Microsoft GitHub Does It Again

Posted in Deception, Humour, Microsoft at 7:16 pm by Guest Editorial Team

April 1st, 1:00AM

GitHub takedown
Screenshot taken April 1st, 1:00AM BST

Summary: Richard Stallman’s dignity is defended, at last, by Microsoft

In recent months a group has started a petition on GitHub to pressure the Free Software Foundation to not reinstate its founder, Richard Stallman, as chair. The petition has been widely recognised as being based on false accusations against Mr Stallman (e.g. evidence of defamation by cyberbullies), resulting in Microsoft, owner of GitHub, deciding to close down the petition’s GitHub account, citing “cyberbullying” as the reason. Microsoft issued a statement explaining that it will not tolerate its platform being used for bullying and wanted to protect Mr Stallman’s human rights.

Links 31/3/2021: Alpine 3.13.4 Released, Canonical Promotes Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 6:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Linux Setup – L.J. Lee, Translator/Researcher/Writer

        Frankly it was that or buy a new computer. I used MacOS from 2015 to 2020, but my hardware couldn’t keep up with the OS updates. When I held back on updates to preserve my customizations and maintain performance I found myself increasingly unsupported and abandoned, unable to install or update apps. My machine, a 2015 Macbook Air, had been made purposefully impossible to upgrade and I either had to abandon a perfectly functional machine or resign myself to a total lack of support.

        Even worse, I looked over the new features for the latest OS updates and found nothing that would enhance my experience as a user; just more features designed to monetize me as a customer making recurring payments, and lock me into the Apple ecosystem. It was clear that the support for my older Air was not there in the long term and Apple was taking its personal computing environment in a direction I disagreed with.

        I wasn’t new to Linux or free software. I had a little experience using Ubuntu from about a decade back, and had been interested for some years in free and open source software developments. So I thought, why not Linux? And if I was going to move anyway, I figured it was better do it sooner rather than later so I could learn and settle down on my new system. The Mac environment wasn’t getting any friendlier to me with time anyway, and I decided not to stick around until things became completely intolerable.

        Cue a trial period with Linux on a virtual machine, a flurry of research and preparation, then taking the jump to wipe Mac OS off the machine to do a bare-metal installation of Linux. The Macbook Air is now a Linux machine that I am much happier with.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Why Debian is the BEST Distro! The only thing you should install! FULL REVIEW.

        In this video, I talk about my recent realization of how AWESOME Debian is. It’s literally the only distribution you should ever consider. Check out this video and I’ll let you know why that is (with a little help from some friends).

      • No PRs Please | LINUX Unplugged 399

        Lutris developer Mathieu Comandon joins us to share his perspective on the uncomfortable issues facing Linux desktop developers.

        Plus the tech behind Shells.com, community news, feedback, and more.

        Special Guests: Mathieu Comandon and Zlatan Todorić.

      • mintCast 357.5 – The Endeavour Endeavor

        1:38 Linux Innards
        1:02:02 Vibrations from the Ether
        1:21:06 Check This Out
        1:23:10 Announcements & Outro

        In our Innards section, we answer the question “What’s missing” and dive into the world of Arch

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Native Wayland Support for OBS Studio is Going to be a Reality

          OBS Studio is an incredibly popular free and open-source cross-platform streaming and recording program.

          You can find the latest OBS Studio version for Linux by using the Flatpak package or Snap.

          Now, it looks like you will be able to finally run it as a native Wayland application in the next release (OBS Studio 27.0).

        • OBS Studio Now Ready With Wayland Capture Support

          The OBS Studio software for streaming and recording that is quite popular with game streamers is now set to see good Wayland support for its next release. Stavracas for a while has been working on allowing good and native Wayland support for OBS Studio with the last of that work being merged upstream today. Among the work involved was native Wayland integration, creating textures from DMA-BUF for more efficient screen capturing, and Wayland-compatible capturing by making use of PipeWire and Flatpak Portals.

    • Benchmarks

      • More Intel Core i5 11600K, Core i9 11900K Benchmarks

        Along with our Intel Core i5 11600K + Core i9 11900K Linux review from yesterday with 22 pages of benchmarks, even more performance data is now published and continues to flow in via OpenBenchmarking.org for looking at the Intel Rocket Lake performance across hundreds of benchmarks and compared to many other processors we have tested and that of the community.

        Via Intel Core i9 11900K on OpenBenchmarking.org you can see immediately the benchmarks where the i9-11900K is performing very well compared to all other public results on OpenBenchmarking.org and the areas where it’s less competitive. Many of those areas outlined in yesterday’s review. Similarly, there is the entry for the Intel Core i5 11600K as well.

        Or if interested in just specific workloads of relevance to your computing needs navigate to say the timed kernel compilation, Blender, srsLTE, or other individual test profiles (benchmark) pages. Where there is multiple data points from multiple separate occasions run and statistically significant data collected, there should be the i5-11600K and i9-11900K in the composite rankings to show how these Rocket Lake CPUs stack up against other CPUs with sufficient test data.

      • NVIDIA Releases Feature-packed GeForce 465 Series Drivers For Linux & Windows

        It’s not often that NVIDIA releases both a Linux and Windows driver on the same day that bring their own notable changes, but the newly-released 465 versions do just that.

        On the Windows side, the new 465.89 driver adds NVIDIA Reflex low-latency technology to Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, with promises of input lag improvements of up to 30%. Considering just how popular this game is, and how crucial it is to have smooth gameplay, this could addition could be adopted pretty quickly. NVIDIA says that seven of the top 10 shooters on the market today now use Reflex.

    • Applications

      • PeerTube Is A Free YouTube Alternative, Released v.3.1

        After releasing PeerTube v3 in early January, a new main version on popular free YouTube alternative is now available. PeerTube 3.1 comes with plenty of improvements and new features.

        PeerTube is a piece of software that enables anyone to run their own tube site (like YouTube) very easily. All of the sites everyone runs can talk to each other, and people with accounts on one can interact with people on others. To put it short, it is a network of tube sites.

      • mpv-Based Haruna Video Player 0.6.0 Adds MPRISv2 And YouTube Playlists Support

        Haruna Video Player version 0.6.0 has been released today. The new version adds support for YouTube playlists, integration with MPRISv2 applets, and more.

        Haruna is a free and open source Qt / QML video player for Linux that makes use of mpv (libmpv) for video playback.

        mpv is a lightweight video player which with features such as hardware acceleration, youtube-dl support, Lua scripting, and more, which uses a minimal user interface. This is where Haruna Video Player come in – it adds a GUI on top of mpv (using libmpv) that can show the playlist on mouse-over, easily configure the keyboard shortcuts and mouse buttons, jump to the next chapter by middle click on the progress bar, load primary and secondary subtitles, perform color adjustments, and more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install MediaWiki on Ubuntu 20.04 with Apache/Nginx – LinuxBabe

        This tutorial is going to show you how to install MediaWiki on Ubuntu 20.04. MediaWiki is the backend software that powers Wikipedia. It’s free open-source and the most widely used wiki software today. Well-known users of MediaWiki include Wikipedia.org and wikia.com.

        You can use MediaWiki to create your own private or public wiki site. MediaWiki has a lot of useful extensions that have been created both for Wikipedia and for other wiki sites.

      • How To Install Kotlin Programming Language on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Kotlin Programming Language on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Kotlin is a free and open-source statically-typed programming language. It runs on the JVM, and one can compile to JavaScript source code. Kotlin is similar to Apple’s Swift. Kotlin was recently open-sourced and the compiler made accessible through Github.

        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 installation of the Kotlin Programming Language on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • LibreOffice 7.1.2 Released, How to Install in Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        LibreOffice office suite 7.1.2, the second bug-fix release for the 7.1 series, now is available to install in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20, Ubuntu 20.10 via its official PPA.

      • Install Varnish Cache 6 for Apache/Nginx on CentOS 8

        Varnish Cache is a powerful reverse HTTP proxy used to speed up web applications that is available as Open-Source software. Varnish caches both static and dynamic content. It handles all inbound requests before they land on your web server backend. It sits between a web browser and Apache or Nginx web server. Varnish cache stores all incoming page requests in memory so web servers don’t have to create the same web page over and over again.

        In this post, we will show you how to install Varnish cache with Apache and Nginx on CentOS 8.

      • How to install PHP 7.4 With Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04 – RoseHosting

        PHP is one of the most popular server scripting languages used for creating dynamic pages. Many popular CMS is written in PHP including, WordPress, Laravel, Magento, and many more.

        The PHP 7.4 version was officially released on November 28th, 2019 with a number of new features. It has also few incompatibilities so you should take care before upgrading from the previous version.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PHP7.4 with Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to Remap a Broken Keyboard on Linux, macOS, and Windows

        If your keyboard has a broken or missing key, working on it can be challenging. In general, regardless of whether you use a laptop or an external keyboard, it’s plausible that it could run into such keyboard problems over time.

        While there are several ways to fix a broken keyboard, the simplest (and beginner-friendly) method is to blow away the dust or debris entrenched in the keyboard activity.

        However, there are instances when this doesn’t work. An alternative solution at such times is to remap the broken key to another key on your keyboard.

      • Get System Hardware information using ‘dmidecode’ command in Linux

        DMIDECODE command in Linux is used fetch the complete system hardware information. It can information like Serial Numbers, Part number etc for all the hardware components like CPU, RAM, HDD etc. We can also get information related to system BIOS.

        DMIDECODE command in Linux is actually fetched data from DMI table or Desktop Management Interface Table & produced it in human-readable format, hence it’s also called DMI Table Decoder.

    • Games

      • Take a look at some differences in the upcoming Total War: ROME REMASTERED

        Total War: ROME REMASTERED, the recent announcement from Creative Assembly and Feral Interactive is coming to Linux on April 29 and here’s a look at what’s improved. It’s going to be replacing the original too, which only supported Windows, while this will be properly cross-platform across Linux, macOS and Windows together.

        Some of the new improvements include updated battlefield environments, new unit models, an enhanced campaign map, improved visual effects during battles and much more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce’s Apps Update for March 2021 Covers New Releases of Thunar, Xfdashboard, and Gigolo

        The development team behind the widely used and lightweight Xfce desktop environment have done a great job this month keeping several important apps and plugins updated with new features, improvements, bug fixes, and updated translations.

        The star of this month is Thunar, Xfce’s default file manager, which received not one but three maintenance updates to version 4.16 that re-introduce alternative shortcuts for the zoom functionality, add the ability to select the copied files after copy operation, prevent it from merging folders when creating a copy with same name, add the ability to reload the current directory before selecting new files, add the ability to hide the “properties” menu-item for unmounted devices, and revamp the documentation to modernize and uniform it across components.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40, Your Fast Desktop Computing | A Quick Review

          Now I can type ² (exponent two), © (copyright mark), ® (registered trademark), ™ (trademark) with some shortcut keys I chose myself. I do not need to open Insert Special Characters anymore with this ability. This [Compose key] here is an arbitrary key (such as Alt) which when pressed once will show a mark on screen, and I should press Shift+C and then O to make ©. For the superscripts, for example I press Compose key once, then I should press Shift+6, and I press a number. Magic! This can be configured on Settings and Tweaks.


          Since few versions ago, I saw Settings look responsive, that was, resizable to a smartphone screen size. The reason is, that GNOME is indeed made suitable for touchscreen devices (tablet and phones) and today it is made a reality thanks to PinePhone & Librem you can check them out. The new changes at Settings I found are under Keyboard section with Input Sources moved there and added with a new Compose Key facility, however I found Dock is missing (and missing also in Tweaks) and I don’t know why — perhaps just like in the past, GNOME developers want to make Dock position permanent unless we change it someway.


          GNOME Forty is fast I encourage you to try it! Everything feels seamless, looks better designed. Maps, Weather, Settings, and Files after the user navigation are now faster and better. However, there’s still some issues and in my opinion the most unpleasant is Software as mentioned above. Overall, it is worth trying and waiting for the inclusion on Ubuntu in particular and on GNU/Linux distros worldwide in general. Finally, enjoy your computer with GNOME! Congratulations and thank you to all GNOME developers!

    • Distributions

      • Review of KDE-Based JingOS 0.8

        Gestures are a great starting point. They are buggy, yes, but they also are 1:1 (which is not taken from KDE Plasma, although some of the gesture code is) and they are quite useful. Tocuhscreen gestures are also very effective and the animations are good. This receives a big thumb up from me.

      • JingOS, the Linux Tablet Distro, Adds OTA Updates, New App Store + More

        A new version of JingOS, the tablet-friendly Linux distro, is available to download — and it’s jam packed with improvements.

        For those new to it, JingOS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution targeted at tablet devices. It sports a custom Qt-based desktop environment designed for touch (but compatible with mouse and keyboard), comes with a suite of bespoke apps, and …has more than a passing nod to Apple’s iPadOS!

        JingOS 0.8 is the first major update to the OS since January, when the JingOS alpha emerged to much excitement. Two months and a tonne of tweaks later, JingOS gains support for over-the-air (OTA) updates, ships a redesigned settings app, and a custom app store…

      • Monthly News – March 2021

        Statistics recently showed us that many users did not update their computer. The way other operating systems handle updates is either by forcing their users to do so, or by frustrating them and annoying them until they do.

        We spent time looking into this and talking to casual users to understand why they weren’t applying updates. We found many of them were sensitive to the importance of applying updates but didn’t do so simply because they were never really told to. When asked why and when they updated their phone they recognized that the phone update notifications were annoying but that they were successful in making them apply the updates.

        Some users expressed a feeling of relief after applying phone updates, both because they felt like they were doing “the right thing” and because they knew the notification wouldn’t come back “for a while”. To us this looks like a partial delegation of responsibility. The user is aware of the importance of the issue and happy to be reminded of it to some extent as long as it doesn’t happen too often. Although the user does not review updates and is likely to apply all of them, he/she is not fully onboard with automation, appreciates being asked consent and decides on the timing of the updates.

        Statistics showed us we needed to do something. Feedback showed us people hated to be annoyed, taken hostage or forced to do something they didn’t want (this is a major source of frustration for Mac and Windows users apparently). We also had key principles to respect. This is your computer not ours. You’re also all very different and you use the software we make in very different ways, so we needed to keep that in mind and let you configure and tune the software so it remains flexible and useful no matter how you like to use it.

        So with all that said here’s what we did. We designed a notification system which acts as a gentle and welcome reminder and took great care not to turn it into an annoyance.

      • Proxmox Mail Gateway 6.4: Protects orgs from spam, viruses, Trojans, and phishing emails

        Enterprise software developer Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH has released Proxmox Mail Gateway 6.4, the latest version of its open-source email security solution.

        Proxmox Mail Gateway is a complete operating system based on Debian Buster 10.9, but using Linux kernel 5.4.106, which is under long term support (LTS) status.

        The anti-spam and anti-virus filtering solution from Proxmox functions as a full featured mail proxy, that is deployed between the firewall and the internal mail server. It protects organizations against threats, such as spam, viruses, Trojans, and phishing emails.

      • Puppy

        • Puppy Linux without an initrd

          We know about the ‘initrd’ file, which is an initramfs that runs first at bootup. EasyOS has this, as do the puppies.
          A traditional full installation, occupying an entire partition, may not need an initrd, and can be run directly from the kernel boot parameters. For example, if the full installation is in /dev/sda9, then boot parameters would include root=/dev/sda9, or the PARTUID could be specified.
          If an initrd is used, the boot parameters would not have root=, instead would have something like initrd=initrd.gz, where initrd.gz is the name of the file, with perhaps a path.
          One of the reasons we have a initrd is to setup the layered filesystem, using overlayfs or aufs, then a switch_root is performed onto the layered filesystem.
          However, Dima, forum name ‘dimkr’ on github and the Puppy Forum, and ‘iguleder’ on the old Puppy Murga Forum, has come up with a way to load the layered filesystem without requiring an initrd.

      • New Releases

        • Alpine 3.13.4 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.13.4 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

          This release includes a fix for busybox CVE-2021-28831 and kernel fixes for Ampere Mt Jade machines.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM, Red Hat face copyright, antitrust lawsuit from SCO Group successor Xinuos

          Xinuos, formed around SCO Group assets a decade ago under the name UnXis and at the time disavowing any interest in continuing SCO’s long-running Linux litigation, today sued IBM and Red Hat for alleged copyright and antitrust law violations.

          “First, IBM stole Xinuos’ intellectual property and used that stolen property to build and sell a product to compete with Xinuos itself,” the US Virgin Islands-based software biz claims in its complaint [PDF]. “Second, stolen property in IBM’s hand, IBM and Red Hat illegally agreed to divide the relevant market and use their growing market powers to victimize consumers, innovative competitors, and innovation itself.”

          The complaint further contends that after the two companies conspired to divide the market, IBM then acquired Red Hat to solidify its position.

          SCO Group in 2003 made a similar intellectual property claim. It argued that SCO Group owned the rights to AT&T’s Unix and UnixWare operating system source code, that Linux 2.4.x and 2.5.x were unauthorized derivatives of Unix, and that IBM violated its contractual obligations by distributing Linux code.


          “While this case is about Xinuos and the theft of our intellectual property,” said Sean Snyder, president and CEO of Xinuos, in a statement. “It is also about market manipulation that has harmed consumers, competitors, the open-source community, and innovation itself.”

          An IBM spokesperson told The Register that the company has not yet been served with a copy of the complaint. Red Hat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

        • Xinuos Sues IBM and Red Hat for Antitrust Violations and Copyright Infringement, Alleges IBM Has Been Misleading its Investors Since 2008

          Xinuos, Inc., a software company headquartered in the U.S. Virgin Islands that provides commercial customers with server operating systems, today filed a copyright infringement and antitrust lawsuit against International Business Machines Corp. (“IBM”) and Red Hat, Inc. (“Red Hat”) in the United States District Court of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. John Division. Xinuos alleges that IBM and Red Hat, using wrongfully copied software code, have engaged in additional, illegal anti-competitive misconduct to corner the billion-dollar market for Unix and Linux server operating systems.

        • This new Linux distro wants to ‘fill the void’ left by CentOS

          The first stable release of AlmaLinux, the drop-in CentOS replacement, has arrived on schedule. AlmaLinux is an open source rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that aims to fill the void left by Red Hat’s move to divert its resources to the CentOS Stream distro.

          Proposed by server OS vendor CloudLinux, AlmaLinux backs the new Linux distro with a financial commitment of a million dollars a year, and promises to develop and foster an open source community around the project.

          “So, after about 4 months since the decision to steer CentOS in a different path, you now have a 1:1 binary compatible drop-in replacement, with a very long support timeframe,” write the AlmaLinux developers in the release announcement.

        • 5 tips to help you prepare for technical certification exams

          As a sysadmin and a consultant, I’m constantly looking for ways to learn new things and keep updated with the latest technologies. In addition to training and self-learning, completing a technical certification program is a good way to learn, sharpen, and demonstrate your skills.

        • Industry trends from the ever evolving service provider edge

          Change is the one constant in computing and networking environments. It has now driven their evolution to encompass the telecommunications edge.

          The centralized cloud in datacenters–today’s dominant paradigm for communications service providers (CSPs)–remains vital to efficiently store and process information. However, as the demand for real-time processing and low-latency connectivity applications and services increases, edge computing is poised to become progressively more important—and, in time, indispensable as part of a hybrid cloud computing model. Service providers can offer an edge cloud platform to deliver services for vertical industry participants, providing more innovation and ultimately serve customers better.

        • Accelerate your DevOps journey with a trio of training offerings from Red Hat

          The successful shaping of an organization’s DevOps culture depends on a few key factors: leadership, technology, and investment in quality training resources. With Red Hat’s immersive DevOps curriculum—featuring courses on open practices to culture enablement—these critical concepts can help catalyze widespread transformation within your organization.

        • Red Hat Certified Specialist in Services Management and Automation

          Late last year, I’ve read that a new Ansible-related exam was available: the Red Hat Certified Specialist in Services Management and Automation exam (EX358). I’ve taken and passed this exam at the end of January. It was the first time I did a Red Hat exam that was brand new and without having the possibility of finding online some opinions around it.

        • Playing with modular synthesizers and VCV Rack

          You know about using Fedora Linux to write code, books, play games, and listen to music. You can also do system simulation, work on electronic circuits, work with embedded systems too via Fedora Labs. But you can also make music with the VCV Rack software. For that, you can use to Fedora Jam or work from a standard Fedora Workstation installation with the LinuxMAO Copr repository enabled. This article describes how to use modular synthesizers controlled by Fedora Linux.

        • Enable serial console for libvirt

          QEMU/KVM libvirt virtual machine can be acessed via serial console. When a new VM is created, serial console device is created. However to fully utilize this, several steps are needed on the guest machine.

        • Policy proposal: Update default content license to CC BY-SA 4.0

          Earlier this month, Matthew Miller suggested the Fedora Council update the default content license from the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. This license applies to content (not code) submitted to Fedora that does not have an explicit license attached. It does not override the explicit license choices of contributors or upstream projects.

        • The Lounge web IRC client in Fedora

          My graphics card died and thanks to COVID and Bitcoin, it will be a long wait until it’s back. I am on Mac M1 at the moment and it looks like there are not many good IRC clients on MacOS.

        • Letsencrypt a Fedora server

          I was looking for a simple letsencrypt tutorial for my home server running Fedora but it looks like the official (and quite capable) certbot is not availble in Fedora repos. So I have decided to go a more simple route of using acme-tiny shell script which is present and does the same, at least if you are running Apache httpd.

      • Debian Family

        • Siduction 21.1.0 overview Promo #Shorts

          The siduction distribution is a desktop-oriented operating system and live medium based on the “unstable” branch of Debian GNU/Linux. Forked from aptosid in late 2011, siduction offers many separate live media with a range of desktop environments. The project also promises regular releases, an open development model, and friendly relationship with its developer and user community.

        • Parrot OS 4.11 Release Brings in Updates For Hacking Tools and Linux Kernel 5.10

          Debian-based Parrot OS has come up with a new release Parrot 4.11 with Linux 5.10 Kernel as default and updated hacking tools.

        • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, March 2021

          In March I was assigned 16 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 12.25 hours from earlier months. I worked 25.75 hours and will carry over the remainder.

          I eventually settled on an apparently working patch series to fix the futex security issue in Linux 4.9. This went through upstream stable review and was included in 4.9.260. I applied the same fixes to the Debian package, along with some other security and regression fixes. I uploaded it and issued DLA-2586-1.

        • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in March 2021

          One of the original promises of open source software is that distributed peer review and transparency of process results in enhanced end-user security. However, whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free and open source software for malicious flaws, almost all software today is distributed as pre-compiled binaries. This allows nefarious third-parties to compromise systems by injecting malicious code into ostensibly secure software during the various compilation and distribution processes.

          The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to ensure no flaws have been introduced during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

        • Challenging times for Freexian (2/4)

          Freexian’s “Debian LTS” service has so far been entirely successful, with a steady growth over the years. Thanks to this, and even if there are always new challenges, it is fair to say that the Debian LTS team has met its goal in the last few years.

          While this started from the desire to make LTS a reality, many sponsors are only looking for a way to give back to Debian through their company, and to make sure that Debian fits their needs.

          But if you look at the bigger picture outside of this small LTS area, you will easily find many issues that need to be addressed if we want Debian to meet the needs of corporate users. Those issues can have widely different types and complexity be. They can be as simple as missing the latest upstream version for an important package because the maintainer disappeared and nobody noticed before it was too late (i.e. the release was frozen); or a somewhat basic piece of software not yet packaged at all; or a release critical bug that was left unattended. On the other end of the spectrum, some corporate requirements will prove tougher to solve, for instance for large software suites that are complex to package, or could potentially have an impact elsewhere in Debian.


          This major shift in our offering would also be an ideal opportunity to build a professional, free-software based infrastructure aimed at sustaining this business, making it easier to administer the various aspects of this work, and easily allowing many more sponsors to join (individuals included!).

          On a more pragmatic/operational note, this shift will bring a lot of challenges to the table, and those can hardly be handled with the current resources of Freexian: if we hope to properly implement this new strategy, we’ll need some additional help.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • How to choose the best enterprise Kubernetes solution

          While containers are known for their multiple benefits for the enterprise, one should be aware of the complexity they carry, especially in large scale production environments. Having to deploy, reboot, upgrade or apply patches to patches to hundreds and hundreds of containers is no easy feat, even for experienced IT teams. Different types of Kubernetes solutions have emerged to address this issue.

          However, navigating these solutions to pick the right one is often challenging, as there is no true ‘one size fits all’ . Each route you take to adopting Kubernetes comes with its pros and cons; this gets even trickier when you consider that what might be a deal breaker for one organisation, might not be an issue for another, depending on each business’s specific profile.

          So before we dive into the challenges and solutions of each type of Kubernetes, let’s explore some of the key considerations for businesses, that will impact which Kubernetes approach is most suitable to their needs.

        • Ubuntu for machine learning with NVIDIA RAPIDS in 10 min

          If you just want a tutorial to set up your data science environment on Ubuntu using NVIDIA RAPIDS and NGC Containers just scroll down. I would however recommend reading the reasoning behind certain choices to understand why this is the recommended setup.

          Cloud or local setup

          Public clouds offer a great set of solutions for data professionals. You can set up a VM, container, or use a ready-made environment that presents you with a Jupyter notebook. They are also great in terms of productizing your solution and exposing an inference endpoint. Nevertheless, every data scientist needs a local environment.

          If you are starting your career it’s better to understand exactly how all the pieces are working together, experiment with many tools and frameworks, and do it in a cost-effective way.

          If you are an experienced professional you will always meet a customer which cannot put their data on a public cloud, ie. for compliance or regulatory reasons.

          Additionally, I like to be able to take my work with me on a trip, and sometimes I’m not within range of a fast internet connection. Having your own machine makes a lot of sense.

        • Announcing Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview – WSL 2 [Ed: Canonical and Ubuntu remind you that they (also) work for Microsoft and for Windows [1, 2] (WSL is an attack on GNU/Linux!)]

          We are thrilled to release the Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview, a special build of Ubuntu for the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) that serves as a sandbox for experimenting with new features and functionality. Over the past year, we have proudly hosted two WSL conferences known as WSLConf. WSLConf was initially intended to be an event where the early adopters of WSL could share best practices. As interest and engagement spread, the now global conference has turned into a hub for innovation, collaboration, and ideas. The new Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview is our way of thanking the community and providing a space for us to collectively shape the future of Ubuntu on WSL.

        • Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview is a special sandboxed build for testing new features on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) [Ed: Microsoft boosters are very happy about this because it's all about Microsoft dominating GNU/Linux]
        • Canonical Releases “Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview”

          Canonical today announced the release of the “Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview” as a specialized build of Ubuntu catering to Microsoft’s WSL2.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Hardware

        • Piunora has the guts of a Raspberry Pi 4 with Arduino form factor, M.2 PCIe socket (Crowdfunding)

          The Raspberry Pi 4 is a pretty cool board, but if you wished it was just a bit smaller, and you could use the PCIe interface exposed by the Broadcom BCM2711 processor more easily, Timon has designed Piunora carrier board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4.

          The solution provides a board with the guts of Raspberry Pi 4 SBC but using the Arduino form factor including access to the six ADC pins, and an M.2 socket with the PCIe signal from the Broadcom SoC.

        • Containerize all the things! Arm v9 takes security seriously

          The key concept introduced in Arm v9′s new Confidential Compute Architecture is the realm. Realms are containerized, isolated execution environments, completely opaque to both operating system and hypervisor. The hypervisor itself will only be responsible for scheduling and resource allocation. Realms themselves are to be managed by the realm manager—a new concept that can apparently be implemented in 1/10th the code required for a hypervisor.

        • Arm pulls the sheets off its latest Armv9 architecture with added AI support, Realms software isolation

          Arm has set out its stall for the first major new version of its instruction set architecture – Armv9 – in about a decade, and promised compatible chips will have improved machine-learning and security capabilities.

          Previous versions of the architecture introduced support for things like virtualization and SIMD; the last major update, Armv8, debuted in 2011. Arm says its latest instruction set architecture, v9, will be geared toward today’s top buzzword in tech – AI. The chip design house, which Nvidia is still trying to acquire from Softbank, laid on the marketing a little thick for the unveiling of the ISA, though there is some detail here.

        • Armv9 architecture to focus on AI, security, and “specialized compute”

          Armv8 was announced in October 2011 as the first 64-bit architecture from Arm. while keeping compatibility with 32-bit Armv7 code. Since then we’ve seen plenty of Armv8 cores from the energy-efficient Cortex-A35 to the powerful Cortex-X1 core, as long as some custom cores from Arm partners.

          But Arm has now announced the first new architecture in nearly ten years with Armv9 which builds upon Armv8 but adds blocks for artificial intelligence, security, and “specialized compute” which are basically hardware accelerators or instructions optimized for specific tasks.

        • SiFive Core IP 21G1 release improves bit manipulation, floating-point unit, reduces code footprint

          As SiFive has a portfolio of RISC-V cores ranging from low-power E2-series to high-performance U8-series cores with performance similar to Cortex-A7x cores, the company has not released new cores for a while, and instead focuses on improving their current RISC-V cores.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • postmarketOS Second Beta Release: v21.03

          After months of hard work from our amazing community, we are proud to announce the second beta release of postmarketOS, based on Alpine Linux 3.13. The amount of supported devices has been increased from one (just the PinePhone in v20.05) to no less than eleven – and all of them run a (close to) mainline kernel!
          Each device is able to run modern phone shells Phosh, Plasma Mobile and Sxmo. The Nokia N900 is an exception of course, for that one we recommend running i3.

          As mentioned in the header of the blog post, in its current state, postmarketOS is for Linux enthusiasts. Expect bugs and help out with fixing them. It’s a long hard road to an alternative smartphone OS that doesn’t track its users, gives back control and makes a long lifetime feasible. But we are making steady progress, and when compared to when we started out, a huge community has been established – not only within postmarketOS, but also a whole ecosystem of other projects that share the same goal and work together.

          Release versions of postmarketOS are best for stability. For the over 250 (!) booting devices in the testing category and rolling release thrills, use postmarketOS edge.

        • Losca: MotionPhoto / MicroVideo File Formats on Pixel Phones

          Google Pixel phones support what they call ”Motion Photo” which is essentially a photo with a short video clip attached to it. They are quite nice since they bring the moment alive, especially as the capturing of the video starts a small moment before the shutter button is pressed. For most viewing programs they simply show as static JPEG photos, but there is more to the files.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • New Libreboot release, ETA late April 2021 / early June 2021

        Rapid progress is being made towards a new Libreboot release. It should be done by late April or early June 2021. Many new boards will be supported, with lots of bugs fixed, new features added and the latest coreboot/GRUB/SeaBIOS versions used on all boards. The Libreboot website will be massively overhauled.

        I, Leah Rowe, have re-taken full control of the Libreboot project after 4 years delay in bringing out a new release. Long story in short, Libreboot began a new and ambitious re-write of its build system in 2017; as of 2021, that build system is still not ready; the design is fundamentally flawed and the code is unmaintainable so I have scrapped the rewrite entirely. The work will be preserved, for reference, but it has otherwise been abandoned.

        I, Leah Rowe, was not responsible for that re-write. The design of that re-written build system is fundamentally flawed, and it has too many bugs. The people working on it kept adding too many new features without fixing fundamental issues. I have revoked all of their access to project infrastructure; Libreboot is now lead by me. I have a completely different idea for how to run the project and what a coreboot distro should be.

        I, Leah Rowe, stepped down from Libreboot development in 2017. Since late 2020, I’ve been actively developing Libreboot again. I have been working on another project, forked via Libreboot 20160907 build system lbmk but on documentation from December 2020. That project is: http://osboot.org/ – if Libreboot seems dead to you right now, it’s because I’ve been doing the work exclusively in osboot, with the intention of adapting that work back into Libreboot.

        osboot has very different goals than Libreboot, but the build system there is vastly improved. I have focused on adding all libre-friendly boards to osboot which means anything that Libreboot does support, or can support. I am presently using a version of coreboot from December 2020, with patches applied on top to improve certain functionality on specific boards.

      • Web Browsers

        • Google Chrome for Linux is getting DNS-over-HTTPS, but there’s a catch

          Google Chrome developers have announced plans to roll out DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) support to Chrome web browser for Linux.

          DoH has been supported on Google Chrome for other platforms, including Windows, Mac, ChromeOS, and Android, since at least 2020.

          While the exact version of Chrome for Linux that would come out with DoH support is yet to be announced, the Chromium project expects either M91 or M92 to contain the feature.

        • Mozilla

          • Henri Sivonen: A Look at Encoding Detection and Encoding Menu Telemetry from Firefox 86

            The failure mode of decoding according to the wrong encoding is very different for the Latin script and for non-Latin scripts. Also, there are historical differences in UTF-8 adoption and encoding labeling in different language contexts. For example, UTF-8 adoption happened sooner for the Arabic script and for Vietnamese while Web developers in Poland and Japan had different attitudes towards encoding labeling early on. For this reason, it’s not enough to look at the global aggregation of data alone.

            Since Firefox’s encoding behavior no longer depends on the UI locale and a substantial number of users use the en-US localization in non-U.S. contexts, I use geographic location rather than the UI locale as a proxy for the legacy encoding family of the Web content primary being read.

            The geographical breakdown of telemetry is presented in the tables by ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code. The code is deduced from the source IP addresses of the telemetry submissions at the time of ingestion after which the IP address itself is discarded. As another point relevant to make about privacy, the measurements below referring to the .jp, .in, and .lk TLDs is not an indication of URL collection. The split into four coarse categories, .jp, .in+.lk, other ccTLD, and non-ccTLD, was done on the client side as a side effect of these four TLD categories getting technically different detection treatment: .jp has a dedicated detector, .in and .lk don’t run detection at all, for other ccTLDs the TLD is one signal taken into account, and for other TLDs the detection is based on the content only. (It’s imaginable that there could be regional differences in how willing users are to participate in telemetry collection, but I don’t know if there actually are regional differences.)

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Aiven set to grow open source database-as-a-service platform [Ed: "as-a-service" = as in, you're not truly in control, but we use some openwashing for shallow marketing associated (typically) with cost)]

          Heikki Nousiainen: The funding is definitely going to strengthen our position. We believe that there’s a big trend moving to open source and moving to cloud with managed services and we are in a very good position to grow aggressively. This round also allows us to significantly increase our investment in the open source technology that we love as we contribute back to projects, making sure that they are healthy.

      • Programming/Development

        • Daniel Stenberg: curl 7.76.0 adds rustls

          I’m happy to announce that we yet again completed a full eight week release cycle and as customary, we end it with a fresh release. Enjoy!

        • Jussi Pakkanen: Never use environment variables for configuration

          Suppose you need to create a function for adding two numbers together in plain C. How would you write it? What sort of an API would it have?

        • 3 reasons I use the Git cherry-pick command

          Finding your way around a version control system can be tricky. It can be massively overwhelming for a newbie, but being well-versed with the terminology and the basics of a version control system like Git is one of the baby steps to start contributing to open source.

          Being familiar with Git can also help you out of sticky situations in your open source journey. Git is powerful and makes you feel in control—there is not a single way in which you cannot revert to a working version.

        • Qt 6.0.3 Released

          We have released Qt 6.0.3 today. As a patch release the Qt 6.0.3 does not add any new functionality but provides bug fixes and other improvements.

        • Qt 6.0.3 Released With Another ~40 Bug Fixes – Phoronix

          While Qt 6.1 is aiming to release around the end of April, for now the Qt 6.0 series continues marching forward and is out today with the Qt 6.0.3 point release providing another few dozen bug fixes.

        • JavaScript Map – How to Use the JS .map() Function (Array Method)
        • A JavaScript Tutorial

          The overview notes that “JavaScript is now used by an incredible number of high-profile applications, showing that deeper knowledge of this technology is an important skill for any web or mobile developer.” This tutorial explores the various building blocks of the language to help you get started.

        • 5 Best emacs plugins for web development – Linux Hint

          Since you are here, you are already using Emacs for text editing, possibly for email, and certainly for coding tasks. When you start doing serious web development, you want as many advantages as are possible. Here are some tools that will make your experience coding for the web using Emacs.

          As the saying goes, Emacs is an operating system lacking a decent editor. You can set things up so that Emacs runs the entire workflow for you, including git, compiling, and many more things.

        • Python

          • Writing Makefiles for Python Projects | Bastian Venthur’s Blog

            I’m a big fan of Makefiles. Almost all my side projects are using them, and I’ve been advocating their usage at work too.

            Makefiles give your contributors an entry point on how to do certain things like, building, testing, deploying. And if done correctly, they can massively simplify your CI/CD pipeline scripts as they can often just stupidly call the respective make targets. Most importantly, they are a very convenient shortcut for you as a developer as well.

          • Use this open source tool to monitor variables in Python

            When debugging code, you’re often faced with figuring out when a variable changes. Without any advanced tools, you have the option of using print statements to announce the variables when you expect them to change. However, this is a very ineffective way because the variables could change in many places, and constantly printing them to a terminal is noisy, while printing them to a log file becomes unwieldy.

            This is a common issue, but now there is a simple but powerful tool to help you with monitoring variables: watchpoints.

            The watchpoint concept is common in C and C++ debuggers to monitor memories, but there’s a lack of equivalent tools in Python. watchpoints fills in the gap.

          • How to use map, reduce and filter in Python

            In Python, functions are treated no different than regular objects like numbers and strings. You can assign a function to a variable and store it inside a data structure. You can pass a function to another function as one of its parameters. You can even define a function inside another function. Such functional programming approach in Python can be best illustrated by built-in functions called map(), filter(), and reduce().

            In this tutorial, we will see how to use map(), filter(), and reduce() in Python. While their functionalities can be equally achieved with list comprehension or explicit for-loops, these functions allow us to write short, simple, and concise code. For example, a problem that can be solved with 4-5 lines of code using an explicit for-loop can be done in 1-2 code lines using these functions. So, without further ado, let’s get started and see each one of them with examples.

          • How to Handle CSV Files in Python – Linux Hint

            This article will cover a tutorial on handling “csv” files using Python. The term “csv” stands for “comma separated values” where each row or line contains text based values delimited by commas. In some cases, “semicolon” is also used instead of “comma” to separate values. However, this doesn’t make much difference to file format rules and the logic to handle both types of separators remains the same.

            CSV file format is most commonly used for maintaining databases and spreadsheets. The first line in a CSV file is most commonly used to define column fields while any other remaining lines are considered rows. This structure allows users to present tabular data using CSV files. CSV files can be edited in any text editor. However, applications like LibreOffice Calc provide advanced editing tools, sort, and filter functions.

          • How to Use Zip Function in Python – Linux Hint

            This article will cover a guide on “zip” function available in Python’s standard module library. This method allows you to combine and pair elements of multiple iterable objects. You can then run further logic on these pairs. In many cases, using a “zip” function is much more efficient and cleaner than using multiple, nested “for” loops.

          • Build a dice-rolling simulator in Python – Linux Hint

            The dice is a simple cube that generates any number from 1 to 6, and the dice simulator is a computer model that rolls the dice for the user. A dice rolling simulator can be implemented in different ways by Python. Six images will be required to create that will be used in the simulator. The Pillow module of Python is used to display any image in Python that is not installed by default. The dice rolling simulator can be implemented without GUI and GUI, as shown in this tutorial.

          • How to Use Python SimpleHTTPServer

            The main task of the webserver is to handle the HTTP requests from the client. It waits for the HTTP requests coming from the particular IP address and port number, handles the request, and sends the client’s response back. Python uses the SimpleHTTPServer module to create a web server instantly and easily serve the content of the file from the server. It can be used for file sharing also. For this, you have to enable this module with the location of the shareable files. This module comes with the Python interpreter. You don’t need to install it. Since this module is merged with the http.server module in python3, so you have to run http.server to run the webserver in python3. How web server can be used to handle HTTP request and share files, have been shown in this tutorial.

          • How to Convert Fahrenheit to Celsius using Python

            Both Fahrenheit and Celsius are used for temperature measurement. German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit is the inventor of the Fahrenheit measurement scale, and the unit of this measurement is defined by the degree. The water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Swedish astronomer Andres Celsius is the inventor of the Celsius measurement scale, and the unit of this measurement is also defined by the degree. The water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius, and water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. Different ways to convert the Fahrenheit scale to the Celsius scale using python script are shown in this tutorial.

          • How to Use pexpect in Python

            pexpect is a popular Python module for doing different types of automated tasks. Different types of interactive applications such as telnet, ssh, ftp, etc., can be automated using this module. It is a pure Python module, and it does not require a C compiler or TCL or Expect extensions like others expect modules. It can work easily by using a Python interpreter only. This module can be used in two ways. One way is to use the run() function, and another way is to use spawn class. The run() function is easy to use than the spawn class and performs the automated tasks quickly. The particular command or a program can be executed by the run() function that returns the output. This function can be used as the alternative to the os.system() function. The spawn class is more powerful than the run() function that can spawn a child program, interact with it by sending input, and waiting for the response. This module is installed in python3 by default. The two ways of using this module have shown in this tutorial.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash printf Function: 7 Examples for Linux

            If you’ve been using the Bash shell for a decent amount of time, you probably know how to print strings in the Linux terminal using the echo command. The printf command, however, makes printing text with specific formatting much easier.

            Today we’ll learn how to make use of the printf function in order to enhance our Bash scripting skills.

          • Replacing String in Bash | FOSS Linux

            Bash is a UNIX shell-compatible command process whose main task is to manipulate strings conducted in a shell environment. Programmers are at times called upon to work on different files. They can add, delete, and replace parts or the whole file to fit their work. This calls upon the knowledge of replacing string in bash. Data storage can be temporary or permanent, depending on the nature of the data. File string is essential when replacing file contents.

        • Java

          • On the road to Jakarta EE 9 with Open Liberty betas – IBM Developer

            With the release of Jakarta EE 8, enterprise Java technology joined the open source community. Despite the massive scale of this undertaking, which involved scores of projects, tests, meetings, presentations, and deliberations, the transition was a huge success, providing Java developers worldwide with an open source platform for cloud-native enterprise applications.

            However, the next challenge for Jakarta EE was already on deck. Although Jakarta EE 8 was fully compatible with its Java EE 8 predecessor, for the Jakarta EE 9 release, all the specification package prefixes had to be changed from javax to jakarta. For a cloud-native Java runtime, such as Open Liberty, the challenge is to ensure that this change results in as little disruption as possible for application developers.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (curl, ldb, leptonlib, and linux-4.19), Fedora (busybox), Gentoo (openssl, redis, salt, and sqlite), Mageia (firefox, fwupd, glib2.0, python-aiohttp, radare2, thunderbird, and zeromq), openSUSE (firefox), SUSE (ovmf, tomcat, and zabbix), and Ubuntu (curl, lxml, and pygments).

          • Linux patches bugs that could sidestep Spectre mitigations | TechRadar

            Security researchers have disclosed two new vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel that could be exploited to circumvent mitigations for speculative execution attacks such as Spectre and obtain sensitive information from the kernel’s memory.

            Tracked as CVE-2020-27170 and CVE-2020-27171 the vulnerabilities were discovered by Piotr Krysiuk, a member of the threat hunter team at Symantec, who reported them to the Linux kernel security team, which promptly released patches that have now been mainlined.

            “These bugs affect all Linux machines, but would be particularly impactful on shared resources, as it would allow one malicious user to access data belonging to other users,” reveals Symantec in a blog post discussing the vulnerabilities in detail.

          • Two Linux Vulnerabilities Could Allow Bypassing Spectre Attack Mitigations

            Security research from Symantec’s Threat Hunter team, Piotr Krysiuk, caught two new vulnerabilities in Linux systems. Exploiting these vulnerabilities could allow an adversary to conduct Spectre attacks whilst evading the existing mitigations.

          • A tool to spy on your DNS queries: dnspeep

            Hello! Over the last few days I made a little tool called dnspeep that lets you see what DNS queries your computer is making, and what responses it’s getting. It’s about 250 lines of Rust right now.

            I’ll talk about how you can try it, what it’s for, why I made it, and some problems I ran into while writing it.

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

Links 31/3/2021: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 Beta, GIMP 2.10.24

Posted in News Roundup at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • It’s now easier to switch to Linux and play your PC games with an Nvidia GeForce GPU

          You needn’t pick sides when it comes to Linux and Windows anymore. If you want to work on Linux and game on Windows then you have options available to you in 2021. That list just got a little bit bigger as Nvidia now makes it possible to hand your Linux system’s Windows VM a whole card’s worth of GeForce graphical grunt.

          Nvidia has now enabled GPU passthrough support (in beta) for Windows virtual machines on GeForce graphics cards. This effectively means it’s possible to run a Linux machine and then run a virtual Windows machine within it, and hand that unfettered access to a graphics card.

          Specifically a GeForce graphics card, too, and not one of Nvidia’s more pricey enterprise grade GPUs. That’s a big step for Nvidia, as it had previously kept most virtualisation functions out of the hands of owners of gaming cards, offering them up instead with its Quadro, Tesla, and other enterprise cards.

          Nvidia’s touting it as a win for gamers that wish to primarily use Linux.

    • Benchmarks

      • OBS Studio on Wayland

        As of today, I’m happy to announce that all of the pull requests to make OBS Studio able to run as a native Wayland application, and capture monitors and windows on Wayland compositors, landed.

        I’ve been blogging sparsely about my quest to make screencasting on Wayland a fluid and seamless experience for about a couple of years now. This required some work throughout the stack: from making Mutter able to hand DMA-BUF buffers to PipeWire; to improving the GTK desktop portal; to creating a plugin for OBS Studio; to fixing bugs in PipeWire; it was a considerable amount of work.

        But I think none of it would matter if this feature is not easily accessible to everyone. The built-in screen recorder of GNOME Shell already works, but most importantly, we need to make sure applications are able to capture the screen properly. Sadly our hands are tied when it comes to proprietary apps, there’s just no way to contribute. But free and open source software allows us to do that! Fortunately, not only OBS Studio is distributed under GPL, it also is a pretty popular app with an active community. That’s why, instead of creating a fork or just maintaining a plugin, I decided to go the long hard route of proposing everything to OBS Studio itself.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to enable or set auto-login on boot in Linux Mint 20

        By enabling the auto-login feature in Linux Mint, we can easily log in to the Linux Mint system on boot without providing the password. Therefore, once you have enabled the auto-login, there is no need to provide the password for the boot time authentication.

        In this post, we will focus on enabling the auto-login feature on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to run Cron jobs every 10, 20, or 30 minutes

        Cron is a software utility or Linux command also recognized as a Cron job used to schedule tasks or jobs to be executed after a fixed interval of time in the future. The Cron jobs are mostly used for scheduling tasks on the server for automating the administration and system maintenance tasks. The Cron jobs can be scheduled to run every minute, hour, day, or month and we will learn how to run a Cron job after every 10, 20, or 30 minutes in this post. Let’s start.

      • How to install and Use Flatpak on Ubuntu 20.04

        Flatpak is a repository of software and packages just like a snap store. The snap store is supported by Ubuntu, while the Red Hat backs Flatpak. Flatpak is growing and becoming really popular amongst the community because it provides the complete package along with its dependent packages. Although Flatpak is similar to Ubuntu’s snap store, the snap store is not supported by most of the Linux operating systems as compared to the Flatpak.

        Flatpak allows the developers to create a complete application package that includes all the required libraries and dependent packages to run the application. The developer just has to build the application once, and then he can use it and run it in any Linux operating system without making a single change. Flatpak applications run completely on their own and do not have to do anything with the system, so it is possible to run the same application on a system multiple times.

      • How to Setup and Configure XAMPP/LAMP on a Linux System

        Developers require a platform that allows them to create/test their applications and help them find and fix the issues. The platforms and stacks offer a solution package consisting of an HTTP server, a database management system, and interpretation support to some CGI scripting languages like Perl, PHP, or Python.

        We cover one such platform that emulates web-server-like environments on a local system, i.e., XAMPP/LAMPP. There is numerous other software available as well, but XAMPP takes the lead due to the offered features. XAMPP provides an appropriate testing environment that facilitates and speeds up the developmental process. This tutorial will learn to install, configure, and use XAMPP/LAMP on a Linux system.

      • How to Install AWS CLI on Ubuntu 20.04

        AWS CLI (Amazon Web Service Command Line Interface) is an open-source command-line utility tool for managing Amazon web services. AWS CLI is a utility tool provided by AWS to manage resources. AWS API is directly accessible through AWS CLI. Using AWS CLI utility, you can create scripts for automating Amazon Web Services.

        AWS CLI is available in version 1 and version 2. AWS recommends using AWS CLI version 2. If you already version 1, suggest to uninstall it or create symlink/alias with a different name.

      • Ubuntu change keyboard layout in a few simple steps

        Most Ubuntu users like to use their native language as their primary input language when running their system. The Ubuntu Settings Utility allows you to add your native language as a keyboard input source. This input source language can be configured to be used as your default keyboard layout. This layout indicates that everything you type on your keyboard will be perceived by your Ubuntu system based on the selected keyboard layout.

        This article describes how you can change the layout of your keyboard to match your preferred input language on the desktop and it also describes how to change it in the terminal (see the chapter about changing the keyboard layout on Ubuntu server towards the end of the article).
        We ran the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

      • How to Install SQLite and SQLite Browser in Ubuntu

        SQLite is a lightweight, small and self-contained RDBMS in a C library. Popular databases like MySql, PostgreSQL, etc. works in the client-server model and they have a dedicated process running and controlling all the aspects of database operation.

        But SQLite has no process running and has no client-server model. SQLite DB is simply an file with .sqlite3/.sqlite/.db extension. Every programming language has a library to support SQLite.

      • How to setup SSH tunneling on Linux – Linux Hint

        SSH tunneling commonly known as SSH port forwarding is a technique of routing local network traffic over through encrypted SSH on remote hosts. Routing network traffic via SSH tunnels ensure high level of data encryption and security, especially for unencrypted network protocols such as FTP. This is very useful especially when connected to unsecured networks.

      • How to Configure SAML 2.0 for AWS Account Federation – Linux Hint

        SAML is a standard for logging users by allowing the Identity Providers to pass login credentials to the Service Providers. There are several advantages to this single sign-on (SSO) standard over signing in using usernames and passwords, like you do not need to type credentials in, and no one has to remember passwords and renew them. Most organizations are now aware of user identities as they log into their Active Directory. Using this data to log users into other programs, such as web-based applications, makes sense, and one of the most sophisticated ways to do this is to use SAML. The customer’s identification is moved from one location (identity provider) to another (service provider) using SAML SSO. This is achieved by the exchange of XML documents that are digitally signed.

        End-users can use SAML SSO to authenticate to one or more AWS accounts and gain access to particular positions thanks to Okta’s integration with AWS. Okta administrators can download roles into Okta from one or more AWS and allocate them to users. Moreover, Okta administrators may also set the length of the authenticated user session using Okta. AWS screens containing a list of AWS user roles are provided to the end-users. They may pick a login role to assume, which will determine their permissions for the length of that authenticated session.

      • How To Disable Automatic Updates on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to disable automatic updates on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Automatic updates in Ubuntu are not only a security feature but also meant for user convenience. As we have mentioned, it is a by default enabled feature that keeps your system up to date, but it is also annoying for many users due to the errors. You can disable these auto-updates but update your system manually as it is essential to maintain your data security in the system.

      • How To Install Icinga 2 on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Icinga 2 on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Icinga 2 is a free, open-source, and most widely used monitoring system that can be used to monitor the health of networked hosts and services. With Icinga 2 you can monitor CPU load, Memory usage, Disk usage, IMAP, POP3, SMTP, HTTP, Routers, Switches, and many more.

        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 installation of the Icinga 2 monitoring server on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to use bash to create directories in Linux [Guide]

        If you need to use the bash terminal to create directories on Linux, the best way to do it is with the mkdir command. What is “mkdir?” It stands for “make directory,” and it’s one of the most valuable tools on all of Linux. With it, you can create folders anywhere on Linux.

        There’s no need to install “mkdir” to use it on your computer. In fact, it comes pre-installed on every single Linux operating system out there today. A Linux OS probably couldn’t function without it!

      • Ubuntu: VMware Workstation 16 download and setup [Guide]

        Do you need to get VMware Workstation Pro 16 working on your Ubuntu PC but don’t know how to do it? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we show you how to install VMware Workstation Pro 16 on Ubuntu.

        Note: VMware Workstation Pro 16 will expire after 30 days of evaluation if you do not purchase a software license. For more information on how to purchase a software license for VMware Workstation Pro 16, click on this link here.

      • How to Use rsync on Synology NAS – Linux Hint

        The full form of rsync is remote sync. rsync is a command-line program for syncing files. It is used to sync files from your computer to a remote computer, from a remote computer to your computer, from a folder to another folder on the same computer, from your computer to your external hard drive, from a remote computer to your external hard drive, etc. It can also be used to make incremental backups.

        This article will show you how to enable rsync on your Synology NAS and sync files from your computer to your Synology NAS. So, let’s get started.

      • [Solved] Wrong Time in Windows 10 After Dual Boot With Linux

        If you dual boot Windows and Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution, you might have noticed a time difference between the two operating systems.

        When you use Linux, it shows the correct time. But when you boot into Windows, it shows the wrong time. Sometimes, it is the opposite and Linux shows the wrong time and Windows has the correct time.

        That’s strange specially because you are connected to the internet and your date and time is set to be used automatically.

      • How to kill Zombie processes in Linux | FOSS Linux

        A zombie process in Linux refers to those already dead processes but, in one way or another, are still present in the process table of the system. The loophole is that, for some reason, this process was not cleaned by the parent from the process table. Usually, this happens after the completion of the execution process.

        The usual way of operation in Linux is that after a process completes its execution, it notifies its parent, which is responsible for removing the process from the table. Unfortunately, the parent is unable to remove the process from memory in cases where the parent cannot read the child’s status. This is how it comes to be that we have dead processes in the process table. These are what we are calling the zombie processes.

      • Install Laravel On Manjaro/Arch Linux

        Laravel, written in PHP, is a popular MVC framework for developing web applications. Laravel makes it easy to develop dynamic web apps with powerful built-in tools such as database systems, routes, controllers, authentication system, and a lot more.

        Laravel is an open-source PHP web framework. It was first released in June 2011. With each new release, Laravel is making it easier to implement complicated features without wasting too much time. From scaffolding to providing helper methods to build advanced features such as authentication, Models for making database queries, controllers to write request logic, and Views to render blade templates or even supports Inertia for building frontend with React or Vue.

        Currently, Laravel 8.x is the latest release. For a quick start, Laravel provides Laravel Breeze (optional) to scaffold the entire authentication system that includes login, register, and a password reset system.

        If you are a PHP developer, Laravel is a genie for you. The huge community and well-explained documentation is always there if one needs any help. To further save time in coding popular features, search for packages already coded by somebody in the community. Use Packalyst, a huge directory to find Laravel packages built by the community. From interacting with a third-party API to implementing different authentication systems, multiple packages are available for all kinds of needs.

      • How to Remove Ubuntu or Other Linux from Dual Boot
      • How to install Sonic the Hedgehog Time Twisted on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Sonic the Hedgehog Time Twisted 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!

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • How to Check the CentOS Version – Linux Hint

        For troubleshooting, bug fixes, and many other reasons, you may need to know the version of the operating system. Particularly when it comes to the configuration of software repositories or installation of any software, it is extremely important to get the right version of the software so that the solution is compatible with the operating system version. This article shows you various methods for determining the version of CentOS.

      • How do I Ping a Specific Port? – Linux Hint

        We shall take “ping a specific port” to mean that you want to verify a specific port’s status for a given IP address. This is useful for troubleshooting why a service is not working properly.

        This article will show you how to verify a specific network port’s status by using Netcat, Nmap, and Nping.

      • How to manage Linux passwords with the pass command | Enable Sysadmin

        The pass command empowers you to take full control of your password management tasks on Linux.

      • How to Create an SSH Key Passphrase in Linux

        SSH keys are commonly used without a passphrase. This is especially true when automating tasks because no human is expected to be available to type in the passphrase. Nevertheless, the use of SSH key passphrases is recommended for interactive users. This will add an extra layer of security in case the private key is stolen or accidentally disclosed.

    • Games

      • Stadia Pro for April revealed, HITMAN gets a free starter pack and plenty more coming | GamingOnLinux

        Time for another round-up of news for Stadia, the cloud gaming / game streaming service from Google with plenty more games coming along with some out now. There’s also a reveal of what you will get in April with Stadia Pro.

      • Flax game engine 1.1 is out with Linux Editor support | GamingOnLinux

        Another promising game engine with lots of big features is Flax, available free with the source available (but not Open Source) has a huge new release out with improvements to their Linux support.

        The big highlight for us here of course is their new Linux Editor, so now you can build and export games using a full Linux development environment. Using Vulkan for the rendering this is the full experience they say with “live scripting with C++/C# hot-reload, Visual Code integration, scenes editor, game cooking, terrain editing, foliage editing, and much more” giving it feature parity with the Windows editor.

      • Quake II RTX patched to expand the Vulkan Ray Tracing support | GamingOnLinux

        Quake II RTX from Lightspeed Studios and NVIDIA continues expanding with a brand new update out now. It’s not a huge one but it does continue to expand the Ray Tracing support for Vulkan.

        In addition to already supporting NVIDIA’s own VK_NV_ray_tracing extension and the more recent vendor neutral VK_KHR_ray_tracing_pipeline extension, they’ve now gone further to support Ray Tracing with the VK_KHR_ray_query extension API now too.

      • Europa Universalis IV: Leviathan expansion launches April 27 | GamingOnLinux

        Paradox Interactive has announced the Leviathan expansion for Europa Universalis IV is due to release on April 27. This will be the first release from Paradox Tinto, their newer Barcelona-based studio.

        One of the highlights of Leviathan is the ability to use diplomatic favours to gain benefits from other nations. If you post a diplomat to curry favour in a foreign nation, you will slowly build up enough diplomatic power to request material aid, changes in alliances and even the return of core provinces.

      • Legend of Keepers from Goblinz Studio to release on April 29 | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for another game that will make time vanish? Goblinz Studio have announced that Legend of Keepers releases on April 29. Blending together dungeon management, monster management, a little strategy and some rogue-lite mechanics Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master is already great with the current Early Access build.

        With the full release two new modes will be available with Ascension and Endless along with a tease of some other extra content for the big 1.0.

      • Mixing Golf with a platformer, Mage Drops adds a Linux build and a demo | GamingOnLinux

        Available now in Early Access, Mage Drops mixes together the sports game Golf with a platformer to create quite a nice casual experience you can try now.

        “Combining elements of golf and minigolf-like games with puzzle platforming and a twist of fantasy magic, Mage Drops evolves the hit-and-wait formula of golf by adding magic: shots can be influenced mid-flight and elements of the world can be influenced like pinball bumpers, flippers, moving platforms and more!”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 41 To Introduce Libadwaita For Helping To Define GNOME Apps

          GNOME 41 this autumn will be shipping with libadwaita, the successor and GTK4 port to GNOME’s libhandy that will help to define the visual language and user experience for GNOME applications.

          Libadwaita aims to help unify GNOME applications and advance their human interface guidelines while still allowing GTK4 to advance and be used by developers independent of GNOME.

          Looking ahead, libadwaita will likely be used by GNOME GTK4 applications for providing better integration or a more unified UI/UX across these GNOME applications. While Adwaita has been the GNOME “visual language” for a while, the new Libadwaita library will be “the missing code” to it.

        • Introducing Libadwaita

          GNOME 41 will come with libadwaita, the GTK 4 port of libhandy that will play a central role in defining the visual language and user experience of GNOME applications.

          For the past 20 years, GNOME has had human interface guidelines — HIG for short — that are followed by applications targeting the platform.

          Implementing the HIG is a lot of manual work for application developers. This led to lots of verbose copypasted UI code, full of slight interpretation variations and errors, making applications hard to maintain and full of visual and behaviorial inconsistencies. The fact these guidelines are not set in stone and evolve every so often made these inconsistencies explode.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Garuda Linux review – Fighting me, fighting you, aha

          Like the EndeavourOS test, the Garuda Linux experience left me deeply frustrated. I didn’t achieve anything, and yet I spent hours fighting the system, trying to figure out what to do, and sweating a pint of blood just to get the basic stuff working. Like, in this case, a separate, new Firefox profile. How difficult can this be? Why does a browser profile have to be enmeshed so heavily with a dozen other packages and tools? The concept breaks the whole idea of the simple portability of Firefox profiles, and also presents a user with a no-choice option.

          There are also rough edges everywhere, the ergonomics aren’t good, the system is hyperactive. The desktop should be a pleasant background, not in the wallpaper sense, which allows you to focus on your applications and productivity. If you have to mind it all the time or be painfully aware of its behavior, the OS becomes a burden. Like the terminal colors or the ZSH tweaks. Anyway, nothing much else to say really. You read it, or you didn’t, you think I’m an idiot or not, and life moves on. Another day, another sliver of my soul crushed. On a sad note, Dedoimedo out.

      • New Releases

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • This new Linux distro wants to ‘fill the void’ left by CentOS

          The first stable release of AlmaLinux, the drop-in CentOS replacement, has arrived on schedule. AlmaLinux is an open source rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that aims to fill the void left by Red Hat’s move to divert its resources to the CentOS Stream distro.

          Proposed by server OS vendor CloudLinux, AlmaLinux backs the new Linux distro with a financial commitment of a million dollars a year, and promises to develop and foster an open source community around the project.

          “So, after about 4 months since the decision to steer CentOS in a different path, you now have a 1:1 binary compatible drop-in replacement, with a very long support timeframe,” write the AlmaLinux developers in the release announcement.

        • AlmaLinux Now Available For Download As RHEL/CentOS Alternative

          At the start of the year CloudLinux announced AlmaLinux as a 1:1 fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). In ending out Q1, as promised this CentOS alternative is now available for download.

          Following the announcement last year that CentOS 8 would be discontinued EOY2021 in favor of focusing on CentOS Stream as the future upstream to RHEL, “Project Lenix” by CloudLinux was started as one of the new RHEL/CentOS alternatives.

          After several months of hard work, this community-focused, RHEL8 binary compatible distribution is available for download. CloudLinux Inc is said to be sponsoring AlmaLinux with $1M USD annually.

        • AlmaLinux Stable Version Is Officially Available For Download

          Good news, Enterprise Linux users! AlmaLinux stable version has been officially released!! Cloud Linux team has released AlmaLinux beta version a month ago. The stable release was planned for the end of the Q1 2021. The AlamaLinux OS team is dedicated and punctual. As promised, the first stable version of AlmaLinux is out yesterday. Go ahead and test it. If everything is OK, deploy it on your production servers.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 Beta now available

          Today, we’re pleased to announce the beta availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4, the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. Engineered to help deliver enterprise-ready innovation and drive digital transformation from the datacenter to the edge and beyond, RHEL 8.4 Beta adds new capabilities and enhances existing features to further refine RHEL as a consistent foundation for the open hybrid cloud.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 Beta Released With New Features, Improvements

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 continues the company’s work on improving their hybrid cloud capabilities, system administrative and management enhancements, and more. There are also select new/updated packages and various kernel features back-ported to their Linux 4.18 based kernel.

        • AlmaLinux OS First Stable Release is Here to Replace CentOS

          AlmaLinux is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated Linux distributions of 2021.

          In a recent announcement, it looks like the first stable release for AlmaLinux is here. Perhaps, a worthy CentOS replacement that you’ve always wanted?

        • Almalinux 8.3 Is Released As A Stable RHEL Clone For Those Who Liked CentOS

          CentOS used to be the go-to alternative for those who wanted to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) without having to pay RedHat to use it. It was a almost 1:1 clone until RedHat took control of it and turned it into what is now a RHEL beta-version, not a stable RHEL release without the branding. Almalinux is one of several projects that have made their own RHEL forks in response. The first Almalinux version is now released.


          The CentOS GNU/Linux distribution, which is very popular on the server-side, has been following Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) stable releases since its inception in on May 14th, 2004. Those who wanted to use RHEL without a RedHat license, or additional licenses in the case of many RedHat customers, could install CentOS and get something that was binary compatible and almost entirely identical. The branding and a few other minor details were all that separated CentOS from RHEL. That changed with an announcement titled CentOS Project shifts focus to CentOS Stream”, written by RedHat asset Rich Bowen, in December 2020.

          CentOS is no longer a 1:1 clone of RHEL. It is, instead, now based on RHEL beta versions. At least two projects started their own CentOS forks in response to that change: Rocky Linux, lead by CentOS founder Gregory Kurtzer, and AlmaLinux, developed by CloudLinux Incorporated.

        • Island in the Stream: AlmaLinux project issues first stable release of CentOS replacement

          The AlmaLinux project, sponsored by CloudLinux, has issued its first stable release along with details of a new open-source foundation set up to manage the project.

          The AlmaLinux project, originally codenamed Lenix, was started soon after Red Hat informed the world that CentOS would be replaced by CentOS Stream.

          Both are related to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), the commercial build, but whereas CentOS is a downstream community build, Stream is a late upstream build.

      • Debian Family

        • Deepin 20.2 Released with Support for Linux Kernel 5.11, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.8

          Based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10.8 “Buster” update, Deepin 20.2 is here with updated kernels to Linux 5.10 LTS for those who want a long-term supported kernel, as well as Linux 5.11 for those wanting bleeding-edge features and top-notch hardware support. Both kernels are included by default and you can choose which one you want to use from the boot loader thanks to Deepin Linux 20’s dual-kernel capabilities.

          Also improved in this release is the File Manager, which received support for changing unmounted disk names, enhanced full-text search to help you find the files or folders you’re looking for more quickly using English letters and numbers, redefined “Time accessed” and “Time modified” items in the file vault, support for displaying information more clearly, and optimized file operations.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Elementary OS vs. Linux Mint

          There is no argument that Linux has the longest list of operating systems to satisfy everyone’s requirements. However, as a beginner, people always get confused about which one is best and provides convenient features for their system. The article considers Elementary OS and Linux mint to provide a side-by-side comparison. If you need a middleweight operating system, you can choose one of these Linux distros by reading our given details.

        • Elementary OS vs Manjaro
        • Linux Mint Devs Unveil New Notification System for Updates

          A couple of months ago, the Linux Mint devs discovered that many Linux Mint users don’t regularly update their installations, leaving them vulnerable to attacks, and others run older Linux Mint versions that reached end of life and are no longer receiving updates.

          After receiving some negative feedback from users who didn’t understand the changes that they wanted to implement in Update Manager to make users update their systems on a regular basis, the Linux Mint devs decided to implement a new notification system for updates through a pop-up dialog (just like Ubuntu).

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Google Chrome

          Google has a firm grip with their products and services ubiquitous on the desktop. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there are questions about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.

          What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetized and attached to Google’s ecosystem. In this series, we’ll explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything. We’ll recommend open source solutions.

        • Chromium

          • Google Chrome on Linux is getting an important security upgrade

            DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) is not exactly a new technology, and it is something that is supported by all of the big-name browsers.

            Google has already implemented the privacy and security boosting feature in the Windows, macOS and mobile versions of its Chrome browser, and now the company is working to bring it to Linux.

            With the platform attracting a very security-minded groups of users, the only surprise here is that it has taken Google this long to bring DoH to Chrome for Linux. Once implemented, the change means that both DNS queries and DNS responses will be securely transmitted over HTTPS. But the Linux implementation is set to differ slightly from versions of the browser for other platforms.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The best Microsoft Office alternatives of 2021: Free, paid, and online mobile office suites

          By default, LibreOffice uses the ODF (OpenDocument) format, but it’s able to competently handle Microsoft Office document formats. You can export to PDF, too.

          LibreOffice works best as an offline, single-user desktop office suite. A server service, LibreOffice Online, is available if you want to create your own collaboration server for employees, but it’s a significant challenge to implement compared to public cloud-based options from Google, Microsoft, and Zoho.

      • FSF

        • Director, deputy director, CTO of Free Software Foundation all resign over Stallman installation impasse [Ed: This is a false report and not what actually happened at all]
        • Defend Richard Stallman!

          2 years ago, known Thought Criminal Richard M Stallman was falsely accused of defending rape in an Orwellian smear campaign, orchestrated by mainstream media at the behest of proprietary software vendors. 36 years fighting for your digital freedom, cancelled. It was so vicious that he resigned from his post as president of the Free Software Foundation. The FSF did nothing to protect or defend him. However, you can defend him!

          On 21 March 2021, FSF board of directors re-instated Richard Stallman. In response, the media started a new smear campaign. A petition was created, calling for the forceful removal of RMS and the entire FSF board of directors. RMS has been wrongly accused of sexism, transphobia, ableism and a whole host of things intended to discredit him. Do not listen to any of it. Richard Stallman’s political notes and articles paint the picture of a man who has staunchly campaigned against bigotry in all its forms!

          In response, we, the Free software movement, started our own petition. We wish for RMS to remain in his post, and for the FSF to hold their ground. We call for the FSF to defend Richard Stallman’s honour and his legacy. Richard Stallman is a human being, whose right to free speech was heavily suppressed. We must demonstrate our support of him to the FSF, loudly and clearly.

          If you support Free Software, believe in freedom of speech, freedom of community and social justice (true social justice, where a person is treated with dignity and not cancelled just for their beliefs), sign your name here:

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP 2.10.24 Released with Off-Canvas Point Snapping, Improved Image Support

            Coming six months after the GIMP 2.10.22 update, which is probably already installed on your GNU/Linux distribution, GIMP 2.10.24 is mostly a bugfix release that improves support for various image file formats like file BMP, DDS, HEIF, JPEG, PDF, PNG, PSD, PSP, and TIFF.

            However, the most important changes in GIMP 2.10.24 is off-canvas point snapping, allowing you to snap various tools to grids, guides, and vectors, outside or inside the canvas area, and support for importing and exporting GeoTIFF metadata, which provides georeferencing information embedded within a TIFF file used by map makers.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • [Old] Seek Freedom, not Permission

            Also, I realize the cause I’m describing here is not as urgent as global warming, racism, Middle Eastern refugees, or many other issues. Nevertheless, it’s an issue concerning infrastructure, about how we do things, and it can be addressed in parallel with other issues. Moreover, I think almost every ailment we have today goes back to disempowering ordinary people, and that also is a big part of what software freedom is about.

          • Owning Your Own Copyrights in Open Source

            Owning your own copyrights in open source is possible provided you’re careful. The strategies outlined above are based on my own experiences (all in the US) as a contract employee from 1995-2008 there after as a regular employee but are not the only ones you could pursue, so ask around to see what others have done as well. The main problem with all the strategies above is that they work well when you’re negotiating your employment. If you’re already working at some corporation they’re unlikely to be helpful to you unless you really have a simple own time open source project. Oh, and just remember that while the snippets I quoted above for the contract case may actually have been in contracts I signed, this isn’t legal advice and you should have a lawyer advise you how best to incorporate the various points raised.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Dortmund relies on Free Software – This paves the way for Public Money? Public Code!

          With a groundbreaking resolution, Dortmund has committed itself to the use of Free Software. With an overwhelming, cross-faction majority, the city council has paved the way for “Public Money? Public Code!” In the future, software developed or commissioned by the administration will be made available to the general public.

          Back in February, the city council approved a motion previously submitted by the SPD, Bündnis90/Die Grünen, CDU, Die Linke+ and FDP/Bürgerliste. In the future, Free Software is to be used wherever possible and software developed or commissioned for development by the administration is to be made available to the general public. Dortmund is thus following the principle of “Public Money? Public Code!” – code paid for by all should be available to the people! The minutes of the meeting published today show with what unity the council stands behind the principle: The motion passed unanimously. (Although the FDP/Bürgerliste abstained from the vote due to a different amendment on a different point, but introduced the motion and is still in favor). The result was made possible by the consistent efforts of the DO-FOSS initiative, which also supported the “Public Money? Public Code” campaign of the FSFE.

  • Leftovers

    • Pharoah Sanders’s Grand Return

      Not everyone loves the piercing sound of Pharoah Sanders’s saxophone. It’s a sonic signature so polarizing that, in his 50-year career, he’s become something of a bête noire among listeners and critics alike. In the mid-1960s, as jazz transitioned from straight-ahead bebop and hard bop, Sanders, along with saxophonists John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, helped pioneer a frenetic blend of spiritual jazz that, through shrieking horns and loose rhythmic structure, was meant to summon higher powers. The idea, it seemed, was to blow the sax so hard that the music reached God’s ears.

      This technique had its detractors: New Yorker critic Whitney Balliett once likened Sanders’s playing to “elephant shrieks” that “appeared to have little in common with music.” Dennis Hunt, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, called it “primitive” and “nerve-wracking.” Neither Coltrane nor Ayler would live to see this strain of jazz become popular: Coltrane died of liver cancer in 1967; Ayler died three years later under mysterious circumstances. The Holy Trinity of spiritual jazz had been winnowed to one: Sanders, the Son to Coltrane’s Father and Ayler’s Holy Ghost.

    • ‘United Action Is Needed’: World Leaders Champion Global Treaty for Pandemic Cooperation

      “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark and painful reminder that nobody is safe until everyone is safe.”

      National leaders from around the world Tuesday released a joint statement—also signed by the head of the World Health Organization—calling for the creation of a new international treaty that would better equip human society for future pandemics by forging lasting institutions and principles around public health cooperation, data and research sharing, and equitable access to medicine and treatments, including vaccines.

    • The Ongoing Persecution of Steven Donziger

      On March 28, the environmentalist lawyer Steven Donziger spent his 600th day under house arrest in his New York City apartment—and Martin Garbus, the legendary attorney who is part of his defense team, warns that he could end up being confined for an astonishing five years. Donziger says that Chevron, with the help of two federal judges, is persecuting him, because in 2013 he helped win a $9.5 billion case in Ecuador against the oil giant for contaminating a stretch of the Amazon rain forest.

      On March 29, the US Appeals Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit turned down Donziger’s motion to be released on bail while awaiting trial for contempt. Donziger’s attorneys argued before the court earlier in the month that he was not a flight risk, but the three-judge panel rejected their plea, keeping Donziger at home, monitored by an ankle bracelet. Donziger’s contempt trial before federal judge Loretta Preska is due to start on May 10.

    • Good Intentions, Poor Results

      Reverse the strict racist immigration policy of his predecessor and open the gates just a little to newcomers, and they will come. By the thousands, many of them unaccompanied children and teenagers.

      Biden administration officials should have known that to relax restrictions immediately on refugees only would invite them to swarm toward the border in hopes of being let in. Humane treatment is good, of course, but it encourages a reaction that creates problems for a host country, in this case a surge of people with few places to put them.

    • Jordan Elgrably and Andy Lee Roth – The Project Censored Show
    • Van Gogh’s Crows

      Vincent knew his Bible well from Belgium with the miner men He knew that Noah built his ark From cypress, among other things, And waited for the rain to come The deluge washing over them For 40 days they floated, then Released a crow to look for land The crow brought back a message that As far as she could fly she saw an endless sea, no shores at all no consolation; isolation, desolation only was the message of the crow and so When forty of those crows arrive They bear that message Forty times Above the wheat fields of Auvers-sur-Oise

    • Professor who refused school order on transgender student’s pronouns wins in court

      An Ohio college professor who resisted his school’s orders to go along with transgender students’ preferred pronouns has won his First Amendment case before a federal appeals court.

      In a unanimous ruling, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that Shawnee State University violated Prof. Nicholas Meriwether’s rights of free speech and free exercise of religion by punishing him for resisting school rules that forced him to address students in the terms of their choosing.

    • Education

      • Essay mills ‘infiltrating university websites’

        Disinformation techniques used to influence elections and peddle illicit pharmaceuticals are being harnessed to promote contract cheating services on universities’ websites, research has found.

        Hundreds of university websites have been infiltrated by [crackers] aiming to steer unwitting students into essay mills’ clutches, according to preliminary studies by US experts.

        Content ghostwritten by the essay mills, complete with embedded hyperlinks, has been grafted on to universities’ student service web pages. Links to legitimate services have been rigged so that they redirect to contract cheating companies, while university chat sites have been peppered with recommendations for essay mills.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Richard Nixon, Jews, and Marijuana

        All the bastards who wanted to legalize weed in the late Sixties and early Seventies weren’t Jewish. They were also Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, agnostics and atheists. Some worshipped at the shrine of cannabis. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the oldest and the most efficacious pro–pot force in the word, has never been solely a group made up of Jews.

        Mr. Nixon had a problem with Jews that was of his own making. He also had a problem with marijuana, also of his own making. Under the Nixon’s administration’s Controlled Substances Act, marijuana was listed as a “Schedule 1” drug with no medical value and the potential for maximum abuse. Fifty years later, it’s still a Schedule I drug, and illegal by federal law, though at last count “adult” use is permitted in 12 states and the District of Columbia and also permitted for medical use in 13 states.

      • EU, WHO and Dozens of World Leaders Endorse Plan for Future Pandemic Treaty

        Leaders from dozens of countries around the world have signed onto a joint statement calling for the creation of an international treaty that would address pandemics that will come about in the future.

      • COVID Vaccine Hesitancy Drops Among All in US, New Survey Shows

        A new poll of attitudes toward covid vaccinations shows Americans are growing more enthusiastic about being vaccinated, with the most positive change in the past month occurring among Black Americans.

      • Cuba Libre to be COVID-Libre: Five Vaccines and Counting…

        The British government, like most neoliberal regimes, refused to take the measures necessary to slow and halt community transmission, it failed early on to provide health care and social care workers with adequate PPE and other resources which could have saved the lives of hundreds of frontline staff who died as a result. It contracted private businesses to carry out essential activities, most with little or no relevant experience, for example, instead of equipping the community-based GP system of the National Health Service to take charge of ‘track and trace’, the government dished out £37 billion to Serco to manage part of the system. In public health terms it has been disastrous; but measured by Boris Johnson’s celebrated standards of capitalism and greed it is has indeed excelled. The greatest beneficiaries of Britain’s response to the pandemic have been the private corporations making huge profits. Around 2,500 Accenture, Deloitte and McKinsey consultants are on an average daily rate of £1,000, with some paid £6,624 a day.

        Johnson has now laid out a road map for reopening the economy. As a result, even the most optimistic scenario predicts a third wave between September 2021 and January 2022 resulting in at least 30,000 additional deaths in Britain. These deaths are preventable. But it precisely because the British government is driven by the capitalism and greed that it insists that we have to learn to ‘live with the virus’ so that the business of business can continue.

      • Pressed by Sanders, Democrats Aim to Lower Medicare Eligibility Age in Recovery Package

        “There are many millions of seniors who would be very, very grateful if we did that right now.”

        Congressional Democrats are reportedly aiming to use a forthcoming coronavirus recovery package to lower the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60, a development that comes days after Sen. Bernie Sanders publicly advocated for the proposal as a way to expand healthcare coverage for seniors amid the deadly pandemic.

      • Opinion | The UK’s Vaccine Rollout Proves the Superiority of the Universal Health Care Model

        Britain’s vaccination rate has far outpaced the rest of the West. The triumph belongs to its National Health Service. 

        Dr. John Lister watched in horror as the United Kingdom’s Covid- 19 mortality rate climbed above 1 per 1, 000, one of the highest death rates in the world since the start of the pandemic. So, when the 71-year-old Briton was informed he would receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in late January, he could hardly contain himself. 

      • Opinion | The Global Vaccine Divide Is Widening as Rich Nations Protect Patents Over Safety

        People in high-income countries that represent 16 percent of the world’s population have received 56 percent of doses.

        We’re a year into the pandemic, and thanks to vaccines, it appears we may finally have an end in sight. But, as is too often the case, vaccine distribution has been anything but equitable.

      • Experts Warn Failure to Rapidly ‘Vaccinate the World’ Creates Dangerous Opening for Covid-19 Mutations

        “We need a people’s vaccine, not only to protect people in the world’s poorest countries, but to ensure that people all over the world who’ve already been vaccinated aren’t put at risk again.”

        Epidemiologists from dozens of countries around the world issued a loud warning Tuesday that failure to ensure global administration of Covid-19 vaccines within the next year—at the very latest—could allow vaccine-resistant variants to spread among unprotected populations to such an extent that current shots are rendered ineffective.

      • New Covid-19 Cases Plummet 96% in Nursing Homes After Vaccinations: Report

        “We are not out of the woods yet, but these numbers are incredibly encouraging and a major morale booster for frontline caregivers who have been working tirelessly for more than a year to protect our residents.”

        New Covid-19 cases have plummeted by 96% in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities since late December, a report published Tuesday by the industry group American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living revealed. 

      • How We Investigated Death Rates for Extremely Preterm Babies in This State’s Largest Maternity Hospitals

        A New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica investigation found that the tiniest, most premature babies born at Lovelace Women’s Hospital in Albuquerque died at higher rates than they did at a hospital a few miles away, Presbyterian.

        The for-profit Lovelace and nonprofit Presbyterian are New Mexico’s largest maternity centers.

      • The Two Hospitals Have Similar Infant Death Rates — Until You Look at Extremely Premature Babies

        It was morning shift change at Lovelace Women’s Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the neonatal intensive care unit, the lights were dimmed, as usual. People spoke in hushed tones typical of the NICU. But an arriving clinician knew immediately that something had gone wrong.

        A “crash cart” carrying resuscitation equipment was positioned next to a newborn incubator, the enclosed cribs that keep preterm babies warm. Nurses stood nearby with grim expressions.

      • Opioid deaths in America reached new highs in the pandemic

        Fatal overdoses were marching upwards before the pandemic. But they leapt in the first part of last year as states locked down, according to provisional data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths from synthetic opioids—the biggest killer—were up by 52% year-on-year in the 12 months to August, the last month for which data are available. Those drugs killed nearly 52,000 Americans during the period; cocaine and heroin killed about 16,000 and 14,000, respectively (see chart). Once fatalities are fully tallied for 2020, in a few months’ time, it is likely to be the deadliest year yet in America’s opioid epidemic.

      • The growing fight over coronavirus vaccine patents

        A growing chorus of advocates wants to weaken some of the intellectual [sic] property [sic] protections for coronavirus vaccines, which they say will quickly expand global supplies. But critics say the move wouldn’t work, and would set a bad precedent.

      • [Old] The problem with vaccine patents

        Open-source the vaccines. That’s the message being sent by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition that includes Amnesty International, Oxfam, and UNAIDS.

        Why it matters: Manufacturing capacity needs to be scaled up dramatically — and cutting out the need for laborious, expensive and secretive negotiations with vaccine patent holders could help.

      • Drug Patents and Big Pharma Are Slowing Down the Vaccine Rollout and More

        The basic idea of government-funded research should not be hard to grasp since the government already funds a large share of biomedical research. The National Institutes of Health gets over $40 billion a year in federal funding, with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA) and other government agencies getting several billion more. This puts the government’s total spending in the $45 to $50 billion range, compared to a bit over $90 billion from the industry. So the idea that the government would fund research really should not be that strange.

        Most of the public funding does go to more basic research, but there are plenty of instances where the government has actually funded the development of new drugs and also done clinical testing. But under the current system, most of the later stage funding does come from the industry and is funded through patent-monopoly pricing. Relying on open-source, government-funded research for later-stage development and testing would be a major change.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Whistleblower: Ubiquiti Breach “Catastrophic”

          A security professional at Ubiquiti who helped the company respond to the two-month breach beginning in December 2020 contacted KrebsOnSecurity after raising his concerns with both Ubiquiti’s whistleblower hotline and with European data protection authorities. The source — we’ll call him Adam — spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by Ubiquiti.

        • Whistleblower: Ubiquiti Breach “Catastrophic”

          On Jan. 11, Ubiquiti Inc. [NYSE:UI] — a major vendor of cloud-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as routers, network video recorders and security cameras — disclosed that a breach involving a third-party cloud provider had exposed customer account credentials. Now a source who participated in the response to that breach alleges Ubiquiti massively downplayed a “catastrophic” incident to minimize the hit to its stock price, and that the third-party cloud provider claim was a fabrication.

        • SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Ubiquiti, Inc. Investigated for Possible Securities Laws Violations by Block …

          [...] On March 30, 2021, well known cybersecurity analyst Brian Krebs reported that “a source who participated in the response to that breach” is alleging that Ubiquiti “massively downplayed a ‘catastrophic’ incident to minimize the hit to its stock price, and that the third-party cloud provider claim was a fabrication.” [...]

        • Security

          • A Call to Action: Recent PHP Hack Highlights the Need for Better Security

            Just two days ago (Sunday, March 28), hackers were able to breach the internal Git repository of the immensely popular PHP programming language used by almost 80% of all websites on the Internet, and have added a backdoor to the PHP source code. According to a message that the PHP team posted on its mailing list late Sunday night, the malicious code was added to the PHP source code through the accounts of two core PHP team members, Rasmus Lerdorf and Nikita Popov, neither of whom were involved. Popov stated in this message: “We don’t yet know how exactly this happened, but everything points towards a compromise of the git.php.net server.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Google Is Testing Its Controversial New Ad Targeting Tech in Millions of Browsers. Here’s What We Know.

              Although Google announced this was coming, the company has been sparse with details about the trial until now. We’ve pored over blog posts , mailing lists , draft web standards , and Chromium’s source code to figure out exactly what’s going on.

              EFF has already written that FLoC is a terrible idea .  Google’s launch of this trial—without notice to the individuals who will be part of the test, much less their consent—is a concrete breach of user trust in service of a technology that should not exist.

              Below we describe how this trial will work, and some of the most important technical details we’ve learned so far.

            • State Appeals Court Says Flying A Drone Over Someone’s Property Violates The Fourth Amendment

              Lots of plain view jurisprudence relies on the fact that if it can be observed by random people — not just by law enforcement — then there’s no Fourth Amendment issue. If airplanes can pass over someone’s land, surely police helicopters can do the same thing without undoing expectations of privacy.

            • Will an Investigation Into Twitter’s Moderation Decisions Backfire Because the Texas AG Tweets?

              On March 8, Twitter sued Paxton in federal court. The social media giant claims that Paxton is abusing his authority by seeking to harass and intimidate Twitter in retaliation for its exercise of First Amendment rights. Twitter seeks an injunction on the Texas AG from initiating any action to enforce its investigatory document demands. And Twitter’s suit is picking up support from others. For example, in a case that’s not even a month old, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other advocacy organizations have already filed an amicus brief that warns that government efforts to enforce viewpoint neutrality will carry the temptation to compel platforms to carry speech.

              That’s a real concern, and a reason why Hollywood should be weary of efforts to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. But the subject isn’t the only thing that’s notable about Twitter’s suit; The present whereabouts of this case is just as interesting and meaningful.

              Twitter is suing in a federal court in San Francisco. In other words, home turf for the tech company rather than the conservative heartland.

            • Security Researcher Hides ZIP, MP3 Files Inside PNG Files on Twitter

              Specifically, Buchanan demonstrated how he could hide both MP3 audio files and ZIP archives within the PNG images hosted on Twitter. The reason he was successful is because while Twitter strips unnecessary data from PNG uploads, they don’t remove trailing data from the DEFLATE stream inside the IDAT chunk if the overall image file meets the requirements to avoid being re-encoded, he explained.

            • A world without Google and Facebook?

              The standoff has forced many to contemplate a simple but important question: Could we survive in a world without Google and Facebook?

              The simple answer is yes. Whether you want to live without them is another matter altogether, and unbundling your life from Google and Facebook may not be easy.

              However, there are many alternatives to the individual products and services offered by both tech giants, many with robust privacy policies around collecting and using personal data, which have been a source of concern with both Google and Facebook over the years.

              Here are just some of the options, most of which are available as both websites and mobile apps.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • US Military Intervention in Latin America Fuels Migration and Instability

        We speak with Salvadoran American journalist Roberto Lovato about how decades of U.S. military intervention in Central America have contributed to the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the border. Some 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children are now in U.S. custody, according to the latest figures, and more than 5,700 are in Customs and Border Protection facilities, which are not equipped to care for children. This comes as a record number of asylum seekers are arriving at the southern border, fleeing extreme poverty, violence and climate change in their home countries. “You have the ongoing epidemic of U.S. policy and the crisis that is not of migration as much as it’s the crisis of capitalism, backed by the kind of militarism and militarized policing that you see not just in the United States, but in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, on and on,” Lovato says. “The border is the ultimate machete of memory. It cuts up our memory so that we forget 30 years of genocide, mass murder, U.S.-sponsored militarism and policing, failed economic policies.”

      • The Right To Bear Laser-Blasting Arms

        Support independent cartooning: join  Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s  Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

      • Derek Chauvin Defense Blames “George Floyd Himself for His Own Death,” Not the Police “Blood Choke”

        As the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin continues, we speak with Minneapolis civil rights lawyer Nekima Levy Armstrong, who says prosecutors in the case clearly established that “the actions of Derek Chauvin played the most critical role in cutting off the air supply of George Floyd,” leading to his death, while the defense appears to be resorting to a strategy of victim-blaming. “I was really dismayed to see them try to deflect blame to bystanders and to blame George Floyd himself for his own death,” says Armstrong, a former president of the Minneapolis NAACP.

      • America Longest War: No Bang, No Whimper, No Victory

        The twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon now approaches. On September 11, 2021, Americans will mark the occasion with solemn remembrances, perhaps even setting aside, at least momentarily, the various trials that, in recent years, have beset the nation.

        Twenty years to the minute after the first hijacked airliner slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, bells will toll. In the ensuing hours, officials will lay wreathes and make predictable speeches. Priests, rabbis, and imams will recite prayers. Columnists and TV commentators will pontificate. If only for a moment, the nation will come together.

      • Opposition to Abolishing Nuclear Weapons—and What Could Help to Overcome It

        Before jumping to that conclusion, let’s remember that considerably more people favor abolishing nuclear weapons than oppose it. Public opinion surveys—ranging from polls in 21 nations worldwide during 2008 to recent polls in Europe, Japan, and Australia—have shown that large majorities of people in nearly all the nations surveyed favor the abolition of nuclear weapons by international agreement. In the United States, where the public was polled in September 2019 about the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, 49 percent of respondents expressed approval of the treaty, 32 percent expressed disapproval, and 19 percent said they didn’t know.

        Nevertheless, surprisingly large numbers of people remain unready to take the step necessary to prevent the launching of a war that would turn the world into a charred, smoking, radioactive wasteland. Why?

      • America’s Longest War Winds Down

        “Ours is the cause of freedom. We’ve defeated freedom’s enemies before, and we will defeat them again.… [W]e know our cause is just and our ultimate victory is assured… My fellow Americans, let’s roll.” —George W. Bush, November 8, 2001

        In the immediate wake of 9/11, it fell to President George W. Bush to explain to his fellow citizens what had occurred and frame the nation’s response to that singular catastrophe. Bush fulfilled that duty by inaugurating the Global War on Terror, or GWOT. Both in terms of what was at stake and what the United States intended to do, the president explicitly compared that new conflict to the defining struggles of the 20th century. However great the sacrifices and exertions that awaited, one thing was certain: The GWOT would ensure the triumph of freedom, as had World War II and the Cold War. It would also affirm American global primacy and the superiority of the American way of life.

      • Increasing Nukes and Trimming the Military: Global Britain’s Skewed Vision

        In March, it became clear that the United Kingdom, one of the opponents of the TPNW, had decided not only to look the other way but walk in the opposite direction.  The threshold of British nuclear warheads is to be increased to 260, though the authorities maintain an intentional ambiguity about the exact number.  This reverses a decision arrived at a decade ago, which promised to cut the maximum threshold for nuclear warheads from 225 to 180 by the middle of this decade.  In the words of the Defence Command Paper of the Ministry of Defence, titled Defence in a Competitive Age , “Some nuclear-armed states are increasing and diversifying their arsenals, while increases in global competition, challenges to the multilateral order, and proliferation of potentially disruptive technologies all pose a threat to strategic stability.”

        Such a direction is very much at odds with public support for Britain joining the TPNW.  A poll conducted in January for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament found that 59% of the public expressed support for signing the treaty, including 50% of conservative voters and 68% of Labour voters.  The policy also breaches undertakings made under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to pursue efforts to disarm.  Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, decried the decision as “toxic masculinity on display”, “irresponsible, dangerous and violates international law.”  UNA-UK’s Head of Campaigns Ben Donaldson remarked that the UK government could best “invest in measures to combat climate change and pandemics, not trigger a dangerous new arms race.”

      • The Delusions of High-Tech Warfare
      • Biden’s Shameful Push for War with China and Russia: Ignoring History, Denying Reality
      • Will We Ever Move on from the War on Terror?

        On the domestic front, the response to the new administration (and especially its $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill) has been a collective sigh of relief — as well as much praise, as well as fierce partisan Republican attacks — when it comes to the reform agenda being put in place domestically. In the realm of foreign affairs, however, criticism has been swift and harsh, owing to several early administration actions.

        On February 25, at the president’s order, the U.S. launched an airstrike against an Iranian-backed militia in Syria, killing 22. On February 26, the administration released an intelligence report pointing the finger at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, only to follow up with an announcement that, while there would be sanctions against individuals close to the prince, no retaliation against him would follow. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof called the absence of strong retribution against MBS akin to letting “the murderer walk,” setting an example for other “thuggish dictators” in the years to come.

      • Women Cut Out of the Afghan Peace Process

        Afghanistan’s tortuous peace process has entered a desperate endgame that threatens to force women back to the margins of society and undermine gains they’ve made over the last two decades if the Taliban end up with a place in government.

        Despite plenty of evidence that women’s involvement is critical to securing an enduring end to conflicts, Afghan women fear they’re being sidelined; even the drafted U.S. peace plan downgrades the role of women in post-war Afghanistan. While United Nations Resolution 1325, which seeks to entrench women’s participation in peace processes, stresses women’s “equal participation and full involvement,” the United States’ plan refers simply to the “meaningful” participation of women.

      • The Taliban Think They Have Already Won, Peace Deal or Not

        The group doesn’t hide its pride at having compelled its principal adversary for 20 years, the United States to negotiate with the Taliban and, last year, to sign an agreement to completely withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. In exchange, the Taliban agreed to stop attacking foreign forces and to sever ties with international terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.

      • Afghanistan: 3 female polio workers shot dead

        Three female polio vaccination health workers were gunned down in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, officials said on Tuesday. Two volunteers and one supervisor were killed in two separate locations a day after a polio vaccination campaign kicked off.

        Numerous assassinations have taken place in the country’s urban centers since peace talks began between the government and the Taliban in late 2020.

      • EU tells Turkey to take back migrants from Greece

        EU officials told the Turkish government on Monday that it must “urgently” resume accepting migrants from Greece, where thousands are being held in camps

        The bloc struck a deal with Ankara in 2016 that it would take back asylum seekers from Greek islands who had their applications rejected.

      • Mozambique’s escalating extremist violence a concern for neighbors

        In just three years, an Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique has killed an estimated 2,600 people. Last week’s attack on the town of Palma, which lasted days, should worry neighboring countries, experts say.

      • Deadly attack on Mozambique gas plant was work of Islamic State

        The jihadist group issued a statement on its Amaq news agency boasting of “killing dozens of Mozambican armed forces and the Christians”. The accompanying picture showed a group of insurgents celebrating the capture of the hub town of Palma, which serves Africa’s biggest gas project.

    • Environment

      • Opinion | Environmental Author and Activist Bill McKibben Won’t Stop Sounding the Alarm

        “The physical trends are ominous, but at the very least, there’s going to be one hell of a fight.”

        A few years ago, I was invited to become involved in something called the George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum in my hometown, Canandaigua, up in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. The Forum’s named after the late George Ewing, for many years the editor and publisher of our local newspaper, The Daily Messenger. He was a fellow of many interests, worldly yet always remaining committed to his community. Those interests are reflected in the work of the Forum.

      • Palm oil plantations linked to Covid, other disease outbreaks

        Deforestation and certain types of reforestation usually undertaken for commercial palm plantations are linked to increasing outbreaks of infectious disease, said a new study.

        The study offered a new look at how changes in forest cover potentially contribute to vector-borne diseases–such as those carried by mosquitos and ticks–as well as zoonotic diseases, like Covid-19, which jumped from an animal species into humans.

        The expansion of palm oil plantations in particular corresponded to significant rises in vector-borne disease infections, said the study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

      • Discover the Night by Playing International Dark Sky Week Bingo!

        Read a book from one of our book lists or a recent article about light pollution or dark skies. Whether you’re interested in astronomy, wildlife, or lighting, there’s something for everyone.

      • Tidal power fuels Scottish electric vehicles

        Electric vehicles are catching on in many countries, notably the Nordic states – and Scottish tides are powering cars there.

      • Biden Needs to Treat the Climate as an Emergency — Starting Now

        Last week’s press conference by President Joe Biden, his first since taking office, was a deliberate exercise in calm. It was not, unfortunately, a similarly deliberate exercise in fact-seeking. This was not entirely the fault of the president; the folks he shared that room with seemed to have lost the tether on their job description after four years of enforced mayhem.

      • Most Economists Agree: Benefits of ‘Drastic’ Climate Action Outweigh Costs of Status Quo

        “People who spend their careers studying our economy are in widespread agreement that climate change will be expensive, potentially devastatingly so.”

        While scientists and campaigners continue calling on world leaders to pursue more ambitious policies to cut planet-heating emissions based on moral arguments and physical dangers, a U.S. think tank released survey results on Tuesday that make a clear economic case for sweeping climate action.

      • Scientists to Biden: Slash Emissions 50% Below 2005 Levels by 2030

        “This goal is both technically feasible and necessary—now we need action.”

        Over 1,000 scientists urged President Joe Biden on Tuesday to pursue a “robust target” of slashing the nation’s “emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 and transitioning to a net-zero emissions economy no later than 2050.”

      • Energy

        • Feds Move Forward with New Mexico Drilling Plan Despite Community Outcry

          For nine years, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has wrangled through an update to oil and gas permitting procedures for the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico. The update was sparked by decades old changes in drilling technology already used in an area that gained notoriety for having one of the largest  methane hot spots on the planet — because of leaking oil and gas wells.

        • VW accidentally leaks new name for its U.S. operations: Voltswagen

          Volkswagen accidentally posted a press release on its website a month early on Monday announcing a new name for its U.S. operations, Voltswagen of America, emphasizing the German automaker’s electric vehicle efforts.

          A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the release, which was dated April 29 and has since been taken down.

          A person familiar with the company’s plans confirmed the authenticity of the release to CNBC. They asked to remain anonymous because the plans were not meant to be public yet.

    • Finance

      • Minimum Wage Would Be $44 If It Grew as Much as Wall Street Bonuses Since 1985

        While low-wage workers are still waiting for a raise in the minimum wage, Wall Street employees enjoyed a 10 percent bump in their bonuses in the first year of the pandemic, according to new data from the New York State Comptroller.

      • Biden Is Facing a Roosevelt Moment

        Progressives across the country joined President Biden in celebrating the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP), hailed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as “the most significant piece of legislation passed [for working people] since the 1960s.” But now comes the hard test. As Sanders admitted, the rescue plan was “emergency” legislation, with most of its benefits expiring within a year. Will Biden and the razor-thin Democratic majorities in Congress be able to finally bury the conservative era of market fundamentalism that has so clearly failed?

        It is no small surprise that Biden appears intent on making the effort. Before becoming president, the lifelong moderate typically eschewed boldness for compromise. But this week he will roll out an expanded budget and a bold public investment plan designed to produce millions of jobs by rebuilding decrepit infrastructure, beginning the transition to meet the threat of climate change, and addressing other domestic needs from child care to health care.

      • Jayapal Calls on Biden to Fire Trump Social Security Holdovers for ‘Appalling’ Relief Check Sabotage

        “The American people should be able to trust that the senior leadership of the Social Security Administration will advocate on their behalf—not needlessly and cruelly obstruct the delivery of survival checks.”

        Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, added her name Monday to the growing list of lawmakers and advocacy groups calling on President Joe Biden to fire two Trump-appointed Social Security Administration officials for allegedly sabotaging the effort to deliver relief payments to millions of seniors and people with disabilities.

      • Descendants of FDR and His Cabinet Urge Biden to Embrace ‘New Deal-Scale’ Public Jobs Program

        “Today’s crisis of unemployment requires a federal response at least as bold as they designed to pull America out of the Great Depression and usher in the New Deal.”

        With the pandemic-induced economic emergency far from over as weekly jobless claims and long-term unemployment remain sky-high, descendants of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and key members of his Cabinet published an open letter Tuesday morning urging President Joe Biden to embrace a “New Deal-scale” public jobs program to help end the crisis and set the stage for an equitable recovery.

      • Descendants of FDR and His Cabinet Urge Biden to Embrace Public Jobs Program

        With the pandemic-induced economic emergency far from over as weekly jobless claims and long-term unemployment remain sky-high, descendants of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and key members of his Cabinet published an open letter Tuesday morning urging President Joe Biden to embrace a “New Deal-scale” public jobs program to help end the crisis and set the stage for an equitable recovery.

      • 20 Senate Dems, Sanders Urge Recurring Stimulus Payments in Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan

        “This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.”

        As President Joe Biden prepares to unveil the initial phase of his “Build Back Better” plan on Wednesday, 21 members of the Senate Democratic caucus on Tuesday called on him to include recurring direct payments and other benefits in the jobs and infrastructure proposal for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Biden Eyes More Tax Hikes to Reduce Income Inequality in Infrastructure Bill

        After pressure from progressives and some centrists, the White House is considering expanding the infrastructure bill, increasing spending to $4 trillion and raising tax increases to $3.5 trillion , The Washington Post reports . The initial version of the White House’s bill contained $3 trillion in spending and $1 trillion in tax hikes to help pay for it.

      • “Crisis of Capitalism”: Roberto Lovato on How U.S. Policies Fuel Migration & Instability

        We speak with Salvadoran American journalist Roberto Lovato about how decades of U.S. military intervention in Central America have contributed to the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the border. Some 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children are now in U.S. custody, according to the latest figures, and more than 5,700 are in Customs and Border Protection facilities, which are not equipped to care for children. This comes as a record number of asylum seekers are arriving at the southern border, fleeing extreme poverty, violence and climate change in their home countries. “You have the ongoing epidemic of U.S. policy and the crisis, that is not of migration as much as it’s the crisis of capitalism, backed by the kind of militarism and militarized policing that you see not just in the United States, but in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, on and on,” Lovato says. “The border is the ultimate machete of memory. It cuts up our memory so that we forget 30 years of genocide, mass murder, U.S.-sponsored militarism and policing, failed economic policies.”

      • ‘Fake’ Amazon workers defend company on Twitter
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump’s New Official Website Attempts to Rewrite History and Gain Online Clout

        Former President Donald Trump has launched a new website that promotes himself heavily as a “magnificent” leader, failing to contextualize that ambitious claim with the numerous scandals, two impeachments, and hundreds of thousands of deaths from coronavirus that occurred under his tenure.

      • ‘Piecemeal Solutions Won’t Suffice’: Progressives Press Biden to ‘Go Big’ on Infrastructure Plan

        “Millions of us are depending on Congress to take this once-in-a-generation opportunity and deliver the jobs, care, and justice we so urgently need, and we intend to make them deliver.”

        When U.S. President Joe Biden heads to Pittsburgh on Wednesday to unveil the first part of his long-awaited and already hotly debated infrastructure plan, he will be greeted with four billboards from grassroots advocates urging the administration to “go big” and “go bold” on economic recovery, in part by supporting the THRIVE Act.

      • Georgia, Voting Rights, and the Second Great Disenfranchisement in America

        Across Europe and the United States, the 1800s was the century of the battle for universal suffrage.  Democratic movements pushed for everyone to get the right to vote, including women, the indigent, and people of color. While the battle for universal suffrage began in the nineteenth century, apparent victory did not occur until the twentieth century.  In the United States, by the early 1970s federal laws and constitutional amendments achieved nearly universal suffrage, and enforcement of the 1965 Voting Rights Act significantly overcame the racial barriers that many states still maintained to prevent people of color from voting.

        But while the arc of American history has been an expansion of voting rights—an effort former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall referred to as expanding who was included in the promise of the Constitution’s “We the people”—there has also been a counter effort to suppress voting rights.  After the Civil War, the Republican Party embraced voting rights for the newly freed male slaves, while the Democratic Party opposed it.  When the 1876 disputed presidential election, Democrats conceded the election to the Republicans on condition that Reconstruction end.  This ushered in a 100-year-long Jim Crow era where literacy tests, grandfather laws, poll taxes, felon disenfranchisements, and outright lynching suppressed voting rights for African Americans.

      • Opinion | US Elections: “They Should Send Observers Over Here”

        The American political system is fundamentally off.

        As a frequent observer of foreign elections, I’m an even more frequent recipient of quips to the effect that “They should send observers over here.” It started in earnest following Florida’s 2000 presidential election hanging chad fiasco and has never really let up.  And each time I explain to the quipster that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—a group in which the U.S. plays a leading role, despite its name—does actually send observers to our elections. It’s just that no one here pays much attention to what they say (not, mind you, that I feel certain that greater attention is paid elsewhere either). To be fair, though, contributing to the relative obscurity of the group’s observations and recommendations is the fact that it is a deliberative body and its 2020 report did not appear until three months after the election, when the news cycle had long since moved on to other things. 

      • Opinion | The Current Battle Over Voting Rights Is a Battle for America’s Future

        Republican-controlled state legislatures across the US are enacting new restrictions on voter participation that target non-whites. Since the Civil War, the white supremacist culture—embraced by a shrinking minority in America—has always based its power on violence and voter suppression.

        America is two cultures in one nation. The first culture brought slavery, the genocide of Native Americans, “Jim Crow” laws enforcing white supremacy, and former President Donald Trump’s bullying, lying, and cruelty, which culminated in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The second culture brought emancipation, the civil rights movement, President Barack Obama, and now the election of Joe Biden. The white supremacist culture—embraced by a shrinking minority in America—has always based its power on violence and voter suppression. This is why the current battle over voting rights is a battle for America’s future.

      • ‘Major Political Crisis’ in Brazil as Military Chiefs Quit Amid Bolsonaro Purge of Top Ministers

        A leading opposition figure said the country “can’t overcome” Covid-19 with Bolsonaro, because “he is the crisis incarnate.”

        Brazil’s political stability was in doubt Tuesday after the heads of all three military branches resigned following President Jair Bolsonaro’s dismissal of his defense minister, one of six Cabinet officials who have recently left or been forced out of an administration whose popularity has plummeted amid soaring Covid-19 deaths in South America’s largest nation. 

      • Need a Quote From an Official Enemy Denouncing Democracy? Do Like the New York Times and Make It Up

        You know you’re in for a hard sell when the New York Times ( 3/29/21) publishes an article under the headline “An Alliance of Autocracies? China Wants to Lead a New World Order.”

      • Why Did Not A Single Representative Want To Discuss Jack Dorsey’s Plans For Dealing With Disinformation?

        As I’m sure most people are aware, last week, the House Energy & Commerce Committee held yet another hearing on “big tech” and its content moderation practices. This one was ostensibly on “disinformation,” and had Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey as the panelists. It went on for five and a half hours which appears to be the norm for these things. Last week, I did write about both Zuckerberg and Pichai’s released opening remarks, in which both focused on various efforts they had made to combat disinfo. Of course, the big difference between the two was that Zuckerberg then suggested 230 should be reformed, while Pichai said it was worth defending.

      • Barnard Castle Revisited
      • A culture of laughter: Maxim Trudolyubov explains why authoritarianism isn’t afraid of jokes and memes

        Vladimir Putin’s “candid” photo ops in “informal settings” are hard to  take seriously. It’s even more difficult to believe that the president’s entourage doesn’t understand this — it’s almost as if they’re deliberately dreaming up meme-able news stories. Why do they do it? Mocking the authorities, after all, is one of the anti-Kremlin opposition’s prized weapons. Humor not only allows challengers like Alexey Navalny to look down on government officials; it also helps his supporters to overcome their fear of the state. In this article, Meduza “Ideas” section editor Maxim Trudolyubov tries to understand how society can use political humor to promote radical change (and why even the Russian authorities allow themselves to become a laughingstock).

      • A most violent end How a design firm executive was found dead and tortured in prison after being charged with defrauding the Russian military

        In early 2018, police officers in St. Petersburg charged three suspects with fraud, claiming that their I.T. firm overcharged for the development of 3D models for Russia’s Project 636 “Varshavyanka” submarine. State officials say the design experts pocketed roughly 100 million rubles ($1.3 million) in a 400-million-ruble ($5.3-million) deal. A year later, one of the suspects, “Novit Pro” founder Valery Pshenichny, was found in his remand prison cell, dead, mutilated, and apparently raped. The authorities ruled it a suicide. In a special report, Mediazona correspondent Lena Vladykina spoke to family members and attorneys to learn how dubious fraud allegations led to such violent ends. Meduza summarizes the story here.

      • Chechen police urge relatives of two jailed opposition activists to murder them in an ‘honor killing’

        Chechen police are pressuring the relatives of jailed opposition activists Ismail Isayev and Salekh Magamadov to murder them in an “honor killing,” the human rights organization Russian LGBT Network told Meduza on Tuesday, March 30.

      • Moscow police begin inquiry into pro-Kremlin talk show host’s comments comparing Navalny to Hitler

        The Interior Ministry’s northern Moscow department has begun an inquiry into talk show host Vladimir Solovyov’s comments comparing Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny to the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler. This was confirmed in a police response to State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin from the Communist Party (KPRF), who requested an investigation into Solovyov’s remarks for “rehabilitating Nazism.”

      • Beijing imposes sweeping overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system

        The new measures, which bypassed Hong Kong’s legislature and were imposed directly by Beijing, are the latest move aimed at quashing the city’s democracy movement after huge protests.

        “President Xi Jinping signed presidential orders to promulgate the amended annexes,” China’s official Xinhua news agency said in a short report.

        Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents are still not sure what the new law contains with no details yet published.

      • Eugene Debs: “How I Became a Socialist”

        In a 1902 article, Eugene V. Debs described his journey from young labor organizer to militant socialist. We reprint it here in full.

        Eugene Debs’s leap from moderate labor reformer to socialist firebrand is still shrouded in some mystery. Why exactly did a man who had once fiercely opposed strikes not only begin to lead them but start to view class struggle as the key to winning a more democratic and just society?

        The most persuasive answer is that Debs was forged in the crucible of labor-capital conflict. While we don’t have many letters from those years and are thus left guessing about Debs’s internal life, we do know that he began to move left in the mid-1880s (after being involved in union politics for about a decade), edged further left over the subsequent years (founding the American Railway Union, an industrial union, in 1893), and by January 1, 1897 was ready to publicly declare himself a socialist (following the volcanic 1894 Pullman Strike, for which he was jailed).

        The following is Debs’s account of his evolution, first published in New York Comrade in 1902. Although the specifics of his story should be taken with a grain of salt (Debs was never the most reliable narrator), his essay makes clear that the catalyst for his evolution was anything but abstract theory.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Parler Forced To Explain The First Amendment To Its Users After They Complain About Parler Turning Over Info To The FBI

        Parler — the social media cesspool that claimed the only things that mattered to it were the First Amendment and, um… FCC standards — has reopened with new web hosting after Amazon decided it no longer wished to host the sort of content Parler has become infamous for.

      • Techdirt Podcast Episode 276: Silicon Values, With Jillian York

        Despite all the nonsense that dominates so much of the public discussion on the subject, free speech in the age of big social media platforms is a vital topic with a lot of nuances, and there are many people with important perspectives on it. One such person is EFF Director of International Freedom of Expression Jillian York, whose new book Silicon Values: The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism offers an exploration of the topic rooted in personal experience and years of activism — and she joins us on this week’s episode to discuss the challenges and pitfalls of internet content moderation and its impact on free expression around the world.

      • CPJ joins call to reject draft EU regulation for online terrorist content

        The letter, which was sent to every member of parliament, notes that the draft would allow national authorities to order [Internet] companies to remove online content within one hour without judicial oversight, even if the content is hosted in another EU state. It also reiterates concerns that platforms may resort to automated tools in order to comply – such as upload filters that prevent information from being published.

      • Open Letter to MEPs on TERREG [pdf]

        Thanks to the work of the European Parliament’s negotiations team, an extended debate and the involvement of civil society, a number of problematic issues of the proposal have been addressed during the trilogues between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

        However, despite the outcome of the last trilogue negotiation, the final text of the proposed Regulation still contains dangerous measures that will ultimately weaken the protection of fundamental rights in the EU. It also has the potential to set a dangerous precedent for online content regulation worldwide.

        The proposed Regulation is headed for a final vote in the plenary of the European Parliament in April 2021. We urge the Members of the European Parliament to vote against the adoption of the proposal for the following reasons: [...]

      • Coalition of human rights and journalist organisations express concerns for free speech

        On 25 March, 61 human rights and journalist associations sent a joint letter to Members of the European Parliament, urging them to vote against the proposed Regulation on addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online.

        The coalition considers that the proposed regulation as it stands now has no place in EU law, as it poses serious threats to freedom of expression and opinion, freedom to access information, the right to privacy, and the rule of law.

      • Hong Kong Film Festival’s Opening Movie Canceled Due to Suspected Censorship

        The Hong Kong International Film Festival has scrapped its opening-night world premiere of Where the Wind Blows, a widely anticipated crime thriller directed by local industry veteran Philip Yung.

        The festival said in a statement that the cancellation was made “upon request from the film owner” due to “technical reasons.” Over the past several years, such references to vague “technical problems” have become a common euphemism for last-minute censorship complaints by China’s increasingly repressive film regulators.

      • ‘Movies on OTT platforms might require censorship’

        Chairman of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy Suneel Puranik said on Saturday that if the contents of cinema being streamed via Over The Top (OTT) platforms went unchecked it might require invoking the provisions of censorship on such movies.

        Speaking on ‘exploring the Indian identity through cinema’ at the third edition of Mangalore Lit Fest organised by the Mangaluru Literary Foundation, he said that only a handful of persons now produced cinema for OTT platform. A close observation revealed that they are being produced with a “hidden agenda” and they are “one-sided”.

        They could certainly influence some among the audience who are weak minded. Many of the movies do not bother about Indian identity and are a threat to the Indian identity, he said.

      • Shandong Province orders: Do not publish audios and videos of preaching from online gatherings/services

        On January 29, the Three-Self Patriotic Association and Christian Association of Qingdao City, Shandong Province, published a copy of the notice relating Restrictions on Churches in China’s Shandong Province: A ban on live broadcasts as well as releases of preaching audios and videos. Two days earlier, the United Front Work Department of the Shandong Provincial Party Committee issued a notice prohibiting Christians in the province from using the [Internet] to broadcast Christian activities.

        Shandong Qingdao’s Three-Self Patriotic Association and Christian Association’s notice to each jurisdiction on January 14 states that in accordance with the State Council and the National Health Commission of China, officials have passed down essential instructions on the [COVID-19] outbreak situation in various regions. In accordance with the unified requirements of Shangdong Qingdao’s Provincial Party Committee and United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Municipal Party Committee, all Christian churches and gathering venues in Qingdao will be closed on January 14, and all church activities suspended.

      • Censorship hampers quality: Rashmi Agdekar on OTT content

        Sharing her views on the content being aired on OTT, Rashmi says, “I feel censorship hampers the quality of content somewhere because makers are compelled to play safe, keeping them from telling their stories freely. Most of the platforms are careful while producing content so that they don’t put anything offensive out there. Moreover, all web shows come with their own disclaimers and ratings.”

      • How far is the censorship of entertainment platforms justified

        Ever since the OTT platforms have been brought within the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) by the government, there have been rising concerns in the streaming sector that curbs will be introduced by the Ministry on the OTT content through its own set of rules and regulations. But the question looming in everybody’s mind is how far is the curtailment of entertainment forms justified?

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Expanding travel policing beyond no-fly lists (and the Fourth Amendment)

        According to an article in POLITICO based on interviews with unnamed “law enforcement officials,” the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering expanded use of airline reservation data  to target travelers  for more intrusive searches:

        We’ve recently discussed what’s wrong with the no-fly lists (there are several, created and maintained by different, although interlocking, entities, for different ostensible purposes) and why they shouldn’t be used like this or in most of the other ways that they are now used.

        As Gary Leff puts it in his View from  the Wing travel blog:

      • Police Lie
      • Opinion | Righteous Witnesses To A Murder: He Was Begging For His Life
      • Four Decades of Impunity: Still No Justice in El Mozote

        President Nayib Bukele, who promised survivors and families of the victims at the end of 2019 he would collaborate and open the military archives to help bring justice, is currently blocking access to the documents and evidence requested by the judge overseeing the case.

        Furthermore, in his attempt to stomp out criticism and discredit the work of Judge Jorge Guzmán, human rights activists, survivors and lawyers collaborating in the judicial process, the president assured that the investigations and requests for access to the military archives are part of “a show” mounted by his detractors.

      • Opinion | It’s Time to End the Federal Death Penalty

        Ending the death penalty should be part of comprehensive justice reform in the United States and part of our current reckoning with racial inequality.

        In July 2020, the Trump administration ended a 17-year moratorium on the federal death penalty. By the time the president exited the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, 13 inmates had died at the hands of a federal executioner in the span of just six months.

      • Opinion | A Closer Look at Biden’s Immigration Plan for Central America

        Biden’s plan actually promotes an old economic development model that has long benefited U.S. corporations. It also aims to impose a distinctly militarized version of “security” on the people of that region.

        Joe Biden entered the White House with some inspiring yet contradictory positions on immigration and Central America. He promised to reverse Donald Trump’s draconian anti-immigrant policies while, through his ” Plan to Build Security and Prosperity in Partnership with the People of Central America,” restoring “U.S. leadership in the region” that he claimed Trump had abandoned. For Central Americans, though, such “leadership” has an ominous ring.

      • ‘Great First Step’: Progressives Welcome Biden’s Slate of Judicial Nominees

        The president, said one leading advocate, “is demonstrating his commitment to building a diverse bench of qualified, fair-minded judges with a commitment to equal justice under the law.”

        Critics of the GOP effort to remake the U.S. judiciary under former President Donald Trump on Tuesday welcomed President Joe Biden’s first slate of judicial nominees—11 candidates who, according to the White House, reflect his “deeply held conviction that the federal bench should reflect the full diversity of the American people—both in background and in professional experience.”

      • Opinion | Peoples Coalition Helped Elect New Orleans’ First Progressive District Attorney

        Members knocked on doors, made thousands of calls and texted to get the word out about the importance of the election and the important issues in the DA race.

        On December 5, 2020, New Orleans elected its first ever progressive District Attorney, who was a criminal defense lawyer for over 20 years before being elected, replaced former DA Leon Cannizzaro, described by New Orleans papers as a traditional tough on crime prosecutor. An unprecedented coalition of grassroots justice organizations came together over a year before the election, as The Peoples DA Coalition, to help make it happen.

      • Crowdfunding Legal Fees Is Not a Crime

        The piece seemingly conflates the crowdfunding of legal fees with “crowdfunding hate,” an argument that needs some unpacking.

        The justification for banning right-wing extremists from using online platforms to raise funds for a legal defense is made from a concern that such donations will be used for activities that promote hate, violence, or racial intolerance. And yet, the determination of what constitutes such activities is meant to be left to online platforms and service providers. That is, the behavior that people are demanding that these companies regulate is not, in most cases, illegal. Without guidance from the law, the companies are left to make subjective decisions about who should be allowed to use their services—decisions that are increasingly informed by public pressure.

        There is a long history of corporations denying services to a wide range of actors, and we’ve documented what happens when corporations are left to decide who is or isn’t worthy of raising funds. 

      • Why Big Tech Shouldn’t Be Scared of Unions

        It is the workers, in fact, who are thinking outside the box. Recognizing the challenges of mounting a traditional union recognition campaign at a corporation that has unlimited resources to interfere in a union election by exploiting loopholes in the National Labor Relations Act, they have opened union membership to all Alphabet workers, including the temps, vendors and contractors upon which Google increasingly relies. Instead of focusing on winning formal recognition, they are systematically building power within the company through a transparent, democratic, worker-led process.

        In announcing the formation of their union, the Alphabet workers called on Google to live up to its values, and I realized that I also need to live up to mine, so I am no longer a registered lobbyist for Google. But I have not given up hope that tech companies will update their thinking and encourage their employees to join unions.

        Here are four ways that doing so could strengthen tech companies and improve tech policy-making: [...]

      • New Yorkers Are Being Crushed Under Water Debt

        Her case is not unusual. Records reveal a growing mountain of water debt in New York. In two of the state’s largest water systems, tens of thousands of customers are in millions of dollars of debt.

        The state currently has a moratorium on water shutoffs, but that expires at the end of the month. A coalition of advocates for water affordability is pushing the legislature to extend the moratorium — and to strengthen its protections for New Yorkers in water debt.

        Presented with the data, Rob Hayes, the director of clean water at the Environmental Advocates of New York, said that it showed the depth of the crisis facing New Yorkers behind on water payments.

      • China Extends, Expands Restrictions in Tibet Following March 10 ‘Uprising Day’

        Chinese authorities in Tibet have recently intensified their crackdown on the spread of politically sensitive information, monitoring online news-sharing and stopping Tibetans in the streets to check mobile phones for forbidden content, Tibetan sources say.

        The move expands tightened restrictions put in place around the March 10 anniversary of a failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against rule by China, which marched into the formerly independent Himalayan country nine years before, a Tibetan living in exile told RFA.

      • Fired, interrogated, disciplined: Amazon warehouse organizers allege year of retaliation

        Bailey, who still works for Amazon, believes that was part of a corporate strategy to silence organizers, and in May 2020 he filed a charge against Amazon to the NLRB alleging that the company had violated labor law by retaliating against him for protected, concerted activities. The board found merit to the allegations and filed a federal complaint against Amazon.

        This month, a year after Bailey staged the walkout, Amazon settled. Under the terms of the settlement, Amazon was required to post a notice to employees, on physical bulletin boards and via email, reminding them of their right to organize.

      • Amazon workers, residents speak out as union vote by Amazon workers concludes

        The vote by nearly 6,000 Amazon workers on the unionization campaign at the Bessemer, Alabama warehouse concluded on Monday. The results of the vote, which will determine whether the Retail, Warehouse and Department Store Union (RWDSU) is certified as the collective bargaining agent at the warehouse, are expected to be released by the National Labor Relations Board later this week.

        A World Socialist Web Site reporting team spoke to Amazon workers at the warehouse Monday, along with other workers and residents at a nearby shopping area about the vote and broader issues facing workers.

      • Murder trial begins for former officer charged in the death of George Floyd

        The criminal trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin opened Monday, ten months after George Floyd’s death ignited an eruption of mass multi-racial demonstrations that spread to every continent. Deliberations are expected to go on for three to four weeks.

        Last May, Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd was handcuffed and held to the ground by two other officers. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder. If convicted of the most serious charge, he could face 10.5 to 15 years in prison.

      • Derek Chauvin’s Lawyers Are Falsely Implying That Drugs Killed George Floyd

        Drugs have long been used to justify racist police-perpetrated violence, and the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the alleged murder of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street corner last May is, thus far, no different.

      • 9 Minutes, 29 Seconds: Derek Chauvin Trial Opens with Full Video of George Floyd’s Killing

        The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin has begun in Minneapolis, where Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder, as well as manslaughter, for killing George Floyd in May 2020 by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes. The death of Floyd, who was a 46-year-old Black man and father originally from Houston, Texas, sparked international protests calling for racial justice. We air excerpts from the first day of the trial, including opening statements from special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell and Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, and dramatic witness testimony from the Minneapolis 911 dispatcher, Jena Scurry, who alerted a police supervisor after seeing live surveillance footage showing officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for an extended period of time, and Donald Williams, a mixed martial artist, who described seeing Derek Chauvin using what he called a “blood choke” on Floyd.

      • Women’s History Month 2021

        In celebration of Women’s History Month 2021, Howie and Angela did a series of weekly streams on different topics related to the struggles and activism of Black Americans. We would like to thank all of our guests for the honor of speaking with us and our audience.


        Howie and Angela will be discussing the other side of reproductive justice, specifically whether Latinas have full access to their reproductive choice. This discussion is not to the exclusion of any other population, but it’s serving to shed some light to the entire spectrum of discussion. Howie and Angela will be joined by Annie Martínez (CO), an attorney, former Green candidate and past president of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association; Olguie Robles-Toro (NY), a former member of the Young Lords and activist in the Bronx’s Puerto Rican community, and Karena Acree-Paez (CA), veteran immigration law worker and member of Tele-Jaguar Chicano Media Collective. Because of the sensitive nature of this topic, comments will be moderated. Thank you.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Local Franchising, Big Cities, and Fiber Broadband

        When you look at communities in the aggregate, you would be hard-pressed to find a single large American city where you couldn’t turn a profit with fiber.

        They were wrong. To explore just how wrong, EFF and the Technology Law and Policy Center have published our newest white paper on the effects of these decisions. The research digs into New York, which decided to retain power at the local level and see what we can learn from the state as we look to the future. The big takeaway is that large cities that do not have local franchise authority are losing out because they lack the negotiating leverage needed to push private fiber to all city residents, particularly low-income residents.  

        Franchises are basically the negotiated agreement between broadband carriers and local communities on how access will be provisioned—essentially, a license to do business in the area. These franchises exist because Internet service providers (ISPs) need access to the taxpayer-funded rights of way infrastructure such as roads, sewers, and other means of traveling throughout a community (and notably it would be impossible for ISPs to try to bypass the existing public infrastructure). ISPs also benefit because these agreements conveniently lay out a roadmap for deploying broadband access. The public interest goal of a franchise is to come to an agreement that is fair to the taxpayer for creating the infrastructure.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Activision Forces Online Check DRM Into New Game, Which Gets Cracked In One Day

        By now it should be clear that DRM is essentially an arms race that will never be won by producers and publishers of content. While the fall of even the most vaunted DRM platforms has shown how useless those platforms are, the more consequential outcomes of DRM tend to be the way it bricks the products people bought or else limits the use of those products once the DRM is no longer supported. In sum total, it’s very clear that DRM is very much anti-consumer, while failing completely at being anti-pirate.

    • Monopolies

      • How Media Monopolies Amplify Conspiracy Theories

        At the heart of any conspiracy theory is that some group secretly controls the government to manipulate our lives. That belief goes back to the beginning of our nation.

        Past conspiracy theories have shaped national politics

      • TRIPS COVID Waiver

        World Trade Organization (WTO) members, including the US, are discussing a TRIPS waiver for intellectual property rights associated with COVID vaccines and treatments. The US has historically been opposed, but President Biden’s newly confirmed US Trade Representative Katherine Tai promised during confirmation to fully consider the issue.

      • [Guest post] Conference Report: The Third IP & Innovation Researchers of Asia [Ed: Conflating monopolies with innovation, as usual]

        The IPIRA Conference is an initiative created in 2019 to provide a forum for IP researchers to discuss their papers and works-in-progress with other academics, practitioners, and policy makers. The Third IPIRA Conference was organised in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Academy, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the following academic institutions: the Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University Malaysia; the Faculty of Law, Universitas Indonesia; Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University; Texas A&M University School of Law; and the Faculty of Law, University of Geneva.

        The Organisers of the Third IPIRA Conference were assisted by a group of distinguished academics serving as Scientific Committee and by several research centres and universities in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Americas acting as Supporting Institutions. The international composition of the Scientific Committee and the Supporting Institutions reflects the mission of the IPIRA Network, which is to promote worldwide interactions between IP and Innovation researchers sharing an interest in Asian Law, Comparative Law, and International Law.

        WIPO Director General Daren Tang delivered a Key Note address at the opening of the Conference, which featured several parallel sessions, in which presenters focused on a variety of topics, including Geographical Indications of Origin, Artificial Intelligence and New Technologies, IP and Fundamental Rights, IP and Technology Management, Trademarks, Enforcement and Dispute Resolution, IP and Health, and Plant Varieties, Patents, and Biodiversity. The various parallel sessions were attended by other presenters and attendees who provided valuable comments and feedback.


        The Third IPIRA Conference was again a very successful event! Although the Conference was held online, over 300 presenters and attendees gathered and enjoyed three and half days of “IP IPIRA Festivities”, which included two outstanding cultural evenings! The IPIRA Network very much looks forward to hosting everyone again, hopefully in person, at the Fourth IPIRA Conference in 2022! Information and venue will follow in late Summer.

      • Patents

        • Trilateral Offices agree on a new vision statement

          The new vision statement of the Trilateral offices has been agreed, which originates from the 38th Trilateral Conference in December 2020. During the virtual conference, the heads of the European Patent Office (EPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) committed to jointly develop the new future direction for the Trilateral Co-operation.

        • Certificates of Correction 2021

          For the most part, Certificates of Correction are boring, simple, and quite common. 35 U.S.C. § 254 & 255 provide for correction of minor mistakes by the PTO and applicant respectively. PTO mistakes are fixed when a mistake is “clearly disclosed by the records of the Office.” For applicant-mistakes, the correction is allowed for “clerical or typographical nature, or of minor character” made in good faith. Larger mistakes should be corrected via Reissue. Errors can also be corrected as part of a reexamination or AIA trial (such as inter partes review). In most cases applicants prefer the certificate of correction route because the procedures and approval process tend to be much more patentee friendly. And, the minor corrections are more likely to have retroactive effect against past infringers.

          The PTO grants the vast majority of requests for correction. The most common denials are based upon the patentee’s failure to submit the correct forms.

        • Tiffany Cunningham: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

          Tiffany P. Cunningham has been a partner at Perkins Coie LLP in Chicago, Illinois since 2014. She is a member of the Patent Litigation practice and serves on the 17-member Executive Committee of the firm. Ms. Cunningham serves as trial and appellate counsel for large multinational companies, as well as small enterprises, and individuals in complex patent and trade secret disputes.

        • One year after lockdown shock, Europe’s patent system holds firm [Ed: JUVE continues to cover up EPO crimes by pretending all is fine and dandy. They used to cover crimes. Did EPO pay them too?]

          In March 2020, across Europe, governments implemented the first coronavirus lockdown suddenly, and with little prior warning. As such, Europe’s courts and patent offices scrambled to retain control of their procedures. They quickly implemented functional new systems to allow a suddenly-disparate workforce to continue with business as usual.

          Now, after a year of staying at home, Europe’s patent litigation firms, patent attorney firms and patent courts are adjusting to a new way of working.

          Proceedings at the European Patent Office are being held almost exclusively via video link, with the Administrative Council recently approving new legislation to ensure the continued participation of all parties in video hearings. In the major patent hubs of Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France and Italy, courts are finding workarounds to ensure litigation can go ahead. Behind the scenes, administrative staff and clerks are working with main players, such as judges, to ensure minimal bumps in the road.

          The beginning of the pandemic looked very different, as one European patent lawyer remembers. “Everything stopped, everything closed. We were concerned, because the courts postponed all hearings.” But, as it turned out, the courts and patent offices were better prepared than anyone might have guessed. Most patent proceedings were even able to continue, albeit under new circumstances.

          In sum, the rapid adaption in Europe of its patent courts, offices and firms points towards a flexible system already adapting to further future challenges.


          However the appetite for exclusive video conferencing is waning. In some jurisdictions, the judicial bodies took so long to implement a functioning system that parties are losing interest. With an ease to the pandemic tentatively in sight, a move towards hybrid hearings in such as in London or Munich could be the next option.

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 Awarded for prior art on Acacia subsidiary, Unification Technologies

            Unified is pleased to announce PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winners, Simon Sunatori and Priyanka Kalra, who split a cash prize of $3,000 for their prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 9,632,727. The patent is owned by Unification Technologies, LLC, a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp., a well-known NPE. The ’727 patent generally relates to managing data stored on non-volatile storage media over the provision of solid-state drive (SSD) devices. This patent has been asserted in district court 3 times this year against companies such as Micron, HP, and Dell.

      • Trademarks

        • Nike Sues MSCHF Over Its High Profile Satan Shoes, Claiming Unsafe Blood May Dilute The Exalted Nike Swoosh

          Well, here’s a fun one. Over the weekend, the musician Lil Nas X announced that, along with MSCHF, he was selling “Satan Shoes.” From the beginning this was all just a silly publicity stunt that more or less played out probably exactly as those involved expected. If you don’t know what MSCHF is then it’s worth reading up on the organization that claims it’s based on “structured chaos” and only ever so often randomly drops some kind of offering for sale, usually in limited quantities that get lots of attention and sell out quickly. As was summarized in a Business Insider article about MSCHF last year:

      • Copyrights

        • California Suspended ‘Copyright Troll’ Malibu Media’s Corporate Status

          California’s Franchise Tax Board has suspended the corporate status of adult entertainment company Malibu Media. The Los Angeles company, which is known for suing alleged BitTorrent pirates, failed to meet its tax obligations. In light of this development, an accused file-sharer now wants the company’s CEO Colette Pelissier to be added to a pending countersuit.

        • SEGA Lawyers Demand “Immediate Suspension” of Steam Database Over Alleged Piracy

          The popular and entirely legal Steam Database has found itself in a precarious position following two erroneous DMCA notices from SEGA. Steam Database’s host is being asked to suspend the platform due to a claimed lack of response to the first notice. This prompted the site to take down entirely legal content in an effort to address the problem.

Defend Richard Stallman!

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 11:55 am by Guest Editorial Team


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By Leah Rowe

I support freedom of speech. Translations wanted for this article. I want this news article to be available in as many languages as possible. Download the Markdown file here: rms.markdown and then translate it into your language. Send the translated file to

2 years ago, known Thought Criminal Richard M Stallman was falsely accused of defending rape in an Orwellian smear campaign, orchestrated by mainstream media at the behest of proprietary software vendors. 36 years fighting for your digital freedom, cancelled. It was so vicious that he resigned from his post as president of the Free Software Foundation. The FSF did nothing to protect or defend him. However, you can defend him!

On 21 March 2021, FSF board of directors re-instated Richard Stallman. In response, the media started a new smear campaign. A petition was created, calling for the forceful removal of RMS and the entire FSF board of directors. RMS has been wrongly accused of sexism, transphobia, ableism and a whole host of things intended to discredit him. Do not listen to any of it. Richard Stallman’s political notes and articles paint the picture of a man who has staunchly campaigned against bigotry in all its forms!

In response, we, the Free software movement, started our own petition. We wish for RMS to remain in his post, and for the FSF to hold their ground. We call for the FSF to defend Richard Stallman’s honour and his legacy. Richard Stallman is a human being, whose right to free speech was heavily suppressed. We must demonstrate our support of him to the FSF, loudly and clearly.

If you support Free Software, believe in freedom of speech, freedom of community and social justice (true social justice, where a person is treated with dignity and not cancelled just for their beliefs), sign your name here:


The opposing petition calling for Richard’s removal will not be linked here, because it is important not to strengthen it. Boosting the search engine rankings of our opposition would only help them attack RMS. Similarly, their smear campaigns will not be linked here directly, only condemned!

Instructions for how to sign your name are on that page. If you represent a project, please put that in brackets and state your position. For instance, if you are John Doe and your project is named Foobar Libre, write John Doe (Foobar Libre developer) or e.g. John Doe (Foobar Libre founder and lead developer). If you are an FSF member (e.g. associate member), put that in brackets too.

If you are a member of a project/organisation that signed the anti-RMS list, it is especially important to state that you are from said project when signing the pro-RMS list. You should also talk to people in your project or organisation, and try to persuade them to change their minds!

In addition to signing your name, if you’re in a software project, get your project to officially come out in support of Richard! He needs every bit of support we can get. We, the Free Software movement, as activists must lend him all of our strength!

Don’t be fooled. If a Free Software project is on the anti-RMS list, that just means the leadership implemented said decision. It says nothing of the individuals inside said organisation.

Please also email the FSF and tell them you support Richard! The FSF’s contact details are here: https://www.fsf.org/about/contact/

Our opponents wish to destroy Free Software

Our opponent’s true target is not Richard Stallman; their real aim is to destroy the FSF by thoroughly infiltrating it (like they already have with organisations like the OSI and Linux Foundation). These people even started an online petition calling for RMS’s forceful removal and for the entire board of directors at the FSF to resign from their posts. This is clearly an attempt at a coup to overthrow the FSF! Out of fear, many known Free Software projects joined in on the anti-RMS witch hunt because they did not want to be cancelled either. The list that attacks Richard has Microsoft, Google, OSI, Linux Foundation, Gnome Foundation and Ethical Source people on it! These people oppose Free Software ideologically (even if some of them do produce free software sometimes, for reasons other than promoting freedom) and many of them have actively sought to destroy it for years! How dare these people claim to represent us!.

The letter opposing RMS talks the talk, but it does not walk the walk. The people on that list do not represent us! If you do see actual Free Software developers on the list, please talk to them. Do not be hateful or spiteful, just talk to them: tell them that they have been misled by a hateful campaign. We need unity in our movement. You see, it’s likely that a lot of people who signed the opposing list were just scared; at the beginning, the petition supporting RMS did not exist, and so it was not known how many people supported RMS. In other words, many people likely signed the anti-RMS list because they were scared of becoming outcasts. This is because last time, we were caught off guard. We stayed silent last time, but we will not be silent this time!

As of 31 March 2021, 02:50 AM UK time, we are winning! The letter calling for RMS’s removal has 2959 signatures. Our letter supporting and defending RMS has 4533 signatures! That’s a 60% approval rating, if you add up both numbers but our petition is rising in popularity much faster while the anti-RMS petition has stalled. People see that it’s OK to support RMS, because it is. RMS is innocent of wrongdoing!

Richard Stallman is my hero

I strongly believe in free software ideology. I am the founder of Libreboot, and its lead developer. When I first started using Free Software as a teenager in the mid 2000s, Richard Stallman’s lectures were among the biggest influences on me; Richard founded the GNU project in 1983 and the Free Software Foundation in 1985. I also saw the film Revolution OS and read Eric Raymond’s Cathedral and the Bazaar. I very quickly became fascinated but it was the articles by Richard on the GNU project website that heavily inspired me. For a few years however, I identified as an open source supporter until I gravitated towards the Free Software camp in 2009. I had worked sysadmin and IT support jobs at companies, working mostly with proprietary software including Windows, while at home I taught myself programming on GNU+Linux. I hated working with proprietary systems, precisely because of how restrictive they were compared to my systems at home, which all ran various GNU+Linux distributions (I also toyed with OpenBSD). When I did my A-Levels, I studied computing but they forced us to use the proprietary Visual Studio IDE and C#; I hated it, but coped with it by using Mono at home for class assignments. It wasn’t long after I joined as an FSF Associate Member in 2013 that my life took a huge turn, and Libreboot was a huge part of it. Needless to say, I strive to eliminate my dependence on proprietary software and I want others to experience such freedom aswell.

Richard Stallman’s articles and video lectures were what led me down this path. I have met the man 5 times, in 3 different countries.

In the early days of computing, most (if not all) software was shared freely with source code. In the early 1980s, when software started becoming more commercial, companies started making software proprietary which meant that the software no longer came with source code or otherwise placed restrictions on the use, development or sharing of that software. This meant that computer users no longer had freedom over their computing; by the time the GNU project started in 1983, free software did not exist! Richard Stallman, faced with the possibility of making large amounts of money as a proprietary software developer, staunchly resisted this trend and began the GNU project to create a completely free operating system that people could run on their computers.

I believe in Free Software for the same reason I believe in public education; I believe that knowledge is a human right. For example, I believe that all kids are entitled to learn Mathematics. I believe the same thing about Computer Science. Education is a human right. I want everyone to have freedom; the right to read, to a community and to free speech. Programming counts as speech, and I believe that all good work is based on the work of others; this is why the right to a community is critical. The four freedoms are paramount. I am a staunch supporter of copyleft and I believe that it should be mandatory, by law, for all creative and/or intellectual works. I use the GNU General Public License whenever possible, and I strongly advocate for its adoption everywhere.

Free software still has a long way to go. The mission of the GNU project and the Free Software movement is to eradicate proprietary software in our world and give everyone exclusively free software. That is a most noble mission which the Libreboot project shares. Companies like Apple and Microsoft resist us at every turn. Logic is highly proprietary; manufacturers of computer chips/boards heavily restrict access to knowledge about how the hardware works, and they put in DRM (such as cryptographic signature checks of firmware) to restrict our progress; this is why Libreboot still has very weak hardware support, as of the date this article is being published. Right to repair is a critical component of our fight, in particular, as a part of the wider OSHW (Free/libre Hardware) movement. Another problem we face is serialization of components, where the same component can no longer be used to replace another, in modern devices; the software on said device might check whether the new part is authorized and refuse to work if it isn’t. We in the freedom movement are under constant attacks, in a legal and technical sense. Large tech companies use every dirty trick in the book to thwart our efforts.

If it weren’t for Richard Stallman’s work, Libreboot would not exist. All works are derivative in human society; we stand on the shoulder of giants. The GNU project almost had a complete operating system, and finally they had one piece missing, the kernel; this program sits at the heart of the operating system, talking to hardware and allocating system resources, providing an interface on which application software can run. GNU had started work on a kernel which they called Hurd, but this is still far from complete as of 2021. Fortunately, another project called Linux appeared in the early 90s and was released under the GNU GPL, which meant that people were able to combine a modified GNU system with Linux to create a complete operating system; the first GNU+Linux distributions were born! It is from all of this that our movement, the Free Software movement, began, and without it, I doubt we’d have such wide access to free computing today. I cannot imagine a world where Libreboot and GNU do not both exist.

Could coreboot have existed without GNU+Linux? I doubt it very much! It’s possible that Linux on its own may have still existed, but would it have been Free Software by today? Would it have reached the level it did today? In that reality, BSD projects might have taken over instead, and would they have had the ideological drive to ensure that all computer users had freedom, or would they simply regard the source code as a reference for educational purposes only?

You see, Richard Stallman’s work in the 80s was revolutionary and without him, none of us would be here today. The people in charge of big tech companies like Apple and Microsoft hate us, and have been attacking our movement for years. That’s what the attacks on RMS have been about. They do not care what Richard did or didn’t do at any given point in time.

Richard had been president of the Free Software Foundation since its inception in 1985, spreading Free Software ideology all over the world; until, that is, he was cancelled in 2019 in the most Orwellian smear campaign possible.

Anyone familiar with Libreboot probably already knows all of the above, or they are familiar with the gist of it, so why am I talking about the FSF, GNU and Richard Stallman today? Because of something very sinister that is currently happening.

Don’t just take my word for it. Stephen Fry, a well-known GNU+Linux user, did this video in 2008 praising the GNU project and supporting Free Software:


in case it doesn’t load, try this link: https://invidious.snopyta.org/watch?v=P_mS4CIXcLY

RMS is NOT transphobic

I’ve been good friends with Richard for many years. I did have a falling out with him (publicly so) a few years ago, but we made up. He has always respected me.

When my project, Libreboot, was in the process of joining GNU, I wasn’t out as trans. I came out as trans not long before Libreboot became GNU Libreboot. RMS switched to she/her with me on the spot. No problems.

Some people have linked to the following article and suggested that he is transphobic: https://stallman.org/articles/genderless-pronouns.html

Specifically, people believe that RMS refuses to use correct pronouns with people. People believe that RMS is transphobic for saying per/perse instead of accepting they/them.

Let me tell you something:

Richard sent me and several other people a copy of that article when he was drafting it. I repeatedly urged RMS not to do per/perse when he suggested it. I strongly suggested that he use they/them when referring to someone generically. When he decided to use per/perse, I was annoyed but not offended; you see, I regard it as idiotic. Clearly, they/them is commonly understood and will cause the least amount of misunderstanding.

Being foolish is not the same thing as being transphobic. If you actually tell Richard your preferred pronouns, he’ll use them with you without hesitation.

Several of my friends are trans and also speak to Richard, mostly via email. He respects their pronouns also.

Funnily enough, the GNU project has these guidelines about pronouns: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/kind-communication.en.html – see: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/kind-communication.en.html#f1

Not transphobic. At all. Same per/pers bullshit. Not transphobic, just stupid. I wasn’t misgendered by other GNU developers when my project, Libreboot, was in GNU. Calling RMS a transphobe is an insult to people who suffer from real transphobia.

Background information

I could address each specific accusation made against him, but other articles already do that; those articles are written much better than anything I could ever write, so please click on the links below.

I feel no need to re-invent the wheel. The whole purpose of this article was just to express my support for Richard Stallman, and to defend his honour. His time will end one day, and he deserves for that to come naturally. However, there is still much that he can contribute!

The following articles more or less describe accurately what happened since September 2019 when the events surrounding Richard Stallman started:


Here is another article expressing support for Richard, and it too has details about the events that took place:


This video by DistroTube provides an excellent account of events aswell:


Exposing our opponents for who they are

Our problem, in defending Richard Stallman, is that opponents of the Free Software movement have learned to co-opt our language. They talk the talk and they wear the colours, but make no mistake: their actions and their intentions do not reflect the ideology they claim to represent! There are genuinely some Free Software activists and organanisations on that list, who have been misled or have some other reason to oppose RMS; my focus will not be on those people, but hopefully some of those people and organisations will change their mind if they read what I have to say!

I do not subscribe to cancel culture. Some of these people may well try to cancel me but I would never do the same to them. This entire article merely aims to defend RMS against the vicious smear campaigns. To do that, we will explore some of the people on that anti-RMS list.

I said I wouldn’t directly link to the list calling for RMS’s removal, so I will print the URL below without making it a hyperlink (this prevents it from being boosted in search engines). Look at the names on their list:


Don’t be fooled! The open source movement is not the same as the Free Software movement! The following article describes how Open Source differs from Free Software: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.en.html

I will focus on the people in the main list of signers, and maybe talk about specific organisations (or other names) on that list. Some of them are otherwise reasonable people besides their anti-RMS stance (which means they were misled, most likely), whereas some people on the list are nasty.

I will jump straight into it:

Redhat pulling funding from FSF

RedHat announced, in response to RMS’s re-instatement at the FSF, that they would remove their funding for the FSF. They joined in on the usual smear campaign.

RedHat is owned by known non-free software company IBM these days. Their enterprise GNU+Linux distro comes with plenty of non-free software and they actively tell their customers how to get more; they do nothing to advance free software and merely see it as something they can use. They do not believe in FSF ideology. More info about the merger: https://www.redhat.com/en/ibm

Redhat very recently killed CentOS. CentOS was a community edition of RHEL, with a strong community backing. In other words, Redhat actively took a step that hurts the community. More info: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/12/centos-shifts-from-red-hat-unbranded-to-red-hat-beta/

Look at that: https://www.ibm.com/products/software

Does this look like a company that cares about Free Software?

Why should we care what RedHat thinks? If they pull funding, that’s one less corrupting influence to worry about! Redhat does not believe in free software (they may have believed in open source at one point, but that time is probably long gone now that they’ve been bought by IBM)

OSI/Microsoft connection

OSI is short for Open Source Initiative. This organisation started as an offshoot of the Free Software Foundation in an attempt to make Free Software more marketable to large corporations. Read about the OSI here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Source_Initiative

They say a picture speaks a thousand words:

From left to right, their names (all prominent OSI leaders/influencers), where left is your left and their right (for the phono in the photos) are:

Back row: Faidon Liambotis, Chris Lamb, Simon Phipps, Allison Randal, Molly de Blanc, Patrick Masson

Front row: Josh Simmons, VM Brasseur, Carol Smith, Italo Vignoli, Richard Fontana.

All of these people are highly influential at the OSI. Several former presidents.

Does this look strange to you? Look where they are. The photo comes from this news article: http://techrights.org/2020/01/15/osi-board-at-microsoft/ (archive: http://web.archive.org/web/20200121042512/http://techrights.org/2020/01/15/osi-board-at-microsoft/)

Microsoft is a major sponsor of the OSI. OSI themselves have an article on their website, stating this: https://opensource.org/node/901 (archive: http://web.archive.org/web/20201112022740/https://opensource.org/node/901)

When your organisation starts to depend on large amounts of funding by companies like Microsoft (who have rigorously attacked Free Software and Open Source for years), you are going to lose sight of some of your ideals. You will lose some of that spark you previously had in you. You will start doing what your donors tell you, because you fear the loss of that funding. Microsoft, over the years, has dived into their version of what they regard as open source; in reality, it’s just openwashing (like whitewashing, but with Open Source perspective instead), and Microsoft’s core products such as Windows are still very much non-free! Microsoft still campaigns hard for your lack of freedom by getting more and more computers locked down with things like SecureBoot and cryptographically signed firmware.

So if Microsoft has hated Richard Stallman for years, and wanted to destroy him for years, and Microsoft has financial influence at the Open Source Initiative, on organization that could somewhat credibly speak Free Software lingo, would that not be the best thing ever for Microsoft? Imagine being Microsoft. You’d jump at the opportunity, right? Someone tell me I’m not the only one here.

Even if Microsoft wasn’t heavily attached to the OSI, would the OSI have any right using the language of Free Software while claiming to be a part of our community? Open source is not a part of the Free Software movement! It is an ideological competitor to Free Software.

Fun fact:

The OSI recently banned Eric S Raymond (co-founder of the OSI) from their mailing lists, after certain comments he made defending the OSI against infiltration by the Ethical Source movement and against oppressive codes of conducts that stifle free speech. Despite the name, Ethical Source licenses are in fact non-free because they put restrictions on usage of the software; if the author of such software disagrees with your political views, they can ban you from using the software. This is wrong! People like Coraline Ada Ehmke (leader of Ethical Source movement) were trying to influence the OSI so as to re-write the Open Source Definition. This video provides some nice introductory information:


In the OSI’s case, they probably won’t let Eric back in; though even if I disagree with Open Source (I’m a Free Software activist), Open Source isn’t at a bad thing per se, just ideologically lacking; Ethical Source people like Coraline Ada Ehmke will cause extreme amounts of damage if they get their way (they’ve already infiltrated several well-known Free Software and Open Source aligned projects by getting them to introduce a Code of Conduct; Libreboot recently came to the good sense to scrap its Code of Conduct, which was none other than Coraline’s Contributor Covenant)

Everyone should send Eric Raymond a supportive email. He did the right thing. Tell him you care. I’ve never heard anything especially horrible about him. He’s very reasonable and a nice person; outspoken and unfiltered while still being respectful (in my opinion, having read some of his articles), which is quite refreshing.

Microsoft employees

Yes, Microsoft employees are on the anti-RMS list.

What business do these people have lecturing us about Free Software ideals or about FSF affairs?

Microsoft is a mortal enemy of the Free Software movement. Microsoft isn’t foolish enough to sign their entire company name onto the list, because then that would be game over for the anti-RMS campaign; so instead, they use their corrupting influences at various organisations that supposedly represent us.

If I were Microsoft, I’d ask these people to remove their names from the list. It actually hurts their anti-RMS efforts, for such people to have their position at Microsoft stated like this, even if it’s just a few people.

None of their people on this list seem to be high up at Microsoft. I would be inclined to believe that they published their names independently, without direction. No sane Microsoft boss would want Microsoft listed on that page, in any capacity!

Gnome Foundation (has been deeply connected to Microsoft)

NOTE: Do not confused the Gnome community with the Gnome Foundation. They are very different things!

There are well-known connections between members of the Gnome Foundation with Microsoft. Here is an article:


They have been attacking RMS for years:


So, of course, it’s not credible for these people to represent themselves on behalf of the Free Software movement!

The following Gnome Foundation members are on the core signers list of the anti-RMS petition, and associated with the Gnome Foundation:

  • Molly de Blanc (Debian Project, GNOME Foundation) (also associated with OSI)
  • Neil McGovern (GNOME Foundation Executive Director, Former Debian Project Leader)
  • Luis Villa (Former Director of the Open Source Initiative and the GNOME Foundation; contributor to the GPL v3 drafting process)

In other cases, I wouldn’t choose to list names, but Neil and Molly are two of the people with push/pull/review rights on the anti-RMS github site. I feel the need to mention their names; see also that they are both members of the Debian project.

Coraline Ada Ehmke (Founder, Organization for Ethical Source)

Coraline is the founder of the Ethical source movement. Despite the name, it is actually distributing non-free licenses; non-free because they put restrictions on the usage of software licensed under it. If you use software under one of those licenses, and the author disagrees with you politically, the author can ban you from using that software.

I for one believe in freedom! I want freedom for everyone, including those whom I politically disagree with!

Discriminating based on someones beliefs is always wrong. No ifs, no buts. I want my political opponents to have freedom, because:

  • If I were able to take away my enemy’s freedom, they could take away mine.
  • If my enemy were able to take away my freedom, I could take away theirs.

Coraline is also quite abusive online. There are numerous accounts of her terrorizing companies/projects, acting like a bully. There’s a chance that she might even target the Libreboot project, if someone tells her of this article.

She is a horrible person.

She’s more well known for the Contributor Covenant, a template code of conduct that some projects use. We in Libreboot recommend that you do not have a code of conduct, because it alienates new contributors and creates a self-censored environment where people feel unable to express their views about issues; you see, freedom of speech is healthy, and it’s quite common sense to just deal with bad behaviours. Contributor Covenant is a trojan horse; that’s what they push on you first, and then they’ll recommend you use an Ethical Source license. Once you take your first dose of Ethical Source, they’ll sink their claws into your project. Do not let these types of people infiltrate your project!

Do not listen to Coraline Ada Ehmke or anyone like her! She is fuelled by hatred and bigotry herself. She is completely intolerant of other people’s views and regularly tries to destroy people she disagrees with.


That’s all!

Defend RMS!

Can’t be bothered to write more. I was going to go through the list more exhaustively, but I think you see the point.

Licence: GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.3

Noise and Misinformation Benefit Crooks

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The complete ‘clusterfuck’ of misinformation has helped Bill Gates evade scrutiny for his actions; similarly, or using similar tactics, corporate operatives demonise proponents of software freedom

TODAY we press on with a series long in the making (“EPO Bundestagate“) and we’re mostly leaving behind the FSF affairs, kindly reminding readers that the mainstream/corporate/’tech’ (Big Tech-funded) media keeps lying about the whole thing. RMS is back to the FSF and he’s staying there, also at a public (as in public-facing) capacity. DEAL WITH IT.

“As a quick recap, there’s speculation that Gates wants a whole lot of noise about him, especially nonfactual nonsense. Because it drowns out the signal, such as his strong connections to Epstein, among other scandalous things.”We’re meanwhile exploring some political affairs at the level of technology, seeing that there has been lots of meddling in recent years. We wrote about some examples a couple of days ago; Bill Gates has long been meddling in the US government. We wrote a lot more about this in the Obama days, not that Trump has truly changed anything. What’s interesting is that according to our South/Latin American reader — a very longtime reader — there seems to be meddling in America as a whole and the subject is worth debating. “Techrights’ associate (TA from now on) opinion about Gates and his will to be in the middle of all this is valid,” the reader told us. “yet it has its twists.”

Bolsonaro: Facts? Do not see.As a quick recap, there’s speculation that Gates wants a whole lot of noise about him, especially nonfactual nonsense. Because it drowns out the signal, such as his strong connections to Epstein, among other scandalous things. He could really use a distraction. Factual criticism and strong critics pose a threat to him (potential re-arrest and FBI investigations).

“I was trying to put the guy in a position of discomfort,” our reader told us, “so this whole conspiranoia thing would be kinda collateral consequence of his actions (calling some political campaign friends to help him) while trying to defend himself. But if that’s not the case, and he willingly does this, then that means active polarization: the game is no longer about anything else other than being on Gates’ side or against Gates’ side. That’s what every right-wing political campaign is focusing on worldwide. Here we have Cristina Kirchner, let’s say in a center-left position, and the right-wing is all about “if you’re not with us, you’re with her”. So, anything you do that doesn’t seem like the right-wing instantly means that you’re some kind of Kirchner minion, and the media bombards the whole country with that idea. And of course that category implies lots of relations: “Kirchner = communism = corruption = the state will take your stuff = totalitarianism”, and so on. It’s ugly. And it’s nothing new: that pattern can be found everywhere. Yet, the point is to be able to focus in a 50% game instead of having to handle multiple 15% to 25% fronts. And that is NOT “defending from revelations”: that’s running for a position. Which is exactly what TA says.”

Noise Means MoneyTo sum up, partisan political tricks set the tone or pave a path to public office.

“If that’s true,” our reader continued, “I guess he will fail miserably. Nothing is certain, specially in these times, but I believe doing that after Trump will only make him a Trump wannabe in the eyes of everybody, and will actually work in favour of Trump the day he wants to come back. Too little, too late; Gates is now in the shadow of another more charismatic billionaire bully. So one way or another this all feels sloppy, and the guy looks more like a moron rather than some brilliant strategist.”

“Whatever the case, the damage is done,” the reader asserted, “look at our societies. And the means he’s using only make this social-breakage industry/corporation/whatever stronger: every single operation is at the same time a social experiment that makes the next operation more likely successful, and this knowledge will still be there after Gates is long gone. That’s my fear. I don’t fear for RMS or the Free Software movement: that’s a fight we can all fight in the same way it always was fought, with its wins and losses. That fight actually IS about “facts vs lies”. But this is different. We’re talking about the same tools that subjugate generations of people under debt, fear, hunger, disease, and even war. When you’re hungry, the only fact is the hunger: everything else is just words. Fear has similar effects. This should be taboo tech even for some of the most ruthless people: it’s basically doing deals with the devil. I can’t see Gates as anything but desperate to resort to this.”

To remind readers who missed the two prior ‘parts’, it seems like Gates may have once again hired political strategists to seed discord and divide the population. This was done before, back when we covered such things more closely.

“Adding to TA’s opinion of “other interests involved”,” our reader said, “I believe it’s very important to understand something about the right-wing political parties. I consider myself leftist, so I could obviously tell you tons of bad stuff about the right. Yet, there’s something about them that has been historically a virtue, at least in strategic terms: they ALWAYS attack in a solid block. Very rarely the right wing has the fissures and fragmentation the left constantly has. We could debate to what extent this may or may not be true, but the point is that it makes them extremely efficient in politics, even when they rarely have anything to add to the board. These days, neo-liberalism is so much in crisis that the only thing the right can do is to tell lies and generate lots of noise. Yet, they do that in unison, as they always did. So much is like that, that when TA says “pull off what happened in the 1970s but on a global scale this time”, my answer is this: the 1970s actions were already on a global scale. What happened in LATAM [Latin America] was staged in the US and UK: it was Thatcher and Reagan, not some banana republic dictators. And neo-liberalism wasn’t a LATAM thing but a worldwide thing. Sure, the rest of the world didn’t suffered exactly the same consequences as LATAM (that’s debatable actually), but they successfully destroyed communists and progressives all around the world anyway, and infected every single culture with poison, all in a coordinated way. And every crisis after that was systematically used to become stronger, no matter the social consequences. So, the stage is global, has been since a long time ago, and these people were already THAT good in what they did 50 years ago. Bill Gates is totally out of his league here IMHO.”

Maybe one day more will be known about who manages the messaging directly and indirectly for Gates. We know some names (people whom he hired from Microsoft). He already hides behind proxies when responding to queries about his Epstein scandal.

Move to the right. Facts will matter less.“TA’s correct about social control media and communications,” the reader added. “The government here (centrist) is BLEEDING on the communications front (its weakest aspect so far): they have lots of communication to do, yet it goes just as a blip under the flood of noise from social media and classical mass media. I once heard somewhere a theory about how Hitler’s rise to power would have been much more difficult with TVs, yet it was successful thanks to the radio. The theory was about Hitler’s way of expressing himself with his body, and how he looked, and stuff like that, which differed much from the way he spoke. Whatever, I bring that up because of this: It’s known that Bolsonaro is Brazil’s president because of WhatsApp. And today, I’m being told, while Brazil is the country doing it the worst against COVID in the whole world, in the places of Brazil where the most people are dying Bolsonaro is doing well for the next elections. You should see the videos of gay people during the previous elections, before COVID, saying “I don’t care the guy’s homophobia, I’ll vote for him because he doesn’t lie”. People are voting explicitly against their own interests; classical political (mostly economical) ideas are in crisis. And WhatsApp is in the middle of it here in LATAM. So, communication is always political, and always social control-related: the point is how to work with it. The rules seem to have changed again since the papers and the radios and the TVs. Yet, the owners didn’t.”

And to conclude: “It’s in light of experiences like those with Bolsonaro that I wrote about (several times against) qualifying people regarding “honesty” or distance from “corruption”: because that’s a primitive political mindset that the right already knows how to use against their enemies, and it’s very easy to polarize using that. Trump did the same: lots of people voted for him “bEcaUsE hE teLlS tHe tRuTh!!1!”, and suddenly everybody else was a liar, and every thing Trump said was true no matter how lunatic it could really be. The whole ‘affaire RMS’ is a shining example of this; they used our morals against us, and now discord thrives in our communities. So, I don’t say “let’s welcome corruption” but something more like “be careful judging people, and focus on several traits at the same time instead of just a single one”. It’s not a solved thing to me, but I’m surely not in the “corruption” bandwagon anymore after all that.”

We remind again (to all readers) that a lot the press coverage about RMS has been flawed, false, and sometimes outright defamatory. They have an agenda. So does Gates. All that rage serves to misdirect outrage and critical inquiry.

We intend to focus more on the EPO scandals in the coming days.

It’s That Epic 30,000

Posted in Site News at 6:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

WordPress right now:


Summary: 30,000 blog posts have been published; we’re stronger and bigger than ever, and we have no intention of stopping

THIS site grew a lot over the years. It started with shared hosting and within a few years it moved up the scale. Nowadays it runs on 32 CPU cores and this week it transmits, on average, 3 megabytes per second. When it comes to investigative journalism about particular topics (the ones we specialise in), we’re in a privileged position. People trust us. We never burned a source, either willingly or unwillingly. We’re a strong community which doesn’t need Draconian rules being enforced to cooperate peacefully. Our differences are overcome by the need for collaboration and shared goals.

JoyThe previous post was the 30,000th blog post. And sure, we have components other than the blog, but those are harder to quantify.

The past week has been very busy, especially because of the many changes at the FSF. We’ve heard a number of positive things. And no, RMS is not stepping down; some of his antagonists do. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THE MEDIA TELLS YOU ABOUT THE FSF. Get the information from fsf.org instead. Similarly, epo.org is a fountain of lies; sites like JUVE are nowadays reprinting it (almost verbatim) and no site other than us — and belatedly IP Kat too — speaks about the kangaroo court scandal. In our eyes, much of the media is complicit in the crimes and the injustice; some of these publishers are paid (bribed) by the EPO to turn a blind eye — a scandal in its own right!

People trust Techrights. That trust was earned. It’s a badge of honour when people whom we expose express anger at us without even a morsel of refutation or rebuttal to what we said. They’re just really antsy because their integrity is compromised and everybody knows now. Evidence helps.

A celebrationThe EPO Bundestagate — Part 2 is set to be published tomorrow. Expect about 20 parts in total, gradually exposing crimes that go all the way up from the rotten EPO to Europe’s most powerful government, which facilitates such crimes.

It’s hard to promise another 30,000 blog posts (if blogs and blog posts still exist about 15 years from now), but I am still in my thirties and I reckon I can carry on doing this until and into my retirement (from my job). Over the past week and half we’ve received loads of overwhelmingly positive feedback thanking us for the work on Techrights. The site Techrights became a lot bigger than myself and it continues to grow each year. Thanks to all who have devoted time and effort to make Techrights what it is. We’ve endured countless attempts to undermine this site.

[Meme] It Came From the Cloud… in Haar

Posted in Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 5:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tandemocracy at EPO

Then I'll take your seat

Totally compliant; Not with the law, compliant to somebody

Nobody talks; Nobody gets hurt


EPO cap

Summary: Tandemocracy best describes how EPO gets away with crimes

The EPO Bundestagate — Part 1: How the Bundestag Was (and Continues to be) Misled About EPO Affairs

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. You are here ☞ How the Bundestag Was (and Continues to be) Misled About EPO Affairs

Investigating the suspected involvement of the EPO in attempts to subvert parliamentary democracy and the rule of law in Germany.

Summary: The EPO under management of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos has conned the German government

This new series is a follow-up to the recent exposé concerning the sell-out of the EPO’s “digital sovereignty” to Microsoft Inc.

This time we intend to investigate well-founded suspicions that former and current senior officials of the EPO were implicated in actions which resulted in a national parliament in one of the organisation’s contracting states being misled about EPO matters, in particular serious deficiencies in the organisation’s data protection framework.

The main focus of our attention is a series of events which took place in 2015.

The available documentary evidence suggests that the Legal Affairs Committee of the German Federal Parliament (known as the “Bundestag”) had the wool pulled over its eyes by a senior official of the German Federal Ministry of Justice acting in collusion with a senior official of the EPO.

At first glance these events may seem like “ancient history”. However, the reality is that little has changed at the EPO in the meantime, and it would appear that the Bundestag continues to be misinformed about EPO affairs.

“The available documentary evidence suggests that the Legal Affairs Committee of the German Federal Parliament (known as the “Bundestag”) had the wool pulled over its eyes by a senior official of the German Federal Ministry of Justice acting in collusion with a senior official of the EPO.”The story begins back in April 2014 when a member of the public requested the Bavarian State Data Protection Commissioner, Dr Thomas Petri, to investigate the EPO’s data protection framework.

In May 2014, following the conclusion of his investigation, Dr Petri contacted his counterpart at federal level, the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Ms Andrea Voßhoff.

Petri expressed his concern about the deficiencies which he had identified in the EPO’s data protection framework and he requested Voßhoff’s support in pursuing the matter at a national level via her office.

Ms Voßhoff’s efforts to follow-up on the issues raised by Dr Petri ultimately led her to contact the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag in July 2015, with a request to that Committee to take appropriate action.

The matter subsequently appeared as item no. 18 on the agenda of the 71st meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee which took place in October 2015.

However, the official government memorandum submitted to the Legal Affairs Committee was used to hoodwink the Committee into believing that everything was in order at the EPO and that the organisation’s data protection framework was “fit for purpose”.

So how exactly did it come about that the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag was led to conclude that the concerns expressed by Dr Petri and Ms Voßhoff did not deserve to be investigated further?

“So how exactly did it come about that the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag was led to conclude that the concerns expressed by Dr Petri and Ms Voßhoff did not deserve to be investigated further?”Official correspondence between the EPO and the German Federal Ministry for Justice can help to shed light on this mystery.

Of particular interest here are the exchanges which took place between the Vice-President in charge of the EPO’s Directorate of Legal and International Affairs (DG5), Raimund Lutz, and the official of the Justice Ministry entrusted with preparing the official government report for submission to the Legal Affairs Committee.

The Justice Ministry official in question was a certain Dr Christoph Ernst, who at that time was an Assistant Director (“Ministerialdirigent”) in the Ministry and also the head of the German delegation to the EPO’s Administrative Council.

“From the available documentation it would appear that back in 2015 Lutz and Ernst acted in concert to misinform the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag for the purpose of forestalling any further parliamentary scrutiny of the EPO’s data protection framework.”From the available documentation it would appear that back in 2015 Lutz and Ernst acted in concert to misinform the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag for the purpose of forestalling any further parliamentary scrutiny of the EPO’s data protection framework.

It is worth noting that when Lutz retired at the end of 2018, his successor at the EPO as the Vice-President of DG5 was none other than his former “accomplice” at the German Justice Ministry, Christoph Ernst. We will comment on this curious “coincidence” in more detail in due course.

But before delving into the details of this murky affair, we will first of all take a look at how the EPO has been the subject of parliamentary questions in various jurisdictions in recent years.

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