Tech is Hard, But Being Agnostic and Uncaring is Even Harder

Posted in Deception at 6:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: ‘Appeal to Novelty’ as a Lever for Proprietary Software Monopolies, Bloat (Planned Obsolescence) and More Surveillance

Summary: People who become better informed about the hostile direction technology has taken in the past couple of decades would be wise to avoid most of it; communicating the dangers is very important for society’s integrity in a time of unprecedented corporate coup (with "contact tracing" and other ‘alternative medicine’ prescribed in the name of ‘health’ and ‘solidarity’)

THE more time goes on, the more malicious technology becomes, if not on the surface then deep(er) down. People are gradually becoming aware of the degree of manipulation by/inside social control media giants, they better understand the depths of surveillance (both state and commercial), and they discover the ruinous nature of DRM, even if in their minds it’s just “I lost my beloved collections!” or “I can’t play/open my files anymore!”

“People are gradually becoming aware of the degree of manipulation by/inside social control media giants, they better understand the depths of surveillance (both state and commercial), and they discover the ruinous nature of DRM…”Who thought one day books would be purchased (rented is a better term) only to be remotely censored/vanished? Or become inaccessible after some certain date? Or that books would be disposable devices (e-waste in less than a decade) that watch the reader and broadcast statistics about the reader to the world’s richest person…

Techrights intends to be writing a lot more about these issues, which do not preclude software freedom. There’s a strong connection. People who insist that they “don’t care” about tech or “can’t understand” tech will be harmed the most. They’re easiest to prey on. Help them learn and help them care. They’ll appreciate it in the long run.

“People who insist that they “don’t care” about tech or “can’t understand” tech will be harmed the most. They’re easiest to prey on.”Figosdev is meanwhile working on this “Critic’s Free Software Dictionary”, which is in progress. The latest addition is “Fitness tracker,” defined as “flashy and convenient gadget for insurance companies that want to spy on their clientele.”

Links 15/10/2020: KWinFT 5.20, Mesa 20.2.1

Posted in News Roundup at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Best open source gifts for 2020 [Ed: Sadly, all the links there are referral spam. Blurring the gap between journalism and shameless marketeering.]

      If you’re looking for a desktop, the single greatest Linux-powered desktop on the market is the System 76 Thelio. In fact, it might be the best desktop you can buy, period. This beast of a machine comes in three flavors: Thelio, Thelio Major, and Thelio Massive. For everyday use, go with Thelio. If your open source enthusiast is a gamer or needs more power, go with the Thelio Major. If, however, the recipient of this gift is a serious number cruncher, the Thelio Massive will power all of their tasks. Either way, you cannot go wrong with a gift of the Thelio. The Thelio has a base price of $899, the Thelio Major has a base price of $2499, and the Thelio Massive has a base price of $3199.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Why Client Server Is Perfect For The Unix Philosophy – YouTube

        The client server model is incredibly popular for building Linux applications so I thought it’d be fun to explain how the model works and why it is the perfect choice if following the Unix philosophy is important to the way that you develop your software.

      • Bad Voltage 3×15: Interactive Multimedia Communications

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which things are not necessarily jazzed up versions of other things, we wonder what data truly is…

      • S13E30 – Whistling indoors | Ubuntu Podcast

        This week we’ve been upgrading our GPUs. We discuss our experiences using IoT devices, bring you some command line love and go over all your wonderful feedback.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 30 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • Google quietly adds revolutionary VPN protocol to next Android OS

        The release of WireGuard earlier this year was one of the biggest things to happen to the VPN industry in a long time and now Google has added support for the new protocol to the next version of Android.

        WireGuard, which was created by Edge Security’s Jason A. Donenfeld, uses state-of-the-art cryptography to provide users with the highest level of privacy, security and speed. The new protocol is faster than existing VPN protocols and it also only contains just 4,000 lines of code compared to OpenVPN’s 100,000 lines of code, making it easier to review and audit.

        Just after the release of version 1.0.0 of the protocol back in March, it was added to the Linux kernel and made available in Linux 5.6 by Linus Torvalds. As Android is also based on Linux, it makes sense that Google would want to bring native WireGuard support to its mobile operating system by adding it to Android 12′s Linux Kernel 5.4 tree.

      • WireGuard VPN Added to Android 12’s Linux Kernel Code

        COVID-19 has entirely changed the way we live our lives. Many businesses are operating from home and the need for a good and secure internet connection has increased more than ever. Why “secure internet”? Because many of us don’t want our internet service provider to know what we’re doing and keep track of our activities.

        Now, after WireGuard VPN’s addition to the Linux kernel 5.6, Google has added it to Android 12’s Linux Kernel 5.4 Tree. For starters, WireGuard VPN is a next-gen VPN protocol built on modern cryptography standards to ensure internet security.

      • Intel Rewrites Old Haswell-Era Audio Driver Due To Bugs, Plus DG1 Audio For Linux 5.10

        The sound subsystem updates were submitted today for the Linux 5.10 kernel with some interesting changes and new hardware support.

      • Linux 5.10 Graphics Driver Changes From AMDGPU DC For GCN 1.0 To Continuing RDNA 2 Push

        The direct rendering manager (DRM) driver updates were sent in overnight for the ongoing Linux 5.10 merge window with a range of improvements for these graphics/display drivers and as usual the Intel and AMD Radeon driver churn is particularly heavy.

      • AMD Secure Nested Paging IOMMU For SEV-SNP Lands In Linux 5.10

        In addition to Linux 5.10 supporting SEV-ES as the “encrypted state” for AMD EPYC’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization, this kernel is also adding Secure Nested Paging (SNP) support to the AMD IOMMU driver as part of their next-generation SEV-SNP security.

        AMD SEV-SNP is an effort to further boost virtual machine isolation and appears to likely be supported with upcoming AMD EPYC 7003 “Milan” processors based on the timing of their original SEV-SNP whitepaper earlier this year and now the timing of this SNP Linux kernel support. SEV-SNP builds on the original AMD SEV and SEV-ES to offer additional hardware-based memory integrity protections for fending off hypervisor-based attacks.

      • XFS File-System With Linux 5.10 Punts Year 2038 Problem To The Year 2486

        Not only is Btrfs seeing notable improvements with the in-development Linux 5.10 kernel but the XFS file-system also has some prominent changes of its own.

      • From O_MAYEXEC to trusted_for()

        The ability to execute the contents of a file is controlled by the execute-permission bits — some of the time. If a given file contains code that can be executed by an interpreter — such as shell commands or code in a language like Perl or Python, for example — there are easy ways to run the interpreter on the file regardless of whether it has execute permission enabled or not. Mickaël Salaün has been working on tightening up the administrator’s control over execution by interpreters for some time, but has struggled to find an acceptable home for this feature. His latest attempt takes the form of a new system call named trusted_for().

        Tightly locked-down systems are generally set up to disallow the execution of any file that has not been approved by the system’s overlords. That control is nearly absolute when it comes to binary machine code, especially when security modules are used to enforce signature requirements and prevent techniques like mapping a file into some process’s address space with execute permission. Execution of code by an interpreter, though, just looks like reading a file to the kernel so, without cooperation from the interpreter itself, the kernel cannot know whether an attempt is being made to execute code contained within a given file. As a result, there is no way to apply any kernel-based policies to that type of access.

        Enabling that cooperation is the point of Salaün’s work; it is, at its core, a way for an interpreter to inform the kernel that it intends to execute the contents of a file. Back in May 2020, the first attempt tried to add an O_MAYEXEC flag to be used with the openat2() system call. If system policy does not allow a given file to be executed, an attempt to open it with O_MAYEXEC will fail.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.2.1
          Hi list,
          I realize that this is a week late, I simply put everything in the calendar one
          week off. Doh. Anyway, mesa 20.2.1 is now available, this release looks much
          bigger than it actually is, because of all of the .pick_status commits. there's
          a bit of everything in here, all and all a nice little .1
        • Mesa 20.2.1 Released With Initial Batch Of Fixes

          Mesa 20.2 officially released at the end of September as the Q3’2020 open-source driver stack update providing open-source OpenGL/OpenCL/Vulkan support for much of the graphics hardware on the market. For those that prefer waiting for the first point release before upgrading, that milestone was reached today.

        • Mesa 20.1.10 Is Released With A Handful Of Bug-Fixes

          Mesa 20.1.10 is a small bug-fix release for GNU/Linux distributions that have not yet upgraded to Mesa 20.2.0. There’s not much to see, there’s seven for the Intel graphics drivers and two on the AMD side.

    • Applications

      • 6 Best Free and Open Source Linux Music Servers

        home computer makes an ideal appliance to store and stream music. The purpose of a music server is to deliver tracks when requested by a client. The server can deliver music to machines over a local area network as well as computers connected over the internet.

        Linux is widely recognized as an ideal operating system to serve web pages. But the server capabilities of Linux extend far beyond merely providing HTTP servers.

        There is a wide range of multimedia software available for Linux which turns your machine into a jukebox. There are even dedicated Linux distributions that turn your computer into a music server. This article identifies the best free software which enables your Linux machine to act as a music server, distributing digital tracks over a network. Such software supports popular audio formats such as FLAC, OGG Vorbis, and MP3.

      • Love Windows Calculator? You can Now Use it on Linux as Well [Ed: Oh, come on; don’t become Microsoft clowns. We already have plenty of good calculators and Microsoft’s is spyware (tracking the keypresses, reporting to Microsoft!)]

        In the first quarter of 2019, Microsoft open sourced the Windows Calculator. Being open source, it allows developers to use it in their own applications.

        I couldn’t care less for a calculator application but as some It’s FOSS readers pointed out, they like using the Windows Calculator.

      • You Can Now Install the Windows Calculator App on Linux [Ed: Of course Joey Sneddon also had to help Microsoft promote a spyware calculator]
      • Windows Calculator now does your math on Raspberry Pi, Tesla, and tons of Linux devices [Ed: Microsoft PR sites]
      • The Windows Calculator on Linux with Uno Platform | Ubuntu [Ed: Even Canonical jumps in to help Microsoft]

        The good folks in the Uno Platform community have ported the open-source Windows Calculator to Linux. And they’ve done it quicker than Microsoft could bring their browser to Linux. The calculator is published in the snapstore and can be downloaded right away. If you’re on Ubuntu or you have snapd installed just run…

      • How to install Microsoft Windows Calculator on Linux
      • bpytop might be the freaking-coolest way to monitor your Linux system | GamingOnLinux

        Okay, hear me out. You want to keep an eye on your system for things like RAM use, disk space, processor load and more…but you want something a tiny bit flashy that’s still simple enough to run in a terminal window? You need to try out bpytop.

        It’s a fully featured resource monitor with a “game inspired menu system” and it’s genuinely great, I’ve fallen just a little bit in love with it having it open on my second monitor to keep me informed of how my system is doing.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • NTP Server and Best Practices | FOSS Linux

        NTP stands for “Network Time Protocol.” It is a protocol used by devices connected to the internet to synchronize their systems’ time to a time reference. There are various important points as to why it is important to maintain accurate time, and the working principles of NTP are elementary yet amazing.

      • How To Install Vivaldi Browser on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install the Vivaldi Browser on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Vivaldi is a feature-rich, next-generation web browser application based on the powerful and open-source Chromium project, from which the popular Google Chrome web browser is derived. The application is freely distributed and cross-platform, created by the former CEO of Opera Software, built using modern Web technologies like React, JavaScript, Node.js, and more.

      • How to install HelloNZB on Linux

        If you’re a Linux user in need of a good Usenet app and aren’t happy with the existing apps out there, consider checking out HelloNZB. It’s a Java-based NZB client that is relatively user-friendly and simple to use.

      • How to install Inkscape 1.0 on Deepin 20 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Inkscape 1.0 on Deepin 20.

      • How to Install Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS on VMware Workstation – SysAdmin

        This video tutorial shows how to install Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS on VMware Workstation step by step. This tutorial is also helpful to install Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS on physical computer or laptop hardware.

      • How to install FL Studio 20 on a Chromebook – New Tutorial

        Today we are looking at how to install FL Studio 20 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How To Use AQEMU Virtual Machine on Ubuntu

        We are fortunate to have a good virtual machine tool AQEMU on GNU/Linux operating systems. With AQEMU on your Ubuntu computer, you can virtualize any operating systems very easily. It can replace and works similarly to the proprietary tool VirtualBox or VMWare step by step as you can see in this tutorial. Now let’s learn virtualization!

      • File Timestamps – mtime, ctime and atime in Linux

        When you are working with directory and files, you may need to know about Linux file timestamps such as change time (ctime), access time (atime), and modification time (mtime). Linux files, directories, sockets have three different timestamps – mtime, ctime and atime.

        Probably when working in Linux you have get answers to following questions:

        When was the last date of file content modified? When was the file last opened/accessed ? When the properties of the file such as ownership, permissions last changed?

      • Updating ISPConfig 3.1 to ISPConfig 3.2

        This tutorial explains how to to update an ISPConfig 3.1 server to ISPConfig 3.2. This tutorial is compatible with CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu operating systems.

      • How To Install NVM on CentOS/RHEL 8 – TecAdmin

        NVM stands for Node Version Manager is a command-line utility for managing Node versions. Sometimes you required to deploy multiple node application with different-2 versions. Nvm will help you here.

      • 40 Useful Examples of Linux PS Command for Aspiring SysAdmins

        The ps command is a handy utility that allows us to view important process information. A process is simply a running instance of a program. Whenever we invoke a program, some processes are created. A thorough understanding of the process tree is mandatory if you want to have full control over your machine.

      • How to install RStudio Server open source on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        RStudio is a development IDE for R language programmers, however, if you are not on GUI and using CLI server still we can have the benefit of it by installing the Rstudio Server edition. It provides the Rstudio IDE access via a web browser interface, thus if you have some remote Linux server with powerful hardware for high-level computing then installing the Rstudio server will be a nice idea. Because in this way multiple developers can easily use this R language development platform for coding, editing, and sharing of other files with the team. Furthermore, a server environment of Rstudio will give a centralized installation of R, R packages, TeX, and other supporting libraries.

      • Linux permissions: SUID, SGID, and sticky bit

        Linux permissions are a concept that every user becomes intimately familiar with early on in their development. We need to execute scripts, modify files, and run processes in order to administer systems effectively, but what happens when we see Permission denied? Do you know why we see this message? If you know the cause of the problem, do you know how to implement the solution?

        I will give a quick explanation of the various ways to calculate permissions, and then we will focus on the special permissions within Linux. If you want an in-depth look at the chmod command, check out this article from Sudoer Shashank Hegde, Linux permissions: An introduction to chmod.

    • Games

      • Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – The Furious Wild is now available on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        After launching for Windows on September 3, porter Feral Interactive has now hooked up Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – The Furious Wild for Linux (and macOS) today.

        This is the first proper extension to the map in THREE KINGDOMS, letting you visit the jungles around Southern China and with it, the fearsome tribes of the Nanman. On top of the map expansion you get 4 new playable factions each with their own mechanics with a total of 19 new factions included. There’s also over 25 new units, new character artwork, a Nanman-specific tech tree and more. You’re also able to play it in the 190 and 194 start dates.

      • SDL2 Upstreams OS/2 Support – Phoronix

        If 2020 couldn’t get more peculiar, today the SDL2 project mainlined support for the OS/2 operating system.

        While OS/2 is no longer maintained by IBM and was never really a gaming platform for where SDL2 is most commonly used, this software library that serves as an abstraction layer for multimedia/gaming hardware components and software platforms has merged the OS/2 port.

      • How to Play PS3 Games on PC with RPCS3

        Visit RPCS3’s official site and download the emulator to your hard disk drive. RPCS3 is available for Windows and Linux.

      • Strategic simulation game Space Crew from the Bomber Crew devs is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Ready to take the action into space? Runner Duck, developer of the hit Bomber Crew have just released the sequel with Space Crew.

        Bomber Crew was something of a surprise hit for the UK-based two-person indie studio Runner Duck, when it became a top seller on Steam. This sequel moves the theatre of war from World War Two to the far flung future with players challenged to fight a conflict on an intergalactic scale. Armed with their own carefully chosen crew and fully customizable spaceship, captains must protect Earth and venture across the galaxy to stave off a new alien threat known as the Phasmids.

      • The Jackbox Party Pack 7 is out now along with a big Jackbox sale | GamingOnLinux

        Ready to make fun of your friends? The Jackbox Party Pack 7 has been released along with five amusing games. Still one of the best party games around. Well, party game…packs. Then again it should be, it would be a bit weird if a Party Pack was a bit rubbish for a party wouldn’t it.

      • Get some classic Worms games in the latest Humble Bundle, plus multiple other big sales | GamingOnLinux

        Got Worms? Well, you can get a whole lot of them in the latest Humble Bundle from the classics up to the newer stuff and some of them have Linux builds too.

      • The runner-shooter ‘Vecter’ is intense, colourful and free – out now | GamingOnLinux

        With sleek arcade-racing action, the bright and colourful Vecter has left Early Access today along with the recently launched Linux version.

        Vecter is pretty much an endless runner, and a great one too that’s seriously easy to just pick up and play when you have a few minutes to spare. Not easy though, far from it. You need some good reflexes! There’s plenty of obstacles and enemies thrown in your way. It’s fast, intense and a huge amount of fun. Race as long as possible, rise up the leaderboards and just don’t crash.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KWinFT 5.20 With Aims For Better Wayland/X11 Experience Than KDE Plasma 5.20′s KWin

          Following this week’s KDE Plasma 5.20 release, KWinFT 5.20 has been released as the fork of KWin and other select components in aiming to offer a better experience.

          KWinFT continues to be led by KDE developer Roman Gilg. KWinFT continues to work on not only providing a more robust Wayland compositor but also improved display management and other capabilities.

        • Roman Gilg: KWinFT project 5.20 released

          New versions of the KWinFT projects Wrapland, Disman, KWinFT and KDisplay are available now. They were on the day aligned with the release of Plasma 5.20 this week and offer new features and stability improvements.

          Universal display management

          The highlight this time is a completely redefined and reworked Disman that allows to control display configurations not only in a KDE Plasma session with KWinFT but also with KWin and in other Wayland sessions with wlroots-based compositors as well as any X11 session.

          You can use it with the included command-line tool dismanctl or together with the graphical frontend KDisplay. Read more about Disman’s goals and technical details in the 5.20 beta announcement.

        • Getting KDE onto commercial hardware

          At Akademy 2020, the annual KDE conference that was held virtually this year, KDE developer Nate Graham delivered a talk entitled “Visions of the Future” (YouTube video) about the possible future of KDE on commercial products. Subtitled “Plasma sold on retail hardware — lots of it”, the session concentrated on ways to make KDE applications (and the Plasma desktop) the default environment on hardware sold to the general public. The proposal includes creating an official KDE distribution with a hardware certification program and directly paying developers.

          Graham started by giving some context; the ideas to be presented were a followup on the KDE accessibility and productivity goals from 2017. One of the objectives was to get Plasma and KDE applications ready to work on all kinds of hardware. Graham thinks that this has been achieved and it is the time to move to the next step: creating an official KDE operating system. He commented: “we have to, if we want to have direct relations with hardware vendors”.

          KDE already has an official distribution called neon, he said. Neon is, however, a “halfway product”, because it showcases current KDE products on top of a distribution (Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) that may otherwise be outdated. On the other hand, it is good enough to be shipped on Slimbook laptops. A member of the audience requested an explanation of what has changed from the inception of neon, which was not called an official KDE OS at that time. Graham responded that there was a fear of harming the relationships between KDE and distributors, but agreed that a good way to go forward would be to call neon what it really is: the official KDE distribution.

          Graham continued by presenting his list of requirements for such an OS. First, it needs the latest software, including a current Linux kernel, which is necessary for hardware enablement. The applications should be newer than those found in Ubuntu; they could be installed from Flatpaks or Snaps. The last requirement was to make it possible to rebase this system onto another distribution. With such features, this system “will be more awesome”, he said.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • News in openSUSE Packaging

          If you are interested in openSUSE, sooner or later you will probably learn how packages and specfiles work. But packaging is not static knowledge that you learn once and are good to go. The rules change over time, new macros are created and old ones are erased from history, new file paths are used and the old ones are forgotten. So how can one keep up with these changes?

          In this article, we will serve you with all recent news and important changes in openSUSE packaging on a silver platter. Whether you are a pro package maintainer or just a casual packager who wants to catch up, you will definitely find something you didn’t know here. We promise.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Systemd 247 Merges Systemd-OOMD For Improving Low-Memory/Out-Of-Memory Handling

          Merged just minutes ago into systemd Git is the new systemd-oomd component pushed along by Facebook.

          Systemd-oomd has been developed to improve the Linux out-of-memory / memory pressure behavior and based on Facebook’s out-of-memory daemon code that’s been extended to not only work for Linux servers but also desktop systems.

        • Quantum networks: The next generation of secure computing | Enable Sysadmin

          Following my first article on quantum computers, I now explore and attempt to explain the equally fantastic and challenging world of quantum networks. With quantum computing comes quantum networks, and the best tech we have for that is fiber optics. Even though quantum computers are close to absolute magic, they still need networks to communicate, and, for the most part, we are not looking at copper. Fiber optics is the thing, but there is a strange challenge in sending out tiny little photons all on their own. And even if the future looks all quantum, you can bet there will still be loads of old tech working in parallel for years, so ensuring they all can coexist and stay safe will be one of the bigger challenges for sysadmins.

        • Red Hat Integrates Ansible And OpenShift For Cloud-Native Automation
        • Securely connect Quarkus and Red Hat Data Grid on Red Hat OpenShift – Red Hat Developer

          The release of Red Hat Data Grid 8.1 offers new features for securing applications deployed on Red Hat OpenShift. Naturally, I wanted to check them out for Quarkus. Using the Quarkus Data Grid extension made that easy to do.

          Data Grid is an in-memory, distributed, NoSQL datastore solution based on Infinispan. Since it manages your data, Data Grid should be as secure as possible. For this reason, it uses a default property realm that requires HTTPS and automatically enforces user authentication on remote endpoints. As an additional layer of security on OpenShift, Data Grid presents certificates signed by the OpenShift Service Signer. In practice, this means that Data Grid is as secure as possible out of the box, requiring encrypted connections and authentication from the first request. Data Grid generates a default set of credentials (which, of course, you can override), but unauthenticated access is denied.

          In this article, I show you how to configure a Quarkus application with Data Grid and deploy it on OpenShift.

        • Open Practice Library basics: Defining the team’s work

          In the previous article in this series, we outlined some simple open practices to start forming a team using the Open Practice Library. Now, we will describe some practices that can be used to define the team’s work.

      • Debian Family

        • Chrome OS 86 adds update button for Debian Linux container

          If you’re new to Chrome OS or perhaps just learning your way around the recently added Linux terminal, you may be unaware that Google transitioned the Linux container from Debian 9 to Debian 10 (Buster) with the release of Chrome OS 80 back in March. If you have been tinkering with Linux on Chrome OS for some time, you’ve likely already forced the updated to Debian 10 by removing the Linux container and reinstalling it.

          Devices that haven’t received the update due to the fact that they have been sitting on a shelf or whatever other reason you can think of, can now upgrade to the newer Debian 10 container with the simple push of a button. This feature will only show up if you are on Chrome OS 86 and your device is still using Debian 9 (Stretch). You will find the “upgrade” button by heading to the Linux (Beta) tab of your Chrome OS settings menu. If you have an upgrade available, you will see the message at the top of the settings.

        • Here is every new feature and improvement we found in Chrome OS 86

          Linux (Beta)

          Linux (Beta), also known as Crostini, is a feature that allows you to access a library of Linux apps on your Chromebook, such as Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Inkscape, or Steam.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Introducing HA MicroK8s, the ultra-reliable, minimal Kubernetes | Ubuntu

          Canonical today announced autonomous high availability (HA) clustering in MicroK8s, the lightweight Kubernetes. Already popular for IoT and developer workstations, MicroK8s now gains resilience for production workloads in cloud and server deployments.

          High availability is enabled automatically once three or more nodes are clustered, and the data store migrates automatically between nodes to maintain quorum in the event of a failure. “The autonomous HA MicroK8s delivers a zero-ops experience that is perfect for distributed micro clouds and busy administrators”, says Alex Chalkias, Product Manager at Canonical.

          Designed as a minimal conformant Kubernetes, MicroK8s installs and clusters with a single command.

        • Canonical introduces high-availability Micro-Kubernetes | ZDNet

          If you’ve been hiding under a rock — and who could blame you these days? — you may have missed how totally Kubernetes now dominates container orchestration. One way to quickly get up to speed on Kubernetes is with Canonical’s MicroK8s. This is an easy-to-run and install mini-version of Kubernetes. And now Canonical has added autonomous high availability (HA) clustering to it.


        • Canonical Announces HA MicroK8s

          MicroK8s, already popular for IoT and developer workstations, now gains resilience for production workloads in cloud and server deployments. Canonical has announced autonomous high availability (HA) clustering in MicroK8s, the lightweight Kubernetes.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Andy Wingo: on “binary security of webassembly”

            You may have seen an interesting paper cross your radar a couple months ago: Everything Old is New Again: Binary Security of WebAssembly, by Daniel Lehmann, Johannes Kinder and Michael Pradel. The paper makes some strong claims and I would like to share some thoughts on it.

            reader-response theory

            For context, I have been working on web browsers for the last 8 years or so, most recently on the JavaScript and WebAssembly engine in Firefox. My work mostly consists of implementing new features, which if you are familiar with software development translates as “writing bugs”. Almost all of those bugs are security bugs, potentially causing Firefox to go from being an agent of the user to an agent of the Mossad, or of cryptocurrency thieves, or anything else.

            Mitigating browser bug flow takes a siege mentality. Web browsers treat all web pages and their corresponding CSS, media, JavaScript, and WebAssembly as hostile. We try to reason about global security properties, and translate those properties into invariants ensured at compile-time and run-time, for example to ensure that a web page from site A can’t access cookies from site B.

          • Mozilla Performance Blog: Performance Sheriff Newsletter (September 2020)

            In September there were 153 alerts generated, resulting in 25 regression bugs being filed on average 7.75 days after the regressing change landed.

            Every time a code is pushed to autoland there is a chance that performance tests such as benchmarks and page loads will be run. The results from these tests are ingested by Perfherder (the performance oriented sibling to Treeherder). If a significant and sustained change (either a regression or an improvement) is detected in the results for any test, an alert will be generated. Performance sheriffs monitor these alerts, identify the push that caused it, and notify the patch author of the change, who then helps to determine the best course of action. This helps us to catch and prevent regressions from reaching our users, and also provides valuable feedback on our efforts to improve performance and to celebrate these wins.

            For a little over a year I have been sending a newsletter to several groups within Mozilla with various metrics related to our regression detection and sheriffing efficiency. Each month I have improved and added to the report, often in response to feedback received. Looking back, my first report from July 2019 included just 5 visualisations, whereas my most recent report from August 2020 included 23. As a result of this growth, the report has become rather dense and overwhelming, and so I’m trying something new. Instead of sending a snapshot of the report by email each month, I’m going to publish an article on our performance blog with a short summary and highlight a few of the findings. For those with access, the full dashboard will be available on Mozilla’s redash instance.

          • Fixing our broken internet

            In unusually stark terms, Mozilla is trying to rally the troops to take back the internet from the forces of evil—or at least “misinformation, corruption and greed”—that have overtaken it. In a September 30 blog post, the organization behind the Firefox web browser warned that “the internet needs our love”. While there is lots to celebrate about the internet, it is increasingly under threat from various types of bad actors, so Mozilla is starting a campaign to try to push back against those threats.

            The effort is, to a certain extent, an attempt to raise the profile of Firefox, which does generally have a better track record on respecting privacy than its competitors. That should not come as a huge surprise since the other major browsers come from companies that stand to profit from surveillance capitalism. The Mozilla Foundation, on the other hand, is a non-profit organization that is guided by a pro-privacy manifesto.


            Two other Firefox add-ons are suggested. Facebook Container is meant to make it harder for Facebook to track users across the web by making use of Firefox Multi-Account Containers. The idea is that interaction with a site is done only in a color-coded tab that doesn’t share identity information (and cookies) with other containers. Facebook Container ensures that links from Facebook pages are followed in a separate container so that Facebook cannot track the user; using Facebook “Share” buttons outside of the container will route them through the container as well.

            Unfck the Internet also recommends the RegretsReporter extension to report on YouTube videos that were recommended but turned out to be objectionable. The idea is to try to crowdsource enough information about the YouTube recommendation system to better understand it—and the AI behind it.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Collabora Online moves out of The Document Foundation

          The Document Foundation (TDF) was formed in 2010 as a home for the newly created LibreOffice project; it has just celebrated its tenth anniversary. As it begins its second decade, though, TDF is showing some signs of strain. Evidence of this could be seen in the disagreement over a five-year marketing plan in July. More recently, the TDF membership committee sent an open letter to the board of directors demanding more transparency and expressing fears of conflicts of interest within the board. Now the situation has advanced with one of the TDF’s largest contributing companies announcing that it will be moving some of its work out of the foundation entirely.

          The dispute over the marketing plan has its roots in money, as is often the case. Developing a large system like LibreOffice requires the work of dozens of engineers, who need to be paid to be able to put a full-time effort into the project. Some of the companies employing those developers — Collabora in particular — think that TDF has succeeded too well; the free version of LibreOffice is solid enough that attempts to sell commercial support for it are running into a wall. The proposed marketing plan was designed to better differentiate “community-supported” LibreOffice from the professionally supported offerings from TDF member companies. This idea did not sit well with community members, who worried that LibreOffice was being pushed into a second-class citizen status.

          The tension is at its highest around LibreOffice Online, which provides for collaborative editing of documents hosted on a central server. Evidently, what revenue does exist in the LibreOffice ecosystem is mostly focused on LibreOffice Online, which is a relatively hard service to set up and maintain without having somebody dedicated to the task. TDF has encouraged potential users to go with commercial offerings by, among other things, allowing the system to suggest commercial support to users and not offering binary builds of the LibreOffice Online server. Currently, if you want to establish a LibreOffice Online instance, you must start with the source and build it from there.

        • an Online move …
      • CMS

        • Kiwi TCMS: Kiwi TCMS is partnering with Vola Software

          We are happy to announce that Kiwi TCMS is going to partner with Vola Software to provide 2 interns with opportunities for hacking open source and bootstrapping their careers!

          Vola Software is a custom software development company in one of the poorest regions of the European Union and a long-time contributor to their local ecosystem via Vratsa Software Community. They are located in Vratsa, Bulgaria.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ruby 3.0 brings new type checking and concurrency features [LWN.net]

          The first preview of Ruby version 3.0 was released on September 25. It includes better support for type checking, additional language features, and two new experimental features: a parallel execution mechanism called Ractor, and Scheduler, which provides concurrency improvements.

          According to a 2019 keynote [YouTube] by Ruby chief designer Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, type checking is a major focus of Ruby 3. In his presentation, he noted that Python 3, PHP, and JavaScript have all implemented some version of the feature. In fact, Ruby already has type-checking abilities in the form of a third-party project, Sorbet. For Ruby 3.0, type checking has been promoted into the core project, implemented as a new sub-language called Ruby Signature (RBS). This mirrors the approach taken by Sorbet, which implemented a sub-language called Ruby Interface (RBI). Sorbet allows annotations to exist within Ruby scripts, something that the community wanted to avoid, according to a presentation [YouTube] (slides [PDF]) by contributor Yusuke Endoh; by keeping RBS separate from Ruby, he explained, the project doesn’t have to worry about conflicts in syntax or grammar between the two languages. In a recent blog post, the Sorbet project committed to supporting RBS in addition to its RBI format.

          In a post introducing RBS, core developer Soutaro Matsumoto provided a detailed look at the feature. Conceptually, RBS files are similar to C/C++ header files, and currently are used in static code analysis with a project called Steep. As a part of the 3.0 release, Ruby will ship with a full collection of type annotations for the standard library.

        • Zig heading toward a self-hosting compiler [LWN.net]

          The Zig programming language is a relatively recent entrant into the “systems programming” realm; it looks to interoperate with C, while adding safety features without sacrificing performance. The language has been gaining some attention of late and has announced progress toward a Zig compiler written in Zig in September. That change will allow LLVM to become an optional component, which will be a big step forward for the “maturity and stability” of Zig.

          Zig came about in 2015, when Andrew Kelley started a GitHub repository to house his work. He described the project and its goals in an introductory blog post in 2016. As he noted then, it is an ambitious project, with a goal to effectively supplant C; in part, that is done by adopting the C application binary interface (ABI) for exported functions and providing easy mechanisms to import C header files. “Interop with C is crucial. Zig embraces C like the mean older brother who you are a little afraid of but you still want to like you and be your friend.”

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: dang 0.0.12: Two new functions

          A new release of the dang package is now on CRAN, roughly one year after the last release. The dang package regroups a few functions of mine that had no other home as for example lsos() from a StackOverflow question from 2009 (!!) is one, this overbought/oversold price band plotter from an older blog post is another. More recently added were helpers for data.table to xts conversion and a git repo root finder.

          This release adds two functions. One was mentioned just days ago in a tweet by Nathan and is a reworked version of something Colin tweeted about a few weeks ago: a little data wrangling off the kewl rtweet to find maximally spammy accounts per search topic. In other words those who include more than ‘N’ hashtags for given search term. The other is something I, if memory serves, picked up a while back on one of the lists: a base R function to identify non-ASCII characters in a file. It is a C function that is not directly exported by and hence no accessible, so we put it here (with credits, of course). I mentioned it yesterday when announcing tidyCpp as I this C function was the starting point for the new tidyCpp wrapper around some C API of R functions.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: Does C++ still deserve the bad rap it has had for so long?

          Traditionally C++ has been seen by many (and you know who you are) as just plain bad: the code is unreadably verbose, error messages are undecipherable, it’s unsafe, compilation takes forever and so on. In fact making fun of C++ is even a fun pastime for some. All of this was certainly true in the 90s and even as recent as 10 years ago. But is it still the case? What would be a good way to determine this?

        • Python

          • Explore the world of programming with Jupyter | Opensource.com

            JupyterLab is the next-generation web-based Jupyter user interface. It allows you to work with Jupyter Notebooks, as well as editors, terminals, and more, to produce interactive documents for data science, statistical modeling, data visualization, and more.

            It has native viewers for PDF, CSV, JSON, images, and more. It is also extensible to support other formats.

          • AI, ML and Python: Let’s See How far They Can Go Together | Codementor

            You might have heard these words together : AI, Machine Learning and Python. The reason behind this is that Python is one of the most suitable languages for AI and ML. Python is one of the simplest programming languages and AI and ML are the most complex technologies. This opposite combination makes them to be together.

            In simple words, I would like to make this clear that Machine learning is a really complex technology. Its algorithms are really complex and difficult to understand. And on the other hand, Python is considered to be one of the most simplest languages. Its syntax structure and coding length is really short to understand. That is why Python is considered to be the most suitable language as it can manage complex algorithms in the simplest way.

          • Python: Get Number of Elements in a List

            Getting the number of elements in a list in Python is a common operation. For example, you will need to know how many elements the list has whenever you iterate through it.

          • type() vs. isinstance()

            Python is a dynamically typed language. A variable, initially created as a string, can be later reassigned to an integer or a float.

          • Running Django on DigitalOcean’s App Platform | TestDriven.io

            DigitalOcean’s new App Platform is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, which (much like Heroku) allows you to deploy an application from a git repository.

            This article looks at how to deploy a Django application to DigitalOcean’s App Platform.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash For Loop on Linux – idroot

            In this tutorial, we will show you how to use bash for loop on Linux systems. For those of you who didn’t know, Loops are one of the fundamental concepts of programming languages. Loops are handy when you want to run a series of commands over and over again until a certain condition is reached. Like any other programming language, bash shell scripting also supports ‘for loops’ to perform repetitive tasks. It helps us to iterate a particular set of statements over a series of words in a string, or elements in an array.

          • What is a Bash Script? – Linux Hint

            Have you ever heard your father telling you to grab a glass of water? You have a choice to say No, but computers don’t have that choice. Computers are going to do exactly what you would tell them to do. Bash is just a shell that allows you to communicate with the computer and allow you to give instructions to it. A script is basically just a set of instructions given to the computer to execute different meaningful tasks. A script helps you automate different tasks along with the luxury to accomplish results faster than the normal procedure. Normally, in the terminal, you write a basic or advance bash command and it executes on it right away. In bash scripts, you could give multiple instructions or commands at once and the computer would execute all of them only when you would execute the script. In a nutshell, single bash command can be executed in the terminal but to execute a combination of multiple commands at once, you need to create a bash script.

  • Leftovers

    • A Woman’s Life

      Buffalo, N.Y.—In memory, my Aunt Dolor is a big woman. Big hair, big sunglasses, big jewelry, big bold colors, with geometric shapes in the 1960s and ’70s especially, when our families saw each other most. Her husband, my mother’s brother, called her Doll.

    • A Taste for Travel? Finnair to Sell Plane Food in Shops

      Finnish carrier Finnair says it will start selling business class-style airline meals in a nationwide supermarket chain in a move to both keep its catering staff employed and also to offer the airline experience to those missing flying in the COVID-19 times.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi 3.4 Released with Configurable Context Menus

          Vivaldi web browser released new stable 3.4 version that features configurable context menus, automatic reloading pages, and Vivaldia, the real 80s arcade-style game.


          (Optional): To remove Vivaldi apt repository from you system, launch Software & Updates and navigate to Other Software tab.

        • Tracealyzer Version 4.4 with support for embedded Linux now available

          Percepio, the specialist in visual trace diagnostics for embedded and IoT software systems, has announced the immediate availability of Tracealyzer version 4.4 with new support for embedded Linux.


          Percepio CEO and founder Dr. Johan Kraft commented, “Percepio Tracealyzer is firmly established as the leading solution for visual trace diagnostics in the RTOS space. Linux is the single largest platform for embedded and IoT systems today and has an even greater need for better debugging support at system level. We are therefore thrilled to release an even better version of Tracealyzer that is now also optimised for the needs of embedded Linux developers.”

        • Tracealyzer ships with support for embedded Linux

          Version 4.4 of the Percepio Tracealyzer tool with support for embedded Linux is now shipping after an open beta programme

          After extensive public beta testing, Percepio has launched version 4.4 of its Tracealyzer development tool with support for embedded Linux alongside its real time operating systems.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Introducing the Open Governance Network Model – The Linux Foundation

                The Linux Foundation has long served as the home for many of the world’s most important open source software projects. We act as the vendor-neutral steward of the collaborative processes that developers engage in to create high quality and trustworthy code. We also work to build the developer and commercial communities around that code to sponsor each project’s members. We’ve learned that finding ways for all sorts of companies to benefit from using and contributing back to open source software development is key to the project’s sustainability.

                Over the last few years, we have also added a series of projects focused on lightweight open standards efforts — recognizing the critical complementary role that standards play in building the open technology landscape. Linux would not have been relevant if not for POSIX, nor would the Apache HTTPD server have mattered were it not for the HTTP specification. And just as with our open source software projects, commercial participants’ involvement has been critical to driving adoption and sustainability.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium), Debian (httpcomponents-client), Fedora (claws-mail), SUSE (bcm43xx-firmware, crmsh, libqt5-qtimageformats, libqt5-qtsvg, php53, php7, and rubygem-activesupport-4_2), and Ubuntu (php5, php7.0, php7.2, php7.4, python2.7, python3.4, python3.5, python3.6, and vim).

          • SUSE Releases Fixes for BleedingTooth Vulnerabilities

            Yesterday evening, Google and Intel published a new set of software vulnerabilities that affect machines running Linux Kernels that use Bluetooth.
            The set of vulnerabilities, called BleedingTooth, impact SUSE Linux Enterprise systems with enabled Bluetooth hardware.

          • Alcide and SUSE: A New Partnership in DevSecOps

            At SUSE, we are actively looking to find technology alignment with the Partners in our ecosystem that are looking to drive open source innovations. An important function of that partner community is our close collaboration with Independent Software Vendors that are looking to help power digital transformation and enable our customers to innovate and grow. These collaborative partnerships help support our joint customer in their digital journey from on-prem infrastructures towards hybrid- and multi-cloud environments.
            That’s the reason why our engagement with Alcide definitely makes sense. The cloud-native company seeks to bridge the gap between DevOps and Security by providing real-time visibility of operations, with deep analysis and control in order to manage complex Kubernetes deployments.

          • Ubuntu Studio: About Website Security

            We are aware that, as of this writing, our website is not 100% https. Our website is hosted by Canonical. There is an open ticket to get everything changed-over, but these things take time. There is nothing the Ubuntu Studio Team can do to speed this along or fix it ourselves. If you explicitly type-in https:// to your web browser, you should get the secure SSL version of our site.

          • BleedingTooth Linux Exploit Can Lead to Remote Code Execution Within Bluetooth Range

            A new Bluetooth security vulnerability has appeared, and this time Linux is under the gun. Andy Nguyen, an information security researcher, discovered the vulnerabilities. They are collectively known as BleedingTooth, which allows for zero-click remote code execution on Linux devices within Bluetooth range. The code can be executed with kernel privileges, and Intel has rated the exploit at an 8.3 on the common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS).

            According to the research page for CVE-2020-12351, BleedingTooth is a “Heap-Based Type Confusion in L2CAP.” What this means is that a malicious user can send data to the Bluetooth subsystem (BlueZ program) in Linux, after which the code for the subsystem does not check the type of payload. As a result, the injection is read into the subsystem, and it can lead to further code execution. As the research page explains, “A remote attacker in short distance knowing the victim’s bd [Bluetooth Device] address can send a malicious l2cap packet and cause denial of service or possibly arbitrary code execution with kernel privileges.” Andy Nguyen showcased this vulnerability in the video below, where he launched a calculator program on a remote machine.

    • Environment

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Barrett Sparks Outrage With Claim That She Has No “Firm Views” on Climate Crisis

        Environmentalists were appalled — if not necessarily surprised — by Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s statement Tuesday that she does not “have firm views” on climate change, an ostensibly neutral comment that critics said is tantamount to denial of the science.

      • Does Trump Have Power to Pardon Himself? His Supreme Court Nominee Won’t Say.

        During her confirmation hearings on Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, refused to give her opinion on an important question that’s come up over the past four years: whether sitting presidents have the power to pardon themselves.

      • The New Humanitarian | COVID-19 stalls legal reforms for Venezuelan migrants

        Two years ago, 11 Latin American countries gathered in solidarity to coordinate a progressive response to an unprecedented regional exodus. But COVID-19 has since crippled their economies and far-reaching migration reforms have stalled, leaving the lives and livelihoods of millions of Venezuelan migrants in the balance.
        The 2018 Quito Declaration affirmed Latin America’s commitment to improving migrants’ access to regular status, health services, skills training, and the labour market. Signatories agreed to accept expired travel documents and to create an Information Card for Regional Mobility so Venezuelans could easily migrate and integrate.

        But even before the pandemic, several countries began decreasing access to regularisation, with Chile, Peru, and Ecuador all introducing new or renewed entry protocols requiring unexpired passports or visas that many Venezuelans find difficult or impossible to acquire.

        “Rather than follow-up, we’re seeing some extreme back-sliding, particularly in the last few months with the pandemic,” Geoff Ramsey, director for Venezuela at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) think tank, told The New Humanitarian. “What started as a noble initiative for a comprehensive regional response has become a race to the bottom.”

        The result is that less than half of the 5.1 million Venezuelans known to have fled their homeland since 2015 have permits allowing them to reside and work legally in host countries, and the real fraction is considerably lower since many governments neglect to include migrants with no regular status in their numbers.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • IP Issues with Judge Barrett

          Amy Coney Barrett: (57:01)

          So, without commenting on any particular cases, which actually I have to be completely honest and confess to, I can’t think of what particular cases you might be thinking of in the patent eligibility. But without commenting on those cases in any event, I think I would say that clarity in decision-making is always something that courts should strive for. And I know on the seventh circuit, we try and I’m trying to be attuned to in writing opinions, whether it gives good guidance to lower courts and then to also those who are trying to order their conduct in compliance with the law. So, I think clarity is certainly a virtue in this context.


          Amy Coney Barrett: (58:29)

          Most of the things you’re identifying sound to me like matters of policy. And so, those seem like matters that are best addressed by the legislature, a democratically elected body, not policy made by courts.

        • Broadest Reasonable Interpretation in Light of the Specification

          I feel really bad about this, but whenever I see a Snyders lawsuit, I cant stop thinking back to the late 1990’s when I used to eat Snyder’s mustard flavored pretzels.

          This case is not about pretzels, but rather focuses on Snyders artificial heart valve patent US6540782. Eat your heart out?

          Snyders sued St. Jude for infringement in D.Minn and St. Jude responded with a pair of inter partes review (IPR) petitions. The PTAB initiated the IPRs and eventually ruled that some of the claims were anticipated by a prior patent.

        • Software Patents

          • Open Invention Network Expands Its Open Source Patent Protection

            OIN, the largest patent non-aggression community in history, says the action helps reduce patent risk associated with core Linux and adjacent open source code. This expansion includes 520 new software components, which brings the total number of protected packages to 3,393, according to the announcement.

[Meme] When Linux ‘News’ is Clickbait and Worse

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 2:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We’ve had free calculator code for more than half a century; this one isn’t even new (superficial ‘news’ or PR disguised as ‘reporting’; or googlebombing the term “Linux” to help Microsoft dominate the space)

Thousands of programs implementing a calculator, with source code but let's help Microsoft promote a spyware calculator

Summary: We’re once again seeing that things are overlooked by the media until Microsoft does something, in which case it’s considered worth promoting [1-4]

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Love Windows Calculator? You can Now Use it on Linux as Well [Ed: Oh, come on; don’t become Microsoft clowns. We already have plenty of good calculators and Microsoft’s is spyware (tracking the keypresses, reporting to Microsoft!)]

    In the first quarter of 2019, Microsoft open sourced the Windows Calculator. Being open source, it allows developers to use it in their own applications.

    I couldn’t care less for a calculator application but as some It’s FOSS readers pointed out, they like using the Windows Calculator.

  2. You Can Now Install the Windows Calculator App on Linux [Ed: Of course Joey Sneddon also had to help Microsoft promote a spyware calculator]
  3. Windows Calculator now does your math on Raspberry Pi, Tesla, and tons of Linux devices [Ed: Microsoft PR sites]
  4. The Windows Calculator on Linux with Uno Platform | Ubuntu [Ed: Even Canonical jumps in to help Microsoft]

    The good folks in the Uno Platform community have ported the open-source Windows Calculator to Linux. And they’ve done it quicker than Microsoft could bring their browser to Linux. The calculator is published in the snapstore and can be downloaded right away. If you’re on Ubuntu or you have snapd installed just run…

Links 15/10/2020: Parted Magic Leaves OpenBox, US Congress Urged to Choose Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 10:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 876

        apartment internet, ansible, chef, automation, 3d printing, and more

      • Destination Linux 195: Interview with Fedora’s Project Lead, Matthew Miller – Destination Linux

        This week we have an exciting interview in store for you with the Project Lead of Fedora, Matthew Miller! We’re going to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Libre Office and talk about their conference happening this week! In the Gaming section this week, Debian of all things announced they were putting on a Gaming Focused Conference event in November so we’ll discuss what that could mean. Later in the show, we’ll give you our popular tips/tricks and software picks. Plus so much more, on this week’s episode of Destination Linux.

      • Unfettered Freedom, Ep. 9 – OpenOffice, Non-Free JavaScript, Linux Journal, Planned Obsolescence – YouTube

        Unfettered Freedom is a video podcast that focuses on news and topics about GNU/Linux, free software and open source software. On this freedom-packed episode: 0:00 – Intro 1:32 – An open letter to Apache OpenOffice.

      • FLOSS Weekly 600: Chatcola – Open Source Server, Decentralized Communication

        Chatcola is an open-source server with decentralized communication software that does not need user authentication. Doc Searls and Shawn Powers talk with Milan Kazarka, who is the co-founder of Chatcola. They discuss how Chatcola is unique because it doesn’t hold the data, and all messages get deleted either after a set time or when the user would like. They talk about the importance of a messaging system being decentralized and the future of Chatcola.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9: Not a game-changer, but a good, solid Linux kernel

        So, if you’re feeling brave, and you know how to compile your own Linux kernel, you can download all 115.5 MBs of the compressed Linux kernel 5.9 archive from kernel.org. Most of you, though, can afford to wait for it to appear in Linux distributions. That means, if you use a mainstream Linux distribution such as Fedora or Ubuntu, you can expect to run in their first 2021 releases.

        You don’t have to be in a rush. The biggest change, support for the FSGSBASE instruction in Intel Ivy Bridge and later and AMD processors, will improve performance. But it only shows up if you’re really pushing your RAM with many different loads. If you beat up your Linux server a lot, you’ll see the change. I doubt a desktop user will spot it.

      • struct page, the Linux physical page frame data structure

        Linux manages physical memory by dividing it into PAGE_SIZE pieces. Usually this is the same as the CPU’s page size, between 4KiB and 64KiB. Each page has a small data structure (about 64 bytes) called struct page, which contains various pieces of information about the page.

        If you allocate a page using the low level page allocator directly (e.g. alloc_page(), alloc_pages() and similar functions) then some of the fields in struct page are available for you to use. If you allocate it through another memory allocator, that allocator may be using the struct page for its own purposes, and so you may not use it. Consult the documentation for your memory allocator to see if it allows you to use any of it.

        The primary users of struct page are the page cache and anonymous memory and they impose various restrictions on how you can use various fields within the structure. This document explains how you can use them safely.

      • Linux 5.10 Begins Landing The Long Overdue Revamp Of printk() – Phoronix

        The Linux kernel’s fundamental printk() function for printing messages at various log levels for then accessing via the likes of dmesg is beginning to see a significant overhaul.

        Coming with Linux 5.10 is now a fully lock-less ring-buffer implementation for printk. This new implementation allows for storing and reading messages without the possibility of deadlocks or relying on temporary per-CPU buffers.

    • Applications

      • IVPN Released a GUI Client App for the Linux Platform

        IVPN is giving its Linux audience some love, as they have just released a GUI (graphical user interface) app for the platform. The particular VPN (virtual private network) vendor has only recently embraced Linux with a command-line app, but the time for something more user-friendly has come.

        Many Linux users are used to firing up the terminal to do whatever they need to do, as the power of the command line is undeniable. However, this is not the case for every Linux user nowadays, and having a comfortable GUI client app for your VPN service is nice.

      • Pitivi Video Editor Gets a Blockbuster Update – OMG! Ubuntu!

        Pitivi is an open source video editor for Linux desktops and the latest update to it adds a bunch of new features and welcome usability improvements.

      • 10 Best Google Drive Clients for Linux

        Google ecosystem has become an integral part of our daily lives, from Google-powered smartphones to a suite of Google apps like GMAIL are part of our daily lives. In the data-driven world, it is important to keep data secure as well as accessible from everywhere. Well, Google Drive offers that solution in the most efficient way possible. You can securely store all your important data on Google Drive and access it from anywhere by just logging into your google account.Like other apps in Google Suite, Drive has become a very important cloud storage app in our life. It offers free storage up to 15GB which is more than enough and can be used across GMAIL, Google Photos, and other Google services.

        So today I am going to share with you Google Drive clients you can use to access your Google Drive account on Linux and other distributions.

      • Best Free and Open Source Linux Partitioning Tools

        Disk partitioning is the means of dividing a hard disk drive into multiple logical storage units referred to as partitions. A partition is a contiguous set of blocks on a drive that are treated as an independent disk.

        There are many benefits of having multiple partitions on a disk. One of the most popular reasons is to separate the operating system and program files from user files. Many Linux users prefer having the /home directory on a separate partition. This enables the operating system to be reinstalled without the loss of personal files and settings, and makes it easier to backup system and user files. Another essential benefit of partitioning is that it allows Linux to have a dedicated area for virtual memory swapping. It is also common to have several partitions on a hard drive, each of which stores an operating system. This enables users to install and run multiple operating systems on a computer without using virtualization.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Configure Bluetooth in Arch Linux – Linux Hint

        Bluetooth is an extensively-used protocol for wireless audio connection with servers. You can find nearly every single person using Bluetooth on their mobile devices and systems. Using a Bluetooth device in a Linux distribution can be a bit complex for the first time. If you are an Arch Linux user, then you may become confused when configuring Bluetooth on your server.

      • How to install Spotify on Arch Linux – Linux Hint

        Spotify is a free music app that you can use to listen to music on your operating system of Arch Linux. Other distributions of Linux implement the apt command to get this free music application. Arch Linux is different from Ubuntu and other Linux distributions due to its complex structure. If you wish to get the benefits of unlimited music on your Arch Linux, then you have to opt for the snapd command. Spotify is not a part of the official depository of Arch Linux, so you have to get it from the Arch user repository. This guide shares the extensive details of installing and using Spotify on your Arch Linux.

      • How to Install and Start Docker in Arch Linux – Linux Hint

        In the language of programming, Docker is renowned as the premier platform as a software container. Docker’s description as a container ensures the smooth running of the software contained in its library with proper settings. One of the primary reasons why programmers are inclined towards using Docker is because it administers the issues pertinent to the server. Docker provides you affirmation that wherever you run the software, its functions will run smoothly and without any issues.

        Docker is highly compatible with almost all the Linux distributions. Docker can run software, as well as build images from its library. In simplified terms, Docker is the tool that eases issues when running deployed software. The snap operates on code from Docker, but itself is not an entity of Docker. The latest update of the Docker shows the Apache license 2.0 and has reserved copyrights over its domain. The container system of Docker offers an optimal solution for operating software. That provides Docker an edge over other package-building platforms. This guide specifies all the steps necessary to install Docker on your Arch Linux operating system.

      • Install Debian on Raspberry Pi 4 – Linux Hint

        Debian is one of the most popular Linux distributions out there. Debian is free and open-source. Debian is also a very stable operating system.

        In this article, I am going to show you how to install Debian on Raspberry Pi 4. So, let’s get started.

      • How do I copy from the clipboard to Nano? – Linux Hint

        When we cut or copy a text within the Nano editor, it is saved to a special buffer known as Cutbuffer. Remember Cutbuffer is not the same as a clipboard. The clipboard is maintained by Gnome and it only saves the text that is copied using the mouse right-click menu or using the Ctrl+Shift+c keyboard shortcut.
        In the following article, we will show you how to copy from Cutbuffer and Gnome Clipboard to Nano editor. The commands have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Terminal.

      • How to install Rstudio & R-base Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux – Linux Shout

        RStudio is a development environment platform created for developers who are interested in the statistical programming language R. The platform is available in both open-source and commercial editions, of course, the feature difference will be there. The paid version will have more extensive features as compared to the open-source one.

      • How to Change the SIM PIN of Your Android Device – Make Tech Easier

        The SIM PIN code is a security feature that protects against unauthorized individuals accessing your SIM card data. Some smartphone models come with this option on by default, while others need to have the feature enabled. A vast majority of carriers provide standard SIM PIN codes like 0000 or 1234, while others generate random codes.

      • How do I open a nano file in Linux? – Linux Hint

        In the following post, you will see how to open a new or an existing file in Nano editor. The commands have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Terminal.

      • Install Manjaro on Raspberry Pi 4 – Linux Hint

        Manjaro is a free and open-source Arch-based Linux distribution. Manjaro is for people who love Arch Linux but don’t like the complexity that comes with Arch Linux. It is easy to use and a very nice looking desktop operating system. It works straight out of the box and has a wide range of software pre-installed.

      • Install Kali Linux on Raspberry Pi 4 – Linux Hint

        Kali Linux is a Debian based operating system specially made for penetration testing. Kali Linux has all the required tools for penetration testing installed by default. Even if something is not installed by default, it will be in the official package repository of Kali Linux. So, you can easily install whatever you need from the official package repository of Kali Linux. Kali Linux is any penetration tester’s best friend.

      • How to Use the Network Manager in Arch Linux – Linux Hint

        The network manager is responsible for the administration, detection, and connection of the server with internet connectivity. It is a tool that assists the user in automatically connecting the Arch Linux operating system with the network. You can also opt for the netctl utility that comes along the Arch Linux server. An effective network manager puts up your system defenses against unknown connectivity bugs. Arch Linux is a complex system, so it requires an efficient network-manager to oversee the secure connection. This guide provides a detailed understanding of downloading and using the network manager in Arch Linux.

      • How to Use Pacman in Arch Linux – Linux Hint

        Arch Linux constitutes a complex distribution of Linux, making it a grueling Linux operating system. Programmers that do not have a strong command over Arch Linux usually opt for other distributions. The prominent distinction among Arch Linux and its other distributions is Pacman. Pacman is a package manager that buffs package usage in Arch Linux. It flattens the use of packages, both from the repository and the ones that you build on your own. Pacman incorporates a set of commands that ease the manipulation of Arch-based packages in the Arch Linux distribution. Pacman also contains binary packages to assist in the creation of a package build. In other Linux distributions, you comply with the apt command; while in Arch Linux, Pacman commands can come in handy for more efficient management of the system repository and build.

      • [Older] How to install, configure, and use mutt with a gmail account on Linux

        Email reader programs such as Thunderbird or Evolution are great, but sometimes they can feel bloated. If you found yourself working mainly from CLI, you may find useful to learn how to install and configure Mutt, a command line email client: that’s what we will do in this tutorial.

      • Different ways to shutdown Ubuntu Linux using command line – Linux Shout

        Ubuntu Linux’s latest LTS version is 20.04, however, the commands to shutdown Ubuntu will work on all Linux versions. It doesn’t matter you are on Desktop or Server.

        Indeed if we are using the Graphical user interface of Ubuntu Linux then we have GUI shortcuts to Power off, sleep, log out, or shut down the system. However, what about if we want to do the same using the command terminal. Yes, we can do all this from CLI as well.

      • How to install Finale 26 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Finale 26, Music Notation Software, on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Ultra low cost webcam studio | Daniel Pocock’s personal blog

        Having a Hollywood-sized budget for visual effects is not much use if people can’t hear you.

        Before spending any time or money on visual improvements, such as lighting, it is important to conquer sound.

        A cost effective solution for many people is something like the Rode smartLav+ combined with Rode’s TRRS-to-3.5mm adapter and a 3.5mm extension lead so you can move around the room wearing it.

        The extension cable is both cheaper and easier to use than any wireless microphone.

        As a bonus, smartLav+ can be used anywhere with a smartphone to record speeches and interviews, like a premium dictaphone.

      • How to play Deep Rock: Galactic on Linux

        Deep Rock: Galactic is a co-op FPS indie game developed by Ghost Ship Games and published by Coffee Stain Publishing. In the game, players assume the role of space dwarves and do various missions (mining, collecting materials, etc.) Here’s how to get the game working on Linux.

      • The 30 most useful Linux commands – Linux Concept

        This article will introduce some practical and common Linux or Unix command , which is the Linux system administrators normally use the command . This article is not a complete list, but a brief list of commands that can be useful when needed. The following will introduce how to use these commands one by one with examples.

      • How to show dropped packets per interface on Linux – nixCraft

        How do I display dropped packets per interface on Linux operating systems from the command line option? How can I determine why a Linux server is dropping packets?The post How to show dropped packets per interface on Linux appeared first on nixCraft.

      • How to Share a Local Folder with a Remote Host Running on VMWare

        In this article, we are going to see how to share a local folder with a remote host running on VMWare Workstation. If you are someone wondering what VMWare Workstation is, it is a hypervisor that runs on X64 Linux and Windows operating systems providing features to run virtual machines.

      • How To Install Mattermost on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Mattermost on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Mattermost is an open-source, private cloud Slack-alternative. A workplace messaging system for web, PCs, and phones, released under the MIT license. As an alternative to proprietary SaaS messaging, Mattermost brings all your team communication into one place, making it searchable and accessible anywhere. Mattermost is “Slack-compatible, not Slack-limited”, supporting a superset of Slack’s incoming and outgoing webhook integrations, including compatibility with existing Slack integrations. From your existing Slack teams, you can import users, public channel history, and even theme setting colors into Mattermost.

      • How To Install Transmission on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Transmission on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Transmission BitTorrent Client features a simple interface on top of a cross-platform back-end. Transmission is licensed as free software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), with parts under the MIT License. Transmission, like any other BitTorrent client, allows users to download files from the Internet and upload their own files or torrents. By grabbing items and adding them to the interface, users can create queues of files to be downloaded and uploaded.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation Transmission on a CentOS 8.

      • How to create and run a shell script in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        A script is used in Linux and has written commands into it according to work specifications and assignments. On executing such a script, each command in the script executes in order one by one. The shell is the user-written commands interpreter. A Shell script helps a user with writing and executing multiple commands at the same time.

        In this article, we will see how to execute shell scripts through command line input. With reference to this particular article, I am using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Before demonstrating how to execute a shell script through CLI, we will first see how to create a shell script.

      • How to Use Page Styles to Make Better Documents in LibreOffice – Make Tech Easier

        Modern office software has evolved through a range of tools that can make your document creation efforts simpler. If you are tired of changing the style and format of every paragraph, page, slides, etc., when creating your document, you can make use of the Page Styles to make your job easier. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to set up Page Styles of the LibreOffice word processor.

      • Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and Digital Signatures | Linux Journal

        If you have sent any plaintext confidential emails to someone (most likely you did), have you ever questioned yourself about the mail being tampered with or read by anyone during transit? If not, you should!

        Any unencrypted email is like a postcard. It can be seen by anyone (crackers/security hackers, corporations, governments, or anyone with the required skills), during its transit.

        In 1991 Phil Zimmermann, a free speech activist, and anti-nuclear pacifist developed Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), the first software available to the general public that utilized RSA (a public key cryptosystem, will discuss it later) for email encryption and signing. Zimmermann, after having had a friend post the program on the worldwide Usenet, got prosecuted by the U.S. government; later he was charged by the FBI for illegal weapon export because encryption tools were considered as such (all charges were eventually dropped). Zimmermann later founded PGP Inc., which is now part of Symantec Corporation.

        In 1997 PGP Inc. submitted a standardization proposal to the Internet Engineering Task Force. The standard was called OpenPGP and was defined in 1998 in the IETF document RFC 2440. The latest version of the OpenPGP standard is described in RFC 4880, published in 2007.

      • LinuxCommand.org is Twenty Years Old…

        Many years ago, when Linux was young, Linus Torvalds gave a talk at a Linux users group meeting. At this point in Linux history, Linus had to actually use PowerPoint to present his slides as no office suite yet existed for Linux. During his talk he began to discuss the goals of the Linux project. He said something to the effect, “Of course, the true goal of Linux is…” and he brought up his next slide which read “TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION” at which point the audience erupted into complete laughter. At the time, the very idea of this little hobbyist project being able to compete with Microsoft Windows or even mainstream Unix seemed utterly preposterous.

      • Font Preview: Test Out All Your Fonts Right From The Terminal – YouTube

        Do you ever forget what your fonts look like, well maybe you need a font previewer such as the aptly named fontpreview. This is a pretty simple shell script which makes use of fzf to select the font, imagemagick to generate a preview of the font and sxiv to actually display the preview itself, the text and preview itself is fully customizable.

      • Global Search And Replace With Ripgrep

        If you are even a casual Linux user, you probably know how to use grep. Even if you aren’t a regular expression guru, it is easy to use grep to search for lines in a file that match anything from simple strings to complex patterns. Of course, grep is fine for looking, but what if you want to find things and change them. Maybe you want to change each instance of “HackADay” to “Hackaday,” for example. You might use sed, but it is somewhat hard to use. You could use awk, but as a general-purpose language, it seems a bit of overkill for such a simple and common task. That’s the idea behind ripgrep which actually has the command name rg. Using rg, you can do things that grep can do using more modern regular expressions and also do replacements.

      • Create Bootable USB Drive With USBImager In Linux – OSTechNix

        Since the conception of Linux, so many of flavors in Linux operating systems are developed. Most of them can be downloaded from the internet. The downloaded Linux OS is usually a bootable ISO image. You can write it to either a CD or DVD or USB depending on the size of the ISO image. Nowadays, most of us use USB mass storage devices to write the bootable ISO images in Linux and Unix-like systems. There are many applications available to create bootable USB disks in Linux and each application has its own set of distinctive features. Today, we will discuss about one such tool called USBImager.

      • Pitivi Video Editor 2020.09 Released, How to Install in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Pitivi video editor 2020.09 was released a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and derivatives.

        It’s been more than 2 years since the last stable release, Pitivi 2020.09 features a plugin system, easy Ken-Burns effect, developer console plugin, timeline markers, user-interface and workflow improvements, a refactored media library, new keyboard shortcuts, and much more.

    • Games

      • Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus is out now (plus a HoI IV sale)

        Get ready to by an armchair general once again, as Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus is out now for Paradox Development Studio’s best-selling strategy wargame about World War II.

        What can Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey do to secure their own safety while the world around them is at war? That’s what you can find out with this new expansion, as it provides a base for you to meddle with history once again with the new country pack containing new national focus trees for three nations that border the strategic waterways of the Black and Aegean Seas.

      • Block-pushing puzzler ‘Akurra’ gains a Linux demo that needs testing

        Made in the spirit of the classics like Chip’s Challenge, Adventure’s of Lolo, Sokoban, and Zelda and following a successful Kickstarter the upcoming Akurra has a demo now.

        “Push blocks into holes, over pits, avoid spikes, explore caves, and ride sea turtles in order to find keys, gems, and stars that unlock new paths and friends to aid you as you explore a collection of islands chock-full of puzzles and secrets. The puzzles in Akurra build complexity over time as you unlock new areas and islands with new puzzle pieces and mechanics.”

        Back in June, developer Jason Newman managed to get over $20K in funding from the Kickstarter so there’s a lot of interest in these retro-inspired puzzle games it seems. As of the latest update on Kickstarter, they’ve now put up an initial build of the demo for Linux too!

      • Enter a weird ever-changing world of clay in Dungeons of Clay out now

        Dungeons of Clay is the latest rather quirky title from ShotX Studio, a rogue-lite action-platform that offers up tons of action, plenty of items and some seriously weird enemies. Released on October 12, along with Linux support.

        “Explore the ever-changing dungeons in the surreal world made of clay. Unlock the hidden secrets, overcome the dangers, defeat dreadful creatures and reap the treasures to acquire almighty power. Don’t forget to bring your patience, because you will have to merge all your talents and skills if you’re ever going to reach the depths of the dungeon.”

      • Create supply chains from filth in Everything is Garbage

        Originally made for the Ludum Dare 47 game jam, Everything is Garbage has you create amusing supply chains to turn garbage into lots of money.

        Created by some of the folks from Free Lives (Broforce, Genital Jousting and more), you start off with nothing but a small island and a pile a trash. What they’ve managed to create is a deceptively simple looking production chain sim. Nowhere near the complication levels of Factorio mind you but clever enough in the execution of it to easily enjoy the experience of turning trash into piles of monies.

      • Open source dungeon building sim ‘KeeperRL’ adds in a new Warlord game mode

        Another fine example of open source in action with a commercial indie game here, as the dungeon building sim KeeperRL continues being upgraded.

        Most recently with KeeperRL Alpha 31, which adds a new Warlord game mode. This new mode allows you to take a “retired” keeper (after you win) and some minions on another adventure through other retired dungeons. Sounds pretty amusing, and gives KeeperRL a fun mode for short-bursts.

      • Godot Engine – Complex text layouts progress report #1

        Hello! bruvzg here, I got hired by the Godot team to work on the complex text layouts and BiDi aware UI implementation. This is the first part that focuses on TextServer API implementation.

      • Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Heart of the Forest is out now and it’s great | GamingOnLinux

        Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Heart of the Forest is a strikingly beautiful visual novel from Different Tales and Walkabout out now. With Different Tales continuing their Linux support just like with their previous games.

        Set in the same big fantasy universe as Vampire: The Masquerade, it’s set in the centre of modern Europe where you play as Maia, who comes to Poland hoping to trace their family roots. As you do so, you uncover dark family secrets and hidden truths about the last wilderness of Central Europe.

        As someone who doesn’t follow World of Darkness, I appreciated that Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Heart of the Forest is a pretty welcoming game to newcomers because it’s a properly self-contained story. So it’s suitable for pretty much anyone who enjoys a good choice-based visual novel. A genre I tend to struggle with but in this case with the seriously rich artwork, along with the compelling writing it made for quite an engrossing experience.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 4.4.0 released

          Version 4.4.0 of the Krita painting application has been released. “With a whole slew of new fill layer types, including the really versatile SeExpr based scriptable fill layer type, exciting new options for Krita’s brushes like the gradient map mode for brushes, lightness and gradient modes for brush textures, support for dynamic use of colors in gradients, webm export for animations, new scripting features — and of course, hundreds of bug fixes that make this version of Krita better than ever.” See the release notes for details.

        • KDE Plasma 5.20 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at KDE Plasma 5.20. Enjoy!

        • KDE Plasma 5.20

          Today we are looking at the Newly Released KDE Plasma 5.20 and wow what a change! In this video, we look at some of the features which stand out for me. We start off by switching to Wayland (in a virtual machine – the host runs Linux as well). Enjoy!

    • Distributions

      • Parted Magic Officially Migrates from OpenBox to XFCE

        The live-disk distribution Parted Magic released its latest version. In this release Parted Magic officially migrates from the OpenBox to the XFCE desktop environment.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • KDE installation media updated 2020.1015

          PCLinuxOS installation media for KDE has been updated to 2020.1015. Features: Kernel 5.8.14, Nvidia 450.80.02, GCC 10.2.0, KDE Plasma Desktop 5.20.0, KDE Frameworks 5.75.0 and KDE Applications 20.08.2, New Global Desktop theme and Iconset. Wallpaper provided by Zoid. Installation media is available in 3 sizes. Darkstar 1.5 Gig (basic), KDE5 2.5 Gig (standard) and Magnum 3.5 Gig (large).

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Web of Trust, Part 1: Concept

          Every day we rely on technologies who nobody can fully understand. Since well before the industrial revolution, complex and challenging tasks required an approach that broke out the different parts into smaller scale tasks. Each resulting in specialized knowledge used in some parts of our lives, leaving other parts to trust in skills that others had learned. This shared knowledge approach also applies to software. Even the most avid readers of this magazine, will likely not compile and validate every piece of code they run. This is simply because the world of computers is itself also too big for one person to grasp.

          Still, even though it is nearly impossible to understand everything that happens within your PC when you are using it, that does not leave you blind and unprotected. FLOSS software shares trust, giving protection to all users, even if individual users can’t grasp all parts in the system. This multi-part article will discuss how this ‘Web of Trust’ works and how you can get involved.

          But first we’ll have to take a step back and discuss the basic concepts, before we can delve into the details and the web. Also, a note before we start, security is not just about viruses and malware. Security also includes your privacy, your economic stability and your technological independence.

        • Sandboxing inside the sandbox: No rogue thumbnailers inside Flatpak

          A couple of years ago, we sandboxed thumbnailers using bubblewrap to avoid drive-by downloads taking advantage of thumbnailers with security issues.

          It’s a great tool, and it’s a tool that Flatpak relies upon to create its own sandboxes. But that also meant that we couldn’t use it inside the Flatpak sandboxes themselves, and those aren’t always as closed as they could be, to support legacy applications.

          We’ve finally implemented support for sandboxing thumbnailers within Flatpak, using the Spawn D-Bus interface (indirectly).

          This should all land in GNOME 40, though it should already be possible to integrate it into your Flatpaks.

        • Automating the edge: Connecting a variety of devices, applications and data

          The IT world we know today is currently going through a phase of decentralization: computation is moving closer to where the data is generated. This means gathering and processing data closer to application, also known as edge computing.

          In this new world, devices and services are managed outside the traditional management sphere: platforms are pushed outside the data center, devices are spread across huge areas in inaccessible locations and applications run on demand closer to the data.

        • Hands on vDPA: what do you do when you ain’t got the hardware

          In the previous post the internals of the vDPA kernel framework were covered. Putting the theory aside, the proof is in the pudding so now it’s time to get our hands dirty and try vDPA out. The obvious issue is the vDPA is a HW based feature requiring vendor NICs that support it. So how can we test vDPA when we don’t have such cards? What can we use instead of real hardware?

          The answer is a vDPA simulator. The vDPA simulator is a software test device with an IOMMU that is “emulated on a chip.” The vDPA device simulator will loopback TX traffic to its RX. The main use cases for the simulated device are feature testing, prototyping and development. With this simulated device, you can set up your own vDPA test/development environment in minutes!

        • Ubuntu Vs. Fedora: Which One Should You Choose?

          Both Ubuntu and Fedora are among the most popular Linux distros on the market. As such, there is an on-going debate in the Linux community concerning the better distro among the two – Ubuntu vs. Fedora.

          With that being said, both distros are targeted at different users with different needs. So depending on what you plan to do on your computer, installing one distro will prove beneficial over the other.

          This is why we will be moving away from the mainstream debate and focus on discussing the major differences between Ubuntu and Fedora. By the end of this read, you should have a solid understanding of what both distros have to offer, and thereby, which one is right for you.

      • Debian Family

        • The Gnocchi package in Debian – Zigo’s blog

          This is a follow-up from the blog post of Russel as seen here: https://etbe.coker.com.au/2020/10/13/first-try-gnocchi-statsd/. There’s a bunch of things he wrote which I unfortunately must say is inaccurate, and sometimes even completely wrong. It is my point of view that none of the reported bugs are helpful for anyone that understand Gnocchi and how to set it up. It’s however a terrible experience that Russell had, and I do understand why (and why it’s not his fault). I’m very much open on how to fix this on the packaging level, though some things aren’t IMO fixable. Here’s the details.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • First Look: See What’s New in Ubuntu 20.10 ‘Groovy Gorilla’ [Video]

          So to provide you (and me) with proof that six months has indeed passed here’s our Ubuntu 20.10 release video, which we’re posting ahead of the Groovy Gorilla’s stable debut in 2 weeks so you have time to soak in the changes.

          I’ll be honest: Ubuntu 20.10 is not the most exciting release in Ubuntu’s history. In fact, trying to make a video about this version was a bit of a challenge! While there are changes, new features, and improvements, they’re incremental in nature. That’s hard to demo.

          Hit play on video embed above to join me on my bi-annual run-through of all that’s new, nascent, and notable in the latest (and perhaps greatest?) iteration.

        • You Can Now Run Ubuntu Unity on Your Raspberry Pi

          Based on a mix of components from the upcoming Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) release and Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (Focal Fossa), Ubuntu Unity for Raspberry Pi promises to provide the community with a complete and rich operating system for basic desktop computing stuff.

          While it’s designed and optimized specifically for the AArch64 (ARM64) architecture, the Raspberry Pi flavor of Ubuntu Unity also comes with i386-arm support, which sets up an emulated i386 environment based on Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” to allow you to run 32-bit programs on your Raspberry Pi from the terminal.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why Congress should invest in open-source software

        In response to past crises, investments in physical infrastructure have helped the United States recover and thrive after significant challenges. After both the Great Depression and the Great Recession, for example, increased investment in transportation infrastructure was a key part of bringing the American economy back from disaster.

        The COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic crisis requires a similarly significant response, but it also asks of lawmakers to consider what is next. We can’t just invest in highways—we also need to invest in the technology underpinning the information superhighway. To rebuild from one of the greatest challenges of our time, the United States must invest both in physical and digital infrastructure to secure its recovery.

        For the last few years, both Democrats and Republicans have called for major infrastructure investments, only for them not to materialize. These efforts to fund infrastructure investment have focused on the physical world—highways, railroads, bridges. While those are important areas for investment, we must not forget the equal importance of digital infrastructure, especially the free and open-source software (FOSS) that is built mostly by volunteer labor and underpins the digital world. FOSS is even working its way into the physical world, as it is built into our phones, cars, and refrigerators.

        FOSS began in the 1980s as an effort to give developers the ability to tinker with and alter software, which was prevented by most software vendors at the time. This led to the “free” in FOSS being defined as “Free as in Free Speech, not as in Free Beer,” although frequently the software was also free of costs. For years, FOSS was primarily the domain of hobbyists, but as computing and the internet became a larger part of daily life, so too did FOSS. The untiring efforts of countless volunteers collaborating remotely eventually led to a robust FOSS ecosystem. Now, FOSS underpins the entire digital economy in the form of operating systems (Linux, Android, etc.), databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, etc.), and big data and artificial intelligence software (Hadoop, TensorFlow, etc.). Multi-billion dollar companies are regularly built on the back of FOSS. Even Microsoft, whose leadership once called Linux “a cancer” and equated it to communism, has now embraced FOSS and uses it as the core of its Azure cloud computing offering.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • 4 Firefox Features You Should Be Using Right Now

            I was using Firefox as my secondary browser and Chrome was my primary browser because I have been using it for more than ten years and it has all my passwords and bookmarks stored.

            Honestly, I was just lazy in switching the browser but it was way easier than I thought. Firefox imported the bookmarks from Google Chrome and I quickly arranged the folders on the main bookmark bar.

            Similarly, I also exported all the saved account password and imported it into Firefox.

            With these two things done, I happily started using Mozilla Firefox as my main browser. And this is when I started noticing and using obscure Firefox features that make my browsing experience better.

      • Programming/Development

        • Grab A Stanford Computer Science Education

          To be fair, not all of these classes are easy to digest on their own. Some of them are supporting material and you really need the professor’s lectures. However, for some classes like CS106L (Standard C++ Programming) you’ll find complete sets of lecture notes and some classes even have video lectures, like the one below from CS224N, Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Nice Helper to Sanitize File Names – sanity.pl

            One of the most awesome helpers I carry around in my ~/bin since the early ’00s is the sanity.pl script written by Andreas Gohr. It just recently came back to use when I started to archive some awesome Corona enforced live session music with youtube-dl.

        • Python

          • Sending an Email Using Python | The Linux Rain

            Ever wanted to send emails using just Python? A few lines of code and you don’t even need to log into your Gmail account to email anyone in the world. In fact, you can do this in your terminal

          • Learn Python by creating a video game | Opensource.com

            Python is one of the most popular programming languages out there. Whether you want to learn it for work or for fun, it’s a powerful and useful language for any purpose. You can create applications to help you with daily tasks, fun games you and your friends can play, scripts to process data, applications to generate or parse information, and much more.

          • ReportLab 101 – Creating Fonts on the Canvas (Video) – The Mouse Vs. The Python

            In this tutorial, you will learn how to use ReportLab’s standard built-in fonts when generating PDFs with Python.

          • Data Management With Python, SQLite, and SQLAlchemy – Real Python

            All programs process data in one form or another, and many need to be able to save and retrieve that data from one invocation to the next. Python, SQLite, and SQLAlchemy give your programs database functionality, allowing you to store data in a single file without the need for a database server.

            You can achieve similar results using flat files in any number of formats, including CSV, JSON, XML, and even custom formats. Flat files are often human-readable text files—though they can also be binary data—with a structure that can be parsed by a computer program. Below, you’ll explore using SQL databases and flat files for data storage and manipulation and learn how to decide which approach is right for your program.

          • Generating Synthetic Data with Numpy and Scikit-Learn

            In this tutorial, we’ll discuss the details of generating different synthetic datasets using Numpy and Scikit-learn libraries. We’ll see how different samples can be generated from various distributions with known parameters.

            We’ll also discuss generating datasets for different purposes, such as regression, classification, and clustering. At the end we’ll see how we can generate a dataset that mimics the distribution of an existing dataset.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash How to Write a Variable to a File – Linux Hint

            Apart from being a command-line interpreter, Bash is a very interesting programming language as well. It has so many different aspects that can be explored for mastering oneself in Bash programming. In this article, we will learn the method of writing a variable to a file in Bash using Ubuntu 20.04.

          • How to use Variables in Bash – Linux Hint

            For those who have performed some programming tasks before, they will be familiar with variables. But, for those who haven’t any programming knowledge, variables are used to temporarily store a piece of information. Variables are defined in a program to store specific types of data like integer, float, and strings. As we know that bash is a weakly typed language in which variables are not bound with a particular data type, therefore, no need to define any data type to the variable at the declaration time. If we assign a numeric value to a variable then it will take it as an integer and in the case of a text value, it will behave as a string. In Bash Script, variables that can be defined in a Bash file or from the terminal are used to manage and control the actions of the whole bash program. Variables are quite easy to use but, if you don’t have a proper understanding of how they work then, you can easily get yourself in trouble.

          • The myth of equinoctial gales

            In 2020, “wise ones” here in Tasmania still talk about equinoctial gales. Belief in the coincidence of strong winds and the equinoxes is handed down from generation to generation and reinforced by selective memory. Equinoctial gales have the same durability in local folklore as Rain before seven, fine by eleven and If the moon comes in wet, it’ll be wet for a fortnight. Both of these sayings, typically prefaced with “They say…”, are nonsense but are commonly repeated.

            I wanted to get some local, long-term wind data for analysis: when do gale-force winds blow during the year in Tasmania? Do they regularly appear around the equinoxes? Alas, I ran up against a paywall. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology makes large volumes of weather data freely available from individual recording stations, but the wind data product I was after was priced at AUD$99 for “cost recovery”.

        • Rust

        • Java and JS

          • Javascript String to Int

            Javascript is a language of the web and managing data is an important aspect of any programming language. We often need to manipulate or manage variables according to our needs. Sometimes we need to perform arithmetic operations so, we can’t do that with strings. We need integers to do that.

          • Javascript Substring

            Javascript is a scripting or programming language of the web. Strings are an important part of the variables in any programming language. We often need to manipulate or extract some specific string according to our needs or somewhere we don’t have to show all the text. You must have seen some data (if we specifically talk about strings) on the web that are not fully shown on the screen. How did that happen? How can we get some specific part of a string? So, let’s take a look at what is a string and how we can take a substring of that string.

          • Checkpointing Java from outside of Java – Red Hat Developer

            When OpenJDK‘s Java virtual machine (JVM) runs a Java application, it loads a dozen or so classes before it starts the main class. It runs a method several hundred times before it invokes the optimizing compiler on that method. This preparation is a critical component of Java’s “write once, run anywhere” power, but it comes at the cost of long startup times.

            We’ve been working on a new approach that allows you to load your classes, warm up your just-in-time (JIT) compiler, and then checkpoint your application. Later, you can restore the application to get it running quickly. With these changes, we have seen applications that took seconds to start come up warm in milliseconds.

            In this article, you’ll learn how to checkpoint and restore a running Java program from the Linux command line. In another article soon, I will introduce a Java Native Interface (JNI) library that lets you checkpoint and restore a Java program from inside of your Java code.

  • Leftovers

    • The Myths of Martin Scorsese’s Mob Magnum Opus

      Glenn Kenny begins Made Men, his engrossing critical study of Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990), with a quote from the French novelist Jean Genet: “Treachery is beautiful if it makes us sing.” The citation of Genet, a juvenile delinquent and petty criminal whose 1949 novel The Thief’s Journal dramatized the writer’s picaresque pickpocket adolescence in pre–World War II Europe, is apt in the context of the gangster-movie masterpiece. It works both in the embedded allusion to musicality—Goodfellas being one of the most influential jukebox movies ever made—and in its inversion of traditional morality, the latter a staple of Genet’s fiction. Both novel and film are coming-of-age fables mapped with a demagnetized moral compass, although where Genet advocated passionately for betrayal as the ultimate form of devotion, the made men of Scorsese’s film—adapted from Nicolas Pileggi’s Wiseguys, an American cousin to The Thief’s Journal—prize loyalty above all else. Until, tragically, hilariously, and inevitably, one among them turns stoolie: our narrator, Henry Hill, no less, who testifies against his brothers and whose reward equals exile to witness protection in a suburban purgatory without decent takeout pasta.

    • Our Downward Path to Wisdom

      What local hero hasn’t sat around on a lawn chair after church, Sunday morning coming down, already tanked on Miller and filled with the hot air of American Exceptionalism, looking out at the world, with like-minded friends, through stained glass shades? Unless you’re Black, of course. Then you know all about being an American exception. A dream deferred. A raisin in the sun. And that’s when those fat albino cats from Wall Street, lazin’ round in lawn chairs, exposin’ their jingly jungles for all to see, got their Jim Crow mortgage idea, called Subprime Sublime, all packaged up for swaps and shorts, Black elation their ka-ching balloons rising, rising in the Wall Street sky. Alan Shore confronts the horror show here. Oh-oh, busted balloons time.

      This is as good an entry as any into Paul Street’s new Obama-bashing, Trump-trashing polemic, Hollow Resistance. It’s probably not exactly what Street would prefer to be doing at this late stage of capitalism and democracy. “If someone had told me six months ago that I would soon be writing my third book with Barack Obama’s name in the title,” writes Street, “I would have laughed.” Well, it’s looking like we’ll all be needing laughing gas soon to deal with the pain ahead. We’ve been there before — in 2008, when the titans of finance came crashing down in their own ‘put’ steps. And, in Hollow Resistance, Street connects the causal dots between Clinton, Bush, Obama and the inevitable rise of “the indecent beast Trump.” Is Democracy safe? What’s your answer? Sometimes getting answers is like pulling teeth.

    • The Relationship Between Hardship, Struggle, and Meaning

      If we don’t learn this lesson, and figure out how to imbue our children with it, we will end up repeating massive cycles like the following:

      Enough already. We must do better.

    • LeGOAT

      Many people prefer Jordan (who by my calculations is no higher than 4th best ever behind Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabber, but at least 50 spots ahead of Kobe). The argument for Jordan is one akin to the argument for a higher being. While LeBron is nicknamed King, a man amongst boys, Jordan is hailed as invincible. The case for Jordan is that he accesses a sort of American spirit we can’t exactly see. LeBron is good at basketball. Jordan, the argument goes, is a winner.

      Winning is important for Americans. Our decaying President likes to claim he’s a winner. So was the legend with Jordan. He apparently won everything he played. This is the argument used to enhance his GOAT status. He refused to lose. This refusal to lose is more important to the American psyche than the ability to win. After all how many of us are really winning in late stage capitalism? It’s the drive and fight that’s relatable. The win is supposed to be improbable.

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi Web Browser Brings Back the 80s with Built-In Retro Arcade Game

          Meet Vivaldia, the brand-new retro arcade-style runner game that comes with the Vivaldi 3.4 release of the Chromium-based web browser for Linux, Android, Chromebook, Mac, and Windows platforms. The game is inspired by CyberPunk and Future Noir genres and brings back good old memories for die-hard computer users like me.

          Vivaldia is all about fun! Developed in partnership with Porcelain Fortress, the game is set in a world where humans and technology collide, where you have to claim your city back and save the humans of the city by fighting evil machines.

        • Vivaldi Browser Just Gave People a Massive Reason to Try it
        • Zoom Wants to Partner With, Not Defeat, Slack and Microsoft

          Yuan said he doesn’t wake up thinking about Microsoft as a “top competitor,” but instead sees his company as a good partner for the software giant since Microsoft’s messaging and file-sharing tools, for example, work well with Zoom’s meeting, phone and webinar services.

        • SoftMaker Office 2021 Pro – An okay day-to-day alternative

          The program has come a long way since I tried it the first couple of times, so that’s quite commendable, but like most software in this space, it cannot really replace Microsoft Office for all needs and usecases. If we judge by the strictest of requirements, one missing logo or one missing line of text can be infinite damage in a printed brochure or a work presentation. Not something people can afford. Of course, compatibility with Microsoft Office isn’t the only thing, but it’s critical. On top of that, if anything, I’d like to see better, faster style management and more attention given to the non-text components of the suite. All in all, decent but not stellar. Worth testing, so you can decide whether the price warrants the benefits. And we’re done.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (jackson-databind and tomcat8), Fedora (dovecot), Oracle (firefox, spice and spice-gtk, and thunderbird), Red Hat (flash-plugin), SUSE (ansible, crowbar-core, crowbar-openstack, grafana, grafana-natel-discrete-panel, openstack-aodh, openstack-barbican, openstack-cinder, openstack-gnocchi, openstack-heat, openstack-ironic, openstack-magnum, openstack-manila, openstack-monasca-agent, openstack-murano, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-vpnaas, openstack-nova, openstack-sahara, python-Pillow, rubygem-crowbar-client, bind, crmsh, kernel, libproxy, php74, rubygem-activesupport-5_1, and tigervnc), and Ubuntu (dom4j, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-lts-trusty, and linux-hwe, linux-gke-5.0, linux-gke-5.3, linux-oem-osp1, linux-raspi2-5.3).

          • BleedingTooth: critical kernel Bluetooth vulnerability

            Several flaws in the BlueZ kernel Bluetooth stack prior to Linux 5.9 are being reported by Intel and by Google (GHSA-h637-c88j-47wq, GHSA-7mh3-gq28-gfrq, and GHSA-ccx2-w2r4-x649). They are collectively being called “BleedingTooth”, and more information will be forthcoming, though there is already a YouTube video demonstrating remote code execution using BleedingTooth.

          • Google, Intel Warn on ‘Zero-Click’ Kernel Bug in Linux-Based IoT Devices | Threatpost

            Intel and Google are urging users to update the Linux kernel to version 5.9 or later.

            Google and Intel are warning of a high-severity flaw in BlueZ, the Linux Bluetooth protocol stack that provides support for core Bluetooth layers and protocols to Linux-based internet of things (IoT) devices.

          • Osquery: Using D-Bus to query systemd data

            During my summer internship at Trail of Bits I worked on osquery, the massively popular open-source endpoint monitoring agent used for intrusion detection, threat hunting, operational monitoring, and many other functions. Available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and FreeBSD, osquery exposes an operating system as a high-performance relational database, which allows you to write SQL-based queries to explore operating system data.

            My initial task was to port osquery’s startup_items table to Linux. Since the startup_items table is only available on macOS and Windows, we wanted to port it to Linux while keeping the current schema. Porting to Linux is complicated, though; like macOS and Windows, Linux has an indefinite number of locations for startup items, so I needed to parse the data in each location and insert it into the table. This would have been fairly simple, but we couldn’t directly parse the data for the systemd location. Ultimately, we added systemd support to the table through the D-Bus API and created a brand-new table for systemd units.

          • Syslog-ng and Security Onion – Blog – syslog-ng Community – syslog-ng Community

            One of the most interesting projects utilizing syslog-ng is Security Onion, a free and open source Linux distribution for threat hunting, enterprise security monitoring, and log management. It is utilizing syslog-ng for log collection and log transfer and uses the Elastic stack to store and search log messages. Even if you do not use its advanced security features, you can still use it for centralized log collection and as a nice web interface for your logs. But it is also worth getting acquainted with its security monitoring features, as it can show you useful insights about your network. Best of all, Security Onion is completely free and open source, with commercial support available for it.

            From this blog, you can learn how to get started with Security Onion in evaluation mode. This does not mean any limitations, just a simplified setup where all services are installed on a single host. That said, for a production environment, a distributed installation is recommended instead.

          • Third lot of Fisher & Paykel documents leaked on dark web

            Cyber criminals, who used the Windows Nefilim ransomware to attack the appliance maker Fisher & Paykel earlier this year, have released a third tranche of documents, stolen from the company during the incident, on the dark web.

          • Ransomware attacks tend to affect IT staff morale: survey

            IT professionals at companies that have been hit by ransomware are nearly thrice as likely (17%) to feel they are “significantly behind” in understanding online threats in comparison to staff at organisations which have not suffered such attacks (6%), a global survey claims.

          • Google and Intel warn of high-severity Bluetooth security bug in Linux

            Google and Intel are warning of a high-severity Bluetooth flaw in all but the most recent version of the Linux Kernel. While a Google researcher said the bug allows seamless code execution by attackers within Bluetooth range, Intel is characterizing the flaw as providing an escalation of privileges or the disclosure of information.

            The flaw resides in BlueZ, the software stack that by default implements all Bluetooth core protocols and layers for Linux. Besides Linux laptops, it’s used in many consumer or industrial Internet-of-things devices. It works with Linux versions 2.4.6 and later.

          • Google and Intel Warn of High-Severity Bluetooth Security Bug In Linux
          • Google and Intel warn of Linux Kernel flaw

            Google and Intel are warning of a high-severity Bluetooth flaw in all but the most recent version of the Linux Kernel.

            Google said the bug allows seamless code execution by attackers within the Bluetooth range, and Intel is characterising the flaw as providing an escalation of privileges or the disclosure of information.

            The flaw resides in BlueZ, the software stack that by default implements all Bluetooth core protocols and layers for Linux. Besides Linux laptops, it is used in many consumer or industrial Internet-of-things devices. It works with Linux versions 2.4.6 and later.

            Dubbed BleedingTooth, by Google engineer Andy Nguyen the bug provides a reliable way for nearby attackers to execute malicious code of their choice on vulnerable Linux devices that use BlueZ for Bluetooth.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Court Says Twitter Must Unmask User Whose Bogus Document Jumpstarted Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory

              Lawsuits related to false reports about the murder of Seth Rich — a DNC staffer conspiracy theorists have continually tried to link to the leak of DNC emails to DCLeaks and WikiLeaks back in 2016 — continue to make their way through the court system. Seth Rich’s brother, Aaron, has been pursuing a defamation suit against several parties (including conspiracy theorist/Fox New commentator [but I repeat myself…] Ed Butowsky, who has engaged in some litigation of his own).

            • FBI Sent A Special Task Force To Portland To ‘Exploit’ Phones Taken From Protesters

              Ongoing protests in Portland have been met with a federal response. The opening salvo was disturbing: Gestapo-esque tactics carried out by unidentified federal officers driving unmarked vehicles. It didn’t get any better after that. The federal task force headed by the DHS seemed more willing to escalate the situation than settle things down, even if they were supposedly there to just do federal things like protect federal property and investigate federal crimes.

            • Escalation in Portland

              That ex-police officer is now out on bail and living out of state.

              On Sunday night October 11, 2020, two historic statues were toppled in a inner city park that is near Portland State Univ. It is often referred to as the South Park Blocks. Both statues are about seventy yards from each other. There is a ten foot bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln that was dedicated  on October 5, 1928. There is also a very large bronze statue  of Teddy Roosevelt on horseback as a “Rough Rider,” that was  dedicated in 1922. Red-orange paint was sprayed on Lincoln’s  hands, and red-orange paint was sprayed in Roosevelt’s eyes, and on the ground where Roosevelt’s head landed. On his face is written, ” Black Lives Matter.” On his hat is written, ” Say Their Names.”  The Oregon Historical Society is located very near both statues. All the windows and glass doors where shattered all  around the building. This can all be seen in the four photographs that are attached. Note: I doubt very seriously if a Black citizen was involved in this action.

            • To hell with the Labor Code Moscow is requiring employers to collect and share employee personal data illegally and shift 30 percent of all staff to remote work, no matter the industry

              The coronavirus is tearing through Muscovites again at a pace not seen since the start of the pandemic. In response, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has ordered employers to shift more than a quarter of their workforces to remote work, leading to confusion among independent contractors and desperation in industries like foodservice, where remote work is simply impractical. Meduza correspondent Alexandra Sivtsova spoke to several entrepreneurs in Moscow to find out how they’re managing the city’s new demands.

            • Protect Your Privacy at Protests

              In a recent Resources article, we looked at ways to protect your digital privacy, providing links, tools, and guidelines to help you navigate such topics and situations as “do not track” regulations, GDPR, medical privacy, border crossings, and seizure of devices. In this article, we’ll look more closely at how to protect your privacy at peaceful protests.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Imperial Irony: New York Times Announces Halt to ‘At War’ Section Even as Endless US War Continues

        “The forever war outlasting the NYT section on the forever war is a very forever war thing to happen.”

      • Despite Ambiguity in International Law, Palestinians are Winning the ‘Legitimacy War’

        Despite the importance and relevance of the term, however, it rarely translates into anything tangible. The Israeli siege on Gaza, for example, has continued, unabated, for nearly 14 years, without international law serving as a protector of Palestinian civilians against Israeli violations of human rights. More recently, on September 13, the Israeli government approved 1,000 illegal settlement units in the West Bank, in stark violation of international law. It is likely that Israel will go ahead with it, anyway.

        With regard to violating international law, Israel is in a unique category of its own, for Israel’s behavior is always governed by its military strength and the backing of its Western allies.

      • Two Massive New Leaks Show Dirty Underbelly of Empire

        They know their personal reality, but unfortunately their reality is thoroughly detached from real pure, uncut reality. For example, do they know that police across the country work with corporations to criminalize journalism? Do they know that large PR companies created a false reality to justify U.S. intervention in Syria? Do they know the word “intervention” acts as a euphemism for “cold-blooded murder under false pretenses”?

        Americans don’t know these aspects of reality. You and I wouldn’t know either if it weren’t for leaks and whistleblowers.

      • So Long, Sister Ardeth Platte, Anti-Nuclear Activist

        Sister Ardeth was the inspiration for a Netflix series about women in prison “Orange Is the New Black,” but a good guess is that fame is something Sister Ardeth may have felt a little funny about. Glamorous characters and the magic of the screen is not what antinuclear protesters lives were and are about. Antinuclear protesters are often acquainted with or associated with Catholic Worker houses founded by Dorothy Day and have a community about which most protesters can’t even dream.

        It is that spiritual connection that Daniel Berrigan observed was missing from the New Left, a connection that spans protest movements and keeps the flame of outrage and love alive in some. A spiritual sense need not be religious, but can be as simple as a connection to the natural environment.

      • Yeltsin’s disciple who would have bombed Iraq, too Nine more declassified, revealing conversations between Vladimir Putin and Bill Clinton’s administration
      • Dangers of Military Confrontation Between the United States and China Around Taiwan and in the South China Sea

        In 2020, The Trump administration has dramatically increased the number of Freedom of Navigation missions.

      • Miftakhov’s case The death of a secret witness marks the latest twist in the trial of a Russian graduate student and anarchist activist

        The trial of graduate student and anarchist activist Azat Miftakhov is ongoing at Moscow’s Golovinsky District Court. He stands accused of attacking a United Russia office in 2018. Miftakhov, who has pleaded not guilty, has received support from world-famous academics, including linguist Noam Chomsky. During the latest hearing on Monday, October 13, one of the prosecution’s key witnesses was supposed to testify — he allegedly saw Miftakhov at the United Russia office on the night in question and later recognized him by his “expressive eyebrows.” But the secret witness wasn’t able to appear before the court — during the hearing, state prosecutors announced that he had died. “Meduza” breaks down the latest developments in Azat Miftakhov’s case.

      • Cop in Novosibirsk confesses to killing his ex-girlfriend, a trans woman

        A police officer in Novosibirsk has confessed to murdering a local 24-year-old transgender woman. According to the news outlet Ngs.ru, the two previously dated and the officer killed her “out of jealousy.” Following the suspect’s confession, the city’s police department promptly terminated his employment with prejudice.

      • The US Is Still the World’s Biggest Arms Dealer

        The United States has the dubious distinction of being the world’s leading arms dealer. It dominates the global trade in a historic fashion and nowhere is that domination more complete than in the endlessly war-torn Middle East. There, believe it or not, the United States controls nearly half the arms market. From Yemen to Libya to Egypt, sales by this country and its allies are playing a significant role in fueling some of the world’s most devastating conflicts. But Donald Trump, even before he was felled by Covid-19 and sent to Walter Reed Medical Center, could not have cared less, as long as he thought such trafficking in the tools of death and destruction would help his political prospects.

      • Deputy head physician at Omsk hospital that treated Alexey Navalny has resigned ‘for personal reasons’

        The deputy head physician at the Omsk hospital that briefly treated opposition figure Alexey Navalny in August has resigned “for personal reasons,” according to the news agency RIA Novosti. Anatoly Kalinichenko told the website Ngs55.ru that his decision to take a job elsewhere is apolitical and due simply to the fact that he’d grown tired of administrative work. He just wants to return to surgery, he says.

      • The Art of the Weapons Deal in the Age of Trump

        The United States has the dubious distinction of being the world’s leading arms dealer. It dominates the global trade in a historic fashion and nowhere is that domination more complete than in the endlessly war-torn Middle East. There, believe it or not, the U.S. controls nearly half the arms market. From Yemen to Libya to Egypt, sales by this country and its allies are playing a significant role in fueling some of the world’s most devastating conflicts. But Donald Trump, even before he was felled by Covid-19 and sent to Walter Reed Medical Center, could not have cared less, as long as he thought such trafficking in the tools of death and destruction would help his political prospects.

      • Donald Trump Was Complicit in the Plot to Kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

        Right-wing domestic terrorism doesn’t fester in a vacuum.

      • The U.S. of A(rms)

        The art of the weapons deal in the age of Trump.

      • The Nuclearization of American Diplomacy

        On August 21st, six nuclear-capable B-52H Stratofortress bombers, representing approximately one-seventh of the war-ready US B-52H bomber fleet, flew from their home base in North Dakota to Fairford Air Base in England for several weeks of intensive operations over Europe. Although the actual weapons load of those giant bombers was kept secret, each of them is capable of carrying eight AGM-86B nuclear-armed, air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) in its bomb bay. Those six planes, in other words, could have been carrying 48 city-busting thermonuclear warheads. (The B-52H can also carry 12 ALCMs on external pylons, but none were visible on this occasion.) With such a load alone, in other words, those six planes possessed the capacity to incinerate much of western Russia, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.

      • Civil War Would Look Different This Time

        There are lots of reasons people could erupt at this point. The real question is how widespread it is, how intense, and how long-lasting.

        I think that’s what Civil War means at this stage of America’s lifespan.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Thank You For Your Transparency Report, Here’s Everything That’s Missing

        Every major social media platform—from Facebook to Reddit, Instagram to YouTube—moderates and polices content shared by users. Platforms do so as a matter of self-interest, commercial or otherwise. But platforms also moderate user content in response to pressure from a variety of interest groups and/or governments. 

        As a consequence, social media platforms have become the arbiters of speech online, defining what may or may not be said and shared by taking down content accordingly. As the public has become increasingly aware and critical of the paramount role private companies play in defining the freedom of expression of millions of users online, social media companies have been facing increased pressure to stand accountable for their content moderation practices. In response to such demands, and partially to fulfill legal requirements stipulated by regulations like Germany’s NetzDG, Facebook and other social media companies publish detailed ‘transparency reports’ meant to give some insight into their moderation practices.

    • Environment

      • ‘Uninhabitable Hell’ for Millions: UN Report Sounds Alarm on Humanity’s Continued Destruction of Planet Earth

        Political and business leaders are being “willfully negligent” as natural disasters nearly double this century, the world body’s special representative for disaster risk reduction said Monday. 

      • Journalists Must Demystify the Green New Deal

        In a word, journalists must demystify the Green New Deal. The public and policy-makers alike need a foundation of accurate information and fact-based analysis before they can intelligently decide whether to support this response to the climate problem, not to mention the ongoing economic contraction driven by coronavirus lockdowns.

        That Republicans’ efforts have succeeded in making the words “Green New Deal” political poison is dubious. Polls show the general idea is actually quite popular with Americans, and more than 70 percent of Americans reject the notion that strong climate policy will hurt the economy. What seems most accurate is, as one poll by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation found last year, that many Americans simply don’t know enough about the Green New Deal to form an opinion one way or another.

        In this regard, the press has not helped. More than three in four Americans in the Post poll said they had heard “little or nothing” about the Green New Deal. Multiple studies from the research organization Media Matters for America have found that the Green New Deal is mentioned frequently on Fox News, typically in mocking terms, but almost never on CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks.

      • This is the worst fire season the American West has ever seen

        The catastrophic fires have destroyed hundreds of homes and killed dozens of people. But they have also put surviving residents’ health at risk. At times, cities such as San Francisco, Portland and Seattle have suffered some of the most polluted air on the planet. Gavin Newsom, California’s governor, likened breathing the air in wildfire zones to “smoking 20 packs of cigarettes”. A recent study estimates that every additional microgram per cubic meter of daily PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter) exposure causes 0.69 additional deaths per million people aged 65 or over. Based on this calculation, Marshall Burke, Sam Heft-Neal and Michael Wara of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) estimate that poor air quality from this year’s wildfires will kill thousands of people, most of them elderly, in California alone. As wildfires become more common because of climate change, such deadly consequences will increasingly be felt across the country.

      • Amy Coney Barrett’s Remarks on Climate Change Raise Alarm That a Climate Denier Is About to Join the Supreme Court

        After Barrett said she doesn’t have “firm views” on the subject, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) pressed her on those views during the hearing Wednesday, where she continued to dodge the question. “I don’t think that my views on global warming or climate change are relevant to the job I would do as a judge,” Barrett said, adding, “I haven’t studied scientific data. I’m not really in a position to offer any informed opinion on what I think causes global warming.”

      • Planet Earth, Says NOAA, Just Had Its Hottest September on Record

        “We’ve broken the climate system. We are in a climate emergency.”

      • Federal investigators reportedly designate surfer as victim in Kamchatka pollution case, despite mounting evidence that algal bloom is to blame for ecological disaster

        Federal agents have reportedly designated Russian national surfing team member Maya Rudik as a victim in the felony investigation into the pollution of Avacha Bay on Kamchatka’s shores. Rudik’s lawyers told the news agency RBC that she was diagnosed with a chemical burn on her cornea by doctors in Kamchatka and in Moscow.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • From Abundant to Critically Endangered: Shark Species Nearly Vanishes in Just 40 Years
        • Biodiversity is an Asset Worth Bending Over Backwards to Protect

          The rapid loss of plants and animals across the globe is nothing new, scientists and conservationists have been raising the alarm for decades. But this nightmare—literally happening in our backyards—puts the catastrophe in stark relief and should make every New Mexican rise up to demand action from state leadership. New Mexico is one of the most biodiverse states in the union. We host both subtropic species and subarctic species and our range of ecosystems, plants, and critters is part of our cultural heritage and our economic future. Biodiversity is an asset worth bending over backwards to protect.

          But who or what protects the great biodiversity of New Mexico?  The agency theoretically tasked with this consequential job is the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. But the Department is primarily interested in promoting hunting and propagating species of interest to hunters and anglers. Most state wildlife agencies are the same in terms of focus.

        • ‘Man’s role is insignificant’ Scientist Tatyana Orlova explains the ‘red tide’ wreaking havoc off the coast of Russia’s Kamchatka

          On October 12, the Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Andrey Andrianov, announced that the near complete decimation of marine life along the seabed of the Avacha Bay in Kamchatka was not due to chemical contamination, but rather the result of an abnormally active algal bloom, known as a “red tide.” In effect, there are large concentrations of microalgae reproducing in the bay and secreting substances that are toxic to invertebrates, he explained. The day before, on October 11, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) Vice-Rector Dmitry Zemtsov reported that the university’s researchers had reached the same conclusion after a research trip to the area, where they found no confirmation of a toxic leak from local landfills, or a fuel spill, or pollution due to seismic activity. To find out more, Meduza special correspondent Irina Kravtsova spoke to Russia’s leading researcher on red tides in the Far East — Tatyana Orlova, the author of dozens of scientific papers on this topic and the head of the Laboratory of Marine Microbiota at the National Scientific Center of Marine Biology in Vladivostok. 

        • Shilling for the Livestock Industry in Greater Yellowstone

          The misinformation presented on sagebrush, juniper, and Doug fir “invasion” in southwest Montana lacks critical scientific expertise and merely mouths the livestock industry’s propaganda. While I am glad that GYC acknowledges that wildfire is “natural” and has always occurred in the West, the lack of historical perspective on the relationship between wildfire, sagebrush, and juniper ecology is evident.

          GYC continues to promote the livestock industry’s assertion that most fires were “low severity” and frequent—and that these fires kept “fuels” low and thus avoided the “mega” fires that we see now.

        • In California’s Agricultural Heartland, a Mayor Is Running on Compassion

          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. This installment was produced with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

    • Finance

      • Activists Are Mobilizing to Help Incarcerated People Get Their Stimulus Checks

        For months incarcerated people and their families heard conflicting messages about whether they were eligible to receive the pandemic stimulus payments provided by Congress as the Trump administration attempted to block prisoners from receiving their checks. Last week a federal judge slammed the administration with an order to provide the stimulus relief, and now advocates across the country are working to ensure low-income people caged in state and federal prisons can apply for the much-needed federal aid as deadlines loom.

      • DeJoy’s Donations to GOP Convention May Align With Wife’s Ambassador Nomination

        Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, whose political contributions are the subject of multiple congressional investigations and a campaign finance complaint, donated nearly $700,000 to the host committee who put on the Republican National Convention, according to recent Federal Election Commission filings.

      • ‘Millions of Real People’s Lives Are at Stake’: As Pelosi Battles White House, Ro Khanna Says Democrats Can Win Morally—and Politically

        “It is in the interest of progressive Democrats to show that government can be a force of good, and this is the time for us to act.”

      • Sen. Warren Slams Disney for 28,000 Fired Workers Amid Stock Buyback Spree

        “It appears that—prior to, and during the pandemic—Disney took good care of its top executives and shareholders—and now is hanging its front-line workers out to dry.”

      • Issued ‘When No One Was Looking,’ Critics Warn New Trump Guidance on Eviction Moratorium a Blow to Renter Protections and Public Health

        “Public health evidence is clear: Eviction increases Covid-19 deaths and spread.”

      • Huawei looking to sell low-end smartphone unit Honor: report

        Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies is making a bid to sell its Honor smartphone unit which markets cheaper devices compared to the flagship ones that are put out under the Huawei brand.

      • With 42,000 Layoffs Since 2017, AT&T Plans Thousands More Layoffs At HBO, Time Warner

        Since 2017, AT&T has received not only a $42 billion tax break courtesy of the Trump administration, but billions more in regulatory favors from the Trump FCC, including the repeal of net neutrality, the erosion of much of the FCC’s authority to police natural telecom monopolies, and the elimination of broadband-specific privacy rules. In exchange, AT&T promised thousands of “high paying jobs” and a massive spike in investment. Instead, AT&T fired more than 42,000 employees and trimmed its overall 2020 investment. It’s nice work if you can get it.

      • Vote NO On CA Prop 22: Reject This Corporate Power Grab

        Here’s what you need to know about Proposition 22 on the California ballot, and why I’m urging you to vote NO on this corporate power grab.Right now, massive corporations like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart are pouring nearly $200 million into a giant PR campaign designed to get you to vote for this. It’s their measure – they put it on the ballot – and it’s the most expensive ballot measure ever, not just in California, but in the entire country. Prop 22 would allow companies like Uber and Lyft to continue to misclassify employees as independent contractors, and eliminate the rights of millions of other workers – who’d no longer be entitled to unemployment insurance, overtime, sick leave, protections against discrimination and sexual harrassment, or the right to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions. A study by my colleagues at UC Berkeley found that under Prop 22, Uber and Lyft drivers would be guaranteed only $5.64 an hour – a far cry from the $13 an hour minimum wage they’d otherwise get. And the vast majority would not qualify for the health benefits outlined in Prop 22. Uber and Lyft claim most drivers want to remain independent contractors because they prefer the flexibility. Rubbish. Uber cites two surveys to support this claim, one of them unscientific and the other paid for by Uber itself.The fact is, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart and other corporations are spending hundreds of millions on this ballot measure so they won’t have to pay the costs of worker rights and protections. By not paying into unemployment insurance, for example, Uber and Lyft have saved a combined $413 million since 2014. But as a result, their drivers don’t qualify for unemployment benefits. Make no mistake: Prop 22 is a lousy deal for Uber and Lyft drivers, and for millions of other workers. This is why I’m urging you to vote NO on Prop 22, and to urge your friends and family to do the same. Don’t let big corporations pay hundreds of millions to strip workers of the rights and protections they need. 

      • 3 Reasons Pelosi Should Take Trump’s $1.8 Trillion Stimulus Deal

        Pelosi has little to lose from passing the White House’s $1.8 trillion offer, and putting it in McConnell’s lap.

      • The Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Take Bailout Funds and Lay Off Workers, Says House Report

        In the spring, Congress created a program to save aviation worker jobs. Then the Trump administration undermined that program by granting hundreds of millions of dollars in relief to aviation companies for jobs they’d already largely eliminated, according to a House report released Friday.

        As a result, thousands of workers at airline caterers and other contractors are out of work while their employers received public funds that were supposed to be passed to workers. What’s more, at least two companies that received hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds restored full pay to management, the report found.

      • Inequality in America: Far Beyond Extreme

        All eye-popping numbers to be sure. But don’t be fooled. These numbers understate our problem. And not by just a little.

        Let’s consider, for a moment, what our income and wealth numbers are really telling us. Statistics on how we share our wealth right now tell us where things stand, but not how we ended up where we stand — or where we’re heading. Stats on how we share our income don’t tell us anything about how we’re sharing in wealth’s accumulation.

      • Venezuela’s Ability to Fight COVID-19 is Badly Hamstrung by the 31 Metric Tons of Gold Stolen From Its Treasury

        Mr. Guaidó, unlike President Maduro, has not won an election to the presidency, nor is he in the line of succession to become president in any eventuality. The anointing of Mr. Guaidó came from the United States government, not the Venezuelan people; the UK Foreign Office and the lower courts agreed with Washington, while the England and Wales Court of Appeal relied for its decision on fact and logic.

        The main finding of the Court of Appeal is that while the UK Foreign Office has stated that it does not recognize the government of President Maduro, it continues to conduct diplomatic affairs with the representatives of that government. Ambassador Rocío Del Valle Maneiro González presented her credentials to the Queen of England in 2015 and has for these past five years represented the government of President Maduro in the UK. The current British ambassador to Venezuela—Andrew Soper—presented his credentials to President Maduro on February 5, 2018; he remains in office in Caracas. Such basic diplomatic relations indicated to the Court of Appeal that President Maduro—in the eyes of the UK government—“does in fact exercise some or all of the powers of the President of Venezuela.”

      • The Nightmare Facing the Poor and Working Class If There’s Not Another Stimulus

        With time running out and Republicans balking at more Covid relief, U.S. workers are facing a future of financial misery.

      • Social Security’s Cost of Living Adjustment Is Inadequate. Democrats Have a Plan to Fix That.

        After lifetimes of work, Americans have earned their Social Security. It is well past time they get a raise.

      • Amazon Workers in Germany Strike on Prime Day for Better Pay and Right to Organize ‘Without Big Brother Watching’

        “While Amazon claims that they respect workers’ right to join and form trade unions, it has not publicly disavowed… claims about surveillance and tracking of worker organizing and labor union activity.”

      • Because ‘People Are Suffering,’ Ro Khanna Says Democrats Have ‘Moral Obligation’ to Pursue Deal With White House on Covid Relief

        “We are the party that stands for the working poor,” said the California Democrat.

      • One Weird Trick for Destroying the Digital Economy

        When you clicked on the link to this article, it triggered an automated bidding war for its advertising space. In a matter of milliseconds, an ad server loaded the auction’s winner: the ad you see right next to this text. Lately, mine have been for the online clothing retailer Kotn—I’ve been weighing whether or not to buy the same pair of pants for weeks now.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Schedules Town Hall Event at Exact Same Time as Biden’s on Thursday

        President Donald Trump will participate in a virtual town hall question-and-answer forum hosted by NBC News on Thursday evening, an event that will air at the exact same time as another town hall on ABC featuring Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

      • Our Deranged President

        Doctors suggest Trump’s erratic behavior may stem from his coronavirus treatment, but that slides by a history of mental instability, as his niece, Mary Trump, recently revealed. His behavior has been erratic, and unpredictable, for many years—demanding absolute loyalty from subordinates, lashing out at critics, spewing racist and misogynist insults—all while proclaiming his superior wisdom and leadership. The virus only illuminates the worst in him.

        Trump has always been a threat to national security, as numerous former officials, Republicans as well as Democrats, have pointed out. But now he’s a different kind of security threat as he parades around the Oval Office and prepares to venture out for more mass rallies, all the while insisting his illness is really a positive thing and the experimental drug Regeneron is a “cure.”

      • Twitter Attempts To Add A Bit Of Friction In Run Up To The Election

        Over the last few months, we’ve seen various internet sites (mainly Twitter and Facebook) experimenting, adjusting policies, and (well, to be honest) scrambling to put in place various policies to deal with the concerns many have about how their sites will be used for mis- and disinformation regarding the election. Most of this has been focused on questions about what content to remove, or what (and how) to “flag” certain content. Last week, Twitter announced some bigger plans to adjust some elements of how the site works at least through the election. It’s an interesting experiment, and it will be worth following to see how effective the changes are.

      • The Simple, Profound Message of Pope Francis’s New Encyclical

        Pope Francis’s new Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (“All Brothers”), calls for all of us to anchor our societies and our politics in encounter: the actual meeting of people who think differently and have different life experiences. This call to encounter is a refreshing approach to shaping our world not through power dynamics but through the experience of all—especially those who are marginalized. It is an invigorating approach amid the hyper-partisan electoral politics in the United States.

      • All You Fascists Bound To Lose
      • Paula Jean Swearengin Wants to Turn West Virginia Blue

        It’s no hard task to imagine the rivalry between Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Paula Jean Swearengin playing out between both candidates’ grandfathers in Appalachia 100 years ago. The two women running for the US Senate in West Virginia come down on opposite sides of just about every issue, much as their fathers and grandfathers had before them.

      • Trump’s Weaponization of the National Security State

        It couldn’t be more worrisome to have every principal of the national security team willing to follow the dictates and commands from someone as unhinged as Donald Trump.  There appears to be no concern with someone who tweeted last week after spending several days in Walter Reed Hospital: “I’m back because I’m a perfect specimen and I’m extremely young.”  And if that wasn’t enough to cause alarm, he then released a video in which he stated: “I’m a senior.  I known you don’t know that.  Nobody knows that.”

        The ostrich puts his head in the sand and because he can’t see, it assumes that it can’t be seen. Donald Trump has lost touch with reality, but those in his administration and his party do not presume to see.

      • Russia’s former deputy prime minister Alexey Kudrin reveals planned attempt on his life in the early 2000s

        Accounts Chamber Chairman Alexey Kudrin has revealed that there was a planned attempt on his life when he served as Russia’s deputy prime minister in the early 2000s. Kudrin said this in an interview with the Russian state news agency TASS, which was published on October 12, to mark his sixtieth birthday:

      • Texas Is Limiting Ballot Drop-Off Locations. Activists Are Pushing Back.

        Despite a last-minute ruling restricting absentee voting in Texas, voting rights advocates in the state’s hardest hit communities of color are redoubling their efforts to get out the vote amid one of the most severe voter suppression campaigns in the state in recent election cycles.

      • How to Save Democracy From GOP Sabotage

        There is no reason to accept the structure of our democracy when it repeatedly empowers a ruthless minority to impose its will over the majority.

      • Nearly 5.2 Million Americans Will Be Disenfranchised in 2020 Election Due to Felony Convictions: Study

        Black and Latinx people are disproportionately affected by disenfranchisement laws, which are still in effect in most U.S. states.

      • Liberalism and Fascism: Partners in Crime

        This framing of the relationship between liberalism and fascism not only presents them as complete opposites, but it also defines the very essence of the fight against fascism as the struggle for liberalism. In so doing, it forges an ideological false antagonism. For what fascism and liberalism share is their undying devotion to the capitalist world order. Although one prefers the velvet glove of hegemonic and consensual rule, and the other relies more readily on the iron fist of repressive violence, they are both intent on maintaining and developing capitalist social relations, and they have worked together throughout modern history in order to do so. What this apparent conflict masks—and this is its true ideological power—is that the real, fundamental dividing line is not between two different modes of capitalist governance, but between capitalists and anti-capitalists. The long psychological warfare campaign waged under the deceptive banner of ‘totalitarianism’ has done much to further dissimulate this line of demarcation by disingenuously presenting communism as a form of fascism. As Domenico Losurdo and others have explained with great historical precision and detail, this is pure ideological pap.

        Given the ways in which the current public debate on fascism tends to be framed in relationship to purported liberal resistance, there could scarcely be a timelier task than that of scrupulously re-examining the historical record of actually existing liberalism and fascism. As we shall see even in this brief overview, far from being enemies, they have been—sometimes subtle, sometimes forthright—partners in capitalist crime. For the sake of argument and concision, I will here focus primarily on a conjunctural account of the non-controversial cases of Italy and Germany. However, it is worth stating at the outset that the Nazi racial police state and colonial rampage—which far surpassed Italy’s capabilities—were modeled on the United States.

      • Trump Has Cut the Census Short. As a Census Worker, I Can See Who Will Suffer.

        The Supreme Court effectively approved the Trump administration’s request to cut the 2020 census short in a ruling issued Tuesday in response to an emergency request made last week by the Justice Department. Hours later, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that all operations, including door-to-door interviews, would cease on October 15 — 16 days earlier than previously scheduled.

      • Top Republicans call to punish social media sites for limiting reach of dubious Biden exposé

        Twitter stoked Trump’s wrath in May when it fact-checked two of his tweets, prompting him to threaten that he would “strongly regulate” or “close” down social media platforms that “totally silence conservatives voices.” Later that month he signed an executive order that ordered the Federal Communications Commission to examine exempting social media platforms from Section 230 protections.

      • How to Get Through This Election

        Ultimately the rise of misinformation, polarization and emotion-filled content is our new reality, and the biggest threat we face in this moment is voter suppression. So rather than “muting” friends and family members when they post conspiracy theories on Facebook, start a conversation about the serious damage that rumors and falsehoods are doing to our lives, our health, our relationships and our communities. Do not focus on the veracity of what is being posted; use empathetic and inclusive language to ask how people are voting. No one should be shamed for sharing misinformation because we are all susceptible to it—especially now, when our worlds have been turned upside down and many of us are operating in fight-or-flight mode. To avoid losing ourselves in the noise, we have to help one another adapt.

      • Experts dismiss “garbage fire” Hunter Biden exposé in NY Post: “Seems like a complete fabrication”

        The authenticity of the alleged emails published by The Post has not been independently verified. Accusations of corruption against the Bidens have been repeatedly debunked by journalists.

      • Facebook and Twitter are restricting a disputed New York Post story about Joe Biden’s son

        The Post article, published today, claims to have obtained emails and video from a laptop that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden. But some journalists have questioned the veracity of the information, which the Post says was provided with help from President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and former adviser Steve Bannon. Meanwhile, the article has been distributed widely on social media. According to CrowdTangle data, it’s garnered over 40,000 interactions on Facebook and a far smaller number on Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter. A number of other outlets have aggregated the story, and it’s unclear whether Facebook could restrict those articles’ reach as well.

      • Facebook, Twitter Put Restrictions on New York Post’s Hunter Biden ‘Smoking Gun’ Story

        Facebook on Wednesday identified the Post story as potential misinformation and said it was limiting distribution of the article on its platform. In a Twitter post, Facebook policy communications director Andy Stone said that the Post story was “eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners” and that “In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.” Stone later tweeted that the review was “part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation.”

        Twitter disabled the Post’s original tweets linking to two Hunter Biden stories. In addition, Twitter on Wednesday blocked users from tweeting the Post story, with an error message saying, “We can’t complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful.”

      • There is a way to make America’s 2020 election results trustworthy — but we have to start now

        In this op-ed, we discuss three simple but essential tools that will produce strong, verifiable evidence that the reported winner really won, despite any fraud or malfunction. This means generating a dependable record of votes on paper ballots, keeping that paper trail physically secure, and auditing the reported results against that paper.

      • The Replacements: Harris vs. Pence

        By now, as regards the vice-presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, you have heard that “not much was said”, “no one made a mistake”, and that both candidates “held their own.”

        You may also have heard that it was more “civilized” than the presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden and that the moderator, Susan Page from the Washington bureau of USA Today, managed to keep the candidates “in line”.

      • We Should Listen to Scientists Sounding the Alarm on Trump

        Voting President Donald Trump out of office is only the first step.

      • ‘Barr Must Go’: Ethics Groups Demand Congress Impeach Attorney General for Using DOJ as ‘Vehicle’ to Advance Trump Reelection

        “Barr appears to embrace an autocratic view of the power of the executive branch, specifically presidential power.”

      • The Demographics of Voting

        The United States is not a country of overwhelmingly democratic sentiment. It was, after all, founded by a propertied and slave-owning White Male grande bourgeoisie resistant to colonial taxes imposed by 18th century Imperialist England; and it has resisted every popular social movement since to expand the franchise to life, liberty, prosperity, equality under the law, freedom of self-expression, and participation in democratic governance.

        It is a country with the most propagandized population on the face of the Earth, ruled by a corporate-owned political class of mediocrities whose worship of power reveal their deepest instincts to be authoritarian, materialistic, careerist, sexist, white supremacist, and xenophobic. As a result, the “right to vote” is a precious commodity however unevenly it may be available and however tenuously it may affect the course of governance in favor of the public good.

      • Virginia Online Registration Portal Left Unworkable—Just Hours Before Deadline—After Cable ‘Accidentally Cut’

        “Election officials in Virginia have again failed the public,” said the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

      • Trump Deploys the Strongman’s Playbook
      • A Rigged Judiciary Leads to Rigged Elections: Ari Berman on Barrett Hearings & GOP Voter Suppression

        Amy Coney Barrett’s involvement in the court fight over the 2000 presidential election, when she was a member of George W. Bush’s legal team, shows she is willing to bend the law to benefit Republican candidates, says Mother Jones reporter Ari Berman. “That’s what’s so disturbing about Amy Coney Barrett, because that’s exactly what President Trump wants to do right now,” says Berman. “He wants a justice who will rule his way on the vote count, no matter what the facts or the law actually says.” Berman also looks at challenges voters are facing nationwide as early voting is underway from Georgia to Arizona, where the Pascua Yaqui Tribe filed a lawsuit Monday to reinstate the only early in-person voting site on the reservation, which was shut down in 2018.

      • Packing the Courts: How Republicans Spent Decades Installing Judges to Cement Minority Rule

        Amid Senate confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, we look at how conservatives have used dark money to push to seat her on the Supreme Court before the November 3 election, following a decades-long project by conservatives to install right-wing judges across the federal judiciary. “There’s no doubt that what we’re facing is, increasingly, rule by a minority,” says former Senate Judiciary Committee staffer Lisa Graves, executive director of True North Research. “When people say that the court needs to be packed, it really needs to be unpacked.”

      • “Let the People Decide!” Protests at Amy Coney Barrett Hearing Decry GOP Power Grab, Attack on ACA

        Hundreds protested outside the Senate Monday against the confirmation hearing for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. At least 21 were arrested after staging a sit-in to oppose the Senate pushing through Barrett’s nomination in the middle of the presidential election. Senate Democrats warn the federal judge’s record suggests she would overturn the Affordable Care Act and threaten reproductive rights if she takes the seat left vacant by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Trump and the Republicans are trying to execute a power grab,” says Ana María Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, who joins us from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of another day of protests. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, she says lawmakers should instead focus on doing “everything they can to provide urgent relief to millions of people.”

      • Amy Coney Barrett Refuses to Answer If Trump Can Delay the Election or Not

        During confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to sit on the Supreme Court, refused to answer a question regarding the president’s ability to unilaterally delay federal elections set to commence next month.

      • Barrett Decried Roe’s “Barbaric Legacy,” But Now Says She Doesn’t Have an Agenda

        Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, refused on Tuesday to give a straightforward answer on the question of whether she believes a landmark abortion case should remain intact or not.

      • Barrett Could Well Be the Decider in a 2020 Replay of “Bush v. Gore”

        If Americans want transparency — as they should — they’ve got it. Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s record of attacks on civil rights, workers’ rights, anti-discrimination measures and consumer protections is crystal clear. Though she’s just 48 years old, she has a phenomenally large legal footprint. And, as Democratic senators repeatedly pointed out Monday, on day one of the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings, her record does not bode well for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and many of the rights won over the past half-century.

      • Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya issues ‘people’s ultimatum’ to the Belarusian authorities

        Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya) announced a “people’s ultimatum” addressed to the Belarusian authorities on Tuesday, October 13. The statement appeared on the official Telegram channel for her press service.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Handling Off Platform Harassment On Platform (June 2020)

        Summary: Dealing with harassment of users is always a challenge for internet platforms — and that is especially true for platforms that are focused on live streaming. For many years there have been accusations around sexual harassment problems for female Twitch streamers. Going all the way back to 2012 when a Twitch streamer argued that sexual harassment was part of the culture of streaming (saying ““this is a community that’s, you know, 15 or 20-years-old and the sexual harassment is part of a culture”) there have been ongoing questions about how Twitch should deal with such behavior both on and off the platform.

      • Are corporate overreach and political correctness really undermining academic freedom?

        Neoliberal administrators’ policing of institutional reputations and academic colleagues’ condemnation of dissenting voices on issues such as race and gender have led to claims that scholars are losing their ability to engage in free enquiry and open debate. But is academic freedom really the operative concept in the controversies that arise? John Ross probes a highly contested debate.

      • Clarence Thomas Doesn’t Like Section 230, Adding To His Anti-Free Speech Legacy

        I’m not quite sure what has gotten into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas lately, but he’s been on quite a roll in terms of deciding he wants to toss out all sorts of well-settled precedents (including, in at least one case, his very own precedent). What’s alarming, though, is that he seems particularly focused on hacking away at free speech and the 1st Amendment. Back in 2016, when people were discussing whether or Donald Trump could “open up” libel laws, lawyer Ken White noted that there was no real appetite among judges to attack free speech.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • SCOTUS Must Be Weakened to Safeguard Democracy, Says Legal Scholar

        As Republicans race to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett prior to Election Day and cement a conservative majority on the top court for a generation or more, calls are growing for Joe Biden to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court if elected president. But Yale legal scholar Samuel Moyn argues that beyond “packing the court” and other measures commonly proposed to rebalance the Supreme Court’s ideological makeup, the institution as a whole must be weakened in order to safeguard democracy. “This country was founded on minority rule and the rejection of democracy, and the Supreme Court has long been a part of that picture,” says Moyn. “Now that the right is on the brink of establishing control, it’s a dangerous institution.”

      • Sheldon Whitehouse Made the Case That Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination Is a Bag Job

        It was planned and executed by a vast and single-minded network of which no parallel exists on the other side.

      • Here’s One Good Way to Reform a Battered US Supreme Court

        Defenders of the status quo undoubtedly will view any tampering as an assault on judicial independence. But the bitter partisanship of the current process has deeply undercut all notions of justice and fairness.

      • Sabotaging Democracy

        Nationwide, states have removed 17 million Americans from voter rolls since the 2016 election, an unusually high number, with no accounting of how many were living, legitimate voters.

      • ‘Look for Power in the Shadows’: Watch Sheldon Whitehouse Shine Light on ‘Dark Money Operation’ Behind GOP Supreme Court Takeover

        “Something is not right around the court. And dark money has a lot to do with it. Special interests have a lot to do with it.”

      • Making the Supreme Court Safe for Democracy: Samuel Moyn on Reforming an Undemocratic Institution

        As Republicans race to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett prior to Election Day and cement a conservative majority on the top court for a generation or more, calls are growing for Joe Biden to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court if elected president. But Yale legal scholar Samuel Moyn argues that beyond “packing the court” and other measures commonly proposed to rebalance the Supreme Court’s ideological makeup, the institution as a whole must be weakened in order to safeguard democracy. “This country was founded on minority rule and the rejection of democracy, and the Supreme Court has long been a part of that picture,” says Moyn. “Now that the right is on the brink of establishing control, it’s a dangerous institution.”

      • Can Trump Delay Election or Reject Peaceful Transition of Power? Amy Coney Barrett Refuses to Say

        Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett faced 11 hours of questioning in the Senate Tuesday but refused to provide clarity about her views on the Affordable Care Act, Roe v. Wade, voting rights and even if President Trump could delay the election. Republicans are racing to confirm the 48-year-old federal judge before Election Day, which would give conservatives a commanding 6-3 majority on the high court. We air highlights from the marathon session.

      • Dahlia Lithwick: Amy Coney Barrett May Claim Neutrality, But Her Record Is “Extremely Conservative”

        In the second day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, the federal judge’s refusal to answer basic questions on voter intimidation and whether a president can delay elections did her “no favors” and was part of an aim to “present herself as neutral; she’s an open book; whatever she was before, whatever she ruled on the bench before, is immaterial,” says Dahlia Lithwick, senior legal correspondent and Supreme Court reporter for Slate.com. “There are some issues that don’t need to be approached with an open mind. … She could have allayed a lot of fears.”

      • An Update On The Pretty Crummy Supreme Court Term So Far On Issues We Care About

        As the Senate hearings continue over what the future United States Supreme Court may do, it’s worth taking a moment to talk about what the current Court has already just done. The RBG-less Supreme Court is now back in session, and in view of the actions it’s taken in at least four separate cases, it has not been an auspicious beginning.

      • Can Trump Delay the Election? Amy Coney Barrett’s a Big Maybe on That One

        Suppose Donald Trump announced prior to November 3 that the election had been “corrupted” by illicit mail voting and would need to be delayed—or that the counting of ballots cast in the election would need to be interrupted.

      • Barrett’s Evasions Show Why Expanding the Court Is Necessary

        Donald Trump has been admirably candid about the fact that he’s rushing the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to be a Supreme Court justice because he might need her help to decide the election. “I think this [the election] will end up in the Supreme Court,” Trump told reporters on September 23. “And I think it’s very important that we have nine justices.”

      • The Devil in the Many Details of Amy Coney Barrett’s Testimony

        There are two kinds of judicial confirmation hearings. One kind involves the nominee giving eloquent yet evanescent answers designed to sound like they’re saying something profound when they’re really saying nothing at all. The other kind involves the nominee going out of their way to say nothing, offering terse and combative non-responses and thereby unintentionally telling the Senate Judiciary Committee everything it needs to know.

      • In India, Rape is only a Symptom

        Two recent gang rapes resulting in the deaths of Dalit women have shocked people around the world. Both women were young, one 19 and the other 22-years-old. In India, 200 million Dalits face discrimination and abuse. According to women rights’ activists, this is a situation that has increased during the coronavirus pandemic. There are no signs that crimes against women and girls are abating.

        One of the earliest and most brutal manifestation of violence against women is female feticide, where female fetuses are selectively aborted after pre-natal sex determination. Researchers for The Lancet estimate that more than 500,000 girls are lost annually through sex selective abortions. Female fetuses are selectively aborted after pre-natal sex determination. Sometimes, the elimination of girls occurs after they are born, a situation of female infanticide that has existed for centuries in India.

      • Maine Hires Lawyers With Criminal Records to Defend Poor Residents. The Governor Wants Reform.

        Gov. Janet Mills of Maine publicly called for a bipartisan effort during the next legislative session to reform the state’s system for defending poor people accused of crimes in response to an investigation published by The Maine Monitor and ProPublica.

        Mills said last week that she was “disturbed” by articles from the news organizations that showed that the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services, or MCILS, had contracted attorneys with criminal backgrounds to represent impoverished clients.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘America The Merciful’ By Zealot Featuring Uno

        Over a pensive rhythm, Zealot reflects on his incarceration and the way in which some prisoners are afforded second chances for their mistakes and others like him are seemingly denied forgiveness.

        “America the Merciful” came out of a four-day recording session with Die Jim Crow producers Fury Young and dr. Israel at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility.

      • ‘Straight to Gunshots’: How a U.S. Task Force Killed an Antifa Activist

        In interviews with 22 people who were near the scene, all but one said they did not hear officers identify themselves or give any commands before opening fire. In their official statements, not yet made public, the officers offered differing accounts of whether they saw Mr. Reinoehl with a weapon. One told investigators he thought he saw Mr. Reinoehl raise a gun inside the vehicle before the firing began, but two others said they did not.

        Mr. Reinoehl did have a .380-caliber handgun on him when he was killed, according to the county sheriff’s team that is running a criminal homicide investigation into Mr. Reinoehl’s death. But the weapon was found in his pocket.

        An AR-style rifle was found apparently untouched in a bag in his car.

        Five eyewitnesses said in interviews that the gunfire began the instant the vehicles arrived. None of them saw Mr. Reinoehl holding a weapon. A single shell casing of the same caliber as the handgun he was carrying was found inside his car.

      • Kyle Rittenhouse won’t face charges in Illinois related to Kenosha protest shootings

        There is no evidence the gun was ever physically possessed by Rittenhouse in Illinois, the office said.

      • Desideratum: Heading Off the Prospects of a Dark and Tumultuous Future

        We can no longer afford to wait as climate changes, economic systems malfunction, and enflamed social divisiveness bear down on humanity with unprecedented, irreversible consequences.

      • Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to Be

        After the outbreak of the coronavirus, after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, life has not been the same. We are more cautious. There are more limitations on our freedom. We are aware of negative possibilities in ways we were never before.

        And the past becomes that much brighter as we try to adapt to the new normal. Wasn’t it great when we didn’t eye people in the bus, tram or subway who were not wearing masks? Wasn’t it wonderful when we could hop on a plane to visit friends or family? We were freer. We had worries, but they were less morbid than an invisible virus.

      • To Decolonize Indigenous Lands, We Must Also Abolish Police and Prisons

        The movement to decolonize Indigenous lands is intimately connected to the movement to abolish police and prisons. As the idea of decolonization is discussed among wider circles, we must recognize this interconnectedness, especially in the midst of a resurgent Black Lives Matter movement that calls for the defunding — and, in fact, the dismantling — of police.

      • Two more Pussy Riot members arrested over rainbow flag protests

        OVD-Info and Avtozak Live have reported the arrest of two more Pussy Riot activists in connection with a LGBTQ rights protest action, timed to coincide with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday last Wednesday. 

      • Those Who Do Not Learn From History are Condemned to reTweet It

        Resistance to fascism can and will take many forms. I write in the autumn of 2020. It is still possible to prevent the fascist juggernaut from sweeping away every gain won by workers in the United States since the 1880s, but we‘ll have to move quickly and back up our votes with militant direct action.

        Public education, clean running water and sanitation, public libraries, the nation‘s food supply, the last remaining forests, women‘s, Black, gay liberation and in fact everyone’s civil liberties as well, reproductive rights and personal privacy, are all under attack as never before. Corporate pollution threatens the most out-of-the-way corners of the planet. A novel pandemic is upon us, a wave to what to expect in the future (if there is to be a future)? There is no let-up, and climate chaos is already coming faster than we can deal with. Whole island nations are now submerged under water; the Arctic ice caps are melting; and mass applications of pesticides and genetically engineered crops are destroying our food supplies and sacred places, and taking over the world’s agricultural lands.

      • UNCOUNTED, a Memorial for People Killed by Law Enforcement Officers
      • Civil Rights Advocates Warn Supreme Court Order—a Victory for Trump—Will Result in ‘Irreversible Damage to 2020 Census’

        Justice Sonya Sotomayor issued a dissent warning the “harms caused by rushing this year’s census count are irreparable” and that “respondents will suffer their lasting impact for at least the next 10 years.”

      • Cameroonian Asylum Seekers Said to be One Day Away From Deportation Back to the Oppression They Fled

        “He doesn’t say much, but we always laugh a lot,” his uncle says. “He’s a good boy, loves to play football. On Sundays we would do Bible studies together as a family, eat our cornchaff, a traditional meal of corn and beans; and achu, a special soup made from yams and hot pepper oil. Then we’d play traditional dance music and enjoy being together. My sister and I are really missing him.”

        But his family says that last week Micah was transferred from Louisiana to the Prairieland Detention Center near Dallas. It is the staging area from which over two hundred Africans are threatened with mass deportation Tuesday. [The names of the Cameroonian detainees mentioned in this story  have been changed or withheld to protect them from reprisal.]

      • The New Humanitarian | US aid, abortion, and the ‘Global Gag Rule’

        At this moment in US political history, Americans have a chance to rid the United States of its contradictory, confusing, and ideologically driven approach to reproductive health around the world.
        The United States is the largest donor to global health and humanitarian assistance. But for decades it has been a case study in contradictions when it comes to aid and foreign policy, and in no area is this more evident than reproductive health and rights, particularly abortion.

        Reproductive healthcare, including abortion, is a critical need, and is essential. It is time-sensitive and cannot be delayed without profound consequences for pregnant people and their families.

        US policies restrict access to safe abortion not just by attaching anti-abortion conditions to foreign aid. The United States also imposes its rules on how medical providers and non-profits spend their own funds, and on how they care for and advise their clients.

        More than 35 million people around the world have unsafe abortions each year, and tens of thousands die. The global pandemic has exacerbated the gender, racial, and economic inequities in healthcare systems – and in emergency settings – making safe access to abortion an urgent matter of life and death for even more people.

        Recent research suggests a 10 percent decline in contraceptive use would affect 49 million women and lead to an additional 15 million unintended pregnancies over just one year. And, the researchers say, if 10 percent of safe abortions become unsafe amid lockdowns and clinic closures, there would be an increase of 1,000 more maternal deaths each year.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC’s Pai Puts Final Bullet In Net Neutrality Ahead Of Potential Demotion

        While the courts partially upheld the FCC’s hugely unpopular net neutrality repeal just about a year ago, it also kicked some aspects of the repeal back to the FCC. Most notably, the courts stated the Ajit Pai FCC couldn’t ban states from protecting consumers if the FCC is no longer interested in doing so. The courts also noted that the FCC (surprise!) did little to no research into how the repeal would impact public safety or efforts to bridge the digital divide (the latter being kind of important in a massive pandemic).

    • Monopolies

      • A Strong Step Toward an Antitrust Revival

        Largely lost last week amid the spectacle of President Trump turning the White House into a Covid-19 hot spot was a Washington rarity in these polarized times: Congress doing its job.

      • If Something Is Advertised As A Knockoff Product… Is It No Longer Counterfeiting?

        People throw around a variety of terms that sometimes need to have more specific meanings. When talking about physical goods, when people talk about “knockoffs” or “counterfeits” they’re usually referring to a trademark issue. And, in some sense, this is what trademark is supposed to be about. For many years we’ve argued that trademark should not be lumped in with patents and copyrights, as the concept, purpose, intent, and even Constitutional underpinnings are entirely different. It’s extremely frustrating to see people lump in patents, copyrights, and trademarks as “intellectual property” as if they were all similar. They are not. And trademarks are especially different.

      • Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Italian Court Orders Cloudflare to Block a Pirate IPTV Service

          An Italian court has ordered Cloudflare to block current and future domain names and IP-addresses of the pirate IPTV service “IPTV THE BEST.” The order, which follows a complaint from the football league Serie A and Sky Italy, is the first of its kind in the country. Cloudflare put up a strong defense, arguing that it merely passes on traffic, but that didn’t convince the court.

        • Swiss Post releases bug bounty safe harbor wording under Creative Commons license

          Safe harbor clauses are frequently added to bug bounty or VDPs as a means of allowing security researchers and ethical hackers to test systems and networks without fear of legal reprimand.

          Swiss Post’s decision to release its own safe harbor policy under a Creative Commons license effectively allows other organizations to use this wording as a blueprint for their own bug bounty or VDP.

        • The Guilbeault Internet Plan: Leave it to the CRTC and Copyright Board of Canada to Get Money from Web Giants

          The prospect of using copyright and the Copyright Board to address linking to news articles (a practice Guilbeault has described as “immoral”) raises a host of concerns, including the fact that these reforms were not recommended as part of the government’s copyright review. To establish a new right would have a significant impact on the Canadian copyright balance and raise the need to address other concerns such as the absence of fair use or the overly restrictive digital lock rules in Canada. Further, copyright is a shared responsibility with Minister Bains and has typically required consensus from both departments. Invoking the Copyright Board, which despite increased government funding remains a source of persistent criticism, would create a costly administrative structure for addressing a non-issue that would take years to resolve.

        • Back on the Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Wins Over Spirit

          Wolfe, known professionally as Randy California, wrote Taurus somewhere between 1966 and 1967. On composing the song, Wolfe’s publisher armoured Taurus with copyright protection as an unpublished work, though such protection was superficial chainmail rather than full breast plating. Stairway to Heaven, the durable, seemingly ageless fruit of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, was released in 1974 on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. That particular song has caused spasms of delight and swooning, along with much reverential acknowledgment in guitar land over the years. But it has also given much carrion to the legal eagles. It was a sign that music, as with much else intellectual and even spiritually motivated, could be the subject of a battle to match other lengthy human conflicts.

          The jury in the original district court trial found in special interrogatories that the trust owned Taurus, and that Led Zeppelin had access to it. This did not lead them to conclude that the songs were substantially similar. Led Zeppelin had argued that any similarities between the songs were for those elements not protected by copyright law; the plaintiffs argued that the “selection and arrangement” of those elements was.

        • Massive Pirate Anime Site Uses Visitors’ Connections to DDoS Competitor

          With around 40 million visitors per month, 9anime.to is a pretty formidable force in anime piracy. This week, however, a dispute with competitor Animixplay.to spiraled out of control when 9anime added code to its own site that made every visitor an unwitting participant in a DDoS attack on its rival.

        • YouTube Rippers Petition U.S. Supreme Court to Overturn ‘Dangerous’ Precedent

          YouTube-rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com have petitioned the US Supreme Court to take up their case. Several major music companies sued the sites over copyright infringement but thus far the legal battle has been focused on the jurisdiction issue. The Russian owner of the sites now asks the Supreme Court to look at the matter and avoid a dangerous precedent.

        • Nintendo’s Lawyers Nuke ‘The Missing Link’ Fangame With Copyright Complaint

          During the summer, a modder and his team known for creating a steady flow of games based on Nintendo’s Mario titles released The Missing Link, a fan-made Zelda game that aimed to bridge the gap between Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Now, after a handful of months in circulation, Nintendo’s lawyers have filed a copyright complaint to have it taken down.

        • Internationalizing the Open COVID Pledge: Translations and Outreach

          As an important part of our stewardship of the Open COVID Pledge, we are pleased to announce that the Pledge is now available in all six of the official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. This increases accessibility and usefulness of the Pledge to more than 3.7 billion persons in their first or second languages. We are also excited to be launching a simple translation process through which any member of our community can contribute translations of the Pledge in other languages at our upcoming 2020 CC Global Summit.

A FIDO/FIDO2 False Sense of Security for Premium Prices

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft, Security at 10:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Military-grade nonsense that is proprietary and untrustworthy (monopolised by the likes of Google and Microsoft)

Manifestation against missileSummary: From the attack on software freedom (including Richard Stallman and other leaders/luminaries) we’ve seen a shift to attacks on privacy itself, e.g. auditable encryption; today we discuss the troubling developments in the FIDO/FIDO2 space

THE ESSENCE of Free/libre software is control, liberty, autonomy, independence, security, decentralisation and sometimes privacy too. Those are all just words that convey concepts in English. It’s better understood in the absence of those things (when one lacks or loses freedom). As RMS puts it, to paraphrase a bit, either the user controls the program or the program is an instrument by which some corporation (or government) controls the user. It’s really that simple. To alleviate that unjust leverage of power (developers or developers’ employer) over computer users we need freedom-respecting software that is audited by many and forked if mischief occurs. This helps ensure that the public interest is prioritised, not the bottom line of some business/es. That does not mean that no business can exist; many businesses are based around distributing and supporting Free software. Perfectly moral and ethical business practices are compatible with the Four Freedoms.

“Earlier this year there was a major incident, which saw millions of rogue certificates being issued by Let’s Encrypt…”With all that in mind, we’ve grown cynical if not deeply concerned about the Linux Foundation. The institution itself is a misnomer (it promotes operating systems other than Linux), its biggest players (leadership) are monopolistic proprietary software companies, it advocates mass surveillance, and it works for Microsoft (which in turn works to undermine Linux).

Earlier this year there was a major incident, which saw millions of rogue certificates being issued by Let’s Encrypt, which is connected to the Linux Foundation and hosted/coded on Microsoft servers. These certificates were later revoked, but there was no transparency about what had happened. Can we trust one CA to manage so many certificates? Look at its backers and sponsors. These certificates aren’t free; if they seem to be free, it’s because someone foots the bill to gain something, such as the US government receiving back door access to undermine encryption (by access to private keys or similar). They’re already done that even inside Switzerland, covertly of course! So do we trust Let’s Encrypt? Not really, even less so after that incident. There was never clarity and now even an explanation of what was done, who the culprit was and so on.

But this article isn’t about Let’s Encrypt. It’s about FIDO2. The patterns may be similar, at least some salient points. “I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the developments in hardware security tokens,” one reader told us this week, “but I have been very alarmed with the developments that are happening with regards to FIDO2. I feel like this is another attempt to stomp out competition just like TLS CAs did before Let’s Encrypt was a thing.”

“We use GnuPG a great deal here in Techrights. Most of our messages are encrypted.”The reader is a bit of an expert in that domain. Also remember how the founder of Ubuntu originally amassed his wealth. “Right now,” the reader noted, “companies that make products like Yubikey and Titan Security Key are selling obscenely overpriced hardware just because it has a “FIDO2 Certified” logo on it. I feel like hardware security tokens are going to end up in the same situation that happened with TLS CAs where a few bodies monopolise the system and dictate who gets to be a “trusted provider”. A FIDO2 certification costs about $6500 USD, last time I checked. As someone that uses GnuPG and its open ecosystem of hardware, it pains me to see the monopolisation and profiteering that’s happening around the security space.”

We use GnuPG a great deal here in Techrights. Most of our messages are encrypted.

“I hope you can share this message with the right people,” our reader appealed, “to combat the monopolisation and anti-competitive attempts by organisations like FIDO Alliance. There’s nothing open about the FIDO Alliance. The firmware for most of those devices are closed-source and the only reason people are duped into buying them is because of the “FIDO2 Certified” seal on those products. I feel like this is a turning point in cybersecurity history and we need to kill this attempt at monopolisation before we end up with the tragedy that happened with TLS CAs.”

“A mechanism for trust among parties, e.g. encryption, is crucial in a free and democratic society.”How many billions of dollars were washed down the drain because of these? And we ended up with “trusted” CAs that are mostly in bed with the world’s biggest spying operation. Which means they might be worse than useless…

“We decide who to trust with our OpenPGP certificates,” our reader noted. “We don’t let other bodies make that decision for us. Let’s work together to make sure we nip this FIDO nonsense in the bud. We’ve got the platforms and people. The WebAuthn W3C steering members are stuffed with Google, Microsoft, and (surprise) Yubico people. I’m almost certain that they’re using embedded cryptography MCUs in their closed proprietary products and then making a eye-watering profit margin.”

Notice that their stuff is controlled partly by Microsoft and the NSA (in GitHub). So they clearly do not value or grasp basic security.

Our reader noted: “The OpenSK project on GitHub (by Google, I believe) uses an overpriced board and there’s a nice disclaimer at the bottom that OpenSK is not FIDO certified (this is blatant FUD). They aren’t even using the embedded crypto MCUs on the Nordic chip. They have gone with the excuse that their software-driven crypto is “research quality” code. OpenSK is a blatant attempt to spread FUD about uncertified FIDO hardware. Yubico are in on it as well.

“We might be the first site to touch this subject, but there’s more on the way for sure.”“Nitrokey has a FIDO2 product and I think it’s uncertified by the looks of things. I know Nitrokey people are very closely linked to GnuPG devs because I’ve been around GnuPG dev a lot recently. I’m pretty sure the folks at Nitrokey see the dangers of monopolisation but they’re keeping it quiet (probably in fear of the media pull Google et al have). I would also prefer remaining anonymous, thanks for allowing that…”

A mechanism for trust among parties, e.g. encryption, is crucial in a free and democratic society. Those who undermine the encryption basically maintain keys to the castle. They’ve long attempted to put back doors (or back door access, e.g. via third parties) to everything. Sometimes the media describes that as “weakening” encryption, but that actually means breaking; weak means broken.

We might be the first site to touch this subject, but there’s more on the way for sure. “Wanted you to be the first to throw a punch though,” our reader noted, “because people in the community trust you on these things.”

But there’s lots more on the way. Stay tuned.

ClearlyDefined is Just Microsoft Land Grab (Which the OSI Now Actively Participates in)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OSI at 9:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Meet the People Behind ClearlyDefined (Mostly or Clearly ‘Microsoft Proxy’), Where Most of the OSI’s Budget Nowadays Goes and Flows

Clearly Microsoft

Summary: Today’s OSI isn’t a protector of the Free Software Definition or even the Open Source Definition; it’s becoming little but a vessel serving Microsoft’s agenda, centralising things for Microsoft to command and control

LAST month we watched the new President of the OSI speaking about finances, having served as treasurer and having seen the GM of OSI (their sole full-time member of staff) quitting abruptly without an explanation. Something isn’t right at OSI, which earlier this year was abandoned by one co-founder and then banned the other. The OSI is becoming a Microsoft/GitHub enabler and a lousy licence endorser/enforcer, choosing openwashing over Open Source (let aside Free software as per FSD).

“The OSI is becoming a Microsoft/GitHub enabler and a lousy licence endorser/enforcer, choosing openwashing over Open Source (let aside Free software as per FSD).”Recently I’ve received a number of alarming (but not alarmist) E-mails from prominent people in the Free software and Open Source world. They don’t wish to be named, but they share my concerns. Bluntly speaking, they think that OSI became rogue. Maybe that’s why the GM quit some months ago; he wants nothing to do with it, albeit that’s mostly a guess. People don’t just quit their job at the middle of a pandemic, especially if they already work from home. It’s not like he was a millionaire; his salary is clearly visible in the IRS filings and it’s not unreasonable (unlike Mozilla and Linux Foundation salaries, which many find outrageous).

“I’m reading through this a bit more,” one reader and developer told us. “Like the “reader” interaction,” she added. “So, a few things…”

She asked: “How can OSI be a parent and a partner to ClearlyDefined?”

“Maybe that’s why the GM quit some months ago; he wants nothing to do with it, albeit that’s mostly a guess.”“According to this “about” section of their website: “ClearlyDefined and our parent organization, the Open Source Initiative, are on a mission to help FOSS projects thrive by being, well, clearly defined. Lack of clarity around licenses and security vulnerabilities reduces engagement — that means fewer users, fewer contributors and a smaller community.”

“Then the “about” page,” she correctly noted, “the same page… lists OSI in the section for partners (as well as Microsoft).”

From the article we published very recently: “So most of the OSI’s budget goes to a programme that’s mostly Microsoft staff and is controlled by Microsoft, hosted on its servers etc.”

She asked: “Is there a public budget I can view?”

“It’s almost like the OSI rapidly becomes an extension of proprietary GitHub, which is antithetical to software freedom and a mechanism of Microsoft colonialism.”Well, the IRS filings take a while to go public. So the latest budget we generally know from the Q&A section/session with the OSI’s current president and former treasurer. We cropped the relevant part of the video and set that aside. He said this not once but twice (that ClearlyDefined receives the majority of the budget or about half).

“Some other concerns about ClearlyDefined,” our reader noted: “Curate data through these people. No thanks…”

Is Microsoft now the ‘daddy’ of “Open Source”? That’s an ambition for sure, but Microsoft is a proprietary software company and opponent of software freedom. And here’s where it gets grimmer; Microsoft apparently wants to not only control the projects in GitHub with “Stars” and other nonsense. Our reader found the following about voting and rewards:


“While ClearlyDefined is focused on data, the project will develop a modest amount of code. Code committership is independent of data committership. As such, code committers are elected by a vote of the existing code committer community as described below. Code committers have complete control over and responsibility for the operation of the harvesting, curation and serving infrastructure of the project.”

Wait a second… the focus is data and a modest amount of development? Code committers are… Elected?

…and finally, this… recognition and promotion… or Badges! We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!

Ohhhhhhhhh… a badge. That’s a great reward. So, these people are trying to gather data and create some centralized system – where we store source and vote on, stating they can help projects and – giving badges are considered a reward hahahahaha

As a developer, you know – and knowing devs… would you ever consider a “badge” important in your line of work.
As a dev, here are a few things I consider a “reward”.

A job well done.
Code compiles and works – after a new feature or update!
Someone thanks me for all that I do.
Someone asks for assistance with my software and I can help.
Someone finds a fix I can implement into the code to improve the software.
People are using my software.
Users are helping each other.

Take the badge (a virtual reward of nothingness) and put it where the sun doesn’t shine… Seriously!

Hey! I have a good idea… what about a badge! Who do they think they are? I don’t want a gold star from ClearlyDefined… not when I have the community. This seems like another “side path” away from community.

To quote their own site’s charter:

Recognition and promotion

The project may, from time to time, run programs that recognize and reward the efforts of a project to become and remain ClearlyDefined. For example, a badging program would enable eligible projects to show they are ClearlyDefined, thus increasing consumer confidence. Such recognitions may be made relative to a specific domain such as licensing or security, or in relation to the overall ClearlyDefined effort.

It’s almost like the OSI rapidly becomes an extension of proprietary GitHub, which is antithetical to software freedom and a mechanism of Microsoft colonialism.

Linus Torvalds on GNU When His Ego Was Still Smaller

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Kernel, Videos at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Source video (clipped from 1:26 onward, raw bits from Revolution OS, the documentary film)

Summary: More than two decades ago the creator of Linux explained the relation/connection of his project to GNU (which predates his project by almost a whole decade and also inspired him); nowadays he pretends GNU barely exists and the Linux Foundation pretends that GNU is just some part of Linux

THE Linux Foundation has just sold another keynote to Microsoft. It was advertised in a press release earlier this week. We suppose that this so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation fails to recognise Microsoft’s role in derailment of Linux, just because Microsoft now pays this self-acclaimed ‘Linux’ Foundation…

“They are, in effect, offering GNU training, but they call it “Linux”.”Not so shockingly, the ‘Linux’ Foundation nowadays loves Microsoft more than it cares for GNU. Microsoft pays. Unlike the FSF. Earlier today I spent two hours going through “LinuxFoundationX LFS101x – Introduction to Linux” — an online course that’s perhaps the most popular among the Foundation’s courses. I went through about 400 pages (lots of time spent on this!) only to find that this course is misnamed because it is mostly about GNU utilities and non-Linux stuff; I checked all the pages there (18 chapters in total, including pictures and videos). More GNU than Linux in there! They are, in effect, offering GNU training, but they call it “Linux”. They also add revisionism (like it all started in 1991) to the mix… and top that off with chapters about programming, networking and other stuff that in no way relates to Linux (not directly, anyway). They focus on systemd and GNOME, acknowledging openly that there’s a controversy around/surrounding systemd being favoured.

Here’s a screenshot with some annotation (chapter 15):

LinuxFoundationX LFS101x cropped

Two decades ago (slightly more) when Linus Torvalds participated in the making of Revolution OS — as did ESR, RMS, Michael Tiemann and Larry Augustin (now working for Jeff Bezos) — he made the above statement. It’s raw in the sense that questions are heard; it’s not quite the same as the film. The above is Fair Use, as per the following statement (attached to the original).

Linus Torvalds talks about Linux and GNU/Linux. Selected clips from Revolution OS.

Copyright 2001 Wonderview Productions

Note: This video may only be used for purposes such as criticism, review, private study, scholarship, or research.

What’s noteworthy about this section of the video is that back then (late 1990s) Torvalds still publicly acknowledged — however hesitantly and begrudgingly — the importance of GNU, the GPL, and the FSF. The Foundation called (or misnamed) “Linux” has worked really hard to purge all 3 from history, sometimes even under the veil/guise of ‘training’ (with exams, scores and digital certificates). Training people to recite falsehoods…

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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



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