Links 26/1/2021: Mozilla Firefox 85.0, Tails 4.15, Zentyal Server 7.0, GNOME 40 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 7:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Serval WS, A Powerful Linux Workstation: Review

        In need of a computer that can handle just about any AAA game you throw at it? Better yet, a computer that comes with Linux pre-installed, with the benefit of portability? Look no further than the Serval WS.

        Note: this is a review unit provided by System76. That being said, this is still a no-bars-held-back review.

        The Serval WS is a laptop/workstation hybrid assembled by the folks over at System76. Their company is based in Denver, Colorado, USA. System76 is also responsible for Pop!_OS — the Linux distribution that’s based on Ubuntu.

        Going to System76’s website, we can see that they sell a wide range of desktops, laptops, servers, and even mini desktops. Though the parts for their machines are from China, the components are assembled in the US.

        As far as their laptop lineup is concerned, the Serval WS is the only one that has an AMD processor. Their upcoming Pangolin also features a non-Intel CPU, but this unit is not currently available for testing yet.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Eating the License Cake | LINUX Unplugged 390

        Successful open-source projects all seem to struggle with one major gorilla. Who it is, and what their options are now.

        Special Guests: Drew DeVore and Jonathan Corbet.

      • The Raspberry Pi is a great way to get started with Homelab! (How to Homelab Episode 4)

        If you’re looking for a low-cost way to enter into the world of Homelab, look no further than the Raspberry Pi! These small computers are plenty powerful to run quite a few Homelab apps, and in this video I give you my thoughts on why that is. In a future video, we’ll explore running some apps on the Raspberry Pi but I wanted to create this video as an introduction to the concept of using a Pi in this way

      • Tabliss Is A “New Tab” Plugin For Firefox and Chrome

        Tabliss is a beautiful, customisable “New Tab” page for Firefox and Chrome, and the browsers that base of Firefox and Chrome (such as LibreWolf and Brave). In particular, it solves the “empty tab” problem that I was having on LibreWolf

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Says Farewell To Intel’s Smartphone Attempts With Clearing Out Moorestown / Medfield

        Not only are some old ARM platforms and some obsolete, obscure CPU architectures on the chopping block for some spring cleaning in the Linux kernel, but the Intel Moorestown and Medfield “Mobile Internet Device” platforms are being phased out from the Linux kernel this spring as well.

        Moorestown was Intel’s early Atom platform geared for handheld mobile Internet devices and smartphones.

      • With Linux 5.12 Set To Boot On The Nintendo 64, The N64 Controller Driver Is Now Queued – Phoronix

        A few days ago we wrote about Linux 5.12 to see support for the Nintendo 64 more than two decades after that MIPS-based video game console first shipped. While the practicality of Linux on the Nintendo 64 is particularly limited given only 4~8MB of RAM and the MIPS64 NEC VR4300 clocked under 100MHz, it’s going upstream and now the N64 controller driver is also queued for this next kernel cycle.

        The code talked about a few days ago was getting Linux to boot on the Nintendo 64. With those 200+ lines of code in the MIPS architecture space is enough to get Linux booting on the Nintendo 64 when using a Flashcart device to be able to load the arbitrary code onto the game console.

      • Corellium to offer cloud-based iOS virtualisation to individual accounts

        The company, which only recently ported Ubuntu Linux to work on Apple Silicon Macs, has announced on their blog that they will now offer their virtualisation tools for iOS to individual accounts on their CORSEC platform. Previously, only enterprise accounts could access the service, while individuals could only access virtual Android devices.

      • Getting started with SystemTap on Oracle Linux

        There are a wealth of tools available for tracing and debugging the Linux kernel on a live system. These include Kprobes, Ftrace, trace-cmd, Dtrace, eBPF, SystemTap, crash, gdb, etc. Among these tools, few allow the user to develop and re-use scripts that can filter events and collect data more than just function arguments and returned values. Dtrace, eBPF and SystemTap are the ones among these tools that do.

      • Anticipating Your Memory Needs

        The Linux kernel organizes physical memory in units of pages of a certain size called base pages. For example, the default base page size when running on Intel processors is 4KB. These pages are allocated to user and kernel tasks as they need memory. When processing large amounts of data from slower disk devices, the Linux kernel uses a page cache to cache contents, like disk blocks, to speed up access to frequently accessed data. See this article for more details on how various caches are used by the Linux kernel. This has the positive effect of improving overall system performance but the memory for page cache must come from the same memory pool that is used by rest of the system. The kernel allocates all the memory not currently in use to the page cache. As the kernel needs to allocate more memory for other tasks, it can reclaim pages from the page cache since the contents in the page cache can be restored from disk blocks when the need arises. Reclamation happens as the kernel starts to run low on free memory pages. Individual memory pages are the base pages. As pages are reclaimed, any contiguous base pages are grouped together (compaction) to form higher order pages. Higher order pages are groups of 2^n physically contiguous pages where n is the page order. Higher order pages can then be used to satisfy higher order page allocation requests, for example if an allocation request is for 8 pages, that allocation will be made from order 3 page group.

        The kernel recovers physical memory in the event of a shortage by page reclamation and/or compaction. Both methods are implemented in a similar fashion. As the amount of free memory falls below the low threshold (watermark), memory pages are reclaimed asynchronously via kswapd or compacted via kcompactd. If the free memory continues to fall below a minimum watermark, any allocation request is forced to perform reclamation/compaction synchronously before it can be fulfilled. The latter synchronous method is referred to as the “direct” path and is considerably slower owing to being stalled waiting for memory to be reclaimed. The corresponding stall in the caller results in a non-deterministic increased latency for the operation it is performing and is typically perceived as an impact on performance.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Nvidia 460.39 Driver Adds Support for Linux 5.10 LTS, GeForce RTX 3000 Series of Laptop GPUs

          Nvidia 460.39 is here three weeks after Nvidia 460.32.03 and introduces support for new graphics cards, including NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPUs, as well as NVIDIA GeForce GT 1010. This support is available only for GNU/Linux and FreeBSD systems.

          Linux users would be happy to learn that the new Nvidia graphics adds support for newer kernels, such as the latest and greatest Linux 5.10 LTS series, restoring essential functionality like runtime power management, hot-plugging of audio-capable display devices, as well as S0ix-based system suspend.

        • Intel Announces Iris Xe Desktop Graphics For OEMs

          Intel today announced Iris Xe (DG1) discrete graphics cards are coming to OEMs with ASUS and Colorful being among the initial partners.

          The initial Iris Xe desktop graphics cards feature 80 execution units and a 30 Watt TDP. This is not the high-end, high performance desktop graphics but seems to largely be the Xe MAX discrete laptop graphics (but with 16 less EUs) now fitted for PCI Express cards for the desktop. The OEM cards are expected to feature 4GB of LPDDR4X memory. Other details are still light.

        • NVIDIA 460.39 Linux Driver Brings RTX 30 Laptop Enablement, Improved 5.10+ Kernel Support

          NVIDIA has released 460.39 as their latest stable Linux proprietary graphics driver build.

          With this latest NVIDIA 460 series driver is support now for the RTX 3060 / RTX 3070 / RTX 3080 laptop GPUs as well as for the low-end GeForce GT 1010.

        • VKD3D-Proton begins work to support DirectX Raytracing on Linux | GamingOnLinux

          There’s a few mountains that Steam Play Proton still needs to climb over the next few years, to enable more Windows games and more features in those games to work under Linux. One big one is at least in progress.

          Ray Tracing being one of the big things in gaming tech now, thanks to both AMD and NVIDIA having Ray Tracing cards out in the wild. With that, we can expect more games to begin using it.

          Thankfully, VKD3D-Proton, which is the Valve-funded fork of vkd3d to work with Direct3D 12 has a Pull Request open with the start of the work towards supporting Ray Tracing. Keep in mind though, while exciting for Steam Play Proton users, this is far from complete and not enabled directly for games as of yet as stated in the PR “Don’t expose any features to app yet, but allow overriding FL to 12.2 for local testing while bringing up DXR.”.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Samplin

          The goal in this post is to migrate a truckload block of code I wrote to handle sampler updating out of zink and into Gallium, thereby creating several days worth of rebase work for myself but also removing a costly codepath from the driver thread.

          The first step in getting sampler creation to work right in zink is getting Gallium to create samplers with the correct filters in accordance with Chapter 42 of the Vulkan Spec:

          VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_FILTER_LINEAR_BIT specifies that if VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_BIT is also set, an image view can be used with a sampler that has either of magFilter or minFilter set to VK_FILTER_LINEAR, or mipmapMode set to VK_SAMPLER_MIPMAP_MODE_LINEAR. If VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_BLIT_SRC_BIT is also set, an image can be used as the srcImage to vkCmdBlitImage2KHR and vkCmdBlitImage with a filter of VK_FILTER_LINEAR. This bit must only be exposed for formats that also support the VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_BIT or VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_BLIT_SRC_BIT.

          If the format being queried is a depth/stencil format, this bit only specifies that the depth aspect (not the stencil aspect) of an image of this format supports linear filtering, and that linear filtering of the depth aspect is supported whether depth compare is enabled in the sampler or not. If this bit is not present, linear filtering with depth compare disabled is unsupported and linear filtering with depth compare enabled is supported, but may compute the filtered value in an implementation-dependent manner which differs from the normal rules of linear filtering. The resulting value must be in the range [0,1] and should be proportional to, or a weighted average of, the number of comparison passes or failures.

    • Applications

      • 10 of the Best Linux Debuggers for Software Engineers

        Debuggers are essential for locating bugs in programs. There is a plethora of robust Linux debuggers that make it easy to find weak points in your applications. We will outline some of these applications in this guide. Try some of these tools to get a feel of how debugging works in Linux.

      • PDF Arranger 1.7 Release Makes Managing PDF Documents on Linux Easier

        PDF Arranger is a GUI tool for splitting, rotating, cropping, and rearranging pages of PDF files. It is actually a fork of pdfshuffler. PDF Arranger has been around for some time now and is available for both Linux and Windows.

        Even though it is one of the best Linux PDF editors already, a new release potentially makes it even better.

        The latest release introduces features like the ability to edit document info, selection of odd or even pages, option to crop white borders, and more.

        Let’s take a look at what other changes this release has to offer.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux: Delete file & folder using command line terminal – Linux Shout

        As we know Linux is slightly different from Windows for various tasks even in deleting files and folders. And here we will see the quick Linux commands to delete a file and directory using the terminal.

        However, just like in Windows, system files or the important folders are only accessible by admin, in Linux, they are under sudo or root users. Therefore, if want to delete any system file on Linux using GUI, then you should log in as root but that is a bit risky because you don’t want to run all your applications under an admin user.

      • Automate setup and delivery for virtual machines in the cloud | Opensource.com

        If you’re a developer or hobbyist using a Fedora qcow2 image for the cloud, you always have to do a bunch of initial configuration before an image is ready to use. I know this all too well, and I was eager to find a way to make the setup process simpler. As it happens, the entire Fedora quality assurance team feels the same way, so we developed Testcloud.

      • How to Run a Shell Script in Linux [Essentials Explained]

        Using #! /bin/bash indicates that the script is bash shell script and should be run with bash as interpreter irrespective of the shell which is being used on the system. If you are using zsh specific syntax, you can indicate that it is zsh script by adding #! /bin/zsh as the first line of the script.

      • Simple guide to secure Redis Installation – The Linux GURUS

        In our previous tutorial, we learned how we can install Redis on the Ubuntu server & CentOS/RHEL server. But if we leave the installed Redis service to default state i.e. with default configurations, it might be susceptible to intrusions. So we should know how we can secure the Redis installation to avoid unauthorized access or operations on our Redis server.

        There are a number of things we can do to secure the Redis installation. We will now list them down one by one.

      • Running syslog-ng in Bastille – revisited

        Bastille is a container management system for FreeBSD, similar to Docker or Podman on Linux. The historical name of containers on FreeBSD is jail, and they appeared a lot earlier than containers on Linux. Managing jails was not always easy. When I started to use this technology in production in 2001, nothing was automated. Using Bastille, you can easily create, configure, or update jails at scale. It has a template system to install applications in containers and there is a template also for syslog-ng.

      • Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager: Administration and Deployment made easy with short training videos

        In this week’s Training Tuesday blog we will begin with the first in a series of blogs about Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager training videos. Each blog provides pointers to free, short videos that you can take at your own pace to get a better at understanding of the product.

        Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager is a server virtualization management platform, based on the oVirt open source project, that can be easily deployed to configure, monitor, and manage an Oracle Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) environment with enterprise-grade performance and support from Oracle. This environment also includes management, cloud native computing tools, and the operating system, delivering leading performance and security for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.

      • How to install LeoCAD on Linux Mint 20.1 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install LeoCAD on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • How to install Python 3.9 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Python 3.9 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

      • How To Change The Default Shell In Linux – Linux Uprising Blog

        This article explains how to change the default shell in Linux. Using this you can set Bash, sh, Zsh, Csh, Fish, etc. as your shell.

        The article includes instructions for changing the login shell from the command line using chsh, or changing the shell only for a particular terminal application. While the article is targeted at Linux users, this should also work on other Unix-like systems.

      • How To Enable Minimize And Maximize Buttons In Fedora – OSTechNix

        Today, we will see one of the post installation steps in Fedora desktop. This brief guide explains how to enable minimize and maximize buttons in application windows in Fedora Workstation and Silverblue editions.

        As you may already know, there is no minimize and maximize buttons in Application windows in Fedora Silverblue as well as Fedora Workstation editions. If you want to minimize an application window, you need to right click on its title bar and choose the minimize option from the context menu. Unfortunately, you don’t even get that option in Firefox with your mouse. To minimize Firefox window, you should hit the Left ALT+SPACEBAR keys and choose Minimize option.

        I don’t know what is the benefit of hiding most frequently used buttons. Ubuntu GNOME desktop has the min/max buttons, but Fedora hasn’t. If you want to bring back the minimize and maximize buttons in Fedora GNOME and Silverblue editions, you can enable them with the help of Gnome Tweaks utility and Dash to Panel extension in Fedora.

      • How to Find Top 10 Running Processes by Memory and CPU Usage

        Linux is quite popular for its command-line utilities, which not only make any task at hand easier but also saves a lot of time, which is otherwise wasted in graphical UI based utilities.

        This is one of the reasons why Linux is a preferred operating system for servers and administrative machines. Combine the knowledge of Linux commands and shell scripting and you have a proper toolkit of system administration at your disposal.

        Today we will see how to see the top 10 heaviest memory and CPU resource-consuming processes in Linux using a command-line tool called ps command, which is used to display information about running processes in Linux.

      • How to Install Ansible on Ubuntu 20.04

        Ansible is an Infrastructure as Code tool that allows its users to control many servers from a centralized location. The benefit of using Ansible is that it uses SSH along with YAML files for configuration without any need to require other configurations. In this tutorial, I will describe how to install and configure Ansible on an Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How to Upgrade a Single Package in Ubuntu

        On Ubuntu to install newer versions of the packages we run apt-get update followed by apt-get upgrade commands. This will update all installed packages which have new versions available in the repositories.

        In some situation we have to upgrade only a single package such as PHP, Apache or Nginx.

      • How to Self-host Plausible Analytics [Complete Guide]

        As an ethical website, we try to keep Linux Handbook as much Google and tracking free as possible. In that regard, we refrain from using Google Analytics for website traffic measurement.

        Instead, we use Plausible Analytics. It is a simple, lightweight (<1 KB), open-source and privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics (GA).

        It may not give you as many details as GA, but it gives you an idea about the traffic you are getting on your website along with the bounce rate and visit duration.

        You can also see which pages are getting most visits, from where your website is getting the traffic, bounce rate and duration on page. You can also measure traffic based on geographical region and devices.

      • How to View and Change Boot Sequence in Linux Terminal

        Have you ever had a need to change your boot sequence via terminal? Maybe you’re doing so remotely via SSH, or maybe you can’t manage to get into the BIOS during that two second sweet spot when your computer is first turned on. In this article, we’ll explain how to easily change the boot sequence via terminal.

      • How to create Cloudwatch alarms for RDS (MySQL) on AWS

        Monitoring your RDS instances is very important, and the same applies to other resources. In this article, we will create a simple alarm for an RDS MySQL instance which will check for free storage space on the instance. There are different metrics too which can be used to create alarms, click here to see the list of available metrics for RDS instances. The “FreeStorageSpace” metric checks for the storage space available on the instance and depending upon the condition specified the alarm gets triggered and sends notifications to SNS Endpoint. The “FreeStorageSpace” metric accepts the value in bytes and not percent.
        Before we proceed with this article, I assume you are aware of the basics of RDS instances and already have one in your account to create alarms for.

      • How to Send An Email With File Attachment from Command Line

        The key to becoming an advanced Linux user is to use more of the command line and less of the GUI; more of the keyboard and less of the mouse! As the diaspora of Linux command-line tools grows, not only administrative but several non-administrative, in fact, crucial day-to-day tasks, are performed using the command line.

      • How to Install Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS to your Windows PC

        If you read the last article on How to create bootable Ubuntu 20.04 on windows 10 in that We have promised we’ll make a complete get started guide on Linux.

        This is the second article on Get started guide on Linux. I’ll not cover the Ubuntu Operating System features rather than I’ll show you a simple way to install Ubuntu on your Windows PC.

        Without taking any further moment, let’s start the Installation process first check the basics system requirement to Install.

    • Games

      • With some epic 8-bit styled artwork Cyber Shadow is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Cyber Shadow from Aarne “MekaSkull” Hunziker and Yacht Club Games is an epic throwback to the likes of Ninja Gaiden and Shadow Of The Ninja and it’s out now with Linux support. Nice the see Yacht Club give a hand to another developer, after their success with the Shovel Knight series.

      • Monster taming and farming mix in Ova Magica is up on Kickstarter and already funded

        Ova Magica, a blending of casual farming in the spirit of Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon blended with monster taming and battling like something out of Pokemon is now live on Kickstarter. It managed to get fully funded within the first 2-3 hours, which I’m really not surprised about. The early tech demo was promising and it has such a great idea.

        Thankfully it’s another that will support Linux too and the developer has been very clear about this. The Kickstarter campaign also lists it nice and clear as “The game will be released on PC DRM-Free, on Steam (Windows, Mac OS and Linux), Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S.”.

      • Plex Arcade is a retro video game streaming service that excludes Linux users

        Unfortunately, there is one big catch — Linux users are being left out.

      • Seriously deep monster-catching dungeon-crawler Siralim Ultimate releases in March | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for a run through the dungeons? How about to catch 1000s of monsters? Siralim Ultimate will see return of the deep RPG when it enters Early Access on March 12. As confirmed in a Kickstarter update, the Linux port is also now available and ready for the release with Beta backers already having access.

      • Colony building sim Maia surprises with a big feature release, gets ray-marched shadows

        I always have a soft spot for Maia, a colony building sim from Simon Roth of Machine Studios with its very different take on building up a space colony on a distant world.

        Unlike RimWorld and other colony building games, Maia is more about looking pretty and providing some hard-science. It’s a little difficult, in some ways a bit buggy but it always has such huge potential to be awesome. After a break, Roth is back to updating the game and this latest release is huge. One of the big additions is a new “ray-marched voxelised shadow system” which is pretty fancy and allows “every light in your base to cast accurate dynamic shadows into the world”.

      • Try out Luxtorpeda, a Steam Play tool to run games in native game engines | GamingOnLinux

        There’s quite a few games available on Steam that either don’t support Linux, or do support Linux but like the Windows release there’s a better way to run it perhaps with an open source game engine. Luxtorpeda will help with that.

        It’s a project we briefly mentioned in a previous article talking about Boxtron, another Steam Play compatibility layer to run games on Steam that use DOSBox in your native install of DOSBox. Remember – Steam Play is just a feature, that runs different compatibility layers on Linux so anyone can make one. What Luxtorpeda does, is allow you to run various games (an expanding list) on Steam inside a native Linux game engine be it open source or otherwise.

        The original Luxtorpeda project only supports a few titles, but there’s also the much newer Luxtorpeda-dev that is continuing the development which will hopefully merge together one day. Luxtorpeda-dev works with games like Cortex Command, Caesar 3, DOOM 3, Doki Doki Literature Club!, Freespace 2, Good Robot, Gothic 2: Gold Edition, RealRTCW, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Triple Thrill Pack, WRATH: Aeon of Ruin, Warzone 2100 and plenty more.

      • Super sweet chilled-out game Kind Words has a nice free content update | GamingOnLinux

        Kind Words is one of the most chilled-out games around, although calling it a game feels a little weird. You write anonymous caring letters to real people around the world and it really is sweet. The developer mentioned how over 3 million messages have now been exchanged in game and thousands go through it each day.

        Writing about the update, the developer said “We are humbled to have Kind Words become a regular part of so many people’s lives and, in keeping with long-standing international custom for developer-player relations, we offer you this traditional gift: a giant, looming beast and some mittens.”

      • GraviFire is a block-pushing puzzler with a gravity twist now on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Love your block-pushing puzzle games? GraviFire released back in November 2020, and it recently gained Linux support.

        Taking the basic idea and pushing around blocks, it mixes things up with a few nice twists. The biggest one being that you’re also dealing with gravity, so all blocks will be sliding around towards the same direction at the same time. It looks like it adds a nice bit of complication to the genre.

        “The green fire has been abducted by evil aliens, who force him to solve puzzles for tests. Need to pass all the tests to be able to return the green fire back to his home. You have to brainstorm over 50 levels. Gravity, movement, killing lasers… What else the aliens have prepared?”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Should Ubuntu Adopt KDE Plasma as Default Desktop? [Opinion and Analysis]

          With the recent GNOME 40 design change and Ubuntu decides to follow the “wait-and-watch” principle for its adaptation, we analyze whether Ubuntu should adopt KDE Plasma as its Default Desktop, saying goodbye to GNOME.

        • Plasma Browser Integration 1.8

          I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Plasma Browser Integration version 1.8 on the Chrome Web Store as well as Firefox Add-Ons page. This release was originally intended to be just a bugfix update, but instead comes with new features, the usual slew of bug fixes and translation updates, but more importantly: it’s now available on the Microsoft Edge store (needs Plasma 5.21)!

        • Konsole Re-Flow Lines

          One day I was looking at the MR (Merge Request) and saw Tomaz Canabrava’s sketch showing the terminal re-flow lines while it shrinks, and I just thought it would be great to have it fully working.

          The first thing to have a line re-flow is define how to mark a line with “continues in the next line”. This is the most important thing, otherwise you can’t go back to original state. My first thought was to set a next line char with something not printable, and then the first screen re-flow on both ways prototype was done.

          To improve speed, and hold lines before send to memory, the next thing I did was change the _screenLines holder from an array to a QVector type. It was an improvement in speed, specially to re-flow. No need to a new memory allocation, no copy and no delete, it was just update the QVector content and send from the QVector to history, if needed, and resize it.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 Alpha Released

          GNOME 40 is now available as the first step towards releasing this updated Linux desktop environment in March.

          GNOME 40 Alpha comes with a ton of changes — many of which we have been outlining in various Phoronix articles over the past few months. Among the main highlights of GNOME 40

        • Snapcraft GNOME Extension Update

          Snaps are confined software packages for Linux. They were originally designed / intended for IoT use cases so are optimised for size, bundling dependencies, are compressed on disk and auto update. They can also be used to package server software, like NextCloud, and desktop software like Signal Desktop. There’s millions of desktops, routers, servers and other interesting devices with snaps installed.

          There’s a bunch of common components that snap publishers started bundling in their snaps which bloated them out a bit. Snaps have had (for some time) a concept of “shared content” such that one snap may consume assets from another snap. The reason we use the hand-wavy term “assets” and “content” is because while it could be binary programs and libraries which are shared between snaps, it’s not just limited to that. A theme or bundle of themes can be shared too.

    • Distributions

      • Kali Linux hands-on: A look at the installation options

        Anyone involved in or even significantly interested in cybersecurity has probably heard of Kali Linux. Since its early days as BackTrack, it has been considered the standard in penetration testing and security analysis platforms. In my opinion, it also happens to be one of the best Debian GNU/Linux distributions available.

        It is based on Debian stable (currently 10/buster), but with a much more current Linux kernel (currently 5.9 in Kali, compared to 4.19 in Debian stable and 5.10 in Debian testing).

      • New Releases

        • Zentyal Server 7.0 Development Now Available

          Zentyal Development Team today announced the availability of Zentyal Server Development Edition 7.0. This is a new major community release of the Zentyal Linux Server, based on Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS. This version comes with the most recent versions of all the integrated software, including Samba 4.11 and the latest stable SOGo version.

          Zentyal Server provides an easy-to-use Linux alternative to Windows Server®. Thanks to the integration of Samba, Zentyal provides native compatibility with the Microsoft Active Directory® and allows transparent management of Windows® clients. It is used by companies and public administrations mainly as a domain and directory server and a file server. The graphical user inferface that Zentyal offers helps to make Linux server management easier for all and specially for new Linux users.

      • BSD

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • RHEL no-cost* vs openSUSE Leap

          Ever since Red Hat announced that they are changing the development model of CentOS and making it an upstream project rather than downstream, it left many CentOS users frowning. No matter what argument brought forward, CentOS users, especially running production machines, relied on the stability of an enterprise-grade Linux distribution. Compiled from RHEL sources, CentOS offered such stability that it powered many web servers and enjoyed a massive 20% share of the top 500 supercomputers of the world.

        • Compute confidently at the Edge with Rancher and Longhorn 1.1 | SUSE Communities

          Today’s announcement of Longhorn 1.1, a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Sandbox project, is exciting news for users of Rancher, SUSE’s Kubernetes management platform and the Kubernetes community. Longhorn is an enterprise-grade, cloud native container storage solution that went GA in June 2020. Since then, adoption has increased by 235 percent. Now Longhorn is the first cloud native storage solution designed and built for the edge, with ARM64 support, new self-healing capabilities and increased performance visibility.

        • Longhorn 1.1 Offers ‘ReadWriteMany’ Support Across Containers

          SUSE has announced the release of Longhorn 1.1 which allows DevOps teams to manage persistent data volumes in any Kubernetes environment while bringing an enterprise-grade but vendor neutral approach to cloud-native storage.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Is Oracle Linux a valid replacement for CentOS?

          By now you’re probably suffering from CentOS exposure–it’s been all over the place. Every day, someone is writing about what Red Hat did to the beloved Linux distribution that powers so many data centers and services. The reaction has been so sharp, that many forks of CentOS have begun to pop up. Some of these forks look seriously promising, even drop-in 1:1 binary compatibility with RHEL 8. When those forks appear, the landscape will most likely shift. However, until then, where’s a business to turn?

          Do you go with CentOS 8 Stream? Some might. Others, on the other hand, see Stream as an impossible option, due to cPanel pulling support, which is a very big deal.

          What do you do? You could turn to Oracle Linux. Before you protest, I didn’t say you should turn to Oracle Linux; I said you could.

          Why did I feel the need to make that clarification?

          Let me explain, and then I’ll get into why Oracle Linux is a viable choice.

        • A brief introduction to Ansible roles for Linux system administration

          In this part one of two articles, learn to use rhel-system-roles with your Ansible deployment to better manage functionality such as network, firewall, SELinux, and more on your Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers.

        • From Docker Compose to Kubernetes with Podman | Enable Sysadmin

          Use Podman 3.0 to convert Docker Compose YAML to a format Podman recognizes.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Software Management (RPM, DNF) 2020 retrospective

          On behalf of the RPM and DNF teams, I would like to highlight changes that have appeared in our packages in 2020. Thanks everyone for your bug reports and patches!

        • Application and data resiliency for Kubernetes

          Using tools like Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, organizations are developing and deploying more stateful applications and microservices at an accelerating pace. According to a recent Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) research study, 41% of companies currently use containers for production applications. Another 33% use containers for dev/test and pre-production only but plan to use containers for production applications in the next 12 months.

        • Red Hat Introduces Data Resilience for Enterprise Kubernetes Applications

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today introduced new data resilience capabilities for cloud-native workloads with the release of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.6. This offering from Red Hat Data Services enables customers to extend their existing data protection solutions and infrastructure to enhance data resilience for cloud-native workloads across hybrid and multicloud environments.

        • Why Red Hat killed CentOS—a CentOS board member speaks

          This morning, The Register’s Tim Anderson published excerpts of an interview with the CentOS project’s Brian Exelbierd. Exelbierd is a member of the CentOS board and its official liaison with Red Hat.

          Exelbierd spoke to Anderson to give an insider’s perspective on Red Hat’s effective termination of CentOS Linux in December, in which the open source giant announced CentOS Linux was to be deprecated immediately—with security upgrades to CentOS Linux 8 ending later in 2021 rather than the 2029 end of support date CentOS users expected.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.15 Anonymous OS Released with Tor Browser 10.0.9 and Thunderbird 78.6

          Synced with the stable software repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series, Tails 4.15 is powered by Linux kernel 5.9.15 for improved hardware support and comes with updated core applications, including the Tor Browser 10.0.9 anonymous web browser and Mozilla Thunderbird 78.6 email client.

          On top of these updates, Tails 4.15 also improves support for Ledger hardware wallets in the Electrum Bitcoin wallet app, adds USB tethering support for devices running Apple’s iOS 14 or later to share mobile data, and clarifies the error message about the size of the USB flash drive shown when starting Tails.

        • Tails 4.15 is out

          This release fixes known security vulnerabilities. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

        • Thomas Lange: Making Debian available

          This is the subject of an interesting thread on the debian-devel mailing list.

          It started with “.. The current policy of hiding other versions of Debian is limiting the adoption of your OS by people like me..”

          It seems that this user managed to contact us developers and give us some important information how we can improve the user experience. The following discussion shows that all our users need non-free firmware to get their wireless network cards run.

          Do we provide such installation images for our users?

          Sure. We build them regularly, host them on our servers, we also sign the hash sum with our official signing key. But we hide them very well and still call them unofficial. Why? I would like to have a more positive name for those images. Ubuntu has the HWE (Hardware Enablement) kernel. Maybe Debian firmware enablement images?

        • UBports: Packaging of Lomiri Operating Environment for Debian (part 04)

          Before and during FOSDEM 2020, I agreed with the people (developers, supporters, managers) of the UBports Foundation to package the Unity8 Operating Environment for Debian. Since 27th Feb 2020, Unity8 has now become Lomiri.

          Things got delayed a little recently as my main developer contact on the upstream side was on sick leave for a while. Fortunately, he has now fully recovered and work is getting back on track.

        • Debian’s Gunnar Wolf: Back to school… As a student

          Although it was a much larger step when I made a similar announcement seven years ago, when I started my Specialization, it is still a big challenge ahead, and I am very happy to pursue this: I have been admitted to a PhD program at UNAM, the university I have worked at for almost 20 years, and one of the top universities in Latin America. What program will I be part of? Doctorado en Ciencia e Ingeniería de la Computación (Computer Science and Engineering Doctorate… Quite a broad program name, yes, sounds like anything goes).

        • [Debian-based] SteamTinkerLaunch – SparkyLinux

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: SteamTinkerLaunch

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Red Kubes Container Platform Flies Open Source Flag

        Red Kubes, a Dutch-based startup, open sourced a free community edition of its Otomi Container Platform in a bid to remedy the ongoing complexity surrounding Kubernetes configurations.

        The scalability, agility, and speed-to-market advantages that Kubernetes offers have been handsome enough to capture a growing share of the enterprise market, but this very strength can become an Achilles heel for container deployments. In this sense, it’s far too easy – and common – to create thousands or even tens of thousands of containers across applications. Not only does this create an operational money pit, but management becomes a herculean feat to any container newbie.

      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® ECharts™ as a Top-Level Project

        The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today Apache® ECharts™ as a Top-Level Project (TLP).

        Apache ECharts is an intuitive, interactive, and powerful charting and visualization library ideally suited for commercial-grade presentations. The project originated in 2013 at Baidu and entered the Apache Incubator in January 2018.

      • Shots fired in disputes over OSS-as-a-Service

        Cloud services are the great disruptor of both IT organizations and vendors, and wrapping open source software around a service is the latest flashpoint.

        The open source development model has proven to be an incredible incubator of innovative software by democratizing and distributing the conception, design, implementation and debugging of new titles, advantages that were thoroughly explored more than two decades ago in the book, The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

        Although open source has since been adopted, encouraged and sponsored by every major software company, its origins were decidedly non-commercial with utopian overtones of liberating code from the tyranny of proprietary shackles. The earliest open source projects, notably Gnu Emacs and other tools from the Gnu Project, embraced this idealistic ethos with a restrictive, comprehensive license, GPL, that applies to derivative work using the code.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Linux distributors frustrated by Google’s new Chromium web browser restrictions

            While Google Chrome is easily the most popular PC web browser, it’s open-source big brother, Chromium, doesn’t have that many users, but it’s always had some fans on desktop Linux. Now, though, that love affair is in trouble.

            Google claims it recently found un-named third-party Chromium-based browsers integrating Google cloud-based features, such as Chrome sync and Click to Call, that were intended only for Google Chrome users. In other words, “This meant that a small fraction of users could sign into their Google Account and store their personal Chrome sync data, such as bookmarks, not just with Google Chrome, but also with some third-party Chromium-based browsers.”

          • Fedora’s Chromium maintainer suggests switching to Firefox as Google yanks features in favour of Chrome

            Fedora’s maintainer for the open-source Chromium browser package is recommending users consider switching to Firefox following Google’s decision to remove functionality and make it exclusive to its proprietary Chrome browser.

            The comments refer to a low-key statement Google made just before the release of Chrome 88, saying that during an audit it had “discovered that some third-party Chromium-based browsers were able to integrate Google features, such as Chrome sync and Click to Call, that are only intended for Google’s use… we are limiting access to our private Chrome APIs starting on March 15, 2021.”

            Tom Callaway (aka “spot”), a former Fedora engineering manager at Red Hat (Fedora is Red Hat’s bleeding-edge Linux distro), who now works for AWS, remarked when describing the Chromium 88 build that: “Google gave the builders of distribution Chromium packages these access rights back in 2013 via API keys, specifically so that we could have open-source builds of Chromium with (near) feature parity to Chrome. And now they’re taking it away.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 85.0 Now Available As First 2021 Release

            Mozilla Firefox 85.0 is available today as the open-source web browser’s first major release of the year.

            For those more interested in Firefox now following the recent news of Google cutting off Chromium API access to various Google services in trying to steer more users to Chrome proper, Firefox 85.0 has arrived just in time. Firefox 85.0 is available this morning via the Mozilla FTP ahead of the official announcement.

            Firefox 85.0 comes with privacy enhancements like network partitioning, the password manager can now more easily remove all saved logins, and the Adobe Flash support is removed in full.

          • Version 85.0, first offered to Release channel users on January 26, 2021

            We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of the new Mozillians who contributed to this release of Firefox.

            At Mozilla, we believe you have a right to privacy. You shouldn’t be tracked online. Whether you are checking your bank balance, looking for the best doctor, or shopping for shoes, unscrupulous tracking companies should not be able to track you as you browse the Web. For that reason, we are continuously working to harden Firefox against online tracking of our users.

          • Firefox 85 Cracks Down on Supercookies

            In Firefox 85, we’re introducing a fundamental change in the browser’s network architecture to make all of our users safer: we now partition network connections and caches by the website being visited. Trackers can abuse caches to create supercookies and can use connection identifiers to track users. But by isolating caches and network connections to the website they were created on, we make them useless for cross-site tracking.

          • January brings us Firefox 85

            To wrap up January, we are proud to bring you the release of Firefox 85. In this version we are bringing you support for the :focus-visible pseudo-class in CSS and associated devtools… and the complete removal of Flash support from Firefox. We’d also like to invite you to preview two exciting new JavaScript features in the current Firefox Nightly — top-level await and relative indexing via the .at() method. Have fun!

          • Mozilla Firefox 85 is Here, This is What’s New

            We started with the biggest new feature in Firefox 85, which improves the browser’s privacy credentials. Firefox now has support for network partitioning — don’t worry; despite the name this (thankfully) isn’t anything to do with your OS partitions or local drives.

            Network partitioning is an anti-tracking feature that curtails the ability for cross-site tracking through shared cache resources using what’s known as ‘super cookies’.

            As per ZDnet’s writeup, network partitioning in Firefox 85 sees the browser store all of the temporary images, web fonts, and other cruft collected as you browse separately, on a per-website, instead of in a grouped “pool” that all website can use.

          • Mozilla Firefox 85 Released with Enhanced Privacy Protection

            Mozilla Firefox 85.0 was officially released today with improvements to privacy protection, bookmarks, and password manager.

            Firefox 85 introduces a fundamental change in the network architecture. It now partitions network connections and caches, including HTTP cache, image cache, favicon cache, HSTS cache, OCSP cache, style sheet cache, font cache, DNS cache, HTTP Authentication cache, Alt-Svc cache, and TLS certificate cache. So it protects you from supercookies.

          • Ubuntu Emailing With Thunderbird And Android’s K-9

            Continuing email beginner’s guide, now we Ubuntu users who have Android can read our emails anywhere anytime in both devices. It’s a wonderful experience. On computer we use Thunderbird, while on phone we use K-9, both are free software. This tutorial uses Disroot email account as example, thanks to its gratis IMAP feature. Now, let’s go!

            Fortunately, Ubuntu users do not need to install anything anymore. But for Android users, you will install K-9 Email Client, it is available at free software center F-Droid.

          • Firefox 86 Enters Beta with Multiple Picture-in-Picture and AVIF Support by Default

            While Firefox 85 introduced a couple of new privacy features, Firefox 86 promises some other cool changes, such as basic support for the AV1 Image File Format (AVIF), a powerful, lossless, royalty-free and open-source image file format designed to encode AV1 bitstreams in the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) container, enabled by default.

            Basic support means that advanced features like animated images and colorspace support aren’t supported at this time. AVIF support landed in Firefox a few months ago, but only now it’s enabled by default as Mozilla considers it ready for the masses. Therefor, you could enable AVIF support in previous Firefox release by setting the image.avif.enable option in about:config to true.

          • About:Community: New contributors to Firefox 85

            ankushsinghal1995: 1674611
            gero: 1674806
            manekenpix: 1664768
            Andrey Cherepanov: 1678839
            Ankush Dua: 1671579
            Arnd Issler arndissler: 1679331
            David Ward: 1679664
            Florent Viard: 1674622
            Kartik Gautam: 1677247
            Liz Krane: 1650956
            Moritz Firsching: 1588310
            Neha Kochar: 1589103
            WGH: 1680909
            ZaWertun: 1550074

          • The Mozilla Blog: Why getting voting right is hard, Part V: DREs (spoiler: they’re bad)

            This is the fifth post in my series on voting systems (catch up on parts I, II, III and IV), focusing on computerized voting machines. The technical term for these is Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems, but in practice what this means is that you vote on some kind of computer, typically using a touch screen interface. As with precinct-count optical scan, the machine produces a total count, typically recorded on a memory card, printed out on a paper receipt-like tape, or both. These can be sent back to election headquarters, together with the ballots, where they are aggregated.

          • Jessica Rosenworcel’s appointment is good for the internet

            With a new year comes change, and one change we’re glad to see in 2021 is new leadership at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). On Thursday, Jan. 21, Jessica Rosenworcel, a longtime FCC commissioner, was appointed as acting chair. It’s an important role that will drive policy discussions affecting the internet and all of us who use it. Her appointment gives us hope that under her wing, the agency will develop strong policies that look out for everyday people. Here are a few reasons Jessica Rosenworcel’s appointment is good for the internet.


            We look forward to working with the FCC to reinstate net neutrality protections and close the digital divide. Jessica Rosenworcel’s ascent to acting chair of the FCC bodes well for the future of both issues. And we can imagine a brighter future for a healthy internet if she were to be nominated for the role permanently.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The round-the-world trip to fix a bug

          Mrs. Vera Cavalcante (@veracape), from Brazil, a long-time contributor for the Portuguese documentation on LibreOffice, was reviewing the translation of the Calc Guide and double-checking the translated text, with respect to the current user interface and the Help pages. Vera noticed that the Help pages on conditional formatting were not correct any more, and reported in the Brazilian team Telegram group (Bugzilla is still very hard for non-native English speakers).…

      • CMS

        • Ingo Juergensmann: Migrating from Drupal to WordPress

          If you can read this on planet.debian.org then migrating my blog from Drupal to WordPress was successful and the feed has been successfully changed by the Debian Planet Maintainers (thanks!).

          I’ve been a long term Drupal user. I think I started to use Drupal since it was included in Debian. At some point Drupal was removed from Debian and I started to use Serendipity instead. Later Drupal was included in Debian again and I moved back to Drupal. I think this must have been around Drupal 4 or Drupal 5. No idea.

          I even became active in the Drupal community and went to one of the first Drupal barcamps in Germany, namely in Cologne. This was shortly before Dries Buytaert started a business off of Drupal and went to the USA. I met with many devs of Drupal in Cologne and enjoyed the community and started with others a local Drupal User Group in Rostock.


          So, after all the years my Drupal journey will come to an end. It was a long time with you. Sometimes joyful, sometimes painful. I wish you all the best, Drupal!

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Write GIMP scripts to make image processing faster

            Some time ago, I wanted to give a blackboard-style look to a typeset equation. I started playing around with the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) and was satisfied with the result. The problem was that I had to perform several actions on the image, I wanted to use this style again, and I did not want to repeat the steps for all the images. Besides, I was sure that I would forget them in no time.

            GIMP is a great open source image editor. Although I have been using it for years, I had never investigated its batch-processing abilities nor its Script-Fu menu. This was the perfect chance to explore them.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • AWS to Fork Elasticsearch as Elastic Moves Away from Open Source

            Elastic’s license change from open source ALv2 to SSPL appears to have moved Amazon Web Services to “launch new forks of both Elasticsearch and Kibana.” Elasticsearch’s move towards the more restrictive Server Side Public License has already begun to ruffle feathers among developers.

      • Programming/Development

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Tcl – LinuxLinks

          Tcl (Tool Command Language) is a dynamic programming/scripting language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells. Here’s our recommended free tutorials to learn Tcl.

        • Python

          • ROC and Precision-Recall curves – How do they compare?

            Both curves offer two useful information: how to choose the positive class prediction threshold and what is the overall performance of the classification model. The former is determined by selecting the threshold which yield the best tradeoff, in adequation with the prediction task and operational needs. The latter is done by measuring the area under the curves which informs about how good the model is, because by measuring the area under the curves, one computes the overall probability that a sample from the negative class has a lower probability than a sample from the positive class.

            With scikit-learn, the values can be computed either by using the roc_auc attribute of the object returned by plot_roc_curve() or by calling roc_auc_score() directly for ROC curves and by using the average_precision attribute of the object returned by plot_precision_recall_curve() or by calling average_precision_score() directly for PR curves.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash wait Command | Linuxize

            wait is a command that waits for the given jobs to complete and returns the exit status of the waited for command.

            Since the wait command affects the current shell execution environment, it is implemented as a built-in command in most shells.

            In this article, we’ll explore the Bash built-in wait command.

          • Santiago Zarate: Cron do not send me empty emails
        • Rust

          • Rust & the case of the disappearing stack frames | Inside Rust Blog

            Now that the FFI-unwind Project Group has merged an RFC specifying the “C unwind” ABI and removing some instances of undefined behavior in the “C” ABI, we are ready to establish new goals for the group.

            Our most important task, of course, is to implement the newly-specified behavior. This work has been undertaken by Katelyn Martin and can be followed here.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Walter Bernstein Survived the Hollywood Blacklist – And Lived to Be 101

      The screenwriter was my friend and my hero, a brave opponent of right-wing repression during a dark period of our history.

    • New Auto Safety Report Demands Biden Strengthen Federal Programs Now

      Since its creation by Congress in 1966, NHTSA has had some bright moments which made motor vehicles more crash-worthy and operationally safer, with less pollution and more fuel efficiency. Since then, over four million lives have been saved and many more injuries prevented. Property damage was diminished and insurance premiums were lower than they would have been had the “wild west” non-regulation, “style over safety” manias been allowed to continue. Laissez-faire runs amok.

      In recent decades, however, under both Democratic and Republican Administrations, NHTSA was degraded into more of a sporadic, meek consultant to the auto giants, instead of a strong law enforcement agency. Its Administrators wafted sleepily in their few years at the helm and then retired to lucrative positions in the industry they failed to regulate.

    • The Geography of the Nomos

      Walking to the gore through a geography of madness Built by the cult of the Nomos’ Civilization Ensnaring the globe In screaming roads At least back to Ur, The herdsman’s home Old Abraham, the nomeus Appeals to the Nomos Secure me (se curas, Rejection of care) declares That he’s prepared To sacrifice the cosmos To the Nomos The vacuum Whose bottomless throat Would swallow all If unchecked by Physis, which Appears through the cracks Of the codes As trees, encoils the branches, Or under Mary’s heel The slender creatures slip Through well, escaping Addled Nomos’ attempt To swallow whole the whole The black hole — Gravity and light Capture and escape The grave and the snake That shape the mind, And all of its mines, and roads And texts Extracting and wasting its depths In the Nomos’ unconscious Sacrifice complex And yet, as immanence, In Eden, in Egypt, In the nerves of the codex There’s glimmering Physis Revealing Nomos’ toxic falseness

    • Steve Earle Performs A Tribute to His Late Son, Musician Justin Townes Earle
    • Some Burns Night Warmth
    • Bad Henry’s Lesson: Henry Aaron 1934–2021

      To succeed as a Black person in White America, we were always told by generations of our elders, it isn’t enough to be good at what you do, or better than good. You have to be as close as you could possibly get to perfection. Near or absolute greatness, if need be. Then—and only then—will you prove your worth, and perhaps your people’s worth, to white people, to the country, maybe even the world.

    • Let’s Not Lose Ourselves in Euphoria Over Trump’s Exit. Anti-Blackness Persists.
    • Biden Executive Order Ends Transgender Military Ban Established by Trump
    • Science

      • Sometimes, real innovation is the COURAGE to refuse fake innovation | Stop at Zona-M

        Subtitle: Is it overpriced hype, or do we actually like it?

        ME: one does not exclude the other

        Magnets Squared: We’re all-in on Apple’s new MagSafe wireless charging standard

        In October of last year, Apple rolled out its latest smartphones with the iPhone 12. While there are some similarities to previous iPhones, there’s one notable difference under the hood that enables a new accessory: MagSafe, a magnetic connector that can wirelessly charge your phone. What’s so special about MagSafe?

        MagSafe is both a magnetic induction charging and a magnetic connector technology. The MagSafe trademark is re-used from an entirely different magnetic charging connector for older generation Macbook Pro laptops phased out in early 2019.

        The disc-shaped connector contains rare-earth magnets that allow it to snap and firmly attach to the back of an iPhone. It is about twice the diameter of the magnetic charging connector already in use on the Apple Watch. Unfortunately, the two are not compatible with each other.

        The anatomy of the MagSafe coil and connector assembly inside the iPhone 12

    • Education

      • Congressman Asks House Education Committee To Look At Pre-Crime Program Targeting Florida Schoolkids

        Late last year, the Tampa Bay Times broke the news the local sheriff’s office had set up a “pre-crime” program targeting schoolkids in Pasco County. The same program used by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to harass residents into “moving or suing” (yes, those are the Sheriff’s words) had been retooled to target minors, utilizing highly questionable access to students’ records.

    • Hardware

      • Nvidia Gets Certifiable About Systems

        If the emergence of Nvidia in datacenter compute shows anything, it is the value of controlling the software stack as you come to dominate the compute – and the revenue and profits – in the hardware stack.

        When it comes to AI, the combination of open source frameworks from the wider AI community, which Nvidia contributes to, and closed source libraries and tools that make up the Nvidia GPU Compute software stack that is underpinned by the CUDA environment, gives Nvidia the kind of control over a complete software/hardware stack that we have not seen in the datacenter since the RISC/Unix server days of the dot-com boom and earlier with proprietary systems from IBM, DEC, and HP, as well as IBM mainframes since the dawn of the data processing age.

        There are some differences this time around, and they are significant. The operating system is consequential, of course, but with all AI workloads being deployed on Linux, it really doesn’t matter which one you pick. Linux is about as interchangeable as DRAM memory modules in the server and it really comes down to preferences and a few technical differentiations. And to a certain extent, the X86 server that houses the Nvidia GPUs is fairly interchangeable, too. But fi you want to make GPU compute fluid and easy, then you have to realize that not every can – or wants to – buy an Nvidia DGX-A100 or DGX-2 system. Hyperscalers and cloud builders have their own ODM suppliers, enterprises have their own OEM suppliers, and they want to be able to run the Nvidia AI stack on platforms from their suppliers rather than having to add a new vendor into the mix.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • An exceedingly ambitious undertaking: Meduza’s readers describe the successes and failures of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

        On January 18, Vladimir Putin declared, “We’ve already transitioned to widescale vaccinations. We must transition from widescale to mass vaccinations.” The president ordered the shift to begin immediately. That same day, Meduza asked readers to describe the vaccine rollout in their regions. (Spoiler alert: Putin may have overstated Russia’s progress.)

      • [Old] They Pledged to Donate Rights to Their COVID Vaccine, Then Sold Them to Pharma
      • [Old] Oxford’s COVID vaccine deal with AstraZeneca raises concerns about access and pricing
      • Poor Nations Left Reeling After Bill Gates Advised Oxford to Ditch Open Source COVID Vaccine

        Europe is reeling from the shock news that biotech giant AstraZeneca will not be delivering anything like the number of vaccines it promised. The company informed European Union officials that they will only be supplying 31 million doses to 27 E.U. countries, rather than the 80 million they had promised would arrive by the end of March. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti predicted that the news would reap “enormous damage” on the continent that has already sustained over 32 million confirmed cases and 703,000 deaths due to COVID-19.

      • ‘Abolish Billionaires’: Oxfam Report Shows Combined Pandemic Wealth of Richest 10 People Could Pay to Vaccinate Entire World

        “Rigged economies are funnelling wealth to a rich elite who are riding out the pandemic in luxury, while those on the frontline of the pandemic… are struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table.”

      • Agroecology and Post-COVID Plunder

        Reliance on commodity monocropping for global markets, long supply chains and dependency on external inputs for cultivation make the food system vulnerable to shocks, whether resulting from public health scares, oil price spikes (the global food system is fossil-fuel dependent) or conflict and war. An increasing number of countries are recognising the need to respond by becoming more food self-sufficient, preferably by securing control over their own food and reducing supply chain lengths.

        The various coronavirus lockdowns have disrupted many transport and production activities, exposing the weaknesses of the food system. If the current situation tells us anything, it is that structural solutions are needed to transform food production, not further strengthen the status quo.

      • Antivaxxers’ efforts to undermine confidence in COVID-19 vaccines continue apace

        Think of this post as a continuation of a series related to COVID-19 vaccines. You might recall that, right before the New Year, I predicted an impending tsunami of adverse events (AEs) falsely attributed to COVID-19 vaccines that would be spread by the antivaccine movement as the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines found their way into more and more arms around the world and more and more bad things happened to people by coincidence soon after COVID-19 vaccination. I won’t take any credit for the prediction coming true, as anyone who’s followed the antivaccine movement for a while could have predicted it (and did). After all, every pre-pandemic antivaccine trope in the book had already been picked up, dusted off, and recycled for use with COVID-19. Examples abound, including the claim that the COVID-19 vaccine renders females infertile, permanently alters your DNA, causes autoimmune disease, or even kills. The only claim, it seems, not yet made by the antivaccine movement about COVID-19 vaccines is that they cause autism, but give them time – the vaccines are not approved for children yet. I fully expect that when young children start receiving the vaccines, antivaxxers will claim they cause autism just as they have for nearly every other vaccine.

      • The Problem With Mental Health Awareness

        “Do you have a friend that’s struggling with their mental health?” reads a yellow public service billboard at a Towson University bus stop. The other day on Facebook, one of my suggested invites was to an “Opioid Overdose Awareness BBQ” hosted by a local nonprofit. I started writing this essay in September, which is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In a few months it will be May, also known as Mental Health Awareness Month.

      • Groups Launch Grassroots Campaign Urging Senators to Reject Tom ‘Mr. Monsanto’ Vilsack for USDA Chief

        “Tom Vilsack has proven not to be the leader we need.”

      • Trump’s Vaccine Distribution Plan Has Left Millions of Doses Unaccounted For
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Another Sudo Root Privilege Escalation Vulnerability Got Patched, Update Now

            Sudo 1.9.5p2 was released today and it addresses two security issues. The first, CVE-2021-3156 (a.k.a. Baron Samedit), was discovered by Qualys Research Labs and could allow local users (sudoers and non-sudoers) to obtain unintended access to the root (system administrator) account.

            In addition, the new release patches CVE-2021-23239, a vulnerability discovered in Sudo’s sudoedit utility, which could allow a local attacker to bypass file permissions and determine if a directory exists or not. This security flaw affected Sudo versions before 1.9.5.

          • New Linux SUDO flaw lets local users gain root privileges
          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (dnsmasq, net-snmp, and xstream), Debian (mutt), Gentoo (cfitsio, f2fs-tools, freeradius, libvirt, mutt, ncurses, openjpeg, PEAR-Archive_Tar, and qtwebengine), openSUSE (chromium, mutt, stunnel, and virtualbox), Red Hat (cryptsetup, gnome-settings-daemon, and net-snmp), Scientific Linux (xstream), SUSE (postgresql, postgresql12, postgresql13 and rubygem-nokogiri), and Ubuntu (mutt).

          • WordPress security & hardening, the definitive guide

            WordPress is massively popular. Around every one in five sites on the Internet uses WordPress in some form. Be that to run a humble blog, or a multi-site Content Management System (CMS) or eCommerce site. As a result, it is no surprise that WordPress websites are a very popular target for both experienced hackers and script-kiddies alike.

            The last thing any webmaster wants is to find out that their website has been hacked; maybe taken hostage and is part of a botnet, spreading malware, or partaking in Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. In this article we’ll be sharing a number of tips and strategies to help you harden your WordPress website.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • End Two Federal Programs that Fund Police Surveillance Tech

              Police surveillance tech is a multi-billion dollar industry. Police departments find as many avenues to fund it as they can. This technology is not just deployed against suspects after acquiring a warrant—often police use it for dragnet surveillance of cars and people. Examples include automated license plate readers (ALPRs) that track cars as they move about the city (including to or from places of worship and doctors’ or attorneys’ offices), and drones or CCTV camera networks that police use to monitor protests. Departments have even bought police robots programmed to identify supposedly “suspicious” people, which is an invitation to further racial profiling.  

              Beyond municipal budgets, there are numerous ways that police receive the funding that allows them to purchase drones and license plate readers, and build surveillance command centers known as real-time crime centers. Federal grants, wealthy individual benefactors, private foundations, and kickbacks from surveillance companies all contribute to police departments’ massive build-up of surveillance tech. Then police use it to track, listen to, and identify people going about their business. 

              Two of these methods can immediately be addressed by the Biden administration. 

            • Defense Intelligence Agency gathered US smartphone location data without a warrant

              According to the memo, the DIA has gotten their hands on American smartphone location data via this loophole method five times in the last two and a half years. Besides the DIA, the IRS has also admitted to doing the same thing.

            • TikTok tracks you even if you never made an account

              However, TikTok’s privacy policy clearly states that they do track users without email addresses. The language looks like this, with TikTok granting itself the right to:

            • Google (BigBrother) is watching the user (no matter where the user browses) via JavaScript – no js no content no functionality = too much js

              …an npm package (a JavaScript library) containing malicious code designed to steal confidential files from the user’s browser and Discord app.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘This isn’t how politics is done’: Putin compares opposition protests in Russia to the storming of the U.S. Capitol

        During a video conference with university students to mark Russian Students Day (a public holiday that falls on January 25), President Vladimir Putin was asked to share his thoughts on the countrywide protests in support of opposition figure Alexey Navalny that took place on January 23. In particular, Putin was asked to comment on young people’s involvement in the demonstrations. Here’s what he had to say.

      • The ‘Insurrection’ and Its Discontents: ‘American Exceptionalism’ Revisited

        History is being written in the United States today. Even the most pessimistic about the prospects of American democracy have rarely ventured out this far while offering a bleak analysis of America’s future, whether in terms of political polarization at home or global standing abroad.

      • Opinion | Yemen Can’t Wait: Why a Global Day of Action Has Created a Chance for Change

        Joe Biden has suggested a new direction on Yemen—we must seize the opportunity to protest in his first week as US President to make sure he keeps his promise.  

      • Opinion | Covid-19 Is a Massive Killer Home and Abroad—Just Like Our Endless Wars

        The massive and unseen costs of America’s post-9/11 wars at home and abroad.

      • Indirect Deaths: The Massive and Unseen Costs of America’s Post-9/11 Wars

        This veteran’s remark may seem striking to many Americans who watched this country’s post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere unfold in an early display of pyrotechnic air raids and lines of troops and tanks moving through desert landscapes, and then essentially stopped paying attention. As a co-founder of Brown University’s Costs of War Project, as well as a military spouse who has written aboutand lived in a reasonably up-close-and-personal way through the costs of almost two decades of war in the Greater Middle East and Africa, my Marine acquaintance’s comments didn’t surprise me.

        Quite the opposite. In the sort of bitter terms I’m used to, they only confirmed what I already knew: that most of war’s suffering doesn’t happen in the moment of combat amid the bullets, bombs, and ever-more-sophisticated IEDs on America’s foreign battlefields. Most of it, whether for soldiers or civilians, happens indirectly, thanks to the way war destroys people’s minds, its wear and tear on their bodies, and what it does to the delicate systems that uphold society’s functioning like hospitals, roads, schools, and most of all, families and communities that must survive amid so much loss.

      • Opinion | Condemning Insurrectionists Is Easy, But If Corporate America Cared About Democracy It Would Support the ‘For the People Act’

        If they were actually committed to democracy, CEOs of big corporations would permanently cease corporate donations to all candidates.

      • Inspector General Launches Probe Into Whether DOJ Officials Tried to Overturn Presidential Election

        “Unconscionable a Trump Justice Department leader would conspire to subvert the people’s will,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in response to allegations against former Acting Assistant AG Jeffrey Clark.

      • Canadians Against War on Yemen Block Shipment of Armoured Vehicles Headed to Saudi Arabia

        The direct action in Hamilton, Ontario coincides with hundreds of events to pressure the new Biden administration and other world governments to stop arming Saudi Arabia.

      • ‘I should have said: not yet’ During Saturday’s protests in St. Petersburg, a police officer kicked a woman in the gut and sent her to the ICU. Now she regrets accepting his apology.

        On Saturday, January 23, a police officer in St. Petersburg brutally kicked a woman to the ground during a rally in defense of the jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny. The woman, 54-year-old Margarita Yudina, had tried to confront three officers in riot gear who were escorting a detained protester to a police van. After footage (warning: this video contains disturbing content) of the attack circulated online, the city’s police department and district attorney’s office announced separate preliminary inquiries. On January 25, the news outlet 47 News published an interview with Ms. Yudina, which Meduza summarizes below.

      • January 23rd, in photos Meduza looks back on the countrywide protests and mass arrests that rocked Russia last Saturday

        On Saturday, January 23, tens of thousands of people in various cities across Russia came out in protest against the detention of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. These demonstrations (which took place without the permission of the authorities) are the largest protests the country has seen in recent years. They were also accompanied by an unprecedented number of arrests, with law enforcement officials detaining more than 3,700 people countrywide. Meduza looks back on the events of January 23, as captured by photojournalists across the country.

      • French Court Hears Case Against Chemical Corporations Over Agent Orange Use in Vietnam

        “I’m not fighting for myself, but for my children and the millions of victims,” explained plaintiff Tran To Nga.

      • Robert Malley for Iran Envoy: A Test Case for Biden’s Commitment to Diplomacy

        President Biden’s commitment to re-entering the Iran nuclear deal—formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA—is already facing backlash from a motley crew of warhawks both domestic and foreign. Right now, opponents of re-entering the deal are centering their vitriol on one of the nation’s foremost experts on both the Middle East and diplomacy: Robert Malley, who Biden might tap to be the next Iran envoy.

      • Opinion | Rob Malley for Iran Envoy: A Test Case for Biden’s Commitment to Diplomacy

        Biden’s response to the far-right uproar against Malley will be a test of his fortitude in standing up to the hawks and charting a new course for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

      • With Likely Victory of Andrés Arauz, Ecuador Will Join Latin America’s Anti-Imperialist Surge

        If the country’s polls are to be believed, Ecuador is set to become the latest Latin American nation to move away from the United States and elect a strongly progressive, anti-imperialist government. Successive public opinion studies have shown Andrés Arauz of the Unión por la Esperanza coalition holding a commanding lead over his rivals, with some suggesting he may receive double the votes of his nearest challenger.

      • Why History Matters: the Legacy of Slavery

        When recalling Lincoln, many New Yorkers may remember the famous speech he gave at Cooper Institute (aka Cooper Union) in February 1860 calling to limit the extension – but not the end – of slavery.  It was a critical campaign speech that helped him secure the Republican Party nomination for President.  In November, he was elected, and, in December, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.

        Unfortunately, few American – and likely very few New Yorkers – will recall that Lincoln’s speech was strongly attacked by city business leaders and the Democratic Party, many assailing him with the racist slogan, “Black Republican.” More important, Lincoln’s election sparked a strong movement in the city, led by Mayor Fernando Wood, to join the South and secede from the Union.

      • South Carolina Justices Seem Unimpressed By Government’s Inability To Honestly Answer Questions About Forfeiture Abuse

        South Carolina’s civil asset forfeiture programs are abusive and unconstitutional. That was the conclusion reached by a South Carolina court late last year.

      • Amnesty Calls on Biden to Close Guantánamo and End Military Commissions ‘Once and For All’

        The group says the prison symbolizes U.S. “use of torture, rendition, and indefinite detention without charge or trial—in complete violation of internationally agreed-upon standards of justice and human rights.”

      • Opinion | The ‘Humanitarian’ Left Still Ignores the Lessons of Iraq, Libya and Syria to Cheer on More War

        That “defence industry” needs villains, like China and Russia, that it must extravagantly arm itself against. And that means fixating on the crimes of China and Russia, while largely ignoring our own crimes, so that those “defence industries” can prosper.

      • The Trauma of the Death Penalty in Texas

        Dalton Coble didn’t know his grandfather particularly well, but stories of Billie Wayne Coble have cast a shadow over his family since before he was born. In August 1989, Billie murdered his estranged wife’s parents and brother. The slayings shocked Waco, and the Coble name continued to raise eyebrows as it surfaced in headlines about appeals in the case over the following three decades. Billie’s son from a previous marriage, Gordon Coble, was only a teenager when his father was sentenced to death. In an attempt to shake the stigma, Gordon moved his family to outside Austin when Dalton was a child. He grew up meeting his grandfather through birthday cards and the occasional trip to visit him across from a cage walled off with plexiglass.

      • As deportations soar, Afghan returnees struggle on home soil

        Uprooted by conflict, forced home from abroad: 1.2 million people were on the move in Afghanistan, adding to surging humanitarian needs.


        “In Iran, conditions were harsh, but at least I could make ends meet,” Hussaini told The New Humanitarian by phone.

        Hussaini said he bought flour, rice, and cooking oil after he was deported in December, but the supplies are drying up and he hasn’t found work since his return.
        “We don’t have much to eat for dinner and lunch,” said Hussaini, a father of three. “I have not paid the rent for two months now, nor have I paid the bills for water and electricity.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • I Assert the Right to Live Free From Disinformation

        We know the tired, recycled charges. The “radical left” has started a war on Christmas, downgrading Christ’s birth to a “holiday.” College liberals so detest Christians that they try and denigrate their campus organizations or muzzle their speakers. Houses of worship and their arm-swaying congregants have been forbidden under Covid-19 lockdowns to gather. Christian film and music stars, especially country singers, have a tougher time getting gigs than their secular counterparts since the entertainment industry is biased against the faithful.

        This is mumbo-jumbo. Just look at the cultural and historical force of Christianity in America where 70 percent are looped in: the massive voting blocs of Catholics and Evangelicals, the millions of crosses on church steeples seen everywhere, the two-dozen Christian channels that proliferate on my DirectTV, the solicitation of God on our money and in our pledge of allegiance, the Christ-adoring superstars from Reba McEntire to Chris Pratt, and the testimonials after Covid scourges or West Coast firestorms by those who survived, apparently, due to divine intervention.

    • Environment

      • As Kerry Touts US Commitment to Climate Diplomacy, Biden Urged to Follow EU Lead by Ending Dirty Energy Subsidies

        “Biden should act boldly on his campaign commitments to end finance for dirty energy projects.”

      • The Climate Crisis Is Worse Than You Can Imagine. Here’s What Happens If You Try.

        Peter Kalmus, out of his mind, stumbled back toward the car. It was all happening. All the stuff he’d been trying to get others to see, and failing to get others to see — it was all here. The day before, when his family started their Labor Day backpacking trip along the oak-lined dry creek bed in Romero Canyon, in the mountains east of Santa Barbara, the temperature had been 105 degrees. Now it was 110 degrees, and under his backpack, his “large mammalian self,” as Peter called his body, was more than just overheating. He was melting down. Everything felt wrong. His brain felt wrong and the planet felt wrong, and everything that lived on the planet felt wrong, off-kilter, in the wrong place.

        Nearing the trailhead, Peter’s mind death-spiralled: What’s next summer going to bring? How hot will it be in 10 years? Yes, the data showed that the temperature would only rise annually by a few tenths of a degree Celsius. But those tenths would add up and the extreme temperatures would rise even faster, and while Peter’s big mammal body could handle 100 degrees, sort of, 110 drove him crazy. That was just not a friendly climate for a human. 110 degrees was hostile, an alien planet.

      • A ‘Disasterologist’ Talks Climate Change
      • Energy

        • Activists Occupy Site of Proposed Lithium Mine in Nevada

          One of the activists is Will Falk, a writer and lawyer who helped bring a suit to US District Court seeking personhood for the Colorado River in 2017. He describes himself as a “biophilic essayist” and he certainly lyrical in describing the area where they set up:

          I’ve spent enough time in the Great Basin to attest to its beauty myself: the dramatic ranges, the expansive flats, the gnarled trees, the stiff-stemmed wildflowers, and the lean, sinewy jack rabbits; they are all expressions of endurance in a landscape imbued with the echoes of the ancient. How long ago it must have been, when waves lapped the foothills, yet the shapes they left are unmistakable. The sense is palpable of being elevated, inland, and isolated from the ocean—the waterways here don’t run to the sea, hence the name “basin.”

        • Let Nuke Plans Run for 100 Years?

          Comments from the “public” were strongly opposed to the NRC’s desire for it to let nuclear power plants run for a century.

          “I request you pause and consider before you go ahead on this reckless path,” testified Michel Lee, chairman of the New York-based Council on Energy & Conservation Policy.

    • Finance

      • ‘Poverty Mode’: App-Based Drivers Slam Lyft’s Latest Pay Cut Scheme

        “The digital economy today is part of the problem and not the solution,” argues one labor advocate. “It’s not too late to change that.”

      • Opinion | Five Ways the Biden Labor Team Can Defend Workers Against the Lawless Digital Economy

        The Biden administration must break the unprecedented nexus of capital concentration and big data hoarding or it will have no power to protect workers or citizens.

      • Susan Collins, Supporter of $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts for the Rich, Claims $1,400 Survival Checks Not ‘Targeted’ Enough

        “Weird that Susan Collins didn’t care so much about the ‘rich people getting more than they need’ issue when it was massive upper income tax cuts on the table.”

      • Rev. William Barber Says Biden Admin Must Not Sacrifice Racial & Economic Justice for False Unity

        We look at how COVID-19 has increased economic inequality with anti-poverty campaigner Reverend William Barber, who delivered the homily at the official inaugural prayer service. Barber says President Joe Biden’s focus on unity cannot come at the expense of major reforms needed to fight systemic racism, poverty, environmental destruction and more. “It cannot be just kumbaya. It has to be fundamental change,” he says. “We cannot be the wealthiest nation in the world, where billionaires in this country made a trillion dollars between May and November during COVID, while poor and low-wealth people of every race, creed, color, sexuality have suffered and continue to suffer.”

      • “They Came Away with Their Dignity”: Striking NYC Workers Win Wage Hike After Surge of Solidarity

        Workers at the Hunts Point Produce Market in New York City have overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract, ending a week-long strike that captured national attention and galvanized the community behind the essential workers at the Bronx-based business. Some 1,400 members of the Teamsters Local 202 union walked off the job on January 17, demanding a $1 raise and recognition for their work to keep New Yorkers fed during the pandemic, with the Hunts Point Market supplying about 60% of the city’s produce. Management had offered a 32-cent raise instead. But after a week on the picket line and widespread support from the community, workers won raises of $1.85 per hour over three years, as well as improved terms for family health benefits. “They were resolved with each other, and they were standing shoulder to shoulder with each other on the basic premise of being treated decently,” Daniel Kane, president of Teamsters Local 202, says of the workers’ job action. “They fought, and they came away with their dignity.”

      • UN Labor Agency: Pandemic Job Losses Four Times Higher Than After 2009 Financial Collapse

        “This has been the most severe crisis for the world of work since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Its impact is far greater than that of the global financial crisis of 2009.”

      • Sanders Wants to “Act Now” on COVID Relief But McConnell Is Holding Up Senate
      • Media’s Deficit Hawks Fly Again—as Soon as a Democrat Takes Office

        A Democrat has assumed office, and so, like clockwork, corporate media are here to play their favorite game of pretending to suddenly be deeply concerned with the deficit and the national debt. Debt has risen sharply after a Covid-induced economic crash and rounds of enormous Trump tax cuts (the last of which gave 82% of the benefits to the richest 43,000 Americans, while only 3% went to those earning less than $100,000 per year). While media had little problem with those tax cuts as they were happening (FAIR.org, 2/28/18), the party is now over, and it’s apparently time for austerity.

      • The Hunts Point Strike Is Just the Beginning

        When 1,400 laborers at the Hunts Point Produce Market, a 113-acre distribution hub in the Bronx, decided to strike earlier this month, their demands were simple: a $1 hourly raise and better health benefits. Their employer had offered them a 32 cent-per-hour increase, which the workers considered an insult. After all, they’d worked nonstop through a pandemic that had killed six of them.1

      • Striking Workers in New York City Win Wage Hike After Surge of Solidarity
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | Trump Gone, But the Right-Wing Leadership Institute Promises to Keep Trumpism Alive and Well

        Largely flying under the radar has been the training operation for right-wingers to be taught how to work the media, infiltrate government and otherwise promote a right-wing agenda in the United States.

      • The Empire Is the World

        Omelas, the utopian setting of Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1973 short story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” is built on deception. Le Guin introduces the city on a day of celebration, dwelling on its merry crowds, gorgeous architecture, and picturesque proximity to a bay and snow-capped mountains. As the narrator roves through this vista, describing the sights with pride and wonder, the admiration grows defensive. “Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy?” the narrator asks. “Then let me describe one more thing.” The deception ends, and we’re taken to an emaciated and abused child incarcerated in a dirt cellar. The child is barred from leaving this prison, but everyone ignores its misery; they believe its suffering is necessary for Omelas to thrive. Those who cannot stomach this injustice quit the city, an act of silent protest.

      • Members of Congress Reportedly Facing Death Threats Ahead of Trump Impeachment Trial

        Amid “ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol,” thousands of National Guard troops are expected to remain in Washington, D.C. as Trump’s trial proceeds in the Senate.

      • My Favorite Moderate

        Collins laments having worn heels to the January 6 Capitol insurrection and her inability to find parking when she returned to the capitol post-insurrection to rubber stamp the Electoral College.

        It gets worse.

      • Opinion | Let the Loathsome Lies Begin (Again)
      • ‘That’s Insane… He Still Has the Money’: SCOTUS Tosses Emoluments Lawsuits Targeting Trump

        One watchdog critic angered by the court’s decision said, “Congress must act now to ensure that no future president can profit off the presidency.”

      • Disingenuous, Lying, Whining, Bloviating, Insurrection Encouraging Senator Josh Hawley Given Pages Of Major Newspaper To Explain How He’s Being Silenced

        In Netflix’s recent release, “Death to 2020,” Lisa Kudrow does an absolutely pitch perfect parody of whiny “conservative” upset about non-existent “cancel culture” over “conservative views.” Kudrow, playing the role of a Trump campaign spokesperson/conservative commentator, talks about how she has to keep saying that “Conservative Voices Are Being Silenced,” including on a variety of popular media interviews and, of course, a NYT best-selling book by the same title:

      • Basic Notes on Victoria (“Fuck the EU!”) Nuland

        For four years the Democrats have pilloried Trump for “coddling” Putin, although in fact Trump has heaped sanctions on Russia bringing relations to their lowest point since the early Cold War. Now they want some more serious anti-Russian measures. They want their president, Commander-in-Chief of the Exceptional Nation and Leader of the Free World against its adversaries, return us to Clinton-Obama normalcy. That means “getting tougher” with Russia. But what does tougher mean?

        Nuland is eminently qualified for the task of making things much worse, even provoking war with the other superpower that while lacking foreign bases, and spending a fraction of what NATO spends on military defense, has over 6000 nuclear weapons. (Remember? The U.S. developed and used nuclear weapons in 1945, the only country to ever do so. The Soviets followed by developing their own bomb in 1949, in self-defense. That’s when Truman established NATO as an anti-Soviet, anti-communist military alliance.)

      • The Fall of Trump

        For Donald Trump, that tragic flaw has been unbounded narcissism.

        For four years as president, Trump could focus on only one thing: himself. He preferred to be in front of cheering crowds than behind the desk in the Oval Office actually doing work. He cared only about his appearance, his reputation, his legacy. Trump pursued various foreign policy initiatives – such as meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or pushing for a peace deal in the Middle East – only to get a Nobel Prize not because he genuinely cared about the lives of the people in other countries.

      • Budget Chair Sanders Dares GOP to Criticize Him for Using Reconciliation to ‘Protect Ordinary People, Not Just the Rich’

        “If they want to criticize me for helping to feed children who are hungry or senior citizens in this country who are isolated and alone and don’t have enough food, they can criticize me.”

      • “The ‘I’m Rubber You’re Glue’ Defense to Treachery”: Hawley Files Ethics Complaint Against Dems Who Filed One Against Him

        The Missouri Republican is facing growing calls for his resignation or removal from the Senate for inciting the deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

      • We Balk at ‘Law and Order,’ but Democracy Needs the Rule of Law

        They are still deciding what to call the events of January 6. Riot? Insurrection? Coup? From the Wilkes mob and the Gordon mob in 18th century London to our own Seattle and Portland mobs, hyperbole and euphemism have fought a close contest in this area. Consider two stock phrases that look synonymous but have come to mean very different things. “Law and order” may convey the preconditions of a free society, but the use of that slogan—by Richard Nixon’s campaign in 1968 and its successors in 1988 and 2016—gave the words a dubious odor. Repression of speech and assembly and ordinary freedom of action could be hidden under the seemingly harmless phrase. Yet no such opprobrium has ever attached to the instruction to abide by “the rule of law.” Why not?

      • ‘They’re brainwashing our citizens’: Putin comments on his alleged ownership of billion-dollar residence

        In honor of Russian Students Day, a public holiday that falls on January 25, President Vladimir Putin held a video conference where university students had a chance to ask him questions. A student by the name of Chemezov Danil seized the opportunity to ask Putin about the billion-dollar “palace” supposedly built for him on the Black Sea that was recently the topic of an explosive investigation by Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. Here’s how Putin responded. 

      • Inquiry Opened to Determine If DOJ Officials Tried to Overturn Election
      • Despite His Attempt to Tie MAGA to Anti-Semitism, Biden Will Preserve Trump’s “Israel First” Legacy

        The cantankerous end to the turbulent Trump presidency has imbued the incoming administration with a halo of bright expectations by simple virtue of the disastrous four years that precede it. Like a stand-up feature act that follows an opener’s bombed set at a comedy club, the Biden-Harris duo takes center stage with an easy advantage that requires only the slightest effort to win over a disappointed crowd.

      • A Fresh Start
      • The High Cost of Quieting Down Trump

        The source of Donald Trump’s strength also turned out to be his Achilles’ heel. When the major social media giants, notably Twitter and Facebook, shut down Trump’s ability to post, he became a much-diminished figure on the world stage, even before his replacement, Joe Biden, was sworn in. Without social media, Trump hasn’t been able to bully Republican lawmakers with quite so much success nor rally his followers so effectively. It’s notable that calls for protests at state capitols, following the botched putsch of January 6, have fizzled.

      • Budget Chair Sanders Wants to Use Reconciliation to “Protect Ordinary People”
      • Former Trump Lawyer and Conspiracy Theorist Sidney Powell Launches New Super PAC
      • Trump Has Made Threats to Launch a New Political Party — the “Patriot Party”
      • Dominion Voting Systems Files $1.3 Billion Lawsuit Against Rudy Giuliani
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • End the Filibuster: Calls Grow to Retire Relic of Slavery & Jim Crow to Make Senate More Democratic

        President Joe Biden has promised swift action on the pandemic, the economic crisis and more, but much of his agenda hinges on whether he can get enough support in the Senate, where an unprecedented number of bills in recent years has required a 60-vote supermajority in order to overcome filibusters. Many progressives and civil rights groups have urged Democratic leaders to kill the filibuster, warning that if they don’t, Senate Republicans will obstruct Biden’s plans just as they did with the Obama administration. Former Senate aide Adam Jentleson, author of the new book “Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy,” says the filibuster has historically been used to stop racial progress and thwart majority opinion. “The framers … did not want the filibuster to exist,” he says. “When they created the Senate, it was an institution that had no filibuster power. It was designed to be a majority-rule body.”

      • It’s raining snowballs In the past, Russia has charged protesters with felony assault for chucking plastic bottles at the police. What happens to the demonstrators who threw snow last weekend?

        This past weekend, large crowds of people across Russia marched to demand the release of the jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, braving icy weather and warnings from local law enforcement. The largely unpermitted demonstrations ended with more than 3,700 arrests nationwide. Unlike most recent political rallies in Russia, many activists were willing to clash directly with the police. In hundreds of videos shared online, for example, protesters rained down snowballs on groups of riot police. Meduza looks at several questions many people are now asking about these acts of defiance.

      • Lawyer working for Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation forcibly deported from Russia

        Belarusian national Vladlen Los — a lawyer working for Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, who was given notice of his expulsion from Russia last week — was forcibly taken to the Russian-Belarusian border on Sunday, January 24. Los described the incident himself in a video released on Team Navalny’s YouTube channel.

      • Team Navalny announces more protests planned for Sunday, January 31

        Following last Saturday’s countrywide protests in support of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the head of his Moscow headquarters, Leonid Volkov, has announced more rallies planned for this upcoming Sunday.

      • Are We Witnessing the Emergence of a New ‘Lost Cause’?

        One way to decisively convey that treasonous white-supremacist insurrectionists are unwelcome in the US Capitol might be to remove all the statues that venerate treasonous white-supremacist insurrectionists from the US Capitol.

      • Louisiana Legislature Approves Tepid Police ‘Reforms’ That Won’t Do Much To Give The State Better Police

        Police reform efforts are being mounted all over the nation, but very few appear to be capable of creating any lasting, positive changes. Reforming law enforcement is difficult to do. Legislators, for the most part, still “back the blue,” if for no other reason than cops are also government employees. Powerful police unions are firmly entrenched, providing the biggest obstacle to reform — fully capable of gutting reform bills by leaning on legislators and threatening less law enforcement activity.

      • The Republican Dam on Immigration is Cracking, Now They Must Pay for Their Racism

        Anticipating Biden’s executive actions on immigration, the Trump administration created some potentially difficult hurdles to Biden’s agenda, via a series of so-called Sanctuary for Americans First Enactment (SAFE) agreements between a handful of states and the Department of Homeland Security, which signed them during Trump’s final days in office. These agreements require cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies and require a 180-day notice of intent to terminate. It was Trump’s parting shot to a nation that uses and abuses immigrant labor, revenue, culture, and other benefits.

        But President Biden has not restricted himself to executive actions on immigration. He has sent an outline of a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress for consideration that has as its centerpiece a pathway to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented residents of the nation. It is a bold move but precisely the correct one in a nation reeling from four toxic years of Donald Trump. Given that Trump rode into office on the winds of anti-immigrant hate that he vigorously fanned during his campaign, it is fitting that Biden begins his term by undoing the damage by whatever means he can—legislative and executive action.

      • “Thugs” and “Riots”: Legitimizing Police Violence at Protests Against Police Violence

        Note: The NLG National Office, in collaboration with NLG Review, is publishing a 4-part blog series exploring questions around policing in the United States. Guild members are sharing pieces analyzing the policing of social movements, the role of police in maintaining current power dynamics, and alternatives to policing from community power to defunding to abolition. The goal of this series is to generate discussion and conversation among our members and the public regarding the current state of policing and to envision new strategies of social organization. Please also read the Guild’s recent resolution supporting the abolition of policing passed by the membership in 2020.

        In the third article of the series, law professor Cedrick Heraux discusses how the language of violence and bias impacts policing during social movements, particularly when it is the excessive use of force by police that is being protested. He notes that both legal and moral norms are violated most often when those protesting are members of minority communities, with little accountability for those violations.

      • The long road to sorting out US refugee resettlement

        When Joe Biden was elected president of the United States in November, Yasmin Aguilar’s 11-year-old niece – who began the US refugee resettlement process in Afghanistan when she was five – told her family: “Joe Biden will hopefully put me on the first plane. He’s a friend of [Barack] Obama, and Obama loves Muslims.”

        The story was sobering for Aguilar to hear. “I didn’t know what American presidents thought of Muslims when I was her age,” she said. “My life wasn’t at risk.”
        Aguilar, 50, came to the United States as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2000, but she has only been able to see her brother and sister and their families twice in the past two decades, on trips she took to Afghanistan after receiving her US citizenship.

        Both her siblings’ families were on the cusp of being resettled to the United States as refugees when former president Donald Trump took office in 2017. Like thousands of other people around the world, their cases then became stalled. Both were told by Resettlement Support Center Asia – a Department of State-funded group run by NGOs, international organisations, and American embassy contractors – that resettlement would now take a lot longer as the Trump administration had reduced yearly admissions.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • For Many, the Arab Spring Isn’t Over

        Despite setbacks, much of the work that was started in 2011 is still ongoing.

        A decade later, the fallout from this upheaval has taken countries in different directions. While Tunisia immediately abolished its entrenched Internet censorship regime and took steps toward democracy, other countries in the region—such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain—have implemented more and more tools for censorship and surveillance. From the use of Western-made spyware to target dissidents to collusion with US social media companies to censor journalism, the hope once expressed by tech firms has been overlaid with cynical amoral profiteering. 

        As we consider the role that social media and online platforms have played in the U.S. in recent months, it’s both instructive and essential to remember the events that took place a decade ago, and how policies and decisions made at the time helped to strengthen (or, in some cases, handicap) those democratic movements. There are also worthwhile parallels to be drawn between calls in the U.S. for stronger anti-terrorism laws and the shortsighted cybercrime and counterterrorism laws passed by other countries after the upheaval. And as governments today wield new, dangerous technologies, such as face surveillance, to identify Black Lives Matter protestors as well as those responsible for the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, we must be reminded of the expansive surveillance regimes that developed in many Middle Eastern and North African countries over the last ten years as well. 

      • New Interim FCC Boss Jessica Rosenworcel Will Likely Restore Net Neutrality, Just Not Yet

        With Trump FCC boss Ajit Pai and his giant coffee mug headed for the revolving door, the Biden administration has tagged existing FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as the new boss of the agency. Rosenworcel is well liked by consumer advocates and industry insiders, and largely opposed the Trump FCC’s efforts to lobotomize the agency’s consumer protection authority, kill net neutrality, eliminate decades-old media consolidation rules, and effectively turn the agency into a rubber stamp for Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon’s every policy pipe dream.

      • Twitter and Interoperability: Some Thoughts From the Peanut Gallery

        It’s been more than a year, and Twitter has marked its progress with an “ecosystem review” that sets out its view of the landscape of distributed systems. The world is a very different place today, with social media playing a very different role in 2021 than it played in 2019. Locked down, with the legitimacy of the US political system under threat, with social media moderation policies taking on national significance, the question of how a federated, decentralized internet would work has become even more salient…and urgent.

        It’s a safe bet that no one is thrilled with the moderation policies of the Big Tech platforms (we sure aren’t). But while we can all agree that tech has a moderation problem, there’s a lot less consensus on what to do about it.

        Broadly speaking, there are two broad approaches: the first is to fix the tech giants and the second is to fix the Internet.

    • Monopolies

      • Google Threatens To Pull Out Of Australia Entirely; Australians Demand That It Both Stay And Pay News Orgs For Giving Them Traffic

        For the last year, we’ve been highlighting how Australia’s rush to create a Google News tax is so stupid. It follows similar efforts in Europe and a few other places, where newspapers that spent years dismissing the internet and doing little to adapt, are now whining that Google is… sending them free traffic and not paying them for it.

      • Patents

        • 2020 IP Law Year in Review: European Issues [Ed: History will repeat itself? History shows that UPC fails, courts reject it. Classic Team UPC spin. This latter part about opening a court is an obvious lie due to Brexit and other complaints. Far too much of the so-called 'media' we see, especially in the area of patents, is just pure lobbying, marketing, deliberate lies, and false prophecies trying to fulfil themselves by projection.]

          On 18 December 2020, two new constitutional complaints were filed against the current German UPC ratification act. It remains to be seen whether history will repeat itself, and if and when Europe will finally have a UPC.


          The UPC is expected to open its doors in 2022 at the earliest, save any constitutional issue in Germany.

        • Law School Canons: X Marks the Spot (X = Summary Judgment)

          Exigent owned U.S. Patent No. 6,651,885, a “multi-function transaction processing system,” which includes a transaction processing system with the ability to attach a payment to a user account, among other functions, and alleged infringement literally or through the doctrine of equivalents. U.S. Patent No. 6,651,885 (filed Jun. 8, 2000; issued Nov. 25, 2003); Exigent Tech., Inc., 442 F.3d at 1303-04. The general idea was to expand the traditional debit/credit card transactions by issuing “authorization codes” to purchasers on a card, which could have other purchases attributed and stored on it. U.S. Patent No. 6,651,885. The system was designed to rid merchants of the cost of selling multiple cards that only contained singular access codes, like a pre-paid minutes card for calling long-distance, and put them all on one larger card assembly (shown below). Id. The above illustration shows a familiar looking terminal (20) but includes a large card printer (where the purchased information is stored) (37). Id. at fig.1.


          Celotex turned out to be bad news for Exigent, who argued in the Federal Circuit that Atrana did not properly support their summary judgment motion with admissible evidence showing non-infringement. Exigent Technology, Inc., 442 F.3d at 1308. This was in reference to an arguably inadmissible declaration from Atrana’s CEO. Id. The Federal Circuit noted that it ultimately did not matter whether the declaration was admissible as evidence because Atrana, the moving party, successfully discharged their burden of proof on the dispositive issue of non-infringement, by pointing out that Exigent had no evidence of infringement. Id. at 1309. The Federal Circuit held that Exigent did not advance any argument or bring any evidence of infringement, and therefore summary judgment was proper. Id.

          Summary judgment is a remedy that arguably helps the courts “secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 1 (2020). The irony is not lost on me that a remedy that can speed up an action resulted in further litigation, stringing out the action for both parties.

        • FOSS Patents: Continental brings complaint against Nokia in Delaware state court: new U.S. FRAND litigation strategy may protect Daimler

          Automotive supplier Continental brought FRAND litigation against the Avanci pool and several of its contributors, particularly Nokia, in 2019. But its federal lawsuit was transferred from the Northern District of California to the Northern District of Texas (i.e., Dallas), and in September it was dismissed. Continental has appealed the dismissal to the Fifth Circuit. But “Conti” (as the company is commonly referred to in the automotive industry) isn’t just waiting for the appellate proceedings to unfold (a decision will likely take about a year from now). Instead, Conti has now brought a new complaint specifically against Nokia in Delaware state court, and that one has the potential to become one of the most interesting FRAND cases worldwide (this post continues below the document)…

        • Lavoix wins for Peaccel and University of Nantes at Paris Court of Appeal

          Codexis filed a suit against Bernard Offmann and Peaccel at the Tribunal Judiciaire in Paris (case ID: 15/10224). The latter specialises in protein engineering and design, and synthetic biology, with Offmann its vice president for research. Peaccel had linked to the university professor’s online tool on its company website.

          After a seizure operation (saisie contrefaçon) to secure evidence from Offmann in May 2015, he deactivated the tool. Then, Peaccel applied to be released from the action, claiming no responsibility for the object of the suit. The court dismissed the application on the grounds that Peaccel had presented itself as co-developer of the tool on its company website. Furthermore, the court also found it had provided a link to Bernard Offmann’s site.

          As such, the first instance court dismissed the infringement suit in April 2018 but found EP 879 valid. Codexis appealed against the ruling.
          The Court of Appeal has now upheld the decision of the Tribunal Judiciaire as, according to the judges, Bernard Offmann’s tool does not reproduce the claims filed in the patent. The court also did not accept the argument of infringement by equivalents. As the university professor deactivated his tool immediately after the seizure operation, the payments imposed by the court on Codexis are relatively small.

      • Copyrights

        • BMG, Aggressive Champion Of Copyright Enforcement, Accused Of Copyright Infringement By Jehovah’s Witnesses

          Readers here will not need to be reminded that BMG, a prolific music label, is also a prolific enforcer of copyright. BMG has been party to some of the most notable instances of copyright enforcement, from its lawsuit against Cox, to its use of Rightscorp to troll internet users and lie to them, up to and including taking down news videos of President Obama singing an Al Green song. There are plenty more examples after those, leaving anyone perusing them with the distinct impression that BMG super-duper respects the strictest enforcement of copyright laws, presumably in order to protect creators of content.

        • Impact of the proposed EU Regulation on Markets in Crypto-assets for IP applications

          Decentralised ledger technologies (DLT) such as blockchain are the object of broad international regulation efforts. Presumably motivated by Facebook’s Libra/Diem project, the Chinese e-yuan and the growing financial volume of the crypto market, governmental institutions seeking to strike a balance between protecting public interests while simultaneously fostering innovation in the crypto space (“regulate innovations in and not out of Europe” and “respecting the principle of technological neutrality”).

          This goal was promoted last week by prominent participants in the workshop of the EU BLOCKCHAIN – OBSERVATORY & FORUM, a European Commission initiative to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the EU. The workshop considered the European Commission’s proposed Regulation on Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCAR). Although the event did not specifically address intellectual property applications, various use cases could fall within the scope of the Regulation, as commodities, such as art, and intangible assets, such as intellectual property, can also be tokenised.


          Businesses within the scope of the MiCAR will have to meet strong capital and other requirements, such as drawing up a crypto-asset white paper in accordance with Article 5 (with Annex I). Once adopted, the MiCAR will directly apply to all Member States, without the need for implementation in national law.

          According to the proposed Regulation, a ‘crypto-asset’ is a digital representation of value or rights that may be transferred and stored electronically, using distributed ledger or similar technology (Art. 3 (2)). This definition might also cover crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ether (“catch-all category” for all crypt-assets not covered elsewhere in financial services legislation and e-money tokens). However, these public blockchains do not have an issuer or service provider according to the MiCAR.

        • YouTube Takes Action Against Piracy Tutorials, Stream-Ripping and Cheating

          Google has filed a WIPO domain dispute against Youtubeconverter.io, a site that helped people to download audio and video from YouTube. In a recent filing sent to the UK Government, YouTube classifies the action as an anti-piracy move. In the same letter the streaming platform also notes that it is taking action against piracy tutorials and cheating videos.

        • YouTube Class Action: Not Even One Instance of Copyright Infringement Identified

          A class-action lawsuit filed by musician Maria Schneider and Pirate Monitor against YouTube claims that the video platform restricts access to takedown tools and fails to act against repeat infringers. However, in a case management statement, YouTube points out that the plaintiffs have failed to allege even a single instance of infringement.

Instead of Making Access to COVID-19 Solutions Easier Bill Gates Has Made It Harder (Patent Profits)

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Patents at 4:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Counterproductively — and at a great cost to human civilisation — Bill Gates has once again put profits and monopoly ahead of global goals such as collective health

THE Gates Foundation helps Bill and his wife become a lot richer while avoiding tax under the guise of ‘charitable’ work. They are not unique in that regard; many in their economic class are doing exactly the same thing. As noted recently in The Nation, as well as in older articles [1, 2], Bill has his hands all over the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine (clinical trials) and it’s all to do with profit. It’s all about money, not people.

“The sad thing is that in spite of growing anger and sometimes fury over Bill Gates the media is eager to paint all the critics as “jealous” or “nutty”; just as Bill would like…”Yesterday we saw the article “Poor Nations Left Reeling After Bill Gates Advised Oxford to Ditch Open Source COVID Vaccine”. Promises are being broken and more money is being sought; for what you ask? To participate in a prematurely-developed and barely-tested product with expedited approval seals. To reject such vaccines isn’t a matter of “paranoia” but perhaps a case of common sense. Given what happened with AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines (clinical trials) several months ago (withdrawal without explanation) and reports from Norway, warnings about allergies etc. it’s not unreasonable to be a tad sceptical and apprehensive.

The report from yesterday says this:

Europe is reeling from the shock news that biotech giant AstraZeneca will not be delivering anything like the number of vaccines it promised. The company informed European Union officials that they will only be supplying 31 million doses to 27 E.U. countries, rather than the 80 million they had promised would arrive by the end of March. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti predicted that the news would reap “enormous damage” on the continent that has already sustained over 32 million confirmed cases and 703,000 deaths due to COVID-19.

Given the shady past of Bill Gates crimes, AstraZeneca has managed to associate itself with more of a liability than an icon. And as noted earlier this week (this was brought to our attention): “Oxford University was going to open source its vaccine, then the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation stepped in and convinced them to sell exclusive rights to AstraZeneca. Now AstraZeneca is failing to deliver and poor countries are struggling to access vaccines. It’s important to remember that Gates has used his foundation to launder his reputation, but there are a lot of serious questions about its activities, including supporting strong IP rights for drugs that make them less accessible to poor countries. You can read the full article about Oxford reversing course and selling its vaccine’s rights to AstraZeneca (at the encouragement of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) here…” (links above)

The sad thing is that in spite of growing anger and sometimes fury over Bill Gates the media is eager to paint all the critics as “jealous” or “nutty”; just as Bill would like…

Source: Al Jazeera English (2 minutes cut out)

We Need More Documents Leaked to Know Intel (From the) Inside

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware at 1:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drake meme but with Biden: Got trouble? Rebrand the system!

Summary: We invite more leaks from the belly of the beast “chipzilla”, seeing that it is becoming a drone of Microsoft again, yearning for the “Wintel” days instead of moving on to a world dominated by GNU/Linux and Free/libre software

IT HAS now been a number of days since we finished the series of leaks about Intel. The company increasingly moved into the surveillance (intel agencies’) business, based on recent acquisitions, and it is going nowhere fast when it comes to hardware and GNU/Linux. Like the EPO, it hired the wrong people (non-technical people such as Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos) who drive the company right into the ground.

Earlier today I spoke over the telephone with someone who’s familiar with Intel and noted its steep decline. As it turns out, people buying laptops to work from home (in the wake of the pandemic) was a temporary boost that would not last long. The change of CEO helped the shares of the company jump initially, albeit the stock soon plunged again. Change of faces won’t suffice.

Andy Grove, Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, 1978Once upon a time Intel stood for something; Gordon Moore has a “law” named after him and Andy Grove was the symbol of the company until his death 4 years ago. “He was the third employee and eventual third CEO of Intel,” Wikipedia says, “helping transform the company into the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors.”

“Even geeks inside Intel want their bosses exposed.”The way we see it, Intel needs further exposing, especially the incompetent managers. They besiege geeks, they try to outsource almost everything to Microsoft, and they certainly don’t care about the company that pays their salaries (and might even pay their pensions if it lasts long enough).

We welcome and invite people who know more about “Intel inside” to leak documents to us. We need to improve our understanding and inform the general public. Even geeks inside Intel want their bosses exposed.

Photo credit: Andy Grove, Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, 1978; Original by Intel Free Press, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Why GNU/Linux Users (and the Public at Large) Should Support Leaking/Whistleblowing Sites (Including Wikileaks)

Posted in Deception, IBM, Red Hat at 11:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We all need transparency to understand who and what we’re truly dealing with

Video download link

Summary: To demonstrate the value of “scientific journalism” (a term apparently coined by Wikileaks) we take a look at Red Hat’s response to embarrassing leaks (demonstrating what a scam their certification and examination programmes really are)

MANY articles and video clips have been published lately about why Julian Assange should be supported. We too published a few. Some were published earlier this month regarding extradition of a journalist (from the UK to the US), which was denied.

“Ignore the PR platitudes.”This video is not about Assange and not necessarily about Wikileaks either. It’s in more general terms about sites that expose the truth and reveal the degree to which powerful people try to bury and suppress the truth, usually by means of baseless and overly broad legal threats. We use the example of Red Hat, now part of IBM. Why now? Because last night Red Hat published this blog post (which I struggled to find when I recorded the above video).

As noted in the video, this is the sort of Red Hat we’re dealing with in 2021:

Red Hat at GitHub

This morning we wrote about the similarities between Red Hat/IBM and Microsoft, two companies that faced government actions for monopoly abuse. They ended up colluding. Red Hat even considered selling itself to Microsoft and Microsoft reportedly stayed away for fear of more antitrust action.

Certification and examination riggedFor quite some time now we’ve warned about the litigious nature of Red Hat, truly compatible with that of Microsoft and IBM. This isn’t really the “open org” it wants us to believe that it is. Ignore the PR platitudes. Just like the threats sent to us by law firms hired by EPO management (even late on a Friday), threats were sent to Wikileaks (in the UK apparently) later on a Friday, with a deadline window narrow enough to discourage legal consultation (it’s difficult to seek lawyers during weekends as offices are shut).

The summary of the video would be something along the lines of, leaks in sites that engage in “Scientific Journalism” help society at large better understand world affairs, peeling off the many layers of PR, e.g. hegemony spin (colonialism), oligarchs as “job creators” and “philanthropists”, corporations as charities/public services, and corporate-centrists being “the left”.

Scientific Journalism

EPO President António Campinos is Still Not Listening, According to Internal EPO Documents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Increasingly arrogant and unaccountable management of Europe’s second-largest institution (EPO) has left staff disillusioned but still defiant; there’s clearly unsuitable or unfit-for-purpose management at the EPO, self-selecting based on nepotism/loyalty so as to cover up abuses

THE staff representatives of the EPO have circulated this 50-page document [PDF] about a recent ‘meeting’ with António Campinos (online chat, so not a meeting per se). The concluding words say that they don’t sense of feel like anything has changed since Benoît Battistelli except attitudinal aspects (the tone). Staff continues to suffer, examiners are besieged by growing workloads and declining benefits/compensation, and the general consensus among managers is that staff has no role in decision-making processes, not even a place in such panels.

“Less than a third of the EPO ‘products’ are associated with the EU, so it’s not even clear whether it deserves “European” in its title.”Now that the EPO is run by almost no scientists at all there’s a worrisome embrace of mindless buzzwords and political language is being weaponised to lie to everybody. Promises are being broken, a pandemic is being leveraged to wage a war on dissent, pensioners at risk are being robbed, and the money piled up in EPOnia gets diverted into an illegal gambling scheme from which only EPO managers stand to gain. To make matters worse, the EPO still lacks any sort of oversight, either at pan-European/EU level or national level. This basically means that the people who do all this are unaccountable and accordingly arrogant.

The Central Staff Committee summarised this report as follows:

Report on the GCC meetings of 26 November and 10 December 2020

In the November GCC meeting, no real dialogue took place: the President was not prepared to move an inch from his initial proposals. He claimed that he would not re-open the discussion on the SAP.

In the December GCC meeting, two Circulars (Nos. 364 and 367) were on the agenda for consultation. Both Circulars were amended as the result of litigation by staff (as regards recognition of PhDs and abolition of house arrest, respectively). The changes are positive but the Circulars as a whole are far from being satisfactory.

Both GCC meetings are examples of how not to conduct a social dialogue: there is no genuine debate. Our arguments are ignored when they don’t suit the Administration. Even if there are indeed some mini-steps in the right direction, the President and his Administration remain unwilling to acknowledge the deep-rooted, structural faults of many of the reforms that have been forced on staff in recent years.

It’s hard to understand why a continent like Europe allows this abuse to persist. It just carries on and on for a decade or longer. It is perfectly clear that the EPO breaks multiples laws, yet nobody has ever been convicted or prosecuted for it. What’s more, it’s very clear that many EPO policies aren’t geared towards advancing Europe but rather to enrich a bunch of law firms and multinationals based outside Europe. Less than a third of the EPO ‘products’ are associated with the EU, so it’s not even clear whether it deserves “European” in its title. The staff is European, but the objectives are not. We certainly hope that media across Europe will pay closer attention, but as I pointed out in the video the “Mafia” (what EPO insiders call management) is bribing and blackmailing publishers/bloggers, especially those who dare investigate the EPO. Or produce/share evidence

Because the media says I'm a nice manThroughout the video (multimedia is faster to do than text) I spend some time assessing the character of the current EPO President, based on hundreds of hours of reading (since 2016 when we first mentioned him). As the meme on the right says, there’s a tendency to focus not on substance but on attitudes or a shallow perception of empathy; “Because the media says I’m a nice man…”

The media in the pockets of patent litigation lawyers spent a lot of time (and space) selling this idea that Campinos is a very nice man, despite lack of actual evidence of substance. The EPO workers are strongly encouraged not to fall for those tricks. Campinos is definitely not there to protect staff but to protect Battistelli, a fellow Frenchman who arranged this job for him. Nothing is going to change as long as Campinos remains President.

Why You Should Give Falkon (the Web Browser) a Chance on GNU/Linux, BSD, or Windows

Posted in Free/Libre Software, KDE at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: In this crazy new world where advertisers are the real customers and Web users (“audiences”) have been reduced to mere products we need a browser that isn’t controlled by a company; try Falkon

THE World Wide Web is a very wild place, but it takes some effort to see the wildness because it is mostly hidden away from sight. Browsers are spying on their users, Web sites spy on visitors, ISPs are selling personal data in bulk, and so-called ‘search’ engines are just espionage operations with a “simple” front that that gives a few lousy search results in exchange (or compensation) for the espionage, which also extends to psychological manipulation and censorship. As of recent years, I can no longer recommend the World Wide Web to anybody, let alone the toxic hate machine that is social control media (no matter if it’s Free software-based and/or decentralised because it’s inherently problematic as a construct).

“Free software (such as KDE) puts the user in charge of the computer/computing.”When I use or enter the World Wide Web (which isn’t much to be frank, as I mostly read my news of interest in Kate, the plain text editor, or through RSS feeds) I typically use Konqueror and Falkon. Seeing where Mozilla is trying to sway the World Wide Web (censorship, DRM and so on), I cannot recommend Firefox but I still keep it around for sites that are highly restrictive in the browser support sense/spectrum.

Falkon logoIn this short video (limited time available for recording because of work around the house) I show some basic features of Falkon and say a few words on the status of the project/World Wide Web browser. It’s nothing too fancy, but it generally works and typically works very well, probably best among KDE/Qt browsers (and I’ve used or tried almost all of them over the years!).

Falkon does not want or care about your browsing history. There’s no “clown storage” for Falkon and it won’t ask you to log in or check out some (dis)service. The ad blocking is a built-in feature. With Falkon it’s always you, the user, in control of the Web browser (in a world where the World Wide Web increasingly controls the user).

I warmly recommend Falkon to anyone who feels tired of proprietary browsers like Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, Edge/MSIE, Safari and so on. Give it a go. What have you got to lose? Let’s take the Web back.

Regarding Brave and Firefox, I have mixed feelings about the companies behind them. I fear that this suspicion and distrust will be justified more and more over time (more ‘accidents’ or gaffes, which they will ‘correct’ after public outcry and media backlash).

Free software (such as KDE) puts the user in charge of the computer/computing. Nothing is going to change that. Falkon is GPLv3-licensed, which reaffirms its commitment to true freedom, unlike many other Web browsers. It’s built using Qt and Qt may be going proprietary (Qt5 LTS and Qt6+), but we keep hearing forks of Qt are on the way, imminently, so that oughtn’t be a reason for concern. By default Falkon uses QtWebEngine. Remember that WebKit and many of today’s rendering engines actually came from KDE (KHTML/Konqueror). A lot of people, certainly those influenced by the mainstream media, will never publicly acknowledge this.

I’ve used Falkon (or QupZilla prior to the rename) for nearly half a decade. It’s mostly the work of one single individual. Thank you, David Rosca!

Kluwer Patent Spin and Distortion of Facts (Regarding UPC and More)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 3:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Kluwer Patent Blog disgraces the firm that puts its name on it; instead of sticking to facts they’re distorting the facts and the sole/principal goal is to manipulate/mislead the public and public servants

THE video above was spontaneously made in response to yesterday’s piece by Matthieu Dhenne (Ipsilon) and the prior piece by Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle). Dhenne tells lies and Bausch mostly responds to the nonsense of Juve (still turning a blind eye to abuses by António Campinos as EPO President).

Kluwer Patent BlogLike Benoît Battistelli, Dhenne wants the UPC to be based in France just because of money while rumours persist that Battistelli wants to be at the head of it. This isn’t reporting and not an analysis, either; it’s lobbying for monetary gain.

“This isn’t reporting and not an analysis, either; it’s lobbying for monetary gain.”As noted towards the end of the above video, almost all if not all (I checked quickly, there might be one exception or a pair) are in the patent litigation and consultation business. The views of people outside that sphere aren’t entertained at all. See below.

Law/litigation firm

Links 26/1/2021: 4MLinux 35.1, GParted 1.2, Gnuastro 0.14

Posted in News Roundup at 2:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Best Way to Split Your Linux Terminal

        If you’re a programmer or developer, you probably feel that one terminal window is not enough. You need to open a new tab or new terminal window and constantly switch between them while working on something. It eventually makes the work quite hectic.

        The same problem is also faced by system administrators as well as database administrators because they need at least five terminal windows to carry out respective work.

        Terminal does have tabs, but they don’t make work any more comfortable, so some terminal multiplexers are introduced. These multiplexers help split the terminal window horizontally as well as vertically. So, in this article, we’re going to have a look at some multiplexers that will help you split your Linux terminal.

    • Server

      • The 10 Best Linux Server Distributions [2021 Edition]

        One of the best things about Linux is the various types of distributions it has to offer. No matter how you plan to use your Linux PC, there’s a Linux distro optimized with all the necessary tools and functionalities to meet your needs. And this brings us to Linux server distributions – Linux distros optimized to be used on servers. These are lightweight Linux distros, sometimes even stripped of a desktop environment, and packed with tools to improve speed, stability, and security – the traits of a good server OS.

        But with that being said, there are literally hundreds of Linux server distros circulating the internet. So which one should you choose for your home server or even for professional use? Well, to answer your question, we have put together a comprehensive list of the 10 best Linux Server Distributions for 2021.


        So this brings us to the end of our list of the 10 best Linux server distributions of 2021. We hope this was useful and helped you find the right Linux server distro for your specific needs and requirements.

        All the server distros come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages, as you can see. If you are completely new, we recommend starting with a Ubuntu server. With time, you’ll understand what features you need and then migrate to a distro that delivers those functionalities.

        But that being said, this is by no means a comprehensive list of all the best Linux server distros out there. So if your favorite distro didn’t make it up on this list, then feel free to mention it down in the comments along with why you prefer it over the options discussed here. We would surely like to know.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 210: The Fediverse – Become An Adult Again

        You’ve heard us talk about Matrix and Mastodon along with many other decentralized services but what does that actually mean and why does it matter? Well this week, we’re going to deep dive into the various Fediverses to answer those questions. We’re also going to cover some recent exciting news from Red Hat which is guaranteed to make many in the community very happy. We will also discuss why Chromium may soon be missing from your distro repository. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 109

        Will’s hybrid cloud approach to Pi-hole, and huge batch of feedback about all sorts including Firefox, convergence, home monitoring, email servers, and more.

      • Activitypub: The Open Future Of Social Media

        Twitter has been doing the usual Twitter things but there already exists an amazing open alternative in the form of the Fediverse powered by Activitypub, and not just a replacement for Twitter but a wide array of other platforms and the best thing is they can all communicate with eachother.

    • Kernel Space

      • Kernel prepatch 5.11-rc5

        The 5.11-rc5 kernel prepatch is out for testing. “Nothing particularly stands out. We had a couple of splice() regressions that came in during the previous release as part of the ‘get rid of set_fs()’ development, but they were for odd cases that most people would never notice. I think it’s just that 5.10 is now getting more widely deployed so people see the fallout from that rather fundamental change in the last release.”

      • It Took 25 Years for Linux to Boot on a Nintendo

        Everyone’s go to gaming console Nintendo is finally booted by mainline Linux Kernal. I know Geeks you are cheering up! Nintendo 64 game console support will be merged with the upcoming Linux 5.12 kernel. Lauri Kasanen Created & submitted this port & you can use this ready made ROM from Github.

        So Now we can use Linux (command Line) in Nintendo 64. but remember it has only 4 MB of RAM & it is running on a MIPS64 NEC VR4300 Processor (93.75MHz ) with SGI Reality Coprocessor graphics clocked at 62.5MHz.

      • Patched Linux 5.11 Continues Looking Great For AMD Ryzen/EPYC Performance

        While the initial AMD Linux 5.11 performance regression written about at the end of last year was of much concern given the performance hits to AMD Zen 2 / Zen 3 processors with the out-of-the-box “Schedutil” governor, with a pending patch the regression is not only addressed but in various workloads we continue seeing better performance than even compared to Linux 5.10. Here is the latest from several more days of extensive performance testing.

      • Two Powerful SSD Benchmark Utilities for Linux

        The 21st century has seen unprecedented growth in the technological sector, and many upgrades have been made in the past several years. The evolution of phones from landlines to smartphones is a clear indicator of this technological phenomenon. The latter has become a key part of our lives, providing us a means to connect with the world around us. The desktops and laptops that we use today have also seen major progression, and this can be observed in the improvement in the quality of tools and games in the world of computers.

        One such sector in the computer world is that of memory storage, which has quickly moved on from traditional hard disks to a newer, faster type of storage called a solid-state drive, or SSD for short. SSDs are extremely fast, require less power, and are more shock-resistant than HDDs. You can see this for yourself by benchmarking your SSDs. Benchmarking is the process of measuring the performance of any tool, which can be done using a benchmarking utility.

        This article looks at two of the best utilities available for SSD benchmarking in the Linux operating system, Disks and hdparm.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon ROCm 4.0.1 Released For AMD Open-Source GPU Compute

          Last month marked the release of the big Radeon Open eCosystem 4.0 update (ROCm 4.0) while today that has been replaced by a v4.0.1 point release.

          ROCm 4.0 brought CDNA / MI100 (Arcturus) compute support and other “Exascale Era” preparations in making this open-source GPU compute stack competitor more competitive with NVIDIA’s CUDA. For now though it’s still been leaving out the Navi GPU support.

        • AMD Celebrates Five Years Of GPUOpen

          Today marks five years since AMD began the GPUOpen initiative for providing more open-source Radeon GPU code projects, code samples, and more for better engaging GPU/game developers in the open.

          As any longtime Phoronix reader will know, AMD’s open-source Linux driver initiative is going on for more than a decade while the celebration today is just over their GPUOpen initiative turning five years old. The three principles that continue to guide GPUOpen are providing code and documentation to PC developers to exert more control on the GPU, a commitment to open-source software, and a collaborative engagement with the developer community.

        • Vulkan 1.2.168 Released With Two New Extensions

          Today’s Vulkan 1.2.168 specification update brings the usual specification corrections/clarifications while also introducing two new KHR extensions.

        • VKD3D-Proton Begins Working On DirectX 12 Ray-Tracing Atop Vulkan

          Those working on VKD3D-Proton as the Direct3D 12 implementation atop the Vulkan API are beginning to work on DirectX Ray-Tracing support but it isn’t yet ready for gamers.

          Hans-Kristian Arntzen has opened the initial pull request for enabling ray-tracing extensions with VKD3D-Proton.

        • NVIDIA release the Vulkan Beta Driver 455.50.03, new extensions supported

          Need to be on the bleeding edge of what NVIDIA have to offer? They just released driver version 455.50.03, as part of their Vulkan Beta Driver series. This is actually the second driver released this month, with 455.50.02 appearing on January 19. Here’s a look over all that’s new in them together.

    • Intel

    • Applications

      • Best Dictionary Apps for Linux

        GNOME Dictionary is a minimal and straightforward dictionary app for Linux. GNOME dictionary is one of the official GNOME-3 applications and it is available in almost all major Linux distributions. It can query definitions of words and phrases from a number of online sources. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any mechanism to download offline dictionary databases.

      • PDF Arranger 1.7.0 Released With New Features And Enhancements

        PDF Arranger 1.7.0 has been released with new features, like the ability to crop white borders, allow export to individual files, allow selection of odd or even pages, support for editing more PDF metadata tags, and more.

        Initially forked from the popular PDF Shuffler, PDF Arranger has gain many new features since then. The application can merge, split, rotate, crop, and rearrange PDF document pages using a simple GTK3 user interface. It’s available for Linux and Windows.

        There are also various other smaller features in this PDF editor, including the ability to edit PDF metadata, merge double-sided scanned documents, cut / copy / paste PDF pages even between multiple PDF Arranger instances (and thus, between documents or to a new empty instance), duplicate PDF pages, and much more.

      • Movim: An Open-Source Decentralized Social Platform Based on XMPP Network

        Just like some other XMPP desktop clients, Movim is a web-based XMPP front-end to let you utilize it as a federated social media.

        Since it relies on XMPP network, you can interact with other users utilizing XMPP clients such as Conversations (for Android) and Dino (for Desktop).

        In case you didn’t know, XMPP is an open-standard for messaging.

        So, Movim can act as your decentralized messaging app or a full-fledged social media platform giving you an all-in-one experience without relying on a centralized network.

        It offers many features that can appeal to a wide variety of users. Let me briefly highlight most of the important ones.

      • Open Source Google Docs Alternative CryptPad 4.0 Releases With New Look and New Features

        CryptPad is an impressive encrypted Google Docs alternatives that we’ve covered previously. Even though it does not offer all the features and goodies that you get with Google Docs, it is a usable privacy-friendly option for many.

        Recently, they deployed a major upgrade (CryptPad 4.0) to their platform that involves a new logo, refreshed icons, and more new features.

        In this article, I shall highlight some of the key changes with the latest major release.

      • Explore binaries using this full-featured Linux tool

        It’s natural to ask why you need yet another tool if existing Linux-native tools do similar things. Well, it’s for the same reasons you use your cellphone as your alarm clock, to take notes, as a camera, to listen to music, to surf the internet, and occasionally to make and receive calls. Previously, separate devices and tools handled these functions — like a physical camera for taking pictures, a small notepad for taking notes, a bedside alarm clock to wake up, and so on. Having one device to do multiple (but related) things is convenient for the user. Also, the killer feature is interoperability between the separate functions.

        Similarly, even though many Linux tools have a specific purpose, having similar (and better) functionality bundled into a single tool is very helpful. This is why I think Radare2 should be your go-to tool whenever you need to work with binaries.

      • Use Joplin to find your notes faster

        To store my digital notes, I needed to pull them all into one place. The tool needed to be accessible from multiple devices, have a useful search function, and be able to export or share my notes. I chose Joplin after trying many, many different options. Joplin lets me write notes in markdown, has a pretty good search function, has applications for all the OSs (including mobile), and supports several different ways to sync between devices. As a bonus, it has folders and tags, so I can group my notes together in ways that make sense to me.

      • Renowned Disk usage visualization terminal tool Vizex released a new version

        Want to view disk usage in terminal then you will think about Vizex only. Basically Vizex is a terminal program which enables users to visualize the disk space usage for every partition & media. This tool is highly customizable and you can customize it as per your needs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install and Use Fail2ban on RHEL 8 / CentOS 8

        Top on the list of every IT operation team is ensuring that servers are secure from unauthorized users or malicious scripts. There are a number of solutions that you can apply to ward off attacks and breaches. Among them is the implementation of the Fail2ban software tool.

        Fail2ban is an open-source intrusion detection measure that mitigates brute-force attacks that target various services such as SSH, and VSFTPD to mention a few. It comes with an array of filters – including SSH – that you can customize to update the firewall rules and block unauthorized SSH login attempts.

        The fail2ban utility monitors the server’s log files for any intrusion attempts and blocks the IP address of the user after a predefined number of failed attempts for a specified duration. The user’s IP is placed in a ‘jail’ which can be set, enabled, or disabled in the /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf configuration file. This way, it helps to secure your Linux server from unauthorized access, and more specifically from botnets and malicious scripts.

      • How to install WPS Office 2019 on Linux Mint 20.1 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install WPS Office 2019 on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • Installing Google Chrome on Fedora Linux – Linux Hint

        Google Chrome is one of the top browsers for all platforms. It’s a product released by Google. The browser comes with numerous features, including synchronization with Google services, fast performance, fast performance, etc.

        In this guide, check out how to install Google Chrome on Fedora Linux.

      • How to install TupiTube Desk on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install TupiTube Desk on a Chromebook Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install Spreed WebRTC Server on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        preed isn’t like any other video chat platform – it is much better and powerful in every way. It is a free and open-source audio/video call server designed with privacy in mind. Spreed uses WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), which enables web browsers and mobile apps to communicate in real-time via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). WebRTC enables peer-to-peer communication making it possible for audio and video to work inside web pages.

        Additionally, Spreed WebRTC uses end-to-end encryption, thus ensuring ultimate privacy and security to users’ data.

      • How to Use Btrfs Scrub? – Linux Hint

        The Btrfs filesystem is a multi-device filesystem that has built-in support for RAID. In a multi-device Btrfs filesystem or RAID, the data/metadata blocks may be stored in one or more storage devices. The Btrfs scrub tool will read all the data/metadata blocks from all the storage devices added to a Btrfs filesystem or RAID and find all the corrupted data/metadata blocks. Once the corrupted data/metadata blocks are found, the Btrfs scrub tool will automatically repair those corrupted data/metadata blocks if possible.

        In a multi-device Btrfs filesystem or Btrfs RAID, depending on the filesystem configuration, there may be multiple copies of the data/metadata blocks stored in different locations of the storage devices added to the Btrfs filesystem. When the Btrfs scrub tool finds a corrupted data/metadata block, it searches all the storage devices added to the Btrfs filesystem for duplicate copies of that data/metadata block. Once a duplicate copy of that data/metadata block is found, the corrupted data/metadata block is overwritten with the correct data/metadata block. This is how the Btrfs scrub tool repairs corrupted data/metadata blocks in a multi-device Btrfs filesystem or Btrfs RAID.

      • How to Use Btrfs Balance? – Linux Hint

        The Btrfs filesystem has built-in multi-device support, so you can create different levels of RAID using it.
        Once you’ve created a Btrfs RAID, you can add more storage devices to the RAID to expand the RAID. But, once you have added more storage devices to the RAID, Btrfs won’t spread the existing data/metadata/system-data to the new storage devices automatically. So, you may not get the desired throughput (read/write speed) out of the RAID, and it may not be able to populate the new storage devices with the required redundant data. So, the RAID array may fail to survive the desired number of drive failures.

        To solve these problems, the Btrfs filesystem provides a built-in balancing tool. The Btrfs balance utility will spread the data/metadata/system-data of the existing storage devices of the RAID to the newly added storage devices.

        In this article, I am going to show you how to use the Btrfs balance utility to spread the data/metadata/system-data of the existing storage devices of the RAID to the newly added storage devices. So, let’s get started!

      • How to Install and Configure NIS Server on Debian 10? – Linux Hint

        NIS stands for Network Information Service, and it is used extensively for sharing configuration data about different systems across the whole network. In today’s article, we will be talking about the methods of installing and configuring this server on a Debian 10 system.

      • How to Install Swift in Debian 10 – Linux Hint

        Swift is a famous language that was developed by Apple to create software applications. Swift is an open-source language that is used as a fast and interactive programming language to develop various software for all platforms and servers. Writing a Swift code is interactive since the syntax is quite concise. Swift also contains multiple features that are useful for developers. The code written in Swift is safe for designing and extremely fast, as well. This article shows you how to install Swift on a Debian 10 server.

        This tutorial will be of great help to all Debian users who wish to install Swift on their computers. We will be using Debian 10, but even if you do not have the latest version of Debian installed on your system, feel free to follow the same procedure on your computer.

      • How to Enable Automatic Updates on Ubuntu 20.04

        One of the crucial administration roles that any sysadmin is tasked to do is to ensure that the security patches and feature updates are regularly applied. Security updates address pre-existing vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious users to breach the system. Delayed patching of system packages may result in system breaches where confidential information is access and exfiltrated. Manually updating packages on Ubuntu – and any Linux system for that matter – is a tedious task and wastes a lot of your precious time. This is time that could have been spent elsewhere performing more productive tasks. As a workaround, configuring automatic updates on a Linux server comes highly recommended. In this guide, we walk you through how to enable automatic updates on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Configure LDAP Client in Debian 10 – Linux Hint

        LDAP is an acronym for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. LDAP allows users to store the usernames and passwords of users in a single place. This place is then used by multiple services for validating the users claiming these services. To use a service, you always need to have a client-end program that can help you to access that service. This article shows you how to install and configure the LDAP client on your Debian 10 system.

      • GPT vs. MBR Booting

        Most of the time, we let our computers’ boot just happen, but sometimes we need to control it. One of those times is when you want to dual boot. The way your disk is organized affects what you need to do and think about. The way computers boot and have been booting is by using the Master Boot Record. That was the old way, but you will still see partitioning software give you the option to use this system. GPT means GUID Partition Table; it was introduced to address BIOS limitations, one being the size of disk it can address. To use GPT, you must have a UEFI based computer. In 2021, you do! Just watch out for decades-old hardware if you are a tinkerer. Note that you can still keep using MBR if you wish to do so.

      • 4 Ways to Install Firefox Browser 85 in Ubuntu / LinuxMint / CentOS

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to download and install Mozilla Firefox 85 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Linux Mint 20.1, and CentOS 8.1 / 7.x.

        Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla foundation and generally utilized by thousands and thousands of individuals in their daily actions.

        Firefox 85 Started its development in November Mid 2020 and released its stable version 85 on Jan 25, 2021 and it is ahead of its official release date for all supported OS Platforms.

      • An Introduction to Bash Brace Expansion – Putorius

        The Borne Again Shell (BASH) has a lot of great features that it borrows from other shells and even from some programming languages. It was created in the late 1980s in a response to a lacking in the current available shells on Berkley Distributions (BSD), and the predecessor to Linux, GNU. BASH features numerous in-built features such as in-line scripting capabilities like brace expansion, which we are going to examine today.

      • How to Convert PDF to Image in Linux

        For many reasons, you often need to convert PDF documents to different image formats. You can find many online sites that easily convert PDF to images, but there is no guarantee your file will be secure always. You can easily do it in your own Linux system.

        This article is going to show you to convert pdf to other image formats (jpg, png, gif, tif) using the following two popular methods.

      • How to Install Gitea on Ubuntu 20.04 | RoseHosting

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Gitea with Nginx as a reverse proxy on an Ubuntu 20.04 VPS.

      • How to Search, Install, Remove Snap Apps in Command Line | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to search for, install, remove, and list installed Snap applications in Ubuntu from command line.

        Snap is an universal Linux package format developed by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. Though many users hate the Snap apps, it’s hard to keep away from it since many popular applications (e.g., VLC, Spotify, VS Code, Android Studio) offer official Ubuntu binaries through Snap rather than classic deb package.

        As Ubuntu Software still sucks and does not load application pages quite often, you can run followings command instead to search for & install snap applications.

      • How to install Jellyfin Media Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        When it comes to creating your own Medis server, the first name would be Kodi or Plex, however, these are not only out there. Jellyfin is another popular open-source project that lets us create quickly a modern media server with an interactive web user interface to manage videos, images, and music from any device.

        We can browser media content using Jellyfin on various devices such as computers, apps on your Roku, Android, iOS (including AirPlay), Android TV, or Fire TV device, or via your Chromecast or existing Kodi. Whereas when it comes to installing the Jellyfin server platform it doesn’t limit to Linux only, we can set it up on machines running Microsoft Windows, macOS, or in a Docker container.

      • Why you need to drop ifconfig for ip | Opensource.com

        For a long time, the ifconfig command was the default method for configuring a network interface. It served Linux users well, but networking is complex, and the commands to configure it must be robust. The ip command is the new default networking command for modern systems, and in this article, I’ll show you how to use it.

        The ip command is functionally organized on two layers of the OSI networking stack: Layer 2 (data link layer) and Layer 3 (network or IP layer). It does all the work in the old net-tools package.

    • Games

      • Revive Classic Nintendo DS Games on Linux With Emulation

        Want to play Nintendo DS games on your Linux system but can’t figure out how? Back in the day, Nintendo DS was a very popular handheld console with a huge collection of games. But over time, advanced consoles were launched in the market that rendered DS obsolete.

        Luckily, several emulators are available that allow you to play classic Nintendo DS games on your system. DeSmuMe is a great example of a stable Nintendo DS emulator for a Linux machine.

      • Best Game Console Emulators for Linux

        This article will list popular game console emulation software available for Linux. Emulation is a software compatibility layer that emulates hardware components of game consoles, instruction sets and related APIs. Emulation software can emulate CPUs, GPUs, audio hardware and many other such physical components available in real game consoles. Emulation allows you to play console exclusive games that are otherwise unplayable on PCs. Games running on these emulators see emulated components as if they were parts of a real game console and they cannot see the underlying platform (PC) on which the game is running on.

        Developing an accurate game emulator for PC is an extremely difficult task, involves reverse engineering and many times developers have to sacrifice accuracy to improve compatibility. Emulators require original file system dump from game consoles. Some emulators emulate these components as well making it easier to play games. To play games on emulators, you must have game files, typically called ROMs.

      • Best Linux Distros for Gaming in 2021
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.21 Beta Review Day

          I am happy to announce that we are going to hold the second Plasma Beta Review Day on the 28th January from 9.00 CET to at least 20.00 CET. We will meet in a Big Blue Button room and you can join via audio, video or text.

          Everybody is encouraged to join, regardless of whether you are a user testing the new release, a bug triager, or a developer. We want to hear your impressions about the beta release and want to focus on any regressions or bugs compared to the last release.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 Alpha Released for Public Testing with New Activities Overview Design

          After about four months since it entered development, the upcoming GNOME 40 desktop environment series, due for release at the end of March 2021, now has an initial development release that anyone can test it to get an early taste of the new features and improvements.

          The biggest new feature in GNOME 40 looks to be a reimagined Activities Overview that promises better overview spatial organization, improved touchpad navigation, more engaging app browsing and launching, as well as better boot performance.

        • GNOME 40 Alpha Released

          GNOME 40 is now available as the first step towards releasing this updated Linux desktop environment in March.

          GNOME 40 Alpha comes with a ton of changes — many of which we have been outlining in various Phoronix articles over the past few months. Among the main highlights of GNOME 40 Alpha are:

          - GTK4 through GTK 4.0.2 is now pulled into the GNOME collection.

        • Phaedrus Leeds: Cleaning Up Unused Flatpak Runtimes

          Despite having been a contributor to the GNOME project for almost 5 years now (first at Red Hat and now at Endless), I’ve never found the time to blog about my work. Fortunately in many cases collaborators have made posts or the work was otherwise announced. Now that Endless is a non-profit foundation and we are working hard at advocating for our solutions to technology access barriers in upstream projects, I think it’s an especially good time to make my first blog post announcing a recent feature in Flatpak, which I worked on with a lot of help from Alex Larsson.

          On many low-end computers, persistent storage space is quite limited. Some Endless hardware for example has only 32 GB. And we want to fill much of it with useful content in the form of Flatpak apps so that the computers are useful even offline. So often in the past we have shipped computers that are already quite full before the user stores any files. Ideally we want that limited space to be used as efficiently as possible, and Flatpak and OSTree already have some neat mechanisms to that end, such as de-duplicating any identical files across all apps and their runtimes (and, in the case of Endless OS, including the OS files as well).

        • Outreachy Progress Report

          I’m halfway gone into my Outreachy internship at the GNOME Foundation. Time flies so fast right? I’m a little emotional cuz I don’t want this fun adventure to end soo soon. Just roughly five weeks to go!!
          Oh well, let’s find out what I’ve been able to achieve over the past eight weeks and what my next steps are…

          My internship project is to complete the integration between the GNOME Translation Editor (previously known as Gtranslator) and Damned Lies(DL). This integration involves enabling users to reserve a file for translation directly from the Translation Editor and permitting them to upload po files to DL.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • 4MLinux 35.1 released.

          This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 5.4.85. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.46, MariaDB 10.5.8, and PHP 7.4.13 (see this post for more details).

          You can update your 4MLinux by executing the “zk update” command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

        • GParted 1.2.0 Released
          GParted is the GNOME Partition Editor for creating, reorganizing, and
          deleting disk partitions.
          The GParted 1.2.0 release includes some new features in addition to bug
          fixes, and language translation updates.
          Key changes include:
               - Add exFAT support using exfatprogs
               - Wait for udev change on /dev/DISK when erasing signatures
               - Don't try to mask non-existent Systemd \xe2\x97\x8f.service
          Visit https://gparted.org for more details.
        • GParted 1.2 Released With Support For exFAT File-Systems

          GParted as the widely used, GUI solution for managing Linux partitions/file-systems on the Linux desktop now finally supports dealing with exFAT file-systems.

          Since Linux 5.7 has been the modern exFAT file-system driver from Samsung to replace the earlier exFAT driver code following Microsoft’s blessing in late 2019. That exFAT file-system driver is in increasingly good shape and continues seeing fixes/improvements with succeeding kernel releases and continues to be widely used on Android devices and elsewhere.

        • GParted 1.2 Open-Source Partition Editor Released with exFAT Support

          GParted 1.2 open-source partition editor software has been released today with initial support for the exFAT file system, as well as various other improvements.

          Coming a year after the previous release, GParted 1.2 is here as the first release of the popular and very handy partition editor utility to implement support for partitioning disks formatted with the exFAT file system developed by Microsoft. exFAT support is handled by using the exfatprogs command-line utility, which needs to be installed in your GNU/Linux system.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD Desktop – Part 22 – Configuration – Aero Snap Extended

          I like to post new articles and solutions when I think they are ready. Production tested and stable. Well thought and tested … or at least trying to make things as good as possible in the available time window. Perfectionism definitely does not help making often articles on the blog.

          Today’s solution is not perfect but I will ‘ship it’ anyway because good and done is better then perfect. I wanted to rework it so many times that I stopped counting … and I really would like to continue the series – thus I have made a conscious decision to finally release it and hope that maybe someone else will have better ideas to make it better. I really wanted to provide pixel perfect solution with as much screen space used as possible but to deliver it as it is I tested it only on the resolution I use the most – the FullHD one with 1920×1080 pixels.

          You may want to check other articles in the FreeBSD Desktop series on the FreeBSD Desktop – Global Page where you will find links to all episodes of the series along with table of contents for each episode’s contents.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux Does OpenSuse Better

          GeckoLinux is a US-based Linux distribution. Its focus on polish and out-of-the-box usability on the desktop is a time-honored draw for using this Linux choice.

          OpenSuse is among the easiest Linux distributions for new users. However, openSuse does not focus on the absolute ease of use.

          Instead, the open-Suse community prefers to offer users flexibility and choice. That openSuse style can add some complexities along with providing some easy-to-use graphical tools to configure system settings like YaST.

          Swapping GeckoLinux in place of openSuse mitigates the suitability of use question for newcomers. As I noted previously, my usual go-to Linux platform is Debian/Ubuntu based. But GeckoLinux puts the best features of the openSuse Linux family front and center.

        • openSUSE “Leap” 15.2 – Any Good?

          This is a review I’ve been wanting to write since forever. Having tried many iterations of SUSE Linux over its long life before, during and after the Novell era, it always left me feeling ambivalent. And I really wanted to like it. The last time I set out to write a review but then canned the idea was for 12.3, when images would work in VMware Player but did not boot on my real hardware. Now THAT is a long time ago and it also means a lot may have changed, hopefully for the better.

          SUSE is known and often praised for their offering of a highly polished KDE desktop. This is what I will go for in this little experiment. On the download page we can choose between a netinstall image for openSUSE “Leap” approx. 125 MB in size for x86_64 and the full DVD image of 4.3 GB. This is the equivalent of the box set of olden days. Live images are available with the KDE Plasma and Gnome desktops as well as a Rescue Live CD which are all staying under 1 GB in size, but only the rescue image is small enough to burn to CD. All images can be written to USB and DVD. Community maintained ports are also available for ARM, the Raspberry Pi and PPC architectures.

          Instructions to install or change to “Leap” as well as minimum system requirements are further down the page. Quite a traditional selection really. The web page layout is simple and clear and conveys the most pertinent information right away.

          Years ago installing from live image was not recommended so the choice here is basically between downloading the entire library or the netinstall image. I decided to go for the netinstall. Not having an installable live image obviously robs us of the test run people have become accustomed to unless we down yet another image just for testing. I decided against that as we can see from the netinstall image whether openSUSE will boot up or not. The rest is just desktop showcasing.

          I downloaded images for the x86_64 architecture.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 116

          Let’s start with an installer improvement quite some people was waiting for. Both openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise can use either wicked or NetworkManager to handle the system’s network configuration. Only the former can be fully configured with YaST (which is generally not a problem because there are plenty of tools to configure NetworkManager). Moreover, during the standard installation process, wicked is always used to setup the network of the installer itself. If the user decides to rely on wicked also in the final system, then the configuration of the installer is carried over to it. But, so far, if the user opted to use NetworkManager then the installer configuration was lost and the network of the final system had to be be configured again using NetworkManager this time. Not anymore!

          That’s not the only installer behavior we have refined based on feedback from our users. In some scenarios, the logic used to decide whether an existing EFI System Partition (ESP) could be reused was getting in the way of those aiming for a fine-grained control of their partitions. That should now be fixed by the changes described in this pull request, that have been already submitted to Tumbleweed and will be part of the upcoming releases (15.3) of both openSUSE Leap and SLE.

        • Session One Meetup Generates Enhancements, Actions

          The first session of the openSUSE Project’s meetup regarding the End of the Year Survey Results on Jan. 23 is already starting produce some actionable items from contributors.

          The session on openSUSE’s Jitsi instance had engagement from about 20 people from around the globe.

          Topics discussed in the two-hour session focused on addressing pain points, transferring knowledge and promoting openSUSE projects.

          Members of the “let’s improve the openSUSE learning experience” shared statics and analysis from the survey and attendees engaged in generating ideas and actions to enhance and improve the above mentioned items.

      • Arch Family

        • Kubernetes on Hetzner in 2021

          Hello and welcome to my little Kubernetes on Hetzner tutorial for the first half of 2021. This tutorial will help you bootstrapping a Kubernetes Cluster on Hetzner with KubeOne. I am writing this small tutorial, because I had some trouble to bootstrap a cluster on Hetzner with KubeOne. But first of all let us dive into the question why we even need KubeOne and how does KubeOne helps. KubeOne is a small wrapper around kubeadm. Kubeadm is the official tool for installing Kubernetes on VMs or bare-metal nodes, but it has one major disadvantage: It is very toilsome. KubeOne tries to solve this with providing you a wrapper around Kubeadm and various other provisioning tools like Terraform. Terraform lets you manage your infrastructure as code. The advantage is that you can easily destroy, deploy or enhance your infrastructure via a few config file changes. You may ask yourself why you even need this tutorial. There is already at least one tutorial that guides you through the process of setting up a Kubernetes cluster on Hetzner. This is correct, but I felt it is unnecessary complicated, takes too much manual steps and is not really automatable (although there are solutions like kubespray that intend to solve this).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora preemptively turns off Chromium usage of private Google Sync APIs

          Fedora has jumped seven weeks before Google ends the Linux distribution’s use of the Google Chrome Sync service within the Chromium browser.

          The Sync service allows users to keep data such as browser history, login details, and bookmarks synced between different devices.

          Earlier this month, Google said it completed an audit, and was restricting the open source version of Chrome from accessing those APIs “that are only intended for Google’s use”.

          Notifying Fedora users over the weekend, Chromium maintainer for the distribution Tom Callaway said the change will make the program “significantly less functional”.


          To that end though, by closing off the service, Fedora is able to fix 26 security vulnerabilities. Version 88.0.4324.96-1 of Fedora Chromium will be the first to have Sync disabled, and landed as an update in repositories over the weekend.

          Google said it would be locking down access to the Sync service on March 15. Some Chromium-based browsers do offer a non-Google sync solution.

        • IBM Cloud Now: GitLab Ultimate for IBM Cloud Paks, Security Insights, and WebSphere Hybrid Edition
        • Technically Speaking: Season 1 Trailer

          Join Red Hat CTO Chris Wright and a rotating cast of experts and industry leaders for the first season of the all-new Technically Speaking. In each episode, Chris will explore what’s on the horizon for open source and topics like cloud, AI/ML, edge, 5G, blockchain, and more. The first episode drops on January 27, 2021. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to tune in.

        • To plug gap left by CentOS, Red Hat amends RHEL dev subscription to allow up to 16 systems in production

          Red Hat, which is killing CentOS Linux in favour of CentOS Stream, will extend its developer subscription to allow free production use of RHEL for up to 16 systems.

          CentOS Linux is a community build of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and therefore suitable for production use. CentOS Stream, which will remain available, is a preview build of what is likely to be in RHEL – great for testing but not ideal for production use.

          The popularity of CentOS, which drives 17.7 per cent of Linux-based web sites, according to W3Techs, has meant a strong response to Red Hat’s decision, including alternative free builds such as Rocky Linux and Project Lenix, which is now known as Alma Linux.

          Red Hat said in December that it would work to plug the gap left by CentOS with new ways to license RHEL and today’s statement is said to be “the first of many new programs.”

        • Cloud Native Patterns: a free ebook for developers

          Building cloud native applications is a challenging undertaking, especially considering the rapid evolution of cloud native computing. But it’s also very liberating and rewarding. You can develop new patterns and practices where the limitations of hardware dependent models, geography, and size no longer exist. This approach to technology can make cloud application developers more agile and efficient, even as it reduces deployment costs and increases independence from cloud service providers.

          Oracle is one of the few cloud vendors to also have a long history of providing enterprise software. Wearing both software developer and cloud service provider hats, we understand the complexity of transforming on-premises applications into cloud native applications. Removing that complexity for customers is a guiding tenet at Oracle.

        • Red Hat extends certification expiration dates and expands remote offerings

          In 2020, remote exams became the standard experience for certificate-hopefuls across many fields. Red Hat worked quickly to release four of our most in-demand exams in this format. We have seen remote exams grow rapidly in popularity with our candidates. As we roll into 2021, our list has expanded with even more offerings. Now, you can take advantage of more remote exams to validate your skills in Red Hat’s most in-demand technologies, including OpenShift, Ansible, Containers and Kubernetes, and more.

        • CloudLinux Expands Its Extended Lifecycle Support Services to Cover More End-of-Life Linux Distributions
        • CloudLinux to Offer Lifecycle Support Services for Expired Linux Distributions

          CloudLinux on Monday announced the expansion of its affordable Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) services for Linux distributions, by providing its own updates and security patches for several years after expiration of the products’ end-of-life date.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Touch Q&A 92 | Ubports
        • UBports Aiming For An Exciting 2021 With Ubuntu Touch – Phoronix

          Last week marked the last Q/A session for the UBports’ Ubuntu Touch team working to advance the Linux smartphone platform where they laid out some of their upcoming objectives.

          From the Ubuntu Touch Q&A 92 session various interesting bits of information were shared as far as their plans over the coming months for this community that continues to advance the Ubuntu Touch effort primarily for smartphones — various Android devices and also the likes of the PinePhone.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 667

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 667 for the week of January 17 – 23, 2021.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Release Date & Planned Features

          While development on Ubuntu 21.04 is still (somewhat) early, rumours are already circling about what to expect from the release that Ubuntu developers have dubbed the “Hirsute Hippo”.

          In this post we rundown everything we know so far, including when Ubuntu 21.04 will be released, how long it’ll be supported for, and what kind of new features and key changes its likely to include.

          Plus, we also give you the link to download Ubuntu 21.04 daily builds if you want to try the release out ahead of its Stable release in the spring.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi: Boot to BASIC

        40 years ago this Christmas, I got my first “personal computer”. It was a Sinclair ZX81 with 1KiB of RAM and a tape deck for storage. Every time I powered it on, like all ‘81 owners, I was greeted with this.

        A couple of taps later, and I had written some code!

        Ok, not a super auspicious creation, but it’s a start. It’s likely the same first program you wrote if you had one. Perhaps with rude words, who knows, they were fun times back in the ’80s. Through the following years I had a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K (later upgraded to 48K), a Spectrum +2 128K and an Amstrad CPC 464. All of which also booted directly to a programming language – BASIC.

      • DIN-rail gateway offers dual LAN and dual RS485

        The Unipi Gate G110 and G100 are PLC-ready DIN-rail gateways that run Linux on a quad -A53 SoC with 16GB eMMC, GbE and 10/100 LAN ports, and up to 2x RS485 ports with modular extensions.

        Czech based Unipi, which started out in 2014 with a Raspberry Pi based UniPi automation controller board and followed up with products including an Allwinner H5-based Axon automation controller, has now launched the $243 Unipi Gate G100 and $272 Unipi Gate G110 DIN-rail gateways.

      • Telematics gateway connects with Iridium, GPS, 4G, WiFi/BT, and 433MHz RFID

        Appareo’s IP67-rated, -40 to 75°C tolerant “Gateway 370” telematics gateway runs Linux on a Cortex-A9 SoC and supplies Iridium SBD, 433MHz (RFID), 4G LTE, WiFi/BT, and GPS plus LAN, BroadR-Reach, DIO, and CAN links.

        Fargo, ND based Appareo has launched a wireless telematics control unit (TCU) for heavy machinery in applications such as construction and agriculture. The Gateway 370 is based on a Gateway 270 that Appareo announced last May. That earlier model similarly provides Yocto-derived Linux with Docker container support on an unnamed dual-core, Cortex-A9 SoC — probably the i.MX6 Dual or DualLite.

      • Rugged mini-PC dips into Elkhart Lake

        Neousys unveiled a fanless, 112 x 87 x 50mm “POC-40” computer with an up to 3.0GHz, dual-core Atom x6211E plus up to 32GB DDR4, 2x GbE, 4x USB, 3x M.2, and DP, 2x serial, and isolated DIO.

        Last month, Neousys announced one of the first Intel Elkhart Lake based embedded PCs with its ultra-compact (153 x 108 x 56mm) POC-400. The company has followed up with an even smaller (112 x 87 x 50mm) and similarly rugged POC-40 using the same 10nm processor family. The industrial, DIN-rail mountable mini-PC supports applications such as space-constrained factory data collection systems, rugged edge computers, and mobile gateways.

      • Pipo W12 Arm Windows 10 Laptop finally launched for $422 and up

        The project provides a Debian image for the aforementioned Yoga C630, so with some efforts a port to Pipo W12 may be possible.

      • Firefly dual-lens AI camera module comes with Rockchip RV1109 or RV1126 processor

        The camera module runs Linux, and it supported by Rockchip RKNN toolkit working in Windows, Linux (64-bit x86 and Arm), and Mac OS. The AI camera module connects to a host platform such as an Android tablet. Considering the cameras are all fixed focus with a 80 cm focus distance, the main application is face recognition and detection. There’s no documentation in English for now, but the Chinese version of the Wiki has plenty of information and resources to get started.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Arduino Blog » Access control unit designed with a Raspberry Pi CM4 and an Arduino Micro

          Whether granting access to public transit or restricting unauthorized personnel in buildings, NFC card readers can be extremely useful. Although most might not consider how they work – and simply happy getting through a turnstile – there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.

          In his video, Daniel Raines shows off a pair of prototype access control units (ACUs) that he’s constructed. The two networked devices are each based on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 along with an Arduino Micro that controls six relays to allow or deny entry, provide feedback, fire, and lock up.

        • Arduino Blog » 2002 Audio TT dashboard gets a digital speedometer upgrade with a custom CAN bus shield

          While it’s hard to beat analog instruments for instantaneous automotive feedback, Finnish electrical engineering student Jussi Ristiniemi also wanted a digital speed readout on his 2002 Audi TT.

          His particular model normally uses the car’s controller area network (CAN) to transmit the radio station or CD track to the uppermost section of the digital display. For this speedometer mod, audio data was replaced with “KM/H” readings, supplied by the vehicle’s CAN bus system via an Arduino Nano and custom interface shield.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • ISA2 Launches New Open Source Bug Bounties

        Awards of up to EUR 5000 are available for finding security vulnerabilities in Element, Moodle and Zimbra, open source solutions used by public services across the European Union. There is a 20% bonus for providing a code fix for the bugs they discover.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Welcoming Open Web Docs to the MDN family [Ed: Mozilla outsourcing to Microsoft is a colossal mistake]

            Collaborating with the community has always been at the heart of MDN Web Docs content work — individual community members constantly make small (and not so small) fixes to help incrementally improve the content, and our partner orgs regularly come on board to help with strategy and documenting web platform features that they have an interest in.

            At the end of the 2020, we launched our new Yari platform, which exposes our content in a GitHub repo and therefore opens up many more valuable contribution opportunities than before.

            And today, we wanted to spread the word about another fantastic event for enabling more collaboration on MDN — the launch of the Open Web Docs organization.

          • Mozilla Announces “Open Web Docs” Following Last Year’s Layoffs

            Last year during the big round of layoffs at Mozilla the entire Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) writers team was laid off. That was a particularly sad blow considering how valuable the MDN documentation has been to web developers as a very useful resource. Today the Mozilla folks are announced Open Web Docs in seemingly looking to have the community take over.

            Following those unfortunate layoffs last summer, they exposed all of the Mozilla Developer Network documentation to GitHub. Now they are announcing the Open Web Docs organization.

          • A New Year, A New Hubs

            An updated look & feel for Hubs, with an all-new user interface, is now live.

            Just over two years ago, we introduced a preview release of Hubs. Our hope was to bring people together to create, socialize and collaborate around the world in a new and fun way. Since then, we’ve watched our community grow and use Hubs in ways we could only imagine. We’ve seen students use Hubs to celebrate their graduations last May, educational organizations use Hubs to help educators adapt to this new world we’re in, and heck, even NASA has used Hubs to feature new ways of working. In today’s world where we’re spending more time online, Hubs has been the go-to online place to have fun and try new experiences.

            Today’s update brings new features including a chat sidebar, a new streamlined design for desktop and mobile devices, and a support forum to help our community get the most out of their Hubs experience.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Felipe Viggiano and Zhenghua Fong

          In the future, I would like to start contributing more with others teams, and with TDF in order to help increase LibreOffice’s success. In my opinion, LibreOffice needs to be better known – we have a great free office solution that attends the majority of the requirements of the general public, but, at least in Brazil, many people are not aware of this!

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • 10 fabulous free apps for working with audio, video, and images

            You want Photoshop-like features without the Photoshop-like price tag, and, for that, there’s Gimp. Free, open-source, and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, this powerful tool can be used by graphic designers, photographers, and illustrators alike.

          • Gnuastro 0.14 released
            Dear all,
            I am happy to announce the availability of Gnuastro 0.14. For the full
            list of added and changed/improved features, see the excerpt of the
            NEWS file for this release in [1] below.
            Gnuastro is an official GNU package, consisting of various
            command-line programs and library functions for the manipulation and
            analysis of (astronomical) data. All the programs share the same basic
            command-line user interface (modeled on GNU Coreutils). For the full
            list of Gnuastro's library, programs, and a comprehensive general
            tutorial (recommended place to start using Gnuastro), please see the
            links below respectively:
            The most prominent new feature may be the new Query program (called
            with 'astquery'). It allows you to directly query many large
            astronomical data centers (currently VizieR, NED, ESA and ASTRON) and
            only download your selected columns/rows. For example with the command
            below you can download the RA, Dec and Parallax of all stars in the
            Gaia eDR3 dataset (from VizieR) that overlap with your
            'image.fits'. You just have to change '--dataset' to access any of the
            +20,000 datasets within VizieR for example! You can also search in the
            dataset metadata from the command-line, and much more.
              astquery vizier --dataset=gaiaedr3 --overlapwith=image.fits \
            See the new "Query" section in the Gnuastro book for more:
            Here is the compressed source and the GPG detached signature for this
            release. To uncompress Lzip tarballs, see [2]. To check the validity
            of the tarballs using the GPG detached signature (*.sig) see [3]:
              https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.14.tar.lz    (3.6MB)
              https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.14.tar.gz    (5.6MB)
              https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.14.tar.gz.sig (833B)
              https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.14.tar.lz.sig (833B)
            Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums:
            30d77e2ad1c03d4946d06e4062252969  gnuastro-0.14.tar.gz
            f3ddbc4b5763ec2742f9080d42b69ed3  gnuastro-0.14.tar.lz
            cfbcd4b9ae1c5c648c5dc266d638659f0117c816  gnuastro-0.14.tar.gz
            4e4c6b678095d2838f77b2faae584ea51df2d33c  gnuastro-0.14.tar.lz
            I am very grateful to (in alphabetic order) Pedram Ashofteh Ardakani,
            Thérèse Godefroy, Raúl Infante-Sainz, Sachin Kumar Singh, Samane Raji
            and Zahra Sharbaf for directly contributing to the source of Gnuastro
            since the last alpha-release. It is great that in this release we have
            an equal gender balance in the contributors. I sincerely hope this can
            continue in the next release :-).
            I am also very grateful to (in alphabetic order) Antonio Diaz Diaz,
            Paul Eggert, Andrés García-Serra Romero, Thérèse Godefroy, Bruno
            Haible, Martin Kuemmel, Javier Licandro, Alireza Molaeinezhad, Javier
            Moldon, Sebastian Luna Valero, Samane Raji, Alberto Madrigal, Carlos
            Morales Socorro, Francois Ochsenbein, Joanna Sakowska, Zahra Sharbaf,
            Sachin Kumar Singh, Ignacio Trujillo and Xiuqin Wu for their very
            useful comments, suggestions and bug fixes that have now been
            implemented in Gnuastro since the last alpha-release.
            If any of Gnuastro's programs or libraries are useful in your work,
            please cite _and_ acknowledge them. For citation and acknowledgment
            guidelines, run the relevant programs with a `--cite' option (it can
            be different for different programs, so run it for all the programs
            you use). Citations _and_ acknowledgments are vital for the continued
            work on Gnuastro, so please don't forget to support us by doing so.
            This tarball was bootstrapped (created) with the tools below. Note
            that you don't need these to build Gnuastro from the tarball, these
            are the tools that were used to make the tarball itself. They are only
            mentioned here to be able to reproduce/recreate this tarball later.
              Texinfo 6.7
              Autoconf 2.70
              Automake 1.16.2
              Help2man 1.47.17
              ImageMagick 7.0.10-59
              Gnulib v0.1-4396-g3b732e789
              Autoconf archives v2019.01.06-98-gefa6f20
            The dependencies to build Gnuastro from this tarball on your system
            are described here:
            Best wishes,
        • Licensing/Legal

          • Amazon Creates ALv2-Licensed Fork of Elasticsearch

            Amazon states that their forks of Elasticsearch and Kibana will be based on the latest ALv2-licensed codebases, version 7.10. “We will publish new GitHub repositories in the next few weeks. In time, both will be included in the existing Open Distro distributions, replacing the ALv2 builds provided by Elastic. We’re in this for the long haul, and will work in a way that fosters healthy and sustainable open source practices—including implementing shared project governance with a community of contributors,” the announcement says.

          • Elasticsearch and Kibana are now business risks

            In a play to convert users of their open source projects into paying customers, today Elastic announced that they are changing the license of both Elasticsearch and Kibana from the open source Apache v2 license to Server Side Public License (SSPL). If your organisation uses the open source versions of either Elasticsearch or Kibana in its products or projects, it is now at risk of being forced to release its intellectual property under terms dictated by another.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Wikipedia Turns Twenty

            If there is a modern equivalent to Encyclopédie for cultural impact, scale of content, and controversy, it’s surely Wikipedia, the free open-source online encyclopedia run by the not-for-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Started by entrepreneurs Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger on January 15th, 2001, it has since grown to become one of the world’s top 15 websites with a vast database of 55 million articles in 317 languages, as well as a family of related projects covering everything from travel guides to recipes. Beloved of geeks, friend to lazy students and journalists alike, and bane to procrastinators, it celebrates its 20th birthday this month.

            It’s hard to overstate just how much information is on Wikipedia. You can instantly find the average July temperature in Lisbon, the difference between an ale and a lager, the historical background to the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, or the full list of 10 ways a batsman can be out in cricket. The illustrated article on aguaxima includes far more information than Diderot’s effort, and readers can find a far more accurate article on religion in Sweden. These articles all link to their sources, so a reader can do their own fact-checking.

            There is one more crucial difference between Encyclopédie and Wikipedia, though. Encyclopédie’s subscribers needed to pay 280 livres for it, far beyond the wages of an ordinary person. But anyone who can afford a device with an Internet connection can access Wikipedia wherever they go. This accessibility was game-changing.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dustin J. Mitchell: The Horrors of Partial-Identity Encodings — or — URL Encoding Is Hard

          URL encoding is a pretty simple thing, and has been around forever. Yet, it is associated with a significant fraction of bugs in web frameworks, libraries, and applications. Why is that? Is there a larger lesson here?

        • Enrico Zini: nspawn-runner: support for image selection

          .gitlab-ci.yml supports ‘image’ to allow selecting in which environment the script gets run. The documentation says “Used to specify a Docker image to use for the job”, but it’s clearly a bug in the documentation, because we can do it with nspawn-runner, too.

          It turns out that most of the environment variables available to CI runs are also available to custom runner scripts. In this case, the value passed as image can be found as $CUSTOM_ENV_CI_JOB_IMAGE in the custom runner scripts environment.

        • Introduction to Making GraphQL APIs and Apps in Node.js – Linux Hint

          The communication and data transfer between the front end and backend of any application occurs through APIs (Application Programming Interface). There are many different types of APIs used to communicate between the front and back-end applications like RESTful API, SOAP API, GraphQL API, etc. The GraphQL API is a relatively new technology, and it is much faster than other types of APIs available. Fetching data from the database using GraphQL api is much faster than the REST API. While using GraphQL API, the client has control to fetch only the required data instead of getting all the details; that is why GraphQL API works faster than REST API.

        • Issue with phpMyAdmin and PHP: Warning in ./libraries/sql.lib.php#613 count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable”

          Today, I had installed PHP 7.3 and phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system. I am using MariaDB as database server running on the same instance. When I tried to access data in tables using phpMyAdmin got the following error message on screen.

        • C++ Access Specifiers – Linux Hint

          In C++, a class is a set of variables and functions that have been configured to work together. When the variables of the class are given values, an object is obtained. An object has the same variables and functions as a class, but this time, the variables have values. Many objects can be created from one class. One object differs from another object according to the different set of values assigned to the variables of the other object. Creating an object from a class is said to be instantiating the object. Even if two different objects have the same values for their variables, these objects are different entities, identified by different names in the program. The variables for an object and its corresponding class are called data members. The functions of an object and its corresponding class are called member functions. Data members and member functions are called members.

          The word access means to read or change the value of a variable, and it also means to use a function. C++ access specifiers are the words, “private,” “protected,” and “public.” They decide whether a member can access other members of its class, or if a function or operator outside the class and not belonging to the class can access any member of the class. They also decide whether a member of a derived (child) class can access a member of a parent class.

          Basic knowledge of C++ is required to understand this article and to test the code provided.

        • Compiling Code in Parallel using Make – Linux Hint

          Whoever you ask how to build software properly will come up with Make as one of the answers. On GNU/Linux systems, GNU Make [1] is the Open-Source version of the original Make that was released more than 40 years ago — in 1976. Make works with a Makefile — a structured plain text file with that name that can be best described as the construction manual for the software building process. The Makefile contains a number of labels (called targets) and the specific instructions needed to be executed to build each target.

          Simply speaking, Make is a build tool. It follows the recipe of tasks from the Makefile. It allows you to repeat the steps in an automated fashion rather than typing them in a terminal (and probably making mistakes while typing).

          Listing 1 shows an example Makefile with the two targets “e1” and “e2” as well as the two special targets “all” and “clean.” Running “make e1” executes the instructions for target “e1” and creates the empty file one. Running “make e2” does the same for target “e2” and creates the empty file two. The call of “make all” executes the instructions for target e1 first and e2 next. To remove the previously created files one and two, simply execute the call “make clean.”

        • Zeal – simple offline documentation browser

          Zeal is billed as a simple offline documentation browser. It offers easy access to a huge database of documentation, API manuals, and code snippets.

          The main purpose of the software is to enable you to have reference documentation at your fingertips. Let’s see how it fares.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.04 Grant Reporting
          • The Trouble with Reference Counting

            Perl uses a simple form of garbage collection (GC) called reference counting. Every variable created by a Perl program has a refcnt associated with it. If the program creates a reference to the variable, Perl increments its refcnt. Whenever Perl exits a block it reclaims any variables that belong to the block scope. If any are references, their referenced values’ refcnt are either decremented or they’re reclaimed as well if no other references to them remain.

        • Python

          • How to Use Python NumPy Array – Linux Hint

            Many libraries exist in Python to perform different types of tasks. NumPy is one of them. The full form of NumPy is Numerical Python, and it is mainly used for scientific computing. Multi-dimensional array objects can be defined by using this library that is called the Python NumPy array. Different types of functions exist in the NumPy library to create the array. NumPy array can be generated from the python list of numeric data, range of data, and random data. How NumPy array can be created and used to do different operations types have shown in this tutorial.

          • How to Use Python NumPy arange() Function – Linux Hint

            Many functions exist in the Python NumPy library to perform different types of numerical and scientific operations. Creating different types of arrays for various purposes is one of the practical uses of the NumPy library. Python has a built-in function named arange() to create a list of sequential numbers. arange() is one of the array creation functions of the NumPy library to create an array of numeric ranges. The uses of the NumPy arange() function have explained in this tutorial.

          • How to Use Python NumPy reshape() Function – Linux Hint

            NumPy library has many functions to work with the multi-dimensional array. reshape () function is one of them that is used to change the shape of any existing array without changing the data. The shape defines the total number of elements in each dimension. The array’s dimension can be added or removed, and the number of elements in each dimension can be modified by using the reshape() function. The one-dimensional array can be converted into a multi-dimensional array, but the multi-dimensional array can’t be converted into a one-dimensional array by this function. How to reshape() function works and its uses are explained in this tutorial.

          • How to Use Python NumPy zeros() and ones() Functions – Linux Hint

            NumPy library is one of the useful libraries of python that can be used to create arrays. zeros() and ones() are the NumPy library functions to create two different arrays. zeros() function is used to create an array based on the particular shape and type. All array elements are initialized to 0, which is created by the zeros() function. ones() function works like the zeros() function. But the elements of the array created by the ones() function are initialized to 1. The uses of both functions have shown in this tutorial by using multiple examples.

          • How to convert Python NumPy array to python list – Linux Hint

            Array object is used to store multiple values, and the list object is used in Python to do a similar task to an array object. NumPy array object is used to do different types of numerical operations in Python. The multi-dimensional array can be created by using this library. NumPy library has a built-in tolist() function to convert the NumPy array to the python list. This function does not take any argument and returns the python list. If the array is one-dimensional, then the function will return a simple python list. If the array is multi-dimensional, then the array will return the nested python list. If the array’s dimension is 0, then the function will return a python scalar variable instead of a list. How tolist() function can convert different types of NumPy array to python list is shown in this tutorial.

          • How to install NumPy python development environment on Ubuntu – Linux Hint

            Python is a modern programming language now for supporting a large number of libraries. Various types of tasks can be done by using these libraries. NumPy is one of the useful libraries of Python to perform scientific operations. This library can be used to create a multi-dimensional array of objects. Different types of mathematical tasks can be done quickly using this library, such as sorting the array, reshaping array, statistical operation, arithmetical operations, etc. It works faster because it is developed by using the C programming language.

          • Python Unittest Tutorial

            Unit testing is a testing method used in software engineering for individual units of any code. Users can put the individual tests to determine the status of the source and how much the code is suitable to be used. This way users can test the code quality.

            Testing is done once the process of development is complete. Users can also begin testing when the test script is to be verified based on the criteria of the testing. Developers are expected to write the manual types of the source code. Generally, manually writing unit testing codes is a hectic task but in Python, it is done using an in-built function called unittest.

          • pip 21.0 has now been released

            The Python Packaging Authority (PyPA) has announced the release of pip 21.0. This version removes Python 2.7 and 3.5 support, and drops support for legacy cache entries from pip < 20.0.

          • pip 21.0 has now been released
            # Announcement: pip 21.0 has now been released
            On behalf of the PyPA, I am pleased to announce that we have just released pip 21.0, a new version
            of pip. You can install it by running `python -m pip install --upgrade pip`.
            This is the first scheduled release of pip in 2021, following our regular [quarterly release
            ## Highlights
            - Removal of Python 2.7 and 3.5 support.
            - Dropped support for legacy cache entries from pip < 20.0.
            You can find more details (including deprecations and removals) in the
            ## Regarding Python 2 support
            We've also released pip 20.3.4, which contains certain bugfixes for Python 2 users. It is our final
            Python 2 compatible release, and there are no future Python 2 compatible releases planned.
            Python 2 users will need to continue using a version of pip older than 21.0. Upgrading via pip will
            select a suitable version, because this release is marked as not supporting Python 2. However, if
            you are upgrading from a version of pip older than 9.0.0, that does not support the
            `Requires-Python` metadata, you may need to explicitly request `pip < 21.0`.
            A Python 2.7 compatible version of `get-pip.py` is available at <https://bootstrap.pypa.io/2.7/>.
            ## Thanks
            As with all pip releases, a significant amount of the work was contributed by pip’s user community.
            Huge thanks to all who have contributed, whether through code, documentation, issue reports and/or
            discussion. Your help keeps pip improving, and is hugely appreciated.
        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • An Introduction to Bash Brace Expansion

            The Borne Again Shell (BASH) has a lot of great features that it borrows from other shells and even from some programming languages. It was created in the late 1980s in a response to a lacking in the current available shells on Berkley Distributions (BSD), and the predecessor to Linux, GNU. BASH features numerous in-built features such as in-line scripting capabilities like brace expansion, which we are going to examine today.

  • Leftovers

    • NBCUniversal, Twitter Strike Global Content and Ad Sales Partnership

      NBCUniversal and Twitter have signed a multi-year, global partnership covering advertising sales and content across the international footprint of the media and entertainment giant.

      While Twitter and NBCUniversal have been partners going back to 2013, the new deal’s global nature marks a significant expansion.

    • Hardware

      • Television-makers are pitting rival technologies against each other

        Despite their similar acronyms, LED sets and OLED sets work in substantially different ways. Indeed, the term LED is a bit of a misnomer for the former. The crucial parts of the screen are actually the liquid crystals. These are tiny, electronically manipulated shutters that permit or prevent the passage of light. Individual picture elements, known as pixels, consist of a trio of these shutters, each masking a filter that passes light of one of the primary colours, red, green or blue. Behind all this paraphernalia is a strong white backlight which is, indeed, generated these days by light-emitting diodes, but which was once the product of fluorescent bulbs. A pixel’s hue in an LED set is determined by how open or closed each of its shutters is, and thus what mixture of primaries gets through them.

        An OLED TV, by contrast, has no backlighting. Its pixels are layers of organic materials that emit light of their own when stimulated by an electric current. Different organic materials emit light of different frequencies, so different colours can be mixed in this way.

        There is also one other difference. When an OLED pixel is switched off, it relaxes to a deep, dark black. Even when closed, however, the shutters of an LED system permit some of the backlight to sneak through. The result is not so much black as grey, which reduces the contrast between illuminated and unilluminated pixels.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple’s Hardware Chief Leaves Post for Unnamed New Project

          Apple Inc. said top hardware executive Dan Riccio is stepping down from his role to lead a new project at the company and John Ternus, one of his top lieutenants, will replace him.

          Riccio has been senior vice president of hardware engineering since 2012, overseeing development of the hardware in the iPhone, iPad, Mac and audio products like the AirPods and HomePod. Ternus, who Bloomberg reported last year was poised to replace Riccio, has been vice president of hardware engineering since 2013, and was most recently leading the iPhone, Mac and iPad engineering groups.

        • Apple has a new head of hardware engineering in latest executive shuffle

          Apple’s hardware team is getting its biggest shakeup in nearly a decade, as Dan Riccio — who served as the company’s senior vice president of hardware engineering since 2012 — transitions to “a new role” at the company. He’ll be replaced as Apple’s head hardware engineer by John Ternus, who led the hardware team designing the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, in addition to working on Apple’s M1 chips. Ternus has been vice president of hardware engineering at Apple since 2013.

          The role of senior vice president of hardware engineering at Apple is a key one: the position reports directly to CEO Tim Cook and is responsible for leading the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod engineering teams. Ternus’ new role will put him in charge of the company’s hardware efforts, much in the same way that Craig Federighi — Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering — runs the development of iOS and macOS.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (crmsh, debian-security-support, flatpak, gst-plugins-bad1.0, openvswitch, python-bottle, salt, tomcat9, and vlc), Fedora (chromium, python-pillow, sddm, and xen), Gentoo (chromium, dnsmasq, flatpak, glibc, kdeconnect, openjdk, python, thunderbird, virtualbox, and wireshark), Mageia (blosc, crmsh, glibc, perl-DBI, php-oojs-oojs-ui, python-pip, python-urllib3, and undertow), openSUSE (gdk-pixbuf, hawk2, ImageMagick, opera, python-autobahn, viewvc, wavpack, and xstream), Red Hat (dnsmasq), Slackware (seamonkey), SUSE (hawk2, ImageMagick, mutt, permissions, and stunnel), and Ubuntu (pound).

          • Apache Software Foundation Security Report: 2020

            Synopsis: This report explores the state of security across all Apache Software Foundation projects for the calendar year 2020. We review key metrics, specific vulnerabilities, and the most common ways users of ASF projects were affected by security issues.

          • Apache Software Foundation Saw Assigned CVEs Up 24%, Security Issues Up 53% For 2020

            The Apache Software Foundation that oversees 340+ Apache projects saw a measurable rise in security related issues during the course of 2020.

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

            • QNAP urges users to secure against Dovecat crypto-mining malware [Ed: The part about "infect NAS devices when they’re connected to the internet with weak passwords" suggests it's a user error]

              QNAP has warned its customers that their network-attached storage (NAS) drives might be susceptible to infection by a malware strain known as Dovecat, which infects devices and silently mines cryptocurrency.


              The firm has issued a security advisory warning its users about Dovecat, which might infect NAS devices when they’re connected to the internet with weak passwords, according to QNAP’s analysis.

            • This new botnet is targeting Linux servers running enterprise apps [Ed: TechRadar foolishly perpetuating ZDNet garbage]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Tor 2020 Fundraising Results: Thank You!

              We believe Tor is strongest when it is used by and supported by as many people as possible. A diverse user base strengthens the anonymity of Tor users, and diverse funding sources ensure we are beholden to our mission—no single financial source. You showed us the reality of this idea over the past year.

              It’s no surprise that the Tor Project faced many uncertainties in our funding sources at the beginning of 2020 when the pandemic changed the world. In the spring, we saw a sharp decrease in individual donations. We watched as all of our planned in-person events, during which we previously raised a significant percentage of our funds, were canceled. Foundations also quickly changed their funding plans to respond to the new challenges of the pandemic. The impact of the pandemic and its economic ripple effects were severe enough that we had to make the difficult choice to lay off one third of the Tor Project staff in order to keep Tor steady through uncertainty. 

            • Why your browser’s password manager isn’t good enough

              Password managers offer other benefits, too. Browsers revolve around your account alone, but password managers include features that help you easily and securely share passwords with other people—helpful if someone needs to use your Wi-Fi, or a coworker needs access to a joint account, or if you want to share your Netflix password with your parents. Sharing login details is a pain if the information is stored deep in your browser.

            • ‘It’s ugly’: Verizon 5G data boxes appear without notice on Houston front lawns

              In the jargon of telecommunications, the box is known as “ground furniture.” The beige metal cabinets, with an electrical meter affixed, supply power and a high-speed fiber connection to a transmitter on Verizon’s wireless data network. They are popping up on lawns all over Houston, and in other cities around the United States, often without notice to homeowners.

              It is part of the rush to build out the next-generation wireless network called 5G — even if it means ticking off residents. Norman Ewart, a retired lawyer who lives in the Rice Memorial area, said one of the boxes was placed outside his front gate. He complained to Verizon- but the box remains in place.

            • Facebook users’ phone numbers are for sale through a Telegram bot

              Someone has gotten their hands on a database full of Facebook users’ phone numbers, and is now selling that data using a Telegram bot, according to a report by Motherboard. The security researcher who found this vulnerability, Alon Gal, says that the person who runs the bot claims to have the information of 533 million users, which came from a Facebook vulnerability that was patched in 2019.

              With many databases, some amount of technical skill is required to find any useful data. And there often has to be an interaction between the person with the database and the person trying to get information out of it, as the database’s “owner” isn’t going to just give someone else all that valuable data. Making a Telegram bot, however, solves both of these issues.

            • The battle inside Signal

              On January 6th, WhatsApp users around the world began seeing a pop-up message notifying them of upcoming changes to the service’s privacy policy. The changes were designed to enable businesses to send and store messages to WhatsApp’s 2 billion-plus users, but they came with an ultimatum: agree by February 8th, or you can no longer use the app.

              The resulting furor sparked a backlash that led Facebook-owned WhatsApp to delay the policy from taking effect until May. In the meantime, though, tens of millions of users began seeking alternatives to Facebook’s suite of products. Among the biggest beneficiaries has been Signal, the encrypted messaging app whose development is funded by a nonprofit organization. Last month, according to one research firm, the six-year-old app had about 20 million users worldwide. But in a 12-hour period the Sunday after WhatsApp’s privacy policy update began, Signal added another 2 million users, an employee familiar with the matter told me. Days of temporary outages followed.

            • India to permanently ban 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok

              India has permanently blocked 59 Chinese apps including TikTok almost seven months after issuing show-cause notices to ban them following a prolonged border standoff with China.

              The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in new notices to the apps last week, has said their answers and clarifications following the ban were found to be inadequate. As a result, the temporary block has now been made permanent.

            • Twitter launches Birdwatch, a fact-checking program intended to fight misinformation

              Twitter has launched its Birdwatch program, meant to address misinformation on the platform by allowing users to fact-check tweets, the company announced Monday. Users in the pilot program, which will only include about 1,000 users in the US to start, will eventually be able to add notes to tweets to provide context.

            • Twitter launches user forum to combat misinformation

              Twitter on Monday launched a new feature aimed at combating misinformation on the platform through a community of users.

              The standalone section, titled “Birdwatch,” will allow users to discuss and provide context to tweets.

              The feature will first be launched as a pilot for a small set of users on a first-come, first-served basis. The selection will not give priority to fact-checkers or high-profile accounts.

            • Facebook to grant access to targeting information about political ads

              Facebook will launch a new tool next week that will grant access for researchers regarding the targeting information used for social issues, electoral and political ads, the company said Monday.

              The Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) platform will enable researchers who are granted access the ability to review data about ads including those that ran during the three-month period leading up to Election Day.

            • Grindr fined $11.7 million for illegally sharing private user information with advertisers

              Grindr will be fined 100 million Norwegian kroner, or about $11.7 million, by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority for illegally sharing private information about Grindr users to advertisers, according to The New York Times.

            • Grindr is fined $11.7 million under European privacy law.

              The Norwegian Data Protection Authority said on Monday that it would fine Grindr, the world’s most popular gay dating app, 100 million Norwegian kroner, or about $11.7 million, for illegally disclosing private details about its users to advertising companies.

              The agency said the app had transmitted users’ precise locations, user-tracking codes and the app’s name to at least five advertising companies, essentially tagging individuals as L.G.B.T.Q. without obtaining their explicit consent, in violation of European data protection law. Grindr shared users’ private details with, among other companies, MoPub, Twitter’s mobile advertising platform, which may in turn share data with more than 100 partners, according to the agency’s ruling.

            • One more little, BIG reason why Facebook REALLY sucks

              Facebook sucks. If you still disagree, go here. What is less discussed is that Facebook also sucks in a particulary obnoxious way that I first noticed years ago, but had forgotten until last week.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Biden administration’s coercive Iran policy threatens a serious new regional crisis
      • QAnon Believers Are Pushing New Trump Conspiracy Theories on TikTok

        In the week since the inauguration, QAnon believers have struggled to reconcile their worldview with the reality that Biden is president, in many cases coming up with new, increasingly bizarre theories to support their belief that Trump will soon take office once again. TikTok, which has a younger-skewing user base and has historically struggled to curb the proliferation of conspiracy theories, is one social platform currently playing host to the baseless belief that President Trump will be sworn into office on March 4th, 2021.

      • The Justice System Is Going Too Easy on the White Insurrectionists

        But the vast majority of those 800 criminals were white, which means the vast majority are walking around free, at least for now. Reports indicate that only around 125 people have been arrested so far. Most of them have been charged with relatively minor offenses. A maddening report from The Washington Post suggests that there is internal division among some in the Justice Department about whether authorities should even bring cases against all 800 insurrectionists. For some reason, people at Justice are leaking to the press that they’re worried that bringing cases against these people would “overwhelm” the courts.

        That’s an absurd claim. Every criminal court in a major metropolitan area in this country is “overwhelmed” with cases, and that was true even before Covid-19, when judges could go to work safely. Every family court in this country is overwhelmed. Every immigration court in this country is overwhelmed. Black and brown people sit in jails all across the country waiting for their cases to be heard. But we’re supposed to believe “the system” is too busy to hold accountable 800 or so white insurrectionists? What, are we worried the FBI is going to run out of organic meals to feed these people too?

      • How Parler Reveals the Alarming Trajectory of Political Violence

        Data sleuths have combed through a 70 terabyte cache of data from Parler, the now-defunct social media platform popular among the far right. Researchers have archived and mapped millions of these ethically hacked posts, wrangled by an anonymous, purportedly Austria-based hacker. The haul — potentially bigger than the WikiLeaks data dump of the Afghan War logs and the Democratic National Committee leak, combined — includes valuable evidence and planning of further attacks, mixed in with the private data of individuals who committed no crimes (along with quite a bit of pornography). The early takeaways are terrifying: According to at least one preliminary analysis, the frequency of hashtags on Parler referencing hanging or killing duly elected members of Congress more than doubled after the November elections.

        Until the nation reckons with the self-inflicted wounds stemming from an under-regulated, unreformed social media information architecture, President Biden’s calls for healing and national unity won’t produce substantial, lasting results. The new administration needs a long-term plan to confront the escalating threat, as far-right insurgents migrate from one platform to the next.

      • US House Delivers Impeachment Articles to Senate

        The U.S. House of Representatives has officially sent its articles of impeachment to the Senate, charging former President Donald Trump with inciting insurrection in connection with the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters earlier this month.

        House lawmakers who will serve as prosecutors in the impeachment trial made the ceremonial walk to the Senate chamber Monday evening to deliver the articles.

      • Indian, Chinese troops in new border brawl: reports

        The incident happened last week at the Naku La pass in Sikkim state, the sources told AFP. Media reports quoted Indian military officials as saying there were casualties on both sides.

        A Chinese patrol tried to cross into Indian territory and was forced back, the officials said.

        Naku La connects Sikkim to the Tibet region in China.

      • Terror watchdog to probe fears of growing radicalisation in prisons

        Jonathan Hall QC said there had been a “steady drumbeat” of terror attacks on prison officers while other inmates were coming under the influence of “high status” terrorist prisoners.

        Mr Hall, the Government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said that if terrorist activity was taking place in jails then it had to be dealt with.

      • [Old] Deradicalisation doesn’t work, says terror watchdog

        Mr Hall told The Times that although there was no harm in offering schemes such as theological mentoring, the public should be under “no illusion” that they would be effective. He said that it was essential to run them alongside heavy supervision regimes and offered backing for government plans to make.

    • Environment

      • Enough ‘Blah Blah Blah’ From Global Elites, Greta Thunberg Declares at Digital Davos

        “I’m only here to once again remind you of the emergency we are in. The crisis that you and your predecessors have created and inflicted upon us.”

      • Extreme drought and fire risk may double by 2060

        Climate change may soon double the impact of extreme drought and fire. And it’s a two-way traffic.

      • Energy

        • Biden wants to replace government fleet with electric vehicles

          President Joe Biden will start the process of phasing out the federal government’s use of gas-powered vehicles and replacing them with ones that run on electricity. The announcement is the fulfillment of a promise Biden made on the campaign trail to swap government fleet vehicles with American-made EVs.

        • Harvard and Yale Endowments Among Those Reportedly Buying Crypto

          Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University and the University of Michigan are among schools whose multibillion-dollar endowments have begun buying cryptocurrency directly on exchanges, according to a report.

          Numerous large U.S. university endowments have been buying cryptocurrency on exchanges, CoinDesk reported, citing two people familiar with the situation. A lot of endowments are allocating a small portion to crypto, and most have been in for at least a year, CoinDesk cited one of the people as saying.

        • Oil prices edge lower as Covid-19 lockdown concerns overshadow demand prospects

          Some support for prices has come in recent weeks from additional production cuts from the world’s top exporter, Saudi Arabia.

          But investors are watching for a resumption of talks between the United States and Iran on a nuclear accord — which could see Washington lifting sanctions on Tehran’s oil exports, boosting supply.

          Iran’s oil minister said on Friday the country’s oil exports have climbed in recent months and its sales of petroleum products to foreign buyers reached record highs despite US sanctions.

        • [Old] Stranded Assets Are Now Everywhere

          Stranded assets used to be a niche idea. The concept that fossil fuel infrastructure wouldn’t be used is one that’s been championed over the last decade by the U.K.’s Carbon Tracker think tank. These days, financial regulators have joined in. That prophecy has certainly been on display in the oil and gas sector over the past few weeks. And everywhere else.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Exclusive: Google workers across the globe announce international union alliance to hold Alphabet accountable

        Google workers across the world are coming together to form a global union alliance. The newly formed coalition, called Alpha Global, is comprised of 13 different unions representing workers in 10 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Switzerland.

        The announcement comes weeks after workers in the US and Canada launched the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU), a minority union affiliated with the Communications Workers of America. AWU grew from 230 members to more than 700 within a week after it launched.

        Alpha Global is affiliated with the UNI Global Union, a federation of labor unions representing 20 million people worldwide, including workers at Amazon.

      • Time to speak up on Tibet

        The TPSA is critical of China’s efforts to control and command the soul of Tibetan Buddhism. China’s 2007 enactment of a law to manage the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama was criticised by the US as violation of religious rights and practices and it has, through the TPSA, provided for sanctions on Chinese officials and others involved in such efforts.

        The TPSA also notes the water diversion projects undertaken by China and its drastic impact on 1.8 billion people downstream. The TPSA commended the delegation of political responsibilities by the Dalai Lama to the elected representatives in 2011 and authorised over $26 million in support of various Tibetan activities.

      • Kidnapped Christian Professor in Nigeria Released, Sources Say

        A professor at a Christian university has reportedly been released after being kidnapped in Nigeria, which leads the world in abductions of Christians, sources said.

        John Fatokun, professor of computational mathematics and numerical analysis and deputy vice chancellor of Anchor University in Lagos, was released on Wednesday (Jan. 20) after suspected Fulani herdsmen captured him on Monday (Jan. 18) as he travelled from Jos to Nasarawa state.

      • The TSA Stooges

        A dude lived at O’Hare Airport for three months. The TSA — observant, ever-watchful repurposed mall food court workers dressed in cop suits — never spotted him. It was United Airlines employees who finally were all, “Hey, bro…can we see some ID?”

      • How Covid-19 Threatens Native Languages

        Over four centuries, nine out of 10 Native Americans perished from war or disease. Now our people are dying from Covid-19 at extraordinarily high rates across the country. North and South Dakota, home to the Lakota reservations, lead the United States for coronavirus rates per capita. We are losing more than friends and family members; we are losing the language spoken by our elders, the lifeblood of our people and the very essence of who we are.

        Last year I lost my uncle Jesse (Jay) Taken Alive and his wife, Cheryl, to the virus. My uncle, a former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, was a leading proponent of efforts to revitalize the Lakota and Dakota language. Lakota and Dakota are dialects of the same language; if you speak one, it is easy to understand the other, though some words and accents are different. After he retired from politics, he taught our language to public-school children.

        The task is urgent. In 2020, there were only 230 native Dakota and Lakota speakers on the Standing Rock Reservation. Two hundred and thirty speakers — down from 350 in 2006, according to the tribe’s surveys. There are only a couple of thousand speakers, in total, in the United States and Canada.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • To all the streaming services you’ve never heard of before

        The competition for streaming services is playing out in the same way the tech industry has over the past decade: a small handful of big names, backed by a lot of money.

        But for every Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and Hulu, there are a dozen smaller, more obscure streaming services — many of which you’ve likely never heard of. In fact, let’s see if you can tell the difference between the names of real streaming platforms and ones we’ve made up.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • FOSS Patents: Leapfrogging to Luxembourg: Munich I Regional Court refers to the CJEU the question of access to preliminary injunctions over untested patents

          I sharply disagree in policy terms (too many junk patents out there to justify preliminary injunctions unless a patent has been battle-tested). If the CJEU lowered the hurdle for patent PIs, that would have terrible repercussions all over Europe.

          Therefore, I call on large companies and industry associations interested in balanced patent policy to get in touch with defendant Harting Technology Group (found the name in a Juve Patent article) and push back really hard. In my view, one cannot prevent the referral from happening; just like Nokia, one could try to delay it. But when it happens, it will be key to ensure that the governments of as many EU member states as possible understand the huge patent quality problem that justifies the stance of the Dusseldorf, Karlsruhe (for Mannheim) and Munich appeals courts on patent PIs.

          Despite my disagreement, I want to be fair. It’s no secret that the patentee-friendly leanings of both patent-specialized divisions of the Munich court are too extreme for my taste. And I criticized this particular division’s covidiocies last year. But that doesn’t mean they’re not good at what they do, even if what they do is bad for the economy.

          They phrased their question clearly and concisely, while the Dusseldorf court’s component-level licensing questions are at least twice as long as they’d have to be.

          Lower courts have the right to make those referrals to the CJEU, and in this particular case, the Munich court accurately notes that the higher regional courts’ (regional appeals courts’) decisions on PIs aren’t reviewable. So if the Munich judges are concerned about a misapplication of EU law, this referral is the only option they have to fix what they, in their pro-patentee radicalism, consider to be a problem. I view the status quo as a pragmatic solution because otherwise you’d see PIs over patents in Germany all the time, and they’d give the prevailing patentees so much leverage that hardly any of those patents-in-suit would ever come to a validity judgment by the Federal Patent Court (or be reexamined by the European Patent Office in an opposition proceeding).

        • Is this an improved system, or mere automation?

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed on validity — rejecting the defendant’s eligibility and obviousness argument — as well as infringement. The appellate court did find problems with the ongoing royalty (as well as the award of supplemental damages for ongoing infringement during the course of the lawsuit). However, the appellate found problem’s with the ongoing royalty because one of the two-infringed patents has now expired. “Here, the record does not support that a later jury would have calculated a royalty of $400 per wash as a royalty award for infringement of the ’262 patent alone.” The majority opinion was penned by Judge Schall and joined by Judge O’Malley. Judge Dyk wrote in dissent — arguing that the claims should be deemed invalid as directed toward an unpatentable abstract idea.

        • Proper Venue in ANDA cases. [Ed: The patent zealots amplifying PhRMA, a truly malicious lobby [1, 2]]

          PhRMA has filed an interesting brief arguing that proper-venue in ANDA patent-infringement cases under §271(e)(2) should be determined under the general venue statute (28 U.S.C. §1391) rather than the patent-specific venue statute (28 U.S.C. §1400(b)).

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