Links 19/11/2020: Kali Linux 2020.4 and Regolith 1.5 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 9:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux and open source: The biggest issue in 2020

      For the most part, 2020 was actually pretty good for open source. Enterprise-level companies embraced open source software even further, containers and the cloud became even more crucial to both businesses and consumers, the Linux community found a larger piece of the support pie from large manufacturers like Microsoft, and distributions continued to wow.

      That doesn’t mean the year was full of celebrations, as there were some rather cringe-worthy moments. A good number of major open source projects suffered from poorly written or out of date documentation, DockerHub started throttling image downloads, etc.

      There was, however, one particular issue open source faced in 2020 that will not only go down as a thorn in the side of the community for the year, but will probably haunt us moving forward.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • FydeOS beta brings Chromium OS to the PineBook Pro (Android app support too)

        The PineBook Pro is a $200 laptop with a 14 inch full HD display, a Rockchip RK3399 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and support for a bunch of different operating systems… most of which are GNU/Linux distributions.

        But you can also turn the laptop into a Chromebook-like device by installing a new beta release of FydeOS 11.2 for the PineBook Pro.

      • Can You Replace Your Desktop PC With a Raspberry Pi 4?

        Since the introduction of the Raspberry Pi 4, a lot more people have been trying to use this microcomputer as their desktop PC. More recently, the Raspberry Pi 400 Personal Computer has been released, the name of which directly indicates its “main” purpose. I have long been interested in the possibility of using a portable and silent PC for simple tasks like creating this text, where the full-size desktop is redundant and the tablet is inconvenient. Finally, I bought a top-of-the-line Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of memory. It’s time to see how it works.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Anti-Virus On Linux: Should You Use One? | Destination Linux 200 – Destination Linux

        On this week’s episode of Destination Linux, we have a great episode in store for you. We’re going to talk about the marketshare potential of Linux. Growth numbers in the 300% range and wondering how this is going to translate to the Linux desktop. In addition we will be covering community feedback, Antivirus Software on Linux? Is this something you should worry about? Google Play Store reportedly containing the highest risks for malware and then of course we have our popular tips/tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux.

      • I Love Linux And You Should Too

        About a week ago JayzTwoCents posted on Twitter asking dedicated Linux users why those use Linux even though it has a bunch of seemingly insurmountable problems that make it annoying to use, so today I’m going to give my response and hopefully you’ll see why Linux is great.

      • How to install Feren OS 2020.11 – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Feren OS 2020.11.

      • The Radeon RX 6800 XT Can Do THIS? – YouTube

        I don’t have a PS5 or Xbox Series X, but I was still treated to a jaw-dropping “next-generation gaming” moment this week thanks to the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and rally racer DIRT 5.

      • FLOSS Weekly 605: Trust in Health Care

        HIE Of One is a non-profit patient privacy rights foundation designed to advance healthcare information solutions and standards. Doc Searls and Shawn Powers talk with Adrian Gropper MD, who is the volunteer CTO of HIE. They discuss how in today’s healthcare environment, medical records and personal wellness information are often spread across a complicated maze of systems, leaving patients and providers without an easy way to access and share important health data. To help with this, HIE is building, Trustee. Trustee is a private, patient-directed health information record being built on the HIE of One open source platform. The Trustee, universal health record, is designed to give the patient complete control over who has access to their medical files. They also talk about the importance of blockchain and how it can be the solution for standards in identity management.

      • A First Look At ArcoLinux With Dwm – YouTube

        ArcoLinux recently released a new version (20.11.9). This release is the first one to offer a dwm edition of ArcoLinuxB.

      • MacOS Lincoler | Coder Radio 388

        The guys deploy their sage wisdom to answer your age-old questions and solve why the latest macOS is less appealing than ever to developers.

        Plus our thoughts on youtube-dl’s return to GitHub.

    • Kernel Space

      • GraalVM 20.3 Released With Many Small Performance Optimizations – Phoronix

        GraalVM continues its quest as the virtual machine not only supporting Java but also additional languages and execution modes with a focus on stellar performance and speedy startups. GraalVM CE 20.3 was released on Tuesday as the latest for this open-source package supporting Java, Node.js, an LLVM runtime, and more.

        With GraalVM CE 20.3 there is an optimization for faster startup times of Java workloads with very short iterations by eliminating/delaying class loading from libgraal, better container awareness on Linux with its native image code, improved support for isolated compilation where applications and the runtime compiler are separate, and the never-ending performance work.

      • WireGuard and UEK6U1

        WireGuard has received a lot of attention of late as a new, easier to use VPN mechanism, and it has now been added to UEK6U1 as a technology preview.

        But what is it, and how do I use it?

        What is WireGuard?

      • Google Publishes Latest Linux Core Scheduling Patches So Only Trusted Tasks Share A Core

        Google engineer Joel Fernandes sent out the ninth version of their “core scheduling” patches for the Linux kernel that allows for allowing only trusted tasks to run concurrently on the same CPU core — in cases where Hyper Threading is involved to safeguard the system against the possible security exploits.

        Core Scheduling has been a popular topic since vulnerabilities like MDS and L1TF have come to light. Core Scheduling aims to make Hyper Threading safer and by only letting trusted tasks share a CPU core is a reasonable safeguard for still leaving Hyper Threading active on servers rather than disabling it in the name of security. DigitalOcean, Oracle, Google, and other major x86_64 players have all been interested in core scheduling and working on different solutions in order to keep HT/SMT active. Particularly for the major cloud server providers having to disable HT/SMT would be a big blow to their models.

      • KVM for Android [LWN]

        A Google project aims to bring the Linux kernel virtualization mechanism, KVM, to Android systems. Will Deacon leads that effort and he (virtually) came to KVM Forum to discuss the project, its goals, and some of the challenges it has faced. Unlike some Android projects of the past, though, “protected KVM” is being worked on in the open, with code going upstream along the way.

        Deacon is one of the maintainers of the arm64 architecture for the kernel, as well as a maintainer and contributor in various other parts of the kernel, including concurrency, locking, atomic operations, and tools for the kernel memory model. He has worked in the kernel for a long time, but not really on KVM; the closest he had come to that is maintaining the Arm IOMMU drivers. He started working on the Android Systems team at Google in 2019 “and found myself leading the protected KVM project”, which is the KVM on Android effort.

        The project is the top contributor to KVM for arm64 for the 5.9 and 5.10 kernels; KVM seems to be a “hot topic” right now, he said, and not just for arm64, but for other architectures as well. All of the project’s work is being upstreamed as it goes, so what he was presenting was “very much a work in progress”. He wants to avoid the trap of doing a bunch of work out of tree and then “throwing it over the wall”, which does not lead to good solutions that are embraced by the community.

      • Migration disable for the mainline

        The realtime developers have been working for many years to create a kernel where the highest-priority task is always able to run without delay. That has meant a long process of finding and fixing situations where high-priority tasks might be blocked from running; one of the persistent problems in this regard has been kernel code that disables preemption. One tool that the realtime developers have reached for is disabling migration (moving a process from one CPU to another) rather than preemption; this approach has not been entirely popular among scheduler developers, though. Even so, the solution would appear to be this migration-disable patch set from scheduler developer Peter Zijlstra.

        One of the key scalability techniques used in the kernel is per-CPU data. System-wide locking is an effective way of protecting shared data, but it can kill performance in a number of ways, even if a given lock is itself not heavily contested. Any data structure that is only accessed by a single CPU does not need to be protected by system-wide locks, avoiding this problem. Thus, for example, the memory allocators maintain per-CPU lists of available memory that can be handed out without interference from the other CPUs on the system. But kernel code can only safely manipulate per-CPU data if it has exclusive access to the CPU; if some other process is able to jump in, it could find (or create) inconsistent per-CPU data structures. The normal way to prevent this from happening is to disable preemption when necessary; it is a cheap operation (setting a flag, essentially) that ensures that a given task will not be interrupted until its work is done.

        Disabling preemption runs afoul of the goals of the realtime developers, who have put so much work into ensuring that any given task can be interrupted if a higher-priority task needs the CPU. As they have worked to remove preemption-disabled regions, they have observed that, often, all that is really needed is to keep tasks from being moved between CPUs while they are accessing per-CPU data, with perhaps some (normally CPU-local) locking as well. See, for example, the kmap_local() work. Disabling migration still allows a process to be preempted, so it does not interfere with the goals of the realtime project — or so those developers hope.

        Disabling migration brings problems of its own, though. The kernel’s CPU scheduler is tasked with making the best use of all of the CPUs in the system. If there are N CPUs available, they should be running the N highest-priority tasks at any given time. That goal cannot be achieved without occasionally moving tasks between CPUs; it would be nice if tasks just happened to land on the right processors every time, but the real world is not like that. Depriving the scheduler of the ability to migrate tasks, even for brief periods, thus takes away a tool that is crucial for the overall behavior and throughput of the system.

      • Atomic kmaps become local

        A 32-bit processor will, unsurprisingly, use 32-bit pointers, which limits the amount of memory that can be addressed to 4GB. The resulting 4GB address space is split between user space and the kernel, with the kernel getting 1GB in the most common configurations; that space holds the kernel’s code and data, memory-mapped I/O areas, and the “direct map” that gives the kernel access to physical memory. The direct map clearly cannot address a lot of memory; once the kernel’s other needs are taken care of, there is room for significantly less than 1GB of mappings to physical memory.

        As a result, any system with 1GB or more of physical memory will have to be managed without a direct mapping to some of that memory. The memory that lies above the range that can be directly mapped is called “high memory”; on many systems, most of the installed memory is high memory. User space can use high memory without noticing any difference, but the kernel side is a bit more complicated. Whenever the kernel must access a high-memory page (to zero out a page prior to giving it to user space, for example), it must first create a temporary mapping for that page. The kmap() interface exists to manage these mappings.

        The kmap() function itself will map a given page into the kernel’s address space, returning a pointer that can now be used to access the page’s contents. Mappings created this way are expensive, though. They consume address space, and mapping changes must be propagated across all the CPUs of the system, which is costly. This work is necessary if a mapping must last for a relatively long time, but the bulk of high-memory mappings in the kernel are short-lived and only used in one place; the cost of kmap() is mostly wasted in such cases.

        Thus, the kmap_atomic() API was added as a way of avoiding this cost. It, too, will map a high-memory page into the kernel’s address space, but with some differences. It uses one of a small set of address slots for the mapping, and that mapping is only valid on the CPU where it is created. This design implies that code holding one of these mappings must run in atomic context (thus the name kmap_atomic()); if it were to sleep or be moved to another CPU, confusion and data corruption would be an almost certain result. Thus, whenever code running in kernel space creates an atomic mapping, it can no longer be preempted or migrated, and it is not allowed to sleep, until all atomic mappings have been released.

      • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Radeon RX 6800 Series Has Excellent ROCm-Based OpenCL Performance On Linux

        While Radeon Open eCosystem (ROCm) support wasn’t a focus for the initial Radeon RX 5000 “Navi” graphics cards by AMD engineers, that is fortunately changing for both the RX 5000/6000 series moving forward. With the Radeon RX 6800 series there is at-launch support available with working OpenCL provided by the “ROCr” (runtime) path in their packaged driver. Now that we have looked at the Radeon RX 6800 Linux gaming performance here are some initial OpenCL compute benchmarks between NVIDIA and AMD Radeon on Linux.

        The Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT OpenCL support is in good shape with the launch-day Radeon Software for Linux 20.45 packaged driver, Benchmarks on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS were carried out and going up against the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20/30 graphics cards with their latest proprietary driver. After Navi compute support on Linux being ignored up to now, it’s good to see it coming together nicely for Big Navi.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Gimp 2.10.23 with Plugins on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Gimp 2.10.23 with Plugins on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to send files over the network on Linux with Warpinator

        Need to send a file to another Linux PC on your network but don’t want to fuss? Check out Warpinator! It can automatically detect computers on the network and allow you to send and receive files with ease.

      • CoreOS install via Live ISO –copy-network – A Random Walk Down Tech Street

        A couple of us recently gave an update to our Customer Experience team at Red Hat on the improvements that were made in Red Hat CoreOS for OpenShift 4.6. My part of the presentation focused on the new Live ISO that is now used for Fedora/Red Hat CoreOS installations and also the improvements that we made for being able to copy the install environment networking configuration into the installed system via coreos-installer –copy-network.

      • Docker Exec – How to Connect to a Docker Container – LinuxBuz

        If you are a system administrator and responsible for managing Docker containers then you may often need to connect to a running Docker container. It is very helpful if you want to see what is happening inside the container. You can use docker exec or docker attach command to connect to a running Docker container or get a shell to the container.

      • Manage AppImages, AUR, Flatpaks And Snaps With Bauh – OSTechNix

        Bauh is an opensource, graphical application to manage AppImages, AUR, Flatpaks, Snaps and native web applications in Linux.

      • Amazon ECR: Creating repository and pushing first container image – Kernel Talks

        A quick rundown on how to create Amazon ECR repository and push container image to it.

      • Testing Raspberry PI Storage Speed (SD, USB) with dd
      • Installing Fedora on the NVIDIA Jetson nano – nullr0ute’s blog

        Nvidia launched the Jetson Nano Developer Kit in March 2019, since there there’s been a few minor refreshes including a just announced cheaper 2Gb model. I received the original 4Gb rev A device shortly after they were launched.

        Over the last year or so as part of my role at Red Hat I started working with some of the NVidia Tegra team to improve support for the Jetson devices. This work has been wide ranging and while it’s taken a little while, with Fedora 33 we’re starting to see the fruits of that collaboration. The first is improved support for the Jetson Nano. The official L4T (Linux 4 Tegra) Jetson Nano images look is a lot like an Android phone with numerous partitions across the mSD card. This makes it harder to support a generic Linux distribution like Fedora as there’s assumptions by distributions of what level of control they can have over a storage disk, so while it was certainly possible to get Fedora to run on these devices it generally wasn’t for the faint of heart

    • Games

      • If you enjoy first-person dungeon crawling, you need to play Vaporum: Lockdown | GamingOnLinux

        Vaporum: Lockdown is the standalone prequel to the original Vaporum from 2017 and Fatbot Games did another fantastic job with a great world to explore. The game follows the story of Ellie Teller, a scientist who is a part of a mysterious research project in the middle of an ocean.

        After getting an official Linux release back in October, I spent some time with it crawling through dark hallways, dealing with freaky creatures and solving puzzles. Much like the first game, I’ve come away with a lasting impression and thoroughly enjoyed the experience it offers. With a sleek steampunk style, along with real-time exploration and combat, everything in Vaporum: Lockdown feels like it flows together quite nicely.

      • Godot Engine – Dev snapshot: Godot 3.2.4 beta 2

        While development keeps going at full speed towards Godot 4.0 (see recent devblogs on GDScript typed instructions and Complex Text Layout), a lot of work is also being done on the 3.2 branch for the upcoming Godot 3.2.4.

      • Bridge Constructor: Walking Dead. Come Again? – Boiling Steam

        This has to be one of the most unlikely partnerships in the history of video games: mixing zombies (sorry, walkers was it?) with bridge construction mechanics. The idea sounds so crazy on its own that I had to try it out.

        At first, I was not sure what the game was trying to be. It recounts the story of survivors trying to make it through the zombie/walker apocalypse. By the way, you do not need to be familiar with the series to enjoy the game, while you will recognize some famous characters (modeled after the TV show characters) throughout the story. Walking Dead the show is all about following the destinies of small groups of people as they try to restart their lives in a land infested with walkers (aka zombies). It takes place in good old contemporary America.

        The first few missions are about building bridges or structures to make folks or vehicles reach a specific point on the map. To build structures, you start working with wooden planks, and as you move on, wires and steel pillars become available. While materials are not restricted in any way, they cost resources and each stage encourages you to build with less by awarding you a badge if you complete a stage with few resources. But who cares? I’m a pragmatist. As long as it works, I’m good.

      • How to install Unity3D on Ubuntu 20.04 [Ed: (Microsoft Mono vector]

        Today we are looking at how to install Unity3D on Ubuntu 20.04. Firstly, we download the UnityHUB and make it executable as a program. Then we open a terminal in the folder where the package is located. Then we run two commands, firstly we move the package to the /opt directory as many 3rd party applications store their data there. Then we install a menu editor. Next, we add unity to our menu by creating a menu launcher with the editor we installed. Lastly, we launch Unity, activate it, install an editor, and create and launch projects. Enjoy!

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Kali Linux 2020.4 released: New default shell, fresh tools, and more!

          ZSH is now Kali’s new default shell on desktop images and cloud, Bash remains the default shell for other platforms (ARM, containers, NetHunter, WSL) for the time being. Users can, of course, use that which they prefer, but be aware that, visually, Bash has been made to look more like ZSH.

          Upon logging into a Kali terminal or console, users may be presented with a message from Kali developers that will point them to more information about that specific installation, in case they need it for troubleshooting.


          Finally, Offensive Security is partnering with Marcello Salvati, the creator of the CrackMapExec, to deliver new updates exclusively to Kali Linux for a 30 day period (as the author has moved to a sponsorware model).

          The goal of the partnership is to, according to Salvati, “help improve the status quo of the Open Source Infosec/Hacking tool developer community with the end goal of actually making it sustainable through a number of experiments.” The company is also looking for other authors to to sponsor with.

        • Kali Linux 2020.4 Release

          We find ourselves in the 4th quarter of 2020, and we are ecstatic to announce the release of Kali Linux 2020.4, which is ready for immediate download or updating.

          What’s different with this release since 2020.3 in August 2020 is…

        • Regolith 1.5 Released with Support for Ubuntu 20.10

          This is a new feature release of the i3-based desktop environment and includes key improvements and system optimisations aiming at simplifying workspace management and finessing the user experience.

          If you’re not familiar with Regolith Linux all you need to know about it is that it takes the latest Ubuntu base and lays a keyboard-centric tiling window manager across the top. The result is a user-friendly, power-user desktop computing experience.

          Regolith Linux is an Ubuntu-based Linux distro that ships with the Regolith desktop environment by default. The Regolith desktop environment is, however, available to install from a PPA — you can install Regolith alongside the regular GNOME Shell desktop.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Web Remix is a Linux distro that puts Firefox front and center (Chrome OS alternative)

          Global Chromebook shipments are on the rise as folks around the world are stuck working, studying, and binge watching from home. They tend to be affordable, reasonably responsive, and fairly simple to learn to use.

          But a key selling point for some is a turnoff for others – Chromebooks put Google’s Chrome browser front and center.

          So this summer developer Rudra Saraswat decided to build a Chrome OS alternative focused on Firefox rather than Chrome. Now the first release of Ubuntu Web Remix is available for download.

        • Respun ISOs Questionnaire

          I’ve just released a new version of ‘isorespin.sh’ that supports the respinning of the latest Ubuntu and Ubuntu flavoured 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) ISOs.

          However I don’t have sufficient space available at the moment to post an example ISO similar to those posted here.

          So I’ve created a questionnaire to ask which ISOs are required both now and in the future.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Librem 5 Mass Production Phone Has Begun Shipping

        Purism, a Social Purpose Company (SPC) focusing on security and privacy with its hardware and software, has begun shipping its mass-produced Librem 5 phone to customers.

        The Librem 5 is a one-of-a-kind general-purpose computer in a phone form-factor that Purism has designed and built from scratch following a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised over $2.2 million. Both the hardware and software design is focused on respecting the end user’s freedom and giving them control over their privacy and security. The Librem 5 doesn’t run Android nor iOS but instead runs the same PureOS operating system as Purism’s laptops and mini PC.

      • The Journey to Shipping the Librem 5

        I was a pretty avid mountaineer when I lived in the pacific northwest, as a child I set a goal to summit every mountain in the Olympic National Forest. There are a lot of them, and I reached that goal over the course of many many years. I summited with my father one weekend, then my brother the next, and my friend the third, and a hiking group the fourth. Sometimes two in a day, sometimes taking a break due to weather, sometimes failing to summit and retrying again the next month. Mountaineers have perseverance.

        With Purism, and specifically the Librem 5, I set a lofty goal of delivering a mobile phone that does not spy on you, avoids Big Tech entirely, ensures that all the software is freedom respecting with the source code released, that is the most secure phone available on the market, while also making it convenient to use. I knew back in 2014 when I formed Purism that this was going to be a multi-year very challenging journey, and I also knew that there would be many summits toward this much larger goal.

      • Purism’s Librem 5 Linux smartphone is now shipping

        Purism’s first smartphone is now shipping. The Librem 5 is a smartphone with a 5.7 inch display, an NXP i.MX8M quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 4,500 mAh battery.

        It’s also one of only a handful of smartphones designed to ship with a GNU/Linux distribution rather than Android or iOS.

        The phone has been under development for several years, and a small number of dev kits and pre-production units have already been shipped. But mass production of the first “Evergreen” batch hardware began recently, and earlier this month Purism announced that it would begin shipping the mass production version of the phone to customers.

      • Banana Pi quad-GbE router SBC features M.2 and five mini-PCIe slots with SIM

        SinoVoip’s $750 “Banana Pi GrassRouter” is a quad-GbE router board for mobile communications that runs Linux on a dual-core -A53 MediaTek MT7622E and offers 5x mini-PCIe for 4G, M.2 for 5G, and 7x SIM slots.

        In Aug. 2019, SinoVoip launched a $68 Banana Pi BPI-R64 router board with 4x GbE ports, a WAN port, and dual mini-PCIe slots. As part of the company’s “BPI 4.0 server” OEM/ODM customization service, the company developed a customized multi-link fusion version of the board for a customer with more mini-PCIe and SIM card slots. This Banana Pi GrassRouter SBC is now publicly available for $750.

      • Coffee Lake robotics controller to power Indy Autonomous Challenge racers

        Adlink’s Linux-ready “DLAP-8000” robotics controller offers a 9th Gen CPU, 4x swappable SATA, 2x PCIe x16, 2x PCIe x8, and PCIe x4. The system will be used in the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC).

        Adlink announced that its “preliminary” DLAP-8000 Series robotics controller and “industrial GPU workstation” is being used by competitors in the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC). The 9th Gen Coffee Lake based system is loaded with PCIe slots for performing rapid deep learning processing on up to Quadro RTX 8000 graphics cards (see farther below).

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • AMD ROCm Open-Source Stack Coming To Xilinx FPGAs

          Now here is some darn interesting software news from SC20… AMD, which is in the process of acquiring Xilinx, is bringing the Radeon Open eCosystem “ROCm” stack to Xilinx hardware.

          Xilinx and AMD are offering a technology demonstration of the AMD ROCm open-source stack atop the Xilinx Alveo accelerator cards. AMD and Xilinx are working to fully support the FPGAs within the ROCm platform and integration between AMD Instinct GPUs and Alveo accelerators for compute, networking, and storage solutions. Ultimately they aim to provide a fully integrated ROCm runtime to span from AMD CPUs and GPUs through FPGAs.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 83 Released with JavaScript Engine Updates, Https-Only Mode

            Mozilla Firefox 83.0 was released a day ago with significant updates to its JavaScript Engine, SpiderMonkey. It improved page load performance by up to 15%, page responsiveness by up to 12%, and reduced memory usage by up to 8%.

          • Mozilla Thunderbird 78.5 Released with More OpenPGP Improvements

            Mozilla Thunderbird 78.5 is all about improving the best feature of the 78 series, OpenPGP support, which is now built into the application and enabled by default to let users send encrypted emails.

            In this version, OpenPGP gains a new option that let users disable the attaching of the public key to a signed email, improved support for inline PGP messages, as well as a fix for the message security dialog to no longer display unverified keys as unavailable.

          • No more Flash support in Firefox [LWN]

            Mozilla has announced that the Adobe Flash era is coming to an end.

          • SD Times news digest: Linux Foundation to host Servo web engine, Postman public workspaces beta launched, and split diffs added in GitHub Desktop

            The Linux Foundation has announced it will now host the Servo web engine. Servo is an open source, high-performance browser engine that is designed for both application and embedded use and is written in the Rust programming language.

            “The Linux Foundation’s track record for hosting and supporting the world’s most ubiquitous open source technologies makes it the natural home for growing the Servo community and increasing its platform support,” said Alan Jeffrey, the technical chair of the Servo project. “There’s a lot of development work and opportunities for our Servo Technical Steering Committee to consider, and we know this cross-industry open source collaboration model will enable us to accelerate the highest priorities for web developers.”

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Origins of the youtube-dl project

              As you may know, as of the time this text is being written youtube-dl’s repository at GitHub is blocked due to a DMCA takedown letter received by GitHub on behalf of the RIAA. While I cannot comment on the current maintainers’ plans or ongoing discussions, in light of the claims made in that letter I thought it would be valuable to put in writing the first years of youtube-dl as the project creator and initial maintainer.

              Copper thieves

              All good stories need at least a villain so I have arbitrarily chosen copper thieves as the villains of the story that set in motion what youtube-dl is today. Back in 2006 I was living in a town 5 to 10 kilometers away from Avilés, which is itself a small city or town in northern Spain. While people in Avilés enjoyed some nice infrastructures and services, including cable and ADSL Internet access, the area I lived in lacked those advantages. I was too far away from the telephone exchange to enjoy ADSL and copper thieves had been stealing copper wires along the way to it for years, causing telephone service outages from time to time and making the telephone company replace those wires with weaker and thinner wires, knowing they would likely be stolen again. This had been going on for several years at that point.
              This meant my only choice for home Internet access so far had been a dial-up connection and a 56k V.90 modem. In fact, connection quality was so poor I had to limit the modem to 33.6 kbps mode so the connection would be at least stable. Actual download speeds rarely surpassed 4 KB/sec. YouTube was gaining popularity then to the point it was purchased by Google at the end of that year.


              I’d like to remark one more time that the purpose of youtube-dl as a tool has barely changed along its 14 years of existence. Before and after the RIAA’s DMCA letter was received, many people have explained how they use youtube-dl with different goals in mind.
              For me, it has always been about offline access to videos that are already available to the general public online. In a world of mobile networks and always-on Internet connections, you may wonder if that’s really needed. It must be, I guess, if Netflix, Amazon, Disney or HBO have all implemented similar functionality in their extremely popular streaming applications. For long road trips, or trips abroad specially with kids, or underground or on an airplane, or in a place with poor connectivity or metered connections, having offline access to that review, report, podcast, lecture, piece of news or work of art is incredibly convenient.
              An additional side-effect of youtube-dl is online access when the default online interface is not up to the task. The old proprietary Flash plugin was not available for every platform and architecture, depending on what your choice was. Nowadays, web browsers can play video but may sometimes not take advantage of efficient available GPU decoding, wasting large amounts of battery power along the way. youtube-dl can be combined with a native video player to make playing some videos possible and/or efficient. For example, mpv includes native youtube-dl support. You only need to feed it a supported video site URL and it will use youtube-dl to access the video stream and play it without storing anything in your hard drive.

            • The RIAA, GitHub, and youtube-dl

              Toward the end of October, GitHub removed the repository for the youtube-dl utility, which provides a means to download video content from various streaming sites, such as YouTube. The repository was replaced with a cheery notice that it had been removed due to a DMCA takedown. It will likely come as no surprise that the DMCA action came from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) or that the complaint was that the program circumvented the “technological protection measures” used on the videos by YouTube and other authorized sites.

              If the goal of that notice was to somehow erase youtube-dl from the internet, the effort could not have been more misguided. Predictably, the notice fully revalidated the “Streisand effect”: as word filtered out, youtube-dl was spread far and wide. Beyond that, many who had never heard of the program before were suddenly aware of its existence, purpose, and the threat to its continued existence. Meanwhile, youtube-dl is still available for download, packaged for Linux distributions, and so on. The repository shutdown is an inconvenience to the project and its users but not much more than that.

              The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a US law—ostensibly about protecting copyright-holders—that has been (ab)used in a wide variety of ways by the enormous content conglomerates that hold the bulk of the copyrights for music, television, movies, and so on. In particular, the anti-circumvention provisions have been invoked in dubious ways to try to prevent competition in printer-ink cartridges, thwart investigation into the Volkswagen emissions cheating, and to chill cryptographic research of various sorts. While the DMCA itself is US law, it was written to implement two World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties, so the effects are more widely applicable.

              The RIAA is no stranger to using the DMCA, of course. The organization has been sending takedown notices since the DMCA was enacted and was filing lawsuits against alleged copyright infringers before that. There are certainly legitimate infringement problems that the organization and its members have targeted along the way, but their blanket attacks and overreach (e.g. the the “dancing baby” video takedown) have also done much to paint the law (and the RIAA) in a rather bad light—not that it has resulted in any changes to the DMCA, sadly.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (opera and raptor), Oracle (bind, bluez, firefox, microcode_ctl, and thunderbird), Red Hat (firefox, net-snmp, and thunderbird), SUSE (java-11-openjdk and tcpdump), and Ubuntu (firefox, krb5, and libvncserver, vino).

          • Cloud native security for your clusters

            Over the last few years a small, security focused community has been working diligently to deepen our understanding of security, given the evolving cloud native infrastructure and corresponding iterative deployment practices. To enable sharing of this knowledge with the rest of the community, members of CNCF SIG Security (a group which reports into CNCF TOC and who are friends with Kubernetes SIG Security) led by Emily Fox, collaborated on a whitepaper outlining holistic cloud native security concerns and best practices. After over 1200 comments, changes, and discussions from 35 members across the world, we are proud to share cloud native security whitepaper v1.0 that serves as essential reading for security leadership in enterprises, financial and healthcare industries, academia, government, and non-profit organizations.


            The cloud native way, including containers, provides great security benefits for its users: immutability, modularity, faster upgrades and consistent state across the environment. Realizing this fundamental change in “the way things are done”, motivates us to look at security with a cloud native lens. One of the things that was evident for all the authors of the paper was the fact that it’s tough to make smarter decisions on how and what to secure in a cloud native ecosystem if you do not understand the tools, patterns, and frameworks at hand (in addition to knowing your own critical assets). Hence, for all the security practitioners out there who want to be partners rather than a gatekeeper for your friends in Operations, Product Development, and Compliance, let’s make an attempt to learn more so we can secure better.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Cloud control vs local control: What to choose for your home automation [Ed: Lots of spying and user-hostile Trojan horses disguised as "smart" and/or "assistant"]

              Cloud access also creates issues around being reliant on something outside your control. In 2019, Sonos came under fire for remotely bricking older smart speakers. Speakers usually continue to work for years after their warranty ends; in fact, they usually function until they physically break. There’s also the case of Automatic, which produced a cloud-based car tracker. When it announced in May 2020 that it would be shutting down its services, it advised customers to “please discard your adapter by following standard electronic recycling procedures.”

              Being dependent on a third-party provider for critical functionality can come back to bite you. IFTTT, a popular service for programming events based on external conditions, recently altered its free plan’s terms and conditions to severely limit the number of events you can create—from an unlimited number to three. This is even though IFTTT charges device manufacturers for certification with its system, which allows products like Meross smart bulbs to proudly display their compatibility with IFTTT.

    • Environment

      • The New Humanitarian | Climate crisis in Honduras drives needs and fuels migration

        As Honduras endures its second major hurricane in as many weeks, international aid agencies and local volunteer groups are scrambling the best responses they can to assist people displaced by flooding and landslides.

        But aid experts and rights activists, as well as local residents and politicians, say longer-term problems are being neglected in a country where years of devastating drought have caused mass hunger and are leading thousands of Hondurans to flee annually towards the United States.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • [Guest post] The Implementation of Article 17 CDSMD in EU Member States and the Evolution of the Digital Services Act: Why the Ban on General Monitoring Obligations Must Not Be Underestimated – The IPKat

          Article 17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (‘CDSMD’) is an inexhaustible source for debate. Setting forth new obligations to prevent the appearance of illegal user uploads on online content-sharing platforms (Article 17(4)(b) and (c)), it has triggered a never-ending controversy on content filtering and potential overblocking. With national legislators in EU Member States trying to find the right implementation strategy at the domestic level and the European Commission working on a new architecture for internet service provider liability in the Digital Services Act (‘DSA’), the debate has reached a new peak. How far-reaching are the new content moderation obligations in the field of copyright law? Does it make sense to rely on Article 17 CDSMD as a template for regulating online platform services in the DSA?

Organisations Are/n’t the Problem

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, OSI at 5:40 pm by Guest Editorial Team

By figosdev


Summary: “Our goal has to be for Free Software to outlive its founder.”

I used to think the FSF was salvageable. Now I’m pretty confident it’s not. The mission of Free Software, at least, is to give their user control over their computing.

The FSF has failed at this in spectacular ways. It is also not accountable to users — but it has made itself accountable to its enemies above all else. The FSF is subjugated, but wants you to believe it can fight for your freedom.

“More than 20 years ago, Microsoft made their plans to overthrow Free Software by overthrowing Open Source.”The greatest assets of the FSF are the Free Software Definition, the GNU Project, the GPL 2 and 3 licenses (2 because how you are going to fork GNU/Linux without it? But you can thank Microsoft and Linus for that snafu) and Stallman himself.

Clearly, the FSF has failed to manage these assets with regards to their mission. Unfortunately, they are still locked up with the FSF — The exception is the GNU Project, which is locked up with Microsoft GitHub via Perl, Python, libFFI, zlib1g and HarfBuzz. These 5 projects are controlled by Microsoft and yet are vital to the GNU Project.

Figure of Virgin Mary. Image taken in Seville, Spain.Like many others, I sought to alleviate this problem simply by creating another organisation. One of the two main purposes of that organisation was to help salvage the Free Software movement, and to work to rally other organisations to that purpose.

The most promising and rewarding collaboration along such lines has been with Techrights, albeit on a completely unofficial and informal basis. I have also tried to encourage other people to create Free Software organisations for specific purposes (typically their own) but so far nobody wants to do that kind of work. I can’t say I blame them. I have tried to show how to make that work easier.

If you can’t save the FSF, the best you can do is recreate it. When you do that, you start with the same problem the FSF had; namely that you cannot prevent the hostile takeover of a non-profit organisation without playing every single card right, year after year.

More than 20 years ago, Microsoft made their plans to overthrow Free Software by overthrowing Open Source. I don’t think there’s a single person on this planet (and I’ve spent years looking for such people) who could have done a better job than Richard Stallman in thwarting those takeover plans. But I believe the FSF started to fall apart around 2015.

“Our goal has to be for Free Software to outlive its founder.”The successes of the FSF are many, and inspiring. The majority of non-profits do not succeed as wildly as the FSF did. Stallman did not expect to do as well as he did. There is a myth that people learn how to create the perfect organisation, and then they just go and do it by some book — the reality is that people end up learning by doing, and most fail.

Our goal has to be for Free Software to outlive its founder. We know numerous attempts were made (sincerely or otherwise, sometimes it’s hard to tell) to extend the geographic and organisational reach of the FSF. We know there is a Free Software Foundation India (FSFI), though not much happens with that. There is a “Free Software Community of India” which is more active. There is not only a Software Freedom Law Center, associated with the co-author of the GPL, There is a Software Freedom Law Center India.

There is an Irish Free Software Organisation. In France, there is April. My favourite is still FACiL in Québec; their platform is the closest to mine of any Free Software organisation. If I had a mountain of assets (alas…) that I needed to put into non-profits right now, I would split it among the OpenBSD Foundation, the NetBSD Foundation, Hyperbola GNU(/BSD) and FACiL — probably not in that particular order.

“SFC may have started in sincerity, but it is traitorous.”I do not know the real motivation for the creation of the Open Source Initiative, only the official narrative and the overall trajectory and outcome. From the latter, I believe OSI was created out of jealousy, and quickly turned into a weapon (as a pawn or collaborator, perhaps even both) against Free Software. We may never know for certain, but that is no reason to be charitable. Open Source has not just attacked Free Software but all of us, relentlessly. In the past when I had more faith in Ben Mako Hill, it was due to personal dealings, writings of his, and the fact that he said at not-so-LibrePlanet that we should probably distance ourselves from Open Source. That would have been a good idea.

SFC may have started in sincerity, but it is traitorous. I would not give anybody from SFC the time of day. FSF Europe is traitorous and even dubious. We have talked about these things in detail many times, but in this article they are little more than a footnote. It is important to note however, that at some points (maybe even now) FSF Latin America has relied partly on the FSFE for some of its infrastructure. As I consider FSFLA more viable than FSFE, this is troubling. I’m not sure if it remains accurate, and I hope not.

FSFLA of course is the home of linux-libre, as well as Alexandre Oliva. Regarding both Oliva and the previous article I wrote, he brought it to my attention that I probably mixed up two conversations we had about copyright and Free Software, leading me to paraphrase him saying that those two things have nothing to do with each other.

“Stallman remains the original founding member and creator of this movement.”I do not have a copy of the original conversation, so I can’t simply quote what he did say. However, we went over what he more likely said, and what likely got misconstrued, and I have no reason to think that he is mistaken. I won’t deliberately misrepresent him, and I make a fair effort to get such things right, but this is a situation (one of many) where I would prefer to be mistaken, and I’m pleased to be.

Free Software needs leaders, and over the years I have tried to keep track of the most likely successor for Richard Stallman. I can honestly say that Geoffrey Knauth was never on this list, and I would not vote for him now or at any previous point in time. He may just be the best person the FSF can put in charge under the present circumstances, but those circumstances are still bullshit.

When Knauth says of the movement Stallman created, “What a noble idea, but one person cannot do all this” I really don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. A movement, practically by definition, is more than one person. In my opinion, he might as well say of Einstein’s theory of relativity, “What an incredible idea, but one person cannot do all this.”

“Most offshoots of the FSF have gone badly.”No, Einstein did not do “all” of it. The foundations of science were already there, and (with the unlikely exception noted in protest by — Nikola Tesla? To whom we also owe a great deal, of course) credit was given where it was due. But I think too many people have tried to take credit for Free Software the way that Steve Jobs might be given credit for the MP3 player (or Torvalds might be given credit for the GNU Project — hypothetically, of course!)

Stallman remains the original founding member and creator of this movement. He is still relevant, but the (metaphorically) drunken stewards of the FSF have seen fit to stand between the movement and Stallman, allegedly for the sake of the former. If you ask now, perhaps for the alleged sake of the latter. Whatever works, eh?

As far as I know, the leadership of FACiL is doing alright. SFC is corrupt, OSI is led by Microsoft, FSFE has an atrocity at the helm, Knauth is as tepid as John and FSF India has said very little for years. My candidates for successor included Oliva, Ben Mako Hill, Kat Walsh and Denis Roio. I am probably leaving someone out, but it was a short list and Oliva would have likely ranked highest, though I assumed geography was a problem (it’s not). So when Oliva was made Vice President I felt a bit vindicated, though we both agreed that the circumstances were depressing and unfair.

“But first, it’s important to point out that the goal is NOT to replace Richard Stallman.”Most offshoots of the FSF have gone badly. At this point, so has the original. But if you’re going to fork the FSF, one thing you should probably do in preparation for the day when it gets co-opted is to make your fork more forkable. That’s what I tried to do, but I was somewhat aware that most people probably wouldn’t want to go through the trouble.

I abandoned the idea of a forkable organisation designed to lobby the FSF for the sustainability of its own mission (at least for my own trouble) and kept what I felt are the best ideas from along the way: a library of 4-freedom Software and Cultural works (Free Software works and Free Culture works, no freedom-limiting -ND or -NC clause licenses) and an organisational alternative I refer to as a "Freedom Lab".

The idea of a freedom lab works metaphorically like this:

Suppose you have a very large office building. This office is set aside for an umbrella cause, such as Free Software and Free Culture and Free Hardware — note that my affinity for FACiL comes from the fact that like many Free Software advocates, including former FSF board member and 2016 presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig, I am also interested in Free Culture — and FACiL combines these into what they call “Free Computing”.

Instead of having a very conservative top-down approach, like the one the FSF has, this metaphorical office building rents out office space to any group of people who are interested in the umbrella cause. These groups then act like mini-organisations under the auspices of the umbrella organisation. Not-so-LibrePlanet seems to almost operate like this within or with regards to the FSF, although it would be nice to have a better example.

“If Richard Stallman was abducted by aliens tomorrow and Free Software needed a new leader in a pinch, Oliva is probably the closest thing we have.”Here’s the kicker — instead of renting office space in a literal office building, these groups simply form at will under this umbrella cause, and are encouraged to both compete (as in explore different options or methods) and collaborate on ways to advance free software. Instead of competing in a business sense, think of competing theories, advancing science towards a better overall understanding. Hence “labs”.

You do not need to register to become a scientist — you do it by practicing science. Obviously there are credentials you can attain through education, but we aren’t trying to make Free Software into a hard science in the first place — rather the idea is to have something a bit closer to scientific exploration in its approach than just relying on a guru like Richard Stallman to lead.

And here is where it’s very important to point out that this approach has lots of downsides — OSI is a perfect demonstration of those downsides, and this idea would not be complete without some effort to mitigate and account for those.

“Without both people and the will, it really isn’t a movement.”But first, it’s important to point out that the goal is NOT to replace Richard Stallman. If we had a second guru on standby for the day when he finally stops fighting, we could simply let that guru take over where Stallman left off. I’ve explored that option for years, and it counts on a lot of things that might never happen. The closest thing we probably have to such a figure is Alexandre Oliva. If Richard Stallman was abducted by aliens tomorrow and Free Software needed a new leader in a pinch, Oliva is probably the closest thing we have.

This may sound like an endorsement, though I am more reserved than that. Oliva is objectively and most likely the closest thing we have to Stallman, other than Stallman himself. If you can think of a more Stallman-like individual anywhere on earth, who is as passionate about Free Software, I defy you to produce this person.

And yet, Oliva has advanced to the level of vice president and then lost the (official) leadership role nearly as soon as it began. I blame the FSF for this, not Oliva. But although he (like Stallman) will probably fight for Free Software as long as he lives, as a leader he may not be as much of an unstoppable force as Stallman is — and we need an unstoppable force.

“One of the ways in which the FSF has failed fundamentally is that it has taken away Stallman’s platform, under false pretenses.”The point here, is that you cannot actually replace Richard Stallman. We don’t have the parts, the technology, or the budget for it. On most days I don’t think we even have the will to — and without that, all this talk of organisation is moot. A movement needs people in order to work. Without both people and the will, it really isn’t a movement.

At best, we could try to build a Stallman alternative, in much the way that vegetarians try to build a burger that people who actually like meat (per the metaphor, or meataphor — people who actually want the user to be free) would want to eat, albeit one made without the actual thing it is alternative to.

As long as Stallman lives of course, he is still (and really always will be) the father of the Free Software movement. One of the ways in which the FSF has failed fundamentally is that it has taken away Stallman’s platform, under false pretenses. That is not the official narrative, but I firmly believe (and we needn’t go into evidence here) that the official narrative is bullshit anyway.

We may not be able to restore a platform for Stallman, because although we can offer him greater welcome and more sincere respect (let’s call it fairness) than what’s left of his own organisation, we can’t force him to make use of it — Stallman’s lack of a public platform was plotted and executed by others, but remains at least partly self-imposed. But we could certainly offer it, and I believe we would do ourselves a disservice not to. It would be a lesser good for Stallman to have only a symbolic platform, but the symbol is still worth something if his place is reserved in sincerity (not only in rhetoric).

We still know that the movement will eventually lack a leader with all of Stallman’s traits, and thus eventually it will have to continue without him one way or another. When that ship has finally sunk, do we go down with it or do we build a fleet of our own?

“Science works best when it makes things as simple as they can be.”Having a somewhat federated organisation, we then move on to the business of autonomy. Having an all-seeing, all-powerful umbrella organisation at the top of these “labs” creates the same weakness that the FSF has — the ability for corporations to buy in and take over. Apart from the ability to explore different options for advancing the movement, these labs could also provide a degree of redundancy for the organisation that exists overhead — a degree of forkability.

If Richard Stallman is the father of the Free Software movement, and Free Software itself is his child, as he has said himself — then these labs could be his grandchildren. Of course grandchildren are generally raised by the parent, not so directly by the grandparent, with exceptions. But the goal here is to continue the family line.

I am in favour of cloning Stallman. I have long used two metaphors for this process — clones, and parrots.

Stallman specifically tells people not to give him a parrot. He means it literally, I will use it this way: it is better to clone Stallman than to simply parrot him.

“Watchdogging, collaboration and the evaluation of other labs is built into the structure. This is a way to mitigate the fact that some labs will ultimately turn traitor and try to sell out to sponsors or whatever.”Parrots may not be stupid creatures, but when they speak they do not use it to communicate exactly the way we do — they are mostly just repeating sounds. I’m no expert on birds, I think you might be able to train some parrots to say “Coffee’s Ready!” when they smell it brewing, but what you couldn’t do is get them to form their own sentences and justifications or reasoning about coffee. They will not philosophise with you — they just repeat what they’ve heard, sometimes on a loop.

I think that if you literally cloned Stallman, those clones would not simply parrot what he says. They would form their own logic, they would (as Stallman most notoriously does) think for themselves, even if that thinking is unconventional.

This is what I think of supporting Stallman — understanding his work to the best of our abilities, and probably agreeing on the things that matter most. Also demonstrating integrity. OSI did not do these things, and it dishonestly sabotaged (misrepresented) both Stallman and us. Stallman’s response was overly charitable; Ben Mako Hill had (though does not seem to have followed) the right idea.

Once you have a boatload of Stallman clones, they would argue among themselves as philosophers already argue with the self. If you cannot argue with yourself, you have no business arguing with other people. So the question becomes if we create even a brigade of Stallmans (like Dumbledore’s Army, but for software freedom), then what do we do with that? How would we manage such an unruly force (that is, ourselves) without stifling it?

“There is no way to completely prevent a group of people from acting like OSI — sometimes we can only address it when it happens.”Perhaps it is impossible, but again, we are taking inspiration from science. The way you determine the impossible is not by pooh-poohing the question, but by impartial analysis and experimentation. First we create these grandchildren of Stallman. If we fail at that first step, the question of managing such a crew is moot. If we succeed, we move to the next step.

Science works best when it makes things as simple as they can be. Some problems are complex, or perhaps everybody would be a scientist. But science also starts with the universe, and reduces it to the simplest rules possible for the entire universe, per our present level of understanding.

To make certain that umbrella organisations remain the servant, not the master of these freedom labs, I have written what I call the THRIVE guidelines.

“It is also incredibly flexible, but with simple, down-to-earth mechanisms designed to maintain integrity in the face of corporate meddling.”These are instructions for cats that want to be self-herding. If they prefer to travel alone, there is nothing you can do to change that. An individual can contribute to Free Software, and a group can contribute to Free Software, and not every individual absolutely has to be part of a group. But we can (as we do for Stallman) still have a place for individuals who choose to assist us. If they do not appreciate our assistance, or vice versa, perhaps another part of our network can better cater to them.

You notice that I say “umbrella organisations” in the plural. This doesn’t mean that there has to be two or more umbrella organisations at the same time, though there is no reason that some labs cannot act as an umbrella to others. The idea of an umbrella is to assist coordination and education (be informative), not to rule from above. Technically, any lab can do this for other labs (if they are inclined).

Watchdogging, collaboration and the evaluation of other labs is built into the structure. This is a way to mitigate the fact that some labs will ultimately turn traitor and try to sell out to sponsors or whatever. If we consider GNOME part of this broad network, then we already have one example. There is no way to completely prevent a group of people from acting like OSI — sometimes we can only address it when it happens.

“That is a function that Stallman provided, but in the FSF this mechanism has failed spectacularly without an adequate replacement.”In a way, this cat self-herding is not unlike kernel self-Hurding. Where the FSF is monolithic, we are talking about microkernel Free Software organisations.

It is more complex in practice, but here the components are actually simpler than the alternative. The idea is not to create a perfect or flawless top-heavy organisation, but a network with nodes that anybody can work to form more quickly and easily (and with relative autonomy) compared to the FSF.

It might not work. And without people with the will to fight for your freedom, as the FSF still claims to do — it would never happen anyway.

The advantage of doing it this way is that it does not require the level of up-front resources (or authority) that we have relied on the FSF and Richard Stallman for. It is an idea borne of the relative loss of both.

It is also incredibly flexible, but with simple, down-to-earth mechanisms designed to maintain integrity in the face of corporate meddling. That is a function that Stallman provided, but in the FSF this mechanism has failed spectacularly without an adequate replacement.

“Doing it this way also resists censorship — it takes a lot more effort to censor people like Richard Stallman (or even Oliva) when things are designed this way.”It is an idea that lets you, the user — go about building a platform for self advocacy (for you or for yourself plus others) within a week or so, if you can find people interested in working with you — even a small handful of people. And if two or more groups of people do this, it is designed in anticipation of that and provides a way to create ad hoc networks of such groups. They do not all need to work exactly the same way, so you can actually explore designs and strategies you think might help. In turn, we can observe your efforts and note possible success or ideas we can adapt to our own advocacy.

People already do this all the time when they create applications, but it is applied less often to organisations. We have a mythology that says that applications don’t exist until there is a larger organisation associated with them, though so many Free Software projects start with a single developer or small groups. It may be possible to rebuild the Free Software movement in a similar fashion.

Doing it this way also resists censorship — it takes a lot more effort to censor people like Richard Stallman (or even Oliva) when things are designed this way. We will not make the mistake that the Fediverse makes and pretend that censorship is impossible or can’t exist within this scheme. The number of separate organisations that have already been taken over by corporate interests demonstrate the folly there.

“Instead of just having such a network attacking our base, it would be ideal to have a similar network defending our movement — turning the design to a positive goal.”When they collaborate, as SFC and GNOME may have — we have some reason to think this is possible — to undo our advocacy, they are using a similar process to fight us that we might use to fight back. Their advantage (assuming we are correct) hurt the FSF substantially.

If this does not apply to that particular combination of organisations, it certainly applies to other pairs or groups of organisations. Instead of just having such a network attacking our base, it would be ideal to have a similar network defending our movement — turning the design to a positive goal. The alternative seems to be to just watch Free Software die.

You can’t create a censorship-proof design — you fight censorship with a combination of good design and on-the-ground defence of free speech. The Fediverse has the former, but it is found lacking with regards to the latter. Freedom requires the will to defend freedom, not just good design.

But a good design can certainly help those who have the will. Today, the FSF actively resists the will of those who would create the sort of technological and political reform that Richard Stallman founded the FSF to organise. We can build the internet to rival the FSF’s Ma Bell.

“The internet was strictly non-commercial until the advent of the Web. It became, not unlike Free Software itself, a mix of non-commercial and commercial space.”It really depends on what sort of people we are, though. Open Source worked to decentralise Free Software as well, critiquing the “Cathedral” and advocating the “Bazaar”. In time it replaced high tech cottage industries with technofascist mega malls, and those were all bought up by surveillance capitalist monopolies.

The internet was strictly non-commercial until the advent of the Web. It became, not unlike Free Software itself, a mix of non-commercial and commercial space.

Free Software by definition, includes both the commercial and the non-commercial; it is a false dichotomy to characterise it in any other way. But being controlled by multinational corporations is not any kind of freedom. The purpose of Free Software is to give control of computing to the user.

“The purpose of Free Software is to give control of computing to the user.”If the FSF cannot keep that promise, we do need to build something — if we wish to keep the promise of free computing for the user alive.

My feelings about that are strongly opposed to building something that’s identical in every fashion, just to have it taken over by monopolies like GIAFAM again. The FSF’s IFF systems are clearly malfunctioning — and if nothing else, we need to find a way to rebuild a better one of those.

Long live rms, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Links 18/11/2020: NASA and GNU/Linux, Fedora KDE Plasma Spin for 64-bit ARM

Posted in News Roundup at 2:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Stars and Stripes: NASA and Linux

        This is the first in a series spotlighting large institutions in the USA and how they are embracing Linux and open source.

        The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research. NASA’s budget in 2020 is over $22 billion. To put that figure into context, that’s equivalent to the annual GDP of Zambia, Papua New Guinea, or Laos.

        How is NASA embracing Linux and open source?

        NASA runs a set of supercomputers with the names Pleiades, Electra, Aitken, Merope, and Endeavour at the Ames Research Center. Pleides is one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, currently ranked the 39th most powerful in the world, sporting an eye-watering 241,108 cores and 211,968 GB of memory. Pleiades and the other supercomputers run on a custom version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • DXGI Winsys Comes To Mesa For Better Performance Atop Direct3D 12 – Phoronix

          More improvements are coming to Mesa 21.0 following last week’s merging of the Direct3D 12 Gallium3D driver that is being used by Microsoft for supporting OpenGL/OpenCL-on-Direct3D 12.

        • Mesa 21.0 Lands More Last Minute Fixes For Radeon RX 6000 “Big Navi” GPUs – Phoronix

          For those trying to setup their Linux systems to be “Big Navi”-ready if purchasing one of the new graphics cards today, some more last minute fixes have landed within Mesa.

          In addition to AV1 video decoding having been merged yesterday to Mesa 21.0 with the OpenMAX interface initially, today a batch of fixes were merged that affect these new GPUs and the Radeon RX 6800 series shipping today.

        • AMD Radeon RX 6800 and the RX 6800 XT are out today

          Although for Linux, we’re still waiting on The Khronos Group to formalise the cross-vendor Ray Tracing Vulkan extensions for that.


          For running them on Linux, the driver situation isn’t the best. AMD have put out the Radeon Software for Linux version 20.45, which adds support for the Radeon RX 6800 Series but that driver only officially supports Ubuntu 20.04, RHEL/CentOS 7.9 and RHEL/CentOS 8.2. For Mesa drivers, you’re going to need Linux Kernel 5.9, Mesa 20.2 (or newer) and also LLVM 11.0 which means most normal distributions will be missing out with manual upgrades. So, unless you really know what you’re doing with everything, you will likely want to hold off.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series Linux Performance

        Today is the big day: Big Navi is shipping! This also means we can talk at length finally about the Linux support and performance for the Radeon RX 6800 series and how well they perform for Linux gaming. Here is a look at the Linux driver state for these initial RDNA 2 graphics cards and their performance capabilities with the multiple different open-source driver stacks available.

        Long story short, this is the best at-launch Linux driver support we have seen from AMD at the premiere of a brand new generation of graphics processors. But even though it’s the best at-launch support we have seen out of a new generation of Radeon GPUs, there still is room for improvement — especially for those Linux users not comfortable compiling their own drivers, etc. There is support available already in the mainline Linux kernel and Mesa repositories that have materialized this year under the Sienna Cichlid codename. Yes, both the RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT shipping today fall under the Sienna Cichlid codename.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Nvidia Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nvidia Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, The performance of graphics processing units (GPUs) mainly depends on drivers. Ubuntu by default use open source video driver Nouveau which has limited support and features when compared with proprietary Nvidia drivers. Installing NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu is an easy task that can be done in less than a minute. Ubuntu includes a tool that can detect the graphics card model and install the appropriate NVIDIA drivers. Alternatively, you can download and install the drivers from the NVIDIA site.

        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 Nvidia Drivers 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 Calibre Ebook Server on Ubuntu 20.04

        Calibre is a free and open-source e-book manager. It ships as a cross-platform desktop application along with a server component and can be used to manage your e-book library.

        Setting up calibre as a server allows you to access your books from anywhere in the world and allows you to share them with friends and family. You can also transfer them to your mobile devices for reading later. Calibre server also allows you to read e-books directly on the web.

        In this tutorial, you will learn about how to install and use a calibre ebook server on an Ubuntu 20.04 based server.

      • How to install KVM and VirtManager on Kali Linux

        KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a virtualization solution built for Linux. When installed, it allows you to create a guest or virtual machines

        Today we will learn how to install KVM on your system and how to configure virtual machines using ‘Virtual Machine Manager’ in just a few simple steps. Note that the following tutorial is tested on Kali Linux.

      • How To Launch Startup Applications With A Delay On Linux – Linux Uprising Blog

        This article explains how to delay startup applications, with 2 ways of achieving this.

      • How to interpret captured Wireshark information | Enable Sysadmin

        Learn to capture and interpret network information with Wireshark.

      • How to Install Fedora 33 Server

        In this article, we will walk you through the process of installing the Fedora 33 Server with screenshots.

      • How to install the noip2 on Ubuntu and run via systemd systemctl (noIP Dynamic Update Client) – blackMORE Ops

        Often I find instructions from different vendors that are too generic and doesn’t really work the way you want it to. For example, I use https://www.noip.com for my Dynamic DNS updates and I found that the instructions for installing noip2 Dynamic Update Client is lacking clarity and no fit for purpose in latest Ubuntu servers. Ideally noip2 Dynamic DNS Update Client should continually checks for IP address changes in the background and automatically updates the DNS at No-IP whenever it changes. But the instructions are lacking as if you reboot your server, it doesn’t work anymore because it doesn’t run on startup. This post attempts to fix that problem by installing required packages to run the make command, install noip2 binary, fix file permissions if missing, create an init.d script for service command, create a systemd file so that we can control it via systemd and finally enable it via systemctl. I know, I know I overdid it but it doesn’t hurt and now you will have multiple ways to control it. If you’re familiar with it then you can skip parts to get to the right sections to either use init.d or systemd, so feel free. Now let’s get to it…

      • How to solve Busybox Initramfs error on Ubuntu

        You have started your Ubuntu system and suddenly a black screen like the snapshot below appeared ? Ubuntu initramfs It starts with BusyBox and (initramfs)

      • Use Snap to Install Bitwarden Password manager on Linux OS – Linux Shout

        Bitwarden open-source password manager is available in the SNAP repository to install on various operating systems such as Ubuntu, CentOS, Linux Mint, RedHat, Kali Linux, and more…

        This free and open-source password manager is although available to users without any cost, however, the developers also provide some extra features at a very low cost. The premium version will include Bitwarden Authenticator (TOTP), 1 GB encrypted file storage; a Two-step login with YubiKey, U2F, Duo; Vault health reports, Unlimited Collections and shared Items; Priority Customer Support, and more.

      • How to Recover Deleted Files on Linux with testdisk

        Have you ever deleted a file and instantly regretted it? You need it back, and fast! But what if the file is so new, it hasn’t yet been backed up? Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it.

    • Games

      • OpenMW, the open source game engine for Morrowind sees great progress | GamingOnLinux

        The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is a true classic for many reasons, and it continues living on with the OpenMW free and open source game engine. It’s been a while since the 0.46 release of OpenMW back in June 2020 but plenty of work has been going on since.

        In a new blog post they did a round-up of work done during September-October and it all sounds pretty awesome.

      • Destiny 2 will be properly free on Stadia soon, get Crayta FREE now and much more | GamingOnLinux

        After recently announcing new features for Stadia like messaging and profiles (and possibly new country support coming), Google seem to be firming it up elsewhere with it being even easier to try out without buying anything.

        Stadia has been freely available to everyone for a while now as store to buy games from for streaming, along with the optional Stadia Pro subscription to get access to regular free games. However, what if you just wanted to test it? Well now you’re getting that chance.

        On November 19 at 9 AM PT / 5 PM UTC, Destiny 2 will become properly free to play on Stadia so anyone with a Stadia account will be able to play it (without Stadia Pro). Along with this, Destiny 2: The Collection will be removed as a Stadia Pro title since it’s going free to play on Stadia. This is pretty big, since having a game as big as this free for everyone could be quite a draw for Stadia for people unable to play directly on their system.

      • Fold Stories is an upcoming combat-free adventure in dreamlike origami world | GamingOnLinux

        Fold Stories from OtterWays recently caught my attention, as a brand new adventure puzzle-platformer with a really quite wonderful style and setting.

        Set in what they’re saying is a dreamlike origami world where you start as a simple sheet of paper. From there, you learn how to fold into different shapes to progress through the levels. During your journey you come across various other creatures, and collect pieces of the story scattered throughout.

      • War Thunder gets a huge upgrade along with Vulkan by default on Linux with big issues | GamingOnLinux

        War Thunder, the huge free to play online battle game across land, sea and air just had a huge game engine upgrade with the latest release.

        Something that has been in progress for a long time, is that the Linux version got Vulkan support as the default now too. This is a feature our contributor BTRE interviewed the CEO of Gaijin Entertainment, Anton Yudintsev, for back in 2018 so we’ve been waiting some time on it. With their Dagor Engine 6.0, it brings with it tons of visual upgrades and enhancements to existing graphics.

      • Valve contractor working to add Direct3D 12 support to APITrace for VKD3D-Proton | GamingOnLinux

        Valve contractor Joshua Ashton, who originally created the Direct3D9 to Vulkan layer D9VK which was eventually merged with DXVK, is now working to help VKD3D-Proton for Direct3D 12 to Vulkan.

        If you didn’t understand much of that: DXVK and VKD3D-Proton translate Windows games Direct3D calls into Vulkan so that they can work on Linux with the Wine compatibility layer which is all part of Steam Play Proton.

        Ashton wrote up a blog post detailing all the work they’ve been doing, which has recently involved getting the APITrace tool hooked up and working with Direct3D 12. Ashton mentions that the work “may be useful for people who are developing games or working on implementing a D3D12 driver or translation layer for debugging purposes” and that the primary use here is to aid the VKD3D-Proton translation layer.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla review

          On one hand, Kubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla is a solid distro. It has some really cool features – it’s stylish, consistent, fast, stable, and sort of fun to use. Definitely ahead of the game when it comes to your typical Tux offering. But then, this release is a missed opportunity, because it could have nailed it with Plasma 5.20, which really is so much better than what you get by default. Honest.

          And then, of course, there’s the “pick your regression of the day” game. Any which issue with networking, sharing or media playback, all these are problems we’ve seen before, some have been addressed, some have gone back, and some have returned, and there’s really no point for me to talk about this again. As long as the Linux desktop development remains focused on the concepts of amateur/project/fun instead of product, and as long as there isn’t the tightest of integrations of all components, it doesn’t seem feasible we will ever see a steady-state desktop that can maintain core functionality without erratic changes over consecutive releases.

          Now that said, Kubuntu 20.10 is a bright ray of goodness and almost pro level of attention to detail and finesse in the Tux arena, and if you’re on a hunt for a desktop, this seems like the most reasonable choice of late. There you go. Good but it could have easily been so much better.

    • Distributions

      • Interesting Linux Distributions To Enlighten Your 3rd Quarantine

        The 3rd wave of Coronavirus is here, and hence many countries around the world are starting to impose new lockdowns in order to limit the spread of the virus.

        So what to do in this long time of quarantine? A Linux user answer to that question would be simply trying a bunch of interesting Linux distributions in order to enjoy the time passing by.

      • New Releases

        • Kali Linux 2020.4 Ethical Hacking Distro Is Out Now with ZSH as Default Shell, Linux 5.9

          After it’s been installed as a preview in Kali Linux 2020.3, ZSH (Z Shell) is now the new default shell in Kali Linux 2020.4. ZHS brings a number of improvements over Bash and it looks better. But, if you’re installing Kali Linux and you want to use Bash by default, you can simply run the chsh -s /bin/bash command.

          On the other hand, existing Kali Linux 2020.3 users who upgrade to Kali Linux 2020.4 will have to enable ZSH manually if they want to use it as the default shell. To do that, you must run the following commands in a terminal emulator.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Report claims SUSE may be considering an IPO in 2021

          Germany open source provider SUSE will go in for an initial public offering next year, the American news service Bloomberg reports, adding that its owner, Swedish private equity firm EQT, is already consulting advisers about the listing.

        • Addressing Modern IT Infrastructure Management with SUSE Manager and SUSE Manager for Retail

          Applications hide in containers, systems hide in other systems, new configurations appear and disappear with a single mouse click, and every file is a potential threat. It is no wonder that CIOs and IT managers are looking for new tools and a new approach that will bring harmony, safety and economy to precious IT assets in changing times. Welcome to the new world of IT infrastructure management.

        • SUSE Manager certified on Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor

          Nutanix provides a fully software-defined stack that integrates compute, virtualization, storage, networking, and security to power any application at any scale. Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor is their enterprise-ready hypervisor, offering integrated virtualization, app mobility, management, operational insights, and security.

          We are very excited that SUSE Manager is now certified on Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor. As part of the Nutanix Ready Program SUSE Manager is now a recommended and trusted application. With this certification SUSE Manager can run confidently on Nutanix infrastructure.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 34 to Introduce KDE Plasma Spin for 64-bit ARM

          The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) approved the recent proposal to provide a Fedora 34 KDE Plasma Spin for 64-bit ARM (AArch64) architecture.

        • Fedora 34 To Proceed With An AArch64 KDE Plasma Desktop Spin

          The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) has approved the recent proposal for introducing a new spin that features the KDE Plasma desktop for 64-bit ARM (AArch64).

          The Fedora KDE Special Interest Group recently proposed a Fedora KDE Plasma spin for AArch64, complementing their existing x86_64 version. There are already Fedora AArch64 images built for GNOME Shell as the default Fedora Workstation desktop as well as a lightweight Fedora Xfce desktop version too.

        • Secure your containers with SELinux | Opensource.com

          When things aren’t working correctly in your Linux environment, the easiest thing to do is disable Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux). Things suddenly begin to work, and you forget about it—but this is a common pitfall that means you’ve lost a very powerful security tool.

          Threats are rising alongside the rise of containers, microservices, and distributed architecture. This is due to an old, well-known issue: velocity. The advantage of containers is that they enable you to move fast, do more, and change quickly. This means container adoption has gone off the roof, but the speed it affords also means you will encounter more issues and vulnerabilities. This happens naturally when you’re doing more things faster and quicker.

        • How to fix Linux EFI secure-boot shim bootloop issue – Hans’ hacking log — LiveJournal

          How to fix the Linux EFI secure-boot shim bootloop issue seen on some systems.

          Quite a few Bay- and Cherry-Trail based systems have bad firmware which completely ignores any efibootmgr set boot options. They basically completely reset the boot order doing some sort of auto-detection at boot. Some of these even will given an error about their eMMC not being bootable unless the ESP has a EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi file!

          Many of these end up booting EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi unconditionally every boot. This will cause a boot loop since when Linux is installed EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi is now shim. When shim is started with a path of EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi, shim will add a new efibootmgr entry pointing to EFI/fedora/shimx64.efi and then reset. The goal of this is so that the firmware’s F12 bootmenu can be used to easily switch between Windows and Linux (without chainloading which breaks bitlocker). But since these bad EFI implementations ignore efibootmgr stuff, EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi shim will run again after the reset and we have a loop.

        • How security and compliance automation can help achieve a more secure hybrid cloud

          In hybrid cloud environments, where workloads are deployed in physical hosts, virtual machines and containers across on-premise and cloud environments, security becomes more and more complex. As a part of the AnsibleFest Virtual Experience, Lucy Kerner, a Red Hat security strategist and evangelist, and Justin Lacey, a Red Hat solution architect, led the breakout session “Implementing a secure hybrid cloud using security and compliance automation.” The session highlighted a combination of Red Hat technologies that can help simplify and improve security and compliance in a hybrid cloud environment at scale using automation. Missed out on this session? We’re recapping some key points here.

        • Renewing my thrill at work with Ansible | Enable Sysadmin

          Ansible empowered me to utilize my own technical strengths and passion to improve processes and enjoy my time.

        • Using Multus and DataVolume in KubeVirt – Red Hat Developer

          KubeVirt is a cloud-native virtual machine management framework based on Kubernetes. KubeVirt orchestrates workloads running on virtual machines in the same way that Kubernetes does for containers. KubeVirt has many features for managing the network, storage, images, and the virtual machine itself. This article focuses on two mechanisms for configuring network and storage requirements: Multus-CNI and CDI DataVolumes. You will learn how to configure these KubeVirt features for use cases that require high performance, security, and scalability.


          As a cloud-native virtual machine management framework, KubeVirt adopts cloud-native technologies alongside its own inventions. As a result, KubeVirt APIs and controllers support flexible and scalable virtual machine configurations and management that can integrate well with many technologies in the cloud-native ecosystem. This article focused on KubeVirt’s network and storage mechanisms. We look forward to sharing more exciting features in the future, including KubeVirt’s mechanisms for handling CPU, memory, and direct device access.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Web Remix Wants to Be a Chrome OS Alternative, Beta Available Now

          Meet Ubuntu Web Remix, an unofficial Ubuntu flavor created by Rudra Saraswat, the maker of Ubuntu Unity, based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) and designed as a free and open-source alternative to Google’s Chrome OS operating system for Chromebook devices, as well as the open source Chromium OS project.

          Being an alternative to Chrome OS/Chromium OS, Ubuntu Web Remix uses Mozilla’s Firefox web browser rather than Google Chrome or Chromium. It offers support for Web apps, but you can also install regular Linux applications from Ubuntu’s software repositories.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla and Tor: Release and Greenwashing

          • Tor Browser 10.0.5

            Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody from watching your Internet connection and learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

            The Tor Browser Bundle lets you use Tor on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux without needing to install any software. It can run off a USB flash drive, comes with a pre-configured web browser to protect your anonymity, and is self-contained.

          • Release: Mozilla’s Greenhouse Gas emissions baseline – The Mozilla Blog

            Today, we are releasing our baseline Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) assessment for 2019, which forms the basis upon which we will build to reduce and mitigate Mozilla’s organisational impact.


            Their impact is significant, and it is an approximation. We can’t yet really measure the energy required to run and use our products specifically. Instead, we are estimating how much power is required to use the devices needed to access our products for the time that we know people spent on our products. In other words, we estimate the impact of desktop computers, laptops, tablets, or phones while being online overall.

            For now, this helps us get a sense of the impact the internet is having on the environment. Going forward, we need to figure out how to reduce that share while continuing to grow and make the web open and accessible to all.

            The emissions related to our business services and operations cover all other categories from the GHG protocol that are applicable to Mozilla.

            For 2019, this includes 10 offices and 6 co-locations, purchased goods and services, events that we either host or run, all of our commercial travel including air, rail, ground transportation, and hotels, as well as estimates of the impact of our remote workforce and the commute of our office employees, which we gathered through an internal survey.

      • Programming/Development

        • Apply the Scientific Method to agile development

          Experimentation is the foundation of the scientific method, which is a systematic means of exploring the world around us. But experimentation is not only reserved for the field of scientific research. It has a central place in the world of business too.

          Most of us are by now familiar with the business methodology called Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This Minimum Viable Product is basically just an experiment. By building and launching MVPs, business operations are engaging in a systematic means of exploring the markets.

          If we look at market leaders today, we learn that they’re not doing projects anymore; the only thing they’re doing is experiments. Customer discovery and lean strategies are only used to test assumptions about the markets. Such an approach is equivalent to Test-Driven Development (TDD), which is the process we are intimately familiar with. In TDD, we write the hypothesis (the test) first. We then use that test to guide our implementation. Ultimately, product or service development is no different than TDD—we first write a hypothesis, then that hypothesis guides our implementation, which serves as measurable validation of the hypothesis.

        • Qt Design Studio 2.0 Beta released

          Qt Design Studio is a UI design and development tool that enables designers and developers to rapidly prototype and develop complex UIs. Both designers and developers use Qt Design Studio and this makes collaboration between the two a lot simpler and more streamlined. To get an impression, you should watch this video.

        • Qt Design Studio 2.0 Beta Released For Quickly + Easily Designing UIs

          The Qt Company has released their public beta of the forthcoming Qt Design Studio 2.0, their software for quickly and easily designing user interfaces with an emphasis on UI design for non-programmers.

          Qt Design Studio 2.0 is focused on improving the user experience for developing these Qt-based UIs. The 2.0 Beta release has improvements around thumbnail generation, rotating items, navigator improvements, and other enhancements.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Check the day of year, given a date

            The ugliest function in my data-auditing toolkit is “chkday”. I wrote it for data tables containing both a date in ISO 8601 format and the corresponding day number for the given year.

  • Leftovers

    • everybody dies

      Almost every man I know talks too goddamn much. All my favorite poets are women & gods. What I really miss is the pavement at midnight, my elongated shadow. There are mornings when the hunger pulses through me, when I just want to see a man die like an ox in a flooded field, where every witness is swallowed at once by a minute of silence, then continues the work of living. It’s not that I’m thirsty for blood. I just want to be alone & with you at the same time. G told me long ago she thinks I’m cold & I responded for years by writing on shreds of paper, my mind is on fire. She slipped them into her mouth & waited for the wet grass of a man she could love. On my sternum there is a thumbprint from where you pressed a seed into earth. G told me, to be us is to die, before we kissed on the hood of my car. I charged up & doubled down against my own death. Years ago, I stole the necessary tools to bleed my idols & I haven’t stopped drinking since that first cut. They’re buried in my garden now, whispering into each other’s ears, fingers wet with blood & water, combing through your hair. Two suns live behind my eyes & while one rises, the other sets.

    • In the Event of My Death

      What used to be a rope descending my vertebrae to the basement of my spine grows thin.

      In solidarity with my chemotherapy, our cat leaves her whiskers on the hardwood floor, and I gather them, each purewhite parenthesis and plant them in the throat of the earth.

    • Useful Books

      From the 1940s to the ’60s, the Onitsha Market in southeastern Nigeria was the center of a burgeoning movement in self-help literature. Known as Onitsha Market literature, these cheap, locally published booklets were at once moralistic and titillating. With titles like Why Harlots Hate Married Men and Love Bachelors, How to Avoid Corner Love and Win Good Love From Girls, Money Hard to Get but Easy to Spend, and Drunkards Believe Bar as Heaven, they were sold at market stalls and were intended to appeal to a class of newly literate Nigerians interested in advancing themselves professionally and culturally.

    • Education

      • New Data Shows the Use of Seclusion and Restraint Increased in Illinois Schools During the 2017-18 School Year

        Illinois schools reported putting students into seclusion at least 10,776 times in the 2017-18 school year — up more than 50% from the last time districts sent seclusion data to the federal government, two years earlier.

        The number of school districts that reported using seclusion, the practice of forcibly isolating a student in a small room or other space, also increased to 138 from 133, underscoring how entrenched the practice has been in the state.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • GitHub Reinstates youtube-dl After RIAA’s Abuse of the DMCA

              GitHub recently reinstated the repository for youtube-dl, a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user-uploaded video platforms. GitHub had taken down the repository last month after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) abused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s notice-and-takedown procedure to pressure GitHub to remove it.

              By shoehorning DMCA 1201 into the notice-and-takedown process, RIAA potentially sets a very dangerous precedent.

              Next time you hear someone blame Section 230 for a problem with social media platforms, ask yourself two questions: first, was this problem actually caused by Section 230? Second, would weakening Section 230 solve the problem? Politicians and commentators on both sides of the aisle frequently blame Section 230 for…

        • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • After the truce A quick guide to the latest developments in the aftermath of the six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh

        One week has passed since Yerevan and Baku announced the ceasefire that ended six-weeks of deadly conflict in the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Since then, Russian peacekeepers have entered the region and Azerbaijan is preparing to take control of nearly half of its territory on December 1. Meanwhile, in Armenia, protests are continuing over the truce, which is widely perceived as a capitulation, and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is facing increasing pressure to resign. Meduza breaks down the latest developments since the signing of the Nagorno-Karabakh truce on November 10.

      • Trump Demands Afghan Withdrawal and Washington Panics. But It’s Time To Leave, Now.

        No serious person believes that the war is winnable in any meaningful sense.

      • ‘This Is How a Torturer Ended Up Running the CIA’: Biden Reportedly Hopes to Avoid Probes Into Trump Crimes

        Mirroring Obama’s choice to “look forward” not back, one critic said this a “preview of an epic failure” by the President-elect

      • Mexico, the Drug War, and US Imperialism in Latin America
      • The Korean War’s Forgotten Lessons on the Evil of Intervention

        The war began with what Harry Truman claimed was a surprise invasion on June 25, 1950, by the North Korean army across the dividing line with South Korea that was devised after World War Two. But the U.S. government had ample warnings of the pending invasion. According to the late Justin Raimondo, founder of antiwar.com, the conflict actually started with a series of attacks by South Korean forces, aided by the U.S. military: “From 1945-1948, American forces aided [South Korean President Syngman] Rhee in a killing spree that claimed tens of thousands of victims: the counterinsurgency campaign took a high toll in Kwangju, and on the island of Cheju-do — where as many as 60,000 people were murdered by Rhee’s US-backed forces.”

        The North Korean army quickly routed both South Korean and U.S. forces. A complete debacle was averted after Gen. Douglas MacArthur masterminded a landing of U.S. troops at Inchon. After he routed the North Korean forces, MacArthur was determined to continue pushing northward regardless of the danger of provoking a much broader war.

      • Kings Bay Plowshares Activists Pay Heavy Price For Resisting Nuclear Warfare

        Patrick O’Neill gripped the hammer tightly in his hands. The police would soon surround him.

        O’Neill and six other Catholic peace activists had infiltrated the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia, with the goal of symbolically disarming the base’s six Trident submarines armed with first-strike missiles capable of holding 200 nuclear warheads.

      • House Progressives Call on Pompeo to Condemn Israeli Demolition of West Bank Village That Left Dozens Homeless

        “This is a grave humanitarian issue that demands your immediate attention and our collective condemnation,” the lawmakers told the outgoing secretary of state, who is visiting the region this week.

      • Does Esper’s Firing Imply Using the Insurrection Act?

        Esper publicly rebuffed President Trump’s invocation of the Insurrection Act in June. Trump wanted to use that act to justify Esper sending active-duty military troops into cities experiencing violence associated with protests. Esper’s statement, “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” was counter to the president’s wish. Trump told Fox News,”Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send them in, and we do it very easy.”

        At that time, Trump was referring to the massive urban unrest that was occurring over the police killings of several Black citizens, many of whom were unarmed. Those protests and the ancillary lootings have largely disappeared. So why would Esper be fired now?

      • Treason at the Top

        Treason means to betray one’s country. For many Americans,  it has been shocking to learn of turn-coats within the intelligence agencies who sell national security secrets to hostile powers, especially when that information would lead to the execution of U.S. agents abroad. In 2000 many were shocked to see the Supreme Court intervene to throw the election to the Republican candidate. For the past four years, it has been shocking to see President Donald Trump bow to the bosses of Russia, China, North Korea, Turkey, and other countries whose policies harm U.S. interests. It was shocking to see the Senate ignore evidence that the president’s policies toward Ukraine placed his personal election priorities over laws passed by Congress. These and other recent events have bordered on or constituted betrayal of national security and democratic principles.

        These disheartening events are eclipsed by all that is happening in the wake of the November 2020 elections. Trump’s request to Xi Jinping to buy soybeans to help him with the farm vote and his pledge to Turkish president Erdogan to scrub an investigation took place behind closed doors but were later revealed by John Bolton. Now the betrayal of America’s basic laws and norms is taking place in the open.

      • Trump’s Requested Strike on Iran Could Kill More People Than Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki

        Any US military action against Iran’s civilian nuclear facilities would be a massive war crime.

      • A Defeated Trump ‘Has No Authorization for a New War,’ Say Campaigners After NYT Reports President Wanted Military Strike Options for Iran

        “Trump’s request for military options to strike Iran’s nuclear program in his waning days in office encapsulates the bankruptcy of the pressure-only approach toward Iran favored by so many in Washington.”

      • How Joe Biden Can Score a Major Foreign Policy Win on Day One of his Presidency

        Those challenges? “For one, Iranian officials see no room for renegotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” notes O’Connor (JCPOA is the formal name of the “Iran nuclear deal”).

        For another, Biden has conditioned his promise on Iran first returning to its own duties under the deal, commitments it abandoned after the US president Donald Trump abrogated the agreement and pressured US allies to start ignoring their obligations too.

      • A Dedicated Obsession: Washington’s Continuing Iran Sanctions Regime

        It is worth pointing out that it was President Donald Trump who proved so itchy to renege on the nuclear deal to begin with.  In May 2018, his administration formally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the long negotiated harvest of the Obama administration in July 2015.  Over the course of 120 days, it re-imposed all previously lifted economic sanctions, including “secondary sanctions” on non-US entities conducting financial or commercial transactions with Iran. A unilateral shredding of Washington’s own undertakings was made while still expecting the mullahs to continue in sweet compliance.

        The less than compliant response from Tehran has not made this one of Trump’s finer moments: an abandonment of nuclear limits marked out by the agreement; a resumption of the nuclear program; an increasingly emboldened stance in the Middle East.  According to UN inspectors, Iran’s enriched stockpile currently lies at 2,440 kilograms.  Under the deal, it would have been under 300 kilograms.  All of this took place despite the precipitous fall in oil exports, a decline in currency value and a steep rise in inflation.

      • The New Humanitarian | Women soldiers join Myanmar’s Arakan Army conflict

        Dozens of women in military uniforms, some gripping rifles, sing cadence as they march in formation in the mountainous borderlands of Myanmar’s northern Kachin State.
        These women are training to join the ranks of the Arakan Army, one of several armed groups fighting for autonomy and greater rights for ethnic minority communities in Myanmar.
        Female soldiers aren’t a rarity among Myanmar’s armed organisations. But their numbers are rising in the Arakan Army, which draws support from the ethnic Rakhine population, also known as Arakanese, in western Myanmar. The Arakan Army insurgency is Myanmar’s latest and its most intense, displacing some 230,000 people since late 2018.
        Civil society organisations say escalating violence, military abuses, and a lack of jobs in impoverished Rakhine are pushing more women to join.
        “Women and children suffer most because of the fighting, with tens of thousands living in inadequate displacement camps without physical and psychological safety,” said Ma Nyo Aye of the Rakhine Women’s Network, which works with victims of violence. “Unsurprisingly, lack of employment and extreme poverty also drive young women to join the insurgent group.”

    • Environment

      • Kim Stanley Robinson Bears Witness to Our Climate Futures

        In his latest book, The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson presents a vision of the coming decades that straddles dystopia and utopia, horror and hope—revealing a near-future Earth of increasingly severe climate effects and humanity’s radical responses to them. Robinson constructs this ambitious bricolage novel from fictionalized eyewitness accounts, including those of climate refugees, interweaving them with essayistic ruminations on finance, power, and the environment. It’s an appropriately sprawling form, anchored around reports by members of a UN organization called the Ministry for the Future, a technocratic body created to safeguard future generations. Mary Murphy, its head and the book’s central protagonist, carries the weight of the novel as an idealistic presence confronting a fast-approaching catastrophe.

      • Indigenous Communities on the Frontline as Two Climate Change-Fueled Hurricanes Slam Central America

        Hurricane Iota made landfall in Nicaragua Monday as a Category 4 storm, just two weeks after Hurricane Eta devastated communities across Central America and caused widespread destruction. Iota is the strongest November hurricane to ever hit Nicaragua. “It’s caused a lot of damages to the most vulnerable peoples, which tends to be Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants and Black communities all across Central America,” says Giovanni Batz, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis, who has been in touch with people reeling from Hurricane Eta.

      • President-Elect Biden: Time for YOU to Follow the Climate Science

        Big corporate media outlets are great at policing progressive Democrats who “go too far.” They’re not so watchful over Democratic presidents who cling to a go-slow, corporate-friendly “middle ground.” 

      • Citing Her Ties to Agribusiness and Fossil Fuels, 160+ Groups Tell Biden That Heitkamp Is ‘Wrong Choice’ for USDA

        “She has aligned herself with corporate agribusiness at the expense of family farmers, supports fossil fuel interests, and holds views that are out of step with the Democratic Party and the majority of Americans.”

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Plan to Clearcut Old-Growth Forest, Grizzly and Lynx Habitat in Northwest Montana Challenged

          Conservation groups have filed a legal protest challenging a massive logging project that would clearcut thousands of acres, including old-growth trees, and threaten an imperiled population of grizzly bears and protected lynx habitat on the Montana-Canada border under the guise of restoration.

          The protest from the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians said the U.S. Forest Service’s Black Ram project on the Kootenai National Forest would violate the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.

        • How Livestock Impacts Ecosystems

          But all of these are just halfway measures that ignore a full accounting of the multiple ways that livestock production harms our ecosystems, wildlife, and our planet. They do not address the real issue-does it make sense to use water-loving, slow-moving, domesticated animals to produce protein? There are alternative sources of protein, and certainly better places to do this than the arid lands of the Western U.S.

          There have been some excellent reviews of livestock impacts.

    • Finance

      • Starting From Stockton

        During the recent nail-biting, sleep-depriving weeks when the fate of American democracy was in hanging-chad-like balance, no one had the luxury of time to think about policy.

      • U.S. Ruling Class Wins Again

        Both Millay and Esper had balked in June at Trump’s threat to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act to quell Black Lives Matter and all other protests across the country. “Not at this time,” they repeatedly insisted, in contrast to the moron Trump’s threats and insistence that this was the time. While few among the ruling rich discounted Trump’s incessant threats, no section believed that a military solution to the mass anti-racist protests, that mobilized an unprecedented 16-26 million in the streets in 2000-plus cities and towns following the police murder of George Floyd, was necessary. They had other means in mind to corral the mass hatred of society’s systemic racism into safe channels. The Democratic Party, the “historic graveyard of social movements,” was and remains their first choice.

        Trump had warned on June 1 in a White House Rose Garden speech, as federal law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and noxious chemical gases at peaceful White House area protestors, that if the nation’s governors don’t call up National Guard troops to “dominate the streets, I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.” To make his point, de minimus, the bragging demagogue sent a relative handful of plainclothes federal officials to Portland and Minneapolis to momentarily arrest and disappear small groups peaceful protestors only to be repudiated by local and state officials. Shortly after, both Millay and Esper, publicly repudiated having escorted Trump, bible in hand, from the White House to nearby St. Peter’s Church for a one-minute photo op aimed at displaying his military might. Trump literally posed himself as under the command of his military establishment, with a momentarily intimidated Millay – dressed up in combat fatigues – playing along as if Trump had actually invoked the 1807 Act.

      • Why Can’t Inner-Ring Democrats Just Say ‘No’ to Billionaires?
      • With the Win-Win Machine, Most of Us Actually Lose

        If Biden now selects only corporate-friendly, status-quo-defending advisors and Cabinet members, and if he touts watered-down bipartisan “solutions” as stunning successes, it will further cement a betrayal.

      • Karl Marx Is The Only Dead Person Who Stopped Trump

        Despite his frequent denials of being a Marxist, Joe Biden was constantly called one. Biden is a career dud on a national scale. Biden only became a winner once he started to get compared to Karl Marx. Any person should deny a comparison to Marx, but only out of humility. Biden denied Marxism because he hated it. Still that didn’t stop the association being extremely positive for him, including an offbeat assertion from Bernie Sanders that Biden would be the next FDR.

        By the way how about an election analysis that actually makes sense? Ralph Nader said that this election was a big loss for the left because Sanders and Warren types were boxed out completely of Biden’s election. Why? Because these people bowed to the Democratic Party. Most on the left did actually. It might be worth it to rid ourselves of Trump. But I don’t think so. Biden is damn lucky a man named Karl Marx lived a life worth remembering many years ago. Biden and Trump may be old demented men but they just got beat by a dead man.

      • Japan-UK Trade Deal Shows How Controversial Digital Policies Can Be Slipped Through With Little Scrutiny Or Resistance

        Techdirt has been writing about trade agreements for many years. The reason is simple: as digital technology permeates ever more aspects of modern life, so international trade deals reflect this by including sections that have an important impact on the online world. A new trade agreement between Japan and the UK (pdf) is a good example. It is essentially a copy of the earlier trade deal between the EU and Japan (pdf) — because of Brexit, UK negotiators have not had the time or resources to draw up their own independent text, which typically requires years of drafting and negotiation. But significantly, the Japan-UK agreement adds several major sections purely about digital matters. All are terrible for the general public, as a briefing document from the UK-based Open Rights Group explains.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Media’s Quadrennial Eclipse

        We need coverage of people as active citizens, not just as consumers.

      • Drawing All the Wrong Lessons From Media’s Election 2020 Failures

        By repeatedly conferring legitimacy on a fundamentally antidemocratic president and his actions, media paved the way for the dangerous place we find ourselves in today, and hobbled their ability to protect our democracy.

      • Want to Save Democracy? Reduce the Voting Age

        Let’s teach 16-year-olds to be election-savvy and help them register to vote.

      • There Is a Name for Women Like My Mother

        The ongoing struggle for racial justice. The future for immigrant families. The health and well-being of all Americans. The very fate of our fragile planet. The United States faces a crossroads in 2020. Seeking out the stories flying under the national radar, The Nation and Magnum Foundation are partnering on What’s At Stake, a series of photo essays from across the country through the lenses of independent imagemakers. Follow the whole series here. This installment was produced with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

      • In a Parallel Universe, Trump Accepts Loss

        Support independent cartooning: Join Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

      • Trump and the GOP Intensify Their Assault on Democracy
      • Bill on resetting Putin’s presidential terms introduced to Russian State Duma

        Senator Andrey Klishas and State Duma lawmakers from United Russia Pavel Krasheninnikov and Olga Savastyanova have introduced a draft law to the Russian parliament on allowing President Vladimir Putin to run for the presidency in two more elections.

      • Pskov court dismisses defamation lawsuit against Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva

        The Pskov Regional Court has upheld a city court ruling on refusing to recover 500,000 rubles (about $6,550) from journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva in a defamation lawsuit, reports RFE/RL’s Sever.Realii. 

      • Grappling With a Divided Nation

        The new politics of the poor in Joe Biden’s (and Mitch McConnell’s) USA.

      • Russian Senate commission proposes legislation on labeling election candidates ‘foreign agents’

        The Federation Council’s Commission on Protecting State Sovereignty has proposed submitting a draft law to the State Duma on the possibility of recognizing candidates in elections as “foreign agents.”

      • Computer Security Experts Urge White House to Keep Politics Out of Election Security

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined more than three dozen cybersecurity experts and professional security organizations in calling for the White House to keep politics out of securing this month’s election. Election security officials and computer security experts must be able to tell the truth about the security of Americans’ votes without fear of retribution.

        The experts and organizations were moved to action after reports that the White House is pressuring the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and its director Chris Krebs, to change CISA’s reports on election security. CISA has pushed back against baseless allegations of voter fraud and security problems—including many promoted by President Trump— through its “Rumor Control” website, and recently published a statement renouncing “unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections.”

      • Elections Are Partisan Affairs. Election Security Isn’t.

        An Open Letter on Election Security

        Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. And since computers are deeply involved in all segments of voting at this point, computer security is vital to the protection of this fundamental right.  Everyone needs to be able to trust that the critical infrastructure systems we rely upon to safeguard our votes are defended, that problems are transparently identified, assessed and addressed, and that misinformation about election security is quickly and effectively refuted.  

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined more than three dozen cybersecurity experts and professional security organizations in calling for the White House to keep politics out of securing this month’s election. Election security officials and computer security experts must be able to tell the truth…

      • Robert Fisk had True Independence of Mind, Which is Why He Angered Governments and Parts of the Media
      • Citizenship

        It is true that since 1960 the teaching of civics in American schools has been largely obliterated by funding cuts and “core exam” strategies. By 2011, all federal support for the teaching of social studies and civics in schools had ended. Survey after survey has discovered just how ignorant Americans have become about their nation. For example, two-thirds of them can’t even name the three different branches of the US government. Or, presumably, spot the difference between the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and Trump’s repeated claim that the news media are “enemies of the People.”

        So is the solution to the Trumpian abomination to be found in a great renaissance of social studies education? Perhaps but my own American educational experience tells me to be very careful here.

      • American Democracy Was Never Supposed to Work

        If the United States were a democracy, this election wouldn’t have been close. The fate of the world wouldn’t depend on a handful of suburban precincts. The winner would have been known immediately. With a comfortable lead well into the millions, the president-elect and his party could have moved on to crafting and passing the program that gained them an undeniable mandate.

      • Melting Excuses
      • Biden’s First 100 Days Should Be Focused on Policies Protecting Most Vulnerable
      • Calls Mount for Lindsey Graham to Resign Over Alleged Interference in GA Recount
      • Biden Should Embrace an Anti-Imperialist Feminist Foreign Policy to Heal Wounds Abroad—and at Home

        Women of color should be the ones remaking U.S. foreign policy.

      • “I’d Like to Report Some Voter Fraud”: Lindsey Graham Under Fire for Allegations He Urged Legal Ballots Be Tossed in Georgia

        “Under the guise of rooting out election fraud, it looks like Graham is suggesting committing it.”

      • Georgia’s GOP Secretary of State Decries Leader of Trump’s Recount as a “Liar”
      • How Georgia Went Blue

        The last time a Democratic presidential nominee won Georgia was in 1992, when only 10 websites existed, Ross Perot was splitting the vote, and Donald Trump was cameoing in Home Alone 2. This year, President-elect Joe Biden won the state, Carolyn Bourdeaux flipped Georgia’s Seventh Congressional District, and two Democratic Senate candidates have forced critical runoffs. There was no one author of Democrats’ success; it was a victory by the many. And Georgia isn’t the only state where that was true.

      • Georgia Senator David Perdue Is Terrified That Jon Ossoff Will Shred Him in Another Debate

        Georgia Senator David Perdue, the scandal-plagued millionaire who bought himself a Senate seat six years ago, has a strategy for keeping that seat in a critical January 5 runoff election that will help determine which party is going to control the chamber: He plans to hide.

      • A Strategy Comes Home to Roost

        But the opposition refused to accept those results, saying that there had been electoral fraud. The Carter Center and other international observers said they didn’t see any, and when they tried to investigate stories circulating, nothing factual turned up.

        In 2005 Venezuela was still trying to recover from the employer lock-out and corporate strike that crippled the economy after the anti-Chávez coup of 2002 was thwarted by a massive popular uprising. There were signs of poverty everywhere—people sleeping in doorways, begging, sitting at tables on the street hoping to sell a few trinkets to be able to eat.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Shadowproof Launches Marvel Cooke Journalism Fellowship

        Shadowproof is thrilled to announce the launch of the Marvel Cooke Fellowship, which will fund reporting from writers of color on the movement to abolish the prison industrial complex.

        Over the summer, a historic wave of protests against death-by-policing elevated demands to defund police departments. Unprecedented public curiosity in abolition followed, prompting many media organizations to produce introductory articles on the subject. 

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Digital Redlining: ISPs Widening The Digital Divide

        As school districts are facing the new school year under conditions drastically changed by COVID-19, the digital divide is deepening education inequality in the US.

      • Cities Say ISPs Are Being Cagey About Low-Income Broadband Availability During Covid

        Back in March, the Trump FCC put on a big show about a new “Keep America Connected Pledge” to help broadband users during COVID. In it, the FCC proudly proclaimed that it had gotten hundreds of ISPs to suspend usage caps and late fees, and agree to not disconnect users who couldn’t pay for essential broadband service during a pandemic. The problem: the 60 day pledge was entirely voluntary, temporary, and because the FCC just got done obliterating its authority over ISPs at lobbyist behest (as part of its net neutrality repeal), was impossible to actually enforce. It was regulatory theater.

      • Nokia Warns Traffic May Spike Again Amid COVID-19 Surge

        The global pandemic and widespread lockdown measures resulted in a 30% to 50% spike in network traffic in just a few weeks earlier this year, according to Nokia Deepfield’s latest Network Intelligence Report. Many network operators in Europe and North America experienced a year’s worth of traffic growth in a matter of weeks.

        Following that spike, traffic volumes stabilized at rates of 20% to 30% greater than pre-pandemic levels in May and have remained there since. However, Nokia notes that network traffic typically grows during the last four months of the year and that may happen again, especially as COVID-19 infections surge and public health restrictions are being re-instituted in many regions.


        The threat surface and potential for malicious activity has also grown significantly during the last decade and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the vendor noted in the report. There was a “steady increase in the overall volume of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) traffic” during the first weeks of the lockdown phase of the pandemic, the analysts wrote.

        “Aggregated data from five large service providers showed that by April, DDoS traffic exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 40%,” Nokia Deepfield wrote. That increase, it added, is attributed to a jump in online gaming and growing abuse of DDoS amplifiers in Europe and North America.

        Nokia also last month, in its 2020 Threat Intelligence Report, reported that malware infections on IoT devices surged 100% in a year and said those connected devices comprise about 33% of infected devices compared to about 16% in 2019.

        The global rise in internet traffic was fueled by a rapidly growing use of specific applications that occurred within the first weeks of widespread lockdowns. Traffic from video conferencing apps jumped at least 350% and up to 700% on some networks and online gaming grew at least 100% in the weeks that immediately followed the World Health Organization’s decision to designate COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

    • Monopolies

      • Trademarks

        • Mind the gap: Beijing IP Court explains the adverse effect clause of China’s Trade Mark Law – The IPKat

          The Beijing IP Court (the Court), founded on 6 November 2014, has been playing an active role in the promotion of IP protection through various means, e.g. by holding press conferences addressing specific topics (see a previous IPKat post: Beijing IP Court: let’s talk about short video copyrights) and publishing model cases (see a previous IPKat post: Beijing IP Court: Moutai is excellent, but not exclusively so; and Can the god of wealth be registered as a trade mark, and why?). The Court was designated as the first IP case guidance research base in China, with the approval of the Supreme People’s Court.

          On 3 November 2020, the Court held a press briefing dedicated to the adverse effect clause of China’s Trade Mark Law, with specific examples given (the original news release is here, to which the main content of this post is referred. This Kat’s supplementary comments are inserted in blue coloured font).


          The connotation and extension of the ‘adverse effect’ concerns subjective values and is not cut and dry. Its interpretations might be subject to cultural background, personal experience and the values they hold. The afore-cited examples are not all unsurprising, at least from this Kat’s point of view.

          A somewhat broad discretion can be observed in the adoption of the adverse effect as a ground for trade mark refusals. A practical tip then would be to keep an eye on the recent relevant rulings and official briefings, and bear in mind that it might be necessary to consider a security buffer zone, which is mainly in preparation for the differences in opinion with the examiners. As pointed out by Judge Zhang Jian, the briefing is to remind the applicants ‘to be more cautious when applying for trade marks, and actively avoid the words that are low in style or are prone to adverse effects, in consideration of avoiding the minefield that is adverse effects clause’.

      • Copyrights

        • Meet the Winners of the CC Open GLAM Platform Activities Fund!

          The CC Open GLAM Platform is a space to help coordinate efforts to aggregate, advertise, connect, and support open access to cultural heritage initiatives and projects. This year, CC launched an Activities Fund to support Open GLAM related activities by Platform members. In my role as Facilitator of the Platform, I presented a budget plan that received input and feedback from the community. We had three main allocations for the money: 

Two Years Without Progress on Impartiality of Internal Tribunals at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

António Campinos fair trial

Summary: The biased nature of legal proceedings at the EPO (regarding staff and patents alike) goes all the way up to managerial abuse and maladministration

THREE days ago we mentioned repeated appeals for correcting an injustice at the EPO — the sort of injustice that enabled Benoît Battistelli to attack truth-telling staff.

Being Battistelli’s friend, who got the job from Battistelli, of course we never expected António Campinos to do any better. Even our more vocal critics would have to admit that we were right about Campinos all along (even years before he presided over staff as Office President). These clueless autocrats know nothing about managing people, they’re not scientists (so of course they blindly push software patents in Europe against the advice of software professionals) and when they don’t know what to say they just stonewall — the equivalent of running and hiding at the top floors of the Isar Building.

The Central Staff Committee sent the following letter to Campinos in late June (amicably worded and factual, as usual):

Reference: re20097cl – 0.3.1/5.2
Date: 19.06.2020

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – Room 1081


Appeals Committee – Your letter of 10 June 2020

Dear Mr President,

The functioning of the Appeals Committee (ApC) has been a hot topic on the social agenda for much too long a period. The Central Staff Committee (CSC) deeply regrets that since you took office in July 2018 no progress has materialised. Your letter of 10 June 2020 lets us conclude that by the end of the mandate of the present CSC nothing will have changed.

Appointment of the chair and vice-chairs

The appointment of the chair and the two vice-chairs of the ApC pursuant to Article 111(2) ServRegs is to be made by 5 October 2020 at the latest, so as to guarantee its continuous functioning. The Administrative Council will have to appoint a chair and two vice-chairs for their ApC pursuant to Article 111(1) ServRegs by this date as well.

Whilst we appreciate that you invite us to appoint one staff representative to participate as an observer in the selection procedure, we urge you to launch the selection procedure now without any further delay. We already pointed to the importance of an early start of the selection process and an early publication of the vacancy notices in our letter of 31 January 2020 – unfortunately to no avail.

We would like to emphasise that the good functioning of the ApC is key for ensuring social peace in the Office – and for reducing litigation before the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO (ILOAT). Far too many colleagues perceive the current ApC only as a tiresome hurdle before getting access to justice before the ILOAT.

In order to contribute to a well-functioning internal mechanism for the resolution of conflicts, our intent is to seek agreement with you in the selection procedure on a chair and two vice-chairs of the ApC who possess the qualifications required for the appointment to a high judicial office or who are lawyers with an experience in employment law acquired at national or international level. They should not be employees of the Office and should not have been in closer relation to the Office within the past ten years. Our focus will as well be on gender and age diversity, in order to further emphasise the independence and neutrality of the ApC. It is self-evident that we would neither support nor accept any candidate who has defended a party – be it a staff member or the administration – in an internal procedure within the past ten years.

Appointment of the members of the ApC

Whilst we appreciate that you agree to broadening the pool of potential appointees to the ApC in principle, and whilst we share the intention that the independence and impartiality of the members of the ApC should be guaranteed, we recommend that best-practice solutions be adopted. Guidance in this regard could be found in Articles 23 and 24 EPC, as well in national law, e.g. §§ 41–49 ZPO (German Code of Civil Procedure).

Improvement of the functioning of the ApC

The ApC still does not function to the satisfaction of its members and of the appellants.

For practical reasons, it appears appropriate that the preparation of a proposal for amended regulations of the ApC – be it on the level of the Service Regulations, the Implementing Regulations or the Rules of Procedure – goes along with an early consultation and involvement of the CSC. Rather than putting it in the big scope of the Working Group on Resources and Communication, a smaller group dedicated to the rather complex subject-matter of the ApC appears more productive.

In the interest of the staff of the EPO, we express our sincere wish that the long-lasting issues of the ApC can be solved as soon as possible. Envisaging the October session of the Administrative Council would then fall together with the mandate of the new chair and vice-chairs.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Acting Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

cc.: Chairman of the Administrative Council; Mr Josef Kratochvíl

“The functioning of the Appeals Committee (ApC) has been a hot topic on the social agenda for far too long,” the Central Staff Committee explained. “Independence, impartiality and competence of the chair, vice-chairs and members of the ApC are crucial for its proper functioning.”

COVID-19 was becoming less of a valid excuse for procrastination at this stage.

“In this open letter,” said they, “we request that the President (and the Administrative Council) takes all measures to improve the functioning of the ApC and restore the trust of staff in their ApC. The preparation of a proposal for amended regulations of the ApC goes along with early consultation and involvement of the CSC, preferably before the October session of the Administrative Council.”

“Mafia-like culture is the norm when it comes to EPO management.”We already know the October outcome, but we’ll get to that at a later stage. Basically, nothing at all is improving at the Office. Nothing. The media is being gagged and bribed, so most people in Europe know nothing about those scandals. Open letters to the President aren’t open to the public, only to colleagues, and those appointments to the Appeals Committee aren’t an issue the public cares to understand, let alone the media. We were recently told that French media would get involved, but time will tell. We’ve already seen how EPO gagged and spiked critical pieces about itself, either by threatening, bribing, or both. Mafia-like culture is the norm when it comes to EPO management.

Inside the EPO During Corona: EPO Staff Representatives Grew Increasingly Frustrated in June as EPO Had Acted Like a Law-Infringing Monarchy, Not a Public Institution

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

President shows no interest in genuine Social Dialogue!

Summary: Europe’s second-largest institution is breaking down under a weight of growing corruption and cover-up; somehow the European media thinks this is fine and isn’t worth reporting on (while billions of euros are being robbed)

SEEING and witnessing the chronology of fake ‘dialogue’ at the EPO soon helps one understand why fewer EPO examiners/respondents trust António Campinos than trusted Benoît Battistelli at analogous points in time.

Campinos is just another dictator with a slightly different attitude (or presentation of it) but similar temper issues. Back in June SUEPO Central published the image at the top (error 404 is “page not found” in the World Wide Web’s context, so there’s a joke in there), along with the following explanation of the so-called ‘dialogue’ promised by Campinos before and after taking Office:

In the January meeting of the President with SUEPO it was foreseen to meet again after the Working Groups on the Financial Measures and the Salary Adjustment Procedure had finished to discuss their conclusions providing a possibility to achieve agreement on these matters before its presentation to the Budget and Finance Committee in May.

SUEPO reminded the President in early May on this meeting regarding the urgent need for further discussions and progress on the above and other matters raised by SUEPO.

The President replied only as late as early June envisaging a meeting ahead of the Council. Furthermore, he did not refer to the meanwhile known Analysis of the Financial Study by E&Y proofing that the Office is not facing any financial gap, thus, there being no need for eroding the salaries and pensions as presented to the BFC in May.

With our letter of 10 June we urged the President to enter into a discussion on the substance of the matter with the aim of reaching a solution appropriate under current circumstances and which is acceptable to staff.

Now its only about one week to the Council on 30 June/ 1 July and the invitation has only just been received for Friday ahead of the Council. This describes perfectly the interest in social dialogue. However, SUEPO reiterated its offer by letter for genuine discussions in particular on the Financial Measures and the Salary Adjustment Procedure + Add.1 in view of the E&Y analysis.

On basically all other matters at stake (Career system, Rules for Strike, MoU) we informed the President that our position remains as stated in previous meetings to follow the EU model. It is very difficult to communicate and explain to staff why they are being treated so differently – and poorly – in comparison with staff in other EU agencies. We are not second class staff and do not deserve being confronted with the poorest career system and now with the poorest salary adjustment system in International Organisations.

Here’s the letter they had sent Campinos 3 days earlier (more diplomatically-worded, for obvious reasons):

19 June 2020
su20031cl – 0.3.1

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR- R.1081

Meeting SUEPO/PresidentM

Dear Mr Campinos,

Thank you for your reply regarding the arrangements for our next “SUEPO/President” meeting. Unfortunately, the originally envisaged timing of (by the latest) mid-May has long passed: the next meeting was intentionally scheduled ahead of the BFC so that we could discuss in particular the financial bundle and the linked SAP. This failure to meet in good time only adds to our perception that any and all discussions in the (albeit numerous) WGs on the financial measures and on the SAP have never been a meaningful attempt to try and find a mutually agreed compromise solution for the proposed changes.

As you know, the SR have questioned from the very beginning the underlying assumptions used in both the Financial Study 2019 (CA/46/19) and consequently in the Financial Study 2019 Phase II-Measures Assessment (CA/83/19). Our concerns regarding these assumptions, although raised repeatedly in the WGs, have never been considered.

A recent independent analysis of your Financial Study performed by Ernst & Young only confirmed our concerns. Yet the reaction of the Office was not to reconsider the assumptions used in the study, but rather to declare the analysis as unprofessional.

Our earlier letter su20030cl specifically refers to this E&Y review and urges you to enter into discussions with us on the substance of the matter with the aim of reaching a solution which is genuinely appropriate under current circumstances and which is acceptable to both your administration and the staff.

The proposed “SUEPO/President” meeting ahead of the June Council would seem to be the last opportunity to meaningfully (re-)start these discussions before the financial bundle and the SAP are presented to the Council for decision. We hope you can agree to meet with us and we look forward to your invitation in this regard.

We can only observe that the progress – if any – in improving the social dialogue has been very slow on all fronts. Our position in nearly all matters (Career system, Rules for Strike, MoU) is to follow the EU model. It is very difficult to communicate and explain to staff why they are being treated so differently – and poorly – in comparison with staff in other EU agencies.

Genuine social dialogue should be our shared goal: only by working together will this lead to agreements that should foster social peace and prevent further litigation.

Yours sincerely,

Joachim Michels
Chairman of SUEPO Central

The relationship continues to deteriorate; only 3% of staff surveyed trust Campinos and 0% trust the Council responsible (in theory) for overseeing him. This is a total and complete embarrassment to Europe. Donald Trump associates are being paid to fabricate a bunch of lies (a “hoax” as SUEPO calls it) to rob the staff and the media across Europe isn’t even covering that. It doesn’t seem to bother mentioning EPO corruption — as if it’s all perfectly normal and how things should really be. This is why we put in the public domain many of these documents. The public deserves to know.

Inside the EPO During Corona: The Office Management Never Cared About the Well-being of Staff (and Still Doesn’t)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO has no sense of shame, describing itself as the very opposite of what it really is

EPO on disability

Summary: The health-harming EPO is trying to paint itself as some kind of champion of disabled people; in practice, however, the Office causes disability and does disabled people a lot of harm with its price-gouging patent-granting

THE crude ‘junk’ above is an insult to reality itself and to disabled people (even if the Office is careful to avoid that word, being oversensitive only at the most superficial level).

The EPO is no ally of disabled people. Heck, Benoît Battistelli went out of his way to abuse people already suffering physical difficulties; António Campinos carries on with that same legacy and now they have the audacity to not only pretend to be allies of disabled people but also hijack “diversity” and “inclusion” (the Office has neither) to distract from the corruption. This cynical ‘news’ item (warning: epo.org link) from this morning says: “Though talents participated remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recent advances in the EPO’s overall digital connectivity enabled closer involvement of our other offices outside Munich, including The Hague office. The project also provided an opportunity for the EPO to network with other companies on disability inclusion.”

What “disability inclusion”? This is the Office where the management's sheer abuses are causing disability within its own staff — an abhorrent workplace where people are treated like disposable junk, rendered disabled, and then thrown out.

Notice how their ‘new’ item also mentions Microsoft, whose record when it comes abusing people with disabilities has long been mentioned here (years ago and even very recently). We’re not sure about the other companies named there because we don’t study them closely.

Incidentally, back in summer the Central Staff Committee of the EPO circulated this 28-page document [PDF], summarising its contexts (including annexes) as follows:

Report on the June GCC meeting – Long-Term Care Insurance, teleworking and rewards for 2019

The GCC met by videoconference to consult on Circular 266 (Amendments to the EPO Long-Term Care Insurance) and teleworking. We gave our written opinion on those two items.

As regards teleworking in particular: we are aware that staff members generally welcome more flexibility in their work and the chance to better balance their work life with their life outside the Office. They have recently made enormous efforts to try and continue working from home despite difficult circumstances. This phase has been lasting for almost three months and it does not mean that staff is prepared to work for a prolonged time under uncertain and degraded conditions, disguised as “temporary” or “emergency” measures. We welcome the possibility of teleworking, if introduced in the proper framework. We gave a unanimous opinion against the “emergency” teleworking guidelines in the version presented in the document.

We also discuss the President’s instructions on rewards without being allowed to give a formal opinion on them (in our view contrary to the statutory requirement).

The GCC meeting was the last one with the current staff representation, whose term on office will end on 30 June. It exemplifies once more the deficient social dialogue and consultation process deliberately set up (or maintained) by the President of the Office.

This document mentions homeopathy and other nonsense, which is rightly called not evidence-based.

The document says there’s this deficient “social dialogue and consultation process deliberately set up by the President of the Office.” We’ll touch on that in the next article.

Links 18/11/2020: SUSE IPO Rumours, Servo (GitHub-Trapped) Thrown at Linux Foundation

Posted in News Roundup at 5:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • On Laptops: Thoughts On Using CentOS, Ubuntu LTS, and Fedora

        I recently participated in a discussion in a CentOS group I belong to about the suitability of CentOS for ordinary laptops. These were my thoughts, mostly taken from various points in the discussion and edited into a coherent whole. Is CentOS really good for laptops? Like so many things it depends on what you intend to do and what software you’re going to use.

        I use CentOS 8 on several laptops and it mostly works well. It may be missing some drivers you might need. If so, ELRepo is a good source for those. You definitely won’t find the number of apps you do in Ubuntu’s repositories and will need to go with third party repos. The best of them is EPEL, maintained by the Fedora project. You can leave both ELRepo and EPEL enabled to get updates as needed probably 99.8% of the time. The rare conflict can be avoided by setting repo priorities in dnf to insure official repos have precedence.

        If you need to go to third party repos beyond that pull packages manually. Some repos conflict with each other or, on rare occasions, with CentOS packages. If you can stick with EPEL you avoid that.

        One thing Ubuntu does that CentOS does not do is automatically download and install proprietary packages required by some hardware. For example, I use an Epson all in one printer/scanner/copier. I had to get drivers and apps directly from Epson’s website and install them manually. The good news is that Epson provides rpms for Red Hat Enterprise Linux that work perfectly well with CentOS.

    • Server

      • Oracle Linux 8: Networking made easy with free videos

        This week’s blog presents a set of free, short videos on performing network configuration functions on Oracle Linux 8. Being able to configure networks is an essential skill to access programs, storage and data on remote systems. This video series also covers firewall configuration required to keep your networks safe and secure from intruders.

        Oracle Linux 8 handles network communications through software configuration files and the network interface cards (NICs) in your system. NetworkManager is the default networking service in Oracle Linux 8 and includes a command-line tool, nmcli to create, display, edit, delete, activate, and deactivate network connections. You can use the ip command to display the status of a network interface, configure network properties, or for debugging or tuning the network.

      • Dev Interview: Launching a career as an enterprise developer in Austin, TX [Ed: Uniquely cheesy marketing from IBM (which is laying off staff while talking about "launching careers")]

        While getting a job offer as a young professional is a momentous occasion (Chapter 1), it often represents the start of a long and challenging journey. For our trio of young developers, Diana, Luc and Da-In, it was time to uproot themselves from their homes in New Jersey, Florida and Georgia to settle down in a new and vibrant city, Austin! Along with a new job, starting a new career often means a new life and a lot of adjustment. Let’s drop in on our intrepid developers to see what’s going on as they move to the ATX.

      • RackWare: A solution for moving workloads to Oracle Linux KVM [Ed: Who or why would one wish to move GNU/Linux to a proprietary software trap like Oracle's?]

        RackWare has certified its RackWare Management Module (RMM) hybrid cloud management solution for Oracle Linux KVM on both Oracle Linux 7 and 8. RMM is also available on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. RMM’s high level of automation uniquely differentiates it and helps customers reduce labor costs related to the deployment and management of IT applications.

        Customers are looking for an enterprise KVM solution as an alternative to an expensive proprietary virtualization deployment. They are also looking for an easier migration path to the cloud. One solution is RackWare’s RMM.

      • Kinvolk expands Flatcar Container Linux offerings to meet enterprise Kubernetes requirements [Ed: Kinvolk seems like Microsoft boosters (targets Azure which loses lots of money and has layoffs) who use terms like “clown computing”]

        Kinvolk, the Kubernetes Linux experts, today announced the availability of expanded deployment options for users adopting Flatcar Container Linux as the foundation for Kubernetes and other Linux container environments. The commercially available Flatcar Container Linux Pro and Long-Term Support (LTS) editions address enterprise demand for security, support, and tight cloud integration, while the company also announced that free edition of Flatcar is now in all three major cloud marketplaces.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 348 – 400 Raspberry Pies – mintCast

        First up, in our Wanderings, Leo colorizes his terminal, Josh eyeballs an eggroll, Tony gives the Gorilla another go, and Joe fiddles with firmware

        Then, in our news, the Raspberry Pi launches a whole new dessert, GIMP is almost ready for GTK3,

        In security, Ubuntu’s GDM3 has a root bug

      • No Sur, No Thank You | LINUX Unplugged 380 | Jupiter Broadcasting

        We review the Dell Precision 5750, a born and bred MacBook killer that runs Linux.

        Plus a nasty reminder of how closely Apple monitors its users, and their fatal flaw that we think is outrageous.

    • Kernel Space

      • Getting started with btrfs for Linux [Former headline: Forget ZFS and use Btrfs]

        Btrfs has been available for Linux for several years, so you may already be familiar with it. If not, you may have questions about it, especially if you use Fedora Workstation (Btrfs is now its default filesystem). This article aims to help you get familiar with it and its advanced features, such as copy-on-write and checksums.

        Btrfs, short for B-Tree Filesystem, is actually a filesystem and volume manager rolled into one. It’s often seen as a response to ZFS, introduced in Sun Microsystem’s Solaris OS back in 2005, now largely replaced by an open source implementation called OpenZFS. Ubuntu Linux and FreeBSD often feature OpenZFS. Other examples with similar features are Red Hat’s Stratis and the Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM).


        Btrfs offers a lot of promise for delivering an advanced filesystem feature set to Linux. It wasn’t the first; I credit ZFS for my introduction to this type of filesystem some 15 years ago, but Btrfs is fully open source and unencumbered by patents.

        I advise starting with a virtual machine or spare system if you want to explore this filesystem.

        I would like to see some graphical management utilities produced for system administrators who like to operate in the GUI world. Fortunately, Btrfs has strong development activity, as evidenced by the Fedora project’s decision to make it default on Workstation 33.

      • A Bit Late: Linux PCH Temperature Support Mistakenly Missing From The Intel C620 Series – Phoronix

        While Intel is normally very punctual with their Linux hardware support and ensure that the full capabilities of the hardware are exposed under Linux, especially when it comes to server and workstation hardware, occasionally oversights are made.

        The latest blemish is a Linux user discovering that the PCH temperature reading support wasn’t there for his workstation with a Lewisburg C620 series chipset running dual Xeon Gold CPUs. The Intel C620 series have been around for more than three years and used by Skylake-SP / Cascade Lake SP. For being found with the original Xeon Scalable processors it’s a bit surprising that missing PCH temperature monitoring support went unnoticed this long, but for the Linux 5.11 kernel that will see its stable release in early 2021 that issue has been corrected.

      • More Intel Tiger Lake Fixes Heading Into Linux 5.11, eLLC Caching For Display Buffers

        Another round of Intel graphics driver changes were submitted last week to DRM-Next for queuing ahead of next month’s Linux 5.11 merge window.

        With this latest feature pull is a “healthy chunk” of Tiger Lake related fixes. The Tiger Lake fixes are for possible hang issues, addressing the media power gate sequence, flushing engines before breadcrumbs, and other alterations.

      • Intel Tidies Up CET While Waiting For It To Land In The Linux Kernel

        Intel’s SGX enclaves support patches for the Linux kernel have been through 40+ rounds of review at this point over the past many months as they try to get this security feature into the mainline Linux kernel. But SGX isn’t the only Intel security feature that’s been having a long process for mainlining: Control-flow Enforcement Technology (CET) is in a similar boat.

        Intel Control-Flow Enforcement Technology aims to prevent ROP and COP/JOP style attacks through indirect branch tracking and a shadow stack. Linux patches for the kernel and compilers have been in the works for years and the CET hardware support debuted recently with Tiger Lake processors.

      • Linux’s Stateless H.264 Decode Interface Ready To Be Deemed Stable – Phoronix

        The Linux kernel’s stateless video decoder interface is used for video decoding where no state needs to be kept between processed video frames and allows for independently decoding each video frame. The H.264 stateless decode interface for the Linux kernel has been in the works for a few years and is now deemed ready and stable for dealing with modern stateless codecs.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD Lands AV1 Decode For Radeon RX 6000 Series In Mesa – Phoronix

          One day ahead of the Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT, AMD has merged support for AV1 decode support on these RDNA2 GPUs into Mesa.

          We’ve known for a while that the Radeon RX 6000 series would offer accelerated AV1 video decoding but when the Linux support would materialize has been the open question. Well, it was merged today to Mesa 21.0-devel — that is the Mesa feature release due out in March 2021, not the imminent Mesa 20.3 release coming out in a few weeks.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q4.4 Released

          AMDVLK 2020.Q4.4 is out this morning as the newest source snapshot of this official open-source AMD Radeon Vulkan driver.

          Given the Radeon RX 6800 series shipping this week, when seeing 2020.Q4.4 surface I immediately wondered whether it was for introducing this RDNA2 graphics processor support. That though doesn’t appear to be the case with no official mention of the Radeon RX 6000 series when poking through the code nor any other large additions.

        • NVIDIA slip out a small stable Linux driver update with 455.45.01 | GamingOnLinux

          It seems NVIDIA are no longer reserving the two extra digits in their Linux driver versioning for their special Betas, as a new stable driver is out today as 455.45.01.


          This is part of their “Short Lived” branch, and should be safe for everyone to upgrade to if you’re sticking to that. They also have their “Long Lived” branch currently on version 450.80.02 that was released back in September.

    • Applications

      • The 10 Best Linux Anti-Spam Tools and Software in 2020

        Linux anti-spam tools are great ways to protect your inbox from flooding with unexpected messages. I know it quite well how frustrating it is to deal with these kinds of spams. They are not only time consuming, but also they are great security threats to your computer. Although, individual users like me don’t have to do that much struggle to fight spams. However, large companies, for example, the service providers, are very prone to spams. You will be surprised to know that almost 45 percent of the emails sent are spams, and it costs a huge sum of money to fight spams.

        If you use email services from giant providers like Gmail or Outlook, they will automatically give you spam protection. But if your organization or school uses a custom email service, you must need a spam protection tool. Surprisingly, Linux has a wide range of anti-spam tools that are absolutely free.

      • Easily create and manage automated bots for desktop, browser and Android with Botfather

        Botfather is a universal automation framework built to help users create, manage and automated their bots for web, desktop and android devices.

        It’s created to create bots for casual games. Later, it was extended to work on Android, Browser and desktop applications.

        Botfather works with a simple scripts which is beneficial for students who want to learn how to code, web developers to test their websites and regulated automated tasks for desktop systems and Android devices.

        The scripts work seamlessly on Windows and Linux (I ran a couple of tests on Linux Manjaro Linux and Linux Mint).

      • SpeedCrunch: A classy features-rich keyboard-driven calculator for scientists and enthusiasts

        SpeedCrunch offers Windows, Linux and macOS generic software packages which ease install process.

        Linux’s users can find SpeedCrunch in their software repository for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux, Manjaro and openSUSE. They can also download 32-bit (RPM, Deb and Generic package) as well as 64-bit.

      • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.5 (Only Desktop)

        Tor Browser 10.0.5 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

        This release updates Firefox to 78.5.0esr and updates Tor to This release includes important security updates to Firefox.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to share files with Linux apps on Chrome OS – TechRepublic

        With Linux apps installed on your Chromebook, you might have discovered that software cannot access files within the ChromeOS directories. Let’s fix that.

      • ELBE is a simpler alternative to Yocto/OpenEmbedded and Buildroot

        To support embedded design, there are several options when it comes to choosing an operating system (OS). Some of the traditional approaches to building custom Linux systems is to use built systems such as Yocto/OpenEmbedded or Buildroot. The options available for system integration include building everything manually, binary distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.), and build systems (Buildroot, Yocto, PTXdist, etc.). The major drawback of build systems is that they are not as easy as a binary distribution and also the build time is more.

      • How to install and use GNOME Tweak Tool on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        The Gnome Tweak Tool is a utility used to customize the overall look and behavior of elements on the Gnome Desktop Environment. In simple terms, you can use Gnome Tweaks to modify the look and feel of your entire Ubuntu system.

        In this post, we will show you how to install Gnome Tweaks on Ubuntu and show you how to get started with it. Our distribution of choice, in this case, is Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

      • How to check for free disk space on Linux

        Struggling to find out how much free space you have left on your Linux PC? Don’t know how to check it? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we show you how to check for free disk space on Linux!

      • Moving large number of files Using find, mv, xargs
      • How to Use Ansible Vault to Encrypt Sensitive Data
      • Fedora 33 : Install PyGame 2.0 on Fedora.

        Today I will show you how to install the python PyGame version 2.0 package with python version 3.9 in Fedora 33 distro.

      • Fedora 33 : Upgrade from Fedora 32.
      • How to Trace Program Execution Using Linux Strace Command

        Strace is used analyze how a program interacts with the system to debug any program. Here learn linux strace command with examples.

        The strace is a powerful command-line tool for process monitoring, diagnostic and troubleshooting programs in Linux. Generally, it is used to intercept and record the system calls and the signals received by a process. You can use strace to analyze how a program interacts with the system to debug any program.

      • who Command in Linux

        In this article, we explain the who command that is bundled in GNU coreutils package.

        who is a command-line utility that prints a list of currently logged in users. It can also show the current run level, time of the last system boot, and more.

      • How To Install Komodo Edit on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Komodo Edit on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Komodo Edit is a programming text editor and available free for Ubuntu and other Linux operating systems.

        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 Komodo Edit on an 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 Python 3.9 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Python 3.9 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Pip is a tool for installing Python packages. With pip, you can search, download, and install packages from Python Package Index (PyPI) and other package indexes. With the help of pip, you can also install the package of a particular version. Most importantly pip has a feature to manage full lists of packages and corresponding version numbers, possible through a “requirements” file. It performs the same basic job as an easy install, but with some extra features.

        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 Python 3.9 on a Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) server. You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install and Configure OpenLDAP and phpLDAPadmin on Ubuntu 20.04

        LDAP is a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol used for accessing and maintaining distributed directory over an internet protocol. phpLDAPadmin is a web-based LDAP client used for managing and administering the LDAP server. Its powerful search functionality and hierarchical tree view make it easier to manage the LDAP server through the web browser. You can add and delete records, view and edit image attributes, manage user password hashes and many more using phpLDAPadmin.

      • How to turn off your Monitor using a Python Script in Ubuntu

        The Traditional way of turning your monitor off via hotkey has been broken for a few newer versions. A Python script can bring that functionality back in a reliable and efficient manner.

      • How to install Etherpad on Ubuntu 20.04

        Etherpad is a web-based real-time online editor that allows writers to simultaneously edit a text document and monitor all edits in realtime. It is open-source, customizable and ability to display each author’s text in their own color. It also provides a HTTP API that you can integrate with your applications to manage users and groups. It offers several plugins that help you to integrate email notifications, file uploading, video calls in Etherpad. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Etherpad web-based editor on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to Run C Program in Ubuntu Linux [Terminal & GUI Methods] [Ed: Why on Earth does "It's FOSS" promote Microsoft for coding in C, knowing it has surveillance in it and it's a "gateway drug" for proprietary software (MSVS)?]

        Running C program in Linux command line is not that difficult.

      • How to install the ManageEngine OpManager on your data center servers – TechRepublic

        OpManager is an outstanding tool for keeping tabs on your data center servers. Learn how to get it up and running.

      • How to Homelab Episode 1 – Tips on Getting Started – YouTube

        Welcome to a new series, How to Homelab! In this series, Homelab-related concepts are discussed. Learn how to run your own servers, what applications to run, how to set them up, etc.

      • CentOS 8 Disable Firewall – Linux Hint

        A firewall is considered as the “First Line of Defense” within any operating system. It prohibits any unauthorized access to your system hence preventing it from all potential harms. Therefore, it is highly recommended for every user to keep his Firewall enabled and running all the time. However, at times it happens that you are performing a critical task, and your Firewall causes hindrance in that task by even blocking your legitimate attempts to access your system. In such situations, you might feel the need of disabling your Firewall. Therefore, today we will learn the methods of disabling the Firewall in CentOS 8.

      • Build a Raspberry Pi Security Camera Network – Linux Hint

        The Raspberry Pi official camera module can be used as a security camera. You can share the camera video stream on the network and access it remotely from any device on your Local Area Network (LAN).

        You can use the VLC media player to share the video stream on a TCP port and access it from any device on your Local Area Network (LAN) using VLC media player.

        In this article, I will show you how to build a Raspberry Pi security camera and stream the camera video feed from the Raspberry Pi using the VLC media player.

      • Change Qt5 Apps Theme to Make Them Look Native in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Found that Qt5 based applications (e.g., VLC, qBittorrent, Virtualbox, Audacious, etc.) look ugly on Ubuntu Desktop? That’s because they don’t inherit the global GTK theme.

        You can apply a custom theme to Qt5 applications to make them look native on Ubuntu Gnome desktop. And Kvantum, an SVG-based theme engine, can do the job.

      • Distribute ROS 2 across machines with MicroK8s | Ubuntu

        Our simple ROS 2 talker and listener setup runs well on a single Kubernetes node, now let’s distribute it out across multiple computers. This article builds upon our simple ROS 2 talker / listener setup by running it on multiple K8s nodes.

        At the completion of this setup expect to have a ROS2 Kubernetes cluster running MicroK8s on three different machines. Applying a single configuration file distributes the ROS 2 workload across the machines.

      • Finding the real source IP: using the PROXY protocol with syslog-ng – Blog – syslog-ng Community – syslog-ng Community

        Until now collecting logs behind proxies or load balancers needed some compromises. You either trusted the host information included in the log messages or you could only see the proxy as the sender host. Starting with syslog-ng 3.30 there is a third option available: using the PROXY protocol. While not an official Internet standard, it is supported by a number of popular software, like HAProxy. Other software can be extended to use it, like F5 load balancers using iRules. This way crucial information about the original network connection is not lost, but it is forwarded to the server by the proxy.

        From this blog you can learn about the PROXY protocol, how to enable it in the syslog-ng configuration, and how to send test messages using loggen directly and through HAProxy.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Direct3D 12 Support For APITrace Pursued To Help VKD3D-Proton

        Joshua Ashton, known for his work with Valve on D9VK and then DXVK for mapping Direct3D on top of Vulkan, is making more strides in their Direct3D 12 effort with VKD3D-Proton.

        VKD3D-Proton 2.0 was recently released for allowing more Direct3D 12 Windows games to now run on Linux with Proton (Steam Play) and VKD3D-Proton. For maintaining the support and helping work out new capabilities in this D3D12-on-Vulkan layer, reliable replaying of D3D12 calls is important for development purposes.

    • Games

      • The Series X Controller on Linux: A Bit of a Hassle – Boiling Steam

        It’s really not that bad of a pad. I do like the extra padding on the grips/triggers, the extra Share button, and the D-pad is fairly comfortable. Unlike the DualSense on Linux, it has vibration and trigger sensitivity.

        In terms of technological advancements, the DualSense is definitely where it’s at, with the built-in mic, haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, etc. But half of those features haven’t even been supported in the kernel yet, so playability is pretty much the same as the Series X pad for now.

      • The Humble Sweet Farm Fall Bundle is live with some great picks | GamingOnLinux

        A fresh game bundle is here with the Humble Sweet Farm Fall Bundle going live and it’s actually quite good.

        With some of the proceeds going to the Sweet Farm charity, which say they are “the first non-profit sanctuary in the world to address the global impacts of factory farming across animals, the plants and the planet”. Seems like quite a worthy cause to help while also getting some fun gaming experiences too.

      • How to install Raft, by Redbeet Interactive, on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Raft, an itch.io, game 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.

      • The advanced Caesar III game engine Augustus has a new release up | GamingOnLinux

        To play the classic city-builder Caesar III on modern platforms there is the FOSS game engine Julius, however there’s also a more advanced version called Augustus that had a major new release.

        Much like Julius, you need the game data files for Caesar III with this being a free and open source game engine only. It differs from Julius in quite a lot of ways too, and it’s actually a fork of it so another developer took the Julius and built upon it to make something different. The idea with Augustus is to enhance Julius for Caesar III with customized gameplay, UI enhancements and much more (rather than sticking to being accurate to the original). Some of the additions include roadblocks, zoom controls, market special orders, a global labour pool, increased game limits and more.

      • A year later Stadia has messaging, user profiles and possibly new countries coming | GamingOnLinux

        Stadia, the Linux-powered game streaming service from Google is just about to coming up on the one year mark since it originally went live for early backers. They’re now releasing new features again and talking about the future.

        Only recently did Stadia hit 100 games and gain Family Sharing but there was still a lot missing. They’re finally starting to bridge the feature gap now though, with the release of more features this week. Firstly, you can now actually directly message other Stadia users from the friends list, you can directly share screenshots and clips on mobile and the web browser, when video capturing with the built-in Stadia feature it will now capture game voice chat too and they finally rolled out proper profiles along with profile links.

      • Homestuck universe adventure HIVESWAP: Act 2 releases November 25 | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for your next adventure? The second part of HIVESWAP with HIVESWAP: Act 2 has been announced that it’s finally releasing on November 25.

        Originally created with the help of a crowdfunding campaign back in 2012 with well over two million dollars raised, it eventually saw the first act released in 2017. Three years later, we’re about to get a second helping of what’s supposed to be four parts.

        “Continue Joey and Xefros’s adventure through the dark and dangerous planet Alternia. Meet dozens of unique and memorable characters, some more helpful than others, as you navigate the volatile world of troll culture. Hurry up! There’s a train to catch.”

      • Multiplayer arena fighter ‘Mighty Fight Federation’ has Linux support on the roadmap | GamingOnLinux

        Mighty Fight Federation is a multiplayer arena fighter with a focus on “fighting game fundamentals” that recently launched officially for Windows in Early Access but Linux is in their plans.

        Linux support was originally confirmed when we reached out to them back in 2018, however catching up with them again recently to see if they still planned to support Linux they said on November 15, 2020 that it’s “on the roadmap”. The game looks great too with colourful and chaotic fights where you slam your enemies into walls, launch them into the air and follow up with fast, high-flying attacks.

      • Probably the biggest 2D RTS around, Rusted Warfare has a major new release | GamingOnLinux

        Rusted Warfare is sitting in quite a sweet spot for me. It’s a grand-scale 2D RTS, that’s like an indie low-res Supreme Commander and it’s great. Something I originally discovered on Android while messing around on an old tablet going back a great many years now. It has full cross-platform support for Linux, macOS, Windows, Android and soon iOS too. Kicking down all kinds of barriers for people to play together.

        A major 1.14 update just came out with tons of new features, bug fixes, new units and so on. One of the big additions is the new Modular Spider, a huge mobile walking base of operations. It has six slots where you can build turrets and other modules. It’s a starting unit and cannot be built normally (although a mod could easily add it in), so you would use it instead of the command centre building. It’s also pretty damn awesome.

      • Tallowmere 2: Curse of the Kittens goes Early Access in December and it’s wild | GamingOnLinux

        Tallowmere 2: Curse of the Kittens is probably one of the biggest surprises that I tried out during a previous Steam Game Festival and it’s going live soon. While it’s already available in a pre-release on itch.io, it’s hopping over to Steam on December 4 to formally begin Early Access and hopefully pull more players in.

        The thing about the gameplay in Tallowmere 2 is that it’s…absolutely nuts. As a 2D action-platformer with ever changing dungeons for you to run through, the combat is often ridiculously over the top and a huge amount of fun. There’s a few times during it I’ve entirely lost what was going on but never stopped smiling while playing the early builds.

      • Typist.pk3 is a brilliant mod for Doom engine games turning them into typing adventures | GamingOnLinux

        Do you love a challenge? How about typing games that need quick thinking and quick typing? Enter Typist.pk3.

        The idea is pretty simple. You can download the pre-built pack file from GitHub, with the project open source under the GPL license. Make sure you have a copy of GZDoom installed, along with some sort of game ready to go like Freedoom if you want to mess with it really easily. Once loaded, it turns the classic first-person shooter into a typing adventure that mixes between normal exploration and then typing combat and it’s quite brilliant.

        You can check out this rough video from the creator with Typist.pk3 being used together with the total conversion of Doom 2 named Shrine.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • PinePhone – KDE Community Edition Now Available

          KDE and Pine64 have announced the availability of the new PinePhone – KDE Community edition. The idea of having mobile devices that can display a full workstation desktop when connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, has been around for years and both the KDE Community and Pine64 have been working to make it a reality.

          The PinePhone – KDE Community edition runs neither Android nor iOS, but instead an entirely free and open source system: KDE Community’s Plasma Mobile.

          Plasma Mobile is a direct derivation from KDE’s Plasma desktop and offers total privacy, user control and the promise of convergent environment and applications.

        • PinePhone—KDE Community Edition Available for Pre-Order in December

          KDE and Pine64 have announced imminent availability of the new PinePhone—KDE Community edition, which they say provides “a taste of where free mobile devices and software platforms are headed.”

          According to Pine64 website, the Allwinner A64 SoC is the brains of the PinePhone, which runs mainline Linux, uses mainline Arm Trusted Firmware (ATF), and u-boot, and includes open source drivers for all main SoC components.

        • Calamares and Plasma Look-and-Feel

          Calamares is a Linux installer. Bluestar Linux is a Linux distribution. KDE Plasma Desktop is KDE’s flagship desktop environment. Together, these three bits of software got into a spot of trouble, but what’s more important, got out of trouble again with good communications, good bug reports and a “we can fix it” attitude.

          When Calamares is run in a KDE Plasma Desktop environment, for a distro that uses KDE Plasma Desktop – and bear in mind, Calamares is a distro- and desktop-independent project, so it will just as gladly install a variant of Debian with i3 as a variant of openSUSE with GNOME as a variant of Fedora with KDE Plasma – one of the modules that the distro can use is the plasmalnf module. This configures the look-and-feel of KDE Plasma Desktop in the target system, so that after the installation is done you don’t have to set a theme again. You might think of this as one tiny part of a first-run “here’s some cool options for your desktop” tool.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Best 5 Gnome extensions for better user experience

          This guide lists the best 5 Gnome desktop environment extensions that should improve your user experience while using Gnome.

          Gnome is by far the most loved desktop environment for Linux distributions. It is being developed by the Gnome foundation along with the open-source community. It gets regular updates and has comparatively the best touch support.

          A very good feature of Gnome is that it supports extensions just like a browser does. Extensions are great as you can easily extend functionalities and add new stuff. So this guide shows you the best 5 Gnome extensions for a better user experience with the Gnome desktop environment on your favorite Linux distribution.

        • Try GTK 4 Demos Now! – Rust in Peace

          You watched Matthia’s talk at Linux App Summit last week and you wish you could try the demos yourself? Excellent!

          During the Q&A section, Cassidy James asked if there was any Flatpak available, an hour after that we published a Nightly version of GTK4 Demo along with the Widget factory and the Icon Browser in GNOME’s Nightly repository.

        • GNOME Foundation Planning For More Initiatives In 2021

          In soliciting for year-end donations, the GNOME Foundation shares some of how they plan to use generated funds over the next years.

          The GNOME Foundation is calling for more donations ahead of the 2020 holiday season.

    • Distributions

      • Help out with FOSS as the Budgie Desktop team need translations help

        Ever tried or heard of the Budgie Desktop? It’s a modern and feature rich Linux desktop environment from the Solus Linux team and they need a little help.

        I’m quite a big fan of Budgie despite not using it directly myself, as their focus on keeping it clean really shows. That along with the slick sidebar to show off various applets like a calendar and media controls looks really good when you start using it. Developer Joshua Strobl who is the Experience Lead of the Solus project has issued a “Call To Action” as they’re looking to get translations done for Budgie.

      • Linux Lite – An Easy to Use Free and Fast Linux Distro

        Linux Lite is a simple, fast, and free open-source operating system built to make the transition from Windows to Linux as smooth as possible. It is based on the Ubuntu 20.04 (LTS) series of releases with an intuitive, intelligent approach to design housed in a familiar Windows-like desktop. Of course, you are free to install your favorite desktop environments if you prefer.

        Linux Lite 5.2 is said to be the most “feature-rich, complete Linux Lite” and equally the most anticipated release till date. It is based on Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS and Linux 5.4 with a focus on lower-end computers.

      • New Releases

        • NuTyX 12-rc1 Linux Distro Released, Finally Drops 32-Bit Version Support

          After the current stable NuTyX 11.6, its founder Tnut is now preparing for the next major version, NuTyX 12. Amid, Tnut has announced a first testing version, NuTyX 12-rc1.

          As Tnut quotes, version 12 is a completely new 64-bit project, and no 32-bit version will be available for NuTyX 12.

        • NuTyX 12-rc1 available

          I’m very please to announce the new NuTyX 12-rc1 testing release. The 64-bit version is a complete new project. They are no plan to release a version 12 of NuTyX in 32 bits.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Amarok Linux 2.1.1 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Amarok Linux 2.1.1.

        • Amarok 2.1.1

          Today we are looking at Amarok Linux 2.1. It is an XFCE distro based on Debian 10, Linux Kernel 5.4, and uses about 600-700 MB of ram when idling. It is beautiful, stable, and just a great Linux distro. Enjoy!

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • $6 billion Linux deal? SUSE IPO rumored

          According to Bloomberg, EQT is planning an IPO for German Linux and enterprise software company SUSE. EQT is a Swedish-based private equity firm with €50 billion in raised capital. SUSE is the leading European Union (EU) Linux distributor.

          Over the years, SUSE has changed owners several times. First, it was acquired by Novell in 2004. Then, Attachmate, with some Microsoft funding, bought Novell and SUSE in 2010. This was followed in 2014 when Micro Focus purchased Attachmate and SUSE was spun off as an independent division. Then, EQT purchased SUSE from Micro Focus for $2.5 billion in March 2019.

          With an IPO of approximately $6 billion, EQT would do very well for itself in very little time.

        • EQT Said to Plan IPO of $6 Billion Software Developer SUSE
      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Using an Ansible playbook to manage workstation and server updates | Enable Sysadmin

          In part two of this series on writing playbooks, we examine updates for servers and workstations. This playbook manages updates differently depending on the role the systems play on the network.

        • Introducing Quarkus on Red Hat OpenShift

          Red Hat is committed to the future of Java. It remains the most popular programming language runtime for enterprise application development, with nearly two-thirds of developers globally self-identifying as “moderate to heavy” users of Java. Java has consistently been in the top three programming languages on the TIOBE ratings for the past eighteen years. Safe to say – despite developers having more choice and easier access to new programming languages than ever before, Java remains the de facto standard for building business-critical applications. At Red Hat, our goal is to continue to support Java developers by offering new ways for Java developers to continue innovating.

        • Introducing using OpenShift Serverless for event-driven applications

          The steady uptick in serverless adoption brings benefits to developers as well as businesses at-large. With serverless, developers can focus more on delivering value, driving greater innovation, and a faster iteration of services and applications to the larger organization. This is why Red Hat is consistently updating OpenShift Serverless with new features, such as Eventing and Functions.

          By leveraging serverless, we lower the barrier of Kubernetes adoption since most of its APIs target IT operations teams, not developers. OpenShift Serverless, based on the upstream Knative project, extends Kubernetes providing developer-friendly constructs, helping to solve application development problems by using modern patterns, like request-driven autoscaling and event-driven computing. The resulting applications will automatically scale up or down based on need and use, saving time and resources.

        • Red Hat broadens the scope for cloud-native, Kubernetes management with greater observability and automation

          Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes is designed to help organizations further extend and scale Red Hat OpenShift with enterprise-grade management capabilities across hybrid and multicloud environments. It enables IT teams to manage multiple Kubernetes clusters and automate multi-cluster application deployments across hybrid clouds while driving policy compliance and expanded governance. Today marks the general availability of Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes 2.1, which extends management capabilities into established environments and helps to more proactively cultivate cluster performance for optimized cloud-native management.

        • Red Hat Extends Open Hybrid Cloud to the Edge with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift
        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 is ready for the edge

          Like it or not, organizations are moving more and more workloads to the edge. The benefits of moving workloads closer to the users that depend on them are undeniable. So are the downsides. However, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.3 we’ve added several features to help admins and organizations cope with the challenges of edge computing by simplifying image creation, reducing update sizes and fending off unnecessary downtime.

        • Use cases for the IBM Social Campaign Manager

          Most people have been presented with a 20+ question with 5 optional answers per question survey at one time or another. The applications used to create these surveys typically provide the same functions, and they produce what amounts to a digital representation of a paper-based survey shared in an email. Presenting 100+ radial buttons to incentivize participants to share valuable feedback is not ideal, is it?

          Assuming that enough people do respond to these surveys, they are typically sufficient to collect quantitative statistics. However, they don’t probe for context, intent, or the emotion behind the participants responses. They don’t solicit feedback in the way we naturally would if we were able to chat with the participant directly.

        • Fedora 33 : Smokeping tool.

          Smokeping is a latency measurement tool. It sends test packets out to the net and measures the amount of time they need to travel from one place to the other and back. SmokePing consists of a daemon process which organized the latency measurements and a CGI which presents the graphs.

        • Red Hat, DarwinAI To Bring COVID-Net Screening Tool To Hospitals

          Red Hat and DarwinAI have joined hands to accelerate the deployment of COVID-Net—a suite of deep neural networks for COVID-19 detection and risk stratification via chest radiography—to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

        • You call that DevSecOps? Why your DevSecOps practice may be falling short

          The current state of application development is interesting and also troublesome. Modern and cloud scale app dev has adopted DevOps, where the tools are maturing rapidly. DevOps has given organizations a methodology for meeting business needs more quickly, but at what cost? The cost can be seen, and often measured, in increased complexity and reduced security. This price tag is too high and many are not, and should not, be willing to pay it.

        • Event-driven serverless applications with Camel K – 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 event-driven serverless applications and Apache Camel K from Nicola Ferraro, Luca Burgazzoli, and Burr Sutter.

          Event-driven serverless applications really rock these days. Knative and Kubernetes offer nice primitives for creating them, but if you’ve ever tried going beyond the “Hello World” example, you know that writing real-life applications is much harder than expected.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • UP Xtreme i11 SBC runs pre-installed Ubuntu on Tiger Lake

          Aaeon unveiled a Linux-ready “UP Xtreme i11” SBC with 11th Gen Tiger Lake with up to 64GB DDR4, 3x M.2, 1GbE and 2.5GbE, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, and a USB 4.0 Type-C port. There is also an embedded PC model.

          Last month, Aaeon posted a teaser announcement about some upcoming products based on Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake Core CPUs, including a COM-TGUC6 Compact Type 6 module, a 3.5-inch GENE-TGU6 SBC, a PICO-TGU4 Pico-ITX SBC, and an UP Xtreme i11 SBC. Aaeon Technology Europe has now fully detailed the UP Xtreme i11 along with an embedded UP Xtreme i11 Edge Compute Enabling Kit system based on it. Pre-orders will open in 1Q 2021 with pricing undisclosed.

        • UP Xtreme i11 Tiger Lake SBC and mini PC to ship with Ubuntu 20.04

          Ever since the launch of Intel Atom Cherry Trail powered Up Board SBC in 2015, AAEON has kept launching more UP boards with faster, yet still low power processors, as well as complete turnkey solutions based on their x86 SBC such as the UP Xtreme Smart Surveillance kit.

          The company has now formally unveiled the UP Xtreme i11 Tiger Lake SBC as well as a mini PC called UP Xtreme i11 Edge Compute Enabling kit based on the board that features a choice of Intel 11th generation Tiger Lake Embedded Core or Celeron processor, an Intel Altera MAX 5 FPGA, up to 64GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet and 2.5GbE networking, and more.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 657

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 657 for the week of November 8 – 14, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • Cybersecurity defenses for IIoT | Ubuntu

          Cybersecurity attacks on industrial IoT solutions can have detrimental consequences. This is the case because IoT devices record privacy-sensitive data and control production assets. Therefore, demonstrable trustworthiness is prerequisite to IoT adoption in industrial settings.

          Fortunately, IT security is a mature field. Experts have identified classes of threats devices may be subject to. Let’s discuss these threat patterns and mitigation strategies in the IIoT context.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • This tiny Linux PC has a unique feature that sets it apart from the rest of the market | TechRadar

        The Pantera Pico PC, by XDO.AI, is the fourth thin client/mini PC we’ve seen with this tiny cubic form factor.

        However, unlike the GMK NucBox and the Chuwi Larkbox that we reviewed (and Xiaomi’s almost identical computer), this one has three unique selling points that make it stand out from the competition (for better or for worse).

        First, it is the only model to date that is certified to run on Ubuntu, the popular Linux distribution. Then there’s the fact it’s available in a number of color schemes with matching LED lights. And, finally, it is the only PC we know of that includes an (optional) docking station.

      • Converting Your Raspberry Pi Into a Crypto Trading Bot | Hacker Noon

        What’s not to love about your Pi? It’s a serious piece of kit, and it’s cheap! But… can it make you money?

      • Best NAS & media server distros of 2020

        While external hard drives are a great way to quickly and conveniently add extra storage, they have their drawbacks. For one, their data retrieval capabilities are restricted to the computer they are connected to. This might work for individual users with single PCs but isn’t a practical solution for an increasing number of households with a variety of data consuming devices.

        To add more flexibility to your data storage and retrieval policy you need to use a network-attached storage (NAS) solution. Here we’ll test some of the best NAS solutions that offer you the features and flexibility of commercial NAS minus the cost of proprietary software.

        And while we’re at it, we’ll also throw in a couple of media streaming servers that’ll happily blast your multimedia content to all devices on your network.


        As its name suggests, the EasyNAS distro takes away the complexities by making several assumptions on the user’s behalf and in essence simplifies the entire process. The distro is based on OpenSUSE and like the other two options has a web-based administration interface.

        EasyNAS also focuses on the Btrfs filesystem only, just like Rockstor. Note however that EasyNAS is designed for first-time NAS users, which is why it lacks many of the configuration options and flexibility in terms of deployment as compared to the other solutions.

        For instance, while the distro supports multiple network protocols, it doesn’t give you the option to configure them as per your needs. While this wouldn’t be any issues for first time NAS users, experienced users will be better served with one of the other solutions.

      • Reading Vehicle OBD-II data through CAN within a containerized application in Embedded Linux

        A connected world makes it possible to track your online orders being shipped to your home through your smartphone in real-time, and getting information about your vehicle such as tire pressure, outside temperature, and even details like if a lamp is broken – has begun to be possible via smartphones in modern vehicle models. But behind the magic of knowing where the truck carrying your package is at all times and other details of the vehicle, there is a very complex world made of embedded devices ‘talking’ to each other so the information makes its way from the device to you.

      • First two i.MX8M Plus SMARC modules break cover

        Seco’s “SM-218” and Adlink’s “LEC-IMX8MP” SMARC 2.1 modules run Linux or Android on NXP’s AI-enabled i.MX8M Plus with up to 8GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, dual GbE, PCIe Gen3, and optional -40 to 85°C.

        The first two SMARC 2.1 form-factor modules with NXP’s i.MX8M Plus SoC have appeared, joining a handful of other i.MX8M Plus modules including Variscite’s VAR-SOM-MX8M-PLUS and DART-MX8M-PLUS and TechNexion’s EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS and AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS. Seco announced its SM-218 earlier this month and Adlink’s unannounced LEC-IMX8MP is listed as “preliminary.”

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why Companies Can Benefit From Open Source

        All (pure) open source licenses allow the commercial use of that software. Hence, anybody can take the open source software, rebrand it and then sell it online or offline.

        Companies can use this approach for their own benefit; They can take a software like LibreOffice, modify it and change its name to make it better, and then sell it along with their support in their own local communities. Collabora Office – for example – is a fork of LibreOffice, and Collabora just add their modifications to LibreOffice and then sell it under a different name.

        Localization efforts can go even further in this; Some companies in Brazil, for example, offer to perform the digital transfer of traditional companies from proprietary software to open source software, and hence they can earn money by providing logistics and support services to the users of these open source software.

        All of this without having to get the consent of the original developers or any written permission from them, since open source licenses already allow such use cases in their definitions.

        This type of usage is extremely popular in ERP software; One open source ERP software becomes so popular, then another takes its source code, rebrand it & modify it and then publish it under a different name in their own local community (E.g India).

        Still, one point to take in mind is that it is very highly unethical to take without giving back. If you find an open source software very useful to you or your business, then you should give something back to the original developers of that software who gave it for you for free.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • [PCLOS] Google Chrome Browser updated to 87.0.4280.66

            The web browser from Google. Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.

          • Chromium Blog: Tab throttling and more performance improvements in Chrome M87

            Even if you have a lot of tabs open, you likely only focus on a small set of them to get a task done. Starting in this release, Chrome is actively managing your computer’s resources to make the tabs you care about fast—while allowing you to keep hundreds of tabs open—so you can pick up where you left off.
            In this release, we’re improving how Chrome understands and manages resources with Tab throttling, occlusion tracking and back/forward caching, so you can quickly get to what you need when you need it.

          • Chrome 87 Released With More Performance Improvements

            In addition to the release of Firefox 83 today (along with word Servo is moving to the Linux Foundation), over in Google land they have shipped Chrome 87.

            While Mozilla developers are happy about their “Warp” JavaScript improvements, Chrome 87 comes with performance work of its own. Chrome 87 has improvements around tab throttling, occlusion tracking for seeing what tabs are actually visible, and an improved back/forward cache for improving the responsiveness when going forward/backward from pages visited.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 84 Beta Begins Enabling WebRender By Default On Linux

            With Firefox 83 released, like clock-work Mozilla has released the beta of Firefox 84.

            Firefox 84 is the final release supporting Adobe Flash and NPAPI plug-ins. Flash support will not work on future Firefox releases.

            Most exciting though with Firefox 84 Beta is that Mozilla is finally enabling WebRender by default on Linux! While Mozilla has gradually been enabling WebRender by default on Windows and macOS systems under varying releases based on GPU/driver configurations and more, Linux hasn’t seen this performance-boosting option by default. Linux users can run Firefox with the MOZ_WEBRENDER=1 environment variable to force enable WebRender, but beginning with Firefox 84 they will begin enabling it by default in select configurations.

          • Firefox 84 Promises to Finally Enable WebRender By Default on Linux/X11

            While some of you are still discovering the new features and improvements in Firefox 83, Mozilla is already working on the next major version of the popular and open-source web browser, Firefox 84, which promises to finally enable the WebRender feature by default on Linux.

            Written in Rust, the WebRender feature in Firefox makes the entire web browser faster when surfing the Internet. While WebRender is known for being extremely fast, it also makes Firefox more stable and smoother.

          • Mozilla Firefox 83 Now Available for Download – What’s New

            Mozilla Firefox has thus become not only an alternative to Google Chrome but to every other Chromium browser out there, and the major updates that it gets every four weeks play a key role in its effort to remain relevant in this tough battle.

            Today, Mozilla published Firefox 83, a new version of the browser for Windows, Linux, and macOS, and naturally, this one comes with massive improvements.

            First and foremost, Mozilla says it has made additional under the hood optimizations that allow for an important speed boost, especially when loading websites.

          • Ending Firefox support for Flash

            On January 26, 2021, Firefox will end support for Adobe Flash, as announced back in 2017. Adobe and other browsers will also end support for Flash in January and we are working together to ensure a smooth transition for all.

            Firefox version 84 will be the final version to support Flash. On January 26, 2021 when we release Firefox version 85, it will ship without Flash support, improving our performance and security. For our users on Nightly and Beta release channels, Flash support will end on November 17, 2020 and December 14, 2020 respectively. There will be no setting to re-enable Flash support.

          • Welcoming New Contributors: Firefox 83

            With the release of Firefox 83, we are pleased to welcome all the developers who’ve contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 18 of whom are brand new volunteers!

          • Firefox 83 introduces HTTPS-Only Mode

            Security on the web matters. Whenever you connect to a web page and enter a password, a credit card number, or other sensitive information, you want to be sure that this information is kept secure. Whether you are writing a personal email or reading a page on a medical condition, you don’t want that information leaked to eavesdroppers on the network who have no business prying into your personal communications.

          • Firefox 83 is upon us

            Did November spawn a monster this year? In truth, November has given us a few snippets of good news, far from the least of which is the launch of Firefox 83! In this release we’ve got a few nice additions, including Conical CSS gradients, overflow debugging in the Developer Tools, enabling of WebRender across more platforms, and more besides.

          • Botond Ballo: Desktop pinch-zoom support arrives with Firefox 83

            Today is the release date of Firefox 83. One of the new features in this release is support for pinch-zooming on desktop platforms, a feature whose development I was involved with and which I’ll describe briefly in this blog post.

            Pinch gestures have long been the standard method of interaction to trigger zooming on mobile devices, and the mobile version of Firefox has supported them since (I believe) its inception.

            The desktop version of Firefox has also had a zoom feature for a long time, activated via Ctrl+Plus/Minus or Ctrl+mousewheel or a button in the UI, but importantly, this performs a different type of zooming than pinch gestures on mobile, as I’ll illustrate.

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Foundations for the Future

            This week the Servo project took a significant next step in bringing community-led transformative innovations to the web by announcing it will be hosted by the Linux Foundation. Mozilla is pleased to see Servo, which began as a research effort in 2012, open new doors that can lead it to ever broader benefits for users and the web. Working together, the Servo project and Linux Foundation are a natural fit for nurturing continued growth of the Servo community, encouraging investment in development, and expanding availability and adoption.

          • Rust-Based Servo Web Engine Moves to Linux Foundation

            With its move to the Linux Foundation, the Servo web engine is getting new life and could form the basis of future embedded technologies.

          • Linux Foundation to host open-source Servo web engine

            The Linux Foundation announced Tuesday that it was becoming the host of the open-source Servo web engine originally developed at Mozilla.

            Web engines are the core software component of web browsers and are responsible for rendering HTML content into what’s seen on the screen of devices like laptops and smartphones. Numerous webkits exist, like Apple’s WebKit, Google’s Blink, and Mozilla’s Gecko, each of which make up the core of Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, respectively.

          • The Servo Blog: Servo’s new home

            The Servo Project is excited to announce that it has found a new home with the Linux Foundation. Servo was incubated inside Mozilla, and served as the proof that important web components such as CSS and rendering could be implemented in Rust, with all its safety, concurrency and speed. Now it’s time for Servo to leave the nest!

          • Servo Project Joins The Linux Foundation Fold

            The Linux Foundation today announced at KubeKon that it is hosting the Servo web engine, an open-source, high-performance browser engine. “Servo is the most promising, modern, and open web engine for building applications and immersive experiences using web technologies,” according to Mike Dolan, senior vice president and general manager of projects at the Linux Foundation. The post Servo Project Joins The Linux Foundation Fold appeared first on LinuxInsider.

          • Open Source Web Engine Servo to be Hosted at Linux Foundation

            The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host the Servo web engine. Servo is an open source, high-performance browser engine designed for both application and embedded use and is written in the Rust programming language, bringing lightning-fast performance and memory safety to browser internals. Industry support for this move is coming from Futurewei, Let’s Encrypt, Mozilla, Samsung, and Three.js, among others.

            “The Linux Foundation’s track record for hosting and supporting the world’s most ubiquitous open source technologies makes it the natural home for growing the Servo community and increasing its platform support,” said Alan Jeffrey, Technical Chair of the Servo project. “There’s a lot of development work and opportunities for our Servo Technical Steering Committee to consider, and we know this cross-industry open source collaboration model will enable us to accelerate the highest priorities for web developers.”

          • Mozilla Punts Servo Web Engine Development To The Linux Foundation

            Ever since the mass layoffs at Mozilla earlier this year and some Mozilla projects in jeopardy many have been wondering: what about Servo? Well, today it’s heading off to the Linux Foundation.

            Mozilla and the Linux Foundation are jointly announcing this morning that the Servo web engine development will now be hosted by the Linux Foundation.

            The Rust-written code-base that’s served as a long in development “next-gen” web engine at Mozilla will now be developed under the Linux Foundation umbrella. Besides Mozilla, this move has the support of other industry stakeholders like Samsung and Let’s Encrypt.

          • Linux Foundation: We’ll host Mozilla’s Rust programming language-based Servo web engine

            The latest open-source project to be hosted on the Linux Foundation is Servo, the experimental web engine developed at cash-strapped Mozilla.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Exafluence Declares Global Strategic Partnership with MongoDB

          Apart from modernization, Exafluences’s native integration with MongoDB not only offers the latest ready-to-deploy Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Artificial Intelligence abilities on MongoDB’s mobile Realm as well as Atlas cloud platforms, Exafluence’s agile DataOps abilities enhance the data supply chain pipeline with a focus on improved governance and data quality.

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.6 Release Candidate – WordPress.org

          The first release candidate for WordPress 5.6 is now available!

          This is an important milestone in the community’s progress toward the final release of WordPress 5.6.

          “Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.6 is slated for release on December 8, 2020, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.6 yet, now is the time!

      • Programming/Development

        • RcppArmadillo

          Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language–and is widely used by (currently) 779 other packages on CRAN.

        • RcppAnnoy 0.0.17

          A new release 0.0.17 of RcppAnnoy is now on CRAN. RcppAnnoy is the Rcpp-based R integration of the nifty Annoy library by Erik Bernhardsson. Annoy is a small and lightweight C++ template header library for very fast approximate nearest neighbours—originally developed to drive the famous Spotify music discovery algorithm.

        • Desktop styling with Qt Quick Controls

          Qt Quick Controls 1 was our first UI framework for QML. The controls were mostly written in QML without much C++. At the time, QML was still a new technology, which meant that we didn’t have enough experience with designing for performance to know what to expect. So the styling API ended up inefficient by design, with many fat delegates that used extensive amounts of JavaScript, bindings, introspection, Loaders, and QObjects for both control logic and styling. It also had a linking dependency to Qt Widgets to get native styling and Widget-based dialogs. And without the QML compiler that we have today, this all ended up as a rather slow and messy approach. When we realized that it also didn’t perform well on embedded hardware, it was time to rethink the solution. And the result was Qt Quick Controls 2.

        • The 20 Best R Programming Books for Programmers and Coders

          If the question comes to your mind that whether R is difficult to learn or not, then the answer would come from others who have stated that R is not hard to learn because it is a programming language. It is, in reality, straightforward and defined. R was intended to be utilized as a statistical apparatus. So arithmetic and AI were the most significant pieces of R., But just like anything, R requires a perfect set of R programming books for you to be able to learn R programming better and more efficiently.

        • C++ Bitwise Operators – Linux Hint

          In this article, we are going to discuss bitwise operators in the C++ programming language. We will see several working examples to understand bitwise operations in detail. In C++, the bitwise operators work on the individual bit level.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Standard ML – LinuxLinks

          Standard ML is a safe, modular, strict, functional, polymorphic programming language with type inference, garbage collection, compile-time type checking, and exception handling. It also offers immutable data types and updatable references, abstract data types, and parametric modules.

          Standard ML is a declarative language. A Standard ML program consists of a sequence of declarations of types, values (including functions) and exceptions, possibly embedded in modules. A basic module is called a structure in Standard ML, module interfaces are called signatures, and parameterised modules are called functors.

          Standard ML is one of the two main dialects of the ML programming language.

          Some of the hard parts of learning Standard ML are: Recursion, pattern matching, type inference (guessing the right types but never allowing implicit type conversion). Standard ML is distinguished from Haskell by including references, allowing variables to be updated.

          Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Standard ML.

        • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: A better git diff

          A few days ago I wrote a quick patch and missed a dumb mistake that made the program crash. When reviewing the merge request on Salsa, the problem became immediately apparent; Gitlab’s diff is much better than what git diff shows by default in a terminal.

          Well, it turns out since version 2.9, git bundles a better pager, diff-highlight. À la Gitlab, it will highlight what changed in the line.

        • 10 Best Programming Languages to Learn in 2021 – Linux Hint

          In the modern world, the demand for computer scientists continues to grow. Everything around us is transforming, undergoing a digital makeover. With so many people becoming a part of this field, it comes as no surprise how much technology has expanded and the rate at which it is developing. Computer science itself is divided into various sub-fields, each of which has its own set of specialized workers.

          However, one thing common to almost all these fields is the process of writing instructions in the form of code, commonly referred to as programming. This sits at the heart of computer science and gives it the power to create and remove things. With the number of existing programming languages reaching the three-digit mark, and as each programming job has its own specific set of requirements, it can be extremely daunting to figure out which language to learn.

          To make your job easier, this article provides a list of the best programming languages to learn in 2021.

        • Fail a Gitlab pipeline when code coverage decreases

          Automatic and continuous testing is a fundamental part of today’s development cycle. Given a Gitlab pipeline that runs for each commit, we should enforce not only all tests are passing, but also that a sufficient number of them are present.


          Gitlab allows collecting code coverage from test suites directly from pipelines. Major information on the setup can be found in the pipelines guide and in the Gitlab CI reference guide. Since there are lots of different test suites out there, I cannot include how to configure them here. However, if you need any help, feel free to reach out to me at the contacts reported below.

          With Gitlab 13.5 there is also a Test Coverage Visualization tool, check it out! Gitlab will also report code coverage statistic for pipelines over time in nice graphs under Project Analytics > Repository. Data can also be exported as csv! We will use such data to check if, in the commit, the code coverage decreased comparing to the main branch.

          This means that every new code written has to be tested at least as much as the rest of the code is tested. Of course, this strategy can be easily changed. The check is only one line of bash, and can be easily be replaced with a fixed number, or any other logic.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The Report On New Coercions

            The Merge of PR 3891 completes my work on new implementation of coercion in Rakudo. When I was starting with it my only intention was about to find a task to distract me from some problems I was having at the time (nothing serious yet bothersome and stressful). There was no concrete plans on my hands, so I picked one of the oldest tickets in Rakudo issue tracker. It was issue #1285 which looked quite promising as I already had some knowledge about parameterized roles internals.

          • Permutations and Recursion

            In one of my earlier posts describing how I solved the Perl Weekly Challenge tasks, I mentioned that I got a bit lazy and resorted to using a CPAN module to determine all of the combinations of elements to satisfy the conditions of the puzzle. One of the things that drew me to Perl in the first place is the almost 200,000 ready-to-go modules available in CPAN to help you solve almost any conceivable problem. Chances are, if you have a programming issue to solve, someone else already has. There’s a reason the “C” in CPAN stands for “Comprehensive”! As someone who is trying to learn Perl, I think it’s a valuable skill to know how to search the archive and leverage these modules. It’s what allows you to extend Perl beyond it’s standard capabilities. And truth be told, I know that a big part of solving combination and permutation problems often requires the use of recursive functions, something I can never get my head around no matter what programming language I’m using. But something has been nagging me over the past few days since I wrote that blog article to the point where the guilt about being too lazy and the void left about not really understanding recursion finally pushed me over the edge to tackle this one more time.

          • REST::Neo4p catches up to Neo4j V4.0+

            Neo4j has made many changes and improvements in its server and its query language in that time. However, as it has become successful commercially, it has made breaking API changes of one kind or another more and more regularly. In the last major release, version 4.0, Neo4j retired the REST endpoint on which REST::Neo4p was based. This endpoint was “entity-based”, as it were, allowing direct access to nodes, relationships, and the like via entity IDs. It was well suited to the object (HAR HAR) of REST::Neo4p. But Neo4j decided to focus exclusively on its declarative query language Cypher, and to move away from the “graph walking” paradigm that the REST endpoint represented.

        • Python

          • Why is Python still a Huge Hit among Data Scientists?

            Python has become the most used programming language for data science practices. Developed by Guido van Rossum and launched in 1991, it is an interactive and object-oriented programming language similar to PERL or Ruby. Its inherent readability, simplicity, clean visual layout, less syntactic exceptions, greater string manipulation, ideal scripting, and rapid application, an apt fit for many platforms, make it so popular among data scientists. This programming language has a plethora of libraries (e.g., TensorFlow, Scipy, and Numpy); hence Python becomes easier to perform multiple additional tasks.

            Python is an object-oriented, open-source, flexible, and easy to learn programming language. According to a 2013 survey by industry analyst O’Reilly, 40% of data scientist respondents admitted using Python in their daily work. They join the many other programmers in all fields who have made Python one of the world’s top ten most popular programming languages ever since 2003. In fact, many surveys show it as the number one preferred language.

          • Python Yield vs. Return – Linux Hint

            Python is the widely used general-purpose programming language of recent times. The yield is a built-in Python keyword that is used to create the generator functions. Its function generates a series of results. It pauses the execution of the program, sends the result value back to the caller, and resume the execution from the last yield. Besides that, the yield function sends the generated series of results in the form of a generator object. On the other hand, the return is also a built-in keyword in Python that terminates the function and sends the value back to the caller.

            This article outlines the differences between the yield and returns with examples.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • The cost of e-books is hobbling university teaching

        The Twitter hashtag #ebookSOS is full of librarians sharing their stories of ebook frustration. Examples include an e-book that costs £21.99 in print but £4,600 for a single-user copy (licensed for only one user at a time); an e-book that cost £29 months ago now costing £215 and an e-book that can only be purchased as part of a package of 100 other titles.

        But it isn’t just about the money. Other irritations include previously available e-books being withdrawn, the unavailability of new editions in electronic format and publishers’ unwillingness to offer some e-books in unlimited user formats (meaning that libraries frequently have to buy multiple copies of the same digital item).

    • Hardware

      • Finland invests €20m in country’s first quantum computer

        The overall goal of the project is to build a 50-qubit device by 2024. The computer will be built at VTT’s and Aalto University’s joint national research infrastructure centre Micronova in Espoo, a suburb of Helsinki. Work on the project is set to begin this year.

      • Mediatek purchases power management chip business from Intel

        Intel sold its smartphone modem business to Apple last year, and now the it’s offloading another chip-related division. In a press release, Mediatek announced it has purchased Enpirion – Intel’s power management chip business for the price of $85 million. The deal is ready to go through once approved by regulators.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Fauci Calls for Unified, Federal Approach to Tackling COVID
      • COVID Is Everywhere, Even in “the Last COVID-Free County”

        Mentone, the only semblance of a town in Loving County, is mostly quiet in mid-afternoon. The silence is broken only by the intermittent screech of brakes from big rigs trying to will their heavy loads to a stop before making the 90-degree turn north onto County Road 300. They’re headed into the heart of nowhere. Soon they’ll turn off the asphalt onto an oil patch road, kicking up clouds of caliche dust toward a sky that’s as high as it is empty.

        With 169 souls calling this parched West Texas frontier home, Loving County is the least populated county in the lower 48. You can take in all of Mentone from the porch of the post office; it takes longer to go through the checkout at H-E-B than it does to drive through the place. (Not that Mentone has an H-E-B, or any grocery store, for that matter. The nearest H-E-B is 75 miles away in Odessa.) If you happen to visit during a pandemic, when the town’s only men’s room is closed—and if you happen to need to attend to business that can’t be accomplished in a urinal—well, buddy, hope you can hold it till Orla. Loving is also the last county in the United States to have zero reported cases of COVID-19.

        I visit Loving a few days before Halloween. It’s a little past noon on a Thursday, and county judge Skeet Lee Jones is holding court in the chow hall of the Target Logistics man camp just outside of Mentone, among its rows and rows of trailer homes rented by oil field companies to house their workers. When I ask Judge Jones about the pandemic, he lowers an onion ring and leans in across the table.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Calls for ‘right to repair’ growing louder for electronics in EU

          “Our Reparability Index is intended to underscore the need for repairable products in a sustainable circular economy, and is meant to give customers advice for their purchasing decisions,” Kessler told DW.

        • NinjaRMM 5.0: MSPs Gain Linux Support And…

          NinjaRMM has released version 5.0 of the company’s remote monitoring and management (RMM) software platform. Yes, there’s Linux support and key feature enhancements focused on MSP automation. But version 5.0 is only one piece of a larger platform story that NinjaRMM is gradually hatching.

        • Update on LibreOffice support for ARM-Based Macs [Ed: Wasting development time trying to accommodate Apple's attack on computer users]

          With the launch of the new Apple devices nearing, it is important that suitable software arrives around the same time as new hardware. Apple ensures this by a translation layer, so that software for Intel Macs can be used, using Rosetta translation.

          Nevertheless, given the code size of LibreOffice, for the best performance it makes most sense to have a pre-optimized native binary. As such Collabora joined the Universal App Quickstart Programme back in July and has been doing work on enabling LibreOffice for M1 since then.

        • Windows 10 is now nagging users with full screen Microsoft Edge ads

          In production builds, Microsoft is A/B testing a new ‘feature’ that is designed to nag users with fullscreen window-less Microsoft Edge recommendations in the OOBE screen.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libdatetime-timezone-perl, openldap, pacemaker, and restic), Fedora (libmediainfo, mediainfo, mingw-python3, and seamonkey), Gentoo (libexif), openSUSE (raptor), Oracle (kernel and microcode_ctl), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (kernel-firmware, postgresql, postgresql96, postgresql10 and postgresql12, and raptor), and Ubuntu (openldap and postgresql-10, postgresql-12, postgresql-9.5).

          • Be Very Sparing in Allowing Site Notifications

            An increasing number of websites are asking visitors to approve “notifications,” browser modifications that periodically display messages on the user’s mobile or desktop device. In many cases these notifications are benign, but several dodgy firms are paying site owners to install their notification scripts and then selling that communications pathway to scammers and online hucksters.


            This is evident by the apparent scale of the infrastructure behind a relatively new company based in Montenegro called PushWelcome, which advertises the ability for site owners to monetize traffic from their visitors. The company’s site currently is ranked by Alexa.com as among the top 2,000 sites in terms of Internet traffic globally.

            Website publishers who sign up with PushWelcome are asked to include a small script on their page which prompts visitors to approve notifications. In many cases, the notification approval requests themselves are deceptive — disguised as prompts to click “OK” to view video material, or as “CAPTCHA” requests designed to distinguish automated bot traffic from real visitors.

          • Measuring Middlebox Interference with DNS Records

            The Domain Name System (DNS) is often referred to as the “phonebook of the Internet.” It is responsible for translating human readable domain names–such as mozilla.org–into IP addresses, which are necessary for nearly all communication on the Internet. At a high level, clients typically resolve a name by sending a query to a recursive resolver, which is responsible for answering queries on behalf of a client. The recursive resolver answers the query by traversing the DNS hierarchy, starting from a root server, a top-level domain server (e.g. for .com), and finally the authoritative server for the domain name. Once the recursive resolver receives the answer for the query, it caches the answer and sends it back to the client.

            Unfortunately, DNS was not originally designed with security in mind, leaving users vulnerable to attacks. For example, previous work has shown that recursive resolvers are susceptible to cache poisoning attacks, in which on-path attackers impersonate authoritative nameservers and send incorrect answers for queries to recursive resolvers. These incorrect answers then get cached at the recursive resolver, which may cause clients that later query the same domain names to visit malicious websites. This attack is successful because the DNS protocol typically does not provide any notion of correctness for DNS responses. When a recursive resolver receives an answer for a query, it assumes that the answer is correct.

            DNSSEC is able to prevent such attacks by enabling domain name owners to provide cryptographic signatures for their DNS records. It also establishes a chain of trust between servers in the DNS hierarchy, enabling clients to validate that they received the correct answer.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The New Humanitarian | Europe’s chain of migrant pushbacks, from Italy to Bosnia

        Italian authorities are drawing criticism from legal advocacy groups for returning asylum seekers and migrants across Italy’s northeastern land border to Slovenia, triggering a series of often violent pushbacks through the Balkans and out of the European Union.
        Several asylum seekers told The New Humanitarian that after being returned to Slovenia they were pushed back to Croatia, another EU member state. In turn, the Croatian authorities – accused of using systematic violence and abuse against migrants – expelled them to Bosnia, which is outside the EU.
        “Generally, in two days, the person disappears from Italy and appears again in Bosnia,” Gianfranco Schiavone, a lawyer at the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration, or ASGI, an Italian NGO that provides legal aid to migrants and asylum seekers, told TNH.
        Advocacy groups say the returns are illegal because they block people from requesting asylum in Italy, and ultimately end with them being expelled from the EU without due process.

      • The New Humanitarian | Afghanistan donor conference must deliver as humanitarian crisis continues

        On 2 November, gunmen stormed the northern gates of Kabul University and opened fire at random on students and teachers. At least 32 people lost their lives that day, as heartbreaking images of blood-stained textbooks were shared on social media.
        Little more than a week later, the university resumed classes. One student interviewed in the attack’s aftermath pledged to return to his studies, “again and again”, despite the terrorism threats.
        Stories like these reveal the incredible resilience of war-weary Afghans, and why their country needs the world’s support more than ever. Next week, on 23-24 November, donor states and Afghan officials will gather online and in Geneva for a major pledging conference that will determine much of Afghanistan’s financial future. This is an opportunity for the international community to show the Afghan people that they are not forgotten.
        Needs in Afghanistan have never been higher. Violence has spiked alarmingly, with the conflict claiming more than 10,000 civilian deaths or injuries last year. More than 14 million Afghans, close to 40 percent of the population, need some form of humanitarian aid this year. Some 13 million will face crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity in the coming winter months. The COVID-19 pandemic has further decimated an already weak economy, fuelling unemployment and poverty.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Parler Makes Play for Conservatives Mad at Facebook, Twitter

        The platform also has some deep-pocketed investors. Rebekah Mercer, daughter of hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer, is among the company’s financial backers, according to people familiar with the matter. The Mercers have previously financed a number of conservative causes.

        After The Wall Street Journal reported on the Mercers’ ties with Parler, Chief Executive John Matze confirmed that Ms. Mercer was the lead investor in the company at its outset and said that her backing was dependent on the platform allowing users to control what they see.

      • ‘This Is Chaos’: Trump Fires Top Election Security Official Christopher Krebs Who Called BS on Voter Fraud Lies

        “This is a disgusting abuse of power by a weak and desperate president who undermines our democracy and national security,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

      • Trump fires election security official who contradicted him

        President Trump said he “terminated” Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa) chief Chris Krebs for his “highly inaccurate” remarks on vote integrity.

        Mr Trump has refused to concede the US election, and has made unsubstantiated claims of “massive” voter fraud.

        Election officials said the vote was the “most secure” in US history.

        Mr Krebs is the latest official to be dismissed by the US president following his defeat, with Defense Secretary Mark Esper also shown the door amid reports Mr Trump doubted the Pentagon chief’s loyalty.

      • Trump fires head of election cybersecurity who debunked conspiracy theories

        Christopher Krebs, who led the federal government’s election cybersecurity efforts, has been fired by President Donald Trump via Twitter.

        Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, has been the target of public criticism from Trump since the Nov. 3 election over his agency’s Rumor Control blog, which rebuts a list of false claims about election fraud and [cracking] — many of which Trump or his lawyers have touted as real after he lost the election.

      • Top cybersecurity official ousted by Trump

        President Trump ousted Christopher Krebs, the top U.S. cybersecurity official, on Tuesday evening, disagreeing with Krebs’s statement affirming the security of the 2020 election.

        Trump, who has refused to accept his loss to Joe Biden in the presidential election earlier this month, said on Twitter that Krebs had been terminated “effective immediately.” Trump said a recent statement by the cyber chief about the security of the election was “highly inaccurate” and claimed, without evidence, that “there were massive improprieties and fraud – including dead people voting.”

      • President Trump has fired the official in charge of election cybersecurity [iophk: a 'tweet' in place of an official communication :( ]

        President Donald Trump announced the firing the official in charge of election cybersecurity, Christopher Krebs, in a Tuesday evening tweet. Before his firing, Krebs served as the first director of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

        Although the presidential election was widely called for Joe Biden on November 7th, Trump has not conceded, and he and his allies have made numerous claims about supposed election fraud that aren’t backed up by evidence. Krebs, however, has actively debunked voting misinformation, such as denying a false conspiracy theory claiming that secret computer systems have been committing voter fraud.

    • Environment

      • Climate crisis finds ample answers in world’s trees

        The world’s trees can build cities, devour carbon and feed developing countries’ small farmers. It’s time to branch out.

      • Energy

        • Banning Sales Of Combustion Vehicles
        • The UK moves up deadline to ban the sale of combustion-engine vehicles

          The United Kingdom will ban the sale of new combustion-engine vehicles by 2030, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today. It will also ban the sale of new hybrid cars by 2035. Johnson made the announcement tonight as part of a new ten-point plan for a “green industrial revolution.”

          This is the second time Johnson has moved up the deadline. The original plan was to stop sales of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040. Back in February, Johnson moved the target to 2035. He’s come under increasing pressure to crack down on gas-guzzling cars in order to meet the UK’s broader goal of eliminating emissions contributing to climate change by 2050.

        • The electric car industry now has its own lobbying group

          Tesla, Uber, Rivian, Lucid Motors, and others have joined forces to create a new lobbying group for electric vehicles on Capitol Hill. The group, which is called the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), says its mission is that 100 percent of new car sales are electric by 2030.

          Some states are already moving in that direction. California recently announced its plans to ban the sale of combustion-engine vehicles by 2035. New Jersey has said it is interested in doing the same. However, the new industry group won’t push states to require its residents to only purchase EVs, but rather it supports policies to incentivize their sale.

        • Without another bailout, Exelon plans to close two Illinois nuclear plants next year
    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Who Wins from Trump’s Final Travesty?

        The cost of this misplaced attention is incalculable. While Covid-19 surges to record levels, there’s still no national strategy for equipment, stay at home orders, mask mandates or disaster relief.

      • Yet Another Legal Loss for Trump as Pennsylvania Supreme Court Finds No Fault With Philly Observer Placement

        The court found that Philadelphia election officials “did not act contrary to law in fashioning its regulations governing the positioning of candidate representatives during the precanvassing and canvassing process.” 

      • Georgia Runoffs: How You Can Help Flip the Senate

        Oh, and they’re happy to parrot Trump’s baseless claims about voter fraud, even calling on Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State to resign because of supposed “failures in Georgia elections this year” – without providing any evidence of what those failures were.Georgians deserve better. They deserve senators who will fight for them in Washington – they deserve the leadership of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Warnock’s platform is all about serving the people of Georgia – unlike his opponent Loeffler, who only serves herself and her rich friends. Warnock serves as Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the former pulpit of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He supports Medicaid expansion, instituting a living wage, restoring the Voting Rights Act, and overhauling our cruel system of mass incarceration. Jon Ossoff has dedicated his career to taking on corruption – a fitting replacement for David Perdue. Ossoff supports campaign finance reform; making massive investments in environmental protection to save our climate; protecting Roe v. Wade; and common sense gun reform. Here’s what you can do to make the biggest impact in this make-or-break fight, which will determine whether we take back the Senate from Mitch McConnell:— Georgians have until December 7th to register to vote in the runoffs. You can make calls to Georgia voters to help them get registered before the deadline. 17-year-old Georgians who turn 18 by January 5, 2021 are eligible to vote in the run-off election that will be held on that date. Please spread the word.— Let locals lead. Donate directly to the candidates’ campaigns and to grassroots organizations led by communities of color, who worked tirelessly to register new voters and mobilize the state for Joe Biden. FairFight Action, New Georgia Project, and Black Voters Matter Fund are a few of the organizations to support in this moment and beyond. You can split a donation between FairFight and the two campaigns by going to GASenate.com, and donate to New Georgia Project (newgeorgiaproject.org) and Black Voters Matter Fund (blackvotersmatterfund.org) at their websites.— Volunteer with the Warnock and Ossoff campaigns. You can find all the information you need by heading to mobilize.us/fairfightaction, mobilize.us/electjon, or mobilize.us/warnockforgeorgia. Georgia, home to John Lewis, is now the ultimate battlefield, thanks to years of grassroots organizing by Black leaders like Lewis, Stacey Abrams, Nse Ufot, Helen Butler, Deborah Scott, Tamieka Atkins, and countless others. Their hard work has gotten Georgia to this crucial junction, and now it’s up to the rest of us to support them in every way possible.The stakes couldn’t be higher. Let’s bring this home, flip the Senate, and usher in the transformative change this nation requires.

      • Senate Blocks President Trump’s Controversial Nominee To The Federal Reserve Board
      • Obama says internet, social media are threat to democracy
      • Giuliani’s “disgraceful” courtroom election fraud arguments are from a “fantasy world,” defense says

        Former LifeLock spokesperson Rudy Giuliani, who reportedly asked the Trump campaign to pay him $20,000 a day for legal representation, was criticized on Tuesday by attorneys representing the state of Pennsylvania for living in a “fantasy world” after making a series of baseless and confusing allegations of election fraud in his first federal court appearance since 1992.

      • Our politics isn’t about left vs. right anymore — it’s about reality vs. dreadful fantasy

        As I’ve written before, we’ve entered a dangerously precarious age in American politics in which the debate is no longer right versus left. Today, we’re fighting a cold war between the forces of reality and the forces of fiction. Here. In America. On one side, there are 79 million of us who recognize things like math, science, history, expertise and the difference between “your” and “you’re.” On the other side is a movement of 73 million Americans whose entire worldview is based upon whatever counterfactual gibberish Trump farts into the world, along with the exact opposite of whatever the other side says. Trump supporters don’t have an agenda as much as they have the politics of “nuh-uh.” The politics of impotent rage. The politics of tall tales.

      • Michigan county reverses course, votes unanimously to certify election results

        The Michigan secretary of state’s office confirmed that the Wayne County Board of Canvassers voted by a 4-0 margin to certify the election results in Wayne County, which is heavily Democratic and includes Detroit, and that the board is requesting that Jocelyn Benson, the state’s top elections official, investigate any discrepancies in vote totals.

        The unanimous decision marks a 180-degree turn from just hours earlier Tuesday night when the panel’s two Republicans voted against certification, sparking celebrations from the GOP and an uproar from Democrats who said the initial vote was simply delaying the inevitable

      • Twitter Launches Feature for Disappearing Tweets

        Fleets work much like Stories on Snapchat and Instagram, disappearing after 24 hours.

      • Obama Publishes Account of Firing Gen. McChrystal On the Same Day McChrystal Briefs Biden

        Rolling Stone readers may recall this magazine’s 2010 profile of McChrystal, in which the four-star general and commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, along with his staff, openly disparaged Obama administration officials, including, most notably, Vice President Joe Biden. The article got McChrystal fired. Obama certainly remembers — and he’s devoted two and a half of the 706 pages in his memoir, A Promised Land, out today, to the dust-up (find the book here).

        As the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings explained back in 2010, the problem began when, during a public Q&A in the fall of 2009, McChrystal “dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as ‘shortsighted,’ saying it would lead to a state of ‘Chaos-istan.’”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Lawmakers question tech CEOs about content moderation in first post-election hearing

        Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey returned virtually to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for another round of questioning that did more to highlight the gulf between Republicans and Democrats on proper content moderation than reveal any new information.

        In addition to the focus on content moderation, lawmakers asked the tech CEOs about transparency, reforms to Section 230, what would happen to President Trump’s accounts after his term in office draws to a close and antitrust issues.

      • Muhammad cartoons: Islamist group says Islamabad agrees to French boycott

        An Islamist party has called off anti-France protests and claimed the Pakistani government agreed to sever diplomatic ties with Paris over Prophet Muhammad’s cartoons. The government did not immediately confirm the move.

      • Confirmed: Taylor Swift masters sold by Scooter Braun to Shamrock – but she’s re-recording them anyway

        “Scooter’s team wanted me to sign an ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive, before we could even look at the financial records of BMLG (which is always the first step in a purchase of this nature).

        “So, I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work. My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal, and they’ve never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off a He would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me.”

      • Non-disclosure agreement blocked Taylor Swift from buying her own recording masters

        Taylor Swift missed out on the chance to purchase the rights to her master recordings because she refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the new boss of her old record label.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • French bill banning images of police worries activists and journalists

        French lawmakers will begin debating a controversial bill on Tuesday that proposes a ban on the publication of images showing law enforcement officers. The bill has drawn sharp criticism from media outlets and activist groups who say it would violate principles of press freedom and the public’s right to be informed.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 80 percent of those who died of Covid-19 in Texas county jails were never convicted of a crime

        Over 230 people have died from Covid-19 in Texas’s correctional facilities — and in county jails, nearly 80 percent of them were in pretrial detention and hadn’t even been convicted of a crime, according to a new report.

        A team of researchers at the University of Austin at Texas reviewed data from the the Texas Justice Initiative which collects information from multiple sources including the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). They found that at least 231 people have died of Covid-19 in the state’s correctional facilities between March and October. This report only looked at state-operated prisons and county-operated jails, as researchers were focused on how Texas’s Covid-19 prison policies had fared.

      • Pandemic’s Deadly Toll Behind Bars Spurs Calls For Change In U.S. Jails And Prisons

        Prisoner’s rights advocates are pleading for more action to help stop the deadly toll taken by the pandemic that has ravaged America’s jails and prisons.

    • Monopolies

      • What to Expect in Tuesday’s Hearing With Zuckerberg and Dorsey

        The hearing starts at 10 a.m. Eastern. Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Dorsey will appear via videoconference. They will get questions from the 22 members on the committee, some of whom will be in the committee’s meeting room in the Capitol, and others who will also be appearing via videoconference.

        What will be discussed?

        The committee chairman, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, called the hearing in October after Twitter and Facebook labeled or limited the reach of a New York Post article about Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., because of information that was leaked and misleading.

      • A Christmas wish for Jamaica – The 2020 Patent and Designs Act promises good tidings and an “irie” New Year [Ed: Jamaica under siege by corrupt WIPO — an enforcer of imperialism by law-making]

        The PCT, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has 153 contracting States, and allows inventors to benefit from a single priority date when filing for a patent in multiple jurisdictions. However, the decision to grant a patent remains exclusively within the remit of each national office. For new contracting states like Jamaica, the PCT will only come into force three months after the date on which Jamaica has deposited its instrument of ratification and accession.

      • Service of Process and Theft of Ideas [Ed: No, Dennis Crouch. Ideas can be copied, not stolen. Stop calling it "theft of ideas"]

        GM did not make an entry of appearance into the lawsuit and Nixon asked for default judgment. However, Judge Gilstrap refused to enter default judgment — holding that GM had not been properly served with the summons and complaint as required by FRCP 4.


        Nixon also appealed directly to the Federal Circuit in parallel who has issued a notice-to-show-cause on whether this is a patent case. If you remember, Nixon does not have a patent but has sued for theft of the idea.

      • Insights into Intellectual Property Business Strategy [Ed: Ridiculous nonsense with misnomers, propaganda and misleading buzzwords such as "Intellectual Property"]

        The strategic management of IP requires a new understanding of what IP is and what role it can play in a corporate context. Understanding IP as an internal resource to a firm rather than a negative right, allows a firm to exploit IP beyond its current usage. Genuine IP meets all the criteria of what scholars of management have termed an internal resource under what is known as the ‘resource based view of the firm.’ It can be a unique and rare resource that is costly to imitate and gives a firm a competitive advantage in the market. As such, IP can constitute an instrument of business that gives an organization a unique spin. This allows to enhance a firm’s competitive advantage.

      • Patents

        • The Dutch Cross-Border Still Going Strong: Novartis v Mylan

          In his (or her) younger years at school, a once to be Dutch patent litigator was learned that the Netherlands share a borders with Germany and Belgium. On the geography maps, they seemed to be set in stone. History class already provided a different perspective: now friendly neighbours would once surprise each other with unannounced visits. Grown up, and practising the intricacies of patent litigation, he (or she) learns a different lesson: borders are fluid and can be crossed with injunctions. The decision of the PI Judge of the District Court of The Hague in the Novartis v. Mylan case teaches this once again.

          This is not the time and place to delve into the history of the Dutch cross-border. The road from the EU Court of Justice’s GAT/LUK to Solvay/Honeywell will be sufficiently familiar to most of the readers. If not, let’s just say the Dutch courts have assumed jurisdiction to grant an injunction covering the Netherlands and other European states where a European Patent (or SPC) is held to be valid and infringed. Specifically in preliminary relief proceedings (cf. Solvay/Honeywell), though the cross-border is available in merits proceedings (but the claim is dismissed or decision stayed cf. Art. 24 (4) Brussels 1 Regulation if a defendant alleges the foreign patent rights are invalid). Interestingly, and as always depending on the circumstances of the case, a Dutch entity may serve as an anchor defendant for the Dutch court to assume jurisdiction against foreign entities. This is exemplified by the Novartis/Mylan case (29 September 2020, PI proceedings).

        • Two Arnolds for the price of one (part 2)

          Since 1 January 2017, TRP has had an agreement with Arena, the owner of six horse racecourses, allowing TRP exclusively to collect and distribute certain data. The data fell into two broad categories: (i) betting prices offered by bookmakers located at the racecourses (“Betting Shows”); and (ii) certain data specific to the racecourse on the day of the race e.g. weather and course conditions, changes to the runners and jockeys, start times and results (“Raceday Data”). Both categories are commercially valuable: Betting Shows enable off-course bookmakers to offer up-to-date odds; Raceday Data enables such bookmakers to take bets right up to the start of a race, and to pay out winnings quickly and accurately after the race. It would be possible for members of the public to collect the relevant data by attending Arena racecourses (and some of the data is broadcasted on television, albeit with a slight delay). Arena, to protect its and its exclusive licensee’s interests in data collected at Arena racecourses, imposes restrictions on race attendees via its standard T&Cs of entry (published on its website, displayed at entrances to its courses and incorporated into various contracts e.g. via the purchase of tickets).

          Prior to 1 January 2017, SIS was Arena’s exclusive licensee, instead of TRP. Following the end of this commercial relationship with Arena, SIS began to collect the relevant data from other sources. SIS collected Betting Shows from sources including the websites of off-course bookmakers Betfair and Betdaq, conduct which SIS admitted was knowingly in breach of the relevant T&Cs. Raceday Data was collected from “the Tote”, a private company that was originally established by the Racecourses Betting Act 1928 and which therefore had an approved presence at the Arena racecourses. The Tote is authorised to collect and distribute data for the purpose of a form of betting known as “pool betting”, but the data collected by the Tote and provided to SIS went beyond the data necessary for the purpose of pool betting. SIS provided the relevant data to other off-course bookmakers, Ladbrokes and Betfred (which are companies related to SIS), to enable them to resist signing up a data supply agreement with TRP. SIS did not challenge Zacaroli J’s finding that SIS had combined with these other companies in relation to the supply of Betting Shows and Raceday Data.


          Lewison LJ’s focus on the very legitimate policy concern of efficiency and legal predictability in commercial contracting (with which Phillips LJ agreed) perhaps short-circuited the three-step analysis of misuse of confidential information with which IP lawyers are familiar. Due to the manner in which TRP’s case was pleaded and the lack of specific findings at first instance as to the data (or specific combination of data) that was confidential, the judge had good reason not to grapple with whether some or all of publicly-available the Raceday Data was nevertheless confidential. His reluctance to do so (in contrast to Arnold LJ’s approach), however, seems to have contributed to a conclusion which this GuestKat finds slightly perplexing. This dispute involved highly specific facts, which could justify a departure from Lewison LJ’s general policy concern. To this GuestKat, SIS was odds-on to have misused TRP’s confidential information, given that SIS previously paid handsomely for exclusivity in relation to similar categories of information. But the unfancied horse won, simply because SIS received assurances and a warranty from the Tote (the veracity of which SIS was shown to have been sceptical).

        • Software Patents

          • Open Invention Network Celebrates Its 15th Year Protecting Core Linux and Open Source from Patent Aggression [Ed: This is nonsense. OIN is not protecting us, it is protecting software patents from our scrutiny]

            Open Invention Network (OIN) is celebrating its 15th year protecting the Open Source Software (OSS) community from patent risk. OIN’s efforts have enabled businesses and organizations to confidently invest their resources to develop, integrate and use OSS, safeguarding them from patent risk in core Linux and adjacent OSS technologies.

          • Open Invention Network Linux patent protection group turns 15

            Now, 15 years later, the Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression consortium ever, is still protecting Linux and open-source software from patent attacks and patent trolls. Indeed, its scope has grown ever larger. Recently, it expanded its intellectual property protection from core Linux programs and adjacent open-source code by expanding its Linux System Definition. In particular, that means patents relating to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) 10 and the Extended File Allocation Table exFAT file system are now protected.

      • Trademarks

        • Hugo Boss And Art Teacher Reach ‘Amicable Solution’ Over ‘Be Boss, Be Kind’ Trademark Application

          Several weeks back, we discussed how Hugo Boss, German upscale clothier, had opposed the trademark application for an artist who has taken to teaching online art classes during the pandemic. At issue was John Charles’ decision to apply for a trademark on the phrase he used to sign off at the end of these classes: “Be Boss, Be Kind.” That he had begun selling shirts and hats with the slogan on it, alongside the trademark application, was enough to get Hugo Boss’ lawyers working on opposing the application and sending a legal threat letter to Charles, despite the fact that any claims about potential customer confusion between the two entities is laughable at best.

      • Copyrights

        • Taylor Swift To Re-Record Songs After Music Catalogue Is Sold To Private Equity Fund For $300 Million

          In a highly publicised move, Braun’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Swift’s work by buying her former record label, Big Machine—which owns the rights to her first six albums— in 2019 for roughly the same price as it is now selling Swift’s catalogue. Swift vehemently opposed the acquisition, and accused Braun of “bullying” and attempting to “dismantle” her “musical legacy.” Swift has been trying to re-acquire the rights to her music ever since, but said that Braun’s team would not even enter negotiations unless she signed “an ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word” about Braun “unless it was positive”.”

        • Scooter Braun Sells Taylor Swift’s Big Machine Masters for Big Payday

          Some 17 months after Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings LLC acquired Big Machine Label Group and all of its recorded music assets, sources tell Variety the veteran manager and entrepreneur has sold the master rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums. The buyer, an investment fund, is as yet unknown but the deal is believed to be north of $300 million and closed in the last two weeks. Some insiders speculate the value could be as high as $450 million once certain earn-backs are factored in.

        • Rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums sold by Scooter Braun to private equity firm

          The dispute over Swift’s music began last year, when Braun’s media company Ithaca Holdings bought Big Machine Label Group from her old manager Scott Borchetta and with it, the original recordings of her first six albums.

          “This is the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge,” Swift said in her Twitter post Monday.

        • Taylor Swift Denounces Scooter Braun as Her Catalog Is Sold Again

          For the second time in a year and a half, the recording rights to Swift’s first six albums — LPs that include megahits like “Love Story,” “Shake It Off” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” — have traded hands, and in response Swift has dragged private equity investors into the rough-and-tumble public conflict of celebrity social media.

          Last summer, the music manager Scooter Braun made a deal, estimated at $300 million to $350 million, to buy the Big Machine Label Group, the Nashville label that signed Swift when she was a teenager.

        • Xtream-Codes Breaks Silence 14 Months After Historic IPTV Anti-Piracy Raids

          In 2019, popular IPTV management platform Xtream Codes was dismantled as part of reported raids against pirate IPTV providers. After massive anti-piracy action was reported across Europe again last week, Xtream-Codes has broken its silence, condemning its characterization as a pirate service and claiming that it always collaborated with law enforcement agencies to stop piracy.

        • “Rise of the Trolls” Torrent Warns Downloaders of YTS and ExtraTorrent

          A pirated copy of the documentary “Rise of the Trolls” warns users about the potential dangers of using YTS and ExtraTorrent. The warning, which deserves some nuance, refers to the fact that YTS shared information from its user database with film companies, which was used to target alleged pirates with lawsuits and settlements.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:17 am by Needs Sunlight



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