04.23.21

Links 23/4/2021: Flatseal 1.7.0, DragonFly BSD 6.0.0 RC, Chrome 91 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Have you ever racked a server?

        I am by no means an IT ‘graybeard’. I have been doing this kind of work for about nine years now and have been with a few different companies/environments in that time. One thing that hit me the other day is that I haven’t put my hands on hardware in any real capacity since transitioning into the civilian workforce. When I was at EMC, we had a few stacks that we used for training, but my job was 95% software-focused, so it was more about knowing where certain parts were located on the server.

      • Kubernetes 1.21: Metrics Stability hits GA

        Kubernetes 1.21 marks the graduation of the metrics stability framework and along with it, the first officially supported stable metrics. Not only do stable metrics come with supportability guarantees, the metrics stability framework brings escape hatches that you can use if you encounter problematic metrics.

    • Kernel Space

      • [Old] Kernel Devs: Closed Source Modules ‘Harmful and Undesirable’

        We, the undersigned Linux kernel developers, consider any closed-source Linux kernel module or driver to be harmful and undesirable. We have repeatedly found them to be detrimental to Linux users, businesses, and the greater Linux ecosystem. Such modules negate the openness, stability, flexibility, and maintainability of the Linux development model and shut their users off from the expertise of the Linux community. Vendors that provide closed-source kernel modules force their customers to give up key Linux advantages or choose new vendors. Therefore, in order to take full advantage of the cost savings and shared support benefits open source has to offer, we urge vendors to adopt a policy of supporting their customers on Linux with open-source kernel code.

      • [Old] Stop the Blob?

        So, as far as I think it’s good that the attention of general open source public has been, hopefully, turned to the the problem named blob (and I think it’s better late than never), stating more or less officially that the problem exists and is “harmful and undesirable” will not make it disappear. So, what are you — the community — going to do about it?

      • The University of Minnesota has been banned from Linux development for deliberately introducing vulnerabilities

        Curious what has happened this week in the world of Linux development. The University of Minnesota has been banned from Linux development by introduce vulnerabilities on purpose. The reason is a research work being carried out by Qiushi Wu (PhD student) and Kangjie Lu (Assistant Professor) on the feasibility of sneaking vulnerabilities into open source software.

      • Linux bans University of Minnesota for committing malicious code

        In a rare, groundbreaking decision, Linux kernel project maintainers have imposed a ban on the University of Minnesota (UMN) from contributing to the open-source Linux project.

        The move comes after a group of UMN researchers were caught submitting a series of malicious code commits, or patches that deliberately introduced security vulnerabilities in the official Linux codebase, as a part of their research activities.

        Additionally, the Linux kernel project maintainers have decided to revert any and all code commits that were ever submitted from an @umn.edu email addresses.

    • Applications

      • Tuner – radio station player

        Internet radio (also known as web radio, net radio, streaming radio, and online radio) is a digital audio service transmitted via the Internet.

        Why do we like internet radio? There’s no sign-up or subscription charges. There’s a huge range of stations available from around the world. If you like classical music, pop music, folk music, news, talk radio, and much more, internet radio has something for everyone wherever you live (providing you have a net connection). Internet radio offers every format that is available on traditional broadcast radio stations.

        Tuner is billed as a minimalist radio station player. This program saw its first release in June 2020. The open source program is written in Vala. It offers access to a huge range of stations as it taps into the radio-browser.info catalog, a community driven project with an open API which collates internet radio and TV stations.

        We’ve previously covered a fair number of dedicated internet radio streamers for Linux. To date, our favorite open source app is Shortwave, a Rust based tool that also uses the radio-browser.info community database.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How I use OBS Studio to record videos for my YouTube channel | Opensource.com

        I manage a YouTube channel for the FreeDOS Project, where I record “how-to” videos with FreeDOS running inside the QEMU PC emulator software. When I started the channel in August 2019, I didn’t know anything about recording videos. But with Open Broadcaster Software, also called OBS Studio, I’ve found recording these videos to be pretty straightforward. Here’s how you can do it, too.

      • How to Set or Change Hostname in Debian Linux

        Setting up hostname is an important task for any system administrator or anyone who uses Linux. It is tedious to remember a machine by IP address. Hostname helps humans to remember the machine name easily.

        In this article, you will learn how to set or change the system hostname in the Debian machine. This procedure is well situated for any Debian flavors of Linux machine you run with.

      • How to Install Joomla on Ubuntu 20.04/18.04

        When it comes to creating websites, one of the easiest ways to have your site up and running is using a CMS (content management system) that usually comes with bundled PHP code and all themes and plugins you need.

        Apart from WordPress, the other popular CMS is Joomla. Joomla is a free and open-source CMS that is built on PHP and stores its data on an SQL-based database engine on the backend.

        In this article, you will learn how to install Joomla on Ubuntu 20.04/18.04 and newer Ubuntu releases.

      • How To Install NTP Server on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install NTP Server on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, NTP or Network Time Protocol is a protocol that is used to synchronize all system clocks in a network to use the same time. Chrony is an implementation of the Network Time Protocol (NTP). Chrony commonly synchronizes a computer to Internet time servers or other sources, such as a radio or satellite receiver or telephone modem service. It can also be used as a time source/server for client systems.

        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 NTP Server on an AlmaLinux 8.

      • Getting Started With Markdown [Beginner’s Guide]

        In my work, I often have to write code, write the documentation that goes with that code, create Web pages, and work on text restoration projects, and have written several formal papers while I was in school. I can include class notes here, too; I needed to write them for nearly every class.

        I use Markdown for nearly all of my writing and it is a major time-saver for me.

        In this article, I am going to share my experience with Markdown.

      • Df Command in Linux

        The df command is used to display disk space usage of Linux filesystems as a whole. It displays the amount of disk space used and available on the mounted filesystems.

        Whereas, du command is used display disk space used files and directories on the filesystem.

        This tutorial shows how to use df command to check disk space usage in Linux.

      • Show Lines Before and After Match via Grep – Linux Hint

        Grep has been used widely in Linux systems when working on some files, searching for some specific pattern, and many more. This time, we are using the grep command to display the lines before and after the matched keyword used in some specific file. For this purpose, we will be using the “-A”, “-B” and, “-C” flag throughout our tutorial guide. So, you have to perform each step for better understanding. Make sure you have Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system installed.

        Firstly, you have to open your Linux command-line terminal to start working on grep. You are currently at the Home directory of your Ubuntu system right after the command-line terminal has been opened. So, try to list all the files and folders in the home directory of your Linux system using the below ls command, and you will get all. You can see, we have some text files and some folders listed in it.

      • How Do You Grep Case Sensitive? – Linux Hint

        Global regular expression print is a versatile and powerful feature of Linux. It helps in finding words and phrases in the file such that the grep keyword is used to obtain the desired functionality. Grep is used to obtain data not only from direct searching in the text but also from directories as well, by applying the commands on it. It searches the respective data and modifies them by removing the extra space between the text, obtaining line numbers, and excluding terms from the data. The simplest feature of grep is to handle case sensitivity. Grep is case-sensitive by default hence it shows the perceptibility of both upper and lower cases in the file. This feature helps in getting the required output by removing the discrimination of the case which can all be done on the main page of grep.

      • How Do I Ignore Blank Lines in Grep? – Linux Hint

        Grep stands for Global Regular Expression Print. It has many functionalities, i.e., searching in a file, searching only names of a file, grep recursively, etc. Grep is considered a powerful command in the searching sector. In many cases, we face situations where we don’t need spaces, or there is a need to remove unwanted gaps in our data. One of the most interesting ways of using grep is to ignore or remove blank lines from the text file. This procedure is accomplished through different examples. It is an operation of file editing. To undergo this purpose, we need to have existing files in our system. Through the grep command, we allow it to print data without blank lines.

      • How Do I Use Grep to Search a File on Linux? – Linux Hint

        Grep is a versatile command that allows sorting input by following complex rules and regulations. It is a powerful command in a Linux environment. It is not for searching files directly on your system. It shows the file names that indicate the particular part of the string that matches your part present in the search query. In the proceeding article, we will explain some examples to let you understand searching with the help of Grep.

      • How Do I Change My Username in Linux? – Linux Hint

        Linux operating system is capable of handling more than one user at a time. So, we must apply check and balance on all users of the system and their relevant details so that integrity is maintained. All information is saved in a way to reduce redundancy in data. Whenever we add a user, all information is saved in “/etc/passwd”. To change the username in Linux, you must have a user in the system. We will see in this article how the username is changed. If already user is not present, we will create a user and then modify it. Our article will cover three main aspects related to username modification and identity.

      • How to Use OneDrive on Linux [Ed: Sending one's files to Microsoft seems unnecessary if not foolish]

        Cloud storage is a very secure and efficient way to store data. Cost-effectiveness and scalability make it quite useful. Cloud storage is so advantageous that every tech company offers it, such as Apple, Google, and Amazon. Similarly, Microsoft offers OneDrive, a cloud storage service to store any type of data online, that can be accessed and shared anytime from anywhere.

      • How to Install Microsoft Teams on Debian 10 [Ed: Again, not a good idea at all]
      • Getting Started with Manjaro Linux Part-I – Linux Hint

        As a rolling release distribution, Manjaor Linux continuously rolls out updated software versions. Even though it’s an Arch Linux derivative, they differ in the context of targeted audience and goals. Arch Linux is a bleeding-edge software operating system aimed at technically sound users. Manjaro updates go through layers of testing to provide a comparatively stable, fast, and lightweight system for users. That is, the packages don’t come out as fast as in Arch Linux.

        Hence, Manjaro uses its official repository to get the latest updates. Another main reason for a separate repository is that Manjaro maintains its own system packages like hardware detection memory, among many others.

        However, users can access new software packages via an unofficial repository. To get started, we will learn about Manjaro’s official and unofficial repositories, how they are maintained, and how to install, update, and remove required packages via these repositories.

      • How to Make Disk Images in Linux with DD Command – Linux Hint

        Whenever it comes to wiping, backing up, or restoring Linux files, you have few tools. Although there is one alternative that still works, regardless of the Linux distribution you’re using, and that is the DD command. Creating an image of a partition or cloning a complete hard disk drive are simply the acts of making a copy of the whole disk or partition, and it is very simple with the dd command. The DD command is good for cloning disks, backups, and restoration, among other things. In this guide, we will see how to make a disk image using the DD command. Make sure you have the Ubuntu Linux system installed.

        DD circumvents this by making an identical replica of the whole hard drive or partitions. So if you recover this backup, your machine will be restored to its original state. You’ll regain access to your folders, games, browser history, and sometimes even device settings. We’ll want another drive with more capacity than the one we’re cloning to replicate your drive. There would most probably be a big hard drive for this purpose.

      • Network Configuration in Manjaro – Linux Hint

        As the Manjaro kernel boots up the machine, its Network Manager automatically connects to the DHCP server via the enabled network interface. It then provides the client with the IP address, subnet mask, lease time, DNS server, gateway, and other details.

        If the machine works as an Apache server, it must be easily accessible to the clients via a static IP address. Besides, as a precaution, users also have to protect the machine from unnecessary access from outside the network. This demands the need to set the network interfaces manually via Manjaro Network Manager or through commands and configuration files.

        In this article, we learn to configure the network interface via GUI and CLI manually. We also simplify the Unrestricted Firewall (ufw) configuration process for new users as a precautionary step after Manjaro installation.

      • Troubleshooting Error: Usermod: A Process Currently Uses User – Linux Hint

        Sometimes, while using any Linux distribution, most of the users got the Error: “user is currently used by process”. This error could have occurred while changing the username or deleting a user. One of the reasons behind this error is that the user has been deleting or changing a user’s name while logging in. If you are looking for solutions for this particular error, this tutorial is for you. Make sure you have any of the Linux distribution installed on your system. In our case, it’s Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system.

      • Optimize and Monitor Your Linux System’s Performance With Stacer

        As time passes by, operating systems tend to become sluggish if not updated and maintained properly. Although Linux devices perform slightly better when compared to Windows in the long run, minor degradation in performance of both the operating systems is inevitable.

        This is generally due to the accumulation of unwanted cache, startup programs, an excessive number of running processes, and junk files that you no longer need.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Flatseal 1.7.0

          A big new release of Flatseal is out! It took a bit longer, due to that little Portfolio detour, but it finally happened. This release introduces some subtle improvements to the UI, along with one major new feature; initial support for Portals.

        • Geary Email Client Is Now Ready for GNOME 40 with Fresh New Look, Improved Performance

          Geary 40 is here for fans of the lightweight and modern email client, not only adding support for the GNOME 40 desktop environment, but also bringing a visual refresh that consist of an updated user interface and app icon to make you emailing experience more enjoyable.

          This release also adds support for half-screen, portrait and small displays, making it the ideal email client for various Linux-powered phones and tablets, an updated full-text search engine, improved server compatibility, improved performance when displaying large conversations, and improved keyboard shortcuts.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Tumbleweed Gamers Get Updates of Mesa, Pentobi

          Gamers using openSUSE Tumbleweed have at least two package updates in the rolling release that enhanced performance on their system and offer new features.

          Both the 3D Graphics Library Mesa and computer opponent package Pentobi each landed in a separate snapshot. There have been four Tumbleweed snapshots released so far this week.

          Snapshot 20210420 brought in nearly a dozen package updates, which included an update of GNU Compiler Collection 10.3.0. The updated GCC disabled the Parallel Thread Execution, nvptx, offloading for AArch64 and ffmpeg-4 4.4 improved AV1 support and it monochrome encoding. A couple YaST packages were updated. More specifically, the update of yast2-installation to 4.4.4 removed some system directory conflicts and made some changes to the spec-cleaner. Other packages to update in the snapshot were CPU balancer irqbalance 1.8.0, kdenetwork-filesharing 20.12.3 and rpm 4.16.1.3.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Sustainable economic development begins with open thinking

          To be successful, open organizations must have specific purposes, address achievable goals, perform clear tasks, effectively evaluate the results of their work, and introduce countermeasures or revisions to their operations. Open organization principles serve vital functions throughout this process.

        • Solving the mystery of hanging character set conversions in glibc’s iconv utility

          Website visitors don’t typically consider character encoding and conversion when accessing digital content. However, engineers have been dealing with conversion issues since users started transferring strings from one computer to another. Today, when more than 95 percent of all web pages use UTF-8, converting data between character sets might seem less relevant. However, it continues to be useful when dealing with legacy data and systems, or with languages where multiple character sets are comparably popular.

          For example, using EUC-KR is not unusual on Korean websites because it is more efficient for Korean text. A search engine that indexes Korean sites needs to be able to convert between EUC-KR and UTF-8 to perform the relevant string comparisons.

          The iconv programming interface provided by POSIX, implemented by its namesake utility program, converts textual data from one character encoding to another. As an engineer on the Red Hat Platform Tools team, I was tasked with finding and fixing bugs reported in the GNU C Library (glibc) iconv utility. In this article, I discuss my experiences with fuzzing iconv and fixing bugs in the iconv front end.

        • Integrate Red Hat Data Grid and Red Hat’s single sign-on technology on Red Hat OpenShift

          Using Red Hat Data Grid as an external cache for Red Hat’s single sign-on technology makes it possible for Data Grid to store data independent of the application layer. This way, Data Grid provides application elasticity, failover across data centers, and a reduced memory footprint.

          The most common use case for this combination is cross-datacenter replication mode, where Red Hat’s single sign-on (SSO) technology uses Data Grid to replicate data between data centers.

          To back up data across sites in an xPaaS environment such as Red Hat OpenShift, the recommended approach is to deploy Data Grid using the Data Grid Operator.

          This article offers quick instructions for getting Red Hat Data Grid 8.1.1 working with Red Hat’s single sign-on technology version 7.4.5. The article does not use a full cross-datacenter setup; just a Data Grid server and an SSO client running on OpenShift. We will use the Hot Rod protocol for communication, with both authentication and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) enabled.

        • Valgrind Memcheck: Different ways to lose your memory

          Memcheck tracks all memory reads, writes, allocations, and deallocations in a C or C++ program. The tool can detect many different memory errors. For instance, it detects reads or writes before or after allocated memory blocks. It warns about the use of (partially) undefined values in conditional code or passing such values to system calls. It will also notify you about bad or double deallocation of memory blocks. But for now, we will discuss memory leak detection with Memcheck.

        • Home automation: Running Home Assistant with Podman

          Smart devices surround us and the long list of devices that come ready to connect to the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing longer every day. For example, the popularity of smart light bulbs has risen rapidly over the past few years, and the market is continuing to grow, so much so that it is predicted to be “the fastest-growing smart home device over the next five years.” While a few big names in the field dominate the market, there are many smaller competitors joining the fray and offering up cheaper alternatives with even more features. This is great for competition, but it raises one serious concern and a situation that many sysadmins are all too familiar with—an integration nightmare.

          The problem is that each manufacturer tends to provide its own in-built and closed source solution to controlling their devices—usually in the form of a mobile app. But what happens when you decide to buy a new device from a different manufacturer than the one you have already integrated into your home automation? Chances are you’ll end up having to use multiple apps to control the devices, and let’s not begin talking about how to get them working together in some kind of automated fashion. There are cloud services available to help work around this issue, providing a means for creating applications and automation for controlling devices from various manufacturers. Such services offer a great platform for kickstarting your journey into smart device automation, but these services tend to operate with a paid subscription or on very limited “freemium” models, and you’ll find yourself becoming ever more reliant on this cloud-based service.

        • Fedora Magazine: Contribute at the Fedora 34 CoreOS Test Day

          The Fedora CoreOS team released the first Fedora CoreOS next stream based on Fedora 34. They expect to promote this to the testing stream in two weeks, on the usual schedule. As a result, the Fedora CoreOS and QA teams have organized a test week. It begins Monday, April 26, 2021 and runs through the end of the week. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 Bullseye Installer Release Candidate Switches to Linux 5.10 LTS, Adds Many Improvements

          Coming four months after the last Alpha milestone, the Release Candidate (RC) of the Debian Bullseye Installer is here to bump kernel support from Linux 5.9 to the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, which I think it will be the final kernel that Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” will ship with.

          Of course, this change alone brings better hardware support, but the Debian Installer Bullseye Release Candidate also adds support for several single-board computers, such as the Banana Pi BPI-M2-Ultra, Banana Pi BPI-M3, Orange Pi One Plus, ROCK Pi 4a, ROCK Pi 4b, and ROCK Pi 4c, as well as support for the Rockchip RK3399 processor found in numerous devices.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical and Microsoft get cosier with Active Directory integration in Ubuntu 21.04

          Canonical’s love-in with Microsoft has continued apace with the arrival of Ubuntu 21.04, replete with Active Directory integration. Optimisations for Microsoft’s SQL Server are also inbound.

          As if to ram the point home, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth said: “Native Active Directory integration and certified Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu are top priorities for our enterprise customers.”

          What those beloved enterprises will make of something called “Hirsute Hippo” is anyone’s guess and, since 21.04 is not a Long Term Support (LTS) emission, we’re not sure how many corporates will be lining up. Last year’s 20.04 LTS will likely reign supreme until next year’s 22.04 emerges.

        • NextCloud is Currently Broken in Ubuntu 21.04, But a Fix is Coming

          NextCloud users mulling an upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 might want to hold off for a few days, as the NextCloud available in the Ubuntu archives is currently broken.

          And we’re talking “totally fails to start at all” broken here, which, for a “personal cloud” service isn’t exactly ideal!

          The good news is that a fix is on the way.

          An updated NextCloud package that works as intended on Ubuntu 21.04 landed in the hirsute-proposed repository roughly three minutes after I hit the ‘new post’ button. Now that’s what I call efficient!

          If you already made the leap to Hirsute you have a few choices. You can wait for the bug-fix to filter down through the regular update channel (not firm ETA for that as things need to be tested).

        • Kubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Released

          The Kubuntu Team is happy to announce that Kubuntu 21.04 LTS has been released, featuring the ‘beautiful’ KDE Plasma 5.21: simple by default, powerful when needed.

          Codenamed “Hirsute Hippo”, Kubuntu 21.04 continues our tradition of giving you Friendly Computing by integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

          The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

          Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 5.11-based kernel, KDE Frameworks 5.80, KDE Plasma 5.21 and KDE Release Service Applications 20.12.3

        • Ubuntu Studio 21.04 Released

          The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu Studio 21.04, code-named “Hirsute Hippo”. This marks Ubuntu Studio’s 29th release. This release is a regular release, and as such it is supported for nine months until January 2022.

          Since it’s just out, you may experience some issues, so you might want to wait a bit before upgrading. Please see the release notes for a complete list of changes and known issues.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Official Flavors Bring Latest Desktop Tech. Download Now

          All the official Ubuntu flavors bring their own version based on the Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo release. We give you a quick glance at the new updates for all the flavors.

        • Ubuntu Linux 21.04 arrives with Wayland graphics, updated system theme, and more

          Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions, and it serves as the base for countless other desktop operating systems, like Linux Mint and Elementary OS. There are two major releases of Ubuntu each year, and right on schedule, Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’ has just been released.

          Ubuntu 21.04 is not a Long-Term Support (LTS) release, so it will only be updated for the next nine months. If you don’t want to upgrade regularly or prefer stability over new features, Ubuntu 20.04 is the current LTS release and will receive updates until April 2025. Some changes in this new update, like improved enterprise performance, have been backported to 20.04.

        • Canonical have announced the release of Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo)

          Canonical have announced the latest release of Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo).

          I’ve respun the desktop ISO using my ‘isorespin.sh‘ script and created ISOs suitable for Intel Atom and Intel Apollo Lake devices…

        • Ubuntu Server 21.04: What’s new?

          Ubuntu Server 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) brings significant improvements to automation and stability fronts with new extensions to the Ubuntu Server Live Installer and phased updates in the Advanced Package Tool (APT). In addition, the latest development cycle includes improved enterprise applications availability with native support for Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL) Server on Ubuntu 20.04 long-term support (LTS) and new Hardware Enablement (HWE) advanced networking stack for all LTS Ubuntu versions. Canonical will provide support for Ubuntu Server 21.04 until January 2022. All new features will be available in the upcoming Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS release.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome 91: Handwriting Recognition, WebXR Plane Detection and More

            Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 91 is beta as of April 22, 2021.

          • Chrome 91 Beta Brings Experimental WebTransport, WebAssembly SIMD By Default

            Following last week’s release of Chrome 90, Google on Thursday debuted their beta of next month’s Chrome 91 web browser.

            Exciting with Chrome 91 is WebTransport being added as an experimental origin trial. WebTransport is a new protocol framework / standard for communicating with a remote server using a secure multiplexed transport method. WebTransport is an alternative to WebSockets and provides an API for bi-directional traffic using UDP-like datagrams.

      • CMS

        • Top Content Management System (CMS) Based on Python

          Content management systems (CMS) provide desktop or web-based software to manage your digital content. The term “digital content” here typically refers to public or private websites, web-applications or other digital / media content served over remote or local servers. Without having a proper CMS, it may become difficult to create, manage, and organize content for your web-based projects, especially if your project is very large, you publish a lot of content, and regularly collaborate with others.

          In its most common form, a CMS provides graphical utilities that run in web browsers, though some command line and desktop applications exist as well. These graphical utilities may include an admin panel, page / post editors, gallery editors, tools for uploading and downloading media, tools for managing user accounts, comments, payments, forms, SEO tools, URL management tools, database management tools and interface for modifying almost every aspect of your website / web application. Many pre-made but highly extensible CMS exist that provide numerous tools to manage your digital content, e.g. WordPress (PHP based). Some enterprises develop their own private CMS from scratch meant to be used within organization only and these CMS are never made public. This article lists popular free and open source CMS software based on the Python programming language.

      • FSF

        • [Older] Justice for Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman

          Stallman employed his great skills to campaign for software freedom and digital rights (especially privacy) and developed free/libre software while living a modest life, when his computer-science peers accumulated enormous wealth. He has been preaching software freedom and digital rights since the early 1970s and strictly adheres to this moral code2.

          Since at least September 2019, Richard Stallman has been the object of an Internet defamatory campaign that forced him to resign from his position at MIT and even from the FSF that he founded and led—he resigned as President and as member of the board of directors3. On the second day (March 21) of LibrePlanet 2021, 18 months after his resignation, Stallman announced he was back on the FSF board of directors (not as President). This has reignited the controversy.

          The campaign is motivated by mischaracterizations, disproportionality and intolerance.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • trapped in the technologist factory

            By introducing abstraction into every problem we solve, we distance ourselves from how our work is ultimately used. We tell ourselves we’re in the business of building sharp knives; if we made them safer, they’d be useless for everything except spreading butter. We float above the the effects of what we’ve created, treating them as inexorable consequences of progress.

            It’s true we can’t encode our values into general-purpose software,10 but we’re not simply atomized technologists, and our worlds are not bounded by the interfaces we expose. We share a collective responsibility for what we create, and are capable of collectively acting on that responsibility.

            But what does a belief in collective responsibility mean, in practical terms? What actions does it entail? Honestly, I don’t know. All I know is that we can’t stay under the streetlamp forever. At some point, we’ll have to see what’s out there in the dark.

      • Programming/Development

        • drat 0.2.0: Now with ‘docs/’

          A new release of drat arrived on CRAN today. This is the first release in a few months (with the last release in July of last year) and it (finally) makes the leap to supporting docs/ in the main branch as we are all so tired of the gh-pages branch. We also have new vignettes, new (and very shiny) documentation and refreshed vignettes!

          drat stands for drat R Archive Template, and helps with easy-to-create and easy-to-use repositories for R packages. Since its inception in early 2015 it has found reasonably widespread adoption among R users because repositories with marked releases is the better way to distribute code. See below for a few custom reference examples.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • [Old] An Economic Basis for Open Standards

        Rishab Ghosh created the term FLOSS in 2000 as the acronym for an EU-funded project at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands. He leads FLOSSPOLS, a follow-on project at the University’s MERIT institute, which has included the world’s largest survey of government use of free software and a paper on the economics of technology, arguing for a definition of open standards based on their economic effect, “Free/Libre and Open Source Software: Policy Support – FLOSSPOLS, Open Standards and Interoperability Report.”

        The paper explains why open standards matter to competition, why standards must allow all possible competitors to operate on a basis of equal access to the ability to implement the standard and states that in most software markets, where FLOSS provides significant competition, open standards are only open if they allow equal access to FLOSS products. The study looked at the economic effects of procurement policies and how they can get in the way of competition, and the paper provides some guidelines for effective policy.

        When Rishab told me about the paper, I asked if he’d be willing to collect some highlights from it for Groklaw. What follows is the executive summary of this paper, and the excerpts he prepared for Groklaw. The full report is available on the FLOSSPOLS website at http://flosspols.org/deliverables.php

  • Leftovers

    • Captive Markets Are Just Hostages; Or Why Your McDonalds Never Seems To Have A Functioning Shake Machine

      McDonald’s shake/ice cream machines are notoriously flaky. The most common response to requests for ice cream are sullen statements that the machine is down. It’s so much a part of popular culture, an enterprising individual crafted a bot that lets people know which machines are up and which machines are going to be a waste of their time.

    • Platforms Like Canvas Play Fast and Loose With Students’ Data

      In 2018, Rutgers University made a move that hundreds of other universities before it had made: It switched its online learning platform from Sakai—a free, community-sourced system—to Canvas, which is owned by a company called Instructure.

      The switch was significant: Now the university was paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for a product that didn’t have to be transparent about what it did with the information and data it was mining from its users. Such systems are constantly recording users’ interactions with it—how long it takes a student to complete an assignment, for example, or her deleted words and keystrokes, and users’ IP addresses.

    • Education

      • Universities can’t rely on early adopters to drive transformation

        Instead of relying on individual innovators and early adopters to bring people along, we need a whole-institution approach that supports people to try technologies in ways that will not have a detrimental effect on students or cause humiliation if they go wrong. Within this, we need to allow space for department-level experimentation, growth and communities of practice. We need to build relationships that do more than follow up on experimental moments but also harness mentoring and collaborative working to explore what might work better next time – pedagogically as well as technologically (even if the answer is to go back to an analogue approach).

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | The Great Forgetting: Why We Forget Epidemics and Why This One Must Be Remembered

        This is the first pandemic in which the Internet enabled us to bear witness not only to the panic, illness, and deaths around us, but to the suffering of our entire species in every part of the globe in real time.

        The second Moderna shot made me sick—as predicted. A 24-hour touch of what an alarmed immune system feels like left me all the more grateful for my good fortune in avoiding the real thing and for being alive at a time when science had devised a 95% effective vaccine in record time.

      • Pressure Campaign Kicks Off in US to Force Big Pharma and Biden to End Vaccine Apartheid

        The absence of a WTO patent waiver, say public health advocates, “means we won’t end the pandemic, millions of people will die, and the global economy will suffer.”

        As vast global inequalities in access to Covid-19 vaccines exacerbate the ongoing pandemic, a coalition of progressive groups in the U.S. kicked off a week of action Thursday to urge President Joe Biden to support a temporary suspension of patent protections and to pressure pharmaceutical corporations to share technology in order to maximize the worldwide production of life-saving doses.

      • Stricter Air Pollution Laws Needed, Says Coroner in Ella Kissi-Debrah Inquest

        A coroner is calling for national limits on air pollution to be reduced to match World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and made enforceable by law.

        Inner South London Assistant Coroner Philip Barlow ruled in December last year that air pollution exposure contributed to nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah’s death in February 2013. Air pollution had never been identified as a cause of death in the UK until this point.

      • Indian Hospitals Overwhelmed as COVID Cases Soar in “Modi-Made Disaster”
      • “An Apocalyptic Situation”: Indian Hospitals Overwhelmed as COVID Cases Soar in “Modi-Made Disaster”

        We go to Mumbai, India, for an update on the state of crisis in the country as COVID-19 cases surge and hospitals run out of oxygen. India recently recorded 315,000 new cases in a single day, the highest daily toll in any country since the start of the pandemic, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has continued to hold large campaign rallies. Public health experts have blamed the surge on a number of factors, including the government’s reluctance to impose another round of lockdowns, the spread of a double mutant variant of the virus, a recent Hindu festival attended by millions, and a slow vaccination drive. India has led efforts to force Big Pharma to waive patent rights on COVID-19 vaccines, but the United States and other wealthy nations have blocked such a move at the World Trade Organization. “It is an apocalyptic situation in India right now,” says journalist Rana Ayyub. “Clearly, we have not learned our lessons from the pandemic last year.”

      • Meet the Texas Doctor Developing a “People’s Vaccine” to Help Inoculate Billions Around the World

        We look at the state of the pandemic and vaccine rollout in the United States and around the world with Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Hotez is part of a team at Baylor University that is working with a private Indian company to develop a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine. The task of developing a simple vaccine is “daunting,” Dr. Hotez says. “We’re talking about 5 billion doses of vaccine. And the question is: Where do you get 5 billion doses of vaccine?” he says. “We’re trying to come through with something that uses the same old-school technology as the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine that’s been around for four decades.”

      • To Survive Next Pandemic, We Must Not Forget COVID Like We Forgot the 1918 Flu

        The second Moderna shot made me sick — as predicted. A 24-hour touch of what an alarmed immune system feels like left me all the more grateful for my good fortune in avoiding the real thing and for being alive at a time when science had devised a 95% effective vaccine in record time.

      • Big Pharma’s Shareholder Payouts Are Enough to Fund Vaccines for All of Africa

        Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca — three of the world’s top coronavirus vaccine manufacturers — have paid out a combined $26 billion in dividends and stock buybacks to their shareholders over the past year, a sum that could fully fund the cost of inoculating Africa’s entire 1.3 billion-person population.

      • What is the new ‘triple mutant variant’ of Covid-19 virus found in Bengal? How bad is it?

        The ‘triple mutant variant’ (also being referred to as the ‘Bengal strain’ of Covid-19) is reportedly more infectious than other strains.

        Reports suggest that while this variant is predominantly circulating in West Bengal, it has also been detected in samples from Delhi and Maharashtra.

      • India’s giant second wave is a disaster for it and the world

        This horrifying second wave is a catastrophe not only for India but for the world. Allowing the virus to circulate unchecked increases the risk that dangerous new strains will emerge. One worrying variant first detected in India, called the “double mutant”, has already been found in several other countries, including America and Britain. Even as scientists labour to understand how big a threat it poses, more variants are appearing.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Hackers hit Apple in $50M ransomware attack via MacBook supplier

          Files leaked today show schematics for Macbook laptops, none of which are particularly sensitive nor appear to include anything beyond assembly information and technical details. One of the file was dated March 9, 2021, but is unclear if the depicted product was new or just updated technical specs.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Redis Labs previews future database and caching features

              Redis Labs is continuing to move beyond its caching roots as it builds out a broader set of data features.

              The open source database vendor previewed the new technology at the vendor’s RedisConf virtual conference on April 20-21.

              The foundation of Redis is an open source caching server that has expanded in recent years to become a full database layer, which can enable advanced real-time data services, as well as provide artificial intelligence with RedisAI.

              At RedisConf 2021, Redis Labs introduced a series of upcoming capabilities that it said will improve data consistency, search and availability. Redis has found customer traction in recent years, which has led to the vendor, based in Mountain View, Calif., raising new capital in a pair of funding events, including a $100 million round in August 2020 and another $110 million on April 7.

        • Security

          • House passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department

            The Cyber Diplomacy Act would require the State Department to open a Bureau of International Cyberspace Policy, and the head of the bureau would be appointed by the president and given the rank of ambassador, reporting directly to either the secretary of State or a deputy.

            The new bureau would lead the State Department’s cybersecurity efforts, including through creating an international strategy to guide efforts by the United States to engage with other nations on cybersecurity issues and to set norms on responsible behavior in cyberspace.

          • Daniel Stenberg: Please select your TLS

            In June 1998, three months after the first release of curl, we added support for HTTPS. We decided that we would use an external library for this purpose – for providing SSL support – and therefore the first dependency was added. The build would optionally use SSLeay. If you wanted HTTPS support enabled, we would use that external library.

            SSLeay ended development at the end of that same year, and OpenSSL rose as a new project and library from its ashes. Of course, even later the term “SSL” would also be replaced by “TLS” but the entire world has kept using them interchangeably.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Wyden-Backed Bill Would Make It Illegal For Government To Obtain Location Data Without A Warrant

              We’ve covered for a while how consumer location data is consistently abused by telecom providers, app makers, stalkers, debt collectors, people pretending to be law enforcement, and pretty much any idiot with a nickel and a dream.

            • Data Driven 2: California Dragnet—New Data Set Shows Scale of Vehicle Surveillance in the Golden State

              Tiburon, California: a 13-square-mile peninsula town in Marin County, known for its glorious views of the San Francisco Bay and its eclectic retail district. 

              What the town’s tourism bureau may not want you to know: from the moment you drive into the city limits, your vehicle will be under extreme surveillance. The Tiburon Police Department has the dubious distinction of collecting, mile-for-mile, more data on drivers than any other agency surveyed for a new EFF data set. 

              Today, EFF is releasing Data Driven 2: California Dragnet , a new public records collection and data set that shines light on the massive amount of vehicle surveillance conducted by police in California using automated license plate readers (ALPRs) —and how very little of this surveillance is actually relevant to an active public safety interest. 

            • Tell Congress: Federal Money Shouldn’t Be Spent On Breaking Encryption

              Unfortunately, federal law enforcement officials have not stopped asking for backdoor access to Americans’ encrypted messages. FBI Director Christopher Wray did it again just last month, falsely claiming that end-to-end encryption and “user-only access” have “negligible security advantages” but have a “negative effect on law enforcement’s ability to protect the public.”

            • No Digital Vaccine Bouncers

              An increasingly common proposal to get there is digital proof-of-vaccination, sometimes called “Vaccine Passports.” On the surface, this may seem like a reasonable solution. But to “return to normal”, we also have to consider that inequity and problems with access are a part of that normal. Also, these proposals require a new infrastructure and culture of doorkeepers to public places regularly requiring visitors to display a token as a condition of entry. This would be a giant step towards pervasive tracking of our day-to-day movements. And these systems would create new ways for corporations to monetize our data and for thieves to steal our data.

              That’s why EFF opposes new systems of digital proof-of-vaccination as a condition of going about our day-to-day lives. They’re not “vaccine passports” that will speed our way back to normal. They’re “vaccine bouncers” that will unnecessarily scrutinize us at doorways and unfairly turn many of us away.

              So-called “vaccine passports” are digital credentials proposed to be convenient, digital, and accessible ways to store and present your medical data. In this case, it shows you have been vaccinated. These are not actual passports for international travel, nor are they directly related to systems we have in place to prove you have been vaccinated. Though different proposals vary, these are all new ways of displaying medical data in a way that is not typical for our society as a whole.

            • Zoom Classrooms Raise Concerns about Law Enforcement Surveillance and 4th Amendment Rights – Validated Independent News

              The free version of Zoom does not grant end-to-end encryption or guarantee secure private connections without possible surveillance by law enforcement, and third-party affiliates. Those who opt for the free version of Zoom are often low income, struggling students, the elderly, and the disabled. Zoom has offered to provide end-to-end encryption for all users, as long as they verified their phone number first. Yet, many users do not do this or know that such an option exists.

            • Twitter appoints new JAPAC region VP, Hari moved to global role

              Prior to joining Twitter in 2014, Maya spent over 15 years in the digital media, mobile and eCommerce industries across the US and in Asia Pacific for brands such as Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Cisco.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Tanks and Think Tanks: How Taiwanese Cash is Funding the Push to War with China

        TAIPEI — At MintPress, we have been at the forefront of exposing how Middle Eastern dictatorships and weapons contractors have been funneling money into think tanks and political action committees, keeping up a steady drumbeat for more war and conflict around the world. Yet one little-discussed nation that punches well above its weight in spending cash in Washington is Taiwan.

    • Environment

      • Mexico’s Drought Reaches Critical Levels as Lakes Dry Up

        Drought conditions now cover 85% of Mexico, and residents of the nation’s central region said Thursday that lakes and reservoirs are simply drying up, including the country’s second-largest body of fresh water.

        The mayor of Mexico City said the drought was the worst in 30 years, and the problem can be seen at the reservoirs that store water from other states to supply the capital.

      • Hawaii Island Declares Itself Entirely Free of Rats—That Were Eating Its Birds

        “The operation went really well, and almost immediately we saw signs of recovery across the island. But in the months that followed, cameras captured an unexpected outcome, a small number of rats were still present on the island.”

        Officials then launched a “mop-up effort” to remove the last few individuals, including using motion-sensor cameras to detect where rats were present.

        Khalsa added: “Lehua is a story of what we can achieve through dedicated and focused conservation efforts, and securing the island has been a critical stepping stone for the protection of Hawaii’s native birds and plants.”

      • Africa: This Earth Day, a People’s Perspective Is What Is Most Needed

        The climate crisis disproportionately impacts marginalized populations, many of whom may be displaced or forced to migrate because of years of unequal access to opportunities and gaps in human rights, a topic my organization delved into with human rights and environmental justice experts in this event.

        Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights’ report on Climate Change and Poverty, revealed developing countries will bear 75 to 80 percent of the financial costs and losses associated with the climate crisis, despite contributing only 10 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, creating a situation in which those in extreme poverty now also live in extreme weather.

        He warned of increasing divisions as well, the risk of a ‘climate apartheid’, where the wealthy escape the negative impacts of climate change, leaving impacts to be borne by disproportionate groups ostracized by divisions, including race.

      • Biden’s climate plan knocked as “bullsh*t” by activists who dumped cow manure near White House

        Climate change is one of the great existential threats facing human beings in modern times. When gases like carbon dioxide and methane are dumped into the atmosphere due to human activity, they trap heat and gradually but radically change the planet. If the problem continues unabated for the next few decades, experts predict apocalyptic conditions. Large sections of Earth will be uninhabitable because they are too hot and/or dry. Extreme weather events will occur regularly. Sea levels will rise, forcing millions who live near costs to have to abandon their homes. Even as the world deals with millions of climate refugees, disruptions in food production and supply chains will cause major resources scarcity issues.

      • Earth Day 2021
      • Reject Greenwashing. At This Point, Only an Ecological Revolution Will Do.

        It’s a bleak sort of Earth Day today. All the major newspapers are carrying headlines about President Biden’s global eco-summit, about his pledge to cut greenhouse emissions in half by 2030, but so far as I have seen, none use the words “Earth Day” to mark the moment. This environmental holiday was created in 1970. I was created in 1971. We’re both 50-ish now, and feeling the mileage.

      • Greenwashing Fashion

        This story is part of Covering Climate Now , a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

        Around 15 million garments per week flow through Kantamanto, one of the largest secondhand clothing markets in the world. The shopping center is located in Accra, the capital of Ghana, and is stocked with once-donated clothing that arrives in hundred-pound bundles, mostly from the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. Retailers take out substantial loans to purchase the bundles, hoping to find worthwhile garments in sellable condition. Yet almost half of what is bought is thrown away.

      • The GOP Climate Push That Mostly Leaves Out Climate

        On April 19, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced the beginning of a week-long campaign to promote the Republican “alternative” climate agenda. “Democrats often dismiss Republicans as being disinterested in addressing global climate change. This is just false,” he said in a video posted to Twitter.

        In the video, he announced the roll-out of roughly three dozen bills that “focus on solutions that make American energy cleaner, more affordable, and also reduce emissions around the world.”

      • Sunday Shows Hit Snooze on Climate Alarm

        In a year dominated by coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, one might expect other topics to fall lower on the media’s priority list. But the climate crisis has not lessened in intensity; on the contrary, the urgency of addressing it increases each year. (Not to mention that climate change is an important driver of increased disease outbreaks like the current pandemic.) News media must be capable of covering two emergencies at the same time.

      • California’s Wildfire Season Looms. Regenerative Agriculture Could Offer Hope.

        When Alexis Koefoed’s farm burned for the first time in 2008, she and her husband, who made a living raising pasture-grazing chickens at the time, lost 1,000 baby chicks and a brand-new barn. “I thought there could never be anything worse than this experience, until it happened three more times,” she said.

      • Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin: Green New Deal Is Essential for Human Survival

        Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970, an era which marks the beginning of the modern environmental movement, with concerns built primarily around air and water pollution. Of course, the state of the environment has shifted dramatically since then, and while environmental policy has changed a lot in the United States over the past 50 years, biodiversity is in great danger and the climate crisis threatens to make the planet uninhabitable.

      • Energy

        • NYC Sues Big Oil for ‘Systematically and Intentionally Deceiving New Yorkers’

          “Fossil fuel companies are continuing to spin a tangled web of lies about the deadly products they produce and sell after decades of misleading consumers.”

          As the world celebrated Earth Day, Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corporation Counsel James E. Johnson on Thursday announced that New York City filed suit over Big Oil’s decades of lies about fossil fuels and the climate emergency—just the latest addition to over two dozen similar cases launched by U.S. communities.

        • Dissenter Weekly: Attack Against British Oil Industry Whistleblower Escalates

          In this edition of “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola covers a British oil industry whistleblower in Croatia who was taken by police to a psychiatric hospital against his will. He highlights an exceptional report from Julia Carrie Wong at the Guardian that profiled Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang and amplified her revelations related to Facebook’s inaction when suspicious accounts in Honduras, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, etc, were brought to the attention of executives. Later in the show, Kevin talks about two stories involving police in Washington, D.C., and Honolulu. He concludes with an update on a U.S. Geological Survey whistleblower who was restored to their position at the Seattle-based Western Fisheries Research Center.

          Police Take British Oil Industry Whistleblower To Psychiatric Hospital Against His Will Facebook Whistleblower Exposes Inconsistent Handling Of Suspicious Accounts In Various Countries Whistleblower Accuses Ant-Gun Police Unit In D.C. Of Fabricating Charges

        • Where Does All The Radioactive Fracking Waste Go?

          On May 8, 2017, a drum of radioactive oilfield waste from Australia arrived at a remote West Texas disposal site operated by local oil and gas environmental services company, Lotus LLC. This drum of waste entered the United States aboard a Singapore Airlines cargo jet, appropriately packaged in a steel drum. According to files from the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s main oil and gas regulator, it contained the radioactive element radium at concentrations of 2,095 picocuries per gram. Those levels are more than 400 times the protective health limits designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for toxic Superfund sites and uranium mills, where fuel for nuclear bombs was once assembled.

          The oil and gas industry produces an extraordinary amount of waste. Much of it is toxic, and it can be highly radioactive too. And since 1997 about one million barrels worth of oilfield waste has been brought to Lotus’s disposal site, situated off a dusty desert road located 19 miles west of Andrews, Texas (and just several miles from a massive solar array financed by Facebook and which provides energy to Shell’s fracking operations).  

        • Struggling to Make a Profit, Fracking Investors are Searching for the Exit

          The outlook is increasingly bleak for oil and gas companies. The beginning of this year has seen the highest number of companies announce bankruptcy during the first quarter in five years. Eight oil and gas companies announced they were filing for bankruptcy during the first quarter of 2021. 

          Meanwhile, earlier this month The Financial Times noted that of 500 privately owned oil and gas companies in the U.S., 400 are losing money and unlikely to ever pay back their large debts. According to the Financial Times, the remaining companies are focused on a “last gasp” effort to look profitable to potential buyers in order to “secure a profitable exit.” 

        • How to Kill the Oil Hydra—and Other Lessons From the Fight Against Keystone XL

          Such are the challenges—and terrors—of oil pipelines. Like the Hydra, they regenerate and multiply, and the only way to kill them is to cut off line after line, then bury the need for them. And as with the Hydra, defeating pipelines is a group effort: Heracles couldn’t have defeated the snake without Iolaus (Athena’s support didn’t hurt either), and the activists who battled both Keystone XL and DAPL—Indigenous water protectors, environmentalists, sundry allies—couldn’t have sparked a mass mobilization without one another.

    • Finance

      • Are Unemployment Benefits Taxed?

        The pandemic-induced collapse of the economy in March 2020 meant that many Americans will be filing their 2020 taxes after having received substantial income from unemployment benefits.

        Yes. Unemployment insurance benefits are subject to both federal and state taxes. Before 2021, unemployment benefits counted toward your income and were taxed at rates according to the IRS’s tax brackets. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (which most people call the stimulus bill) exempted some of that money from federal income taxes for tax year 2020.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Existential Moment for Our Country’: Cori Bush Leads 90+ Dems in Calling for Abolition of Senate Filibuster

        “We cannot let a procedural tool that can be abolished stand in the way of justice, prosperity, and equity. We simply cannot afford such a catastrophic compromise.”

        Congresswoman Cori Bush and nearly 100 other House Democrats on Thursday urged their Senate counterparts to immediately eliminate the legislative filibuster, an archaic rule standing in the way of D.C. statehood, a major expansion of voting rights, labor law reforms, and other key priorities.

      • Justice Advocates Blast ‘Dishonest and Barbaric’ Majority Opinion by Kavanaugh in Juvenile Life Sentence Case

        Sotomayor said the troubling majority opinion was “fooling no one” in a dissent characterized as “extremely powerful.”

        The impact of former President Donald Trump’s three appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court was illuminated on Thursday with a six-three ruling in which the right-wing justices rejected a challenge to life sentences issued to minors—a move that critics described as “vile,” “inhumane,” and “really awful news.”

      • Nearly 100 House Democrats Send Letter to Schumer Demanding End to Filibuster

        Representatives Cori Bush (D-Missouri) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) are leading an effort with nearly 100 of their fellow House members to end the Senate filibuster. The lawmakers join many progressive and Democratic advocates in saying that the filibuster is a roadblock to progress.

      • House Passes Bill to Grant DC Statehood With Zero Republican Votes

        On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C., the 51st state. This is the second time in history that the House has passed D.C. statehood, and the passage grants momentum to Democrats who hope for representation and justice for the area with a large proportion of Black residents.

      • The EU wants to become the world’s super-regulator in AI

        With little existing legislation on AI to draw on, the commission opted for a bottom-up approach. It created a 52-member “high-level expert group” to develop its proposals, collected further input via an “AI alliance” of interested parties and published a white paper on which everybody could comment online (1,250 groups and individuals did so). The result is a document of more than 100 pages with 85 articles and no fewer than nine annexes that tries both to mitigate the potential harm of AI and to maximise its opportunities—almost to a fault, as the many exceptions and exceptions to exceptions show.

        Rather than regulating all applications of AI, the EU’s rules are meant to focus on the riskiest ones. Some will be banned outright, including services that use “subliminal techniques” to manipulate people. Others, such as facial recognition and credit scoring, are considered “high-risk” and so subject to strict rules on transparency and data quality. As with GDPR, penalties for violations are stiff: up to €30m ($36m) or 6% of global revenues, whichever is higher (in the case of a firm as big as Facebook, for example, that would come to more than $5bn).

      • Green Party Statement on D.C. Statehood

        While residents of Washington, D.C. pay federal taxes, serve in the military and on juries, and contribute to the national economy, this city in which Black Americans make up the largest racial group (41% White, 11% LatinX, 4% Asian) has zero representation or voting power.

        This lack of representation creates a wider disenfranchisement of Black Americans. If D.C. were made into the 51st state, it would be the only plurality-Black state in the country.

        Given the racist repression of Black voters happening across the country, the resistance to allowing the District of Columbia into the Union has always been one borne out of racism.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Josh Hawley Casts Lone ‘No’ Vote on Senate Bill Targeting Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

        The Missouri Republican—who helped incite the deadly January 6 Capitol attack—previously called the measure “hugely overbroad.” 

        Responding to a surge in racist attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders fueled by racist rhetoric from former President Donald Trump and the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Senate on Thursday nearly unanimously approved a bill aimed at fighting anti-AAPI hate—with Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri casting the sole dissenting vote. 

      • We Are Fighting for a World Where Ma’Khia Bryant Would Have Lived

        Sixteen-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant’s TikTok is going viral. In one particular video, her eyes sparkle. For a cheeky moment, her smile is wide. As she listens to Bryson Tiller, she is styling her hair and reveling in her Black girl adolescence. Devastatingly, now, millions of people are mourning the loss and remembering the life of this Black teenage girl killed in Columbus, Ohio.

      • Decolonization or Extinction: Indigenous Red Deal Lays Out Plan to Save the Earth

        On Earth Day, we speak with two of the more than two dozen Indigenous authors of a new book that looks at the history of resistance against colonialism and capitalism and lays out a vision for the future to address the climate crisis. “The Red Deal: Indigenous Action to Save Our Earth” details the centuries of Indigenous resistance that created the movement at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline and what movements centering justice for Indigenous people must look like. The book offers a “people’s program to prevent extinction,” says Melanie Yazzie, assistant professor of Native American studies and American studies at the University of New Mexico and co-author of “The Red Deal.” “The plan is really clear. The stakes are really clear,” Yazzie says. “We draw centrally from Indigenous movements over the last couple of decades for decolonization.” We also speak with Uahikea Maile, an assistant professor of Indigenous politics at the University of Toronto–St. George and one of the book’s co-authors.

      • ‘We are the power here’ Photographer Evgeny Feldman’s snapshots from Moscow’s Navalny solidarity protests

        Moscow’s protest in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny was supposed to take place near the Kremlin, on Manezhnaya Square. But on the morning of April 21, the security forces cut off access to the area. Shortly before the start of the rally, the organizers suggested that the protesters move in two columns coming from Pushkin Square and the Arbat. The two groups met at the top of Tverskaya Street; they were never allowed onto Manezhnaya Square. The Moscow rally was unusually peaceful; at the time of this writing the arrest count was only around 30 people (for comparison, St. Petersburg saw more than 800 detentions). According to police officials, 4,500 protesters took to the streets in the Russian capital (though the protest organizers have suggested multiplying this figure “by ten”). Photographer Evgeny Feldman was on the ground in downtown Moscow capturing the day’s events — here’s what he saw.

      • From Vladivostok to Kaliningrad Photos from across Russia during the rallies in support of Alexey Navalny on April 21

        On April 21, thousands of people in cities across Russia took to the streets in a show of solidarity with opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who has been on a prison hunger strike since March 31. Compared to the police response at the pro-Navalny protests earlier this year, the April 21st demonstrations saw relatively fewer arrests. That said, more than 1,900 people still ended up in police custody, and most of these detentions took place in St. Petersburg. Here’s what the protests looked like outside of Moscow.

      • Navalny’s private doctors urge him to end hunger strike after examination at civilian hospital

        Alexey Navalny’s private doctors are urging him to end his prison hunger strike following confirmation that he was taken to a “civilian hospital in Vladimir” for an examination on Tuesday, April 20.

      • Hello, this is Leonid Volkov* Using deepfake video and posing as Navalny’s right-hand man, Russian pranksters fool Latvian politicians and journalists into invitation and TV interview

        As the coronavirus pandemic has forced more and more interactions into virtual space, the opportunities for deception in private meetings have become greater than ever. Technological advances have made remote work possible for millions of people, but machine learning and artificial intelligence mean it’s also far easier to manipulate the visual and audio content that allows us to remain connected without coming face to face. A pair of Russian pranksters notorious for ridiculing the Kremlin’s enemies is exploiting these two trends, and journalists and politicians in the Baltic states got a crash course in the last month.

      • Russia’s human rights commissioner claims Navalny’s medical treatment meets international standards

        According to Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, Alexey Navalny’s conditions of detention, and the medical treatment he’s receiving in prison, are in line with international standards. This was stated in a letter to the Council of Europe’s Secretary General, Interfax reports. 

      • Biden uses “systemic racism” narrative to obscure class character of police violence

        Relative to the entire population, there is a disproportionality in the number of African Americans and Native Americans killed by police, while whites, Hispanics and Asians are killed at a rate lower than their share of the population. Native Americans are killed at a rate that is seven times higher than their share of the population, while for blacks it is roughly two times higher.

        There is no doubt that racism is a factor in many police killings, but it is not the racism of the entire society. It is racism in a particular segment of society, the police and military forces. The ruling class cultivates within its apparatus of repression all manner of fascistic and reactionary conceptions.

        However, once the socioeconomic background of where the victims were killed—typically areas with low median household income and high rates of poverty—is factored in, most of the disparity is accounted for by economic factors.

      • Half the world’s population lives in persecution hotspots – report

        Close to four billion people are living in countries where the most intense violations of religious freedom are occurring, a new report warns.

        The Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021, compiled by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), lists 26 countries in the most severe category, comprising just over half (51%) of the world’s population.

      • Most officers never fire their guns. But some kill multiple people — and are still on the job.

        Most officers never fire their weapons. In 2019, the research-focused nonprofit National Police Foundation released a study of 1,006 police shootings at 47 departments over two years that found that 4 out of 5 officers who fired in those shootings had never discharged their guns before. But experts know little about the ones who fire more than once.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Accurate Maps Required To Estimate Cost Of Connecting Rural America, Experts Say

        Chairman David Scott, D-Georgia, wanted concrete numbers during the hearing held Tuesday. He pressed witnesses for what they believed it would cost to cover the estimated 24 million rural Americans who are currently living in underserved areas of the country.

        Vickie Robinson, general manager of the Microsoft Global Airband Initiative, was hesitant to throw out a hard number. “There are estimates that suggest that the cost to reach those that are unserved is anywhere from 60 to 80 billion dollars,” Robinson said. But those estimates should not necessarily be relied upon, she said, adding, “We haven’t first done the hard but necessary work to accurately map where those gaps exist.”

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Do We Need To Lose The Open Podcast Ecosystem To Make Podcasting Better?

        Podcasting has been a rare recent example of a new offering built on open protocols and standards (mainly RSS and MP3), that wasn’t entirely co-opted by one giant corporate entity (even if some have tried). However, there have been some worrying signs of where the podcasting market is moving. For a few years now, we’ve been warning that the world would lose a lot if podcasts move from open standards and protocols to more proprietary solutions — and yet Spotify, for one, has been moving heavily in that direction over the past few years.

      • Can Apple get you to pay for podcasts?

        But the service does come with trade-offs. Most crucially, podcasters have to pay a flat fee of $19.99 per year to even offer subscriptions, and they then give Apple a 30 percent cut of revenue for each subscriber’s first year and 15 percent for the years following. Patreon, in contrast, takes up to 12 percent of creators’ revenue. Apple Podcasts is also only available on iOS devices, which most of the world doesn’t use.

    • Monopolies

      • Tech Elite Threatened by Progressive San Francisco DA, Push for His Recall – Validated Independent News

        In contrast, since taking office in January 2020, Boudin has built a reputation as one of the most progressive DAs in the country. He understands the horrors and lasting effects of mass incarceration; both of his parents, were members of the radical Weather Underground Movement and imprisoned during his childhood. He won his election with support from communities of color who wanted to make the criminal justice system less racist and improve public safety without imprisoning more people. In his first year as San Francisco’s DA, Boudin did this by ordering his office to stop asking for cash bail, reducing the jail population, and prosecuting police officers who beat or killed suspects, all of which earned him praise from supporters.

      • Copyrights

        • European Commission’s Attempt To Backtrack On Its Promise To Defend Fundamental Rights In Upload Filter Implementations May Backfire Badly

          One of the most disgraceful aspects of the EU Copyright Directive saga was the shameless way its supporters swore that upload filters would not be required — despite the evident fact that there was no other way to implement the new law’s requirements. And indeed, once the legislation was passed, France lost no time in pushing for upload filters. Worse, its own implementation ignored what few protections there were for users’ fundamental rights. Fortunately, back in 2019, the Polish government made a formal request for the EU’s top court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), to throw out upload filters. That is still grinding its way through the EU’s legal system, but its mere existence could play an important role as EU member states grapple with the impossible task of passing national laws to implement the EU Copyright Directive.

        • Popcorn Time Asset Freeze Expanded in Piracy Suit

          PayPal-based assets owned by the companies behind Popcorn Time will be frozen until further notice now that a Virginia federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction in a suit from several Hollywood companies who say their films are being pirated on the site.

          In March, Millennium Funding, Voltage Holdings and other rights holders sued Wicked Technology and VPN.HT for copyright infringement, trademark counterfeiting and unfair competition. They allege a site called Popcorn Time (which has been dubbed “Netflix for pirates”) gives users unlawful access to copyrighted works including Angel Has Fallen, Automata, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Hellboy, Hunter Killer and I Feel Pretty. They’re suing in Virginia, where a company called Voxility has data centers that host Wicked’s sites.

        • Student Sues Proctorio for Using DMCA Takedowns to Remove Critical Tweets

          Miami University student and security researcher Erik Johnson has filed a lawsuit against software company Proctorio, which used DMCA notices to remove several critical tweets. Johnson asked the court to declare that publishing code excerpts to document critique is fair use. Meanwhile, Proctario should pay damages for misusing the DMCA process.

        • Mangadex Works With ‘Have I Been Pwned?’ to Warn Users About Hacked Database

          Huge scanlation platform MangaDex says that following a hack in March, its database is now confirmed as being “in the wild”. With usernames, email addresses and IP address data now potentially public knowledge, users are being assured that the site is doing all it can to mitigate the breach, including by working with prominent data breach platform Have I Been Pwned.

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