The Oligarchs’ Parties Will Never Choose the Side of Software Freedom Because Free Software Cannot Bribe Officials

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trump-Biden Comparison: Serves the rich, funded by oligarchs, crude and fascistic, polite on the surface

Summary: The tough reality is that next week’s (or this coming week’s, depending on what Sunday counts as) inauguration ceremony is partly symbolic as all the same and important issues remain largely untouched, for corporations control almost everything of significance

THE inauguration of president-elect Biden is only 2 days away. 4 years of a fascistic narcissist were truly exhausting, but the “lesser evil” is still problematic. We wrote about half a dozen articles to explain why (and for the record, we did encourage readers to vote against Donald Trump).

“The American Green Party or a candidate like Sanders wouldn’t have gone in that direction; that’s why both are being undermined every 4 years.”At the moment we’re at a cusp of a change of power or handover of leadership. In reality, however, the same oligarchs remain in control of everything that’s important, policies included. Some things never really change and aren’t meant to change; that’s why candidates like Sanders get undermined at numerous levels.

In the days of the Obama administration (“hope” era) we maintained this wiki page about interference by Ballmer and Gates. The same things happened under Trump (e.g. favours to Gates, bailout money for Microsoft).

Howie Hawkins vs. Joe Biden on Software freedom: Small and community-funded, Oversized, obsessed with $We hope that by the end of the week it’ll be possible to chastise a President Biden without being shallowly accused of being “pro-Trump” or something along those lines.

Mr. Biden was never a liberal, certainly not when he pushed through the unpatriotic USA PATRIOT Act. At the moment there’s an overt push to ban protests, not only using COVID-19 as a pretext. Hours ago an associate told me that “the coup attempt is now being whitewashed as a “riot” instead by most of the media. That has changed during the last day or so.”

This may seem like a threat to the US alone; but actually US laws tend to spread, by precedence (in the name of hegemony).

I told my associate that right now the GOP itself (coup plotter) is trying to pass new laws against protests, which are lawful and protected by the Constitution. That’s according to news reports which we’ve already put in Daily Links.

My associate noted that “the concerns have been that they will abuse this like the twin towers attack was abused to jam through the PATRIOT Act. They probably have something worse on the shelf ready to go.”

“Maybe in the name of ‘harmonisation’,” I told the associate, “post-Brexit UK will also ban protests in any form… to keep the “plebs” away from the “private property” of vaccine profiteers and people who control the whole freight/logistics, monopolising the market remotely.”

“Harmonization is often used like that,” the associate responded.

Don’t underestimate the harms the so-called ‘neoliberals’ can cause not only in their own countries. The American Green Party or a candidate like Sanders wouldn’t have gone in that direction; that’s why both are being undermined every 4 years.

COVID-19 Has Actually Helped Software Freedom Due to Financial and ‘Spare Time’ Factors

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Get busy coding!

Summary: Developers and users are increasingly exploring what the Free software world has to offer; this is actually measurable and it contradicts claims to the contrary

AT THE END OF LAST week I saw a claim, in a Spanish GNU/Linux site (yes, it says “GNU”), that COVID-19 took Free software aback, undoing 40 years of progress. I could not agree, as the evidence we have out there does not support this assertion. Last week we wrote about the real market share of Windows going back to the levels of 30 years ago (and nearly under 30% all in all) and there’s evidence, as Phoronix put it a few hours ago, that “Gentoo Saw Total Commits Rise By 42% In 2020” (this is a real community, unlike Ubuntu or Fedora).

“One obvious casualty of COVID-19 is privacy…”We also wrote about IIS collapsing last year. At my ‘daytime’ job (actually nighttime) I see a gradual migration in that general direction — away from proprietary traps rather than towards them. Many businesses now realise that Clown Computing was just a passing fad and as costs pile up (those were originally priced below profit levels to lure people into the trap, getting them locked in) the exit barriers aren’t strong enough a deterrent anymore. Clown Computing was all along an entrapment strategy, turning licensing costs into subscription costs which only seem attractive on the (shallow) surface. Microsoft’s Azure has layoffs and Microsoft is paranoid about those pointing this out (it harms recruitment efforts). Azure is a failure. Microsoft lies to its shareholders.

One obvious casualty of COVID-19 is privacy; putting aside face masks as a barrier to identification of people ‘out there’, there are now more tools by which people can be spied on in their own homes and such oppressive tools with egregious violations of human rights are often imposed by bosses, examiners, and sometimes even governments.

Future Plans and Using Videos to Complement Text

Posted in Site News, Videos at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We’ll remain focused on the underlying technology and policy issues, not political party tribalism

Biden Harris 'Fixed It': Change again?

Summary: Remarks on recent and impending site changes; We are not replacing text with video, we’re just trying to enhance the presentation a bit, especially where visuals help make a point or where browsing through Web sites (or leaks) is more suitable than static, linear presentation

THE site is increasingly being served over IPFS. We also have the capacity to self-host very large files, then deliver them at high speeds (without a CDN like ClownFlare). It makes the site a lot more difficult to censor (Google/YouTube rapidly becomes notorious for it [1, 2]) or to digitally attack. Since moving to the new server about 18 days ago we’ve had no issue staving off attackers (in the DDOS sense). Readers can probably sense that pages are now loading a lot faster, too. We also did a lot of coding at several levels, both for operations and monitoring. There are always some projects floating about, waiting for time to become available. IRC tooling, Raspberry Pi tooling, IPFS and so on. For those who are curious about that level of depth, all the details will always be available in IRC logs. For secure and anonymous document drops we’ll have to complete the migration to Alpine containers and then add SSL on top of it all. It’s still work in progress, which requires scheduling and prior planning. We don’t want to risk any downtime (or worse).

“Rehearsals cause recordings to be somewhat robotics and audiences can easily tell when they’re scripted; we don’t want that.”I have, by now, become more accustomed to and familiar with Free software tools that produce video (strictly with Free/libre software). The main weakness, I think, is the equipment used (low-cost and built into a laptop). There are lock-downs here and I do not shop online, so there’s no reprieve for at least another month. In the meantime, a clarification is in order. We do not intend to replace text with video; not ever or any time soon…

As a side note, we’ve promised ourselves (as Tim and I did when we published episodes of TechBytes) that there will be no preparation, no outlining, or even editing of what we record. It reduces complexity and makes production far less cumbersome. Spontaneity is possible as long as we have a set of URLs or Web pages with potential topics in them — topics which shall be dealt with in turn (sometimes reordering them helps a bit as it tidies up the mind). Rehearsals cause recordings to be somewhat robotics and audiences can easily tell when they’re scripted; we don’t want that.

Videos are actually a lot faster to make than text; the workflow is largely the same for video and upload speeds are the bottleneck (especially this month because of severe issues with the ISP). Some particular aspects of publications are easier and safer to do in video, e.g. when dealing with leaked material. At the moment we’re a little light on news (not much happening in GNU/Linux or anything else for that matter) but not light on material because there’s plenty to be said about software freedom and patents in the analytical sense.

“In terms of storage and bandwidth, we’re much better off on the new server. Disk space increased tenfold!”One advantage we have is that we rarely need outside help to maintain and run the site (even beyond the level of editing, e.g. provisioning, backups, upgrades). This greatly lowers the costs associated with keeping the site online and active 24/7. A lot of other sites don’t have that luxury because they’re not run by sufficiently technical people and any time they need help with something they need to shell out a lot money (which they don’t have unless their site is trying to sell something, in turn corrupting its independence and integrity). In terms of site traffic, Apachetop (site monitoring tool) says that over the past 10 days the site averaged 7MB/second in requests, largely owing to videos. Last week the demand for videos grew 50% compared to the prior week, so there seems to be no reason to abandon videos, at least as a side feature. In terms of storage and bandwidth, we’re much better off on the new server. Disk space increased tenfold!

InteLeaks – Part XVIII: Intel Does Not Know How to Properly Do Research and It Seems Apparent Unscientific Methods Are Used to Justify Poor Documentation

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Hardware at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link (see this series’ index for more)

Summary: There appears to be a severe crisis at Intel; they cannot recruit scientists (or those whom they recruited are walking away) and as a result the company produces bad products with poor documentation (or highly defective chipsets that top-notch marketing cannot compensate for); in this video we walk through some examples of how studies are being conducted (as already noted in Part XVII)

THE wiki page for this series is growing longer and the number of items we wish to show is increasing. This past week our videos were viewed about 65,000 times and we’re receiving feedback from people who know “Intel inside” (or what’s “inside Intel”). As noted in this latest part, much of what’s happening at Intel can be found in other companies too, albeit less accentuated. Many readers have seen/experienced it firsthand.

“For Intel not to be able to hire a full-time person with GNU/Linux knowledge and technical writing skills is a bit of an embarrassment.”
The risk for Intel is that by alienating GNU/Linux developers it lets other companies take advantage and take the lead. As one former insider told us about part XVII and prior parts, “reading this article series makes me realise how hard it must be to acquire people with GNU/Linux knowledge and to retain them, my employers were always begging me to stay on even when I had already decided to leave (for similar reasons as mentioned in this article series) and [...] this does seem to be a bit of a battle between business and technical people who will be at the top of current and future companies.”

In other words, according to him, “the suits fear they are losing out in a tech-savvy society…”

“For Intel not to be able to hire a full-time person with GNU/Linux knowledge and technical writing skills is a bit of an embarrassment,” he concluded.

Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part III: The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Seems More Like a Victim of Destabilisation Campaigns

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 1:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Sanders hints the ‘Bernie Bros’ could be Russian botsSummary: The Free Software Foundation (FSF), which turns 36 later this year, is looking to raise money that helps support the GNU Project, soon 38 years old and likely the most important Free software project to exist (ever)

IN PART I AND IN PART II we talked about a ‘hidden hand’ (but sometimes unwittingly revealed in IRS disclosures and “sponsors” pages) inside the Free software world. It’s not hard to see why people who think like Richard Stallman and openly (or freely) berate things would bother those who are indirectly — sometimes even directly — complicit in bombings (killing civilians for profit) and would rather, instead, obsess/bicker about supposedly offensive words. Taming a community isn’t easy because it’s hard to fire or banish people (there’s an alternative or parallel construct though; that’s where the CoC becomes handy). That’s setting aside extensive PR campaigns or even fakes/provocation efforts.

“It seems like with or without Oliva, the FSF is in decent hands now.”The resignation of Alex Oliva wasn’t as big a deal as we had imagined. Stallman’s voice was “one of the friendly voices,” Oliva explained. “He and I talked a lot about it.” It seems like with or without Oliva, the FSF is in decent hands now. Not perfect, albeit decent. Nevertheless, it’s easy to get the impression that the coup persists, especially each time the GNOME Foundation opens its mouth. But the GNOME Foundation’s attacks on Stallman go well more than a decade back; we covered examples over the years and we saw two GNOME Foundation chiefs going to work directly to Microsoft, which doesn’t inspire much confidence in the GNOME Foundation (the GNOME project itself is related to the GNOME Foundation but isn’t entirely the same, just as GNU and FSF aren’t the same thing).

“It’s as ludicrous as IBM’s claims that it confronts racism; in reality, IBM perpetuated and profited from direct and overt racism, not just institutionalised racism.”As I worked rather hard researching for this series I generally came to the conclusion that the FSF is mostly the victim of provocation and destabilisation efforts. Some of them are directly corporate, albeit sometimes the corporations seem to be co-opting groups to do their biddings, in effect siccing them or unleashing them at projects/institutions that they hope to weaken (or whose agenda/steering they seek to undermine). In this video I discuss some of my findings so far and future parts will shed light on incidents never seen (or heard about) by the public before. I’ve long found it rather ironic that greedy and intolerant corporations claim to champion tolerance. It’s as ludicrous as IBM’s claims that it confronts racism; in reality, IBM perpetuated and profited from direct and overt racism, not just institutionalised racism. Microsoft sometimes tries to portray itself as a company that cracks down on crime (e.g. “cybercrime”) when Microsoft itself was founded by convicts who spent the whole time (45+ years) committing crimes — a tradition they maintain to this very day and extends well beyond the realm of software.

Sanders and Biden: Free software, Open(washing) (closed) SourceHow ethical is one who redefines ethics and then warps the abuser-victim narrative? We’ve seen this debated before, e.g. in the context of FSFE and Debian. There’s a reason courts exist and due process is still cherished by most people (despite the costs). If we let mobs and rich people dominate the narratives, or if we let rich people weaponise online mobs, who stands to gain and who stands to lose?

Links 17/1/2021: EasyOS on Raspberry Pi and GNU libsigsegv 2.13

Posted in News Roundup at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Considering Preparedness

        In short it is necessary to update your IT Disaster Recovery Plan if you are relying on resources physically based in the United States, I think. Nobody is quite sure what exactly is coming down the pike.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • TWIL 134: WINE 6.0, Flatpak 1.10, Fedora Kinoite, Slimbook Titan, AlmaLinux, JingOS

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got an update for you about a CentOS alternative from CloudLinux called AlmaLinux. The company Slimbook announced a new Laptop called the Slimbook Titan and it is a very interesting piece of hardware with AMD Ryzen 7 & RTX 3070. We’ve also got releases from some big open source projects like WINE 6.0 and Flatpak 1.10. We’ve also got some interesting distro news from Fedora and a new OS called JingOS which has a very iPad-like design. In App News, we’ll talk about Mozilla’s VPN Now Available for Linux and we’ll end the show with a big Humble Bundle Bonanza. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • GNU World Order 389

        Hardware review of the Devastator 3 keyboard and mouse, and all about **tmux** , plus an obligatory mention of **usbmuxd**.

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • VPN Providers with Custom Clients for Linux

        Virtual Private Networking providers and company are more than you can shake a stick at these days. While there’s always installable client software for Windows, Android and usually MacOS and whatever the mobile version is called not all are offering desktop clients for Linux distributions. Even if they do it’s usually non-GUI, you know, with the excuse that Linux nerds love and want the power of the command line, with stripped-down functionality, or even a browser extension only which might work on a Chromebook but not on any other OS if you actually want to channel your entire traffic. And no, a proxy is not a replacement for a proper VPN.

        Another constraint is the various packaging formats Linux and GNU/Linux distributions are using. Most providers only offer packages for Debian and Ubuntu-like distributions. RPMs are typically Fedora and/or CentOS but do not work on SUSE. On other distributions like Slackware and Arch you’re basically on your own. You can hope that someone has provided a build on sbopkg for Slackware or in the AUR for the Arch base or that it can be transformed with the alien packaging tool but these are not official packages.

        Then we have the issue of different init systems in use all over the Linux install base. When exploring Artix Linux I discovered that custom desktop client software is written to work with distributions that are using systemd to handle services and networking. Wanting to use them with OpenRC or Runit presents a bit of a challenge. It can be done but you got to know your init system’s run levels or ask a distro developer to package it for you. Thankfully I since discovered that the software of at least two companies I’m perusing supports SysVinit. Their packages worked flawlessly on Devuan 3.0 so all is not lost if you’re not running systemd but still want to use your providers client instead of the Networkmanager OpenVPN plugin. Even more so since NM does not seem to work without systemd, haha. They also play nicely with Wicd, no conflicts there. They’re not integrated but they don’t integrate with NM either.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Balena Etcher on Manjaro Linux? – Linux Shout

        Balena Etcher is an open-source software to quickly create a bootable USB drive using ISO and raw images of the various Linux flavours including Windows 10/8/7 and others. Its interface is very straightforward, after the installation the user just needs to Select ISO or raw image than a USB drive which he wants to create bootable and simply Flash it.

        There are two ways to install Balena Etcher on Manjaro, one is using the AUR package repository and build Etcher from its source package and the second is to directly download the App image from the official website. I will show both.

      • GNU Linux Debian and others – how to view play RTSP (surveillance and webcam and other cams) streams with mplayer

        if the user wants to know who or what is lurking behind the house… the user needs to view live streams of surveillance cams on GNU Linux.

      • How to Find and Replace Text in Chrome and Firefox

        A browser, as its name implies, is meant for browsing the Web. It is not meant to be used as a text editor. That’s why you seldom find text-editing features like “Find and Replace Text” in the browser. However, there are times where you are writing your blog post, typing a comment, composing emails or moderating forums, and find yourself wanting to replace a couple of words that appear multiple times throughout. This is where a “Find and Replace Text” function is useful.

      • How to run a Linux distribution in a container

        The page that you are reading now is very much developer-perspective, looking at how a different Linux distribution can be converted to run in a container in EasyOS.
        So far, I have only done this with various Puppy Linux derivatives, as the ‘dir2sfs’ conversion script is aware of certain Puppy features. However, in theory, any Linux distribution can be converted.
        The case study for this page is for 64-bit EasyOS running on the Raspberry Pi4, and to convert RasPup to run in a container. At the time of writing, EasyOS is not yet released for the Pi4, but is expected to be soon — monitor my blog.

      • Code to check if a module is used in python code
      • How to install Master PDF Editor on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        Master PDF Editor is a freemium solution available for Linux, Windows, and macOS systems. Here we will see the steps to install it on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        One of the popular PDF editors that is Adobe Acrobat is not available for Linux systems, thus in such a case Master PDF editor in both free and premium version could be a good option. It comes with various features such as Edit PDF text, images; create new PDFs, Encrypts, and/or protect PDF files using 128-bit encryption, convert XPS files into PDF, and more… However, the free edition is limited in features and allow only the creation of new PDF documents, Fill PDF forms, add and/or edit bookmarks in PDF files; comment and annotate PDF documents;
        Split and merge PDF documents.

      • How to Check and print PHP version installed On Linux / Unix Server

        How do I find out PHP version under Linux operating systems? What command do I need to type to show the PHP version under Unix-like systems?

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Customization Guide: Here are 11 Ways You Can Change the Look and Feel of Your KDE-Powered Linux Desktop

          KDE Plasma desktop is unarguably the pinnacle of customization, as you can change almost anything you want. You can go to the extent of making it act as a tiling window manager.

          KDE Plasma can confuse a beginner by the degree of customization it offers. As options tend to pile on top of options, the user starts getting lost.

          To address that issue, I’ll show you the key points of KDE Plasma customization that you should be aware of.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS works on Raspberry Pi 3B with 1GB RAM

          Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, I have created a better product than I realised. I plugged the EasyOS microSD card into my old Pi model 3B, with only 1GB RAM, and it booted, and everything works.
          Well, everything after only a brief test. Connected to Internet automatically, because wifi was already setup when running on the Pi4. Was able to surf the Internet. I see the bluetooth applet in the tray, excellent, audio applet indicates working audio.
          The only noticeable downside is very slow. Still quite usable though. SM started surprisingly fast.

        • Norwegian language PETs for EasyOS

          Jostein Skjelstad has created two “langpack” PETs for EasyOS, ‘langpack_nb-20210108.pet’ and ‘langpack_nn-20210108.pet’.

          Jostein is to be congratulated for this, as it is a huge amount of work creating a langpack from scratch, as Lutz (de langpack) and esmourguit (fr langpack) will attest. Though, once created, keeping it updated is easier.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Smiles

          There is no end to my amazement of the openSUSE community. They do such a fantastic job of making a wonderful distribution with all the tools that keep me productive. I am very thankful for the reliability I enjoy using openSUSE. The community members also do a great job of helping me through a jam, should I drive myself into one.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Debian Family

        • Junichi Uekawa: Yesterday was our monthly Debian meeting.

          Yesterday was our monthly Debian meeting. We do one every month for Tokyo and Kansai combined, because it’s online and no reason to split for now. I presented what I learnt about nodejs packaging in Debian. This time, I started using Emacs for presentation, presenting PDF file. This week I switched most of my login shells to emacsclient, and experimenting.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • ECS Announces the LIVA Q1A and the LIVA Q1A Plus

          ECS announces two new Ultra-small and Multi-functional Mini PC, and these two Mini-PCs are called the LIVA Q1A and LIVA Q1A Plus. These Mini PCs have a minimal footprint while having a fanless design, and this design ensures a quiet operation. Since these Mini-PCs utilize the Rockchip SoC offering either a quad-core and a dual-core processor, these Mini-PCs are perfect for a new home office or a PC connected to a TV.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 4 big lessons from my internship with open source

        If you happened to have a time machine and chose to shoot yourself back a year to ask me what I thought about making open source contributions (of all the things you could’ve done), you may have guessed that I would just shrug and say something along the lines of, “I don’t know, isn’t that reserved for all the hard-core devs with the insane GitHub stats and decked-out macros and stuff? I’d have no idea what I was doing, and who would even care what some random college student had to say about their code?” And you’d probably be correct. But this was all before I stumbled onto the incredible opportunity to intern at Red Hat within the OpenShift Engineering division for the better part of 2020.

        I came into the internship like any fresh-faced computer science student, skirting through life writing untested, barely readable but somehow still functional code, and feeling proud of it. But this internship brought the opportunity to get my hands dirty with the open source culture and finally see what all the hype is about.

      • CMS

        • WordPress Post Vs. Page

          Welcome back to the WordPress 101 series. In this series, we are discussing the basics of WordPress for new WordPress users. In this article, you’ll learn the differences between WordPress post vs. page.

          Often new users get confused between WordPress posts and pages. I remember my cousin created more than 10 pages before he realized he should’ve created posts, not pages. For new users, it may be difficult to understand why WordPress has two separate options to publish content.

          For them, one can create 200 pages instead of 200 posts and that should make no difference in how search engines see that content.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GCC’s Profile Guided Optimization Performance With The Ryzen 9 5950X – Phoronix

            Given the talk in prior days around patches for PGO’ing the Linux kernel and some readers not being familiar with Profile Guided Optimizations by code compilers, here are some fresh benchmarks on a Ryzen 9 5950X looking at the benefits of applying PGO optimizations to various benchmarks.

            We have benchmarked GCC and Clang PGO performance many times over the years with this just being some fresh data using a Ryzen 9 5950X and the latest software stack on Ubuntu 20.10. The testing was done by first running various open-source benchmarks without PGO, repeating the tests to generate profiles for the compiler to consume with PGO, and then benchmarking those PGO-enabled builds. These numbers are about best case scenarios given that with the testing for the PGO-enabled build, the benchmarks are repeated and thus matching well to the original profile. In more real-world, general purpose scenarios it can be more difficult generating an accurate profile for your actual workflow / software usage.

          • libsigsegv @ Savannah: libsigsegv 2.13 is released

            libsigsegv version 2.13 is released.

      • Programming/Development

        • I told you so, 2021 edition

          You will recall that in 2004, which is now seventeen years ago, I wrote a document explaining why I made the design trade-offs that I did in XScreenSaver, and in that document I predicted this exact bug as my example of, “this is what will happen if you don’t do it this way.”

          And they went and made that happen.


        • Jamie Zawinski Calls Cinnamon Screensaver Lock-Bypass Bug ‘Unconscionable’

          Legendary programmer Jamie Zawinski has worked on everything from the earliest releases of the Netscape Navigator browser to XEmacs, Mozilla, and, of course, the XScreenSaver project.

        • Java

          • Why and How to Use Java.util.stream.Collectors

            Streams are a wonderful feature in Java allowing you to write clean, efficient and powerful code.

            If you haven’t consumed the output of the stream, you will probably want to collect it. That’s when the methods from Java.util.stream.Collectors come to help.

  • Leftovers

    • 3 steps to achieving Inbox Zero

      In prior years, this annual series covered individual apps. This year, we are looking at all-in-one solutions in addition to strategies to help in 2021. Welcome to day 7 of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.

      There are lots of ways people manage email. Most people I have talked to over the past few years fall into one of two categories: The people who keep everything in their Inbox folder, and those who do not. For those that do not, the concept of Inbox Zero comes into play frequently.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘This is not a game’: Global virus death toll hits 2 million

        The global death toll from COVID-19 topped 2 million Friday, crossing the threshold amid a vaccine rollout so immense but so uneven that in some countries there is real hope of vanquishing the outbreak, while in other, less-developed parts of the world, it seems a far-off dream.

        The numbing figure was reached just over a year after the coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The number of dead, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the population of Brussels, Mecca, Minsk or Vienna.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Issues with Signal messaging app have resolved

              Following a day and a half of difficulties, Signal’s cross-platform messaging service is operational again. Both Signal’s Twitter and status dashboard indicate things are back to normal, and following the influx of literally millions of new users to the service, we can all enjoy more private and secure communications.

            • Social media posts, cellphone data aid law enforcement investigations into [attack]

              Widespread posts on social media from last week’s deadly riot, along with other less public-facing technology such as cellphone metadata, are aiding officials as they seek to identify members of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

            • FBI investigating if foreign actors funded Capitol rioters: report

              The agency is investigating whether foreign governments, organizations or individuals provided funding to those that helped plan the [attack], according to the news outlet. As part of the probe, the agency is reportedly examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin by a French computer programmer before the [attack].

            • Despite Parler backlash, Facebook played huge role in fueling Capitol riot, watchdogs say

              “If you took Parler out of the equation, you would still almost certainly have what happened at the Capitol,” he told Salon. “If you took Facebook out of the equation before that, you would not. To me, when Apple and Google sent their letter to Parler, I was a little bit confused why Facebook didn’t get one.”

            • Facebook suspends ads for weapon accessories until at least January 22nd

              Facebook has updated its Inauguration Day preparations to include a temporary ban on ads that promote weapon accessories and protective equipment at least through January 22nd “out of an abundance of caution,” the company said in a new blog post Saturday. “We already prohibit ads for weapons, ammunition and weapon enhancements like silencers. But we will now also prohibit ads for accessories such as gun safes, vests and gun holsters in the US,” the statement reads.

            • Inside Twitter’s Decision to Cut Off Trump

              “This is a phenomenal exercise of power to de-platform the president of the United States,” said Evelyn Douek, a lecturer at Harvard Law School who focuses on online speech. “It should set off a broader reckoning.”

            • Some Twitter employees have reportedly locked their accounts fearing reprisal from Trump supporters

              Some Twitter employees have set their accounts to private and scrubbed their online biographies over concerns they may be targeted by supporters of President Trump, the New York Times reported. In addition, some Twitter executives have been assigned personal security as the company reckons with its decision to bar one of its loudest voices.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • James Murdoch Denounces ‘Media Property Owners’ for ‘Spreading Disinformation’ Leading to Capitol Riot

        James Murdoch, the son of Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, has spoken out against “media property owners” that spread disinformation leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

        In an interview with the Financial Times on Friday, Murdoch said that the attack on the Capitol is a consequence of the election disinformation championed by President Donald Trump and circulated by media outlets.

      • Election misinformation dropped 73 percent following Trump’s suspension from Twitter: research

        Misinformation surrounding the topic of election fraud dropped by 73 percent after President Trump and several others were suspended from mainstream social media accounts, according to research conducted by Zignal Labs.

        The research firm reported that discourse around election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions across social media platforms to close to 688,000, following the president’s permanent suspension from Twitter, according to The Washington Post.

    • Environment

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Pack Your Bags
      • The Movement to Defund the Police Won’t Go Away When Biden Takes Office
      • Sotomayor Says 13 People Executed During Trump Killing Spree ‘Deserved More From This Court’

        “This is not justice,” said the liberal Justice after the state murder of Dustin John Higgs as she excoriated the court’s conservative majority for essentially rubber-stamping the administration’s rushed death penalties.

      • Biden Needs to Make Closing the Racial Wealth Divide a Priority on Day One
      • [Old] Hindus visiting churches on Christmas will be beaten up, threatens Bajrang Dal leader in Assam

        A district unit of right-wing Bajrang Dal in south Assam’s Cachar issued a ‘warning’ to Hindus against attending Christmas celebrations in churches and those not adhering to its diktat would be beaten up by its members.

      • Degree Requirements for Police Officers Will Not Make Us Safer

        Yet while many individual police officers have taken it upon themselves to earn degrees, the notion that university education should be a requirement for employment consideration should give pause to both scholars and citizens alike. Relegating police training to outside universities smacks of duty shirking; it should be the responsibility (and purview) of police departments to train law enforcement professionals effectively. Furthermore, the ever-expanding realm of credentialism further shrinks the available pool of quality jobs for working-class Americans, who, despite the increasing technological complexity of the economy, remain the largest economic and cultural bloc of the general population.3

      • Hindu shrine desecration: Can Pakistan protect its religious minorities?

        Pakistan’s Supreme Court has issued an order to officials in the north-western district of Karak to pave the way for rebuilding the Sri Param Hansji Maharaj Samadhi temple, but the attack has left the country’s Hindus feeling vulnerable and the government facing accusations that it is failing to protect the country’s religious minorities.

        Pakistan is overwhelmingly Muslim – the Hindu community makes up less than 2% of the population. Prejudice against Hindus is ingrained.

      • The selective restraint of American police on display at the Capitol [attack] amazed me

        After Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old unarmed man killed by Baltimore city police officers, died, a CVS burned and we had tanks rolling past those corner we used to hang on. Babyfaced soldiers from the National Guard were deployed to Baltimore and given leg-length rifles with the aim of making sure that no more CVS stores or major chains were damaged. Despite the small amount of property damage that occurred, the bulk of the demonstrations in Baltimore were peaceful and nonviolent, full of people singing, locking arms, praying, passing out bottles of water and hugs, too many hugs. No insurrections, no cops killed, no violence directed at public officials. But we were Black in a Black city, so we got tanks and soldiers armed to the teeth. I’m not amazed by that. The data shows U.S. police are three times more likely to use force against left-wing protesters than on right-wing demonstrators, and yet we see Trump supporters going crazy over chants for “law and order” and “Blue Lives Matter” while at the same time they feel empowered to fight the police, leaving Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick dead from the brawl.

        I’m not amazed that the Coup Klux Klan insurrection happened, but I am amazed that this level of police restraint exists. I’m amazed that the Trump mob could attacked and kill a cop and the right isn’t making a bigger deal about it.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • GIPC, INTA & IPO Online Event on American Innovation [Ed: Highly disturbing to see bribed Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), and USPTO Director Andre Iancu in the same room/forum lobbying for patent maximalism as if the patent office is, by proxy, controlled by litigation fanatics rather than science, using bribes]

          Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), and USPTO Director Andre Iancu will discuss the role innovation and creativity play in ensuring American competitiveness, economic growth, and groundbreaking discoveries and how America can remain at the forefront of the global economy and a leader in innovation in the 21st century.

        • Nokia draws first blood in Daimler validity battle

          Nokia is claiming victory in one leg of its long-running patent battle with German automaker Daimler, after the European Patent Office (EPO) affirmed the validity of a key Nokia patent.

          The Finnish telecommunications company is suing Daimler for patent infringement in several German courts. According to Nokia, Daimler has refused to license its standard-essential patents (SEPs) covering cellular telecommunications methods increasingly used in automobiles.

          Daimler responded by challenging the validity of the Nokia patents at the EPO and at the German Federal Patent Court. Earlier this week, the EPO heard the first case in the validity challenges and upheld one of the Nokia patents at issue.

          The patent (EP2087626), one of 10 asserted by Nokia, is part of the company’s SEP portfolio covering the 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) standard. The patent is also included in an infringement case which will be heard by a court in Munich in July.

        • Trident stocks gains 2% on patent grant for ‘Fabric and Method of Manufacturing’ by EPO

          Trident Limited has been granted patent for “Fabric and Method of Manufacturing Fabric by European Patent office, the company announced.

          The company’s stocks jumped over 2% on Friday. Trident was trading at Rs14.73 per piece up on the BSE at arpund 12:00 PM.

        • Second preliminary injunction request based on amended form of patent dismissed

          Sanofi is the owner of European Patent 2.346.552 (EP’552), which does not claim a pharmaceutical invention, but an injectable drug delivery device for the administration of drugs, such as a syringe or a pen, with certain technical features.

          Mylan holds a marketing authorisation for a biosimilar insulin glargine medicinal product (Semglee) in the form of a pre-filled pen with an injectable solution.

          In July 2019 Sanofi filed an infringement action against Mylan, together with an ex parte preliminary injunction request seeking an order from the court prohibiting the launch of Semglee. The case was assigned to Barcelona Commercial Court Number 1, which refused to grant any preliminary injunction ex parte and scheduled a hearing instead. In her interlocutory decision, the judge found that the validity of the patent as granted appeared doubtful, as the patent had been upheld only in amended form by the European Patent Office (EPO) Opposition Division, with an appeal pending. Also, the judge considered that there was no extreme urgency.

          The hearing was scheduled for 31 October 2019.


          In its decision of 27 November 2020, the court dismissed Sanofi’s preliminary injunction request again, thus concluding that the new alleged circumstances did not justify it. In particular, the decision states that the B2-T9 form of the patent does not form the basis for the main proceedings on the merits, where Sanofi’s petition is yet to be prosecuted and decided. In this regard, the court recalled that the claims would be the same as with the former limitation request, now withdrawn, whereas Mylan is opposing Sanofi’s petition, arguing that it should be held inadmissible for having been made abusively, with the sole purpose of reiterating a previously dismissed preliminary injunction request.

        • Software Patents

          • Patenting AI and protecting intellectual property [Ed: Misusing buzzwords as propaganda for illegal software patents at the rogue EPO]

            There are two main conditions for patenting any invention: it must be new and it must be inventive (i.e., not an obvious modification to an existing invention). But, innovations in AI are even more challenging to patent at the European Patent Office (EPO) because the EPO views AI as a type of mathematical method. European patent law prohibits patenting subject-matter that relates to mathematical methods ‘as such’ and so the EPO will ignore features of a patent application that relate only to mathematical methods, such as AI, when they assess novelty and inventiveness.

            But, this extra obstacle can be overcome by showing that an invention as a whole is more than just a mathematical method.

      • Copyrights

        • Supreme Court Denies Petition from YouTube Rippers ‘FLVTO’ and ‘2Conv’

          The US Supreme Court has denied the petition of YouTube rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com over personal jurisdiction questions. The sites’ Russian operator Tofig Kurbanov is involved in a legal battle with several major record labels and contests the jurisdiction of US courts. The case is far from over and will now continue at the district court.

        • Yandex & Mail.ru Reported For Abusing Dominant Positions To Facilitate Piracy

          An anti-piracy group representing publishers in Russia has reported Internet giants Yandex and Mail.ru to the Eurasion Economic Commission for allegedly abusing their dominant market positions. AZAPI says that through their services and actions, the Internet platforms are creating unfair opportunities for people to download pirated publications at the expense of legitimate companies.

InteLeaks – Part XVII: The High Cost of Microsoft Windows Users in GNU/Linux Development Teams

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 6:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link (see this series’ index for more)

Summary: A look inside Intel explains what holds back the technical team, which bemoans the lesser technical people getting in the way and not even using the product that they are writing about

THE GEEKS at Intel aren’t having an easy time. They’re being made to work or ‘cooperate’ with people who mostly get in their way, justifying their very existence using biased ‘studies’ which they themselves control. The resentment isn’t due to jealousy or zealotry; it’s due to issues of a technical nature and there’s reluctance to actually listen to technical people. The net effect is, Intel products and documentation of those products suffer. The end users (or developers) suffer.

Trump Brutalizes Biden: We're doing GNU/Linux here; What's GNU? I'll just use Windows 10This issue isn’t unlike many that we’ve seen in other companies. Non-technical or barely technical people are made to enter positions of power, in turn driving out the real talent and leaving in place unsuitable people who aren’t able to produce good products. If the real goal is to seed disharmony and harm products (or projects), then well done, mission accomplished. The Developer eXperience (DX) team seems to be self-harming… to Intel.

“I find it difficult to understand Intel’s line of reasoning when it comes to hiring people for DX,” told us a person who knows Intel from the inside, “as the company where I worked in mixed Linux/Unix/Windows environments gave adequate training to new hires to fill any gaps in Linux knowledge and skills.”

He continued: “I also always made sure to test scripts and code in the environment they were supposed to run in in order to minimise the chance of bugs occurring and to get as close to the customer environment as possible. This really helped when working on solutions to problems, so it is disappointing to see Intel not having similar levels of documentation and support.

“Intel doesn’t seem to see the urgency in doing this and it makes you question if they don’t want that training effort to be made. This in turn will lead to more people with a Microsoft background being employed until there are few if any people with GNU/Linux skills left.

“Last but not least I realise now that it is a good thing that the people who do the actual technical work should also be the ones writing the documentation, even if this takes time away from doing other technical work.”

The rest of this series can be found in the relevant wiki page. The video above deals with only a few examples (more to come tomorrow).

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 16, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:02 am by Needs Sunlight

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