05.07.21

Links 7/5/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 156 and Diffoscope 174 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Your Microphone NEEDS This Linux Audio App

        RTX Voice-style noise filtering on Linux? WITHOUT any required hardware? That’s the dream. Meet NoiseTorch, an incredible audio utility for Linux that works on ANY application (not just OBS). Let me demo it for you and hear the magic for yourself! WEAR HEADPHONES during this video for the best experience.

      • Building a 10-Node Kubernetes Cluster on Raspberry Pi & Ubuntu Server

        Have you thought about setting up your very own Kubernetes cluster consisting of multiple Raspberry Pi’s? It’s not as hard as it sounds, and in this video, I’ll show you how to set it up. Although this video will show the process of creating a ten node cluster, you don’t have to have 10 nodes – as long as you have at least two, you’ll be all set.

      • Plex Skeptics | Self-Hosted 44

        Plex announces some big plans that make us a little nervous, Alex solves Chris’s tablet performance woes, and we chat about Prometheus.

        Plus, our thoughts on Duplicati alternatives and more.

      • LHS Episode #410: The Weekender LXXI

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • Linux Malware goes undetected since 2018?!

        A new Linux malware has been discovered that targets 64-bit Linux installs including IoT devices. Potentially linked to the Torii botnet, this malware’s mysterious origin and obfuscated plugin system makes analysis quite difficult.

      • Distro Digest #1 – Ubuntu 21.04, Fedora 34, elementary OS 6 Beta and more…

        Here’s a brief overview of what some of the Linux distro world has been up to lately…skip to the timestamp of the project you’re most interested in!

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Linux 5.13 Yanks A NVIDIA NVLink Driver For Lack Of Open-Source User

          The VFIO changes for the Linux 5.13 kernel aren’t particularly exciting this cycle but one of the changes does raise some eyebrows with the VFIO NVIDIA NVLink2 driver being removed. This driver is being removed as it shouldn’t have been even added in the first place for lack of an open-source client/user exercising it.

          The vfio_pci_nvlink2 driver is being stripped out of the Linux 5.13 kernel. This VFIO NVLink2 driver is used for supporting this NVIDIA interconnect standard on POWER9 systems using Volta-based NVIDIA V100 GPUs.

    • Applications

      • Top 3 ways to Listen Radio in Ubuntu Terminal

        One of the best things about Linux is that a huge part of the things you do can be done through the terminal. The terminal is so versatile that you can even listen to the radio through it. Were you surprised?

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install PufferPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PufferPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, PufferPanel is a free, open-source web-based game server management system that allows you to create multiple game servers. With the help of PufferPanel, you can manage multiple different game servers from one central location. It supports Minecraft, Forge, Spigot, Sponge, Source Dedicated Servers, and many more others.

        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 PufferPanel 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 Optimize Laptop Battery Life With TLP In Linux – OSTechNix

        There are quite a few tools exists to power saving and battery life extension in Laptops. We already have looked at two tools namely Laptop Mode Tools and Powertop that improves the Linux Laptop battery performance. Today we will discuss yet another Laptop power management utility named TLP. TLP is a feature-rich commandline tool to optimize Laptop battery life in Linux.

        TLP requires zero configuration. The default settings of TLP is well optimized for saving battery power in a Linux laptop. It implements Powertop’s recommendations out of the box. So you just install TLP in your Linux Laptop and forget it. TLP takes care of everything. Even though TLP’s default settings are just enough to provide optimal battery life, it is highly customizable to fulfill a specific requirement.

      • Exploring PKI weaknesses and how to combat them | Enable Sysadmin

        This article is Part 3 out of three in my series about SSL/TLS encryption. Part 1 covers the basics of well-known encryption concepts. Part 2 gives a brief introduction to OpenSSL and PKI. This part broaches the issue of PKI weakness and introduces two countermeasures.

        First, I would like to introduce the term relying party. A relying party is a web browser, email client, chat application, etc., that is trying to validate an x.509 certificate. Most of the time, the relying party achieves that by checking whether a CA in its trust anchors signed the certificate.

      • How to find CPU utilization, what makes the system to hang

        Sometimes it happens that a process crashes and takes all the processing power of your machine. In other cases, a process simply overloads the system. It is even possible for malware to consume the entire computer resource. An example of this could be some crypto applications or bloatware. In this article, we’ll look at how to find which processes take the most CPU resources and how to deal with them.

      • How to install OBS Screen Recording Software on Ubuntu

        Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a free and open-source cross-platform streaming and recording program built with Qt and maintained by the OBS Project. Since 2016, the software is now referred to as OBS Studio. There are versions of OBS Studio available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux distributions (like Ubuntu).

      • Install RawTherapee in Ubuntu (Adobe Lightroom Alternative)

        RawTherapee is a powerful, cross-platform raw photo processing system, released as Free Software (GPLv3). It is designed for developing raw files from a broad range of digital cameras and targeted at users ranging from enthusiast newcomers who wish to broaden their understanding of how digital imaging works to professional photographers.

        RawTherapee provides a powerful suite of tools for you to produce amazing photos and showcase your creativity.

      • Install phpVirtualBox to Manage and Access Virtualbox VM’s

        In previous articles, we have seen how to work with VirtualBox core features that come with the VirtualBox package. We have seen how to create Guest Virtual Machines, Different Networking options, how to protect your VM with snapshots, and how to clone VM, import, and export your virtual machines. This is going to be the last article of this VirtualBox series.

        phpVirtualBox is a web implementation of VirtualBox implemented in AJAX and the user interface is created with PHP. This is an open-source project and is not supported by oracle. phpVirtualBox allows you to use and control VirtualBox in a headless environment.

      • The snap developer’s guide on how to migrate to new bases | Ubuntu

        A couple of weeks ago, we published an article about Ubuntu 16.04 entering Extended Security Maintenance (ESM), and the implications of this change for snap publishers. We talked about the different options available to developers and publishers who still may rely on the older bases in their build process – free Ubuntu Advantage (UA) tokens, Launchpad and Snapcraft Build Service, snapcraft support for ESM base, and others.

        However, for the majority of publishers, migrating away from the ESM base (core) to core18 and core20 offers the highest degree of flexibility. This will allow them to build snaps with the latest builds of snapcraft, enjoy current and future improvements in the ecosystem, and provide their users with the best possible experience. Today, in this guide, we outline several common, practical tips for the migration to newer bases.

      • Ubuntu Install audacity ( 1 click install ) – LateWeb.Info

        Audacity is an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. developed by a group of volunteers as open source.

      • Is your Ubuntu a 32-bit or a 64-bit OS? [ GUI + Terminal ]

        In this topic we will check the architecture of our operating system. Whether we use 32 bit architecture or 64 bit. In recent years, 32-bit architectures have declined significantly, but there are still many 32-bit computer systems.

        We will check what our architecture is in two ways, first through the graphical environment and then through the terminal in Ubuntu 21.04 Linux.

      • How to get the status of a Linux software raid

        The current status of a Linux software raid is written to the virtual file /proc/mdstat. You can view the status on the shell easily with the cat command…

      • How to Install (Remove) Eclipse IDE in Ubuntu 21.04, 20.04 the official way | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to install the latest Eclipse IDE in Ubuntu while the one in Ubuntu Software is always old.

        Eclipse in Ubuntu Software is the containerized snap package and it’s old. Fortunately, an official installer is available for Linux.

    • Games

      • Defend your dungeon in Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Manager out now

        For the Linux version, one issue encountered is that the intro video is a black screen, which is likely a Unity codec issue – they developer has been made aware of it. It’s quite short anyway and doesn’t break the game, as you can just skip it.

      • David Rosen of Wolfire Games explains why they’re taking on Valve in a lawsuit

        Recently we wrote about how Wolfire Games (Lugaru, Overgrowth, Receiver) engaged in a legal battle with Steam owner Valve in regards to alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

        Wolfire’s David Rosen has now written up a blog post to explain their feelings on why. It’s worth noting that Rosen was one of the original founders of the Humble Indie Bundle, later spun off into its own Humble Bundle company and then sold to IGN. Rosen then, you would think, has a reasonably good grasp on how all this works on the business side. It’s somewhat amusing that the blog post starts with “Dear gamers”, which probably isn’t going to do them any favours in such a legal battle.

      • Railway Empire heads to Japan in the latest expansion pack out now | GamingOnLinux

        Gaming Minds Studios and Kalypso Media have released Railway Empire – Japan, the latest DLC pack for the popular rail-network building and management sim.

        Railway Empire – Japan transports the series to late-1800s Japan where an industrial revolution is booming and the people are crying out for a nationwide railway. After the successful restoration of the Meiji rule, the Land of the Rising Sun’s long-term ambition to develop its own modern, nationwide railway network has become a reality and people from formerly feudal regions are yearning to travel to booming metropolises. Players can lay tracks between mountains and hot springs, using foresight, planning and clever strategy to establish a railway network and facilitate the ‘great commute’, moving Japan into a new industrial age.

      • Aolta is a unique casual adult-themed RPG where you explore a romantically wretched city | GamingOnLinux

        Exploring a romantically wretched city as a strange alien creature, Aolta is a thoroughly weird casual experience for those of you who like games aimed at an adult / mature audience.

        “Aolta is a casual RPG where you play as an eponymous alien who lives in a romantically wretched city. Sit back and enjoy the game world… relax at the night club, stroll down the streets and meet interesting creatures and discover their stories. You can find a job that suites your abilities or you can skip work and resort to foraging. Meet someone to love, become the lord of the local music industry, retire to another planet, and/or maybe get married.”

      • EXsynchronos is a wild and completely bizarre free transhumanism cyberspace metahorror | GamingOnLinux

        Free Game Friday! Fancy trying out something completely bizarre? EXsynchronos from developer Ravee is a true cyberspace adventure and it looks fantastic visually.

        The developer describes it as a “transhumanist action packed cyberspace metahorror” and frankly that’s about as good a description as you’re going to get on this one. It’s a complete visual overload on the senses with puzzles, exploration, platforming and shooter elements, all wrapped in a dense atmosphere. You control a Pr0x (Process Resurrective gh0st eXistence), “one of the most advanced virtual technologies that was ever developed” possessed by a human soul.

    • Distributions

      • Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Choose a Distro – Part 2

        This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

        You’ve decided that you want to try Linux but are unsure how to proceed. You are confused by the many hundreds of Linux distributions (distros) available. Which distro should you try?

        There is no ‘perfect distribution’ and there isn’t a magical answer to the question. It’s a decision which will depend on your requirements and personal preferences. The best way we can help is to focus on a few key considerations.

      • New Releases

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD’s Q1 Report

          This report covers FreeBSD related projects for the period between January and March, and is the first of four planned reports for 2021.

          The first quarter of 2021 has been very active in both FreeBSD-CURRENT and -STABLE, with 13.0-RELEASE work starting in January and finishing up mid-April. It provides lots of new features, and there’s even a good chance that some workloads will experience performance improvements.

          The number of entries is slightly down, and this is probably due to a combination of factors like code slush as well as the ongoing issues with COVID-19, but we naturally hope that things will look up next quarter. This combined with a switch-over to AsciiDoctor and a decision to make full use of the status report work schedule to avoid stress, means that the report can now be expected to come out at the end of the first month after the quarter has finished, rather than in the middle.

          This report in particular includes a number of interesting entries, covering everything from the linuxulator, various mitigation work, long-awaited work on OpenBSM, work on kernel sanitizers, and many more things that it is hoped you will enjoy reading about.

          Yours,
          Daniel Ebdrup Jensen, with a status hat on.

        • FreeBSD Is Off To A Good 2021 Start With FreeBSD 13.0, PIE By Default, helloSystem

          The FreeBSD project published their Q1 status report yesterday that outlines the progress they made over the past quarter on advancing this leading open-source BSD operating system.

          Some of the FreeBSD highlights for Q1’2021 included:

          - FreeBSD managed to successfully release the very exciting FreeBSD 13.0.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 34 Review – Impressive Performance and Stability with Cutting-Edge Linux

          It has been some time I am using Fedora 34 and I believe it’s time for a Fedora 34 review. Here I put down my experience with Fedora 34 overall in its workstation edition.

        • Ansible emphasizes inclusive language in new release

          During this development cycle, the Ansible project has made significant progress in its goals to make the community and code more welcoming and inclusive. With the release of Ansible Core 2.11, harmful terminology in the Ansible codebase is deprecated and it comes with new replacement terms. These changes will follow our standard deprecation cycle to give users time to adapt.

        • Cost efficient disaster recovery in hybrid cloud environments

          As more and more organizations move from on-premise datacenters to private, public, and hybrid clouds, it is important to understand that high availability is not the same as disaster recovery (DR).

          DR planning is needed to recover systems when natural or human-induced disasters hit the primary datacenter/region. Recent public cloud outages suggest that we must have a DR plan in place, even with the high availability provided by the public cloud providers. DR planning should be part of the initial application design discussions, allowing the deployment architecture to accommodate for unforeseen events.

        • This is the future…

          This new Linux is the future… Rocky Linux

        • Cockpit Project: Testing all the pixels

          The Cockpit integration tests can now contain “pixel tests”. Such a test will take a screenshot with the browser and compare it with a reference. The idea is that we can catch visual regressions much easier this way than if we would hunt for them in a purely manual fashion.

          Preparing a repository for pixel tests

          A pixel test will take a screenshot of part of the Cockpit UI and compare it with a reference. Thus, these reference images are important and play the biggest role.

          A large part of dealing with pixel tests will consequently consist of maintaining the reference images. At the same time, we don’t want to clog up our main source repository with them. While the number and size of the reference images at any one point in time should not pose a problem, we will over time accumulate a history of them that we are afraid would dominate the source repository.

          Thus, the reference images are not stored in the source repository. Instead, we store them in an external repository that is linked into the source repository as a submodule. That external repository doesn’t keep any history and can be aggressively pruned.

          Developers are mostly isolated from this via the new test/common/pixel-tests tool. But if you are familiar with git submodules, there should be no suprises for you here.

        • Fedora Magazine: Contribute to Fedora Kernel 5.12 Test Week

          The kernel team is working on final integration for kernel 5.12. This version was recently released and will arrive soon in Fedora. As a result, the Fedora kernel and QA teams have organized a test week from Sunday, May 09, 2021 through Sunday, May 16, 2021. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test images you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 18.04 Flavors Reach End of Life, Users Urged to Upgrade to 20.04 LTS

          Dubbed Bionic Beaver, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS was released in April 2018 and it is supported by Canonical with software and security updates for at least five years. But while Ubuntu itself receives this long-time support (LTS) of five years, the rest of the Ubuntu flavors only receive three years of support, which ended in May 2021.

          The last maintenance update for the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) series was Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS, released in August 2020. From this moment on, there will be no further point releases published for the Bionic Beaver series, but Ubuntu itself will still receive regular updates that you can install via the software repositories.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 6 examples of open source best practices in knowledge-sharing projects

        As someone who has watched my fair share of projects and initiatives come and go, I value the follow-on effects of good knowledge sharing. Even knowledge from bygone projects is available to learn from the past; such is the benefit and the curse of an internet that never forgets—all the practices good, no-longer-good, and never-were-good are out there to be found.

        As the head of Red Hat’s Open Source Program Office (OSPO), I both appreciate and benefit from the myriad ways different communities create and share knowledge about open source.

      • Best Open Source LMS for Creating Online Course and e-Learning Websites

        A Learning Management System (LMS) helps you automate and document the learning programs. It is suitable for both small-scale educational programs and university-level learning programs.

        Of course, even corporate training programs can be hosted using a learning management system.

        While it has a lot of use-cases, having a transparent platform for your Learning Management System should be a benefit for any organization.

        So, in this article, we will be listing some of the best open source LMS.

      • Programming/Development

        • Report from the virtual ISO C++ meetings in 2020 (core language)

          C++ standardization was dramatically different in 2020 from earlier years. The business of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) committee all took place virtually, much like everything else during this pandemic. This article summarizes the C++ standardization proposals before the Core and Evolution Working Groups last year.

        • Use multiple compilers to build better projects – Red Hat Developer

          For a multitude of reasons, developers usually compile the project they are working on with only one compiler. On Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, the system compiler for C and C++ is GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 8, and newer versions are available through the GCC toolset.

          However, there are several reasons why you might also build your project with Clang. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 offers the LLVM toolset, which contains Clang.

          In this article, we’ll take a look at why one might use more than one compiler. We’ll focus on a system where GCC is currently the default compiler and consider Clang as the main alternative.

        • Python

          • Patrick Cloke: A new maintainer for django-allauth-2fa

            I’m excited to announce the django-allauth-2fa project has a new maintainer! It can now be found under the valohai organization on GitHub, who have already contributed quite a bit to the package.

          • The quest for faster Python: Pyston returns to open source, Facebook releases Cinder, or should devs just use PyPy?

            Facebook has released Cinder, used internally in Instagram to improve Python performance, while another faster Python, called Pyston, has released version 2.2 and made the project open source (again).

            Python is the world’s second most popular programming language (after JavaScript) according to some surveys; but it is by no means the fastest. A glance at benchmarks tells us that Python 3 computation is often many times slower than compiled languages like C and Go, or JIT (Just-in-Time) compiled languages like Java and JavaScript.

            One reason is that the official implementation of Python, called CPython, is an interpreted, dynamic language, and its creator Guido Van Rossum has resisted optimising it for performance, saying in 2014 that “Python is about having the simplest, dumbest compiler imaginable, and the official runtime semantics actively discourage cleverness in the compiler like parallelizing loops or turning recursion into loops.”

  • Leftovers

    • How Theater Can Help Us Survive

      At a time when we have been deprived of live theater for over a year, I can think of no one as inspiring, no one who proves more vividly why theater matters as it faces an uncertain future than Oscar Castro, a Chilean actor, director, and playwright who died of Covid in Paris on April 25 at the age of 73.

    • On the Spectrum

      We can apply this same concept to what we call rationality. Just as is the case with “sanity,” the notion of rationality covers a lot of territory. It would be a mistake—actually you would have to gloss over a lot of history—to just claim humans are all “homo sapiens” or “wise people” and leave it at that.

      A Spectrum For Rationality

    • Opinion | Tinfoil Nation: On Cyber Ninjas and Bamboo Traces and Watermarks To Tell the Nefarious If Delusional Tale
    • ‘Everyone around is snoring, but Yekaterinburg has awakened’ When the Urals’ largest city declared itself Russia’s street art capital, everyone laughed. Then it became the truth.

      In the last few years, street art has become one of Yekaterinburg’s main attractions. The city’s streets have become a gallery of social commentary and protest art — and local utility companies don’t seem to mind, painting over it much less frequently than in other cities. Strange as it may sound, the current boom is due in large part to local officials, who encouraged and financed an entire street art festival in Yekaterinburg — although not without making some enemies. As the city’s street artists told Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev, at some point they decided, with no real basis, to declare the city Russia’s “street art capital.” And before long, it was.

    • Sports Unions Come Together to Fight for the PRO Act

      The PRO Act is about as important a piece of labor legislation as we’ve seen in some time. It holds the potential to open the door for workers and organizers to step up and reverse 40 years of losses for organized labor. The law, whose initials stand for Protecting the Right to Organize, aims to do just that: protect workers from being harassed or fired if they try to organize a union or if they try to help their already existing union become more active in their workplace. This is seen as the number one legislative priority for organized labor. The bill’s chances of passing the Senate are regarded as slim, but that isn’t stopping the union movement from trying to get it passed. Now the PRO Act has very loud and proud support from another group of “pros,” the major sports unions of the United States: the Major League Baseball Players Association, the NBA Players Association, the NFL Players Association, and the NHL Players Association.

    • Education

      • Key Lessons for Success in Higher Education and Beyond

        Hence, before I voluntarily withdrew from UCLA in Winter of ’88, embarking on a hiatus to become a community organizer and idealistically transform the world, I received the following English grades:

        This doesn’t include a couple of incompletes, where I left with a 2.32 GPA!

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 156 released

            Another update is available: IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 156. As usual for this time of the year, it is a spring clear release that updates lots of software and brings a new exciting feature: Live Graphs.

            Before we talk about what is new, I would like to as you for your support for our project. IPFire is a small team of people from a range of backgrounds sharing one goal: make the Internet a safer place for everyone. Like many of our open source friends, we’ve taken a hit this year and would like to ask for your continued support. Please follow the link below where your donation can help fund our continued development: [https://www.ipfire.org/donate]((https://www.ipfire.org/donate).

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (mediawiki and unbound1.9), Fedora (djvulibre and samba), Mageia (ceph, messagelib, and pagure), openSUSE (alpine and exim), Oracle (kernel and postgresql), Scientific Linux (postgresql), and Ubuntu (thunderbird and unbound).

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 174 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 174. This version includes the following changes:

            [ Chris Lamb ]
            * Check that we are parsing an actual Debian .buildinfo file, not just
              a file with that extension.
              (Closes: #987994, reproducible-builds/diffoscope#254)
            * Support signed .buildinfo files again -- file(1) reports them as
              "PGP signed message".
            
            [ Mattia Rizzolo ]
            * Make the testsuite pass with file(1) version 5.40.
            * Embed some short test fixtures in the test code itself.
            * Fix recognition of compressed .xz files with file(1) 5.40.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Rubber Stamps Mass Surveillance Under Section 702 – Again

              Apparently, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) didn’t get the memo. That’s because, under a recently declassified decision from November 2020, the FISC again found that a series of overly complex but still ultimately swiss cheese agency protocols — that are admittedly not even being followed — resolve the Fourth Amendment problems caused by the massive governmental seizures and searches of our communications currently occurring under FISA Section 702. The annual review by the FISC is required by law — it’s supposed to ensure that both the policies and the practices of the mass surveillance under 702 are sufficient. It failed on both counts.  

              The protocols themselves are inherently problematic. The law only requires that intelligence officials “reasonably believe” the “target” of an investigation to be a foreigner abroad — it is immaterial to the initial collection that there is an American, with full constitutional rights, on the other side of a communication

              Justice Roberts was concerned with a single phone seized pursuant to a lawful arrest.  The FISC is apparently unconcerned when it rubber stamps mass surveillance impacting, by the government’s own admission, hundreds of thousand of nonsuspect Americans.

            • Surveillance Self-Defense Playlist: Getting to Know Your Phone

              The operating systems (OS) on our phones weren’t originally built with user privacy in mind or optimized fully to keep threatening services at bay. Along with the phone’s software, different hardware components have been added over time to make the average smartphone a Swiss army knife of capabilities, many of which can be exploited to invade your privacy and threaten your digital security. This new resource attempts to map out the hardware and software components, the relationships between the two, and what threats they can create. These threats can come from individual malicious hackers or organized groups all the way up to government level professionals. This guide will help users understand a wide range of topics relevant to mobile privacy, including: 

              This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive breakdown of CPU architecture in phones, but rather of the capabilities that affect your privacy more frequently, whether that is making a phone call, texting, or using navigation to get to a destination you have never been to before. We hope to give the reader a bird’s-eye view of how that rectangle in your hand works, take away the mystery behind specific privacy and security threats, and empower you with information you can use to protect yourself.

              EFF is grateful for the support of the National Democratic Institute in providing funding for this security playlist. NDI is a private, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization focused on supporting democracy and human rights around the world. Learn more by visiting https://NDI.org.

            • Peloton Is Having A Rough Week: Product Safety Recalls And News Of Customer Data Exposure

              Peloton is, as they say, having a rough week. While the company has been something of a pop culture darling for several years, it also got a nice boost from this lovely COVID-19 pandemic we’ve all been suffering through for more than a year now. Still, no company gets through its full lifecycle unscathed and this week has been a week I’m certain the Peloton folks would love to forget. We’ll get started with the less-Techdirt centric part of this, which is that Peloton recently had to recall two of its treadmills after it turns out those treadmills occasionally enjoy eating people, especially very young children.

            • The Biden Administration Wants to Partner with Criminals to Spy on You

              Federal law enforcement agencies are legally and constitutionally  forbidden to monitor the private activities of citizens without first getting warrants based on probable cause to believe those citizens have committed, or are committing, crimes. The feds can browse public social media posts and so forth, but secretly trawling private groups and hacking encrypted chats is off-limits.

              Private companies and nonprofit civic organizations, not being government entities, don’t need warrants or probable cause to access those private discussion areas.  The administration’s bright idea is that through partnership with these non-government entities, they can get around legal and constitutional barriers:  “WE didn’t collect the information. THEY collected the information, then gave it to us.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Military-Industrial Complex Exerts Powerful Influence on Biden’s Foreign Policy
      • The US Has Been at War My Entire Life. Will the Wars Ever End?

        Here’s the strange thing in an ever-stranger world: I was born in July 1944 in the midst of a devastating world war. That war ended in August 1945 with the atomic obliteration of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by the most devastating bombs in history up to that moment, given the sweet code names “Little Boy” and “Fat Man.”

      • Chauvin Lost, but the Murderers Won

        But during the time of the trial, the party of murderers gained more votes than that. From the middle of March to the end of April, eight people of color, mostly African American, were killed by the police. They did this in teams, as if they were really serious about what they were doing. If there were at least two cops involved in each of these 8 killings (in some there were more), that makes at least 16 votes for murder against the 12 votes cast by the jury. Murder won, 16 – 12. If this had been an election, the party of murderers would have gained some seats. And the party of human life would remain a minority.

        The murderers win even against the demonstrated voice of the people. For weeks in April, for months in 2020, for years during the 21st century, people have taken to the streets demanding that the police stop murdering people, and especially black people. Not only does it not stop, but the rate of killing goes up, as if to comfort the one taken to court.

      • Peace Activist Interrupts General Dynamics Shareholder Meeting to Blast the Business of War

        CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin took CEO Phebe Novakovic to task for “personally making $21 million a year through a business model that thrives on conflict, death, and destruction.”

      • Putin’s spokesman comments on reports that the alleged Skripal poisoners are now Kremlin officials

        Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov says he doesn’t have any information about whether or not the Russian nationals known as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov now work for the presidential administration.

      • Opinion | Afghan Withdrawal and the Loss of America’s Ultimate Drug War

        Will the nightmare of Saigon’s fall return in Kabul?

      • The True Meaning of the Afghan “Withdrawal”

        For politicians of Joe Biden’s generation that recurring nightmare was Saigon, 1975. Communist tanks ripping through the streets as friendly forces flee. Thousands of terrified Vietnamese allies pounding at the U.S. Embassy’s gates. Helicopters plucking Americans and Vietnamese from rooftops and disgorging them on Navy ships. Sailors on those ships, now filled with refugees, shoving those million-dollar helicopters into the sea. The greatest power on Earth sent into the most dismal of defeats.

        Back then, everyone in official Washington tried to avoid that nightmare. The White House had already negotiated a peace treaty with the North Vietnamese in 1973 to provide a “decent interval” between Washington’s withdrawal and the fall of the South Vietnamese capital. As defeat loomed in April 1975, Congress refused to fund any more fighting. A first-term senator then, Biden himself said, “The United States has no obligation to evacuate one, or 100,001, South Vietnamese.” Yet it happened anyway. Within weeks, Saigon fell and some 135,000 Vietnamese fled, producing scenes of desperation seared into the conscience of a generation.

      • “Nothing to Lose”: Colombians Protest “Fascist Mafia Regime” Amid Deadly Police & Military Crackdown

        At least 30 people in Colombia have been reportedly killed since a nationwide uprising erupted against the government of right-wing President Iván Duque. Protesters are vowing to remain in the streets amid a deadly crackdown by police and military officers. About 800 people have been injured and 87 people are missing in the midst of the demonstrations, which were initially sparked by a now-withdrawn tax reform proposal, but they have since expanded in scope. People in Colombia are also denouncing rampant police brutality and demanding broader social, economic and political reforms. At least 15 people were killed in a massacre in the city of Cali on April 30 after police repeatedly opened fire on protesters. “The country has been a place of repression,” says Emilia Márquez Pizano, sex and gender director with the Colombian nonprofit Temblores, which collects data on police violence in the country. We also speak with Manuel Rozental, a Colombian activist with more than 40 years of involvement in grassroots political organizing and member of the collective Pueblos en Camino. He says “Colombians are fed up” with what he describes as the “fascist mafia regime” of Iván Duque. “They have pushed Colombians into the streets because most Colombians have nothing to lose,” Rozental says.

      • Putin’s Crackdown On Demonstrators Adds A Sadistic Twist: Using Surveillance Cameras To Identify People, But To Arrest Them Only Days Or Months Later

        It’s hardly news that Vladimir Putin is cracking down on supporters of Alexey Navalny, or on the journalists who are brave enough to report on the wave of protests in support of the imprisoned opposition leader. But there are some interesting wrinkles to how this is happening. For example, in a move that will not surprise Techdirt readers, Moscow’s massive facial recognition camera network — supposedly set up to enforce quarantine restrictions, and to catch criminals — has been re-purposed, as Bloomberg reports:

      • President Zelensky says there are still 75,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine

        Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that there are still approximately 75,000 Russian troops near Ukraine’s borders. He also claimed that the Russian forces are withdrawing from the border region too slowly, and that they could still pose a threat to Ukraine.

      • USAID admits to Venezuela regime change fraud
      • US Special Forces trained Mexican drug cartels linked to decapitation, torture, rape
      • Secretary Blinken Faces a Big Test in Ukraine, Where Nazis and Their Sympathizers Are Glorified

        From the moment he was nominated for secretary of state, the media has made much over the Holocaust’s impact on Antony Blinken. Blinken’s stepfather was a famous survivor; his upbringing made the Holocaust an indelible part of Blinken’s identity. Indeed, last month Blinken lambasted America’s callousness during the genocide, going so far as denouncing a World War II–era State Department official for refusing to aid Jews fleeing Europe.

      • Strategic Compass: Secret services help determine EU’s military course

        Member states‘ foreign and defence ministries are today discussing future European Union military capabilities, including how to respond to „cyber threats“. The fodder for this „Strategic Dialogue“ comes from the domestic and foreign intelligence services. MEPs are not allowed to see any of the top-secret documents.

      • Police and State Violence Have Secondary Impacts: Complex and Lasting Trauma
      • Will Guantánamo Ever Be Shut Down?

        Twelve years ago, I had other expectations. I envisioned a writing project that I had no doubt would be part of my future: an account of Guantánamo’s last 100 days. I expected to narrate in reverse, the episodes in a book I had just published, The Least Worst Place: Guantánamo’s First 100 Days, about — well, the title makes it all too obvious — the initial days at that grim offshore prison. They began on January 11, 2002, as the first hooded prisoners of the American war on terror were ushered off a plane at that American military base on the island of Cuba.

        Needless to say, I never did write that book. Sadly enough, in the intervening years, there were few signs on the horizon of an imminent closing of that U.S. military prison. Weeks before my book was published in February 2009, President Barack Obama did, in fact, promise to close Guantánamo by the end of his first year in the White House. That hope began to unravel with remarkable speed. By the end of his presidency, his administration had, in fact, managed to release 197 of the prisoners held there without charges — many, including Mohamedou Ould Slahi, the subject of the film The Mauritanian, had also been tortured — but 41 remained, including the five men accused but not yet tried for plotting the 9/11 attacks. Forty remain there to this very day.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Cancel Culture Conundrums

        But what is cancel culture?  Isn’t that a rightwing term used to excuse bigoted behavior and avoid accountability for said behavior?  Yes, that’s how the right uses the concept — as a weapon against the rest of society.

        And that’s all I’ll say about that.  Now to the left.  Cancel culture on the left also exists.  The people claiming otherwise are part of the left’s version of cancel culture.  (Note to anarchists:  when I use the term “left,” this includes you, too.  We can argue about the semantics of that later.)

      • Facebook’s Oversight Board Isn’t Enough. The Government Must Regulate Big Tech.
      • Shoshana Zuboff: Facebook’s Oversight Board Is Not Enough. The Government Has to Regulate Big Tech

        Former President Donald Trump will continue to stay off Facebook after the company’s Oversight Board ruled Wednesday that his ban was justified for creating “an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible.” Trump was banned shortly after the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which he helped foment by promoting baseless claims of election fraud. The Oversight Board also said Facebook should reassess its ban and make a final decision in six months. Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School and author of the book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” says that Facebook’s recent moves follow years of inaction by CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “He showed that he was willing to do just about anything to appease Trump … to keep regulation at bay,” Zuboff says.

      • Devin Nunes’ Favorite Lawyer On The Hook For Over $20k In Sanctions

        Last month we wrote that Rep. Devin Nunes’ favorite lawyer, Steven Biss, who has been filing frivolous, vexatious SLAPP suit after frivolous, vexatious SLAPP suit, was finally facing some sanctions. The specific case did not directly involve Nunes, but rather one of his aides, Derek Harvey, who had filed a ridiculous SLAPP suit against CNN. As we wrote last month, the court had easily tossed the original lawsuit and warned Biss not to file an amended complaint unless he had a credible legal theory. Biss did not have a credible legal theory, but he still filed an amended complaint. And thus, the court issued sanctions, saying that Harvey, Biss and other lawyers would be on the hook for CNN’s legal fees.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • South Carolina Poised to Be Fourth State to Allow Death Penalty by Firing Squad
      • Wireless Companies Lobby to Weaken Bill That Would Protect Domestic Abuse Survivors From Threats

        A lobbying group for companies including Verizon and T-Mobile is fighting to neuter the Safe Connections Act, which passed in a Senate committee last week.

      • In Media Framing, Trans Kids Are Problems to Be Solved—Not People With Rights

        As states continue to pass laws that dehumanize and endanger transgender kids, the country’s most influential newspapers have not met the challenge of covering the issue. Across the country, 36 states have introduced or passed 127 bills that discriminate against trans kids, including barring trans kids from playing on the sports team that corresponds with their gender, and criminalizing or impeding providing gender-affirming healthcare for them.

      • Quibbling Over Cruelties: Human Rights Watch, Israel and Apartheid

        The word, and the application of its meaning, is immemorially nasty. The theoreticians, and the broader Boer intellectual milieu, were fearful of Black Africans and British occupation policies which, they argue, also impoverished the “English gold hunger.” This deeply thought through policy of Afrikaans origin speaks to a hatred not merely of Black Africans, but to the logic of British imperialism and its carefree mixing of multiracial labour.  But apartheid has become an expression so singular it resists appropriation, adaptation and application.  This is all good from a historian’s point of view, but, taken in its theoretical idea and its application, the Israeli policy towards Palestinians in certain areas (the Occupied Territories, for instance) suggests that the term varies in application.

        HRW, however, is a touch loose on distinguishing the policy, highlighting that Israeli “authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity.”  It remarks that the Israeli government aims “to ensure that Jewish Israelis maintain domination across Israel and the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories).”

      • 36 Civil Society Organizations Urge Biden to Reverse Draconian Sanctions Against Cuba

        “A policy position guided by human rights needs to address how U.S. sanctions towards Cuba severely limit the rights of Cuban citizens to food security, climate justice and dignity.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • New York AG Reveals Telecom Giants Funded ‘Secret Campaign’ to Flood FCC With Fake Net Neutrality Comments

        “This investigation shows how low the industry will stoop to undermine even the most basic and benign safeguards.”

      • AT&T’s “Harvesting” Scam

        In April 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) undertook an exhaustive examination of the policies and practices of Pacific Bell Telephone Company (dba AT&T California [AT&T]) and Verizon California Inc. (dba Frontier California) and found they ”consistently failed to meet existing service quality metrics.”

        “AT&T appears to have adopted a ‘harvesting strategy’ for its legacy POTS services,” the CPUC noted. It added, “the company has ceased active marketing of POTS, has degraded POTS service quality, and instead relies upon successive price increases and customer inertia to maintain its declining POTS revenue stream. [CPUC/17-18] Ars Technica reports that the study was “written in April 2019 but kept private because data submitted by the carriers was deemed confidential and proprietary.” When it was finally released, it was heavily redacted.

      • Opinion | Lack of Broadband Access Advances Systemic Inequality

        Adults living without broadband face significant barriers in accessing employment, education, and other necessities—but children are also impacted.

      • NY AG Proves Broadband Industry Funded Phony Public Support For Attack On Net Neutrality

        This week New York Attorney General Leticia James unveiled a new report (also see accompanying statement) proving what most people already knew: the broadband industry was behind the use of fake and dead people to generate bogus support for the FCC’s controversial 2017 repeal of net neutrality.

      • Outliving Outrage on the Public Interest Internet: the CDDB Story

        In our previous blog post, we discussed how in the early days of the internet, regulators feared that without strict copyright enforcement and pre-packaged entertainment, the new digital frontier would be empty of content. But the public interest internet barn-raised to fill the gap—before the fledgling digital giants commercialised and enclosed those innovations. These enclosures did not go unnoticed, however—and some worked to keep the public interest internet alive.

        Compact discs (CDs) were the cutting edge of the digital revolution a decade before the web. Their adoption initially followed Lehman’s rightsholder-led transition – where existing publishers led the charge into a new medium, rather than the user-led homesteading of the internet. The existing record labels maintained control of CD production and distribution, and did little to exploit the new tech—but they did profit from bringing their old back catalogues onto the new digital format. The format was immensely profitable, because everyone re-bought their existing vinyl collections to move it onto CD. Beyond the improved fidelity of CDs, the music industry had no incentive to add new functionality to CDs or their players. When CD players were first introduced, they were sold exclusively as self-contained music devices—a straight-up replacement for record players that you could plug into speakers or your hi-fi “music centre,”  but not much else. They were digital, but in no way online or integrated with any other digital technology.

        The exception was the CD playing hardware that was incorporated into the latest multimedia PCs—a repurposing of the dedicated music playing hardware which sent the CD to the PC as a pile of digital data. With this tech, you could use CDs as a read-only data store, a fixed set of data, a “CD-ROM”; or you could insert a CD music disc, and use your desktop PC to read in and play its digital audio files through tinny desktop speakers, or headphones.

      • The Enclosure of the Public Interest Internet

        It’s hard to believe now, but in the early days of the public internet, the greatest worry of some of its most high-powered advocates was that it would be empty. As the Clinton administration prepared to transition the internet from its academic and military origins to the heart of the promised “national information infrastructure” (NII), the government’s advisors fretted that the United States entertainment and information industries would have no commercial reason to switch from TV, radio, and recorded music. And without Hollywood and the record labels on board, the new digital environment would end up as a ghost mall, devoid of businesses or users.

        “All the computers, telephones, fax machines, scanners, cameras, keyboards, televisions, monitors, printers, switches, routers, wires, cables, networks and satellites in the world will not create a successful NII, if there is not content”, former Patent Office head Bruce Lehman’s notorious 1994 government green paper on intellectual property on the Net warned. The fear was that without the presence of the pre-packaged material of America’s entertainment industry, the nation would simply refuse to go online. As law professor Jessica Litman describes it, these experts’ vision of the Internet was “a collection of empty pipes, waiting to be filled with content.” 

        Even as the politicians were drafting new, more punitive copyright laws intended to reassure Hollywood and the record labels (and tempt them into new, uncharted waters), the Internet’s first users were moving in and building anyway. Even with its tiny audience of technologists, first-adopters, and university students, the early net quickly filled with compelling “content,” a  free-wheeling, participatory online media that drew ever larger crowds as it evolved.

      • Introducing the Public Interest Internet

        But on the real internet, one or two clicks away from that handful of conglomerates, there remains a wider, more diverse, and more generous world. Often run by volunteers, frequently without any obvious institutional affiliation, sometimes tiny, often local, but free for everyone online to use and contribute to, this internet preceded Big Tech, and inspired the earliest, most optimistic vision of its future place in society.

        When Big Tech is long gone, a better future will come from the seed of this public interest internet: seeds that are being planted now, and which need everyone to nurture them. 

        The word “internet” has been so effectively hijacked by its most dystopian corners that it’s grown harder to even refer to this older element of online life, let alone bring it back into the forefront of society’s consideration. In his work documenting this space and exploring its future, academic, entrepreneur, and author Ethan Zuckerman has named it our “digital public infrastructure.” Hana Schank and her colleagues at the New America think tank have revitalized discussions around what they call “public interest technology.”  In Europe, activists, academics and public sector broadcasters talk about the benefits of the internet’s “public spaces” and improving and expanding the “public stack.” Author and activist Eli Pariser has dedicated a new venture to advancing better digital spaces—what its participants describe as the “New Public”.

      • ‘Price Too High and Rising’: New Report Blasts Broadband Industry for Fueling Digital Divide

        “The steep price of a high-speed connection is the primary barrier—a hard truth that flies in the face of the wild claims broadband-industry lobbyists make about prices getting better for internet users.”

      • Former FCC Boss Ajit Pai Gets Handsomely Rewarded For Years Of Broadband Policy Falsehoods

        What’s the career penalty for spending four straight years lying repeatedly about the illusory benefits of mindless telecom deregulation? None, apparently.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Movie Tycoon Sues YouTube over Piracy and Exposes Content-ID ‘Caveat’

          Movie tycoon Carlos Vasallo is suing YouTube for widespread copyright infringement. Despite sending over 10,000 takedown notices, pirated copies of his movies continue to appear. YouTube did offer access to its Content-ID system but the movie magnate refused, as that would require him to release the video platform from all possible piracy claims that took place in the past.

        • Triller Wants Google & YouTube To Unmask Jake Paul vs Ben Askren Pirates

          Last week Triller filed a $100m lawsuit against several sites claiming that they illegally streamed the Jake Paul vs Ben Askren fight. The judge says that since Triller has failed to provide evidence that they acted jointly, one or more of the targets could be dropped from the lawsuit. Triller says that evidence will be forthcoming but it needs permission to quickly subpoena Google and YouTube.

        • Cox Sues Rightscorp and BMG over ‘Abusive’ DMCA Notice Campaign

          Internet provider Cox Communications has filed a lawsuit against Rightscorp and BMG, accusing them of sending thousands of DMCA notices to an outdated email address. The ISP argues that the companies intentionally engaged in an abusive and unfair campaign with a goal of fabricating massive copyright infringement claims.

        • Why Is A Congressional Staffer Teaming Up With A Hollywood Lobbyist To Celebrate Expansion Of Criminal Copyright Laws?

          Late last year, we wrote about how bizarre it was that Senator Thom Tillis was trying to force through a felony streaming bill by attaching it to an end-of-the-year appropriations bill. There were so so many problems with this both in terms of what the bill would do, and in the procedural way it was done. First, Tillis got it attached to the “must pass” appropriations bill before he’d even introduced it. That meant that there was no debate and no direct votes on his bill.

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