09.02.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 2/9/2020: Sparky 2020.09, TUXEDO Computers’ Polaris 15 and 17

Posted in News Roundup at 2:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • TUXEDO Computers Unveils TUXEDO Polaris 15 and 17 Laptops for Linux Gamers

        TUXEDO Computers unveiled today two new laptops for Linux gamers, the TUXEDO Polaris 15 and TUXEDO Polaris 17, which come with powerful components from both Intel and AMD.

        Meet TUXEDO Polaris 15 and TUXEDO Polaris 17, two brand-new Linux laptops from the German-based Linux computer manufacturer TUXEDO Computers, which promise to “polaryze” Linux gamers with the Ryzen 4000 family of processors.

        If until now you had to decide which computer to buy from TUXEDO Computers, depending on the components (e.g. Intel or AMD), now users finally have the option to buy the same computer with either Intel or AMD CPUs. The choice is yours.

      • TUXEDO announce the Polaris 15 and 17 Linux laptops ready for gaming

        TUXEDO Computers continue to push out new and more powerful hardware, with their focus on the Linux market. Today, they announced two laptops with a choice of CPU vendor. Yes, that’s right. Two new models and both let you pick between Intel and AMD for the CPU. Giving you more choice is always good!

        Available to order now, with stock expected later next month they’ve launched TUXEDO Polaris 15 and TUXEDO 17, with the main obvious difference being the screen sizes. Other than that, the rest of the specifications are mostly the same. The Polaris 15 starts with a 60hz screen but the Polaris 17 can only come with 144Hz – both screens are 1080p mat (so less glare) and IPS.

      • Linux laptops: You can now buy the first Lenovo ThinkPad preloaded with Fedora

        The first Lenovo ThinkPad preinstalled with Fedora 32 Workstation is now available to buy.

        The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 is the first laptop in Lenovo’s ThinkPad series to get the Fedora treatment, coming four months after the manufacturer teamed up with the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project to pilot a new series of Linux community edition devices.

      • RPI 4, Raspberry Pi OS, MATE desktop & Network Manager

        This article has a somewhat cryptic title, because the problem I am going to show and resolve here is not trivial. Long story short, you installed the MATE desktop in Raspberry Pi OS. Things are working fine, except there’s no network icon in the panel. The network WORKS, but you can’t control it.

        You may even have installed network-manager-gnome (Network Manager) and enabled it, but it shows as an empty icon, with no Wireless networks detected and listed. As it happens, I faced this problem when I setup my Raspberry Pi 4, and so, I’d like to show you how to fix this. The solution is not pretty, but it works. Let’s get to it, to it, to it, to it …

      • AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC – Astronomy – Week 9

        For this week’s blog, I examine how well the most popular open source astronomy programs run on the AWOW AK41.

        Astronomy is a branch of science that deals with the study of celestial objects (including stars, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, meteor showers, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies) and other phenomena.

        Astronomy is particularly well suited to the layperson. It’s a wonderful hobby which has almost no age limits, it’s open to individuals of all financial means, and there is always the potential for an amateur to discover something that has eluded professional astronomers, or to help monitor stars and track asteroids.

        Even with the unaided eye, there is much to study in the night sky including constellations, shooting stars, planets, and of course the moon, the Earth’s only natural satellite. And even with a pair of inexpensive binoculars you can easily view say the more prominent of Jupiter’s moons.

    • Server

      • AWS introduces Bottlerocket: A Rust language-oriented Linux for containers

        Earlier this year, Linus Torvalds approved of adding drivers and other components in Rust to Linux. Last week, at the virtual Linux Plumbers Conference, developers gave serious thought to using the Rust language for new Linux inline code. And, now Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced that its just-released Bottlerocket Linux for containers is largely written in Rust.

        Mozilla may have cut back on Rust’s funding, but with Linux embracing Rust, after almost 30-years of nothing but C, Rust’s future is assured.

        Rust was chosen because it lends itself more easily to writing secure software. Samartha Chandrashekar, an AWS Product Manager, said it “helps ensure thread safety and prevent memory-related errors, such as buffer overflows that can lead to security vulnerabilities.” Many other developers agree with Chandrashekar.

      • AWS launches its Bottlerocket container operating system into general availability

        Amazon Web Services Inc. today announced the general availability of Bottlerocket, an open-source Linux distribution it has developed specifically for running software containers.

        Popular Linux distributions are designed to run not only containers, which enable applications to be run in multiple computing environments, but also a range of other workloads. Because they support a large number of use cases, they have a large number of components that can be difficult to manage.

        When developing Bottlerocket, AWS left out many standard Linux components and kept only the ones necessary to run container-based workloads, creating an operating system that it says is both easier to manage and more secure. The extra security stems from the fact that Bottlerocket’s smaller code base leaves fewer potential weak points for hackers to exploit.

    • Applications

      • Audacity 2.4.2 PPA is back for Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04

        This simple tutorial shows how to install the latest Audacity 2.4.2 via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and Linux Mint 20.

        Audacity audio editor 2.4.x was missing from the unofficial PPA for a few months, due to build system change and my poor debian packaging skill.

        Since the upstream maintainer has built the 2.4.2 package for Debian unstable and Ubuntu 20.10, backports for Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 18.04 now are here for you!

      • Introduction to Google Suite

        Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. Participants will receive an introduction to Audacity to make audio recordings applicable to audiobooks, podcasts, and more!

      • Introduction to Google Suite
      • Min Lightweight Browser Releases 1.16 with UI Improvements

        The privacy-centric yet minimal browser Min brings another release with its version 1.16 with UI improvements and major new features.

      • Improve Focus and Productivity with Blanket, an Ambient Noise app for Linux

        Blanket is a new desktop app for Linux designed solely for the purpose of playing background noises like nature sounds (e.g., rain, storm), indistinct ambient noise (e.g., coffee shop), as well as white noise and pink noise. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Listening to background noise is a staple life hack. It can help slow a speeding mind. It can help dial out distractions around you. And it can wrap you up with sense of familiarity and safety.

      • Cockpit 227

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 227.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Story-driven, tactical stealth game Desperados III is now available on Linux PC

        THQ Nordic and Mimimi Games kept to their word, with Desperados III now being officially released for Linux PC and macOS along with the latest update.

        “Desperados III is a story-driven, hardcore tactical stealth game, set in a ruthless Wild West scenario. Play smart if you want to succeed. A good plan can make the difference between survival and finding yourself at the business end of a pistol.”

      • Games for sysadmins: Prince of Persia 1 on Linux with SDLPoP

        SDLPoP is an open-source port of the classic 80s and 90s game Prince of Persia. It’s based on the disassembly of the DOS version and documentation provided by the game creator Jordan Mechner. It’s licensed under the GPL v3 license.

      • A little round-up of Gamescom news for Linux PC fans

        With Gamescom 2020 now over and done with, there was quite a lot of news to sift through and it’s easy to get a bit lost. Especially if you’re on Linux. We’re here to help, with a nice little round-up of what’s going to be supported on Linux PC.

      • Vlambeer celebrates 10 years of indie dev by announcing time is up

        Vlambeer were an indie developer duo consisting of Jan Willem Nijman and Rami Ismail. They recently hit the 10 year mark, and decided to celebrate by announcing Vlambeer is shutting.

        A bit of a shock I will say, although I like how they announced it. In a time when seeing indie developers closing up due to a lack of funding is quite common, with all sorts of blog posts about their game failing and more – this is different. Vlambeer simply announced on Twitter, that “it is time for new things” in a pretty relaxed manner.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Musescore and Plasma Styles

          Here’s another story of chasing a bug up and down the stack. The real work was done by Arjen, Marco and Noah whom I dragged into the debugging-and-fixing; mostly I sat and juggled bug reports in various up- and down- and side-stream trackers.

          Musescore is a sheet-music making application. It’s written in C++ with Qt. In principle it can run anywhere. Upstream seems to follow the line that it shouldn’t be packaged, and anything other than the official AppImage on some unspecified platform is unsupported – that doesn’t stop Linux distro’s and FreeBSD from doing so, and some people care to run it on a KDE Plasma desktop.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux releases Pantheon and Budgie editions

          The GeckoLinux project is pleased to announce the addition of the Pantheon and Budgie desktop environments to its lineup. Both desktop environments are offered with the choice of an openSUSE Leap 15.2 or openSUSE Tumbleweed base system, plus multimedia support from the Packman repository.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Shares ―Learning Kubernetes

          Kubernetes has a learning curve, but understanding how to use this open source container orchestration platform can help you solve several problems with 1 tool. Here are some practical resources to help you get started.

        • Using Spring Cloud Functions with OpenShift Serverless

          Spring Cloud Functions are yet another interesting option for Java developers when building serverless applications. You have already seen how to build and run applications for Red Hat OpenShift Serverless using Quarkus, but in this article, we talk about how to use Spring Cloud Functions and walk you through those steps. These steps are similar to running any other Spring Boot application with OpenShift Serverless. One of the benefits of building an open hybrid serverless platform is giving developers a choice of programming languages, tools, frameworks, and portability across any environment to run serverless applications. Beyond that, you want to ensure that the developer experience and overall workflow is intuitive and practical, which is what you will learn here.

        • Add Java language support for Apache Camel K inside Eclipse Che

          Apache Camel K should be as lightweight as possible. Therefore, the Camel K project provides standalone Java files that describe a Camel integration. The downside to this practice is that existing IDEs cannot provide complete support out of the box. A few months ago, I mentioned the Java language support for Apache Camel K that was discussed in Red Hat Visual Studio Code (VS Code) extension, and how it provides Java language support for Apache Camel K. In this article and demo, I show you how to do the same with Eclipse Che and che.openshift.io.

        • Level up your Red Hat Enterprise Linux skills with containers

          Red Hat OpenShift is built on the trusted foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, providing the same security, stability and ecosystem that you know and expect. Just as Red Hat brought Linux to the enterprise, we are doing the same with Kubernetes. And because containers are fundamentally a Linux technology, Red Hat is able to deliver an optimized path for you to add containers and Kubernetes to your core skills.

          As a result of the heightened industry importance of containers, we are extending two of our core Linux courses by a day to include containers. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, Red Hat System Administration II (RH134) and RHCSA Rapid Track course (RH199) will be extended from five to six days with the final day focused on container, Kubernetes, and OpenShift content. Any students who have purchased or taken either course within the last year will be given free access to the added course materials and virtual instruction.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – August 2020

          In this 31st edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in August 2020.

          For last month’s digest, see Kafka Monthly Digest: July 2020.

        • Nest with Fedora

          With everything going on in the world, sadly the normal “in person” Fedora conference, flock, had to be canceled. In it’s place a ‘all virtual’ conference was scheduled for Aug 7th through 9th: “nest with fedora”
          Sadly the keynotes were all way too early for me to make it to live (4-5am my time is just too early), so I am going to catch those via recordings as soon as they are up. I did manage to make it to some sessions however.
          First a quick note about the platform that was used: hopin.io. I’ve been to a number of virtual events of late, and most of them have not been that great. However, this time I was pleasantly surprised! hopin is actually pretty well done. There was a ‘reception’ area and a live chat for conference wide discussions, talks appeared a few minutes before their scheduled time to allow people to join and each talk had it’s own chat. Speakers could invite other people to join in the video chat part if they wanted. There was a conference wide ‘poll’ section with lots of silly polls in it for people to take. Mixed in the talks were some ‘hallway’ track places where everyone who joined could join via video. There was also a timed thing where you could get 5min with a random other person then it would switch everyone to the next person. Not as good as a real hallway track, but not bad given the constraints. Video and audio worked pretty well.
          There was a number of nice talks I went to, as well as some fun ones (CPE put on a pub quiz and a bingo, both were great!).

        • Red Hat solutions for health and human services agencies
        • Red Hat solutions for state and local government public safety
        • FAF is dead, long live ABRT Analytics

          Disclaimer: this blogpost was written on 2019-03-28. But I forgot to publish it. Let’s do that now. :)\

          There were several reasons. FAF stands for Fedora Analysis Framework, but only very old versions of FAF were bound to Fedora. While we support deployment to Fedora and RHEL/CentOS only, it can analyze crashes from any system or container.

          The names “FAF” and “ABRT” don’t sound related, and you have to read a lot of documentation to find the relation between two. From the marketing point of view it should be evident that they are tightly connected. ABRT daemon and client tools gather crashes and reports and FAF analyzes and aggregates them.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 2020.09

          The September snapshot of Sparky 2020.09 of the (semi-)rolling line is out. It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

          This release provides package updates and fixed an issue of the Sparky Advanced Installer, which generated broken fstab. There is no problem if you have installed Sparky 2020.08 using Calamares (called Sparky Installer).

          Changes:
          • packages updated from Debian testing repos as of August 31, 2020
          • Linux kernel 5.7.17 (5.8.5 & 5.9-rc3 in Sparky unstable repos)
          • Firefox 80
          • LibreOffice 7.0.1-rc1
          • fixed the Advanced Installer issue; thanks to lami07

          System re-installation is not required, simply keep Sparky up to date.

          The Special Edition iso images have been already updated too.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Blog: Canonical at KubeCon EU 2020: our first virtual KubeCon experience

          Another great KubeCon has recently come to an end – which is nothing less than what we expected. After all, that’s why Canonical and Ubuntu have been consistently present at KubeCon & CloudNativeCon EU, to connect with the community.

          This year, we showcased Canonical’s conformant, interoperable, multi-cloud Kubernetes through our two Kubernetes distributions – Charmed Kubernetes and MicroK8s. We’re excited to now open our presentations up to the public, by giving you access to the recordings of the live Kubernetes demos that our technical team exhibited at KubeCon EU 2020! Just scroll down for the full picture.

          [...]

          As much as we’ve enjoyed the gaming, chatting, and exploring what virtual expos look like, it was clear that all of us joining KubeCon EU again this year were still very much there to hear what’s new around Kubernetes. We can attest to this ourselves too, judging by the multitude of Kubeheads signing up for our demos, and grabbing the opportunity to ask our technical team for insights on their Kubernetes use cases. We were thrilled to see how relevant our presentations were his year in particular, as we showed our peers what’s new on Charmed Kubernetes and MicroK8s, and how our two Kubernetes distributions empower them to truly leverage Kubernetes in any scenario – from cloud to edge. Get a taste for yourselves via the demo recordings below!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How to judge open-source projects

        Plenty of people have put together systems to collect, judge, and evaluate open-source projects, including information about a project’s popularity, reliability, and activity. But they all have flaws.

        Take that oldest of metrics: Lines of code (LoC). Yes, it’s easy to measure. But it’s also profoundly misleading. As programming genius Edsger Dijkstra observed in 1988, LOC gives us “the reassuring illusion that programs are just devices like any others, the only difference admitted being that their manufacture might require a new type of craftsmen, viz. programmers. From there it is only a small step to measuring ‘programmer productivity’ in terms of ‘number of lines of code produced per month.’ This is a very costly measuring unit because it encourages the writing of insipid code.”

      • Programming/Development

        • 4 reasons Jamstack is changing web development

          The way we use and the way we build the web have evolved dramatically since its inception. Developers have seen the rise and fall of many architectural and development paradigms intended to satisfy more complex user experiences, support evolving device capabilities, and enable more effective development workflows.

          In 2015, Netlify founders Matt Biilmann and Chris Bach coined the term “Jamstack” to describe the architectural model they were championing and that was gaining popularity. In reality, the foundations of this model have existed from the beginning of the web. But multiple factors led them to coin this new term to encapsulate the approach and to give developers and technical architects a better means to discuss it.

          In this article, I’ll look at those factors, Jamstack’s attributes, why the term came into existence, and how it is changing how we approach web development.

        • Linux and Security for Today’s Embedded Medical Devices
        • IAR Systems streamlines Continuous Integration workflows and adds static code analysis in build tools for Linux

          Uppsala, Sweden-September 2, 2020-IAR Systems®, the future-proof supplier of software tools and services for embedded development, announces an update of its build tools supporting implementation in Linux-based frameworks for automated application build and test processes. The latest version adds IARBuild for building IAR Embedded Workbench® projects directly from the command line, enabling streamlined workflows from the developer environment to continuous integration. In addition, the tools now support the static code analysis tool C-STAT, enabling code quality control from development to building and testing processes.

        • Fortran newsletter: September 2020

          Welcome to the September 2020 edition of the monthly Fortran newsletter. The newsletter comes out on the first calendar day of every month and details Fortran news from the previous month.

  • Leftovers

    • A Thing Like This Should Never Happen (But Somehow It Does, Again and Again)
    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Corporate-Backed State Attorneys General Seek End to Obamacare

        The Supreme Court may gut the Affordable Care Act in a case called Texas v. California brought on behalf of the attorneys general in 18 states. All of them are Republicans, and all but one were elected. Publicly traded corporations and their trade associations spent money in most of these elections through the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA).

      • Now in Government Food Aid Boxes: A Letter From Donald Trump

        Millions of Americans who are struggling to put food on the table may discover a new item in government-funded relief packages of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat: a letter signed by President Donald Trump.

        The message, printed on White House letterhead in both English and Spanish, touts the administration’s response to the coronavirus, including aid provided through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative to buy fresh food and ship it to needy families.

      • ‘Nonsensical and Madness’: Outrage After Trump Excludes US From WHO-Backed Global Vaccination Cooperation Pact

        The administration’s latest decision regarding vaccines and global cooperation denounced as “more self-inflicted damage.”

      • The Trump Administration Is Backing Out of a $647 Million Ventilator Deal After ProPublica Investigated the Price

        The federal government is backing out of a controversial $646.7 million deal to buy ventilators from Royal Philips N.V., acting before the company had delivered a third of the order.

        The deal has been the focus of several ProPublica stories since March. That reporting prompted a congressional investigation that last month found “evidence of fraud, waste and abuse” in the acquisition of the Philips ventilators.

      • America Doesn’t Have a Coherent Strategy for Asymptomatic Testing. It Needs One.

        Dr. Sara Cody, health officer of Santa Clara County, California, was tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. Her contact tracers were telling people exposed to COVID-19 that they needed to get tested, but when some went to testing sites, health care providers turned them away because they didn’t have any symptoms.

        This posed a problem for Cody’s work. Knowing if a contact was infected would help her department keep an accurate count of her county’s coronavirus infection rate; also, if a contact tested positive, it’d spur a new round of contact tracing from her staff, to help stop any further transmission from that asymptomatic carrier.

      • COVID-19 and the Future of Autocrats

        The outbreak of COVID-19 initially looked like a gift to autocrats around the world. What better pretext for a state of emergency than a pandemic?

      • Fauci Fires Back Against Errant Claim on COVID Shared by Trump

        Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force team, spoke out against the false notion being perpetuated on social media, including by President Donald Trump, that the number of deaths associated with COVID-19 is significantly smaller than what’s being reported.

      • Meet the New Yes Man on Trump’s COVID Task Force: Dr. Scott Atlas Wants U.S. to Adopt Herd Immunity

        As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States passes 6 million, with a death toll of over 183,000, the Trump administration is loosening coronavirus restrictions, fast-tracking vaccine approval and disregarding safety tests, and now one of Trump’s top medical advisers is pushing for the country to adopt a controversial “herd immunity” strategy, raising alarm among public health officials. Washington Post health reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb says Dr. Scott Atlas is not an epidemiologist and was brought on specifically because he would back President Trump’s position “about how the pandemic was going, that the threat was receding, that the country should reopen.” We also speak with Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves, who argues the U.S. is already following an “implicit” herd immunity policy. “They realize it’s politically toxic, so they don’t want to use the phrase, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck,” he says.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Mageia (mutt and putty), openSUSE (ldb, samba, libqt5-qtbase, opera, and postgresql10), Red Hat (bash, kernel, and libvncserver), SUSE (apache2, curl, and squid), and Ubuntu (ark, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux-hwe, linux-aws-5.3, linux-gke-5.3, linux-raspi2-5.3).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Facebook’s Violence Standards Make for a Bad Business Plan

        “Facebook Employees Are Outraged At Mark Zuckerberg’s Explanations Of How It Handled The Kenosha Violence,” reads the headline at Buzzfeed. One such employee asks “[a]t what point do we take responsibility for enabling hate filled bile to spread across our services?”

      • “If It’s on the Ground, Why Shoot?” Outrage After LA County Sheriff’s Deputies Kill Man Who Allegedly Dropped Gun

        “That means he was unarmed,” said a neighborhood resident following the police killing of Dijon Kizzee, a 29-year old black bicyclist, in Los Angeles on Monday. 

      • Trump Defends Kyle Rittenhouse But Refuses to Meet Jacob Blake’s Family

        President Trump, speaking to reporters during a Monday press briefing, refused to condemn the shooting by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week.

      • Life During a Trump Second Term: Paramilitary Democracy Accelerates

        Two Headed Monster: One Side is Out of Control

      • Trump Hasn’t Ended Endless Wars

        Speakers at last week’s Republican National Convention lauded President Trump as a foe of endless wars. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) praised the president for “bringing our men and women home,” while Eric Trump claimed that his father accomplished “peace in the Middle East. Never-ending wars were finally ended.”

      • Australia-China Relations: Down Under Squabbling

        These are proving testy times for Australian-Chinese relations. Last week, Chinese authorities announced that an investigation would be conducted into claims that Australia has been using unfair dumping practices for its wine on the Chinese market. This was not what Australian wine makers wanted to hear, given that exports of Australian wine to China grew from AU$268 million in 2015/16 to AU$1.75 billion in 2018/19. While the investigation will take eighteen months, it risks going the way of a similar anti-dumping inquiry into Australian barley that was concluded in May.

      • After the Beirut Blast, Hezbollah Almost Went to War

        Even before the August 4 Beirut port explosion that devastated the heart of the Lebanese capital, Hezbollah commander Abu Karim was on edge at his post in the southern Lebanese hills, east of the ancient port city of Tyre. Tensions were high after a week of escalating Israeli attacks on Hezbollah in Syria, and the Party of God was ready to retaliate on the Lebanese-Israeli border. So when the monumental blast occurred, panicked orders came from the top and the commander found himself on the radio, calling his fighters to battle stations and bringing Lebanon’s powerful militia to the brink of war with Israel.

      • In Trump’s America, Domestic Terrorists Thrive
    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook Says It Will Block News Sharing In Australia If Murdoch’s Social Media Tax Becomes Law

        Earlier this year, regulators in Australia announced plans to tax Google and Facebook for sending traffic to news organizations, and then pay those news organization. The draft law literally names Google and Facebook and says that this law only impacts those two companies. The whole thing is bizarre. There are no pretenses here. It’s just that old line media companies (many owned by Rupert Murdoch) are jealous of the success of Google and Facebook online, and seem to think they’re magically owed money. And that’s what the tax would do. It would force Google and Facebook to pay money for the awful crime of sending traffic to news sites without paying them.

      • Supreme Court To Courts And Federal Agencies Trying To Rewrite Section 230: Knock It Off

        A version of this post appeared on Project Disco: What the Bostock Decision Teaches About Section 230.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Demanding ‘Full Accountability,’ Lawmakers Call for Probe Into Claims ICE Gave Muslim Detainees a Choice: Spoiled Food or Pork

        “This is the latest betrayal of religious liberty by Trump and a reminder of the inhumanity of ICE detention.”

      • America’s Greatest Athletes Are Standing Up, Calling This Country To Change

        Despite unprecedented, multiracial demonstrations across the country protesting police violence against African Americans, the horrors keep on coming.

      • Muslim Solidarity With Black Lives Matter Is Fueling the Push to Defund Police

        Muslim groups across Wisconsin and from Washington, D.C., joined together soon after the police-perpetrated shooting of Jacob Blake to issue a joint statement saying, “Yet again, police officers committed horrifying, infuriating violence against a Black person.… We condemn this police shooting and demand a thorough investigation in order to bring justice to Blake and his family.”

      • Jailed Asylum Seekers Report Unlivable Conditions in Wake of Hurricane Laura

        New Orleans, Louisiana—Incarcerated immigrants and their families and advocates have reported dangerous, unlivable conditions and haphazard evacuations at remote immigration jails in Louisiana, where Hurricane Laura caused widespread damage and power outages as it rampaged across the state late last week.

      • Post navigation

        Today the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it has launched a “pilot” at Washington National Airport (DCA) of yet another scheme for biometric identification and tracking of domestic air travelers.

        [Screen capture from TSA video]The new “touchless ID verification” stations at DCA include a webcam (at top center of photo above) a magnetic-stripe reader (lower left) for drivers licenses and other ID cards, and a photographic scanner for passports (lower right).

        Travelers who volunteer to use the new system are directed to insert their drivers license, ID card, or passport into the appropriate reader, stand on a marked spot in front of the webcam, and remove their face mask, so that the image from the ID (or, more likely, from some back-end image database linked to the ID, although that hasn’t been disclosed) and the image from the webcam can be compared by some undisclosed algorithm.

      • Film Review: Made in Bangladesh: A Union Story

        If you’re gathering evidence of the victimization of Muslim women, this is not your film. Yes, Made in Bangladesh highlights exploitation in a country, most of whose citizens are Muslim. But this film’s focus is women workers: people working to support their families, as most women do, and fighting for parity, as most of us do.

      • Kenosha Police Under Scrutiny for Case of Black Teen Jailed for Killing Abuser

        We look at how the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has brought renewed scrutiny to another case from 2018: that of Black teenager Chrystul Kizer, who faces charges of killing her alleged sex trafficker, a 34-year-old white man, when she was just 17 years old. Court records show Randall Volar had a history of sexually abusing underage Black girls that was known to the Kenosha police, but he remained free for months. In June 2018, Kizer says she shot and killed Volar in self-defense after he drugged her and tried to rape her. Kizer was freed from jail on $400,000 bail in June but is still fighting her case. “It really says a lot about the police force there, the prosecutors there,” says Washington Post reporter Jessica Contrera. “Chrystul is at the center of this case that says everything about the sexual trauma that so many young Black girls go through when they are trafficked.”

      • Federal Court Temporarily Extends The NYPD’s Famous Opacity, Blocks Release Of Misconduct Records

        The NYPD barely bothers to punish officers who misbehave. This “misbehavior” often includes violations of rights and extrajudicial killings, but it appears the NYPD feels New York’s “finest” should be above reproach. Consequently, NYPD internal investigations often conclude no officers should be reproached, allowing them to remain the “finest” even when they’re really the worst.

      • This Simple Change Could Legalize Millions of Immigrants

        A general hallmark of immigration policy is that it’s complex. Even though many people believe that the undocumented can simply apply for residency after some period of time in the country, that’s just not true. At least, not in most cases.

      • Family of Jacob Blake Hosts Block Party, Voter Drive to Drown Out ‘Pain and Division’ Brought by Trump Visit to Kenosha

        “We’re not going to get caught up with him,” said Blake’s uncle of the president. “We’re here to heal Kenosha and push forward our agenda.”

      • Take to the Streets

        Running for Fuhrer and Loving It

      • Albuquerque Cops Cooperate with ICE and Operation Relentless Pursuit Despite City’s Sanctuary Policy

        In December 2019, the U.S. Justice Department announced a joint local-federal law enforcement operation called Operation Relentless Pursuit (ORP) for seven cities: Detroit, Memphis, Baltimore, Kansas City, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Albuquerque. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the U.S. Marshals would join officers with the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) “to target gangs, drug trafficking and other violent crime.”

      • ACLU Sues Federal Officers Over Excessive Force Deployed Against Portland Protesters

        The Trump Administration’s decision to send federal agents — led by the DHS — to Portland, Oregon to handle civil unrest (prompted by yet another killing of an unarmed Black man by a white police officer) continues to generate litigation.

      • SafeSpeed Executive Charged With Bribing Cook County Officials For Red Light Camera Contracts

        In January of this year, we discussed how the Illinois Comptroller had decided to opt out of collecting red light camera fees for motorists ticketed by these automated revenue generators. Susan Mendoza said in a statement that while her office was taking this action due to the feds investigating the contractor for the cameras, a company called SafeSpeed, it was also her position that red light cameras were revenue generators with little efficacy at impacting public safety.

      • Kenosha Police Under Scrutiny for 2018 Case of Chrystul Kizer, Black Teen Jailed for Killing Abuser

        We look at how the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has brought renewed scrutiny to another case from 2018: that of Black teenager Chrystul Kizer, who faces charges of killing her alleged sex trafficker, a 34-year-old white man, when she was just 17 years old. Court records show Randall Volar had a history of sexually abusing underage Black girls that was known to the Kenosha police, but he remained free for months. In June 2018, Kizer says she shot and killed Volar in self-defense after he drugged her and tried to rape her. Kizer was freed from jail on $400,000 bail in June but is still fighting her case. “It really says a lot about the police force there, the prosecutors there,” says Washington Post reporter Jessica Contrera. “Chrystul is at the center of this case that says everything about the sexual trauma that so many young Black girls go through when they are trafficked.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • From Cotton to Brinjal: Fraudulent GMO Project in India Sustained by Deception

        Insecticidal Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton is the first and only GM (genetically modified) crop that has been approved in India. It has been cultivated in the country for more than 20 years. In a formal statement to the Supreme Court of India, the Indian government has asserted that hybrid Bt cotton is an outstanding success. It therefore argues that Bt cotton is a template for the introduction of GM food crops.

      • Patents

        • Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Flatwing Pharmaceuticals, LLC (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          The Federal Circuit recently applied well-established principles of obviousness in affirming the Patent Trial and Appeals Board’s invalidation of several patents related to antifungal formulations in Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Flatwing Pharmaceuticals, LLC.

          [...]

          The PTAB had earlier found claims in two related patents to be invalid for obviousness (see “Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Iancu (Fed. Cir. 2018)”). Here, the PTAB applied some of the same art and arrived at the same conclusion of obviousness. The Board decided that the prior art taught the use of antiifungal compounds (albeit not tavaborole) at concentrations overlapping the 5% recited in claim 2 of the ’823 patent for treating fungal infections and thus the combination taught all the elements of the claimed invention. The Board held that routine optimization by the skilled worker would have produced the claimed formulations which would have been reasonably expected to be effective against onchomycosis. The Board also rejected Anacor’s arguments regarding challenges posed by using organoboron compounds that would have precluded the existence of a reasonable expectation of success, based on expert testimony, and further rejected that the prior art (which taught 10% antifungal concentrations in prior art formulations) taught away from obviousness of the claimed invention teaching 5% tavaborole formulations.

          The Federal Circuit affirmed, in an opinion by Judge Lourie joined by Judges O’Malley and Chen. Using the substantial evidence standard for factual questions arising before the PTAB, In re Gartside, 203 F.3d 1305, 1316 (Fed. Cir. 2000), and de novo review of questions of law, the panel agreed with the Board’s conclusion that the choice of 5% tavaborole concentrations in the claimed in formulation was a matter of routine optimization. The Federal Circuit recognized that tavaborole concentration was “a result-effective variable[] such that one could optimize nail penetration by routine experimentation within a predictable range of concentrations” in support of its opinion. The evidence showed that screening techniques existed in the art for testing for efficacy. The art also taught a relationship between nail penetration and antifungal effectiveness, for example, wherein the art taught that 5% econazole concentrations were effective for penetrating nails. According to the opinion, because tavaborole is a smaller molecule than econazole the skilled worker would have expected it to be effective in penetrating nails and thus being effective as an antifungal agent in that milieu.

        • Software Patents

          • $2,500 for VoiceAge EVS ’710 Prior Art

            On September 2, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claims 16 and 24 of U.S. Patent 7,693,710. This patent is owned by VoiceAge EVS, LLC, which is associated with Fortress Investment Group LLC, an NPE. The ’710 patent relates to concealment of frame erasure caused by frames of an encoded sound signal erased during transmission from an encoder to a decoder.

            According to the complaint, these patents are essential to the EVS Standard. The ‘710 patent is currently being asserted against Apple, Lenovo, TCL, and HMD Global. View VoiceAge ‘710 district court litigation.

      • Copyrights

        • New “Scene” Security Notice: ‘SPARKS’ Piracy Raids Busted Dozens of Sites

          Last week a massive law enforcement operation against members of The Scene unfolded, targeting release group SPARKS and their affiliates. In a brand new communication released this morning, a Scene entitity reveals that the action took down dozens of sites across 14 countries. It further predicts that more is yet to come and that security needs to be addressed.

        • Internet Provider RCN Fails to have Piracy Liability Lawsuit Dismissed

          Internet provider RCN has failed to have the piracy liability claims of several major music companies dismissed. The ISP argued that it’s not responsible for allegedly pirating customers, discrediting much of the evidence that was presented. The New Jersey federal court, however, sees the music companies’ allegations as sufficient at this stage but did dismiss similar claims against RCN’s management company Patriot.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 26, 2022



  2. [Meme] EPO: Pursuing an Eastern and Western District of Europe (for Patent Trolls and Software Patents)

    With the EPO so flagrantly lying and paying for misinformation maybe we should expect Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos to have delusions of grandeur… such as presiding over the Eastern and Western District of Europe, just like Mr. Gilstrap and Mr. Albright (political appointment by Donald Trump, ushering in “the swamp”)



  3. Gemini at 2,000: 86% of Capsules Use Self-Signed Certificate, Just Like the Techrights Web Site (WWW)

    As shown in the charts above (updated an hour ago), the relative share of ‘Linux’ Foundation (LE/LF; same thing, same office) in the capsules’ certificates has decreased over time; more and more (in terms of proportion) capsules choose to sign their own certificate/s; the concept of ‘fake security’ (centralisation and consolidation) should be rejected universally because it leaves nobody safe except plutocrats



  4. [Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

    Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC



  5. EPO as the 'Ministry of Truth' of Team UPC and Special Interests

    The 'Ministry of Truth' of the patent world is turning the EPO's Web site into a propaganda mill, a misinformation farm, and a laughing stock with stock photography



  6. Microsoft 'Delighted' by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

    Microsoft boosters such as Bogdan Popa and Mark Hachman work overtime on distraction from the failure Vista 11 has been (the share of Windows continues to fall relative to other platforms)



  7. Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

    Links for the day



  8. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

    Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there's nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)



  9. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

    The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won't tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)



  10. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022



  12. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day



  13. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



  14. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day



  15. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  16. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  17. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  18. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  19. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  21. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  23. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  24. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  25. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  26. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  27. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  29. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  30. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day


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