Threats, Violence, Suicide, Palestine and Censorship in Debian Project

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software at 11:42 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News

There have been renewed discussions about aggression, violence and suicide messages in Debian recently.

In 2018, the Debian Project Leader Chris Lamb started denouncing volunteers. One consequence of Lamb’s aggression is that the volunteers have been receiving extraordinarily abusive messages from other community members ever since. Some of those messages refer to suicide or encourage volunteers to kill themselves. Here’s an example:

Subject: Poll: Suicide choice

From: <name of volunteer/target>

A Condorcet Internet Voting Service poll named

Suicide choice has been created. You have been

designated as a voter by the poll supervisor,

<name of volunteer/target> Fuckup

Description of poll: In 2019, I want to die. I am a

despicable human being …

<rant, rant, rant>

… I want to let you

choose how I end my worthless life.

If you would like to vote, please visit the following URL:

< snip >

Suicide jokes are simply not fun.

Another suicide email appeared on Sunday, suggesting that it was one way for people to escape from being blackmailed by Enrico Zini, Joerg Jaspert and Jonathan Wiltshire. A disturbing reflection on the culture of the Debian Project today.

This appeared on the debian-project mailing list at Christmas. Merry Christmas indeed:

Subject: Re: Some thoughts about Diversity and the CoC

From: Dato Simó <dato@debian.org>

To: debian-project@lists.debian.org

Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2019 19:08:05 -0300

I almost punched a wall while reading the message

I’m replying to. I cannot possibly convey to you all

the rage that it provoked. Should the author had been

nearby, I wish I could say I would have charged against him.

These messages about suicides and threats are a reflection of leadership quality in many free software organizations today.

Why are messages about violence and suicide accepted by the mailing list censors but this message about a DebConf20 (Israel) speaker going to Palestine was censored?

Links 13/9/2020: Manjaro 20.1 Mikah, KDE Frameworks 5.74.0, Wine 5.17, Elive 3.8.16 Beta and SystemRescueCd 6.1.8

Posted in News Roundup at 6:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Bottlerocket: AWS’s New Linux Distro for Containers
      • Announcing the General Availability of Bottlerocket, an open source Linux distribution built to run containers

        As our customers increasingly adopt containers to run their workloads, we saw a need for a Linux distribution designed from the ground up to run containers with a focus on security, operations, and manageability at scale. Customers needed an operating system that would give them the ability to manage thousands of hosts running containers with automation.

      • Sysadmin careers: My road to a career in Linux system administration

        This article revolves around my first ever failure at school, starting from my senior secondary when I received a grade of 59.8 percent. It seems so close to 60 percent, doesn’t it? Still, in reality, it is a complete failure in the eyes of your society, friends, and even your close loved ones. It was here where all the criticism started pouring on me.

        I never lost hope. I got myself admitted to college. But, little did I know my passion would soon earn me a living.

      • Mirantis releases its first take on the Lens Kubernetes IDE

        Lens is arguably the most popular of all the Kubernetes IDEs. Although it’s not even a year old yet, Lens already has a community of over 35,000 users and 7,000 GitHub stargazers.


        Previously, this information had been stored internally. It worked fine so long as there was no need to update the kubeconfig file contents. However, many Lens users are using third-party tools from managed Kubernetes service providers to generate their kubeconfig files. These tools also often update them on the fly. Since Lens didn’t update the revised files, this often led to programmer confusion and ticked off developers.

        Lens’ built-in Smart Terminal has also gotten smarter. It comes with kubectl and other Kubernetes cluster tools. The Smart Terminal will now automatically switch the version of kubectl to match the currently selected cluster Application Programming Interface (API) version. It also automatically switches the context to match your cluster.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Calindori 1.2; the official one

        Calindori 1.2 is out! Although a couple of versions have also been tagged, that’s the first stable release of Calindori as a KDE application.

        In this release, new ways to manage your schedule have been added, several rough edges have been smoothed out, and a set of mobile-desktop convergence bits have been introduced.

      • KeePass 2.46 Released with TLS 1.3 Support on .NET 4.8+

        KeePass Password Safe 2.46 was released a day ago with new features, improvements and bug-fixes.

      • Now and Then: What happened to 3 promising open source Linux terminal emulators?

        Many small utilities start when an individual senses the need for a project. That person announces their brainchild, working on an initial code base, and releases an early version. The individual together with a small number of contributors further develop the program until its reached a certain level of maturity. If the key developer decides to abandon the project, it can simply wither away. Or it can be forked by an interested party and development continues.

        Way back in the mists of time (OK it was early 2015), we wrote an article highlighting 3 open source terminal emulators that were in an early stage of development. Definitely not stable, feature complete or remotely ready for a production environment. But they all were very promising for different reasons.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.17 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - ADVAPI32 library converted to PE.
          - Beginnings of an NDIS network driver.
          - Still more restructuration of the console support.
          - Various bug fixes.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 5.17 Released With Work Started On NDIS Network Driver

        Wine 5.17 is out this afternoon as the latest bi-weekly development snapshot in the Wine 5.x series leading up to Wine 6.0 in early 2021.

        Wine 5.17 marks the ADVAPI32 library being converted to a portable executable (PE), the start of an NDIS network driver, more restructuring of the console support, and various bug fixes.

        The NDIS work in this release is the creating of the NDIS service and so far creating network card registry keys and devices with ndis.sys and beginning to implement the ioctls for this Windows Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS).

      • Wine 5.17 Released with Initial NDIS Network Driver

        Wine 5.17, a new development release of the compatibility layer allows to run Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS, was released with new features and various bug-fixes.

      • Wine development release 5.17 is out now

        Another two weeks have gone by and the team hacking away on the compatibility layer Wine have a brand new development release available.

        Need to know what Wine is? Here’s a quick primer: it’s a constantly improving compatibility layer that allows the running of Windows-only applications and games on Linux and other operating systems. It’s one of the driving forces behind Steam Play Proton. Helping you to get whatever you need done on Linux, or perhaps so you don’t have to give up that favourite game.

      • Wine-Staging 5.17 Adds More Patches For Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

        Rebased atop yesterday’s Wine 5.17 upstream release, the experimental/testing blend of Wine is out with a new update that comes in at just under 650 patches compared to the official Wine code-base.

        Wine-Staging 5.17 is coming in slightly smaller thanks to some GStreamer patches being upstreamed and other work into Wine 5.17 proper.

    • Games

      • old but still rocking games – Severance – Blade of Darkness

        Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a 2020 platformer battle royale game. It is developed by Mediatonic and published by Devolver Digital. The premise of the game is to complete various solo and team-based challenges, all while avoiding being disqualified.

        The game was announced in June of 2019 and came out on August 4th, 2020. Currently, the game is on Microsoft Windows 10 via Steam and Sony PlayStation 4. However, it is possible to play the game on Linux as well. In this guide, we’ll show you how!

      • How to play Fall Guys on Linux

        Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a 2020 platformer battle royale game. It is developed by Mediatonic and published by Devolver Digital. The premise of the game is to complete various solo and team-based challenges, all while avoiding being disqualified.

        The game was announced in June of 2019 and came out on August 4th, 2020. Currently, the game is on Microsoft Windows 10 via Steam and Sony PlayStation 4. However, it is possible to play the game on Linux as well. In this guide, we’ll show you how!

      • 5 Best Online Cloud Gaming Services Start for Free

        Online Cloud Gaming services is one of the biggest experience in the gaming industry. Cloud gaming technology has allowed gamers and developers to achieve new heights. We have explain here best 5 best Online Cloud Gaming Services Start for Free.

        With its roots extending back to 20 years ago, gaming on-demand or cloud gaming has become a source of interest for people worldwide. The approach of making games accessible with very few hardware and software limitations makes it easier to play games that don’t limit you to the “box” you always play them in. Whether you are new to this concept or are interested to know more, let’s delve into ‘The Future of Computer Games by looking at the top 5 spot holders in today’s cloud gaming services!

      • Linux gaming optimization kit ‘GameMode’ has a new release up

        Need an easy way to run a bunch of system enhancements? GameMode, originally made by developers at porting studio Feral Interactive has a new release out.

        While all of the tweaks can be done by themselves, the point is to have an easy place for anyone and everyone to kick their Linux system into the highest performance possible. A great idea and it’s getting quite featured-filled too.

      • Check out the latest demo of the couch party game Unspottable with new levels

        Unspottable is an absolutely fantastic local multiplayer game about picking out your opponents from a crowd.

        Covered here on GOL back in July, we had a huge amount of fun testing out the few levels it had available in the original demo and it worked great. The idea is that you each walk around various levels, trying to figure out who is not a bot and then give them a good punch. Last person standing out of actual players wins a point. With EGX / PAX now going on, the developer updated it to add in an extra bunch of levels and they’re all thoroughly entertaining.

      • With PAX Online here, you can try out the demo of zen-puzzler Unpacking

        After a long day hack away at some code, a game about unpacking a bunch of boxes would usually be the last thing I would want. However, Unpacking (the actual game) is genuinely lovely.

        We only mentioned this a few days ago, as the team at Witch Beam showed off a wonderful new trailer with the announcement that Unpacking isn’t releasing until 2021. Now though you’ve got a chance to try it out early, as there’s a limited time demo available on Steam. It’s very much as you might expect from a “zen” puzzle game where the name directly matches up to the gameplay. Calming, weirdly relaxing and so very gentle.

      • Dino MMO ‘Path of Titans’ has a new playable demo for PAX Online

        Ready for some dinosaur action? Path of Titans, the hugely successful crowdfunded indie MMO now has a demo you can download and try out.

        As a refresher – Path of Titans is a multiplayer dinosaur survival game, one where you’re playing as an actual dino. With detailed environments and lots of different species to choose from spread across herbivores, carnivores, aquatic, terrestrial, gliding, and flying species. There’s even so customization you can do. Servers will support up to 200 people playing and that’s on top of AI creatures running around too.

        Their original IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign in 2019 pulled in nearly $100K AUD, and that amount has only continued to rise with over 25K backers given them over $640K!

      • Feral’s GameMode 1.6 Released For Optimizing The Linux Gaming Experience

        GameMode 1.6 is out as the Linux daemon developed by game porting firm Feral Interactive for setting the CPU frequency scaling governor and other helpers when launching games in an effort to enhance the Linux gaming performance and then returning the system to its prior state after the game has quit.

        With GameMode 1.6 there is optional support now for elogind integration, new documentation, the ability to change the library directory for gamemoderun, allow LD_PRELOAD to be overrode in the $GAMEMODERUNEXEC variable, minor bug fixes, and better dependency handling.

      • Get ready for action as SOLDAT 2 enters Early Access on September 22

        The next generation of the side-scrolling action shooter is almost here, over 18 years later Soldat 2 will arrive in Early Access and Transhuman Design has big plans. With an aim to be a direct successor to the 2D multiplayer shooter Soldat which took the Internet and LAN parties by storm in the early 2000′s. Something I remember greatly, it was very popular.

        Currently in the final phase of several weeks of multiplayer testing, the “one man army” creator of Soldat is nearly ready to unleash Soldat 2. “Soldat 2 aims to recreate the classic experience of online deathmatch famous in Soldat, with the same physics-based movement, violence and guns. But it is much more than that with a new 2.5D look, weapons, customizations, gamemodes and experimental features such as motorbikes, battle royale and an agar.io inspired gamemode!” – says the creator Michal ‘MM’ Marcinkowski.

      • Borderlands 2 will see no further updates for Linux / macOS from Aspyr Media

        After repeatedly trying to get an answer, we now finally have it confirmed that Aspyr Media will be doing no further updates to Borderlands 2. While Aspyr Media are still continuing to update their ports of Civilization VI for Linux / macOS, the situation with the Borderlands series is just sad.

        You might be confused, since Borderlands 2 is from 2012. So why are we mentioning this now? Well, it came to Linux later in 2014 and last year it gained one final DLC with Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary plus the Borderlands 2 Ultra HD Texture Pack. Both of which are missing for Linux and along with those and updates to support them, this broke cross-platform play between Linux, macOS and Windows.

      • APICO is an adorable upcoming casual sim about breeding and collecting Bees

        Beeautiful. That’s what APICO is. A recent discovery and I have a feeling it’s going to bee something quite big.

        It’s a casual crafting and exploration sim with Bees. Well, you’re not a bee, you’re something of a bee keeper. You explore, cut down trees, craft, build machines and more all towards the aim of collecting and breeding Bees. Combining well-known gathering and crafting elements from other popular casual and not-so-casual games, APICO is absolutely overflowing with wonderful charm. I’m a little in love, can you tell?


        Linux is a confirmed supported platform and there’s even a demo you can try.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.16pre1 released!

        As scheduled we have just released Xfce 4.16pre1 on August 27th (sorry for the long time to write a post about it) – the first development release leading up to Xfce 4.16. And it comes with a boatload of new features and improvements, so prepare yourselves.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Frameworks 5.74.0

          KDE Frameworks are over 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks web page.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.74 Released With Faster KTextEditor, Many Improvements

          KDE Frameworks 5.74 is out as the latest monthly update to this collection of KDE libraries complementing the Qt5 tool-kit.

          Among the changes to find this September with KDE Frameworks 5 include:

          - KTextEditor is now a lot faster at loading large files. KTextEditor also picks up a zoom indicator on the status bar and other improvements.

          - New Breeze icons including one for the Godot game engine MIME type for files, an Anaconda installer icon, and more.

        • Using Architecture Decision Records (ADRs) in KDE?

          Over at Akademy 2020, I just witnessed a fantastic talk by KDE contributor mainstay Kévin Ottens on “Lost Knowledge in KDE”. In the presentation, Kévin showed us a series of examples of sophisticated solutions to important problems KDE has innovated and implemented over the years – and subsequently lost knowledge of, applying them sparingly or inconsistently, or developing new solutions redundantly. He also talked about how this is a familiar problem to organizations, with a research field known as knowledge management itself looking to develop solutions and tools to combat this problem since the late 20st century.

          He also highlighted how we don’t use comm tools with higher knowledge retention factors – blogs, mailing lists, media with more permanent discussion records – as much anymore. So here’s a suggestion in blog form! :-)

          Within the wider open source as community as well as industry, the idea of writing Architecture Decision Records has recently become quite popular. ADRs are not really a new tool – surely forms of it have been around for a long time in various organizations – but giving the renaissance of the concept a name has a lead to ample discourse on its pros an cons, and plenty of resources available.

          To give my take, an ADR is a concise write-up of a particular project/community decision. It should have enough detail to make the decision understandable, as well as cover its context and implications. They usually have an owner and co-authors, and are finalized via a light peer-review process. It’s a bit like drafting and finalizing a PEP, another popular tool – except instead of motivating a change, it is describing a decision, to serve as a cache and make sure future discussions and changes have a frame of reference to work with. In this sense, it’s a bit like KDE Manifesto, which has served us rather well.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.74 Released with Exciting Improvements for Your Favorite KDE Apps

          Just like with last month’s KDE Frameworks 5.73 release, KDE Frameworks 5.74 is packed with numerous changes, new features, bug fixes, and other enhancements to make your KDE Plasma desktop environment experience more enjoyable, stable, faster, and reliable.

          There are lots of changes in this monthly update, but the biggest ones include the ability for QWidgets-based KDE apps to remember their window positions when closed and relaunched on X11, on a per-screen-arrangement basis. This was a highly requested feature and I believe many Plasma fans will love it.

        • KMail account trouble

          KMail is the open-source email client that I’ve always wanted to use. However, I’ve always given up on it after a few hours or days after running into critical bugs. I gave it another shot this month, and here’s how it went.

          I’ve been using Evolution for the last few years. I’ve recently had serious issues with it corrupting messages, and its PGP-integration has been buggy for years. A couple of weeks ago, I needed to send off a PGP-encrypted email to [redacted] regarding a security issue. So I went looking for alternative email clients. As many times before, KMail was the first option on my list.

          KMail has every feature I need, including PGP support and integration with my email provider (IMAP/SMTP) and address book server (CardDAV). It’s recommended by Use plain-text email and formats email messages in the way I like it. It even has a Unicode-compatible spellchecker (something Thunderbird is still missing in 2020!) It’s been an appealing option for me for years.

        • This week in KDE: Akademy makes the magic happen

          This week we attended a virtual version of KDE’s yearly Akademy conference! If you missed it, there are tons of videos available on the KDE Community YouTube channel. The organizers did a truly amazing job, and it was really truly close to the fun and productivity of an in-person event. Many things were decided, projects un-stuck, and exciting long-term plans made, from which we will all be benefiting soon enough. But we didn’t let a grueling week-long conference stop us from making your favorite software even better!


          KDE now has a totally fancy all brand new development website for teaching people how to write apps that integrate well in Plasma! (Carl Schwan, already deployed on the website!)

        • KDE Launches Developer Platform Website, Other Progress During Akademy

          Akademy 2020 took place virtually this week as the annual gathering of KDE developers.

          For those interested in the virtual Akademy 2020 there is the conference site. But even with this virtual KDE developer meet-up all week, a lot of development work progressed.

        • My 2020 Akademy talk: Visions of the Future

          This year I gave a talk at Akademy about my vision for how to get KDE’s software onto more hardware, and therefore more easily into the hands of our users. If you’re interested, here’s a recording! Hope you enjoy it.

        • Akademy 2020 Day 7 – The Last Day

          It was fine day in Onlineland and Akademy attendees were in a festive mood, not least because they were ready to celebrate the successful migration of KDE to GitLab. Although a titanic effort, the move is already paying off, as GitLab offers an easier and more flexible platform for developers and users to get their work done and shared.

          Ben Cooksley, sysadmin extraordinaire, Bhushan Shah, Plasma Mobile’s main developer, Community veterans like David Edmundson and Lydia Pintscher, and many others shared their experiences of how the migration has improved the way they worked.

          GitLab was also represented in the party with Nuritzi Sanchez, Senior Open Source Program Manager at GitLab, attending.

        • Akademy 2020 – Friday BoF Wrap-up

          Friday continued the Akademy 2020 BoFs, meetings, group sessions and hacking. There is a wrap-up session at the end of the day so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.

    • Distributions

      • Deepin

        • The Most Beautiful Deepin Linux Finally Gets Stable Version 20 Release

          After about 5 months of beta testing, the Deepin Linux team has finally released the stable version of Deepin 20 series. Last month, we also reported about a new rule for the Deepin Linux system version number, which now no longer uses alpha, beta, and release candidate (RC).

          Hence, the latest stable release has been dubbed version 20 (1002) that comes with major new updates and improvements ranging from aesthetic design, new visual look to the base repository, and Linux kernel.

        • Deepin Linux 20 Review: Beautiful Desktop with Stability

          Deepin released its latest version Deepin 20 which is beautiful and stable as before.

          This impressive open-source GNU/Linux distribution is based on Deepin tech and features free and proprietary software as well. Deepin is popular among users who want a beautiful Linux while being stable.

          This is an overview of Deepin Linux with a summary of the latest release Deepin 20.

        • Deepin 20 – Innovation is Ongoing

          deepin is a Linux distribution devoted to providing beautiful, easy to use, safe and reliable operating system for global users.

          deepin 20 (1002) comes with a unified design style and redesigns the desktop environment and applications, bringing a brand new visual look. Besides that, the underlying repository is upgraded to Debian 10.5, and the system installation supports dual kernels – Kernel 5.4 and Kernel 5.7, which greatly improve system stability and compatibility. What is more, it provides a new launcher, the latest preinstalled applications, enhanced fingerprint support and system security, all of which ensures better user experiences.

      • New Releases

        • Arch Linux-based Manjaro 20.1 Mikah is here with Xfce, GNOME, and KDE

          Manjaro is one of the most popular Linux-based operating systems these days, and it isn’t hard to see why. It is based on the rock-solid Arch, but unlike that distro, Manjaro is very easy to install and use. In other words, it has all the benefits of Arch, but without the hassles and headaches. This makes it a great choice for both Linux experts and beginners.

          Manjaro 20 “Lysia” was released back in April, and it was very well received by the Linux community. Today, the first point update, Manjaro 20.1 “Mikah,” becomes available for download with a trio of desktop environment options — Xfce (4.14), GNOME (3.36), and KDE Plasma (5.19). All three DEs are excellent, but Xfce is what the developers consider the “flagship.” The Xfce variant comes with an all-new theme called “Matcha.” All versions of Manjaro 20.1 come with Linux kernel 5.8, Pamac 9.5.9, and ZFS installation support.

        • Manjaro 20.1 “Mikah” Is Here with Linux 5.8, Latest KDE Plasma and GNOME Desktops

          Dubbed “Mikah,” Manjaro 20.1 is here five months after Manjaro Linux 20.0 “Lysia” and it features the latest Linux 5.8 kernel series for top-notch hardware support, latest Pamac 9.5 series for out-of-the-box package management with smarter performance, enhanced Alpm error handling, and better regex support.

          Starting with this release, Manjaro Linux now also builds packages from Arch Linux’s AUR (Arch User Repository) and installs as many as possible in a single operation so you always have the latest package versions on your installations.

        • Manjaro 20.1 “Mikah” Released: Get Arch Linux-based OS For Humans

          Manjaro Linux project team developer Philip Müller has officially announced a new point version, Manjaro 20.1 “Mikah.” The latest release supersedes the previous Manjaro 20.0 “Lysia” and comes with more updates, improved tools, and refreshed user interfaces.


          Continuing the support for the ZFS file system, v20.1 has now enabled ZFS installation by providing the needed kernel modules. Speaking of Linux kernel, Manjaro 20.1 has also replaced its previous kernel 5.6 with the latest stable kernel 5.8 to bring support for new drivers.

          Another major change that Manjaro has added to version 20.1 is the AUR package building. With the latest v20.1, Manjaro Linux has decided to build packages from Arch Linux’s AUR (Arch User Repository) and install as many as possible in a single run.

        • Manjaro 20.1 Mikah got released

          The Xfce edition remains our flagship offering and has received the attention it deserves. Only a few can claim to offer such a polished, integrated and leading-edge Xfce experience. With this release we ship Xfce 4.14 and have mostly focused on polishing the user experience with the desktop and window manager. Also we have switched to a new theme called Matcha. A new feature Display-Profiles allows you to store one or more profiles for your preferred display configuration. We also have implemented auto-application of profiles when new displays are connected.

          Our KDE edition provides the powerful, mature and feature-rich Plasma 5.19 desktop environment with a unique look-and-feel, which we had completely re-designed in Spring 2020. The full set of Breath2-themes includes light and dark versions, animated splash-screen, Konsole profiles, Yakuake skins and many more little details. We have rounded off text editor Kate with some additional color schemes and offer Plasma-Simplemenu as an alternative to the traditional Kickoff-Launcher. With a wide selection of latest KDE-Apps 20.08 and other applications Manjaro-KDE aims to be a versatile and elegant environment ready for all your everyday needs.

          With our Gnome edition based on 3.36 series we include visual refreshes for a number of applications and interfaces, particularly noteworthy being the login and unlock interfaces. GNOME shell extensions are now managed using a new Extensions app which handles updating, configuring and removing or disabling extensions. A Do Not Disturb button was added to the notifications popover. When enabled, notifications are hidden until the button is toggled off. By default our own dynamic wallpaper changes its colour theme throughout the day. Additionally we updated GDM and improved our Gnome-Layout-Switcher a lot. We updated our list of pre-installed packages, zsh is the new default shell and applications are now sorted in folders in a clean app drawer.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.2-BETA1 Now Available
        • FreeBSD 12.2 Beta Available For Testing

          While FreeBSD 13 is aiming for release around March of 2021, FreeBSD 12.2 is on the way for releasing next month as the next stable installment.

          FreeBSD 12.2 is geared for bringing bug fixes and expanded hardware support to current FreeBSD 12 users. This weekend marks the availability of the first beta release on the road to FreeBSD 12.2.

          There are the FreeBSD 12.2-BETA1 images available for testing while the change-log remains in progress.

        • Benchmarking NetBSD, third evaluation report

          This blog post is in continuation of GSoC Reports: Benchmarking NetBSD, first evaluation report and GSoC Reports: Benchmarking NetBSD, second evaluation report blogs, and describes my progress in the final phase of GSoC 2020 under The NetBSD Foundation.

          In the third phase, I upgraded to the latest stable version Phoronix Test Suite (PTS) 9.8.0 in pkgsrc-wip, resolved the TODOs and created patches for more test-profiles to fix their installation and runtime errors on NetBSD-current.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • [PCLOS] Evolution mail updated to 3.38.0

          Evolution is a mailer, calendar, contact manager and communications tool. The tools which make up Evolution will be tightly integrated with one another and act as a seamless personal information-management tool.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Ceph and SUSE making the first step toward Windows [Ed: SUSE works for Microsoft Windows… talk about misguided priorities.]
        • Kubernetes Moves Fast! Keep Up the Easy Way with SUSE CaaS Platform

          If you’ve been using Kubernetes for a while, then you already appreciate not only the most significant capabilities of the platform, but also the details of what’s new in every upstream release. And you probably understand something about the mixed blessing of a platform that is advancing so rapidly. Exactly how do you balance the benefits of all the latest go-fast features with the costs of updating your clusters as frequently as those new features come out? A challenging question, for sure!

          Thankfully, SUSE CaaS Platform can help you stay on top of your Kubernetes game, even as the platform continues to evolve. SUSE delivers new capabilities regularly, along with the enterprise support and management tools you need to ensure their smooth integration into your live environment. SUSE CaaS Platform helps you keep up, without falling down.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux-Based SystemRescueCd 6.1.8 Adds Two New Hex Editors, Linux 5.4.64 LTS

          SystemRescueCd 6.1.8 has been released today as a maintenance update to this free live Linux distribution based on Arch Linux and designed specifically for general system administration tasks.

          Coming one and a half month after the previous release, SystemRescueCd 6.1.8 is here to continue the great SystemRescueCd 6.1 series by adding some new apps and various other enhancements. For example, the distro now includes two new hexadecimal text editors, namely HexEdit and GHex.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Marketplace Aims to Accelerate Open Hybrid Cloud Innovation With Certified Software Solutions Ready to Run on Any Cloud

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, and IBM (NYSE: IBM), today announced the general availability of Red Hat Marketplace, a one-stop-shop to find, try, buy, deploy and manage enterprise applications across an organization’s hybrid IT infrastructure, including on-premises and multicloud environments.

        • Schlumberger, IBM and Red Hat Announce Major Hybrid Cloud Collaboration for the Energy Industry

          Schlumberger, IBM and Red Hat, announced today a major collaboration to accelerate digital transformation across the oil and gas industry. The joint initiative will provide global access to Schlumberger’s leading exploration and production (E&P) cloud-based environment and cognitive applications by leveraging IBM’s hybrid cloud technology, built on the Red Hat OpenShift container platform.

        • Enterprises say data integration is key to business, but it’s weighed down by challenges

          Market disruptions driven by advanced technologies, increased competition from startups, increasingly savvy and more demanding customers — these are just some of the more visible pressures companies face today. To help relieve those pressures and remain competitive, companies are trying to accelerate their ability to deliver innovative products and services, and that requires the ability to make changes to business models, processes, and applications more quickly, as needed. One way to make those changes is to employ Red Hat’s agile integration approach. Why? Because it combines integration technologies, Agile delivery techniques, and cloud-native platforms so apps and data across multiple systems can work together more quickly and seamlessly.

          Data is considered a linchpin, and a challenge, in companies’ ongoing integration efforts that are central to their top IT priorities such as emerging technology initiatives and public cloud adoption. In fact, many of the obstacles companies face revolve around data, and those challenges are shifting. This is one of the takeaways of Red Hat’s survey of decision makers including IT architects, developers, managers, directors, and C-level executives. The research helps to characterize how the market operates in relation to data integration and where organizations are in their use of agile processes. It also delineates differences between technical and business users when it comes to these topics.

        • Peter Czanik: Insider 2020-09: Prometheus; proxy; ESK;

          This is the 84th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

        • Madeline Peck: September Blog Post

          I’ve shifted from working full time hours during the summer at Red Hat, to working ten hours (give or take) part time remotely while I’m starting classes again. I’ve decided to also chat about my thesis work on here, and I’m still deciding whether or not to make their own posts on the off weeks in between my intern posts, simply because neither probably has enough to talk about every week.

          Let’s catch up though. The latest thing that’s been on my mind preparing for a sketch note session today on Hopin for a research talk, from 1:30-2:30 EST by Jose Renau and Karsten Wade. So basically Jose will be giving a talk about Live Hardware Development at UCSC and Karsten will help lead the conversation, and then at 2:00 it will be an open round table discussion. While they talk and give their slides virtually, there will be artists sketching on screen about the topic, which is my job.

          On Friday I met with Heidi Dempsey, Sarah Coghlan, and Mo Duffy to go over the website and program and make sure we were all sure how it was going to work. During that session these were the doodles I came up with. I’m very intrigued by super heroes and detectives who are the champions of code and besides drawing what I imagined Sarah’s dog, and Heidi, that filled up the page pretty much.

        • From monoliths to microservices: Modernize your apps now

          Using a modular microservices architecture is becoming a standard for cloud development, much like using prepared ingredients is while cooking. According to a recent survey by O’Reilly, more than 75% of organizations are currently using microservices. What’s the appeal of microservices? Just like in cooking, relying on pre-made ingredients lets you skip the repetitive prep and get right to the creative stuff that makes your app stand out.

        • The 2020 Call for Code Awards

          2020 has been unprecedented in terms of what society has faced. It has also been unprecedented in the degree to which you, the Call for Code community, have stepped up to make a difference. Be sure to mark your calendar for October 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET and join our host, CNN Political Commentator Van Jones, in commemorating the largest tech-for-good initiative of its kind: Call for Code©. The 2020 Call for Code Awards Celebration is going digital this year, making it easier than ever to tune in and be inspired by what we have achieved. Here are just a few reasons why you should attend.

        • Call for Code Daily: Kode With Klossy, intern innovation, & mental health

          The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that we have built around this major #TechforGood initiative. Whether it is the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers leveraging the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all the amazing #TechforGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you. Check out the stories from the week of September 7th:

      • Debian Family

        • Elive 3.8.16 beta released

          The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the beta version 3.8.16
          This new version includes:
          Kernel 5.7.10 and updated drivers
          Optimizations while installing packages in Live mode
          Virtual machines: included feature to configure and remember a specific resolution
          Wine improvements for running installed software
          SSD/NVME performance improvements by: disabled realtime discards, enabled a safe weekly fstrim job, much faster speeds using now a simpler and efficient scheduler
          eltrans, the elive translator tool is working again
          Hotkeys PDF shows up with a better user-experience now
          document included about how to customize and create your own E16 themes
          other fixes: updated tmux compatible configurations, nicotine updates and fixes, netflix compatibility feature is working again

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How breaking my back led me to open source

        Recently, I noticed some unusual activity on my blog. A very old post about how I broke my back while living in London had a lot of hits. Was it yet another case of Internet spammers finding a new target for their lewd advertisements? I finally put two and two together when I read the headlines that British personality Simon Cowell had broken his back in a freak motorcycle accident. Aha. So, a little celebrity mishap had led to a renewed interest in my story. Not to worry, if my recovery is anything to go by, then Simon should be just fine, folks.

        Breaking my back was a pivotal experience on many fronts. It scared the hell out of me. But the road to recovery helped me become a more resilient, courageous, and patient human being. Interestingly, it was this incident that also led me to the world of open source. Living with chronic pain is lonely, but I found my voice and a community via WordPress. Now, nearly eight years later, I’m working for the number one open source company in the world.

      • Intel Working On VA-API AV1 Acceleration For FFmpeg

        With Intel Xe LP / Tigerlake adding AV1 accelerated video decode, the Intel open-source developers are working to expose their AV1 hardware acceleration through the Video Acceleration API (VA-API) for usage by the likes of FFmpeg and other multimedia software.

        FFmpeg as one of the most notable multimedia libraries is now seeing VA-API AV1 support plumbed as a result of Intel engineers for supporting the AV1 acceleration once Tigerlake notebooks hit the market.

      • Events

        • Schedule posted for virtual Embedded Linux Conference Europe

          The Linux Foundation announced its schedule for its Oct. 26-29 Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2020 Virtual Experience. Registration is $50.

          Keynotes and presentation listings have been posted for the Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2020 Virtual Experience, scheduled for Oct. 26-29. Like the North American edition, held June 29 to July 2, this is an online-only event with registration discounted to $50. The event was originally scheduled to be held in Dublin, Ireland.

      • Web Browsers

        • The 10 Best Linux Web Browsers

          Web browsers were introduced around 1991. Since then, they have progressively advanced to operate on multiple operating systems with increased efficiency and performance. Linux, being an open-source community product, gives freedom for experimenting with several browsing features to improve functionality and usability.

        • Mozilla

          • Wasmer 1.0 Is Approaching For Running WebAssembly Anywhere

            The Wasmer 1.0 alpha release is now available for running WebAssembly programs anywhere. Wasmer is about providing a universal runtime for WebAssembly (WASM) that can run across platforms / operating systems and also embed into other programming languages. Wasmer leverages WebAssembly principles to provide safety around untrusted code on top of its other design features.

          • TenFourFox FPR27b1 available (now with sticky Reader View)

            The big user-facing update for FPR27 is a first pass at “sticky” Reader View. I’ve been paying attention more to improving TenFourFox’s implementation of Reader View because, especially for low-end Power Macs (and there’s an argument to be made that all Power Macs are, by modern standards, low end), rendering articles in Reader View strips out extraneous elements, trackers, ads, social media, comments, etc., making them substantially lighter and faster than “full fat.” Also, because the layout is simplified, this means less chance for exposing or choking on layout or JavaScript features TenFourFox currently doesn’t support. However, in regular Firefox and FPR26, you have to go to a page and wait for some portion of it to render before you enter Reader View, which is inconvenient, and worse still if you click any link in a Reader-rendered article you exit Reader View and have to manually repeat the process. This can waste a non-trivial amount of processing time.

            So when I say Reader View is now “sticky,” that means links you click in an article in reader mode are also rendered in reader mode, and so on, until you explicitly exit it (then things go back to default). This loads pages much faster, in some cases nearly instantaneously. In addition, to make it easier to enter reader mode in fewer steps (and on slower systems, less time waiting for the reader icon in the address bar to be clickable), you can now right click on links and automatically pop the link into Reader View in a new tab (“Open Link in New Tab, Enter Reader View”).

          • Socorro Engineering: Half in Review 2020 h1

            2020h1 was rough. Layoffs, re-org, Berlin All Hands, Covid-19, focused on MLS for a while, then I switched back to Socorro/Tecken full time, then virtual All Hands.

            It’s September now and 2020h1 ended a long time ago, but I’m only just getting a chance to catch up and some things happened in 2020h1 that are important to divulge and we don’t tell anyone about Socorro events via any other medium.

      • Programming/Development

        • Integrating libcamera into PipeWire

          Cameras are complex devices which require heavy hardware image processing. The complexity in the userspace camera application development originates with the evolution of complex hardware. libcamera addresses this problem and offers ease of camera application development. libcamera can be described as a full camera stack library in the userspace to provide the feature that do not belong in the kernel.

          The core of libcamera framework exposes kernel driver APIs to userspace while the libcamera application layer abstracts the developer from complex hardware usage. libcamera supports multiple video streams from a single device. In real time use cases such as video conferencing, we may need to preview streams with different resolutions than what we tend to stream over the network. It is natural that we would like to display the live streaming simaultaneously while we capture the video with different resolutions. libcamera offers a perfect solution to fulfill these requirements.

          Having said that, what if we’d like to stream a camera device data using different applications simaultaneously? Well, PipeWire answers this question. Besides acting as an interface between hardware devices and applications, PipeWire eases the sharing of hardware devices between applications. Moreover, integration of libcamera into PipeWire brings all the abilities offered by libcamera into PipeWire. With this, PipeWire can become a first class user of modern cameras.

        • The benefits of making code worse

          Refactoring ruthlessly can keep code habitable, inline with our best understanding of the domain, even aesthetically pleasing.

          They can also make the code worse. Whether the result is better or worse is in the eye of the beholder. What’s better to one person may be worse to another. What’s better for one team may be worse for another team.

          For example, some teams may be more comfortable with abstraction than others. Some teams prefer code that more explicitly states how it is working at a glance. Some people may be comfortable with OO design patterns and find functional programming idioms unfamiliar, and vice versa.

          You may refactor the code to a state you’re less happy with but the team as a whole prefers.

          Refactoring the code through different forms also allows for conversations to align on a preferred style in a team. After a while you can often start to predict what others on the team are going to think of a given refactoring even without asking them.

          Making refactoring a habit, e.g. as part of the TDD cycle accelerates this, as do mechanisms for fast feedback between each person in the team—such as pairing with rotation or collective group code review.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Linux Fu: Literate Regular Expressions

            Regular expressions — the things you feed to programs like grep — are a bit like riding a bike. It seems impossible until you learn to do it, and then it’s easy. Part of their bad reputation is because they use a very concise and abbreviated syntax that alarms people. To help people who don’t use regular expressions every day, I created a tool that lets you write them in something a little closer to plain English. Actually, I’ve written several versions of this over the years, but this incarnation that targets grep is the latest. Unlike some previous versions, this time I did it all using Bash.

  • Leftovers

    • The First Hard Case: Zeran V. AOL And What It Can Teach Us About Today’s Hard Cases

      A version of this post appeared in The Recorder a few years ago as part of a series of articles looking back at the foundational Section 230 case Zeran v. America Online. Since to my unwelcome surprise it is now unfortunately behind a paywall, but still as relevant as ever, I’m re-posting it here.

    • The Next Generation Of Video Game Consoles Could Be The Beginning Of GameStop’s Death

      Predictions about the death of video game retailer GameStop have been with us for at least a decade. There have been many reasons for such predictions, ranging from the emergence of digital downloaded games gobbling up market share to declines in retail stores generally. But there are two recent new headwinds that might frankly be the end of this once ubiquitous franchise as we know it.

    • Patton and Westy Meet in a Bar: a Play of Many Parts in One Act

      It’s only mid-afternoon and Army Lieutenant General Victor Constant has already had a bad day.1 Soon after he arrived at the office at 0700, the Chief2had called. “Come see me. We need to talk.”

    • Freakish, Horrifying, and Sometimes Wondrous Alternative Histories

      Haunted mansions are seldom built with the ghosts pre-furnished; yet there they were, the specters of Jim Crow America, already in residence when a spanking new spook house titled Lovecraft Country recently rose on a tract of HBO.

    • Endless Summer
    • A Daughter of Beirut Recovers the Memory of Her Father, Lost to Espionage at the Dawn of the Modern Oil Age

      Have you ever put down a Tom Clancy novel and wondered what the work of a real spy is like?

    • Tom Seaver’s Major League Protest

      Tom Seaver, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, died last week at 75. While his pitching exploits put him in the Baseball Hall of Fame—he won 311 victories, had 3,640 strike-outs, won three Cy Young Awards as best pitcher in the National League, and ended his 20-year career with an astounding earned-run average of 2.86—it is what he did and said off the baseball diamond that resonates now more than ever.

    • The ‘Disposable Populations’ of Sports

      Construction workers in the Lusail Iconic Stadium, the venue for the FIFA World Cup 2022, in December of 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty)

      Amid the whirlwind of the recent athlete strike wave against racism, Human Rights Watch issued a report on a different set of workers in the world of sports who are also struggling but lack the star power of the Milwaukee Bucks or tennis star Naomi Osaka. The report detailed how guest workers in Qatar, who have been toiling in abject conditions to build stadiums, hotels, and transportation for the 2022 men’s soccer World Cup, continue to experience horrific exploitation.

    • Primary Concern Theory

      I think we get distracted by specific arguments—and neglect the search for the Primary Concern—at our peril. It creates dialogue that feels productive, but doesn’t actually yield anything. Because the true issue wasn’t named or addressed.

      If you want to make progress with a person, or a group of people speaking as one, find out their Primary Concern. Take the time to dig for it. It might be buried. But the real conversation won’t begin until you find it.

    • Let employees sell their equity

      All this goes to say that employees should value their equity substantially less than an equivalent amount of cash. Outside of the C-level, you can’t do much to make the equity more valuable, and an extra dollar worth of equity takes your portfolio further away from an ideal portfolio that you could buy if you just had cash. (For more on this topic you should read Lisa Meulbroek (hi, Professor Meulbroek), whose CV is criminally underrated.)

    • The Trump administration is investing in African e-commerce startups focused on rural areas

      By enabling equity investments and not just aid or grants, the US approach coming more in line with countries including the UK, whose CDC has been one of the world’s leading development finance investors, particularly in Africa, over many decades.

    • Science

      • Language-based AI leaves Finland behind–can a new initiative change that?

        To help establish a foundation for voice-activated services in Finnish, broadcaster Yle, Helsinki University and state development company VAKE launched “Donate Your Speech” (Lahjoita puhetta in Finnish), a publicly funded venture.

        The project aims to draw speech samples from a large and diverse pool of Finnish speakers, including those learning it as a foreign language.

      • User-Based Free Innovation

        In his 2016 book of the same title, MIT professor Eric von Hippel defines free innovation “as a functionally novel product, service, or process that (1) was developed by consumers at private cost during their unpaid discretionary time (that is, no one paid them to do it) and (2) is not protected by its developers, and so is potentially acquirable by anyone without payment – for free.” The book is available as a free download here.

        Free innovation is a tightly constrained subset of commons-based peer production, – also known as open, collaborative innovation. Participants in a commons-based peer production project can do so for monetary gains, either as individual users or as employees of a collaborating company, as has been the case with firms involved in the continuous development of Linux. In contrast, while free innovation has potentially important economic impacts, it’s fundamentally not about money.

        Free innovation is part of the household sector of national economies, carried out by the members of a household for their own consumption, using their own capital and unpaid labor. “In just six countries surveyed to date, tens of millions of individuals in the household sector have been found to collectively spend tens of billions of dollars in time and materials per year developing products for their own use,” writes von Hippel.

        How can individuals justify developing a product or service which is freely made available to anyone while no one pays for their labor? The book cites the example of parents of children with Type 1 juvenile diabetes, whose blood sugar level must be constantly monitored. A company, Dexcom, had developed a device that measures blood sugar every few minutes and displays the result in a nearby small receiver. But parents of children with diabetes were frustrated that the Dexcom device couldn’t transmit its data over the Internet. Working together, they developed an open source solution that made it possible to upload the data to the Internet. Now the parents could monitor their children’s glucose level no matter where they were, – in school, playing with other children, or on a sleepover. In 2013 they established the Nighscout Foundation, – #WeAreNotWaiting, – to make their very important innovation freely available to anyone.

      • Similarity principle in legal cases

        In both cases that citation is to Johnson and Maggiora’s (ed.) seminal work Concepts and Applications of Molecular Similarity.
        That book is clear that they are not making new observations about the association between molecular similarity and property similarity. Indeed, the first sentence of the preface is Applications that make use, either explicitly or implicitly, of the concept of molecular similarity in chemistry are numerous, and indeed lie at the heart of a significant body of chemical research.

        The book is focused on the scientific applicability of molecular and chemical similarity (it distinguishes between the two), with an emphasis on the types of molecular similarity which can be automated, while the cognitive algorithms by which medicinal chemists perceive similarity are largely unknown. (as Maggiora, Vogt, Stumpfe, and Bajorath comment in Molecular Similarity in Medicinal Chemistry (2014)).

    • Education

      • Why Goodreads is bad for books

        When I tweeted about wanting to leave Goodreads, I received an avalanche of recommendations for The StoryGraph from people across the English-speaking world. Though still in development, it already has tens of thousands of members, attracted by the promise of a place beyond Goodreads. Users tell me this platform could be our way out.

        Nadia Odunayo is The StoryGraph’s founder. She tells me the inspiration for the platform came, unsurprisingly, from her frustration with Goodreads. Already a tech entrepreneur, she decided to drop everything in January 2019 to dedicate herself to making the idea work.

    • Hardware

      • Which PC Boots Up and Shuts Down Faster: AMD or Intel?

        The move to SSDs spurred a wave of UEFI and software optimizations that ultimately reduced boot times by significant amounts, but that doesn’t mean that every processor or platform can deliver the same level of performance during system boot up. There can be big differences between Intel and AMD’s respective chips and platforms (see our AMD vs Intel CPU face-off), so we set out to measure which company is the fastest at system boot up, shutdown, and restarting.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Food Need Very High Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels, Making Relief Imperative

        Millions of Americans are still not getting enough to eat. Policymakers must address this problem by providing more assistance. 

      • Fauci Warns Pre-Pandemic Normalcy Not Likely Until ‘Well Into’ or ‘Towards the End of 2021′

        The public health expert also addressed the need to reduce cases headed into fall, halted vaccine trials, and reported attempts to “muzzle” him.

      • What Went Wrong with AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Trial? CEO Only Shares Details with Investors

        As the world races to find a COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most promising vaccine trials has hit a major roadblock. AstraZeneca paused its Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial after a woman in the trial developed severe neurological symptoms consistent with transverse myelitis, or inflammation of the spinal cord. Details were only revealed during a CEO call with investors, and “everyone was left to guess what went wrong,” writes Ed Silverman, senior writer at the health news site STAT, which broke the story. Silverman says the halting of the U.K. trial raises several issues, including whether pharmaceutical companies are being pushed to move faster than is safe. “Is the FDA being pushed to authorize or approve a vaccine faster than it should?”

      • Universities Should Learn Lessons of 9/11 and Transform in the Face of Pandemic

        Nineteen years ago, I (Sepehr Vakil) was wrapping up my last summer before college visiting my dad in South Carolina. I was getting ready to enter the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a freshman to study engineering. I was the stereotype, the “American dream” realized, the successful culmination of an Iranian family’s journey to the United States. We had immigrated from Iran when I was a small child, in the midst of the deadly Iraq-Iran War.

      • Healthcare for the People: the Cuban Experience

        If they are paying attention, progressives worldwide know that Cuba provides healthcare that saves lives and prevents disease more effectively than does the United States, its major capitalist enemy. They know that Cuban health workers have been caring for people throughout the global South and, during the Covid -19 pandemic, in Europe too. And the word is out that Cuba educates vast numbers of physicians for much of the world.

      • Trump Campaign Boots NYT Reporter After She Remarks on Lack of Masks at Rally

        A New York Times reporter covering a rally for President Donald Trump in Freeland, Michigan, was kicked out of the event Thursday by the president’s campaign staff as she was detailing in real-time how individuals in the crowd were ignoring social distancing standards.

      • Crucial Testing for Child Lead Poisoning Has Plummeted During Pandemic

        Families skipping or delaying pediatric appointments for their young children because of the pandemic are missing out on more than vaccines. Critical testing for lead poisoning has plummeted in many parts of the country.

      • Trump Tries to Change the Subject From Covid to Violence

        With over 185,000 covid corpses in the U.S., Trump needs to change the subject. What better way than promoting mayhem in American cities by routinely portraying Black Lives Matter protesters as violent, angry mobs intent on looting? Granted he gets a big assist on this from Fox News, which has screamed about black insurrection for months. But Trump deserves lots of credit. He mobilized his base, shrieked about second amendment rights, telegraphed his support of violent, right-wing militias and voila! Confrontation and murder in American cities – most of them conveniently run by the opposition party. Trump needs blood in the streets to have a shot at winning the election. So you can be sure there will be blood in the streets. Or rather, more blood.

      • “It’s a Superspreader Event”: Few Masks in Sight at Packed Trump Campaign Rally in Michigan

        “The lives of everyone in these photos—and of everyone they come into contact with in the next few weeks—are now at risk. But Donald Trump doesn’t care, so long as his ego is fed.”

      • Bob Woodward’s Accidental Scoop

        Bob Woodward, who with his then–fellow Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein famously helped bring down Richard Nixon, has another explosive exposé. But this one implicates the reporter as well as a president. In his new book, Rage, Woodward reveals that in private, recorded conversations Donald Trump made clear that he was aware of the far-reaching deadliness of Covid-19 early this year, at a time when when he was publicly downplaying the disease.

      • New Research Shows Disproportionate Rate of Coronavirus Deaths in Polluted Areas

        The industrial plants in the riverside Louisiana city of Port Allen have worried Diana LeBlanc since her children were young. In 1978, an explosion at the nearby Placid oil refinery forced her family to evacuate. “We had to leave in the middle of the night with two babies,” said LeBlanc, now 70. “I always had to be on the alert.”

        LeBlanc worried an industrial accident would endanger her family. But she now thinks the threat was more insidious. LeBlanc, who has asthma, believes the symptoms she experienced while sick with the coronavirus were made worse by decades of breathing in toxic air pollution.

      • Why We Pay More And Get Less From U.S. Healthcare
      • Trump demands reporter remove face mask before asking question at press briefing, but he refuses

        A reporter refused to remove his mask after president Donald Trump demanded he did so before asking a question at a White House news conference on Monday.

      • Coronavirus Can Be Deadly for Young Adults, Too, Study Finds

        The research letter from Harvard found that among 3,222 young adults hospitalized with Covid-19, 88 died — about 2.7 percent. One in five required intensive care, and one in 10 needed a ventilator to assist with breathing.

        Among those who survived, 99 patients, or 3 percent, could not be sent home from the hospital and were transferred to facilities for ongoing care or rehabilitation.

        The study “establishes that Covid-19 is a life-threatening disease in people of all ages,” wrote Dr. Mitchell Katz, a deputy editor at JAMA Internal Medicine, in an accompanying editorial.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • VMware Cuts Pay for Remote Workers Fleeing Silicon Valley
        • VMware Cuts Pay for Remote Workers Fleeing Silicon Valley

          The software maker has joined technology companies such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. in letting some of its office staff choose to permanently work from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. But employees who worked at VMware’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters and go to Denver, for example, must accept an 18% salary reduction, people familiar with the matter said. Leaving Silicon Valley for Los Angeles or San Diego means relinquishing 8% of their annual pay, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal policies.

        • Security

          • A new security flaw is revealed with ‘BlindSide’ on Linux affecting Intel and AMD

            It’s quite a wide-reaching security issue too which they mentioned testing being successful across Intel Skylake, Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake microarchitectures and additionally AMD Zen+ and Zen2 microarchitectures with their testing overcoming the latest mitigations too.

            Going by what they said in the full paper, the issue is present in the Linux Kernel from v3.19 up to v5.8 so that’s potentially a lot of systems. They said it means that “an attacker armed with a write vulnerability can perform BlindSide attacks on a wide range of recent production Linux kernel versions even when blind to the particular kernel version”.


            As always, ensure you’re regularly checking for updates. It’s better to be up to date and safe, than think some specific situations won’t apply to you. Better safe than sorry.

          • Security Researchers Detail New ‘BlindSide’ Speculative Execution Attack (phoronix.com)
          • Network routers are just computers

            I want to clear up a common misconception about the network router in your home. It’s neither an appliance nor magic. It’s a small computer running software that handles local network management and routing between your devices and the internet. More specifically, it’s most often a miniature Linux server. But wait, aren’t servers hugely complicated devices that require ongoing maintenance and security patching? Who’s responsible for that for the server in your home?

            Consumers don’t think of network routers as servers or even as computers. They’re sold as maintenance-free appliances that you set up and forget. A consumer-grade network router promises that it auto-configures itself, manages the household’s network, and stays out of sight. We’ve all learned to accept that we occasionally may need to turn it off and back on again when the network stops working. That is also the extent of the “maintenance” most routers receive.

            Consumers aren’t expected to know how to manage and maintain a Linux server, however. Tech-savvy consumers who realize they’ve brought a server into their homes assume the manufacturer will maintain it.

            Researchers are constantly finding security vulnerabilities in routers. The issues vary from bugs in the underlying operating system and software to misconfiguration and outright negligence from the manufacturer.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Welcome to the quantum Internet, with privacy guaranteed by the laws of physics

              Quantum computing is gradually moving from the realm of science – and even science fiction – to become a practical technology that is being used in real-life contexts. Three years ago, Privacy News Online wrote about one aspect – the possibility that quantum computers will be able to unlock all of today’s encryption, including the strongest. But increasingly, a more positive vision of quantum computing is emerging. It is centered around the creation of what is being called the quantum Internet. That’s just a shorthand way of saying a global network of quantum computers and other devices based on the physics of quantum mechanics, able to exchange information much as ordinary systems do across today’s non-quantum Internet. But the quantum version has one crucial property that makes it of great importance for privacy: it offers a fundamentally secure way of communication in which privacy is guaranteed by the laws of physics. That’s because the quantum bits – qubits – that move across a quantum network link are subject to the observer effect: any attempt to monitor them as they traverse the network would modify them. As a result, it will be evident when things like encryption keys or data have been compromised en route. There is no way around this – it is an inherent property of quantum mechanical systems – which is why so many companies and governments are exploring how to create quantum networks and the quantum Internet.

            • The War on You: How the Pentagon is Militarizing Social Control

              Neoliberalism benefits the few and makes life for the many increasingly impossible. Big data and blanket surveillance give state and corporate intelligence confidence that they can pre-empt and manage mass, social reactions to neoliberalism. This article is an excerpt from my new book, The War on You.

            • TikTok Pushing Forward With Deal to Meet Looming Deadline

              Reuters on Friday reported that the Chinese government has privately expressed that it would rather ByteDance close TikTok in the U.S. than be forced to sell its U.S. assets. In response to the report, a TikTok spokesman said, “the government has never suggested to us that we should shut down TikTok in the U.S. or any other market.”

            • Facebook to be Ordered to Stop Sending EU Data to U.S.

              The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has reportedly issued a preliminary order instructing Facebook to stop transferring the data of EU users to the United States. The order comes in the wake of a recent the European Court of Justice (CJEU) decision which found the Privacy Shield, which permitted companies to freely transfer users’ personal data, illegally infringed EU residents’ data protection and privacy rights. EPIC participated as an amicus curiae in the case, arguing that U.S. surveillance law does not provide adequate privacy protections or remedies for non-U.S. persons abroad.

            • In Afghanistan, Social Media Is the Only Way to Talk Back to the Taliban

              In Afghanistan, social media has become the primary means for ordinary Afghans to voice their concerns about the peace process. The U.S.-Taliban agreement signed in February, setting up the intra-Afghan peace talks, is the latest chapter in a long history of deal-making to serve the interests of stakeholders rather than considering public opinion in Afghanistan.

            • Your Phone Is Your Castle

              The unfortunate fact is, for most of the people reading this article, your phone is not your castle. In many ways, your phone isn’t yours at all, at least if we are using these same traditional definitions of property. Instead, you happen to live in a castle owned by your phone’s vendor. It’s Apple or Google, not you, who decides what is allowed to enter the castle, and what happens inside its walls. They are the ones who are allowed to defend it from intrusion, and more importantly they are the ones who define what counts as intrusion to begin with. Your phone is their castle, you just happen to live inside their walls subject to their rules.

              The recent epic battle between Apple and Epic over the tariff Apple charges for merchants to sell goods inside the castle walls illustrates how Apple markets their castle’s defenses as protecting the castle residents when in reality it’s about controlling all that goes on inside the castle.

              If you haven’t been following the case, Epic is objecting to the 30% cut of their revenue that Apple gets from processing payments within the App Store. Epic has added an alternate payment processor within their popular game Fortnite that competes with Apple’s App Store payment processor by charging a lower price for purchases made through the game since Epic avoids Apple’s 30% processing fee. Apple has responded by threatening to remove Epic’s software from the App Store as well as revoking their ability to use Apple’s development infrastructure.

              A customer can only install apps that are in the App Store, so by removing Epic’s app from the App Store, Apple removes them from the full iOS ecosystem. Customers who own iPhones and who have paid for and installed Fortnite would then have the application removed from their phones. In a court filing, Apple argues that the requirement that customers may only install software through the App Store is needed “for security and privacy.”

              There is some truth to this statement. Because iOS software, backed by iPhone hardware, actively prevents a customer from installing any software on an iPhone outside of the App Store, it does also prevent attackers from installing malicious software. Because the App Store has rules about how applications (outside of their own) can access customer data, if Apple discovers a competitor like Google or Facebook is violating its privacy rules it can remotely remove their software from iPhones, even internal corporate versions of software owned by Google or Facebook employees.

            • Michel Alexandre Salim: Does social media bring you joy?

              I deleted my Instagram accounts today. The process is needlessly obscure – the flow on the app and the web interface only exposes an option to temporarily disable your account – which is an alarming anti-pattern; it is indeed one of the walled gardens I alluded to in an earlier post.

              What was the impetus for this, you might ask? There are multiple factors I took into consideration, but the final straw was watching Jeff Orlowski’s thought-provoking documentary, The Social Dilemma. It’s on Netflix right now, and is a highly recommended watch. Even as someone who has, for a while, been highly skeptical of algorithmic newsfeeds in particular, and the attention economy in general, this still sends chills down my spine. A lot of tech insiders have second thoughts about the products they built, worry about its impact on the world, and try to insulate their children from it.

              Center for Humane Technology’s Tristan Harris (ex-Google ethicist) and Aza Raskin (infinite scroll inventor), Jaron Lanier (a VR luminary, author of critical books such as Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now) feature prominently in the documentary, as well as ex-Facebook personnel such as Tim Kendall and Justin Rosenstein (remember the Like button?); ex-YouTuber Guillaume Chaslot (who built AlgoTransparency1), former Twitter executives, and academics such as Shoshana Zuboff. I risk name-dropping if I continue (ok, one more – Cathy O’Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction). TL;DR – watch for yourself!

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Is a Second Civil War Really Possible?

        In 1983, 90% of the American media landscape (including magazines, books, music, news feeds, newspapers, movies, radio, and television) was dominated by 50 conglomerates.

      • New UN Report Recommends ICC Investigate Possible War Crimes by All Sides—Including US-Backed Coalition—in Yemen

        “Yemen has been ravaged in ways that should shock the conscience of humanity,” said one of the report’s authors.

      • Banana Strings and the Military-Industrial Complex

        How did we ever arrive at this unfamiliar destination with a strangely morphing reality—writhing and shifting at an ever-accelerating pace? 8 months ago, the notion that a pandemic could alter our social interactions to this extent was not really considered to be a possibility. Now it feels as if life was always this way. Added to this massive change is an undeniable new reality associated with climate change.  The warnings for severe and unpredictable weather that would ensue without appreciable change in human-carbon interactions—well it politely knocked on the door ever so quietly the last few decades, a loud rap here and there, but overall, something ignorable for the vast majority. The denialists shrugged and turned up their television to drown out the knock. Now climate change has opted for a battering ram to the door–just this last week we had record highs in places like San Francisco along with 90+ weather giving way to snow the next very next day in Colorado. It’s enough to make one feel like the fabric of reality is unraveling, and really it is. The concept that we live in a somewhat static environment is being challenged daily. The bizarre nature of the Trump presidency only adds to the Salvador Dali-esque atmosphere, but instead of clocks melting, we have Andy Warhol’s soup cans shifting about, the deadly weapon of choice for the new anarchist.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf3b1AJNAR8

      • Lukashenko will meet with Putin in Russia on Monday

        Alexander Lukashenko will travel to Russia on Monday, September 14. The Kremlin confirmed the official visit on Friday, telling journalists that the Belarusian president isn’t expected to sign any documents or hold a press conference while in Russia. According to the news agency RBC, Lukashenko will meet with Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

      • Americans Have Always Been “Suckers” for War

        Trump’s reported comments about the dead soldiers of World War I as “suckers” and “losers” has caused a well-deserved uproar. We may never know whether Trump actually said those things, but the sentiments are certainly in line with the brute cruelty and lack of empathy that marks his long career in business and politics.

      • Trump vs. the Marines: Semper Lactentum

        We don’t really know (and probably never will) whether President Donald Trump really called America’s World War One dead “losers” and “suckers,” as Jeffrey Goldberg claims in a September 3 piece in The Atlantic.

      • US govt & Democrat-tied troll farm boosts Bolivian coup regime, meddles in Mexico, Venezuela
      • Under Trump, Military Veterans and Service Members Have Been ‘Losers’

        For the last few days, Donald Trump has been furiously denying conversations reported in The Atlantic in which he referred to veterans, active-duty soldiers, and World War II fighters interred in a military cemetery as “suckers” and “losers.” In one rebuttal to this “fake news,” the president insisted that he has “never called our great fallen soldiers anything other than HEROES.”

      • Costs of War: After 9/11 Attacks, U.S. Wars Displaced at Least 37 Million People Around the World

        As the United States marks 19 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, a new report finds at least 37 million people in eight countries have been displaced since the start of the so-called global war on terrorism since 2001. The Costs of War Project at Brown University also found more than 800,000 people have been killed since U.S. forces began fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen, at a cost of $6.4 trillion to U.S. taxpayers. “The U.S. has played a disproportionate role in waging war, in launching war and in perpetuating war over the last 19 years,” says report co-author David Vine, a professor of anthropology at American University.

      • US Wars Displaced at Least 37 Million People Since 9/11 Attacks

        As the United States marks 19 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, a new report finds at least 37 million people in eight countries have been displaced since the start of the so-called global war on terrorism since 2001. The Costs of War Project at Brown University also found more than 800,000 people have been killed since U.S. forces began fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen, at a cost of $6.4 trillion to U.S. taxpayers. “The U.S. has played a disproportionate role in waging war, in launching war and in perpetuating war over the last 19 years,” says report co-author David Vine, a professor of anthropology at American University.

      • Manchester Arena Inquiry: Bomber ‘discussed martyrdom with inmate’

        Evidence of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi discussing martyrdom was seized almost three years before the attack, an inquiry has heard.

      • Boko Haram Attacks Leave Cameroon Villagers in Need of Aid

        Atonfack said Boko Haram has destroyed hospitals and chased away health workers on Cameroon’s border with Nigeria, so the military offers food aid and medical and psychological care to victims.

        The U.N. said Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad Basin have killed more than 30,000 people and displaced over three million in the past decade.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • When They Came To An Oregon Town To Take Pictures Of The Fires, Armed Locals Thought They Were Antifa Arsonists

        Authorities in Oregon have struggled for days to fight apocalyptic wildfires that have burned over 800 square miles, forced thousands to evacuate their homes, and killed at least three people. Now they are also fighting a wave of rumors spreading on social media that the blazes were set by left-wing activists linked to the Portland protests.

        The panic in Oregon appeared to stem from a woman in a Facebook group called Molalla NOW, meant for locals to share information about community events.

        The post, which Trumbly shared a screenshot of on Twitter, claimed he and Paulsen had started a fire and misidentified them as “two guys wearing gas masks and ‘press’ vests.” It quickly garnered hundreds of reactions and replies.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Incorrigible: Trump Unredacted

        First things first. How do we know there is a level of violence if we don’t see it? The same way we know there is astral sex. That’s how. We know it from our dreams, our fantasies.

      • Standing Up to Trump . . . and Biden

        When I ponder the likelihood of looming electoral chaos — uncounted votes, a defeated president who won’t leave office, the possible termination of American democracy (coming soon!) — I can’t avoid putting it into a larger context:

      • ‘Incredibly Dark Day for Voting Rights’: With Support of Trump Judges, Federal Court Upholds Florida Poll Tax Weeks Before Election

        “The gravity of this decision cannot be overstated. It is an affront to the spirit of democracy.”

      • Putin apologizes to Vučić for Russian diplomat’s joke that the Serbian president should have seduced Trump with his loins

        Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have each apologized to Aleksandar Vučić for a Facebook post by the colorfully outspoken Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, who compared the Serbian president’s recent meeting with Donald Trump at the White House to Sharon Stone’s infamous “leg cross” scene in the 1992 film “Basic Instinct.”

      • With Integrity of Election at Stake, 14 States Demand Injunction to Stop DeJoy’s Sabotage of US Postal Service, Mail-In Voting

        “With the national election less than two months away, we are seeking a judicial order protecting this critical government service.”

      • Democrats and Republicans Should Just Merge

        It is interesting to try to survive in a country run by incompetent and corrupt leaders. Argentines are already near 200 days on home seclusion. We call this the “infectadura,” playing with the Spanish words for infection and dictatorship. After 200 days, the only thing we have achieved with the Alberto Fernández government is the right to be among the ten most coronavirus-infected countries in the world.

      • UN: Israeli Demolition of Palestinian Homes Increases Despite Pandemic

        Dozens of Palestinians were recently displaced because Israeli authorities destroyed their homes, even as Covid-19 cases increased by a third. 

      • ‘Farewell, United Russia’ Nominal opposition parties join forces to take on Russia’s ruling party in the town of Shuya

        At the beginning of August, a billboard with the words “Farewell, United Russia” went up in the town of Shuya in the Ivanovo Region (population: 57,000). It was accompanied by two other billboards, with the slogans “United Russia, get out of town” and “Shuya has a future, United Russia does not!” 

      • Trump’s Tromperie Plumbs New Depths
      • Is German Society Becoming Fascist?

        Without any doubt, Germany’s most successful right-wing extremist – some say neo-Nazi Neo-Nazi – party has been the AfD. The Alternative for Germany or AfD Alternative für Deutschland received sufficient votes in 2017 to enter into Germany’s Federal Parl;ament, the Reichstag 12.6%. Before that, the AfD has already managed to gain seats in several regional state parliaments. By 2020, there was not a single state left in which the AfD was not represented. While the AfD has succeeded in Germany’s formal side of politics–together other right-wing and Neo-Nazi and other extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi organisations – it has also made inroads into civil society.

      • How Trump Will Try to Win the Election

        The party conventions are over. The presidential election is in two months. The polls suggest that Joe Biden, the Democratic Party candidate, will win by a large margin over the incumbent, President Donald Trump.

      • Trump’s Deadly Mistake

        Donald Trump made the biggest mistake of his tumultuous presidential career in not telling the American people the coronavirus was far more dangerous than he had let on, keeping a secret that led surely to serious repercussions.

      • We Can’t Dismiss Young Voters. Here’s Why.

        When I drove a van of students to a Trump rally, we were in awe. Traffic crawled into the coliseum. A sea of people wearing red Make America Great Again T-shirts inched through the parking lot. Trump 2020 flags waved in the wind. Vendors selling “Women for Trump” and “Re-elect Trump” T-shirts crowded the grounds. It looked more like a music festival than the place where the president of the United States dismissed the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.

      • As Washington Retreats, Eastern Mediterranean Conflict Further Marginalizes NATO

        The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance in name alone. Recent events notwithstanding, the brewing conflict over territorial waters in the Eastern Mediterranean indicates that the military union between mostly Western countries is faltering.

      • Biden’s Transition Team Isn’t a “Team” and It’s Not Promising Much of a Transition

        On September 5th, Joe Biden added four new members to his transition team, which was not really a team. It consisted only of Ted Kaufman, the 81-year old Democratic senator from Delaware. Considering Kaufman’s reputation as a deficit hawk and his advanced age, Biden had to cover his left flank and give the appearance of diversity.

      • A Judicial ‘Shitshow’ Blocks Absentee Ballots in Wisconsin

        Madison, Wis.—When the right-wing judicial activists on the Wisconsin Supreme Court forced the state’s April 7 election to go forward at a peak point in the coronavirus pandemic, absentee ballots saved the day. While thousands of voters were forced to stand in line for hours to cast their ballots in person, almost 1.1 million votes were cast by mail.

      • Echoes
      • How Trump Will Try to Win—or Steal—the Election

        Trump does not like to lose. He will try these various strategies to overcome his profound unpopularity to win re-election.

      • ‘I am the moderator’ A former separatist spoke out against the abuse of an opposition activist in Chechnya. Then Chechen law enforcement arrested his relatives.

        On September 10, former Chechen separatist commander Akhmed Zakayev told the media that his relatives were kidnapped and detained in Russia’s Chechnya, after he spoke out against the humiliation of a teenager involved in running the opposition Telegram channel 1ADAT. The Chechen authorities have rejected Zakayev’s allegations, claiming that his family members decided to disown him voluntarily.

      • Elections and the Problem of Politics

        For most readers of political commentary, the human consequences of deindustrialization, the 1994 Crime Bill, the bailouts of Wall Street, etc., are abstractions. Deindustrialization left capable adults with the choice of taking low-wage, low-status service jobs or muddling through in the informal economy. The 1994 Crime Bill built out the infrastructure of policing and prisons to make the reach of official power more punitive and onerous. The bailouts of Wall Street re-started the reorganization of economic life around financialization and the commodification of everything. The bailouts also shored-up the distribution of political and economic power between capital, the oligarchs, and the PMC.

      • Biden Next Time

        I hesitate to attribute settled views or even consistent attitudes to Donald Trump; his mind, such as it is, isn’t up to it.

      • Fascism and the Quickening of History

        Over the last few months I have been revisiting research I did a long time ago on fascism. Pinochet’s Chile, Sukarno’s Indonesia, Montt’s Guatemala, Hitler’s Germany and beyond. I’ve spent time poring over the accounts of the survivors, the details of the crimes, the descriptions of the torture, of the camps, the ghettos, the dehumanization, the cruelty, the terror, the photos of the train cars headed to concentration camps, the mass graves, the massacres, the piles of corpses. And reading through the accounts of people who knew things were going in this direction, that something ghastly was being done to other people, yet did nothing, not even raised their voice when they had the chance.

      • Nothing To See Here, Just the Attorney General Condoning Extra-Judicial Killings To Save Us From Imaginary Violent Mobs
      • States Already Out of Unemployment Cash Helps Prove Much-Predicted Failure of Trump’s Executive Action on Covid-19 Relief

        “America’s economy is getting hammered, but when those who need help most look to Washington they see Senate Republicans posturing with bad legislation and the White House refusing to negotiate.”

      • Fourteen Martyrs in the Struggle Against Racist Terror and Trumpism-Fascism

        The wannabe fascist dictator Donald Trump, his personal attorney general William Barr, and the rest of the broader right-wing United States political and propaganda machine absurdly portray the remarkable anti-racist and anti-police violence protest wave that arose across the nation after the lynching of George Floyd as “radical Left terrorism.”

      • Why White People find it Difficult to Talk about Race

        This is part three in a series, you can read the two parts here.

      • The U.S. is Borrowing Its Way to Fascism

        Viewing the GOP convention seemed a little like binge-watching the last several years’ parade of none-too-subtle signs of incipient fascism. We saw extreme nationalism, scapegoating immigrants and foreigners in general, white supremacy, “strong (narcissistic)-man” government, aggressive foreign policies, and hysterical red-baiting. Those signs reflect how capitalism’s deepening crisis undermines both the center-left (Democrat) and center-right (GOP) and shifts politics further right and further left. Trump represents the anti-center right, Bernie Sanders the anti-center left. Most capitalists want neither; the center worked very well for them over the last 75 years. As that political center implodes, U.S. capitalists favor the right over the left. They see the difference between fascism and socialism very clearly. They are not fooled by the crumbling old center’s self-serving efforts to equate socialism and fascism.

      • Can We Call It Fascism? Trump’s Voter Suppression Project, 2020

        Voter suppression and voter fraud have become dominant topics of discussion in the 2020 election. In an Orwellian twist, the Trump administration appears to be calling for the suppression of massive numbers of voters, in the name of combating “voter fraud.” This plan is coming to fruition by way of his assault on the U.S. Post Office and mail-in voting, which he admits is meant to restrict a form of voting that’s expected to cut heavily in favor of Democratic candidates, despite non-partisan fact-checkers recognizing that the evidence of mail-in voter fraud is largely non-existent.

      • John Fogerty: It’s ‘Confounding’ That Trump Played ‘Fortunate Son’ at Rally

        Fogerty did, however, tie the opening lines of “Fortune Son” — “Some folks are born made to wave the flag, ooh their red, white and blue/But when the band plays ‘Hail to the Chief,’ they point the cannon at you” — to Trump’s recent use of federal troops to clear out Black Lives Matter protesters from Lafayette Square for a photo op in front of St. John’s Church.

        “It’s a song I could’ve written now,” Fogerty said at the end of the video. “And so I find it confusing, I would say, that the president has chosen to use my song for his political rallies, when in fact it seems like he is probably the fortunate son.”

      • Hawkins fights for Green Party’s survival

        Faced with a tripling of the votes required to keep the Green Party on New York ballots in future elections, Howie Hawkins called upon progressives to vote for the Green presidential ticket in 2020.

        “Biden has been consistently ahead of Trump by at least 25% in every poll in New York. Trump is toast here. The question for progressives is his how are they going to use their vote. I support a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and taxing the rich to save our cities and schools. Biden does not. Shame on progressives who settle for Biden and let him take them for granted when he’s president,” Hawkins said to a rally of supporters in Albany today.

        A new law pushed through by Governor Andrew Cuomo in April increased the number of votes needed by the top of a party’s ticket to secure a ballot line from 50,000 votes to 135,000 or 2%, whichever is greater. In 2016, 2% would have been about 155,000 votes.

      • Hawkins Demands Immediate Resolution of Wisconsin Ballot Case

        Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins blasted both major parties in Wisconsin Saturday morning for holding up the printing and mailing of absentee ballots in Wisconsin.

        “The Wisconsin Supreme Court should put the Green presidential ticket on the ballot immediately because we have met all the requirements for ballot placement. The court has all the information it needs to make a decision,” Hawkins said.

        “The Republican-majority court could end this delay right now by making a ruling. The Democrats could end the delay right now by dropping their bogus objections to our placement on the ballot,” Hawkins added.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Apparently The New Litmus Test For Trump’s FCC: Do You Promise To Police Speech Online

        Last month we wrote about how President Trump withdrew the renomination of FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly just days after O’Rielly dared to [checks notes] reiterate his support for the 1st Amendment in a way that hinted at the fact that he knew Trump’s executive order was blatantly unconstitutional. Some people argued the renomination was pulled for other reasons, but lots of people in DC said it was 100% about his unwillingness to turn the FCC into a speech police for the internet.

      • White House Insisted It Had 16,000 Complaints Of Social Media Bias Turned Over To The FTC; The FTC Has No Record Of Them

        One less noticed feature of the White House’s anti-Section 230 executive order was the claim that the White House had over 16,000 complaints about social media bias that it would turn over to the FTC to help it… do something to those big mean social media companies:

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Pinterest’s Moderation Efforts Still Leave Potentially Illegal Content Where Users Can Find It (July 2020)

        Summary: Researchers at OneZero have been following and monitoring Pinterest’s content moderation efforts for several months. The “inspiration board” website hosts millions of images and other content uploaded by users.

      • U.S. Company Faces Backlash After Belarus Uses Its Tech to Block Internet

        For several days in August, however, Sandvine’s “deep packet inspection” equipment played a central role in censoring social media, news and messaging platforms used by protesters rallying against President Alexander Lukashenko’s re-election, Bloomberg reported last month. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the Aug. 9 election “fraudulent.”

        The documents and product demonstration, as recounted by the people familiar with the company’s affairs, lend added insight into Sandvine’s work in Belarus, showing that company representatives met directly with officials in Belarus and later shipped the equipment, via a contractor, to be installed at data centers in Minsk.

      • China uses collective punishment to silence dissidents

        China’s local authorities are outdoing each other in a competition to prove who is most loyal to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), detaining dissidents and putting their family members under strict surveillance.

      • The Murder of an American ‘Blasphemer’ in Pakistan

        A recent murder has cast a “fresh spotlight on Pakistan’s blasphemy laws”: on July 29, 2020, Tahir Naseem (pictured above), 57, a U.S. citizen, was shot dead in a Pakistani courtroom, during a bail hearing for the charge of blasphemy, which included “denigrating the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad,” Reuters reported. Although his teenage slayer was apprehended and is being charged with murder, among the people of Pakistan, he is a great hero: [...]

      • Former Free Press reporter removed from Trump rally

        Kathleen Gray, a longtime political reporter for the Free Press who now works for the New York Times, said she was removed from President Donald Trump’s Michigan rally on Thursday after tweeting that few in the crowd appeared to be wearing masks.

        “First for me: Trump campaign tracked me down from pics i tweeted and escorted me out,” Gray said in a post on Twitter. Earlier she had posted photos of the crowd and said “Maybe 10% have masks.”

        Gray’s tweets about her removal caught fire on social media and generated attention both locally and nationally. The British online paper the Independent wrote about it.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Save Lives, Fill Out Your Census

        A deadline is looming. Millions of lives, trillions of dollars, and our democracy all hang on whether we show up to meet it.

      • A Court Just Slammed the Guantánamo Gate Shut

        Does the public care about the 40 remaining inmates with no obvious end to their imprisonment?

      • Bernie-Inspired Organizers and Rhode Island Voters Deliver ‘Crystal Clear Message’ With Progressive Primary Wave

        “No one is entitled to their seats,” said Medicare for All advocate Cynthia Mendes after winning a high-profile race. “If you’re not working for people, you will be replaced.”

      • Beyond White Supremacist Groups, We Must Eradicate Systemic White Supremacy

        Since the police killing of George Floyd in May sparked a nationwide uprising against police brutality, armed white supremacists have taken to the streets of U.S. cities in response to Black Lives Matter protests. Organizing against systemic racism has been met with apparent attempts by the Trump administration to cover up white supremacist violence. We speak to legendary Black feminist scholar Barbara Smith, founder of the Combahee River Collective, about her proposal for an antiracist program called the Hamer-Baker Plan — named for Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker — to eradicate white supremacy in the U.S. “I’m not just talking about white supremacist groups or organized white supremacy,” Smith says. “What I’m talking about is a system that actually dictates and shapes every aspect of life in the U.S.”

      • Barbara Smith: The U.S. “Functions with White Supremacy as Its Engine.” Here’s How We Dismantle It

        Since the police killing of George Floyd in May sparked a nationwide uprising against police brutality, armed white supremacists have taken to the streets of U.S. cities in response to Black Lives Matter protests. Organizing against systemic racism has been met with apparent attempts by the Trump administration to cover up white supremacist violence. We speak to legendary Black feminist scholar Barbara Smith, founder of the Combahee River Collective, about her proposal for an antiracist program called the Hamer-Baker Plan — named for Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker — to eradicate white supremacy in the U.S. “I’m not just talking about white supremacist groups or organized white supremacy,” Smith says. “What I’m talking about is a system that actually dictates and shapes every aspect of life in the U.S.”

      • The NYPD Repeatedly Promoted Cop Accused of Racist, Invasive Strip Searches

        Christopher McCormack is one of the New York Police Department’s highest-ranking officers. As an assistant chief, he helps oversee drug enforcement and organized crime investigations throughout the city. He was hand-picked for the promotion two years ago by his old friend James O’Neill, who was police commissioner.

      • Why Many Police Are Barely Distinguishable From Racist Vigilantes

        Police in America, whose mottos claim to “protect and serve” us, have been openly declaring allegiance with the forces of white supremacy. It is no coincidence that this has become a hallmark of Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump defended Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old white suspect in the shooting deaths of two activists in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the days following the police shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake.

      • Cops And Paramedics Are Still Killing Arrestees By Shooting Them Up With Ketamine

        Cops — and the paramedics who listen to their “medical advice” — are still killing people. A couple of years ago, an investigation by the Minneapolis PD’s Office of Police Conduct Review found officers were telling EMS personnel to inject arrestees with ketamine to calm them down. This medical advice followed street-level diagnoses by untrained mental health unprofessionals who’ve decided the perfect cure for “excited delirium” is a drug with deadly side effects.

      • Russian police officials make false claims about Anti-Corruption Foundation employee evading questioning

        Maria Pevchikh was among the group of six people who accompanied opposition figure and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny on the trip to Siberia that ended with his poisoning. Now, the Transit Police Department for Russia’s Siberian Federal District is claiming that Maria Pevchikh — or as they’ve mistakenly called her, “Marina” Pevchikh — is refusing to testify. The department is carrying out a preliminary inquiry into Navalny’s hospitalization in Omsk (Russian police officials have yet to open an actual case over the attack on Navalny). 

      • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Confirms a Pattern of Age Discrimination at IBM

        The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued a sweeping decision concluding that IBM engaged in systematic age discrimination between 2013 and 2018, when it shed thousands of older workers in the United States.

        The EEOC finding, contained in an Aug. 31 letter to a group of ex-employees, comes more than two years after ProPublica reported that the company regularly flouted or outflanked laws intended to protect older workers from bias in hiring and firing.

      • 13-year-old Boy Sentenced To 10-year Imprisonment For Blasphemy Appeals Judgment

        According to a copy of the court document seen by SaharaReporters, the teenager pleaded that the court should set aside the judgment because the law used to convict him was unconstitutional and conflicts with the Nigerian constitution, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

        He added that the Sharia law is only applicable and permissible in Islamic theocracies or countries whose constitution allows for such laws and not in Nigeria — a secular state with constitutional democracy.

      • Woman in low-cut dress denied entry to Musee d’Orsay

        “We have taken note of an incident that occurred with a visitor during her visit to the Musée d’Orsay,” it reads, before stating that the museum “profoundly regrets” what happened and has contacted the “concerned person” to apologize.

        Edouard Manet’s “Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe” and Gustave Courbet’s “The Origin of the World” are among the many famous works depicting nudity that are on display at the museum.

        CNN has contacted the Musee d’Orsay and Jeanne for comment.

      • Iranian anti-hijab activist facing deportation from Turkey as Ankara-Tehran mend ties

        Shariatmadari was one of at least 39 women arrested in 2018 in connection with hijab protests, known as the“girls of Inqelab,according to Amnesty International, which says another 55 people were detained for their work on women’s rights, including women who tried to enter football stadiums illegally and lawyers advocating for women.

      • Iran’s secular shift: new survey reveals huge changes in religious beliefs

        In contrast with state propaganda that portrays Iran as a Shia nation, only 32% explicitly identified as such, while 5% said they were Sunni Muslim and 3% Sufi Muslim. Another 9% said they were atheists, along with 7% who prefer the label of spirituality. Among the other selected religions, 8% said they were Zoroastrians – which we interpret as a reflection of Persian nationalism and a desire for an alternative to Islam, rather than strict adherence to the Zoroastrian faith – while 1.5% said they were Christian.

      • At risk of losing their home, health, and internet: 12 million Americans still waiting for unemployment benefits

        Six months into the pandemic, some laid-off workers find themselves waiting weeks or even months to receive their unemployment benefits. States blame antiquated technology and say their staffers can’t keep up with the continued surge of claims, while worker advocates say these are just excuses for mismanagement and a failure to prioritize funding for upgrades. As this plays out, an untold number of families are hanging on by a financial thread.

      • Readers React | Racism in the aid sector and the way forward

        Many of you have shared your experiences of racism in humanitarian work, and your ideas on the way forward. Here’s what you’ve told us – and, no, it’s not too late to add your own thoughts (see below).

        Our recent coverage included a look at police violence in Kenya, an op-ed on how people can “do good” and still be racist, and a longer form opinion essay about the writer’s experience at Médecins Sans Frontières, which prompted responses from the organisation itself. All our stories on the intersection of Black Lives Matter and the aid sector are here. And do check out the online conversation, “When the West Falls into Crisis”, which kicked off this coverage and generated much discussion in its own right.

      • Understanding systemic racism and its impacts: ‘It’s something that holds you down’

        The focus of many protests going on around the country are centered around a number of topics. Social Injustice, police brutality, and, more specifically, victims of these, like George Floyd. While each topic is distinct, with its own intricacies, they generally all fall under the same umbrella of systemic racism.

        But what does that mean exactly?

        “I think of systems in play that keep you from being great specifically because of your race,” R. Kweku Smith, a licensed psychologist said. “It’s something that holds you down in a way that appears to be invisible but has very visible results.”

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon Is Profitable?

        So the internal startups are financed from Amazon’s free cash flow, not by Amazon issuing stock to satisfy investor’s enthusiasm to buy into Amazon’s monopoly. This is money that a more conventional monopoly would return to investors in the form of dividends. In effect, Amazon shareholders are investing in a VC fund, with the hope of future capital gains. Thus it is arguable that investors are funding Amazon’s growth, not by subsidizing product prices, but by driving its development of new businesses.

      • Patents

        • PTAB Decides Parties’ Motions in CRISPR Interference

          Having heard oral argument at a hearing held on Monday, May 18th, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board today entered its decision on these motions in Interference No 106,115 between Senior Party The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collectively, “Broad”) and Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”).

          The Broad had four substantive motions to be decided by the Board: Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 1, requesting the Board to find (as it had in the earlier, 105,048 interference between these parties) that there was no interference-in-fact; Substantive Motion No. 2 to Substitute the Count; Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 3 to de-designate claims as not corresponding to Count 1; and Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 4 for priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/736,527.

          CVC for its part filed only two motions to be decided by the Board: CVC’s Motion No. 1 was to be accorded the benefit of priority to three earlier-filed provisional applications for Count 1 of the Interference as declared; and CVC’s Responsive Contingent Motion No. 2 was to be accorded the benefit of priority to three earlier-filed provisional applications contingent on the PTAB granting the Broad’s Motion No. 2 to Substitute the Count of the interference.

        • Software Patents

          • $2,000 Awarded for Valyrian IP prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winners, Sanjay Sharma and Arpit Jain, who split a cash prize of $2,000 for their prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 6,970,706. The ’706 patent generally relates to call forwarding techniques based based on priority levels for cordless phone systems. The patent is owned by Valyrian IP LLC, an NPE and IP Edge entity.

            To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

      • Copyrights

        • Bell and Rogers Defend Canada’s Pirate Site Blocking Order in Court

          Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal has to decide whether the country’s first pirate site blocking order can stay in place. Internet provider Teksavvy objected to the far-reaching measures but, according to a new filing from media companies Bell, Rogers, and TVA, website blocking is lawful and much-needed.

        • OVPN Wins Court Battle After Pirate Bay Data Demands Rejected

          VPN provider OVPN has emerged victorious from legal action initiated by movie companies hoping to get closer to the operators of The Pirate Bay. After a back-and-forth process, the court agreed with OVPN’s claims that as no-logging provider, it had no useful data to hand over.

Richard Stallman Still Works to Improve the Freedom of the Widely-Used RasPi (Produced in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Interview at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New video from/with Mr. RasPi, Eben Upton

Summary: “As of December 2019, more than thirty million [Raspberry Pi] boards have been sold,” according to Wikipedia and Richard Stallman (RMS) is working to make them more freedom-respecting; Eben Upton takes his advice to heart, making the vision of FSF hardware endorsements (RYF) seem increasingly fruitful and promising

THE “RMS RULES”, as Mr. Raspberry Pi has put it, are being taken seriously as blobs are gradually being removed from new generations of Raspberry Pi (the original was released 8 years ago). A Raspberry Pi computer is currently being used to monitor Techrights and issue visual alerts (with lights and sounds) in case of critical issues/downtimes.

“A Raspberry Pi computer is currently being used to monitor Techrights and issue visual alerts (with lights and sounds) in case of issues/downtimes.”RMS might not be publicly visible anymore (there are very few videos of him from 2020, COVID partly to blame), but he’s still active by E-mail and other means. I speak to him on occasions. Word on the street is (to borrow slang/idiom), he’s waiting for the right moment to make a comeback. He’ll be back (not just as GNU’s head but also public speaker and so on). Don’t strike him out as “retired”, as some have, as he’s extremely active — albeit not in the public eye — for a person in so-called ‘retirement’. His ‘cancellation’ last year failed to complete (he’s in charge of GNU) and it was based on distortions, lies and deception (even internally, inside the FSF).

When I last met RMS in person (a long time ago) I suggested to him that hardware vendors should add a physical switch to laptops’ microphones. He took my suggestion seriously. He’s definitely picky or extremely selective in whose advice he accepts, but people whom he trusts he can be exceptionally amicable and attentive to. The world around him is generally hostile towards him because he thinks for himself and disagrees with many aspects of the status quo. Like Linus Torvalds (awful to compare those two men, I’m well aware) he’s not shy or reluctant to say outrageous things provided they’re factually accurate. That’s what typically gets both of them in trouble. We ought to protect both persons’ freedom of speech. Otherwise the 'speech police' will work to oppress all of us — by extrapolation so to speak — by targeting perceived leaders or influencers, even if just to “set an example…” (deterrence)

The Free software movement (extension of the ‘hacker culture’) was established not to obey authority but to disobey corporate power, question abuse (or misuse) of power, and liberate geeks from financial rulers.

[Meme] The Risk of Having Corporate Patrons is Disgrace by Association and Loss of True Independence (Freedom to Criticise Anyone)

Posted in FSF, IBM at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

tl;dr: they have less control over their image and sometimes their agenda/steering as well (risk of financial withdrawal or conditional renewal is a form of influence and instrument of leverage)

Cartman Bed Meme: FSF patrons
Going back a few years. IBM, a Donald Trump booster/collaborator (long tradition of even worse things), had the audactity to demand more diversity and tolerance from the FSF (which is actually more diverse than IBM). Cautionary tale: Linux Foundation.

Summary: Why public interest groups must never get into the “sponsorship” business (especially when it comes to large businesses with very large ‘donations’ which may come with implicit strings attached, no matter if it’s disguised as “patron” or “supporter” rather than “sponsor”)

When Debian’s Focus on Witch-hunts Overlooks Critical Infrastructure

Posted in Debian, Security at 8:54 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News

In April 2020, we notice that Steve Greenland was removed from the Debian keyring.

Joerg Jaspert, Debian, abuse, cyberbullying, german, pgp, keyring, dam, steve greenwood, cancer

We went looking for details. Was he expelled, was it political? Was it based on falsified evidence, the way Debian Account Manager Enrico Zini falsified harassment claims against Jacob Appelbaum?

In fact, Steve Greenland died of cancer in July 2009. He was still on the Debian keyring up to 2020 because the Debian Account Managers (DAMs) were too busy playing politics. They were making up false evidence to remove political opponents but it never occurred to them that Greenland’s computers, with his PGP keys, would have been acquired by relatives or even sold on eBay.

Steve Greenland, death, cancer, Debian keyring

Anybody who obtains the PGP key of a Debian Developer is able to modify and upload a new version of any package in the Debian archive.

Greenland’s key could have been used by somebody else in the project to vote twice in controversial ballots, such as those regarding systemd and the Code of Conduct.

This risk was in the Debian keyring for 11 years, longer than the two years that Debian had a vulnerability in the OpenSSL / OpenSSH key generation due to a rogue patch by a volunteer.

This incident demonstrates the extent to which Debian’s toxic culture is a threat to the security of all users and not just the volunteers who have died in the middle of blackmail experiments.

Enrico Zini, Debian, Falsified harassment claims, Jacob Appelbaum, Perjury

Chris Titus on Judging Engineers as If They Are Marketing/PR People (or Why We Are Appreciating Brilliance on Technical Merit/Grounds)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Marketing, Videos at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A response to Torvalds- and Stallman-shaming videos from one year ago, this one by Chris Titus (Mr. Titus is a person who is quite new to GNU/Linux and cites Techrights sometimes)

IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 11, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:57 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

One Year Ago: Explanation of What Richard Stallman Actually Said (and Separating Opinions From His Professional Work)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Videos at 2:24 am by Guest Editorial Team

Summary: Another year-old video about what led to the forced ‘resignation’ (this video says “retirement”) of Richard Stallman

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