EPO Management: A Mafia That Discourages Journalism and Reduces Truth to Anonymous Whispers (Ducking Detection by the Mafia)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: There’s a bunch of new comments (half a dozen so far) that moderators have allowed to appear or become visible to everybody; they show a negative sentiment about the EPO — something that EPO management is more than eager to prevent/discourage (sometimes by means of threats and bribery)

FOUR days ago, as we noted in Daily Links of that day, an EPO puff piece was published to relay misleading talking points of António Campinos and Team Battistelli. Little or no effort was made to correct or fact-check them. “We recommend reading the comments on the article as well,” SUEPO wrote yesterday after it had seen that ‘article’; we recommend just skipping straight to the comments because brainwash isn’t good for the mind.

“The EPO is a problematic institution and the public needs to know about it before that injustice can be corrected.”In spite of granting loads of Invalid Patents (IPs) instead of European Patents (EPs), e.g. European software patents, the EPO sees a decline in “demand” from its “customers” or “clients” (that’s how the EPO’s management views people who request monopolies!) and moreover, judging by new comments in IP Kat (at least those approved by AstraZeneca moderation), there’s growing realisation that the EPO is a stacked institution of nepotism and kangaroo courts.

There are ongoing efforts to suppress such information (that’s why many decent writers left IP Kat), but there’s also hope that 10-million-euro media campaigns (such as last month’s) won’t create a smokescreen thick enough. Lawyering up the staff will hopefully not discourage the staff from speaking to media, either. The EPO is a problematic institution and the public needs to know about it before that injustice can be corrected.

“The European Patent Office is a Corrupt, Malicious Organisation Which Should Not Exist”

Richard Stallman

GNU in India (2008): How GIMP Changed Mani’s Life

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Videos at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
Attribution: Abhigyan Singh and the GNU Education Team, which explained the work here

GNU/Linux Advocacy Over the Years (or Why You Should Advocate GNU More Than Linux)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 5:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Direct link to video

Summary: Linux is nowadays controlled by vicious monopolies trying to sell proprietary operating systems and proprietary Clown Computing (such as GitHub or Azure); for those who value freedom there’s still GNU, which is generally bigger than Linux

THE latest batch of Daily Links contained some of these links (more links will be added to this page as they arrive) about the Linux Foundation pushing Windows and other Microsoft proprietary software over at GitHub. It’s no laughing matter and it’s not too shocking either, especially given the recent track record of this so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation. We’ve already urged readers to contact Linus Torvalds about this (he does read his E-mail, even if he rarely replies), politely expressing their concerns about the demise of Linux as a brand. It’s a brand that he still fully controls, at least on paper.

“The shallow PR cannot compensate or fully make up for all the EPO’s crimes.”For nearly 8 years we’ve covered EPO corruption, showing how Benoît Battistelli exploited the good name of the institution to basically milk it to death. As the EPO turns about half a century old António Campinos continues to milk it, again capitalising on the name or the brand recognition. But judging by the decrease in patent applications (tucked away in the EPO report), applicants are catching up and waking up. They can see European software patents perishing in European courts; they can finally accept the demise and likely death of the UPC. Nothing good is coming out of the EPO anymore. The shallow PR cannot compensate or fully make up for all the EPO’s crimes.

Going back to Linux, later this year it’ll turn 30. Actually, as a Free software project it’ll turn 29. As for GNU, it’s turning 38 this year (or 37 if one counts development, not just the announcement).

Microsoft puts pedal to metal, joins Rust FoundationIf readers feel a tad baffled by all those Stallman videos we’ve been posting here lately, make no mistake; we think it’s imperative that we go back to the roots of the operating system and the movement. Nowadays, judging by the latest news about Rust, Linux increasingly means monopolies, not freedom. In fact, it doesn’t seem like Torvalds is even in charge of his project anymore. He’s there like a phantom, maybe he even believes he’s in charge, but behind his back decisions are being made in defiance of his personal preferences. In 2018 they showed him who’s the real boss by sending him to therapists (like he’s demented or defective or something).

For those of us who pursue software freedom rather than the triumph of some brand (if it was all just a “branding war”, why not just buy Apple?) GNU is the way to go. Copyleft is the way to go. Sharing, protecting users (see Audacity fightback) and all those meaningful values (not mere brands) should be our primary focus. Join the pursuit of what matters; and that ain’t branding…

Today’s Cars Have a ‘Privacy Tax’

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 4:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tax or Taxi (can be hitched anonymously)

Is this you? Yes. Why no 'app'? I value my privacy. Want a discount? Naaa... But I'll pay you! Whatever.

Summary: The lustre or the appeal associated with driving is mostly gone for those who value their human rights and general dignity; like those proctoring malware things (spying on people who take exams inside their own homes), many cars nowadays spy a lot on drivers and passengers

THERE’S a plethora of different issues related to cars which we’ve covered here before, e.g.:

Today we’d like to deal with privacy aspects or, contrariwise/conversely, mass surveillance. It’s getting worse all the time and it has been getting worse for years. I stopped driving quite some time ago, so I mostly lost touch with the changes and I mostly rely on what friends tell me and show me.

The first reference above is only days old. It mostly dealt with drivers’ loss of control over the car they claim to “own”, among other aspects like planned obsolescence (it’s always a lot faster with high-tech stuff). The appeal of modern cars usually boils down to superficialities and gimmicks. We said we’d follow up with another article, especially regarding privacy aspects of technology inside cars. It’s a very broad subject and not one I’m proficient enough to write about based on personal experience. So I spoke to Ryan, who explained the situation in the United States. It sounds like it has gotten a lot worse there than it currently is in the United Kingdom, based on conversations and observations.

Ryan said “there’s the insurance devices/apps that spy on you promising discounts and then that can backfire horribly. They say in the tiny print you may save 10%, or you may pay 26% more. That’s kind of a ‘You have more to lose than they do.’ proposition.”

While the spying inside cars might not be absolutely obligatory (for now), people get discounts to be spied on or, conversely, they rip people off for not installing and carrying around malware inside the car. “I just don’t believe my privacy is worth a 10% discount on some car insurance that probably costs me $900 a year,” Ryan said. “But, in fact, it won’t even be that.”

“10% is the most you can save. And you may pay a LOT more than if you’d never signed up,” he added. “Put otherwise, “You might save up to $90, or you may pay up to $260 more per year if you put this device on your car, but either way you tell us all sorts of things about you.”. With Root it’s an app, with Progressive or Geico it’s either an app or a device plugged into the vehicle diagnostic port that you send back to them when they’re done. They say it goes for a test period, which is certainly true if you don’t have the device anymore, but with an app….who really knows?”

I asked Ryan if people get penalised for turning it off. “With MetroMile,” he responded, “you pay by the mile, and you pay the maximum daily rate of 300 miles each day it’s not plugged in. And you have to leave it plugged in permanently with MetroMile, but they say if a mechanic or a smog testing site takes it out for a few hours, you’re fine. Just make sure to get it back and plug it in again.

I then asked, “how do they know you drive without it?”

“The OBD II port maintains power to the device,” he responded. “It wakes up and talks to them over the cell network every so often and then goes back to sleep. So it’s plugged into your car and it’s hooked up to the cell network. It has an LTE modem in each unit. If you cancel your policy they send you a device return kit, postage paid, and you get 30 days to get it back, or pay a $150 penalty.”

Regarding the passage of data about drivers and passengers, there are many ethical issues and it is assured to worsen over time because they collect/retain tons of data for decades. Ryan said, “at the time I used it, their privacy policy said that they didn’t sell your data to others, but privacy policies change all the time, and most include a clause that they either don’t have to inform you and that by continuing to use it under a revision to the policy you agree to the new one. Or they’ll slip you a notification like Comcast did this month. ‘Hey, we’re putting in a forced arbitration clause on all our customers, and if you use Comcast past July 3rd, you agree.’ Unless you’re constantly paying attention for subtle changes to privacy policies for everything you use, a lot of the time you’ll miss important changes which are not good for you. Microsoft does this.”

There are also unintended or unforeseen threats.

“There was an article about buying a used 2007 Chevy truck and yanking out a hard drive and finding out tons of info about the previous owner that wasn’t wiped,” Ryan concluded. “Vehicles themselves have been doing quite a lot of spying for a while now. The OnStar Button in the 2003 Impala still works. The law requires them to call emergency services if you press it and ask for it. They can still tell where you are.”

Links 6/7/2021: Proxmox Virtual Environment 7.0 and Virtuozzo VzLinux 8.4

Posted in News Roundup at 3:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Master Touch Typing on Linux With KTouch

        The productivity you can achieve on Linux is unparalleled to other operating systems when used appropriately. The keyboard is perhaps the most used input device on your Linux machine. This provides you with a large scope to further enhance your productivity with touch typing.

        Most of the tasks that you perform with your mouse or trackpad can be done much faster using the keyboard with the help of some keyboard shortcuts and touch typing. Want to give it a try yourself? This article will help you in getting started.

        What Is Touch Typing?

        Touch typing is a technique that helps you to type faster by placing your fingers on specific parts of the keyboard and hit the keys without looking at the keyboard. This is especially useful if you have a job that involves typing a lot, such as an author or programmer.

        With touch typing, you can minimize the key travel and type more efficiently without moving your fingers a lot. Each finger will be responsible for a specific set of nearest keys on the keyboard. Touch typing is great for increasing your typing speed as well as accuracy.

      • Growing a KDE Video Community: My Experiment
    • Applications

      • Popular Open Source Tool Audacity in News Again, for all the Wrong Reasons

        Audacity is a popular, free and open-source audio editor available cross-platform.

        Muse Group recently acquired Audacity. In case you didn’t know, they are popularly known for open-source music notation software, Musescore.

        While this was a good thing considering Audacity’s future growth with all the extended resources after the acquisition, it is turning out to be a nightmare. Why?

        After Muse Group bought Audacity, they have managed to spark multiple controversies.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Convert and Optimize Ebooks in Linux – Linux Hint

        This article will cover a guide on using “ebook-convert” and “ebook-polish” commands available as a part of the Calibre ebook management software suite. These commands can be used to convert ebooks in a variety of ways and you can adapt ebooks for your ereader using various options available under them.

      • How to Configure NTP on CentOS 8

        This post will teach you about the Network Time Protocol (NTP), its installation, and its configuration method on CentOS. Furthermore, we will also show you the procedure of setting NTP server and Client on your CentOS system. So let’s head towards this journey!

      • How to Set Up a Raspberry Pi Web Server in 2021 [Guide] | Beebom

        Raspberry Pi is not only a small board computer but a tinker card that can do almost anything and everything. Do you want to set up Pi-hole on Raspberry Pi to block ads and trackers from your entire home network? Yes, it does that. Do you want to set up a Raspberry Pi web server for web development and local file transfer? Well, it does that too. In fact, using a Raspberry Pi is a great and affordable way to build a personal web server. So if you are interested, follow this simple guide and turn your Raspberry Pi into a web server in no time.

      • Edit PDFs on the Linux command line | Opensource.com

        Many of the documents you receive come in PDF format. Sometimes those PDFs need to be manipulated. For example, pages might need to be removed or added, or you might need to sign or change a specific page.

        Whether good or bad, this is the reality we all live in.

        There are some fancy graphical user interface tools that let you edit PDFs, but I have always been most comfortable with the command line. Of the many command-line tools for this task, the ones I use when I want to modify a PDF are qpdf and poppler-utils.

      • Linux Fu: PDF For Penguins | Hackaday

        PostScript started out as a programming language for printers. While PostScript printers are still a thing, there are many other ways to send data to a printer. But PostScript also spawned the Portable Document Format or PDF and that has been crazy successful. Hardly a day goes by that you don’t see some kind of PDF document come across your computer screen. Sure, there are other competing formats but they hold a sliver of market share compared to PDF. Viewing PDFs under Linux is no problem. But what about editing them? Turns out, that’s easy, too, if you know how.

      • Send and receive Gmail from the Linux command line | Opensource.com

        I’m a Mutt user. I like viewing and composing emails in the convenience of my Linux terminal. With a lightweight and minimal client like Mutt, I know that I can have my email available regardless of system specifications or internet access. And because I have a Linux terminal open more often than not, my email client essentially has no footprint on my desktop real estate. It’s hidden away in a terminal tab or multiplexer pane, so I can ignore it when I don’t need it but get to it quickly when I do need it.

        A commonly perceived problem with Mutt is that most of us use hosted email accounts these days and interact with actual email protocols only superficially. Mutt (and ELM before it) was created back in simpler times, when checking email was a call to uucp and a glance at /var/mail. However, it’s adapted nicely to developing technology and works well with all sorts of modern protocols like POP, IMAP, and even LDAP, so you can use Mutt even if you’re using Gmail as your email host.

        Because it’s relatively rare to run your own email server today, and because Gmail is very common, this tutorial assumes you’re using Mutt with Gmail. If you’re concerned about email privacy, consider opening an account with ProtonMail or Tutanota, both of which provide fully encrypted email. Tutanota has many open source components, and ProtonMail provides an IMAP bridge for paid users so that you don’t have to work around accessing your email outside a browser. However, many companies, schools, and organizations don’t run their own email services and just use Gmail, so you may have a Gmail account whether you want one or not.

      • How to Display PPIDs in Linux

        In Linux, PPID refers to the process ID of the parent process. A parent process in Linux is the one that is capable of spawning child processes. A single parent process can have multiple child processes whereas a single child process can belong to one and only one parent process. In other words, multiple child processes can have the same PPID. In today’s tutorial, we want to show you the two methods of finding the parent process IDs or PPIDs in Linux.

      • How To Install Evernote Client on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Evernote Client on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Evernote is the world’s most popular note-taking and personal organization service. It is widely used by people who need their notes to be tidy and available from anywhere thanks to the cloud. Evernote’s ability to interact with other applications such as Drive, Gmail, and Outlook is one of its most appealing features.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Evernote client 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 Change Visudo Default Editor

        In this tutorial we learn how to change visudo default editor. I use Ubuntu 20.04 for this tutorial but you should be able to follow this tutorial on any versions and flavors of Ubuntu.

        To change visudo default editor, you can use the command below.

      • How To Enable Passwordless Sudo in Ubuntu

        In this tutorial we learn how to enable passwordless sudo in Ubuntu. I use Ubuntu 20.04 for this tutorial, but you should be able to follow this tutorial on older versions of Ubuntu like Ubuntu 18.04 or newer version like Ubuntu 20.04 or Ubuntu 21.04.

      • How To Enable TLS 1.3 on Apache and Nginx – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to enable TLS 1.3 on Apache and Nginx. For those of you who didn’t know, TLS 1.3 makes your web servers more secure with the latest security protocols. The latest TLS 1.3 is supported by all major browsers so there will be no compatibility issue. By using TLS 1.3 it provides better security and fastest speed than all previous TLS versions.

        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 enable transport layer security (TLS) on Apache and Nginx webserver.

      • How To Install Syncthing on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Syncthing on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Syncthing is an open-source continuous file synchronization used to sync files between two or more computers in a network. Syncthing uses peer-to-peer architecture, meaning that each device attached to your Syncthing network retains copies of the files in your shared folders and pushes new content whenever any changes have been made.

        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 the step-by-step installation of the Kitematic Docker GUI tool 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 Setup Firewall With UFW On Linux – OSTechNix

        This guide explains what is UFW, how to install UFW in Linux, and how to setup firewall with UFW on various Linux operating systems.

      • How to Install Gitea with Nginx and free Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04

        Gitea is an open-source and self-hosted version control system written in Go. It is simple, lightweight, and can be installed on low-powered systems. It is a fork of Gogs and an alternative to GitHub and GitLab. It comes with a lot of features including, repository file editor, project issue tracking, user managements, notifications, built-in wiki, and much more. It can be installed on all modern operating systems including, Linux, macOS, Windows, ARM, and PowerPC architectures.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Gitea Git service with Nginx and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Check if Your System Uses MBR or GPT Partitioning

        Knowing the correct partitioning scheme of your disk could be crucial when you are installing Linux or any other operating system.

        There are two popular partitioning schemes; the older MBR and the newer GPT. Most computers use GPT these days.

        While creating the live or bootable USB, some tools (like Rufus) ask you the type of disk partitioning in use. If you choose GPT with an MBR disk, the bootable USB might not work.

        In this tutorial, I’ll show various methods to check the disk partitioning scheme on Windows and Linux systems.

      • How to install TeamSpeak Server on Ubuntu 21.04 – Unixcop

        TeamSpeak is a voice-over IP chat software, it allows users to talk in a chat channel with other users, just like a traditional conference call. To do this, clients have to connect to a server. This is what we are going to do.

        The main advantage is that you can manage the created instance yourself.

      • How to install deepin 20.2.2

        In this video, I am going to show how to install deepin 20.2.2.

      • How to repair and Defragment partitions in ubuntu

        Generally there is a misconception among the linux community that it doesn’t need Defragmentation. Now in recent times most of the linux distributions use journalized File systems such as EXT2, EXT3, EXT4 ,JFS, ZFS,BTRFS etc. All of these file systems empowers the operating system with smart ways and techniques for file allocation. Hence as a result all of these minimize the fragmentation problems. Fragmentation though can still be an issue for those who use space limited disks that may not offer file allocation options. In this tutorial I will help you to defragment ubuntu partition , when a system reaches critical levels of fragmentation. Here I would help you to Defragment ubuntu partition.

      • Linux Essentials – Formatting & Mounting Storage Volumes

        Storage volumes are essential to our Linux servers and workstations, but how do we format and mount additional storage volumes? In this episode of Linux Essentials, I’ll walk you through the process of formatting additional storage volumes and mounting them in your Linux instance.

    • Games

      • Steam Summer Sale 2021: Our Picks

        As the Steam Summer Sale 2021 is coming to an end (you still have a couple of days to grab something still), here’s a quick recap of what we have decided to pick up, and why! By the way, while we don’t always publish long form reviews on Boiling Steam, we do from time to time update our game recommendations on our Steam Curator Page, so you’d better subscribe to it if you are on Steam!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce Development Reports

        • Weekly update – transfer queueing, execution safety flag, and MTP

          After transfer queueing was introduced, it frequently caused crashes or freezing when working with remote location. This problem was solved by introducing a waiting queue. To be released in Thunar 4.17.4.

        • (A bit late) weekly update

          I’m still working on safety-flag, which is mentioned in my introduction post and 2nd saturday post. Not much have changed, but now an interface for safety flag is going to be merged into libxfce4util. Also, this flag will now only be used for .desktop files, rather than every executables.

        • Support for GTK-Recent and various improvements

           In the introductory blog-post I wrote that for the first month of my GSoC time I had planned to work on supporting the `recent:///` location and on adding some other requested features, most notably the option to save the zoom-level per directory. The time has come for you to take a closer look at what I’ve been working on.

        • Weekly update – cdadr – is an argument of the procedure

          Coding safety flag interface is done, but since it requires new version of libxfce4util, it is waiting for docker image to be updated.

        • Weekly update
    • Distributions

      • How your organisation’s equipment policy can impact the environment

        At the Endless OS Foundation, we’ve recently been updating some of our internal policies. One of these is our equipment policy, covering things like what laptops and peripherals are provided to employees. While updating it, we took the opportunity to think about the environmental impact it would have, and how we could reduce that impact compared to standard or template equipment policies.

        How this matters

        For many software organisations, the environmental impact of hardware purchasing for employees is probably at most the third-biggest contributor to the organisation’s overall impact, behind carbon emissions from energy usage (in building and providing software to a large number of users), and emissions from transport (both in sending employees to conferences, and in people’s daily commute to and from work). These both likely contribute tens of tonnes of emissions per year for a small/medium sized organisation (as a very rough approximation, since all organisations are different). The lifecycle emissions from a modern laptop are in the region of 300kgCO2e, and one target for per-person emissions is around 2.2tCO2e/year by 2030.

      • New Releases

        • Proxmox Virtual Environment 7.0 released

          We are really excited to announce the release of the new version Proxmox Virtual Environment 7.0!

          This major release is based on Debian 11 “Bullseye” with a Linux kernel 5.11, and includes QEMU 6.0, LXC 4.0, and OpenZFS 2.0.4, and countless improvements.

        • Proxmox Virtual Environment 7.0 Released

          Earlier today, Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, or just Proxmox for short, announced a major release of its server virtualization management platform, Proxmox Virtual Environment 7.0. Being a number before the decimal point always indicates big things. Here Proxmox announced the new release is based on Debian 11 “Bullseye” but using a Linux kernel 5.11, and includes QEMU 6.0, LXC 4.0, and OpenZFS 2.0.4.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – June 2021

          This is the 41st edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest. In this edition, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in June 2021.

        • Customer success stories: DevOps at scale

          Digital transformation doesn’t stop at just one product or solution. As your organization takes steps towards modernizing IT infrastructure, it’s worth thinking about the processes and people components as well. Sometimes it’s as much organizational transformation as it is digital.

          Team processes like DevOps to support continuous software releases can help you innovate faster. (We’ll show you how in an Open Innovation Lab.) Whether you’re exploring how to upgrade your legacy environment or adding to the Red Hat enterprise open source solutions you already have, our expert team can guide you on connecting your technology, culture, and processes together.

          This month, see how Red Hat solutions helped three companies across the globe learn new ways of working and find success.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.9.3 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.9.3 is generally available as of July 1, 2021.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

        • Why you need to use Kubernetes schema validation tools | Opensource.com

          How do you ensure the stability of your Kubernetes (K8s) clusters? How do you know that your manifests are syntactically valid? Are you sure you don’t have any invalid data types? Are any mandatory fields missing?

          Most often, we become aware of these misconfigurations only at the worst time: when we’re trying to deploy the new manifests.

          Specialized tools and a “shift-left” approach make it possible to verify a Kubernetes schema before it’s applied to a cluster. This article addresses how you can avoid misconfigurations and which tools are the best to use.

        • With Whitehurst stepping down, where do IBM and Red Hat go from here?

          After IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 billion in October 2019 and then Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst was named IBM’s President three months later, most IBM and Red Hat analysts assumed it was only a matter of time before Whitehurst would take over the top job of IBM CEO. We were wrong.

        • Virtuozzo VzLinux 8.4 Now Available

          The Virtuozzo team is always hard at work making sure that we release a new version and bug fixes that coincide with the updates provided by RHEL 8.4.

          On the 11th of June we released VzLinux 8.4, a production ready, stable release for you – our loyal supporters – to run your different workloads on.

          We have received some very cool feedback and are glad that you all love what we are doing.

          Thanks for noticing that we are fixing bugs so quickly (24 hours) and that you think VzLinux is stable and enterprise ready. To those who have asked if we will be following a similar path as CentOS, shifting its focus to Stream, the answer is: there are no plans for us to go this route, VzLinux will remain free to download, use and distribute.

          You can read more about this release, installing and upgrading by checking out our Release notes.

        • Virtuozzo VzLinux 8.4 Now Available
        • Fedora Community Blog: Community Blog monthly summary: June 2021 [Ed: Signs of weakness under IBM]

          In June, we published 15 posts. The site had 3,060 visits from 1,777 unique viewers. 108 visits came from Twitter, while 44 came from Fedora Planet, and 35 came from the WordPress Android App.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.10 Release Date & Planned Features

          Ubuntu 21.10 will be released on October 14, 2021 and in this post we take a closer look at the new features and changes it is likely to come with.

          Admittedly Ubuntu 21.10 development is still in a (somewhat) early state, but rumours are rife on what we can expect from the release that its developers have named the “Impish Indri”.

          Below is a rundown of everything we know so far, including when Ubuntu 21.10 will be released, how long it’ll be supported for.

          Plus, there’s a link to download Ubuntu 21.10 daily builds if you fancy taking the release for a test ahead of its stable release in the autumn.

        • Finserv open source infrastructure powers digital transformation

          Covid-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges and opportunities for financial institutions to embrace digital transformation initiatives at pace and scale. Finservs are enhancing their purview of digital transformation initiatives to stay relevant and create a technology foundation that enables them to quickly bounce back from future contingencies.

          Finserv digital transformation is spurred by technology, and the leading technologies spurring digital transformation are open source. It is fair to say that open source technologies are playing a key role in digital transformation.

          Financial institutions require a comprehensive portfolio of digital infrastructure and interconnection choices, both physical and virtual, and a wide range of cloud, and SaaS options to deliver that change.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Ubuntu in the wild – 06th of July

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

    • Devices/Embedded

      • 3.5-inch Tiger Lake SBC offers quad displays, 2.5GbE, and M.2 with PCIe Gen4

        Commell’s 3.5-inch “LE-370” SBC features a Tiger Lake UP3 CPU with up to 32GB DDR4, GbE and 2.5GbE ports, quadruple displays, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, 2x M.2, and mini-PCIe.

        Commell was one of the first companies to announce a Pico-ITX board with Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake UP3 platform with its LP-179 SBC and has now followed up with a larger, 3.5-inch board. The LE-370 follows other 3.5-inch Tiger Lake boards including Ibase’s IB953, Aaeon’s GENE-TGU6, and Kontron’s 3.5”-SBC-TGL.

      • RAKwireless announces 14 new WisBlock modules for IoT prototyping – CNX Software

        Rakwireless has added 14 new Wisblock modules to the WisBlock IoT modular system introduced last year, plans to soon release a Raspberry Pi RP2040 based LoRaWAN Wisblock Core module, and will give away some Wisblock starter kits this week.

      • Whiskey Lake panel PCs prep for the operating room

        It differs, however, in that Fedora 24 (with Intel Graphics Driver), Yocto Project, and standard Linux have equal billing with Win 10.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Arduino gets AI framework, from Fraunhofer

          Sensor data can be processed directly in the device. Training data can be captured directly on the device and used for training.
          Called AIfES, “the high optimisation of the framework allows even the 8bit controller of the Arduino Uno to implement an artificial neural network that can be trained in moderate time,” according to Arduino.cc. “This enables the creation of customizable devices that can adapt to the task at hand by means of training without using an external computer.”
          It integrate directly into the Arduino IDEs through the Arduino library manager.
          Fraunhofer IMS has been using AIfES internally in AI research and development, proving an effective development tool for customer-specific AI solutions, said Arduino. Demonstrators include a handwriting recognition, gesture recognition and a wireless current sensor.
          “AIfES is very similar to and compatible to Python ML frameworks such as TensorFlow, Keras or PyTorch, but its functionality is significantly reduced,” according to the Fraunhofer. “In the current version, feed-forward neural networks are supported, which can be configured completely freely. Also the popular activation functions like ReLU, Sigmoid or Softmax are already integrated. Model development is oriented to the Python frameworks. The common algorithms for training like the gradient descent optimiser or the Adam optimiser are also included.”

        • AIfES for Arduino high-efficiency AI framework for microcontrollers becomes open source – CNX Software

          AIfES (AI for Embedded Systems) is a standalone, high-efficiency, AI framework, which allows the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems, or Fraunhofer IMS for short, to train and run machine learning algorithms on resource-constrained microcontrollers.

          So far the framework was closed-source and only used internally by Fraunhofer IMS, but following a collaboration with Arduino, AIfES for Arduino is now open-source and free to use for non-commercial projects.

        • AIfES is an AI/ML framework for Arduino and Small Microcontrollers

          In the last few years there have been more and more solutions for running machine learning (ML) on microcontrollers. Some of the most popular are scaled down versions of frameworks designed for servers. But those are only suitable for fairly powerful MCUs.

          This is now a thing of the past. With the open-source solution AIfES (Artificial Intelligence for Embedded Systems) from the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems (IMS) it’s possible to run, and even train, artificial neural networks (ANN) on almost any hardware, including the 8-bit Arduino Uno.

        • New possibilities arising with AIfES

          Fraunhofer IMS has developed AIfES, a platform-independent and constantly growing machine learning library developed using the C programming language, which implies a fully configurable Feedforward Neural Network (FNN). AIfES uses standard libraries based on the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). The program source code is reduced to a minimum, thus even the integration on a microcontroller including learning algorithms is possible. AIfES runs on almost any hardware from 8-bit microcontrollers to smartphones and PCs

        • Work on your Arduino sketches from anywhere with remote sketchbook

          Remote sketchbook offers synchronization between the Arduino IDE 2 beta and Arduino Cloud. This powerful new feature now means you can work on your code from literally anywhere and everywhere.

        • Keyboardio Model 100 wooden keyboard runs open-source Arduino firmware (Crowdfunding) – CNX Software

          The Keyboardio Model 100 ships with QWERTY keycaps, but alternative keycap sets with Dvorak, Colemak, Linear A, or blank legends are available as a add-on. Other accessories include a 1.5 USB-A to USB C cable for connection to the host, a 10cm RJ45 interconnect cable and a 1m RJ45 interconnect cable to connect the two halves of the keyboard, two octo-stands with mounting screws, a flat interconnect bar, a 7.5 degree interconnect bar, and a screwdriver.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Nextcloud Hub 22
      • Nextcloud Hub 22 Includes User-Managed Groups, Approval Workflows

        Nextcloud has announced Nextcloud Hub 22, optimized for the modern, digital office. The release introduces user-defined groups, integrated chat and task management, an easy approval workflow and integrated PDF signing with DocuSign, EIDEasy and LibreSign.

        With Nextcloud Hub 22 also comes the introduction of an integrated knowledge management application with the name Collectives. Collectives features pages and subpages to structure knowledge, and cross-document links to connect information. There is also a series of improvements in Nextcloud Groupware.

      • Daniel Stenberg: curl reaches 100K raised

        I’m proud and happy to mention that curl just passed the magic limit of 100,000 USD in raised sponsorship money. Or call it donations if you want. Since April 2018. That’s about 40 months.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): Better Understanding Pontoon Notifications to Improve Them

            As l10n-drivers, we strongly believe that notifications are an important tool to help localizers organize, improve, and prioritize their work in Pontoon. In order to make them more effective, and focus our development work, we first needed to better understand how localizers use them (or don’t).

            In the second quarter of 2021, we ran a couple of experiments and a survey to get a clearer picture of the current status, and this blog post describes in detail the results of this work.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 8.0 UI Mockup

          After going through various stages and phases, finally our design team set a UX plan that is quite promising going forward. Below is the UI design for LibreOffice (Writer only) that we will propose.

          - There are multiple tabs for working on documents at once. The good news is that these tabs can be dragged and separated like tabs in a browser

          - Start Center can still be accessed at the top right. In fact, you don’t have to close all documents like before to access the Start Center

          - The traditional menus (File, Edit, View etc.) can still be accessed via the dropdown in the Menu tab. This menu tab itself is like the main menu in MS Office which provides the main commands such as print, document properties and the like.

        • LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: June 2021
        • Online meeting of the Spanish-speaking LibreOffice community

          On Saturday June 26, we held the first virtual meeting of the Hispanic community this year. The activity was attended by several members, who are recognized for their participation and collaboration in the project.

          We have opted for a new name for the event, although the same spirit as last year has been maintained. We understand that this modification is in line with what we do every day in the different areas we set up for this purpose: talk about LibreOffice.

        • GTK4: Adapting to Toolbar changes

          In GTK4 the dedicated GtkToolbar is gone, replaced by GtkBox with a style of “toolbar”. The spelling dialog now supports this conversion.

      • Programming/Development

        • What Should Be a Student’s First Programming Language? – The New Stack

          It’s a question that’s fascinated educators for decades. When students first begin to learn computer science — which programming language should they start with?

          One person who’s given it a lot of thought is Mark Guzdial, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan who has also conducted his own research in the fields of computer science education. And two different colleagues had recently suggested it didn’t matter which language was taught first to CS students, which got him thinking.

          “I have a hypothesis that this belief once was true when the field was younger,” Guzdial wrote in a recently-published piece in Communications of the ACM, the house organ of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). But that was back in the late 1960s when the curricula were first being established — while today, students of all ages and experience levels are learning how to program, and they ultimately have different needs.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The next fast thing

            A few commits ago lizmat taught next to take an argument. I started to play with this and found that not all loops are created equal.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • About PCIe 4.0 SSD – Linux Hint

        SSDs (Solid-State Drives) are the most efficient and the fastest storage media of today, with 10 times, or even more, the speed of HDDs. It is largely due to this speed advantage that SSDs are now dominating the storage market. Since 2015, the global shipment of SSDs has been rising while that of HDDs has been slowing down.[1]

        Early releases of SSDs were using the SATA interface but because SATA was primarily designed for HDDs, it’s limiting the full potential of SSDs. SSDs needed a much faster interface for optimum performance and manufacturers later on tapped the PCIe interface which significantly gave SSDs a strong boost in performance. Before we discuss PCIe SSDs further, let’s first have an overview of what PCIe is.

      • Arm chief hits out at ‘ill-informed speculation’ over proposed Nvidia buyout • The Register

        The boss of Arm has moved to tackle prolonged concerns that the British chip designer’s proposed $40bn buyout by Nvidia could damage competition and spell disaster for the UK’s tech sector.

        Writing in a company blog at the weekend, Simon Segars, chief exec of Arm, was quick to latch onto the significance of the “history-making” deal while dismissing what he described as the “ill-informed speculation out there about what the future of Arm with Nvidia will look like.”

        The proposed deal has been repeatedly attacked on multiple fronts, not least by its customers and potential investors.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pentagon scraps $10bn JEDI winner-takes-all cloud contract

          The Pentagon has killed off the $10bn JEDI IT contract that Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, and others spent years fighting over.

          The US government’s Dept of Defense announced today the decade-long, single-vendor, winner-takes-all cloud deal would be scrapped.

          “With the shifting technology environment, it has become clear that the JEDI Cloud contract, which has long been delayed, no longer meets the requirements to fill the DoD’s capability gaps,” the department said in a statement to the media.

        • Pentagon Scraps JEDI in Win for Amazon at Microsoft’s Expense

          Pentagon officials on Tuesday terminated the massive JEDI cloud-computing contract and said they would start fresh with a new project, capping a yearslong initiative that had become mired in litigation from Amazon.com Inc. and a barrage of objections from Congress.

          In terminating the contract with Microsoft Corp. , Department of Defense officials focused largely on technical reasons, saying advances in cloud computing and the Pentagon’s own evolving needs had made the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure scheme obsolete.

        • Microsoft cancels plans to deliver SQL Server on Windows Containers
        • SQL Server beta for Windows Server Containers terminated ‘with immediate effect’
        • Kaseya says it’s seen no sign of supply chain attack, sets SaaS restoration target of Tuesday afternoon, on-prem fix to follow

          Kaseya has said it’s been unable to find signs its code was maliciously modified, and offered its users a ray of hope with news that it is testing a patch for its on-prem software and is considering restoring its SaaS services on Tuesday, US Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

        • Kaseya: Roughly 1,500 businesses hit by REvil ransomware attack
        • Protecting Your Online Privacy: Three Levels of Security

          Data leaks happen once every few months at least. Millions of users can have their phone number, address, and Social Security Number smeared across the internet in a matter of seconds. Your online browsing behavior is also sold legally by tech companies to the highest bidder. Ever seen an ad that is a little too specific? Most major tech companies rely on some form of data harvesting for revenue.

          As consumers, should we do anything? Can we do anything? The answer to both of these questions is resoundingly ‘yes.’ By using services geared towards privacy, we can jointly prevent both sources of danger to our private information – that is, data leaks and data harvesting.

          In this article, I will give a brief synopsis of data exploitation, and I will subsequently describe three different levels of increasing security we can do based on technical expertise.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation Launches Open 3D Foundation, Amazon Lumberyard Spun As Open 3D Engine[“Yep, so far this Open 3D Engine effort backed by the Linux Foundation so far requires Microsoft Windows and Visual Studio…” as noted here about Linux Foundation ]

                Amazon previously made Lumberyard available on GitHub while keeping to a proprietary license but this move is indeed seeing Open 3D Engine made available under an Apache 2.0 license and “unencumbered by commercial terms and will provide the support and infrastructure of an open source community through forums, code repositories, and developer events.”

              • Linux Foundation to Form New Open 3D Foundation [Ed: The so-called 'Linux' Foundation is once again a Microsoft proprietary software monopoly (GitHub) outsourcer, plus the openwashing]

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced an intent to form the Open 3D Foundation to accelerate developer collaboration on 3D game and simulation technology. The Open 3D Foundation will support open source projects that advance capabilities related to 3D graphics, rendering, authoring, and development. As the first project governed by the new foundation, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) is contributing an updated version of the Amazon Lumberyard game engine as the Open 3D Engine (O3DE), under the permissive Apache 2.0 license. The Open 3D Engine enables developers and content creators to build 3D experiences unencumbered by commercial terms and will provide the support and infrastructure of an open source community through forums, code repositories, and developer events. A developer preview of O3DE is available on GitHub today. For more information and/or to contribute, please visit: https://o3de.org

              • The Linux Foundation gets into game development with new Open 3D Foundation [Ed: Paid-for puff piece from the usual sites]

                With a new open-source version of Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine, the Open 3D Foundation hopes to be a resource for 3D game developers worried about commercial license constraints.

              • New Open 3D Engine Game-Changing for Developers [Ed: More openwashing puff pieces]

                The Linux Foundation (LF), Amazon, and more than 20 other gaming companies hope to make open-source game playing more of a win-win technology for both developers and players.

                LF on Tuesday announced an intent to form the Open 3D Foundation to accelerate developer collaboration on 3D games and simulation technology. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization focusing on mass innovation through open source.

              • Linux Foundation Forming the Open 3D Foundation

                This new Foundation is launching with over 20 corporate members including representatives from Adobe, AWS, Huawei, Niantic, and Red Hat. The goal is simple: To accelerate developer collaboration on 3D engine development for AAA-games and high-fidelity simulations.

              • Linux Foundation launches the Open 3D Engine based upon Amazon Lumberyard

                Currently, the game engine editor on GitHub only has Windows build instructions, which is hilarious (in an annoying way) when you consider that this is coming from the Linux Foundation. Going by their public roadmap, Linux Client support isn’t hooked up yet either but it is planned with Vulkan support. Early days though of course, and now it’s in the open and open source (available under either the Apache License 2.0 or MIT) perhaps we can now see a boost to Linux support from contributors.

              • LF Networking Adds 7 New Members Across Enterprise & Government Ecosystems
              • ‘West’ Is A Swiss Army Knife For Zephyr Project
        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (python-django), Debian (libuv1, libxstream-java, and php7.3), Fedora (rabbitmq-server), Gentoo (glibc, google-chrome, libxml2, and postsrsd), openSUSE (libqt5-qtwebengine and roundcubemail), SUSE (python-rsa), and Ubuntu (djvulibre).

          • DarkRadiation ransomware targeting RedHat, Debian Linux distributions [Ed: This actually requires that the user fetches malicious software or uses an already-compromised machine]

            DarkRadiation downloads the required tools through the YUM/Yellowdog Updater, Modified if a device doesn’t support any of these. It is a python-based package manager used by popular Linux distros, including RedHat and CentOS.

          • S3 Ep 39.5: A conversation with Eva Galperin [Podcast] – Naked Security

            Join Eva as she discusses growing up with cryptography, the troubling issue of stalkerware, how to get started in cybersecurity… and the sort of hobbies that help infosec professionals to free their minds from work pressure when they want to relax.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • British Airways data breach lawsuit settled: Airline coughs up potentially millions to make sueball bounce away

              British Airways has settled the not-quite-a-class-action* lawsuit against it, potentially paying millions of pounds to make the data breach case in the High Court of England and Wales go away.

              PGMBM, one of the law firms which brought the group litigation against BA to the High Court, said in a statement that the case was settled on “confidential” terms.

              “The resolution includes provision for compensation for qualifying claimants who were part of the litigation. The resolution does not include any admission of liability by British Airways Plc,” said PGMBM.

European Patent Office (EPO) and the EPO’s Administrative Council Both Complicit in Illegal Outsourcing to Microsoft (and Industrial Espionage)

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Microsoft, Patents at 11:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: It seems like the EPO has just updated a Web page to help cover up its crimes, including gross violations of the GDPR (abuse of privacy of both staff and stakeholders)

THE EPO is totally not functioning. Back in the Benoît Battistelli days it was still possible to see the occasional challenge from the Council; under António Campinos things got even worse! They actively participate in crimes and coverup.

“It’s hogwash, partly misleading, and likely composed jointly with Microsoft.”As we pointed out before, the German government too is part of the problem (passive complicity; turning a blind eye) and there’s no sign of that changing any time soon. It seems like the “EPO – Data protection & privacy” page of the EPO (warning: epo.org link) has just been updated. Notice how in the FIRST THREE SECTIONS (all of them!) it’s all about Microsoft. It’s hogwash, partly misleading, and likely composed jointly with Microsoft. The Council is OK with it.

Does Microsoft now control “IT” at the EPO and moreover, does Microsoft write EPO policies? There’s a fresh scandal similar to this. They write legislation against their rivals in order to distract from their own crimes.

The Audacity Situation Needs More Diplomacy and Less Mob Mentality (We Can Probably Remove the Malicious Features Without Forking)

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They're playing at the moment; We can see it on our servers
There’s no way a program like Audacity has a legitimate reason to spy on users

Summary: Audacity’s new management is making a huge mistake; but forking should be the last resort and there’s probably still room for constructive negotiation

OVER the past 3 days many people spoke about the resurgence of an agenda we covered here before [1, 2]. We don’t want to reproduce all the dramatic if not sensationalist headlines here, as we mentioned it in passing in some videos over the weekend (many new links about it can be found here; there are few more scattered around, but those dozen or so links from the past weekend ought to suffice). The short story is, clueless new owners of Audacity mused about pushing on with controversial changes during a long (holiday) weekend and many Audacity users are rightly upset. I’m among those Audacity users.

We’ve seen arguments about distro makers making ‘soft’ forks or removing the offending code (less likely to happen for proprietary operating systems)… or pressuring the owners of the software (they now want a CLA for Audacity) to muse a reversal in policy, seeing that the spying now extends to governments and would likely be oppressive — not how it was initially sold to us (“improving user experience” and whatnot).

We’ve seen not a single fork that has sufficient momentum behind it (the ones we saw involve violating privacy with Microsoft at GitHub… to supposedly ‘solve’ privacy concerns); Audacity’s new owner should muse moving away from that grave error to alleviate a need for such a fork. That’s still doable. A fork should be the last resort or the most extreme course of action (otherwise it can be pointless and perish like Glimpse did).

An associate of ours has meanwhile prepared an AppArmor prototype (usr.bin.audacity) for blocking this behaviour, namely totally worthless Internet connections for a program that needs none (just in case opting out cannot be trusted in the binaries):

# vim:syntax=apparmor
# initial prototype AppArmor policy for audacity
# See : https://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/hirsute/en/man5/apparmor.d.5.html

#include <tunables/global>

# No template variables specified

/usr/bin/audacity {
#include <abstractions/dbus>
#include <abstractions/base>
#include <abstractions/user-tmp>

# No policy groups specified

/usr/bin/audacity rmPx,

owner /.Trash-*/ w,

owner @{HOME}/ r,
owner @{HOME}/.Xauthority r,
owner @{HOME}/.config/pulse/** rk,
owner @{HOME}/.local/share/mime/** r,
owner @{HOME}/.local/share/icons/ r,
owner @{HOME}/.local/share/icons/** r,
owner @{HOME}/.local/share/ r,
owner @{HOME}/.local/share/recently-used.xbel* rw,
owner @{HOME}/.audacity-data/ rw,
owner @{HOME}/.audacity-data/** rw,
owner @{HOME}/Desktop/ rw,
owner @{HOME}/Desktop/** rw,
owner @{HOME}/Music/ rw,
owner @{HOME}/Music/** rw,
owner @{XDG_DESKTOP_DIR}/ rw,
owner @{XDG_DESKTOP_DIR}/** rw,
owner @{XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR}/ rw,
owner @{XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR}/ rw,
owner @{XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR}/ rw,
owner @{XDG_MUSIC_DIR}/ rw,
owner @{XDG_PICTURES_DIR}/ rw,
owner @{XDG_VIDEOS_DIR}/ rw,

/etc/gtk-3.0/settings.ini r,
/etc/fonts/** r,
/etc/fstab r,
/etc/alsa/conf.d/ r,
/etc/alsa/conf.d/** r,
/etc/pulse/** r,
/usr/share/** r,
/usr/local/share/** r,

/dev/shm/ r,
/dev/snd/ r,
/dev/snd/** rw,
/proc/[0-9]*/mounts r,
/proc/[0-9]*/mountinfo r,
/var/cache/fontconfig/** r,
/sys/devices/system/node/ r,
/sys/devices/system/node/** r,

@{run}/** rw,

unix peer=(addr=@/tmp/.X11-unix/* label=unconfined),

Let’s try to resolve the conflict without a fork; conveying an intent to fork is sometimes enough of a motivating factor — enough to discourage integration of antifeatures (or a removal later). That’s just the GPL at work! This is Free software giving users more collective power/control over the development of a program. This is fine. But being too combative would likely not accomplish the best outcome.

Links 6/7/2021: KDE Bugfixes and Qt 6.2 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Rust in the Linux kernel: good enough for driver development
      • Google’s Linux challenger just got a hugely useful update

        The Rust for Linux initiative made significant progress after lead developer Miguel Ojeda sent in a revised set of patches to shore up support for adding Rust as a secondary programming language within the Linux kernel.

        Ojeda has been spearheading the initiative and his work is now sponsored by Google, who along with a large section of developers, are pushing for Rust to be used in the Linux kernel, especially in areas where security and memory safety are of utmost importance.

        The set of 17 patches lay the groundwork for the initiative with important components such as a beta Rust compiler, an example driver, and more.

      • Programming languages: Rust in the Linux kernel takes another step forwards

        The Google-backed project to make Rust a second programming language in Linux kernel development after C just took it’s next big step.

        Key to the project is Spain-based developer Miguel Ojeda, who’s been leading the charge to bring Mozilla-hatched systems programming language Rust to the Linux kernel.

      • More OpenRISC LiteX Drivers Expected To Be Upstreamed In Linux – Phoronix

        While RISC-V secures much of the spotlight these days when it comes to open-source processor instruction set architectures, OpenRISC is still moving along and soon should see more OpenRISC LiteX drivers upstreamed.

        In recent kernels we have seen work around OpenRISC LiteX as a Migen/MiSoC CPU/SoC builder for deployments on FPGAs with soft-core implementations of PicoRV32, VexRISCV, and more. Moving ahead, the OpenRISC developers are now on a path for upstreaming more peripheral drivers into the mainline kernel.

      • Linux 5.14 Continues Work On USB4 Support Bring-Up – Phoronix

        Greg Kroah-Hartman on mailed in the USB/Thunderbolt changes targeting the Linux 5.14 merge window.

        There is a lot of code clean-ups / fixes for the USB/Thunderbolt code as well as various other mostly routine driver updates. One area worth mentioning is the continued USB4 support work going on within the Thunderbolt code.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22.3 Improves Support for Flatpak Apps, Plasma Wayland, and More

          KDE Plasma 5.22.3 is the third of five updates in the KDE Plasma 5.22 series, and comes just two weeks after the KDE Plasma 5.22.2 point release to further improve support for sandboxed Flatpak apps by addressing a crash in the pop-up that asks you to approve background activity, which occurred when switching to another Flatpak app.

          KDE Plasma 5.22.3 also continues to improve the new Plasma System Monitor app by improving the process kill functionality in the Tree View to correctly terminate the right process, as well as the Plasma Wayland session to make window rules related to Activities work correctly.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22.3, Bugfix Release for July

          Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.22.3.

          Plasma 5.22 was released in June 2021 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

          This release adds two weeks’ worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include…

    • Distributions

      • Educational Distro Escuelas Linux 7.0 Released with New Apps, Based on Bodhi Linux 6.0

        Based on Bodhi Linux 6.0, which is derived from Canonical’s long-term supported Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) distribution, Escuelas Linux 7.0 is here with new apps, such as the AnyDesk remote desktop software, as well as the OpenBoard interactive whiteboard software, both of which being perfect for online classes.

        There’s also numerous updated apps including in the Escuelas Linux 7.0 release, such as the LibreOffice 7.1.4 office suite, Veyon 4.5.6 computer monitoring and classroom management tool, LiveCode 9.6.2 programming software, Krita 4.4.3 digital painting app, and GeoGebra 5.0.642 interactive math application.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Stream 9 Builds Flowing, Opened Up For Contributors – Phoronix

          More build artifacts of CentOS Stream 9 are being published now while more OS images are still on the way. CentOS Stream 9 is open for contributions as RHEL’s future upstream.

          As part of the latest CentOS community newsletter covering the past month of work, the developers involved have been getting more images spun of what is forming for CentOS Stream 9. The start of these new builds can be found at compose.stream.centos.org.

        • What is a hybrid work model?

          As vaccination rates climb and things return to something more like normal – or at least more normal than midsummer 2020 – hybrid work has become one of the most talked-about topics in business and technology circles.

          You can view the surge of interest in hybrid work models as a reflection that past concepts of “normal” are currently getting a reboot. For various reasons, some individuals and organizations alike don’t necessarily want to return entirely to pre-COVID ways of working. Instead, they’re reimagining what the next “normal” will look like and rethinking the best ways to work.

          Public health and safety certainly remain a predominant concern. Individuals and organizations have also realized that more flexible approaches to traditional office work – rather than an insistence that people be in the same physical space 40 (or more) hours a week – can actually be beneficial in some businesses and industries.

        • Finding block and file OCP application contents in ODF: The infrastructure

          Part one of a three part series on mapping application data in an OpenShift Data Foundation cluster.

        • Finding block and file OCP application contents in ODF: Creating the project

          Wrapping up how to map application data in an ODF cluster.

        • Finding block and file OCP application contents in ODF: Creating a file storage project | Enable Sysadmin

          Wrapping up how to map application data in an ODF cluster.

        • Digital transformation: How to forge tighter business partnerships [Ed: IBM/Red Hat treating Gartner like a fountain of truth]

          IT spend is set to skyrocket in 2021 – according to Gartner, $3.9 trillion will be spent on IT projects worldwide this year, up more than 6 percent for 2020.

          But IT spend does not automatically translate to favorable business outcomes. For companies rebounding from a year of disruptions, ensuring IT investments actually help achieve goals, increase profits, and move other business levers is critical. However, contrary to popular belief, technology isn’t the driving force of business success and growth – instead, it should be viewed as an accelerated path toward their goals.

          In fact, I would argue that IT generally shouldn’t own projects within an organization. Instead, ownership responsibility should fall to line-of-business (LOB) leaders and stakeholders. Ideally, LOB employees should analyze the business need for a new IT solution, determine its objective, and identify the KPIs that will measure success.

          IT shouldn’t be brought in until LOB leaders and stakeholders perform much of this pre-work, like identifying business value, establishing KPIs, and determining needs from teams – but it’s also important not to read IT into the project too late.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Nextcloud Hub 22 Launches with Approval Workflows, Integrated PDF Signing, and More

        Optimized for the modern, digital office, Nextcloud Hub 22 introduces new features like user-defined groups called Circles, an integrated knowledge management application called Collectives, integrated chat and task management, an easy approval workflow, as well as integrated PDF signing with DocuSign, EIDEasy and LibreSign.

        All these features are here to facilitate team collaboration, allowing users to create their own teams and manage memberships, empowers teams to manage themselves, allow employees to request approval on a document and management to respond, making it easier to share tasks into a chat room, and allow users to request a formal signature on a PDF document.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Opera browser tries to make sweet music for the ears of Chromebook users

            Norwegian web developer Opera has created a version of its software optimised for Google’s ChromeOS.

            The company claims the release is “the world’s first alternative browser optimized for Chromebooks”. The announcement of the browser doesn’t really elaborate on that claim, other than to say the application “… was built based on the Opera Browser for Android with custom optimizations that deliver a full-fledged laptop experience while maintaining all of its unique features”.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Recognition For NoSQL Pioneers

          The Association for Computer Machinery, the world’s foremost professional membership organization for computing, administers a large number of awards with the Turing Award being the best known and most lucrative. The System Software Award is one of the ACM’s technical awards in which recipients are selected by their peers for making significant contributions that enable the computing field to solve real-world challenges. It is awarded to an institution or individual(s) recognized for developing a software system that has had a lasting influence on computing.

      • Education

        • Ep17 Bryan Cantrill

          In this episode of ACM ByteCast, Rashmi Mohan hosts Bryan Cantrill, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Oxide Computer Company and a past member of the ACM Queue Editorial Board. Previously, he was Vice President of Engineering and CTO at Joyent. He is known for his work on the award-winning DTrace software, a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework for which he was included in MIT Technology Review’s TR35 (35 Top Young Innovators) list.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 6.2 Beta Released

          I am pleased to announce that we released the first Qt 6.2 Beta today. Qt 6.2 includes all widely used Qt add-on modules and is also the first release in the Qt 6 series to provide Long Term Support for commercial licensees. We will continue to provide subsequent beta releases via the online installer throughout the beta phase.

        • Qt 6.2 Beta Released As The First Qt6 LTS Release Moves Closer – Phoronix

          The Qt Company today issued the first of several expected betas for the upcoming Qt 6.2 toolkit release that will also be their first Qt 6 long-term support version.

          Qt 6.2 has arrived on-schedule in being the first of at least four planned beta releases that will run through the end of August. A release candidate of Qt 6.2 is expected mid-September and the official Qt 6.2.0 LTS release around the end of September.

        • High-Performance Computing yesterday, today, and tomorrow – interview with HPC Specialist Dr. Jussi Enkovaara

          We asked for hints from Enkovaara about where to begin if someone is interested in learning to program or improve their HPC skills. CSC organizes various courses on programming and high-performance computing. In Autumn 2021, a series of training, Autumn of HPC, will start from the basics of parallel programming, proceeding towards the middle-level GPU programming. These courses require basic programming skills, though.

          HPC skills could be developed through training in programming languages. C++ is widely used in HPC, which often is utilized in heavy computing as well. Python is a useful programming language to combine software and currently remains the most popular programming language in Github. Please note that in corporations, there may be other programming languages used.

  • Leftovers

    • On Being A Bit Wrong

      I was down in London last week for discussions around my appeal to the Supreme Court, and staying in a hotel close to Leicester Square, I wandered along to see the fans during their game with Ukraine and its very noisy aftermath. I was hoping to write a piece about disgusting uncouth yobs of racist English nationalists and their stupid and perhaps violent excesses.

    • Science

      • NCCIH strategic plan 2021-25: Same ol’, same ol’, with a devious twist

        I’m back, after an issue prevented me from posting last Friday. (Let’s just quote Obi-Wan Kenobi and say, “Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time,” and leave it at that…for now.) In any event, over the weekend it hit me. It seems that I’ve been blogging about COVID-19 on this blog almost nonstop without (much) interruption for close to the last 16 months because, well, I have. Be it conspiracy theories, doctors behaving badly (as they did throughout the pandemic), “wonder drugs” for COVID-19 like hydroxychloroquine (and now ivermectin), or antivaccine lies about the new COVID-19 vaccines that have led wealthy countries (like the US) to get out from under the worst of the pandemic, COVID-19 has been my niche. I could use a break, which brings us to the NCCIH.

    • Education

      • The Predictable Backlash to Critical Race Theory: A Q&A With Kimberlé Crenshaw

        Kimberlé Crenshaw is a professor of law at Columbia and UCLA, and she’s probably the most prominent figure associated with critical race theory—she coined the term, 30 years ago. She’s also creator of the concept “intersectionality” and host of the podcast “Intersectionality Matters.” And she cofounded the African American Policy Forum, now one of the country’s leading social justice think tanks. In 2015, it created the hashtag #SayHerName. This interview has been edited and condensed. 1

      • Fixing Crumbling US Schools Could Save Lives — and the Planet
      • “Public” universities aren’t free, conservatives

        But America’s investment in its state university system is far from great even at its best, and it’s been this way for years now. A 2017 report from the Center on Budget and Political Priorities delivered the grim news that “Overall state funding for public two- and four-year colleges was nearly $9 billion below its 2008 level, after adjusting for inflation. The funding decline has contributed to higher tuition and reduced quality on campuses as colleges have had to balance budgets by reducing faculty, limiting course offerings, and in some cases closing campuses.”

        In tandem with that decline in state funding, costs have been going up — way up. As the Atlantic reported three years ago, “For the first time, public colleges and universities in most states received most of their revenue from tuition rather than government appropriations.” The revelation couldn’t feel more resonant to my own experience — the nation crossed that rubicon the exact year my firstborn enrolled at one our state’s universities.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Physicians Have a Duty to Confront the Exploitative Industry That Employs Them
      • Covid-19 Is a Wake-Up Call for American Health Care

        The United States is currently recovering from the worst public health catastrophe of our lifetimes: hundreds of thousands dead, people losing their employer-sponsored health plans at record rates as unemployment skyrocketed, and medical debt spiking by more than $2.8 billion.

      • Them’s the rules Russian tourists forced to quarantine in Cuba after testing positive for COVID-19. Many say they tested negative in Russia.

        At least 137 Russian tourists who arrived in Cuba between June 30 and July 3 were forced to quarantine in their hotel rooms after testing positive for COVID-19. As of July 5, at least 89 Russian nationals are still in isolation and awaiting the results of repeat PCR tests. However, many of the tourists aren’t convinced that they actually have the coronavirus — while some tested negative prior to leaving Russia, others say they’ve been vaccinated against the disease. Meanwhile, the Russian Association of Tour Operators is telling travellers not to expect compensation for the inconvenience of having quarantine, because they were warned about Cuba’s coronavirus regulations.

      • Ultra-contagious COVID Delta variant “wreaking havoc” worldwide

        First detected in India, the Delta variant is rapidly emerging as the dominant coronavirus strain across the globe. The mutation—which is estimated to be 60% more transmissible than the highly contagious Alpha variant—has now been detected in more than 80 countries, and it accounts for over a third of all new cases in the United States.

        The Delta strain is the “most contagious variant we’ve seen so far,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

        “It is wreaking havoc around the world, and will cause problems here,” Jha added, referring to the U.S.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • IT for service providers biz Kaseya defers decision about SaaS restoration following supply chain attack • The Register [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO; a lot of the media neglects to say what's impacted in terms of operating system (how convenient; unless it's Linux and then they attack Linux, the kernel). What corporate media calls Microsoft Windows when it's PROMOTIONAL: "Vista 11" (the vapourware, the myth). What media calls Microsoft Windows when it's NEGATIVE (like thousands of businesses being blackmailed by crackers because they use Windows): "computer".]

          IT management software provider Kaseya has deferred an announcement about restoration of its SaaS services, after falling victim to a supply chain attack that has seen its products become a delivery mechanism for the REvil ransomware.

          The company’s most recent update on the incident, dated July 4, 2021 5:45 PM EDT, initially advised that further information would be posted “very late” on the same date after a meeting of the company’s executive committee.

          The latest update says that committee met at 10:00 PM EDT and decided that “to best minimize customer risk … more time was needed before we brought the data centers back online.”

        • Kaseya ransomware attackers demand $70 million, claim they infected over a million devices [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Three days after ransomware attackers started the holiday weekend by compromising Kaseya VSA, we have a clearer idea of how widespread the impact has been. In a new ransom demand, the attackers claim to have compromised more than 1 million computers, and demand $70 million to decrypt the affected devices.

        • Biden: ‘Initial thinking’ recent ransomware attack not by Russian government [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Speaking to reporters in Traverse City, Mich., Biden said he’s directed the “full resources of the federal government” to investigate the attack, according to a pool report.

        • Ransomware attack hits software manager, affecting 200 companies [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said on Twitter that it was “taking action to understand and address the supply-chain #ransomware attack against Kaseya VSA and the multiple #MSPs that employ VSA software.”

        • [Crackers] demanding $70M to restore data in massive cyberattack: report [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The ransomware attack was carried out on Friday, targeting Miami-based technology firm Kaseya. The group used Kaseya’s access to clients as well as some of their clients’ clients to immobilize the computers of hundreds of technology firms worldwide, Reuters noted.

        • Up to 1,500 businesses affected by ransomware attack, U.S. firm’s CEO says [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Kaseya is a company which provides software tools to IT outsourcing shops: companies that typically handle back-office work for companies too small or modestly resourced to have their own tech departments.

          One of those tools was subverted on Friday, allowing the [crackers] to paralyze hundreds of businesses on all five continents. Although most of those affected have been small concerns – like dentists’ offices or accountants – the disruption has been felt more keenly in Sweden, where hundreds of supermarkets had to close because their cash registers were inoperative, or New Zealand, where schools and kindergartens were knocked offline.

        • [Crackers] behind holiday crime spree demand $70 million, say they locked 1 million devices [iophk: Windows TCO]

          REvil began its spree Friday by compromising Kaseya, a software company that helps companies manage basic software updates. Because many of Kaseya’s customers are companies that manage internet services for other businesses, the number of victims grew quickly. Instead of locking an individual organization, as ransomware gangs usually do, REvil locked each victim computer as a standalone target and initially asked for $45,000 to unlock each one.

        • Up to 1,500 Businesses Affected by Ransomware Attack, US Firm’s CEO Says [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Between 800 and 1,500 businesses around the world have been affected by a ransomware attack centered on U.S. information technology firm Kaseya, its chief executive said Monday.

          Fred Voccola, the Florida-based company’s CEO, said in an interview that it was hard to estimate the precise impact of Friday’s attack because those hit were mainly customers of Kaseya’s customers.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ABC mum when asked if iview user data is fed to Google, Facebook

              The ABC is unwilling to say whether it provides Google and Facebook access to the data of iview users, a considerable number of whom have created accounts to access the service prior to 1 July based on ABC warnings that logins would be compulsory in the new financial year.

            • TikTok Extends Maximum Video Length to 3 Minutes

              The extended video length will become available to all creators globally “over the coming weeks,” Kirchhoff said, though he noted that a few creators have been able to experiment with the format already. Creators will receive a notification on their app once they are able to upload longer videos.

            • TikTok is taking the book industry by storm, and retailers are taking notice

              “BookTok” is a community of users on TikTok who post videos reviewing and recommending books, which has boomed in popularity over the past year. TikTok videos containing the hashtag #TheyBothDieAtTheEnd have collectively amassed more than 37 million views to date, many of which feature users reacting — and often crying — to the book’s emotional ending.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Why Did You Kill my Brother?

        Chauvin famously knelt on George Floyd’s neck last year, as Floyd lay handcuffed and helpless, for those nine-plus minutes, while three colleagues stood by, indifferent to the murder so obviously underway . . . police administering the death sentence to a man accused of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a nearby convenience store.

        Unfortunately for the smirking Chauvin, his crime was caught on cellphone video and shocked much of the nation and the world. And a year later, something almost unprecedented happened: A police officer was held accountable for killing a black man.

      • What you need to know about Russia’s 2021 national security strategy

        President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new national security strategy for Russia on July 3. This latest version builds upon the ideas contained in the previous strategy, which was signed into law on December 31, 2015. Even then, Putin proclaimed that Russia is surrounded by enemies who are trying to infringe upon the country using methods ranging from military pressure to the spread of extremist ideas. But the latest charter goes further still. Indeed, it recognizes an even wider range of national security threats, including (but not limited to) the online activities of transnational corporations, the “Westernization of culture,” the imposition of foreign moral values, and the destructive impact of profanity on the Russian language. Meduza unpacks what you need to know about Russia’s new national security strategy.

      • Can’t Wait to Get a Gun?
      • The Constitutional Right to Bear Arms Carries a Racist History
      • “The Second”: Carol Anderson on the Racist History Behind the Constitutional Right to Bear Arms

        As gun violence soars in the United States, we look at the Second Amendment and its racist roots with Carol Anderson, author of the new book, “The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America.” In the book, Anderson details how the Second Amendment was written to empower local militia groups to put down slave revolts and protect plantation owners. She writes the Second Amendment is “rooted in fear of Black people, to deny them their rights, to keep them from tasting liberty.” Carol Anderson joined us from Atlanta, where she is a professor at Emory University. She is also the author of “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy” and “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.”

      • Biden Acknowledges ‘Over the Horizon’ Air Attacks Planned Against Taliban

        On July 2, fleeing questions from reporters about U.S. plans in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden sought refuge behind the July 4th Independence Day holiday, yet obliquely acknowledged that the U.S. will use some level of “over the horizon” air attacks to prevent the Taliban from taking power, attacks that will include drones and manned aircraft, possibly even B-52s.

      • Getting Afghan interpreters out of Afghanistan isn’t progressive: It’s the right thing to do

        During my service as a Marine sergeant, I had two combat deployments to Afghanistan; my platoons each had an Afghan interpreter. These men decided to work for the United States knowing well that they had signed their own death warrants by working with us. These men not only worked with us, they lived with us, they patrolled with us, and when we came under fire, they stood with us providing valuable insight on the local area. These men sat in our vehicles with the same risk of roadside bombs that we experienced every day. When we hit a roadside bomb, they suffered injuries or death, just like us. These men were in the foxhole with us every day.

      • Illegal Migrants, People Smugglers Face Tougher New Penalties in Britain

        The move is designed to dissuade migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats and dinghies. People smugglers will also face much heavier jail terms with those found guilty facing life sentences, up from a current maximum of 14 years.

      • Taliban seize key Kandahar district after fierce fighting

        The Taliban have captured a key district in their former bastion of Kandahar — the latest area to be seized since US troops began their final withdrawal — after fierce night-time fighting with Afghan government forces, officials said on Sunday.

        The insurgents have pressed on with their campaign to capture territories across Afghanistan’s rural areas since early May when the US military began the pullout.

      • US adds Turkey to list of countries implicated in use of child soldiers

        The United States on Thursday added Turkey to a list of countries that are implicated in the use of child soldiers over the past year, placing a NATO ally for the first time in such a list, in a move that is likely to further complicate the already fraught ties between Ankara and Washington.

        The US State Department determined in its 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) that Turkey was providing “tangible support” to the Sultan Murad division in Syria, a faction of Syrian opposition that Ankara has long, supported and a group that Washington said recruited and used child soldiers.

      • Britain fails to ban notorious Hizb Ut Tahrir

        Well-known counterterrorism expert Robert Spencer, commenting on Britain’s inaction in outlawing Hizb Ut Tahrir said: Why couldn’t they ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, which openly calls for Sharia hegemony? Because to have done so would have been “Islamophobic.” Britain is slowly committing national suicide, and every step of the way it refuses to defend its culture, laws, borders and more because to do so would be “Islamophobic”.

      • Tech giants warn of cutting off service in Hong Kong over data-protection laws: report

        Tech giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter have reportedly issued a warning to Hong Kong’s government that their services may be cut off in the city if authorities proceed with data protection laws that would make the companies liable if individuals’ personally identifiable information is released without their consent, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    • Environment

      • Melting tropical glaciers sound an early warning

        Climate change means melting tropical glaciers are losing frozen landscapes of great beauty − and high value to millions.

      • The new U.S. Climate Normals are here. What do they tell us about climate change?

        Known as the U.S. Climate Normals, these 30-year averages — now spanning 1991-2020 — represent the new “normals” of our changing climate. They are calculated using climate observations collected at local weather stations across the country and are corrected for bad or missing values and any changes to the weather station over time before becoming part of the climate record.

        Simply stated: The Normals are the basis for judging how daily, monthly and annual climate conditions compare to what’s normal for a specific location in today’s climate.

      • ExxonMobil Lobbyist on Playbook for Plastic: “It’s Just Like on Climate Change”

        Greenpeace UK has released additional video clips of its explosive, undercover interview of one of ExxonMobil’s top lobbyists. In these new video segments, Keith McCoy, senior director of federal relations for the oil giant, describes how the company’s playbook for dealing with public outrage over its plastic pollution is “just like on climate change.”

        McCoy also reveals that Exxon is linked to PFAS, a substance incorporated in many consumer products that has become notorious as a “forever chemical” because of its durability in the environment and ability to foul water supplies. McCoy describes the company’s efforts to lobby against PFAS regulation “under the guise” of industry front groups — an effort he boasts has succeeded in keeping PFAS from becoming known as “the Exxon Mobil chemical.”

      • Conviction of Dam Company Executive for Murder of Berta Cáceres Hailed as ‘Step Towards Justice’

        Human rights advocates on Monday welcomed the conviction of Roberto David Castillo Mejía, a Honduran businessman and former military intelligence officer, for the March 2016 assassination of Indigenous environmental activist Berta Cáceres, while calling on authorities in the Central American nation to bring everyone involved in planning the murder to justice.

        “Until all those responsible are held accountable, other human rights defenders in Honduras will continue to lose their lives.”—Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International

      • As Big Oil Execs Roam Free, Climate Activist Gets 8 Years in Prison

        Environmentalists in recent days expressed outrage over the eight-year prison sentence handed to Jessica Reznicek—a nonviolent water protector who pleaded guilty to damaging equipment at the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa—while calling the fossil fuel companies who knowingly caused the climate emergency the real criminals who should be held to account.

        “Why is Jessica Reznicek going to prison and Big Oil executives aren’t?” —Rebecca Parson, congressional candidate

      • Energy

        • ‘Disgusting’: Pipeline Company Files $15 Billion Claim Against US for Canceled Keystone XL

          In a move that progressives described as unsurprising yet outrageous, TC Energy Corporation, the Canadian company behind the now-defunct Keystone XL pipeline, is seeking more than $15 billion in compensation from the United States government, which it has accused of violating free trade obligations by blocking further development of the tar sands oil project.

          “America didn’t want your pipeline. You took the risk. Taxpayers are not going to pay $15 billion for your failed and risky investment. You lost. This is how capitalism works.”—Jane Kleeb, Nebraska Democratic Party

        • Koch Industries Among Investors Set to Take Over UK Supermarket Morrisons

          Supermarket chain Morrisons is set to be snapped up by a group of US investors that includes a subsidiary of fossil fuel giant Koch Industries, known for funding numerous climate science denial groups across the country.

          The £6.3 billion takeover bid of the UK’s fourth largest supermarket group, which campaigners fear could represent a “worrying shift”, is being led by US private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, owner of Majestic Wine. 

          Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

        • Humanity Needs to Declare Independence From Fossil Fuels

          The Declaration of Independence, the work of a five-person committee appointed by the Continental Congress, but with Thomas Jefferson as the most vocal figure of the values of the Enlightenment on this side of this Atlantic being the primary author and upon the insistence of none other than John Adams himself, is one of the most important documents in the history of democracy and of political progress. 

        • Oil Companies Cancel Pipeline Plans Amid Grassroots Pressure
        • Some locals say a Bitcoin mining operation is ruining one of the Finger Lakes. Here’s how.

          Because private-equity firms expect to hold their investments for only a few years, they often keep alive fossil-fuel operations that would otherwise be mothballed, said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocate. “Private equity thinks it can squeeze a couple more years out of them,” Slocum said. “And they are often immune from investor pressures.”

          In 2016, for instance, private-equity firm Arclight Capital Partners of Boston bought into Limetree Bay, an oil refinery and storage facility in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. The operation had gone bankrupt after a series of toxic spills but reopened in February 2021. Just three months later, it was shuttered after unleashing petroleum rain on nearby neighborhoods.

        • Kajaani, the green home of HPC

          Possibility to utilize waste heat generated by the equipment in the district heating network of Kajaani, this reduces total energy costs and CO2 emissions.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Study Details How Trump Unleashed ‘Outright Slaughter’ of Wolves in Wisconsin

          A new study published Monday estimates Wisconsin lost as much as a third of its gray wolf population after the Trump administration stripped federal protections for the animals and the state allowed for a public wolf hunt widely decried as being “divorced from science and ethical norms.”

          The February hunt, panned (pdf) by wildlife advocates as “an outright slaughter,” killed 218 wolves—already far past the quota the state had set. But over 100 additional wolf deaths were the result of “cryptic poaching,” University of Wisconsin–Madison environmental studies scientists found, referring to illegal killings in which hunters hide evidence of their activities.

        • The Anti-Wolf Conspiracy Inside Colorado’s Wildlife Bureaucracy

          Governor Polis, Colorado has got a problem.

          Last week, I reviewed recordings of CPW meetings and official documents obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a watchdog group is dedicated to exposing corruption within state and federal land and wildlife agencies. The documentation provides irrefutable proof that Romatzke conspired with an anti-wolf lobby group to undermine and oppose CPW commissioners.

    • Finance

      • What Happens Economically When Wealth Amasses at the Top
      • Inside the June Jobs Report

        It is not unusual to see sharp monthly divergences between the two surveys. Over a longer period, they tend to show a similar picture of the labor market, but the household survey can have erratic movements that don’t seem to correspond to anything in the economy. For example, in October 2017, the household survey showed a drop in employment of 633,000, and then in August 2018 it showed a decline of 619,000. In both periods the economy was growing at a healthy pace and there was no evidence of weakness in other economic data. These drops were preceded and/or followed by months with large gains.

        Establishment Job Gains Driven by Growth in Hard Hit Sectors

      • The Wealth Inequality Virus Persists

        The Federal Reserve Board recently released its figures on wealth distribution in the United States as of the end of March.[1] The wealthiest 1% are presumably quite happy.  Their wealth increased $2.01 trillion to $41.52 trillion in the first three months of 2021, an increase of more than 5%.

        Presumably, a disproportionate share of the increase has gone to those at the very top of the 1%. In 2020, according to the Federal Reserve figures, the wealth held by the 1% increased 14.88%.  However, using the Bloomberg Billionaires Index figures, in 2020, the wealthiest ten U.S. citizens, as of the end of the year, saw their wealth rise 47.9% bringing their total to $1.0685 trillion from $730.29 billion at the beginning of the year. The total holdings of the wealthiest ten as of the end of 2020, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, represents 2.69% of the total holdings of the wealthiest 1% using the Federal Reserve figures of their holdings then. This is up from 2.12% at the beginning of 2020.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The US Finds Itself on the Wrong Side of Imran Khan’s Populism

        Islamabad—Pakistan’s embattled prime minister, Imran Khan, in a speech that is likely to reverberate in both Washington and Beijing, accused the United States last week of having crushed the “self-esteem” of the Pakistani people.

      • Nina Turner Wins July 4 Endorsement of Largest Ohio Newspaper
      • ‘That Person Is Nina Turner’: Progressive Nabs July 4 Endorsement of Largest Ohio Newspaper

        Nina Turner, running for U.S. Congress in Ohio’s 11th district, won the endorsement of the state’s largest newspaper Sunday—the latest show of momentum for the progressive champion who has been targeted for defeat by the Democratic Party’s more corporate-friendly establishment wing.

        “We have an historic opportunity to deliver an agenda that puts working people at the center of our economy. To get there we need a Congress made up of leaders who never forget their purpose.”—Nina Turner

      • The Three Revolutions of the Chinese Communist Party

        Before 1991, when the Soviet state went pffft, I would have bet, hands down, that the most important event of the 20th century was the Russian Revolution of 1917.

        Now, owing to history’s merciless intolerance for failed experiments, the Chinese Revolution has emerged as the most momentous event of the last century, and its paradoxical consequence — the rise of China as the center of global capital accumulation — bids fair to be the most significant development of this century as well.

      • Lithuania grants diplomatic status to Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s office

        The office of exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya) has received diplomatic status in Lithuania as the “Belarusian Democracy Representative Office.” 

      • “The Hill We Climb, If Only We Dare It”: Watch Amanda Gorman, Youngest Inaugural Poet in U.S. History

        Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history when she spoke at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. She was 22 years old when she read “The Hill We Climb,” a poem she finished right after the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. We continue our July Fourth special broadcast with Gorman’s remarkable address.

      • The Porter: The Untold Story at Everest
      • The Supreme Court just made Citizens United even worse

        Before Thursday, the Court treated most disclosure laws as valid, and it typically only allowed plaintiffs who objected to such a law to seek an exemption from it — not to seek a court order striking down the law altogether. After Americans for Prosperity, there is now a presumption that all such laws are unconstitutional — although this presumption might be rebuttable in some cases.

        As Justice Sonia Sotomayor writes in a dissenting opinion, “today’s analysis marks reporting and disclosure requirements with a bull’s-eye.” The upshot is that wealthy donors now have far more ability to shape American politics in secret — and that ability is only likely to grow as judges rely on the decision in Americans for Prosperity to strike down other donor disclosure laws.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Facebook Gives the Most Dangerous Extremists a Free Pass

        The pop-ups are part of something called The Redirect Initiative, which attempts to “combat violent extremism and dangerous organizations by redirecting hate and violence-related search terms towards resources, education, and outreach groups that can help.”

        The Redirect Initiative sounds like something that could be a valuable public service if Facebook was serious about fighting extremism. But that’s obviously not the case.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Julian Assange’s freedom depends on the mobilisation of the working class

        If the US and its allies have their way, Assange will never be a free man. Even though a British district court ruled against his extradition to the US on narrow health grounds in January, there is no timetable for Assange’s release from prison in the foreseeable future.

        The US is proceeding with an appeal against that verdict. Despite the discrediting of the prosecution case as a frame-up, including last week’s admission by a key US witness that he provided fabricated evidence for the indictment against Assange, there is every reason to suspect that such an appeal would be successful. At each point, the British judiciary has thrown aside the rule of law to facilitate Assange’s persecution.

      • ‘A direct trail of blood drops’ leads from a Twitter hack to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder

        The first clue popped up on Omar Abdulaziz’s phone four years ago. A Saudi dissident attending college in Montreal, Abdulaziz got a cryptic message from Twitter. His account had been penetrated by a “state sponsored” actor. He should take precautions to protect his personal information, the company advised, offering no further details.

        b Abdulaziz didn’t think much of it at the time. He changed his password and switched to two-factor authentication. “I thought this is, like, a problem, it was solved and it’s not happening again,” says Abdulaziz. “I didn’t know how big that was.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Baltimore to Stop Prosecuting “Nonviolent” Crimes. Activists Say More Is Needed.
      • Palestinian Families Face Another Summer of Needless Suffering in Gaza

        My family and I—my wife, our young son, our elders, and the twin baby girls who will be born to us this week—ask the world to hear the conditions of our lives here in Deir el Balah, after 14 years’ captivity in the world’s largest toxic prison-camp, and since the May waves of Israeli tank shells, artillery shells, rockets and bombs have stopped exploding in our midst. 

      • Russian national Yegor Dudnikov complains of poor jail conditions in Belarus

        Russian national Yegor Dudnikov, who has been in pre-trial detention in Minsk since May, has complained about the poor conditions of detention and the deterioration of his health, his mother and lawyer told the independent television channel Dozhd.

      • Activists Are Working to Ban Anti-LGBTQ “Conversion Therapy”
      • Is Fulton v the City of Philadelphia Really a Win for Freedom of Religion?

        The court chose to allow Catholic Social Services (CSS) to continue to discriminate against homosexual and unmarried couples seeking to foster and adopt children because other oganisations in Philadephia will serve these groups. However, as the caregivers of these children it is the responsibility of the state to ensure they have all the best possible resources.

        This change could set a precedent where the government is forced to provide contracts and funding to organisations and businesses even if they misuse those funds for religious purposes.

      • ‘A huge wave of hate’ Tbilisi Pride calls off ‘March for Dignity’ following violent attacks in Georgia’s capital

        LGBTQ+ activists from Tbilisi Pride were forced to cancel a march planned for the evening of Monday, July 5, following violent attacks by counter demonstrators in the Georgian capital. In addition to physically assaulting journalists who had gathered ahead of the “March for Dignity,” the anti-Pride demonstrators broke into the Tbilisi Pride office and set fire to a rainbow flag. In its statement canceling the march, Tbilisi Pride condemned both the violence and the inaction of the authorities, accusing the government and the Georgian Patriarchate of backing a “huge wave of hate.” Eighteen Western Embassies also issued a joint statement condemning the attacks in Tbilisi, as well as the failure of government and religious leaders to speak out against this violence.

      • Independence Day and the Imperial CEO

        On July 4, 1776, Americans rejected the divine right of kings, declaring self-evident truths: All men are created equal. Legitimate government is founded on consent of the governed. Government exists to support our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness—not to save our souls or pursue military glory. Now, those principles of limited government can tame imperial CEOs.

      • “What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?”: James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass’s Historic Speech

        We begin our July Fourth special broadcast with the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, Douglass gave one of his most famous speeches, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” He was addressing the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. James Earl Jones reads the historic address during a performance of “Voices of a People’s History of the United States,” which was co-edited by Howard Zinn. The late great historian introduces the address.

      • Man Freed After Spending 21 Years in Prison for Crime That ‘Never Happened’

        The prosecution’s case against Smith was based entirely on two of the victims identifying him from a photo lineup, with no other evidence linking him to the crime. He was sentenced to 67 years in prison after being convicted of multiple counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and kidnapping.

        But last month, Fairfield County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Berens ruled that prosecutors had withheld evidence that suggested the crime may have been staged—and granted him a new trial.

      • Into the Quagmire with Donald Rumsfeld

        Rumsfeld relished such tributes to his toughness, but he was above all else a skilful bureaucratic warrior in Washington and never the warlord he pretended to be. As defence secretary between 2001 and 2006, he gloried in his role as America’s military chief avenging 9/11, but his arrogance and inability to adjust to the realities of the Afghan and Iraq wars produced frustration or failure on the battlefield.

        Manoeuvre though Rumsfeld did to avoid responsibility for the Iraq war, he became the living symbol of America’s plunge into the quagmire. Typically, he responded to this by banning his staff at the Pentagon from using the word “quagmire” along with “resistance” and “insurgents”.

      • The Known Knowns of Donald Rumsfeld

        Long before Donald Trump took aim at irritating facts and dissenting eggheads, Donald Rumsfeld, two times defense secretary and key planner behind the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was doing his far from negligible bit. When asked at his confirmation hearing about what worried him most when he went to bed at night, he responded accordingly: intelligence.  “The danger that we can be surprised because of a failure of imagining what might happen in the world.”

        Hailing from Chicago, he remained an almost continuous feature of the Republic’s politics for decades, burying himself in the business-government matrix.  He was a Congressman three times.  He marked the Nixon and Ford administrations, respectively serving as head of the Office of Economic Opportunity and Defense Secretary.  At 43, he was the youngest defense secretary appointee in the imperium’s history.

      • Remembering Donald Rumsfeld: A Killer of Multitudes

        One thing you won’t find in corporate media obituaries of Donald Rumsfeld is any estimate of how many people died in the wars he was in charge of launching.

      • The Crimes of Donald Rumsfeld and a Reflection on the Iraq War

        Donald Rumsfeld’s death is a good occasion to reflect on the Iraq War of which he was a major architect. The War was the highpoint of the U.S. pursuit of global hegemony. That means it’s been downhill since then. Its failures echo far beyond the calamity of the War itself.   The collateral impacts—before, during, and after—have grievously damaged American interests and substantially diminished its power in the world. It’s the exact opposite of what was promised going in.

      • HASSAN: The ex-Muslim movement seeks to challenge apostasy in Islam

        It is widely known that apostasy in Islam carries a death sentence or at least severe public and private censure. That is why a great number of ex-Muslims hide their disbelief from family, friends, and society. However, some noteworthy ex-Muslims have tried to address this phenomenon by proclaiming their apostasy and encouraging others to do the same.

      • Ilhan Omar needs to answer for the stabbing of Boston rabbi

        Imagine, then, the power of that tongue when it lashes out against Jews from within the government, yes, the House of Representatives.

        That gives it the stamp of frightful authority.

        Yet Omar feels comfortable enough to do it again and again, with that smirk, because there is no one to stop her.

      • Aceh woman collapses after receiving 100 lashes for premarital sex

        The woman and her male lover were sentenced to 100 lashes each for engaging in premarital sex. The public flogging yesterday also saw three others subject to their punishment: one man was sentenced to 75 lashes for providing a venue for premarital sex while two other men were sentenced to 40 lashes for drinking alcoholic beverages.

        The woman collapsed after receiving her punishment, which was carried out by enforcers from the province’s Wilayatul Hisbah (religious police), Satpol PP (the Public Order Agency), and witnessed by members of the public.

    • Monopolies

      • DiDi, China’s Uber analog, booted from local app stores for data naughtiness • The Register

        Chinese ride hailing app DiDi Chuxing was on Sunday removed from local app stores on on grounds that it did not comply with data protection laws. The ban came less than a week after the company’s US stock market debut.

        The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) issued the ban. In its notice of its actions the CAC wrote: “The DiDi Travel App has serious violations of laws and regulations in collecting and using personal information.”

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright Holders: Automatically Deleting Pirated Content From Search Isn’t Enough

          A draft bill before Russia’s State Duma will allow all copyright holders to have links to pirated content automatically removed from search engines within six hours. However, some copyright holders believe the measures don’t go far enough since there is no provision to permanently ban persistent pirate sites from search engines.

        • Stream-Ripping Can be Perfectly Legal, French Ministry of Culture Says

          Downloading music via stream-ripping tools can be perfectly legal, the French Ministry of Culture has confirmed. The resulting copies fall under the private copying exemption. However, this only applies if the stream-ripping service doesn’t circumvent technical protection measures, which is a widely contested issue.

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