Standards and Choices

Posted in Antitrust, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Standard at 11:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letters and numbers

Summary: GNU/Linux is a very standards-based platform; having lots of choices (e.g. distros to choose from) isn’t the principal problem — or nowhere near the extent sabotage and illegal tactics by Microsoft have been

Choice versus standards. False dichotomy? Many choices can be implemented to comply with a given standard, preventing monoculture while maintaining cooperation at some level. Having multiple measures and units (e.g. decimal/metric versus Imperial) means conversion becomes necessary. Yet the world keeps revolving and we keep trading, even with anomalies in the way we measure things.

“It’s not “hatred” to assert that secret deals (typically composed by Microsoft lawyers, often in violation of competition laws) are the primary obstacle. The antitrust case revealed the gory nature of some of these secret deals.”Proponents of a so-called ‘UNIVERSAL LINUX’ (we made a satirical post about it earlier today, using a good ol' car analogy) want us to think that having both GNOME and KDE, or Wayland and X, or many other such things (not the ‘same’ but one being profoundly outdated and broken, e.g. LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice) is a suicidal path. They blame the wrong thing for limited adoption of GNU/Linux in laptops/desktops. As if the channel ‘prefers’ Windows because GNU/Linux has inherent problems and not because of Microsoft crimes, including bribery. People who (mis)place the blame on themselves instead of those working to undermine/sabotage their efforts may be suffering a ‘self-loathing’ complex. They then reinforce the very same FUD patterns originally conceived and disseminated by their adversaries.

In the coming weeks we intend to dig deeper into the Bill Gates deposition transcripts, which include passages about “Jihad” and deliberately breaking standards (to make things like Java work only in Windows). To quote some things that Ryan said in IRC yesterday:

I’d like to see more laptops coming with a KDE distribution. It’s a shame KDE doesn’t get more attention these days. Means I’m still going to have to do something with it after I buy it. But the defaults never work out for everyone I guess. It could be worse. All kinds of shitty firmware and bugs and an OEM going “Well, we sold it with Windows 10, so….”.

The ‘problem’ with GNU/Linux isn’t that it’s doing ‘too much’ for ‘too many’ people (or only for geeks). There are desktop environments for beginners, not just for advanced (or ‘power’) users. The open standards are generally there (that’s why GTK-based applications are easy to run in KDE and GNOME-based distros deal just fine with Qt) and focus must be placed on the real barriers to widespread adoption. It’s not “hatred” to assert that secret deals (typically composed by Microsoft lawyers, often in violation of competition laws) are the primary obstacle. The antitrust case revealed the gory nature of some of these secret deals. Go tell Jim Zemlin from the Linux Foundation that the US government wasn’t "kicking a puppy" when it took on Microsoft.

IBM’s “Emb(RACE)” Campaign is an Insult to History and Historians

Posted in Deception, IBM at 10:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Arguing Couple Reverse: told you to hide your 'humble' beginnings and your attitude towards women

Summary: IBM wishes to be seen as some heroic saviour and warrior for black girls; this requires serious if not torturous revisionism to be believed

IT IS an ‘open’ secret that IBM is/was run by womanisers who purged "blackness" and worked towards a white/Aryan "master race". That’s how IBM started. It didn’t bother racist Watson, who just worried about his (and his company's) image. Extermination and/or sterilisation or ‘lesser’ races (‘untermenschen’ or African-Americans) became a stain on IBM’s brand, which is why Watson stopped that, at least temporarily.

Some lettersIBM would occasionally return to that agenda (e.g. apartheid), hoping that it can obscure and distort public records/history, e.g. by actively obstructing historians. People attentive to these plights are watching.

For those who might misunderstand (or choose to mis-comprehend) our message, we’re not using racist or sexist terms here. As per the dictionary, “blackness” means:

…the quality or state of being a Black person.


The word “negro” was still commonly used when IBM worked on — and profited from — the American eugenics agenda (predating Nazi Germany). So imagine what IBM had in mind when it published the following only hours ago (mind terms like “Social Responsibility” and “power of inclusion.”):

How open source leads to open doors

There’s lots more in there, but we highlight the parts that aren’t openwashing but instead paint IBM as an ally of women and blacks. This is perverse distortion of IBM’s past and present.

“Political PR pandering is only as substantial and effective as the population is gullible (collective amnesia).”As we noted before, IBM still hardly employs women in top roles (same in the Linux Foundation, which fronts for IBM). Political PR pandering is only as substantial and effective as the population is gullible (collective amnesia). Misinformation needs to be corrected. IBM never really championed diversity as much as it championed those eager to crush diversity. As long as facts do matter and truth is a priority, we’ll keep compounding and responding. All that IBM has done on this matter is (as recently as months ago), it hired PR agents (external spinners) to send me E-mail messages with shallow buzzwords, not refutation or even an apology (owed not to yours truly). It’s still hoping to deny its past. IBM is a denier, a well-funded denier.

There Are Too Many Types of Cars…

Posted in GNU/Linux, Humour at 9:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Any resemblance to the “too many distros” FUD is purely coincidental

A wall with painted letters

Summary: “Choice is malicious,” say the antagonists

TOO many cars
Too many types
Too many spare parts
Say all the stereotypes

Lada company logoWe need a “UNIVERSAL CAR”
One car to rule them all!
The question is which one
And who makes the call

Monoculture is great
Choice is malicious
Why offer options
When they’re so arbitrary and capricious?

Reversal of Narratives by Internet Trolls (Spinning Reaction to Their Trolling as ‘Abuse’)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 8:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Internet mobs (rudeness) are regarded as absolutely acceptable if their agenda protects corporate hegemony/orthodoxy

On feeding of Internet trolls

Summary: Organisations that engage in demonisation of people (typically those who expose the abuses of such organisations) somehow evade the standards of Codes of Conduct, as if Codes of Conduct are covertly designed not to protect individuals but to empower those who already have all the powers (or front for powerful people/corporations)

Monday, 19 October 2020: donations to organizations that violate the
Code of Conduct

Red Hat is listed on the top donors page[1] of the FSFE

When I look at various documents published by FSFE, including minutes
of their annual meeting from 2019, I feel they actively violate the
Fedora Code of Conduct

One volunteer breaking the Code of Conduct could be a mistake or
somebody having a bad day. A group of people getting together and
voting to deliberately violate the Code of Conduct is far more hideous.

If individual Fedora volunteers want to participate in outside groups
that is their choice but for Fedora's parent company, Red Hat, to
actively donate to a group that violates the Code of Conduct is a clear
leadership failing. How can anybody expect individual volunteers to
demonstrate excellence when the leaders of organizations can use their
positions for harassment against community representatives past 
and present?

It is worth reading things like the FSFE minutes alongside documents
such as der Untermensch[2] (the Sub-Human), produced in Berlin in 1942
to see that this idea of demoting and shaming an individual volunteer
or minority is not only a Code of Conduct violation, it is the road to 

I feel that cutting financial support to groups like this is far more
important than the proposed communications policy and would appreciate
Fedora Council's feedback on this.



1. https://fsfe.org/donate/thankgnus.en.html
2. http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/holoprelude/deruntermensch.html

Ongoing (Albeit Secret) Campaign of Patent Extortion Against GNU/Linux Distributions Using Software Patents, Even Expired Ones in Europe

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, OIN, Patents at 8:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OIN is MIA, as usual (it exists to protect monopolies, not GNU/Linux)

Danish Post Letter Boxes

Summary: GNU/Linux distros attacked by software patents, even in Europe where no such patents are supposed to exist (or have any legal bearing)

JUST over a month ago Techrights became aware of a serious issue, which had been going on for months prior. The public was never made aware and the message we received was private. This article will name neither the distributions nor the aggressors, as naming either might reveal the nature of an ongoing dispute and have a negative impact on the outcome.

“Are they trying or at least hoping to make it sufficiently uncomfortable if not stressful for small (community-based) distros of GNU/Linux to the point were they shyly shut down, going offline without explaining the real reason (for fear of being sued as means of retribution, akin to NDAs)?”As a little recap, the EPO under the corrupt management of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos has been gleefully granting software patents in Europe. Not many people are aware of the negative consequences (or truly care). Those have a highly detrimental effect on software developers and packagers across Europe. The impact is very negative when it comes to Free software and proprietary software alike. It harms European competitiveness and harms the profession (programming) globally. Who benefits? A bunch of parasites who cannot code and never coded anything.

To quote a message that we received, a patent troll “started harassing me and stating that I must license their [redacted] patents. But these are software patents and I am based in [redacted]. We are a small, open source project, so I don’t know what their game is. They’re asking for a couple of million dollars, based on fees from every download, including [redacted] downloads which we release at no charge.”

Letter from trollIt is a GNU/Linux distro used by a lot of people. A lot of people.

“My worry,” said the person on the receiving end of threats, “is that we may look like an easy target or they’re trying to set a precedent. Despite these software patents not being valid as pure software patents, I can see that they are enjoying success in German courts such as Mannheim and Düsseldorf.”

Are patent trolls and their legal representatives getting so bored and unoccupied during the pandemic that they’re started a Cold War against GNU/Linux?

On the nature of the threats received: “What worries me is that they’re emailing me, and not serving me by paper. German courts have considered this to be sufficient and they’ve already stated that I am obligated to reply and that they’ve made me a FRAND offer. But some of these patents have expired and I do not understand how this can be FRAND if they are forcing me to license expired patents. Further — I can’t see how this can be FRAND when they’re not consistently enforcing any level of compliance across other companies and open source projects. I’d not wish this on my worst enemy, but it is surprising that Canonical / Ubuntu are skirting legal issues but we (a small project) are in such a predicament.”

Or else!OIN membership has apparently not prevented this. Not at all. We’ll hopefully have an update on this some time soon. As a reminder, Canonical / Ubuntu went as far as licensing lousy codecs (software patents) from Microsoft more than a decade ago. Canonical / Ubuntu isn’t what it seems on the surface and it never really helped the battle against software patents.

Are they trying or at least hoping to make it sufficiently uncomfortable if not stressful for small (community-based) distros of GNU/Linux to the point were they shyly shut down, going offline without explaining the real reason (for fear of being sued as means of retribution, akin to NDAs)? If so, this would not be unprecedented in relation to Free software projects. We covered many examples in the distant past.

Can the leadership of the aggressor shed a light/clue regarding motivations? Is this a proxy battle in a bigger war? What’s the endgame here?

Stay tuned. We cannot say much more at this point (not safely anyway, without potentially causing harm by escalation).

Links 19/10/2020: Linux 5.9-ck1/MuQSS, Linux Kodachi 7.3

Posted in News Roundup at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Awesome Linux Tools: bpytop – YouTube

        I found another awesome Linux tool! This time, it’s bpytop, a really neat utility that’s similar to htop and allows you to monitor the system resources on your Linux workstation or server. In this video, I’ll show you how to install it, and you’ll see it in action!

      • LHS Episode #373: GridTracker Deep Dive Part 3 | Linux in the Ham Shack

        Welcome to Episode 373 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we have a roundtable discussion with several of the contributors to the GridTracker.org project. We explore all the changes in GT from Part 2 through the recording date and also look at the new direction of GridTracker as an organization. GT is expanding in mentoring, STEM education, community and much more. Thank you for listening and have a great week.

      • Full Circle Weekly News #186 | Full Circle Magazine

        Linux GUI Apps Coming to Windows


        Linux Mint 20.1 Will Arrive Mid-December


        Ubuntu 20.10, Groovy Gorilla [beta], Out


        Fedora 33 Beta Out


        KaOS 2020.09 Out


        Tails 4.11 Out


        Nitrux 1.3.3 Out


        Firefox 81.0.1 Out


        Calibre 5.0 Out


    • Kernel Space

      • -ck hacking: linux-5.9-ck1, MuQSS version 0.204 for linux-5.9

        Unfortunately these past few months have been marred by lockdown and family issues, culminating in the ultimate death of my father just over a month ago (unrelated to covid19 but made that much worse because of its effects on everything in our city) so linux kernel was the furthest thing from my mind and a 5.8 resync never happened. He’ll be sorely missed, and if this were something more substantial I’d dedicate it towards him but it doesn’t do him justice.

        Announcing a new -ck release, 5.9-ck1 with the latest version of the Multiple Queue Skiplist Scheduler, version 0.204 These are patches designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity with specific emphasis on the desktop, but configurable for any workload.

      • Linux 5.9-ck1 Released With Updated MuQSS – Phoronix

        Independent Linux kernel developer Con Kolivas (and retired anaesthetist) is back on track with a new update to his “CK” patch-set and the MuQSS scheduler.

        The retired doctor had taken some time off from his kernel development hobby earlier this year to help design equipment for the COVID-19 battle. He did manage to release his updated patches for Linux 5.7 but has been becoming increasingly concerned over the size of the Linux kernel and his ability in the future to continue maintaining these independent patches as a result. Making the matters worse, his father passed away (non-COVID) and that further complicated his development work.

      • Linux 5.10 Solves the Year 2038 Problem Till Year 2486

        The Year 2000 problem was one of the most severe issues in programs of computerized systems that created havoc in computers and affecting systems worldwide. A little background on why this problem emerged — Ever noticed when a computer or a website asks you to enter the last two digits of the year?

        Computers are programmed to store only the last two digits of years because it saves storage space (Four digits Vs. Two digits). Say there’s only one day left in the year 1999 (99); a day later, the systems would fail to understand if it’s the Year 2000 (00) or 1900 (00).

      • Relax, The Computing World Won’t End In 2038. But 2486 Is Looking Grim

        A looming problem with Linux-based computers being unable to handle dates beyond the year 2038 appears to have been solved – or at least punted into the distant future.

        In a similar vein to the infamous Millennium Bug, where computers using two digits to denote years were unable to handle the fallover into the year 2000, Linux-based systems were facing a comparable issue on 03:14:07 UTC on January 19, 2038.

        This time the problem was being caused by Linux computers counting the time in seconds, starting from January 1, 1970. On that fateful date in January 2038, the number of seconds would have exceeded the value that could be stored in a single 32-bit integer, causing computers to lose track of time.

      • Linux 5.9.1 And Older Stable Kernel Updates Fixing “Bleeding Tooth” Bluetooth Vulnerability Are Available – LinuxReviews

        BleedingTooth is a really bad and in theory very serious Linux kernel vulnerability. It allows someone within Bluetooth range to potentially execute code on your Linux machine thanks to a combination of improper input validation, improper buffer restrictions and improper access control in the BlueZ libraries and heap-based type confusion in the Linux kernel’s L2CAP code. The practical threat isn’t all that.

        Linux 5.9.1 as well as updates to the older “stable” kernel series (5.8.16, 5.4.72, 4.19.152, 4.14.202, 4.9.240, and 4.4.240) have been released with a patch by Intel’s Luiz Augusto von Dentz addressing the Linux kernel side of the BleedingTooth vulnerability. You should upgrade to one of those if your machine has a Bluetooth adapter (most laptops do).

      • Char/Misc With Linux 5.10 Brings Nitro Enclaves, Alder Lake, More Code For Gaudi – Phoronix

        The “char/misc” area within the Linux kernel continues to have a bit of everything as the “catch all” pull request of the kernel not fitting into other existing subsystems.


        - Qualcomm’s MHI bus added in Linux 5.7 supports more features with Linux 5.10 albeit mostly lower-level changes.

        - The Intel-owned Habana Labs continues working extensively on their upstream kernel driver supporting their AI inference and training accelerators. With Linux 5.10 is a wide range of improvements to the Habana Labs kernel code largely on the Gaudi side.

        - The SoundWire code has gained support for run-time power management, including within the Intel SoundWire support paths. The Intel code also adds multi-link support and other improvements.

      • Linux 5.10 Continues Bringing Up Support For Intel’s Rocket Lake – Phoronix

        Building off Linux 5.9 that featured initial support for Gen12 graphics on next year’s Rocket Lake desktop platform along with other early enablement for Rocket Lake like RAPL support and other PCI ID additions, that work has continued for the Linux 5.10 cycle.

        The libata pull adds Rocket Lake PCH-H RAID PCI IDs as one of the additions.

        There is also the platform-drivers-x86 work for Linux 5.10 where Rocket Lake support is added to the intel_pmc_core driver.

        While the DRM code in Linux 5.9 brought initial support for Rocket Lake building off the existing Gen12 code, the DRM code for Linux 5.10 also has necessary code changes for properly driving displays with the hardware.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan 1.2.158 Released With Fragment Shading Rate Extension – Phoronix

          Vulkan 1.2.158 was released this morning with two notable extensions introduced.

          First up is VK_KHR_fragment_shading_rate that allows changing the rate at which fragments are shaded. Multiple pixels can be shaded now by a single fragment shader invocation. The new extension allows controlling the fragment shading rate on a per-draw, per-primitive, or per-region basis. Most notably this can be used by Vulkan-powered games for shading higher levels of detail in a scene compared to others. Or rather lower quality shading in some areas of the scene.

        • Linux 5.10 Continues Bringing Up Support For Intel’s Rocket Lake – Phoronix

          Building off Linux 5.9 that featured initial support for Gen12 graphics on next year’s Rocket Lake desktop platform along with other early enablement for Rocket Lake like RAPL support and other PCI ID additions, that work has continued for the Linux 5.10 cycle.

          The libata pull adds Rocket Lake PCH-H RAID PCI IDs as one of the additions.

          There is also the platform-drivers-x86 work for Linux 5.10 where Rocket Lake support is added to the intel_pmc_core driver.

        • GCC’s Ada Frontend Seeing More Work On NVIDIA CUDA Support – Phoronix

          Should you want to use the Ada programming language for GPU programming, the GCC compiler has been working on CUDA support within its front-end for this safety and security minded language.

          In the past born out of academia there’s been CUDA Ada bindings. There has also been Ada/SPARK GPU programming initiatives in the past with various APIs. This latest still ongoing effort is wiring up the GCC Ada front-end with CUDA support.

        • You may want to avoid Linux Kernel 5.9 if you want fully supported NVIDIA drivers | GamingOnLinux

          On the official NVIDIA forum, an employee put out an announcement warning NVIDIA GPU owners that the Linux Kernel 5.9 and later is currently unsupported. It’s worth noting they posted that in the CUDA forum, so other workloads like gaming may work as normal.

          In the post they mention Kernel 5.9+ is currently “incompatible” with any of their drivers, and they’re suggesting to wait until “mid-November” for a fresh NVIDIA driver update which is expected to bring support for it. They’re “working diligently” to get ready to support it.

    • Applications

      • Got Kids? Limit Computer Usage Per Account in Linux With Timekpr-nExt

        Use Timekpr-nExt to limit computer usage on Linux

        If you have young children at home who spend too much time on computer, you may want to put some sort of restriction on the usage.

        Timekpr-nExt enables you to limit computer usage for certain accounts based on the time of day, number of hours a day, week or month. You may also set time interval to force the account user to take break.

      • mpz – open source music player

        My favorite pastime is to see an eclectic range of bands, solo artists, and orchestras live. It’s such a life-changing and exhilarating experience to be present. It’s one thing to be sitting at home listening to a CD or watching music videos on TV or on YouTube, but being with an audience, packed out in a stadium or music hall, takes it to another level. But it’s an expensive pastime, and still on hold given the current coronavirus pandemic. I’m therefore listening to music from my CD collection which I’ve encoded to FLAC, a lossless audio format, and stored locally.

        Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m always keeping abreast of new projects.

        This brings me on to mpz, a program that only saw its first public release 11 days ago. Why did it catch my eye? Mainly because mpz is a music player that’s designed for large, locally stored, music collections.

      • Change CPU Governor And Frequencies On Linux With cpupower-gui (New Release)

        cpupower-gui is a tool that makes it easy to change the CPU governor as well as the CPU frequency limits on Linux.


        This Python3 + Gtk3 application was updated to version 0.9.0 (followed by 0.9.1 to fix a few bugs) recently with new features, like the ability to use custom CPU profiles for quickly switching the settings. You can switch between the 2 pre-built profiles, Balanced and Performance, from the cpupower-gui user interface, but you can’t change them or create a new profile from there.

      • qBittorrent 4.3.0 Released with Better HiDPI, Enhanced Theming Support

        qBittorrent BitTorrent client 4.3.0 was released as a new major version with new features and various bug-fixes.

        The new release uses Qt 5.15.1 which offers far better HiDPI support. Theming support has been enhanced, however previous theme bundles will not work properly before the provider updated them.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Hide Your Location On Chrome, Firefox, and Edge

        Sought after web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge are enabled with geolocation services that can be used to trace you based on your network location, IP address, and WiFi.

        Although this feature is useful enough, at the same time it may cause grave privacy concerns. Therefore, it becomes imperative to fake or hides your location from these popular browsers.

        Geolocation indicates your location and then links it with your web browser or the applications you are using. Many services use your IP address and connected networks to get the information and sync it with the known locations.

        There are many reasons for which these browsers use your location. At times when you visit some website, you might get notified to confirm your current location and acquire data relevant to your location. Nevertheless, if you wish to hide your location due to some reasons such as when you wish to stay safe from malicious activities i.e. want to access data that is location restricted, this article will be of great help to you!

      • How To Install OwnCloud on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial we will show you how to install OwnCloud on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, as well as some extra required package by OwnCloud

      • How to Maximize Security for the Linux Operating System

        The Linux operating system is the most successful in the free, open-source category. Here are tips on maximizing its security features.

      • Transfer Files Between Computers And Mobile Devices By Scanning QR Codes – OSTechNix

        File transfer between a Computer and a mobile can be done in various methods and using various protocols. Today, we will see a whole new, different approach. This guide explains how to transfer files between computers and mobile devices by scanning QR codes. Yes, you read that right! Say hello to Qrcp, formerly known as Qr-filetransfer, a simple command line file transfer application used to send and receive files over WiFi between a Linux system and a mobile phone by scanning a QR code, without leaving the Terminal.

        When sending files, Qrcp will bind a web server to the address of your WiFi network interface card on a random port and create a handler for it. The default handler will serve the content and exit the program once the transfer is complete. Similarly, when receiving files, qrcp serves an upload page and handles the transfer.

      • How to Automatically Logout Inactive Linux Users

        Keeping idle shell sessions to a Linux server is possible a security risk. Not to forget that it would consume system resources.

        Okay, maybe not a single idle session but imagine if you have multiple users accessing the same Linux system remotely and leaving their sessions idle.

        As a Linux sysadmin, you can see which users are logged in on the system and how long have they been idle.

        You may manually kick the idle user out but that’s tiresome and certainly not very productive.

      • How to Monitor Network Usage with nload in Linux

        If you are a network administrator then you will need to monitor your network bandwidth usage in day-to-day tasks. In this case, nload will help you to makes your job easier. nload is a command-line utility that can be used to monitor network traffic and bandwidth usage in real time. It visualizes the in-comming and out-going traffic using two graphs and also provides additional information like min/max network usage and total transferred data.

      • Manage your Linux backups with Rdiffweb | Opensource.com

        The Rdiffweb app offers a simplified web interface for easy management of rdiff-backup, software that offers robust automatic backups from one Linux computer (client) to another Linux computer (server) using secure shell (SSH), thus maximizing your disk space. The free, open source online tool helps save time when accessing rdiff-backup archives, recovering data, and managing administrators. Recently, rdiff-backup received a major update with a host of new features when it was migrated to Python 3.

        In this article, I’ll show you a basic way to set up rdiff-backup with Rdiffweb. Before getting started, you should know enough network basics to identify a Linux computer’s IP address and set up an SSH connection.

      • How To Install Grafana on Ubuntu 20.04 – devconnected

        Recently, Grafana Labs released a brand new version of Grafana : v7.0

        This new version featured a whole set of different features : namely a new panel editor, a new explore function as well as new plugins and tutorials for beginners.

        As Grafana evolves a lot since our last tutorial, it is time for us to update the Grafana installation guide for Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Linux security: Manipulating SELinux policies with Booleans | Enable Sysadmin

        A quick look at the flexibility that Booleans offer SELinux and how to make use of them.

      • Update hell due to not updating for a long time

        SecureDrop right now runs on Ubuntu Xenial. We are working on moving to Ubuntu Focal. Here is the EPIC on the issue tracker.

    • Games

      • Stardew Valley to get splitscreen co-op in the big 1.5 update and what else to expect | GamingOnLinux

        Stardew Valley, one of the most popular casual farming life sims available on PC is getting another major upgrade and some features have been teased out by the creator.

        Eric Barone, known as ConcernedApe, posted on Twitter that the 1.5 update will bring (amongst other things) splitscreen co-op which is quite exciting. Barone confirmed in follow-up posts that on PC this would be with up to 4 people.

      • Might and Delight tease early Book of Travels footage, will experiment will player numbers | GamingOnLinux

        Book of Travels is the upcoming RPG from Might and Delight, a developer known for the Shelter series and Meadow and I’m seriously curious to learn more about it.

        After a very successful crowdfunding campaign back in November 2019, they’ve continued giving regular progress updates on their unique take on an online RPG. They’re using the term “TMORPG”, which means tiny multiplayer online role-playing game. So unlike big MMOs, they’re going with smaller more intimate numbers. Something they did with the likes of Meadow with it having around 50 people together. In a post on Kickstarter, they mentioned how with Book of Travels in Early Access next year, they will be experimenting with the number to see what works for it so they’re not yet set on an exact amount.

      • Work for a bumbling supervillain in Henchman Story – try the demo | GamingOnLinux

        Love a good superhero story? Well, this isn’t it. Instead, you’re a henchman following around a pretty clumsy supervillain in Henchman Story. A new and somewhat amusing visual novel currently in development by Silken Sail Entertainment, and they’re currently funding it on Kickstarter.

        “It’s thankless work. Week in and week out, you put on your purple spandex and get the crap beaten out of you by much stronger, much cooler people wearing much fancier spandex. But the checks clear, and Lord Bedlam offers healthcare, so a job’s a job, right?”

      • Free and open source PlayStation 4 Remote Play client Chiaki adds PS4 8.0 firmware support | GamingOnLinux

        Own a PlayStation 4 and want to stream games from it to your Linux desktop? Chiaki is great for that and a fresh upgrade is out to keep it working.

        As a reminder: it’s a free and open source project, not backed by Sony and totally unofficial. Impressive though, and it actually works quite well. Sony recently upgraded the PS4 firmware, and each time that happens it tends to break Chiaki, thankfully though it doesn’t happen too often.

      • Stadia to get a bunch more Ubisoft games including Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry | GamingOnLinux

        Not long after confirmation that Cyberpunk 2077 will be on Stadia at release on November 19, Google has confirmed lots more games are on the way from Ubisoft.

        We already knew of a few newer titles coming to Stadia from Ubisoft, however, it appears they’re really going all-in with what they have.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD 6.8 Released With Support For New PowerPC64 Platform

          Yesterday, marking the 25th anniversary of the OpenBSD project, its founder Theo de Raadt, officially announced the release of a new version, OpenBSD 6.8.

          Starting in October 1995, OpenBSD 6.8 is its 48th release that comes with numerous updates, a new arm64 and armv7 hardware support, security and kernel improvements, and new userland features.

          As you may know, OpenBSD is a free, open source, and security-oriented 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. It is also one of the most popular distributions of the BSD family.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Mozilla Thunderbird updated to 78.3.3 » PCLinuxOS

          Mozilla Thunderbird is a powerful email client for Linux desktop computers. If you have not switched to using web based email then this is the email client to use on Linux.

        • Mozilla Firefox updated to 82.0 » PCLinuxOS

          Mozilla Firefox is simply the best Web Browser for Linux Desktop Computers. Firefox, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Insights feature highlights: Exploring historical system profiles in Drift for easier RHEL configuration troubleshooting

          Managing and troubleshooting issues on a number of systems is made easier with the use of Drift, a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) configuration analysis tool within Red Hat Insights, freely available as part of your RHEL subscription. In this post, we would like to explore a new feature recently added to the Drift service, the historical system profile.

          In case you missed it, check out our previous post for an introduction to creating system baselines and using them to analyze systems’ configuration drift.

        • Introducing Red Hat’s Open Source Participation Guidelines

          When your whole business revolves around open source, community participation, and upstream-first development, it’s a reasonable assumption that you’re going to get asked about how all of that works.

          Oh, do we ever.

          And it’s not like we’re secretive about it. My colleagues in the Open Source Program Office have posted guides, FAQs, and white papers. We’ve had then Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst do TED talks. He even wrote a book! Yet still, there are a lot of individuals and organizations who will come up to us and ask us how Red Hat makes this all work.

        • How open source leads to open doors [Ed: Well, it’s a good thing they don’t know what racist IBM did at the beginning]

          In today’s climate, racial equality and equity is top of mind. The tech industry has a renewed focus on giving girls in underrepresented communities access and exposure to STEM, particularly in the pre-teen and teen years that are critical to keeping girls interested in STEM subjects. Giving adolescent girls access to skills like coding and introducing them to open source prepares them for college and career and opens new doors and opportunities


          As part of our continuing social justice efforts and commitment to racially equality, IBM is awarding our next open source community grant to Black Girls CODE. Launched in 2011, Black Girls CODE (BGC), with 15 chapter cities in the U.S. and abroad, is a transformative global movement that hosts technology-focused weekend workshops, hackathons, summer camps, and many other enrichment opportunities for more than 20,000 low-income, Black girls — or as they call themselves, Tech Divas.

          Additionally, IBM has partnered with Black Girls CODE as a National Alumnae Ambassador Program Sponsor to help cultivate the next generation of STEM developers. This partnership allows Black Girls CODE and their Tech Divas to participate in two initial opportunities with IBM — one with IBM’s Call for Code for Racial Justice program and another with IBM offerings for workshops on STEM topics like quantum, artificial intelligence, and hybrid cloud.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Top 10 Features of Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla

          It’s finally the time for the release of Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla this week. And here I put together a list of the top 10 features of Ubuntu 20.10 which you could read before you try your hands on the actual iso.

        • Ubuntu Vs Pop!_OS: Which One’s Better?

          Both Ubuntu and Pop!OS is great for beginners as well as professionals. Like how the budget Android devices ship with a lot of bloatware, Ubuntu also ships with bloatware, resulting in a relatively poor user experience and performance compared to Pop!_OS.

          Ubuntu also comes with “Ubuntu Minimal options” that don’t include many applications letting you install what you actually need. Apart from that, Ubuntu’s software center has a built-in section for snap applications, whereas you won’t find snap packages in the Pop!_OS shop rather you’ll find the Flatpak package option.

          However, Snap packages take too much space on the disk; hence, we suggest you consider using the APT version of any application. Pop!_OS also has its own official PPA, where you can find applications like TensorFlow and Android Studio one “apt-get install” away from installing.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • From Continuous Compliance to Continuous Risk Mitigation

        The explosive adoption of open source has meant that companies are having to take open source risk assessment and mitigation seriously. As open source contributions and usage grow, the attack surface for vulnerabilities has increased considerably, leading to higher security risk. In fact, Forrester’s 2018 Global Business Technographics Security Survey revealed that 35% of global security decision makers who experienced an external breach said that it occurred due to software vulnerabilities.

      • Three years since the Polhem prize | daniel.haxx.se

        Today, exactly three years ago, I received flowers, money and a gold medal at a grand prize ceremony that will forever live on in my mind and memory. I was awarded the Polhem Prize for my decades of work on curl. The prize itself was handed over to me by no one else than the Swedish king himself. One of the absolute top honors I can imagine in my little home country.

        In some aspects, my life is divided into the life before this event and the life after. The prize has even made little me being presented on a poster in the Technical Museum in Stockholm. The medal itself still sits on my work desk and if I just stop starring at my monitors for a moment and glance a little over to the left – I can see it. I think the prize made my surroundings, my family and friends get a slightly different view and realization of what I actually do all these hours in front of my screens.

        In the tree years since I received the prize, we’ve increased the total number of contributors and authors in curl by 50%. We’ve done over 3,700 commits and 25 releases since then. Upwards and onward.

        Life moved on. It was not “peak curl”. There was no “prize curse” that left us unable to keep up the pace and development. It was possibly a “peak life moment” there for me personally. As an open source maintainer, I can’t imagine many bigger honors or awards to come my way ever again, but I’m not complaining. I got the prize and I still smile when I think about it.

      • Louis-Philippe Véronneau – Musings on long-term software support and economic incentives

        Although I still read a lot, during my college sophomore years my reading habits shifted from novels to more academic works. Indeed, reading dry textbooks and economic papers for classes often kept me from reading anything else substantial. Nowadays, I tend to binge read novels: I won’t touch a book for months on end, and suddenly, I’ll read 10 novels back to back.

        At the start of a novel binge, I always follow the same ritual: I take out my e-reader from its storage box, marvel at the fact the battery is still pretty full, turn on the WiFi and check if there are OS updates. And I have to admit, Kobo Inc. (now Rakuten Kobo) has done a stellar job of keeping my e-reader up to date. I’ve owned this model (a Kobo Aura 1st generation) for 7 years now and I’m still running the latest version of Kobo’s Linux-based OS.

      • Events

        • FSFE at SFSCon 2020 – FSFE

          The South Tyrol Free Software Conference, SFSCon, is one of Europe’s most established annual conferences on Free Software. In recent years we have been represented with talks, workshops and our information booth. Last year we also organised our Community Event in the context of SFSCon, so that we could meet not only our community but also many interested people and report about our work.

          Due to the current situation, the SFSCon 2020 can unfortunately only take place in blended mode: both online and at NOI Techpark, for a limited number of people. But of course, the FSFE is again contributing to the programme.

          The FSFE has organised several talks in which legal issues are clarified and current political developments are analysed. Concrete practical questions concerning compliance, for example for SMEs, will be addressed as well as questions about machine learning and which problems arise in the development of a free smartphone.

        • Intense weeks

          End of October turns out to be one of the highs when it comes to workload this year. Everything happens at once – there are two public events that I’d like to tell you about.

          The first one is running lights. This is an annual running competition organized by AIF Friidrott, the sports club my kids are active in. This year, this means organized by me and postponed due to COVID-19, but the virtual races started this weekend and the arena race will take place on the 24th.

          If anyone of you are in the Alingsås area and enjoy I highly recommend you to join. The weather looks nice, and we will light up the arena with live fire, so it will be a great evening.

          The second one is the foss-north 2020 take II event. This spring, we decided to try to organize a physical foss-north event this fall, as obviously the pandemic must be over by November. This seems to not be the case. :-)

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Community Member Monday: Marcin Popko – The Document Foundation Blog

          Hello! I’m from Bialystok, a city in north-east Poland. I work as an electromagnetic compatibility tester – it’s a seriously crazy and interesting area of electronics development. I’m quite an artist soul; in my free time I dance bachata and sing in a folk band called “Kurpie Zielone”. I also write a blog about dance, emotions and technology here.

          What is the free software/Linux/LibreOffice scene like in Poland?

          FLOSS (free/libre and open source software) has rather more awareness in geeky and technological domains, than in everyday normal life. LibreOffice is not well know among my friends – some of them are using Microsoft Office, and some of them are even using OpenOffice. So that’s my mission here: inform them :-) Companies use LibreOffice when they can’t afford Microsoft Office or when it’s not seriously needed.

      • Programming/Development

        • C# vs C++ vs C – Coding For Noobs

          C# vs C++ vs C difference is one of the most confusing questions for so many students When they start learning programming languages. This confusion is due to a common alphabet C in the name. Let me tell you they are not at all same. Further in the article, I will explain each and every programming language and its use so that you can easily understand their contrast and uses.

        • SDL2 Gains OS/2 Support – LinuxReviews

          The year was 1997 when two very well-dressed young men appeared at the The Gathering demoscene party held a large hall called Vikingskipet (The Viking Ship) in Norway. The men looked around and then they started handing out CD-Rom coasters to anyone who would accept. The coasters were labelled OS/2 Warp 4 and the men assured me that it was the latest and greatest version of what would surely be the dominant operating system in the near future. These were not “pirated” or illegitimate coasters, they were genuine copies of OS/2 printed by IBM. They were trying to get the kids hooked. It didn’t work and OS/2 died off only a few short years later.

          IBM released the last OS/2 version, 4.52, in December 2001. Two companies have kept their own proprietary versions of it alive: eComStation, from Serenity Systems and Mensys BV, and ArcaOS, from Arca Noae LLC, are still being sold and to some degree maintained. Both are binary compatible with OS/2 Warp 4. ArcaOS is the most “developed” of the two, it has had several new releases this year.

        • Python

          • Python 3.9 Brings Timely Improvements to Programming Language

            The open source Python programming language is moving forward with its first and only major release for 2020, providing a series of new features for developers.

          • Reading Poorly Structured Excel Files with Pandas – Practical Business Python

            With pandas it is easy to read Excel files and convert the data into a DataFrame. Unfortunately Excel files in the real world are often poorly constructed. In those cases where the data is scattered across the worksheet, you may need to customize the way you read the data. This article will discuss how to use pandas and openpyxl to read these types of Excel files and cleanly convert the data to a DataFrame suitable for further analysis.

          • sphinxcontrib-spelling 7.0.0 – Doug Hellmann

            sphinxcontrib-spelling is a spelling checker for Sphinx-based documentation. It uses PyEnchant to produce a report showing misspelled words.

          • Change Font Size in Matplotlib

            Matplotlib is one of the most widely used data visualization libraries in Python. Much of Matplotlib’s popularity comes from its customization options – you can tweak just about any element from its hierarchy of objects.

            In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to change the font size in Matplotlib.


            In this tutorial, we’ve gone over several ways to change the size of fonts in Matplotlib.

          • Python: Slice Notation on List

            The term slicing in programming usually refers to obtaining a substring, sub-tuple, or sublist from a string, tuple, or list respectively.

            Python offers an array of straightforward ways to slice not only these three but any iterable. An iterable is, as the name suggests, any object that can be iterated over.

            In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about Slicing Lists in Python.

          • Mariuz’s Blog: Python 3 Firebird-driver & Firebird-lib 1.0.0 released

            The firebird-driver package provides official Python Database API 2.0-compliant driver. In addition to the minimal feature set of the standard Python DB API, this driver also exposes the new (interface-based) client API introduced in Firebird 3, and number of additional extensions and enhancements for convenient use of Firebird RDBMS. The driver is written as pure-Python package (requires Python 3.8+) on top of Firebird client library (fbclient.so/dll) using ctypes. Driver supports Firebird version 3.0 and higher.

            You can download this driver from PyPI or or install it using pip.

          • PyDev of the Week: Sunita Dwivedi – The Mouse Vs. The Python

            This week we welcome Sunita Dwivedi as our PyDev of the Week! Sunita works for the DISH Network. She is active with PyDEN, the Denver, CO Python users group as well as PyColorado.

            Let’s take some time to learn more about Sunita!

            Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

            I live by the phrase “A life not tried enough is not lived enough”. I don’t know who said it, may be I dreamt it. Just Kidding.

            I love working in IT, Rock climbing is my favorite hobby and before COVID-19 I would host regular dinner parties and cook Indian food. I an active member in the tech community and Dev manager at Dish Networks

            Why did you start using Python?

            My interest in data analytics and data science lead me to Python. Being a high level language it was easy to learn python. Python requires proper indentation as part of the syntax — if you don’t use indentation correctly, your program won’t work. This makes it readable from the get go

            Also Python has a large standard library plus thousands of open-source 3rd party libraries, which meant that I could develop code more with less effort, since many of the tools they needed, are ready to be plugged in and used.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Essential and Untrusted | Dissent Magazine

              After months of shutdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19, businesses face intense pressure to restore pre-pandemic productivity and profit-ability. With no vaccine in sight, many are undertaking novel efforts to prevent workers from getting sick, and to prevent sick workers from infecting others. One tool employers have turned to is the thermal camera, which promises to detect elevated temperatures.

              The ACLU and other critics have noted the limited effectiveness of temperature screening, while warning about the invasiveness of this practice. The use of thermal cameras, like other technologies of virus detection, is an example of the increasingly intimate surveillance of our bodies in public life. But these technologies don’t only measure body temperature; like background checks, they also shape our ideas about who is risky, and who is trustworthy. For many, the pressure to hand over personal information in order to prove compliance to employers will feel familiar.

              For the past three years, I’ve been studying domestic labor platforms—websites and apps like Care.com and Sittercity—which have come to play an important role in the ways care workers and families find one another. These platforms are not considered as newsworthy as companies like Uber and Lyft, and they are usually excluded from policy research and systematic data collection about the online gig economy. But they are immensely popular: Care.com hosts more than 11 million worker profiles in the United States alone.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The New Humanitarian | Kashmir’s volunteers offer COVID-19 care

        Faced with clampdowns, health shortages, and minimal outside aid, Kashmir’s community volunteers are stepping in where official efforts fall short.


        It’s part of a long history of community support in heavily militarised Kashmir, where an armed insurgency against Indian rule has simmered for the last three decades, and international aid funding is strictly regulated.

        “Crisis is not new to Kashmir,” said Dr. Arshad Hussain, a psychiatrist and associate professor at the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Srinagar, Kashmir’s largest city. “But people here have evolved to help each other even in the worst times, instead of dwarfing into self-centred survival mode.”

        When the coronavirus pandemic escalated in March, Kashmir had already seen months of lockdowns, curfews, and communications blockades. These were imposed in August 2019, when India stripped the former state of Jammu and Kashmir of its semi-autonomous statehood.

        Unheralded community volunteers and NGOs played an active role in responding early on, as they have in previous emergencies, including an earthquake in 2005, widespread floods in 2014, or frequent protests and crackdowns.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Some states allow ballots if voters die before Election Day

        At 90 years old and living through a global pandemic, Hannah Carson knows time may be short. She wasted no time returning her absentee ballot for this year’s election.

        As soon as it arrived at her senior living community, she filled it out and sent it back to her local election office in Charlotte, North Carolina. If something were to happen and she doesn’t make it to Election Day, Carson said she hopes her ballot will remain valid.

        “I should think I should count, given all the years I have been here,” she said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Thai authorities seek to censor coverage of student protests | International | gazette.com

        Thai authorities worked Monday to stem a growing tide of protests calling for the prime minister to resign by threatening to censor news coverage, raiding a publishing house and attempting to block the Telegram messaging app used by demonstrators.

        The efforts by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government to drain the student-led protests of support and the ability to organize comes as they have grown in the capital and spread around the country, despite an emergency decree, which bans public gatherings of more than four people in Bangkok, outlaws news said to affect national security and gives authorities broad power to detain people.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Effective Proceeding Before EPO – News And Tips From Practitioners – 27 October 2020 – Intellectual Property – Poland
        • Why SCOTUS took on Arthrex – and what could happen next

          Sources say the US Supreme Court won’t ‘burn the world down’ in its decision on the constitutionality of PTAB judge appointments, but will finally set out the hallmarks for a superior officer

        • Italy nominates Milan as third head office of UPC instead of London

          At a recent Unified Patent Court (UPC) Preparatory Committee meeting on the effects of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal of its ratification of the…

        • SPCs and orphan drugs– is the double layer getting messy or is it just a matter of timing? A new ruling of the District Court in the Hague to shed some light? – The IPKat

          The ruling of the District Court in the Hague in the case C/09/595262 KG ZA 20-605 concerns the pharmaceutical Exjade (generic substance deferasirox), protected both by a patent and subsequently a Supplementary Protection Certificate as well by an Orphan Drug Designation. Novartis sued Mylan for infringement of the SPC (under the term of its Paediatric Extension) on Exjade; Mylan countersued alleging the invalidity of the Paediatric Extension. The specific ruling concerns preliminary relief proceedings.

          The legal framework

          The Paediatric Regulation is clear that there is a distinction between the rewards and incentives it offers for products protected by a patent (or SPC), on the one hand, and between products that are designated as orphan medicinal products and those that are not, on the other. Orphan medicinal products are excluded from the right to the six-month SPC extension offered in Article 36(1) of the Paediatric Regulation. However, orphan medicinal products (irrespective of whether they are patent protected or not) are granted an extension of the market exclusivity provided for in Article 8 of the Orphan Medicinal Products Regulation, from 10 to 12 years, based on Article 37 of the Paediatric Regulation.

          The case

          On the issue of whether preliminary relief should be granted for the infringement of Novarti’s SPC, Mylan based its arguments on its interpretation of Articles 36(4) and 37 of the Paediatric Regulation, claiming that the double prohibition against the Paediatric Extension (both on the orphan drug as well as on the SPC) also applies when a medicinal product was designated as an orphan medicinal product in the past. Mylan argues, therefore, that Novartis has in effect cherry picked between applicable forms of protection; enjoying both SPC and orphan drug designation, it finally ultimately opts for receipt of an SPC Paediatric Extension rather than an orphan drug extension.

          Furthermore, Mylan argues that Novartis delayed the procedure stipulated under the Paediatric Regulation (the Paediatric Investigation Plan, PIP, and its completion) in order for Exjade to be eligible for a Paediatric Extension only after the orphan drug designation would have expired. In this way, Novartis has (according to Mylan) attempted to manipulate the system and receive an SPC Paediatric Extension.

        • Software Patents

          • Invalidating a patent after expiry of the patent term? German Federal Court of Justice confirms broad standing to sue – The IPKat

            The case involved a European patent held by Koninklijke KPN N.V. (“KPN”, a Dutch telecom company). KPN sued an unnamed party for infringement [believed to be HTC based on this source] only under claim 21 of EP 1 280 279 (“EP’279″) related to a “method and device for transforming a series of data packets by means of data compression”. The other party countersued KPN in the German Federal Patent Court for invalidity of EP’279 in its entirety.

            In short, independent claim 1 of EP’279 relates to a method for converting data packets of a plurality of channels, whereby the data packets are, in particular, subjected to a compression process. Independent claim 21 relates to a device for compressing data packets.

            EP’279 expired during the proceedings before the Federal Patent Court. As a result, the Federal Patent Court considered that the plaintiff for invalidation needed to make a showing of “special interest worthy of protection” to obtain a declaration of nullity of a patent that is no longer in force. The Patent Court considered such an interest to have been shown for independent claim 21 (which was being asserted in infringement proceedings against the plaintiff), but not for any of the other claims. The Patent Court eventually invalidated claim 21 for lack of novelty but declined to rule on the merits of the lawsuit for the other patent claims for lack of a legal interest in the declaration of invalidity.

            The Federal Court of Justice disagreed and declared that the lawsuit for invalidity should have been examined on the merits for all patent claims. Eventually, it invalidated claims 1-20 in their entirety, but ruled that claim 21 (as well as the claims dependent on claim 21) is valid as limited by KPN during the proceedings.

          • Patent case: Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology GmbH vs. KBA-NotaSys SA, EPO

            If an appeal against a decision of the opposition division to maintain the patent in amended form is filed by both patentee and opponent, but later one of the appeals is withdrawn, the principle of reformatio in peius is still applicable, even if more limiting auxiliary claim sets have been filed by the patentee.

Java’s James Gosling is Wrong. Free Software Advocates Never Suggested or Insinuated That Money-Making Was Ethically Wrong.

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Java at 9:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Go proprietary software because might makes right

Summary: The honorable James Gosling mischaracterises the stance of Free software advocacy, portraying it like it is an issue of money rather than respect for users

THE best way to attack a popular movement is to distort or misrepresent its beliefs, views, goals and so on. Black Lives Matters, for instance, is described by some people as a “terror group” because of the action/s of one or two people (among millions).

First, a clarification: I myself make money (or a living) only from Free software. It does not pay a lot of money, but it helps keep the site going and it puts food on the table, without having to resort to unethical practices with immoral software. I know that it’s perfectly feasible to make ends meet without getting involved in proprietary software. Many Free software developers whom I speak to say and do the same. They’re not very wealthy; heck, some are relatively poor, but they’re happy with what they do. Unless you spend decades working as a Microsoft mole (e.g. Miguel de Icaza), you’re not very likely to become a millionaire.

“Unless you spend decades working as a Microsoft mole (e.g. Miguel de Icaza), you’re not very likely to become a millionaire.”And then there are some high-profile success stories, other than Red Hat. How about Canonical’s founder? Mr. Shuttleworth showed that you can become a billionaire with Free software, even at a very young age (he was quite prolific in the Debian-Private mailing lists before he sold his company and became one of the richest South Africans, who like Elon Musk left the country). As one article recalls [1]: “Shuttleworth left South Africa for the Isle of Man in 2001, taking a small proportion of his substantial fortune with him. The rest remained in South Africa in a block loan account. Eight years later he attempted to move a further ZAR2.5 billion offshore, but in the meantime, the South African Finance Ministry had issued a circular imposing exchange controls on the removal from the country of sums exceeding ZAR750,000. Shuttleworth duly applied to the Reserve Bank to exchange the funds. The bank imposed a 10 per cent exit charge on the transfer.”

Another article [2] put it like this: “What’s in a name? Mark Shuttleworth, it turns out, was indeed shuttle worthy. When the superrich computer nerd rocketed off into the cold black nothingness of God’s armpit, he apparently behaved like a proper astronaut—although he puked a bit of orange juice, he didn’t go acid-trippy like in 2001: A Space Odyssey, even though it was actually 2001. South Africa’s second most famous internet billionaire dropped $20 million to become one of the world’s first space tourists, a trip he treated himself to after selling his Thawte Consulting to VeriSign for $575 million in the heady dot.com boom days of 1999. And what did Shuttleworth learn as he stared into the icy void and contemplated his own insignificance in the face of the Infinite Mother?”

“Like many other superrich businessmen (usually but not always those people are male), he doesn’t like to pay his fair share of tax.”The VeriSign deal made him a billionaire from a South African perspective and currency. Later he was bickering about his taxes/levies. Like many other superrich businessmen (usually but not always those people are male), he doesn’t like to pay his fair share of tax. But either way, he was a rich man back then and he remains very rich to this day.

There’s also the obscenely rich Linux Foundation, which does not even use Linux itself, it’s just milking Torvalds and his brand. It shows the absurd intent and immorality of proprietary software types, enriching themselves at the expense (or backs) of those who do all the heavy lifting.

Unlike the Foundation, there’s a community-led effort which registered as a non profit [3] and from their latest publicly-available filing: “We held our annual conference on OCTOBER 12, 2018 and OCTOBER 12, 2018. On October 12, we had seven all day professional tutorials for systems administrators to gain hands on instruction and deeper understanding of Free Software in addition to a track of talks on the mainstage. On October 12, we held an expo for attendees to learn about free software projects and 6 tracks of talks, including a track for career development.”

About $50k and breaking even. Not bad. At least they cover the expenses that they have. Then, outside GNU/Linux, we also have the FreeBSD Foundation, which pays or paid its executive rank about $150k a year [4]. Usually they spend prudently and they’ve so far saved up to about 4 million dollars, having received a lot of money half a decade back. They recently improved their Web site and celebrated a very important birthday.

“It shows the absurd intent and immorality of proprietary software types, enriching themselves at the expense (or backs) of those who do all the heavy lifting.”So now we come to this widely-watched video entitled “Disagreement with Richard Stallman [RMS] about Free Software” (conversation between James Gosling and Lex Fridman). As discussed in IRC yesterday, Gosling is basically wrong. He misframes what RMS actually preaches or publicly says. As Alexei noted, “when I look at companies like PostgresPro and EnterpriseDB, I see them as being all over the place. Which develop free software, they must be in complete poverty. RMS doesn’t employ free software licensing for his speeches. Which is a very concrete practical example of that he does not think “information must be free”. And he said numerous times that he has no objections to the artwork being copyrighted and even pointed it out as a possible monetisation strategy while having the code free. So yes, these people are clearly disagreeing not with RMS, but with a strawRMS they erected themselves in their own minds.”

Gosling suggests that the position of RMS extends to “information must be free” (he talks about software being free — as in freedom — not information). Gosling insinuates that RMS pursues freedom in the sense of gratis, e.g. all movies should be free. But I never saw RMS saying that. Contrariwise, in his DMCA protest he gave a speech saying people should only go watch the films that are really good. RMS talks about freedom of software from an ethical perspective, but Gosling (who really ought to know better) puts or frames that as an economic issue, as if RMS wants to drive him into poverty — to the point where he cannot feed his kids (Mr. Lunduke used a similar attack spiel in an older interview with RMS). This is really, really dishonest.

“Judging by the types of jobs/positions Mr. Gosling has had (and corresponding pay grades), he’s likely a millionaire himself and he left a legacy that’s mostly freedom-respecting (Java). So why attack RMS, whose personal wealth is probably a lot smaller?”“Like I said,” Alexei added, “RMS doesn’t care that much about artwork copyright, that applies to film as well.”

Free software insistence doesn’t mean money cannot and should not be made. In fact, we have plenty of examples where people leveraged Free software to become obscenely rich. Judging by the types of jobs/positions Mr. Gosling has had (and corresponding pay grades), he’s likely a millionaire himself and he left a legacy that’s mostly freedom-respecting (Java). So why attack RMS, whose personal wealth is probably a lot smaller? Seems unnecessary and unfair, as Java uses the licence of RMS (GPL).

  1. South Africa forces billionaire emigrant to pay exit tax | STEP
  2. Shuttleworth, The State and the Ubuntu 2.0
  3. Ohio Linuxfest Corporation – Nonprofit Explorer – ProPublica
  4. The Freebsd Foundation – Nonprofit Explorer – ProPublica

Maybe This is What Codes of Conduct Were Made for? Or to Prevent? (Updated)

Posted in Debian at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Debian developers who find ways to insult women, old people and fellow Debian folks at the same time (that hand gesture has sexual connotation)?

Debian being rude

Summary: When people bemoan the abuse they receive from a so-called ‘anti-harassment’ team (covering up corporate corruption in a project by ousting people) this is the kind of thing they receive from colleagues or former colleagues

Update: He has just done that again. Screenshot below.

And come again

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