Coming Soon: New Leaks for the New Year

Posted in Site News at 10:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When everything fails, blame “Russia” and “Chinese virus”


Summary: The Techrights team is working to release previously-unseen information (of interest to the general public); please bear with us

With a bunch of scheduled (for Christmas) maintenance tasks mostly completed, and with the datacentre migration still impending, we’re finally focusing on EPO publications (not mere memes; it’s slow news at the EPO albeit this new page shows management of the EPO ‘going rogue’; it’s nowadays breaking the law, the EPC, using a mere “decision” by the executive branch). We ask for readers’ patience because although it may seem like we’re not doing much lately (except videos and relatively short articles) we’ve actually been very busy working on other sorts of tasks (not visually obvious like the banner at the top of the blog or the new (simplified) front page). This morning, for example (it’s only 4AM), hours were spent communicating privately with key people. We have some exciting things lurking over the horizon and rushing them through would be counterproductive if not highly risky to sources. To the best of our ability (taking risk into account) we reveal information about operations in our IRC logs. Sometimes we redact a bit.

Links 29/12/2020: Git 2.30, Second Beta of digiKam 7.2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 3:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Bring an old MacBook back to life with Linux

        Recently, I stumbled on an old MacBook Pro 13″ from late 2011, with a 125GB SSD and 8GB RAM. I’ve taken this machine on trips around the world, and back in the day, I ran many a session, workshop, or demo to share all the AppDev goodness from JBoss technologies.

        After verifying that its battery works, charging it up, and reinstalling a new OS X, it turns out that the Safari browser version is limited to an old security specification, which means it can’t connect to a lot of HTTPS sites now. This renders this solution defunct.

    • Server

      • 10 Linux System Administrators New Year’s Resolutions for 2021

        It is a time to make our New Year’s resolutions. Regardless of your experience level as a Linux system administrator, we think it is worth and well to set goals for growth for the next 12 months.

        In case you are out of ideas, in this post we will share 10 simple professional resolutions that you may want to consider for 2021.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux #206: Hindsight is 2020, Looking Back at How 2020 Affected Technology

        This week we’re going to be looking back on 2020 to end out this ‘most interesting’ year. While 2020 is a year many of us want to forget, from an open-source standpoint there are still plenty of exciting things that took place we’re going to cover in this episode. We’ll name our favorite open-source software, the big events of the year making headlines and our favorite distros of 2020. Of course, we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux.

      • I’m Deleting Discord From My Life

        I don’t like to chat on the Internet. I find it to be unproductive but more than that, I find it to be mundane and just not fun for me. And because of my attitude towards Internet chat, I am never on my Discord channel or my IRC channel.

      • GTK4 Is Here: Why You Should Even Care – YouTube

        I don’t use GNOME on my system but most of the GUI apps I run are GTK3 apps and because of that any changes to GTK are really important to me especially a new version of GTK like GTK4 which will come along with a bunch of interesting features.

      • Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 20.10 overview | Ubuntu, traditionally modern.

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 20.10 and some of the applications pre-installed.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.11 rc1 Released with many AMD changes

        The merge window for Linux Kernel 5.11 is closed and with that, Linux Kernel 5.11 rc1 (release candidate) is now released for testing. This release brings many new features and improvements.

      • Intel Sends Out Latest AMX Support For The Linux Kernel

        Of all the new Linux 5.11 features and all the enablement work Intel has already completed for Xeon “Sapphire Rapids” hardware, one big feature not yet mainlined is the Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) support.

        Since this past summer Intel has been posting open-source patches around AMX from the compiler toolchains to the kernel support. Ahead of EOY, Intel’s engineers have sent out the latest AMX kernel patches for Linux.

        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.

      • Large Page Support for NAS systems on 32 bit ARM

        Storage space has become more and more affordable to a point that it is now possible to have multiple hard drives of dozens of terabytes in a single consumer-grade device. With a few 10 TiB hard drives and thanks to RAID technology, storage capacities that exceed 16 or 32 TiB can easily be reached and at a relatively low cost.

        However, a number of consumer NAS systems used in the field today are still based on 32 bit ARM processors. The problem is that, with Linux on a 32 bit system, it’s only possible to address up to 16 TiB of storage space. This is still true even with the ext4 filesystem, even though it uses 64 bit pointers.

      • Bootlin’s Pursuit To Let 32-bit ARM NAS Devices Support More Than 16TiB Of Storage – Phoronix

        Bootlin working under contract for an unnamed NAS vendor has been working to update the Large Page Support for 32-bit ARM and ultimately coming up with an upstream-friendly way to be able to support more than 16TB of storage on 32-bit ARM devices.

        While 64-bit ARM has been available for years, there still are network attached storage (NAS) devices available that rely on 32-bit ARM SoCs. The problem is 32-bit ARM with the mainline kernel only allows addressing up to 16 TiB of storage. Some NAS vendors as a result have carried the out-of-tree Large Page Support patches to allow supporting greater amounts of storage. Bootlin this year updated the Large Page Support for 32-bit ARM.

        Those patches were made back in June but only written about now on the Bootlin blog and not yet merged to the mainline Linux kernel. The Large Page Support for 32-bit ARM will likely not be mainlined. With large pages, each file in the page cache uses at least one page and ultimately a lot of memory is wasted as the page size increases. Linus Torvalds as a result has been against this approach.

      • Linux 5.12 To Support Radeon RX 6000 Series OverDrive Overclocking – Phoronix

        With the Linux 5.12 kernel next spring it looks like the Radeon RX 6000 “RDNA 2″ overclocking support will be in order.

        One of the missing features of the RDNA 2 “Sienna Cichlid” Linux support has been OverDrive overclocking for the Radeon RX 6800/6900 series. Granted, not the highest priority especially for Linux users where overclocking is predominantly done via writing to sysfs via the command-line given the lack of any nice overclocking GUI control panel from AMD.

      • Linux 5.12 Could Support Intel’s Proprietary HDR Backlight Interface

        It didn’t land for Linux 5.11 but it looks like Linux 5.12 could end up supporting Intel’s “HDR Backlight Interface” for helping newer Intel laptops with their backlight controls where they don’t comply with VESA specifications but rather catering to Intel’s proprietary interface.

        Lyude Paul of Red Hat has been spending some time the past several months working to properly handle Intel’s eDP backlight controls used by newer laptops, dubbed the Intel HDR backlight interface as the implementation appears primarily with notebooks using High Dynamic Range panels. Patches by Lyude for this interface have been floating around for several months but not yet merged.

        However, giving hope to potential Linux 5.12 support is the HDR backlight interface register definitions being queued last week to drm-intel-next as material for Linux 5.12. Just the register definitions and other work were queued so far without the actual Intel HDR backlight support, but given work is just beginning around new features to ultimately appear in the spring with Linux 5.12 and seeing these early bits queued, it’s hopeful we could see the complete implementation ready for the next kernel cycle.

      • Sony’s PlayStation 5 Controller Now Works With Linux

        Sony has released an official Linux driver for its PlayStation 5 DualSense controller. The driver allows using the controller to play Linux games, which is good news for Linux gaming enthusiasts.

        The new Linux kernel driver fully supports Sony’s PlayStation 5 DualSense controller’s key functionality, including the gamepad, touchpad, and motion-sensing both in USB and Bluetooth modes, reports Phoronix. At the same time, the driver doesn’t yet support the advanced capabilities of the new controller, such as Adaptive Triggers and the VCM-based haptics.

      • Linux 4.14.213
        I'm announcing the release of the 4.14.213 kernel.
        All users of the 4.14 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 4.14.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.14.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 4.9.249
      • Linux 4.4.249
    • Benchmarks

      • Fedora Workstation 33 Performing Very Well – Runs Past Clear Linux On Intel Tiger Lake Notebook

        Following the recent AMD Zen 3 tests on Intel’s Clear Linux a user expressed curiosity over the Intel-backed Linux distribution on Tiger Lake hardware given I hadn’t done a multi-distribution comparison there yet. Using the Dell XPS 9310 as my lone Tiger Lake notebook I ran some benchmarks of Clear Linux, Ubuntu, Manjaro, and Fedora. For a change, Clear Linux wasn’t the distant front-runner.

        From the Dell XPS 13 9310 with Core i7 1165G7 Tiger Lake processor, Clear Linux 34130, Manjaro 20.2, Fedora Workstation 33, and Ubuntu 20.10 were all tested on this same Tiger Lake notebook.

        All four Linux distributions were freshly installed and tested in their out-of-the-box state.

        While on desktops and servers we are used to seeing Clear Linux smashing the rest in out-of-the-box Linux performance, it wasn’t as much the case this time. Clear Linux does still rack up wins but its aggressive performance optimizations ultimately lead it to more frequently hitting the thermal limits and throttling with today’s ultra-thin Intel EVO notebooks. So with the Clear Linux runs there is also an increased number of runs and higher variance as reported for a number of tests due to Clear Linux on the Tiger Lake Dell XPS running warmer than the other configurations. On a geometric mean basis of all the results, Fedora Workstation comes out in front of the rest for this modern Intel/Dell notebook.

    • Applications

      • Olive Video Editor Review – Hard to Believe that It’s Free!

        We take a look at the Olive Video Editor which is still under development at the moment. You would be amazed to see how easy and feature-packed this editor is. This is a review of Olive 0.2 video editor (alpha).

      • qBittorrent 4.3.2 Adds Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) Support

        qBittorrent 4.3.2 was released a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu via PPA.

        The new release of the Bittorrent client features an option for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) support, which enable people around the world to use domain names in local languages and scripts.

        It now allows to add root folder to torrent content. And “HTTPS tracker validation” option is available on all platforms with latest libtorrent.

      • Systemd Had A Pretty Big 2020 With Homed, OOMD Components Merged

        The systemd service and system manager had another busy year with the merging of “homed” for modernizing and reinventing home directory capabilities to “oomd” being merged for improving the Linux memory pressure / out-of-memory handling, among other new features coming to light.

        The pandemic didn’t slow down work on systemd but was another very busy time continuing to introduce new features and trying to modernize longstanding concepts. Systemd as of today is up to 1.469 million lines of code spanning 48,463 commits from around 1,746 different authors.

      • Chess and KDE

        Some of us have started a KDE community chess players team on the lichess.org. Mostly as a place to find people who are interested in chess and occasionally playing various variants of chess


        I initially wanted to get rid of animation completely but I realised that the animation speed is configuration option instead of something hard-coded. I proposed a patch to change default animation speed to instant.

        My next idea is to change the animation code to animate movement of single piece that is moving instead of the knights currently animating all of the pieces from center of board so that users who prefer animation get something sensible.

      • Notifications on Task Completion

        More seriously, I do often leave a software build, or packaging script running, while I context-switch to answer support requests, proof-read a blog post, or prepare for a meeting. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded when that long-runner finishes, otherwise I might forget it’s sat there, all lonely in another workspace somewhere on my computer.


        I install this on all of my Ubuntu desktop / laptop systems. You might want to as it’s pretty handy. I know some other Linux distributions have this kind of feature baked into their out-of-the-box experience, but Ubuntu doesn’t, so I install it myself.

      • 5 Linux text editor guides | Enable Sysadmin

        As sysadmins, we spend a good part of our connected time using text editors. Whether it’s updating config files, writing automation playbooks, or designing Kubernetes manifests, a good text editor makes your tasks easier and makes you more productive. A nice text editor also makes your job more enjoyable.

        At Enable Sysadmin, 2020 was the year of Vim. Four out of the top five text editor articles showcase this flexible and efficient editor. This list contains a great selection of articles covering topics from basic Vim usage to more advanced use cases such as applying macros and deploying plugins to extend Vim’s functionality. If Vim is not your thing, the other article in this list presents five IDE (Integrated Development Environment) alternatives for sysadmins that should appeal to different tastes and backgrounds.

        Whether you choose a text editor or an IDE, the important thing is choosing a tool that makes you comfortable. The list of the top five text editor articles will help you with that.

      • TeXstudio 3.0.2 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu 20.04, 20.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        TeXstudio, an open-source fully featured LaTeX editor, released version 3.0.2 a few hours ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu, Linux Mint.

        Though it’s a bug-fix version, TeXstudio 3.0.2 was released after two beta test releases.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Quick NetBSD serial console install on libvirt

        I wanted to set up a small VM with NetBSD to test a couple of virt-install option. It turns out it you can get to the installer prompt quite fast.

      • Our alerts are quiet most of the time (as they should be)

        It’s the middle of the University of Toronto’s winter break right now so officially we’re off work. Unofficially we’re checking in on email and we’ll probably notice if something explodes. During this time, one of the things that has made this not much of a burden is that we basically haven’t gotten any alerts from our Prometheus system. This is by design.

      • Install GnuCash 4.4 In Ubuntu 20.04 / Linux Mint. | Tips On UNIX

        GnuCash is a personal and small-business financial-accounting software and freely licensed under GNU. It is designed to be easy to use and flexible.

        GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income, and expenses. It is available for Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X, and Windows.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install GnuCash 4.4 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and LinuxMint 20.

      • How to setup Elastic Container Service (ECS) on AWS

        Elastic Container Service is a fully managed container orchestration service provided by AWS. It is a choice to run containers on AWS. It supports Fargate to provide serverless compute for containers. Fargate removes the need to provision and manage servers. ECS helps to focus on building and managing applications instead of infrastructure. It is a highly scalable, fast container management service that makes it easy to run, stop, and manage containers on a cluster.

      • Install Git 2.30.0 In Ubuntu 20.04 / Linux Mint / CentOS | Tips On UNIX

        Git a free and open-source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to large projects with speed and efficiency. It is a client for the Popular GitHub.

        This tutorial will be helpful for the beginners to install git 2.30.0 in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.10 LTS, CentOS 8.X, and Linux Mint 20

      • How to install XFCE GUI on Oracle Linux 8 or 7? – Linux Shout

        Oracle Linux which is based on RHEL (red hat enterprise Linux) works in a similar fashion and also supports its RPM and other packages.

        Although the full package ISO comes with an option to install GNOME graphical user interface on Oracle Linux, however, if you are using a command-line server and after some time, you would like to have GUI, then it is possible as well. By default, the “Server with GUI” environment option is available in the group list of Oracle, however, you will not find XFCE there by default. Therefore to get it we need to add an Extra package repository called EPEL, which is popular on Centos, RHEL, and Fedora… Being a copy of RedHat, we can use the same on Oracle as well…

      • How to install Budgie Desktop on Debian 10 Linux distro – Linux Shout

        Budgie Desktop environment is popular because of its simplicity yet user-friendly and easy to use. It developed by the team Solus and comes officially out of the box in the Solus Linux Distros. However, being open-source software, other Linux distros can also install and use it. For example, one of the Ubuntu flavor distros is based on Budgie and known as UbuntuBudgie. In the same way, if someone wants can install it manually on other Linux distros such as Debian, Linux Mint, and more that is possible as well.

      • How to hide a file or directory on CentOS

        Most of the time you share your Linux desktop system with your friends or colleagues while you are working at the workplace. So, you need to hide your personal files as well as directories from others. For this purpose, you have to create hidden files or folders that are not visible to everyone. Some Linux users, don’t have enough knowledge to create a hidden file in their system.

        In this article, I will provide you a complete tutorial about how to create a hidden file and directory on your CentOS 8.

      • How to change LUKS passphrase in Linux – nixCraft

        Explains how to change your LUKS disk encryption passphrase (password) in Linux using CLI and GUI tools for new developers and sysadmins.

      • How to Read File Line by Line in Bash Script [3 Methods]

        Here we learn 3 methods in bash script to read file line by line. For example for searching strings in a file by reading lines individually.

      • How to Convert PDF to Image Using Gimp

        This article will be showing you how to convert the pages of a PDF document to image files (PNG, JPEG, and others) using the GIMP tool in Linux.

      • How to Change the Color and Theme in Chrome – Make Tech Easier

        Tired of the boring white Chrome theme? Learn how to change the color and theme in Chrome and even add your own images.

      • 12 Podman guides to get started with containers | Enable Sysadmin

        From running containers without root privileges to using REST API’s in Podman 2.0, these 12 guides can enhance how you use the Pod Manager tool.

      • How do I enable UFW in Ubuntu? Learn how to protect your box

        So how do you enable UFW in Ubuntu Linux 20.04 / 18.04 / 16.04 LTS server or desktop system to protect yourself from hackers and crackers? Let us see how easy it is to use ufw on Linux.

      • How to Install and Configure GitLab in Debian 10 – TecAdmin

        Gitlab is a web-based DevOps lifecycle management tool developed by GitLab Inc. Similar to the Github, Gitlab is also another popular Git version control system used by large number of users. Gitlab also provides great features like issue tracking, To-Do list, continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines for the applications. Gitlab also supports integration with various services.

        The Community edition of Gitlab is available free for use on development and production environment. It provides large number of features required for small to large scale companies. The enterprise edition provides more features but required a paid license.

        This tutorial will describe you to how to install Gitlab on Debian 10 Buster Linux system. You are going to install Gitlab community edition using this tutorial.

      • How to install PyCharm on Linux Mint 20 – Community Edition – YouTube

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

      • How to Install KeeWeb Password Manager on Ubuntu 20.04

        KeeWeb is an open-source password manager used to store passwords both online and offline. It is compatible with KeePass and also available as a web version and desktop apps. It can be sync with other cloud services like, OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. It helps you to manage all your passwords in a secure way. It offers a lot of features including, Easy tags input, Multiple file support, History, Themes, Keyboard shortcuts, Inline image viewer and many more.

      • The Beginner’s Guide to Git – Make Tech Easier

        If you’re a Linux user, you’ve likely come across Git at some point, perhaps while trying to download a new program or looking into version control systems like CVS or Subversion. Git is the revision control system created by the Linux kernel’s famous Linus Torvalds, due to a lack of satisfaction with existing solutions. The main emphasis in the design was on speed, or more specifically, efficiency. Git addresses many of the shortcomings of previous systems and does it all in much less time. If you are looking to learn Git, this beginner’s guide will help you get started.

      • How to add Mods in Sonic Robo Blast 2 (SRB2) on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to add Addons/Mods in 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.

      • Trisquel 9, Public Wifi, and USB Tethering Internet

        Don’t worry, you can run Trisquel laptop to access wifi internet. If you worry about wifi device being disabled due to proprietary software, you can still take advantages of existing tools you already have such as phone or portable mifi. This article is an expansion to Trisquel Friendly Guide II (published two years ago) especially to help users who find their laptop wifi hardware not working with Trisquel.


        You can still connect to public hotspots such as coffee shops or town parks by taking advantage of your phone. The route is: laptop -> usb tethering -> phone -> public wifi -> internet. To do so, first connect your phone to the wifi, then make sure your phone got internet access, and finally do USB tethering to your Trisquel laptop. This way, you can still access a wifi even though your laptop internally cannot.

        I use this trick at a coffee shop I often go to and it works well. For example, aside from browsing, I can even do telephony and video calls using GNU Jami.

        Up to this point, now you should find your Trisquel laptop enabled to install more applications, surf the internet, send emails, and everything.

    • Games

      • Atari VCS games really are just plain Linux desktop builds | GamingOnLinux

        Now that the Atari VCS is out in the wild for plenty of IndieGoGo backers, we’ve seen plenty of reports of how it works and one GamingOnLinux reader gave us plenty of info.

        Currently, it seems like the whole thing is still in something of a Beta stage. The software seems a little on the buggy side, and there’s still not much in the way of games available for it. However, it actually does sound like a reasonable good little device – which I am sure will surprise plenty of naysayers.

        User slaapliedje in our Forum has been going through details including how, yes, you really can load a plain Linux distribution up with Debian Buster tested working (once you do a couple small tweaks). All very interesting but even more so is how their own Atari World OS is clearly a normal Linux distribution with a fancy console interface on top.

      • Chiaki, a free and open source PlayStation Remote Play client adds PlayStation 5 support | GamingOnLinux

        Own a shiny new PlayStation 5 and want to stream games from it to your desktop or laptop? Or perhaps you’re clinging onto your PlayStation 4 and want to do the same? Chiaki is here to help.

        Linux gaming? Not quite but it’s another brilliant FOSS application that can enable you to do whatever you want, with what you already own. I’ve used Chiaki occasionally with my own PlayStation 4 to stream it to my Linux desktop and for the most part, it actually works surprisingly well depending on the network setup.

      • Fantasy RTS city-builder Songs of Syx has sold over 11 thousand copies | GamingOnLinux

        After a Kickstarter success back in May 2020, then an Early Access release on Steam in September 2020 – the fantasy grand-strategy city-builder Songs of Syx has continued to be a big indie success. Here’s a look over it.

        “Songs of Syx is a fantasy city-builder where you start off as an insignificant colony and build, scheme, and fight your way towards a metropolis and empire. The mechanics are complex and true to life, where small events can spiral into the collapse of kingdoms.”

      • Social deduction game Untrusted launching free to play on January 29, 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        Inspired by the likes of Werewolf, Mafia and similar games Untrusted from evolvedlabs is ready to go out to a wider audience after releasing a few Alpha builds from their website.

        On January 29, 2021, this social deduction / hacking game will be launching on Steam in Early Access and the developer told us over email that it will be initially free to play as it still needs plenty more testing (including ensuring server capacity is good).

      • Hole Punch is an upcoming physics platformer where you cut up the environment

        Using a powerful dash you’re not just avoiding people in Hole Punch, you’re smashing through the level itself to get around the challenges.

        A fun and very playful physics platformer we have here, one that wants you to try and destroy everything. Thanks to the destruction mechanic, you can play it in a number of ways. Do you try to be stealthy and avoid everyone? Go for the fastest time or try to take everyone out? Either way, you’re going to be dashing and cutting up entire levels. Starting off very simplistic, it doesn’t take long for it to become quite challenging.

      • Crooks Like Us us an upcoming party game where you steal everything, try the free Alpha | GamingOnLinux

        Need another amusing co-op and PvP party game? Crooks Like Us is all about grabbing as much as you can, and then making a run for it.

        The overall goal is to carry as many items as you can, and dump them into the getaway van before the timer runs out. Sounds easy right? Not so much. If you stack up a bunch of items and dump them into the van together, you get a score multiplier but actually carrying a stack to the van is another matter – you wobble all over the place and it’s quite silly. It also leaves you open to the other crooks to grab your stuff if you take on too much.

      • Godot Engine – Complex text layouts progress report #3

        This is the third part of my work on Complex Text Layouts for Godot 4.0.

        See godot-proposals#1180, godot-proposals#1181, godot-proposals#1182, and godot-proposals#1183 on GitHub for detailed information on CTL proposals and feedback.

        See also the previous progress report for UI mirroring details and the first part for the TextServer API implementation details.

      • Point and click dreamworld noir adventure ‘Oniria Crimes’ lands on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Oniria Crimes is a point and click noir adventure game from cKolmos Game Studios, originally released back in early December 2020 and they ported it to Linux not long after release.

        “Oniria Crimes is an adventure game that takes place in Oniria, the Land of Dreams. Help Detective Santos and Inspector Torres to investigate crime scenes as part of the Rounders, a secret society that pursues crime in dreams.”

      • Programming puzzler inspired by retro computing Comet 64 releases February 5, 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        Find programming relaxing? Enjoy puzzle games? Comet 64 could be your next game, with a theme and visuals inspired by some early computing devices.

      • GameSir x2 Type-C game controller transforms your phone into a gaming console

        Some buttons found on actual portable gaming console may be missing and, for instance, Gamesir x2 does not come with L3/R3 buttons. Since it’s designed for phones, you’d have to run Android. If you are fond of software like EmulationStation available for Windows and Linux only, this may not be suitable unless your phone actually runs Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • digiKam 7.2.0-beta2 is released

          Just a few words to inform the community that 7.2.0-beta2 is out and ready to test four month late the 7.2.0 beta1 release.

          After integrating the student codes working on faces management while this summer, we have worked to stabilize code and respond to many user feedbacks about the usability and the performances improvements of faces tagging, faces detection, and faces recognition, already presented in July with 7.0.0 release announcement.

          One very important point introduced with this release is the separation of the huge data model files used with face detection and recognition which are now downloaded on demand at run-time if necessary. This reduces a lot the size of digiKam bundles files published at release times..

        • How KDE can transcend the cycle of Geeks, Mops, and Sociopaths

          Well first of all, I acknowledge that my goal is more aspirational than realistic. Better to shoot for the moon and fall short, I think. I’d be pretty happy if we get Plasma to 15% global market share. That’s enough to be a major player with a direct and ongoing positive impact on human civilization.

          Anyway, here’s how I think KDE can avoid the cycle, and grow powerful without being corrupted…

    • Distributions

      • EasyOS Dunfell 0.103 almost released

        It would have been released, but a quick test and discovered a little bug. A minor bug, but will fix it, so 0.103 will be delayed, maybe tomorrow morning.

      • BSD

        • A Big Sur look for WindowMaker on OpenBSD

          A rainy day leads to an attempt to give a 2020 look to some old 90s software I love: a macos Big Sur look for WindowMaker. Obviously running on OpenBSD here but this is not mandatory.

      • Slackware Family

        • XFCE 4.16 Landed in [Slackware] Current

          I never used XFCE before, but i’m curious about this lightweight desktop environment since it’s included in Slackware and has just released it’s latest release 4.16. The new version drop GTK+2 support and fully migrated to the newer GTK+3. The announcement of XFCE 4.16 showed that this is a major upgrade both in the backend and also in the front-end (UI/visual). They now have the cool icons, many new APIs, support for fractional scaling, and many more.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CloudLinux Commits More Than $1 million a Year to CentOS Replacement

          If you’ve had your eyes on the news, you may have read the CentOS 8 end-of-life announcement by Red Hat. The announcement came with several significant changes to the CentOS project roadmap which is bound to affect infrastructure and deployment plans for end-users as well as data centers and online businesses.

          The most relevant change to us currently is the accelerated end-of-life for CentOS 8 which means that as of December 31, 2021, no further operating system updates will be available. Summarily, CentOS 8 will be transformed into CentOS Stream – a development branch of RHEL with previous versions remaining part of the stable branch. Users are therefore advised not to use CentOS 8 in production environments.

        • This CentOS alternative will be available by spring 2021

          Rocky Linux, one of the latest new CentOS clones, has announced that its project is targeting to put out a working release sometime in the second quarter of 2021.

          Rocky Linux came about when the Red Hat-owned CentOS project recently shifted focus, much to the chagrin of its users.

          Miffed at the move, Gregory Kurtzer, one of the original co-founders of CentOS announced Rocky Linux to give the stranded users a viable option to migrate their servers to, before the current release of CentOS reaches its premature end in December 2021.

        • What’s your favorite Kubernetes feature? Hear from the experts

          Every week I run DevNation: The Show, where guests and I discuss today’s hottest technologies impacting developers and architects—and have a lot of fun. In each episode, I ask my guest: “What is your favorite Kubernetes feature?”

        • Contribute at the Fedora Test Week for Kernel 5.10
        • Contribute at the Fedora Test Week for Kernel 5.10

          The kernel team is working on final integration for kernel 5.10. This version was just recently released, and will arrive soon in Fedora. As a result, the Fedora kernel and QA teams have organized a test week from Monday, January 04, 2021 through Monday, January 11, 2021. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test images you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

          How does a test week work?

          A test week is an event where anyone can help make sure changes in Fedora work well in an upcoming release. Fedora community members often participate, and the public is welcome at these events. If you’ve never contributed before, this is a perfect way to get started.

        • Integrating Red Hat Single Sign-On version 7.4 with Red Hat Directory Server (LDAP) – Red Hat Developer

          This article describes the integration of Red Hat Single Sign-On (SSO) with Red Hat Directory Server 11 (LDAP). It also illustrates how it is possible to perform user synchronization and group synchronization between Red Hat Directory Server and Red Hat’s single sign-on tools.

        • IBM Makes Available Experimental Release Of Crossplane For IBM Cloud

          IBM recently joined the Crossplane community and released an experimental release of a Crossplane provider for IBM Cloud, enabling IBM Cloud managed resources to be exploited from Crossplane.

          Crossplane is a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Sandbox project that provides the ability to manage infrastructure and resources, including cloud managed services using Kubernetes CRDs, and has contributions and support from a number of major vendors.

        • Top 10 Red Hat blogs from 2020

          Just like that, 2021 is closing in on us. Too soon? Not soon enough? We’ll let you decide.

          What a year we’ve had at Red Hat. Since we published Red Hat president and CEO Paul Cormier’s message on how Red Hat is here to help, we pivoted in many ways throughout 2020 to best meet our customers’ evolving needs, and we used our digital channels—like this blog—to share the latest updates with you.

      • Debian Family

        • Salsa updated to GitLab 13.7

          Yesterday, Debian Salsa was updated to the new GitLab 13.7 upstream release. As always, this new release comes with a bunch of new features.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Design and Web team summary – 29 December 2020 | Ubuntu

          The web team here at Canonical run two-week iterations. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

        • Ubuntu Mauritius

          In 2021, we are going to sort out a few things and make the Ubuntu Mauritius group active again. Chittesh has agreed to take on the reign. He is already the team’s go-to person. Expect to see more purple desktops next year!

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 663

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 663 for the week of December 20 – 26, 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Rocket.Chat: An Amazing Open-Source Alternative to Slack That You Can Self-host

        Slack is a useful and popular team communication app that potentially replaces emails for work. A lot of big and small teams use it, even we at It’s FOSS relied on Slack initially.

        However, we needed a good open-source alternative to Slack and that’s when we came across Rocket.Chat. Sure, there are several other open-source slack alternatives, but we opted for Rocket.Chat for its similarity with Slack and ease of deployment.

      • IBM: 2021 will be the year open source projects overcome their diversity problems [Ed: IBM et al announcing problems, then looking to solve them to better suit corporate takeover of volunteers’ work and monopolistic hegemony 1, 2, 34]]

        It’s incredibly important that everyone that has any power at all in the open source space pushes for diversity — the same goes for us at IBM.

      • O-RAN no near-term challenger to Huawei, Ericsson [Ed: It's almost 2021 and some hacks still push this false idea that "open approach has vulnerabilities"]

        Their wish is to open the equipment market to allow compatible products from more vendors to become available. A new open-sourced intellectual property approach has been proposed that would level the playing field the way the introduction of open-sourced Linux displaced the proprietary Unix computer operating system.


        As envisioned by the consortium, this new ecosystem would use new open sourced software operating on elements built to international standards that would allow new suppliers to enter the equipment market. Products from different vendors would be interchangeable, freeing the carriers from dealing from only one vendor while emulating the network function now performed on proprietary equipment from Huawei and others.

        The O-RAN initiative is based on two factors. The first is that no corporation or government is in a position to challenge Huawei’s lead. The second is the belief that new software technology will challenge the current hardware.

      • The 10 Best Website Creation Tools (Open Source CMS)

        With the World Wide Web’s flexibility mapping every idea, business, and hobby on the internet, the need for a website has become mandatory. A website is a remote mirror that gives both perspective and access to what the world offers. Purchasing a website creation service is one thing and having the ability to create one is another thing.

        Therefore we should commence this article on a fun note because the knowledge it is about to offer is not easily dismissed. How about a knock-knock joke?

      • Top 23 Open-source Free CRM Self-hosted systems

        CRMs stands for “Customer Relationship Management” solutions which are built to manage the interactions with current or potential customers. CRM software manages the interaction process between sales, marketing and customer support departments with customers.

        Most of CRM systems extend their functionalities with post-sale service management, and some even add accounting, finance and billing management.

      • ownClouds Virtual Files on the Linux Desktop

        In professional usecases, users often have a huge amount of data stored in ownCloud. Syncing these completely to the desktop computer or laptop would be too much and costly in bandwidth and harddisk space. That is why most mature file sync solutions came up with the concept of virtual files. That means that users have the full structure with directories and files mirrored to their local machines, but have placeholder of the real files in the local file manager.

        The files, however, are not on the disk. They get downloaded on demand.

        That way, users see the full set of data virtually, but save time and space of files they never will need on the local system.


        To make that possible, Elokab-fm now pulls some information from the ownCloud Sync Client config file and connects to the sync client via local socket to share some information. That means, that the sync client needs to run to make that work.

        Directories that are synced with ownCloud now show an cloud overlay in the center (1).

        The placeholder files (2) which are not present on the local hard drive indicate that by showing a little cloud icon bottom right. However, other than before, they are displayed with their correct name and mime-type, which makes this already much more useful.

        Files, which are on the local disk as the image (3) show their thumbnail as usual.

        In the side panel (4) there are a few details added: The blue box on the bottom indicates that the file manager is connected to the sync client. For the selected virtual file (2), it shows an button that downloads the file if clicked which would turn it into a non virtual, local file. There is also an entry in the context menu to achieve that.

      • Haiku activity report – November and December 2020

        This report covers hrev54716-hrev54805 (about 5 weeks of work).

      • Events

        • Daniel Lange: No CCC Congress this year but rC3 online

          The virtual version of the annual CCC Congress is underway and feels like a huge playground. Things are bumpy but the participants are still having fun. Of course, we have IRC as a save heaven. That always works.

          The virtual world (which is the only thing the sold out tickets are needed for) is really fun. It feels like debugging a DOS game in the 80/90s. Not much works but it is engaging enough to keep poking at things.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • 2020 Holiday Greetings

          YottaDB moved to 100% telecommuting in mid-March, and we have been working remotely since then. We anticipate returning to the office after the pandemic; meanwhile, the office is for computers and the occasional cobweb.

          Nevertheless, we have been busy this year. Our major milestone was the release of Octo 1.0, for querying YottaDB databases using SQL-92 and JDBC. Our next major target for Octo is read-write capability using SQL. Although the following is very much code that is under development, this demonstration of INSERT INTO will give you a taste of what we plan to release in 2021: [...]

        • An exploration of the cybercrime ecosystem around Shodan

          Our recent paper published at the 7th IEEE International Conference on Internet of Things: Systems, Management and Security (IOTSMS 2020) presents an analysis of underground forum discussions around Shodan, one of the most popular search engines of Internet facing devices and services. In particular, we explored the role Shodan plays in the cybercriminal ecosystem of IoT hacking and exploitation, the main motivations of using Shodan, and popular targets of exploits in scenarios where Shodan is used.

          To answer these questions, we followed a qualitative approach and performed a thematic analysis of threads and posts extracted from 19 underground forums presenting discussions from 2009 to 2020. The data were extracted from the CrimeBB dataset, collected and made available to researchers through a legal agreement by the Cambridge Cybercrime Centre (CCC). Specifically, the majority of posts we analysed stem from Hackforums (HF), one of the largest general purpose hacking forums covering a wide range of topics, including IoT. HF is also notable for being the platform where the source code of the Mirai malware was released in 2016 (Chen and Y. Luo, 2017).

        • Today I faced the first consequences of my TXT & Let’s Encrypt strict policy

          Today I faced the first implications of deciding to tightly restrict the use of nsupdate keys for modifying TXT records for dns-01 challenges with Let’s Encrypt.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Trying GNU Jami On Laptop And Phone

            Trisquel is a fully free computer operating system while Jami is a complete cross platform communication app. Following the release of the latest OS version 9 codenamed Etiona, and the latest version of the communication app codenamed Together, now I want to explain my experiments with Jami by using my laptop and phone altogether. The results are it works with calls, for both usual audio and also video; can do two ways of share screen; text chats and file sharing also works, with some important notes. Thanks to Trisquel Developers, now using Jami is much more easier than ever. Now let’s go chatting!

          • GNU libmicrohttpd 0.9.72 released
            Dear all,
            I'm glad to announce the release of GNU libmicrohttpd 0.9.72.
            This release is mostly bugfix release, with greatly improved compatibility with
            various OSes/kernels, including FreeBSD, Windows, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Darwin (macOS), Solaris. Performance is improved,
            especially with stay-alive HTTP and HTTPS connections.
            Notable changes since version 0.9.71:
            + New function MHD_create_response_from_pipe().
            * Fully rewritten code for buffering/pushing from kernel network buffers
              for compatibility with various OSes. Reduced number of additional
              sys-calls, network is better utilized, responses are delivered faster.
              Restored optimal sendfile() usage on FreeBSD.
            * MHD now takes care about SIGPIPE handling by blocking it in internal
              threads and avoiding functions (like sendfile()) that could generate
              SIGPIPE when blocking of this signal is not possible.
            * Fixed crash in PostProcessor.
            * Fixed several resources leaks in corner cases.
            * Improved thread sync, thread safety and fixed one use-after-free under
              special conditions during stopping of daemon.
            * Updated HTTP status codes, header names and methods from the
            * Fixed functioning without listen socket and with internal threads.
            * Fixed streaming of chunked responses for both HTTP and HTTPS.
            * Various compatibility fixes.
          • GNU’s Embed-Friendly Web Server Updated With Better OS Portability, Performance – Phoronix

            Libmicrohttpd as the GNU project’s embedded HTTP web server library is out with a final release of 2020.

            This lightweight C library providing an HTTP web server that can be used by other applications with ease has been focusing on better operating system / kernel portability as one of the themes for this new release. Libmicrohttpd’s buffering/pushing code has been fully rewritten with better portability across environments. There are a reduced number of system calls now used and the operating systems being focused on are the likes of FreeBSD, Windows, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Darwin/macOS, and Solaris.

          • Update from Guix: Moving forward into 2021

            In the two years following the last Guix fundraising campaign, the project has made great advances through thousands of commits and hundreds of contributors. There are now more than 15,000 packages in the collection, almost doubling the number reported two years ago. The continuous integration build farm (the automatic and continuous building of the source and binary packages in Guix for continuous integration, testing, and analyses to make sure the system is 100% reproducible) is also in better shape, although more work is being done to improve its performance.

            The strength and health of the project can, without any doubt, be attributed to the Guix community, which has come to be known as one of the most welcoming, friendliest communities out there.

            It is also in part the result of the Guix project being well-funded, which has enabled the project to strengthen its build farm with more machines, organize events, participate in the Outreachy program, and pay for hosting fees, among other regular expenses.

          • Life Without Amazon (Well, Almost)

            In 1999, the programmer and activist Richard Stallman led one related to a lawsuit the company filed against Barnes & Noble to protect a patent covering “1-click” ordering, which he worried would stifle competition in e-commerce.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • CERN Announces New Open Data Policy in Support of Open Science

            The four main LHC collaborations (ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb) have unanimously endorsed a new open data policy for scientific experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which was presented to the CERN Council today. The policy commits to publicly releasing so-called level 3 scientific data, the type required to make scientific studies, collected by the LHC experiments. Data will start to be released approximately five years after collection, and the aim is for the full dataset to be publicly available by the close of the experiment concerned. The policy addresses the growing movement of open science, which aims to make scientific research more reproducible, accessible, and collaborative.

          • CERN Adopts New Open Data Policy

            CERN has announced a new open data policy for scientific experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The policy commits to publicly releasing level 3 scientific data—the type required to perform scientific studies—that is collected through LHC experiments. According to the announcement, the policy also “addresses the growing movement of open science, which aims to make scientific research more reproducible, accessible, and collaborative.”


            “The policy sets out the concrete steps towards its implementation at CERN, which will make data available to the extended scientific community as well as the general public.”

        • Open Access/Content

          • Elsevier Wants To Stop Indian Medics, Students And Academics Accessing Knowledge The Only Way Most Of Them Can Afford: Via Sci-Hub And Libgen

            Last month Techdirt wrote about some ridiculous scaremongering from Elsevier against Sci-Hub, which the publisher claimed was a “security risk”. Sci-Hub, with its 85 million academic papers, is an example of what are sometimes termed “shadow libraries”. For many people around the world, especially in developing countries, such shadow libraries are very often the only way medics, students and academics can access journals whose elevated Western-level subscription prices are simply unaffordable for them. That fact makes a new attack by Elsevier, Wiley and the American Chemical Society against Sci-Hub and the similar Libgen shadow library particularly troubling. The Indian title The Wire has the details:

          • New Blume Library grant funds open source theology textbook

            St. Mary’s University is among two universities to receive a grant this fall from Atla to fund the creation of open educational resources.

            The grant to Blume Library will support the creation of a modular, open textbook supplemented with primary source readings and community-created content for the undergraduate Core Curriculum course Foundations of Reflection: God.

      • Programming/Development

        • Git v2.30.0
          The latest feature release Git v2.30.0 is now available at the
          usual places.  It comprises 495 non-merge commits since
          v2.29.0, contributed by 83 people, 29 of which are new faces.
          The tarballs are found at:
          The following public repositories all have a copy of the 'v2.30.0'
          tag and the 'master' branch that the tag points at:
            url = https://kernel.googlesource.com/pub/scm/git/git
            url = git://repo.or.cz/alt-git.git
            url = https://github.com/gitster/git
          New contributors whose patches weren't in v2.29.0 are as follows.
          Welcome to the Git development community!
            Alexey, Amanda Shafack, Arusekk, Baptiste Fontaine, Bradley
            M. Kuhn, Caleb Tillman, Charvi Mendiratta, Daniel Duvall,
            Daniel Gurney, Dennis Ameling, Javier Spagnoletti, Jinoh Kang,
            Joey Salazar, Konrad Borowski, m4sk1n, Marlon Rac Cambasis,
            Martin Schön, Michał Kępień, Nate Avers, Nipunn Koorapati,
            Rafael Silva, Robert Karszniewicz, Samuel Čavoj, Sean Barag,
            Sibo Dong, Simão Afonso, Sohom Datta, Thomas Koutcher, and
            Victor Engmark.
          Returning contributors who helped this release are as follows.
          Thanks for your continued support.
            Adam Spiers, Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason, Alexander Shopov, Alex
            Vandiver, Arnout Engelen, brian m. carlson, Christian Couder,
            Chris. Webster, David Aguilar, Denton Liu, Derrick Stolee,
            Dimitriy Ryazantcev, Đoàn Trần Công Danh, Drew DeVault,
            Elijah Newren, Emily Shaffer, Emir Sarı, Eric Sunshine, Felipe
            Contreras, Han-Wen Nienhuys, Jean-Noël Avila, Jeff Hostetler,
            Jeff King, Jiang Xin, Johannes Berg, Johannes Schindelin,
            Jonathan Tan, Jordi Mas, Josh Steadmon, Junio C Hamano,
            Kyle Meyer, Martin Ågren, Matheus Tavares, Matthias Rüster,
            Nicolas Morey-Chaisemartin, Patrick Steinhardt, Peter Kaestle,
            Peter Krefting, Philippe Blain, Phillip Wood, Pranit Bauva,
            Pratyush Yadav, Ramsay Jones, Randall S. Becker, René Scharfe,
            Sergey Organov, Serg Tereshchenko, Srinidhi Kaushik, Stefan
            Haller, Štěpán Němec, SZEDER Gábor, Taylor Blau, Trần
            Ngọc Quân, and Yi-Jyun Pan.
        • Git 2.30 Released As More Projects Shift To “Main” As Their Default Branch Name – Phoronix

          Git 2.30 is out today as the latest stable release update of this wildly-popular, distributed revision control system.

          Earlier in 2020 the Git 2.28 release brought the support for a configurable/default branch name to replace the “master” usage that has been the default behavior up to this point. That configurable option has been working out well for those wanting to change the default Git branch from the likes of “master” to “main” or “default”. Git itself has been working towards such a transition to the “main” name and with Git 2.30 are some updates around their internal tests to accommodate the eventual change.

        • Some things a potential Git replacement probably needs to provide

          Recently there has been renewed interest in revision control systems. This is great as improvements to tools are always welcome. Git is, sadly, extremely entrenched and trying to replace will be an uphill battle. This is not due to technical but social issues. What this means is that approaches like “basically Git, but with a mathematically proven model for X” are not going to fly. While having this extra feature is great in theory, in practice is it not sufficient. The sheer amount of work needed to switch a revision control system and the ongoing burden of using a niche, nonstandard system is just too much. People will keep using their existing system.

          What would it take, then, to create a system that is compelling enough to make the change? In cases like these you typically need a “big design thing” that makes the new system 10× better in some way and which the old system can not do. Alternatively the new system needs to have many small things that are better but then the total improvement needs to be something like 20× because the human brain perceives things nonlinearly. I have no idea what this “major feature” would be, but below is a list of random things that a potential replacement system should probably handle.

        • KD Soap 1.10.0 Released! – KDAB – KDAB on Qt

          KD Soap is a tool for creating client applications for web services. With KD Soap, it’s possible to create web services that don’t require further components. This tool makes it possible to interact with applications that have APIs that can be exported as SOAP objects. The web service then provides a machine-accessible interface to its functionality via HTTP. You can find out more about KD Soap on our KD Soap homepage.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Agda – LinuxLinks

          Agda is a dependently typed functional programming language based on intuitionistic type theory. Type theory is concerned both with programming and logic.

          Agda is an extension of Martin-Löf’s type theory, and is the latest in the tradition of languages developed in the programming logic group at Chalmers. It has inductive families, i.e., data types which depend on values, such as the type of vectors of a given length. It also has parametrised modules, mixfix operators, Unicode characters, and an interactive Emacs interface which can assist the programmer in writing the program. Other languages in this tradition are Alf, Alfa, Agda 1, Cayenne. Some other loosely related languages are Coq, Epigram, and Idris.

          This language is also a proof assistant based on the propositions-as-types paradigm, but has no separate tactics language, and proofs are written in a functional programming style.

          Agda is open-source and enjoys contributions from many authors. The center of the Agda development is the Programming Logic group at Chalmers and Gothenburg University.

          Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Agda.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2020.52 ReReRevolution!

            Jonathan Worthington describes the road from the first release five years ago of what is now Raku in Reminiscence, Refinement, Revolution. Reminiscing on the torture of core developers, remaking design decisions, but also about the forging of lifetime friendships. An inspiring blog post in these dark times (/r/rakulang comments)!

          • Perl weekly challenge 93

            These are some answers to the Week 93 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar.

        • Python

          • Show progress in your Python apps with tqdm | Opensource.com

            Most programs have a clear goal, a desired end state. Sometimes, calculating that end state can take a long time. While computers don’t care, not having feelings, people do. Humans are not happy sitting around waiting without any visible sign of progress. Doubt creeps in. Has the program crashed? Is the disk thrashing? Did the operating system allocate all its computing resources to other tasks?
            Like justice, progress must be seen, not merely done. The tqdm Python library helps make progress explicit.

            The tqdm module works with the console, but it also has special support for one of my favorite environments: Jupyter. To use tqdm in Jupyter, you need to import the notebook submodule and have ipywidgets installed. The notebook submodule is interface-compatible with tqdm

        • Rust

          • Rust Language 2020 Survey Results

            When asked how to improve adoption of Rust, 15 percent of respondents said they would use Rust more if it were “less intimidating, easier to learn, or less complicated.”

            According to respondents, the most difficult aspect to learn is lifetime management with 61 percent stating that using lifetimes is either tricky or very difficult.

          • [Rust] 1.49.0 pre-release testing

            The 1.49.0 pre-release is ready for testing. The release is scheduled for this Thursday, December 31st. Release notes can be found here.

          • Please welcome cjgillot and Nadrieril to compiler-contributors

            Please welcome @cjgillot and @Nadrieril to the compiler-contributors group!

            @cjgillot has been working to improve the query system used internally in rustc which powers incremental compilation. Some of their improvements have been to reduce unnecessary work performed during incremental compilation, leading to faster builds. Other improvements have made the query system leaner allowing rustc to bootstrap faster. @cjgillot has also made many tweaks and optimizations to the query system.

          • Philip Chimento: Advent of Rust 25: Baby Steps

            It’s the final post in the series chronicling my attempt to teach myself the Rust programming language by solving programming puzzles from Advent of Code 2020.


            Today’s puzzle is about cracking an encryption key, in order to get at a piece of secret information (called loop size in the puzzle) by taking a piece of known public information (public key) and reversing the algorithm used to generate it. Of course, the algorithm (called transform subject number) is not easy to reverse, and that’s what the puzzle is about.

        • Java

          • How to use a functional interface in Java

            A functional interface is an interface that contains a single abstract method. It is used as the basis for lambda expressions in functional programming.

            Such an interface may contain also other non-abstract methods even though this is not considered a good practice. Also, the notation @FunctionalInterface is optional but it will ensure that the intention of the interface is clear and the Java compiler will make sure the code conforms to the rules for functional interfaces.

  • Leftovers

    • John Q. Adams’ Apples

      After John Q. Adams served His term as president He walked back to Braintree

      Braintree, he explained to me, Is named for Braintree, England But brain tree’s a corruption of branca tree, like blanca tree, A white, snow-coated grey one

    • The Outsider

      There’s a memorable scene near the end of Joe Sacco’s latest book, Paying the Land, that encapsulates his ethos as a comics journalist. For the project, he made two trips to Canada’s remote Northwest Territories to interview members of the Dene Nation about their relationship to the land and resource extraction. At the time of his visits, the gas and oil industries had been established in the region for years, but a global petroleum glut had paused operations. Sacco and his guide, Shauna, visited several towns and heard a range of Indigenous perspectives on drilling and fracking, which provide jobs and economic opportunity but also endanger the habitats and cohesion of communities. What he found was that the complications surrounding resource extraction were inextricable from larger issues the Dene have been facing for generations. Sacco couldn’t parse the conflicts over oil and gas without understanding the Canadian government’s ruthless program of colonization, enacted via unjust treaties and the residential school system. He also couldn’t understand it without following the Dene’s resistance to the government and their fight to regain control of their land and maintain their independence and identity.1

    • What Comes Next for the Santa Clara Principles: 2020 in Review

      Later that same year, we worked with a group of more than one hundred organizations from dozens of countries to send a strong message to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, reminding him that much of the world’s ability to speak freely is in his hands, and urging him to ensure that Facebook offer appeals in every circumstance. That campaign was a success: Not only did Facebook respond to our letter, but they broadened the right to appeal to most cases, with a handful of exceptions.

      From that action, we also began developing a loose coalition of other experts—NGOs, academics, and journalists—engaged broadly in the topic of platform governance, and have continued (with the help of our allies) to grow that group and broaden collaboration in the field.

      In 2019, we succeeded in getting a dozen companies to endorse the Principles, with several companies furthering their compliance. One company, Reddit, went all the way in implementing the Principles into their platform.

    • US Approves Delivery Drones Over Populated Areas

      On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the use of delivery drones over populated areas at night. Many see the move as the next step to widespread adoption of drone deliveries.

    • Drone Delivery Gets Clearance from FAA – Make Tech Easier %

      Drone delivery just took a giant leap forward. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced it is issuing rules that will allow small drones to fly out over people as well as at night. These are rules that the delivery industry has long waited for so that they can expand fleets and possibilities.

    • Craving Coffee 07 – Cool Kids Go Static

      Somehow I also managed to completely redesign my site and migrate from WordPress to Jekyll. I’ve been somewhat of a Static Site Generator (SSG) naysayer in the past, but I have to say after spending a decent amount of time using Jekyll, I’m a complete convert. I’m particularly enjoying the new writing workflow that comes with using Jekyll instead of WP.

    • Nashville Blast Suspect Died In Explosion, Police Say

      FBI forensic experts matched DNA samples recovered from the scene to that of Anthony Q. Warner, whose home in nearby Antioch was searched on Saturday by federal agents.

      “We’ve come to the conclusion that an individual named Anthony Warner is the bomber and he was present when the bomb went off and that he perished in the bombing,” Donald Cochran, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, told a news conference.

      Officials said it was too early in the investigation to discuss the suspect’s motives.

    • Education

      • Warburg-Backed Chinese Online Tutoring Startup Weighs U.S. IPO

        Zhangmen, which means leader or master in Chinese, was founded in 2005 with an initial focus on afterschool tutoring in classrooms. In 2014, the company shifted its business model to online one-on-one tutoring for students from elementary schools to high schools, according to its website. The firm has more than 60 million registered members.

        The startup has completed at least five funding rounds since 2015 and counts Shunwei Capital, a fund co-founded by Xiaomi Corp. Chairman Lei Jun, and Warbug Pincus among its investors. Last year, Zhangmen raised about $350 million in a series E funding round led by investors including CMC Capital and a unit of China Investment Corp. A venture capital fund backed by Chinese movie stars Li Bingbing and Zhang Ziyi also participated in another fundraising.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Biden announces White House digital team

          The White House digital operation will be composed of 12 Democratic operatives who have experience in roles on Biden’s presidential campaign, transition team or the inaugural committee.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (horizon, kitty, python-apt, and roundcube), Fedora (libmaxminddb, mediawiki, mingw-binutils, and thunderbird), Mageia (erlang-rebar3), openSUSE (blosc, ceph, firefox, flac, kdeconnect-kde, openexr, ovmf, PackageKit, python3, thunderbird, and xen), and SUSE (thunderbird).

          • How Reverse Engineering Can Help Secure Your Linux Systems Against Malware

            Linux malware is a growing concern for administrators, as both the prevalence and sophistication of variants targeting Linux systems continues to increase. That being said, the rise in Linux malware is not a reflection of the security of Linux, as the majority of attacks on Linux systems can be attributed to misconfigured servers and poor administration.

            Testing and verifying server security on an ongoing basis is crucial in preventing attacks, and reverse engineering is an excellent method of detecting and analyzing malware on Linux systems, and gathering threat intelligence that can be used to prevent future attacks. There is an array of great open-source tools, toolkits and utilities for reverse engineering and malware scanning available to Linux users, the majority of which are powerful, user-friendly and free to download.

          • Windows Zero-Day Still Circulating After Faulty Fix

            A high-severity Windows zero-day that could lead to complete desktop takeover remains dangerous after a “fix” from Microsoft failed to adequately patch it.

            The local privilege-escalation bug in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (CVE-2020-0986) exists in the Print Spooler API. It could allow a local attacker to elevate privileges and execute code in the context of the current user, according to Microsoft’s advisory issued in June. An attacker would first have to log on to the system, but could then run a specially crafted application to take control of an affected system.

          • Emails compromised in cyber attack on Finland’s Parliament

            In a separate press release, the NBI said that a preliminary probe into the incident was launched in late autumn, and the matter is now being investigated as a suspected case of aggravated [cracking] and espionage.

          • UK cosmetic surgery provider hit by ransomware, customer data stolen

            Transform Hospital Group Ltd., a U.K. provider of cosmetic and weight loss surgery, has been hit by ransomware, resulting in the theft of customer data including intimate pictures.

            Exactly when the attack took place is not clear. Transform, best known in the U.K. for breast enhancement surgery, described it only as a data security breach. “None of our patients’ payment card details have been compromised but at this stage, we understand that some of our patients’ personal data may have been accessed,” the company said in statement reported today by the BBC.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Mageia (flac, graphicsmagick, jackit, kdeconnect-kde, libmaxminddb, libvirt, openjpeg2, pngcheck, python3, roundcubemail, and spice-vdagent), openSUSE (gimp), and SUSE (containerd, docker, docker-runc, golang-github-docker-libnetwork, cyrus-sasl, and gimp).

          • debsecan : you will not miss another security update

            Do you ever wonder how to keep up with the new security updates releasing daily? Debsecan is a great tool that you can use to simplify this task. This utility will help you to evaluate your current security status without searching for the new security updates manually. And also it comes with the feature to report the missing security updates. Most importantly, it will let you know if there’s any known vulnerabilities exists in the already installed programs.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Insecure wheels: Police turn to car data to destroy suspects’ alibis

              In recent years, investigators have realized that automobiles — particularly newer models — can be treasure troves of digital evidence. Their onboard computers generate and store data that can be used to reconstruct where a vehicle has been and what its passengers were doing. They reveal everything from location, speed and acceleration to when doors were opened and closed, whether texts and calls were made while the cellphone was plugged into the infotainment system, as well as voice commands and web histories.

              But that boon for forensic investigators creates fear for privacy activists, who warn that the lack of information security baked into vehicles’ computers poses a risk to consumers and who call for safeguards to be put in place.

              “I hear a lot of analogies of cars being smartphones on wheels. But that’s vastly reductive,” said Andrea Amico, founder of Privacy4Cars, which makes a free app that helps people delete their data from automobiles and makes its money by offering the service to rental companies and dealerships. “If you think about the amount of sensors in a car, the smartphone is a toy. A car has GPS, an accelerometer, a camera. A car will know how much you weigh. Most people don’t realize this is happening.”

            • In 2023, you won’t be able to fly most drones in the US without broadcasting your location

              If you intend to fly a drone in the US, you’re going to want to pay attention: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) just issued the single biggest set of changes to US drone law since the agency first took an interest in the technology. With the proper license, you’ll soon be able to fly at night and over people. But the biggest change is this: in 2023, it may be illegal for you to fly some drones at all unless you retrofit them with their own broadcasting equipment.

            • COVID-19 Vaccine Passport? You Might Need It To Travel In 2021

              Several companies and technology groups have begun developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their Covid-19 tests and vaccinations, creating digital credentials that could be shown in order to enter concert venues, stadiums, movie theaters, offices, or even countries.

              The Common Trust Network, an initiative by Geneva-based nonprofit The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum, has partnered with several airlines including Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, as well as hundreds of health systems across the United States and the government of Aruba.

            • Smart Doorbell Disaster: Many Brands Vulnerable to Attack

              Smart doorbells, designed to allow homeowners to keep an eye on unwanted and wanted visitors, can often cause more security harm than good compared to their analog door bolt alternatives. Consumer-grade digital doorbells are riddled with potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities ranging from hardcoded credentials, authentication issues and devices shipping with unpatched and longstanding critical bugs.

              That fresh assessment comes from NCC Group, which published a report last week outlining “domestic IoT nightmares.” In partnership with the publication Which?, it assessed smart doorbell models made by three vendors Victure, Qihoo and Accfly along with white-box offerings from three additional doorbell makers.

            • LetsEncrypt will continue working for older Android devices!

              I find it funny that Android does not enforce the expiration dates of CA root certs. So even though the IdenTrust CA root cert on Android devices has expired, it is still considered valid and any certs signed by it even with dates much later than its own expiry are considered valid. [...]

            • Zoom is reportedly developing email and calendar services

              According to sources who spoke to The Information for a report published today, Zoom is developing its own web-based email service and may launch an accompanying calendar tool as well. The tipsters didn’t divulge much information on the calendar offering. However, they did share a few details about Zoom’s ambitions to take on Gmail and Outlook.

              The company is reportedly looking to launch an initial version of its email service as soon as early 2021 with a goal of providing a “next generation” experience for users. It’s unclear exactly how the offering would differ from traditional email services.

            • WireGuard: great protocol, but skip the Mac app

              WireGuard is an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, it’s a solid transport, and just sits there and runs and runs. The ‘plumbing’ side of things has never been a problem. The ‘porcelain’, that is, the user interface and things that humans actually interact with, however, is another story entirely.

            • On the Surveillance Creep that is WeChat

              So what to do? Enter Island, a sandbox environment that basically let you have an “Android for Work” profile that have its own set of data. I only ran WeChat from there, and so whenever it tried to hoover up my contacts and phone logs, it gets… nada. Media files I want to send, I transfer to the “Island” work profile before then sharing via WeChat. A bit cumbersome but it works – and there’s no easy way to get media files I receive via WeChat back out, but it’s mostly cat pictures and memes so… ¯_(ツ)_/¯

              Notice the use of past tense? That’s because, today, after not using the app for a few months, I received the blocking notice above. Island (or an Android for Work profile) certainly doesn’t qualify for any of the above, which made me assume that it just suspected I’m using a simulator because no real phone would have no contacts to datamine?

            • quick thoughts on bouncy castle bcrypt broken compare

              To recap, the bug is that password hashes are compared by looking at the position of each character value, instead of comparing the character values at each position. This leads to a great many false positives, effectively a password bypass.

            • Decrypting TLS Streams With Wireshark: Part 2

              In this blog post, we will use the client to get the necessary information to decrypt TLS streams.

            • [Old] Decrypting TLS Streams With Wireshark: Part 1

              In this first example, I show how to decrypt a TLS stream with Wireshark.

              I made my example as such, that the encryption in this example is done with keys derived from a master secret. This master secret is derived from a pre-master secret, which is securely exchanged between the client and server using RSA crypto.

              Remark that this method will not work with modern browsers and web servers, as they use perfect forward secrecy. This will be explained in part 2.

            • Facebook’s Activity Log Does Not Spark Joy

              As a current Facebook employee, for various reasons I would rather not get into I still need to have a personal Facebook account.

              I do not really want it to keep a trail of my personal life to be squeezed for every last cent of advertising revenue, though. And slashing-and-burning by deleting this account and starting a new one might cause technical issues so … better not to try it.

              Enter Activity Log. While available on both web and the Facebook apps, currently only the app version (the full Android and iOS apps as well as Facebook Lite) let you delete your activity in bulk. For some interpretations of bulk.

              Here’s a few bugs I’ve already discovered, and why after more than a week my profile is still not a nice clean slate: [...]

            • Twitter Sued for Defamation by NY Post’s Source for Hunter Biden Stories

              A Delaware computer repair shop owner sued Twitter, alleging the social network defamed him by effectively labeling him a “hacker” after his business was cited as the source for info obtained from a laptop allegedly owned by Hunter Biden that served as the basis for several New York Post articles published in October.

            • Older Phones to Stop Working with T-Mobile in 2021

              You may be among the T-Mobile customers receiving a text message from the company on December 28, 2020. This message will state that older phones or other devices will no longer be getting T-Mobile service in the new year.

            • I have no sound or vibration on my phone and it’s great

              It all started a couple of years ago when I started to feel that my phone was becoming too distracting for me. I began to go through my installed applications and I found a few that I could uninstall right away, but I quickly realised that was never the issue as I don’t have that many applications to begin with.

              The only applications that actually send me daily notifications is my XMPP-client Conversations and my e-mail client K-9 Mail. And removing those two applications was never an option. XMPP and e-mail are my two primary (and basically only) way of communicating with my family, friends and the world.

              Because e-mail is not used for real-time conversations, I decided to disable the notifications to see if that made any difference for me. Well. It didn’t. I really don’t get that many e-mail messages per day to begin with, it only made me spend more time checking my inbox to see if I haven’t missed anything.

              Then one morning, everything changed. I was sitting in my kitchen, eating my breakfast and listening to some netcast show before getting ready for work when my phone all of a sudden just went silent. I poked at the phone trying to wake it up, but nothing happened. It was dead.

              It turned out that my phone had been affected by the notorious “bootloop of death” issue, which seems to be a common issue for both my Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P. To my knowledge, it’s something that eventually happens to every phone? It seems that I was just lucky that it took me more than 4 years for my phone to turn into an expensive brick.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump’s Pardons for the Festive Season

        The power to pardon can be found in Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the US Constitution, a provision, which states, in part, that the President “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”  That most eminent of judicial heads Chief Justice Marshall described a pardon as “an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed.”

        Those of curious legal mind will detect the residue of the monarchical prerogative in all of this.  The great synthesising authority of English law, William Blackstone, praised the monarchy for having a distinct advantage: “there is a magistrate, who has it in his power to extend mercy, wherever he thinks it is deserved: holding a court of equity in his own breast, to soften the rigour of the general law, in such criminal cases as merit an exemption from punishment.”  Justifying the mirroring of this power in the US Constitution, Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 74 argues that, “Humanity and good policy conspire to dictate, that the benign prerogative of pardoning should be as little as possible fettered or embarrassed.”

      • How the Fight Over Spain’s Anti-Fascist Legacy Involves a Former ‘Nation’ Editor

        On November 30, the Spanish government announced that it would step in to save the tomb of a longtime Nation journalist, Julio Álvarez del Vayo, who worked as one of the magazine’s editors from the early 1940s to the mid-1950s.

      • Presidential Commission On Law Enforcement Says Pretty Much Everyone But Cops Are To Blame For The Shitty State Of American Policing

        [Note: this is one of what will probably be several posts covering the Commission's 332-page report. There's a lot to cover in here and one post simply isn't enough to cover everything in it. Stay tuned.]

      • In Brief: The Silent Threat of Canada to World Peace

        Citizens become responsible with their governments if they are blind to what their governments are doing in their name in war crimes and crimes against humanity under codified international law.

        “We didn’t know” is a form of denial and justification.

      • Doomsday ex Machina: Daniel Ellsberg and the Nuclear Gang

        In his recent book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, Daniel Ellsberg paints a doom and boom picture of the future, unless we immediately engage in negotiations with other nuclear armed nations to strengthen the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and begin the dismantling of the Doomsday Machine that is programmed to destroy as much life as possible on the planet once global nuclear war begins — a perilously close possibility under the current postures and protocols of nuclear-armed governments. (Even as late as last week, NATO rejected a UN call for the elimination of these omnicidal weapons.)

        In the above example, Richard Nixon was inspired by Dwight D. Eisenhower’s strong arming tactics in securing an armistice in Korea. Citing Nixon Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman, Ellsberg writes,

      • Trump and Barr Use Last Days to Execute the Most Federal Prisoners Since WWII
      • 2020 Ends as It Began: With the Looming Threat of a US War With Iran

        Amid increasing hostility towards Tehran, the United States is building up its military presence on Iran’s borders. In the past three weeks alone, the U.S. has flown in a squadron of fighter jets and extra B-52 bombers while deploying the U.S.S. Nimitz aircraft carrier (with its strike group) and a large submarine to the Persian Gulf. This comes on top of the 2,500 troops it sent to Saudi Arabia earlier in the year, the first build-up of forces in the country in 17 years. The nuclear powered Nimitz is home to nine squadrons of fighting aircraft and has also long been rumored to carry nuclear weapons.

      • Rep. Ro Khanna Won’t Vote to Override Trump Veto on Defense Bill
      • “The Priorities Are Wrong”: Rep. Ro Khanna Says He Won’t Vote to Override Trump Veto on Defense Bill

        Congress is set to override President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, the $740 billion annual defense policy bill that funds the U.S. military. Trump vetoed the legislation last week over objections to liability protections for social media companies and because he did not want to rename military bases currently named for Confederate generals. Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna says Trump’s reasons for vetoing the bill are “disingenuous,” but that he will not be voting to override the veto. “The bottom line is $740 billion is way too much defense spending,” says Khanna. “The priorities are wrong.”

      • US Must Commit to Arms Reduction If It Wants North Korea to Do So
      • After a Violent Crime, Arizona Promised Reforms for People With Developmental Disabilities. It Has Yet to Deliver.

        On New Year’s Eve 2018, an Arizona long-term care facility became a crime scene.

        A 29-year-old resident with disabilities so profound she could not talk, walk or care for herself shocked staff when she gave birth to a boy. No one had even noticed she was pregnant. Immediately it was clear she had been raped.

      • Killer Cops: Police Killed Over 1,000 Americans in 2020

        American law enforcement officers have killed well over 1,000 people in 2020. Between January 1 and December 15 of this year, the Mapping Police Violence project has recorded 1,066 people nationwide killed at the hands of the police, an average of around three killings per day. Despite the fact that 2020 has brought with it a pandemic forcing Americans to stay off the streets (and, presumably, out of trouble) as much as possible, there have only been 17 days recorded this year where the police did not kill someone.

      • Evading oversight The Russian authorities want Navalny back in Moscow for a parole hearing first thing tomorrow morning

        Despite the fact that he was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent in Russia, opposition figure Alexey Navalny has been adamant about his plans to return home. But now the Russian authorities have called him back to Moscow earlier than expected. On Monday, December 28, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service threatened to file a complaint against Navalny in court for violating the terms of his probation. Citing an article published by the doctors who treated him in Germany, the Russian authorities maintained that Navalny has long since recovered from his “illness” and demanded that he show up to a parole hearing in Moscow first thing the next day. While Navalny’s lawyer warns that the opposition figure could end up in jail if his previous sentence is overturned, Navalny and his associates are drawing attention to the fact that this is the first time a branch of the Russian government has effectively acknowledged that he was poisoned. 

      • Lawyer Lyubov Sobol refuses to pledge not to leave Moscow following criminal charges

        Lawyer Lyubov Sobol, who works for Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, has been released on her own recognizance after being charged with criminally infringing on the inviolability of the home of Konstantin Kudryavtsev — one of the FSB operatives implicated in Navalny’s poisoning. 

      • Russian authorities threaten Navalny with prison time unless he appears for parole hearing in Moscow tomorrow

        The Moscow branch of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) has threatened to go to court with a request to overturn Alexey Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case unless he appears for a parole hearing in Moscow tomorrow. This was reported by Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev on Twitter. 

      • Biden calls for modernizing US defenses following massive [crack] [iophk: Windows TCO]

        “We have to be able to innovate and reimagine our defenses against growing threats in new realms like cyberspace,” Biden said at a press conference following a briefing from intelligence and defense officials on national security issues.

        Biden pointed to the need to address challenges from Russia and China and said that “modernizing our defense priorities to better deter aggression in the future, rather than continuing to over-invest in legacy systems designed to address the threats of the past” would be necessary.

      • Three French Soldiers Killed in Mali

        The soldiers were part of France’s Operation Barkhane mission, which is fighting an Islamist extremist insurgency in Africa’s Sahel region.

        They were working as part of a 5,000-troop mission “in an area where terrorist groups are attacking civilians and threatening the regional stability,” according to Florence Parly, France’s defense minister.

      • Even as a Weak President, Trump Has Undermined Democracy

        An American president is both head of government (like a prime minister in other regimes) and head of state (like a monarch). In his capacity as quasi-monarch, Trump has acted in deeply unsettling ways. He’s denounced the press as “the enemy of the people” and incited violence against reporters and political foes. He’s mainstreamed racism and given his stamp of approval to violent groups like the Proud Boys. He’s nurtured the QAnon conspiracy theory. He’s refused to accept the legitimacy of his clear electoral defeat and has egged on outlandish moves to overturn the results.

        Trump’s legislative weakness and his unhinged demagoguery are connected. It’s precisely because Trump can’t win victories on the field of legislative battle that he’s welcomed the creation of a fictional alternative reality where he is constantly victorious. And to judge by polls, he’s dragged millions of Republicans into this alternative reality.

      • The quest for water: Will the Abraham Accords change the water landscape for the region?

        Water scarcity remains a critical matter to the Middle East and specifically to the Gulf countries. Water resources are in short supply, even as the demand for water grows with socio-economic development and population growth. According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), thirty-three countries are estimated to suffer from a severe water crisis by 2040; half of these countries are in the Middle East, with the top ten including all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. In order to mitigate this coming predicament, countless ideas have been thrown around. One suggestion was the importation of water from the Antarctic and other areas of the globe. However, complicated economic and technical issues proved the idea not feasible.

        Chronic water problems come with their own sets of challenges. Understanding water insecurity means looking past the issue of supply shortages and into the political, social, and economic landscape. Societies depend on water for survival and its absence impacts their health and livelihood; from sanitation services to economic activities like agriculture, energy production, and transportation. When societies are unable to provide for themselves, countries will be unable to achieve economic stability and growth, which in turn leads to the inability to alleviate the impacts of urbanization, climate change, and the rise of protests that may lead to political tensions.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Doping Whistle-Blowers Have No Plans To Return To Russia

        The Russian couple who played a major role in exposing the nation’s sports doping scandal said in an interview published on December 27 that they no longer consider Russia their home and have no plans to return to the country.

    • Environment

      • Ecologists to Erdoğan: We are not vandals, we are life defenders

        Releasing a statement in response to these remarks, the Ecology Union (Ekoloji Birliği) has underlined that the struggle for ecology is both righteous and legitimate. The union has briefly stated the following: [...]

      • Ron Howard Admits He Had a Hard Time Shooting Interviews for the Devastating Story of ‘Rebuilding Paradise’

        The director estimates that original footage followed between 20 and 25 subjects, but that amount was soon whittled down to those actively working and taking charge in the restoration efforts.

        “There were a lot of people who we began following who fell away, not so much because they stopped talking to us, but because they decided not to stay,” he said. “A lot of the people we began focusing on were the ones who were innately a little more resilient. And they were kind of natural leaders — they were the ones who kept showing up.”

        “Rebuilding Paradise” also chronicled those spared by the fires who moved back into their smoke-ruined homes and were then being poisoned by their own water systems (the fire caused the plastic pipes to leech benzene into the town’s waterways). Paradise citizen Carly Ingersoll, a school psychologist, spent her days helping children cope with post-traumatic stress disorder but was told she should hold off trying to have children of her own while the town’s water was still polluted. Spoiler alert: Howard has since updated us that Ingersoll is currently pregnant and starting a family of her own.

      • Biden Already Facing Pressure to Tackle Backlog of ‘Unfunded’ Toxic Waste Sites Threatened by Climate Crisis

        More broadly, campaigners are calling on the incoming president to deliver on the environmental justice promises he made as a candidate.

      • Religion Meets Climate Change

        Global warming is the biggest challenge of all time. It impacts every living species. However, the inherent dangers are very difficult to comprehend, as such, people brush it off as one more issue in life that will somehow be handled, fixed, no worries, human ingenuity will prevail.

        But, what if it’s not that simple?

      • Opinion | Biden Needs to Make Good on Environmental Justice Promises

        We need him to take urgent action to curb the global climate crisis and to restore justice for communities impacted by air, water and land polluters.

      • The Mythology of Fire Suppression

        Despite making an excellent case for the influence of climate and weather on fire spread, the reporter several times referenced the myth that fire suppression was partially responsible for these large blazes.

        Ecologically speaking, fire suppression and the consequence fuel build-up have almost nothing to do with the large blazes occurring around the West. Most forest types in Oregon and the rest of the West have long fire-free intervals of centuries between major fires, during which they do not burn for a host of reasons related to climate and weather.

      • Energy

    • Finance

    • Teetering on the Edge: A Postcard From London

      If you believe the relentless cheerleading of the Murdoch press, Britain is in the final stages of a heroic drama that will finally see this island nation declare economic independence and stride boldly onto the global stage, its precious sovereignty regained. Freed from the fetters of the European Union, Britons will once again become shopkeepers to the world, negotiating on advantageous terms with trade partners from Tokyo to Toronto. Meanwhile, every day brings new developments in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit brinkmanship: a disastrous dinner with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, stern warnings from chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier, brave posturing from Johnson over an “Australian-style deal”—which means crashing out without a deal.

    • Opinion | The European Union: Free at Last

      The goal of ‘ever closer union’, anathema to English exceptionalists, is back on the agenda.

    • When the Landlords Say, “Fuck You”

      I know it is often hard to see, but significant elements of the folks in power at various levels of government are keenly aware that we’re in a crisis, and they want to avoid a total meltdown of the social order.  They often like to act blase and in control of the situation, they like to pretend that we all believe we live in a society governed by law, where we all play by certain rules that are more or less sacred.  But really they know they rule over a house of cards that sits on top of a powder keg, and there’s a fire burning nearby, which they need to keep from reaching the powder keg, and any notions of the rule of law are relatively worthless when millions of people are suddenly unable to house themselves or put food on the table.

      The more progressive elements among the kleptocracy that passes itself off as government in this country is aware that what would be truly needed for long-term social cohesion, and long-term successful governance, would involve a reversal of the ongoing stratification of society under monopoly capitalism that has been taking place for several decades, which could begin with radical policies like government regulation of the cost of housing.  But at every level of government, government is bought and sold by the corporate landlords at public auctions which we call elections, and so even the legislators and governors intelligent enough to see the crisis that is in front of them are unable to do what they know needs to be done — in the longer term, instituting effective rent control policies, and in the shorter term, doing things like canceling all rent and deferring all mortgage payments for the duration of the pandemic.

    • With Relief Bill Signed, Sanders Says Trump Must Get ‘McConnell and His Republican Friends’ to Stop Blocking $2,000 Checks

      “The House must pass this legislation tomorrow and the Senate must quickly follow suit. Let’s get this done—NOW!”

    • ‘A Terrible and Costly Stunt’: Trump Delay in Signing Relief Bill Could Cost Millions a Full Week of Unemployment Aid

      “Caused needless anguish and financial distress for tens of millions of jobless living on the brink.”

    • After Deadly Delay, Trump Folds and Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill

      But only after the president “let 1,309 more people die from Covid-19 and 179,104 more people contract it,” lamented Rep. Mark Pocan.

    • Sanders Says Trump Must Get GOP to Stop Blocking $2,000 Relief Checks
    • New York Lawmakers Poised to Pass Nation’s Strongest Eviction Ban as Millions Face Housing Insecurity

      “It is not just unconscionable to evict people during a pandemic winter, it is deadly.”

    • Rep. Ro Khanna: $2,000 Stimulus Checks Are Needed, Not More Austerity, Amid Economic & Health Crisis

      President Trump has unexpectedly signed a $2.3 trillion spending package that includes a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package. The bill includes direct payments of $600 for most adults, expanded unemployment benefits, aid for small businesses, money for vaccine distribution and a temporary extension of a federal eviction ban. Millions were plunged into uncertainty over the holidays as Trump delayed signing the bill, allowing two unemployment programs to lapse. He is also demanding lawmakers amend the bill to give $2,000 in direct payments to most Americans, a proposal opposed by most Republicans but endorsed by Democratic leaders. “There’s no doubt in my mind that Trump is to blame for the delay, for the anxiety people had, and [Mitch] McConnell and Republicans are to blame for not having $2,000,” says Rep. Ro Khanna, Democratic congressmember from California.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Opinion | Neera Tanden and Antony Blinken Personify the ‘Moderate’ Rot at the Top of the Democratic Party

      What’s so moderate about being on the take from rich beneficiaries of corporate America while opposing proposals that would curb their profits in order to reduce income inequality and advance social justice?

    • Opinion | Jumping the Shark with Stalin
    • Over a Year Away From Primaries, NY State Democratic Leader Warns AOC Against Challenging Schumer

      “Instead of dividing our party, the Establishment should embrace progressive ideas that over 85% of Democrats already support!”

    • Not E. P. Thompson’s People; Or, Life at Fuckingham Palace: On The Crown Seasons Three and Four

      The December 28, 2020 issue of People magazine has a cover story about the “real” Princess Kate, wife of Prince William, and mother of their three children. It depicts Kate, her husband and kids as just another close-knit family that shops at the Sainsbury supermarket near their country home in Norfolk. People magazine casts royalty as exalted and at the same time as down home.

      The royals aren’t just another family, as The Crown, the popular Netflix series amply demonstrates. They are wealthier and more powerful than the garden variety British family. If The Crown is to be believed, the royals are also much more venial and hideous than ordinary Brits. They don’t behead anyone these days, but they punish those who don’t toe the line. Personal lives and personal happiness don’t matter. The bloodline does. The show must go on.

    • Levada Center: More than half of Russians don’t want the ‘Sputnik V’ coronavirus vaccine

      More than half of Russia’s residents (58 percent) don’t want to be immunized with the “Sputnik V” coronavirus vaccine and only 38 percent are willing to get the shot, according to the results of a new poll from the independent Levada Center shared with Meduza. 

    • What it cost to build the Power Vertical Two political scientists explain how Russia’s abandonment of mayoral elections hasn’t delivered on promises of more effective management

      Thanks to Russia’s recent constitutional amendments, local self-government has effectively lost its independence. State officials at all levels now belong to the “unified system of public authority,” accountable to the president. Dramatic as these changes seem on paper, the reforms, in fact, formally recognize what has long been true in reality: appointed “city managers” have largely replaced the country’s elected mayors. As is often the case with Russia’s legislative innovations, lawmakers have justified the abolition of these popularly elected positions by citing “international practices” — particularly in the United States, which is where they grabbed the term “city manager.” In Russia and around the world, the main purpose of these reforms has been to reduce ineffective and often politically-driven municipal spending. In an article specially for Meduza, Center for Advanced Governance political scientists Kirill Kazantsev and Alexandra Rumyantseva examine whether Russia’s retreat from popularly elected mayors has ushered in an era of more effective city management.

    • ‘Now It’s the Senate’s Turn’: All Eyes on McConnell After House Approves $2,000 Coronavirus Relief Checks

      Progressives in both chambers of Congress are pressuring the GOP majority leader to urgently hold a vote on the Covid-19 legislation.

    • Trump Is Humiliated and More Dangerous Than Ever
    • BBC nominates J.K. Rowling’s controversial essay on trans rights for award

      The writer behind the Harry Potter series was in the running for her essay on sex and gender that triggered a public furor when it was first released in June. The essay made controversial statements about trans rights and the classification of trans women as women.

    • Eugene Debs on the Real Religion of Jesus

      In December 1914, socialist leader Eugene V. Debs sent a Christmas letter to a man in a Michigan prison. We reprint the message here in full.

      Eugene V. Debs was a skeptic of organized religion. He’d seen too many pastors and preachers, ostensible promulgators of the word of Jesus Christ, fulminate from the pulpit about the “ungodliness” of unions and radical politics.

      But Debs was also a devoted Christian. The aim of socialism, as he saw it, was to create a human brotherhood that stretched across the Earth, freeing prisoners and oppressed workers from despotism. Genuine democracy would replace the rule of Mammon in the cooperative commonwealth to come.

      In December 1914, Debs opened his hometown newspaper, the Terre Haute Tribune, to find a reprinted letter from a Michigan prisoner who had sent two dollars to a “Good Fellow Club” to purchase toys for disadvantaged kids. Debs was touched. On the sixteenth, Debs wrote a short message to Inmate No. 9756 in Jackson, Michigan, praising the imprisoned man as a better representative of the spirit of Jesus than the supposedly Christian society that had locked him up.

      We reprint it here, in honor of Christmas.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Unimpressed Judge Tosses One Of Devin Nunes’ SLAPP Suits Against The Washington Post

      Back in March, Devin Nunes filed yet another of his many, many SLAPP suits. This one was against the Washington Post and reporter Shane Harris. As we noted at the time, the lawsuit was mostly performative, and had no real legal argument. After first being transferred to the appropriate venue, last week the federal court in DC easily tossed the case noting that Nunes failed to plead anything actually defamatory.

    • Russia Is Cracking Down on Political Performance Art, Again. Why It Should Listen, Not Lash Out.

      This in turn increases the pressure authorities exert on the artists and activists in efforts to crush free speech. The flurry of prosecutions in recent months has made this clear.

      On November 28, two women dressed in costumes like those worn by Snegurochka (“Snowgirl”), a companion to Russia’s version of Santa Claus, were on a central square in Moscow. With them was a man dressed as a riot police officer. He stood with his back to a lamp post while the women tied him up with packaging tape and signs reading “Careful, Fragile.”

    • In 2020, Congress Threatened Our Speech and Security With the “EARN IT” Act

      Times have changed. Today, some U.S. senators have come to the view that speech in the online world is an exceptional case, in which website owners need to “earn it”—whether they intend to carefully moderate user content, or let users speak freely. In 2020, two Senators introduced a bill that would limit speech and security online, titled the EARN IT Act, which is also an acronym that stands for “Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies.”  

      Using crimes against children as an excuse to blow a hole in critical legal protections for online speech, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) co-sponsored this law. The original EARN IT Act created a 19-person government commission, stacked with seats reserved for law enforcement, that would create “best practices” for online platforms to follow. This wouldn’t have just targeted big websites like Facebook—the new rules would apply to a local news websites, hobby blogs, and email services, among other online services. Anyone who didn’t follow the “best practices” would lose critical legal protections and could be held liable, or prosecuted, for the actions of the people who use their services. 

      It’s clear what practices law enforcement want Internet companies and website hosts to adopt. U.S. Attorney General William Barr has said it repeatedly—in his view, law enforcement agencies should always have access to encrypted communications. But as we’ve explained over and over again, encryption with a “backdoor” is just broken encryption. It doesn’t matter if you call the means of accessing encryption “client side scanning” or “endpoint filtering” or anything else. Backdoors don’t just get used by good guys, either. Authoritarian governments and criminals are always interested in reading other peoples’ messages. 

    • Content Moderation Case Study: Profanity Filter Causes Problems At Paleontology Conference (October 2020)

      Summary: With the COVID pandemic still in full force, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology moved its annual meeting online. The event was due to run for an entire week, but early issues caused attendees and moderators to question the contents of the pre-packaged content filter provided by Convey Services, which operated the virtual meeting software.

    • Egyptian blogger Shadi Abu Zeid jailed for 6 months over 2016 Facebook video

      On November 21, a Cairo appeals court sentenced video blogger Abu Zeid to six months in prison after convicting him of insulting a government official in a Facebook post, according to news reports and his lawyer Nasser Amin, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview.

      Later that day, Abu Zeid was transferred to Cairo’s Tora Prison to begin his jail term, Amin said.

    • Terrorist Content Online: Is this the end?

      Two years after the release of the Commission’s proposal, the problematic parts of the agreed text have been successfully curbed thanks to a large coalition of civil society groups. As a result of this collective action by digital rights groups, journalists, free speech and rule of law organisations; we have been able to improve the worrying initial proposal. However, the agreed text is still a softened version of the original proposal and still raises doubts as to whether it would pass the legality test of the Court of Justice of the European Union or not.

    • Justice Minister announces online freedom of speech bill

      Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced a legal initiative on Thursday aimed at enabling [Internet] users to file complaints against the removal of online posts as well as the creation of a special court for freedom of speech.

    • Online Safety Bill: Social media firms could be fined up to £18m for not protecting users

      Online platforms that fail to protect users or remove harmful content will face fines of up to £18 million under new laws.

      In the Online Safety Bill, to be brought forward next year, Ofcom will be given the power to fine companies up to £18 million or 10 per cent of global turnover, whichever is higher, for failing to abide by a duty of care to their users – particularly children and the vulnerable.

      However, proposals for criminal liability for senior executives at non-compliant firms appear to have been scaled back, with the Government aiming to bring those powers into force through secondary legislation.

    • Free Speech Tuesday: Tinker on Snapchat

      B.L. apparently was a varsity cheerleader during her freshman year, but was relegated to J.V. during her sophomore year. After receiving that news, B.L. posted a photo of herself and several friends raising their middle fingers and including the following quote: “Fuck school fuck softball fuck cheer fuck everything.” Although the post was only temporarily on Snapchat, at least one student took a screenshot and provided it to a school official. In addition, at least one person accessed the vulgarity from a school computer.

      B.L. was then kicked-off the team. According to the school, a good cheerleader must have “have respect for the school, coaches, teachers, [and] other cheerleaders” and must also avoid “foul language and inappropriate gestures.” ACLU sued on B.L.’s behalf and won, including a 3rd Circuit decision limiting School’s control over student off-campus speech.

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • First Circuit Appeals Court Reaffirms Its 2011 Decision: The First Amendment Protects The Recording Of Cops

      More than a decade ago, Simon Glik was arrested by Boston police officers for the “crime” of recording them in public. This was made possible by a law passed in the mid-60s, which turned Massachusetts into a “two-party” recording state. Unless the person doing the recording has the consent of the person being recorded, it’s a violation of the state’s wiretap law.

    • CNN’s Acosta says ‘a number of us’ get death threats from Trump supporters

      “I am not the only reporter who covered this White House who has had death threats,” Acosta said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday. “We can’t be at a place in this country where political reporters, White House correspondents, need bodyguards to cover political campaign events.”

      “It is just a pervasive hostility and anti-democratic hostility towards the process that I just hope we never receive the likes of ever again,” he added. “It is just so damaging and destructive for our democracy.”

    • Chinese citizen journalist Zhang Zhan jailed for ‘provoking trouble’ with Wuhan reporting

      Zhang, a former lawyer, arrived in Wuhan in early February from her home in Shanghai to document in a series of online posts how the city was holding up against the new, deadly virus. Some of her posts were critical of the Chinese government’s response.

      Zhang was detained in May and accused of spreading false information, giving interviews to foreign media, disrupting social order and attacking the government.

    • China jails citizen journalist for Wuhan coronavirus reports

      A court in Shanghai sentenced a citizen journalist to four years in prison Monday after finding her guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” by reporting on China’s early coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, per rights groups.

      Why it matters: Zhang Zhan’s conviction marks the first known sentence of someone “who chronicled authorities’ early struggle to manage the outbreak,” Bloomberg notes.

    • China Jails Ex-Lawyer for Four Years Over Virus Reports in Wuhan

      The verdict represents China’s latest effort to punish those who exposed shortcomings in the country’s initial response to the virus, which was first discovered a year ago in the central city of Wuhan before spreading around the globe. After being accused of covering up the severity of the virus, President Xi Jinping’s government has sought to recast its response as competent and compassionate.

    • Chinese citizen journalist Zhang Zhan sentenced for reporting early on COVID in Wuhan

      Lawyer Zhang Keke confirmed the sentence but said it was “inconvenient” to provide details – usually an indication that the court has issued a partial gag order. He said the court didn’t ask Zhang whether she would appeal, nor did she indicate whether she would.

      Zhang, 37, traveled to Wuhan in February and posted on various social media platforms about the outbreak that is believed to have emerged in the central Chinese city late last year.

    • Zhang Zhan gets 4 years’ jail over Wuhan reporting

      A Chinese citizen journalist was jailed for four years Monday for her reporting from Wuhan as the Covid-19 outbreak unfurled, her lawyer said, almost a year after details of an “unknown viral pneumonia” surfaced in the central China city.

    • Zhang Zhan: China jails citizen journalist for Wuhan reports

      Ms Zhang is one of several citizen journalists who have run into trouble for reporting on Wuhan.

      There is no free media in China and authorities are known to clamp down on activists or whistleblowers seen as undermining the government’s response to the outbreak.

    • Journalists in Uganda face accreditation hurdles ahead of election, risk criminal sanction

      On December 10, the Media Council of Uganda, a statutory body, said that local and foreign journalists would be barred from covering electoral events if they failed to properly register with that body, and directed all foreign journalists in the country to renew their accreditations within a week, as CPJ documented at the time. On December 21, the council issued a statement giving a December 30 deadline for registration, and threatened criminal sanctions for non-compliance.

      “Ugandan authorities’ excessive and arduous accreditation rules lay bare their disregard for the role of the press in democratic processes,” said CPJ’s sub-Saharan Africa representative, Muthoki Mumo. “Officials must abandon efforts to use accreditations as a pretext to restrict coverage of the elections, and should withdraw their threats of criminal sanctions against the media and ensure that journalists can do their jobs safely.”

    • Trump pardons Blackwater war criminals — but ignores Julian Assange, who exposed U.S. war crimes

      Observers decried as “grotesque” Trump’s full pardon of Blackwater guards Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard, and Nicholas Slatten and failure to pardon Assange as the publisher struggles to survive in a notorious British jail ahead of an expected extradition ruling on January 4. If extradited to the U.S., Assange could spend the rest of his life in prison for the “crime” of obtaining and publishing classified documents—an act of journalism.

    • Assange, and the critical threat to publishing state secrets

      Remember that little spying case against Julian Assange? The Department of Justice indicted him last year for publishing classified US military and State Department documents leaked in 2010 by Chelsea Manning, who was then a soldier in Iraq. While Attorney General William Barr is now on his way out the door, the charges against the WikiLeaks founder, brought under the Espionage Act, are alive and as dangerous as ever.

      New leadership at the Justice Department traditionally sticks with most of the cases initiated by the prior administration, so it seems unlikely that the Biden team will abandon the Assange prosecution. Any precedent it sets, therefore, may be with us for a long time.

    • A record number of journalists were behind bars in 2020

      Many journalists were locked up because of their reporting on the pandemic. At least two have died after contracting the virus in custody. On July 13th Mohamed Monir, an Egyptian journalist who had been arrested on charges of spreading misinformation, died after contracting covid-19 in Cairo’s Tora prison complex. On July 18th David Romero Ellner, a Honduran, died after falling ill with covid-19 while imprisoned in Támara National Penitentiary (he had been serving a ten-year sentence for defaming a former prosecutor).

      Others were punished for their coverage of other politically sensitive subjects. After protests erupted in Belarus after the country’s rigged election on August 9th, ten journalists were jailed. The former Soviet republic had not featured on the CPJ’s census since 2014. At least seven journalists are detained in Ethiopia, where armed conflict broke out in November, up from one in 2019. All of the 24 journalists detained in Saudi Arabia have been in prison since before the pandemic.

    • Al-Akhbar under cyberattack for reporting Saudi and Emirati bankrolling Israel deals

      The website of the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper has been under a cyberattack since Tuesday morning, following the newspaper reporting on Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates’ efforts to bankroll normalisation deals between Arab, Islamic countries and Israel.

      On Monday, Al-Akhbar published a report on Saudi and Emirati plans to finance the new Arab normalisation agreements with Israel, citing a Moroccan diplomat anonymously.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Opinion | Our Next Attorney General Must Boldly Set a Course Toward Justice

      Black people showed up for Biden; now we need an attorney general who will show up for us.

    • Opinion | The Year That Labor Hung On By Its Fingertips

      Disasters, missed opportunities, and a few bright spots in 2020.

    • Members of Congress Profited From Paycheck Protection Program
    • EFF Members Rise Up: 2020 in Review

      EFF members didn’t skip a beat and proved the strength of their numbers this year. Last spring, the EFF membership team was tasked with planning the first-ever virtual Members’ Speakeasy. Despite being an organization whose entire purpose is to fight for digital rights, we had to climb a steep learning curve to throw a successful program in virtual space! Thankfully, our members showed that they are ready and willing to fight for our mission, joining a live workshop to research and collect data about American police surveillance technologies. This event helped launch our Atlas of Surveillance database, which aims to raise awareness about the surveillance technologies that law enforcement agencies have in your neighborhood.

      It doesn’t stop there. July 10th marked EFF’s 30th Anniversary of supporting you in the fight for a better digital future. We knew that we wanted to do something big. To mark the occasion, EFF presented a seven-hour live-streamed event that included: DJ performances, our first EFF30 Fireside chat discussing the future of encryption, video game streams, and even our 4th Annual Tech Trivia where viewers could test the limits of their nerdiness with the contestants. This anniversary stream was bigger and more fun than we could have ever imagined. We’re grateful to EFF’s members for showing up for the Internet and celebrating with us—even in cyberspace.

    • “I Just Felt Like I Had No Control Over My Body”: Survivors of Alleged ICE Medical Abuse Speak Out

      Dozens of immigrant women detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia have joined a class-action lawsuit against ICE over allegations they were subjected to nonconsensual and invasive gynecological procedures and surgeries that were later found to be unnecessary, and in some cases left them unable to have children. The lawsuit cites sworn testimony from at least 35 women about their treatment by Mahendra Amin, a physician in Ocilla, Georgia, and describes retaliation and threats of deportation for speaking out. “We have more than 40 women who filed sworn testimony in court despite consistent attempts by ICE to silence them,” says Azadeh Shahshahani, legal and advocacy director at Project South and co-counsel for women at Irwin who say they were subjected to these procedures. We also speak with two women who say they underwent unnecessary medical procedures: Wendy Dowe, who was deported to Jamaica after she says her fallopian tubes were removed without her consent, and Elizabeth, who is detained at the Irwin County ICE jail and who says she faced retaliation for speaking up about her unnecessary medical treatment.

    • What you need to know about Russia’s updated ‘foreign agent’ laws

      On December 25, Russian senators approved a law that allows for ordinary citizens and informal organizations (ones not registered as legal entities) to be deemed “foreign agents” if they are involved in political activity in Russia and receive assistance from abroad. The new law refers to more than just financial assistance and offers a broad interpretation of what constitutes political activity. What’s more, potential foreign agents are responsible for registering their status themselves and, under yet another law, failure to do so can threaten not only a fine, but also up to five years in prison. Now, all that’s left is for Russian President Vladimir Putin to sign these new measures into law, which he undoubtedly will. Meduza breaks down why this new legislation puts almost everyone at risk of being labeled a foreign agent.

    • Donald Trump signs Tibet policy to preempt Chinese move on Dalai Lama’s succession

      It authorises assistance to non-governmental organisations in support of Tibetan communities in Tibet; places restrictions on new Chinese consulates in the United States until a US consulate has been established in Lhasa, Tibet.

      The law now authorises the Office of the US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and expands the office’s duties to include additional tasks, such as pursuing international coalitions to ensure that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist faith community.

      It also directs the Secretary of State not to open a new Chinese consulate in the US unless China allows the opening of an American consulate in Lhasa.

    • Why Iranian authorities force women to wear a veil

      The veil became a hallmark of this new, old order — symbolizing Iran’s decidedly anti-Western way of life. “The Islamic Revolution developed into a sexual counter-revolution, a fight over women’s sexuality,” writes US political scientist Hamideh Sedghi in her 2007 report Women and Politics in Iran: Veiling, Unveiling, and Reveiling. Sexuality had thus become a deeply politicized issue, with a strong anti-Western connotation. One of the slogans making the rounds in 1979 was: “Wear a veil, or we will punch your head.” Another was: “Death to the unveiled.”

    • Conviction of Loujain al-Hathloul in Saudi Arabia Condemned as ‘Blatant Attack on the Most Basic Human Rights’

      “We stand with the al-Hathloul family and their friends who have not given up, and continue to call on the Saudi government to free Loujain,” said Ariel Gold of CodePink.

    • Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul given five-year prison sentence

      A Saudi terrorism court handed rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul a prison sentence of five years and eight months on Monday, with two years and 10 months of the term suspended. FRANCE 24′s correspondant in Riyadh, Saeed Al Jaber, said that with time served Hathloul could be released as soon as March.

    • Saudi Arabia jails women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul — local media

      A Saudi anti-terrorism court has jailed Loujain al-Hathloul for five years and eight months, local media have reported. She was arrested along with other women activists in 2018.

    • Irving Howe: A Socialist Life

      Walking on Manhattan’s Upper West Side one chilly day in the 1980s—it was not long after a suggestion came from within the Reagan administration that ketchup replace vegetables in school lunches to save money—Irving Howe made a remark to me that captured a great deal about his own political journey: “I know how to debate with these guys about politics and economics, but how do you argue with social meanness?”
      Howe, whose centennial we commemorate this year and who was Dissent’s founding spirit, could have easily launched into a dissection of capitalism. His political awakening began in the 1930s and 1940s as a teenaged Marxist. A half century later his aversions hadn’t much changed, but his ways of understanding had. Instead of an “analysis,” he expressed simple moral outrage. If his intellectual evolution has meaning for today’s left, and certainly it does, it is to be found in his struggle to transcend sectarian mindsets while remaining principled.
      Two factors were particularly important in his case. One was an ability to speak frankly about things that had gone wrong on the left. The other was how literature shaped his sensibilities. When this “liberal socialist” used the word “critical,” it was not just against foes but to trouble his own deepest beliefs. Egalitarian humanism was at their core. However, the experiences of the twentieth century, particularly the damage inflicted on the very idea of socialism by Communist parties, taught him the need for modifiers. The word liberal implied not just individual freedoms but the importance of “self” and securing spaces for an individual’s life. Engaging literature fostered the self.
      Political and economic unfairness made him bridle; he bristled if someone blamed those suffering social pain for their predicament. Howe, born Horenstein, said that he “stumbled” into socialism at the age of fourteen, but tripwires abounded: Depression at home, the rise of Hitler and Stalin abroad. And then there was the Bronx, to which his poor Yiddish speaking parents came from Bessarabia. Waves of Jewish immigrants had arrived in the “New World” fleeing upheaval and anti-Semitism. They felt, Howe wrote, as if always “on the edge of foreseen catastrophe.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon’s Latest 5G Innovation: A 5G ‘DSS’ Network That’s Slower Than 4G

      While unveiling its shiny new 5G-enabled iPhones back in October, Apple brought Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg to the stage to declare that Verizon had launched an updated, “nationwide” 5G network that shores up the company’s 5G coverage. Until now, Verizon has largely embraced “high band” or millimeter wave 5G, which provides amazing speeds if you’re near an antenna, but suffers from terrible range and building wall penetration issues. As a result, the company has been routinely criticized for comically overstating not only what 5G is capable of, but where 5G is available.

    • Coalition Of Internet Companies Who Are Decidedly Not ‘Big Tech’ Raise Their Voices About The Importance Of Section 230

      A few weeks ago we noted that smaller, but still important, internet companies were working to get in the room on the discussions regarding Section 230 in Congress. The issue is that, among many in Congress and the media, they believe (falsely) that Section 230 is some sort of subsidy “only for Big Tech.” As we’ve pointed out many times, the opposite is true. Facebook and Google have giant legal teams who can handle the liability without 230. It’s everyone else who is screwed. This is why Facebook has always been first in line to undermine Section 230.

    • AT&T recovers from multi-state outage after Nashville bombing

      The AT&T building, located blocks away from the company’s better-known office tower, provides a regional network connection point in addition to local service. The blast reportedly damaged the building’s structure and facade. Combined with water and fire damage, it disabled backup generators that were supposed to keep AT&T’s network functioning.

      The result was days of partial service outages, mitigated partly by emergency cell sites. AT&T is also suspending data overage charges across parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, and Missouri over the final five days of December.

    • Internet outage impacts subscribers following Nashville, Tennessee Christmas Day blast

      Network data from the NetBlocks Internet Observatory confirm that [Internet] connectivity in Tennessee and Kentucky remain impacted for many subscribers some two days after an explosion on 25 December 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee triggered a series of events that knocked AT&T offline. AT&T is a major provider of home and business broadband, fiber and cellular network connectivity in the region, also serving as the backbone for other consumer services and data centers.

      Technical data from the observatory corroborate the provider’s assertions that the outage was not caused by the immediate impact of the explosion, but rather linked to secondary impacts attributable to the loss of power hours after the detonation itself. As such, the shutdown of services occurred in the context of efforts by authorities and engineers to secure the blast site, make the area safe and restore power toward the resumption of business.

    • The Network is not the Issue Dude

      The next big issue for me is that this theory of inherited insecurity made sense for a while, when TCP/IP was used “raw” even for sensitive data. This was rsh, rlogin, telnet, and the monster that outlived everything — HTTP. This was a legitimate complaint about the [Internet] protocols: they don’t have encryption by default.

      The lack of mandated encryption for TCP/IP et al. is actually probably really fortunate. These days we can use modern ciphers rather than everyone being stuck on 3DES because some vendors are so committed to their legacy install base.

      The modularity of [Internet] protocols is a good thing (they’re stackable!) and the historical lack of encryption for telnet and HTTP has long been rectified. We live in an age where toasters are perfectly capable of offering https and ssh access. Encryption at the network layer is a solved problem, not something we can blame on the original designers and their weak slow computers.

  • Monopolies

    • Chinese trustbusters’ pursuit of Alibaba is only the start

      The Alibaba probe marks the first one of its kind into Chinese e-commerce. Its timing—a month after authorities suddenly halted the $37bn initial public offering (IPO) of Alibaba’s fintech affiliate, Ant Group, and days before another regulator told Ant to curtail its lucrative lending and wealth-management activities—has fuelled speculation that it is Beijing’s way of chastening the two firms’ flamboyant co-founder, Jack Ma.

    • ‘If You Own the Seeds You Own the Food System’: Campaigners Demand Public Ownership to Counter Big Ag Privatization

      “Empty shelves during the pandemic made clear, allowing huge corporations to ‘own’ seeds is a very bad idea!”

    • Brexit and Intellectual Property Rights [Ed: This gives the false impression that UPC will exist and the UK could participate in something that did not, does not and will never exist]

      Protection of patents is largely unaffected by Brexit. However, recently, the EU has been working towards a Unitary Patent System with a Unified Patent Court (UPC). The UK has announced that it no longer intends to participate in the UPC system. This means that patents will continue to require a separate UK registration to ensure protection in the UK, rather than having the option of a unitary patent under any new patent regime.

    • Patents

      • FOSS Patents: Samsung won the race to the courthouse against Ericsson–but notoriously patentee-friendly Judge Gilstrap acts as if the U.S. were a banana republic

        It’s not always true that “the second is the first of the losers,” but when there are only two in a race, then there’s simply one winner and one loser. On December 11, Ericsson brought a new FRAND lawsuit against Samsung in the troll-friendly Eastern District of Texas. The parties had been negotiating a renewal of their patent cross-license, but their positions were apparently too far apart for them to come to an agreement this year. Therefore, they need guidance from courts to resolve their dispute.

        It now turns out that Ericsson wasn’t first to go to court. Instead, Samsung pre-empted Ericsson by almost a week, filing a case with the Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court in China as an Ericsson filing in Texas revealed yesterday.

        Not only did Samsung seek a global FRAND determination in China but, shortly after Ericsson’s filing in the Eastern District of Texas, the Korean electronics giant sought an antisuit injunction in China, which was granted on the morning of December 25, says Ericsson.

      • Patent case: Nichtigerklärung des Klagepatents II, Germany

        The decision concerns the provisional enforcement of a court judgment on patent infringement. In an earlier decision in the same proceedings the Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) ruled that where the patent in suit is declared invalid the provisional enforcement of the infringement judgment is to be suspended. Now the FCJ has confirmed that the suspension is to be lifted when the nullity decision is reversed on appeal.

      • Broad Files Motion Opposing CVC’s Motion to Subpoena Witnesses

        At the end of October, in Interference No. 106,115 between Senior Party The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collectively, “Broad”) and Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) consented to CVC’s request that they file a motion under 37 C.F.R. § 41.156(a) for leave to subpoena discovery from Luciano Marraffini and Shuailiang Lin, neither of whom is a party to this interference. (Readers may remember that Dr. Marraffini, faculty at The Rockefeller University, was involved in a dispute over inventorship of certain of the Broad’s patents that resulted ultimately in some of the European counterparts of these patents to be revoked by the European Patent Office; see “The CRISPR Chronicles — Broad Institute Wins One and Loses One”).


        Turning to Dr. Lin, Broad contends that CVC’s category 1 evidence — relating to the experiments performed in the Zhang lab — were available from other Broad declarants, particularly because they were members of the Zhang lab as opposed to Dr. Lin’s status as a visiting graduate student (nicely supporting an effort to discredit the competence of his testimony). Similar, according to Broad CVC’s category 2 evidence has been presented in Dr. Zhang’s declaration, and certain of the e-mails referenced with regard to this evidence were not shared while Dr. Lin was in the Zhang lab. Broad interprets this statement, “. . . Feng Zhang and Le Cong quickly jumped to the project without letting me know,” as evidence that Dr. Lin lacked knowledge.


        And for category 4, as with Dr. Marraffini Broad asserts that the testimony sought was too broad under Tropix, Inc. v. Lumigen, Inc. for the Board to properly permit CVC to subpoena Dr. Lin.

        For all these reasons, Broad asks the Board to deny CVC’s motion or, in the alternative, to grant leave for Broad to depose these witnesses equally during the 7-hour deposition period.

      • Software Patents

        • GE Video Compression patent challenged

          On December 23, 2020, Unified Patents filed an ex parte reexamination proceeding against U.S. Patent 10,057,603, owned by GE Video Compression LLC (GEVC). The ‘603 patent has been designated as essential in the HEVC Advance patent pool.

          Unified is represented by Eric Buresh and Jocelyn Ram of Erise IP, and in-house counsel, Roshan Mansinghani and Ashraf Fawzy, in this proceeding. Visit Unified’s Public Portal for more information about its Video Codec landscape (OPAL) and standard submission repository (OPEN). Read the request below.

        • Federal Circuit: User Experience is not Computer Functionality

          In this case, the Federal Circuit has affirmed the lower court’s summary dismissal of Simio’s infringement lawsuit on eligibility grounds.


          Dennis Pegden has received many awards for his work developing software (and programming languages) for simulating real-life processes in order to optimize decisionmaking; perform risk analysis, etc. He was a professor who then developed his own company that was bought-out by Rockwell. Later, he formed the new company Simio, that owns the patent at issue here: U.S. Patent No. 8,156,468. The ‘468 patent is effectively an object-oriented simulation programming tool that allows users to develop simulation models of process flows using a graphical framework.


          Quoting the patent specification. And, the court agreed that “Simply applying the already-widespread practice of using graphics instead of programming to the environment of object-oriented simulations is no more than an abstract idea.”

          Prior decisions have found innovations that improve computer functionality to be non-abstract (and thus patent eligible). Here, the court admitted that the claimed innovation may well improve the ability of many individuals to create simulations, but found that such a usability improvement does not count as an improvement to the computer’s functionality.

    • Trademarks

      • Farewell Post: Can QR codes be registered as trade marks?

        QR codes have become well-nigh ubiquitous so that it was merely a question of time until courts had to deal with applications for QR codes as trade marks. For my last post as a GuestKat, it seems fitting to draw Kat readers’ attention to a recent Swiss decision dealing with this question.

        A QR (shorthand for “Quick Response”) code is a machine-readable matrix barcode. QR codes originated in the automotive industry and are now commonly used in areas as advertising, payments, product tracing and detection of counterfeits and, more recently, to allow global travel in the pandemic based on a person’s health status.

        The centre of a QR code does not need to be coded and can be left empty. In fact, the centre of the matrix is sometimes used to place a sign or logo that is readable by humans.


        The Swiss court’s decision is not the first one to deal with the registration of a QR code as a trade mark. In particular, a German Federal Patent Court decision of 2015 already came to the same conclusion with regard to the matrix pattern: it is not readable by humans and is not understood to distinguish goods and services, but rather serves as a technical access path to further information on a product or service. In the German decision however, there was no distinctive sign at the centre of the matrix (or, at least, it was not separately distinguishable from the rest of the pattern).

        Overall, this Kat agrees with both the outcome and the reasoning of the decision. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen what protection this trade mark will afford its owner. The applicant seemingly wishes to obtain exclusivity (related to the services claimed) for QR codes with a cross at their centre. Now, (1) if the matrix pattern is considered non-distinctive and can be disregarded, and (2) given that QR codes are generally represented in black and white, a combination that has been explicitly disclaimed, it is unclear whether the applicant would have a strong case against anyone using a black and white QR code with a cross-shape in its centre.

    • Copyrights

      • Sweet grapes, sour grapes, or the grapes of wrath: what is going on with this collecting society?

        But perhaps not so. An article that appeared in The Marker, a section of the respected Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, suggests that when it comes to the operations of at least one collecting society, the motto seems more— “me, myself and I”. Instead of helping each other, the article suggests that senior management may be less than forthcoming regarding the financial well-being of their members. Even more, such disregard is justified by a claim of trade secrets. Since the newspaper report is in Hebrew, permit this Kat to summarize its most salient points.

        The name of the Israeli collecting society is “Eshkolot” (which roughly means “bunch” or “cluster”, as in grapes). It was founded in 1983 by three performers for the purpose of advancing the interests of their fellow performers, a year before the Israeli legislator gave statutory recognition to performers’ rights. About decade later, the law was amended to entitle performers to receive royalties. Since Eshkolot represented the largest number of performing artists, it became the collecting society that would administer the collection and distribution of the moneys paid for such performances.


        The organization is described as a private company that serves as a fiduciary on behalf of its members (currently reported to be approximately 40,000) Eshkolot has 100 shareholders, none of whom holds any share capital. Rather, shareholder status only confers the right to supervise the organization and to vote at the general meeting on a variety of issues.

      • Beast IPTV Shut Down By Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment

        Beast IPTV, a popular pirate IPTV service that has faced numerous issues over the past few weeks, has shut down and will not be returning. In a pair of statements, one of which goes into more detail than the other, the service says it was “forced” to close its doors. Fingers are pointing to action by the Alliance of Creativity and Entertainment and what appears to be legal action in the United States and Canada.

      • NZBgeek Has Been Hacked Leaving Private User Data Exposed

        Popular Usenet indexer NZBGeek has been hacked. The site’s database was copied exposing the personal details of all users. The hackers also managed to install a keylogger, opening the door to further abuse. The site’s operators recommend that users should secure their online accounts as well as credit cards that were used on the site recently.

When it Comes to Bill Gates and Vaccination, Critics Need to Focus on Monopoly and Profits at Taxpayers’ Expense

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Finance, Videos at 1:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: This video does not deal with whether or not COVID-19 vaccines (Russia and the US promote some) are effective and/or safe; instead, it focuses on who stands to benefit from them financially (the elephant in the room is the co-founder of Microsoft, who is wrongly portrayed as an expert)

THE mass hysteria over Bill Gates isn’t entirely unfounded, but it’s often misdirected and misguided. It attributes to Mr. Gates things he did not actually do and does not intend to do, either. We’ve often wondered aloud if this is intentional — that is, whether there’s an attempt to make a caricature out of critics of Bill Gates.

“The media cites as an authority on the matter people with no real (technical) understanding of vaccination — people like Gates who are in effect vaccine profiteers rather than vaccination gurus.”This subject is hardly new to us. For over a decade we’ve warned that Gates was aligning himself to make a lot of money out of vaccination — to the point where he was hijacking decision-making bodies all around the world (some insiders from those bodies openly complained about Gates and his intervention). India is a good example of it, but Africa doesn’t lack examples as well.

india-gates-foundationAt the moment many people are urged to adopt mass vaccination shouldered by national budget (i.e. taxpayers) and little attention is being paid to monopoly aspects. The media cites as an authority on the matter people with no real (technical) understanding of vaccination — people like Gates who are in effect vaccine profiteers rather than vaccination gurus. The media itself often turns out to have been paid by Gates, leading to yet another issue and raising perfectly legitimate questions because the press and TV channels ought not reduced themselves to pure marketing; their job ought to be informing the public and doing so responsibly.

Links for/from the video (more recent first):

  1. Donald Trump Helped Bill Gates Increase His Wealth by More Than 50%, Especially During the Pandemic
  2. Conspiracy Theories Have Successfully Distracted From Perfectly Legitimate and Real Scandals of Bill Gates in India, the Fertile Ground for Unethical Mass Experimentation on Humans
  3. Latest Tim Schwab Investigative Report on Bill Gates Explores His Latest Vaccine Profiteering Drive (important video of Bill Gates at the bottom)
  4. While the Poor Get Sick, Bill Gates Just Gets Richer
  5. Bill Gates, King of Piracy and Serial Vandal, is a Terrible Public Face for Vaccination Efforts/COVID-19 Response Drive
  6. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called ‘Charity’ to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

Migration to GNU/Linux in China Still Progressing, Just as Planned, in Spite of Ridicule and Misinformation From Microsoft

Posted in Asia, Debian, GNU/Linux at 10:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Earlier this year: Microsoft Propagandist Turns “Years” Into More Than Ten Years to Belittle a Massive Migration to GNU/Linux in China

GNU/Linux in China

Summary: China is preinstalling GNU/Linux on laptops; “The [above] laptop,” says an English report, runs “Deepin OS 20,” which is based on Debian GNU/Linux

THE world is changing. South Korea, Russia, and China (sharing a border) plan to move their governments and then their citizens to GNU/Linux (South Korea started this year). This won’t happen overnight (due to legacy workflows and systems), but progress is being made; they moreover make their own chips (processors and beyond) to promote self-reliance. Is this good for North America and Europe? Maybe not. Depending on one’s political orientation and stance on security (including back doors).

“We heard about the MateBook earlier this year; Qingyun L410 shows it must have been a success, as otherwise they would not put GNU/Linux on further and newer models of laptops.”Recently, in Daily Links we mentioned this article citing a Chinese portal (screenshot above; it’s hard to access that site). It spoke of a laptop that comes with GNU/Linux preinstalled. “The laptop itself,” it said, “is named Qingyun L410 and is expected to be a cheaper version of the MateBook 14. There’s also the possibility of the device supporting 5G connectivity given that the SoC itself features an integrated 5G modem.”

We heard about the MateBook earlier this year; Qingyun L410 shows it must have been a success, as otherwise they would not put GNU/Linux on further and newer models of laptops.

Kylin and Deepin are the better known Chinese distributions these days (it changes over time and there’s also UOS). Here’s an article about UOS (from May 2020):

Softpedia deception

Certainly the decline of Windows worries Microsoft; lobbyists even begged the Trump administration to allow Microsoft to carry on imposing Windows on banned companies (so much for “Microsoft loves Linux”). Did it work? Not really, at least not based on the above. China has other ideas for its future and it rightly views Microsoft as an imperial espionage tool that’s subsidised by the US taxpayer. Not only did Trump pass a lot of military budget to Microsoft (Pentagon budget as Microsoft stimulus); he also helped Microsoft steal a Chinese company (TikTok) even if that did not materialise at the end.

SuzhouMicrosoft is telling us (even confirming) Azure layoffs, in spite of Microsoft pretending to have found an alternative and promising future in Clown Computing. They literally join or come to our primary IRC channel, trying to interject damage-limiting PR.

Let’s hope that in 2021 the mask will slip further (causing more project exoduses in GitHub), Microsoft layoffs will carry on, and nations as large as China (with the largest number of computer users) will migrate to GNU/Linux.

SystemD: When More is Less (Freedom)

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat, Servers at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The sorts of bills people are expected to receive for GNU/Linux support from IBM are reminiscent of ‘old’ IBM; systemd helps lock-in, making avoidance of such support contracts more difficult over time (now that CentOS is more or less going away)

IN relative terms, systemd isn’t mature software. It’s about a decade old, compared to 37 years of GNU and almost 30 years of Linux. But systemd rapidly takes over more and more functions in today’s GNU/Linux systems and it is controlled mostly by IBM, which develops systemd on Microsoft servers.

“But systemd rapidly takes over more and more functions in today’s GNU/Linux systems and it is controlled mostly by IBM, which develops systemd on Microsoft servers.”The video above isn’t intended to be too hostile; it’s just pointing out some simple facts about systemd and highlights some of the main concerns, which are centered around vendor lock-in (for support) rather than technical aspects, including security.

IBM billsWell, systemd may be working perfectly well in practice (except on some particular systems with unique setups); but should we therefore ignore possible future issues? It’s not like IBM is getting any nicer and less aggressive, as we’ve mentioned in two videos over the past 24 hours [1, 2].

Links/pages from the video:

  1. The NSA Is Looking At Systemd’s KDBUS
  2. Systemd Had A Pretty Big 2020 With Homed, OOMD Components Merged
  3. “By today standard it seems that any stupid idea you throw in qualifies as “modernizing”…” Phoronix comment
  4. Running GNU/Linux With a Top Process Controlled by Microsoft and Far Too Many Lines of Code
  5. What Former Debian Project Leader (Second to the Late Ian Murdock) Thinks About SystemD in Debian GNU/Linux
  6. Simpler Systems, Better Systems
  7. Systemd Has Become (Almost) an Operating System
  8. Foreclosure by Systemd and IBM
  9. Pseudo Novelty is Coming Home
  10. Guest Meme: Systemd and GitHub as Digital Colonisation
  11. The Systemd Song
  12. Monopoly (or Vendor Lock-in) is Not Modularity

According to Statcounter, Microsoft Windows Reaches Lowest Market Share Since 1990s (Now Just 31.8%)

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 4:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Less than a third of Web users observed by Statcounter are Windows users, according to the latest available statistics

Windows share

IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 28, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs, Site News at 2:45 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

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#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmSWcHMvMbJEUbt9iHB6thjxuNFtAQnm58HBjk4aZWkgSh IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmRwYkpDFofajWYJNeVafHBCrRTDXXkPkPVumQwar1XF54 IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmQAeMeUbg9Zgse8uDPwtaQDq49feRUh7TrRU8MXjVAijq IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmbZTVy5qFdMH6rLZQGt1XnFHV3ByuT6MN5sHorTmAmKYT IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmYV8oU4HiA1qdvJGmm7ZXxV8eAgmdkpfCHS5hS8nhSBVe IRC log for #techbytes
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 Qma1FyTTCR3Cb7oWZBkPzFiUqNB1m1b4JrapCuPeVQPJmj IRC log for #techbytes
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 QmQ8SDvg6eSkHRiWjnhfeN5wVCmuxhvpLbmzxtMGjbrny2 IRC log for #techrights
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 QmYX4zgDeMwmqMbnDoe4LrE9TGrRGZVU4FcpdFAKaC4HD3 IRC log for #techrights
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IPFS logo

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmYqhYrKEV9gAAitfZidCc8mCztdegVqsSjGntAvWHtCKY

IBM Likes to Speak About Diversity in Order to Distract or Confuse People About IBM’s Past and Present

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, IBM at 2:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Diversity is a very good and desirable thing — hardly something that anyone would reject — but when monopolisers mention “diversity” they have something else in mind (like distracting the public, fracturing/destabilising harmonious communities, and ousting good people who typically obstruct monopolies rather than minorities)

IN 2020, as we noted less than a day ago, IBM is still a patent bully (this has not changed since buying Red Hat), but IBM wishes to be seen as an ethical company with new puff pieces [1] and longstanding PR campaigns [2]. This video goes through some articles we wrote in 2020 [3-5] (there were dozens more) to explain why Linus Torvalds was temporarily expelled [3], based on mischaracterisations which mostly distract from IBM's sexism (a real problem, albeit outside the scope of the video) and overt racism [4,5].

“…IBM wishes to be seen as an ethical company…”IBM is not a friend of Free software and it’s not a friend of diversity, either. But like the fossil fuel companies, IBM is trying to seed doubt and confusion by saturating the media with conflicting messages, turning facts into a “debate” (over whether IBM is racist or not; akin to global warming “controversies”). “There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge,” Bertrand Russell once said, but in this time it’s just mindless propaganda by IBM, wrapped up as “news”. With something like OIN, for instance, IBM also tricked (or fooled) many people into thinking that IBM is saving or protecting Free software projects from patents. Marshall Phelps, who helped turn IBM into a patent bully, once said: “Other than Bill Gates, I don’t know of any high tech CEO that sits down to review the company’s IP portfolio” (because Microsoft is the next IBM, struggling to find its place in the world and resorting to patent monopolies instead, whether on software or vaccines). “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today,” Bill Gates said after he had checked IBM’s patent portfolio. Decades later he’s doing exactly what IBM did (which he also complained about), in essence shifting the profit-making model to patents while pretending to be looking after “health” or “diversity” or whatnot (and while also associating with pedophiles and the world’s very worst autocrats, just like Mr. Watson in his days).

Things cannot be rosy and the future is not bright when people who are a blight on civilisation pretend to be our salvation.

  1. 2021 will be the year open source projects overcome their diversity problems
  2. Diversity Comes in Many Forms
  3. They Tell Us Linus Torvalds is Sexist But Evidence Suggests Otherwise
  4. IBM’s Founder, Mr. Watson (Yes, That Watson), Had “Very Keen Sense of Public Relations”
  5. The Full Story (With References) of IBM’s Role in a Purge of Black People and Mixed-Race Couples

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