Monopolies in Pain, Free Software (Copyleft) Their Kryptonite?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 1:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Kryptonite of monopolies is a mere concept; if a person represents that concept, they will try to discredit the person and anyone else who embraces that same concept

THE profound issues of yesterday’s (or yesteryear’s) monopolies may help explain the sheer attacks on software freedom and attempts to ‘swallow’ all of Free software using monopolies like GitHub — an endeavour that has mostly failed.

“Corporate slush funds are not a charitable giving but an instrument of coercion.”A detailed response to the “coup” will likely to be published in the weekend, probably Sunday (our list is growing). In the meantime, the above just a little improvised rant about what’s happening or what has happened so far this week. Money divides people. Corporate slush funds are not a charitable giving but an instrument of coercion.

Links 25/3/2021: Mesa 21.0.1 and QBittorrent 4.3.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux powers the internet, confirms EU commissioner

      In 20 years of EU digital policy in Brussels, I have seen growing awareness and recognition among policymakers in Europe of the importance of open source software (OSS). A recent keynote by EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton at the annual EU Open Source Policy Summit in February provides another example—albeit with a sense of urgency and strategic opportunity that has been largely missing in the past.

      Commissioner Breton did more than just recognize the “long list of [OSS] success stories.” He also underscored OSS’s critical role in accelerating Europe’s €750 billion recovery and the goal to further “embed open source” into Europe’s longer-term policy objectives in the public sector and other key industrial sectors.

    • Identify Linux performance bottlenecks using open source tools

      Computers are integrated systems that only perform as fast as their slowest hardware component. If one component is less capable than the others—if it falls behind and can’t keep up—it can hold your entire system back. That’s a performance bottleneck. Removing a serious bottleneck can make your system fly.

      This article explains how to identify hardware bottlenecks in Linux systems. The techniques apply to both personal computers and servers. My emphasis is on PCs—I won’t cover server-specific bottlenecks in areas such as LAN management or database systems. Those often involve specialized tools.

    • Linux Magazine

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Functional Sadism | Coder Radio 406

        Some sage developer wisdom is overshadowed by Mike’s mad stonk game, while Chris worries Apple’s secret M1 tricks charming Linux users.

      • Going Linux #405 · Listener Feedback

        Larry is getting ready for the release of Ubuntu MATE 21.04. Several of our listeners have ideas for us, suggestions for future episodes, feedback on music players and Linux-compatible computers.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 899

        tech we want, linux phones, github actions, jenkins

      • BSD Now 395: Tracing ARM’s history

        Tracing the History of ARM and FreeBSD, Make ‘less’ more friendly, NomadBSD 1.4 Release, Create an Ubuntu Linux jail on FreeBSD 12.2, OPNsense 21.1.2 released, Midnight BSD and BastilleBSD, and more.

      • Linux Is?

        A ramble about the state of the Linux community and the future of Linux.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel GNA Linux Driver Updated For Accelerating Speech Recognition, Noise Reduction

        While Intel is well known and loved for their generally very timely open-source hardware enablement under Linux, occasionally there are exceptions to that long-standing tradition of having the support squared away ahead of product launches. One of the areas where Intel has been slow at enabling their open-source Linux support is around their Gaussian and Neural Accelerator (GNA) but that driver is now coming together for being mainlined hopefully in the near future.

        Found on Intel mobile SoCs going back to Ice Lake (well, Cannon Lake too) has been this Gaussian and Neural Accelerator, along with other Intel SoCs like Gemini Lake. Intel has supported the GNA under Linux using an out-of-tree kernel driver while this year they finally are working towards having a cleaned up driver upstreamed.

      • Generic USB Display Driver “GUD” Slated For Linux 5.13

        The Generic USB Display Driver “GUD” has just been sent in as part of the latest DRM-Misc-Next material to DRM-Next which in turn will land for Linux 5.13. The Generic USB Display Driver is nifty and allows for opening up possibilities like turning a Raspberry Pi Zero into a USB to HDMI display adapter among other fun use-cases.

        The open-source Generic USB Display Driver when paired with a proper USB gadget driver can be used for projects like do-it-yourself USB-to-HDMI/SDTV/DPI display adapters with boards like the Pi Zero. The GUD driver is indeed “generic” and can be adapted for various USB adapters. Longtime open-source developer Noralf Trønnes who has been working on GUD for months has been doing much of his work with the Pi Zero.

      • Handling brute force attacks in the kernel

        A number of different attacks against Linux systems rely on brute-force techniques using the fork() system call, so a new Linux security module (LSM), called “Brute”, has been created to detect and thwart such attacks. Repeated fork() calls can be used for various types of attacks, such as exploiting the Stack Clash vulnerability or Heartbleed-style flaws. Version 6 of the Brute patch set was recently posted and looks like it might be heading toward the mainline.

        This patch set has been in the works since it was first posted as an RFC by John Wood in September 2020 (the resend from Kees Cook a few days later may make it easier to see the whole set). It was originally called “fork brute force attack mitigation” or “fbfam”, but that name was deemed too cryptic by Jann Horn and Cook. In addition, it was suggested that turning it into an LSM would be desirable. Both of those suggestions were adopted in version 2, which was posted in October.

        But the idea goes back a lot further than that. The grsecurity kernel patches have long had the GRKERNSEC_BRUTE feature to mitigate brute-force exploits of server programs that use fork() as well as exploits of setuid/setgid binaries. A patch from Richard Weinberger in 2014 used a similar technique to delay fork() calls if forked children die due to a fatal error (which may imply it is part of an attack). That effort was not pushed further, so Cook added an issue to the kernel self-protection project (KSPP) GitHub repository, which is where Wood picked up the idea.

      • Unprivileged chroot()

        It is probably fair to say that most Linux developers never end up using chroot() in an application. This system call puts the calling process into a new view of the filesystem, with the passed-in directory as the root directory. It can be used to isolate a process from the bulk of the filesystem, though its security benefits are somewhat limited. Calling chroot() is a privileged operation but, if Mickaël Salaün has his way with this patch set, that will not be true for much longer, in some situations at least.
        Typically, chroot() is used for tasks like “jailing” a network daemon process; should that process be compromised, its ability to access the filesystem will be limited to the directory tree below the new root. The resulting security boundary is not the strongest — there are a number of ways to break out of chroot() jails — but it can still present a barrier to attackers. chroot() can also be used to create a different view of the file system to, for example, run containers within.

        This system call is not available to just anybody; the CAP_SYS_CHROOT capability is required to be able to call chroot(). This restriction is in place to thwart attackers who would otherwise try to confuse (and exploit) setuid programs by running them inside a specially crafted filesystem tree. As a simple example, consider the sort of mayhem that might be possible if setuid programs saw a version of /etc/passwd or /etc/sudoers that was created by an attacker.

        The limitations of chroot() have long limited its applicability; in recent years it has fallen even further out of favor. Mount namespaces are a much more flexible mechanism for creating new views of the filesystem; they can also be harder to break out of. So relatively few developers see a reason to use chroot() for anything new.

      • Lockless patterns: an introduction to compare-and-swap

        In the first part of this series, I showed you the theory behind concurrent memory models and how that theory can be applied to simple loads and stores. However, loads and stores alone are not a practical tool for the building of higher-level synchronization primitives such as spinlocks, mutexes, and condition variables. Even though it is possible to synchronize two threads using the full memory-barrier pattern that was introduced last week (Dekker’s algorithm), modern processors provide a way that is easier, more generic, and faster—yes, all three of them—the compare-and-swap operation.


        cmpxchg() loads the value pointed to by *ptr and, if it is equal to old, it stores new in its place. Otherwise, no store happens. The value that was loaded is then returned, regardless of whether it matched old or not. The compare and the store are atomic: if the store is performed, you are guaranteed that no thread could sneak in and write a value other than old to *ptr. Because a single operation provides the old version of the value and stores a new one, compare-and-swap is said to be an atomic read-modify-write operation.

        In Linux, the cmpxchg() macro puts strong ordering requirements on the surrounding code. A compare-and-swap operation comprises a load and a store; for the sake of this article, you can consider them to be, respectively, load-acquire and store-release operations. This means that cmpxchg() can synchronize with both load-acquire or store-release operations performed on the same location by other threads.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Crocus: Working On Gallium3D For Old Intel Graphics

          Raised during the recent discussion over looking at removing Mesa’s classic drivers from the mainline tree this year is that there still exists an effort trying to create an Intel Gallium3D driver for older pre-Broadwell graphics currently only served by the i965 classic driver. That Crocus effort continues to be worked on but isn’t yet mainline.

          Crocus is the in-development Gallium3D driver focused on Intel Gen4 (i965 chipset) graphics through Gen7/Gen7.5 graphics with Haswell. Intel’s modern Iris Gallium3D driver is what provides the OpenGL support for Gen8 Broadwell graphics and newer.

        • NVIDIA’s Open-Source DALI Reaches Version 1.0

          Announced nearly three years ago by NVIDIA as one of their open-source projects was the DALI library for GPU-accelerated data augmentation and image loading. The DALI library today reached the v1.0.0 milestone.

          NVIDIA DALI is summed up as a data loading library with a focus on data loading and pre-processing for deep learning software. DALI provides various building blocks particularly around image, video, and audio processing. Of course, the GPU-accelerated library is optimized for NVIDIA’s software/hardware architecture. DALI allows more of the data loading and pre-processing traditionally managed by the CPU to instead be handled by the GPU in a more efficient manner.

        • Intel’s VA-API Library LibVA 2.11 Released With Support For Protected Content

          Intel’s VA-API library (libVA) is out with a new end-of-quarter release for this open-source Linux video acceleration interface.

          The libVA 2.11 release introduces the LibVA Protected Content API, brings Wayland-related fixes, documentation updates, continuous integration (CI) updates, and other smaller refinements for this Video Acceleration API library.

        • Mesa 21.0.1 Released, 20.3.5 Issued To Close Out The Older Series

          For those that tend to wait until at least the first point release before moving to a new Mesa feature release, Mesa 21.0.1 is out today while Mesa 20.3.5 was also released as the last of that Q4’2020 driver series.

          Mesa 21.0 released two weeks ago while now 21.0.1 is out with all the early fixes to that quite big feature update for OpenGL and Vulkan drivers.

        • mesa 21.0.1
          Hi List,
          The first regular stable release of the 21.0 series, 21.0.1 is now
          available. This is two weeks of hard work from all of the developers,
          and should now be stable enough to replace 20.3.x in daily usage.
          There's a bunch of CI related patches in this release, but otherwise
          it's a bit of everything, with no one part dominating.
        • Collabora Announces PanVk, an Open-Source Vulkan Driver for ARM Mali GPUs

          As you probably already know, Collabora develops an open-source OpenGL driver for ARM Mali GPUs (Midgard and Bifrost), called Panfrost, which received quite some attention during the past year, including OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenGL 3.1 support.

          Now Collabora also wants to provide an open-source Vulkan driver for ARM Mali Bifrost and Midgard GPUs, so they unveiled today a preview of this driver, called PanVk, which will be delivered through the well-known Mesa graphics stack on Linux-based operating systems.

        • Super Resolution Video Enhancing with AMD GPU

          I’ve had a somewhat recent AMD Radeon RX 560 graphics card in my Mini-ITX PC for over a year already, and one long term interest I have would be to be able to enhance old videos. Thanks to Hackweek I could look at this as one of the things that I’ve waited to have time for. In recent years there have been approaches to use eg neural networks to do super resolution handling of photos and also videos, so that there would be more actual details and shapes than what would be possible via normal image manipulation. The only feasible way of doing those is by using GPUs, but unfortunately the way those are utilized is a bit of a mess, most of all because proprietary one vendor only CUDA is the most used one.

          On the open source side, there is OpenCL in Mesa by default and Vulkan Compute, and there’s AMD’s separate open source ROCm that offers a very big platform for computing but also among else OpenCL 2.x support and a source level CUDA to portable code (including AMD support) translator called HIP. I won’t go into HIP, but I’m happy there’s at least the idea of portable code being thrown around. OpenCL standardization has been failing a bit, with the newest 3.0 trying to fix why the industry didn’t adopt 2.x properly and OpenCL 1.2 being the actual (but a bit lacking) baseline. I think the same happened a bit with OpenGL 1.x -> 2.x -> 3.x a long time ago by the way… Regardless if the portable code is OpenCL or Vulkan Compute, the open standards are now making good progress forward.

          I first looked at ROCm’s SLE15SP2 installation guide – interestingly, it also installed on Tumbleweed if ignoring one dependency problem of openmp-extras. However, on my Tumbleweed machine I do not have Radeon so this was just install test. I was however surprised that even the kernel module compiled against TW’s 5.11 kernel – and if it would have not, there’s the possibility of using upstream kernel’s module instead.

    • Applications

      • QBittorrent 4.3.4 Is Released

        Configurable ToS settings, support for sub-sorting the file transfer list and 23 bug-fixes are the highlights in the latest version 4.3.4 of the popular qBittorrent download tool for quickly acquiring ISO files for GNU/Linux and other large files. Version 2.0 of the Bittorrent protocol is not supported, nor are other features only found in the qBittorrent “alpha” branch.


        The new Type Of Service setting is not overly impressive. Type Of Service is a IP packet field used by some routers, firewalls and Internet Service Providers to decide what IP packages should be sent first (typically VOIP) and what packages aren’t all that important (typically Linus ISOs sent over the Bittorrent protoocl). qBittorrent 4.3.4, and 4.4.0alpha1, lets you set a single decimal number. You can look those up in our Type of Service (ToS) and DSCP Values table and find out that the default value of 32 means “Low-Priority Data”. It would be a bit more user-friendly if the new ToS configuration option had a drop-down selection box where users could choose between understandable names like “Standard”, “Lower-Effort” and “Low-Priority Data”.

        qBittorrent 4.3.4 has 23 bug-fixes. Most are very minor but there are a few that stand out as being particularly interesting. “Validate HTTPS Tracker Certificate by default” is one. Prior versions just didn’t care if a HTTPS certificate used by a tracker had the right domain in it, who signed or what period it was issued for. “Properly stop torrent creation if aborted” is another; if you try to create a huge torrent in prior versions and you abort it then you’ll have threads left open working on that torrent until you quit qBittorrent.

      • Peek – A Simple Animated Gif Screen Recorder for Linux

        Peek Gif Recorder is the perfect screen capture tool for short and sharp video clips. It was designed to use ffmpeg and ImageMagick to take screencasts of your desktop and animate them to make them Gifs.

        It’s that nifty tool for those who might want to demo a bug or a brief gameplay session quickly.

      • Kooha – Screen Recorder with Wayland Support

        It has been a while since we covered screen recorder software for Linux. After having covered applications like Peek and Gyazo, we haven’t talked a lot about alternatives. If you’re guessing the reason for that is a shortage of feature-rich alternatives, you’re not off track.

        We’ve got a solid list of screen recorders in our All AWESOME Linux Applications and Tools but none of them features both a modern UI/UX alongside a rich feature list. Today, we’re happy to introduce a project that we are hopeful about to you and it goes by the name of Kooha.

        Kooha is a simple GTK-based screen recording application for recording screens and audio from your desktop or microphone. It works in GNOME, Wayland and X11 environments which probably makes it the single Linux screen recorder with Wayland support.

      • Vim vs. Sublime Text Explaining Difference

        Editing texts or codes always require a good text editor so that anyone can easily work on codes or texts. A huge list of text editors is available online that provides amazing features and options, but it always becomes tough to choose the right one for their Windows, macOS, or Linux machine.

        Vim and Sublime text are two different text editors which people recommend due to their great compatibility and options. However, if you want to go for one of these text editors and are confused about selecting the right one, read our guide. We have mentioned the completed details of Vim vs. Sublime Text to select the right according to your requirements.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Pi-hole on Docker – Network-wide Ad Blocking – Linux Shout

        Pi-hole is open-source software available to install on Docker and Linux operating systems. The common function of it to block tracking and advertising while surfing various online websites, apps, and products. It is also based on Linux and optimized to run on computers with minimal equipment, even we can use it on Raspberry Pie.

        Although we can use the Adblocker extension in our browser to stop unwanted and malicious ads, however, the solution is still hovering around individual PC, not for the whole network. I mean it will not cover other devices such as smartphones, Smart TVs, and other guest devices.

      • How to use the Linux sed command

        Few Unix commands are as famous as sed, grep, and awk. They get grouped together often, possibly because they have strange names and powerful tools for parsing text. They also share some syntactical and logical similarities. And while they’re all useful for parsing text, each has its specialties. This article examines the sed command, which is a stream editor.

      • The Perfect Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Install (Hyper-V)

        Things are starting to get serious. Development of a version of Ubuntu takes six months and begins immediately after the launch of the previous installment. Thus, that of Hirsute Hippo began in late October, but the first Daily Builds were practically Focal Fossa, on which they would add the news. In early March, a step was taken that I would find curious, because once I knew that Ubuntu 21.04 would remain in GNOME 40, we started seeing applications from this desktop, although the environment will continue to be GNOME 3.38.

        The first important step is the one made today and this is the latest Daily Build now includes Linux 5.11, which is the kernel that will use the final version. Linux 5.12 is currently under development, but the messy hippopotamus will remain in the current installment, as the function freeze took place three weeks ago. And even if that freeze comes a little later, Linux 5.12 won’t make it until mid-April.

      • How to identify potentially vulnerable network daemons on your Linux systems

        Nmap is a frequently used tool for folks in the sysadmin space as well as those pesky “hackers.” It’s great for testing network connectivity and server availability, but it can also help to identify vulnerable network daemons to both good and bad people. I’ll show you how you can use it as a force for good and how others might use it as a force for evil.

      • Getting into the weeds with Buildah: The buildah unshare command

        Once the user’s process joins the user namespace and the new mount namespace, the kernel only allows certain file systems to be mounted. As of this writing, the kernel allows the sysfs, procfs, tmpfs, bind mount, and fuse file systems. We recently got a patch into the upstream kernel to support overlay file systems, which will be a big improvement, but currently, most distributions do not have this support. I would love to get NFS support, but there are security risks with this. Hopefully, the kernel will fix these issues, and eventually, it will be supported.

        Rootless container engines like Podman and Buildah automatically create their own user namespace and mount namespace when they execute. When the container engine process exits, the user and mount namespaces go away, and the user process goes back to the host mount namespace. At this point, the mounts created while running the tools are no longer visible to or usable by other processes on the host.

      • How to Install Ungoogled Chromium on Windows, macOS and Linux | Beebom

        Chromium has long been recommended as an alternative to Google Chrome to lead a Google-free life on the web. However, it still relies on some major Google web services, binaries, and dependencies. So to bring a true Google-free Chrome, a developer named Eloston has come up with Ungoogled Chromium, an open-source project that rips all the Google dependencies from Chromium. It has removed all the Google-made binaries, codes related to Google services, and more from the browser. So if you are privacy-conscious and don’t want Google to access your data, here’s a guide on how to install Ungoogled Chromium on your Windows, macOS, or Linux PC.

      • How to Choose Between Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu

        To pick properly, you’ll need to understand the strengths of each “flavor.” That might be the bling and polish of Kubuntu, the “set it up and forget about it” of Ubuntu, the retro simplicity and stability of Xubuntu, or the ability of Lubuntu to run on older and less powerful hardware.

        Despite the different names, all of these are based on the same underlying Ubuntu software. They include the same Linux kernel and low-level system utilities. However, each has different desktop and flavor-specific applications. That means that some are more full-featured, while others are more lightweight—so each feels a little different.

        Since these flavors are built to make Linux more accessible, they’re not necessarily going to score upvotes in a geeky Reddit thread. The flavors are about practicality rather than command-line geekiness.

      • Thomas Bechtold: Share GTK application windows within google meet under Wayland

        Trying to share a GTK application window with https://meet.google.com/ might not work if you run under a Wayland session.

      • How to Install Mate Desktop Environment on EC2

        To interact with the system, whether remote or on-premises, we need some interface. There are two different types of interfaces to interact with the system, command-line interface (CLI) and graphical user interface (GUI). For beginners, a graphical user interface is much easier to use. The graphical user interface comes with different types of desktop environments like GNOME, KDE Plasma, MATE, Budgie, Xfce, Cinnamon, etc.

        A Desktop Environment is the collection of components like icons, files, folders, etc. Different desktop environments provide different types of components like icons, files, and folders, etc. These environments determine what your operating system looks like and how you can interact with your operating system. Without a desktop environment, your operating system is just a terminal, and you can interact with your system using only commands.

        MATE Desktop Environment is free and open-source software specially built for Linux and UNIX-like operating systems. The MATE project was forked and continued from GNOME2. In this article, we will set up the MATE Desktop Environment on our EC2 instance.

      • How to Install and Use Wine on Linux

        When Linux was first released, it lacked much of Microsoft Windows’s programs had successfully implemented, so the users were facing many complications. As a result, Wine was created by Linux, a compatibility layer that enables Windows programs to run on Linux. Wine could originally run only a few Windows programs, but now it can run hundreds of them, making it a versatile Linux system. You would assume that Wine might be difficult to install and use due to the difficulty of getting such a tool to life, but this is mistaken. Wine’s creators have gone to great lengths to make the accessibility layer as user-friendly as possible. Let’s look at installing and confining Wine on Ubuntu to use it to run Windows applications.

      • How to Install Discord on Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Hint

        Discord is a text, image, video, and audio communication application designed for video gaming communities. This service is also becoming increasingly popular among non-gamers. In Discord, servers are a series of permanent chat rooms and voice chat platforms. Discord runs on different Linux distributions.

        In this guide, we will see that how to install the Discord chat platform on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Install Apache Tomcat 9 Server on Ubuntu 20.04

        Apache Tomcat is an open-source web application server optimized for serving Java-based content. Tomcat is used to run Java Servlets and serve web pages that contain JavaServer Pages (JSP) code.

        This guide covers the installation of Apache Tomcat 9 server on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Use Break and Continue Statements in Shell Scripts

        In this article, we will take a look at how to use a break and continue in bash scripts. In bash, we have three main loop constructs (for, while, until). Break and continue statements are bash builtin and used to alter the flow of your loops. This concept of break and continue are available in popular programming languages like Python.

      • How to Install VMRC (VMware Remote Console) on Linux – Linux Hint

        VMware Remote Console or VMRC is used to access VMware ESXi or VMware vSphere virtual machines remotely. You can manage your VMware ESXi or VMware vSphere virtual machines with VMRC as well.

      • How to Setup an IPS (Fail2ban) to Protect from Different Attacks – Linux Hint

        IPS or Intrusion Prevention System is a technology used in network security to examine network traffic and prevent different attacks by detecting malicious inputs. Apart from just detecting malicious inputs as Intrusion Detection System does, it also prevents the network from malicious attacks. It can prevent the network from brute-force, DoS (Denial of Service), DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), Exploits, worms, viruses, and other common attacks. IPS are placed just behind the firewall, and they can send alarms, drop malicious packets and block offending IP addresses. In this tutorial, we will use Fail2ban, which is an Intrusion Prevention Software package, to add a security layer against different brute force attacks.

      • Linux kill command – Linux Hint

        The kill is a very useful command in Linux that is used to terminate the process manually. It sends a signal which ultimately terminates or kills a particular process or group of processes. If the user does not specify a signal to send with the kill command, the process is terminated using the default TERM signal.

      • Linux uname Command tutorial – Linux Hint

        Uname is a short form of Unix name. This is a very useful command in Linux, which provides hardware and software information in the current running system.

        This short manual will show you how to get all system information through the Uname command.

      • Netstat Command in Linux – Linux Hint

        Netstat is a command-line tool used by system administrators to evaluate network configuration and activity. The term Netstat is results from network and statistics. It shows open ports on the host device and their corresponding addresses, the routing table, and masquerade connections.

        The purpose of this post is to show you how to install and configure different Netstat commands in Linux.

      • How to Use Docker to Create a Linux Developer Environment on Synology NAS? – Linux Hint

        You can use the official Synology Virtual Machine Manager app to create a virtual machine, install any Linux distribution, and work on your development projects on the virtual machine. You can do the same in a Docker container using the official Synology Docker app. Although developing on a virtual machine is much more flexible than developing on a container (as a virtual machine is like a full-fledged computer), a virtual machine requires a lot of memory and system resources than a Docker container.

        If your Synology NAS does not have enough memory or you don’t want to upgrade the memory of your Synology NAS, then you can use Docker to create a Linux development environment on your Synology NAS.

        In this article, I am going to show you how to create a custom Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Docker image, create a container from it to set up a Linux development environment using Docker on your Synology NAS, and do remote development there with Visual Studio Code. So, let’s get started.

      • How to Set Static IP Address on Ubuntu Linux

        On Ubuntu 18.04 and later versions, there is a new way to set an IP address i.e., Netplan. This tutorial describes how to set an IP address from the command line on Ubuntu Linux by using the Netplan utility.

      • How To Install Chef Workstation on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Chef Workstation on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, A Chef is a configuration management tool that simplifies the manual and repetitive tasks for infrastructure management. With the Chef users can easily manage, configure and deploy the resources across the network from the centralized location irrespective of the environment (cloud, on-premises, or hybrid). Chef Workstation comes with all the necessary packages and tools such as Chef-CLI, Knife, Chef Infra Client, and 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 Chef Workstation on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install Let’s Encrypt SSL with Tomcat – TecAdmin

        Security first should be the thumb rule for any organization to secure your hard working code from hackers. It becomes more important while travelling application data over public network. For this situation, we need to implement end-to-end encryption using TLS.

        Let’s Encrypt is an certificate authority provides valid SSL certificates to be used for web application. It provides certificate freely for everyone with some restrictions.

        This tutorial describe you to how to setup Let’s Encrypt SSL with Tomcat web server.

    • Games

      • Metro Exodus arrives for Linux on April 14 | GamingOnLinux

        Originally released back in 2019, Metro Exodus from 4A Games and Deep Silver now has a launch date for their official Linux build which will land on April 14.

        “Metro Exodus is an epic, story-driven first person shooter from 4A Games that blends deadly combat and stealth with exploration and survival horror in one of the most immersive game worlds ever created. Explore the Russian wilderness across vast, non-linear levels and follow a thrilling story-line that spans an entire year through spring, summer and autumn to the depths of nuclear winter.”

      • Play through the amusing free point & click Hair of the Dog out on Steam now | GamingOnLinux

        While it’s been available on itch.io for a while, the free comedy point and click adventure Hair of the Dog is up on Steam now as a great reminder for people to play it.

        Developed by Tall Story Games originally for the AdventureXJam 2020, it’s a quality voiced retro pixel-art styled game with some great sarcastic humour that promises a thoroughly “British adventure”.

        “After a mysterious explosion over Victorian London, Cummerbund Bandersnatch visits his uncle to find he’s been experimenting with a new formula he’s created in an attempt to give himself a “good time”. Seduced by the promises in his uncle’s journal, Cummerbund decides to drink the same formula and discovers that his life will no longer be the same again (at least between the hours of 8pm – 8am daily).”

      • Dead Mage say no to paid DLC, Children of Morta to get free upgrades soon

        After originally planning a major paid DLC release, Dead Mage have decided to change their roadmap and instead work on free upgrades for Children of Morta which seem to be due soon. Easily one of the best games to come to Linux in 2020, Children of Morta is a blend of some incredible pixel-art with a story-driven action RPG and it reviewed thoroughly well so more of it is entirely welcome and exciting.

      • Epic 2D RPG Chronicon gets a major upgrade, Linux build finally up to date

        Chronicon, one of my favourite 2D action-RPGs developed by Subworld just released a major 1.20 upgrade and after quite some time being out of date – the Linux build is once again sorted.

        From what I’ve seen the developer say on the Linux delay, they had problems in the latest Game Maker Studio with Linux and ended up getting direct support from the game engine team to sort it and it shouldn’t happen in future so that’s a nice outcome.

      • Psychological deck-builder Neurodeck is out now, developer planning some major updates

        Neurodeck is a brand new deck-building experience from TavroxGames and Goblinz Publishing that tries to do things differently, by exploring feelings.

        “Neurodeck is a psychological deckbuilding card game to challenge your fears. Build your deck & capacities by answering personality tests, visiting rooms or meditating. Face your phobia and defeat them through the power of life-inspired cards.”

      • Beyond a Steel Sky releases on DRM-free store GOG with a Linux build up now | GamingOnLinux

        Prefer GOG to grab your games from? Good news on that front as Beyond a Steel Sky, the sequel to the cult classic Beneath a Steel Sky is now available on GOG and a Linux build recently went up too.

      • Valve overhauls the Dota 2 new player experience as DOTA: Dragon’s Blood releases

        Today is the day, the big teaming up of Valve and Netflix is out with the DOTA: Dragon’s Blood anime series. Since there will be renewed interest in Dota 2 as a game, Valve has also given it a huge upgrade for newer players.

        About the Anime that’s out now: the fantasy series tells the story of Davion, a renowned Dragon Knight devoted to wiping the scourge from the face of the world. Following encounters with a powerful, ancient eldwurm as well as the noble Princess Mirana on a secret mission of her own, Davion becomes embroiled in events much larger than he could have ever imagined.

      • Steam In-Home-Streaming or Steam Link? Which is Best?

        If you have several PCs at home, you probably had the chance to try Steam In-Home-Streaming (IHS): the solution made by Valve to stream games from Steam from one PC to another. It works surprisingly well, so that you can play your demanding games on a feeble laptop as long as your gaming PC is running somewhere in the house. I’d wage it has been getting better over the years, because 3-4 years ago it seemed like the stream was not remotely as stable or as well defined. Nowadays, you can see the compression artifacts if you look long enough, but it’s mostly seamless and there’s barely any noticeable latency.

        The Steam Link started as a hardware device ages ago now, until it was discontinued and replaced by a software version originally for ARM devices (Raspberry Pi and Mobile phones).

      • Steam Game Festival is now called Steam Next Fest, returning June 16

        About the renaming Valve press said “We’re giving it a shiny new title to better reflect what the event is: A week-long celebration of upcoming games where players can chat with developers, watch livestreams, and play what’s next on Steam!”. Right now the event for June is open for developers to submit games up until April 14. Valve has confirmed that the Steam Next Fest will return for another round in October.

      • Chrome OS “Game Mode” brings Chromebooks closer to Steam gaming

        Starting out as an overgrown browser on affordable but low-powered laptops, Chrome OS has now grown into something that Microsoft and Apple now consider to be a deadly rival, especially in education and enterprise markets. The platform has definitely grown to become a software powerhouse that could run almost any app, whether directly or indirectly. Its next trick, however, is gaming, and recent changes to Chrome OS’s source code hints that Google might be getting close to making that happen.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KaOS Linux 2021.03 Released with KDE Plasma 5.21, Linux Kernel 5.11, and More

          KaOS is a KDE Plasma-oriented rolling distro and it always ships with the most recent version of the popular and modern desktop environment. Powered by Linux kernel 5.11, KaOS 2021.03 users the KDE Plasma 5.21 series by default, along with the KDE Frameworks 5.80 and KDE Applications 20.12.3 open-source software suites.

          On top of that, the KaOS 2021.03 release comes with a new version of the kcp command-line utility for installing and managing KaOS community packages that has been rewritten from the ground up to support configuration via the config files located in the $HOME/.config/kcp/ directory.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Septor_2021.2

          System upgrade from Debian Bullseye repos as of March 24, 2021
          Update Linux kernel to 5.10.0-4
          Update Tor Browser to 10.0.14
          Update apt to 2.2.2
          Update network-manager to 1.30.0-1
          Update Thunderbird to 78.8.0-1
          Update qTox to 1.17.3-1
          Update privoxy to 3.0.32-1
          Update tor to
          Update enigmail to

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • FileZilla FTP client updated to 3.53.1

          FileZilla is a fast and reliable FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.

        • Thunderbird Email updated to 78.9.0 » PCLinuxOS

          Mozilla Thunderbird is a free and open-source cross-platform email client, personal information manager, news client, RSS and chat client developed by the Mozilla Foundation.

        • TeamViewer updated to 15.16.8 » PCLinuxOS

          TeamViewer provides easy, fast and secure remote access and meeting solutions to Linux, Windows PCs, Apple PCs and various other platforms, including Android and iPhone.

        • Zoom updated to » PCLinuxOS

          Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Avoiding common mistakes in modernizing legacy applications

          Recently, I worked with a customer in the courier industry whose core logistics scheduling application suffered from reliability, performance, and scalability issues. While I addressed the immediate problems, it was clear that the 20 years of patchwork fixes, enhancements, and technical debt accumulated were the root cause.
          The legacy architecture consisted of four Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform servers, each with an instance of the logistics scheduling application deployed and an embedded Artemis broker to handle the messaging. When deploying a new version of the application, each node was brought offline.

          However, each deployment resulted in message loss due to the Artemis broker clustering being non-existent. Each message loss meant a loss in revenue. In addition to the lack of clustering for messaging, the JBoss EAP servers were not load balanced nor clustered, therefore each instance was a single point of failure.

        • Will Thompson: Chromium on Flathub

          Endless OS is based on Debian, but rather than releasing as a bunch of .debs, it is released as an immutable OSTree snapshot, with apps added and removed using Flatpak.

          For many years, we maintained a branch of Chromium as a traditional OS package which was built into the OS itself, and updated it together with our monthly OS releases. This did not match up well with Chromium, which has a new major version every 6 weeks and typically 2–4 patch versions in between. It’s a security-critical component, and those patch versions invariably fix some rather serious vulnerability. In some ways, web browsers are the best possible example of apps that should be updated independently of the OS. (In a nice parallel, it seems that the Chrome OS folks are also working on separating OS updates from browser updates on Chrome OS.)

          Browsers are also the best possible example of apps which should use elaborate sandboxing techniques to limit the impact of security vulnerabilities, and Chromium is indeed a pioneer in this space. Flatpak applies much the same tools to sandbox applications, which ironically made it harder to ship Chromium as a Flatpak: when running in the Flatpak sandbox, it can’t use those same sandboxing APIs provided by the kernel to sandbox itself further.

          Flatpak provides its own API for sandboxed applications to launch new instances of themselves with tighter sandboxing; what’s needed is a way to make Chromium use that…

        • Db2 and Oracle connectors coming to Debezium 1.4 GA

          This article gives an overview of the new Red Hat Integration Debezium connectors and features included in Debezium 1.4’s general availability (GA) release. Developers now have two more options for streaming data to Apache Kafka from their datastores and a supported integration to handle data schemas.

          The GA of the Db2 connector lets developers stream data from Db2. The Oracle connector, now in technical preview, provides an easy way to capture changes from one of the most popular databases. Finally, developers can delegate the Debezium schema through the fully supported integration with Red Hat Integration’s service registry.

        • Integrate Red Hat’s single sign-on technology 7.4 with Red Hat OpenShift

          In this article, you will learn how to integrate Red Hat’s single sign-on technology 7.4 with Red Hat OpenShift 4. For this integration, we’ll use the PostgreSQL database. PostgreSQL requires a persistent storage database provided by an external Network File System (NFS) server partition.

        • Fedora Women’s Day 2020 Reflection

          Fedora Women’s Day 2020 was a celebration of personal growth, community, and love for open source software. Over three days, women and non-binary folks from the Fedora community shared stories about their lives and work in tech. From the challenges and barriers that they encountered to the achievements and success that they earned, we had the privilege of learning about gendered experiences that informed the journey of each of our speakers.

          In previous years, Fedora Women’s Day has been hosted locally by organizers around the world. In response to the pressures of COVID-19, Fedora Women’s Day went virtual this year. At a time where we can all benefit from a little community, this move created space for Fedorans and open source users everywhere to come together to learn, network, and be inspired. For many of the attendees, this was their first Fedora Women’s Day.

          The event was hosted on Hopin.com following the success of Fedora Nest. We had 67 attendees and 24 speakers. Event organizer Marie Nordin did a fantastic job curating the speaker list and breaking it up with social activities. We were treated to fun events such as “Cake with FCAIC”, one on one networking sessions, group discussions, and pictionary.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Xubuntu 21.04 Testing Week

          We’re delighted to announce that we’re participating in another ‘Ubuntu Testing Week’ from April 1st to April 7th with other flavours in the Ubuntu family. On April 1st, the beta version of Xubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’ will be released after halting all new changes to its features, user interface and documentation. Between April 1st and the final release on April 22nd, all efforts by the Xubuntu team and community should be focused on ISO testing, reporting bugs, fixing bugs, and translations.

          It has been a year since we last did a collaboration with other Ubuntu flavors for an Ubuntu Testing Week, which was done for Xubuntu 20.04 LTS. That event was a major success, as a large volume of testers participated and it was announced on various linux news sites and podcasts. Alan Pope (aka Popey) from Canonical, Rick Timmis from the Kubuntu team, and Bill from the Ubuntu Mate team helped spread the word about the previous event in this clip from Big Daddy Linux Live (BDLL) on how the event came about, its goals, as well as points on how to test. You won’t want to miss being part of the event this year! Read on to learn how.

        • Canonical, Collabora, and Nextcloud Deliver Work From Home Solution to Raspberry Pi Users

          Last year in August, Canonical, Collabora, and Nextcloud announced the availability of a Nextcloud Ubuntu Appliance, which allowed users to easily set up their own private cloud server with all the collaboration tools the powerful Nextcloud software has to offer.

          On top of that, it was possible to turn the Nextcloud Ubuntu Appliance into a self-hosted content collaboration and document editing solution by integrating the Collabora Online office suite into the Nextcloud Ubuntu Appliance.

        • Canonical, Collabora, Nextcloud deliver work-from-home solution to Raspberry Pi and enterprise ARM users

          Canonical, Collabora and Nextcloud announce the immediate availability of a content collaboration platform for 64bit ARM for both consumers and enterprises. Building on the prior Nextcloud Ubuntu Appliance it adds with Collabora Online, the first viable self-hosted web office solution on the popular Raspberry Pi 4 platform.

          The Raspberry Pi series has transformed tech, bringing down the cost of anything from IoT devices to small home servers. Ubuntu has been leading the space offering easy to install and zero-management snap software packages, lowering barrier to entry further. Interest in Nextcloud on the Raspberry Pi has been evident from hundreds of online tutorials appearing over the years, as well as enthusiasm around an earlier collaboration between Canonical, Nextcloud and Western Digital on a solution for the platform. With the introduction of the Ubuntu Nextcloud Appliance, easy deployment of the Nextcloud Hub became available for x86 devices like Intel NUC’s as well as ARM devices like the Raspberry Pi, but the latter lacked support for a viable online office document editor. Today, the lack of a viable office solution is resolved with the availability of the widely used, open source, web office document editor Collabora Online.

          This enables tens of thousands of Raspberry Pi users to turn their Pi 4 into a self-hosted content collaboration and document editing solution in minutes. With the growing availability of 64bit ARM devices in the enterprise server space, larger organizations are also set to benefit from the availability of this platform.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Testing Week

          “Hirsute Hippo” is the project code-name for what will become Ubuntu 21.04 when it releases on April 22nd 2021.

          On April 1st, the Beta of Ubuntu Hirsute will be released, but we’re no fools! This is a great time to do some testing!

          So, starting on April 1st, we’re doing another Ubuntu Testing Week.

        • AI on premise: benefits and a predictive-modeling use case

          Running an Artificial Intelligence (AI) infrastructure on premise has major challenges like high capex and requires internal expertise. It can provide a lot of benefits for organisations that want to establish an AI strategy. The solution outlined in this post illustrates the power and the utility of the universal Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM) using Juju, a universal OLM, to create and manage on premise AI infrastructure. This infrastructure is able to support the MLOps of a commonly used AI use case about Financial time series data and predictive modeling.

        • Meet my co-worker, webbot

          Like every team, the web team has a set of features that are super useful to automate. We use Hubot, a technology owned by GitHub to write very simple bot scripts that we can interact with.

          The way we use the bot is mostly via Mattermost. We called it: webbot.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 10 Best Free and Open Source Command-Line Python Application Development Tools

        Python is a general-purpose high-level programming language. Its design philosophy emphasizes programmer productivity and code readability. It has a minimalist core syntax with very few basic commands and simple semantics, but it also has a large and comprehensive standard library, including an Application Programming Interface (API).

        It features a fully dynamic type system and automatic memory management, similar to that of Scheme, Ruby, Perl, and Tcl, avoiding many of the complexities and overheads of compiled languages. The language was created by Guido van Rossum in 1991, and continues to grow in popularity, in part because it is easy to learn with a readable syntax. The name Python derives from the sketch comedy group Monty Python, not from the snake.

      • Introducing: Funds for Open Source.

        We are on a mission to make working for an open source project a legitimate alternative to a career working for a for-profit corporation. To achieve our goal, we must remove friction between projects, the communities who support them, and the corporations who depend on their work (and can fund them)


        Open source projects are a motley crew of often unincorporated communities, likely with members distributed around the globe, some tied to a company, others under a foundation. This makes it difficult for companies to invest money in them. So we are solving this at scale.


        We are set up for exactly this: as a combination of an open funding management platform + an umbrella non-profit we are serving 2500+ projects. We have a new feature on the platform to make the experience even better, and more scalable: Funds.

        Check out Chrome. They are investing in 17 open source projects via their Web Framework & Tools Performance Fund. Imagine asking Google’s finance department to make 17 individual contributions to a mix of groups and individuals around the world, each with its own separate procurement process. Not going to happen. Instead, they have one payment to one non-profit who then redistributes it to projects.

      • Open Collective’s funds for open source

        Open Collective has put out an announcement describing its “Funds for Open Source” initiative, which is aimed at making it easy for corporations to fund the work of individual developers. “Big companies call the process for paying for stuff ‘procurement’. It’s often pretty involved, with contracts, invoices, purchasing order numbers, and bureaucracy—a painful thing to go through repeatedly for small amounts. It’s practically a blocker. It is so much simpler and more practical to ask corporations to make one large payment, to one vendor. Make it easy and companies will invest more.”

      • Roy Marples’ family and friends sharing dhcpcd

        But I am not here to criticize dhcpcd, Roy Marples would have wanted me to, I am here to display a difference between one dedicated “person” to the cause of open code and “freely shared” software, against a multinational corporation writing without a human name and face. Roy has a partner and school aged children, and his partner contributes to the support of this family by working in a job that in the modern western world is not enough to support a 3-4 member family adequately. Very basic things will be missed without the contributions to Roy’s budget.

        We, the open-free-foss…. whatever, community should provide a safety net for our own, not for the IBMs or the Oracles, Googles, and faCIAbooks, NoSuchAgencies, or the HPs, or the AT&Ts Bells and whistles, but to a real human being and his family. We should be the insurance that this can work, do not succumb to the pressures of becoming a faceless employee of a multinational, it is worth being one that shares among those who respect sharing. Unfortunately not all “users” of open free software deserve to consume “FREE” for “free”. This call is for the rest of us, who share, don’t consume, don’t exchange.

        I hope the new maintainer of dhcpcd adds a link to the support channel to Roy’s family for as long as dhcpcd exists. A tiny little bit each can contribute, can collectively make a difference. Some more bread, rice, vegetables, milk, some roofing tiles, some oil for the heater, some lights for reading (essential to freedom), maybe even the high cost of ISP ethernet connection for having more to read than you can handle in a lifetime, or two.

      • Software platforms for open-source projects and foundations

        Operational issues with project-backing FOSS foundations are not unheard of. The X.Org Foundation, for example, briefly lost its charity status in 2013 due to paperwork that was not filed. In 2016, the organization joined Software in the Public Interest (SPI), in part due to the paperwork headaches; in 2017, it dissolved its legal entity. When X.Org was considering joining SPI, LWN observed that organizations which enjoy tax-exempt status and are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations in the US need to “adhere to some strict paperwork and filing requirements at the IRS [Internal Revenue Service]“. Those requirements turned out to be “a bit of a burden over the course of the past few years” for X.Org.

        X.Org is not the only organization that has struggled with paperwork. The Gentoo Foundation, which lost its charter briefly in 2007, is currently mulling its future: should it continue to exist as a legal entity, join an umbrella organization (such as the Software Freedom Conservancy or SPI), use a platform like Open Collective, or simply dissolve?

        One interesting thing about the X.Org Foundation change is that it kept its governance structure, including its board, intact when it joined SPI. The Open Bioinformatics Foundation, which is also part of SPI, similarly operates as a virtual foundation. Essentially, they are operating as a foundation within a foundation. This is possible because SPI’s relationship with its associated projects is fairly loose; there are few restrictions imposed on the governance structure. Increasingly, projects and whole organizations join umbrella organizations in order to benefit from services without taking on too much of an administrative burden.

      • AOMedia libaom AV1 3.0 Encoder Released With Better Compression Efficiency – Phoronix

        AOMedia libaom 3.0.0 was released on Tuesday by Google engineers as this reference AV1 video encoder.

        The 3.0 release delivers on compression efficiency improvements, speed improvements for the real-time mode, new APIs, scaling optimizations, multi-threading performance boosts under the real-time mode, and other improvements. There are also a number of bug fixes.

      • Elevating open leaders by getting out of their way

        Today, we’re seeing the rapid rise of agile organizations capable of quickly and effectively adapting to market new ideas with large-scale impacts. These companies tend to have something in common: they have a clear core direction and young, energetic leaders—leaders who encourage their talented employees to develop their potential.

        The way these organizations apply open principles to developing their internal talent—that is, how they facilitate and encourage talented employees to develop and advance in all layers of the organization—is a critical component of their sustainability and success. The organizations have achieved an important kind of “flow,” through which talented employees can easily shift to the places in the organization where they can add the most value based on their talents, skills, and intrinsic motivators. Flow ensures fresh ideas and new impulses. After all, the best idea can originate anywhere in the organization—no matter where a particular employee may be located.

      • 10 Best Open-source cashier and PoS (Point-of-Sale) software 2021 [Ed: Paywall]
      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Thunderbird: Mailfence Encrypted Email Suite in Thunderbird

            Today, the Thunderbird team is happy to announce that we have partnered with Mailfence to offer their encrypted email service in Thunderbird’s account setup. To check this out, you click on “Get a new email address…” when you are setting up an account. We are excited that those using Thunderbird will have this easily accessible option to get a new email address from a privacy-focused provider with just a few clicks.

            Why partner with Mailfence?

            It comes down to two important shared values: a commitment to privacy and open standards. Mailfence has built a private and secure email experience, whilst using open standards that ensure its users can use clients like Thunderbird with no extra hoops to jump through – which respects their freedom. Also, Mailfence has been doing this for longer than most providers have been around and this shows real commitment to their cause.

            We’ve known we wanted to work with the Mailfence team for well over a year, and this is just the beginning of our collaboration. We’ve made it easy to get an email address from Mailfence, and their team has created many great guides on how to get the most out of their service in Thunderbird. But this is just the beginning. The goal is that, in the near future, Mailfence users will benefit from the automatic sync of their contacts and calendars – as well as their email.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.14

            Tor Browser 10.0.14 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This version updates Desktop Firefox to 78.9.0esr. In addition, Tor Browser 10.0.14 updates NoScript to 11.2.3, and Tor to This version includes important security updates to Firefox for Desktop.

          • Get a TLS certificate for your onion site

            We are happy to share the news of another important milestone for .onion services! You can now get DV certificates for your v3 onion site using HARICA, a Root CA Operator founded by Academic Network (GUnet), a civil society nonprofit from Greece.

            Last year we wrote a blog post about the challenges and opportunities for onion services:

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • [Old] Is open source the future of office software?

          We caught up with Italo Vignoli of The Document Foundation, which oversees popular open source productivity software suite LibreOffice, to hear more about the project and where it is headed in the future.

        • The Dos and Don’ts of Writer Templates – LibreOffice Design Team

          As we have seen in the previous posts (1st and 2nd) there are many advantages of using templates. And you should use them whenever is possible, they will help you with consistency across documents and will make your workflow more efficient. So where should you start when creating a template?

        • Built-in “Xray” like UNO object inspector – Part 3

          DevTools implementation has been completed and this is the third and final part of the mini-series. The focus of this part is on the object inspector, but I have also improved or changed other DevTools parts, so first I will briefly mention those.

      • CMS

        • 40% of the web uses WordPress

          When we announced five years ago that WordPress usage had reached 25%, its creator Matt Mullenweg famously answered by writing “Seventy-Five to go”. I found that a quite venturous statement. After all, we currently monitor 737 other content management systems. It’s not like there is a lack of choice for webmasters. There is even no shortage of other impressive success stories, where Shopify and Squarespace are just two obvious examples, but there are plenty more.

          Yet, WordPress plays in a league of its own. It’s not only the usage numbers, also the ecosystem around WordPress is absolutely remarkable. There are more than 58,000 plugins, more than 8,000 themes, and any number of companies and individuals that make a living from creating WordPress sites. There are also a fair number of web hosting providers specialized in WordPress hosting. One of them, of course, is Automattic, the company behind WordPress, and they are not even the biggest one. That honor goes to WP Engine.

      • FSFE

        • Luca vs Lenovo +++ Reinhard and the FSFE +++ IloveFS report

          We all know how frustrating it is to buy a brand new computer and realise that it comes with a pre-installed proprietary operating system. After an initial annoyance, however, even most Free Software stalwarts do not further complain, wipe the system and proceed with a fresh install of a free operating system of their choice. Not so Luca Bonissi, an Italian developer and long-term FSFE supporter. After buying a new Lenovo Ideapad, he contacted Lenovo to file a request for a license refund and a return of the pre-installed Microsoft Windows. However, Lenovo refused to refund Luca for the Windows license – worth 42 Euro – and what followed was a truly legal and bureaucratic quest which consumed many months and several court proceedings. Finally, in December 2020, the Court of Monza rejected all Lenovo’s arguments, confirming that the reimbursement of the pre-installed software was due.

      • FSF

        • Preliminary board statement on FSF governance

          On Wednesday, the FSF board of directors committed to a series of changes related to organizational governance and the appointment of members to its board of directors:

          We will adopt a transparent, formal process for identifying candidates and appointing new board members who are wise, capable, and committed to the FSF’s mission. We will establish ways for our supporters to contribute to the discussion.

          We will require all existing board members to go through this process as soon as possible, in stages, to decide which of them remain on the board.

          We will add a staff representative to the board of directors. The FSF staff will elect that person.

          The directors will consult with legal counsel about changes to the organization’s by-laws to implement these changes. We have set ourselves a deadline of thirty days for making these changes.

          The board will meet again Thursday, March 25, to consider further decisions.

        • Calls grow to exile Stallman from Free Software movement [Ed: We see many Microsoft-connected sites pushing the anti-RMS petition. They don't mention the real MIT scandal is Bill Gates supporting Epstein. RMS called him "serial rapist".]
        • Jeffrey Epstein defender back on board at local software group [Ed: Another lie about RMS. He blasted Epstein, unlike Bill Gates, who defended him.]
        • Scientist Who Defended Epstein and Pedophilia Reinstated to Free Software Foundation Board

          Richard Stallman, the former MIT scientist who previously endorsed pedophilia and went out of his way to defend Jeffrey Epstein, is back.
          Stallman gave a surprise announcement over the weekend that he is once again a board member of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), a non-profit dedicated to promoting open source software. The news didn’t exactly sit well with FSF members, Ars Technica reports, hundreds of whom have already signed an open letter calling for Stallman — and the rest of the board — to be removed.

        • Comeback of Richard Stallman provokes protest over his views on Epstein

          The return of Richard Stallman to the board of the influential Free Software Foundation (FSF) has sparked widespread outcry across the open software community.

          Mr Stallman, a prominent activist who has campaigned for the availability of free software, resigned from the board of directors of the foundation in 2019 following the publication of leaked emails in which he discussed Jeffrey Epstein and sexual consent.

          Last week, however, he announced that he had returned to the foundation’s board, adding that he was “not planning to resign a second time.”

        • Statement on the Re-election of Richard Stallman to the FSF Board

          Stallman’s re-election sends a wrong and hurtful message to free software movement, as well as those who have left that movement because of Stallman’s previous behavior.

          Free software is a vital component of an open and just technological society: its key institutions and individuals cannot place misguided feelings of loyalty above their commitment to that cause. The movement for digital freedom is larger than any one individual contributor, regardless of their role. Indeed, we hope that this moment can be an opportunity to bring in new leaders and new ideas to the free software movement.

          We urge the voting members of the FSF1 to call a special meeting to reconsider this decision, and we also call on Stallman to step down: for the benefit of the organization, the values it represents, and the diversity and long-term viability of the free software movement as a whole. 

        • Andy Wingo: here we go again [Ed: The people who pushed to oust RMS, based on a lie, still at it 2 years later]

          Around 18 months ago, Richard Stallman was forced to resign from the Free Software Foundation board of directors and as president. It could have been anything — at that point he already had a history of behaving in a way that was particularly alienating to women — but in the end it was his insinuation that it was somehow OK if his recently-deceased mentor Marvin Minsky, then in his 70s or 80s, had sex with a 17-year-old on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island. A weird pick of hill to stake one’s reputation on, to say the least.

        • Michael Catanzaro: Free Software Charities

          I believe we have reached a point where it is time to discontinue donations to the Free Software Foundation, in light of the outrageously poor judgment shown by its board of directors in reinstating Richard Stallman to the board. I haven’t seen other free software community members calling for cutting off donations yet. Even the open letter doesn’t call for this. I have no doubt there will be follow-up blog posts explaining why cutting off donations is harmful to the community and the FSF’s staff, and will hurt the FSF in the long-term… but seriously, enough is enough. If we don’t draw the line here, there will never be any line anywhere. Continued support for the FSF is continued complicity, and is harming rather than helping advance the ideals of the free software community.

      • Programming/Development

        • New AMD Zen 3 Fixes Published For The GCC 11 Compiler – Phoronix

          Last week there were a few round of Zen 3 compiler patches published and quickly merged into the GCC 11 compiler code-base ahead of its imminent release, This week there is some new activity albeit fixes for this new “Znver3″ target.

          Last week saw several patches for working to tune the Znver3 GCC 11 support with correct latencies for more instructions and other optimizing. Today SUSE’s Jan Beulich merged a number of GCC x86-64 fixes, including specifically for the Zen 3 support.

        • Qt Creator 4.15 Beta2 released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.15 Beta2 !

          Please have a look at the Beta blog post and our change log for a summary of what is new and improved in Qt Creator 4.15.

        • Paul E. Mc Kenney: Parallel Programming: Second Edition

          The first edition of “Is Parallel Programming Hard, And, If So, What Can You Do About It?” is now available. I have no plans to create a dead-tree version, but I have no objection to others doing so, whether individually or in groups.

        • A small billion-object Swift cluster

          In the latest of Swift numbers: talked to someone today who mentioned that they have 1,025,311,000 objects, or almost exactly a billion. They are spread over only 480 disks. That is, if my arithmetic is correct, 2,000 times smaller than Amazon S3 was in 2013. But hey, not everyone is S3. And they aren’t having any particular problems, things just work.

        • PostgreSQL Full-Text Search Examples – Linux Hint

          Any database should have an effective and versatile search capability. Whenever it refers to databases, PostgreSQL is a master of all crafts. It combines all of the things you’ve grown to love with SQL with a slew of non-SQL database functionalities. Any of these Non-SQL functions, such as the JSONB information sort, are fantastic, and you wouldn’t even have to try a different database. Full-Text Search is among the newest Non-SQL features incorporated into PostgreSQL. Is PostgreSQL’s complete-text search completely functional, or would you want a distinct search index? If you can somehow develop a complete text search deprived of adding one more cover of code, it would be a fantastic idea. You’re already acquainted with pattern search in the MySQL database. So, let’s have a look at them first. Open the PostgreSQL command-line shell in your computer system. Write the server title, database name, port number, username, and password for the specific user other than default options. If you need to slog with default considerations, leave all choices blank and hit Enter each option. At the moment, your command-line shell is equipped to work on.

        • Regular Expression Basics in C++ – Linux Hint

          Consider the following sentence in quotes,
          “Here is my man.”

          This string may be inside the computer, and the user may want to know if it has the word “man”. If it has the word man, he may then want to change the word “man” to “woman”; so that the string should read:

          “Here is my woman.”

          There are many other desires like these from the computer user; some are complex. Regular Expression, abbreviated, regex, is the subject of handling these issues by the computer. C++ comes with a library called regex.

        • I finally escaped Node (and you can too)

          Languages like Elixir and Ruby are an act of creation. Ruby, for example, reduces to a creator and designer (Matz). You can feel His embrace from first contact with the language. It is welcoming. It is warm. Things feel purposeful. They make sense. Ruby’s principle of least surprise makes everything feel in order.

          JavaScript is exactly the opposite. JavaScript is evolution. Node is full of surprises, at every turn, for every skill level. JavaScript will always find little ways to undermine you, to humiliate you. There is no one designer, just the cold force of natural selection. It is riddled with arcane evolutionary quirks. It is direct democracy, the people’s language, for better and worse.

          The history of JavaScript is complex and deeply human. And perhaps one day the story of collapse into a singularity. I can’t wait to read the book.

          But might ≠ right, and I’m happy I’ve finally broken free.

        • Python

          • How to Move the File into Another Directory in Python – Linux Hint

            The file is used to store data permanently. Sometimes we require to move the file location from one path to another path for the programming purpose. This task can be done by using Python script in multiple ways. Move () is the most used method of Python to move the file from one directory to another directory defined in the shutil module. Another way of moving file location by using rename() method that is defined in the os module. These two methods can be used to move the file from one directory to another directory, as explained in this tutorial.

        • Rust

        • Java

          • Oracle announces Java 16

            Oracle has announced the availability of Java 16 (Oracle JDK 16), including 17 new enhancements to the platform.

            The latest Java Development Kit (JDK) finalized Pattern Matching for instanceof (JEP 394) and Records (JEP 395), language enhancements that were first previewed in Java 14. Additionally, developers can use the new Packaging Tool (JEP 392) to ship self-contained Java applications, as well as explore three incubating features, the Vector API (JEP 338), the Foreign Linker API (JEP 389), and the Foreign-Memory Access API (JEP 389), and one preview feature, Sealed Classes (JEP 397).

            Oracle delivers Java updates every six months.

  • Leftovers

    • Point Reyes National Something-or-Other

      What should we call the diverse, wild, inspiring but scarred peninsula sliding very slowly past us, jurisdictionally in West Marin County, California, but geologically across the San Andreas Fault, on the Pacific Plate, going steadily its own way, namely Northwest?  Should we call it Point Reyes National Park or Point Reyes National Seashore?

      Technically, the latter is correct.  And it really shouldn’t matter.  But it seems to matter a lot to some people, and understanding why tells a story.

    • Berlin Bulletin: Scandals, Elections, Emergencies!

      Above all it’s the Covid mess. Seen last spring as a model of swift, effective response, Germany is now torn by controversy, with its sixteen states and dozens of politicians squabbling about when to send which kids (if any) back to school, the 1st, 5th or 9th graders, with or without masks, with or without self-testing. Shopkeepers and restaurant owners protest: “When can we open our doors or at least serve outdoor tables?” But if they can open in April, why can’t hotels do the same? What about the tourist trade? At Easter but mostly in the summer huge waves of Germans surge toward the surf at the Baltic and North Sea but especially the warmer waters (and mostly hotter nightlife) along Mediterranean coasts in Spain, Turkey, the Balearics. What about theater people and musicians, solo or in ensemble? Or the sex workers, also solo or in legal etablissements known as “Eros Centres”? All are clamoring for more government funds for survival.

      All hopes were based on vaccines, first for old folks and medical staffs. But who next? Teachers, cops? Secretive arrangements for vaccine purchases were in turmoil, both financially and medically. Just as Europe seemed to be under control there were unpleasant rumors about AstraZeneca shots. Then the Minister of Health announced an “All clear, (nearly) all safe.” But some of the unvaccinated masses, skeptical anyway, decided against penetration of their arm muscles.

    • The Future of Wolves in the American West
    • Verizon Again Doubles Down On Yahoo After 6 Years Of Failure

      You might recall that Verizon’s attempt to pivot from grumpy old telco to sexy new Millennial ad brand hasn’t been going so well. Oddly, mashing together two failing 90s brands in AOL and Yahoo, and renaming the coagulated entity “Oath,” didn’t really impress many people. The massive Yahoo hack, a controversy surrounding Verizon snoopvertising, and the face plant by the company’s aggressively hyped Go90 streaming service (Verizon’s attempts to make video inroads with Millennials) didn’t really help.

    • Ello & the Law of the Mall

      Ello is not allowed at the Mall.

      But like a lot of people, he can’t help it. Going to the Mall scratches an itch. Maybe it’s the narcotic lighting, the artificial plants, the false calm of money being spent. Or maybe it’s the smell of pretzels.

    • Prince Harry takes role fighting ‘avalanche of misinformation’

      The non-profit Aspen Institute said it was “honored” to have the Duke of Sussex as one of the 18 members of its “Commission on Information Disorder.”

    • Prince Harry joins the Aspen Institute’s fight against misinformation

      Voicing concern about an “avalanche of misinformation” in the digital world, Prince Harry is joining the Aspen Institute’s new Commission on Information Disorder as a commissioner.

      Harry, 14 other commissioners and three co-chairs will conduct a six-month study on the state of American misinformation and disinformation.

      Journalist Katie Couric, Color of Change president Rashad Robinson and Chris Krebs, the former director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, are the co-chairs.

    • Court: Afghan interpreter wronged by Estonian Police and Border Guard Board

      Omar, who first met with Estonians in Helmand province of Afghanistan in 2011 and was interpreter for the Estonian infantry company in Helmand in 2011-2013, considers Estonia his second home, Postimees said.

      When the Estonian contingent was withdrawn from Afghanistan with British units in 2013, many local interpreters left with British troops as their lives were seen to be in danger. Estonia has no such tradition and this caused confusion in officials here, Postimees said.

    • Science

    • Hardware

      • Speculating the entire x86-64 Instruction Set In Seconds with This One Weird Trick

        As cheesy as the title sounds, I promise it cannot beat the cheesiness of the technique I’ll be telling you about in this post. The morning I saw Mark Ermolov’s tweet about the undocumented instruction reading from/writing to the CRBUS, I had a bit of free time in my hands and I knew I had to find out the opcode so I started theory-crafting right away. After a few hours of staring at numbers, I ended up coming up with a method of discovering practically every instruction in the processor using a side(?)-channel. It’s an interesting method involving even more interesting components of the processor so I figured I might as well write about it, so here it goes.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • 2021: A Global Pandemic, New Wars, and New Refugees

        For refugees, the crisis has been yet another existential challenge to add to the many they have already endured. Government departments, non-governmental organizations, aid agencies, and all those who support the refugee and migrant populations in their own countries, have inevitably had to curtail their operations to follow pandemic protocols. Asylum seekers labouring to support their families have been unable to work. Vital community help such as winter clothing handouts have been curtailed.

        The Mediterranean has been a sea of death and despair, with new and more dangerous routes taking extra lives. Attempts to bypass Greece from Turkey and sail to Italy instead have brought a higher risk to poorly prepared and overloaded vessels. ‘Pushbacks’ at sea are on the rise.

      • California Regulator Praised for ‘Landmark’ Proposal to List ‘Forever Chemical’ as Carcinogen

        “The damage to communities nationwide from PFOA-contaminated drinking water and exposure through everyday consumer products is almost unimaginable, but California’s action underscores the urgency of addressing the crisis.”

      • Opinion | Plant-Based Diets Can Help Save the Planet

        Adopting a vegan diet could be the biggest individual contribution to preventing climate breakdown—but we also need systemic change.

      • How a Federal Agency Excluded Thousands of Viable Businesses From Pandemic Relief

        Like every other storefront in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, the Coffee House — a cavernous student hangout slinging espresso and decadent pastries since 1987 — saw its revenue dry up almost overnight last spring when the coronavirus pandemic made dining indoors a deadly risk. Unlike most, however, the business wouldn’t have access to the massive loan fund that Congress made available for small enterprises in late March.

        The reason had nothing to do with the business itself, which had been having one of its best years ever, according to its owner, Mark Shriner. Rather, it all came down to one box on the application for the Paycheck Protection Program money, which asked whether the company or any of its owners were “presently involved in any bankruptcy.” Shriner had filed for Chapter 13 in 2018 after a divorce and was still making court-ordered debt payments, so he checked “yes.” He was automatically rejected and lost about $25,000 in payroll and other costs that the program would have covered.

      • Opinion | How Many More People Have to Die Before We Pass Medicare for All?

        My insurance says my cancer drugs aren’t “medically necessary.” No one should have to fight for care like this. 

      • Doctors Without Borders Warns Palestinians ‘Urgently’ Need More Covid-19 Vaccines

        “There is not enough space, beds, or staff to help all of our critical patients, and people are dying,” warned one MSF intensive care unit physician.

      • ICAN’s deceptive legal war on state health departments over COVID-19 vaccine messaging

        Regular readers are no doubt familiar with the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), the legal and propaganda arm of Del Bigtree‘s antivaccine empire. It just so turns out that I’m on ICAN’s email list, because I’m on a lot of quack and antivaccine email lists, the better to monitor what the disinformation peddlers are doing every day in their relentless effort to degrade public health, resulting in unnecessary suffering and death, particularly now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. ICAN has one basic schtick, and almost everything it does is a variation of that schtick. Basically, ICAN exists to sue government entities or send legal threats based on dubious legal reasoning or highly legalistic parsing of language used by government agencies regarding vaccination. For instance, a couple of months ago, ICAN was bragging over a great “victory” it thought it had achieved over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in getting it (supposedly) to remove from its website statements that vaccines do not cause autism. Amusingly (to me and other vaccine advocates), this “victory,” when critically examined, turned out nothing of the sort, and even then it was short-lived. In another example of this technique, pre-pandemic this time, ICAN used abusive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain government documents that Bigtree distorted and cherrypicked to “question” the clinical trials that led to the approval of the MMR vaccine decades ago. Basically, the ICAN repertoire consists mainly of abusive FOIA requests that it uses to cherry pick and misrepresent the science used by the government to evaluate vaccines, lawsuits over the content of government websites and publications, and legal threats based on legalistic parsing of language. When these techniques work, ICAN loudly declares “victory” and claims that the government is lying about vaccine safety, after which it uses the “victory” to raise funds. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

      • It’s not your imagination — that vaccination website really is crawling along

        The Markup conducted its performance tests using Google’s open-source Lighthouse tool, in this case relying on the tool’s ability to measure the time it takes for a site to load and be functional. For this test, The Markup focused on the performance of the mobile version of sites on the Chrome browser and conducted the tests from three separate locations (New York, Texas, and California). Nevada’s state vaccine site was the slowest to load, taking 15.7 seconds to fully load in comparison to the fastest (Puerto Rico) at 1.4 seconds, and the average (Colorado) at 5.9 seconds.

      • We Ran Tests on Every State’s COVID-19 Vaccine Website

        One big source of frustration: websites that are difficult to navigate for less savvy web users. Similar to other sites, the Pennsylvania site leads users to an interactive map of blue dots, which then leads out to pharmacies and local health departments with their own sign-up procedures. It’s a system with “nothing intuitive about it,” Meyer said.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Text authentication is even worse than almost anyone thought

        From an IT security perspective, this story gets far more frightening as it delves into how messed up the entire telecom universe is when it comes to protecting text communications. That is yet another reason why texting can’t be trusted for authentication or, for that matter, for almost anything.

      • Proprietary

        • Plausible: Privacy-Focused Google Analytics Alternative

          Plausible is a simple, privacy-friendly analytics tool. It helps you analyze the number of unique visitors, pageviews, bounce rate and visit duration.

          If you have a website you would probably understand those terms. As a website owner, it helps you know if your site is getting more visitors over the time, from where the traffic is coming and if you have some knowledge on these things, you can work on improving your website for more visits.

          When it comes to website analytics, the one service that rules this domain is the Google’s free tool Google Analytics. Just like Google is the de-facto search engine, Google Analytics is the de-facto analytics tool. But you don’t have to live with it specially if you cannot trust Big tech with your and your site visitor’s data.

          Plausible gives you the freedom from Google Analytics and I am going to discuss this open source project in this article.

          Please mind that some technical terms in the article could be unknown to you if you have never managed a website or bothered about analytics.

        • Coveware censors post after ransomware actors use it for promotion

          Incident response firm Coveware has deleted a small portion of an article it had posted online in 2019, after the actors behind the REvil ransomware group — also known as Sodinokibi — used it to promote the efficiency of their own decryptor over that of the one used by rival ransomware actor, Ryuk.

        • The mess at Medium

          The episode captured Medium in all its complexity: a publishing platform used by the most powerful people in the world; an experiment in mixing highbrow and lowbrow in hopes a sustainable business would emerge; and a devotion to algorithmic recommendations over editorial curation that routinely caused the company confusion and embarrassment.

          On Tuesday, it also cost dozens of journalists their jobs. In a blog post, billionaire Medium founder Ev Williams announced the latest pivot for the nearly nine-year old company. Just over two years into an effort to create a subscription-based bundle of publications committed to high-quality original journalism — and in the immediate aftermath of a bruising labor battle that had seen its workers fall one vote short of forming a union — Williams offered buyouts to all of its roughly 75 editorial employees.

        • Security

          • Ultimate Guide To Secure Linux OS Laptop For Free
          • Creating an SSH honeypot

            Many developers use SSH to access their systems, so it is not surprising that SSH servers are widely attacked. During the FOSDEM 2021 conference, Sanja Bonic and Janos Pasztor reported on their experiment using containers as a way to easily create SSH honeypots — fake servers that allow administrators to observe the actions of attackers without risking a production system. The conversational-style talk walked the audience through the process of setting up an SSH server to play the role of the honeypot, showed what SSH attacks look like, and gave a number of suggestions on how to improve the security of SSH servers.

            A honeypot is a network-accessible server, typically more weakly protected than ordinary servers. System administrators deploy honeypots to attract attackers and record their actions, which allows the administrators to analyze those actions and improve the defenses of their production systems based on the information gained. Honeypots may reveal new ways for attackers to get in or confirm the most common ones. They exist in different flavors for different types of servers; Bonic and Pasztor concentrated on honeypots providing a publicly accessible SSH server. A number of elements are needed to build such honeypot: the SSH server itself, an environment the attackers will be allowed into (that is able to contain any damage), and a logging (audit) system that will record all of the information on the attacker’s actions.

            They started with the logging system, which has uses beyond honeypots. In large companies, audit trails are often recorded “in case some super-secret company stuff leaks”. The solution Bonic and Pasztor chose for their honeypot was asciinema, a tool for recording and replaying console sessions. The asciinema log consists of JSON fragments, making it easy to parse. It starts with a header (with information like the format version and the terminal size); all subsequent lines are arrays with three items: a timestamp, the mode (input or output), and the content. Interested readers can see what can be done with the tool on the asciinema examples page. Bonic and Pasztor’s original idea was to be provide a video-like replay of attacker’s sessions.

            The second element of the configuration is the SSH server. Pasztor explained that there are multiple projects working on fake SSH servers; they simulate an environment and give simulated results. The problem, from the point of view of a honeypot builder, is that the tool has to simulate a shell and a honeypot needs a directory structure (and content in its files, presumably). Providing all of the necessary files leads to something similar to assembling a virtual machine, Pasztor said, and that not an easy thing to do. He added that honeypots try to prevent the attacker from actually running programs on a machine, as that may cause security problems. If the reason to run the honeypot is just to see what commands the attacker is issuing, a fake server is enough. However, for an in-depth analysis, more will be needed.

          • S3 Ep25: Drained accounts, ransomware attacks and Linux badware [Podcast] [Ed: Curiously enough, as is abundantly the case/typical, they don't mention Windows when it comes to ransomware but are happy to insert the word "Linux" in a bad connotation to perpetuate a misleading stigma (you really need to install malicious software on it]
          • Linux Core Scheduling Nears The Finish Line To Avoid Flipping Off HT – Phoronix

            Besides Linux kernel developers still working to optimize code due to Retpolines overhead three years after Spectre rocked the ecosystem, another area kernel developers have still been actively working on is core scheduling for controlling the behavior of what software can share CPU resources or run on the sibling thread of a CPU core. That core scheduling work is finally closer to the mainline Linux kernel.

            Core scheduling has been an area of much interest by different companies — especially public cloud providers — due to the growing number of side-channel vulnerabilities affecting Intel Hyper Threading and some security recommendations to disable this form of SMT. With core scheduling, there is control for ensuring trusted and untrusted tasks don’t share a CPU core / sibling thread and thereby help reduce the security implications of keeping Intel Hyper Threading enabled.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Gun Manufacturers Are Endangering Public Health. They Should Be Held Liable.
      • From Space Force to F-35s, Congress Given Specific Path to Cut Pentagon Budget by $80 Billion

        “We have a choice: funnel countless trillions of dollars into weapons of war and Pentagon waste, or put our resources toward efforts that will actually make the world safer for all of us.”

      • Opinion | Western Media Defends US-Backed Bolivian Coup Leader After Arrest

        Brutal dictators supported by Washington have no reason to doubt that establishment journalists and big NGOs will try very hard to keep them out of jail.

      • Drone Company Wants To Sell Cops A Drone That Can Break Windows, Negotiate With Criminals

        A drone manufacturer really really wants cops to start inviting drones to their raiding parties. This will bring “+ whatever” to all raiding party stats, apparently. BRINC Drones is here to help… and welcomes users to question the life choices made by company execs that led to the implementation of this splash page:

      • Activists Counter Anti-Asian Racism Through Community Safety Initiatives
      • Chechen police detain and interrogate 20 relatives of jailed opposition activists

        In the village of Komsomolskoye in Chechnya’s Urus-Martanovsky District, police officers detained and interrogated 20 people related to brothers Ismail Isayev and Salekh Magamadov — the jailed opposition activists who ran the the Telegram channel Osal Nakh 95, the human rights organization Russian LGBT Network told Meduza. 

      • Colorado Democrat Elected After Son Killed in 2012 Aurora Shooting: Congress Must Enact Gun Control

        Following Monday’s massacre in Boulder, Colorado, we speak with Colorado state Representative Tom Sullivan, who entered politics after his son Alex was killed in the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting. He explains how the state’s painful history of mass shootings, going back to Columbine High School in 1999, shows even in places most affected by gun violence, it can be difficult to make lasting and effective change. “It’s imperative that we get the federal government to partner with us on these things,” Sullivan says.

      • US Gins Up a “Credible” Iranian Nuclear Menace Befitting Its Own Stockpile

        According to The Telegraph, “new revelations” from an unnamed senior Western intelligence source show “that Iran is trying to conceal vital elements of its nuclear programme from the outside world [and] has no intention of complying with its international obligations under the terms of the nuclear deal.”

      • How Australia Ended Regular Mass Shootings: Gun Reforms After 1996 Massacre Could Be Model for U.S.

        As the United States struggles to make sense of two new mass shootings — in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado — we look at one country that fought to change its culture of gun violence and succeeded. In April of 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in Port Arthur, Tasmania, killing 35 people and wounding 23 more. Just 12 days after the grisly attack and the public outcry it sparked, Australia announced new gun control measures. “We had a massacre about once a year,” Rebecca Peters, an international arms control advocate and one of the leaders of the campaign to reform Australia’s gun laws, told Democracy Now! in 2016. But since the new gun control measures were passed, Australia has had almost no mass shootings and now has one of the lowest levels of gun violence anywhere.

      • How the NRA’s Radical Anti-Gun-Control Ideology Became GOP Dogma & Still Warps Debate

        The massacre in a Boulder grocery store came just after a Colorado judge ruled in favor of the National Rifle Association’s challenge to the city’s ban on assault weapons, which was passed in 2018 after this type of weapon was used in the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Despite increasingly regular mass shootings, the NRA has pushed for expanded gun rights since the 1970s and insisted that more guns, not fewer, would prevent gun deaths. “The NRA’s ideology is something that they’ve convinced the overwhelming majority of elected officials in the GOP, especially on the national level, to believe,” says investigative journalist Frank Smyth, author of “The NRA: The Unauthorized History.”

      • Bellingcaught: Who is the mysterious author of Bellingcat’s attacks on OPCW whistleblower?
      • Quarter of Civilian Casualties From US-Backed, Saudi-Led War in Yemen Were Children

        “Children continue to be killed and injured on a near-daily basis,” said Xavier Joubert of Save the Children.

      • ‘Death Falling From the Sky’: Report Spotlights Civilian Harm From US Drone Strikes in Yemen

        “The United States is failing to investigate credible allegations of violations, to hold individuals responsible for violations accountable, and to provide prompt and adequate reparation.”

      • The Biden Administration’s Foreign Policy and the Complete Picture Project with Medea Benjamin, Rebecca Grace, John Gray – The Project Censored Show

        Notes: Medea Benjamin is co-founder of the women’s peace organization Code Pink; she’s also written eight books, including “Inside Iran” and “Kingdom of the Unjust.” Her recent article on Biden’s foreign policy can be found here.  Rebecca Grace and John Gray are the founders of the Complete Picture Project. Gray himself served a prison term for crimes related to an old drug habit.

      • The UK’s Military Show Time

        Adding to the catalogue of Brexit failures, the UK is now being sued by the EU for extending unilaterally a grace period on food imports to the island of Ireland, where the EU and the UK share a land border, and where a special trade system was set up as part of the Brexit deal. The wheels of the international justice system grind slowly, so it may be a while before this case is resolved.

        These readers may also be aware that, a successful Covid vaccination programme notwithstanding, the UK’s death toll from the pandemic is among the highest in the western world.

      • Atlanta Shootings: Sex, Race & the Politics of Repression

        … than in the ungoverned exorbitancy of fleshly lust.

        – Samuel Willard, Puritan minister, 1640-1707

      • At Least 36% of Mass Shooters Have Been Trained By the U.S. Military

        It is equally remarkable that, although I’ve been updating and writing about this topic for years, it is virtually whited-out from U.S. media. In reports on individual mass shootings, any mention of involvement with the U.S. military is usually a minor footnote. In many cases, I simply do not know, with my very limited research, whether a mass shooter is a military veteran or not. This is why my figure of 36% could be low. Regarding patterns in mass-shootings, media reports tell us, as well they should, about access to guns, types of guns, criminal records, mental health records, misogyny, racism, age, sex, and other features of shooters’ backgrounds. If mass shooters were at all disproportionately red-headed, homosexual, vegan, left-handed, or basketball fans we would damn well know it. Its relevance would be mysterious, but we’d know it. Yet the fact that well over a third of them, and maybe more, have been professionally trained in killing is unmentionable, despite its obvious relevance and the supposed cultural value of “following the science” wherever it may lead.

        We are regularly informed that mass shooters are mostly male, without any panic over the possibility of fueling hatred of men, the vast majority of whom are not mass shooters, and most of whom would rather die than become mass shooters. We are routinely told that mass shooters owned and liked guns, that they had mental health issues, and that they were loners, without the slightest hesitation over whether we might be generating a prejudice against gun owners or mental health patients or introverts. We are generally aware that most people are not utter imbeciles, that most people will catch on — even unprompted — to the fact that a teeny tiny fraction of a percent of military veterans being mass shooters doesn’t tell us anything about all veterans, just as they’ll tend to pick up on the fact that the majority of mass shooters are non-veterans, which likewise tells us nothing about all non-veterans. Yet the excuse for never ever mentioning the stunning statistic in the headline above is typically the danger of creating a bias against veterans.

      • Prosecutors say Oath Keepers coordinated with Proud Boys ahead of Capitol [insurrection]

        Prosecutors included redacted Facebook messages from Meggs coordinating with the Proud Boys ahead of a planned rally in D.C. on Jan. 6.

        A number of members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have been indicted on conspiracy charges in connection with the riot, but the messages are the first showing that the groups might have worked together.

      • Displaced Mozambicans Optimistic About US Support for Counterinsurgency Efforts

        Residents in the country’s northern Cabo Delgado province, a region rich in natural gas deposits, have been grappling with an Islamist insurgency there since 2017. Attacks claimed by the militant group known as al-Shabab have killed nearly 2,700 people and displaced 670,000 others, according to the conflict monitoring group Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project (ACLED).

        Last week, Britain-based aid group Save the Children said al-Shabab militants, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terror group, have beheaded children as young as 11 in Cabo Delgado.

      • Islamist party becomes surprise kingmaker after Israel vote

        Israel’s election brought a surprise when a conservative Islamist party crossed the threshold to enter parliament and its leader emerged on Wednesday as a possible kingmaker.

      • Viral Video Shows IDF Arresting Vegetable-Picking Palestinian Kids at Behest of Israeli Settlers

        On March 10, five Palestinian boys hoped to spend their day foraging for vegetables south of their home in the occupied West Bank. Instead, they spent it detained for hours in Israeli custody.

      • Denmark Cracks Down on “Parallel Societies”

        The Danish government has announced a package of new proposals aimed at fighting “religious and cultural parallel societies” in Denmark. A cornerstone of the plan includes capping the percentage of “non-Western” immigrants and their descendants dwelling in any given residential neighborhood. The aim is to preserve social cohesion in the country by encouraging integration and discouraging ethnic and social self-segregation.

        x The announcement comes just days after Denmark approved a new law banning the foreign funding of mosques in the country. The government has also recently declared its intention significantly to limit the number of people seeking asylum in Denmark.

      • Muslim Migrants Threaten To Gang Rape Politician Exposing Illegally Operated Mosques (Videos)

        Former Interior minister, Matteo Salvini’s Lega party is fighting to stop the problem of Illegally operated mosques which have been allowed to continue operating throughout the pandemic. The consequences for one Lega MEP, and municipal advisor, Silvia Sardone, has been threats by Muslim migrants to gang rape and murder her, along with her young children.

      • Ahmad Alissa’s Facebook Posts About Islam, Hacking and Needing a Girlfriend

        That page was taken down on Tuesday, shortly after Alissa’s name was released by law enforcement. Newsweek reviewed the page before it was removed.

      • France: Strasbourg city government finances the construction of a mosque run by radical Islamists

        The city hall is funding a mosque represented by an association that defends political Islam, Darmanin said on Twitter. According to the AFP news agency, the city council had previously approved a building subsidy of over 2.5 million euros for a mosque run by Milli Görüs.

        At the heart of the dispute is the so-called Charter of the Principles of Islam in France. This charter opposes the political instrumentalisation of Islam and emphasises the compatibility of the religion with French principles, such as the separation of church and state. Darmanin criticised Milli Görüs for not signing the document. As AFP reported, the mayor of Strasbourg, Jeanne Barseghian, suggested making the signing of the charter a condition for the money to actually flow. Before this happens, another vote is pending, she said.

    • Environment

      • New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Climate Action as Congress Weighs Big Infrastructure Bill

        The new poll finds that in significant numbers Americans view climate change as an immediate threat, and by a two-to-one margin (60 percent agree versus 29 percent disagree), Americans say that “climate change is already having a serious impact on my part of the country.” 

      • Deb Haaland Represents a Welcome Change at Interior

        Despite being a mock session, the resolution was open to debate on the floor of the House of Representatives — and that’s where it got real interesting. Rep. Bob Gervais, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, lifted his mic and stood to offer an amendment to the resolution. Looking around the room at his colleagues, Gervais began to speak, opening with “Governor, you forgot something in this resolution — my people.”

        A hushed and embarrassed silence descended in the chamber under legendary artist Charlie Russell’s enormous painting titled “Lewis and Clark Meeting Indians at Ross’ Hole.” For indeed, Stephens had completely ignored Montana’s tribal nations as if they never existed.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Senate Dems Have a Plan to Showcase GOP’s Filibuster Abuse. Biden’s On Board.
      • Reporters’ Alert: Launching a New Website Part II

        We just started an online webpage: Reporter’s Alert. From time to time, we will use Reporter’s Alert to present suggestions for important reporting on topics that are either not covered or not covered thoroughly. Reporting that just nibbles on the periphery won’t attract much public attention or be noticed by decision-makers. Here is the second installment of suggestions:

        1. In recent years we have read about massive hacking of major databases at major retail chains (Target etc.), the federal civil service, national security agencies, credit card companies, and the list goes on. Tens of millions of people have had their personal files invaded by these mostly unknown remote hackers. These reports are accompanied by grave warnings of forthcoming untold damage to privacy, business propriety information, workplace labor information, and secret government databases.

      • Opinion | Republican Officials No Longer Support Democracy

        Voting in America should not be made hard, turned into a partisan obstacle course or reduced to a regimen of autocratic suppression.

      • ‘Strom Thurmond Disagrees’: Historians Refute McConnell Claim That Filibuster Has ‘No Racial History’

        “Historian of the 20th century South here. I dispute Mitch’s statement. The filibuster has a ton of ‘racial history.’”

      • Opinion | The Most Sustained Effort to Silence Voters Since Jim Crow

        Most Americans want to make voting easier, not harder. We need to pass the For the People Act.

      • ‘Anti-Democratic Garbage’: McConnell Rebuked for Calling Voting Rights Bill a ‘Power Grab’

        “How depraved do you have to be to insist that more people voting is somehow a power grab?”

      • Russian lawmakers adopt legislation on ‘zeroing out’ Putin’s presidential terms

        The Russian State Duma adopted in the final reading legislation on allowing President Vladimir Putin to run for the presidency in two more elections. The corresponding amendments have been introduced to the law “On presidential elections in the Russian Federation,” Interfax reported on Wednesday, March 24.

      • ‘China’s delegation’ Russia touts a visit to Crimea by ‘Chinese representatives,’ calling it Beijing’s response to events in Ukraine, but the delegates were actually businessmen from Moscow

        “Delegates from China came to gauge the peninsula’s tourism potential,” Crimea’s Tourism Ministry reported on its website on March 11, 2021, promoting a visit by a supposed Chinese delegation that Russian news outlets have described as both “official” and “representative.” The pro-Kremlin media has touted the trip as a sign of the new prospects for Crimea-Chinese economic cooperation, but almost no one in Beijing has even heard about the visit. That’s probably because the three delegation members were actually businessmen from wholesale markets in Moscow, not China.

      • Alexey Navalny’s health is deteriorating in prison, his lawyer says

        The state of Alexey Navalny’s health is deteriorating in prison, his lawyer Olga Mikhailova told Meduza on Wednesday, March 24.

      • Russian book fair blames publisher for canceling Navalny spokeswoman’s novel presentation

        Following the controversy surrounding the cancellation of a scheduled presentation of a novel by Kira Yarmysh (the spokeswoman for imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny), the organizers of the Non/Fiction international book fair have released a statement attributing the decision to the publishing group Eksmo-AST.

      • Coming to the Playing Field: Biden Puts Australia First

        Particular concern was expressed regarding claims of economic coercion exerted by Beijing towards US allies, with Australia featuring.  US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was all reiteration, outlining a list of sins to add to accusations of coercion: China’s policy towards Tibet and the Uighurs in Xinjiang; actions in Hong Kong and the stance on Taiwan; assertiveness in the South China Sea; and cyber-attacks on US targets. “Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability,” stated a grave Blinken.  “That’s why they’re not merely internal matters and why we feel an obligation to raise these issues here today.”

        The “rules-based international order” proved to be the stubborn fixation.  “That system is not an abstraction,” lectured Blinken.  “It helps countries resolve differences peacefully, coordinate multilateral efforts effectively, and participate in global commerce with the assurance that everyone is following the same rules.”  Sullivan attempted to rub matters in, talking about the Quad leaders’ summit “that spoke to the can-do-spirit of the world’s democracies and committed to [realizing] the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”  Beyond the ritualistic cant of order and rules, Sullivan was convinced that the US approach to China benefited “the American people and protects the interests of our allies and partners.”

      • Biden’s Heartfelt Illogic About Israel

        Almost everyone in the West who is not a fan of Donald Trump—and if they are a fan, their sanity is to be doubted— assumes that U.S. President Joe Biden is now helping to save both the United States and the world. In some categories such as climate change, environmental regulation, economic reform favoring the poor and middle class, equal rights and, of course, combating the Covid-19 virus, they might have a point.

        Nonetheless, it really saddens me to say that, at least in this author’s opinion, President Biden is not “the sharpest tack in the box.” That is, he is not the smartest guy in Washington, D.C. On the other hand, Joe has a strong point. He has the good fortune to have drawn together some very strong and progressive advisers on the domestic side of the political equation. It would also seem that, unlike his predecessor, Biden has the capability to actually listen to these people. He also has accommodated himself to the pressure put forth by true progressives such as Bernie Sanders.

      • Biden’s and America’s Mental Illness is on Full Display

        Biden joined this disgraceful list by ordering a bloody aerial bombardment by US warplanes in eastern Syria.

        The US bombs, which were reportedly dropped on a a location in the city of Erbil, according to the British daily The Independent, killed as many as 22 people in the targeted buildings (assuming all the bombs atually landed on their intended targets). Most if not all of the victims were Iraqis described by the US as being part of two “Iranian-backed militias,” which were accused of being behind a rocket attack 10 days earlier that killed a US mercenary and wounded a Louisiana National Guardsman . The Pentagon called the attack, which employed seven 500-1b bombs, a “proportional response” to that earlier attack, which raises questions about the meaning of “proportional” (or about what the hell dictionary they use in the White House).

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Tyranny Of Either/Or’ By Evan Greer

        Evan Greer is an example of someone who uses their music as an extension of their activism. She is releasing her latest album “Spotify is Surveillance” on April 9, the follow-up to her excellent 2019 album“she/her/they/them”.With regard to “Spotify is Surveillance,” Greer declared, “Big Tech companies’ business models are based in surveillance, and they’re fundamentally incompatible with basic human rights and democracy.

      • Inspired by Georgia, GOP Is Creating “Best Practices” Guide on Voter Suppression
      • Trump Team, Including Giuliani, May Face “False Statement” Charges in Georgia
      • The GOP’s New Fundraising Strategy? Acting Heinous and Monetizing the Backlash.
      • Major subreddits are going dark to protest Reddit allegedly hiring a controversial UK politician

        Reddit says it’s cut ties with an employee widely identified as former UK politician Aimee Knight, following a shutdown of hundreds of communities. CEO Steve Huffman posted a statement confirming that the site had been overzealous trying to prevent harassment, resulting in a moderator being banned for posting an article that referenced Knight’s name.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • If Trump Ever Actually Creates A Social Network Of His Own, You Can Bet It Will Rely On Section 230

        There have been rumors for ages that former President Donald Trump might “start” a social network of his own, and of course, that talk ramped up after he was (reasonably) banned from both Twitter and Facebook. Of course Trump is not particularly well known for successfully “starting” many businesses. Over the last few decades of his business career, he seemed a lot more focused on just licensing his name to other businesses, often of dubious quality. So it was no surprise when reports came out last month that, even while he was President, he had been in talks with Parler to join that site in exchange for a large equity stake in the Twitter-wannabe-for-Trumpists. For whatever reason, that deal never came to fruition.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Huge Surge In Users On One Server Prompts Intercession From Discord (2021)

        Summary: A wild few days for the stock market resulted in some interesting moderation moves by a handful of communications/social media platforms.

      • Sidney Powell Asks Court To Dismiss Defamation Lawsuit Because She Was Just Engaging In Heated Hyperbole… Even When She Was Filing Lawsuits

        In January, Dominion Voting Systems sued former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation. The voting machine maker claimed the self-titled “Kraken” was full of shit — and knowingly so — when she opined (and litigated!) that Dominion had ties to the corrupt Venezuelan government and that it had rigged the election against Donald Trump by changing votes or whatever (Powell’s assertions and legal filings were based on the statements of armchair experts and conspiracy theorists).

      • Sidney Powell’s Legal Defense Exposes the Rot at the Core of Trumpism
      • Beware Of Facebook CEOs Bearing Section 230 Reform Proposals

        As you may know, tomorrow Congress is having yet another hearing with the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, in which various grandstanding politicians will seek to rake Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai over the coals regarding things that those grandstanding politicians think Facebook, Twitter, and Google “got wrong” in their moderation practices. Some of the politicians will argue that these sites left up too much content, while others will argue they took down too much — and either way they will demand to know “why” individual content moderation decisions were made differently than they, the grandstanding politicians, wanted them to be made. We’ve already highlighted one approach that the CEOs could take in their testimony, though that is unlikely to actually happen. This whole dog and pony show seems all about no one being able to recognize one simple fact: that it’s literally impossible to have a perfectly moderated platform at the scale of humankind.

      • Facebook’s Pitch to Congress: Section 230 for Me, But not for Thee

        In prepared testimony submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee before a Thursday hearing, Zuckerberg proposes amending 47 U.S.C. § 230 (“Section 230”), the federal law that generally protects online services and users from liability for hosting user-generated content that others believe is unlawful.

        The vague and ill-defined proposal calls for lawmakers to condition Section 230’s legal protections on whether services can show “that they have systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing it.” According to Zuckerberg, this revised law would not create liability if a particular piece of unlawful content fell through the cracks. Instead, the law would impose a duty of care on platforms to have adequate “systems in place” with respect to how they review, moderate, and remove user-generated content.

        Zuckerberg’s proposal calls for the creation of a “third party,” whatever that means, which would establish the best practices for identifying and removing user-generated content. He suggests that this entity could create different standards for smaller platforms. The proposal also asks Congress to require that online services be more transparent about their content moderation policies and more accountable to their users.

      • Turkish social media figure acquitted of hate crime against Armenians ‘for insulting Kardashian only’

        The social media personality said that he made the statements in question because Kardashian has insulted the Ottoman Empire and his roots.

        Meanwhile, complainant Simon Çekem said that Övüç very clearly targeted all Armenians in his words.

      • Temporary Blog Closure

        In view of our understanding that the High Court has found some articles on this blog to be in contempt of court, and in view of the fact that the Crown Office had sought to censor such a large range of articles, this blog has no choice but to go dark from 15.00 today until some time after tomorrow’s court hearing, when it will be specified to us precisely how much of the truth we have to expunge before we can bring the blog back up.

      • Former Yale psychiatrist says she was fired after Alan Dershowitz complained about anti-Trump tweets

        A formerly Yale-affiliated faculty member says she was unjustly sacked after attorney Alan Dershowitz complained about her tweet that claimed Trump supporters were suffering from a “shared psychosis.”

        Dr. Brandy Lee, a former faculty member in the School of Medicine and Yale Law School, filed a complaint on Monday alleging “unlawful termination” which she says was “due to her exercise of free speech about the dangers of Donald Trump’s presidency.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Lightning Talks: Assange Case – Next Steps

        UK Magistrates Court issued a ruling blocking the US government’s request to extradite Julian Assange. The court ruled that extraditing him would be unsafe and it accepted that the evidence showed a high likelihood that Julian would die if the UK decided to extradite him.

      • Lack of US Action Against Saudi Crown Prince Bemoaned

        The Washington-based Middle East analyst and visiting adjunct professor at George Washington University, who frequently writes on Saudi Arabia, accuses the kingdom of being behind online threats that he says he receives “on a daily basis.”

        He is not alone. Since Khashoggi’s death in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018, multiple exiled activists have reported receiving credible threats to their lives from the kingdom or have been warned by Western governments of potential threats.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ‘The Digital Divide Is a Choice, and It Can Be Ended’
      • Despite A Decade Of Complaints, US Wireless Carriers Continue To Abuse The Word ‘Unlimited’

        Way back in 2007, Verizon was forced to strike an agreement with the New York State Attorney General for falsely marketing data plans with very obvious limits as “unlimited.” For much of the last fifteen years numerous other wireless carriers, like AT&T, have also had their wrists gently slapped for selling “unlimited” wireless service that was anything but. Despite this, there remains no clear indication that the industry has learned much of anything from the punishment and experience. Most of the companies whose wrists were slapped have, unsurprisingly, simply continued on with the behavior.

      • 3 House Bills Would Create New Speed Tiers For Broadband, Dole Out Up to $100 Billion in Funds

        The first bill, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, H.R. 1783, was re-introduced on March 12 by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., and the rural broadband task force. Clyburn has been a long-time advocate for more broadband funding, and the task force, consisting of all House Democrats, was formed with that goal in mind. The bill was also introduced in the Senate by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

        The $100-billion bill includes $80 billion for investment in broadband infrastructure in unserved urban and rural areas, 75 percent of which goes to a national competitive bidding system, and 25 percent to states for separate competitive bidding programs in each state and to unserved anchor institutions, including hospitals and schools with speeds of less than 1 gigabit per 1,000 users. The bill stipulates that the FCC and states must first hold competitive bidding exclusive for bidders offering gigabit symmetrical service.

      • [Old] The Book of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net

        Broken Promises is the third book in a trilogy spanning 18 years. Bruce Kushnick, author, senior telecom analyst and industry insider, lays out, in all of the gory details, how America paid over $400 billion to be the first fully fiber optic-based nation yet ended up 27th in the world for high-speed Internet (40th in upload speeds). But this is only a part of this story.

      • Long range ESP32 Wi-Fi development board promises up to 1.2km range (Crowdfunding)

        WiFi is not really designed for kilometer range transmission, but CNLohr previously demonstrated 1km range with ESP8266, and some directional antennas are sold to expand the WiFi range.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • NFL’s Thursday Night Football Goes Exclusive To Amazon Prime Video

        While denialism over cord-cutting is still somewhat a thing, a vastly larger segment of the public can finally see the writing on the wall. While the cable industry’s first brave tactic in dealing with the cord-cutting issue was to boldly pretend as though it didn’t exist, industry executives more recently realize that there is a bloodbath coming its way. There are few roadblocks that remain for a full on tsunami of cord-cutters and one of the most significant of those is still live sports broadcasting. This, of course, is something I’ve been screaming about on this site for years: the moment that people don’t need to rely on cable television to follow their favorite sports teams live, cable will lose an insane number of subscribers.

    • Monopolies

      • Fending Off Antitrust Push, Tech Giants Now Biggest Spenders on DC Lobbying

        “It’s more important than ever for lawmakers to show their independence and bring these companies to heel.”

      • Patents

        • A Resilient Petticoat

          If you have driven on American highways, then you have seen semi-tractor-trailers with the under-body aerodynamic skirt. I was viscerally disappointed when these first came-out because I have a movie scene lodged in my childhood memory of a Lamborghini driver hiding from the police by driving under a trailer. (Cannonball Run?). I’m over that now. These things are super cool.


          The basic issue for the patentee is that the broadest claims do not include any structural requirements for the resilient strut except that it includes “a longitudinal shape variation.”


          The valid claims were different because they include particular limitations requiring a “‘U’ shaped section” or “concave portions” which was not shown in the prior art asserted in the IPR. The challengers argued for a particular font where the U was more open-box shaped because that was shown in one of the references, but neither the PTAB or Federal Circuit found the arc compelling.

        • How 2020 ANDA litigation played out – and what to expect for 2021

          ANDA cases plummeted, Zydus filed the most applications, and Phillips McLaughlin & Hall and Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell managed the most matters

        • First thoughts: UKIPO makes bold call on AI inventorship

          Anyone with more than a passing interest in new technologies and the law will have received a nice surprise on Tuesday, March 23, when the UKIPO released the results of a three-month consultation on the impact of artificial intelligence on intellectual property.

        • Software Patents

          • Inspire Licensing reexamination request granted

            On March 24, 2021, the USPTO granted Unified’s request for ex parte reexamination, finding substantial questions of patentability for the challenged claims of U.S. Patent 10,005,427, owned and asserted by Inspire Licensing, an NPE and affiliate of IP Edge. The ’427 patent is related to sensors that generate alarms for a vehicle.

      • Copyrights

        • RIAA: Stream-Ripper ‘Yout’ Would Have No Business If Users Could Download From YouTube

          YouTube-ripping service Yout and the RIAA are continuing their legal battle in the United States. Yout believes its service is legal but the RIAA insists that its purpose is to provide users with pirated downloads instead of lawful streams. In its latest response, the RIAA rejects the claim that Yout does little more than a regular browser might, noting that if that was the case, it would have no business.

        • PRS for Music Claims Victory over 1,346 Pirate Sites (Update)

          The British copyright collective “PRS for Music” has shared some intriguing statistics on its anti-piracy efforts over the past few years. Through its in-house anti-piracy system, the group reported millions of pirated URLs, most of which were removed. Sites that failed to comply were referred to the police. According to PRS, its efforts helped to shut down 1,346 infringing sites, although it’s unclear which ones.

EPO Staff Representation Again Warns About Collapse in Patent Quality (Due to Bad Management), Suggests Potential Improvements

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fish bowl

Summary: The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO shares findings about a pilot programme that attempts to correct or reverse an otherwise-worrying trend of declines in European Patent quality, noting that “negative impact on quality was soon observed, resulting in numerous WIPO complaints.”

THE past few years saw several attempts to warn EPO management (clueless politicians, not technical people) that patent quality had fallen. Both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos basically responded by attacking the messengers (e.g. in 2019 under Campinos). At the same time they rebranded illegal patents (such as European software patents) using a bunch of meaningless buzzwords, boosted in part by UN/WIPO. They awarded loads of patents that should have been rejected; and had proper procedures been put in place, the applications wouldn’t have arrived either. They basically invite a whole lot of junk applications; many will be erroneously granted, causing potential legal mayhem and harming the European economy.

“They basically invite a whole lot of junk applications; many will be erroneously granted, causing potential legal mayhem and harming the European economy.”The Central Staff Committee of the EPO has circulated the following paper, which is dated last Friday. “The 2018 reorganisation de-centralised tasks into small teams and demanded that Formalities Officers (FOs) diversify in several procedures,” it noted. “This structure created an artificial situation of understaffing in many FO teams. Many colleagues suffered from demotivation and reported higher stress levels. The current pilot project on centralisation of international phase procedures is an initiative that can improve this situation.”

“The feedback received so far is very promising,” they said, for a change. “A proper evaluation of the outcome of the pilot project together with a transparent timeline and proper planning is a must. This paper gives a first overview of the perception of FOs.”

Remember that this is just a pilot, this isn’t what’s generally happening in the whole Office.

Here’s the full publication:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 19.03.2021
sc21037cp 0.2.1/1.2.1

Centralisation of the Receiving Office (RO) and PCT Chapter II demands
Perceptions of colleagues in the pilot project

In November 2020 a pilot project to centralize the Receiving Office (RO) and PCT Chapter II (for Forms PCT/IPEA/401) was launched.

Before 2018, RO and the PCT Chapter II demands were centralized in The Hague. Many Formalities Officers (FO) working on these procedures considered this to be beneficial for their work. They predicted that there would be a possible loss in quality if the procedures were to be distributed among a large group of (partly newly trained) colleagues in all directorates and all places of employment.

Senior management ignored these warnings and changed the set-up in 2018 so that procedures were indeed decentralized. However, the negative impact on quality was soon observed, resulting in numerous WIPO complaints. One of the objectives of the centralisation pilot project has been to restore quality in the PCT procedures.

Your Staff Representation has now conducted a first survey amongst the participants of this pilot to find out how they assess the new framework under test and to see in particular its impact on quality.

At present, the pilot project includes participants in Munich and The Hague who dedicate from 20% up to 100% of their working time to centralisation. We received feedback from both Team Managers and FOs.

Setup of pilot/enrolment
At the start of the pilot project, the first colleagues who applied described a cumbersome enrolment process, with last-minute changes and with candidates being put on hold. It was perceived as disorganised, with candidates being asked to take ad hoc decisions.

Knowledge consolidation
Working in a pool with experienced colleagues is seen as very beneficial, allowing harmonisation. The exchange of feedback and knowledge, team cooperation and shared

experiences are valued positively. Less experienced participants see the need for additional training and for regular exchange with the experts.

Job satisfaction
Participating in the pilot project contributes positively to job satisfaction. In general, colleagues are able to combine well their pilot work with their work in the directorate and they enjoy the diversification of tasks. The possibility to deepen their procedural knowledge within the pilot is also appreciated.

Colleagues working mostly 100% in the pilot report a major improvement of their wellbeing at work. They feel more comfortable and appreciated in a structure where they can focus on their procedure of expertise.

For these colleagues, the demand for diversification in the FO teams gave a feeling of loss of confidence at work and they would rather not go back to this structure.

Some colleagues report struggling to balance their work between the pilot project and the directorate.

Work distribution
Prior to the pilot project, many FOs were working on RO and PCT Chapter II procedures in the directorates but the number of incoming files varied greatly per FO team. Participants to the pilot report that work distribution was inefficient and created stress among staff, which had a negative impact on quality and wellbeing.

Some colleagues were overloaded with work while others did not have enough files to build and keep up knowledge. In the pilot project, work distribution is better balanced with a reduced team of FOs dedicated to only one procedure. Within a centralized structure, balancing for leave and absences is also easier than in small FO teams with multiple procedures to cover.

The feedback received is promising. The latest quality circle reveals a clear improvement in quality for these procedures. The contact people from WIPO also found it favourable to interact with a smaller team of well-trained interlocutors from the EPO.

Recommendations from participants
Despite the overall positive feedback, there are still some open points and room for improvement as identified by the colleagues.These concerns have already been shared with the pilot team managers:

• Reporting criteria for colleagues working for two teams needs to be clarified. No disadvantage should arise from the new way of working.
• In view of the positive aspects of a centralized structure, some participants were wondering whether a mutual sector mailbox could also be created for the Receiving Section. Recognition of the role of experts should be re-considered (as was the case

before with the LPS). FOs appreciate and value the support provided by (senior)
• Collaboration and harmonization between sectors/clusters need to be fostered. For the time being, the atmosphere is still described as competitive.
• Transparency is a must for such a pilot project. Participants are unsure about the next steps. The project has been extended until further notice. Early communication whether the project will move to a steady state is requested. A constant switch between centralisation and decentralisation of procedures should be avoided in future.

In recent years the work of FOs has been subject to numerous changes, in the teams structure as well as in the workflow and tools. The 2018 reorganisation, which de-centralised tasks into small teams, demanded that FOs diversify in several procedures. This structure created an artificial situation of understaffing in many FO teams. Many colleagues suffered from demotivation and reported higher stress levels. The current pilot project on centralisation of international phase procedures is an initiative that can improve this situation.

Feedback so far received is very promising. A proper evaluation of the outcome of the pilot project together with a transparent timeline and proper planning is a must.

As to creating a proper framework for FOs in general, it is important that management finds a long-term strategy and acknowledges that the expertise and work of FOs contributes as much to the quality of the end-product as does the work of examiners.

A reliable structure for knowledge transfer and succession planning for procedure experts will ensure that quality is maintained and it might offer new career prospects to FOs.

The Central Staff Committee

Useful links about the vacancies:
• http://my.internal.epo.org/portal/private/epo/work/jobmarket/?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/epo/intranet/work/jobmarket/vacant_positions/2020/1594312877350_formalities_officers_in_ocfd_the_hague_or_munich_
• https://epotv.internal.epo.org/portal/recording/0394aad4-d9b8-4e00-95eb-facad59a9c7f

For the time being it remains to be seen what will happen with this pilot. We already saw some highly notorious pilots that reduced patent quality.

No GitHub Petition About Bill Gates Working to Release Epstein From Prison

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Funny how nobody talks about the real scandal anymore

EPO Has Become an Institution of Unbridled Crime, Where Judges Exist Only to Approve the Crimes

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The only ‘crime’ at the EPO is talking about these crimes

Tell me again how Haar is in Munich

Summary: The media is intentionally failing to cover the major blunder associated with kangaroo courts (the EPO absolutely refuses to deal with the subject), but as more facts come out there’s hope that EPO officials will be held accountable; eventually, belatedly

LAST NIGHT we wrote about the EPO‘s reaction to criticism for keeping a kangaroo court. António Campinos is attacking justice just as much as Benoît Battistelli did. Days ago, as it turned out, even the Appeals Committee is all rigged. The reason the Office keeps granting European software patents is that the Office management besieges or controls the panels. This means that any unlawful act can be later approved.

“This means that any unlawful act can be later approved.”Where are European officials? Well, that too has been rigged, so there’s nobody willing to hold the Office accountable for its crimes. The corruption persists and it often seems like nobody cares, certainly not the bribed media (the EPO brags about giving millions of euros to publishers, in exchange for puff pieces).

Kangaroo breakfast: Send it over to us, we'll say it's legal

The silence across Europe (media, politicians etc.) is self-discrediting. One can get the sense or the general feeling that nobody really minds corruption or human rights abuses. That’s how many EPO examiners feel.

Control RisksAt the moment there’s a series in progress about a scandal in Germany. It’s an EPO scandal. It’s bound to make the German government look bad. Given the apathy (e.g. not caring at all about data protection abuses by the EPO), one might get the impression that law enforcement is only selectively applied. The people put in charge of the EPO in Munich are in effect above the law and they’ve even hired firms that have Stasi connections (yes, literal Stasi) to spy on their staff, especially on people who expose EPO corruption.

The situation is, indeed, as grim as it sounds. But the facts are on our side. The cover-up cannot last forever and it’ll all be documented here for weeks to come.

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:24 am by Needs Sunlight

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