06.10.21

Links 10/6/2021: Raspberry Digital Signage 15.0, NVIDIA Driver 470

Posted in News Roundup at 4:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo launches featherweight ThinkPad X1 Nano

        As hybrid modes of working become increasingly widespread, Lenovo has announced the launch of the featherweight ThinkPad X1 Nano in the UAE. It empowers PC users to work from anywhere, with enhanced connectivity, productivity and security.

        Weighing in at just 1.99 pounds (907g), the X1 Nano is not only the lightest ThinkPad ever created, but also the first to be based on the Intel Evo platform and powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors.

        The ThinkPad X1 Nano delivers supreme speed and intelligence while maintaining outstanding battery life.

        Commenting on the introduction of the PC to the local market, Mohammed Hilili, General Manager, Gulf and East Africa at Lenovo said, “Today’s workplace is no longer about where you go, it’s about what you do. While flexible working affords a great deal of privileges, certain challenges naturally remain. Organisations and individuals want the peace-of-mind to know that they can stay securely connected and immersed, wherever they choose to work from. Key to enabling this is a device which combines cutting-edge technology with practical usability. The ThinkPad X1 Nano ushers in a new era of possibilities for the always-on, hypermobile worker and we are confident that this PC has set a new benchmark for featherweight PC category in the marketplace.”

      • System76 Launch – A Very Well Built, Highly Configurable, Open-Source Keyboard

        Last month System76 launched their Launch Configurable Keyboard. They sent over this new open-source keyboard for some brief testing and I must say the build quality has been top notch and while this is their first keyboard they are bringing to market, with their US manufacturing expertise that began with their Thelio computer cases, it has carried forward with their Launch keyboard. This keyboard is beautifully crafted and among the most durable (and heaviest) keyboards I’ve used in the past two decades. It reminds me of the IBM Model M from a quality perspective but with its own unique advantages.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • printk() indexing [LWN.net]

        When kernel developers want to communicate something about the state of a running kernel, they tend to use printk(); that results in a log entry that is intended — with varying success — to be human-readable. As it happens, though, the consumers of that information are often not human; the kernel’s log output is also read by automated monitoring systems that are looking for problems. The result is an impedance mismatch that often ends with the monitoring system missing important messages. The printk() format indexing patch set is the latest of many attempts to improve this situation.

        Monitoring systems are installed by administrators who want to know when there is a problem with the systems they manage. So, for example, if the CPU bursts into flames, and the administrator doesn’t happen to be in the room to witness the event, they would at least like to receive an alert telling them to call their hardware vendor and the fire department, probably in that order. To produce this alert, the monitoring system will be watching the kernel log for the “CPU on fire” message printed by the relevant code in the kernel. If all goes well, the message will escape before the CPU melts and the replacement system can be ordered in a timely manner.

      • eBPF seccomp() filters [LWN.net]

        The seccomp() mechanism allows a process to load a BPF program to restrict its future use of system calls; it is a simple but flexible sandboxing mechanism that is widely used. Those filter programs, though, run on the “classic” BPF virtual machine, rather than the extended BPF (eBPF) machine used elsewhere in the kernel. Moving seccomp() to eBPF has been an often-requested change, but security concerns have prevented that from happening. The latest attempt to enable eBPF is this patch set from YiFei Zhu; whether it will succeed where others have failed remains to be seen.

        The purpose of a BPF program under seccomp() is to make a decision about whether a given system call should be allowed; to that end, these programs have limited access to the system-call arguments. There is also a notification mechanism by which decisions can be punted to a user-space daemon if needed. By using a filter program, tools like browsers or container-management systems can place limits on what they or their subprocesses can do.

        There are a number of reasons for wanting to use eBPF to write these programs — essentially, all of the motivations that led to the creation of eBPF in the first place. Switching to eBPF would make a number of new features available to seccomp() filter programs, including maps, helper functions, per-task storage, a more expressive instruction set, and more. Programs for eBPF can be written in C, which is not possible for classic-BPF programs — a problem that has led to the creation of special languages like easyseccomp. There is a whole ecosystem of tools for eBPF that developers using seccomp() would like to use.

        Given all of that, one might think that using eBPF with seccomp() would be uncontroversial; the roadblock in this case is security worries. The current mechanism is relatively simple and easy to verify; eBPF brings a whole new level of complexity to worry about. Applying a filter program with seccomp() is an unprivileged operation, and it would need to stay that way, but the BPF developers have given up on the idea of making eBPF safe for unprivileged use. Nobody is interested in turning seccomp() into a security problem in its own right.

      • Top-tier memory management [LWN.net]

        Modern computing systems can feature multiple types of memory that differ in their performance characteristics. The most common example is NUMA architectures, where memory attached to the local node is faster to access than memory on other nodes. Recently, persistent memory has started appearing in deployed systems as well; this type of memory is byte-addressable like DRAM, but it is available in larger sizes and is slower to access, especially for writes. This new memory type makes memory allocation even more complicated for the kernel, driving the need for a method to better manage multiple types of memory in one system.

        NUMA architectures contain some memory that is close to the current CPU, and some that is further away; remote memory is typically attached to different NUMA nodes. There is a difference in access performance between local and remote memory, so the kernel has gained support for NUMA topologies over the years. To maximize NUMA performance, the kernel tries to keep pages close to the CPU where they are used, but also allows the distribution of virtual memory areas across the NUMA nodes for deterministic global performance. The kernel documentation describes ways that tasks may influence memory placement on NUMA systems.

        The NUMA mechanism can be extended to handle persistent memory as well, but it was not really designed for that case. The future may bring even more types of memory, such as High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), which stacks DRAM silicon dies and provides a larger memory bus. Sooner or later, it seems that a different approach will be needed.

        Recently, kernel developers have been discussing a possible solution to the problem of different memory types: adding the notion of memory tiers. The proposed code extends the NUMA mode to include features like migrating infrequently used pages to slow memory, migrating hot pages back to fast memory, and a proposal for a control mechanism for this feature. The changes to the memory-management subsystem to support different tiers are complex; the developers are discussing three related patch sets, each building on those that came before.

      • AMD Has Yellow Carp Ready For Linux 5.14, More Smart Shift Updates + Display Fixes – Phoronix

        Along with Intel having wrapped up their graphics driver feature work for Linux 5.14, AMD sent in another pull request too with more feature code they have ready for their AMDGPU kernel driver in 5.14 and will likely be their last major pull for this cycle too.

        The AMD Radeon kernel graphics driver code for Linux 5.14 has already seen a number of features and improvements queue in DRM-Next. The exciting bits so far for Linux 5.14 on the red side include more Aldebaran accelerator bring-up work, HMM SVM support, PCI Express ASPM being enabled by default for relevant GPUs, TMZ support for Renoir, Van Gogh APU updates, Beige Goby support, GPU hot unplug support, AMD Smart Shift support for laptops, 16 bpc support for use by their Vulkan drivers, and a lot of smaller changes.

      • Linux 5.13 To Allow Controlling The Second Fan On The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 – Phoronix

        For those thinking about picking up a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 laptop powered by Intel’s latest-generation “Tiger Lake” processors, that model will see its second fan now properly supported by the current Linux 5.13 cycle.

        Sent in as a fix for the ongoing Linux 5.13 cycle is enabling the ThinkPad ACPI driver to control the second fan on this latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop. This support is necessary so the secondary fan doesn’t simply run at a constant rate.

      • Amazon Working On New Proactive Memory Reclamation For The Linux Kernel – Phoronix

        For over a year Amazon engineers have been working on DAMON as a new means of monitoring data accesses under Linux. That patch series has yet to be mainlined but continues being worked on with the intention of getting it upstreamed when ready. More recently the engineers involved have been working on a DAMON-based page reclamation implementation for the Linux kernel in dealing proactively dealing with systems having high memory load.

      • Linux 5.12.10
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.12.10 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.12 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.12.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.12.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.4.125
      • Linux 4.19.194
      • Linux 4.14.236
      • Linux 4.9.272
      • Linux 4.4.272
      • Hardware

        • Intel Publishes A Bunch Of Code Samples For Helping To Optimize For Their Latest CPUs – Phoronix

          Intel has maintained a lengthy “Optimization Reference Manual” for showing developers how to optimize code for their latest CPU microarchitectures, but accompanied by their latest manual update is now a lot of actual code samples for easing the process of learning about Intel’s optimization techniques for taking full advantage of their latest processors.

          Outside of the open-source/Linux support enabling and other key areas directly related to the bring-up of their new hardware, Intel’s engineers already do a lot in the name of performance for open-source projects like often times contributing optimizations directly and other features to take advantage of their latest processor features in popular open-source projects. We’ve covered such Intel contributions countless times on Phoronix over the years.

        • NVIDIA driver 470 for Linux to include support for async reprojection | GamingOnLinux

          Seems like NVIDIA are going all-out for the upcoming 470 driver series for Linux. As they’ve stated that finally async reprojection will be supported on Linux. Not only then will we be getting hardware accelerated GL and Vulkan rendering with Xwayland, plus DLSS was recently announced for Proton – we’re now going to hopefully see a better VR experience.

          This has been a long time coming! Async reprojection works for AMD GPUs on Linux but NVIDIA just left us out. This is the reason why Valve themselves had been recommending an AMD GPU for Half-Life: Alyx on Linux, as it’s a big feature to be missing out on.

    • Applications

      • FSearch: Lightweight File Search Apps For Linux!

        Xubuntu is a Linux distribution variant of Ubuntu. This makes some applications in Ubuntu may not be installed by default on Xubuntu. An example is a file search utility. On Xubuntu which uses the Xfce4 desktop environment, we can search for files using Catfish.

        Catfish is a useful application for finding files quickly. However, this application has the disadvantage of not being able to move multiple files at once. For example, when we search for images with .jpg format. To move it we need to go into the folder and move one by one. I don’t know if the next version of Catfish will provide this feature or not.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Swappiness in Linux: Everything you need to know

        If you have been a Linux user or enthusiast for a considerable amount of time, then the term swap or swap memory should not be news to you. But, unfortunately, many Linux users tend to confuse the concept of swap memory with swappiness. The most common misconception is that a swappiness value indicates the maximum usable RAM before the actual swapping process begins.

        To burst this widely reported misconception, we have to break down the definition of both swapping and swappiness.

      • When more is less: Embracing new Linux tools and new ways of working

        The more and less commands do, more or less, the same things. But do they tell you anything about the users who prefer one or the other? In this post, I’m going to come clean about my biases and some of the advantages of using less to do more.

        I had a conversation with a colleague recently. I’m not especially proud of what I said, but it was a good opportunity for me to think about some things. Here is the conversation in its entirety:

        “I don’t trust people who pipe their output through less instead of more.”

        “Why not?”

        “I feel like they don’t know how to *nix the right way!”

        This is what I said. I am not making this up. I even have the IRC chat logs to prove it! I was the one expressing my displeasure with people who use the less command. But why? What was it that made me feel that way about something as innocuous as a simple pager command? Had these people committed some sort of mortal sin? Was the invocation of less creating some sort of cosmic imbalance that created an existential issue for the world in which we live that would cause the universe to spin out of control into the great /dev/null?

      • A Beginners Guide to User Management on Ubuntu Desktop and Server

        User management is one of the most important tasks in an enterprise environment. Even a single system uses multiple users, not only for logging in, but also for running various applications. Even in a Linux environment, an administrative role is necessary for managing multiple user accounts, their credentials, and the security of the systems. The basic commands must be known to the Linux admin to manage these multiple user accounts (users and other subgroups).

        In this tutorial, we will look at the basic Linux commands that may be needed in user management. We also show you how to do user management using Ubuntu Desktop

      • Vincent Bernat: Serving WebP & AVIF images with Nginx

        WebP and AVIF are two image formats for the web. They aim to produce smaller files than JPEG and PNG. They both support lossy and lossless compression, as well as alpha transparency. WebP was developed by Google and is a derivative of the VP8 video format. It is supported on most browsers. AVIF is using the newer AV1 video format to achieve better results. It is supported by Chromium-based browsers and has experimental support for Firefox.

        Your browser supports WebP and AVIF image formats. Your browser supports none of these image formats. Your browser only supports the WebP image format. Your browser only supports the AVIF image format.

      • Why Are Linux Commands So Short? The History of Linux Commands

        Let’s face it, Linux commands are weird. Cat, mv, ls, pwd, they’re all so short. Why is that? The answer lies, as with many things on Linux, in its Unix origins.

        [...]

        In the 1960s, when Unix was first being developed, the main way to communicate with computers interactively was through Teletype machines. These devices were essentially typewriters that could receive signals from other machines. Back in time, teletypes machines were responsible for remote communications and telegraphy.

      • Setting up PostgreSQL 13.2 && Python VENV verified via another PyQT5 module on Debian Bullseye/sid
      • How to install Discord on Linux Mint 20.1 Ulyssa – Linux Shout

        Discord is a free instant messenger and voice-over IP application available for multiple platforms such as Linux, Windows, Mac, and portable platforms such as Android and iOS and even directly in the browser. It offers various communication mediums – voice calls, video calls, text messaging, media and files in private. Here we learn how to install Discord on Linux Mint using the command terminal:

      • How to Install OH-MY-ZSH in Ubuntu 21.04 – Unixcop

        OH-MY-ZSH is an open-source framework for managing ZSH configuration and is community-driven. It comes bundled with tons of helpful functions, plugins, helpers, themes, and a few things that will make you better at the terminal. There are currently 275+ plugins and 150 themes supported.

        First thing first, you need to install and set up ZSH as your default shell in Ubuntu.

      • Retrieve Latest Mirror List Using Reflector In Arch Linux – OSTechNix

        Maintaining up-to-date mirror list in your Arch Linux gives some benefits. If you use updated mirrorlist, you could easily avoid slow download rate, and timed-out error messages while installing, and updating packages. This tutorial explains what is Reflector and how to retrieve latest mirror list in Arch Linux using Reflector.

      • How To Install VestaCP on Ubuntu/ Debian and RHEL/Centos – Unixcop

        VestaCP is an open-source hosting control panel. It is really so simple to install and configure Vesta Control Panel on Centos 7/ Ubuntu/Debian system. in this tutorial we will cover the complete installation process of VestaCP.

      • How to Enable Automatic Shutdown / Hibernate on idle on Ubuntu | UbuntuHandbook

        Unlike laptop lid close action, it’s easy to tell Ubuntu to shutdown or hibernate automatically when reached idle timeout.

        In all current Ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and Ubuntu 21.04 running with the default GNOME desktop, you can enable ‘Automatic Suspend‘ feature in Power Settings easily.

        What if you want to power off, hibernate, or even log-out Ubuntu after it reached inactivity timeout? Here’s how to do this in two ways.

      • How to Install ProjectSend with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04

        ProjectSend is a free and open-source file and image sharing application that helps you to share files between your company and clients. It is a client-oriented file sharing tool that allows you to upload and share unlimited file size on any server. It is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database to store the information. It offers a rich set of features including, Real-time statistics, self-registration, self login, Custom E-mail templates, and more.

        In this post, we will show you how to install the ProjectSend file sharing application with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to debug issues with volumes mounted on rootless containers | Enable Sysadmin

        One of the most frequent questions I am asked about rootless Podman is how to debug issues with volumes mounted into the container. This question is deceptively hard. In many ways, running Podman without root is almost identical to running it as root. Unfortunately, this is not always true, and volumes are one of the areas with the most significant differences. Here, I’ll explain in detail what these differences are, what kinds of errors they can cause, and how you can work around them. To start, we need some background information on how rootless containers work, beginning with one of the most fundamental features of rootless Podman: User namespaces.

      • How to install Docker Container on Manjaro Linux – Linux Shout

        Simple steps to install, create and run Docker container on Manjaro Linux via Docker Hub to use various applications in a virtual environment.

        Using virtual machines have its own advantages, it gives better consumption of hardware resource, saves costs and space. However, running each and every app on traditional virtual machines is not only time-consuming but also requires more resources. To resolve this issue, Docker comes into the scenarios. It provides us the ability to run applications instantly in a virtualized environment called Containers. These containers can build on one another and communicate with one another as well… Examples of these applications would be an Apache server or a MySQL database.

        It is a lightweight alternative to regular virtual platforms that uses system-level virtualization under Linux. The distribution of the Docker containers takes place via the Docker Hub. Here we learn how to install Docker Container on Manjaro Linux.

      • Install Discord on AlmaLinux or Rocky Linux 8 – Linux Shout

        Discord is a combination of chat on IRC and voice chat in the style of Teamspeak. The service can be used both via the website without a client and for Windows, Mac, and portable platforms such as Android and iOS and even directly in the browser.

        It is very popular among gamers particularly those who stream games to get in touch with their viewers. The chats take place in their own channels, thus it allows the creation of user groups that are public or can only be used by invitation. Discord can connect to other social networks such as Twitch, Facebook, or Twitter to be able to access the same friends. Apart from it, Discord also offers its integration into Steam and other platforms and to display chats as an overlay in games.

      • Publishing sonar readings with micro-ROS on the Raspberry Pi Pico

        In this post, we will see how to wire up an HC-SR04 range sensor to the Raspberry Pi Pico and publish its readings to the ROS 2 graph using micro-ROS. This builds upon the previous post ‘Getting started with micro-ROS on the Raspberry Pi Pico’. As such, I’d encourage you to read it first if you are not already familiar with the topic.

      • Use cpulimit to free up your CPU – Fedora Magazine

        The recommended tool for managing system resources on Linux systems is cgroups. While very powerful in terms of what sorts of limits can be tuned (CPU, memory, disk I/O, network, etc.), configuring cgroups is non-trivial. The nice command has been available since 1973. But it only adjusts the scheduling priority among processes that are competing for time on a processor. The nice command will not limit the percentage of CPU cycles that a process can consume per unit of time. The cpulimit command provides the best of both worlds. It limits the percentage of CPU cycles that a process can allocate per unit of time and it is relatively easy to invoke.

        The cpulimit command is mainly useful for long-running and CPU-intensive processes. Compiling software and converting videos are common examples of long-running processes that can max out a computer’s CPU. Limiting the CPU usage of such processes will free up processor time for use by other tasks that may be running on the computer. Limiting CPU-intensive processes will also reduce the power consumption, heat output, and possibly the fan noise of the system. The trade-off for limiting a process’s CPU usage is that it will require more time to run to completion.

      • How to install Notepadqq on Deepin 20.2

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Notepadqq on Deepin 20.2. Enjoy!

      • How to install Sonic Robo Blast 2.2.9 on a Chromebook – SRB2

        Today we are looking at how to install Sonic Robo Blast 2.2.9 – SRB2 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to manage dynamic virtual hosts with Apache and the mod_vhost_alias module

        The Apache web server has the ability to serve multiple websites from the same IP address, using virtual hosts. Each Virtual Host can be configured in the main server configuration file, or, thanks to the Include or the IncludeOptional directives, in its own dedicated one. When the number of virtual hosts increases, their management starts to become troublesome. If their configuration is quite similar, we can manage them dynamically, thanks to the mod_vhost_alias module. In this tutorial we will see how to do it.

      • How To Install Monit on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Monit on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Monit is an open-source program used to monitor services on Linux systems and ensure they are always online. Monit supervises the processes and restarts them on failure detection. Apart from the processes, Monit can also be used to monitor CPU, RAM, Disk, File Size, and trigger alerts on out-of-bound values. It also shows how to trigger alert emails using custom templates.

        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 Monit on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Install Remote Desktop (XRDP) on Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

        Remote Desktop Protocol allows users to access remote systems desktop. The XRDP service provides you a graphical login to the remote machines using Microsoft RDP (​Remote Desktop Protocol). The XRDP also supports two-way clipboard transfer (text, bitmap, file), audio redirection, and drive redirection (mount local client drives on the remote machines).

        XRDP is an easy-to-install and configurable service for Ubuntu systems. But you can also use a VNC server to access the remote desktop of the Ubuntu systems. Find a tutorial to install a VNC server on Ubuntu 20.04 systems.

      • How can I download an entire website on Linux and Windows 10

        Sometimes you might want to download an entire website e.g. to archive it or read it offline. This tutorial will show you which application can be used on Windows and Linux.

        I will use the tool wget here, which’s a command-line program that is available for Windows, Linux, and MAC.

      • How to Install Dig in Linux with Command Line Examples – Unixcop

        Dig (Domain Information Groper) is a command-line utility that performs DNS lookup by querying name servers and displaying the result to you. The Dig command is another powerful tool similar to nslookup for diagnosing DNS-related problems.

        In this tutorial, we’ll see all the primary uses of the dig command with practical examples in the Linux operating system.

      • How to Install Go Programming Language on Ubuntu 20.04

        Go is one of the latest open source programming languages that is used to do memory management safely and also helps in dealing with garbage collection gracefully. It is a statically typed language that can conveniently manage objects and hence provides a very efficient way of creating useful programs. This article shows you how you can install the Go language on an Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How to Install SpamAssassin on Ubuntu/Debian – Unixcop

        SpamAssassin is free and Open-source and relies on Perl language to scan and identify email headers, subject lines, and body to keep a server from spam. It will save your mailbox from many unwanted spam emails. In this guide, we will see how to install SpamAssassin on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to install the Lazarus IDE on Linux – PragmaticLinux

        Interested in developing a graphical user interface (GUI) application for Linux? Consider Lazarus as the integrated development environment (IDE) of choice. This article shows you how to install the Lazarus IDE on popular Linux distributions, including: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and openSUSE. Lazarus, with its wealth of included components, enables you to quickly design and build attractive looking GUI applications on Linux.

      • How to install Microsoft Teams on AlmaLinux or Rocky 8
      • How to install Snap pack support on Linux

        Snappy aka Snap, is a next generation revolutionary technology that is used to build and install desktop apps on Linux. Snappy, which is originally a package management system and a deployment software, was built by Canonical. Snaps are independent, easy to use, software packages that are simple to install and create. They can auto update themselves and are safe to use and run. Snapd is the tool that enables you to use the packages. Currently, it works on several Linux distributions and therefore allows software to be deployed independently of distribution.

      • 16 Quick SCP Command Examples in Linux

        To copy files and folders from one server to another server we may need to use file sharing services such as NFS or samba (SMB) sharing. It is not practical to create an NFS or samba server just to copy files and folders. Linux provides an alternative solution where we can use scp command-line utility tool to securely copy files from one machine to another.

        Scp , Also known as secure copy, is used to copy files between hosts over the network. Scp protocol uses SSH for data transfer using the same authentication with the same security as SSH. Just like SSH, you need to know the credentials of the remote machine for authentication. In this article, we will cover 16 quick scp command with examples. Let’s start with syntax of scp command.

      • Apt-cache – Search for Software Packages

        Apt-cache is a command-line tool that queries and displays available information about packages from local APT files. Package information includes the package name, description, version, dependencies, repo, and maintainer.

        The local apt files which store the copy from Debian mirror is in /var/lib/apt/lists/. This file is updated each time apt update command executed. This way when someone searches for packages system doesn’t have to go through the different networks to fetch Debian mirrors.

        Information source depend on the repo listed in the /etc/apt/sources.list file and third party repo stored in /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory.

      • Install Signal Messenger on Linux Mint 20

        Signal is a cross-platform messaging and video calling application. It can act as a good alternative for WhatsApp as it offers almost all those features that WhatsApp offers us. The Signal messenger’s desktop version was also launched this year. This article will talk about the installation procedure of the Signal messenger’s desktop version on a Linux Mint 20 system. The same installation procedure can be used on Ubuntu Linux as well.

      • Install Signal Messenger on Linux Mint 20

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install Krita 4.4.5 in Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 18.04, and Linux Mint 20.1, and older versions.

        The latest version of Krita is 4.4.5 and it is the last bugfix version in this series and the next stable version is 5.0.

      • 6 Interesting Funny Commands of Linux (Fun in Terminal) [Ed: Updated and reposted]

        In our past following articles, we’ve shown some useful articles on some funny commands of Linux, which shows that Linux is not as complex as it seems and can be fun if we know how to use it. Linux command line can perform any complex task very easily and with perfection and can be interesting and joyful.

      • 20 Funny Commands of Linux or Linux is Fun in Terminal [Ed: Updated and reposted]

        Linux is fun! Huh. OK, so you don’t believe me. Mind me at the end of this article you will have to believe that Linux is actually a fun box.

      • Understanding man Pages in Linux [Beginner's Guide]

        The man pages, short for reference manual pages, are your keys to Linux. Everything you want to know is there – take it all in an run with it. The collection of documents will never win a Pulitzer prize, but the set is quite accurate and complete. The man pages are the primary source and that authority is well-known.

        While they are the “go to” source, they aren’t the most pleasant to read. Once, in a long past philosophy class, I was told that reading Aristotle was the most boring read around. I disagreed: when it comes to dry reading, Aristotle comes in at a distant second to man pages.

        At first glance, the pages may look incomplete but, believe it or not, the man pages aren’t designed to hide information from you – it’s just that there is so much information that the pages have to be structured and information is given in the most brief form possible. The explanations are rather spartan and they will take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of using them, you’ll see how useful they actually are.

      • Install and remove software packages on FreeDOS | Opensource.com

        On Linux, you may have used a package manager to install or remove packages. For example, the default package manager on Debian Linux is the deb command, and the default package manager on Fedora Linux is the dnf command. But did you know that FreeDOS has a package manager, too?

    • Games

      • Liquidation is a new tactical RTS that looks and feels a bit like classic Dawn of War | GamingOnLinux

        Dawn of War is that you? Not quite but LIQUIDATION signals the return of some gameplay found in the older titles (like StarCraft too) and it’s looking really great. Mentioned here on GOL back in 2020 when the developer provided us with an exclusive demo, it’s now up on Kickstarter and they have a fully working demo available on Steam (with continued Linux support).

      • Valheim roadmap update, Hearth & Home due ‘Q3 2021′ and we know some of what’s coming | GamingOnLinux

        While it’s disappointing that it’s going to be a while before seeing the big Hearth & Home update for Valheim, the reasoning can’t be argued with and we at least now know some of what will come.

        Explaining what’s going on in a fresh Steam update post, Iron Gate mentioned how they simply cannot launch all four updates this year. We kind of expected this, it was a bit overly optimistic with Hearth & Home now planned to be released in “Q3 2021″. Being honest, they mentioned how they weren’t prepared for so many players, and who can blame them? It was a great idea, with early builds very promising but no one could say it was going to be a hit like this. Iron Gate say it “highlighted a thousand new problems and bugs that needed to be fixed urgently” and their priority “has been to make the current experience as stable as possible and this has meant new content has taken a backseat”.

      • Jackbox Games turned Champ’d Up into a physical card game with your drawings | GamingOnLinux

        The Jackbox Party Pack 7 has a game called Champ’d Up, a game where you draw cards to play and now it’s being turned into a real physical card game where you use your own drawings.

        It’s called Champ’d Up: Slam Down, which they teamed up with game designer Sam Strick “who has a lot of experience in the tabletop world”. The way it works is that after a game of Champ’d Up, it will give you the option to “visit the post-game gallery where you will see the option to turn your game’s most popular champions into their own pack of playing cards”. A damn clever idea actually! Turning your creations into a two-player card fighting game.

      • Cyberpunk speedrunning platformer Aeon Drive looks slick and will come to Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Feeling the need for speed? Cyberpunk speedrunning platformer Aeon Drive from 2Awesome Studio looks really smooth and the developer has confirmed Linux support plans.

      • Subsoap released an overhauled Faerie Alchemy with Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        Subsoap, developer of the popular Faerie Solitaire series and more has released a brand new overhaul of the classic Match 3 game Faerie Alchemy along with Linux support.

        “Transmute magical elements to combine them into rarified forms. Faerie Alchemy is a more than a match-3 puzzle game. It is simple to understand with deep complexity to master as you aim for higher heights of elements and score.”

        Originally made way back in 2011, a classic web and mobile game loved by many gamers. Now, it’s had a big 1.0 release with a ton of enhancements for the desktop release. This includes a new game engine, support for Linux / macOS / Windows, fullscreen support, no internet connection needed, you can close and resume the game, higher resolution graphics, more overall polish and particle effects, more music and much more.

      • Online sandbox adventure Elteria Adventures gets a huge overhaul and opens up a Playtest | GamingOnLinux

        Featuring cross-platform online play, along with Linux support, there’s no date set yet for when it will launch properly but this is the next major step for it. With a style that resembles a mix between Fortnite and Minecraft, I personally think this could end up finding quite an audience and they’re being very careful to take their sweet time with it, to ensure when it does actually release that fun is the main factor.

      • Awesome pixel-art RTS The Fertile Crescent gets animals, waypoints and better performance | GamingOnLinux

        I will never miss an opportunity to mention The Fertile Crescent, a quality indie RTS with some wonderful pixel-art work that feels like a retro Age of Empires. Set in the Bronze Age in the Near East, The Fertile Crescent supports single-player against AI on randomly generated maps along with full cross-platform online multiplayer.

        A fresh upgrade went out recently bringing in some huge updates to the gameplay. There’s now various animals like a Gazelle, Mouflon and Boar which you can hunt for food that all travel in flocks. They have different behaviours too like the Boar being aggressive, while the others will try to run to a different part of the map when hunted.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.04.2 Software Suite Released with More Than 80 Bug Fixes

          KDE Gear 21.04.2 is here almost a month after the first point release to the KDE Gear 21.04 series and it’s packed full of bug fixes and improvements for your favorite KDE applications.

          Highlights include the ability to add a new radio station in the Elisa music player, which now properly updates an album when removing one of its tracks, support for the KMail email app to load an eml file, as well as support for the Konsole terminal emulator to allow /bin/sh as a profile command.

        • KDE Gear 21.04.2

          Over 120 individual programs plus dozens of programmer libraries and feature plugins are released simultaneously as part of KDE Gear.

          Today they all get new bugfix source releases.

        • KDE Dev-Vlog 1: Gwenview becomes more pretty

          Hello! I’ve been contributing to KDE software for a while but this is the first blog post I am writing.

          Over the last couple of weeks we have been improving the user interface of the default KDE image viewer Gwenview. Instead of just writing a text about the steps of turning a mockup into reality I made a video. I think it is way easier to show the evolution this way and it is also more fun for me personally. I think the video turned out great overall so please enjoy!

        • Maui Weekly Report 12

          A month ago, we had our 1.2.2 stable release, and since then, we have been working on getting everything ready for the next big release, 2.0.

          Here we want to share some of the highlights coming to the next stable release.

          One of the most common requests we have had is publishing Maui Apps on the F-Droid store to distribute future package updates easily.

          The plan is to have Maui apps on FlatHub, Google Play Store, AppImageHub, and F-Droid, and the news is that we are working to achieve this goal.

        • Graceful Downtime

          Occasionally, services need to go down for some reason or another. That’s just a thing that happens. Servers need software updates too, but what happens to the clients that need those services? Well, luckily we’ve got these HTTP Status responses, and one of those is the 503 response, which is described as meaning “Service Unavailable”. The actual English interpretation of that is more akin to temporarily unavailable, and even better, if it is also paired with a “Retry-After” header, with a time sometime in the near-ish future, then we can reasonably assume that that what’s happening is an expected downtime, or maintenance.

          As of 5.84, KNewStuff will handle that on the various services it supports, and in particular the KDE Store (since that is accessed through the Attica library, which also got a bit of attention to allow for this introspection to be done).

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Abanoub Ghadban: The first steps in GSoC

          I am starting a new blog series, for covering my GSoC’21 journey with GNOME Foundation. It’s already been two weeks since I received the acceptance email of GSoC. My project focuses on improving tracker support for custom ontologies. In this blog I’m going to talk about how I applied for GSoC and introduce the project on witch I’ll be working this summer.

          First, let me introduce my self. I’m Abanoub Ghadban, a fourth year student at faculty of computer engineering from Egypt. I started my journey in GSoC in December 2020 when one of my friend who participated in GSoC last year told me about the experience he gained while working on his project with GNOME. I get started with GNOME apps easily thanks to the GNOME new comers guide. I started by looking at the basics of GLIB and GObject, I found the GLIB/GTK book very useful. The concepts I learned from the book and documentations became much clearer after looking at how they are used in GNOME apps. I started exploring gnome-photos app, then I searched for a “new comers” issue and solved it in this merge request. The maintainer of gnome-photos was very helpful in solving the threats he found in my code. Also, I investigated some issues in natuilus, glib and tracker. I decided to apply for a project related to tracker. The mentors were very helpful in guiding me to choose the project and write the proposal.

          [...]

          Guess this is a good start, but still there is much to do for the upcoming days. Hope every thing works fine during this internship, GSoC here we GO.

        • On the Sustainability of the GNOME Foundation

          Following a blog post by GNOME Foundation’s president Robert McQueen about The Next Steps for the GNOME Foundation, GNOME Designer and Foundation’s board member Allan Day opened a discussion for the board to issue recommendations to the GNOME Foundation members when voting for a candidate.

          This post and issue both highlight the change that happened for the past few years in the Foundation board and staff. They also emphasise how urgent is has become for the Foundation to have experienced directors with strong skills to make its activities sustainable.

          An important question for the candidates to answer is: what would make you a good asset to follow the Foundation’s strategy and assist it to become sustainable?

        • Running for the GNOME Foundation’s Board of Directors

          Like many, I started my involvement in the GNOME community as an end-user. Eventually, I wanted to give back to this project I loved. I wanted to see both the project and the community strive. We already had and still have many excellent developers who work hard to implement the vision of our talented design team. Those are not areas where my contribution would make a difference. I started helping with translations. For this activity I have regularily been chasing maintainers for string freezes, or to ask for explanations when strings didn’t make sense for me.

          This helped me to blend in, meet the more general community, and finally take interest in higher level issues such as our infamous chat platforms split. I have a very strong interest in people, groups of them, ethics, how software impacts them all and how proper governance can help to achieve goals.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Rocky Linux 8.3 RC1 Released – Download DVD ISO Images

          Ever since RedHat pulled the plug on the CentOS project, the opensource community has been working tirelessly round the clock to provide formidable alternatives to CentOS 8 which was renowned for its stability, reliability, and all the goodies derived from RHEL. And their efforts have paid off.

          One of the CentOS alternatives is AlmaLinux, a 1:1 binary compatible replacement for RHEL distributions. At the time of writing this, the latest release is AlmaLinux 8.4, released in the wake of the RHEL 8.4 release. We have a detailed guide on how to install AlmaLinux 8.4.

        • Rocky Linux 8 & how to get better font clarity

          And that’s what I’ve got in this tutorial. Ideal? Probably not. Helpful? I should hope so. At the end of the day, our interaction with machines includes a great deal of staring, with photons going back and forth between our eyes and whatever’s shown on the screen. Typically, you can’t take this trivial exercise for granted. In the vast majority of cases, the Linux fonts will not look as sharp as they should or can. Still.

          I have to admit I don’t know all the details that go into the packaging of font rendering libraries, or any of the associated legalese drama. As a user, what I see and care about is the end result, though. And when problems inevitably crop up, I have to work (unnecessarily) in a weird way, with lots of trial and error, trying to figure out the best way to make the displayed text look presentable. Frustrating and needless. Anyway, I shall soon publish a more complete tweaking guide for Rocky Linux, designed to help you transform the distro into a tight home-use machine. See you around.

        • Connect Quarkus applications with Drogue IoT and LoRaWAN | Red Hat Developer

          The goal of the Drogue IoT project is to make it easy to connect devices and cloud-based applications with each other. In this article, we’ll show how to implement firmware based on Drogue Device that can communicate with Quarkus applications in the cloud using the low-power LoRaWAN protocol.

        • What’s new with Red Hat Co.Lab

          As we head into the second half of 2021, it’s a good moment to share a few updates on our latest Co.Lab activities and how, even remotely, we’re still bringing STEM education to students. What’s new you might ask? It’s the evolution. We’re continuing the evolution that began last year out of necessity brought on by the pandemic. What started as in-person events focused on one group of students, has shifted to encompass virtual learning workshops, self-service options that empower individuals to run their own workshops and kits that bring the experience home. No matter where a student lives or the situation they are in, they can benefit from the program and have the opportunity to learn.

          In case you need a refresher, Co.Lab, presented by Open Source Stories, is a learning experience that introduces young students to the power of collaboration, community and open source. Using open hardware and open source methodologies, Red Hat mentors teach students why being open is a better way to work together and a more effective way to solve problems. Since its launch in 2017, Co.Lab primarily existed as in-person events that shared the principles of open source and collaboration with more than 700 middle school students in 12 countries.

        • 5G, industry, and collaboration at the edge

          As a U.S. West Coast transplant living in New England, I’ve enjoyed my time exploring the mountains of New Hampshire. Though relatively small compared with other ranges around the globe, The White Mountains (as they’re called) are nonetheless impressive for their distinct topography and resilience amid terrible weather conditions.

          The highest peak—Mount Washington at 6,288 feet—is home to the “world’s worst weather.” For over 60 years, in fact, the mountain claimed the world record for fastest wind gust ever recorded: an astounding 231 miles per hour captured in 1934.

          It is in this environment that the technologist in me can’t help but consider the possibilities of edge computing in remote parts of the world, where big datacenter footprints and always-on connectivity are not typically found.

        • Davie Street Enterprises transforms its applications with Red Hat

          Like many long-standing companies, our fictional company Davie Street Enterprises (DSE) recognizes that its way of doing business must change. As outlined in a previous post, business today is done through processes that have been built at the company’s inception, along with the tools that support those processes.

          In this post, we will examine a major business process and the software tools that support it. Daniel Mitchell, the Chief Architect at DSE, will be leading this effort, addressing critical decisions(like build or buy) to support a successful transformation.

        • Digital transformation: 5 tips to keep pace with your customers | The Enterprisers Project

          With the global pandemic happening during a period of rapid digitalization, two forces of disruption coalesced. Businesses need to pivot as consumers have become more connected, workplaces have been restructured, and logistical challenges must be overcome.

          The use of technology has been a key differentiator in how well companies have adapted to the change. That’s one reason why, according to IDC research, global spending on digital transformation products and services continued to grow in 2020.

          But bridging what our company calls the digital gap – which arises when consumer behavior evolves faster than most businesses evolve – requires more than just new technology. Here are five pieces of advice on how to outpace change and become a catalyst for transformation at your company.

        • Call for Code app uses AI to make homes safer and more resilient

          Disasters can hit with little warning, but often it’s not the earthquakes or windstorms that directly harm people, it’s the failure of substandard housing that causes the most devastation. The World Bank reports that by 2030 nearly 3 billion people will be at risk of losing a loved one or their homes to disasters such as these. However, a machine learning solution that emerged from Call for Code to help builders, local officials, and homeowners assess construction quality before and after storms might change all that.

          Developers from Build Change, an organization dedicated to preventing housing loss caused by disasters, placed second in the 2018 Call for Code Global Challenge with their solution PD3R (Post-Disaster Rapid Response Retrofit). Their solution provided families with the ability to immediately assess whether their home could be structurally strengthened following an earthquake. The team received an award of $25,000 USD, and now The Linux Foundation will host an offshoot of the technology as an open source project.

        • New Open Source Project Uses Machine Learning to Inform Quality Assurance for Construction in Emerging Nations
        • New Open Source Project Uses Machine Learning to Inform Quality Assurance for Construction in Emerging Nations

          Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host the Intelligent Supervision Assistant for Construction (ISAC-SIMO) project, which was created by Build Change with a grant from IBM as part of the Call for Code initiative. The Autodesk Foundation, a Build Change funder, also contributed pro-bono expertise to advise the project’s development.

          Build Change helps save lives in earthquakes and windstorms. Its mission is to prevent housing loss caused by disasters by transforming the systems that regulate, finance, build and improve houses around the world.

          ISAC-SIMO packages important construction quality assurance checks into a convenient mobile app. The tool harnesses the power of machine learning and image processing to provide feedback on specific construction elements such as masonry walls and reinforced concrete columns. Users can choose a building element check and upload a photo from the site to receive a quick assessment.

        • Growing pains for Fedora CoreOS

          In mid-May, Dusty Mabe posted an announcement that the stable stream of Fedora CoreOS was being updated to Fedora 34. In it, he noted a few caveats (e.g. “systemd-resolved is still enabled but not used yet [1]“), some recently added features, and some new features that are coming soon. All pretty normal stuff except that Fedora 34 was released at the end of April and Mabe’s post showed that Fedora CoreOS has not really kept up.

          In fact, as Tomasz Torcz pointed out, the systemd-resolved change was made for Fedora 33, while an upcoming feature (“Move to cgroup v2 by default [5]“) was originally made for Fedora 31, which was released in October 2019. That seems to indicate that Fedora CoreOS is lagging the main distribution, which may cause confusion for users, he said. “Should Fedora CoreOS use the same version number while not containing all the changes from main Fedora Linux?”

          [...]

          Neal Gompa said that Verna’s response was “a cop-out and a bad answer”. The problem, he said, is that the Fedora CoreOS (or FCOS as he and others abbreviate it) working group has historically not participated in the development of Fedora, and the Changes process in particular. Instead of adapting to the feature changes made for Fedora, FCOS generally just rolls them back, “which has frustrated pretty much everyone”. Beyond that, it is not just FCOS that needs to have solid upgrades; breaking upgrades for Fedora are not acceptable either, Gompa said.

          But Verna believes that the working group is actually participating in the process. He pointed to four GitHub issues tracking changes for Fedora 32-35 (e.g. for Fedora 32 and for Fedora 35) that were (or need to be) incorporated into FCOS. Vít Ondruch replied that most or all of that work is not visible within the rest of Fedora, though. Verna agreed and suggested that the working group should be more vocal on mailing lists and the like.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Community Blog monthly update: May 2021

          This is the latest in our monthly series summarizing the past month on the Community Blog. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

          [...]

          In May, we published 27 posts. The site had 4,601 visits from 2,382 unique viewers. 744 visits came from search engines, while468 came from Twitter and 134 from the WordPress Android app.

      • Debian Family

        • EasyOS Dunfell-series 2.8.1

          EasyOS was created in 2017, derived from Quirky Linux, which in turn was derived from Puppy Linux in 2013. Easy is built in woofQ, which takes as input binary packages from any distribution, and uses them on top of the unique EasyOS infrastructure.
          Throughout 2020, the official release for x86_64 PCs was the Buster-series, built with Debian 10.x Buster DEBs.
          EasyOS has also been built with packages compiled from source, using a fork of OpenEmbedded (OE). Currently, the Dunfell release of OE has been used, to compile two sets of binary packages, for x86_64 and aarch64.
          The latter have been used to build EasyOS for the Raspberry Pi4, and first official release, 2.6.1, was in January 2021.
          The page that you are reading now has the release notes for EasyOS Dunfell-series on x86_64 PCs, also debuting in 2021.
          To try and keep things simple, all three, the Dunfell-series on Pi4 and the Dunfell-series and Buster-series on the PC, all are (approximately) sync’ed at the same version number.

        • EasyOS Dunfell-series 2.8.1 released
        • Conf files for MPV and Celluloid

          Celluloid configuration, though, is a mystery. I think that it will automatically use the mpv conf files, though it is confusing as “Preferences…” shows the path to the conf files as “home”. They can be changed to the appropriate files in ~/.config/mpv, though whether you really need to do this is not explained.
          It could be that the conf files in Celluloid are separate from the MPV ones, to specify extra settings, but that isn’t explained anywhere.

        • SeaMonkey fix to display github.com correctly
        • Collaborative Editing and Execution in Shared Byoby Sessions

          The focus of this short video (and slides) is on collaboration using files, but also entire sessions, execution and all aspects of joint exploration, development or debugging. Anything you can do in a terminal you can also do shared in a terminal. The video contains a brief lightning talk, and a shared session jointly with Grant McDermott and Vicent Arel-Bundock. My big big thanks to both of them for prodding and encouragement, as well as fearless participation in the joint section of the video:

        • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: New Desktop Computer

          I built my last desktop computer what seems like ages ago. In 2011, I was in a very different place, both financially and as a person. At the time, I was earning minimum wage at my school’s café to pay rent. Since the café was owned by the school cooperative, I had an employee discount on computer parts. This gave me a chance to build my first computer from spare parts at a reasonable price.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why choose open source for your home automation project

        Let’s face it. The point of technology is to make life better.

        Of course, what qualifies as “better” varies for people, depending on what they need at any given moment. Still, technology has the unique ability to affect lives at many different stages. For some people, technology offers a relaxing afternoon of entertainment, while for others, it provides navigational assistance, improved health care, or more precise scientific research.

        Interestingly, technology developed for one purpose is rarely divorced from technology used for another. For example, progress made in sports cameras so one person can record their snowboard ride down a ski slope also enables bodycams to help prevent human rights violations by police. Progress made in 3D printing so one person can prototype superhero action figures also makes it possible for volunteers to create oxygen ventilators for the infirm. Technology matters, and it affects us all.

      • 6 Valuable Open Source Cloud Management Tools

        Cloud computing is designed to harness the power of networks of computers and communications in a cost effective way. Cloud systems offer cheap access to huge computational, storage, and network resources. These systems offer per-user and per-application isolation and customization via a service interface that is often implemented using high-level language technologies, well-defined Application Programming Interfaces, and web services.

        Most people will have used cloud computing in one form or another. If you have an email account with Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail then you have experience of using a front end of cloud computing. At the back end of the system are the various computers, servers and data storage systems that create the “cloud” of computing services which are hidden from the end user.

        There is a wide selection of open source cloud management tools that help to automate, monitor, provision, track and tweak your cloud computing infrastructure. Below is a list of 6 open source cloud management tools that have caught our attention. With good reason, these are some of the finest open source tools and libraries available to help integrate and manage cloud instances, and optimize resources.

      • PeaZip 8.0

        PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It’s freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available.

        Open and extract 180+ archive formats: 001, 7Z, ACE(*), ARC, ARJ, BZ2, CAB, DMG, GZ, ISO, LHA, PAQ, PEA, RAR, TAR, UDF, WIM, XZ, ZIP ZIPX – view full list of supported archive file formats for archiving and for extraction.

      • MCUboot Becomes A Linaro Community Project

        Linaro Community Projects Division, the division of Linaro managing open source community projects with open governance, has announced that the MCUboot project is becoming a Linaro Community Project, joining the already hosted projects OpenAMP and Trusted Firmware.

      • Peter Czanik: The syslog-ng Insider 2021-06: Alerting; EoL technologies; Google Summer of Code;

        This is the 92nd issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Privacy analysis of FLoC [Ed: The writer is sponsored (in Mozilla) by Google, i.e. the subject of criticism]

            In a previous post, I wrote about a new set of technologies “Privacy Preserving Advertising”, which are intended to allow for advertising without compromising privacy. This post discusses one of those proposals–Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC)–which Chrome is currently testing. The idea behind FLoC is to make it possible to target ads based on the interests of users without revealing their browsing history to advertisers. We have conducted a detailed analysis of FLoC privacy. This post provides a summary of our findings.

            In the current web, trackers (and hence advertisers) associate a cookie with each user. Whenever a user visits a website that has an embedded tracker, the tracker gets the cookie and can thus build up a list of the sites that a user visits. Advertisers can use the information gained from tracking browsing history to target ads that are potentially relevant to a given user’s interests. The obvious problem here is that it involves advertisers learning everywhere you go.

            [...]

            FLoC is premised on a compelling idea: enable ad targeting without exposing users to risk. But the current design has a number of privacy properties that could create significant risks if it were to be widely deployed in its current form. It is possible that these properties can be fixed or mitigated — we suggest a number of potential avenues in our analysis — further work on FLoC should be focused on addressing these issues.

          • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Working in the open: Enhancing privacy and security in the DNS

            In 2018, we started pioneering work on securing one of the oldest parts of the Internet, one that had till then remained largely untouched by efforts to make the web safer and more private: the Domain Name System (DNS). We passed a key milestone in that endeavor last year, when we rolled out DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) technology by default in the United States, thus improving privacy and security for millions of people. Given the transformative nature of this technology and in line with our mission commitment to transparency and collaboration, we have consistently sought to implement DoH thoughtfully and inclusively. Today we’re sharing our latest update on that continued effort.

            Between November 2020 and January 2021 we ran a public comment period, to give the broader community who care about the DNS – including human rights defenders; technologists; and DNS service providers – the opportunity to provide recommendations for our future DoH work. Specifically, we canvassed input on our Trusted Recursive Resolver (TRR) policies, the set of privacy, security, and integrity commitments that DNS recursive resolvers must adhere to in order to be considered as default partner resolvers for Mozilla’s DoH roll-out.

          • Become a better writer with these five extensions for Firefox

            Sometimes the hardest thing to write is the first word. It means you’re committed. No looking back now. You can’t leave that lone word just sitting there. Better add a second word, then a third. Now you’re on your way.

            Procrastination can be a major blocker for writers. While putting everything off until the last minute may work for a few thrill seekers out there, for most of us it means the work suffers with little time to reflect on early drafts or an opportunity to improve your phrasing and flow. If you’re looking for help on writing projects, here are some great browser extensions for Firefox that are perfectly suited for writers.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL Weekly News – May 30, 2021

          pgSCV, a Prometheus-compatible monitoring agent and metrics exporter for PostgreSQL, released.

          Pgpool-II 4.2.3, 4.1.7, 4.0.14, 3.7.19 and 3.6.26, a connection pooler and statement replication system for PostgreSQL, released.

          sqlite_fdw 1.2.0 released.

          Crunchy PostgreSQL Operator 4.7.0, a system for deploying and managing open source PostgreSQL clusters on Kubernetes, released.

          pgAdmin4 5.3, a web- and native GUI control center for PostgreSQL, released.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1.4 Community available for download

          LibreOffice 7.1.4 Community, the fourth minor release of the LibreOffice 7.1 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users, is available for download from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice 7.1.4 includes around 80 bug fixes, with 20% focused on Microsoft Office file compatibility (DOCX, XLSX and PPTX, and legacy DOCs).

          For enterprise-class deployments, TDF strongly recommends the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners, with long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and Service Level Agreements: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-in-business/.

        • LibreOffice 7.1.4 Office Suite Released with Improved MS Office Compatibility, 79 Bug Fixes

          LibreOffice 7.1.4 comes about five weeks after the LibreOffice 7.1.3 update released last month and addresses a total of 79 issues across all core components, including Writer, Calc, Draw, and Impress, to improve the overall stability and reliability of the software, as well as the compatibility with proprietary document formats.

          According to Italo Vignoli from The Document Foundation, about 20 percent of these bug fixes were focused on improving the document compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats like DOCX, PPTX, XLSX, and legacy DOC files.

        • LibreOffice Writer line heights: removing a 16bit limit

          Line heights in Writer are typically defined in points on the UI (e.g. 12pt), though they are measured in twips internally (1 point is 20 twips). This height was stored in a 16bit unsigned integer, so the maximum allowed height was 65536 twips, around 116 cm.

          Now we track line heights with 32 bits ints, so this limitation is practically removed.

          First, thanks Vector who made this work by Collabora possible.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • IFMSA Bangladesh joins the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions

            The non-profit organization with 3500+ medical students and 65 universities across the country is now part of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions

            It’s a great day for Bangladesh. It’s a great day for public health! Today, GNU Solidario and the International Federation of Medical Students Association, IFMSA Bangladesh, have signed an initial 5-year partnership on the grounds of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions.

          • GRUB 2.06 is out – what next?
            Hi all,
            
            As you may saw the GRUB 2.06 is out! This means, among others, code
            unfreeze... :-) I am going to start reviewing all the patches which are
            lingering in my mailbox since 2020 in July (yeah, this year if somebody
            wants to ask ;-) ). I will be going backwards. So, I will be looking at
            the latest patches first. If you think some patches are more important
            than others please reply to this email. I will try to take your voice
            into account. I hope I will be able to clear whole backlog by the end of
            this year. Of course your help is appreciated. Especially if you feel
            you are able to review a given set of patches. This should offload me
            a bit. In parallel I will be looking at the new patches which will be
            posted on the grub-devel. This way we should avoid new backlog in the
            future...
            
            Additionally, I will be working on improving the GRUB governance,
            testing, etc. This, of course, requires a lot of help from you too. So,
            expect I will be approaching you directly in the following months and
            asking for help in this and that...
            
            Last but not least, you may expect next release in first half of 2022.
            
            Stay tuned...
            
            Daniel
            
          • GRUB 2.06 To Be Succeeded By… GRUB 2.11 Bootloader Next Year – Phoronix

            Following this week’s release of the big and long overdue GRUB 2.06 bootloader release, there is already development talk and action for the next release. Succeeding GRUB 2.0, GRUB 2.02, GRUB 2.04, and GRUB 2.06 is now going to be a bit of a version shakeup with GRUB 2.11 to be the next release.

            It seems after these GRUB 2.xx releases over the past few years, they have now decided they don’t like version numbers with leading zeros as some scripts are apparently still having problems dealing with them.

      • Programming/Development

        • Faster image transfer across the network with zsync

          Those of us involved in building operating system images using tools such as OpenEmbedded/Yocto Project or Buildroot don’t always have a power build machine under our desk or in the same building on gigabit. Our build machine may be in the cloud, or in another office over a VPN running over a slow residential ADSL connection. In these scenarios, repeatedly downloading gigabyte-sized images for local testing can get very tedious.

          There are some interesting solutions if you use Yocto: you could expose the shared state over the network and recreate the image, which if the configurations are the same will result in no local compilation. However this isn’t feasible if your local machine isn’t running Linux or you just want to download the image without any other complications. This is where zsync is useful.

        • Making CPython faster

          Over the last month or so, there has been a good bit of news surrounding the idea of increasing the performance of the CPython interpreter. At the 2021 Python Language Summit in mid-May, Guido van Rossum announced that he and a small team are being funded by Microsoft to work with the community on getting performance improvements upstream into the interpreter—crucially, without breaking the C API so that the ecosystem of Python extensions (e.g. NumPy) continue to work. Another talk at the summit looked at Cinder, which is a performance-oriented CPython fork that is used in production at Instagram. Cinder was recently released as open-source software, as was another project to speed up CPython that originated at Dropbox: Pyston.

          There have been discussions on and development of performance enhancements for CPython going back quite a ways; it is a perennial topic at the yearly language summit, for example. More recently, Mark Shannon proposed a plan that could, he thought, lead to a 5x speedup for the language by increasing its performance by 50% in each of four phases. It was an ambitious proposal, and one that required significant monetary resources, but it seemed to go nowhere after it was raised in October 2020. It now seems clear that there were some discussions and planning going on behind the scenes with regard to Shannon’s proposal.

        • Multithreaded database access with QtSql

          Last time, we had a look at how to make the database access asynchronous with QFutures. Our solution was to use a one thread QThreadPool with QtConcurrent. That works pretty well for most of the use cases, but as mentioned previously there are some cases where you might want to use multiple threads in parallel to access the database. That case may be some sort of service, but it of course also works for all other kinds of applications.

  • Leftovers

    • The Seattle Storm Is the Most Political Team in Sports

      The WNBA’s Seattle Storm continues to make history on and off the court. The basketball squad won its fourth league title last year in the “bubble” (or “wubble” as the WNBA community called it), tying it for the most trophies in the WNBA’s 25-year history. The team is also blazing new trails as a championship sports franchise by supporting Planned Parenthood and fighting for social justice. From the ownership group to the last player on the bench, the Storm, now led by a new head coach, Noelle Quinn, is poised to continue to redefine what it means to be a winner.

    • Behind the Hedonist Persona of Francis Bacon

      In August of 1998, a team of curators, conservators, and archaeologists arrived at 7 Reece Mews, a small flat in London’s South Kensington neighborhood, to start work on the month-long task of transporting its contents to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. There, over the next five years, the team labored to painstakingly reconstruct the flat, which for some 30 years had served as the home and studio of Francis Bacon. The artist had moved to Reece Mews in the fall of 1961 and lived there until his death, in 1992, of a heart attack while on a trip to Madrid. The studio re-creation opened at the Hugh Lane in 2001 with some 7,500 pieces of material—slashed canvases, crumpled photographs, pages ripped from medical textbooks, drawings, and hand-scrawled notes—now available for consumption by a public hungry for insight into Bacon’s life and artistic process.

    • Olympic cauldron awaits 2021’s Tokyo competitors

      Despite a recent Covid spike Japan is going ahead with its plans, involving a veritable Olympic cauldron for competitors.

    • Science

      • Student cleared of misconduct over comments during debate about gender

        The university’s Student Disciplinary Board cleared her of the misconduct charge after finding no evidence that she had discriminated against another member of the university, and concluded she had not intentionally shouted in class.

      • Student cleared of misconduct over comments during debate about gender

        Ms Keogh has been supported by the Free Speech Union, of which she is a member.

        Toby Young, its general secretary, said: “I’m delighted that the complaints against Lisa have been dismissed, but the university should not have taken two months to reach this conclusion.

      • Abertay University student Lisa Keogh cleared after being investigated for saying women have vaginas

        She said she had been targeted in a “modern day witch hunt” because of her gender critical views and belief in sex-based rights, and accused Abertay of being “needlessly cruel” in dragging on an the investigation for two months during her final year exams.

      • Why Scientists Need To Be Better at Visualising Data

        Imagine a science textbook without images. No charts, no graphs, no illustrations or diagrams with arrows and labels. The science would be a lot harder to understand.

        That’s because humans are visual creatures by nature. People absorb information in graphic form that would elude them in words. Images are effective for all kinds of storytelling, especially when the story is complicated, as it so often is with science. Scientific visuals can be essential for analyzing data, communicating experimental results and even for making surprising discoveries.

        Visualisations can reveal patterns, trends and connections in data that are difficult or impossible to find any other way, says Bang Wong, creative director of MIT’s Broad Institute. “Plotting the data allows us to see the underlying structure of the data that you wouldn’t otherwise see if you’re looking at a table.”

    • Education

      • How We Analyzed the Performance of Bureau of Indian Education Schools

        Until now, most parents whose children attended schools funded by the federal Bureau of Indian Education couldn’t accurately compare the performance of their school to others.

        But a comprehensive analysis by Stanford University’s Educational Opportunity Project, The Arizona Republic and ProPublica has filled that gap, providing families, educators and tribal education departments with detailed school performance information, often for the first time.

      • The Bureau of Indian Education Hasn’t Told the Public How Its Schools Are Performing. So We Did It Instead.

        For years, federal law has required all school systems to publicly report how well they help children learn. But the federal government’s own Bureau of Indian Education has failed to do so, despite repeated warnings about the quality of education Native American children receive in its schools.

        Now, a comprehensive analysis of school performance data by Stanford University’s Educational Opportunity Project, The Arizona Republic and ProPublica reveals for the first time bright spots and problem areas facing an agency that oversees more than 180 schools and dormitories across Indian Country.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Covid Variant Chaos in the UK

        These were eased in parts of Scotland on Saturday 5 June; in Wales on Monday 7 June; in England, the final stage in the roadmap for lifting its lockdown is due no earlier than 21 June (though the spread of the Delta/Indian variant in parts of England is causing the government to consider revising its plans); and in Northern Ireland, the next review is due on Thursday 10 June.

        There has been a great deal of confusion about what exactly each phase of the lockdown involves. For instance, at present groups of up to 30 can meet outdoors in England, but members of my family in the UK say this rule has been impossible to implement on a busy evening in a pub’s beer garden—with people moving around it is impossible to say which group is which.

      • Robert Reich: 7 Lessons We Need to Learn From Covid-19

        Maybe it’s wishful thinking to declare the pandemic over in the US, and presumptuous to conclude what lessons we’ve learned. So consider this a first draft.1. Workers are always essential

      • We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet

        I went to a birthday party recently.

      • A People’s Vaccine Against a Mutating Virus and Neoliberal Rule

        But the news from around the world makes it clear that this pandemic is far from over, and a story from Vietnam highlights the nature of the danger.

        Vietnam is a COVID success story, with one of the lowest rates of infection and death in the world. Vietnam’s excellent community-based public health system prevented the virus from spreading beyond isolated cases and localized outbreaks, without a nationwide lockdown. With a population of 98 million people, Vietnam has had only 8,883 cases and 53 deaths.

      • International Leaders Join Call for End to All Legal Barriers to Abortion

        Several international lawmakers and leaders joined rights activists Wednesday in a call for all legal barriers to abortion care to be removed worldwide, demanding clinics that were shut down during the pandemic be reopened and for a “global campaign of factual and unbiased information” to counter well-funded anti-choice groups.

        “Our fear, as we emerge from the shock of a global pandemic, is that the situation facing women and girls risks getting worse unless we act now.” —SheDecides

      • New Documentary Chronicles Historic Young Lords’ Occupation of Bronx Hospital
      • “Takeover”: New Doc Chronicles Historic 1970 Young Lords Occupation of Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx

        A new film called “Takeover” follows the 12 historic hours on July 14, 1970, when members of the Young Lords Party took over the rundown Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx in New York City. The Young Lords were a radical group founded by Puerto Ricans modeled on the Black Panther Party. Democracy Now! co-host Juan González, a co-founder of the Young Lords, helped organize the action. Using archival footage and modern-day interviews, “Takeover” chronicles their resistance to institutions founded on wealth and white supremacy, and their collective struggle for quality, accessible healthcare. “The takeover really exemplified what the Young Lords were about,” says director Emma Francis-Snyder, who says she wanted to capture the heroism of the activists. “There’s so much emotion and planning and courage that comes along with direct action,” Francis-Snyder says. “We understood that to get the system to listen and change, you had to disrupt it,” adds González. “You had to find a way to force people to pay attention to the problems.”

      • Wisconsin Republican Compares Children’s Museum Mask Policy to Gestapo Rules
      • Biden Plan to Donate 500 Million Covid-19 Vaccine Doses Called ‘Drop in the Bucket’ in Face of Acute Global Need

        While welcoming reports that U.S. President Joe Biden will commit to donating 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to more than 100 countries over the coming year, activists and advocacy groups on Wednesday stressed that what the world truly needs is an urgent and ambitious plan to manufacture and distribute billions more doses of the life-saving inoculations.

        Responding to reports in the New York Times, Washington Post, and other outlets that Biden plans to donate 200 million doses of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine this year and 300 million more units in 2022 via the World Health Organization-led COVAX initiative, groups including Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Public Citizen, and Oxfam urged the U.S. and other nations to go even further in the face of severe vaccine shortages in much of the Global South.

      • Primary Care, Psychiatry And Public Health: What Do They Have In Common And Why Does It Matter?

        What Do These Three Fields Have in Common?

        1. Under-reimbursed, underfunded, and/or neglected

      • Ohio GOP’s “Expert Witness” Bizarrely Claims COVID Vaccines Magnetize People
      • IBM Tells U.S. Employees to Return to Office in September

        LaMoreaux didn’t specify whether employees would be allowed to work remotely after the September office openings. “IBM has long-established practices and policies supporting work life balance, which will continue as we return to the office,” she wrote. Most of IBM’s U.S. employees have been working remotely since the start of the pandemic with offices open on a limited basis.

      • IBM tells U.S. employees they will return to the office in September

        Fully vaccinated employees will be allowed to work in the office without masks.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • JBS Paid [Crackers] $11 Million After Cyberattack Hit Plants

          A White House National Security Council spokesperson said Wednesday night that “private companies should not pay ransom. It encourages and enriches these malicious actors, continues the cycle of these attacks, and there is no guarantee companies get their data back.”

        • US Attorney General Warns Ransomware ‘Getting Worse and Worse’ [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The attorney general’s warning during a Senate hearing on the Justice Department’s fiscal 2022 budget request followed a pair of high-profile ransomware attacks over the past month that have rattled the U.S. national security and law enforcement establishment and sparked calls for beefed-up cyber defenses.

          In a ransomware attack, [crackers] lock a company’s or organization’s data, offering keys to unlock the files in exchange for a large sum of money.

        • Marshall spells it out: speech to University of Law

          What follows is perhaps the most important speech given on the subject of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal to date.

          I watched Mr Marshall deliver it remotely yesterday evening on Zoom to a couple of hundred students at the University of Law in London. He has very kindly given me permission to reprint it below.

          The text contains a forensic analysis of the legal, ethical, individual and corporate failures that led the Post Office and the legal profession to do significant harms to hundreds of helpless individuals.

          The specific humiliations meted out to Janet Skinner, Seema Misra, Lee Castleton and Tracy Felstead are described in detail. The institutional culpability is laid bare.

          I am hoping the University of Law will soon post a link to a recording of Mr Marshall delivering his speech, which I will put up as soon as I get it.

        • TV news stations become apparent target in next cyberattack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          At least three TV news stations have been completely offline since Thursday in what cybersecurity experts say appears to be a ransomware attack on their parent company.

          ABC affiliates WFTV in Orlando, Florida, and WSOC in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as NBC affiliate WPXI in Pittsburgh, all of which are both owned by the Cox Media Group, were told Thursday by managers to shut down company computers and phones.

        • Ransomware attack disrupts Massachusetts ferries [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Steamship Authority said the incident impacted its land-based IT systems and that ships are not impacted.

        • Fujifilm shuts down computer systems following apparent ransomware intrusion [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Fujifilm Corp. has shut down part of its computer network and “disconnected from external correspondence” in the face of a possible ransomware attack, the Japanese electronics giant said Wednesday.

          In a brief statement, Fujifilm said that it became aware of the security issue late Tuesday and that it has “taken measures to suspend all affected systems in coordination with our various global entities.” The company said it was still “working to determine the extent and the scale of the issue.”

        • Ransomware hits Capitol Hill contractor [iophk: Windows TCO]

          A company that provides a user engagement platform for US politicians has suffered a ransomware attack, leaving many lawmakers unable to email their constituents for days.

        • Sensitive medical, financial data exposed in extortion of Massachusetts hospital [iophk: Windows TCO]

          A hospital in Massachusetts quietly paid off a ransomware gang after a February hack that exposed patients’ sensitive medical and financial data, the hospital said in a May 28 statement.

          Sturdy Memorial Hospital, a 126-bed facility in the city of Attleboro, said that the information exposed in the hacking incident may have included insurance claim numbers, medical history, treatment information, Social Security numbers, bank routing numbers and credit card numbers and security codes, among other data.

        • Vivaldi 4.0 Looks Like an All-in-One Browser for Linux – It’s FOSS News

          Vivaldi 4.0 is the latest version that introduces new functionalities for multitaskers and users who rely on web browsers for everything.

          It is worth noting that only the UI layer of Vivaldi is closed-source, more than 93% of its source code is open-source. Even though it is not completely FOSS, many users use it because of its anti-tracking policy, appealing interface, and active Linux support.

          In case you did not know, recently Vivaldi made significant performance improvements taking Linux (Ubuntu) into account for testing. So, it looks like they keep Linux users in mind, which is a good thing.

          If you thought Firefox 89 release was exciting, Vivaldi is particularly interesting for its new additions.

        • Vivaldi 4.0 Released, Brings Much-Awaited Features

          With its latest update, Vivaldi 4.0 expands its integrated tools in the browser with major additions: Vivaldi Translate and the much-awaited beta versions of Mail, Calendar, and Feed Reader.

          The company claims that it is its “biggest launch of the year”. Vivaldi 4.0 is now available with some features and betas of new apps, that Vivaldi says is to help users “break free of the ecosystem of Big Tech”.

          But before we go into Vivaldi’s main features, we want to show you something that can help you kickstart your Vivaldi experience.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Google Working On Open-Sourcing Their Fibers User-Space Scheduling Framework

              For a number of years Google has developed Fibers (not to be confused with Google Fiber, their fiber Internet service) as a user-space scheduling framework. While it hasn’t been open-source, the few public papers and talks on Google Fibers has been quite interesting for great performance and a novel design. Finally though Google is working towards open-sourcing Fibers and hoping to get the necessary Linux kernel modifications upstreamed.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • LFPH Launches Global COVID Certificate Network

                Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) has launched the Global COVID Certificate Network (GCCN), to “facilitate the safe and free movement of individuals globally during the COVID pandemic.”

                According to the blog post by Brian Behlendorf, “GCCN will include a global directory of trust registries to enable cross-border certificate verification and be a home for toolkits and community-managed support for those building and managing COVID certificate systems.”

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (htmldoc, lasso, and rails), Fedora (exiv2, firefox, and microcode_ctl), openSUSE (python-HyperKitty), Oracle (389-ds-base, qemu-kvm, qt5-qtimageformats, and samba), Red Hat (container-tools:3.0, container-tools:rhel8, postgresql:12, and postgresql:13), Scientific Linux (389-ds-base, hivex, libwebp, qemu-kvm, qt5-qtimageformats, samba, and thunderbird), SUSE (caribou, djvulibre, firefox, gstreamer-plugins-bad, kernel, libopenmpt, libxml2, python-Pillow, qemu, spice, spice-gtk, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (rpcbind).

          • BackdoorDiplomacy: Upgrading from Quarian to Turian | WeLiveSecurity

            An APT group that we are calling BackdoorDiplomacy, due to the main vertical of its victims, has been targeting Ministries of Foreign Affairs and telecommunication companies in Africa and the Middle East since at least 2017. For initial infection vectors, the group favors exploiting vulnerable internet-exposed devices such as web servers and management interfaces for networking equipment. Once on a system, its operators make use of open-source tools for scanning the environment and lateral movement. Interactive access is achieved in two ways: (1) via a custom backdoor we are calling Turian that is derived from the Quarian backdoor; and (2) in fewer instances, when more direct and interactive access is required, certain open-source remote access tools are deployed. In several instances, the group has been observed targeting removable media for data collection and exfiltration. Finally, both Windows and Linux operating systems have been targeted.

          • Announcing Istio 1.10.1

            This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.10.0 and Istio 1.10.1.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Ring Will Now Require Law Enforcement Requests For Camera Footage To Be Made Publicly

              Ring, Amazon’s doorbell camera acquisition, has long considered itself to be an integral part of law enforcement. It has aggressively pursued partnerships with local governments, offering up cheap (or free) cameras in exchange for recommendations and installations by law enforcement agencies.

            • Less nosy smart speakers

              The key to the device, called PrivacyMic, is ultrasonic sound at frequencies above the range of human hearing. Running dishwashers, computer monitors, even finger snaps, all generate ultrasonic sounds, which have a frequency of 20 kilohertz or higher. We can’t hear them—but dogs, cats and PrivacyMic can.

              The system pieces together the ultrasonic information that’s all around us to identify when its services are needed, and sense what’s going on around it. Researchers have demonstrated that it can identify household and office activities with greater than 95% accuracy.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Pentagon Papers Failed to Cure Servile Pro-War Media

        The report that became the Pentagon Papers was a secret study begun in 1967 analyzing where the Vietnam War had gone awry. The 7,000-page tome showed that presidents and military leaders had been conning the American people on Southeast Asia ever since the Truman administration. Like many policy autopsies, the report was classified as secret and completely ignored by the White House and federal agencies that most needed to heed its lessons. New York Times editor Tom Wicker commented in 1971 that “the people who read these documents in the Times were the first to study them.”

        Unfortunately, few Washingtonians bothered to read the Pentagon Papers after their disclosure and missed lessons that could have spared the nation fresh debacles. More than 30 years before the Bush administration exploited the 9/11 attacks to invade Iraq, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations dishonestly exploited alleged terrorist attacks to justify boosting U.S. military intervention in Vietnam. After its troops gunned down dozens of people at a Buddhist protest in 1963, the government of South Vietnam falsely claimed it was a Viet Cong terrorist attack. President Lyndon Johnson told Congress on May 18, 1964 that “the Viet Cong guerrillas, under orders from their Communist masters in the North, have intensified terrorist actions against the peaceful people of South Vietnam. This increased terrorism requires increased response.” At that time, the U.S. was carrying out an array of “non-attributable hit-and-run” raids against North Vietnam, including providing American planes that Thai pilots used to bomb and strafe North Vietnamese villages a few months later. But U.S. aggression was kept secret from both Congress and the American people.

      • Three Years After An Officer Killed A Suicidal Teen, Law Enforcement Releases Report That Raises More Questions

        Law enforcement seems to assume that any shooting officers engage in is justified. What may appear to be reckless violence by cops is just good police work, according to police. Anyone who thinks otherwise is only expressing their ignorance of police tactics and far too unconcerned about officer safety.

      • UN Envoy Warns of ‘Mass Deaths’ in Myanmar as Junta Violence Forces 100,000 to Flee for Their Lives

        The United Nations special rapporteur for Myanmar warned Tuesday that persistent violence waged by the nation’s military junta could lead to “mass deaths from starvation, disease, and exposure” as more than 100,000 people have been forced to flee for their lives into nearby forests, where they lack access to food, safe drinking water, and adequate shelter.

        “It has been reported that junta forces are stopping aid from reaching these desperate people by setting up military blockades,” said Tom Andrews, who has served as the U.N.’s special rapporteur for Myanmar since last year. “I have also received distressing reports that junta forces are laying landmines on public roads. Any pressure or leverage U.N. member states can put on the junta must now be exerted.”

      • Shocking Video Shows Officer Tasering Teenage Refugee from Honduras at Children’s Shelter in Texas

        The Biden administration has vowed to take a compassionate approach to migrants and asylum seekers who are fleeing violence, poverty and persecution, but a damning new investigation reveals the mistreatment of children upon their arrival to the border. The report found more than 80 children in government-funded shelters were turned over to local law enforcement when they engaged in behavior common for kids, especially those who have been through trauma. Many were arrested for fighting, breaking property or mental health crises, and police body-camera footage obtained by Reveal shows at least one child was tasered without warning by a sheriff’s deputy in San Antonio, Texas. “The idea that a child, particularly a refugee child, someone who is fleeing violence and is a minor and has special rights under international law and U.S. law, would then be subjected to arrest for something like fighting … that seems highly unusual,” says Aura Bogado, senior investigative reporter at Reveal.

      • It’s Not Only Guns, It’s Also The Culture

        Violence is not only the result of gun ownership. Violence is multifaceted and requires the collaboration of individuals and institutions to address it. Violence is a political and legal problem (lawmakers need to pass appropriate laws); a public health problem (firearms injuries are a serious public health problem.); an educational problem (educating youth on its dangers is critical); and a social concern (it disrupts the fabric of society.)

        The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been extraordinarily successful in influencing lawmakers. Although the majority of Americans say that gun laws should be more restrictive, Congress continues refusing to pass effective gun control laws.

      • How Washington is positioning Syrian Al-Qaeda’s founder as its ‘asset’
      • Tulsa: ‘A Cover-Up Happens Because the Powers That Be Are Implicated’
      • Israel’s New Coalition Government Will Be More Dysfunctional and Violent
      • The Kids Are Reimagining International Solidarity

        San Francisco—I’m standing in a sea of Palestinian flags and people gathered at the BART plaza at 16th and Mission. Hip-hop-infused English and Arabic chants of “From Palestine to Mexico, the border walls have got to go!” blare out of big, black speakers, as the keffiyeh-wearing crowd of young Palestinians and supporters bob their heads in sync. Mexican street vendors fill the morning air of Mission street with the smell of grilled, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, while Afro-Cuban street vendors lower the volume of their syncopated Bakosó beats out of respect for the youthful crowd and their cause: solidaridad.

      • Infamous Israeli home thief is federally charged Long Island, NY financial fraudster
      • On the Politics of Victory and Defeat: How Gaza Dethroned the King of Israel

        How did Benjamin Netanyahu manage to serve as Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister? With a total of 15 years in office, Netanyahu surpassed the 12-year mandate of Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. The answer to this question will become particularly critical for future Israeli leaders who hope to emulate Netanyahu’s legacy, now that his historic leadership is likely to end.

      • Jihad is the Nazism of the XXI century

        230 dead within three days and we are not hearing anything more about them. Because in our deepest selves, we are terrified and anguished by Jihad, the Nazism of our time. In their drive to Islamize entire territories they are killing everyone, Christians and Muslims. The Wall Street Journal in April reported how Islamic terrorism is advancing in these traditionally Christian countries.

      • The Poisonous Fruit of Appeasing Iran’s Mullahs

        The Arabs clearly see what the Biden administration, Britain, Germany and France are refusing to see — that Iran has ambitions not only to acquire a nuclear bomb, but also aggressively to export its “Islamic revolution” and terrorism on a global scale.

    • Environment

      • What to Do About Jair Bolsonaro, the World’s Most Dangerous Climate Denier

        If the climate crisis weren’t so urgent, Bolsonaro would be a problem only for Brazil and its neighbors. But Brazil is a key player in the push to zero-out global carbon pollution. Rainforests absorb about 10 percent of CO2 emissions. With every square mile of rainforest that is cut down, the Paris Agreement’s target of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 C becomes more and more unattainable. “If we can’t do something about deforestation in Brazil, then the 1.5 C target is probably out of reach,” says Jake Schmidt, senior strategic director for climate with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

      • Say goodbye to the Keystone XL pipeline, for real this time – The Verge

        It’s official: the Keystone XL is going away for good. The pipeline’s developer announced Wednesday that it’s terminating the project.

        For years, the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations have gone back and forth on allowing the massive transcontinental project to move forward. On his first day in office, Joe Biden canceled the Presidential Permit that his predecessor had granted. Apparently, that was the nail in Keystone XL’s coffin. Soon after, TC Energy suspended work on the project to “consider its options,” but hadn’t fully given up on the pipeline until now.

      • Keystone Pipeline Is Finally Dead. Good Riddance

        The greater impact of the Keystone XL fight has been the Keystone-ization of other infrastructure fights, including the battle over the Dakota Access pipeline and the current battle over Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. At every step where oil companies are putting private profits over the longterm health of the planet, activists are showing up, putting their bodies on the line, and insisting that untapped oil reserves need to stay in the ground.

      • Keystone XL pipeline halted after Biden blocks permit

        While visiting US troops stationed in the UK during a trip to the G7 conference on Wednesday, Mr Biden said that climate change represents the “greatest threat” to US national security.

        “This is not a joke. You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest physical threat facing America was? Global warming,” he said.

        “There will be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they’re literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia, because of the fights over what is arable land anymore,” he added.

      • Keystone Pipeline Canceled After Biden Had Blocked Permit

        Calgary-based TC Energy said it would work with government agencies “to ensure a safe termination of and exit from” the partially built line, which was to transport crude from the oil sand fields of western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.

      • Carbon emission by India’s tech outsourcing industry dips 85% due to Covid: Report

        The travel expense of top five IT services companies TCS, Infosys, HCL, Wipro, Tech Mahindra) reduced by around 75% to $370 million in the financial year 2021 compared to $1.4 billion in the financial year 2020

      • ‘No Climate, No Deal’: Progressives in Congress Warn Biden Against Cutting Green Energy From Infrastructure Package

        Progressive members of Congress on Wednesday signaled they would be willing to withhold their votes from any infrastructure package that skimps on climate action after one of President Joe Biden’s top advisers suggested that key green energy proposals could be excluded from an eventual bill.

        “Biden and Senate Dems should take a step back and ask themselves if playing patty-cake with GOP senators is really worth the dismantling of people’s voting rights, setting the planet on fire, allowing massive corporations and the wealthy to not pay their fair share of taxes, etc.”—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

      • 50+ Groups Across US Northwest Unveil Green New Deal Vision for Region’s Vital Forests

        More than 50 conservation and climate justice organizations across Northern California, Oregon, and Washington on Wednesday called on policymakers to preserve the region’s tens of millions of acres of forest land by adopting a Green New Deal for Pacific Northwest Forests—a plan comprised of six pillars aimed at safeguarding against destructive wildfires while also mitigating the climate emergency.

        “Forestlands in the Pacific Northwest can become central in drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and defending against the worst impacts of climate change, all the while supporting the local economies and rural communities that rely on forestlands.” —50+ conservation groups

      • Energy

        • Oil Drilling in the ‘Land of Water’: ExxonMobil Hunts for More Fossil Fuels in Guyana Amid Sea Level Rise Fears

          About 100 miles off the coast of Guyana, along the northern edge of South America, the drillship Stena Carron spent Saturday, June 5 drilling a new exploratory well on behalf of ExxonMobil. The drilling takes aim at a 9 billion-barrel oilfield recently discovered in the waters off Guyana. Exxon is now putting Guyana at the heart of its plans to press on hunting for new fossil fuel supplies despite the climate crisis.

          Meanwhile, much of Guyana itself was underwater following heavy rains that unleashed historic flooding. Over 25,000 households — in a small country with just over 200,000 homes — have been inundated.

        • We Must Divest From Oil Pipelines

          A decades-old pipeline called Line 3, run by the Canadian company Enbridge, is in the midst of a controversial upgrade. That has sparked fierce resistance from Indigenous communities living along the route.

        • Ahead of Key Summit, 350+ Groups and 100+ Economists Tell G7 Nations to ‘Stop Funding Fossil Fuels’

          Ahead of this weekend’s G7 summit, over 350 civil society organizations and more than 100 economists from around the globe on Wednesday signed letters urging the leaders of seven of the world’s richest nations to stop financing fossil fuels. Instead, they argued, public funding should be used to usher in a green and equitable recovery from the Covid-19 crisis that catalyzes a just transition to a renewable energy-powered society.

          “This summit should be the final G7 where discussion of fossil fuel finance is even needed.”—Elizabeth Bast, Oil Change International

        • The ‘Big Con’ Revealed: Report Details Fossil Fuel Industry’s Deceptive ‘Net Zero’ Strategy

          A new report published Wednesday by a trio of progressive advocacy groups lifts the veil on so-called “net zero” climate pledges, which are often touted by corporations and governments as solutions to the climate emergency, but which the paper’s authors argue are merely a dangerous form of greenwashing that should be eschewed in favor of Real Zero policies based on meaningful, near-term commitments to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

          “Increasingly, the concept of ‘net zero’ is being misconstrued in political spaces as well as by individual actors to evade action and avoid responsibility.” —Report

        • ‘It’s Time to Go a Step Further’: With KXL Dead, Pressure Intensifies for Biden to Kill Line 3

          Seizing the momentum after a day of major direct action against the Line 3 tar sands pipeline in northern Minnesota, Indigenous and green groups on Wednesday stepped up their pressure on President Joe Biden to honor Native American treaties and protect the environment and climate by stopping the toxic project.

          “Biden did the right thing on KXL, now it’s time to go a step further and say no to all new fossil fuel projects everywhere.” —Jamie Henn, 350.org

        • ‘A Gift to the Planet’: Maine Lawmakers Pass Landmark Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill

          Climate action advocate Bill McKibben welcomed a development he called “a gift to the planet” after Maine state lawmakers on Tuesday passed a groundbreaking bill committing the state to divesting its assets from the fossil fuel industry.

          LD 99—”An Act to Require the State to Divest Itself of Assets Invested in the Fossil Fuel Industry”—cleared the state Senate Tuesday in a 19-13 vote. It passed the House last week over the objections of Republicans like state Rep. Michael Lemelin (R-88), who asserted that lowering carbon emissions will kill trees.

        • Report Details Fossil Fuel Industry’s Deceptive Net Zero Strategy
        • ‘Keystone XL Is Dead!’: After 10-Year Battle, Climate Movement Victory Over Tar Sands Pipeline Is Complete

          After more than a decade of grassroots organizing, agitation, and tireless opposition by the international climate movement, the final nail was slammed into the Keystone XL’s coffin Wednesday afternoon when the company behind the transnational tar sands pipeline officially pulled the plug on its plans.

          “This victory is thanks to Indigenous land defenders who fought the Keystone XL pipeline for over a decade.” —Clayton Thomas Muller, 350.org

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Life After Wildlife Trafficking: What Happens to Rescued Animals?
        • Oregon House Moves to Curb Forest Institute’s Power and Budget

          The Oregon House on Tuesday passed a bill to redirect funding from a tax-funded institute created 30 years ago to inform residents about forestry, after an investigation found that the organization sought to discredit scientists and acted as a lobbying and public relations arm for the timber industry.

          Representatives voted 32-27 to cut the Oregon Forest Resources Institute’s budget by two-thirds and redirect the money to the type of climate science the organization tried to undermine. The legislation, which now moves to the Oregon State Senate for consideration, would increase oversight of the institute and end its public advertising campaign. It would also shift $2.7 million of the institute’s $4 million annual budget to the Oregon Department of Forestry for projects that include climate research in forests and that would educate smaller family forestland owners about the state’s logging laws.

        • What Role Did Native Americans and Horses Play in the Decline of Bison?

          The idea that somehow either through cultural values or even “genetics” Indigenous people are more likely to protect and enhance biodiversity and other conservation values is widespread. But the other possibility that I think provides more explanation is that across the globe, wherever there was a low human population and limited technology, people “appeared” to live in “balance” more or less with natural landscapes.  This is just as true of Celtic people in the British Isles, Mongols in the Asian Steppes, Bedouin people in the Middle East, or Africans in the Congo.

          What is common in all these instances is low population and low technology. Change these factors, and humans everywhere, no matter their religion, race, or cultural identity, frequently overexploit the land. With modern technology, medicine, food availability and other factors, including dependency on the global economy, almost all indigenous people are freed from these prior constraints. Indeed, have been freed for several centuries in most places.

        • Of Plagues and Rodents: Australia’s War Against Mice

          This is all ordinary fare and is characterised by ignoring the anthropogenic nature of the problems.  Behind every pest outbreak on the Australian continent is a human hand operated by a muddled mind.  In Australia, that hand has been particularly busy in negligence. Since the eighteenth century, animal species have been introduced inadvertently or through design affecting and in many instances devastating the continent’s ecosystem.

          Some have been introduced with the purpose of neutralising other designated pest species, the most calamitous example being that of the cane toad.   Introduced by agricultural scientists of the Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations in 1935, the toad’s intended target were scarab beetles whose root-feeding larvae delighted in commercial agriculture, notably sugarcane crops.  Famously, the toad preferred different sources of food and proceeded to prey on other species with gusto, including native predators.  The species flourished.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • EFF and FSFP to Court: When Flawed Electronic Voting Systems Disenfranchise Voters, They Should Be Able to Challenge That with Access to the Courts
      • The Time to Secure Voting Rights Is Now or Never

        If you’d thought that defeating Donald Trump’s re-election campaign would save American democracy, well… it turns out that this particular vampire hasn’t been sufficiently staked yet.

      • Poll Shows 83% of Americans Believe So-Called ‘War on Drugs’ an Abject Failure

        New polling released Wednesday reveals that an overwhelming majority of Americans think the so-called “war on drugs” is a total failure, underscoring broad support for a new approach that puts public health over criminalization and a militarized response to the illegal narcotics trade that has lasted for decades.

        The findings released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) showed that 83% of Americans say the “war on drugs” has failed. That assessment is felt similarly across party lines; 83% of Democrats expressed that view, as did 85% of Independents and 82% of Republicans. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) said it’s time to end the war on drugs.

      • A Formula for National (In)Security

        As it happens, she’s slightly younger than me, but still getting up there, and we were chatting on the phone about our world, about the all-too-early first wildfire near Los Angeles, the intensifying mega-drought across the West and Southwest, the increasing nightmare of hurricane season in the Atlantic and so on. We were talking about the way in which we humans — and we Americans in particular (though you could toss in the Chinese without a blink) — have been wreaking fossil-fuelized havoc on this planet and what was to come.

        And oh yes, we were talking about our own deaths, also to come at some unknown future moment but one not as far away as either of us might wish. My friend then said to me abashedly, “I sometimes think it’s lucky I won’t be here to see what’s going to happen to the world.” And even as she began stumbling all over herself apologizing for saying such a thing, I understood exactly what she meant. I had had the very same thought and sense of shame and horror at even thinking it — at even thinking I would, in some strange sense, get off easy and leave a world from hell to my children and grandchildren.

      • Recent Events
      • Progressive Caucus Says Biden Would Be ‘Foolish’ to Keep Pursuing GOP Votes on Infrastructure

        After President Joe Biden ended fruitless infrastructure talks with leading Senate Republicans on Tuesday and shifted his focus to a separate bipartisan group working on a compromise proposal, the Congressional Progressive Caucus said the White House would be “foolish” to waste any more time pursuing GOP votes and demanded swift action on a package that includes major climate investments, child care, and other priorities.

        “In case it wasn’t clear already, it certainly is now: Republicans are not going to do what needs to be done for working families,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the nearly 100-member CPC, said in a statement. “These are the same Republican senators who refused to vote for the American Rescue Plan even if some touted its benefits after voting no, who refused to pass a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection, and who refused to vote for pay equity.”

      • Democracy on a Ventilator

        Washington, D.C.—I wore two masks this past year—one to guard against Covid-19, another to hide my fear of the political violence that infected the nation’s capital.

      • No Generation Without Representation

        Many of President Biden’s executive orders have focused on issues central to young people: climate change, education, racial justice, gun violence prevention, voting rights, and more. While these policy rollouts are a welcome sign, young people, informed by their experiences, must also be involved in the creation and implementation of these policies.

      • Saving Democracy in America

        Now comes another warning, a “Statement of Concern” (June 1, 2021) from more than 100 authorities on democracy who tell us that the Republicans’ war on elections—their refusal to accept the 2020 results and their blatant actions at every level of government to prevent legitimate voting—“call into question whether the United States will remain a democracy.” The scholars condemn this “betrayal of our precious democratic heritage.”

        Democracy in America is on the brink of destruction, and power-hungry, white supremacist, far-right Republicans are hell bent on taking us over the brink, casting aside every democratic norm we cherish. To them, facts are the enemy of truth and the competition of ideas is irrelevant. Winning is all that counts, just as Donald Trump has always preached.

      • Save Democracy, End the Filibuster

        The contrast between the two parties couldn’t be starker. President Joe Biden traveled to Tulsa, Okla., to mark the 100th anniversary of Whites killing an estimated 300 Blacks by looting and setting fire to a prosperous Black neighborhood that destroyed 34 blocks.

        Two days earlier, the Republican-led Texas legislature tried to pass the most restrictive laws affecting minority voting since Jim Crow, which legalized segregation from the end of Reconstruction in 1877 until the 1960s civil rights movement.

      • The Anti-Abortion and Anti-Woman Movement Has Been Very Effective

        These religious-right ideologues have been at it (their vicious and lethal anti-abortion attacks of different kinds) since Roe v. Wade became federal law in 1973. They’ve harassed women at abortion clinics, murdered, wounded and harmed clinic staff, and filled this society with so much anti-choice propaganda that even the language around abortion and women’s rights has become politicized. Recall the days when a fetus was a fetus, and an unborn child was not in the lexicon of the US? They’ve popularized movies in which women have a child and then immediately give the child up for adoption as if a human being was like a consumer good.

        At the heart of every anti-choice lout is an anti-woman lout. That is the essence of the anti-abortion movement with its radical right and murderous fringe. Right-wing societies raise motherhood and the control of women to their highest levels of scrutiny and adoration. Art even sometimes reflects this historical reality. The purity of women as producers of future Nazis was central to German Naziism before and during World War II. Besides the purity of that role, mothers were producers of future Third Reich soldiers. There were no surprises there!

      • Progressive Dreams Are on Pause in Virginia

        Virginia heralded the anti-Trump electoral resistance in 2017 when it elected 15 Democrats to the House of Delegates, including 11 women, one of them transgender and four of color, plus a democratic socialist, along with a Democratic governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Two years later, they took the General Assembly, giving the state that hosted the capital of the Confederacy complete Democratic control. Progressives hoped Virginia would become a bellwether for political change, and in some ways it was, as the state expanded Medicaid, repealed restrictive abortion laws, expanded voting access, and promoted antidiscrimination laws.

      • Official: Lady Dorrian Rules Courts Should Apply Different Standards to Bloggers and Mainstream Media

        We are racing to lodge our application to the Supreme Court by Friday, so I am just going to post an email I just sent my legal team:

      • AOC Blasts Manchin for Dark Money Ties, Suggests He’s “Intertwined” With Kochs
      • Joe Manchin Sucks, the Senate is Absurd

        The filibuster, which requires 60 of 100 Senate votes to hear and pass a bill, is an arch-reactionary practice long used to block elementary civil rights, labor, and other reforms. As long as it holds, Congress is a big sadistic game of right-wing Simon Says.

        You can forget about seeing the passage of serious and substantive liberal and progressive reforms, no matter how much support such reforms have from, well, we the people. The re-legalization of union organizing (as in the House-passed Protect the Right to Organize Act)? Serious gun control measures to block the insane, escalating epidemic of firearms violence and mass shootings? Substantive police reform to end the continuing epidemic of racist police brutality?

      • New Report Says Trump-Linked Groups Are Secretly Funding Arizona Ballot “Audit”
      • Poor People’s Campaign to March Against Manchin Obstructionism in West Virginia
      • Biden’s “Bipartisanship” Has Let Manchin Take the Infrastructure Bill Hostage
      • Aviva Chomsky – The Project Censored Show
      • Florida Covid whistle-blower Rebekah Jones hopes to unseat scandal-scarred Rep. Matt Gaetz

        The scientist who said she was fired by Gov. Ron DeSantis for refusing to censor Florida’s Covid-19 numbers said Tuesday she’s hoping to unseat another high-profile Republican politician in the state — Rep. Matt Gaetz.

        Rebekah Jones said the congressman, currently under investigation by the Justice Department for allegedly paying an underage girl for sex, is vulnerable.

      • Denmark Cracks Down on Mass Migration

        The Danish Parliament has passed a new law that will allow the government to deport asylum seekers to countries outside of the European Union to have their cases considered abroad. The legislation is widely seen as a first step toward moving the country’s asylum screening process beyond Danish borders.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Pretty Much Every Platform Overreacts To Content Removal Stimuli (2015)

        Summary: Content moderation at scale often involves significant tradeoffs between diverse interests. It is often difficult for those without experience in the field to recognize these competing interests.

      • [Old] Hollywood Media Turns On Disney, Exposes Their China Agenda

        The Hollywood Reporter (THR) might be sensing a shift in the tide as they readily exposed Disney’s China agenda in a very lengthy article discussing the relationship between Hollywood and China.

        The article, written by Patrick Brzeski and Tatiana Siegel, opens up with outing Disney’s China agenda by publishing part of an email sent to members of the press instructing them to describe Nomadland director Chloé Zhao as Chinese or a Chinese National.

      • [Old] From Deal Frenzy to Decoupling: Is the China-Hollywood Romance Officially Over?

        Despite routine tongue lashings from U.S. politicians of both parties, so far the studios appear to have calculated that they have much more to lose by crossing China’s red lines and speaking out on such issues — essentially, they risk giving up their entire China business in an instant. After all, China can giveth and China can taketh away. Beginning in October 2019, the NBA — the most popular and profitable U.S. sporting league in China by far — was banned from broadcast in the country for a full year after the Houston Rockets’ general manager at the time, Daryl Morey, put out a single, seven-word tweet voicing support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. (“Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”)

      • [Old] ‘Friends’ Reunion Is Censored in China, Cutting BTS and Lady Gaga

        Appearances by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and the K-pop group BTS were dropped from different versions of the much-anticipated special when they streamed on Thursday on three Chinese video platforms.

        Each missing cameo involved a star or group that had been a past target of Beijing’s ire, and fans suspected the show was stuck in censorship gear.

        Lady Gaga has been verboten in China since she met with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, in 2016. Mr. Bieber’s troubles with China began in 2014 when he posted a photo from the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors Japan’s war dead, including war criminals from World War II. And BTS, from South Korea, neglected last year to mention the sacrifice of China’s troops when recalling the pain of the Korean War — even though the troops fought on the side of North Korea.

      • [Old] Friends: The Reunion censored in China

        But, the Xinhua article left out how Chinese streaming sites had carefully censored the appearances of Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, the South Korean boy band, BTS and LGBTQ references from the version aired.

        It is still unclear whether Chinese government ordered the cuts or whether the streaming platforms, iQiyi, Youku and Tencent Video, themselves decided against airing what they knew would be sensitive to the government.

        The musicians and the censored band have fallen foul of Beijing over the years.

        Lady Gaga, for one, is a persona non grata in China following her meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2016.

      • Romney presses Microsoft over missing Tiananmen Square images

        Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is pressing Microsoft over why image searches for “Tank Man,” the iconic Tiananmen Square Massacre figure, turned up no results temporarily last week.

        On June 4, that particular search did not turn up results on Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. The same term did return information and articles with a generic, non-image, search. Other searches related to Tiananmen Square did return images.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Citizen Drops It Plan To Become Private Cops, Claims It Was Never Interested In Forming A Private Security Force

        Crime reporting app Citizen has had a pretty wild run in the past couple of weeks. Debuting rather inauspiciously as Vigilante back in 2016, the app was removed from Apple’s store less than 48 hours after its first appearance. It relaunched the following spring as Citizen and remained just another competitor in the virtual Neighborhood Watch scene.

      • What You Do after Work Shouldn’t Cost You Your Job

        I hope she wins. Karening is gross. But it’s not your boss’ business.

        Amy Cooper became the object of an Internet two-minutes hate last year when she called 911 on a Black birdwatcher who asked her to leash her dog per the rules and told the police he was threatening her and her dog. Unfortunately for her, the guy’s cellphone video showed no such thing.

      • After Grace’s Story, Michigan Will Study Its Juvenile Justice System

        Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other state leaders on Wednesday announced the creation of a task force to improve how the state handles young offenders, saying the juvenile justice system has been failing its children.

        Whitmer created the Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform and asked it to collect data from the state and its counties to better understand not only how Michigan treats juveniles who break the law, but how to reduce the number of young adults in the system and prevent them from entering it at all. Too many young people are incarcerated for noncriminal offenses, she said; a ProPublica investigation last year found Michigan does so more than almost any other state.

      • New report reignites push for wealth tax

        The report, based on tax-return data ProPublica received from an anonymous source, details how prominent billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have paid little to no taxes in some recent years, particularly when compared to their wealth gains.

      • ProPublica’s Tax Revelations Lead to Calls for Reforms — and Investigation

        ProPublica’s investigation released Tuesday revealing that the top 25 wealthiest Americans have paid little, and sometimes nothing, in federal income taxes has resulted in demands to rewrite the tax code and to investigate how the confidential data was released.

        Congressional Democrats called for legislation to force the rich to pay more.

      • Trojan Shield: How the FBI Secretly Ran a Phone Network for Criminals

        The news signals a major coup for law enforcement: ordinarily, agencies either shut down or crack messages on an already established service, such as Phantom Secure or Encrochat, two similar encrypted messaging networks. But in this case, the FBI took control of a communications company called Anom in its infancy and turned that into a wide-reaching honeypot, with the suspected criminal users instead coming to them.

      • Christian Woman Tortured for 20 Days in Pakistan

        Warris reported that his wife’s abductor was Muhamad Akbar, a man who was said to have kidnapped a Christian female previously but escaped punishment due to his wealth and influence.

        After his wife’s abduction, Warris made several attempts to get policemen to demand her release. Finally, police forced Akbar to release Bibi and she was later found, unable to walk, on a roadside near her village of Sahoo Ki Malian.

        Crying, Warris said: “We are poor and Christian therefore the police are not taking any action against the abductor, and because he has heavily bribed the police.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • EFF Files Amicus Brief Defending the Right to Repair in Massachusetts

        Almost immediately, automakers asked to delay the law. In November, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a group that includes Honda, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and other major carmakers, sued the state over the law. The suit claims that allowing people to have access to the information generated by their own cars poses serious security risks.

        This argument is nonsense, and we have no problem joining our fellow repair advocates—iFixit, The Repair Association, US PIRG, SecuRepairs.org, and Founder/Director of the Brooklyn Law Incubator and Policy Clinic Professor Jonathan Askin—in saying so.

        The Massachusetts law requires vehicles with a telematics platform—software that collects and transmits diagnostic information about your car—to install an open data platform.  The Alliance for Automotive Innovation argues that the law makes it “impossible” to comply with both the state’s data access rules and federal standards.

      • FTC Gives MoviePass Execs A Wrist Slap For Changing Passwords So Users Couldn’t Watch Movies

        Originally, the MoviePass business model seemed like a semi-sensible idea, though we were quick to wonder if it would ever actually make a profit. Under the model, users paid $30 (eventually $10) a month in exchange for unlimited movie tickets at participating theaters, provided they signed up for a full year of service. There were, of course, caveats: you could only buy a ticket per day, and could only buy one ticket per movie. It also prohibited users from viewing 3D, IMAX, or XD films. Still, the proposal was widely heralded by some as a savior for the traditional, brick and mortar, sticky floor movie industry.

      • Denuvo Is Still Claiming It’s In The Anti-Piracy Business Even As Games Continue To Strip Out Denuvo Post-Launch

        For a three year period or so, we had a ton of coverage on Denuvo, a DRM platform once touted as undefeatable. That era of invincibility soon crumbled completely, with cracking groups eventually figuring out how to get around the DRM. Cracking times on games went from months, to weeks, to days, to essentially games being cracked at launch. Games started patching Denuvo out of games, which is roughly the equivalent of admitting defeat. In response, Denuvo began claiming that it’s platform was still a success because it could protect some games for some number of hours at the time of launch and the company apparently believed that really should be good enough. The company also announced a pivot to providing anti-cheat software for online games, though publishers began ripping that out of their games at record speed as well.

    • Monopolies

      • Map Of The Internet Exposes The Lie That ‘Big Tech’ Controls The Internet

        To hear many people talk about things, the entire internet these days is controlled by just a few companies, mainly Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Depending on who you’re talking to, you may hear them throw in companies like Netflix. But some of us keep pointing out that while those guys are big, that doesn’t mean the rest of the internet stops existing. And it’s still incredibly large. If you want this point really driven home, check out this amazing map of the 2021 internet by Martin Vargic (first spotted via Fast Company).

      • Patents

        • G1/19: three answers, a wealth of findings [Ed: The hugely corrupt firm that wrote this crap doesn’t say that EBA is itself rigged and that software patents are not legal in Europe (no matter what rigged tribunals say)]

          The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) issued its G1/19 decision on 10 March 2021. This decision was eagerly awaited, since the answers given by the Enlarged Board of Appeal will be key in assessing the patentability of inventions pertaining to methods of simulation or design. This decision was especially long and detailed. In addition to answers to the questions posed explicitly, the explanations given by the Enlarged Board of Appeal included many findings, some being applicable not only to simulations but also to computer-implemented inventions in general.

        • “Nokia and Daimler’s licensing deal is problematic for the connected industry” – JUVE Patent

          In the end, the economists at Daimler had the final say. They will have coolly calculated the legal and court fees already accumulated in the dispute with Nokia over SEPs. They will have considered how much money would have to be handed over in the next few months, until the CJEU ruled on the Regional Court Düsseldorf’s FRAND questions submission.

          In the meantime, the German patent courts would have ruled on further suits filed by Nokia against Daimler. Worst case scenario, the carmaker with the three-pointed star could have faced a shutdown in production. A licence under acceptable terms would then be preferable, Daimler’s economists will have said. But Daimler would have had to accept a licence at some point anyway.

          Observers don’t know the exact terms of Daimler’s deal with Nokia. However, what is certain is that only Daimler has accepted a licence from Nokia. Its suppliers such as TomTom, Burry and Continental are probably not part of the deal.

          Both things could lead to problems in the long run – for suppliers, the connected industry as a whole, and for Daimler.

        • Patent on barley and beer upheld [Ed: This is totally insane and it shows that the corrupt EPO has gone off the rails completely]

          The patent claims non-genetically bred barley plants, their harvest and the beer produced thereof. No Patents on Seeds! is concerned about serious negative impacts such patents can have, as these might also be granted on vegetables, fruits and other food plants.

          “This is a bad day not only for breweries and barley breeders but because a patent was upheld that should never have been granted. Patents like this are impacting diversity in agro-ecosystems, innovation in breeding and the interest of consumers”, Christoph Then says for No Patents on Seeds!.” Consequently, the EPO did not raise any bar against further similar patents. Now, there might be even more patents on beer and barley in the future.”

          Carlsberg has already filed around a dozen similar patent applications. To this end, the genome of barley was systematically screened for relevant genetic variations that may have useful traits. These include, for example, randomly induced mutations that influence the process of brewing and the flavour of the beer after storage. The EPO has already granted four patents, and oppositions have been filed against three of them.

          The case of a German barley breeder that was made public this week, shows how patents on seeds can hamper or completely block the development of new varieties. These negative impacts can also occur without any factual patent infringement. The reason: the technical and legal uncertainties associated with these patent applications incur substantial costs for laboratory analysis and patent lawyers that are too high a hurdle for many breeders.

          Karl-Josef Müller, an organic breeder from Cultivari described his situation: “After more than twenty years work of breeding barley, and just before we wanted to register our new variety in 2020, we discovered that Carlsberg had filed a patent application on barley with similar characteristics. Consequently, we would have had to shoulder not only the costs of registering our new variety, but also the costs of sorting out totally unexpected legal questions. This is something we simply could not afford.”

        • European Patent Prosecution [Ed: Priorities set all wrong as if patents were conceived as something for litigation firms instead of science]

          The path to obtaining a European patent can be viewed as a multi-stage process. Firstly, at the filing stage, the applicant must provide the European Patent Office (EPO) with sufficient information to be awarded a filing date for the application. This filing date acts as a stake in the ground because the application will be assessed for novelty and inventive step based on what was in public domain before this date. As such, it is possible to publicly disclose the invention from this date onwards without compromising its patentability.

          The second stage is a formalities examination, during which the filed documents will be examined against a series of formal requirements. If these requirements are met, the application will move to the third stage, where the EPO performs a search for prior art deemed relevant to the patentability of the invention, and the application is published on the EPO website.

        • Patent Monopolies and Inequality

          The infuriating part of this story is that it is so obviously not true. But, just as followers of Donald Trump are prepared to believe any crazy story he tells about the stolen election, our intellectual types are willing to accept the idea that the only way we could have gotten vaccines as quickly as we did was by granting a small number of companies and individuals patent monopolies. And, just as no amount of evidence can dissuade Trumpers from believing their guy actually won the election, it is not possible to get most people involved in policy debates to consider the possibility that we don’t need patent monopolies to finance the development of drugs or vaccines.

          This is especially disturbing in the case of the current crop of vaccines developed in the United States and Europe. The development of mRNA technology was done overwhelming on the public dime. This is hardly a secret. In fact, the NIH owns one of the key patents that Moderna used in the development of its vaccine.

        • ‘Shame It’s Taken So Long’: Health Advocates Welcome Formal WTO Talks to Suspend Covid Vaccine Patents

          Global justice campaigners fighting for universal access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines reacted with a mix of elation and frustration to Wednesday’s announcement that members of the World Trade Organization will begin formal text-based negotiations on a temporary waiver of Big Pharma’s coronavirus-related patents next week—more than eight months after India and South Africa first introduced a proposal to suspend intellectual property barriers for the duration of the pandemic.

          “It is shameful that in the midst of a pandemic it has taken eight long painful months and 2.7 million deaths from Covid-19 for a handful of rich country government blockers to finally agree to enter formal text-based negotiations on this life-saving proposal.”—Anna Marriott, Oxfam

        • Software Patents

          • $1,500 for Modern Font Applications prior art

            On June 8, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $1,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 9,886,421. The patent is currently owned by Modern Font Applications, LLC, an NPE. The ’421 patent generally relates to allowing operating systems access to non-standard fonts in a network document. It is has been used in over 15 district court cases but currently being asserted against Red Lobster and Alaska Airlines.

          • Another Chinese Challenge Filed Against Dolby

            On June 9, 2021, Unified Patents filed a Chinese invalidation request for CN102256122 owned by Dolby International AB. CN102256122 has been designated essential to the HEVC Advance pool and SISVEL’s AV1 pool. It is also related to patents that have been designated in those pools.

      • Copyrights

        • The Sudden, Lucrative Gold Rush for Old Music

          As technology improves, the ways some artists hope to reach fans are beginning to look more and more like sci-fi. Touring holograms of Buddy Holly, Frank Zappa, and Ronnie James Dio made respectable money before the pandemic. Scherer says the Buddy Holly touring hologram that BMG backed worked so well, “we have two more hologram tours in the making.” Olivier Chastan, CEO of Iconic Artists Group — which now owns most of the Beach Boys’ intellectual [sic] property [sic] — hopes to bring the group’s California girls to the final frontier. “In five years, I could send you a text and say, ‘At 2 p.m., let’s put our Oculus Rift glasses on, and let’s go see the Beach Boys record ‘Good Vibrations’ at Western Recorders,’” he said after the acquisition. And a lawsuit Chris Cornell’s widow has filed against the late grunge superstar’s bandmates cites her interest in tours with a replacement singer, hologram concerts, and “deep-fake renditions of Chris’ vocals drawn from extant recordings by artificial intelligence that could mint brand new Soundgarden hits.”

        • EU Warns People About the Risks and Damages of Piracy

          The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has launched a public awareness campaign, warning the public about the risks and damages of piracy. The campaign warns that people who pirate content or buy counterfeit goods put their health, safety, money, and privacy at risk. At the same time, people help fund organized crime including drug and human trafficking.

        • Record Labels Sue Frontier For Failing to Terminate Persistent Pirates

          Fifteen major recording labels including UMG, Sony Music and Warner Music have sued US ISP Frontier Communications for failing to suspend the accounts of customers who allegedly downloaded and shared pirated music. The companies describe Frontier as a safe haven for pirates and one that generates revenue from repeat infringers.

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  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, June 21, 2021



  4. Virtual Injustice -- Part 14: How Mandatory ViCo Became the “New Normal”

    How mandatory ViCo hearings gradually became the "New Normal" at the EPO



  5. Links 21/6/2021: Rocky Linux 8.4, IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 157, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3

    Links for the day



  6. There Are Bigger Scandals Than Revisionism and Brand Dilution at the Linux Foundation

    There are some misconceptions that need tackling; back in February (more than 4 months ago) the so-called 'Linux' Foundation decided to associate with yet another controversial drive that has nothing to do with Linux; some people think it's a new thing and leap to conclusions



  7. Techrights Video Gallery Without JavaScript

    Some of the improvements made this morning to the gallery of recent videos



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, June 20, 2021



  9. Links 21/6/2021: Linux 5.13 RC7, IRC.com by Freenode

    Links for the day



  10. Virtual Injustice -- Part 13: Let the Games Continue…

    "It would be nice to think that the events of 28 May have given the Enlarged Board pause for thought."



  11. Links 20/6/2021: Akademy 2021 Underway and Linux Foundation Blasted

    Links for the day



  12. EPO: Fake Patents, Fake (Paid-for) Patent Coverage, and Fake Awards for Public Relations Purposes

    The media has been thoroughly corrupted, patent legitimacy has been severely damaged (far too many European Patents aren't in compliance with the EPC anymore), and Team UPC is trying to undermine the EPC and turn Europe into another Texas



  13. Changes in IRC and New Features Over Gemini Protocol or the World Wide Web

    We examine more closely some of the latest changes in the site and the capsule (Web and Gemini, respectively); we show that it’s possible to keep abreast of IRC using nothing but a text editor, a Gemini client… or even the command line alone



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 19, 2021



  15. We Need and Deserve a Saner Patent System in Europe

    The laughing stock that the patent system, the patent law firms, and patent media became (over the past few years) must be replaced; at the moment we have a cabal connected to a bunch of criminals running the entire show and the public understandably grows impatient (at least people who are sufficiently informed; the criminals have already intimidated and bribed a lot of the media and they're still bribing more of it, as we shall demonstrate later today)



  16. [Meme] IRC Wars in a Nutshell

    In terms of large IRC networks, we’re in trouble (unless we self-host) because they seem to be dividing themselves along political lines rather than anything technical or something of an on-topic/relevant substance. Using networks for Free software projects/organisations to push one’s political agenda is not acceptable because it’s starting to seem like in IRC space, FN has become the Front Nationale (French) and LC is Liberal Coalition. Both FreeNode and Libera Chat have managed to turn from technical platforms into political parties, in effect using technical networks (intended for technical projects) to push someone's political agenda and thus misusing them for personal gain. There’s no free lunch. As it turns out, FreeNode’s new owner (Andrew Lee) has just outed himself as a huge Donald Trump supporter who speaks of “these fuckers who stole that shit” (he meant the election, which he insists Trump actually won in 2020).



  17. IBM Handles More Removals of Signatures From Its Hate Letter Against Richard Stallman

    Less than a day ago IBM processed a request for removal (from its hate letter); as someone put it in a letter to us, also less than a day ago: “When all of this started in 2019, the Red Hat GNU developers showed off their colours. The best way to attack an organisation is from the inside. Using GNU developers was a dead giveaway. Google and Microsoft are very much on the team with IBM. I believe they’ve made headway into the Free/Libre software community and have persuaded senior Debianties to go along with them.” That same message, from an anonymous GNU maintainer, said: “The strategy to target major distributions is clear and present danger. I’m not sure what arguments of persuasion are being used, but I’m pretty sure their main tool is currency. RMS needs a lot of strategic support from experts who will rally to the Free Software cause. He needs great lawyers, some corporate minds, and intelligence specialists.” Sometimes it seems or feels like by simply buying Red Hat (the staff) IBM infiltrated the GNU Project and now it is vainly making claims like 'GNU is IBM' and thus IBM et al can command/tell the FSF who should run FSF, not only GNU. Such entryism isn’t hard to see; “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile garnered 6,758 signatures. The opposite letter is only decreasing in support (signatures lost).



  18. Links 20/6/2021: Debian GNU/Linux 10.10 “Buster” Released and LF Revisionism Resumes

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal Has Already Lost the Case in the Court of Public Opinion

    Personal views on the sordid state of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA), which by extension bodes poorly for the perception of independence in every Board of Appeal (BoA); the patent tribunals have been captured by patent maximalists who either stack the panels or intimidate judges into ruling in a particular way



  20. Virtual Injustice -- Part 12: Carl Josefsson – Down But Not Out!

    António Campinos still controls Josefsson, who controls all the judges, so in effect all the legal cases (including some about European software patents) are manipulated by the Office the judges are supposed to judge



  21. Links 19/6/2021: Wine 6.11 and Proton 6.3-5 RC

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 18, 2021



  23. Virtual Injustice -- Part 11: Perceptive Comments and Caustic Criticism

    The EPO‘s management managed to silence a lot of the critical media (handouts and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos), but silencing comments is a lot harder; though we don’t know which ones were moderated out of existence…



  24. Links 18/6/2021: Mir 2.4, ActivityWatch 0.11, Microsoft Breaks Its Own Repos

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)



  26. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing



  27. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day



  28. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021



  30. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now


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