Links 11/12/2020: Alpine 3.12.2 and Hackboard 2

Posted in News Roundup at 4:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • TUXEDO Book XP14 Linux Laptop Available for Pre-Order with Intel Tiger Lake, NVIDIA GTX 1650

        The TUXEDO Book XP14 is powered by 10th Gen Intel Quad-Core “Tiger Lake” processors, either Intel Core i5-1135G7 with 4 cores, 8 threads, and 8 MB cache, or the Intel Core i7-1165G7 with 4 cores, 8 threads, and 12 MB cache.

        Both processors come with integrated Iris Xe G7 graphics, but customers interested in playing some of the latest games will be able to choose a more powerful, dedicated graphics card, namely the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR6 VRAM.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9.14
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.9.14 kernel.
        All users of the 5.9 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.9.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.9.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.4.83
      • Linux 4.19.163
      • Linux 4.14.212
      • Linux 4.9.248
      • Linux 4.4.248
    • Benchmarks

    • Applications

      • The 10 Open Source File Navigation Tools for Linux System

        Linux file navigation tools are great for navigating directories through commands. Undoubtedly, Linux is nowadays much improved with a modern graphical user interface. Even a kid can easily navigate through the Linux system by using the GUI. But still, some Linux enthusiasts and developers prefer command lines for navigation.

        This is because the CLI or command-line interface is more fluid and fast. Besides, they aren’t resource-hungry like graphical tools. The stock Linux commands have some limitations. But some awesome tools have extended the functionalities of the terminal. Well, in most cases, they are not full-fledged programs. Rather they act as extensions for the terminal or shell.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Using Ansible to automate your Laptop and Desktop configs! – YouTube

        You guys asked for it, now I finally deliver – in this video I show you how to use Ansible to configure your laptops and desktops! This works for servers too.

      • How to use S3 Storage Lens to view storage usage and activity metrics of S3 Bucket on AWS

        AWS S3 Storage Lens gives visibility into object storage usage, activity trends. It gives recommendations to improve cost-efficiency, also it applies data protection best practices. It is the first analytics service that provides a single view of object storage usage and activity across hundreds and thousands of accounts in an organization. It provides a summary of insights of S3 Buckets, detects outliers, enhances data protection, and optimizes storage costs.

        S3 Storage comes up with a dashboard containing pre-configured views to visualize storage usage and activity trends. We can also export metrics in CSV or Parquet format to an S3 bucket.

        In this article, we will see the existing default dashboard and metrics it has. We will also create a new dashboard with free metrics in it.

      • How to Install Netdata Monitoring Tool on Ubuntu 20.04

        Netdata is a free, open-source and real-time performance and health monitoring tool. It supports Linux, MacOS and FreeBSD. You can troubleshoot and monitor cloud-based servers, containers and your entire IT infrastructure with Netdata. It provides real-time system metrics including, Memory usage, CPU, Bandwidth, Disk utilization and more. You can also integrate it with other monitoring tools like Prometheus, Graphite, OpenTSDB, Kafka, Grafana, and more.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install the Netdata monitoring tool on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to install and configure DHCP Server on Centos 8

        DHCP (Dynamic host configuration protocol) used to assign an IP address automatically to Mobile, Laptop, PC, and other network devices so they can communicate. It employs a connectionless service model, using the UDP (User Datagram Protocol). DHCP uses a well-known UDP port 67 for the DHCP Server and the UDP Port 68 for the client. DHCP operations fall into four phases: server discovery, IP lease offer, IP lease request, and IP lease acknowledgment. These stages are often abbreviated as DORA for discovery, offer, request, and acknowledgment. In this tutorial, we will learn how to install and configure DHCP Server on Centos8. So, let’s get started.

      • How To Migrate CentOS Linux To Oracle Linux – OSTechNix

        Oracle Linux is a RHEL-based Linux distribution developed by Oracle. It is one of the best alternative to CentOS Linux. This guide explains how to migrate CentOS Linux to Oracle Linux using centos2ol script.

        After CentOS Community Manager Rich Bowen announced that they are shifting focus from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream, there is a great resentment among developers and users. Many users strongly condemns this decision. However, the decision is already made and it seems that there is no going back. When CentOS Linux 8 ends at December 31, 2021, your best and only option will be to migrate to CentOS Stream 8. Since CentOS Stream is a rolling preview (i.e. development), a lot of users raised their concern about its stability. At present, the only stable and viable RHEL-based alternative to CentOS is Oracle Linux. If you’d like to migrate CentOS Linux to Oracle Linux, this tutorial will teach you how.

      • How to Install PHP 8.0 on Ubuntu 20.04 – RoseHosting

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PHP 8.0 with Apache on Ubuntu 20.04. PHP is a free, open-source, and most popular server-side programming language used by many CMS including, Drupal, WordPress, Magento, and many more. PHP 8.0 is a major update of the PHP language that contains new features and optimizations including named arguments, union types, attributes, constructor property promotion, match expression, null safe operator, JIT, and improvements in the type system, error handling, and consistency. Let’s get started with the installation of PHP 8 on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Install and Configure AnyDesk on Linux System

        AnyDesk is a handy, lightweight, and secure desktop tool to control computers remotely. AnyDesk is a cross-platform application; you can install and run AnyDesk on Windows, Mac, and Linux distributions. Despite being lightweight and quick, it can handle many heavy and long time duties. Many IPS and VoIP service providers use the AnyDesk to solve client’s issues remotely from the server office. If you’re a NOC engineer, probably you already know that finding an appropriate and easy to install remote desktop tool is very crucial in an emergency. In such emergencies, you can always rely on AnyDesk.

        As I’m mentioning about NOC engineering, that doesn’t mean that you have to be skilled and need to know a lot of SSH commands to use the AnyDesk tool on your system. No matter what type of service you provide, the simple user interfaces and robust connectivity of AnyDesk will attract you.

      • How to install Mint’s Cinnamon Desktop UI on MX Linux – Linux Shout

        Cinnamon is a popular Windows 7 like interface that comes by default in Linux Mint operating systems. It makes the Mint very easy to understand and use, that is also one of the reasons why Mint is one of the many Popular Linux distros that are part of home-use PC and laptops.

        Although MX Linux is already available with lightweight XFCE and Fluxbox desktops including eye-catching KDE Plasman, however, in case you still not comfortable, use Linux Cinnamon, which can be installed with just one command…

      • How Cirrus CLI uses Podman to achieve rootless builds | Enable Sysadmin

        Use both Cirrus CLI and Podman to better manage and secure container environments for rootless builds.

      • How to install Signal Messenger on Linux via Flatpak

        Signal, the secure messaging service, already has a dedicated desktop application for Windows, MacOS and Linux, and in this tutorial, you will see how to install the Signal messenger on Linux via Flatpak.Signal app is an encrypted chat application for iOS and Android. An alternative to WhatsApp, Signal allows you to send messages to other people who use the service. It also enables you to create and participate in group conversations and make voice and video calls to other users. All chats are protected using end-to-end encryption. In addition, the codes in the app allow you to check the connection.

      • Homelab: Cloud-native ad blocking on Raspberry Pi

        Learn how to set up a Pi-Hole instance with a single command and a cluster of Raspberry Pis on MicroK8s. High availability, load balancing and Kubernetes configuration included. The Raspberry Pi 4 brings the graphics, RAM and connectivity needed for a Linux workstation, so why not…

      • Install NVIDIA Container Toolkit with Docker 20.10 on Fedora 33 – If Not True Then False

        This is guide, howto install NVIDIA Container Toolkit with Docker >= 20.10 on Fedora 33. Check video to see also howto install latest Docker Engine 20.10 (docker-ce) on Fedora 33. Same method works with Podman, but it will cause strange SELinux problems even with custom generated policy installed. So package still requires Docker 20.10 or newer. If you want run Podman version without docker dependencies, let me know and I can build different version of nvidia-docker2 package.

      • How to Install XAMPP On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        XAMPP consist of (X) cross-platform software, (A) Apache,(M) MariaDB,(P) PHP and P (Perl).

        In this guide, we will share with you how to install XAMPP on ubuntu 20.04. Follow the step.

        Basic Requirement

        Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa
        A user with sudo privileges
        Access to a terminal/command line
        The apt the tool, pre-loaded in Ubuntu and other Debian-based distros

    • Games

      • Valve updates Steam with more Linux improvements, new game properties UI | GamingOnLinux

        A fresh Beta update for the Steam Client has rolled out and it seems Valve have begun modernising more parts of the UI, along with Linux fixes.

        For the Steam Library, they’ve now ripped out the old Properties dialog with one that more closely matches their newer design style found elsewhere like with chat settings and they also fixed displaying the coming soon date for a pre-loaded game.

      • Atari VCS has some game announcements, actually shipping soon | GamingOnLinux

        The story of the Atari VCS is definitely an eventful one but it appears it might finally be coming to an end, with units actually about to ship and a couple of game announcements.

        Powered by their own Linux-based Atari World operating system, along with the PC Mode ability to load up any other Linux distribution of your choice, it looks like a nice bit of tech for fans of compact systems. Quite underpowered compared with all the latest traditional consoles and normal PCs of course though.

        After many delays and a lawsuit involving Rob Wyatt (the architect behind the original Xbox), who the Atari team pulled in to help do some design work, the Atari VCS has limped along. On December 5, they noted that “starting next week” they would begin the sorting, packing and shipping and that they would update their pages to note it was shipping – which has not yet actually happened it seems. Also, units will only come with a US plug, so you will need an adapter outside the US and they said it will need an internet connection to activate.

      • 1C Entertainment to publish sci-fi fantasy arena FPS Viscerafest – coming in 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        1C Entertainment announced today that they’ve teamed up with Acid Man Games and Fire Plant Games as publisher for Viscerafest, their colourful retro themed sci-fi fantasy FPS.

        Shown off originally during the Realms Deep event earlier this year, in Viscerafest “you take the role of Caroline, a bloodthirsty, psychopathic mercenary who wants nothing more than to marry her wonderful boyfriend Athens Fetter. Problem is money’s tight, and rings aren’t exactly cheap. But thankfully there may be hope for her yet, as a warlock named Cromune has acquired a rather hefty bounty on his head.”

      • Sci-fi submarine suffering sim Barotrauma has a big overhaul in Uncharted Depths | GamingOnLinux

        Uncharted Depths is the name of the latest upgrade to Barotrauma, a sci-fi exploration sim that puts you and friends (or random people / AI) inside a submarine in the depths of Jupiter’s moon Europa.

        What I love to call an underwater suffering sim, as it’s a pretty good description of what to expect from it. Inspired by FTL, RimWorld, Space Station 13 and others it’s a sci-fi game full of silly ragdoll characters and plenty of horrifying sea creatures that want to eat you and your submarine. It’s like a much darker and more in-depth version of We Need To Go Deeper.

        The Uncharted Depths is out now adding in a huge overhaul to the environment with remade textures, branching level paths, more varied levels, new small explorable caves, destructible floating ice chunks, new environmental hazards like falling Ice Spires and more. That alone sounds awesome but there’s a whole lot more including new missions, a big upgrade to the AI bot system to help you when you’re alone, expanded modding support, tons of bug fixes and more.

      • Head-swapping rogue-lite Skul: The Hero Slayer to release January 21, 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        SouthPAW Games and NEOWIZ have confirmed that Skul: The Hero Slayer, their head-swapping 2D rogue-lite action game will leaving Early Access on January 21, 2021. One of the most promising Early Access titles that became available through 2020, they’ve enjoyed a very good reception to the game overall with over seven thousand user reviews giving it a Very Positive rating on Steam.

        A fun mix on the traditional hero types you find in other games, with you taking on the role of the unusual skeleton Skul. After humans and heroes teamed up with an army to try and destroy the Demons once and for all, you’re the only one seemingly left so you begin your quest to save your friends after the destruction left at the Demon King’s castle.

      • Open-world RPG with freaky hand-painted organic locations Death Trash moves to 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        One particular indie game I am very excited to eventually get my hands on is Death Trash, a blending of real-time action and RPG mechanics in a very strange post-apocalyptic world.

        “A world where cosmic horrors long for humanity but meet punks with shotguns. Influenced by post-apocalyptic, horror, and cyberpunk classics, but with a fresh personality of its own. Death Trash combines the crunch and depth of old-school, role-playing classics with the controls and game feel of modern games.”

        In a recent update post on the Steam page, the developer confirmed that 2021 will be the year for Early Access and they’re still figuring out an exact date while a few people have been helping to playtest. They’re working on more content and will pull in more testers in the coming weeks and eventually a new trailer too.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Ubuntu MATE 20.10 Groovy Gorilla review

          Ubuntu MATE 20.10 Groovy Gorilla is not a bad distro. But it’s also not really fun. It’s virtually identical to its predecessor, for better or worse. The annoying thing is – lots of existing bugs persist. There are some improvements, and the fixes to layouts and the overall Boutique speed are more than welcome. However, various inconsistencies remain, the fonts can be better, and the performance can be better.

          I’d say, average score. If you’re after Ubuntu MATE, then the LTS makes far more sense. The changes in this release do not warrant the hassle of an upgrade, especially since you will have to do it again soon, as the support timeframe for the interim releases is very short. Groovy is mostly for tinkerers and those who want the latest version of whatever, no matter what. Decent, but it can be vastly more fun. And we’re done.

      • New Releases

        • Alpine 3.12.2 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.12.2 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux ROLLING, STATIC, and NEXT editions updated

          GeckoLinux is pleased to announce updates to its full range of ROLLING, STATIC, and NEXT editions. GeckoLinux spins are generated directly from unmodified openSUSE and Packman repositories, and the installed system can be updated directly from those official sources. GeckoLinux continues to be focused on eliminating pain points and polishing its unique out-of-the-box configuration on top of the stable and flexible openSUSE base.

        • openSUSE-Based GeckoLinux Has a New Release with Bluetooth Improvements, Latest Updates

          All three editions of GeckoLinux (ROLLING, STATIC and NEXT) have been updated, but while each one comes with its own updates, all of them include some quality improvements for Bluetooth audio users.

          These include the ability for the PulseAudio sound server to prevent the automatic switching of audio to the low-quality HSP/HFP profiles, as well as support for automatically switching audio streams to newly connected Bluetooth devices using the A2DP profile.

        • Tumbleweed Gets PulseAudio 14, Updates for Plasma, Firewalld

          Four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots updated hundreds of packages in the rolling release this week.

          There were two major versions to arrive this week and one of them, pulseaudio, has an important message for GNOME who plan on using the new major version.

          An update of Mesa 20.2.4 and firewalld 0.9.1 arrived in the latest snapshot – 20201209. While no new features were added in Mesa 20.2.4, there was a rendering bugfix for Blender viewport with AMD NAVI 5700 XT GPUs. Firewalld 0.9.1 removed a patch and added a workaround for the Docker bridge. ModemManager 1.14.8 made minor improvements and fixed a daemon crash when a device is being removed during the initialization sequence. NetworkManager 1.28.0 unified some behavior affecting IPv4 and IPv6 connections with the boot configuration generator. A couple new features were added for the DNS server package bind 9.16.8 and a feature change affecting the EDNS buffer size has been changed from 4096 to 1232 bytes; the change log states that measurements were done by multiple parties and that the change should not cause any operational problems as most of the Internet “core” is able to cope with IP message sizes between 1400-1500 bytes. More color printer support was added in the hplip 3.20.9 update. Other packages to update in the snapshot were vim 8.2.2105, mutt 2.0.3, poppler and sudo 1.9.4, which allows the parser to detect when an upper-case reserved word is used when declaring an alias.

          The 20201207 snapshot updated three packages. GNU Compiler Collection 10 received a minor update to enable fortran for offload compilers. The 6.2.1 version of gmp fixed a longtime AArch64 bug and gstreamer-devtools 1.18.1 fixed a memory leak and made various stability and reliability improvements.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Where do I go now that CentOS Linux is gone? Check our list

          In an unexpected announcement earlier this week, Red Hat killed off the free-as-in-beer CentOS variant of their flagship distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          The announcement—which clearly stated “CentOS Stream is not a replacement for CentOS Linux”—left thousands of CentOS users stunned and bewildered. In many cases, CentOS users had migrated to CentOS 8—which they expected to receive support until 2029—only to find out that their “until-2029″ distro had become an “until-2021″ distro just a few months after they’d installed it in the first place.

          I can’t pretend this is good news for CentOS users, but I can offer some good news: CentOS might be dead, but it’s far from your only option for a “rebuild” distro that’s binary-compatible with RHEL. Let’s take a look at a few of the most likely options below.

        • Rocky Linux – True CentOS Replacement – Everything you need to know

          The creator of CentOS started planning for a new Linux Distribution called Rocky Linux. It is going to be a true replacement for CentOS and will be enterprise-ready.

        • Goodbye CentOS, hello Rocky Linux

          Who are these companies? They’re names you know. Major companies that don’t just use CentOS but depend on it include Disney, GoDaddy, RackSpace, Toyota, and Verizon. Other important technology companies build products around CentOS. These include GE, Riverbed, F5, Juniper, and Fortinet.

          This isn’t just a few disgruntled users venting on Hacker News, Twitter, and Reddit. These are multi-billion-dollar companies. I’m told by executives at several of these enterprises they are not happy at all and are looking for alternatives. While some of them are considering switching to RHEL, many more are looking at other Linux distributions. Canonical’s Ubuntu was the one most often mentioned.

          Some of them may now look to Rocky Linux.

        • Sunset of CentOS

          Red Hat/IBM’s announcement of the end of CentOS as we knew it, turning it into a rolling development beta program of the commercial GNU/Linux distro for enterprises, is a reminder that Free Software is not to be mistaken for gratis software.

          A resilient Free Software community requires more than a single maintainer, individual or incorporated: individuals have the imponderable bus-hit factor, but corporations can be reliably predicted to do that which maximizes the return on the investment.

          If you’re reliant on a project maintained by any one of them, it’s good to have a backup plan. The nice thing about Free Software is that this doesn’t have to be another program: you can plan to keep on using the same software, maintaining it by yourself or along with other users in the community.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • Debezium serialization with Apache Avro and Apicurio Registry

          In this article, you will learn how to use Debezium with Apache Avro and Apicurio Registry to efficiently monitor change events in a MySQL database. We will set up and run a demonstration using Apache Avro rather than the default JSON converter for Debezium serialization. We will use Apache Avro with the Apicurio service registry to externalize Debezium’s event data schema and reduce the payload of captured events.

        • Rust

          • Launching the Lock Poisoning Survey

            The Libs team is looking at how we can improve the std::sync module, by potentially splitting it up into new modules and making some changes to APIs along the way. One of those API changes we’re looking at is non-poisoning implementations of Mutex and RwLock. To find the best path forward we’re conducting a survey to get a clearer picture of how the standard locks are used out in the wild.

  • Leftovers

    • The Agony of Bernard Harcourt

      Having just completed my own humble book on Habermas as learning theorist (To Emancipate Humanity: reading Habermas as learning theorist) and suffering a few anxiety attacks regarding its adequacy, this tumultuous book of nineteen chapters appeared on first sight to cover just about every critical philosopher alive. Who was this guy? What was he up to? What did he want to accomplish with such a sweep over rocky terrain? Perhaps I can get some tips I could weave into my own book when the editors look at me gravely and pronounce, “Well, it’s sorta ok, but needs major revisions.”

      I discovered soon enough that Bernard is wavy-haired, debonaire, gracious and brilliant. He’s the Ronaldo of Critical Theory. Officially, he is the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and profession of political science at Columbia University and chaired professor of the Ecole de Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. I discovered that for five years he has chaired the seminar series on critical theoretical issues at the Columbia School for Contemporary Critical Theory. Before Critique and Praxis, Harcourt wrote several books, including The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went to War Against Its Own Citizens (2018) and The illusion of free markets: punishment and the myth of natural order (2011).

    • Let Them Play Tennis
    • John Lennon Still Lives Among Us

      The teenage Chapman wore his hair like Lennon’s, learned to play guitar, and joined a rock group. He sang Lennon’s songs over and over. Like Lennon, Chapman married an older Japanese woman. As a security guard at a Honolulu condominium, he even taped Lennon’s name over his own on his ID tag. On the day he quit, Chapman signed out as “John Lennon,” crossing the name out with the final stroke of his pen. The murder he was about to commit was a partial suicide.

      John Lennon was killed by the sinister side of the same force that makes millions of people still mourn him and other dead media icons: a sense of personal connection to selected strangers fostered by media that simulate the sights and sounds of face-to-face interactions.

    • (1980–2020) Moscow’s Olympic Stadium is getting the ax, but officials are calling it a remodeling job

      In the late 1970s, Moscow broke ground on a massive indoor sporting arena to host competitions during the 1980 Summer Olympics. Appropriately named the “Olimpiyskiy” (Olympic Stadium), it was a venue for athletic contests and music concerts for nearly 40 years. In 2019, however, the facility closed for remodeling. The public was told that the stadium’s historical façade would remain (the mayor’s website still indicates this), but some of it is already rubble. Meduza looks at the reconstruction efforts, so far, and explores if it was ever possible to preserve the iconic building’s historical appearance.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Forty-two days Russian officials offer conflicting advice on how ‘Sputnik V’ interacts with alcohol

        Russia’s vaccination campaign against the coronavirus has already begun in Moscow and the Moscow region. On Thursday, December 10, the Gamelaya Research Institute’s director Alexander Gintsburg reported that 150,000 people had already received their “Sputnik V” vaccine. But recently, news reports have emerged explaining that the vaccine (which requires two injections over the course of several weeks) doesn’t pair well with alcohol. Here’s what Russian officials had to say on the subject and what science tells us. 

      • Food Fight in India Becomes a Matter of Life and Death

        Under the new system, private agricultural businesses, grocers and supermarkets can buy directly from farmers and government price supports have been eliminated.  Farmers believe it puts them at the mercy of agro-business.

      • Hunger Pandemic Will Surpass COVID Impact, Warns World Food Programme
      • As Food Insecurity Surges, Leading Scientist Says Hunger Is a Deliberate Choice by Those in Power

        As the World Food Programme accepts the Nobel Peace Prize, we look at the growing global hunger crisis amid the pandemic, the climate crisis and war. In the United States, as many as 50 million people could experience food insecurity before the end of the year — including one in four children. “It’s important to remember that hunger does not always happen because of natural disasters,” says Ricardo Salvador, director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It is often the result of things that we do to each other deliberately.”

      • Take What You Need and Give What You Can: A Mutual Aid Portrait
      • Giuliani Brags “Celebrity” Status Helped Him Get Trump’s Special COVID Treatment
      • Biden Provokes Frustration by Sidestepping Rep. Fudge for USDA, Treating HUD as ‘Consolation Prize’

        “His transition team has made a completely avoidable, self-inflicted injury by appointing Tom Vilsack to USDA.”

      • Why Biden’s Pick of Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary Is a Missed Opportunity for the USDA

        Progressives and environmental and labor activists are objecting to President-elect Joe Biden’s selection of Tom Vilsack to be his agriculture secretary, reprising the role he held in the Obama administration. Those opposed to Vilsack’s nomination say he has a record of supporting corporate interests over those of farmers, loosening regulations and backing genetically modified, herbicide-resistant crops. The NAACP has pointed to Vilsack’s role in firing former USDA official Shirley Sherrod in 2010 as disqualifying. Biden’s pick of Vilsack is a missed opportunity to reshape the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says Ricardo Salvador, director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Going back to a secretary of the past is not the way to strike in a new direction. That is status quo.”

      • Receiving Nobel Prize, World Food Programme Chief Warns ‘We Are Losing Battle Against Hunger’

        “We are losing the battle against hunger as never before,” warned WFP’s David Beasley. “And we are losing it most in Yemen.”

      • So When Can I Get the Covid Vaccine?

        First, the good news. Only a year ago, SARS-CoV-2 emerged on the world stage, slowly growing into the pandemic we know today. A year later, multiple vaccines against this new virus are on the verge of being distributed to millions of people around the world. The timeline is astounding. It’s a testament to science first and foremost. Earlier this year I was skeptical of the prognostications of having a vaccine within a few months—mainly because of the gaps in our knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 and the immune response to it, and the reliance on novel mRNA technologies for some of the candidates. I was wrong, and I couldn’t have been happier.

      • More than 150,000 vaccinated against COVID-19 in Russia

        More than 150,000 Russian citizens have been immunized against the coronavirus with the “Sputnik V” vaccine, reported the head of the Gamaleya Research Institute Alexander Gintsburg on Thursday, December 10.

      • Rosstat: Excess deaths in Russia exceed 138,000 people since the start of the pandemic

        In total, Russia saw 138,325 excess deaths between the start of the pandemic in March and the month of October, reports the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat).

      • CDC Official Says She Was Told to Delete Email on Kids’ Covid-19 Risk to Match Trump’s School Reopening Message

        “Federal employees have affirmative obligations to preserve documents, and destruction of federal records is potentially illegal,” warned Rep. James Clyburn. 

      • Preventing Spike in Evictions Will Help Limit COVID-19’s Spread

        Evicted families’ limited housing options increase their contact with others and limit their ability to social distance, quarantine, access appropriate health services, or practice recommended hand hygiene.

      • Food Is the Pathway to Peace: World Food Programme Wins Nobel Peace Prize & Warns of Hunger Pandemic

        The World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian organization dealing with hunger and food security, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize today, with its executive director David Beasley warning that the combination of conflict, climate crisis and COVID-19 could push 270 million people to the brink of starvation. In his acceptance speech, Beasley said, “Because of so many wars, climate change, the widespread use of hunger as a political and military weapon, and a global health pandemic that makes all of that exponentially worse, 270 million people are marching toward starvation. Failure to address their needs will cause a hunger pandemic which will dwarf the impact of COVID.”

      • A gap in the legislation Russia’s healthcare watchdog cracks down on private clinics for providing surrogacy services to single men from abroad

        Russia’s federal healthcare watchdog (Roszdravnadzor) has accused three private clinics in Moscow of providing assisted reproductive technology (ART) services to single men from other countries. Though this isn’t prohibited by law in Russia, it isn’t explicitly allowed either. Nevertheless, one clinic is now facing charges for administrative violations. In addition, these cases have both the Russian Health Ministry and the State Duma’s lawmakers considering an overhaul of the country’s surrogacy regulations.

      • Media fuels economic war on Nicaragua with false ‘conflict beef’ story
      • Spoiled Meat: the Beef Industry in the United States

        Still being a craft veteran King is able to keep the young upstart at bay through the early rounds. In the tenth round, King sees his opening, landing a vicious right that drops his opponent. Though Sandel rises, King sensing victory pins Sandel on the ropes continuing his attack. Suddenly however, King’s strength abandons him and Sandel’s superior condition allows him to counterattack and score a knockout over the exhausted older fighter. King, who had been advanced the loser’s share some weeks and therefore made no money for the fight, ends the story weeping on a park bench contemplating his deep hunger and dim economic prospects. London writes: ‘Ah, that piece of steak would have done it! He lacked just that for the decisive blow, and he had lost. It was all because of the piece of steak.’

        London actually placed the story in Australia, and his clear theme was the perilous road of ageing prizefighters, however being published in a widely circulated American magazine, the meaning of the steak would not have been missed. Steak has long been the symbolic pinnacle of American meat, simultaneously representing both democratic eating and high class status. In the early 20th century, immigrants wrote home and visitors marveled about the abundance of available meat in American cities.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open source vs open core — the development battle you may never have heard of [Q&A]

              There’s a battle playing out in the enterprise open source arena right now, but it’s one you probably haven’t heard about.

              It’s a clash between pure open source and commercialized open source (or ‘open core’) versions. While this may be below the radar for anyone not directly involved it has important long-term implications for the industry.

              In an exclusive interview we spoke to Ben Bromhead, the chief technology officer at open source specialist Instaclustr to get his view of the battlefield.


              BB: The muddying of what open source means through the use of restricted open source licenses is a significant challenge for open source at the moment. At Instaclustr, we favor software governed by open source foundations such as the Apache Foundation, where you can be sure that the governance of the open source project is focused on acting in the best interest of users. And as mentioned, enterprise open source adoption is increasing and on quite a healthy path right now. The challenges of the next ten years may be in better distinguishing true open source offerings, and ensuring that the market gives new adopters the clarity to understand the potential pitfalls ahead when dealing with open core solutions. In scenarios where enterprises don’t control their own code, vendor and technical lock-in are very real threats. Hopefully the next decade will see a stark reduction in the number of enterprises that find themselves in such situations.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (minidlna and x11vnc), Fedora (pam), openSUSE (chromium, minidlna, nsd, openssl-1_1, and pngcheck), SUSE (gcc7 and kernel), and Ubuntu (lxml and squirrelmail).

          • Dark Caracal: You Missed a Spot

            Recent activity seems to indicate that this actor is active once again. In November of 2019 the group Malware Hunter Team discovered new samples of the Bandook malware which is associated with Dark Caracal. This time with legitimate signing certificates for Windows (issued by the “Certum” certificate authority,) which would allow them to be run without a warning to the user on any Windows computer. Tipped off by the emergence of new variants of the Bandook Trojan, researchers at Checkpoint found three new variants of Bandook: some expanded (120 commands), some slimmed down (11 commands), and all signed with Certum certificates. The Checkpoint researchers also discovered several new command and control domains in use by Dark Caracal.

            In previous campaigns, this actor has displayed impressively lax operational security, enabling researchers to download terabytes of data from their command and control servers. The latest campaign exhibits a somewhat higher level of opsec. Checkpoint reports that targets included “Government, financial, energy, food industry, healthcare, education, IT and legal institutions” in the following countries: Singapore, Cyprus, Chile, Italy, USA, Turkey, Switzerland, Indonesia and Germany.

            The Dark Caracal threat actors still seem to primarily use phishing and Office-based macros as their primary method of infection. Because of this, the best step one can take to protect against Dark Caracal is to disable Office macros on your personal devices or that of your entire organization. This is additionally a good basic security hygiene practice. Standard methods to avoid phishing attacks are also good practice. Readers may also take some comfort in the fact that Bandook is currently detected by many, if not most, antivirus products.

          • Specialising in cyber security can make for a recession-proof career

            Cyber security is the next booming domain and offers immense growth opportunities to everyone. The increasing dependency on technologies and digital services has also increased the vulnerability towards new cyber threats.

            The cyber security space has seen exponential growth as workforce management and business models have undergone a drastic shift during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has caused protection providers to become financial investors’ main point of focus. A report by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) predicts that the Indian cyber security market will grow to $7.6 billion by 2022.

            Cyber attacks have increased during the pandemic. GoDaddy, the world’s largest web domain registrar, experienced a breach that saw a hacker gain login data information for the hosting accounts of 28,000 consumers. On April 23, 2020, the organisation recognised suspicious action on a subset of servers and immediately began an investigation. The investigation found that unauthorised access to customers’ login credentials was used to connect to the secure shell (SSH) on its hosting account. The company reset the usernames and passwords of the targeted customers and removed the SSH file from its platform to resolve the attack.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • New Report Shows Cellphone Encryption Isn’t Really Stopping Cops From Searching Phones

              We’re still hearing quite a bit about law enforcement’s supposedly endless string of losses to criminals and their device encryption. Citing facts not in evidence, consecutive FBI directors — along with outgoing Attorney General Bill Barr — have claimed the implementation of encryption has pretty much made it impossible to successfully prosecute criminals.

            • New report shows Google tracks 80% of the Web, with Amazon likely to overtake Facebook as second-worst privacy threat

              It comes from the company Ghostery, founded in 2009, and best known for its Ghostery browser extension, which allows users to choose which – if any – trackers to allow. The company claims to have over seven million active users, and by drawing on their online experiences Ghostery has put together a report called “Tracking the Trackers“. This is the company’s second report on tracking. The first was in 2017, and during the last three years some important trends have emerged. One is that Google has extended its dominance in the world of trackers:

            • WhatsApp calls Apple’s new privacy nutrition labels for iOS 14 anti-competitive

              The crux of WhatsApp’s “privacy nutrition labels are anticompetitive” argument is that Apple preinstalls iMessage, which means pretty much all users won’t ever see iMessage’s privacy nutrition label – even though Apple does provide it. A WhatsApp spokesperson told Axios:

            • TSA Oversight Says Agency’s Suspicionless Surveillance Program Is Worthless And The TSA Can’t Prove It Isn’t

              The TSA’s “Quiet Skies” program continues to suffer under scrutiny. When details first leaked out about the TSA’s suspicionless surveillance program, even the air marshals tasked with tailing non-terrorists all over the nation seemed concerned. Marshals questioned the “legality and validity” of the program that sent them after people no government agency had conclusively tied to terrorist organizations or activities. Simply changing flights in the wrong country was enough to initiate the process.

            • Unfiltered: How YouTube’s ‘Content ID’ Helps Shape What We See Online

              “YouTube dominates the online video market, and Content ID dominates video makers’ experiences there,” said EFF’s Katharine Trendacosta, associate director of policy and activism. “Instead of making the best video they can, they have to make the best video that will pass through Content ID—a system that does a clumsy job of finding actual copyright infringement, but does a great job of ensnaring videos that don’t infringe at all.”

              “Unfiltered” describes the byzantine process that professional video creators and others must go through to ensure that their video is posted and recommended by YouTube’s algorithm, including dealing with mistaken matches to copyrighted content, arbitrary judgements on how long content clips can be, loss of revenue, and multiple copyright claims of the same piece of music or video. Creators can appeal a Content ID match, but missteps during that appeal process can lead to a formal legal claim through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). That creates more headaches, including the potential loss of an entire YouTube channel.

              In addition to a step-by-step description of how Content ID works, “Unfiltered” also includes case studies from popular YouTubers “hbomberguy,” Todd in the Shadows, and Lindsay Ellis—all who express their frustration with Content ID.

            • Confidentiality

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • As A Parting Shot, Tulsi Gabbard Teams Up With Paul Gosar To Introduce Yet Another Unconstitutional Attack On Section 230

        Back in October, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (who is leaving Congress in a few weeks) and Paul Gosar (whose had six of his own siblings tell voters that their brother should not be in Congress), teamed up to introduce an incredibly stupid anti-Section 230 bill, which would take 230′s liability protections away from any site that does basic data tracking or has an algorithmically generated feed.

      • Filters Do More Than Just Block Content, They Dictate It

        YouTube is the largest streaming video service and one that hosts the most user-generated content. As a result, Content ID has an outsized effect on the online video creator ecosystem. There is a terrible, circular logic that traps creators on YouTube. They cannot afford to dispute Content ID matches because that could lead to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices. They cannot afford DMCA notices because those lead to YouTube. They cannot afford copyright strikes because that could lead to a loss of their account. They cannot afford to lose their account because they cannot afford to lose access to YouTube’s giant audience. And they cannot afford to lose access to that audience because they cannot count on making money from YouTube’s ads alone—they need as many eyes as possible to watch them in order to make money from sponsorships and direct fan contributions, partially because Content ID often diverts advertising money to rightsholders when there is Content ID match. Which they cannot afford to dispute. 

        Within the paper is a diagram of the full maze of Content ID, capturing just how difficult it can be to navigate. Here it is, reproduced in full:

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • In ‘Big Win for Religious Freedom,’ US Supreme Court Rules Muslims Put on No-Fly List Can Sue FBI

        “For decades now, government surveillance and anti-Muslim policies have been an unavoidable fact of life for American Muslims. Because of this ruling, American Muslims now know that they can speak out and fight back in court against injustice.”

      • Litigation for the People | Dissent Magazine

        Can anti-discrimination litigation be a tool for social change? For many years, a contingent on the academic left contended that the answer is no. The Critical Legal Studies movement (CLS) of the 1970s and ’80s argued that using litigation to enforce rights privileged lawyers, fed an alienating and individualized discourse, and ultimately had a depoliticizing effect. CLS adherents believed that anti-discrimination laws often legitimated, rather than challenged, the fundamental inequalities of society.
        Although CLS is no longer a presence in law schools, its ideas live on. Its critique of rights litigation has been bolstered by the opposition to identity politics from some on the left. In the words of Nancy Fraser, today’s neoliberals “[talk] the talk of diversity, multiculturalism, and women’s rights, even while preparing to walk the walk of Goldman Sachs.” A commitment to anti-discrimination “charge[s] neoliberal economic activity with a frisson of excitement,” she writes, and allows it to take on the mantle of “the forward-thinking and the liberatory, the cosmopolitan and the morally advanced.”
        A remarkable new book by Michael McCann and George Lovell offers a different view. In Union by Law: Filipino American Labor Activists, Rights Radicalism, and Racial Capitalism, McCann and Lovell, professors of political science at the University of Washington, trace the history of Filipino workers in the United States through the last decade of the twentieth century, starting from the U.S. occupation of the Philippines following the Spanish-American War. This review will not spend much time on McCann and Lovell’s engaging treatment of U.S. imperialism before and after the Second World War. Rather, it will focus on the implications of their argument for how anti-discrimination law can be a useful political tool and not simply written off as elitist, alienating, and supportive of the status quo.

        When CLS adherents formulated the rights critique, they had history on their side. During the early part of the twentieth century, courts deployed rights to property and contract as weapons to stymie minimum wage, child labor, workers’ compensation, and other laws that sought to reform the labor market. Even the liberal Warren Court, which dramatically expanded the scope of the First Amendment to cover mainstream civil rights groups such as the NAACP, provided little meaningful protection to the speech of radicals such as members of the Communist Party. When the Burger Court began to deploy the First Amendment to protect commercial speech and, especially, political spending by the rich, the critique appeared to have increasing bite.
        Even anti-discrimination law, which had seemed the shining example of successful rights litigation, turned out to be double-edged. As the legal scholar Derrick Bell saw it, anti-discrimination law had “lowered racial barriers for some talented and skilled blacks” and thus encouraged the belief that “racism is dead.” Law professor Alan Freeman contended that legal rules took a narrow “perpetrator perspective” in seeking to identify discrimination. By focusing on discrete, identifiable acts of wrongdoing undertaken by specific, blameworthy individuals, the law failed to provide a meaningful response to structural or institutional discrimination that cannot be attributed to the fault of a particular racist or sexist.

      • VA Secretary Focused on Smearing Woman Who Said She Was Sexually Assaulted in a VA Hospital, Probe Finds

        Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie showed “a lack of genuine commitment” to addressing a high-profile sexual assault allegation in a VA hospital and focused instead on denigrating the veteran who made the complaint, according to an investigation by the department’s internal watchdog.

        Wilkie was convinced the allegation was staged to damage him politically because the veteran was a Democratic congressional staffer, investigators found. The secretary sought to attack the woman’s credibility by saying she had a history of making baseless complaints — a false smear according to the woman and investigators.

    • Monopolies

      • Federal and State Antitrust Suits Challenging Facebook’s Acquisitions are a Welcome Sight
      • Mark Zuckerberg’s Blue Christmas

        Plus: A WhatsApp cofounder’s regrets, the rules of chip hoarding, and a failed attempt at influencer marketing.


        At the end of day one of Facebook’s 2019 F8 developer conference, I found myself alone with Mark Zuckerberg in a room big enough to host a 250-person breakout meeting. It was one of the last interviews I’d do for my book on his company. Among the issues on my agenda was a development that surprised me: According to my sources, Zuckerberg seemed more threatened than thrilled by the breakout success of Instagram, which he bought in 2012. After five years of giving the founders freedom, he now was demanding that Instagram divert its resources to help Facebook Blue, the company’s flagship app—so much so that he had alienated Instagram’s founders, who walked out of the company in September 2018. I asked him about a perception I had heard directly from the Instagram team: Are you jealous of Instagram’s success?

        Zuckerberg seemed taken aback by the question, repeating the word, “jealous,” perhaps as a stalling tactic. Finally, he denied the charge. Then he launched into a complicated explanation about how, after several years of allowing relative autonomy to the founders, he now felt the company should have a more cohesive strategy involving its franchises. While WhatsApp and Instagram could evolve, he was essentially saying, he drew the line at Facebook’s properties competing with each other. As for the founders, they should be proud of what they helped build—and be happy to move on.

        I thought back to that exchange when reading the complaints filed against Facebook in the long-anticipated lawsuits by the Federal Trade Commission and 48 state and territorial attorneys general this week. The nub of the case is that Facebook built and maintained a monopoly, largely through anticompetitive acquisitions. Both filings took pains to make an unexpected point—in trying to make sure that no one knocked off Facebook Blue, Zuckerberg paid close attention to small new players who’d mastered the powerful tricks that his platform hadn’t figured out yet. The fear was that the young companies would add new features and “morph” into something that drew users from Blue.

        In other words, the most fearsome threat to Facebook, in Zuckerberg’s mind, would not be something that worked just like Facebook. That would rule out Google+, the search company’s massive social networking initiative in 2011. Google made the mistake of trying to make a “better” version of a Mark Zuckerberg production. Though it had innovative features, Google+ failed to draw users from its rival. As quoted in the state AGs’ filing, a Facebook postmortem concluded that Google+ fell short because “there isn’t [sic] yet a meaningful differentiator from Facebook.” Without that, there was no incentive to switch.

      • Patents

        • Neurim and Flynn v Mylan – A case put to bed?

          While the Melatonex advertisement for 3 mg of melatonin as a sleeping aid was dismissed as mere advertising puff, akin to the infamous Carbolic Smoke Ball, the judge made some surprising comments on Zisapel 1999 and found it to be an unpromising piece of prior art apparently based on the fact it was a review article. The judge’s view was that “one would expect the relevant prior art to appear elsewhere than what is purely a review article”. He also referred to evidence given by Neurim’s expert that the data in the references did not always support the comments made in the article itself. The judge, once again, preferred Neurim’s expert’s views that Zisapel 1999 did not address the therapeutic use of melatonin for treating primary insomnia (whether characterised by non-restorative sleep or otherwise) and concluded that the use claimed in EP 702 was neither adverted to in the references nor mentioned in the article itself.


          There was, however, some silver lining for Mylan. Mylan challenged Flynn’s status as exclusive licensee of EP 702, putting forward two arguments: (1) that the licence did not exclude others (including Neurim) from carrying out acts within the scope of the patent; and (2) that the licence constrained Flynn’s right to initiate infringement proceedings. Under the Patents Act 1977, only the patentee and/or exclusive licensee has standing to commence a claim for infringement. Section 130(1) of the Patents Act 1977 requires that to be exclusive, a licence must confer a right in respect of the invention “to the exclusion of all other persons (including the proprietor…)”. Marcus Smith J found that there was no true exclusive licence and so Flynn lacked standing to claim for infringement.

          It was the second argument that was successful. Marcus Smith J considered that an additional cause of action is created for an exclusive licensee to commence infringement proceedings by Section 67(1) of the Patents Act 1977. The licence as amended provided only for Flynn to commence infringement proceedings jointly with Neurim and was silent on whether Flynn could commence proceedings independently. The Judge considered that such a licence would prevent Flynn from enforcing its rights under the licence and therefore could not be said to be exclusive. Noting that there was no case law authority on the question, Marcus Smith J found that the restrictions in the litigation clause deprived the purportedly exclusive right of substantially all meaning.

        • Summary Judgment Satisfies Justice

          Both of these companies take the approach that a can of pepper-spray should be a fashion-accessory. Skyline’s catch-phrase is “Bling it On!” while Super-Sparkly Safety Stuff doesn’t need more than its company name. The Patent at issue here is Super-Sparkly’s Design Patent No. D731,172 titled “rhinestone covered container for pepper spray canister.” In the images below, you can compare the patented design (left) with Skyline’s accused product (right). I have also included an image of a prior art rhinestone cover that was given-out at the Oscars a few years ago.


          Civil Procedure moment: Here, the non-infringement was only partial summary judgment because other claims remained pending in the case–namely, Skyline filed unfair competition counterclaims. Under R. 54(b), partial summary judgment is not immediately appealable because it is not a “final judgment.” However, the rule allows the district court to sever-off that portion of the case and enter final judgment “if the court expressly determines that there is no just reason to delay.” This is effectively an alternate mechanism for certifying an interlocutory question for appeal. The district court took those steps here, and the Federal Circuit agreed that “the case was properly certified” and so heard the appeal.

          Before the district court, the plaintiff had asked the court to delay the summary judgment ruling and instead permit more discovery under R. 56(d). The district court denied that request and the Federal Circuit found no abuse of discretion. In particular, the appellate panel found that none of the additional discovery sought by the patentee “has any bearing on the ordinary observer test for design patent infringement.”

        • Software Patents

          • $2,000 Awarded for GreatGigz Solutions prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Preeti Dua, who received a cash prize of $2,000 for her prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 7,490,086. The patent is owned by GreatGigz Solutions, LLC, an NPE. The ’086 patent generally relates to job searching services, including a system for storing, processing, and transmitting job-related information (e.g., job openings, assignments, contracts, etc.) based on a job search request.

            Thee ‘086 patent has been asserted in district court against LinkedIn, Grubhub, Angie’s List, Lyft, Uber, Instacart, DoorDash, HEB Grocery, and others for their respective job searching and job assignment platforms. To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

          • Former Intellectual Discovery patent challenged as likely invalid

            On December 11, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 10,237,577 as part of its ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone. Formerly owned by Intellectual Discovery Co. Ltd., the ‘577 patent is currently owned by Dolby Laboratories. The patent is a part of the HEVC Advance patent pool and HEVC Advance claims that certain claims of the ’577 patent are essential to the HEVC standard.

      • Copyrights

        • Tillis Release Details Of His Felony Streaming Bill; A Weird Gift To Hollywood At The Expense Of Taxpayers

          Earlier today, we wrote about reports detailing the latest attempt to push through a bill to make streaming copyright-covered works online a possible felony, this time being pushed by Senator Thom Tillis, who wanted to attach it to the federal spending omnibus bill. As we noted, Tillis was pushing back on some of the criticism, saying that the bill is very narrowly tailored and wouldn’t be used to criminalize random people. Of course, the response to that is twofold: (1) if this is the case, why haven’t you released the text and (2) why are you shoving it onto a must-pass funding bill without any of the normal debate and discussion?

        • Not This Again: Senator Tillis Tries To Slide Dangerous Felony Streaming Bill Into Must Pass Government Funding Bill

          We’ve documented that Senator Thom Tillis is working on a massive copyright reform bill for which he’s asked stakeholders for input (we provided some). He’s expected to unveil that bill next week (which seems like a suspiciously short turnaround from asking for ideas to actually releasing a bill). Yet, apparently, he decided that he couldn’t even wait for that process to play out to try to push forward the latest incarnation of the infamous felony streaming bill which Tillis is pushing to add to the must-approve government spending omnibus bill (similar to how others are trying to add the CASE Act to that bill).

        • Nintendo Hates You: DMCA Takedowns Of Game Music Continue While Nintendo Offers No Legit Way To Listen

          Well, it’s been a measurable amount of time, so we have yet another example of Nintendo doing the Nintendo, which is best described as depriving its fans of ways to celebrate their fandom via intellectual property enforcement while also offering no alternative route for said fans. Whether it’s stripping some of the creative fun out of its Animal Kingdom game, nuking fan-made games of Nintendo properties like some kind of IP-version of Missile Command, or just generally being as IP protectionist as possible, it seems that Nintendo chooses restrictive enforcement over creative methods for granting fans permission to be fans at every turn.

        • A performance review: is copyright doing its job in the music industry?

          In my forthcoming [lockdown] book, Copyright in the Music Industry, I spend the entire first chapter on why artists and songwriters should even care about copyright, and why it matters to music. The first answer [there is a long list of reasons] is in the point of copyright.

          Broadly speaking, the Anglo-American justification for copyright emphasises the economic role of copyright as a system that compensates creators for their work, which would otherwise be a freely accessible commodity with no market value, because it is easy to duplicate. So, copyright steps in to ensure that creators get paid for their work, which enables them to continue to create, and rightsholders can disseminate that creativity, knowledge and culture – thus benefiting society as a whole.

          So copyright is how the music industry makes money. But it is not just about the money and motivation, copyright also moonlights with what we call the related rights – performer’s rights and moral rights – to give creators control over their work, including the right to be named as the creator.


          In conclusion, copyright is doing one part of its job – encouraging dissemination – very well, but failing in its role to remunerate creators. Luckily, copyright is not a natural phenomenon; it is human made – which means that in places where it is not working, it can be changed! As it should, copyright was not made to be static, it is constantly evolving to adapt to new technologies.
          As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the artists are arguing for equitable remuneration for when their work is performed via a stream. Equitable remuneration already applies to radio, but because of an exception under section 82CA(1) CDPA 1988, this does not apply to online streaming. The government could remove this exception, which would mean that equitable remuneration applies to streaming, this would capture streaming services as well as platforms such as YouTube… as such staffing up copyright with more hours for its co-workers, performer’s rights.

        • AZ GOP Goes Full Bullshit: Claims It took Down Violence-Inciting Tweet Over Copyright Concerns

          If you’re looking for what the meltdown of a major political institution looks like in real time, you need look only to how the GOP is behaving in the wake of Donald Trump’s decisive electoral loss. This trickle down freak-out was somewhat predictable, with nearly everyone agreeing that a Trump loss would not see a classy exit by the soon-to-be former President. But I’m not sure anyone would have predicted that the Republican Party writ large would refuse to admit what is an obvious electoral defeat, would seek to overturn a legitimate election in which they picked up all kinds of seats in the House of Representatives, nor cuddle up with all kinds of crazy actors wielding bizarre and easily disproven conspiracy theories.

Links 11/12/2020: MAAS 2.9, Zenwalk Current 15.0, OpenWrt 18.06.9 and 19.07.5

Posted in News Roundup at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Bad Voltage 3×18: Ultracrepidarian

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we are ultracrepidarian, the Apple phone becomes slightly more annoying…

      • BSD Now 380: Early ZFS-mas

        We read FreeBSD’s 3rd quarter status report, OpenZFS 2.0, adding check-hash checks in UFS filesystem, OpenSSL 3.0 /dev/crypto issues on FreeBSD, and more.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E38 – Giving yellow flowers

        This week we’ve been playing with OpenMW and Raspberry Pi 400. We discuss cloud gaming, bring you some GUI love and respond to all your feedback.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 38 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 884

        service now woes, couchbase woes, documentation, mandalorian, nice hair, centos stream

      • Multitouch Gestures in elementary OS 6 (and any other distribution) with Touchegg

        Using Linux on laptops has always lacked something special: good trackpad gestures. I looked for solutions to this issue, and I could only find one, that didn’t really work like I wanted. But now, there’s a project that is swiping my doubts away, and that will definitely satisfy your gestures needs in a pinch.

      • Rofi Is Like Dmenu But Sucks Less – YouTube

        Rofi is a run launcher similar to dmenu but it comes with more configuration options without the hassle of patching. Rofi, like dmenu, will provide the user with a textual list of options where one or more can be selected. This can either be running an application, selecting a window, or options provided by an external script.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux: One Million Code Commits Over 29 years | Formtek Blog

        Linux may not be the operating system that’s easiest to use for end users, but as a server OS, it ranks as the most widely used. All 500 of the world’s fastest supercomputers use Linux. Linux is even more widely used on Microsoft’s Azure cloud than Windows Server.

        Linux has been available for 29 years and over that time gotten source code commits from over 20,000 contributors. In August 2020 the number of source code control commits crosses the one million mark, according to the 2020 Linux Kernel History Report.

      • Intel

        • Intel AMX Programming Model Lands In LLVM Compiler – Phoronix

          One of the big features to look forward to with Intel’s Xeon “Sapphire Rapids” is the introduction of AMX as the Advanced Matrix Extensions. While Sapphire Rapids looks to be at least one year out still, the company’s open-source compiler engineers have already been hard at work on the software infrastructure support.

          AMX is Intel’s new programming paradigm with a focus on better AI performance both for training and inference. AMX is built around the concept of “tiles” as a set of two-dimensional registers for representing a larger memory image and accelerators that can operate on said tiles. Initial AMX features are for BFloat16, TILE, and INT8 while the design is extensible for new accelerators to be added later.

        • Intel Releases oneDNN 2.0 To Bring The Open-Source Neural Network Library To Its GPUs – Phoronix

          Intel’s Deep Neural Network Library currently known as oneDNN as part of the oneAPI suite (and formerly known as MKL-DNN and DNNL) has reached version 2.0 as an open-source project.

          This neural network library has long provided the “building blocks” for deep learning applications with very fast performance across x86_64 processors. The oneDNN library performs very well with these neural network primitives and seems to be gaining a fair amount of industry traction. With the continued adoption, oneDNN has seen experimental support for ARM64, POWER9, s390x, and even some level of NVIDIA GPU support.

        • Intel’s Cloud-Hypervisor 0.12 Released With Better ARM64 Support – Phoronix

          Cloud-Hypervisor building atop KVM and Rust-VMM while catering to cloud workloads continues making interesting progress with several other hardware and software organizations engaging on this performance-minded, security-focused, thin hypervisor. Cloud-Hypervisor in 2020 has seen Kata Containers support, VFIO device hot-plugging, ARM64 support introduced, IO_uring storage support, other I/O improvements, and initial bring-up around Windows guest support.

    • AMD

      • AMD Provides A CPU-Based HIP Implementation For When Lacking A GPU – Phoronix

        AMD’s HIP C++ Runtime API / Kernel Language for allowing portable, single-source applications on AMD and NVIDIA GPUs can now run on CPUs too.

        For the past several years AMD has been working on HIP for single-source C++ programming that can work on NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs and AMD Radeon graphics. Their “HIPIFY” tool allows automatically converting CUDA code to HIP. To date HIP has just been about GPU programming but now it’s becoming a heterogeneous API at the same time Intel is now promoting their oneAPI alternative.

      • AMD Has Some Last Minute Updates For The AMDGPU Driver In Linux 5.11 – Phoronix

        The Linux 5.11 merge window is expected to open next week and while AMD has already queued several rounds of updates into DRM-Next ahead of that period, some last minute items were submitted overnight for this next Linux kernel version and what will be the first major kernel release of 2021.

        Previously in anticipation of Linux 5.11 AMD already sent in Van Gogh APU and Dimgrey Cavefish support. There were also more RDNA 2 updates, buffer modifier support going back to GFX9/Vega, and even some Renoir improvements. There were also an additional round of improvements that made it to DRM-Next at the end of November.

      • AMD Adding Experimental Video Mode Optimization To FreeSync – Phoronix

        At least under Linux AMD is currently working on a new and currently experimental video mode optimization for FreeSync.

    • Applications

      • Subtitld Is A Powerful New Subtitle Editor

        Subtitld is a new* PyQt5 subtitle editor for Linux and Microsoft Windows (macOS support might come in the future). The software can be used to create new subtitles from scratch, edit, synchronize and transcribe subtitles. It supports reading SRT, SSA, TTML, SBV, DFXP, VTT, XML, SCC and SAMI file formats, and writing SRT subtitles.

      • Kubernetes 1.20: Kubernetes Volume Snapshot Moves to GA

        The Kubernetes Volume Snapshot feature is now GA in Kubernetes v1.20. It was introduced as alpha in Kubernetes v1.12, followed by a second alpha with breaking changes in Kubernetes v1.13, and promotion to beta in Kubernetes 1.17. This blog post summarizes the changes releasing the feature from beta to GA.

      • Istio / Announcing Istio 1.7.6

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.7.5 and Istio 1.7.6

      • Daniel Stenberg: curl 7.74.0 with HSTS

        This time around we have no less than three vulnerabilities fixed and as shown above we’ve paid 1,600 USD in reward money this time, out of which the reporter of the CVE-2020-8286 issue got the new record amount 900 USD. The second one didn’t get any reward simply because it was not claimed. In this single release we doubled the number of vulnerabilities we’ve published this year!

        The six announced CVEs during 2020 still means this has been a better year than each of the six previous years (2014-2019) and we have to go all the way back to 2013 to find a year with fewer CVEs reported.

        I’m very happy and proud that we as an small independent open source project can reward these skilled security researchers like this. Much thanks to our generous sponsors of course.

      • The syslog-ng Insider 2020-12: web interfaces; Grafana Loki; Amazon Linux 2;

        This is the 87th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • Try FeatherPad as your Linux terminal text editor

        There’s always room in my Activities menu for a utilitarian text editor. Of course, the exact meaning of “utilitarian” is different for each user, but for me, it means a text editor with all the features I need and not much else. So far, FeatherPad has proven in many ways to fit these requirements.

        FeatherPad is developed for and tested on Linux, so it makes no guarantee about its performance on other platforms. On Linux, you can install it from your distribution’s software repository or directly from source code found on its Github repository.

        There is some support for macOS and Haiku. Whatever your platforms, you can compile Featherpad from source code and try it out. If you know C++ and Qt development, you may even be able to help bolster cross-platform support.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Using pidof and pgrep to list process IDs

        The pidof and pgrep commands provide listings of process IDs (PIDs) for process names that you provide as arguments. This post shows how to use these commands and illustrates the differences between them with a series of examples.

      • How to List Open Ports on Linux? – Linux Hint

        In networking, a port is an interesting feature. It’s a way for network traffic to identify the destination app or service. Each process/service gets its unique port. A port will always be associated with the IP address of the host along with the protocol.

        This is a favorite metaphor of mine to describe what a port is. Imagine a ship loaded with cargo, which will travel to a distant land. What information is needed to reach the destination properly? For the sake of simplicity, let’s say it needs the country (the IP address) and the port the ship will dock.

      • How to Install PHP 8 on CentOS/RHEL 8/7

        PHP is a popular open-source server-side scripting language that is integral in developing dynamic webpages. PHP 8.0 is finally out and was released on November 26th, 2020. It promises lots of improvements and optimizations which are set to streamline how developers write and interact with PHP code.

      • How to Install PHP 8 on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8

        Hello Geeks, recently PHP 8 has been released officially. It is a new major version and comes with lot of new improvements and features. In this article, we will demonstrate on how to install latest version of PHP 8 on CentOS 8 and RHEL 8 system.

      • How to List and Remove a GPG Key in Ubuntu

        Some time ago we wrote an article about removing the PPA repository from the Ubuntu system.

        The PPA repository keys will not be removed as part of removing the PPA repository, and they will remain on the system.

        Today we are going to show you how to list and remove the added GPG keys from Ubuntu system.

      • How to Install Minecraft Server in Raspberry Pi 4
      • How to Set Up a Raspberry Pi Network Monitor? – Linux Hint

        Zabbix is an open-source monitoring tool in which you can monitor your servers, virtual machines, networks, cloud services, and many more. It is a very useful tool for small, medium, and large IT organizations.

        You can install the Zabbix on the Raspberry Pi and monitor the network of other computers/servers in your home network using it.

        In this article, I am going to show you how to set up Zabbix on your Raspberry Pi to monitor the network of other computers/servers in your home network.

      • Install Mesa Graphics Drivers on Ubuntu [Latest and Stable]

        Mesa itself is not a graphics card like Nvidia or AMD. Instead, it provides open source software implementation of OpenGL, Vulkan, and some other graphics API specifications for Intel and AMD graphics hardware. With Mesa, you can play high-end games and use applications that require such graphics libraries.

      • How to upgrade FreeBSD to a newer version – Linux Hint

        FreeBSD is upgraded on a fairly consistent basis, and with each new update comes new a suite of newly added features. Not to mention the introduction of newer patches with every update, which protects your FreeBSD system from security issues, and a host of other reasons why you might want to keep FreeBSD updated.

      • Install Apache, PHP, and MySQL on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        In this lesson, you’ll learn how to install Apache, MySQL, and PHP programming language on FreeBSD. This combination of open-source programs is better known as the FAMP stack, FAMP being an acronym for the three. The FAMP stack is essentially a suite of software utilities that provides a FreeBSD server with the necessities to host dynamic webpages. If you’ve ever used Linux, you probably see the similarities to the LAMP stack, which serves a similar purpose on Linux.

      • Install Nano on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        Nano is a text editor with an incredibly straightforward and easy to use interface. It is commonly used with Unix-like operating systems, including FreeBSD. It is quite similar to the Pico text editor but includes a host of features that are entirely unique to itself. There’s one drawback that it cannot be used in several different modes like other text editors for FreeBSD.
        This is going to be a quick tutorial on how to set up nano on a FreeBSD system. Plus, there’s going to be a section in this lesson that’ll help you get started with this text editor.

      • How to Customize the Task Switcher in KDE Plasma

        It is often the little interactions with a desktop environment that makes up for a good user experience and task switcher is something that most of the users fiddle with.

        I’ve recently about customizing the task switching experience on GNOME but what about the most customizable desktop environment, KDE?

      • Top 25 Linux Commands

        A developer’s best friend is the command line. It ought to be fused into their routine work. It helps make a system more efficient and manageable. For instance, you can write various script-codes to quickly produce and automate time-consuming processes.
        Here, we have compiled all the top Linux terminal commands that will help beginners, as well as intermediate and advanced users.

      • What does “git merge –abort” do? – Linux Hint

        Before understanding the usage of the “git merge –abort” operation, we must realize why do we need such an operation in the first place. As you all know that Git maintains a history of all the different versions of a file or a code; therefore, the different versions that you create are known as Git commits. Also, there is a dedicated current commit, i.e., the version of the file that you are currently working on. At times, you might feel the need to merge a previously committed file with the one you are currently working on.

        However, during this merging process, it can happen that any other colleague of yours is also working on the same file. He might discard the changes that you have kept or modify the lines that you have just added to the file. This scenario can lead to a merge conflict in Git. Once a merge conflict in Git arises, and you try to check the status of Git, it will display a message that a merge conflict has occurred. You will not be able to do anything with that particular file until you manage to fix that conflict.

        This is where the “git merges –abort” operation comes into play. Basically, you want to go back to the old state where you can have your current version of the file unchanged, and you can start making the changes all over again. In this way, you will ensure that no such conflicts arise again in the future. So the “git merge –abort” operation essentially terminates the merger that you have just carried out and separated the two versions of your file, i.e., the current version and the older version.

      • Setup let’s encrypt on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        This tutorial is about installing Let’s Encrypt, a Certificate Authority (CA) that alleviates the process of TLS/SSL certification. The TLS/SSL certification, in turn, serves as an indispensable element of HTTPS authentication on an online server. Let’s Encrypt comes with a software client named Certbot that employs automation techniques to strips the certification process of any intricate technicalities for the user’s convenience.

      • How to install Gimp 3 Beta on Ubuntu 20.04 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Gimp 3 Beta on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to install Kubernetes on Ubuntu Server without Docker – TechRepublic

        Kubernetes is deprecating Docker support. That’s right, all that hard work you’ve put into learning the container orchestrator is about to change. Even from the very beginning of the journey, how you use Kubernetes will not be the same.

        I’m talking about the very installation of the container management tool. You certainly cannot deploy Kubernetes in the same fashion as you once did–installing Docker as your runtime. With that in mind, what do you do? I’m going to show you.

        Together, we’re going to install Kubernetes on Ubuntu Server 20.04, without Docker.

      • How to install Sonic Robo Blast 2 (SRB2) on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Sonic Robo Blast 2 (SRB2) 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.

      • Install Home-Assistant in Raspberry PI with Docker – peppe8o

        Smart devices are spreading the world because of their low costs and fast availability.

      • Install XFCE Desktop on Arch Linux

        Arch Linux officially supports many desktop environments. Some of the supported desktop environments are Budgie, Xfce, Cinnamon, Deepin, Gnome, KDE Plasma, Mate, Pantheon, etc. Pantheon is the default desktop environment (DE). You can install your favorite DE and switch the default.

        Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment that uses less memory, CPU and disk I/O. Obviously, it’s not fancy but responsive compared to other Graphical user Interface.

        The latest version Xfce is based on GTK 3 provides excellent user experience such as xfwm4 window manager, file manager, xfce4-panel, Xfconf so on. This article shows how to install XFCE 4.14 Desktop Environment on Arch Linux.

      • How to Run Cyberpunk 2077 on Linux | SegmentNext

        One of the biggest surprises to come from CP 2077’s release is that it can even run on the Linux OS, which isn’t much known for its gaming-centric capabilities.

        However, to actually run Cyberpunk on Linux, there are a few pre-requisites that you need to meet to be able to play the game.

        A new update of Steam Play’s Linux equivalent, Steam Play Proton, has just arrived, titled Steam Play Proton 5.13-4. This update has been made specifically by the developers to make CP compatible with Linux.

      • How to Easily Resize, Convert and Modify Images from the Linux Command Line

        I often worked with images while preparing a technical article for 2DayGeek.

        I took a lot of screen shots as part of the article preparation and will edit them before adding them to my blog article.

        Mostly i use the compression option to reduce the actual size of the image to load them quickly on the web.

      • How To Install Atom Text Editor on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Atom Text Editor on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Atom is an open-source text editor that is modern developed by GitHub. Atom is built using HTML, CSS, JS, and other web technologies. It supports more than 35+ programming languages by default. Atom is a desktop application built using web technologies. Most of the extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and maintained. Atom is based on Electron (formerly known as Atom Shell), a framework that enables cross-platform desktop applications using Chromium and Node.js.

        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 Atom Text Editor on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Adam Young: Content Based Access Control in Messaging

        In an OpenStack system, the communication between the compute nodes and the scheduler goes through a messaging system such as RabbitMQ. While there have been different models over the years, the basic assumption has remained that all actors identify themselves to the broker via a password and are trusted from that point forward.

        What would happen if a compute node was compromised? The service running on the node could send any message one the bus that it wanted. Some of these messages are not ones that a compute node should ever send, such as “Migrate VM X to Node Y.” If the compromise was delivered via a VM, that hostile VM could then attempt to migrate itself to other nodes and compromise them, or could attempt to migrate other VMs to the compromised nodes and read their contents.

    • Games

      • Cyberpunk 2077 is playable on Linux at launch thanks to Steam Play

        Linux gamers won’t be left out in the cold with Cyberpunk 2077, as the game is now playable on Linux thanks to an update for Valve’s Steam Play service.

        As you may be aware, Steam Play lets people play Windows games on Linux using Proton – a compatibility layer (actually a specially modified version of WINE) – with Proton just having received an update to version 5.13-4.

        That’s an update which solely brings in support for Cyberpunk 2077, with the caveat that you’ll need to be using an AMD graphics card (and you must have the Mesa 21.0-devel Git).

        Of course, how the game will actually run on Linux distros in these early days is another question – considering that there are already plenty of question marks over the amount of bugs when running Cyberpunk 2077 natively on Windows, at least going by some reports.

      • CyberPunk 2077 Safely Lands on Linux on Day 1 – Boiling Steam

        This is a day for the History book my friends! No, I am not talking about trivial, insignificant things that you may have seen on the news, but the fact that CyberPunk 2077 made it to Linux on this holy day of December 10th, 2020.

        This is a feat enabled by Valve and their partners through a last minute release of a new Proton version, apparently focused on AMD at this stage, while the game has been reported to work both on AMD and Nvidia hardware so far. You want proof? Sure.

      • You can Play Cyberpunk 2077 on Linux Right Now (If You Have AMD Graphics)

        CD PROJEKT RED released their highly anticipated game of this year, Cyberpunk 2077 today. The game stars Keanu Reeves in leading role.

        Cyberpunk 2077 is available on PS5, PS4, Google Stadia, Xbox and Microsoft Windows. Who cares about Linux, right? Steam does, thankfully.

        Today Valve also released their Steam Play Proton compatibility layer’s new version. With this you can play Cyberpunk 2077 on your Linux rig.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Applications 20.12 Arrives as a Major Update with Many New Features

          KDE Applications 20.12 introduces a new app called KDE Itinerary, which acts as a digital travel assistant for storing all the information you need while on the go. The information it can provide includes timetables and locations for trains, airplanes or buses, as well as hotel or event bookings.

          In addition, KDE Itinerary lets you import data from several sources, such as your email client, give you suggestions for local public transport, and provide you with train and coach station layout maps. The app will soon arrive in the software repositories of your favorite distro using the KDE Plasma desktop environment.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Zenwalk Current 15.0 Santa Claus edition

          Zenwalk Current 15.0 10 12 2020 “Santa Claus” edition is available.

          In short you get the latest Slackware current system with elogind, pam and the release candidate yet stable XFCE version 4.16 : installed in 15 minutes on your drive.

          The Zenwalk Desktop is what we believe to be the most modern and user friendly desktop environment available for computers in 2021 : full “dock based” window management, designed for modern ultra wide displays.

          Plethora of applications and games are ready to go with Flatpak or dependency aware package manager.

      • BSD

        • Free BSD vs. Linux compared

          FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system and an iteration of the older Unix distributions better known as the Research Unix. It is open-source and publicly available for free, and actually only one of the many Berkeley Software Distributions (abbreviated BSD, hence, the OS is named FreeBSD), the other notable iterations being OpenBSD, NetBSD, and DragonFly BSD.

          Linux, as a derivation of Unix, naturally has much in common with the BSDs. Like BSD, Linux distributions are free and open-source as well. Despite the fundamental similarities, Linux has largely overshadowed BSDs in popularity, with over 74% of modern smartphones being Linux based.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS project changes focus, no more rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux – you’ll have to flow with the Stream

          The CentOS project, a non-commercial Linux distribution that tracks Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), is changing to become only CentOS Stream, based on a development branch of RHEL and therefore less suitable for production workloads.

          The implication may be that Red Hat has decided that the availability of CentOS undermines the commercial side of its business. “If you are using CentOS Linux 8 in a production environment, and are concerned that CentOS Stream will not meet your needs, we encourage you to contact Red Hat about options,” said CentOS Community Manager Rich Bowen.


          Red hat started way back in 1995, with the partnership between Bob Young and Marc Ewing. Ewing brought his nascent Linux distro, named Red Hat Linux after the fedora red lacrosse cap Ewing was known for wearing. Red Hat Linux quickly introduced a set of killer features, such as the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM), the Anaconda installer, and ELF binaries, to name a few. By 2003, Red Hat Linux was split into two separate distros, RHEL and Fedora Core. RHEL was the subscription-only distribution, while Fedora Core was the bleeding-edge distribution available for free. Just a note, I was running Fedora on my machines since before they dropped “Core” from the name.

          The RHEL product, while open source, is only available for paid subscribers, or developers in non-production environments. Because it’s open source, there is nothing preventing a third party from removing the branding, and recompiling the packages for free. This is exactly what Gregory Kurtzer and the other founding members of CentOS did back in 2004. CentOS version 2 was the first such release, bringing an Enterprise Linux to the Community.

        • Lilbits: The death of CentOS Linux, the rise of RISC-V, and last call for the F(x)Tec Pro1 X
        • The Future of CentOS Is CentOS Stream

          Red Hat’s senior vice president and chief technology officer Chris Wright says, “CentOS Stream isn’t a replacement for CentOS Linux; rather, it’s a natural, inevitable next step intended to fulfill the project’s goal of furthering enterprise Linux innovation. Stream shortens the feedback loop between developers on all sides of the RHEL landscape, making it easier for all voices, be they large partners or individual contributors, to be heard as we craft future versions of RHEL.”

        • Nobody Owns Linux, But You Can Pay For It – Or Not

          There is nothing quite like the open source community to demonstrate the principles of freedom, democracy, and meritocracy – and the difficulties of bringing those principles to bear and keeping them pure when money is involved.

          Open source software is not just about having access to source code, but that is a kind of protection against tyranny if parts of the community, particularly corporate sponsors who cut the paychecks for a lot of the developers – either directly or indirectly – who create open source software, particularly the Linux kernel and the operating system that is stacked up around it in various distributions.

          Quite a big stink is being made their week as Red Hat has made some major changes to the CentOS variant of its Enterprise Linux. And that is mostly because since its creation CentOS has been what amounts to a community supported variant of Red Hat Enterprise Linux that sits downstream from the RHEL development – meaning, it is rolled up from the source code after Red Hat is done – and Red Hat has reversed the polarity of the CentOS project it took over in 2014 and plans to move it upstream, as CentOS Stream, thus turning it into yet another development release like the Fedora project has been for many years and which also feeds into RHEL in some fashion. (Don’t even start thinking about how CoreOS Linux, which Red Hat acquired in January 2018 and which underpins its OpenShift Kubernetes container platform, fits into all of this.)

          As the world’s largest company devoted to the development of commercial grade open source infrastructure software and arguably the only company that will ever be able to make this model work from a commercial standpoint at this scale, Red Hat can afford to have many different kinds of Linux that its employees contribute code to. The company rakes in somewhere north of $3 billion a year selling support contracts for such software, and has a vested interest in making sure the Linux operating system keeps getting more and better features added to it as well as support for successive generations of hardware. And to be fair, Red Hat does its share of this work and has since the company was founded decades ago. It is in this sense, though, that companies really are paying for Linux.

          CentOS Stream was announced somewhat innocuously in September 2019, two months after IBM closed its landmark $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat. That timing might be coincidence, but maybe not. IBM has promised to keep a hand’s off approach to Red Hat, and is a just as likely that the Red Hat team is making this change all on its own as it is likely that Big Blue is coercing it.

          CentOS Stream was designed to create a half-way point between the Fedora development release, which is changing like crazy all the time, and the commercial-grade Red Hat Enterprise Linux release, which changes on a regular, predictable, and relatively infrequent cadence of about twice a year. To be more precise, CentOS Stream is the code-base for the minor RHEL releases, and parts of RHEL development were actually moved into the CentOS project to get everyone collaborating. Which was good.

        • Migrating CentOS 6, 7, and 8 to Oracle Linux

          With CentOS Linux 8 announced dead by the end of 2021 and CentOS Stream being an entirely different release and support model, one wonders if it’s possible to switch to Oracle Linux.

          What’s Oracle Linux? Like CentOS, it’s a Red Hat Enterprise Linux rebuild, with some Oracle patches on top. One of the key differences is choosing either RHEL-compatible kernel or their own Unbreakable Linux kernel. To know more about Oracle Linux, read this PDF or head over to their homepage.

          Oracle has 6.10, 7.9 and 8.3 versions ready to download. Since many infrastructure providers such as Digital Ocean do not have Oracle Linux on offer and given the OL similarity to CentOS, one can try to switch directly from the CentOS system.

        • Rocky Linux is go: CentOS founder’s new project aims to be 100% compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          Gregory Kurtzer, the founder of the CentOS project, has kicked off a new venture called Rocky Linux, the aim being to build “a community enterprise operating system designed to be 100 per cent bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)”.

          Just days after Red Hat CTO Chris Wright declared that “we will shift our investments to CentOS Stream exclusively on December 31, 2021,” the Rocky Linux project has been formed with a new distro “currently under major intensive development by the community,” although there is “no ETA at present for a release.”

          CentOS Linux and CentOS Stream are free community distributions. The problem with CentOS Stream is that it is a development build, although one that is only just ahead of the production release of RHEL. This makes it unsuitable for production use.

        • CentOS founder’s new distro, Rocky Linux, to replace what Red Hat killed

          The founder of the CentOS project, Gregory M. Kurtzer, has set up a new distribution called Rocky Linux, and aims to replicate what he did with CentOS – provide users with a distro that is similar to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, apart from the trademarks.

        • After CentOS, the next one to bite the dust will be Fedora

          Gutting CentOS will mean that Red Hat will have to devote less developer time to it; what time is put in for the new so-called CentOS Stream will be essentially QA time for RHEL.

          And what of Fedora? I don’t want to sound like a prophet of doom but the days of the so-called community distribution are numbered. Why would Red Hat expend energy and developer time on Fedora when it can ask users of this distro to switch to the CentOS Stream instead?

          All the Fedora user complaints, fixes and mailing list posts would serve as excellent free labour for the CentOS Stream. And that is essentially the point. In true gig economy fashion, Red Hat will be getting developer hours free.

          GNU/Linux was once an operating system around which there was some idealism. Now, Red Hat has ensured that the only thing one sees when looking at a penguin is the greenback. Or the British pound. Or the Australian dollar. Or the Philippine peso. Or the UAE dirham. Or maybe the South African rand. And don’t forget the euro.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-50 – Fedora Community Blog

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 34 Change proposal which require infrastructure changes are due on Wednesday, 16 December.

        • Accelerate Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform workloads with Red Hat Ceph Storage and Micron all-flash storage

          Scalable, resilient, highly performant storage. Today’s businesses need it, particularly for data-intensive workloads like analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). All these workloads can significantly tax their underlying infrastructure, and scalable, high-performance storage lets organizations achieve their goals across multiple workload categories, including:

        • Red Hat Builds Native Edge Computing Features into RHEL and OpenShift

          The features are meant to make it easier for customers to add edge deployments to their existing infrastructure.

        • Release of cockpit-composer 27

          We are happy to announce the release of cockpit-composer 27. This release has no major new features, but contains useful fixes.

        • So long, and thanks for all the fun – Marcin Juszkiewicz

          It would be nice to replace Mustang with some newer AArch64 hardware. From what is available on mass market SolidRun HoneyComb looks closest. But I will wait for something with Armv8.4 cores to be able to play with nested virtualization.

        • Avoid systemd’s emergency mode on mount failure

          This had not happened for a long time, but today it bit me once again. I knew I could force systemd to continue booting but how exactly had faded to the back of my mind. A quick visit to Google later, I discovered that systemd services and targets can be masked via the kernel command line . So, for a future me, or you, if ever you get locked out of your system because systemd wants to enter emergency mode, simply mask the emergency service and target like by adding the following options to your kernel command line: [...]

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • MAAS 2.9 is now available

          Canonical is happy to announce that MAAS 2.9 is now available. We’ll get to the details of installing it in just a moment, but first, let’s walk through a brief overview of the new features and fixes. Later on in this post, we’ll cover some of these features in much more detail.

        • F(x)Tec Pro1 X smartphone with keyboard and Ubuntu Touch or LineageOS [Indiegogo]

          With less than two days left to go in this crowdfunding campaign, this is your last chance to reserve a special edition version of this unusual phone.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Create a DevOps culture with open source principles

        As this article goes online, DevOps teams are rounding the bend of eight months of remote work. Some teams were remote by design. Other teams had remote work forced on them. Now is an excellent time to take a refresher on what it means to be a high performing DevOps team that just works remotely.

        Remember that people come before tools for a remote DevOps team. Here’s how you keep your people operating and feeling refreshed during these times.

      • Tor in 2021

        This year has been difficult for all of us. As individuals, we’ve had to adapt to the new normal of COVID-19, and as an organization, the Tor Project also had to adapt to our “new normal” after we made the difficult decision to let go of one third of our organization. Although challenging, we have managed to reorganize in order to meet the goals we originally set for 2020, and now, it’s time to look forward to 2021.

        Continuing User-First Development

      • Top Open Source Predictions to Watch Out for in 2021

        The use of open source software will witness an incredible surge credited to its control, training, security, and stability capabilities. By using open source, people will have more control over their software. It can help people willing to take a closer look at open source software to become better programmers. As open source code is publicly accessible, students, as well as tech enthusiasts, can easily study it as they learn to make better software.

      • Programming/Development

        • GoComply with OSCAL & FedRAMP :: Introduction to OpenControl

          So, let’s get started with the introduction of one simple file format that you can use to store your compliance related data. OpenControl calls itself A YAML-Powered Antidote To Bureaucracy, it is file format developed and adopted by dozen’s of industry partners. OpenControl presents this simple yet powerful idea that compliance data should not really be stored in excel sheet print outs, rather the data should be machine and human readable to lower the cost of compliance.

          OpenControl Format is so easy to understand, that I won’t be wasting your time describing it. Instead, let me just reference one OpenControl document that contains Control Responses to NIST-800-53 for OpenShift Container Platform 4.

        • GoComply with OSCAL & FedRAMP :: Introduction to OSCAL

          This blog post is gonna write itself, official OSCAL web page is well maintained and documentation is detailed yet easy to comprehend.

          OSCAL stands for Open Security Controls Assessment Language. It is an industry wide effort lead by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) to develop set of formats expressed in XML, JSON, and YAML. These formats provide machine-readable representations of control catalogs, control baselines, system security plans, and assessment plans and results. OSCAL is still under development.

          When compared to OpenControl, OSCAL is better funded, less minimalist, and way more complete attempt to introduce machine-readable file format for automated compliance operations.

          Lastly, let me here stand-up and applaud NIST for developing OSCAL completely in open. Everything that goes to the sausage is available for public to review, comment, or re-use. NIST maintains public chat channel, mailing-list and bi-weekly conference calls to spur collaboration across the industry. Very well done!

        • node-firebird status for Firebird Advent 2020
        • Practice coding in Groovy by writing a game | Opensource.com

          Once you understand these concepts, you can start figuring out what makes one language different from another. For example, most languages have a “way of doing things” supported by their design, and those ways can be quite different from one program to another. These include modularity (grouping related functionality together), declarative vs. imperative, object-orientation, low- vs. high-level syntactic features, and so on.

        • Free Books to Learn Kotlin – LinuxLinks

          Kotlin is a cross-platform, statically typed, general-purpose programming language with type inference. Kotlin is a more modern version of Java. It adopts functional ideas such as immutability and first-class functions, out of the box, and it is also object oriented.

          Kotlin is designed to interoperate fully with Java, and the JVM version of its standard library depends on the Java Class Library, but type inference allows its syntax to be more concise. Kotlin mainly targets the JVM, but also compiles to JavaScript or native code (via LLVM).

          Kotlin has been making waves since it was open sourced by JetBrains in 2011; it has been praised by developers across the world and is being adopted by companies.

          Kotlin is published under the Apache License 2.0.

        • Qt for Python 6 released

          It is with great pleasure to announce that we have released a new version of Qt for Python for Qt 6 and a range of new features.

        • Qt for MCUs 1.6 released

          Exactly one year ago, Qt for MCUs 1.0 was released. It brought the convenience of the QML language and the power of the Qt Quick APIs to platforms that had always been out of reach for Qt: microcontroller-based embedded systems. With the introduction of the Qt Quick Ultralite engine and an all-new QML compiler optimized for ultra-low memory footprint, memory requirements for Qt were brought to record new lows. Instead of a dozen of megabytes of RAM required to run an optimized basic QML application with the regular Qt Quick framework, you could now fit the same application within a couple hundreds of kilobytes.

        • How to merge objects in PHP – Linux Hint

          Although there is no built-in function, there are several ways to merge objects in PHP. For example, a new object can be created by adding the properties of two or more objects using a loop. Alternatively, the required objects can be converted into arrays, which can be merged by using array_merge() or array_merge_recursively(), and then reconverted to an object.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Strawberryperl.com – https any time soon? | Martin McGrath

            Throwing this one out to the wider community, if anyone can assist in adding https support to strawberryperl.com that’d be great, with browsers and corporate firewalls moving towards a stricter mode of operation.

          • Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey

            Most operating systems have a version of libpng, the library for reading and writing the PNG (portable network graphics) image format on them. Unfortunately, though, the libpng is often fairly old.

            I wrote a CPAN module which links against libpng, but then trying to get the module tested with CPAN testers, a lot of bugs would happen. It was frustrating because I couldn’t work out what was going wrong with the tests unless I could find out what version of libpng was installed on the testing machine.

          • Day 11: Santa Claus TWEAKs with a Class – Raku Advent Calendar

            Santa [1] [2] was browsing the eTrade magazines on his iPad one morning and came across an article referenced in the latest O’Reilly Programming Newsletter about how ancient COBOL is the programming language still used for the bulk of the world’s business software.

            He had been aware of that since his huge operations with millions of elves [3] had always been at the forefront of big business practice over the cenruries, and he was very proud of the cutting edge efficiencies in his maximally-automated toy factories.

        • Python

          • The split() Function in Python – Linux Hint

            Strings are an important data type and are used to store information in a system. When programming, you may need to break down a string into multiple chunks to get the most important information from a large block of characters. A function or built-in mechanism is necessary, in this case, to split a string into multiple parts.

            Python provides the built-in split() function to split strings into separated pieces. The split() function separates a string into multiple strings, arranges them in a list, and returns the list. The split() function breaks down or splits the string according to a defined separator, which can be any special character (“,”, “:”, “@”, etc.).

          • Python 3.9.1 Released with macOS 11 Big Sur Support | UbuntuHandbook

            The Python programming language 3.9.1 was released a few days ago as the first maintenance release of Python 3.9.

            Python 3.9.1 comes with 282 changes since 3.9.0. It is the first version to support macOS 11 Big Sur. With Xcode 11 and later it is now possible to build “Universal 2” binaries which work on Apple Silicon. See the changelog for more.

        • Java

          • Why Java developers love the jEdit text editor

            Java is a powerful language. Maybe because it’s often seen as an “industrial-strength” tool, you might not expect it to be the foundation of a text editor. After all, text editing is almost too easy for such power. In fact, in most modern programming toolkits, the component accepting text entry is a pre-programmed widget. Using a Java toolkit, a simple text editor can be written in about 100 lines of code. So what can jEdit possibly offer to justify its existence?


            Which text editor you choose depends on what you intend to do in your editor. This one calls itself the “programmer’s text editor,” and I feel it’s a very strong contender for serious Java and XML work. However, it doesn’t have quite the same feature set when editing Lua code and Bash scripts. Compared to something like Emacs, for instance, jEdit’s code folding is less flexible (I couldn’t get it to fold a Lua function without additional markup). While it does have a rich plugin selection, I was unable to find anything particularly persuasive for work in AsciiDoc and other non-code formats.

            The most appealing feature of jEdit, for me, is its foundation in Java. Because it runs in a JVM, you can be confident that you can use it regardless of your platform and possibly regardless of whether you have permission to install applications outside your own home directory. Java is a popular and active language, so jEdit’s features and plugins are well-maintained.

            You should try jEdit if you’re a fan of consistency, or a Java developer, or just an XML geek trying desperately to get out of oXygen. It’s easy to get started, and it’s a lot of fun to explore.

  • Leftovers

    • Making all the puzzle pieces fit together – David Revoy

      The main rule of this new thing I caught from I don’t know where (probably aging, I’m approaching 40…) is simple: my energy drains now super quickly into the exploration of certain path and certain solutions. It drains me to the point it gives me headaches and sometime I even need short nap to recover.

      On the bright side, it also works a bit like a reversed compass. By avoiding with trial and errors the penalties, I’m sort of guided slowly toward new solutions and perspectives. This process has been contagious to many aspect of my life and continue to spread. I estimate it started after the release of the self published book: it was probably a process put on hold during all that time.

      What it will change? It’s hard to tell, I don’t have enough distance, we will see. Tiny specifications of my style, my character design, my storytelling patterns will just probably slowly shift to something more personal and authentic. At least, that’s what I hope.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Raid on COVID Whistleblower in Florida Shows the Need to Reform Overbroad Computer Crime Laws and the Risks of Over-Reliance on IP Addresses

        All too often, misunderstandings about computers and the digital networks lead to gross miscarriages of justice.

        On the first point, it seems that the police asked for, the prosecutors sought, (and the Court granted) a warrant for a home raid by state police in response to a text message sent to a group of governmental and nongovernmental people working on tracking COVID, urging members to speak up about government hiding and manipulating information about the COVID outbreak in Florida.

        This isn’t just a one-off misuse: in other cases, we’ve seen the criminalization of “unauthorized” access used to threaten security researchers who investigate the tools we all rely on, prosecute a mother for impersonating her daughter on a social network, threaten journalists seeking to scrape Facebook to figure out what it is doing with our data, and prosecute employees who did disloyal things on company computers. “Unauthorized” access was also used to prosecute our friend Aaron Swartz, and threaten him with decades in jail for downloading academic articles from the JSTOR database. Facing such threats, he committed suicide.  How could a text message urging people to do the right thing ever result in an armed police home raid? Sadly, the answer lies in the vagueness and overbreadth of the Florida Computer Crime law, which closely mirrors the language in the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (laws in many states across the country are likewise based on the CFAA). 

      • Stop government attack on COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones!

        President-elect Joe Biden has issued no statement in defense of Jones or the right of access to data on the spread of the pandemic. Instead, in a speech Tuesday, Biden stated, “It should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school,” adding that he “will work to see that the majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days.”

      • A new civil war? It’s here: The right’s grievance politics is killing thousands every day

        The answer, unfortunately, is because of the American culture war, which is getting uglier and more uncontrollable all the time. While the right used to mock “identity politics,” the tribal sense of identity among conservatives seems to trump all other considerations these days. Displaying such tribal loyalty by attacking and antagonizing liberals matters more to many conservatives than their own health and safety. That’s doubly true in the face of a disease that is disproportionately affecting poorer people and people of color, allowing white conservatives to imagine that their “tribe” is not being hurt by the pandemic.

      • Appendiceal Cancer Shows Age-related Somatic Gene Variants with Potential Diagnostic Relevance

        Cancer of the appendix is a very rare form of cancer, having an incidence of 0.12 per 1,000,000 person-years (Siegel et al., 2020, Cancer statistics 2020 70:7-30). Incidence is rising (by 232% from 2000-2016 in the U.S.) without a known etiological basis, particularly in individuals less than 50 years old, and accordingly it has become more than a curiosity as a target for cancer research. Treatment (perhaps not surprisingly) involves surgical removal of the appendix, but typically is detected after metastatic disease has spread to other areas of the patient’s body.

        A recent publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, entitled “Spectrum of Somatic Cancer Gene Variations Among Adults With Appendiceal Cancer by Age at Disease Onset,” by a research group from Vanderbilt, has identified an interesting pattern of genetic variants that may become a basis for differential diagnosis and screening. The study encompassed 385 patients diagnosed with appendiceal cancer, and found that patients diagnosed at less than 50 years of age showed a “unique somatic variant patterns in PIK3CA, GNAS, SMAD3, and TSC2″ compared with patients diagnosed when they were older. One of these markers (GNAS) has previously been associated with overall survival rates (Ang et al., 2018, JCO Precis. Oncol. 2:1-18).

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • A new macbook pro — first impressions

          Krita itself, the x86 build, runs fine: the performance is much better than on my 2015 15″ macbook pro, and rosetta seems to even translate the AVX2 vectorization instructions we use a lot. Weirdly enough, X86 Firefox doesn’t seem to be able to load any website, and Safari is very annoying. Looks like the macOS build of Kate isn’t notarized yet, or maybe I need to use the binary factory build for that. XCode took about two hours to install and managed to crash the system settings applet in the process.


          MacOS 11 is also really annoying, with an endless stream of notifications and please-use-your-finger-to-unlock for the most innocuous things. The visuals are appallingly ugly, too, with really ugly titlebars, a cramped system settings applet and weird little pauses now and then. And if the performance monitor can still be put in the menubar, I haven’t found the way to do that.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • TTTech Industrial launches commercial product based on the Linux Foundation’s ACRN hypervisor

                TTTech Industrial is launching the first commercial product based on the Linux Foundation‘s ACRN hypervisor for the industrial market.

                With the latest release of its Nerve Blue industrial edge computing platform, TTTech Industrial is making ACRN 2.0 available to customers in a commercial, fully supported software solution that runs on a variety of Intel processors in an array of industrial applications. ACRN Project members include ADLINK, Aptiv, Intel Corporation, LGE and Neusoft Corporation.

                ACRN is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor built with real-time processing and safety-criticality in mind. When developing ACRN 2.0, the community prioritized three key requirements for hypervisors in the Industrial IoT and edge environments: functional safety, real-time processing and resource sharing for additional flexibility.

                TTTech Industrial and Intel are actively engaged in the project and have worked together to shape ACRN technology and rapidly integrate it into the Nerve Blue edge computing platform.

        • Security

          • Cyber Actors Target K-12 Distance Learning Education to Cause Disruptions and Steal Data

            ZeuS is a Trojan with several variants that targets Microsoft Windows operating systems.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ant, cimg, containerd, libproxy, libproxy-mozjs, libproxy-webkit, libslirp, python-lxml, tomcat8, tomcat9, and xorg-server), CentOS (firefox and thunderbird), Debian (apt, linux-4.19, python-apt, and sqlite3), Fedora (ceph, chromium, containerd, matrix-synapse, mingw-openjpeg2, openjpeg2, python-authlib, python-canonicaljson, and spice-gtk), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable), openSUSE (chromium and pngcheck), Slackware (curl), SUSE (clamav, curl, openssh, openssl-1_0_0, openssl-1_1, openssl1, python-pip, python-scripttest, python-urllib3, and xen), and Ubuntu (apt, curl, and python-apt).

          • Reproducible Builds in November 2020 — reproducible-builds.org

            Greetings and welcome to the November 2020 report from the Reproducible Builds project. In our monthly reports, we point out the most important things that have happened in and around our community.

          • Josh Bressers: Episode 236 – Door 11: Should you get on a 737?

            Josh and Kurt talk about the safety of a 737

          • UK sec firm chief says FireEye using ‘fancy terms’ to hide failings

            The chief executive of a British security firm has criticised the American firm FireEye — which had its Red Team tools stolen by an unknown adversary recently — of using fancy terms in its advisory about the attack in order to hide its own failings.

          • Trickbot trojan, poor security led to FireEye intrusion: claims

            American cyber security company FireEye, which announced a couple of days ago that it had been compromised by unknown attackers who stole its offensive tools, has been accused of having poor Internet-facing security by a British company that specialises in PKI.

          • The Internet’s Most Notorious Botnet Has an Alarming New Trick

            Security firms AdvIntel and Eclypsium today revealed that they’ve spotted a new component of the trojan that TrickBot [attackerfs] use to infect machines. The previously undiscovered module checks victim computers for vulnerabilities that would allow the [attackers] to plant a backdoor in deep-seated code known as the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, which is responsible for loading a device’s operating system when it boots up. Because the UEFI sits on a chip on the computer’s motherboard outside of its hard drive, planting malicious code there would allow TrickBot to evade most antivirus detection, software updates, or even a total wipe and reinstallation of the computer’s operating system. It could alternatively be used to “brick” target computers, corrupting their firmware to the degree that the motherboard would need to be replaced.

          • Sophos fixes SQL injection flaw in some firewall devices

            Global cyber security vendor Sophos has fixed a pre-authentication SQL injection vulnerability in the WebAdmin component of its Cyberoam operating system which it uses in some of its enterprise firewall products.

          • Global minerals technology firm suffers hit from Windows Egregor ransomware

            New York-based global minerals-based company Minerals Technologies appears to have been attacked by cyber criminals using the Egregor ransomware that runs only on Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

          • US payments processor TSYS hit by Windows Conti ransomware

            American payments processing company TSYS, that has global operations, has suffered a hit from the Windows Conti ransomware.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • CA Notify App Is A Useful Arrow in the Fight Against COVID-19

              CA Notify and apps like it meet most, but not all, of our standards for exposure notification apps

              These apps use mobile phones’ Bluetooth functionality to determine if a person has come into contact with someone who recently tested positive for the virus. (In iOS, there is no app to download; the “Exposure Notification” feature can be turned on via the settings.) If an app user tests positive for COVID, the app will notify others with the app who have come into contact with them, without giving information about the individual who tested positive. While the Bluetooth technology that powers California’s app and others like it is the most promising approach to COVID exposure notification, there are still important privacy and equity concerns. And, ultimately, COVID tracking apps like these can only be effective if deployed alongside widespread testing and interview-based contact tracing.

              CA Notify and other apps built on Google and Apple’s API meet several of the key proximity tracking and exposure notification safeguards that EFF has been looking for from the start, including informed, voluntary, opt-in consent and data minimization (both in terms of what data is collected and where it is shared). They also allow users to uninstall the app, turn off the functionality, and opt out at any point. Google and Apple have not yet, however, met our standards for information security (including open-sourcing their code and subjecting it to third-party audits and penetration testing), nor are we aware of any individual app developers publishing transparency reports. 

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The veteran spyplane too valuable to replace

        “The U-2 really attracts the kind of pilots who want to say ‘I fly the most difficult aeroplane in the inventory’,” says Greg Birdsall, Lockheed Martin’s U-2 deputy programme manager. “They take a pilot candidate and put him in a trainer aircraft with a seasoned instructor pilot in the backseat to see how they take to the peculiar handling characteristics of the aeroplane.” Only around 10–15% of pilots who apply to join the programme are accepted.

        In the age of automation and algorithms it is easy to imagine that these spy planes and their pilots with the “right stuff” are a relic from the Cold War – but that would be wrong. For the 31 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the U-2 has been intercepting speech or text, acquiring electronic signals, taking photographs and using a special form of radar to capture digital imagery.

        The U-2 has also acquired new roles, like that of a data relay. Its ability to fly high in the sky meant that it was in the perfect position to relay information from the battlefield to headquarters. In the process it has outlasted rival planes and seen off the surveillance satellites that were supposed to make it redundant.

      • Rush Limbaugh Goes Viral for Talk of Secession, Now Claims It Wasn’t His Idea

        Hugely influential conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh took some heat after saying that the country is “trending toward secession.” So, the very next day Limbaugh said he was misunderstood and was only relaying the speculation of others.

        During his Wednesday broadcast, Limbaugh did mention that he’s seen the topic of secession written about but then seemed to make it clear that because of the current political and cultural environments, he thinks “we’re trending toward secession.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Seditious abuse of judicial process’: States fire back at Texas’ Supreme Court election challenge

        More than two dozen states filed motions with the Supreme Court on Thursday opposing Texas’ bid to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s wins in four battleground states, a long-shot legal move that Pennsylvania blasted as a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.”

        “Overturning Pennsylvania’s election results is contrary to any metric of fairness and would do nothing less than deny the fundamental right to vote to millions of Pennsylvania’s citizens,” the state’s Democratic attorney general, Josh Shapiro, wrote in response to Texas GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton’s bid to toss out the presidential election results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan.

      • Susan Rice Will Leave Netflix Board to Join Biden Administration

        Susan Rice, an alum of the Obama administration, will exit the Netflix board of directors to take a top policy position in president-elect Joe Biden’s White House.

        On Thursday, Biden announced the appointment of Rice as director of his Domestic Policy Council, which will give her broad influence over the incoming administration’s approach to immigration, health care and racial inequality.

      • I Know Rahm Emanuel, and He Shouldn’t Be Anywhere Near the White House

        Rahm came into office with his crosshairs set on our union, successfully pushing for state legislation to limit the right of Chicago teachers to strike. He used his handpicked Chicago Board of Education to cancel teachers’ annual raise, claiming it was unaffordable. He followed that up by closing 50 majority-Black public schools on the South and West sides of the city. And while imposing austerity on traditional neighborhood schools, he expanded publicly funded, privately run charter schools, and diverted $58 million from Chicago Public Schools to the city budget to cover past “security services.”

        On criminal justice, Rahm opposed a federal investigation of the Chicago Police Department, fought efforts to revamp the civilian police oversight authority, failed to establish a promised community oversight board, and resisted judicial oversight of the CPD—while closing half of the city’s mental health clinics. But Rahm’s most significant legacy is his handling of the 2014 Laquan McDonald police murder case, which he covered up until after he won reelection in 2015.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Neo-Nazi sentenced for plot to target journalists, anti-Semitism advocates

        In his plea agreement, Garza admitted that he conspired with the other defendants via an encrypted online chat group to identify journalists and advocates to threaten in retaliation for the victims’ work exposing anti-Semitism. The group focused primarily on journalists and advocates who were Jewish or people of color.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • “40 Years a Prisoner” confronts the police we’re supposed to trust “telling bold-faced lies”

        Africa Jr.’s journey is brilliantly related in the new HBO documentary film, “40 Years a Prisoner,” directed by Tommy Oliver and available now on HBO Max. Featuring an all-star ensemble of producers including The Roots, Common and John Legend, “40 Years A Prisoner” is a compelling film about the horrors of America’s criminal justice system. The story begins in 1978 when Philadelphia police raided MOVE, a back to nature organization based on love, among other peaceful principles. Africa’s parents, two MOVE members, were arrested during that raid on trumped up charges and convicted before he was born. In the film, Oliver documents Africa Jr.’s life pursuit of freeing his parents, along with other MOVE members, and a decades-long battle with the Philadelphia police department. I recently got a chance to talk with Africa Jr. and Oliver about the film on an episode of “Salon Talks.”

      • Revenge of the secretaries: The protest movement that inspired the film 9 to 5

        In November 1973, 9to5 began organising public meetings. “If we don’t fight for dignity and respect on the job, who’s going to fight for us?” Nussbaum said in a speech included in a new documentary, 9to5: The Story of a Movement.

        Cassedy quit her job to work for the 9to5 Association full-time and they set up base in a tiny office in the Boston YWCA, planning actions their members could get behind, even if they didn’t think of themselves as activists or feminists.

        “People would have been scared to hand out a leaflet on a street corner – what if their boss walked by?” says Cassedy. “So we developed this kind of personality, this kind of sassy in-your-face, light-hearted way of going about things. It worked.”

        Humour and ridicule became their secret weapons.

        They decided to target National Secretaries Day, when bosses were supposed to buy their secretary a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates to thank them for their year of hard work.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 15: Mandated Confidential Data Disclosures May Keep Companies Out of Canada

        (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 Policies?, Day 10: Downgrading the Role of Canadians in their Own Programming, Day 11: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Licence or Registration Required, Broadcast Reform Bill Could Spell the End of Canadian Ownership Requirements, Day 12: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – The CRTC Conditions, Day 13: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Targeting Individual Services, Day 14: The Risk to Canadian Ownership of Intellectual Property)

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • PEB (seems to) confirm that candidates will not be disqualified for writing during the time allocated for screen breaks and upload time

          Last week on IPKat we reported the release of further information for pre-EQE and EQE candidates (IPKat: EQE 2021: Further details on examination timings and paper format released). In addition to making the exams online for the first time, the EQE organisers have taken the surprising decision to also change the format of some of the exam papers so as to include enforced long breaks. The EQE FAQ have since been updated and can be read here.

          The release of the EQE information understandably prompted many comments from concerned candidates on both IPKat and DeltaPatent’s EQE blog. The IPKat post also received comments from Sarah Boxall, Chief Examiner for the UK patent exams. Sarah Boxall had previously used the IPKat comments to provide further examination information to candidates for the UK patent exams (IPKat here). Unfortunately, in the latest instance, Sarah Boxall’s comments heightened as opposed to alleviated candidate anxiety. In response to candidates’ criticisms of the new EQE structure, Sarah Boxall commented that “Candidates should also be aware that the EQE’s are taking learnings from what did not go so well with the PEB exams, namely candidates not taking screen breaks and using that time and the upload time to continue writing when the actual exam time had finished, i.e. writing beyond the time allocated for the exam. Such behaviour would result in disqualification in an exam hall and the matter is being considered by the PEB Governance Board this month”.

        • Who Says its Not Convenient? Mandamus on 1404(a) Convenience

          In November 2020, the Federal Circuit granted Apple’s mandamus petition and ordered the case of Uniloc v. Apple to be transferred from W.D.Tex. (Albright, J) to Apple’s other home-court of N.D. Cal. In the Federal Circuit’s opinion, the district court had clearly abused its discretion in finding that N.D. Cal. was not clearly the more convenient forum. Notice the double-use of the word clearly above — the district court will transfer only when the proposed forum is “clearly more convenient”; and mandamus will only be granted for “clear abuse of discretion.”

          Uniloc has now petitioned the court for en banc rehearing–arguing that the appellate panel failed to provide the double-deference required for mandamus review of a discretionary transfer decisions. As Judge Moore wrote in her dissent, “There is no more deferential standard of review.”

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 Awarded for IP Edge Entity Prior Art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winners, Rahul Vijh and Candy Khemka, who split a cash prize of $3,000 for their prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 7,567,622. This former Panasonic patent is now owned by Swirlate IP, LLC, an NPE and IP Edge entity. The ’622 patent generally relates to digital modulation and transmission errors in wireless communication systems (e.g. cellular radios).

            The patent has been asserted in district court over 10 times against ResMed, Livongo Health, Corning Optical Communications, Badger Meter, Continental Automotive, and others. The accused products include ventilators (ResMed) and blood glucose monitors (Livongo Health).

          • Endpoint IP entity, Eighth Street Solutions, patent challenged

            On December 9, 2020, Unified Patents filed an ex parte reexamination proceeding against U.S. Patent 7,664,924, owned and asserted by Eighth Street Solutions, LLC, an NPE and Endpoint IP entity. The ’924 patent is related to securing a computer system by selectively controlling write access to a data storage medium. The ’924 patent has been asserted against Sophos, Trend Micro, and McAfee.

      • Copyrights

Early Request for António Campinos to Cooperate With EPO Staff Survey (Which Later Showed Less Than 1 in 33 EPO Workers Trust Him)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This survey would later show that Campinos is even less popular than the notorious Benoît Battistelli (at analogous points in time during their terms) and nobody trusts the Administrative Council

Letter to António Campinos

Summary: Before talks broke down (causing the first call for dissent) António Campinos was asked whether the official (elected) Staff Representation would be permitted to contact (by E-mail) members of staff to participate in a periodic survey 9 years in the making

The “4th edition Technologia EPO Staff Survey,” as the EPO‘s Staff Representation explained it last year, was just one of many, spanning about a decade. Benoît Battistelli let them go on with this survey, so why won’t António Campinos? They just try to obstruct such surveys — however difficult this may be (they end up union-busting, brutalising and bullying staff representatives in The Hague) — because Office management commissions its own fake ones (to make the staff look happier and more satisfied than it really is; we last covered this last month).

“They just try to obstruct such surveys — however difficult this may be (they end up union-busting, brutalising and bullying staff representatives in The Hague) — because Office management commissions its own fake ones (to make the staff look happier and more satisfied than it really is; we last covered this last month).”In their own words: “In 2010, 2013 and 2016 the Staff Representation ran an EPO-wide Staff Survey with the support of SUEPO and the company Technologia, which is well known for its expertise in the field of psychosocial risks analysis and prevention. The Technologia survey would complement the recently run Office survey “Your voice, our future”, by providing data on any psychosocial risks in our organisation.

“Running the Technologia EPO Staff Survey anew in 2019 will allow internal benchmarking, i.e. assessing the trend within the EPO by comparing new results with past ones (more than 90% of the questions are identical from one edition to the next). It is in the interest of all, management and staff, to know exactly how psychosocial risks evolve within the Office.”

“The CSC [staff committee] has requested the President to authorise the use of EPO channels to facilitate this survey,” they said last year. Here’s the full latter, an open letter (to staff at least).

Reference: sc19067cl -0.3.1/0.2.4
Date: 15.05.2019

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

Open letter

Fourth edition of the Technologia EPO Staff Survey

Dear Mr President,

In 2010, 2013 and 2016 the Staff Representation ran an EPO-wide Staff Survey with the support of SUEPO and the company Technologia, which is well known for its expertise in the field of psychosocial risks analysis and prevention.

In 2019 it is now time to organise the fourth edition of the Office-wide Technologia EPO Staff Survey. The timing appears particularly appropriate because this survey would complement the recently run Office survey “Your voice, our future”, by providing data on any psychosocial risks in our organisation.

Running the Technologia EPO Staff Survey anew in 2019 will also allow internal benchmarking, i.e. assessing the trend within the EPO by comparing new results with past ones (more than 90% of the questions are identical from one edition to the next). It is in the interest of all, management and staff, to know exactly how psychosocial risks evolve within the Office.

The union SUEPO has again kindly accepted to be our partner in this project. Nevertheless, the logistics would be much simpler if you authorised the dispatch of individual survey access codes to all staff members at their @epo.org email address.

We hope you will agree to authorise the use of EPO channels to facilitate this survey. We ask for the courtesy of an answer by close of business on 12 June 2019.

We look forward to hearing from you soon, and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.

Yours sincerely,

Joachim Michels
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

The letter sent two weeks later explains the outcome.

EPO not changing

Old Documents Show That the ‘António Campinos Delusion’ Lasted Only Months

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fake (son of a) ‘socialist’ with bogus ‘social dialogue’

António Campinos arrives; António Campinos conducts or commissions fake 'studies'; António Campinos declares war on workers, pensioners; But apart from that, António Campinos is awesome!

Summary: Old consultations with EPO management show how quickly relationships deteriorated, leading to the first crisis or breakdown of so-called ‘social dialogue’ in the middle of last year

THE past 2.5 years we did not say much about EPO management; we’re only surprised that António Campinos was given the benefit of the doubt for that long (years, not months). He was given the job by Benoît Battistelli (the selection process was ‘arranged’ by meddling), so expecting a true difference — not merely a perceptual or cosmetic one — was all along overly optimistic. Now that the cards are folded, laid bare on the table, it’s time to go back and show what sorts of processes we abstained from commenting on. There’s a strike in 5 days, so negotiations clearly broke down regardless.

This GCC report [PDF] was issued just months after Campinos landed (having been parachuted from CEIPI and EUIPO) at the Office. There was still some tinge of hope in it:

EPO GCC 2018

It didn’t take long for things to go south. Just weeks before there was a first call for strike (under Campinos) this other GCC report [PDF] was produced and here’s the conclusion:

EPO GCC 2019

Weeks later there was a call for strike. Here’s what the representatives (Central Staff Committee) said at the end of May:

Report of the 3rd GCC 2019 on 16 May

[Continuing policies on lack of meaningful staff involvement]

Dear colleagues,

As reported already last time a red thread through GCC meetings in general remains the lack of meaningful staff involvement to secure transparency and trust.
The documents presented concerned:

I. Periodical review of the Service Regulations – (GCC/DOC 07/2019)
incl: I. b. Suspending the possibility for voluntary contributions to the Salary Savings Plan (SSP)
II. Reimbursement of bus transportation costs of international schools (GCC/DOC 08/2019) – withdrawn
III. Publication of the monthly staff changes list in intranet – (GCC/DOC 09/2019) – withdrawn
IV. Healthcare figures – (GCC/DOC 10/2019)

Social Dialogue
Due to lack of meetings with the President in 2019 we use any opportunity to discuss matters at stake with the President, who himself says that he is the only and one address for social dialogue. We consequently seized the opportunity at the start of the 16 May 2019 GCC meeting to propose a few points.
The President responded briefly:
• Consultation on the strategic plan is over…
• The means of the consultation process are as imposed by the Administration…
• The Administration decides on the necessary data to be provided…

4 months earlier the Central Staff Committee said:

Surprising last GCC in 2018

Five documents were on the agenda of this last GCC meeting in 2018 (on 18 December) for consultation:

· one on a revised Guide to cover under the healthcare insurance scheme (Circular No. 368)
· one on professional incompetence (implementation rules to Article 52 ServRegs)
· two were relating to the career system (revised Circulars Nos. 366 and 364), and
· one to the resources granted to the Staff Committee (revised Circular No. 356).

An improved and consensual version of the revised Guide to cover was well prepared by an additional round of discussion in a Working Group. The Circular was quickly and unanimously approved by all GCC members. The proposed circular on professional incompetence was clearly the most sensitive topic. This proposal was not as mature as it could have been following proper consultation. Although the Office and the CSC made genuine efforts during the GCC, the proposal and the linked Circulars 366 and 364 were finally withdrawn by the President. The revision of Circular 356 providing increased time resources to the CSC corrects in part the imposed time restrictions with the last reform of Circular 356 as of July 2017.

Enough! Is enough!!!Based on the above (full reading possible; we’re publishing the PDFs today), a few months into his term Campinos still gave some hope of a turnaround; but less than a year later (perhaps half a year down the road) the real agenda became clearer to see, along with the fake ‘study’ whose sole goal was to crush staff.

As we said many times before, the assault on the rights of EPO staff represent a threat to all international organisations and workers across Europe (if not the whole world). This situation presents a pattern of attack wherein the principal objective is to pass wealth from workers to oligarchs based on “job creation” or “trickle-down” mythologies; in the EPO’s case, they pretend they can recruit good examiners on the cheap and they lie about the financial situation of the Office.

Like It Or Not, This is Just the Real IBM

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 3:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM: We do WindowsSummary: A lot of people are deeply disappointed to see the decisions IBM makes regarding GNU/Linux; we need to recognise IBM for what it really is (and has long been), not some fantasies about what we want it to be

AFTER one company of Bill Gates went bankrupt (yes, Microsoft wasn’t the first) Microsoft got its breakthrough deal — perhaps life-saver deal — after Bill Gates' highly well-connected mother (born to a super-rich and privileged family) had pressured IBM to give her son an important software deal. Here we are decades later and IBM squashes key parts of Red Hat whilst at the same time helping Microsoft's monopoly.

“We should not assume that IBM is “good” because Microsoft is “bad”; Microsoft and IBM are not opposites!”IBM as a force of monopoly was never gone; it was merely hibernating. A lot of people out there (even politicians, e.g. head of the Libertarian Party, Robert Mercer, Linux Foundation) came from IBM. Many people from Novell had come from IBM. We should not assume that IBM is “good” because Microsoft is “bad”; Microsoft and IBM are not opposites!

IBM 'ethics': Limiting what you can and cannot say

Techrights was never anti-IBM (in its roots, the site is against Novell’s collusion with Microsoft). In its early days it even cheered for IBM’s response to SCO and advocacy of OpenDocument Format (ODF). IBM is certainly not a ‘high-priority’ threat; in relative terms, IBM is probably a lot more innocuous than any of GAFAM in isolation. What we hope is that IBM won’t use its clout (through Red Hat) for censorship and lies (such as revisionism about IBM’s history).

We certainly hope that IBM will at least try to understand the community and not just look at it like a piggybank to piggyback.

If it doesn't sell expensive mainframes; Then we don't want it

If IBM doesn’t take CentOS seriously, how can it be expected to treat Fedora any better? As we said yesterday, we dread uttering the names of projects IBM might can next (the same way Oracle did Sun’s). We think that the next few months will show us where IBM stands; IBM never stood on the "right side of history". Helping Donald Trump’s regime showed everyone — even current and past employees — that IBM is refusing to change, even after buying Red Hat.

International Bullshit and Masochists

With the Appalling (But Perhaps Predictable) CentOS Move IBM Showed Its True Face and Intentions

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We doubted a CentOS 8 would even be released (at all) and the relief was short-lived

Red Hat Microsoft handshake closer

Summary: Much as was predicted and told to us (privately) last year, IBM would scuttle parts of Red Hat that it does not want no sooner than 2 years after the acquisition (first announced about 25 months ago); we need to assess more carefully the strategy for Software Freedom, seeing that IBM is more interested in abolishing/squashing it (along with the movement's very founder)

YESTERDAY Red Hat (IBM) promoted Microsoft Azure (no kidding) and even GitHub (it’s a partnership with Microsoft). It’s frustrating to see CentOS being effectively abolished (Sam Varghese rightly believes Fedora is next) while IBM helps Microsoft's monopoly.

“IBM is a symptom of the sort of problem we’ll need to cope with in years if not decades to come.”Varghese already wrote two articles about CentOS (we mentioned those the other day) and now he says: “All the Fedora user complaints, fixes and mailing list posts would serve as excellent free labour for the CentOS Stream. And that is essentially the point. In true gig economy fashion, Red Hat will be getting developer hours free.”

And this is what it’s all about now. “GNU/Linux was once an operating system around which there was some idealism,” he continues. “Now, Red Hat has ensured that the only thing one sees when looking at a penguin is the greenback.”

Nadella and Red HatTo be frank, those recent events serve to reaffirm our arguments (from recent years) and embolden us. We need to rethink our strategy, seeing the increasing consolidation and exploitation. “Open Source” is effectively dead; it’s just openwashing and large monopolies looking to harvest free labour of non-employees. People need to start speaking about Free software; not GitHub accounts, “clown computing” and all that other nonsense. IBM is a symptom of the sort of problem we’ll need to cope with in years if not decades to come.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 10, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:27 am by Needs Sunlight

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