Meme: Drunk on Power, Drunk on Diplomatic Immunity (and Impunity)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 7:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dictators at EPO

Summary: EPO management under the leadership tyranny of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos has done more than enough to deserve loss of diplomatic immunity; oppression against EPO staff must stop now

Linux Foundation Should Stop Using Bots for Code of Conduct Enforcement Because Bots Fail the Community

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The wrong assumption that bots and algorithms (or “hey hi”) can handle Code of Conduct enforcement is causing backlash/resentment/accusations against the Linux Foundation, both from guys and girls (of different backgrounds)

YESTERDAY we wrote about bots being used by the not-so-cash-strapped millionaires to enforce the 'Code of Conduct' of the Linux Foundation, contrary to assurances originally given. Is this about cost savings? Are 130,000,000 dollar per year not enough? Today we’d like to present one example of this, not as a hypothetical example but as a real cautionary tale. When we lose touch with fellow humans and where due process barely exists, things are bound to go south. Bots help people dodge accountability for mis-classification; it thus becomes easier to gaslight the falsely accused.

“This means that the censorship will be more corporate-leaning, not based on objective truth or perceived ethics. It’s about money and power.”The situation at the Foundation may, at this point, be limited to chats. That, however, may change in the future and we’ve already discussed how committees are stacked by monopolies. This means that the censorship will be more corporate-leaning, not based on objective truth or perceived ethics. It’s about money and power.

Our source has had experiences with this elsewhere. Our source isn’t the victim; it’s the witness rather than the suppressed, albeit the source experienced other types of censorship by the Linux Foundation (we covered this in the past). To quote: “This reminded me of how we fought censorware as a community with Peacefire and the great Mattel escapade (where skala and jansson turned over the rights to cphack to mattel but it was GPL’d). Censorware picked up on terms and blocked people with names like “hancock” and spilled into filtering issues — banning and blocking certain websites. We were unable to view what was happening behind the scenes and with the ACLU involved, a ruling came in from the copyright office allowing us to legally decrypt banned lists.”

Now it seems like the Linux Foundation (LF) decided to step into somewhat of a scandal, in effect using the ‘Code of Conduct’ as a pretext for banning people right and left.

Our source spoke to somewhat of a victim who had experienced this firsthand; the falsely accused person “shared with me something that happened which indicated LF uses a bot in chat to mod or monitor,” our source recalled. “Now, as far as the Foundation’s chat — where users are likely voluntarily subject to the coercive terms of service to participate — I imagine we may never know what terms the “bot” is checking for. However, could be a fun time… for someone, so included to test the waters.”

It’s worth noting that some of them are female. We’re not talking about a “men’s club” here; the LF cannot tell the difference! Therein lies the problem with bots…

To quote verbatim:

Communication today with dev:

As a side note: I am many years a trainer for the LF and apparently a big fan of the kernel and [project name] project.

I attended the US virtual embedded linux conf and was a speaker in the [project name] dev days
Suddenly I got an email that I violated the code of conduct ;)


It turned out that they scan all the chat conversations and grep? No idea what they do keywords I guess

I said something on the chat like “I like girls on [transportation mode]”

This was totally out of context and I don’t find it offensive. At least I didn’t intend it to be offensive.

Maybe the correct thing to write was, “I like girls/guys/non binary/… on bikes/planes… ;)”

I didn’t further follow it up with them since this is IMHO just stupid.

Me: What!!!!!

Him: Hehe ;) Really I don’t understand it

BTW an interesting view with the Code of Conduct and maybe that’s the whole idea behind it.

Silence some people. I am not sure many people are aware of this.

I can tell you, as a somewhat insider of the LF, there is lots of politics and money.

I believe there are many capable people there, but the politics are questionable.

In short, things are taken out of context and considered offensive, whereupon community members are being sanctioned, by bots.

“All in all,” our source noted, “I agree there are some organizations with some capable and good volunteers trying to do positive work. However, the organizations seem to be failing us. Have failed. The organizations could do better…”

If one is going to adopt a Code of Conduct and also enjoy an annual turnover of about $130,000,000, at least hire people who can figure out nuance and context. Don’t allow oppressive measures to run in ‘auto-pilot’ as it’s bound to piss off the very core people who are falsely accused. And in the case of the Linux Foundation, they could certainly use greater diversity (instead of just talking about it). Complainants about the LF’s conduct are female as well; they too don’t feel like they benefit from a mere illusion of them being protected. What’s being protected? Monopolies, big banks, and oil companies. Check this year’s press releases from LF.

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 17, 2021

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

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmautzEwJbkZB6yddHMwFy3w9KTDaWLXxFpLTEcMmiTNZU IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmQNn6DY1ULbkwEYD2HZiGUFacBw6nRt3SHA87MoU2pTKF IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmQwxRq63EZWog8xTp2nz2aREMa2eJi7HYQnjW5jRxVBPF IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmQU63gjuKp59LSY59XbF3SevuEKntgmjJaUCdXrg2NEis IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 Qmb3i3t9G2mrAzinXDcqZgrasorMK4zy7Gc6tcgtDLjtDN IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmdYWuXQeD5B7j2AoHNUAPVnpmCs4EYBtmgGncWYGHKAAx IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmfCtiCWjAK6euujkVyj5Cr5XV5mEujPLrVzR5etQNntaX IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmQZyCwYvWfLuRFMNC7LNGkqt9ggbGu2R23rqCLWxT5r7h IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs

IPFS logo

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmUDkM7S8nKeCBcqjF1J1WqKQhBeUg6ckirMnvYYYSEhmL

Links 18/3/2021: Apache OpenMeetings 6.0, Mageia Has New Board, Audacity 3.0, XWayland 21.1

Posted in News Roundup at 12:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • WANdisco Grants Industry Leading LiveData Platform to Fast-Track High-Volume Genome Analysis and COVID-19 Research in South Korea

      WANdisco, the LiveData company, announced that it donated its LiveData Platform to help Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology conduct faster analysis in its efforts towards Covid-19 research. Using the automated data migration and replication platform, the institute has been able to replicate files between Hadoop-based big data clusters and Linux-based analysis clusters 13 times faster than before, and reduce analysis time by over 30 percent.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Venom Linux 20210312 overview | A Source-based linux distro.

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Venom Linux and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • Display: Bizarre Official ImageMagick GUI

        ImageMagick is super useful for automating some image editing tasks but it turns out there’s also an imagemagick gui built into the official package known as display.

      • FLOSS Weekly 621: Dries Buytaert and Drupal – Drupal

        Doc Searls and Katherine Druckman are joined by Katherine’s boss at Acquia, Dries Buytaert, who is also famously the creator and alpha maintainer of Drupal, the open source content management framework. Dries talks about how Drupal started out as a college dorm project, turned in to a blogging platform, and has since grown to run some of the world’s largest, most active and important websites—all while growing a great many development and usage communities.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.11.7
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.11.7 kernel.
        All users of the 5.11 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.11.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.11.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.10.24
      • Linux 5.4.106
      • Linux 4.19.181
      • Linux 4.14.226
      • Linux 4.9.262
      • Linux 4.4.262
      • Graphics Stack

        • xwayland 21.1.0
          I'm pleased to announce the final standalone Xwayland 21.1.0 release.
          There are just two small fixes compared to the second release candidate.
          Please report any issues at
          Highlights compared to xserver 1.20.10:
          * Xwayland's XVideo support (via glamor) now supports NV12
          * glamor can now accelerate some more RENDER extension formats
          * Xwayland's GLX provider now uses the EGL implementation instead of
            Mesa's swrast_dri.so directly
          * Xwayland can now use the wp_viewport Wayland protocol for up-scaling
            of fullscreen applications setting lower resolutions via the RandR /
            XFree86-VidModeExtension extensions
          * Xwayland now alternates between multiple buffers for all Wayland
            surfaces, making it less of a special case compared to other Wayland
          * Xwayland can now use memfd_create for creating buffers shared with
            the Wayland compositor when glamor hardware acceleration is disabled
          * Xwayland has better support for clients using relative mouse input and
            keyboard grabs
          * An Xwayland.1 manpage is now installed
          * Xwayland now supports -listenfd, -version and -verbose command line
          * Xwayland now installs an xwayland.pc file which helps discovering the
            path of the installed Xwayland binary and the features it supports
          * Only meson is supported for building
          * Only Xwayland and Xvfb can be built, only Xwayland can be installed
        • XWayland 21.1 Standalone Released To Offer Better X11 Client On Wayland Experience

          With no one willing to step up and manage the X.Org Server 1.21 release and see it through for maintenance, Red Hat engineers who often managed those xorg-server releases are now moving ahead with standalone XWayland releases with that code pulled out of doing a full X.Org Server release and instead isolated to the XWayland bits for handling of X11 clients under Wayland. Today marks the inaugural release with XWayland 21.1.0.

          XWayland 21.1 is out today as the first standalone release, which came after separating out the rest of the X.Org Server code-base that’s been long brewing with new features for the elusive X.Org Server 1.21 release. Michel Dänzer of Red Hat managed this inaugural XWayland standalone release with Fedora 34 planning to make use of this standalone package to provide the newer XWayland support without having the baggage of having to ship a X.Org Server Git snapshot or commit resources to the v1.21 release. Ubuntu developers have also expressed interest in possibly using this standalone XWayland package too. Assuming X.Org Server 1.21 doesn’t magically appear this year with any organization stepping up to manage the release, we’ll likely see more Linux distributions adopting this standalone release especially with more desktop Linux distributions finally transitioning to Wayland now that more desktops/compositors are offering a first-rate experience.

    • Applications

      • Audacity 3.0 Open-Source Audio Editor Introduces New Save File Format, More

        The biggest new feature of the Audacity 3.0 release is a new, more evolved save file format that uses the SQLite3 database to store all the data of your audio project into a single file using the .aup3 extension. Previous Audacity versions used an .aup file format that saved projects as a large number of small files.

        According to the developers, the new save file format also makes editing audio faster, but on the other side it makes finishing and closing of an audio project a lot slower. It’s important to note that the old .aup save file format can be opened in Audacity 3.0, which will automatically covert it to the new save file format.

      • Audacity 3.0 Digital Audio Editor Released With New File Format

        Audacity 3.0 is out today as a big update to this popular, longtime open-source digital audio editor.

        Audacity 3.0 is a big update over the Audacity 2.4 series in that it overhauls its project file format. Rather than the pile-of-files approach for managing assets being dealt with inside an Audacity project, the new “AUP3″ file format will store all project elements within that single file.

        This fundamental change should lead to less confusion by users over what file(s) are needed for a given project as the prior AUP file format led to confusion by some and the loss of their audio assets. AUP3 is leveraging an SQLite database for storing everything. With the single project file approach, there may be some minor performance benefits too.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Wi-Fi Not Working in Linux? Here’s How to Fix it – Make Tech Easier

        One of the big challenges that users tend to face with Linux is Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi drivers are often not included in the kernel, and as a result, there are many issues getting non-Intel Wi-Fi modules to work well under Linux. Here we cover what happens when Wi-Fi isn’t working on Linux and how to fix it.

      • Software Raid on Ubuntu 20.04

        Setting up a software RAID10 (mirrored and striped) provides high performance and redunancy against a single disk failure. RAID10 allows it to read from multiple disks, while writing blocks to multiple devices, rather than a RAID5 approach of using XOR blocks across devices. This potentially allows for a best case recovery of suffering a loss of two disks simultaneously, however if two disks are lost in the same mirror, then data loss will still occur. RAID5 configurations cannot suffer a loss of two disks under any scenario.

      • Actually Upgrading Ubuntu Server – Alan Pope’s blog

        Yesterday I wrote about my attempt to upgrade one of my HP Microservers, running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Well, today I had another go. Here’s what happened.
        I followed the recommendation from yesterday, to compress the initrd.img using xz compression rather than the previous default gzip. Previously the upgrade failed because it needed 140M disk space in /boot. With the change to the compression scheme, I now have 154M, which should be enough to start the upgrade.

      • Tianon Gravi: My Docker Install Process (re-redux)
      • Moving a Cloud Foundry Hello World App to Kubernetes: How Hard Can It Be?

        Essentially, I’ve spent most of last year figuring out Cloud Foundry and then telling others about it. And, believe it or not, I sort of fell in love with the simplicity of pushing a changed code base to the platform with one simple command (aka the “cf push experience” ). The step from running things locally to running things in the cloud was just one additional file: the Cloud Foundry manifest). It was so low threshold that I actually stopped testing changes locally. Instead, I just pushed changes to a deployed version of my app (in a development workspace) immediately. If I had to, I could always hook up a debugger to the deployed app running in Cloud Foundry.

      • How to migrate from CentOS to AlmaLinux

        The main motivation behind the creation of AlmaLinux was to be a viable replacement for CentOS Linux at the time of its shift from an enterprise-stable operating system to an upstream development branch of RHEL.

        Now that AlmaLinux is released, it still leaves CentOS users wondering how to switch operating systems. Ideally, this should be done as seamlessly as possible, to prevent downtime, loss of data, etc. In this guide, we’ll show you the step by step instructions to migrate from CentOS to AlmaLinux with just a few commands.

      • Ubuntu 20.04: How to install Virtualmin on for a cPanel/CentOS-like web hosting control panel
      • How to Deploy a React App to Production Using Docker and NGINX with API Proxies

        This post will help you to learn how to deploy your React applications to production. We are going to use Docker and NGINX to secure API keys and proxy requests to prevent Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) violations.

      • What is Git? A Beginner’s Guide to Git Version Control

        Git is a version control system that developers use all over the world. It helps you track different versions of your code and collaborate with other developers.

        If you are working on a project over time, you may want to keep track of which changes were made, by whom, and when those changes were made. This becomes increasingly important if you end up having a bug in your code! Git can help you with this.

      • Bashrc Customization Guide – How to Add Aliases, Use Functions, and More

        Customizing your .bashrc file can greatly improve your workflow and increase your productivity.

        The .bashrc is a standard file located in your Linux home directory. In this article I will show you useful .bashrc options, aliases, functions, and more.

      • Ubuntu: install fonts [Guide]

        Have a favorite font you want to install on your Ubuntu PC but can’t quite figure it out? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we show you how to install fonts on Ubuntu!

      • Upgrade Fedora 34 from Fedora 33 using DNF – If Not True Then False

        This is guide, howto upgrade Fedora 33 to Fedora 34 using DNF. This method works on desktop and server machines. You can also upgrade older Fedora installations (example Fedora 32/31/30) directly to Fedora 34.

        I have tested this method on several machines, but if you have problems, please let me know. Always remember backup, before upgrade!

      • Using Dekorate to generate Kubernetes manifests for Java applications

        To deploy an application on Kubernetes or Red Hat OpenShift, you first need to create objects to allow the platform to install an application from a container image. Then, you need to launch the application using a pod and expose it as a service with a static IP address. Doing all of that can be tedious, but there are ways to simplify the process.

        Kubernetes follows a declarative model, meaning that the user declares the desired application state and the cluster adjusts to match. Developers use files called manifests to describe the desired state. Manifests are typically defined in YAML or JSON files, which are communicated to the server through its REST API endpoint.

        Object formats are complex, with many fields to manipulate. It’s a good idea to use a tool to help with creating the manifests. If you’re deploying Java applications, consider using Dekorate. Not only will it simplify your work as a developer, but it will also flatten your learning curve as you adopt Kubernetes.

        In this article, we’ll use Dekorate to generate Kubernetes and OpenShift manifests for a generic Java application. Our example is a simple REST API application.

      • Fix Qutebrowser Mouse Scrolling With Imwheel

        Do you have programs on your computer that you wish had faster or slower mouse scrolling speeds? I had this annoying problem in Qutebrowser where its scroll speed was incredibly slow compared to other browsers. So I searched through the Arch Wiki and found imwheel.

      • How To Install Apache Spark on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Spark on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Spark is a fast and general-purpose cluster computing system. It provides high-level APIs in Java, Scala, and Python, and also an optimized engine that supports overall execution charts. It also supports a rich set of higher-level tools including Spark SQL for SQL and structured information processing, MLlib for machine learning, GraphX for graph processing, and Spark Streaming.

        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 Apache Spark on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How To Install Oracle Java 16 On Debian, Ubuntu, Pop!_OS Or Linux Mint Using APT PPA Repository – Linux Uprising Blog

        Those wanting to install the latest Oracle Java 16 (released recently) on Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux distributions based on these, like Linux Mint, Pop!_OS, etc., can now do so using the Linux Uprising PPA. Oracle JDK 16 will receive a minimum of two quarterly updates, before being followed by Oracle JDK 17 in September 2021.

        See what’s new in Oracle Java 16 by visiting the release announcement.

        I’d like to note that I don’t recommend using Oracle Java, however I’m making this available to those who need it. Oracle Java uses a commercial license starting with Java 11, which allows downloading and using it at no cost for development and testing only, but it requires paying a fee to use it in production. Instead of Oracle Java, you could use open source JDK builds, like those offered by AdoptOpenJDK Or Zulu OpenJDK.

      • How to Create a VPN Using Opensource Tools – Programming Insider

        Internet security and your privacy while browsing the World Wide Web are both very important; they are more valuable than you think. Websites are actively tracking and profiling you for different purposes. Advertising networks are tracking you across multiple websites.

      • How to Install NTP Server and Client(s) on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        NTP or Network Time Protocol is a protocol that is used to synchronize all system clocks in a network to use the same time. When we use the term NTP, we are referring to the protocol itself and also the client and server programs running on the networked computers. NTP belongs to the traditional TCP/IP protocol suite and can easily be classified as one of its oldest parts.

        When you are initially setting up the clock, it takes six exchanges within 5 to 10 minutes before the clock is set up. Once the clocks in a network are synchronized, the client(s) update their clocks with the server once every 10 minutes. This is usually done through a single exchange of messages (transaction). These transactions use port number 123 of your system.

      • How to Install Tomcat 10 on Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

        Apache Tomcat is an open source web server with servlet container for publishing Java based web applications. Tomcat is developed and maintained by an open community of developers under the auspices of the Apache Software Foundation. As of today, Tomcat 10 is the latest stable version available for the installation on development and production environments. To know more about the Apache Tomcat visit apache official site http://tomcat.apache.org/.

      • How to Remove Top Bar App Menu in Ubuntu 20.04, 20.10 via Extension | UbuntuHandbook

        In the default Gnome desktop whenever an app window is focused, a menu button with the app name and icon will be displayed on the top bar next to Activities.

        It used to have an option to disable the feature in Gnome Tweaks. The option is however no longer available since Ubuntu 19.10.

        If you find the app menu useless, you can remove it in Ubuntu 20.04 / Ubuntu 20.10 via Gnome Shell Extension.

      • How to Uninstall Software in Linux With Apt

        Installing a package with Apt is easy. But most users are unaware of the fact that even after the installation, the downloaded packages take up storage space. To free up that disk space, you’ll have to uninstall the package and remove it from the system completely.

        Luckily, Apt comes with some built-in options that provide all the functionalities you need in order to delete a package from your system.

        Let’s look at the correct way to get rid of an application in Linux using Apt.

      • How to install Viber on Linux Mint 20.1 – YouTube

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

      • How to install XAMPP in Ubuntu \ Lubuntu Linux

        This is a simple tutorial on how to install XAMPP on our Linux machine.

      • How to install aaPanel – TechRepublic

        When CentOS decided to dive into the stream, it left a lot of people in the lurch; specifically, those who depend on the web hosting cPanel tool. With the cPanel developers quickly announcing they’d not support CentOS Stream, all bets were off and current users were placed in a bit of a panic. Beyond the rise of CentOS forks, the developers of cPanel announced they were working on a version of their de facto standard tool for Ubuntu Server, to be released sometime this year.

      • How to install and configure pCloud on Pop!_OS | FOSS Linux

        Are you looking for a cross-platform desktop cloud client? You should take a look at pCloud. The best part of this service as of when this article was penned, it is the only cloud storage provider that offers a lifetime plan in the cloud storage industry.

        If you are a cloud storage shopper, you must have come across sites like DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, pCloud, and many more. This post will look at installing the pCloud desktop client on Pop!_OS and adding it to startup programs.

        pCloud is a cloud storage service provider from Switzerland. Upon registration, new users are given a 10GB free storage space and offer a cross-platform desktop client, available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. pCloud brags of Unbreakable security that keeps all your files confidential with the highest level of encryption. To prove the sophisticated client-side security, pCloud hosted a six-month event, “The pCloud Crypto Hacking Challenge,” that brought hackers from all over the world to try and hack the client-side encryption software. Nobody succeeded.

    • Games

      • X4: Foundations 4.00 update and X4: Cradle of Humanity expansion out now

        Ready to find your space legs again and perhaps even return to Earth? Egosoft have released the big 4.00 update for X4: Foundations and the massive X4: Cradle of Humanity expansion is also out now.

        Egosoft say the 4.00 free update is the most extensive post-release addition yet bringing in the likes of Terraforming, new options for managing hostilities, improved fleet control, a new emergency eject feature, volumetric fog to make space a bit more prettier and interesting, a new messaging system for communication with important NPCs, escort missions, an option to declare war on another faction and so much more. Honestly it’s huge and you can see the hundreds of changes in this post.

      • Nippon Safes Inc. is Declared Freeware

        Exciting news! Thanks to the tremendous effort of Damiano Gerli and the generosity of original game authors, Marco Caprelli, Paolo Costabel, Massimo Magnasciutti and producer Bruno Boz, we are happy to announce the freeware release of the game Nippon Safes Inc..

      • Godot Engine – Versioning change for Godot 3.x

        As you may know, the current development focus for Godot contributors (in our master Git branch) is on Godot 4.0, our upcoming, major release which reworks a lot of the engine’s internals, modernizes the rendering backend, and more!

        There’s still some way to go before Godot 4.0 is ready to release, and in the meantime we’re doing our best to support the Godot 3.x users who are developing and releasing games with the stable version.

        When we released Godot 3.2 in January 2020 and shifted our focus to Godot 4.0, we expected that the 3.2 stable branch would be the last milestone before 4.0. The 3.2 branch would receive maintenance updates (bugfixes, usability enhancements) but major features would have to wait for the next major milestone.

        Yet there’s a number of new features which could be safely backported, and we accepted to merge a significant number of those in the 3.2 branch. We’ve actually released a quite feature-packed Godot 3.2.2 update, blurring the line somewhat regarding what to expect of such 3.2.x releases. And now after 6 months of development, the upcoming Godot 3.2.4 is looking to be a huge feature release – still preserving backwards compatibility with 3.2.3, but the amount of new functionality is huge and not well-served by a “patch” version bump.

      • Scrabdackle is an adorable scribbly hand-drawn adventure, new demo and Kickstarter up

        Go on an adventure, a wizarding adventure with a novice who ends up stranded in a strange world in Scrabdackle.

        “Scrabdackle is a hand-drawn action/adventure game about going exploring, with non-linear progression and a unique mix of skill-based challenge and accessible gameplay. It features a vast, intricate overworld, tight and responsive combat, cheeky banter, and pages of lore to discover – all under a coat of playful charm.”

      • Chaotic online party game Crooks Like Us is out in Early Access

        Ready for something different and quite amusing? Crooks Like Us is a new in-development chaotic party game where you run around nabbing things in various heists.

        The idea is completely silly and totally charming as up to 8 players scramble to collect as many items as possible, while stacking them all up and trying to balance them all the way to their escape van before the timer runs out. Stack up loads and it becomes hard to control – adding to the amusement. Other crooks can screw you over though by throwing things at you or dashing into you and say goodbye to your items.

      • Analgesic Productions (Anodyne) announce Sephonie, a story-driven 3D parkour platformer

        Analgesic Productions developer of the Anodyne series and All Our Asias have announced Sephonie, a story-driven 3D platformer with plenty of parkour action and puzzles to solve.

        In Sephonie you will explore an island’s massive cave network as shipwrecked biologists Amy, Ing-wen, and Riyou. As you explore you will link up with unidentified species using a unique grid puzzle mini-game system, all while being “watched over by a supernatural being who exists beyond human history”. Alright then, that has my attention.

      • EVE Online getting a full browser-based version with EVE Anywhere, will work on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Ready to sink a ton of hours into an MMO but don’t have the computing power and / or not working well for you in the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer on Linux? Enter the new EVE Anywhere for EVE Online.

        This is a brand new beta that’s currently available only in the USA, and it’s not a special cut-down browser version. Much like Stadia and GeForce NOW it is the full game experience in the web browser. CCP say it will be supported across Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari with no downloads needed and it will work with 1080p at 60FPS.

        Why? They say the idea is to “expand the player community of EVE Online, EVE Anywhere removes barriers for newcomers, while providing veterans of New Eden with an extremely convenient way to access their game” and it appears to have been working in their prior tests as they say the early trials “demonstrated that potential, seeing first-time EVE Online players stay for longer, with higher numbers converting into full-time pilots”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Emmanuele Bassi: More documentation changes

          Quick reminder: the first and foremost use case for gi-docgen is GTK (and some of its dependencies). If it works for you, I’m happy, but I will not go out of my way to make your use case work—especially if it comes at the expense of Job #1, i.e. generating the API reference for GTK.

          Since gi-docgen is currently a slightly moving target, I strongly recommend using it as a Meson subproject. I also strongly recommend vendoring it inside your release tarballs, using:

          meson dist –include-subprojects
          when generating the distribution archive. Do not try and depend on an installed copy of gi-docgen.

          Additionally, it’s possible to include the gi-docgen API reference into the Meson tarball by using a dist script. The API reference will be re-generated when building, but it can be extracted from the tarball, like in the good old gtk-doc-on-Autotools days.

    • Distributions

      • Feren OS gets Adaptive Transparency!
      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Mageia: A New Board to go with the New Release

          The Mageia Association met for its Associate General Meeting on the 1st of March with the intention of electing a new Board to govern Mageia, as per the Mageia Constitution.

          The Board consists of 6 – 12 individuals that oversee the financials and running of the distribution on matters that are above the Mageia Council. The new Board consists of individuals from around the world that have all joined the Mageia project with the hope of creating a unique and successful distribution that continues the legacy of powerful flexibility and ease of use set out at the start of the project.

      • Arch Family

        • Garuda Linux KDE version usurps Deepin Linux as the most beautiful Linux desktop

          The world of Linux has some beautiful desktops, but to date, one of the most beautiful has been Deepin Linux. The Deepin desktop is elegant, simple to use, and as reliable a desktop as you’ll find on a PC. For the longest time, I was certain no Linux distribution could best the beauty of Deepin.

          Until a reader pointed me toward a distribution that I had (surprisingly enough) never heard of. That distribution is Garuda Linux. Garuda Linux is an Arch-based distribution that can be installed with KDE, Xfce, GNOME, LXQt-kwin, Cinnamon, MATE, Wayfire, Qtile, BSPWM, and i3wm desktops. That’s a pretty good list to choose from. However, if you go with the KDE version, you’re getting something special, because the designers and developers have taken great pains to create a work of art on the desktop.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Shares ― Edge computing deep dive
        • Dbus-Broker 28 Released

          With still no sign of BUS1 on the horizon for the mainline kernel or any other successor to BUS1 or KDBUS for in-kernel IPC, Dbus-Broker remains the best bet currently in 2021 for a more performant D-Bus implementation while retaining compatibility with the D-Bus reference implementation.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Fedora 34 Systemd-OOMd Test Week starts 2021-03-18

          Thursday, 2021-03-18 is systemd-oomd Test Week! As part of the changeset for Fedora Linux 34, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

        • Red Hat stands with the Asian community and condemns recent violence

          Red Hat stands with the Asian community, including our associates, their families, and people around the world. Our culture is based on the principles of an open organization, where the best ideas come from anywhere and everyone’s voice is heard. We are joining together to condemn violence against Asian people. Public rhetoric and misinformation has contributed to a dramatic rise in racist incidents against members of the Asian community. We make this statement in support and recognition of all those affected.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ask Me Anything: Ubuntu Core 20

          Ubuntu Core 20 was recently released. What can it do for IoT developers? How does it work? What’s new? If you are asking yourself any of these questions, or more, there is good news.

        • Ubuntu in the wild – 17th of March 2021

          The Ubuntu in the wild blog post ropes in the latest highlights about Ubuntu and Canonical around the world on a bi-weekly basis. It is a summary of all the things that made us feel proud to be part of this journey. What do you think of it?

        • Design and Web team summary – 17 March 2012

          The web team at Canonical run two-week iterations building and maintaining all of Canonical websites and product web interfaces. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Apache OpenMeetings 6.0 Relesead With Security Impovements

        The ongoing COVID-19 situation has many more people working from home than ever before. Without web conferencing, many industries would be completely paralyzed during the pandemic. Apache OpenMeetings is a popular and free alternative for web conferencing software.

        Powered by Apaches License 2.0, OpenMeetings is a free and open source software. It is used for online training, presenting, web conferencing, document editing, user desktop sharing, and collaborative whiteboard drawing. OpenMeeting using API functions of the Red5 Streaming Server for Remoting and Streaming.

        The video call software has multiple features that make it a perfect collaborative tool, or groupware, as well.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt Embedded Days 2021

          This brand new online conference hosted by KDAB offers in-depth technical topics from embedded developers for embedded developers – especially, but not exclusively, for those working with Qt on Embedded Devices.


          Among the other services we provide, KDAB offers software development services around embedded development. See our services page to find out more information.

        • Why You Should Use React Components Instead of HTML [Ed: This is bad advice that put forth JavaScript bloat, dependence on Facebook, and "frameworks" that control you instead of Web standards]

          HTML is the language of the web, but creating entire websites with HTML alone can be repetitive and hard to manage.

          In this article, we’re going to see how to use the JavaScript library React as a way to add convenience and reusability to our websites.

          React is a powerful tool for any developer who knows HTML and wants to build more organized and dynamic websites, faster.

        • What is the Difference Between Coding and Programming?

          It took me a long time to understand what the terms programming and coding really meant, and what each field entailed. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt confused by those two terms when I was new to tech.

          For a while I thought that they were the same thing, and it took me some time to understand that there are differences between the two “worlds”.

          In this article, I’ll explain the basic differences between coding and programming and how they work collaboratively to develop apps and sites.

        • Java

          • Java 16 is here, though Oracle rep sees no need to rush updates

            JDK 16, the implementation of v16 of the Java SE Platform, has landed bang on time, providing developers with refined language features and a finished packaging tool to make distributing their apps a little easier.

            Since the last release the project was also able to finish the migration from version control system Mercurial to git and bring its code base to GitHub. The latter move is aimed at meeting devs where they are and lowering the initial barrier for new committers, which might be necessary to keep the language growing.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • cruel system

        Just before crashing in bed this morning, a news TV show played an interview with a soccer player at some small professional team. He was concerned about the threat of halting the championship (again) because of the COVID-19 pandemics. He mentioned that he and several of his colleagues earned very little, and if they had to stop working again, they and their families would starve again, like last year.

        I couldn’t help thinking of enslaved gladiators demanding the fights with tigers and lions and each other to carry on, because they would serve no purpose and would be left to starve otherwise.

        What a cruel system we’ve created, in which people have to fight and insist on constantly risking their own lives, and everyone else’s, to get food on the table, to have a place to call home?

        We humans are solidary, we have created social support systems so that people in dire need can live another day, put themselves back together and then bring back to the society whatever little they can, when they can.

        What kind of alien influence is driving us to self destruction like this? The longer people keep on passing the virus on, because the social support systems don’t enable them to remain in isolation, the longer and harder the pandemic hits us.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • KernelCI: Looking back, looking forward

                2020 was the first year of the KernelCI project under the Linux Foundation and has been an interesting one. Maybe slightly less “interesting” than the rest of the world-changing events of 2020, but it’s still been an adventure. This article aims to give a quick summary of the major milestones of the first year of KernelCI project, and highlight our goals for the next year.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (shadow, tor, and velocity), Fedora (gsoap, qt5-qtsvg, and switchboard-plug-bluetooth), Mageia (batik, chromium-browser-stable, glibc, ksh, and microcode), openSUSE (389-ds, connman, freeradius-server, froxlor, openssl-1_0_0, openssl-1_1, postgresql12, and python-markdown2), Red Hat (bind, curl, kernel, nss and nss-softokn, perl, python, and tomcat), Scientific Linux (ipa, kernel, and pki-core), SUSE (glib2 and velocity), and Ubuntu (containerd).

          • 10 Steps To Secure Linux Server + {Bonus Tips}

            Linux servers are already extremely secure by default that’s why 100% of supercomputers, most of the top 1 million servers, and top 25% of websites on the internet run on Linux. Besides having security tools in place, users should follow a few steps to further secure Linux servers.

            As we all know nothing is perfect. Things can go wrong if proper precautions are not taken. Once in a while, Linux tools encounter serious vulnerabilities and due to the nature of these tools (open-source), all tools quickly receive security fixes.

            When it comes to compromising a Linux server, most of the time users’ actions are responsible for it. After the compromise, we get to know the compromise could easily be prevented by implementing a simple firewall rule.

          • Playing along with NFTables

            By default, openSUSE Leap 15.x is using the firewalld firewall implementation (and the firewalld backend is using iptables under the hood).

            But since a while, openSUSE also has nftables support available – but neither YaST nor other special tooling is currently configured to directly support it. But we have some machines in our infrastructure, that are neither straight forward desktop machines nor do they idle most of the time. So let’s try out how good we are at trying out and testing new things and use one of our central administrative machines: the VPN gateway, which gives all openSUSE heroes access to the internal world of the openSUSE infrastructure.

          • Phish-Proof Multi-Factor Authentication with Akamai MFA – The Akamai Blog

            Today, Akamai announced Akamai MFA, a phish-proof multi-factor authentication (MFA) service for the workforce that delivers all of the security benefits of FIDO2 with the frictionless end-user experience of a mobile push on a smartphone. Why has Akamai introduced this new service?

            When an employee logs in to access an application or service, there needs to be absolute certainty that it’s the employee and not an attacker. After all, trusting and verifying a doppelganger defeats one of the basic principles of Zero Trust.

    • Finance

      • Robert Kaiser: Crypto stamp Collections – An Overview

        As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been working with the Capacity Blockchain Solutions team on the Crypto stamp project, the first physical postage stamp with a unique digital twin, issued by the Austrian Postal Service (Österreichische Post AG). After a successful release of Crypto stamp 1, one of our core ideas for a second edition was to represent stamp albums (or stamp collections) in the digital world as well – and not just the stamps themselves.

        We set off to find existing standards on Ethereum contracts for grouping NFTs (ERC-721 and potentially ERC-1155 tokens) together and we found that there are a few possibilities (like EIP-998) but those ares getting complicated very fast. We wanted a collection (a stamp album) to actually be the owner of those NFTs or “assets” but at the same time being owned by an Ethereum account and able to be transferred (or traded) as an NFT by itself. So, for the former (being the owner of assets), it needs to be an Ethereum account (in this case, a contract) and for the latter (being owned and traded) be a single ERC-721 NFT as well. The Ethereum account should not be shared with other collections so ownership of an asset is as transparent as people and (distributed) apps expect. Also, we wanted to be able to give names to collections (via ENS) so it would be easier to work with them for normal users – and that also requires every collection to have a distinct Ethereum account address (which the before-mentioned EIP-998 is unable to do, for example). That said, to be NFTs themselves, the collections need to be “indexed” by what we could call a “registry of Collections”.


        So, for allowing general usage with decent performance, we actually implemented everything needed for option 3 in the collections contract. Any “safe transfer” of ERC-721 or ERC-1155 tokens (e.g. via a call to the safeTransferFrom() function) – which is the normal way that those are transferred between owners – does actually test if the new owner is a simple account or a contract, and if it actually is a contract, it “asks” if that contract can receive tokens via a contract function call. The collection contract does use that function call to register any such transfer into the collection and puts such received assets into a list. As for transferring away an asset, you need to make a function call on the collection contract anyhow, removing from that list can be done there. So, this list can be made available for querying and will always be accurate – as long as “safe” transfers are used. Unfortunately, ERC-721 allows “unsafe” transfers via transferFrom() even though it warns that NFTs “MAY BE PERMANENTLY LOST” when that function is used. This was probably added into the standard mostly for compatibility with CryptoKitties, which predate this standard and only supported “unsafe” transfers. To deal with that, the collections contract has a function to “sync” ownership, which is given a contract address and token ID, and it adjusts it assets list accordingly by either adding or removing it from there. Note that there is a theoretical possibility to also lose an assets without being able to track it there, that’s why both directions are supported there. (Note: OpenSea has used “unsafe” transfers in their “gift” functionality at least in the past, but that hopefully has been fixed by now.)

        So, when using “safe” transfers or – when “unsafe” ones are used – “syncing” afterwards, we can query the collection for its owned assets and list those in a generic way, no matter which ERC-721 or ERC-1155 assets are sent to it. As usual, any additional data and meta data of those assets can then be retrieved via their NFT contracts and their meta data URLs.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Email is for yesterday, today, and tomorrow

        People are still telling me that email is obsolete, that it can be replaced by Slack, Teams, or Google Chat. Some folks swear they can do more over instant messaging. Or, even better, some proclaim (with an odd glare in their eyes from their webcam ring light), Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet, or BlueJean Meetings are the future.

        Please. Enough already. We were using email in the 1970s, and we’ll still be using it in the 2070s.

        Email’s enemies claim it’s a waste of time and energy, that it sucks the life out of their day with countless messages morning, noon, and night. That it’s always interrupting them. Oh, hold that thought. I just heard another important “ding!” from Slack. I’ll get back to you after I’m done looking at…(glances at Slack to see a new photo of my friend Esther’s cat Shaka on a forbidden desk)…, uhm, what were we deciding?


        Guess what? This kind of program has been popping up on screens with “Pay attention to me!” messages for decades. Some of the first programs I used were IMs. I started with “talk” on BSD Unix systems in the 1970s. Then I graduated to Slack’s ancient predecessor, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in the late 1980s. I’m still using it. For that matter, if Time-Warner had open-sourced AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), I’d probably still be using it today, too.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • China files record number of patent applications in 2020 [Ed: One might think it is noteworthy that so much of the English language propaganda for corrupt EPO management comes from sites of the Communist Party of China]

          Chinese companies filed more European patent applications in 2020 than in the previous year, with the year’s growth of nearly 10 percent taking the level to a new high, despite COVID-19 pandemic disruption, a new report has found.

          On Tuesday, the European Patent Office, which is also known as the EPO, published its Patent Index 2020, which showed patent applications from Chinese inventors amounted to 13,432 last year, an increase of 9.9 percent year-on-year. It was the highest growth rate among the 10 leading patent-filing countries.

        • Portugal: Patent applications originating from Portugal fall 8.5 pct in 2020 to 249 – EPO [Ed: When European nations no longer show interest in #epo how much of a "European" will be left in it?]

          Patent applications originating in Portugal at the European Patent Office (EPO) fell by 8.5% in 2020 to 249, this being the second highest figure on record and led by the University of Minho.

          The data is contained in the 2020 Patent Index, published Tuesday, which reveals that “this decline compares with rises of 23.1% in 2019 and 47.3% in 2018”.

          “Last year, Portuguese companies, research institutes and universities filed 249 patent applications with the European Patent Office – in 2019 272 were filed – which remains the highest number on record,” according to the EPO.

        • UK and US filings at the EPO fall over 2020

          Patent applications from China and South Korea surged at the European Patent Office (EPO) during 2020 as US and UK filings decreased, according to a new report.

          The EPO’s Patent Index for 2020, released yesterday, March 16, revealed that the office received 180,250 patent applications, a decrease of 7% on the record level attained in 2019 (181,532). The top five countries submitting patent applications in 2020 were the US (44, 293 applications), followed by Germany (25,954), Japan (21,841), China (13,432) and France (10,554).

        • Hearings ‘hiatus’ as EPO commits to video review [Ed: This does not mention the scandal of rigging justice by rogue appointment of judges]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) is pressing ahead with a review into the legality of oral proceedings via video conference without the agreement of all parties, creating concerns over further delays to pending cases.

          Last month, the legality question was referred to the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA), which decides on points of law of fundamental importance raised by a board of appeal or by the EPO president.

          A challenge to the EPO’s position arose in an EPO board of appeal patent dispute hearing on February 8. The opponent, Rohde & Schwarz represented by German firm Mitscherlich Partmb, put forward the question of “whether an oral hearing under article 116 European Patent Commission can be replaced by a videoconference if the parties do not agree to it”.

        • Medical tech leads 2020 innovation at the EPO [Ed: WIPR became merely a mouthpiece of EPO management after getting rid of writers who mentioned EPO corruption]

          Healthcare innovation led patenting activity in 2020 as COVID-19 fuelled a rise in applications, a report by the European Patent Office has revealed.

          According to the EPO’s Patent Index for 2020, released today, March 16, the medical technology sector grew by nearly 3% and accounted for the most inventions in 2020, taking the top spot held by digital communication in 2019.

          Among the leading technical fields, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology showed the biggest increases in terms of patent filings, growing by 10% and 6% respectively.

          Last year, the EPO received 180,250 patent applications, a decrease of 7% on the record level attained in 2019 (181,532). The top five countries submitting patent applications in 2020 were the US (44, 293 applications), followed by Germany (25,954), Japan (21,841), China (13,432) and France (10,554).

        • Antibodies at the EPO [Ed: Patent litigation firm that promotes illegal software patents in Europe also wants patents on life, nature etc. to increase litigation revenues]

          As noted in our recent article, the EPO’s amended Guidelines for Examination entered into force on 1 March 2021. One element of the revisions is a more detailed consideration of what is required for a claim to an antibody to be supported by the application, and the new Guidelines confirm the longstanding practice that all six CDR sequences must normally be defined in the claims.

          However, the Guidelines also note that the default position can be overturned if suitable evidence is provided. In decision T0941/16 of 16 February 2021, the Boards of Appeal went to great lengths to allow an applicant to submit such evidence. Claim 1 of the patent application on file defined an anti-PSMA antibody by “at least three” specific CDR sequences from the six present in the exemplified murine parent antibody, while an auxiliary request narrowed this to “at least five”, so leaving only one CDR undefined. The applicant’s position was that routine experimental techniques were capable of identifying antibodies with modified CDRs which retained the binding properties of the parent. Unusually, the Board did not give a decision at the hearing, but permitted the applicant to submit further data in support of this position. (As an aside, the applicant requested another hearing after submitting the data, but the Board considered this was unnecessary).

          The applicant used several lines of argument. One, the existence of camelid single chain antibodies (having three CDRs) showed that specificity could be retained from a minimal set of CDRs. However, the Board dismissed this on the basis that the claims did not require all three CDRs to come from the same chain, which was a feature of “camelised” antibodies. Two, humanised antibodies may routinely incorporate additional modifications to the CDRs. The Board considered that the evidence on file showed that – in general – at least CDR L3 and H3 are necessary to retain binding specificity, and that other modifications may alter the recognised epitope. Three, specific experimental reports were provided showing that humanised versions of the exemplified antibody may include modifications to some of the CDRs while retaining specificity; again, though, the Board noted that each of these examples included unmodified CDR L3 and H3, which was not required by the claims.

        • European Patent Office Report Shows U.S. Patent Applications Fell by 4% During Pandemic [Ed: Even the EPO admits declines in its official press release]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) today announced that U.S. companies and inventors filed 4.1% fewer patent applications at the EPO in 2020 compared to the previous year, a total of 44,293, according to the EPO Patent Index 2020.

          It was the biggest drop among the main regions that account for the majority of patents filed at the EPO. Patent applications from Germany were down 3%, those from Japan by 1.1%, while strong increases came from China (+9.9%) and South Korea (+9.2%).

        • Signify number one lighting manufacturer on European patent application list 2020 [Ed: At the EPO anyone can apply and increasingly also receive bogus/invalid patents, so this figure does not mean much]
        • China files record patents in Europe

          Patent applications by Chinese companies in Europe rose nearly 10 percent to a new high in 2020 despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a report said.

          The European Patent Office, or the EPO, published its Patent Index 2020. It showed patent applications from Chinese inventors hit 13,432 last year, an increase of 9.9 percent year-on-year. It was the highest growth rate among the 10 leading patent-filing countries.

        • US Cos.’ Patent Filings In Europe Dropped 4% Amid Pandemic

          European patent applications by U.S. companies and inventors dropped 4.1% in 2020 over the prior year, while filings from China and South Korea spiked, according to an annual report from the European Patent Office released Tuesday.

          The report said the drop in U.S. patent applications, down to 44,293 from 46,177 in 2019, was the biggest among the regions that make up the majority of filings at the EPO. German patent applications decreased by 3%, while Japanese filings dropped by 1.1%. Still, U.S. companies and inventors constituted the largest chunk of EPO applicants, making up nearly 25% of applications last year amid the global disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Germany landed the second spot overall, followed by Japan, China and France.

          “Despite the drop in European patent applications coming from the U.S. in 2020, American companies and inventors continued to drive innovation in a wide range of key technologies, including health care and digital,” EPO President António Campinos said in a statement.

Alexandre Oliva: The WWWorst App Store

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 12:05 am by Guest Editorial Team

Picture the most abusive app store.

Programs in it are meant to run on your own computer.

However, you have to be online to run them.

Every time you start them, they contact the app store.

If there is an updated version, it's installed automatically, no
questions asked. You'd rather run the earlier version? Tough.

If the app store decides you're no longer welcome, the program won't
start any more.

If the app store servers are offline, or if you are, it won't start

Programs in this app store must also hold your data in the app store's

If the program won't start, you can't get to the data on the servers
any more.

You may have downloaded backups of your data, but you'd have to figure
out how to decode them without the program.

Sounds like a nightmare? It is. But it's also very real.

Well-known app stores are approaching this level of nastiness.

But they are just catching up with the real thing.

The most abusive app store is the business-driven perversion of the
old user-empowering distributed hypertext system called "the Web".

Users have been encouraged to adopt "web apps" for much of their
computing, paving the way for other app stores to follow suit.

"Web apps" are most often distributed as JavaScript (though Java and
Flash have served similar purposes), automatically installed and
executed on your browser.

But the problem is not that they're in JavaScript, or that it's your
browser that runs them. It's that:

  • you don't have control over what the program does;
  • you don't have control over when you can run it;
  • you don't have control over your own data.

The app store owner takes all that control away from you, thereby
gaining control over you.

You lose when the JavaScript code is nonfree software.


But you also lose when it is (nominally) free software!

When the app / web site has so much control over what runs on
your computer, the effect "is equivalent to using a nonfree program
with surveillance features and a universal back door."



The owner gets all the freedom, and you, the user, get none.

That's not a self-respectful way to do your computing.

It invades your privacy, it keeps you and your data hostage, it takes
away your agency and your freedom when it comes to your digital life.

The web used to be a wonderful way to share information.

Web apps and mandatory JavaScript have turned it into the worst app

It is time to separate the WWWonderful from the WWWorst practices.

Here are some ways to help:

More generally:

Now, if you wish your site to give its users a taste of how the
WWWorst app store feels to us, add to web pages you control the
following JavaScriptlet:

document.body.textContent = 'Please disable JavaScript to view this site.'

If you wish, make "disable JavaScript" a link to this article.

Thanks to Richard Stallman for the inspiration to write about this issue, and for the encouragement to publish it.

Copyright 2021 Alexandre Oliva

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

The WWWorst App Store

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