Links 7/10/2019: SparkyLinux 5.9 and GNU Statements

Posted in News Roundup at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Action News 126

        Microsoft’s CEO says Windows doesn’t matter anymore, but do we buy it? Nextcloud 17 goes enterprise-grade and the Internet’s horrifying new method for installing Google apps on Huawei phones.

        Plus, Google finds an Android zero-day in the wild, and the Document Collective’s new approach to earn revenue for LibreOffice.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.4 to Have Kernel Lockdown and ExFAT Support

        The lockdown feature aims to further strengthen Linux security by “restricting access to kernel features that may allow arbitrary code execution via code supplied by userland processes”.

        In simple words, even the root account cannot modify the kernel code. This will hep in cases where a root account is compromised, the rest of system won’t be easy to compromise specially on kernel level. In even simpler words, it enhances the Linux security.

        There are two lockdown modes: integrity and confidentiality.

        In integrity lockdown mode, kernel features that allow userland to modify the running kernel are disabled.

      • Linus Torvalds isn’t worried about Microsoft taking over Linux

        But that doesn’t mean the Microsoft leopard can’t change its spots. Sure, he hears, “This is the old Microsoft, and they’re just biding their time.” But, Torvalds said, “I don’t think that’s true. I mean, there will be tension. But that’s true with any company that comes into Linux; they have their own objectives. And they want to do things their way because they have a reason for it.” So, with Linux, “Microsoft tends to be mainly about Azure and doing all the stuff to make Linux work well for them,” he explained.

        Torvalds emphasized this is normal: “I mean, that’s just being part of the community.”

        As Eric Raymond pointed out in his seminal open-source work, The Cathedral and the Bazaar: “Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer’s personal itch.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA Still Working On A Generic Allocator – Has Working Open-Source Implementation

          For those wondering, NVIDIA is still pursuing a generic allocator / Unix device memory allocator that has been talked about for years and a potential successor to the likes of the Generic Buffer Manager (GBM). They now have an implementation of their proposed allocator working for the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver though there still is a lot of work ahead.

          Each year at the X.Org Developers’ Conference (XDC) going back several they have presented concepts and work on a new device memory API with being unhappy over the semantics of GBM and that initially being one of the obstacles for NVIDIA’s Linux driver in supporting Wayland compositors with many of them being tailored towards GBM while NVIDIA’s initial Wayland support design has been around EGLStreams but they ultimately want this new hypothetical allocator API.

        • Intel giving hints at a possible Intel Xe dedicated GPU release in June 2020

          In the Twitter post, which was retweeted by the official Intel Graphics Twitter account was the below image which has the date of June 2020 on the license plate. Not exactly cryptic, it’s a pretty clear teaser towards a release date for the Intel Xe or whatever they actually end up calling it once it’s out. That’s pure speculation of course on my part but it would line up given who sent the tweet and Intel previously saying the Xe series will be out in 2020.

          We’ve yet to really see any solid information on exactly how powerful they will be. What we do know though, is that they should get first-class Linux support as Intel has been working through their drivers on Linux. They talked openly before about their commitment to open source and their focus on Linux gaming too so it’s quite exciting.

        • AMD have announced the Radeon RX 5500 available later this year

          AMD have now formally lifted the lid on their next GPU with the announcement of the Radeon RX 5500 coming later this year. This new GPU is using their RDNA architecture, based on their 7nm process technology. From what AMD say, they expect it to give you around “1.6X” higher performance-per-watt when compared with the previous Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.

        • AMD Announces Navi 14 Based Radeon RX 5500 Series

          AMD today lifted the lid on the Radeon RX 5500 series as their first Navi 14 based graphics card. This is the soft launch with no units shipping yet but expected to starting in November.

          The Radeon RX 5500 series offers 128-bit GDDR6 video memory, 1408MHz shader clock, a boost clock up to 1845Mhz, 22 compute units, and other features in common to the Navi Radeon RX 5700 series. The Radeon RX 5500 series should offer comparable performance to the Radeon RX 570 Polaris graphics card.

    • Benchmarks

      • PostgreSQL 12 Performance With AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 Benchmarks

        One of the areas of performance I had been meaning to look more at following the recent AMD EPYC 7002 series launch was for database servers. With the original EPYC 7000 series performance, the performance came up short in competing with Intel Xeon CPUs, but for the EPYC Rome processors it ends up being a very different story. Given the launch last week of PostgreSQL 12, I’ve been trying out this new database server release on both EPYC and Xeon processors.

      • Antoine Beaupré: This is why native apps matter

        To deconstruct this, you can see my Firefox process (masquerading as x-www-browser) which has been started for a long time. It’s taken 55 hours of CPU time, but let’s ignore that for now as it’s not in the benchmark. What I find fascinating is there are at least 4 chromium processes running here, and they collectively take up over 7 minutes of CPU time.

        Compare this a little over one (1!!!11!!!) minute of CPU time for VLC, and you realize why people are so ranty about everything being packaged as web apps these days. It’s basically using up an order of magnitudes more processing power (and therefore electric power and slave labor) to watch those silly movies in your web browsers than in a proper video player.

    • Applications

      • 5 Best Password Managers For Linux Desktop

        A password manager is a useful tool for creating unique passwords and storing them securely so that you don’t have to remember them. Check out the best password managers available for Linux desktop.

        Passwords are everywhere. Websites, forums, web apps and what not, you need to create accounts and password for them. The trouble comes with the password. Keeping the same password for various accounts poses a security risk because if one of the websites is compromised, hackers try the same email-password combination on other websites as well.

        But keeping unique passwords for all the new accounts means that you have to remember all of them and it’s not possible for normal humans. This is where password managers come to your help.

      • Standard Notes kept losing my notes

        Note-taking is how I remember things. I jot them down on my phone or laptop and expect them to be available on all my devices within seconds. I used to use Simplenote but I kept having issues with it losing my notes. I abandoned it in favor of Standard Notes five months ago.

        Standard Notes is a minimalist note-taking app available for all leading platforms. It’s open-source and your notes are end-to-end encrypted. This means I can trust the free hosted-service to keep my notes private, and that I can set up and host my own servers if the free service were to go away.

        The service also has some very limited revision-history capabilities. The feature is limited to the history of changes in your active session on the current device. This feature could have been very useful if it persisted and synced across devices. Instead, it’s a rather pointless gimmick.

      • Best Free Graphic Design software for Linux

        In today’s digital world, we often need graphic contents that are visually appealing to the eye. Whether they will be used in a website, advertisement poster or other purposes, eye-catching graphics can pay big dividends can make viewers more attracted to the content. All the stunning graphic work is done by graphic design software these days. In order to create nice graphic designs, you will surely need some good software. In this article, we will list down the best graphic design software available for Linux along with a brief description of each of them.

      • JACK2 1.9.13 Released As First Update In Nearly 2 Years For The Low-Latency Audio Server

        While Red Hat is pursuing Pipewire with plans to fill the use-cases provided by the JACK(2) low-latency audio server, JACK2 isn’t letting up and Sunday marked version 1.9.13 for the project and their first release since December 2017.

        JACK2 1.9.13 is primarily driven by the introduction of a meta-data API, a long-standing request with JACK1 having added a meta-data API more than six years ago.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Mixing strategy and RPG elements The Dwarves of Glistenveld is entering Early Access soon

        Dig deep for riches, just not too deep or you might find some Goblins lurking around. The Dwarves of Glistenveld is confirmed to be entering Early Access on October 18th. Linux support is confirmed too, as the developer clearly replied to us on Twitter.

      • Alen Ladavac, co-founder of Croteam has left to join the Google Stadia team, plus other Stadia news

        Here’s a bit of interesting industry news for you on this fine Monday afternoon. Alen Ladavac, who help to co-found the Serious Sam and Talos Principle developer Croteam has moved onto game streaming.

      • Oxygen Not Included should perform a lot better with the latest update

        While Oxygen Not Included is one of my favourite games to come out in the last year, it did have a few performance issues here and there which the latest update should hopefully solve.

        Klei Entertainment don’t just make interesting games, they support them for a long time too. Oxygen Not Included left Early Access back in July and the first big post-release update landed last week to improve the experience for everyone. Klei said they did a “big performance pass and removed a lot of spikes, leading to a smoother experience in every colony we tested”. They also worked on some new profiling tools to help them track down performance issues, which is what helped with this update.

      • Planetary Annihilation: TITANS has a big update available with major Linux issues

        Planetary Annihilation Inc continue updating and expanding their massive scale RTS Planetary Annihilation: TITANS with a new major update available.


        As a big fan of Planetary Annihilation: TITANS and someone who supported it since Kickstarter and then later upgraded to a much higher tier this makes me incredibly sad to see. Willingly pushing out an update that breaks it completely on modern Linux distributions isn’t really acceptable.

      • Story-driven action RPG ‘Children of Morta’ is still coming to Linux but no ETA

        Children of Morta, a very good looking story-driven action RPG from Dead Mage and 11 bit studios release in early September. It was supposed to have Linux support but they’ve been pretty quiet on it.

        We wrote about this back in June, noting that the developer confirmed a Linux version was still happening. Sadly the release came and went with no word on the Linux version. However, searching around on September 24th they did reply on Steam to say that “We plan to add Linux support, yes. Again, can’t promise any dates at the moment.”. Today as well, the publisher 11 bit studios did also email GamingOnLinux to confirm this “It’s happening, but right now we don’t have an exact date of when it will be available.”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Akademy 2019 in Milan

          Last month I attended KDE’s annual gathering Akademy, which took place at the University of Bicocca in Milan, Italy. Never before had I been to an Akademy where I was interested in so many workshops and discussions that I hardly wrote any actual code.


          There were so many interesting BoF sessions this year that I had to actually schedule where to go well in advance. Starting off the week early in the morning was a planning session on KDE Frameworks 6, where we came up with a giant work board of things to do. See David’s email for all details. Later that day I attended sessions on Snapcraft (we’re “all about the apps”, after all), openQA, GitLab, and KDE neon.

          Tuesday morning I scheduled a BoF on notifications. It was a brainstorming session on how to improve notifications both for application developers and end users. The main focus was how to make the history more useful, what ways there are for applications to manage their notifications properly anytime, no matter if it is currently shown in a popup or two pages down the history. Also, we did some planning for a KNotificationV2 class with fewer dependencies, first-class QML bindings, and proper platform backends for Android, Windows, macOS, etc. See the meeting notes for more information.

          The Plasma BoF afterwards was mainly about Wayland (screen rotation, window thumbnails, virtual keyboard improvements, stability), theming, System Settings reorganization, and Plasma Mobile. Following the successful Plasma 5.12 LTS and based on distro feedback we decided that Plasma 5.18 will be another LTS release. Check out the meeting notes, too.

          Traditionally Wednesday afternoon is when Akademy attendees venture out explore the area they all traveled to. This year’s day trip went to the North to Varenna near Lake Como, where we hiked up to Vezio Castle, and took the ferry to the other side of the lake. Of course, with sunny weather and beautiful landscape around, we just had to take a swim in the lake.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.34 Release Party in Brno, Czech Republic

          GNOME “Thessaloniki” 3.34 is out now and will be reaching distros in the following months. This version is the result of the work of approximately 777 contributors in the last six months. For more details, check out the release notes.

          Our Brno celebrations this cycle were held in Schrott, a place with a wide variety of beers and a neat industrial decor. Dominika Vagnerova arranged delicious GNOME themed cupcakes with eatable app icons that went along pretty well with the drinks.

          This was an excelent opportunity for us to sit down, relax, and chat about GNOME, Free Software, and all things that bring us together.

        • A diary program for GNOME: Almanah Diary

          Almanah Diary is a project I started many years ago for maintaining a personal diary, with encryption and tracking of the events you did that day (from your calendar). It’s been neglected for a long time — given that I no longer use it, I have no incentive to maintain it and improve it, and have only held on to maintainership for so long out of a feeling of duty.

          However, having me listed as a maintainer might have been giving people the false impression that it was actually maintained. So I’m removing myself as maintainer, having just made the 0.12.0 release. Álvaro Peña is also listed as a maintainer, but hasn’t been active for over a year. The project is technically now his, but if someone else turns up wanting to work on it, I am happy to add them as a co-maintainer, especially if they are going to revitalise things.

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 5.9

          SparkyLinux 5.9 “Nibiru” is out. This is a quarterly update of live/install media of the stable line, which is based on Debian 10 “Buster”.

          The base system has been upgraded from Debian stable repos as of October 4, 2019.
          It works on the Linux kernel 4.19.67 LTS.
          As usually, new iso/img images provide small bug fixes and improvements as well.

          Sparky project page and Sparky forums got new skins; no big changes about the colors but they are much mobile devices friendly now.

        • SparkyLinux 5.9 Released with Latest Updates from Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster”

          The SparkyLinux community released today the SparkyLinux 5.9 rolling release operating system based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” repositories.

          SparkyLinux 5.9 is the ninth instalment in the SparkyLinux 5 “Nibiru” operating system series, a rolling release version of the Debian-based distribution that aims to offer users access to all the new packages from the latest Debian GNU/Linux release. SparkyLinux 5 is based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster”.

          In SparkyLinux 5.9, the developers updated the base system from the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” stable software repositories as of October 4th, 2019. It’s powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.19.67 kernel and includes various other bug fixes and improvements to make SparkyLinux 5 “Nibiru” more reliable.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How Bash completion works

        Recently, I added Bash completion to my tool. I’ve wanted this for a while, but decided to add it now in preparation for secrets management. For example, I want to be able to type zz secret –readamaz and have it complete to zz secret –read amazon/. Perhaps hitting again will list all secrets under this path, e.g. username, password, access_key, etc.

      • 3 ways to build an open-source startup

        Founders might be wondering whether there’s still space for new open-source software companies among all of these heavy hitters.

        The answer is yes. As an investor, I have a front-line perspective on the many successful attempts to turn open-source projects into successful software startups. Startups actually have an advantage these days because they can learn from what’s worked and what hasn’t when it comes to commercializing open-source software.

        Looking at the successes, I’ve identified three proven paths from project to commercial success. Here’s a look at these models and the successful companies associated with each.

      • Events

        • Sixth openSUSE.Asia Summit Concludes

          The openSUSE community concluded its sixth openSUSE.Asia Summit this weekend at the Fakultas Teknik of the Universitas Udayana in Bali, Indonesia.

          Bali’s newest tourist attraction, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana status, towered outside the window as participants discussed all things openSUSE and open source.

          A number of participants traveled from all over the world to join students from the university. The students volunteered with running the summit and many made their first contributions to open source. Attendees from more than 20 nations attended the summit. Talks at the summit focused on open source technologies, community contributions, healthcare technologies like GNU Health, packaging, using the Open Build Service and much more.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • 10 more videos from the LibreOffice Conference 2019

          We’ve uploaded some more presentations from the recent LibreOffice Conference 2019 in Almeria, Spain First up, “Generating ODF reports on server side” with Jeff Huang:

          Please confirm that you want to play a YouTube video.

      • CMS

        • The Best WordPress Invoice Plugins in 2019

          Managing a business is never easy because selling stuff is not the only task you have to oversee. You also need to keep track of what your clients buy, which clients like what, which transactions were completed, whether refunds were requested for, how much you spend vs how much you ear, etc.


        • The FSF Is Re-Evaluating Its Relationship With The GNU

          With RMS resigning as head of the FSF but ultimately is remaining as head of the GNU, the Free Software Foundation is now publicly re-evaluating its relationship with the GNU.

          The FSF and GNU have long had a close relationship with the Free Software Foundation providing for GNU’s financial needs, technical infrastructure, copyright assignment, volunteer management, and related duties. With RMS out of the FSF but not GNU, it has complicated this relationship especially with some still calling for RMS to be ousted from the GNU.

        • Joint statement on the GNU Project

          We, the undersigned GNU maintainers and developers, owe a debt of gratitude to Richard Stallman for his decades of important work in the free software movement. Stallman tirelessly emphasized the importance of computer user freedom and laid the foundation for his vision to become a reality by starting the development of the GNU operating system. For that we are truly grateful.

          Yet, we must also acknowledge that Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users. GNU is not fulfilling its mission when the behavior of its leader alienates a large part of those we want to reach out to.

          We believe that Richard Stallman cannot represent all of GNU. We think it is now time for GNU maintainers to collectively decide about the organization of the project.

        • GO GNU!
        • What’s the Future of Free Software?

          Whether you think Richard M. Stallman is a creep who got what he deserved or a great man toppled by petty spite, one thing is certain: free software will never be the same without him. For better or worse, for the first time the movement does not have one man’s vision influencing goals. As a result, an unprecedented opportunity exists for self-evaluation.

          Of course free software in general and the Free Software Foundation in particular may not want to take the opportunity. Yet the suddenness of Stallman’s resignations makes at least one long-neglected issue impossible to ignore: how are the current leaders of free software to be replaced? Or do they need to be replaced at all? After all, much of the work of the FSF is already done by its executive director.

          Free software may not have any choice except change if it is going to survive. The last decade has seen an erosion of FSF authority that, if allowed to last another decade, might very well reduce free software to a private club that is ignored by others. The FSF needs badly to publicize its efforts, to cultivate the relations it had with journalists in the first years of the millennium, and to make common cause where possible — yes, even with those who prefer the term “open source” to “free software.”

      • Programming/Development

        • Using the Java Persistence API

          The Java Persistence API (JPA) is an important Java functionality for application developers to understand. It translates exactly how Java developers turn method calls on objects into accessing, persisting, and managing data stored in NoSQL and relational databases.

          This article examines the JPA in detail through a tutorial example of building a bicycle loaning service. This example will create a create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) layer for a larger application using the Spring Boot framework, the MongoDB database (which is no longer open source), and the Maven package manager. I also use NetBeans 11 as my IDE of choice.

        • PyDev of the Week: Paul Ivanov

          This week we welcome Paul Ivanov (@ivanov) as our PyDev of the Week! Paul is a core developer of IPython and Jupyter. He is also an instructor at Software Carpentry. You can learn more about Paul on his website. You can also see what he’s been up to in open source by visiting his Github profile. Let’s take some time to get to know Paul!

        • Meson 0.52 Released
        • Meson 0.52 Released With Better Support For Solaris/Illumos

          While popularity in Solaris-based operating systems may be on the decline, for Meson to ultimately replace other build systems it will need good support for said operating systems where Automake, CMake, and others are well supported. As such, with this weekend’s Meson 0.52 release comes with better support for Solaris and the OpenSolaris-derived Illumos platforms.

        • Write a simple Kubernetes Operator in Java using the Fabric8 Kubernetes Client

          Kubernetes is becoming much more than just a platform for running container workloads. Its API can be extended with application-specific Custom Resource Definitions(CRDs), and you can implement your own logic adapting your applications dynamically to changes in the cluster. In this article, we’ll be writing a simple Kubernetes Operator in Java using the Fabric8 Kubernetes Client.

        • 7 Java tips for new developers

          This makes Java a popular language for both programmers and users. Programmers know that they only have to write one version of their software to end up with an application that runs on any platform, and users know that an application will run on their computer regardless of what operating system they use.
          Many languages and frameworks are cross-platform, but none deliver the same level of abstraction. With Java, you target the JVM, not the OS. For programmers, that’s the path of least resistance when faced with several programming challenges, but it’s only useful if you know how to program Java. If you’re just getting started with Java programming, here are seven basic tips you need to know.

        • GDB Debugger Lands CTF Support

          The GNU Debugger (GDB) now has support for the Compact C Type Format following support for this debugging information format having been added to the GCC compiler and Binutils.


          CTF is a simpler format than DWARF with a goal of being faster and simpler than dealing with debuginfo packages. CTF was developed by Sun/Oracle and the format is documented here.

        • Python and fast HTTP clients

          Nowadays, it is more than likely that you will have to write an HTTP client for your application that will have to talk to another HTTP server. The ubiquity of REST API makes HTTP a first class citizen. That’s why knowing optimization patterns are a prerequisite.

          There are many HTTP clients in Python; the most widely used and easy to
          work with is requests. It is the de-factor standard nowadays.

        • The Numbers, They Lie

          In Python, the default representation of a number with a decimal point in it is something called an “IEEE 754 double precision binary floating-point number”. This standard achieves a generally useful trade-off between performance, correctness, and is widely implemented in hardware, making it a popular choice for numbers in many programming language.

          However, as our spooky story above indicates, it’s not perfect. 0.1 + 0.2 is very slightly less than 0.3 in this representation, because it is a floating-point representation in base 2.

          If you’ve worked professionally with software that manipulates money1, you typically learn this lesson early; it’s quite easy to smash head-first into the problem with binary floating-point the first time you have an item that costs 30 cents and for some reason three dimes doesn’t suffice to cover it.

        • How to Add Maps to Django Web App Projects with Mapbox

          Building interactive maps into a Django web application can seem daunting if you do not know where to begin, but it is easier than you think if you use a developer tool such as Mapbox.

          In this post we will build a simple Django project with a single app and add an interactive map like the one you see below to the webpage that Django renders with the Mapbox Maps API.

        • Examples are Awesome

          There are two things I look for whenever I check out an Opensource project or library that I want to use.

          1. Screenshots (A picture is worth a thousand words).

          2. Examples (Don’t tell me what to do, show me how to do it).

          Having a fully working example (or many examples) helps me shape my thought process.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Nobel Prize Honors 3 Who Showed How Cells Adapt to Oxygen Levels

        Three physician scientists whose work revealed how cells sense changing oxygen levels and adapt to them today were awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. They are William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD, of Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Sir Peter J. Ratcliff, MD, of Oxford University; and Gregg Semenza, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University.

        The citation highlights fundamental research that explained a mechanism essential for animals to convert food to energy and to adapt to changing environments, and one that in recent years has been harnessed to develop treatment for anemia and has implications for the treatment of cancer. The announcement took place in Stockholm, Sweden, at 5:30 am ET, shortly after all 3 winners received word by phone that they would share the most prestigious prize in science.

        When oxygen levels are low, a condition called hypoxia, the body adapts in several key ways. One is the rise of a the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), which in turn increases the production of red blood cells. Semenza studied how the EPO gene regulated oxygen and used specially modified mice to demonstrate how DNA next to the EPO gene affect the hypoxia response. He then identified the protein complex that binds the DNA segment as oxygen levels rise and fall, which he named hypoxia-inducible factor, or HIF.

      • 3 get Nobel Medicine prize for learning how cells use oxygen

        Two Americans and a British scientist won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering how the body’s cells sense and react to oxygen levels, work that has paved the way for new strategies to fight anemia, cancer and other diseases, the Nobel Committee said.

        Drs. William G. Kaelin Jr. of Harvard University, Gregg L. Semenza of Johns Hopkins University and Peter J. Ratcliffe at the Francis Crick Institute in Britain and Oxford University will share equally the 9 million kronor ($918,000) cash award, the Karolinska Institute said.

      • Discovery of Molecular Switch for How Cells Use Oxygen Wins 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine

        This year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three researchers who helped reveal the mechanism by which cells in the body sense and adapt to oxygen availability. William Kaelin Jr., Peter Ratcliffe and Gregg Semenza shared the prize for their work, which has played a critical role in understanding—and ultimately treating—diseases such as anemia and cancer. The scientists will share the prize, worth 9 million Swedish Krona ($907,695).

        “Oxygen is essential for life, and is used by virtually all animal cells in order to convert food to energy,” said Randall Johnson of the Karolinska Institute, a member of the Nobel Committee, at a press conference in Sweden announcing the prize Monday morning. “This prize is for three physician scientists who found the molecular switch that regulates how our cells adapt when oxygen levels drop.”

        Oxygen levels can drop throughout the body, for example at high altitudes or during exercise—or in a local area, such as at a wound site. Low oxygen levels, or hypoxia, lead to new blood vessel formation, blood cell formation, or glycolysis (anaerobic fermentation). Hypoxia was known to trigger a rise in the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), which is involved in producing red blood cells, but the prizewinning scientists revealed the mechanism for how this works.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (jackson-databind, libapreq2, libreoffice, novnc, phpbb3, and ruby-mini-magick), Fedora (mbedtls and mosquitto), Mageia (xpdf), openSUSE (bind, firefox, nginx, openssl-1_0_0, php7, python-numpy, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel), SUSE (ansible1, ardana-ansible, ardana-cluster, ardana-db, ardana-extensions-nsx, ardana-glance, ardana-input-model, ardana-installer-ui, ardana-manila, ardana-monasca, ardana-neutron, ardana-nova, ardana-octavia, ardana-opsconsole-ui, ardana-osconfig, ardana-service, ardana-tls, crowbar-core, crowbar-ha, crowbar-openstack, crowbar-ui, grafana, novnc, openstack-cinder, openstack-dashboard, openstack-designate, openstack-glance, openstack-heat, openstack-horizon-plugin-heat-ui, openstack-horizon-plugin-monasca-ui, openstack-ironic, openstack-ironic-python-agent, openstack-keystone, openstack-manila, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-gbp, openstack-nova, openstack-octavia, openstack-sahara, openstack-tempest, openstack-watcher, python-ardana-configurationprocessor, python-cinder-tempest-plugin, python-urllib3, rubygem-easy_diff, bind, compat-openssl098, nginx, and openssl-1_0_0), and Ubuntu (linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon and openexr).

      • Rootconf 2019 Pune

        Rootconf is a professional conference on security and systems and this was their first time in pune. I chose to spoke about TLS 1.3 and also did a BoF on fuzzing.

        Rootconf is typically a single track conference, which means that everyone has only one talk to go to at a time. This was my first time i spoke at a single track event. My talk was the first one in the day. I started with talking about the importance of SSL/TLS , then talked about few of the security flaws, described key difference between TLS 1.3 and its previous versions and ended with lot of questions. Eventually ran out of time with people catching me in the hallway to ask tons of questions ranging from security, asking how Red Hat identifies, fixesflaws etc to people even asking if we have vacancies at Red Hat.

        The second talk was about automating security workflow using docker. This was given by a security engineer from appsec, and had some important points about how he conducted pentesting and how bits of it can be automated.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Thailand’s Anti-Fake News Center Fans Fears of Censorship

        The state-run National News Bureau of Thailand later reported that the center would open by November 1 to vet dubious news found online and respond to any falsehoods jeopardizing peace and security with the facts via Facebook, the messaging application Line, and a dedicated website. It said the center would focus on natural disasters, the economy and finance, health products and hazards, and government policy.

        However, opposition parties and rights groups say the track record of the junta and the government that has replaced it, led by the pro-military Palang Pracharath party, provide reason to worry.

      • NBA draws bipartisan backlash over China response

        Daryl Morey in a tweet on Friday voiced support for the thousands of protesters that have taken to the streets of Hong Kong in recent weeks, writing: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

      • Sahar Tabar: Iranian Instagram star ‘arrested for blasphemy’

        Judicial authorities arrested Tabar after members of the public reportedly made complaints about her, Tasnim reported.

        She is accused of blasphemy, instigating violence, illegally acquiring property, insulting the country’s dress code and encouraging young people to commit corruption.

        Her Instagram has since been deleted.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The court allowed the FCC to kill net neutrality because washing machines can’t make phone calls

        The heart of the net neutrality policy debate is incredibly simple and easy for almost anyone to understand: do you think [Internet] providers should have the power to block, throttle, or otherwise interfere with [Internet] traffic outside of normal network management? Most people don’t think so — the polls say net neutrality is a popular idea with Americans across party lines. But because the fight has been going on for so long, and the rules have been imposed and taken away so many times under different legal theories, the actual court case and legal issues are a million miles away from the very simple policy question.

        Instead, the legal side of net neutrality has become an exercise in lawyers making fine-grained arguments about whether washing machines can make phone calls, whether consumers with a single broadband provider still experience the benefits of competition, and whether or not federal regulations can override state law if the federal regulations don’t actually exist. “Is it good if AT&T can throttle Fox News while streaming CNN for free” never actually comes up, even though that is the fundamental policy question. It’s deeply frustrating.

    • Monopolies

      • U.S. Researchers on Front Line of Battle Against Chinese Theft

        As the U.S. warned allies around the world that Chinese tech giant Huawei was a security threat, the FBI was making the same point quietly to a Midwestern university.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Federal Circuit decision highlights importance of design patent titles

          Lawyers say Curver Luxembourg v Home Expressions emphasises the need to be thoughtful when choosing and amending design patent titles and claims

          The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision reinforces changes made to the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure in October 2015 and January 2018 that said title “may contribute to defining the scope of a claim.”

        • USPTO Proposes Revisions to PTA Rules in View of Supernus v. Iancu

          Supernus challenged the Office’s PTA determination in the Eastern District of Virginia, contending that it was entitled to at least 546 of the 646 days of PTA reduction (i.e., the period of time between the filing of the RCE and the EPO notification of opposition). The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the USPTO, finding that the USPTO did not err in the PTA calculation for the ’897 patent.

          In January, the Federal Circuit reversed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the USPTO, finding that because there were “no identifiable efforts” that Supernus could have undertaken in the time period between the filing of an RCE during prosecution of the application that issued as the ’897 patent and the mailing of an EPO notification of opposition for a European counterpart patent (which resulted in Supernus filing a supplemental Information Disclosure Statement during prosecution of the ’897 patent), Supernus had not failed to engage in reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution during that time period. The Federal Circuit noted in Supernus that “Congress expressly granted the USPTO authority to determine what constitutes reasonable efforts [under 35 U.S.C. § 154(b)(2)(C)(i)], but the USPTO lacks any authority to exceed the statutory ‘equal to’ limitation by including the 546-day time period during which it does not contend that Supernus failed to undertake reasonable efforts to conclude prosecution.” The Court therefore found the USPTO’s PTA reduction for the ’897 patent to be inconsistent with the PTA statute, accorded no deference to the USPTO’s application of the regulations at issue in the circumstances of this case, and reversed and remanded the District Court’s summary judgment order.

          In May, the USPTO issued a Federal Register notice notifying stakeholders of the impact of the Supernus decision on its PTA determinations (see “USPTO Issues Notice on Impact of Federal Circuit’s Supernus Decision on PTA Procedures”). In its earlier notice, the Office indicated that it was “modifying its patent term adjustment procedures in view of the decision.” However, that notice stated that “the USPTO will continue to make the patent term adjustment determinations indicated in patents under the existing regulations using information recorded in its PALM [Patent Application Locating and Monitoring] system,” and that a patentee who believes there were no identifiable efforts it could have undertaken to conclude prosecution of an application (as Supernus argued with respect to the ’897 patent) “may raise the issue in a timely request for reconsideration of the patent term adjustment, providing any relevant information that is not recorded in the USPTO’s PALM system.”

Links 7/10/2019: Pinebook Pro Shipping, Linux 5.4 RC2, Godot 3.2 Alpha, FSF and GNU Statement

Posted in News Roundup at 4:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EFF Should Protect or Represent Geeks, Not ‘Hipsters’

Posted in EFF, Google, Microsoft at 3:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The EFF’s reliance on some corporate cash (sometimes billionaires) raises important questions about adherence to said goals

Some people, including longtime readers, have responded to what we wrote last night about the EFF (we said more this morning). Several people believe that what they dub “hipsters” are ruining the EFF as insiders or as members (supporters). One person responded to our article "Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person" by saying that “it would be like something from the Microsoft playbook: join something and subvert it from the inside, there’s a Microsoft quote in the Comes docs about that.” (that means Comes v Microsoft)

It would be nice if the EFF spoke about EPO abuses and quit taking 'surveillance capitalism' money (a newer example of it was covered here this morning).

“…it would be like something from the Microsoft playbook: join something and subvert it from the inside, there’s a Microsoft quote in the Comes docs about that.”
From what we’re able to gather, based on the EFF’s IRS filings (these are publicly available), the EFF saw a boost in budget after the Snowden leaks but it went almost ‘downhill’ from there (further analysis might show members not renewing); they must get leaner rather than pursue corporate cash. They need to always ensure principles of integrity are at the forefront. Taking money from surveillance companies and giving these companies EFF awards isn’t the way to achieve this.

We’ve examined the latest IRS filing from the EFF. It says that the EFF receives about 4 million dollars a year from members, which leaves one wondering where the remainder (about twice that amount) comes from. The salaries aren’t totally crazy; the chief nets just over $250,000 a year. SF/Bay Area is expensive, but maybe $100,000 would suffice.

But here’s our biggest issue: The main concern here is that the EFF might become a “hush organisation”, attracting corporate funding in exchange for leaving these corporations alone (no criticism) or worse — lobby for their agenda. Is this already happening subconsciously? Is there self-censorship as opposed to spiking and threats to staff? The bottom line is, the EFF needs to reject all corporate money or risk becoming another Linux Foundation.

It’s difficult to forget how the EFF badmouthed E-mail encryption, partly based on misinformation, while promoting “phone stuff” (with back doors) as a viable alternative. If many EFF members and staff just loosely value privacy but mostly use Apple’s ‘i’ things, what does that say about the EFF’s orientation? Months ago and as recently as weeks ago the EFF also helped Apple’s and Microsoft’s “privacy” propaganda. At one point or another these ‘gaffes’ become too difficult and too frequent to overlook or ignore. It’s part of a pattern. Their main “free speech” staff (York) blocked me in Twitter for merely retweeting something.

Meme: Lots of Articles About RMS (Richard Stallman)

Posted in Bill Gates, FSF, Humour at 3:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I type in 'MIT EPSTEIN'. Lots of articles about RMS, none about Bill Gates

Summary: The effect of ‘googlebombing’ explained in terms many people can understand

EFF Ought to Focus on Software Patents — Maybe EPO Scandals Too — Instead of Awarding (Publicity Stunts) and Rewarding Privacy Abusers

Posted in EFF, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 1:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EFF on patents

Summary: Taking money from and giving awards to privacy-abusing corporations won’t help the EFF, at least not in the long term

THIS quick post concerns a matter that we mentioned last night, albeit only in passing. The EFF is changing and in our view not for the better. It does not write about patents as much as it used to. That’s 21 articles/posts so far this year (a lot less in recent months because Nazer left) compared to about 50 last year. What’s more, they’re losing sight of key issues and they still ignore EPO abuses (while having seemingly endless resources to tackle copyright policy in Europe). What is going on? Months ago they took Google money and people have used that to accuse the EFF of fronting for Google, in essence a surveillance company. Weeks ago the EFF (over)saw an award given to a person complicit in mass surveillance of Microsoft. Again, what the heck is going on? And check who the sponsors were: “Special thanks to our sponsors: Airbnb; Dropbox; Matthew Prince; Medium; O’Reilly Media; Ridder, Costa & Johnstone LLP; and Ron Reed for supporting EFF and the 2019 Pioneer Award Ceremony. If you or your company are interested in learning more about sponsorship, please contact nicole@eff.org.”

“Weeks ago the EFF (over)saw an award given to a person complicit in mass surveillance of Microsoft.”¿Qué?

Can’t the EFF sponsor (fund) its own ceremonies? Please don’t become another Linux Foundation.

What do Airbnb and Dropbox do there? They’re listed as forefront sponsors (the list is not alphabetical). The EFF surely knows about the surveillance (NSA PRISM), which was mentioned many times by the EFF itself in the wake of Snowden leaks. Dropbox is “coming soon” (in 2013) to PRISM and Airbnb is a privacy dump.

“Condy Rice on the Board and NSA PRISM don’t seem to prevent the EFF from taking money from Dropbox to glorify privacy abusers from Microsoft.”In our view, what EFF does here is what Lessig likes to call “leaning to the green” (money). Condy Rice on the Board and NSA PRISM don’t seem to prevent the EFF from taking money from Dropbox to glorify privacy abusers from Microsoft. Will the EFF take the risk of condemning Dropbox for privacy abuses in the future? Maybe. People might always wonder.

What would Barlow (founder) have said? He died last year and it would be a shame if the EFF’s credibility died with him.

We Welcome Richard Stallman, Again

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 12:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A publication from the Free Media Alliance

I’ve created a monster
Cause nobody downloads GNU anymore
They want Linux
I’m chopped liver

Well if you want Linux,
This is what I’ll give ya
A little GCC
And the GNU Debugger

- Slim Stallman

They want Linux cause nobody downloads GNU anymore

Summary: “The Free software Federation is not an organisation, it is a collective term.”

Today is a day for Free software and playful cleverness.

There was a time, when Free software was a grassroots movement. Do you remember those days? They’re coming again.

People are going to make it happen, and are already making it happen.

Without a vote, without permission, without even firing the old guard and indeed, right under their noses, comes:

The Free software Federation

Now, this will probably run afoul of trademark issues sooner or later. And that’s not important, because the name is not the idea. The idea is what’s important.

So why even call it the Free software Federation?

Two reasons:

1. Because that’s what it is.

2. Because that’s what (other) people are already calling it.

The people calling this thing the Free software Federation did not authorise the name, they gave it the name. If and when they are required to do so, they will give it some other name.

But this is a federation that has existed for a while, it just didn’t get very much publicity. That’s about to change.

The Free software Federation is not an organisation, it is a collective term.

Who runs the Federation? The groups that belong to it.

The FSF runs the FSF.

SFC speaks for SFC.

The Association For User Freedom… doesn’t even exist yet, but we look forward to them joining us.

And to the Free software Force, Hi! You may have more supporters than you realise.

Speaking of supporters, Hello Richard! Here is your small army of coders and advocates. We never left you. Don’t worry, many of us support the FSF getting back up and running again as soon as possible.

We are calling for you to return to the board, where you belong!

But here’s a question for the GNUisance and GNUFather: what if FSF failed? What if it fell? A lot of us are very upset, and some of don’t think you can any more remove Stallman from Free software than you can remove Einstein from Relativity.

So the Free software Federation is a page that defines it as “a de facto group of organisations and institutions that advocate for Free software.”

In a sense, this is not so much a definition as commentary on what already exists.

We are here, and so are you. And we are just as real as the groups on this list.

These are the groups who stand for Free software. The list is growing.

Yes, the FSF is among them. In fact it is by far the most established Free software organisation of all time. Through years of smears and mischaracterisation, the FSF has stood the test of time.

We hope it will continue to do so — better with you, than without you.

But should it fall, we don’t wish for there to be “nothing” in its place.

Many years ago, the United States government went to the largest telco and offered them an opportunity.

Revamp your network, so that it doesn’t have a single point of failure.

The telco balked, but the internet was built anyway.

That telco is still around today. But so is the Internet.

And so now you have the FSF, and — you have the Free software Federation.

Maybe you think this is crazy, and maybe you want nothing to do with this. The only problem of course, is that the Federation is:

“a de facto group of organisations and institutions that advocate for Free software.”

And you sir, are most certainly an institution. None of this existed without you, and it still exists because of you.

When I first talked about this, I was thinking of a phrase. When I talked to someone in particular about this, they echoed that phrase though I had not said it.

That phrase, was “playful cleverness.”

Long Live rms, and Happy Hacking.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 06, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 12:42 am by Needs Sunlight

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