Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

Posted in News Roundup at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • A Linux Survey For Beginners

      So you have decided to give the Linux operating system a try. You have heard it is a good stable operating system with lots of free software and you are ready to give it a shot. It is downloadable for free, so you get on the net and search for a copy, and you are in for a shock. Because there isn’t one “Linux”, there are many. Now you feel like a deer in the headlights. You want to make a wise choice, but have no idea where to start. Unfortunately, this is where a lot new Linux users give up. It is just too confusing.

      The many versions of Linux are often referred to as “flavors” or distributions. Imagine yourself in an ice cream shop displaying 30+ flavors. They all look delicious, but it’s hard to pick one and try it. You may find yourself confused by the many choices but you can be sure you will leave with something delicious. Picking a Linux flavor should be viewed in the same way.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone

        Looking for something to do in quarantine? How about booting DOS from a 10-inch vinyl record?

        While booting an operating system nowadays usually sees the software loaded from disk or flash memory, some of us of a certain age recall the delights of shovelling bytes in memory via the medium of tape, such as an audio cassette sending noise into the RAM of a home computer.

        Tinkerer Jozef Bogin has taken things a little further by booting an elderly IBM PC from a record player.

        Bogin used an old IBM PC and took advantage of a boot loader that would cause the hardware to fall back to the PC’s cassette interface should everything else (floppies etc) fail. An analogue recording of bootable, read-only RAM drive was played through the interface, containing a version of FreeDOS tweaked by Bogin to fit into the memory constraints, a tiny COMMAND.COM and a patched version of INTERLINK to shovel data through the printer cable.

      • The Homer Car, But It’s leinir’s Laptop

        We are now into week three of me sitting in a virtual machine on my better half’s laptop, while we wait for my replacement Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) to arrive, after Dell conceded that they could not fix the old one. Short version: The graphics fan went wonky and stopped spinning, so they sent an engineer out to replace the mainboard (because everything is soldered on, including the fan assembly), and then it stopped booting. So they sent out another, and that also immediately failed to post, and then decided that wasn’t worth trying again, so they would send me a replacement laptop. Three weeks later, and i have a tracking number, with no updates for a couple of days, though it also isn’t past the estimate they gave me for getting it (two weeks for an in stock item, from Ireland to England, nice…).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • How to install Lubuntu 20.10 – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Lubuntu 20.10.

      • Bad Voltage 3×17: Such People In’t

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the reality distortion field is strong in this one, the middle name game continues unsuccessfully…

      • Linux Gaming and Lonely Noobs (w/ Batcastle of Drauger OS) – YouTube

        Welcome to the first in a series of conversations with Thomas of Drauger OS, a Linux distro optimized for gaming. Over the next few videos we’ll discover his Linux origin story, hear about his new project that aims to help ALL gaming-focused Linux distributions, and learn more about Drauger OS.

      • LHS Episode #381: Enter the Dragon | Linux in the Ham Shack

        Welcome to the 381st episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts discuss SpaceX, the spectrum around 5.9GHz, Open WebRX, the non-free part of free software, the latest release candidate of WSJT-X, Kali Linux and much more. Thank you for listening and have a fantastic Thanksgiving week.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds wants Linux running on Apple’s new M1 Macs

        When Apple launched its new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini systems, there was much excitement about the performance boost the M1 chips are bringing to the table.

        People who have been running Windows and Windows apps on Macs, however, are less happy due to the lack of support for Boot Camp, and the lack of M1-ready virtualization software from the likes of Parallels. But what about the prospect of Linux on M1 Macs?

      • Lenovo ThinkPad Palm Sensor Support Coming To Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        As part of Lenovo offering Linux pre-loaded on more laptops and desktops, they have been working on upstream improvements themselves along with their partners at Red Hat and others. One of the latest Lenovo-contributed improvements to the kernel is palm sensor support for newer ThinkPad notebooks.

        Palm sensor support is being contributed by Lenovo to the Linux 5.11 kernel for their ThinkPad hardware. This is similar to the existing lap sensor support for the ThinkPad ACPI code and allows detecting if a user’s palms/hands are near the keyboard area. Like the lap sensor, the palm sensor data is exposed to user-space via sysfs. It’s up to the user-space for anything that should be done if the user’s palms have been detected near the keyboard.

      • Following FUSE & CUSE, Now There Is “MUSE” For MTD In Userspace – Phoronix

        FUSE is well known to longtime Linux users for allowing file-systems to be implemented in user-space for where a Linux kernel port isn’t feasible for portability or licensing restrictions, among other factors. There is also CUSE for character devices in user-space. Now being based on FUSE, there is “MUSE” being worked on for MTD in user-space.

      • Intel Sends In More DG1 Enablement Code, Big Joiner For Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        Intel’s Linux graphics driver developers have submitted their final batch of feature changes targeting the Linux 5.11 kernel.

        With Linux 5.10-rc6 upon us this weekend, it’s basically hitting the cut-off of new feature code to be sent into DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.11 merge window opening around mid-December. The Intel pull request of their graphics driver work is acknowledged as their last batch of feature work for the 5.11 cycle.

        Already from previous pull requests to DRM-Next have been more Gen12 / Tiger Lake fixes, integer scaling support, async page flipping, and other changes.

      • Memory Is Not a File

        An advantage of this approach, he says, “manifests when programs running on UNIX get a “file” to open and, lo, it’s actually the name of a device. Most UNIX programs will still work, provided that the calling process has the correct authorization to open the file.”

        In the article, titled “Everything is a Punch Card,” Garfinkel examines the origins of files and file systems, as well as the related history of punch cards and tabulating machines. He notes that “English has had a difficult relationship with the word “file” since the beginning. Sometimes the word refers to the case or container for organizing physical embodiments of information, sometimes it refers to the objects put into that container, and sometimes it refers to the information itself.”

        Garfinkel also looks at one thing that is not a file: memory. “Yes,” he says, “Linux systems have devices like /dev/mem and /dev/kmem that let programs access memory through the file system, but memory is not file.” He compares the UNIX approach with that of the Multics operating system, “in which files are actually named segments in a two-dimensional memory address space.” On Multics, he says, “saving a “file” was really creating a named memory segment and then persisting it to long-term storage.”

    • Applications

      • Linux Candy: XScreenSaver – Framework and collection of screensavers

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open source software in this series.

        Some of the programs in this series are purely cosmetic, frivolous pieces of fun. Candy at their finest. But we also include some programs that aren’t purely decorative.

        There’s a diverse range of programs included in this series. Programs such as eDEX-UI and Variety are actually highly practical programs. ASCIIQuarium has soothing and relaxing qualities for your desktop. Other programs included in this series (such as lolcat, cacafire) are included purely for their decorative qualities. And then there’s some really fun software that just raises a smile or two.

        Screen savers display an animation that consistently changes so that a static image isn’t left on the screen for any length of time.

        Screen savers are a legacy from an earlier technology. They are certainly misnamed in today’s scene. They don’t “save” your monitor unless you’ve managed to connect your PC to an ancient CRT monitor. But they can still bring enjoyment.

      • Why Every Linux User Needs To Learn Awk – YouTube

        Awk is one of those tools that every linux user has on their system but they probably only use it for fairly simple tasks, so today I thought I’d explain not only what awk but why you should use it and compare it some other Linux utils like sed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Enable Timestamp In Bash History In Linux – OSTechNix

        How do you know the time at which the command was executed? Easy! This guide explains how to enable timestamp in Bash history in Linux.

      • How to install Mattermost Chat on Ubuntu 20.04 – RoseHosting

        Step-by-step process on how to install Mattermost Chat on Ubuntu 20.04. Follow this simple and easy guide.

      • How To Install Rust on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Rust on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Rust, commonly known as Rust-Lang, is a system programming language that is developed by Mozilla and backed by LLVM. Rust is known for preventing program crashes, memory leaks, and data races before it is compiled into binary, thus creating a highly-productive and stable programming environment

        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 Rust programming language on CentOS 8.

      • How to Remove ‘Show Applications’ Icon From the Dock in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        This is a beginner’s guide shows how to remove the ‘Show Applications’ app menu icon from the dock in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10.

      • How to Install OpenNMS Network Monitoring Tool in CentOS 8

        OpenNMS is a free and open-source network monitoring and network management platform used for managing enterprise networks around the world. It is based on Java and is designed to manage thousands of devices from a central location. It has the ability to discover and monitor the services or nodes automatically in your network.

      • How to play Dark Souls III on Linux

        Dark Souls III is an action RPG video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco. It is the fourth game in the Souls series and the final game in the Souls trilogy. Here’s how to get the game working on Linux.

      • Openstack RDO && KVM Hypervisor: Install KDE Plasma on SparkyLinux GameOver 08/11 2020

        At the time of writing KDE Plasma install on any SparkyLinux 2020.09 might be committed via GDM3 installation right after KDE Plasma ( the last one via tasksel or CLI ) due to after system reboot GDM seems to be the only one DM on Sparky detecting previously installed KDE.

      • How to install VLC on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install VLC Media Player 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 play Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin on Linux

        Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is an action RPG video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco. In the game, the player’s character becomes Undead, cursed never to die, and becomes a hollow zombie creature with no memories or purpose.

      • Create your own Linux ecosystem with Nextcloud, DavX5 and KDE Connect
      • How to Install and Use Flatpak on Linux

        In this guide, we focus on how you can install Flatpak and use it across various Linux distributions.

      • How to create a Linux RPM package | Enable Sysadmin

        You’ve written a great script that you want to distribute, so why not package it as an RPM?

      • How to Install PHP 8 on Ubuntu – Cloudbooklet

        Install PHP 8 on Ubuntu. This guide let you learn how install the latest PHP version 8 and upgrade to latest on your Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 systems or your Ubuntu server on any VPS or any Cloud or any Dedicated hosting and configure it with Apache and Nginx.

        The latest PHP 8 is officially released on November 26th, 2020. It comes with a number of new features and a few incompatibilities that you should be aware of before upgrading from the previous version.

        This installation is tested on Google Cloud Platform with a Compute Compute Engine VM Instance. This set up will work on all Linux servers.

      • Full Circle Magazine #163
      • How To Setup Firewall using FirewallD on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to setup a Firewall using FirewallD on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, FirewallD is an alternative to the iptables service, for dynamically managing a system’s firewall with support for network (or firewall) zones and provides a D-Bus interface for managing configurations. Starting with CentOS 7, FirewallD replaces iptables as the default firewall management tool.

        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 Setup Firewall using FirewallD on CentOS 8.

      • How to install PHP 8 on Ubuntu 20.04 / Debian 10 – LinuxH2O

        In this article, you will learn how to install the latest PHP version 8 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Debian 10, and their derivative distributions.

        PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages. Most of the websites on the internet are using PHP including Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia. There are many frameworks that are also built with PHP, like WordPress, Codeigniter, Laravel, etc.

        This article will guide on how to install the latest stable release of PHP 8.0 on Ubuntu, Debian, and their derivatives like Mint, MX Linux, Elementary OS, POP OS, Zorin OS, etc.

      • [Old] How to install XRDP (Remote Desktop) Server on Centos 8

        XRDP is an open-source implementation of the Microsoft Remote Desktop (RDP) that allows you to graphically control your system. With RDP, you can log in to the remote machine the same as you had logged into the local machine. It uses Port 3389 for its connection. In this tutorial, we will look at how to set up the Remote desktop Connection on Centos 8.

    • Games

      • Dungeon-crawling gesture-puzzler The Wizard: WizHarder Edition is out now | GamingOnLinux

        The Wizard: WizHarder Edition is a brand new gesture-puzzler dungeon crawling game from Hypnotic Owl, designed as a new modern desktop remake of their popular web game.

      • Godot Engine – Dev snapshot: Godot 3.2.4 beta 3

        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.

        This new beta 3 build comes shortly after last week’s beta 2 to fix some of the regressions and bugs reported against that release.

        The only big change is that the classical build for macOS is now a universal binary, with both x86_64 and arm64 architectures included (to support the new ARM-based Apple M1 chip natively). This update also re-adds UWP templates which we missing in beta 1 and beta 2 due to a temporary buildsystem issue.

      • The Red Comrades game series goes supported

        Red Comrades is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The game’s protagonists are from Dmitri Furmanov’s 1923 novel Chapaev: historical Russian military figure Vasiliy Chapayev, his aide Petka, and the machine gunner, Anka.

      • GOG are doing their own Black Friday sale with lots of DRM-free games | GamingOnLinux

        If the Steam Autumn Sale and the itch.io sale aren’t your thing, perhaps you might find something you want over on the DRM-free store GOG.com.

        This sale has GOG doing some extra discounts in the form of time-limited Flash Deals. Each has a timer, with a fresh set being put up once the timer runs out. Some good deals going in those too like 85% off Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition until November 29.

      • Event-driven game engine GDevelop has a new release with a built-in Asset Store | GamingOnLinux

        Continuing to make game and app development easier to get into, the event-driven free and open source game engine GDevelop has an interesting new release available.

        The latest release tagged as 5.0.0-beta102 adds in an easy to use free Asset Store, enabling you to quickly pick from various public domain assets (with full credit to authors and links) to include in projects from sprites to particle effects. It’s a wonderful idea, and makes prototyping even easier to get into.

      • For the Black Friday 2020 sale, itch.io are giving 100% to developers
      • Gravity in Space might be the most unique (and weirdest) space shooter I’ve ever seen | GamingOnLinux

        Currently in development with a release planned to happen in 2021, Gravity in Space is a fully 3D space shooter with six degrees of freedom.

        This is not a traditional space shooter though, it’s not an arcade-like experience either and not a Descent-like either. You are in space, controlling a strange little spaceship-ball with a peculiar cannon on the top. The developer describes it as an “ultimate synthesis of an astrodynamics simulation and an action shooter”. Gravity in Space bounds you to Newton’s laws of motion, making you think differently to control your craft indirectly with “no air resistance, no maximum speed, no limits”.

      • OBS Studio 26.1 in testing with a Release Candidate out now, adds Virtual Camera on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        OBS Studio, the free and open source one-stop solution for video capture and livestreaming has a new release coming with the first Release Candidate for OBS Studio 26.1 out now.

      • UNIGINE Engine 2.13 is an impressive upgrade for this rising game engine

        UNIGINE might not be a name you hear often when it comes to games but it is an impressive game engine, one that supports Linux fully and it continues advancing in major ways.


        When you dive into the finer details, it’s clear that the UNIGINE team have been hard at work to keep up with the likes of Unity, Unreal and Godot for bigger projects. Lots of new advanced rendering techniques are included, along with plenty of optimizations and there’s a couple of Linux-specific fixes included too like correctly importing paths for FBX assets.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Do not use librsvg 2.40.x

          Please do not use librsvg 2.40.x; it cannot render recent Adwaita icon themes correctly.

          The librsvg 2.40.x series is the last “C only” version of the library; it was deprecated in 2017.

          During the port to Rust, I rewrote the path parser to be spec-compliant, and fixed a few cases that the C version did not handle. One of this cases is for compact Arc data.

          The SVG path grammar allows one to remove whitespace between numbers if the next number starts with a sign. For example, 23-45 gets parsed as two numbers 23 -45.

          In addition, the arguments of the Arc commands have two flags in the middle of a bunch of numbers. The flags can be 0 or 1, and there may be no whitespace between the flags and the next number. For example, A1.98 1.98 0 0015 13.96 gets parsed as A1.98 1.98 0 0 0 15 13.96 — note the two 0 0 flags before the 15.


          Please use at least librsvg 2.48.x; any earlier versions are not supported. Generally I keep an eye on the last two stable release sets (2.48.x and 2.50.x as of this writing), but only commit fixes to the latest stable series (2.50.x currently).

        • Pranali Deshmukh: GSoD Weekly Summary 9

          The idea here was to consolidate all documentation regarding the different operational modes of the calculator into a single section consisting of an overview page along with dedicated pages for each of the operational modes: Basic, Advanced, Financial, Programming and Keyboard modes.

    • Distributions

      • Best USB bootable distros of 2020

        Trimmed distros aren’t only designed for ageing hardware. In fact, there are several lean distros that have been pruned and tuned and optimized for booting off of USB.

        There are several uses for shoving Linux distros inside a USB flash drive. For instance, they can be quite handy when you need to use somebody else’s computer. Or, perhaps you need to boot into a live Linux environment to troubleshoot issues with your computer, or perhaps to transfer data from a dying disk.

      • Reviews

        • Xubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla review

          Let’s have some Linux testing today, shall we. This autumn season I’m a reformed man, with a new approach to my distro escapades. Less emotional investment, lower threshold of tolerance, neutral expectations. The new key formula ingredient is fun. If I’m having it, the review becomes super-long and detailed. If not, then I’m stepping away, and you may then decide for yourself what to do, or try other online sources for relevant information.

          After Fedora 33 and Kubuntu 20.10, I want to focus on Xubuntu Groovy Gorilla. For a few years now, I’m under the impression that the Linux desktop enthusiasm has shrunk greatly, and this is quite apparent among the smaller distros. Xubuntu is no exception. I used to have a lot of fun with Xfce systems, but this isn’t quite the case lately. Then, there’s always a chance the next distro I try will be a fresh turning point. Let’s see what Xubuntu can do for us then.


          Call me a bitter dinosaur if you like, but I do believe my expectations are fairly realistic – if not modest. I want a desktop that has stability, consistency, functionality – and good looks. Almost impossible to attain in the Tux world (lately). With Xubuntu 20.10, you get a bit of this and that, but you really need to invest effort in making the system behave. I also don’t see a conflict between having a classic desktop and a modern one, at the same time. Integration with various online tools and services need not impede on the standard desktop formula and proven usage models. Pretty does not imply inefficient.

          Xubuntu 20.10 simply does not radiate pride, quality and attention to detail that would warrant investment from the user. I believe it will find audience among people who really want a no-nonsense 100% bullshit-free system that works and behaves the likes of a classic 2010 box, but then, that also means deliberately compromising on aesthetics as well as some use cases that exist today and that some people may require. No reason why this should be the case, and yet it is. Since I wasn’t having fun, I decided to bow out gracefully. Perhaps you will have more luck, but for me, this feels like a system trapped in time and lethargy.

      • New Releases

        • Why MX Linux reminds me of old-school Linux–in the best ways

          You might not know this, but according to Distrowatch, MX Linux is currently the No. 1 most downloaded Linux distribution. You’re probably thinking, “MXWhat?” That’s right, a distribution that seemingly came out of nowhere has shot up the ranks to the top of the class…sort of.

          MX Linux isn’t all that new. In fact, it’s been around since 2014. MX Linux was created as a cooperation between former MEPIS Linux communities and antiX, a lightweight, systemd-free Linux distribution. Although MX Linux defaults to the Xfce desktop as their flagship, you can download and install versions with KDE or Fluxbox for either a slightly more modern desktop (KDE) or a throwback to old-school Linux (Fluxbox).

        • Q4OS 4.2 Gemini, testing

          An update to the Q4OS 4 Gemini testing branch is immediately available for download as 64bit live media. The new 4.2 release is based on Debian 11 Bullseye and features Plasma desktop environment by default. New visual Plasma themes have been added, they are now available in system settings utility. Debian Bullseye packages has been received in their latest version, Q4OS specific packages has been updated as well. New version of Trinity desktop 14.0.10 is ready for installation using the Desktop profiler tool.

          Feel free to download live media for 64bit computers from the dedicated Testing releases site. Q4OS 4 Gemini will be in development until Debian Bullseye becomes stable, and it will be supported at least five years from the official release date.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.9 brings Apache Kafka integration and more – Red Hat Developer

          Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.9 brings bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features for process and case management, business and decision automation, and business optimization. This article introduces you to Process Automation Manager’s out-of-the-box integration with Apache Kafka, revamped business automation management capabilities, and support for multiple decision requirements diagrams (DRDs). I will also guide you through setting up and using the new drools-metric module for analyzing business rules performance, and I’ll briefly touch on Spring Boot integration in Process Automation Manager 7.9.

        • Getting started with Fedora CoreOS

          Fedora CoreOS (FCOS) came from the merging of CoreOS Container Linux and Fedora Atomic Host. It is a minimal and monolithic OS focused on running containerized applications. Security being a first class citizen, FCOS provides automatic updates and comes with SELinux hardening.

          For automatic updates to work well they need to be very robust. The goal being that servers running FCOS won’t break after an update. This is achieved by using different release streams (stable, testing and next). Each stream is released every 2 weeks and content is promoted from one stream to the other (next -> testing -> stable). That way updates landing in the stable stream have had the opportunity to be tested over a long period of time.

      • Debian Family

        • Slimjet – SparkyLinux

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

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Becomes A Docker Verified Publisher

          Canonical has teamed up with Docker to distribute its free and commercial software through Docker Hub as a Docker Verified Publisher.

          The collaboration will ensure that hardened free and commercial Ubuntu images will be available to all developer software supply chains for multi-cloud app development.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi alternative seeed Odyssey: Assembly is challenging, but it’s worth it

        I was recently sent a combination of the seeed Odyssey single board computer and the seeed re_computer case for review. I’ve always found these types of computers to be an incredibly valuable part of the IT landscape because they are so versatile. Use them as a desktop or a kiosk. IoT? Sure, why not? Cluster them together for a small container deployment? Of course. Anywhere you need a tiny form factor computer, you’ve got a solution.

        The Raspberry Pi is the gold standard of single board computers. When seeed reached out to me, my first inclination was, “You’re not Raspberry Pi.” Then again, I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, so why not give it a go?

      • Raspberry Pi finds its inner PC

        We take a look at discounted Waveshare kits that extend the Raspberry Pi 400 with an up to 13.3-inch touchscreen and check out some RPi 4 kit discounts, an overview of the RPi laptop scene, a Vulkan driver for the Pi, and more.

        The Raspberry Pi may be the most popular embedded board of all time, but deep in its heart the Pi has always wanted to be a PC. It was intended initially as a low-cost educational computer that plugs into a monitor via HDMI with some GPIO on the side for learning embedded computing. Here we pass on a sampling of news about the PC side of the Raspberry Pi.

      • ASUS Chromebox 4 features Intel Comet Lake processor, WiFi 6, up to 16GB RAM

        Chrome OS devices, be it Chromebook laptops, Chomebox mini PCs, or Chromebit PC sticks, used to be relatively low-cost devices designed to run the Chrome browser. But over the years. the versatility of the platform has increased with more powerful, yet still with low-power consumption, hardware, and improved software with support for Android apps, the Google Play Store, and even Linux programs.


        I could not quite remember what BC 1.2 meant, and it stands for “Battery Charging 1.2” technology meant you’ll be able to charge your smartphone or other battery-powered devices faster through compatible ports.

      • How to choose a wireless protocol for home automation

        In the second article in this series, I talked about local control vs. cloud connectivity and some things to consider for your home automation setup.

        In this third article, I will discuss the underlying technology for connecting devices to Home Assistant, including the dominant protocols that smart devices use to communicate and some things to think about before purchasing smart devices.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • MNT Reform Production Update November 2020 — MNT Research

          Shortly after the conclusion of the Crowd Supply campaign, we shipped 8 hand-built beta devices and collected some last minute feedback. Based on the feedback and our own learnings during this last test assembly phase, we further refined some aspects of the MNT Reform design.

        • uSVC Arduino VGA board – a portable and programmable retro-gaming console (crowdfunding)

          Itaca Innovation previously launched uChip, an Arduino-compatible board that has a Cortex M0+ MCU that features 0.3” spacing between rows. Now, next-hack joined Itaca Innovation to come up with an expansion board for uChip. The uChip Simple VGA Console (uSVC) Arduino based retro-gaming console is open hardware and is a programmable console. It will allow creating and playing retro “9-bit” games with standard USB controllers and keyboards.

        • Arduino Blog » Controlling a gas convection heater with a custom thermostat

          Redditor “Higgs8” had a gas convection heater that is (or was) controlled manually, but they wanted something a bit more. To accomplish this, they came up with a small Arduino-based thermostat.

          This allows you to set the desired temperature using a potentiometer, and it senses the current temperature value via a DS18B20 thermometer unit. It then adjusts the formerly manual knob with a stepper motor and custom gear reduction in response, maintaining the desired comfort level.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • The Original Jolla Phone turns 7 today

          The first one is always the first one. Most Sailfish fans remember the first ever device to run Sailfish OS, the original Jolla phone, or Jolla 1 as we sometimes like to call it. This device, a trailblazer in its own field at the time, was first launched on this very rainy November day in Narinkkatori, Helsinki exactly seven years ago. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jolla phone!

          Launching the Jolla smartphone back in 2013 was a truly memorable event for many of us in the Jolla team, but also for the hundreds of fans queuing to get their hands on the first ever Sailfish device. For me, as one of the founders of Jolla, launching this iconic device was undoubtedly one of the most exciting moments in my life, which I’ll always remember. I trust many others share the same feeling with me.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Phoenix CTMS: An Open-source Clinical Trial Management System

        Phoenix CTMS is a self-hosted cross-platform web application which run seamlessly on Windows and Linux server as well as local machines. It’s built using Java technologies (JEE – Java Enterprise Edition technology stack) and uses PostgreSQL as a database backend.


        However, We recommend using it with a virtual machine with Debian instead of Windows.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Switch Promotion Poster

          Continuing Open Document and Learn LibreOffice posters, here’s the 3rd colorful educational poster to spread LibreOffice. Everyone can adapt and share freely this poster, for example, in schools with their own language. I wish this helps people switch from Microsoft Word – Excel – PowerPoint into the better program, that is Free Software, namely LibreOffice Writer – Calc – Impress. Let’s share once again!

        • Better handling of cached field results in Writer

          Writer now has much better support for preserving the cached result of fields in documents. This is especially beneficial for Word formats where the input document may have a field result which is not only a cache, but re-calculating the formula would yield a different result, even in Word.


          Collabora intends to continue supporting and contributing to LibreOffice, the code is merged so we expect all of this work will be available in TDF’s next release too (7.1).

      • Programming/Development

        • Arm Neoverse N2 Support Added To The LLVM Clang 12 Compiler – Phoronix

          In September Arm began adding Neoverse N2 support to the open-source compilers initially with GCC and now the support has been merged into LLVM Clang 12 as well.

          The Neoverse N2 “Perseus” core was outlined in September as a follow-on design to the successful Neoverse N1. The N2 aims to provide 40% more performance over the N1 for single-threaded performance. The N2 is intended for use from the cloud to enterprise networking devices to edge computing.

        • Qt 6.0 RC and timelines for 6.1 and 6.2

          Hi all,

          First of all, I wanted to thank everybody for the hard work towards getting Qt 6.0 out of the door. We now have a first RC out, so we’re definitely getting very close to the 6.0.0 release.

          With that and the fact that we now have a 6.0 branch, it’s also time to start looking a bit ahead towards 6.1 and 6.2.

          We have long discussed, that the timing of our feature releases to be just before summer and Christmas vacation is a bit unfortunate, as we have little slack for delays without going into the vacation period. Especially the releases in December have sometimes been difficult in that respect. So we’d like to push the schedule a bit and move the minor releases towards a Spring/Autumn schedule.

          A somewhat shorter release cycle directly after 6.0 is probably a good idea anyway, as we will probably still need to do changes/fixes that don’t quite fit with our policy for patch level releases.

          So the idea is to shorten the release cycle for Qt 6.1 a bit and focus mainly on bug fixing and stability for that release. We’d aim for a feature freeze by the end of January, and a final Qt 6.1.0 release end of April.

          6.2 would then also happen a bit earlier, with a feature freeze in June and a release end of September.

          Content wise, I believe we’ll start seeing more and more of the add-ons from Qt 5 being supported over the next 6-9 months, and I believe that with Qt 6.2 we will have brought most modules that we supported in Qt 5.15 over to Qt 6.


        • Qt 6.1, Qt 6.2 Expected To Come Sooner With Tightened Release Cycles – Phoronix

          Qt 6.0 is releasing in December and The Qt Company is already drafting plans for the release cycles of Qt 6.1 and Qt 6.2 LTS next year.

          Normally Qt is on a six-month release cadence but next year’s Qt 6.1/6.2 releases will likely be tightened up both to address a long-standing gripe of the current timing that often puts new releases around summer holidays and the Thanksgiving~Christmas holiday season. To try to move off those May and November~December release windows, they are looking at tightening up the cycles for Qt 6.1 and Qt 6.2, with the latter being the first long-term support release of the Qt6 series.

          Lars Knoll is proposing that Qt 6.1 be shipped by the end of April which would put the feature freeze already at the end of January. But for Qt 6.1 the emphasis anyhow will likely be on bug fixing and stability improvements after all the changes in Qt 6.0, so a tightened up Qt 6.1 release makes sense.

        • PHP

          • Programming language PHP 8 is out: This new JIT compiler points to better performance

            The team behind scripting language PHP has announced PHP version 8.0, a major release that may require developers to review code for any breaking changes.

            This version of 25-year old PHP introduces an improved type system, a new JIT compiler in the PHP engine and some features borrowed from Python and JavaScript, such as named arguments and null safe operators.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Argus: The Linux Commander – Manila Bulletin

          If you are like me who uses a Mac to manage Linux servers, then you may find this little menu bar tool a little nifty. Argus, currently on version 1.3, is a free download from https://argus-app.net. Argus already supports Big Sur and the new Apple Silicon M1 SoC.

          Installing Argus is just like any other MacOS application — drag and drop. Since this is a monitoring tool for remote Linux servers, you will need to add basic server information so Argus can set it up and gather the data from it. Argus creates an SSH tunnel to the server, so it requires SSH credentials (of course this means that the remote server has SSH properly configured). You can use your username-password pair, but I’d advise that you set up your certificates first to make it more secure (and easier).

          Once you have provided the server information and SSH credentials, Argus will connect to it and start downloading the Argus daemon. Installing the daemon will require root privileges, so make sure that you have sudo access, as your password will be asked during the install.

          Configure all the other remote servers that you wish to monitor through the Preferences pane.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: How Apple might completely take over end users’ computers

          Many people are concerned about Apple’s ongoing attempts to take more and more control of end user machines from their users. Some go so far as to say that Apple won’t be happy until they have absolute and total control over all programs running on end user devices, presumably so that they can enforce their 30% tax on every piece of software. Whether this is true or not we don’t really know.

          What we can do instead is a thought experiment. If that was their end goal, how would they achieve it? What steps would they take to obtain this absolute control? Let’s speculate.

        • Additional Linux Power For SAP Business One

          The migration from ERP/ECC 6.0 to S/4 Hana continues to be one of the main challenges in the SAP community. It is worthwhile to also take a look at SAP Business One on Hana in this context.

          It’s well known that more and more companies of all shapes and sizes are taking the first step towards S/4 Hana or are already operating it. What’s not as well known, however, is that Business One (B1), a solution for smaller and mid-sized companies, has been on a steep growth trajectory for a few years now. Experts put the estimated number of B1 installations at 100,000 worldwide.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (go, libxml2, postgresql, and wireshark-cli), Debian (drupal7 and lxml), Fedora (drupal7, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, libxml2, pacemaker, slurm, and swtpm), openSUSE (c-ares, ceph, chromium, dash, firefox, go1.14, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, krb5, perl-DBI, podman, postgresql10, postgresql12, rclone, slurm, ucode-intel, wireshark, wpa_supplicant, and xen), SUSE (ceph, firefox, kernel, LibVNCServer, and python), and Ubuntu (freerdp, poppler, and xdg-utils).

          • diffoscope 162 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 162.

          • Netfilter virtual workshop 2020 summary

            Once a year folks interested in Netfilter technologies gather together to discuss past, ongoing and future works. The Netfilter Workshop is an opportunity to share and discuss new ideas, the state of the project, bring people together to work & hack and to put faces to people who otherwise are just email names. This is an event that has been happening since at least 2001, so we are talking about a genuine community thing here.

            It was decided there would be an online format, split in 3 short meetings, once per week on Fridays. I was unable to attend the first session on 2020-11-06 due to scheduling conflict, but I made it to the sessions on 2020-11-13 and 2020-11-20. I would say the sessions were joined by about 8 to 10 people, depending on the day. This post is a summary with some notes on what happened in this edition, with no special order.

            Pablo did the classical review of all the changes and updates that happened in all the Netfilter project software components since last workshop. I was unable to watch this presentation, so I have nothing special to comment. However, I’ve been following the development of the project very closely, and there are several interesting things going on, some of them commented below.

            Florian Westphal brought to the table status on some open/pending work for mptcp option matching, systemd integration and finally interfacing from nft with cgroupv2. I was unable to participate in the talk for the first two items, so I cannot comment a lot more. On the cgroupv2 side, several options were evaluated to how to match them, identification methods, the hierarchical tree that cgroups present, etc. We will have to wait a bit more to see how the final implementation looks like.

            Also, Florian presented his concerns on conntrack hash collisions. There are no real-world known issues at the moment, but there is an old paper that suggests we should keep and eye on this and introduce improvements to prevent future DoS attack vectors. Florian mentioned these attacks are not practical at the moment, but who knows in a few years. He wants to explore introducing RB trees for conntrack. It will probably be a rbtree structure of hash tables in order to keep supporting parallel insertions. He was encouraged by others to go ahead and play/explore with this.

          • The Peculiar State Of CPU Security Mitigation Performance On Intel Tiger Lake – Phoronix

            One area not talked about much for Intel’s latest Tiger Lake processors are hardened CPU security mitigations against the various speculative execution vulnerabilities to date. What’s peculiar about Tiger Lake though is now if disabling the configurable mitigations it can actually result in worse performance than the default mitigated state. At least that’s what we are seeing so far with the Core i7 1165G7 on Ubuntu 20.10 Linux is the opposite of what we have been seeing on prior generations of hardware.


            On each of these Dell XPS notebooks were clean installs of Ubuntu 20.10 with security / stable release updates of the time and on their default Linux 5.8 kernel. The out-of-the-box / default mitigation performance was tested on each notebook followed by re-testing the same laptop and software stack after booting with mitigations=off.

            Here is the geometric mean of all the results before digging into the individual data points, but as you can see mitigations=off was of noticeably help to the older Kaby Lake R and Whiskey Lake processors, previous-generation Ice Lake was of some help but less given more hardware mitigations, and now with Tiger Lake the tables have turned where disabling the mitigations actually hurt the performance.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opposition leaders speak in one voice after release of Bobi Wine – The East African

        Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine was on Friday released on a Ush1 million ($270) bail, ending three days of tension in Kampala. His arrest on Wednesday triggered protests in the city and major towns, and were crushed by Uganda’s security forces.

        Bobi Wine was ordered to report back to court on December 18.

        Immediately after his release, five presidential candidates jointly issued a statement raising concerns that “the Electoral Commission (EC) has been overrun by security agencies and is no longer in charge of the elections”.

    • Environment

      • Kerry Means Militarization of US Climate Policy

        Howie Hawkins, the 2020 Green Party presidential candidate, condemned the appointment of Cedric Richmond to lead the White House Office of Public Engagement with business and the climate movement.

        “With the appointment of Richmond, Biden just told the climate movement there will be no honeymoon with the new administration,” Hawkins said.

        Richmond has represented Louisiana’s second district, which tracks the oil refineries and plastics factories of Louisiana’s notorious Cancer Alley between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. He received the fifth highest total of oil and gas industry contributions among House Democrats over his ten years in Congress. He voted to approve the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline.

        “Richmond’s role will be to pacify the climate movement and minority communities with sweet talk and token grants while the oil and gas industry continues to frack the hell out of the country and the Louisiana refineries and plastics factories continue to poison workers and residents in his congressional district.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • No Victory Dance: Eight Reasons

        Some Americans are getting ready to celebrate the likely final collapse of Donald Trump’s openly ludicrous and vile attempt to subvert the will of the American electorate.

        I get it. Trump’s chances of success are low. He and his team of legal bozos shoot themselves in their bog floppy clown feet every day. Underscoring the pathetically petulant and Monty Python-esque madness of his coup that can’t think straight, Trump told reporters last Friday that “I won by the way, but you’ll find that out. Almost 74 million votes.”

      • As We’re Giving Thanks, Let’s Resolve to Change Our Food System for the Better

        It’s a time of year to reflect not just on what we’re grateful for, but how we can make the abundance and blessings go around. Making our food system fairer is part of that.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Shirish Agarwal: Farmer Protests and RCEP

        While I was hoping to write about RCEP exclusively, just today farmer protests have happened against three farm laws which had been passed by our Govt. about a month ago without consulting anybody. The bills benefit only big business houses at the cost of farmers. This has been amply shared by an open letter to one of the biggest business house which will benefit the most.

        Now while that is a national experience and what it tells, let me share, some experience from the State I come from, Maharashtra. About 4-5 years back Maharashtra delisted fruit and vegetables from the APMC market. But till date, the APMC market is working, why, the reasons are many. However, what it did was it forced the change to sugarcane, a water guzzling crop much more than previously. This has resulted in lowering the water table in Maharashtra and put them more into debt trap and later they had to commit suicide.

        Now let us see why the Punjab farmers have been so agitated that they are walking all the way to Delhi. They are right now, somewhere between Haryana-Delhi border. The reason is that because even their experiments with contract farming have not been good. This is why they are struggling to go to Delhi to make their collective voices heard and get the farm bills rolled back. Even the farmers from Gujarat were sued, but because of elections were put back, the intentions though are clear. At the end of the day, the laws made by the Govt. leaves our farmer at the mercy of big corporations. It is preposterous to believe that the farmer, with their small land holdings will be able to stand up to the Corporation. Add to that, they cannot go to Court. It is the SDM (Sub-Divisonal Magistrate) who will decide on the matters and has the last word. If this is allowed, in a couple of years there will be only few farmers or corporations who would have large hand-holdings, and they would be easily co-opted by the Government in power.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Oral Proceedings by Videoconference – some light reading at the end of a hot debate

          So the consultation of the public by the Boards of Appeal has ended today. It will be interesting to see the results and the impact, if any, they will have on the final wording of Art. 15a EPC. In the meantime, please enjoy these remarkable oral proceedings before the Committee of Labour and Social Matters of the German Bundestag (in German only, but I’m sure you will catch the drift).

          A colleague of mine told me that this reminded him of one of his recent “oral” proceedings in the EPO. But never mind.

        • German parliament passes bill required for UPC ratification

          The draft legislation required for Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement and its Protocol on Provisional Application received its second and third readings in the Bundestag yesterday and was approved by 570 members, so achieving approval of more than the two thirds of all the 709 Bundestag members, as required for a transfer of sovereign rights. It was this requirement that was not met for the previous bill, leading to the successful constitutional complaint. For the previous bill, the vote was late in the evening and, although approved unanimously, very few members were present to vote. Yesterday there were 645 total votes (72 voting against and 3 abstentions).

The Time Coronavirus Helped EPO Management Prevent Staff From Protesting and Going on Strike (March 26th)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The suspension of the right to demonstrate and to assemble has negatively affected many, even EPO workers

Romano on Elodie Bergot
Elodie Bergot is still bullying EPO staff, sometimes in the name of “diversity” of course… (corporate surrogate or substitute for actual ethics)

Summary: “In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled,” the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wrote in the wake of the crisis across Europe back in March (weeks ahead of a planned strike)

OVER the past three weeks we’ve published a number of articles based on internal EPO documents. We showed that a campaign is now underway (mass-mailing management) and that António Campinos dealt really poorly with risks and moreover exploited a crisis for the same oppressive measures we saw — and got accustomed to seeing — in the Benoît Battistelli era. In simple terms, Campinos puts workers at risk while at the same time crushing their rights, breaking countless laws, and taking their money away. He’s a vicious dictator like the ones his father proclaimed to have fought.

“The strike never materialised.”Today we’d like to share a document predating the lock-down by not so much (depending on which country). At the start of March SUEPO, the staff union, wanted to march (or protest by means of a general, office-wide strike). It said: “SUEPO is now proposing a common Action Plan for all sites. We had planned to put the Action Plan to the vote in SUEPO General Assemblies at all sites. In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled. SUEPO intends to organise an electronic ballot among its members on the common Action Plan. The local Executive Committees will inform SUEPO members accordingly in the coming days. Tomorrow Friday 6 March an important meeting will take place, where the future Salary Adjustment Procedure will be discussed with management. We will keep you posted.”

This was almost 9 months ago. The strike never materialised. But that did not alleviate staff anger, which only accumulated further.

With yellow highlights (ours), here’s what was circulated back then.

05 March 2020
su20009cp – 0.2.1

Action Plan

The SUEPO members

Note that
- None of the issues listed in the SUEPO’s call for strike of 8 November 2019 (successfully balloted on 28 November 2019) have been solved, nor has substantial progress on these issues been made;
- Management, on the basis of a biased Financial Study, wants to erode the salaries and the pensions despite the very healthy financial position of the Office and irrespective of real future economic development; Management has failed to repair the NCS;
- The discussions in the WG on Financial Measures followed by the technical WG on Salary Adjustment Procedure (GCC Sub-Committee on SSRP) do not show any sign of evolution towards an acceptable compromise with respect to the Salary Adjustment Procedure.


- To adapt their output/production in line with the (cumulated) losses endured as a result of the new Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP), the NCS and the SSP financing.


- To go on a first day of strike on Thursday 26 March 2020, to draw the attention of the Administrative Council to the discontentment of Staff.

Mandate the Committee

- To inform management accordingly;
- To organize all other appropriate actions, including demonstrations;
- To consider, in cooperation with the SUEPO committees, submitting a new call for strike at the end of the period specified in Art. 4 of Circ. 347.

Empower the Committees

- To liaise between the SUEPO committees to accelerate or suspend the above mentioned actions (including strikes) depending on the progress of the discussions with management.

The staff of the EPO isn’t too happy or complacent about being robbed by EPO management. COVID-19 has not only helped the rich get richer but also crush resistance.

“There’s been class warfare for the last 20 years, and my class has won.”

Warren Buffett

Guarding Your Privacy With E2EE: Primer

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Security at 11:48 am by Guest Editorial Team

End-to-end encryption deciphered

Lock and Key

Summary: “As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.”

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is something that’s been in the news quite frequently. Lack of education about E2EE is being exploited. Your fundamental human rights are being violated. This article serves to educate the non-technical person about E2EE and how it affects their everyday life.

Let us get a few fundamental things clarified, first. Without these basic things, no proper discussion can happen around E2EE.

“Another important thing to note is that the sender sees the data that will be encrypted in its unencrypted form anyway. Obvious statement but important to remember.”What is E2EE? E2EE is a system in which data is encrypted so that only one party can decrypt the data: the intended recipient(s).

Note that we used the word “system” in our definition for E2EE. This is done to keep the scope of this article separate from any specific E2EE software.

Another important thing to note is that the sender sees the data that will be encrypted in its unencrypted form anyway. Obvious statement but important to remember.

Next, let us note articles 12 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

LockArticle 12 UDHR: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

Article 19 UDHR: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

We’ll refer to these as A12UDHR and A19UDHR, from now on.

We’ve now established some fundamental definitions; we can move on to what all this means in the context of E2EE.

Let’s now connect what A12UDHR and A19UDHR have to do with E2EE.

A12UDHR mentions privacy. Our data privacy is a form of privacy. Thus, according to A12UDR, every human being has a fundamental right to data privacy. The only way we can achieve data privacy is via E2EE.

“The only way we can achieve data privacy is via E2EE.”A19UDHR mentions the freedom to hold opinions WITHOUT INTERFERENCE and to seek and impart INFORMATION and ideas THROUGH ANY MEDIA (we’re paraphrasing here to highlight information relevant to this article). Thus, according to A19UDHR, every human being has a right to exchange INFORMATION THROUGH ANY MEDIA. End-to-end-encrypted data (E2EED) is a form of information; thus A19UDHR gives every human being a right to seek and impart E2EED over any medium they wish.

So, in summary, we’ve established the following as an inalienable right of every human being:

Every human being has a fundamental right to use E2EE and seek and impart E2EED over any medium they wish (Internet,
printed documents, etc.).

Now it’s time to consider the technical side.

If you go back to our definition of E2EE, you will see that there are strict requirements about who can decrypt E2EED.

Many platforms (email, social control media, messaging apps, etc.) advertise E2EE. They are pretty much all not E2EE. Why? They have the keys that can decrypt your data. Go back and read the definition of E2EE again.

What are these “keys”? Good question.

Every system of E2EE is basically built on the idea of a pair of keys:

“Many platforms (email, social control media, messaging apps, etc.) advertise E2EE. They are pretty much all not E2EE.”Public Key (PKEY): Just a file. A sort of identifier. PKEYs are used in E2EE to encrypt data so that only the intended recipient(s) can decrypt the encrypted data.

Secret Key (SKEY): Just a file. This is the (only) file which can be used to decrypt the encrypted data.

There exists a mathematical relationship between a PKEY and a SKEY which makes it infeasible to decrypt the encrypted data without access to the recipient’s SKEY. When used correctly, E2EED is safe even from the quantum computers of today.

You can refer to the end of this article for the technical details.

“You can willingly forfeit your privacy (and many do by accepting “Terms and Conditions” of various platforms and services) but no body has a right to forcibly take away your privacy.”The easiest way to decrypt E2EED is to get a hold of the recipient’s SKEY or to catch the pre-encrypted data via some sort of back door in the device being used to encrypt the data. The problem is, many organisations already have your SKEY; they keep a copy for themselves, when SKEY has been generated. So, these systems don’t actually satisfy our definition of E2EE.

Remember: You have a fundamental right to end-to-end encryption. You have a fundamental right to keep the secret keys used for your end-to-end encryption software private. Nobody has the right to take these secret keys away from you – no company, no government, no individual, no organisation. You can willingly forfeit your privacy (and many do by accepting “Terms and Conditions” of various platforms and services) but no body has a right to forcibly take away your privacy.

“Complain to your local government representative about the attacks on E2EE.”There have been repeated attempts (and will continue to be repeated attempts) to outlaw end-to-end encryption. Governments want to spy on citizens; companies want to spy on individuals to profit off their private data; organisations want private data of individuals to make discriminatory decisions about said individuals. All of these actions have negative consequences on individuals: psychological abuse, economic discrimination, racial discrimination, political discrimination, exploitative psychological advertising (the list goes on and on).

So what can you do about this? You can raise awareness, first of all. Complain to your local government representative about the attacks on E2EE. You can educate yourself about which software gives you full control over your secret keys.

“Note that operating systems and devices have constantly had back doors installed into them.”Here’s a list of software you can look up which gives users control over their secret keys:

1) GnuPG and Kleopatra (GNU/Linux, BSD, OSX)

2) Gpg4win and Kleopatra (Windows)

3) OpenKeychain (Mobile)

There are many books, videos, and tutorials about the tools above. They’re a good point to start with.

Note that operating systems and devices have constantly had back doors installed into them. The best way to use E2EE software is to have a separate device for performing all E2EE tasks; said device should never be connected to the Internet. This is too inconvenient for some but is worth considering for those who want added level of security.

A note on hardware security tokens: Don’t believe in them. Most of them are likely to have back doors in them which allow extraction of your secret keys. Use an ordinary, general-purpose computer for all E2EE tasks; preferably one that never sees the Internet. Old laptops make great E2EE machines; just turn off the WIFI and don’t plug in any Ethernet cable. Devices like the Raspberry Pi are also a good candidate for an affordable system exclusively used for E2EE. You can use these devices with an HDMI cable, keyboard+mouse, and a USB stick to move data to and from the device.

Does all your data need to be E2EED? Of course not. That would be overkill. But data that you think needs to be private should be private. So use E2EE software to protect your privacy, when you see fit. This includes pictures, videos, legal documents, files containing passwords, etc.

“Old laptops make great E2EE machines; just turn off the WIFI and don’t plug in any Ethernet cable.”Remember: E2EE is a system in which data is encrypted so that ONLY ONE party can decrypt the data: intended recipient(s). Any system which doesn’t satisfy this definition is not E2EE; don’t let governments, companies, etc. convenience you otherwise.

Technical details

Say J wants to send a file F to M; J wants to encrypt F so that only M can decrypt F. We’ll refer to the encrypted form of F as EF.

What would J need to do?

We’ll establish a few more definitions (sorry about this but it’s necessary to maintain correctness).

J and M both have keys.

E2EE software : S.

Public key of J : JPKEY Secret key of J : JSKEY

Public key of M : MPKEY Secret key of M : MSKEY

(1) J and M both use S to generate their respective key files (JPKEY, JSKEY, MPKEY, MSKEY).

(2) J needs MPKEY in order to encrypt F for M.

(3) M sends J: MPKEY, in advance (this can be done over any media as MPKEY is not required to remain private).

(4) J now has the following: S, JSKEY, MPKEY, F. J can use these to obtain EF.

(5) J sends EF to M.

(6) M now has the following: MSKEY, S, EF.

(7) M can use these to obtain F from EF.

All of the above can be done with only one person. In, that case J = M. This is when you want E2EED that is “for your eyes only”.

RSA and EDDSA are considered the most secure systems for E2EE today (2020). The major weak points in any E2EE are: human error, hardware and software backdoors, hardware and software bugs. E2EE is always evolving, so what you read today may not be true tomorrow.

As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Be wary of any body that gives you guarantees.

Links 27/11/2020: Systemd 247 and Cockpit 233

Posted in News Roundup at 8:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • TUXEDO Computers Enables Full Linux Support on the Intel-TongFang QC7 Gaming Laptop

        At the request of numerous users, TUXEDO Computers is now providing the necessary drivers and software needed to enable full Linux support on the Intel-TongFang QC7 reference gaming laptop, which is the base of several laptops available for purchase in stores across Europe and the US.

        Some well known brands include the Aftershock / LEVEL51 Vapor 15 Pro, Eluktronics MAG-15, MAINGEAR ELEMENT, and XMG FUSION 15, the latter being now offered by TUXEDO Computers on their online store fully configurable and pre-installed with the company’s in-house built, Ubuntu-based TUXEDO_OS.

    • Kernel Space

      • New Systemd 247 Is Out For Linux Operating System As Major Release

        Systemd, a controversial system and service manager for Linux operating systems, has a major version release as Systemd 247.

        Speaking of new changes, systemd 247 has added a new service called systemd-oomd to monitor and take action on processes when memory or swap goes above the configured limits.

        Systemd, a controversial system and service manager for Linux operating systems, has a major version release as Systemd 247.

        Speaking of new changes, systemd 247 has added a new service called systemd-oomd to monitor and take action on processes when memory or swap goes above the configured limits.

      • Systemd 247 Released With Experimental Out-of-Memory Daemon, New Credentials Capability – Phoronix

        Systemd 247 is out today as the latest major version of this Linux init system. Like most systemd releases, systemd 247 is very heavy on new features.

        Systemd 247 most notably introduces the still-experimental systemd-oomd as the out-of-memory daemon with that Linux OOMD code originally developed by Facebook and later adopted for desktop use-cases. Once stabilized, the goal of systemd-oomd is for improving the behavior when the Linux system is low on memory / under memory pressure.

        Beyond systemd-oomd, systemd 247 now defaults to using Btrfs with systemd-homed and other enhancements as outlined below.

      • OpenZFS 2.0-RC7 Brings Better ABI Handling, Reduced Latency For Non-Interactive I/O – Phoronix

        OpenZFS 2.0 is getting quite close to release but isn’t over the finish line yet and this week brings the seventh release candidate.

        OpenZFS 2.0-RC7 is lighter than some of the past release candidates so it looks like work may be winding down. OpenZFS 2.0 is a big release with Zstd compression, mainlined FreeBSD support, various performance improvements, sequential resilvering, persistent L2ARC support, and many other changes.

      • AMD Stages More Driver Updates For New GPUs With Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        While the Radeon RX 6800 series is now shipping that was developed under the Sienna Cichlid codename, there are other fishy codenames remaining and are seeing more work for the Linux 5.11 kernel that will officially open development in December and then likely reaching stable in February.

        AMD on Wednesday sent out more AMDGPU kernel driver updates for Navy Flounder and Dimgrey Cavefish. Navy and Dimgrey are for unreleased AMD Radeon products that appear to be for additional RDNA 2 / Radeon RX 6000 series parts. Nothing too notable with the latest batch of updates, just more enablement churn and more device IDs added in.

    • Applications

      • Blender 2.91 Released with Major Improvements, Including New Setting Search Feature

        A major update to Blender, the open source 3D modelling software is out and it brings a veritable pale-load of improvements to the creative table.

        Following up the colossal Blender 2.90 release back in the summer was never going to be easy but somehow the Blender team has managed it. Blender 2.91 is crammed full of tweaks, fine-tuning, new features, and thoughtful additions.

        New features spotlighted by the project include the addition of collision support to the sculpt cloth brush and filter; new sculpting gestures designed to speed up workflows; support for custom curve bevels; and the ability to convert volume objects into mesh (and vice versa).

        A new ‘property search’ feature channels the old Unity HUD. Press ctrl + f and start typing to instantly see a series of matching settings —even settings inside add-ons— returned, ready for you to select and action. Fuzzy search support makes this handy find-all feature even more useful as you can make typos and still find what you look for.

      • Cockpit 233 — Cockpit Project

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 233.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Mageia Linux

        Mageia is an RPM-based Linux operating system forked from the famous French Linux distribution Mandriva. It is an open-source operating system and is an excellent option for using Linux the RPM way. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install the operating system on your computer.

      • How to free up RAM on Linux

        Are you running out of usable memory on your Linux PC? Are you trying to free up RAM space but don’t know how to do it? We can help! Follow along as we go over how to free up RAM on Linux!

      • [Older] How to monitor network activity on a Linux system – LinuxConfig.org

        In this article we learn how to monitor network activity on Linux.

      • How to Disable Your Webcam in Ubuntu?

        Find out these simple methods to disable webcam in Ubuntu. We can stop the webcam driver to load in Linux OS by modifying the configuration file.

      • How to install Code Blocks on Ubuntu 20.04 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Code Blocks on Ubuntu 20.04. Enjoy! For the command and more, look here: https://www.linuxmadesimple.info/2020/11/how-to-install-code-blocks-on-ubuntu.html

    • Games

      • Amusing adventure game HIVESWAP: ACT 2 is out now | GamingOnLinux

        With no prior knowledge of the Homestuck web comic series needed, the second part of the video game adventure is out now with HIVESWAP: ACT 2.

        “The artistry and humor of the golden age of adventure games meet hand-drawn 2D animation in this love letter to the point-and-click classics. Bizarre, beautifully illustrated alien landscapes and colorful characters make Alternia a joy to explore.”

      • Gaming Rack Design and Construction – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        I have collected a number of gaming systems throughout my life and there is little point in having them if they sit in a box or using them takes an annoying level of set-up time, making it fun prohibitive. I was then inspired by Perifractic Retro Recipes video where the computer museum has everything so nicely laid out. I looked at my mess and decided that I had to do something about it because my arrangement just isn’t presentable.

      • Theme park building game Parkitect is getting 8-player online multiplayer | GamingOnLinux

        With the second year release anniversary of the great theme park building game Parkitect coming up, Texel Raptor had a quite a huge surprise ready.

        Releasing on December 8 is the free cooperative online multiplayer mode. This is absolutely crazy considering the type of game it is, and one I can only imagine right now being ridiculously fun to play online with others. Eight people in total too, that’s a lot of building that can get done. Texel Raptor mentioned you can see what everyone else is doing, and it’s going to have a full online lobby system it seems too.

      • The DualSense Is Making Even More Sense – Boiling Steam

        As reported earlier this month, the DualSense controller from Sony was already working great out of the box on Linux. However, it wasn’t long after that that Valve added support for the more advanced features of the device.

        Starting November 12, Valve updated the controller to have basic input functionality with their beta Steam client:

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • MicroOS & Kubic: New Lighter Minimum Hardware Requirements

          openSUSE MicroOS has been getting a significant amount of great attention lately.
          We’d like to thank everyone who has reviewed and commented on what we are doing lately. One bit of clear feedback we received loud and clear was that the Minimum Hardware requirement of 20 GB disk space was surprisingly large for an Operating System calling itself MicroOS. We agree! And so we’ve reviewed and retuned that requirement.

      • Arch Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • World Health Organization Embraces Open Source Technologies to Assist Healthcare Workers

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced it is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health, to create a sustainable open source development infrastructure to support the development of the Learning Experience Platform (LXP) for the WHO Academy, the organization’s new state-of-the-art training center.

        • DarwinAI and Red Hat Team Up to Bring COVID-Net Radiography Screening AI to Hospitals, Using Underlying Technology from Boston Children’s Hospital

          DarwinAI, the explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) company, and Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced a collaboration 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. DarwinAI and Red Hat are also leveraging the expertise of a computation research group, the Fetal Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC) at Boston Children’s Hospital to better focus the software for real world clinical and research use.

        • Emmanuel Bernard fell into open-source

          Hello, and welcome to developer’s journey, the podcast, bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. My name is Tim Bourguignon, and on this episode 127, I receive Emmanuel Bernard. Emmanuel is a Java champion, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect for RedHat, open source contributor to the Java standards, public speaker, community leader, and among others, the host of the podcast, The Cast Coders. Emmanuel, welcome to DevJourney.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Arcan 0.6 – ‘M’ – Start Networking

        This time around, the changes are big enough across the board that the sub-projects will get individual posts instead of being clumped together, and that will become a recurring theme as the progress cadence becomes less and less interlocked.

        We also have a sister blog at www.divergent-desktop.org that will slowly cover higher level design philosophy, rants and reasoning behind some of what is being done here. A few observant ones have pieced together the puzzle — but most have not.

        This release is a thematic shift from low level graphics plumbing to the network transparency related code. We will still make and accept patches, changes and features to the lower video layers, of course — ‘Moby Blit’ is still out there — but focus will be elsewhere. Hopefully this will be one of the last time these massive releases make sense, and we can tick on a (bi-)monthly basis for a while.

      • Arcan 0.6 Display Server Adds Network Transparency, XWayland Client Isolation – Phoronix

        For those with some extra time around the US Thanksgiving holiday, the Arcan display server/environment is out with a new release. This is the interesting project that’s powered in part by a game engine, offers X11 and Wayland compatibility, ported to BSDs, and more recently has been exploring VR and other desktop innovations.

        Arcan 0.6 is the new release out as of this week. Arcan 0.6 brings initial network transparency support that the developers feel is more powerful than the X11 network transparency (they dub their protocol “A12″), support for on-demand client debugging, KMSCON-like console support, XWayland client isolation for better security, an improved headless mode, and a number of other features.

      • 4 questions about AI ethics and how open source can help

        As a high school student, I’ve become very interested in artificial intelligence (AI), which is emerging as one of the most impactful innovations of recent times. This past summer, I was selected for the AI4ALL program, where we learned how to develop AI systems using Python.

        For my final project, I created an object-detection program and integrated it with a virtual drone simulation. Throughout the project, I was able to use open source frameworks, including TensorFlow, Keras, Scikit-learn, and PyTorch, to aid in developing the object-detection machine learning (ML) algorithm process.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Beta 1 for Linux, Windows, and Mac is here — get the FREE open-source Microsoft Office alternative now

          Is LibreOffice better than Microsoft Office? No, and it’s not even close. Say what you want about Microsoft, but Office is in a league of its own — the best productivity software on the market.

          Why would anyone not use Microsoft Office? Well, for one, it costs money — potentially hundreds of dollars. Secondly, it is not available on all operating systems. Linux users, for instance, simply can’t use Microsoft Office (except the web version). Not to mention, Microsoft Office is closed-source software, and some folks only want to use open source options.

          So yeah, that’s why people use LibreOffice — it’s free, open-source, and available on most desktop operating systems such as Linux. With all of that said, LibreOffice is actually good software too — it just isn’t as good as Microsoft’s offering. And that’s OK. We should definitely be thankful that LibreOffice exists.

      • Programming/Development

        • Marmite of scripting languages PHP emits version 8.0, complete with named arguments and other goodies

          Version 8.0 of the PHP scripting language is scheduled for release on 26 November, which coincides with the US Thanksgiving holiday.

          PHP turned 25 earlier this year and its latest iteration brings a variety of improvements to those who enjoy the language, which certainly isn’t everyone.

          Type “is PHP” into Google Search box, in Incognito mode, and the first two auto-complete suggestions you’ll see are “is PHP still used” and “is PHP dead.”

          It is and it isn’t: PHP still ranks as the eighth most popular language in the Tiobe index, just below JavaScript. Nonetheless, PHP has something of a mixed reputation among developers.

  • Leftovers

    • Free-Dumb isn’t Free, We’re All Paying the Price
    • Science

      • Trump’s “incompetency” and “anti-science” views will plague US long after he leaves office: expert

        “I don’t think any of us in public health would have imagined a year ago, even with Donald Trump at the helm, that this level of incompetency and toxic messaging that we’ve seen with Donald Trump over these last eight or nine months would have actually been possible under any president’s leadership,” Redlener told Wallace. “But here you have a president who’s firmly opposed to science and evidence in developing policies to deal with this very deadly disease.”

        Redlener added that even after Trump leaves office in January, the type of “toxic messaging” he has pushed during the pandemic won’t be going away.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • SCOTUS Rules Against New York State’s COVID Limits on Large Religious Gatherings
      • As COVID Devastates Native Communities, Indigenous Voters Played Key Role in Defeating Trump

        As COVID-19 rampages through the U.S., we look at how the rapid spread of the disease is affecting Native American communities, which have already faced disproportionate infection and death rates throughout the pandemic. We speak to Jodi Archambault, a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and former special assistant to President Obama for Native American affairs. We also speak with Protect the Sacred founder Allie Young of the Navajo Nation.

      • The Covid-19 Pandemic Helps Tell the True Story of Thanksgiving

        At the time the Pilgrims landed, the Wampanoags and their neighbors had been tested by the years they called the Great Dying. An epidemic from 1616 to 1619—which may have been smallpox (there are other theories)—had killed as many as 9 out of 10 coastal Indians.

      • Hundreds of Thousands of Students Traveled Home This Week Amid COVID Spike
      • What Thanksgiving and the Coronavirus Pandemic Share: As Seen from Boston

        Perhaps more than any other day, Thanksgiving embodies the underlying embrace of endless growth and voracious consumption: normally the year’s biggest travel day, its reliance on massive amounts of fossil fuel makes the holiday a climate changing event.

      • Why are millions of Americans traveling for Thanksgiving as the pandemic rages?

        Then there is the immense confusion generated by the mainstream media, whose presentation, day after day, is that the pandemic is about to turn a corner for the better. The New York Times, the editorial voice of the Democratic Party, has been demanding that schools remain open and insists that they are safe even though more than one million children have contracted the disease. And it was the Times ’ columnist Thomas Friedman who vocalized the slogan of the ruling elite’s approach to the pandemic, that the “cure cannot be worse than the disease.”

        Finally, there is the abysmal state of scientific education in America, the outcome of four decades of attacks on public education, which has resulted in a situation where significant sections of the population deny the existence of the virus, refuse to wear masks when in public and oppose the use of vaccines to protect the population from disease, ignorantly placing themselves and others at risk.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Introducing Vivaldi Mail in Technical Preview

          It makes me very happy to share that we’ve taken it a step further. In addition to the email client, we’ve included a feed reader and a calendar.

          Whether it is the browser or any of Vivaldi’s services – we build our software with you in mind. We know that you are all individuals with your own requirements and wishes.

          Vivaldi Mail is about giving you the choice to communicate online in a much more organized way while having the comfort of knowing that you are in control of your data and choices.

          We now need your feedback on our first Technical Preview (TP) so that we can – together – build this further into a trustworthy option that will let you break away from the dependency on the ecosystems of the few big players today.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Comparing the similarities and differences between inner source and open source [Ed: Inner Source is an attack on software freedom]

              Open source software (OSS) has been around since the 1990s and has thrived, quickly growing to become mainstream. It is now more well understood around the world than it has ever been before. Some refer to it as FOSS to highlight the Freedom part of open source (Free and Open Source Software). And in 2014, at OSCON, the term “inner source” was debuted, and people started talking about how to use the principles of open source, but inside of a company. It raised several questions for those unfamiliar with the term, which I hope to answer with this article. For example, what is similar about the two, what is different, the company roles involved in the two, is inner source taking the energy away from open source, etc. These are all fair questions, and as my organization practices both and is involved in both movements, I want to take some time to share insight with this audience as a developer, as a company, and as an open source enthusiast.

        • Security

          • Windows REvil ransomware used to compromise Argentina portal

            Argentina’s official country portal has been hit by malicious attackers using the Windows REVil ransomware who claim they have exfiltrated 50GB of information.

          • Pipeline – The Critical Risk at the Edge

            We are at a critical decision point, but we do have choices. There’s no magic answer to adapt to the massively changing conditions that we’re all facing around the world. We can cling to old approaches and a fast path to extinction, or we can disrupt the norm and evolve as a global community to transform to next-generation strategies.

            At the forefront of these strategies is 5G mobile network technology combined with highly distributed edge computing on cloud-native platforms. Everywhere around the globe, operators are aggressively testing and deploying innovative 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) technologies and solutions. As these solutions are rapidly being rolled out around the world, there is a compelling opportunity for them to have a sweeping impact on the entire economy.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook pays fine for refusing to localize Russian users’ data

              The Internet giant Facebook has paid in full a four million ruble (about $53,000) fine imposed by the Russian authorities over the company’s refusal to store Russian users’ data on servers located inside Russia. 

            • Microsoft productivity score feature criticised as workplace surveillance | Microsoft | The Guardian

              Tool allows managers to use Windows 365 to track their employees’ activity

            • Why don’t Facebook and Apple like each other?

              Earlier this year, Apple announced it would introduce a feature called App Tracking Transparency, to give people more control over their data.

              Crucially, customers would have to opt in for their data – previously handed over by default – to be used by apps such as Facebook’s.

              That is a massive problem for Facebook, which sells targeted adverts to make eye-watering profits. It says openly that this will damage its business.

              Apple has postponed the proposed changes until next year, to give developers time to prepare.

              In a letter outlining why the change was delayed last week, Apple’s Jane Hovarth couldn’t resist a pop at Zuckerberg: “Facebook executives have made it clear their intent is to collect as much data as possible.

              “This disregard for user privacy continues to expand.”

              Facebook hit back, saying: “They are using their dominant market position to self-preference their own data collection, while making it nearly impossible for their competitors to use the same data.

              “They claim it’s about privacy – but it’s about profit.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Like a Rocket in the Garden: the Unending War in Afghanistan

        Late last week, I learned from young Afghan Peace Volunteer friends in Kabul that an insurgent group firing rockets into the city center hit the home of one volunteer’s relatives. Everyone inside was killed. Today, word arrived of two bomb blasts in the marketplace city of Bamiyan, in central Afghanistan, killing at least fourteen people and wounding forty-five.

        These explosions have come on the heels of other recent attacks targeting civilians. On November 2, at least nineteen people were killed and at least twenty-two wounded by gunmen opening fire at Kabul University. On October 24, at least two dozen students died, and more than 100 were wounded in an attack on a tutoring center.

      • A Good Deed from the Wicked Witch? Actually Ending the War in Afghanistan

        As a consequence, expectations for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to put America back on the path to the Emerald City after a dispiriting four-year detour are sky high. The new administration will defeat Covid-19, restore prosperity, vanquish racism, reform education, expand healthcare coverage, tackle climate change, and provide an effective and humane solution to the problem of undocumented migrants. Oh, and Biden will also return the United States to its accustomed position of global leadership. And save America’s soul to boot.

        So we are told.

      • Investigation ongoing after Russian soldier found dead in Armenia

        A Russian serviceman has been found dead in Armenia, the state news agency TASS reported on Thursday, November 26, citing spokespeople for Russia’s Southern Military District.

      • ICE Seeks Large New Cloud Contract Involving Microsoft, Amazon

        U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is planning new large-scale expenditures on cloud computing with Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Web Services unit. The deal, slated for early 2021, could could reignite tensions within the companies, where groups of employees have objected to working with agencies that have presided over family separations and raids targeting undocumented immigrants.


        Google decided against renewing one contract with the Pentagon; other than that the companies haven’t given in to pressure. In October, Google Cloud head Thomas Kurian defended the company’s work with CBP after documents detailing a $200,000 contract became public, and all three companies have made it clear at various times that they will continue to work with U.S. government agencies. The internal dissent mostly emerged in response to Trump-era policies, and it’s unclear how they’ll fare once he leaves office. But the tension could well persist. Much of the federal government’s immigration enforcement and detention infrastructure pre-dated the Trump Administration, and Democrats have also shown enthusiasm for technological solutions to immigration enforcement, like digital surveillance in lieu of a physical border wall.

        It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much agencies like ICE spend on cloud services with Microsoft and Amazon. Although federal agencies are required to publicly report spending on many government contracts, Microsoft and Amazon receive most of their government revenue as subcontractors, where reporting tends to be inconsistent.

    • Environment

      • Why Agricultural Carbon Offsets Can’t Play a Role in International Climate Action

        Putting the responsibility of mitigation on farmers lets companies off the hook for reducing emissions along the entire supply chain.

      • Roof of the world is home to microplastic fibres

        Microplastic fibres have been found in the snows of Everest. Pollution levels have literally reached new heights.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Last, Best Chance to Save the Northern Rockies

          Aldo Leopold, heralded as the father of modern wildlife biology, wrote “The first step in intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.” The sciences of conservation biology and landscape ecology provide insights vital to the viability of species and protection of habitats essential to native fish and wildlife. Among these are that roadless habitat is better than roaded; bigger roadless areas are better than smaller ones; connected wildlife populations are better than isolated ones; rivers and streams are better free-flowing rather than dammed and diverted.

          A mountain of scientific research from across the globe has re-confirmed that roadless areas are the foundation upon which wild ecosystems and viable populations exist. Moreover, intact systems provide a buffer against sudden change from climate alteration, allowing native species to adapt to new conditions.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • American in Transition: What’s the Hurry?

        “Clinched the presidency” is ABC News-speak for “the media decided he won.” In point of fact, the 2020 presidential election isn’t over yet and won’t be for another three weeks.

        No, I’m not referring to Donald Trump’s campaign of vexatious litigation, which is going, and will go, nowhere.

      • Corporate Media Sources Within the Democratic Party Lean Toward the Right
      • Republicans Have Held On to Enough Power to Influence Future Elections
      • Controlled Demolition of Political Reality

        What’s new in our beleaguered country is not the division of our house but its total fragmentation.  The structure held deceptively intact for so long by constant applications of partisan bullshit, rhetorical spit, legislative baling wire and executive duct tape, is now so fissured and faulted as to be more standing rubble than viable edifice.  We are not simply split in our politics, we are pulverized, in every aspect of our reality.  Start anywhere.

        Economically, we’re the most wildly inequitable of wealthy nations where 10% have more money than 90%, three men have more than half of us, and the richest take everything from everybody.  The bitter resentment of each for the other is intensified by being suppressed as impermissible.

      • Can We Build a Progressive Future If We Dismiss a Large Part of the Working Class?

        But there is something I do regret about being retired. That is the daily interaction with working people from different communities, with social and political backgrounds and outlooks often very different from my own. Instead, like most MAPA members, I spend almost all my time in liberal/progressive social and political circles. I now rarely have meaningful contact with people who do the work – often overlooked and disrespected — to make our society function.

        I don’t idealize the working class. My co-workers and I were fortunate to have union jobs that were mostly highly skilled and relatively well paid. These workers, who were overwhelmingly white and male, could be selfish and individualistic. They not infrequently expressed racist or misogynist attitudes, though eventually not so much when I was present. They often adopted a kind of narrow patriotism that was tinged with white supremacy and American chauvinism. Many of them had problems with drugs or alcohol.

      • ‘We Have Won Over the Occupation’: Israel Frees Maher Al-Akhras After 103-Day Hunger Strike

        The Palestinian father of six was released after refusing all food and drink to protest Israel’s administrative detention policy. 

      • Defeat Trump. OK, Now Comes the Hard Part.

        We must seize the moment. The vision driving these movements, so long mocked and marginalized, must enter the political mainstream and begin to change the world.

      • For Biden, ‘Building Back Better’ Should Be a Global Challenge

        U.S. economic recovery efforts will not succeed if the global economy remains weak and serves only a small rich minority.

      • How a Grassroots Movement is Building Political Power: Notes From Richmond, California

        Richmond is a working class city of 110,000, 80 percent people of color, north of Oakland on the San Francisco Bay. It is home to a major Chevron refinery that has been the focus of political battles about Chevron’s pollution, Chevron’s special tax considerations, and Chevron’s political involvement. The RPA’s 2014 election victory over Chevron’s $3 million campaign for city council is well known. Since that defeat Chevron has stayed largely behind the scenes and depended on other forces to maintain corporate influence in local politics.

        The three RPA candidates for city council this fall, Claudia Jimenez, Melvin Willis, and Gayle McLaughlin, won clear majoritiesin their districts against a well-financed and powerful opposition. The mayor of Richmond, a corporate neoliberal, kept up a drumbeat of attacks in his newsletter, one of the few sources of news of the city. The regional newspaper denounced the RPA candidates. Corporate liberals dominated NextDoor, the community social media.

      • Yes, the Left Should Talk to Trump Supporters

        Left Activism is Not the Same Thing as Left Organizing 

        If your version of political organizing looks like you and your friends working only with people who agree on virtually every issue, you’re not organizing - what you’re doing is called activism. While it’s true that activism and mobilization function as strategic components of any successful campaign or movement, it’s equally true that the left has spent far too much time mobilizing people who already agree with us.

      • Juan González: Mainstream Media Has Missed the Real Story About Latinx Voter Turnout

        About 160 million voters cast ballots in this election, setting a new record, and President-elect Joe Biden’s lead in the popular vote has jumped to over 6 million. Much of the increased turnout was powered by people of color, while the total number of votes cast by white Americans barely increased from the last presidential election. “The main story is that in an election which saw historic turnout, people of color — and especially Latinos — had an unprecedented increase in voting,” says Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. “After decades of political experts talking about the growing Latino vote, this year it actually happened.”

      • Bree Newsome & Prof. Eddie Glaude: The Black Lives Matter Movement Helped the Democrats Defeat Trump

        As President-elect Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris prepare to take power, we continue to look at the growing debate over the direction of the Democratic Party. House Majority Whip James Clyburn recently criticized calls to “defund the police” and argued the phrase hurt Democratic congressional candidates. “It is actually insane that we would think the way to respond to the scale of problems that we confront as a nation is to harken back to an older form of politics that … seems to try to triangulate and appeal to this Reagan Democrat that they are so obsessed with,” responds Eddie Glaude, author and chair of Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies. “It makes no sense that we would go back to the politics that produced Trump in the first place.” We also speak to artist and antiracist activist Bree Newsome Bass, who argues Black voters “are scapegoated when it’s convenient, and then we are thrown under the bus when it’s convenient. … That’s a dynamic that has to end.”

      • The Collapse of the Cuomosexual

        He’s baaack!

      • NPR’s Shameful Comparison of Stacey Abrams to Donald Trump

        It’s very likely that Stacey Abrams is not governor of Georgia today because in 2018, she and thousands of the state’s voters were victims of voter suppression that propelled then–Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp into the governor’s office. She wasn’t quiet about this, not just because the shenanigans probably cost her the election, but because the methods that were overtly employed to suppress the vote were of national significance—and echoed the racist tradition of preventing Blacks from voting in the Jim Crow era.

      • Jacobin and Democratic Socialists of America promote illusions in a “progressive” Biden administration

        While tens of millions of people are on the brink, facing a spiraling pandemic and an economic catastrophe, Biden is forming a right-wing administration of intelligence operatives, militarists, financial executives and big tech representatives. The Democrats have responded to Trump’s refusal to concede the election and his efforts to carry out a political coup by calling for “unity” with the Republican Party, denouncing “socialism” and preparing a government of austerity and war.

        In this context, Jacobin magazine, affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), is playing an essential role in trying to keep radicalizing young people tied to the Democratic Party.

        Throughout the 2020 elections, the DSA worked to subordinate the growing anger of workers and youth to the Democratic Party. This was done first through the full support for the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, who dropped out in March and became Biden’s most enthusiastic supporter.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Penguin Random House to Buy Simon & Schuster

        The biggest book publisher in the United States is about to get bigger. ViacomCBS has agreed to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for more than $2 billion in a deal that will create the first megapublisher.

        Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the United States, is owned by the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Adding Simon & Schuster, the third largest publisher, would create a book behemoth, a combination that could trigger antitrust concerns.

        The deal announced on Wednesday includes provisions that would protect ViacomCBS in the event that a sale is squashed by authorities. Bertelsmann would pay what is known as a termination fee if the deal does not go through.

      • The real threat to democracy isn’t Julian Assange — it’s the espionage case against him

        Beginning in 2010, we, the Yes Men, developed a friendship with Julian Assange and a collaboration with Wikileaks. In 2015, we made this short video about it, originally for inclusion in our third film, “The Yes Men Are Revolting,” but it didn’t quite fit. We think it shows a charming, funny and thoughtful side of the man, and so — despite our more complicated feelings about him after 2016 — we’re making it available now, given the dire threats facing Assange and free speech more broadly.

        Assange is currently facing extradition to the United States from London, for allegedly violating the U.S. Espionage Act — marking the first time the act has been used to prosecute the publishing of information. If the extradition is successful, he’ll face trial in a Virginia “espionage court” that has never once absolved a national security defendant. Allowing the Virginia court to try (and most likely convict) him would be a disaster for democracy — something even Obama’s Justice Department believed in 2013, when they determined that indicting Assange would mean having to prosecute any news organization or writer who publishes classified material. (They called it “the New York Times problem.”)

        Assange’s extradition hearing began in February 2020, with the second part delayed from May until Sept. 7 because of COVID-19. In its apparent eagerness to extradite Assange, the court has committed some egregious abuses — such as introducing new charges in June that Assange couldn’t respond to — that are mentioned in this summary by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and this short film by Wikileaks collaborator Juan Passarelli.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Catholic Church Is Responding to Indigenous Protest With Exorcisms
      • ‘Deliberately Distorting’ Reasoning for Limiting Large Religious Gatherings, SCOTUS Rules Against New York State’s Restrictions

        “Free religious exercise is one of our most treasured and jealously guarded constitutional rights,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “But those principles are not at stake today.”

      • Trump Rushes to Weaken Environmental and Worker Protections Before January 20
      • DOJ to Appeal Judge’s Injunction Against ‘Cruel, Unprecedented Policy’ of Deporting Migrant Children

        The Trump administration—which has denied the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and seized infants from their parents—claims it is acting in the interest of public health and children. 

      • Free Manna

        Moses killed the Minotaur And Egypt was a labyrinth And as he had no ships he split The sea and walked on gravel Like a lizard walks on sand and Wound up in New Amsterdam Watching a sickle cell moon set A jet on its way to La Guardia Passed right over Mars above The trees of life and dogma In the center of the garden one As life, as nature (or physis), Appears as the physician; The tree of dogma, custom, or The nomos, is the nomeus: Shepherd and healer, the Janus of Jesus Where one tree will flourish The other’s diminished —

        Two trees, two forests One with its wood Which builds weapons and prisons Money, pollution The other pumping oxygen And free fruit, like manna

      • Saudi Arabia, MBS Are Benefiting From Trump ‘Silence,’ Says Sister of Jailed Activist Loujain al-Hathloul

        Hopes that Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul would be released by the kingdom’s authoritarian government were dashed Wednesday, when her case was sent to the country’s secretive Specialized Criminal Court used to try terrorist offenses and silence dissidents.

        Al-Hathloul appeared in court looking shaken and unwell, according to her family. She has been held without trial for more than 900 days, in which time she has allegedly been tortured, sexually assaulted and held incommunicado.

      • Loujain al-Hathloul, Saudi women’s rights campaigner, has case transferred to terror court

        Loujain, who rose to prominence when she advocated for women’s right to drive, had been on hunger strike for two weeks since October 26, her sister said. She was among a dozen other female campaigners to be arrested in May 2018, just weeks before Saudi Arabia ended a decades-long ban on women driving.

        Other dissidents, including cleric Salman al-Awda, who called on the country’s rulers to be more responsive to the population’s desires for reform, have also stood trial in the country’s anti-terror court.

        Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have said that at least three jailed women’s rights activists, including Loujain, have been held in solitary confinement and subjected to abuse including electric shocks, flogging and sexual assault. Saudi Arabia has strenuously denied the allegations.

        Officials have not made public the specific charges against Loujain, but last year the Saudi state news agency SPA, said Hathloul and other detained women were being charged with trying to undermine security, stability and national unity.

      • Egypt’s Sisi Intensifies Crackdown on Rights Advocates in Waning Days of Trump Administration

        At last year’s G-7 meeting in France, U.S. President Donald Trump called out loud enough for several to hear, “Where’s my favorite dictator?” He was looking for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led a military coup against the country’s democratically elected leader in 2013, before becoming president himself.

        Trump’s offhand comment got at the uncomfortable heart of what has been a long-standing relationship between the United States and Egypt’s authoritarian rulers—a sort of alliance-despite-dictatorship that Trump took to new levels, often praising Sisi publicly. But with Trump on his way out the door, after losing the Nov. 3 election in resounding fashion to Joe Biden, Sisi is taking advantage of the Trump administration’s waning days to crack down even harder on human rights advocates at home.

      • Biden should rethink America’s fraught relationship with the Saudis

        The U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia best encapsulates the flawed U.S. approach to the Middle East: the support of repressive regimes in service to a superficial security umbrella at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of their populations. It is a policy outlook based on the false choice between the stability of strong men and the rights of the powerless. The coronavirus pandemic will only make state-society relations in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East generally more fraught and is already providing the excuse for the region’s autocrats to curb personal freedoms, crack-down on journalists, and institute further emergency powers.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day Six: The Beginning of the End of Canadian Broadcast Ownership and Control Requirements

        While the largest broadcasters will hold out, they will inevitably lobby the government to remove the remaining restrictions, re-surfacing old arguments about a “level playing field” and claiming that the licensed system cannot compete against unlicensed domestic and foreign streaming services that can access capital from anyone in the world. This may not happen overnight (much like the implementation of this bill), but the future is clear: Bill C-10 not only spells the end of Canadian ownership and control of the broadcasting system as a policy priority, it opens the door to its end as market reality as well.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • ‘Courts cannot shy away from tackling FRAND issues’ – Kluwer Patent Blog

          “We are at a junction where market players lost all confidence on how they should position themselves either as SEP owners or defendants and prospective licensees.” That is the opinion of Peter Chrocziel, partner at Bardehle Pagenberg, specialist in SEP issues and editor of the book ‘International Licensing and Technology Transfer: Practice and the Law’. Kluwer IP Law interviewed Chrocziel, in the first part of a series of interviews with authors and editors of its publications.

        • EPO-CNIPA New PCT Pilot Programme Starts On 1 December 2020

          From 1 December 2020, Chinese PCT applicants will be given the option to select the EPO as their International Searching Authority (ISA). According to the joint communiqué published on the EPO website, this scheme will be implemented as a two-year pilot programme.

          It is envisioned that this programme will enable Chinese applicants to optimise their international patent strategy, especially when considering protection in Europe.


          Although filing in English may not be a particularly appealing option for Chinese applicants, especially for those who already file and prosecute international applications at the CNIPA in Chinese, this option may be beneficial for patent applications that are intended to be enforced in English speaking jurisdictions due to the relevant language requirements with regard to publication. This is due to the fact that in a number of jurisdictions (such as the UK), certain rights are conferred on the publication of a patent application in a national language. For example, it would be possible to seek damages dating back to the earliest date of publication of the patent application for a granted UK patent, given that the earliest publication of the patent application was in English. As this also applies to granted UK patents that are derived from international patent applications that were published in English, applicants may want to ensure that the international patent applications were filed and published in English so that any rights conferred on publication in English-speaking countries are available from the earliest date possible.

          In cases where the international patent application claims priority from an earlier filed Chinese national patent application, both the Chinese national patent application and the international patent application would be published around the same time respectively in Chinese and English, provided that the earlier filed Chinese national application is pursued concurrently with the international application. Thus, there may also be additional benefits in that relevant rights are conferred at an early stage of the application process for both languages.

        • European Union: Priority Entitlement In Europe – Current Best Practice Following Board Of Appeal Decision T844/18

          The Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office
          (EPO) issued its written decision in case T844/18 on 6 November
          2020. The central issue was whether the patentees were legally
          entitled to claim priority. If not, the patent would be invalid for
          lack of novelty.

          The stakes in this case were high. The patent covered a
          game-changing development to the “CRISPR” gene editing
          technology, allowing gene editing to be applied more extensively,
          particularly to humans.

          In their defence, the patentees challenged the EPO’s entire
          approach to priority entitlement, including whether the EPO has
          jurisdiction to examine the matter at all. The Board refused to
          accept any of the patentees’ arguments and determined that they
          had failed to comply with a fundamental aspect of the law.
          Consequently, the patent was revoked.

          The case does not change the EPO’s established practice
          concerning priority entitlement. However, it provides a sobering
          reminder of the sometimes draconian consequences of the EPO’s
          approach and, perhaps, a timely opportunity to reassess best
          practice for applicants. The “Practical Advice” section
          at the end of this briefing provides guidance of this nature. This
          practical advice can be read either separately or in conjunction
          with the preceding sections of this briefing, summarising relevant
          EPO law and then providing a more detailed discussion of the
          T844/18 case itself.

      • Trademarks

        • When goodwill in the business is not enough: clarifying the role of the trademark in a passing off action

          The respondent, Toh Yew Keat, started a successful private tuition business marketed as “TuitionGenius” (“TG Mark”). Subsequently, he and a business associate entered into a joint venture in the private tuition business and incorporated the appellant, Tuitiongenius Pte Ltd. Notwithstanding the joint venture, the respondent continued to run his own private tuition business under a modified form of the TG Mark.

          The appellant brought action against the respondent inter alia for a claim in passing off, alleging that, by using a mark that is similar to the TG Mark, the respondent was passing off his business as the appellant’s. The appellant contended that the TG Mark was distinctive of its business. Under the law of Singapore, the tort of passing off protects a trader’s goodwill in his business. To succeed in a passing off action, a claimant needs to prove the three elements of goodwill, misrepresentation and damage.

          At first instance, the Trial Judge dismissed the claim on the ground that the TG Mark was not used by the appellant to promote its business. Accordingly, the appellant had no goodwill in the TG Mark. The appellant appealed the result.

          On appeal, the Court of Appeal upheld the Trial Judge’s decision to dismiss the claim, but on different grounds. The Court of Appeal held that goodwill attaches to the business as a whole rather than the TG Mark itself. The connection between the mark and the goodwill was to be considered under the head of whether there has been a misrepresentation.

      • Copyrights

        • Access free, high-quality images from HDRI Haven | Opensource.com

          An HDRI is a “high dynamic range image.” In a single image, cameras struggle to capture both the darkest and brightest parts of the scene. This is why when you photograph someone in front of a bright window, you’re either going to end up with them being just a silhouette or the window area appearing solid white. An HDRI doesn’t have that limitation because it’s composed of several photographs of the scene captured at different exposures. In the case of the images on HDRI Haven, they’re full 360° panoramic images with high dynamic range. In Greg’s words, it’s a means of “copy/pasting” the lighting from a given environment so you can use it in your 3D scenes for realistic lighting.

          The CC0 license is basically the same as putting your work into the public domain and “enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.”

        • Researcher Retains EFF To Fight DMCA Takedowns Sent By Proctoring Company

          University student and security researcher Erik Johnson is fighting back after proctoring software company Proctorio sent a series of DMCA notices to suppress his criticism of its controversial ‘spying’ tool. After his project was taken down from Github, Johnson has now filed a counter-notice and is prepared to appear in court, assisted by the EFF.

        • Tech Giants Protest Nomination for US ‘Notorious’ Markets List

          Several major US tech companies including Facebook, Namecheap and Cloudflare, have informed the US Trade Representative that they shouldn’t be listed alongside known piracy sites in the upcoming notorious markets overview. The companies stress that they have policies in place to deal with copyright infringement, adding that the notorious markets process shouldn’t be used for US companies.

A Free Speech Deficit Harms Software Freedom

Posted in Bill Gates, Debian, Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, Google at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Planet Debian: only ‘happy’ stories permitted? Criticism of sponsors not allowed? That would amount to censorship on sale (to those who try to ‘herd’ unsalaried coders).

Debian guys

Summary: Free software and Software Freedom cannot possibly succeed if we keep accepting or even just tolerating systematic censorship of opinionated people in our community; failing to speak out on this matter (for fear of supposedly offending someone, risking expulsion) is part of the problem — complicity by passivity

THIS is 2020. Many people now conflate “free speech” with stuff like racism and even worse things. Sometimes even whistleblowers who say the hard truth are being denied a voice, under the false pretenses that this somehow “defames” a project or employer (last night I read a document to that effect and it astounded me).

“It’s quite likely that somebody out there can make an allegation that we infringe some rules of violate some Code of Conduct; but so what, who made up those rules? And whose interests are promoted/served by such rules?”Justice requires freedom of expression and transparency. Introspection requires speech without fear (of unwarranted consequences). Free software developers who cannot safely express a political view — however unpopular it may be among some groups — don’t really enjoy freedom.

Over the past year or two we’ve seen numerous high-profile people being ‘cancelled’ or partly gagged because they expressed an opinion, either about bad code/conduct — sometimes inside the workplace (personal life) — or something like a bribe in the professional context. It’s hardly surprising that Debian outsourced some of the development pipeline to Google (check who the biggest sponsor is), the Linux Foundation flexed its muscles against the person who ‘merely’ created Linux, and the FSF treats its very own founder like “grumpy racist uncle/grandpa” who needs to be kept silent or read pre-approved scripts. Notice how he (RMS) is not doing any interviews about Free software anymore (hardly any since 2019) and it seems like he’s reluctant or actively obstructed. I sometimes feel/sense he wants to do an interview with us and then changes his mind because he’s afraid to (like someone else isn’t approving that). The “social control media” mob and the FSF (especially Guix petitioners in GNU) silenced our #1 advocate. In RT and elsewhere RMS only speaks (however seldom) about cryptocurrencies, privacy etc.

Earlier this month "DMCA Sucks" released this old video of RMS (almost 20 years old, actually released two decades late).

When tackling corporate crimes and a coup against your movement you’re bound to come across as ‘abrasive’ while reacting. It is expected.

People who have read Techrights since 2006 (there are quite a lot of them; they still follow and support us because we don’t self-censor and we value honesty, facts, truth) very well know that we’re quite unspoken about injustices. It’s quite likely that somebody out there can make an allegation that we infringe some rules of violate some Code of Conduct; but so what, who made up those rules? And whose interests are promoted/served by such rules? They might soon tell us that the word “serve” is also dirty and that “servers” need to be rebranded to avoid causing offence (some already refer to them as “clouds”)…

Under the guise of “manners” we have corporate and oligarchic censorship imposed and enforced upon us.

Bill Gates Paid MIT Through Jeffrey EpsteinQuite frankly, we need RMS to be liberated. He needs to speak out freely, as he used to do until the Bill Gates/Epstein scandal in MIT made the press (so media distraction became more necessary, both for MIT and for Gates). With few exceptions, the media right now is cheerleader and salesman (vaccines) for the Gates Foundation; it’s a mouthpiece for truly awful people who profit a lot from COVID-19 while those of us who rent an apartment after 30+ years of fighting for freedom struggle in a pandemic. This isn’t justice, this isn’t right.

Perception of Difficulty

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 3:52 am by Guest Editorial Team

Poem by figosdev

Thank you

Summary: New poem by figosdev

Measuring, mixing, timing, heating, eating–

Baking is easy, patience is hard.

16x16 break

Sketching, tracing, colouring, composing, contrast–

Drawing is easy, skill is hard.

16x16 break

Listening, feeling, tuning, singing, playing–

Music is easy, perfection is hard.

16x16 break

Lifting, leaping, running, throwing, catching–

Sport is easy, winning is hard.

16x16 break

Reading, writing, reviewing, considering, demonstrating–

Learning is easy, passing is hard.

16x16 break

Trying, failing, improving, helping, cooperating–

Working is easy, recognition is hard.

16x16 break

Searching, parsing, referencing, evaluating, retracing–

Coding is easy, developing is hard.

16x16 break

Watching, questioning, challenging, changing, evolving–

Freedom is easy, liberation is hard.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 26, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:48 am by Needs Sunlight

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