Links 31/7/2019: Linux Mint 19.2, NetBSD 9.0 Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Pet Peeves: 5 Things That Really Grind my Gears
    • Server

      • Cloud Native Applications in AWS supporting Hybrid Cloud – Part 1

        Let us talk first about what is cloud native and the benefits of SUSE Cloud Application Platform and AWS when building cloud native applications.

      • Cloud Native Applications in AWS supporting Hybrid Cloud – Part 2

        In my previous post , I wrote about using SUSE Cloud Application Platform on AWS for cloud native application delivery. In this follow-up, I’ll discuss two ways to get SUSE Cloud Application Platform installed on AWS and configure the service broker:

      • 10 Top Data Virtualization Tools

        With the continuing expansion of data mining by enterprises, it’s no longer possible or advisable for an organization to keep all data in a single location or silo. Yet having disparate data analytics stores of both structured and unstructured data, as well as Big Data, can be complex and seemingly chaotic.

        Data virtualization is one increasingly common approach for dealing with the challenge of ever-expanding data. Data virtualization integrates data from disparate big data software and data warehouses – among other sources – without copying or moving the data. Most helpful, it provides users with a single virtual layer that spans multiple applications, formats, and physical locations, making data more useful and easier to manage.

      • IBM

        • Running MongoDB with OCS3 and using different types of AWS storage options (part 3)

          In the previous post I explained how to performance test MongoDB pods on Red Hat OpenShift with OpenShift Container Storage 3 volumes as the persistent storage layer and Yahoo! Cloud System Benchmark (YCSB) as the workload generator.

          The cluster I’ve used in the prior posts was based on the AWS EC2 m5 instance series and using EBS storage of type gp2. In this blog I will compare these results with a similar cluster that is based on the AWS EC2 i3 instance family that is using local attached storage (sometimes referred as “instance storage” or “local instance store”).

        • OpenShift 4.1 Bare Metal Install Quickstart

          In this blog we will go over how to get you up and running with a Red Hat OpenShift 4.1 Bare Metal install on pre-existing infrastructure. Although this quickstart focuses on the bare metal installer, this can also be seen as a “manual” way to install OpenShift 4.1. Moreover, this is also applicable to installing to any platform which doesn’t have the ability to provide ignition pre-boot. For more information about using this generic approach to install on untested platforms, please see this knowledge base article.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #293: Have Lawn Chair Will Broadcast

        Welcome to the 293rd installment of Linux in the Ham Shack! In the episode, the hosts tackle topics from upcoming RSGB contests on the new, hot FT-4 mode, the origin of “Mayday” as a distress call, magloop antennas, CoreCtrl, the vanishing floppy disk, DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) and much more. Thank you for tuning in and have a wonderful week.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.2.5

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.2.5 kernel.

        All users of the 5.2 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.2.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.2.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:


      • Linux 4.19.63
      • Linux 4.14.135
      • Linux Kernel 5.1 Reached End of Life, Users Urged to Upgrade to Linux Kernel 5.2

        Announced in early May 2019, the Linux 5.1 kernel series brought the ability to use persistent memory as RAM, as well as support for booting to a device-mapper device without using initramfs, support for cumulative patches in live kernel patching, and more preparations for year 2038.

        In addition, Linux kernel 5.1 introduced support for configuring Zstd compression levels in the Btrfs file system, more faster and scalable asynchronous I/O, improved power management, scalable monitoring of large filesystems, as well as numerous new and updated drivers for better hardware support.

      • Systemd 243 RC1 Brings Its PStore Service, Zen2/RdRand Workaround & More

        Lennart Poettering has made available the first release candidate of the upcoming systemd 243 update. Systemd 243 is a big one in seeing more than 1,700 commits since the April release of systemd 242.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon RADV Vulkan Driver Adds Navi Wave32 Support For Compute Shaders

          Thanks to Valve’s open-source driver developer Samuel Pitoiset, there is now experimental support for using Wave32 support on Navi graphics cards for compute shaders.

          Navi/RDNA brings support for single-cycle issue Wave32 execution as an alternative to Wave64 for better efficiency. Just over a week ago the initial patches landed adding Wave32 support to RadeonSI for their OpenGL driver while now Samuel has tackled the initial implementation in the RADV driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • Mining Monero Cryptocurrency On The Open-Source POWER9 Raptor Blackbird

        Unlike my POWER8 server, the Blackbird cannot measure its own system power consumption (only the processor’s), so I used a simple watt meter to take measurements. When off, with just the BMC on, the system took so little power my meter could not measure it. It kept showing 0 W, so presumably it’s under a Watt. At idle, 55 W.


        For each SMT mode, I tried six thread options. The SMT scaling is as expected, at SMT1 there are eight threads, and performance drops after; at SMT2 16 threads, and a corresponding drop after. The “more resources for each thread” effect is also slightly visible, with SMT1 having the highest result at eight mining threads.
        In SMT4, the efficiency scaling is quite nice, showing that a mere eight-core is not even close to the bottleneck here.

    • Applications

      • Blender 2.80 is out, a major advancement for this FOSS 3D creation suite

        Hot on the heels of the announcements of both Epic Games and Ubisoft supporting further Blender development, the massive Blender 2.80 release is now available.

        An incredible step-up for the project including a needed revamp to the user interface, along with a new dark theme and modern icon set. There’s also “Eevee”, a new physically based real-time renderer, with support for some advanced features like volumetrics, screen-space reflections and refractions, subsurface scattering, soft and contact shadows, depth of field and more.

      • Blender 2.80 is Here, And It Blows the Pants Off Any Release Before It

        A brand new version of the free 3D graphics software Blender is here — and I’ll be honest: it looks amazing.

        Am I skilled enough in the intricacies of 3D modelling, CGI, and visual effects work to the point that I can provide you with enlightened insight into the improvements — and boy are there improvements — on offer in this release?

        Heck no! I can barely navigate the real world, much less a CGI one.

      • Blender 2.80 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04

        Blender 2.80 was officially released yesterday with redesigned UI, new render engine, and other improvements. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu.


        Blender offers official Snap packages (runs in sandbox) for Linux Desktop.

      • Collabora Announces xrdesktop, Blender 2.8 Released, Arduino Selects Auth0 as Its Identity Management Platform of Choice, Microway Showcasing Its Data Science WhisperStation at PEARC19 and KDE Plasma Maintenance Update

        Blender 2.80 has been released. This new version “features a redesigned user interface that puts the focus on the artwork that you create. A new dark theme and modern icon set were introduced. Keyboard, mouse and tablet interaction got a refresh with left click select as the new default. Quick Favorites menus provide rapid access to often-used tools.” See the Release Notes for details.

      • Blender 2.80 officially released with whole new Workspace and 3D Viewport

        Now available for download is the new Blender 2.80 that comes with a redesigned user interface and a whole bunch of new tools.

        Before we get into what the new Blender has to offer, let’s see what this freeware is all about! Blender is a complete 3D creation suite that deals with all elements of the 3D pipeline, such as modeling, simulation, animation, rendering, and video tracking. It is also worth mentioning that people from different walks of life have contributed to the development of this software, therefore the company really emphasizes on YOU, which can be seen from their tag line: ‘Blender, made by you’.

        Not like Blender 2.79 was lacking anything, the new Blender brings a lot of new stuff to the table. “What new stuff?”, you might ask. Well, let’s have a look!

      • 15 Best Free Linux Physics Tools

        Physics is a natural science concerned with the study of matter and energy applying laws that govern natural phenomena. It encompasses the study of the universe from the largest galaxies to subatomic particles, covering mechanics, radiation, heat, electricity, sound, magnetism and the structure of atoms.

        A good background of physics is essential in understanding our planet, our neighbouring planets, our solar system, and the universe. It offers explanations for every observed natural phenomenon. Physics is widely regarded as the most central and fundamental science and forms the basis of many other sciences including astronomy, chemistry, biology, oceanography, seismology, and zoology.

        Physics is an incredibly stimulating science, challenging our imagination with quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, chaos theory, and electromagnetism. It has contributed to modern society with the development of lasers, computers, homeland security, power transmission, biomedicine and drug development, cancer therapy, medical imaging, light sources, and much more.

        Science really prospers and advances when individuals share the results of their experiments with others in the scientific community. There is a certain logic that scientific software should therefore be released under an open source license. This article focuses on selecting the best open source software for physics and physics education. Hopefully there will be something for interest here for all budding physicists.

        Here’s our rating for each of the physics tools.

      • Digital signage platform Xibo launches as a snap

        Xibo provides a comprehensive suite of digital signage products, with its Content Management System (CMS) at the heart of this experience-led offering. Xibo for Linux is completely free and natively built for the Xibo CMS, which can be installed on servers or combined with Xibo cloud hosting.

        Snaps are containerised software packages designed to work across cloud, desktop, and IoT devices. They work natively on the most popular Linux distributions and feature automatic update and rollback functionality, enhanced security, and greater flexibility for developers.

        Utilising snaps allows Xibo to offer a simple, dependency-free installation, as well as the potential for feature enhancements in future offerings, and it works across many Linux distributions. It can be accessed worldwide, and when combined with Xibo in the Cloud, customers can choose whether to host in the UK, Germany, Singapore, Australia or the USA to ensure their content is kept close to them.

      • Drawing is a Promising ‘Microsoft Paint’ Alternative for Linux

        Looking for a program like Microsoft Paint but for the Linux desktop? Check out the aptly named ‘Drawing‘, a new GTK app that ably fills the gap.

        This simple image editor for Linux desktops is made in the mould of the Microsoft Paint. That mean it isn’t trying to out-do The GIMP, pitch itself as an alternative to Photoshop, or pick up where Pinta left off.

        What Drawing can’t do is almost as important as what it can do; that’s to say, it’s a simply designed app designed for simple use-cases.

        Think meme making, screenshot annotations, wobbly sketched moustaches on selfies, and that sort of thing.

      • Proprietary

        • Netherlands warns government employees not to use Microsoft’s online Office apps

          In one example, it was found that some 300,000 top tier Office users, with the ‘365 Pro Plus’ package were being sent back to the US for storage – exactly the sort of behaviour that got Dutch backs up.

          In a wider sense, this is a small but public battle in a much larger war, with the EU still leaning heavily on Microsoft to put its post-GDPR house in order.

        • The iPhone now makes up less than half of Apple’s business

          Apple today reported its fiscal third quarter 2019 earnings, earning $53.8 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $2.18. That revenue is a 1 percent jump year over year. iPhone revenue was $25.99 billion compared to $29.47 billion a year ago. That means the iPhone represented under half of Apple’s revenue for the first time since 2012.

          The all-important services unit took in $11.46 billion in revenue. Wearables saw a big boost, likely thanks to Apple’s second-generation AirPods. CEO Tim Cook said that when the services and wearables / home / accessories divisions are combined, they approach the size of a Fortune 50 company. Revenue from Mac sales was $5.82 billion, and iPads were $5.023 billion, up from $4.634 billion last year at this time.

        • Apple Finds Life After the iPhone While Still Banking on the iPhone

          Combined, Apple’s two major independent product lines not attached to the iPhone — Mac computers and iPads — made up only 20% of revenue in the fiscal third quarter, despite gains from the period a year ago, the Cupertino, California-based company reported Tuesday. Apple’s also working on a mixed augmented and virtual reality headset for the coming years, but that, too, is likely to be iPhone-reliant.

        • Chrome 76 for Mac, Windows rolling out: Flash blocked by default, Incognito loophole closed, Settings tweak

          As a big HTML5 proponent for the past decade, Google encouraged sites to switch away from Flash for faster, safer, and more battery-efficient browsing. In late 2016 and early 2017, Chrome blocked background Flash elements and defaulted to HTML5, with users having to manually enable the Adobe plug-in on a site-by-site basis.

        • Google Chrome 76 Released for Linux, Windows, and Mac with 43 Security Fixes

          Google promoted today the Chrome 76 web browser to the stable channel for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS.

          Google Chrome 76.0.3809.87 is now available as the latest stable version of the popular and cross-platform web browser from Google, based on the open source Chromium project. It contains various bug fixes and improvements, as well as no less than 43 security fixes for the latest vulnerabilities.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Waves : Notorious adds Linux support to Steam Early Access

        A Native Linux version of Wavessup2;: Notorious was add.

      • The VR Linux desktop is on its way

        Virtual reality (VR) is moving from games to work, but on the Linux desktop it’s had a hard row to hoe. While many VR peripherals and head-mounted display (HMD) support Linux, some “supported” games have trouble running on Linux. VR gaming on Linux is getting better. But if you wanted to use a Linux desktop via VR, you were out of luck. Your luck may be turning now with the xrdesktop.

        Xrdesktop is an open-source project. It’s designed to let you work with traditional desktop environments, such as GNOME and KDE, in VR. It does this by making window managers aware of VR. It then uses VR runtimes to render desktop windows in 3D space. Once there, you’ll be able to work on the desktop using VR controllers in place of a mouse and keyboard.

      • xrdesktop, a new Valve-funded open source project to bring Linux desktops into VR

        Valve seem to be pushing Linux support even harder now, with the announcement of the open source xrdesktop project from Collabora.

        This new project, funded thanks to Valve, enables interactions with traditional desktop environments, such as GNOME and KDE in Virtual Reality. With xrdesktop, Linux window managers will be aware of VR and be able to use VR runtimes to render your desktop windows in a 3D space. It also gives you the ability to manipulate them with VR controllers, which sounds pretty fun.

      • Steam Play Proton 4.11 released, a pretty huge release pulling in D9VK and a replacement for esync

        Valve have announced the release of Steam Play Proton 4.11, this is a pretty exciting one and it’s pretty huge overall.

        Firstly, it was re-based on top of Wine 4.11. So it brings thousands of improvements over, considering that’s quite a version bump. Additionally, 154 patches from Proton were upstreamed directly to Wine!

        The next exciting bit is that Valve are now funding D9VK (and have been since June according to developer Joshua Ashton), along with shipping it in Proton as part of this update. This Vulkan-based Direct3D 9 renderer is still experimental, so it’s not enabled by default as you need to use the “PROTON_USE_D9VK” setting.

      • The Humble Crusader Kings II Bundle seems like an amazing deal for strategy game fans

        Humble Bundle are back and they’ve provided a pretty good one this time, with the Humble Crusader Kings II Bundle. If you enjoy strategy games, this is a seriously good deal not to miss out on!

      • Valve’s new “ACO” Mesa shader compiler for AMD GPUs now has vertex shader support

        For our third bit of Valve news today, they also recently announced that their Mesa shader compiler “ACO” had a bit of an upgrade recently as well.

      • Unity 2019.2 released with lots of new features, improvements and fixes

        Further pushing what game developers are able to make, Unity 2019.2 is now officially available with plenty of new features, improvements and bug fixes.


        There’s also various improvements to their OpenGL and Vulkan API implementations. For OpenGL, it can now use the SRP batcher. For Vulkan, it now supports all GPU formats for RenderTexture, multiple Vulkan crashes were solved, fixes to dynamic resolution when using Vulkan, multiple Vulkan XR fixes and so on. Curiously, Unity will now force NVIDIA drivers on Linux to turn off VSync.

      • Space colony sim “Oxygen Not Included” from Klei Entertainment has left Early Access

        Probably some of the finest work yet from Klei Entertainment, the space colony sim Oxygen Not Included has now left Early Access.


        This isn’t just Klei pushing out what was there as released, it comes along with a big update to the game too. There’s a bunch of new buildings including an Ethanol Distiller, Airborne Critter Bait, Wood Burner, Duplicant Motion Sensor and more. Two new critters are included with the Pokeshell and Pip, five new plants, new animations, new types of asteroids to colonize, new foods, new biomes and…the list goes on. They’ve clearly put a huge amount of work into this release.

      • Waves 2: Notorious, an absolutely mad twin-stick shooter arrives on Linux

        As a follow-up to 2011′s Waves, Waves 2: Notorious has arrived on Linux as part of the 0.73 Early Access update on Steam. Originally entering Early Access in late 2015 it has continued to see big updates and the developer, Rob Hale (aka Squid In A Box Ltd), is planning a full release in Q2 next year. Note: Key provided by the developer.

        So what is it? Waves 2: Notorious puts you in the shoes of a Hacker or “Runner”, tasked with infiltrating computer networks in a cyberpunk-styled version of cyberspace. Here you must protect yourself against the attacks of the AI “Administrator”, while uploading viruses and downloading corporate secrets in an attempt to build your notoriety.

      • Lovecraftian horror RPG “Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones” announced for release in September

        Cultic Games and 1C Entertainment have today announced the Lovecraftian horror RPG, Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones, will be releasing with Linux support on September 26th.


      • Previously a Humble Original, A Short Hike: The Extra Mile has released with Linux support

        This newly updated and released game adds in Linux support as part of an expanded game overall. The developer said a bunch of ideas couldn’t quite fit into the original release, so here we are. It includes new characters to meet, fishing, a better water shader, a new accessibility feature to change the pixel scaling and so on.


        You can find A Short Hike: The Extra Mile on Steam and itch.io. Seems like a really sweet experience if you’re after something a little more chilled-out.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 4.2.4

          We’re releasing Krita 4.2.4 today. The most important fixes are to the shortcut input system and the saving system. Krita 4.2.3 had a bug where a message window would often pop up complaining about a shortcut not being finished properly; this should no longer happen. Anna Medonosova has hardened the saving system even more, especially when closing Krita after initiating a save operation.

          There are some more bug fixes coming soon, and we will release 4.2.5 with those fixes in about two weeks, after the coming Krita sprint.

        • Plasma 5.16.4

          Tuesday, 30 July 2019. Today KDE releases a Bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.16.4. Plasma 5.16 was released in June with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • Sylvain Beucler: Debian LTS – July 2019

          Here is my transparent report for my work on the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) project, which extends the security support for past Debian releases, as a paid contributor.

          In July, the monthly sponsored hours were split evenly among contributors depending on their max availability – I declared max 30h and got 18.5h.

        • Michael Prokop: Some useful bits about Linux hardware support and patched Kernel packages

          Now that we identified the relevant change, what’s the easiest way to test this change? There’s an easy way how to build a custom Debian package, based on the official Debian kernel but including further patch(es), thanks to Ben Hutchings. Make sure to have a Debian system available (I was running this inside an amd64 system, building for amd64), with according deb-src entries in your apt’s sources.list and enough free disk space, then run…

        • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in July 2019

          Here is my monthly update covering what I have been doing in the free software world during July 2019 (previous month)…

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.2 is Now Available to Download

          The final stable release of Linux Mint 19.2 is now available to download.

          Don’t get too excited; it not “officially” out yet, which is why the title of this post doesn’t say Linux Mint 1.92 has been released.

          But the blessed, finalised release .iso has been approved for release and is up on the Linux Mint servers and release mirrors, where the impatient can grab a copy.

          Do note that you won’t be able to upgrade to Linux Mint 19.2 from an earlier release until the release has been officially announced. You won’t have to wait too long: it’s due by the end of this week.

        • Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” Is Now Available for Download

          Earlier this week, the leader of the Linux Mint project, Clement Lefebvre, revealed the fact that the Linux Mint 19.2 “Tina” operating system will be officially released later in the week for all supported flavors, including Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.

          Now, it looks like the final ISO images of Linux Mint 19.2 were pushed to the main download server, so you can grab them right now and install the operating system on your personal computer if you don’t want to wait for the official announcement later this week.

        • Ubuntu Touch Q&A 55

          Some of the problems we have had with the new adaptations to UT are caused by apps that do not function properly with Mir. There are conflicts with work done earlier by Canonical. The approach we have taken now is that if it does not work as we want, we kill the app. iOS and Android also kill apps in similar situations, so this is pretty normal practice. It avoids problems that follow when apps don’t behave correctly. The inability to close apps while not in focus has now been fixed.

          There needs to be a major refactoring in qtMir and Unity8. It general though, apps take a very complicated route when handled by Mir, so it is not easy to solve problems and the refresh needed will have to be big.

          Nevertheless, with those two changes we are very close to the point where Edge channel can be merged into Development channel.

        • UBports Is Working On Ubuntu Touch OTA-10

          The UBports community developers continuing to advance Ubuntu Touch have shared their latest work items and plans. OTA-10 is being developed while they are also working on ports for the PinePhone and Librem 5 smart-phones, among other items on their radar.

        • Linux Mint vs Ubuntu Comparison

          Ubuntu and Linux Mint for legal reasons do not distribute by default all the multimedia codecs that we would like. However, in Ubuntu using the terminal we can install the package ubuntu-restricted-extras where are the Flash plugin, Microsoft fonts, and other things.

          In Linux Mint we have that package, but we also have a more specialized one called codecs-multimedia that we can install from the main menu of the distribution.


          Ubuntu and Linux Mint are quite mature Linux distributions with clear development goals and lines. Both offer the opportunity to have a nice, stable system with a great capacity to manage programs.

          In this post, we have explained the main differences between the two, however, internally there are still many more. It’s up to you to know which one you like best.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) Update – Detecting Managed Networks and User Choice

            At Mozilla, we are continuing to experiment with DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH), a new network protocol that encrypts Domain Name System (DNS) requests and responses. This post outlines a new study we will be conducting to gauge how many Firefox users in the United States are using parental controls or enterprise DNS configurations.

            With previous studies, we have tried to understand the performance impacts of DoH, and the results have been very promising. We found that DoH queries are typically the same speed or slightly slower than DNS queries, and in some cases can be significantly faster. Furthermore, we found that web pages that are hosted by Akamai–a content distribution network, or “CDN”–have similar performance when DoH is enabled. As such, DoH has the potential to improve user privacy on the internet without impeding user experience.

            Now that we’re satisfied with the performance of DoH, we are shifting our attention to how we will interact with existing DNS configurations that users have chosen. For example, network operators often want to filter out various kinds of content. Parents and schools in particular may use “parental controls”, which block access to websites that are considered unsuitable for children. These controls may also block access to malware and phishing websites. DNS is commonly used to implement this kind of content filtering.

          • New CSS Features in Firefox 68

            Firefox 68 landed earlier this month with a bunch of CSS additions and changes. In this blog post we will take a look at some of the things you can expect to find, that might have been missed in earlier announcements.

      • BSD

        • NetBSD 9.0 release process has started

          If you have been following source-changes, you may have noticed the creation of the netbsd-9 branch!

        • NetBSD 9.0 Prepping For Release With AArch64 Support, Kernel ASLR & Better NVMe Perf

          The NetBSD 9.0 code has now been branched and preparations underway for releasing the next version of this BSD operating system known for its vast architecture support.

          Coming for NetBSD 9.0 are many security improvements including optional kernel ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) support, partial ASLR by default, new kernel sanitizers of KLEAK/KASAN/KUBSAN, and other security enhancements.

          There is also NetBSD’s new NVMM hypervisor for virtualization, their open-source graphics drivers have been re-based against the Linux 4.4 kernel state, NPF performance improvements, NVMe performance improvements, removal of ISDN networking support, and other updates.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • RTL-SDR: Seven Years Later

            When I wrote that article in 2012, the RTL-SDR project and its community were still in their infancy. It took some real digging to find out which TV tuners based on the Realtek RTL2832U were supported, what adapters you needed to connect more capable antennas, and how to compile all the software necessary to get them listening outside of their advertised frequency range. It wasn’t exactly the most user-friendly experience, and when it was all said and done, you were left largely to your own devices. If you didn’t know how to create your own receivers in GNU Radio, there wasn’t a whole lot you could do other than eavesdrop on hams or tune into local FM broadcasts.

            Nearly a decade later, things have changed dramatically. The RTL-SDR hardware and software has itself improved enormously, but perhaps more importantly, the success of the project has kicked off something of a revolution in the software defined radio (SDR) world. Prior to 2012, SDRs were certainly not unobtainable, but they were considerably more expensive. Back then, the most comparable device on the market would have been the FUNcube dongle, a nearly $200 USD receiver that was actually designed for receiving data from CubeSats. Anything cheaper than that was likely to be a kit, and often operated within a narrower range of frequencies.

      • Programming/Development

        • Continuous Integration/Continuous Development with FOSS Tools

          One of the hottest topics within the DevOps space is Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD). This attention has drawn lots of investment dollars, and a vast array of proprietary Software As A Service (SaaS) tools have been created in the CI/CD space, which traditionally has been dominated by free open-source software (FOSS) tools. Is FOSS still the right choice with the low cost of many of these SaaS options?

          It depends. In many cases, the cost of self-hosting these FOSS tools will be greater than the cost to use a non-FOSS SaaS option. However, even in today’s cloud-centric and SaaS-saturated world, you may have good reasons to self-host FOSS. Whatever those reasons may be, just don’t forget that “Free” isn’t free when it comes to keeping a service running reliably 24/7/365. If you’re looking at FOSS as a means to save money, make sure you account for those costs.

          Even with those costs accounted for, FOSS still delivers a lot of value, especially to small and medium-sized organizations that are taking their first steps into DevOps and CI/CD. Starting with a commercialized FOSS product is a great middle ground. It gives a smooth growth path into the more advanced proprietary features, allowing you to pay for those only once you need them. Often called Open Core, this approach isn’t universally loved, but when applied well, it has allowed for a lot of value to be created for everyone involved.

        • Use Pandas Data Frame to display market data

          In the previous article, we have used the Blockchain API to display the Bitcoin vs world major currencies exchange rate in our application. In this article, we will use the Pandas Data Frame object to create a beautiful table for our displaying data. I have already introduced the Pandas Data Frame object before in the previous chapter, therefore, I won’t go through it again in this post. Let us go straight to the business.

        • Test and Code: 82: pytest – favorite features since 3.0 – Anthony Sottile

          Anthony Sottile is a pytest core contributor, as well as a maintainer and contributor to
          many other projects. In this episode, Anthony shares some of the super cool features of pytest that have been added since he started using it.

        • Intel’s OpenCL “NEO” Linux Driver Stack Rolls Out The Experimental SYCL Support

          We’ve been eagerly watching Intel’s open-source LLVM-based SYCL compiler support developed over the past number of months and today it finally premiered as an experimental feature in their modern OpenCL Linux driver package for its CPU run-time component.

          For Intel’s modern OpenCL Linux driver stack known as their “NEO” OpenCL driver now there is this experimental SYCL support bundled into their CPU-based run-time.

        • Learn a little jq, awk and sed

          sed and awk should be on every system you run across; jq is non standard, but easy to install. It’s worth spending some time getting to know these tools. So next time you are processing a text file and need to extract just a bit of it, reach for sed and awk. Next time you get a hairy json file and you are peering at it, look at jq. I think you’ll be happy with the result.

        • How to Build a Career in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

          Math is just one of the skillsets that aspiring AI and ML professionals are expected to have. This is only one half the requirement, the other half is one’s expertise in programming languages, such as Java, C++, Python, and R.

          While C++ helps engineers increase the speed of their coding process, Python will help them understand and create complex algorithms. Python is also the go-to choice for ML developers, and also offers various libraries and frameworks to ease the process of creating an AI model. Similarly, R and Java help professionals understand stats and implement mappers, respectively. They are important considering the role of visualization in explaining AI.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Empiricism and Dogma: Why Left and Right Can’t Agree on Climate Change

        Rather than thinking about the political divide on global warming as the result of dogma versus logic, a better explanation is that people tend to embrace conclusions—scientific or otherwise—that support themes, ideologies, and narratives that are preexisting components of their worldview. It just so happens that the themes, ideologies, and narratives associated with human-caused global warming and its proposed solutions align well with the political predispositions of the Left and create tension with those of the Right.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • U.S. presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders joins ‘insulin caravan’ to Windsor, Ont.

        In the U.S. the cost of a vial of insulin is about $340 ($450 Cdn). In Canada, the same vial will average about $30. On Sunday, an “insulin caravan” rolled through the border city of Windsor, carrying about 15 people with Type 1 diabetes.

        According to Sanders, the massive price difference is a result of “pharma’s greed.”

        “Over the last 20 years, the pharmaceutical industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign contributions. They buy and sell politicians — Republicans and Democrats,” Sanders told a crowd of supporters outside the pharmacy.

        “They continue to charge the American people any price they want.”

      • A deadly drug-resistant fungal infection is spreading fast, and doctors are sounding the alarm that ‘urgent’ action is needed

        In a new op-ed in Annals of Internal Medicine, a group of doctors called on the health-care community to improve infection control practices and further study the dangerous fungus to stop its spread.

        As of May 31, 2019, there were 685 confirmed cases of candida auris in the United States alone.

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • US issues hacking security alert for small planes [iophk: as planes become networked, attacks will no longer require physical access, such a thing has happened in cars.]

        The cybersecurity firm, Rapid7, found that an attacker could potentially disrupt electronic messages transmitted across a small plane’s network, for example by attaching a small device to its wiring, that would affect aircraft systems.

        Engine readings, compass data, altitude and other readings “could all be manipulated to provide false measurements to the pilot,” according to the DHS alert.

      • Small Airplanes Can Be Hacked to Display False Data in Flight

        However, the [attack] requires physical access.


        Rapid7 verified the findings by investigating two commercially available avionics systems. It determined that only “some level of physical access” to the aircraft’s wiring was needed to pull of the hack, which could be delivered by attaching a small device to the plane’s Controller Area Network (CAN) bus to send the false commands.

        The key problem is that the CAN bus is integrated into the plane’s other components without any firewalls or authentication systems in place. This means untrusted connections over a USB adapter hooked up to the plane can send commands to its electronic systems.

      • No Jail Time for “WannaCry Hero” [iophk: the plea "bargain" still means he has become a convicted felon]

        Hutchins’ conviction means he will no longer be allowed to stay in or visit the United States, although Judge Stadtmeuller reportedly suggested Hutchins should seek a presidential pardon, which would enable him to return and work here.

      • Security updates for Wednesday

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (389-ds-base, curl, and kernel), Debian (libssh2), Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, and oniguruma), openSUSE (chromium, openexr, thunderbird, and virtualbox), Oracle (389-ds-base, curl, httpd, kernel, and libssh2), Red Hat (nss and nspr and ruby:2.5), Scientific Linux (httpd and kernel), SUSE (java-1_8_0-openjdk, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, polkit, and python-requests), and Ubuntu (openjdk-8, openldap, and sox).

      • It’s 2019, and one third of businesses still have active Windows XP deployments [Ed: The problem is that they use Windows (back doors in all versions), not that they use "XP". They should move corporate data to something secure like BSD and GNU/Linux.]

        Zero-day attacks were the second-most cited concern among IT decision makers, according to SpiceWorks, with 18% of respondents citing that as their primary concern. Insider data leaks were the most cited, at 27%, while attacks on IoT devices was third (17%), followed by supply-chain attacks (15%), DDoS attacks (15%), and cryptojacking (15%). Fewer than 20% of respondents indicated their business was “completely prepared” for common security threats.

        Considering the risks that accompany unsupported software generally, and the larger attack surface that results from an unsupported (or otherwise unpatched) operating system, there is a relative lack of urgency to migrate from Windows 7. Certainly, while paid support for volume licenses is a possibility for some, smaller organizations ineligible for volume licensing will be left out in the cold. To date, Microsoft has shown no signs of wavering in their intent to grant a reprieve to the remaining users of Windows 7. Without a major shift, or a reprieve from Redmond, the prospect of unpatched, internet-connected systems is fertile ground for botnet creation.

      • NordLynx: NordVPN Builds New Tech Around WireGuard

        Well known Panama-based VPN provider NordVPN has announced their NordLynx technology today that is based on the WireGuard protocol.

        NordLynx is the company’s new “fast and secure” VPN solution built atop WireGuard. The company describes WireGuard as a “radical change” and “a breath of fresh air in the industry.”

      • NordVPN brings WireGuard-based NordLynx to Linux users

        NordVPN has announced an important new option for users of the Linux version of its eponymous VPN tool. The company is introducing a new technology called NordLynx which is based on the WireGuard protocol.

        The company says that it successfully combines the highspeed connection offered by WireGuard with NordVPN’s own privacy-protecting double NAT system.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • U.S. Senate Targets Saudi Nuclear Technology

        The bill, put forward by Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, would bar the U.S. Export-Import Bank from financing the transfer of nuclear technology and equipment to Saudi Arabia, absent nuclear cooperation agreements, and adopting restrictive international standards to safeguard against nuclear proliferation. The Export-Import Bank plays a key role in funding the export of U.S. nuclear energy equipment and technology abroad.

    • Environment

      • A Dutch city is turning bus shelters into bee sanctuaries

        More than 300 bus shelters have been transformed into bee-friendly green hubs to support biodiversity in the city. Grass and wildflowers have been planted on the roofs providing a safe haven for different types of bees that act as pollinators and help plants propagate.

        The green roofs also help capture fine dust, store rainwater and provide cooling for the heat, according to Maurice Prijs, a project manager with Utrecht’s municipal government.

      • Arctic Ice Is Crashing, and That’s Bad News For Everyone

        The heat wave currently bearing down on Greenland comes courtesy of the same weather pattern that caused Western Europe to experience its hottest day on record on Thursday—a strong, high pressure air mass associated with mild temperatures. That weather system migrated over Scandinavia this weekend, shattering heat records in southern Finland and causing many places in Norway to experience what the national meteorological service described as “tropical nights” on Sunday.

      • Before debates, Gretchen Whitmer urges Democrats to protect Great Lakes

        The release comes as 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for two nights of debates in Detroit Tuesday and Wednesday. Some candidates have already seized on one hot-button environmental issue on the campaign trail: the future of Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.

      • Arctic wildfires breaking records, in numbers and emissions

        Parrington said this year, between 250 and 300 fire detections, or “hot spots,” have been recorded north of the Arctic Circle each day.

        That’s four to five times higher than previous years. Normally, Parrington sees between 50 and 60 hot spots a day, which he estimates amounts to between 100 and 200 fires.

      • Are Bioplastics a Better Environmental Choice?

        Have you ever stood in front of a supermarket shelf and wondered if you should buy that product made from bioplastics rather than the conventional kind? Many people assume all bioplastics are made from plants and can break down completely in the environment. But that’s not the case.

        The term “bioplastics” is actually used for two separate things: bio-based plastics (plastics made at least partly from biological matter) and biodegradable plastics (plastics that can be completely broken down by microbes in a reasonable timeframe, given specific conditions). Not all bio-based plastics are biodegradable, and not all biodegradable plastics are bio-based. And even biodegradable plastics might not biodegrade in every environment. Sounds confusing? It certainly is.


        Take polylactic acid (PLA), for example. This bioplastic is used to make shopping bags, transparent cups, 3-D printing material and other products. Because it can be derived from plant material like corn sugar, potato or sugarcane, it can reduce the demand for fossil fuels used to make conventional plastics.

        PLA is recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. But that doesn’t mean the ocean — or any other natural environment — can easily handle it.

        To Frederik Wurm, a chemist at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPIP), drinking straws made from PLA are “the perfect example for greenwashing.” They are more expensive than other plastic drinking straws, but don’t readily biodegrade on a beach or in the sea.

        “You put it on the package [that it] is biodegradable, but at the point where these materials are . . . fear[ed] to end up, they will not biodegrade,” Wurm says.

      • Only a climate revolution can cool the world

        Governments have completely failed to make progress in tackling the planetary emergency, and a climate revolution is the sole hope that they will do so.

        This sounds like a sound bite from Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who is inspiring schoolchildren worldwide to go on strike, or a slogan from Extinction Rebellion, which has been disrupting city life in the UK and elsewhere to secure an urgent government response to the climate emergency.

        Both campaigns might agree with the statement, but it is in fact from a scholarly book, Burning Up, A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption, a detailed study into the burning of fossil fuels since 1950. It looks at fuel consumption in individual countries but also at the political forces that have driven and still drive the ever-growing inferno of fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas, across the world.

        The book illustrates the reasons behind the rather frightening fact that since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, despite many promises and warnings, governments have failed to take decisive action on climate change and in fact have made it decidedly worse by continuing to subsidise fossil fuels more than renewables.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Philippines identified as the deadliest country for environmental activists

        The international nonprofit Global Witness has released an annual report on attacks against land and environmental defenders and has found that the Philippines is the deadliest country for these activists, averaging more than three deaths a week. In total, 164 activists were killed in 2018. A significant number of attacks on environmental activists are linked to the mining industry, as well as hydropower, agribusiness and logging projects. Additionally, many activists in the Philippines face death threats, intimidation and arrests.

      • The voice of Hong Kong’s revolution speaks

        When protesters stormed the Legco building in July they denounced the institution as illegitimate. Only half of its seats are directly elected by the public. And young protesters complain that they are not represented there. In 2016 record numbers of them elected legislators with “localist” views, such as self-determination or even independence for Hong Kong from China. Months later, two of those legislators were disqualified for amending their oaths of office in a way that Beijing disapproved of. The following year four more democrats were disqualified for the same thing.

        As well as disqualifying elected legislators, other candidates have been barred from running. [...]

      • Twitter suspends a conspiracy-filled account after Trump retweets it

        The account, which operated under the display name “LYNN THOMAS,” was reportedly suspended for breaking Twitter’s rules against “using multiple accounts to artificially amplify or disrupt conversations.” It’s the second account that the president has retweeted that Twitter has suspended for violating its rules.

      • Twitter Suspends Conspiracy Account After Trump Retweet

        Before the suspension, the account enthusiastically pushed Qanon conspiracy memes and bizarre theories about prominent Democrats murdering children to harvest their pineal glands. One such meme targeted Bill and Hillary Clinton, claiming they “torture and sacrifice children” to get at “a drug that can only be found inside the human skull.” That was posted last Thursday—five days before the current president graced the account with a retweet.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Congressman Who Was Sued For Blocking Constituents On Social Media Now Also Wants To Undermine Section 230

        It’s open season on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and everyone’s got ideas. Not good ones, mind you. But ideas. The latest comes from Rep. Paul Gosar whose claim to fame is that six of his own siblings took out an ad to his constituents, telling them not to re-elect their brother. Gosar also has a bit of a checkered history of his own in terms of tolerating “free speech” online. Last year, he was sued for blocking constituents on social media — leading him to agree to stop the practice in order to settle the lawsuit.

        He’s now introduced HR 4027, which is entitled the “Stop Censorship Act” (as opposed to Josh Hawley’s Stop Internet Censorship Act). The full text of the bill is not yet up, but Gosar has put up a press release and Twitter thread about the bill, saying that it will revoke what he (incorrectly) says is the “unprecedented and unwarranted immunities given to Big Tech” and replacing it with an immunity only to remove “unlawful activity” and some sort of mandate to provide end users their own filter tools.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • [Intruder] obtained personal information of 6 million people in Canada

        [Copied] data includes names, addresses, phone numbers and credit scores

      • What can we learn from Palantir’s secret user manual for police users of its big data software?

        It comes as no surprise that Palantir’s Gotham program offers these kind of features. They are precisely the kind of thing that you would expect modern data analytics software to provide. But what is striking from the screenshots of the manual pages obtained by Motherboard is how easy it is to search through distinct, distributed databases. As far as law enforcement officers are concerned, the process is seamless: they simply input a piece of information, and the program does the rest, searching through multiple stores of data, finding connections. Again, that is what you would expect a well-designed piece of software to do. But the implications are important.

      • The ‘Ghost User’ Ploy to Break Encryption Won’t Work

        Twenty-five years ago, the FBI decided it needed a surveillance system built into the nation’s telephone network to enable it to listen to any conversation with the flip of a switch. Congress obliged by passing the Communication Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), forcing telephone companies to rebuild their networks to be “wiretap ready.” In the more than two decades since then, the FBI has been seeking both legislative and judicial approval to expand this authority to internet communications, insisting that its investigations have “gone dark” because of increasingly widespread use of encryption. Technologists and civil libertarians have so far been successful in opposing those efforts, warning that requiring technology companies to build a backdoor into our encrypted communications would compromise security for everyone and would empower not just the FBI, but repressive governments like China and Iran, to demand or gain access to private communications. But law enforcement and intelligence agencies have not given up.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Navalny blogs from jail: ‘I’ve never had allergies’

        His long time doctor, ophthalmologist Anastasiya Vasilyeva, separately said Navalny had been poisoned by “some sort of unknown chemical substance.”

      • Brazilian President Bolsonaro says Glenn Greenwald may ‘do jail time’

        “The latest statements from President Bolsonaro threatening Glenn Greenwald with jail time are an inappropriate and dangerous escalation of the Brazilian government’s troubling response to The Intercept Brasil’s reporting,” said CPJ Central and South America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick in New York. “Brazilian authorities must respect journalists’ constitutional right to do investigative reporting and hold power to account.”

      • Mauritanian blogger freed after being held for nearly six years

        The death sentence he received in December 2014 on a charge of apostasy was eventually commuted to two years in prison by a Nouadhibou appeal court in November 2017. He should then have been released but many demonstrations calling for his execution had been held during his trial and the authorities continued to detain him on “security grounds”, denying him access to his family and lawyers.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Europe’s Latest Border Security Efforts Combines Junk Science With Lie Detectors

        There’s border garbage going on in Europe as well. A report by The Intercept shows border officials have cobbled together junk science, tech, and a spin on a notoriously-sketchy piece of equipment into its newest border security offering.

        It’s called Silent Talker. It subjects travelers to lie detector tests predicated on the fiction that people call tell other people are lying just by looking at them. It’s the same pseudo-science that powers the TSA’s useless “Behavioral Detection” program. Only this is possibly worse because it considers itself to be a lie detector and it’s been known for years lie detectors can’t reliably detect lies.

        It works like this: travelers upload their passports to the border agency’s website and are put face-to-”face” with a blue uniformed avatar. The software takes control of the device’s camera to scan the traveler’s face and eye movements for “signs of lying.”

        Here’s the thing: it doesn’t even work when it’s humans doing the face-to-face work. A report on the TSA’s Behavioral Detection program found it to be completely lacking in scientific background. The justification for the program was predicated on hearsay, conjecture, and anecdotal evidence. The TSA claimed it was hard science, but actual scientists have said there’s no evidence backing the claim that anyone can suss out lies just by looking at people’s faces.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The DOJ’s Plan To ‘Fix’ The T-Mobile Merger Isn’t Going To Work

        As expected, the Department of Justice has signed off on T-Mobile’s controversial $26 billion merger with Sprint. You’d be hard pressed to find many objective folks who think greater consolidation in the telecom space is a good idea, given the deal will likely result in less competition, higher prices, and some major job cuts as redundant positions are inevitably eliminated. And in countries where four major wireless carriers were reduced to three, the resulting problems are usually pretty damn obvious.

        Still, both the FCC and DOJ have tripped over themselves to approve the deal after T-Mobile’s full-court lobbying press, which has included hiring Trump allies like Corey Lewandowski as advisors, and pandering up to the Trump administration by ramping up patronage of Donald’s hotels.

        To make its approval of the deal seem like a good idea, the DOJ has come up with a quirky solution: it is demanding that Sprint and T-Mobile offload prepaid brand Boost Mobile and some spectrum to Dish Network, who then will (theoretically) use those assets to create a new fourth carrier to replace Sprint.

    • Monopolies

      • Uber lays off 400 employees from global marketing team

        The move, announced Monday, follows a leadership shake-up in June when CEO Dara Khosrowshahi combined the company’s marketing, communications and policy teams.

      • Uber Lays Off 400 as Profitability Doubts Linger After I.P.O.

        The cuts, which were also announced internally on Monday, are taking place in multiple Uber offices around the world, the company said. The marketing team had more than 1,200 people before the layoffs. Uber employs almost 25,000 people globally, nearly half of whom are based in the United States, according to recent regulatory filings.

      • Mark Cuban says Facebook’s Libra is ‘dangerous’

        I’m not against cryptocurrency at all. I’m not against the distributed nature of cryptocurrency. I think the idea that there’s no central control is kind of overblown because there are so many forks and there are so many changes and administrational issues that you know there’s always some external factor forcing control. But the problem I have with Facebook is that Facebook is in a unique position with over 2.2 billion worldwide users.

        By having those tentacles everywhere globally, they have the opportunity to be more impactful in countries where there is less stability. And when you get a company like Facebook, with the power and leverage and the financial resources that they have, putting their tentacles into — not to pick on Africa, but African countries that have less stable currencies and governments — that can create issues that can lead to people dying. And so if Facebook were to say, “We’re going to start off the United States with Libra” or “We’re going to start off in the United States and Canada and Western Europe.” Fine, go for it. Let’s see what happens. But when you look to extend that into 2.2 billion users globally, the law of unintended consequences is inevitable, and most likely, it’s going to be a negative output.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • U.S. House breaks with no new NAFTA tabled for ratification. Now what?

          That makes it all but certain that U.S. lawmakers won’t be in a position to take even the most tentative steps forward on the deal before the start of Canada’s federal election campaign, which is set to begin by mid-September at the latest.

          For some, that could mean fireworks for the Canadian campaign — ignited by a petulant Trump.

          Cyndee Todgham Cherniak, a Toronto-based international trade lawyer, said the Democrats are likely to want substantive changes that could leave the deal in limbo for many months. In the meantime, the Democrats will be sharpening their talking points on USMCA to use against Trump in the 2020 U.S. election, she said.

          And that could set Trump off, she said.

      • Copyrights

        • RIAA Targets Picosong Over Leaked Kanye West Track

          The operators of popular music upload site Picosong say that their project will shut down in October. The stated reason is that there are “better alternatives” so the site isn’t needed anymore. However, TorrentFreak has learned that the RIAA is currently trying to find out who runs the site after a leaked Kanye West track was uploaded to the platform.

We May Need Linux Contingencies

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 11:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alexandre Oliva
Alexandre (Alex) Oliva (linux-libre developer) left Red Hat just before IBM took over; Photo credit: Rafael Bonifaz

Summary: Linux development is in very many hands, but not only in good and benevolent hands (especially at the higher levels); in case the trajectory leads towards proprietary software, fallbacks may be needed

ALTHOUGH our main focus is and will remain squashing software patents we are growingly concerned about what’s happening to Linux, a kernel whose development is nowadays facilitated by proprietary software companies with loads of software patents. IBM buying Red Hat only makes that a lot worse (Alex Oliva, the man shown above, refused to pursue patents while at Red Hat and he left the company a couple of months ago; he’s against software patents). Linux in 2019 isn’t what it was in 2009. And don’t get us started about LINUX DOT COM (Linux.com), which sometimes feels like an anti-Linux site* (all the staff was sacked back in April and a month ago the site made a bizarre, low-capacity comeback that makes us think it’s better for the site to just become permanently inactive).

“Some just prefer not to talk about it; they look the other way and hope these problems will go away on their own.”Some readers share our concerns in public, but some share them in private (for different reasons). We have hardly come across anyone who does not agree with us on this subject. Some just prefer not to talk about it; they look the other way and hope these problems will go away on their own.

One reader said, “obviously we are on a similar page about the future of free software and gnu/linux specifically with regards to the kernel, everyone seems to think it is different or immune to the other meddling. By “everyone” I mean most of the people who are aware of the existing problems. I tend to think of kernel meddling as a future problem, though I’m watching the situation like a hawk.”

“Various hopeful people think hurd will save the day (alright by me, I don’t think that will ever happen) or perhaps bsd kernel (I think it will have the same problems as the linux kernel, plus its own — not a diss, I’m not anti-bsd at all), but I think a fork of the linux kernel is most likely.”
Moments ago we linked to a recent video in which Jim Zemlin says "Open Source Loves Microsoft" (which may sound gross, just like “Microsoft loves Linux,” but not exactly surprising coming from him).

“I’m increasingly worried about the kernel,” the reader added, “I say to people all the time, you know we need to think about the future of the linux kernel. Various hopeful people think hurd will save the day (alright by me, I don’t think that will ever happen) or perhaps bsd kernel (I think it will have the same problems as the linux kernel, plus its own — not a diss, I’m not anti-bsd at all), but I think a fork of the linux kernel is most likely. FROM WHOM is the real question.

“We both know Oliva (he says so too) is not a kernel hacker guru, even if he’s one of the most important modifiers of the kernel alive.”
“The future I foresee is one where the FSF is no longer a force in development, and if [Alex] Oliva can’t manage a linux kernel fork, who can? We both know Oliva (he says so too) is not a kernel hacker guru, even if he’s one of the most important modifiers of the kernel alive. The future of free software kernels is at stake — I am very curious who can step up when the time is right. I’m not sure it’s hopeless, I just don’t know who is capable. Nothing Oliva has said on this subject comes as a surprise. I’m familiar with linux-libre, I never took it to mean that Oliva could manage his own kernel. He and I are on the same page there.”
* In the past 20 hours alone, for instance, LINUX DOT COM (Linux.com) linked to a pay-to-read report (“ADD TO BASKET”). The editors there either lack a clue or are played by the firms looking to sell this ‘consulting’-themed ploy. Is there really a lack of news worth linking to? The site has also just linked to Microsoft GitHub. There appears to be just one editor (everyone else was sacked) and he is a megaphone of Microsoft (yesterday in his site he promoted Microsoft’s own report, which is promotional). Is Microsoft paying him (except through Jim Zemlin/Linux Foundation)? Well, given what he did for VMware on the Foundation's payroll, everything is possible. The Linux Foundation and its staff are a hopeless, lost cause… they don’t care about Linux and few of them even use it.

Jim Zemlin: Open Source Loves Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Videos at 10:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin, who does not use Open Source, tells us how Open Source feels about Microsoft

Links 31/7/2019: Blender 2.80, Chrome 76 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Open firmware and more news from July

        System76 has been granted a Thunderbolt license, meaning that we can now integrate Thunderbolt compatibility into our open firmware. This is a huge development in the open firmware project, as we can now achieve full functionality of Thunderbolt in our machines once the firmware is implemented.
        The open firmware is now functional on the Gazelle when running on Intel graphics. This will not yet be integrated, however, as more work is necessary to get the NVIDIA graphics up and running.

      • System76 Granted A Thunderbolt License To Integrate Into Their Open Firmware

        Linux laptop/PC vendor System76 has become a Thunderbolt licensee so that they can officially offer support for it in the Coreboot-based open-source system firmware initiative they are pursuing.

      • Chromebook Linux bug causing reboots when resuming from sleep, though a fix is coming

        Being able to run Linux applications on Chromebooks isn’t just useful for developers, it can help plug what little remaining app or feature gap prevents you from using the platform. Unfortunately for those that do use it, some folks have been experiencing a problem where their devices spontaneously reboot during sleep if Linux containers are running, and it isn’t clear if it will be fixed in time for the next Chrome OS release.

        Reports for the issue on the Chromium bug tracker’s relevant thread go back as early as Chrome OS 74, though others claim they didn’t experience it until 75, with yet more not having any problem until the current Chrome OS 76 betas. Those comments also vary wildly when it comes to which release channel and version combination triggered the behavior first. Many reports of similar issues elsewhere are likely related, though the specifics make it hard to draw a connection. Still, it’s a straightforward problem: If a Linux application has been run on the device in the current session, once it goes to sleep, it will reboot upon waking rather than resuming as expected. Battery life during sleep also allegedly takes a nosedive as a result of it silently crashing.

    • Server

      • Is the cloud right for you?

        Corey Quinn opened his lightning talk at the 17th annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE 17x) with an apology. Corey is a cloud economist at The Duckbill Group, writes Last Week in AWS, and hosts the Screaming in the Cloud podcast. He’s also a funny and engaging speaker. Enjoy this video “The cloud is a scam,” to learn why he wants to apologize and how to find out if the cloud is right for you.

      • Google Cloud to offer VMware data-center tools natively

        Google this week said it would for the first time natively support VMware workloads in its Cloud service, giving customers more options for deploying enterprise applications.

        The hybrid cloud service called Google Cloud VMware Solution by CloudSimple will use VMware software-defined data center (SDCC) technologies including VMware vSphere, NSX and vSAN software deployed on a platform administered by CloudSimple for GCP.

      • IBM

        • Get started with reactive programming with creative Coderland tutorials

          The Reactica roller coaster is the latest addition to Coderland, our fictitious amusement park for developers. It illustrates the power of reactive computing, an important architecture for working with groups of microservices that use asynchronous data to work with each other.

          In this scenario, we need to build a web app to display the constantly updated wait time for the coaster.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • What Modern Linux Looks Like | LINUX Unplugged 312

        Manjaro takes significant steps to stand out, and the shared problem major distributions are trying to solve, and why it will shape the future of Linux.

        Plus macOS apps on Linux, and our first impressions of the Raspberry Pi 4.

        Special Guests: Alex Kretzschmar, Drew DeVore, Martin Wimpress, Neal Gompa, and Philip Muller.

      • mintCast 314 – Moss Interview

        First up, in our Wanderings, I migrate my NAS to a much smaller case, Bo has been certifying, Moss is playing with a new laptop, Josh has also been playing around with a new laptop, and Joe guest hosts on Electric City Nerds!

    • Kernel Space

      • He’s coming for your floppy: Linus Torvalds is killing off support for legacy disk drive tech

        Linus Torvalds has articulated what much of the world has known for some time, with a merge marking the Linux floppy driver as “orphaned”.

        The issue is that while there are plenty of USB floppy drives out there, actual PC hardware is becoming a thing of the past thanks to motherboard makers ditching the relevant chippery and connectors in favour of space and dollars. And because very few people use the things anymore.

        Torvalds observed that “actual working physical floppy hardware is getting hard to find” and considered the driver dead, with a few faint use cases still present in emulated environments. But if you really need to read those old disks, USB is going to be the way forward.

        Naturally, just being orphaned doesn’t mean that the driver is actually disappearing, but it does mean that unless some magnetic media meddler steps up to maintain it, the odds are it will be deprecated and eventually removed.

    • Applications

      • Blender 2.80

        Thanks to the new modern 3D viewport you will be able to display a scene optimized for the task you are performing. A new Workbench render engine was designed for getting work done in the viewport, supporting tasks like scene layout, modeling and sculpting. The engine also feature overlays, providing fine control over which utilities are visible on top of the render.

        Overlays also work on top of Eevee and Cycles render previews, so you can edit and paint the scene with full shading.

      • Blender 2.80 Officially Released With Its Revamped UI, Eevee PBR Renderer

        Blender has used SIGGRAPH 2019 week for announcing the major Blender 2.80 open-source 3D modeling software release.

        Blender 2.80 presents a redesigned user-interface, a new 3D viewport, Eevee as their new physically based real-time renderer, full 2D drawing and animation support, combined CPU+GPU rendering for the Cycles renderer, and a plethora of other improvements.

      • Blender 2.80 released

        Version 2.80 of the Blender 3D animation system has been released.

      • 4 Discord alternatives for Linux gamers

        Discord is the king of communication with gaming. Even on Linux, most people use it. It’s no secret why! The app provides users with unlimited free personal servers, unlimited chat channels, voice channels, multimedia support, and more!

        While Discord is getting all the love as everyone’s favorite gaming chat app, it’s not the only one out there. There are dozens of other chat clients out there to use while gaming on Linux. Here are the best Discord alternatives for Linux gamers.

      • Proprietary

        • Stable Channel Update for Desktop

          The Chrome team is delighted to announce the promotion of Chrome 76 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux. This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.
          Chrome 76.0.3809.87 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 76.

        • Chrome 76 Released With Flash Blocked By Default

          Google today promoted their Chrome 76 web-browser to stable for all supported platforms, including Linux.

          The Chrome 76 release isn’t the most exciting update in recent times, but is notable for now no longer auto-loading Flash content when Flash is active/available to the browser. It’s another step towards eliminating Flash on the web.

        • Chrome 76 arrives with Flash blocked by default, detecting Incognito mode disabled, and PWA improvements

          Google today launched Chrome 76 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The release includes Adobe Flash blocked by default, Incognito mode detection disabled, multiple PWA improvements, and more developer features. You can update to the latest version now using Chrome’s built-in updater or download it directly from google.com/chrome.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Proton Re-Based To Wine 4.11, Adds D9VK Direct3D 9, Better CPU Utilization & DXVK 1.3

        Valve’s Linux developers today released Proton 4.11 as the newest release of their Wine-based software that powers Steam Play for running Windows games on Linux under the Steam client.

        Proton 4.11 is a big one with the key change being a re-base from Wine 4.2 to Wine 4.11. This big Wine upgrade brings “more than 3,300 improvements” with now being close to the upstream state of Wine.

    • Games

      • Collabora: Moving the Linux desktop to another reality

        The Collabora blog announces some ongoing work to integrate Linux desktop environments with head-mounted displays.

      • Moving the Linux desktop to another reality

        In the early days of VR on Linux, when plugging in an HMD into a system completely unaware of what it was, the display was initialized as generic desktop display and the window manager extended the desktop to it. This was obviously undesirable, but you were still able to see cropped and perspectively incorrect desktop windows on your HMD. Only the bravest of us were keen enough to find the cursor on the display and move windows out of the way to use it for extended mode rendering. While the situation was far from perfect, the goal was clear: desktop window manipulation in an accurately rendered, stereo 3D environment, controlled with VR controllers.

        The first step into this direction was to make the window manager stop extending the desktop. With his work on drm leasing, Keith Packard introduced a non-desktop property for X11 displays. A Vulkan VK_EXT_acquire_xlib_display extension was specified, intended to be used by VR compositors to enable rendering to HMDs directly. An equivalent extension is currently being introduced for Wayland and implemented into the graphics stack.

      • Collabora Brings VR Support to Linux Desktop Environments, Sponsored by Valve

        Sponsored by Valve, the xrdesktop project is developed by Collabora and designed to integrate into existing desktop environments like KDE and GNOME, making them running in virtual reality (VR) runtimes. It does that by rendering windows in 3D space, allowing users to manipulate them with VR controllers and headsets.

        “This integration of xrdesktop into the window managers enables mirroring existing windows into XR and to synthesize desktop input through XR actions. xrdesktop can be run as a dedicated scene application, but it also features an overlay mode, where desktop windows are overlaid over any other running VR application,” explains Collabora’s Lubosz Sarnecki.

      • Valve Sponsored Xrdesktop Lets You View Linux Desktop Environments In VR

        There are a number of ways you can view your desktop PC in virtual reality (VR), with apps like Bigscreen Beta or Virtual Desktop. But what if you run Linux software? Today, global consultancy Collabora which specialises in delivering the benefits of Open Source software for commercial use has announced xrdesktop, a project enabling interaction with popular Linux desktop environments, such as GNOME and KDE, in VR.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.16.4 Desktop Environment Released with 18 Changes, Update Now

          KDE Plasma 5.16.4 is now available three weeks after the KDE Plasma 5.16.3 update as yet another bugfix release in an attempt to keep the KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop environment as stable and reliable as possible. KDE Plasma 5.16.4 is not as big in changes as previous maintenance releases as it only includes a total of 18 bug fixes and improvements.

          “Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.16.4. Plasma 5.16 was released in June with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience. This release adds three week’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important,” reads today’s announcement.

        • Markdown and support of embedded mathematics

          At this moment, the version of Discount added to Cantor’s repository had two additional functional fixes on top of the officially released version of this library. First, Discount copies all LaTeX expressions during the processing of markdown syntax to a special string list, which is then used by Cantor to search for LaTeX code. Second, a useful change was to add an ASCII non-text symbol to every math expression. This symbol is used as a search key which greatly reduces the likelihood for a string collision, still theoretically possible, though.

          For example, if Discount will find (according Markdown syntax) math expression $\Gamma$, then it will write the additional symbol and the expression iin the output html string will be $\Gamma$ and Cantor will search exactly this text.

          I think, that’s all. Maybe this doesn’t look like a complex problem but solving this problem was a task that took the most time and it took me two months to fix it. So, I think the problem and its solution deserved a separate blog post.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GXml and on-the-fly-post-parsing technique

          I think this is new, so I’ll describe a new technique used in GXml to parse a large set of nodes in an XML document.

        • Sprint 4: tons of code reviews, improved web calendar discoverer

          After a fairly big push to reimplement the web calendar discoverer code, it landed in Calendar! The new code is a threaded implementation of a web discoverer where we first ping the server to see if the passed URL is an actual file; otherwise, we perform a full CalDAV discovery on the URL.

          Credentials are handled automatically — if the server rejects either the file or CalDAV checks due to permission, the user is asked about it.

          In addition to that, the Year view is now much optimized and we avoid a big amount of D-Bus traffic by caching the events that appear in the sidebar.

    • Distributions

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora Has Deferred Its Decision On Stopping Modular/Everything i686 Repositories

          The recent proposal to drop Fedora’s Modular and Everything repositories for the upcoming Fedora 31 release is yet to be decided after it was deferred at this week’s Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) meeting.

          The proposal is about ending the i686 Modular and Everything repositories beginning with the Fedora 31 cycle later this year. But this isn’t about ending multi-lib support, so 32-bit packages will continue to work from Fedora x86_64 installations. But as is the trend now, if you are still running pure i686 (32-bit x86) Linux distributions, your days are numbered. Separately, Fedora is already looking to drop their i686 kernels moving forward and they are not the only Linux distribution pushing for the long overdue retirement of x86 32-bit operating system support.

      • Debian Family

        • Deepin OS – First Distro To Bring Cloud Sync Option

          The team has developed its own desktop environment based on Qt and also uses KDE plasma’s window manager aka. dde-kwin. Deepin team has also developed 30 native applications for users to make day-to-day tasks easier to complete.

          Some of the native deepin applications are — Deepin installer, Deepin file manager, Deepin system monitor, Deepin Store, Deepin screen recorder, Deepin cloud print, and so on… If you ever run out of options, do not forget thousands of open source applications are also available in the store.

          The development of Deepin started in 2004 under the name ‘Hiwix’ and it’s been active since then. The distro’s name was changed multiple times but the motto remained the same, provide a stable operating system which is easy to install and use.

          The current version Deepin OS 15.11 is based on Debian stable branch. It was released on 19, July 2019 with some great features and many improvements and bug fixes.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.2 ‘Tina’ is approaching release, final testing underway

          The next version of Linux Mint is very close to its stable release according to project head, Clement Lefebvre. Two weeks ago, the project released beta ISOs of Linux Mint 19.2 ‘Tina’ so that users could test the upcoming release and report any last-minute bugs; Lefebvre said that “many bugs” were identified and fixed, meaning other users are less likely to encounter problems when Mint 19.2 is finally released.

          The developers behind Linux Mint are now in the quality analysis (QA) phase and began testing final release ISOs yesterday. Lefebvre thinks that the stable release of Linux Mint 19.2 should be ready and available for download by the end of the week, so it would be a good time now to make backups if you want to do a clean install this weekend.

        • Linux Lite 4.6 RC1 operating system now available

          Linux Lite is based on the Ubuntu LTS series giving you 5 years of support per major release and includes the following software LibreOffice Suite, VLC Media Player, Firefox Web Browser, Thunderbird Email, Gimp Image Editor, Lite Themes, Lite User Manager, Lite Software, Lite Sounds, Lite Tweaks, Lite Welcome, Lite Manual, Lite Sources, Lite Updates Notify, Lite Upgrade, Whiskermenu and more.

          “Linux Lite is fully functional out of the box, this means that you won’t have to install extra software when you boot your computer for the first time. We believe that a computer should be ready to use straight away on the first boot after a new install. You’re going to need this kind of functionality on a daily basis when you are using your computer so we take the hassle out of trying to find the right software from the start.”

        • BT choose Canonical to enable its 5G cloud core

          Multinational telecom’s company, BT, has announced its collaboration with cloud native firm, Canonical, as a way of developing its 5G plan.

        • Canonical Releases New Linux Kernel Live Patch for Ubuntu 18.04 and 16.04 LTS

          Coming hot on the heels of the last Linux kernel security updates released by Canonical last week for all supported Ubuntu Linux releases, this new kernel live patch is now available for users of the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating systems who use the Canonical Livepatch Service to apply rebootless kernel updates.

          It fixes five security issues, including a race condition (CVE-2019-11815), which could lead to a use-after-free, in Linux kernel’s RDS (Reliable Datagram Sockets) protocol implementation that may allow a local attacker to crash the system or execute arbitrary code, as well as a flaw (CVE-2019-2054) affecting ARM CPUs, which lets local attackers to bypass seccomp restrictions.

        • Canonical Announces Amazon EC2 On-Demand Hibernation for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

          Canonical and AWS announced today the public availability of on-demand Amazon EC2 Hibernation support for the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS operating system on AWS (Amazon Web Services).

          As one can imagine, the Amazon EC2 On-Demand Hibernation functionality lets users start up Amazon EC2 instances, configure them to their needs, hibernate them, and then launch them again whenever they want with all the running apps in the last state before they were put to sleep.

          With Amazon EC2 On-Demand Hibernation there’s no need to rebuild the memory footprint of your apps, and it also lets you maintain a fleet of pre-warmed Amazon EC2 instances that may increase your productivity without the need to modify any of your existing applications in the cloud.

        • Amazon EC2 On-Demand Hibernation for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS now available

          AWS and Canonical today announce the public release of Amazon EC2 Hibernation support for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

          Amazon EC2 Hibernation gives you the ability to launch Amazon EC2 instances, set them up as desired, hibernate them, and then quickly bring them back to life when you need them. Applications pick up exactly where they left off instead of rebuilding their memory footprint. Using hibernate, you can maintain a fleet of pre-warmed instances that can get to a productive state faster, and you can do this without modifying your existing applications.

        • A shift to the Linux app store experience

          Linux software developers historically have faced a number of challenges including fragmentation, distribution complexity and a lack of metrics into the success of their applications. Once an application is built, the journey does not end there – for companies and individual developers creating apps, thought needs to be given to promoting their software for maximum visibility, usage and customer experience.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • GitHub Blocks Devs in US-Sanctioned Regions

        Github currently is blocking only Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria. This is so that Microsoft will come into compliance with very specific sanctions imposed by the US government, he said.

        The blocking does make developing software a bit more difficult for developers who live in those regions. Since GitHub is a distributed version control system, however, those developers simply need someone from an unrestricted region to fork onto another platform that is not being blocked, Swann said.

      • Events

        • Intel Uses Its SIGGRAPH “CREATE” Event To Talk Up More Software Advancements

          Intel’s “CREATE” event is ongoing right now at SIGGRAPH 2019 where they are using it to repeat their goal of seeing a “1,000x advancement in performance” over the years ahead.

          This 1,000x performance advancement is being sought after by “deep investments in next-generation hardware architectures” and the software stack, primarily developer tools. We continue to see what they can achieve with software optimizations from their SVT video encoders to all the performance boosts that continue to come about in Clear Linux to their many other software initiatives.

        • Final call for proposals for the containers and checkpoint/restore track at LPC 2019

          This is the final call for proposals for the containers and checkpoint/restore track at the Linux Plumbers Conference; the deadline is Friday, August 2. LPC will take place September 9-11 in Lisbon, Portugal.

        • Final reminder: LPC 2019 Networking Track CFP

          This is the final call for proposals for the 3 day networking track at the Linux Plumbers Conference; the deadline is Friday, August 2. LPC will take place September 9-11 in Lisbon, Portugal.

      • CMS

        • Why leave WordPress behind for Nikola ?

          In my previous post I announced my website’s migration from WordPress to Nikola.

          Still, with WordPress having been my site’s engine for so many years, I feel that I owe a few explanations to the community.

          In this post I’ll enumerate what stands out in my (very good !) experience with WordPress, plus a few words about zenPhoto and what makes the difference between those two and Nikola.

        • Migrating to a Static Site

          I’ve been writing really nothing on my previous blog, and the whole WordPress install was too much overkill, besides doing a static website in python sounds way better to a programmer ;-)

          So, i’m using Pelican and plan to revert back all my customizations that make sense.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Digi imprint on software used in Kerala govt offices

          At present, 27797 government offices in the state use SPARK portal for salary disbursement for over seven lakh employees.


          The prevailing government policy mandates use of only FOSS applications in all its offices.
          The IT@School GNU/Linux 18.04 Operating System developed by KITE has in-built software required for running the Java based digital signature token device drivers. KITE would technically assist offices to install the trust key used for digital signature token devices in offices, along with ProxKey and ePass in addition to client software required for using them on SPARK.

        • KITE provides facility for digital signature of govt employees

          The move comes after digital signatures were made mandatory in all government offices for the staff to receive salary and other benefits through Service Payroll and Administrative Repository for Kerala (SPARK) portal.
          KITE intervened after several government offices including Public Education department had to approach proprietary software providers to create digital signatures. The salary of over seven lakh employees working in 27,797 offices are being paid through SPARK.
          All the independent softwares necessary for the functioning of the drivers which run the digital signature token equipment will be available in the IT@school Gnu Linux operating system prepared by KITE.

      • Programming/Development

        • How to drop one or more columns in Pandas Dataframe

          In this tutorial, we will cover how to drop or remove one or multiple columns from pandas dataframe.

        • Dictionaries in Python

          Python provides a composite data type called a dictionary, which is similar to a list in that it is a collection of objects.

          Here’s what you’ll learn in this course: You’ll cover the basic characteristics of Python dictionaries and learn how to access and manage dictionary data. Once you’ve finished this course, you’ll have a good sense of when a dictionary is the appropriate data type to use and know how to use it.

        • How to trim string in bash

          Sometimes it requires to remove characters from the starting and end of the string data which is called trimming. There is a built-in function named trim() for trimming in many standard programming languages. Bash has no built-in function to trim string data. But many options are available in bash to remove unwanted characters from string data, such as parameter expansion, sed, awk, xargs, etc. How you can trim string in bash is shown in this tutorial by using different examples.

        • OpenCV Crash Course for Python Developers
        • Bash eval command
        • Find Length of String in Bash
        • Bash Parameter Expansion
        • HTML Text Snippet Extension

          I often need to quickly test a snippet of HTML, mostly to see how it interacts with our accessibility APIs.

          Instead of creating some throwaway HTML file each time, I find it easier to paste in the HTML in devtools, or even make a data URI.

        • How to Merge Dictionaries in Python?

          In this post, we are describing different ways to merge dictionaries in Python. There is no built-in method to combine them, but we can make some arrangements to do that. The few options that we’ll use are the dictionary’s update method and Python 3.5’s dictionary unpacking operator or also known as **kwargs.

        • How to structure a multi-file C program: Part 2

          In Part 1, I laid out the structure for a multi-file C program called MeowMeow that implements a toy codec. I also talked about the Unix philosophy of program design, laying out a number of empty files to start with a good structure from the very beginning. Lastly, I touched on what a Makefile is and what it can do for you. This article picks up where the other one left off and now I’ll get to the actual implementation of our silly (but instructional) MeowMeow codec.

          The structure of the main.c file for meow/unmeow should be familiar to anyone who’s read my article “How to write a good C main function.”

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #379 (July 30, 2019)
        • Compress And Decompress Files With The gzip Command

          gzip command is used to compress files in linux systems. Each single file is compressed into a single file. The compressed file consists of a GNU zip header and deflated data. By default original file will be replaced by the compressed file ending with extension (.gz).

          To decompress a file you can use gunzip command and your original file will be back.

        • Bash while Loop With Examples

          There are three types of loops in bash programming. while loop is one of them. while loop is entry restricted loop. It means the condition is checked before executing while loop. While loop is also capable to do all the work as for loop can do.

        • Bash if..then..else Statement With Examples

          In a programming language, conditionals let you decide whether to perform an action or not, this decision is taken by evaluating an expression.

        • Talk Python to Me: #223 Fun and Easy 2D Games with Python

          Have you tried to teach programming to beginners? Python is becoming a top choice for the language, but you still have to have them work with the language and understand core concepts like loops, variables, classes, and more. It turns out, video game programming, when kept simple, can be great for this. Need to repeat items in a scene? There’s a natural situation to introduce loops. Move an item around? Maybe make a function to redraw it at a location.

        • Python mind-teaser: Make the function return True

          Provide such an input that if 1 is added to it, it is the instance of the same object but if 2 is added it is not.

        • Bash aliases you can’t live without

          A Bash alias is a method of supplementing or overriding Bash commands with new ones. Bash aliases make it easy for users to customize their experience in a POSIX terminal. They are often defined in $HOME/.bashrc or $HOME/bash_aliases (which must be loaded by $HOME/.bashrc).

          Most distributions add at least some popular aliases in the default .bashrc file of any new user account.

  • Leftovers

    • England’s medieval sport of jousting will introduce hawk-eye technology

      “We don’t like this newfangled, modern approach because we are recreating something from the 14th century. You may as well get drones in to fly above the horses heads!

      “This technology will just slow the game down too. We’re not looking to bring jousting up to modern times, we are hoping to bring what happened in medieval times to families and young children.”

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Tuesday

        Security updates have been issued by Fedora (cutter-re and radare2), Oracle (389-ds-base, httpd, kernel, libssh2, and qemu-kvm), Red Hat (389-ds-base, chromium-browser, curl, docker, httpd, keepalived, kernel, kernel-alt, kernel-rt, libssh2, perl, podman, procps-ng, qemu-kvm, qemu-kvm-ma, ruby, samba, and vim), Scientific Linux (389-ds-base, curl, libssh2, and qemu-kvm), SUSE (bzip2 and openexr), and Ubuntu (python-urllib3 and tmpreaper).

      • Equifax Settlement Won’t be Enough to Deter Future Breaches: The Law Must Catch Up

        Last week, news broke of a large financial settlement for the massive 2017 Equifax data breach affecting 147 million Americans. While the direct compensation to those harmed and the fines paid are important, it’s equally important to evaluate how much this result is likely to create strong incentives to increase data security for both Equifax and the other companies that are closely watching.

        We doubt it will do enough. Without stronger privacy legislation, the lawyers and regulators trying to respond to these data leaks are operating with one hand tied behind their back.

        In the meantime, EFF strongly urges everyone impacted by the calamitous Equifax breach to participate in the settlement claims process. Equifax must pay for the harm they have caused to everyone. And all too often, the fact that too few people make claims in these consumer privacy cases is used in the next case to argue that consumers just don’t care about privacy, making it even harder to force real security upgrades. If you do care about your privacy and want to make companies more responsible with your data, make your position known.

      • Capitol One Breach Sets Record

        Capitol One bank announced that a criminal hacker stole the personal information of 106 million people who had applied for credit, including credit scores, social security numbers, and bank account numbers. By some measures, it is the largest data breach of a US bank in history. The FBI arrested the alleged hacker and filed a complaint in federal court. Capitol One joins a long list of companies that have had data breaches in recent years. In testimony before the Senate and the House several years ago, EPIC warned Congress that US financial institutions were not doing to safeguard consumer data. EPIC has recently renewed calls for the creation of a US Data Protection Agency.

      • Capital One Gets In On The Data Breach Action, Coughs Up Info On 100 Million Customers To A Single Hacker

        That’s a big “if” — one that’s certainly called into question by the swift apprehension of a suspect. Maybe this is all on the level. Even if it is, does it matter? Companies collecting massive amounts of data are still, on the whole, pretty cavalier about data security, even as breach after horrifying breach is announced.

        Given the data obtained, it almost seems like it would have been far less labor-intensive to just scour the web for a copy of the Equifax breach and download that instead. The Venn diagram of the sensitive data likely has a significant overlap.

        Then there’s the press release by Capital One, which inadvertently shows how little it really cares what happens to customers’ sensitive information.

      • Update LibreOffice now to thwart silent macro viruses – and here’s how pwn those who haven’t patched their suite yet [Ed: It is not flawless when you run malicious files against it, so don’t open these or receive these…]
      • To Add to Self-Driving Car Concerns, Traffic Could Be Hacked

        There are definitely many, many concerns still surrounding the idea of autonomous cars used in force in population. There are so many concerns of whether they are as safe as human-driven cars, with constant stories of crashes when people stop paying attention because they let the car take over.

      • Pop!_OS 18.10 will no longer receive security updates.

        Pop!_OS 18.10 has reached End of Life today, meaning it will not be receiving any more updates. In order to ensure that your system remains secure and up to date, you will need to upgrade your OS to version 19.04. Pop!_OS 18.04 users can disregard this message, as they will continue to enjoy that fresh code scent that comes with new updates.

    • Environment

      • Media Downplay Climate Disruption’s Ever-Growing Role in Driving Migration

        Journalists routinely dehumanize human beings crossing the southern border by comparing them to natural disasters like a “flood” or “deluge.” But while migration has always been a natural phenomenon, the increasingly forced migration of people escaping deteriorating conditions is an unnatural disaster driven, in part, by climate disruption.

        The New Yorker (4/3/19) reported on how droughts, floods and changes to weather patterns have contributed to crop susceptibility to diseases and pests, degraded soil quality and shortened growing seasons. Reuters (5/2/19) covered UN estimates that 2.2 million people Central Americans have been affected by poor harvests as a result of climate change, with up to four in every five families having to sell animals and farm equipment to buy food in the past year.

        It would be easy for even a diligent news consumer to not know that climate change is one of the central factors driving refugees to cross the border, since it’s usually not mentioned at all in most alarmist reports about the so-called “border crisis” (New York Times, 4/10/19; Wall Street Journal, 5/8/19). In fact, although a few good articles have been dedicated to making the connection (e.g., New York Times, 4/13/19; Washington Post, 4/16/19), it’s usually absent even among reports purporting to explain why people are making the dangerous journey.

      • Energy

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Do Debate Questions Reflect Concerns of Democratic Voters?

        The initial debates, hosted by NBC, focused heavily on the economy (19% of questions), healthcare (18%) and immigration (18%) — central issues to many voters, to be sure. But other issues that Democrats want to hear about got short shrift. Climate change, which multiple polls put second only to healthcare as a top issue for Democratic voters, got only 10 questions (8%), while core issues around race and women’s rights got eight (6%) and five (4%), respectively. Two questions were asked about LGBTQ concerns.

      • Documents: CIA Successfully Pressured Michael Bay To Change Benghazi Movie

        The CIA released a batch of documents detailing how their Office of Public Affairs (OPA) staff met with the film director Michael Bay and successfully leaned on him to make changes to the script to “13 Hours.”

        The 2016 action thriller is the only major movie Hollywood has produced about the attacks on the United States Special Mission in Benghazi and the nearby CIA annex.

        It grossed less than $70 million against a $50 million budget and is the least commercially successful film Bay has ever produced. While audiences rated “13 Hours” more highly than critics, the film’s attempt to capitalize on the politics of the Benghazi attacks largely failed.

        On the night of September 11, 2012, a mob attacked the State Department’s outpost in Benghazi, setting fire to the main residence and murdering ambassador Chris Stevens, who was in town for a visit from the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, as well as another State employee.

        Several of the CIA’s Global Response Staff (GRS)—military veterans contracted by the CIA to provide security for their bases—left the nearby CIA Annex to help defend the outpost. A few hours after they had rescued the survivors and returned to base a string of attacks hit the Annex, killing two GRS operators.

        The documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal that Bay first approached the CIA in early March 2015, weeks before production started.

        OPA staff were initially enthusiastic, according to emails. When one CIA officer pointed out that they were unlikely to support a film based on a book containing “unauthorized disclosures” another responded, “Dude, you’re such a Debbie Downer. Waaah, waaah.”

      • Understanding The Abundance Of Bad Faith Arguments Against Bernie Sanders

        About six months into an excruciatingly long Democratic presidential primary, there are several bad faith arguments about Senator Bernie Sanders and his 2020 presidential campaign that are frequently promoted in the news media.

        These arguments range from vapid expressions of disgust to more calculated articulations of prejudice. Each argument degrades the conversation around the Sanders campaign, overshadowing its welcome contribution to politics as well as several good faith arguments against the campaign that are worth engaging.

        Some of the arguments existed during the 2016 presidential election, when Sanders ran against Hillary Clinton.

        One may notice the individuals who push bad faith arguments have ties back to the Clinton campaign. They may have even been involved in pushing these same arguments in 2016.

        Several voices given platforms by the establishment news media are invited to define Sanders for media consumers, and yet, they do not speak about his campaign with a forthrightness that is high-minded. They have their own ulterior motives or special interests to guard when commenting.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Josh Hawley Wants To Appoint Himself Product Manager For The Internet

        Say what you want about Senator Josh Hawley — and we’ve said a lot — but you do have to give him credit for actually proposing bills to respond to all of the problems he sees with internet companies these days. Of course, he sees their very existence as one of the problems, so the bills seem mostly nonsensical. His latest — the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act (yeah, yeah, the SMART Act) — is only marginally less crazy than his last bill to strip internet companies of Section 230 protections, unless they agree to allow Nazis to speak.

        It’s… weird. It basically seems to be Congress (via Hawley) appointing itself as the new product manager for all internet services. It’s taking what is a potentially reasonable concern that certain activities on various internet platforms may lead to addictive behaviors and then assuming that Congress must ban them, outright — as well as take proactive steps to limit access to much of the internet. I’m assuming that noted Constitutional lawyer Josh Hawley will next propose a bill banning alcohol, cigarettes, TV binging, professional sports, books, and anything else engrossing in the future. Again, there are legitimate concerns about how the internet impacts people, but we’re still in the very early days of understanding (1) what those issues are and how they’re dealt with and (2) how society can and should respond to those things. And yet, this bill acts as if it’s well established that a few very specific technology features are de facto evil and must be banned.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • The Great Hack Wasn’t A Hack And Big Tech’s Problems Aren’t Really About Big Tech

        There must be some irony in the fact that the well-hyped documentary film about Cambridge Analytica/Facebook, called The Great Hack was released by Netflix — a company who really is kinda famous for trying to suck up as much data as possible to build a better algorithm to keep you using its service more — and potentially violating people’s privacy in the process. I know it’s ancient history in terms of internet years, and everyone has decided that Facebook and Google are the root of all internet/data evils, but back in 2006, Netflix launched a contest, offering $1 million to anyone who could “improve” its recommendation algorithm over a certain threshold. It took a few years, but the company awarded the $1 million to a team that improved its algorithm — though, it never actually implemented that algorithm, claiming that the benefits “did not seem to justify the engineering effort.”

        But, perhaps more interesting, was that while the contest was ongoing, some computer scientists de-anonymized the dataset that Netflix had released, leading some to point out that the whole project almost certainly violated the law. Eventually, Netflix shuttered its plans for a follow up contest as part of a legal settlement regarding the privacy violations of the original.

        So, perhaps feel a bit conflicted when Netflix’s vaunted algorithm recommends “The Great Hack” for you to watch.

      • “Equifax Settlement: Exercise Your Rights!”

        After a settlement with Equifax, consumers can now file a claim for free credit monitoring or a cash payment of $125. If you spent time recovering from the breach or lost or spent money because of the breach, you can request payment of up to $20,000. Credit monitoring or the $125 cash payment is easy and requires no documentation, though the actual amount provided may be less depending on the total number of claims. Supporting documents are necessary if you seek payment for time lost or costs because of the breach. The settlement also requires Equifax to provide all U.S. consumers with 6 free credit reports per year. EPIC President Marc Rotenberg testified before the Senate Banking Committee and recommended free credit freezes and other consumer remedies following the 2017 data breach.

      • Dutch cheesed off at Microsoft, call for Rexit from Office Online, Mobile apps over Redmond data slurping

        report backed by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security is warning government institutions not to use Microsoft’s Office Online or mobile applications due to potential security and privacy risks.

        A report from Privacy Company, which was commissioned by the ministry, found that Office Online and the Office mobile apps should be banned from government work. The report found the apps were not in compliance with a set of privacy measures Redmond has agreed to with the Dutch government.

        The alert notes that in May of this year Microsoft and the government of the Netherlands agreed to new privacy terms after a 2018 report, also compiled by Privacy Company, found that Office 365 ProPlus was gathering personal information on some 300,000 workers via its telemetry features and storing them in the US. These included such things such as email addresses and translation requests.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Daily Dose of Protest: Hope For The Underrated Youth – Yungblud

        When looking back at the history of protest movements, young people have always been at the forefront. That has been the case with recent protests against gun violence, climate change and a variety of other social ills. There has also been a long history of the powers that be trying to suppress the youthful voices of resistance.

        Yungblud is an example of a young artist who uses his music to speak out. The 21-year-old alternative musician from the UK explored themes of youth disenfranchisement on his 2018 debut album, 21st Century Liability. These themes are further explored with his latest single, “Hope For The Underrated Youth.”

        A couple of days before the release of the tune, Yungblud performed a cruise ship concert on the River Thames. He concluded the show with projecting the song’s title on the UK Houses of Parliament and making a powerful speech on a megaphone.

        “The world right now tells us to fall in line, what you’re allowed to care about, think about, even to the point of what air you should fucking breathe,” said Yungblud of the track. “Things are changing drastically, a lot of the time not for the better, and it’s hard to watch.”

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Doomed: Bethesda’s Classic Doom Re-Releases Are Fixed, But Demonstrate Again That We Don’t Own What We Buy

        We have something of a long-running series of posts centering on the disheartening theme, “You don’t own what you’ve bought.” Whether it’s digital products such as movies and eBooks, or more tangible products like thermostats, large companies are making backend alterations to how products previously purchased work and the public is just now starting to realize the full scope of what this means. That doesn’t mean that same public isn’t surprised when it happens to them, of course, but it’s strange to watch the reactions to these anti-consumer practices range mostly from shrugs to actively joking around about it all.

        Bethesda went through its own instance of this recently. Just to be absolutely clear, the problems we are about to discuss have all been resolved by Bethesda, so good on them. These issues weren’t intentional. Still, they demonstrate both how the current digital economy is one fraught with danger for people who think they’re actually buying things and also demonstrates the cow-like tranquility of the reactions of those affected.

        In the past few weeks, Bethesda announced it was re-releasing several classic Doom games for the three modern consoles. It was great news for Doom fans, especially those that own PS4 and Nintendo Switch consoles. The re-release included the Xbox One, too, but that console had already seen a re-release of the classic Doom games. Except that gamers who had originally purchased the first re-release suddenly found that their purchases were no longer available.

    • Monopolies

      • District Court Ruling: Filing an Abridged Application within RDP Term is use of a Legal Right to file an Application and therefore does not constitute Unfair Competition

        Regulatory Data Protection (RDP) issues are dealt with only by the Licensing Regulation of the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Turkey. In principle the relevant provision grants protection of data of originators for a term of 6 years as of the date of first Marketing Authorisation granted in the EU. However there is no mechanism to prevent the Gx Company from using the data before expiry of the term. The MOH interprets the relevant article as a market exclusivity and allows abridged Marketing Authorisation (MA) applications filed by using the data of the originator within RDP term. The Gx companies mostly choose to take advantage of this interpretation in order to be ready to launch as soon as the RDP term is expired.

        The only tool remaining in the hands of the owner of the regulatory data to protect its rights arising from the data is filing an unfair competition action against the Gx Company depending on the unfair competition provisions of the Commercial Code.

        In one of these actions the defendant Gx Company filed an abridged application by using the data of originator and was granted an MA before expiry of the RDP term. The plaintiff data owner argued unfair competition on the grounds that the defendant used the data without satisfying any of the legal conditions for filing an abridged MA application and therefore unfairly benefited from the the data. The plaintiff argued that regulatory data is also connected to unfair competition law. Because, the subject of unfair competition law is to protect the labour, including efforts, know-how and investment, in accordance with the principle of labour against the commercial methods and applications, in accordance with the principle of integrity. The rights of establishments on data, which are the most valuable business products, are under protection in accordance with Article 54 and Articles 55/1(c), Article 55/1(d) and Article 55/1(e) of Turkish Commercial Code (TCC), along with the general provisions, protecting property right. The plaintiff further argued that the defendant party is the competitor of the plaintiff in economic life. Also it has filed a license application in order to seize a substantial share of the client’s market, by producing and selling a product, which is identical to the pharmaceutical of the data owner. The unfair use of originator’s data by the defendant party, without authorization, is an action, by itself, incompliant with the rules of integrity, given in Article 55 of TCC and constitutes unfair competition.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Celgene v. Peter: application of IPRs to pre-AIA patents is not a taking

          While Oil States v. Greene’s Energy, 138 S.Ct. 1365 (2018), answered the question of whether inter partes review proceedings were unconstitutional generally, it left unanswered the question of whether application of inter partes review proceedings to patents granted prior to the America Invents Act constituted a taking under the 5th Amendment. Here, the Federal Circuit directly addresses that question, concluding that it is not.

          Constitutional challenges like this one can be challenging to raise effectively on appeal. While usually, the issues are brought up in a footnote or single sentence, this was not one of those instances: Celgene devoted 8 pages of its principal brief to its takings argument, making a serious go at it. Still, Celgene had not raised the argument before the Board and requests to address an argument for the first time on appeal are granted only in exceptional circumstances. However, given the circumstances–Celgene’s raising of an issue not directly resolved by Oil States, the growing number of retroactivity challenges following Oil States, and the thoroughness of the briefing on the issue, among other considerations–the court concluded that “this is one of those exceptional circumstances in which our discretion is appropriately exercised to hear Celgene’s constitutional challenge even though it was not raised below.” Slip Op. at 25.


          In the end, “Although differences exist between IPRs and their reexamination predecessors, those differences do not outweigh the similarities of purpose and substance and, at least for that reason, do not effectuate a taking of Celgene’s patents.” Slip. Op. at 36.

          The court also affirmed the PTAB’s decisions finding the appealed claims obvious.

        • Solutran v. Evalon: Processing Paper Checks and Patent-Eligible Subject Matter

          The Federal Circuit reversed the district court, holding that the claims failed to recite patent-eligible subject matter. The CAFC first held that the claims “are directed to the abstract idea of crediting a merchant’s account as early as possible while electronically processing a check,” Slip Op. at 7, a conclusion that followed from Ultramercial v. Hulu, 772 F.3d 709 (Fed. Cir. 2014) and Content Extraction & Transmission LLC v. Wells Fargo Bank, National Ass’n, 776 F.3d 1343 (Fed. Cir. 2014), and was not at odds with Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft, 822 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2016). The court then concluded that the claims did not “contain a sufficiently transformative inventive concept so as to be patent eligible” by, for example, “‘purport to improve the functioning of the computer itself’ or ‘effect an improvement in any other technology or technical field.’” Id. at 12. A key issue was that, even by the terms of the patent itself, the only potentially inventive concept was the abstract idea itself…

        • Nokia persuades Munich court to issue anti-antisuit injunction against Daimler supplier Continental, pre-empting decision by Judge Koh

          If the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) doesn’t help Daimler and its suppliers such as Continental, then the Nokia v. Daimler patent assertion campaign is not going to end well. Unless something changes fundamentally, the mostlikely outcome is that Nokia will gain decisive leverage pretty soon, as a result of its patent assertions in Germany, with the question primarily being whether the Munich I Regional Court or the Mannheim Regional Court will be first to enter a provisionally-enforceable SEP injunction that will force Daimler to bow to the supra-FRAND royalty demands of the Avanci group. And its supplier will continue to be denied a direct license from key patent holders such as Nokia. A court may well find that they are entitled to such a license, but at the time, their key customer (Daimler) will be bound to unfavorable and fundamentally unfair contract terms.

      • Trademarks

        • “BOSWELAN” – No Special Treatment for Medicinal Product Trade Marks

          Obtaining a marketing authorization for a new medicinal product can notoriously take a very long time. Should trademark law, and in particular the five-year grace period to commence “genuine use“ (Art. 18(1) EUTMR), be adapted to account for the time lost waiting for the marketing authorization? In a recently published case (C-668/17 not yet available in English at the time of writing), the EU Court of Justice answers the question in the negative.


          In 2013, Hecht-Pharma filed an action for revocation of the “BOSWELAN” mark for lack of genuine use within the meaning of Art. 51(1)(a) of Regulation 207/2009.

        • The World’s Most Ridiculous Trademark Dispute Is Now Over: Yosemite Gets Its Names Back

          A little over three years ago, we wrote about what may be one of the world’s dumbest trademark disputes (involving one of the world’s most beautiful places). Yosemite National Park was in a massive trademark dispute concerning the names of various places (mainly lodging places) within the park. The background was a bit confusing, but the short version is that back in 1988, the company that operated the various facilities in Yosemite, the Curry Company, registered trademarks on the names of the various sites — including the famous historic Ahwahnee Hotel, Curry Village and Yosemite Lodge. In 1993, the concessions contract passed from Curry Company onto a subsidiary of Delaware North called DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite (DNCY). It appears that the trademarks that Curry Company registered passed on to DNCY, though basically everyone forgot/ignored the trademarks.

          Part of DNCY’s contract was that if another concession company took over, DNCY had to “sell and transfer” any interest it had in the park, including “such other property.” Fast forward to a few years ago, and Yosemite decided to drop DNCY in favor of concessions giant Aramark. Suddenly, DNCY “rediscovered” that it held the trademarks. It offered to lease them to the park for “free”… but only if Yosemite retained DNCY as the concessions company. Yosemite said no, and DNCY started demanding money for the trademarks. Lots and lots of money — between $30 and $51 million at different times in the process. Yosemite, on the other hand, countered that the trademarks were worth, at best, somewhere between $1.5 and $3 million. DNCY eventually sued for $44 million.

          Yosemite then went with the nuclear option and renamed all the historic spots in the park. So for the past three years, the Ahwahnee has been called “The Majestic Yosemite Hotel,” Curry Village became “Half Dome Village,” and the Wawona Hotel became “Big Trees Lodge.” I’ve been up to Yosemite a few times during these three years, and everyone still seemed to call the Ahwahnee the Ahwahnee (or, as I heard multiple people say, “the hotel formerly known as the Ahwahnee.”)

      • Copyrights

        • The EU Regulation on fairness in the platform economy is a let down for intellectual property [Ed: The copyright scholars left IP Kat and the blog now moans for monopolists using their propaganda terms ("intellectual property"). Society always loses when lawyers (or greedy law firms) write “the news”. Unfortunately now that ournalism has collapsed it happens a lot more often.]

          The Digital Single Market Directive, introduced earlier this year, has been the subject of much discussion (see here, here and here for previous posts). Flying under the radar of most IP enthusiasts is Regulation 2019/1150 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services, passed on 20 June 2019.
          This Regulation aims to provide “appropriate incentives to promote fairness and transparency” in order to maintain healthy competition in the ranking of corporate website users by online search engines and across the wider online platform economy.

          The Regulation acknowledges the importance of search engines and online platforms in the commercial success of businesses, especially small and medium sized enterprises (Recital 2). It also acknowledges that often these businesses will be commercially dependent upon search engines and online platforms. On this, the Regulation stresses that:

        • CJEU roundup: Kraftwerk, Red Bull and more

          In this decision, the court said that sampling part of a song without authorisation can infringe a producer’s rights, but that if the sample is taken in a modified form “unrecognisable to the ear,” no infringement occurs, even without prior authorisation.

          The case involves members of the German techno group Kraftwerk and surrounds their 1977 track Metall auf Metall.

          The band’s members had sought an injunction on the basis that rapper Moses Pelham had included, without their permission, a two-second loop recording of a sequence from Metall auf Metall in his song Nur Mir.

          A lower court backed Pelham but Germany’s Federal Court of Justice then asked the CJEU whether the non-authorised inclusion of the sample constitutes an infringement of copyright.


Even Microsoft Boosters ‘Love’ Linux, Albeit Only When It’s Actually Microsoft’s

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The non-Linux-using Linux rep, the Bad and the Ugly. No wonder their homepage today is misleading openwashing of Microsoft.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Summary: The identity of Linux rapidly turns into something bad and ugly which in no way resembles the original (GNU/Linux) and is actually Windows Vista 10 (in “Linux” clothing)

EARLIER today a Microsoft propagandist for over a decade (Simon Bisson) pushed/promoted Microsoft’s Trojan horse against GNU/Linux, so you know you’re standing to lose from WSL (WeaSeL). He attacked GNU/Linux for years (Bisson’s pattern is well documented), but suddenly Microsoft loves (its own) 'Linux'. It’s all about control. Microsoft also loves the Linux Foundation, which it partly controls. Additionally, earlier today in the news we found a lot of WSL nonsense, e.g. [1, 2]. You search for “Linux” in the news (syndicators such as Google News) and instead you get something that isn’t GNU/Linux but Microsoft’s ‘bastardised’ version of it — a thing that is called “Windows something” (SL, sandbox or subsystem for ‘Linux’). Nice googlebombing you got there

Links 30/7/2019: Manjaro Snap Support, LLVM 9.0 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Twitter Announced Switch from Mesos to Kubernetes

        On the 2nd of May at 7:00 PM (PST), Twitter held a technical release conference and meetup at its headquarters in San Francisco. At the conference, David McLaughlin, Product and Technical Head of Twitter Computing Platform, announced that Twitter’s infrastructure would completely switch from Mesos to Kubernetes.

        For a bit of background history, Mesos was released in 2009, and Twitter was one of the early companies in support and use Mesos. As one of the most successful social media giants in the world, Twitter has received much attention due to its large production cluster scale (having tens of thousands of nodes). In 2010, Twitter started to develop the Aurora project based on the Mesos project to make it more convenient to manage both its online and offline business and gradually adopt to Mesos.

      • Linux Ending Support for the Floppy Drive, Unity 2019.2 Launches Today, Purism Unveils Final Librem 5 Smartphone Specs, First Kernel Security Update for Debian 10 “Buster” Is Out, and Twitter Is Switching from Mesos to Kubernetes

        Twitter is switching from Mesos to Kubernetes. Zhang Lei, Senior Technical Expert on Alibaba Cloud Container Platform and Co-maintainer of Kubernetes Project, writes “with the popularity of cloud computing and the rise of cloud-based containerized infrastructure projects like Kubernetes, this traditional Internet infrastructure starts to show its age—being a much less efficient solution compared with that of Kubernetes”. See Zhang’s post for some background history and more details on the move.

      • IBM

        • Three ways automation can help service providers digitally transform

          As telecommunication service providers (SPs) look to stave off competitive threats from over the top (OTT) providers, they are digitally transforming their operations to greatly enhance customer experience and relevance by automating their networks, applying security, and leveraging infrastructure management. According to EY’s “Digital transformation for 2020 and beyond” study, process automation can help smooth the path for SP IT teams to reach their goals, with 71 percent of respondents citing process automation as “most important to [their] organization’s long-term operational excellence.”

          There are thousands of virtual and physical devices that comprise business, consumer, and mobile services in an SP’s environment, and automation can help facilitate and accelerate the delivery of those services.


          Some SPs are turning to Ansible and other tools to embark on their automation journey. Red Hat Ansible Automation, including Red Hat Ansible Engine and Red Hat Ansible Tower, simplifies software-defined infrastructure deployment and management, operations, and business processes to help SPs more effectively deliver consumer, business, and mobile services.

          Red Hat Process Automation Manager (formerly Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite) combines business process management, business rules management, business resource optimization, and complex event processing technologies in a platform that also includes tools for creating user interfaces and decision services.

        • Deploy your API from a Jenkins Pipeline

          In a previous article, 5 principles for deploying your API from a CI/CD pipeline, we discovered the main steps required to deploy your API from a CI/CD pipeline and this can prove to be a tremendous amount of work. Hopefully, the latest release of Red Hat Integration greatly improved this situation by adding new capabilities to the 3scale CLI. In 3scale toolbox: Deploy an API from the CLI, we discovered how the 3scale toolbox strives to automate the delivery of APIs. In this article, we will discuss how the 3scale toolbox can help you deploy your API from a Jenkins pipeline on Red Hat OpenShift/Kubernetes.

        • How to set up Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12: Process automation tooling

          The release of the latest Red Hat developer suite version 12 included a name change from Red Hat JBoss Developer Studio to Red Hat CodeReady Studio. The focus here is not on the Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces, a cloud and container development experience, but on the locally installed developers studio. Given that, you might have questions about how to get started with the various Red Hat integration, data, and process automation product toolsets that are not installed out of the box.

          In this series of articles, we’ll show how to install each set of tools and explain the various products they support. We hope these tips will help you make informed decisions about the tooling you might want to use on your next development project.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #141
      • Episode 76 | This Week in Linux

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, the Pinebook Pro is now available for Pre-Orders and a Critical Security Bug reported for VLC but that was quickly debunked so we’ll talk about the details for that. In App News, we got a couple new apps to check out. A command-line cheatsheet app called Cheat.sh and a live video mixer tool called Nageru. We’ve got a lot of Distro News this week from Fedora, SUSE, Mageia and we also got news from ArcoLinux, Sparky and Slackel. Later in the show, we’ll take a look at the new version of Coreboot and some Linux Gaming News with RetroArch and a new Humble Bundle that gave me some interesting perspective regarding various bundles. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux’s KVM Sees Patches For RISC-V Support

        In continuation of the article last week how the RISC-V Linux kernel support has been maturing and various missing gaps filled in, another feature just arrived in patch form: support for KVM virtualization.

        Western Digital while associated with hard drives has been working big on RISC-V and already contributed Linux patches in the past. One of their engineers is the one to send out the RISC-V KVM support on Monday.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Keynote Speakers Announced for the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference Europe

          The Linux Foundation today announced the keynote speakers for its Open Source Summit Europe (OSSEU), the leading conference for open source developers, architects and other technologists and a hotbed for emerging technologies, and Embedded Linux Conference Europe. The event takes place October 28-30 in Lyon, France.

          Open source software and technologies are a leading indicator of where companies are investing resources for technology development. By bringing the latest open source projects and leading technologists together in one place, the event becomes a forum for defining and advancing technology development in the years ahead.

      • Graphics Stack

        • How The RadeonSI Performance Has Evolved For Navi 10 Since Launch

          Complementary to yesterday’s Radeon RX 5700 / RX 5700 XT Linux Gaming Performance With AMDGPU 5.3 + Mesa 19.2-devel, here are some benchmarks showing how the RadeonSI OpenGL performance has evolved for the Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT since they launched three weeks ago for this open-source OpenGL Linux stack.

          Back on launch day for our initial Radeon RX 5700 series Linux tests it was just coverage of the RadeonSI OpenGL driver with not getting any packaged Linux driver in advance, the RADV code not hitting until later that day as a surprise, and AMDVLK code not being cleared yet for release. All those have since been resolved while for this article is looking at how the Mesa RadeonSI performance has evolved from those original results in the days of testing prior to the 7 July launch to now how the two Navi 10 cards are performing at the end of July.

        • RadeonSI Gallium3D Gets Wired For Compute-Only Arcturus To Handle Video Decode

          In addition to new patches coming out on Monday for addressing power management with AMD’s unreleased “Arcturus” GPU, a set of Mesa patches were merged for adding RadeonSI Gallium3D driver support.

          But if you’ve read our Arcturus posts to date, you know there is no 3D engine enabled for this upcoming GPU. So why is the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver involved? It’s there just for bringing up the video decode support, which is present for Arcturus.

        • AMD’s Linux Driver Gets Power Management In Order For Unreleased “Arcturus” GPU

          Earlier this month AMD’s Linux driver team sent out their initial open-source patches bringing up the “Arcturus” GPU as a new Vega family product. Today a second batch of patches adding in two thousand more lines of Linux kernel driver code were sent out.

          AMD has yet to announce this new product powered by the “Arcturus” GPU and it’s not to be confused with the new Navi parts. This is a new Vega-based processor with HBM memory tailored for ROCm/OpenCL compute, there is no 3D engine, and it goes along with LLVM’s new AMDGPU GFX908 target that was recently added.

        • MoltenVK Now Supports More Vulkan Extensions, Begins Targeting Metal 3.0

          The open-source MoltenVK project that offers Vulkan API support for Apple devices on iOS and macOS is out with a new release for mapping Vulkan atop Apple’s Metal graphics/compute stack.

          MoltenVK has picked up support for a number of new Vulkan extensions and other fixes, but now does require Apple Metal 3.0. A Metal 3.0 requirement means using Xcode 11 for building and targeting macOS 10.15+ and iOS 13+ for the run-time requirement. MoltenVK still supports their earlier v1.0.36 release without Metal 3.0 for those wanting the older iOS/macOS coverage.

    • Applications

      • Top 10+ Best Linux Docks To Make Your Desktop Beautiful

        We are very familiar with windows desktop panel, named taskbar. Likewise, Linux Desktops might have docks, or it can run even without docks. You’ll get a lot of options if you desire to use docks for your Linux Desktops. If you want to understand the concept of Linux Docks, then it can be said that this is a graphical interface unit, which allows a user to communicate through the click with the software that he uses regularly. When it comes to the functionality and its extension, these utilities are very useful for the Linux desktops.

      • 5 Free Partition Managers for Linux

        Usually, you decide the disk partitions while installing the OS. But, what if you need to modify the partitions sometime after the installation. You just can’t go back to the setup screen in any way. So, that is where partition managers (or accurately disk partition managers) come in handy.

        In most of the cases, you do not need to separately install the partition manager because it comes pre-installed. Also, it is worth noting that you can either opt for a command-line based partition manager or something with a GUI.

      • Proprietary

        • The Hidden Costs of Automated Thinking

          The growing pervasiveness of machine-learning models, and the fact that anyone can create one, promise to make this process of accounting difficult. But it’s vital. Taken in isolation, oracular answers can generate consistently helpful results. But these systems won’t stay in isolation: as A.I.s gather and ingest the world’s data, they’ll produce data of their own—much of which will be taken up by still other systems. Just as drugs with unknown mechanisms of action sometimes interact, so, too, will debt-laden algorithms.

        • Are We Really Making Much Progress? A Worrying Analysis of Recent Neural Recommendation Approaches

          [...] we report the results of a systematic analysis of algorithmic proposals for top-n recommendation tasks. Specifically, we considered 18 algorithms that were presented at top-level research conferences in the last years. Only 7 of them could be reproduced with reasonable effort. For these methods, it however turned out that 6 of them can often be outperformed with comparably simple heuristic methods, e.g., based on nearest-neighbor or graph-based techniques. The remaining one clearly outperformed the baselines but did not consistently outperform a well-tuned non-neural linear ranking method. [...]

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Valve’s ACO AMD Shader Compiler Now Can Handle Vertex Shaders

        Valve’s interesting ACO shader compiler alternative to AMDGPU LLVM currently for the RADV Vulkan driver as well as for RadeonSI OpenGL in the future now can handle vertex shaders.

        Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais shared last night that their ACO shader compiler now has vertex shader compiler support and thus cuts down shader compile times even more with not having to do any fall-backs. Their testing packages for Ubuntu and Arch have been updated with this latest code while the source is available for those wanting to test on other distributions.

      • Unity 2019.2 Released With Latest Features For This Cross-Platform Game Engine

        Unity 2019.2 rolled out today as the latest quarterly feature update for this very popular cross-platform game engine.

        Some of the big changes for Unity 2019.2 include DSPGraph as a new audio rendering/mixing system, their promising Burst Compiler has faster JIT compilation and different C# improvements, better HD Render Pipeline support, new 2D features in their Lightweight Render Pipeline, OpenGL support improvements focused on mobile platforms, and other changes.

      • Bash Shell Games: Let’s Play Go Fish!

        Between the previous 163 columns I’ve written here in Linux Journal and the dozens of games I programmed and explored during the creation of my Wicked Cool Shell Scripts book, I’ve written a lot of Bash shell games. The challenge is to find one that’s simple enough where a shell script will work, but isn’t so simple that it ends up being only a half-dozen lines.

        Magic 8-Ball is a perfect example. It turns out that the entire “predict the future” gizmo was really just a 20-sided die floating in dark purple fluid.

      • Valve Funded Development Of Xrdesktop – Lets GNOME & KDE Work In VR

        Following the release of OpenXR 1.0, Collabora has announced the release of Xrdesktop, which was funded by Valve.

        Xrdesktop is an open-source project that allows for traditional X11 window managers to interact better within a virtual reality space for presenting on VR head-sets. Xrdesktop allows traditional Linux desktops like GNOME and KDE to work on a VR head-set.

        We’ve seen past open-source efforts like Arcan experimenting with a VR desktop while this Xrdesktop is about allowing existing traditional desktops to work more gracefully on VR head-mounted displays.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.17 to get modernized look and feel, several new features confirmed

          From what we’re hearing, KDE Plasma 5.17 will feature significant user interface and performance improvements — not to mention several new features.

          The 81st week of the KDE Usability and Productivity initiative was all about KDE Plasma, which is one of the most popular desktop environments out there right now. Its only competition being the almighty GNOME. Furthermore, the desktop environment ships with several popular Linux distros, such as openSUSE and Kubuntu.

          Nate Graham, who is one of the top KDE developers, recently revealed that the KDE team has worked on modernizing the user interface of KDE Plasma. Accordingly, the settings window of the new KDE Plasma will come with a more modernized look.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • The 12 Best Gnome Shell Extensions

          The GNOME Desktop Environment is among the most loved Linux Desktop Environments and with the right Linux tools you can turn it into the perfect one for you.

          One way of customizing the DE is by using any of the many extensions available for free – which, apart from taking you steps closer to having an ideal UI/UX, greatly increase your productivity.

          Below is our list of the top 12 extensions you can install on the GNOME Desktop.

        • Joining Purism!

          Personal news time! Starting in August I’m going to be joining the team at Purism working on the design of PureOS and related software products, but what I’m very excited about is that I get to continue to work on GNOME design!

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • An Overview of Debian 10 “Buster” from the GNOME Edition

          Debian 10 LTS, known as Buster, released with 7 desktop environments in 2019. This short article reveals the GNOME Edition for you. Unlike usual, I tried to break down the download pages more longer for you to give you clearer vision on what and where to download. I divided this article into 6 parts which talk about: ISOs, LTS, Calamares system installer, login sessions & RAM loads (fortunately, it’s only ~800MiB right now!), user interface, and of course applications. I hope this overview helps everybody to reach Debian and try it as soon as possible. Happy reading!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Manjaro, snaps and the spirit of collaboration

          Linux distributions are all about freedom of choice for the end-user. However, there is a natural element of competition too. So, why did Philip Müller, one of the founders of the Manjaro distribution, come to the 2019 Snapcraft Summit in Montreal?

          There are several good reasons, according to Philip. First, he says, “Manjaro and Ubuntu have similar goals of making software simple to install, for example, by using snaps. Second, Snapcraft has evolved to embrace different Linux distributions, thanks to a deliberate decision by Canonical.” Philip also points to the growing maturity of the Snap Store and its reach extending further than just Ubuntu users. Third, Philip finds that “the Summit is good for networking with other projects and finding out how they fit into the Linux ecosystem.”

          Manjaro is based on Arch and releases new versions about twice a year since the launch in 2011. Primarily targeted at Linux beginners and intermediates, Manjaro does also attract more knowledgeable users depending on their needs. Packaging decisions are guided by what users want, which explains Manjaro’s growing interest in snaps – especially given the fact that Manjaro has three editions to support and many community editions. For the main ones, Philip and team decide on what core apps are delivered and if snapd is one of those then he sees an increased likelihood of the community editions following suit. As confirmed during the Summit, Philip states that “Snap Store access will be available on KDE, XFCE and GNOME editions of Manjaro.”

          In his opinion, “open source needs a new, collaborative model, as opposed to the secrecy of closed source. Collaboration helps get things done faster and allows a stronger focus on the end product and value to users.” In summary, if a user continues to use Manjaro as their operating system, the addition of snaps offers an easy additional way to install more software for them.

        • Manjaro Moving Ahead With Snap Support, Bundling Proprietary FreeOffice

          Arch-based Linux distribution Manjaro has issued their newest testing update with some controversial changes.

          Manjaro is moving ahead with their support of Snap packages spearheaded by Ubuntu/Canonical. Xfce, GNOME, and KDE spins of Manjaro will ship with fpakman for managing of both Snaps and Flatpaks on the system. Fpakman is a GUI for Flatpak/Snap management as an alternative to GNOME Software or KDE Discover.

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 589

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 589 for the week of July 21 – 27, 2019.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open-spec board supports blockchain-based IoT with Ethereum

        On Kickstarter: The “Elk” SBC is designed for a decentralized-web IoT applications using blockchain. It runs Linux on an Allwinner H3 and Arduino on an STM32 and supports Ethereum, Whisper, and IPFS.

        A Cairo, Egypt based startup called Elk has won Kickstarter funding for a tiny (55 x 25.5mm) IoT development board designed for decentralized web applications that can traffic in cryptocurrency payments using blockchain via Ethereum. The Elk board is designed for blockchain enabled IoT networks with privacy guarantees that are not possible with mainstream IoT platforms that depend on commercial cloud platforms, says Elk. The company calls its private decentralized IoT stack “Decent IoT.”

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Ubucon Europe 2019: 3rd Batch of Calls Approved

          In the final days of the Call for Papers we announce another batch of excelent talks, and the speakers that are going to deliver them.

        • Video presentations from the LibreOffice Asia Conference 2019

          LibreOffice developers love to hack on code – but they also love to meet up, exchange ideas, share information, and enjoy good food! The LibreOffice Asia Conference 2019 took place on 25 and 26 May, and now the videos from the presentations are online. Check them out – there are 16 videos in total, and you can browse the playlist using the button in the top-right…

        • The Future Of HOPE

          While beginning preparations for the next HOPE conference, we were stunned to hear of the plan to triple the cost to us from the hotel. This would pretty much make HOPE impossible, at least not without it becoming the kind of conference we never wanted. The purpose of HOPE is to make the world of hackers and technology accessible, and that means affordable. We could become one of those corporate events that charge thousands of dollars. But we would never feel as proud of what we’re able to create with the hacker community every two years.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • From e-learning to m-learning: Open education’s next move

          “Open education” means more than teaching with open source software. It means being open to meeting students wherever they are.


          Higher education is often an entrepreneurial space, seizing on new opportunities to deliver the best value. Too often, however, institutions spend a year or more to designing, bidding on, selecting, purchasing, building, or implementing new education technologies in the service of the teaching and learning mission. But in that yearlong interim, the technology landscape may change so much that the solution delivered no longer addresses the needs of the education community.

      • Programming/Development

        • [llvm-dev] [9.0.0 Release] Release Candidate 1 is here
          Hi everyone,
          9.0.0-rc1 was just tagged from the release_90 branch at r367217
          (tagged as llvmorg-9.0.0-rc1 in the Git monorepo).
          Source code and docs are available at https://prereleases.llvm.org/9.0.0/#rc1
          Binaries will be added as they become available.
          Please file bug reports for any issues you find as blockers of
          Release testers: please start your engines, run the script, share your
          results, and upload binaries.
        • LLVM 9.0-RC1 Arrives For Testing

          While LLVM 9.0 was branched nearly two weeks ago and it was anticipated that the release candidate would immediately follow, only yesterday did 9.0-RC1 materialize.

          Ongoing LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg managed to clear LLVM 9.0-RC1 for release on Monday. The very brief announcement can be read on llvm-dev.

          The nearly two week delay was due to Wennborg working to address some LLVM issues prior to tagging this first release candidate.

        • Clojure Clash | Coder Radio 368

          Mike and Wes debate the merits, and aesthetics, of Clojure in this week’s rowdy language check-in.

          Plus why everyone’s talking about the sensitivty conjecture, speedy TLS with rust, and more!

        • Python Bytes: #141 Debugging with f-strings coming in Python 3.8

          To new programmers joining the field, especially those without CS degrees, it can feel like the title is safe-guarded. Only bestowed on the select that have proven themselves.

        • Precision Recall Curve Simplified

          This article outlines precision recall curve and how it is used in real-world data science application. It includes explanation of how it is different from ROC curve. It also highlights limitation of ROC curve and how it can be solved via area under precision-recall curve. This article also covers implementation of area under precision recall curve in Python, R and SAS.

        • Use Blockchain API to retrieve the Bitcoin exchange rate within the 15 minutes period of the time

          Hello and welcome back, in this article we will continue to develop the cryptocurrency application. In the previous few chapters, we had only used the cryptocompare API to make the REST call but in this chapter, we will add in the blockchain package which has the exchangerates module that we can use to retrieve the 15 minutes period of the time of the Bitcoin / major world currencies pair exchange rate. Since we will load the data from blockchain once the user has pressed the load button, we can now safely ignore the data from the previous cryptocompare rest call.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn C++
        • Using Python to explore Google’s Natural Language API
        • Python for NLP: Movie Sentiment Analysis using Deep Learning in Keras

          This is the 17th article in my series of articles on Python for NLP. In the last article, we started our discussion about deep learning for natural language processing.

          The previous article was focused primarily towards word embeddings, where we saw how the word embeddings can be used to convert text to a corresponding dense vector, which can be subsequently used as input to any deep learning model. We perform basic classification task using word embeddings. We used custom dataset that contained 16 imaginary reviews about movies. Furthermore, the classification algorithms were trained and tested on same data. Finally, we only used a densely connected neural network to test our algorithm.

        • AMD Zen 2 “Znver2″ Compiler Optimizations Back-Ported For GCC 9.2 Compiler

          Last week I wrote about the GCC 10 compiler picking up a new scheduler model and cost tables for AMD Zen 2 CPUs to build off the initial “znver2″ microarchitecture target from last year. Fortunately, those Znver2-specific improvements have now been back-ported to the GCC 9 compiler branch so it will see user systems with not as long of a wait until GCC 10 stable.

          SUSE compiler engineer Jan Hubicka who worked out the scheduler model and cost table adjustments for Znver2 has now back-ported the changes to gcc-9-branch. With GCC 10.1 as the first GCC 10 stable release not due out until Q2’2020, this back-porting will allow it to see user systems sooner.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Schumer to McConnell: Stop blocking election security bills

        Schumer asked for consent to pass a House bill, supported by one Republican, that would require paper ballots, while Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wanted to pass legislation that would require candidates, campaign officials and their family members to notify the FBI of assistance offers. McConnell blocked both of the bills.

      • LinkedIn bug let anyone add fictional job listings for any company

        As well as being able to cause investor panic at the drop of the hat, the bug could have more serious implications. As part of the process of adding a job to a company’s page, the fake recruiter could also direct applicants to an external site making it the kind of phishing opportunity that scammers only dream of: an official-looking link to a fake website.

      • Docker 19.03 introduces an experimental rootless Docker mode that helps mitigate vulnerabilities by hardening the Docker daemon

        Tõnis Tiigi, a software engineer at Docker and also a maintainer of Moby/ Docker engine, in his recent post on Medium, explained how users can now leverage Docker’s non-root user privileges with Docker 19.03 release. He explains the Docker engine provides functionalities which are often tightly coupled to that of the Linux Kernel. For instance, to create namespaces in Linux users need privileged capabilities this is because a component of container isolation is based on Linux namespaces.

      • Evolving OVAL

        Red Hat has been heavily involved in providing our customers and the open source community with access to clear security data since 2002. We were a founding board member of Open Vulnerability and Assessment Language (OVAL) in 2002, and officially made a declaration of OVAL compatibility in 2006. Even before the newer standards of OVAL and Common Vulnerability Reporting Format (CVRF) came to be, Red Hat Product Security has had a heritage of transparency around security as demonstrated through our publicly sharing security advisories and Common Vulnerability Enumeration (CVE) pages so system admins, security professionals, and consumers could understand how Red Hat products are affected by security vulnerabilities.

        While OVAL has evolved significantly over those 17 years, so to has the threat landscape that IT organizations must survive and thrive in. Business solutions have rapidly moved from distributed/client-server-based apps to complex (micro-)services-based composite applications that span multiple technological architectures. System administrators and security practitioners need to manage complex stacks where each component could introduce risk due to potential vulnerabilities in the attack surface.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Green MEP attacks minister for disinformation about farming exports

        In response to comments made by NFU boss Minette Batters about threats to sheep farmers from a No Deal Brexit (1), Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns suggested they should switch from their dominant European markets and seek customers in Japan instead (2).

        Molly Scott Cato, who represents many sheep farmers in her constituency of South West England, said:

        “The minister is either misrepresenting or misunderstanding the situation and thereby risking the livelihoods of sheep farmers in Wales and the South West.

        “He admits that the 40% tariffs that will follow a No Deal exit from the EU will decimate lamb exports to the EU but suggests that a new market has just opened up in Japan.

        “This market is only tariff-free because of an EU trade deal between the EU and Japan (JEFTA), a deal that we will no longer be part of outside the EU.

      • Energy

        • Hard Times in the Climate Denial Business for the Heartland Institute

          Last week, the Heartland Institute was again trumpeting climate science denial at its 13th “International Conference on Climate Change” at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. But by a number of measures, the Chicago-based free market think tank’s science denial doesn’t exactly seem to be a growing — or cohesive — movement at this point.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • India’s Tiger Population Booms — But Problems Persis

          India this week announced some amazing news: The country’s wild tiger populations have increased by 30 percent in just the past four years. Buoyed by intense conservation efforts, India is now reportedly home to an estimated 2,967 Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris).

          To put this in context, India’s tiger population was estimated at 2,226 in 2016, when the wild population of all tiger subspecies was placed at 3,890. That was a big increase over 2010’s estimate, which placed the world population at just 3,200 after several years of rampant poaching for the animals’ skins and body parts, which are all too often used in traditional Asian medicine.

          India credited increased monitoring and stricter wildlife policies for the population increase, which puts the country four years head of its goal to double its wild tiger populations.

          There are a few caveats to these new numbers, though. First, the country calculated its new tiger population numbers, in part, by collecting and analyzing 350,000 images from 26,000 camera traps distributed across 146,000 square miles of tiger habitat. This method has actually garnered some criticism for its accuracy. India used to estimate its tiger population by counting footprints or “pug marks,” but that method was abandoned after it was proven to count tigers that did not still exist. The new method counts photo images as well as tiger tracks, droppings and other signs of their presence, along with estimates of prey abundance and habitat viability. Some experts suggest this may lead to double-counting of some tigers.

          Meanwhile tiger poaching is still a big problem, although it has declined in recent years. More than 400 tigers are believed to have been killed by poachers in India between 2008 and 2018, according to a recent investigation.

        • Elephants’ diets help forests to thrive

          Like humans, all social animals exploit, disturb and alter their natural environment. Biologists have just identified at least one species, elephants, that – in the course of bulldozing their way through the undergrowth and destroying young trees – actually make the forest more efficient at storing carbon and thus containing global heating.

          The African forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis browses upon and uproots young trees with stems smaller than 30cms and deposits the digested foliage as fertiliser, rich in seeds for the next generation of saplings.

      • Overpopulation

        • Earth Overshoot Day is earlier than ever this year—and it underestimates the crisis

          On Monday, July 29, we will be 209 days into the calendar year. And we will have used up all the resources the Earth could regenerate in 365 days.


          Each year, the human population grows. We consume more natural resources than the planet can regenerate in a year, and emit far more carbon dioxide than our forests and oceans can possibly sequester. Thus, our deficit grows. We fall further and further in the red. Last year’s Earth Overshoot Day was Aug. 1, three days later than this year’s. The date has crept up by two months over the last 20 years.

        • Earth Overshoot Day: Planet’s 2019 resources ‘budget’ already spent

          The equivalent of 1.75 planets would be required to produce enough to meet humanity’s needs at current consumption rates.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump aide submitted drafts of 2016 ‘America First’ energy speech to UAE for edits, emails show

        Two weeks before Trump was scheduled to deliver the energy policy speech, Thomas Barrack, a California investment tycoon with extensive contacts in the Middle East and who later helped oversee Trump’s inauguration, provided a former business associate inside the United Arab Emirates with an advance copy of the candidate’s planned remarks. The associate then told Barrack he shared them with UAE and Saudi government officials, after which Barrack arranged for language requested by the UAE officials to be added to the speech with the help of Trump’s campaign manager at the time, Paul Manafort.

      • Lil Nas X became Twitter’s CEO for a day and didn’t ban the Nazis

        The fact that harassers, abusers, and other bad actors seem to flourish on the platform without consequence is demoralizing, to say the least, and not only because users have been clamoring for some kind of decisive action for years. (Also, if they can’t give Lil Nas X an edit button what hope have we for change?)

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • The Facebook transatlantic data transfer case explained

        The three parties in the case each agree and disagree on overlapping issues. The DPC is the applicant in the case, while Facebook Ireland Ltd (Facebook’s Irish subsidiary) and Max Schrems are the defendants.

        Both the Irish DPC and Schrems take the view that US surveillance laws violate the rights to privacy, data protection and redress under EU law.

        But while they agree on this point, they differ on whether SCCs are a suitable mechanism to protect European data from US ‘mass surveillance’.

        The DPC says that SCCs are invalid for protecting data transferred from the EU to the US.

        Schrems, however, views SCCs as an adequate solution for protecting European data from US surveillance – provided SCCs are correctly applied and enforced by the DPC.

      • Sites could be liable for helping Facebook secretly track your web browsing, says EU court [iophk: forced acceptance is not consent]

        The European Union’s top court says website owners could face legal risk over Facebook’s ubiquitous “Like” buttons. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled today that site owners could be held liable for transmitting data to Facebook without users’ consent — which appears to be exactly what happens when users visit a site with a Like button, whether or not they click it.

        The ruling doesn’t stop Facebook, or other companies with similar widgets, from offering these options. But sites must obtain consent from users before sending data to Facebook, unless they can demonstrate a “legitimate interest” in doing otherwise. Right now, data gets seemingly sent to Facebook as the page loads — before users have a chance to opt out. So in the future, sites might have to approach Like buttons differently.

      • Capital One data breach: Arrest after details of 100m US individuals [copied]

        The personal details of about 106 million individuals across the US and Canada were [copied] in [an attack] targeting financial services firm Capital One, the company has revealed.

      • In Hong Kong Protests, Faces Become Weapons

        As Hong Kong convulses amid weeks of protests, demonstrators and the police have turned identity into a weapon. The authorities are tracking protest leaders online and seeking their phones. Many protesters now cover their faces, and they fear that the police are using cameras and possibly other tools to single out targets for arrest.

        And when the police stopped wearing identification badges as the violence escalated, some protesters began to expose officers’ identities online. One fast-growing channel on the social messaging app Telegram seeks and publishes personal information about officers and their families. The channel, “Dadfindboy,” has more than 50,000 subscribers and advocates violence in crude and cartoonish ways. Rival pro-government channels seek to unmask protesters in a similar fashion.

      • How the West Got China’s Social Credit System Wrong [iophk: why wait?]

        That’s not to say that fears about social credit are entirely unfounded. The Chinese government is already using new technologies to control its citizens in frightening ways. The internet is highly censored, and each person’s cell phone number and online activity is assigned a unique ID number tied to their real name. Facial-recognition technology is also increasingly widespread in China, with few restraints on how it can be used to track and surveil citizens. The most troubling abuses are being carried out in the western province of Xinjiang, where human rights groups and journalists say the Chinese government is detaining and surveilling millions of people from the minority Muslim Uyghur population on a nearly unprecedented scale.

      • NYPD Screws Up Again; Hands Out Even More ‘Secret’ Facial Recognition Docs To Researchers

        The inadvertently great thing about the New York Police Department is its random inability to keep its secrets. Journalists have referred to the agency as being more opaque than redaction masters like the CIA and FBI. Its perpetual efforts to thwart public records requesters have led to insanity like refusing to release the department’s public records response guidelines or years of stonewalling over innocuous information.

        So, when the “fuck you, citizens” facade inadvertently crumbles, we are: All. Over. It. Back in April, Georgetown researchers received documents the NYPD surely did not mean to release. Included in the NYPD’s release was a presentation on facial recognition software that it swore up and down (often in front of a judge!) was too sensitive to release to the public. This despite the fact the presentation was from a conference where any member of the public with $1,700 could view this super-sensitive slide deck.

        The NYPD managed to talk a court into the ordering the impossible: the post facto memory-holing of documents researchers had already seen. The court said the researchers could not talk about the presentation’s content and ordered them to “return” the PDF they had received, however the hell that works.

        Well, fool themselves once, shame on the NYPD. Fool themselves two or more times, the court says, “You’re on your own.” The New York Daily News reports the NYPD has screwed the facial recognition pooch yet again. Unbelievably, it has made the same mistake twice while dealing with the same public records requesters.

      • Amazon’s Free Doorbell Cameras Only Cost Law Enforcement Agencies Their Dignity And Autonomy

        There’s no such thing as a free surveillance camera. Amazon gives these to local cops with the understanding they will proselytize on behalf of its doorbell cameras. Police give these cameras to residents with the understanding (albeit one without the legally-binding language) that they’ll hand over footage from these cameras whenever officers ask for it.

        The set-up is sustainable and scales well. The more residents who download Amazon’s surveillance/snitch app Neighbors, the more credits cops can apply towards the purchase of more Ring cameras. It’s a new spin on pyramid schemes, with Amazon gaining market share with each deployment, allowing government employees to do the legwork.

        The police become middlemen and advertisers. Some agencies might bristle at the mandated evangelism Amazon demands, but that resentment is likely outweighed by the addition of several cameras to the agency’s surveillance network. As previous reporting has shown, every installed Ring doorbell cam shows up on an interactive map provided by Amazon called the “Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal.” Cops know who have cameras and can easily figure out what footage might be useful while investigating criminal activity.

        This arrangement allows officers to bypass warrant requirements by approaching homeowners directly for footage. Granted, this was always the case, but a portal connecting police with Ring doorbell users streamlines the process.

      • Once More With Feeling: ‘Anonymized’ Data Is Not Really Anonymous

        As companies and governments increasingly hoover up our personal data, a common refrain to keep people from worrying is the claim that nothing can go wrong because the data itself is “anonymized” or stripped of personal detail. But time and time again, we’ve noted how this really is cold comfort; given it takes only a little effort to pretty quickly identify a person based on access to other data sets. Yet most companies (including cell phone companies that sell your location data) act as if “anonymizing” your data is iron-clad protection from having it identified. It’s simply not true.

        The latest case in point: in new research published this week in the journal Nature Communications, data scientists from Imperial College London and UCLouvain found that it wasn’t particularly hard for companies (or, anybody else) to identify the person behind “anonymized” data using other data sets.

      • Data is the new plutonium

        It starkly outlines just how rabidly corporations are out to take your privacy. Never mind nation states monitoring seemingly all traffic and sometimes even diverting entire swaths of internet traffic, with legislation that seeks to retain untold amounts of communication and attempts to dangerously undermine encryption itself.

        With this sort of predatory activity it’s not surprising people have been cloaking their online activity with a selection of open source tools, plug-ins and techniques. This issue we’ve lured Jonni out of his lead-lined Faraday cage with the promise of doughnuts, cider and fungi-based food products, so he can update us all with the best ways to easily protect our online footprint. The latest release of Tails is on the LXFDVD, so a combination of that and a tricked-out install of Firefox should cover most circumstances. Try his tips out and let us know how you get on.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Donald Trump’s administration is after Julian Assange and it serves as a warning to us all

        “But as charged, I think we have to stand with him because journalism isn’t espionage. I mean, whatever Julian was up to, I don’t think it was espionage.”

        Scott Shane, the reporter from The New York Times who also cooperated with WikiLeaks in the early days, agrees a successful prosecution would create a broader threat to freedom.

        “I think once you choose to charge Assange with publishing information that the Government said was secret, it’s not a huge step to charge The New York Times or a New York Times reporter or editor with publishing information the Government said should be secret,” he said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Yemeni women activists escape war with the help of a global, underground network

        More than four years of war between the Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed, internationally recognized government has ripped Yemen apart and led to the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. Houthis, backed by Iran, have captured large swaths of the country, including the capital city, Sanaa, from pro-government forces. In those areas, rights groups say Houthis have escalated their crackdown on public displays of dissent.

      • Court: No Immunity For SWAT Team That Hurled A Flash-Bang Grenade In The General Direction Of A Two-Year-Old Child

        It usually takes very extreme behavior from law enforcement officers to punch holes in the qualified immunity shield. Fortunately/unfortunately, there’s seems to be no shortage of extremely-badly-behaving law enforcement officers.

        In this case, fielded by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Kansas City Police Department was investigating a homicide. Detectives managed to track the victim’s cellphone to an apartment. They also managed to track down the suspect by using a combination of phone records and old fashioned police work. They arrested the suspect and applied for a search warrant for his residence.

        The warrant request omitted the fact they had heard the targeted phone ringing in an apartment on Winchester Street, rather than the apprehended suspect’s residence (the “Bristol residence”). The SWAT team also met prior to the search and were informed the homicide suspect was already in custody.

        The SWAT team proceeded to the Bristol residence with a normal search warrant. Once the SWAT team arrived, it decided to do SWAT team things, even though it only had a normal warrant that didn’t authorize the things it chose to do.

      • Congress Is Home For the Summer and Ready to Hear From You

        When it comes to politics, in-person meetings make a huge difference. Just a few questions from constituents during town halls can show a representative or senator which issues are resonating with the residents of their district or state. Even if you’ve never met an elected representative before, showing up IRL is actually pretty easy to do, and this is the perfect time: in August, Congress takes a break from considering legislation so members can be in their districts, giving you the opportunity to meet and talk to them without traveling to Washington, D.C.

        While in D.C., representatives and senators have to rely on calls and emails to know what the people they represent think about the issues. Those calls and emails are important, but when they’re back in their districts, you can make sure they hear directly from you—in person—about the issues that matter to you. Even if you have called or emailed before, putting a face to the same concerns can help your elected representative understand your concerns. Even if you didn’t get them to agree with you, those conversations will help shape their legislative priorities once they return to D.C. in September.

    • Monopolies

      • PBS will stream live for the first time with YouTube TV

        PBS has been working to expand its viewership through digital partnerships, starting with its Amazon Prime Channel PBS Living, which launched earlier this March. The $2.99 / month channel offers individual episodes of shows like Antiques Roadshow and This Old House. With this new YouTube TV partnership, PBS can reach viewers who have left traditional cable for the over-the-top TV service.

      • Copyrights

        • UFC Broadcast Partner Goes Pay-Per-View And Pushes Fans To Piracy

          It will not come as news to the regular Techdirt reader that the folks behind Ultimate Fighting Championship truly hate pirate streams of its fight-nights. For years now, UFC has done everything from punishing some of its own biggest fans to petitioning the government and courts to strictly block any unauthorized broadcasts. In other words, UFC’s stance is that it will take any action necessary to prevent people from pirating its product.

          In which case, UFC may want to have a word with at least one of its broadcast partners. BT Sport, the UFC’s broadcast partner in the UK, recently made the decision to suddenly hit its subscribers with an additional pay-per-view fee to watch the bigger UFC matches. The move was met with catastrophic results.

Even After Microsoft Lost Its PR ‘Asset’ at Ars Technica (Arrested for Sexually Abusing Kids) Ars Technica Persists With Microsoft Advocacy (in ‘News’ Form)

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is what Twitter’s correlation tests have shown/yielded:

Pedophile Peter

Summary: Pedophile Peter (or Microsoft Peter), the person who for nearly a decade served Microsoft and dished out ridiculous puff pieces at a large publisher (often attacking GNU/Linux and FOSS while facilitating Microsoft entryism), remains shackled and imprisoned; his employer has done virtually nothing on the matter since his arrest (complete silence, inaction, keeping the PR in tact and adding to it)

IT HAS been nearly two months since Microsoft Peter was arrested; based on our research and readings, his legal defense is absolutely laughable. He cannot defend the indefensible and he was unable to spin what he had told FBI agents. He admitted to them they he had engaged in sexual activities with kids and nobody in the media disputes this (not even sites that link quite a lot to Ars Technica). Over the past few weeks I repeatedly wrote about the subject and one reader sent us the above screenshot, which serves to show how closely connected Microsoft Peter was to Microsoft (they fed him “scoops”; they were like his media “handlers”). As explained below ("tweets" are very informal), nothing at all has changed at the publisher. Nothing. It’s beyond irresponsible and unprofessional. No remorse.

Microsoft Loves About 7% of GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Humour, Microsoft at 7:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft loves Microsoft

Summary: A very old cartoon/column (half a century old) rewritten to explain where Microsoft stands when it comes to “loving” Linux

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