The Messages That Likely Got Eric S. Raymond or ‘ESR’ Banned by the OSI (Which He Co-founded) and Why That Still Matters

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, OSI at 11:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Familiar tactics with familiar outcomes? Does one have an obligation to be empathetic towards suspected provocateurs?

DARVO explained
DARVO explained

Summary: Trouble-making in the Free (and Open Source) software world leaves leaders bruised; they seem to be falling into traps when they speak out, responding to provocative moves which then cast them as aggressors who are rude

“With whatever moral authority I still have here,” ESR wrote earlier this year, “I say to all advocates of soi-disant “ethical” licensing not just “No” but “To hell with you *and* the horse you rode in on.””

We now know more about why the OSI banned ESR. It’s not the message people often quote, in which some insults were added. Well, he publicly spoke about it. An anonymous Techrights source quoted the above. “Here is one thing ESR said,” the source noted, adding the part where he said: “I am not fooled. You are mounting an ideological attack on our core principles of liberty and nondiscrimination. You will not succeed while I retain any ability to oppose this.”

“We now know more about why the OSI banned ESR.”“Other quotes from the chain by ESR about Eric Schultz,” noted observers, are: “Because that way he couldn’t use our prestige to advance his goals. He couldn’t use OSI to pretend to be pro-freedom while actually being against freedom.”

“Both of these messages are hostile, assume bad faith and (as noted by some supporters of ESR’s position) unhelpful for resolving the issue,” said one commenter.

But not everybody agreed. “They do not assume bad faith,” said the next comment. “They define ‘liberty and nondiscrimination’ in a particular way that the other person, Eric Schulz, objectively opposes. Schulz would probably disagree about the definitions of those terms that ESR is using, but it is not an assumption of bad faith.”

“Our source wished to bring this to our attention discreetly.”The last comment said this: “They don’t assume bad faith, they are accurate depictions of what Schultz wanted to do. I mean, would he even disagree with that? The original proposal was for a license that’d allow anyone except US ICE to use the software, for example. That’s ideological. It’s pretty clearly different from the non-discrimination policies open source licenses normally have, that’s why he had to propose the license to start with. And he wanted to use the OSI to endorse his new license as being open source, whilst it didn’t meet the original criteria. In some issues there’s no way to helpfully resolve them. What sort of meet-in-the-middle do you propose here, exactly? Either open source licenses as determined by the OSI don’t discriminate against particular users, or they can, and that’s a values based decision. There’s no real way to be ‘helpful’ about it: no is no.”

Our source wished to bring this to our attention discreetly. We need to at least have a better grasp/understanding of what happened. It is a pretty big deal because for the OSI to oust a founder and former leader, then become a Microsoft 'proxy' of sorts, is a sign of collapse or at least defection. Monopolies and Open Source aren’t contradictory anymore; when the whole ‘open source’ and OSI ‘thing’ is just an openwashing veil for proprietary software (which is where we’re at in 2020) we know it’s a lost cause. It’s sellout complete with software patents, as per yesterday’s Facebook post from OIN. All Things Open (ATO) is now stacked or controlled by (and sponsored by enemies_ of Free software. It props up patent boosters/cartels and the types who don’t even use Free software themselves (they use Windows and “Macs”). Whatever our thoughts may be about the political views of ESR, it’s clear he wasn’t as bad as those people. The ousting of a founder and former leader (like at the FSF) helps weaken/eliminate the ability to morally resist corporate takeover/entryism. Moral authorities were also driven out at Python two years ago; look who's stacking the deck these days

Look what happened to Apache when ASF got stacked by Microsoft; the whole thing was outsourced to Microsoft's proprietary software prison (GitHub), just like the OSI.

“It’s almost as though some people at the OSI was pre-conditioned to get rid of ESR one way or another.”Microsoft apologist Jim Jagielski (ex-ASF) responded to the above with: “FTR, I find the final part of that sentence uncalled for. I also disagree with the idea of “ethical open source”, but it adds NOTHING to the debate and discussion to disparage those who are speaking their PoV for it. I, for one, can certainly understand and appreciate what their goals and intents are, and in some way, I even agree with them. But on one hand to damn them for speaking their mind, while at the same time defending (for lack of a better word) those using our software to oppress fellow human beings by “allowing” them to continue using our software to do so seems hypocritical. Please show better restraint.”

Many people agreed; temper issues aren’t being denied, but many disagree with the harshness of the punishment. It’s almost as though some people at the OSI was pre-conditioned to get rid of ESR one way or another. Unlike Perens, who resigned weeks earlier without throwing a slur.

At least we now know which messages were considered in violation of the CoC and acted upon quickly.

Richard Stallman to Give a Talk at the FSF’s Anniversary This Week

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 10:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dr. Stallman has also just published an article about Free software in appliances and Clown Computing (using SpaceX as an example)

A rocket in a museum

Summary: Richard Stallman (RMS) does not or has not appeared much in public this year (partly because of the pandemic), but he’s still keeping busy, writing articles, doing TV interviews, and soon speaking at the FSF’s coral anniversary; his latest article focuses on ethics associated with Clown Computing-type disservices and blackbox appliances

EARLIER this week Planet GNU mentioned the latest article by RMS. Dora Scilipoti quoted RMS: “Could there be a rocket that is totally free software? Should we demand that SpaceX liberate the software in its satellite launching rockets? I don’t think the person who asked me this was serious, but answering that question may illuminate similar issues about the sorts of products people really buy today.”

“What happened one year ago was an utter disgrace — an unwarranted lynch mob with corporate media egging on a bunch of Internet trolls who post libel.”Earlier on the same day (or a day earlier/later) ZDNet mentioned the role “Linux” [sic] plays in SpaceX; so there seems to be some discussion about those things.

“As far as I know,” RMS wrote. “software as such is not capable of generating thrust. A rocket is necessarily principally a physical device. But it may include computerized control and telemetry systems, and thus software.”

A rocketRMS is thinking a little ahead, foreseeing remote updates when he argues as follows: “If someone offered to sell me a rocket, I would treat it like any other appliance. Consider, for instance, a thermostat. If it contains software to be modified, all the software in it needs to be free. If, however, the software in it needs not ever be altered, and it communicates only through some limited interface, such as buttons on the control panel, a TV remote control, or a USB interface with a fixed set of commands, I would not consider it crucial to know what is inside the thermostat: whether it contains a special-purpose chip, or a processor running code, makes no direct difference to me as user. If it does contain code, it might as well have a special chip instead, so I don’t need to care which it is.”

“So it’s about who may (or is likely) to be mistreated by bad/malicious code.”To avoid misunderstanding or misrepresenting the views of RMS (as his haters like to do), let’s jump to the key parts: “The rocket that SpaceX uses is not like your own car or van, or even a car or van leased to you. Rather, it’s comparable to a moving company’s van that is, for the moment, transporting your books and furniture to your specified destination. It is the moving company that deserves control over the software in that van — not the customer of the moment.”

So it’s about who may (or is likely) to be mistreated by bad/malicious code. “But there is one kind of activity which should never be treated as a service,” he notes in contrast, naming, “private computational activity. That’s because a private computational activity is exactly what you could do on your own computer in freedom, given suitable free software.”

RMS later refers to the Clown Computing trend. “We call that “Service as a Software Substitute”, SaaSS for short,” he notes, “and we reject it.”

“RMS later refers to the Clown Computing trend.”Later this week the FSF will have an online party for its 35th anniversary; yesterday it posted another notice regarding this event, stating that there will be “short talks from FSF president Geoffrey Knauth, executive director John Sullivan, and FSF founder Richard Stallman on the last thirty-five years of software freedom, and what the future holds for the FSF.”

It’s good to see RMS back as a speaker; in the last LibrePlanet he did participate remotely (as everybody else did), so it looks like the relationship is generally improving. That’s the kind of thing we wish to see. What happened one year ago was an utter disgrace — an unwarranted lynch mob with corporate media egging on a bunch of Internet trolls who post libel. It enraged a lot of people, who never bothered correcting falsehoods. They just really don’t care about facts.

Bill Gates Deposition: Gates Keeps Referring to His Attacks on Competitors (Linux Included) as “Jihad” and Still Lies About Illegal Contracts

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft at 9:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘nice’ and ‘shy’ man from Seattle turned out to be somewhat of a monster and a mobster; even judges could see that

Al-FatahSummary: Bill Gates showed his true face years before his reputation-laundering ‘Jihad’ which he called the Gates Foundation; we look back at a few articles, then present the latest part, which will be examined more closely later

THE BILL GATES deposition tapes may seem like “old news”, but a lot of stuff in them is relevant to this day. Microsoft pretends that it’s no longer a monopolist and it’s lobbying governments to pretend “GAFA” is the real threat. Gates has been lying so much when interrogated (see the first part, second part, third part, fourth part, fifth part, sixth part, and seventh part; also see annotated transcripts and publication of some very long transcripts) that the courtroom and the judge had to laugh at him.

In 1999, for example, James V. Grimaldi of the Seattle Times — before Bill Gates started bribing this paper (as he did through the Gates Foundation!) — wrote this:

Microsoft is being sued separately by Caldera, which holds patent rights for DR-DOS. The company contends Microsoft illegally used its market power to prevent DR-DOS’ success.

Asked Boies: “Are you aware of any destruction or disposal of documents relating to DR-DOS?”

Replied Gates: “It’s possible somebody once upon a time sent an e-mail message to somebody else that DR-DOS was part of the subject of that e-mail and then the person deleted that message.”

Boies: “When you say it’s possible that someone did that, were you involved in that, Mr. Gates?”

Gates: “I doubt that every e-mail message I ever received that had the word DR-DOS in it, that I choose to preserve forever after.”

This is just one among many examples of Microsoft sabotage. In the following article (“Gates deposition makes judge laugh”) notice how Gates is quoted as using the word “Jihad” to describe his war on the competition. Is this how he justifies crimes (to himself)? Religious terminology that is so loaded? He said that about Linux [1, 2] and here too… he says so about other rivals:

The federal judge presiding over Microsoft’s antitrust trial shook his head and laughed during portions of Bill Gates’ videotaped deposition played in court last week featuring the vendor’s founder and chairman denying that his organisation launched a “jihad” against the Internet browser of rival Netscape.

In a rambling 50-minute segment pulled from Gates’ three-day deposition, Gates engaged in a verbal duel with US Justice Department attorney David Boies, splitting hairs over literal interpretations of e-mails and memos and refusing to concede that officials focused their efforts primarily on Netscape.

Boies confronted Gates with an e-mail the Microsoft chairman wrote to a subordinate on January 5, 1996 that said in part, “Winning Internet browser share is a very, very important goal for us.” Gates said he didn’t remember writing that specifically. But Boies pressed him about what organisations he would include in the term browser share.


Gates was shown a document sent to him by Brad Chase, a Microsoft vice president, on March 13, 1997 that said, “We need to continue our jihad next year . . . Browser share needs to remain a key priority for our field and marketing efforts.”

“It doesn’t say Microsoft,” Gates said in his deposition.

“Well,” said Boies, “when it says ‘we’ there, do you understand that means something other than Microsoft sir?”

“It could mean Brad Chase’s group,” Gates replied.

Gates was more forthcoming when asked what Chase meant by jihad. “I think he is referring to our vigorous efforts to make a superior product and to market that product,” Gates said.

Courtroom laughter

What a nice and honest guy, eh? A man of integrity, of truth, or science…

“…notice how Gates is quoted as using the word “Jihad” to describe his war on the competition.”Today’s media has been bribed so far and wide by this man that we’re supposed to think he’s not only a genius but a benevolent guardian of the planet and a fountain of truth.

Amazing what money can accomplish…

Without further ado, here’s the Bill Gates deposition, part 8:

The video started with a shaking (or rocking back and forth) Gates looking as nervous as a fetus waiting to be aborted. Of course he keeps lying. Again and again. Then he’s presented with evidence and he’s trying to still lie, albeit it gets harder. This is what sociopaths are like…

We expect that part 9 will be ready some time tomorrow morning.

Links 8/10/2020: GIMP 2.10.22 and DXVK 1.7.2

Posted in News Roundup at 8:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Announcing the 2nd Generation Kubuntu Focus M2 Linux Laptop

        The Ultimate Turnkey Linux Laptop just got better. The Kubuntu Focus team announces the immediate availability of their second generation laptop. Customers experience power out of the box acclaimed by both experts and new users alike. The finely-tuned Focus virtually eliminates the need to configure the OS, applications, or updates. Kubuntu combines industry standard Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with the beautiful yet familiar KDE desktop. With dozens of Guided Solutions and unparalleled support, the shortest path to Linux success is the Focus.

        The Focus team provides unparalleled customer support with custom order built same-day, Guided Solutions, cross-shipping, and free live support. Our team takes care of the platform so customers can focus on work and play.

      • Kubuntu Focus M2 Linux laptop is here

        Back in the day, getting a laptop with Linux pre-installed was almost unheard of. For the most part, you had to buy a computer with Windows and then install Linux yourself. This wasn’t bad, necessarily, but it did mean that the price of the computer included a Windows license you maybe didn’t want. In other words, Microsoft was profiting off of Linux users — just because they bought a Windows PC.

        In 2020, however, there are many computers to be had with Linux pre-installed, thanks to pioneers like System76. Of course, nowadays, big companies like Dell and Lenovo are selling Linux machines too. Today, yet another such laptop hits the market — the second generation Kubuntu Focus M2. Yes, this is the second officially sanctioned notebook from the developers of the KDE variant of Ubuntu.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 599: Foresight Institute – Future of FLOSS, Open-Source Think Tank, Blockchain

        Christine Peterson is a Cofounder, and Senior Fellow at Foresight Institute, a leading think tank, and public interest non-profit organization focused on emerging world-shaping technologies. Christine is also credited with coining the term ‘Open Source Software’. Host Doc Searls and Simon Phipps discuss with Christine the start of the open-source movement and the future of the module of open source. Christine also expresses her concerns with Blockchain.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA 455.28 Released As Stable Linux Driver For RTX 3080/3090

          Last month marked the release of the 455.23.04 beta driver for NVIDIA Linux users in providing support for the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards. The NVIDIA 455.28 Linux driver is out today as their first official 455 series release and also stable RTX 3080/3090 Ampere support.

          On top of the NVIDIA 455 series supporting the Ampere RTX 30 series, the driver series for Linux users also adds VDPAU VP9 10/12-bit support, improved base mosaic support, support for the NVIDIA NGX updater, Vulkan additions, and more.

        • NVIDIA driver 455.28 is out for Linux, new GPU support and lots of bug fixes

          NVIDIA have produced a brand new stable Linux driver with version 455.28, which adds in new GPU support and there’s plenty of fixes for us too.

          This is a proper mainline stable driver, so it should be good for anyone to upgrade with. A lot of this is coming over from previous Beta releases.

          With this new 455.28 driver it sees official Linux support for the GeForce RTX 3080, GeForce RTX 3090 and the GeForce MX450. That’s not all that was added. In this release they hooked up support for a new device-local VkMemoryType which is host-coherent and host-visible, which they said may lead to better performance for running certain titles with the DXVK translation layer like DiRT Rally 2.0, DOOM: Eternal and World of Warcraft. It also adds NVIDIA VDPAU driver support for decoding VP9 10- and 12-bit bitstreams.

        • Intel Releases OpenVINO 2021.1 With Tigerlake Support, Expanded Capabilities

          Ready to move past the tumultuous year that is 2020, Intel’s open-source developers responsible for the OpenVINO toolkit today issued version 2021.1 with some big ticket additions.

          While it’s only October 2020, OpenVINO 2021.1 is out today with support for 11th Gen Intel Core (Tigerlake) processors and Xe Graphics, TensorFlow 2.2.x support, the OpenVINO Model Server for distributing models across cloud/edge environments, and expanding beyond just computer vision.

        • AMDGPU Linux Kernel Driver Support Posted For The “Dimgrey Cavefish”

          At the end of September there were Mesa patches posted for the “Dimgrey Cavefish” at the same time as also posting VanGogh APU support for the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver. The AMDGPU Linux kernel driver support has now been posted for the Dimgrey Cavefish.

          The Dimgrey Cavefish is another RDNA2 part alongside Sienna Cichlid and Navy Flounder.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Back To Caching

          I’m back, and I’m about to get even deeper into zink’s descriptor management. I figured everyone including me is well acquainted with bucket allocating, so I skipped that day and we can all just imagine what that post would’ve been like instead.

    • Benchmarks

      • Blender 2.90 Performance With GeForce RTX 3080, 18-Way NVIDIA CUDA/OptiX Comparison

        Complementing yesterday’s large GPU compute comparison with the GeForce RTX 3080 across many different workloads, today’s article is looking at the Blender 2.90 render performance for this consumer Ampere $699+ graphics card.

        Like with the numbers shown yesterday, the GeForce RTX 3080 is a serious upgrade over the RTX 2000 Turing series and older generations. With this Blender 2.90 comparison and testing the CUDA and OptiX back-ends, the comparison GPUs are going back to the GeForce GTX 900 “Maxwell” era hardware.

        Blender’s CUDA performance remains great but the OptiX back-end really screams when it comes to performance on NVIDIA RTX GPUs where the RT cores can be exploited for great performance. The cards tested for this comparison based on availability included…

    • Applications

      • Voice Chat App Mumble 1.3.3 Released with Stability Improvements[PPA]

        Mumble, open source, low-latency, high quality voice chat software, released version 1.3.3 a few days ago. PPA updated for Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and Ubuntu 20.04.

      • The 10 Best Linux Hex Editors

        An Hex editor is a program that allows the user to view, edit, and manipulate binary files, which contain data that is readable by machines, but not humans. This is where hex editors come into play because unlike other programs and tools which interpret data from files, hex editors, on the other hand, offer the user an opportunity to edit the physical binary contents of a file.

        So, if you are looking to hex edit raw data, we will list the top 10 Linux hex editors to help you do so!

        A usual hex editor has three separate areas: the “hexadecimal area” located in the middle, the “address area” sitting on the left, and the “character area” on the right side. Furthermore, some of these hex editors, mainly known as sector or disk editors, have features that allow the user to edit and analyze sector data from hard disks and floppy disks.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • DXVK 1.7.2 Released With Many Fixes For Direct3D Atop Vulkan

        DXVK 1.7.2 was just released as this popular library for mapping Direct3D 9/10/11 atop the Vulkan API primarily for accelerating Windows games on Linux via the likes of Steam Play (Proton) and Wine.

        DXVK 1.7.2 brings fixes for various Direct3D 9 crashes, workarounds for rendering issues with AMD drivers for some Unity games, support for disabling log files, and various game-specific fixes/improvements.

      • D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11 to Vulkan translation layer DXVK release 1.7.2 is up

        Developer Philip Rebohle announced today the release of DXVK 1.7.2 to further improve the D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11 to Vulkan translation layer.

        Used with Wine, and part of the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer, it’s great to see it still moving along. This is the first release since August and while it’s technically a minor release in versioning, the actual fixes included look to be quite important.

        There’s a “major” regression fixed for D3D9 titles that caused crashes in many games, a fix for D3D9 crashes on AMDVLK due to invalid Vulkan API usage, they’ve worked around some stack overflows in some 32-bit D3D9 games, a workaround is now in place for rendering issues on AMD drivers in some Unity Engine games, another workaround is added for Unicode on Windows “being garbage” and you can disable log files being created.

      • DXVK DirectX To Vulkan Translation Layer 1.7.2 Released

        The Fr-041: d e b r i s PC demo released by the German demo group Farbrausch in 2007 is one of the many DirectX 9 applications you can run in Wine with DXVK as a Direct3D to Vulkan translation layer.

        DXVK is a Direct3D 9 to 11 translation layer that transforms Direct3D draw calls into Vulkan. It is very useful as a back-end to Wine since it is slightly faster than Wine’s own wined3d Direct3D to OpenGL translation layer.

        DXVK development has essentially been in maintenance mode for almost a year now. That doesn’t mean it’s dead, bug-fix releases do happen.

      • Orders from the Top: The EU’s Timetable for Dismantling End-to-End Encryption

        The last few months have seen a steady stream of proposals, encouraged by the advocacy of the FBI and Department of Justice, to provide “lawful access” to end-to-end encrypted services in the United States. Now lobbying has moved from the U.S., where Congress has been largely paralyzed by the nation’s polarization problems, to the European Union—where advocates for anti-encryption laws hope to have a smoother ride. A series of leaked documents from the EU’s highest institutions show a blueprint for how they intend to make that happen, with the apparent intention of presenting anti-encryption law to the European Parliament within the next year.

        The public signs of this shift in the EU—which until now has been largely supportive toward privacy-protecting technologies like end-to-end encryption—began in June with a speech by Ylva Johansson, the EU’s Commissioner for Home Affairs.

    • Games

      • 3rd Ova Magica Tech Demo Released

        Developer ClaudiaTheDev has released a third tech demo of a interesting new game called Ova Magica. The proprietary kick-starter funded game will be available for GNU/Linux, Windows and macOS. It is still in somewhat early stages of development, yet it is already playable with a small 3D world featuring a farm you can explore, good graphics and blob battle training.

      • To Hell With The Ugly is an upcoming adventure game about kidnappings and conspiracies

        Worker cooperative studio La Poule Noire have announced To Hell With The Ugly, an upcoming adventure that blends point and click mechanics with a combat system and it’s now funding on Kickstarter.

        “To Hell With the Ugly is an adventure/narrative game set in a film noir atmosphere. Help Rocky find out why he was kidnapped and tortured in a hospital where strange things happen. Explore Los Angeles in the 1950s through bar fights, mysterious investigations, and a lot of twists.”

        Just like with their previous title, Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac (which I thought was great), it will support Linux.

      • Hugo Locurcio is hired to improve Godot’s web infrastructure

        Hello! Calinou here. I’ve been a core Godot contributor for about 3 years now, working on the Godot editor, documentation and website. On top of that, I’ve developed many Godot-related tools such as the unofficial Godot nightly builds, Godot build options generator and the Godot class reference status viewer.

        This month, I was hired full-time by the Godot team to rework and improve Godot’s web infrastructure. While Godot’s core engine now has many full-time developers working on it, the website and hosted platforms aren’t as well-maintained in comparison. Being a web developer by trade and a generalist at heart, this was a natural choice for me.

      • The Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition is up with fresh demos to play

        Another big event is happening on Steam now with the Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition and there’s plenty of new and improved demos to check out until October 13.

        Long gone are the days where a demo would be a given, as they’re often replaced with paid-for Betas where you get access if you pre-order and all sorts like that. Still a few appear but not a whole lot and that’s why events like this are so good for us, although it is a lot to take in with such a short amount of time.

        [...] If you’re after titles that will offer Linux support, here’s 10 I think are worth keeping an eye on and trying out…

      • The WRONG Experience For New Linux Gamers

        Linux gaming gets some tough love as Jason and Matt put ProtonDB under the microscope. Is this kind of rating system broken? Should we be telling new Linux gamers about it? Are there better alternatives?

    • Distributions

      • Slackware Family

        • Liveslak new features, DAW Live, OBS Studio, logo contest

          Most importantly, the hard disk installer of the Slackware Live Edition – called “setup2hd” – was expanded. In the past, it used to allow only the installation of the Live OS to your hard drive. But I received requests to also make it possible for setup2hd to install regular Slackware like the official installer does. It sounded like a good idea, and starting with liveslak release 1.3.7 the “setup2hd” program will let you choose from more package SOURCES than just the Live OS. In addition to the Live OS, you can now choose to install regular Slackware from a NFS, HTTP, FTP or Samba server. In other words, Slackware’s network install feature was added.
          Why is this different from the setup program on the official Slackware ISO? Well, the most obvious improvement is that you are working in a graphical desktop environment (the Live OS). You can run the setup2hd hard disk installation in an X terminal while you keep doing other stuff like reading online materials or watching a video to pass the time. Moreover, you can install stable Slackware 14.2 from the Live OS. That means MMC and NVMe drives are supported during installation (which is something the official Slackware 14.2 installer does not provide for).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Announcing the release of Oracle Linux 7 Update 9

          Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 Update 9, which includes Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 6 as the default kernel. Oracle Linux brings the latest open source innovations and business-critical performance and security optimizations for cloud and on-premises deployment. Oracle Linux maintains user space compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which is independent of the kernel version that underlies the operating system. Existing applications in user space will continue to run unmodified on Oracle Linux 7 Update 9 with UEK release 6 and no re-certifications are needed for applications already certified with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 or Oracle Linux 7.

          Oracle Linux 7 Update 9 is available on 64-bit Arm (aarch64) and 64-bit AMD/Intel (x86-64) based systems. Oracle Linux 7 Update 9 ships with the following kernel packages, which include bug fixes, security fixes, and enhancements…

        • Goodbye Tekton Condition CRD

          Pipeline is one of the core building blocks in designing a CI/CD use case on Kubernetes with Tekton. A Tekton Pipeline is a collection of tasks, which run based on how they are arranged. These tasks can be represented as a graph in which each node represents a task and can be arranged in many different ways.

        • Kovair DevOps Achieves Red Hat Linux 8 Certification

          Kovair Software, one of the leaders in software development tools and integrations, has now achieved the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 certification for its DevOps platform – Kovair DevOps.This certification will provide users with the necessary confidence to use this Platform with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 operating system.

      • Debian Family

        • Old repos removed

          It will help to make painless dist upgrade from present Sparky testing to next Sparky stable, and from present Sparky stable to oldstable as well.

          As I mentioned before, the old repos: ‘oldstable’, ‘stable’ and ‘testing’ have been removed now, they are not needed any more.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Building competitive advantage by adopting cloud-native approach

          At virtual KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2020, Monzo’s platform engineers shared the learnings and challenges of self-hosting Kubernetes which was guided by regulatory constraints at the time when Monzo built their platforms. One key takeaway for all was that managing and running own kubernetes clusters can be a huge operational overhead. Managed K8s is an option that enterprises should be considering as part of their cloud deployment strategy.

          Experience suggests that enterprises are able to accelerate their cloud-native journey by having the right tools and a strong partner ecosystem. Canonical – the publisher of Ubuntu, delivers pure upstream Kubernetes tested across the widest range of clouds — from public clouds to private data centres, from bare metal to virtualised infrastructure.

          In summary, by adopting cloud-native application development, financial institutions can quickly modify existing products, get to market faster and provide innovative products and services to customers and thus gain competitive advantage.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Surrogation

            A year or so ago, I read this article about how Wells Fargo ended up in such a mess. If you don’t remember, Wells Fargo was opening accounts in their clients’ name without their consent and ended up paying a few hundred million dollars in fines.

            Long story short, a big part of the problem was that WF set a few metrics to guide the company, set strong incentives to optimize those metrics, and blindly let the machine get to work. The company did a great job of optimizing the metrics but lost sight of the strategy the metrics were meant to represent.

          • Extensions in Firefox 82

            Before we get to the Firefox 82 updates, I want to let you know that Philipp has passed the baton for these blog posts over to me. I plan to stick to the same format you know and hopefully love, but leave a comment if there’s anything you’d like to see change in future installments.


            As mentioned earlier, we’re working on a big change to Firefox that isolates sites from one another. In the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling out an experiment to enable isolation by default for most Nightly users, starting in Firefox 83, with plans for a similar experiment on Beta by the end of the year.

            For extensions that deal with screenshots, we’ve extended the captureTab and captureVisibleTab methods to enable capturing an arbitrary area of the page, outside the currently visible viewport. This should cover functionality previously enabled by the (long deprecated) drawWindow method, and you can find more details about new rect and scale options on the ImageDetails MDN page.

            While we haven’t seen many reports of extension incompatibilities till now, Fission is a big architectural change to Firefox, and the web platform has many corner cases. You can help us find anything we missed by testing your extensions with Fission enabled, and reporting any issues on Bugzilla.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • MariaDB 10.5.6 Release Notes

          MariaDB 10.5 is the current stable series of MariaDB. It is an evolution of MariaDB 10.4 with several entirely new features not found anywhere else and with backported and reimplemented features from MySQL.

      • CMS

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP 2.10.22 Released with AVIF Support, Improved PSP and TIFF Support

            GIMP 2.10.22 is here to add support for the AVIF image file format, which is a variant of the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) container but using the powerful AV1 compression algorithm. Importing and exporting of AVIF files is supported.

            On top of that, users will now be able to import and export HEIF files, which contain both AVIF and HEIC formats, in 10-bit and 12-bit depth per channel. Furthermore, GIMP 2.10.22 enables proper importing of NCLX color profiles and metadata.

          • GIMP 2.10.22 Released With AVIF Image Support

            Exciting with the GIMP 2.10.22 point release is support for AVIF, the very promising image format based on royalty-free AV1 technology and that is already supported by web browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome while continuing to see adoption throughout other photo/imaging software. With GIMP 2.10.22, AVIF images can be used for both importing into The GIMP as well as exporting.

          • GIMP 2.10.22 Released

            The dashboard dockable now has a new option to record progressive performance logs that contain complete information after each recorded sample. This allows recording complete logs even in cases where they can’t be properly terminated, such as when GIMP crashes or freezes in the middle of the log.

            Progressive logs are disabled by default, since they potentially increase the sampling cost. They can be enabled through a toggle in the log file dialog, or through $GIMP_PERFORMANCE_LOG_PROGRESSIVE environment variable.

            Moreover, verbose debug information (gimp-2.10 -v on command line, or debug output) now displays Flatpak related information when it’s relevant: the exact Flatpak build hash, the runtime version, the installed Flatpak extensions, permissions, etc. This helps debugging Flatpak builds.


            GIMP CI process now runs a distcheck step, hence producing a fully unit-tested source tarball without human interaction.

            Continuous builds of the development version (future GIMP 3) for Windows were already provided since GIMP 2.10.18 but the downloadable archive was huge, containing many temporary files from the build process and a wrapper to necessarily run at first launch. We now implemented a new CI job with a slimmed-down and hopefully usable build (if not please report, or better: send us patches!) and already fully set up with no first launch process.

            The idea came from the Siril project (astronomical image processing free software) after we helped them set up a cross-compilation CI, similar to ours, using crossroad. A pretty good example of exchange between free software where some code goes from one project to another where it is improved, then back to the original one.

          • GIMP 2.10.22 Released with Major File Format Improvements

            GIMP 2.10.22 is described as a “bug fix release” but it does include a number of notable new things, including support for opening and saving AVIF image files.

            What’s AVIF? It’s a variation of the HEIF format using AV1 compression. It’s being positioned as the next big web image format — and GIMP 2.10.22 supports opening and saving images using it.

            The file format improvements don’t end there, either.

            GIMP 2.10.11 also boasts better support for the .psp file format (used by Paint Shop Pro), including raster layers from recent versions; 16-bit integer, grayscale, and indexed images; and conversion of PSP blend mods to GIMP layer modes.

            Creatives can now (optionally) export multi-layer .tiff files with layers cropped to image bounds; .bmp exports now always include colour masks (where applicable); there’s better detection of .jpg and .webp image formats; and the ability to import and open .dds files with invalid header flags.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: littler 0.3.12: Exciting updates

          The thirteenth release of littler as a CRAN package became available today (after a three day ‘rest’ at CRAN for no real reason), following in the fourteen-ish year history as a package started by Jeff in 2006, and joined by me a few weeks later.

          littler is the first command-line interface for R as it predates Rscript. It allows for piping as well for shebang scripting via #!, uses command-line arguments more consistently and still starts faster. It also always loaded the methods package which Rscript only started to do in recent years.

          littler lives on Linux and Unix, has its difficulties on macOS due to yet-another-braindeadedness there (who ever thought case-insensitive filesystems as a default where a good idea?) and simply does not exist on Windows (yet – the build system could be extended – see RInside for an existence proof, and volunteers are welcome!). See the FAQ vignette on how to add it to your PATH.

        • Laura Abbott: How to be a spooky ARMv8m hardware debugger

          Debuggers are one of many tools available to assist developers in figuring out problems.Many of the ARM Cortex-M boards support a standard called CMSIS-DAP for hardware debugging. This is designed to let board makers provide a dedicated chip to facilitate communication between a debugger chip and a host. The debugger chip then commmincates to the actual CPU being debugged via other signals. Like all standards, implementation can be incomplete and buggy but if a board says it has CMSIS-DAP support, there’s a good chance it will “just work” for debugging. You could leave all the details to debuggers but it also turns out you can do many of these steps with CMSIS-DAP yourself. Being a debugger is also a great Halloween costume because you can do mysterious things to your device and also stay home. There is no candy involved unfortunately but knowledge is pretty sweet.

          ARM has fairly detailed documentation on their website about how this works behind the scenes. At a very high level, you can write to the Debug Port and some number of Access Ports to affect the state of the chip. The actual detail of what’s implemented is given by ROM tables. A fairly common setup is a debug port and then a Memory Access Port (MEM-AP) per CPU.

        • MarsMap: What Features of Mars are Visible?

          I’ve been using an ancient Unix program called XEphem for many years. It’s very accurate and reliable, but the program is no longer supported, and so it needs to be compiled. Not really an option for most people.

          Sadly, the more accessible open source program, Stellarium, does not show Mars features. I’m told that the paid (and well respected) paid program Starry Night does, for Mac and Windows. On my Android tablet and phone, I use a paid program called Sky Safari (it’s also available for iOS and Mac). I bought the middle, “Plus”, level since I use it for basic observing, not finding ultra-faint galaxies, and it shows Mars features pretty well. I suspect the cheaper basic version also shows Mars features, but you might want to check to make sure before purchasing.

          So, several paid programs plus a program you have to compile from source. What free options are there?

          Sky & Telescope magazine has a Javascript app called Mars Profiler — but it seems to be wrong! At least right now, XEphem and Sky Safari (and my MarsMap, which I’ll talk about in a sec), are both showing Solis Lacus front and center; Mars Profiler shows it way off to one side. So if you use it, be wary.

        • The GNU GDB Debugger and NetBSD (Part 5)

          Last month, the NetBSD/amd64 support was merged into gdbserver. This month, the gdbserver target support was extended to NetBSD/i386 and NetBSD/aarch64. The gdbserver and gdb code was cleaned up, refactored and made capable of introducing even more NetBSD targets.

          Meanwhile, the NetBSD/i386 build of GDB was fixed. The missing include of x86-bsd-nat.h as a common header was added to i386-bsd-nat.h. The i386 GDB code for BSD contained a runtime assert that verified whether the locally hardcoded struct sigcontext is compatible with the system headers. In reality, the system headers are no longer using this structure since 2003, after the switch to ucontext_t, and the validating code was no longer effective. After the switch to newer GCC, this was reported as a unused local variable by the compiler. I have decided to remove the check on NetBSD entirely. This was followed up by a small build fix.

          The NetBSD team has noticed that the GDB’s agent.cc code contains a portability bug and prepared a local fix. The traditional behavior of the BSD kernel is that passing random values of sun_len (part of sockaddr_un) can cause failures. In order to prevent the problems, the sockaddr_un structure is now zeroed before use. I’ve reimplemented the fix and successfully upstreamed it.

          In order to easily resolve the issue with environment hardening enforced by PaX MPROTECT, I’ve introduced a runtime warning whenever byte transfers betweeen the debugee and debugger occur with the EACCES errno code.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn HTML

          HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is used to create web pages and other information that is intended for display in a web browser. Each markup code is known as an element or a tag. The web developer uses these elements to describe and define the content of a webpage. The elements tell the web browser how to display the information (both text and images) to the user.

          HTML has seen a number of revisions. HTML5 is the fifth revision of the HTML standard. HTML5 makes for a rich user experience with the canvas and SVG elements, native elements video and audio which allow video and audio to be placed directly in the HTML code. Other important new features include web storage, which offers a more secure and faster alternative than cookies, and geolocation, the heart of every location-based application.

          HTML is the markup language, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) determines how it is rendered, and JavaScript is the programming language. HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript are open, efficient and reliable web standards and allow web designers to create advanced web sites with creative graphics, animations, transitions and typography.

        • Red Hat Developers: Kubernetes integration and more in odo 2.0

          Odo is a developer-focused command-line interface (CLI) for OpenShift and Kubernetes. This article introduces highlights of the odo 2.0 release, which now integrates with Kubernetes. Additional highlights include the new default deployment method in odo 2.0, which uses devfiles for rapid, iterative development. We’ve also moved Operator deployment out of experimental mode, so you can easily deploy Operator-backed services from the odo command line.

        • Python

          • Wing Python IDE 7.2.6 – Octboer 7, 2020

            Wing 7.2.6 improves exception reporting for pytest, implements 2w in vi mode, fixes problems with setting up a new Django project, improves auto-spacing for / and :, reduces CPU use when analyzing and waiting for remote files, and makes a number of usability improvements.

          • Even faster in-memory search with intersection popcount

            This is part of a series of essays I started to write a week ago where I use a few different approaches to implement cheminformatics fingerprint similarity search.

            My initial file scan implementation took 2 seconds per query. I then switched to a two stage in-memory search with a load step and a search step. Loading the data (an initialization cost) took 4.6 seconds and per-query search took about 0.5 seconds, making it more effective if there are three or more queries.

          • scikit-survival 0.14 with Improved Documentation Released

            Today marks the release of version 0.14.0 of scikit-survival. The biggest change in this release is actually not in the code, but in the documentation. This release features a complete overhaul of the documentation. Most importantly, the documentation has a more modern feel to it, thanks to the visually pleasing pydata Sphinx theme, which also powers pandas.

            Moreover, the documentation now contains a User Guide section that bundles several topics surrounding the use of scikit-survival. Some of these were available as separate Jupyter notebooks previously, such as the guide on Evaluating Survival Models. There are two new guides: The first one is on penalized Cox models. It provides a hands-on introduction to Cox’s proportional hazards model with $\ell_2$ (Ridge) and $\ell_1$ (LASSO) penalty. The second guide, is on Gradient Boosted Models and covers how gradient boosting can be used to obtain a non-linear proportional hazards model or a non-linear accelerated failure time model by with regression tree base learners. The second part of this notebook covers a variant of gradient boosting that is most suitable for high-dimensional data and is based on component-wise least squares base learners.

          • PyCharm 2020.2.3

            PyCharm 2020.2.3 is ready to be downloaded and brings some fixes that will improve your productivity. Update from within PyCharm (Help | Check for Updates), from the JetBrains Toolbox, or by downloading the new version from our website.

          • Python Community Interview With Anthony Shaw

            In this interview, we discuss a variety of topics, including Python security, advice for beginner developers, and his love for the beach. So without further ado, let’s welcome Anthony.

            Ricky: Thanks for joining me, Anthony. I’m glad you could join me for this interview. I’d like to start in the same manner we do with all our guests: how did you get into programming, and when did you start using Python?


            I learned the basics of Python over a long weekend in 2010 and fell for the language’s flexibility in working with fluid data structures and natural way of using both object-oriented programming and procedural programming.

          • Learning to Code: How to Boost Up the Process?

            Let’s face it: people are impatient by nature and most likely want things to happen faster in their lives. I would apply the same to code learners. Students, when starting to learn programming, first wonder how to speed up the training and make a career as a programmer as soon as possible.

            I am not the one who convinces everyone that learning to program is a lightning-fast journey — the other thing is that it is not as difficult as people think. All boils down to interest, passion, regular practice, and patience, of course. I also often recommend different online and offline resources to my students to make their learning process easier, more effective, and faster. And in this post, I will share a few tips with you.

        • Rust

          • Why I Scatter Use Statements Throughout My Rust

            A standard pattern across pretty much every language I’ve worked with at least, is to stick statements that import modules and libraries at the top of the page. Some languages make you do this. In Rust I don’t do this for everything, here’s why.

            I started to think more and more about what code is like to read rather than write. I for one was reading code far more often than I was writing, and the code I was writing would, over its lifetime, be read far more often than written or edited.

          • This Week in Rust 359
  • Leftovers

    • At the Cusp: Marcel Brion
    • At Liberalism’s Crossroads

      In the famously long, hot summer of 1968, when Columbia University was coming apart like the rest of America, the historian Richard Hofstadter seemed like the one person who could hold the fraying school together. Anti-war militants were demanding that Columbia end its cozy relationship with the Pentagon. Other activists decried the university’s haughty disregard for its Harlem neighbors, most visible in the proposed building of a gymnasium in nearby Morningside Park—dubbed Gym Crow and leading to accusations of segregation because it would have separate entrances for Columbia students and the community in Harlem and unequal access to its facilities. After months of butting heads with Columbia’s administration, students occupied campus buildings, and the school threatened to call in the cops, which is what university president Grayson Kirk did that spring, resulting in more than 700 arrests and nearly 400 police brutality complaints.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Fauci Says Trump Could See “Reversal” of His COVID Recovery This Week or Next

        Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, suggested that officials within the Trump administration ought to keep their “heads up” to the possibility that President Trump’s condition may deteriorate this week (or even next week) after having been treated for COVID-19 over the weekend.

      • ‘What an Anti-Everybody Agenda Looks Like’: AOC Excoriates Trump for Walking Away From Covid-19 Relief Talks

        “Millions falling into poverty, millions on the edge of eviction, millions going hungry, millions losing their healthcare and this megalomaniac dime store dictator puts his knee of the neck of a nation.”

      • ‘Unacceptable in a Free Nation’: Top Senate Democrats Accuse White House of Covering Up Details of Trump’s Condition

        “Despite the risk to those who may have been exposed, the White House has conducted itself in a secretive manner and shown a complete lack of regard for public health and safety.”

      • After Being Airlifted to a World-Class Hospital, Trump Compares COVID to the Flu

        On what should be his first full day back at the White House since he was airlifted by helicopter to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be treated for coronavirus last week, President Trump arrogantly and foolishly compared COVID-19 to the flu in a tweet riddled with falsehoods on Tuesday morning.

      • Trump Fans Flames of COVID-19 Misinformation Effort After Hospital Exit

        Shocking medical experts, President Trump has returned to the White House while still infectious with the coronavirus and after more than a dozen people in Trump’s orbit have already tested positive for COVID-19. Emergency room physician Dr. Dara Kass says she was “horrified” by President Trump’s dismissive attitude toward a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States. “I had this virus,” says Dr. Kass. “I never left my bedroom without an N95 mask on my face, because I was petrified of giving it to my friends and family.”

      • Successful GOP Repeal of ACA Would Strip Health Coverage From Millions and Give Top 0.1% a Massive Tax Cut—During a Pandemic

        “If Trump gets the Supreme Court to strike down ACA, the richest 0.1% would get a tax cut of $198,000 a year, and Big Pharma would get a tax cut of $2.8 billion. But millions of seniors would pay billions more for prescription drugs, and 20 million would lose their health insurance.”

      • Activist Who Lost Father to COVID Says Trump’s White House Photo Op Was Like “Sci-Fi Horror Film”

        As the highest-profile coronavirus patient in the world returns to the White House while still infectious and a danger to others, we speak with activist Kristin Urquiza, whose father died from COVID-19 earlier this year. She says President Trump’s minimizing of the disease is a slap in the face to families who have lost loved ones. “I was appalled,” says Urquiza. “Every single person out there who’s lost a loved one to COVID, who has seen up close and personal what this virus can do, felt the same way.” Urquiza, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention in August about her father, is co-founder of Marked by COVID, a project elevating the stories of Americans who have died in the pandemic.

      • Evidence-Free ‘Lab Leak’ Speculation Boosts Trump’s Xenophobic Approach to Coronavirus

        Ever since the outbreak of Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China has been the target of relentless hostile and racist media coverage, depicting the country as a uniquely nefarious source of disease (FAIR.org, 3/24/20, 5/7/20).

      • “Don’t Be Afraid of COVID”: Trump Removes Mask & Fuels Misinformation Effort After Leaving Hospital

        Shocking medical experts, President Trump has returned to the White House while still infectious with the coronavirus and after more than a dozen people in Trump’s orbit have already tested positive for COVID-19. Emergency room physician Dr. Dara Kass says she was “horrified” by President Trump’s dismissive attitude toward a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States. “I had this virus,” says Dr. Kass. “I never left my bedroom without an N95 mask on my face, because I was petrified of giving it to my friends and family.”

      • WATCH: Tlaib and Rouda Call for National Moratorium on Water Shutoffs During Pandemic

        The Democrats are pressuring the head of the CDC to use his authority to help Americans retain “essential” access to running water.

      • Trump Blocks FDA on Stricter COVID-19 Vaccine Standards

        Taking the advice of profit-driven pharmaceutical corporations over that of his own public health agencies and experts, President Donald Trump is blocking the Food and Drug Administration from imposing tougher safety requirements on the authorization of a coronavirus vaccine after drug company executives privately voiced disapproval with the push for stricter federal standards.

      • The Pandemic May Be With Us for the Long Haul. How Do We Adapt?

        After all these months and 210,000 deaths, you’d think I’d be used to it all, but I’m not. It doesn’t seem even a little normal yet. I’m still full of absences, missing so much I used to take for granted: hugs and handshakes, rooms crowded for funerals and weddings, potluck dinners and house parties. I miss browsing the stacks at the library and the racks at the thrift shop. I miss going to our Unitarian Universalist congregation and the robust community connection we enjoyed every Sunday.

      • International forum cites strong government response as key in battle against COVID

        worldwide forum convened to share insights gleaned from the fight against the novel coronavirus highlighted the importance of a strong, coordinated government response as crucial to stopping its spread, both within a country and internationally.

        “It has never been more important for us than it is now to shoulder the responsibility to respond quickly and effectively to the threat posed to human lives and to the health of our communities, local, regional, national, and global,” said Mark Elliott, vice provost for international affairs and the Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History. Introducing “Global Perspectives on COVID-19,” which brought together medical and scientific participants from China, Italy, South Africa, and the U.S. on Wednesday, Elliott characterized the pandemic as a “monumental public health crisis.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • OpenHPC Announces the Release of OpenHPC v2.0

              OpenHPC is pleased to announce the release of OpenHPC, v2.0. This is a significant update that targets support for two new major OS distro versions: CentOS8 and OpenSUSE Leap 15.

            • Postman: The role of open source in APIs – Part 2 of 2

              I think the Unix operating system is a good example of why this approach to software development is so valuable. Linux reimplemented Unix as an open source project, reimagining what was possible and paying it forward by introducing another powerful platform to help developers deliver software. Linux is now one of the world’s leading operating systems, proving that open source software also makes good business sense.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (brotli, lib32-brotli, lib32-zeromq, samba, yaws, and zeromq), Debian (php7.0, puma, sane-backends, thunderbird, and tigervnc), Fedora (ghc-cmark-gfm, ghc-hakyll, gitit, pandoc, pandoc-citeproc, and patat), openSUSE (kdeconnect-kde and perl-DBI), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (chromium-browser and spice and spice-gtk), SUSE (hexchat and nodejs8), and Ubuntu (vino).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Surveillance: victory in defeat

              The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has today released a long-awaited ruling regarding the regime of surveillance. For nearly fifteen years, the French government has been requiring ISPs and phone carriers to log metadata of the entire population (who talks to whom, when, from where). La Quadrature du Net, along with FDN, FFDN and Igwan.net, challenged the legality of French law in this matter before the EU jurisdictions.

              A first reading suggests that it was a “victorious defeat”. Although the Court affirms that France can no longer impose this bulk metadata retention obligation, it reveals several important exceptions. This decision is a defeat in the sense that these exceptions reduce the effectiveness of the right to privacy and will inevitably lead to abuses, which we will detail later.

              However, as disappointing as it may be, this morning’s ruling draws a legal framework that is much more protective of freedoms and right to privacy than the existing French law. For example, while the government can still require ISPs to keep the IP addresses of the entire population, these addresses can now only be used for the purpose of combating serious crime or of safeguarding national security (notably, terrorism). Another important victory is that web hosting services can no longer be forced by law to monitor all their users on behalf of the state, keeping track of who publishes what, with which IP address, when, etc.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Russian soldier and his brother are arrested on treason charges for allegedly sharing intelligence with Estonia

        Federal agents in Smolensk have arrested a Russian soldier on charges of treason, a source in the Federal Security Service told the news agency TASS. Officials in Pskov also arrested the suspect’s brother, who has permanent resident status in Estonia. The Russian authorities reportedly believe the two brothers were sharing state secrets with Estonia’s intelligence community. Both men face between 12 and 20 years in prison, if convicted of high treason. As a matter of national security, their trial has been classified and closed to the public — a standard procedure in Russian treason prosecutions.

      • Texas Cop Shaun Lucas Charged With Murder of ‘Hometown Hero’ and Unarmed Black Man Jonathan Price

        Lucas allegedly shot Price—described as a “pillar of the community” in tiny Wolfe City—after the victim intervened in a domestic violence incident.

      • Kyrgyzstan throws out contested results in parliamentary elections, following protests in Bishkek

        Election officials in Kyrgyzstan have invalidated the contested voting results from recent parliamentary elections that provoked widespread protests in the nation’s capital, Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan’s Central Election Commission reportedly announced on Tuesday that it is also debating its own voluntary dissolution. At least one member told the news agency 24.kg that she believes the commission has discredited itself irreparably. 

      • Consider it a ‘sub-coup’ Central Asia expert Arkady Dubnov answers key questions about the political turmoil in Bishkek

        Kyrgyzstan held parliamentary elections on October 4. According to the official results, parties close to President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, his family members, and other powerful officials were the only ones that made it into the parliament. On October 5, opposition demonstrators took to the streets and were violently dispersed by riot police. Nevertheless, overnight on October 5–6, protesters managed to seize several key government buildings, including the so-called “White House,” which includes the Parliament and the offices of the presidential administration. In response, election officials invalidated the contested voting results and Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov resigned from office. That said, the current president hasn’t given up power. To answer the biggest questions about what’s happening in Kyrgyzstan, “Meduza” turns to political scientist and Central Asia expert Arkady Dubnov.

      • Kyrgyzstan’s prime minster steps down, is replaced by dissident freed from prison just hours earlier

        Kyrgyzstani Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov has resigned from office after just a few months on the job, amid protests and riots in Bishkek against election parliamentary election results. National lawmakers have already appointed his replacement: Sadyr Zhaparov, a former member of parliament who was freed from prison just hours earlier by demonstrators. A court previously sentenced Zhaparov to 10 years behind bars for allegedly organizing riots.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Blacked-Out Line

        Nicholson Baker lay awake at night again beside his slumbering wife and their dogs, his mind caught in the tunnel of his obsession. As the novelist recounts in Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act, he couldn’t stop thinking about the US government’s efforts to develop biological weapons during the early Cold War.

      • State investigators open criminal case over child abuse at convent seized by defrocked Orthodox priest

        The Sverdlovsk Region’s Investigative Committee branch has launched a criminal investigation into child abuse at the Sredneuralsk Women’s Monastery, a convent outside of Yekaterinburg that was taken over by its founder, recently defrocked Orthodox priest Sergii Romanov, in June. 

      • ‘On the Level of Guantánamo’: Oklahoma Jail Guards Accused of Torturing Inmates With ‘Baby Shark’ Song

        Echoing a notorious Bush-era “enhanced interrogation technique,” guards allegedly subjected prisoners to hours of the popular children’s song. 

      • This Form of Being

        Among many other things, 20th century Black feminism offered a powerful analysis of social exclusion. The preeminent midcentury Black feminist Claudia Jones described how poor Black women were frequently excluded not only from the concerns of white liberal society but also from the gains won by Black activists working against racism, the gains won by communists working against capitalism’s class system, and the gains won by feminists working against patriarchy. Poor Black women, she insisted, found themselves left out across the board.

      • Politics, Religion, Abortion, Use of Force and the Will of God

        There is in this world of concepts, ideas, and theories hardly any more absurd and therefore dangerous notion, than the idea of forced patriotism or forced religion. History is absolutely overwhelmed with tales of the horror and ultimate futility of those who attempted to force religion and politics onto others, others that is, who were simply living their lives according to their own ways and manners. As far back as written history can take us we find the pain and anguish dealt out onto those unfortunate “others” by the ones who felt that it was their place in life to impose their beliefs on mankind. Being expansionists these dominators have pushed their politics, their religion and their grand schemes of conquering nature and building monuments for themselves, their government, their religion, customs and fashions on anyone that they could. There are those who were coerced or enslaved into their service, and for those who would not comply, they were subjected to ostracism, torture and death.

      • Fascism is Breathing Down Our Necks in the US

        Each year about 9,000 people migrate to Canada from the US and that figure has held steady for  several years (“‘An alternative exists’: US citizens who vowed to flee to Canada-and did,” Guardian, February 1, 2016). The number of searches about migration on the search engine Google has risen sharply during periods of political uncertainty such as at the inception of the US war against Iraq, after the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004, and following Trump’s election victory in 2016. The searches on search engines must have soared during Trump’s insane performance in the first presidential debate on September 29, 2020.

      • ‘We couldnʼt tell the relatives’: Declassified transcripts show that Putin was obsessed with polling even as Bill Clinton consoled him after the Kursk submarine disaster

        Back on August 29, 2019, the Clinton Digital Library declassified a whole archive of transcripts that capture telephone calls and private conversations between members of the Clinton administration and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Dated between 1999 and 2001, most of the documents were classified at the time as “secret.” In that short span of time, Putin wore many hats, communicating with Washington as Federal Security Service director, prime minister, acting president, and president. In September 2000, Clinton and Putin began with a meeting in New York with a discussion about the aftermath of the Kursk submarine disaster, which killed all 118 sailors aboard. 

      • ‘Appalling’ Comments by Justices Thomas and Alito Seen as Harbinger of New Wave of Attacks on Marriage Equality and Gay Rights

        “It is appalling that five years after the historic decision in Obergefell, two justices still consider same-sex couples less worthy of marriage than other couples.”

      • Clarence Thomas Screed Suggests Supreme Court Should Overturn Same-Sex Marriage

        Obergefell v. Hodges was the landmark 2015 ruling in which the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Two of the dissenters in that ruling were Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito — and now, Thomas and Alito are calling for that decision to be overturned. This comes at a time when there is a very real possibility that Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a far-right social conservative nominated by President Donald Trump, will be replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

      • Mothers and Daughters

        Yaa Gyasi always intended to write about mothers and daughters. In a 2016 profile, the now 31-year-old Ghanaian American writer said that after her sophomore year at Stanford, she traveled to Ghana to research a story about maternal bonds set in her mother’s home region. But after Gyasi visited Cape Coast Castle, a commercial fort that held enslaved people bound for the Americas, and learned more about the relationships between some Ghanaian women and British soldiers, her interests shifted, and she decided to write a novel about the “fullness of slavery, both as it was in the 18th century and what is left behind today.”

      • NYFF Review: ‘The Inheritance’ Celebrates Radicalism and Black Culture

        After inheriting his grandmother’s house in Philadelphia, Julian (Eric Lockley) and his girlfriend Gwen (Nozipho Mclean) decide to form a socialist collective, the House of Ubuntu, that embraces the culture and traditions of the African diaspora, while providing an educational and communal neighbourhood space. So goes the narrative thread of The Inheritance, which evokes the potential explosiveness of such a living arrangement, and while some drama thrives, the film is less Real World, and more French New Wave.


        In between innocuous quibbles, like delegating chores to certain days of the week (so effortless in its humor, Asili clearly lived it), the seriousness and dedication of the cause that brings the housemates together is never a side note. MOVE members Debbie Africa, Mike Africa Sr., and Mike Africa Jr. lead a presentation to the house, where the film introduces a lengthier archival segment about the organization’s history, including the horrific airstrike of their headquarters by police in 1985. Throughout the film, poets Sonia Sanchez and Ursula Rucker are also featured among other prominent artists, musicians, activists and politicians, such as Shirley Chisholm.

        Asili carefully collected pieces of the set over a long time and designed it within a black box studio. Whether hanging on the walls of the house, in a chest full of books, on a record player, as words spoken by the actors, or as a highlighted pieces of archival material, these objects — like the characters in The Inheritance — are conduits for exploring, celebrating and continuing a dialogue with the past. This glorious carousel of Black cultural and radical iconography and ideology itself becomes part of this discourse, within the House of Ubuntu and beyond its walls.

      • 2020 Digital #Law4thePeople Convention: THANK YOU!

        Thank you all so much for being a part of the first ever, all digital #Law4thePeople convention!

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • California Community Leaders Call on Governor to Help Get State Broadband Up to Speed

        Sacramento – More than 60 California community leaders—including public officials, businesses, education advocates, and civil rights groups—have joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Common Sense Media to call on California Governor Gavin Newsom to convene a special legislative session to pass universal broadband access legislation this year.

        The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated California’s longstanding broadband access crisis. More than 2 million Californians lack access to high-speed broadband today. As KQED recently reported, that includes some 1.2 million students across the state who lack adequate Internet access to do their work.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • USPTO Issues Report on Artificial Intelligence

            I haven’t yet had the chance to read this, but officials at the USPTO and EPO, as well as working groups at AIPLA, WIPO, and others, have been struggling with AI as inventors, including who to name as an inventor (not AI, says the USPTO, UKIPO, and EPO), as well as what does 103/inventiveness mean when AI is involved.

      • Copyrights

        • Supreme Court Hearing in Oracle v Google: Will the High Court Fix the Federal Circuit’s Mess?

          On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the long-running case of Oracle v. Google. We’ll be following closely, and looking for signs that the Court will reverse the Federal Circuit’s dangerous decisions in this ground-breaking litigation. And then we’ll be waiting and hoping the Court will issue an opinion explaining that giving copyright protection to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is a bad idea or, if that protection exists, that reimplementing them is a lawful fair use.

          To summarize the last nine years: Oracle claims a copyright on the Java APIs, and that Google infringed that copyright by using certain Java APIs in the Android OS. When it created the Android OS, Google wrote its own version of Java. But in order to allow developers to write their own programs for Android, Google used certain specifications of the Java APIs. Since APIs are, generally speaking, specifications that let programs talk to each other, it would strike at the heart of innovation and collaboration in technology to declare them copyrightable.

Links 7/10/2020: Linux 5.8.14, KD Soap 1.9.1, and Terminator Terminal Emulator 2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 12:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 345 – Hawking Chromium

        First up, in our Wanderings, Leo’s chromium based pixels do a dance, Tony Hughes plays with chaos, Moss has a Fuzzyputer, Joe has an idea… pad, and Josh butters his machine.

        Then, our news Linux Mint gets some love, the Gorilla’s in beta and so is Fedora

        In Security, we chat with Josh

      • Perfect Nextcloud Setup | LINUX Unplugged 374

        Our secrets for a low-cost bulletproof Nextcloud server that we figured out the hard way. We take you into the “server garage” and share our lessons learned.

      • Hacktoberbust | Coder Radio 382

        We examine the deeper problems in Open Source development the recent Hacktoberfest drama has exposed.

        Plus some great feedback, failures to launch, and more.

      • Is this the BEST OFFICE SUITE for Linux? [Ed: Seems like somewhat of a marketing spam piece for proprietary software; they don't deny it]

        When you’re talking about Linux, everyone is quick to point out that Linux doesn’t have Microsoft Office. It’s a big part of the Linux desktop’s app gap, but there are some solutions there. Most of you probably know of LibreOffice, which is an amazing open source project, but there is another solution, which is suitable for individuals, and professionals alike, and might just be the best choice out there for Linux, and it’s called Only Office

    • Kernel Space

      • U-Boot 2020.10 Is Released With Support For Lots Of New Hardware

        U-Boot is a lesser-known Germany boot loader that’s actually quite widely deployed on things like embedded devices, Chromebooks, networking gear and SpaceX rockets. The latest v2020.10 has a rather long list of interesting changes considering that it’s only been three months since the last v2020.07 release.


        The German U-Boot boot loader is not very popular among GNU/Linux distributions who all use GRUB but it’s actually a widely used boot loader found on a lot of networking devices, Chromebooks and even things like hi-end HI-FI equipment.

        The latest quarterly U-Boot release has a long list of changes since the last release.

      • Linux 5.10 To Have Initial Support For UEFI Booting On RISC-V

        It looks like the upcoming Linux 5.10 kernel cycle will be the first to bring initial support for UEFI booting on RISC-V hardware.

        Going back to the beginning of the year there has been RISC-V patches for UEFI support thanks to engineers at Western Digital. Prior kernel releases also saw UEFI clean-ups and other prep work in getting ready for RISC-V CPU architecture support to be added. Now with Linux 5.10 it looks like the first-cut support is ready to go.

      • ZFSOnLinux 0.8.5 Released With Support For Newer Kernels, Bug Fixes

        While the feature-packed OpenZFS 2.0 is on track for releasing before year’s end as the evolution of ZFSOnLinux and now with FreeBSD support and many other improvements in tow, for those riding the ZFSOnLinux 0.8 stable series out today is v0.8.5.

        Compared to ZFSOnLinux 0.8.4 from May where support tapped out at Linux 5.6, the 0.8.5 release now supports up through Linux 5.8 while also carrying some tentative fixes for the soon-to-be-minted Linux 5.9.

      • Better Support For Newer Synaptics Laptop Touchpads Coming To Linux 5.10

        Synaptics has contributed RMI4 F3A support for Linux 5.10 to better the support for newer laptop touchpads.

        Synaptics’ RMI4 Function 3A (F3A) is used by newer touchpads for GPIO support, this is needed to support buttons on TouchPads and Clickpads. Among the devices benefiting from the RMI4 F4A support are the likes of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen1 and P1 Gen2 laptops.

      • Linux 5.8.14
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.8.14 kernel.
        All users of the 5.8 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.8.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.8.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.4.70
      • Linux 4.19.150
      • A New Linux Kernel Framework To Help Ensure You Don’t Burn Yourself On Hot Devices

        Linaro is working on the DTPF framework for the Linux kernel for meeting legal requirements around the maximum allowed case/contact temperature of devices.

        The Dynamic Thermal Power Management (DTPM) framework being worked on for the Linux kernel is a unified interface for dealing with the power of different devices — namely for mobile hardware and related consumer devices. The DTPM kernel framework would then provide a generic interface to user-space where a daemon is taking into account any application profile(s) and allocating an appropriate power budget to different components.

      • OpenZFS 2.0 Nears Release, OpenZFS 3.0 Could See macOS Support
      • Graphics Stack

        • Nvidia 455.28 Adds Performance Improvements for DOOM: Eternal, DiRT Rally 2.0

          Nvidia 455.28 display driver adds support for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090, and Nvidia GeForce MX450 graphics cards. If you own any of these GPUs, you can now use it on your 64-bit or AArch64 (ARM64) GNU/Linux distribution or 64-bit FreeBSD operating system, while Solaris is not supported at this time.

          Another exciting new feature of the Nvidia 455.28 graphics driver is support for a new, host-coherent and host-visible device-local VkMemoryType that promises a performance boost in various 3D apps and games in Linux, including DiRT Rally 2.0 (DXVK), DOOM: Eternal (Steam Play), and World of Warcraft (DXVK).

    • Applications

      • Terminator Terminal Emulator 2.0 Released, Completes Migration To Gtk3 And Python3

        Terminator, a feature-packed terminal emulator for Linux, has reached version 2.0 stable.

        The application includes features such as split terminals (arranging terminals in grids_, saving and restoring custom layouts, terminal grouping, support for plugins, and customizable keyboard shortcuts.

        After more than 4 years of work, the developers have finally finished migrating Terminator from Gtk2 to Gtk3, and from Python2 to Python3, with the latest Terminator 2.0 release.

      • Shutter Screenshot Tool PPA Updated For Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla

        I have updated the Shutter (screenshot tool) Ubuntu PPA I maintain to support the latest Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla, which will be released later this month. The PPA already supported Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04.

        Due to some packages being removed from the Ubuntu 20.10 repositories, I couldn’t build the last Shutter stable version for Ubuntu 20.10, so I used the latest Shutter from Git, which removes some dependencies. This Shutter from Git continues to use the old Gtk2 (though a work in progress branch for Gtk3 exists, but it still needs work), but it has enough changes to get it to run on Ubuntu 20.10. However, don’t expect it to make it back to the official repositories just yet, because I had to build quite a few of its dependencies in the PPA, due to them no longer being in the Ubuntu repositories.

      • Collabora & GStreamer 1.18

        It has been more than a year since the last official 1.16 release for the GStreamer project. There were good reasons for the long wait for 1.18 as much has changed since the previous release, with the biggest improvement being the move to Gitlab, a more productive environment. This has led to a significant increase in contributors, which now total 300 (200 more than 1.16!). In addition, 1.18 contains almost 4000 commits for only the core GStreamer repositories, as opposed to 3000 in 1.16. A full description of this important release can be found here.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Them’s Fightin’ Herds getting real close to Linux support, with macOS to follow after

        It’s been a long time coming but it sounds like it’s seriously close now, with the major OpenGL rendering work for Them’s Fightin’ Herds on Linux being done.

        Reminder: originally funded during an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign with an initial funding goal of $436K, which was way back in 2015. Linux and macOS support were stretch-goals at $486K, meaning they would only happen if it hit that goal. Once the campaign finished, they managed to raise around $586,346. It then went into Early Access in February, 2018 and released proper in May, 2020 for Windows.

      • Free pixel-art RTS ‘The Fertile Crescent’ adds walls, gates and siege units

        Continuing to be one of the most interesting traditionally-styled real-time strategy games in development, The Fertile Crescent has a major new release available.

        This latest release has been in development for a little while, as it expands the gameplay quite a lot. You can now build Walls, Gates and Siege units giving you many more strategic options. The wall system fits in with their watch towers too, so you can connect it all up.

      • SteamOS-like Linux distribution GamerOS has a new release, adds in Epic Game Store support

        If you need an easy full-screen gaming experience with Linux, perhaps with your main big TV then GamerOS looks to be the next best thing to SteamOS (since Valve aren’t currently working on it).

        GamerOS, despite the naff naming, is actually genuinely good. An up to date Linux distribution ready out of the box for a somewhat console-like experience. GamerOS 20 was just released, bringing the usual upgrades to things like the Linux Kernel to 5.8.10, Mesa drivers 20.1.8, NVIDIA drivers 450.66 along with updates to their own software and RetroArch 1.9 is included too.

      • Steam Chat Filtering is now online for everyone as it exits Steam Labs

        Using the tech built for the likes of CS:GO, Destiny 2, and Dota 2 – Valve has officially rolled out the new Steam Chat Filtering across the rest of Steam.

        So now this means you can have a consistent experience across supported games, the Steam desktop client, web, and mobile chat experiences. The key thing is that it’s optional, you can turn it off or turn it up as the choice is still mostly down to users on what they want to see. As a default, Valve has turned it on to block “strong profanity and slurs” from people you don’t know. These settings can be changed any time here.

      • Desperados III sees a second DLC episode of Money for the Vultures

        Desperados III: Money for the Vultures – Part 2: Five Steps Ahead is out now, further expanding the already fantastic game with more content.

        It’s the second of three parts that tell the story of a new adventure called “Money for the Vultures”, which takes place after the events of Desperados III. So you should have finished the main campaign to enjoy this DLC set, which forms part of the Season Pass or you can buy individually.

        With Five Steps Ahead the gang returns to Louisiana to challenge a new member of the DeVitt family. You get to explore a brand new location in the Bayou State, reunite with Isabelle for more Voodoo awesomeness and encounter cunning enemies worthy of your talents.


        If you missed it, official Linux support for Desperados III released back in early September. Our own thoughts on it are still to come later this month after we’ve played more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KD Soap 1.9.1 Release

          We have released KDSoap 1.9.1

          As part of our commitment to cross-platform solutions, KDAB offers developers KD SOAP, a web service access package for Qt applications.

          This is a final release in this series, with just a few small changes to ensure continued support for those who want to keep using Qt4. Our next release in a few weeks (Version 1.10) will no longer support Qt 4.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • What is GNOME OS?

          With the release of GNOME 3.38.0, we started producing and distributing bootable VM images for debugging and testing features before they hit any distribution repository. We called the images GNOME OS. The name itself is not new, and what it stands for has not changed dramatically since it was introduced, but let’s restate its goals.

          GNOME OS aims to better facilitate development of GNOME by providing a working system for development, design, and user testing purposes.

          The main feature of GNOME OS is that we can produce a new system image for each commit made in any of our modules. The ability to have these VM images is truly amazing since we are dealing with hundreds of modules that depend and integrate with each other, and with the lower layers of the OS stack. This effort represents a game changer with regards to being able to automate the boot and session initialization, testing design and implementation changes, catching regressions earlier in the development cycle, and many other possibilities.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Joe Fernandes: Red Hat OpenShift Succeeds with Open Source, Linux, and Innovation [Ed: "Sponsored by Red Hat" so IBM misuses Red Hat revenue to buy fake articles or puff pieces disguised as 'reports']

          When you look at containers, cloud-native, and public cloud in general, they’re all built around open source technologies. Red Hat’s been at the center of open source for 20-plus years. Since then, in the past decade or so, it’s shifted from being about lowering costs to being about innovation.

          With open-source, you see innovation not only in the cloud, but in AI and analytics and big data, all of that driven from open source. We’re working with contributors within the community, and we’re also competing with them. For example, Google is one of our best partners in terms of driving Kubernetes upstream. Red Hat OpenShift also competes with Anthos and Google’s Community Solutions. But together, we’re able to drive the evolution of that technology much faster than any one company could do on their own.

          Secondly, since open source is available to end-users, standards are emerging around this technology. One of the things about OpenShift is we actually built it around containerization technology since the beginning, back in 2011. At that point, there really weren’t any standards around how containers were built or run. It wasn’t until Docker and Kubernetes emerged that these standards emerged, and Red Hat did as much as anyone to drive those standards in the industry.

        • Call for Proposals now open for Red Hat Summit 2021

          The call for proposals is now open for Red Hat Summit 2021 – a three-part experience that includes two virtual components in the spring and summer and a series of in-person events later in the year! We’re inviting our partners, customers, collaborators and community members to submit their proposals for their chance to showcase unique tech perspectives among thousands of open source enthusiasts.

        • EMEA EN Pibank Launches on Red Hat OpenShift to Digitalize the Customer Experience

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Pibank, part of Grupo Pichincha, has launched as a digital banking brand in Spain powered by Red Hat OpenShift.

        • Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated price reduction: Price lowered by 75% on average, SLA improved to 99.95%

          Red Hat has made the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, Red Hat OpenShift, available as a managed service across major public cloud providers, including AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure. Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated removes the challenges of managing the underlying infrastructure, enabling IT teams to simply focus on building differentiated services and digitally transforming.

          With more than six years managing Red Hat OpenShift across multiple clouds, more than any other Kubernetes or cloud provider, we have gained the expertise to more reliably and cost-efficiently build, manage and operate enterprise Kubernetes platforms. Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated is already used by hundreds of customers for managing mission critical workloads across a wide range of industries, from telecommunications and connected driving to insurance and IT services. Today, we are passing these savings on to you.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – September 2020

          In this 32nd edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in September 2020.

      • Debian Family

        • Vincent Fourmond: QSoas quiz #1 : averaging spectra

          Here is the first QSoas quiz ! I recently measured several identical spectra in a row to evaluate the noise of the setup, and so I wanted to average all the spectra and also determine the standard deviation in the absorbances. Averaging the spectra can simply be done taking advantage of the average command:

          QSoas> load Spectrum*.dat /flags=spectra
          QSoas> average flagged:spectra

          However, average does not provide means to make standard deviations, it just takes the average of all but the X column. I wanted to add this feature, but I realized there are already at least two distinct ways to do that…

        • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in September 2020

          This month I accepted 278 packages and rejected 58. The overall number of packages that got accepted was 304.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Emilia Torino shares what goes into keeping Ubuntu secure

          I’m from Argentina, and I did my undergrad in software engineering here. I worked for Intel in Argentina for six years – first as an intern and then as a fully-fledged software engineer. Then I received a Fulbright scholarship to do my master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States. After finishing my Masters, I went back to Intel and then McAfee for a few more years, and then joined Canonical in 2019 as a Security Generalist.

          I was looking for a new challenge. Even though I had more than ten years of industry experience and had been involved in security activities, the prospect of working for the team that makes Ubuntu secure was more than exciting! What’s more, I hadn’t previously been that deeply involved in open source projects. I knew that joining Canonical would offer different learning and career opportunities.

        • Dell Hybrid Client: Seamless Cloud-Optimized Computing With Ubuntu

          At its core, Hybrid Client is a combination of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and hardware. It starts with the Dell systems like its OptiPlex 7070 Ultra platform or Wyse 5070 thin clients, running a highly-customized Ubuntu 18.04 Long Term Support (LTS)-based operating system. However, Dell representatives also told us that basically any Dell system that runs Linux is a good candidate for Hybrid Client, including sleek notebooks like the XPS 13 Developer Edition. Since these systems arrive ready to deploy, this distro should also keep deployment costs down.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 8 ways to not do open source

        while ago, I published my wildly popular1 article How not to make a cup of tea. Casting around for something to write here, it occurred to me that I might write about something that I believe is almost as important as world peace, the forward march of progress, and brotherly/sisterly love: open source projects. There are so many guides out there around how to create an open source project that it’s become almost too easy to start a new, successful, community-supported one. I think it’s time to redress the balance and give you some clues about how not to do it.

      • Design and document APIs using an open source cross-platform tool

        In the world of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and service-based architectures, it’s not uncommon for companies to maintain dozens or even hundreds of APIs, often spanning multiple teams, programming languages, and environments. This variability makes it extremely difficult to see what’s happening at a high level to prevent changes from having negative impacts.

        It’s estimated that 40% of large enterprises struggle with challenges to secure, scale, or ensure performance for APIs. Because of this, more and more companies are choosing to adopt a “spec-first development” approach by defining and documenting APIs in an external format like OpenAPI. Storing these documents together in a central location makes it much easier to design, discuss, and approve changes before implementation.

      • 9 Best Free and Open Source Network Inventory Management

        Network Inventory Management collates all network infrastructure data and keeps it up to date, helping to streamline processes that improve operational performance. Network inventory management solutions offer reporting functions, and process modeling to automate work-intensive, back-office processes. With this software the system or network administrator will know what is on their network, how it is configured, and when it changes.

        This type of software puts to pasture the antiquated way of tracking network inventory, dispensing with the horrid spreadsheet or word processing document.

        Network inventory management software reduces time and costs by helping administrators locate information for every day operational issues. With an up-to-date network inventory there is the basis for optimizing devices to fully exhaust their potential and cost-effectively meet your needs. Another benefit offered by using this type of software is that service provisioning is both faster and more accurate. With increased efficiency comes a more accurate overview of the network.

      • The managed open source survey

        In June of 2020, Tidelift fielded our annual managed open source survey of technologists.

        Over 600 people shared how they use open source software today, what holds them back, and what tools and strategies would help them use it even more effectively.

      • Organizations Turn To Open Source In Tough Economic Times: Survey

        Organizations are turning to open source during the COVID-19 recession to do more with less. According to the third annual Managed Open Source Survey released by Tidelift, 42% of organizations report their application development budgets were cut while 44% state they are likely to use more open source.

        More than two-thirds of organizations say saving time and money is the top reason to use more open source for application development during the downturn (68%), while increasing efficiency of application development and maintenance was cited by almost half of respondents (48%).

      • Announcing Our Sustainability Coordinator Role [Ed: Deb Nicholson’s first post for OSI (of which she become GM in the mean time i.e. the only paid staff member)]

        The Open Source Initiative is in the middle of growth year which means we’re building capacity and hiring staff. We’re looking for someone to help us with capacity building, who has experience in both fundraising and relationship management. If you are interested in working with us or you know someone who is, please get in touch!

      • Web Browsers

        • Simplify your web experience with this internet protocol alternative

          If you’ve been on the internet for a very long time or you’re just very resourceful, you might remember an early text-sharing protocol called Gopher. Gopher was eventually displaced by the HTTP protocol, which of course is the basis for the modern World Wide Web. For many people, the “internet” and the “World Wide Web” are the same thing, because many people don’t consciously do anything online that’s not on the www subdomain.

          But there have always been a variety of network protocols to share information over an interconnected network: Telnet, FTP, SSH, Torrent, GNUnet, and many more. Recently, there’s been an addition to this collection of alternatives, and it’s called Gemini.

          The Gemini protocol, named after the space mission between the rudimentary experiments of Project Mercury and Project Apollo, is meant to sit peacefully between Gopher and HTTP. It doesn’t aim to replace the modern web, by any means, but it does try to create both a simplified web and a modernized Gopher.

        • Browse the web using Gemini on your Apple device

          Lately, I’ve been checking out pages on the nascent Gemini protocol, a new application-level protocol for hypertext documents. It falls somewhere between the minimalism of Gopher and the complexity and weight of the World Wide Web.

        • Chromium

        • Mozilla

          • about:Mozilla’s #introduction channel – and how it could work for your project

            Mozilla is a large community, with dozens of projects, from Firefox front-end to localization to addons.mozilla.org to Firefox Hubs to support.mozilla.org, etc. Unsurprisingly, we have many communication channels. Bugzilla and Phabricator, Github issues and Pull Requests, Matrix/Riot/Element (formerly IRC) and Discourse, etc.

          • Get ready for virtual Halloween with Mozilla Hubs

            Halloween is around the corner and like everything in 2020, it’s probably going to be different this year. Meeting up with friends is fraught, dunking for apples is right out, and going door-to-door for candy?


            Hosting a virtual Halloween party in Hubs is easy. Visit the Hubs website, and click on “Create a Room.” A Hubs room is where you’ll invite your friends to gather. As you enter the room, you’ll need to grant mic permission so that your friends will be able to hear you talk.

          • This Week in Glean: FOG progress report

            About a year ago chutten started the “This Week in Glean” series with an initial blog post about Glean on Desktop. Back then we were just getting started to bring Glean to Firefox Desktop. No code had been written for Firefox Desktop, no proposals had been written to discuss how we even do it.

            Now, 12 months later, after four completed milestones, a dozen or so proposal and quite a bit of code, the Project Firefox on Glean (FOG) is finally getting into a stage where we can actually use and test it. It’s not ready for prime time yet, but FOG is enabled in Firefox Nightly already.

            Over the past 4 weeks I’ve been on and off working on building out our support for a C++ and a JavaScript API. Soon Firefox engineers will be able to instrument their code using Glean. In C++ this will look like:

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Start using virtual tables in Apache Cassandra 4.0

          Among the many additions in the recent Apache Cassandra 4.0 beta release, virtual tables is one that deserves some attention.

          In previous versions of Cassandra, users needed access to Java Management Extensions (JMX) to examine Cassandra details such as running compactions, clients, metrics, and a variety of configuration settings. Virtual tables removes these challenges. Cassandra 4.0 beta enables users to query those details and data as Cassandra Query Language (CQL) rows from a read-only system table.

          Here is how the JMX-based mechanism in previous Cassandra versions worked. Imagine a user wants to check on the compaction status of a particular node in a cluster. The user first has to establish a JMX connection to run nodetool compactionstats on the node. This requirement immediately presents the user with a few complications. Is the user’s client configured for JMX access? Are the Cassandra nodes and firewall configured to allow JMX access? Are the proper measures for security and auditing prepared and in place? These are only some of the concerns users had to contend with when dealing with in previous versions of Cassandra.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: September 2020
      • Get cool merchandise for upcoming openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference

        The joint openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020 will take place from October 15 – 17. And there’s lots going on! We’ll have talks, presentations, keynotes, tutorials and much more – see the full schedule for all the details.

    • FSF

      • FSF celebrates thirty-fifth anniversary with week of surprises and online event

        On October 4th, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) turned thirty-five years old, and is taking this week to celebrate. Activities will include the launch of a new FSF video, anniversary-themed artwork, and a livestreamed event with special guests from around the world.

        On October 4, 1985, Harold Abelson, Robert J. Chassell, Richard M. Stallman, Gerald Jay Sussman, and Leonard H. Tower, Jr. incorporated the Free Software Foundation, Inc. In their application they wrote: “Our hope is to encourage members of the public to cooperate with each other by sharing software and other useful information. [...] In addition, the virtues of self-reliance and independent initiative will be furthered because users of our software will have the plans with which to repair or change it.”

        Free software gives every person the rights to run, change, share, and contribute to the software, and the FSF believes that these rights also help to support other fundamental rights like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to privacy. Since its incorporation, the encroachments on computer users that FSF founder Richard Stallman wrote about in his GNU Manifesto, published that same year, have not subsided.

      • FSF Blogs: Join the FSF for an online birthday celebration on Friday, October 9th

        Thirty-five years after the founding of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), its mission is more important than ever, and the organization has grown to fill that need, with multiple departments attending to crucial education, advocacy, and enforcement. Our Campaigns Team sounds the alarm about freedom-restricting developments and creates educational materials to bring more free software advocates to the movement. Our Licensing and Compliance Lab defends the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the thousands of programs distributed under its terms, and is actively building a future in which we can direct people to ethical hardware of any kind through the Respects Your Freedom (RYF) program.

        Free software is first and foremost about ethical principles. But we also want everyone to be able to actually live in freedom, and to demonstrate the way free software can be technically excellent. This work is supported by our talented Tech Team, who provide dedicated “bare metal” and virtual machines for the daily operations of the GNU Project and other free software communities, including Web hosting, mailing lists, software repositories, and compiling and testing software packages. The FSF Tech Team is also building a free collaboration site, which will assist free software projects and developers with being able to share their code, as always, in full freedom.

      • FFS FSF, you’re 35 already? Hands up if you just sprouted a grey hair or felt a craving for a Werthers Original on reading that. Happy birthday, folks

        The Free Software Foundation turned 35 on Sunday, ushering in a week-long celebration of its user liberation efforts.

        Founded in 1985 by Richard Stallman (who was not-so-oddly absent* from the announcement), the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has its origins in the GNU Project and is all about opening up software for tinkering, studying, and distribution by users.


        The FSF is keen that all should don their sandals and share in the celebration, perhaps by trying out an approved GNU/Linux distribution, or switching out a proprietary app like Microsoft Office for LibreOffice, or Adobe Photoshop for the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Heck, one could even have a crack at GNU Emacs and celebrate a keyboard shortcut or two.

        Friday 9 October, from 1600 to 2100 UTC, will see an online anniversary event, to which the FSF is urging its community to submit a two-minute video “sharing your favorite memory about free software or the FSF.”

        After all, as S Club 7 never said, there ain’t no party like a Free Software Foundation party.

      • Join the FSF for an online birthday celebration on Friday, October 9th

        This Friday, October 9th, from 12:00 EDT (16:00 UTC) until 17:00 (21:00 UTC), we will host a fun and informative live event with guests from all over the world, to discuss the future of free software and learn from their experiences in different fields driving free software forward.


        It is promising to be a fun, educational, and entertaining event. You can join us via fsf.org, and join the conversation with our speakers live through IRC on Freenode in the #fsf channel; we’ll make sure we put the link up prominently on our homepage as well. You can also join the online experience by sending in your own video commemorating the occasion, following the instructions on the LibrePlanet wiki.

        This birthday celebration is gratis, and all of our speakers are volunteering their time to create a joyous event where we can share our experiences and knowledge together. The LibrePlanet safe space policy will be followed throughout the event, so please make sure you read it. If this online experience is anything like LibrePlanet 2020, we will have a wonderful event, and we can’t wait to see everyone online.

    • Programming/Development

      • How to Monitor Node.js Applications Using PM2 Web Dashboard

        PM2 is a popular daemon process manager for Nodejs with a complete feature set for a production environment, that will help you manage and keep your application online 24/7.

        A process manager is a “container” for applications that facilitates deployment, enables you to manage (start, restart, stop, etc..) the application at runtime, and provides for high availability.

        In this article, we will show how to monitor Nodejs applications using PM2 from the command line and on the web. This guide assumes you already have PM2 installed on your Linux system and you are already running your Nodejs application using it. Otherwise, check out:

      • How to use C++ Queue

        A queue is a collection of items, where the first item added into the list, must be the first item to be removed next. So as items are added to the collection, it is growing in size, i.e. it is growing in length. Whenever any item is to be removed, it must be the first one added. If items are removed continuously, then the next one removed, is the second item; the third is removed afterward, and so on.

        After the first item of the original list has been removed, the second becomes the first item. After the second item has been removed, the third becomes the first item, and so on.

        A good real-life example of a queue is when people line up to wait for service or good. The first person is served first before the last. However, the queue talked about in this tutorial, is the software queue, as designed in C++.

      • How to Use C++ Templates

        In basic C++ programming, the data type, e.g., int or char, must be indicated in a declaration or a definition. A value such as 4 or 22 or -5 is an int. A value such as ‘A’ or ‘b’ or ‘c’ is a char. The template mechanism allows the programmer to use a generic type for a set of actual types. For example, the programmer may decide to use the identifier T for int or char. It is possible for a C++ algorithm to have more than one generic type. With, say, T for the int or char, U may stand for the float or pointer type. A class, such as the string or vector class, is like a data type, and the instantiated objects are like values of the data type, which is the specified class. So, the template mechanism also allows the programmer to use a generic type identifier for a set of classes.

        A C++ template creates an algorithm independent of the type of data employed. So, the same algorithm, with many occurrences of the same type, can use different types at different executions. The entities of variable, function, struct, and class can have templates. This article explains how to declare templates, how to define templates, and how to apply them in C++. You should already have knowledge of the aforementioned entities to understand the topics covered in this article.

      • Jussi Pakkanen: Is your project a unique snowflake or do you just think that it is?

        If there is a national sport for programmers, it is reinventing existing things from scratch. This seems to be especially common inside corporations that tend to roll their own rather than, for example, using an existing open source library. If you try to ask around why this has been done, you typically get some variation of this:

        We can’t use off-the-shelf solutions because we have unique needs and requirements that no-one else has.

        Now, there genuinely are cases where this is true, but it mostly happens only in very spesialised cases, such as when you are google-scale, do space engineering or something similar. There might also be legal or regulatory reasons that you must own all code in a product. Most projects are not like this. In fact almost always someone (typically hundreds of someones) has had the exact same problem and solved it. Yet people seem to keep reinventing the wheel for no real purpose. If you ever find yourself in a debate on why people should use existing solutions rather than roll your own, here are some talking points to consider.

      • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Pike

        Pike is an interpreted, general-purpose, high-level, cross-platform, dynamic programming language. Its syntax is similar to C and C++, but it is much easier to learn and use. It can be used for small scripts as well as for large programs.

        Pike features garbage collection, advanced data types, and first-class anonymous functions, with support for many programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional and imperative programming.

        Pike can be used to write small and simple scripts, and also for very large programs: the World Wide Web servers Roxen WebServer and Caudium are both written in Pike. Pike’s advanced data types and built-in support for sockets makes it ideal for use in internet applications.

        Pike is free software, distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), and Mozilla Public License (MPL). Pike is available for many operating systems, including Linux, Solaris, OS X and Microsoft Windows.

        Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Pike. IF you want something more substantial, read the book Programming, using and understanding by Fredrik Hübinette.

      • Python

        • Cool New Features in Python 3.9

          Python 3.9 is here! Volunteers from all over the world have been working on improvements to Python for the past year. While beta versions have been available for some time, the first official version of Python 3.9 was released on October 5, 2020.

          Every release of Python includes new, improved, and deprecated features, and Python 3.9 is no different. The documentation gives a complete list of the changes. Below, you’ll take an in-depth look at the coolest features that the latest version of Python brings to the table.

        • When to switch to Python 3.9

          Python 3.9 is now available–but should you switch to it immediately? And if not now, when?

          The short answer is, no, you probably don’t want to switch immediately; quite possibly you can’t switch immediately. To understand why, we need to consider Python packaging, the software development process, and take a look at the history of past releases.

        • Python 3.9 Is Released

          Python 3.9 is the first release since the Python project decided to move to a 17-month release cycle with yearly releases. The new schedule gives major versions like Python 3.9 one and a half years of full support with an additonal three and a half years of security fixes. Work on Python 3.10 begun five months ago and the first alpha preview of that version, scheduled to be released one year from now, was released alongside Python 3.9.
          Python 3.9 brings a lot of new features to the table. The Python documentation’s What’s New In Python 3.9 is a long one.


          The grammar requirements for decorations are far less restrictive in Python 3.9 than they were in previous versions. That change will make maintenance of things like PyQt5 a lot easier. It also makes it easier to read and understand the code. It is now possible to use any expression that would fit in a if or while block as a decorator.

        • Python 3.9 Released with Multi-Parser Support and More

          Python 3.9 is released today with a massive list of changes, new features, and more.

        • EuroPython Society: EPS Board for the term 2020/2021

          After completion of the EuroPython Society General Assembly 2020 last Sunday, we’re happy to announce our new board for the next term:

          Anders Hammarquist (Treasurer)
          Cheukting Ho
          Francesco Pierfederici
          Jason C. McDonald
          Marc-André Lemburg (Chair)
          Martin Christen (Vice Chair)
          Nicolás Demarchi
          Raquel Dou
          Silvia Uberti

        • Python User Input

          Python is a flexible, efficient, and easy-to-learn programming language that provides a complete way and the liberty to build dynamic systems. Often, developers need to interact with users. The user might enter some data that is used for processing and calculation purposes. For example, for writing a program in Python that calculates the sum of two values, the user enters the values and the program returns the sum value as an output. In this case, it is necessary to take an input from the user to calculate the sum.

        • Faster BitBound ChEMBL search by using more C

          This is part of a series of essays I started to write a week ago where I use a few different approaches to implement cheminformatics fingerprint similarity search.

          Last Thursday I developed a program which used the BitBound algorithm to do an in-memory search of the uncompressed chembl_27.fps.gz fingerprint file from ChEMBL, containing RDKit Morgan fingerprints.

        • EuroPython trademark registered in the US

          After the confusion which was caused by a rock band starting to use the name “EuroPython” for themselves a few years ago, which we resolved amicably with the band, we had decided to register for a US trademark in addition to our European CTM mark for “EuroPython”.

          We are happy to announce that we have now received the official certificate of the US trademark.

        • Announcing Feet, a Python Runner

          I’ve been working on a problem that’s bugged me for about as long as I’ve used Python and I want to announce my stab at a solution, finally!

          I’ve been working on the problem of “How do i get this little thing I made to my friend so they can try it out?” Python is great. Python is especially a great language to get started in, when you
          don’t know a lot about software development, and probably don’t even know a lot about computers in general.

          Yes, Python has a lot of options for tackling some of these distribution problems for games and apps. Py2EXE was an early option, PyInstaller is very popular now, and PyOxide is an interesting recent entry. These can be great options, but they didn’t fit the kind of use case and experience that made sense to me. I’d never really been about to put my finger on it, until earlier this year:

          Python needs LÖVE.

        • Hijack To Help Customers

          What can you do? Solving difficult software problems often requires the ability to reproduce the issue. As the saying goes, you can learn a lot by walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.

          If you could access your customer’s account and see what they see, you might be able to deduce what went wrong by seeing the issue for yourself. Django takes the sensible approach of not storing plain text passwords in your database so you can’t log in as your customer. Or can you? With django-hijack, you can impersonate a user account to experience what your customer experiences.

          In the remainder of this article, we’ll look at my experience with integrating django-hijack to provide this capability for one of my personal side projects. By the time we’re done, I think you’ll have a good idea of how to add django-hijack to your own project if you need to support your customers by impersonating their accounts.

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #441 (Oct. 6, 2020)
      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • Sukkot and Utopia

      What’s this all about
      These booths popping up
      A harvest of plastic bags
      The god that took you out of Egypt

    • Cellmate: Male chastity gadget [crack] could lock users in

      The cage wirelessly connects to a smartphone via a Bluetooth signal, which is used to trigger the device’s lock-and-clamp mechanism.


      The security researchers said they discovered a way to fool the server into disclosing the registered name of each device owner, among other personal details, as well as the co-ordinates of every location from where the app had been used.

      In addition, they said, they could reveal a unique code that had been assigned to each device.

    • Hardware

      • Learn more about Hailo-8 AI accelerator and understanding AI benchmarks

        So that makes comparison a bit more difficult. NVIDIA still states “the minimum latency throughput results were obtained with the maximum batch size that would not exceed 15ms latency (50ms for BERT) — otherwise, a batch size of one was used.”. That true except for result marked with * where the latency is over 15ms.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • We Have a Covidiot in the White House
      • Meet the College Senior Who Built a COVID Tracker After CDC Blocked from Tracing Trump’s Contacts

        As the number of people in President Trump’s orbit who test positive for COVID-19 continues to grow, we meet a student journalist who is doing what the White House doesn’t want the CDC to do: tracing the contacts of people who may have infected or been infected by President Trump. Benjy Renton, a Middlebury College senior, helped develop a real-time tracking tool to monitor the growing number of people in President Trump’s circle who were exposed or infected with COVID-19. The site is called COVID-19 at the White House and lists over 270 contacts and 25 positive cases, so far. It uses “publicly available information to ensure the American public have access and have the transparency that they deserve,” says Renton.

      • Chinatown Will Recover From the Coronavirus

        The ongoing struggle for racial justice. The future for immigrant families. The health and well-being of all Americans. The very fate of our fragile planet. The US faces a crossroads in this year’s elections. Seeking out the stories flying under the national radar, The Nation and Magnum Foundation are partnering on What’s At Stake, a series of photo essays from across the country through the lenses of independent imagemakers. Follow the whole series here.

      • As Trump Enjoys Balcony Photo-Op, White House Cleaning Staff Sick With Covid-19 Told to Use ‘Discretion’

        “The behavior of the first family has endangered not only their own health, but that of the staff.”

      • ‘Major Breach of Public Trust’: Siding With Big Pharma, Trump Overrules FDA on Stricter Covid-19 Vaccine Standards

        “Political manipulation of science—this is exactly what so many of us were worried about,” said one public health expert.

      • Could the Coronavirus be a Truth Serum?

        In a shocking turn of events, Donald Trump’s latest media fabulist, Kayleigh McEnany, who kicked off her new job by telling a whopper to assembled reporters in the White House Press Room, “I will never lie to you,” and who has spent the rest of her tenure to date  padding President Trump’s resume of 20,000 plus lies since he assumed office, told the truth yesterday.

      • Why Trump’s Approach to the Coronavirus Vaccine May Leave America Behind
      • Pandemic Living

        The long haul.

      • ‘He Won’t Support Medicare for All. He Got Medicare for One’: Trump Touts Disastrous Healthcare System That He’s Trying to Make Even Worse

        “How many fathers, mothers, grandparents, daughters, and sons would be alive right now if they would have received even a fraction of the care the president received?”

      • Facebook removes Trump post falsely saying COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu

        Twitter did not remove a tweet with the same message, but it added a warning label and restricted interactions with the post.

      • ‘Gross Negligence’: Public Health Experts Weigh in on Mike Pence Participating in VP Debate

        But no one in the Trump administration seems to understand what public health experts have been preaching for months about how the coronavirus spreads. Nor do they seem care about the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance that anyone who spends more than 15 minutes within six feet of someone who tests positive should isolate for 14 days. Not only is Pence not doing that, he’s been actively campaigning, and is currently gearing up to debate Sen. Kamala Harris at the University of Utah.

        “It would be grossly negligent to break quarantine to come out for [the debate], especially after such significant exposure,” Dr. Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist at the University of Arizona, tells Rolling Stone. “He sat right in front of somebody for a very significant period of time, and that doesn’t even account for any indoor activities. It would go against public health guidance and all of the recommendations that we’ve been giving the public.”

      • How Facebook and Twitter Handled Trump’s ‘Don’t Be Afraid of Covid’ Post

        Medical experts immediately took issue with the post. More than 200,000 Americans have died from the virus, and more than 35 million cases have been reported around the world. Dr. Bob Wachter, the chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said Mr. Trump’s tweet was “breathtakingly callous, inhumane & counterproductive.” Dr. Bernard P. Chang of Columbia University’s department of emergency medicine warned that people should remain afraid of the virus.

        But Facebook and Twitter did nothing about Mr. Trump’s post, even though the companies have publicized their coronavirus misinformation policies.

      • Why Fox News Is Still in a Coronavirus Bubble

        But the point is: People will do a great deal to justify their belief systems, even if it means tolerating a thousand tiny inconsistencies. And Fox News is especially adept at giving people scripts they can use to minimize their discomfort with bothersome, disconfirming facts.

        Even if they were to wake up one morning and realize that their thinking about this pandemic had involved some catastrophic errors in judgment, neither Sean Hannity nor Laura Ingraham seems like the type who’d acknowledge them publicly. It’s much more likely that they would quietly consign them to a memory hole. Conceding mistakes requires intellectual humility, which in both of these hosts is in demonstrably short supply; and anyway, what they peddle is certainty, cocksurety of opinion. It’s their brand.

      • Twitter and Facebook Flag “Misleading and Potentially Harmful” Trump COVID Post

        This is not the first time the social media platforms had to take action due to the president attempting to spread false information about the pandemic or upcoming election.

      • Facebook removes Trump post falsely saying flu is more lethal than Covid

        In August, Facebook and Twitter removed a post by Trump for containing false claims about Covid-19. The post contained a video of President during a Fox News interview in which he falsely claimed that children are “almost immune” to the virus.

        Tuesday afternoon, Trump tweeted, “REPEAL SECTION 230!!!” He said no more than that, leaving precisely what he was referring to out of the tweet, but it was likely a response to the actions taken by Facebook and Twitter. Section 230 is shorthand for the part of US law that gives tech companies immunity for almost all of their decisions regarding content moderation.

      • Facebook removes Trump post that compared Covid-19 to flu

        Twitter restricted a similar tweet from Trump, leaving it online but placing it behind a note saying the tweet violated the company’s rules about spreading misleading information.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Racist Algorithms: How Code Is Written Can Reinforce Systemic Racism

          Of course, individual human decisions are often biased at times too. But AI has the veneer of objectivity and the power to reify bias on a massive scale. Making matters worse, the public cannot understand many of these algorithms because the formulas are often proprietary business secrets. For someone like me, who has spent hours programming and knows firsthand the deep harm that can arise from a single line of code, this secrecy is deeply worrisome. Without transparency, there is no way for anyone, from a criminal defendant to a college applicant, to understand how an algorithm arrived at a particular conclusion. It means that, in many ways, we are powerless, subordinated to the computer’s judgment.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (chromium, libproxy, mumble, and thunderbird), openSUSE (perl-DBI), Red Hat (qemu-kvm-rhev, rh-mariadb102-mariadb and rh-mariadb102-galera, rh-maven35-jackson-databind, spice and spice-gtk, and unbound), SUSE (gnutls, java-1_7_0-openjdk, openssl1, and perl-DBI), and Ubuntu (brotli, cyrus-imapd, openconnect, opendmarc, python-urllib3, ruby-rack-cors, spice, tika, and yaws).

          • Attackers use complicated method to try and steal cryptocurrency

            Ganot said the attack was likely to have been an SMSC (short message service centre) spoofing attack; this uses the roaming function and the attackers need access to a cellular network that interacts with Israeli networks.

            “It’s a rare assault. The hackers send a message from a foreign cell network to an Israeli one, updating the client’s location. For example: ‘The client has just landed in Tbilisi, he has registered with our network. Please route his SMS messages via this network’,” Ganot explained.

          • Ransomware gangs add DDoS to their arsenal to put pressure on victims

            Ransomware gangs appear to have added another tool to their arsenal in order to extort ransoms from their victims, with some using distributed denial of service attacks to pile on the pressure.

            A gang of cyber criminals using SunCrypt, a new addition to the ransomware fold, claim to have staged a DDoS to attack the Irish company Glen Dimplex Home Appliances.

            Formerly known as Glen Electric, the company is an electrical goods firm that has its headquarters in Dublin and manufacturing and development centres in the UK, China and a few other countries.

            Glen also has branches in North America, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Poland, Belgium, France, Australia and Scandinavia.

          • Nervous System: The Sleepy History of the Buffer Overflow Attack

            With the aggressive pace of technological change and the onslaught of news regarding data breaches, cyber-attacks, and technological threats to privacy and security, it is easy to assume these are fundamentally new threats. The pace of technological change is slower than it feels, and many seemingly new categories of threats have been with us longer than we remember. Nervous System is a monthly series that approaches issues of data privacy and cyber security from the context of history—to look to the past for clues about how to interpret the present and prepare for the future.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Eero partners with [Internet] providers to sell its routers to customers

              The platform includes three components at launch. One is Eero Insight, which collects usage data to help ISPs foresee customers’ Wi-Fi issues and address them early. The company estimates that the tool will provide technicians “up to an estimated 30 percent reduction in time spent resolving Wi-Fi issues.”

            • Palantir’s Long-Awaited Public Debut Frustrates Some Investors

              Palantir started trading Wednesday, choosing to run a seldom-tested direct listing process instead of a traditional initial public offering. The stock closed Friday at $9.20, below the $10 per share it opened at on the New York Stock Exchange, giving the company a market valuation of $15.2 billion.

            • Biggest tech IPOs of 2020

              Named after a set of magical stones in Lord of the Rings, the secretive Colorado-based company was founded 17 years ago by Peter Thiel and CEO Alex Karp, among others. It specializes in data analysis to help organisations spot patterns and identify threats through two products: Gotham and Foundry, which offer clients various flavors of data integration and analytics on a large scale. It has a small but select customer base, primarily in the public sector, including work for the US Department of Defense and the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

              Like many of its peers in technology, Palantir was reporting a loss at the time of its IPO, with $743 million in revenue in 2019 at a loss of $576 million.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Ex-OPCW chief José Bustani’s statement to the UN Security Council

        My name is José Bustani. I am honoured to have been invited to present a statement for this meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Syrian chemical dossier and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. As the OPCW’s first Director General, a position I held from 1997 to 2002, I naturally retain a keen interest in the evolution and fortunes of the Organisation. I have been particularly interested in recent developments regarding the Organisation’s work in Syria.

      • OPCW confirms that Navalny was poisoned with a toxin resembling Novichok not included under its existing bans

        The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has confirmed that Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok-type toxin.

      • Investigation Shows Sheriff’s Department Rewarded Deputies With Gift Cards For Deploying Force

        A Texas Sheriff’s Office with a history of questionable hiring practices and a fondness for excessive force deployment has covered itself with infamy again. The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office was formerly best known for appearing on Live PD, a “Cops” knockoff that followed deputies around as they enforced the law and — on one occasion — tased someone to death in front of Live PD’s cameras. (A&E “helpfully” destroyed the footage.)

      • ‘Enabling State Voter Suppression Tactics,’ US Supreme Court Revives GOP’s Ballot Witness Requirement in South Carolina

        “It’s the first day of the new term and the Supreme Court is already wreaking havoc.”

      • Tongues as Sharp as Snakes

        Thomas Muntzer’s name is indelibly inscribed in the blood of the peasants who were slaughtered in the Peasants’ War of 1524-5 in Germany. The German revolutionary and bon vivant, Friedrich Engels, celebrated Muntzer as a proto-revolutionary; streets were named after him in the former Democratic Republic of Germany (he was hated in West Germany). Today there is a minor Muntzer industry amongst Reformation historians. There are many fields carved out in this fertile land; one of them tries hard, perhaps desperately so, to see grave and great revolutionary significance in this mystical and contorted figure. Like the quest for the historical Luther, the quest for the historical Muntzer is alive. In this brief reflection, I would like to focus attention on the vile dispute between Muntzer and Martin Luther. It is offered as a contribution to understanding the violence of contemporary rhetoric in our daily politics.

      • Trump Is Getting Away With Much More Than Murder

        Yes, when he was running for president, he did indeed say: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s, like, incredible.”

      • How America Turned on Itself

        For me, as a veteran, the events of the past months repeatedly triggered jolts of recognition. But in the aggregate, they depict a country I no longer recognize. First, it was the National Guard in Washington. Then it was the domestic commandos in Portland, wearing the garb of Special Operations forces, who snatched Black Lives Matter protesters off the streets and shot and beat others. In Kenosha and Louisville, my hometown, it was the militias, clad head-to-toe in military kit, looking much like fellow service members and I did in Afghanistan—save for the occasional Hawaiian shirt and the fact that many in the militias are overweight. All along, of course, there have also been the cops, whose weapons, uniforms, and tactics are dangerously militaristic.

      • Forget What Gender Activists Tell You. Here’s What Medical Transition Looks Like

        That night, I tracked down these Reddit exchanges, and my jaw dropped when I saw how many people and organizations were heavily pushing the possibility of her being trans. But perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, given the way such attitudes have gone mainstream. This includes the pediatrician mom whose recent opinion piece for the New York Times was titled What I Learned as the Parent of a Transgender Child. For kids Googling this subject, the overall effect is the equivalent of one big glitter bomb going off on their screen.

      • Rihanna apologises for Islamic verse at Fenty lingerie fashion show

        She received a backlash online for using the song Doom by artist Coucou Chloe, which includes a Muslim text known as a Hadith.

      • Funding, fuel, and ‘famine’: Unpacking Yemen’s overlapping crises

        A massive shortfall in international funding is forcing aid groups to scale back their work in Yemen, a country enduring what the UN calls the world’s “worst humanitarian crisis”.

        As of early October, the UN has received $1.3 billion for Yemen, about 40 percent of what it said it needed for the aid operations it intended to coordinate and carry out in 2020. That’s a major drop from the $3.6 billion it received in 2019, when it asked for $4.2 billion.

        The UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande, said in a 23 September statement that “the consequences of under-funding are immediate, enormous and devastating”, noting that food distributions have already been cut and health services shut down. She said more programmes would close in the coming weeks if fresh funding doesn’t materialise. A group of NGOs that work in Yemen has also warned that under-funding “is leaving families vulnerable to malnutrition, disease and death”.

    • Environment

      • Nuclear power hinders fight against climate change

        Countries investing in renewables are achieving carbon reductions far faster than those which opt to back nuclear power.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Nearly all marine life killed along the seabed of Kamchatka’s Avacha Bay, scientists report

          Following the recent discovery of high pollution levels off the coast of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, scientists are reporting that nearly all of the marine life along the seabed (the benthos) of the Avacha Bay has been killed. This was reported to the regional authorities by specialists from the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, the Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO), and the Kamchatka branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography, who conducted survey dives in the area.

    • Finance

      • COVID-19 and the Global Addiction to Cheap Migrant Labour

        The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the world’s structural dependence on exploitable labour.

      • Vacant Housing and Homelessness in LA

        Housing shortages are common explanations for the extraordinary increases in both rental and housing prices across all major U.S. cities. The solution then is straightforward: expand the housing stock and prices will fall and reach equilibrium.

      • 3 in 4 Americans—Including 55% of Republicans—Want Senate GOP to Prioritize Covid-19 Relief Over Ramming Through Coney Barrett

        “Trump’s Senate allies are doing everything they can to ensure Trump’s pick for the high court moves swiftly through the approvals process. Where has this urgency been as Americans have languished for weeks without new coronavirus relief?”

      • The Oligarchs’ Revenge

        The average person may be forgiven for thinking that the South actually won the Civil War. Despite a brief experiment in interracial democracy during the Reconstruction years, for much of its history the region has upheld a regime of brutal racial subordination. In the late 19th century, after the overthrow of Reconstruction, many of its state governments disenfranchised Black men, instituted racial segregation, condoned racial terrorism and violence, and kept a majority of Black and white Southerners economically bound through sharecropping, debt peonage, convict lease labor, and tenancy. By the 20th century, Franklin Roosevelt called the South the nation’s No. 1 economic problem, resistant to unionization and social policies. Even today it leads in indices for poverty and weak educational systems. The Jim Crow South was upended by the civil rights revolution. Yet even in defeat, its language of oligarchy and its opposition to progressive political and economic policies through an appeal to racism has been adopted by the modern Republican Party.

      • The Hustle Economy

        Today, inequality—especially racial inequality—is not only produced through the job market but through people’s ability to hustle.

        The futurism of technology discourse is ahistorical and ideological. Tech utopianism disembeds the future from the political economies that produce its social relations, and it obscures the machinations of racial capitalism. When I was recently asked to consider how digital technologies shape “economic opportunity” and the “future of work,” I started by examining what we mean by economic opportunity, and what counts as work.

        In lay terms, economic opportunity in the future of work looks like hustling. Hustling traditionally refers to income-generating activities that occur in the informal economy. It has also become synonymous with a type of job-adjacent work that looks like it is embedded in the formal economy but is governed by different state protections, which makes the work risky and those doing it vulnerable.

        “Platform entrepreneurs” who trade their labor using a digital platform (like TaskRabbit or Takl) that extracts a portion of that labor in exchange for facilitating payments and promotion between provider and customer are hustling. So are independent contractors who enter arrangements with companies (like Uber, Lyft, or Amazon with its delivery drivers) that provide access to proprietary scheduling-based work in exchange for workers who will accept the risk of not being an employee. Hustling also refers to influencers, who develop personal brands on social media platforms and exchange their share of market capture in the attention economy for discounted products, free goods, and direct-to-consumer sales. While all of these types of hustling can happen in conjunction with waged employment and other forms of entrepreneurship, they all show how the assumption of risk has shifted from states and employers to workers. Today, inequality—especially racial inequality—is not only produced through the job market but through people’s ability to hustle.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Will 2020 Be Trump’s Bay of Pigs?

        Just two weeks before the 2016 election, Donald Trump traveled to Miami to accept the endorsement of the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association. Speaking at a museum in Little Havana dedicated to the paramilitary invasion, he blasted the Obama administration’s normalization of relations with Cuba and lauded those he called “true freedom fighters” in the audience. His efforts to pander to the hard-line Cuban American community seemed a long shot; Trump trailed Hillary Clinton by 3.3 points in the Florida polls, and news reports at the time indicated he was exploring investments in the hotel industry in Cuba. But on November 8, Trump won the state and its critical 29 Electoral College votes by a narrow margin of 1.2 points, paving his way to the White House.

      • Why Trump Doesn’t Wear a Mask

        So, could it be that what he’s fearing Is gobs of orange makeup smearing? Could that be why he takes the view That wearing masks is up to you? And why he mocks as sissies those Who cover up the mouth and nose, So even some not in his base Now emulate his unmasked face? A shame so many die so he Can keep his visage blemish-free.

      • Empathy for the World’s Least Empathetic Person
      • I’m a #NeverBiden Wisconsin Voter; Here’s Why I’m Voting Biden Anyway

        There are only two guns in the current battleground that is the 2020 presidential election, and one of them is in the hands of a Nazi.

      • Voter Suppression Is a Crime

        Deliberate efforts to suppress the vote in battleground states were not taken seriously enough in 2016. Only after the damage was done did law enforcement officials begin to pay proper attention to the outright lies and crude calculations that were employed in attempts to derail democracy in Detroit and other urban centers.

      • The Infodemic

        The importance of accurate information has been all too apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides charting the devastation of the virus, the World Health Organization has mapped a subsequent “infodemic,” a period of often dangerous and inflammatory misinformation circulating globally. This infodemic has had deadly effects. Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro have denied the scale of the pandemic and then peddled false cures, leading to hospitalizations and deaths among people who followed Trump’s advice to drink bleach or take hydroxychloroquine. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi got in on the act, claiming that yoga could increase immunity to Covid-19.

      • New Study: Once Again, The Mainstream Media Is A Bigger Problem In Spreading Disinformation Than Social Media

        We’ve discussed in the past Yochai Benkler’s excellent book “Network Propaganda,” (and had Benkler on our podcast) showing (with a ton of data) how the inclination many have to immediately blame social media for the spread of disinformation is, in its own way, misinformation itself. What the research found was that crazy conspiracy theories didn’t really spread as fast until they showed up on Fox News. That was basically the catalyst for them to then spread wildly on social media.

      • How ICE Became a ‘Propaganda Machine’ for Trump

        In June of 2018, Talia Lavin, then a fact-checker for The New Yorker, found herself in an unusual position for a journalist: She personally became the target of a government agency. She had come under the scrutiny of ICE’s Office of Public Affairs, the public face of the agency that played a central role in President Trump’s crackdown on undocumented migrants. That role was increasingly earning the agency the ire of a growing movement, encompassing a range of opposition from faith groups to members of Congress. A Jewish activist group, Never Again Action, had gone so far as to draw parallels between the disturbingly poor conditions in ICE detention facilities and the concentration camps of the Holocaust. When Lavin saw a tweet from ICE featuring one of its officials, Justin Gaertner, with a cross-shaped tattoo, she wondered if it was the Iron Cross familiar to Nazi iconography. She posted a tweet comparing them. When people began pointing out that it could be another symbol, like a Maltese cross, Lavin promptly removed the tweet. But it was already too late.

      • Murder, He Said: America’s Maestro’s of Death and Destruction

        Yes, when he was running for president, he did indeed say: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s, like, incredible.”

      • ‘Never Seen This Many People Voting So Far Ahead’: Despite GOP Suppression Ploys, Early Voting Setting Records

        More than four million Americans have already cast ballots, with 28 days to go until Election Day.

      • How Not To Talk About Obama

        Sound materialist analysis (not always satisfying) often adds a little treat at the end. For example, let’s take the Barack Obama rules. Instead of saying Barack Obama was a neoliberal President who largely complied with the general trend of the last half-century of consolidating wealth, privatizing industry, and using imperialism and capitalism together to continue the expansion of a an earth wrecking growth model, period, we hear something more like Barack Obama was a neoliberal and he was black just to fool everyone.

      • In the Grip of a (Wheezing) Madman
      • How to Turn Ten Days Into a Lifetime

        The whole Trump nightmare summed up in a week and a half.

      • 1929: Nazis in the Antechamber

        ARD, also known as Channel One, is the main state-run broadcaster in Germany. On 7 October it will start showing the third season of Babylon Berlin. In order to prepare the German audience for the third season, ARD has put together a 44-minute documentary which highlights the true political and financial circumstances of the time. Not only is it informative, but it sheds light on a company and person that even Germans who know their own history quite well were not aware of: Alfred Hugenberg and the Hugenberg-Konzern (Hugenberg Corporation).

      • The American Way? Yap Loudly and Pack a Big Shtick

        The House of Donald’s Populist Tweetocracy instructs us daily how sharing doesn’t matter and that taxes are for losers, those impecunious citizen-suckers who can’t afford a lawyer who charges less than the claimed deductions. Tax Avoidance 101. No need to share with the “little people,” a.k.a. socialism. Of course, in Socialism American Style, the protected class siphons the spoils their way, a purposefully designed “trickle-up” system of wealth management that even shelters the losses from any storms. Some say we are born equal, at least until the moment of conception.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Reps. Gabbard And Gosar Introduce Ridiculous House Companion To Ridiculous Anti-230 Senate Bill From Senator Kennedy

        You may recall that, last year, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard decided to file a ridiculously silly lawsuit against Google, claiming that the company had “violated her First Amendment rights” because it temporarily shut down her advertising account, and also because it filtered some of her campaign emails to spam. In a lawsuit that read remarkably similar to the various people arguing that “anti-conservative bias” was the basis for a lawsuit, it made a whole bunch of silly claims that any good lawyer would recognize as frivolous (hold that thought).

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Trump’s Strict Immigration Laws Exacerbate Human Trafficking in the US

        Several virtual summits in California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana over the past several weeks and an upcoming summit in New Jersey addressing human trafficking (also referred to as trafficking in persons or modern slavery) suggest a widespread awareness of the crisis in this country.

      • Maine Hires Lawyers With Criminal Records to Defend Its Poorest Residents

        The temperature hovered just above freezing as Officer Zachary Harmon drove his patrol car down the Route 1 bypass close to Maine’s border with New Hampshire. It was right after midnight on Feb. 25, 2012. A mix of snow and rain had fallen throughout the night, leaving the blacktop slick. Out of the dark ahead, Harmon saw a pair of headlights headed directly at him.

        Harmon cranked up his siren and flashed the cruiser’s red and blue lights. The oncoming car was driving in the wrong lane, forcing him to veer off the road. Swinging his patrol car around, he pulled in front of the vehicle, bringing it to a stop. After a flustered search the driver handed a passport to Harmon. Dispatch confirmed she was out on bail for drunken driving, police records show, so Harmon asked her to step out of the car. In fast and slurred words, Suzanne Dwyer-Jones made one thing clear: She was a lawyer.

      • Whole Foods Workers Face Retaliation For Demanding Enforcement Of COVID-19 Safety Measures, Opposing Anti-BLM Dress Code

        Two longtime workers at a Whole Foods store in Cambridge, Massachusetts allege they were recently fired in retaliation for voicing concerns over safety protections during the pandemic, the cancellation of hazard pay, and enforcement of the dress code policy to prohibit workers from wearing Black Lives Matter slogans on masks. Both workers were involved in organizing efforts with Whole Worker.

        Nicholas Dukes, who worked at Whole Foods for around ten years in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area, said he was fired after expressing several concerns and filing safety complaints with OSHA and state agencies over the lack of enforcement of coronavirus safety protections.

      • Federal Court Says City Of Baltimore Must Pay Resident Abused By Cops The Other Half Of Her Settlement

        For years, the city of Baltimore has handed out settlements to victims of government abuse. And for years, the city has forced them to remain silent about these settlements. The city tied every settlement to an extensive non-disparagement clause that effectively bought people’s silence. If you can’t say anything nice, you can’t have half your settlement, as the old saying goes.

      • The Justice Department May Have Violated Attorney General Barr’s Own Policy Memo

        When the Justice Department recently publicized an ongoing investigation into potentially improperly discarded Trump ballots, critics accused it of violating long-standing agency policy against interfering in an election.

        But the unusual decision to publicly detail the Pennsylvania case may also have run afoul of guidelines that Attorney General William Barr himself issued to federal prosecutors this year, according to a memo obtained by ProPublica.

      • Step One Is Turning Out the Vote. Step Two Is Protecting It.

        It is hard to believe that the first presidential debate was just one week ago. That night, President Trump worked to undermine voter confidence: He made unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud, urged his supporters to engage in intimidation at the ballot box, and refused to say that he would accept the results of the election. In the days since, Trump’s positive coronavirus test has heightened the chaos. What happens while the president is unable to campaign? What about future debates? Will Trump demand voting be delayed (again)? What will his supporters do if he becomes fully indisposed on or before Election Day?

      • To Sit or Not to Sit? Can Amy Coney Barrett Fairly Judge an Abortion Case?

        The Senate Judiciary Committee is about embark on the important task of determining whether President Trump’s newest nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, is qualified to serve as a Justice.

      • After Abolition

        Prisons and cops survive only in tales for the young like twin Atlantises or two drowned boogeymen. A cop’s as harmless a Halloween getup as any monster, while a prisoner costume’s as taboo as a slave one now that schools teach what makes them kin. A prison is the far-off past of a structure turned free housing, each cell wall knocked to sandcastle ruin, halls reshaped and re-dyed in green paints, former floor plans carved out like shores into spacious homes, laundry and A/C a given in each. Though prisons and cops won’t be found anywhere, our youths still learn of them, and they know what they mean, how they look, how they function, what it will take to stop them if they return with new names.

      • Greece’s ‘new tactic’ of migrant expulsion

        Greece’s ‘new tactic’ of migrant expulsion from deep inside its land borders

        On 27 August, Jawad, a 24-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan was picked up by police outside a grocery store near the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

        Less than 12 hours later, after a long journey in the back of a dark van, the police deposited him around 400 kilometres from Thessaloniki on the banks of the Evros River, which runs along much of the land border between Greece and Turkey.

        Jawad had arrived in Greece from Turkey in October 2019 and was a registered asylum seeker with a valid International Protection Applicant’s Card (or “white card”) that gave him the right to stay for six months, and prohibited authorities – at least in theory – from removing him from the country while his asylum request was being processed. But that didn’t matter.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Mississippi Says AT&T Took $283 Million For A Network It Never Fully Deployed

        We’ve noted for years that the U.S. simply adores throwing billions in tax breaks and subsidies at telecom monopolies in exchange for broadband networks that somehow, mysteriously, only wind up half deployed. AT&T’s particularly gifted at this particular grift, routinely promising a massive boost in network investment if it gets merger approval, deregulation, or subsidization. Like most recently when it nabbed a $42 billion tax break from the Trump administration in exchange for not only network investment that never happened — but 41,000 layoffs.

    • Monopolies

      • US Antitrust Report on Big Tech and Purism Comparison

        As part of a top-to-bottom review of the online market, the US House Committee on the Judiciary initiated a bipartisan investiation into Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Antitrust, also known as anticompetitive, is an area where regulators determine if the economic powers of business is healthy and allows competition to flourish. The 449-page report released today that thoroughly reviewed nearly 1.3 million documents, held seven separate hearings, and six hours of testimony from the CEOs of the four companies clearly shows anticompetitive behavior.


        Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook are all “C” Corporations, they have a fudiciary responsibility maximize shareholder value at all costs, even anticompetitive ones. Purism is a Social Purpose Company, who enshrined its articles of incorporation to protect and respect society, it releases all its source code.

        The four companies are gatekeepers that lock-in control, exploiting and extracting concessions people would not normally consent to. Purism offers complete freedom to use its products and services in anyway people desire without fear of control nor exploitation.

        These companies push network effects of platform lock-in create a barrier to entry since they refuse to be interoperable with other platforms. Purism offers all services with free and open source software that is interoperable based on standards and supports decentralized hosting between other platforms.

      • House Antitrust Panel Members Share Some Concerns on Big Tech

        Technology giants are facing mounting criticism on both sides of the political aisle, but partisan splits on the nature of concerns and the possible solutions have so far prevented broad agreements on competition, privacy and the handling of controversial content.

      • House Panel Urges Tech Giant Breakup in Plan Republicans Shunned

        The staff report’s most consequential recommendation is for Congress to consider legislation that would prevent tech companies from owning different lines of businesses, which could lead to a mandate to break them up.

        “Their ability both to use their dominance in one market as negotiating leverage in another, and to subsidize entry to capture unrelated markets, have the effect of spreading concentration from one market into others, threatening greater and greater portions of the digital economy,” the report said.

      • Amazon bullies partners and vendors, says antitrust subcommittee

        Lawmakers also estimate Amazon controls about 50% or more of the U.S. online retail market, which is higher than analysts’ projections.

        Democrats also uncovered evidence that Amazon’s dominance in cloud computing potentially creates a conflict of interest where customers are forced to consider working with a competitor.

      • Congress releases blockbuster tech antitrust report

        The House Judiciary Committee has released its conclusions on whether Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google are violating antitrust law. Its 449-page report criticizes these companies for buying competitors, preferencing their own services, and holding outsized power over smaller businesses that use their platforms. “Our investigation revealed an alarming pattern of business practices that degrade competition and stifle innovation,” said committee member Val Demings (D-FL). “Competition must reward the best idea, not the biggest corporate account. We will take steps necessary to hold rulebreakers accountable.”

        The majority’s report lays out a number of concrete policy recommendations, which, taken together, would drastically change how the tech industry operates. It urges Congress to consider passing commercial nondiscrimination rules that would make large companies offer equal terms to companies selling products and services on their platforms. It recommends barring certain dominant platforms from competing in “adjacent lines of business” where they’d have a huge advantage.

      • How Are Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google Monopolies? House Report Counts The Ways

        The lawmakers say Congress should overhaul the laws that have let the companies grow so powerful. In particular, the report says, Congress should look at forcing “structural separations” of the companies and beefing up enforcement of existing antitrust laws.

        The recommendations, if enacted, could radically change how these companies operate. They could, for example, restrict Amazon from selling its own products in its marketplace, in direct competition with sellers who depend on the platform to reach customers. Google could be banned from using the data the Android operating system collects on users and other apps to refine its products. Facebook could, theoretically, be barred from acquiring another competitor, after concerns over how it bought rivals including Instagram and WhatsApp.

        While the investigation was a bipartisan effort by the subcommittee, the final report has been met by partisan division over its recommendations. The Democratic majority staff authored the report, and no Republicans have publicly endorsed it so far.

      • House Lawmakers Condemn Big Tech’s ‘Monopoly Power’ and Urge Their Breakups

        In a 449-page report that was presented by the House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic leadership, lawmakers said the four companies had turned from “scrappy” start-ups into “the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.” The lawmakers said the companies had abused their dominant positions, setting and often dictating prices and rules for commerce, search, advertising, social networking and publishing.

      • 12 Accusations in the Damning House Report on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

        House lawmakers released a scathing report on four of the world’s largest tech companies, accusing them of abusing their market power. The report, which was released on Tuesday and concludes a 16-month investigation into Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, recommended breaking up the companies and passing the most sweeping reforms to antitrust laws in decades.

        Here is a summary of the accusations against each company in the report, which was endorsed only by Democratic lawmakers.

      • House Democrats Call for Antitrust Reforms to Rein in ‘Abuse’ by Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

        “To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report says. “Although these firms have delivered clear benefits to society, the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google has come at a price.”

      • US tech giants accused of ‘monopoly power’

        But Republicans involved in the effort did not agree with the recommendations.

      • Facebook completely bans QAnon and labels it a ‘militarized social movement’

        “Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content. This is an update from the initial policy in August that removed Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with QAnon when they discussed potential violence while imposing a series of restrictions to limit the reach of other Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts associated with the movement,” the company writes in its update. A Facebook spokesperson tells The Verge that while the ban targets organized behavior on the platform, it does not prohibit individuals from posting about QAnon to their person Facebook profiles.

      • Facebook tightens ban on QAnon content

        Starting Tuesday, the ban will extend to all affiliated pages, groups and accounts.

        “We are starting to enforce this updated policy today and are removing content accordingly, but this work will take time and need[s] to continue in the coming days and weeks,” Facebook said in a blog post.

        NBC News first reported on the updated policy.

      • Facebook Bans All Groups, Pages Linked to QAnon Conspiracy

        Facebook had previously banned QAnon Pages, Groups and accounts if they called for or celebrated violence. But that meant Groups and Pages that peddle the QAnon conspiracies, but were not explicitly violent, remained on the service.

        Now associating with QAnon is in many instances against the company’s rules, Facebook said Tuesday in a blog post. Individual accounts and posts related to QAnon are allowed on the social network, but the company imposed the ban on Groups and Pages in an effort to keep followers of the conspiracy movement from congregating. Instagram accounts linked to QAnon are also banned. The photo-sharing app doesn’t require people to use their real identities.

      • QAnon’s Creator Made the Ultimate Conspiracy Theory

        It has been called everything from a virulent conspiracy theory to a mass delusion, a cult, and a complete scam, and yet it’s growing daily. It seems set to send some faithful followers to Congress, it has earned the tacit acknowledgement of the president, and it still maintains a core following of about 600,000 people on Facebook alone, despite efforts by the platform to ban QAnon outright. QAnon followers have attempted political violence, and links between apparent acts of domestic terrorism and the movement are increasingly apparent.

      • Facebook bans QAnon across its platforms

        Facebook said the change is an update on the policy it created in August that initially only removed accounts related to the QAnon conspiracy theory that discussed violence, which resulted in the termination of 1,500 pages, groups and profiles.

        A company spokesperson said the enforcement, which started Tuesday, will “bring to parity what we’ve been doing on other pieces of policy with regard to militarized social movements,” such as militia and terror groups that repeatedly call for violence.

      • Facebook Says It Will Ban Groups That Openly Support QAnon

        The company said Tuesday that it will remove Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts for “representing QAnon.”

      • Facebook Says It Has Banned All Activity From the QAnon Pro-Trump Conspiracy Movement

        Facebook is now completely banning all posts related to QAnon, the bizarre pro-Trump conspiracy and disinformation movement, the company announced.

        “Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content,” the social giant said Tuesday.

      • Patents

        • Where have all the Inventors Gone?

          This 30 second clip comes from a recent Federal Circuit oral arguments in a case captioned In Re Google Technology Holdings LLC (2019-1828). The voices you hear are Judge Chen asking a question and Kathryn Kayali representing Google.

          Until recently, patent applicants have always been the human inventors. Now the law allows the patent owner to serve as the applicant.

        • PTAB Grants Broad Motion No. 4 for Priority Benefit to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/736,527

          In the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision on motions issued September 10th in Interference No. 106,115 (see “PTAB Decides Parties’ Motions in CRISPR Interference”) 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 Board granted Broad’s Motion No. 4 for priority benefit to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/736,527. As a result, Broad will remain Senior Party during the Priority Phase of the interference.

          Broad in its substantive Motion No. 4 argued that it had satisfied the standard for priority to USSN 61/736,527 to Zhang (termed “Zhang B1″ in the motion). The following diagram, showing the interrelatedness of the various Broad patents and applications in the interference, illustrates the basis of Broad’s priority claim…

        • US-China DRAM Patent War Rumored To Be Escalating

          2020 begun with 97% of all memory chips on the market coming out of the factories of only three big manufacturers: Micron Technology (American), Samsung (South Korean) and SK Hynix (also South Korean). Those three have been caught price-fixing cartel-style more than once.

          A fourth player, Chinese ChangXin Memory Technologies (长鑫存储), begun trial production of 8 GiB DDR4 DRAM chips in 2018 and 8 GiB LPDDR4 chips were sampled in Q3 2019. ChangXin is currently producing DDR4 RAM from 20,000 wafers per month. They plan on ramping that up to beteen 70 and 80 thousand wafers per month by the end of the year with future targets as high as 120,0000 wafers per month.


          ChangXin’s design being similar to a design they have acquired the rights to may not be enough to fend off a potential lawsuit by Micron Technology.

          How much of an impact a lawsuit would have is not all that clear. ChangXin is primarily targeting the Chinese market and it’s partners are primarily Chinese. A trade/patent war with Micron could easily result in ChangXin being banned from the US market the same way Huawei has been banned in order to give inferior American companies a unfair competitive advantage. A patent lawsuit from Micron on Chinese soil would not be so easily won as one on American soil would be and there’s a limit to what the Americans can do to prevent a Chinese company from selling Chinese goods on the Chinese market.

        • $2 billion judgment

          The Court FINDS the actual damages suffered by Centripetal as a result of infringement total $755,808,545; that the infringement was willful and egregious and shall be enhanced by a factor of 2.5x to equal $1,889,521,362.50. … The Court, additionally, imposes a running royalty of 10% on the apportioned sales of the accused products and their successors for a period of three years followed by a second three year term with a running royalty of 5% on said sales upon the terms described supra.


          Apart from the $1.8 billion judgment, the case is interesting because it involved a 22 day bench trial (no jury) via video. Ironically, Cisco had objected to video conferencing — especially because the court was not using Cisco tech. The patents here relate to secure network communications.

        • ABA Issues Opinion Addressing Conflicts Arising out of Relationships with Opposing Counsel

          The ABA issues formal ethics opinions that often influence how state and federal judges decide motions to disqualify, as well, of course, as matters of discipline. Thus, ABA Formal Opinion 494 (July 2020) (here) should be of interest. A comment to the Model Rules had explained that a “lawyer related to another lawyer, e.g., as parent, child, sibling or spouse, ordinarily may not represent a client in a matter where that lawyer is representing another party, unless each client gives informed consent.”(For patent practitioners, the USPTO has adopted the 2003 version of the ABA Model Rules, but not its comments, but has stated that the commentary and opinions construing the ABA Model Rules are informative.)

      • Copyrights

        • Nikola’s Plan To Combat Its No Good, Very Bad Month Appears To Be Using Copyright To Silence Critics

          PR crisis management is not an easy gig. When a company suffers through a tumultuous period, it is all too easy for a company to try to combat the bad press through all kinds of means that are, in the end, a detriment to the effort. Instead, good PR crisis management follows three chief axioms: don’t lie, don’t try to downplay the severity of the crisis, don’t be afraid to say you screwed up.

        • Roku CMO Matthew Anderson Will Exit to Join James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems

          Matthew Anderson is leaving Roku after serving as its chief marketing officer for seven years — and he’s joining James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems investment company as a strategic adviser.

          Anderson, a former News Corp and Sky exec, announced Monday that he will exit Roku effective in December. A Roku rep confirmed his departure but declined to comment. At this point, Roku has not identified a replacement for Anderson as CMO.

        • ‘Unfair use,’ democracy and the Supreme Court

          Since Campbell, the Court has not issued another opinion on fair use. But the lower courts have issued many.

          Those courts have cultivated an expanded concept of transformative use that has detached fair use from its historical focus on facilitating public debate, that often omits meaningful inquiry into economic harm, and yields decisions that are arguably irreconcilable with the architecture of the copyright statute. While these judicial innovations have lowered the costs of accessing certain content, it has facilitated free-riding by digital platforms that can deploy the defense to neutralize infringement suits by authors, artists and other copyright owners. The result is a wealth transfer from individuals and entities that produce content to individuals and entities that replicate and distribute it.

          On Wednesday, Oct. 7, the Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in the much-discussed case of Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc. The case involves Google’s infringing use of Oracle’s copyright-protected application programming interfaces (APIs), to which Google naturally claims a fair use exemption even though the APIs were available to be licensed. Oracle claims billions of dollars in infringement damages.

        • Not a Woman Judge, But a Lady Judge

          Despite her essential conservatism, I guess I understand why so many US residents are lamenting the death of Justice Ginsburg and demanding the Senate not confirm whomever Trump’s choice is. Arguably, this focus on the Supreme Court seat is a distraction from the greater issues the country is facing; even more than the upcoming election. In my experience and understanding, it seems more important for people who still think the US political system works for the regular people to change the nature of the legislature than to focus so much energy on the Court.

        • ‘Incapable of Rendering Equal Justice’: 150 Groups Demand Senators Reject Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

          “Judge Barrett has demonstrated that she will march in lock step with President Trump’s cruel agenda to deprive millions of people of their access to healthcare.”

        • The Supreme Court is taking on Google and Oracle one last time

          But far away from Silicon Valley, there’s been a sea change that encompasses much more than a mere $6 billion and the future of copyright law. Three Supreme Court seats have been vacated since the last time Google asked the high court to review its case. In 2014, SCOTUS denied certiorari, sending the case back to the district court in San Francisco for a retrial. Since then, one justice has retired and two have passed away — most recently, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

          The absolute least important part of Ginsburg’s legacy is that she was the most reliable vote in copyright law cases, tending to vote in favor of rights-holders. Her loss also means that Google v. Oracle is being heard by eight justices and is therefore prone to a split court. (In the 1996 software copyright case Lotus v. Borland, an eight-justice court split evenly and was unable to set national precedent).

          When Google v. Oracle began in 2010, it involved seven patents as well as a copyright claim; by 2012, the case had been whittled down to a mere 37 Java APIs, made up of about 11,500 lines of code. (The various versions of Android range from 12 to 14 billion lines of code). The 11,500 lines of code at issue were written in a “clean room,” a project siloed away from the existing code they were reverse-engineering. This feat of engineering became necessary when negotiations between Google and Sun Microsystems — which owned the Java platform — failed. Oracle acquired Sun in early 2010; by August, it had filed suit against Google.

        • Glenn Gould: Inventor of “User Rights”?

          In 1966, a Canadian musician and a BBC television host sat down together to talk about, among other things, the future of music performance. Humphrey Burton’s admiration for his guest’s talent is almost palpable, but it is clear from the outset that the two hold dramatically different views on this question.

          “Why so much love for recording?” Burton asks.

          Without a moment’s hesitation, the musician replies: “Because it’s the future. It’s the future for performing music. It’s the future for writing music. It’s the future for listening to music. All of our futures in music are involved in recording. It’s as simple as that – and as complicated as that.”

          “The concert hall as we know it is – is –“

          “Is dead.”


          More than a half-century after this interview, Gould’s provocative statements appear prescient. Just as importantly, they remain provocative.

          The era of potential listener engagement that Gould foresaw – or, more precisely, that he saw dawning – has arrived. With digital recording, the possibilities of manipulating sound files through technology have become ever more sophisticated. The technology for altering musical recordings to suit musical tastes and needs is highly accessible.

          Similar phenomena have infused every area of art and culture: from literature to the fine arts, from text to image, technology has made it possible to find, use, re-use, recreate, and disseminate the results of those experiments around the world. And yet, technology has not yet made the concert hall obsolete, as Gould suggested that it would. Instead, technology and live performance continue to co-exist.

          New technologies have generated vast quantities of new materials, some of them more creative than others. Among artists as well as those more broadly interested in copyright law, a sense that these changes present immense challenges to authorial control, and, thereby, to the prerogatives of ownership, coexists with an opposing awareness of expanded creative possibilities. Not only may it be impossible to resist technology, but it may also be undesirable to do so.

        • ISP Sues RIAA and Rightscorp Over “Unfair” and “Fraudulent” Anti-Piracy Threats

          Internet provider RCN has submitted its answer to the piracy liability lawsuit filed by the major recording labels. The ISP denies most of the allegations and also strikes back. In a recent filing, it accuses the music companies, the RIAA, and piracy tracking company Rightscorp, of unfair and fraudulent practices that violate California’s Business and Professions Code.

        • Plex Denied Early Injunction to Prevent Streaming Service Using its Name

          Plex has failed in its initial legal action to prevent new streaming service Zee Plex from using the word ‘Plex’ in its branding. The High Court in Bombay found that low domestic sales for Plex, a fundamental difference in services offered by the parties, plus no evidence of “passing off” or anticipated injuries all went against Plex.

        • Standing by developers through Google v. Oracle

Hyperbola is the Gnu GNU

Posted in BSD, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 9:23 am by Guest Editorial Team

By figosdev

Hyperbolas as declination lines on a sundial
Credit: Piotrus | CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source photo

Summary: The kernel or distro that Richard M. Stallman likely envisioned for the GNU Project, plus Linux and BSD as assessed by figosdev (who uses both)

Apologies in advance to the Hyperbola devs; this is not an effort to promote them and if it were, I’m sure they would be embarrassed. My impression of them is they are sincerely too modest to think of themselves as the centre for what’s left of the Free Software movement. All they’re trying to do is build Hyperbola. I will advocate that they should do more, though not by themselves.

However, they are doing things (in their effort, not their attitude) like the centre of what’s left of the Free Software movement.

If I was eager to promote Hyperbola, the first thing I would do is find someone who could do a better job of it than I could. I only talk about this because of how crucial it is to the future of Free Software.

The FSF (the actual organisation, not the office) has become rickety, and caved in. RMS insists it’s safe to go back, but this is uncharacteristically optimistic of him. It has a new roof, which I don’t trust either — because the rest of the building is still falling apart. So I see the fixes as being of symptoms, not overall structural integrity. Also the new roof sucks, but at least I’ve heard people vouch for it.

“We know GNU is under attack, because it was already attacked last year.”If this were just a response to the news and upheaval of the past year, I would be sure I was overreacting. The thing is though, I predicted that collapse. I’ve watched this thing for years, very closely, and I warned this would happen. Maybe next time I make a prediction it won’t happen; I don’t have a time machine. We know the FSF has enough money, so if we are talking about the state of their survival, then we are talking about the mission, not the budget. I don’t even trust people who focus on the budget (so I think it’s a bit cynical that of all people, the treasurer was put in charge — when people are saying the F$F is all about money now, not freedom).

Their video campaigns look bigger than past efforts, but it’s to promote things like Jitsi that are controlled by Microsoft. You can still find essays that talk about how OpenWatcom is non-free, but the FSF is going to keep steering you towards clown-computing and GatesHub, no matter what.

That doesn’t look good for the future of GNU. We know GNU is under attack, because it was already attacked last year. They tried to make it look like it didn’t have a project leader. Given the number of high-profile software projects trying to “restructure” to shut out their leaders, it’s difficult to pretend there is no pattern — but the GNU project was attacked repeatedly, at the same time the FSF was. Those attacks have not stopped, they haven’t ended. GNU is under constant attack from people trying to dismantle it — people who move parts of the GNU Project to GatesHub are traitors, and people who move parts of GNU away from GatesHub are (probably) heroes.

People who believed in the FSF are leaving, even those who support rms. They will probably be happy, as I am, that rms has not quit. He continues to fight for your freedom. The FSF continues to pretend they do.

But the FSF does not recognise most of the threats that have undermined them for years, including the problems that unseated their president. People realise more and more that Mozilla and Linux have nothing to do with freedom, that telemetry and mass surveillance are anti-freedom, that the FSF doesn’t have the power to fix these things.

Hyperbola has even less power, but they make no excuses — they fight.

“Hyperbola has even less power, but they make no excuses — they fight.”And instead of saying “we don’t have the power” as their excuse, Hyperbola makes decisions that matter — so if they can’t fork the Linux kernel, they will do what the FSF did long ago — which is use a Free Software kernel that works and can be maintained. Hurd is led by a traitor, while Hyperbola grabs a kernel long-downstream from a kernel that was upstream of the one rms chose to base Hurd on. (OpenBSD isn’t based on Mach, though unlike Linux they have a common ancestor).

In the earlier days of GNU, bold decisions were made to keep the project viable. Today, BAD decisions are made to make the project more popular.

Hyperbola is doing it right. And if you want to save Free Software, if you want the movement to outlive its founder, bold (but GOOD) decisions will need to be made. Look to Hyperbola for inspiration. The future of GNU may not be under a single umbrella — though I’m not unaware of the good reasons that GNU was. Those reasons are important. But if GNU falls, what’s important is that we are not empty-handed in terms of hope for the future.

In 2017 (or early 2018) when we talked about the erosion at the FSF, their failure seemed more hypothetical, destined by principle, but even if the writing was on the wall it seemed a bit crazy to consider it — even with good reason to. It was so far-fetched.

GNU isn’t doing better in 2020 than the FSF was doing in 2017. In fact it’s doing worse. So I think it’s possible for GNU to collapse in the next 5 years — I usually give these things 5 years and they usually happen faster. But it’s more important to save GNU than the FSF.

GNU is the only thing holding the GPL up. Sure there’s a lot of other GPL software, but most of it is on GitHub. Without GNU, Copyleft will have no (sincere) champion, no flagship. It will have support, but that will fall apart as organisations like SFC exploit it — it will have more exploiters undermining it than supporters keeping it viable.

GNU is the last stand for Free Software (as Free Software) before it collapses. What collapse looks like is just a long, steady timeline of erosion without renewal.

On a software front, Hyperbola can shore up some defenses and set good examples for the next generation of Free Software. But if that doesn’t happen, GNU will go the way of the FSF and take Free Software with it. GNU IS going that way, slowly. The big question in all of this, is what people are going to rally behind. Nobody knows the answer to that — only what will happen if they don’t.

“On a software front, Hyperbola can shore up some defenses and set good examples for the next generation of Free Software.”We desperately need more projects taking examples from Hyperbola. I doubt they want to be a giant umbrella project, but even if you don’t do work “under” Hyperbola, you ought to be doing work LIKE Hyperbola. You will learn more about how to ensure the future of Free Software from watching them than you will from watching the GNU Project. Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t watch both — what’s happening in the GNU Project is really horrible.

Salvaging and preserving and bolstering the GNU Project is of greater importance than ANYTHING the FSF is doing. The F$F is DONE. Free Software is not, yet. RMS is not, yet. Hyperbola is not, yet.

GNU is dangerously close.

But GNU is still the best example there was — it is vital for it to continue. GNU was built on top of UNIX and ultimately on top of the GPL, and Hyperbola will be as well.

GNU had humble beginnings, and Hyperbola does as well.

We should be measuring projects by their integrity, not their fame or fortune. On matters of integrity, Hyperbola is building a foundation as GNU loses one.

I am not saying we should replace GNU. I’m saying we should salvage it, save it, and the FSF will not do it. Many of the people in charge of GNU will not do it.

So whatever Hyperbola inspires us to do, we ought to have a plan in place for when GNU does collapse — so that most of it is alright either way. I think Hyperbola could do that on their own, but it’s just as well if someone as principled as Hyperbola does it.

I give a vote of no confidence to Trisquel and its leadership, who have spent years letting IBM and GitHub take over. The same goes for most FSF-approved distros. I don’t want to say “every distro except Hyperbola” as I do not follow every FSF-approved distro as much as I have followed Trisquel, but Trisquel is done, too. Trisquel has gone from being a flagship of Free Software (10 years ago) to a mockery of itself. As far as software freedom goes, it’s as stupid and backwards as the Ubuntu it’s based on.

“The uglier option is that Free Software dies. That does not preclude the option of putting it back together, but it’s more work and will set us back for decades instead of years.”Devuan is also done — the project has no integrity at all, and Dyne (an organisation that does seem to care about your freedom, led by FSF-approved-distro creator Denis Roio) should pull the plug on it and let Devuan fend for itself. Debian is even worse; Roy should find a better distro to use (but that’s just my opinion).

But I will hold out the possibility that SOME other currently FSF-approved distro besides Hyperbola is up to assisting this task, I simply don’t know which one it would be. We have to stop thinking of freedom in terms of the resources these groups/developers have, and think instead in terms of what they do with the resources they have. Quite often what they do is make compromise after compromise until something becomes a joke, and in hindsight you could have told them so — but you wanted to believe, because they had the means (though not the will).

We’ve all made that sort of mistake before, leading to misplaced trust — it simply has to be something we try much harder to stop doing. We can’t afford more compromises, we need to put Free Software back together while we still can.

The uglier option is that Free Software dies. That does not preclude the option of putting it back together, but it’s more work and will set us back for decades instead of years.

Stop putting faith in things that have no direction, led by people with no spine. We are so far set back (except in terms of available source — but in terms of almost everything else) that we need to start thinking like the beginnings of the GNU Project, not the present — if we want it to have a future.

Hyperbola is not merely a good example, it is a fully-free operating system with a future. That’s what we need, but we also need to save GNU — if we want the GPL to survive. Hyperbola is already helping with that.

“Hyperbola is not merely a good example, it is a fully-free operating system with a future.”Stop supporting projects that make constant excuses for compromising your freedom, and focus on the (very few) that do things right. You’ll have far fewer choices in the short run, but you’ll have more freedom (and with it, more choices) later, if you do this now.

And I am sorry for the bother Hyperbola will get because of this, if anybody listens that is. These are things that need to be said, about things that need to be done, and Hyperbola will manage. The rest of us need to manage, too.

Long live rms and GNU, and happy hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Computer Prisons Are Prisons of the Mind; Calling Them ‘Blackboxes’ Isn’t as Offensive as What They Actually Do

Posted in Free/Libre Software, IBM, Microsoft at 4:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Metaphorically speaking, we’re talking about prisons here; sometimes even literal prisons

Gates barredSummary: Behind gates and bars governments and corporations put people, based on secret code or code nobody really understands (and which few technology oligarchs like Bill Gates profit from)

THE TURING MACHINE is a very old concept and I’m lucky to have studied where it all started. Alan Turing was a master mathematician, whose state masters basically killed him. He’s best remembered for Turing machines, not for helping to win the war against Nazis. The Turing machine predates actual computers (in the sense that we call them that). It was studied extensively for many decades, even in recent decades (Marvin Minsky did extensive work on that). Scientists/researchers explored the level of complexity attained by various forms/variants of Turing machines with various parameters (degrees of expressiveness). The more features are added, the more complicated the systems become and the more difficult to understand they will get (grasping the underlying nature from a purely mathematical perspective, not ad hoc criteria). As computer languages became more abstracted (or “high level”), the less touch programmers had of what goes on at a lower (machine) level.

With machine learning (nowadays easy to leverage owing to frameworks with trivial-to-use interfaces), the ways in which computer tasks are expressed further distance the human operator from the behaviour of the machine. Outputs and inputs are presumed valid and neutral, but there may be biases and subtleties, raising ethical concerns (for instance, reinforcing the biases of human-supplied training sets). It’s quite a ‘sausage factory’, but it is marketed as “smart” or “big data” or “data cloud” (or “lake”). The buzzwords know no boundaries…

“Outputs and inputs are presumed valid and neutral, but there may be biases and subtleties, raising ethical concerns (for instance, reinforcing the biases of human-supplied training sets).”Let’s use a practical example to further elucidate this. A long time ago someone could construct (even with pen and paper) a logical, deterministic state machine to compute someone’s exam score, probably based on some human-supplied inputs such as pertinent marks. There was no effort made at syntactic analysis or natural language interpretation. When Turing worked on decrypting German codes he wrote simple programs (along with colleagues) to decipher some patterns. Eventually they managed to crack it; they identified repetitive terms and sort of reverse-engineered the encoder to come up with a decoder (reversing the operation). Back then things were vastly simpler, often mechanical, so figuring out how to scramble and unscramble messages probably wasn’t too hard provided one lays his/her hands on the communication equipment. Submarines (U-boats) had those… as command and control operations need such tools to privately (discreetly) coordinate actions at scale. Discrete maths for discreet communications?

As computers ‘evolved’ (scare quotes because progress nowadays does not beget improvement, except for the true ‘masters’ of those computers, not the users) we lost ‘touch’ or ‘sense’ of the code. Levels of abstraction made it almost infeasible to properly understand programs we write and/or use. “To paraphrase someone else,” an associate noted a few hours ago, “newer is not better, different is not better, only better is better.”

Das U-Boot logoThe GNU Project started when I was a year old. Back then, as we recalled in recent Techrights posts with old videos about UNIX, computer systems were simplified by breaking down computational tasks into atomic parts, where inputs and outputs could be ‘piped’ from one program to another. Each and every program could be studied in isolation, improving the overall understanding of what goes on (that helps debugging, as well). Prior to UNIX, core systems had generally become unmaintainable and too messy (hard-to-maintain blobs), according to the ‘masterminds’ of UNIX (is this still a permissible and appropriate term to use? Was UNIX their slave?). With things like IBM’s systemd (developed on cryptic Microsoft servers with NSA access), we’re moving in the opposite direction… G[I]AFAM is ENIGMA.

“With things like IBM’s systemd (developed on cryptic Microsoft servers with NSA access), we’re moving in the opposite direction…”A U-boat in German is “U-Boot” (literally!) and there has just been a new release of a project with the same name (U-Boot v2020.10). Who or what is that an homage to? Many actual victims aboard passenger boats might find that vastly more offensive than “master”…

Yes, there’s the pun with the word “boot” in it; but they took it further, as Wikipedia notes: “The current name Das U-Boot adds a German definite article, to create a bilingual pun on the classic 1981 German submarine film Das Boot, which takes place on a World War II German U-boat.”

The project turns 21 next week.

Willy Stöwer - Sinking of the Linda Blanche out of LiverpoolWanna know what’s vastly more racist than the term “master” (on its own)? Proprietary software.

Proprietary software developers strive to hide their mischief, or sometimes racism, by obfuscating things. Hours ago someone sent us this new article entitled “Racist Algorithms: How Code Is Written Can Reinforce Systemic Racism” (it’s from Teen Vogue).

“Of course,” it notes, “individual human decisions are often biased at times too. But AI has the veneer of objectivity and the power to reify bias on a massive scale. Making matters worse, the public cannot understand many of these algorithms because the formulas are often proprietary business secrets.”

“Proprietary software developers strive to hide their mischief, or sometimes racism, by obfuscating things.”“For someone like me,” it continues, “who has spent hours programming and knows firsthand the deep harm that can arise from a single line of code, this secrecy is deeply worrisome. Without transparency, there is no way for anyone, from a criminal defendant to a college applicant, to understand how an algorithm arrived at a particular conclusion. It means that, in many ways, we are powerless, subordinated to the computer’s judgment.”

Nowadays the Donald Trump regime uses computers to classify people, either arresting them, sometimes killing them, sometimes ‘only’ kidnapping them using goons in unmarked vans. So those so-called ‘Hey Hi!’ algorithms can be a matter of life and death to many. Ask "Old Mister Watson" how IBM became so big so fast

IBM has not improved since (example from 2018), only the marketing improved. They blame not secrecy but mere words; they assure us that IBM fights against racism while doing business with some of the world’s most oppressive regimes (and rigging bids to 'win').

To properly understand why proprietary code is so risky consider what happens in turnkey tyrannies to people who are flagged as “bad” (rightly or wrongly); many get arrested, some get droned overseas (no opportunity to appeal their computer-determined classification), and the companies responsible for these injustices — sometimes murders — talk to us about “corporate responsibility”.

“Computers that are ‘code prisons’ or black boxes would not only harm black people (putting them in small boxes or forcibly sterilising them as IBM would gladly do for profit).”For computers to be trustworthy again two things need to happen: 1) computers need to become simpler (to study, modify etc.) again. 2) the code needs to be or become Free software. Anything else would necessarily or inevitably be a conduit for mistrial/injustice, as soon as it’s put in immoral hands with unethical objectives. The FSF recently warned about trials (or mistrials) by proprietary software. COVID-19 made that a lot more pressing an issue. We’re told to trust private technology companies as intermediaries (whose business objectives may depend on the outcomes).

Computers that are ‘code prisons’ or black boxes would not only harm black people (putting them in small boxes or forcibly sterilising them as IBM would gladly do for profit). Maybe it’s perfectly appropriate to increasingly (over time) associate proprietary software companies with prisons. Microsoft literally helps build prisons for babies, for being born of the ‘wrong’ race or nationality. How many people conveniently forgot the significant role GitHub (also a proprietary prison) plays in that…

But hey, this month GitHub drops the word “master”; it makes all the difference in the world, right? Dina Bass has just helped them with more of that tolerance posing in the same publication that helped distract from the ICE debacle using fake news about “Arctic vault”.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:36 am by Needs Sunlight



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