Groklaw Down for ~10 Days Now, Techrights Investigates Ways to Bring This Essential Site Back Online

Posted in Site News at 6:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Moe Howard: Groklaw.net, The site Microsoft wants offline

Groklaw.net cache

Summary: We’ve escalated the issue of Groklaw‘s downtime (10 days and counting now), with further updates to come soon and more details in our IRC logs

Links 3/11/2020: HBO DRM on Linux, New Plasma System Monitor, Absolute64 Has Release

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Librem Mini v2 Linux Mini PC features Intel Core i7-10510U Comet Lake Processor

        Purism launches their first Linux mini PC with Librem Mini powered by an Intel Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake processor earlier this year, and now the company has unveiled an updated model with the same features, except that Librem Mini v2 mini PC features a slightly more powerful 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510U Comet Lake processor for the same $699 price tag.

      • Don’t Exchange or Sell Your Old Laptops, Install Linux Lite Instead

        How many times has it happen already when your older Intel i3 laptops need to be sold or exchanged. Most of the time you will get a terrible deal on e-commerce websites that will buy your old laptop in exchange for a price that is unacceptable to many. Just like you who is reading this we as well take care of our older laptops and if Windows 10 was not such a resource-heavy OS then there would have been no issue. Sadly, Windows 10 seems to be on a path of expansion and chances are that in a few updates, not even the current Intel i3 10th Gen processors will be able to handle it anymore.

        But lament not for there is hope still and it is a Linux-based hope. If you haven’t heard of it then you’re not alone. Linux Lite is a lightweight OS made for older or very low specced systems. It is so lightweight that you just need a 1.5GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and 20GB of storage. That’s it and you will have your old laptop up and running like it is new. One of the things that made Linux Lite seem like a viable replacement for Windows is the fact that there is a smooth transition between the UI of Linux Lite and of Windows.

      • HBO Max quietly restored service to Linux users

        HBO Max representatives did not respond to a request for comment on whether the service had enabled the VMP requirement under Widevine, which is what broke CBS All Access for Linux users in January of this year.

        We never did hear anything more from HBO Max, but as reader etarts pointed out to us this week, someone eventually fixed the issue with Widevine. The service is once again handing out licenses to Linux subscribers whose browsers support Widevine encryption. The full, proprietary Google Chrome browser supports Widevine (which is a Google protocol) by default; it can also be enabled relatively easily on Chromium and on Mozilla Firefox.

        It’s worth noting that, although access is restored for Linux users now—and we’re grateful to whoever finally did that—Linux PCs are still not on HBO Max’s list of supported devices.

    • Server

      • Advanced Skills Shortage Rains on Cloud Advances

        A Cloud Guru (ACG) in September released the “State of Cloud Learning” report which shows that cloud expertise, measured via certifications and hands-on proficiency, is growing in value for both companies and the individuals who work for them.

        ACG analyzed cloud learning priorities among enterprise teams and individual learners. The report found widespread intent to accelerate cloud adoption and a surge in demand for Azure-related content.

        More than 90 percent of IT leaders surveyed expect to expand their cloud services in the next one to three years. Despite this testament to the benefits of cloud adoption, enterprises may find a lack of qualified IT workers to fill those positions.

        A related story focusing on ACG’s corporate actions to help fill that growing gap in trained Linux technicians details the company’s recent launch of its new flagship cloud training platform this summer. That platform addresses the shortage of tech workers needing Linux-based cloud training. It offers a comprehensive, hands-on solution through a cloud-based learning platform.

        ACG’s research for the report incorporated analysis of more than three million hours of its usage data and surveyed 26,000 cloud learners — including IT leaders, engineers, and developers. It uncovers how the industry is thinking about the most popular cloud learning platforms, the barriers to growth in cloud expertise, and the future of cloud skills development.

    • Kernel Space

      • [Older] Linux 5.10 set to become the next Long-Term Support kernel

        Speaking at the Linux Foundation’s virtual Open-Source Summit Europe, the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch, Greg Kroah-Hartman, unveiled that Linux 5.10 will be the next Long-Term Support (LTS) release. The existing LTS kernel is Linux 5.4 which was released in November 2019 and receives updates until December 2025.

        Going by the last two LTS kernel releases, it’s expected that Linux 5.10 will be tended to until December 2026. The first release candidate of Linux 5.10 was released this past weekend and with several more to come, we should expect the stable version sometime in December.

      • Running Intel Tiger Lake On The Linux 5.10 Kernel – Phoronix

        Given Intel’s very fresh Tiger Lake platform, our latest benchmarking with the Core i7-1165G7 within the Dell XPS 9310 is seeing if running the in-development Linux 5.10 kernel means any performance or power changes for this latest-generation Intel mobile CPU with Xe/Gen12 graphics.

        Linux 5.10 has many new features and improvements for this kernel that should debut as stable in December. When it comes to Tiger Lake specifically with Linux 5.10 there is the continued Gen12/Xe graphics work with the open-source Intel DRM driver as the main area seeing attention this cycle… In particular one item that came to mind and motivating this testing was the merging of Tiger Lake HOBL support. HOBL is short for “Hours of Battery Life” and thus curious what this means for the power consumption on Linux 5.10 relative to Linux 5.9.

      • Linbit builds Kubernetes on-ramp for WD OpenFlex – Blocks and Files

        Western Digital’s composable OpenFlex flash storage system now supports Kubernetes storage, courtesy of Linbit’s LINSTOR software.

        OpenFlex is a physical chassis, containing SSDs or disk drives, which is addressed as an NVMe target device. It’s basically an NVMe-oF JBOD (Just a bunch of drives) and needs additional software to link it to containerised environments.

        Manfred Berger, WD’s senior manager for business development, platforms, said in a statement: “With Linbit’s LINSTOR software added to our OpenFlex offering, the software-defined-storage solution combines the advantages of SDS systems, Linux OS features and composable hardware so that organisations have the confidence they need in their Kubernetes environments.”

      • Videos and slides from Bootlin talks at Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2020 – Bootlin’s blog

        The Embedded Linux Conference Europe took place online last week. While we definitely missed the experience of an in-person event, we strongly participated to this conference with no less than 7 talks on various topics showing Bootlin expertise in different fields: Linux kernel development in networking, multimedia and storage, but also build systems and tooling. We’re happy to be publishing now the slides and videos of our talks.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Open source OpenXR (VR/AR) runtime ‘Monado’, now passes conformance tests | GamingOnLinux

          Quite a huge milestone for the in-development open source OpenXR runtime Monado, as Collabora have announced a fresh milestone in its life. Note: OpenXR is the open standard for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)—collectively known as XR.

          Collabora sure are busy. Not only are some of their engineers working with Valve directly on things like the Steam Linux Runtime Container, along with Linux Kernel work, they’re also developing Monado. As quick primer for those needing to be brought up to speed: “Monado is the first OpenXR runtime for GNU/Linux. Monado aims to jump-start development of an open source XR ecosystem and provide the fundamental building blocks for device vendors to target the GNU/Linux platform.”.

          Recently Collabora took part in an OpenXR webinar hosted by The Khronos Group, where they showed off recent work.

        • [Older] On abandoning the X server

          We talked about the state of X.org earlier this week, and the wider discussion was picked up by Adam Jackson, who works at Red Hat as the X.Org Server release manager, and has been heavily involved with X development for many years.

        • From Panfrost to production, a tale of Open Source graphics

          Since our previous update on Panfrost, the open source stack for Arm’s Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs, we’ve focused on taking our driver from its reverse-engineered origins on Midgard to a mature stack. We’ve overhauled both the Gallium driver and the backend compiler, and as a result, Mesa 20.3 — scheduled for release at the end-of-the-month — will feature some Bifrost support out-of-the-box.


          For those of you with GPUs like Mali T860, Panfrost’s support for Midgard has improved as well. Though the Bifrost compiler is a separate code base, the improvements via GenXML benefit Midgard. Beyond that, over the summer we added support for Arm FrameBuffer Compression (AFBC) as a significant optimization for certain workloads.

          Recent builds of Mesa will automatically compress framebuffer objects to save memory bandwidth, improve performance, and reduce power. Panfrost is even smart enough to compress textures as AFBC on the fly when it makes sense to do so, improving texturing performance for applications that do not support compressed texture formats like ETC directly. In the future, Panfrost will be able to compress the framebuffer itself en route to the display if paired with a compatible display controller, further reducing bandwidth on high resolution monitors. AFBC work was conducted on a Midgard GPU, but will be extended to Bifrost in the future.

          The Midgard compiler also saw a flurry of activity, improving its scheduler to optimize for register pressure, supporting atomic operations and atomic counters, and fixing a long-tail of bugs.

        • Rosenzweig: From Panfrost to production, a tale of Open Source graphics

          Alyssa Rosenzweig reports on the progress of the Panfrost driver. “Since our previous update on Panfrost, the open source stack for Arm’s Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs, we’ve focused on taking our driver from its reverse-engineered origins on Midgard to a mature stack. We’ve overhauled both the Gallium driver and the backend compiler, and as a result, Mesa 20.3 — scheduled for release at the end-of-the-month — will feature some Bifrost support out-of-the-box.”

        • Panfrost Gallium3D To Focus On Better Performance, OpenGL 3.1 Support – Phoronix

          With Mesa 20.3 that should be released as stable in December there is working Arm Bifrost graphics support for the open-source Panfrost Gallium3D while looking past that this Arm Mali driver is going to be focusing on better performance and desktop OpenGL 3.1 support.

          The Mesa Gallium3D Panfrost code has been working on support for newer Arm Mali “Bifrost” graphics support to complement the driver’s Midgard support. There’s also been continued Panfrost DRM kernel driver work too.

        • AMD Linux Driver Seeing Support For New Fine Grain Clock Gating Ability – Phoronix

          AMD mentioned Fine-Grain Clock Gating as one of the new features for the Radeon RX 6000 series with “Big Navi” but it will also be present with the next-gen Van Gogh APU too. The Linux driver patches for bringing up FGCG are under review.

          Fine-Grain Clock Gating was mentioned as part of AMD’s work on achieving a ~50% generational performance-per-Watt improvement. This complements the existing AMD Radeon support (and driver coverage) for medium grain clock gating, coarse grain clock gating, and other clock gating features for basically cutting down the GPU power usage to areas of the chip when not in use. With fine-grain clock gating it’s sounding like the GPU will be much more aggressive in its handling to conserve every bit of power possible.

        • A fresh NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver 455.34.01 is out with GeForce RTX 3070 support | GamingOnLinux

          Reminder: This special Vulkan beta driver is where all the shiny new stuff goes in before making its way into the stable release for everyone. Really, it’s mostly aimed at developers and serious enthusiasts. Unless you need what’s in them, it’s generally best to use the stable drivers.

          The newest stable versions of the main NVIDIA driver for Linux are at 450.80.02 released on September 30 from their “long lived” series or 455.38 released on October 30 from their “short lived” series. Confused?

    • Applications

      • Top Video Editing Software for Linux

        It is no secret in today’s time and age where visual media and subject matter rule the roost when it comes to the field of content creation. It has been long since proved that audiences react far more and better to imagery and visual content rather than content that is presented in plain text. And in the realm of visual content itself, it is the language of motion pictures and videos that have reigned supreme over the rest. Therefore, it is only logical that today’s leading content creators and brands are increasingly focused on churning out top-notch video content with the help of leading applications like InVideo for their prominent advertising and brand messaging campaigns.

        Thus, it becomes highly essential for these people to narrow in on the best crop of video editing softwares available out there. After all, visualizing and composing good video content is only half the job done. The other half lies in the successful presentation and effective editing of the said content. Only then will the final output have the potential to create the desired impact on its viewer that it is intended to in the first place. Keeping in mind the importance of this process, the following segment has been written to shed some light on the best free video editing softwares for Linux.

      • Vifm Vim Plugin: A Match Made In Heaven? – YouTube

        As you’d expect there is vim plugin to use vifm as a file picker and if you’re the sort of the person who wants everything to be vim like this might possibly be the best vim file picker you can find, but I’ll that descision up to you to decide.

      • How to Search the Web from Your Terminal with S – Make Tech Easier

        When you need to search the Web from the terminal, S can be a helpful tool. It supports many search engines with a simple command.


        It’s worth noting that we used the same trick in the past to add similar search functionality not only to Peppermint Linux but also to the popular clipboard manager Clipman.

        Although the approach was precisely the same, S-search comes with dozens of such URLs for many popular sites baked in and is accessible from the terminal. This combination renders it quite useful since it allows you to search for anything on a whim.

      • ledger2beancount 2.5 released | Martin Michlmayr

        I released version 2.5 of ledger2beancount, a ledger to beancount converter.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install PrestaShop on Ubuntu 20.04 Server – Linux Shout

        Learn the simple steps to install and setup the Prestashop e-commerce platform on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 LTS Linux server running on localhost or cloud hosting such as AWS, Google, DigitalCloud, etc.

        PrestaShop is an open-source and free to use e-commerce platform that has been written in PHP and suitable to all size of business those want their products to be sold online. However, the appropriate developer and support are necessary.

        This free e-commerce platform is available in two versions community and premium that is hosted and managed by the developers itself. The hosting is provided IONOS. Well, for those who want to host the Prestashop own their own cloud hosting platforms, and have technical knowledge; the community edition is good to go. Whereas, all functions and modules which are not free, you have to purchase them for a fee. Also, the pre-build modules help a lot to extend the functions of Prestashop as required. Therefore, you don’t have to spend any money on features that you don’t need in the end.

      • October 2020 top 10 sysadmin how-tos and tutorials

        October 2020 was a collosal month here at Enable Sysadmin. We smashed every record previously set with some very impressive numbers. We published 36 articles from 22 different authors, earning north of 429k pageviews and 312k unique visitors.

        We covered a vast array of technologies and interest areas; from command line tips and tricks, YAML, systemctl, and ssh, to Linux/Windows collaborations and sysadmin career advice. We are confident that you will find something of interest to you.

        If you are interested in a chance to be featured in next months top 10, feel free to reach out to the team and submit a draft of your own or submit a proposal to enable-sysadmin@redhat.com.

      • Spinning up a new ECS cluster

        In our previous article, we got acquainted with Amazon ECS service theoretically. In this article, we will walk you through steps to create a new ECS cluster.

      • How to install Mixpad on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Mixpad 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.

      • Creating Functions In The Fish Shell – YouTube

        In this video, I will briefly go over some of the settings that I have in my Fish configuration file (config.fish). I will also discuss some cool functions that you can add to your config. And everything I do here is done without using oh-my-fish.

      • Installing ESXi Arm Fling On Raspberry Pi – StorageReview.com

        In October of this year, VMware announced the ability to run ESXi on 64-bit Arm processors. This was further enabled through VMware’s Project Monterey and Arm’s Project Cassini. Arm-based devices include SmartNICs and Raspberry Pi devices. Now through a VMware Fling (a VMware program sponsored through the Office of the CTO designed to offer early-stage software to the VMware community) users can leverage ESXi on a Raspberry Pi. Here, we give the user an easy step by step guide on how to get started.

      • How to Install and Configure CouchDB on Linux Distros [Guide]

        CouchDB is a web-based non relational database managemnet tool. In this post, we will see how to install CouchDB on various Linux.

      • Using Variables, Facts and Registers in Ansible

        This is the fourth chapter of RHCE Ansible EX 294 exam preparation series and you’ll learn about variables, facts and registers in this chapter. It will be available to non-members after a week.

      • Linux for beginners: 10 commands to get you started at the terminal | Enable Sysadmin

        Don’t fear the command line. Embrace it with these 10 starter commands.

      • How to install Themes for VLC Media Player on Linux

        We all have our own preferences when it comes to choosing a media player for our systems. Some prefer the VLC Media player, which is an open source and cross-platform software that acts as a media client for playing a vast majority of media file formats. Then there is the popular Windows Media Player that is a multimedia player owned by the Microsoft Corporation, that has its own unique features.

        If you are new to Linux, you might find yourself looking for an alternative to the Windows Media Player that you can use on your Debian. Unfortunately, there is hardly any alternative to the Windows Media player that gives you the comfort of that same look and feel. No doubt there are extremely efficient media players available for Debian like VLC, Amarok, Smplayer and XBMC Media Center. However, there is one workaround that might help you have a media player that sets well on Debian and gives you the visual experience of the Windows Media Player. The solution is to make use of the Skins feature of the VLC Media Player. These skins on VLC help you in theming it according to your preference.

      • How to use SSH command with password in single line – LinuxTechLab

        There can be any number of reasons like you want to access a server or run a command from a script that runs automatically using crontab etc or you are just lazy. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure that THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST UNSAFE WAYS TO ACCESS SERVERS as you are giving away the username & password to anyone having access to the system as the commands are stored in history & one can also see the passwords in a script.

        There are other ways to SSH servers securely without having to enter the username & password. For that we can use SSH keys, public/private ssh keys allow a server to authenticate the server credentials with the use of certificates & we are not required to enter any usernames or passwords (though we can use pass-phrase also for certificates). You can refer to the article below to setup PASSWORDLESS SSH AUTHENTICATION.

        But even if you need to use a one-liner command to use ssh command with the password, then read the article ahead. We will discuss two ways how to use ssh command with a password in a single line.

      • How to create a free SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt in Linux – The Linux GURUS

        Let’s encrypt is non-profit, free, and open certificate authority, or CA that is run by Internet Security Research Group or ISRG. Let’s Encrypt provides a TLS certificate & provide certificate for 90 days, which can then be renewed at any point during these 90 days without any charge what-so-ever.

        The main aim of Let’s Encrypt is to make the internet secure by making SSL certificates accessible to all with ease. In this tutorial, we will learn to create a free SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt in Linux.

      • How To Install KDE Plasma on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install KDE Plasma on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, KDE is a well-known desktop environment for Unix-like systems designed for users who wants to have a nice desktop environment for their machines, It is one of the most used desktop interfaces out there.

        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 of KDE Plasma on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Terminal Email Client with Raspberry PI and Mutt – peppe8o

        We are all get used to beautiful email clients. Smartphones, computers and tablets are plenty of open source email management software to make life really easy and communicate with high value tools.

        But sometimes, when some nerds (like me) love working with terminal, an email client inside your terminal ca save looking continuously on another screen to check messages arrived.

        One of most known solution to this need is Mutt. This is a small but very powerful text-based mail client for Unix operating systems.

      • 9 Common ADB Commands You Should Know – Make Tech Easier

        The Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is a command-line tool to interact with your Android device from your computer. ADB commands enable you to perform a wide range of tasks, including some that would be difficult or even impossible to achieve without ADB. In this article we cover nine essential ADB commands that every Android user should know.

      • How to Install Bolt CMS with Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04

        Bolt is a free, open-source, lightweight and simple content management system based on PHP. It is designed for ease of use and helps you to create powerful and dynamic content websites easily. It is built on Silex microframework and is a great alternative for those looking for a modern PHP system. It is created using modern open-source libraries and is best suited to build sites in HTML5 with modern markup.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Bolt CMS with Nginx and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Install Cacti Monitoring Server on CentOS 8

        Cacti is a free, open-source and powerful web-based network monitoring and graphing tool. It is used to monitor system performance, CPU load and network bandwidth utilization in a graph format. It allows you to poll services at predetermined intervals and graph the resulting data. It is a complete frontend to RRDTool, written in PHP and uses MySQL database to stores all of the necessary information.

        In this tutorial, we will explain how to install Cacti monitoring tool on CentOS 8.

      • How to handle errors in Bash – Anto Online

        There are different techniques that we can use to handle errors in bash/shell scripting. Let us see each of these techniques one by one.

        The easiest way to prevent errors is to first to run your command in the terminal. And, if the command in the terminal runs as expected, then you should add it to your script. Let’s look at the different ways you can debug and handle errors in Bash.

      • A sysadmin’s guide to containerizing applications | Enable Sysadmin

        Curious how to containerize your Linux applications? Learn by example, and understand the challenges of various application types and how to overcome them.

      • How the Kubernetes scheduler works | Opensource.com

        Understand how the Kubernetes scheduler discovers new pods and assigns them to nodes.

      • 4 ways to run Kubernetes locally | Opensource.com

        Set up a local development environment or just try out the container orchestration platform with these tools.

    • Games

      • Turnip Vulkan Driver Picks Up Geometry Streams To Support DXVK’s Direct3D 10.1 – Phoronix

        We haven’t heard much of traditional Linux gaming on any ARM-powered Qualcomm notebooks as it would rely on the likes of Hangover for running Windows x86_64 games on ARM, but the Turnip Vulkan driver within Mesa has a necessary feature for now being able to run DXVK with the Direct3D 10_1 (v10.1) feature level.

        Long-standing Mesa contributor Connor Abbott has added support for geometry streams to the Turnip open-source Vulkan driver for Qualcomm Adreno hardware. Turnip remains the unofficial, open-source Vulkan driver for Qualcomm as Freedreno is to OpenGL. The geometry streams support relies as well on some recently reverse engineered registers with the Adreno GPU.

      • Linux 5.11 to see better support for ASUS gaming laptop keyboards | GamingOnLinux

        Love ASUS hardware and their ASUS ROG tech? Well it seems Linux Kernel 5.11 will be pulling in some better support for their keyboards.

        Developer Luke Jones messaged us about their work a while ago, which we talked a little about here. It’s all unofficial, and done by community developers since ASUS won’t do it themselves. Jones mentioned they now have a newer set of projects up on GitLab now to cover most of it, and they’re slowly getting bits upstreamed into Linux properly.

      • Extreme sports game Descenders adds new bike types, tracks, tricks and more | GamingOnLinux

        RageSquid and No More Robots recently gave the extreme sports game Descenders quite a big free content upgrade, which includes plenty of fancy new extras.

        Firstly, they worked with some community modders to pull in some of the most popular community content as official like the Aloda Lakes, Descenders Island, The Sanctuary, MegaPark, Kushmuck4x, Idarkopf tracks. Additionally, they added in BikeOut 4 and New Lexico which are two new original maps.

        I’m a big fan of the BikeOut levels, as they’re totally different to what Descenders was originally made for and they’re pretty amusing as you get bashed around.

      • Collabora will be at the Linux App Summit talking about their work with Valve | GamingOnLinux

        There’s another interesting talk coming up this month that you might want to check out, with open source consulting firm Collabora chatting about their work with Valve.

        If you missed our previous articles on it, the Linux Application Summit 2020 will be taking place between November 12 – 14 and it will be entirely online this year for obvious reasons (COVID19). Registration is free, so anyone can watch the talks live (but you do need to register for it).

      • RetroArch will soon get the PlayStation 2 emulator PCSX2 | GamingOnLinux

        Feel the need to run some classic PlayStation 2 games? It’s set to get a lot easier, as the RetroArch team have reported on their work with PCSX2. They’ve had a bounty open to pay someone to do it since 2018, with it currently sat at $915. The good news is that progress appears to be good!

        The RetroArch team noted it’s getting “quite usable” and it shouldn’t be too much longer until it gets a first release with support for libretro and RetroArch so you can have another emulator under one roof. User aliaspider has been doing a lot of the work, which you can follow the conversation of on GitHub. It currently only supports 64bit and OpenGL / Direct3D 11 with OpenGL having more features supported. It seems Android and macOS are not currently planned for the PCSX2 emulator core.

      • VR rhythm game ‘Groove Gunner’ enters Early Access with Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        After a new VR game that’s supported on Linux? There’s not a lot to pick from but you can now add Groove Gunner to your collection.

        Groove Gunner’s unique take on the VR Rhythm genre challenges players with a mix of shooting and blocking. A true test of skill as you move, shoot and block to the beat. BitCutter Studios reached out to us before about it, and they did some early testing with members of our community which was really great to see. While it’s in Early Access, it shouldn’t be for long. They’re estimating only a couple of months to get it finished and polished up enough for a full release.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.21 – Top Upcoming Features and Release Date

          The upcoming KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop environment is under development. And the feature updates and other changes are getting visible, slowly. Here are the top upcoming features and release date.

          The KDE Plasma team currently is busy working on the bug fix releases for the last major KDE Plasma 5.20 which was an outstanding release with many new features. And it seems the next KDE Plasma 5.21 also going to be another important release.


          The current KDE Plasma 5.20 is going via the bug fix phase at the moment. The last bugfix release of current KDE Plasma 5.20.9 is expected around mid-January 2021. This would make way for the KDE Plasma 5.21 release.

          These are the features that are known at the moment for KDE Plasma 5.21. I will keep this post updated as more features are getting visible.

        • Plasma System Monitor Preview Release

          Plasma System Monitor is a brand new UI for monitoring system resources. It is built on top of Kirigami and a new system statistics service called “KSystemStats” that was debuted in Plasma 5.19. It shares a lot of code with the new system monitor applets that were also introduced in Plasma 5.19. It is meant to be a successor to KSysGuard.

        • Plasma System Monitor is a Modern System Stats App for KDE

          A brand new system monitoring app is in development for the KDE Plasma desktop — and it looks pretty decent already.

          It’s called ‘Plasma System Monitor’ and it has been built using the modern and responsive Kirigami interface framework.

          Not that creating an entirely new hub for stats fans to fixate on was the initial plan, here.

          Arjen Hiemstra is leading development on the new tool but says his original idea was to “create a new set of system monitor widgets for Plasma desktop”. But when he noticed that the Plasma desktop’s incumbent activity monitor was also in need of a refresh he changed tack.

          New system monitor widgets did ship in Plasma 5.19 and it is the plumping laid down to power that that has helped pave the way for this tool.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Tracker 3.0: The Good and the Bad

          I thought this was going to be the last blog post about Tracker 3.0, but it got rather long and I decided to turn this appraisal of the project and its design into a post of its own. So, get ready for some praise and some criticism!

          To criticise the design and implementation of a software project we first need to understand the project requirements. What it is trying to do? I’ve written some goals and non-goals for the Tracker search engine, and proposed them for inclusion in the README. Now I’m going to compare the goals with the reality. I am of course a biased observer, and I welcome you to make your own assessment, but let’s dive in!

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Vivaldi browser updated to 3.4.2066.90 » PCLinuxOS

          Vivaldi is a new web browser based on Chromium that is built by an Opera founder. It’s aimed mostly at power users, but it can be used by anyone.

        • Flashpeak Slimjet browser updated to » PCLinuxOS

          Slimjet is built on top of the Chromium open-source project on which Google Chrome is also based. It enjoys the same speed and reliablity provided by the underlying blink engine as Google Chrome. However, many additional features and options have been added in Slimjet to make it more powerful, intelligent and customizable than Chrome. In addition to that, Slimjet DOES NOT send any usage statistics back to Google’s server like Google Chrome, which is a growing concern for many Chrome users due to the ubiquitous presence and reach of the advertising empire.

        • Progress on OMLx 4.2

          Work continues on OMLx 4.2. It is anticipated that Beta release should be happening in the next week or two.

      • Slackware Family

        • Absolute64-20201103 released

          Based on Slackware64-current.
          Keeping up with wholesale library changes (especially python) and kernels, etc…
          (Will there ever be a Slackware 15?)
          Edited some utilities to adjust to new libs.
          Tighten up the UI/mime/icons.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Ubuntu 20.10 v Fedora 33 – GNOME Impressions – YouTube

          Both these desktop releases use the GNOME desktop as their default – and yet both handle it so differently. Here’s my thoughts on the distinct direction and target userbase of each. This isn’t a full review or deep dive of Ubuntu 20.10 or Fedora 33, merely my observations as I play around with the two.

        • Review – Fedora Workstation 33 (and why you should avoid it) – YouTube

          Fedora 33 was released recently, and I decided to take a look at it and give it a review. Unfortunately, I came away less than impressed and in this review I talk about some of the things that I felt could’ve been better.

        • Contribute at the Fedora CoreOS Test Day – Fedora Community Blog

          promoted to other streams the Fedora CoreOS and QA teams have organized a test day on Friday, November 06, 2020 (results accepted through Thursday, November 12). Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.


          The wiki page for the test day has a lot of good information on what and how to test. After you’ve done some testing, you can log your results in the test day web application. If you’re available on or around the day of the event, please do some testing and report your results.

        • Preview new natural language processing data sets and Jupyter starter notebooks on the IBM Data Asset eXchange – IBM Developer

          Join the thousands of developers that have been using the all-new, hot releases of data sets and notebooks on the IBM® Data Asset eXchange (DAX) this fall! DAX is an online center for engineers, researchers, and data scientists to find open and licensed data sets and to help them analyze these data sets using Jupyter Notebooks and other technologies. Since its beginning in 2019, the Center for Open Source Data and AI Technologies (CODAIT) group has been continuously adding new content.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – October 2020

          In this 33rd edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in October 2020.

        • Argo CD and Tekton: Match made in Kubernetes heaven – Red Hat Developer

          DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about Argo CD and Tekton from Siamak Sadeghianfar and Burr Sutter.

          Tekton Pipelines is an open source project that provides a Kubernetes-native, lightweight, easy-to-manage serverless CI/CD framework. Tekton is built for Kubernetes and runs delivery pipelines in pods to scale on-demand, allowing teams to fully control their pipelines and dependencies. Argo CD is a declarative GitOps Operator that makes continuous delivery possible by using Git as a source of truth for declarative infrastructure and applications.

          In this session, you will learn how to combine the power of Tekton Pipelines with Argo CD for a declarative approach to CI/CD based on GitOps principles.

      • Debian Family

        • Wouter Verhelst: Dear Google

          FOSDEM creates 600+ videos on a yearly basis. There is no way I am going to manually upload 600+ videos through your webinterface, so we use the API you provide, using a script written by Stefano Rivera. This script grabs video filenames and metadata from a YAML file, and then uses your APIs to upload said videos with said metadata. It works quite well. I run it from cron, and it uploads files until the quota is exhausted, then waits until the next time the cron job runs. It runs so well, that the first time we used it, we could upload 50+ videos on a daily basis, and so the uploads were done as soon as all the videos were created, which was a few months after the event. Cool!

          The second time we used the script, it did not work at all. We asked one of our key note speakers who happened to be some hotshot at your company, to help us out. He contacted the YouTube people, and whatever had been broken was quickly fixed, so yay, uploads worked again.

          I found out later that this is actually a normal thing if you don’t use your API quota for 90 days or more. Because it’s happened to us every bloody year.

          For the 2020 event, rather than going through back channels (which happened to be unavailable this edition), I tried to use your normal ways of unblocking the API project. This involves creating a screencast of a bloody command line script and describing various things that don’t apply to FOSDEM and ghaah shoot me now so meh, I created a new API project instead, and had the uploads go through that. Doing so gives me a limited quota that only allows about 5 or 6 videos per day, but that’s fine, it gives people subscribed to our channel the time to actually watch all the videos while they’re being uploaded, rather than being presented with a boatload of videos that they can never watch in a day. Also it doesn’t overload subscribers, so yay.

        • Martin-Éric Racine: Adding IPv6 support to my home LAN

          I have been following the evolution of IPv6 ever since the KAME project produced the first IPv6 implementation. I have also been keeping track of the IPv4 address depletion.

          Around the time the IPv6 Day was organized in 2011, I started investigating the situation of IPv6 support at local ISPs.

          Well, never mind all those rumors about Finland being some high-tech mecca. Back then, no ISP went beyond testing their routers for IPv6 compatibility and producing white papers on what their limited test deployments accomplished.

          Not that it matters much, in practice. Most IPv6 documentation out there, including Debian’s own, still focuses on configuring transitional mechanisms, especially how to connect to a public IPv6 tunnel broker.

          Relocating to a new flat and rethinking my home network to match gave me an opportunity to revisit the topic. Much to my delight, my current ISP offers native IPv6.

          This prompted me to go back and read up on IPv6 one more time. One important detail:

        • Migrating to Predictable Network Interface Names

          Ever since Linus decided to flip the network interface enumeration order in the Linux kernel, I had been relying on udev’s persistent network interface rules to maintain some semblance of consistency in the NIC naming scheme of my hosts. It has never been a totally satisfactory method, since it required manually editing the file to list the MAC addresses of all Ethernet cards and WiFi dongles likely to appear on that host to consistently use an easy-to-remember name that I could adopt for ifupdown configuration files.

          Enter predictable interface names. What started as a Linux kernel module project at Dell was eventually re-implemented in systemd. However, clear documentation on the naming scheme had been difficult to find and udev’s persistent network interface rules gave me what I needed, so I postponed the transition for years. Relocating to a new flat and rethinking my home network to match gave me an opportunity to revisit the topic.

        • GRUB fine-tuning

          A couple of years ago, I moved into a new flat that comes with RJ45 sockets wired for 10 Gigabit (but currently offering 1 Gigabit) Ethernet.

          This also meant changing the settings on my router box for my new ISP.

          I took this opportunity to review my router’s other settings too. I’ll be blogging about these over the next few posts.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Chromium Browser (Deb) Now Available to Install via Linux Mint 20 Repository

          Prefer installing Chromium web browser via deb over the snap package? Linux Mint 20 now includes the browser (Chromium 86 so far) in its own repository for both Ubuntu based and LMDE editions.

          Since Ubuntu 20.04, chromium browser in the main repository is a dummy package. It’s redirected to the SNAP (containerized software package) when you trying to install it.

        • Linux Mint introduces its own take on the Chromium web browser

          Linux Mint is a very popular Linux desktop distribution. I use the latest version, Mint 20, on my production desktops. That’s partly because, while it’s based on Debian Linux and Ubuntu, it takes its own path. The best example of that is Mint’s excellent homebrew desktop interface, Cinnamon. Now, Mint’s programmers, led by lead developer, Clement “Clem” Lefebvre, have built their own take on Google’s open-source Chromium web browser.

        • Linux Mint pushes out its own Chromium build to help users avoid Canonical’s Snap Store

          The big deal here is that Canonical said in October 2019 that Chromium, the open-source browser which shares code with Google Chrome, would transition to be packaged solely as a snap, meaning a package designed for the Snap Store, managed by Canonical.

          The company said at the time that “maintaining a single release of Chromium is a significant time investment for the Ubuntu Desktop,” especially as Google rolls out a new version every six weeks, with security releases in between.


          Google does offer its Chrome browser as a .deb package, but Chrome is not open source, making Chromium a more attractive proposition for Linux users.

          The new Mint-built Chromium shows that the team is serious about enabling its users to manage without the Snap store, though as a user commented, the problem could recur with other packages. “Can I very politely bring up the other SNAP cornering? FWUPD requires SNAP,” said a user, referring to an open-source tool for managing firmware updates.

          The notion of building applications into containerised packages is not going away. “The effort that is going into having application developers be able to target a single runtime or that works across distributions, I think is absolutely fantastic, and it’s something that’s been missing for many many years on Linux systems,” said Gnome Foundation executive director Neil McGovern, speaking to The Register recently, though he expressed similar misgivings to those of Lefebvre, saying: “I do have a concern that the Snap Store is entirely gated by Canonical.”

        • Linux Mint developers foolishly waste resources on IPTV player called ‘Hypnotix’

          Linux Mint is a great Ubuntu-based operating system, although there have been concerns about the project’s financing and the morale of the developers. Over time, the small development team made some wise decisions, such as killing the KDE variant of the operating system. I think they should kill the Mate and Xfce versions and focus strictly on Cinnamon, but I digress.

          Sadly, the team seems ready to make another poor decision, foolishly wasting its limited resources on an IPTV player for some reason. Called “Hypnotix,” no one was asking for such a thing from the Mint Team, and it isn’t clear why they are bothering. While only a “prototype” (aka Alpha) application for now, the developers are considering making it a part of Linux Mint. But why?

        • Accessibility audit of Vanilla framework | Ubuntu

          The team behind the Vanilla Framework has a background in development, UX and Visual Design. We all care about accessibility, but none of us is an accessibility expert.

          We were interested in evaluating how well the framework complies with accessibility standards. We decided to start with an internal audit, fix any issues we find, then look for a third-party service to evaluate the framework from the perspective of real-world users with disabilities

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Orange Pi Zero 2 mini PC launches from $16

        If you are in the market for a affordable mini PC you may be interested to know that the previously unveiled Orange Pi Zero 2 mini PC is now available to purchase priced from just $16. The Orange Pi Zero2 mini PC supports both android 10 or Linux such as Ubuntu, or Debian operating systems, and is powered by an Allwinner H6 processor supported by up to 1GB DDR3 and offers HDMI 2.0 video output, USB 3.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet, and WiFi connectivity.

        “The Orange Pi Zero 2 mini PC is equipped with 26-pin and 13-pin headers with I2C, SPI, UART, USB host, and audio connections. You can also plug an IR receiver into the 13-pin header if you want to use an infrared remote control.”

      • Raspberry Pi 400 Is a Complete Desktop PC in a Keyboard

        Last year the Raspberry Pi, around 40 times as powerful as the original Pi, joined the line. The goal is for it to lead to use that emulates a legacy PC.

        With the global health crisis and people finding themselves stuck at home for school and/or work, there has been an uptick in use for the Raspberry 4 this year.

        Now that computers are being pushed back into the home, there may not be as much room for them, leading to a need for something that takes up less real estate. Tablets may do all this for you, but certain education curriculum and work situations need more than a tablet.

      • Raspberry Pi 400 | Blathering

        The kit looks like the way to go. It has a retail of $100 (though I can’t find anyone selling it at this time) which comes with an official power supply, mouse, HDMI cable and perhaps, most importantly, a beautiful manual that is loaded with pages of all kinds of informative educational excitement. This is essentially an educational tool that comes with a real manual like the days of old. For me, the manual is key. Thumbing through the pages documentation, running my fingers down the inner spine of the book encourage it to stay open and explore all that it has to offer. There is something about that smell of a freshly bound book that makes an experience real and memorable (I realize, I am dreaming here).

        The build quality looks more than adequate. I would absolutely gauge my expectations around the $100 mark and wouldn’t try to compare this with a modern Dell Latitude in fit, function and performance. That would be completely ridiculous. Based on other reviews, they keyboard looks to be just 5% from perfect which is more than adequate for me and especially more than adequate as an educational tool.

        All the connections are on the back, like in good all-in-one Commodore 64 fashion and is nicely shrouded to protect against accidental shorting of pins or parts on the board. It doesn’t protect against everything but would protect against most accidental clumsiness.

        Perhaps most important of all, this is spearhead into he inspiration of future generations to develop and create solutions. It is that first computer you can feel good about giving a child that he or she can take the time to learn and create. This is the beginning of something that is far better than having them plunk away on a phone or tablet being entertained like mindless automatons. This can be used to just just consume but to create and give to the world in which we live.

      • Raspberry Pi panel PCs upgrade to CM3+ and expand to a half dozen models

        ComfilePi has updated its industrial, IP65-protected “ComfilePi” panel PCs with a Raspberry Pi CM3+ in a variety of 7, 10.1-, 10.2, and 15-inch configurations with new features like eMMC and an exposed heatsink.

        Last week, ComfilePi announced a ComfilePi CPi-BV070WR variation on its similarly 7-inch ComfilePi CPi-A070WR panel PC that advances from a Raspberry Pi CM3+ Compute Module 3 (CM3) to a Raspberry Pi CM3+. The CPi-BV070WR also adds eMMC storage options and a larger, externally exposed heatsink.

      • NVIDIA Jetson Nano 2GB Brings Machine Learning Power To A Raspberry Pi Price Point

        Development of autonomous machines is an exploding field, as machine learning spreads from the data center and cloud, to edge end-point devices that are becoming far more capable and useful with machine vision and inferencing technologies. Robotics alone has revolutionized manufacturing, warehousing and many other industries. As such, NVIDIA has kept a keen focus on edge AI and ML, offering its Jetson and Jetson Nano small form factor computing solutions that take advantage of the company’s GPU acceleration platforms combined with its CUDA programming model that’s ubiquitous in data center AI applications as well. Historically, NVIDIA’s Jetson developer kit solutions have ranged in price, from the company’s more powerful Jetson Xavier NX platform at $399, to its lower cost Jetson Nano kit at $99. However, more recently, the company decided to lower the barrier to entry even further with the announcement of its Jetson Nano 2GB dev kit.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Arduino Blog » An Arduino-powered puck with LEDs that react to acceleration

          While you may or may not have frozen ponds where you live, if you have an available smooth surface you can still enjoy a game of floor hockey with this brilliantly illuminated puck.

          Yuksel Temiz’s 3D-printed device features a 12-LED ring inside, which shines brightly through the top of its translucent body and reacts to acceleration. Control is via an Arduino Nano along with an MPU-6050 IMU for sensing.

        • NeuLinker Licenses Codasip Bk5 and Studio for Powering Innovative AI and Blockchain Solutions

          The Codasip Bk5 processor is based on the RISC-V open instruction set architecture (ISA). Bk5 features a single 5-stage in-order execution processor pipeline, optional caches, dynamic branch prediction, JTAG and RISC-V debug, and industry standard bus interfaces (AMBA). It also includes support for privilege-mode standard extension, memory protection unit and TCM, allowing it to easily run a variety of free and commercial RTOSs. The Bk5-64 variant with 64-bit address space and data support is ideal for modern data-intensive applications like storage, networking, AI, and IoT. Bk5 is fully configurable and extensible in compliance with the RISC-V standard.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • HSTS your curl | daniel.haxx.se

        HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is a standard HTTP response header for sites to tell the client that for a specified period of time into the future, that host is not to be accessed with plain HTTP but only using HTTPS. Documented in RFC 6797 from 2012.

        The idea is of course to reduce the risk for man-in-the-middle attacks when the server resources might be accessible via both HTTP and HTTPS, perhaps due to legacy or just as an upgrade path. Every access to the HTTP version is then a risk that you get back tampered content.


        Possibly, this feature is more useful and appreciated by applications that use libcurl for HTTP(S) transfers. With libcurl the application can set a file name to use for loading and saving the cache but it also gets some added options for more flexibility and powers. Here’s a quick overview:

        CURLOPT_HSTS – lets you set a file name to read/write the HSTS cache from/to.

        CURLOPT_HSTS_CTRL – enable HSTS functionality for this transfer

        CURLOPT_HSTSREADFUNCTION – this callback gets called by libcurl when it is about to start a transfer and lets the application preload HSTS entries – as if they had been read over the wire and been added to the cache.

        CURLOPT_HSTSWRITEFUNCTION – this callback gets called repeatedly when libcurl flushes its in-memory cache and allows the application to save the cache somewhere and similar things.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Dynamic Test Documentation with PerfDocs – Mozilla Performance

            After over twenty years, Mozilla is still going strong. But over that amount of time, there’s bound to be changes in responsibilities. This brings unique challenges with it to test maintenance when original creators leave and knowledge of the purposes, and inner workings of a test possibly disappears. This is especially true when it comes to performance testing.

            Our first performance testing framework is Talos, which was built in 2007. It’s a fantastic tool that is still used today for performance testing very specific aspects of Firefox. We currently have 45 different performance tests in Talos, and all of those together produce as many as 462 metrics. Having said that, maintaining the tests themselves is a challenge because some of the people who originally built them are no longer around. In these tests, the last person who touched the code, and who is still around, usually becomes the maintainer of these tests. But with a lack of documentation on the tests themselves, this becomes a difficult task when you consider the possibility of a modification causing a change in what is being measured, and moving away from its original purpose.

            Over time, we’ve built another performance testing framework called Raptor which is primarily used for page load testing (e.g. measuring first paint, and first contentful paint). This framework is much simpler to maintain and keep up with its purpose but the settings used for the tests change often enough that it becomes easy to forget how we set up the test, or what pages are being tested exactly. We have a couple other frameworks too, with the newest one (which is still in development) being MozPerftest – there might be a blog post on this in the future. With this many frameworks and tests, it’s easy to see how test maintenance over the long term can turn into a bit of a mess when it’s left unchecked.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSFE

        • Recording a Public Money! Public Code? video translation — nico.rikken’s blog

          A Dutch translation of the Public Money? Public Code! campaign video is in the works and close to being released. The video was initially released in English and has been translated in many languages already: German, French, Italian, Polish and Russian. And there is an even greater number of subtitles available. Getting a voice-over translation for the video was one of this year’s goals for the Netherlands local group, to help us advocate for this cause. Getting a voice-over translation can be much more involving than a textual translation, so that why I want to explain how we did it. And by showing others the way, hopefully there will be more audio translations in the future.

          Getting quality

          What makes a good voice over translation? It should be clearly spoken, be comfortable to listen too, be a correct translation, have a timing that matches the sound effects and visuals, has a varying tone that matches the message, and keep a rhythm to it to keep the attention. As you can tell, there are many factors that have to be balanced, requiring an iterative process. A good translation has to be adjusted if it doesn’t work for the required timing, and the best way to check the timing is by rendering the complete video with sounds effects. And so one has to be able to adjust parameters on the fly. Especially because arranging a voice actor and recording setup can be difficult and costly. You should be able to record it in about 5 to 10 takes. So you need a good preparation and the flexibility to make adjustments.

      • Programming/Development

        • What is new in Qt Quick 3D 6.0

          It has been awhile since I’ve posted any updates regarding Qt Quick 3D, but not because there has been no progress. In fact quite the opposite: my team and I have been so busy getting Qt Quick 3D ready for 6.0 we haven’t had time to talk about all the cool new features we have added. So today I would like to talk about some of the things we have done so far.

        • Qt Developers Discuss What To Do With All Their “P1″ Priority Bugs

          While Qt 6.0 is aiming to ship in December there are many open bugs against the Qt code-base. Given the increasing number of P1 priority bug reports that are the highest besides the “P0″ build breakage bug reports, developers are discussing what to do with these bugs and the merits of their current priority classifications.

          Jason McDonald began a discussion today over the long-lived P1 issues. He notes that Qt currently has 1,175 open P1 issues in their bug tracker. Of those 1,175 bugs, about half of them at 583 have been open for more than one year and some 342 bugs were opened two years ago. 175 of those bugs are more than three years ago. So for being “P1″ priority issues, Qt sure has many open bugs lingering around for extended periods of time. Thus he questions if a P1 issue is really a priority if it stays open for more than one year.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Objective-C

          Objective-C is a general purpose programming language which is a superset of the C programming language and provides object-oriented capabilities and a dynamic runtime. Objective-C inherits the syntax, primitive types, and flow control statements of C and adds syntax for defining classes and methods.

          It also adds language-level support for object graph management and object literals while providing dynamic typing and binding, deferring many responsibilities until runtime. Objective-C can incorporate blocks of C code (as well as C++), making it very versatile for application development.

          Objective-C is the primary programming language used when writing software for OS X and iOS.

        • GCC 11′s x86-64 Microarchitecture Feature Levels Are Ready To Roll – Phoronix

          The Linux x86_64 micro-architecture feature levels have taken shape this year for different feature/performance levels based on a CPU’s capabilities. Both LLVM Clang 12 and GCC 11 are ready to go in offering the new x86-64-v2, x86-64-v3, and x86-64-v4 targets.

          These x86_64 micro-architecture feature levels have been about coming up with a few “classes” of Intel/AMD CPU processor support rather than continuing to rely on just the x86_64 baseline or targeting a specific CPU family for optimizations. These new levels make it easier to raise the base requirements around Linux x86-64 whether it be for a Linux distribution or a particular software application where the developer/ISV may be wanting to compile with greater instruction set extensions enabled in catering to more recent Intel/AMD CPUs. Having this set of four versions/levels also reduces the number of possible combinations if wanting to enable Function Multi-Versioning (FMV) or the like without resorting to every possible Intel/AMD CPU family. And we’ll see what else comes of this and the effort around some distributions looking to raise the Linux x86_64 CPU requirements.

        • Create a list in a Flutter mobile app | Opensource.com

          Flutter is a popular open source toolkit for building cross-platform apps. In “Create a mobile app with Flutter,” I demonstrated how to install Flutter on Linux and create your first app. In this article, I’ll show you how to add a list of items in your app, with each item opening a new screen.

        • Flutter Web: A Fractal of Bad Design

          The web has a long and rich history dating back to the nineties at CERN. Back then Tim Berners-Lee laid the foundation of HTML that is still around today. There have been attempts to replace it with varying success but none have been successful, for good reason. HTML and the later invention of CSS are a remarkably powerful set of tools to build all kinds of experiences on the web. People are still trying to replace HTML, which brings us to the topic of this post: Flutter Web.

          Flutter Web is part of Google’s Flutter framework for building cross platform UI. Hailed by many developers as the best thing since sliced bread, my opinion of it lacks the rose coloured glasses. I haven’t looked at Flutter for other platforms than web so I cannot comment on it other than that the general principle of Flutter is a terrible idea. Flutter works by throwing away the native UI toolkits provided by the platform and rendering everything from scratch using OpenGL et al. This translates extremely poorly to the web platform in particular. It’s worth noting that Flutter for Web is currently in beta and the problems I am about to detail could be addressed. However, I believe these issues are fundamental to Flutter’s design choices so I feel confident in my criticism.

        • Python

          • Let’s Celebrate PyCharm’s 10th! – PyCharm Blog | JetBrains

            PyCharm is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Over the last decade, PyCharm has grown alongside Python, carefully following changes in the language and adjusting to the feedback of Python developers. This whole time, the PyCharm team has spared no effort to make PyCharm more enjoyable and productive for its users to work with.

            Looking back, we can clearly see that PyCharm is not just a purely commercial product – it’s also the result of community-driven development. Our users have contributed immensely to making PyCharm better through all these years.

            We are proud of the work made up to these days, and prepared PyCharm birthday page with a special ‘thank you’ message to our users, as well as a timeline with important milestiones, and a challenge.

          • Python: Slice Notation on Tuple

            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 Tuples in Python.

          • Creating a Speech Recognition Program with Python & Google API | Codementor

            Speech Recognition means that the program will capture the words produced by a person and converts them into written words. It can be handy to generate subtitles, transcript a meeting discussion, and many other use cases.

            Converting speech to text is quite a complex machine learning problem where an algorithm needs to receive every sound produced by a person and identify the corresponding written letters. Plus, depending on the language used, different sounds might correspond to other characters. As a result, speech recognition is too complex to be solved using a traditional programming approach.

          • OpenPyXL – Working with Microsoft Excel Using Python – The Mouse Vs. The Python

            The business world uses Microsoft Office. Their spreadsheet software solution, Microsoft Excel, is especially popular. Excel is used to store tabular data, create reports, graph trends, and much more.

          • Simulating Real-World Processes in Python With SimPy – Real Python

            The real world is full of systems, like airports and highways, that frequently experience congestion and delay. When these systems are not optimized, their inefficiency can lead to countless unhappy customers and hours of wasted time. In this course, you’ll learn how to use Python’s simpy framework to create virtual simulations that will help you solve problems like these.

          • How to Use Platform and Keyword Module in Python

            The platform module provides an API to get information about the underlying system/platform where our code runs. Information such as OS name, Python Version, Architecture, Hardware information, etc. is exposed via platform module functions. This module does not require installation since it is part of the default libraries that comes with python installation.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #445 (Nov. 3, 2020)
  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Translating lost languages using machine learning

        Recent research suggests that most languages that have ever existed are no longer spoken. Dozens of these dead languages are also considered to be lost, or “undeciphered” — that is, we don’t know enough about their grammar, vocabulary, or syntax to be able to actually understand their texts.

      • New Machine Learning System Deciphers Lost Languages

        The researchers developed a decipherment algorithm, which “can handle the vast space of possible transformations and the scarcity of a guiding signal in the input.” The system relies on established linguistic principles, such as the patterns in which languages typically evolve.

        A 2019 paper describes the model and reports successful results deciphering the languages of Ugaritic, an extinct dialect of the Amorite language, and Linear B, a syllabic language related to ancient Greek.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Everyone Needs to Do More to Fight COVID-19

        We have little room for error if we are going to prevent thousands of people from getting sick and dozens from dying every day.

      • Trump Suggests He May Fire Fauci After the Election

        President Donald Trump suggested during a campaign rally on Sunday he may fire infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci from his position on the White House coronavirus task force, and possibly from his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation kingpin Dan Kohn dies

                Dan Kohn, leader of the Linux Foundation’s Public Health (LFPH) initiative and former executive director at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), has died of complications while trying to fight off colon cancer.

                Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin wrote that Kohn helped establish the Linux Foundation and oversaw the fastest growing open source community in history, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

                In 1994 he conducted the first secure commercial transaction on the internet after building the first web shopping cart.

              • Open Source Leader Dan Kohn Passes Away

                Dan Kohn, leader of the Linux Foundation’s Public Health (LFPH) initiative and former executive director at CNCF, died of complications from colon cancer in New York City.

                He helped create the Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative as an industry-wide response to the security vulnerabilities demonstrated by Heartbleed.

              • CNCF Statement on the Passing of Dan Kohn

                This weekend, we lost a titan of the open source community with the passing of Dan Kohn. CNCF, the foundation Dan helped build as its Executive Director, will always be home to Dan’s legacy as a pioneer and innovator in the world of technology. As a community, we remain humbled and grateful to the tireless effort Dan gave to this foundation, his colleagues, and his friends. His work in creating an inclusive foundation that was welcoming and safe was momentous and beneficial to all. The strong and diverse leadership we experience today stems from Dan’s determination. Dan was unwavering in his passion for and belief in open source. His presence will be severely missed, but never forgotten by those who knew his gentle nature and felt his supportive touch. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Kohn family, who so gracefully shared Dan’s light with us for so many years. While it’s almost impossible to imagine CNCF without Dan, we know there would never be a CNCF without him, either, and for that, we are truly thankful. Thank you, Dan.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • On the youtube-dl DMCA Takedown

              Last Friday (Oct 23, 2020), a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) takedown notice by the RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America) has effectively shut down development of youtube-dl, a tool to access content on video streaming platforms like Youtube.

              There seems to be a fundamental disagreement between the right holders and the community if this tool is legal or illegal. We received a number of questions on social media how we would handle such a takedown request.

              To answer this question, but also to assess potential risks and consequences for sustainability of Codeberg e.V. and Codeberg.org, and to outline viable options to go forward for all affected parties, we performed research and analysis of relevant rules and constraints. This post outlines our position and understanding of the issue. As usual, this is the result of careful research but nothing should be construed as legal advise. Our understanding, interpretation, and position may or may not change with incoming information.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (blueman and wordpress), Fedora (fastd, kernel, and samba), Gentoo (bluez, fossil, kpmcore, libssh, and opendmarc), openSUSE (claws-mail and icinga2), and Ubuntu (blueman).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Google Kills Nest Secure, Can’t Be Bothered To Explain Support Roadmap

              Three years ago, Google jumped into the home security market. After a troubled development cycle it launched Nest Secure, a $500 home security system that competes with the likes of Abode and Simplisafe. But things didn’t go quite as planned. Last year, the company took some deserved heat for failing to mention the system’s “Nest Guard” keypad control base included a hidden microphone, creating ample paranoia among owners. Google also took heat for failing to really deploy updates at the same pace that other Nest products had seen, and for making changes that locked you into the Google ecosystem at the cost of interoperability.

            • The Cost of the “New Way to Message on Instagram”

              If you are on Instagram, you have been probably bombarded by Instagram Stories and notifications about new features like emojis, chat themes, selfie stickers, and “cross-platform messaging” that will allow you to exchange direct messages with, and search for, friends who are on Facebook. But the insistent messages to “Update Messaging” minimize the extent of this change, which will blur the lines between the two apps in ways that might unpleasantly surprise users.


    • Defence/Aggression

      • Monstrous Messages

        That gave a professor of engineering an idea. The professor asked his students to design a pipeline to transport human blood from Nicaragua to the United States. The students began by discussing the optimal diameter for the pipe and methods for keeping the blood from coagulating. But the professor did not allow the discussion to continue for long before he asked why not one of them had objected to the question.

        “This is a class in engineering not ethics,” one student replied.

      • When the Political Divide Turned Deadly in Portland

        Shortly after sunset on the day he would die, Aaron “Jay” Danielson and his Patriot Prayer comrade Chandler Pappas walked through downtown Portland, Oregon, toward the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that had gripped the city for 93 consecutive days.

        The far-right activists had ridden into town that afternoon in the back of a pickup, armed for battle and part of a miles-long caravan in support of President Donald Trump. They’d been jeered at and hit with bear spray, and some in their crowd had returned the favor, firing mace and shooting paintballs at racial justice protesters. And now, after a warm late-summer day of laughter and hard drinking, they headed once again downtown, where hundreds had gathered outside the boarded-up police headquarters and the U.S. courthouse, blanketed in graffiti.

      • Celebrities Spent Millions So Florida Felons Could Vote. Will It Make a Difference?

        The multimillion-dollar effort by Michael Bloomberg, LeBron James and other celebrities to pay off lingering court fines and fees for Florida felons could make almost 13,000 of them eligible to vote in Tuesday’s election, an analysis by the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald and ProPublica found.

        Although the modest increase in eligible felons falls far short of expectations, it could be large enough to make a difference in a key state where polls indicate that the presidential contest is once again a toss-up.

    • Environment

      • Saving Our Planet Is Our Responsibility

        Unlimited irresponsible consumption of goods, services and animal food produce is the underlying cause; destructive unhealthy behavior encouraged by short-term political and business policies rooted in nationalism and the ideology of competition and greed.

        Land sea and air are contaminated everywhere, more or less; the natural climatic rhythms have been radically disrupted, chaos created where order once held sway; the great rain forests of the world are being decimated, trees cut down, land turned over to cattle, or agriculture – principally to grow soya for animal feed – indigenous peoples displaced or killed, cultures shredded, ecosystems shattered, animal habitat destroyed, plant species crushed under the vile weight of corruption and money.

    • Finance

      • Trump Is the Anti-Worker President

        Despite the “populist” myth, Trump has decimated workers’ rights and protections.

      • Economic Changes That Would Make a Difference

        The key point is the one I make all the time: the bad guys have deliberately structured the market in ways that redistribute income upward. While it is understandable that the right likes to pretend that the rich getting all the money was just a happy outcome of the natural forces of globalization and technology, it is malpractice for a progressive to go along with this charade.

        It is also important to reduce the huge flows to the top. While proposals to raise the minimum wage, drastically improve welfare state provision of items like child care and health care, and make it easier for workers to organize, are hugely important, there is a limit to how much we can improve living standards at the bottom and middle if we don’t take a whack at the top.

      • Record 33.1 Percent Surge Still Leaves GDP 3.5 Percent Below Pre-Pandemic Level

        GDP grew at a record 33.1 percent annual rate, as the economy bounced back from the pandemic-driven shutdowns in the second quarter. However, even with this record growth, the economy was still 3.5 percent below its pre-pandemic level. If we assume a modest 2.0 percent annual growth rate, the third quarter GDP would be more than 5.0 percent below the trend path from the pre-recession period.

        Sharp Divergences in Growth Paths

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Turkish President Sues Dutch Lawmaker Over A Bunch Of ‘Insulting’ Tweets

        If anyone’s to blame for this latest Erdogan related debacle, it’s the thin-skinned “leader” of Turkey, R.T. “Gollum” Erdogan. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to find anyone else to blame if the Dutch government hadn’t been an enabler of this bad behavior.

      • Twitter hides Trump mail voting tweet ahead of polling day

        Twitter has hidden a tweet from President Donald Trump about voting, hours before election day.

        Mr Trump tweeted that a Supreme Court decision to allow more time for postal ballots to arrive in Pennsylvania was “very dangerous”.

        He once again made the widely debunked claim that “rampant and unchecked cheating” would follow.

        Facebook also labelled the message with a fact-check that contradicted the president.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Begging Outrage: British Journalists for Assange

        People could finally scrutinise raw documents – cables, memoranda, briefing notes, diplomatic traffic – without the secondary and tertiary forms of self-censorship that characterise the newspaper imperium. Editorially imposed measures could be outflanked; the biases and prejudices of newspaper moguls could be ignored.

        This has meant that media outlets in the drought affected mainstream can only ever make quiet acknowledgments about the seriousness of the US case against Assange. It is why certain outlets fail, and have failed to cover the extradition proceedings against the publisher with any degree of serious alarm or considered fear. When they do, irrelevant and inconsequential details feature like tabloid tat: the irate Assange, shouting from his caged stand; the kooky Assange, somewhat unhinged.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • They That Hate Me Without a Cause

        Hatred has been let loose from Pandora’s box of ills. It is wandering around the world looking for someone to abuse. Like a virus, it has infected our politics and cultural life. Emcke locates hatred and violence toward the ‘other’ in our cultivated perceptions of ourselves and others. We have to learn to hate. Our imaginations have to be marinated or saturated in ideologies that divide the pure and authentic believers from those deemed impure. Emcke rivets our attention to the Islamic State (IS) ideology, now prevalent in the Middle East, as a disturbing purveyor of hatred and contempt.

        In itself, this is a controversial move, given that scholars like Edward Said, Ilan Pappe and Noam Chomsky have described Zionism as a colonial settler vision of a pure Jewish homeland that erases the Palestinian presence to legitimate its solitary claim to the “promised land.” Ironically, the plight of the Palestinians remains invisible in Emcke’s text. Strange—because, like Said who challenged us to see Zionism from the standpoint of its victims, she wants us to cultivate an empathic sensibility towards those who are the targets of violent hatred.

      • Politicians Should Stop Assuming Immigration Is the Only “Latino Issue”

        We’ve heard countless experts argue that Latinos “will decide the 2020 election,” but can either Donald Trump or Joe Biden win big with Latinx voters?

      • The Pro-Choice Religious Movement Is Mobilizing to Counter Barrett’s Agenda

        In the weeks leading up to Monday’s Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, there was a slate of reporting about abortion and religious communities. Much of the reporting was ahistorical, inaccurate, and failed to convey that Coney Barrett was not confirmed despite her inexperience and extreme views, but because of her inexperience and extreme views. Coney Barrett has one job: to push the court further right — and this includes ending the ability to legally access abortion care in the United States.

      • The New Humanitarian | The use and misuse of data for good

        When I started my career, I got a foot in the door by making bar graphs. Way back then, (let’s just say it was the pre-Windows era), bosses were super-impressed. Things haven’t changed much.
        People still love graphs and maps. Bosses like them. Donors like them. In this often depressing world of humanitarian action, data glitters.
        But the way the world has gone, it’s time for a talk about data responsibilities. Misinformation and disinformation are running wild. Data can be – is being – weaponised.
        What I do for work these days still involves bar graphs from time to time. But it’s mainly words, and journalism. Our purpose at The New Humanitarian is to inform decision-makers. We don’t make recommendations, but we try to serve up the ingredients of better decision-making.
        We’re one of very few news organisations that specialise in this field. One of our selling points is that we don’t dumb it down: A bit less sexy and clickable than some perhaps, but we’re not going to give readers a caricature.
        Nobody can claim absolute neutrality in journalism, but we try to be conscious of where our biases might be, and not to indulge in the worst habits that the media and aid industries can be guilty of.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Now and Always, Platforms Should Learn From Their Global User Base

        The upcoming U.S. elections have invited broad attention to many of the questions with which civil society has struggled for years: what should companies do about misinformation and hate speech? And what, specifically, should be done when that speech is coming from the world’s most powerful leaders?

        Silicon Valley companies and U.S. policymakers all too often view these questions through a myopic lens, focusing on troubles at home as if they are new—when there are countless lessons to be learned from their actions in the rest of the world. The U.S. is not the first nation to deal with election-related misinformation; nor are this or past U.S. elections the only times the major platforms have had to deal with it.

      • Interview with the new Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore

        My career in the public service began in 1992, when I joined the Ministry of Defence and began my practice in public international law. I subsequently joined the Attorney-General’s Chambers in 2008 to continue my practice. Just prior to joining IPOS, I was a member of the Hague Diplomatic Office of Singapore in the Netherlands. I am also Singapore’s Ambassador for Oceans and Law of the Sea Issues and the Special Envoy of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

      • KOL304 | Liberty Weekly Podcast Ep. 136

        The Great Stephan Kinsella joins me to discuss balancing the practice of law with scholarly pursuits, the future of libertarianism, and his forthcoming book “Law in a Libertarian World.”

      • Patents

        • Sanctions for Deleting Pre-Lawsuit Emails

          The court issued an important short-opinion, In re Ivantis, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020), that should be read and considered as a case-study by in-house counsel. The case involves pre-lawsuit destruction of evidence.

          The basic setup is that Ivantis has a corporate email-destruction-policy* of deleting emails that are 12-months old. Glaukos sued Ivantis for infringement in April 2018 and served the defendant with the Summons and Complaint on April 16, 2018. On April 19, 2018 the company instituted an internal “litigation hold” that suspended the deletion-policy for emails potentially related to the lawsuit. It turns out that Ivantis has been preparing for this litigation and considering work-arounds for Glaukos patents since at least 2013, and all those emails were deleted.

          The district court found that Ivantis actually anticipated the litigation and that the email deletion constituted improper spoliation under FRCP 37(e).


          In its decision, the appellate panel found these events sufficient to sustain the lower court’s determination that Ivantis “acted with the intent to deprive another party of the information’s use in the litigation.”

        • Software Patents

          • LIXIL Joins the Open Invention Network Community

            Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, announced today that LIXIL Group Corporation (“LIXIL”) has become a licensee and joined more than 3,300 other OIN community members to promote open source innovation. A leading maker of pioneering water and housing products that are becoming increasingly smart, LIXIL is demonstrating its commitment to open source, especially embedded Linux, as it integrates Internet-of-Things (IoT) capabilities into its solutions.

            “The rapid adoption of IoT and digital technologies continue unabated. The proliferation of intelligence, propagated by the integration of open source, is enabling smarter kinds of water and housing products and services. LIXIL recognizes the benefits of leveraging Linux and open source, enabling it to enhance its offerings,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “We are pleased LIXIL has joined our community and committed to patent non-aggression in Linux and adjacent open source technologies.”

If Mr. Biden Emerges as Preliminary/Tentative Winner…

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 2:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Capitol Building

Summary: How to secure positive reforms for software freedom (and not prematurely, not when it puts those at risk amid impending election limbo)

THE WORLD is watching closely the events in the US (potential violence, threats, false ‘tweets’ prematurely heralding ‘wins’). We don’t really know which way it’ll go after polls close, but chaos is almost guaranteed and the final result will take weeks if not months to be reached (in the middle of December those things are being sealed by electors, in least in theory as there’s potential for high-level appeals).

“We don’t really know which way it’ll go after polls close, but chaos is almost guaranteed…”Progressives have long said something along the lines of, “vote Biden and then pressure Biden leftwards…”

Richard Stallman insists people should vote Green, except in “swing states” (where stopping Donald Trump is a higher priority than helping the Green Party grow and secure access to future ballots).

“We don’t expect the “lesser evil” (vice) presidential candidate to be “soft” on software.”Our prediction (shared by many who carefully assess the news) is that this coming January Mr. Biden will become President Biden (not just Vice President). The US can have a lady “of colour” (it’s a loaded term, we are aware) as its Vice President.

Then, but only then, it’ll be time to organise and act. We don’t expect the “lesser evil” (vice) presidential candidate to be “soft” on software. These people are already being bribed by software giants/monopolies that produce proprietary software, surveillance, and DRM. They want to guard their territory and maintain their domination.

Assuming our prediction is correct and assuming inauguration is set for (as scheduled) the middle of January it might be wise to not blast Biden and/or Harris too much. They have enough chaos coming their way (if they’re seen as tentative winners) from the extreme right.

“In a better world with a healthier society (not governed by plutocrats) we’d have elections with mainstream candidates who represent ordinary people rather than ordinary monopolies (oil, war, technology and so on).”Here in Techrights we’re likely to focus on software rather than politics for months to come. We’ll observe the situation of course, but we won’t participate in ‘pure’ politics as plenty of sites already do just that (and we link to them in our Daily Links).

USA prideIn a better world with a healthier society (not governed by plutocrats) we’d have elections with mainstream candidates who represent ordinary people rather than ordinary monopolies (oil, war, technology and so on). But for the time being it’s important to keep authoritarianism away. If you think the past 4 years “made America (US) great again,” then this post is not for you (maybe this site isn’t, either).

[Meme] Software Freedom Not on the Ballot Today

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 2:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When it comes to Wall Street, climate, and militarism (undebated issues), it’s a lot like software freedom policies

Three Restaurant Kings: Orange clown, Not Orange clown, Colonel Sanders

Summary: As pointed out earlier today, there’s not really an option on things that may in fact matter most (albeit it’s possible to say “no” to the greater evil)

Team UPC and Team Campinos Are Causing Constitutional Crises in Germany (Even Amid Pandemic)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fascism is making a comeback in service of patent extremists

Torpedo Lollies

Summary: Germany’s crisis deepens as more Germans become not only aware but also increasingly concerned about the state of the law in an age of EPC/EPO authoritarianism and UPC ‘lobbyism’ (profits over facts and laws)

THE EPO‘s judges are not independent. They lack autonomy. Don’t trust us… don’t ask us… ask them (privately). They already said so publicly, albeit collectively rather than individually (to limit capacity to retaliate). There’s still a decision on the way regarding software patents (or “simulations”) and the EPO regime is lobbying judges not to decide as they see fit — as per the law — but as the EPO (Office) sees financially beneficial to itself.

“Team UPC will say just about anything to pretend UPC is coming…”Can we trust such judges or judgment mechanism in a larger context? No, we cannot.

In a very UPCistic fashion, “some time in October” became “maybe November” (just as Germany enters lock-down “lite”) and we still aren’t seeing a second vote on UPC/A. Just as we predicted…

There are further oppositions to the UPC, culminating in more concerns from German politicians (see the comments in particular). Think of it as yet another torpedo.

Bicycle gear shiftAgain, just as we predicted…

They keep talking nonsense; Team UPC will say just about anything to pretend UPC is coming (at the same time 2 years ago Team UPC kept telling us the FCC would dismiss the constitutional complaint by Christmas of 2018). Both the time and the outcome were wrong. Fake rumours, politically motivated stunts.

The EPO’s management has already shelved aside legitimate concerns about the Haar situation/status in a coordinated obfuscation campaign (António Campinos covering up Benoît Battistelli‘s abuses).

Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle), a German, grew increasingly uncomfortable about this whole thing (his country’s image and decline/descent to post-constitutional era) and hours ago he wrote about lack of trust and judicial independence (we also received some E-mails from other Germans expressing serious concerns about EPO-connected corruption in recent days).

To quote Dr. Bausch:

Thus, trust in our institutions and in particular trust in an independent judiciary is so fundamental. If we lose this trust, we are literally sawing off the branch all of us are sitting on.

Readers paying attention to the news around the globe will find it easy to think of manyfold examples confirming this simple truth, but as this blog is a patent blog, let us turn back our attention to a popular subject on this blog, the independence of the EPO’s Boards of Appeal, or the lack thereof as some critics claim.

While I have written about this subject a couple of times myself, I would today like to direct our readers’ esteemed attention to two papers of my UK colleague Mike Snodin that were recently published in the CIPA journal (I hope that this link works, just scroll down the page and click to see a full-screen version of the latest edition). Mike’s first article is titled: “G 3/19: A need to improve the perception of independence of the EPO Boards of Appeal?”, and the second “G 3/19: Do flaws in the EBA’s reasoning amplify concerns regarding the perception of independence of the EPO Boards of Appeal?”

So, Mike Snodin has reviewed decision G 3/19 and its background in considerable detail. He is fairly critical about the Enlarged Board’s reasoning on the whole, but the main point he makes is this: Fundamentally, G 3/19 was about the new Rule 28 EPC by which the Administrative Council (AC) “interpreted” Art 53b EPC in a particular way that essentially overturned the Enlarged Board’s opinion in G 2/12 and G 2/13. The referring Board 3.3.04 in T 1063/18 thought that the terms of Art 53b EPC, as understood by the Enlarged Board in its earlier decisions, prevail over any terms of the Implementing Regulations as amended by the AC. The EPO President and the Administrative Council, however, thought that this result cannot stand, and the EPO President offered a President’s referral of the case to the Enlarged Board. As Mike Snodin reports, “this proposal received broad and overwhelming support from almost all Contracting States.” The referral was therefore made, and resulted in the Enlarged Board essentially overturning its earlier decisions.

Before this background, Mike Snodin wonders whether the members of the Enlarged Board of Appeal were really free to come to any different decision than the one they arrived at. Concerns about the perception of independence of the Enlarged Board were raised based on two undeniable facts: (i) the Administrative Council has disciplinary authority over the members of the Enlarged Board to the extent that they are EPO employees, which most of them are. (ii) EBA members are appointed by the Administrative Council, but only for a five year period, and their re-appointment again depends on the AC’s consent and goodwill.

Notice that first (and sole at this time) comment that says: “For we patent attorneys, trust in “science” is fundamental to our profession. From time to time, corporate interests try to erode trust in science.”

Kluwer Patent Blog has done a number of pieces critical of the UPC recently (Benjamin Henrion interview regarding UPC’s impact on software patents in Europe and the two articles above). Quite a change compared to what its Bristows “moles” had done for years until they retired (prematurely we might add). We sort of applaud Kluwer for pursuing a little more truth than just jingoistic malarkey for illegal and patently unconstitutional agenda. However, we recognise that it’s far too easy to change one’s tune after something already died (as if to make up for one’s prior lies).

Why American Free Software Supporters Should Focus on the World Instead (At Least Regarding Free Software)

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 11:32 am by Guest Editorial Team

By figosdev

Freedom tower

Summary: Why the US needs more people like Richard Stallman (rms) and today’s election won’t mean much to software freedom

Only joking — there are no American Free Software Supporters.

Only half-joking, rms is one; there have to be a few others.

On the surface, there’s no way to make this point without it looking like nothing more than a bitter take on today’s election. People who insist on missing the point may even try to say that’s all it is. And you almost can’t blame them — after all, that’s the tone of it.

But the truth is that Free Software is about freedom. And if you care so little about freedom, you aren’t likely to care about Free Software either. If you look around, most people care more about Microsoft GitHub than Free Software. So much for Free Software, then.

Freedom handsIn October of 2001, and in response to the events of the month prior, America broke the bulk of her promises and passed unconstitutional legislation in the form of the PATRIOT Act.

This act was not necessarily written by Joe Biden, but he thinks it was and takes credit for writing it. The law found a champion in Attorney General John Ashcroft. You can also thank Microsoft for its help in the campaign that led to Ashcroft gaining that position, as they contributed substantially to Bush during that campaign.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders was the leader The People wanted. The DNC never cared about The People, and chose to fight (and lose) for Hillary instead. This cost the Democratic Party the White House, and paved the way for Donald Trump instead. Nice one, there.

Since then, Trump has led a government that is openly fascist. But that at least, was supported by fewer than half the voters.

“Biden is not the same as Trump, but they have more in common than they have as differences.”Fast forward to today, when Joe Biden is most likely to take the lead. Joe Biden, who claims he wrote the most fascist law in American history, will probably win as America is eager to put one horror aside, then elect another in its place. This didn’t have to happen, though Democrats are not concerned with due process — only with winning.

If they were concerned with due process, they would not commit treason by defrauding other parties, including the one that rms has supported for years. Say what you will about the Green Party (I have) though they don’t seem to be fascists.

Next January, Joe Biden will most likely be sworn in, and the world will sigh with relief, without a good reason. Biden is not the same as Trump, but they have more in common than they have as differences. On average, Americans only care about the differences, or they would never elect this man. Instead they would recognise him for the horror that he is.

It is not this decision alone, which finally shifts America from being half-fascist to mostly fascist that makes the point of this article. Rather it confirms, in no small way, the overall trend America has stayed on for the past 19 years (and really longer than that).

The PATRIOT Act just reached its 19th anniversary, and many people have actually tried to reduce, restrain or end this war against America’s own people and their liberty. But the law is a greater manifestation of fascism than Trump himself, and Trump’s largest abuses of power were enabled by the precedents set by both the PATRIOT Act and Obama’s NDAA of 2012.

“A culture of Executive abuse was created and bolstered well before Trump got in, and that culture will not go away in January with either Trump or Biden in office.”On the way to Trumpism, abuse by the office of the President also had the way paved by record-setting use of Executive Orders, during both Bush and Obama’s terms. Now the world sees why those abuses were a terrible mistake — they created the White House that exists today.

That White House will not improve substantially during the next 4 to 8 years. It will likely continue to get worse, no matter who takes office. A culture of Executive abuse was created and bolstered well before Trump got in, and that culture will not go away in January with either Trump or Biden in office. America’s job today is to pick a loser — no matter who wins today, America will lose.

This isn’t a problem that can be solved by a vote between one fascist or the other, anymore than Free Software can help its situation by ceding control to Microsoft — as it has continued to do since 2018.

In this fascist political climate, expecting people to support Free Software is charming — people welcome mass surveillance, so why would they care if Free Software is an alternative to it? People welcome corporations running the country (illegally), so why would they care about autonomy from GitHub?

Instead, as with so many things, people welcome the trappings of progress — not progress itself. So it is with Free Software.

There is practical advice to be given here, though with all the distractions of the past two decades I don’t expect anybody to notice. If you are residing between (but not within) the countries of Canada and Mexico, then soon enough you will be living in the Fascist States of America.

There are people in the FSA who support freedom, but they are a small minority. There are people who claim to love freedom, who make up the vast majority.

How is that different from Open Source? Only in scale. Though ESR may actually remain a libertarian, not a Trump supporter, so credit where credit is due. He may be a backstabber and absolutely terrible for Free Software, but if he doesn’t vote for a fascist that’s actually an admirable trait. I’m pretty sure rms isn’t voting for Trump or Biden either — rms is actually against the PATRIOT Act, he refuses to even call it that because even the name of the law is fascist propaganda.

“There are people in the FSA who support freedom, but they are a small minority. There are people who claim to love freedom, who make up the vast majority.”But what about the rest of America? No, today they support the PATRIOT Act like never before, by electing its self-alleged author. What an awful, awful day for freedom.

By all means, if you can find someone in the FSA who supports Free Software, there’s no reason they should be excluded from the fight for software freedom that began like so many things in American history, in Massachusetts and nearby.

But it’s time for Free Software to pay closer attention to the rest of the world, because America does not stand for freedom anymore — it is a mostly fascist country.

Fascist software is not Free Software, and fascists are not going to fight for your freedom.

Free Software is foolish to keep so many eggs in an American basket. Obviously, Free Software long ago spread out to other countries, and sometimes fares better in other places (even Germany, depending on what week it is) although the FSFE are traitors to Free Software and the EU is generally against any sort of reform that is relevant to what Free Software does.

The EU pushes patents and extreme copyright on the rest of the world, while Alexandre Oliva (not a fascist) says that copyright has nothing to do with Free Software (obviously Alex, you’ve never heard of the RIAA). It’s one of the greatest Achilles heels of the FSF that (Unlike the GNOME Foundation — or since they love patent trolls so much, maybe GNOME should be called TROLL instead) they fully get the threat of patents, but they stubbornly underestimate the threat of ever-expanding copyright.

“Fascist software is not Free Software, and fascists are not going to fight for your freedom.”While Roy says that Biden’s less in favour of patent abuse than Trump (that may be true) Biden has long supported the copyright fascists that pose just as much threat to Free Software, no matter what Oliva tells you.

Today, fascism wins either way. Technofascism also gains either way.

If you support either freedom or the subset we sometimes call software freedom, today is a very good day to look to the rest of the world for support. You won’t find it if you’re depending on the FSA to set things right.

I’ve spent years watching the rest of the world with regards to Free Software — Trisquel (once a distro that cared about its users) has always seemed (or is) predominantly of Spain, though I’m not 100% sure of that. Hyperbola’s leader is Brazilian (I realise that Brazil has fallen to fascist leadership as well). The purpose of this article isn’t to have a roll call, though a global Free Software roll call is still in order. England, for its many faults, at least gives us Techrights (I consider that substantial).

“Free Software needs the rest of the world — it needs to connect more globally, no thanks (at all) to the FSFE.”As fascism continues its spread throughout the world, we will need people from EVERY country to stand against it — including the States. But relying too solely on any fascist country like Brazil, or America, is a mistake. If you care about freedom, you should be more wary of supposed bastions that are more about fascism than freedom.

I know Roy is probably going to follow up with something about how countries themselves are passe or beside the point, but that would have very little to do with the point of this article anyway.

Free Software needs the rest of the world — it needs to connect more globally, no thanks (at all) to the FSFE. Clearly with GitHub you are doing the opposite, letting Microsoft help dictate which countries can fully participate in Free Software. Even the FSF has fallen to the FSA — the FSF is run by fascists as well. These are not people who care about freedom. They support (and represent) decades of compromise and decline.

What I am not arguing for is global-ism, only for global activism. Globalism is a push for global rule, and we have more than enough “rule” already. Globalism would make that worse.

“As of this writing it’s early November 3rd, across most or all of North America.”Finally, please note that we are talking about standing worldwide against real fascism here; technological and otherwise. We aren’t talking about dumb shit like banning every person who makes a tasteless joke or who doesn’t climb every bandwagon that claims to be “antifascist” — that’s just another hijacking of freedom. People who think food is a right (I’ve never been against feeding the poor — it’s one of the greatest things you can do with your existence, but mind the strings they sometimes attach) but show greater interest in turning the internet into a safe space for Maoist idiots, will only starve the world of truth and meaning instead.

As of this writing it’s early November 3rd, across most or all of North America. Long live rms, Good Morning and Good Luck.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Outreachy as ‘Hush Money’ (Bribe) From Monopolies

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Google at 10:45 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

After announcing my nomination for Fedora Council, I received a few queries about the truth of the harassment claims.

Helping victims of harassment is not an easy thing but it is something that any of us may be called upon to do from time to time. It is an inevitable burden of being in a leadership position.

I’d like to make the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth a core theme of my campaign for Fedora Council. Harassment is part of Target 8.8, safe working environments.

Harassment is never an easy thing to assist with but it is a lot harder when an organization fails to support volunteers like myself who take on these responsibilities.

A woman’s public harassment / stalking complaint against Google

In early 2018, I was mentoring a woman from a developing country in the Outreachy program. The woman wrote a blog about mass surveillance (backup link in case of Github censorship), she included the following picture:

Google, Stalking, Harassment, women, interns, Outreachy

I admit making a mistake with this: I thought the blog post was political. I failed to see it for what it was, the woman I was responsible for mentoring had made a public written complaint against one of the sponsors. Her picture is clear evidence that:

  • Google, a sponsor, is stalking her
  • She does not freely consent to what Google does or she did not consent at all
  • She feels uncomfortable about it

Why are we so de-sensitized to this?

She is not alone. A British House of Commons committee has declared these firms to be digital gangsters in an official report. In October, the US Department of Justice branded Google’s business model unlawful. Had a volunteer used words like digital gangster on a mailing list, somebody on the Google gravy train would have immediately accused them of harassment. Metaphors like digital gangster that help our minds to focus the spotlight on Google doing the wrong thing are a Code of Conduct violation. That is not a fault with the metaphor, it is a fault with the way people on Google’s gravy train apply the Code of Conduct.

Yet the UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the US Department of Justice and my intern were all right, whether Google sympathizers like to hear it or not.

Proponents of Codes of Conduct in free software organizations see this as a giant conspiracy and now they make counter-accusations of harassment against all of us who do not consent to Google’s behavior. After that blog, various emails appeared where the intern and I were both wrongly accused of harassment of the vulnerable Google employees.

The blog was syndicated on Planet Outreach, various other Planet sites and social media. It was noticed in many online forums where Google employees try to work alongside volunteers in free software projects. My intern had just pointed out that those people are not unlike peeping Toms in many ways. She did it in a very public way, while being paid by a Google-sponsored diversity program. Some of them felt bad.

Behind my back, other people in the organization sent official-looking threats to my intern. They didn’t tell me about this, they do this behind the mentor’s back because they know that threatening people is not quite right.

When an intern insults Google, Eric Schmidt doesn’t come out on the TV, shed crocodile tears and claim he is being harassed. Outsiders who have received money from Google do it in more subtle ways. For example, they send threats like this:

These interactions seemed to have set a very uncomfortable environment … we are considering requesting a rejection of your application to the bursaries team


What bothers me most is that it took several months before this woman could tell me about the threats she received and how she felt. These were not threats from anonymous internet trolls, they were from people in leadership roles. Recipients of emails like that feel shame, even when they do nothing wrong and it prevents them speaking.

Shame and guilt are often factors in self-harm and suicide. For example, women are some of the biggest victims of problems relating to body image. It is ironic that in a diversity program, Google apologists are cultivating shame in women and increasing the risk of harm.

This is why it is so critical that there are a number of independent figures on the Fedora Council. Please consider nominating before the deadline. If a victim of harassment is not comfortable talking to some of us, having at least one person who she is comfortable talking to can make a huge difference.

A woman’s complaint against local men in her region

The other harassment complaint came from a woman in a very different region.

1. Outreachy ineligibility

To completely understand the contradictions in this situation, we need to look over an extended timeline and consider multiple rounds of selection processes. This is one of many women who I had met at events. She had applied to many internships, including Outreachy. Before the harassment incident, Sage Sharp had a discussion with administrators and mentors and removed the woman from the shortlist with these comments:

From: Sage Sharp

[... snip ...] While you may not have intended it this way, this sounds like favoritism, since the candidates are in the same city as the mentor.

[... snip ...] Again, this sounds a bit like favoritism of a person who is already active in open source.

[... snip ...] Again, this may be how your experience with GSoC works, but the goal of Outreachy is to try and get people who aren’t currently open source contributors (or who are not as active contributors) to be accepted as Outreachy interns. That’s why we have the rule that past GSoC or Outreachy applicants are ineligible to apply.

2. An inconvenient truth

Some time later, the woman wrote a message to the leader of a free software organization, confirmed the source of harassment in her local environment and thanked me for the help I provide to women…

Thank you very much for being so supportive.

I read the comments on the thread and to be honest I am really sad that [REDACTED] said that. It is not true at all.

They ([REDACTED++]) pretend to support women but on the other hand their behavior towards many of us shows the opposite.

Daniel I feel bad because you have encouraged and helped not only me, but so many other people, no matter if they are [REDACTED] members or not, and also all the attendees from [REDACTED] to learn new things, to work and improve their skills and knowledge. They are doubting your good intentions just to remove the attention from the shady things that they are doing.

The [REDACTED] comment is really offensive to me and i feel it should be offensive to every woman who is part of the community.

I have been contributing and supporting [REDACTED] since its early days, and I have put a lot of effort and time, I do this because I believe in what it is meant to stand for and without waiting something in exchange, but the situation lately has been not very positive. Daniel has been present by chance in few cases where situations have been very hard to go through.

I would definitely like to talk to any of you and tell you more about everything that is happening here, its fine to me whether it is a video call, call or just emails.

Please tell me what would be more convenient to you.

It is worth looking at how the leader of the organization handled the concerns from this woman:

please feel to drop Daniel from any replies you wish to make, if you even wish to do so

I had gone to another city for a technical event and when young women asked if I would listen to the challenges they are facing, I gave them several hours of my time. The leader of the organization dismissed them with one of his typical one-line insults.

3. Outreachy as hush money

It looks like they wanted the matter to go away. Some time later, the woman received an Outreachy internship from somebody else, completely contradicting the policy Sage Sharp had previously ruled on.

They knew the woman was interested in an internship and so they did this backflip, they broke their own rules to offer her one. They hoped to give her an incentive to stay quiet and stop talking to independent leadership figures like me about the real sources of harassment. This is diversity funding at its best, absorbing women into groupthink.


These cases demonstrate that while there are very different ways of handling harassment complaints, the proverbial carrot and stick, ranging from threats to hush money, the root causes of the problem are rarely taken seriously.

I volunteered to mentor young women in this program because I believed it was about empowerment and equality. What I’ve seen in practice suggests the opposite. In these cases, the program is training women to be obedient, submissive and silent.

None of those strategies will assist us with Sustainable Development Goal 8 and reducing hazards in the free software environment.

If you have experienced harassment in the free software community, in any organization, my first recommendation is that you seek advice from somebody you can reach in the real world and if it is a serious case, please seek assistance from a professional like your doctor. If elected to Fedora Council, I hope to be there for everybody but nonetheless, somebody you correspond with in an online environment is never equivalent to somebody you can meet in the real world. During this difficult time when many of us are spending more time than usual at home during the pandemic, it is even more critical to seek support from sources you can rely on.


Sustainable Development

Links 3/11/2020: Librem Mini v2, Raspberry Pi 400, LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.6

Posted in News Roundup at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Librem Mini Desktop PC Gets a 10th Gen Intel Refresh, But No Price Increase

        Linux computer company Purism has announced a new version of its Librem Mini desktop PC.

        The Librem Mini V2 has the same diminutive form-factor as the company’s older model, but packs in more power thanks to its use of 10th Gen i7-10510U Intel processors — which are quad core at up to 4.9 GHz.

        “While the Mini v1 was already a capable desktop or home server, upgrading the CPU makes the Librem Mini v2 even more powerful while still offering the same PureBoot or coreboot firmware and running the same freedom-respecting PureOS,” Purism say of the revamped unit.

        Fans of bijou computers paired with open source firmware won’t pay over the odds the spec bump either. The Librem Mini v2 costs from $699 — the same price as the original version despite now having a much faster processor.

      • Librem Mini v2 is a little Linux PC with Intel Comet Lake

        Purism’s Librem Mini is a small desktop computer that ships with the Linux-based PureOS operating system pre-installed.

        When the computer began shipping earlier this year, it was powered by an Intel Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake processor. Now Purism has introduced the Librem Mini version 2 which has an Intel Core i7-10501U Comet Lake processor instead.

        It’s available for from the Purism shop for $699 and up, which is the same price as the original.

      • Announcing the Librem Mini V2

        It was less than a year ago when we announced our new Librem Mini campaign. We wanted to offer people a powerful and accessible desktop PC in a mini form-factor running the same free firmware and operating system as our laptops. The Librem Mini campaign was a big success and now we are excited to announce an upgrade to the Librem Mini product line.

        The Librem Mini v2 in just about all respects matches the Mini v1 including the same base price. The big difference is that we can now offer a new, 10th gen i7-10510U Intel processor. This gives the Librem Mini four cores at up to 4.9Ghz!

        While the Mini v1 was already a capable desktop or home server, upgrading the CPU makes the Librem Mini v2 even more powerful while still offering the same PureBoot or coreboot firmware and running the same freedom-respecting PureOS.

      • 5 reasons to use Linux in 2020

        Some of the best technology is a moving target. When technology stagnates, society tends to outpace and outgrow it. Linux, the widely used open source operating system (OS), is a foundational technology and the basis for some of the most progressive modern computing ideas. So, while it’s startlingly unchanged after three decades of development, it also allows adaptation. As a result, Linux is in a unique position of being both a sound investment in skills because it doesn’t change and a seemingly eternal driving force for new skills to learn.

        The year 2020 has been a strange one—by any measure—but for Linux, it’s been a typical development cycle. Here’s a look back at the year so far and a review of what you need to know about Linux in 2020.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Fedora 33, DMCA Takedown on youtube-dl, Pro1 X, X Server Being Abandoned? | This Week in Linux 123

        This week has been packed with news, including some personal news of my own. If you are watching the video version you may notice that I am in a different room. Well I moved but more on that later. This week’s episode is so jam packed! Fedora announced the latest release of Fedora 33. There was a DMCA Takedown on youtube-dl by RIAA and we have updates on this. A new Linux powered smartphone has been announced called the Pro1 X and it’s said to come with your choice of LineageOS & Ubuntu Touch. AMD made 2 big announcements this week with the Radeon RX 6000 Series and that AMD is set to acquire Xilinx. SiFive announced a new development board called HiFive Unmatched which is powered by the RISC-V architecture. At long last, Snap Packages Are Getting A Speed Boost. There has been some confusion around the X Server recently and there are discussions of if it has been abandoned. Then we’ll round out the show with another distro release, this time from NixOS with version 20.09. All that and much more coming up right now on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • Bat: Syntax Highlighting For All Your Needs – YouTube

        Bat markets itself as a cat clone but this tool is much more than it, it also provides access to the vast libraries of sublime text syntax highlighting themes in form for printing out text directly to your terminal

      • LHS Episode #376: The Future of Amateur Radio Deep Dive | Linux in the Ham Shack

        Welcome to the 376th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we talk with Sterling Mann, N0SSC, about his past involvement in the youth of amateur radio, his current roles with the IARU and YOTA, the highlights and lowlights of amateur radio, the future direction of the hobby and many other topics too numerous to mention. Thank you for listening to this extended episode. We hope you enjoy and please send us feedback. We want to hear from you!

      • Linux Action News 161

        A RISC-V development PC is in the works, we have the details and try to set expectations.

        Plus what’s new in Fedora 33, and an important youtube-dl update.

      • Bringing Artificial Intelligence Projects From Idea To Production – The Python Podcast

        Artificial intelligence applications can provide dramatic benefits to a business, but only if you can bring them from idea to production. Henrik Landgren was behind the original efforts at Spotify to leverage data for new product features, and in his current role he works on an AI system to evaluate new businesses to invest in. In this episode he shares advice on how to identify opportunities for leveraging AI to improve your business, the capabilities necessary to enable aa successful project, and some of the pitfalls to watch out for. If you are curious about how to get started with AI, or what to consider as you build a project, then this is definitely worth a listen.

      • Noodlings 22 | On the Edge – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        Computers are a tool, it’s a wrench or hammer, maybe more like a drill as it is a kind of power tool. It is there to serve you in whatever the task is. Whether it is organizing and storing information, one of the core functions of computers; entertainment, home security or designing and building something to improve your “foxhole”, it is a tool. Computers can just be fun to tinker around with too. It’s for people who like to mess around with computers and learn how they work as well. It’s for all types. Linux along with the free and open source applications on top of it just happens to be the best solution for me.

        Would open source software be the best and most ideal solution? Of course it would, but that is just not the case much of the time. What I do believe is best is that the core and base layers of the operating system are free and open. Having projects like KDE Plasma, Gnome and Xfce which are completely open source Desktop Environments is the key. Should you need some proprietary applications to run on top of it, sure, it is less ideal but much preferred to the whole stack being closed and proprietary.

        I run Fusion 360 on my machine as well as FreeCAD, I support the FreeCAD project but I still have some trouble with it. I do think it is getting better but for the time being Fusion 360 is my go-to CAD application because of what it can do so effortlessly. Does that make my system, as a whole compromised? I don’t believe so. Would running only free and open source software be better? Absolutely but that is not where things are today and rather than get upset, I would rather get projects done.

        Consider this, if your living was dependent on designing and building widgets and you needed to collaborate with other designers, what would be the best tool for the job? I can’t say for certain what your case may be, but if I were working on a project and collaborating with a team, as a small business owner, Fusion 360 has those tools baked into it. If it reduces the time-to-market enough to offset the costs, it is worth it. If it shortens the development time enough to offset the cost of software, than it is indeed worth it.

        On the contrary, if you have developed a method for product life-cycle management while using FreeCAD, and you are able to do all that is required, to include the machining process, just as well. Than go with that application. The bottom line is, you MUST use the tool that works best for you and you shouldn’t receive grief by anybody for it.

        Personal computers should be just that, personal, use what is best for you. Should someone choose something different or go down a different path to get to their ultimate solution, even if it is a winding path, that personal discovery is extremely valuable. The best ideas will surface and suppressing the journey is of no benefit to anyone.

        Give people space to discover and grow at their own pace. Allow them to figure out their world, show them kindness and grace as they learn and ask questions. Technology is but one vehicle to make our world a better place, positive and supportive attitudes are another. Stop and ask yourself why you do the things you do and have that honest conversation with yourself.

    • Kernel Space

      • A good, solid Linux kernel, and more industry trends

        The impact: Linux kernel development is a never-ending series of itches getting scratched. Sometimes those are big, widely felt itches, sometimes they’re more niche or targetted ones, but the progress and the process never ceases to amaze me.

      • RadeonSI Gallium3D Adds Support for EGL Protected Surfaces Using AMDGPU TMZ [Ed: More DRM in Linux — a kernel that now works to prevent you doing what you want on your very own PC]

        This year AMD has been working on the likes of TMZ as well as HDCP support for handling DRM’ed/encrypted content on Linux. This work appears to be mainly driven by AMD APUs beginning to appear in Google Chromebooks and ensuring copy-protected content can play properly, etc. For most users EGL_EXT_protected_surface will go unused but at least the capability is there for those who want it.

      • Setting Up the ARM32 Architecture, part 1

        After we have considered how the ARM32 kernel uncompressed and the early start-up when the kernel jumps from executing in physical memory to executing in virtual memory we now want to see what happens next all the way until the kernel sets up the proper page tables and starts executing from properly paged virtual memory.

        To provide a specific piece of the story that does not fit into this linear explanation of things, i have also posted a separate article on how the ARM32 page tables work. This will be referenced in the text where you might need to recapture that part.

      • Setting Up the ARM32 Architecture, part 2
      • Reiser4 + Reiser5 File-Systems Updated For Linux 5.9 Support – Phoronix

        For any of you that happen to still be relying on the out-of-tree Reiser4 file-system or interested in the technical design of Reiser5, these file-system drivers have been updated for Linux 5.9 compatibility.

        Edward Shishkin continues with Reiser file-system development and spent a portion of his Sunday getting out updated patches for applying Reiser4/Reiser5 support against upstream Linux 5.9.

        The v5-unstable patches have been updated against Linux 5.9.2 and in the process also adds optimized operations on striped extents to deliver a data migration speed-up. There are also other changes as a result of the re-base.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Monado Open-Source OpenXR Implementation Begins Working On Android – Phoronix

          Monado as the open-source OpenXR implementation has been working on support for Google’s Android platform.

          Monado 0.4 adds initial support for Android to the extent that Android-supported OpenXR clients and demo applications are running on Android hardware. This also includes supporting Android orientation/acceleration sensors and other features of modern smartphones. OpenXR applications in VR mode with the likes of Google Cardboard and Daydream have also been tested.

        • Monado update: Passing conformance, Android support & more

          Monado 0.4 passes all of the OpenXR conformance tests with both OpenGL and Vulkan, on desktop with a simulated device.

          Monado is not yet an officially conformant OpenXR implementation because it did not go through Khronos’ OpenXR conformance/adopter process, but because the OpenXR Conformance Test Suite is publicly available and Open Source, every user can run it on Monado themselves.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Bringing The Heat

          The biggest news of the day is that work is underway to merge some patches from Duncan Hopkins which enable zink to run on Mac OS using MoltenVK. This has significant potential to improve OpenGL support on that platform, so it’s awesome that work has been done to get the ball rolling there.

        • Zink Seeing macOS Support For OpenGL Over Vulkan Then MoltenVK On Top Of Metal – Phoronix

          The Zink Gallium3D driver that implements OpenGL on top of Vulkan has been on quite a roll recently… Beyond reaching OpenGL 4.6 support in yet-to-be-merged patches and passing ~97% of the Piglit OpenGL tests and increasingly good performance compared to Intel’s OpenGL driver, the latest interesting milestone is seeing initial work on bringing Zink to macOS.

          Given Apple’s been phasing out support for OpenGL (and OpenCL), Zink on macOS holds merit — arguably even more so than Linux where there still is great OpenGL drivers available for all major hardware. With the forthcoming macOS 11.0 “Big Sur”, the OpenGL support will ultimately be either in a poor state or outright removed. For several years now Apple has been pushing for the OpenGL/OpenCL deprecation in their software ecosystem to instead emphasize their in-house Metal API. But with there still being plenty of macOS software out there making use of OpenGL as well as use-cases like running Wine/CrossOver for Windows software on macOS, Zink on macOS is an interesting candidate moving forward.

    • Applications

      • Richard Hughes: New fwupd 1.5.1 release

        Hot on the heels of 1.5.0, I’ve just tagged and uploaded fwupd 1.5.1. Most importantly, if fixes the regression we recently included for an as-yet-unnamed OEM who wants to ship dock firmware. Any day now, I promise.

      • Excellent System Utilities: Ventoy – create bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files

        Essential System Utilities is a series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems.

        The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table at the bottom.

        This article looks at Ventoy, a versatile utility that creates a bootable USB drive for ISO (and other) files. A USB drive is formatted, and you install Ventoy once. Then you can copy ISO files to the USB drive and boot from it.

      • Do you prefer audiobooks then Cozy is your pal.

        In this application guide, you will get to know about an amazing audiobook player, Cozy for Linux.

        Cozy is an open-source audiobook player with minimal looking modern user-interface. The player comes with all the essential features that you may want in your audiobook player.

        Here is a list of features that it offers.

      • 8 Best Free and Open Source Linux Boot Utilities

        The Linux startup process (or boot process) is the manner in which the Linux operating system is started. The process begins with the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) which undertakes hardware-platform specific startup tasks, and starts the partition boot code. The latter contains the first part of a Linux boot loader. The boot loader will typically give the user a choice of possible boot options. After one of these options is selected, the boot loader then loads the operating system.

        Boot time has a real impact on the first impression of the speed of a system. The time taken for the computer to be ready for use is also important in realizing a positive experience for the user.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Cron Jobs: Complete Beginners Tutorial – Linux Hint

        Cron is the most useful utility in a Linux or UNIX-like operating system that allows running commands or scripts on a given schedule without any user intervention. The scheduled commands and scripts are also named as cron jobs. It is mostly used for automating recurring jobs like running scheduled backups, cleaning temporary files, system maintenance, and various other recurring jobs. It is similar to the Task Scheduler in Windows OS.

        In this tutorial, we will provide you with the basic introduction of everything you need to understand for scheduling a job with cron. This includes basic syntax of cron, editing crontab file, schedule a job with cron with few examples, view cron job, etc.

      • How to Try Linux Without a Classical Installation | Linux Journal

        For many different reasons, you may not be able to install Linux on your computer.

        Maybe you are not familiar with words like partitioning and bootloader, maybe you share the PC with your family, maybe you don’t feel comfortable to wipe out your hard drive and start over, or maybe you just want to see how it looks before proceeding with a full installation.

        I know, it feels frustrating, but no worries, we have got you covered!

        In this article, we will explore several ways to try Linux out without the hassle of a classical installation.

      • How to install the Game Jolt Client on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install the Game Jolt Client 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.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

        At the time of making this video, the mouse pointer disappears when launching a game. Many of the games, like the example we use, has its own keyboard base pointer, so many of the games are playable.

      • Best Practices for Deploying Hadoop Server on CentOS/RHEL 7 – Part 1

        This article will go through various Benchmarks about OS installation and some best practices for deploying Cloudera Hadoop Cluster Server on CentOS/RHEL 7.

      • How to install and use Dolphin Emulator on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        Dolphin Emulator is an open-source and cross-platform project which is among the popular game emulators for PC. It is highly compatible with various platforms and allows you to play your favorite Gamecube and Wii games on your Linux PC. Dolphin is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android.

        In this post, we will show you how to install and run the Dolphin emulator on Linux. Our distribution of choice in this tutorial is Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

      • How To Install PrestaShop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PrestaShop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, PrestaShop is an open-source e-commerce solution that allows you to maintain your own online shop. Its PrestaShop is 100% free. This software is published under the Open Software License (OSL). It is written in PHP programming language with support for the MySQL database management system. More than 250,000 e-commerce sites run on PrestaShop. It supports many different payment gateway systems like PayPal, Google Checkout, etc.

        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 of PrestaShop on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install Latest KiCad in Ubuntu 20.04, 20.10 [New Official PPA] | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to install the latest KiCad, schematic capture & PCB design software, in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint via PPA.

      • How to Install Python 3.9 on CentOS/RHEL 7 & Fedora 32/31 – TecAdmin

        Recently, Python development team released latest stable version of Python 3.9. You can download it from its official pages. New version comes with multiple new features and security updates.

        This tutorial will help you to install Python 3.9 on CentOS/RHEL 7 & Fedora systems. We will compile Python from source code.

      • Install Odoo 14 on CentOS 8 | Linuxize

        Odoo is the most popular all-in-one business software in the world. It offers a range of business applications, including CRM, website, e-Commerce, billing, accounting, manufacturing, warehouse, project management, inventory, and much more, all seamlessly integrated.

        Odoo can be installed in different ways, depending on the use case and available technologies. The easiest and quickest way to install Odoo is by using the official Odoo APT repositories.

        Installing Odoo in a virtual environment, or deploying as a Docker container, gives you more control over the application and allows you to run multiple Odoo instances on the same system.

        This article explains how to install and deploy Odoo 14 inside a Python virtual environment on CentOS 8. We’ll download Odoo from the official GitHub repository and use Nginx as a reverse proxy.

      • A Quick Guide to Linux Partition Schemes – Make Tech Easier

        What partition setup should you use when installing Linux? Follow this quick quide to find out Linux partition schemes and how to do it.

      • A Bash Function To Extract File Archives Of Various Types – OSTechNix

        So many applications available to extract various types of archive files. Here is a Bash function to extract file archives of various types.

    • Kodi and Games

      • Steam On Linux Ticks Lower For October 2020 – Phoronix

        Valve has published their latest Steam Survey results. For October 2020 the Linux gaming marketshare pulled back or at least not keeping up with the pace of Steam’s growing user-base.

      • Kodi 19.x “Matrix” – Alpha 3

        So… drum roll…hot on the heels of 19.x “Matrix” Alpha 2, and after a quick detour for an unexpected 18.9 “Leia” release, we bring you the stunningly-named 19.x “Matrix” Alpha 3. This will hopefully be the last of our alpha releases, before we move into beta and onto formal release (but no promises, obviously).

        Usual caveats: while we’re approaching beta, this is still an alpha, and some things will be broken. That is, basically, the whole point of releasing it, after all: find the problems, and fix them before final release.

        Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the major feature changes since the last release, although there have also been many more improvements and “behind the curtains” fixes:

      • Kodi 19 Alpha 3 Brings Intel Integer Scaling Support For Pixel Art Games – Phoronix

        The third alpha release of Kodi 19 “Matrix” was released on Sunday for this popular multi-platform HTPC software.

        Notable with Kodi 19 Alpha 3 is the gaming integration now has support for Intel integer scaling in order to improve the quality of primarily pixel art games. As mentioned recently, Linux 5.11 brings integer scaling support for the Intel graphics driver. The Intel Linux driver support is coming after the open-source patches were stuck pending until a user-space client was ready to go in exercising the functionality to ensure it would be suitable. Now that Kodi merged its support, the Intel driver code is in DRM-Next until the Linux 5.11 cycle.

      • Grab a free copy of Kingdom: Classic from Humble Store | GamingOnLinux

        Consider this your weekly quick tip! Humble Store are currently doing a free game giveaway with Kingdom: Classic, you will need to act fast on this one.

        To be eligible, you need to subscribe to the Humble Bundle newsletter which of course you’re able to unsubscribe at any point if you decide you don’t like their regular deal emails. Small price to pay to grab a free and highly rated game by users on Steam.

      • 13 New Games You Can Play With Proton Since Oct. 2020 – Boiling Steam

        Halloween is behind us, and winter is coming. It’s time to think about what games you could grab for Christmas, since it’s just around the corner. As usual, we look at the latest data dumps from ProtonDB to give you a quick list of new games that work (pretty much?) perfectly with Proton since October 2020 – the Median rating indicates that games work either out of the box (5) or well enough with tweaks (4)…

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Bugzilla integration for KDE Project API

          The KDE Bugzilla handles a lot of projects and they often match with the repo name, but not always. For instance we have ancient products and components at Bugzilla, as projects have a lifecycle from playground into Release Service, or Frameworks, sometimes with a change of name. So you may end up searching Bugzilla quite awhile for the correct product and component to be able to confirm or create bug reports against an application. Let’s have a look at KPeople, and see why the situation is complicated. You find two products in KDE Bugzilla: kpeople (the repository’s name) and on the other hand Frameworks have the scheme of a “frameworks-” prefix: frameworks-kpeople. From the data displayed even I as a developer am unable to tell which is the correct product to add new bug reports. Both have bug reports this year that got fixed and the number of bug reports is too low to get a clear picture of which to choose.

          This is not only a problem of KDE; it is a general problem in different communities that it is hard for newcomers to find the correct place to search and add new bug reports.

          That’s why Debian added the bug report information for every package. This should help users to search the upstream bug reports or create new ones (Bug-Submit and Bug-Database): https://wiki.debian.org/UpstreamMetadata#Fields

    • Distributions

      • The 11 Best Linux Distros for Programmers

        If you are a developer or programmer, then Linux-based operating systems are best suited for you because these operating systems are configured for almost every process to work efficiently and smoothly. Various Linux Distributions oo Linux Distros are available, but you need to choose the best Linux Distro from a vast list. Linux Distros offer you great power, flexibility, stability, and compatibility. Apart from these features, if you want to learn new things and technologies such as website development, blockchain, game development, and machine learning, Linux Distros will work as the best way to learn these technologies. In this article, we have included the best information on the 11 best Linux distros for programmers.

      • OpenIndiana Hipster 2020.10 Released: Here’s What’s New

        new version of OpenIndiana Hipster is now available for download. For starters, the OpenIndiana Operating system is derived from OpenSolaris and is based on illumos.

        Hipster uses a rolling release model and uses MATE as its default desktop environment. After 6 months of development, the 2020.10 update brings lots of additions and improvements.


        The development team said, “we weren’t able to update some important packages like Firefox and Thunderbird. These are high on our agenda, but due to our limited developer and test capacities, we couldn’t care for them yet.”

        “We are planning for improvements for our infrastructure to lower the barriers for testing and developing OpenIndiana Hipster,” they added.

        Folks over OpenIndiana are looking for developers to contribute to the project. Hence, if you have a knack for problem-solving in programming, now is a great time to reach out to them and contribute.

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.3.4 Released With LTS Linux 5.4, Heads-Up Display Functionality

          Nitrux founder Uri Herrera has announced this month’s release, Nitrux 1.3.4, which brings the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

          For starters, Nitrux is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with Calamares installer, NX Desktop, and NX Firewall built on top of the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment and MauiKit Applications.

        • Linux Lite 5.2 Released: Here’s What’s New

          On September 22, we reported that the first release candidate of Linux Lite 5.2 is available for downloading and testing. Creator of Linux Lite Jerry Bezencon, on October 31, released the final version of Linux Lite 5.2, which is now available to download. “This is the most feature-rich, complete Linux Lite release to date. This is the release many people have been waiting for,” he added.

          Linux Lite 5.2 is based on the Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS and Linux Kernel 5.4. What makes this distro special is its ability to run on ancient hardware. It ships with a customized Xfce desktop environment.

        • MX-19.3 Release Candidate 1 now available

          MX-19.3 Release Candidate 1 available for testing

        • LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.6

          We have currently no plans yet to create an official Alpha release of LE10 with the Alpha version of Kodi 19. Due the drawn out release cycle of Kodi and the experiences from the past few years we are waiting a bit longer to avoid major problems. Nightly builds could be downloaded like usual, that includes the latest unstable development snapshot of LE10/Kodi19.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • New features in Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.17 GA and JBoss Tools 4.17.0 Final for Eclipse 2020-09

          JBoss Tools 4.17.0 and Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.17 for Eclipse 4.17 (2020-09) are now available. For this release, we focused on improving Quarkus and container-based development and fixing bugs. We also updated the Hibernate Tools runtime provider and Java Developer Tools (JDT) extensions, which are now compatible with Java 15. Additionally, we made many changes to platform views, dialogs, and toolbars in the user interface (UI).

          Keep reading for an overview of what’s new in JBoss Tools 4.17.0 and CodeReady Studio 12.17 for Eclipse 4.17 (2020-09).

        • Oracle Linux 8: Administration made easy with free videos

          Now that you’ve had a chance to learn about Oracle Linux 8 installation – you did check out the prior blog – right? You’ll want to continue learning Oracle Linux 8 by delving into the next set of free, short videos on some common administration tasks that you can perform on Oracle Linux 8. These videos are applicable for deployment via on-premises systems or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure instances.

        • Share your experience! Review Oracle Linux on TrustRadius

          Today, Oracle is announcing a partnership with TrustRadius to gather feedback from real-life Oracle Linux users.

          TrustRadius is one of the most trusted review sites for business technology. Optimized for content quality and data integrity, they help buyers make better product decisions based on unbiased and insightful reviews.

          Customers choose Oracle Linux to improve security, reduce downtime, simplify operations, and save operating costs by switching from other operating environments.

        • Multi-arch solution for scanning – sharkcz — LiveJournal

          You might know that I am using a Power9-based Talos II system running Fedora as my primary workstation not only for my job’s duties. One of the few issues I had on this path is that my multi-function printer (Brother DCP-9020CDW) requires a binary driver for scanning (naturally provided only for x86-based systems). I have worked that around by using the “scan-to-a-network share” feature of the printer/scanner, but being able to use a local application for scanning documents would be nice. Then sometime during last week I have noticed that a package called sane-airscan has been updated in Fedora 32. I have checked what it is about and when I saw “Apple” and “Windows” names, then I became skeptical. But I couldn’t be wrong more :-) Both Apple and Microsoft developed standards for accessing printers and scanners over web services and the list of devices supporting these standards is pretty large and includes also my printer/scanner. The sane-airscan project provides an open implementation of the protocol for SANE and then it was matter of running airscan-discover, updating the SANE config file and I can scan documents using the simple-scan application.

        • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR from October 2020 – Fedora Magazine

          COPR is a collection of personal repositories for software that isn’t carried in Fedora. Some software doesn’t conform to standards that allow easy packaging. Or it may not meet other Fedora standards, despite being free and open-source. COPR can offer these projects outside the Fedora set of packages. Software in COPR isn’t supported by Fedora infrastructure or signed by the project. However, it can be a neat way to try new or experimental software.

          This article presents a few new and interesting projects in COPR. If you’re new to using COPR, see the COPR User Documentation for how to get started.

        • Final Set of F32-20201102 updated isos released | Jbwillia’s Weblog

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F32-20201102-Live ISOs, carrying the 5.8.16-200 kernel.

          This is the Final set of respins for the Fedora 32 release.

          Due to the failure of XFCE building, F32-XFCE-Live-20201016 was renamed and re-released for this set

        • Fedora Developers Discuss Retiring NTP, Deprecating SCP Protocol – Phoronix

          Following the successful shipping of Fedora 33, Red Hat developers have begun proposing more changes for future Fedora releases.

          Jakub Jelen of Red Hat’s Crypto Team today proposed deprecating SCP. Yes, SCP as in Secure Copy, but the deprecation is actually about the SCP protocol and not the tool itself. Jakub has written a patch for the SCP tool to use SFTP internally and would allow using the scp tool as-is with existing behavior albeit is actually done via SFTP rather than the SCP protocol. There are some items missing but otherwise appears to be in good shape. The patch would still support falling back to the SCP protocol if desired/needed.

        • TeamViewer RPM repo left door open for malicious packages

          Three months ago, I discovered a security vulnerability in TeamViewer RPM auto-updates on Linux. The vulnerability allowed an attacker-in-the-middle (AITM) to subvert the TeamViewer RPM package repository to install and execute arbitrary software with root permissions.

          First thing first: TeamViewer followed best practices and used cryptographic signing (GPG) on the repository metadata and its software packages. These measures should have prevented anyone from tampering with either the repository or any of its packages. However, it assumes that the system has a copy of TeamViewer’s public GPG key.

        • ansible 2.10.x and Fedora/EPEL – Kevin’s musings

          As some of you all may know, there were some big changes around how ansible upstream is distributed and maintained with the 2.10.x release(es). I thought I would recap for everyone who was not aware of these changes, then share my plans for the Fedora/EPEL ansible packages. Everyone is going to end up in a better place after this settles out, so there’s no need to panic.

          ansible has some good problems with their community: They are very popular, very easy to work on and very widely used. This means there’s a flood of people always submitting bug reports, pull requests, fixes, enhancements, and all manner of things. In the old ansible setup before 2.10, this resulted in bottlenecks. The core ansible maintainers couldn’t review, merge and handle all the incoming flow of things. There were a bunch of things that were tried to help this (ansibot marking up issues and PR’s), making modules git submodules of ansible, making more people ‘community maintainers’ with merge and other powers over some modules, etc. Even with these measures however, that hits another problem: ansible only releases every N months. If you have fixed some big bug in your module, users aren’t going to get that fix very quickly at all.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian NEW Queue, Rust packaging | Ganneff’s Little Blog

          So for some reason I got myself motivated again to deal with some packages in Debians NEW Queue. We had 420 source packages waiting for some kind of processing when I started, now we are down to something around 10. (Silly, people keep uploading stuff…)

          That’s not entirely my own work, others from the team have been active too, but for those few days I went through a lot of stuff waiting. And must say it still feels mostly like it did when I somehow stopped doing much in NEW.

          Except – well, I feel that maintainers are much better in preparing their packages, especially that dreaded task of getting the copyright file written seems to be one that is handled much better. Now, thats not supported by any real numbers, just a feeling, but a good one, I think.


          One of the possible solutions for the feature package problem would be something that another set of packages could also make good use of, I think. The introduction of a new archive or component, meant only for packages that are needed to build something, but where users are discouraged from ever using them.


          Well, take golang as an example. While we have a load of golang-something packages in Debian, and they are used for building applications written in go – none of those golang-something are meant to be installed by users. If you use the language and develop in it, the go get way is the one you are expected to use.

          So having an archive (or maybe component like main or contrib) that, by default, won’t be activated for users, but only for things like buildds or archive rebuilds, will make one problem (hated metadata bloat) be evaluated wildly different.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 will be called Hirsute Hippo – and it arrives sooner than you might think

          Ubuntu developers, continuing the tradition of naming releases in alphabetical order, had to pick a name beginning with the letter H, following the recently released Groovy Gorilla 20.10.

          The Hirsute Hippo name was announced by Ubuntu’s desktop lead Martin Wimpress. Announcing the name also signals the official launch of development work on the release.

          While the final list of features for the release is still some months away – it doesn’t go into feature freeze till February 25, 2021 – we can guesstimate that it’ll ship with Linux Kernel 5.11 and Gnome 40.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 655

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 655 for the week of October 25 – 31, 2020.

        • Ubuntu Membership Boards Call for Nominations

          As you may know, Ubuntu Membership is a recognition of a significant and sustained contribution to Ubuntu and the Ubuntu community. To this end, the Community Council recruits from our current member community for the valuable role of reviewing and evaluating the contributions of potential members to bring them on board or assist with having them achieve this goal.

          Our board members have now expired, and we are looking to restaff our 12:00 and 20:00 UTC Membership Boards with seven new members for each board.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Pktvisor: Open source tool for network visibility

        The importance of applications and digital services has skyrocketed in 2020. Connectivity and resilience are imperative to keeping people connected and business moving forward. Visibility into network traffic, especially in distributed edge environments and with malicious attacks on the rise, is a critical part of ensuring uptime and performance.

        “NS1 created pktvisor to address our need for more visibility across our global anycast network,” said Shannon Weyrick, VP of architecture at NS1. “By efficiently summarizing and collecting key metrics at all of our edge locations we gain a deep understanding of traffic patterns in real time, enabling rich visualization and fast automation which further increase our resiliency and performance. We are big users of and believers in open source software. As this tool will benefit other organizations leveraging distributed edge architectures, we’ve made it open and we invite the developer community to help drive future updates and innovation.”

      • Slaying the Digital Frankenstein With Open Source | CDOTrends

        Say you are a large publicly-listed financial services organization under the supervision of a vigilant regulator. You are running legacy systems that you need to upgrade, which maintains all your compliance and ensures business continuity.

        It is a dilemma that many organizations have been through. Some of them, many times. But it does not necessarily lessen the pain or minimize the complexity each time you have to do it.

        Most organizations, somewhere or other, have those little legacy applications lurking in dark places. They are unsupported and incompatible but are business-critical in some way. The word “Frankenstein” has an IT implication.


        For IAG, the Red Hat solution was one that ticked the essential boxes of scalability and flexibility. It had the benefit of automation capabilities to improve application migration and processes right across the organization.

        IAG is also moving towards a hybrid cloud environment. Some of its work was not suited to a container approach, so OpenStack offered an alternative because, as IAG’s principal platform architect Burak Hoban told the forum, “you can’t leverage containers for everything.”

        “The alternative was to build a brand-new cloud, and that would have been a nightmare for us,” Hoban said.

        Come late 2019, and IAG wanted to upgrade, and the decision was made to skip three versions and move from version 9 to 13. Certainly do-able, but there was one obstacle: the storage provider was not certified to provide services in the upgraded environment.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla’s DeepSpeech 0.9 Released For Open-Source Speech To Text Engine – Phoronix

            Following this summer’s big round of layoffs at Mozilla, the organization’s deep learning open-source speech-to-text engine has been among the projects considered at risk. Fortunately, at least for now, DeepSpeech is still moving forward and is up to version 0.9.

            After the summer’s layoffs at Mozilla, the future of DeepSpeech has been in question even as the project has been nearing its 1.0 stable release. While back in August they said DeepSpeech 1.0 would be released “soon”, that hasn’t happened yet but today marks version 0.9.

          • This week in Glean: Glean.js

            In a previous TWiG blog post, I talked about my experiment on trying to compile glean-core to Wasm. The motivation for that experiment was the then upcoming Glean.js workweek, where some of us were going to take a pass at building a proof-of-concept implementation of Glean in Javascript.


            The reason for our initial focus on webextensions is that the Ion project has volunteered to be Glean.js’ first consumer. Support for static websites and Qt/QML apps will follow. Other consumers such as Node.js servers and CLIs are not part of the initial roadmap.

            Although we learned a lot by building the POC, we were probably left with more open questions than answered ones. The Javascript environment is a very special one and when we set out to build something that can work virtually anywhere that runs Javascript, we were embarking on an adventure.

            Each Javascript environment has different resources the developer can interact with. Let’s think, for example, about persistence solutions: on web browsers we can use localStorage or IndexedDB, but on Node.js servers / CLIs we would need to go another way completely and use Level DB or some other external library. What is the best way to deal with this and what exactly are the differences between environments?

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • OpenOffice Or LibreOffice? A Star Is Torn | Hackaday

          When it comes to open source office suites, most people choose OpenOffice or LibreOffice, and they both look suspiciously similar. That isn’t surprising since they both started with exactly the same code base. However, the LibreOffice team recently penned an open letter to the Apache project — the current keepers of OpenOffice — asking them to redirect new users to the LibreOffice project. Their logic is that OpenOffice has huge name recognition, but hasn’t had a new major release in several years. LibreOffice, on the other hand, is a very active project. We could argue that case either way, but we won’t. But it did get us thinking about how things got here.

          It all started when German Marco Börries wrote StarWriter in 1985 for the Zilog Z80. By 1986, he created a company, Star Division, porting the word processor to platforms like CP/M and MSDOS. Eventually, the company added other office suite programs and with support for DOS, OS/2, and Windows, the suite became known as StarOffice.

      • CMS

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • LG Wing and Samsung Galaxy S20 FE kernel sources are now available

            Apart from the compliance with the GNU General Public License v2, kernel source releases also help developers cook up custom ROMs and enhanced third party kernels which, in turn, boosts the aftermarket modding scene for the device. Manufacturers like LG and Samsung have a good track record of releasing such sources in a timely manner and they have now posted kernel source codes for the LG Wing and the Galaxy S20 FE, respectively.

      • Programming/Development

        • Inheritance in PHP – Linux Hint

          The three main features of object-oriented programming include Encapsulation, Inheritance, and Polymorphism. When programming, you may need to use certain code multiple times, and using inheritance reduces the repetition of rewriting code manually by reusing the code. Inheritance is a method for creating a new class by inheriting a base class. The object of the new class will be able to access all class members of the new class, as well as the base class, through inheritance. In this way, the same code can be reused many times by writing it only one time. PHP uses the extend keyword for inheritance. This tutorial shows how to implement inheritance using PHP script.

        • RcppSimdJson 0.1.2: New Upstream, New Utilities

          A new RcppSimdJson release arrived on CRAN late yesterday bringing along the one recently updated simdjson release 0.6.0.

          RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle per byte parsed; see the video of the talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (also voted best talk).

          Other than the upstream update, Brendan added some new utilities to check for valid utf-8 or json format, and to minify json plus a small workaround for a clang-9 bug we encountered. We can confirm Daniel’s statement on ridiculously fast utf-8 validattion. It is so cool to work with amazing tools.

        • Nibble Stew: You wanted Boost via Meson subprojects? You got it! (sorta)

          In the previous blog post we saw a way to build SDL transparently as a Meson subproject. In the discussion that followed I got a question on whether you could consume Boost in the same way. This is an interesting question, because Boost is a, let’s say, challenging dependency. It is very big and set up in an unusual way. As an example I would estimate that the single fact that they don’t ship Pkg-Config files has cost Meson developers tens of hours of unnecessary troubleshooting. Having something simpler and more reliable would be welcome.

          To test this out I created an MVP program that uses Boost’s flat map from the container library and then added dependencies until it worked. The actual code can be downloaded here (tested on Linux, VS and Mac).

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl 6 Inside Out: Raku Challenge, Week 85

            Welcome back to another week of the Weekly Challenge, and today I’ll briefly describe my solutions to the Week 85.

            The solutions of this week actually make me think that Raku changes my definition of what is a straightforward solution. All those tiny Raku bits such as any or X or ^$N are awesome even in a not fully-optimised program.

          • 2020.44 Comma Comma – Rakudo Weekly News

            Jonathan Worthington has just announced the 2020.10 release of Comma, the IDE of choice for the Raku Programming Language. And this release comes with an impressive amount of new features and even direct support for Red, the Raku ORM!

            In related news, Alexandr Zahatski has announced a new version of the dedicated Pod6 desktop editor called Podlite. This release supports import from markdown and export to HTML. It’s great to see Pod6 becoming easier and easier to work with for desktop publishing. But also for documenting Raku code as well, of course!

          • The Pearls of Raku, Issue 10: the -rw things – Andrew Shitov

            In this issue, we’ll discuss three elements in the Raku programming language that have the -rw suffix.

          • The Pearls of Raku, Issue 11: wrapping things – Andrew Shitov

            In this issue, we’ll talk about the built-in wrap routine and its possible applications.

          • The Pearls of Raku, Issue 12: all and any – Andrew Shitov

            In this issue we’ll briefly talk about practical cases where junctions are really handy — both in syntax and in making the program simpler.

          • The Pearls of Raku, Issue 13: functional elements and recursive sum – Andrew Shitov

            In this issue, we’ll take a look at an interesting pattern of passing multiple arguments to a function and use it to implement a recursive sum algorithm.

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 085

            The latest installment of the Perl Weekly Challenge just dropped so I thought I would take a crack at it. Please note that the challenge is still currently open (as of date of publishing) in case you are participating.

          • 2020.44 Comma Comma

            Jonathan Worthington has just announced the 2020.10 release of Comma, the IDE of choice for the Raku Programming Language. And this release comes with an impressive amount of new features and even direct support for Red, the Raku ORM!

        • Python

          • Just updated – Optimize Images v1.4.0 | The No Title® Tech Blog

            Optimize Images has a new version just released on PyPI! Besides the usual clean and polish, this release includes two new features that may be of interest for you, especially if you are using this utility on servers.

            The first one is a new –watch-directory (or the more abbreviated form -wd), which puts the application in a listening mode, waiting for newly created files in a given folder – any new files are immediately processed, continuously, until you press CTRL-C to exit the application. For now, it runs a single process at a time, so please be aware that in most cases it will take longer to process an equal number of images. It also adds a third-party dependency (Watchdog), which is considered optional, since it is only required for this new feature.

          • PyDev of the Week: Kevin Thomas – The Mouse Vs. The Python

            This week we welcome Kevin Thomas (@mytechnotalent) as our PyDev of the Week. Kevin is the author of Python for Kids, which is “a comprehensive and FREE Online Python Development course FOR KIDS utilizing an official BBC micro:bit Development Board”.

          • Django bugfix releases issued: 3.1.3, 3.0.11, and 2.2.17 | Weblog | Django

            Today we’ve issued 3.1.3, 3.0.11, and 2.2.17 bugfix releases.

          • Early Access PyCharm Podcast — Episode 4: The One Where We Talk About How It All Started – PyCharm Blog | JetBrains

            Welcome to Early Access PyCharm, a brand-new podcast that goes behind the scenes of how the PyCharm IDE is made and all the thinking that goes into it. In the upcoming episodes, you will hear from the people who work daily to make you more productive and your code even better.

          • Fourier Transforms With scipy.fft: Python Signal Processing – Real Python

            The Fourier transform is a powerful tool for analyzing signals and is used in everything from audio processing to image compression. SciPy provides a mature implementation in its scipy.fft module, and in this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use it.

            The scipy.fft module may look intimidating at first since there are many functions, often with similar names, and the documentation uses a lot of technical terms without explanation. The good news is that you only need to understand a few core concepts to start using the module.

            Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable with math! You’ll get a feel for the algorithm through concrete examples, and there will be links to further resources if you want to dive into the equations. For a visual introduction to how the Fourier transform works, you might like 3Blue1Brown’s video.

          • Python: How to Flatten List of Lists

            A list is the most flexible data structure in Python. Whereas, a 2D list which is commonly known as a list of lists, is a list object where every item is a list itself – for example: [[1,2,3], [4,5,6], [7,8,9]].

            Flattening a list of lists entails converting a 2D list into a 1D list by un-nesting each list item stored in the list of lists – i.e., converting [[1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6], [7, 8, 9]] into [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9].

            The process of flattening can be performed using nested for loops, list comprehensions, recursion, built-in functions or by importing libraries in Python depending on the regularity and depth of the nested lists.

          • Python Monthly October 2020 | Zero To Mastery

            Being a Python developer is a fantastic career option. Python is now the most popular language with lots of growing job demand (especially in the fields of Web, Data Science and Machine Learning). You have many job opportunities, you can work around the world, and you get to solve hard problems. One thing that is hard, however, is staying up to date with the constantly evolving ecosystem. You want to be a top-performing python developer, coder, programmer, software developer, but you don’t have time to select from hundreds of articles, videos and podcasts each day.

            This monthly newsletter is focused on keeping you up to date with the industry, keeping your skills sharp, without wasting your valuable time. I will be sharing the most important articles, podcasts and videos of the month. Think Tim Ferriss and the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) meeting the Software Development world. What’s the 20% that will get you 80% of the results?

          • Tryton Release 5.8 – News – Tryton Discussion

            We are proud to announce the 5.8 release of Tryton.
            This release provides many bug fixes and some significant improvements. Among other changes you will find big general performance improvements, a new theme for the web client and support for web shops.

          • Understand your Python code with this open source visualization tool | Opensource.com

            VizTracer visualizes and traces Python code to provide greater insight into how the code works.

          • Johnnycanencrypt 0.4.0 released

            Last night I released 0.4.0 of johnnycanencrypt module for OpenPGP in Python. This release has one update in the creating new key API. Now, we can pass one single UID as a string, or multiple in a list, or even pass None to the key creation method. This means we can have User ID-less certificates, which sequoia-pgp allows.

            I also managed to fix the bug so that users can use pip to install the latest release from https://pypi.org.

            You will need the rust toolchain, I generally install from https://rustup.rs.

          • Create a PyTorch Docker image ready for production

            A tutorial on how to use Torch Serve to create a production-ready Docker image with your model integrated

          • Riccardo Padovani: A gentle guide to deploy a PyTorch model in production over AWS ECS with CI/CD.

            Your team has provided you a PyTorch model, and they have asked you to make it available online, so their magic can be used all around the world! How to do so?

            In this three parts tutorial we will see how to deploy such a model on AWS ECS, discussing different approaches, which technologies are available and what are our options. We will gather some best practices, based on real word experience in deploying models to production.

            The first tutorial is about how to properly package the model inside a Docker image thanks to PyTorch Serve. While it is not a hard task, there are some tricks and optimizations that are worth sharing, to make the Docker image as small as possible, and to make it faster to build.

          • sphinxcontrib-spelling 7.0.1 – Doug Hellmann

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

        • Java/JS

          • JavaScript onClick – Linux Hint

            JavaScript is a well-known programming language. It is used in more than 95% of the websites we interact with daily. You may often see that on the click of a button, a whole page gets changed, a form field is opened, or a pop-up box appears. From the perspective of a programmer/developer, how can we implement such functionality and handle the website’s interactions with users? When it comes to interaction, JavaScript provides built-in functions to control events on a site.

          • 4 reasons why JavaScript is so popular

            ECMAScript is the standardized version of JavaScript as well as an open standard language. Companies can use ECMAScript to create a JavaScript implementation. According to Wikipedia, “an ECMAScript engine is a program that executes source code written in a version of the ECMAScript language standard, for example, JavaScript.” The most popular engines, V8 and SpiderMonkey, are open source projects.

            JavaScript has been around for 25 years and has a vast community behind it. A developer is spoiled for choice. The community has built so many plugins and frameworks that the phrase “framework fatigue” was coined.

  • Leftovers

    • A Thing or Two About Life

      Michael Apted’s great Up series, about a cohort of English children, wasn’t conceived as a series at all. In 1963, fresh out of Cambridge and as a trainee at Granada TV, Apted was asked to find a group of talkative 7-year-olds for a 40-minute special about the children who would be Britain’s barristers and businessmen, factory workers and housewives, at the century’s turn. Directed by Paul Almond and screened in 1964, Seven Up! was to have been a one-off. But when someone at Granada suggested revisiting the children at 14 and again at 21, Apted jumped at the offer to direct. Even after his career took off and he moved to Hollywood, he made time to make a new installment every seven years.

    • ‘Greatest Journalist of His Generation’: Robert Fisk, Veteran War Reporter and Fierce Critic of US Imperialism, Dead at 74

      The managing editor at The Independent—where Fisk worked for 30 years —called him “fearless, uncompromising, determined, and utterly committed to uncovering the truth and reality at all costs.”

    • Robert Fisk, veteran UK journalist, dies aged 74

      He resigned from the Times in 1989 after a dispute with the owner Rupert Murdoch and moved to the Independent, where he worked for the remainder of his career.

    • President Trump tells advisers that he fears prosecution if he loses the election: report

      Trump fears not only the state and local investigations already underway but also possible new federal probes

    • Science

      • Gabe Newell of Valve is launching Gnome Chompski into space (yes really)

        As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, today a press mail from Valve Software entered our inbox because Gabe Newell, president of Valve, is getting a garden gnome sent into space. Yes, really, truly this is actual news and a thing that is happening. No this is not Kerbal Space Program.


        The gnome is no ordinary garden ornament either. Created with the help of Weta Workshop, not only is it printed in the shape of Half-Life gaming icon Gnome Chompski, part of this is also to test “and qualify a novel 3D printing technique that could be employed for future spacecraft components” and also as something of a homage to “the innovation and creativity of gamers worldwide”. Sadly, Chompski is not expected to make it back to earth as it will burn up upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere during the de-orbiting process.

        For those who didn’t know, Gabe Newell has been in New Zealand visiting Weta Workshop and Rocket Labs, when the pandemic hit and has since called Auckland his temporary home. The email mentioned that Newell has been “looking for a way to help the economy and the community that sheltered him (or at least hasn’t kicked him out yet)” and to assure the people of New Zealand that “his eccentric attempts at charity are largely harmless and pose no immediate threat to their way of life”.

      • The Work of John von Neumann – Linux Hint

        John von Neumann was born in Budapest on December 28, 1903, into a wealthy banking family that had been elevated to the Hungarian nobility. From an early age, he showed great intellect and was labeled a prodigy. By the age of 6, von Neumann could speak Ancient Greek and divide a pair of 8-digit numbers in his head, and by 8, he had learned differential and integral calculus. When von Neumann was 15, his father arranged for Gábor Szegő to serve as his private math tutor. At their first lesson, the famous mathematician Szegő was brought to tears after watching the speed and ability of the young von Neumann. In addition to these incredible feats, von Neumann had a photographic memory and could recite entire novels word-for-word.

        Von Neumann completed a two-year certificate in chemistry at the University of Berlin and a PhD in mathematics at Pázmány Péter University. After completing his PhD, von Neumann went to the University of Göttingen to study under David Hilbert, one of an important mathematician whose work helped to develop the computer. Thereafter, von Neumann went to Princeton University to accept a lifetime appointment to the Institute of Advanced Study. His office was several doors away from Albert Einstein’s office, and Einstein complained that von Neumann played German march music on his office phonograph too loudly.

        While at Princeton, von Neumann was brought in to work on the Manhattan Project. He took many trips to Los Alamos Laboratory to monitor the development of atomic weapons, and he was crucial in many stages of the design and construction of the two nuclear weapons dropped on Japan. He was an eyewitness to the first test of an atomic bomb on July 16, 1945, and he served on the committee tasked with deciding which two Japanese cities would be targets for the bomb. For his involvement in the Manhattan Project, von Neumann became perhaps the biggest inspiration for the character Dr. Strangelove in Stanley Kubrick’s homonymous film.

    • Education

      • The Failing Business Model of American Universities

        The business model adopted by our academic institutions is increasingly at odds with those seeking higher education and with the broader society as well. It is undesirable to have entire generations unable to participate in the economy, and as of June 2020, contribute a staggering $1.67 trillion to the national debt according to the National Reserve. This is more than auto loan debt and almost twice the amount of credit card debt in the US. It is crucial to understand the various factors that led to this predicament and to recognize where the system went wrong in order to find solutions.

    • Hardware

      • My collection of vintage PC cards

        Recently, I have been gathering some old hardware at my parents’ house, notably PC extension cards, as they don’t take much room and can be converted to a nice display item. Unfortunately, I was not very concerned about keeping stuff around. Compared to all the hardware I have acquired over the years, only a few pieces remain.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • How Your Brain Tricks You Into Taking Risks During the Pandemic

        It was mid-February and Maria Konnikova — a psychologist, writer and champion poker player — was on a multicity trip. From her hotel room in New Orleans, she called her sister, a doctor, to discuss the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. Konnikova saw there were early cases in Los Angeles, where she was headed for a poker tournament.

        The odds of Konnikova getting infected or spreading the virus by participating in a large indoor event were unknown. But as a poker player she had a lot of experience thinking through the probable risks associated with different decisions. So she played it conservatively. She cut short her trip and went home to quarantine in New York.

      • Thanks to Mitch McConnell, 30 Million Workers Head Into Election Day Unnecessarily Hurting

        It is both cruel and terrible economics that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate last Tuesday with no COVID relief.

      • Four Pandemic Americas: Infinite Choices, Few Choices, Pseudo-Choice, and No Choices at All

        Why? Because she was more likely to survive there. Let me explain.

        After President Trump’s recent Covid-19 hospitalization, people said there were two Americas — one where people like him top shelf medical care and drugs, while the rest of us don’t.

      • ‘Quite a Closing Message’: As Covid-19 Soars, Trump Threatens to Fire Fauci After Election Over

        “Trump is telling Americans that he has given up on protecting them from the virus. And that that’s what they can expect in a second term.”

      • Facing COVID-19 Outbreak Among Workers, USPS Seeks Help With Mail-In Ballots In Swing States

        The coronavirus has had such a severe impact on U.S. Postal Service workers in Wisconsin and Michigan that state agencies are reportedly asking Minnesota to send help as Election Day looms on the horizon.

        An outbreak affecting letter carriers could have major consequences for Wisconsin and Michigan voters, as both states have a hard Election Day deadline for votes to be received. 

      • Sex-Offense Registry Sweeps Intended To Boost Support For Cops Unwittingly Spread COVID-19

        The Oklahoma City Police Department pulled off a social media coup on July 7. “Meet the top 10 most wanted individuals being sought by our Sex Offender Registration Unit,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “It’s important we keep tabs on these guys (and gal), so help us find them.” The post engaged a huge number of readers, receiving 1,500 shares and nearly 500 comments.

        Told dangerous people were loose on city streets, readers responded. “[She] works at [a local store] I’m fucking sick!” posted one. Shadowproof is withholding this individual’s name and place of work to protect them from retaliation.

      • Monitoring COVID-19 vaccine safety during a pandemic

        Vaccine safety has long been a major topic on this blog for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to counter the longstanding efforts of the antivaccine movement to cast doubt on vaccine safety. Many health problems have been falsely linked vaccines such as MMR (and, previously, the thimerosal preservative that used to be in several childhood vaccines) and autism, or demonstrably incorrect claims that vaccines predispose babies to sudden infant death syndrome, or autoimmune disease, or infertility and premature ovarian failure in females, or obesity, and a whole host of other conditions, diseases, and problems up to and including cancer and death. It doesn’t matter that vaccines are effective and among the safest of medical interventions. (They have to be, given that they are administered to mass populations of children and adults without disease in order to prevent disease.) Indeed, the benefits of some vaccines go beyond even the diseases that they prevent, diseases that are more dangerous than most people appreciate, such as in the case of the measles vaccine. Most people are unaware of the multiple layers of systems monitoring vaccine safety and the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO), the closing or “reorganization” of which has led me to great concern for the monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine safety.

      • How America Can Avoid Dual Cataclysms

        Public health is a national-security issue. A destabilized and unwell populace cannot survive. Lately, Acton, who directs a new program, Kind Columbus, has been thinking about kindness as a path to building the kind of resilience and preparedness that will be necessary to mentally manage the coming year, in phases. She said, “The real battle is that people are suffering. We’re seeing the diseases of despair, like depression. Overdoses are up. There’s not a person I meet, from any walk of life, who’s not struggling right now, to make sense of it all, to tolerate ambiguity. Add the election; add the racial unrest.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • How to Build a Highly Qualified Cloud-Native Team – DevOps.com

                If you’re reading this, you more than likely are aware of the struggles involved in recruiting and building a team of technical professionals skilled in cloud-native computing technologies such as Kubernetes, Helm, Prometheus and service mesh. The Linux Foundation and edX’s “2020 Open Source Jobs Report” found 93% of hiring managers are having difficulties filling open positions that require open source skills like these. The report also found that cloud and container technologies are the most in-demand aside from Linux, which itself is a necessary basic skill for cloud professionals.

              • Open source jobs are in high demand, but wait–what’s an open source professional?
              • Dan Kohn, Executive Director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Has Died

                Dan Kohn, leader of the Linux Foundation’s Public Health (LFPH) initiative and former executive director at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), has passed away of complications from colon cancer. Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin wrote yesterday (via LFPH)…

              • We mourn the passing of Dan Kohn

                To the Linux Foundation Public Health community,

                I write today with tremendous sadness to share the news of a great loss in our midsts. Dan Kohn passed away earlier today of complications from colon cancer. While many of you know him as the founder of Linux Foundation Public Health, this was only his final chapter in an incredible career of using technology to change the world.

              • Remembering Dan Kohn | Kubernetes

                Dan Kohn was instrumental in getting Kubernetes and CNCF community to where it is today. He shared our values, motivations, enthusiasm, community spirit, and helped the Kubernetes community to become the best that it could be. Dan loved getting people together to solve problems big and small. He enabled people to grow their individual scope in the community which often helped launch their career in open source software.

                Dan built a coalition around the nascent Kubernetes project and turned that into a cornerstone to build the larger cloud native space. He loved challenges, especially ones where the payoff was great like building worldwide communities, spreading the love of open source, and helping diverse, underprivileged communities and students to get a head start in technology.

              • An open guide to evaluating software composition analysis tools

                With the help of software composition analysis (SCA) tools, software development teams can track and analyze any open source code brought into a project from a licensing compliance and security vulnerabilities perspective. Such tools discover open source code (at various levels of details and capabilities), their direct and indirect dependencies, licenses in effect, and the presence of any known security vulnerabilities and potential exploits. Several companies provide SCA suites, open source tools, and related services driven as community projects. The question of what tool is most suitable for a specific usage model and environment always comes up. It is difficult to answer given the lack of a standard method to compare and evaluate such tools.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Bethesda, Microsoft Make Conflicting Statements About Game Exclusivity After Studio Purchase

              Several weeks ago, Microsoft bought Zenimax Media, the parent organization of Bethesda Softworks for over $7 billion. Bethesda is a celebrated studio best known for its Fallout and Elder Scrolls titles. Both series have long histories of being published across a wide range of gaming platforms, including the PC, PlayStation, and Xbox markets. Almost immediately after the deal, however, many gamers openly worried that Microsoft would warehouse the properties to either the PC or Xbox markets exclusively.

            • GitHub warns users to avoid uploading copies of youtube-dl script

              The Microsoft-owned software code repository GitHub has warned users not to upload banned content to the site, following its decision to take down the youtube-dl script after a complaint from the Recording Industry Association of America.

            • The Github youtube-dl Takedown Isn’t Just a Problem of American Law

              The video downloading utility youtube-dl, like other large open source projects, accepts contributions from all around the globe. It is used practically wherever there’s an Internet connection. It’s especially shocking, therefore, when what looks like a domestic legal spat–involving a take-down demand written by lawyers representing the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),  a U.S. industry group, to Github, a U.S. code hosting service, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a U.S. law–can rip a hole in that global development process and disrupt access for youtube-dl users around the world.

              Those outside the United States, long accustomed to arbitrary take-downs with “DMCA” in their subject line, might reasonably assume that the removal of youtube-dl from Github is yet another example of the American rightsholders’ grip on U.S. copyright law. Tragically for Internet users everywhere, the RIAA was not citing DMCA Section 512, the usual takedown route, but DMCA Section 1201, the ban on breaking digital locks. And the failures of that part of American law that can allow a rightsholder to intimidate an American company into an act of global censorship are coded into more than just the U.S. legal system.

            • GitHub Warns Users Reposting YouTube-DL They Could Be Banned

              Importantly, the action also angered those who maintain, use, and support the software, plus those who didn’t appreciate the perceived overreach into the open source community. As a result, large numbers of people united to stand shoulder to shoulder.

              In many instances their response struck at the heart of the RIAA’s aims: if they wanted YouTube-DL to be harder to find, activists would make it even easier. The software was mirrored, cloned, uploaded to hosting platforms and even turned into images that could be easily shared on millions of sites. This, despite the software still being distributed defiantly from its own site.

              One of the responses was to repost the content to Github itself, where hundreds of YouTube-DL forks kept the flame alight. A copy even appeared in Github’s DMCA notice repository where surprisingly it remains to this day. Now, however, Github is warning of consequences for those who continue to use the platform for deliberate breaches of the DMCA.

            • how to publish git repos that cannot be republished to github

              So here’s an interesting thing. Certain commit hashes are rapidly heading toward being illegal on Github.

              So, if you clone a git repo from somewhere else, you had better be wary of pushing it to Github. Because if it happened to contain one of those hashes, that could get you banned from Github. Which, as we know, is your resume.

              Now here’s another interesting thing. It’s entirely possible for me to add one of those commit hashes to any of my repos, which of course, I self host. I can do it without adding any of the content which Github/Microsoft, as a RIAA member, wishes to suppress.


              What would then happen if you cloned my git repo and pushed it to Github?

              The next person to complain at me about my not having published one of my git repos to Github, and how annoying it is that they have to clone it from somewhere else in order to push their own fork of it to Github, and how no, I would not be perpertuating Github’s monopolism in doing so, and anyway, Github’s monopoloy is not so bad actually …

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (cimg, junit4, kernel, openldap, qtsvg-opensource-src, spice, spice-gtk, tzdata, and wireshark), Fedora (firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, and thunderbird), openSUSE (apache2, binutils, libvirt, lout, pacemaker, pagure, phpMyAdmin, samba, sane-backends, singularity, spice, spice-gtk, thunderbird, nspr, tomcat, virt-bootstrap, and xen), SUSE (graphviz, liblouis, and samba), and Ubuntu (samba).

          • Memo Warns of “Imminent” Cyberattacks on Hospitals [Ed: Does this memo warn about Microsoft Windows in hospitals? Because it should.]
          • Episode 222 – HashiCorp Boundary with Jeff Mitchell – Open Source Security

            Josh and Kurt talk to Jeff Mitchell about the new HashiCorp project Boundary. We discuss what Boundary is, why it’s cooler than a VPN, and how you can get involved.

          • Malicious npm package opens backdoors on programmers’ computers
          • Big US transportation services firm hit by Windows REvil ransomware

            Publicly listed US transportation services firm Matson appears to have been hit by a gang of cyber criminals using the Windows REvil ransomware, with the thieves claiming to have stolen a terabyte of data.

          • Windows Maze ransomware group announces end to operations

            The operators of the Maze ransomware group, that has been used extensively to compromise Windows systems, have formally announced they will be shutting down.

          • U.K. Spies Help NHS Fight Pandemic-Fueled Cyber Crime Attacks

            The NCSC’s response included an assessment of the state-run health service’s vulnerabilities. This uncovered a weaknesses including about 35 internet domains that could be exposed to malicious activity.

          • Hacker group uses Solaris zero-day to breach corporate networks | ZDNet

            Mandiant, the investigations unit of security firm FireEye, has published details today about a new threat actor it calls UNC1945 that the security firm says it used a zero-day vulnerability in the Oracle Solaris operating system as part of its intrusions into corporate networks.

          • Capsule8 Enhances Linux Protection for Production Infrastructure
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Abusive surveillance in the name of public health is a widespread problem around the world, new report says public health surveillance

              When Privacy News Online first wrote about Covid-19, in February, we noted that it would touch on key concerns of this blog: freedom of speech, surveillance and privacy. Already by March, it was becoming clear that the actions taken by governments to deal with the pandemic posed a serious threat in that regard. Since then, this blog has reported on various examples of how privacy was being eroded as a result of national responses to Covid-19.

            • No Police Body Cams Without Strict Safeguards

              EFF opposes police Body Worn Cameras (BWCs), unless they come with strict safeguards to ensure they actually promote officer accountability without surveilling the public. Police already have too many surveillance technologies, and deploy them all too frequently against people of color and protesters. We have taken this approach since 2015, when we opposed a federal grant to the LAPD for purchase of BWCs, because the LAPD failed to adopt necessary safeguards about camera activation, public access to footage, officer misuse of footage, and face recognition. Also, communities must be empowered to decide for themselves whether police may deploy BWCs on their streets.

              Prompted by Black-led protests against police violence and racism, lawmakers across the country are exploring new ways to promote police accountability. Such laws are long overdue. A leading example is the federal Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120 and S. 3912). Unfortunately, this bill (among others) would expand BWCs absent necessary safeguards. We respectfully recommend amendments.

            • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.3 (Android Only)

              After many months of design and development we are very happy to announce the release of Tor Browser 10.0.3 for Android. This is the first Android Tor Browser version in the stable 10.0 series. The Desktop version was released at the end of September. We began working on this project in April 2020 with the goal of rebuilding the Android Tor Browser on top of Mozilla’s new Android Firefox Browser, Fenix. Over the last six months, we successfully achieved this goal and we reached feature parity with the previous Android Tor Browser version.

            • Singapore Schools to Make Virus Tracing Token, App Mandatory

              The implementation of the entrance requirement to schools will be enforced for children age seven and above, and when they all have had a chance to collect the state-issued tokens or download the app, the Ministry of Education said Monday, according to updated guidelines on its website. The policy follows an earlier announcement that the “TraceTogether” technology must be used at popular venues like local restaurants, offices and shopping malls by December.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Parallel Universe of Peace

        Armageddon is against the law!

        Well, sort of. And the Trump administration doesn’t agree. Indeed, no nuke-armed nation has, as far as I can tell, anything but contempt for this infringement on its right to blow up the world (only if necessary, of course). War and peace, it seems, exist in parallel universes.

      • Police Pepper-Spray Marchers Heading to the Polls in North Carolina

        Police in Alamance County in North Carolina pepper-sprayed a peaceful get-out-the-vote march Saturday, descending on the crowd after they stopped near a Confederate monument to kneel in honor of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis in May. Viral videos of the violent police action show officers in riot gear attacking the marchers, including young children and elderly people, who had intended to walk to a polling place on the last day of early voting in North Carolina. At least eight people were arrested, including march organizer Rev. Greg Drumwright, who says police gave the crowd of hundreds only 14 seconds to clear out before attacking. “We never made it to the polls,” says Drumwright. “We believe that this interaction, this interference from local authorities, has obstructed our marchers from not only lifting up our First Amendment rights to protest, to speak out, but also our rights to vote.”

      • Beware of CIA Threats

        Within the past week, we have witnessed an overwhelming Chilean victory to rewrite the constitution forced upon them by General Augusto Pinochet, in 1980, and Bolivia’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal confirmation that former President Evo Morales’ political party, Movement for Socialism (MAS), won the election on October 18.

        The new Bolivian president, Luis Arce, and vice-president, David Choquehuanca, beat right-winger coup-makers Carlos Mesa (a former president) and Luis Fernando Camacho: 55% to 29% and 14%. Both houses of parliament will also have a MAS majority.

      • Biden and Trump compete for South Florida swing voters with anti-communist conspiracies and interventionist chest-beating
      • Cuban Report Says U.S. Blockade Causes Much Grief and Immense Monetary Loss.

        The Report is supposed to inform the General Assembly delegates and the public as to the nature of the blockade and its impact on Cuba and the Cuban people. The blockade is the principal tool the United States uses to undermine Cuba’s government. A State Department official in the Eisenhower administration, in 1960, expressed counter-revolutionary purpose. In recommending a blockade, Lester D. Mallory sought “a line of action which … makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”

        The 53-page Report, covers U.S. measures taken against Cuba and effects experienced in Cuba and elsewhere during the twelve months between April 2019 and March 2020. It summarizes the U. S. legislation and administrative decrees used to authorize the blockade’s rules and regulations and details U.S. and worldwide opposition to the blockade.

      • Beheadings in France

        In October 2020, beheadings in France outraged the people and President Emmanuel Macron, who explained that “Islam in crisis” attacks France’s “core values.” First, a Chechen-born teenager, who entered France as a refugee, beheaded a history teacher sharing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet of Islam with his students. Soon after that, a Tunisia-born tourist “virtually beheaded” a woman and a man inside a church in Nice.

        Both perpetrators used sharp blades.

      • Survivors of Bolivia coup massacre cry out for justice – A Grayzone original documentary
      • Islamic State Claims Kabul University Attack That Kills 22

        Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on Kabul University that killed at least 22 people and injured a dozen more. Afghan security forces said the attack ended after an hourslong gunfight. VOA’s Hikmat Sorosh reports from Kabul.

      • Attack on Kabul University in Afghanistan’s capital leaves at least 19 dead

        The militants “next door won’t be able to wash their conscience of this stinking and non-justifiable attack on Kabul university,” Saleh said.

      • IS Attack on Afghan University Leaves 22 Dead, 22 Wounded

        Islamic State militants in Afghanistan stormed Kabul University on Monday as it hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador, sparking an hours-long gun battle and leaving at least 22 dead and 22 wounded at the war-torn country’s largest school.

        Most of the casualties were students and there were fears the death toll could climb further with some of the wounded said to be in critical condition.

        It was the second attack on an educational institution in Kabul in as many weeks.

      • Gunmen Storm Kabul University, Killing at Least 19

        The Islamic State has staged numerous high-profile attacks in Kabul in recent years, often striking government postings and Shiite Muslims at schools, places of worship and other easily infiltrated — or “soft” — targets.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Letter to My Landlord: November Rent (or Lack Thereof)

        (Please forward to corporate.)

        I appreciate the advice you’ve been sending to your tenants about rental assistance that is available from the local authorities, most of which, as you may know, actually is not available, because the need here in Portland and around the country far outstrips the supply. This is in the news regularly, especially in the business press, which you and I probably both consume daily.

      • Why a Biden Administration Needs to Spend Big

        If Democrats take the White House and Senate, Joe Biden will be in a position to pass legislation that will shape the economy for decades to come. But before the party gets into the policy weeds, there’s a major mental hurdle that needs to be cleared. Biden and his administration will need to rapidly spend money and maintain deficits not seen or even debated in decades. We are entering what I’m calling the Era of Large Numbers: massive spending, giant deficits, a high debt-to-GDP ratio. It is important to understand why this is necessary and why we must defend it from opportunistic opposition.

      • Whoever Wins the Election Will Face Severe Eviction Crisis, as 30 Million Brace for Homelessness

        Despite the massive mortgage debt overhang and the impending foreclosure crisis there is very little talk about how debt might be restructured or how to house the many who will be left homeless.

      • Trump Sold Out Workers Like Me

        Trump likes to brag about how many jobs he’s created. He likes to claim that he’s fulfilled his promise to be the “the greatest jobs president that God had ever created.”

        “Over the next four years, we will make America into the manufacturing superpower of the world. And we will end our reliance on China once and for all,”  he bellowed into the wind in Des Moines. “It’s already happened.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Three Questions That Didn’t Get Asked During the Presidential Debates (and Probably Never Will)

        The questions that never make it through the corporate media’s screening process.

      • Turning White House Into a ‘Fortress’? Federal Agents to Install ‘Non-Scalable’ Fence Just Before Election Day

        “Does this feel like preparation for a peaceful transfer of power?”

      • The Next Battle Is to Stop Trump From Sabotaging the Count

        Lagging in the polls, Donald Trump has made it clear that he’s preparing to subvert a full counting of votes to stave off electoral defeat. On Sunday Axios reported that “President Trump has told confidants he’ll declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he’s ‘ahead,’ according to three sources familiar with his private comments. That’s even if the Electoral College outcome still hinges on large numbers of uncounted votes in key states like Pennsylvania.… Trump’s team is preparing to claim baselessly that if [counting those votes] changes the outcome in Pennsylvania from the picture on election night, then Democrats would have ‘stolen’ the election.”

      • Honoring Day of the Dead
      • Have You Been Online Lately?

        Hari Kunzru’s Red Pill has the trappings of a thriller you might buy at an airport. It involves a chase of sorts, one that starts in the suburbs of Berlin, moves back in time to Stasi-controlled East Germany, and then trapezes around from Paris to the highlands outside Glasgow and, finally, to Brooklyn. There are spies, intrigue, Peeping Toms, conspiracy, and violence haunting the many corners of his novel, and yet the sensibility of the book is much more digressive, cerebral, and torturously self-conscious. That’s because at its core, Red Pill is a novel of ideas, probing seemingly disparate poles of thought: the conception of the self, the creation of whiteness in European Romanticism, and the threat of the Internet—the way it has destroyed our sense of privacy, circulated fringe ideas, and popularized the alt-right.

      • Déjà Vu in France

        On this occasion too it was French president Emmanuel Macron’s vigorous assertion that cartoons of the Prophet produced by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo , in January 2015 and republished since  represented freedom of speech that angered a lot of Muslims in France and elsewhere, though some other remarks he had made recently about ‘Islam being in crisis’ and ‘Islamic separatism’ had also annoyed some people. However, it was the beheading of a French schoolteacher who had shown the cartoons in a class discussion on freedom of speech by a Muslim youth of Chechen origin that provoked not only Macron but also other leaders and a huge segment of French society to react with hostility towards Muslims and even Islam. It should be emphasised that almost all major Muslim leaders and organisations in France also condemned the beheading.  So did many Muslims in other parts of the world.

        It is not enough just to denounce an ugly, insane murder of this sort. Not many Muslim theologians have argued publicly that resorting to mindless violence to express one’s anger over a caricature of the Prophet is an affront to the blessed memory of God’s Messenger. For even when he was physically abused in both Mecca and Medina, Prophet Muhammad did not retaliate with violence against his adversaries. He continued with his mission of preaching justice and mercy with kindness and dignity. It is such an attitude that should be nurtured and nourished in the Muslim world today especially by those who command religious authority and political influence among the masses.

      • How 3 Democratic Women in Swing States Aim to Win This Week

        North Carolina House candidate Aimy Steele is back on the doors.

      • The Democrat Who Could Prevent Democrats From Winning a Georgia Senate Seat

        Democrats are surging in Georgia. Joe Biden could be the first Democratic presidential contender to win the state’s electoral votes since Bill Clinton in 1992, and a pair of Democratic US Senate candidates—one running in a regular election and one running in a complex special election—could win with him. That delicious prospect is so enticing that Biden swept into the state Tuesday and appeared with the Senate candidates, Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock.

      • Citing Potential for Election-Related Violence, Australia and New Zealand Update Warnings Against Travel to US

        “Take precautions to keep safe during the election season.”

      • The Trauma of Trump’s Presidency Will Haunt Us

        There was never a way to understand the forcible separation of migrant parents and their children as anything other than a program to intentionally inflict widespread punitive psychological harm. Even as Trump administration officials publicly claimed ripping apart families was an unforeseen consequence of begrudging compliance with existing immigration law, they privately promoted the policy as one that would create mental anguish to deter migrant arrivals.

      • Nonviolence as a Strategy for Protecting the Election Results

        The particular situation we are facing, in the mass rallies that are planned, is a classic one where enforcing nonviolence by people who show up on our side is important.

      • ‘Our Agenda Is on the Ballot’: On Election Eve, Sanders Joins Other Progressive Leaders for Final Get Out the Vote Rally

        “Our progressive values are on the ballot—and the progress we’re fighting for isn’t possible under a Trump presidency.”

      • Warning of ‘Dark Days Ahead,’ Historians of Fascism Stress ‘It Is Not Too Late’ to Avoid Descent Into Authoritarianism

        “We believe that unless we take immediate action, democracy as we know it will continue in its frightening regression, irrespective of who wins the American presidency,” the scholars warned. 

      • I No Longer Hate Trump. In Fact, I Love Joe Biden Too.

        It is nearly Election Day, and I would like to clear up any confusion out there. If you think I am only voting against President Donald Trump, you are terribly mistaken. I have a hawkish crush on former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris, and their campaign, and I cannot wait to see the Biden-Harris ticket triumph.

        I mean it. I may have a history of supporting bombing campaigns in the Middle East. I may have shilled for a few right-wing policies here and there that would benefit powerful corporations. I may have framed the first page of the crime bill in 1994. But that is exactly why I will kneel on the ground Biden walks upon before he boards the Amtrak to the White House.

      • How DHS and FBI officials spun a dubious Russian election threat days before voting
      • Biden: A War Cabinet?

        Susan Rice for Secretary of State

        Susan Rice, who was also reportedly being considered for the role of Biden’s Vice President, served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and as National Security Advisor, both under the Obama administration.

      • Dear Fellow Progressives: Please Vote for Biden

        The best hope of removing Trump from the White House is a landslide victory for Biden.

      • The Time Is Now: Dump Trump!
      • Be Prepared to Defend Democracy

        The threat level has increased consistently during Donald Trump’s presidency; hate crimes are up, and law enforcement and intelligence services have thwarted a number of troubling plots including a plan to kidnap and execute a duly elected Governor.

        When Donald Trump has been called to denounce these terrorist and extremist groups, he chooses instead to tell them “stand back and stand by.” Members of Trump’s team report their concerns for his willingness and potential use of those who offer violent support that Trump could leverage in pursuit of his illegitimate goals.

      • Warning ‘Wannabe Fascists,’ Philly DA Says People Dressing ‘Up Like G.I. Joe’ to Intimidate Voters Will Be Prosecuted

        “If you want to dress up like a G.I. Joe and claim you are protecting the polls when we all know what you’re really doing is intimidating voters, you’re getting locked up,” said Larry Krasner. 

      • Dump Trump AND!!! Singing Across the Generation Gap for a 21st-Century Revolution

        Dump Trump AND!!! (defund the military and the police), Dump Trump AND!!! (grow a culture of love and peace).

      • Happy With Absentee Ballot Opportunities, Voters Ask Why CT Doesn’t Have Early Voting
      • Misinformation Image on WeChat Attempts to Frighten Chinese Americans Out of Voting

        At least two dozen groups on the Chinese-owned social media app WeChat have been circulating misinformation that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is “preparing to mobilize” the National Guard and “dispatch” the military to quell impending riots, apparently in an attempt to frighten Chinese Americans into staying home on Election Day.

        The misinformation, which takes the form of a photo of a flyer and is in both English and Chinese, also warns that the government plans to impose a national two-week quarantine and close all businesses. “They will announce this as soon as they have troops in place to prevent looters and rioters,” it states. The flyer originally appeared on WeChat during the first surge of the pandemic, and it later spread to other social media. It recently resurfaced on WeChat.

      • No Ballot in the Mail? How You Can Still Vote in Bergen County
      • North Carolina Residents With Disabilities Can Get Help Voting at the Polls
      • So Far, Trump’s “Army” of Poll Watchers Looks More Like a Small Platoon

        Donald Trump Jr. looked straight into a camera at the end of September as triumphant music rose in a crescendo. “The radical left are laying the groundwork to steal this election from my father,” he said. “We cannot let that happen. We need every able-bodied man and woman to join the army for Trump’s election security operation.”

        It was an echo of what his father, President Donald Trump, has said in both of his presidential campaigns. At a September campaign rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the president encouraged his audience to be poll watchers. “Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do,” he said. “Because this is important.”

      • More Than 91 Million Ballots Cast As of Saturday, As Hopes and Tensions Magnify Ahead of Election Day
      • Louisiana Expects “Unprecedented” Voter Turnout on Election Day; Here’s How Officials Are Prepping
      • Trump Rally or Voter Intimidation? Wayne Officials Add Insight
      • For Two U.S. Diplomats From St. Paul, Appeals Court Ballot Ruling May Mean Losing Their Vote
      • Ballot Rejections, Trump Sign-Stealing Scandal Sow Distrust in South Carolina County Election
      • Minnesota Voters Scramble to Return Early Absentee Ballots
      • This Election, Black Women Are Leading the Way—Again

        Black women are one of the most powerful voting blocs in the nation. Although they occupy a marginalized position in American society—shouldering multiple and intersecting forms of oppression, including racism, sexism, and classism—Black women have always used whatever was at their disposal to shape American politics. As the essential, if unsung, backbone of the Democratic Party, Black women have effectively harnessed the power of the vote to advance their political interest—while actively working to strengthen the party’s platform. Now, with voter suppression tactics on the rise, Black women are leading the charge to preserve the integrity of the electoral process.

      • We’ve Been on Trump’s Road for a Long Time

        It was summer almost half a century ago when I got into that Volkswagen van and began my trip across country with Peter, a photographer friend. I was officially doing so as a reporter for a small San Francisco news service, having been sent out to tap the mood of the nation in a politically fraught moment. The Vietnam War, with all its domestic protests and disturbances, was just ending. North Vietnamese troops would soon enough enter Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital; the president of the United States, Richard Nixon, was then trapped in an escalating scandal called “Watergate.”

      • Don Jr. Told Dad’s Supporters “Have Fun” With Biden Campaign Before Bus Incident

        President Donald Trump criticized the FBI on Sunday for announcing an investigation into some of his supporters in Texas for harassing and endangering the lives of passengers on a Joe Biden campaign bus last week — an action that may have been inspired in part by the president’s own son just a couple of days prior.

      • Amnesty Slams Trump for ‘Condoning Violence and Intimidation’ as President Praises Texas Mob for Harassing Biden Campaign Bus

        “This aggressive, abusive conduct by his supporters results from Trump continuing to incite acts of intimidation and violence.”

      • QAnon and John Jr.

        A serial adulterer, Giuliani has, ironically, made it his mantra to say the US election system is mired in fraud. He actively incites MAGA supporters – pushing Trump’s many conspiracy theories and cultivating anger amongst embittered factory workers against minorities and the socially progressive. This is the part where the movie fails. Cohen seems to imply it is only the American leaders who are to blame. I believe it is naïve to assume that ordinary folk are inherently good and are manipulated into being prejudicial. Trump, in reality, is the conscious projection of millions of Americans. Without them Trump would not be president. Trump only says what his followers want to hear – it is as the psychiatrist Carl Jung said, “The true leader is always led.”

        Social media inundates us with information at a frenetic pace. As people, we have an aversion to see events as being random. We are genetically wired to connect the dots trying to make sense of the world we live in. Viruses, bigotry, taxation and our hyper-partisan politics somehow all need to be linked to be understood. The fact people are cognitively hardwired for “could be or perhaps” but not for “absolute truth” allows for the spread of conspiracy theories. It is in this environment QAnon has coalesced.

      • Author Edwidge Danticat: “Be the Vote for Immigrant Families Under Threat by Trump Administration”

        We go to Florida, which could prove decisive in the 2020 presidential election and where immigration is a key issue for many voters, to speak with Haitian American writer Edwidge Danticat, who says voters in the state should cast their ballots to protect immigrant families under threat of deportation by the Trump administration. Trump has repeatedly tried to end temporary protected status for Haitians in the country. We also speak with 13-year-old Christina Ponthieux, the U.S.-born daughter of two TPS recipients from Haiti. “Terminating TPS would affect all of us, especially kids like me who are U.S.-born children who have never been to their parents’ country before,” says Christina, a member of Family Action Network Movement, or FANM, and a co-chair of the group’s Children for Family Reunification initiative.

      • The huckster and the hack: UK govt report undermines stars of Cambridge Analytica-Russiagate scandal
      • UK Labour civil war? Jeremy Corbyn suspended even as report vindicates him on anti-Semitism smears
      • Civil Rights Group Bashes ‘Highly Politicized’ Trump DOJ Election Monitoring Plan

        “This plan appears to be nothing but a thinly-veiled effort to deploy federal government personnel to communities in so-called ‘battleground states.’”

      • ‘Huge Victory for Texas Voters’: Federal Judge Rules in Favor of 127,000 Drive-Thru Ballots

        “This is what democracy looks like,” said one ACLU lawyer. “Our justice system did its duty today to ensure voting rights are protected and our democracy remains intact.”

      • An American History of Separating Families

        I initially was unable to answer my students’ question of how the U.S. government can engage in such cruelty, until together we realized that family separation is embedded in American history.

      • ACLU’s Closing Argument: ‘Everyone Should Be Able to Vote, and Everyone’s Vote Should Be Counted’

        The national civil liberties group says that it “is at the ready to act swiftly and use all of the tools and resources at our disposal to protect the vote.”

      • Battleground Texas: GOP Sues to Toss 127K Votes as Trump Caravan Tries to Force Biden Bus Off Road

        This weekend, a caravan of Trump supporters in Texas tried to run a Biden campaign bus off the road, ahead of a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court Sunday rejecting a Republican effort brought by a QAnon supporter to throw out nearly 127,000 early votes from 10 drive-thru polling locations in Harris County, but now a similar lawsuit has been filed in federal court. The drive-thru polling locations allowed any registered voter to cast their ballot in a car instead of going inside polling centers, as polls show a close race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Texas, a traditionally Republican state. Susan Hays, a special counsel to Harris County on election matters, says the drive-thru locations have been “enormously popular” during the pandemic, and tossing those ballots undermines the democratic process. “An election contest is the remedy to any issues with the voting process, not lawsuits that happen before the election,” she says.

      • “We Never Made It to the Polls”: Police in North Carolina Pepper-Spray Voting March, Arresting Eight

        Police in Alamance County in North Carolina pepper-sprayed a peaceful get-out-the-vote march Saturday, descending on the crowd after they stopped near a Confederate monument to kneel in honor of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis in May. Viral videos of the violent police action show officers in riot gear attacking the marchers, including young children and elderly people, who had intended to walk to a polling place on the last day of early voting in North Carolina. At least eight people were arrested, including march organizer Rev. Greg Drumwright, who says police gave the crowd of hundreds only 14 seconds to clear out before attacking. “We never made it to the polls,” says Drumwright. “We believe that this interaction, this interference from local authorities, has obstructed our marchers from not only lifting up our First Amendment rights to protest, to speak out, but also our rights to vote.”

      • FAQs About What’s Ahead

        I’m more frightened for my country than I’ve ever been. Another four years of Donald Trump would be devastating. Nonetheless, I suspect Biden will win.

      • Why Critical Media Literacy is an Essential Component of Media Education – The Project Censored Show
      • Facebook avoided punishing Trump Jr’s Instagram account over fear of backlash: report

        Two former employees familiar with the matter told the Post that at the end of 2019, Facebook, which owns Instagram, removed a fact-checking strike against President Trump’s eldest son. The sources said that would have categorized him as a repeat offender and instituted penalties, and the company feared the response of taking those steps.

        These penalties could involve reduction of traffic and a potential demotion in searches. One former employee told the Post that this incident was one of numerous strike removals in the past year for the president’s family members.

      • ‘Excluded’ Presidential Candidates – Howie Hawkins of the Green Party – On The Ground

        Corporate media may do their best to vote-shame or silence third party candidates and movements but Howie Hawkins, presidential candidate for the Green Party USA, and Gloria La Riva, presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation are speaking loud and clear. We host a forum with these two candidates excluded from the “debates.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Three TikTok Influencers Influenced A Judge To Block Trump’s TikTok Ban

        Remember Trump’s ridiculous executive order to ban TikTok if it wasn’t sold to an American company? Then there was a grifty non-deal in which Oracle agreed to host TikTok’s new American subsidiary, though nothing about that deal appears to have been finalized, and the executive order was still somewhat in place. The first stage of the ban on the app was blocked by a judge in a lawsuit from TikTok itself. But that ruling did not (yet) block the second stage of the executive order which was set to go into effect this month.

      • Defence Fund and Contempt Case Update

        I have transferred £10,000 from my defence fund to Mark Hirst’s defence fund, which needs money immediately. If anybody who donated objects, your donation can be refunded if you use the contact button top right to send a message.

      • Shiva Ayyadurai’s Lawsuit Against A Massachusetts Official Actually Raises An Interesting 1st Amendment Question About Election Disinformation

        It hasn’t garnered that much public attention, but a couple weeks ago Shiva Ayyadurai decided to sue Massachusetts’ Secretary William Galvin, claiming that efforts to have some of Shiva’s tweets removed from Twitter violated the 1st Amendment. It may surprise many people to hear this, but I think Shiva has a point. And it actually raises some interesting (and somewhat new) 1st Amendment questions regarding social media, election disinformation, and the role of election officials in fighting disinformation online.

      • Why Depicting Prophet Muhammad Is Controversial in Islam?

        Wasington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center shows that most Muslim nations have laws against blasphemy, with some countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enforcing the death penalty. Insulting Prophet Muhammad in both verbal and nonverbal ways, such as in a caricature, are widely considered blasphemous.

        Muslim artists and filmmakers have in recent decades avoided showing Prophet Muhammad’s face in their works on Islam’s inception years. In a 1976 movie called “ar-Risalah” (or The Messenger), Muhammad was shown only as a shadow.

      • How To Tell If You’re Being Canceled

        Nearly 30 years later, attacks on free thought have persisted and in some ways become even more pervasive as cancel culture has become part of the American lexicon. We live in a world where a Boeing executive was forced to resign over a 33-year-old article opposing the idea of women in combat and a respected art curator was pushed out of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for saying he would “definitely still continue to collect white artists.” Earlier this summer, the editor of The New York Times opinion page left his job after publishing an article by Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.).

        What, exactly, does it mean to be canceled? Is free thought under unprecedented attack? And if it is, what’s driving the repression? Rauch, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution who is working on a book tentatively titled The Constitution of Knowledge, spoke to Reason’s Nick Gillespie to answer those questions and discuss the best way to engage today’s censors and cancelers.

      • Your Problem Is Not With Section 230, But The 1st Amendment

        With that, it seems that Americans haven’t fallen out of love with Section 230, rather, alarmingly, they’ve fallen out of love with the First Amendment. In case you’re wondering if you too have fallen out of love with the freedom of speech, consider the following:

        If you’re upset that Twitter and Facebook keep removing content that favors your political viewpoints,

        Your problem is with the First Amendment, not Section 230.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • This is Now

        I have had the same experience with my articles and papers in every single publication I have submitted them to (even CP). I came to learn that each journal has its ideological boundary, within which is its acceptable orthodoxy, and outside of which is rejected heresy. The arbiter determining the exact contour of that boundary is the editor, and moreso when also the publisher.

        This is not necessarily bad if the precepts of the orthodoxy and contour of its boundary line are clearly stated, and uniformly adhered to. Then you as a reader and writer know how to pick and choose what to get into, or not. We all prefer to sing in our own choirs and thus perpetuate a world of mutually repellant cacophonous babel, because it is so much easier to maintain our ignorance and prejudices that way.

      • Genealogy and Greenwald

        It’s easy to dump on Glenn Greenwald. But he’s a hero, no matter what people say about him. He has risked his life as a journalist in ways few, if any, can claim. That being said I am having trouble getting the point he is trying to make in his recent resignation.

        The thesis just doesn’t hold up. Trump isn’t the underdog and if anything we are seeing how little power the media has in the face of massive dark money going to conservative forces. The corporate media has never been serious about taking down Trump, and they aren’t serious in taking down Biden either. But the truth is that most reasonable people could not support anything about the Republican Party. Any educated or honest person of course would be against an organization with so little claim to truth. The media is educated, not moral. Greenwald seems to get these two things confused.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • This Uber driver died of COVID-19. Proposition 22 will sway his family’s fate

        Through the state-administered workers’ compensation program — created to provide wage replacement and medical benefits to workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses — the family might be eligible for at least $320,000 in death benefits, according to a lawyer the Zayyids consulted. Given that his wife, Lamis, and the two of their children who are still teenagers had been dependent on Zayyid’s earnings, the lawyer said the family might even be eligible for additional hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few years.

        Still numb from the loss, the Zayyids filed a workers’ compensation claim. But the claim was shut down. A letter dated Sept. 30 said benefits were denied because Khaled Zayyid had been an independent contractor and never an Uber employee.

        As part of Proposition 22, one of the highest-profile measures on Tuesday’s ballot, Californians will decide what should happen to families like the Zayyids.

      • NLG Continues Intensified Mass Defense Efforts Amid Election | National Lawyers Guild

        The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is continuing its mass defense efforts in preparation for the possibility of a contested US presidential election, and uprisings that may emerge as a result. Many NLG chapters are partnering with Election Protection to provide volunteer attorneys, legal workers, and law students in the interest of fair and free elections.

        The NLG Mass Defense Program has had an extremely busy year following the police murder of George Floyd and the mass movements for racial justice that reemerged this summer—and which continue today. Fueled by our volunteer members at local chapters, the Mass Defense Program is an organized infrastructure of Legal Observers, arrest hotlines, and on-call defense attorneys responding to mass arrests and police violence. The NLG released this elections know-your-rights page to help voters protect themselves and their vote, and defend themselves from instances of voter suppression, harassment, or intimidation they may encounter at the polls.

        Additionally, responding to broad concerns about the possibility for unlawful orders regarding the election, the NLG’s Military Law Task Force (MLTF) is providing new and expanded resources for attorneys, GI rights advocates, and servicemembers, including a phone line (619-463-2369) for free, confidential telephone consultations with attorneys to discuss possible illegal orders and related issues. See here for additional MLTF election-related resources for service members and advocates.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • When Academic Freedom Depends on the Internet, Tech Infrastructure Companies Must Find the Courage to Remain Neutral

        And universities must stand up for the rights of their faculty and students.

        During the past eight months of the pandemic, we have collectively spent more time online than ever before. Many of us are working and/or learning from home, and staying in touch with friends and family through social media and other proprietary services.

      • Vint Cerf’s Mission to Bring the Internet to Outer Space

        Seventy-seven-year-old Vint Cerf is credited as the father of the internet — but he’s now tackling an even bigger challenge. He’s joined with the scientists who envision a network that can scale across hundreds of millions of miles, in an airless vacuum, where data transmissions can be blocked by, for example, the planet Jupiter. Cerf’s working with a team whose lofty new dream is an internet which can connect our spacecraft in outer space — to the other spacecraft, and to listeners waiting here on earth.

        It’s instructive to see how engineers approach a task that stretches endless on an interplanetary scale — and what it took to lead scientists to this galaxy-sized dream.


        Quanta notes extra resilience comes from “bundling” protocols, which Cerf explains can accommodate a temporarily inauspicious positioning of the planet Jupiter. While data packets are still switched from node to node — or, in some cases, space-based relays — “Why throw the information away, instead of hanging on to it until Jupiter shows up?” One reason there’s no storage component in TCP/IP is that the cost of memory in the 1970s could be prohibitively expensive, Quanta notes.

        Interestingly, the protocol isn’t just useful for outer space. One Sweden-based project successfully used the protocol to bring email and web access to Sweden’s remote population of reindeer herders. A paper on the project describes it as “opportunistic routing” through both fixed relays and “mobile” relays (tablets and laptops). Because even electricity was hard to come by, they used a combination of diesel generators and high-capacity batteries to power hotspots (and re-charge their tablets and laptops).

        Cerf describes other possible scenarios to Quanta — for example, after a major disaster when there’s damage to the communication infrastructure, or in use with instruments sending data from the ocean floor that are only intermittently connected. “You need a protocol that says: ‘Don’t panic! It’s OK, just hang onto it.’” And it could also help battery-driven devices conserve power, so Cerf is exploring its use in mobile environments.

    • Monopolies

      • NBN Co behaving much as Telstra did during its monopoly days: Budde

        The situation with the national broadband network at the present moment is similar to the time when Telstra was a monopoly and dictated terms to the rest of the market, well-known telecommunications analyst Paul Budde claims.

      • Patents

        • Federal Circuit: No Appeal of IPR Institution Denial, even If Denied for Extra-Statutory Reasons

          PTAB denied Cisco’s petitions to institute inter partes review (IPR) against two patents owned by Tel Aviv Univ. (Ramot). The statute is clear that the decision of whether to institute is not appealable, but Cisco filed for writ of mandamus with the Federal Circuit. Mandamus has now been denied.

          The Statute empowers the USPTO Director to decide whether or not to institute an IPR. “The Director shall determine whether to institute an inter partes review.” 35 U.S.C. § 314(b). Before instituting, the Director must first find a “reasonable likelihood” that one-or-more claims will be cancelled. However, the statute does not expressly require that the Director grant review of all petitions that meet that requirement, and the PTO believes that the statute provides the Director discretionary power in this process. In a set of regulations, the PTO Director delegated the institution decision to the PTAB. The PTAB, in turn, has established a set of factors that it uses to determine whether to grant an IPR, including efficiency, fairness, and merit.

          Parallel District Court Litigation: In this case, the PTAB declined CISCO’s petitions on the grounds that parallel district court litigation was moving forward with a trial set to occur well-before the PTAB’s likely final written decision. In its decision, the PTAB noted that the same or very similar issues had all been briefed and were being presented in the district court and that “instituting would be an inefficient use of Board, party, and judicial resources.”

          On mandamus, Cisco argued that the PTO’s approach here is unlawful for a variety of reasons, including violation of the America Invents Act as well as the Administrative Procedures Act. [CiscoBriefingShowCause].

        • Software Patents

          • New Patently-O Law Journal Essay: Parsing the Impact of Alice and the PEG

            Almost two years have passed since the USPTO issued its January 2019 Patent Eligibility Guidance (PEG), itself a response to the Supreme Court’s Alice decision, and what many perceived as its destabilizing impact on the certainty of patent prosecutions. Leveraging new data releases, we report on trends in prosecution following the USPTO’s PEG and the Guidance on 112, finding 1) a decline in subject matter rejections and stabilization of subject matter appeals, 2) no discernable increase in 112 rejections, 3) no evidence that small entities were being left behind in Alice-impacted art units by forum shopping by large entities, 4) no noticeable decline in “medical diagnostic” or “software” applications following Alice or Mayo, and 5) more unique words in issued patent claims post Alice. The scripts and techniques we developed to navigate data discontinuities and a lack of labels and complete our analysis are included in this essay.

          • Patent Prosecution Trends Following the Patent Eligibility (101) and 112 Guidelines

            Almost two years have passed since the USPTO issued its January 2019 Patent Eligibility Guidance (PEG). As the prospect of near-term Supreme Court or Congressional action on Section 101 remains murky, it is worth taking stock of patent prosecution and application trends following the PEG, and also, the Office’s accompanying Guidance on Section 112. In this post, we report on quarterly trends in office actions and filings before and after the PEG. We build on earlier analyses reported in PatentlyO and the USPTO Office of Chief Economist’s own report from earlier this year, Adjusting to Alice, which found that the PEG was followed by decreases in both the likelihood of receiving a rejection and the uncertainty in patent examination.

            It is thanks to the exciting continued releases of patent data from the Patent Office, collectively as part of the Open Data Portal (in beta), that we can follow these trends in an attempt to understand the impact of policy. We encourage the USPTO to continue providing data and improving its coverage and quality, providing the only source of data that the courts and policymakers can turn to on the prosecution impacts of their work, as well as research and patent data startups. As to the office action and appeals data, discontinuities and quality issues in currently available datasets presented challenges to our analysis, which we overcame by developing a number of computational approaches. The accompanying PatentlyO Bar Journal Article, Parsing the Impact of Alice and the PEG, (hereinafter referred to as “Article”), has the details and code we used, as well as a summary of the supporting analyses described below.


            The data indicate that, following the PEG, the prevalence of 101 subject matter rejections, and likely frustration associated with same, declined. At the same time, we did not find that 112 rejections increased noticeably to take their place, or that caselaw or the PEG resulted in sustained diminished filings. While we are not able to report on the impact of the PEG on filings and application “quality” (words and details), due to time effects, fortunately, the USPTO’s data releases should seed continued study and analysis of the impact of it and future guidance and court decisions.

      • Copyrights

        • US Govt’s Pirate Site List Doesn’t Prove Anything, YouTube Rippers Tell Court

          Several major record labels recently cited the USTR’s notorious markets list as evidence in their ongoing legal battle with YouTube-rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com. This mention wasn’t well-received by the defense team, which counters that this “proof” is misleading because the USTR list itself doesn’t constitute a legal finding and is based on input from the RIAA.

        • Spotify will let artists give their songs a boost — and get paid less in exchange

          In return for this extra promotional boost, Spotify says it’ll be paying artists a lower “promotional recording royalty rate” whenever songs are played during those autoplay or radio sessions. A spokesperson wouldn’t say how much that rate is because the feature is in testing, but they added that “the idea is for artist teams to be able to earn a positive ROI by using the tool,” and that the company would “calibrate to make sure that the widest group of artists and labels can find success.”

        • Say Hello to Our New CC Open Source Website!

          “Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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