Alex Oliva’s Departure is a Massive Loss to the Free Software Foundation

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 5:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The FSF (Free Software Foundation, established 1985) is losing not only Mr. Oliva; it loses some credibility as the departure contributes to the general perception that there’s still an ongoing coup, reinventing the FSF in the image not of its very own founder

“Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself,” Robin Williams said. There are two people in this world whom I can name as putting software freedom before anything else, probably including themselves. Those two people are no longer in the FSF.

“Mr. Oliva was, to Dr. Stallman himself, like a guardian in the Foundation. If he leaves, what exactly does that mean and what’s going to happen next?”Today’s breaking news and sad news may be another coup or insurrection, as a key FSF person is being accused of sedition for speaking out his mind, in effect dismantling another person who thinks a lot like Richard Stallman, the founder of GNU and the FSF. As readers may recall, in a nine-part series nine months ago we explained that in the FSF (at the time) the "Majority of the Board Supports Richard Stallman". Is that still the case? We can only hope so. At the moment the Board is down to four people: Gerald Sussman, Henry Poole, Kat Walsh, and Odile Bénassy. That’s about half what it was before "Free software 9/11" and if the move to remove the Stallman mindset is still ongoing, then we have reasons for concern and some reassessment. We’re currently trying to investigate the circumstances under which the resignation of Mr. Oliva happened because it seems or feels like it was compelled if not forced. Mr. Oliva was, to Dr. Stallman himself, like a guardian in the Foundation. If he leaves, what exactly does that mean and what’s going to happen next?

“To me, personally, he was one of the most inspiring hackers.”At the moment the FSF’s site still lists Oliva as a board member. He seems most qualified (among the members). To quote: “Alex “lxo” Oliva lives two lives. In one, he’s a respectable (i.e., free) software hacker, having worked as GNU Toolchain developer since 2000 at Red Hat and AdaCore, and he does his taxes in Brazil with free software he’s maintained since 2007. In the other life, he’s a software freedom activist, who speaks, writes, and attempts to motivate people to take the red pill and escape the surveillance matrix most of us live in. He’s used GNU since 1991, and contributed to it since 1993. He’s maintained GNU Linux-libre since 2008, and launched the 0G project to escape the surveillance black hole in 2019. He co-founded FSF Latin America, and he’s a member of LibrePlanet São Paulo, a GNU Speaker, and the recipient of the 2016 FSF Award for the Advancement of Free Software. He graduated as a Computing Engineer and became MSc in Computer Sciences at University of Campinas, where he got acquainted with free software.”

What a tragic loss if they remove him from the page. To me, personally, he was one of the most inspiring hackers. He’s polite, he’s technically apt (with long track record to show this), and he’s very true to the principles set out by Dr. Stallman when he established the FSF more than 35 years ago.

InteLeaks – Part X: Replacing Free Software With Microsoft, Turning One-Minute Processes Into Days Long

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware at 12:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Processes that were entirely Free software-centric were rejected and replaced by truly antithetical spyware of companies that aren’t Intel and give Intel no autonomy or self-determination

MANY of us have had the experience or the displeasure of having to interact with if not use appalling tools which are neither needed nor desirable, usually because those are imposed by somebody else. That does not have to be imposed by a boss; sometimes it’s a peer.

“The developers aren’t happy. They don’t truly feel productive.”Intel is alienating its very own developers. Intel is recruiting the wrong people and it is partnering with the wrong companies. We’ve already discussed a great deal of material in the introduction, interlude, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, and Part IX.

In Part IV we’ve already shown this part:


So, as one can see, developers who are meant to work on technical projects that are as distanced as can be from Microsoft are somehow compelled to deal with horrible things, even though perfectly fine Free software- and standards-based tools already exist and are already in place (at Intel).

“I do have firsthand experience with people refusing to use a changed/new process,” somebody told us. “However, I was surprised to experience the resistance of using Free and Open Source Software – by developers working on GNU Linux Projects.”

“Understanding the learning curve may have been a challenge for some,” we were informed, but “the engineer refusal was unexpected.”

It’s true that not everyone at Intel loved the workflow, but we’re told that the technical people — i.e. those doing all the work which matters — did like it and those who did not were in the minority (putting aside “DX”).

A person familiar with Intel (from the inside) said s/he would not comment on “Intel’s use of proprietary Microsoft formats, but it’s standard practice at companies that are partnered with Microsoft and have the company’s technologies deeply embedded in their desktop infrastructure, which again hints at the fact that Intel doesn’t really support free software but rather tolerates it to prevent other semiconductor companies from taking up a prominent role in the free software world [and] as for vapourware we only have to look at Itanium and Larrabee derived architectures such as the Knights Landing/Mill add-in cards, which were total failures in the marketplace, but because it’s Intel people pay attention to them — and worse waste precious time developing for/with them when they really shouldn’t…”

Just a day ago Michael Larabel wrote about Intel’s VPU work which targets Linux. “This Intel Vision Processing Unit enablement has now ballooned to nearly 22 thousand lines of code,” he wrote, “on top of all the existing Keem Bay SoC support upstreamed, compared to the 15 thousand lines for the VPU code in December.”

Our series shows a lot of what’s really going on in this department. The developers aren’t happy. They don’t truly feel productive.

Alex Oliva’s Resignation From the FSF Board

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 12:19 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Original blog post

At the advice of friendly FSF board members, I turned in the following letter to the FSF president, asking him to pass it on to directors and voting members at a suitable time:

My dear colleagues,

I'm very sorry for the trouble I've caused. My participation in the fundraiser was intended to restore the trust and support from people who'd grown suspicious of us, and whom we were failing to communicate with. I figured they might listen to me, and I was very hopeful of our future. Alas, I understand it didn't come across this way, and I admit that posting it was a big mistake, one that I regret deeply.

My inability to predict unintended reactions to my writings led me to realize and accept how badly I need feedback from others before publishing on sensitive topics, and how much I still have to learn about effective communication.

As much as I wish I'd had a chance to contribute to the FSF during my tenure, the way for me to learn what I still need to learn is through practice, not inaction, and I do not wish to impose on the FSF any more of the risks and pitfalls of my learning process.

I therefore offer you, Geoffrey Knauth, FSF President, my resignation from the FSF Board of Directors. Please let me know when it becomes effective, if you choose to accept it. I hope that some day, after learning what I need to learn (and, if I may say, at more fortunate timing), I get another chance to support the FSF from the inside again.

Meanwhile, I look forward to other ways to cooperate from the outside.

Thanks for bearing with my shortcomings, and for your continued work to keep the FSF fighting the good fight,

It was accepted immediately, but the response did not specify when it becomes effective. I'm not sure what that implies.

Anyway, I suppose I'm no longer a member of the board of directors of the FSF.

So blong,

Copyright 2007-2020 Alexandre Oliva

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document worldwide without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document’s official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.

The following licensing terms also apply to all documents and postings in this blog that don’t contain a copyright notice of their own, or that contain a notice equivalent to the one above, and whose copyright can be reasonably assumed to be held by Alexandre Oliva.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License BY-SA (Attribution ShareAlike) 3.0 Unported. To see a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Links 10/1/2021: GNU findutils 4.8.0 and AntiX ‘Bullseye’ Alpha 1

Posted in News Roundup at 9:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Element: The Greatest Way To Access Matrix – YouTube

        I’ve been really liking Matrix recently and one of the biggest things helping that is that the main client called Element is actually really solid, it does have a few usability issues that need to be sorted out but right now it’s still an amazing way to try out the platform.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Vision Processing Unit Patches Updated For The Linux Kernel

        As part of Intel’s lengthy “Keem Bay” upstreaming for Linux as their latest-generation Movidius VPU offering, now that much of the core infrastructure bits are all mainlined, the latest focus has been on their Vision Processing Unit enablement.

        The Intel Vision Processing Unit upstreaming is quite big and includes new xlink-pcie, xlink-ipc, and xlink-core drivers as part of the effort. This VPU was developed through Intel’s acquisition of Movidius and can be used for computer vision processing on a locally attached camera or CV processing for a network or tethered camera setup. While most common will be the Keem Bay SoC on a PCI Express card, it can also be found in form factors as a USB dongle or M.2 card as a computer vision accelerator.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Nvidia Patches Security Flaws Plaguing Windows and Linux Users
        • Update your NVIDIA drivers due to multiple security issues found

          Here’s something we missed with the latest NVIDIA driver updates – turns out that NVIDIA had multiple security issues that they put out in a recent security bulletin. Multiple issues affect both Windows and Linux, across multiple versions of the official NVIDIA proprietary driver.

        • NVIDIA Windows/Linux Graphics Drivers Hit By A Series Of Security Vulnerabilities

          With this week’s R460 driver release also comes a number of security updates. Several security issues have been patched in both the NVIDIA Windows and Linux graphics driver components.

        • Vkrunner RPM packages available – Samuel Iglesias Gonsálvez’s blog

          VkRunner is a Vulkan shader tester based on Piglit’s shader_runner (I already talked about it in my blog). This tool is very helpful for creating simple Vulkan tests without writing hundreds of lines of code. In the Graphics Team at Igalia, we use it extensively to help us in the open-source driver development in Mesa such as V3D and Turnip drivers.

          As a hobby project for last Christmas holiday season, I wrote the .spec file for VkRunner and uploaded it to Fedora’s Copr and OpenSUSE Build Service (OBS) for generating the respective RPM packages.

        • Intel Bringing Async Page Flipping To Older Graphics Hardware

          With Linux 5.11 the Intel Linux graphics driver is bringing async page-flipping for Gen9/Skylake and newer. However, patches pending for a future release (potentially 5.12) would extend that performance benefiting feature now all the way back to the Ironlake days.

        • AMD Making Progress On HMM-Based SVM Memory Manager For Open-Source Compute – Phoronix

          This week AMD engineers published their initial code for the AMDGPU/AMDKFD Linux kernel driver for providing a Heterogeneous Memory Management based Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) memory manager that ultimately will be used by their ROCm compute stack.

          Linux’s HMM implementation came together over the years and of the interest to many vendors. HMM allows for GPU discrete video memory and other (non-conventional) device memory to be integrated into regular code paths and allowing memory pointers to work across devices / memory address spaces. HMM is a key piece of the Linux handling for heterogeneous computing not only around GPUs but also with FPGAs and DSP in mind, among other possible devices.

        • Mesa 21.0 Is Now Working With Haiku OS For Software OpenGL Rendering

          BeOS-inspired Haiku OS can now run with Mesa 21.0 well using the latest development code.

          A number of patches worked on for Haiu OS back for Mesa 20.x were freshened up and with some extra tweaking and code cleaning those patches have now been merged for Mesa 21.0. This includes factoring out a lot of the OpenGL legacy dispatch code and a lot of cleanups around the Softpipe driver handling.

    • Benchmarks

      • POWER9 + ARM64 Performance For Dav1d 0.8 AV1 Decoding – Phoronix

        With last week’s release of dav1d 0.8 for CPU-based AV1 video decoding we provided a number of x86_64 benchmarks while questions were raised around the ARM64 and POWER9 performance. Here are such benchmarks for those wondering about the AV1 video decoding speed on those architectures.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to convert CentOS 8 to CentOS 8 Stream

        If you’ve been paying attention, you know all about what’s been going down with CentOS. Because of that, you’re probably concerned about all those CentOS servers you have on your network. Since those servers probably power a number of services to your backend, that concern is legitimate.

      • An Introduction to Radio Direction Finding

        Humans do audio direction finding to a remarkable precision of less than two degrees. Shortly after the development of radio transmitters and receivers, radio direction finding (RDF) evolved for much the same reasons as human audio direction finding, for the location of possible threats and for spatial awareness.

        Radio Frequency (RF) direction finding is used in several applications such as military, for finding the direction of a threat, the location and movement of enemy transmitters and the direction of enemy jammers. Search and rescue, to find the location of RF search and rescue beacons. Science, to track animals in their environment and radio monitoring, to find the location of sources of interference and of illicit transmitters.

      • SOGo calendar synchronization breaks due to emoji in the event title

        I am using the SOGo Groupware. I noticed certain emojis in the event title would prevent calendar apps from synchronizing using the CalDAV protocol. I checked the logs but could not find much. I had my doubts about what could be causing it. Then, this bug report confirmed that I should investigate on the UTF-8 encoding support.

      • How To Flush DNS Cache on Linux – devconnected

        DNS, short for the Domain Name System protocol, is used on Linux systems in order to retrieve IP addresses associated with names.

        For example, when you are performing a ping request, it is quite likely that you are using the DNS protocol to retrieve the server IP.

        In most cases, the DNS requests that you perform are stored in a local cache on your operating system.

        However, in some cases, you may want to flush the DNS cache of your server.

        It might be because you changed the IP of a server on your network and you want to changes to be reflected immediately.

        In this tutorial, you are going to learn how you can easily flush the DNS cache on Linux, whether you are using systemd or dnsmasq.

      • How to install FluxBox Desktop Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Server or PC

        Fluxbox desktop is an extremely lightweight stack-based X windows manager for Linux systems such as Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, and others… If you have a command-line interface Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04 LTS or Debian server and want to install Fluxbox on it then here is the tutorial.

        Although if you have a command-line interface server then you already familiar with commands, however, if you want to use browser and other graphical user interface programs on it but without stretching your system resources much then Fluxbox is a good option to consider. Of course, it will not be an eye-catching graphical desktop instead of a very minimal graphical interface provider.

      • Fix:unable to prepare context: unable to evaluate symlinks in Dockerfile path
      • How to Manage Virtual Machines in KVM Using Virt-Manager

        The virt-manager application allows users to perform a wide range of tasks including creating guest machines and assigning critical virtual resources such as CPU, memory, and disk space.

      • Update CentOS 8 to CentOS Stream [in 3 Easy Steps]

        Red Hat and CentOS recently announced that CentOS will be converted to a rolling release distribution in the form of CentOS Stream.

        While CentOS 7 will be supported till 2024, CentOS 8 support ends by the end of 2021.

        With this development, the current CentOS 8 users are left with two choices, either move to server distributions like Debian, openSUSE, Ubuntu LTS, or update the current CentOS system to CentOS Stream.

        In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how you can update your current CentOS 8 install to CentOS Stream.

      • LHB #21.01: Docker Notify, Ansible e-book and Planned Improvements for 2021
      • Install and Configure a PXE Boot Server for Kickstart Installation on CentOS 7

        I’ve been using Katello to manage my homelab for some years now, and it’s done the job well. Upgrades can be painful at times but you learn to read the CHANGELOG.

        My main area of interest has shifted in the last twelve months. I’ve been focused on adopting Docker and getting into the world of containers and infrastructure as a code. Due to global pandemic, the Red Hat Summit 2020 was held online as a Virtual Experience, and I was able to attend it for the first time. I was surprised to see so many OpenShift use cases: from Public Health England using OpenShift to support scientific computing to automotive industry building flexible production infrastructures. I will admit that I did not anticipate the scale of it.

        Fast forward some months, I changed jobs to work on a Kubernetes project. As a result, my homelab requirements have changed. I fell in love with Kubernetes. I migrated from Puppet to Ansible. I’ve found myself using Katello less and less. Its system requirements have also increased by 50%. When I started with Katello I could get away with 8GB of memory. This has grown to 12GB over time and has become a resource hog.

      • NS Lookup Command in Linux with Examples | FOSS Linux

        Nslookup (Name Server Lookup) is a Linux tool used to get information from a DNS Server as requested by the user. The DNS (Domain Name System) is a critical part of the internet used to match websites’ names (e.g., fosslinux.com) to their resulting IP Address. Therefore, the nslookup can come in handy for network administrators to query the DNS to obtain the IP address, domain name, or any other specific DNS record. It is also used in troubleshooting DNS related issues.

        nslookup command-line tool operates in two modes, Interactive mode and non-interactive mode. The interactive mode is used when querying the DNS server for information about various hosts, domains, or print hosts in a domain. The non-interactive mode, on the other hand, is limited as it only prints the name and query information for a host or domain.

      • Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Officially Released [How to Upgrade] | UbuntuHandbook

        Linux Mint 20.1, code-name “Ulyssa”, was officially released. It includes Linux Kernel 5.4, based on Ubuntu 20.04, and features Xfce 4.14, Cinnamon 4.8, and MATE 1.24 for each desktop edition.

      • Fix- InRelease is not valid yet (invalid for another h min s). Updates for this repository will not be applied.

        f you are running update command on Ubuntu 20.04/18.04 or earlier version and start getting an error that release files are not valid for some specific time then here is the solution.

        This error appears because your system time would not be synced with your current geographical location or Time server. In simple words, the time and date on your system are not correct thus remote repository server throwing an error that the release is not valid for your machine for some specific period of time.

      • How to automount a harddisk after booting up | Arcolinux.com

        To find a solution to an issue, it is important to know the terminology.

        Search for “Arch Linux automount harddisk” and you will get lots of hits.

        One of them is the fstab from Arch Linux wiki.

      • Failed to start light display manager – giving misinformation to Xorg | Arcolinux.com
      • Sendmail User Unknown Error (Resolved) – TecAdmin

        Recently, I have faced below issue with the fresh sendmail installation on an Linux system. While sending email to an specific domain like user@domain.com are showing error “stat=User unknown“.

        The issue was happening for specific domain only. Sending emails to other domain were working properly.

    • Games

      • Microsoft Flight Simulator VR Now Working On Linux Thanks To Proton Experimental

        Linux, on the other hand, is consistently the thorn in the side of Windows, although a thorn that can only be properly wielded by those that are comforted by CLIs and a deep understanding of what syntax to use for which operations that you’re attempting.

      • The 14 Best Games to Play on Your Chromebook in 2021

        The Chromebook is becoming a more and more robust laptop option by the year. With increasing crossover functionality for both Linux and Android, it now has access to a plethora of apps and games that in the past would have been unthinkable.

      • Gaming Like It’s 1925: There’s Still Plenty Of Time To Join Our Public Domain Game Jam!
      • Exciting Stuff Going on at Boiling Steam

        Second, we welcome Patola to the team. He’s a seasoned Linux user who is also very experienced in everything VR-related. You may have already seen his first article on Promods Canada. He’s working on more VR content as we speak, which is great as this is something we barely addressed on Boiling Steam until now. Expect more VR content as well since both podiki and cow_killer have secured their own Index headsets not long ago – podiki wrote an extensive article on his first impressions with it.

        Third, we now have forums. This will allow us to establish a stronger connection with our community. Feel free to add to the discussion over there after creating an account, or create your own topics under the appropriate sections. We have just started to add a few topics, but really, that space is for you all to interact in.

    • Distributions

      • [Older] Linux Fanboy Meets, Struggles With, and Wins Against a Windows 10 ISO

        Recently I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and start using Windows 10 on at least one of my main computers. I’m pretty new here, so you probably don’t know that I’m a big fan of Linux.

        I’ve used many different Debian based distros over the years, and not long ago I installed Pop!_OS (created by System76 for their Linux machines) on my desktop computer(Unfortunately not a System76). So far, no regrets.


        At this moment in time, given my current hardware, I suppose the only way to prepare a Windows 10 ISO correctly is through Windows 10. Maybe I missed some crucial piece along the way.

      • Reviews

        • Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Review and Upgrade Guide

          The hierarchy tree of Linux Mint makes it an Ubuntu-based Debian-based Linux distribution that is community-driven. This historical and developmental attribute of this Linux distro makes it an ideal candidate to offer free and open-source bundled applications to a vast range of its Linux community users. Additionally, after completing out-of-the-box multimedia support, users directly benefit from its proprietary software support through multimedia codecs.


          If you found yourself using the Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19.3 Linux distro versions or other younger versions before these, then you can recall that your printer and scanner usage depended on the available compatible drivers. Regardless of whether you had to configure them manually or came with the Linux Kernel, their availability was mandatory.

          Ubuntu 20.04 and Linux Mint 20 distro versions came with the surprise shipment of ippusbxd driver. The functional architecture of this driver layered an IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) over USB functionalities. This concept then resulted in what we are all familiar with as driverless scanning or printing. It created a standardized way of detecting and using devices without further driver installation and configuration. The excitement of this innovation came with the downfall of ippusbxd because IPP over USB forced drivers’ bypass and later inhibiting their functional efficiency.

          Linux Mint 20.1 excludes the need for ippusbxd and returns the older OS printing and scanning functionalities applicable in its earlier versions, i.e., Linux Mint 19.x going backward. However, HP printers and scanners will enjoy an upgrade of the HPLIP driver to version 3.20.11 for the latest support in user printing and scanning needs. This Linux distro’s documentation section left a slot for the Sane-Airscan and IPP-USB drivers, accessible through the Linux Mint 20.1 repositories. They are perfect driver candidates for printers and scanners not compatible with other secondary software drivers.


          For the available Linux Mint 20.1 flavors, you will get to experience XFCE 4.14, Cinnamon 4.8, and MATE Desktop 1.24 desktop environments. You might also be considering a fresh installation of Linux Mint 20.1. If so, the .iso file you choose to download should constitute Kernel 5.8 edge. It is the latest and feature-rich Kernel version in comparison to the common Kernel 5.4. Also, you have more to gain from the hardware and driver support linked with it.

      • PCLinuxOS

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Adam Young: Homelab OpenShift 4 on Baremetal: Part 1

          My work as a cloud Solutions Architect is focused on OpenShift. Since I work in the financial sector, my customers are very security focused. These two factorshave converged on me working on OpenShift installs on disconnected networks.

          The current emphasis on OpenShift is for virtualization. While virtualization can be nested, it typically has a performance penalty. More important, though, is that virtualization is a technology for taking advantage of bare metal installs.

          I need to run OpenShift 4 on baremetal in my homelab via a disconnected install . Here we go.

        • Red Hat to Acquire Kubernetes-Native Security Leader StackRox [Ed: Red Hat still paying and then citing a bunch of corrupt ‘analysts’ who take bribe to recommend products and infiltrate the media, lobby politicians etc.]

          According to Gartner, “Container usage for production deployments in enterprises is still constrained by concerns regarding security, monitoring, data management and networking.”

        • Reinventing 1:1s in a time of disruption

          Everyone’s life has been disrupted by COVID-19 and companies face new challenges in giving employees the flexibility and support they need while also meeting business goals.

          One key to doing this is to create open communication between managers and employees, especially during the 1:1 conversations that are so critical to engagement and career development. Even in the best of times, 1:1s can become broken. They can become routine, or worse, wind up as an endless series of status updates. Relentless prioritization is also critical.

          As Chief People Officer, I find that feedback from our people is the source of innovation. What I’ve heard most emphatically this year, given the shift to remote work, is that everyone needs additional ways to help make our work lives work while we are living at work. Recognizing that every individual’s circumstances are unique and there is no one size fits all, we realized that we needed to supercharge the ability of managers to give people the space and understanding they need. To do that, we have to make sure managers are listening and hearing their people. At Red Hat, we set out to find if we were actually creating a safe environment where associates can talk with managers about what they need.

        • How a DevOps culture can make the hybrid cloud work

          Red Hat’s Martin Percival discusses how bringing a DevOps culture into organisations could alleviate the challenges of a hybrid cloud future.

          Today, many companies are facing a strong push towards the cloud, especially in light of this year’s events. However, organisations are often finding that the pure-play public cloud is not the panacea that they thought it would be.

          In practice, they find that they have to juggle working across multiple public cloud providers, along with their own private cloud solutions. In particular, the growing need to put computational capacity near the edge has spurred many companies to realise that they require more than a simple pure-play public or private cloud and instead need to embrace a hybrid cloud environment.

        • Modernizing application development with serverless and Quarkus

          It is no secret that our world is changing. This article will explore how using a combination of Knative, the Kubernetes-native serverless platform, and Quarkus, Red Hat’s container-native approach to Java, can be used together to help simplify the modernization of application delivery.

        • Richard W.M. Jones: nbdkit 1.24, new data plugin features
        • nbdkit 1.24 & libnbd 1.6, new copying tool | Richard WM Jones

          As well as nbdkit 1.24 being released on Thursday, its sister project libnbd 1.6 was released at the same time. This comes with an enhanced copying tool called nbdcopy designed to replace some uses of qemu-img convert (note: it’s not a general replacement).

        • Fedora program update: 2021-01 – Fedora Community Blog

          Welcome to 2021! Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Self-Contained Change proposals for Fedora 34 are due by Tuesday 19 January.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

      • Debian Family

        • Development Release: AntiX ‘Bullseye’ Alpha 1 – Noice

          This is it, the first round of development releases based on the upcoming Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’ has started now that is nearing the freeze, or has it already? Not sure, as everyone knows I am more partial to the non-systemd side of things. AntiX, just like Devuan, fits right in there. Both provide good alternative ways to install and arrive at a Debian system. Debian is nonetheless still an important distribution, even though I wished they had made different choices, but both are standing on the shoulders of this giant.
          AntiX is providing media with the traditional init system and also offered a Runit version of 19.2. It seemed identical to the main edition in all other aspects and passed with flying colours here. The only reason I’m not running it at the moment is that my main workhorse is so insanely powerful, for my needs, that I rather opted for a full DE and, already having something else installed, have been too lazy to wipe it and start again.

          Debian 11 is due out probably some time in late summer. So, on the third of January of this new year 2021 the first testing image of the next AntiX release hit Distrowatch. Which shows the AntiX people are really on the ball.

        • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: puppetserver 6: a Debian packaging post-mortem

          I have been a Puppet user for a couple of years now, first at work, and eventually for my personal servers and computers. Although it can have a steep learning curve, I find Puppet both nimble and very powerful. I also prefer it to Ansible for its speed and the agent-server model it uses.

          Sadly, Puppet Labs hasn’t been the most supportive upstream and tends to move pretty fast. Major versions rarely last for a whole Debian Stable release and the upstream .deb packages are full of vendored libraries.1

          Since 2017, Apollon Oikonomopoulos has been the one doing most of the work on Puppet in Debian. Sadly, he’s had less time for that lately and with Puppet 5 being deprecated in January 2021, Thomas Goirand, Utkarsh Gupta and I have been trying to package Puppet 6 in Debian for the last 6 months.

          With Puppet 6, the old ruby Puppet server using Passenger is not supported anymore and has been replaced by puppetserver, written in Clojure and running on the JVM. That’s quite a large change and although puppetserver does reuse some of the Clojure libraries puppetdb (already in Debian) uses, packaging it meant quite a lot of work.

        • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in December 2020

          This month I only accepted 8 packages and like last month rejected 0. Despite the holidays 293 packages got accepted.

        • Jonathan McDowell: Free Software Activities for 2020

          As a reader of Planet Debian I see a bunch of updates at the start of each month about what people are up to in terms of their Free Software activities. I’m not generally active enough in the Free Software world to justify a monthly report, but I did a report of my Free Software Activities for 2019 and thought I’d do another for 2020. I ended up not doing as much as last year; I put a lot of that down to fatigue about the state of the world and generally not wanting to spend time on the computer at the end of the working day.

        Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20.1 Long-term Support Release Is Out
        • What is new in Linux Mint 20.1 Ulyssa – Real Linux User

          Maybe not everyone reading this article is familiar with Linux Mint. Therefore I want to start with a little bit of background on Linux mint before moving on to the new things, updates and changes. For years Linux Mint belonged to the most popular Linux distributions, because it is probably one of the most accessible, yet high-quality Linux distributions, for beginners and enthusiasts coming from Windows, but to which many advanced Linux users also remain stuck because of the ease of use, powerful features, stability and reliability. Linux Mint Cinnamon, the flagship desktop environment offered by the Linux Mint team, provides a clean interface that resembles the look and feel of a Windows desktop, a flawless out-of-the-box user experience, is backed by the enormous software base of Ubuntu and has a very friendly and responsive community. Due to the relatively classic user interface metaphor Linux Mint is a great starting point for former Windows users and those who doubt about switching to Linux, as they probably feel right at home.

          Unlike some other Linux distributions, the Linux Mint developers focus on absolute reliability and stability and consciously choose not to be a leader in all bleeding edge developments. In order to do that, Linux Mint is always based on what is called an LTS, or Long Term Support, release. Linux Mint 20 and now also 20.1 are based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS which was released in April 2020. After each LTS release, which has a 2-year cycle and 5 years of support, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, releases 3 non-LTS versions on a 6-month in-between cycle, which are supported only for 9 months. Most of the new functionalities and improvements in these short term versions will be included in the next future LTS release.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Call for Nomination: Local Communities Research Committee

          The Community Council has concluded that we need a new evaluation of the Ubuntu Local Communities project itself and this should be done by a Local Communities Research Committee.

          You can read the thoughts behind this call and what we are looking for on the Community Hub:


    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU findutils 4.8.0 released
            This is to announce findutils-4.8.0, a stable release. 
            See the NEWS below for more details. 
            GNU findutils is a set of software tools for finding files that match 
            certain criteria and for performing various operations on them. 
            Findutils includes the programs "find", "xargs" and "locate". 
            More information about findutils is available at: 
            Please report bugs and problems with this release via the the 
            GNU Savannah bug tracker: 
            Please send general comments and feedback about the GNU findutils 
            package to the mailing list (<mailto:bug-findutils@gnu.org): 
            There have been 96 commits by 8 people in the 71 weeks since 4.7.0: 
              Andreas Metzler (5)             James Youngman (7) 
              Bernhard Voelker (78)           Kamil Dudka (1) 
              Bjarni Ingi Gislason (2)        Kim Thor (1) 
              Hugo Gabriel Eyherabide (1)     Peter Frost (1) 
            This release was bootstrapped with the following tools: 
               Autoconf 2.69 
               Automake 1.16.2 
               M4 1.4.18 
               Gnulib v0.1-4349-g8ed1d1f9f 
            Please consider supporting the Free Software Foundation in its fund 
            raising appeal; see <https://www.fsf.org/appeal/>. 
            Thanks to everyone who has contributed! 
            Have a nice day, 
            Bernhard Voelker [on behalf of the GNU findutils maintainers] 
      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Wikipedia is 20, and its reputation has never been higher

            Yet Wikipedia is an oddity. It defies the Silicon Valley recipe for success. The site has no shareholders, has generated no billionaires and sells no advertising. Today’s aspiring tech giants burn vast quantities of investors’ money subsidising taxi rides (Uber) or millennial messaging (Snap) in pursuit of “scale”. Wikipedia grew organically, as more and more ordinary people decided to contribute. The site has its roots in the techno-optimism that characterised the internet at the end of the 20th century. It held that ordinary people could use their computers as tools for liberation, education and enlightenment.

            Like most Utopian thinking, the idea of an amateur encyclopedia was, for many years, treated as a bit of a joke. “A few endorse Wikipedia heartily. This mystifies me,” wrote a former president of the American Library Association in 2007. “A professor who encourages the use of Wikipedia is the intellectual equivalent of a dietician who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything,” he sneered. Even now, after numerous academic studies highlighting its reliability, Wikipedia still lacks the gravitas and authority of older encyclopedias like “Britannica”, which are written by paid academic experts rather than amateurs. Schools, universities and The Economist’s fact-checkers frown on relying on it.

      • Programming/Development

        • Bootlin toolchains integration in Buildroot

          Since 2017, Bootlin is freely providing ready-to-use pre-built cross-compilation toolchains at https://toolchains.bootlin.com/. We are now providing over 150 toolchains, for a wide range of CPU architectures, covering the glibc, uClibc-ng and musl C libraries, with up-to-date gcc, binutils, gdb and C library support.

          We recently contributed an improvement to Buildroot that allows those toolchains to very easily be used in Buildroot configurations: the Bootlin toolchains are now all known by Buildroot as existing external toolchains, next to toolchains from other vendors such as ARM, Synopsys and others.


          Internally, this support for Bootlin toolchains in Buildroot is generated and updated using the support/scripts/gen-bootlin-toolchains script. In addition to making the toolchains available to the user, it allows generates some Buildroot test cases for each toolchain, so that each of those configuration is tested by Buildroot continuous integration, see support/testing/tests/toolchain/test_external_bootlin.py.

        • PHP 8.0 Is Too Fresh For Fedora 34 That It Will Be Punted To F35 In The Autumn – Phoronix

          While Fedora has been well known for years in always shipping the very latest packages in its distribution as of release even if it means using the likes of a near-final GCC compiler pre-release, developers have decided to postpone the shipping of PHP 8.0 until the autumn with their Fedora 35 release.

          PHP 8.0 was released at the end of November with many new features and changes. While it released in plenty of time for getting it into Fedora 34 that is due out this spring, the Fedora developers have decided to instead focus on shipping PHP 8.0 in the fall with the succeeding Fedora 35 release.

        • Rust

          • Rust 1.49 Released with Tier-1 Support of 64-Bit ARM Linux

            The Rust team released on the eve of the last year Rust 1.49. The new version of Rust features 64-bit ARM support and minor language enhancements.


            The new version of Rust promotes the aarch64-unknown-linux-gnu target to Tier 1 support. This means that developers using 64-bit ARM systems with Linux have the assurance that a full test-suite has been run for every change merged into the compiler. Prebuilt binaries are also made available. The team expects that the 64-bit ARM support will benefit workloads spanning from embedded to desktops and servers.

        • Java

    • Standards/Consortia

      • What Fonio, or any other food, should share with serious digital standards

        What Yolélé is doing seems too good, and too important to me, to not wish that it is really future-proof.

        If Yolélé goes bankrupt, something that again I do not wish to them, what happens to their proprietary system? Will it be lost in some legal limbo, where noone else can resume the good fight without reinventing lots of wheels, because that “intellectual property” is locked?

        What if Yolélé ends up exactly like scores of competitors of Facebook or Google, that is bought with a mountain of cash, for the only reason to shut it down, in order to make much bigger mountains of cash?

        A good way to prevent such outcomes, maybe the oly one, would be for Yolélé to become like email, or other digital standards that are ubiquitous exactly because they are impossible to really buy out. Yolélé should “configure” itself, as soon as possible, to “die in Open Source fashion”](/2019/02/what-should-happen-when-an-organization-dies/).

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • More than 60 feared dead as Indonesian Boeing 737 crashes into the sea

          Flight SJ182 took off from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, and then plunged more than 10,000 feet into the sea. Officials said the plane was carrying 50 passengers – including ten children – and 12 crew. On Saturday night, a large-scale search operation was underway to hunt for wreckage of the plane, which is sank in 30 metre- deep waters around the island of Lancang, part of the Thousand Islands chain just north of Jakarta.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Tomasz Torcz: KubeCon NA 2020 talks to watch, part 1 [Ed: Typical Linux Foundation. Slack and Zoom instead of Free software and all projects outsourced to Microsoft’s proprietary GitHub]

                The main course of conference are talks. There were plenty. Sometimes there were a dozen or so parallel tracks, so I did not have a chance to watch everything. I’m slowly working through backlog of things I missed. The talks itself were pre-recorded, but after the talk there was a live Q&A session with the speaker. Sadly, the Q&A is not available in recordings below. I guess this was one of the exclusive perks for attendees.

        • Security

          • Intel Preparing New Driver Option To Disable GPU Security Mitigations – Phoronix

            Stemming from the renewed attention this week of Haswell GT1 graphics being broken for the past half-year under Linux with the latest versions of the kernel, a revised patch was sent out to restore that graphics support for low-end Haswell Celeron/Pentium processors. As part of that, a new option is being introduced to allow disabling security mitigations of the Intel graphics driver.

            This patch was sent out on Saturday that fixes up the Haswell GT1 support following the public attention this week over the low-end Haswell graphics support managing to be broken for the past several kernel release cycles while a prior version of that patch has been floating on the bug report thread for weeks.

          • L1d Cache Flushing On Context Switch Trying Again But More Conservative In 2021 – Phoronix

            Coming out in early 2020 were patches by an Amazon engineer to implement flushing the L1 data cache on context switching in the name of security given the various data sampling vulnerabilities. That work so far has been rejected from the mainline kernel but today was updated and makes it harder to enable and thus moving forward could stand chances to finally see the opt-in functionality merged to mainline.

            This opt-in L1d flushing on context switching tried for the Linux 5.8 kernel but at the time was rejected by Linus Torvalds as “beyond stupid”, big performance implications, and not necessarily working out as desired. That L1d flushing work was since revised but hasn’t yet made it into the mainline kernel as of Linux 5.11.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Signal beeps louder in India as WhatsApp tweaks policy

              Encrypted messaging app Signal said it saw a “giant spike” in India after WhatsApp announced it would be sharing more user data with parent Facebook under an updated privacy policy and new terms of service. The move has sparked concern among WhatsApp users. One of them was Tesla chief executive and world’s richest man Elon Musk, who asked them to join Signal on Thursday.

              India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with over 400 million users and some experts are doubtful whether privacy concerns will make much of a dent in its dominance.

            • Falsehoods programmers believe about… Biometrics

              (For the new reader, there is a famous essay called Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names. It has since spawned a long list of Falsehoods Programmers Believe About….)

            • Do You Suddenly Need To Stop Using WhatsApp?

              WhatsApp’s nightmare week has continued to get worse—a backlash against the scale of its data collection quickly followed by its sudden forcing of new terms of service on its users to share their data with Facebook. Agree to this now or delete your account, it has said. And so, as many users look for alternatives, should you do the same?

              WhatsApp has a serious issue—one that hit home hard in the last week. The world’s leading messaging platform claims security and privacy are in its DNA, but it is owned by the world’s most avaricious data harvesting machine. Now this WhatsApp balancing act has just become much harder, as it finds itself threatening users with deleted accounts unless they accept new terms that take effect on February 8.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | What I Told My Students About Wednesday’s Attempted Trump Coup

        The day after domestic terrorists try to steal our system of government isn’t the time to hold back.

      • Opinion | Far-Right Activists on Social Media Telegraphed Violence Weeks in Advance of the Attack on the US Capitol

        The siege was consistent with their openly expressed hopes and plans.

      • Big Tech Further Mutes President, Far Right Megaphone as Demands for Trump Removal Swell

        Google yanked Parler from its app store Friday in light of “continued posting… that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.”

      • Trump’s Inexplicable Crusade to Help Iran Evade Sanctions

        Since the U.S. case began more than four years ago, the Trump White House has repeatedly sought to shield Halkbank from paying any penalty for its role in helping Iran, including firing a pair of federal prosecutors handling the case and asking top cabinet officials to pressure the Justice Department to drop it.

        All the while, one big question has lingered: Why would U.S. President Donald Trump—whose administration has taken a hard-line stance against Iran, including what it describes as a “maximum pressure” campaign to strangle its economy—repeatedly try to shield one of Iran’s biggest helpers in evading those very sanctions?

        The simple answer? It appears that Trump never understood the charges against the bank or how they related to Iran—and he just wanted to do a favor for his fellow strongman, Erdogan.

      • Al Shabaab Claims Beheading of Local Chief in Kenya

        Omar Adan Buul, the head of the Gumarey sub-location in Wajir county, was kidnapped on Friday by jihadists who had raided the area and “lectured the locals,” according to Kenyan media reports.

        “It is true the chief who went missing last week on Friday has been found dead. His head was dumped on the road but the rest of the body has not been found,” a local police officer said on condition of anonymity.

      • If You Were On Parler You Saw The Mob Comin

        gA mob stormed Washington and Twitter locked the account of a president who helped incite this violence. But Donald Trump and his supporters still have an effectively unregulated safe space: Parler. Chief executive John Matze calls his social media platform a “neutral town square.” Kara Swisher disagrees. On today’s episode of “Sway,” she challenges Matze on the neutrality of a site whose users, investors, advertisers and “community jury” skew right. And she presses him on the role Parler has played in our current national crisis.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Why Are Country Music Wives Pushing Baseless Conspiracy Theories?

        As for Aldean, she has said she’s representing her followers who are afraid to speak out over fear of losing jobs or friends. “It is disgusting to me that ‘freedom of speech’ applies to everyone but Republicans,” she once posted. But it’s not a Republican-Democrat issue. It’s about an assault on facts and truth, which the Trump administration upended the very week of his inauguration.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | How We Respond to Threats Against Democracy

        The U.S. is bearing the fruit of decades of cruelty — breaking up unions, cutting public services and siphoning public resources and wealth into the hands of the very elite — also seen in Canada.

      • Members of Several Well-Known Hate Groups Identified at Capitol Riot

        Members of the ultranationalist street gang known as the Proud Boys were easy to spot at the protests that flared across the United States throughout 2020, often in the middle of a brawl, typically clad in black and yellow outfits.

        Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter.

      • Before Mob Stormed the Capitol, Days of Security Planning Involved Cabinet Officials and President Trump

        President Donald Trump met with top military officials and gave his approval to activate the D.C. National Guard three days before he encouraged a mob of angry protesters to take their grievances to the U.S. Capitol.

        A Pentagon memo released Friday offers these insights, as well as the first detailed timeline of the bungled law enforcement response to Wednesday’s insurrection.

      • Opinion | New “Day of Infamy,” Centuries Old White Supremacy

        Were Wednesday’s events really that “unbelievable”?

      • Leading Papers Talked Up Establishment’s Senate Candidates

        Democrats celebrated dual Georgia Senate race victories this week, which gives them, with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaker vote, a bare majority in the Senate.

      • Opinion | Can Justice Finally Overtake Trump, Its Most Defiant Fugitive?
      • I Showed Raffensperger Evidence of Wrongful Voter Purges. He Ignored It.
      • The Trumps Have Fueled a Far-Right Media Monster That Is Not Going Away
      • As 176 House Members Back Article of Impeachment, Watchdog Says ‘Future of American Democracy Is on the Line’

        The resolution co-led by Rep. David Cicilline says Trump “will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”

      • “Kevin McCarthy Must Resign”: House Minority Leader Under Fire for Enabling Trump’s “Worst and Most Destructive Acts”

        “He spread the very lies that helped incite this violence,” said Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia.

      • Opinion | Billionaire-Owned Media Look Out for Neediest by Demanding They Get No More Money

        “How to pay for it” is the question they perennially ask when the prospect of helping ordinary people is raised.

      • Apple Removes Parler From App Store Over Users’ “Threats of Violence and Illegal Activity”

        Parler has been removed from Apple’s App Store, following a move by Google to ban the social networking app from its Google Play store.

        Apple’s suspension of the app went into effect Saturday.

      • Twitter’s Trump Ban Deemed Necessary, Derided as Long Overdue

        Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia called Twitter’s move “an overdue step” in a tweet but said the focus should be on “an entire ecosystem that allows misinformation and hate to spread and fester unchecked.” Meanwhile, Senator Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday’s “events will renew and focus the need for Congress to reform Big Tech’s privileges and obligations.” He said Sec. 230 reform would be a priority.

      • Can we save democracy from the two-party system?

        The U.S. is said to have a two-party system, but many have observed that the parties are suspiciously similar, and refer to the system as a duopoly. They are closer to the truth, which is that we have a single right-wing party that rules, that sets the agenda and the limits of debate, whether officially in power or not, and a second, phantom party that goes through the motions of wielding power or of being in opposition. Unlike Margery Williams’ velveteen rabbit, this phantom party resists becoming real.

        Almost from the moment of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, the phantom party began insisting it could do nothing to prevent President Trump from having his nominee replace her, and a judicial Operation Warp Speed rolled right over it. Now the party can raise the alarm — only verbally, of course — about having six “conservative” justices on the Supreme Court, helping it sustain the illusion of being a real opposition party. And all it took was total passivity.

        The reason the U.S. is effectively a one-party state, and only nominally a two-party one, is obvious and known to all: Democrats and Republicans serve the same masters. Whether the president is an African-American Democrat or a white nationalist Republican, he staffs his administration with representatives of the highest stratum. Power remains in essentially the same hands — CEOs from the biggest firms, bankers from the biggest banks, executives from the biggest names on Wall Street, orthodox economists, corporate lawyers, corporate lobbyists, ex-generals, etc. — people who can be trusted to serve the system that has served them. A large contingent simply moves back and forth between government and the corporate world.

      • First Artificial Intelligence community Centre launched in Hyderabad

        The HexArt Institute in an initiative of the Hexagon Capability Center India (HCCI), the largest product development unit of the technology major Hexagon AB. It considers this institute as a timely societal responsibility initiative. The center will train more than 350 students every year across multiple batches.

      • All the platforms that have banned or restricted Trump so far

        Platforms are rapidly removing Donald Trump’s account or accounts affiliated with pro-Trump violence and conspiracies, like QAnon and #StoptheSteal.

        Here is a running list: [...]

      • China Conquers Hollywood

        “The day has finally arrived when China is the world’s No.1 film market, surpassing the box office total of North America for 2020,” said the authorized government portal site to China, published under the auspices of China’s State Council Information Office, also known as the CCP’s Foreign Propaganda Office, China.org.cn, in a self-congratulatory article, “China officially the world’s biggest film market.” The article, published on October 20, went on to mention the Chinese blockbuster, The Eight Hundred, a WWII movie about a group of Chinese soldiers under siege by the Japanese army, which was the highest grossing film in the world in 2020, as well as a handful of other Chinese-made films scheduled for release in the final quarter of 2020.

        That is what the CCP has been working towards for at least a decade; a communiqué it released back in October 2011, spoke of “the urgency” of enhancing China’s “soft power and the international influence of its own culture” and the wish to “build our country into a socialist cultural superpower”.

        The development is bad news for Hollywood, which for years has sought more access to China’s enormous and lucrative market. China no longer relies on American blockbusters to fill its cinemas. Hollywood, however, needs the Chinese market to make its movies a financial success.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange went from award-winning journalist to nearly a decade in confinement

        Following the court ruling, author and historian Noam Chomsky said in an online press conference: “We can celebrate the fact that Julian Assange won’t be sent to the barbaric U.S. incarceration system even though he’s still kept in a high security prison in England, which is scandalous.”

        While the verdict is positive on some levels, according to Chomsky, the academic said he suspects people in the Joe Biden administration will also be celebrating.

        “This was a perfect outcome for the U.S. government,” said Chomsky. “If I believed in conspiracy theories, I’d almost suspect it couldn’t have turned out better. All the U.S. government charges, however spurious, were accepted by the judge. That means that the threat to press freedom, which is severe, is maintained, and in a way even strengthened.”

      • Pardoning Blackwater Criminals And Persecuting Assange: The West’s Double Standards

        Ironically, it was WikiLeaks which helped expose the murderousness of Blackwater mercenaries in Iraq. Apart from the Nisour Square massacre, the WikiLeaks Iraq war files – published on the internet in 2010 – revealed 14 other incidents in which Blackwater guards opened fire on civilians, killing 10 and wounding seven. In one-third of the cases where civilians were unlawfully killed, the operatives were protecting US diplomats as part of a $465 million State Department contract. The files show that Blackwater mercenaries repeatedly shot at civilian vehicles that came close to their convoys. The following are some instances of Blackwater’s barbaric behavior, made public due to WikiLeaks’ Iraq War logs – [...]

      • 11 Journalists on Covering the Capitol Siege: ‘This Could Get Ugly’

        The journalists ended up chronicling a siege that underscored the fragility of American democracy. Many did their jobs a few feet from drawn weapons. Others faced the wrath of pro-Trump agitators with a grudge against the news media.

        We interviewed 11 journalists from a variety of outlets — including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the British channel ITV and the Beltway news site Axios — who covered the events. The interviews have been edited and condensed.

      • [Old] I Am Guilty of Violating the Espionage Act

        I am guilty of violating the Espionage Act, Title 18, U.S. Code Sections 793 and 798. If charged and convicted, I could spend the rest of my life in prison.

        This is not a hypothetical. Right now, the United States government is prosecuting a publisher under the Espionage Act. The case could set a precedent that would put me and countless other journalists in danger.

        I confess that I — alongside journalists at The Guardian, The Washington Post and other news organizations — reported on and published highly classified documents from the National Security Agency provided by the whistle-blower Edward Snowden, revealing the government’s global mass surveillance programs. This reporting was widely recognized as a public service.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘To Tell Stories of Communities That Are Authentic, You Have to Have a Conversation’
      • YouTube and TikTok Put Human Rights In Jeopardy in Turkey

        The pushback against the requirements of the Social Media Law was initially strong. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube, and TikTok had not appointed representatives when the law was first introduced late last year. But now, two powerful platforms have capitulated, despite the law’s explicit threat to users’ fundamental rights: The first one, YouTube, announced on December 16th, followed by TikTok last Friday and DailyMotion just today, January 9th. This decision creates a bad precedent that will make it harder for other companies to fight back.

        Both companies now plan to set up a “legal entity” in Turkey, providing a local government point of contact. Even though both announcements promise that the platforms will not change their content review or data handling or holding practices, it is not clear how YouTube or TikTok will challenge or stand against the Turkish government once they agree to set up legal shops on Turkish soil. The move by YouTube (and the lack of transparency around its decision) is particularly disappointing given the importance of the platform for political speech and over a decade of attempts to control YouTube content by the Turkish government. 

        The Turkish administration and courts have long attempted to punish sites like YouTube and Twitter who do not comply with its takedown orders to their satisfaction. With a local legal presence, government officials can not only throttle or block sites; they could force platforms to arbitrarily remove perfect legal, political speech or disclose political activists’ data or force them to be complicit in a government-sanctioned human rights violation. Arbitrary political arrests and detentions are increasingly common inside the country, from information security professionals to journalists, doctors and lawyers. A local employee of an Internet company in such a hostile environment could, quite literally, be a hostage to government interests.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • The 9 best free streaming services worthy of downloading

        With the glimmer of the New Year quickly fading due to recent, troubling events, you may once again be feeling a need deep within your bones to escape. And while many of us are limited in the routes we can take to achieve this, TV has become a tried, trusted, and fairly accessible — soon to be extremely accessible — method to achieving that occasional, sweet release from the grasp of an unsavory reality.

      • David Bowie’s Entire Catalog Just Landed on TikTok

        TikTok announced the news on what would have been David Bowie’s 74th birthday. Now tracks like “Heroes,” “Space Oddity,” “Let’s Dance,” “Rebel Rebel,” Life on Mars?,” and “Ashes to Ashes” are now available on TikTok. TikTok is also hosting a new TikTok challenge to commemorate the late British singer.

      • TikTok Adds David Bowie Full Music Catalog on Iconic Artist’s Birthday

        TikTok has been adding tracks from other notable British artists and groups over the past few months, including the works of Queen, John Lennon and George Michael.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents/EPO

        • Justin Hill

          The EPO opposition process is skewed towards a paper-based procedure but culminates with an oral hearing attended by all parties. Although the language of the procedure is that of the patent under challenge, submissions may be made in any EPO language and we frequently see multiple opponents. The constraints imposed at various parts of the process by the substantive law and the increasingly strict EPO procedures can materially affect outcomes. Oppositions and appeals therefore require a range of skills, including meticulous case analysis, strategy, drafting (of submissions and amendments) and oral advocacy. However, the key is to work out the story that will underpin a winning case. This must be framed sensitively during the written procedure, using the best technical evidence available. Only this will ensure that it is compelling when told at the oral proceedings. It is better, where circumstances permit, to have one compelling story and stick to it than to take a shotgun approach. It is pivotal to take the opposition division (or board of appeal) with you on your journey through the story, ensuring that it follows all key signposts along the way. The strategy must establish the true state of the art and convincingly communicate the contribution that the technology makes to the field (or, if you are challenging the patent, why no contribution has been made). The EPO is like any other forum; if it hears a compelling story ending with a good invention, it will need a robust reason to tear up the manuscript.

        • Tobias Wuttke

          Thus, claim amendments are a science in their own right and much less is possible before the EPO in this respect compared to in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom (eg, no combination of features from independent embodiments). However, there is the potential at the EPO to fully explore the possibility of multiple dependencies in the claims, which is likely under-used by US companies at present.

        • Brexit: What happens with your IP assets in 2021?

          With the creation of a “mirror mechanism”, the UK Institute of Intellectual Property (UKIPO) will create comparable trademarks and community designs for all EU registered assets. The patent system will not be affected by Brexit, given that the European Patent Office (EPO) is an institution that is not related to the European Union, which means that everything will remain unchanged after Brexit.

        • Moberg Pharma subsidiary announces issue of European Patent related to BupiZenge

          OncoZenge AB (publ), Moberg Pharma’s subsidiary, has recently announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted patent 3 284 459 which protects BupiZenge, currently in development for treatment of pain due to oral mucositis. The patent is expected to be in effect until 2032.

          The new patent protects sustained-release lozenge containing bupivacaine, for treatment or alleviation of pain in the oral cavity. It is a divisional of the previously granted European patent 2 701 681, that specifically protects the use of lozenges for treatment of pain due to oral mucositis for cancer patients. BupiZenge has previously been granted patents with a similar scope in the United States and Canada.

        • Webinar on Priority Entitlement in Europe [Ed: So-called 'webinar' lobbying for or promoting illegal patents on life/nature in Europe]

          J A Kemp will be offering a webinar entitled “Priority Entitlement in Europe — Current Best Practice” on January 14, 2021 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). Marc Wilkinson and Chris Milton of J A Kemp will provide a concise review of European case law and practice with respect to a patentee’s legal entitlement to a claim of priority, and briefly discuss what went wrong and why for the patentees in a recent high-profile case before the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (decision T844/18), where a high-value patent in the field of gene editing (CRISPR) was revoked for lack novelty over intervening prior art following a loss of priority. The webinar will also outline practical steps and measures that can be taken by applicants to help safeguard priority claims in Europe.

        • Software Patents

          • AI and IP – A report on CIPA’s Computer Technology Committee recommendations on AI and IP [Ed: Diffusion and confusion tactics, infused with buzzwords, to push a rogue agenda of patents on algorithms and more]

            Some concerns were expressed that a relaxation of UKIPO practice in this area might introduce an inconsistency with European Patent Office (EPO) practice, but we need to keep in mind that the EPO already made good progress in 2018 and 2019 in defining a set of “specific technical implementations” of AI which are patentable (notably when the design of an AI algorithm takes account of the technical capabilities or constraints of the system on which it will run) as well as a long list of “specific technical applications” of AI which are patentable if the patent application claims are limited to the specific technical purpose. The UKIPO needs to catch up. Furthermore, the EPO is working on a set of examples of patentable AI-related claims (similar to the ones published by the USPTO in January 2019, and examples published by the JPO in 2017) and will be publishing these with updated examination guidelines in early 2021.

            We suggest that UK legislators and the UKIPO should pay careful attention to these EPO developments in early 2021, and should work with the EPO and other major patent offices to try to achieve substantive patent law harmonisation for AI technologies, but the UKIPO and UK legislators should not sit back and wait for a widening of the gap between what is patentable at the UKIPO and USPTO before taking action.

            We also suggest that harmonised treatment of AI patenting is achievable, because all of the world’s patent offices are facing the same issues at the same time (note the conversation on AI and IP led by WIPO, and the USPTO’s consultation on AI and IP that preceded the UKIPO consultation). Also, although we were a long way away from harmonised international law on patentability of computer-implemented inventions for many years, we have moved much closer to harmonised treatment of many types of computer-implemented invention in recent years (e.g. including computer simulation, where the USPTO examples of patent eligible subject matter published in January 2019 were extremely close to EPO practice).

      • Copyrights

        • Cloudflare Calls For Sanctions Over False Claims in Piracy Lawsuit

          Cloudflare has asked a California court to sanction three online models and their counsel over unsubstantiated and frivolous claims regarding its Argo Tunnel service, that supposedly helped pirates. The models, meanwhile, are striking back, arguing that Cloudflare should be sanctioned itself.

        • Xtream-Codes: We Have Nothing To Do With Resurrected IPTV System Xtream UI

          After being subjected to massive law enforcement action in 2019, the company behind popular IPTV management platform Xtream-Codes has again broken its silence to protest its innocence. The authorities are reportedly claiming that the company has continued to operate under the name Xtream UI but Xtream-Codes’ operators say they are not involved.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 09, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:50 am by Needs Sunlight

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#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

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#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

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text logs

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#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

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 QmPekdy4XzeQHFMk3LVA8LxyZrWkF8VVcDyKHW61xoxTRD IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmTcbsEPLy2Cq5saZ7ATwkTQBAkKrXwSZHTkE7sjijCmN5 IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmXj7ADVoiRLgyEPomzywcPCTv4g1YdrjsQQMaFP2W2otP IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmSp3RCfGX4qNYUwieFVMJpLsw2miCLudKvpNyX6XSnPbq IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmVoRcE4JJPLxkYMTqR1DAJakvBLLv16VNNA7LydWKNyYt IRC log for #techbytes
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 QmdVCcu41gKhdH7Avr43CRnoomWGYFSyw7utm6QiGNewrU IRC log for #techbytes
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