Links 4/12/2020: New Raspberry Pi OS, Tizen OS Dominating TVs, Wine 6.0 RC, Debian 10.7 Ready Later Today, Fedora 33 Elections Concluded, Pacman 6.0 Enters Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 7:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 to Launch Their First AMD-Only “Pangolin” Linux Laptop

        The “Pangolin” would be System76’s second AMD-powered Linux laptop after the Serval WS, but this one also features integrated AMD Radeon graphics as the Serval WS came with Nvidia graphics.

        At the moment of writing, System76 didn’t say much about their upcoming AMD-only Linux laptop except for the specs, which include either AMD Ryzen 5 4500U or AMD Ryzen 7 4700U CPUs, AMD Radeon integrated graphics, up to 64 GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM, up to 8TB SSD storage, and a Full HD 15.6-inch matte finish display.

      • Meet Pangolin: A New AMD Ryzen-Powered Linux Laptop By System76

        A well-known Linux PC vendor System76 has finally unveiled its first fully AMD-powered Linux laptop called Pangolin.

        Unlike System76’s all previous laptops with Intel CPU (except Serval WS with AMD processor), a new Pangolin laptop features AMD Ryzen CPU with AMD Radeon integrated graphics.

      • System76 Bringing Out “Pangolin” As An AMD Renoir Linux Laptop

        Ever since AMD has been on a stellar trajectory with their hardware, users have been begging System76 to release an AMD Linux laptop… That’s now finally coming with their upcoming Pangolin launch.

        System76 today disclosed Pangolin as their first AMD-powered laptop with Ryzen (Zen 2) CPU cores and Radeon graphics. In particular, the Pangolin comes with the option of the Ryzen 5 4500U or Ryzen 7 4700U and making use of the integrated Vega graphics.

      • System76 announce the AMD powered Pangolin with Ryzen and Radeon

        You asked, quite a lot actually and now System76 are going to be delivering with the all-AMD powered Pangolin. Considering the power of the newer generation AMD chipsets, it’s not surprising that they’ve seen plenty of requests for a laptop powered by team red.

        While no formal press release has been made about it (that we’ve seen anyway?), they have announced it briefly on Twitter with a coming soon page. Interestingly, the Pangolin looks to be their most affordable laptop and one they’re calling an “everyday laptop” with the price starting at $849.

      • System76 introduces Pangolin Linux laptop with Ryzen 4000U

        The next Linux laptop from System76 will be a model with a 15.6 inch display and support for up to an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U processor.

        The System76 Pangolin laptop should be available soon for $849 and up.


        AMD’s Ryzen 4000U series chips have earned a reputation for balancing strong performance with energy efficiency, enabling them to be used in thin and light laptops with reasonably long battery life.

        The System76 Pangolin has a 49 Wh battery and a body that measures 14.2″ x 9.4″ x 0.8″ and weighs 3.64 pounds.

        This won’t be the first Linux laptop powered by an AMD Renoir processor with Radeon graphics. It joins existing models including Tuxedo Aura 15 as well as model with higher-power Ryzen 4000H chips like the KDE Slimbook, Tuxedo Pulse 14 and Pulse 15. But the Pangolin is still a first for the US-based System76.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes dropping Docker is not that big of a deal

        It all started so quietly. Deep in the forthcoming Kubernetes 1.20 release notes, Kubernetes, everyone’s favorite container orchestrator, developers announced: “Docker support in the kubelet is now deprecated and will be removed in a future release.” You’d thought from the uproar that someone just kicked your puppy. Relax.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #192

        KDE Will Support Fingerprints



        XFCE Shaping Up For a Strong Version 4.16


        Microsoft Defender Previewing New Features for Linux Only


        Tuxedo Computers Reverse Engineers Drivers


        Tails 4.13 Out


        Kali 2020.4 Out


        IPFire 2.25 Core Update 152 Out


        Kaos 2020.11 Out


        Ubuntu Web Remix Out


        Firefox 83 Out


        Firefox 84 Soon to be out


        Thunderbird 78.5.0 Out


        Wine 5.22 Out


        Ardour 6.5 Out


        Blender 2.91 Out


        Vulkan Ray Tracing Support Out


        Purism’s Librem 5 Out


        GIMP turns 25


      • LHS Episode #382: The Weekender LXII | Linux in the Ham Shack

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • Helios64 Review | Self-Hosted 33

        Alex puts the fantastic-looking, ARM-powered NAS known as the Helios64 to the test.

      • First Impressions of the FINAL LIBREM 5 HARDWARE!!
    • Kernel Space

      • ZFS 2.0.0 Released

        Version 2.0 of ZFS has been released, it’s now known as OpenZFS and has a unified release for Linux and BSD which is nice.

        One new feature is persistent L2ARC (which means that when you use SSD or NVMe to cache hard drives that cache will remain after a reboot) is an obvious feature that was needed for a long time.

        The Zstd compression invented by Facebook is the best way of compressing things nowadays, it’s generally faster while giving better compression than all other compression algorithms and it’s nice to have that in the filesystem.

        The PAM module for encrypted home directories is interesting, I haven’t had a need for directory level encryption as block device encryption has worked well for my needs. But there are good use cases for directory encryption.

      • EPYC Zen 3 CPU Support Coming To Linux’s AMD_Energy Driver – Phoronix

        In addition to AMD Zen 1/2/3 PowerCap RAPL support coming for the Linux 5.11 kernel, the hwmon-next Git branch has also queued initial support for Zen 3 processors within the AMD_Energy driver.

        The AMD_Energy driver was introduced earlier this year and merged for Linux 5.8 for easily exposing AMD CPU energy metrics — albeit the list of supported CPU models was later restricted to EPYC CPUs.

      • Videos and slides of Bootlin’s talks at Live Embedded Event 2020 – Bootlin’s blog

        Yesterday, Bootlin co-organized and participated to the first edition of Live Embedded Event, a new online conference dedicated to embedded systems topics. In addition to co-organizing the event, we also gave four different talks at this conference, and we are happy to share the slides and videos of our talks.

      • Linux 5.11 Adding An “Inhibited” Feature To Temporarily Disregard Select Input Devices – Phoronix

        This input inhibited property is being led by Google ChromeOS engineers in conjunction with Collabora and the initial use-case for inhibiting input from select devices is a 2-in-1/laptop use-case where the keyboard may be folded under the screen for creating a tablet-like experience. This new property allows for such a property to be created in user-space so that when such a keyboard folding event occurs it could inhibit the input from that given device. Other use-cases will also surely materialize.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 20.3 released with Raspberry Pi 4 V3DK driver, Panfrost Bifrost support

          We’ve previously reported that the Vulkan 1.0 conformant V3DK driver for Raspberry Pi 4 and other Broadcom BCM2711 based platforms was part of Mesa 20.3 open-source graphics framework. But at the time, it was still under development.

          The good news is that Mesa 20.3 has now been released, and there’s much more than Raspberry Pi 4 support, as Collabora informed us the release also included Arm Mali Bifrost GPU support via the open-source Panfrost driver.

        • Radeon ROCm 3.10 Released With Data Center Tool Improvements, New APIs

          While we have been looking out for Radeon ROCm 4.0 that was announced back at SC20 as well as an updated ROCm for providing the RDNA2 compute support only found currently in their packaged RX 6800 series Linux driver, ROCm 3.10 arrived on Wednesday as an unexpected twist.

          ROCm 4.0 has yet to debut via the usual channels. The ROCm 3.10 release also comes without any mentioned GFX10 RDNA/RDN2 support. We are waiting to hear back from AMD on when ROCm 4.0 is now expected for release.

        • Khronos Brings New Physically Based Rendering Materials Support To glTF

          The Khronos Group’s glTF specification that is a transmission format for 3D scenes and models continues picking up more impressive capabilities as its adoption by a growing range of software packages continue.

          With companies from Microsoft to Autodesk supporting glTF in various capacities for 3D models, the demands on this format continue to increase. Today the glTF working group at Khronos is introducing a set of new physically based rendering (PBR) extensions to offer new capabilities for glTF.

        • Mesa 21.0 Adds Radeon HEVC SAO Encode Support – Phoronix

          For the “Video Core Next 2″ hardware like Navi as well as Renoir APUs, HEVC “sample adaptive offset” support has landed in Mesa 21.0.

          VCN 2.0 initially came with Navi 1x and a feature now being exposed in the Mesa 21.0 Radeon video encode code is support for HEVC/H.265 sample adaptive offset, or SAO for short. As explained at IEEE.org, Sample Adaptive Offset for HEVC is a in-loop filtering technique to reduce sample distortion. From that published data, “it is reported that SAO achieves on average 3.5% BD-rate reduction and up to 23.5% BD-rate reduction with less than 1% encoding time increase and about 2.5% decoding time increase under common test conditions of HEVC reference software version 8.0.”

    • Benchmarks

      • Another Look At The Performance Impact To IBM’s POWER9 L1d Flushing Change

        Last week I provided some benchmarks looking at the IBM POWER9 mitigation for the L1 data cache needing to be flushed upon entering the kernel and on user accesses due to a recently disclosed vulnerability. POWER9 allows speculatively operating on validated data in the L1 cache, but when it comes to incompletely validated data paired with other side channels it could lead to local users potentially obtaining improper access to data in the L1 data cache. When benchmarking the impact on a POWER9 4c/16t CPU the overall impact was fairly modest while since then I fired up some benchmarks as well on a large POWER9 server with 44 cores / 176 threads to see the performance impact of this default Linux kernel change.

    • Applications

      • DOSBox Staging has a rather large new release out with 0.76.0 | GamingOnLinux

        DOSBox Staging is the fork of the original emulator with an aim to modernize it and give it some more advanced features, with the latest release out now.

        An important project because DOSBox itself is a vital bit of free and open source software, one that has enabled us not to lose out on thousands of classic games. Ensuring that it keeps working on modern systems using modern features with DOSBox Staging is awesome.

        This release is a big one covering many parts of it enhancing “the quality of audio emulation (GUS, built-in MIDI, PC speaker), improved support for PowerPC and POWER8 architectures, and a healthy mix of usability, documentation, code quality improvements”. They go into a lot more detail in the lengthy release notes, which make for an interesting read.

      • Hypnotix – Watch Live TV via Linux Mint developed IPTV Player | UbuntuHandbook

        Want to watch live TV on Ubuntu Linux? Try Hypnotix, a new IPTV player developed by Linux Mint team.

        Hypnotix is a player application which streams from IPTV providers, which can be configured via a local M3U playlists, remote M3U URLs or the Xtream API.

        The player uses libmpv for video playback, and it’s configured to ship with Free-IPTV as default IPTV provider. You can easily remove it and set your own providers via software preferences dialog.

      • Pogo – minimalist music player – LinuxLinks

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

        Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem.

        Pogo is billed as a fast and minimalist audio player for Linux. It’s written in Python and uses GTK+ and GStreamer, the latter is a pipeline-based multimedia framework that links together a wide variety of media processing systems to complete complex workflows.

        Pogo was forked from Decibel Audio Player, a defunct music player that saw its last release in September 2011.

      • Try this Linux text editor for Emacs fans

        The term “emacs” is actually a portmanteau of “Editor Macros,” and the first one was programmed in 1976 as a set of macros for the TECO editor. GNU Emacs was developed as an interpretation of this style of visual text editor, and it was notably released as free, hackable, and redistributable software (called “free software” by the Free Software Foundation, although the term “free” in this context means “liberated” rather than “gratis”).

        Other versions have been developed over the years, including Jove, an acronym for “Jonathan Payne’s Own Version of Emacs.” Jove is a small (it’s only 250K) and minimalistic version of Emacs that can prove useful when you find GNU Emacs too bloated for what you need.

      • Three Other Web Browsers for Linux You Should Try

        Most Linux users will be familiar with the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox web browsers. As good as they are, these aren’t the only two browsers available. There are so many other browsers available for Linux, and it’s important to give them all at least a solid try. You’ll learn here about three alternative web browsers for Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Five practical guides for managing Linux terminal and commands [Ed: People from Linux Foundation are renaming GNU programs “LINUX”]
      • Add a subcommand showing GNU Guix history of all packages

        Hello, everyone! I’m Magali and for the next three months, I’ll be an Outreachy intern in the GNU Guix community. As part of my Outreachy application process, I made my first ever contribution to Free Software adding a package to Guix, and since then I’m eager to begin contributing even more.

        My task for this three-month period is to add a subcommand showing the history of all packages. Although Guix makes it possible to install and have an older version of a package, it isn’t as easy to find, for example, the commit related to these versions.

        The subcommand I’ll implement will be something like guix git log. The idea is that, for instance, when the user invokes guix git log –oneline | grep msmtp, a list with all the commits, one per line, related to msmtp, will be shown.

      • WildFly server configuration with Ansible collection for JCliff, Part 2

        Welcome to the second part of this series introducing Ansible collection for JCliff. This new extension is designed for fine-tuning WildFly or Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP) configurations using Ansible. In Part 1, we installed JCliff and its Ansible collection and prepared our environment. We set up a minimal, working playbook for installing JCliff on the target system. In this article, we will focus on configuring a few of our WildFly server’s subsystems.

      • Bpytop on openSUSE

        I recently published an article about how great Bashtop is on openSUSE, and when I was nearly done with it, I was told about Bpytop. Since I was going through the final edit, I didn’t just want to dump what I did before but rather, follow it up with Bpytop. I am not sure how far behind the curve I am now and maybe there is something even cooler out there but before anyone tells me what the latest hotness is in terminal, system monitoring applications, I am feverishly writing about this

        What is so great about Bpytop?

        If you are a nerd about what your system is doing and like to see the numbers, charts graphs, etc, and you have previously enjoyed Bashtop, Bpytop is going to send tingles of joy down your finger tips. The little bits of information it gives you from CPU load, load average, and frequency is superb. The chart it produces on the CPU usage looks fantastic and really makes you wonder how they accomplished this when it is only in text mode. Truly a feat of terminal engineering!

      • Work-around in Linux to switch between single-sided and double-sided printing | Fitzcarraldo’s Blog

        I use Gentoo Linux on my laptop, and have drivers installed for quite a few printer manufacturers and models, as I work in multiple offices and they have a wide range of printers and MFPs. To date I have had no trouble printing single-sided (‘simplex’) and double-sided (‘duplex’) documents on the printers that support duplex printing. However, one of the offices I have been working in recently has a Konica Minolta bizhub C368, a floor-standing MFP, and the printer in this MFP did not enable me to switch between single-sided and double-sided printing even though Windows users in the same office could. This article explains how I managed to switch between the two printing modes.

      • [Older] LFCS – Scheduling Tasks

        Sometimes it is necessary to have tasks execute at specific times. Automating tasks to run at specific times can be a very necessary administrative function. Even on a home system tasks can be automated to reduce your time from ‘babysitting’ your system.

      • Everything you need to know about Kubernetes namespaces. – UX Techno

        Kubernetes namespaces is a virtual cluster being created within the actual Kubernetes cluster. This will bring separation between the different Kubernetes objects such as Pods, deployments and service etc. This will comes handy in order to separate your cluster environment wise or among the different teams.

      • Customize GNOME Desktop in Ubuntu with this Colorful Look

        The default GNOME desktop in Ubuntu can be customized in many ways. There are many available GTK and icon themes which you can easily apply and transform your daily driver desktop to a different look without losing performance and productivity.

      • Ευάγγελος Μπαλάσκας – BTRFS and RAID1 over LUKS » Evaggelos Balaskas – System Engineer

        Hi! I’m writing this article as a mini-HOWTO on how to setup a btrfs-raid1 volume on encrypted disks (luks). This page servers as my personal guide/documentation, althought you can use it with little intervention.

      • How to Fix “MySQL ERROR 1819 (HY000):” in Linux

        When creating a MySQL user with a relatively weak password, you might encounter the error ‘MySQL ERROR 1819 (HY000): Your password does not satisfy the current policy requirements’. Technically, this is not an error, but a notification that you are using a password that does not meet the recommended password policy requirements.

      • Learn how to simplify data protection using Vinchin Backup & Recovery with Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager
      • Subcluster allocation for qcow2 images | The world won’t listen

        In previous blog posts I talked about QEMU’s qcow2 file format and how to make it faster. This post gives an overview of how the data is structured inside the image and how that affects performance, and this presentation at KVM Forum 2017 goes further into the topic.

        This time I will talk about a new extension to the qcow2 format that seeks to improve its performance and reduce its memory requirements.

        Let’s start by describing the problem.

      • Client-Server workloads on the Web – Everyone is doing it wrong

        The way we handle client-server architecture in the modern web is completely backwards from how it should be. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica’s description on the subject, a computer user tells the client computer to send a request to the server which should then return the results of the request to the client in order to be displayed to the user. This is entirely the opposite of how we handle things on the web, which is built upon the client-server architecture.

        A good way to illustrate how client-server architecture is implemented entirely backwards on the web is this; Let’s say that you and a few friends want to go to a fancy restaurant to have a good time and good experience. So you get in your car and drive to the restaurant (which from this point on will be referred to as “yummi food.” yes that is “yummi” with an “i”) in order to meet up with your friends and have the aforementioned good experience that you have been dreaming about ever since you got in your car. You arrive at “yummi food” and meet up with your friends, after which you proceed to enter the establishment. You and your group are observing appropriate etiquette for such a prestigious dining establishment, but something seems off.

        For instance, instead of your server extending the courtesy of pulling the chairs out from the table for you and your friends (the clients), you are directed to seat yourself at your reserved table. It may not seem like a big deal to you at the time, but what comes next is truly perplexing. After your group has seated themselves, the server comes to your table to take your orders, one-by-one the server writes down everyone’s orders until the last person in your group has ordered their food. You then wait, as you would expect, for the food to be prepared, however, rather quickly, the server comes back, not with your food, but a recipe and a list of precise instructions for how to cook and prepare the food, along with a few bags of all the needed ingredients for each member of your party to cook their own food. The server then hands you and your group the bags of ingredients, then promptly points you in the general direction of the kitchen.

      • How to create and store secrets using Secret Manager in AWS

        Application secrets or credentials can be stored using the AWS Secret Manager securely. Secrets can be rotated, managed, and retrieved throughout their lifecycle using AWS Secret Manager. Access to secrets can also be restricted using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies and resource-based policies. For using AWS Secrets Manager, the user needs to pay only for the number of secrets managed in Secrets Manager and Secrets Manager API calls made.

      • How To Install Flask on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Flask on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Flask is a free and open-source micro web framework for Python designed to help developers build secure, scalable, and maintainable web applications. It is quite simple and easier to start though you are a beginner.

        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 Flask 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 Homelab Episode 2 – Software Considerations – YouTube

        In the second episode of How to Homelab, I talk more about the things I’m running in my own setup, and some of the considerations for what to run.

      • How To Speed Up DNF Package Manager In Fedora – OSTechNix

        If you’re experiencing slow package downloads or updates, here is a workaround to speed up DNF package manager in Fedora and other RPM-based systems such as RHEL and CentOS that uses DNF as their default package manager.

        As you already know, DNF is the default package manager for Fedora 25 and newer versions, RHEL 8 and its clone CentOS 8. The other day I decided to try Fedora 33. I downloaded the Fedora 33 Vagrant box and run it with Oracle Virtualbox. The first thing I noticed after trying Fedora 33 is that the DNF package manager is terribly slow. I thought DNF might perform slow when it updates the repositories and metadata for the first time. But, it was still slow in the subsequent times. After a couple web searches, I found a solution that worked for me.

      • How to audit permissions with the find command | Enable Sysadmin

        You can audit permissions on your Linux system by using the find command with the -perm option. Plus four bonus permissions auditing methods.

      • How to install ONLYOFFICE Docs 6.1 on Ubuntu

        ONLYOFFICE Docs is an open-source office suite distributed under GNU AGPL v3.0. It comprises web-based viewers and collaborative editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations highly compatible with OOXML formats.

        ONLYOFFICE Docs can be integrated with various cloud storage platforms and services such as Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, Alfresco, HumHub, Plone, etc., as well as it can be integrated into the solution you’re building yourself. ONLYOFFICE Docs can also be used together with ONLYOFFICE Groups, a free open-source collaboration platform distributed under Apache 2.0 (the complete solution is available under the name of ONLYOFFICE Workspace).

      • What is RAID in Linux, and How to Configure it | FOSS Linux

        In this article, we will look at RAID in Linux, who should use it, types of RAID, and learn how to configure it. The key advantages that you get using software RAID are as below.

      • How to Check Ubuntu Version with Command or Script

        The lsb-release is the standard package for reporting the version on Ubuntu systems. Which is basically written in Python programming language.

        The lsb-release package provides a command lsb_release used to check Ubuntu version and codename on command line. In this tutorial, you will learn various options to lsb_release command on Ubuntu system.

      • Updated Docker pages
      • Font Management On Linux – YouTube

        Many new-to-Linux users have questions about installing fonts and previewing fonts on Linux. While there are some nice GUI applications that help with these tasks, you don’t actually need to install any extra programs to manage your fonts.

      • Dmenu Is Great So I’ll Keep Simping For It – YouTube

        At this point the only Suckless tool I actively use is Dmenu, it’s an absolute great launcher especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t really care about having a super fancy looking app, Dmenu is functional and that’s all it needs to be.

      • Remove ^M (CTRL-M) Characters from a File in Linux – Putorius

        Operating systems have different ways to handle a newline in their text editors. For example Windows uses a specific carriage return (CR) which is depicted as ^M on Linux, followed by a line feed (LF) to indicate a newline. Linux and UNIX on the other hand use only the line feed to denote the end of a line. This often causes issues when transferring (or even copy and pasting) a file from Windows to Linux. It is hard to spot, and often leaves people scratching their head and wondering why their configuration file is not working.

      • How to install fonts in Gimp on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install fonts in Gimp 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 Rocket.Chat on CentOS 8

        Rocket.Chat is a free and open-source chat and messaging application built with Meteor. It is an alternative to Slack and allows you to chat with other members, make video and audio calls, create channels and private groups, share files, and folders and many more. It is self-hosted and helps your team to communicate and share ideas on desktop and mobile devices.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.0-rc1 Released

        The Wine development release 6.0-rc1 is now available.

        This is the first release candidate for the upcoming Wine 6.0. It marks the beginning of the yearly code freeze period. Please give this release a good testing to help us make 6.0 as good as possible.

      • Wine 6.0-RC1 Released Following Last Minute Changes – Phoronix

        As expected, the first release candidate of Wine 6.0 is now available for testing for this annual update to Wine for running Windows programs and games on Linux and other platforms.

        Wine 6.0-RC1 marks the start of the code/feature freeze ahead of Wine 6.0.0, which should be out in January. Until then the release candidates will continue.

      • The road to Wine 6.0 begins with a first Release Candidate | GamingOnLinux

        The Wine compatibility layer for running Windows applications on Linux and other systems has a new development release up, the first Release Candidate for Wine 6.0.

        Marking the beginning of a code freeze period, where the Wine team will now be focusing on stability rather than chucking in new features to make Wine 6.0 as good as it can be.

    • Games

      • Humble Choice for December has 14 games including Children of Morta & Overcooked 2

        Looks like the monthly Humble Choice bundle for December is a pretty good one, filled full of games and Classic / Premium subs get 14 this time.

        What is it? Each month Humble Bundle curate a selection of games for subscribers to claim. How many you can claim to keep depends on what tier you pay for. This month they seem to be quite generous since you keep them all and there’s more than usual.

        Here’s what’s on offer (Linux builds in bold text):

        Overcooked 2 + Too Many Cooks + Surf ‘n’ Turf
        Children of Morta
        One Step From Eden

      • Stadia exclusives Outcasters and Submerged: Hidden Depths out now and free for Stadia Pro | GamingOnLinux

        Today, Stadia did a livestream on YouTube to show off gameplay of new titles and make some big announcements. Along with that two new Stadia exclusive titles are live. Plus, we round up all the other news.

        Firstly, Outcasters is a new Stadia exclusive title developed by Splash Damage with Stadia Games and Entertainment as publisher. It’s out, right now, and it’s free if you have the optional Stadia Pro subscription. You battle through colourful arenas in chaotic eight play shot-curving battles.

      • Operation Broken Fang announced for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive | GamingOnLinux

        Valve have finally delivered on the next event for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with Operation Broken Fang. It’s another big one, with plenty to go over and some sounds quite exciting for the ageing first-person shooter.

        Much like the last operation with Shattered Web, it’s using the Battle Pass system where you pay for a pass and then do missions to unlock stars to progress through it. Across 16 weeks, as it runs until next April, you will get a new set of missions to complete each week for various game modes like Danger Zone, Guardian and there’s two new modes!

      • Unreal Engine 4.26 rolls out with lots of Linux improvements, drops OpenGL for Vulkan | GamingOnLinux

        Epic Games have rolled out the latest major upgrade to Unreal Engine 4 while work continues on Unreal Engine 5.

        This latest release with Unreal Engine 4.26 surprisingly has quite a lot of Linux issues sorted, along with dropping OpenGL in favour of Vulkan on the desktop now. It’s a change that’s not really surprising, with Vulkan being the future along with it being needed for Stadia which is quickly expanding its list of available titles.

      • Unity acquires the open source MLAPI networking library | GamingOnLinux

        In the post Unity’s Brandi House mentioned how they’re trying to expand the Unity ecosystem with a “first-party multiplayer networking solution for GameObjects that is easy to set up and extend, scales to meet the needs of high-performance titles, and is seamlessly integrated into the Unity ecosystem” and after considering many they ultimately decided to pull in MLAPI along with its creator, Albin Corén.

        The good news is that it remains open source and will be developed in the open as expected, and they will not be changing the license which is currently as MIT. So now we have another open source solution for networking, fully backed by a big company – nice.

      • Real-time grand strategy fantasy city-builder Songs of Syx arrives on GOG | GamingOnLinux

        Songs of Syx, a title currently in development and available as Early Access has now officially arrived on the DRM-free store GOG if that’s where you prefer your games. A good remind of a nice up and coming title, as Songs of Syx is very promising.

        At its heart, it’s a city-builder but it’s on a grand scale. You start off tiny and gradually expand to a huge sprawling city full of hundreds of citizens. That’s far from it though, it’s also a strategy game that will have massive tactical battles with huge armies since you’re also dealing with the politics of other kingdoms. Even though it’s not finished and there’s plenty missing, it’s highly rated by users.

      • Dead Cells has sold over 3.5 million copies, Fatal Falls DLC announced for early 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        Evil Empire and Motion Twin have announced that Dead Cells is getting a brand new DLC in early 2021 and it seems they have a lot more coming to Dead Cells.

        They’ve managed to sell over 3.5 million copies now, more than they ever expected and so they will continue supporting it. They mentioned with the previous DLC that they had at least 2 years worth of content coming and “that’s still the plan”. However, they indicate they probably have a lot more to come and we can expect to see more regular updates next year along with the Christmas Update 21 due “in a few weeks”. Update 21 will have a new weapon, a new monster, a lore room, new skins, a new diet option and a few other bits. Something of a stocking filler until the DLC is ready.

      • Smissmas 2020 is live for Team Fortress 2 with new maps | GamingOnLinux

        Along with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive seeing it’s 10th operation with Operation Broken Fang, Valve’s other popular free first-person shooter Team Fortress 2 is doing a new Smissmas 2020 event.

        Live until January 7th, 2021 – any player who logs in during the event will be gifted a Stuffed Stocking, which contains goodies for “good little Mercenaries”. There’s plenty more to entice you back into TF2 with 3 new community maps to play across: Pier, Snowfall, SnowVille, and Wutville.

      • XMG Core 14 gaming laptop features Intel Tiger Lake and NVIDIA GPU

        The Tuxedo BOOK XP14 is basically an XMG Core 14 that ships with Linux rather than Windows. Tuxedo offers operating system options including Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and its own Ubuntu-based Tuxedo_OS.

    • Distributions

      • EndeavourOS: The upcoming release needs more time

        In our latest blog, we were planning to release a plain updated ISO without any major changes somewhere in November.

        As you might have guessed, this release is delayed due to some upstream changes we have to implement. At this moment we can’t give you an exact date when the new release will be out there, so in a way, we’re saying it is going to be released when it’s ready.

        For an online installation, the September release still works for a very large amount of users, so you will still have the latest versions installed in the end.
        If you’re going to install the offline version, there will be quite some updates to install after the first boot.

      • [Older] 6 Best Linux Distributions That are Not Based on Ubuntu or Debian

        I have been asked this question a number of times by our readers. I often answer to this question with Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS or something similar from the list of our best Linux distributions.

        Even though most of the time the discussion revolves around Ubuntu vs Linux Mint, it’s safe to assume that most of the popular distributions are Ubuntu-based.

        So, you must be wondering — what about a list that talks about Linux distributions that are not based on Ubuntu or Debian?

      • Reviews

        • Manjaro 20.1.2 Mikah Plasma review

          Manjaro remains a bi-polar distro. On one hand, it’s a unique project, with unique features, its own identity, true and independent effort to be a first-class system, constant improvement, and a level of quality that is starting to approach serious pro stuff. On the other hand, it’s plagued with totally random issues that have no place in a wider-reach user-facing product. Nerds be nerds, fine, but ordinary folks cannot and will not do any trickery to get things working and running.

          That said, Manjaro Linux 20.1.2 Mikah plus Plasma delivers a reasonable desktop experience. Considering my newfound extra-jaded approach and significantly less tolerance than what I used to dedicate to reviews in the past, this is a pretty solid result. Overall, you get a lot of goodies. My one fear is – how long will the awesome last before it gets ruined by some unnecessary bug? Can Manjaro go only up from here?

          So far, looking at the range of distros released in the last several months, Mikah is one of the more successful contenders. Now, looking back several years, there were and are better and stronger and smarter choices for the average user out there, but when the sky is all gray and gloomy, a ray of sunshine on the horizon means a lot. Well, I hope the Manjaro team can turn this effort in a meaningful and long-lasting endeavor that delivers a seamless experience. We’re not there yet of course – better application management, more robust updates and fewer nerd-in-the-middle stuff must be satisfied. That said, in the current Tux landscape, Manjaro 20 is a fairly solid offering. And I go back to my cave and its stalagmites of shed tears.

        • T2 20.10 tagged and shipping!

          A decade in the making, T2 version 20.10 was finally tagged and shipped! Grab your favorite release ISO, e.g. highly optimized AMD64, PPC64 for your PS3, MIPS64 for your Sgi Octane or any other of our release builds for playing along at home!

        • t2 Linux 20.10 released

          The 20.10 release of the t2 Linux distribution is available.

      • New Releases

        • Manjaro 20.2 Brings the Latest Kernel, GNOME, KDE, and Xfce

          The rolling release based Linux distribution Manjaro releases its latest stable version Manjaro 20.2. Let’s take a look at what’s new and give you instructions on how to download and install Manjaro 20.2.

        • Manjaro Linux 20.2 “Nibia” Is Out With Pop Shell And Material Shell

          Manjaro Linux project team developer Philip Müller has officially announced a new point version, Manjaro 20.2 “Nibia.”

          The latest release comes with Pamac 9.5.12, Kernel 5.9 and 5.4 LTS, updated desktop environments, and other new features.

        • Manjaro Linux 20.2 ‘Nibia’ is out now

          Manjaro Linux, the middle-ground distribution for those who want regular updates but don’t want to go to Arch directly has a brand new release out.

          For users who run Manjaro already, you just need to run updates as normal since it’s something of a semi-rolling distribution that keeps updates flowing in. For new users, this releases serve as the entry point with new downloadable media with all the latest customizations sorted.

          Manjaro Linux 20.2 ‘Nibia’ updates all editions and desktops available, with their GNOME 3.38 update being “possibly the biggest update” they’ve done so far. GNOME 3.38 was released back in September, bringing with it some great enhancements like better multi-monitor support.

      • BSD

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Mojolicious, PHP, grep update in Tumbleweed

          Half a dozen openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots have been released since last week’s blog update for Geekos’ favorite rolling release.

          Six packages were updated in the most recent 20201202 snapshot. An updated keyring was signed and obsolete documentation macros were removed in the update of mtools 4.0.26, which is a collection of utilities to access MS-DOS disks from GNU and Unix without mounting them. The timing and password encrypting/decrypting package python-scrypt updated to version 0.8.17 and added additional test vectors from Request for Comments. Another PyPI package python-atpublic updated from version 1.0 to version 2.1.1; the package dropped Python 3.4 and 3.5 and added Python 3.8 and 3.9. Someone was excited because the package also fixed the doctests to run and pass, which was highlighted with an exclamation point in the changelog – congrats. The other packages to update in the snapshot were fcitx-qt5 1.2.5, libmodulemd 2.10.0 and perl-Types-Serialiser 1.01.

          The first snapshot to arrive this month was 20201201. Three YaST packages were updated; the update of yast2-installation 4.3.22 fixed the full media product selection during the setup. Fingerprint reader package fprintd provided proper hotplug support and authentication now requires a new print to enroll with the 1.90.4 version. Other packages to update in the snapshot were the gaming library for game controllers libmanette 0.2.6, libyui-qt-pkg 2.48.5 and the real-time web application framework perl-Mojolicious 8.66.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 114

          Fortunately, Christmas is around the corner and the year 2020 is coming to an end. But the YaST team is not thinking about going on holidays yet. Quite the contrary, we have been working on a broad range of topics as usual. So let’s have a look at some of them.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/49

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          Week 49 felt like a normal week, with no disasters happening, steady rolling distribution, openQA being on our side, blocking one snapshot that could have caused quite some pain to you, the users. So all in all, exactly what we want from a stable, rolling distribution. And this still resulted in 5 snapshots released during this week (1127, 1129, 1130, 1201, 1202).

      • Slackware Family

        • [Older] VTOWN Goes to Current

          Hey all, it’s been a while since i posted here, but today there’s a big update that i want to share to all Slackware users who have waited for this to happen and this is one of the remaining part of my wishlist and that is the one and only, Plasma 5!!!

          Yes, Patrick has finally decided to push Plasma 5 after coming with teaser in previous updates. At this moment, the Plasma 5 packages are still in /testing directory, but i’m guessing it won’t be long until it’s merged into the main tree along with other updates. I have downloaded the new Plasma 5 packages at my current desktop at home, but didn’t have time to upgrade it this morning so i did test the upgrade on my workstation at the office first and once i confirmed it worked well, i perform the upgrade on my laptop which i used to write this post.

        • Thanksgiving Updates

          It’s Thanksgiving day in the US and Patrick gives a very nice gift to every Slackware users which he posted on his Patreon page. He pushed GNOME-related stacks to main tree (including UPower 0.99.x) and XFCE stack to vtown.

          Please note that this update will affect those who are using MSB and CSB projects as some of the dependencies are now part of the main tree, so before upgrading, it would be good idea to remove them first.

      • Arch Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 33 elections results

          The Fedora 33 election cycle has concluded. Here are the results for each election. Congratulations to the winning candidates, and thank you all candidates for running in this election!

        • Community Outreach Revamp: call for AMA questions

          As a lot of you might know, we have started our journey towards revamping Fedora’s outreach efforts. In this process, we have come to a state where we urge the community members to ask us questions and discuss the progress of the revamp process.

          We are holding an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on December 10th 2020 at 1500 UTC in the Mindshare Matrix channel. To facilitate, we have a discourse thread for the community to post their questions in advance. Of course, we will also accept questions on the day of the AMA.

        • Fedora 34 To Feature Updated MariaDB, Other Changes

          The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) approved a fresh batch of changes this week for Fedora 34 that is due out next spring.

          Among the changes approved this week for Fedora 34 include:

          - To little surprise, FESCo approved using GCC 11 and Glibc 2.33 as the bleeding-edge compiler toolchain components come next spring. Fedora will continue to ship with the very latest GNU Compiler Collection as its default code compiler.

        • Command Line Heroes: Season 6: Dr. Marc Hannah: The Computer Scientist Who Brought Worlds to Life

          Sometimes an inventor designs a device for a specific purpose. Sometimes it’s to try something new. But successful inventions often shape industries beyond those they initially intended. Dr. Marc Hannah built an invention with far bigger effects than anyone could have imagined—like bringing dinosaurs to life, building liquid robots, and letting the Titanic set sail one more time.

        • When it Comes to Data Transfer, 5G is Just the Beginning

          The answers to those questions lie in how the data is processed as it moves across the 5G network. Organizations will need an intelligent data services architecture that enables them to access and transfer data to and from multiple sources. Ideally, this architecture will consist of an automated data pipeline that connects edge and core locations and runs over a flexible and open infrastructure supporting multiple clouds. Underneath all of this will be the 5G network that propels data movement between points A and B and, if necessary, to multiple other points.

          The combination of an automated data pipeline and flexible serverless cloud computing infrastructure is ideal for the kinds of data intensive use cases that 5G is meant to support. Made popular by the Kubernetes-based platform and open source project Knative, serverless computing does double-duty as a means of accelerating application development and supporting large-scale data workloads without running resources full-time.

        • Support for IBM Power Systems and more with Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2.5 – Red Hat Developer

          Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2.5 is now available. This article introduces support for IBM Power Systems and the new single-host mode in CodeReady Workspaces 2.5. We also briefly discuss support for Red Hat OpenShift 4.6 and language updates in this release.

        • Using open source and open data to address educational disparities [Ed: Wait, is Red Hat aware that it works for a eugenics giant?]

          At the end of May, Red Hat made a statement of solidarity with the Black community. As part of that, Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (B.U.I.L.D.), one of our associate-led Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) communities, selected the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) to receive a donation to help further its mission.

          Beyond the donation, we decided to engage with SCSJ in a more hands on way through our social innovation program, one way we connect Red Hatters and nonprofits in an effort to support their work with the power of open source.

          SCSJ is a nonprofit organization founded in Durham, N.C. by a multidisciplinary group, predominantly people of color. SCSJ works with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South, and defends and advances their political, social and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing and communications. One of SCSJ’s current goals is to bring social science research, communications strategies and community organizing skills to help serve community priorities.

        • Helping standardize machine learning: Red Hat joins MLCommons as founding member

          Red Hat is excited to announce that we have joined MLCommons, an open engineering consortium that curates the MLPerf benchmarking suite, as a founding member. MLCommons will be focusing on three important pillars to support the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) community: benchmarks, data sets, and best practices.

          MLPerf is an established tool used to evaluate software frameworks, hardware platforms, and cloud platforms for AI and ML performance. The MLPerf benchmark suite represents the major application areas of AI and continues to evolve, adding new benchmarks that facilitate state-of-the-art innovation across different market segments.

        • 6 industry-shaping open source projects from IBM in 2020 – IBM Developer

          2020 was a busy year for open source at IBM. While we’ve released a number of new projects this year that all have exciting potential, I wanted to highlight 6 new projects from IBM’s open source community that I think have the biggest potential to disrupt industries and make life easier for developers and tech users.

        • Stratis Storage 2.3 Released With Clevis Encryption Policy Support – Phoronix

          In addition to OpenZFS 2.0 releasing and Bcachefs hitting up more performance optimizations, some further next-gen Linux storage news is Red Hat’s Stratis Storage 2.3 being released.

          Stratis is Red Hat’s effort around improving Linux storage capabilities and features similar to ZFS and Btrfs but building atop Linux’s LVM capabilities and XFS file-system while providing clean integration and interfaces around the advanced features exposed.

        • BuiltIn: Legacy Tech is Waking Up to Cloud Native

          Cutting-edge IT infrastructures aren’t just for nimble startups anymore.

          At this year’s Kubernetes Conference, Cloud Native Computing Foundation community members including Red Hat, NetApp and Rancher debuted solutions that will help organizations that aren’t cloud native make a new and difficult type of digital transformation: from legacy architectures to containers and microservices.

          Precise numbers for container and Kubernetes adoption among enterprise companies are tough to nail down, Rancher Labs vice president of global channels and alliances Jim Sarale told me, but he knows that general Kubernetes use is poised for explosive growth.

      • Debian Family

        • Preparing for release of Debian 10.7 over the weekend and CentOS / Scientific Linux 6.x and EPEL for 6 now EOL

          This weekend – 5th December 2020 – should see us release Debian 10.7 – an update to Debian stable (Buster) so I should be spending a day or so in the company of my friends and colleagues.

          Red Hat 6.10 is now out of support unless you pay Extended Update subscriptions for individual Red Hat machines. This means that CentOS 6.* has now been removed from CentOS mirrors since these were dependent on Red Hat 6 sources.. Similarly, Scientific Linux have also removed their fork of 6.*. They are continuing to support a Scientific Linux 7 but suggest a move to CentOS 8 thereafter.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Laura Czajkowski: FOSDEM Community Devroom 2021 CFP

          The twenty-first edition of FOSDEM will take place 6-7 February, 2021 – online, and we’re happy to announce that there will be a virtual Community DevRoom as part of the event.

        • When you need the numbers just right – benchmark and profiling applications in the Snap Store | Ubuntu

          The world of software is a vast and complex one, often too difficult to easily assess by human intuition alone. Which is why detailed and accurate measurements of software behavior are essential in helping us understand and gauge how well our applications perform.

          The Snap Store has a fair share of productivity tools and utilities, including a wide range of benchmarking and profiling tools. These are designed to help developers, system administrators and hardcore enthusiasts get a precise sense of their software, whether as part of research and design or for troubleshooting ongoing problems in production environments. Let’s have a little tour.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Technical Board Call For Nominations

          The Ubuntu Technical Board is responsible for the technical direction of Ubuntu. It makes decisions on package selection, packaging policy, installation systems and processes, kernel, X server, display management, library versions, and dependencies. The board works with relevant teams to establish a consensus on the right path to take, especially where diverse elements of Ubuntu cannot find consensus on shared components. The current Technical Board is expiring at the end of the year, and the Community Council would like to confirm a new Technical Board, consisting of five people, who will serve for two years.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Google Opens Up “Atheris” To Automatically Find Bugs In Python Code – Phoronix

        Google today is announcing the open-sourcing of Atheris, a Python fuzzer they developed internally for automatically finding bugs within Python code and native extensions.

      • Dbus-Broker 25 Released With More Fixes

        The BUS1 kernel code for providing an in-kernel, capability-based IPC mechanism hasn’t seen much (or any?) activity in well over a year but at least the Dbus-Broker project continues ahead. Dbus-Broker continues ahead as this D-Bus compatible implementation focused on correctness while being optimized for performance.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Nicholas Nethercote: Farewell, Mozilla

            Today is my last day working for Mozilla. I will soon be starting a new job with Apple.


            I have a lot of memories, and the ones relating to these two projects are at the forefront. Thank you to everyone I’ve worked with. It’s been a good time.

            As I understand it, this blog will stay up in read-only mode indefinitely. I will make a copy of all the posts and if it ever goes down I will rehost them at my personal site.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 beta boasts impressive range of features let down by a lack of polish and poor mobile efforts

          The LibreOffice team has published the first beta of version 7.1, with general availability planned for February 2021.

          LibreOffice now describes itself as “OpenOffice evolution”, a poke at rival OpenOffice. It was forked from the same codebase (the roots of both go back to an ’80s application called StarWriter, acquired by Sun) but LibreOffice is progressing faster and has more features. It is cross-platform for Windows, Mac and Linux.

          Headline new features begin with an outline folding mode in Writer. This lets you collapse text under any heading so you just see the heading, a handy feature for decluttering a document in progress. The feature is currently experimental, which means it has to be switched on via an “Enable experimental features” option. When we tried it, LibreOffice immediately crashed, but after reopening the new feature worked correctly.

        • Announcing the winners in the Month of LibreOffice, November 2020!

          At the beginning of November, we started a new Month of LibreOffice, celebrating community contributions all across the project.

        • FOSDEM 2021: LibreOffice DevRoom Call for Papers

          FOSDEM 2021 will be a virtual event, taking place online on Saturday, February 6, and Sunday, February 7 (https://fosdem.org/2021/). The LibreOffice DevRoom is scheduled for Sunday, February 7, from 9AM to 7PM (times to be confirmed).

        • LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: November 2020
      • FSFE

        • How to tell my mother that Free Software can cost money?

          For this episode we talk about why Free Software can cost money. Bonnie Mehring and Matthias Kirschner discuss the topics: How can I pay for Free Software and why is it important to pay and thereby support Free Software? What are the different models of earning money with Free Software and where is the difference of earning money as an individual or as a company. Throughout this conversation both explain the concept of Free Software and talk about some of the most common questions. This is the perfect episode for explaining to your loved ones what Free Software is.

      • FSF

        • The International Day Against DRM (IDAD) is today — here’s what you can do to help | Defective by Design

          There’s no time like the present to stand up against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). Fittingly, today is the Defective by Design campaign’s annual International Day Against DRM (IDAD)!

          As months of quarantine have only tightened the stranglehold DRM has on how so many people experience culture, we have a lot of work ahead of us. If each person reading this takes a small step to show their support for the movement, we can have a meaningful and lasting effect.

        • GNU Projects

          • Argentina chooses GNU Health for COVID19 observatory and contact tracing

            In the context of the GNU Health International Conference, GHCon2020, Bioengineer Ingrid Spessotti, Dr Fiorella de la Lama and health professionals from Diamante Municipality presented the use of GNU Health as a COVID-19 observatory and contact tracing tool.

            The Government of Argentina, through the National Scientific and Technological Promotion Bureau (Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica), chose GNU Health as the system for management of epidemics in municipalities. This project is lead by Dr. Fernando Sassetti, head of the Public Health office at the National University of Entre Rios.

            Health professionals were trained in GNU Health epidemiological surveillance system, as well as the contact tracing functionality.

          • Daiki Ueno: What’s new in GnuTLS 3.7.0

            On behalf of the GnuTLS team, I am pleased to present GnuTLS 3.7.0, the first cut of the 3.7 series. This is the result of several months of planning and work by 25 contributors and includes feature enhancements and behavior changes, such as removal of deprecated functions and tightening of system requirements. In this entry, I will try to detail some notable features in the release.

            API for on-demand CA certificates retrieval

            During the TLS authentication phase, the server typically presents a chain of X.509 certificates, from the end-entity certificate to the trusted CA certificate. The AIA extension allows the server to omit certain portion of the certificate chain, by pointing to the location where the client can download the missing certificates. Although GnuTLS provides a means to override the certificate verification logic completely through callbacks, this task is error-prone and thus desired to be supported natively. Sahana Prasad introduced the new set of API that allow applications to safely complement the certificate chain. The API is already being used in glib-networking.

      • Programming/Development

        • A little update from Stack Overflow

          When I saw Stack Overflow Chief Product Officer (CPO) Teresa Dietrich on the list of speakers at the All Things Open conference this year, I jumped at the chance to get an update.

          We all know the value of Stack Overflow: the information that’s been created there over the past twelve years is nothing short of vital for programmers, developers, and other technologists. Just the other day one of our contributors shared how critical it was to his process for starting to learn a new programming language quickly.

          Teresa and her team are laser-focused on what Stack Overflow can do for teams of developers and operations folks these days, so I asked questions around her understanding of where Stack Overflow has been and where they are now during a global pandemic in order to maintain and grow a healthy Q&A platform.

          What does Stack Overflow mean to developers today? What was it like 10 years ago?

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: #31: Test your R package against bleeding-edge gcc

          Welcome to the 31th post in the rapturously rampant R recommendations series, or R4 for short. This post will once again feature Docker for use with R.

          Earlier this week, I received a note from CRAN about how my RcppTOML package was no longer building with the (as of right now of course unreleased) version 11 of the GNU C++ compiler, i.e. g++-11. And very kindly even included a hint about the likely fix (which was of course correct). CRAN, and one of its maintainers in particular, is extremely forward-looking in terms of toolchain changes. A year ago we were asked to updated possible use of global variables in C code as gcc-10 tightened the rules. This changes is a C++ one, and a fairly simple one of simply being more explicit with include headers. Previous g++ release had done the same.

          The question now was about the least painful way to get g++-11 onto my machine, with the least amount of side-effects. Regular readers of this blog will know where this is headed, but even use of Docker requires binaries. A look at g++-11 within packages.debian.org comes up empty. No Debian means no Ubuntu. But … there is a PPA for Ubuntu with toolchain builds we have used before. And voilà there we have it: within the PPA for Ubuntu Toolchain repository is the volatile packages PPA with both g++-10 and g++-11. Here Ubuntu 20.10 works with g++-10, but g++-11 requires Ubuntu 21.04. Docker containers are there for either. So with the preliminaries sorted out, the key steps are fairly straightforward:

        • Advent of Code and Learning

          So, I decided to do Advent of Code this year too. I usually get stuck part of the way, but I still think that it is a fun exercise.

          This year the plan is to use python and pytest the whole way through. Every day that i learn something that I want to remember, I add a til.txt file in that sub-directory. You can follow my progress and learnings in the git repository.

        • AMD Sends Out Zen 3 Compiler Support For GCC + AOCC 2.3 Compiler Released

          Following last month’s release of the Ryzen 5000 “Zen 3″ processors, AMD has now begun publishing their official compiler support for this extremely compelling processor family.

          For as extremely great as Zen 3 is, it’s the belated compiler support as one of the few critiques we’ve had — normally on the Intel side they are often plumbing their compiler targets and new instruction set extension support a year or more ahead of CPU launches (e.g. the most recent example back in July Intel added Alder Lake and Sapphire Rapids to GCC), and that’s for when those processors are shipping on schedule. Having the compiler support out well ahead of the launches ensure the support is worked into stable compiler releases by the time the CPUs ship and ideally already used as the default compiler version in major Linux distribution releases. Intel generally remains spot-on in that regard while AMD has been much tighter — or in the case of Zen 3, basically one month after launch.

        • The Time I Stole $10,000 from Bell Labs

          I worked at Bell Labs in New Jersey from 1994 to 2000. I was a systems administrator on a team of people charged with maintaining thousands of computers and the network that connected them. It was intimidating to be surrounded by so many brilliant scientists and engineers, many of whom had written the textbooks I used in college.

          One day, I had to make a configuration change to the central router. It is difficult to measure the size of a change. I could say it was a tiny change in that it affected only a few lines of the router’s configuration file. On the other hand, it was a big change in that it impacted a network used by thousands of users. It was an important change because an important project was blocked waiting for it to be completed.

          I typed the commands to alter the configuration, saved the new configuration, and checked the things I usually check. The change was a success… or so I thought.

          Proud of myself, I moved on to other work. A little while later I couldn’t connect to most machines on the network. Neither could anyone else. I panicked. Could my change have caused that? Impossible! That was nearly an hour ago.

          No, it was definitely my change. There are some typos that don’t show any ill effects right away. In this case, a cache was held for 45 minutes. At 46 minutes the router was a very expensive box doing nothing.

        • Godot docs improvements report

          Some of you like the docs for what it covers already; others dislike it for what it lacks.

          The team’s well-aware there is always room for improvement, and so they hired me to work part-time since September.

          My job was to take the maintainer’s role for about two months and tackle some high-priority tasks. As such, I got to do a mix of reviews, editing, writing new content, and maintenance.

          Here’s a report on the changes and the new content you can already enjoy today.

          In everything I wrote or edited, the goal was to simplify the language, improve precision, organize the information, and generally enhance your experience reading the docs.

          Note: you can find the changes in the bleeding-edge manual. We haven’t back-ported them to the “stable” documentation yet as there are over 100 pages to redirect. More on that below.

        • POCL 1.6-RC1 Released With Better CUDA Performance – Phoronix

          POCL as the “Portable Computing Language” that implements OpenCL and allows it to function atop CPUs as well as CUDA-enabled NVIDIA GPUs, HSA-supported AMD GPUs, and other possible back-ends, is preparing for a new feature release.

          On Wednesday marked the release of POCL 1.6-RC1 as the test release for the next update to the Portable Computing Language.

        • It’s templates all the way down – part 3

          In Part 1 I’ve shown you how to create your own distribution image using the freedesktop.org CI templates. In Part 2, I’ve shown you how to truly build nested images. In this part, I’ll talk about the ci-fairy tool that is part of the same repository of ci-templates.

          When you’re building a CI pipeline, there are some tasks that most projects need in some way or another. The ci-fairy tool is a grab-bag of solutions for these. Some of those solutions are for a pipeline itself, others are for running locally. So let’s go through the various commands available.

        • Perl/Raku

          • gfldex: But what about eigenstates?

            I wanted Shell::Piping to be able to deal better with STDERR because ffmpeg is outputting both status reports and errors to STDERR. In this case Capture will contain tons of stuff that is not an error message. So I need to be able to collect only a last few lines. Adding another adverb didn’t have much appeal because Shell/Piping.raku contains 21 multi candidates for infix:<|»>. I want to Capture, but only 2 lines. Using :stderr(Capture but 2)looks cool and is easy to implement. Since Capture is not a decent of Cool it doesn’t come with .Int, unless we mix 2 in. Then we can if-branch on my $limit = $stderr.?Int. That’s good because $stderr ~~ Int:D does not work and Metamodel::Mixins is not helpful either.

          • Day 4: Parsing Clojure namespace forms using Raku grammars – Raku Advent Calendar

            One day, I started wondering if it would be possible to parse Clojure namespace forms and generate a dependency graph of the various namespaces used in a real-world Clojure project. While that was the original motivation, I ended up down the Raku grammar rabbit hole, and had an enjoyable time learning how to use them. I’m glad you’re joining me in reliving that journey.


            Informally speaking, grammars can be thought of as a set of rules that describe a language. With these rules, one can meaningfully parse (to make sense of, or deconstruct into its grammatical components) a piece of text. It turns out that this is a common task in computing. We need to frequently translate programs from one language to another. This is the job of a compiler. Before being able to translate it, the compiler needs to know whether the original program is even valid, according to the language’s grammar.

            While we have explained in theory what grammars are, Raku grammars help us model abstract grammars as a programming construct (the grammar keyword and its adjacent helpers) using which we can perform parsing tasks. It is important to understand this distinction.

            First class grammars are considered one of the revolutionary features of Raku. Normally, you’d find grammars as a library or a standalone tool, but Raku has embraced it wholesale, and has a powerful implementation of grammars which makes light work of most parsing tasks.

        • Rust

          • Sam Thursfield: Beginning Rust

            I have the privilege of some free time this December and I unexpectedly was inspired to do the first few days of the Advent of Code challenge, by a number of inspiring people including Philip Chimento, Daniel Silverstone and Ed Cragg.

            The challenge can be completed in any language, but it’s a great excuse to learn something new. I have read a lot about Rust and never used until a few days ago.

            Most of my recent experience is with Python and C, and Rust feels like it has many of the best bits of both languages. I didn’t get on well with Haskell, but the things I liked about that language are also there in Rust. It’s done very well at taking the good parts of these languages and leaving out the bad parts. There’s no camelCaseBullshit, in particular.

          • Advent of Rust 3: Once in ‘a Lifetime

            Well, this is another long stream-of-consciousness chronicle of my attempt to learn how to program in Rust by doing the daily programming puzzles on Advent of Code 2020. It’s long, but on the plus side, this is the first time ever that I’ve published two blog posts in two days, let alone three in three days. And you know what they say, if I’d had more time, I would’ve written you a shorter letter.

            I thought a bit about why it should even be interesting or valuable to write about my mistakes and thought process. Or put more bluntly, isn’t this just a waste of time? Who is this useful for?

            Well, for one thing, at my job I’ve been working on Temporal, a standards-track proposal to add a modern API for dates and times to the JavaScript language. Earlier this year I conducted a survey of people who had tried out the proposed Temporal API, and one of the purposes was to try to figure out what was easy to understand and what was hard, for someone coming to Temporal with no prior knowledge. Even though I had been in exactly that position myself only a few months before, I had become so accustomed to using Temporal that I could literally remember nothing of my own experience.

            It’s sometimes called the curse of knowledge. I’m sure I will look back in a year, or two years, when I have written lots of Rust code, and not remember any of this either, and I’ll be glad that I wrote it down. But maybe it’ll be valuable in the meantime to someone else!

  • Leftovers

    • What It Means to Fall on a Failing Planet

      Big words indeed! And he couldn’t have been more on the mark, whether he knew it or not. Thanks in part to him and to the president he’s represented so avidly, even as hair dye or mascara dripped down his face, we find ourselves in an era in which, to steal a biblical phrase from Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, all of us see as if “through a glass darkly.”

      As in Election Campaign 2016, Donald Trump isn’t the cause but a symptom (though what a symptom!) of an American world going down. Then as now, he somehow gathered into his one-and-only self so many of the worst impulses of a country that, in this century, found itself eternally at war not just with Afghans and Iraqis and Syrians and Somalis but increasingly with itself, a true heavyweight of a superpower already heading down for the count.

    • Transition Heartache

      Transition heartache, president-elect Transition heartache, you’re the one Obama sent I hoped and I prayed, that you’d win the day But now that you’re here, my love’s gone ‘way

      With Blinkin and Haines, more warships and drones With Kerry there’s oil, and more fracking I moan, Now every day, I read the Times and am blue Transition heartache, what’s new?

    • Looking Inward: Can We Win? Or Will We Defeat Ourselves?

      Familiar skepticism about such progress often reflects a fear that status quo relations have grown too strong to overcome. I think such fear is false. We can fight and defeat city hall. The powers that be are far from unconquerable. Their might is greatly exaggerated. Their vulnerability to serious, informed, highly organized, mass opposition is greatly underestimated. Amassing serious, informed, highly organized opposition is the real hurdle we have yet to jump.

      A second basis for doubt is both more widespread and more entrenched, and in these horrible times, it is on the rise, rampant, spreading, almost viral.

    • Welcome to the Intersectional Empire | Ash Sarkar Meets Naomi Klein
    • The Damage Done

      For the last four years the Trump administration has been on a tear – literally, that is, tearing up the environmental regulations put in place over half a century after the nation realized we would not survive a future where our rivers caught on fire, subdivisions were built on buried toxic waste sites, and tens of thousands of industrial chemicals were showing up in air, water, land, wildlife, fish and ultimately, our children.

      Make no mistake, it was a battle royal to pass and enact, among a host of other foundational environmental laws, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and create the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to oversee the implementation of the regulations and use Superfund to address the worst of the nation’s environmental disasters. Industry’s profiteers fought tooth and nail against being held responsible for their actions, but science and a sense that the present owed a livable environment to the future prevailed.

    • Science

      • Drone footage shows the shocking collapse of the Arecibo Observatory

        The videos of the collapse were captured by a camera located in Arecibo’s Operations Control Center, as well as from a drone located above the platform at the time of collapse. The operator of the drone was able to adjust the drone camera once the platform started to fall and capture the moment of impact. NSF, which oversees Arecibo, had been doing hourly monitoring of the observatory with drones, ever since engineers warned that the structure was on the verge of collapsing in November. “I think we were just lucky and the drone operator was very adept to see what was happening and be able to turn the camera,” Ashley Zauderer, the NSF program manager for Arecibo Observatory, said during a press conference.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Digital David Beckham, Aged to His 70s, Created by VFX Shop Digital Domain

          To make the transformation, Digital Domain received clips of both Beckham and an older stand-in delivering the speech on a stage in a London theater. It then used its Charlatan face-swapping technology that applied machine learning and artificial intelligence to blend the nuance of the the two performances, without requiring a 3D scan of Beckham. Charlatan was developed by Digital Domain’s in-house Digital Human research group.

        • Vivaldi adds privacy features in new version for Android

          Norway-based Vivaldi Technologies has released a new version of its browser for the Android mobile operating system, which it says has added WebRTC leak protection and auto-clearing of browsing data upon exit.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Setting a standard for digital public goods | Opensource.com

              In June 2020, the Secretary-General of the United Nations published a “Roadmap for Digital Cooperation.” In this report, he expanded on recommendations made a year before, calling on all actors, including the Member States, the United Nations system, the private sector, and others, to promote digital public goods. He says to realize the benefits of increased internet connectivity, open source projects in the form of digital public goods must be at the center.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Pandemic did not get in the way of Linux reaching a million commits

                The year also saw the one millionth commit, a contribution from Intel’s Ricardo Neri-Calderón, which was part of the 5.9 maintenance release, the Linux Foundation, the organisation that co-ordinates the kernel project and numerous other free and open source software projects, said in its annual report.

                The report claimed that despite the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the culture in the Linux kernel community remained vibrant and engaged.

                When iTWire interviewed Linux creator Linus Torvalds in October, he said his work patterns had not been affected in anyway by the pandemic.

              • No dog food today – the Linux Foundation annual report

                The PDF producer meta data for the annual report PDF has been set to “Linux kernel 0.12.1 for Workgroups” and the PDF creator meta data element to “Sharp Zaurus XR-5000 (Maemo5) Edition”. Somebody thought to better hide the real data and had some tongue-in-cheek ideas. Kudos.

                But nicer would have been to use Open Source software to produce the report, not?

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Control your holiday lights with a tap of a Disney MagicBand

              Because of travel limitations due to the pandemic, Civitano decided to create a replica of a MagicBand reader that uses an NFC card reader module to recognize a programmed MagicBand, which triggers a ring of LEDs, audio output, and a relay for Christmas lighting. This setup could likely be applied to other devices, opening up its possibilities into January and beyond.

              Electronics for the build — including an Arduino Mega that runs the show — are hidden inside of a 3D-printed, property-themed enclosure that resembles those found outside of any Disney theme park. This would potentially preserve a sense of wonder at the device, and diffuses the LEDs nicely.

        • Security

          • Top global HR firm Randstad stung by Windows ransomware

            Global human resources giant Randstad has taken a hit from cyber criminals using the Windows Egregor ransomware, with the company saying it is trying what data the attackers have stolen and placed on their site on the dark web.

          • Episode 229 – Door 04: EFF’s Cover Your Tracks – Open Source Security

            Josh and Kurt talk about how the EFF is helping us prevent Internet tracking

          • The New Reality of State Sponsored Attacks on US Businesses

            They’re doing it because that company is considered part of home base, and their mission is to protect home base.

            I think this is a really interesting distinction, and I wonder how long it’ll take the US to “catch up” to how others are thinking about this.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (thunderbird), Fedora (c-ares, pdfresurrect, webkit2gtk3, and xen), openSUSE (python3), SUSE (gdm, python-pip, rpmlint, and xen), and Ubuntu (snapcraft).

          • GitHub’s report on open-source security[Ed: The foes from Microsoft now ‘report’ on the security of their rivals]

            GitHub has released its “2020 State of the Octoverse” report; one piece of that is a report on security [PDF].

          • Common Container Manager Is Vulnerable to Dangerous Exploit

            Container manager vulnerability is one of several weaknesses and vulnerabilities recently disclosed for Docker.

            A vulnerability in the way a common container management component spawns a service called a “shim” could allow unauthorized third parties to initiate containers with arbitrary contents and arbitrary permission levels.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Updated Trickbot malware threatens firmware security

              Security researchers have discovered the notorious Trickbot malware has changed and is now targeting firmware.

              The malware, often used by threat actors to drop ransomware, has garnered much attention over the past few months with multiple takedown attempts, including a technical disruption reportedly led by U.S. Cyber Command. Microsoft led a legal takedown in October, which offered a temporary pause in activity. Despite those efforts, Trickbot operators have updated the malware with new capabilities.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • New York Schools Putting Students In The Crosshairs Of Tech That Targets Minorities, Thinks Broom Handles Are Guns

              We’re turning over discipline of school kids to cops and their tech and it’s just making existing problems even worse. We’ve seen the problems inherent in facial recognition tech. And it’s not just us — this so-called leftist rag (according to our anonymous critics). It’s also the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Its study of 189 facial recognition algorithms uncovered why most legislators seem unworried about the surveillance creep:

            • After Being Notified Of Info It Should Have Already Been Aware Of, LAPD Bans Clearview Use By Investigators

              The Los Angeles Police Department is shutting down a very small percentage of its facial recognition searches. Last month, public records exposed the fact that the LAPD had been lying about its facial recognition use for years. Up until 2019, the department maintained it did not use the tech. Records obtained by the Los Angeles Times showed it had actually used it 30,000 times over the past decade.

            • Govt ramps up online powers for AFP, ACIC in new surveillance bill

              The Federal Government has presented a bill in Parliament that would give the AFP and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission three new warrants in order that they can handle serious criminal acts online.

            • Google Illegally Surveilled, Interrogated, and Fired Workers Who Tried to Organize, NLRB Says

              “For a company with the slogan ‘don’t be evil,’ the findings are pretty damning.”

            • Law Council urges govt not to rush surveillance bill into law

              The Law Council of Australia, the body that represents the country’s legal profession, has urged the Federal Government to provide enough time for Parliament to scrutinise the new online surveillance bill that was introduced on Thursday.

            • The US government admits to using the Patriot Act to collect web browsing information

              The DNI’s letters were sent in response to an inquiry sent by Senator Ron Wyden earlier this year when Section 215 of the Patriot Act was up for renewal in Congress. Back in May 2020, Senator Mitch McConnell sought to formalize the use of Section 215 of the Patriot Act to seek web browsing information with an amendment. Some noted that the existing language of Section 215 could already theoretically be used to seek web browsing information and that’s why Senator Wyden formally inquired to the DNI whether the Patriot Act had ever been used to collect web browsing information before.

            • CBP wants to create a facial recognition database of every non-US citizen traveler to the United States

              The CBP intends to build this database of mugshots in partnership with the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and would continue a private/public model of working with airports and airlines directly. The NPRM explained:

            • Governor Cuomo: Keep Police and ICE Away from Our Contact Tracing Data

              San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called on universities that have launched or plan to launch COVID-19 tracking technologies—which sometimes collect sensitive data from users’ devices and lack adequate transparency or privacy protections—to make them entirely voluntary for students and disclose details about data collection practices.

            • Law Enforcement Purchasing Commercially-Available Geolocation Data is Unconstitutional

              Many of the smartphone apps people use every day are collecting data on their users and, in order to make money, many of these apps sell that information. One of the customers for this data is the U.S. government, which regularly purchases commercially available geolocation data. This includes the Department of Defense, CBP, ICE, the IRS, and the Secret Service. But it violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution for the government to purchase commercially available location data it would otherwise have to get a warrant to acquire. 

              A recent article in Motherboard reports that a Muslim prayer app (Muslim Pro), a Muslim dating app (Muslim Mingle), and many other popular apps have been selling geolocation data about their users to a company called X-Mode, which in turn provides this data to the U.S. military through defense contractors. 

            • Director of National Intelligence Admits Government Used Section 215 to Track Browsing History

              After initially denying the practice, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe admitted the government engaged in activity “that could be characterized” as tracking website visits. 

            • Facebook is stepping up moderation against anti-Black hate speech

              The result is that Facebook’s automated moderation systems for detecting and taking action against hate speech should now more proactively scan the site for such racist content. Meanwhile, more innocuous forms of hate speech, like those directed at white people or men in general, are deemed lower priority and left alone unless a user reports them. Facebook has internally deemed this approach “WOW,” or “worst of the worst” for the types of behaviors it now wants to focus its resources on.

            • YouTube to warn users before posting comments that may be offensive

              YouTube will also begin proactively asking users to provide demographic information in an effort to find patterns of hate speech “that may affect some communities more than others.”

            • 5 Ways Biden Might Differ From — Or Agree With — Trump On Technology

              Most political obsessives trying to guess who President-elect Joe Biden might pick to be in his Cabinet are focused on the flashy positions: secretary of state, secretary of defense, attorney general. Then there are us nerds, who are keen to find out who will be the new chair of the Federal Communications Commission.

              President Trump loves to talk and tweet about his feelings on tech, though his agenda wasn’t exactly clear and consistent. But tech policy is increasingly important in our everyday lives, especially as the pandemic has made us rely more heavily on our devices and internet connections.

              Biden will have to navigate Trump’s legacy while charting his own course. Here’s how Trump has influenced five key tech policy areas and what Biden might do about them.

            • Secret Amazon Reports Expose the Company’s Surveillance of Labor and Environmental Groups

              A trove of more than two dozen internal Amazon reports reveal in stark detail the company’s obsessive monitoring of organized labor and social and environmental movements in Europe, particularly during Amazon’s “peak season” between Black Friday and Christmas. The reports, obtained by Motherboard, were written in 2019 by Amazon intelligence analysts who work for the Global Security Operations Center, the company’s security division tasked with protecting Amazon employees, vendors, and assets at Amazon facilities around the world.

              The documents show Amazon analysts closely monitor the labor and union-organizing activity of their workers throughout Europe, as well as environmentalist and social justice groups on Facebook and Instagram. They also indicate, and an Amazon spokesperson confirmed, that Amazon has hired Pinkerton operatives—from the notorious spy agency known for its union-busting activities—to gather intelligence on warehouse workers.

            • The Pinkertons Have a Long, Dark History of Targeting Workers

              The list of Pinkerton injustices against the working class spans centuries, and as a new report from Motherboard appears to show, the agency is keeping up with the times. The Pinkertons, who are now a subsidiary of Swedish security company Securitas AB, are reportedly cozying up to 2020’s version of the Gilded Age robber baron: Silicon Valley tech bosses like billionaire vampire Jeff Bezos, who has hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to reportedly surveil workers in at least one of Amazon’s European warehouses and infiltrate its worksite, according to documents obtained by the publication. There is a dreadful sort of irony to the idea that today’s innovation-obsessed captains of industry really are taking a page from their Gilded Age forebears by hiring the Pinkertons, and that a plutocrat is still a plutocrat whether he’s wearing a top hat or garish swim trunks. As for the Pinkertons themselves, these former union-busting mercenaries of old are not only alive and well, they appear to have been repurposed into a nightmarish data-driven geek squad. (An Amazon spokesperson acknowledged that the company hired the Pinkertons, but told Motherboard that those workers were used “to secure high-value shipments in transit.” “We do not use our partners to gather intelligence on warehouse workers,” the spokesperson said. “All activities we undertake are fully in line with local laws and conducted with the full knowledge and support of local authorities.”)

            • Confidentiality

              • Avoid “Advertiser ID” with the Librem 5

                Apple and Google profess to care about the privacy rights of their customers, but their operating systems tell a different story. iOS and Android both allow for pervasive tracking of users through Advertiser IDs. Google uses a version is known as GAID (Google Advertiser Identification) and Apple uses its version called IDFA (Identifier For Advertisers).

                While most advertisers claim it’s a benefit because you got a coupon for your pizza, it instead keeps a permanent record of everything your phone has done. That treasure trove of your personal information is shared with any party participating in the user tracking business model, which ends up meaning most apps on your phone.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service plans to move prison facilities outside of cities

        Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) is planning to move its facilities — prisons and pre-trial detention centers — outside of urban areas, Justice Minister Konstantin Chuychenko said in an interview with the television channel Rossiya 24 on December 3, as quoted by Interfax.  

      • Azerbaijan reports 2,783 soldiers killed in Nagorno-Karabakh

        Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry has published figures on its military losses during the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh for the first time.

      • How Biden Is Determined to Parry Trump’s Sabotage and Restore Iran Nuclear Deal

        Biden realizes that the number one issue is Iran’s nuclear capability, which is now civilian, and which Biden want to keep that way. Biden could reenter the JCPOA with a stroke of a pen on January 20, 2021.

      • Stop Thanking the Troops and Lend a Hand

        A military spouse’s perspective on bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.

      • Doctored Indignation: Australia-China Relations

        China is not of that view, seeing Australia’s policy towards it in recent years as a log of disagreeable actions. The Chinese tech giant Huawei was excluded from its 5G network. Ten investment deals across a range of industries have also been blocked, including animal husbandry, infrastructure and agriculture. They have seen Australia strident on what China regards as matters of domestic concern: Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Australia is also finding itself ever more comfortable in relationships such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, where it keeps company with the United States, Japan and India in an arrangement that is well on the way to becoming “openly anti-China”.

        The ones to endure the “deep reflexion” demanded of Australia by Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian have not been politicians. It has fallen to the importers and exporters to receive Beijing’s directed fury. In May, the Australia-China barley trade was all but eliminated by tariffs in the order of 80.5 percent. In November, tariffs ranging from 107 to 200 percent were imposed on Australian wine, a sorry blow for Australian wine makers salivating at courting some 52 million wine drinkers in the PRC. Australia’s largest wine company, Treasury Wine Estates, claimed to have received a tariff rate of 169.3 percent. As the managing director of Clare Valley’s Taylor Wines, Mitchell Taylor, explained, “A tariff of this scale will basically kill the industry overnight.” Winemakers in neighbouring New Zealand, and those in France and Chile, will be happy to see a rival in the Chinese market so dramatically shrunk.

      • Ethnic Cleansing Feared as Ethiopia Wages War on Tigray Region Amid Communication Blackout

        The United Nations has reached a deal with Ethiopia’s government to allow humanitarian access to the northern Tigray region and start providing aid. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched military action against regional forces one month ago, setting off a bloody conflict and adding to the already alarming number of displaced people and refugees in the country and neighboring nations. Ethiopia has declared victory after announcing it took control of the capital of Tigray, but the Tigray People’s Liberation Front says they are continuing to fight. CNN senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir says what is happening Ethiopia is “a conflict over power that has descended into potentially a form of ethnic cleansing,” with Tigray people saying they’re being “targeted based on the ethnic distinction on their ID cards.”

      • A Massacre in Lagos: Nigerian Military Forced to Admit It Fired Live Rounds at Peaceful Protesters

        A CNN investigation has exposed the Nigerian Army’s role in a deadly attack on protesters in the capital city of Lagos in October, when soldiers opened fire on protesters gathered at Lekki toll gate, a key roadway and protest site. At least 12 people were killed in the massacre, which the Army initially denied, and capped weeks of demonstrations against the notorious Nigerian police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS. Senior CNN international correspondent Nima Elbagir says the massacre “had a chilling effect” on the protest movement and enraged many Nigerians. “We kept hearing from these families who were still looking for their loved ones how hurtful it had been for them to hear the Nigerian government deny that they had anything to do with this huge and grievous loss,” says Elbagir.

      • At least 110 dead in Nigeria after suspected Boko Haram attack

        At least 110 people have been killed in an attack on a village in north-east Nigeria blamed on the Boko Haram jihadist group, according to the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country.

        “At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” Edward Kallon said in a statement after initial tolls indicated 43 and then at least 70 dead from the massacre on Saturday by suspected Boko Haram fighters.

      • “We Deserve Apology Over Your Reckless Comments” – Zabarmari Residents Tackle Garba Shehu

        Residents of Zabarmari, Borno State have lambasted the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, over his comments on the gruesome killing of over 43 rice farmers in the community, saying he should tender an apology.

        A former Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association in Zabarmari, Mallam Hassan, said it was rather unfortunate for the president’s spokesman to make such claims.

      • The New Humanitarian | UN review of troubled Congo Ebola response finally surfaces

        An internal review into problems in the relief operations, now obtained by TNH, stayed under wraps until long after the outbreak was over.

    • Environment

      • Southern California wildfire burning out of control — and will for days to come

        By 3 p.m. on Thursday, the Bond Fire had consumed more than 7,200 acres with absolutely no containment. Authorities said homes have been damaged, but were still assessing how many.

      • 5 Things to Know About Plastic Pollution and How to Stop It
      • Campaigners Put Forth ‘Cabinet Climate Test’ for President-Elect Biden

        “We demand an executive branch ready to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and face the climate crisis at scale.”

      • Campaigners Put Forth ‘Cabinet Climate Test’ for President-Elect Biden

        Advocacy group 350.org released a new guide Thursday to assess how likely President-elect Joe Biden’s possible picks for top roles will be “to stand up to the fossil fuel industry to take on the climate crisis.”

      • ‘Last Decade to Save the Planet’: Group Puts Forth 50 Bold Climate Actions for Biden

        “President-elect Biden said his administration wouldn’t just tinker around the edges, but instead would lock in progress no future president can roll back. Our recommendations are a roadmap for doing exactly that.”

      • Abandoned and forgotten Russia’s far-eastern city of Vladivostok remains paralyzed nearly two weeks after a major ice storm

        Nearly two weeks ago, on the night of November 19, freezing rain began falling on Russia’s far-eastern Primorsky Krai. The storm left tens of thousands of people in the region without electricity and one person died. The consequences of the freezing rain are still being felt — the bridge connecting Russky Island to the mainland remains closed, leaving other islands in the archipelago virtually cut off from the rest of the world. For Meduza, local journalist Ekaterina Tkachenko reports on the situation from the regional capital, Vladivostok.

      • Energy

        • Just Days Before Exit, Trump Plans ‘Going Out of Business’ Sale With Arctic Drilling Leases

          “The Interior Department’s Arctic Refuge leasing process has been flawed from the outset, ignoring science and Indigenous voices throughout.”

        • Dubai heads backwards to its clean energy future

          A clean energy future is what Dubai says it’s aiming for. So why has it built a huge new coal-burning power station?

        • Time to make coal history

          This is a victory, but only a partial one. In the past decade, as Europe has turned against coal, consumption in Asia has grown by a quarter. The continent now accounts for 77% of all coal use. China alone burns more than two-thirds of that, followed by India. Coal dominates in some medium-sized, fast-growing economies, including Indonesia and Vietnam.

          If the aim is to limit global temperature rises to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, it is no good waiting for Asia’s appetite for coal to fade. New plants are still being built. Many completed ones are not yet fully utilised and still have decades of life in them. Nor is it enough to expect a solution from “clean coal” technologies, which aim to capture and store emissions as they are released. They may help deal with pollution from industrial uses, such as steelmaking, but they are too expensive for power generation.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • East Paradise Grazing Plan Seeks to Expand Livestock Production

          Alex Sienkiewicz District Ranger, Yellowstone Ranger District, 5242 Highway 89 South, Livingston, Montana, 59047,

          SUBJECT: East Paradise Range Allotment Management Plan Comments

        • Rights of Nature Debate Reaches New Heights

          A bill was just proposed in Missouri to ban Rights of Nature litigation, the American Petroleum Institute just filed a brief to oppose local Rights of Nature laws, as the Democratic Party shows interest in the concept.

        • UN Secretary-General: Humanity Is Waging War on Nature

          The stark message from António Guterres follows a year of global upheaval, with the coronavirus pandemic causing governments to shut down whole countries for months at a time. At the same time, wildfires, hurricanes, and powerful storms have scarred the globe.

          Guterres said: “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes … Human activities are at the root of our descent toward chaos. But that means human action can help to solve it.”

        • UN chief slams ‘suicidal war on nature’ as 2020 on track to be one of hottest years on record

          The past six years, 2015 to 2020, are set to make up all six of the hottest years since modern records began in 1850, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in its provisional 2020 State of the Global Climate report.

          UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the 2020 report spells out “how close we are to climate catastrophe”.

    • Finance

      • Unless Congress Acts, Millions of Americans Will Soon Be Left With No Safety Net

        To get the economy back on track in a reasonable timeframe, we need policymakers to pass roughly $3 trillion in fiscal support now, with the first $2 trillion hitting the economy between now and mid-2022.

      • What to Look for in the November Jobs Report

        Long-Term Unemployment 

        We have seen a sharp upward surge in long-term unemployment (more than 26 weeks), as many of the people who were laid off during the shutdowns have not been reemployed. Long-term unemployment always rises in a downturn, but the increase in the share of long-term unemployed has been extraordinarily rapid in the Pandemic Recession. This matters because people who have been unemployed for more than six months generally have a harder time being reemployed.

      • In Open Letter to Jeff Bezos, Over 400 Lawmakers From Around the World Join #MakeAmazonPay Campaign

        “We stand ready to act in our respective legislatures to support the movement that is growing around the world to Make Amazon Pay.”

      • The Megamachine and the Roots of the Planetary Crisis

        To avoid the worst to come, we must dismantle the foundations of the megamachine and replace them with other economic institutions that do not serve profit but the common good.

      • Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Favor Raising Taxes on Incomes Over $400K

        A majority of respondents—regardless of political affiliation—also back tuition-free college for students whose families earn less than $125,000 annually. 

      • Why the Fed Needs Public Banks

        The Fed must rely on private banks to inject credit into Main Street, and private banks are currently unable or unwilling to do it. The tools the Fed actually needs are public banks, which could and would do the job.

      • How the Market Destroys the Lifeworld

        One of the key people advocating this ideology for decades was Alan Greenspan, the worshipped chairman of the USA’s Federal Reserve. Yes, in 2008, the demigod, Greenspan, told the US Congress that he was truly “shocked” that markets didn’t function as their neoliberal ideology predicted. The market had just failed to automatically self-correct as the market was supposed to. Greenspan was wrong, and we ended up with the global financial crisis. Today, many – and by no means all – know that relying on the crypto-religious catechism of neoliberal economics, a guiding principle for the elusive free market is, in fact, downright dangerous.

        Marketing, for example, knows that we always look at the things around us in relation to others. Marketing – as we learn from Buyology – knows that we can be manipulated. Marketing also knows that we like to compare things with one another and that we like to focus on comparing things that are easily comparable. Simultaneously, we also avoid comparing things that cannot be compared easily. Knowing this makes “decoys” a handy tool for manipulating people. The so-called decoy effect serves as a point of comparison. Donald Trump may have been such a decoy. It made many voters vote for Joe Biden who might only represent a variation on a theme – capitalism – not much more. Yet, millions of Americans are happy to have replaced Donald Trump. Relativity helped many to make the right decision. And indeed, relative to Donald Trump, Joe Biden is relatively reasonable. We took the bait – the system of capitalism is fine.

      • Nikola’s Bad Quarter: Company’s Deal For General Motors Ownership Stake Goes Sideways

        The trouble for Nikola Motor Company began only in September, a couple of months ago. That’s when a hedge fund very publicly called out the company and its founder, Trevor Milton, for essentially fooling people with doctored video of its electric semi-truck product to get them to invest in the company. This led to rumors of federal investigations, the resignation of Milton, and the company idiotically trying to use copyright takedowns to silence its critics. All of this was likely in the service of trying to save a very public $2 billion deal with General Motors that was due to be closed upon in early December.

      • Critics of Canceling Student Debt Aren’t Afraid It Won’t Work—They’re Afraid It Will

        Progressives who have had their doubts about President-elect Joe Biden’s economic policies might get thrown a bone, with Democratic leaders noting that Biden could erase student debt without congressional approval (CNBC, 11/16/20).

      • Graduate Student Labor Organizing Is Rising — and So Is Retaliation
      • ‘Emancipation Never Really Came to Agriculture’

        The November 27, 2020, episode of CounterSpin featured an archival interview with the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Ricardo Salvador on the US’s dysfunctional food system, originally aired May 8, 2020. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Indian Farmers Continue Historic Protests After 250 Million People Rise Up Against Modi’s Neoliberal Policies

        “The government side [was] not ready to listen to any of our demands and they have left us with no choice but to protest on the streets,” said one farmer-organizer.

      • Indian Farmers Lead Historic Strike and Protests Against Narendra Modi
      • Indian Farmers Lead Historic Strike & Protests Against Narendra Modi, Neoliberalism & Inequality

        As COVID rages through India, which has the second-highest number of reported cases worldwide, hundreds of thousands of farmers are converging on the capital New Delhi to demand the government repeal new laws that deregulate agricultural markets, saying the reforms give major corporations power to set crop prices far below current rates and devastate the livelihoods of farmers. Agriculture is the leading source of income for more than half of India’s 1.3 billion people. The farmer revolt comes as some 250 million workers across the country took part in the largest strike in history against the Modi government’s neoliberal labor reforms. We speak with P. Sainath, a longtime Indian journalist and the founder of People’s Archive of Rural India, or PARI, who describes why working-class Indians are standing up against “absolutely vicious” new rules that were rammed through Parliament, and the protests show no signs of stopping.

      • With Pandemic a ‘Tipping Point,’ UN Warns 1 Billion More People Headed for Extreme Poverty by 2030

        Unless strong and meaningful action is taken now, including major social investments and a Green New Deal-style program, the Covid-19 crisis will make an already dire economic situation much worse.

      • Sanders Slams McConnell for Pushing Tax Deductions for CEOs in COVID Relief
      • Sanders Slams McConnell for Pushing ’3-Martini Lunch’ Deduction and Zero Relief for 26 Million Hungry Americans

        “The Republicans l-o-v-e corporate socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the rest. Ain’t gonna happen.”

      • UN Warns 1 Billion More People Headed for Extreme Poverty by 2030 Amid Pandemic
      • Biden Could Cancel Student Debt. Will He?

        The federal government owns 92 percent of all student debt owed in this country. Canceling it could provide a huge stimulus.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Human rights group ‘Memorial’ issues statement in support of U.S. activist ordered to leave Russia

        The Memorial Human Rights Center has published a statement signed by more than 20 Russian activists, calling on the authorities to cancel their decision to expel American human rights lawyer Vanessa Kogan from the country.

      • A New Us Policy Toward Venezuela: What’s In It For President Biden?

        If that is in the mind of soon to be USA President Joe Biden and his millions of followers, then he would do well to distance himself as far as he can from the ill-conceived, badly intentioned policies of his predecessor.

        There is no area of foreign policy where this would be easier to do, has few if any downsides for the USA and plenty of upsides, and would bring relief to millions of people in this hemisphere. I am referring to the USA’s foreign policy towards Venezuela. Here are the reasons why this is so.

      • America’s Past Has Shown the Power of ‘We.’ Here’s How We Can Revive It

        The protagonists who drove the last upswing–when “I” gave way to “we”–came to be called Progressives.

      • The Smearing of Robert Fisk…Now That He Can’t Defend Himself

        What is most ironic is that the journalists doing this are some of the biggest frauds themselves, journalists who have made a career out of deceiving their readers. In fact, many of the crowd attacking Fisk when he can no longer defend himself are precisely the journalists who have the worst record of journalistic malpractice and on some of the biggest issues of our times.

      • Venezuela Wins Simply by Holding an Election

        But, these days, even the holding of an election is a contest between the Venezuelan people and the United States government. Since Chávez became the president, the United States government and its allies have tried to destabilize Venezuela’s government, including by direct efforts at regime change. When it became clear that Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution, which he led, had strong popular support and could not be defeated at the ballot box, the U.S. government and its allies pushed to delegitimize Venezuela’s political sovereignty.

        Strong disagreements mark the Venezuelan political arena, where the oligarchy maintains its own political platforms and continues to attempt to undermine and defeat the Bolivarian Revolution. These forces—now called the opposition—have contested elections since 1998, with some gains no doubt, but without being able to prevail. In 2015, for instance, the opposition was able to win a majority in the National Assembly elections and has controlled the Assembly over these past five years. The very fact that the opposition won in 2015 shows that there is a robust electoral system in the country. At that time, there was no complaint about fraud.

      • Fletcher trying to prevent a follow-up to ABC’s Canberra Bubble

        It seems that Australia’s Communications Minister is as competent at handling women’s affairs as he is at managing the construction of a national broadband network.

      • How Dozens of Trump’s Political Appointees Will Stay in Government After Biden Takes Over

        Christopher Prandoni was just 29 when he joined President Donald Trump’s administration as associate director for natural resources at the Council on Environmental Quality. Last year, he hopped over to the Interior Department and became a close adviser to Secretary David Bernhardt, sometimes attending multiple meetings a day with the agency head.

        In April, Bernhardt named Prandoni, only three years out of law school, to a $114,000-a-year position that’s part of the career civil service. His appointment as a judge in the Interior Department’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, which arbitrates land-use disputes, drew sharp criticism from environmental groups concerned that Prandoni would infuse ideology into decisions and undermine the panel’s integrity.

      • U.S.-funded media outlet ‘Current Time’ fires journalist for appearing on YouTube show to discuss conspiracy theory about Alexey Navalny’s father-in-law

        On Thursday, reporters learned that the Russian-language television channel Current Time, created by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and funded by the U.S. Congress, has fired journalist Timur Olevsky for an unauthorized appearance last month on columnist Oleg Kashin’s YouTube show. Sources told the websites Mediazona and MBK Media that Olevsky violated his work contract by joining Kashin’s broadcast without his editors’ permission. Meduza summarizes the scandal.

      • Trump Remains Indignant Because He Cheated So Hard — and Still Lost
      • Facing Opposition From Progressives, Gina Raimondo Withdraws From Consideration as Biden’s HHS Chief

        “We’re in the middle of the worst public health crisis in modern history—it is absolutely amazing that a person with this particular record is even in CONTENTION for the nation’s top healthcare job,” said one journalist.

      • The End of Downtown

        In the fall of 2016, a month after Donald Trump was elected president, I introduced a talk at The New School by Chris Kraus, who was reading from her forthcoming biography of Kathy Acker. As I stared out at the rows of young people who had packed in to see her, I could see that many in the audience looked remarkably similar to me: white women with dark hair and glasses, all of us fans of Kraus’s novel I Love Dick, separated into micro-generations in accordance with its original publishing date in 1997, its reissue in 2007, and its second reissue in 2015. It was then dawning on me, in my early 20s, as we sat there that me and my peers (anyone at this reading really) weren’t part of a second wave of the downtown scene, and we never would be. Because the downtown scene was dead. Instead, we were ushering in the gentrification of an already existing white avant garde into mainstream publishing.

      • Demands for Probe, Possible Criminal Charges as Trump Accused of Withholding Data Needed to Reunite Families

        “Unconscionable. Who made the call to not release this information sooner?”

      • Trump-Aligned Lawyers Push for Boycott of Georgia Senate Runoff Elections
      • Take Care, Big Apple!
      • Asian American Voters Could Help Flip Georgia

        “I would have done the same,” Andrew Yang assured the 100 or so listeners sitting in the yard below the porch on which he stood. “I’m one of you.” The small, socially distanced crowd sitting in the tony Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead was mostly Asian American: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bangladeshi, Indian.

      • Do Not Hire This Man

        Anyone who has ever been close to presidential power knows that personnel is policy. Nothing makes so strong a statement about the direction of a new administration as the people a president-elect chooses for the cabinet and the myriad boards and commissions that can seize or relinquish governing mandates. And no statement from President-elect Joe Biden could be worse than the selection of former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for a top job on the team Biden is now assembling.

      • Trump’s “Eyes and Ears” at DOJ Reportedly Banned From Building After Trying to Get Inside Information on Election Fraud

        The news report broke as the White House announced the appointment of the official, Heidi Stirrup, to the board of visitors to the United States Air Force Academy.

      • Ignoring Warnings His Election Lies Could Get People Killed, Trump Posts 46-Minute Rant Full of ‘Unhinged’ Falsehoods

        “Georgia elections director yesterday: Trump’s rhetoric is going to get people killed. Trump today: here’s 46 minutes of unhinged conspiracy theories.”

      • With arrests and a security law, who is left to fight for democracy in Hong Kong?

        Three high-profile democracy activists were jailed Wednesday, others have already fled the city, while still more face prosecution. Their cases involve a host of charges, both serious and petty, with one of those jailed this week, Agnes Chow, convicted in large part for shouting slogans through a megaphone.

        The city’s parliament no longer has any pro-democratic members, while the media and judiciary are coming under increasing pressure. Protests, once a symbol of Hong Kong, have been stifled by a new national security law and sporadically-applied coronavirus restrictions.

      • The Federal Election Commission has questions for Sen. David Perdue

        The Federal Election Commission (FEC) sent Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., a lengthy letter last week asking the embattled GOP incumbent to explain a number of apparent violations in his campaign contribution filings this year, including from a banking organization and a major pharmaceutical PAC.

        The letter, which covers July through the end of September, notes four types of violations: excessive contributions from both individuals and committees; corporate donations; and a contribution from an unregistered committee.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Section 230 is Good, Actually

        Even though it’s only 26 words long, Section 230 doesn’t say what many think it does. 

        So we’ve decided to take up a few kilobytes of the Internet to explain what, exactly, people are getting wrong about the primary law that defends the Internet.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Haiti: Protests, Repression Mark Police Chief’s First Week

        The national day of action came just days after president Jovenel Moise appointed a new chief of the Haitian National Police (PNH), Leon Charles. Most recently Haiti’s ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Charles previously served as police chief under the interim government that replaced Jean-Bertrand Aristide following his 2004 ouster.

        With the president ruling by decree and consolidating power, Charles’ appointment has raised new concerns about human rights and political violence in Haiti. If last week’s protests provided an early test, the new chief appears to have failed.

      • ‘Queer is a protest’: Journalist Karen Shainyan releases YouTube documentary about LGBTQ culture in Minsk

        Russian journalist and host of the YouTube talk show “Straight Talk with Gay People,” Karen Shainyan, has released a new hour-long film about queer culture in Minsk. The documentary, titled “Minsk: Queer and Techno Protest Against the OMON,” focuses on the experiences of LGBTQ+ artists amid the ongoing crackdown on the opposition protest movement in Belarus.

      • 200+ Health Experts Urge Biden to Reduce ‘Dangerously Overcrowded’ Prisons During Pandemic

        “We need to decarcerate to keep people in these places and in the surrounding communities safe.”

      • Trump Is Showing Us Why the Death Penalty Needs to Die

        All of them, along with Hall, are accused and were convicted of offenses that are utterly horrific and almost beyond description. But now Donald Trump and William Barr will be killing in our name, with our resources. The election rejected their values, so this only makes the killing spree more abhorrent. But why did we give them, or any other administration, that power in the first place?

      • Spain has led on uncovering Latin America’s missing victims of dictatorships. What about at home?

        The Spanish judicial system has built an international reputation by pushing the limits of the law to take on some of Latin America’s most notorious human rights offenders in Chile, Argentina, Guatemala and El Salvador. But now that system finds itself at a crossroads, with the families of thousands of victims in Spain demanding justice for human rights crimes that were committed by the former military dictatorship.

      • Facebook sued for ‘denying opportunities to US workers’

        A lawsuit alleges the social media firm refused to recruit, consider or hire qualified and available Americans for more than 2,600 positions.

        Those jobs instead went to foreigners on temporary visas, the lawsuit says.

      • Facebook Accused by Trump Administration of H-1B Visa Abuse

        The company “refused to recruit, consider, or hire qualified and available U.S. workers for over 2,600 positions” and instead reserved the jobs — with an average salary of $156,000 — to non-citizens that it sponsored for permanent work authorizations with green cards, according a statement issued Thursday by the civil rights division of the Justice Department.

      • Trump administration sues Facebook, alleges company discriminated against U.S. workers

        The Trump administration is suing Facebook over allegations that the tech giant discriminated against U.S. workers by creating recruitment processes that favored temporary visa holders, according to a complaint filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Thursday.

        The complaint alleges that Facebook created a separate hiring process for certain temporary immigration status holders, such as H-1B visa holders, and alleges Facebook did not consider U.S. workers for more than 2,600 positions with an average salary of about $156,000.

      • Iran Rights Lawyer Is Sent Back to Prison

        Sotoudeh has been jailed since June 2018 for her legal work in defending women’s rights activists who were arrested for removing their hijabs in public defiance of Iran’s Islamist laws. Rights activists have said Sotoudeh is serving a prison sentence of more than 30 years and must complete 12 years before being eligible for parole.

      • Tibetan Monk Held For More Than a Year Without Word to His Family

        A Tibetan monk detained by Chinese police in August 2019 on suspicion of working to “split the country” has been held incommunicado ever since, with family members unsure where he is being held, a Tibetan advocacy group said this week.

        Rinchen Tsultrim, 29, was taken into custody in Sichuan’s Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) county for “peacefully expressing his thoughts on a range of Tibetan political, social and culture issues” on social media, the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said on Dec. 2.

      • Baby factory operator returns to ‘business’ after bail in Ogun, pregnant women rescued

        Oyeyemi said the woman, after she was granted bail, returned to her baby factory in Ofada, Obafemi Owode Local Government area of Ogun to lure young women, whose babies she was alleged of selling at the rate of N200,000 or more.

      • 10 Pregnant Girls, Kids Rescued In Ogun Baby Factory

        Operatives of Ogun Police Command, on Tuesday, busted a baby factory at Ofada, Mowe, Obafemi-Owode LGA and rescued ten captives, including pregnant mothers and kids.

      • 10 rescued from Nigeria ‘baby factory’

        The “factories” are usually small illegal facilities parading as private medical clinics that house pregnant women and offer their babies for sale.

        In some cases, young women have been held against their will and raped before their babies are sold on the black market

      • Federal Labor Agency Says Google Wrongly Fired 2 Employees

        A federal agency said on Wednesday that Google had most likely violated labor law when it fired two employees who were involved in labor organizing, a spokesman for the agency said.

        The pair were fired in November last year as Google grappled with a vocal contingent of workers who protested its handling of sexual harassment and its work with the Defense Department and federal border agencies.

      • All Shook Up: The Politics of Cultural Appropriation | Dissent Magazine

        I first heard the phrase “Stay in your lane” a few years ago, in a writing workshop I was teaching. We were talking about a story that a student in the group, an Asian-American man, had written about an African-American family.
        There was a lot to criticize about the story, including an abundance of clichés about the lives of Black Americans. I had expected the class to offer suggestions for improvement. What I hadn’t expected was that some students would tell the writer that he shouldn’t have written the story at all. As one of them put it, if a member of a relatively privileged group writes a story about a member of a marginalized group, this is an act of cultural appropriation and therefore does harm.
        Arguments about cultural appropriation make the news every month or two. Two women from Portland, after enjoying the food during a trip to Mexico, open a burrito cart when they return home but, assailed by online activists, close their business within months. A yoga class at a university in Canada is shut down by student protests. The author of a young-adult novel, criticized for writing about characters from backgrounds different from his own, apologizes and withdraws his book from circulation. Such a wide variety of acts and practices is condemned as cultural appropriation that it can be hard to tell what cultural appropriation is.
        Much of the literature on cultural appropriation is spectacularly unhelpful on this score. LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant, a professor of Africana studies at Williams College, says that the term “refers to taking someone else’s culture—intellectual property, artifacts, style, art form, etc.—without permission.” Similarly, Susan Scafidi, a professor of law at Fordham and the author of Who Owns Culture? Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law, defines it as “Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.”
        These definitions seem enlightening, until you think about them. For one thing, the idea of “taking” something from another culture is so broad as to be incoherent: there’s nothing in these definitions that would prevent us from condemning someone for learning another language. For another, they rely on an idea—“permission”—that doesn’t, in this context, have any meaning.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • U.S. Broadband Speeds Jumped 90% in 2020. But No, It Had Nothing To Do With Killing Net Neutrality.

        Last last week, a report out of the UK topped the trending news items at Hacker News. The report found that U.S. broadband speeds — historically the poster child for mediocrity — jumped roughly 90% during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The improvements weren’t consistent geographically, and the report was quick to note that by and large, the U.S. remains relatively mediocre when it comes to broadband speeds (in large part due to limited competition):

      • GOP, Telecom Maneuver To Cripple The Biden FCC

        We’ve noted at length how the GOP is rushing this week to appoint Trump ally Nathan Simington to the FCC. Simington, you’ll recall, wrote Trump’s ridiculous executive order targeting Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the essential law that protects freedom of expression and innovation on the internet. The bumbling attack is necessary, you’re told, to “fix” the social media “censorship” of Conservatives that doesn’t actually exist. In other words, an unqualified appointment pushing an idiotic solution to a nonexistent problem that actually creates new, unnecessary headaches.

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 11: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Licence or Registration Required

        (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, Day 9: Why Use Cross-Subsidies When the Government is Rolling Out Tech Tax Policy, Day 10: Downgrading the Role of Canadians in their Own Programming)

      • Most of high-speed internet connection measure’s budget left untapped

        Out of the € 9 million budget of the measure to support households in linking up to high-speed internet outside cities in Estonia, only €1.5 million was applied for by residents, Postimees reported.

        The amount of support is €300 per household.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Discovery+ to Join Streaming Wars With January Launch

        The cable television stalwart hosted a virtual investor day in which it unveiled plans for direct-to-consumer offering Discovery+. The service — which will bow Jan. 4 — will cost $5 per month with ads and $7 per month without ads, the company revealed.

        Discovery+ will combine programming from across the conglomerate’s brands, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Animal Planet and OWN. It will also include programming from A&E Networks channels A+E, History and Lifetime. The company says the offering will give subscribers access to more than 55,000 episodes of over 2,500 shows.

    • Monopolies

      • U.S. states plan to sue Facebook next week: sources

        The complaint would be the second major lawsuit filed against a Big Tech company this year. The Justice Department sued Alphabet Inc’s Google in October.

        More than 40 states plan to sign on to the lawsuit, one source said, without naming them.

        Facebook declined to comment. A spokesman for the New York attorney general’s office declined to comment.

      • U.S. states launch antitrust probes of tech companies, focus on Facebook, Google

        Two groups of U.S. state attorneys general on Friday announced separate antitrust probes of large tech companies such as Alphabet’s Google GOOGL.O and Facebook FB.O.

        The first probe, led by New York and including seven other states and the District of Columbia, focuses on Facebook. The second, announced by Texas and likely to include up to 40 other states, did not specify the targets among large tech companies but was expected to center on Google.

      • More Than 40 US States Plan To Sue Facebook Next Week: Report

        It is not known what the states plan to include in their complaint. One allegation often made against Facebook is that it has strategically sought to buy small potential rivals, often at a big premium. These include Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.

      • U.S. states plan to sue Facebook next week – sources

        The Federal Trade Commission, whose commissioners met on Wednesday, could file a related complaint with an administrative law judge or in district court.

      • How Microsoft crushed Slack

        In its letter, Slack warned Microsoft that “Slack is here to stay,” adding, “We’re just getting started.” But the 4 million users it had at the time would increase to just 12 million four years later, while Microsoft — which added Teams to its 365 bundle without increasing the price — took Teams from zero to 115 million users.

        That disparity helps to explain why Slack sold itself this week to Salesforce. The deal, which values Slack at $27.7 billion on revenues of $833 million over the past year, has largely been greeted with cheers. (Ben Thompson offers a typically excellent rundown of the opportunity here for both Salesforce and Slack.)

        But it also feels like the end of an era, one where workers gained new power to bring their own tools to the office and decide for themselves how they wanted to get work done. Slack first succeeded with small teams who wanted to accelerate their work and was often dragged into organizations by early adoption. But today, waves of consolidation are leaving people with fewer real choices.

      • Patents

        • USPTO Patent Center (Beta)

          The Patent Center is designed as a more streamlined tool electronic filing of patent applications that combines EFS-Web and PAIR. For now, the PTO is planning to keep those avenues available until the Patent Center achieves full functionality and stability.

        • Australian High Court overturns 150 years of precedent to adopt exhaustion of rights doctrine for patented products – The IPKat

          It is a broadly accepted principle of patent law throughout the world that patent rights in a product are exhausted on sale. The product become the personal property of the purchaser who may then dispose of it as they see fit, including resale. Despite this generally accepted principle, there is no international agreement on exhaustion of rights of patented products. There is significant divergence in legal practice on exhaustion, for example in the geographical limitations placed on exhaustion by different jurisdictions. On the general legal principle of exhaustion itself, Australia has long been a important outlier, favouring a practically similar but conceptually opposed “doctrine of implied licence”. In a first of two posts on the exhaustion of rights, this Kat takes a look at a high profile recent case from Australia, in which the Australian High Court over-turned more than150 years of precedent to firmly establish the doctrine of exhaustion in Australian patent law.

        • Arsus patent determined to be likely invalid

          On December 4, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 10,259,494. Owned and asserted by Arsus, LLC, an NPE, the ‘494 patent is generally directed towards a rollover prevention apparatus for an automobile. The ‘494 patent is currently being asserted against Tesla Motors. Prior patents in this family were asserted in a case against a BMW dealership in Utah (dismissed on non-infringement).

        • Software Patents

          • Gree, Inc. v. Supercell Oy (Fed. Cir. 2020)

            One would think that inventions relating to computer game software would easily meet the requirements for patent eligibility, as these inventions fundamentally involve technological processes and require computer implementation. But that is not always the case. Under current interpretations of the eligibility standard, not only does the language of the actual claims matter, so does the context of the invention.

            Gree was issued U.S. Patent No. 9,597,594, and it was timely challenged in a Post Grant Review (PGR) by Supercell. The challenger is a mobile game development company, responsible for the widely-popular Clash of Clans and related apps. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ultimately found the majority of the claims under review to be ineligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Gree appealed.


            5-7 recite “specific steps for applying templates in mismatched template scenarios, these claims require something more than automating correspondence chess.” Further, “Supercell has not shown that conventional correspondence chess template application included any technique—let alone the specifically claimed technique—for applying a template in the claimed mismatched template scenarios.”

            In summary, the Court concluded that claims 1-4, and 8-20 were ineligible and that claims 5-7 were eligible. Putting this into the Dropbox framework described above, the ineligible claims were non-specific and overlapped with known features from the prior art. In contrast, the eligible claims were drawn toward specific features that were not known to be in the prior art. The Court never explicitly addressed whether the claims had sufficient technical character, but seeing as it found some claims eligible, it appears that was the case.

          • Kojicast patent held unpatentable

            On December 4, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC v. Kojicast, LLC holding all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 9,749,380 unpatentable. The ‘380 patent is owned and asserted by Kojicast, LLC, an NPE, and is directed to streaming multimedia content from a server to a media playing device through operation of a portable device such as a tablet or smartphone.

      • Trademarks

        • Standing Naked before the TTAB

          NAKED TM holds the registration for the mark NAKED that it uses to sell its luxury condoms. However, by the time NAKED TM started its business, Australian Therapy was already selling its NAKED condoms to US customers over the internet. In the early 2000s, the companies reached some form of a tacit agreement — although without an express contract. Since 2003, Australian has continued to sell NAKED condoms in the US, but the TTAB found that it was never more than 48 consumers per year.


          The Board explained also that Australian must show a “proprietary rights in its unregistered mark” in order to have standing under the statute.

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed — holding a cancellation petition may be filed by any party who demonstrates “a real interest in the cancellation proceeding and a reasonable belief of damage regardless.” It does not require evidence of a “proprietary interest in an asserted unregistered mark.” Here, the court found a real-interest based on the fact that Australian had filed to register its marks, and had demonstrated a belief of damage because the USPTO refused registration of both the ’237 and ’589 applications based on a likelihood of confusion with Naked’s registered mark, U.S. Registration No. 3,325,577.”

      • Copyrights

        • 576 German Artists Want EU Copyright Directive Made Worse, With No Exceptions For Memes Or Mashups

          When the EU Copyright Directive was being drawn up, one of the main battlegrounds concerned memes. The fear was that the upload filters brought in by the new law would not be able to distinguish between legal use of copyright material for things like memes, quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody and pastiche, and illegal infringements. Supporters of the Directive insisted that memes and such-like would be allowed, and that it was simply scaremongering to suggest otherwise. When the Directive was passed, BBC News even ran a story with the headline “Memes exempt as EU backs controversial copyright law”. The MEP Mary Honeyball is quoted as saying: “There’s no problem with memes at all. This directive was never intended to stop memes and mashups.”

        • Donald Trump Stands Up for Legal Right to Retweet a Meme

          What Cuomo, Hoylman, and others who have heard Trump promise over the years to “open up libel laws” probably never envisioned was how Trump himself would quickly seize upon New York’s anti-SLAPP law in an effort to extradite himself from a lawsuit. Trump might even be the very first individual to test New York’s brand new law guarding the sanctity of free speech. Represented by Charles Harder, Trump is now standing up for the right to re-tweet a meme.

        • Mega Has Now Terminated 95,000 Users For Repeat Copyright Infringement

          Mega is one of the Internet’s most popular sites, currently storing more than 87 billion files. As a result, the service is regularly targeted with copyright takedown requests. The company’s latest transparency report reveals that complaints have been climbing recently but pirates should beware. To date, Mega has terminated almost 95,000 repeat infringers.

        • U.S. Embassy Donates 50 Laptops to Help Nigeria Fight Online Piracy

          Online piracy remains widespread all over the world, including African countries. The Nigerian Copyright Commission, which is trying to curb this problem, has estimated that over $1 billion is lost due to piracy per year. To help local authorities fight back, the U.S. embassy in Nigeria has donated 50 laptops and other gadgets.

        • Explore the New CC Legal Database Site!
        • Senator Tillis Is Mad That Twitter Won’t Testify About Copyright Infringement; Since When Is Twitter A Piracy Problem?

          After writing about the MPA/RIAA’s ever-shifting targets of who to freak out about regarding copyright infringement, it helps to take each new target with a grain of salt. They were mad about Napster, then LimeWire, then YouTube, then cyberlockers/cloud storage. And now, apparently the target is… random social media sites? There’s been plenty of attention recently over the RIAA turning its attention to… background music in Twitch streams. But who the hell thinks that Twitter is some den of piracy? Apparently, the recording industry does.

What’s GNEW? GNEW’s Nice Efforts Welcomed! (The GNEW Manifesto)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 1:09 pm by Guest Editorial Team

“A last-ditch effort to save the Free Software movement.” Guest article by figosdev, author of: GNEW Seedlings vs. Free Software Deforestation

A new year

Summary: “Dyne.org could be useful,” figosdev says. “Denis Roio would be useful. Devuan would not. Dyne.org, it should be noted, was one of the very few organisations that publicly and explicitly defended Stallman when others (like FSFE) attacked.”

GNEW, which stands for GNEW’s Nice Efforts Welcomed, is the name for the first official grand collaborative project to usher in Free Software 2.0. Contributions of code, time and dedication are greatly needed.

A New AdditionSo far we have a decaying but instructive Free Software movement, the remnants of a Free-as-in-freedom operating system, several partially-implemented plans to reboot a copylefted OS with a forkable kernel, and hundreds of utilities, most of which need to be liberated further.

Freedom is not a destination, but a process that calls for eternal vigilance. Free Software is no longer vigilant, and no longer free. “Nice Efforts” would renew such vigilance.

Much like the words “Apple”, “Open”, “Windows” and “Free”, the meaning of the word “Nice” depends on its usage. Our meaning of “Free Software” depends on the Free Software Definition. Our meaning of “Free Software 2.0″ is “Free Software PLUS whatever Free Software was missing that allowed it to be taken over by Open Source”.

Here is what was NOT missing:

* Too many corporate sponsors systematically co-opting non-profit organisations.

* Shill-driven whataboutism and superficial nitpicking of Free Software’s imperfections, as an excuse to “upgrade” to the much more cynical and freedom-neutral Open Source.

* A centralised repository owned by a for-profit corporation.

* Various zero-tolerance policies worded to sound like community building, with the reliable, predictable and proven effect of censoring key developers and absolutely vital critics.

In order to survive, Free Software 2.0 must be built on deeds, not words. It must seek and defend freedom for all users, not just the trappings of freedom (or just the license). A free license is all that is needed to make software free — but once that freedom is attacked, we know from years of experience that it takes more than just a license to defend it. A license can (at best) define the rights you have; it will not — without further action from people — defend them.

“In order to survive, Free Software 2.0 must be built on deeds, not words.”GNU was a technical project with technical goals. GNEW is also a technical project, with a renewed focus on philosophy and freedom.

GNEW is a project that recognises the value of copyleft. While you can technically help GNEW by creating permissively licensed software (GNU relies very heavily on Perl and Python, both of which are available under a permissive license) we encourage forks under copyleft licenses, and specifically licenses that are compatible with GPL3 or later or AGPL3 or later.

The GNU Project itself is meant to rely on GPL3, but copyleft drift is one-way — there are many projects to create permissive equivalents of copylefted programs, but GNU’s philosophy has not encouraged or has even discouraged copylefted forks of permissively-licensed programs.

While permissively-licensed projects are not forbidden as contributions, they are strongly discouraged. We will still accept software in the Public Domain, and we also encourage copylefted forks of such software.

Why Developers Might Want to Join Us

Free Software has been infiltrated by corporate monopolies, who have attacked the founder of Free Software and the GNU Project. This attack was justified primarily in response to events of late 2019, but it began in earnest in 2018. This attack came from traitors to the GNU Project and well-established shills for monopolies that have plagued us and our movement for decades. But absolutely nothing is being done to resolve this, except a small amount of exposure from trusted sources and 3rd party watchdog organisations.

It’s time to recognise that the Free Software Foundation has abandoned its mission and been compromised. Its founder has not abandoned his mission, though he has also been compromised — after countless years of sustained attacks and assassination plans partially implemented and partially successful, Richard Stallman no longer speaks up about things that are necessary to speak up about to defend this movement — even matters we know he is aware of. He understandably continues to try to salvage the FSF — but the FSF is not Free Software.

Free Software 2.0 is a movement with greater focus on user rights in practice, not only in theory — if a program is under a free license and still erodes user freedom, we won’t hesitate to criticise it (as Free Software now does) because of sponsors or because it has a license that lets you (in theory) change it so that it doesn’t for example, report an excessive, unwanted amount of information about your computing to Mozilla or Intel.

Saying that a malicious program is under a free license is like saying a disease has a cure — we essentially cured polio years ago, but if you have polio and lack access to the cure personally, then the fact that “a cure exists” isn’t actually doing anything for you at all. If organisations are heaping malicious features into our software and nobody is actually fixing them, then those projects are “Free In License Only” — and those features are actually bugs which need be treated as such — or the software avoided.

“Saying that a malicious program is under a free license is like saying a disease has a cure…”Adoption and reluctant tolerance of software with malicious, unwanted features likely proves two things: one, that we will never all agree on what constitutes a malicious feature, as most people will weigh the pros and cons of being spied on and treated like cattle when they “sort of” want control of their computing. And two, that no Free Software organisation has taken a hard line against such features — it may not even be possible to take a hard line, when we cannot all agree where the line is. But this is a sorry excuse to simply let freedom continue to erode.

Our movement encourages both collaboration and disagreement, because that is the only way to be sure the user is represented. This also creates a new situation where users and developers have an inherent right to dispute how “free” a project really is. We encourage forking malicious projects, creating alternatives so that it is easier for people to move away from malicious projects (and vote with their feet) and we also support broader education so that users can more easily learn to enjoy more of the freedom that comes from having the basic skills of a coder.

This is true freedom, where we stand up for good people who have been wrongly attacked by shills, corporate PR assassins, and those too uninformed to know better.

We welcome Nice Efforts — NOT “nice people”. We have no way of knowing if you’re a nice person — sometimes the worst people in the world seem very nice and fool you for years, until they stab you in the back. Other times there are very nice people who seem vaguely unpleasant, “unreasonable” or “argumentative” — they might be the only person who really has your back when the chips are down, but there is no reliable test for a nice person — Codes of Conduct (or as some of us call them, Codes of Censorship) are to community what polygraphs are to interrogation — a flawed means of doing what they claim to do, used as tool to get something else (fear, obedience, false confession, blackmail or cheap labour) from the people they are used on.

Note we said “blackmail” — a word that has absolutely nothing to do with race. Free Software never cared what contributors look like, or what race or country or religion they do or don’t come from. To make Free Software into something bigoted, you need to find a very extreme and very dubious filter for reality itself.

“Nice” is a word that means pleasant, friendly, respectable — it also means precise.

Some of our work (really not all of it) requires great precision and care — both in what we design and what we tolerate from our software. We want software that is nice, we want philosophy that is accurate — the best way to have accuracy is with careful and thoughtful review.

We want the freedom to criticise when things have become very, very wrong — both for developers who absolutely need this freedom to fix problems in software, and for users who are directly affected by the chicanery of malicious or compromised developers.

We need to bring back “Free as in Speech”, and Richard Stallman won’t even reserve that right for himself anymore.

“We need to bring back “Free as in Speech”, and Richard Stallman won’t even reserve that right for himself anymore.”Nonetheless, Richard Stallman is a cornerstone of our movement and will always be welcome, at the very least until a day when he is found guilty of rape or murder. Stallman was unfairly treated, and enough of us will do whatever we can to carry on the bulk of his legacy — while maintaining his welcome among us. This is not hero worship, it is simple fairness and full credit (often denied) where credit is due.

If you want to be free-as-in-freedom, as well as have software that is, if you miss the “real” Free Software movement, we invite you to be part of that again.

Why Users Might Want to Join Us

For years, users have been courted by liars and scammers to participate in a fake counter-movement to Free Software. It promised to be easier, but “easier” really just meant “has different rules and lax principles”. It was marketing — it was dishonest. Today, more people know this counter-movement is corporate, astroturfed and fake.

We can’t put our trust in the same monopolies Free Software tried to liberate us from, to dictate how our software and our communities work. They have not changed.

We can’t put our trust in the same monopolies Free Software tried to liberate us from to host our code, decide who to ban or what projects can stay.

We can’t even put our trust in a single non-profit organisation, because several non-profits have already been co-opted — including organisations that were supported by Richard Stallman.

We create free licenses, they subvert those licenses and the organsations that maintain them. We create free software, they donate thousands of dollars — which practically forces small projects to incorporate under rules where independent projects now must have a board of directors or some other committee that can be manipulated to work against your freedom.

The point is that there is no specific process (only recommendations we can make) that will absolutely ensure our freedom remains secure. No license can do that — no single organisation has managed to do that. Only a true social movement can keep pushing for such a thing when the old fortresses we built in the last century have fallen.

“Obviously, we will have to deal with shills and infiltrators. They exist, there is no reliable loyalty test or oath that cannot be taken under false pretenses.”The mission is not actually hopeless. Apathy is a weapon they hope we will use on ourselves — but the only real and sincere fight for freedom is the one that we commit to ourselves.

There is nobody who can’t help — people inside the beast can be whistleblowers and explain our enemy. Developers can help us sort out new solutions to new problems. Users can self-advocate — please! And we can lend a hand (and an ear).

Obviously, we will have to deal with shills and infiltrators. They exist, there is no reliable loyalty test or oath that cannot be taken under false pretenses. We can only judge the works (the advocacy, the software) that people create. Wonderful people making malicious software (that is, malicious software we are all expected to use as though it respects our freedom or helps the user) are simply of no use to this movement.

There are no perfect advocates. You do not HAVE TO learn how to code. But we encourage you to learn, and if you hate coding (or hated what you were taught was coding) then we encourage you to help us make it less hateful — promote beginner-friendly coding and games and other fun activities related to coding. Learn Logo, if you can. Not everyone is going to become a developer, but we can still create greater literacy among users on average. That would certainly lead to more developers — and if the education is based on Free Software, that will lead to more developers who are helpful to Free Software.

We can also use artwork under Free (preferably GPL3-compatible) licenses, we can use written works, music and videos under licenses that respect the Four freedoms — it probably doesn’t matter if these works are even copylefted, as long as the licenses aren’t incompatible with our software projects. Be thoughtful, be creative, learn about the history of our movement (at this moment, it’s the most vital part) and help support us by contributing to what we do.

What will we all have if we do this? More freedom. Real community — not corporate-run internment camps for users and developers. More alternatives — some of the communities and software we create will ultimately suck! Which is why a global network of countless alternatives is the best way to rebuild our movement. More hope.

“We need our Four freedoms back. We need our movement back.”If that doesn’t sound good… Wonderful! We are not elitist, we are not all perfectionists (we will need some of those as well) — but we just don’t need people who don’t truly care about our freedom. We’ve got as many of those we could ever need.

If it sounds good, perhaps by now it’s clear that we can’t write anything or build anything that will guarantee success. We can talk about how to make it work — we’ve spent lots of time doing that. The THRIVE Guidelines (never mandatory, just another tool you can adopt or throw away, as an individual) are a place you can start. Maybe you’ll write your own — maybe you’ll just start making something.

We need our Four freedoms back. We need our movement back. Here’s your invitation — create something, say something, dedicate something to this — and let us know about it so that more people can share it and begin to rebuild.


“Is this a non-commercial movement?”

Definitely not. Free Software (and Free Cultural works) — the sort of works we promote, allow commercial use and commercial contributions. However, this did not always entail sponsors “taking over” our projects. You gave to Free Software hopefully to encourage people to continue to do what they’re doing — not to “buy” the developers for yourself and poach the community — the latter is a dirty Open Source trick which was mentioned explicitly in the Halloween documents as a way to undermine Free Software.


“Is there a forum where people can discuss a GNEW Project?”

There are many. For the moment you can try using the Fediverse to discuss this, but ultimately it isn’t recommended that you rely on GitHub-based platforms or platforms with Codes of Censorship, like most Fediverse instances are or have. You can create a forum or mailing list, though be advised that most forums are themselves developed on Microsoft GitHub — shame, isn’t it?

“For the moment you can try using the Fediverse to discuss this, but ultimately it isn’t recommended that you rely on GitHub-based platforms or platforms with Codes of Censorship, like most Fediverse instances are or have.”One highly recommended community (one that actually gets the point of this movement) is Techrights, where the GNEW Manifesto was first published. Someday, maybe Techrights too will fall victim to takeover, bribery or worse. You have to start somewhere. But networks are redundant because they are created by nodes, and we recommend you start one and also participate in others. Network effects can kickstart a community in the short run, but stifle a community in the long run — don’t forget to spread out, remember the importance of alternatives.

One of the most common ways to interact with the Techrights community is via IRC. It is logged, so if you ask a question you can read the reply later if one is given.


“Does Techrights officially endorse the GNEW Project?”

Not yet. That would be a huge step forward for both this movement and for Techrights.


“Who is the head of the GNEW Project?”

Like a server farm, the GNEW Project is headless. So is the GNU Project, but officially (and sadly not to very much effect) Richard Stallman is still the head of the GNU Project as of this writing. The coup is still going on as well, and seems relentless. GNU is absolutely falling apart, just as the FSF was in 2018.


“Can GNU be saved?”

It’s not strictly impossible.


“Should I join the FSF?”

Only if you believe that throwing money at corruption is helpful.


“Would you welcome Alexandre Oliva to join the GNEW Project?”

Alexandre Oliva should have been the second FSF president. He seems sincere, and may well be — he is well-respected, well-known, and has shown great dedication to the movement. He is probably the closest thing in the world to Stallman himself, he has shown more integrity than other people at the FSF, and would likely be a valuable asset to a new Free Software movement. He is not quite the strong leader that Stallman was — but at least he caused more Stallman-like trouble (where trouble is due) than anybody else at what’s left of the FSF. At this point, Stallman himself is also not the strong leader that Stallman was. He is still fighting and still valuable to the movement. The same is most likely true of Alexandre Oliva. This small nudge is unlikely to have any effect, of course.


“Is the GNEW Project hierarchical?”

“Headless does not mean non-hierarchical, though decentralised would imply that there is no single leader.”The reality is that some people will contribute more than others, and some contributors will get more support than others. Headless does not mean non-hierarchical, it means we need more people to step up as leaders — our older leaders were forces of nature, and to have a similar effect we will need more than one leader. But we also want to leave leadership open to those who support our cause, and who are supported by our cause. No particular structure seems to be impervious to overthrow from outside interests, so we can only rely on education, experience and vigilance. Headless does not mean non-hierarchical, though decentralised would imply that there is no single leader. A node at least, can have one or more local leaders — or the deliberate absence of one. It’s not something we dictate either way — nor would you want us to.


“Can the FSF be saved?”

There is absolutely no chance of this happening. Cold-fusion-powered flying pigs on a mission of peace from Proxima Centauri come first; they will even forgive us for all the bacon.


“What GitHub alternative should I use?”

You should develop and host your software on a Free Software platform run by an individual, by Free Software peer-to-peer technology that is not controlled by a for-profit corporation, or on a Free Software platform run by a non-profit corporation. Non-profits can be compromised, but for-profit software hosting is compromised by default.

People make lists of alternatives all the time, the point is to choose with care — and also to watch the effects of the choice.


“Make me!”

Nope! The only leverage we have against GitHub or non-free software (or malicious quasi-free software) is to avoid feeding it as much as we possibly can. If we tried to make a one-size-fits-all plan for everybody, it would ask the impossible for some and ask too little for others — we recommend you do it yourself. Ask us if you want advice.


“I don’t like the name GNEW — can I support your cause without the name?”

Can you support what we do without naming what we do? Probably to some degree. We don’t have the GNU trademark, so we can’t offer you that.

The GNEW name is probably as good as any other name, though. Only the acronym is silly, if you supported “GNU” already. Without people talking about the GNEW Project and the GNEW Manifesto however, there won’t likely be a GNEW Project. And, it is extremely and deliberately close to the original name — given the formal legal action taken by SFLC against SFC, we probably don’t want get any closer to something like “NEW GNU” or “GNU II”. Also: “In order to survive, Free Software 2.0 must be built on deeds, not words.” Philosophy is still as necessary as before, of course; but without action, it simply won’t count.


“Can this movement support X, Y, Z causes?”

The THRIVE Guidelines (particularly 7 through 9) cover this question.


“Is this a coup?”

Given the state of everything else? Yes, this is absolutely a coup. But then it is a coup that welcomes the old guard to have more than they really do right now — when the last coup stole for corporations what already belonged to the world. This coup will never take place without popular support — it is for both users and developers, and still bows to those who truly created the original movement.

But they cannot ask us not to fight, while they are losing the battle themselves. So yes, this is a public coup, against those who stole a movement from its roots.

It’s not possible or practical to fully define a decentralised movement from step 1, except with a broad overview and a humble beginning.

“It’s time for Free Software to start rebuilding now, or perish as a movement.”Our movement is humbled, though its resolve must be awakened.

If this is important to you, you can join us today — help us reboot the Free Software movement, and help guard our freedoms for tomorrow.

Although anybody can join us, it will help us gain traction and recognition if we can gain one or two high-profile developers and organisations.

Techrights would be ideal, as they already fight for your freedom and more or less understand what this is about. A name as well-known and widely respected as Alexandre Oliva would also help, though this is just an example — but please, nobody who isn’t willing to denounce Open Source for what it really is. One thing we certainly don’t need is Open Source 2.0. It’s done more than enough destruction for a lifetime. It would be better to have nobody at all, than to gain many who would treat your freedom like a commodity.

“If you don’t want Free Software to die, now is the time to pick it up and be certain the legacy continues…”This is a last-ditch effort — we’ve talked about how and why for years now. It’s time for Free Software to start rebuilding now, or perish as a movement.

If you don’t want Free Software to die, now is the time to pick it up and be certain the legacy continues — not some facsimile we’ve had shoved in our faces since half a decade ago.

The credit to those who came before must go to those who came before — the credit to those who fight today will go to those who fight today. If there is no fight now, there will be little more to show for it later. Join GNEW, take credit for your part in it, and help us save Free Software. It may never happen without you.

Long live rms, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) is Not About Freedom

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft at 5:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not even remotely

SFC and Google

SFC trolls

Summary: As evidence serves to show (latest in [1, 2]), the SFC quit caring about Free-as-in-Freedom-respecting Software a long time ago; it’s about raising money (even from Microsoft) and ‘canceling’ people who actually care about Software Freedom

[Meme] Being Occupied by Microsoft Azure and Windows

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Peace or co-existence isn’t the motivation

Pakistan loves India; ...occupied by Pakistan

Summary: The persistent lying (led by slogans like “Microsoft loves Linux”) only ever comes from media moles of Microsoft, who spent decades attacking GNU/Linux, so we know the real sentiments

[Meme] The Master Negotiator

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jorge Campinos

I'm Jorge's son. We just found it like that, I swear.

Summary: EPO President António Campinos is the opposite of what his father claimed to be, as EPO staff quickly found out

What Really Happened Last Year When Workers of the European Patent Office, Europe’s Second-Largest Institution, Were About to Go on Strike

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The full story of what happened behind the scenes around the time of the call for strike (less than a year after a “new” (recycled) and “better” president had been appointed, perpetuating the same abuses)

LAST year we wrote that after less than a year at the EPO there was already a plan to go on strike against the António Campinos regime, in spite of barriers put in place by Benoît Battistelli (to suppress strikes). As noted here at the time, the strike was barely averted, but it served to show the growing sentiment among staff (that Campinos had failed). The latest effort to go on strike was derailed by a pandemic. Those nihilists who run the Office (unqualified officers who just “know the right people”) are destroying thousands of lives directly. “Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily,” Napoleon Bonaparte said. Frenchman (also Portuguese) Campinos says he has principles; what principles and whose principles?

“Talks broke down. There’s nobody left to talk to.”Today we publish 4 files. It has been over a year, so it’s time to ‘declassify’ those sorts of things, showing the general public what’s happening behind the closed doors and diplomatic immunity.

We have:

Here’s everything as images as well.

May 16 strike

USF letter 2019

FICSA letter to EPO's Campinos Page 1

FICSA letter to EPO's Campinos Page 2

EPO strike June 2019 Page 1

EPO strike June 2019 Page 2

EPO strike June 2019 Page P3

The latest letter (above) was from June, bearing the following message (accompanying context/background):

To Strike or Not To Strike – That is the Question

Things have been moving fast these last weeks.

Triggered by the rather disappointing meeting with the President on 16 May, SUEPO Central submitted a call for strike. Due to the EPO´s rather special strike regulations (Circular No. 347) such swift action was necessary for planning a strike to coincide with the June-meeting of the Administrative Council.

This call for strike – and no doubt also the letter from FICSA and the resolution unanimously adopted at the recent USF Congress – seems to have focused senior management´s minds. Earlier foot-dragging turned into several meetings being organised at short notice, culminating in a meeting with both CSC and SUEPO Central on Monday 3 June.

During this meeting the President showed understanding for several points. This resulted in some concrete commitments and limited progress.

As readers are aware, there are now renewed actions and heightened tensions. Which is partly what motivated us to publish many documents. Better late than never. Talks broke down. There’s nobody left to talk to.

Censored EPO Publication: Conflict Resolution Unit (CRU) Unspeakable Because Office Management Buries the Facts

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Another censored (by EPO management) publication, this time about the cover-up of misconduct

ONE YEAR ago, EPO management was already no different or no better than Team Battistelli. António Campinos was just as oppressive if not more oppressive. The elected representatives of the staff were routinely gagged.

“Attempts to silence people can backfire.”This 2-page paper [PDF] was never published on the Intranet because it was blocked and suppressed by paranoid managers (paranoia or fear that its corruption would be better understood by staff). “The EPO is currently preventing the publication of a CSC paper on the Intranet,” said a republisher (or “another CSC paper censored by the Office”). Like we explained earlier this week, one way or another people will find way to share or disseminate suppressed information. Attempts to silence people can backfire.

This is what the Central Staff Committee told the staff, or at least attempted to tell the staff:

Case closed by the CRU does not mean that the complaint cannot be followed-up

The Conflict Resolution Unit (CRU) acts as the receiving section for management review requests (RfRs). It does not carry out itself the management reviews but allocates instead each request to the corresponding reviewer (manager), the declared aim being to resolve employment-law-related administrative disputes at an early stage, thus preventing further litigation.

It appears not uncommon that the CRU refuses to register requests and to forward them for review to any reviewer for decision. Instead, requesters receive an email informing them that the subject-matter is already “closed” at management review stage and that their demands will not be treated as requests for review by the CRU.

The requester should expect in such cases that no reasoned decision will be issued. Thus, the fiction of an implied decision of rejection within the meaning of Article 109(7) will apply after two months from the date of receipt of the RfR by the CRU. Requesters wishing to further follow-up their complaint have strict time limits for making the next step, i.e. three months for filing the subsequent internal appeal or, where applicable, ninety days for filing a complaint at ILOAT.

Here’s the publication as images:

CSC CRU Page 1

CSC CRU Page 2

Next up, or later today and this coming weekend, we’ll look at documents related to the EPO strikes.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 03, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:01 am by Needs Sunlight

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