09.08.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 8/9/2019: MX-19 Beta 2.1 and James Bottomley on Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 19.3 Now Exposes Its Own GL_MESA_EGL_sync OpenGL Extension

          GL_MESA_EGL_sync is basically about bringing EGL_KHR_fence_sync support to desktop OpenGL. This OpenGL synchronization support was being pursued to complement the existing GL_ARB_sync synchronization extension in order to match the semantics of EGL_ANDROID_native_fence_sync support and other similar use-cases with some platform extensions being layered atop EGL_KHR_fence_sync’s functionality rather than ARB_sync.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Now Supports Fractional Scaling On Wayland

          While KDE’s new goals will include focusing on Wayland support, a big TODO item was just crossed off the list this week… KDE Plasma finally supports fractional scaling under Wayland.

        • Introducing Kirogi: A ground control application for drones

          Kirogi aims to enable the operation of drones of all sorts of makes and models in an approachable and polished manner, with both direct and map-based control modes and many more features planned for the future.

          The origin story behind the Kirogi project is a classic open source tale. During this year’s Lunar New Year holiday, I was paying a visit to family in Busan, South Korea (the name Kirogi is Korean and means wild goose). During the off-days I ended up buying my first drone. I attempted the first flight in my mother-in-law’s living room. Unfortunately the official vendor application immediately started crashing after take off – much to my embarassment, I couldn’t land the thing! Eventually it slowly drifted towards a very nice armchair (sorry mom!) and crashed on contact with an emergency engines-off.

          Turns out the app I was using had been replaced by a newer, seperate app store upload intended for a newer drone – and the app I had wasn’t fully compatible with a newer version of the phone’s OS anymore. I realized open source can serve drone owners better there and started hacking on this new KDE application a few days later.

        • KDE e.V. wants you!

          KDE e.V. is a registered non-profit organization that represents the KDE Community in legal and financial matters.

          For example the KDE e.V. is responsible for paying the servers that run our Phabricator/Bugzilla/Gitlab instances and all our web sites. KDE e.V. takes care of sponsoring developer sprints and contributor travel costs, too.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • MX-19 Beta 2.1 available for testing

          The latest updates from debian 10.1 (buster), antiX and MX repos.

          Xfce 4.14

          GIMP 2.10.12
          MESA 18.3.6
          updated firmware
          Latest debian 4.19 kernel

          Browser: Firefox 69
          Video Player: VLC 3.0.8
          Music Manager/Player: Clementine 1.3.1
          Email client: Thunderbird 60.8.0
          Office suite: LibreOffice 6.1.5 (plus security fixes)

          apparmor 2.13.2

          and more in the MX repositories.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • James Bottomley: The Mythical Economic Model of Open Source

        Open Source is a Creative Intellectual Endeavour

        All the creative endeavours of humanity, like art, science or even writing code, are often viewed as activities that produce societal benefit. Logically, therefore, the people who engage in them are seen as benefactors of society, but assuming people engage in these endeavours purely to benefit society is mostly wrong. People engage in creative endeavours because it satisfies some deep need within themselves to exercise creativity and solve problems often with little regard to the societal benefit. The other problem is that the more directed and regimented a creative endeavour is, the less productive its output becomes. Essentially to be truly creative, the individual has to be free to pursue their own ideas. The conundrum for society therefore is how do you harness this creativity for societal good if you can’t direct it without stifling the very creativity you want to harness? Obviously society has evolved many models that answer this (universities, benefactors, art incubation programmes, museums, galleries and the like) with particular inducements like funding, collaboration, infrastructure and so on.

        Why Open Source development is better than Proprietary

        Simply put, the Open Source model, involving huge freedoms to developers to decide direction and great opportunities for collaboration stimulates the intellectual creativity of those developers to a far greater extent than when you have a regimented project plan and a specific task within it. The most creatively deadening job for any engineer is to find themselves strictly bound within the confines of a project plan for everything. This, by the way, is why simply allowing a percentage of paid time for participating in Open Source seems to enhance input to proprietary projects: the liberated creativity has a knock on effect even in regimented development. However, obviously, the goal for any Corporation dependent on code development should be to go beyond the knock on effect and actually employ open source methodologies everywhere high creativity is needed.

        What is Open Source?

        Open Source has it’s origin in code sharing models, permissive from BSD and reciprocal from GNU. However, one of its great values is the reasons why people do open source aren’t the same reasons why the framework was created in the first place. Today Open Source is a framework which stimulates creativity among developers and helps them create communities, provides economic benefits to corportations (provided they understand how to harness them) and produces a great societal good in general in terms of published reusable code.

      • The Mission Of Coreboot – Is It About Open-Source Or Appeasing Hardware Vendors?

        There was recently a debate on the Coreboot mailing list about the mission statement / description of this open-source BIOS/firmware replacement for systems that traditionally has liberated boards from proprietary BIOS but still on modern platforms is often pulling in a number of binary blobs.

        The current description of the project as set out on Coreboot.org is “coreboot is an extended firmware platform that delivers a lightning fast and secure boot experience on modern computers and embedded systems. As an Open Source project it provides auditability and maximum control over technology.”

        Recently brought up though was trying to provide clarity that Coreboot isn’t necessarily a complete solution for those wanting a 100% open-source firmware solution due to the likes of Intel FSP/ME and other binary components often being required for any functional support.

      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Token4Hope

        This week’s open-source project of the week is Token4Hope, a charity project powered by the DCore blockchain intended to draw transparency and security to charitable contributions.

        “When we realized that often charitable donations lack transparency and people would donate substantially more if they knew where exactly their funds go, we decided to propose our version of the system. A version that effectively applies blockchain’s core intrinsic properties – transparency & immutability,” said Matej Michalko, CEO and founder of DECENT, the company behind the project.

      • Space Swap 110% is a Totally Free Open Source Match-3 Puzzler

        All of the great match-three puzzlers of the last few years have the same thing in common: after a while, they pull up the difficulty drawbridge and refuse to let you get any further unless you buy lives or wait patiently for daily scraps of gameplay.

        Space Swap 110% is different. This polished little puzzler from Fallen Angel Software gives you everything up front, so that the only barrier to progress is your own level of ability.

        The gameplay will be familiar to anybody who has ever played a match-three puzzler – particularly one like Bejeweled Blitz.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla to gradually enable DNS-over-HTTPS for Firefox US users later this month

            Mozilla plans to enable support for the DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol by default inside the Firefox browser for a small number of US users starting later this month.

            The browser maker has been testing DoH support in Firefox since 2017. A recent experiment found no issues, and Mozilla plans to enable DoH in the main Firefox release for a small percentage of users, and then enable it for a broader audience if no issues arise.

            “If this goes well, we will let you know when we’re ready for 100% deployment,” said Selena Deckelmann, Senior Director of Firefox Engineering at Mozilla.

          • Mozilla says update to Firefox extensions API won’t kill ad blockers

            Mozilla announced plans today to preserve the API functions that ad blockers and other extensions need to function properly, as part of Firefox’s upcoming transition to a superior extensions API.

            This is the same extensions API to which Google announced changes last year, which later proved to be detrimental to ad blockers and a few other extensions types.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • OpenGov raises $51M to boost its cloud-based IT services for government and civic organizations

          On the first of these, the company says that its board of directors includes, in addition to Lonsdale (who is now the chairman of the company); Katherine August-deWilde, Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of First Republic Bank; John Chambers, Founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures and Former Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems; Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz; and Zac Bookman, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenGov.

          [...]

          On the first of these, the company says that its board of directors includes, in addition to Lonsdale (who is now the chairman of the company); Katherine August-deWilde, Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of First Republic Bank; John Chambers, Founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures and Former Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems; Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz; and Zac Bookman, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenGov .

        • Open Mainframe Project Gains Momentum

          The Open Mainframe Project, an open source initiative that enables collaboration across the mainframe community to develop shared tool sets and resources, is announcing four new members: Phoenix Software, Syncsort, Western University, and Zoss Team LLC; and three new projects: Feilong, zorow, and TerseDecompress.

        • Samsung’s open source key:value SSD is a game-changer for unstructured apps
        • New open-source project wants to expand serverless vision beyond functions
      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Why We Need More Open-Source Epidemiological Tools

          In the middle of an outbreak, having the right tools can make all the difference. Epidemiological resources, such as modeling systems, are useful but can be costly and have limited use across large teams.

          A newer tool, though, is changing the game in outbreak response and modeling. The Spatiotemporal Epidemiologic Modeler (STEM) is an open-source software that is available to the global health community. This is not just a rigid instrument against disease, in that it is not pre-set to a specific disease or environment and has the flexibility for hundreds of variations.

          “STEM has been used to study variations in transmission of seasonal influenza in Israel by strains; evaluate social distancing measures taken to curb the H1N1 epidemic in Mexico City; study measles outbreaks in part of London and inform local policy on immunization; and gain insights into H7N9 avian influenza transmission in China. A multi-strain dengue fever model explored the roles of the mosquito vector, cross-strain immunity, and antibody response in the frequency of dengue outbreaks,” the authors of a briefing in Health Security wrote.

        • Open Access/Content

          • UW Libraries Names Open Textbook Grant Recipients for Fall Semester

            University of Wyoming Libraries recently awarded open textbook grants to seven faculty members and one graduate student to implement open educational resources (OER) in their classes this fall.

            The open textbooks resulting from the grants are projected to save UW students more than $138,000 each semester.

            “With the Alt-Textbook Grant Program, University of Wyoming Libraries hopes to continue to encourage the creativity and innovation we have seen from past applicants,” says Hilary Baribeau, an assistant librarian in Digital Collections. “By creating open textbooks and course materials, faculty at UW help meet student needs and encourage student success at a time when the costs for textbooks are higher than ever.”

            Grants are awarded to instructors who adopt, adapt or create new open textbooks or other materials for their courses. Grant awards range from $1,500 to $3,000.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 5.13.1 Has ~500 Bug Fixes While Qt Creator 4.10 Released

          This week marked the release of Qt 5.13.1 as the first point release to this tool-kit series along with Qt Creator 4.10 as the newest version of this Qt/C++ focused integrated development environment.

          Qt 5.13.1 came out on Thursday with around 500 bug fixes. While Qt 5.13 is the newest stable series, the relevant fixes will also be back-ported to Qt 5.12 since that is the current Long Term Support (LTS) stable series. There are many fixes inbound for Qt5 users so certainly be on the lookout for these point releases coming to your distributions.

        • Debian GSoC Kotlin project blog: Begining of the end.

          Hey all, I had my exams during weeks 8 ad 9 so I couldn’t update my blog nor get much accomplished; but last week was completely free so I managed to finish packaging all the dependencies from pacakging dependencies part 1. Since some of you may not remember how I planned to tackle pacakging dependencies I’ll mention it here one more time.

        • In Python How Recursion Works on Run Time

          Consider the code snippet below which has two functions foo and main. A special variable __name__ which is fundamentally set by the python interpreter before execution and its value is set to __main__ when executing as a main program.

          In python, if a function does not end with a return statement or has a return statement without any expression, the special value None is returned.

        • Top 20 Best Visual Studio Code Extensions For Programmers
        • Henri Sivonen: It’s Not Wrong that “🤦🏼‍♂️”.length == 7
  • Leftovers

    • Lost in India

      “The Twice-Born: Life and Death on the Ganges”

    • Changing Light Bulbs in the Cosmos with Charles Simic

      Back in the ‘70s, when I first learned to write poetry in earnest, I lived in a small country village with two boarding schools. One for the very rich; one for the middle class. At the rich school, where I was a scholarship student, we were favored with lectures from the likes of Dick Gregory and Dan Rather, while we heard that students at the other school were doing things like smoking reefer and watching A Clockwork Orange backwards. We listened to toccatas and fugues in our intimate chapel, while the others brought to life the J. Geils Band. We were an all-boys school; they were coed. On Saturday evenings, I would lay on my back on a circle of lawn and gaze up at the cosmos, while they smashed pumpkins, dated, and drank until they saw stars. Two worlds: two belongings: two visions of “Singing in the Rain.”

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • The stakes are too high for Apple to spin the iPhone exploits

        Here Apple repeats Google’s own original claim, but spins it by connecting it to a line later in Google’s piece about the attack being “en masse.” Reasonable people may disagree about the scope of “en masse,” which means both “a group” and “all together,” but Google certainly did not omit information about the vector of the attack.

      • Report reveals play-by-play of first U.S. grid cyberattack

        The more recent cyberthreat appears to have been simpler and far less dangerous than the [attack] in Ukraine. The March 5 attack hit web portals for firewalls in use at the undisclosed utility. The [attacker] or [attackers] may not have even realized that the online interface was linked to parts of the power grid in California, Utah and Wyoming.

      • Dark times ahead as cybercriminals target power grids

        Power grids in particular are being targeted by state-sponsored cybercriminals, with the intention of causing outages that could bring victimised regions to a screeching halt. Ironically, the more advanced our illuminated world of electronics becomes, the more proficient these cyberattacks will be at sending society back to the Dark Ages.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Iran Raises Nuclear Stakes, Threatens Higher Enrichment

        Iran on Saturday said it now uses arrays of advanced centrifuges prohibited by its 2015 nuclear deal and can enrich uranium “much more beyond” current levels to weapons-grade material, taking a third step away from the accord while warning Europe has little time to offer it new terms.

      • Inevitable Withdrawal: The US-Taliban Deal

        It took gallons and flagons of blood, but it eventuated, a squeeze of history into a parchment of possibility: the Taliban eventually pushed the sole superpower on this expiring earth to a deal of some consequence. (The stress is on the some – the consequence is almost always unknown.) “In principle, on paper, yes we have reached an agreement,” claimed the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on the Afghan channel ToloNews. “But it is not final until the president of the United States also agrees to it.”

      • Mike Pompeo Is Refusing to Sign Afghan Peace Deal

        The death toll from the ongoing, 18-year war in Afghanistan stood at an estimated 147,124 military personnel and civilians in November 2018, according to an analysis from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. A 2018 survey from the Pew Charitable Trust found that almost half of Americans believe the U.S. has “mostly failed” in its goals during the war, and Trump was elected on a promise of ending the war.

      • Lesbians Are a Target of Male Violence the World Over

        Since coming out as a lesbian at the age of 15 in 1977, I have seen the world change for the better. When I met other lesbians soon after leaving home to find the “gay scene,” I was shocked to hear stories of women losing custody of their children, in some cases to violent ex-husbands, for the simple reason that they were in a same-sex relationship.

    • Environment

      • Weed killer linked to cancer: Could Australians die from using popular product?

        Hundreds of users of Roundup here are preparing legal cases against chemical giant Monsanto, the manufacturer of the weed killer. Their cases add to the already 17,000 cases launched in the United States.

        This Sunday on 60 Minutes, reporter Liam Bartlett investigates the claim Roundup is unsafe and life-threatening.

      • With Two Weeks Until #GlobalClimateStrike, Organizing Intensifies in 100+ Countries to Win ‘Livable Future for All’

        “Our message will be clear—we must act now to avoid the worst effects of climate change because all of our lives depend upon it.”

      • Get Ready for Unnatural Disasters This Hurricane Season

        Donald Trump discusses immigration as if the benefits of residence in the U.S. are a pie. When immigrants get more, the people who were already here get less.

      • As Dorian Lashes the Carolinas, the Bahamas Grapple With ‘Unimaginable’ Losses

        Hurricane Dorian lashed the Carolinas with wind, flooding and tornadoes Thursday, as the storm’s death toll in the Bahamas rose to 30, The Washington Post reported.

      • Bahamas ‘Hour of Darkness’: 43 Dead, With Toll to Rise

        The hurricane death toll is rising in the Bahamas, in what its leader calls “this hour of darkness.”

      • CNN Town Hall Went Deep on Climate Crisis—But Was Anyone Listening?

        Given the Democratic National Committee’s refusal to allow its party’s presidential hopefuls to take part in a televised climate debate, CNN (and, later this month, MSNBC) agreed to host “town halls” on the climate crisis—events with one candidate at a time on stage, fielding questions from network hosts as well as network-selected audience members.

      • Climate Minimizers Don’t Deny Climate Change—But Find Endless Reasons to Reject Sanders’ Plan to Stop It

        Climate change is an existential threat to human civilization. If only corporate media acted like it. While the majority of corporate media do not outright deny the reality of the human-caused climate crisis, they are filled with another brand of insidious ideologues that I call climate minimizers. These downplay the threat that climate change poses to all of us by ignoring

      • The Problem With Our Climate Debate Is That Only Democrats Are Showing Up

        The GOP presence could be felt in the framing of the questions, where the CNN hosts often took up Republican talking points about the Green New Deal. Taxes were frequently mentioned—but also more petty complaints about having to give up cheeseburgers, incandescent light bulbs, and plastic straws.

        The heartening news is that Democratic candidates, especially Elizabeth Warren, have developed effective responses to these jabs. “Oh come on, give me a break,” Warren responded when CNN’s Chris Cuomo brought up light bulbs. “This is exactly what the fossil fuel industry hopes we’re all talking about. They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your light bulbs, around your straws and around your cheeseburgers. When 70 percent of the pollution, of the carbon that we’re throwing into the air, comes from three industries.”

      • New Report: ABC, CBS, NBC Covered Climate Crisis Connection to Hurricane Dorian Only Once in 216 Segments on Storm

        “Climate change is fueling storms like Hurricane Dorian. But you wouldn’t know that from watching broadcast TV news.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Pope Francis pleads with Madagascans to protect rainforest ahead of huge Sunday mass

          Hundreds of thousands are expected to flock to a mass led by Pope Francis in Madagascar’s capital on Sunday, as the pontiff caps off a two-day visit in which he implored Madagascans to protect their natural resources from over-exploitation.

        • Trump’s EPA Said This Bee-killing Insecticide Is Safe, Now Beekeepers Are Suing

          Today, beekeepers, represented by Earthjustice, sued Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allowing sulfoxaflor, a bee-killing pesticide linked to a nation-wide honeybee die-off, back on the market.

        • Juniper Removal is a Red Herring

          The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has launched a massive juniper removal project in Idaho and plans to expand it throughout the Great Basin. Juniper is a common native species that grow in arid landscapes along with sagebrush and grasses.

        • Predator of Our Public Lands

          For generations, our country has been Mother Nature’s steward, setting aside and protecting important expanses of public lands for posterity. But what if these lands and natural resources suddenly got a “steward” who was a predator, rather than a protector?

        • A Battle for Existence

          They are landscapes my mind escapes to regularly. The painted canyons in eastern Montana and the Zion region of Utah. Forests of huge conifers in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and northern California. The incredible arid desolation of Utah west of Salt Lake City and the deserts of Nevada. Sagebrushed plains in the Southwest. I spent many hours standing by the side of roads observing these and other landscapes in the western United States. Occasionally, I saw an elk herd in the distance or giant raptors flying above me. Once, I ended up covered in some kind of flying insects when I sat down either on or close to their nests in the Colorado heat south of Colorado Springs. Lizards often played on rocks nearby and I remained ever wary of snakes in crevices and shadows. There were a couple summers when I left the road and hiked into the mountains of Theodore Roosevelt National Forest near Boulder, CO. Just me, a sleeping bag and backpack with a little food, a collapsible fishing pole, some whiskey and some weed. Years have passed since those adventures.

    • Finance

      • US Kids Shouldn’t Go to School Hungry

        Nearly half of America’s children live in low-income and poor families, and the majority of public school students qualify for free breakfast and lunch programs.

      • Betsy DeVos, Redux

        They’re back—the folks in the Education Department. Remember Betsy DeVos? Trump made her Secretary of Education. She had no experience in education but was a big fan and supporter of charter schools in Michigan. Those schools were, by most measures, less successful than their public school counterparts and scored much lower on various comparative measures than schools in other

      • Capitalism, Socialism, and Existential Despair

        Decades ago, Edward Said remarked that contemporary life is characterized by a “generalized condition of homelessness.” Decades earlier, Heidegger had written that “Homelessness is coming to be the destiny of the world.” Around the same time, fascists were invoking the themes of blood and soil, nation, race, community, as intoxicating antidotes to the mass anonymity and depersonalization of modern life. Twenty or thirty years later, the New Left, in its Port Huron Statement, lamented the corruption and degradation of such values as love, freedom, creativity, and community:

      • The Future of U.S. Jobs Looks Bleak. Unions Are the Answer.

        We were just handed a wake-up call. Newly released numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics project that six of the ten occupations expected to have the most total job growth over the next decade pay less than $27,000 a year. Three of those six are low-paying jobs in the restaurant industry. Even more striking is the concentration of low-paid healthcare jobs at the top

      • Billionaires Who Promise to Save Journalism

        Let’s talk about fraud: “a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities,” the dictionary calls it.

      • ‘Hell No,’ Say Progressives, After GOP Sen. Joni Ernst Suggests Cutting Social Security ‘Behind Closed Doors’

        “No matter how hard you try to hide, the American people will be watching—and we won’t let you cut our earned Social Security benefits.”

      • Joni Ernst Says the Quiet Part Loud

        Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, just said out loud what Republican politicians usually only talk about in secret meetings with their billionaire donors: The GOP wants to cut our earned Social Security benefits—and they want to do it behind closed doors so that they don’t have to pay the political price.

      • Extinction Via Rugged Individualism

        I was recently amused by a train of thought on Twitter excoriating Henry David Thoreau for his experiment in self-sufficient living. True, he was on the land of his wealthy neighbor, his mother did his laundry (and brought him old-timey donuts to eat), but it was rugged, dammit. Okay, it was something akin to a 10 year old living in a tree-house in the backyard with mom sending up sandwiches in one of those nifty rope and bucket contraptions, but this was a white man doing something and writing about it so of course it’s monumental and imbued with all sorts of significance. This to me, is a perfect analogy for America and its early beginnings. Never mind the back-breaking labor provided by the women, the horrendous slave trade and lethal work that made the infrastructure possible–the convenient clearing (genocide) of the already here peoples through illness and murder……. the narrative is that it was magically produced by powdered wig donning men who weren’t just all about a self-serving course correction. This fallacy has permeated the psyche of most Americans, and doesn’t allow for adequate self-reflection or improvement, and I would say is a path to eventual extinction if a new narrative and belief system isn’t adopted.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Jailed filmmaker Oleg Sentsov has been freed and returned to Ukraine

        Crimean filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years in prison in Russia for allegedly plotting terrorist attacks, has been returned to Ukraine in a historic prisoner exchange between Moscow and Kyiv that included dozens of others. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Sentsov’s family were there to meet him on the tarmac at Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • What Even Is Spotify?

        Spotify is worth about $25 billion, with more than 100 million paid subscribers (out of 217 million monthly active users), and has fundamentally altered how the world listens to music. And yet apparently the best way for a small indie band to make money off it was with a viral stunt.

        For the few who don’t use it, Spotify is a subscription-based music-streaming app. It’s also an ad-tech data broker, selling information on its users. Plus it has all the trappings—a newsfeed, a “community”—of a social network. And its music recommendation system functions like an Internet radio station. With all that in mind, it’s easy to get confused: What even is Spotify?

        Spotify Teardown: Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music, a new book written by a group of professors and researchers at Stockholm and Umeå universities (Maria Eriksson, Rasmus Fleischer, Anna Johansson, Pelle Snickars, and Patrick Vonderau), attempts to answer this question. It’s trickier than you’d think.

      • Exclusive: Edward Snowden’s guardian angels

        FRANCE 24 brings you an exclusive report on the hunt for Edward Snowden, who became one of the world’s most wanted men after leaking explosive confidential documents on US mass surveillance. Back in 2013, while on the run in Hong Kong, and before heading to Russia, the whistleblower was sheltered by a group of refugees. Our reporters Valériane Gauthier, Mohamed Farhat and François Rihouay went to meet Snowden’s “guardian angels”, who today find themselves in danger.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Lawyer who represented A$AP Rocky shot in Sweden

        Several people were taken into custody for questioning and one was later arrested by prosecutors, according to Stockholm police. Sweden’s Expressen newspaper reports the suspect arrested is also a senior lawyer, a woman who had previously been banned from contacting him. A witness told the paper the shooter was a man who wrestled with the victim before opening fire. Prosecutors told the paper the person arrested — reportedly the woman — is suspected of instigating attempted murder. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the man who allegedly opened fire is also in custody.

      • Joi Ito has resigned from the MIT Media Lab

        The resignation comes after mounting concern over Ito’s ties with Jeffrey Epstein, a serial rapist and billionaire who had been a significant donor to the lab and to MIT. Epstein donated as much as $800,000 to MIT-related projects over the years, including Ito’s own venture fund.

      • Russia and Ukraine Trade Prisoners, Each Flies 35 to Freedom

        Russia and Ukraine conducted a major prisoner exchange that freed 35 people detained in each country and flew them to the other, a deal that could help advance Russia-Ukraine relations and end five years of fighting in Ukraine’s east.

      • Finally Russia and Ukraine complete a highly anticipated prisoner exchange

        On the morning of September 7, Russia and Ukraine started preparations for a large-scale prisoner exchange. At roughly 9 a.m., two passenger buses left Moscow’s “Lefortovo” detention center for the Vnukovo International Airport, escorted by Federal Security Service and Highway Patrol cars. According to the news agency RIA Novosti, these buses contained Ukrainian prisoners. “VGTRK” Russian state media journalists later confirmed these reports in a live broadcast on Rossiya 24. According to the television station REN TV, buses carrying Russian prisoners also arrived at Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv.

      • Migrants Should Automatically be Offered Care, Education, Housing, Food, and the Right to Vote

        Eric Mann: “Twenty years after the Watts rebellions of 1966, black unemployment in South Central Los Angeles has remained virtually unchanged. The main culprits—the closing of Bethlehem Steel, Goodyear and Firestone Rubber, and GM’s Southgate plant. These plants provided good paying unionized jobs, and their workers were stable and creative members of the community.”

      • At the Dividing Line Between the U.S. and Mexico, Two Very Different Visions of God Meet

        At the dividing line between the U.S. and Mexico, two very different visions of God meet. As an expat living in San Miguel de Allende, I hear both the rhetoric of the religious right that rails against immigration, and also the pleas of the Central American immigrants who claim faith as the backbone for their journey north.

      • The Axis of Atrocity

        If daymare isn’t a word, it should be.  We’re living one.  And the shameless,  infantile ugliness that rules America today was predicted by visionaries and poets long ago.

      • Mugabe and the Continuing White Supremacist Narrative

        Robert Mugabe makes an easy hate figure for the right wing media, and the cruelty, corruption and absurdities of the latter part of his overlong rule justify much of the hate. But the slightest analysis of the media expression of this hatred reveals it to feed a variety of British imperialist tropes which persist to an alarming degree into the 21st century – that Africans cannot govern themselves and were better off under white rule and even that black people cannot farm.

      • “Zimbabweans Must Defeat Mugabe’s Legacy” – Doug Coltart

        Doug Coltart, a Zimbabwean lawyer and human rights activist who is also the son of former Education Minister (GNU era), David Coltart, has said that Zimbabweans have to destroy the legacy of Zimbabwe’s founding leader, the late Robert Mugabe.

        His remarks come as there is confusion as to what really constitutes the legacy of Mugabe as some revere him whilst some regard him as a monster.

      • OPINION: Mugabe’s legacy remains alive and it must be defeated

        Robert Mugabe’s legacy is complex and contested. He wasn’t only the tyrant and the despot, nor only the freedom fighter and the educator. But he wanted power and all costs, and the legacy he leaves behind must be defeated, writes Doug Coltart.

      • Zambia Catholic bishops urge SA leaders to take responsibility over xenophobic attacks

        THE Zambia Conference for Catholic Bishops has urged the South African leadership to take responsibility for the xenophobic attacks in that country.

        ZCCB president Reverend George Lungu said xenophobia and its resultant chaos were not just criminal but cruel, barbaric and abominable as could be seen in some video clips circulating on social media.

      • Woman kills herself because of fears over Brexit
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          Google is being bombarded with what appear to be bogus DMCA notices which target the URLs of adult sites, including their main domains and in some cases, their entire web structure. The operator of one of the victim sites says he can’t get Google to respond to his counter-notices so is now seeking to step up the pressure.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  2. The GUI Challenge

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  3. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

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  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  5. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

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  6. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  7. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

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  8. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  9. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  10. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  11. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  12. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

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  14. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

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  15. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  16. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

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  17. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose



  18. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022



  20. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule



  21. 2022 Starts With Censorship of Christmas and Other Greetings at the EPO

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  22. Links 14/1/2022: FFmpeg 5.0 and Wine 7.0 RC6

    Links for the day



  23. White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on 'Open Source' Security

    The US government wants us to think that in order to tackle security issues we need to reach out to the collective 'wisdom' of the very culprits who created the security mess in the first place (even by intention, for imperialistic objectives)



  24. Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

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  25. Scientific Excellence and the Debian Social Contract

    The Debian Project turns 30 next year; in spite of it being so ubiquitous (most of the important distros of GNU/Linux are based on Debian) it is suffering growing pains and some of that boils down to corporate cash and toxic, deeply divisive politics



  26. Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 13, 2022



  28. 2022 Commences With Microsoft-Themed (and Microsoft-Connected) FUD Against GNU/Linux

    A psychopathic Microsoft, aided by operatives inside the mainstream and so-called 'tech' media, keeps spreading old and invalid stigma about "Linux" and Free software; few people still bother responding to these fact-free FUD campaigns, which boil down to ‘perception management’ PR/propaganda



  29. Between January 2021 and January 2022 the Number of Active Gemini Capsules Nearly Quadrupled Based on Publicly-Available Catalogue of Capsules

    Geminispace has grown to about 2,000 known capsules and 1,600 of them are active, permanently online, fully accessible; in January last year these numbers were about 4 times smaller



  30. Links 13/1/2022: NetworkManager 1.34 and Everett 3.0.0

    Links for the day


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