Links 2/12/2020: Multi-Touch Gestures in elementaryOS, DXVK 1.7.3

Posted in News Roundup at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Moving to a More “Open” Environment

        The expansion and proliferation of open source organizations such as the Linux Foundation and the OpenStack Foundation attest to how much open source projects have become mainstream.

      • Benefits of Hosting on A Linux Server [Ed: Is this a real article? No. It's borderline SEO spam, as the first link in it reveals.]

        One major benefit of Linux is that it doesn’t slow down over time as compared to Windows. As more and more programs and background processes are added the operating system gets addled with a lot of requests.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9.12
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.9.12 kernel.
        All users of the 5.9 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.9.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.9.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.4.81
      • Linux 4.19.161
      • Linux 4.14.210
      • Linux 4.9.247
      • Linux 4.4.247
      • OpenZFS v2.0.0 targets Linux and FreeBSD – shame about the Oracle licensing worries

        The OpenZFS project, formerly called ZFS on Linux, has released version 2.0.0 with major new features. The previous release was version 0.86 in October. Both Linux and FreeBSD are supported.

        ZFS is approaching 20 years old. It was developed in 2001 by Sun Microsystems, and open-source code was released with OpenSolaris in 2005. It was ported to FreeBSD in 2008, and in the same year the ZFS on Linux project started. In 2013 the OpenZFS project was announced. ZFS on Linux was an implementation of OpenZFS, but now that the project also targets FreeBSD from the same repository, it is called simply OpenZFS.

        Oracle Solaris also still exists and includes Oracle ZFS, though the OpenZFS project notes: “As Oracle’s code is not open source, the OpenZFS wish to maintain compatibility with Solaris ZFS pool versions 29–35 is difficult to realize.”

      • Developers boot Windows 10 and Linux via virtualization on Apple Silicon Mac

        Ever since Apple announced its custom ARM-based chipset for the Mac lineup, the Apple M1 SoC, modding enthusiasts have waited for the platform to be blown wide open. Users have theorized for a long time now whether it would be possible to boot Windows or standard Linux distributions on ARM Macs. After all, the mainline Linux kernel and Windows 10 are no strangers to the ARM world. All that’s left is the blood, sweat, and tears of developers interested enough in deciphering Apple’s custom ARM implementation. Now, thanks to the efforts of multiple developers, it is possible to boot Windows 10 as well as Linux on the Apple Silicon Mac, albeit via virtualization.

      • Graphics Stack

        • DXVK 1.7.3 Released With Fixes, Support For New DXGI Interfaces – Phoronix

          DXVK 1.7.3 is out as the latest stable update to this project implementing the Direct3D APIs atop Vulkan for accelerating the Linux gaming experience.

          DXVK 1.7.3 adds support for new DXGI interfaces recently exposed on Windows 10, an option for scaling the DXVK heads-up display on HiDPI displays, various fixes, and several optimizations. EverQuest 2 and Trine 4 also saw some targeted fixes.

        • Direct3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan translation layer DXVK 1.7.3 released | GamingOnLinux

          The open source DXVK project which translates D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11 to Vulkan for use with Linux and the Wine compatibility layer has a new release up.

          A little while between releases, since a lot of the current effort from contributors is going into VKD3D-Proton which is the D3D12 to Vulkan layer. Still though, DXVK isn’t quite done and will see plenty of updates over time as and when needed.

        • X.Org Server 1.20.10 Allows For Larger Number Of Input Devices, Present Extension Fixes – Phoronix

          Following Tuesday’s disclosure of more X.Org Server security bugs, X.Org Server 1.20.10 was released that provides those input fixes plus a number of other patches that have been back-ported and accumulated in the 1.20 series.

        • Microsoft Begins Landing Changes For Cross-Platform Support With Their Mesa D3D12 Code [Ed: Microsoft is interfering in Mesa development to make it more Windows- and Microsoft-leaning. See the comments: “Did they also include an option to uninstall the windows subsystem?” [...] “Is this worth celebrating? It means nothing for desktop Linux at all.” […] “MS is firmly in the “Extend” phase of their conquest…”]

          Last month the Microsoft-backed Direct3D 12 Gallium3D driver was merged into Mesa 21.0. This is the driver for allowing graphics/compute APIs like OpenGL and OpenCL to run on top of Direct3D with Windows 10. That work to the Gallium D3D12 code has been continuing with the start of the cross-platform code now being merged.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Create Abstract Desktop Backgrounds with Trianglify Wallpaper – Make Tech Easier

        Many people prefer using abstract desktop backgrounds as their desktop wallpaper since they allow you to stay focused on what matters: the foreground apps. It’s boring staying with the same wallpaper for months, but it also feels like wasting your time hunting down new abstract wallpaper. Why not try out Trianglify Wallpaper, an easy-to-use app that can make your desktop more exciting and somewhat dynamic?

        With Trianglify Wallpaper, you can manually create abstract desktop backgrounds based on triangular shapes and add color to your desktop. You can also set it on auto and let it loose to create and place new wallpaper on your desktop automatically. Let’s see how.

      • RHCE Ansible Series #10: RHEL System Roles
      • Linux Command Basics: 7 commands for process management | Enable Sysadmin

        If you’re new to Linux and need help managing your processes, these basic commands are for you.

      • Upgrade Fedora 33 from Fedora 32 using DNF – If Not True Then False

        This is guide, howto upgrade Fedora 32 to Fedora 33 using DNF. This method works on desktop and server machines. You can also upgrade older Fedora installations (example Fedora 31/30/29) directly to Fedora 33.

        I have tested this method on several machines, but if you have problems, please let me know. Always remember backup, before upgrade!

      • How do i install MongoDB on CentOS / RHEL – LinuxTechLab

        It has been created keeping the current database requirement in mind for modern applications & the cloud era. MongoDB is very fast & has great performance when compared to the SQL database. MongoDB databases are very easy to scale & they also address various shortcomings that other SQL databases present.

      • Quickly Navigate Through Directory History In Fish Shell – OSTechNix

        Do you often work with large number of directories? I have a small tip for you. This brief guide explains how to quickly navigate through directory history using cdh, nextd and prevd commands in Fish shell in Linux.


        A while ago, we discussed about pushd, popd and dirs commands which allows us to quickly navigate through a stack of directories. Unlike the normal cd command, the pushd, popd and dirs commands helps you to easily move back and forth between directories, without having to type the full path. These trio commands comes in handy when you are working with large number of directories and sub-directories. Today, we will learn three other similar commands namely cdh, nextd and prevd.

        As the name says, the cdh command allows you to change to the recently visited directories, the nextd command allows you to move forward through directory and the prevd command allows you to move backward through directory history.

        This set of three commands are available only in Fish shell and they are often used to navigate through the recently visited directories easily as well as quickly.

        The cdh, nextd and prevd commands are quite useful if you are often dealing with deep directory structure. You can quickly go forward or backward without having to the type the actual path of the directories. These triplet makes your CLI navigation better and faster!

      • How to Install and Setup Let’s Encrypt (Certbot) on Linux

        Getting an HTTPS certificate for your website is not anymore an optional choice. If you are a website developer, you might know that Google has already declared that those who have an SSL certificate into their website will get privileges to rank their website in the google search engine rank. Moreover, getting an SSL certificate makes your website secure, invulnerable, and trustworthy to the visitors. Now, there are many certification authorities to give your website an SSL certificate; the confusion is, which one should you use? While speaking of the SSL certificate, Let’s Encrypt is the most popular and free certification authority to grant your website an SSL certificate and make it secure. You can install and run the Let’s Encrypt on Linux and any other platforms.

      • How To Install Node Version Manager Tool – NVM on Linux System

        NVM is a cross-platform node version manager that can maintain a different version of nodes on your Linux system. Now, if you are familiar with working with Node.js, you might already know that there are plenty of versions of Node.js are available. NVM works with the help of the source-code of NodeJS and the Chrome V8 engine. The engineers of Google build the chrome V8 engine, and they made a collaboration with the NVM to offer the users a smooth and reliable user interface. You can install this tool on your Linux distribution to reduce the memory issue, to upgrade the Node.js file automatically on your system.

      • Free up Disk Space – Clear Systemd Journal Logs in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Going to free up Ubuntu system disk space? Try clearing the systemd journal logs, it may free up a few GB of space.

        By using the Disk Usage Analyzer tool, I found that /var/log/journal takes more than 4 GB system space in my Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Set up OpenStack on a Raspberry Pi cluster | Opensource.com

        In the year since the Raspberry Pi 4 was released, I’ve seen many tutorials (like this and this) and articles on how well the 4GB model works with container platforms such as Kubernetes (K8s), Lightweight Kubernetes (K3s), and Docker Swarm. As I was doing research, I read that Arm processors are “first-class citizens” in OpenStack. Since Raspberry Pi is built on Arm, I decided to test this theory by installing OpenStack on a Raspberry Pi cluster.

      • Vagrant beyond the basics – Fedora Magazine

        There are, like most things in the Unix/Linux world, many ways of doing things with Vagrant, but here are some examples of ways to grow your Vagrantfile portfolio and increase your knowledge and use.

        If you have not yet installed vagrant you can follow the first part of this series.

      • Verifying Linux Server Security: What Every Admin Needs to Know

        Linux is a widespread OS known for its robust security. That being said, vulnerabilities are inevitable in any OS, and Linux system administrators must be vigilant about monitoring and verifying the security of their servers on an ongoing basis in order to protect sensitive data and prevent attacks. After all, the majority of attacks on Linux systems can be attributed to poor administration.

      • Swap mouse buttons via key shortcut in Gnome – Lukáš Zapletal

        Gnome provides an easy way to swap mouse buttons which is a useful feature for left-handed people. I am right-handed, however I am trying to swap mouse in my hands to compensate and prevent injury. Swapping buttons via Mouse and Touchpad settings is slow and clunky.

        You will find many tutorials on how to swap buttons from the command line but these are XOrg or xinput remappings. I wanted to do it consistently so Gnome is not confused and also the Mouse and Touchpad dialog or other applications work properly.

      • Parsing sudo JSON logs: building a syslog-ng configuration – Blog – syslog-ng Community – syslog-ng Community

        The latest version of sudo, version 1.9.4 includes support for JSON formatted logging. Compared to traditional sudo logs, it has the advantage of containing more information in a structured way. While traditional sudo logs are also parsed automatically by syslog-ng, it is worth taking a look at the new JSON formatted logs.

        From this blog, you can learn how the new logs look like and also a configuration working with these logs. Instead of just posting a complex configuration, I try to show you how my configuration was built. Creating a new configuration in smaller iterations makes the resulting configurations easier to debug.

      • The 50 Most Useful Zypper Commands for SUSE Linux Users

        If you are a veteran Linux user like me, chances are you have come across the term SUSE Linux. It is one of the most powerful, enterprise-ready Linux distribution and is used by a plethora of companies worldwide. In fact, SUSE was the first Linux distribution marketed for businesses. SUSE has two variants – a free, open-source version called openSUSE and a commercial solution named SUSE Linux Enterprise. The zypper command-line utility is the de-facto package management solution for both of these variants. In this guide, we will provide some practical instructions on how to use this tool.

      • How to Install HTTP Git Server with Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04

        Git is a free and open-source versioning system developed by Linus Torvalds. It is used by millions of developers around the world. GitHub also offers free code hosting service. However, the free service doesn’t allow private hosting of the code. In this case, you can host your own code hosting server with Git HTTP server. This will give you full control on the server.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configure Git HTTP server with Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How To Install Virtualmin on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Virtualmin on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Virtualmin is a powerful and flexible web hosting control panel for Linux and BSD systems. With Virtualmin, you will be able to manage Apache, Nginx, PHP, DNS, MySQL, PostgreSQL, mailboxes, FTP, SSH, SSL, Subversion/Git repositories, and many more.

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

      • How To Use A Keyboard Shortcut To Toggle Always On Top On GNOME, KDE, MATE, Xfce and Cinnamon Desktops

        This article shows how to use a keyboard shortcut to set a window to be always on top, on GNOME, MATE, Xfce, Cinnamon and KDE Plasma desktops, as well as a generic shortcut that works with any EWMH/NetWM compatible X Window Manager (so this generic solution doesn’t work on Wayland).

      • How to Check What GPU You Have

        If you have Linux, there are several ways to check the GPU it uses. Take a look at them in the next section.

      • How to install Go [golang] on Ubuntu Linux – nixCraft

        How do I install Golang on Ubuntu Linux for developing apps in Go?

        Go programming language (also known as “Golang”) originated at Google by Ken Thompson, Rob Pike, and others.

      • How to Install Node.js on Ubuntu 20.10 & 19.10 – TecAdmin

        Node.js is the popular language for frontend programming. A number of JavaScript frameworks available for quick build mobile and web application development.

        NVM is a Node Version Manager tool. Using the NVM utility, you can install multiple node.js versions on a single system. You can also choose a specific Node version for applications.

        This tutorial described you to how to install node.js on Ubuntu 20.10 and 19.10 system using NVM.

      • Linux ip Command Examples For Sysadmins and Developers
    • Games

      • Steam On Linux Marketshare Remained Flat For November – Phoronix

        Valve has just updated their Steam Survey results for November, showing how the Linux gaming marketshare continues to evolve during this pandemic-driven year.

        From August to October it was 0.89% to 0.94% to 0.90%… Generally keeping with the 0.8~0.9% average we have been seeing for quite the long while since the advent of Steam Play (Proton + DXVK) pushed up the percentages from the prior all-time lows.

      • Failbetter Games announce romantic visual novel Mask of the Rose, prequel to their others | GamingOnLinux

        Failbetter Games known for their fantastic games Sunless Sea, Sunless Skies and their popular narrative browser game Fallen London have revealed their next game with Mask of the Rose.

        Acting as a prequel to their other games set in the Fallen London universe, it’s a romantic visual novel set in 1862 months after London was stolen by bats. Failbetter say the art style they went for is inspired by Film Noir, Victorian photography and Blitz-era Britain with it being an evolution of what began with Fallen London but with more detail and depth to the style.

      • Free and open source modern level editor ‘LDtk’ now ready for more users | GamingOnLinux

        Level Designer Toolkit (LDtk), which was originally known as ‘LEd’ has a huge new release out and the developer mentioned it’s now ready for production. It’s a modern, free and open source 2D level editor for indie developer with a strong focus on being as user-friendly as possible and it’s being built by Sébastien Bénard, who was the former lead developer on Dead Cells.

        LDtk 0.6 rips off the Beta label and brings with it some huge features like a World Map, allowing you to organize levels in the project into different themes like a vast 2D map, a large grid system and also either horizontally or vertically.

      • Oxygen Not Included – Spaced Out! to enter Early Access on December 8 | GamingOnLinux

        Klei Entertainment are expanding their fabulous space-colony simulation game with the first full expansion in Spaced Out, which enters Early Access on December 8. I fear for my free time, as Oxygen Not Included sucks it away so easily.

        They’ve said like any normal DLC it will require the base game (it’s not a standalone) and be priced at $14.99. When it leaves Early Access, the price of Spaced Out may rise based on the growing size of it.

      • The latest update to hybrid tower-defense sandbox factory game Mindustry is amazing | GamingOnLinux

        It’s free, it’s open source and it’s absolutely awesome. Mindustry just had an almighty update bringing with it huge changes and it’s just as awesome as ever.

        While the basics somewhat resemble Factorio for the factory building and production lines with elaborate supply chains of conveyor belts everywhere – that’s really where the similarities end. It’s much more about strategy and getting into the action of it all. It is quite easily my favourite open source game, as I wrote about before.

      • Tricky Towers is a really great game I’ve discovered far too late | GamingOnLinux

        After releasing originally in 2016, it seems Tricky Towers is one game that I just seemed to have forgotten all about and that’s such a shame.

        During the recent Steam Autumn Sale, I decided to finally pick up a copy after it being in my wishlist for probably a very long time. As it turns out, this was a good idea because Tricky Towers is actually quite fantastic. Giving a warm blend of Tetris falling blocks, along with some physics and a touch of magic – it’s a wonderful mix that keeps me wanting to come back for more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Linux-Based PinePhone CE With KDE Plasma Mobile Available For Pre-Order

          After two weeks of the official announcement, pre-orders for the new PinePhone Community Edition (CE) with KDE Plasma Mobile has finally started.

          As you may know, this latest PinePhone KDE Community Edition is available in two hardware variant: the Regular edition (cost $149.99) with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC, and the Convergence Package (cost $199.99) with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC bundled with a USB-C dock to connect it to external peripherals like mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

        • KDE Plasma 5.20.4 Released with Bug Fixes and Improvements

          KDE team announced the 4th installment of Plasma desktop – KDE Plasma 5.20.4 with a month of bug fixes and improvements. This is what’s fixed and new.

    • Distributions

      • Best Linux distros for power users in 2020

        The Linux power user is a celebrated breed, and one that does not simply burst fully-formed from the earth. All newbies must toil long and hard with their Linux installations before they can describe themselves as one.

        At the very least, the power user will have a great degree of skill concerning all things Linux, whether it’s the kernel, Bash or package management systems – and they won’t be afraid to get their hands dirty in the name of configuring the system.

      • Multi-touch Gestures in elementary OS 6

        One of the most hotly requested features for years has been to have multi-touch gestures in elementary OS, and with 6.0 I’m excited to say that we will deliver. Like the dark style preference, delivering a great multi-touch experience is a little more complicated than it seems on the surface. There have been some 3rd party tools to detect touchpad gestures and then trigger actions after-the-fact, but it wasn’t until recently that we’ve had the technical ability to provide smooth, responsive animations that track 1:1 with your finger movement across a touchpad or touch screen.

        We’ve had the great pleasure of working with José Expósito, the author of Touchégg, on our window manager gestures. In elementary OS 6, we use Touchégg Daemon behind the scenes to capture input events and communicate them to Gala, our window manager.

      • elementary OS 6 to get great looking multi-touch gestures
      • Now and Then: The Fate of 15 More Linux Distributions

        A typical desktop Linux distribution consists of various software components including the Linux kernel, a broad collection of programming tools produced by the GNU Project, a graphical server, and other free and open source software.

        Due to Linux’s open source nature, there are many hundreds of actively maintained distributions or ‘distros’ of the OS. Linux distros are like Linux software in general. They come and (some) go.

        A few weeks ago we carried an article which tracked Linux distributions placed in the top 15 in 2006 on Distrowatch’s page hit ranking. The article proved popular, in part because it stoked controversy about the relevancy of the page hit ranking. We don’t use their hit ranking as a gauge of the popularity or usage of a specific distribution. But neither is there any evidence to show the page hit ranking is rigged. Instead, the hit ranking acts as a rough barometer of which distributions are attracting interest.

      • New Releases

        • Budgie 10.5.2 Desktop Environment Released with Support for the GNOME 3.38 Stack

          More than a year in the works, Budgie 10.5.2 is here with a wide range of changes, starting with support for GNOME Project’s latest GNOME 3.38 stack. However, Budgie still supports the older GNOME 3.36 stack to make it easier for Linux OS maintainers to backport it to older operating systems.

          The biggest new feature in this release is the new desktop icons implementation called Budgie Desktop View. While an initial release, it already supports single (default) or double-click for launching items. However, future releases will bring drag and drop support, keyboard navigation, and GTK4 support.

      • BSD

        • From Unix to Linux: Key Trends in the Evolution of Operating Systems (Part 2)

          According to the McKusick article cited earlier, BSD’s popularity seems to stem from the cost-free distribution of the system, more than from any technical superiority over Bell Labs’ Unix. As I mentioned, AT&T had no scruples about folding BSD innovations back into Unix. The C code in BSD now looks dated and sometimes a bit scary, but the tools and operating system were production-ready and popular.

          When Digital Equipment Corporation brought out their VAX minicomputers as a replacement for the PDP series, the Berkeley crew grabbed the VAX Unix port from AT&T and built a new version of BSD on it. Mini-computers became a central part of the computing landscape in the late 1970s and early 1980s (before personal computers became commercially available), and BSD’s popularity grew along with the VAX. A popular warning was, “All the world is not a VAX.” This referred to bad habits that computer science students were picking up because the VAX helpfully did things such as provide them with zeroed-out memory if they failed to initialize the memory explicitly. If programmers relied on finding zeros in uninitialized memory, their programs would go horribly wrong when ported to other systems. This was now a world where programmers expected to move between computer systems, and take their programs with them. That world was created by Unix and BSD.

          BSD was also the impetus for the great eruption that brought Unix into the commercial mainstream: the founding of Sun Microsystems. Bill Joy and his colleagues took advantage of the permissive BSD license to sell computers with their enhanced version of BSD, called SunOS. Sun Microsystems’ workstations and mini-computer servers wiped out a generation of other mini-computer companies and started to set the standard for modern computing and networking—all based on SunOS, which meant BSD.

        • Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in November 2020

          The most reliable hosting company site in November 2020 was New York Internet (NYI), which responded to all of Netcraft’s requests in November. NYI offers a comprehensive set of hybrid IT solutions across cloud, multi-cloud, colocation and bare metal in its US data centres. So far in 2020, NYI has appeared seven times in the top 10.

          In November, the top eight sites each responded to all of Netcraft’s requests and were separated by average connection time. Webair appeared in second place. The hosting provider has provided managed hosting solutions for over 18 years and offers colocation across North America, Europe and Singapore.

          Hyve Managed Hosting wraps up the podium places, in third. Hyve provides a range of services including cloud hosting for business with full management services. These services are complemented by 35 data centres across Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia.

          Whilst Linux continues to dominate the top 10, FreeBSD makes an appearance in first place in November with NYI.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Thunderbird email updated to 78.5.1 » PCLinuxOS

          The Mozilla Thunderbird email client has been updated to 78.5.1 which is a minor bug fix update and will appear as an update through the Synaptic Package Manager if you have Thunderbird installed.

      • Arch Family

        • BlackArch Linux 2020.12.01 Released With 100+ New Hacking Tools

          As we’re heading toward the end of 2020, BlackArch team has released its second and last new snapshot of this year as BlackArch 2020.12.01.

          The latest version includes Linux kernel 5.9.11, updated system packages, config files, and tools. It has also added more than 100 new hacking tools, which lead to the total count of tools in BlackArch to 2608.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The Best RedHat-based Linux Distributions

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a hugely popular enterprise-level operating system that supports a diverse range of open-source technologies such as Ansible automation, Hybrid Cloud, virtualization, and containerization.

          In this guide, we highlight some of the most popular and widely used Linux distributions based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Releases Major Ubuntu Kernel Updates to Address 14 Vulnerabilities

          A total of 14 security vulnerabilities have been fixed in these new major Ubuntu kernel updates, including a race condition (CVE-2020-0423) that may lead to a use-after-free vulnerability, discovered in Linux kernel’s binder IPC implementation. This flaw affects Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS systems, and could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (system crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code.

          Affecting all supported Ubuntu releases, this kernel update addresses a Bluetooth security vulnerability (CVE-2020-10135) discovered by Daniele Antonioli, Nils Ole Tippenhauer, and Kasper Rasmussen, which could allow a physically proximate attacker to impersonate a previously paired Bluetooth device.

        • Watch Live TV on Linux With Hypnotix: A New IPTV Application Being Developed by Linux Mint Team

          The rise of streaming services like Netflix made people speculate about the dim future of TV channels. While the newer generation might not watch TV anymore, TV channels are not out of fashion, yet.

          Many streaming services like Hulu and Hotstar include TV channels in their offering. TV channels are also utilizing live streaming to broadcast their content to viewers on the internet.

          Another way to watch live TV is by using IPTV. There are a number of TV channels available via IPTV so that viewers can use internet to watch the live broadcast. Some channels are available for free while some might require subscription.

        • Forecasting the future of cloud with OpenStack experts | Ubuntu

          OpenStack, the cloud computing platform, has proved to be a beacon of success for open source. It rounds off 10 years in existence this year, a period which has seen it reach nearly 200 countries, and we want to look ahead to what the future holds for the technology. We’ve spoken to a number of journalists and other leading experts, including the Open Infrastructure Foundation, the organisation which manages the development of the technology, to understand how OpenStack may develop in the future.

          While we’ve seen businesses of all sizes adopt OpenStack to embrace the cutting edge and engage with the likes of AI and containers, predicting its next steps is not such an easy question to answer. John Leonard, Research Editor from the UK’s Computing, explains: “That’s a little hard to say. Open source is now the default rather than the exception and there are many more open source collaborations now covering different areas, notably the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). I expect OpenStack will end up focusing on areas of IaaS less well served by Kubernetes, perhaps around serverless and storage innovations.”


          Tytus Kurek, Product Manager at Canonical believes the foundational element of OpenStack will prove important; “Whereas the interest has long spread to other technologies, OpenStack remains the foundation of private cloud infrastructure across many organisations. In the following years we’re expecting to see continuous improvements around its stability, security and integration as well as supportability for 5G, AI/ML, edge and even more advanced use cases.”

          What’s vital though, is no matter how they grow over the coming years, OpenStack and its contemporaries remain true to the foundations and virtues of open source – ensuring that as many people can contribute and benefit.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • GNU Guix: Welcome our intern for the Outreachy 2020-2021 round

        We are thrilled to announce that Magali L. Sacramento (IRC: lemes) will join Guix as an Outreachy intern over the next few month.


        Magali will work on adding a subcommand to Guix showing the history of all packages. This will facilitate the use of guix time-machine and inferiors, as it will add support to easily search for a given package version on all the defined channels.

        Simon Tournier will be the primary mentor, with Gábor Boskovits co-mentoring, and the whole community will undoubtedly help and provide guidance, as it has always done.

      • Outreachy Kicks Off Winter 2020 Round With Several Interesting Open-Source Projects – Phoronix

        Outreachy interns have been announced for the winter 2020 round. Selected participants are working on various open-source tasks from December through March in exchange for a $5,500 USD stipend to become involved with open-source.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Taskcluster’s DB (Part 3) – Online Migrations

            A few of the tables holding data for Taskcluster contain a tens or hundreds of millions of lines. That’s not what the cool kids mean when they say “Big Data”, but it’s big enough that migrations take a long time. Most changes to Postgres tables take a full lock on that table, preventing other operations from occurring while the change takes place. The duration of the operation depends on lots of factors, not just of the data already in the table, but on the kind of other operations going on at the same time.

            The usual approach is to schedule a system downtime to perform time-consuming database migrations, and that’s just what we did in July. By running it a clone of the production database, we determined that we could perform the migration completely in six hours. It turned out to take a lot longer than that. Partly, this was because we missed some things when we shut the system down, and left some concurrent operations running on the database. But by the time we realized that things were moving too slowly, we were near the end of our migration window and had to roll back. The time-consuming migration was version 20 – migrate queue_tasks, and it had been estimated to take about 4.5 hours.

            When we rolled back, the DB was at version 19, but the code running the Taskcluster services corresponded to version 12. Happily, we had planned for this situation, and the redefined stored functions described in part 2 bridged the gap with no issues.

      • CMS

      • Programming/Development

        • The 20 Best Matlab Books For Beginner and Expert Developers [Ed: Better to use GNU Octave, which is Free software and similar]

          MATLAB is short for Matrix Laboratory. MATLAB is the simplest and most profitable computing climate for researchers, scientists, and engineers. It incorporates the MATLAB language, the main programming language devoted to numerical and specialized computing. You can utilize MATLAB for a scope of utilizations, including Artificial Intelligence, signal preparing and interchanges, picture and video handling, deep learning, control frameworks, test and estimation, and computational science. Thus, in this modern era, it has become very crucial to learn MatLab, and for the appropriate guidance, an adequate set of MatLab books is inevitably important.

        • Why I love Emacs

          I’m a habitual Emacs user. I didn’t choose Emacs as much as it chose me. Back when I was first learning about Unix, I stumbled upon a little-known feature in a strange application called Emacs, which was apparently hidden away on my computer. Legend had it (and was proven true) that if you typed emacs into a terminal, pressed Alt+X, and typed tetris, you could play a falling-blocks game.


          That was my introduction to GNU Emacs. While it was frivolous, it was also an accurate indication of what Emacs is all about—the idea that users can reprogram their (virtual) worlds and do whatever they want with an application. Playing Tetris in your text editor is probably not your primary goal on an everyday basis, but it goes to show that Emacs is, proudly, a programming platform. In fact, you might think of it as a kind of precursor to Jupyter, combining a powerful programming language (called elisp, to be exact) with its own live environment. As a consequence, Emacs is flexible as a text editor, customizable, and powerful.

          Elisp (and Common Lisp, by extension) aren’t necessarily the easiest languages to start out on, if you’re used to Bash or Python or similar languages. But LISP dialects are powerful, and because Emacs is a LISP interpreter, you can build applications, whether they’re Emacs plugins or prototypes of something you want to develop into a stand-alone project. The wildly popular org-mode project is just one example: it’s an Emacs plugin as well as a markdown syntax with mobile apps to interpret and extend its capabilities. There are many examples of similarly useful applications-within-Emacs, including an email client, a PDF viewer, web browser, a shell, and a file manager.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Santa is pseudo packaging | Playing Perl 6␛b6xA Raku

            Santa needs to know where all the chimneys are. Thanks to schedule constraints, a single subroutine call has to do to query multies defined in a bunch of modules.

          • Development community that we can see to development of Perl Part1 - C language specification creating group | Yuki Kimoto Perl Blog

            The Perl core team seems to be looking for resources to help in language development.

            Currently, it seems the material in python.

            perlgov: the perl governance document

            I feel that Perl and Python cultures are quite different.

            It’s also based on an improvised document in 2019 when the Python reader quit.

            I can understand how envious we are when we see Python attracting users(although
            I’m watching a lot of cheating at the same time).

            On the other hand Perl has long been a conservative culture.

            So, we can refer to the methods used by developers of languages, operating systems and tools that also have a conservative mindset.

            The first thing I would like us to refer to is the method used by the group that creates C language specifications.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Everything You Need to Know About Bash For Loops in Linux

            A bash script is simply a plain text file containing a series of commands that the bash shell can read and execute. Bash is the default shell in pre-Catalina macOS, and most Linux distributions.

            If you’ve never worked with a shell script before, you should begin with the absolute simplest case. This will allow you to practice key concepts including the creation of the script and its execution.

          • Re-format blah,YYYYMMDD,blah as blah,YYYY,MM,DD,blah

            This exercise was inspired by a recent article by Girish Managoli. He showed how to prepare a data table for machine learning using simple shell tools.

  • Leftovers

    • John Wilson’s Magically Poignant Urban Histories

      John Wilson rarely appears on-screen in his HBO docuseries How To… With John Wilson, despite being its star and namesake. When he does, he’s usually standing in front of a reflective surface like a mirror or a window, holding a camera, with his eye looking through the viewfinder, and staring straight ahead. The series documents his seemingly habitual need to film everything around him. He compulsively chronicles his life from behind the camera, observing his immediate surroundings and preserving an image of fluctuating New York neighborhoods. Wilson’s dual roles as a memoirist and archivist doesn’t typically place him in the frame, but his ubiquitous voice-over contextualizes and dictates everything we see. Eventually, some patterns emerge in Wilson’s footage: the piles of trash that fill New York’s streets, milling crowds circulating through Midtown Manhattan, NYPD officers either on the job or loitering about, and leashed dogs defecating on the sidewalk. But Wilson’s camera prefers to fix on people engaged in public in unguarded private moments, surrounded by strangers and with the specters of gentrification and urban renewal irrepressibly present. His gaze quickly becomes our own, and we see the world through his eyes, where seemingly everyone can be alone in a crowd.

    • Work & Home balance nonsense

      We need to recap a few things – so if you feel you “got the point” – don’t hate me (just yet).

      If you are not a workaholic and simply feel you’re a victim of a sub-optimized work environment you find yourself in, then bootcamp yourself out it. Set a schedule and then follow it. Strictly. If you waver from it, if you go back to smearing, it’s your fault. In fact, if you actually REDUCE your work hours, you may discover the time pressure will help you keep focused. Because working against deadlines seems to motivate people, go figure.

      The mindblowing revelation is when you discover you can do your typical work load in just 3-4 hours, and then use the rest of the time to enjoy your home, fully and unreservedly and without glancing at your stupid inbox every 15 minutes for that “urgent” email. Relax. If your work is truly urgent, you won’t be working from home to begin with.

      But … but …

      The second mindblowing revelation is when you realize your (bad) manager may realize that you have extra 3-4 hours spare time, and then they try to cram in more work for you, because why not have 2x results without paying 2x more! Golly.

      This is something that is very hard to fix. Bad managers are a pandemic of their own, and there’s no vaccine.

      I’ve discussed that in my perfect IT team article. Giving magic solutions would be highly arrogant of me. Like I said, there’s really no silver bullet solution here. The best you can do is to stick with your own schedule, not deviate from it, and try as much as you (as much as your reality tolerates) not to give in to more work and bullshit from people who have zero respect for your life and needs.

      In the end, it comes down to things you do control. You don’t control your manager or other people. But you do control your home, your work. Focus on that.


      The story of the work/home balance is not one of pandemics or realities where people suddenly find themselves working from home, and the boundaries between their office and home are blurred. No. That’s just the manifestation of a deeper problem. The problem is the paradox of free time.

      For inefficient people with low self-discipline, free previously-work time will translate into work time, or they will allow others, like their managers, to dictate their schedule, both of which are self-made decisions. There is no golden formula that solves it, but keeping to a strict timetable can restore some of the so-called work/home balance, which, generally speaking, if you talk about it, YOU have a problem. Introspection. Step number one. We’re done here. Now you can go back to pretending to looking busy – keep that IM icon all green and active.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Appalachia’s Hospital Closures Are a Slow-Motion Health Care Emergency

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

        Even before the coronavirus, America’s health care system was in crisis. Skyrocketing costs for patients, an accelerating work pace for nurses and other health care workers, and a tangle of private and public insurance bureaucracy throw up barriers to care for millions of Americans. But this doleful situation isn’t for lack of doctors, or lack of facilities, not really. At heart, what is strangling America’s health care system is that we still don’t count health care among the human rights to which we’re all entitled—we still largely view the health of our fellow citizens as another potential source of profit.

      • 268,000 People Died and Scott Atlas Shrugged: Trump’s “Most Dangerous” Covid Adviser Quits

        Atlas brought no expertise in infectious diseases but plenty of misinformation to the position.

      • Going “Back to Normal” Is Too Dangerous to Even Contemplate

        If the underlying trends don’t change, after Biden we could have Trumps as far as the eye can see. And health and environmental crises that make the coronavirus another step toward Armageddon.

      • ‘The Ones With the Most Risk Are the Ones We’re Most Ill-Prepared to Reach with the Vaccine’

        Janine Jackson interviewed U Penn’s Ravi Gupta about vaccine infrastructure for the November 20, 2020, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • States With Few Coronavirus Restrictions Are Spreading the Virus Beyond Their Borders

        For months after Washington state imposed one of the earliest and strictest COVID-19 lockdowns in March, Jim Gilliard didn’t stray far from his modular home near Waitts Lake, 45 miles north of Spokane.

        The retiree was at high risk from the coronavirus, both because of his age, 70, and his medical condition. Several years ago, he had a defibrillator implanted. So he mainly ventured out during the pandemic to shop for food.

      • “Part of the Solution”: Meet the Black Doctor Who Joined a Vaccine Trial After Her Dad Died of COVID

        As the drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna seek emergency approval for their coronavirus vaccines, public health bodies and regulators are weighing how to distribute the vaccines and who will get access to them. The pandemic is disproportionately impacting African American, Latinx and Indigenous communities, exposing long-standing inequities and systemic racism in the U.S. healthcare system. These same communities are underrepresented in the clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines, due in part to centuries of abusive treatment at the hands of medical researchers. We speak with Dr. Chris Pernell, a public health physician in Newark, New Jersey, who is participating in Moderna’s vaccine trial, in part as a way to honor her late father who died from COVID and to ensure African Americans are included in the studies. “Being a public health physician, I needed a way to be a part of the solution,” she says. “I knew it was important for Black and Brown persons to participate if we were ever to get at a truly effective solution.”

      • Vaccine Ethics: Doctor Warns Against Paying People to Get COVID Vaccine as U.S. Preps Distribution

        As distribution of coronavirus vaccines draws near, a recent poll suggests that 42% of Americans are reluctant to take the vaccine. In response, some, including former Maryland congressmember and presidential candidate John Delaney, are pushing to pay people to get vaccinated, a move being discouraged by many, including Dr. Monica Peek, a physician, associate professor of medicine and health disparities researcher at the University of Chicago. She says there are major concerns about how to ensure at-risk groups get vaccinated while overcoming public doubts about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, but paying people to get vaccinated would be a mistake. “We need to have the public trust that this vaccine will be safe, and we cannot cut corners,” she says.

      • World AIDS Day Is Grim Reminder of an Ongoing Epidemic, with 700,000 Dead from HIV/AIDS in 2019

        December 1 is World AIDS Day, and as the world waits on an effective vaccine for COVID-19, we look at the ongoing AIDS epidemic and how the coronavirus has threatened treatment for those living with HIV. Author and journalism professor Steven Thrasher says the coronavirus has amplified racial, class and other disparities, just as AIDS has done for decades, and that treatments must have an antiracist and anti-capitalist foundation in order to be successful. ”HIV/AIDS has continued to kill way too many people. Almost 700,000 people died last year,” says Thrasher. “The problem is not just the drugs. It’s the conditions around people’s lives that lead them to become affected by viruses.”

      • Canada Is Now Paying the Price for Privatizing Its Vaccine Research and Production Lab

        Unfortunately, we’ve ventured a long way from the days when we had a publicly owned and medically innovative enterprise that dazzled on the world stage and kept Canadians at the front of the line for vaccines.

      • Tests Reveal Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Aerial Pesticide Showered Over Millions of Acres in US

        “These findings shock the conscience.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • 5 collaboration tips for using an open source alternative to Google Docs

              ONLYOFFICE Docs is highly flexible in how you can store documents. By default, you can use ONLYOFFICE Docs within an ONLYOFFICE Workspace. This provides a productivity solution for managing documents and projects. It’s the clear way to use ONLYOFFICE Docs because it’s included; when you install one, you get the other.

              However, the full ONLYOFFICE suite can be integrated with ownCloud, Nextcloud, and other popular sync and share platforms. Helpful connectors are available in your sharing platform’s official app store or on GitHub.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation to offer new entry-level IT certification

                There’s a new certification that’ll help prove your credentials as you start your IT career. Designed by the Linux Foundation, the certification will help prove your proficiency in IT and can be used to join the workforce at an associate level or as a stepping stone to more advanced courses.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (brotli, jupyter-notebook, and postgresql-9.6), Fedora (perl-Convert-ASN1 and php-pear), openSUSE (go1.15, libqt5-qtbase, mutt, python-setuptools, and xorg-x11-server), Oracle (firefox, kernel, libvirt, and thunderbird), Red Hat (rh-postgresql10-postgresql and rh-postgresql12-postgresql), SUSE (java-1_8_0-openjdk, python, python-cryptography, python-setuptools, python3, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-kvm, linux-lts-trusty, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, python-werkzeug, and xorg-server, xorg-server-hwe-16.04, xorg-server-hwe-18.04).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Some Liberals and Arms-Control Experts are Cheering for War Profiteers to Be in Biden’s Cabinet

        Rationalizations are plentiful, but the results are dangerous. It’s an insidious process — helping to set low standards for the incoming administration. Enablers now extol potential Cabinet picks who’ve combined pushing for continuous war and hugely expensive new weapons systems with getting rich as dealmakers for the military-industrial complex.

        As journalists have brought to light, Antony Blinken and Michèle Flournoy shamelessly teamed up to cash in while rotating through high positions at the State Department and Pentagon. At the same time, Blinken (the Biden nominee to be Secretary of State) and Flournoy (in the running for Secretary of Defense) have backed nonstop U.S. warfare.

      • The History of the Decline and Fall of the American Empire

        Or what it means to fall on a failing planet.

      • Dispossession and Imperialism Repackaged as “Feeding the World”

        In 2014, the Oakland Institute found that institutional investors, including hedge funds, private equity and pension funds, are eager to capitalise on global farmland as a new and highly desirable asset class. Financial returns are what matter to these entities, not food security.

        Consider Ukraine. The organisation Grain found that in 2014 small farmers operated 16% of agricultural land in that country, but provided 55% of agricultural output, including: 97% of potatoes, 97% of honey, 88% of vegetables, 83% of fruits and berries and 80% of milk. It is clear that Ukraine’s small farms were delivering impressive outputs.

      • Warning of International Law Violations, Rights Groups Demand Halt to Trump Weapons Sale to UAE

        “In Yemen, airstrikes by the Saudi- and Emirati-led Coalition are responsible for the majority of civilian casualties,” 29 groups write in a new letter.

      • Don’t Expect Biden to Do Much About the War State

        In this mystifying moment, the post-electoral sentiments of most Americans can be summed up either as “Ding dong! The witch is dead!” or “We got robbed!” Both are problematic, not because the two candidates were intellectually indistinguishable or ethically equivalent, but because each jingle is laden with a dubious assumption: that President Donald Trump’s demise would provide either decisive deliverance or prove an utter disaster.

      • The New Humanitarian | Migrants in Bosnia face a harsh winter and growing animosity

        As winter approaches, concerns are growing among aid workers in Bosnia and Herzegovina about an acute shortage of housing and increasing hostility from authorities and locals towards approximately 10,000 asylum seekers and migrants stranded in the Western Balkan country bordering the EU.
        Since 2016, Bosnia has been an unintended waystation for people fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa and seeking a path to northern or western Europe through the Balkans after crossing from Turkey to Greece.
        The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, has recorded the arrival of nearly 68,000 people in the country since 2018. Most are looking to transit through to EU member state Croatia, and beyond, but end up stuck because Croatian border police systematically – and often violently – push asylum seekers and migrants back across the border, according to human rights groups.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • House Democrats Demand Increase in IRS Funding to Go After ‘Wealthy Tax Cheats’—Like Donald Trump

        “Millionaire tax dodgers like Donald Trump get away with paying little to no federal income tax in part because IRS funding has dropped over 20% since 2010.”

      • #10. Revive Journalism with a Stimulus Package and Public Option – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020

        Doubling the annual federal appropriations for public media over the next two years would require an additional $930 million. “This money isn’t for Downton Abbey reruns,” Aaron wrote. Instead, for example, it could be used to extend the successful model of using public media as an educational resource while students are home from school. In California, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the local PBS affiliate, KCET, have partnered “to offer instruction over the airwaves while kids are out of school, with separate channels focused on different ages,” Aaron noted. A congressional appropriation of at least $200 million could expand public media’s “Ready to Learn” initiative to cover all school-aged children. Any recovery package should also include direct support for daily and weekly newsrooms, including jobs at newspapers, community papers, and alt-weeklies committed to local news coverage. Just $625 million could help retain 25,000 newsroom jobs, Aaron reported. Congress could facilitate this investment by offering deferred or no-interest business loans and tax credits, such as Aaron’s proposed Emergency Jobs for Journalism Tax Credit, which would provide outlets with $40,000 per newsroom employee hired during 2020. COVID-19, Aaron wrote, provides an opportunity to “revive and reimagine journalism’s future.” Thus, as Aaron advocated, a future stimulus bill could include $2 billion for a “First Amendment Fund” that would support “new positions, outlets, and approaches to newsgathering.”

      • Tlaib Says Lack of Popular Stimulus Checks in Bipartisan Relief Plan Shows ‘Disconnect’ Between Senate and People

        “There may not be bipartisan support for an additional check” among Republican and Democratic lawmakers, said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, “but there is support outside of Congress.”

      • Warren Presses Biden to Enact ‘Effective Economic Stimulus’ With Single Pen Stroke: Cancel Student Debt

        “All on his own,” Warren said during a hearing with Fed chairman Jerome Powell, the incoming president “will have the ability to administratively cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt.”

      • Open Letter to My Landlord: The Word of the Month is “Renegotiation”

        (Please forward to corporate, as far up the chain as possible.)

        First of all, in this household, we’ve long ago stopped responding to your bizarre annual surveys where you ask whether your tenants are content, without ever mentioning the elephant in the living room.  You give us options to rate how content we are, all of which are designed to reflect badly on your employees if we aren’t happy.  The reason we stopped responding to your survey is because it’s meaningless and pointless, but for the record, we think all of your employees are very nice, and you should pay them a living wage, too.

      • Russia’s Secret Service files $13-million lawsuit against businessman convicted of embezzling funds during construction of Putin’s residence

        Russia’s Secret Service, the Federal Protective Service (FSO), has filed a billion-ruble ($13-million) lawsuit against businessman Stanislav Kyuner, who was convicted of embezzlement during the construction of the presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, RIA Novosti reports. 

      • #8. The Public Banking Revolution – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020

        After California legislators enacted the state’s Public Banking Act, the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco announced plans to establish public banks. In November 2019, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy established a task force to create a business and operations plan for how a public bank could help meet the capital needs of the state’s small businesses, nonprofits, students, and affordable housing projects.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • We Know Joe

        Inauguration Day is the opening of a new front in the battle for the planet and those creatures who live on it. The Trump years were, more than anything, a forced retreat. The fascist and other reactionary forces unleashed by his occupation of the White House made major gains and they are determined to hang on to those gains. The eight years that preceded him were, in essence, not a forced retreat but part of a decades long retreat, nonetheless.

        It’s good that Biden is a conventional establishment politician. It is also bad. The history of the last four decades (with the exception of the Trump years) is the history of a nation ruled by conventional establishment politicians. It is good because we know their strategies and tricks. It is bad because those strategies and tricks can lull people into a political sleep.

      • Trump’s Worst Crime Must Not be Forgotten
      • What Are We Gonna Do Now to Save Our Democracy?

        However, some people believe Trump may do a runner, seek refuge in a country without an extradition treaty with the US. Scotland’s out: They almost had an angus burger last time he was there. Maybe Turkey, Erdogan’d be willing; DJ could find a nice studio apartment, with views, near the Istanbul Red Light district and continue his pre-presidential pursuits. Or maybe he could slip into Papua New Guinea, start a cargo cult, blow a dogma whistle. There’s a South Pacific island what loves American militarism there and Spam has been a staple, ever since. And Trumpism is a kind of Spam.

        Meanwhile, there are practical, sane things we can do in America to save the Republic, before it degenerates into chaos and a previously unfelt ineffectuality brought on by a serious loss of face on the global stage. On that note, the ex-Singaporean ambassador to the UN recently put out a compelling scenario — Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy — that sees China taking advantage of the “chaos” in America, brought on by the Trump era, to seriously undermine the dollar as the global exchange currency. This would do some serious damage to the American economy and right-cross the glass-steagall jaw of the middle class, already reeling.

      • Russian state investigators deny reports of extremism probe over Navalny interview

        Media reports about the Russian Investigative Committee reviewing statements made by opposition figure Alexey Navalny for inciting extremism are untrue, the committee’s official spokesperson, Svetlana Petrenko, said on Tuesday, December 1. 

      • Don’t Fall for Pimping Pompeo’s Promises

        The extra-judicial assassination of Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, is but another act of terror in an uptick in U.S. and Israeli military operations against the Iranian regime and its citizens. As the countdown to the January 20, 2021 deadline draws near, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and UAE’s window of opportunity to draw the U.S. into a war with Iran narrows.  For the above-mentioned, there will never be another fifty-day opportunity to have a xenophobic megalomaniac unleash a “war like you’ve never seen before” on Iran. The sole purpose of this murderous assassination is to draw Iran into a military conflict with the U.S.

        Donald Trump’s four-year attempts to break Iran’s will have failed miserably; his vengefully maniacal regime of sanctions and verbal threats to impose a new, renegotiated nuclear deal (orchestrated by Netanyahu and the Foolish Gulf Arabs) is as dead as a nail. Having lost his second bid for the presidency, Trump has consigned himself to the sphere of denial, anger, and bitter rancor.

      • With Rent Due and Evictions Looming, Warren Rips McConnell for ‘Disgraceful’ Obstruction

        “McConnell and the Senate GOP still haven’t reinstated the $600 unemployment checks, extended unemployment programs, passed rental assistance, or anything else in months to help struggling families during this crisis.”

      • ‘Utterly Arbitrary and Unlawful’: Farmworker Groups Sue to Block Trump Wage Freeze

        An attorney for Farmworker Justice warned that, if allowed to take effect, the wage freeze would cause “grave harm to some of the most vulnerable workers in the nation.”

      • How a Rahm Emanuel Appointment Would Hurt Biden and the Democrats

        An appointment for the notoriously abrasive former mayor of Chicago should be of even more concern to the new administration and the Democratic Party than it is to the left.

      • Trump’s Final Days: Who Stood Up to Him?

        The question after January 20, when Trump is gone from the White House, is how many Senate and House Republicans will find the integrity to stand up for America rather than bend to the conspiracy theories and hatefulness that will be the legacies of Trumpism.

      • ‘All About the Grift’: Trump Reportedly Raises Over $150 Million for Non-Existent ‘Election Defense Fund’

        “Small donors who give to Trump thinking they are financing an ‘official election defense fund’ are in fact helping pay down the Trump campaign’s debt or funding his post-presidential political operation.”

      • #6. Shadow Network of Conservative Outlets Emerges to Exploit Faith in Local News – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020

        The story of “[d]ozens of websites branded as local news outlets” in Michigan, a crucial swing state in the 2016 election, was originally reported by Carol Thompson for the Lansing State Journal in October 2019. The CJR report expanded on previous investigations conducted by Thompson, the Michigan Daily, and others, which had identified around two hundred sites in several states posing as local news outlets while publishing politically biased content. 

      • If Senate Democrats Are Sick of Losing, They Should Try Fighting

        The last three Supreme Court confirmation hearings have been a disaster for the Democrats. Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party were able to confirm all of Donald Trump’s nominees: Neil Gorsuch, alleged attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. These three justices now make up a third of the Supreme Court, and none of them should be on the bench.

      • Stacey Abrams
      • Can Democrats Really Win Georgia’s 2 Senate Seats?

        A vast multiracial coalition swept Joe Biden to victory in Georgia last month, with all racial groups turning out in record numbers, making Biden the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in almost 20 years. But a stunning 91 percent increase by Asian American/Pacific Islanders over 2016 exceeded expectations. Many were first-time voters; in Georgia’s Seventh Congressional District, including rapidly diversifying Gwinnett County, 41 percent of the AAPI residents who helped carry Democrat Carolyn Bordeaux to victory cast their first-ever ballots, researchers told The New York Times. Hispanic participation jumped an astonishing 72 percent.

      • The Future of the United States Is at Stake in Georgia

        The two U.S. Senate races there are a microcosm of America’s struggle to find a way forward.

      • Celebrating Another Maskless, Clueless, Death-Haunted, Staggeringly Hypocritical “Special Time of the Year”
    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Establishment Journalists Are Piling on To Smear Robert Fisk Now He Cannot Answer Back

        Fisk was the constant reminder of just how much they had sold out. His very existence shamed them for what they were too cowardly to do themselves. And now in death, when he cannot answer back, they are feasting on his corpse like the vultures that they are.

      • ‘What we are seeing is unprecedented’ Journalists share firsthand accounts of the crackdown on press freedom in Belarus

        In Belarus, journalists covering the country’s ongoing protest wave continue to face arrests and even jail time. According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), nine journalists reporting on the protests in the fall of 2020 have been targeted with criminal cases, which threaten up to three years in prison. Several journalists facing charges are currently in pre-trial detention; others have fled the country. Hundreds of media personnel have been arrested, while dozens have been held in administrative custody or become victims of police violence. Press IDs and vests have long ceased to protect reporters — in fact, they’ve had the opposite effect, drawing the attention of law enforcement officers, who have started targeting journalists. The crackdown has even inspired solidarity protests in defense of members of the press. “Meduza” talks to journalists from Belarus to get their firsthand accounts of covering the opposition protests, facing persecution for their work, and resisting the pressure to leave the profession.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: We Must Rethink Our Society, from Policing to the Supreme Court
      • Tennessee State Rep Ask US Congress To Ignore Supreme Court Precedent And Outlaw Flag Burning

        Perhaps Tennessee State Representative Jay Reedy read the electoral room wrong on November 5 and thought his boy would remain president for another four years. Maybe he was just drunk on the success of securing his state rep position in the general election after a strenuous unopposed campaign. Whatever the case, Rep. Reedy is apparently hoping Congressional reps will return to Capitol Hill refreshed and ready to violate the Constitution.

      • These Visa Recipients Are Stuck in the US And Demanding Their Rights

        By mid-March, Mars was starting to worry. The 27-year-old was living and working in Little Rock, Ark., where the mayor had just imposed a midnight curfew. Restaurants and shopping malls were beginning to be shuttered. On March 20, Arkansas recorded the state’s biggest one-day spike in Covid-19 cases since the outbreak began.

      • Is the Nationalist Tide Receding?

        But it seemed on the wane after 1945, when the vast devastation of World War II—a conflict fostered by rightwing, nationalist demagogues—convinced people around the globe of the necessity to transcend nationalism and encourage international cooperation. Indeed, the widespread recognition of the interdependence of nations led to the creation of institutions like the United Nations (which established a modicum of global governance) and the European Union (which established a regional federation).

        Thus, it came as a shock when, during the second decade of the twenty-first century, a new generation of nationalists, invariably rightwing populists, made startling political breakthroughs in their countries. Feeding on popular discontent with economic stagnation and widespread immigration, nationalist demagogues like Matteo Salvini of Italy, Viktor Orban of Hungary, and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands stirred up mass support. In Britain, Nigel Farage’s new United Kingdom Independence Party spearheaded a campaign for a British exit from the European Union, leading to passage of a June 2016 Brexit referendum. In France, Marine Le Pen, leader of the neo-fascist National Front who focused on what she termed a battle between “patriots” and “globalists,” came startlingly close to election as her country’s president in 2017. Another flamboyant nationalist leader, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, campaigning under the slogan “Brazil Above Everything, God Above Everyone,” was elected his nation’s president with 55 percent of the vote in 2018.

      • #7. Underreporting of Missing and Victimized Black Women and Girls – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020

        As Henry explained, a 2010 study of US media coverage of missing children found that “only 20 percent of reported stories focused on missing Black children despite [their disappearances] corresponding to 33 percent of the overall missing children cases.” The study concluded that missing persons stories involving Black children, and specifically missing Black girls, are reported on by corporate media less frequently than other missing children cases. 

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Syscall User Dispatch Appears Destined For Linux 5.11 To Help Windows Games On Linux

        The Syscall User Dispatch support looks like it should be mainlined for the Linux 5.11 kernel. This functionality is important for modern Windows games running on Linux under Wine / Proton.

        Syscall User Dispatch has been in the works for a while as a kernel-level improvement for dealing with Windows games/apps that use system call instructions, bypassing the Windows API. Games avoiding the Windows API and performing system calls directly is an increasingly common occurrence by modern Windows games, seemingly in the name of Digital Rights Management schemes and similar protected modes. This though has been a problem for Wine (and Steam Play’s Proton) when bypassing the conventional Windows APIs.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Not-Yet Filed Invention Rights [Ed: Dennis Crouch still calls patents "rights", which they are not, neither technically nor legally; those misnomers are nothing short of deliberately misleading propaganda]

          The Patent Act indicates that patents should be treated as if “personal property” and that both patents and patent applications are “assignable in law by an instrument in writing.” 35 U.S.C. 261. Section 102 also suggests that the claimed invention may already be “owned” prior to filing. 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(1)(C).

        • FOSS Patents: Federal Council of Germany has patent reform bill on agenda for December 18 session

          Just a quick procedural update on German patent reform: the Bundesrat (Federal Council) has patent reform on the agenda for its December 18 session–item no. 15 for the day. While I was pleased to see some improvement in early September, the legislative proposal that the German government (Chancellor Merkel’s cabinet) ultimately decided to put on the table is worded in such a way that the courts would rarely even reach the question of proportionality, much less resolve it in a defendant’s favor. I criticized various large companies for shooting themselves in the foot in this context.

          So what’s the significance of that December 18 decision by the Federal Council going to be?

          The Federal Council is the co-legislative body in which the governments of the German federal states cast their votes. Just like in the U.S., patent law is federal law, not state law. Therefore, the Federal Council’s influence is limited. Theoretically it could veto even a patent reform bill, but could then be overruled by a supermajority of the Bundestag (Federal Parliament). A veto won’t happen here, realistically. Instead, the Federal Council will just express its views, which the Federal Parliament will then take into consideration.

        • Software Patents

          • Is it time to move on from the AI inventor debate? [Ed: Maybe the lawyers need to grow up and stop calling everything "HEY HI"; computer-generated patents reveal a flaw in the many assumptions about patents and the patent system]

            This Kat has long argued that the discussion of AI inventorship is premature (IPKat: The mirage of AI invention – nothing more than advanced trial and error?). However, the subject of AI inventorship remains (for want of a better word) trendy. Following the widely publicised submission of two patent applications purporting to have an AI inventor, the media and conference circuit was awash with discussion on the topic. However, in a welcome injection of realism into the debate, the majority of contributors to a recent USPTO public consultation on the topic (reported on IPKat here) were of the opinion that AI is not yet capable of invention.

            As previously discussed on IPKat, it is difficult to comprehend how an algorithm that is anything short of an artificial general intelligence (AGI), can be said to be capable of invention (IPKat: The first AI inventor – IPKat searches for the facts behind the hype). However, we are currently far away from anything that would approach an AGI. The capabilities of today’s AI algorithms are restricted to narrow and well-defined tasks, as can be seen from a brief glance over Google/Deepmind’s patent portfolio (see here). A major theme identified by the USPTO from the consultation results was that, based on the majority view that AGI has not yet arrived current AI could neither invent nor author without human intervention.


            There are a number of ongoing consultations around the world on the topic of AI inventors and inventions, including a consultation by the UKIPO, which closes on 30 November 2020 (IPKat here). The hope is that results of these consultations will further help us to finally put the theoretical issue of AI inventorship to bed and allow the patent offices and national courts to concentrate on more practical issues.

Links 2/12/2020: ZaReason RIP, Rancher Now SUSE-Owned, OSI Board Director Works for/on Azure

Posted in News Roundup at 3:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga: 6 month impressions

        I’ve now had my Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptop for about 6 months, so I thought I’d provide a quick update about how it’s going to use this laptop every day with openSUSE Tumbleweed running KDE Plasma. Let’s explore what’s changed since then…

        Initially, I complained about some aspects of the keyboard layout, but I’ve gotten used to the Home/End/PageUp/PageDown positioning, and the swapped position of the Fn and Ctrl keys. These are fine now. Lack of media keys is okay too since I’ve used the Shortcuts KCM to set my own. However I just can’t get used to the PrintScreen key being between the right Alt and Ctrl keys. I probably press it by accident 10 times a day and bring up Spectacle when I don’t mean to. One of these days I should get around to using xmodmap or something to turn it into a right Meta key, and they maybe make the F11 key which currently does nothing be the new PrintScreen key.

      • Making the Switch to elementary OS

        It all started with an upgrade.

        In October, 2020 version 20.10 of Ubuntu came out. As I usually do, I duly clicked the button to start the process.

        That upgrade seemed to go smoothly — everything installed quickly with no conflicts or error messages. I walked away to make a cup of white tea, and when I came back the installation had finished and my laptop rebooted.

        It was then that I noticed a problem. A fairly big one. Instead of a login screen, I saw a field of aubergine (the colour, not the vegetable). I thought that my laptop was sleeping, so I pressed some keys to try to wake it up. It didn’t work. I rebooted, but I was faced with the same problem.

      • Mandriva Linux Chronicles: Good-bye, ZaReason!

        The best laptop I have ever owned (and still own, despite being purchased 6 years ago) is a ZaReason Strata.

        It is still working great, but I was one of these days fishing the market for Linux laptops, just in case.

        When I visited the ZaReason page several months ago this year, I saw that they had very few products. This year has been tough.

    • Server

      • Top 10 Tools to Automate Linux Admin Tasks – Linux Hint

        If you are a Linux administrator, or you want to become one, there are certain tasks that can become repetitive and boring. In fact, back in the day, some tasks were so incredibly repetitive that it became very hard to keep track of all the servers; this is why automation tools were created to help with such tasks. These tools help you manage and administer different servers or systems at once, and some of them allow you to do a particular task with only a click or a command line. These tools mentioned below will definitely help you automate some of the tasks of a system administrator so that you can concentrate on other interesting concepts and tasks.

        Here are the top 10 Linux Admins to boost office productivity and ease of access. Click on the links to visit the homepage.

      • Google Anthos Gets Edgy on Bare Metal Servers – SDxCentral

        Google’s Anthos hybrid cloud platform now runs on bare metal servers. The move targets enterprise workloads running in on-premises data centers or edge locations, and the announcement preempts a ton of new products and capabilities that rival Amazon Web Services (AWS) will undoubtedly rollout at its annual re:Invent, which kicks off today.

        Anthos is Google’s fully managed, Kubernetes-based platform that allows users to manage their data and applications in an on-premises environment or across cloud platforms from rivals like AWS and Microsoft. Google announced the platform at its Cloud Next event in 2018, and made it generally available last year.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • OpenZFS 2.0 release unifies Linux, BSD and adds tons of new features

        This Monday, ZFS on Linux lead developer Brian Behlendorf published the OpenZFS 2.0.0 release to GitHub. Along with quite a lot of new features, the announcement brings an end to the former distinction between “ZFS on Linux” and ZFS elsewhere (for example, on FreeBSD). This move has been a long time coming—the FreeBSD community laid out its side of the roadmap two years ago—but this is the release that makes it official.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Begins Preparing Linux Graphics Driver Support For Xe HP As “Gen12.5″ – Phoronix

          Xe HP is Intel’s discrete GPU aiming to compete against the latest-generation AMD and NVIDIA compute accelerators. Xe HP isn’t scheduled to reach general availability until well into 2021 while now as they begin ramping up their sampling of Xe HP to potential customers, the Linux open-source driver support is preparing to roll-out.

          While Xe HP is about scaling up Intel Xe Graphics (Gen12), the Xe HP driver support is introducing it as a new “Gen12.5″ target rather than just “Gen12″ that is used by Tiger Lake / Rocket Lake / Xe LP.

        • NVIDIA Is Working On DMA-BUF Passing That Should Help Improve Their Wayland Support

          NVIDIA is working on allowing their proprietary driver to support passing buffers as DMA-BUF. In turn this should allow for better supporting their proprietary driver on Wayland compared to the EGLStreams mess.

          A Phoronix reader tipped us off to NVIDIA developer comments last month in response to a KDE EGLStreams bug. A bug report was opened regarding that restarting the compositing breaks the EGLStreams back-end for KDE’s KWin.

        • Mesa Now 2~5x Faster For SPECViewPerf Following OpenGL Optimizations – Phoronix

          Well known open-source AMD Linux graphics driver developer Marek Olšák has just merged one of his largest set of optimizations in recent times: 2~5x faster performance for SPECViewPerf.

          SPECViewPerf is the common industry benchmark for measuring graphics performance for professional applications with benchmark viewsets from 3ds Max, CATIA, Maya, Solidworks, Siemens NX, and other programs. The performance when using Mesa drivers have been lagging but now thanks to common Mesa infrastructure improvements by Mesa, the performance is wildly improved.

    • Applications

      • Most Popular and Essential Linux Applications for 2021

        One of the best things that come with Linux is its large collection of applications and tools. Linux has established a respectable name for itself and is well known for having some of the most excellent and stable applications, several of which are free and open source. 2020 has been another excellent year for the production and development of several amazing and outstanding applications, and the story is mostly going to be the same next year, as well. This article covers the top 10 applications that are expected to be extremely popular in 2021.

      • Best Dual Pane File Managers for Linux

        This article will cover a list of free and open source dual-pane and multi-pane file managers available for Linux. These file managers provide a broader look at various files and folders stored on your storage devices. They also improve overall productivity and file handling experience, especially if you regularly navigate through a lot of files using keyboard shortcuts.


        These are some of the most popular dual-pane and multi-pane file managers available for Linux. While these file managers may seem cluttered and a little verbose at times, they are really useful if you want to quickly navigate through multiple files at once and run simultaneous file operations.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Etherpad on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Etherpad on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Etherpad is an open-source, web-based, and real-time collaborative editor. It comes with tons of plugins that help you to customize your instance to suit your needs. With Etherpad, you can write articles, press releases, and to-do lists with your friends, students, or colleagues at the same time.

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

      • How to Enable and Disable Nginx Cache – Linux Hint

        When you have enabled caching in Nginx Plus, it stores responses in a cache disk, and these are further used to respond to clients without holding a proxy request for every time with the same content. Nginx Plus’s caching has more capabilities in which the most useful features, such as cache purging, delayed caching, and dynamic content caching, are included.

        In this article, we will learn more about caching, such as how to enable and disable the caching in an Nginx server on a Linux system.

      • Multiple Ways to Transfer Files Between Your Computer and Cloud Linux Server – Linux Hint

        SCP is a utility used to move files and directories securely via SSH. With the SCP command, you can transfer files from your computer to your Linux server and vice versa. As this utility uses SSH to move files, you’ll need the SSH credential of your server to transfer files.

        SSH comes pre-installed on most Linux servers, but if not, you can install and enable it using the following steps.

      • How Do I Create a Reverse Proxy in Nginx? – Linux Hint

        The standard proxy server only works according to their client’s requests by providing filtering and content privacy. When we talk about the reverse proxy server, it works on behalf of server requests, used for intercepting and routing traffic to a separate server. This proxy feature is useful for load distribution and improves performance among various available servers. It shows all the content which it takes from different online sites. Using the proxy method, you can pass requests for processing to the server applications over specified protocols other than HTTP.

        There are many reasons due to which you might install the reverse proxy. One important reason is content privacy. The reverse proxy method provides a single centralized point to contact with clients. It can give you the centralized logging feature and can report across several servers. Nginx quickly processes the static content and passes dynamic requests to the Apache server; this feature improves the overall performance.

      • How to Untar Files in Linux – Linux Hint

        Tar is quite a popular archive format, especially on Linux. In many cases, distros use tar archives to deliver package updates. Tar archives are also common to find when it comes to sharing files online.

        Check out how to untar files in Linux.

      • How to Configure GUI on your EC2 Instance – Linux Hint

        There are two different types of interfaces to interact with an operating system that is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and Command Line Interface (CLI). In the Command Line Interface, we interact with the system directly using system commands on the terminal. We give commands to the system, then the system executes operating system functions according to the given commands, and we receive responses from the system in the form of simple text. The command-line interface is not commonly used by beginners. It is mostly used by developers and system administrators to configure systems and install packages as using Command Line Interface is much faster than using Graphical User Interface. Also, tasks can be automated by writing simple scripts (bash script for Linux and batch scripts for windows) using a command-line interface. We can perform way more functions using the command line interface.

        For GUI, we have a nice representation of files and folders in the operating system using icons and indicators. It is much easier for non-professionals to use a graphical user interface instead of a command-line interface.

      • Nginx SSL Setup in Linux – Linux Hint

        SSL (stands for secure socket layer) is a web protocol that makes the traffic between server and client secure by encrypting it. Server and clients safely transmit the traffic without the risk of communication being interpreted by third parties. It also helps the client to verify the identity of the website they are communicating with.

        In this post, we will describe how to setup SSL for Nginx. We will be demonstrating the procedure using the self-signed certificate. A self-signed certificate only encrypts the connection but does not validate the identity of your server. Therefore, it should be used only for testing environments or for internal LAN services. For the production environment, it is better to use the certificates signed by CA (certificate authority).

      • How to Enable KVM Kernel Module on Raspberry Pi OS? – Linux Hint

        The KVM, or Kernel Virtual Machine, is the virtualization solution for Linux. It is a Linux kernel module that allows the Linux kernel to act as a hypervisor program like VMware ESXi or VSphere.

        Earlier it was impossible to get KVM running on the Raspberry Pi using the Raspberry Pi OS (also known as Raspbian). This is because KVM only works on a 64-bit operating system. Raspberry Pi OS was a 32-bit operating system. Another reason was that Raspberry Pi 3 and earlier models had only 1 GB of memory, and this is insufficient to run KVM. Docker was a better solution for devices with 1 GB of memory.

        At the time of this writing, it is possible to run KVM on the Raspberry Pi using the Raspberry Pi OS. Because Raspberry Pi OS officially ships with a 64-bit kernel, and the Raspberry Pi 4 has an 8 GB model (it has 8 GB of memory). Sadly, the 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS kernel is not enabled by default. You have to enable it manually.

      • How to Install and Use GNOME Tweaks to Customize Your Linux Desktop – Linux Hint

        If you have been using a Linux distribution with a GNOME based desktop environment for a long time, you must be aware about the transition of GNOME 2 / GTK2 libraries to GNOME Shell / GTK3. With the advent of GNOME Shell, many useful settings that existed in GNOME 2 based desktop environments were removed, hidden or relocated, making it difficult for the average user to find these settings. This article will discuss a tool called “GNOME Tweaks” or “GNOME Tweak Tool” that reveals some of these settings to end users in GNOME Shell based Linux distributions like Ubuntu. These settings are usually not available in main system settings (also known as GNOME Control Center).

      • How to Get my IP Address in Linux – Linux Hint

        In networking, an IP address is a label assigned to a computer connected to the network. In that network, an IP address identifies a unique device. It enables devices to communicate with each other over an IP-based network like the internet or LAN.

        In the case of Linux, there are multiple tools that you can use to check the IP address. Some of the tools come pre-installed with most of the distros; some don’t.

        Check out how to get IP address in Linux.

      • Blender Animation Export – Linux Hint

        Blender is a popular 3D modeling tool. Along with modeling, it offers the entire production pipeline of 3D creation, and that includes shading, texturing, compositing, video editing, and animation. Animations are the most effective way to communicate and convey the message. It has now become a marketing tool, and many businesses are getting benefitted from it. Blender is probably the best 3D modeling program that lets you create beautiful-looking animations and motion graphics.

        If you have learned how to make a 3D animation in Blender, then it’s time to export it. This article focuses on exporting Blender animations that include selecting render engine, resolution, quality, codec, etc.

      • How to Back Up Your Data in Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        In the present era, technology has become a core part of our lives, as devices such as smartphones, computers, tablets, and more are being used every day. As technology becomes more and more advanced, it has turned out to be a huge blessing for us as our lives are becoming easier and much more efficient.

        However, the Internet has also paved way for issues such as data breaches and identify theft, which, as time goes on, have become increasingly more frequent and more hostile. Our data is constantly under threat of becoming exposed and leaked. Even if security breaches do not occur, there are often cases where data is lost due to accidental deletion or hard drive crashing, which can cause users to lose their valuable stored information. It is imperative to implement backup strategies to keep a record of your data and avoid losing all your information. This article shows you how to back up your data in the Ubuntu operating system.

      • Capturing Decrypted TLS Traffic with Arkime – NETRESEC Blog

        The latest version of Arkime (The Sniffer Formerly Known As Moloch) can now be fed with a real-time stream of decrypted HTTPS traffic from PolarProxy. All that is needed to enable this feature is to include “pcapReadMethod=pcap-over-ip-server” in Arkime’s config.ini file and start PolarProxy with the “–pcapoveripconnect″ option. PolarProxy will then connect to Arkime’s PCAP-over-IP listener on TCP port 57012 and send it a copy of all TLS packets it decrypts.

      • How to rebalance your btrfs filesystem on your Linux data center servers – TechRepublic

        The btrfs file system is quickly becoming more widespread. It’s used on a number of Linux distributions and offers plenty of features that make sense in a data center environment–features like snapshots, load balancing, online defragmentation, pooling, and error detection.

        To get the most out of the btrfs file system, you’re going to need to know how to use some of the more advanced features. One such feature is called balancing (or rebalancing).

      • How to install NetBeans 12 on Linux Mint 20 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install NetBeans 12 on Linux Mint 20.

      • How To Install AnyDesk on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install AnyDesk on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, AnyDesk is the world’s most comfortable remote desktop application. Access all your programs, documents, and files from anywhere, without having to entrust your data to a cloud service. You can say it’s an alternative to the TeamViewer, which is available free. Anydesk provides a faster remote connection than any other existing remote desktop application.

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

      • How to install Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart (SRB2Kart) on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart (SRB2Kart) 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 Install VMware Workstation 16 Pro on Ubuntu?

        Suppose you want to taste multiple Linux Distribution but your skeptical about which Linux distribution you should choose which will be the best for you. It cannot decide easily, for that you have to try the distribution after using you can say yes this OS or Distribution is best for me.

        For FreeBSD 13 there is now the import of the WireGuard kernel module. This follows OpenBSD adding WireGuard earlier in the year, various Linux kernel back-ports have been adding WireGuard too now like the Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, and Android 12 looks to support WireGuard. The WireGuard port for Windows was also recently updated.So, we will share with you the process to get out of this kind of dilemma. Thanks to Virtualization, You can use multiple Operating Systems or Distribution without affecting your primary OS.

        Many years ago, I also struggled to select which version should I use for my daily drive, and thanks to Virtualization, I have tried different OS and Linux Distribution.

        After this, I was not convinced which virtualization software I should use, But after trying different virtualization, I decided to use VMware for virtualization.

    • Games

      • Six new games live for Stadia Pro, Super Bomberman R Online now free to play + more | GamingOnLinux

        If it’s not clear yet – Stadia Pro is an entirely optional subscription. You get to claim and keep free games, as long as your subscription remains active. If you stop it, you lose those games until you subscribe again and then you get them back – it works like PSPlus on the PlayStation. Otherwise, you buy games from Stadia like any other store.

        You can also now play Super Bomberman R Online, the 64 player Battle Royale game completely free to play on Stadia. That’s now the second free to play game following Destiny 2 going free on Stadia back in November. Giving you another easy game to try the service with which is what it has been lacking.

      • Godot Engine – Tiles editor progress report #1

        As you may already know, I now have been hired for a month to work on the TileMap and TileSet editors. My goal here is to improve the UX of working with tiles, making it both easier to use and more powerful. So here is a first progress report on how things are going.

        All the work presented here is based on the proposal I made on the godot-proposals repository. The implementation might end up a little bit different, but the proposal will give you a preview of what I am aiming for.

      • The Humble Explore & Expand Bundle is live with plenty of space strategy | GamingOnLinux

        Ah, my favourite mix of genres. Space, sci-fi and strategy. I am a self-confessed huge space nerd, so a bundle of games like this is right up my street. The Linux-supported titles are great in this bundle but there’s not many of them in total, it’s a small bundle. Here’s what to expect from it.

      • The Yogscast Jingle Jam 2020 Bundle is up to support charity with lots of games | GamingOnLinux

        Want to get a bunch of awesome games and support numerous charities? The Yogscast Jingle Jam 2020 Bundle is live.

        Unlike other years, they’re not doing it through Humble Bundle but instead with Tiltify which is a dedicated charity-based fundraising platform. The whole event runs from now until December 14, 2020 which various livestreams being done which you can see the schedule for here.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma desktop updated to 5.20.4 » PCLinuxOS

          The KDE Plama desktop component in the KDE suite has been updated to 5.20.4. This is a bug fix update and available through the Synaptic Package Manager for users that are using the KDE Plasma desktop.

        • PinePhone KDE Community Edition smartphone with Plasma Mobile now up for pre-order

          PinePhone Linux phone first launched as an early adopter phone without any OS when the “Brave Edition” was first introduced in November 2019. Since then Pine64 launched variant with different Linux mobile OS including PinePhone Community Edition: UBports, the PostMarket Edition that also added support for mobile/desktop convergence with a model with more RAM and storage, as well as a USB-C Dock, and more recently there was a batch with PinePhone Manjaro Community Edition.

          If you haven’t already gotten your hand on one of the earlier models, you’ll be glad to know the PinePhone KDE Community Edition is now available for pre-order for the same $149.99 price tag for the phone only or $199.99 with the convergence package.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • macOS to FreeBSD migration a.k.a why I left macOS

          This is not a technical documentation for how I migrated from macOS to FreeBSD. This is a high-level for why I migrated from macOS to FreeBSD.

          Not so long ago, I was using macOS as my daily driver. The main reason why I got a macbook was the underlying BSD Unix and the nice graphics it provides. Also, I have an iPhone. But they were also the same reasons for why I left macOS.

          I did not want to write this post right after the migration, I wanted to take my time, use FreeBSD daily, see if I will ever miss macOS.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Arch Family

        • FOSS Activities in November 2020

          Second month of doing these posts. In short not much has been happening the past weeks, but that would be a slight lie.

          I have sponsored rgacognes Trusted User application. The application was posted to the mailing list, and it’s currently being voted and decided by a weeks time.

          There has also been some discussion for years about bringing debug packages into Arch. This has largely been stalled but I brought it back to life again. Essentially the problem might be solved by utilizing the new debuginfod project, and we can later distribute the packages itself when we understand the new mirror requirements. There is currently a discussion on [arch-dev-public] about it.

          Along with the above, chugging along nicely with packages. Python has been rebuilt for the Python 3.9 release. This means there hasn’t been as many python package updates. Currently everything is in testing and we should see packages move to the stable repositories early next week. I simply haven’t been bothered going through the hoops of releasing package updates into stable and then deal with a rebuild for python 3.9 for testing.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Students, learn new tech skills and provide meals to children in need

          To celebrate the season of giving, we’re launching a tech for good campaign as part of the Master the Mainframe enterprise coding contest. For students who spend an hour checking out IBM’s enterprise computing coding challenge, IBM will donate four meals to World Food Programme’s #ShareTheMeal initiative.

        • IBM Cloud Offers Quantum-Safe Cryptography Services

          IBM announced new cloud services and technologies to protect existing data in the cloud and prepare for potential threats associated with advances in quantum computing.

        • IBM Cloud Delivers Quantum-Safe Cryptography and Hyper Protect Crypto Services to Help Protect Data in the Hybrid Era

          IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a series of cloud services and technologies designed to help clients maintain the highest available level of cryptographic key encryption protection to help protect existing data in the cloud1 and prepare for future threats that could evolve with advances in quantum computing. Pioneered by IBM Research scientists, the company is now offering quantum-safe cryptography support for key management and application transactions in IBM Cloud®, making it the industry’s most holistic quantum-safe cryptography approach to securing data available today.

        • 2021 Global Tech Outlook, A Red Hat Report: Digital transformation, security and hybrid cloud use stand out

          When we surveyed IT leaders this year to learn about their technology goals for 2021, we were curious about the impact of COVID-19 on planning and how we can best meet our customers where they are for the coming year. What we learned? Digital transformation and security remain important, and more than a quarter of those surveyed have a hybrid cloud strategy heading into 2021.

          From July through September we surveyed more than 1,400 IT professionals — most from companies with more than $100 million in annual revenue. This included a mix of Red Hat customers and a broader industry panel.

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.6 Now Generally Available – Red Hat Developer

          Red Hat Software Collections 3.6 and Red Hat Developer Toolset 10 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) are now Generally Available. An alternative to the default RHEL toolset, Software Collections provides a differentiated and eclectic mix of tools that developers can use on a desktop or in production.

          Red Hat Software Collections are use case-specific tools and include the most current, stable version of dynamic languages, open source databases, web servers, and other critical development components. The Red Hat Software Collections 3.6 release features four new collections and four that have been updated.

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.6 and Red Hat Developer Toolset 10 now Generally Available

          The latest version of Red Hat Software Collections is now generally available, bringing the latest, stable and supported open source developer tools to Red hat Enterprise Linux 7.

        • November Success Stories: Early adopters of RHEL for SAP Solutions on IBM POWER9 and moreT

          While holiday festivities will look different this year, December—for many of us—will likely still include a flurry of closing out projects and tying up loose ends to set up for the upcoming year. As you sit down at your kitchen island with a cup of hot chocolate (or tea, coffee, lemon water, etc.) and open your mobile banking app to begin planning your 2021 budget, will you pause to wonder how Red Hat technologies have been in action behind the scenes to help shape not only the device you’re accessing but also the environment you’re sitting in? Maybe not, but we’re here to help get those thoughts flowing.

          As this month is a time to look ahead both at home and at work, we’re sharing some new customer success stories that may help you strategize goals for IT optimization in your enterprise or think about how digital transformation can also lend to agile practices for your staff. Let these success stories begin to frame how Red Hat technologies can help your enterprise meet customer needs in the new year.

        • Start addressing integration requirements rapidly with the IBM Cloud Pak for Integration Quick Start for AWS – IBM Developer

          For any integration platform to be effective in a hybrid multicloud environment, it must support different cloud providers. You require flexibility to select cloud providers that most effectively address your needs across cost, performance, and security requirements, without fear of vendor lock-in. With this in mind, Cloud Pak for Integration is built on Red Hat OpenShift and supports all the major cloud providers including IBM Cloud, Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.

          Need hands-on experience? Want to jump-start a proof of concept? Not sure what integration capabilities you’ll need? IBM, working closely with our partners at AWS, makes it easy with the Quick Start for IBM Cloud Pak for Integration on AWS. Employing best practices from both IBM and AWS, you can deploy a full range of integration capabilities in a production-grade multi-availability zone topology with a single click. So, jump in and start experimenting with different integration patterns that can help facilitate your transition to hybrid cloud.

      • Debian Family

        • UCS 4.4-7: Seventh Point Release of UCS 4.4

          We have just published the seventh point release: UCS 4.4-7 comes with various improvements and some new features, for example in the Self Service app and in the portal. We have also added a new Samba version and worked on the S4 Connector. In this article, I’d like to describe the most important changes.

        • Sparky news 2020/11

          The 11th monthly Sparky project and donate report of 2020…

        • Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in November 2020 · utkarsh2102

          Here’s my (fourteenth) monthly update about the activities I’ve done in the F/L/OSS world.


          This was my 23rd month of contributing to Debian. I became a DM in late March last year and a DD last Christmas! \o/

          Apart from doing a bunch of activitites like attending KubeCon + RubyConf (blog to follow!), et al and simultaneously giving my undergrad exams, I did (relatively) more work than I had really anticipated!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Unity 20.10 Launches Officially for the Raspberry Pi

          After more than two months of development, Ubuntu Unity 20.10 is now available in a final form for the Raspberry Pi. Like I said in my previous report, this distro is better run the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B series, as well as the recent Raspberry Pi 400 complete personal computer built into a compact keyboard, which is also based on the Raspberry Pi 4.

          According to the developer, you can also run Ubuntu Unity 20.10 on the older Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ models, but the entire experience might be a bit sluggish, especially when surfing the Web with the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Announcing the results of the Ubuntu Membership Board elections

          We have the pleasure to announce the results of the Ubuntu Membership Board elections, in no particular order…

        • Adopting open source in the face of fragmentation – Techerati

          Open source fragmentation is enabling innovation and efficiency, but also increasing security risks, writes Lech Sandecki, Product Manager at Canonical – the publisher of Ubuntu

          In 2020, 99 percent of enterprise codebases contain open source components. Businesses have come to realise that the collective approach of open source toward innovation has incredible benefits, and will help them to integrate technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine-learning (ML), and microservices into their solutions.

          But with this goldrush, which has brought a sharp rise in new applications, it’s becoming more difficult to see, or simply just to know, how many open source components are involved. This fragmentation is consequently hurting compliance officers, who are unable to keep up with the software supply chain. These same officers are struggling with visibility and cannot keep up pace.

          The challenge is that the landscape is unrecognisable from just a decade ago. Back then, a much smaller pool of commercial open source vendors licensed their software to customers, understood everything about the code, and dealt with every security patch.

        • Install Amazon EKS Distro anywhere

          Today, we’re excited to announce that EKS is available outside of AWS, on any Ubuntu system, with the EKS snap. This announcement builds on the existing collaboration between Amazon and Canonical to ensure the quality, security, and usability of Ubuntu-based EKS clusters on AWS.

        • Canonical’s LTS Docker Image Portfolio is now available on Amazon ECR Public
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OpenUK Awards Looking for Judges – Jonathan Riddell’s Diary

        OpenUK is looking for two charismatic and diligent individuals to be judges in the 2021 OpenUK Awards. After a successful first edition in 2020, OpenUK are looking to find two judges from the Community to judge the Awards with Katie Gamanji, our head Judge for 2021.

      • Released: Report on Our Member Survey [Ed: unscientific OSI with the Azure (Microsoft) person doing a ‘survey’]

        This year, OSI Board member Elana Hashman began a project to survey OSI’s stakeholders. This was the first time in our history that we have formally surveyed people in our community. Some of the results were surprising and some were expected, but on the whole, the participants we spoke with want to see OSI do “more.” Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.


        Elana Hashman, OSI Board Director said, “I’m very excited to present the report for the OSI’s first members survey. As the Membership Committee Chair, I think it is crucial to seek input from our members in order to ensure that the OSI’s strategy is informed and representative. Participants have put many hours into sharing their thoughts on how they view the OSI and how we can improve the organization, and I am so appreciative of the community’s thoughtful responses and contributions.”

      • Events

        • 4 talks from Bootlin at Live Embedded Event, December 3

          As we announced back in October, Bootlin has participated to the organization of a new online conference around embedded systems: Live Embedded Event, which will take place on December 3. The registration is totally free, and the event will propose 4 tracks throughout the day, covering a wide range of topics. We encourage you to register and participate to the event!

      • CMS

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Graylog provides end-user advancements in latest platform update

            Server Side Public License-Beginning with v4.0, Graylog Open Source will be licensed under the Server Side Public License (SSPL). First introduced by MongoDB, the SSPL license provides similar open source rights to GPL v3, and additionally extends those rights to cover cloud and SaaS offerings.

      • Programming/Development

        • PHP 8 Keeps Open-Source Programming Language Relevant | IT Pro

          PHP 8 is the first major update of the widely deployed web programming language in years, bringing new features that could help expand its adoption and usage.

        • Deriving Patterns of Fraud from the Enron Dataset

          Enron filed for bankruptcy on December 2, 2001. Arthur Anderson, one of the “Big Five” accounting firms, which audited the financial statements was dissolved as a result of the Enron scandal.

          The Enron email and financial datasets are big, messy treasure troves of information, which become much more useful once you know your way around them a bit. Enron’s complete data may be downloaded from this link here, and the refined pickle files may be downloaded from the following Github repository along with the complete code used in this article.

        • Qt Quick MultiEffect

          If you read the recent Qt Marketplace blog post, you may have noticed that something called Qt Quick MultiEffect has become available. This blog post gives more details on what Quick MultiEffect actually is and why you might want to consider using it in your Qt Quick projects.

          Let’s start with a bit of background information. Qt Graphical Effects module contains a set of effects which can be used in Qt Quick user interfaces. These cover blur, shadow, mask, contrast etc. effects which can be easily applied into Quick items. When you need a single effect, these are great. But when you want to use multiple effects at the same time, performance is not optimal, because each effect renders into FBO texture which next effect then uses as its source. Because of this separation of effects, shaders also can’t share calculations and textures. So multiple Qt Graphical Effects increase GPU and memory usage a bit more than desired.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Day 2: Perl is dead. Long live Perl and Raku. – Raku Advent Calendar

            ‘Perl is dead’, is a meme that’s just plain wrong. Perl isn’t dead. It’s just dead to some programmers. Complicated regexes? Sigils? There’s more than one way to do it (TMTOWTDI)? Sometimes when programmers encounter Perl in the wild they react with fear. “WTF!?”, they cry! But fear needn’t be a Perl killer. If you take the time to see past Perl’s imperfections and walk the learning curve, there are rich rewards: Perl is an imperfect but pragmatic and expressive language that for 30+ years has helped programmers get the job done.

            When Larry Wall designed Raku he fixed most of Perl’s imperfections and doubled down on Perl’s DNA. Perl values pragmatism, expressivity, and whipupitude and Raku does too! Why stop at sigils ($@%) when you can have twice the fun with twigils ($!, %!, @! etc)?

            For some programmers, however, the mere sight of a twigil can induce fear. Like Perl, Raku’s expressive power is a double-edged sword – potentially stopping other programmers in their tracks. A Raku programmer’s, “DWIM” (do what I mean) can be another programmer’s “WAT!?”

        • Python

          • Python Queue – Linux Hint

            Python provides many built-in modules, functions, and statements that help the programmers to perform various complicated tasks easily. It also provides many built-in data structures like lists, tuple, and dictionaries, which ensure the efficient creation and management of data in applications. A queue is a data structure that stores and manages the data. It stores the data in a first-in, first-out (FIFO) order. The element that is inserted first will be removed first. We can understand the working of the queue from our daily life example. It‘s like a queue of customers; the customer who comes first is facilitated first.

          • Python Multi-line Comments – Linux Hint

            Every programming language provides a mechanism to add comments to projects. Comments are the simple lines in computer programs that are ignored by the compiler or interpreter. Comments are often written in natural language to increase programmer comprehensibility. Developers use comments to ignore some parts of the code in the debugging or testing phase.

            Writing comments in Python can be very simple, and creating a comment in Python begins with the ‘#’ symbol. This article explains how to create multi-line comments in Python.

          • How to Join Lists in Python – Linux Hint

            Lists are an important data structure in Python, used to store multiple elements in a single container. Python lists can store both similar types and heterogeneous types of elements. In Python, you can join or concatenate two or more lists. Joining a list merges numerous lists into a single list. This article explains the joining or concatenation of Python lists in several ways.

          • Python Zip File – Linux Hint

            Python is a general-purpose programming language. It is widely used in machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and data sciences projects. Python is loaded with handy built-in modules, functions, and statements. Therefore, it helps the programmers a lot to perform many types of tasks. Performing the file related task in Python is super easy due to the availability of related modules. We can perform any type of file-related tasks, i.e., reading, writing, searching, and deleting a file.

            ZIP is a popular format of files that offers lossless compression. A ZIP file contains one or many compressed files and is a single file. The compression algorithms ensure that we can recreate the actual data from the compressed data without any loss. There are several benefits of using the zip file. By using the zip files, we can put all the related data in one single file with reduced file size. Encryption can also be applied while creating zip files. ZIP files are mostly created and used when we need to transfer data through online sources like social media applications and email. It ensures the fastest delivery of data. Python provides a built-in zipfile module to work on the ZIP files. In this guide, we will learn to perform various zip file-related tasks with examples.

          • Python Global Variables – Linux Hint

            In programming language, variables are used to store information. For example, in developing a student management software system, the name, email, and age of a student will be stored in the respective variables. Like other programming languages, Python has both global and local variables. In Python, global variables are declared outside of the function and can be used everywhere in the program. This article explains global variables in Python in detail with some examples.

            The scope of the global variable is very wide, and it is not limited to any specific function. These variables can be used both inside and outside of the function for storing and retrieving information.

          • Python getattr( ) Function – Linux Hint

            The vast variety of Python built-in modules, functions, and statements helps programmers to perform various tasks. The getattr() function is a Python built-in function that allows programmers to access the attribute value of an object. If the value is not found, then the getattar() function returns the default value. This is the reason why the getattr() function is used mostly to access the attribute values of objects. This article will provide a detailed explanation of the getattr() function with some examples.

  • Leftovers

    • Pronoun Study

      They paid them to cut their olive trees down.

      You paid them to cut their olive trees down.

    • Tata Near Deal to Buy Alibaba-Backed Indian Online Grocer

      The conglomerate is now negotiating how much stake it would purchase in Innovative Retail Concepts Pvt., which is commonly known as BigBasket.com, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing details of private talks. Mint newspaper reported earlier that Tata may buy close to 80% for $1.3 billion.

    • Families say valued possessions still missing years after bank emptied their safety deposit boxes

      The bank drilled open and emptied thousands of safety deposit boxes across the country in 2012 in an effort to get rid of those no longer being used or paid for. It says its policies require the contents to be set aside for safe keeping.

    • 2020: The End of “American Thanksgiving”

      It would be wonderful for these two things to be severed as ideas and associations at the soonest possible moment – a day for each, if you will.

      Let’s have a day of pure-hearted gratitude spent with those we love, and let’s have a day to – what – have that conversation that’s been ringing in our ears for centuries now.

    • “Live Without Dead Time:” Guy Debord’s Last Shot

      For Guy Debord, the radical lyricist and founder of the Situationist International – a rather strange and short lived revolutionary organisation which privileged authentic human action over theory and headed some of the early student protests, wasn’t interested in reform. To Debord’s mind, we have become enslaved to a form of life which not only dehumanises us, but lulls us into a state of comatose compliance. Accordingly, his goal was not to further the demands of any particular interest group, but to highlight the shared emptiness of our degraded existence. Debord blamed this desolation on the fact that life had become completely colonised by capitalism. To the extent that even our relationships with each other are now reflected through the prism of the market. Like many at the time, Debord believed that the Left had betrayed the working class in accepting the so called ‘post war consensus’, which insisted on the ‘logic of the market.’ By accepting the promise of jobs over power, the Left had failed those they were supposed to represent and condemned them to irreversible enslavement. And not just the working class, for now all of society was caught up in a rampant consumerism from which there was no escape. Debord saw how that fatal acceptance had locked us into a global system, creating “one consensual organisation of the world through the market”: a totality we can neither escape nor change.

      This totality Debord famously dubbed ‘The Spectacle’, which he described with excoriating brilliance in ‘The Society of the Spectacle’, published a year before the riots. Written in aphoristic style, it is not so much a guide book to a new world as a handy compendium of poignant snapshots as to why we need to quit the old one. All the phrases Debord used to exemplify his concept of the Spectacle bespeak a weltanschauung of deadness. The Spectacle is “a negation of life that has invented a visual form for itself.” It is “A concrete inversion of life”, “an autonomous movement of non-life”. The Spectacle describes capitalism in its cultural form; shaping and managing all of life in accordance with the demands of the market. What Debord realised, which many on the Left did not, and still don’t, is that it is no longer possible to distinguish the forces of capitalism from culture, art, the state, corporations, public institutions such as education or healthcare, entertainment, the media and just about every other aspect of life, because everything is now joined up and infused by the market. It is a totality of commodification in which we exist merely as a network of representations. It is “a worldview turned into an objective force”. The Spectacle denotes a world in which life has been given over to function and representation, in which we have been hollowed out and repurposed to serve needs other than our own. We have roles and identities which we perform, but we no longer live authentic, self-determining human lives. In fact, Debord goes so far as to assert that “all individual reality, being directly dependent on social power and completely shaped by that power has assumed a social character. Indeed it is only inasmuch as individual reality is not that it is allowed to appear.” Because “nothing is allowed to appear which contradicts the spectacle.”

    • GTA5: A Living World Eyeing A Decade Of Rabid Play Instead Of Just A ‘Game’

      A little over five years ago, I wrote about the seeming emergence of a new trend in the video game space: living and evolving game worlds instead of single-serving “games”. While MMOs and other online games certainly weren’t new even then, what with World of Warcraft having a decade under its belt at that point, the post did focus on several game publishers beginning to make noises about focusing on these breathing ongoing experiences rather than selling shiny discs, or even digital downloads of one-and-done games. And if that trend became the norm, it really would change the industry. Development cycles for the release of games wouldn’t so much be a thing compared with the ongoing and time-spanning development that would go into consistently creating new experiences within an existing game. For those interested in the gaming industry, or those concerned with how traditional development cycles and “crunch” have impacted design labor, this really could be something of an inflection point.

    • The Subaltern Hero: Maradona’s Legacy

      He played with the skills of a unique talent, skills that only a few players can put on display. This was evident from his earlier years with Argentinos Juniors and when he burst onto the international stage in Tunisia in the 1979 Coca-Cola World Youth Championship which Argentina won beating the USSR in the final. Italian commentators referred to this stocky youth as ‘l’astro nascente’ (prodigy, a young man of tremendous promise). I recall seeing him score a goal of exquisite beauty for Argentina against a Rest of the World XI to commemorate one year since Argentina’s 1978 World cup win. These are skills which place him in the same bracket as such other Argentinian greats as Alfredo di Stefano (la saeta rubia), Lionel Messi and perhaps Omar Sivori. Unlike the contemporary Messi, he was both a leader and the street urchin (scugnizzi they call them in Naples) who would ally mesmerising skills with his questionable arts of hoodwinking referees with quick thinking and guile. The ‘hand of God’ goal in 1986 was a classic example. He also has the wits of the street urchin. Who can forget how he played on the traditional North-South divide of Italian post-Risorgimento politics, known as ‘La Questione Meridionale’? With the 1990 World Cup semi-final being staged in Naples, the city where he played his club football, taking Naples, just as he single-handedly took an otherwise modest Argentinean eleven, to international heights, he cleverly stirred Neapolitan feelings. “For 364 days you do not consider Naples as Italian,” he quipped to this effect “Now for just one day you want Neapolitans to be Italian”. Maybe the minds of Neapolitans would have already been made up by then. It is well known that Maradona had become such a cult figure in Naples that several Neapolitans inside the Stadio San Paolo (soon to be named after Maradona) rooted for their hero’s Argentina. Argentina went through on penalties and so, four years on from his 1986 success, Diego steered the blue and white stripes to another World Cup final against West Germany. But Italians are an unforgiving lot. Any team playing Argentina in the final, and that could have been England who also lost their semifinal on penalties, would have had a hostile Italian home crowd rooting for them or rather baying for Maradona’s and Argentinean blood. He was given the treatment in Rome said to have been meted out to the Early Christians when thrown to the lions inside the Colosseum. Argentina lost the contest to a dubious penalty and had players sent off.

      Being however the subaltern hero par excellence, Diego Armando Maradona, born in one of the poorer quarters of Buenos Aires, found in Naples, with its impoverished quarters and Hispanic residues (it had been under Spanish control before the Risorgimento and some people felt that they were treated better by the Bourbons than by the so-called Northern liberators), the ideal environment for cult hero status. One would argue that with his sublime almost extra-terrestial skills he would have been a demigod anywhere. Well, it would have been difficult for him to have the same status with his previous European club, Barcelona. Neither Messi would be that cult status figure, despite leading them to four Champions leagues and numerous La Liga (Spanish league championship) victories. That role was secured by the great Johann Cruyff, the star of the 1974 World Cup and of the Ajax team which won three European cups, who, after moving to Barca, took them from mid-table mediocrity, to the sunlit uplands of Spanish football both as player and later manager; he won them their first ever European cup. Furthermore, he set them a style which has become their trademark ever since. He argued “If the opponents do not have the ball, they cannot score”. This is possession football at its most scintillating, tiki-taka, or simply the Johann Cruyff style. So an icon already existed in Catalan folklore, especially as far as Cruyff as player was concerned; his managerial successes came during the twilight of and after Maradona’s stint in Naples.

    • Science

    • Education

      • The Number of International Students Is Shrinking. Here’s How That’s Affecting the Economy.

        International students play an especially prominent role in generating economic activity. A fresh reminder of the significance of these students’ spending surfaced last month when data from Nafsa: Association of International Educators revealed that the amount international students contributed to the U.S. economy in 2019-20 fell to $38.7 billion from the year before. The 4.4-percent decline was the first drop in the more than two decades that Nafsa has been calculating economic impact data. The number of jobs created or supported by international students fell, too.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Expert Panel Advises CDC That US Healthcare Workers and Nursing Home Residents Should Get Covid-19 Vaccine First

        The country has documented nearly 13.7 million confirmed cases and over 270,000 deaths from the disease, more than any other nation.

      • ‘Housing Is Healthcare’: Evictions Have Exacerbated Covid-19 Pandemic, Research Shows

        “This is a time where it’s not an overstatement to say that for many people, eviction can lead to death.”

      • The Visible Hand

        In the morning, I shower right after I wake up. I choose from a number of products to clean myself, yet they are made by just two companies: Unilever and Johnson & Johnson. I brush my teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste made by Procter & Gamble but sold under the separate brands Oral-B and Crest. Before I eat breakfast, because I have Type 1 diabetes, I take insulin, a drug that, because of pharmaceutical consolidation and anticompetitive patent hoarding allowed to run amok, cost about $20 for a vial in 1996 but now costs $275. Lunch isn’t any better. The peanut butter for my sandwich almost certainly comes from one of three companies; same with the jelly. We all have “choices,” but do we really get to choose?

      • As COVID Spikes, It’s Normal to Feel Helpless. Let’s Turn Fear to Activism.
      • Fort Everywhere

        Shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic struck the United States, a reporter asked Donald Trump if he now considered himself a wartime president. “I do. I actually do,” he replied. Swelling with purpose, he opened a press briefing by talking about it. “In a true sense, we’re at war,” he said. Yet the press and pundits rolled their eyes. “Wartime president?” scoffed The New York Times. “It’s far from clear if many voters will accept the idea of him as a wartime leader.” His “attempt to adopt the military mien raised more than a few eyebrows,” NPR reported. What few noted at the time is that Trump, of course, was a wartime president, and not in a metaphorical sense. He presided—and still does—over two ongoing military missions, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan and Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. More quietly, thousands of US troops patrol Africa and in recent years have endured casualties in Chad, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan. US planes and drones, meanwhile, fill the skies and since 2015 have killed more than 5,000 people (and possibly as many as 12,000) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.

      • Trump Failures Highlighted in GAO’s Devastating Report on Pandemic, Calling for ‘Urgent Action’ to Preserve Public Health

        “More than 10 months into this pandemic, the Trump administration still refuses to learn from its repeated failures, leading to more disease, more deaths, and more economic devastation across this country.”  

      • To Solve the COVID Crisis, We Must Push Biden to Put People Over Profits
      • “We Don’t Even Know Who Is Dead or Alive”: Trapped Inside an Assisted Living Facility During the Pandemic

        When someone in the building died, a notice was often taped to a window in the lobby: “WE REGRET TO ANNOUNCE THE PASSING OF OUR FRIEND….” The signs did not say how or where the friend had died, and because they were eventually removed, they could be easy to miss. In March, as these names began to appear more frequently at Bronxwood, an assisted living facility in New York, Varahn Chamblee tried to keep track. Varahn, who had lived at Bronxwood for almost a year, was president of its resident council. Her neighbors admired her poise and quiet confidence. She spoke regularly with management, but as the coronavirus swept through the five-story building, they told her as little about its progress as they told anyone else.

        Some residents estimated that 25 people had died — that was the number Varahn had heard — but others thought the toll had to be higher. There was talk that a man on the second floor had been the first to go, followed by a beloved housekeeper. An administrator known as Mr. Stern called in sick. Around the same time, Varahn noticed that the woman who fed the pigeons had also disappeared.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Internet Explorer fails to make the cut, banished from Microsoft Teams for good

          As of today, the Microsoft Teams web app no longer supports Internet Explorer 11, as the Windows giant foretold in August.

          Microsoft says that customers using IE 11 with Teams can expect either degraded capabilities or the inability to connect at all. Redmond noted earlier this year that Teams usage had surged with so many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

          The end of Teams support for Internet Explorer is a prelude for a broader abandonment of Microsoft’s legacy browser planned for August 17, 2021, when the other Microsoft 365 apps and services shut the door on the creaking software.

        • Salesforce is acquiring workplace chat app Slack for $27.7 billion

          Salesforce is paying $27.7 billion for Slack, according to the press release. “Under the terms of the agreement, Slack shareholders will receive $26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $27.7 billion based on the closing price of Salesforce’s common stock on November 30, 2020,” the announcement reads.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Door 02: Marketing department or selection bias? – Open Source Security

            Josh and Kurt talk about cybersecurity statistics and the value of the data we have.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libxstream-java, musl, mutt, pdfresurrect, vips, and zsh), Fedora (libuv, nodejs, thunderbird, and xen), openSUSE (libssh2_org, mutt, neomutt, and thunderbird), Oracle (firefox and thunderbird), Red Hat (firefox, rh-nodejs12-nodejs, rh-php73-php, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), SUSE (libX11, mariadb, mutt, python-pip, python-setuptools, and python36), and Ubuntu (containerd, php-pear, and sniffit).

          • Two More X.Org Server Security Advisories Issued – Possible Privilege Escalation – Phoronix

            Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative has uncovered two more security issues with the aging X.Org Server that as we roll into 2021 is still powering most of the Linux desktops.

            The security researchers found multiple input validation failures with the X.Org Server’s XKB keyboard extension. Insufficient checks on different checks could lead to out-of-bounds memory accesses or buffer overflows.

          • X.Org server security advisory: December 1, 2020
            X.Org server security advisory: December 1, 2020
            Multiple input validation failures in X server XKB extension
            These issues can lead to privileges elevations for authorized clients
            on systems where the X server is running privileged.
            * CVE-2020-14360 / ZDI CAN 11572 XkbSetMap Out-Of-Bounds Access
            Insufficient checks on the lengths of the XkbSetMap request can lead to
            out of bounds memory accesses in the X server.
            * CVE-2020-25712 / ZDI-CAN-11839 XkbSetDeviceInfo Heap-based Buffer Overflow
            Insufficient checks on input of the XkbSetDeviceInfo request can lead
            to a buffer overflow on the head in the X server.
          • xorg-server 1.20.10

            Xorg-server 1.20.10 has been released. This version fixes security issues that could lead to privilege escalation, or other problems.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Amazon Sidewalk shares your home WiFi network with other Amazon devices unless you opt out

              For American Amazon Alexa users, Amazon Sidewalk is already on and needs to be turned off explicitly by the user. The point is to create an extended network outside of peoples’ homes where Amazon devices are allowed to roam free, but stay connected. Amazon continued:

            • France rocked again by demonstrations against the new “Global Security Law”, which includes mass surveillance by police drones

              The French government says the measure is to protect police officers from online calls for violence. But critics point out that it would hinder the legitimate work of journalists reporting on police brutality, and would also discourage members of the public from filming the police committing crimes. These are particularly relevant concerns given two recent cases of police brutality in France. In July, three police officers were charged with the manslaughter of a man of North African heritage, in part thanks to a video recorded by a member of the public. More recently, a video was posted of French police officers beating a black music producer in and outside his studio.

            • #2. Monsanto “Intelligence Center” Targeted Journalists and Activists – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020

              Levin wrote that Monsanto “adopted a multi-pronged strategy” to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who had reported on the likelihood of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer causing cancer. Monsanto also monitored a nonprofit organization focused on the food industry, US Right to Know, and the Twitter account of musician Neil Young, a prominent critic of Monsanto. An ongoing legal case over the dangers of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer led to disclosure of the internal documents. As Levin reported, company communications “add fuel to the ongoing claims that Monsanto has ‘bullied’ critics and scientists and worked to conceal the dangers of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide.” 

            • Podcast Episode: From Your Face to Their Database

              Abi Hassen joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they discuss the rise of facial recognition technology, how this increasingly powerful identification tool is ending up in the hands of law enforcement, and what that means for the future of public protest and the right to assemble and associate in public places.

            • Running in Circles: Uncovering the Clients of Cyberespionage Firm Circles

              According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, all U.S. wireless networks are vulnerable to the types of weaknesses reportedly exploited by Circles. A majority of networks around the globe are similarly vulnerable.

            • Researchers suggest 25 countries are using a kind of mobile spyware that monitors texts, location

              A private surveillance firm that exploits mobile network vulnerabilities to spy on calls, texts and location data is doing business with at least 25 governments around the globe, including some with histories of human rights abuses, concludes a report released Tuesday.

              The findings from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab scrutinize the work of the company Circles, which is a sister firm of the Israeli software surveillance broker NSO Group. Human rights activists frequently criticize NSO Group for selling its equipment to repressive regimes, a charge it rejects, even as it is the subject of a lawsuit from Facebook, which alleges that attackers used NSO Group tech to spy on thousands of WhatsApp users.

            • Facebook to Acquire Start-Up Kustomer as It Faces Antitrust Glare

              Facebook announced on Monday that it planned to acquire Kustomer, a customer relationship management start-up, to help it build its e-commerce business. The deal values Kustomer at close to $1 billion, said two people with knowledge of the talks. Kustomer, which is based in New York, had raised roughly $170 million in venture funding, according to data compiled by Crunchbase.

              The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, could provide businesses and customers more support for interactions that occur on Facebook and its other apps, such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. More than 175 million people contact businesses using WhatsApp, Facebook said.

            • How it all began: Five years of fight against end-to-end encryption

              A look at the activities carried out over the past five years allows some conclusions about who is particularly committed to the new crypto war. In its wake, Europol is also developing new capabilities for using Trojans and cracking encrypted storage media.

            • New Orleans PD Finally Admits It Uses Facial Recognition Tech After Denying It For Years

              Another large American law enforcement organization has belatedly admitted it uses facial recognition tech after spending years denying it.

            • Global Security Law: routine surveillance of demonstrations

              On October 10, the deputies of the majority LREM submitted a draft law for “global security”. The National Assembly will debate it on November 4, with unheard-of, unjustified urgency. Its article 21 seeks to deregulate the use of mobile cameras carried by police force. Its article 22 seeks to legalise surveillance by drone. Its article 24 seeks to forbid the public to spread images of police officers.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Georgia elections official urges Trump to rein in supporters

        A top Georgia elections official on Tuesday lashed out angrily at the rhetoric surrounding the election and the threats of violence that have resulted, specifically calling on President Donald Trump to rein in his supporters.

        Gabriel Sterling is a Republican who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system. During a routine news conference at the state Capitol to provide an update on the recount of the presidential race requested by Trump, Sterling admonished the president and Georgia’s two U.S. senators, who are both locked in tight runoff races against Democrats and have called on GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign over claims that he mishandled the election.

      • ‘Someone’s Going to Get Killed’: Georgia Election Official’s Emotional Plea to Trump, Loeffler, Perdue

        “Mr. President, it looks like you likely lost the state of Georgia,” Sterling said. “You have the right to go to the courts. What you don’t have the ability to do — and you need to step up and say this — is: stop inspiring people to commit acts of violence. Someone’s going to get hurt; someone’s going to get shot; someone’s going to get killed. And it’s not right.”

      • ‘Someone’s Going To Get Killed’: Ga. Official Blasts GOP Silence On Election Threats

        A top election official in Georgia had scathing words for President Trump and other top Republican leaders who have been attacking Georgia’s election system in recent weeks after a spate of reported harassment and death threats during the state’s recount.

        A Twitter thread accusing a young technician of altering votes in Gwinnett County led to his identity being released and calls for him to be “hung for treason.” Caravans of horn-honking Trump supporters constantly parade past Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s private residence and his wife has received sexually explicit threats. President Trump himself has suggested that Republican Gov. Brian Kemp “call off election” and falsely suggested he won the state’s 16 electoral votes.

      • Removing Trump Is Not Enough. He Must Be Prosecuted.

        Given how the post-election period has developed, it’s not enough to remove this man from power. His authoritarian presence on the political stage, the cancer that he represents on the American body politic, must be obliterated, leaving absolutely no possibility of a second act. For he has in this past month declared total war on American democracy. And in this struggle, there can be no middle ground.

      • Nine-month-old baby among 5 dead in Germany after car hits pedestrians, police say

        Trier police said the motive was unknown, that the suspect has no police record and his background shows an indication of political motivation.


        State police in western Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate, where Trier is located, asked people in a Twitter post to not spread disinformation.

      • Crash in German city of Trier leaves five dead, including a 9-month-old

        The state interior minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Roger Lewentz, said the suspect had used a Land Rover SUV to seemingly target the busy crowd.

      • Calls for Diplomacy—Not War—as Scientist’s Assassination, Trump Impede Biden’s Path to Iran Engagement

        “We cannot let anyone drag us into a new war.”

      • Questions for BBC on new White Helmets podcast series attacking OPCW whistleblowers
      • OPCW member countries urge Russia to disclose information on Navalny’s poisoning

        Fifty-six of the 193 countries belonging to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have condemned the “Novichok” nerve agent poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny. This was announced in a joint statement at the 25th Session of the Conference of State Parties to the OPCW on Monday, November 30. 

      • Some Liberals and Arms-Control Experts Are Cheering for War Profiteers to Be in Biden’s Cabinet

        What does all this praising and access-drooling amount to?

      • Biden’s Promise: America is Back(wards)

        While campaigning for the Democratic nomination, Biden tried to give a different impression.  Biden the militarist was gone.  “It time to end the Forever Wars, which have cost us untold blood and treasure,” he stated in July 2019. Pinching a leaf or two out of Trump’s own playbook, he insisted on bringing “the vast majority of our troops home – from the wars on Afghanistan and the Middle East”.  Missions would be more narrowly focused on Al-Qaeda and ISIS.  Support would also be withdrawn from the unpardonable Saudi-led war in Yemen.  “So I will make it my mission – to restore American leadership – and elevate diplomacy as our principal tool of foreign policy.”

        This was an unconvincing display of the leopard desperately trying to change its striking spots.  During the Obama administration, the Vice-President found war sweet, despite subsequent attempts to distance himself from collective cabinet responsibility.  These included the current war in Yemen, the assault on Libya that crippled the country and turned it into a terrorist wonderland, and that “forever war” in Afghanistan.  In 2016, Biden claimed to be the sage in the administration, warning President Barack Obama against the Libyan intervention.  An impression of combative wisdom was offered.  He had “argued strongly” in the White House “against going … to Libya,” a position at odds with the hawkish Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who insisted on something a bit more than going to Libya. After the demise of Muammar Gaddafi, what then?  “Doesn’t the country disintegrate?  What happens then?  Doesn’t it become a place where it becomes a – petri dish for the growth of extremism?”  So many questions, so few answers.

      • Rejecting Michèle Flournoy, Progressives Demand Biden Pick Pentagon Chief ‘Untethered’ From Military-Industrial Complex

        “We urge President-elect Joe Biden and U.S. senators to choose a secretary of defense who is unencumbered by a history of advocating for bellicose military policies and is free of financial ties to the weapons industry.”

      • Progressives Demand a Pentagon Chief Outside of Military-Industrial Complex
      • Trump Moves to Expand Ways to Kill Prisoners — Including Firing Squads
      • ‘A Moral and Legal Obligation’: 80+ Groups Urge Biden to End US Complicity in Saudi-Led Assault on Yemen

        “American involvement in this brutal catastrophe is shameful and must come to an end.”

      • The Last Few Years Have Spelled a Resounding End to the ‘Jewish Vote’

        For many American Jews, the 2020 presidential election marks the end of two pillars of their political identity. The first is the very idea of a Jewish community. There is not one; there are several, and they are growing ever more in conflict with one another.

      • The Planet Cannot Heal Until We Rip the Mask Off the West’s War Machine

        In a recent post, I wrote about “externalities” – the ability of companies to offset the true costs inherent in the production process. The burden of these costs are covertly shifted on to wider society: that is, on to you and me. Or on to those far from view, in foreign lands. Or on to future generations. Externalising costs means that profits can be maximised for the wealth elite in the here and now.

      • Shrinking the Pentagon

        Defense spending increased sharply in the Trump years and is now substantially higher than it was during the Korean or Vietnam War eras or during the massive military buildup President Ronald Reagan oversaw in the 1980s. Today, it consumes well over half of the nation’s discretionary budget, which just happens to also pay for a wide array of urgently needed priorities ranging from housing, job training, and alternative energy programs to public health and infrastructure building. At a time when pandemics, high unemployment, racial inequality, and climate change pose the greatest threats to our safety and security, this allocation of resources should be considered unsustainable. Unfortunately, the Pentagon and the arms industry have yet to get that memo. Defense company executives recently assured a Washington Post reporter that they are “unconcerned” about or consider unlikely the possibility that a Biden administration would significantly reduce Pentagon spending.

      • Bomb Libya and take its oil: Biden budget chief pick Neera Tanden agreed with Trump
      • ‘Reckless, Provocative, and Illegal’: Sanders Warns Assassination of Iranian Scientist Designed to Kill Diplomacy

        “We must not allow that to happen. Diplomacy, not murder, is the best path forward.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Incarcerated Activist Sues Alabama After Facing Retaliation For Exposing Gambling Ring

        Incarcerated activist Kinetik Justice Amun filed a lawsuit on September 28, 2020 seeking damages and injunctive relief against Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) employees, who he claims engaged in retaliation against him in violation of his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

        The defendants in the lawsuit are Jeremy Pelzer, Correctional Sergeant at Limestone; Dustin Brewer, Correctional Officer at Limestone; Denise McKenzie, Correctional Captain at Limestone; Stephen Langford, Correctional Captain at Limestone; Deborah Toney, (former) Warden at Limestone; Scarlette Robinson, Deputy Warden at Limestone; Cheryl Price, ADOC Institutional Coordinator; Jefferson Dunn, ADOC Commissioner. 

    • Environment

      • China’s Monster Fishing Fleet

        The Chinese fleet, made up of squid jiggers and pair trawlers, scooped up a staggering amount of squid—equal to almost as much as the entire squid catch in Japanese and South Korean waters combined over the same period, the report estimated. The Chinese decimated the squid population off North Korea to such a degree that Japanese and South Korean fishers saw their own take of the usually plentiful, migratory species plummet.

      • Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon reaches 12-year high under Bolsonaro

        Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon surged again over the past year, hitting a 12-year high, according to official figures released Monday that drew a chorus of condemnation of President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.

      • Six Environmental Heroes Awarded Goldman Prize for ‘Taking a Stand, Risking Their Lives and Livelihoods, and Inspiring Us’

        This year’s recipients of the annual honor hail from the Bahamas, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Mexico, and Myanmar.

      • To End Impunity for ‘Deliberate Destruction’ of Planet, International Lawyers Drafting Plan to Criminalize Ecocide

        The effort aims to hold governments and corporations accountable for the “mass, systematic, or widespread destruction” of the world’s ecosystems.

      • Polar link unites far extremes of north and south

        They are different worlds, one an ocean, the other a continent. But a polar link keeps them in touch with each other.

      • Rapid Intensification and Number of Storms Make 2020 a Record Hurricane Season

        Only by keeping the worst of climate change at bay will we also limit the wrath of hurricanes, saving lives, property, and resources.

      • #3. US Military—A Massive, Hidden Contributor to Climate Crisis – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020

        [Note: The US military’s status as the world’s worst polluter was story #2 on Censored 2011’s top 25 list; see, “US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet,” in Censored 2011: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2009–10, eds. Mickey Huff, Peter Phillips, and Project Censored (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2010), 15–24, https://www.projectcensored.org/2-us-department-of-defense-is-the-worst-polluter-on-the-planet/. For a synopsis and update of Project Censored’s original story, see Chapter 2 of State of the Free Press | 2021.]

      • Energy

        • Bitcoin Hits New Record, This Time With Less Talk of a Bubble

          While those questions remain, Bitcoin is now being fueled by a less speculative fever. Buyers — led by American investors, including companies and other traditional investors — are treating Bitcoin as an alternative asset, somewhat like gold, according to an analysis from the data firm Chainalysis. Rather than quickly trading in and out of it, more investors are using Bitcoin as a place to park part of their investment portfolios outside the influence of governments and the traditional financial system, Chainalysis and other industry firms said.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Bob Marshall’s Long-Lost Arguments for Wilderness

          The original ideas and arguments organizers used to create roadless wilderness were created by New York’s Bob Marshall. All our ideas about the value of wilderness began with him.  If we ever have to mobilize to save public lands, or if we want to create more of it we need to revisit his arguments that motivated the country to acquire it in the first place. Unfortunately, in the last 50 years many of his arguments have been lost and forgotten, but they worked well once and will work again if we can recover and reintroduce them into the next generation’s advocacy conversation.

          From the 1930s through the ‘70s, the arguments used to persuade voters that roadless wilderness must be preserved, originated in Bob Marshall’s 1930 essay, “The Problem of the Wilderness.”[1] In that essay, parts of which ended up in the 1964 Wilderness Act, he creatively explained the many diverse and marvelous reasons the preservation of roadless wilderness was essential if mankind’s basic humanity and civilization itself were to survive.

        • Protecting Indigenous Languages Is Protecting Biodiversity

          With Indigenous languages, we can turn from a narrative of apocalypse—toward multispecies kinship, care, stewardship, protection, and love for the living Earth.

        • Is it Too Late to Save ‘America’s Amazon’?
        • What Does Coexistence with Large Carnivores Actually Mean?

          It isn’t just that they claim to practice it either. It’s that they take a metric ton of money premised on their willingness to reduce conflicts, both from federal* and private sources. They suck up federal and private compensation money when their cows get killed by lobos (even when confirmations are sketchy, at best). And don’t even get me started on the artificially low federal grazing fee for public lands livestock. And really don’t get me started on the truckload of other subsidies these folks get for the privilege of producing a tiny fraction of U.S. beef on national forests and arid BLM lands. I. Can’t. Even.

          Collectively, we throw a ton of taxpayer money at these folks and they still can’t deal with sharing space with Mexican wolves. Instead, they believe they are entitled to the have the cake they are already eating. It all seems insane until you realize that the whole cowboy myth is built on that same sense of entitlement, whether it’s wolves or bison or prairie dogs or southwestern willow flycatchers or … you name an imperiled species in the western United States and there’s very likely a close connection to livestock being part of the problem. (It’s a twisted and less-fun version of the Kevin Bacon game.)

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Democratic Party Will Keep Betraying Labor. It’s Time to Launch a Workers’ Party.

        Joe Biden lost Florida by more than double the margin that Hillary Clinton did in 2016. Democrats lost at least five seats in the Florida House, and Republicans defeated two Democratic members of Congress in South Florida. An amendment to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, however, won by 22 points.

      • 4. Congressional Investments and Conflicts of Interest – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020

        The Act doled out nearly $150 billion in corporate tax savings in 2018 alone. Because the tax cuts were not “paid for” with corresponding reductions in government spending, the move will likely cause an increase of some $1.9 trillion in the national debt over the next decade.

      • ‘I Guess He’s the Next One to Be Fired’: Even William Barr Says No Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud

        The Trump-appointee’s comments came as the president’s reelection campaign filed yet another lawsuit challenging the election outcome.

      • Hope and History
      • “A Cult of Ignorance” by Isaac Asimov, 1980

        There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

      • Hongkongers have glimpsed the future under Carrie Lam – and it’s pretty scary

        With a legislature devoid of opposition, a population cowed by national security legislation and a tone-deaf chief executive operating in a made-in-China protective bubble, a much clearer picture of Hong Kong’s future is emerging — and it’s pretty scary.

        The most audacious component of this unwanted promised land is the government’s Lantau Tomorrow Vision, which aims to solve the city’s chronic housing problem with a massive HK$624 billion reclamation project that would wipe out Hong Kong’s fiscal reserves and turn the waters east of Lantau into an environmental disaster zone.

      • The End is in Sight

        The “big mo”, as the elder George Bush called it back in 1980, seemed to be on his side. But then it all went to seed.

        First, there was Rudy Giuliani’s disastrous November 19 press conference, in which the president’s personal lawyer accused Democrats of “mass cheating”, while his colleague, attorney Sidney Powell, raged about “the massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba and likely China” that was being used to hack election computers and steal the election on Joe Biden’s behalf. Reporters had a field day describing the brown hair dye coursing down Giuliani’s jowls, as his rhetoric grew more and more heated. Two days later, a federal judge tossed out a Giuliani lawsuit seeking to overturn the vote in Pennsylvania on the grounds that it was filled with “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations … unsupported by evidence”. Then Powell told a rightwing TV news channel the next day that not only were Venezuela and Cuba in on the conspiracy, but top Georgia Republicans “probably” were as well – at which point the Trump legal team had no choice but to give her the boot so as to preserve Republicans unity in the face of a Democratic bid to win two Senate seats in a special Georgia election set for January 5.

      • Trump Responds to Expert’s “60 Minutes” Interview With More False Fraud Claims
      • ‘Seriously, get dressed’: Putin calls out officials in Siberia for removing their hats in sub-zero weather

        Russian President Vladimir Putin got after a group of officials in Siberia for removing their hoods and hats while on a teleconference with him on Sunday, November 29. The officials were standing outside in sub-zero weather, but despite the cold and the president’s urging, they kept their heads uncovered for the duration of the meeting.

      • Putin submits bill banning Russian officials with access to state secrets from holding foreign passports

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted a draft law to the State Duma on banning foreign citizenship for any government officials and military personnel who have access to state secrets.

      • Who Needs Zombies When We Have Republicans?

        An unsuspecting couple is walking through a subway station in the working-class neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn. The station is eerily empty. They hear gunfire outside. The boyfriend goes out to investigate, and you know from the conventions of a zombie film that this is a very bad idea. No need for a spoiler alert: he dies.

        The girlfriend ventures out to find the residents of Bushwick fighting an invading horde.

      • Is 2020 a Watershed?

        White evangelicals fought fiercely for Republicans this year. They gave about 80 percent of their votes to President Trump and strongly favored conservatives in state elections. These born-again fundamentalists have shrunk to only 15 percent of America’s population, but they’re so politically intense that they were 28 percent of voters who went to the polls. Undoubtedly, they tipped some marginal states to the GOP, causing early Democratic consternation on election night. But they couldn’t swing the whole nation. And maybe – with the relentless decline of religion – they never can do so again. Let us hope.

        The rise and fall of right-wing, born-again politics is a significant episode in America’s history. Until after World War II, many fundamentalists shunned government, choosing to ignore this world and focus on heaven and hell instead. But white evangelicals – the most racist element of society, some research says – were jolted by several breakthroughs that threatened their vision of America as a Christian “city on a hill” favored by God.

      • Legacy

        Trump, who’s been pissing on us for four years, bequeathed to us the legitimatization of white supremacists, white nationalists, Nazis and other armed posses disguised as protectors of a “free” America. He made it all right to be openly racist because he is.

      • Just As #DiaperDon Starts Trending, Trump Claims That Twitter Uses ‘Fake’ Trends, Calls For ‘Termination’ Of Section 230

        It’s no secret that Donald Trump doesn’t like Section 230. Wait. Actually, let’s back up and try that again: it’s no secret that Donald Trump doesn’t like what he thinks Section 230 is about, which has little-to-no-resemblance to what Section 230 is actually about. However, over the long weekend, things took an even more ridiculous turn than usual. It started on Thanksgiving when the President was signing some legislation and taking some questions from the press. For unclear reasons, the setup where he had to sign things was with a very small desk affixed with the Presidential seal. While this desk has been used before for such things — and Trump has even joked about the size of it, the framing of the shot — the lack of people around him, the wide frame of the shot, the tread over carpet, and just… everything really made it look like the President was sitting at an elementary school desk.

      • The Center Cannot Hold: Biden and the Challenge for Progressives

        The centrist and corporate Democrats were quick to gloat and declare themselves vindicated. They had, after all, resisted the progressives’ call from inside the party to mobilize the electorate around a social-democratic agenda on labor, healthcare, education, and environment. “The progressives said we need a base candidate,” said Rahm Emanuel. “No we didn’t. We needed someone to get swing voters. If you campaign appropriately, you can make that a governing transformation.” That the former White House Chief of Staff under President Obama and former mayor of Chicago whose own 2015 reelection hinged on his cover up of the police murder of the 17-year-old Laquan McDonald designated himself party spokesperson was telling. The obsession with the swing voter has plagued the Democrats for many decades. They continue to ignore the basic predicament of electoral politics in the U.S.: on average less than 50% of eligible voters participate in major elections. The foundational rift in the party’s electoral strategy lies there. The progressives argue that the only path forward is to tap into the marginalized 50%, the others are resolved to hold the increasingly untenable center.

        Winning the White House in an election in which by all accounts Democrats performed abysmally has deepened the rift in the party. In a widely publicized phone conversation with the members of the House Democratic Caucus, Abigail Spanberger, who represents the 7th Congressional District in Virginia, derided the “liberal” wing of the party for promoting radical ideas at the expense of winning local elections. Spanberger, who barely survived her reelection in her district, was adamant that “We need to not ever use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again because while people think it doesn’t matter, it does matter. And we lost good members because of that.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • A Note on Research and Evaluation of Censored News Stories – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020

        Candidate stories are initially identified by Project Censored professors and students, or are nominated by members of the general public, who bring them to the Project’s attention. Together, faculty and students vet each candidate story in terms of its importance, timeliness, quality of sources, and corporate news coverage. If it fails on any one of these criteria, the story is not included. 

      • Iranian Writers Association Member Arrested

        The Iranian Writers Association announced on Sunday that Iranian intelligence agents detained Amin Moradi, a poet and member of the organization.

        The statement says the security forces stormed Moradi’s home on Saturday morning. They ransacked the place for two hours, confiscated Moradi’s belongings, including two laptops, a computer, a cellphone and an unknown number of books, and transferred him to Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison.

      • ‘Ink girl’ who defaced Xi Jinping poster reappears, says she can’t take intense surveillance

        Dong’s video has since been deleted from her account. Twitter is banned in China but can sometimes be accessed through a VPN.

      • Facebook Oversight Board announces its first cases to review

        Facebook Inc.’s Oversight Board announced today that it has chosen its first batch of cases to review.

        The board, which was announced at the beginning of the year, is made up of academics, media specialists and human rights advocates from around the world. These people are tasked with looking at problematic content that Facebook has taken down and will assess if the company made the right decision.

      • Amnesty International accuses Facebook and YouTube of complicity with government suppression in Vietnam

        A new 78-page Amnesty investigation – “’Let us Breathe!’: Censorship and criminalisation of online expression in Vietnam” – paints a dark picture of the systematic repression of peaceful online expression in Vietnam, including the widespread “geo-blocking” of content deemed critical of the government, and of attempts to intimidate users into silence.

        The investigation is based on dozens of interviews with those impacted, including former prisoners of conscience, lawyers and human rights activists. The organisation reveals that Vietnam is currently holding 170 prisoners of conscience, of whom 69 are behind bars solely because of their social media involvement.

        Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for campaigns, said the authorities increasingly saw peaceful online expression as an “existential threat” to the regime.

        “Today these platforms have become hunting grounds for censors, military cyber-troops and state-sponsored [astroturfers]. The platforms themselves are not merely letting it happen – they’re increasingly complicit,” she claimed.

      • Vietnam: Facebook and Google ‘complicit’ in censorship

        Vietnam is one of the biggest markets in South East Asia for tech firms.

        In 2018, Facebook’s revenue from Vietnam was nearly $1bn (£750m) – almost one third of its revenue from South East Asia – according to industry estimates quoted by Amnesty. Google is said to have earned $475m during the same period, primarily from YouTube advertising.

        Vietnam has never banned social media companies, but in April this year, two sources at Facebook told news agency Reuters that their local servers were taken offline until they agreed to significantly increase the censorship of “anti-state” posts for local users.

      • Viet Nam: Facebook must cease complicity with government censorship

        Facebook’s decision follows years of efforts by Vietnamese authorities to profoundly undermine freedom of expression online, during which they prosecuted an increasing number of peaceful government critics for their online activity and introduced a repressive cybersecurity law that requires technology companies to hand over potentially vast amounts of data, including personal information, and to censor users’ posts.

        “Facebook’s compliance with these demands sets a dangerous precedent. Governments around the world will see this as an open invitation to enlist Facebook in the service of state censorship. It does all tech firms a terrible disservice by making them vulnerable to the same type of pressure and harassment from repressive governments,” said William Nee.

      • Exclusive: Facebook agreed to censor posts after Vietnam slowed traffic – sources

        “Facebook’s compliance with these demands sets a dangerous precedent. Governments around the world will see this as an open invitation to enlist Facebook in the service of state censorship,” the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

        Facebook has faced pressure to take down anti-government content in many countries over the years.

        In Vietnam, despite sweeping economic reform and increasing openness to social change, the ruling Communist Party retains tight control of media and tolerates little dissent, ranking 175th of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index.

      • Federal Court Strikes Down California’s Ban On ‘Offensive’ License Plates

        License plate rules are weird. Vanity plates are something anyone can obtain for a fee to personalize their vehicle… just as long as they follow a set of shifting rules arbitrarily enforced by their license plate overseers. There’s a lot of talk about only forbidding what’s “objectively” offensive, but digging around in DMV databases — as several litigants have done — show there are a lot of rejections based on DMV employees’ subjective ideas of what is or isn’t offensive.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • In Closing Argument For Julian Assange’s Extradition, Prosecutors Cast WikiLeaks As Criminal Enterprise

        A United States counterintelligence strategy document signed by President Donald Trump warned the “number of actors targeting the United States is growing.”

        Lumped in with Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and terrorist groups were “ideologically motivated entities, such as hacktivists, leaktivists, and public disclosure organizations” that U.S. intelligence agents view as “significant threats.” [PDF]

      • French interior minister outlines proposals for police reform amid outcry

        President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling LREM (La République En Marche) party earlier agreed to rewrite a draft law that would have curbed the right to film police officers in action after large protests over the weekend drew 133,000 people nationwide and 46,000 in Paris alone, according to the official count.

        The rallies followed the publication of video footage of the brutal beating of a Black man by three police officers last week, an incident that Macron branded as “shameful” for France. Four officers were charged over the beating on Monday.

        A provision in the draft law known as Article 24, a key measure in Macron’s plans to court right-wing voters by being tougher on law and order ahead of his likely 2022 re-election bid, had sparked outrage in the media and on the left flank of his own party.

      • France: Citizen Protest Forces Change in ‘Global Security Law’

        Christophe Castaner, the president of the parliamentary group “The Republic on the Move” (LREM), announced that French lawmakers will once again “rewrite” Article 24 of the “Global Security” law.

      • CBC News journalists deported from Uganda, despite having press credentials

        Uganda is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 14. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni is seeking to extend his 34 year-rule — but has been accused of muzzling the media and has clamped down on political opponents.

      • CPJ joins call for new emergency visa regulations to protect journalists fleeing threats

        The report recommends that countries prioritize the issuance of emergency visas to allow journalists to flee danger in their home countries and seek temporary refuge until such threats subside. It was authored by human rights lawyer Can Yeginsu and the panel was chaired by former U.K. Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger and Amal Clooney, a human rights lawyer and recent CPJ Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award winner.

        As a member of the advisory network for the Global Media Freedom Coalition, a board established by the U.K. and Canadian governments, CPJ contributed to the report’s formulation and recommendations, and CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney C. Radsch joined a panel marking the report’s release.

      • Experts urge states to create emergency visa for journalists at risk

        An independent international panel of legal experts on media freedom called on countries to create an emergency visa for journalists at risk.

        The High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom – an independent body convened in 2019 at the request of the United Kingdom and Canada – released on Monday, November 23, a new advisory report directed to members of the 40-strong Media Freedom Coalition of states.

        The report, Providing Safe Refuge for Journalists at Risk, was authored by Professor Can Yeğinsu, a member of the panel and one of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s international lawyers.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Israel Releases Mays Abu Ghosh, Palestinian Student Jailed for Membership in Leftist Campus Group

        Abu Ghosh—imprisoned for 15 months after joining a banned college organization that opposes Israel’s illegal occupation—described torture by her jailers. 

      • #1. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls – THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020

        With some notable exceptions, the cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls receive little to no major news coverage: A January 2020 article in the New Republic described one New York Times report on the subject as “a small recognition in a sea of loss.” Both the crisis and Native responses to it—epitomized by the burgeoning Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement—are dramatically underreported.

      • They Mutilated My Brother And Said, Sorry, It Was A Mistake

        “I stayed over my brother’s scattered poems until noon, but they had taken those three books,” Farkhondeh remembers, adding, “His Samsonite briefcase was broken and covered in blood. The scene of the bizarre murder was like that of the Forouhars’. They had killed him with the same number of stabs, and in the same way, they had assassinated [political dissidents] Darioush Forouhar and his wife, Parvaneh.”

        In their interview with Radio Farda, Hamid’s sons, Arvand and Aras Hajizadeh, referred to two people, named Mahmoud Jafarzadeh and Morteza Fallah, as the team sent from Tehran to kill their father and brother. The two names have also appeared on the suspects’ list for killing Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar, two prominent political dissidents. Jafarzadeh was a member of the Ministry of Intelligence’s Operations Department who stabbed Dariush Forouhar to death, while Morteza Fallah was the head of the operation to kill the two activists.

      • Woman who spent years scrubbing explicit video from internet urges tech firms to make it easier to remove

        Frustrated, she found a template online for a standard cease and desist order and sent emails to various platforms threatening legal action.

      • Trump and the West’s enabling of Saudi Arabia enables the torture of Loujain al-Hathloul

        Last week, Loujain al-Hathloul, a young activist who fought for women to be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, appeared in court to hear that her crime has been deemed equivalent to national security and terrorism cases. Al-Hathloul, 31, hadn’t been seen in person for over a year, while reports trickled out about torture and threats of rape and being “thrown in the sewer.” Her parents, in court, reported that she looked weak, exhausted and shaking. So Saudi authorities have already reduced this vibrant, healthy woman to a quivering sick shell of her former self — but apparently that is still not punishment enough.

      • West Papua liberation movement announces provisional govt

        Violent conflict continues to plague the Papuan provinces, while West Papuans voicing independence aspirations are routinely arrested amid ongoing human rights abuses.

        Wenda will be the provisional government’s interim president, with the rest of his cabinet to be unveiled in coming months.

        He said the new government-in-waiting aimed to mobilise West Papuans to achieve an independence referendum “after which it will take control of the territory and organise democratic elections”.

      • Dozens of demonstrators arrested in West Papua

        The Asia Pacific Report reported the demonstrations in Manokwari and Sorong were commemorating the anniversary of the West Papua New Guinea National Congress at the weekend.

      • High Wycombe Police Station YouTube video showing police officer ‘swearing at man’ goes viral

        A shocking video which appears to show a police officer telling a YouTuber who was filming High Wycombe police station to show his ID or “f*** off” before handcuffing him is being investigated.

        Thames Valley Police say they are “reviewing” viral video footage posted by YouTuber koleeberks on November 28, which shows him being confronted by two officers outside the Queen Victoria Road station.

      • Russian activist attacked in Tver over ‘crucifixion’ protest

        Two strangers attacked Russian activist Pavel Krisevich at the railway station in Tver, he told the student journal Doxa on Sunday, November 29. 

      • Amnesty International Reveals Extent of Facebook, YouTube Complicity in Vietnamese State Repression

        “For millions of Vietnamese netizens, Facebook was the great hope for helping to build a free and open society—and it still has the power to be,” said Amnesty’s lead regional campaigner. 

      • ‘Highly Significant’ Victory as European Human Rights Court Green-Lights Youth Climate Lawsuit

        “It gives me lots of hope to know that the judges in the European Court of Human Rights recognize the urgency of our case,” said 12-year-old plaintiff André Oliveira.

      • CBP proposes to require mug shots of all non-US citizen travelers

        Last December we called attention to plans  by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to require mug shots of all travelers entering or leaving the US by air or sea, including US citizens.

        Within days, CBP issued a press release falsely accusing us of incorrectly reporting  the official CBP notice of its plans, and saying that it would withdraw its notice the next time the regulatory agenda was published.

        So what happened?

      • Shirish Agarwal: The Constitution of Knowledge

        And while we can have differing opinions of what constitutes good literature, for me it’s books like Battle of Belonging,The:On Nationalism, Patriotism, and What it Means – Shashi Tharoor. From what little I have understood, the book makes the case of civic nationalism which is far more inclusive than the narrow confines of patriotism. Now this begs the question when you have such books and many books which do tell you about different aspects of social, political and knowledge, why are so many people prone to disinformation in India similar to U.S. and probably other countries as well. One of the biggest reasons per-se is lack of education and quality education. When the number of graduates is less than five percent how do you expect that population to be able to take decisions in their economic self-interest? So sadly the understanding is ingrained from WhatsApp and there is no need to check from alternate sources. And just like Mr. Trump followers, they believe those versions to be the unvarnished truth. I do understand that no truth is immutable except for life and death. All others are imperfect unless it is validated by some sort of scientific validation behind it. At the same time, these truths may themselves be invalidated if a stronger scientific evidence establishes itself. This is the reason why hypothesis and facts themselves are challenged again and again. Sharing couple of examples below.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 9: Why Use Cross-Subsidies When the Government is Rolling Out Tech Tax Policies?

        (prior posts in the Broadcasting Act Blunder series include Day 1: Why there is no Canadian Content Crisis, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”, Day 3: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t, Day 4: Why Many News Sites are Captured by Bill C-10), Day 5: Narrow Exclusion of User Generated Content Services, Day 6: The Beginning of the End of Canadian Broadcast Ownership and Control Requirements, Day 7: Beware Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences, Day 8: The Unnecessary Discoverability Requirements)

      • ‘Good Riddance’: Progressives Welcome Ajit Pai’s Departure From FCC as Great News

        The current chair, said one critic, “will go down in history as one of the most corrupt government officials of the century.”

      • More Subsidies Alone Won’t Fix What Ails U.S. Broadband

        For decades, U.S. taxpayers have thrown countless subsidies, tax breaks, and other perks at entrenched broadband monopolies, hoping that this time we’d finally put that pesky “digital divide” to bed. And while there certainly are countless communities that have been helped by taxpayer-funded projects, there are just as many examples where this money was effectively wasted by unaccountable telecom monopolies, which often receive millions to billions in handouts in exchange for fiber networks that are routinely only half-deployed.

      • Ajit Pai, Easily The Most Controversial FCC Boss In History, Will Step Down January 20

        While many GOP members continue to happily undermine democracy by fueling Trump’s baseless electoral fraud claims, FCC boss Ajit Pai won’t be coming along for the ride. In a statement, Pai confirmed that, as is custom, he’ll be stepping down as agency head on January 20 as the Biden administration takes over. Historically, the party that controls the White House controls both a 3-2 commissioner majority, and the top spot at the agency.

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 8: The Unnecessary Discoverability Requirements

        (prior posts in the Broadcasting Act Blunder series include Day 1: Why there is no Canadian Content Crisis, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”, Day 3: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t, Day 4: Why Many News Sites are Captured by Bill C-10), Day 5: Narrow Exclusion of User Generated Content Services, Day 6: The Beginning of the End of Canadian Broadcast Ownership and Control Requirements, Day 7: Beware Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences)

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Dana Walden Reorganizes Disney TV Team; Karey Burke Moves to 20th as Craig Erwich Adds ABC Entertainment

        Disney Television entertainment chief Dana Walden is reshuffling her executive team as she consolidates the company’s programming operations. The moves will see Disney streamline its three distinct studios into two and integrate programming teams at ABC and Hulu.

        Karey Burke will move from her role as head of ABC Entertainment into a new position as president of studio 20th Television. Craig Erwich, longtime head of originals at Hulu, will add oversight of ABC Entertainment to his purview. Burke and Erwich will continue to report to Walden.

      • Quibi Is Officially Dead

        In October, Quibi announced that its board had decided to shut down the company, less than seven months after its April 6 debut. The startup, led by Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, had promised subscribers a daily dose of “quick bite” originals, chopped into episodes of 10 minutes or less, featuring recognizable Hollywood talent.

      • ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ Is Spotify’s Most Popular Podcast

        There’s a reason Spotify shelled out millions to bring Joe Rogan’s podcast exclusively to its platform. The Joe Rogan Experience was the most popular podcast on Spotify in 2020, the audio streamer revealed as part of its year-end Wrapped campaign.

        Spotify has been investing aggressively into podcasts in recent years, buying up audio-first studios and striking exclusive deals with top podcasters. In May, the company made its biggest bet yet on a podcasting personality when it inked a reported $100 million deal with Rogan to bring his show to its listeners.

        The often controversial Joe Rogan Experience hit Spotify on Sept. 1 and becomes exclusive to the platform in December. After making its debut on Spotify, it quickly rocketed to the top of the service’s podcast rankings and, in just three months, has become the most popular audio show of 2020 among its global listenership.

    • Monopolies

      • 33 Groups Urge Biden to Hold Big Tech Accountable and Keep Industry Allies Out of His Administration

        “We believe that eliminating the decades-old revolving door between Silicon Valley and your administration will only help your cause.”

      • Patents

        • Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. University of Wyoming Research Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Interferences were rendered unnecessary with the passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act in 2011, but they linger in disputes between patents and applications claiming priority to applications filed before the change to a “first-inventor-to-file” system. The Federal Circuit recently upheld the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s priority determination in Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. University of Wyoming Research Corp. in a decision based on the Board’s construction of an undisputedly dispositive term.


          Because “[w]hen claims are copied to provoke an interference, the copied claims are [to be] construed in light of the application from which the claims are copies” the Judge opines, citing Agilent Techs., Inc. v. Affymetrix, Inc., 567 F.3d 1366, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2009).

          In addition, in light of these differences, Judge Newman believes that “Wyoming proved neither conception nor reduction to practice of the Count” (which is a function of the parties’ priority status regarding Wyoming being declared the Senior Party and thus not having this burden). But both the law and PTAB rules (specifically 37 C.F.R. § 41.202) contain that requirement which was not complied with here. Seeing this as threshold issue, Judge Newman would have dissolved the interference and permitted both parties to have patents claiming their distinct inventions.

      • Copyrights

[Meme] Espionage With Spyware: Slack’s Data Sold to Company That Helps ICE Kidnap Children and Forcibly Sterilise Women

Posted in Deception at 2:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Context: Salesforce is acquiring workplace chat app Slack for $27.7 billion | Older: Slack Committed a Very Major Crime That Can Cost Many Billions If Not Trillions in Damages for Years to Come | Recent: The OSI’s President Apparently Does Not Know That His Own Employer (Salesforce) Works for ICE

Slack meme: You still use IRC? Oh, that's cute! We just outsource all our communications to Salesforce/ICE, 500MB of RAM for a messaging 'app' or browser tab

Summary: There’s now an additional good reason to boycott Slack’s malware, which is basically surveillance of workers disguised as ‘collaboration’

Salesforce ICE #1

Salesforce ICE #2

Salesforce ICE #3

Salesforce ICE #4

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:29 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmZ15YcfX1hGLMoGaKcJZU1dVx8DjvNfBkfAZx9x7qxW6z IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmbDBQniHDdBigc3XBCqTLa8HF6eusC19rqueJnR7Y4Uc8 IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmcaMAcAaGk9v7s1i8XvXArNbYLYNZZFYbJA9Yj1p2GrGV IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmWYN5Suokt7Xp9nVXgYGEAAkNU5AZxA4sMuWVm4HHXZrY IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmQYfJNVXmeFK4vU7TPf94ggLvGPxb49gXEJVgm2WGvgXa IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmeeHG5gjwjR6s1JMtdz76n2zTeisW79KvF9hWcgvuW4Bo IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmVY7wubizixCUkLaDoYfvCZhhjzVmCyvYYUjsQZCfgHrG IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmVR2NbQ7rh9AuuLsjXzonMy712UacstVM4mQuH8ceecBa IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs

IPFS logo

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmY1YfMUmDPhBaybxneMM72CHSdttnzK6m6Az1quYcU13Y

The World is Ill

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 2:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We just try hard to prioritise the most urgent issues (or ‘patients’ so to speak), picking causes or institutions that can still be salvaged somehow

Open Source has won! Drink to that!

Microsoft loveSummary: Not only Europe’s second-largest institution (the EPO) is morbidly if not critically ill; the OSI is now a zombie controlled by Microsoft and friends, much like the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation

YESTERDAY the COVID-19 death tally was at almost 12,000 (including 2,611 deaths in the US alone, another ’9/11′) — almost an all-time high. It’s really bad and people may need to wait until those Thanksgiving travel-related figures are factored in (the number of cases will definitely increase due to that).

“The OSI is beyond redemption at this point…”Here in the UK we reopen today, after a 4-week lock-down period across England. They say that in our area there were “191 cases per 100,000 people in the latest week 21 Nov-27 Nov. The average area in England had 129.” With almost a quarter million hospital admissions (connected to COVID-19) and nearly 60,000 deaths by now (even more when indirect factors are accounted for; the total excess deaths w.r.t. projections is the more complete figure) it’s clear that it’s a really bad time to get ill, even with just an ordinary flu. The health services are already overwhelmed with patients as we enter the coldest days of the year (December-January).

It’s expected that in less than 50 days from now the US will have a new president; we don’t expect him to be a lot better in most aspects, only in some. When it comes to tackling COVID-19 there’s not much he can still do; by the time of his inauguration (never mind the transition) it’s possible that over 100 million Americans will have had COVID-19 (and tens of million tested positive, having also shown symptoms).

Lately, or during lock-downs in particular, we’ve been focusing a great deal on the EPO. The Benoît Battistelli era is fully back, as António Campinos ‘popularity’ level is just as appalling. We hear from insiders. They’ve had enough!

It’s not exactly expected to improve during the pandemic and it certainly isn’t going to get any quieter in “EPOnia”; the fact that the mainstream media says nothing about the subject is rather revealing (e.g. of its role). Regardless of what happens, we remain dedicated to covering the most pressing issues of the time. At the moment the situation at the EPO is increasingly urgent, for human rights reasons, setting aside the aspect of software patents.

Elana HashmanThere’s much we could instead say about Free software, infiltration at the Linux Foundation (it seems to be working closely with CBS on marketing, even though CBS keeps badmouthing “Linux” — with examples as recent as this week), the Slack acquisition by an ICE facilitator, and the OSI Member Survey being carried out by Elana Hashman, who is now OSI Board Director based in Seattle, WA (Microsoft). She says she is “Principal Site Reliability Engineer for Azure Red Hat OpenShift” (so she helps Microsoft).

The OSI is beyond redemption at this point; when I mentioned this to Richard Stallman a couple of months ago he generally agreed but wanted more information. Well, we used to think that the OSI was just a little ill; it changed when its General Manager abruptly resigned and it then turned out that most of the OSI’s funds were diverted to Microsoft projects. Regarding the funds of the Linux Foundation, now that there are no physical events their main revenue stream is gone; they were already operating at a loss, having massively overpaid people who don’t even use GNU/Linux.

Censored EPO Publication: Staff Representatives Cannot Comment on the Survey Conducted by the Office’s Management

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You must participate in our survey but don't comment on results we publishSummary: EPO management tried to muzzle EPO staff after the Office-wide staff survey turned out to be “nothing short of a disaster.”

A PAST publication which was fully reproduced here and elsewhere concerned the WTW “results” [PDF], as published back in 2019. “The results of the Staff Survey “Your voice, our future” are disastrous,” staff representatives (CSC) noted at the time. “Management is currently censoring a CSC paper,” they noted, “about the results of the Staff Survey “Your voice, our future”.”

Here are some key bits (the PDF is clearer):

WTW results 1

WTW results 2

Those are just 2 slides among a deck of about 50. The censored part is the reply to it from the staff representatives (CSC), who noted back then: “The results of the Office wide staff survey “Your voice, our future” are out and they are nothing short of a disaster. We share the analysis in the article published on Kluwer Patent Blog: many expected the results to be bad, but few expected them to be so abysmal. The EPO scores far below the expected level of an international organisation.

“Isn’t it funny that EPO management is suppressing a response to its very own ‘study’ (staff survey)?”“Earlier this year, Mr Campinos conducted the first Office-wide staff survey since 2016. Following the extremely negative feedback his predecessor, Mr Battistelli, had received on his leadership in a 2011 survey, EPO staff were only surveyed once more during his presidency, and then only within the context of his “2016 Social Study”. However, just three years later and with a new President, staff were apparently eager to be heard: the participation rate was at a record-breaking 85% (2011: 72%). Nevertheless, the results of the present survey remain a great concern. Moreover, the same problems that have plagued the Office for many years are still very evident and unresolved.

“We encourage all colleagues to review the results for themselves and draw their own conclusions. This paper simply presents and comments upon what we consider to be the main findings from an analysis of the results.

“Our provisional conclusion

“Anyone going through the 2011 WTW survey, or browsing through the 2016 PWC Social Study, the 2016 Technologia Staff Survey, and the recent IT Audit will see that today’s survey results are neither a surprise nor a statistical anomaly. Instead, they are a dangerous continuation of a long-standing trend, that of a sinking ship. We are concerned that the apparent reaction of the President in his communiqué “Your voice, our future results” is not proportionate to the seriousness of the situation.The President apparently favours continuity and appeals to us to trust his good intentions, promising that the next step will bring more changes. Trust is a tender plant and needs to be nurtured with care and consistently. It is the key element for management credibility, as the staff survey has shown. Continuing policies and behaviour that got us where we are now are unlikely to get us where we aspire to be.”

Isn’t it funny that EPO management is suppressing a response to its very own ‘study’ (staff survey)? Earlier this years we learned that based on a survey not controlled by the Office but by the representation (or offloaded to the union), only 3% of staff trusts António Campinos. That’s like one pupil in a classroom of 33.

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts