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Links 13/1/2020: Linux Lite 4.8, Linux 5.5 RC6, Corebird Continues as ‘Cawbird’

Posted in News Roundup at 11:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • What is Linux and Why We Recommend Using it?

      Linux, idiomatically, is a family of similar operating systems. There doesn’t exist just a single Linux operating system just like in macOS or Windows. Instead, there are “distributions” of Linux each having their own properties and characteristics. There are hundreds of Linux distributions out there and while they generally use the same components in a lot of cases, a lot of them are still very different than the other. We refer to the overall collection of those distributions as simply “Linux” in comparing to Windows or macOS.

      Technically speaking, Linux is nothing more than a kernel of an operating system. In 1991, a guy named Linus Torvalds created this kernel for himself, and then the project became bigger over time. Later on (just 1 year later), people took the kernel Linus Torvalds wrote and combined it with other tools to create a fully functional operating system. Because as you know, an operating system is bigger than just the kernel inside it. This is what we call a Linux distribution.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 16 Places to Buy a Pre-installed Linux Laptop Online

        Linux runs on most hardware these days, but most retailers do not have Linux operating systems pre-installed on their hardware.

        Gone are the days when users would only buy a Windows OS pre-installed laptop.

        Over the years, developers have purchased many Linux laptops as they work on major Linux applications related to Docker, Kubernetes, AI, cloud-native computing and machine learning.

        But now-a-days users are eager to buy a Linux laptop instead of Windows, which allows many vendors to choose Linux OS.

        Why Pre-installed Linux?

        Now-a-days normal users also started using Linux OS because of its open source nature, security and reliability.

        But most of the retailers around the world do not sell Linux operating system pre-installed.

        It is difficult for Linux aspirants to find the compatible hardware and drivers to get Linux OS installed.

        So, we recommend to have Linux OS pre-installed computers instead of figuring out compatibility issues.

        Here we list the top 16 (not in particular order) manufacturer/vendor best known for preloaded Linux OS computers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 178 – Are CVEs important and will ransomware put you out of busines?

        Josh and Kurt talk about a discussion on Twitter about if discovering CVE IDs is important for a resume? We don’t think it is. We also discuss the idea of ransomware putting a company out of business. Did it really? Possibly but it probably won’t create any substantial change in the industry.

      • GNU World Order 335

        The ending of the **a2ps** package, including **psdiff**, **psbook**, **psmandup**, **psresize**, **psselect**, and **texi2dvi4a2ps**. The greatest mystery is the **showchar** command, which appears to do nothing. Upon further investigation (after recording), it seems that **a2ps** as distributed by Slackware also contains a collection of scripts called **psutils**, which provides **fix***, **ps***, **eps***, ***res**, and **showchar** scripts. The psutils collection is not yet in Slackware-current, so it is possible that it has been dropped from distribution. In the latest psutils sources, **showchar** appears to have been removed.

      • Avoid Unnecessary Reboots: Set up the Livepatch Service on Ubuntu

        Rebooting should only be done if absolutely necessary, especially on servers. In this video, I show the process of enabling Canonical’s Livepatch service, which will patch the Linux kernel automatically and allow you to avoid (most) reboots when the kernel updates.

      • Linux Action News 140

        Are we overloaded with open source licenses? We consider a simpler future. Results from the Debian init vote are in, and why Amazon’s new open source project might be worth checking out.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.5-rc6
        Things have picked up a _bit_ after the holiday season, but it's still
        pretty quiet. Not outrageously so: this could almost be a normal rc5,
        just slightly calmer than usual.
        Let's see how things go. I do suspect that this ends up being one of
        those "rc8" releases, not because things look particularly bad right
        now, but simply because the holiday season has meant that both the
        testing side and the development side have been quiet. But who knows?
        It's entirely possible that we'll just have a very quiet next two
        weeks, and I go "there is no point in delaying things".
        So nothing looks particularly worrisome, and normally I'd be very
        happy with a quiet rc6. I just suspect that there's some pent-up work
        still, and I'm left waiting for the other shoe to drop...
        Anyway, rc6 is dominated mostly by drivers. There's a little bit of
        everything there: networking perhaps stands out, but there's USB, GPU,
        HID, MTD, sound, gpio, block and misc other driver updates there.
        Outside of drivers, there's core networking, some minor arch updates
        (ARC, RISC-V, one arm64 revert), some tracing fixes, and a set of
        fixes for the clone3() system call
        But all of it is pretty small, and nothing really looks scary at all.
        Scan the shortlog below if you are into that, but otherwise just go
        forth and test it out all,
      • Linux 5.5-rc6 Released With Some Notable Radeon Graphics Fixes Plus Other Random Work

        Linus Torvalds has just issued Linux 5.5-rc6 as the latest test release ahead of the stable Linux 5.5 kernel due out in a few weeks.

        Linus noted that while the holidays have passed, Linux 5.5-rc6 is still fairly light on changes and calmer than normal for this stage of development. But considering everything, he thinks there may be eight release candidates before going gold due to the holiday downtime. Should this cycle stretch out to eight release candidates, it would place the stable Linux 5.5 release (and opening of Linux 5.6′s merge window) the first weekend of February.

      • 5.5-rc6 and stable kernels too

        The 5.5-rc6 kernel prepatch is out for testing. “Let’s see how things go. I do suspect that this ends up being one of those ‘rc8′ releases, not because things look particularly bad right now, but simply because the holiday season has meant that both the testing side and the development side have been quiet. But who knows?”

      • Linux 5.4.11
      • Linux 4.19.95
      • Linux 4.14.164
      • Linux 4.9.209
      • Linux 4.4.209
      • Linus Torvalds says “Don’t use ZFS”—but doesn’t seem to understand it

        Last Monday in the “Moderated Discussions” forum at realworldtech.com, Linus Torvalds—founding developer and current supreme maintainer of the Linux kernel—answered a user’s question about a year-old kernel maintenance controversy that heavily impacted the ZFS on Linux project. After answering the user’s actual question, Torvalds went on to make inaccurate and damaging claims about the ZFS filesystem itself.

        Given the massive weight automatically given Torvalds’ words due to his status as founding developer and chief maintainer of the Linux kernel, we feel it’s a good idea to explain both the controversial kernel change itself, and Torvalds’ comments about both the change in question and the ZFS filesystem.

      • Torvalds warns against Oracle module

        IT’s Mr Sweary, Linus Torvalds has warned engineers against adding a module for the ZFS filesystem that was designed by Sun Microsystems, now Oracle, due to licensing issues.

        As reported by Phoronix, Torvalds has warned kernel developers against using ZFS on Linux, an implementation of OpenZFS, and refuses to merge any ZFS code until Oracle changes the open-source license it uses.

        ZFS has long been licensed under Sun’s Common Development and Distribution License as opposed to the Linux kernel, which is licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL).

    • Benchmarks

      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 Milestone 1 Released

        The first development release of Phoronix Test Suite 9.4-Vestby is now available for evaluation.

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.4-Vestby is the Q1’2020 feature update due out in about one month’s time. With today’s Milestone 1 release is the first batch of improvements arriving while more work should be landing over the next few weeks.

        With Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 Milestone 1 are a variety of low-level improvements, external dependency updates, various new helper string options for test profiles, pass/fail graph formatting improvements, Phodevi software/hardware detection improvements, support for the forthcoming Linux “drivetemp” ATA temperature driver as another fallback in monitoring drive temperatures, and other refinements and fixes.

      • Benchmarks Of LLVM Clang 6.0 Through Clang 10.0 Compilers

        At the end of 2019 I ran some GCC 5 through GCC 10 compiler benchmarks while here are the similar tests conducted on the LLVM side for seeing how the Clang C/C++ compiler performance has evolved over the past few years.

        This round of testing was done on LLVM Clang 6.0 through LLVM Clang 9.0 while building in the release modes and also testing with LLVM Clang 10.0 as the development code as of December. All the CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS remained the same throughout testing.

    • Applications

      • Command Line Apps to View CPU and GPU Temperature in Linux

        Many Linux distributions ship with applets and widgets to view information about hardware sensors and their respective temperature values. Third party apps like system-monitor extension for GNOME Shell and Psensor also provide graphical frontend to monitor thermal values. As far as command line apps are concerned, only a few exist but they are capable of showing accurate temperature values.


        Psutil is a Python module that can look up hardware information, active processes and real time system utilization data. Since Psutil can show a lot of data about your hardware, you can effectively use it as a replacement for multiple command line apps and bash commands that are used separately for retrieving various hardware utilization values.

      • HomeBank 5.3.1

        HomeBank is a free software (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) that will assist you to manage your personal accounting. It is designed to easy to use and be able to analyse your personal finance and budget in detail using powerful filtering tools and beautiful charts. If you are looking for a completely free and easy application to manage your personal accounting, budget, finance then HomeBank should be the software of choice.

      • curl even more wolfed

        I’m happy to announce that curl now supports a third SSH library option: wolfSSH. Using this, you can build curl and libcurl to do SFTP transfers in a really small footprint that’s perfectly suitable for embedded systems and others. This goes excellent together with the tiny-curl effort.

        SFTP only

        The initial merge of this functionality only provides SFTP ability and not SCP. There’s really no deeper thoughts behind this other than that the work has been staged and the code is smaller for SFTP-only and it might be that users on these smaller devices are happy with SFTP-only.

        Work on adding SCP support for the wolfSSH backend can be done at a later time if we feel the need. Let me know if you’re one such user!

        Build time selection

        You select which SSH backend to use at build time. When you invoke the configure script, you decide if wolfSSH, libssh2 or libssh is the correct choice for you (and you need to have the correct dev version of the desired library installed).

        The initial SFTP and SCP support was added to curl in November 2006, powered by libssh2 (the first release to ship it was 7.16.1). Support for getting those protocols handled by libssh instead (which is a separate library, they’re just named very similarly) was merged in October 2017.

      • LMMS: A Free & Open Source Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

        LMMS is a cross-platform open source DAW hosted on GitHub. It is completely free to use and you do not need to purchase any kind of license to use it.

        If you’re curious, there’s no specific full-form for “LMMS” acronym but you can consider it along the lines of “Let’s Make Music” or formerly known as “Linux MultiMedia Studio” as stated in one of their official forum post years back.

        So, with the help of LMMS, you should be able to work on making music on Linux.

        Of course, you should not expect a free DAW to replace a full-fledged professional DAW bundled with proprietary plugins – but for starters, it isn’t a bad one.

      • Melody – music player written in Vala

        I’ve written scores of reviews of open source graphical music players. They’ve been a fairly mixed bag. Some music players are genuinely excellent, others fall way short of my (fairly) modest requirements. There’s still a few interesting music players I’ve yet to cover. I’ll try to rectify this in the next few months, although most of my time is currently spent tinkering with the Raspberry Pi 4 (RPI4), which includes penning my weekly blog looking at whether the RPI4 is a capable desktop machine.

        John Denmore of Arizona asked me to look at Melody, software billed as “a music player for listening to local music files, online radios, and Audio CD’s”.

        What intrigued me is that Melody is designed for elementary OS, a distribution based on Ubuntu that focuses mainly on non-technical users. That pretty much describes me. I’ve been meaning to try elementary OS for a while. Before doing so, I’m going to explore some apps designed for it.

      • Keep your email in sync with OfflineIMAP

        Last year, I brought you 19 days of new (to you) productivity tools for 2019. This year, I’m taking a different approach: building an environment that will allow you to be more productive in the new year, using tools you may or may not already be using.


        Almost all the tools I’ve tried (outside of the big mail providers) that work really well with large amounts of mail have one thing in common: they all rely on a local copy of your mail stored in Maildir format. And the most useful tool for that is OfflineIMAP. OfflineIMAP is a Python script that mirrors IMAP mailboxes to a local Maildir folder tree. I use it to create a local copy of my mail and keep it in sync. Most Linux distributions include it, and it is available via Python’s pip package manager.

      • Corebird Continuation ‘Cawbird’ Updates with Improvements

        Cawbird is a fork of the Corebird GTK twitter client that continues to work with Twitter on Linux.

        Corebird became unsupported after Twitter disabled the streaming API. Cawbird takes up the job to work with the new APIs and includes a few fixes and modifications.

      • Cawbird, the Linux Twitter Client, Scores an Update

        Cawbird is a free, open source desktop Twitter client for Linux desktops.

        Built in GTK, Cawbird is a direct continuation of the abandoned ‘Corebird’ Twitter client popular a few years back.

        Cawbird has all the core features you’d expect from a third-party Twitter client, including multiple account support, photo uploaded, account management and editing options, filters, and more.

        You can also read, respond and react to tweets as they appear as the timeline shows posts in reverse chronological order, not an “algorithm” dictated jumble.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • The Big Highlights Of Wine 5.0 From FAudio Integration To Vulkan 1.1 + A Ton Of Bug Fixes

        Wine 5.0 is still going through weekly release candidates but the stable release of Wine 5 is expected to land in the back-half of January. With that imminent release, here is a look at the big changes to find with this annual Wine update.

        Wine 5.0 represents the latest annual stable update to the Wine code-base and the culmination of the bi-weekly Wine 4.x development snapshots over the past eleven months. Some of the highlights for Wine 5.0 include:

        - FAudio integration as a better XAudio2 implementation and done in part thanks to CodeWeavers / Valve as part of Proton efforts.

    • Games

      • Linux gaming made easy: The fastest way to get up and running

        Did you know that there are many top-tier commercial games available for Linux? Here’s the quickest way we know to get up and running.

      • Pokémon Go never went away — 2019 was its most lucrative year ever

        According to mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower, Pokémon Go had a record year in 2019, taking in an estimated $900 million through in-app purchases. That means Pokémon Go has surpassed its launch year in revenue after seeing a drop off in both players and spending back in 2017. It’s a rare comeback feat for a free-to-play game, many of which are flash-in-the-pan successes and fade into obscurity.

      • If you want to make some ASCII art, animations and games check out Playscii

        Playscii from developer JP LeBreton seems like a sweet open source application, giving you some handy tools for making ASCII art and it also acts as a game engine too.

        Cross-platform so it supports Linux, macOS and Windows along with the code available under the MIT license there’s not really any restrictions on what you do with it. Being able to convert existing images is probably my favourite feature though, it’s a lot of fun to play with. Not just for game developers who need some ASCII art, but it’s simple enough for anyone to use. Converting game screenshots to make awesome backgrounds, logos and whatever else.

      • Multiplayer economic strategy game ‘Trains & Things’ releasing this month

        Currently in development by bitshift in Godot Engine, Trains & Things is a multiplayer economic real-time strategy game. The developer has now announced it’s going to enter Early Access on January 24.

        Trains & Things has you run a logistics company by your self or with friends. A game of supply, demand and risk as you try to keep the money coming in as you expand across the map. The focus is on the online (or LAN) play, with cross-platform multiplayer between Linux and Windows.

      • Upcoming eco tycoon sim ‘Among Ripples: Shallow Waters’ has a demo out

        Help maintain a delicate ecosystem in Among Ripples: Shallow Waters, an in-development eco tycoon sim with a focus on lakes and rivers. Originally announced as Among Ripples 2, they changed the title back in November.

        Recently, Eat Create Sleep put up a demo (with a Linux build) as they’re preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign at some point early this year. The prototype demo gives a small but interesting slice into what to expect and it’s actually pretty relaxing, quite impressive considering they say it’s just a “proof of concept”. Reminds me of the atmosphere in Megaquarium with it being very peaceful.

      • Upcoming supernatural horror adventure ‘ASYLUM’ development sounds good

        While it doesn’t yet have a release date, it does sound like development on the upcoming supernatural horror adventure ‘ASYLUM’ is going well.

        After announcing last month that the team at Senscape were awarded an Epic MegaGrant, the founder Agustín Cordes said on Twitter that ASYLUM now has “[…] an internal demo with releasable quality and solid performance on Windows 32/64, Mac and Linux. All the platforms that we promised!”. That’s good news for Linux gamers, as it sounds like it’s going to be in a good state when it’s released.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Analyzing i3 keyboard shortcuts

        Hello all! I am late with my blog posts, I know. One week I was too tired, the other I got sick, the other I drank and ate a little too much, the rest I was too busy. This however means I’ve had more weeks available at work to use the next environment in this series, i3, whose workflow is heavily-keyboard driven. Although it’s not a Desktop Environment, it deserves an analysis due to the mere fact it’s highly keyboard driven.

        For those who aren’t acquainted with this series yet, I am in an endeavor to analyze keyboard shortcuts in most major DEs so that we, the KDE community, can decide on the best defaults for KDE Plasma. I have already taken a look at Cinnamon, MATE, XFCE and GNOME.


        This time I’ve added i3wm to my work computer, which has Kubuntu 19.04 with backports, and also tried Manjaro i3 briefly. The first was done as the previous times, for convenience; the latter was chosen simply because Manjaro ships a community edition with i3 by default, which caters to the significant Arch/Manjaro userbase of i3, but as it is a highly customized community edition of Manjaro, and thus includes about five times more keyboard shortcuts than default i3, I did not include most of its keyboard shortcuts here.

        Since i3 is single-config-file-based and is hosted on github, it was easy to both check on how upstream suggests that keyboard shortcuts should be bound and keep track of keyboard shortcuts.

        You may also see the default Manjaro i3 config file here if you’re curious about it. Manjaro does include several interesting QoL utilities such as i3exit and blurlock.

        Despite that, this post will be considerably lengthy because, although upstream i3 has few shortcuts, several of them introduce complex concepts.

        In addition, due to the nature of i3’s config file, this post is more complex and requires previous knowledge on Linux and perhaps coding before grasping how i3 works. It’s not that complicated, but it’s quite the paradigm shift compared to DEs.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Interview with Never Dot

          I had been using Fractal Design’s Painter (now Corel’s) for many years, over a decade, and while I depended on it immensely, it was also somewhat buggy and the numerous upgrades I’d purchased were always introducing more problems than solutions for me. As such, I was pushed to find an alternative. I looked into Sai and Clip Studio Paint as being well received in the community. I was avoiding Photoshop both due to the subscription requirement and the fact it wasn’t directly targeted at natural media painting. Krita came up in my research as being a free painting tool. I checked out numerous YouTube reviews and comparisons, and being free let me try it out directly.

        • conf.kde.in (beforehand)

          It’s been ages since I last saw Shantanu, and many of the other speakers are new to me. I’m particularly interested in the Malayalam angle presented by Subin Siby, for one thing because the Malayalam translation of Calamares is a work of art.

          I’m presenting a few things at the conference – something about Calamares, and also something about using Transifex. Getting good translations for Free Software products is an important thing for making that Free Software available to the next billion Free Software contributors. (The “next billion” is something I’ll credit Samson Goddy and the Open Source Festival with; I dream of speaking there some day as well.)

          The conference schedule is somewhat relaxed, so I expect to spend lots of time either sitting and hacking with attendees, or coming up with impromptu sessions on other topics. For season of KDE there are a couple of projects related to Rocs (a graph theory IDE) which I’m mentoring, and there’s always room for more work, more enthusiastic users.

    • Distributions

      • The 15 Things To Know Before Using Kali Linux in 2020

        If you ever searched about hacking or penetration testing, you might have seen the word – Kali Linux. Kali Linux is one of the most used tools in a hacker’s inventory. It’s a specialized Linux distribution whose sole purpose is penetration testing, Ethical Hacking, and network security assessments. When it was released, it was made for only professionals, and who were already in the security industry. However, with the expansion of the internet, people started getting every kind of information at their fingertips, and the news of Kali Linux spread at a rapid speed.


        Kali Linux is useful, and a necessity for security specialists. If you can follow these 15 points and try to practice penetration according to law, then you can do great things with it. Our team has gone through intense research. Hopefully, we have provided you the essentials you were looking for. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. And don’t forget to share this article on your social media network.

      • Reviews

        • Review: elementary OS 5.1

          There is a lot to like about elementary, but it is not perfect. The Parental Controls are advertised as a key feature on the distributions website, but it just does not work. There are open bugs about it, but open bugs about a non-working feature still means that the feature does not work. Until it does, it should not be a selling point for the distribution. Aside from that, elementary is wonderfully polished. I personally find the use of the Command symbol in the Keyboard Shortcuts window to be a little odd, and think that the non-curated software warning should be toned down or rephrased for packages that are supported by Canonical (i.e. these packages are not directly supported by elementary, but do receive fixes), but other than a few odds and ends like those examples, elementary OS 5.1 is very well put together. If you are looking for a solid distribution for yourself, or are searching for a distribution to recommend for users coming from macOS, this distribution is an excellent choice.

      • New Releases

        • 4MLinux 31.1 released.

          This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 4.19.90. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.41, MariaDB 10.4.11, and PHP 7.3.13 (see this post for more details).

          You can update your 4MLinux by executing the “zk update” command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

        • Linux Lite 4.8 Final Released

          Linux Lite 4.8 Final is now available for download and installation.

          We would like to take this opportunity to welcome all Windows 7 people who have come here to find a simple, fast and free alternative to Windows 7 which has reached its end of life and no longer provides security updates. Linux Lite makes the transition to a linux based operating system by offering a full, Microsoft compatible Office suite, familiar software like Firefox, Chrome, Teamviewer, VLC as well as full system back up tools, a comprehensive – easy to follow Help Manual to guide you on your journey, Steam so you can keep playing your Windows games and so much more familiar software. Our Desktop is laid out just like it is in Windows with a Start Menu to the left and a tray to the right with Volume, Network and Calendar options, with familiar Desktop icons that take you exactly where you want to go on your system.

        • Windows 7 is dead — switch to the Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 4.8 NOW!

          Ultimately, using Windows 7 after tomorrow is foolish. Look, you should never use an unsupported operating system — it is simply bad practice. If you refuse to upgrade to Windows 10, your best bet is to opt for a Linux-based operating system. There are many of those from which to choose, such as Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora to name a few. There is one such Linux distribution, however, that is designed to run on older hardware and is focused on providing a welcoming experience to Windows 7 switchers. Called “Linux Lite,” it has a user interface that will feel familiar to Windows 7 users. Today, Linux Lite 4.8 is released.

          “Linux Lite 4.8 Final is now available for download and installation.We would like to take this opportunity to welcome all Windows 7 people who have come here to find a simple, fast and free alternative to Windows 7 which has reached its end of life and no longer provides security updates,” says The Linux Lite developers.

        • Linux Lite 4.8 Arrives as a Windows 7 Alternative, Based on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS

          Based on Canonical’s Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system, the final release of the Linux Lite 4.8 operating system ships with the Linux 4.15 kernel and updated apps, including Mozilla Firefox 71.0, Mozilla Thunderbird 68.2.2, LibreOffice 6.0.7, VLC 3.0.8, GIMP 2.10.14, and Timeshift 19.08.1.

          But the most important thing in the Linux Lite 3.8 release is the fact that the developer took the upcoming end of life of the Windows 7 operating system as an opportunity for those who want to migrate to an open-source and free alternative, transforming Linux Lite into a Windows 7 look-a-like.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • OpenSuse vs Ubuntu

          Among all the Linux distros out there, openSUSE and Ubuntu are two of the bests. Both of them are free and open-source, leveraging the best features Linux has to offer. However, each has its spice.

          In this article, we’ll be having a look at a detailed comparison between openSUSE and Ubuntu. The goal isn’t to declare which one is better than the other. That’s up to the user to decide. Instead, let me shed light on points you should consider when choosing between Ubuntu and openSUSE.

          Let’s get started!

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora 31 | Review from an openSUSE UserFedora 31 | Review from an openSUSE User

          Fedora is a Linux distribution that has been around since the beginning of my Linux adventure and for which I have incredible respect. I have reviewed Fedora before, and it was a good experience. Last time I used Fedora, I used Gnome and since I am kind of Gnome fatigued right now, I thought it better to use a different desktop, one that I can easily shape my experience to my needs, clearly, there are only two options but I chose to go with the primer, most easily customized desktop, KDE Plasma, ultimately, I want to compare my Fedora Plasma experience with my openSUSE Tumbleweed Plasma experience. I have no intention of switching distros but I do like to, from time to time, see how other distributions compare. Of all the distributions available outside of openSUSE, Fedora and Debian are the two that interest me the most but for different reasons.

          This is my review as a biased openSUSE Tumbleweed user. Bottom Line Up Front. Fedora is a nearly perfect [for me] distribution that is architecturally and fundamentally sound from the base upward. It is themed just enough, out of the box, to not annoy me with any irritating impositions. It really feels like I have been given keys to a fantastic house, albeit a bit spartan, waiting for me to make it my own. Technically speaking, there is nothing I dislike about Fedora. I could get along just fine in Fedora Land but openSUSE Land edges out for me with the Tumbleweed convenience and the broader hardware support.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Lubuntu 19.04 End of Life and Current Support Statuses

          Lubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) will reach End of Life on Thursday, January 23, 2020. This means that after that date there will be no further security updates or bugfixes released. We highly recommend that you update to 19.10 as soon as possible if you are still running 19.04.

          After January 23rd, the only supported releases of Lubuntu will be 18.04, with LXDE, and 19.10, with LXQt. All other releases of Lubuntu will be considered unsupported, and will no longer receive any further updates from the Lubuntu team.

        • Kubuntu 19.04 reaches end of life

          Kubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo was released on April 18, 2019 with 9 months support. As of January 23, 2020, 19.04 reaches ‘end of life’. No more package updates will be accepted to 19.04, and it will be archived to old-releases.ubuntu.com in the coming weeks.

          The official end of life announcement for Ubuntu as a whole can be found here [1].

          Kubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine continues to be supported, receiving security and high-impact bugfix updates until July 2020.

        • Getting Started with Amlogic NPU on Khadas VIM3/VIM3L

          Shenzhen Wesion released the NPU toolkit for Khadas VIM3/VIM3L last November, so I decided to try the latest Ubuntu 18.04 image and the NPU toolkit on Khadas VIM3L, before switching to VIM3 for reasons I’ll explain below.

          I’ve followed two tutorials from the forum and wiki to run pre-built samples and then building a firmware image and samples from source.

          This will be obvious to anyone who read the specs for Khadas VIM3 and VIM3L that the former comes with a 5 TOPS NPU, while the one in the latter only delivers up to 1.2 TOPS. But somehow, I forgot about this, and assume both had the same NPU making VIM3L more attractive but this type of task, Obviously I was wrong.

          But the real reason I stopped using Khadas VIM3L can be seen in the photo below.

        • The hottest thing in robotics is an open source project you’ve never heard of

          According to recent LinkedIn data, artificial intelligence (AI) jobs are up 74% while data science jobs are up 37% since 2015. Perhaps less visible, but emerging quickly in importance, are the robots increasingly powered by that data science. Small wonder, then, that the second-hottest job in LinkedIn’s analysis is the robotics engineer, experiencing growth of 40% since 2015.

          While the open source projects behind the rise of data science are reasonably well known (e.g., TensorFlow and Keras, among others), most people aren’t aware that robotics is also heavily influenced by open source and, in particular, by the Robot Operating System (ROS). Given the importance of ROS to the swelling open source robotics community, it’s worth learning a bit more about it.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Efstathios Iosifidis: How to survive a health crisis during a FOSS conference

          The title describes everything. This is not only for FOSS conferences but events in general. Attending a conference meens meet friends (usually you meet once a year) and have fun in general.

          The organizers are responsible for everything that happens during the conference hours. We are grown people, so we have to be responsible for the rest of the day. Sometimes bad things might happen (bad: the critical meaning is health issues). Although the organizers aren’t responsible for that, they are the key people, who know the system at their country and it’s good and human thing to help the person with the problem. Everyone wants to have fun and be happy at the end of the conference.

          Being an organizer and volunteer, I lived the frustration of having everything covered. I lived couple of times the health crisis during the conference.

          Here are some points to cover before and during the conference. Please leave a comment if you want to share your experience.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 71 & 72 – Some of that old fire is back

            Firefox 71 & 72 are a right step in the right direction. Mozilla does not have the strategic financial depth to go head to head with the giants out there – and it does not need to. The attempt to ever try that, or worse, assimilate a similar business model, had been a mistake that had cost it many a loyal user, big chunks or market share, and a loss of identity. But now, it’s slowly yet surely coming back. Not an easy thing, but it seems to be working.

            I don’t have enough data to fully validate my claim – that will take another six months to a year, but the general impression I get by sampling what the Web has to say shows that even the casual users, not just us hardcore geeks, are exhibiting an inkling of understanding that they might care about their data, and they do want to have some semblance of control. Not a lot, but enough that the word Firefox is seen again, in positive light. Especially when it comes down to: you can’t do that in X, but you CAN in Firefox. This has been happening more lately, with privacy in particular, and it’s a good sign. Indeed, the recent versions of the browser do come with some nice, solid perks and features for the end user. Just like the good old times.

          • The Momentum of Openness – My Journey From Netscape User to Mozillian Contributor

            Working at Mozilla has been a very educational experience over the past eight years. I have had the chance to work side-by-side with many engineers at a large non-profit whose business and ethics are guided by a broad vision to protect the health of the web ecosystem. How did I go from being on the front of a computer screen in 1995 to being behind the workings of the web now? Below is my story of how my path wended from being a Netscape user to working at Mozilla, the heir to the Netscape legacy. It’s amazing to think that a product I used 24 years ago ended up altering the course of my life so dramatically thereafter. But the world and the web was much different back then. And it was the course of thousands of people with similar stories, coming together for a cause they believed in.


            When the Department of Justice initiated its anti-trust investigation into Microsoft, for what was called anti-competitive practices against Netscape, my interest was piqued. Philosophically, I didn’t particularly see what was wrong with Microsoft standing up a competing browser to Netscape. Isn’t it good for the economy for there to be many competing programs for people to use on their PCs? After all, from my perspective, it seemed that Netscape had been the monopoly of the browser space at the time.

            Following this case was my first exposure to the ethical philosophy of the web developer community. During the testimony, I learned how Marc Andressen, and his team of software developer pioneers, had an idea that access to the internet (like the underlying TCP/IP protocol) should not be centralized, or controlled by one company, government or interest group. And the mission behind Mosaic and Netscape browsers had been to ensure that the web could be device and operating system agnostic as well. This meant that you didn’t need to have a Windows PC or Macintosh to access it.

            It was fascinating to me that there were people acting like Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio’s conscience, overseeing the future openness of this nascent developer environment. Little did I know then that I myself was being drawn into this cause. The more I researched about it, the more I was drawn in. What I took away from the DOJ/Microsoft consent decree was the concept that our government wants to see our economy remain inefficient in the interest of spurring diversity of competitive economic opportunity, which it asserted would spur a plurality of innovations which could compete in the open marketplace to drive consumer choice and thereby facilitate lower consumer prices. In the view of the US government, monopolies limit this choice, keep consumer prices higher, and stifle entrepreneurial innovation. US fiscal and trade policy was geared toward the concept of creating greater open market access to the world markets, while driving prices for consumers lower in an effort to increase global quality of life for all participating economies it traded with.


            A Mozilla in the wild would need resources if it were to survive. First, it would need to have all the patents that were in the Netscape patent portfolio to avoid hostile legal challenges from outside. Second, there would need to be a cash injection to keep the lights on as Mozilla tried to come up with the basis for its business operations. Third, it would need protection from take-over bids that might come from AOL competitors. To achieve this, they decided Mozilla should be a non-profit foundation with the patent grants and trademark grants from AOL. Engineers who wanted to continue to foster AOL/Netscape vision of an open web browser specifically for the developer ecosystem could transfer to working for Mozilla.

            Mozilla left Netscape’s crowdsourced web index (called DMOZ or open directory) with AOL. DMOZ went on to be the seed for the PageRank index of Google when Google decided to split out from powering the Yahoo! search engine and seek its own independent course. It’s interesting to note that AOL played a major role in helping Google become an independent success as well, which is well documented in the book The Search by John Battelle.

            Once the Mozilla Foundation was established (along with a $2 Million grant from AOL) they sought donations from other corporations who were to become dependent on the project. The team split out Netscape Communicator’s email component as the Thunderbird email application as a stand-alone open source product and the Phoenix browser was released to the public as “Firefox” because of a trademark issue with another US company on usage of the term “Phoenix” in association with software.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.4 RC2 is ready for testing!

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 6.4 RC2 is ready for testing!

          LibreOffice 6.4 will be released as final at the end of January, 2020, being LibreOffice 6.4 RC2 the forth pre-release since the development of version 6.4 started in the beginning of June, 2019 ( See the release plan ). Since LibreOffice 6.4 RC1 ( the previous pre-release ), 90 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 58 bugs have been fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

          LibreOffice 6.4 RC2 can be downloaded from here, it’s available for Linux, MacOS and Windows. ( Note that it will replace your actual installation )

          In case you find any problem in this pre-release, please report it in Bugzilla ( You just need a legit email address in order to create a new account ) so it can get fixed before LibreOffice 6.4 final is released.

        • Custom label in LibreOffice charts

          There has been some progress in LibreOffice related to custom labels on charts.


          LibreOffice is now able to import custom text extracted from an OOXML document and store it in the ODF format. In order to do this, there was no need for extending the ODF structure, because it can already be accomplished using the <chart:data-label> tag. Multiple paragraphs are supported in one label. Apparently, style elements are not yet imported correctly, but the good news is it can be further developed without modifying the ODF format.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Join GNU Guix through Outreachy Join GNU Guix through Outreachy

            We are happy to announce that for the fourth time GNU Guix offers a three-month internship through Outreachy, the inclusion program for groups traditionally underrepresented in free software and tech.

          • Meet Guix at FOSDEM

            As usual, GNU Guix will be present at FOSDEM on February 1st and 2nd. This year, we’re happy to say that there will be quite a few talks about Guix and related projects!

          • GNS Technical Specification Milestone 2/4

            We are happy to announce the completion of the second milestone for the GNS Specification. The second milestone consists of documenting the GNS name resolution process and record handling.

          • GNUnet 0.12.2 released

            We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.12.2.
            This is a new bugfix release. In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.12.2 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

          • libredwg-0.10.1 released
            Major bugfixes: 
              * Fixed dwg2SVG htmlescape overflows and off-by-ones (#182) 
              * Removed direct usages of fprintf and stderr in the lib. All can be 
                redefined now. (#181) 
            Minor bugfixes: 
              * Fuzzing fixes for dwg2SVG, dwgread. (#182) 
              * Fixed eed.raw leaks 
            Here are the compressed sources: 
              http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/libredwg/libredwg-0.10.1.tar.gz   (10.9MB) 
              http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/libredwg/libredwg-0.10.1.tar.xz   (4.5MB) 
            Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]: 
            Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth: 
            Here are more binaries: 
            Here are the SHA256 checksums: 
            6539a9a762f74e937f08000e2bb3d3d4dddd326b85b5361f7532237b68ff0ae3  libredwg-0.10.1.tar.gz 
            0fa603d5f836dfceb8ae4aac28d1e836c09dce3936ab98703bb2341126678ec3  libredwg-0.10.1.tar.xz 
            [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the 
            .sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file 
            and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this: 
              gpg --verify libredwg-0.10.1.tar.gz.sig 
            If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, 
            then run this command to import it: 
              gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys B4F63339E65D6414 
            and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.
          • GNU Guile 2.9.9 (beta) released

            We are delighted to announce the release of GNU Guile 2.9.9. This is the ninth and final pre-release of what will eventually become the 3.0 release series.

            See the release announcement for full details and a download link.

            This release fixes a number of bugs, omissions, and regressions. Notably, it fixes the build on 32-bit systems.

          • GNU Guile 2.9.9 Released [beta]
            We are pleased to announce GNU Guile release 2.9.9.  This is the ninfth
            and probably final pre-release of what will eventually become the 3.0
            release series.
            Compared to the current stable series (2.2.x), the future Guile 3.0 adds
            support for just-in-time native code generation, speeding up all Guile
            programs.  See the NEWS extract at the end of the mail for full details.
            Compared to the previous prerelease (2.9.7), Guile 2.9.8 fixes a number
            of bugs.
            The current plan is to make a 3.0.0 final release on 17 January 2020.
            If there's nothing wrong with this prerelease, 3.0.0 will be essentially
            identical to 2.9.9.  With that in mind, please test and make sure the
            release works on your platform!  Please send any build reports (success
            or failure) to address@hidden, along with platform details.  You
            can file a bug by sending mail to address@hidden.
            The Guile web page is located at http://gnu.org/software/guile/, and
            among other things, it contains a copy of the Guile manual and pointers
            to more resources.
            Guile is an implementation of the Scheme programming language, packaged
            for use in a wide variety of environments.  In addition to implementing
            the R5RS, R6RS, and R7RS Scheme standards, Guile includes a module
            system, full access to POSIX system calls, networking support, multiple
            threads, dynamic linking, a foreign function call interface, powerful
            string processing, and HTTP client and server implementations.
            Guile can run interactively, as a script interpreter, and as a Scheme
            compiler to VM bytecode.  It is also packaged as a library so that
            applications can easily incorporate a complete Scheme interpreter/VM.
            An application can use Guile as an extension language, a clean and
            powerful configuration language, or as multi-purpose "glue" to connect
            primitives provided by the application.  It is easy to call Scheme code
            >From C code and vice versa.  Applications can add new functions, data
            types, control structures, and even syntax to Guile, to create a
            domain-specific language tailored to the task at hand.
          • GCC 10 Enters Its Fourth Stage Of Development, 20 Bugs Of Highest Priority

            Following the long-awaited GCC transition from SVN to Git that took place this weekend, the GNU Compiler Collection is kicking off this week by transitioning to “stage four” development on the GCC 10 compiler.

            This final stage of GCC development is focused solely on fixing regressions and documentation updates. No other changes will be permitted at this stage but a focus on just ensuring the documentation is ready for release and clearing out as many bugs as possible and aiming to zero out the highest priority bugs.

          • GCC 10.0 Status Report (2020-01-13), Stage 4 in effect now
            Stage 3 ended, GCC trunk is open for regression and documentation
            fixes only, stage 4.
            Quality Data
            Priority          #   Change from last report
            --------        ---   -----------------------
            P1               20   +  14
            P2              196   -   5
            P3              163   +  34
            P4		151   
            P5		 23   
            --------        ---   -----------------------
            Total P1-P3     379   +  43
            Total		553   +  43
      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • The next generation of low-cost, open-source oceanographic instruments is here! Meet the OpenCTD rev 2!

          In 2013, Kersey Sturdivant and I embarked upon a quixotic quest to create an open-source CTD — the core tool of all oceanographic research that measures the baseline parameters of salinity, temperature, and depth. We weren’t engineers; neither of us had any formal training in electronics or sensing. And, full confession, we weren’t (and still aren’t) even oceanographers! What we were were post-doc marine ecologists working with tight budgets who saw a desperate need among our peers and colleagues for low-cost alternatives to insurmountably expensive equipment. And we had ties to the growing Maker and DIY electronics movements: Kersey through his work developing Wormcam and me through my involvement with OpenROV.

      • Programming/Development

        • Perl / Raku

          • Paws XXXXVII (What about the tests????)

            I decided I might as well get busy with CloudFront and at least get most of my real world scripts written.

            At the moment I am getting 400 errors such as ‘InvalidArgument’ or ‘InvalidOrigin’ on the Delete and Create actions as I do not have the proper config on the AWS end for the Creates and for the Deletes as I do not have anything on my AWS account to delete.

            Reading though the API documentation is seems there is quite the procedure to actually do some of the actions, for example to invoke the DeleteStreamingDistribution action you have to follow a six pre-steps all of which must pass. So I guess I can forget a quick run on this API

            So the plan is to get all the real world scripts written up and then go though the full CRUD actions for each and get them working with a good generated test case for each.

          • Porting a Dancer plugin to Dancer2

            In my Dancer2 web application, I want to know which requests come from smartphones. There’s a plugin for that — but only in the older Dancer (v1) framework. I’m no expert, but even I was easily able to port the Dancer plugin, Dancer::Plugin::MobileDevice, to Dancer2! In this article, we’ll explore Dancer2 and the way it handles plugins. We’ll get our hands dirty working with the framework, and examine the main changes I made to port the plugin from Dancer to Dancer2. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to rock and you’ll have a handy reference to use when porting plugins yourself.

          • A Date with CPAN, Update #3: Golden Jubilee

            In case you missed my talk on Date::Easy from a couple years back, I’ll sum it up for you: dates are hard, y’all.

            On January 1st of 2019, a bunch of unit tests for Date::Easy started failing. It was immediately reported, of course—and can I pause here just a moment to thank Slaven Rezić (SREZIC on CPAN and eserte on GitHub), who is surely the most awesome bug reporter ever? Date::Easy is definitely a better module for his reports, and I’ve seen him reporting bugs for many others as well. Anyhow, as I dug into the suddenly failing tests—tests which begin failing even though you didn’t change any code are just a side-effect of writing a date-handling module—I figured out what was wrong. Happily, it wasn’t a problem with the module, which was still returning correct values, but rather with the unit tests themselves.

        • Python

          • Bug #915: please help!

            I just released coverage.py 5.0.3, with two bug fixes. There was another bug I really wanted to fix, but it has stumped me. I’m hoping someone can figure it out.

            Bug #915 describes a disk I/O failure. Thanks to some help from Travis support, Chris Caron has provided instructions for reproducing it in Docker, and they work: I can generate disk I/O errors at will. What I can’t figure out is what coverage.py is doing wrong that causes the errors.

          • [Older] Hands-On Docker for Microservices with Python Book

            The book is called Hands-On Docker for Microservices with Python, and it goes through the different steps to move from a Monolith Architecture towards a Microservices one.

            It is written from a very practical stand point, and aims to cover all the different elements involved. From the implementation of a single RESTful web microservice programmed in Python, containerise it in Docker, create a CI pipeline to ensure that the code is always high quality, and deploy it along with other Microservices in a Kubernetes cluster.

          • An Introduction to Python for SEO Pros Using Spreadsheets

            2019 far exceeded my expectations in terms of Python adoption within the SEO community.

            As we start a new year and I hear more SEO professionals wanting to join in the fun, but frustrated by the initial learning curve, I decided to write this introductory piece with the goal of getting more people involved and contributing.

            Most SEO work involves working with spreadsheets which you have to redo manually when working with multiple brands or repeating the same analysis over time.

            When you implement the same workflow in Python, you can trivially reproduce the work or even automate the whole workflow.

          • setV: A Bash function to maintain Python virtual environments

            For more than a year, setV has been hidden away within my bash_scripts project, but it’s time for it to become public. setV is a Bash function I use as an alternative to virtualenvwrapper.

          • Python for Beginners: Making Your First Socket Program (Client & Server Communication)

            Sockets in Python have always been something I see online and thing “Why is this complex”? “Shouldn’t there be a simple way to get started with sockets”? So I decided to make a tutorial myself: However, just like everything in coding, there can be varying levels of compelxity and different implementations for the same tech. Today we are going to look at one simple example for beginners that can help you dive into the vast world of sockets and Python as a whole.

          • Small python application which will remove duplicate files from the windows 10 os [Ed: Windows sadly]

            I am glad to inform you all that the remove duplicate file project written with python has finally completed and now it will be uploaded to GitHub for your all to enjoy. This is free software and it will always remain free. Although I would really love to create a Linux version of this remove duplicate file’s software, but I do not have a Linux os’s computer therefore at the moment this software is just for the windows user only. I have packed this software up where you can just download the setup.exe file and then install the program and start it up to search and destroy the duplicate files inside your computer. Here are the steps you need to do to search and destroy the duplicate files:

          • PyDev of the Week: Tyler Reddy

            This week we welcome Tyler Reddy (@Tyler_Reddy) as our PyDev of the Week! Tyler is a core developer of Scipy and Numpy. He has also worked on the MDAnalysis library, which is for particle physics simulation analysis.


            I grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada and stayed there until my late twenties. My Bachelor and PhD degrees were both in biochemistry, focused on structural biology. I did travel a lot for chess, winning a few notable tournaments in my early teen years and achieving a master rating in Canada by my late teens. Dartmouth is also known as the “City of Lakes,” and I grew up paddling on the nearby Lake Banook. In the cold Canadian Winter the lake would freeze over and training would switch to a routine including distance running—this is where my biggest “hobby” really took off. I still run about 11 miles daily in the early morning.

            I did an almost six year post-doc in Oxford, United Kingdom. I had started to realize during my PhD that my skill set was better suited to computational work than work on the lab bench. Formally, I was still a biol- ogist while at Oxford, but it was becoming clear that my contributions were starting to look a lot more like applied computer science and computational geometry in particular. I was recruited to Los Alamos National Labora- tory to work on viruses (the kind that make a person, not computer, sick), but ultimately my job has evolved into applied computer scientist here, and nothing beats distance running in beautiful Santa Fe, NM.

          • Started work on getting py-spy/speedscope in RunSnakeRun

            So having finally written down the thoughts on a carbon tax, that kept distracting me from actually working on Open Source, I finally got a bit of work done on Open Source on the last night of the vacation.
            What I started work on was getting a sampling profiler format supported, and for that I chose py-spy, particularly its speedscope export format. The work is still early days, but it does seem to work in my initial test cases.

          • 5 Best Text Editors for Programmers [Ed: Too much Microsoft promotion here; some Windows-only editors and 40% of them Microsoft-controlled. This is ridiculous.]

            Need a Text editor for programming? These 5 will have you covered. They are the best text editors in 2019. Programming can be a breeze with a high quality text editor, with syntax highlighting, code completion and other modern technological features to improve your coding standards. Let’s check out the best text editor for programmers.

          • Top 3 Best Python Books You Should Read in 2019

            We have reviewed the top 3 best Python programming books in 2019. Python is one of the most commonly used programming languages in today’s developing world. These books provide quality content for you to upgrade your python skills to the next level. These books are great for anyone with an interest in Python programming.


            Python is one the best programming languages for a myriad of industries. It’s considered a very powerful language, providing the power to build applications quickly. Take your Python knowledge to the next level with these books.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Wi-Fi 6 is finally here

          The biggest leap forward for Wi-Fi 6 at this year’s conference came from affordable Wi-Fi routers. Last year, we saw lots of promises of routers coming soon, but when those routers showed up in stores, they tended to arrive at the highest of price points. This makes sense — Wi-Fi 6 is new tech, so of course it ended up in the highest end routers first. But widespread adoption depends on Wi-Fi 6 making it into the lower priced routers the majority of people actually buy. These new routers aren’t necessarily better than last year’s, but they offer a meaningful improvement upon the cheaper models they’re replacing.

  • Leftovers

    • MIT’s Inconvenient Truth

      To be sure, the bad apples needed to be thrown out. In September, MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito stepped down after news stories revealed he had not only courted Epstein knowing he was a sex offender, but had tried to keep the gifts secret. Richard Stallman, a visiting professor in the computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory, also resigned in September under pressure from MIT after arguing that a man having sex with an underage girl who is a prostitute might not be committing assault. With Friday’s report, tenured mechanical engineering professor Seth Lloyd has been placed on paid administrative lead. All three vice presidents who knew about the Epstein donations and his status as a convicted sex offender have left or will be leaving, though not explicitly because of accepting the funds. (And not everyone at MIT of course was so misguided; according to the report, Robert Millard, the chair of the MIT Corporation that governs the university, refused an invitation from Ito to meet with Epstein in 2016.)

      Yet the recent report makes clear that no one who accepted Epstein’s money broke any MIT rules by accepting the gifts — nor any law. That the institute lacked any formal constraints on taking funds from such a morally compromised person and criminal is neither a surprise nor a distinction in this era when many universities are finding themselves scrambling to respond when donors’ reputations take a turn for the worse. Some universities have even chosen to turn down or give back donations — a reflection of shifting societal norms around taking money from unpalatable sources. Tufts University recently announced it would strip the Sackler name from its buildings and programs, despite $15 million in gifts from the family over 40 years, because it had profited off the opioid crisis. Ohio University gave $500,000 back to Roger Ailes of Fox News after he was sued for sexual harassment. And in 2017, after Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault, the University of Southern California rejected a $5 million donation from him for a women’s program. MIT has recently pledged to donate $850,000 to organizations that help survivors of sexual abuse.

      There’s an argument, of course, that taking money from bad people to do good things might be better than just letting that money go into their stock portfolios or kids’ trust funds. Just as compelling, however, is the argument that universities and charities launder the reputations of the morally deficient by putting their names on buildings, endowed chairs, or annual reports.

      That criticism, at least, doesn’t apply to MIT’s Epstein donations, which were kept secret because the recipients knew he had a bad reputation and didn’t want it to in turn to contaminate theirs or MIT’s. But the fact that faculty members and vice-Presidents at MIT found it acceptable to take Epstein’s money but not acceptable to talk about it publicly suggests they knew they were doing something wrong.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • In Massachusetts, Minors Need Permission for Abortion, But That Could Change

        She was 15 and recovering from rape, when she realized she was pregnant. She knew right away that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. But as in many states, Massachusetts required — and still requires — minors to get a parent’s consent before an abortion.

      • More States Are Reconsidering Medicaid Work Requirements

        Six states — Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, and Virginia — have reversed or suspended their plans to take Medicaid coverage away from people who don’t meet work requirements. Other states with similar approved or pending waivers from the federal government also should reconsider these harmful policies.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • [Attackers] Are Breaking Directly Into Telecom Companies to Take Over Customer Phone Numbers

            This use of RDP is essentially what SIM swappers are now doing. But instead of targeting consumers, they’re tricking telecom employees to install or activate RDP software, and then remotely reaching into the company’s systems to SIM swap individuals.

            The process starts with convincing an employee in a telecom company’s customer support center to run or install RDP software. The active SIM swapper said they provide an employee with something akin to an employee ID, “and they believe it.” [Attackers] may also convince employees to provide credentials to a RDP service if they already use it.

            Once RDP is enabled, “They RDP into the store or call center [computer] [...] and mess around on the employees’ computers including using tools,” said Nicholas Ceraolo, an independent security researcher who first flagged the issue to Motherboard. Motherboard then verified Ceraolo’s findings with the active SIM swapper.

          • Wladimir Palant: Pwning Avast Secure Browser for fun and profit

            Avast took an interesting approach when integrating their antivirus product with web browsers. Users are often hard to convince that Avast browser extensions are good for them and should be activated in their browser of choice. So Avast decided to bring out their own browser with the humble name Avast Secure Browser. Their products send a clear message: ditch your current browser and use Avast Secure Browser (or AVG Secure Browser as AVG users know it) which is better in all respects.

            Avast Secure Browser is based on Chromium and its most noticeable difference are the numerous built-in browser extensions, usually not even visible in the list of installed extensions (meaning that they cannot be disabled by regular means). Avast Secure Browser has eleven custom extensions, AVG Secure Browser has eight. Now putting eleven extensions of questionable quality into your “secure” browser might not be the best idea. Today we’ll look at the remarkable Video Downloader extension which essentially allowed any website to take over the browser completely (CVE-2019-18893). An additional vulnerability then allowed it to take over your system as well (CVE-2019-18894). The first issue was resolved in Video Downloader 1.5, released at some point in October 2019. The second issue remains unresolved at the time of writing. Update (2020-01-13): Avast notified me that the second issue has been resolved in an update yesterday, I can confirm the application version not being vulnerable any more after an update.

          • Powerful GPG collision attack spells the end for SHA-1

            New research has heightened an already urgent call to abandon SHA-1, a cryptographic algorithm still used in many popular online services.

            In a paper called SHA-1 is a Shambles, researchers Gaëtan Leurent and Thomas Peyrin have demonstrated a new, powerful attack on the system that could enable attackers to fake digital certificates for as little as $45,000.

            Leurent, from INRIA in France, and Peyrin, from the Nanyan Technological University in Singapore, demonstrated their attack by creating a fake digital certificate using the GNU Privacy Guard (GPG or GnuPG) system.

            Published in 1995, SHA-1 is a hashing function that creates a digital fingerprint calculated from a block of data such as a file.

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

            • The open source licence debate: comprehension consternations & stipulation frustrations

              “Fundamentally, it boils down to open source software licencing being generally hard to [comprehend and] understand. Most devs start these projects as a passion project and just publish it with some basic license they might live to regret later when they consider their options. Fundamentally, this is another avenue for them to gain funding, but would imagine there are limits to the scalability of what can be achieved,” added Turunen.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • India’s About to Hand People Data Americans Can Only Dream of

              India’s top banks are getting ready to roll out a system that gives consumers access to a wide swath of their financial data and allows them to share it instantly. Backed by the Reserve Bank of India, it’s an ambitious approach that combines privacy protection with credit reporting: if it works, it could unlock the credit market for millions of Indians while offering new levels of data security and consumer control.

            • All the Ways Facebook Tracks You—and How to Limit It

              However, this is not a company with a good track record when it comes to looking after your data. Irrespective of how Facebook itself has used your information, it’s certainly been careless in the ways that information has been shared with third parties.

              To make matters more complicated, Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram, too, and can pool some of the information it gathers in those apps as well. The best way to limit Facebook’s tracking is to quit all three apps for good. If that’s too extreme for you, we’ve got some more suggestions.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Good Morning Prime Minister, From Kangaroo Island

        I woke this morning, on a property on Kangaroo Island, with a group of residents who have spent days fighting the fires, wondering when and if they’ll lose everything.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Australia fires: Aboriginal planners say the bush ‘needs to burn’

          While modern-day authorities do carry out hazard reduction burning, focusing on protecting lives and property, Ms Foster says it’s “clearly not working”.

          “The current controlled burns destroy everything. It’s a naive way to practise fire management, and it isn’t hearing the Indigenous people who know the land best.

          “Whereas cultural burning protects the environment holistically. We’re interested in looking after country, over property and assets.

          “We can’t eat, drink or breathe assets. Without country, we have nothing.”

          Indigenous cultural burns work within the rhythms of the environment, attracting marsupials and mammals which Aboriginal people could hunt.

        • Corporate “Cage-Free” Commitments Are Only Meaningful With Accountability

          Consumers and scientists agree: Eggs from hens raised in cages are bad business.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • New York City Mayor Asks for Criminal Investigation Into Trump Taxes

        New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that he had asked Manhattan’s district attorney to investigate discrepancies ProPublica and WNYC revealed last fall between what President Donald Trump’s company reported in filings to city tax officials and what it reported in loan filings. The discrepancies made his properties seem more profitable to a lender and less profitable to the city’s tax authorities.

      • As 2020 Race Heats Up Ahead of Primaries and Caucuses, Sanders Surrogate Argues Biden ‘Has Repeatedly Betrayed Black Voters’

        The op-ed from co-chair Nina Turner comes as the Biden and Sanders campaigns are clashing over the former vice president’s Iraq War vote.

      • Ranked Choice Voting Gains Traction for 2020

        As an independent candidate for public office, Tiffany Bond might typically be seen as a spoiler in a conventional election.

      • Why I’m Still Hopeful About America

        The forces of greed and hate would prefer you give up, because that way they win it all. But we have never given up. And we never will.

      • As Trial Nears, Trump Keeps Discredited Ukraine Theory Alive

        The theory took root in vague form well before Donald Trump laid claim to the White House in 2016. The candidate’s close confidant tweeted about it. His campaign chairman apparently spoke about it with people close to him.

      • With Parliament Voting for Brexit, Is Irish Unification Inevitable?

        The decision to hold a border poll is ultimately dependent on the discretion of Northern Ireland’s secretary of state—whose feelings toward unity might change one way or the other depending on the political mood in London. But certain facts are undeniable. The fortunes of nationalist politicians are growing, and although public attitudes are difficult to pinpoint, some polls do suggest that a majority of people now favor unity. One survey from the independent pollster Lord Ashcroft found that 51 percent of people would vote for unity if a border poll were held the next day. Another poll commissioned by the pro-EU advocacy group Our Future Our Choice said 52 percent of people it surveyed backed a united Ireland. At the very least, recent opinion polls show that a large majority of the public believes Brexit has made unity more likely, regardless of their individual feelings on the issue.

      • ‘Online and vulnerable’: Experts find nearly three dozen U.S. voting systems connected to [Internet]

        But that is an overstatement, according to a team of 10 independent cybersecurity experts who specialize in voting systems and elections. While the voting machines themselves are not designed to be online, the larger voting systems in many states end up there, putting the voting process at risk.

        That team of election security experts say that last summer, they discovered some systems are, in fact, online.

      • Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories.

        We analyzed some of the most popular social studies textbooks used in California and Texas. Here’s how political divides shape what students learn about the nation’s history.

      • It’s Time to Pay for Social Media

        Amidst the calls for reform, one possible solution has received surprisingly little attention: having users pay for social media. We’re so accustomed to using the internet for free that few people want to consider that the free model is the source of social media’s ills. But at the final account, companies exist to make money. And because they make little money from users, they’ve sacrificed our interests in the service of others who are more willing to pay.

        People often say that social media’s business model relies on advertising, but this is only partly true. Historically, advertisers have had relatively little power to monitor the behaviour of their targets; if they wanted to sell you on something, the best they could do was put up a billboard or knock on your door. But today, as feedback loops get faster and algorithms get smarter, the internet offers an unprecedented ability to tweak the beliefs, desires, and behaviour of its users. As a result, social media promises more than just advertising—it promises the ability to manipulate users’ beliefs and actions with ever-finer granularity.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Demoted and Placed on Probation

        As it turns out, Peterson was right. My position is not tenured and when my current three-year appointment came up for review in December, I was stripped of my primary teaching duties and given a highly unusual one-year probationary appointment. The administration insists this decision had nothing to do with the controversy generated by my article. But as I will explain, that seems highly unlikely. As one faculty colleague put it, an “angry mob” has been after me ever since my article came out.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • California’s Indigenous History Is a Story of Genocide and Resistance

        Every inch of North and South America is Indigenous land. With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, its mythological history still needs to be debunked, and a true discussion of the violence of settler colonialism and empire needs to happen. Award-winning historian Benjamin Madley is author of An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873. In this interview, Madley discusses the genocide of Indigenous people in California, as well as stories of resistance, trauma and commemoration.

      • The Deadly Myth of the Border

        In my memories, the U.S.-Mexico border is always seen at night. I’m crossing home — how many times in my life? — through San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Tecate, Mexicali. I’m bored, impatient, sometimes drunk in a rowdy car with more people than seats, other times sleepy after a vacation with my parents, still carrying Ensenada beach sand in my shoes. And suddenly there’s that border; bracing and somber; garishly lit; with its war-zone fencing and humorless guards. It does not exist in order to threaten me — I’m an American man, white, and with documents. Allegedly, it is my protection. But who, I have often wondered, takes comfort in the presence of razor wire?

      • UN Peacekeeping Has a Sexual Abuse Problem

        Survivors of violence, displacement, and poverty shouldn’t have to fear that those charged with protecting them will contribute to their suffering.

      • Progressives Slam Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott’s Decision to Refuse New Refugees

        Progressive politicians, refugee advocates, and human rights groups swiftly condemned Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement on Friday that Texas will no longer accept the resettlement of new refugees—a move enabled by an executive order President Donald Trump signed in September.

      • Hong Kong Bars Human Rights Watch Head

        (Hong Kong) Hong Kong authorities denied Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, entry to Hong Kong, where he had planned to launch the organization’s World Report 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The report’s lead essay will highlight the Chinese government’s intensifying assault on the international human rights system. Immigration authorities told Roth, a US citizen, that he could not enter when he landed at Hong Kong International Airport on January 12, 2020 but gave no reason.

        “I had hoped to spotlight Beijing’s deepening assault on international efforts to uphold human rights,” Roth said. “The refusal to let me enter Hong Kong vividly illustrates the problem.”

      • Hired by Weinstein to spy on celebrities
    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Fitbit and Garmin Are Under Federal Investigation For Alleged Patent Violations

          In a statement to The Verge, Philips said that the company had attempted to negotiate licensing agreements with Fitbit and Garmin for three years, but talks ultimately broke down. “Philips expects third parties to respect Philips’ intellectual property in the same way as Philips respects the intellectual property rights of third parties,” a spokesperson said.

        • U.S. to probe Fitbit, Garmin, other wearable devices after Philips complains

          U.S. trade regulators said on Friday they will investigate wearable monitoring devices, including those made by Fitbit Inc (FIT.N) and Garmin Ltd (GRMN.O), following allegations of patent violations by rival Koninklijke Philips (PHG.AS) and its North America unit.

          The U.S. International Trade Commission, in a statement, said the probe would also look at devices by made by California-based Ingram Micro Inc as well as China-based Maintek Computer Co Ltd and Inventec Appliances.

          Netherlands-based Philips and Philips North America LLC, in their complaint, are calling for tariffs or an import ban and allege the other companies have infringed on Philips’ patents or otherwise misappropriated its intellectual property.


          Representatives for Garmin, Ingram Micro, Maintek and Inventec Appliances could not be immediately reached for comment.

          Although the USITC agreed to launch an investigation, it said it “has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case” and would make its determination “at the earliest practicable time.”

        • Fitbit and Garmin are under federal investigation for alleged patent violations

          On Friday, federal regulators announced that they are launching an investigation into wearable monitoring devices, including Fitbit and Garmin, after rival company, Philips, accused the companies of patent violations, as first reported by Reuters.

          In a statement, the US International Trade Commission (USITC) confirmed that its investigation into two of the most popular wearable companies was prompted by a complaint filed by the Philips company last month. The USITC said other wearable companies, including two based in China, were also under investigation.

          “The USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case,” the statement reads. “The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time.”

        • Becon Medical, Ltd. v. Bartlett (E.D. Pa. 2019)

          Last month, in Becon Medical, Ltd. v. Bartlett, Senior District Judge Jan E. Dubois of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied a motion to stay filed by Defendants Scott P. Bartlett, M.D. and TalexMedical, LLC (“TalexMedical”). In denying TalexMedical’s motion, the District Court concluded that all three factors for determining whether to stay an action pending inter partes review weighed against granting a stay.

          Plaintiffs Becon Medical, Ltd. and Henry Stephenson Byrd, M.D. (“Becon”) initiated the dispute between the parties by filing suit against TalexMedical for infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,167,942 and 8,852,277, contending that TalexMedical infringed the patents by making and selling its non-surgical infant ear correction device, InfantEar (Becon makes and sells the EarWell device). TalexMedical was served with Becon’s complaint on October 10, 2018, and filed its motion to stay approximately three weeks before it requested IPR on October 9, 2019. By the time TalexMedical requested IPR, the parties had completed fact discovery, the Court had conducted a Markman hearing, and the Court had construed the disputed claim terms.

          The District Court noted that in determining whether to stay an action pending an IPR, courts consider three factors: (1) whether a stay would unduly prejudice or present a clear tactical disadvantage to the non-moving party; (2) whether a stay will simplify the issues in question and trial of the case; and (3) whether discovery is complete and whether a trial date has been set. With respect to the first factor, the District Court noted that courts look to four sub-factors: (1) the timing of the request for IPR; (2) the timing of the request for stay; (3) the status of the IPR proceedings; and (4) the relationship of the parties.


          Having concluded that all three factors weighed against granting a stay, the District Court therefore denied Defendants’ Motion to Stay the litigation pending IPR.

        • Book Review: Law of Remedies – A European Perspective

          Edited by Franz Hoffmann and Franziska Kurz, the book includes chapters authored, respectively by: Franz Hoffmann and Franziska Kurz, Paul S Davies, Jan Felix Hoffmann, Andreas Funke, Klaus Ulrich Schmolke, Jens-Uwe Franck, Dorothea Magnus, Bejamin Raue, Luboš Tichý, Christian Heinze, Orit Fischman Afori, Martin Husovec, Christian Twigg-Flesner, and Jonathan Moss.

          It is composed of five parts and each part includes two to five chapters. The approach consists of innovatively presenting the law of remedies as an emerging research area. To make the task manageable, the book devotes the analysis to three approaches: the Common Law approach, the Civil law approach, and common principles relating to remedies in EU private law.

          To reveal the importance of the ever-growing area of online enforcement, the book also devotes attention to the CJEU’s recent extension of the concept of communication to the public, the notice-and-take-down procedure in intermediary liability cases, and remedies for non-conformity of digital content or consumers’ remedies in European contract law. Another interesting aspect relates to German patent law, grace periods and shareholders’ rights in German corporate law, which are all analysed from a ‘remedial’ perspective as well.

          Before proceedings to making a synopsis of its contents for the benefit of IPKat readers, this GuestKat has the following to say: if you are looking for something that is comprehensive, up-to-date, learned and yet also practical, this book is what you are looking for. The various contributors manage to paint a comprehensive picture of a fundamental, yet often confusing, area of the law. It is to be wished that an increasing attention being paid to remedies (also from a theoretical standpoint) would help make this area of the law also of easier comprehension and application by practitioners and courts alike.

        • Nokia makes antitrust mediation with Daimler and automotive suppliers over standard-essential patent licensing fail

          On Friday (January 10) and Saturday (January 11), Nokia–represented by Bird & Bird’s Richard Vary (formerly head of litigation at Nokia) and Roschier’s Niklas Östman–met with Daimler and various suppliers (Bosch, BURY Technologies, Continental, Harman, Peiker, and TomTom) at a recently-opened Munich hotel. But nothing came out of a whole series of meetings moderated by a British mediator and two British lawyers appointed by the International Chamber of Commerce. The mediator will communicate with the parties by telephone in the days ahead and make a procedural decision. Theoretically, there could be another series of meetings on the 22nd and the 23rd. However, based on how these past two days went, it would be a total waste of time to reconvene.


          On the second day, Nokia might have hoped to drive a wedge between Daimler and its suppliers. Daimler met separately with each supplier (for antitrust reasons, they couldn’t just all sit at the same table and discuss numbers), but neither Daimler nor the suppliers were prepared to agree with Nokia that the problem could simply be solved by Daimler reaching an agreement with each supplier on how to split the outrageous, supra-FRAND royalties Nokia demands.

          The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) will have to make a decision. They hoped to avoid it, but it was clear that there’s a binary, structural question at issue. Either the suppliers get a license and can make components they are free to sell not only to Daimler but also to others (in case they end up sitting on some excess quantities, for instance), or it’s not a license.

          The next Nokia v. Daimler SEP infringement trial is scheduled for January 21 and will take place in Mannheim unless the court decides to push the trial date back. Another Mannheim trial, originally scheduled for December, was postponed on short notice, but I heard from more than one source that the patent-in-suit in that one was so ridiculously weak that the court likely wouldn’t have reached the FRAND defense anyway…

      • Trademarks

        • Trade mark functions, repairs and collective marks: Dutch Supreme Court to refer questions to CJEU

          The European Pallet Association (EPAL) runs a pooling system for the well-known wooden pallets used in transportation. Every day, tens of thousands of deliveries are carried out world-wide using these pallets. Instead of making the delivery company wait until the pallets are unloaded to take them back, the pooling system allows the recipients to exchange previously unloaded pallets for the incoming ones, thus saving time and costs.

          EPAL guarantees the quality of pallets in the pooling system by using the collective mark EPAL to license producers, repairers and sellers of pallets that meet its standards. Pallets that meet the requirement are branded with the EPAL trade mark.

          PHZ is a Dutch trader in pallets that is not certified by EPAL. In 2014, it obtained a number of EPAL-certified pallets, then repaired and sold them. It was consequently sued by EPAL, which argued that this pallets constituted an infringement of its trade mark.

      • Copyrights

        • Kim Dotcom’s K.im Domain Goes Up For Sale, Displays Google SEO Rant

          The main domain of Kim Dotcom’s K.im crypto project appears to have fallen into a third-party’s hands. The Isle of Man domain K.im was bought by Dotcom in 2013 for a then-record price of $20,000 but currently displays an anti-Google rant penned by an expired domain specialist. As a result, dozens of Dotcom’s tweets now display the words “PURE SPAM”.

        • Dish Network Proposes Blockchain Based Anti-Piracy System

          Dish Network is fighting online streaming piracy on many fronts. Aside from lawsuits and other legal campaigns, the company also looks at the broader picture. In a new patent application, Dish envisions a blockchain-based anti-piracy management system that promises to be open and accessible to all.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. 3.5 Years Later Gemini Protocol and Geminispace Are Still 100% Community-Controlled

    Community-centric alternatives to the World Wide Web have gained traction; one of them, Gemini Protocol, continues to grow in 2023 and we're pleased to report progress and expansion

  2. Windows Falls to 16% Market Share in India (It was 97% in 2009), Microsoft Layoffs Reach India Too

    This month’s picture from the world’s most populous nation does not look good for Microsoft (it looks good for GNU/Linux); anonymous rumour mills online say that Microsoft isn’t moving to India but is actually firing staff based in India, so it’s a case of shrinking, not offshoring. When even low-paid (much lower salaries) staff is discarded it means things are very gloomy.

  3. Links 22/03/2023: GNOME 44 “Kuala Lumpur”

    Links for the day

  4. Microsoft Has Also Infiltrated the OSI's Board of Directors After Rigged Elections

    Weeks ago we warned that this would happen and for the third or fourth time in 2 years the OSI’s election process broke down; today the Open Source Initiative (OSI) writes: “The polls just closed, the results are in. Congratulations to the returning directors Aeva Black…” (Microsoft employee)

  5. Links 22/03/2023: Official Thunderbird Podcast Starts

    Links for the day

  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 21, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 21, 2023

  7. Many More Microsoft Layoffs Later Today

    Yesterday we shared rumours about Microsoft layoffs being planned for later today (there were 3 waves of layoffs so far this year). There are several more people here who say the same. How much noise will Microsoft make in the “media” in order to distract? Will the chaffbot "ChatGPT" help create enough chaff?

  8. Links 21/03/2023: JDK 20 and GNOME 43.5

    Links for the day

  9. Germany's Lobbyists-Infested Government Sponsors the War on Ukraine via the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The chief UPC ‘judge’ is basically seeking to break the law (and violate constitutions, conventions etc.) to start a kangaroo court while dodging real courts, just like Vladimir Putin does

  10. [Meme] The Meme That Team UPC (the Collusion to Break the European Laws, for Profit) Threats to Sue Us For

    António Campinos and Team UPC are intimidating people who simply point out that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is illegal and Klaus Grabinksi, shown above, strives to head a de facto kangaroo court in violation of constitutions and conventions (the UK does not and cannot ratify; Ireland hasn’t even held a referendum on the matter)

  11. Microsoft is Sacking People Every Month This Year, Even Managers (While Sponsored Media Produces Endless Chatbot Chaff)

    Lots of Microsoft layoffs lately and so-called ‘journalists’ aren’t reporting these; they’re too busy running sponsored puff pieces for Microsoft, usually fluff along the “hey hi” (AI) theme

  12. 3 Months Late Sirius 'Open Source' Finally Deletes Us From the Fraudulent 'Meet the Team' Page (But Still Lists Many People Who Left Years Ago!)

    Amid fraud investigations the management of Sirius ‘Open Source’ finally removed our names from its “Meet the Team” page (months late); but it left in the page about half a dozen people who left the company years ago, so it’s just lying to its clients about the current situation

  13. Amid Fraud at Sirius 'Open Source' CEO Deletes His Recent (This Month) Past With the Company

    Not only did the Sirius ‘Open Source’ CEO purge all mentions of Sirius from his Microsoft LinkedIn account; he’s racing against the clock as crimes quickly become a legal liability

  14. Web Survey Shows Microsoft Falling Below 15% Market Share in Africa, Only One Minuscule African Nation Has Windows Majority

    A Web survey that measured Microsoft Windows at 97% in Africa (back in 2010) says that Windows has become rather small and insignificant; the Microsoft-sponsored mainstream media seems to be ignoring this completely, quite likely by intention...

  15. Rumours of More Microsoft Layoffs Tomorrow (Including Managers!), Probably Azure Again (Many Azure Layoffs Every Year Since 2020)

    Amazon is laying off AWS staff and Microsoft has been laying off Azure staff for 3 years already, including this year, so it seems like the “clown computing” bubble is finally bursting

  16. [Meme] EPO's Management Brainstorm

    The story behind a misleading slogan told above

  17. The Photo Ops Festival of the Funky President António Campinos and Revolt From the Patent Examiners Whom He Perpetually Oppresses

    European Patents are being granted for no reason other than application and renewal fees, awarding European monopolies to companies that aren't even European (only about a third are actually European); staff of the EPO is fed up as it regards or views all this as an extreme departure from the EPO's mission (and it's also outright illegal)

  18. Links 21/03/2023: Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0 LTS

    Links for the day

  19. Back Doors Proponent Microsoft Infiltrates Panels That Write the Security Regulations, Press Fails to Point Out the Obvious

    Cult tactics and classic entryism serve Microsoft again, stacking the panels and basically writing policy (CISA). As an associate explained it, citing this new example, Stanford “neglects to point out the obvious fact that Microsoft is writing its own regulations.”

  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 20, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, March 20, 2023

  21. Links 20/03/2023: Curl 8.0.0/1 and CloudStack LTS

    Links for the day

  22. Standard Life (Phoenix Group Holdings): Three Weeks to Merely Start Investigating Pension Fraud (and Only After Repeated Reminders From the Fraud's Victims)

    As the phonecall above hopefully shows (or further elucidates), Standard Life leaves customers in a Kafkaesque situation, bouncing them from one person to another person without actually progressing on a fraud investigation

  23. Standard Life Paper Mills in Edinburgh

    Standard Life is issuing official-looking financial papers for companies that then use that paperwork to embezzle staff

  24. Pension Fraud Investigation Not a High Priority in Standard Life (Phoenix Group Holdings)

    The 'Open Source' company where I worked for nearly 12 years embezzled its staff; despite knowing that employees were subjected to fraud in Standard Life's name, it doesn't seem like Standard Life has bothered to investigate (it has been a fortnight already; no progress is reported by management at Standard Life)

  25. Links 20/03/2023: Tails 5.11 and EasyOS 5.1.1

    Links for the day

  26. Links 20/03/2023: Amazon Linux 2023 and Linux Kernel 6.3 RC3

    Links for the day

  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 19, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 19, 2023

  28. An Update on Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: It's Looking Worse Than Ever

    It's starting to look more and more like pension providers in the UK, including some very major and large ones, are aiding criminals who steal money from their workers under the guise of "pensions"

  29. Services and Users TRApped in Telescreen-Running Apps

    TRApp, term that lends its name to this article, is short for "Telescreen-Running App". It sounds just like "trap". Any similarity is not purely coincidental.

  30. Links 19/03/2023: Release of Libreboot 20230319 and NATO Expanding

    Links for the day

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