Subject: [UPC website contact] Question regarding UPC’s PPA entry into force and the UK

██████████████ (███████████████) sent a message using the contact form
at https://www.unified-patent-court.org/contact.

Dear Sir,

I am reading with attention this article published today on the UPC website:

https://www.unified-patent-court.org/news/what-decision-german-federal-constitutional-court-means-unified-patent-courts-timeplan

You mention the PPA, which still has in its Article3 the UK as a requirement to enter into force:

https://www.unified-patent-court.org/sites/default/files/Protocol_to_the_Agreement_on_Unified_Patent_Court_on_provisional_application.pdf

“This Protocol shall enter into force the day after 13 Signatory States of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court including Germany, France and the United Kingdom”

What is the list of actions in the right order in order to see this protocol into force?

Best regards,

███████████████████

“Further information will be published in due course,” they’ve said. What information? More lies? Or is Boris Johnson rejoining the EU?

Links 1/9/2021: Chrome 93, Rspamd 3.0, Red Hat Satellite 6.9.5

Posted in News Roundup at 7:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Pangolin Linux laptop now available with Ryzen 5000U – Liliputing

        The Pangolin laptop is a thin and light notebook from Linux PC maker System76. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Pop!_OS software, the notebook has a 15.6 inch full HD display, support for up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. And the Pangolin only weighs about 3.6 pounds and measures less than 0.8 inches thick.

        When the notebook first launched earlier this year, customers had a choice of AMD Ryzen 5 4500U or Ryzen 7 4700U processors. Now System76 has given the Pangolin a spec bump – it’s now available with Ryzen 5 5500U or Ryzen 7 5700U processor options.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Server Savior Squad | LINUX Unplugged 421

        A surprise server outage at the studio requires we jump into action with a few last-minute solutions and deploy one of our favorite open-source tools.

        Plus some community news, handy picks, emails, and more. It’s a special edition of the Unplugged show.

      • 30 Years Of Linux: What Does The Future Hold! – Invidious

        I’ve only been Linux for a few years but over this time I’ve learnt a lot about how my system works so I thought I’d be fun to look back at where Linux started, where we are now and where the future might take us.

    • Kernel Space

      • Mike Blumenkrantz: Im Done

        A while ago I blogged about finishing up ES 3.2. Then I didn’t mention it again because…well, I suppose I’ve only blogged four times since then, but I’m going to pretend this was part of my master plan to make everyone forget so I could build hype again.

        [...]

        Zink is done.

        The final boss has been beaten, there’s no more versions to support, no extensions left on my todo list, definitely no bugs remaining, and performance can’t possibly improve further.

        If you think you’ve found a zink bug, report it to whoever wrote the test or app you’re running, because the only thing I plan on doing for the rest of 2021 is playing Cyberpunk 2077 on Lavapipe.

      • Zink Now Achieves OpenGL ES 3.2 Atop Vulkan – Phoronix

        Mike Blumenkrantz in addition to addressing that big performance problem with Tesseract and other Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan improvements in recent days has now landed OpenGL ES 3.2 support.

        Zink can now provide a working OpenGL ES 3.2 implementation over Vulkan. With a dozen patches merged today for getting FBFETCH working and then updating documentation, Zink with Mesa 21.3-devel now supports OpenGL ES 3.2 with all necessary functionality in place.

      • Btrfs Adds Degenerate RAID Support, Performance Improvements With Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

        The Btrfs file-system updates have landed now in Linux 5.15 mainline with some exciting new features and improvements.

        The Btrfs file-system developers have been quite busy this summer with a rather active set of changes ready to go for Linux 5.15. Among the Btrfs changes that were successfully merged today into Linux 5.15 Git include:

        - FS-VERITY support as the kernel layer allowing transparent integrity and authenticity protection for read-only files. FS-VERITY already works with EXT4 and F2FS while now works with Btrfs too.

      • Realtime preemption locking core merged

        The 5.15 merge window is off to a fast start; stay tuned for our usual full summary. It is worth mentioning, though, that the realtime preemption locking code has been pulled into the mainline with little fanfare. This work began in 2004 and has fundamentally changed many parts of the core kernel. With this pull, the sleepable locks that make deterministic realtime response possible have finally joined all of that other work (though the kernel must be built with the REALTIME configuration option to use them).

    • Applications

      • Rspamd 3.0 Spam Filtering System Released with Reworked HTML Parser

        Rspamd 3.0 has been released as the newest version of this leading open-source spam filtering software and it’s coming with plenty of changes.

        Rspamd is an advanced high-performance spam scan software for Linux and Unix servers which delivers very accurate filter results. It is fast, open source, and designed to process hundreds of messages per second simultaneously.

        Rspamd 3.0 can work with the most popular mail transfer systems, such as Postfix, Exim, or Sendmail. Each message is analyzed by Rspamd and given a spam score. The higher the score – the more likely the email should be considered unsolicited.

        Compared to SpamAssassin, Rspamd is more actively maintained. Because it is written in C, Rspamd is much faster than Spamassassin which is written in Perl. Rspamd has a number of features that allow it to filter email on average 10 times faster than SpamAssassin, as well as provide better quality filtering. On top on that, Rspamd comes with a DKIM signing module so you will not have to use another software to sign your outgoing emails.

      • Phosh v0.13.1 released (and you can finally dismiss all notifications at once)

        Phosh is an open source user, mobile-friendly user interface originally created by Purism for the Librem 5 smartphone It’s designed from the ground up to work with small, touchscreen devices. It’s now available for a wide range of mobile Linux distributions.

        But some features that have been available for other mobile operating systems for years are still making their way to Phosh. For example, version v0.13.1, which was released today, is the first that has a “clear all” button that lets you dismiss multiple notifications at once.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Network Security Rocky Linux/Centos/RHEL 8 – Unixcop

        Hardening network security devices minimize the risk of unauthorized access into a network’s infrastructure. Vulnerabilities in device management and configurations exploit weaknesses for a malicious cyber actor to exploit in order to gain presence and maintain persistence within a network.

        In addition to, Hackers have shifted their focus from exclusively exploiting traditional endpoints to increasingly exploiting specialized and devices, including routers and switches. They do this through common weaknesses in configurations, specific routing protocols, and implanting malware in the OS.

        So Ensure that all network security configurations are correct. Including static IP address assignments, DNS, WINS, whether or not to register a specific interface, binding order, and disabling settings on DMZ, 00B management, or backup networks. Also, check CSF configuration.

      • Enumerating .gov.af

        Due to recent political events there’s an increased interest in Afghanistan’s websites. This is a tutorial on how to run sn0int on .gov.af to enumerate as many sites as possible for archival purpose.

      • How to see grep output in color with highlighting feature

        The grep command is the de facto tool for searching text files. However, when there are too many matches, finding the requested text in the search results can be difficult. So grep comes with –color=’auto’ option. It surrounds the matching string with the colour, thus resulting in enhanced output.Now you know grep can color-highlighting the matched text or words in its output. However, by default, that option is turned off. So let us see how to colorized grep by default for viewing the entire file with highlighted matches on Linux or Unix-like systems.

      • How to use Keybase to encrypt files on Linux

        Keybase is an end-to-end encryption tool for messaging and for file sharing. It’s an excellent, easy-to-use tool for those that want to quickly encrypt and share files with friends. Here’s how to do it on Linux.

      • Improve The CrowdSec Multi-Server Installation With HTTPS Between Agents | Linux Journal

        To address security issues posed by clear http communication in our previous crowdsec multi-server installation, we propose solutions to achieve communication between Crowdsec agents over encrypted channels. On top of that, the third solution allows server-2 or server-3 to trust server-1 identity, and avoid man-in -the -middle attacks.

      • What is Metasploit Used For

        A Metasploit framework is a sophisticated tool that cybercriminals and hackers can use to investigate systemic vulnerabilities on web servers. It can be simply modified and utilized with many operating systems since it is an open-source framework. It also includes tools for automatically comparing a program’s security vulnerabilities to its patched (repaired) version. It also includes anti-forensic and strong evasion features.

      • Linux Fu: User Space File Systems — Now For Windows, Too! | Hackaday [Ed: Better just use the real thing -- without NSA back doors and recurring data losses]

        One of the nice things about the Unix philosophy that Linux inherited is that the filesystem is very modular. That’s good, too, because a typical system might want a choice of filesystems like ext4, reiserfs, btrfs, and even network systems like nfs. Besides that, there are fake file systems like /sys and /dev that help Linux make everything look like a file. The downside is that building a filesystem required changing the kernel or, at least, writing a loadable module. That’s not as hard as it sounds, but it is a little more difficult than writing a normal program. Then came FUSE — file system in user space. This is a single file system module that allows you to create new file systems by writing ordinary code.

      • How to install the Brave Browser on Linux Lite 5.4 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install the Brave Browser on Linux Lite 5.4. Enjoy! For the commands and more,

      • How to install Super Smash Flash 2 – SSF2 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Super Smash Flash 2 – SSF2 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 Take Screenshots on a Chromebook – Make Tech Easier

        The process of taking screenshots on a Chromebook may be different from doing it on a Windows PC or a Mac – but not drastically different. You may be a little unsure how to do this in Chrome OS, as even the best of them don’t have a Print screen key, but it’s fairly simple to learn. Whether you want to grab a portion of the screen or the entire thing, there are multiple ways to take screenshots on a Chromebook.

      • Yet another gremlin: the zero-width space

        The gremlin detector script in A Data Cleaner’s Cookbook now looks for zero width spaces (U+200B, hex e2 80 8b, ​).

        Like a soft hyphen (SHY), a zero-width space (ZWSP) is usually non-printing and invisible, and indicates for a Web browser or word-processing program where a string of visible characters can be broken when wrapping a line. With SHY, the program will add a hyphen at the end of the wrapped line, while a ZWSP just means “You can break the string here when wrapping”.

        Also like a SHY (and a no-break space (NBSP)), a ZWSP can cause problems where it isn’t needed. A quick googling for “problem with zero width space” turned up ZWSP-caused issues with

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma Mobile Gear 21.08 Improves the Clock, Weather, Kasts, and Spacebar Apps

          Plasma Mobile Gear 21.08 is here to improve the Shell by addressing issues that affected the virtual keyboard and improve its reliability when its opened or closed, as well as by implementing an infrastructure to facilitate creation of custom quick setting buttons.

          Among the Plasma Mobile apps improved in this release, there’s the Clock app, which now lets users loop timers and specify custom commands that will run when a timer finishes. The Clock app now also offers Pinephone users a better landscape experience, and the animations were enhanced a bit.

    • Distributions

      • elementary OS 6 Updates for August, 2021

        Earlier this month we released elementary OS 6 Odin and we’ve been thrilled with the overwhelming amount of feedback we’ve received. So far OS 6 has been downloaded from our website over 75,000 times! Over the last three weeks we’ve been gathering up all of your feedback and jumping right into delivering the first batch of free fix and feature updates for OS 6.

      • BSD

        • Apple’s M1 Chip Boots NetBSD Operating System

          Today, thanks to the Twitter user Jared McNeill, we have witnessed a first boot-up process of NetBSD OS on Apple’s M1 processor. NetBSD is an open-source “UNIX-like” operating system, with an emphasis on speed, security and portability. This is one more step toward enabling the M1 chip for operating systems other than Apple’s own macOS.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE and Replicated Partner To Power the Next Generation of Enterprise Software | SUSE Communities

          Great things come in pairs. Most of us will agree that food is good. Many of us also believe that wine is good. However, the pairing of the right food with the right wine clearly results in a fusion of flavors greater than the sum of its parts. If you pair the right things together, magic happens.

          Rancher Labs, now part of Linux titan SUSE, has been a thought leader in containerization, and later Kubernetes, since the earliest days of Docker. This long history with containers and orchestration has enabled Rancher to carve out a successful place in a highly competitive market, propelled by a tight focus on adding value beyond “just the distro” or flavor of K8s being deployed.

      • Arch Family

        • Monthly Report (August 2021)

          There are many different reasons to be interested in Reproducible Builds. When I originally got involved in the project I wasn’t a maintainer in any Linux distribution yet, instead I was wondering if there’s a way to distribute pre-compiled artifacts as an independent open source dev without carrying all the responsibility alone.

          A few years later I’ve now published a manual called i-probably-didnt-backdoor-this. It contains a hello world program and instructions on how to reproduce the various pre-compiled artifacts, explains all build instructions and why these controls are effective.

          A similar project has been published in response by Michael Lieberman. This project also distributes binaries that can be rebuilt with very simple commands using NixOS and Bazel.

          The project also got a shout-out at debconf21 in a talk about Reproducible Builds by Holger Levsen (around 11:23).

        • [Older] Monthly Report (July 2021)

          “The project also got a shout-out at debconf21 in a talk about Reproducible Builds by Holger Levsen (around 11:23).” https://vulns.xyz/2021/08/monthly-report/

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.9.5 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.9.5 is generally available as of August 31, 2021.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

        • IBM sued again by its own sales staff: IT giant accused of going back on commission payments promise

          IBM has been sued by sales manager Mark Briggs for allegedly capping sales commission payments despite a written commitment not to do so, joining dozens of cases claiming Big Blue screws its sales staff.

          The lawsuit [PDF], filed in a US federal district court in Northern California on Friday, challenges IBM’s practice of insisting that it does not have a contractual obligation to pay commissions spelled out in written documents provided to its employees. It is at least the 30th lawsuit since 2014 in which IBM has argued its “incentive plan letters” are not enforceable contracts.

          IBM provides its salespeople with different compensation plans that outline sales quotas, and spell out how they will be paid. Those plans typically specify that a salesperson’s total compensation will be composed of something like 55 per cent base salary and 45 per cent commission, calculated as a percentage of revenue from sales deals closed.

        • Kubeflow Pipelines on Tekton hits 1.0, and Watson Studio Pipelines goes open beta

          Our last blog post announcing Kubeflow Pipelines on Tekton discussed how Kubeflow Pipelines became a primary vehicle to address the needs of both DevOps engineers and data scientists. As a reminder, Kubeflow Pipelines on Tekton is a project in the MLOps ecosystem, and offers the following benefits…

          [...]

          We are excited to announce the 1.0 release for Kubeflow Pipelines on Tekton (KFP-Tekton) project. Many features such as graph recursion, conditional loops, caching, any sequencer, dynamic parameters support, and the like were added to the project in the process of reaching this milestone. These new features were not supported in the Tekton project natively, but they are crucial for running real-world machine learning workflows using Kubeflow Pipelines.

      • Debian Family

        • Which is better; Ubuntu or Debian

          Linux is a widely used open-source operating system; it manages the connection between applications/programs and hardware like other Operating Systems. Applications make the requests, and operating systems map those requests to the hardware components. Linux operating systems have hundreds of distributions (distros); a Linux distribution is also an operating system made using Software collections based on Linux Kernel. The well-known distros of Linux OS include Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, MX Linux, Deepin, etc. The notable information is that Debian is a Linux-based distribution, and Ubuntu is a distribution based on Debian. Ubuntu and Debian are almost similar, but they have few differences, such as Ubuntu is inclined towards user-friendliness and Debian is more concerned with software freedom. In this piece of writing, we will present the difference between two distros, Ubuntu and Debian, and analyze which Linux distribution is better.

          Debian

          Debian is an old but very stable Linux distro: the initial version of Debian was released in 1993. In 1993, software engineer Ian Murdock issued an open invitation to various developers to develop a relatively new operating system based on the Linux kernel. This invitation was called the Debian Project; therefore, the development phenomenon of Debian is known as the Debian Project that includes hundreds of developers who contribute towards the development of Debian. Moreover, its features and stability forced the developers to consider it a benchmark for a few other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint. It is noted that more than 100 distributions of Linux are derived from Debian. It is developed by hundreds of developers that form the Debian project.

          Ubuntu

          Ubuntu is marked as the most popular Linux distro and was firstly released in the year 2004. Ubuntu is designed for computers, smartphones, and network servers, and it is used globally, such as in offices, homes, programming, IoT devices, TV OS, etc. It releases twice (April and October) a year with a gap of 6months. The exciting thing about Ubuntu is that it is based on the Debian distro of Linux: this relationship between Ubuntu and Debian makes them similar in many features and functionality.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 18 Recommended Open-Source Tools for Writers and content creators

        In this article, we want to share with you 10 free and open-source programs that are going to be great and help you if you are an author or a writer.

        Every tool here helps with different aspects from story boarding, actual book creation to artwork creation as well, and so we’re just to take a look at all of these best programs. We think would be valuable for writers and authors.

      • Jam: The time for Open-source Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces Alternative

        For someone who witnessed the old golden days of PalTalk, Clubhouse is a modern version of PalTalk with social networking characteristics rather than chat and messaging channels.

        In different words, it is a social network which focuses on real-time voice conversations for groups. Although, it was first lunched for iOS users and with invites, many users could not join unless with workaround, it gained popularity among the new generation, especially for discussing politics.

        But what about if a certain community wants to setup its own voice-based private social network? Here, the decision makers will face a problem with limited options: the idea is rather new and open-source developers need time to create the alternatives.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Stable Channel Update for Desktop

            The Chrome team is delighted to announce the promotion of Chrome 93 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux. This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.

            Chrome 93.0.4577.63 contains a number of fixes and improvements — a list of changes is available in the log. Watch out for upcoming Chrome and Chromium blog posts about new features and big efforts delivered in 93.

          • Google rolling out Chrome 93 on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS – 9to5Google

            Following version 92’s release on Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux, the next release of Google’s browser is rolling out. Chrome 93 is here today as a smaller update.

          • Chrome 93 Released With WebOTP Cross-Device Support, CSS Module Scripts – Phoronix

            Google is shipping Chrome 93 today as the latest stable version of their web browser.

            Chrome 93 brings WebOTP API cross-device support to the desktop where if connected via the same Google Account across devices can seamlessly handle one-time pass-codes sent to your mobile device. Chrome 93 on the developer front also exposes the Multi-Screen Window Placement API. This new API makes it easier to manage several displays and can be used for use-cases like presentations where one display may be showing a slide deck while another display is showing the speaker notes, managing multiple windows for tool panes like for image and video editors, or virtual trading desks with showing multiple related windows. With Chrome 93 this new Multi-Screen window Placement API is exposed as an origin trial.

      • CMS

        • 7 Open-Source CMS WordPress Alternatives

          Looking for a WordPress alternative to build your website? Look no further. This article will show you other Content Management Systems (CMS) you can use to build your site.

          Creating a website is a lot of work; there’s the aspects of designing, coding, and constantly updating your site. However, with a CMS, it doesn’t have to be the case.

          A Content Management System is a software application that helps you build and manage a website without calling for prior coding ability. The most popular CMS is WordPress, and it accounts for 40% of websites on the internet. However, it’s not the only CMS.

          There are other alternatives that you can use to build your website. This article will show you 7 open-source CMS you can use to create your website or blog.

      • FSFE

        • FSFE supporters Vienna: FSFE information stall on Veganmania 2021

          Due to the Corona lock down we couldn’t man the traditional information stall at any Veganmania summer festival in Vienna in 2020. So we where pleased that from 27 to 29 August 2021 we were able to be present on one again. Officially, over 12.000 people visited the event this time and we had many encounters with people eager to hear our arguments for free software. Many hadn’t even heard about free software before. Others knew about open source or Linux. And of course we also met many people who already use free software at home or at work. In fact, maybe even more than ever before on those information stalls – except of course for those on our local Linux Week events.

          [...]

          Once more our information materials proved to be useful for this not usually very technical audience. Especially our introduction leaflet to the idea for freedom in technology and our locally produced practical overview of well known distributions came in very handy. In addition, the guide for email encryption and the stickers and post cards with motives like: “I love free software, but I love you more …”, “There is no cloud, just other peoples computers.” and some other funny freedom related stickers found many happy new owners.

          A short time ago I found the domain distrotest.net and was very pleased by how easy this web page makes it to explore different free software distributions. It is simply fun to quickly test many desktops by starting virtual machines directly in your browser. The people I told about it, obviously liked this prospect too. I will certainly include a link to this in future versions of our distribution overview leaflet.

          Another well received leaflet we hadn’t had on our desk in previous years was a short practical guide on computer security for activists. In this we didn’t go into complicated advanced stuff but rather very practical things everybody can do to improve the trustworthiness of their used system. It elaborates on 12 very basic things like creating backups and using a password manager or using software as a service only if there is no other possible way of doing things. It also explains why relying on well known centralised social media platforms can be especially dangerous if you want to challenge powerful constitutions as an activist.

          In addition we made good use of our little local online list of free software experts on freie.it who are ready to help out in case people lack the time or patience to dig through the extensive amount of online documentation and guides if they get stuck at any point in their adventure into the joyful free software world.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Object Oriented Programming In Python

            Object-Oriented Programming is a fundamental programming paradigm based on the concepts of objects and classes that can perform certain operations through their methods. We’ll get into more details about OOP in this notebook.

          • Numpy Matrix Multiplication 

            In this post, we will see how to perform matrix multiplication using NumPy. Input parameters for numpy matrix multiplication are two array-like objects (it can be a numpy ndarray or python lists as well), and it produces the product of two matrices as output. Performing matrix multiplication on NumPy arrays is more efficient than performing matrix multiplication on python lists.

            Let’s start by importing NumPy and performing a simple matrix multiplication using NumPy’s matrix multiplication np.matmul.

          • Reproducible Python Bytecode

            Some Linux distributions (like Alpine and Arch Linux) are shipping something called “python bytecode” in their packages. It’s stored in .pyc files and is generated during the package build. They’re stored in __pycache__ folders and can be seen here:

  • Leftovers

    • 20 years after Aaliyah’s death, R. Kelly’s shadow looms – Vox

      Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, is at the center of the other big Aaliyah milestone of this month. On August 18, opening statements began at Kelly’s trial on charges of racketeering and sex trafficking. Aaliyah appears as Jane Doe No. 1 on Kelly’s indictment, and she is likely Kelly’s first known victim.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • QNAP Is Latest to Get Dinged by OpenSSL Bugs Fallout | Threatpost

            The NAS maker issued two security advisories about the RCE and DoS flaws, adding to a flurry of advisories from the vast array of companies whose products use OpenSSL.

          • HPE Warns Sudo Bug Gives Attackers Root Privileges to Aruba Platform | Threatpost

            HPE joins Apple in warning customers of a high-severity Sudo vulnerability.

            Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is warning a vulnerability in Sudo, an open-source program used within its Aruba AirWave management platform, could allow any unprivileged and unauthenticated local user to gain root privileges on a vulnerable host.

            Rated high in severity, HPE warns the Sudo flaw could be part of a “chained attack” where an “attacker has achieved a foothold with lower privileges via another vulnerability and then uses this to escalate privileges,” according to a recent HPE security bulletin.

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

            • The myths behind Linux security. [Ed: Typical FUD targeting the brand “Linux” while overlooking the fact proprietary counterparts have NSA back doors in them and notoriously poor coding. Anything to distract from what has just happened to Microsoft?]

              An introduction to this article appeared in the monthly Creating Connections newsletter put together by the women of The CyberWire. This is a guest-written article. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, not necessarily the CyberWire, Inc.

    • Finance

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Unified Patent Court Update [Ed: Keltie LLP lying about UPC yet again; notice how Team UPC keeps pretending that UK is still in the EU and will ratify (it cannot; in fact it de-ratified)]

          Last week, after years of delay caused by challenges in the German Federal Constitutional Court, legislation enabling Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement came into force.

          German ratification of the UPCA is a required step in setting up the unitary patent system and so this development moves the Unified Patent Court slightly closer to reality.

        • Checks needed amid Chinese UK trademark boom: sources | Managing Intellectual [sic] Property [sic] [Ed: Does the UKIPO work for the UK or for monopolies and China? This applies both to trademarks and patents.]

          Counsel from China and the UK set out possible reasons for mass filings at the UKIPO, the effect on the register and potential solutions

        • Fibrogen and Carpmaels defend anaemia drug in UK appeal [Ed: EPO patents remove medicine from the market]

          US pharmaceutical manufacturer Fibrogen has partially won an appeal in a dispute with Akebia concerning an anaemia drug. The six patents in question all relate to a medication used in the treatment of anaemia, with the patents forming two families. Family A consists of EP 14 63 823, EP 2 289 531 and EP 22 98 301, while Family B consists of EP 16 33 333, EP 23 22 153 and EP 23 22 155.

          Family A patents’ claims all concern a class of compounds defined for use in the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The claims of family B patents concern the same compounds, but for the treatment of anaemia of chronic disease (ACD).

          At the end of August, Fibrogen received approval from the European Medical Agency (EMA) for the drug Evrenzo. Its active ingredient roxadustat is an HIF-prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor intended for the treatment of CKD. Now the UK Court of Appeal has released a judgment in favour of Fibrogen.

        • Software Patents

          • [Older] Software Patents In Europe Remain A Delicate Issue [Ed: No, they remain illegal, but patent litigation firms and their largest clients have infiltrated and corrupted patent offices; next, with UPC, they want to do the same to courts]

            The decision establishes that the so-called COMVIK approach should be used for all computer implemented inventions.

            In February 2019, a question of patentability for simulation methods was referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal as G1/19. This was seen by the patent profession generally as an opportunity to soften the often very strict practice applied by the EPO for computer implemented inventions. To this end, the Enlarged Board of Appeal received 23 so called amicus curiae briefs regarding this case, many of them from international organisations and corporations such as e.g. Philips, Siemens, and IBM (see here under G1/19).

            The decision has now been issued by the EPO, and unfortunately it rather goes the other way. The decision establishes that the so called COMVIK approach (described in detail in the decision) should be used for all computer implemented inventions.

Links 31/8/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.08 and Giara 1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76’s AMD-Only “Pangolin” Linux Laptop Gets 4th Gen AMD Ryzen Mobile CPUs

        First introduced in mid-March 2021, the “Pangolin” Linux laptop is System76’s first ever AMD-powered portable computer that ships with an AMD processor, as well as an integrated AMD graphics card.

        The laptop was soon out of stock, but now it’s back and more powerful than ever as customers can now buy the Linux notebook with 4th Gen AMD Ryzen mobile CPUs.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Aura Package Manager For Arch Linux – Invidious

        Aura is a package manager for Arch Linux. Its original purpose is as an AUR helper, in that it automates the process of installing packages from the AUR (Arch User Repository). It is, however, capable of much more, including taking snapshots, restoring from those snapshots, and removing orphaned packages.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.14 is here, packing boosted security protection

        Days after the Linux kernel celebrated its 30th anniversary, Linus Torvalds, its creator and maintainer, put out its latest release with improvements to hardware support and security.

        “The celebrations will go on for a few more weeks yet, but you all may just need a breather from them. And when that happens, I have just the thing for you – a new kernel release to test and enjoy,” wrote Torvalds as he put out the new release.

        The development cycle of the 5.14 release didn’t face any major hurdles and completed on schedule in just under two months.

      • Linux Kernel 5.14 Released

        The 5.14 kernel update, which was released by Linus Torvalds on August 29th, includes notable security and performance improvements, reports Sean Michael Kerner in TechCrunch.

        Specifically, Kerner says, this release “includes a feature known as core scheduling, which is intended to help mitigate processor-level vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown, which first surfaced in 2018. One of the ways that Linux users have had to mitigate those vulnerabilities is by disabling hyper-threading on CPUs and therefore taking a performance hit.”

      • Linus Torvalds: Get ready for another 30 years of Linux

        Most outside the tech industry will be unaware that Linux has reached such a milestone, even though the project has had a huge impact on everything from smartphones to cloud computing. Torvalds poked fun at that lack of recognition in his usual Sunday release note for a new stable version of the Linux kernel.

        “So I realize you must all still be busy with all the galas and fancy balls and all the other 30th anniversary events, but at some point you must be getting tired of the constant glitz, the fireworks, and the champagne,” he said. “That ball gown or tailcoat isn’t the most comfortable thing, either. The celebrations will go on for a few more weeks yet, but you all may just need a breather from them.”

      • GNU Linux-libre Was Mistakenly Including Non-Free Code, So Releases Now Re-Spun + 5.14

        GNU Linux-libre 5.14-gnu was released today as the project’s re-base on the recently released Linux 5.14 upstream kernel. But prior supported GNU Linux-libre releases also had to be re-spun as it turned out this “100% free software” kernel was mistakenly leaving in some non-free kernel bits.

        As for the new changes with GNU Linux-libre 5.14, the Intel “i915″ kernel graphics driver needed various alterations for its de-blobbing, the new Emulex Fibre Channel Target (eftc) driver needed to remove support for loading binary blobs, and various blob name changes were needed across various drivers from AMDGPU to others.

        So now the GNU Linux-libre 5.14 kernel is all dandy and out there for use on systems that can run without depending upon any of these stripped out binary firmware/microcode blobs and other non-free software components.

      • GNU Linux-libre 5.14-gnu, and earlier -gnu1 respins
        Apologies for the delay in getting this announcement out.  It's been a
        very busy couple of days, and this announcement had a lot of ground to
        cover.  Thanks for your patience.
        
        
        GNU Linux-libre 5.14-gnu cleaning-up scripts, cleaned-up sources, and
        cleaning-up logs (including tarball signatures) are now available from
        our git-based release archive git://linux-libre.fsfla.org/releases.git/
        tags {scripts,sources,logs}/v5.14-gnu.
        
        Tarballs and incremental patches will shortly be available at
        <https://www.fsfla.org/selibre/linux-libre/download/releases/5.14-gnu/>.
        Freesh .debs are probably ready by now, and Freed-ora rpms are yet to be
        built.  BTW, Freed-ora still needs new maintainers.  Please let me know
        in case you're interested, and whether you'd like to share that task
        with others.
        
        
        The cleaning up scripts have been changed in very significant ways since
        the last -rc.  But first, the regular stuff.
        
        Cleaning up of i915 was adjusted on account of a renamed file; drivers
        for sp8870 and for other av7110 cards got moved in the upstream tree and
        cleaning up had to be adjusted.  An r8188eu file we used to clean up was
        removed, and documentation for the btqca driver got renamed upstream and
        cleaning up needed adjusting.  Upstream added a dts file specifying
        blobs to load for a new Qualcomm arm64 variant, and we've cleaned them
        up.
        
        Emulex Fibre Channel Target, eftc, is a new driver that seems to have
        inherited a blob-loading feature from its sibling lpfc.  Both build blob
        names from data read from the device, and then attempt to load them.
        That attempt is disabled in our distribution.
        
        New blob names were also found in btrtl, amdgpu, and adreno, and they
        have been cleaned up.
        
        Between rc7 and final, the Renesas xHCI driver got a change in the API
        used to load blobs, and our cleaning up scripts had to be adjusted to
        match.
        
        
        On to the unusual stuff.  A little over a week ago, Legimet raised flags
        on some potential nonfree code in GNU Linux-libre.
        
        Though some of the issues were about different standards (we don't
        generally regard poorly documented code or pure data as object code over
        speculation about the existence of an alternate, preferrable source
        form), but a couple of the issues turned out to be sourceless object
        code, and so we started the process of cleaning them up, and of
        respinning earlier releases that contained them.
        
        So now we clean up a firmware patch for vs6624 sensors, and several
        microcode relocation patches for powerpc 8xx.  Both are encoded as
        arrays of numbers in upstream Linux releases.  The latter had long
        seemed suspicious to me, but I had assumed those who started cleaning up
        Linux before I inherited Linux-libre had good reasons to leave it in.
        The former was entirely my own mistake.  I was likely fooled by
        apparently discontiguous address ranges, a pattern that suggests
        register initialization, but the multiple small fragments are actually
        larger contiguous ranges (thanks, Juca!), shuffled for reasons unknown.
        
        Thanks, Legimet, for reporting the issues.
        
        
        Back in the old days, when our releases were identified by -libre rather
        than by -gnu, it was not uncommon to respin older releases.  Sometimes
        we changed the cleaning up machinery and wanted to use it in earier
        active branches, for uniformity; sometimes Free firmware became
        available and drivers no longer needed to be cleaned up; other times we
        found or were told of errors as above.
        
        For such respins, we'd increment the -libre release counter, first to
        -libre1, then -libre2, and so on.  We hadn't had reason to do so since
        we became a GNU subproject, but the day was bound to come.  We now have
        -gnu1 releases for all of the active stable and longterm upstream
        branches: 5.13, 5.10, 5.4, 4.19, 4.14, 4.9, and 4.4.
        
        I've used the same deblob-check (our "database" of patterns to accept,
        flag or clean up) that went in 5.14-gnu, and backported various
        cleaning-up improvements that had been introduced over the years since
        4.4 first came up.  This took some back-and-forth testing and verifying
        and adjusting until I thought all of them had got cleaned up properly.
        
        While making the adjustments and hitting some differences in earlier
        versions, I've improved the cleaning up of x86 microcode documentation,
        and split various cleanup directions that used to be grouped under
        MICROCODE or similar.  These cleaned-up files are now listed under the
        actual configuration keys that enable them, even though the cleanups are
        conceptually related with microcode updates.
        
        After nearly 22 hours non-stop of cleaning up and backporting and
        adjusting and respinning and fixing and repeating, I had all of the base
        releases ready, so I pushed them to the git repo, and went for some
        sleep.  As I woke up, 5.14-gnu, 5.13-gnu1, 5.10-gnu1, 5.4-gnu1,
        4.19-gnu1, 4.14-gnu1, 4.9-gnu1, and 4.4-gnu1 tarballs had finished
        compressing, and I started respinning the latest patch release of each
        branch.
        
        
        Alas, I did not catch a cleaning up error in 4.4-gnu1's b43 and
        b43legacy drivers, caused by my failure to backport some long forgotten
        custom cleaning up directions from the deblob-4.9 script to deblob-4.4,
        that still carried a more limited form of cleaning up.  Without those
        directions, deblob-check dropped quotes along with b43's blob names, and
        syntax errors ensued when attempting to build those modules.  Jason Self
        hit and reported the build error, and so we got b43 fixed in
        4.4.282-gnu1.
        
        This was very important: b43 is one of the few WiFi drivers that works
        with Free firmware on some cards, and it was the need for retaining the
        code to load the Free firmware available for some variants, while
        disabling the code that loads the non-Free firmware that other variants
        require, that made its cleaning-up code so unusual, and deserving of a
        major rewrite with custom code between 4.4-gnu and 4.9-gnu.
        
        As soon as the respins were done, I pushed 5.13.13-gnu1, 5.10.61-gnu1,
        5.4.143-gnu1, 4.19.205-gnu1, 4.14.245-gnu1, 4.9.281-gnu1, 4.4.282-gnu1
        to the git repository.
        
        I also prepared erratum patches for 4.4-gnu1 scripts and sources; I've
        dubbed that 4.4-gnu1a.  It's not a release proper, just some patch files
        that will appear in releases/4.4-gnu1/errata-a/ in the download
        repository.  I figured I should get them in git too, even though they
        didn't go through the release process, so I applied the patches onto
        scripts/4.4-gnu1 and sources/4.4-gnu1, and tagged them as 4.4-gnu1a.
        There's a logs/4.4-gnu1a as well, with an ERRATUM.txt instead of
        README.txt, and no logs nor tarball signatures, but rather the patches
        and their signatures.
        
        Alas, I didn't notice the same problem affected b43legacy, and shortly
        after I pushed 4.4.282-gnu1 out, Jason reported the b43legacy problem
        was still there.  Ugh.  Unlike b43, that works on some cards with Free
        firmware, b43legacy doesn't work on any freedom-compatible cards, so if
        you hit the issue and wish to work around it before a fix is out, you
        might as well disable that module.  I expect to put out 4.4-gnu1b and
        4.4.282-gnu1b errata along with 4.4.283-gnu1, shortly after 4.4.283
        comes out upstream.  Hopefully this will be the end of it.
        
        
        Or maybe not.  If you'd have use for a respin of any of the other major
        releases (and latest stable/longterm patch release), please let me know.
        If you ask politely :-) I can try and give it a respin too.
        
        It will be eventually take over by the Linux git history librewrite
        (short for libre rewrite :-) project I've finally got going, that will
        greatly simplify and speed up the release process (just progressively
        integrate commits from upstream, fixing any freedom issues at point of
        the commit that introduces it), but it's still going to be a while till
        it catches up with active branches.
        
        (Incidentally, respins will become even more laborious under this
        arrangement, so let's hope they remain rare events, or that they're
        justified by newly-available Free firmware)
        
        
        The -gnu tarballs of past releases, that contain the newly-removed
        non-Free Software bits, are going away in a not-too-distant future (say
        from a couple of weeks to a month, when our infinite hunger for disk
        space gets close to filling up again the storage kindly provided by the
        FSF (thanks! :-).  At that point, only scripts and patches are going to
        remain within releases/old/gen6.
        
        The git tags are also going away, probably at about the same time: they
        aren't anywhere as space-hungry as tarballs, but those that contain
        non-Free Software don't belong in our git repository.
        
        
        In yet another news, we've been hanging out in the #gnu-linux-libre
        channel on libera.chat for a while now.  Unlike #linux-libre on
        freenode, that we'd used long before becoming a GNU subproject, the new
        channel is in the GNU namespace.
        
        I don't know whether there are still people on #linux-libre on freenode,
        but I haven't been hanging there any more, after being locked out by
        one-too-many server configuration changes.
        
        What I do know is that there are still people on #linux-libre on
        libera.chat.  We used that channel for a few days, but couldn't get it
        registered under that namespace, so it has a topic that follows the
        right pattern (I put it there myself, a while ago), but we lost ops and
        can't update it any longer.  I'm told this has got some people confused,
        so if you are one of the few people who are still keeping it alive,
        would you please vacate it, and join us on #gnu-linux-libre on
        libera.chat instead?  Thanks, talk to you there, ;-)
        
        
        For up-to-the-minute news, join us on IRC, or follow me on P2P or
        federated social media.  Check the link in the signature for directions.
        
        
        Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.
        
      • KSMBD As An In-Kernel SMB3 File Server Merged For Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

        One of the earliest pull requests sent in for the now-open Linux 5.15 cycle was proposing KSMBD land as the in-kernel SMB3 file server as an alternative on Linux systems to running Samba in user-space. At the time it wasn’t clear if Linus Torvalds would pull in this file server code to the Linux kernel but now he has indeed landed it.

      • Tachyum Boots Linux on Prodigy FPGA
      • Tachyum Boots Linux on Prodigy FPGA

        Tachyum™ Inc. today announced that it has successfully executed the Linux boot process on the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) prototype of its Prodigy Universal Processor, in 2 months after taking delivery of the IO motherboard from manufacturing. This achievement proves the stability of the Prodigy emulation system and allows the company to move forward with additional testing before advancing to tape out.

        Tachyum engineers were able to perform the Linux boot, execute a short user-mode program and shutdown the system on the fully functional FPGA emulation system. Not only does this successful test prove that the basic processor is stable, but interrupts, exceptions, timing, and system-mode transitions are, as well. This is a key milestone, which dramatically reduces risk, as booting and running large and complex pieces of software like Linux reliably on the Tachyum FPGA processor prototype shows that verification and hardware stability are past the most difficult turning point, and it is now obvious that verification and testing should successfully complete in the coming months. Designers are now shifting their attention to debug and verification processes, running hundreds of trillions of test cycles over the next few months, and running large scale user mode applications with compatibility testing to get the processor to production quality.

      • Linux 5.15 Adds Another Knob To Harden Against Side Channel Attacks – Phoronix

        With the Linux 5.15 kernel is a new build-time option to further harden the kernel around side channel attacks and information leakage. Enabling this option can have some (small) performance cost and a slightly larger kernel.

        The new option added for Linux 5.15 to further harden the kernel is CONFIG_ZERO_CALL_USED_REGS. Enabling this option and using the GCC 11 compiler or newer to build the kernel will enable the -fzero-call-used-regs=used-gpr compiler option.

        Making use of this “zero-call-used-regs” compiler option ensures any called-used register contents are zeroed prior to returning from a function. That focus is on ensuring temporary values are not potentially leaked outside of the function to reduce the chances of the register contents being used for side channel attacks or information exposures. As for the effectiveness of this new compiler option for building the Linux kernel, it reduced the number of ROP gadgets in the kernel image by around 20% and eliminating simple “write-what-where” gadgets.

    • Applications

      • Giara 1.0 Released – Reddit App for Linux Desktop & Smart Phone

        Giara, the Reddit app for Gnome, released version 1.0. It’s now based on GTK4.

        Giara is a free and open-source client for Reddit that runs on Linux. The software is written in Python 3 programming language. With GTK framework and libadwaita (formerly libhandy), it has a modern and adaptive user interface works on both desktop and Linux mobile devices.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Collecting process accounting logs on Linux with syslog-ng

        Process accounting logs are collected into binary log files on Linux. You can turn them into human readable format locally, using various tools. You can also use syslog-ng to read those files. Syslog-ng can parse those binary logs, create name-value pairs from them and store the results.

      • How to Set or Change Hostname in Amazon Linux EC2 Instance

        am a new Amazon Linux 2 EC2 instance user. My EC2 name was set to ‘ip-172-26-7-134’ during instance creation. But now, I would like to change the EC2 hostname to ‘stats1’. Can you tell me how do I remove ip-172-26-7-134 and set it to stats1 on Amazon Linux 2? How do I change the Amazon Linux Lightsail or EC2 cloud server instance?

      • Convert HEIF Images to JPG or PNG on Linux (With Commands) – Linux Nightly

        HEIF photos (those with the .HEIC file extension) can store image data more efficiently than JPG or PNG, which yields a smaller file size. But the glaring drawback is that HEIF doesn’t enjoy widespread support. If you have some HEIF photos that you need to convert to a different format, this can be done from the Linux command line.

        In this tutorial, you’ll see how to convert HEIF images to JPG or PNG with Linux commands.

      • How to Install Steam on Debian

        In PC gaming, Steam is the largest and most popular platform for video game distribution by Valve. Steam offers a native client for all major platforms to manage and play your favorite games from the Steam store.

        Steam is also at the forefront when it comes to Linux gaming. Since its debut on Linux, Steam has made constant improvements to enable playing Windows games on Linux. Most of the PC games are designed for Windows. Thanks to Steam Play and Proton (Steam’s version of Wine), you can play almost any of your favorite games on Linux with the Steam client.

        This guide demonstrates installing and configuring the Steam client on Debian.

      • How to Update Debian from Terminal

        Debian is a Linux distro composed of free and open-source software (FOSS). It’s developed by the Debian Project, a community-driven project. It’s one of the oldest operating systems based on the Linux kernel. Debian is at the core of many popular operating systems like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, MX Linux, Deepin, and much more.

        This guide will demonstrate how to keep Debian’s packages up-to-date from the terminal.

      • How to install and run traceroute on Ubuntu

        Network or system administrators have to properly look after the network, as they are supposed to provide an uninterrupted service within a network or system. For this, they must undergo several network checks to continuously monitor the network performance; several diagnostic tools allow network administrators to check the connectivity over the network, such as ping. However, another command is used for network diagnostics that is “traceroute” in Linux and macOS, while the same command is named “tracert” on windows OS. Traceroute command maps the route data from the source to the destination; the traceroute command is used to trace the paths that data packets take from their source point to destination point. In this detailed guide, we will explore the use of the traceroute command in Ubuntu with several examples.

      • How to install g++ on Ubuntu

        If you are a newbie in the world of computers and programming languages then it is important to know that your computer cannot “understand” any of the programming languages. The computers interpret only machine languages (ones and zeros). In this situation, a compiler can help you. A computer utilizes compilers for “translating” programming languages into machine language, or we can also say that it converts your source code into an executable file format for your system.

      • How to set up the Odoo business suite on Ubuntu Server

        Odoo is a business suite platform that runs on Ubuntu. With Odoo, users can boost their sales, run POS, timesheets, help desks, inventory, and purchases. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install Odoo on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        Note: Although this guide focuses on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, it is also possible to get the app working with newer releases of Ubuntu.

      • How to use a task manager in Ubuntu to monitor the system

        Ubuntu beginners frequently ask: Is there any task manager in Ubuntu? If yes, then how we can use the task manager for monitoring the system.

        Firstly, you should know what a task manager does. The task manager displays all currently active processes and their memory usage. It also manages processes and provides you the option of terminating or killing a process. Although an experienced Ubuntu user prefers the command-line method of locating processes and memory use, you do not have to use it when you are just getting started with Ubuntu. Instead, you can utilize the “System Monitor” that serves as a task manager in your Ubuntu system.

        In this article, we will talk about how to use a task manager in Ubuntu to monitor the system. So let’s start!

      • How to use cd command in terminal

        The task manager displays all currently active processes and their memory usage. It also manages processes and provides you the option of terminating or killing a process. Although an experienced Ubuntu user prefers the command-line method of locating processes and memory use, you do not have to use it when you are just getting started with Ubuntu. Instead, you can utilize the “System Monitor” that serves as a task manager in your Ubuntu system. This article explains how to use task manager to monitor system activities in Ubuntu.

      • How to use strings command in Ubuntu

        Checking a binary or executable file for extracting human-readable text is not something that we do in our day-to-day life, but what if you are asked for it? In Ubuntu, the “strings” command allows you to see all the human-readable characters present in a binary/executable file. The “strings” command is primarily used to determine the type of file, but it can also be utilized to extract text. For example, you have a file saved in an unusual binary format; you can extract the text you entered in this file using the “strings” command without encountering non-printable characters.

        A question can come to your mind: why do we add text in the executable files? Many developers packaged the binary files when software or application is released. However, it is an excellent idea to include ASCII text in that binary file. It is beneficial for the developers and users to gain a better understanding of the executable file. As a result, the “strings” command will help them determine the content of these non-text files.

        In this article, we will talk about how to install and use strings on your Ubuntu system. So, let’s move ahead!

      • What is Tree Command in Ubuntu

        The command-line interface of Linux-based distros works as a catalyst to the actions performed by the users. Like other distros, Ubuntu also supports a variety of commands, and among those, directory handling commands are used to handle the operations related to directories, such as the “cd” command is used to change the current working directory; “mkdir” command is used to make a new directory. Similarly, tree command prints directories, sub-directories, and their content in a tree-like structure. It is almost like an “ls” command, but the main difference is the print pattern of both commands: the “ls” command lists down the content, whereas the “tree” command shows the output in a tree-like hierarchical structure. In this demonstration, we will provide a deep insight into the usage of tree commands with examples. So, let’s start with the installation of the tree:

      • How to Use Ubuntu Timedatectl

        Every computing device has time and date as the very basic service provided by them. Date/time and time zone are interlinked phenomena in computing devices as date/time depends on the time zone selected by the user. The date and time are automatically fetched according to the time zone; however, the users can also change them manually.

      • Install Laravel Framework on Debian 11

        Laravel is a free and open-source PHP web framework based on the Symfony framework. It is used for the faster development of web applications. Laravel makes it easier to perform some common tasks such as authentication, routing, sessions and caching. It has several useful features including, Artisan, Object-relational mapping, Template Engine, MVC Architecture, Unit-Testing, and Database Migration System.

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install Laravel on Debian 11.

      • How to use the netplan command on Ubuntu

        In Ubuntu 17.10, a new command-line network configuration tool was introduced known as “Netplan”. Netplan makes it simple to configure and manage network settings in your Ubuntu system. It also permits you the YAML abstraction for configuring a network interface. It interacts with the kernel through the systemd-networkd and NetworkManager daemons which are also known as renderers. You have to choose any one from both of them. Netplan reads the network configurations from “/etc/netplan/*.yaml” files, which can save the configuration settings for all network interfaces.

        If you use the netplan command on Ubuntu, then It becomes easy to restart and change network settings. Netplan is also good for automation (humans and programs can read YAML). This write-up is focusing on how to use the netplan command on Ubuntu.

      • How to use Ubuntu HWClock

        Linux supports two types of clocks in any system; one is a hardware clock, and the other is a software clock. The hardware clock functioning is independent of the operating system, and it keeps on running even if the system is turned off. The moment you turn on your machine, the software clock gets the information from the hardware clock and thus shows the date and time as saved in the hardware clock. In this article, we will briefly discuss the use of hwclock in Ubuntu, along with its various functions and options too.

      • How to Install and Use PostgreSQL 13 on Rocky Linux

        PostgreSQL is a free and open-source database management system focusing on extensibility and SQL compliance. PostgreSQL is an advanced and enterprise-class RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) supports both SQL (relational) and JSON (non-relational) querying.

        It’s a highly stable database management system backed by more than 20 years of development by the open-source community and has a strong reputation among developers and system admins for its reliability, flexibility, feature robustness, and performance.

        PostgreSQL is used as a primary database for web applications, mobile applications, and analytic applications. Some notable PostgreSQL users around the globe are Reddit, Skype, Instagram, Disqus, The Guardian, Yandex, Bloomberg, Nokia, BMW, etc.

        In this guide, you will learn how to install the PostgreSQL database on Rocky Linux, securing the PostgreSQL database deployment, and basic usage of PostgreSQL queries for managing users and databases.

      • How to Install Java 16 (OpenJDK 16) on Debian 11

        Java is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented multipurpose programming language that is popular due to the design of having lesser implementation dependencies, meaning that the compiled Java code can be run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. Java is also fast, secure, and reliable, therefore. It is widely used for developing Java applications in laptops, data centers, game consoles, scientific supercomputers, cell phones, etc.

      • How To Install ImageMagick on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install ImageMagick on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, ImageMagick is a free and open-source image manipulation tool. It is mainly used to create, edit, compose or convert bitmap images. Its uses include resizing, rotating, shearing images, applying various special effects, or drawing text, lines, and curves. Its flexibility can be realized from the fact that it can be used across multiple different platforms such as run on Windows and Mac OS, as well as on Android OS and iOS.

        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 ImageMagick on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How To Install Gdu Disk Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Gdu Disk Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Gdu (Go Disk Usage) is very similar to Ncdu, a popular console disk usage analyzer, with one major difference: speed. Gdu makes use of parallel processing, being specially created for solid-state drives (SSD). It also works with hard disk drives (HDD), but its performance gain compared to other tools is not so great in this case.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Gdu Disk Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Amazon s3 tutorial – Creating | Managing | Listing | Deleting Simple Storage bucket
      • You can execute commands from within the nano text editor in Linux – TechRepublic

        Jack Wallen is ready to help you with the built-in Execute tool in nano when you want to make it a bit more flexible.

      • How to Install Subversion & USVN (Apache SVN) on CentOS 8 – Unixcop

        Subversion is an open source version control system. Founded in 2000 by CollabNet, Inc., the Subversion project and software have seen incredible success over the past decade. Subversion has enjoyed and continues to enjoy widespread adoption in both the open source arena and the corporate world.

        User-Friendly USVN is a web interface written in PHP used to configure Subversion repositories.It’s goal is to ease the creation of new projects without having to use the command line interface, therefor, maybe without privileged access to the server. USVN will then generate the list of users allowed to access your source code. This enable the delegation of rights to administrate Subversion repositories.

      • How To Install and Set up Yii PHP Framework on Ubuntu Linux

        The Yii is the acronym of Yes It Is, which is a great free and open-source (FOSS) Model–view–controller, a PHP framework tool for PHP development. It’s a tool for developing PHP modules and applications. The Yii PHP framework is available for both Ubuntu and Windows. It can rapidly build up large PHP modules, and its component-oriented work functionalities have made it unique and user-friendly. The Yii PHP Framework works with an entry script, application, controller, filter, and model layer.

      • What is a container image?

        Containers are a critical part of today’s IT operations. A container image contains a packaged application, along with its dependencies, and information on what processes it runs when launched.

        You create container images by providing a set of specially formatted instructions, either as commits to a registry or as a Dockerfile. For example, this Dockerfile creates a container for a PHP web application…

      • Firefox Tip: turn off accessibility services to improve performance

        Firefox users who are experiencing performance issues while using the Firefox web browser on desktop systems and on Android, may improve performance by disabling the browser’s accessibility services.

        [...]

        To make matters worse, Mozilla did remove options to control the desktop browser’s accessibility settings from the preferences some time ago. While it is still possible to turn them off using about:config, it is probably not something that most users know about or feel comfortable using.

        Reports suggest that some users managed to reduce the Firefox web browser’s memory usage after disabling the service; others on the other hand reported that changing the setting did not impact memory usage. It may be a good idea to test this on the local system to find out if the local Firefox installation is affected by the issue.

      • TCP IP header flags list Tutorial for beginners

        TCP IP header refers to Transmission Control Protocol is responsible to make communication between devices and send data over the network.

        It provides reliable, ordered, and error check communications. Major internet applications rely on this protocol such as World wide web, email, remote administration, file transfer, etc. Applications that don’t require reliability use UDP (User Datagram Protocol).

    • Games

      • The classic gravity-reversing platformer VVVVVV from Terry Cavanagh gets a huge upgrade | GamingOnLinux

        After being released for more than 10 years, VVVVVV is back with a big new version which follows on from the source code being released back in early 2020. This marks the first update to the game in around seven years too. Not something that you will see too often for a classic indie platformer.

      • Slick free strategy game The Fertile Crescent is getting a new bigger paid version | GamingOnLinux

        The Fertile Crescent has been an absolutely brilliant retro-styled Bronze Age real-time strategy game that’s currently free and the future of it has been secured.

        While it’s currently free and a hobby project for the team, it’s still a very high quality game that feels like a low-res Age of Empires but with some mechanics that set them apart. Writing in a new update post on itch.io, the team shared that “TFC will be leveling up from a hobby project to a full time job for us thanks to a publishing deal we signed earlier this year”. The recent updates to the game have remained free and they’ve been pretty big, which is thanks to this publisher.

        Now they’re working on a last free update to the current version of the game, to then move onto building it up into a commercial version. The good news is that this one will stick around and get bug fixes but the majority of the time will be on the upcoming paid-for bigger version that will eventually release on Steam.

      • Surviving Mars: Below & Beyond will have you dig below the surface and on asteroids | GamingOnLinux

        Releasing on September 7, Surviving Mars: Below & Beyond is the brand new expansion for the Martian city-builder from Paradox Interactive and newer developer Abstraction (who took over from Haemimont Games).

        Giving the relaxed building sim some much needed expansion into other areas, Below & Beyond enhances colony management by going below the surface and beyond the horizon to build underground bases, mine asteroids, and gather rare resources.

        “When we started planning out what was next for Surviving Mars, we really wanted to dive deep into the parts of the Red Planet we had not already explored. We know we had to come out swinging and Surviving Mars: Below & Beyond expands gameplay in a meaningful way,” says Magnus Lysell, Product Manager for Surviving Mars at Paradox Interactive. “The possibilities are endless and we’re eager to continue exploring the Red Planet with our players.”

      • This upcoming indie game is basically My Little Pony meets Pokemon and I want it | GamingOnLinux

        I don’t know how we missed this but Battle Gem Ponies from Yotes Games only has a few days left on Kickstarter, it’s fully funded and it’s pretty much My Little Pony styled creatures in a Pokemon style RPG. Honestly didn’t ever think I would need something like this but now I do.

        According to the developer “Battle Gem Ponies is a tale of friendship with themes of unbreakable bonds, mankind’s role within nature, and healthy competition” along with magical ponies you catch and collect, which you then get to beat the crap out of other ponies.

      • Kart Racing Game SuperTuxKart 1.3 Adds Nintendo Switch Support

        The popular kart racing game SuperTuxKart 1.3 now release candidate is out!

        After a year of development, the game now is ported to Switch though you need to have Homebrew installed. So the 3D open-source arcade racer now works on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS (beta), and Nintendo Switch.

      • SuperTuxKart 1.3 Features New Karts, New Arenas, and Nintendo Switch Support

        A new version of famed FOSS racing game SuperTuxKart is zipping towards release, with a release candidate build now available to download.

        SuperTuxKart 1.3 features a number of exciting improvements like updated karts for several of the game’s famous FOSS faces (including Gnu); a new playable character in Pepper, from libre web comic Pepper&Carrot; plus a pair of new arenas, both of which support multiplayer online ‘capture the flag’ mode.

        The Ancient Colosseum Labyrinth battle arena is inspired by the famous Roman colosseum, while the Alien Signal arena is based on the real-world location of the extra-terrestrial SETI program.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22.5, Bugfix Release for August

          Plasma 5.22 was released in June 2021 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

          This release adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include…

        • KDE Plasma 5.23 Promises Plenty of Subtle Improvements

          KDE Plasma 5.23 is set for release on October 7, 2021, and it promises several (although subtle) improvements across the board. This new release is powered by Qt 5.15 and KDE Frameworks version 5.86. Along with the improvements found in those software stacks, there’s plenty of goodness to go around within KDE itself.

          Many of the new features and improvements are all about refinement, so you probably won’t see anything that’s mind-blowing or drastic. For example, one of the highlighted new features is that you can specify an alternative accent color than that which is configured by the theme. Other subtle newness includes the ability to choose list or grid view for all Kickoff items (so it no longer only applies to Favorites), a new QML-based Overview effect has been introduced that is similar to GNOME’s Workspace view, the Dolphin file manager can be configured to display hidden files/folders first, and selected items can be deleted from the clipboard popup.

        • Plasma Mobile Gear 21.08 is Out

          The Plasma Mobile team is happy to present the Plasma Mobile updates for August 2021. Read on to find out about all the new stuff included in this release…

          [...]

          Kasts, Plasma Mobile’s podcast app, apart from getting some minor bugfixes, now lets you change the location where the downloaded podcast episodes and cached images are saved. These files can take up a lot of disk space, so it is nice to be able to store them elsewhere on systems with limited home folder disk space. The related settings now show the disk space used by episodes and images, and allows to clear the image cache.

        • KDE Dev-Vlog 3: The Final of the Gwenview Trilogy

          For several weeks we have been working on the user interface of KDE’s standard image viewer Gwenview and now the date for the release is just around the corner. In this video five remaining problems are pointed out. We were able to implement solutions to most of them in time for the Gwenview 21.08 release.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Apps For GNOME Launched

          A new website called Apps For GNOME has been launched with the intention of showcasing the best applications in the GNOME ecosystem.

          Until now there has been no single listing of the apps available for GNOME, and the intention of Apps For GNOME is that it will provide potential users with a comprehensive directory.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Here’s What’s New In The Latest EndeavourOS Release

          If you’re into Linux, you might know EndeavourOS. It is an Arch-based Linux distribution that focuses on improving the Linux gaming scene. A new version of the same is out, bringing a bunch of new features and improvements. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest EndeavourOS release.

          EndeavourOS 2021.08.30: What’s New?

          New App Versions

          The Calamares installer has been updated to version 3.2.41.1-9 and Firefox to 91.0.2.1. The distro ships with Linux kernel 5.13.12.arch1-1, mesa 21.2.1-1 driver, and the latest Nvidia-dkms 470.63.-1-3.

        • Say goodbye to Microsoft Windows 11 and wave hello to Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.6

          Thankfully, there is an arguably better option — just switch to Linux! Yes, modern Linux-based operating systems are very well-supported and most will run great on aging hardware (unlike Windows 11). Linux Lite, which uses the Xfce desktop environment, is one of the best Linux distributions for Windows-switchers, as it is lightweight, modern, and familiar.

          Today, Linux Lite 5.6 FINAL becomes available, and it is based on Ubuntu 20.04.3. The operating system uses Linux kernel 5.4.0-81, but other kernels are available too, ranging from 3.13 to 5.14. This new version of Linux Lite also comes with some excellent software packages, such as Firefox 91.0.1, Thunderbird 78.11.0, LibreOffice 6.4.7.2, VLC 3.0.9.2, and GIMP 2.10.18.

        • Linux Lite 5.6 Final Released

          Linux Lite 5.6 Final is now available for download and installation. This release includes updates to the Help Manual – our extensive, easy to follow Linux Lite guide, you can now install Linux Lite directly from Lite Welcome, an updated Papirus icon theme, 2 new features added to Lite Tweaks, the introduction of the ‘Pay what You Want’ digital download model, 7 new wallpapers, Python default version now set to Python3, and a host of bug fixes and enhancements for our target audience. If you’re coming from Windows, you’ll find this to be a solid, stable release that will help make your transition to a linux based operating system, user friendly.

        • Linux Lite 5.6 Released

          Linux Lite 5.6, based on the recently released Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS is now available for the download. Linux Lite is one of the popular lightweight Linux based operating system that runs well on low-end hardware.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Subscription Manager and Simple Content Access: tagging and reviewing systems

          We showed you how to enable Simple Content Access (SCA) and register your Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with Insights. In this post, we will look at the use of groups in custom tags with Insights.

        • Network Controls in the DevSecOps life cycle

          Network controls and segmentation methods allow you to control, segregate, and visualize Kubernetes traffic. These methods help you isolate tenants and better secure communications flow between containerized applications and microservices.

          August is “Network Controls” month in Red Hat’s monthly Security series! Since March 2021, the Red Hat Security Ecosystem team has published monthly articles and videos on DevOps Security topics to help you learn how Red Hat can help you master the practice called DevSecOps.

          By explaining how to assemble Red Hat products and introducing our security ecosystem partners, we aim to aid in your journey to deploying a comprehensive DevSecOps solution.

        • Why should I choose Quarkus over Spring for my microservices? | Red Hat Developer

          As interest grows in microservices and containers, Java developers have struggled to make applications smaller and faster to meet today’s demands and requirements. In the modern computing environment, applications must respond to requests quickly and efficiently, be suitable for running in volatile environments such as virtual machines or containers, and support rapid development. Because of this, Java, and popular Java runtimes, are sometimes considered inferior to runtimes in other languages such as Node.js and Go.

          The Java language and platform have been very successful over the years, preserving Java as the predominant language in current use. Analysts have estimated the global application server market size at $15.84 billion in 2020, with expectations of growing at a rate of 13.2% from 2021 to 2028. Additionally, tens of millions of Java developers worldwide work for organizations that run their businesses using Java. Faced with today’s challenges, these organizations need to adapt and adopt new ways of building and deploying applications. Forgoing Java for other application stacks isn’t a choice for many organizations. It would involve re-training their development staff and re-implementing processes to release and monitor applications in production.

        • Building reactive systems with Node.js

          If you do a web search for computing terms that go with the word reactive, you’ll find a wealth of phrases: Reactive streams, reactive systems, reactive messaging, and reactive programming are examples. The word reactive is also associated with other popular concepts like non-blocking I/O, functional programming, and backpressure.

          Although those are all interesting topics, studying reactive systems is a good place to start. This concept was defined by the Reactive Manifesto as an architectural style for distributed systems that are responsive, elastic, resilient, and message-driven. Other constructs such as reactive streams (an asynchronous and non-blocking backpressure protocol) and reactive programming (such as reactive extensions) are implementation details.

          Although the Reactive Manifesto is language-agnostic and framework-agnostic, Node.js is an excellent framework for carrying out its principles. This article provides general background on Node.js in reactive systems, then takes you step-by-step through a reactive service built with Node.js and Apache Kafka.

        • Use automation to combat your increased workload

          So what can you do to improve the situation and make better use of your time? The answer can be complex and, in some cases, require the company to address it systemically. For other problems, you can use your technical expertise to improve the way you work by automating these repetitive, mundane tasks.

          When we think of automating an IT process, it’s normal to evaluate spending the time and effort to develop automation artifacts to address large or complex issues. There are many benefits to doing this. You can realize the same advantages by applying automation to simple and repetitive tasks, especially when you can reuse the automation to manage hundreds or thousands of systems.

      • Debian Family

        • Armbian 21.08 Released with Xfce, Cinnamon, and Budgie Desktops, Debian Bullseye Builds

          The Armbian 21.08 release appears to be a very important update as it comes with upgraded builds based on the latest Ubuntu and Debian GNU/Linux releases, such as Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) and Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye,” as well as new desktop environment flavors like Xfce, Cinnamon, and Budgie.

          This move puts Armbian on-par with many well-known distributions that offer support for ARM devices, and, on top of that, it lets users easily create their own Linux distribution. In addition to the desktop flavors, the Armbian 21.08 release also comes with Minimal and Server editions for advanced users.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • MutantC V4 – DIY Raspberry Pi Handheld PC adds ESP32-S2 module – CNX Software

          Earlier this year we wrote about Mutantc V3 DIY Raspberry PI UMPC after noticing a talk about it at FOSDEM 2021 online conference. MutantC V4 is a new version of the Raspberry Pi handheld PC that is both easier to build and cheaper.

          The new model replaces the Arduino Pro Micro board with a more compact ESP32-S2 module and offers a Lite version with even fewer parts (notification LED, IR blaster, IMU, etc..) to make it easier to build.

        • T-Watch 2021 ESP32 round smartwatch features ESP32 SoC, touchscreen, 500mAh battery – CNX Software

          Back in May, LilyGo started selling “Paul’s 3D Things” Open-Smartwatch open-source hardware ESP32 watch as a kit with the board and a round display, but no case, wristband, or battery, although now a smartwatch kit, but still without battery, is available for around $30.

          The company has now designed the T-Watch 2021 which builds upon the Open-Smartwatch but adds features like a touchscreen display, a vibration motor, a magnetometer, and ships as a devkit with board and display or a complete smartwatch kit including a 500mAh battery.

        • Trakcore is a Nano 33 IoT-based posture correction device | Arduino Blog

          Poor posture is an epidemic for nearly anyone who spends an excessive amount of time sitting, and this can lead to a whole host of problems later in life. Some of these might include back pain, limited range of motion, and muscle tightness. Recognizing that his own posture was lacking, element14 user vlasov01 got to work designing and constructing a small wearable device for element14 Design for a Cause 2021 contest, which could help him alter his posture throughout the day to a more correct one. This project was dubbed the Trakcore, and it uses the sensors on the Arduino Nano 33 IoT to sense how a person is sitting or standing and then sends an alert when it needs adjustment.

        • Sustainable transformation of agriculture with the Internet of Things

          With the urgency to prevent environmental degradation, reduce waste and increase profitability, farmers around the globe are increasingly opting for more efficient crop management solutions supported by optimization and controlling technologies derived from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

          Intelligent information and communication technologies (IICT) (machine Learning (ML), AI, IoT, cloud-based analytics, actuators, and sensors) are being implemented to achieve higher control of spatial and temporal variabilities with the aid of satellite remote sensing. The use and application of this set of related technologies are known as “Smart Agriculture.”

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache® Software Foundation Announces Annual Report for 2021 Fiscal Year

        World’s largest Open Source foundation’s community rallies during pandemic; uptick in project activity, participation, and sponsor support advances Foundation to continue to provide $22B+ worth of software to the public-at-large at 100% no cost.

      • The Apache Drill Project Announces Apache® Drill(TM) v1.19 Milestone Release

        The Apache Drill Project announced the release of Apache® DrillTM v1.19, the schema-free Big Data SQL query engine for Apache Hadoop®, NoSQL, and Cloud storage.

        “Drill 1.19 is our biggest release ever,” said Charles Givre, Vice President of Apache Drill. “With an already short learning curve, Drill 1.19 makes it even easier for users to quickly query, analyze, and visualize data from disparate sources and complex data sets.”

        An “SQL-on-Hadoop” engine, Apache Drill is easy to deploy, highly performant, able to quickly process trillions of records, and scalable from a single laptop to a 1000-node cluster. With its schema-free JSON model (the first distributed SQL query engine of its kind), Drill is able to query complex semi-structured data in situ without requiring users to define schemas or transform data. It provides plug-and-play integration with existing Hive and HBase deployments, and is extensible out-of-the-box to access multiple data sources, such as S3 and Apache HDFS, HBase, and Hive. Additionally, Drill can directly query data from REST APIs to include platforms like SalesForce and ServiceNow.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Mozilla VPN Security Audit

            To provide transparency into our ongoing efforts to protect your privacy and security on the Internet, we are releasing a security audit of Mozilla VPN that Cure53 conducted earlier this year.

          • Spidermonkey Development Blog: TC39 meeting, July 13-16 2021

            In this meeting, the Realms proposal finally moved forward to stage 3. The form it will take is as what is now called “isolated realms”. This form does not allow direct object access across the realm boundary (which you can do with iframes). To address this, a new proposal is being put forward titled getOriginals.

            Beyond that, the ergonomic brand checks proposal moved to stage 4 and will be published in the next specification. Intl.Enumeration also finally moved to stage 3 and implementers have started working on it.

            A feature that developers can look forward to experimenting with soon is Array find-from-last. This will enable programmers to easily search for an element from the end of a collection, rather than needing to first reverse the collection to do this search.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Programming/Development

        • Perl/Raku

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.35 Superseding

            Steve Roe opened an issue in the raku.land repository: My modules are Duplicates. It describes the tricky issue the Raku ecosystem is facing in light of the migration of modules between different “repository backends”. There are currently three of them: the original git-based ecosystem, the modules uploaded to CPAN (with PAUSE), and modules uploaded to the zef repository backend (with fez) (/r/rakulang comments). This will most likely need some more careful thought in a problem solving issue.

            [...]

            All of the core developments of this week are either directly or indirectly a result of the extensive work that is being done on the new-disp branch, which is focussing more and more on making things faster, than making things work again!

        • Python

          • Cryptography with Python

            Cryptography, the science of ciphers, is made real with the help of coding. We cannot decide a programming language to be better or worse than another. However, the selection of an appropriate cryptography library makes all the difference.

            Python provides some very sophisticated libraries and modules for encryption and decryption of the data. Some of them are Cryptography, hashlib, Simple-Crypt, etc. The article demonstrates the use of modern cryptographic practices in Python with the help of the cryptography library by illustrating how to encrypt and decrypt text strings and files.

          • How to Change the Working Directory in Python

            A working directory is a current directory in which we are working and from which the script is run; within this directory, we have access to many files (the ones located within it). However, we sometimes need to change directories and go back and forth between files and folders. In this tutorial, we will learn how to change the working directory in Python.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash Remove Last x Characters From String

            One might have to delete letters from either a string sometimes. Just what the case may be, Linux includes several built-in, useful tools for removing letters form such a text in Bash. This article demonstrates how to delete letters from either a string using those methods. In this post, the instructions were run on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa. The very same instructions may be run on any Linux system that has the utilities mentioned above installed. To execute the instructions, we’ll utilize the usual Terminal. The Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut will open the Terminal tool.

          • What Set –e do in Bash?

            Set –e is used within the Bash to stop execution instantly as a query exits while having a non-zero status. This function is also used when you need to know the error location in the running code. Let’s continue the article to elaborate on the concept of “set –e” in different aspects of codes.

            Install Bash extensions in Linux. If it is already installed, then you need to upgrade the version because the version must be above 4.

          • How do I Sleep in a Bash Script?

            When you create your Bash scripts, their functionality is such that you have to wait for some function within it to complete its processing before proceeding further. The wait within a Bash script is introduced with the “sleep” command. The sleep command in Bash allows you to wait for as long as you want before doing any further processing. This functionality finds a special use case while dealing with clients and servers in Linux.

            Multiple clients can connect to a single server depending upon its request handling capacity in a client-server model. A client always initiates a connection request, whereas a server listens to this request. However, at times, a server might be busy processing other requests. Therefore, there should be a time duration defined for the client for which that client should wait before canceling the connection initiation request. This time duration can be defined while making use of the sleep command.

            This was just a simple use case of the sleep command with the client-server model; however, this command can also serve other different purposes within this model. Our motive is to learn how we can sleep in a Bash script in Ubuntu 20.04. For doing that, we have designed this tutorial so that you will get the maximum benefit out of it once you follow the examples shared in it.

          • How Do You Escape a Single Quote in Bash?

            Sometimes, the scripts are written in such a dynamic manner that even the programmer does not know exactly how many arguments will be provided by the user at runtime, but he might want to use that total number somewhere later in that script. How to check the Number of Arguments in Bash is explained in this article.

          • How Do You Check the Number of Arguments in Bash?

            You can provide any desired number of command-line arguments to your Bash scripts in Ubuntu 20.04 while executing them. However, sometimes the scripts are written in such a dynamic manner that even the programmer does not know exactly how many arguments will be provided by the user at runtime, but he might want to use that total number somewhere later in that script.

            In this situation, there must be a way through which you can check the total number of arguments passed to any particular Bash script. For that, Bash has a special variable, i.e., $#. To figure out how this special variable works, you will have to go through all the examples shared in this article.

          • How Do I Count the Number of Lines in a File in Bash?

            In any code or a program, sometimes such a situation exists where we need to know how big the data of the filefile’s data is. We can get this through the number of lines of a file, instead of consulting the whole data. Counting the lines manually can consume a lot of time. So these tools are used, that ease us with our desired output. In this guide, wThis guide will cover some common and uncommon ways to count the line number in a file.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • ZutaCore Joins the Open19 Foundation [Ed: Openwashing by Microsoft's mass surveillance operations; the term "Open Source" nowadays contributes ti deception and whitewashing of truly bad things]
        • Security

          • Ransomware Disguised as Open-Source Krita Painting App Promo Video

            Ransomware attacks are exponentially increasing. And, the way it gets distributed evolves every day.

            One of the most effective ways is by using reputable brand names to lure users into downloading malicious files that may end up encrypting your files and demand a ransom.

            And, in this case, some scammers have started using Krita’s name to deceive users through email.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (libsndfile and libX11), Debian (ledgersmb, libssh, and postgresql-9.6), Fedora (squashfs-tools), openSUSE (389-ds, nodejs12, php7, spectre-meltdown-checker, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel, libsndfile, and libX11), Red Hat (bind, cloud-init, edk2, glibc, hivex, kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, microcode_ctl, python3, and sssd), SUSE (bind, mysql-connector-java, nodejs12, sssd, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (apr, squashfs-tools, thunderbird, and uwsgi).

Two Institutions, Two Dictators

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 20815212dfa18fcf1c99c80f03f63d54

Summary: The EUIPO shows some of the same problems — even the same people — as the EPO, where over a decade was spent looting the institution by milking it to death

THE NINTH part is out (published minutes ago) and it’s time to discuss the nepotism that can disgust. Somehow, over the past decade or so, Europe’s top authorities for granting trademarks and patents have been overrun by nepotism, rooted in pretenders (or two dictators [1, 2]) with ambitions of power, not public service. It is accordingly disappointing and even the bodies entrusted to handle justice (or compliance with the rules for consistent application and thus predictability) are morphed into subservient paper pushers. This means there’s no structural/organisational separation of powers — it’s just virtual and shallow — and ‘public’ institutions are run for no purpose other than accumulating money (at the expense of adherence to the law).

EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IX – António’s Faithful Acolyte in Alicante

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part I – More Captured Delegates?
  2. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part II – Old Wine in New Bottles…
  3. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part III – Introducing the Finnish “Facilitator”
  4. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IV – Martti Enäjärvi and His “Good Brother” Networks
  5. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part V – A Man With a Conviction…
  6. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VI – “A Good Friend of Estonia and a Steady Cooperation Partner”
  7. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VII – A Self-Appointed “Select Committee”
  8. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VIII – Pulling for the Portuguese Pretender?
  9. You are here ☞ António’s Faithful Acolyte in Alicante

Joao Negrao
Mr. João Negrão [PDF] followed his master António Campinos to Alicante in 2010 where he soon became Director of International Cooperation and Legal Affairs at the EU trademark agency.

Summary: “Of course Campinos could have tried to switch his own nationality to “French” but that wouldn’t have gone down well either because he had been elected as Benoît Battistelli’s successor on the premise that he was “Portuguese”.”

Upon taking up his appointment as Executive Director of the EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO in October 2010, Campinos was immediately joined in Alicante by his faithful acolyte, João Negrão [PDF], who became his chef-de-cabinet.

“Between 2010 and 2018, Negrão followed his master like Mary’s little lamb.”About a year or so later Negrão became Director of the International Cooperation and Legal Affairs Department of the trademark agency.

Between 2010 and 2018, Negrão followed his master like Mary’s little lamb.

Wherever Campinos popped up on an OHIM “duty mission”, Negrão was usually to be seen in close proximity.

For example, the pair were spotted together in Estonia in October 2015 and in Iceland in May 2016 at a shindig to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Icelandic Patent Office.

António Campinos in Estonia
Campinos and Negrão in Estonia in October 2015.

António Campinos and Joao Negrao in Iceland
Campinos and Negrão joined Borghildur Erlingsdótti and her friends in Reykjavík in May 2016 for a shindig to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Icelandic Patent Office.

“Despite their close – almost symbiotic – working relationship over the years, Negrão didn’t end up following Campinos to Munich in July 2018.”They also turned up together in Monaco in March 2017 for a meeting with Monegasque officials “to consider areas of potential cooperation between EUIPO and the National Intellectual Property Office of Monaco” and in San Marino in May 2017 to sign a bilateral “Memorandum of Understanding”.

António Campinos and Joao Negrao in Monaco
Campinos and Negrão in Monaco in March 2017.

Despite their close – almost symbiotic – working relationship over the years, Negrão didn’t end up following Campinos to Munich in July 2018.

Campinos would probably have liked to bring his faithful and long-serving acolyte with him. However, under the unwritten rules governing senior EPO appointments it would have been impossible to appoint a Vice-President having the same nationality as the President.

“Campinos would probably have liked to bring his faithful and long-serving acolyte with him.”Of course Campinos could have tried to switch his own nationality to “French” but that wouldn’t have gone down well either because he had been elected as Benoît Battistelli‘s successor on the premise that he was “Portuguese”.

“Of course Campinos could have tried to switch his own nationality to “French” but that wouldn’t have gone down well either because he had been elected as Benoît Battistelli’s successor on the premise that he was “Portuguese”.”Because there was no realistic chance of a job to match his expectations in Munich, Negrão chose to remain in Alicante.

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, opportunities for “duty travel” have become more limited and nowadays most business is conducted using videoconferencing.

“But even if Negrão’s relationship with his new boss Christian Archambeau is a bit more “socially distanced” and things seem less cosy than they were under Campinos, this hasn’t hampered his career progression.”For example on 13 January 2021, Negrão took part in a ViCo with the EU Director-General for Research and Innovation, Jean-Eric Paquet and on 15 February 2021, he participated in a “virtual meeting” with the Portuguese INPI.

But even if Negrão’s relationship with his new boss Christian Archambeau is a bit more “socially distanced” and things seem less cosy than they were under Campinos, this hasn’t hampered his career progression.

On the contrary, in November 2020 it was reported that Negrão had been elected as President of EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal and he took up his new position on 1 April 2021.

“But since neither Battistelli nor Campinos took the “judicial independence” of the EPO Boards of Appeal seriously, Negrão is unlikely to be concerned about the supposedly inferior status of the Boards over which he presides.”EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal are only an administrative instance whose decisions are subject to judicial review by the Court of Justice of the EU. So they don’t have quite the same status or “cachet” as the EPO’s Boards of Appeal which are an independent judicial body – at least on paper.

But since neither Battistelli nor Campinos took the “judicial independence” of the EPO Boards of Appeal seriously, Negrão is unlikely to be concerned about the supposedly inferior status of the Boards over which he presides.

One advantage that the EUIPO Boards of Appeal have over those at the EPO is that they don’t have to pretend to be a judicial instance or worry about the perception of independence.

That concludes our review of the circumstances surrounding the secretive meeting which took place at the Estonian Patent Office in January 2010 and its effects on the careers of some of those involved.

“EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal are only an administrative instance whose decisions are subject to judicial review by the Court of Justice of the EU.”It seems fair to say that this little conclave in Tallinn had a significant influence on the course of events over the following decade, both at the EPO and at the EUIPO.

Indeed, it would appear to have brought considerable benefits to some of the participants.

“…it would appear to have brought considerable benefits to some of the participants.”In the next part we shall look at another event which was held in the same place a little over two years later in March 2012 and which drew the great and good of the “global IP community” to Tallinn, namely the official ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Estonian Patent Office.

Links 31/8/2021: Con Kolivas on Kernel Fatigue, KDE Plasma 5.22.5 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Peter Hutterer: libinput and high-resolution wheel scrolling

        Gut Ding braucht Weile. Almost three years ago, we added high-resolution wheel scrolling to the kernel (v5.0). The desktop stack however was first lagging and eventually left behind (except for an update a year ago or so, see here). However, I’m happy to announce that thanks to José Expósito’s efforts, we now pushed it across the line. So – in a socially distanced manner and masked up to your eyebrows – gather round children, for it is storytime.

      • Linux 5.15 In 2021 Is Still Improving Intel 486 Era Hardware Support – Phoronix

        The x86/IRQ changes for the Linux 5.15 kernel bring some unexpected improvements to old hardware.

        In particular, some old Intel and ALi hardware is seeing some work done for this modern Linux kernel.

      • Linux 5.15 Graphics Driver Changes Bring Intel DG2/Alchemist, XeHP, AMD Cyan Skillfish – Phoronix

        David Airlie submitted today the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) graphics/display driver updates for the Linux 5.15 merge window.

      • -ck hacking: 5.14 and the future of MuQSS and -ck once again

        Having missed the update for the 5.13 kernel entirely, I thought I’d just skip ahead to merge up with 5.14 and started looking at/working on it today. The size of the changes are depressingly large and whilst it’s mostly trivial changes, and features I wouldn’t implement in MuQSS, I’m once again left wondering if I should be bothering with maintaining this patch-set, as I’ve mentioned before on this blog.

        The size of my user-base seems to be diminishing with time, and I’m getting further and further out of touch with what’s happening in the linux kernel space at all, with countless other things to preoccupy me in my spare time.

        As much as I still prefer running my own kernel on my hardware, I’m having trouble motivating myself after the last 18 months of world madness due to Covid19 and feel that I should really sadly bring this patch-set to a graceful end. My first linux kernel patches stretch back 20 years and with almost no passion for working on it any more, I feel it may be long overdue.

      • Con Kolivas Contemplates Ending Kernel Development, Retiring MuQSS & -ck Patches – Phoronix

        Con Kolivas has worked on many patches for the Linux kernel over the past two decades and particularly focused on innovations around desktop performance/interactivity. For over a decade now he’s primarily been focused on maintaining his work out-of-tree and not catering to mainline acceptance but now he is thinking of bowing out once more and ending his kernel development effort.

        Over the past decade he’s been maintaining his “-ck” patches out-of-tree and updating them for each new kernel series with a variety of improvements to enhance the interactivity and performance of the kernel. He’s also been maintaining his MuQSS scheduler that is the successor to his former “BFS” Brain Fuck Scheduler.

    • Benchmarks

      • GCC 11 PGO With The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X For Faster Performance

        It’s been a while since last running benchmarks evaluating the performance of GCC’s profile guided optimizations (PGO) for helping to optimize the performance. But stemming from the discussions around PGO’ing the Linux kernel (though that effort is stalled for now), several Phoronix readers inquired about seeing some fresh PGO figures with GCC 11. So here are such benchmarks of GCC 11 with the upcoming Ubuntu 21.10 running on an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X desktop.

        Using the latest Ubuntu 21.10 daily image at the time with its GCC 11.2 compiler and other updated toolchain components, I ran some fresh benchmarks looking at the impact of PGO.

        The benchmarks were first carried out without using any PGO / profile-based optimizations. After that all of the open-source C/C++ benchmarks were re-built with the necessary support to enable profile collection, all of the benchmarks repeated just to generate the necessary profile data without making use of the benchmark results, and then all of the benchmarks each rebuilt against their respective profile data. This is a rather best case scenario for PGO performance evaluation with the profiles matching the specific workloads / code paths being tested by the benchmark. These tests are mainly being put out for reference and curiosity purposes for helping those decide whether it’s worthwhile looking closer at profile guided optimizations for your particular workloads or performance critical code-bases. All other CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS were maintained the same throughout testing besides just adjusting the PGO options for the given build.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Nginx on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nginx on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Nginx is a free, open-source webserver that provides HTTP, reverse proxy, caching, and load-balancing functionality. It’s a great alternative to Apache, and it’s easy to set up.

        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 through the step-by-step installation of the Nginx webserver on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • Shell Script Put Multiple Line Comments under Bash/KSH
      • How to Change WordPress Admin Password via MySQL

        Changing or editing a WordPress Admin password is a superuser-oriented activity. In such a case, you can still log in to the WordPress website account and edit the other existing user profile information or even further customize the site information.

        However, for one reason or another, you might feel like the integrity or security of your admin passwords has been compromised. It could also be due to a site security policy put in place by the company represented by the WordPress site where admin user passwords are changed weekly or monthly.

      • How to Create New WordPress Admin User via MySQL

        With the freedom and open-source nature of the WordPress content management system, taking over online content publishing is easy, flexible, and manageable.

        It is important for WordPress database administrators to have a grip on all database user contributions and interactions within such platforms. There are several reasons that will force a database administrator to create users with different privileges via the MySQL client or shell.

      • How to Enable & Configure Unattended-Upgrades on Debian 11

        Keeping your system up to date is an important factor for anyone from simple desktop users, developers, sysadmins; well, let’s face it, anyone with a device that is especially connected to the Internet. Debian, by default, is not set up for automatic updates. However, with enabling and configuring unattended-upgrades packages, you can easily apply security, package, or even new feature upgrades in an easy, simple, efficient way if you do not always have the time to check or forget. IT is highly recommended to enable this just for security alone.

      • How to Install vsftpd FTP Server on Debian 11

        FTP, short for File Transfer Protocol, is a popular protocol for transferring files to and from an FTP server. However, it is fraught with security risks since it sends data and sensitive information such as usernames and passwords in plain text. VSFTPD ( Very Secure FTP Daemon ) is a fast, secure and stable FTP server that uses encryption to secure data exchanged with the server.

    • Games

      • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Fixes Up Support For Another Game – Phoronix

        Going from ~11 FPS to ~602 FPS for an open-source game marks the latest work on Zink for OpenGL atop Vulkan within Mesa.

        Last week with my latest Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan benchmarks among the games tested was the promising Tesseract game. While Tesseract hasn’t seen a new release in more than a half-decade, due to it being open-source and benchmark-friendly, it was among the games tested.

      • Zink driver for OpenGL over Vulkan continues maturing with a big performance fix | GamingOnLinux

        Zink continues to be a promising Mesa driver for Linux that runs OpenGL on top of Vulkan. It’s not finished yet and so continues seeing some big performance fixes.

        The latest comes from another blog post by developer Mike Blumenkrantz, who noted from a Phoronix benchmark that performance actually went down recently with Zink instead of up. The game in question was Tesseract, an open-source engine derived from Cube 2: Sauerbraten with more modern rendering features added in.

      • Valheim will let you puke up all your food in Hearth & Home | GamingOnLinux

        The food system is about to get a bit more depth to it in the Hearth & Home update for Valheim, with new items and ways to cook and there’s a way to puke it all up too.

        Not only does the new system spread out foods into different categories based on what they will give you (like more health, more stamina), they’ve also split the meats from different animals now too. Inventory management was already a nuisance and this is probably going to amplify that problem unless they have some new tricks they’ve not shown yet.

        You will also get onions to plant and cooking has been extended with new steps too. You cauldron now needs cooking extensions built like other crafting stations do, and bread / pies need to be baked so everything takes that little bit longer. The highlight though is clearly the Bukeberries, enabling you to throw up all your food if you decide you want to devour a different type.

      • Game telemetry with Kafka Streams and Quarkus, Part 2

        The first half of this article introduced Shipwars, a browser-based video game that’s similar to the classic Battleship tabletop game, but with a server-side AI opponent. We set up a development environment to analyze real-time gaming data and I explained some of the ways you might use game data analysis and telemetry data to improve a product.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22.5 Released as the Last Update in the Series with More Bug Fixes

          KDE Plasma 5.22.5 is here as the last point release in the series, improving the System Monitor utility to correctly display IPv4 address information when IPv6 is disabled and to make the “Export Page” function work as it’s supposed to, improve the Plasma Panels to use the correct edge-specific theme graphics if available, and improve the window maximization and full-screen effects to cross-fade again.

          Also improved in this release is the Digital Clock widget, whose calendar popup’s header now looks correctly in right-to-left (RTL) text mode and make the list of timezones scrollable. Moreover, the KDE Plasma 5.22.5 update improves the Plasma Discover graphical package manager to make some of its UI elements display shortcut keys in their tooltips.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • What’s New in Manjaro 21.1.0 Pahvo? Everything You Need to Know

          The latest version of Manjaro Linux, codenamed Pahvo, includes improvements associated with the official desktops along with several new features.

          Manjaro is a powerful Arch-based Linux distribution that provides a coherent system out of the box. If you want to experience the power of Arch Linux without having to deal with the initial learning curve, try your hands on Manjaro.

          The developers recently released Manjaro 21.1.0 Pahvo, the latest stable version of this distro. Check out what’s new in this iteration below.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Top 11 Reasons YaST makes openSUSE Awesome

          I read a lot of negativity about YaST on the webs, Reddit, YouTubes… other places… and I wanted to write a counter to all those negative statements. Why? YaST was the biggest selling point for me to go openSUSE when I departed the Mandrake / Mandriva world about 10 years ago (at the time of writing). I use YaST regularly and have grown to truly enjoy the tools for system administration. I am not good at remembering the various commands in the terminal to do a thing even though I do take a number of notes. YaST is just so quick to get to a solution, especially when there are lots of little steps involved. I originally was going to make it 8 reasons, then 10 but after getting to 16, I decided I had to pare it down and will probably have to do follow up blatherings on the various modules. Here are my reasons why YaST makes openSUSE Awesome.

          Consolidated Control Center of Tools

          This is my primary love for YaST. I know I can go to one place and get to any system level function for my computer. I have this general requirement that I want all my tools in one spot, I do not want to have to hunt for the proper tool to accomplish a specified task, with YaST, I get that and managing my openSUSE machines is super convenient. I don’t have to remember any esoteric commands in the terminal, as much as I love the terminal and the power it provides. I often cannot remember the commands to fix or alter a thing. This is especially true with functions I do not perform regularly.

          openSUSE set the standard for me with YaST, for me to consider any Linux distribution, I must have a “Control Center” for all my system management tools. Basically, at this point, I am spoiled and although I can get along fine with other distributions, I never feel fully comfortable with a system that doesn’t have this luxury item.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Hybrid work: 5 trends to watch

          We’re early on in this brave, new world of hybrid work, but already there are some trends worth keeping an eye on, say management experts and IT leaders who are busy bridging the remote and in-office gap.

          Consider these emerging issues that technology leaders should monitor and manage during this transition.

        • Peter Hutterer: Flatpak portals – how do they work?

          I’ve been working on portals recently and one of the issues for me was that the documentation just didn’t quite hit the sweet spot. At least the bits I found were either too high-level or too implementation-specific. So here’s a set of notes on how a portal works, in the hope that this is actually correct.

          First, Portals are supposed to be a way for sandboxed applications (flatpaks) to trigger functionality they don’t have direct access too. The prime example: opening a file without the application having access to $HOME. This is done by the applications talking to portals instead of doing the functionality themselves.

          There is really only one portal process: /usr/libexec/xdg-desktop-portal, started as a systemd user service. That process owns a DBus bus name (org.freedesktop.portal.Desktop) and an object on that name (/org/freedesktop/portal/desktop). You can see that bus name and object with D-Feet, from DBus’ POV there’s nothing special about it. What makes it the portal is simply that the application running inside the sandbox can talk to that DBus name and thus call the various methods. Obviously the xdg-desktop-portal needs to run outside the sandbox to do its things.

        • Where are you on your DevSecOps journey?

          We recently published the results of our survey from earlier this year where we asked more than 500 IT and Security practitioners about their container and Kubernetes adoption and security strategies. One of the key takeaways was that organizations need to build a bridge between DevOps and security to realize the benefits of tools like containers and Kubernetes. This is because responsibility for securing cloud-native development tools like these is highly decentralized.

        • Exploring our bugs, part 3: time to resolution

          This is the third and final part of a series I promised during my Nest With Fedora talk (also called “Exploring Our Bugs”). In this post, I’ll analyze the time it takes to resolve bug reports from Fedora Linux 19 to Fedora Linux 32. If you want to do your own analysis, the Jupyter notebook and source data are available on Pagure. These posts are not written to advocate any specific changes or policies. In fact, they may ask more questions than they answer.

          An important consideration when looking at bugs is the time to resolution (TTR). How quickly are bugs resolved one way or another? The first thing I looked at is the TTR across all of our releases. As you might expect, it skews very heavily to the left. One surprising thing his how many bugs took multiple years to close. As a percentage, it was relatively small, but some bugs went almost 14 years before being closed. This is another time I wish it were easy to get a count of how many times a bug has been bumped to a later version.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu-Based Linux Lite 5.6 Released with ‘Pay What You Want’ Download Model

          After several months of development, Linux Lite 5.6 is here based on the recently released Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS point release in the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series, but it ships with the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel by default instead of its newer Linux 5.11 HWE (Hardware Enablement) kernel borrowed from the Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release.

          However, Linux Lite users will be able to install any kernel they want from Linux 3.13 to the latest Linux 5.14 from the distro’s repositories. On top of that, the Linux Lite 5.6 release ships with Python3 as default Python implementation, the ability to install Linux Lite directly from the Lite Welcome tool, updated Help Manual and Papirus icon theme, new wallpapers, and various bug fixes.

        • Ubuntu Server vs Desktop: What’s the Difference?

          When you click on the download button on the Ubuntu website, it gives you a few options. Two of them are Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server.

          This could confuse new users. Why are there two (actually 4 of them)? Which one should be downloaded? Ubuntu desktop or server? Are they the same? What is the difference?

          I am going to explain the difference between the desktop and server editions of Ubuntu. I’ll also explain which variant you should be using.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Plausible: Self-hosted Privacy-aware open-source Google Analytics Alternative

        Website Analytics is a crucial tool for website admins, content creators and marketers. While Google Analytics is the primary choice for many site admins and content creators, it is not easy to use, manage and learn.

        Furthermore, Google Analytics is a web service hosted and managed by Google, users do not own their data or better control over the analytics script.

        So, here Plausible comes to the rescue as an open-source alternative which focuses on privacy and decision.

        Plausible is completely free self-hosted web analytic software for website admins, owners and content creators to keep track of their users and reader activities.

        Unlike several others self-hosted open-source web analytics, Plausible is made to follow and comply with the new EU user privacy standards.

        It is the right choice for bloggers, freelancers, startups and companies.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Niko Matsakis: Next CTCFT Meeting: 2021-09-20

            A detailed agenda will be announced in a few weeks. Current thinking however is to center the agenda on Rust interest groups and domain working groups, those brave explorers who are trying to put Rust to use on all kinds of interesting domains, such as game development, cryptography, machine learning, formal verification, and embedded development. If you run an interest group and I didn’t list your group here, perhaps you want to get in touch! We’ll be talking about how these groups operate and how we can do a better job of connecting interest groups with the Rust org.

          • Mozilla Mornings on the Digital Markets Act: Key questions for Parliament

            On 13 September, Mozilla will host the next installment of Mozilla Mornings – our regular event series that brings together policy experts, policymakers and practitioners for insight and discussion on the latest EU digital policy developments.

            For this installment, we’re checking in on the Digital Markets Act. Our panel of experts will discuss the key outstanding questions as the debate in Parliament reaches its fever pitch.

          • Firefox Addons & Privacy – can addblockers be trusted – uBlock AddBlockPlus uMatrix – etc.
          • Firefox and virtual desktops

            At some point Firefox started remebering which window was open on which desktop, which meant that if you’re running KDE or GNOME …etc and open several Firefox windows on different virtual desktops, when you restart Firefox, each window will be restored to the desktop it was open on. Apparently that started with Firefox 77.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Denormalizing PostgreSQL join tables

          Foreman OpenSCAP plugin stores security scanner results in Foreman’s PostgreSQL database providing integrated UI, API and CLI experience. To simplify our use case, let’s assume that each report has many-to-many association to security rules with some result (pass or fail). This gives us two main SQL tables: report and rule and a join table between them. For simplicity, let’s ignore the result which should be an extra column in the join table.

      • FSF

        • FSF copyright handling: A basis for distribution, licensing and enforcement

          Part of the Free Software Foundation (FSF’s) core mission is to advance policies that will promote the progress of free software and freedom. Because copyright handling has been a topic of concern lately, we are taking this opportunity to explain the four purposes behind FSF copyright handling, as well as examine the impact of potential alternatives.

          For some GNU packages, the ones that are FSF-copyrighted, we ask contributors for two kinds of legal papers: copyright assignments, and employer copyright disclaimers. We drew up these policies working with lawyers in the 1980s, and they make possible our steady and continuing enforcement of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

          These papers serve four different but related legal purposes, all of which help ensure that the GNU Project’s goals of freedom for the community are met.

          One purpose is to give explicit permission to include the material in that GNU package. That is the most basic need.

          The second purpose is to empower the FSF to go to court and say, “That company is infringing our copyright when it tramples the freedom of users, denying them the freedom that our license gives them.” The assignment does this by transferring the copyright to the FSF. (This form of support for GNU is one of the original purposes for founding the FSF.)

          A third purpose is to make it possible to add additional permission to specific pieces of code. For example, to take code released under GNU GPL version-3-or-later and release it under GNU Lesser GPL version-3-or-later.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Bee pastures — or how my Facebook post got deleted

        Most people only know that I work in IT. Some even call me a hacker – which I really appreciate :-) However, by university degree I am an environmental engineer (and English – Hungarian translator). Even if I never worked in my field, except for some student jobs, I still follow any news related to the environment closely. This is why I was very happy to learn, that my home city, Budapest, introduced bee pastures in the city.

        [...]

        Taking a side, seeing everything in black and white is easier: less thinking, feeling of belonging. But that’s not how I work in IT or in real life.

Links 31/8/2021: GNU Linux-Libre 5.14 and SuperTuxKart 1.3 RC

Posted in News Roundup at 6:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • kstart 4.3

      kstart provides the programs k5start and krenew, which are similar to the Kerberos kinit program with some extra support for running programs with separate credentials and running as a daemon.

      This is the first full release in nearly six years. The major change is new support for the Linux kafs module, which is a native Linux implementation of the AFS protocol that David Howells and others have been working on for years. It has an entirely different way of thinking about tokens and credential isolation built on Linux keyrings rather than the AFS token concept (which sometimes uses keyrings, but in a different way, and sometimes uses other hacks).

    • Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Managing Users – Part 15

      This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

      This article explains how to create users on your Ubuntu machine. Let’s start with a brief explanation of groups as they are central to the process.

      Groups help define the permissions and access for each user account. They determine who has access to files, directories, settings, devices, and more. Finding out the groups to which a user account belongs helps give you a better understanding of that user’s access (and troubleshoot when things don’t function as expected).

      In a default desktop installation, the first user on the system is considered an administrator. That user is a member of various groups. The groups command shows the groups to which a user belongs.

    • Linux Magazine

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 241: Jill’s Treasure Hunt & Best Search Engines for Privacy

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re going to discuss the best privacy focused search engine. Who reigns supreme? Let’s find out together. Then we’re going to head to Jill’s Museum to see what treasure of hardware history Jill has to show us. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

      • The Truth About Encrypted Group Chats – Invidious

        Encryption is incredibly useful tool but don’t get that tool confused for something that it isn’t useful for, while encryption can stop people snooping at your data packets if you just let anyone in no encrypted chat will protect your secrets

      • How GNOME thinks. – Invidious
      • Late Night Linux – Episode 140

        The kernel turns 30, flagship phones get even more locked down, great news for running Linux on M1 Macs, AMP looks to be exactly what we thought it was, KDE Korner, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.14 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu

        Linux Kernel 5.14 was released with latest features and new hardware support. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu.

      • Linux 5.14 offers new security protections

        Version 5.14 of the Linux kernel shipped over the weekend, featuring new protections against the Spectre and Meltdown attacks that threatened Intel CPU security.

        A secret feature enables developers to create memory areas available only to the application that owns them, blocking even the kernel from monitoring them. This is useful to hold sensitive data, such as encryption

      • Background to the Linux anniversary: ​​Linus Torvalds’ kernel is 30 years old [Ed: From German]

        Linux celebrated its birthday on August 25, 2021. In its 30-year history, it has become one of the most formative projects of the open source movement.

      • Linux 5.15 Block Changes From Removing LightNVM To Fixing Up The Floppy Driver – Phoronix

        Linux block subsystem maintainer and I/O expert Jens Axboe sent in his set of feature pull requests today for the Linux 5.15 kernel cycle.

      • Linux 5.15 I/O Can Achieve Up To ~3.5M IOPS Per-Core – Phoronix

        In addition to the block subsystem changes submitted for the Linux 5.15 merge window, Jens Axboe also sent in a separate pull request for this new kernel cycle to provide support for bio recycling. In turn this can enhance the Linux I/O limits by around 10%.

        The feature pull request mailed out today adds support for bio recycling in order to quickly reuse the bio for high IOPS scenarios rather than having to go back through the slab allocator. This cache though only works for polled I/O scenarios due to not being IRQ safe. With less than 200 lines of new code, this bio recycling is wired up and support added to IO_uring for using this bio allocation cache.

      • Bootlin contributions to Linux 5.13

        After finally publishing about our Linux 5.12 contributions and even though Linux 5.14 was just released yesterday, it’s hopefully still time to talk about our contributions to Linux 5.13. Check out the LWN articles about the merge window to get the bigger picture about this release: part 1 and part 2.

        In terms of Bootlin contributions, this was a much more quiet release than Linux 5.12, with just 28 contributions.

      • Brendan Gregg: Analyzing a High Rate of Paging

        These are rough notes. A service team was debugging a performance issue and noticed it coincided with a high rate of paging. I was asked to help, and used a variety of performance tools to solve this including those that use eBPF and Ftrace. This is a rough post to share this old but good case study of using these tools, and to help justify their further development. No editing, spell checking, or comments. Mostly screenshots. ## 1. Problem Statement The microservice managed and processed large files, including encrypting them and then storing them on S3. The problem was that large files, such as 100 Gbytes, seemed to take forever to upload. Hours. Smaller files, as large as 40 Gbytes, were relatively quick, only taking minutes. A cloud-wide monitoring tool, Atlas, showed a high rate of paging for the larger file uploads:

      • GNU Linux-Libre 5.14 Kernel Arrives for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs

        Based on the recently released Linux 5.14 kernel series, the GNU Linux-libre 5.14 kernel is here to clean up the i915 Intel OpenGL graphics driver, clean and move the drivers for sp8870 and other av7110 cards in the upstream tree, adjusts the cleaning up script of the Renesas xHCI driver, and removes a r8188eu file.

        It also adjust the cleaning up of the btqca driver since it was renamed upstream, cleans up a dts file that contained a blob-loading feature for a new Qualcomm ARM64 variant, disables another blog-loading feature from a new Emulex Fibre Channel Target driver, and cleans up new blob names from the adreno, amdgpu, and btrtl drivers.

      • The PREEMPT_RT Locking Code Is Merged For Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

        It looks like the real-time (RT) patches for the Linux kernel are almost to the point of being fully upstream in the mainline Linux kernel. Merged for Linux 5.15 is the PREEMPT_RT locking code that represents a bulk of the outstanding RT patches.

        Noted earlier this month was how the PREEMPT_RT locking code appeared ready for Linux 5.15 with it being queued up as part of the “sched/core” changes. Sure enough, on the first day of this Linux 5.15 merge window the pull request was sent out and already merged by Linus Torvalds to mainline.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Zero To Hero

          Everyone’s seen the Phoronix benchmark numbers by now, and though there’s a lot of confusion over how to calculate the percentage increase between “game does did not run a year ago” and “game runs”, it seems like a couple people out there at Big Triangle are starting to take us seriously.

        • Experimental Ray-Tracing For Open-Source Radeon Vulkan Driver Nears Upstream Mesa – Phoronix

          It looks like within the coming days that the Vulkan ray-tracing support for Mesa’s “RADV” Radeon Vulkan driver will be upstreamed for Mesa 21.3.

          Over the past number of months RADV developer Bas Nieuwenhuizen has been working on Vulkan ray-tracing support for RADV, this unofficial open-source Vulkan driver for Radeon GPUs. This has been without any hardware documentation from AMD and not having any other open-source AMD driver to use as a reference point since AMD has not yet published any Vulkan ray-tracing support for their official AMDVLK driver.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • What are aliases, and how do you use them in Linux? – TechRepublic

        Jack Wallen shows you how to simplify your Linux life by using aliases.

      • Finding drive space usage from the command line in Linux – TechRepublic

        How much space remains on those drives connected to your server? That data is but a quick command away. Jack Wallen shows you how.

      • Linux 101: How to easily view real-time log entries with tail – TechRepublic

        One of the single most helpful tools in your Linux admin arsenal is log files. And with the open-source platform, there are quite a few different log files to view. But how do you get the most out of your viewing?

        One of the best ways to use log files to troubleshoot a system is by viewing the log in real-time. As the logging system writes entries to the log file, it makes it considerably easier to see what’s going on in such a way as to help discern what’s causing the problem.

        The other option is to open the log file and either scroll through it or search it for specific strings. Personally, I much prefer the real-time option.

        To view a log file in such a way, there’s a handy command available, called tail. According to the tail man page, tail will print the last 10 lines of each file to standard output. In simplest terms, tail prints out the most recent entries to a file as they are written.

      • How to Create a MySQL user guide for beginners

        As you know MySQL is the most popular open-source relational database management system. It allows users to store, organize, and retrieve data from the database. It has a variety of working options to grant privileges to specific users within the tables and database.

        I am assuming you have installed MySQL software on your system already, if not, then you can read my another post how to install MySQL in Ubuntu 19.04.

        I will cover in this article how to create a MySQL user account and grant permissions, and last how to delete MySQL user.

      • How to Export MySQL Query Results to CSV Format in Linux

        Querying from a MySQL database shell is always fun and techy until you need a database output saved somewhere for easy access and reference; especially when dealing with large datasets.

        Quick data access saves you from having to each time log in to a MySQL server via a terminal shell to reference specific MySQL-query-associated outputs. The CSV (Comma Separated Value) file is an ideal candidate for resolving these types of repetitive user-to-database interactions.

      • How to Self-host Multiple WordPress Sites on the Same Server With Docker

        Installing WordPress is not a big deal. You can install it using LAMP server for local development. You can also deploy it for the real world on a proper public facing Linux server.

        Cloud servers like Linode, DigitalOcean etc also provide the option to deploy a brand-new Linux server preconfigured with WordPress. Even easier, right?

        But what if you want to install more than one WordPress on a single server?

        An easy way would be to use a service like ServerPilot. Not only it updates your server automatically, it also lets you easily deploy multiple WordPress instances on the same server.

        That would cost you a bit more money and if you do not want that, you can use Docker to deploy multiple WordPress instances.

        Through this guide, you’ll learn how to easily set up a dual WordPress setup running from their individual containers and add more instances!

      • How To Install NVM on Debian 11 – TecAdmin

        NVM stands for Node Version Manager, which is a command-line utility for installing Node.js. It allows the programmers for installing Node.js in their account only. This means the installation is done user-specific. All the users in a single system have their own installation of Node.js.

        Using the nvm utility, we can install the multiple node.js versions in a single account and manage them easily. The application can have use .nvmrc at root folder to autoselect the Node.js version.

        This tutorial will help you to install nvm on Debian 11 “bullseye” Linux system.

      • How To Install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Sysdig is a free and open-source activity monitoring tool that can be used to capture and analyze application logs. It provides a complete overview of the usage of CPU, Memory, IO, users, and more directly on the command terminal in a well-structured interface. Sysdig can be installed on almost all operating systems, even on Windows and OS X.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Sysdig monitoring tool on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How do I compare numbers in bash?

        A user may want to write a code to do a certain job in a variety of circumstances. On the other hand, one might wish to run this computer code again for some monotonous activities. For example, some numerical numbers must be compared repeatedly. Here’s when the operators come in useful. When doing a contrast within a bash script, comparison operators come in handy. The comparison is typically done within the code’s if-else clause. We’ll be comparing two integers or numerical values the majority of the time. Hence, this guide is meant for those who want to explore how different comparison operators can be utilized for comparisons within numbers in bash language.

      • How to Delete files older than 30 Days in Linux

        It is a best practice to find and remove old or unused files from the Linux system after a certain period of time, as this will free up some space on the system, which can be used for some other purpose.

        Please make sure these files are no longer needed, as it will not ask for your confirmation before deleting the files.

        This quick guide show you how to find and remove files older than 30 days in Linux.

      • How to Fix “W: Some index files failed to download” Error in Ubuntu Linux

        When installing a piece of software on Linux, a message like “W: Some index files failed to download” pops up. But why does it happen? It turns out, one of the Ubuntu mirror servers is down. Even if you update the repository lists or reboot, the same error may show again. Worried? Well, don’t be. Reverting to the original Ubuntu Mirror is an easy solution for it. You can also select the nearest mirror to get things cleared out. Now, when all odds fail, try copying the sources list content from a functioning system. Now let’s dive deep into how you can get the damn thing fixed.

      • How to Install KDE Plasma on Ubuntu

        Linux is a truly modular operating system. For example, you have the freedom to not only change the desktop wallpaper but the entire desktop environment. Other operating systems such as Windows or macOS come with a preset desktop system that you cannot change.

        The K Desktop Environment, popularly known as KDE, is a famous Linux desktop environment that is the default desktop on distros such as Manjaro KDE, Fedora KDE, Kubuntu, and SteamOS. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to install these distros to use KDE. You can install it on other Linux distros too.

        Let’s install and explore the KDE desktop environment on Ubuntu.

      • How to burn music CD on MX Linux | FOSS Linux

        MX Linux is a mid-weight Linux distro based on Debian stable. It uses core antiX components, with additional software created or packaged by the MX community. The OS was developed as a cooperative venture between antiX and former MEPIS communities.

        This system is currently among the most popular Linux distros and the most highly rated Linux distro on DistroWatch.

        This article will show you how to burn music CDs/DVDs using this MX Linux.

      • How to install Metasploit on Kali Linux | FOSS Linux

        Kali Linux is the most popular operating system for security professionals because it comes equipped with all the popular penetration-testing tools, reducing installation costs. Also, Kali Linux is a Linux-based operating system making it less prone to virus attacks while, on the other hand, providing more stability during the penetration and testing period.

        Therefore, Kali Linux will save you the time needed to install the necessary and relevant tools and components, plus the stress of plunging into errors during the installation period.

        Metasploit is a re-known penetration testing platform that allows the user to exploit, find and validate vulnerabilities. Therefore, it is vital to provide the tools, content, and infrastructure required to perform penetration tests and extensive security auditing.

        New Metasploit modules are provided regularly thanks to Rapid7’s open-source community’s hard work and dedication, ensuring users are always updated with the latest releases. As a result, the Metasploit framework is considered the most helpful security auditing tool freely available to security professionals today.

      • How to manage systemd units at start-up | FOSS Linux

        Systemd is an init system and system manager in Linux systems and is compatible with LSB and SysV. You can use the systemd suite to manage and optimize system start-up services and resources in a Linux system. It is a practical tool for sysadmins to get their system up and running, optimize processes, debug, and troubleshoot system services.

        This article will build on our systemd series guide and illustrate how to manage system Units, file systems mounts, troubleshoot, and give you tips and tricks when working with systems.

        Our first systemd guide highlighted why systemd is a practical tool for Linux sysadmins. The second illustrates how to schedule system tasks with systemd timers and automate the tedious system boot tasks.

      • 25 basic Ubuntu Commands

        Ubuntu is the most popular Debian-based distribution of Linux Operating System; It was initially released in 2004. Due to its distinctive features, various distros of Linux are developed based on Ubuntu. It is developed and maintained by Canonical Ltd. and a large community of software developers around the globe; Canonical Ltd. is a software company with its origin in the UK, and it has hired staff in several countries to work for Ubuntu. There are several releases of Ubuntu, such as stable release, Long Term Support (LTS), and unstable. The stable and unstable releases are launched every year in April and October, respectively, whereas the long-term support variant is released after two years and is available for the next five years. The latest LTS release is 20.04; it will be available till 2025. Ubuntu supports both Command Line Interface (CLI) and Graphical User Interface (GUI) to perform various tasks on the OS. CLI is the basic way to interact with systems hardware (processor/memory); you can perform all the tasks that GUI can perform. In this article, we will demonstrate the use of 25 basic commands that provide ease to execute various tasks of Ubuntu using CLI.

    • Games

      • Race across the galaxy to save Earth in The Captain releasing October 21

        Ready up for your next space adventure with The Captain. A blending of a point and click adventure, a space sim and much more into one gorgeous looking game. Developed by Sysiac Games, with publishing help from Tomorrow Corporation.

        It’s a race against time as you race across the galaxy carrying the only thing that can stop dark forces trying to destroy the Earth. Sounds perhaps a little bit like the basic story from FTL: Faster Than Light but with a rather different way to play through with planetary exploration.

      • SuperTuxKart 1.3 release candiate available!
    • Distributions

      • What my first Linux was, and its context

        I was using Unix well before my first Linux, as you can tell from the history of my SGI Indy (which I kept running until 2006, and might have kept running longer in different circumstances). But 1999 was when we needed to refresh the hardware in the undergraduate labs that I was then involved in, and when we went to evaluate the various hardware on offer nothing could beat the low cost and solid performance of general x86 hardware (we wound up with branded PCs from DEC). This was my real introduction to the relentless march of inexpensive x86 machines and one of things that informs my views that PCs can be Unix workstations.

      • New Releases

        • LibreELEC 10.0 Delivers the Latest Kodi 19.1 “Matrix” to its Users

          LibreELEC 10 brings Kodi 19.1 to the Raspberry Pi 4 users, but support for Raspberry Pi Zero and 1 is now discontinued.

          If you’ve been looking for info on how to build a home theater PC, you may have heard of the LibreELEC operating system for Kodi. LibreELEC is a minimal yet fully-functional operating system created for the sole purpose of running Kodi. Based on Linux and originally intended specifically for the Raspberry Pi, it has since been ported to other single-board computers and x86_64 PCs.

          Now, a stable version of LibreELEC 10.0 becomes available for download. As usual, the developers have summarized further information in the Release Notes for LibreELEC 10.0 “Matrix”.

          LibreELEC 10 now offers stable and good working versions for Allwinner, Generic and Rockchip devices. The official announcement focuses on what works and what doesn’t on Raspberry Pi 4.

      • BSD

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • SCO v. IBM settlement deal is done, but zombie case shuffles on elsewhere

          One strand of the ancient and convoluted SCO versus IBM legal mess that sought to determine who owns UNIX – and perhaps has a claim over Linux – may be about to end.

          The case commenced in 2003, but its roots go even deeper.In 1998 IBM, the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO – a vendor of UNIX for x86 CPUs) and others teamed to create Project Monterey, with the aim of developing a version of UNIX that worked on multiple hardware platforms.

          Which is just what the Linux community had started doing, too.

          By 2001, IBM decided Linux was the future and quit Project Monterey, even acquiring some of the participants. By then Big Blue had created an experimental cut of its own UNIX-like AIX operating system that used some SCO code. But once Monterey was abandoned, IBM contributed some of its IP to Linux.

        • Decades old $1B Linux lawsuit involving IBM is settled – or is it?

          Would you remember that, 20 summers ago, a lawsuit put the future of Linux at risk?

          At the time, the high profile suit, SCO v. IBM, filed in March 2003, involved SCO suing IBM for $1 billion, along with a mailing campaign with letters sent to 1,500 of the largest companies in the world that asserted IBM illegally contributed portions of SCO’s proprietary UNIX code, was roiled in confusion, WRAL TechWire reported in 2003.

          [...]

          According to a recent article on ZDNet, when Xinuos made the deal to acquire SCO, “its CEO, Richard A. Bolandz, promised that the company ‘has no intention to pursue any litigation related to the SCO Group assets acquired by the company. We are all about world leadership in technology, not litigation’.”

      • Debian Family

        • Benjamin Mako Hill: Returning to DebConf

          I first started using Debian sometime in the mid 90s and started contributing as a developer and package maintainer more than two decades years ago. My first very first scholarly publication, collaborative work led by Martin Michlmayr that I did when I was still an undergrad at Hampshire College, was about quality and the reliance on individuals in Debian. To this day, many of my closest friends are people I first met through Debian. I met many of them at Debian’s annual conference DebConf.

          Given my strong connections to Debian, I find it somewhat surprising that although all of my academic research has focused on peer production, free culture, and free software, I haven’t actually published any Debian related research since that first paper with Martin in 2003!

        • Andrew Cater: Oh, my goodness, where’s the fantastic barbeque [OMGWTFBBQ 2021]

          This is Debian central point – with large quantities of meat and salads, an amount of beer/alcohol and “Cambridge gin” and general goodwill. This year was more than usually atmospheric because for some of us it was the first time with a large group of people in a while. Side conversations abound: for me it was learning something about the high energy particle physics community, how to precision build helicopters, fly quadcopters and precision 3D print anything, the maths of Isy counting crochet stitches to sew together randomly sized squares … and, of course, obligatory things like how random is random and what’s good enough entropy. And a few sessions of the game of our leader.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How my team built an open source learning experience platform

        Learning is based on the open exchange of ideas and experiences. By sharing, testing, and practicing what we’ve learned with others, we’re able to develop in our lives and careers. It follows that openness is the ideal state for any successful learning organization.

        I am passionate about learning, building teams, and technology. At Red Hat, we believe that open source powers innovation and results in better solutions. Five years ago, our learning management system was proprietary and closed. All of our learning platforms existed as islands with limited integration and provided a mediocre user experience. Over the past five years, our team has embraced the open source ethos. We’ve built and implemented new open source platforms, integrated our disparate learning platforms allowing us to freely exchange data and create a superior user experience.

      • CMS

        • Open Minds Podcast: Matt Mullenweg of Automattic

          On this episode, CC’s Director of Product, Anna Tumadóttir, sits down with Matt Mullenweg. Originally from Houston, Texas, Matt is the co-founder of the open-source blogging platform WordPress, the most popular publishing platform on the web, and the founder and CEO of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce and Jetpack.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Reverse engineering software licencing from early-2000s abandonware – Part 1

            This series concerns a software licencing system used in a proprietary software application from circa 2004. The software was available in an unregistered trial mode with limited functionality. A free licence could be obtained by registering online with the software vendor. The software became abandonware circa 2009 when it ceased to be offered, and while the software binary has been archived, to date there has been no effort to restore the functionality once available with a free licence.

          • Reverse engineering software licencing from early-2000s abandonware – Part 2

            In part 1, we reverse engineered the registration code licencing mechanism of this particular software. However, that mechanism was not the mechanism actually in use in 2004; rather, a different mechanism was used based on licence files named license.bin. In this part, we investigate that licencing mechanism.

          • Reverse engineering software licencing from early-2000s abandonware – Part 3

            In part 2, we reverse engineered the decrypted format of the licence file data for this particular software. In this part, we investigate that how exactly that licence file is encrypted.

      • Programming/Development

        • JavaScript Loops – A Guide for Absolute Beginners

          n computing, almost all programming languages support the idea of loops. In computing, loops are a set of instructions that allow the programmer to do something repeatedly in a quick and efficient manner. Loops iterate/repeatedly execute through a block of code until a certain condition is met.

          All high-level programming languages provide several different types of loops. The syntax of these loops may be different but they are used to perform the same tasks. These loops are interchangeable but some are specifically built to be used in some specific conditions.

        • A Candid explainer: Safe higher-order upgrades – Blog – Joachim Breitner’s Homepage

          A central idea behind Candid is that services evolve over time, and so also their interfaces evolve. As they do, it is desirable to keep the interface usable by clients who have not been updated. In particular on a blockchainy platform like the Internet Computer, where some programs are immutable and cannot be changed to accommodate changes in the interface of the services they use, this is of importance.

          Therefore, Candid defines which changes to an interface are guaranteed to be backward compatible. Of course it’s compatible to add new methods to a service, but some changes to a method signature can also be ok.

        • Guide to C++ Serialization

          Serialization converts an object into a stream of bytes to be stored in the disk or sent to another computer through a network. There are two kinds of objects in C++: fundamental objects and objects instantiated from a defined class. Note, in C++, the struct is considered a class, and the name of a struct represents the instantiated object of the struct.

          Individual fundamental objects are not normally serialized. However, since an instantiated object has fundamental objects, as the whole object is serialized, the fundamental objects are also serialized. In C++, all data structures, such as the vector, are predefined classes.

          Serialization is also called marshaling. The opposite of serialization is deserialization or unmarshalling. The serialized object as a file from the disk or the network can be converted back (resurrected) to the object at the local computer to be used with the local C++ application (program).

        • How to Use C++ fstream

          The fstream term stands for File Stream. Stream refers to a sequence of characters moving from the disk to the C++ program or from the C+ program to the disk. Moving characters from a file in disk to the program is inputting. Moving characters from the program to a file in the disk is outputting. Input-file-stream abbreviated as ifstream is structured by the template class, basic_ifstream. Output-file-stream abbreviated, ofstream is structured by the template class, basic_ofstream.

          It is possible for inputting and outputting to take place in one session. This is made possible by the class template, basic_fstream. Now, fstream is a synonym for basic_fstream. fstream, which is still basic_fstream, uses basic_ifstream and ofstream to operate.

        • Python

          • Pyston Team Joins Anaconda

            We have some very exciting news to announce today: we (Marius and Kevin) are joining Anaconda! Anaconda is a well-known company that produces open-source Python software, and we think that by joining them we can significantly accelerate the trajectory of Pyston, our faster implementation of Python.

          • Pyston Developers Join Anaconda To Continue Their Speedy Python Implementation

            Pyston began many years ago as an open-source JIT-based Python implementation developed by Dropbox. But after Dropbox dropped Pyston development, it went dormant for several years before the developers decided to create their own start-up around it and released Pyston 2.0. The Pyston developers are now joining well known Python organization Anaconda.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash declare an empty array

            An array is a container that stores the values of a similar data type. The storage process deals with entering the values at any index of the array, and the index of the array accesses that value. Whenever you declare an array, you have two options. Either assign the values at the time of declaration or enter the values when they are needed dynamically. In this guide, we have experienced both approaches. To perform this function in bash, you need to create an environment of the Linux operating system where you can access the terminal and other applications of user privileges.

            To perform operations on array in bash, you need to install bash on Linux operating system. By installing the packages, it is already installed in the system. The version of bash should be greater than 4 to continue this guide further. If it is less than 4, you need to install the latest bash version or at least 4. Execute the command on the Linux terminal to check the version.

          • Bash loop through files in a directory

            In Ubuntu, including Bash, loops have made it possible to apply operations on multiple files. Looping is the most effective thing as it allows the user to apply the same logic to the item repeatedly by using a small code-line.

            To understand the concept of looping over files in the directory, you need access to the Ubuntu application and services. When you have some privileges, you can only operate with files and directories.

            You should have installed Bash on Ubuntu operating system. In some installations, it is installed by default in the updation of packages. If it is already installed, you need to upgrade the version because it must be above 4. To continue the current guide, you need to keep the version above 4. To check the version of the pre-installed Bash in your system, use the command on the Ubuntu terminal.

          • Bash print array with newlines

            An array is a container containing the same data type items, either integer type or float type. We can deal with arrays by performing several operations on them. One commonly used Delima is to break the array and print each word on a new line. This feature is discussed in today’s article. To understand this concept, you need to access a Ubuntu terminal to perform bash-related terms on Ubuntu. We have covered the topic from simplest to critical samples for the understanding of the user.

  • Leftovers

    • Byrd v. Babbitt: Beliefs and Expectations, Reasonable and Unreasonable

      Maybe he’s right, maybe not, but he’s going farther than he has to go. The standard for use of deadly force — not just in the Capitol Police Department but generally — is not certain knowledge but rather, as the department’s policy puts it, a reasonable belief that said use of force “is in the defense of human life, including the officer’s own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury.”

      Did Byrd’s actions meet that standard? The events of the day, and the video record of the shooting, say yes.

    • The Two-Faced Nature of Our Communities

      Here are some of the explanations offered by those supposedly in the know:

      Stupidity and Laziness: The traditional narrative says that the cause is stupidity combined with laziness. As one researcher describes it, “if you believe false things, then you must be stupid. It must be because you haven’t really made an effort to actually figure out what is going on.” This is a superficial assessment. Most people indeed are not critical thinkers who consciously seek to “actually figure out what is going on” in an independent fashion. Essentially, they do not possess enough free will to do so. On the social level, they figure things out according to cultural, community, or group dictates. This is not “stupid” of them, nor is it a function of laziness. It stems from being born and raised as part of a society. And, some societies, particularly smaller ones, families, villages, tribes, and can exert considerable social pressure.

    • Big company tale: six months for a list and a button

      Finally we pointed out that this is customer feedback: i.e., you’ve already lost my business, please don’t rush to save it now. You should take this feedback and recalibrate so as not to leave future people in the lurch like what happened here.

      Someone noted that it would probably have been okay if the person went “here’s your button and by the way we added pretty things”. Instead, it turned into “look how I amused myself, made you wait for months, and did nothing to improve your experience, but I had fun and that’s the important part”.

    • Science

      • A Science Experiment: part 1

        Sitting here in my home office, I mostly lack this academic peer group. The good news is that there are some great people on Twitter to spar with from time to time – which is already very useful. But I need more.

        So, as an experiment, I’m going to document my discovery process here, both to solicit feedback and to create some pressure on myself to actually get this thing done!

      • A Science Experiment: part 2

        Now, to reduce the tension a bit, let me describe the somewhat niche things that I have done, and which I hope could possibly be worthwhile: [...]

    • Education

      • Afghan universities ‘in grave danger’ under Taliban

        Almost immediately after the Taliban’s takeover of the country following the withdrawal of US forces, Afghan women reported that they were being turned away from campuses and were burning university ID cards and degree certificates out of fear of retribution.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

      • US Education Dept. Opens Civil Rights Probes Into 5 States’ Bans on School Mask Mandates

        The U.S. Department of Education on Monday opened civil rights probes in five states to determine whether prohibitions on mask-wearing deny students with disabilities—who are more vulnerable to serious illness from Covid-19—equal access to safe in-person instruction.

        “The department has heard from parents from across the country—particularly parents of students with disabilities and with underlying medical conditions—about how state bans on universal indoor masking are putting their children at risk and preventing them from accessing in-person learning equally,” Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

      • GOP Candidate Calls for ’20 Strong Men’ to Force Out Pro-Mask School Board Members

        A Republican running for elected office in a Pennsylvania county on Sunday provided yet another example of the vitriol and even potential danger that school board members face over Covid-19 safety measures as children across the United States return to in-person learning.

        Steve Lynch, who is running for Northampton County executive, took aim at mask mandates during a Harrisburg rally, issuing a call to action directed at “strong men” and declaring, “make men great again,” tweaking a popular campaign slogan of former President Donald Trump.

      • Ron Death Santis
      • US Leads the World in 7-Day Average of New Daily COVID Cases, Death Count
      • The Unemployed Epidemiologist Who Predicted the Pandemic

        In early March 2020, Rob Wallace, an evolutionary biologist who had been adrift after an unceremonious exit from the University of Minnesota, flew to New Orleans and then got on a bus to Jackson, Miss., where he was scheduled to speak at an event on health and racial injustice. Wallace, who turned 50 this summer, has been studying and writing about infectious diseases and their origins for half his life. For almost as long, he’s been warning that the practices of industrial agriculture would lead to a deadly pandemic on the scale of Covid-19—or worse. “A pandemic may now be all but inevitable,” he wrote of the H5N1 avian influenza virus in 2007. ”In what would be a catastrophic failure on the part of governments and health ministries worldwide, millions may die.”

        Before his trip to Jackson, Wallace had been closely monitoring the outbreak of a novel virus in Wuhan. Though he’d been spooked by a news report that showed a delivery driver in China practicing extreme social distancing, he went ahead with the trip. As an underpaid academic, he needed the money, and as an American, he didn’t expect anything to happen to him. “I too had been infused with a peculiarly American moment, wherein financial desperation meets imperial exceptionalism,” he wrote.

      • Education Department Investigating Five States With Mask Mandate Bans
      • Hurricane’s Collision With COVID Illustrates Threat of GOP Hostility to Science
      • US COVID Hospitalization Rate Tops 100,000, Highest Since Winter’s Peaks
      • Researchers show how to tamper with medication in popular infusion pumps using software flaws

        The vulnerabilities are in equipment made by multinational vendor B. Braun that are used in pediatric and adult health care facilities in the United States.

        While there are no reports of malicious exploitation of the flaws, the research illustrates the challenge of securing devices conceived decades ago from 21st-century digital threats. The findings come as the health care sector reckons with a series of ransomware attacks that hit aging hospital computer networks during the pandemic.

      • Smart Health Card: A description of how VaxiCode and VaxiCode Verif work.

        That’s how the vaccination passport works. Now you can write your own programs to verify and decode your own passport! All that’s needed is to find the public key’s from the goverment, which will be stored in VaxiCode Verif! Check the bottom of this text to see it once I’ve updated. Source code for a self-verifier and self-decoder will also be available.

        I think this is a very innovative thing for the government to have done. It’s the largest scale use of digital identity more or less at the time of writing in Québec. I look forward to other advancements.

      • China to Severely Limit Video Game Access to Minors

        In new rules published Monday by China’s National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), which oversees the nation’s gaming market, teens under 18 will be limited to playing games three hours per week.

        It’s not just how much time can be spent gaming that will be limited. According to state run media, players can only play from 8 p.m. Until 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Play will also be allowed, but only for one hour, during public holidays.

      • The Disastrous Opening of One Arkansas School District

        Marion’s experience was a harbinger of what was to come for school districts nationwide, especially in places where universal masking or vaccine requirements are politically—or legally—impossible. Seven other states ban schools from mandating masks, and districts from Mississippi to Oklahoma to Texas have shut down because of high Covid-19 rates. In Mississippi, at least six children have died from Covid-19 during the pandemic. In Georgia, 2,000 children a day are testing positive for the virus. And Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed an executive order prohibiting vaccine mandates.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (exiv2, grilo, gthumb, and redis), Fedora (krb5, nbdkit, and rubygem-addressable), Mageia (libass and opencontainers-runc), openSUSE (cacti, cacti-spine, go1.15, opera, qemu, and spectre-meltdown-checker), Red Hat (java-1.7.1-ibm, java-1.8.0-ibm, libsndfile, and libX11), SUSE (389-ds, qemu, and spectre-meltdown-checker), and Ubuntu (grilo).

          • Securing the sudo to sudo_logsrvd connection

            Using sudo_logsrvd to centrally collect sudo session recordings from your network is a huge step forward in security: users cannot delete or modify session recordings locally. However, by default, transmission of recordings is not encrypted, making it open to modifications and eavesdropping. Encrypting the connection between sudo and sudo_logsrvd can eliminate these problems. Larger environments usually either have in-house PKI tooling in place, or colleagues who know all openssl options off the top of their heads. However, small and medium enterprises often lack the infrastructure or knowledge to work with TLS certificates.

            This blog can help you to secure connections between sudo and sudo_logsrvd when there is no PKI tooling available to you, or you want to create all the certificates yourself using openssl. It is based on the sudo_logsrvd manual, but changed in such a way that all information is entered on the command line. While interactive certificate generation works fine for a single cert, generating multiple client certificates is easier when everything is on the command line.

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Victory! Lawsuit Proceeds Against Clearview’s Face Surveillance

              One of the worst offenders is Clearview AI, which extracts faceprints from billions of people without their consent and uses these faceprints to help police identify suspects. For example, police in Miami worked with Clearview to identify participants in a recent protest. Such surveillance partnerships between police and corporations are increasingly common.

              Clearview’s faceprinting violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which requires opt-in consent to obtain someone’s faceprint. As a result, Clearview now faces many BIPA lawsuits. One was brought by the ACLU and ACLU of Illinois in state court. Many others were filed against the company in federal courts across the country and then consolidated into one federal courtroom in Chicago. In both Illinois and federal court, Clearview argues that the First Amendment bars these BIPA claims. We disagree and filed an amicus brief saying so in each case.

              Last week, the judge in the Illinois state case rejected Clearview’s First Amendment defense, denied the company’s motion to dismiss, and allowed the ACLU’s lawsuit to move forward. This is a significant victory for our privacy over Clearview’s profits.

            • Zoom’s tepid growth forecast takes shine off billion-dollar quarter

              The company on Monday forecast third-quarter revenue between $1.015 billion and $1.020 billion, compared with the analysts’ average estimate of $1.013 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

            • Can We Live Without Twitter?

              The problem, however, isn’t that we can’t “log off,” as so many on Twitter implore others to do; the problem is that Twitter has come to define “real life.” A human being who lives until the age of 70 will spend about 50,000 (out of 400,000) of their waking hours on a social media platform. To “log off” is to become an ascetic, disconnected from the “real” (virtual) world. Assuming we can’t uninvent social media—and there’s little to suggest we can—we’re left with two questions: Can Twitter be a politically productive space? And perhaps more important, is it possible to live a healthy online life?

            • Massive biometric database of Afghans who helped US, RAW in Taliban’s control now

              The US had started collecting and collating data from some 3,00000 Afghans in 2009, mainly prisoners and Afghan soldiers. Then a biometrics centre was opened in November 2010. US officials aimed to compile information on as many as 25 million Afghans that would allow them to spot Taliban infiltrators. But it evolved into a way to identify Afghans hired or visited by the US forces. Eventually, everyone who worked with the Afghan government or the US military — including interpreters, drivers, nurses, and secretaries — was fingerprinted and scanned for the biometric database over the past 12 years.

              The Afghan Automated Biometric Identification System (AABIS), administered by about 50 Afghans at the Interior Affairs ministry in Kabbul, registered fingerprints, iris scans, and other biographical data. The data were registered using hand-held scanners. Report has it that the US forces had 7,00 pieces of equipment.

              After news broke about the security lapse, US officials have not confirmed how many of the 7,000 scanners were left behind or whether the biometric database can be remotely deleted.

            • US biometric devices are in the hands of the Taliban. They could be used to target Afghans who helped coalition forces.

              But the fear doesn’t stop with paper documents. There are also US military biometric devices, which are high-tech tools that contain sensitive data, like iris scans and fingerprints, tools to distinguish friend from possible enemy, that are in the hands of the Taliban. The Intercept first reported how they could be used to identify Afghans who worked with coalition forces.

            • Taliban kill squad hunting down Afghans — using US biometric data

              The US separately has provided the Taliban with a list of Americans and Afghans it wants to evacuate from the country, a move one defense official told Politico was “just put[ing] all those Afghans on a kill list.”

              But the power and reach of the US biometric database is much larger and more comprehensive. Virtually everyone who worked with the Afghan government or the US military, including interpreters, drivers, nurses, and secretaries, was fingerprinted and scanned for the biometric database over the past 12 years.

            • Bahrain [cracked] activists’ iPhones with NSO Group spyware, Citizen Lab says

              The victims included a blogger, activist, members of political organization Waad and members of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Five of the targets identified by Citizen Lab, an internet watchdog from from the University of Toronto, were listed on a list of individuals obtained by Amnesty International as a part of its “Pegasus Project” investigation. The list is believed to comprise potential targets of NSO Group’s customers.

            • 90% of Gen Z now using apps with interactive live video

              Whether it be Twitch or TikTok, Agora’s study found that Gen Z are increasingly relying on RTE video or audio features in the apps they use. In fact, 87% are using more apps with built-in interactive live video streaming or calling. Meanwhile, 62% have tried apps with interactive live audio streaming, capturing the growing popularity of services like Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse.

            • US authority suspects Angry Birds maker of violating child privacy

              The suit alleges that the company “knowingly collects personal information” from children under the age of 13 and sells that data to third party marketing companies, which is then used to target advertising back at the children.

            • New Mexico sues Angry Birds developer over child privacy violations

              Most importantly, Balderas claims that Rovio “monetizes children by surreptitiously exfiltrating their personal information while they play the Angry Birds Gaming Apps and then using that personal information for commercial exploitation.” That information is then provided to third-party marketing networks to target the children with personalized advertisements. “This conduct endangers the children of New Mexico, undermines the ability of their parents to protect children and their privacy, and violates state and federal law,” the suit concludes.

            • Angry Birds maker sued for allegedly violating child privacy

              Filed on Wednesday, the federal lawsuit by Attorney General Hector Balderas accuses Rovio of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). It is said to do so in part because Angry Birds is marketed to younger device users.

              COPPA requires companies to get permission from the parents of children under the age of 13 before collecting any personal information about them. In mass-market services for all age groups, companies also have to take steps to make sure they don’t collect data for users in that age range.

            • New Mexico Attorney General Files COPPA Suit Against Game Developer

              The complaint alleges that data related to children under 13 who played the Angry Birds games was shared with third parties via software development kits (“SDKs”) embedded in the apps for purposes of targeted advertising. Further, the complaint alleges that Rovio failed to obtain verifiable parental consent prior to collecting and sharing children’s personal information via SDKs for this purpose. The AG also alleges that Rovio’s privacy policy “misleadingly” stated that the Angry Birds apps are not directed to children when Rovio was aware that children make up a significant portion of the games’ audience.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Neocons Speak: Afghanistan as Political Real Estate

        The noisiest group of Afghanistan stayers are the neoconservatives resentful because their bit of political real estate is getting away.  In being defeated, they are left with the task of explaining to the soldiery that blood was not expended in vain against a foe they failed to defeat.  “You took out a brutal enemy,” goes a statement from US President George W. Bush and his wife Laura, “and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies, and providing medical care.”  The couple throw in the contribution of Dr. Sakena Yacoobi of the Afghan Institute of Learning, behind the opening of “schools for girls and women around the nation.”

        Paul Wolfowitz, who served as Bush’s deputy defence secretary, is less sentimental in his assessment of the Afghanistan fiasco. To Australia’s Radio National, he was unsparing in calling the victors “a terrorist mob that has been hating the United States for the last 20 years.”  They had provided the launching ground for “one of history’s worst attacks on the United States” and were now “going to be running that bit of hostile territory.”

      • Let’s Take the Profit Out of Wars

        After all, we grew up living it or hearing about it. The 20th century rates as the deadliest in human history — 75 million people died in World War II alone. Millions have died since, including a quarter-million during the 20-year U.S. war in Afghanistan.

        But for our forebears, the incredible deadliness of modern warfare came as a shock.

      • U.S. Winds Down Afghanistan Occupation Like It Began, with Drone Strikes & Civilian Casualties

        U.S. troops in Afghanistan are racing to evacuate people from the country ahead of Tuesday’s withdrawal deadline as the Kabul airport is targeted by rocket fire from militant groups. The rocket attacks come just days after over 175 people, including 13 U.S. troops, died after a suicide bomb outside the airport, with the group ISIS-K claiming responsibility for the attack. The Pentagon has publicly acknowledged that some of the people killed outside the airport on Thursday may have been shot dead by U.S. servicemembers in the panic after the suicide bombing. The U.S. retaliated over the weekend with two airstrikes the Pentagon says targeted more potential suicide bombers, but local residents say the strikes also killed Afghan civilians, including as many as six children. “We see how the war on terror in Afghanistan started and how it is ending now: It’s with drones and civilian casualties,” says Emran Feroz, an Austro-Afghan journalist and author. He says the U.S. airstrikes in the final days of the war — and the innocent people they killed — are emblematic of the entire 20-year conflict. “In many rural areas, these things happened on a daily basis,” says Feroz.

      • Opinion | A Vengeful American Empire Has Been Humiliated in Afghanistan

        The Carthaginian general Hannibal, who came close to defeating the Roman Republic in the Second Punic War, committed suicide in 181 BC in exile as Roman soldiers closed in on his residence in the Bithynian village of Libyssa, now modern-day Turkey. It had been more than thirty years since he led his army across the alps and annihilated Roman legions at the Battle of Trebia, Lake Trasimene and Cannae, considered one of the most brilliant tactical victories in warfare which centuries later inspired the plans of the German Army Command in World War I when they invaded Belgium and France. Rome was only able to finally save itself from defeat by replicating Hannibal’s military tactics. 

      • Opinion | We Can’t Prevent Future Nuclear Wars Unless We Imagine Them Today

        The desire to anticipate what the future holds is not new. The Delphic oracle in the eighth century BC held a prestigious and authoritative position in the Greek world, providing predictions and guidance to both city-states and individuals. In 1555, Nostradamus’ Les Propheties attracted an enthusiastic following, and even today many credit him with predicting many major world events. During the Cold War, techniques designed to anticipate the future were instrumental in informing strategic decisions. Analysts at the RAND Corporation, for example, pioneered the development of foresight methods such as scenario development to predict the Soviet Union’s nuclear strategy during the Cold War in their seminal 1988 report, “How Nuclear War Might Start”.

      • Opinion | Here’s a Fact: The Afghan War Could Never Be Won

        As the Western occupation of Afghanistan has come to an end, TV news is broadcasting harrowing scenes of death and destruction, citizens in fear, allies abandoned, and dreams dashed.

      • After 20 Years in Afghanistan, ‘America’s Longest War Is Finally Over’

        The Pentagon announced Monday that the very last U.S. military plane had lifted off from the airport in Kabul, ending 20 years of America’s on-the-ground war and occupation of Afghanistan.

        “Every single U.S. servicemember is out of Afghanistan,” said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, in a televised statement.

      • Opinion | At the End of This Catastrophic War, We Need to Face the Truth

        Many in the U.S. media continue to credit the good intentions of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, while belaboring its failure over 20 years to achieve any of them. But to say that the United States wanted a progressive, liberal democratic, and secular government in Afghanistan can only be believed by those who refuse to remember what Washington did when Kabul actually had one.

      • As Biden Threatens More War, Don’t Forget the Afghanistan Invasion Was Illegal
      • Don’t Listen to Panetta and Bolton. The US Must Stay Out of Afghanistan.
      • US Drone Attack Kills at Least 10 Afghan Civilians—Including 6 Children

        A U.S. drone strike purportedly targeting a suspected ISIS-K vehicle in a residential neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan killed at least 10 members of a single family—including six children—as they were getting out of their car on Sunday.

        “Too many children have already died from U.S. drone strikes. We cannot accept one more, let alone six.”—CodePink

      • Opinion | Afghan Crisis Must End America’s Empire of War, Corruption and Poverty

        Americans have been shocked by videos of thousands of Afghans risking their lives to flee the Taliban’s return to power in their country—and then by an Islamic State suicide bombing and ensuing massacre by U.S. forces that together killed at least 170 people, including 13 U.S. troops. 

      • Noam Chomsky on Afghanistan (Post-9/11)
      • Did the US Support the Growth of ISIS-K in Afghanistan?

        The list of governments, former government officials, and organizations in the region that have accused the US of supporting ISIS-K is expansive and includes the Russian government, the Iranian government, Syrian government media, Hezbollah, an Iraqi state-sponsored military outfit and even former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who called the group a “tool” of the United States as journalist Ben Norton recently noted, characterizing Karzai as “a former US puppet who later turned against the US, and knows many of its secrets.”

      • Robert M. Gates: Poster Child for Bureaucratic Deceit

        Only Secretary Gates proclaimed, however, that he would never sign deployment orders for a strategy that he didn’t believe in.  Only Gates has sanctimoniously asked to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery to “rest among my heroes for all eternity.”  Gates never risked his life on the battlefield; he has no right to “rest among” those who did.

        On his various trips to Afghanistan, Gates told soldiers he was “encouraged by the progress you’re making in securing and stabilizing the country.”  He knew this was not true, but he audaciously castigated President Barack Obama for not believing in the Afghan mission and for distrusting the nation’s military leaders.  He charged that Vice President Joe Biden was “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”  But it was Biden who warned Obama in 2009 against both increasing troop strength in Afghanistan and getting “boxed in” by Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And it was Gates who argued mendaciously that the “training of the Afghan military is going well, and security responsibility is steadily being transferred to them.”

      • Chris Hedges: The Empire Does Not Forgive

        The Carthaginian general Hannibal, who came close to defeating the Roman Republic in the Second Punic War, committed suicide in 181 BC in exile as Roman soldiers closed in on his residence in the Bithynian village of Libyssa, now modern-day Turkey. It had been more than thirty years since he led his army across the alps and annihilated Roman legions at the Battle of Trebia, Lake Trasimene and Cannae, considered one of the most brilliant tactical victories in warfare which centuries later inspired the plans of the German Army Command in World War I when they invaded Belgium and France. Rome was only able to finally save itself from defeat by replicating Hannibal’s military tactics.

      • Afghanistan collapse reveals Beltway media’s loyalty to permanent war state
      • Deepfakes in cyberattacks aren’t coming. They’re already here.

        We’ve all heard the story about the CEO whose voice was imitated convincingly enough to initiate a wire transfer of $243,000. Now, the constant Zoom meetings of the anywhere workforce era have created a wealth of audio and video data that can be fed into a machine learning system to create a compelling duplicate. And attackers have taken note. Deepfake technology has seen a drastic uptick across the dark web, and attacks are certainly taking place.

        In my role, I work closely with incident response teams, and earlier this month I spoke with several CISOs of prominent global companies about the rise in deepfake technology they have witnessed. Here are their top concerns.

    • Environment

      • Why is the Gulf Stream slowing down and what does it mean for the future of the UK’s climate?

        One nice statistic that is quite useful to reflect on is that the the heat held in the top one metre of the ocean contains as much heat energy as the whole of the atmosphere. It has this capacity for storing heat. It’s this movement of the heat around the globe that keeps our climate nice for us to live in. If all the heat was just concentrated in the tropics, they’d be too hot to live in and everywhere else would be too cold to live in. That’s the importance to us, the way it modulates our climate and our weather.

      • Climate denial? Flat Earth? What’s the difference?

        People who deny that climate change is happening have something in common with people who believe in a flat Earth.

      • Hurricane Ida Slams Native Communities in Louisiana
      • Hurricane Ida Badly Damages Home of Goldman Prize Winner Sharon Lavigne and Others in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley

        On Sunday afternoon, Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, making it one of the most powerful storms to strike Louisiana in recorded history. Ida made landfall on the 16th anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina. 

        And around 10:00 p.m. that night in St. James Parish, a wind gust from Ida lifted most of the roof from the home of Sharon Lavigne. Lavigne, inside, prayed that the roof wouldn’t fly away entirely, she told DeSmog Monday morning. And indeed, one portion of the roof remained, over a bedroom where the 69-year old retired special-ed teacher sheltered as Ida howled around her. Ida’s sustained wind speeds at the time exceeded 100 miles per hour, National Hurricane Center reports show, with higher gusts.

      • Links From the Brink: Focus on Rewilding, Climate and the Media, and Arctic Blues
      • Climate Crises Converge as Wildfire Burns West and Hurricane Pummels South
      • Hurricane Ida Hits Oil Industry in Black & Native Communities on Louisiana Coast Amid Climate Crisis

        Two-thirds of Louisiana’s industrial sites lie in the path of Hurricane Ida, including oil refineries, storage tanks and other infrastructure like oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana’s Gulf Coast is a major oil and gas hub, with 17 oil refineries, two liquefied natural gas export terminals, as well as a nuclear power plant and many Superfund sites. Oil spills and chemical releases due to climate change-intensified storms are a “worsening, consistent problem” in Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, says Antonia Juhasz, a longtime oil and energy investigative journalist. Communities of color living on the Gulf Coast near polluting gas and oil infrastructure “now also have to deal with that worsening climate crisis creating a storm that harms these facilities, that then causes more releases,” she adds.

      • Hurricane Ida Slams Native Communities in Louisiana as New Orleans Loses Electricity & COVID Rages

        Hurricane Ida has completely knocked out power to the city of New Orleans and reversed the flow of the Mississippi River after it hit southern Louisiana and Mississippi, flooding the area with storm surges. The Category 4 storm hit on the same date Hurricane Katrina devastated the area 16 years earlier. “This is a storm like no other,” says Monique Verdin, a citizen of the United Houma Nation and part of the grassroots collaborative Another Gulf Is Possible. “This is a part of South Louisiana that is losing land at one of the fastest rates,” Verdin notes. She also discusses how the storm hit the area as “Delta has been raging in the Mississippi River Delta.”

      • After Ida’s Destruction, Sunrise Movement Urges Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

        With search and rescue efforts underway and widespread power outages in the wake of Hurricane Ida barreling into the Louisiana coast Sunday as a Category 4 storm, the youth-led Sunrise Movement on Monday urged President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency.

        “We’re done with thoughts and prayers and so are the communities of the Gulf South. We need action now.”—Varshini Prakash, Sunrise Movement

      • Hurricane Ida Deemed a ‘Poster Child’ for Climate Disaster as Storm Slams Louisiana

        More than a million Louisiana residents were without power Monday morning and at least one person was reportedly killed as Hurricane Ida pummeled the Gulf Coast of the United States, causing life-threatening flooding, lashing homes and buildings with powerful wind, and slamming the industry that some experts blamed for the catastrophic storm.

        “As you watch from afar in horror, remember: it’s fossil fuels. It’s been fossil fuels for a very long time.”—Emily Atkin

      • Energy

        • House Democrats Demand Repeal of Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Reconciliation Bill

          In a Monday letter to party leadership, dozens of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives called for repealing fossil fuel industry subsidies in the reconciliation bill that lawmakers are now working on after approving the budget blueprint last week.

          “We support a deal that sufficiently enhances climate justice, especially in repealing fossil fuel subsidies.”—54 House Democrats

        • Exxon’s Oil Drilling Gamble Off Guyana Coast Could Turn Country from a Carbon Sink to a “Carbon Bomb”

          Despite desperate climate warnings against new fossil fuel development, ExxonMobil is pursuing a massive new oil project in Guyana that is projected to be the corporation’s largest oil production in the world. A new investigation by Antonia Juhasz, a longtime oil and energy investigative reporter, reveals the project will release 125 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, turning Guyana from a carbon sink into what she says could be a “carbon bomb” and posing major environmental risks.

        • Germany, Namibia ink hydrogen cooperation agreement

          A first for Namibia, the agreement will see the two countries pursue feasibility studies to implement joint hydrogen pilot project and to strengthen capacity building for trained professionals.

          Under plans for the feasibility study, it is hoped that production of hydrogen in Namibia will be a success. The study will also explore potential exportation of hydrogen into Germany from the South African country.

        • Michigan Marvels: Holland’s De Zwaan Windmill

          De Zwaan was built as a grain windmill and still operates as one. Wheat is purchased from a local farm and is brought up to the fifth floor using wind power. It is also ground by the millstones using wind power. Normally you can buy the flour at the park, but repairs to the windmill have paused milling operations.

          It is the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the United States.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Fighting to Protect the Grizzlies of the Cabinet-Yaak Region isn’t “frivolous”

          As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service noted in its 1993 Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan, “roads probably pose the most imminent threat to grizzly habitat today.” Why? Because roads bring humans into areas where grizzlies live and increase the potential for human-grizzly conflicts that often result in dead bears – and there are many more roads now than there were in 1993.

          Because roads are a very serious problem for grizzly bears and other wildlife, the Forest Service claims to “remove roads” by bulldozing a berm across them, not recontouring the road base. The agency may wish to pretend the road no longer exists, but research, backed up by photographic evidence, proves that people simply drive over and around the berms, rendering the road “removal” totally ineffective.

    • Finance

      • Our “Trillion-Dollar Seven”: Can We Summon the Courage to Tax Them?

        This past April, I reported on another obscene milestone in U.S. wealth concentration. Back then, for the first time ever, $1 trillion sat in the pockets of just eight rich guys, a group small enough to squeeze inside a single SUV.

        Today, barely four months later, that “trillion-dollar club” will shortly kick another member to the curb. According to Forbes, the collective wealth of America’s seven wealthiest white men — Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Larry Ellison — stood at $996 billion at the end of the day yesterday. The seat in the Trillion-Dollar SUV about to be vacated belongs to Warren Buffett. The trillion-dollar club’s deep pockets soon won’t need his $100-billion net worth to make a trillion. So long, Warren.

      • Australia considering new laws for Apple, Google, WeChat digital wallets

        Services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and China’s WeChat Pay, which have grown rapidly in recent years, are not currently designated as payment systems, putting them outside the regulatory system.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • A Few Words on The Unrepentant Marxist, Louis Proyect

        So I emailed him. I told him how disillusioned I was, but also how inspiring I found his writings. He responded and was so supportive. He had obviously gone through similar shit leaving the SWP. We started a long friendship.

        It’s clear from reading everyone’s tributes that Lou and Marxmail played some significant sort of role in transitioning the Marxist left from then to now, especially among younger people, that many are still trying to process. For me, in addition to his writings and the space of Marxmail, I can’t count how many great people who are now lifelong friends he personally connected me with.

      • Louis Proyect: a Fierce and Uncompromising Spirit

        Lou was a fighter and we had our fights over the years and I enjoyed most of them, even though he bloodied me up a couple of times. Usually they were fights about important things. Lou didn’t tolerate “beliefs”, he demanded ideas and he wanted proofs.

        Alexander Cockburn used to tweak Lou mercilessly in his columns, as the last Trotskyist. And Lou took it good-naturedly. In part because he idolized Alex and admired his writing. In part because it meant that his ideas were important enough to be debated, even parodied, at that level. Lou had his passions, Syria, being one, which often put him on the wrong side of many doctrinaire anti-Imperialists. He had his reasons, some very personal ones, but he didn’t flinch.

      • Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, And A Bunch Of Other Trump-Loving Lawyers Hit With Sanctions In Michigan

        Former Trump lawyer/current conspiracy theorist/lawsuit defendant Sidney Powell has one more thing to add to her extremely dubious CV: sanctions.

      • More Pro-Trump Lawyers Sanctioned For BS Election Fraud Lawsuits

        It’s not just headliners like L. Lin Wood and Sidney Powell getting sanctioned for pursuing bullshit election fraud lawsuits. Other grifting asshats with Esq. on their letterhead are getting benchslapped for abusing the court system to pursue political goals, utilizing nothing more than speculation and wild conspiracy theories as “evidence.”

      • Where Are They? The Disappeared: When Remembering is a Political Act of Resistance
      • A Beacon Rises from Capitol Hill

        Jacob Wilson, hailing from Pomona College in California, has a different definition of self-respect, and of his own humble significance in the furiously moribund culture of our most constitutionally powerful branch of government. He most certainly doesn’t fit in with the staff on loan from the corporatist canyons of K Street.

        Wilson came from the peace movement – Peace Action – to be exact. He pitched practical peace to one Congressional office after another. His important message was not exactly a head turner, he discovered. War, military armaments’ lobbyists signaling campaign donations get the attention at the abdicating war-permissive legislature.

      • The International Community Must be on Alert to Defend Peru
      • Sanders Says Last Thing California Needs Is ‘Some Right-Wing Republican Governor’

        With just two weeks to go before California’s closely watched gubernatorial recall election, Senator Bernie Sanders warned Sunday that the effort to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom is a “bold-faced Republican power grab” and urged the state’s voters to reject it at the polls.

        “At this unprecedented moment in American history, when we’re trying to address the crisis of climate change, guarantee healthcare for all, and pass real immigration reform, the last thing we need is to have some right-wing Republican governor in California,” Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, said in a 30-second spot recorded for the “Stop the Republican Recall” campaign.

      • Who Wins Germany’s Election Next Month?

        Unlike the USA’s first past the post system with one-person one-vote, Germans have, funnily, two votes. One vote goes to the candidate in a local electorate and the second vote goes towards proportional representation.

        As a consequence, Germany is not defined by two parties. It does not have Democrats vs. Republicans (USA), Labor vs. Tories (UK), or as some evil heretics might say, “Coke vs. Pepsi”. Instead, several parties seek to govern after an election.

      • Barbara Lee Has to Vote

        Representative Barbara Lee was in a hurry. The House was preparing to advance a multitrillion-dollar budget blueprint and voting rights bill during a rare August session, ending a standoff with a gang of conservative Democrats threatening to derail President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda. A frantic two-day session on Capitol Hill was coming to a close, and the California congresswoman had to go vote.

      • Saving Democracy by Destroying It

        The Maricopa “audit” has assumed such mythic proportions among the Trump diehards who insist that their Il Duce won the presidential election that some QAnon believers have insisted that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is a hoax—to distract attention from the allegations of vote-tampering in Arizona. No doubt rumors have begun somewhere in cyberspace that the forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and droughts sweeping across the world are also “false-flag operations” designed by the Biden camp to help them erase evidence of election fraud.

        The Trump forces that have taken over the Republican Party regularly fulminate against The Squad, antifa, that “socialist Biden,” and other convenient punching bags. But the real target of their ire is closer to home: Republicans who have refused to join the Trump personality cult.

      • Google, Facebook, Microsoft top EU lobbying spending: Study

        Alphabet Inc’s Google unit, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp are the three biggest lobbying spenders in Europe in a battle against tough new laws aimed at curbing U.S. tech giants’ powers, a study released on Tuesday showed.

        Such efforts should be a wake-up call to EU policymakers to further beef up the draft laws and lobbying rules, the study by campaign groups Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl warned.

        The tech sector outspends even the pharma, fossil fuels, finance and chemicals sectors, which used to dominate lobbying, the report said.

      • Google, Facebook, Microsoft top EU lobbying spending – study

        The study warned about the industry’s access to the European Commission, with lobbyists involved in three-quarters of the 270 meetings commission officials had on the two draft laws.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Most Information About Disinformation Is Misinformation

        Reporter Joseph Bernstein recently published a fantastic cover story in Harpers all about “disinformation” and “fake news” but not in the way you normally think about it. It’s not like most such articles — often decrying just how much disinformation is flowing out there, but rather taking a very critical eye about how we (especially the media) talk about such things. The piece is thought-provoking and well worth reading, and I’ve spent the last week or so letting it sit and percolate in my head before writing up this post about it.

      • The FSMB against physicians promoting COVID-19 misinformation

        My first post for 2021 was a retrospective on the year 2020 entitled Looking back on 2020: Too many physicians behaving badly. The reason was simple. The COVID-19 pandemic, which first hit Wuhan, China in December 2019, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, and shortly thereafter caused mass shutdowns and travel restrictions led some physicians to reveal themselves to be very bad actors indeed in terms of spreading misinformation, advocating quackery, and outright grifting. Sure, the usual suspects (several of whom were ultimately dubbed the “Disinformation Dozen” a few months ago) were involved, which is exactly what one would expect. After all, what were doctors like Joseph Mercola, Sherri Tenpenny, Kelly Brogan, and the like going to do during a pandemic except switch their grift to the coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccines? This was utterly expected. Years—even decades—before, I had wondered how doctors like these could keep their state medical licenses. Last month the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) entered the fray, which is the topic of this post. Before I get to that, though, let’s look back briefly.

      • Tenpenny’s gospel: How an indebted US physician sells Covid falsehoods

        An AFP investigation has found that the 63-year-old widow developed a business around coronavirus skepticism at the same time as she owes US tax authorities at least half a million dollars.

        Earlier this year, Tenpenny was named one of the worst known spreaders of falsehoods, myths and misleading statements about vaccines — a group the non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate dubbed the “Disinformation Dozen.”

      • Ivermectin must be administered despite CDC and FDA warnings, Ohio judge orders

        Wagshul is a co-founder of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, a nonprofit that promotes the use of Ivermectin despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration that it has no effect and could be dangerous.

        Dr. Leanne Chrisman-Khawam, a physician and Ohio University professor, called the group “snake oil salesmen,” noting that there are “serious” issues with their research and that the studies they cite often “don’t show positive results” and have “design flaws.”

        “Based on evidence-based medicine and my read on this large number of small studies, I would find this very suspect, even the positive outcomes,” she told the Capital Journal.

      • Scientists must speak out against misinformation about “immune-boosting” supplements

        Despite these risks, there has been an unfortunate absence of expert voices contesting supplement company claims with real data. “There needs to be a more robust response from the science community in the face of pseudoscience and misinformation,” says Tim Caulfield, a professor of health law at the University of Alberta, who has worked on studies and books examining ads and posts claiming to support the immune system on social media. He explains that supplement marketing often builds on the common misperception that if the right amount of a vitamin is good for you, more is better. “That’s not the case at all,” he says.

        On the topic of supplement misinformation, Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance, says, “The main problem is that the law permits companies to promote supplements as if they have important benefits for health even if there has never been a single study in humans to study the product’s efficacy or safety.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Texas Legislature Says You Can’t Teach About Racism In Schools, But Social Media Sites Must Host Holocaust Denialism

        Everything is bigger in Texas, even the act of unconstitutional spitting on the 1st Amendment. We’ve already talked about the blatantly unconstitutional bill, HB20, that picks up where Florida’s already-declared-unconstitutional bill leaves off, and makes it even worse. Well, that bill was voted on Friday and Texas Republicans approved it by a vote of 76 to 44.

      • Facebook’s Censoring of Women’s Bodies is Nipocrisy

        Facebook and Instagram have a combined worldwide usership of over three billion people, and only one rule book split between them. Their “Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity” section of the guidelines firmly assigns nudity to sexual activity without room for negotiation. Within this section, they have dedicated a big portion of text to describing when and how a female nipple is and isn’t allowed, therefore making an exposed female nipple a sexually explicit act by default — with a few vague exceptions, such as for breastfeeding and “acts of protest.” These guidelines prohibit “visible genitalia” and “fully nude close-ups of buttocks” in the same breath as “uncovered female nipples,” making a female-presenting body twice as likely as male-presenting body to be flagged as obscene simply for possessing and showing her nipples.

      • Will the Taliban restrict internet access in Afghanistan?

        SensorTower, a site that tracks the top downloads from the Google Play store (the majority of people in Afghanistan use Android phones), shows internet security apps like virtual private networks (VPNs) and secure messaging apps like Telegram are gaining users.

        “A lot of people are changing their handsets as well as their contact numbers,” said journalist Totakhil.

        “Many are also switching to using [the encrypted messaging app] Signal because they believe that WhatsApp is compromised.”

      • Taliban reportedly cuts communications to last province resisting their rule

        The Taliban has cut [Internet] and mobile connections to Panjshir, the only Afghan province not under their control and the last bastion of resistance to their takeover, sources said on Sunday.

        The move is apparently aimed at limiting the ability of anti-Taliban resistance in the Panjshir Valley to communicate with the outside world.

      • Internet Disrupted, Streets Quiet in South Sudan After Call for Protests

        Internet services in South Sudan were disrupted on Monday and security forces were deployed on the streets, which were quieter than usual as residents sheltered inside after activists had called for protests against President Salva Kiir’s government.

        With Kiir scheduled to address lawmakers at parliament’s opening session on Monday morning, a coalition of activist groups reiterated their call on Sunday for public rallies demanding he resign. However, there was no sign early on Monday of major street gatherings in the capital Juba. Some activists told Reuters they were in hiding for security reasons.

      • RSF condemns Kyrgyzstan’s adoption of law restricting online free speech

        Under the guise of fighting online disinformation, Kyrgyzstan’s president has signed a law allowing the authorities to summarily suppress information at the request of any citizen who says they are being defamed. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate repeal of this law, which could be used to censor the media.

      • Afghani Folk Singer Fawad Andarabi Executed by the Taliban Following Nationwide Music Ban

        The incident apparently occurred in the Andarab i Valley, for which the singer takes his namesake, roughly 50-60 miles north of Kabul. Separate reports point to the murder happening in the Panjshir Valley, which is similarly situated north of Kabul. Andarabi was reportedly dragged from his home before being executed.

      • Consolidating censorship

        As envisaged by the government, the PMDA will be a one-stop shop regulator for all media — print, broadcast, film, and digital — and headed by a government-appointed bureaucrat. The PMDA will also have tribunals to hear complaints against media organisations, decisions of which can only be appealed at the Supreme Court. The tribunals, headed by chairpersons of high court judge level, will have the power to impose fines of Rs25 million and hand down jail time of up to three years. The PMDA will grant licences to media organisations which will have to be renewed yearly; it will also have the power to seal offices of media houses.

        The PMDA will repeal the Press Council Ordinance, 2002; the Press, Newspaper, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002; the Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1973; the Pakistan Electronic Media Ordinance, 2002, as amended by Pemra Amendment Act, 2007; and the Motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979.

      • Afghanistan: How can messaging work safely in an [Internet] shutdown?

        In today’s digital age, it may seem like no [Internet] means a complete communication breakdown. In fact, there are still a few options. DW has compiled a list.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The trials of Julian Assange

        The actions of the major occupying power, America, were exposed by Julian Assange when he published the Afghan War Logs. These logs set down in detail what was happening in the country to many citizens. They exposed war crimes on an industrial scale, and corruption at the highest level.

        For this Julian has been hounded, endured years of detention, culminating in spending the last two years in the UK’s worst prison – in solitary confinement. An appeal by the US against the lower court judgement to refuse extradition based on the state of his mental health is to take place in October. The failure of the Australian government to take a strong stand to get him freed is a disgrace.

      • Female journalist flees Afghanistan following groundbreaking TV interview with Taliban spokesman

        Arghand, a female anchor at TOLO, an Afghan news network, interviewed a senior Taliban representative on the air. The interview garnered headlines around the world.

        Two days later, Arghand did it again, interviewing Malala Yousafzai, the activist who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, in what TOLO described as the first time Yousafzai had ever been interviewed on Afghan TV.

        Arghand was blazing a trail, but her work has been put on hold. She decided to leave Afghanistan, citing the dangers that so many journalists and ordinary Afghans are facing.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • EFF to Council of Europe: Flawed Cross Border Police Surveillance Treaty Needs Fixing—Here Are Our Recommendations to Strengthen Privacy and Data Protections Across the World

        From requiring law enforcement to garner independent judicial authorization as a condition for cross border requests for user data, to prohibiting police investigative teams from bypassing privacy safeguards in secret data transfer deals, our recommendations submitted to PACE will add much-needed human rights protections to the draft Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. The recommendations seek to preserve the Protocol’s objective—to facilitate efficient and timely cross-border investigations between countries with varying legal systems—while embedding safeguards protecting individual rights. 

        Without these amendments, the Protocol’s credibility is in question. The Budapest Cybercrime Convention has been remarkably successful in terms of signatories—large and small states from around the globe have ratified it. However, Russia’s long-standing goal to replace the treaty with its own proposed UN draft convention may be adding pressure on the Council of Europe (CoE) to rush its approval instead of extending its terms of reference to properly allow for a meaningful non-stakeholder consultation. But if the CoE intends to offer a more human right protective approach to the UN Cybercrime initiative, it must lead by example by fixing the primary technical mistakes we have highlighted in our submission and strengthen privacy and data protection safeguards in the draft Protocol. 

        This post is the first of a series of articles describing our recommendations to PACE. The series will also explain how the Protocol will impact legislation in other countries.  The draft Protocol was  approved by the  Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Committee (T-CY) in May 28th following an opaque, several-year process largely commandeered by law enforcement.  

      • Demand for ‘Moratorium on Drone Warfare’ Follows Latest US Killing of Afghan Civilians

        The largest Muslim civil rights organization in the United States demanded Monday that the Biden administration immediately put in place a “moratorium on drone warfare” after the U.S. killed at least 10 Afghan civilians—including half a dozen children—with an airstrike in Kabul over the weekend.

        “Enough is enough,” Edward Ahmed Mitchell, national deputy director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement. “For more than ten years, our government’s drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Muslim world—destroying family homes, wedding parties, and even funeral processions. The civilian casualties in Kabul are simply the latest victims of this misused technology.”

      • The Court Knew She Didn’t Commit the Murder. They Sentenced Her for It Anyway.
      • Nearly 70 Line 3 Resisters Arrested Outside Minnesota Governor’s Mansion
      • I’m a Legal Asylum Seeker. Why Can’t I Work?

        As a Syrian asylum seeker in the United States, I face a classic Catch-22: I have applied for asylum, but the new regulations prohibit me from working for at least a year, preventing me from supporting myself as I pursue my asylum claim.

      • ‘Refugee Movements Are Not Illegal’: EU Rebuked for Plan to Curb Flow of Vulnerable Afghans

        Human rights advocates are demanding that policymakers across Europe do more to safely accomodate Afghan refugees within their countries after it was revealed Monday that the European Union is reportedly planning to thwart the arrival of people fleeing the war-torn nation.

        “Based on lessons learned, the E.U. and its member states stand determined to act jointly to prevent the recurrence of uncontrolled large-scale illegal migration movements faced in the past, by preparing a coordinated and orderly response,” E.U. ministers are expected to say during a Tuesday meeting about Afghanistan, according to a draft statement obtained by Reuters.

      • This State’s Legislators Want to Overhaul the System That Lets Law Enforcement Keep People’s Money

        Lawmakers and criminal justice advocates in Massachusetts are calling for changes to the laws that govern how law enforcement seizes, and keeps, cash and property confiscated in suspected drug crimes. The push follows a WBUR and ProPublica investigation that found a top prosecutor stockpiling people’s money for years, even when they weren’t charged with a drug offense or their cases were dismissed.

        The system, known as civil asset forfeiture, was designed to disrupt criminal drug operations, but in Massachusetts, it’s easier for prosecutors to hold onto cash indefinitely once it’s seized. That’s because, under state laws, district attorneys need only meet the lowest legal burden of proof, probable cause, to support suspicions that the money was involved in a drug crime; DAs also face no deadline to notify a person that they intend to keep the cash.

      • The Biggest Uprising Since the Civil War Happened Here 100 Years Ago

        Logan, W.Va.—Heading east from here, County Road 17 snakes up and down craggy hills for several miles before crossing an unremarkable intersection. A deserted church sits on one corner. On the other, a small bronze plaque recounts the Battle of Blair Mountain, a labor dispute that saw almost 10,000 miners face off against a union-busting sheriff, several thousand deputized locals, and the US military. It was the largest armed uprising in the country since the Civil War. This year marks the 100th anniversary, yet hardly a soul today remembers it.

      • The secret bias hidden in mortgage-approval algorithms

        Holding 17 different factors steady in a complex statistical analysis of more than 2 million conventional mortgage applications for home purchases, we found that lenders were 40% more likely to turn down Latino applicants for loans, 50% more likely to deny Asian/Pacific Islander applicants, and 70% more likely to deny Native American applicants than similar white applicants. Lenders were 80% more likely to reject Black applicants than similar white applicants. These are national rates.

        In every case, the prospective borrowers of color looked almost exactly the same on paper as the white applicants, except for their race.

      • No Surprise, Uber and Lyft Lied About Helping Workers

        These findings are congruent with a previous study — conducted by Tulchin Research and commissioned by SEIU — showing that drivers are “receiving little information” about the benefits, with many drivers entirely unaware of the benefits.

        “Rather than rectifying the problems app-based drivers face, Prop 22 has intensified drivers’ vulnerability to health and safety risks as well as feelings of confusion and disillusionment,” concludes the report. As to how to fix the problem, in the short term, the authors recommend removing restrictions on the health care stipend. “The stipend should cover 100 percent of the average monthly premium for a Covered California Bronze plan. Drivers’ total work time, rather than engaged work time, should be counted when calculating stipend qualification,” they write.

      • Canadian Workers Are Unwittingly Funding Bolsonaro’s Water Privatization

        Privatization will undermine access to water and wastewater services, which the United Nations has recognized as a fundamental human right. UN experts have noted that the pandemic has exposed the “catastrophic impact” of privatization that “prices out the poor and may result in violations of human rights.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Another 1.2 Million Consumers Ditched Traditional Cable TV Last Quarter

        Surprising nobody, the traditional cable TV industry lost another 1.2 million paying subscribers last quarter as users flee to other alternatives. Largely those alternatives consist of streaming video services that are cheaper, more flexible, and feature better customer service. Many others are rediscovering free over the air broadcasts. Others have simply shifted away from TV entirely, choosing to embrace YouTube or TikTok.

      • FCC Bungled Broadband Mapping And Subsidies So Badly, It Got Boxed Out Of Broadband Infrastructure Plan

        So we’ve noted for a long time how the FCC’s broadband maps are a bit of a joke, routinely overstating broadband competitors, speeds, and service availability. We’ve also routinely noted how these bad maps go hand in hand with extremely sloppy subsidy programs that often dole out money to regional monopolies for doing as little as possible. That was punctuated recently by a $9 billion scandal in which the FCC (under Trump appointee Ajit Pai) doled out hundreds of millions of undeserved dollars to ISPs (like Elon Musk’s Starlink) so they could deliver broadband to airport parking lots and traffic medians.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix’s Announced ‘Video Game Streaming’ Foray Fizzles Into Some Mobile Games Using Netflix IP

        You may recall that my colleague Karl Bode discussed Netflix’s response to real competition last month, dealing mostly with how Netflix has attempted to hand-waive concerns over losing subscribers in the face of increasing streaming options from the likes of Amazon, Disney, and Comcast. But buried down in the last paragraph was a reference to Netflix’s reported interest in video game streaming. Reports indicated that Netflix had hired an executive that had previously worked for EA, speculating that the company was getting into game publishing. There was no official word from Netflix as to what this game studio would actually look like, and the speculation was roughly what you would expect.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Timings and Procedure in the English Patents Court – a Short Update

          As many Kluwer readers will know, the last 18 months have witnessed a changing of the guard within the English Patents Court with long-standing first instance judges Arnold and Birss JJ being promoted to the Court of Appeal and their shoes in the Patents Court being filled by the highly respected patent practitioners, Meade and Mellor JJ.

          Almost a year since Meade J was installed as a High Court Judge, this seems as good a time as any to reflect on the way that practices within the English Patents Court have been evolving, particularly with regard to the timetabling and conduct of trials.

      • Copyrights

        • Movie Companies Want VPNs to Log User Data and Disconnect Pirates

          A group of movie companies continues its legal efforts to hold VPN services liable for pirating subscribers. A new lawsuit lists Surfshark, VPN Unlimited, Zenmate, and ExpressVPN as defendants. Besides damages, the filmmakers want the VPNs to block pirate sites and start logging user data. The accused companies have yet to respond in court.

        • FitGirl Pirate Repacker Warns Domain Name Could Be Lost, Perhaps Forever

          FitGirl Repacks is currently one of the most popular torrent sites on the Internet but its operator is warning of turbulent times ahead. Site operator FitGirl says that due to a serious domain issue, the site’s main domain could go offline temporarily or even forever.

        • Meet CC Summit Presenter: Suzanne Wakim
        • Meet the CC Summit Presenters: Flor de Fuego and Naoto Hieda

          Naoto Hieda is a Japanese artist based in Cologne, Germany. They challenge the current paradigm of productive coding to speculate its new form, namely post-coding, through their neurodiverse perspective and live coding experiences. The duo co-founded Hydra community meetups at venues including NODE20 (Germany), and presented hybrid media installation GlitchMe at CODAME (US).

        • The Federal Circuit Has Another Chance to Get it Right on Software Copyright

          That outcome, however correct, is far from certain. The Federal Circuit got this issue very wrong just a few years ago, in Oracle v. Google. But with the facts stacked against the plaintiff, and a simpler question simpler to decide, the Federal Circuit might get it right this time.

          The parties in the case, software companies SAS Institute Inc. (SAS) and World Programming Ltd. (WPL), have been feuding for years in multiple courts in the U.S. and abroad. At the heart of the case is SAS’s effort to effectively own the SAS Language, a high-level programming language used to write programs for conducting statistical analysis. The language was developed in the 1970s at a public university and dedicated to the public domain, as was software designed to convert and execute SAS-language programs. Works in the public domain can be used by anyone without permission. That is where the original SAS language and software executing it lives.

          A few years later, however, some of its developers rewrote the software and founded a for-profit company to market and sell the new version. It was alone in doing so until, yet more years later, WPL developed its own, rival software that can also convert and execute SAS-Language programs. Confronted with new competition, SAS ran to court, first in the U.K., then in North Carolina, claiming copyright infringement. It lost both times.

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