On the Terms Master, Main and Abuse

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:04 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

Free and open source software communities recently spent a lot of time and effort on renaming the master branches in Git repositories to main, or some other name, due to the association of the word master with the horror of slavery.

I plan to tackle the slavery issue in a separate blog. In this blog, my target is the misappropriation of the word abuse.

If we are sincere about abandoning the word master, we also need to stop using the word abuse, except in those situations where it is legitimate to use that word.

Abuse has a clear meaning. In the last week, we’ve seen women speak up about rape in Australia’s parliament and misogyny on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

These are incredibly serious accusations.

The Buffy accusations are remarkably similar to the accusations against Matthias Kirschner, President of FSFE. The free software community elected me as a community representative in that organization. In 2018, after observing the culture of threats and blackmail, I resigned in disgust. Each new revelation about FSFE only confirms that I made the right decision to distance myself from those people.

Yet the accusations from the Australian parliament are even more disturbing. Having visited there on multiple occasions, I couldn’t help contemplating the possibility that I may have visited the same office where this crime took place.

In the photo below, there may even be an unintended hint of male entitlement: I’m wandering around Australia’s capitol in a t-shirt. It may simply be a reflection of how we live in Australia, the minimum dress code for visiting parliament doesn’t set a very high bar. That particular t-shirt isn’t easy to come by. The woman on the left is Senator Stott-Despoja, Australia’s youngest woman in parliament and subsequently Australia’s ambassador for women and girls. How shocking would it be if the crime took place in the same room where we took this photo?

The Debian Project is one of the oldest GNU/Linux distributions. In the 27 years of its existence, so-called leaders have never published a consolidated financial report. When people asked about the Google $300,000 obfuscated by $300,000 from the Handshake Foundation, leaders classified all questions as abuse. When oligarchs behave like this and use the word abuse to deflect questions about accountability, they are trivializing real victims of abuse.

The people who hid that money from the rest of us simply have no right to use the word abuse. Ever.

The situation in Australia’s parliament has followed the same path as Debian: rather than resolving the most substantial issue, the employee was terminated on a minor technicality. A most serious act of abuse trivialized by equating it with a bureaucratic misdemeanor.

Natasha Stott-Despoja, Daniel Pocock, Parliament House, Canberra, Australia

Lad culture: when I found a rat in Australia’s parliament

Visiting Canberra, I would usually carry my SLR. You never know who (or what) you might meet. After hearing about the bravery of the women speaking up this week and the discussions about the culture problems there, I felt now is the right time to share these images from the billiard hall.

There is nothing political about this blog or the photos. It simply leaves me feeling ashamed to be a man.

Australian Parliament House, Canberra, Billiard Room, Dead Rat

Microsoft Inside — Part IV: Microsoft Everywhere, Looking to Poach Developers, Not Disclosing What It Really Wants

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not a new strategy

Master Skywalker Youngling: Microsoft loves Linux? 'Course we do

Summary: As it turns out, just about everyone looking to recruit for a Microsoft-connected project/company (working on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu etc.) near Microsoft is ‘former’ Microsoft, but people who are being approached aren’t being told so, at least not upfront; those are very familiar and old tactics, which merit a word of caution to all

THIS is the last part of this series (see the first part, second part, and third part for some background and context). It concerns what people from Microsoft, who really dislike GNU/Linux, are working on while trying to enlist people who actually do like Linux. It is reminiscent of what Microsoft did to rivals which were companies rather than a community (the latter is harder to squash as if it was a cockroach). The language of ‘pest control’ is used by Microsoft itself:

“Linux infestations are being uncovered in many of our large accounts as part of the escalation engagements.”

Microsoft Confidential

In Part III we showed some correspondence between a bunch of Microsoft people and a prominent developer, whom we won’t name. 2 days later the Microsoft contact said: “So, what’s the best number to reach you? Phone interviews are going on today. I’d like you to speak with the Hiring Mgr.”

Guess who…

“The Hiring Mgr is Aubrey Edwards. Please look at his LinkedIn so you have an idea of who you’ll be chatting with…”

We do not grant you the rank of master: Linux sucks; Riiiiight.... We'll destroy Linux; Microsoft being Microsoft; Microsoft loves Linux; Who are you kidding?No response. Notice how pushy…

Same contact, but later that day: “Hi! Just trying to reach you as interviews are going on today. Hiring Mgr is avail 5pst or 6pst…”

The developer belatedly responded: “Hi. I do want to know more about the job but I was thinking about having to work with msft ppl… and I don’t know. I may not be the best fit…”

Same developer later: “Here’s the thing….if they want to customize Ubuntu…they need to either license or have different repos. So… it’s a little challenging license wise…”

Then the contact gave away that he or she had already/also worked for Microsoft: “Haha! There are many fab ppl at Msft! It’s like most companies… some ppl rock and others are … I’m an ex-Msft ee that left a long time ago. They were great to me tbh!”

Well, paid salaries. How “great”…

Sabotaging companies by breaking the law can be “great”… if all one cares about is money.

The contact persisted: “I’m not clear on the tech specifics. I’d think it would be worthwhile to chat with Aubrey. He can tell you a bit more about the team working on this particular project. Your choice! He’s open tonight and then prolly making a hiring decision since this project is an ASAP fill.”

Who’s Aubrey? Let’s see

Microsoft Lambastes Linux

The developer thus responded with “thanks… But I don’t want anything to do with Aubrey.”

It says “Microsoft posts a page denigrating the growing operating system. Critics call it business as usual.”

Aubrey is even mentioned by name.

“Thanks anyways,” said the developer. How many more such developer were targeted by this same group? Hard to tell…

Even the contact acted all surprised, stating: “Whoa! Interesting. Very interesting.”

To summarise, what we have here is a bunch of ‘former’ Microsoft people (still working near Microsoft and also with Microsoft) using a person to contact GNU/Linux developers without disclosing the Microsoft connections. This contact too used to work for Microsoft and says “I’m an ex-Msft ee that left a long time ago. They were great to me tbh!”

Watch out. These people have plans. They still work for Microsoft, but they aren’t saying so.

Microsoft: We Ain’t Done Until Raspberry Pi Won’t Run (Anything But Our Proprietary Software With ‘Telemetry’ Surveillance)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Raspberry Pi and Ballmer

Summary: The ongoing series which we started yesterday and still publish today (about Microsoft recruiters [1, 2, 3]) shows that Microsoft has rather toxic ambitions and the general idea is to infect everything with Microsoft, even the things that compete against Microsoft

THE “Microsoft loves Linux” lie (or misleading slogan, a truly cheap and lousy attempt at revisionism) is another attempt to entice prey into the trap, including GitHub. Microsoft has been trying this for decades. Never forget the Halloween Documents; they’re not old news.

“At some point it needs to be universally recognised that the only reason Microsoft pretends to have changed is that it wants to attract more fodder into its cave, urging us to simply ignore all the corpses that surround that cave’s entrance.”Free software is not a company; Microsoft knows how to crush and destroy companies (it has had lots of experience doing just that, even if it was later dragged into courts and settled), but hacker culture or software freedom are another kind of challenge to this cult. They try to spy on the users and then bribe those high up (see EDGI for instance). It should be a focal point of the Raspberry Pi scandal; Canonical seems to be going down a similar path, giving Microsoft inventories of users/customers.

People inside a caveThe scandal at hand isn’t over. It’s work in progress. It's a coup.

At some point it needs to be universally recognised that the only reason Microsoft pretends to have changed is that it wants to attract more fodder into its cave, urging us to simply ignore all the corpses that surround that cave’s entrance.

In Microsoft's very own words: “Linux infestations are being uncovered in many of our large accounts as part of the escalation engagements.”

We’ll post the 4th and final part of the series shortly. We’ve been trying to cope with massive DDOS attacks over the past 2 hours or so.

Controlling the Conduct of Large Corporations (and Monopolies) Would Help Tackle Disproportionate and Asymmetric Power Structures

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 2:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: A “CoC” (Code of Conduct) is often crafted or drafted with good intentions; but with enforcement put in the wrong hands it is a tool of corporate oppression instead of protection of people’s dignity

EARLIER today FOSSLife published a piece entitled “Codes of Conduct: The Devil’s in the Details”. My personal view is that if we’re to have such rules and if we truly wish to impose good manners, then we should also have “Codes of Conduct” to exclude corporations that profit from bombing people or other unethical practices. In practice, there tends to be an emphasis on silencing the powerless, not the powerful. And so it’s hardly surprising that those viciously insisting and outright demanding a “CoC” for each project/events tend to be large corporations/monopolies, via a bunch of people working directly or indirectly for them. The piece in question is actually not bad and I walk through it in the above video. We wrote about this subject many times over the years, even more than a decade ago. In no particular order, here are some prior (but recent) posts/articles regarding Codes of Conduct, even the EPO‘s equivalent of these:

A “CoC” isn’t negative per se, but what happens in practice typically disappoints due to selective enforcement.

Another Reason to Boycott Microsoft/GitHub: The War on Reverse-Engineering

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 2:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The high-profile fan-made reverse-engineering efforts are being proactively censored by Microsoft on behalf of another company (without as much as due process), reaffirming the problematic nature of GitHub, a monopoly that represses Free software developers

THE level of media attention enjoyed by YouTube-DL when it was taken down by Microsoft caused or led to ‘special treatment’; but not all projects to suddenly be vanished from GitHub enjoy such support from the media. As we’ve been showing in recent months, many are silently assassinated without anybody in the media paying attention.

“Why are people still willing to let a company so hostile towards software freedom (and towards reverse-engineering too; they’re in bed with the copyright maximalists) have this much control over their projects and community of developers?”As it turns out, it has just happened again, but it’s covered nowhere but a copyrights-centric site. A site that focuses on games for GNU/Linux (sometimes Free/libre ones, if possible) made a brief mention, barely even naming the culprit. “They’ve now given it the DMCA treatment, with the main repository and all known forks at the time to be taken offline on GitHub.” (Microsoft)

Why are people still willing to let a company so hostile towards software freedom (and towards reverse-engineering too; they’re in bed with the copyright maximalists) have this much control over their projects and community of developers? Is this a case of Stockholm Syndrome? This isn’t free hosting and it’s suicidal to put one’s eggs in this basket. GitHub is for corporate openwashing (large corporations get their own subdomain there), not for software freedom.

Links 22/2/2021: Lots More About Linux on Mars, Release of 4MLinux 35.2

Posted in News Roundup at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux lands on Mars with Perseverance and Ingenuity

      Here is your morning dose of miscellaneous Linux news. Not gaming but still very cool – Linux has officially landed on Mars with the Perseverance Rover. Before we’ve been able to hit that mythical year of the Linux desktop, heck before Wayland has even been able to replace X11 on Linux desktops, we have now managed to blast Linux to another planet far away.

      If you’re not even the slightest space nerd like me you might be a bit confused, NASA just recently landed the Perseverance Rover on the red planet. That’s cool by itself but Perseverance came with a rather fancy little Helicopter named Ingenuity, which according to NASA is “the first aircraft humanity has sent to another planet to attempt powered, controlled flight”.


      One of the coolest parts of NASA’s new rover mission is it’s helicoper. Marking the first powered flight on another world. What’s got me so excited about all this, though? This flying science machine is powered by LINUX!

    • Not Just Perseverance, Linux Is On Mars Too With NASA’s Recent Success

      NASA’s Perseverance landed on the surface of Mars earlier this week amid appreciation from the whole world. The achievement was monumental after all, the small rover travelled to a distant planet that can soon be the next ‘home’ for humans. However, it wasn’t the only man-made thing in doing so.

      The now-renowned rover is accompanied by a tiny helicopter named Ingenuity, which is set to take the first ever flight on a planet other than Earth soon. Though it hasn’t got a lot of coverage, but interestingly enough, the autonomous drone is powered by a Linux system.

    • Perseverance Rover Marks Linux’s Journey From Earth To Mars

      Another day, another open-source/Linux news but this one’s special. On 30th July 2020, the Perseverance rover designed by NASA took off to Mars to learn more about the Red Planet’s secrets.

      Fast forward to this day; the rover has finally landed. While this is a massive leap in space exploration, it’s also a huge win for the Linux community. That’s because something special resides under the rover’s belly. It’s called Ingenuity, a little helicopter that’ll be the first aircraft to fly on Mars.

    • Kernel Space

      • Garrett: Making hibernation work under Linux Lockdown

        Matthew Garrett recently posted a patch set enabling hibernation on systems that are running in the UEFI secure-boot lockdown mode. This blog entry gets into the details of how it all works.

      • Microsoft Contributes Integrity Improvements To Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

        Microsoft engineers continue increasing their contributions to the Linux kernel where it makes business sense for them, such as in the case of securing the Azure cloud given that around 50% or more of the instances run Linux. With Linux 5.12 there are integrity subsystem improvements coming from Microsoft.

      • AMDGPU With Linux 5.12 Sees Last Minute Duty Cycle Scaling, Other Bits

        Sent in last week were some AMDGPU “fixes” for Linux 5.12. While there are some fixes as part of the series, there are some new (minor) features enabled.

        In addition to the previously covered DRM graphics driver features for Linux 5.12 like the Radeon RX 6000 series OverDrive, there are some more patches that were sent in last Thursday as fixes for Linux 5.12.

      • Announcing the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 Update 5 for Oracle Linux

        The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) for Oracle Linux provides the latest open source innovations and key optimizations and security to enterprise cloud and on-premises workloads. It is the Linux kernel that powers Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Systems such as Oracle Exadata Database Machine as well as Oracle Linux on 64-bit Intel and AMD or 64-bit Arm platforms.

        UEK Release 5 does not disable any features that are enabled in RHCK. Additional features are enabled to provide support for key functional requirements and patches are applied to improve performance and optimize the kernel.

        What’s New?

        UEK R5 Update 5 can be recognized with a release number starting with 4.14.35-2047.500.9.1.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Build smart displays with mir 2.3.2 | Ubuntu

          mir was designed to help systems on chips (SoCs) to reduce their development and maintenance investment in Linux graphics drivers. Today, mir works across the whole stack of devices, from desktop computers, tablets and phones, to IoT devices. You can find mir in industry GUI applications to smart mirrors, enabling developers to design innovative user interfaces. Canonical is launching mir 2.3.2, a new version of mir that improves the desktop experience, especially working with X11 based applications.

    • Applications

      • Linux System Monitoring Fundamentals

        There are, of course, many higher-level system monitoring programs for all distributions that permit you to monitor any Linux server. These include Glance, a Python-based cross-platform system monitoring tool; htop, another cross-platform system monitor, which uses ncurses for its display; and Netdata, a distributed server system monitoring program. However, as useful as these can be, they all rely on lower-level programs.

        Four important Linux system monitoring tools are worthwhile to examine in more detail.

        Sar: System Activity Reporter (sar) is part of the Sysstat system resource utilities package. Sar is a do-it-all monitoring tool. It measures CPU activity; memory/paging; interrupts; device load; network; process and thread allocation; and swap space utilization. Sar can be used interactively, but its real value is that it keeps data logs over a long period of time, which you can use to troubleshoot recurring problems and produce reports. To learn more, read our How to Use the System Activity Reporter (sar) guide.

        Vmstat: This virtual memory statistics reporter is a built-in Linux command-line tool. In addition to reporting in detail on virtual memory usage, vmstat also gathers information on memory usage, memory paging, processes, I/O, CPU, and storage scheduling. Unlike sar, vmstat starts on boot. It’s used to report on cumulative activity since the last reboot. Our Use vmstat to Monitor System Performance guide includes more information about getting started with this monitoring tool.

        Monitorix: Monitorix is a free, open-source tool that monitors multiple Linux services and system resources. Monitorix, from version 3.0 on, comes with its own web server. This makes it useful for remote Linux system monitoring. Originally designed for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system family, Monitorix now works on all major Linux server distributions. Read our How to use Monitorix for System Monitoring guide to learn more.

        Nethogs: This free and open-source program extends the net top tool that tracks bandwidth by process. For example, you might discern that the amount of outbound traffic has increased on your Linux server, but Nethogs helps you identify which process is generating the usage spikes. Other network monitoring utilities only break down the traffic by protocol or subnet. Read our Get Started Using Nethogs for Network Usage Monitoring guide to learn more about this tool.

      • 6 Best free Cloud hosting Control Panels for Linux Servers in 2021

        VPS and Cloud hosting services come with full root access where users can select the Linux operating system of their (available with the services provider) choice. However, if you are planning to host some website then installing a web hosting control on your Linux server will not only makes everything easy but provides graphical user interface, so that management of files and application becomes quite easy.

        Furthermore, as a central point for the administration of the various user accounts and domains, web hosting control panels bring numerous advantages to the system administrator. Once set up, you will save a lot of time and effort in a future administration. Thanks to the simple graphical user interface of the administration program, settings can be easily made via the interface. Extensive expert knowledge and laborious work directly in the server’s operating system is no longer necessary.


        Lately, I used open-source CloudPanel Cpanel on Amazon Cloud and I was really impressed because of its simple approach. Well, CloudPanel is not for those who are interesting in reselling hosting services instead meant for enterprises or individuals who want full control of their Cloud or VPS hosting server.

        For example, I want to create a WordPress-based website on Cloud or VPS server using Linux but handling everything using the command line is really a cumbersome task. Thus, in such a scenario CloudPanel’s easy-to-use web interface really works.

        Setting up a domain, database and installing PHP applications are super easy on it. Furthermore, out of the box it offers Nginx and multiple PHP versions to ensure fast speed and compatibility for a large range of web applications. To manage databases PhpMyAdmin is also there.

        The story doesn’t end here if we are using CloudPanel on a public cloud such as Amazon web services, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, and Microsoft Azure; we can view Instances ID and other information directly on CloudPanel Dashboard including the option to manage security policies, firewall, backup, and other common functionalities.

      • dav1d 0.8.2 Released For Speeding Up AV1 Decode On x86, ARM – Phoronix

        Dav1d is already the most performant and leading AV1 software decoder we have seen while out today is v0.8.2 that should speed-up the video decode process even more on modern x86/x86_64 and ARM hardware.

        While dav1d 0.8.2 is “just a point release”, it does pack some interesting performance optimizations for today’s hardware. On the ARM front there are ARM32 optimizations to speed up loop restoration and for other operations. ARM64 has also rewritten the wiener functions, and improved IPRED and WARP, among other work.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Postfix on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Postfix on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Postfix is a free and open-source MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) used for routing or delivering emails on a Linux system. By the default configuration it permits local mailing, however in itself it is very useful on a machine used by many customers, or even if there may be no such visitors, many services dump their reviews and messages into e-mails, which is introduced to the root consumer locally, so the sysadmin might be noticed on any activities when he/she logs in and switches to root user.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step install of the Postfix Mail on CentOS 8.

      • The best practice method to install VirtualBox on Fedora 32/33 (and later) | KageSenshi’s Log

        In any linux distribution, there will be multiple methods to achieve a certain goal. You might have encountered many guides out there on how to install VirtualBox on Fedora, however, please take note, many of them uses intrusive methods which can be difficult to maintain in long run, and would likely to break after a kernel update.

        Everytime I caught a new team member following those guides, I tend to get annoyed, so I think I should write up the best practice method of doing this, which I have practiced on my Fedora installation for years now.

      • How to Create, Resize and Delete Linux Partitions With Cfdisk

        Partitioning your disks is one of the most frustrating tasks that you will come across while installing Linux. Sophisticated command line tools make it tricky for beginners to get started with partition management.

        What you need is a partitioning management tool specially developed for beginners. Here’s when Cfdisk comes to the rescue. For those who want to manage partitions on their computer in a better way, Cfdisk is the best choice.

        Here’s how to create new partitions in Linux with Cfdisk, along with resizing, changing, and deleting partitions.

      • Five key tips to start your network automation adoption journey

        Getting started with an automation project can be a daunting task, to say the least. As a consultant and architect at Red Hat, the question I get most often is, “How do I get started doing a network automation project?” In this post, I’ll share five things you need to do to get started.

        I talk to all sorts of people about network automation. After spending years building out massive networking automation projects with tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of devices, I think that device management is easier and more accessible than ever before.

        Ansible has evolved quickly, and in a lot of ways, device configuration is a problem that’s been solved in a number of ways. Often, the biggest hurdle is often just getting your head wrapped around the various options and ideas about how to do things one way or another.

    • Games

      • Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition returns on June 16 | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for a bunch more demos, livestreams and more? The Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition is set to return on June 16 and Valve are looking for developers to get involved.

        Just like the previous events it’s a multi-day thing running from June 16 until June 22. For us players, it’s a chance to try out a slice of upcoming games that might interest us, for developers it’s that all important exposure that’s hard to come by these days and a good way to gather feedback too.

      • Puzzle-battler Aloof is launching on March 25 and it looks fab, do try the demo | GamingOnLinux

        A puzzle-battler? Think like Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and Puyo Puyo Tetris but with a new and fresh spin and that’s what you’re going to get with Aloof on March 25.

        In the world of Aloof you summon and defend small islands while you’re building up combos against your opponent. Unlike other similar games, you have more control over the pieces as they move wherever you want them to and they do not start dropping by themselves. You can even flush away all your pieces to get a new set. The developer said it’s not a game to kick back and relax with, instead it’s about keeping up with your opponent and staying on your toes.

      • With a few days left on the Kickstarter, Ova Magica has been an incredible success | GamingOnLinux

        Making games is hard, marketing games and cutting through the noise is just as hard but for Claudia Gorsky they’ve managed to amazingly well with Ova Magica.

        A blending of many genres including farming, life-sim and monster taming with a battle system – Ova Magica sounds like it’s going to be a weirdly interesting game to play through. Perhaps that’s why it’s doing so well on Kickstarter with a campaign set to end on February 26, the €20,000 goal was smashed completely with well over €200,000 from thousands of backers helping to make the game a reality.

      • Free And Open Source RTS Game 0 A.D. Alpha 24 Xšayāršā Released

        0 A.D. Alpha 24 “Xšayāršā” has been released over the weekend, after almost 3 years since the previous release.

        This is a free and open source historical real time strategy (RTS) game that runs on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD. It features the real-time strategy gameplay components of building a base, economic development, training an army, combat, and technology research. The game has both single and multiplayer functionality.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Understanding KDE Plasma theming system

          KDE Plasma’s theming system is actually quite complex. It has many ways to be customized. It’s normal ever for expert users to not fully get how it works. I’ll try to explain how it works to the best of my knowledge.

          For all of these topics, there’s section on the KDE Store where you can see all the avaiable options and download them.


          This category lists the QStyles you have installed. These customize the appearance of the ‘widgets’ in your QT applications: buttons, frames, tabs, checkboxs, context menus, and so on. The QStyle covers QWidgets app natively, whilst we have a qcc2 theme that mimicks the QStyle for qml apps. In this KCM you can also customize the GTK theme for, err, GTK apps.

          This is where Kvantum comes into play: it is a QStyle that reads from a SVG how to draw the various widgets. This makes it much simpler for Style creator to make a new style, as they only have to make in Inkscape the various components instead of writing C++; of course, it also limits what you can do with it (e.g.: it’s impossible to customize animations). A distinction must then be drawn for “native” QStyles and the Kvantum styles. It is very rare to see an original QStyle, but they usually feel of “higher quality” compared to Kvantum ones.

          A QStyle can choose to follow the global colorscheme or decide ignore it and use its own colors. Most Kvantum styles set their own colors. Most “native” QStyles follow the global colorscheme.

        • The Application Of New Things

          KDE has, for a very long time, had this thing called Get Hot New Stuff, which is the name for a whole pile of tech which all exists just so you can just click a button in your wallpapers dialog that will pop up a dialog where you can, well, get hot new wallpapers for your system. Or mouse cursors. Or Plasma themes. Or books in Peruse. Or templates in a bunch of apps, or any variety of other things.

          For a while now, it’s been possible to add something called an adoption command, which is what will make a button show up in that dialog, and in Discover, labelled “Use”. It’s been used in a few places, but i recently sat down and got a bunch of little tools done that lets you set various things from the command line, and that in turn allowed me to also add those tools as adoption commands for the Get Hot New Stuff dialogues which download the stuff that those tools can apply.

        • Season Of KDE – Project Update 1

          It’s been a long time since I have published my first blog on SoK. To make up for that, I plan on writing successive blog posts to catch you all up with the progress of my project, foKus. foKus is a simple task management app for plasma mobile.


          Like most other apps of KDE, foKus is also built using the Kirigami and Qt. I had to start the app from scratch as there were no todo apps that I could use as a base for my app. As I was new to this community (and also to programming, this is my first coding project), these past 40 days have been a challenge. I had a tough time writing the backend logic as it was full of pointers, classes, and objects which I didn’t understand back then(admitting the weakness was the first sign of improvement). But with the help of my mentor, I am learning more than ever and getting better every day.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Linux Edition)

          FOR MOST OF eternity, if you wanted to run Linux on your laptop you bought a Windows laptop, wiped Windows, and installed Linux. This was known as the “Windows tax,” the extra money you paid for an operating system you didn’t need.

          About 15 years ago, pioneering companies like System76 began selling white-label hardware with Linux preinstalled, along with all the necessary drivers to ensure hardware compatibility. Linux worked out of the box. They were seldom what you’d call svelte laptops, but they were solid machines, and hey, no Windows tax. Today, System76 builds its own Linux-based desktop hardware at a factory in Colorado, and even big brands like Dell sell laptops with Linux.

          Lenovo is the latest manufacturer to want in on the fun, releasing its first Linux laptop in the form of an eighth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon. There are some quirks, but it’s one of the best laptops around for Linux.


          It’s worth asking then, what does the X1 Carbon bring to the table? The answer is support. The main advantage of preinstalled Linux is both hardware support and customer support from Lenovo. If you run into an issue, you can take to the forums or even call Lenovo support.

          That hardware support shows immediately when you boot up the X1 Carbon—the fingerprint reader works out of the box. This is one thing I’ve never managed to get working when I installed Linux myself, so it’s really nice to have it working immediately. Except, well, we’ll get to the except.

          I opted to test the Fedora-based version of the X1 Carbon. There’s also an Ubuntu-based option. If you’re unfamiliar, Fedora and Ubuntu are the names of two Linux “distributions.” A Linux distribution, usually shortened to “distro,” is a collection of software that contains everything you need to run Linux on your PC.

          If this is confusing, think of it in terms of Windows or macOS. Apple and Microsoft combine all the little pieces of software that make up macOS and Windows and distribute the result as a single package. Fedora, Ubuntu, and hundreds of others do the same for Linux.

        • Linux on Old Laptops: The Lenovo Thinkpad T440p

          I recently got my hands on a Thinkpad T440p for a really good price. Released in 2013, is this a good laptop to run Linux on in 2021? Check out my review.

      • New Releases

        • Netrunner 21.0 Released Based on Debian Stable 10.7 With Modern Hardware Support and Updated Packages

          Netrunner is a Debian-based Linux operating system that caters to Desktops, Laptops and ARM-based computers, it was first released back in 2010 and has been getting steady updates along the years.

          The operating system uses the KDE Plasma desktop environment by default along with a few other KDE components, the team behind Netrunner also sponsors the development of Plasma and other KDE products.

          Recently, they have announced the availability of the latest stable release – Netrunner 21.01 “XOXO”. This release is their first stable release of 2021 and also the first since the last year when they released Netrunner 20.01 – “Twenty”.

        • Kodi 19 released

          For audio and music lovers, there are significant improvements across the board to metadata handling: library improvements, new tags, new displays, improvements to how Kodi handles release dates, album durations, multi-disc sets, and more. There’s a new, Matrix-inspired visualisation, there are improvements to display when fetching files from a web server, and several changes to how audio decoder addons can pass information through to the Kodi player.

        • 4MLinux 35.2 released.

          This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 5.4.91. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.46, MariaDB 10.5.8, and PHP 7.4.14 (see this post for more details).
          You can update your 4MLinux by executing the “zk update” command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed Gets KDE Plasma 5.21 and Framework Updates

          The openSUSE Tumbleweed gets the latest KDE Plasma 5.21 updates and associated Framework improvements. Download and update now.

        • openSUSE distributions dedicated page

          Previously, it would take someone new to the project quite some time to learn about the distributions and understand their differences. Not every new openSUSE user would know that it’s ideal to use openSUSE MicroOS for single-purpose server hosting and Kubic for container orchestration with Kubernetes.

          Thanks to a revamp of the openSUSE Project website, now the distributions get a dedicated page at get.opensuse.org. A little work is still needed on the documentation part for each specific distribution. If you would like to help with that, you are most welcome. Join the openSUSE Documentation mailing list and coordinate with what’s already being done to improve doc.opensuse.org.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch-Based SalientOS + EndeavourOS Take On Clear/Fedora/Ubuntu With The Ryzen 9 5900X

          Given the recent release of Arch Linux based EndeavourOS and a Phoronix Premium supporter recently pointing out SalientOS as another interesting Arch-based Linux distribution, here are benchmarks showing how these easy/quick to deploy Arch based operating systems with sane defaults compare to that of Ubuntu, Fedora Workstation, and Intel’s own Clear Linux. This round of February 2021 Linux benchmarking was carried out on an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X desktop stemming from premium member feedback.

          EndeavourOS earlier this month saw its first ISO refresh of 2021 with upgrading to Linux 5.10 and other updated packages for this distribution that has been of increasing popularity since the end of Antergos Linux.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat closes acquisition of StackRox

          Today, we are pleased to share that Red Hat has closed the transaction to acquire StackRox, a leader and innovator in container and Kubernetes-native security. Since announcing our plans for the acquisition, we have been met with excitement both internally and externally around what the future holds for Red Hat OpenShift as well as Red Hat’s entire open hybrid cloud portfolio.

          According to 451 Research, “For those looking to secure complex environments, they need more than security features alone – there’s a need for visibility across many environments, compliance management, threat detection, incident response, and much more.”1 With StackRox’s Kubernetes-native security technology, Red Hat will be able to further expand its security leadership and reinforce our commitment to deliver a single, holistic platform for users to build, deploy and more securely run nearly any application across the hybrid cloud.

          Over the past several years we have paid close attention to how our customers are securing their workloads, as well as the growing importance of GitOps to organizations. Both of these have reinforced how critically important it is for security to “shift left” – integrated within every part of the development and deployment lifecycle and not treated as an afterthought. With StackRox, we will be working to add security into container build and CI/CD processes. This helps to more efficiently identify and address issues earlier in the development cycle while providing more cohesive security up and down the entire IT stack and throughout the application lifecycle.

        • Resilient sysadmin: 5 tips for success in a remote work environment | Enable Sysadmin

          I’m sitting here one month into 2021 and I was thinking about the challenges that we faced in 2020 and how resilient the tech industry has been. The industry is nothing without the people who do the work. So that got me thinking, “How are people doing?”

          Many of us were thrust into 100 percent remote roles recently and that’s created its fair share of challenges. However, the switch was anything but negative. There were also some amazing benefits to employee work/life balance, as well as an increase in efficiency (no commute times) for many. Even subtle changes, like improved inclusion of our normally-remote coworkers and time for health and fitness, were added bonuses.

      • Devuan Family

      • Debian Family

        • Containers

          I was using a container for a bioinformatics tool released two weeks ago, but my shell script wrapping the tools could not run because the container was built around an old version of Debian (Jessie) that was released in 2015. I was asked to use a container for bioinformatics, based on conda, and found one that distributes coreutils, but it did not include a real version of sed. I try Debian’s docker image. No luck; it does not contain ps, which my workflow manager needs.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Could Your Business Switch To Open Source Software?

        Open-source software has been around since the very first days of computing and relies on the source code, the building blocks of software, to be available for public viewing. This software uses the GNU General Public License approach to licensing.

        In most cases, open-source software is actually free to use and free to download, but there may be some licensing requirements if the software is used by companies for profit.

        Using open-source software in a business is not as far-fetched as it sounds, in fact many companies run servers based on the Linux Red Hat system, which is open-source at its core, and many more are looking at ways to swap out their expensive licensed software for even cheaper alternatives.

        Open Source software can be installed on practically any system and any machine. Whether you use Apple desktops or lenovo laptops, there is a good chance you are already using software that is open source and falls under the GNU license.

      • Sandia Labs Develops Open User Quantum Testbed

        Sandia Labs has also developed the Jaqal (or Just Another Quantum Assembly Language) programming language, which is used to specify programs executed on QSCOUT. According to Andrew Landahl, QSCOUT software team lead, Jaqal “forces the quantum computer to do exactly what you want, exactly when you want it. Or to put it another way, a language for micro-managing control freaks.”

        This specification document provides a summary of QSCOUT 1.0 capabilities, example Jaqal programs, and plans for possible future extensions.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Proton upcoming update – Half-integer spin

            Every few years, there’s a new visual revamp in Firefox. First, we had the classic look, then Australis, then Quantum, which sort of gave us the old look but in a new guise, and now, Mozilla is aiming for yet another makeover called Proton. The UI refresh seems to be all the rage, except, I don’t see why there’s a need for one, but hey. Modern problems require modern solutions, or something.

            I wanted to get an early glimpse of the change, mostly to see what I ought to expect. As you very well recall from me articles and rants, I found Australis abominable, Quantum okay, and now, I’m not sure why Firefox should be modified yet again. If by any measure we look at competition, say Chrome, what made it popular definitely isn’t any series of UI changes, because largely, it hasn’t changed much since inception. Not that Firefox should ape Chrome, far from it. But the sense of activity associated with visual polish doesn’t necessarily translate into anything meaningful. Whether it does, well, we need to see. Early hands on, let’s see.


            I don’t see any major value in this revamp. On its own, the name Proton, while full of punchy sounds, is also tricky. Because it’s associated with tons of other products – including but not limited to mail service, car manufacturer, gaming engine, and so on. Then, the tab redesign and the icon stripping from menus don’t add any great value. I really don’t understand – for the time being, that is – how this is going to contribute in any great way to the success of Firefox.

            ‘Tis a painful realization for me, because I want Firefox to remain around, alive and relevant and fun, because at the moment, it’s the only thing that makes the Internet still usable, especially on the mobile. A last bastion of semi-sanity in the great ocean of idiocracy. But then, that does not mean I blindly embrace whatever Mozilla has in its repertoire of daily surprises.

            And at this point, I’m not sure how Mozilla can recapture some of the lost market share. Yes, the nerds are now all waking up, shouting privacy, but a) nerds are a tiny tiny minority b) these are the same nerds that help convert everyone to Chrome because JAVASCRIPT SPEED in the last few years. My view is, this should be Mozilla’s one and only argument – privacy. Everything else is a game of attrition that it cannot win. Simple, innocent privacy and a calm, quiet browser that does not upend established usage patterns, the opposite of what Mozilla is occasionally doing.

            Idiots don’t care either way, and nerds deeply care about any change in their ecosystem. Revamping the UI is a lose-lose situation really, and a waste of resources. Privacy is going to be the next battlefield, and here Mozilla has a huge lead over its competitors. Hopefully, this is where the browser’s future and focus will be. And trust me, you don’t want to contemplate the Internet future without Firefox. Nerds, you’ve been warned.

      • Programming/Development

        • 15 Popular Machine Learning Metrics For Data Scientist | UbuntuPIT

          Machine learning is one of the most researched subjects of the last two decades. There is no end to human needs. But their production and working capability are limited. That’s why the world is moving towards automation. Machine Learning has a huge role in this industrial revolution. Developers are building more robust ML models and algorithms every day. But you cannot just throw your model into production without evaluating it. That’s where the machine learning metrics come in. Data scientists use these metrics to measure how good a model is predicting. You got to have a good idea about them. To make your ML journey convenient, we will be listing the most popular machine learning metrics you can learn to become a better data scientist.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2021.08 First 21 – Rakudo Weekly News

            Alexander Kiryuhin has just announced the release of the first Rakudo Compiler Release of 2021: 2021.02 which, among many other fixes and improvements, implements the .slice method on Seqs and adds support for passing multiple units to Date / DateTime‘s .earlier and .later methods as the most visual additions. Kudos to Alexander for making sure all of this work comes together again!

        • Python

          • Learn Pygame With Examples

            This post introduces pygame basic concepts. Before we procceed, make sure you have pygame library installed.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Codes of Conduct: The Devil’s in the Details [Ed: Can we also have "Codes of Conduct" to exclude corporations that profit from bombing people?]

              Once such codes are implemented, organizations must also be prepared to enforce them – not simply have them be aspirational. If they are only in the latter category, Neugebauer suggests they be revamped.

              They should also be transparent. For example, in 2019, PyCon published a Code of Conduct Transparency Report stating that staff were made aware of 11 incidents of behavior not consistent with its standards. They included unwelcome sexual attention or advancement and incidents related to inappropriate content and privacy. Some of the incidents were resolved during the conference, one after the conference ended, and one was still awaiting resolution.

              “The idea of doing regular transparency reports is not something I saw five years ago,’’ Neugebauer says, adding that he’s not sure what to attribute this to. “Now they’re at the leading edge of best practices.”

              He adds that “you’d want the code of conduct to affect those people because you’ll run into them at the conference … someone might not be a drunken terrible person during business hours but that doesn’t make their behavior appropriate the night before.’’

            • Take-Two Interactive hit the DMCA nuke on GTA III and Vice City reverse engineered effort

              It was only recently that we picked up the news of both GTA III and Vice City getting a fully working reverse engineered game engine, along with plenty of upgrades. Sadly, and expectedly, it got nuked from orbit.

              Even though it required you to own the game assets, so you would have needed to purchase a copy of either to use the re3 and reVC game reimplementations that wasn’t enough to satisfy Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., the parent company of Rockstar Games. They’ve now given it the DMCA treatment, with the main repository and all known forks at the time to be taken offline on GitHub.

        • Security

          • Linux Mint want to remind you to run updates

            In a fresh blog post, Linux Mint’s leader Clem Lefebvre has written about some statistics on people running out of date software and warned people to ensure they’re running updates.

            While Linux users often claim they know what they’re doing, they’re smarter than Windows users and more (I’ve seen a lot of claims over the years…) plenty still seem to delay or just not run updates it seems. When you hear about new security problems all the time, it’s never been more important to stay up to date. Especially your web browser, the last thing you want is to have that and your entire online life compromised!

            In the post Lefebvre mentions that only around 30% of users updated their web browser in less than a week, although perhaps much more alarming is that between “5% and 30% of users run Linux Mint 17.x” which has not seen security updates for two years since it reached EOL (end of life).

          • Cheap baby monitors and security cameras – widespread flaw allows remote viewing

            The features is password-less monitoring, saving you from entering a log-in and password in the middle of the night to access the cheap baby monitors and security cameras. And it is widely used by baby monitor cameras, pet monitors and kindergarten remote viewing cameras.

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium, libzstd, openldap, openvswitch, screen, and wpa), Fedora (dotnet5.0, subversion, and wpa_supplicant), openSUSE (mumble, python-djangorestframework, and tor), Oracle (container-tools:ol8, kernel, nodejs:10, nodejs:12, nodejs:14, subversion:1.10, and xterm), Red Hat (stunnel and xterm), and SUSE (ImageMagick, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, krb5-appl, python3, tomcat, and webkit2gtk3).

          • WordPress 5.6.2 Maintenance Release

            This maintenance release includes 5 bug fixes. These bugs affect WordPress version 5.6.1, so you’ll want to upgrade.

            You can download WordPress 5.6.2 directly, or visit the Dashboard → Updates screen and click Update Now. If your sites support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

    • Environment

      • Planes

        • Boeing 777s grounded after aircraft suffers catastrophic engine failure over Denver suburb

          Boeing 777s have been grounded by airlines after an United Airlines plane suffered a catastrophic failure.

          United Airlines has removed its Boeing 777s with the engine model involved as they step up investigations into Sunday’s incident after a passenger jet experienced engine difficulties over a Denver suburb.

          United Airlines Flight 328 had to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after its right engine blew apart just after takeoff.

          The plane with 231 passengers and 10 crew on board landed safely, and nobody aboard or on the ground was reported hurt, authorities said.

    • Monopolies

      • In-house on law firm D&I: ‘we want diverse teams’ [Ed: Companies that worked with Nazis (Coca-Cola for example) pretend to value "diversity" because they think it'll help their brand/image (profits)]

        In an unexpected step forward for diversity and inclusion in the legal industry late last month, Coca-Cola updated its outside counsel guidelines, requiring that its US law firms take concrete steps towards promoting diversity within their ranks.

        Bradley Gayton, senior vice president and global general counsel at Coca-Cola in Atlanta, made the announcement in an open letter published on January 28. He set out that at least 30% of billed lawyers should be from diverse backgrounds, among other things.

      • FOSS Patents: UK competition court doesn’t doubt the merits of Epic Games’ antitrust claims against Apple, Google–just forum non conveniens for Apple’s U.S. corporate parent

        At this stage, the UK court had to make a purely procedural decision: whether or not Epic’s complaints should be served on the U.S.-based entities Epic wanted to sue in the UK. The court has no problem with service on UK-based Apple and Google entities, and even some Ireland-based (not UK, but EU) entities. With respect to those Irish entities, what helped Epic is timing: it filed before Brexit took effect.

        The ideal outcome for Apple and Google would have been if the court had held that there was no “serious issue to be tried.” That would have been comparable to an outright dismissal of a case not well pled. No such deficiency was identiifed here. The court furthermore evaluated whether Epic had “gateways” (reasons for which to bring cases against non-UK entities in the UK). But what ultimately resulted in the dismissal of U.S.-based Apple Inc. from the case is simply that the British court determined the Northern District of California was the forum conveniens, and that, at a minimum, London wasn’t a better choice.

        In the Unwired Planet patent case, the UK Supreme Court actually took a very permissive approach to forum conveniens, holding that even if a smartphone maker generated only 1% of its worldwide sales in the UK, a UK court might nevertheless set a worldwide royalty rate for a standard-essential patent portfolio, and if the defendant didn’t agree to a license deal on those terms, it would face a UK-wide sales ban. Here, however, a UK court exercised restraint in jurisdictional terms.

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Crandall Technologies reexamination request granted

            On February 19, 2021, the USPTO granted Unified’s request for ex parte reexamination, finding substantial questions of patentability for all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 9,645,720, owned and asserted by Crandall Technologies LLC, an NPE. The ’720 patent is related to digital data sharing and has been asserted against Vudu.

            View district court litigations by Crandall Technologies. Unified is represented by in-house counsel, Ellyar Barazesh, Jessica L.A. Marks, and Jonathan Stroud, in this proceeding.

Microsoft Inside — Part III: Microsoft Finds Out That Free Software Developers Don’t Want to Work for Microsoft on Microsoft Platforms

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Master Shake Hotline bling: What Microsoft thinks of Linux; What Microsoft wants you to think it thinks of Linux

Summary: The attempts to poach high-profile Free software and GNU/Linux developers aren’t succeeding, especially once it turns out who’s really behind those attempts (they don’t give it away upfront)

IN the first part, which was introductory, we explained the problem at hand. The second part contained more of the ‘meat’ of the issue, demonstrated using something which had happened a week or two before Raspberry Pi devices had Microsoft covertly inserted into them (keys and repository for proprietary software and telemetry). What is going on?

Well, some readers have kindly contacted us, shedding light on observations and communications they became privy to.

“The person persisted and persisted, unable to understand what’s wrong with GitHub…”One contact, who approached a GNU/Linux developer (probably quite a lot of them in that process), was mentioned in Part II. The contact said “Thank you for this info!!” after learning that Canonical makes Ubuntu. Why would people connected to Microsoft, who try to hire GNU/Linux developers, not know this?

“I’ll get back to you with an answer to your question,” said the contact, “am asking right now” (asking Microsoft associates, albeit without identifying them as such).

“Hi again,” the contact later said. “Below is the answer to proprietary software or open source…”

“The tools/software needed are currently available on GitHub and we expect that to continue to be the case,” the contact said. Why would that be managed in proprietary software frameworks of Microsoft?

The developer responded: “Yeah so GitHub is a Microsoft thing and your really good Linux people are not going to use it… But I’ll ask around…”

The contact responded: “Great to know! I’ll pass that info along for sure!! Thx for sharing this opportunity around your network. I’m open to feedback wrt any details about this role.”

“LinkedIn links were all over the place, suggestive of a connection to its owners.”The person persisted and persisted, unable to understand what's wrong with GitHub: “Can you give me insight wrt why strong Linux ppl won’t like the idea of using GitHub? Hiring team wants more feedback… I don’t want to assume I know why …”

The developer finally responded (after much insistent chasing by the contact): “We don’t want to use GitHub… Some Microsoft platform. Oddly enough some will use LinkedIn, another Microsoft platform haha.”

LinkedIn links were all over the place, suggestive of a connection to its owners.

“There’s a difference in our community between free software and open source,” the developer continued. “Your more experienced and more capable Gnu Linux developers are free software…”

“For those who’ve missed it, Ubuntu now spies on users through Microsoft.”“So basically if you are looking for someone like this unicorn you would most likely be looking in the free software realm which you would probably never find this person because they won’t even touch Ubuntu…”

For those who’ve missed it, Ubuntu now spies on users through Microsoft.

“I think your best bet would to be find a medium level intermediate,” the developer said. “Proprietary person who will work with Microsoft people and use GitHub…”

“So maybe one of those open source people is your best bet…”

The developer (continued):

It’s like this: why don’t you have your own git?
That’s what I would go back to them and say.
You’re using Ubuntu
So really elite people won’t use those things

The contact accepted this point: “I’m thinking you’re spot on. I will share this feedback.”

Later following up with: “Any idea where this mid-lvl person might exist that has the technical knowledge? I’m thinking they may not be deep enough in their knowledge base to run without SME input…”

“In the next part we’ll say more about who that contact is and on whose behalf this contact was working all along.”“It’s a really difficult situation,” the developer replies. “We want to work with companies…. Of course we want to have money and jobs but we also have our culture. I’ve seen companies make the mistake of hiring Microsoft developers to do work with Linux and that’s a big mistake so don’t do that :)”

The contact responded with: “Exactly my predicament;)”

In the next part we’ll say more about who that contact is and on whose behalf this contact was working all along.

Techrights is Now in Gemini (Having Completed a Two Week-Long Migration) With Over 32,000 Pages in Total

Posted in Site News at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fireworks 2003

Summary: The site is now mirrored across an alternative to the World Wide Web

THE ambition of making the site static*, at least for some consumption using lightweight software clients (sometimes dubbed “browsers”), materialised last year when we started making text-only bulletins. Later in the year our IRC logs also had text-only manifestations. Nothing too complicated about that.

Techrights is now in Gemini space entirely (except the wiki and some documents or assorted pages).”Earlier this month we began converting the site to Gemini, which is a lot lighter and simpler. It also has privacy-related advantages. We’re now documenting a bunch of stuff.

Fake cops censorshipTechrights is now in Gemini space entirely (except the wiki and some documents or assorted pages). It is self-hosted (completely, from home) and code is being prepared for the general public to reuse. The licence is AGPL. It helps convert WordPress sites into Gemini. It also deals with RSS feeds and static files. A self-hosted Git instance will hopefully be ready to “go public” very soon.

Perhaps it was inevitable that Techrights would write a lot more code, seeing the growing need to resist censorship, reduce the reliance on the (increasingly-monopolised and censored) Web, decentralise to the degree possible, and generally put the eggs in many baskets. Being a ‘moving target’ certainly helps when publishing suppressed and sometimes controversial material. Earlier today I became aware that YouTube (Google) began censoring, at least in the UK, a bunch of perfectly lawful videos that expose abuse. This is the kind of thing that should discourage the outsourcing to monopolies, which have their own private interests. All our videos are locally hosted. As for the site, it is sort of ‘out there’ and it’s becoming more difficult to silence, intimidate, and ban.
* For the uninitiated, this means no database and typically just a single “static” (unchanged, albeit it can be edited) file per article, sometimes with some peripheral files for stylesheets and/or graphics. Minimalism and simplicity (everything as a file) is a guiding principle.

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