04.14.21

Links 14/4/2021: Alpine Releases and X.Org Server 1.20.11 Release (Security)

Posted in News Roundup at 3:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Linux Setup – Göktuğ Kayaalp, Student

        Linux is my main operating system these days. My workstation computer has been running GNU/Linux almost uninterruptedly since 2012, save for a year I—quite happily—used FreeBSD as my main operating system. I originally started playing with Linux as a kid, mostly out of curiosity, but what captivated me and made me a permanent user was how free and open source systems were way more stable and configurable compared to other operating systems, and readily receptive of my (or anyone else’s, for that matter) peculiar use cases and workflows.

    • Server

      • Blog: kube-state-metrics goes v2.0

        kube-state-metrics, a project under the Kubernetes organization, generates Prometheus format metrics based on the current state of the Kubernetes native resources. It does this by listening to the Kubernetes API and gathering information about resources and objects, e.g. Deployments, Pods, Services, and StatefulSets. A full list of resources is available in the documentation of kube-state-metrics.

      • Local Storage: Storage Capacity Tracking, Distributed Provisioning and Generic Ephemeral Volumes hit Beta

        The “generic ephemeral volumes” and “storage capacity tracking” features in Kubernetes are getting promoted to beta in Kubernetes 1.21. Together with the distributed provisioning support in the CSI external-provisioner, development and deployment of Container Storage Interface (CSI) drivers which manage storage locally on a node become a lot easier.

        This blog post explains how such drivers worked before and how these features can be used to make drivers simpler.

        [...]

        The first problem is volume provisioning: it is handled through the Kubernetes control plane. Some component must react to PersistentVolumeClaims (PVCs) and create volumes. Usually, that is handled by a central deployment of the CSI external-provisioner and a CSI driver component that then connects to the storage backplane. But for local storage, there is no such backplane.

        TopoLVM solved this by having its different components communicate with each other through the Kubernetes API server by creating and reacting to custom resources. So although TopoLVM is based on CSI, a standard that is independent of a particular container orchestrator, TopoLVM only works on Kubernetes.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • You can finally run Windows 10 along with Ubuntu Linux on Apple M1 Mac computers

        When Apple switched from Intel to its own ARM-based processors for new Mac computers, some people were dubious that the transition would go smoothly. Well, guess what? Apple did it, folks. The company moved to a new chip type without any major negative issues. In fact, Apple’s M1 chip has been universally praised as being both fast and energy efficient.

        Earlier this year, some people got Linux-based Ubuntu running on the M1 hardware, and that process is getting better all the time. Sadly, owners of M1 Mac computers have been unable to run Windows 10 like they could on older Intel-based Mac machines. Until now, that is. Yes, you can finally run Windows 10 on Apple M1 Mac computers — sort of.

        Why do I say “sort of?” Well, while it is Windows 10, it is the ARM variant, which means it is more limited than the normal x86_64 version. Also, Windows 10 on ARM is not running natively, but using Parallels Desktop 16.5. With that said, Parallels promises the performance to be the same as if it was native.

      • Linux 5.11.14
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.11.14 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.11 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.11.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.11.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.10.30
      • Linux 5.4.112
      • Linux 4.19.187
      • 30 Years of Tux Earns You 30% Discount on all Linux Foundation Training Programs [Ed: They say "TUX turns 30" because they know GNU/Linux is 38 years old...]
      • Linux 5.13 To Allow For OpenBMC Development With A Lower-Cost ASRock Rack Motherboard – Phoronix

        The Linux Foundation’s OpenBMC project to provide an open-source BMC firmware stack is quite exciting for freeing this low-level aspect of servers, but finding a supported motherboard that works well with OpenBMC can be a challenge at this stage. Fortunately, Linux 5.13 is set to support a lower-cost motherboard option in hopes of boosting OpenBMC development/usage.

        Queued into the SoC “for-next” Git tree is support for the baseboard management controller on the ASRock Rack E3C246D4I motherboard.

      • Graphics Stack

        • ROCm AOMP 13.0 Released For OpenMP Offloading To Radeon GPUs – Phoronix

          AOMP 13.0 is out today as the first update to AMD’s Radeon OpenMP offloading compiler since AOMP 11.0 last December.

          AOMP is part of the Radeon Open eCosystem (ROCm) for offloading OpenMP work to AMD GPUs. AOMP is a downstream of the LLVM Clang compiler stack. AMD engineers have been working to upstream their OpenMP offloading patches albeit is a work-in-progress and they churn out new patches faster than what it takes to get reviewed and upstreamed. AOMP is not to be confused with AOCC as AMD’s other LLVM Clang downstream focused on providing the latest CPU compiler optimizations/support.

        • X.Org Server 1.20.11 Released Due To New Security Advisory – Phoronix

          Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative has uncovered another security issue with the X.Org Server.

          Trend Micro security researchers found that shortcomings in the X.Org Server’s X Input extension input validation could ultimately lead to privilege escalation for authorized clients.

          CVE-2021-3472 involves insufficient checks on the lengths of an X Input request could lead to out-of-bounds memory accesses in the X.Org Server. If the X.Org Server is running with privileged rights, this could lead to privilege escalation for authorized X11 clients.

        • xorg-server 1.20.11
        • Mesa 21.1 Squeezes In Improvements For Direct3D 9 (Gallium Nine) – Phoronix

          The feature freeze and code branching for Mesa 21.1 is imminent but last minute feature work continues to pour in. Hitting Mesa Git this morning as the latest activity were some fixes and improvements in Gallium Nine for providing Direct3D 9 support atop Gallium3D drivers to Wine/Windows programs.

          Gallium Nine lead developer Axel Davy saw his various fixes and improvements to this state tracker merged in time for Mesa 21.1. There are various fixes made as a result of running the Address Sanitizer over the code as well as from test compiles using LLVM’s Clang. There are also various game fixes included as part of this broad merge request too. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the games that should be working again with Gallium Nine.

        • Mesa’s Virgl Straps On A Simple Disk Cache – Phoronix

          The “Virgl” virtual 3D GPU project for providing OpenGL (and work-in-progress VirtIO-GPU Vulkan) acceleration within guest virtual machines continues to mature for improving the open-source Linux desktop virtualization stack.

          The latest Virgl addition worth mentioning on the Mesa side is the introduction of a simple disk cache. Stéphane Marchesin of Google has created a simple front-end disk cache for Virgl.

        • NVIDIA 465.24.02 stable driver rolls out for Linux

          Get ready to upgrade your NVIDIA drivers once again, as NVIDIA has today rolled out the 465.24.02 stable driver.

          This is not to be confused with the Vulkan Beta 455.50.12 that rolled out yesterday that’s aimed at developers and serious enthusiasts. This is a stable driver release that you should be okay to upgrade with. Most of this 465.24.02 driver is following on from the 465.19.01 Beta that was released back in March.

        • NVIDIA 465.24.02 Linux Driver Released As Stable

          At the end of March NVIDIA released the 465 beta Linux driver while today has been promoted to stable in the form of the 465.24.02 release.

          The NVIDIA 465.24.02 driver is available today with the NVIDIA RTX A4000/A5000 series support, various new Vulkan extensions now supported, power management improvements, and a variety of bug fixes.

    • Applications

      • Ventoy Bootable USB Creator Adds Persistence Support For Arch Linux And Fedora

        Ventoy, a tool to create a bootable USB drive by simply copying the ISO to the USB, has been updated to version 1.0.40, bringing support for creating persistent USB drives for Fedora and Arch Linux (including ArchMan, ArchBang, BlackArch, etc.).

        Ventoy is available for Microsoft Windows and Linux, and it can create bootable USB drives containing Linux and Windows ISO files.

        You need to install Ventoy to a USB drive, then every time you want to create a bootable USB drive, all you have to do is copy the ISO to the USB. There’s no need to format the USB drive. You can copy as many ISO files as you wish (even combined Windows and Linux ISOs), and when booting from the USB, Ventoy shows a list of available ISO files, allowing you to boot from the one you select.

        What’s more, since you don’t need to format the USB drive, you can continue to use it for other purposes. So you can copy other files to the USB, and it won’t interfere with Ventoy.

      • Display Keystrokes And Mouse Clicks In Screencasts Using KmCaster

        KmCaster is a Java tool for showing the keyboard and mouse events on the screen, useful for teaching / screencasts.
        Using it, every keystroke and mouse click is shown on the screen, so you don’t have to mention what you’re typing when creating a screencast or when teaching students.

        For now, the application only works on X11. Getting it to work on Wayland depends on the JNativeKeyHook library, which is used by KmCaster, getting Wayland support. You can track this here. If you’re looking for an application that shows your keystrokes on the screen which works with Wayland, check out Show Me The Key.

        KmCaster comes with a user interface similar to Key-mon, which hasn’t been updated since 2015. The GUI doesn’t have any options – you just run KmCaster, and you can start using it to show what keyboard keys and mouse buttons you’re pressing. There are various command line options available though (details further down this article).

        There are also plans to add a configuration file, from where you’ll be able to specify the font face and color, on-screen location, and more.

      • 9 Best Email Client Apps for Linux distros such as Ubuntu in 2021

        We already have instant chat applications to run in a browser, however, still, email is the indispensable medium of communication. And that’s why Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, and other such services are so popular. However, the one thing that is common between most email service providers is they all provide a web-based client to let users use their services with the help of the internet and browser. Hence, you cannot surf your email offline until you are not using some Email client that fetches and store emails for offline view. Furthermore, organizations that are using their in-house or cloud-based mail server, their employees, or users also require mail client software to access emails such as Outlook and Thunderbird which are common ones.

        Another thing why Email clients are still the best choice because when it comes to managing email across multiple accounts popular mail service provider’s webmail clients running in the browser usually only support a single email account and do not allow the management of mail accounts from other providers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Remove unused Flatpak Runtimes from Linux

        Flatpak does not remove dependencies such as runtime components after a certain program is removed, this means if the program has been uninstalled the runtime libraries do not uninstall with it.

        This can over time cause massive disk space usage, if you heavily rely on it.

        Step 1. Removing runtime dependencies using the unused flag while running uninstall command.

      • Adam Young: Custom RPMS and meta-rpm

        We are trying to enable the graphics hardware subsystem on the Raspberry Pi 4. This driver lives in mesa. The current Centos mesa.spec file does not enable the V3D Driver we need. Here are the steps I am going through to build the driver and integrate it into the meta-rpm build.

      • Jekyll on Fedora

        Jekyll is a free and open-source static site generator written in Ruby. It is popularly known for being used to power the GitHub Pages service.

        I switched my testing machine to Fedora 34, to test Gnome 40 and to work on some web development projects. In that process I discovered that setting up Jekyll requires more steps to get working on Fedora.

        Step 1. We need to get the dependencies required to get Jekyll working.

      • 6 options for tcpdump you need to know | Enable Sysadmin

        This article is part two in a series covering the great tcpdump utility. You can use this utility to capture network traffic for troubleshooting and analysis (and eavesdropping). Here in part two, I demonstrate capturing and viewing data.

      • What is a Zombie process in Linux?

        You may come across a message that states, “There is 1 zombie process.”.

        You might come across this when logging into your Ubuntu Server via SSH. If you see such a message you don’t have to panic or worry, it is just notifying you. I will explain in depth what this means.

      • Three Linux Commands You Should Never Use – LateWeb.Info

        In this article we are going to cover three commands you should know, but you should never use. Yes Linux is a great tool and gives you great power, but with that great power comes great responsibility. So without further ado lets start.

      • Install Kitty (Terminal Emulator) on Ubuntu

        Kitty is a free and open-source feature rich GPU based terminal emulator developed by Kovid Goyal, the project is being actively maintained with over 130+ contributors.

      • How to use Ansible to send an email using Gmail

        Here’s a brief introductory article that describes how to configure Gmail with Ansible.

        A lot of people use Gmail daily to send and receive mail. The estimated number of global users in 2020 was 1.8 billion. Gmail works on the SMTP protocol over port number 587. In this article, I demonstrate how to configure your SMTP web server and send mail automatically from Ansible and using ansible-vault to secure passwords.

      • How to Create New Files on Linux Using touch

        Every now and then, Linux users feel the need to create a new file on their system. Whether it be for taking notes, writing some code, or simply for file validation during programming, the touch command is the only file creation utility you need.

        Creating files and managing timestamps on Linux is a snap with the touch command. Here in this article, we will discuss the touch command in detail, along with the various functions that can be performed using the tool.

      • How To Install Varnish on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Varnish on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Varnish Cache is a web application accelerator that can be used as a proxy to your Apache webserver. The open-source software sits in front of your webserver to serve web traffic very fast. If you are running multiple servers, Varnish Cache can also be used as a load balancer. It makes your website really fast and accelerates your website performance up to 300 – 1000x (means 80% or 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 Varnish HTTP accelerator 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 Snap Package Manager in Linux Distributions

        If you’re a newbie on Linux, there is a chance that you had faced dependency and repository issues while installing a package on your system. It was hard to find one convenient method to install a package on every major Linux distribution without facing any issues. In the beginning, Canonical started building Snap for only Ubuntu. Later, Snap Package Manager is used widely on other Linux distributions too. You can get compiled versions of applications through Snaps. This provides both CLI and pre-compiled packages for Linux.

      • FreeBSD Install and Review CMatrix Terminal Wallpaper – LateWeb.Info

        CMatrix is a simple command-line utility that shows a scrolling ‘Matrix‘ like screen in a Linux terminal.

      • FreeBSD Install and Review Browsh Terminal Browser – LateWeb.Info

        Browsh is a fully-modern text-based browser. It renders anything that a modern browser can; HTML5, CSS3, JS, video and even WebGL. Its main purpose is to be run on a remote server and accessed via SSH/Mosh or the in-browser HTML service in order to significantly reduce bandwidth and thus both increase browsing speeds and decrease bandwidth costs.

    • Games

      • Release candidate: Godot 3.3 RC 9

        In case you missed the recent news, we decided to change our versioning for Godot 3.x and rename the upcoming version 3.2.4 to Godot 3.3, thereby starting a new stable branch. Check the dedicated blog post for details.

        Here’s another Release Candidate for Godot 3.3! Keeping this post short as there wasn’t much change, just a handful of fixes – refer to the 3.3 RC 7 post for details on new features.

        We’re pretty confident about this candidate (Famous Last Words™) so if no new regression is found, the next build should hopefully be the stable release (yes, we said that for RC8 too)! If you haven’t tried 3.3 RC builds yet, now would be a great time to do it to help us ensure everything upgrades smoothly from 3.2.3 to 3.3.

        As usual, you can try it live with the online version of the Godot editor updated for this release.

      • Relaxed narrative-adventure about a struggling writer Forgotten Fields is out now

        Forgotten Fields from Frostwood Interactive and Dino Digital, a casual and quite relaxing adventure about a struggling writer is out now with Linux support. In Forgotten Fields you assume the role of Sid, as you travel towards your childhood home to say goodbye and try to beat writers block at the same time while working against a deadline.

      • Shell Shuffle offers a different take on tile-matching from the dev of The Caribbean Sail | GamingOnLinux

        Victorian Clambake, developer of the clever The Caribbean Sail has recently released Shell Shuffle into Early Access. A tile-matching puzzle game that does things a little differently. Note: key provided by the developer.

        Like most similar matching puzzle games, the idea is to line up everything how you want it by moving things around. In Shell Shuffle though, you’re not swapping two tiles. Instead, you’re moving entire rows and columns to slot things into place to remove an entire line. When you wipe a line you get a pearl and if you wipe a line of pearls, you get given special power-ups.

      • Metro Exodus from 4A and Deep Silver has officially released for Linux

        While it was playable with the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer, 4A Games and Deep Silver have today officially released Metro Exodus for Linux.

        “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.”

      • Metro Exodus Is Out Now on Steam for Linux

        Metro Exodus is the third installment in the Metro video game trilogy based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novels. It was initially released on February 15th, 2019, only for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Later in 2019, the game was also ported to Google’s Stadia, and a year after on the Amazon Luna cloud gaming service.

        Fast forward to 2021, as of today, April 14th, the game is now playable on Linux and macOS platforms. Users can download and install it right now from Steam, and if you already own it even better because you don’t have to buy it again, it will just appear in your Steam for Linux library like magic.

      • Time-looping narrative adventure Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is out now | GamingOnLinux

        From Devespresso Games, the team behind The Coma series and Vambrace: Cold Soul plus publisher Headup, Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is their latest game out now. It’s something of a time-looping adventure, starting off in modern times as your band tries to hit it big that turns into a weird mash-up of The Wizard of Oz, Brothers Grimm and Groundhog Day.

        [...]

        For anyone who has played The Coma or Vambrace, the overall feel is very similar. They’ve kept the same style and mechanics throughout, with it being another side-scrolling adventure. It’s very much like playing a point and click adventure. As a smaller title, sadly there’s no full voice-over which would have helped pull me in. Even so, that was one of the only downsides of what was an otherwise satisfying and thoroughly weird adventure.

        [...]

        Based in Seoul, South Korea and San Francisco, USA – this is the fourth full title to come from Devespresso Games to Linux so it’s wonderful to see the continued support again as their games are always wonderfully unique.

      • Chris Sawyer’s Locomotion improves further in the open source re-implementation OpenLoco | GamingOnLinux

        OpenLoco continues advancing and bringing Chris Sawyer’s Locomotion another step further to being as great as OpenTTD for Transport Tycoon Deluxe with a new OpenLoco 21.04 release out now.

        While it might be small in number features with the 21.04 release, it does bring a major enhancements with the ability to unlock the FPS by detaching game logic and rendering. This should serve as a good base for improving the performance over time. Additionally there’s now an FPS counter and a tile inspector included.

      • Free Game Wednesday: take a look at the great twin-stick Cecconoid

        Cecconoid, a fantastic twin-stick shooter with small cramped environments where the screen flicks between each section actually released the source code and now you can play free. The source code snapshot on GitHub is a snapshot of the DRM free version of Cecconoid, so it’s unsupported but gives you another great free game to play.

        “The starship Equinox is under attack from Stormlord and his robotic minions, the Exolons! You’re the crew’s only hope. Take your Samurai-1 fighter, find Captain Solomon’s Key, clear the decks of evil robots, and save the Equinox from certain destruction! Cecconoid is an 8-bit inspired, flick-screen, twin-stick-shooter, set in an alternate dimension where the pixels are still chunky, and the bad guys are black and white.”

      • Klabater drops Linux and macOS support for Crossroads Inn | GamingOnLinux

        Crossroads Inn and later Crossroads Inn Anniversary Edition from developer Klabater was crowdfunded in March 2019 and later released in October 2019 and now Klabater are leaving Linux and macOS behind.

        This is one title that’s had a bit of a rough history. At release it was a complete mess, so much so that they later rebranded it to Crossroads Inn Anniversary Edition and it didn’t exactly get much better from there. On Steam it has a Mixed overall score from users, on GOG it’s a low 2.3 / 5 stars and across Metacritic it also has a rather low 59.

      • Spirit Swap is an incredible looking narrative-driven match-3 with seriously good beats | GamingOnLinux

        Spirit Swap: Lofi Beats to Match-3 To (the actual full title – what a mouthful!) is an upcoming action-puzzle game set in a lush, narrative-driven world of witchy demons.

      • Solus Has Resolved Issues with Recent Proton Builds

        A little while ago I pointed that Solus users (at least several, myself included) were experiencing issues to run modern versions of Proton following Proton 5.13 (and the introduction of the new vessel technology with Soldier). In other words, no games actually launched with 5.13 versions of Proton on Solus – you had to manually select an earlier version of Proton in order to keep running the games you wanted. This issue lasted for several months.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Desktop Icons NG – Get some icons onto your Gnome desktop

          Desktop Icons NG is a handy tool. It’s versatile, it comes with a lot of nice options, and it allows people to be efficient. Compared to the original versions, it definitely has more features. A useful, even necessary addition to the Gnome desktop. Ironically, these various third-party bits and pieces actually help Gnome, because without them, I really would have zero reason in using it.

          The extension can benefit from some small improvements, though. It would be nice to save the default layout, so if one changes too much, they can easily go back. Icons spacing is another feature. Icons sorting? Yes please. Finally, I wonder if this extension could allow the creation of new files (of any type) so it’s aligned to what Files does, now that the desktop is a usable workspace. Anyway, not bad at all. I can’t imagine Picard saying not bad at all, so instead here’s a tug on the uniform and a gruff hmm. We’re done. WARP 9.

    • Distributions

      • Makulu LinDoz makes its case that Linux can successfully resemble Windows

        “If you build it, they will come.” That’s been the idea behind every Linux distribution that tries to mimic Windows. Create a distribution that looks like Windows and people will want to use it. The problem with that theory is that Linux is not Windows, and the second end-users attempt to use that operating system, they’ll know it.

        Repeat after me: Linux isn’t Windows. That’s a good thing.

        Linux shouldn’t attempt to be Windows. Linux should be what it is: a flexible, powerful, user-friendly operating system that stands on its own to be something other operating systems cannot be—free and untethered from how a single company believes an operating system should function.

      • New Releases

        • Alpine 3.13.5 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.13.5 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

          This release includes a fix for apk-tools CVE-2021-30139.

        • Alpine 3.10.9, 3.11.11 and 3.12.7 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.10.9, 3.11.11 and 3.12.7 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

          Those releases include fixes for apk-tools CVE-2021-30139.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 13 released: Here is how to upgrade FreeBSD 12 to 13

          The FreeBSD project released FreeBSD version 13. The new version comes with updated software and features for a wild variety of architectures. The latest release provides performance improvements and better support for FreeBSD. One can benefit greatly using an upgraded version of FreeBSD. Let us see what’s new and quickly update FreeBSD 12 to 13 using the CLI.The post FreeBSD 13 released: Here is how to upgrade FreeBSD 12 to 13 appeared first on nixCraft.

        • FreeBSD 13 Released With OpenZFS Support and Performance Boost

          The 13th stable release of FreeBSD is here, with major upgrades including the transition to a new OpenZFS filesystem as well as an upgraded toolchain that aims to unify FreeBSD across all architectures.

          Here, I will be discussing the key highlights of the release but me briefly introduce you to FreeBSD if you do not know about it.

          [...]

          One of its key advantages over Linux is the fact that it is licensed under the BSD license, which is much more permissive than the more commonly used GPL license.

          The BSD license allows modified versions of the OS to be licensed under any license the developer wants, including a proprietary license. This has made it very popular for many large companies to base their software on, with well-known products and services such as OPNsense firewall, Netflix, and Sony’s PS3 and PS4 Operating Systems being based on FreeBSD.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Kevin Fenzi: Ansible and Fedora/EPEL packaging status

          Just thought I would post a current status on ansible packaging in Fedora/EPEL

          ansible 2.9.x (aka, “ansible classic”) continues to be available in EPEL7/EPEL8 and all supported Fedora releases. Odds are most people are just still using this. It does still get security and some small bugfixes, but no big changes or fixes.

          ansible 3.x (aka, “ansible-base 2.10.x + community collections”). I had packaged ansible-base in rawhide/f34, but due to the naming changing and lack of time, I have dropped it. ansible-base is retired now in Fedora and likely never will land there.

          ansible 4.x (aka, “ansible-core 2.11 + community collections”). I have renamed ansible-base to ansible-core in rawhide. Unfortunately, a dep was added on python-packaging, so there’s 6 or so packages to finish packaging up and getting reviewed. The collections are a bit all over the place as people have been submitting them and getting them in. You can find the ansible collections via ‘dnf list ansible-collection\*’. After I get ansible-core in shape, I am going to look at packaging up at least the rest of the collections for 4.x. At that point we could look at dropping ansible-classic (or moving it to ‘ansible-classic’ and shipping ansible-core + community collections as ‘ansible’ 4.x. Note that collections work with both ansible-classic and ansible 4.x.

        • David Rheinsberg: Locating D-Bus Resource Leaks

          With dbus-broker we have introduced the resource-accounting of bus1 into the D-Bus world. We believe it greatly improves and strengthens the resource distribution of the D-Bus messages bus, and we have already found a handful of resource leaks that way. However, it can be a daunting task to solve resource exhaustion bugs, so I decided to describe the steps we took to resolve a recent resource-leak in the openQA package.

        • Enabling modern IT service management actions for ServiceNow with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

          Adopting modern IT service management practices is an important part of a digital transformation strategy. Many businesses depend on ServiceNow to implement modern workflows, and with the Ansible Certified Content Collection for ServiceNow, they can help improve speed, efficiency and consistency.

        • IBM joins Eclipse Adoptium and offers free certified JDKs with Eclipse OpenJ9 – IBM Developer

          IBM is pleased to announce that we are joining the Eclipse Adoptium working group as an enterprise member. IBM is a founding and active member of the AdoptOpenJDK community, which is moving under the stewardship of the Eclipse Foundation to form the Adoptium working group.

          In news this week, Adoptium announced that they will build their own binary called Eclipse Temurin and market and promote a wide variety of JDK releases that are produced by working group members, are certified by the Java SE TCK test suite, and meet its own AQAvit quality criteria. As part of our continuing commitment to Eclipse Adoptium and the Eclipse OpenJ9 Java Virtual Machine, IBM will build and publish Java SE TCK-certified JDK binaries with OpenJ9 at no cost.

          [...]

          As the AdoptOpenJDK community project moves under the stewardship of the Eclipse Foundation to form the Adoptium working group, we look forward to continuing to collaborate with that same community to build JDKs and to help advance the quality for all JDK releases that use the Adoptium infrastructure.

          IBM has already contributed a huge number of our own release tests to the AdoptOpenJDK project, and we are excited by the opportunity to work with others to continue raising the quality of Java release binaries, including the Adoptium project’s new OpenJDK binary called Eclipse Temurin.

        • Fedora Workstation 34 feature focus: Btrfs transparent compression

          The release of Fedora 34 grows ever closer, and with that, some fun new features! A previous feature focus talked about some changes coming to GNOME version 40. This article is going to go a little further under the hood and talk about data compression and transparent compression in btrfs. A term like that may sound scary at first, but less technical users need not be wary. This change is simple to grasp, and will help many Workstation users in several key areas.

        • Is picking the right container base image really that hard?

          Picking the right container base image feels hard for a lot of people. Every major Linux distribution offers a base image. Open source projects for programming languages like Python, Ruby, and Node.js offer their own base images. Many open source projects and vendors also provide their own images for services like MariaDB, Redis, Elastic, and MySQL. While programming languages and services are not technically base images, most people perceive them as such and include them in their analysis when choosing standardized base images.

        • Mandrel: A specialized distribution of GraalVM for Quarkus

          When we first announced Mandrel, we explained why Red Hat needed a downstream distribution of GraalVM. We were most interested in GraalVM’s native image capability, specifically in the context of Quarkus. In this article, we explain what Mandrel is and what it’s not. We’ll introduce some of Mandrel’s technical features and offer a short demonstration of using Mandrel with Quarkus.

        • Using a custom devfile registry and C++ with Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces

          Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces provides teams with predefined workspaces to streamline application development. Out of the box, CodeReady Workspaces supports numerous languages and plugins. However, many organizations want to customize a workspace and make it available to developers across the organization as a standard. In this article, I show you how to use a custom devfile registry to customize a workspace for C++ development. Once that’s done, we will deploy an example application using Docker.

        • OpenStack’s history, community, and 7 of its core projects | Enable Sysadmin

          In this post, I discuss what OpenStack is by examining its history, community, and a few of the core projects that are most frequently installed. I’m not diving into things too deeply as the intent is to do more in-depth articles on each of the services (projects) mentioned here in the future.

          The simplest way to describe OpenStack is that it is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering that’s used for both public and private clouds to manage compute resources. In this article, I review the history behind OpenStack and review some of the larger projects (services) that make it up.

        • How AI helps Overwatch League process 410M data points to build power rankings

          Overwatch is an intense 6v6, network-based, action game that is played by millions of gamers in over 190 countries. The game challenges teams to capture more objectives than their opponents against the backdrop of fantasy cityscapes, using an array of tools and characters. In 2018, Activision Blizzard, the publisher of Overwatch, launched the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, an esports league of professional gamers that represents city-based teams around the world who compete for millions in prize money and Overwatch League supremacy. The simple question we all want answered is, “Who is the best player?” The speed, strategy, and mechanics of the game create complex data combinations that challenge traditional player rankings.

          In 2020, IBM became the official cloud, AI, machine learning, and analytics partner for the Overwatch League. Throughout this multiyear partnership, IBM will engage a global audience in novel ways by bringing AI-based solutions and insights to the league. This same technology can be used within enterprise applications such as banking and healthcare.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • What’s New in Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo? Installation and Impressions

          Ubuntu, the popular Debian-based Linux distribution, is about to unveil its latest release on April 22, 2021. Codenamed Hirsute Hippo, the 21.04 version is expected to launch with multiple enhancements to the previous version.

          While the stable release is a few weeks away, Canonical has provided the public beta ISOs for enthusiasts to get their hands on the latest Ubuntu software prior to the final stable build. Here’s a guide on how you could run Ubuntu 21.04 on your own machine and discover what’s new.

        • Taking control of your Ubuntu desktop

          You may have a lot more control over your Ubuntu desktop than you know. In this post, we’ll look into what you should expect to see by default and how you can change that.

          Most Linux desktops start out charmingly uncluttered. They display a handful of icons on an attractive background. These include shortcuts for launching applications, generally along the left side or bottom of the screen, and maybe another icon or two in the otherwise open area.

          The uncluttered desktop is generally a good thing. You can open folders using your file manager and move around to any group of files that you need to use or update. By changing a setting on Ubuntu (and related distributions), however, you can also set up your system to open with a specified set of files in view – and you don’t have to move them into your Desktop folder to do so.

        • Ubuntu Blog: From lightweight to featherweight: MicroK8s memory optimisation

          If you’re a developer, a DevOps engineer or just a person fascinated by the unprecedented growth of Kubernetes, you’ve probably scratched your head about how to get started. MicroK8s is the simplest way to do so. Canonical’s lightweight Kubernetes distribution started back in 2018 as a quick and simple way for people to consume K8s services and essential tools. In a little over two years, it has matured into a robust tool favoured by developers for efficient workflows, as well as delivering production-grade features for companies building Kubernetes edge and IoT production environments. Optimising Kubernetes for these use cases requires, among other things, some problem-solving around memory consumption for affordable devices of small form factors.

        • Ubuntu Blog: DISA has released the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS STIG benchmark

          The Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIG) are developed by the Defense Information System Agency (DISA) for the U.S. Department of Defense. They are configuration guidelines for hardening systems to improve security. They contain technical guidance which when implemented, locks down software and systems to mitigate malicious attacks.

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 678

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 678 for the week of April 4 – 10, 2021.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Daniel Stenberg: curl 7.76.1 – h2 works again

        I’m happy to once again present a new curl release to the world. This time we decided to cut the release cycle short and do a quick patch release only two weeks since the previous release. The primary reason was the rather annoying and embarrassing HTTP/2 bug. See below for all the details.

      • Daniel Stenberg: talking curl on changelog again

        We have almost a tradition now, me and the duo Jerod and Adam of the Changelog podcast. We talk curl and related stuff every three years. Back in 2015 we started out in episode 153 and we did the second one in episode 299 in 2018.

      • Develop a Linux command-line Tool to Track and Plot Covid-19 Stats

        It’s been over a year and we are still fighting with the pandemic at almost every aspect of our life. Thanks to technology, various tools and mechanisms to track Covid-19 related metrics. This introductory-level tutorial discusses developing one such tool at just Linux command-line, from scratch.

        We will start with introducing the most important parts of the tool – the APIs and the commands. We will be using 2 APIs for our tool – COVID19 API and Quickchart API and 2 key commands – curl and jq. In simple terms, curl command is used for data transfer and jq command to process JSON data.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • FSF India Board Statement

            The recent statement by some members of the wider free software and open source community to RMS re-joining the board of FSF as a member have led to some unnecessary friction in the community. Unfortunately many of the arguments made against him were based on misunderstanding and half truths. More dangerous is concerted attack on RMS vilifying him and trying to isolate him. FSF India condemns this action. There is no freedom more important than freedom of thought and expression.

            We welcome and encourage the efforts of FSF to improve their governance process and hope that the larger free software community will also support them in this process.

            FSF India is an independent and autonomous non-profit organisation. It continues to stand and work for the cause of free software. It is committed to making all its forums and programs inclusive and promoting diversity while standing firm on the ideals set out by the GNU project.

          • FSF India Board Statement On RMS Re-joining The FSF Board

            The Free Software Foundation of India has released a statement in support of Richard Stallman and his return to the FSF’s board. They call the recent attempts at vilifying Richard Stallman “dangerous”.

          • GNU Guix: New Supported Platform: powerpc64le-linux

            This is important because it means that GNU Guix now works on the Talos II, Talos II Lite, and Blackbird mainboards sold by Raptor Computing Systems. This modern, performant hardware uses IBM POWER9 processors, and it is designed to respect your freedom. The Talos II and Talos II Lite have recently received Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification from the FSF, and Raptor Computing Systems is currently pursuing RYF certification for the more affordable Blackbird, too. All of this hardware can run without any non-free code, even the bootloader and firmware. In other words, this is a freedom-friendly hardware platform that aligns well with GNU Guix’s commitment to software freedom.

            How is this any different from existing RYF hardware, you might ask? One reason is performance. The existing RYF laptops, mainboards, and workstations can only really be used with Intel Core Duo or AMD Opteron processors. Those processors were released over 15 years ago. Since then, processor performance has increased drastically. People should not have to choose between performance and freedom, but for many years that is exactly what we were forced to do. However, the POWER9 machines sold by Raptor Computing Systems have changed this: the free software community now has an RYF-certified option that can compete with the performance of modern Intel and AMD systems.

            Although the performance of POWER9 processors is competitive with modern Intel and AMD processors, the real advantage of the Talos II, Talos II Lite, and Blackbird is that they were designed from the start to respect your freedom. Modern processors from both Intel and AMD include back doors over which you are given no control. Even though the back doors can be removed with significant effort on older hardware in some cases, this is an obstacle that nobody should have to overcome just to control their own computer. Many of the existing RYF-certified options (e.g., the venerable Lenovo x200) use hardware that can only be considered RYF-certified after someone has gone through the extra effort of removing those back doors. No such obstacles exist when using the Talos II, Talos II Lite, or Blackbird. In fact, although Intel and AMD both go out of their way to keep you from understanding what is going on in your own computer, Raptor Computing Systems releases all of the software and firmware used in their boards as free software. They even include circuit diagrams when they ship you the machine!

            Compared to the existing options, the Talos II, Talos II Lite, and Blackbird are a breath of fresh air that the free software community really deserves. Raptor Computing Systems’ commitment to software freedom and owner control is an inspiring reminder that it is possible to ship a great product while still respecting the freedom of your customers. And going forward, the future looks bright for the open, royalty-free Power ISA stewarded by the OpenPOWER Foundation, which is now a Linux Foundation project (see also: the same announcement from the OpenPOWER Foundation.

            In the rest of this blog post, we will discuss the steps we took to port Guix to powerpc64le-linux, the issues we encountered, and the steps we can take going forward to further solidify support for this exciting new platform.

            [...]

            Very early in the porting process, there were some other problems that stymied our work.

            First, we actually thought we would try to port to powerpc64-linux (big-endian). However, this did not prove to be any easier than the little-endian port. In addition, other distributions (e.g., Debian and Fedora) have recently dropped their big-endian powerpc64 ports, so the little-endian variant is more likely to be tested and supported in the community. For these reasons, we decided to focus our efforts on the little-endian variant, and so far we haven’t looked back.

            In both the big-endian and little-endian case, we were saddened to discover that the bootstrap binaries are not entirely reproducible. This fact is documented in bug 41669, along with our extensive investigations.

            In short, if you build the bootstrap binaries on two separate machines without using any substitutes, you will find that the derivation which cross-compiles %gcc-static (the bootstrap GCC, version 5.5.0) produces different output on the two systems. However, if you build %gcc-static twice on the same system, it builds reproducibly. This suggests that something in the transitive closure of inputs of %gcc-static is perhaps contributing to its non-reproducibility.

      • Programming/Development

        • 4 tips for context switching in Git

          Anyone who spends a lot of time working with Git will eventually need to do some form of context switching. Sometimes this adds very little overhead to your workflow, but other times, it can be a real pain.

          [...]

          Like with most other Git commands, you need to be inside a repository when issuing this command. Once the worktrees are created, you have isolated work environments. The Git repository tracks where the worktrees live on disk. If Git hooks are already set up in the parent repository, they will also be available in the worktrees.

          Don’t overlook that each worktree uses only a fraction of the parent repository’s disk space. In this case, the worktree requires about one-third of the original’s disk space. This can scale very well. Once your repositories are measured in the gigabytes, you’ll really come to appreciate these savings.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppArmadillo 0.10.4.0.0 on CRAN: New Upstream ‘Plus’

          Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language–and is widely used by (currently) 852 other packages on CRAN.

          This new release brings us the just release Armadillo 10.4.0. Upstream moves at a speed that is a little faster than the cadence CRAN likes. We release RcppArmadillo 0.10.2.2.0 on March 9; and upstream 10.3.0 came out shortly thereafter. We aim to accomodate CRAN with (roughly) monthly (or less frequent) releases) so by the time we were ready 10.4.0 had just come out.

        • Qt Installer Framework 4.1 Released

          Qt Installer Framework (IFW) 4.1 has been released today. We have also released Qt Online Installer 4.1 and Qt Maintenance Tool 4.1, which now use the new IFW.

        • The Qt Company expands offering into quality assurance tools with acquisition of froglogic GmbH

          We are excited to announce that The Qt Company has acquired a long time Qt partner froglogic. froglogic GmbH is a global leader in the software test automation market, providing state-of-the-art solutions to enhance software quality in any industry context. They have been a cornerstone in the Qt ecosystem for a long time, and we are happy to join forces with them and welcome their team in Hamburg & globally joining the Qt team!

        • Qt Creator 4.15 RC1 released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.15 RC1 !

          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.

        • 10 Essential Skills For DevOps Engineers To Have A Successful Career

          DevOps is a mixture of cultural philosophies, processes, and resources that improve an organization’s ability to produce high-volume applications and services. Evolving and raising products at a quicker pace is what DevOps does. Organizations’ ancient package development and infrastructure management processes are mainstream now. The speed provided by DevOps permits companies to serve their customers well and compete with other companies effectively in the market. However, to do well in DevOps’ competitive world, you need to have some special skills. These DevOps skills will help you to boost up your career and become successful in this field.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Reimagining perl5-porters email list for 2021 and beyond

            Let’s examine if in 2021 an email redistribution list, i.e. perl5-porters@ (p5p) is still the best model for collaborating on the perl language. This is a discussion so comment below!

          • Key Perl Core developer quits, says he was bullied for daring to suggest programming language contained ‘cruft’

            On Monday, the Perl Core developer known as Sawyer X announced his intention to leave the three-person Perl Steering Committee, or Council, and the Perl Core group because of what he described as community hostility.

            Sawyer X, who became “pumpking” – manager of the core Perl 5 language – in 2016 when he took over that role from Ricardo Signes, explained his rationale for departing in a post to a Perl discussion list.

            “Due to the continuous abusive behavior by prominent Perl community members and just about anyone else who also feels entitled to harass me (and unfortunately, other Core developers), I am stepping down from the Steering Council, from the Perl security list, and from the Perl Core,” Sawyer said, adding that he is stepping down from the Perl Foundation’s Grants Committee and that he will not be speaking at or attending the next Perl conference.

        • Python

        • Rust

          • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Brainstorming Async Rust’s Shiny Future

            On March 18th, we announced the start of the Async Vision Doc process. Since then, we’ve landed 24 “status quo” stories and we have 4 more stories in open PRs; Ryan Levick and I have also hosted more than ten collaborative writing sessions over the course of the last few weeks, and we have more scheduled for this week.

            [...]

            When writing “shiny future” stories, the goal is to focus on the experience of Rust’s users first and foremost, and not so much on the specific technical details. In fact, you don’t even have to know exactly how the experience will be achieved. We have a few years to figure that out, after all.

          • Using Web Assembly Written in Rust on the Server-Side

            WebAssembly allows you to write code in a low-level programming language such as Rust, that gets compiled into a transportable binary. That binary can then be run on the client-side in the WebAssembly virtual machine that is standard in today’s web browsers. Or, the binary can be used on the server-side, as a component consumed by another programming framework — such as Node.js or Deno.

            WebAssembly combines the efficiency inherent in low-level code programming with the ease of component transportability typically found in Linux containers. The result is a development paradigm specifically geared toward doing computationally intensive work at scale — for example, artificial intelligence and complex machine learning tasks.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.6 Release Fixes Two Potentially Aggravating Bugs

            Apache SpamAssassin is a mature, widely-deployed open-source project that serves as a mail filter to identify spam. SpamAssassin leverages a combination of mail header and text analysis, Bayesian filtering, DNS blocklists, and collaborative filtering databases. SpamAssassin’s flexible modular architecture makes the framework compatible with a wide array of other technologies

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (screen), Debian (clamav, courier-authlib, and tomcat9), Red Hat (thunderbird), SUSE (clamav, glibc, kernel, open-iscsi, opensc, spamassassin, thunderbird, wpa_supplicant, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oem-5.6, nettle, and xorg-server, xorg-server-hwe-16.04, xorg-server-hwe-18.04).

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Senators Ask President to Prioritize Appointment of IP Officials [Ed: Patent extremists funded by the litigation cartel don’t want the rule of law; instead they want patent litigation moles fuelling legal battles at the expense of innovation. Reminder again that blogs that cover patents are in fact funded by the litigation cartel.]

          In a letter sent to President Joseph Biden at the end of March, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, asked the President to “prioritize the appointment of intellectual property officials within the Executive Branch over the coming weeks.”

        • EPO BoA report shows successful 2020, despite COVID impact [Ed: Worthless EPO puff pieces amid illegalities and corruption. World Intellectual Property Review used to do decent work half a decade ago, now it’s firing real journalists, filling up their spaces with stenographers of the EPO’s “Mafia” (what EPO staff calls its management).]
        • James Mellor: “Anti-suit injunctions require judicial restraint” [Ed: JUVE has become a puff pieces factory for the patent litigation cartel]

          JUVE Patent: How did the coronavirus pandemic impact your last few months as an IP barrister?
          James Mellor: Apart from changing how we did trials and hearings, there was very little change to the work. Very early on in the first lockdown, Richard Hacon (presiding judge of the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court) adjourned one trial, but that was due to the witnesses in that case.

          But as soon as that had happened, Colin Birss made it really clear that IP cases were going to continue and that we were going to do everything online. I did a trademark trial in the summer and that was fully-remote. I did the Amazon trial in November/December, and that was fully remote. So while the remote working was a big change, we were very lucky that everything in our jurisdiction just continued.

      • Trademarks

        • Counsel welcome ‘brand-friendly’ strides in China [Ed: They only ask lawyers of very large firms (i.e. representatives of oligarchs) and bother speaking to no other person with stake in the outcome. Guess who funds this site...]

          As a Chinese court hands down another favourable ruling to a Western brand, counsel speculate on whether the future is looking brighter

        • Bad faith, intent of parodic use and trade marks – Swatch successfully appeals ‘ONE MORE THING’ opposition by Apple

          From I-Watch to I-Swatch, ‘Think different’ to ‘Tick Different’, Apple and Swatch have previously clashed over their trade mark applications. This time, Swatch’s international application for ‘ONE MORE THING’ came to appear in the England and Wales High Court (EWHC), where Swatch was able to successfully appeal a so-called “bad faith” opposition filed by Apple.

          This case was unusual in many ways – it didn’t proceed on the ‘conventional’ basis of a bad faith opposition (AKA, submitting that the application had been made by Swatch to ‘block’ Apple from using the mark). Instead, it considered whether intent of parodic use of the mark by Swatch could be found, and if so, whether it would be sufficient to amount to bad faith.

Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC – Benchmarks – Week 2

        This is a weekly blog looking at the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC running Linux.

        This machine was made available by Bargain Hardware. Bargain Hardware retails refurbished servers, workstations, PCs, and laptops to consumers and businesses worldwide. All systems are completely customisable on their website along with a vast offering of clean-pulled, tested components and enterprise replacement parts. They supply machines with a choice of Linux distros: Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora. They even install FreeBSD.

        For this week’s blog, we’ve run a variety of benchmark tests on the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 together with five other systems to put the results into context.

      • Linux PC maker System76 introduces the COSMIC desktop environment, coming to Pop!_OS 21.04

        System76 has been selling Linux laptops and computers since 2005. A few years ago the company introduced its own Linux distribution called Pop!_OS, and now when customers buy a System76 computer they can choose between Pop!_OS and Ubuntu Linux.

      • Pop!_OS Linux Introduces a GNOME-based ‘COSMIC’ Desktop Environment

        Pop!_OS has been my daily driver until I recently switched to Linux Mint to experience Cinnamon.

        If you have used Pop!_OS by System76, you probably know that it is based on Ubuntu releases with LTS and non-LTS editions.

        While I always believed that Pop!_OS does a few things better than Ubuntu, they also announced that they are crafting a separate Desktop Environment ‘COSMIC‘ based on GNOME.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Own Your Mailbox | LINUX Unplugged 401

        Do as we say, not as we do. This week we’re setting off to host our own email. We’ll cover the basics, what’s we’re using, and why.

        Plus an update on Jupiter Broadcasting going independent, community news, and more.

      • mintCast 358.5 – Three Finger Swipes

        1:41 Linux Innards
        29:45 Vibrations from the Ether
        48:25 Check This Out
        1:20:20 Announcements & Outro

        In our Innards section, we cover Gnome 40 and try to keep it RMS-free

        And finally, the feedback and a couple suggestions

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Ceph Pacific 16.2.0 is now available

        Try Ceph Pacific now on Ubuntu to combine the benefits of a unified storage system with a secure and reliable operating system. You can install the Ceph Pacific beta from the OpenStack Wallaby Ubuntu Cloud Archive for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or using the development version of Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo).

      • Understanding the Btrfs file system in Fedora Linux | FOSS Linux

        B-Tree Filesystem (Btrfs) is a copy on write (CoW) filesystem for Linux operating systems. Fedora users got introduced to Btrfs when the Fedora project team made it the default filesystem for Fedora Workstation 33. I hadn’t given Btrfs too much thought despite it being available for Linux for several years. This article will get you up to speed with the Btrfs filesystem and its features like snapshots, subvolumes, and quotas.

        Btrfs

        B-Tree Filesystem (Btrfs) is both a filesystem and a volume manager. It has been under development since 2007, and since then, it has been a part of the Linux kernel. Its developers aim at creating a modern filesystem that can solve the challenges associated with scaling to large storage subsystems. From the Btrfs Manpage, its main features focus on fault tolerance, easy administration, and repair.

      • How To Install Kontact on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Kontact on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Kontact is an integrated solution to your personal information management needs. It combines applications like KMail, KOrganizer, and KAddressBook into a single interface to provide easy access to mail, scheduling, address book, and other PIM functionality. This allows users to handle all their emails, deadlines, and other data in a more organized and efficient manner. Being both highly customizable and secure, Kontact provides users with powerful tools, giving them full control over what to do with their data.

        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 Kontact personal information management 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 Gravit Designer on Ubuntu

        If you want to work with vector graphics files, you can use a nice utility on Ubuntu called Gravit Designer which is a free and complete vector graphics design application.

        Gravit Designer has unmatched precision in any unit ( pixels, mm, cm, etc. ) from creation to export. It offers automatic anchors and layouts designed for pixel-perfect screen layouts, as well as multiple fills / edges, effects, and blending modes, along with shared styles.

      • How to Install and Use locate Command in Linux

        When you are working with the command line in Linux you need to know how to find files quickly. There are few utilities that can get the job done but you should know how to use them and when to use them.

        One among such utility is locate command and in this tutorial, we will walk through how to install locate command if not already installed and see how to use them effectively in Linux.

      • How to Install Tomcat on Ubuntu 20.04 using Ansible

        Apache Tomcat is often used as an application server for strictly web-based applications. It basically executes Java servlets and renders web pages that include JSP coding.

        Manual installation on Tomcat is time-consuming. Using Ansible we can easily automate the installation process.

        In this tutorial we learn how to install Tomcat on Ubuntu 20.04 using Ansible.

      • How to Install NFS Server on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa)

        Originally developed by Sun’s Microsystems, NFS is an acronym for Network File System. It is a distributed protocol that allows a user on a client PC to access shared files from a remote server much the same way they would access files sitting locally on their PC. The NFS protocol provides a convenient way of sharing files across a Local Area Network (LAN). In this guide, we will walk you through the installation of the NFS Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa). We will then demonstrate how you can access files on the server from a client system.

      • How To Install Atom 1.56.0 In Ubuntu / Linux Mint | Tips On UNIX [Ed: But is is controlled by Microsoft]

        Atom is a free, cross-platform, and open-source graphical software that has been designed to act as a hackable text editor and programmer’s editor application that helps the developer to write code without too much hassle.

        Atom editor is built on the Electron framework, which lets developers create modern desktop apps using state-of-the-art Web technologies like HTML5, CSS, Node.js, and JavaScript.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install atom 1.56.0 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 18.04, LinuxMint 20.1, CentOS 8, and Fedora 33

      • How To Install No More Secrets In FreeBSD – LateWeb.Info

        No More Secrets is a command line tool called nms that recreates the famous data decryption effect seen on screen in the 1992 hacker movie Sneakers.

      • 3 essential Linux cheat sheets for productivity

        Linux is famous for its commands. This is partially because nearly everything that Linux does can also be invoked from a terminal, but it’s also that Linux as an operating system is highly modular. Its tools are designed to produce fairly specific results, and when you know a lot about a few commands, you can combine them in interesting ways for useful output. Learning Linux is equal parts learning commands and learning how to string those commands together in interesting combinations.

        With so many Linux commands to learn, though, taking the first step can seem daunting. What command should you learn first? Which commands should you learn well, and which commands require only a passing familiarity? I’ve thought about these questions a lot, and I’m not convinced there’s a universal answer. The “basic” commands are probably the same for anyone…

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • My current Plasma Wayland from git

          However much distress the current scenario and some personal stuff might cause, I’ve really been having fun with my laptop. Running everything on bleeding edge is exciting: kernel 5.12.rc6, openSUSE Tumbleweed with Plasma built daily from master (so openSUSE Krypton), using only the Wayland session, switching entirely to pipewire and so on. I figured I might share what I have set up for those interested, while providing some workarounds and sharing some experiences.

          My general distro of choice (openSUSE) offers quite a few conveniences. YaST, the main “hub” software for managing the system, is a power beast. I learned quite a bit with its sysconfig manager, being able to edit kernel and boot settings, snapshots, journal, network, and update my system is handy.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Shortwave 2.0 Arrives with GTK 4 Port, Slick Mini-Player Mode

          Such as? Well, check out its fancy new GTK4 interface. Yes, Shortwave 2.0 has seen its core UI ported from GTK3 to GTK4. As part of the process “many elements were improved or recreated from scratch” according to lead developer Felix Häcker.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS Dunfell version 2.7 released

          Throughout 2020 and early 2021, the flagship releases of EasyOS were the “Buster series”, built with DEB packages from Debian Buster 10.x. There were also releases of the “Dunfell series”, compiled from source in a port of OpenEmbedded, that took a back-seat.
          Now, EasyOS Dunfell version 2.7 has the driver’s seat and is the flagship release. Almost all of the packages are compiled in a port of OpenEmbedded, with the exception of a few large and difficult-to-cross-compile packages, such as LibreOffice and SeaMonkey — these were compiled in the running EasyOS 2.7 pre-release.
          LibreOffice and SeaMonkey are the latest versions, 7.1.2.2 and 2.53.7. Network management has been enhanced with ModemManager, which NetworkManager Applet and ModemManage GUI are frontends for. NetworkManager Applet is an icon in the systray and ModemManager GUI is in the “Network” menu. The Linux kernel is 5.10.26.
          There have been some significant bug fixes since the previous release of EasyOS, including faster startup of a Linux distribution desktop in a container (without wallpaper corruption), Osmo stability, and the XorgWizard previously causing X not to start.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 13.0 released

          The FreeBSD 13 release is out. It includes a lot of updated software, the removal of a number of GNU tools (including the toolchain), and more, but not WireGuard. See the release notes for the details.

      • Slackware Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Publishes New Ubuntu Linux Kernel Updates to Fix 20 Vulnerabilities

          For Ubuntu 20.10 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS systems running Linux kernel 5.8, the new kernel update fixes CVE-2021-20239, a flaw discovered by Ryota Shiga in Linux kernel’s sockopt BPF hooks that could allow a local attacker to exploit another kernel vulnerability, CVE-2021-20268, a flaw discovered in the BPF verifier, which could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (system crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code, and CVE-2021-3178, a flaw discovered in the NFS implementation, which could allow an attacker to bypass NFS access restrictions.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Ubuntu in the wild – 13th of April 2021

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

        • Telecom AI: a guide for data teams | Ubuntu

          Data is the new oil, and Artificial Intelligence is the way to monetize it. According to an IDC report, Artificial Intelligence (AI), alongside 5G, IoT, and cloud computing, is one of the technologies reshaping the telecom industry. From data-driven decisions to fully automated and self-healing networks, AI developments are accelerating innovation and driving costs of operation down.

        • Security podcast: March

          Welcome to the second post in our series based on the weekly Ubuntu Security Podcast! I am Alex Murray and am a Staff Engineer and the Tech Lead for the Ubuntu Security team at Canonical. Each month, I cover the most interesting security fixes around Ubuntu, as well as an in-depth discussion of the different vulnerabilities that we’ve been addressing. This time we will look into Python updates, have a discussion about 16.04 LTS transitioning into extended security maintenance (ESM) in April and finally, I will cover some open positions within the team!

        • Security at the Edge: hardware accelerated AI-based cybersecurity with Canonical Ubuntu and the BlueField-2 DPU

          During GTC last fall, NVIDIA announced an increased focus on the enterprise datacenter, including their vision of the datacenter-on-a-chip. The three pillars of this new software-defined datacenter include the data processing unit (DPU) along with the CPU and GPU. The NVIDIA BlueField DPU advances SmartNIC technology, which NVIDIA acquired through their Mellanox acquisition in 2020.

          Here at Canonical, we are proud of our long partnership with NVIDIA to provide the best experience to developers and customers on Ubuntu. This work has advanced the state of the art with secure NVIDIA GPU drivers and provisions for GPU pass-through. Our engineering teams collaborate deeply to provide the fastest path to the newest features and the latest patches for critical vulnerabilities. For networking, this has meant partnering with Mellanox (now NVIDIA) engineering to provide not just Ubuntu support but also support for hardware offload going back to the oldest ConnectX devices. In fact, Ubuntu was the first Linux distro enabled on the Bluefield cards back in 2019. Increasingly, Ubuntu, which has long been the operating system of choice for cutting-edge machine learning developers, data scientists, containers and Kubernetes is seeing more enterprise adoption across verticals.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Make your data boss-friendly with this open source tool

        Enterprise Data Analytics (EDA) is a web application that enables access to information through a simple, clear interface.

        After several years of working for Barcelona open source analytics company Jortilles, we realized that the modern world collects data compulsively but there was no easy way for average people to see or interpret that data. There are some powerful open source tools for this purpose, but they are very complex. We couldn’t identify a tool designed to be easy to use by common people with little technical skill.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5a14

            Tor Browser 10.5a14 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Some Humans Ain’t Human
    • Games People Play

      Or I would amuse myself watching a pal in the smoking room light his farts on fire with a Bic lighter, eschewing his dares to do said same, one of the other boys (it was an all-boys school then) comically warned people were known to blow themselves up with this activity. I thought of Charles Fort, who a friend had told me about days previously, and the notion of spontaneous combustion. After I dropped out of the school, my pal would turn me on to a “signed copy” of the I Ching. Wouldn’t you know it, I drew hexagram 56, The Wanderer. I’ve been getting it up the ole yinyang ever since in my travels. Sometimes I feel I should have risked everything with that Bic.

      Anyway, I was thinking about Magister Ludi recently. Got to thinking tThese wise guys get together once a year and play a game with beads that reveals, as they play, esoteric patterns of the world that they themselves are stoicially disinclined to engage in. Know it all think-tankers back at a time when the Canon was still extant, and so they were imbued with the mystical powers that sympathetic magic brings. (You remember Christmas morn as a starry-eyed kid, the radio playing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” Dad snarking that Rudolph the Red Nosed Lush should be driving, getting DIBS: In Search of Self from “Santa”). Postmodernism has dealt such wise guys a vicious backhand blow, and, frankly, nobody really reads Herman Hesse anymore, except me, as far as I know.

    • Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio
    • How ‘Things’ In Fiction Shape the Way We Read

      In the prefurnished apartment where I have spent most of the last year, I am surrounded by things that seem to vibrate strangely with something like life. On my desk, there are three interchangeable coffee mugs and another, for unknown reasons, that is special to me. There is a lamp that came with the apartment, whose bulb needs to be fussed over every time I turn it on. There are my beloved books, some of them dragged with me from apartment to apartment since college, gathering grime and dust on the shelves. There are certain objects of sentimental value—a reproduction of a painting that I bought at a museum last January, which I have propped against the wall. There is an empty plastic bottle of sparkling water, of which I am ashamed, and which will get crushed in next week’s recycling but which will also likely endure in another form like most plastics on the planet. Indeed, much of this stuff may, bizarrely, outlast me. Alternately, like a wine glass I knocked over last week while vacuuming, some of it may get smashed to smithereens.

      Much of our material world is caught somewhere between disposability and permanence. It is not always clear what will last or what won’t; we stumble upon old stuffed animals from childhood that have strangely endured beyond the versions of ourselves that played with them. Or some things have an afterlife in new forms, one guaranteed by recycling or alteration. “Consumer habits shaped by a national ideology of progress and innovation have given rise to a frequently binary relationship to objects: either they persist, archived or curated to help stabilize individual and collective memory and identity, or they are disposable, cast out of sight and out of mind,” writes scholar Sarah Wasserman in her recent book, The Death of Things. “But between these two poles exists a greater number of objects that are neither quite lost nor quite present; neither dead nor alive, they are instead dying, coming to us in an ongoing state of ceasing to be.”

    • Opinion | We Are So Glad You’re Here: A Glimpse of the Good Society at a Hollowed-Out Kmart

      What I saw and felt as I was getting my first jab.

      I got my first shot today, in a sprawling space that used to be a Kmart, in West Orange, NJ. It was moving in some ways that surprised me.

    • Opinion | Investing In Nature Is Essential to Our Shared Future

      Canadian women leaders send an open letter to the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance.

      For over a year the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our health and well-being, our economy and our communities. Low-income and working women, particularly from Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, have borne the brunt not only of job loss in this ‘she’-cession, but of the physical and mental stress fueled by lockdowns and school closures, rising family violence and heavy demands on frontline workers.  

    • Education

      • Graduate Workers Unions At New York’s Two Largest Universities Vote For Strike

        Graduate workers at New York University and Columbia University, the two largest universities in New York City, are in the midst of a contentious labor battle with their administrations to eliminate the economic uncertainty, which has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

        The NYU Graduate Student Organizing Committee, which is affiliated with the United Auto Workers, announced on April 9 that their union members voted overwhelmingly—with 96.4 percent of the vote—to authorize a strike because contract negotiations have dragged on for the past nine months.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Public Health Coalition Urges Biden to Create Vaccine ‘Manufacturing Operation for the World’

        “Vaccine donations alone won’t end the pandemic.”

        A coalition of 66 global health, development, and humanitarian groups on Tuesday urged President Joe Biden to establish a global vaccine manufacturing program to end the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and prepare for future ones.

      • Covid-19 and Commonsense
      • Citing $9 Trillion Cost of Vaccine Inequity, UN Chief Calls for Global Wealth Tax on Pandemic Profiteers

        “Advancing an equitable global response and recovery from the pandemic is putting multilateralism to the test. So far, it is a test we have failed.”

        United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres expressed support Monday for a wealth tax on those whose fortunes soared amid the coronavirus pandemic to tackle global economic inequality.

      • The FDA Did the Right Thing in Pausing the J&J Vaccine

        After more than a year of Covid, everyone on Twitter is an epidemiologist now. Ever since the news broke early Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that states “pause” their Johnson and Johnson vaccine efforts because of evidence that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 had experienced rare blood clots after being vaccinated (one died and another is in critical condition), social media has been swarmed by folks with no medical background who are nonetheless convinced the federal agencies are making a horrible public health mistake. Admittedly, six clotting episodes out of more than 6 million doses delivered looks like a literal one in a million risk. And that made it easy for some would-be experts to proclaim that the regulators are wrong.

        As he tends to do, data journalist Nate Silver cannonballed into the deep end of the pool, with no doubt there to muffle his big splash:

      • Veterans face uphill battle to receive treatment for ‘burn pit’ exposure

        The pits were a common feature at military bases during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a crude answer to the basic logistics problem of how to deal with piles and piles of trash. Everything from electronics and vehicles to human waste was regularly doused in jet fuel and set ablaze, spewing toxic fumes and carcinogens into the air.

        The Department of Defense estimates that roughly 3.5 million service members could have been exposed to burn pits. The Department of Veterans Affairs has denied about 75 percent of veterans’ burn pit claims, including Evans’, because it does not acknowledge a connection between conditions like asthma and cancer to exposure to the flaming garbage piles.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Linux Client for Cisco Webex is Coming Next Month

          Webex is the video conferencing and online meeting tool from Cisco. At present, you can use Webex through a web browser in Linux but soon you would be able to install the Webex application on Linux.

          In a blog post, Cisco revealed the plan to release Webex Linux client in May. There is no set date, just the information that Webex application will have Linux support in May.

        • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, April 2021 Edition
        • Over half of ransomware victims pay the ransom, but only a quarter see their full data returned

          More than half (56%) of ransomware victims paid the ransom to restore access to their data last year, according to a global study of 15,000 consumers conducted by global security company Kaspersky. Yet for 17% of those, paying the ransom did not guarantee the return of stolen data. However, as public awareness of potential cyberthreats grows there is reason for optimism in the fight against ransomware.

        • Where are phishing emails more likely to originate from?

          The country where emails originate and the number of countries they are routed through on the way to their final destination offer important warning signs of phishing attacks.

          For the study, researchers at cloud-enabled security solutions provider Barracuda Networks teamed up with Columbia University researchers.

          They examined the geolocation and network infrastructure across more than two billion emails, including 218,000 phishing emails sent in the month of January 2020.

        • Security

          • Print Friendly & PDF: Full compromise

            I looked into the Print Friendly & PDF browser extension while helping someone figure out an issue they were having. The issue turned out unrelated to the extension, but I already noticed something that looked very odd. A quick investigation later I could confirm a massive vulnerability affecting all of its users (close to 1 million of them). Any website could easily gain complete control of the extension.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Pressure on Biden to End Yemen Blockade Builds With New Letter From Lawmakers

        Rep. Ro Khanna says members of Congress are “assessing” whether a War Powers Resolution is needed to fully end U.S. involvement.

        A bipartisan letter that members of Congress sent Tuesday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken increased growing pressure on the Biden administration to fully end U.S. support for Yemeni suffering and push the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to “lift its obstruction of commercial and humanitarian imports” to the war-torn country.

      • Progressives Welcome ‘Incredibly Encouraging News’ of Planned US Withdrawal From Afghanistan

        “With today’s decision, President Biden recognizes what the people of the United States and Afghanistan have long known: we simply cannot bomb our way to peace.”

        Progressive lawmakers and peace activists on Tuesday welcomed news that President Joe Biden plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, a move that if accompanied by an end to U.S.-led airstrikes would end the longest war in American history. 

      • Nevskaya Manufaktura Russian authorities suspect arson after fire destroys historic St. Petersburg factory

        On April 12, a massive fire broke out at the Nevskaya Manufaktura, a historic factory in St. Petersburg. The blaze spread over a 10,000-square-meter area (more than 107,600 square feet), and the emergency services declared it a “level five” — the hardest type of fire to put out. After 10 hours, firefighters managed to get the blaze under control, though it wasn’t completely extinguished. One firefighter was killed and three others were injured; two of them were hospitalized in serious condition. According to sources in law enforcement, the preliminary assessment is that the fire was caused by arson. The property was handed over for a residential development about a month ago. The authorities have detained both the factory’s director and his deputy in connection with a criminal case for negligence leading to the death of a person.

      • Court Says Two Cops Who Deployed Deadly Force Can Use Florida’s Victims’ Rights Law To Hide Their Names From The Public

        Laws written with good intentions are being used in bad faith by public servants hoping to shield themselves from public scrutiny. Multiple states have passed versions of “Marsy’s Law” — legislation that grants more rights to victims of crime, including blocking the release of personal info under the theory this will protect victims’ privacy and head off abuse and harassment.

      • Progressives Call for Action on the Yemen Blockade

        In early February, President Joe Biden announced that he would end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, where six years of continuous conflict have created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. But progressive members of Congress are growing frustrated with his refusal to push Saudi Arabia to lift its blockade on Yemen, which has recently reached a critical stage and is starving millions. While his pledge represented a significant policy shift, Biden has not yet taken decisive action to alleviate suffering on the ground—or even give members of Congress answers.

        Biden’s promise to end “all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” was celebrated by progressive organizers and lawmakers who had been fighting to stop US military involvement. But questions about what forms of support the United States has cut off and which Trump-era military activities it plans to discontinue in the future remain. Forty-one Democratic lawmakers wrote to the administration asking for clarification on the forms of military, intelligence, and logistical support the United States has previously provided or currently provides, requesting a response by March 25, The Intercept reported. They still haven’t heard back.

      • Senate Dems Tell Biden Returning to Iran Nuclear Deal Should Be a Top Priority

        “Should Iran be willing to return to compliance with the limitations set by the JCPOA, the United States should be willing to rejoin the deal and provide the sanctions relief required under the agreement.”

        Amid critical talks in Vienna, more than two dozen Senate Democrats on Tuesday sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to treat the United States’ return to the Iran nuclear agreement as a top priority.

      • Another treason case Physics professor arrested in Moscow for allegedly passing secrets to a NATO country

        On Tuesday, April 13, a Moscow court remanded theoretical physicist Valery Golubkin in custody on suspicion of treason. Allegedly, he passed information to a NATO country. Golubkin’s arrest comes in connection with a treason case against another scientist — physicist Anatoly Gubanov, who was arrested in December 2020. Though the details of the case remain classified, both professors have denied any guilt.

      • The Biden Administration and the Chaotic Middle East

        Ten years ago, President Barack Obama announced a “pivot” from the Middle East to the Pacific, but there has been no significant change in our force disposition in the Middle East. Russia has stable state-to-state relations throughout the region, but cannot even influence Syrian President Bashar al-Assad whom they saved five years ago.  China makes no attempt to play an influential role in the region, and wisely pursues commercial arrangements such as the major oil deal with Iran in return for long-term investment in Iran’s outdated infrastructure.

        Meanwhile, chaos reigns. Israel’s democracy is deadlocked, facing the possibility of its fifth national election in the past two years.  The most divisive politician in modern Israeli politics—Benjamin Netanyahu—is seeking reelection so that he gains immunity from prosecution of charges that include corruption and breach of trust.  The Hashemite royal family is waging a food fight in full public view, threatening one of the few states that can claim stability over the past twenty years.  When Lawrence of Arabia was referring to the Middle East as a “trap,” he was primarily concerned with Iraq, which President George W. Bush destabilized in 2003 with an invasion based on deceit.  U.S. forces remain in Iraq, where they confront Iranian-backed militia forces.  The U.S. invasion opened a strategic door for Iran’s influence in Iraq.

      • Opinion | The United States as a Mass-Killing Machine

        On this planet of ours, America is the emperor of weaponry.

        By the time you read this piece, it will already be out of date. The reason’s simple enough. No matter what mayhem I describe, with so much all-American weaponry in this world of ours, there’s no way to keep up. Often, despite the headlines that go with mass killings here, there’s almost no way even to know.

      • Biden Wants to Spend Even More on Defense than Trump

        Robert Reich knows a thing or two about federal budgets, and the economist who has served in three presidential administrations says there is something wrong with Joe Biden’s plan to increase Pentagon spending above the levels proposed by former President Trump.

        “The Pentagon already spends: $740,000,000,000 every year, $2,000,000,000 every day, $1,000,000 every minute,” says the former secretary of labor. “The last thing we need is a bigger military budget.”

      • ‘They Stole My Son’s Dad’: Families of Daunte Wright and George Floyd Hold Emotional Press Conference

        The event took place outside the Minneapolis courthouse where former cop Derek Chauvin is on trial for allegedly murdering Floyd last May. 

        Amid the second day of protests over the police killing of Daunte Wright and the continuation of the trial of former Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin—who is accused of murdering George Floyd last May—relatives of the two slain unarmed Black men and their attorney on Tuesday held an emotionally charged press conference outside a downtown Minneapolis courthouse. 

      • Opinion | The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Is the Reform We Need

        Police reforms will never work unless accompanied by and embedded in rebuilding and empowering communities.

        Even as Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd, police 10 miles away fatally shot an African American man, Duante Wright, after pulling him over for an alleged traffic violation.

      • Killed over a Car Air Freshener: Outrage Grows over Police Shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota

        Protests continue in the Minneapolis area after a white police officer shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man, Daunte Wright, during a traffic stop Sunday in the suburb of Brooklyn Center. The deadly shooting took place about 10 miles from where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for killing George Floyd. Just before he was killed, Wright called his mother to say he was being pulled over — allegedly because an air freshener was obscuring his rearview mirror. The Brooklyn Center police chief claims Kimberly Potter, a 26-year police veteran who has served as the police union president for the department, accidentally pulled a gun instead of a Taser. The Star Tribune reports Daunte Wright is the sixth person killed by Brooklyn Center police since 2012. Five of the six have been men of color. “Unfortunately, there has not been a serious attempt to change the phenomenon of driving while Black, which is something that happens to Black people on a routine basis in the Twin Cities and across the state of Minnesota,” says Minneapolis-based civil rights attorney and activist Nekima Levy Armstrong. We also speak with Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who says policing in the United States is as dangerous to Black and Brown people as ever. “They are deadly. They kill Black and Brown people,” says Hussein.

      • Derek Chauvin Trial Breaks Down “Blue Wall of Silence” as Police Officials Testify Against Ex-Cop

        We get the latest on the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd, with Minneapolis-based civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong. She says prosecutors in the case have successfully chipped away at the “blue wall of silence” by getting current police officials to testify against Chauvin. However, she says it’s likely that “the only reason that these officers have testified is because the world is watching.”

      • Headlines April 13, 2021

        In Minnesota, police fired tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades as protesters defied a curfew and took to the streets of the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center for a second straight night. They were demanding justice for Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man shot dead by a police officer during a traffic stop Sunday.

      • “I Felt Hate More Than Anything”: How an Active Duty Airman Tried to Start a Civil War

        It was 2:20 p.m. on June 6, 2020, and Steven Carrillo, a 32-year-old Air Force sergeant who belonged to the anti-government Boogaloo Bois movement, was on the run in the tiny mountain town of Ben Lomond, California.

        With deputy sheriffs closing in, Carrillo texted his brother, Evan, asking him to tell his children he loved them and instructing him to give $50,000 to his fiancée. “I love you bro,” Carrillo signed off. Thinking the text message was a suicide note from a brother with a history of mental health troubles, Evan Carrillo quickly texted back: “Think about the ones you love.”

    • Environment

      • Greenhouse gas levels surge despite slow economy

        The global economy has been hard hit by the Covid pandemic. But greenhouse gas levels have worryingly shot upwards.

      • Scientific American to Use ‘Climate Emergency’ in Magazine’s Future Coverage

        “This idea is not a journalistic fancy,” writes a senior editor. “We are on solid scientific ground.”

        After over 175 years of publishing, Scientific American made a major editorial announcement on Monday: the historic U.S. magazine will officially adopt the term “climate emergency” for its coverage of the human-caused crisis.

      • ‘The Climate Emergency Is Not Coming. It Is Here’: Local Officials Across US Demand Fracking Ban

        “It’s time for our leaders in Washington to tackle the climate crisis now, not later. This means halting fracking and fossil fuel projects, period.”

        More than 375 local and state elected officials from across the United States sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Congress Tuesday urging national leaders to halt all new fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure projects. 

      • European Court Opens Itself up to Climate-Related Human Rights Challenges – DeSmog
      • Opinion | When It Comes to the Climate Crisis, Those Responsible Should Be Held Accountable

        Majority Action, has released a list of 30 corporate directors who are obstacles to climate progress—directors who should be voted out of positions of power to make way for people who are more climate literate. 

        Along with many others, I’ve spent the last four years urging JPMorgan Chase to stop providing financial services to the fossil fuel industry. It’s been no easy task. Since the Paris Agreement was signed, Chase has loaned more than $317 billion to the fossil fuel industry—33% more than any other bank on the planet. Want to build a massive new tar sands pipeline? JPMorgan is your bank. What to build a vast new coal mine? Just give Chase CEO Jamie Dimon a call, he’s your man.

      • How Warming Oceans Are Accelerating the Climate Crisis

        Adapted from an article for the Florida Climate Reporting Network’s project “The Invading Sea,” this article is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

        The climate emergency is bigger than many experts, elected officials, and activists realize. Humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions have overheated Earth’s atmosphere, unleashing punishing heat waves, hurricanes, and other extreme weather—that much is widely understood. The larger problem is that the overheated atmosphere has in turn overheated the oceans, assuring a catastrophic amount of future sea level rise.

      • Opinion | Why the World Needs a Green Social Contract

        The green transformation will have far-reaching socio-economic implications. Action is needed to ensure domestic and international social equity and fairness.

        As a climate policy researcher, I am often asked: what is the biggest obstacle to decarbonisation? My answer has changed profoundly over the last couple of years. Before, I used to point to a complex combination of a lack of cost-competitive green technologies and an absence of political will. Today, I point to something else. Something less tangible, but possibly more challenging: the absence of a green social contract.

      • Over 25 Years, World’s Wealthiest 5% Behind Over One-Third of Global Emissions Growth: Study

        “We have got to cut over-consumption and the best place to start is over-consumption among the polluting elites who contribute by far more than their share of carbon emissions.”

        As world leaders prepare for this November’s United Nations Climate Conference in Scotland, a new report from the Cambridge Sustainability Commission reveals that the world’s wealthiest 5% were responsible for well over a third of all global emissions growth between 1990 and 2015. 

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Bozeman Watershed Logging Project Based on Flawed Assumptions

          Flawed assumptions and science characterize all these state-funded projects. Even though numerous studies have documented that logging/thinning fails to protect homes or reduce fire severity in nearly all instances, the mindless mantra that logging will preclude large fires continues unabated.

          + Most of the acreage burned annually results from a few blazes burning under “extreme” fire weather conditions. Under these conditions, the climatic/weather conditions trump fuels as the primary factor in fire spread.

        • Human Solidarity and Nature Conservation

          We know that the most elementary organisms of proto-life, like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that infects people with the deadly COVID-19 disease, have no purpose beyond the mindless mechanical continuation of their genetic formats, by feeding their metabolisms through parasitism. But, what of more conscious organisms, like: plants, animals, us?

          We humans pride ourselves as presumably having the most highly developed conscious minds of all life-forms on Planet Earth (though very deep ecologists and naturalists disagree with this presumptuousness). From this human-centric point of view, the various levels of consciousness of living organisms are all evolutionary adaptations enhancing the survivability of individuals, to thus enhance the likelihood of the propagation and continuation of their species as environmental conditions change.  

    • Finance

      • Opinion | It’s Time for Corporations to Pay America What They Owe

        Biden and Yellen are taking on the herculean job of cleaning the Augean stables after decades of rampant and growing tax abuse.

        America’s corporate sector owes the rest of the economy big time. And the Biden administration is taking first steps to redress this through long-overdue tax reforms that will help pay for the modernization of infrastructure that businesses—and all of us—need to thrive. 

      • Will a Scorched-Earth Campaign Successfully Invisibilize Toronto’s Homeless Encampments?

        Toronto’s police, fire department, and most other City officials have provided a carefully drawn study in steadfastly looking the other way when it comes to the cause of such fires.

        Jeff, a gaunt, goateed man who had just turned forty-six years old, dealt drugs in the Sanctuary-Hislop encampment.

      • The Trillion Dollar SUV

        Let me spell that out for you: $1,002,300,000,000. At Wall Street’s market closed Friday, according to the billionaire trackers at Forbes, America’s eight richest individuals held over $1 trillion for the first time ever.

        Six of the eight — Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison — each now sit on a personal fortune worth $100 billion or more. But don’t feel bad for the other two, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both of Google. With wealth of $98.6 billion and $95.6 billion respectively, they’re both sitting just a rounding error away from “centi-billionaire” status.

      • A Plea to President Biden to Stop Perpetuating Racist Tax Policy

        Dear President Biden,

        You have pledged to fight to rid our nation of systemic racism. I believe you mean that. But it seems that many in your administration do not. Or perhaps they simply underestimate your resolve.

      • Opinion | Why the Poorest Millionaires Should Stop Worrying About a Wealth Tax

        If you don’t have $20 million or sitting around you can just relax.

        Benjamin Franklin observed that nothing is certain except death and taxes.

      • Lessons From Bessemer: What Amazon’s Union Defeat Means for the American Labor Movement

        When Amazon opened its second fulfillment center in the Baltimore region, in 2018, most anyone driving to it from the city arrived via Dundalk Avenue, which took them past a yellow brick building that was constructed in 1952 to house Local 2609 and 2610 of the United Steelworkers and an adjacent building that opened after Local 2610 moved into its own space.

        By then, the buildings were mostly vacant, because the steel mill whose workers the union had represented had closed, in 2012, after a long, steady decline. The Bethlehem Steel works were once the largest in the world, an industrial sprawl on the Sparrows Point peninsula that employed some 30,000 people, several thousand of whom lived in an adjoining company town. The work had been grueling and frequently treacherous since the mill’s founding, in the 1890s: “Always More Production” was the slogan of Eugene Grace, Bethlehem Steel’s president from 1916 to 1945. And, in the early decades of the 20th century, a disproportionate share of the fruits of the workers’ labor flowed to the top: Grace’s predecessor split his time between a mansion on Riverside Drive, in New York, which with 75 rooms and a dining salon that could seat 250 was the largest residence in the city, and a 1,000-acre, 18-building estate in Pennsylvania, which required a staff of 70 and included a replica of a farming village in Normandy.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Will Biden’s Foreign Policy Sap His Domestic Policy?

        In his first 100 days, President Biden has rolled out elements of his “build back better” domestic reform agenda, including the American Rescue Plan, his $2 trillion infrastructure bill and a family plan soon to come. Simultaneously, he has turbocharged his “ America is back” foreign policy, exchanging insults with Russia and China, striking at Iranian militia camps in Syria, rejoining the Paris climate agreement and more. Both at home and abroad, his initiatives must overcome strong opposition. The larger question is whether the foreign policy will sap the energy, attention and resources needed to rebuild the United States at home.

        The scope of Biden’s domestic ambitions has been a pleasant surprise. The president has called for new industrial policy to address the climate calamity, long overdue investments in infrastructure and housing, fair trade and “ buy American” policies, tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations, bolstering economic rights, and beginning to redress racial inequities.

      • U.S. President Biden proposes summit meeting during call with Putin

        U.S. President Joe Biden spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, April 13.

      • Right-Wing Banker Pulls Off Upset Win in Ecuador Over Leftist Champion

        “Now is a time for reflection,” said Progressive International’s David Adler. “The triumph of lawfare should send a chill through the global community.”

        Following left-wing economist Andrés Arauz’s loss to right-wing former banker Guillermo Lasso in Ecuador’s recent presidential election, Progressive International on Monday argued that the disappointing results reflect the unsettling “triumph of lawfare” and underscore the need for progressive forces of all stripes to unify behind an emancipatory vision in order to “defeat the reactionary right” worldwide.

      • Opinion | The Republican Party Must Be Purged Like the Nazis and Fascists

        It must not be allowed, like the Confederacy was, to live on with its own “lost cause” BS mythology.

        President Joe Biden has largely given up on trying to negotiate anything with Republicans. There’s a good reason for this: the GOP is no longer a legitimate political party.

      • Russian businessmen close to Putin have lost billions of rubles on the winery near his alleged palace

        The winery located near President Vladimir Putin’s alleged “palace” on the Black Sea has cost its owners billions of rubles in losses over the past three years, reports MBX Media.

      • This isn’t a Border Crisis, It’s a Poverty, Violence and Climate Crisis

        Despite their legal rights to apply for asylum, U.S. officials are turning away huge numbers, claiming pandemic restrictions. But thousands of children remain, held in crowded border detention facilities while awaiting transfer to Department of Health and Human Services facilities that are full to bursting.

        The situation is terrible for those children and their families. But dealing with it isn’t rocket science: The government should authorize emergency spending to expand and build new facilities and hire social workers, health care providers, and teachers to care for these kids — along with an expanded team of family reunion workers.

      • The Return of Northern Ireland as the Most Dangerous Open Wound in British Political Life
      • When Prince Philip Became a Monument

        The awardees were justifiably brilliant.  There were the establishment birds of paradise: the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, a man who soporifically charmed; and the Bank of England governor, Mervyn King.  The mad cat mathematician’s contribution was also honoured in the form of string theorist Edward Witten of Princeton. Honorary doctorates in law were also conferred upon educator Charles Vest and writer Njabulo Ndebele. Ahmed Zewail scooped the honorary doctorate in science and novelist Margaret Drabble the honorary doctorate in letters.

        The ceremony was softly coated in formal Latin, the awards themselves granted to the bright and the brightest, the hall acting as a brace of history.  But it was the Duke of Edinburgh who, as ever, managed to cut through what would have otherwise been a stuffy gathering with his immemorial manner.  Cambridge University’s chancellor turned up to preside, and, his cloak train held by the unfortunate subaltern, appeared like a decorated reptile, gown merged with body.

      • GOP Smears DOJ Civil Rights Pick Kristen Clarke in Latest Attack on Voting Rights & Racial Justice

        We look at President Biden’s nomination of Kristen Clarke to become the first Black woman to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the conservative smear campaign against the veteran civil rights lawyer. The far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson has devoted at least five segments to attacking Clarke’s nomination, including baseless accusations of anti-Semitism. Ben Jealous, president of People for the American Way and former president of the NAACP, says “the right-wing attack machine” springs into action whenever Black nominees are up for confirmation. “They make sport, quite frankly, of trying to defame their character, destroy their reputation, and they see women of color as being very vulnerable,” says Jealous. He also addresses the state of police-community relations in the U.S. and efforts to stop police impunity for killing Black people.

      • ‘White Lives Matter’ protests are failing across America. Here’s one big reason why.

        Other critics say deplatforming would drive bad actors underground toward more nefarious watering holes. But evidence shows the opposite: Most simply give up. They are demoralized by the sudden loss of influence and income.

      • Anti-war podcaster harassed by police after criticizing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter

        The tweet that apparently prompted the police visit was a video clip of Ocasio-Cortez in which she provided a tortuously convoluted response to a question on the Israel-Palestine conflict, which bordered on incomprehensible. Wentz described her answer to the question as “incredibly underwhelming” and, as is commonplace on Twitter, tagged the congresswoman.

        [...]

        The fact that either a tweet criticizing Ocasio-Cortez or a tweet in which Wentz was tagged but did not author could lead to police harassment at Wentz’s home has serious implications for the entire working class.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Tennessee Lawmakers Decide Chris Sevier Has Good Ideas, Push His Bill To Compel Speech From Media Outlets

        There’s no freer speech than compelled speech. That’s the conclusion some Tennessee legislators have come to. Sure, they managed to whip up an actual anti-SLAPP law that’s starting to curtail the state’s reputation as a place where anyone can be sued for anything they say… including things they didn’t actually say.

      • Why Would China Censor Oscars Over a Short Doc Nominee? ‘They Are Obviously Afraid,’ Director Says

        Anders Hammer, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary short “Do Not Split,” talks to TheWrap about the Chinese government’s harsh reaction to his film on the 2019 Hong Kong protests.

      • China Orders No Live Oscars After Hong Kong Protest Film Nomination

        China told local media not to broadcast next month’s Oscars ceremony in real time and to play down coverage of the awards, according to people familiar with the matter, after a documentary on the Hong Kong protests was nominated and amid concern over the political views of Best Director contender Chloe Zhao.

        The Communist Party’s propaganda department issued the order to all media outlets, said the people, declining to be identified given the sensitivity of the issue. Outlets were told that Oscars coverage should focus on awards that aren’t seen as controversial, according to the people.

      • Hollywood’s China Problem Unfolds In Ongoing Chloé Zhao Controversy

        The answer is pretty obvious. Beijing’s notoriously sensitive powerbrokers, of course, have already taken note. Disney badly needs access to the Chinese market when it comes to releasing “Eternals,” Zhao’s forthcoming Marvel film. Angered by Zhao’s prior sentiments, Chinese Communist Party sensors could imperil the “Eternals” release, blocking their citizens from interacting with the work of a perceivably hostile artist who left China and found success in the West. The government actually took steps to censor online chatter about Zhao and “Nomadland” in March.

        That means Disney is in damage-control mode, which would explain the missing quote from Filmmaker’s article on Zhao. The publication deleted the quote in February, eight years later, and added a note to say the story had been “edited and condensed after publication.”

      • Is Hong Kong’s Oscars blackout a sign of Beijing’s crackdown on Hollywood?

        Critics fear the move, announced this week, could be part of a broader crackdown on real or perceived critics of the Chinese government. English-language Hong Kong newspaper The Standard suggested that the Oscars ban was also in response to Chinese filmmaker Chloe Zhao’s critical comments about China and her multiple nominations for the awards this year. Zhao’s US drama “Nomadland” is the frontrunner to win the top prize for Best Picture at the Academy Award ceremony next month.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Prison officials declare Navalny’s health satisfactory, but his wife says otherwise

        Two weeks after the start of his prison hunger strike, Alexey Navalny’s health is “satisfactory,” according to Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) officials in Russia’s Vladimir region.

      • Russian oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin wins defamation case against ‘Navalny Live’ host

        A Moscow court has partially satisfied a lawsuit filed by Russian catering mogul Evgeny Prigozhin against opposition politician Vladimir Milov, the host of the YouTube show “Navalny Live.”

      • Right-Wing Attacks on Germany’s Press

        In the former East-German city of Leipzig, on a cold and damp evening of 7 November 2020 everything looked rather ordinary. It was dark but local people came to the rally. They screamed and waved their arms. Bottles became missiles and fireworks exploded. Suddenly, a group of aggressive demonstrators broke through the police line. Right in the middle were newspaper reporters and public broadcast journalists from TV stations.

        Some of these media people pressed their backs against a police car which seemed to offer the only protection. But the journalists were surrounded by the unruly crowd. The right-wing mob gathered. The police were watching as the howling pack across the street. Journalists were insulted and called whores and traitors. They were called liars and fake news mongers, just as Donald Trump did for years. The playbook is the same, the country different. Reporters were shoved, spat at, threatened with lethal injuries and the Hitler salute is shown.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Amazon Vote Shows Why We Need the PRO act
      • The Sweeps Stop Here?

        Whether or not that is the case, something important is happening.  There are new developments every day, so just describing what’s been going on feels like taking a picture of a moving train, but it seems like a good moment to give a little report-back.

        As I describe what’s been going on, I’ll just note first that I don’t mean to be implying that similar kinds of efforts haven’t been ongoing all over the country for a long time — they have.  And even thriving, intersectional rebellions like Tompkins Square Park in New York City in the 1980’s could be crushed, with enough money spent on riot cop overtime.  But what’s happening at Laurelhurst has an energy about it that has many echoes of Tompkins Square.

      • Stand with Haiti! A Call for Solidarity

        Ten years ago on March 18, 2011, former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, his wife and colleague, Mildred Trouillot Aristide, and their two children, returned from forced exile in South Africa. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Port-au-Prince and poured into the courtyard of their home to greet them, seeing in their return a renewal of hope for a democratic and just Haiti.

        In honor of that day and to demonstrate our resolve to support the people’s movement in Haiti, we the undersigned organizations join with Haiti Action Committee to call for a Day of Solidarity With Haiti on March 18, 2021.

      • Farmworkers Need Families, Not Deportation and Exploitation

        Deporting people while bringing in contract farm labor is not new.  In 1954, during the bracero program the U.S. deported 1,074,277 people in the infamous “Operation Wetback, and brought in 309,033 contract workers. ” Two years later 445,197 braceros were brought to work on U.S. farms.

        Farmworkers already living in the U.S. were replaced by contract labor when they demanded higher wages.  Farmworker advocates accused the government of using deportations to create a labor shortage, and force workers and growers into the bracero program. Braceros were abused and cheated, they argued, and deported if they went on strike.

      • How Antidiscrimination Law Fails Black Mothers

        One July night in 2019, Tiffinni Archie felt a stranger’s fingers closing around her throat and woke up screaming. Too scared to fall sleep again, she took a shower and tried to get ready for another day at work. At night, in her dreams, it was always strangers who attacked, chased, and strangled her; by day, it was her supervisor who slapped her on the back and called her the “token African American” at their small police department in Washington state.

        Every day she braced herself for a new attack: Her coworkers wrote a letter to the chief of police accusing her of sleeping with another minority police officer for favors on the job. They accused her of putting her hand on her vagina and then rubbing her coworker’s face. One coworker told her that he had to work twice as hard because “minorities have it easy.” They cruised past her home at night to intimidate her. She lived in fear of what they might do or say to her next.

      • ‘Team Navalny’ members detained in multiple Russian cities over the past two days

        The authorities in multiple Russian cities have detained several members of “Team Navalny” over the past two days. Moreover, on April 12, two employees of the newly opened campaign headquarters in Makhachkala were reported missing. These arrests and disappearances have been accompanied by searches of the Team Navalny headquarters in St. Petersburg and Voronezh, while the campaign office in Murmansk was left with property damage after a break-in.

      • Navalny files lawsuit against prison for withholding his copy of the Quran

        Imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny has filed a lawsuit against Pokrov’s Penal Colony No. 2, where he is serving a 2.5 year sentence, for withholding his copy of the Quran. 

      • Biden’s Supreme Court Commission Is Designed to Fail

        I can distill the Democrats’ decades-long failure to control the Supreme Court into a single concept: Republicans use the nation’s highest court to reward their hard-core voting base; Democrats use it to pacify their moderates. The staunch refusal of establishment Democrats to offer anything more than a token defense of their voters through the court is the reason Democrats are always fighting an asymmetrical war over the third branch of government—and always losing.

        The latest Democratic Party failure is Joe Biden’s Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. Last week, in fulfillment of his campaign promise, Biden announced the composition of an 180-day commission to study expanding the court. Biden’s choices confirm the worst fears court reformers had about the president: He doesn’t want a solution; he wants an excuse to do nothing.

      • Solidarity With the Asian Community

        Check out all installments in the OppArt series.

      • An NDA Was Designed to Keep Me Quiet

        Companies have long used NDAs to prevent competitors from poaching confidential information and good ideas. But they appear to increasingly be used to prevent workers from speaking out about instances of harassment, discrimination or assault they may face on the job.

        During the #MeToo movement, those who came forward to report workplace abuses did so at great personal and legal risk. But it shouldn’t be this way. That is why I’m helping lead the passage of a bill in California that, if signed into law, will allow victims of any kind of workplace discrimination to speak openly about the abuse they experience, regardless of the language in an NDA.

      • Grocery workers died feeding the nation. Now, their families are left to pick up the pieces.

        More than one year after the pandemic first swept across the country, the plight of grocery workers who risked death to keep the country fed has raised questions about retail labor conditions and the responsibility of corporations in worker deaths from the coronavirus. At least 158 grocery workers have died from the virus, with at least 35,100 workers infected or exposed, according to data from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

        Walmart has seen at least 22 store workers die from Covid-19, according to worker-sourced data provided to United For Respect, a nonprofit labor advocacy group. Walmart declined to comment on the number of coronavirus cases among its 1.5 million U.S.-based workers.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • California: Demand Broadband for All

        Take Action

        Tell your Senators to Support S.B. 4

        This is why EFF is part of a coalition of nonprofits, private-sector companies, and local governments in support of  S.B. 4. Authored by California State Senator Lena Gonzalez, the bill would promote construction of the 21 st century infrastructure necessary to finally put a dent in, and eventually close, the digital divide in California.

    • Monopolies

      • Why it’s easier to move country than switch social media

        When we talk about social media monopolies, we focus too much on network effects, and not enough on switching costs. Yes, it’s true that all your friends are already stuck in a Big Tech silo that doesn’t talk to any of the other Big Tech silos. It needn’t be that way: interoperable platforms have existed since the first two Arpanet nodes came online. You can phone anyone with a phone number and email anyone with an email address.

        The reason you can’t talk to Facebook users without having a Facebook account isn’t that it’s technically impossible – it’s that Facebook forbids it. What’s more, Facebook (and its Big Tech rivals) have the law on their side: the once-common practice of making new products that just work with existing ones (like third-party printer ink, or a Mac program that can read Microsoft Office files, or an emulator that can play old games) has been driven to the brink of extinction by Big Tech. They were fine with this kind of “competitive compatibility” when it benefited them, but now that they dominate the digital world, it’s time for it to die.

        To restore competitive compatibility, we would need reform to many laws: software copyright and patents, the anti-circumvention laws that protect digital rights management, and the cybersecurity laws that let companies criminalize violations of their terms of service.

      • Patents

        • Patent Loving Judge Keeps Pissing Off Patent Appeals Court, But Doesn’t Seem To Care Very Much

          You may recall last fall we had an absolutely astounding story about Judge Alan Albright, a former patent litigator, who was appointed as the only judge in the federal district court in Waco. He very, very quickly made it clear that he wanted all patent cases to come to him, turning the Western District of Texas into the new favored home of patent trolls, taking the mantle from East Texas, which has famously been the trolls’ preferred home for over a decade. Albright did things most people inherently recognize no judge should ever do. This includes things like literally going on a publicity tour to convince patent holders and trolls to file patent cases in his court. To this day, he seems to relish the fact that, despite being on the bench for just a little over two years, more than 20% of all patent cases end up on his personal docket.

      • Trademarks

        • Flip-Flop: Nike Now On The Receiving End Of Trademark Threat Over USPS Inspired Sneakers

          Nike finds itself on our pages again. We’re fresh off of the settlement Nike reached with MSCHF over the Lil Nas X “Satan shoes”. That settlement sees MSCHF agreeing to buy back at retail prices 666 modified Nike Air Max 97s after Nike sued over trademark. It could have been an interesting case, bringing in all kinds of questions about resale rights, the First Amendment, ownership of property, and more. Instead, it all ends with a posturing settlement that achieves nearly nothing, since these fought-over shoes have suddenly been moonshot into an even more rare and valuable item than they already were. But, Nike gets its ounce of litigation blood and gets to pretend this is all somehow a victory.

      • Copyrights

        • Google triumphs over Oracle

          Recently the US Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that Google’s use did indeed represent fair use under US law and the long-running case is now finished. Oracle was understandably not pleased, while Google declared the decision to be “a victory for consumers, interoperability and computer science”. The ruling covered 37 Java APIs and 11,500 lines of copyrighted code so it begs the question of just how much you can “reuse” before being culpable. In a separate ruling, the court also vacated a ruling that found the former US president Donald Trump could not block Twitter users, which opens up the question can Twitter block Twitter users? I suspect we will see a lot more on this last ruling in the coming months.

          - They said it would never happen, but in other Java-related news Microsoft has released its own OpenJDK variant with binaries for Java 11 for macOS, Linux and Windows platforms. Microsoft also plans to make the Microsoft Build of OpenJDK the default distribution for Java 11 across Azure-managed services later this year.

          - Going even further back, nearly 30 years in this case, the eons old case of SCO vs Linux has reared up from the almost dead once more. As one source put it “the software zombie court case to end all zombie software court cases has woken from its slumber”. The SCO Group tried from a long time back to get money out of 1,500 companies, without success. IBM was a main target and they ended up paying out a little just to stop the harassment. In more recent times a group called Xinous found some money and are having another go but the word is that they will have even less luck than the SCO Group did back in the day. There is now after all such a thing as Ubuntu for Windows.

        • MSCHF’s ‘Exclusive’ Pirate Bay and Megaupload Email Addresses Sold Out Quickly

          Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF ‘dropped’ a set of exclusive email addresses, featuring The Pirate Bay and Megaupload domains. While these hype domains have nothing to do with the original sites and cost a healthy $250 apiece, they sold like hot cakes. Even the $1,200 box sets, including 4Chan, Heaven’s Gate, and Angelfire addresses, are no longer available.

        • ‘Pirate’ Law Firm Pressured Cooperative Housing Project to Settle Porn ‘Lawsuit’

          Under-fire law firm Njord Law pressured a cooperative housing association to settle a proposed lawsuit, despite none of the parties having any idea who the infringer was. In a clear sign that copyright trolls’ answer to every response is “pay us”, Njord simply kept dropping the settlement amount until paying became the least painful option.

EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 17: Jawohl, Herr Minister!

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 1: How the Bundestag Was (and Continues to be) Misled About EPO Affairs
  2. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 2: Lack of Parliamentary Oversight, Many Questions and Few Answers…
  3. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 3: A “Minor Interpellation” in the German Bundestag
  4. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 4: Parroting the GDPR-Compliance Myth
  5. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 5: The Federal Eagle’s Disconcerting Metamorphosis
  6. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 6: Dr Petri Starts the Ball Rolling…
  7. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 7: Ms Voßhoff Alerts the Bundestag…
  8. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 8: The EPO’s Tweedledum, Raimund Lutz
  9. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 9: A Veritable Virtuoso of Legal Sophistry
  10. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 10: A Faithful Lapdog Despised and Reviled by EPO Staff
  11. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli’s Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli
  12. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 11: The BMJV’s Tweedledee: Dr Christoph Ernst
  13. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 12: A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?
  14. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 13: The Failed Promise of a “Good Governance” Guru…
  15. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 14: The Notorious Revolving Door
  16. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 15: Different Strokes for Different Folks
  17. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 16: An Inimitable Duo
  18. You are here ☞ Jawohl, Herr Minister!

Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst

Summary: A French-German co-production of “Yes, Minister!” starring Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst. Directed by Benoît Battistelli.

As we have seen, the matter of the EPO‘s deficient data protection framework was placed on the agenda [PDF] of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag at its meeting scheduled for 14 October 2015.

“All that remained for Ernst to do was to work the usual EPOnian “copypasta”…”In preparation for this meeting, Christoph Ernst was tasked with drafting the Justice Ministry’s submission to the Legal Affairs Committee.

As explained in the last part, Ernst was assisted in this task by his mentor, Raimund Lutz, EPO Vice-President (and former official of the Justice Ministry), who provided his protégé with a carefully formulated statement of the EPO’s position.

All that remained for Ernst to do was to work the usual EPOnian “copypasta” magic and serve up the result [PDF] in the form of a Memorandum (“Informationsvermerk”) for the Legal Affairs Committee.

Informationsvermerk
Ernst prepared the Justice Ministry’s Memorandum for the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag using the usual EPOnian “copypasta” skills.

In his Memorandum to the Legal Affairs Committee, Ernst parroted the old EPOnian myth about the “close alignment” between the EPO’s data protection framework and European data protection law.

“In his Memorandum to the Legal Affairs Committee, Ernst parroted the old EPOnian myth about the “close alignment” between the EPO’s data protection framework and European data protection law.”The Committee was informed about the EPO’s “relatively high standard of data protection compared to other international organizations” – as if that could be considered a source of comfort!

Ernst also took pains to point out that the establishment of independent external supervision, for example by the European Data Protection Supervisor, would impinge on “the institutional foundations of the EPO” and would require an amendment to the European Patent Convention.

This would in turn necessitate a diplomatic conference of the contracting states which meant that the change desired by the BfDl “could not be implemented easily or quickly”.

When it came to the controversial issue of covert surveillance, Ernst carefully followed the cues provided by Lutz and informed the Committee that “according to the internal law of the EPO, the computer surveillance was lawful and proportionate and did not violate the rights of the person concerned”.

In any case – so the Committee was told – there was no need for concern because anybody who considered that their rights had been violated would have adequate access to “legal protection” via the EPO’s data protection officer – aptly described by Florian Müller of FOSS Patents as a “dictator’s minion” – and via the organisation’s notoriously dysfunctional internal appeal procedures.

Based on these considerations, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag was informed of the BMJV’s opinion that “a regulatory gap is not considered to exist”.

“When it came to the controversial issue of covert surveillance, Ernst carefully followed the cues provided by Lutz…”Finally, Ernst assured the Committee that “the Justice Ministry will continue – both within and outside the Administrative Council – to ensure compliance with high data protection standards”.

For good measure, the Memorandum concludes with another generous serving of humbug about the “Current social situation at the EPO”.

Ernst explained here that “[t]he BMJV is actively working to improve the situation at the EPO and has been instrumental in initiating a renewal of the social dialogue in the Administrative Council, which is to take the form of a trialogue between the EPO President, the staff unions and representatives of the Administrative Council” and he emphasised that “the BMJV conducts many background discussions with all sides and is continuously striving for a fresh start”.

All of this neatly skirts around the elephant in the room, namely that the underlying cause of the social conflict at the EPO was the failure of the Administrative Council – under Ernst’s stewardship – to enforce its authority over the rogue Office President, the latter-day Corsican despot Battistelli.

It seems that Ernst’s “copypasta” Memorandum was enough to persuade the honourable members of the Legal Affairs Committee that everything was fine and dandy in the fairytale land of EPOnia and that there was no need for further action on their part.

The members of the Committee were also told in no uncertain terms that – even if they were inclined to pursue the matter further – the change desired by the BfDl would require a diplomatic conference and for this reason “could not be implemented easily or quickly”.

And so it was that – with the aid and assistance of the head of the EPO’s Directorate of Legal and International Affairs – Christoph Ernst managed to head Ms Voßhoff and her posse off at the pass, thereby averting the “doomsday scenario” of a public exposure of the deficiencies in the organisation’s data protection framework.

“All of this neatly skirts around the elephant in the room, namely that the underlying cause of the social conflict at the EPO was the failure of the Administrative Council – under Ernst’s stewardship – to enforce its authority over the rogue Office President, the latter-day Corsican despot Battistelli.”To the great relief of Team Battistelli the impending threat of external “interference” in the affairs of the autonomous fiefdom of EPOnia had been successfully neutralised and the spectre of a diplomatic conference was banished for the foreseeable future.

Of course no other outcome could have realistically been expected, given that the German Justice Minister at the time in question was Heiko Maas.

In the next part we shall take a closer look at Justice Minister Maas and his relationship with the EPO during the Battistelli era.

Over 1,000 EPO Workers Initiate Legal Challenge Against the EPO’s Attack on Salaries (in Defiance of Assurances Made to Workers Who Relocate to Another Country With Whole Families)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO open letter

Summary: The EPO’s attack on workers and pensioners isn’t going ahead without challenge; while the “Mafia” (what EPO workers call the management) loots the organisation it takes away money from the workers — i.e. from besieged folks who do all the work and face growing workloads during a pandemic

THE Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) is a misnomer or a euphemism for crackdown on patent examiners past and present. The crackdown started with Benoît Battistelli, who in effect began looting the institution. Systematically, undeterred. Nobody holds them accountable for it!

50 Euro“It is hardly surprising that many colleagues and pensioners (at least 1.200 requesters) are now taking legal action against the new Salary Adjustment Procedure,” the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO wrote this month. “We understand from a President’s [António Campinos] letter of 25 March that he intends to reject the requests for review and he is already planning the next step of requesting a test-case procedure at the internal Appeals Committee. In this reply to his letter, we explain why we are currently reluctant to recommend to staff to identify test appellants. However, we are interested in contributing to the proper administration of justice. We would therefore be willing to support a bona fide proposal to the AC leading to a decision that the result of the litigation on the salary adjustment procedure will be applied to all employees and former employees of the EPO as well as their successors in title.”

We’re reproducing the full letter below:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – Room 1081

OPEN LETTER

Reference: sc21044cl
Date: 01.04.2020

Your letter of 25 March 2021 – Legal proceedings on the Salary Adjustment Procedure

Dear Mr Campinos,

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) regrets that you submitted a proposal for a new salary adjustment procedure (CA/19/20) to the Administrative Council (AC) that had not found the consent of the CSC. Although a manageable number of test appellants lodged requests for reviews inter alia against the flawed consultation process on your proposal and against the resulting freeze of salaries and pensions in the second half of 2020, you still decided to submit an adjustment with effect from 1 January 2021 of salaries (CA/66/20) to the AC.

The resulting salaries and pensions are in breach of basic legal principles, such as equal treatment at different places of employment. It is easy to understand1 that the current salary scales do not reflect the coefficients of purchasing power parity in Table 6 attached to the AC decision CA/D 9/20. Furthermore, pensioners are excluded from a periodical settlement and a pay-out of a lump sum after a three-year period, in contradiction to Article 33(2)(c) EPC.

It should therefore not be surprising that many colleagues and pensioners are now taking legal action. The CSC understands from your letter that you intend to reject the requests for review and are already planning the next step of requesting a test-case procedure at the internal Appeals Committee.

The CSC has been open ever since for an agreement on its locus standi so as to

______
1 Employees looking up their basic salary in the table for Belgium (Table 1 attached to CA/D 9/20) and multiplying this value with the coefficient of purchasing power parity for their place of employment (Table 5) will observe a higher salary than on their salary slip (or in Tables 2 to 4).


have an efficient and functioning system for the settlement of disputes. Therefore, overloading the system should definitely be avoided.

You mention in your letter that the Office is willing to apply the final outcome of the legal proceedings regarding the new salary adjustment procedure “to all staff provided they are in the same situation, in fact and law”. The CSC regrets that the wording is even more restrictive than Article 13 of the Rules of the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO allowing an intervention in a complaint if a requestor is “in a situation in fact and in law similar to that of the complainant”. (Emphasis was added to both quotes.) Furthermore, the CSC took note that you recently followed in your negative decision on the NCS for colleagues in the A4(2) grade an opinion of the Appeals Committee reading inter alia that “statements of the President … were not, however, considered to constitute an enforceable and substantive promise made”.

Finally, the CSC cannot see a category of employees or pensioners to whom the final outcome of the legal proceedings would not apply.

In view of the above, the CSC is currently reluctant to recommend to staff to identify test appellants. However, the CSC is interested in contributing to the good administration of justice. The CSC would therefore be willing to support a bona fide proposal to the AC leading to a decision that the result of the litigation on the salary adjustment procedure will be applied to all employees and former employees of the EPO as well as their successors in title.

The CSC would further appreciate if you could exempt the staff from the obligation to exhaust the internal means of appeal by authorising them to challenge a decision directly before the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO2.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

______
2 Such an approach permitted a swift access to court for the employees of the ILO, IOM, ITU, WHO and WIPO, who successfully challenged the adjustment of their salaries in 2018 and who received the Judgments Nos. 4134–4138 already one year later.

Whether speaking rationally to a kakistocracy that shamlessly lies to everyone is going to yield any results… well, that remains to be seen. But at least they make their case clear.

Who is Richard Stallman?

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 2:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Published on April 5, 2021. Reproduced with permission. Licence: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 4.0). Original here.

Things like freedom and the expansion of knowledge are beyond success, beyond the personal. Personal success is not wrong, but it is limited in importance, and once you have enough of it, it is a shame to keep striving for that instead of for truth, beauty, or justice.
—Richard Stallman in Free Software as a Social Movement (Archived), December 18, 2005.


A closeup photo of Richard Stallman speaking.

Richard Stallman

Richard Matthew Stallman, also known as RMS in the free software community, was born in New York in 1953. He is a physicist, computer scientist, philosopher, and a passionate champion for software freedom. He is the founder and leader of the Free Software Movement (often mistakenly referred to as “open source.”[1])

In 1971, while still a student at Harvard, he started working as a programmer at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab (currently, CSAIL.) In 1983, he launched the GNU Project[2] with the goal of building a free software operating system (known today as GNU/Linux.) Soon after that, in January 1984, Stallman quit his job at MIT so that the institution could not claim any rights on his work on GNU (Sam Williams, Free As In Freedom 2.0: Richard Stallman and the Free Software Revolution, 2nd. edition revised by Richard Stallman, pdf, ch.7, p. 102.)

The Free Software Movement was born.

In 1985 Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation to raise funds and provide infrastructure for the development of GNU. The organization was conceived as a non-profit, with him as the president ad honorem (unpaid.)

Around 1991, Stallman was assigned an office at the MIT AI Lab with an unpaid position as a visiting scientist.

The Importance of GNU #gnu

People may have never heard about GNU, but we are using it everyday. Most web servers and mail servers as well as many database servers use GNU. Whenever we check our email or perform a search in the Internet,we are using GNU. GNU is critical software that makes the Internetpossible. It’s somewhat like with cars. Many people own cars and use them daily, but they don’t see the assembly plant. Likewise, many people use programs and web services built upon GNU without noticing what it is.

Richard Stallman’s work in the computing field #rms-work

Stallman’s contributions as a programmer are many. He personally wrote several key components that were essential for the development of the GNU operating system, such as the GNU Debugger (GDB)[9], the GCC[10], and the extensible editor EMACS.[11] For the development of GCC and EMACS he won the ACM Software System Award and the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, respectively.

For pioneering work in the development of the extensible editor EMACS (Editing Macros). (1990)

GCC is a cornerstone of the free (libre) software community. It enabled important software like the GNU/Linux operating system and the Mozilla browser, and has supported hundreds of other software systems that collectively form the foundation of the modern Internet. (2015)

ACM Awards (Archived)

In 1990 Stallman was also awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the “Genius Grant.” (Archived)

In 2013 Stallman was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame under the category of innovators. (Archived)

Richard Stallman has received many other honors and awards during his long career, including a number of honorary doctorates from universities around the world.

Stallman introduced the concept of copyleft[12] and, based on that notion, he wrote the innovative GNU General Public License[13] that guarantees end users the freedom to run, study, share, and modify software. He wrote other licenses that grant the same freedoms for different kinds of works. Today, these licenses are widely used to release free software programs, documentation, and creative works. Wikipedia, for example, was launched under the GNU Free Documentation License.[14]

Richard Stallman’s influence beyond computing #beyond

Stallman’s ideas about software freedom soon expanded beyond computers into the areas of knowledge and culture. The ethical standards that he set for software inspired many of the leaders and participants in the Free Knowledge and Free Culture movements that came later. Wikipedia and Creative Commons, two of the most well-known manifestations of these movements, drew heavily upon the core concepts of freedom promoted by Richard Stallman.

Wikipedia #wikipedia

Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia, concluded that it was of paramount importance to base their project on the four essential software freedoms[15] as defined by Stallman. As stated by Wales (emphasis added):

What is free knowledge? What is a free encyclopedia? The essence is something that anyone who understands free software can immediately grasp. A free encylopedia, or any other free knowledge, can be freely read, without getting permission from anyone. Free knowledge can be freely shared with others. Free knowledge can be adapted to your own needs. And your adapted versions can be freely shared with others.

Jimmy Wales, 2004. (Free Knowledge requires Free Software and Free File Formats) (Archived)

A document first drafted by Richard Stallman in 1998 became an inspiration for Wikipedia:

[...] Richard Stallman’s 1999 article, “The Universal Encyclopedia and Free Learning Resource,” is one of the founding documents of the Wikipedia movement [...]. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “every revolution begins in one man’s mind.” The revolution that uses the technology of networked communication to override the legal and economic barriers that prevent human minds from learning began in Mr. Stallman’s mind.

Eben Moglen, 2009. (Comment in The New York Times) (Archived)

On March 26, 1999, Richard Stallman gave a speech at the SIGCSE 30th Technical Symposium in New Orleans in which he talked about free software and expressed ideas that hinted at the future Creative Commons and Wikipedia. He explicitly called for the development of a Free Universal Encyclopedia as a learning resource available to everyone at no charge. He spoke about the encyclopedia again in an interview after the speech (at 1:25 in the video.)

Creative Commons #creative-commons

Stallman’s GNU licenses were an inspiration for the Creative Commons licenses.

We stole the basic idea from the Free Software Foundation—give away free copyright licenses. [...] The idea (again, stolen from the FSF) was to produce copyright licenses that artists, authors, educators, and researchers could use to announce to the world the freedoms that they want their creative work to carry.

Creative Commons took its idea—give away free copyright licenses—from the Free Software Movement. But the problem we aimed to solve was somewhat different.

Lawrence Lessig, October 2005. (The Story) (Archived) (How it All Began) (Archived)

Apart from CC0, which is a tool for releasing materials into the public domain, today there are six different Creative Commons licenses, but only two of them are free according to the principles of free software: CC-BY and CC-BY-SA; the latter is also a copyleft license.

Personality #personality

Inquisitive Mind #inquisitive

Stallman’s approach in all fields of life is philosophical and scientific, inclined to the inquisitive analysis of ideas and phenomena in search of evidence. For a collection of philosophical articles on the implications of software and computing in society, see Free Sofware, Free Society, Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman.

Fixation with Language #language

He has a keen interest in linguistics, and pays scrupulous attention to the correct use of words.[3] He coins new words[4] and keeps an anti-glossary[5] for words and expressions he avoids. He invents puns and jokes in several languages, even in those he doesn’t speak.

Playfulness #humor

For Stallman, an offspring of the hacker culture, [6] playfulness and humor are important. He frequently shares his inclination to perceive the funny aspect of situations in life, and won’t stop at the prospect of joking even if it involves mocking himself (e.g., his declaration I am a saint in the Church of Emacs.) A variety of jokes, funny poetry, song parodies and cartoons can be found in the humor section of his website.[7] A dedicated directory in the website of the GNU Project hosts a number of jokes by third parties.[8]

Dancing is another of Stallman’s interests, which he did professionally as a young man. Last time he was seen dancing was in 2007, dancing at MIT with a group of students. (mp4).

Biography #biography

A biography by Sam Williams, Free As In Freedom 2.0: Richard Stallman and the Free Software Revolution, which was revised by Richard Stallman, is an invaluable source of information for those who would like to get a better picture of Stallman’s personality and background. It narrates Stallman’s early years, depicting his unique personality with amusing stories and anecdotes, including statements by his mother, references to a girlfriend, Stallman as a child at school, his adventures and work as a young hacker at the AI Lab, and more.

Speeches #speeches

Numerous videos and audio recordings of Stallman’s speeches around the world on several topics are available at audio-video.gnu.org.

Resignation #resignation

Richard Stallman continues to be the head of the GNU Project (the “Chief GNUisance”, in the jargon of the community) to this day. However, in September 2019, he resigned from both MIT and the FSF. Why did he resign?


References and Notes

  1. Open Source Misses the Point
  2. Initial announcement of the GNU Project.
  3. The GNU Project’s list of Words to Avoid (or Use with Care).
  4. Richard Stallman’s glossary of new words.
  5. Richard Stallman’s anti-glossary.
  6. Hacker culture, Wikipedia.
  7. Humor section of Richard Stallman’s website.
  8. Fun section of the GNU Project’s website.
  9. GNU Debugger (GDB)
  10. GCC
  11. EMACS
  12. What is Copyleft?
  13. GNU General Public License.
  14. GNU Free Documentation License.
  15. Free software definition.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:36 am by Needs Sunlight

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